Today’s Tarot Card for Feb. 4th is The Devil

The Devil

Tuesday, Feb 4th, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has traditionally been known as the Devil card expresses the realm of the Taboo, the culturally rejected wildness and undigested shadow side that each of us carries in our subconscious. This shadow is actually at the core of our being, which we cannot get rid of and will never succeed in taming. From its earliest versions, which portrayed a vampire-demon, this card evoked the Church-fueled fear that a person could “lose their soul” to wild and passionate forces.

The image which emerged in the mid-1700’s gives us a more sophisticated rendition — that of the “scapegoated Goddess,” whose esoteric name is Baphomet. Volcanic reserves of passion and primal desire empower her efforts to overcome the pressure of stereotyped roles and experience true freedom of soul. Tavaglione’s highly evolved image (Stella deck) portrays the magical formula for harnessing and transmuting primal and obsessive emotions into transformative energies. As a part of the Gnostic message of Tarot, this fearsome passion and power must be reintegrated into the personality, to fuel the soul’s passage from mortal to immortal.

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Animals, Nature, and the Craft

Animals, Nature, and the Craft

Author:   Flame warped mind 

I love animals — not all of them mind you, little bugs, spiders, bees, and rodents still freak me — but I respect each for what they are. Respect. It’s a big part of being Pagan. Ants and spiders are just as important as cows and elephants, each being distinctly different from the next.

‘Witches only love their black cats! They sacrifice everything else to the Devil!’

Really? I don’t like cats at all, and I’ve never sacrificed anything to the devil. I’m just far too busy trying to gather what understanding I can from the animal kingdom to worry about sacrificing to a being I don’t believe exists. “What we have here is failure to communicate.” –Cool Hand Luke.

For as long people outside the Craft have known about any form of earth based spirituality and the people involved in such practice (whom we will refer to as Pagan for the remainder of this piece) , there have been misconceptions involving animals and the Craft. An animal spiritually tied to a person practicing witchcraft (often called a familiar) , was and still is often thought of as a demon in animal form sent to assist in spells against and bewitchment of the God-fearing public. This theory is both prejudicial and nonsensical, not just to the person but also to the animal involved as well. During the Witch Hunts, animals were routinely sentenced and executed for witchcraft along with their masters. This practice went so far that in medieval Europe cats were massacred based on the theory that all cats were Witches’ familiars.

Oftentimes people assume that all Pagans have cat familiars (as though it were a requirement) and while cats have been a part of Pagan society since before the Pyramids were built, they are not by any means spiritual requirements for practicing Pagans.

Another old (incorrect) theory, which has become common knowledge is that Pagans routinely sacrifice animals to appease the devil, a demon, or a god or goddess. The vast majority of Pagans love and respect animals as much, if not more so, than the average person because of an inherent desire to be close to nature. Some pagans forgo all meats in order to avoid the feeling of having caused the death of an animal. The confusion here lies in the difference between “animal sacrifice” and an animal that was hunted to be eaten. Sometimes a ritual item or personal belonging fulfills this function. Sometimes the sacrifice is the worshiper’s dinner. Ask a deity bound pagan, a bought offering is rarely as desirable as an offering strived for.

In my home we have several animals. If at any time animals are used in my practice, the cat is the absolute last choice for a spiritual partner I would seek out. For me, there is only one choice of animal to partner myself with spiritually, ball pythons. Don’t run away screaming just yet.

Snakes are amazingly beautiful creatures contrary to their poor reputation. Captive bred snakes are wonderful animals to work with. The temperament is different between wild (aggressive) to captive bred (calm) snakes. You can have an animal very close to its naturally occurring instinct, (usually) without the aggressive nature. I have three beautiful ball pythons all of which have been involved with some ritual or another. One of their biggest strengths in a ritual is how predicable they are. Dogs, cats, rodents, arachnids, lizards, all have a tendency to be unpredictable, and occasionally volatile. Dogs bark and fight. Cats don’t do what their pets (owners) tell them. Arachnids are entirely unpredictable and easily injured in my estimation. Lizards have a tendency to run away or get into obnoxious places when no ones looking. They’re all too impatient for my taste.

A snake will sit still until they smell food, get too cold/hot, or get curious enough to slowly wander off. They don’t make noise, and, for the most part, don’t resist where they are placed. Best of all, when there is an occasion where they get aggressive/defensive, the posturing and hissing gives those around ample warning as to the change in demeanor. If this occurs, it is normally during a very active part of the ritual; snakes don’t like things being moved past their heads quickly. (At this point most other species of animals are retired from the rites anyway.) Also as long as the surrounding temperature is amiable, they can be placed in a bag, which is then tied up, to prevent wandering and to bolster the animal’s sense of security. I’ll bet your dog wouldn’t let you do that!

When humans allow themselves to be as close to nature as animals, our instincts take over. Some of the most powerful and well-balanced magical workings I have ever witnessed involved Pagans reverting to base instinct. Powerful and pure, Nature is instinct. Nature is not always civilized and pleasant; oftentimes it is harsh, cruel, and gory. The more “civilized” humans become, the more we forget how powerful instinct can be. Animals are the epitome of instinct, and so it is wise to sit back, watch, and learn from the varying multitudes our scaly, slimy, furry, feathered, chitinous, brethren encompass. Even though their speech is limited to sounds that mean nothing to humans, they each have something to say. There is always something new to learn, an untapped facet of primal knowledge… if only we know where to look.

Some of the smallest animals often teach us the most valuable lessons. The ants learned long ago that to cooperate is to survive; infighting only leads to ruin. Salmon show that life is an uphill battle, but anything worth doing should receive our full effort. A snake could have easily inspired Theodore Roosevelt when he said, “speak softly, but carry a big stick.” These are but a few of the lessons that nature offers those willing to listen.

So sit back, shut up, watch and learn, and above all remember nature is “natural”. It’s not good or evil. It’s not right or wrong. It is spectacular and beautiful, bountiful, and calm and at the same time, nature is savage, bloody, vicious, and violent… a self-sustaining balance at its finest.

______________________________________

Footnotes:
Cool Hand Luke
Theodore Roosevelt

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Walking The Path As A Public Witch

Walking The Path As A Public Witch

Author:   Medea 

I am a ‘public Witch’. The phrase means different things to different people but generally it means I am one who has come ‘out of the broom closet’. That has come to mean different things to me as the years have gone by.

I never was really in the ‘broom closet’. From the time I was introduced to The Craft by way of The Tarot at age eighteen, I was very open about it. Sometimes the openness was just for ‘shock value’. Sometimes it was just to be ‘different’. More often than not my openness was just a part of my personality. Like a puppy, I gleefully and playfully was just ‘me’ all over the place.

Now, at the age of forty-seven (can I really be that old?) and High Priestess in my tradition, I am still open about it, yet in very different ways. I rarely go for ‘shock value’ anymore (there are, however, those occasions when I cannot seem to help myself) . I have been a professional Nurse for twenty plus years and have learned in some instances the less said, the better. This learned, of course, the hard way. In many, many areas of my life I am much more tolerant and not so quick to take offense. I cannot attribute this to age or wisdom, as in many ways I am very immature and like it that way. It is a by-product of the path in which I have chosen to walk. One of the many, many gifts I receive.

I no longer feel the need to flash a Pentacle ring or necklace every chance I get. Most jewelry associated with the Craft and my religion are worn in private or under my clothes, close to my heart, as they should be. Yet, if I choose to wear such things in public (or forget to take them off) I make no effort to hide them, give no explanations, and make no apologies. My car is no longer adorned with bumper stickers proclaiming me ‘Witch’ or ‘Happy Heathen’. I didn’t take them off, but simply quit feeling the need to replace them each time I had to replace a vehicle. Yet I would not refrain from putting one on my bumper if it caught my fancy.

These days when I find it necessary or appropriate to speak of the Divine in general company I am as apt to say ‘God’ as ‘Goddess’ or ‘The Gods’. I have seen that getting caught up in nomenclature or schematics lessons somehow the sacredness of what one speaks of. If I am asked what Church I go to (a common question here in the South) I tell them. I don’t use flowery or holier- than -thou phrases such as ‘Nature is my Church’.

I say I am Pagan, if need be I say I am ‘Witch’, but more than that, I say I am a person of faith. And in some eyes I see the flash of recognition and in others I see distrust and incomprehension. These things no longer bother me. I am not meant to crusade. Neither am I, or my life, meant to be perfect. I can lapse in my old ways from time to time without being ‘lost’. I can make mistakes.

These days my Pentacle hangs on the lamppost in my yard. It hangs there for protection of my home and property as well as a nod to The Craft. It matters not who sees it and who does not. My home is Pagan and I call it a Temple House. It is where our rituals are mostly held. Where our classes are held. Where I sit and work on my computer on things that are important to the Temple. It is filled with altars which range from very simple to elaborate. Like all things, they change as they should, and I understand one does not need the trappings of religion to walk one’s faith. The house is lived in. It is welcoming to The Gods and Spirits I call, to my blood family and my Temple family and to visitors who come and go. It is meant to be welcoming to visitors of all faith and I believe for the most part it is. It is a work in progress, like the Temple itself. Like all things which grow and change. Like me.

I returned to the place I was born and raised after a twenty-year hiatus. It is a rural area in the Wilds of Tennessee, deep in the Bible Belt. It is a wonderful and beautiful place and the people are wonderful and beautiful too. Yet suspicions and prejudices linger along side traditions that smack of the Old Religion. I am known as a Witch and there is no mistake I am ‘the Real Thing’. At first I was humored, seen as a local girl who went ‘Out West’ and got some very strange ideas. There is often surprise when it is learned I was first introduced to the Craft in good ol’ Nashville, Tennessee. But here in the Wilds, Nashville, too, is a long way and there are many strange ideas to be found there. Maybe not as strange as ‘Out West’, but still strange.

When the realization came that this is not a passing fad for me, and that not only did I practice what I believed but ‘preached’ what I practiced the attitudes began to change. Family members and childhood friends, some I loved dearly and had missed for a long time, began to avoid me. Their attempts to ‘save my soul’ fell on deaf ears, and I took offense to being prayed for in Churches that I would ‘find my way and be saved’. They could not convert me, could not understand when I asked ‘saved from what?’ or said ‘I’m already saved’. And so I became a lost cause and to some a threat. There is no brand of persecution as scorching as that of those we know and love. My invitations to my home were unanswered by some. It became clear there were homes in which I was no longer welcome.

The Goddess does not demand sacrifice though at times it may seem so. I eventually came to understand that in order to have the things I found important in my life there were some things that by nature had to go. There is always grief, but as all things it passes and is, if not understood, accepted.

There were those who came and went. And there are those who stayed. Rituals of one became rituals of two and then three and then as many as fifteen at any given time. Others want card readings or advice or a little magick to ‘help out a situation’. Sometimes they are open about it and do not care who knows or what is thought of their association with me. Sometimes they come on the sly. I have learned to recognize those who come for a reason, such as the Goddess may have, and those who want what I can give and firmly believe me to be going to a Christian hell. There are those who do not care what becomes of me, but care about what it is I can do. Sometimes I still grow angry, usually out of hurt from the fall of one who I may have at some point respected. Mostly I do what I feel to be right and it has become very easy.

Inevitably the question will come from somewhere: ‘How did you get into that?’ that, of course, being Paganism or Witchcraft and sometimes thinly veiled ‘in league with The Devil’. I no longer feel the need to explain how Christianity never ‘felt right’ for me, implying of course I was somehow superior to that particular belief. These days I usually shrug and say ‘Like anyone of faith, I was called to it.’ This leaves little to argue about.

In my tradition today we celebrate Lenaia at the time of Imbolc, yet like so many things, the lines are blurred and the messages are the same. This Imbolc season I find myself taking stock and reflecting on many things about my life and the Path I walk. They, this life and this path, have somewhere along the line become one and the same. Perhaps it is the knowledge of having achieved this very thing, without setting out to do so or even hoping that I could, which is causing me to reflect. Perhaps it is my age, and the realization that, though I am not so old, I have most certainly lived longer in this life than I am going to live. It could be the weathering of so many changes over the last several years, some devastating enough to make me question my faith. Having come to terms with myself I have accepted many things I thought I could not. I can do this; accept these things, because at some point I began to trust that my Gods know what they are doing.

In January of 2001, I performed a solitary ritual outside in the yard at the old house my brother and I shared, divorced siblings clinging together in the changes of life. This was many years after I had picked up my first Tarot deck and felt the power of Otherworlds and the promise of mysteries revealed in them. It was cold and the Full Winter Moon rose high in a dark and starless sky. The moon was the color of ecru and its light brightened and dimmed with my incantation and my song. I had felt and witnessed the Power of the presence of the Divine before. I had seen first hand the workings of magick. Yet this was different. It was as if I were tapped on the shoulder. I had the feeling that Someone had finally gotten my attention. She had been waiting patiently for me to notice She wanted my attention. The voice I heard on the Wind, though the night was Windless, was real even though I could not make out the words. It was as if there was one voice, no, a thousand voices, and though the words were unintelligible I knew they said ‘Follow Me’.

I did not call the God and Goddess by name then, a last holdout of my Pentecost upbringing. They were to me The Lord and Lady. Yet I knew there were names, many names, and I would come to know Them. Although I became a Priestess of Hekate, it was Diana, the Huntress Mother, who called to me that night. I now know Her feel and Her smell and I recognize Her voice. When I hear Her name mentioned I see in my mind’s eye the silver disk floating in the Winter Sky. I often thank Her for calling me.

It wasn’t long after that I held my first private Imbolc ritual, as I have ever since, as I will continue to do. The day was sunny, bright, and cold. The kind of day that often depressed me. With stick incense in hand (patchouli because that is all I had) and the instructions from Scott Cunningham’s ‘Wicca’ in my head I picked my way through the thickets behind our rental house. I found a clearing and sat down, my nose running and the frozen ground pressing against my too thin pants for the weather. I meditated in silence, one thing I was only beginning to get good at. I sat there a long while, sometimes registering the sound of small animals in the thickets. Somehow understanding the sounds of the animals were gifts. I then told the Gods the things I have told them many times since:

I am Your daughter and Your lover. I give myself to You in this life and in any others to come. Set my feet upon the path You wish for me. Teach me the things I need to know. Give me the strength to learn them. I honor You and I love You. So Mote it be.

I meant those words the day I said them. And many times after, even as I wondered how hard this life has to get. I mean them now. The Gods listened and they knew I meant them and they have granted me the very things I asked for.

I love this life. It is at times messy and ugly, often chaotic, and on occasion extremely painful. It is equally interesting, comforting, and fun. And so there is balance. And so I am very, very blessed.

I love being Pagan. It is a wonderful thing to know what one’s path is and to be allowed to walk it. The Buddhist say ‘do the dishes for the sake of doing the dishes’. The clean dishes are only a result of doing the dishes correctly and wholeheartedly. Clean dishes are not the goal, doing the task well is the goal, everything else is, well, gravy. They say the same about the journey we call life. The journey is the point, the destination only the result of taking the journey well and wholeheartedly. Take the journey for the sake of taking the journey, walk the path for the sake of walking the path. Every now and then cast your eyes to the top of the mountain for a moment, but only a moment, focus on your goal, reassess your progress, make the proper adjustments, and get back to the task at hand.

In giving true love for the sake of giving true love, I have been given the truest of love. In giving friendship for the sake of giving friendship, I have received friendship. In being faithful for the sake of being faithful, I am given faithfulness. In giving mercy and kindness and justice for the sake of giving mercy and kindness and justice, I have received mercy and kindness and justice far beyond that I ever expected. In teaching the things I know for the sake of teaching the things I know I have been taught. And such fine teachers I have.

I walk the Pagan Path and the Path of the Priestess (and yes, Witch) for many reasons but mainly because it is my journey, what is put before me to do. It is an awesome task, an honor, and a door to many fleeting moments of happiness, which add up to a joyful life when all is said and done. Sometimes this path of mine is walked on nothing but faith because all else seems to elude me. Yet that which eludes me becomes mine if it is meant to be, and though I question and rail against the way, I am committed.

Along the way I catch the most peaceful sunrises, beautiful sunsets, healing breezes, and mighty storms. I am taught humility; I am reprimanded, led gently back when astray, and kicked hard when I need it. I am loved unconditionally and I know this without a doubt. I neither fear Death nor look for it, waiting for the rewards that I think might be my due. My rewards are many, and they are now. I may at times dread the act of dying and wonder if I will be granted a merciful death or if suffering at the end of this life is part of my lesson and task. Yet I trust that I will have what is needed for me and what is in the end the best. And I will not make that journey alone.

Those who have gone before will welcome me. The Gods will guide me and the Lady Hekate will walk with me as She always has. Cunningham pointed out that there is a difference in believing in something and knowing something. Many of the things I thought I believed I have come to know. To know a thing to be true is to accept it without having to understand it. There are many things I do understand and many things I will someday understand. But knowing, that is something that is not given lightly. It cannot be earned or bought; it can only come from walking the journey and walking it with an open heart and a willing soul.

I am one of many who aid this Phoenix we call Paganism to rise. My voice is among the silent ones who roar their presence into this world in this time. Our books and our Temples were burned and like so many things, though the way could have been easier, it had to be. Our Temples stand in our hearts and in our souls, in our country homes, and our suburban yards, in our small apartments in sprawling cities. This wonderful thing we call the Internet weaves us together across many, many miles. We have new books with words from Powerful hearts. We have remnants from the past which survive and which are important yet unimportant and therefore kept in perspective. We have the new and the old in which to learn and to build from. Balance. As it should be.

I am parched with thirst, and perishing,
But drink of me, the ever-flowing spring on the right (where) there is a fair cypress.
Who are you? Where are you from?
I am a child of Earth and starry Heaven, but my race is of Heaven (alone)
— Orphic Lamella from Thessaly

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Today’s Tarot Card for Jan. 15 The Devil

The Devil

Wednesday, Jan 15th, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has traditionally been known as the Devil card expresses the realm of the Taboo, the culturally rejected wildness and undigested shadow side that each of us carries in our subconscious. This shadow is actually at the core of our being, which we cannot get rid of and will never succeed in taming. From its earliest versions, which portrayed a vampire-demon, this card evoked the Church-fueled fear that a person could “lose their soul” to wild and passionate forces.

The image which emerged in the mid-1700’s gives us a more sophisticated rendition — that of the “scapegoated Goddess,” whose esoteric name is Baphomet. Volcanic reserves of passion and primal desire empower her efforts to overcome the pressure of stereotyped roles and experience true freedom of soul. Tavaglione’s highly evolved image (Stella deck) portrays the magical formula for harnessing and transmuting primal and obsessive emotions into transformative energies. As a part of the Gnostic message of Tarot, this fearsome passion and power must be reintegrated into the personality, to fuel the soul’s passage from mortal to immortal.

 

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A Little Humor For Your Day – Ten Indications of a New Year Hangover

      Ten Indications of a New Year Hangover

  1. You get it into your head that chirping birds are the Devil’s   pets.
  2. Trying to gain control of the situation, you continue to tell your   room to “Stay still.”
  3. Looking at yourself in the mirror induces the same reaction as   drinking a glass of fresh paint.
  4. The bathroom reminds you of the fairground cry, “Step right up and   give it whirl!”
  5. You’d rather chew tacks than be exposed to sunlight.
  6. You set aside an entire afternoon to spend some quality time with   your toilet.
  7. You replace the traditional praying on your knees with the more   feasible praying in a fetal position.
  8. Your catch phrase is, “Never again.”
  9. You could purchase a new fridge on the proceeds from recycling the   bottles around your bed.
  10. Your new response to “Good morning,” is “Be quiet!”

 

New Year Jokes and Funny Stories

Today’s Tarot Card for December 21 is The Devil

The Devil

Saturday, Dec 21st, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has traditionally been known as the Devil card expresses the realm of the Taboo, the culturally rejected wildness and undigested shadow side that each of us carries in our subconscious. This shadow is actually at the core of our being, which we cannot get rid of and will never succeed in taming. From its earliest versions, which portrayed a vampire-demon, this card evoked the Church-fueled fear that a person could “lose their soul” to wild and passionate forces.

The image which emerged in the mid-1700’s gives us a more sophisticated rendition — that of the “scapegoated Goddess,” whose esoteric name is Baphomet. Volcanic reserves of passion and primal desire empower her efforts to overcome the pressure of stereotyped roles and experience true freedom of soul. Tavaglione’s highly evolved image (Stella deck) portrays the magical formula for harnessing and transmuting primal and obsessive emotions into transformative energies. As a part of the Gnostic message of Tarot, this fearsome passion and power must be reintegrated into the personality, to fuel the soul’s passage from mortal to immortal.

The Witch

The Witch

Women have strange powers men do not: the power to bear children and feed them from their own bodies, to bleed without being hurt or sick, and to provoke
erections in heterosexual men. Perhaps these strange beings have even more
remarkable powers.

Or perhaps when the image of a Goddess dwindles until all that remains is the
memory of Her uncanny powers, She becomes a Witch.

Witches have been credited with such magical feats as blasting crops, cursing
people to sickness, lameness or death and causing men to become impotent or
even stealing their penises.

The Renaissance Christian myth of the witch is complex and grotesque. Most
witches were women, the Malleus Maleficarum stated, because “All witchcraft
arises from lust, which in women is insatiable.” Their lust was supposedly for
the Devil, who initiated the witch at the Sabbat and copulated with her often,
according to the accounts of the churchmen.

These witches gathered at mass meetings called Sabbats, to which they flew via
brooms or animal companions. There, the Devil appeared, usually in the form of
a black goat. They kissed his buttocks in greeting. Then they informed him of
all the harmful spells they had done since the last Sabbat. Wild dancing and often sex with gathered demons followed, along with a feast often consisting of
the corpses of babies.

There is no evidence that a real conspiracy of witches who worshipped the Devil
ever existed. But many European clergymen devoutly believed in it during the
great Witch Hunt. Estimates as to how many people, mostly women, were burned or hanged for witchcraft range from a few thousand to nine million.

But the witches of pagan stories had no need for a male Devil. Long before the
great Witch-Hunt, European women were accused of believing that they travelled with the goddess Diana or Signa Oriente or Herodias at night, entering people’s homes and being given food. Roman witches were thought to worship Hecate.

Morgan Le Fay tormented King Arthur and his knights. Circe turned the men who invaded her island into pigs. The volva told Odin how the Aesir gods would
fall. The witches in The Golden Ass can command even the Greek gods with their
spells.

The myths have led to a real Witchcraft religion springing up — one that worships Goddesses, not the Christian’s Devil.

Many other cultures have known the fear of the witch, which may date back to
the Stone Age. Some Native American tribes feared witches, such as the Iroquois
and Navajo (Dina). Certain African tribes believe in female witches who ride
trained hyenas to meetings and cast evil spells.

The urban legends of child-molesting Satanist conspiracies that spring up even
today show how enduring the myth of the witch is. As in Renaissance times, most of the accused are women.

Above: “The Witches’ Sabbat”, by Francis Goya. Below: From a collage.

Further Reading

* Europe’s Inner Demons: The Making of the Great European Witch Hunt. Norman
Cohn.

* Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture. Arthur Evans. Fag Rag Press, 1971.

Today’s Tarot for October 30th is The High Priestess

The High Priestess

Wednesday, Oct 30th, 2013

Traditionally called the High Priestess, this major arcana, or trump, card represents human wisdom. She can be viewed as a kind of female Pope, the ancient Egyptian Priestess of Isis, the even older snake and bird Goddesses, the Greek Goddess Persephone, or the Eve of Genesis before the Fall.

For the accused heretics who were burnt at the stake for revering her in the 14th and 15th century, she symbolized the prophecy of the return of the Holy Spirit, which was perceived as the female aspect of the Holy Trinity.

In the sequence of cards in the major arcana, the High Priestess appears as soon as the Fool decides he wants to develop his innate powers, making a move toward becoming a Magus. The High Priestess is his first teacher, representing the Inner Life and the method for contacting it, as well as the contemplative study of Nature and the Holy Mysteries.

Today’s Tarot Card for October 22nd is The Devil

The Devil

Tuesday, Oct 22nd, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has traditionally been known as the Devil card expresses the realm of the Taboo, the culturally rejected wildness and undigested shadow side that each of us carries in our subconscious. This shadow is actually at the core of our being, which we cannot get rid of and will never succeed in taming. From its earliest versions, which portrayed a vampire-demon, this card evoked the Church-fueled fear that a person could “lose their soul” to wild and passionate forces.

The image which emerged in the mid-1700’s gives us a more sophisticated rendition — that of the “scapegoated Goddess,” whose esoteric name is Baphomet. Volcanic reserves of passion and primal desire empower her efforts to overcome the pressure of stereotyped roles and experience true freedom of soul. Tavaglione’s highly evolved image (Stella deck) portrays the magical formula for harnessing and transmuting primal and obsessive emotions into transformative energies. As a part of the Gnostic message of Tarot, this fearsome passion and power must be reintegrated into the personality, to fuel the soul’s passage from mortal to immortal.

 

 

 

THE GOD

THE GOD

The God of the Wicca is the Horned God, the ancient God of Fertility: the God of forest, flock, and field and also of the hunt. He is Lord of Life, and the Giver of Life, yet He is also Lord of Death and Resurrection. For, like the Goddess, the nature of Her Horned Consort is also dual. For the Horned God is not only the Hunter, He is also the Hunted; He is the Sun by day, but He is also the Sun at Midnight; He is the Lord of Light, but He is also the Lord of Darkness: the darkness of night, the darkness of the Shadows, the darkness of the depths of the forest, the darkness of the depths of the Underworld.

The Horned God is the group soul of the hunted animal, invoked by the primitive shaman and the tribe: and as such, He is the Sacrificial Victim, the beast who is slain that the tribe might live, a gift from that group soul, who was often revered as the tribal totem or ancestral spirit. The Celts believed they were the descendents of the God of the Underworld, who was also the God of Fertility: the Latinized form of His name was Cernunnos, which means simply, the Horned One.

The Horned God is also the spirit of vegetation, of the green and growing things, whether of the vine or of the forest or of the field. Dionysus, Adonis, and many other vegetation and harvest Gods were all often depicted as horned, wearing the horns of the bull, the goat, the ram, or the stag: of whichever of the horned beasts was held sacred in that place and time. This aspect is the Dying and Resurrecting God who dies with the harvest and is rent asunder, as the grain is gathered in the fields; who is buried, as is the seed; who then springs forth anew, fresh and green and young, in the spring, reborn from the Womb of the Great Mother.

The Horned God is Osiris, who was often depicted with the horns of a bull. Osiris was believed to be incarnate in a succession of sacred bulls, and worshipped in that form as the god Apis.  This was yet another form and manifestation of Osiris as the God of Fertility and also of Death and Resurrection. And Osiris bears the marks of a lunar, rather than a solar god, for Set tears the body of Osiris into fourteen pieces, the number of days of the waning moon; and then Isis, the Great Mother, gathers those pieces together and restores Osiris to life again.

The Horned God is the Great God Pan, the Goat-foot God with a human torso and a human but goat-horned head, the God whose ecstatic worship was so hated by the Church that they used His description for their “Devil” and called Him the lord of all evil. Yet, to the ancients who worshipped Him, and to the modern Pagans and Witches that worship Him still, “Pan is greatest, Pan is least. Pan is all, and all is Pan.”

The Horned God is not “the Devil”, except to those who fear and reject Nature, and the Powers of Life and human sexuality, and the ecstasy of the human spirit. The Horned God is the God of the Wicca.

Excerpt from:

Wiccan’s One Universe

The Witches Spell for Oct. 11th – Spell to Reverse Negative Psychic Energy

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Spell to Reverse Negative Psychic Energy

This spell is done on Tuesday nights, right before you retire. Do for at least nine Tuesdays in a row. You can also make it a weekly ritual.

Supplies:

  • 1 large red votive candle
  • Run Devil Run incense
  • Reversible oil
  • A saucer or plate, plain white, reserved for this use only.

Procedure:

Anoint the red candle from middle to top then middle to bottom, concentrate on reversing all negative psychic messages sent to you, back to their senders. (Try not to visualize anyone, just the negativity being reversed away from you.) Light the incense. You can also carve that desire into the candle with an awl or knive. Take the wick out of the candle, remove it from the metal weight at the bottom. Now turn it around and replace back into the candle. Reversing the wick. Place it on the white plate.

Light the candle and continue the visualization for 7 minutes. Let candle burn itself out while you sleep. Make sure your candle is in a safe place. In the morning you can scry in the wax to find out who is sending you the negativity. Or you can just toss it! Who really wants to know anyway?

Today’s Tarot Card for October 2nd is The Devil

The Devil

Wednesday, Oct 2nd, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has traditionally been known as the Devil card expresses the realm of the Taboo, the culturally rejected wildness and undigested shadow side that each of us carries in our subconscious. This shadow is actually at the core of our being, which we cannot get rid of and will never succeed in taming. From its earliest versions, which portrayed a vampire-demon, this card evoked the Church-fueled fear that a person could “lose their soul” to wild and passionate forces.

The image which emerged in the mid-1700’s gives us a more sophisticated rendition — that of the “scapegoated Goddess,” whose esoteric name is Baphomet. Volcanic reserves of passion and primal desire empower her efforts to overcome the pressure of stereotyped roles and experience true freedom of soul. Tavaglione’s highly evolved image (Stella deck) portrays the magical formula for harnessing and transmuting primal and obsessive emotions into transformative energies. As a part of the Gnostic message of Tarot, this fearsome passion and power must be reintegrated into the personality, to fuel the soul’s passage from mortal to immortal.

The Broomstick

The Broomstick

The traditional companion of the witches was the enchanted broomstick, used for their wild and unholy flights through the night and probably to some distant
Witches’ Sabbat. This is one of the first images you get to see as a child and
this was doubtlessly believed by the prominent rulers of Europe. The number of
actual confessions of witches doing so is remarkably small. Usually confessions
state that they went to the Sabbat on foot or on horseback.

Legends of witches flying on brooms goes back as far as the beginning of the
Common Era. The earliest known confession of a Witch flying on a broom was in
1453, when Guillaume Edelin of St. Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, stated that he
had done so. In 1563, Martin Tulouff of Guernsey said to have seen his aged
mother straddle a broomstick and whisk up the chimney and out of the house on
it, saying “Go in the name of the Devil and Lucifer over rocks and thorns”. In
1598 Claudine Boban and her mother, witches of the province of Franche-Comt, in eastern France, also spoke of flying up the chimney of a stick. The belief of
flying off though the chimney became  firmly embedded in popular tradition,
although only a few people ever mentioned doing so. It has been suggested that
this idea was connected with the old custom of pushing a broom up the chimney to indicate the absence of the housewife. The Germanic Goddess Holda or Holle is also connected with the chimney.

Other indications that lead to the popular belief that witches actually flew on
broomsticks can be found in an old custom of dancing with a broom between the
legs, leaping high in the air. In Reginald Scot’s book, The Discoverie of
Witchcraft, published in 1584, we find a similar description:

“At these magical assemblies, the witches never failed to dance; and in their
dance they sing these words, ‘Har, har, divell divell, dance here dance here,
plaie here plaie here, Sabbath, Sabbath’. And whiles they sing and dance, ever
one hath a broom in her hand, and holdeth it up aloft.” Scot quoted these
descriptions of Witch rites from a French demonologist, Jean Bodin, who made
observations of a kind of jumping dance, riding on staffs. These customs might
have contributed to the popular picture of broomstick-riding witches through the
air.

In 1665, from the confession of Julian Cox, one of the Somerset coven, mentioned “that one evening she walks out about a Mile from her own House and there came riding towards her three persons upon three Broom-staves, born up about a years and a half from the ground. Two of them she formerly knew, which was a Witch and a Wizard”.

A Short History Of Witchcraft

A Short History Of Witchcraft

 

Witchcraft has been part of the folklore of many societies for centuries. Witchcraft has also come to refer to a set of beliefs and practices of a religion. Its followers call it Wicca, the Craft, the Wisecraft, or the Old Religion. Many people, particularly conservative Christians, do not consider Witchcraft a religion as they understand the term.

Belief in witchcraft exists around the world and varies from culture to culture. Historically, people have associated witchcraft with evil and usually have regarded a witch as someone who uses magic to harm others, by causing accidents, illnesses, bad luck, and even death. Some societies believe that witches also use magic for good, performing such actions as casting spells for love, health, and wealth. People around the world continue to practice witchcraft for good or harm.
Unlike those who practice witchcraft for harm, the followers of Wicca believe in practicing magic only for beneficial purposes. They worship a deity with male and female aspects, but some traditions emphasize the female, or Goddess, side of the deity.

The term witch comes from the Old English word wicca, which is derived from the Germanic root wic, meaning to bend or to turn. By using magic, a witch can change or bend events. Today, the word witch can be applied to a man or a woman. In the past, male witches were also called warlocks and wizards.

Witches also are said to be able to fly. They may fly under their own power, ride tools such as brooms or rakes, or ride magical animals. This is not true, while there are spells and rituals involving brooms, we do not fly on them.

Some witches have great knowledge of how to make herbal potions and charms. A potion is a drink that causes a desired effect in a person’s health or behavior. A charm is a magical incantation (word or phrase), or amulet that helps to bring about the desired effect.
The practice of Wicca–Witchcraft as a religion flourishes primarily in English-speaking countries. Wicca has no central authority. Its followers, some call themselves Witches, are loosely organized in groups called covens. Some covens are made up of only women or only men, and other covens are mixed. Many Witches do not join a coven but practice alone as solitaries.

The practice of Wicca is controversial, primarily because many Christians find the idea of a religion based on witchcraft objectionable. Some Christians associate any form of witchcraft with the worship of Satan. This, however, would be difficult, as Wicca does not acknowledge the existence of a “Satan”. Satan and the Devil are Judeo-Christian inventions. Others fear that Wicca might be tied to modern cults. This is not true. Wicca is a religion, legally recognized as such.
The U.S. Army, with the publication of the Army pamphlet 165-13, A Handbook for Chaplin’s, recognizes Witchcraft as a religion.

Wicca includes pagan, folk, and magical rites. Its primary sources are Babylonian, Celtic, Egyptian, ancient Greek, Roman, and Sumerian mythologies and rites, but also borrows from other religions and mythologies, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and the rites of American Indians. Essentially, Wicca is a religion that celebrates the natural world and the seasonal cycles. It acknowledges the Goddess as the feminine side of a deity called God. Witches worship both Goddess and God in various personifications, including ancient gods and goddesses.

Rites are tied to the cycles of the moon, which is the symbol of the power of the Goddess, and to the seasons of the year. Religious holidays are called sabbats. There are four major sabbats: Imbolc (February 1), Beltane (April 30), Lugnasadh or Lammas (July 31), and Samhain (October 31).

Most Witches practice in secrecy. Some do so because they believe that is the tradition. Others do so because they wish to avoid persecution. Because of secrecy, it is difficult to estimate how many people practice Witchcraft as a religion.

Modern Witches practice magic, both for spell casting and as a path of spiritual growth. Magic for spiritual growth is called high magic and is aimed at connecting a person to God or Goddess on a soul level. They follow the Wiccan Rede, which is similar to the Golden Rule, “An’ it harm none, do what ye will.” Witches also believe in the Threefold Law of Karma, which holds that magic returns to the sender magnified three times. Thus, Witches say, evil magic only hurts the sender.

Witchcraft has existed since humans first banded together in groups. Prehistoric art depicts magical rites to ensure successful hunting. Western beliefs about witchcraft grew out of the mythologies and folklore of ancient peoples, especially the Greeks and Romans. Roman law made distinctions between good magic and harmful magic, and harmful magic was punishable by law.
When Christianity began to spread, the distinctions vanished. Witchcraft came to be linked with worship of the Devil.

In Europe, beginning in about the 700’s CE, witchcraft was increasingly associated with heresy (rejection of church teachings). The Christian church began a long campaign to stamp out heresy. Beginning in the 1000’s CE, religious leaders sentenced heretics to death by burning.
The Inquisition, which began about 1230 CE, was an effort by the church to seek out and punish heretics and force them to change their beliefs. Eventually, the secular (non religious) courts as well as all Christian churches were involved in the persecution of witches. Especially after the 1500’s, most people accused of witchcraft came to trial in secular courts. They were charged with human sacrifice and with worshiping the Devil in horrible rites. Most historians doubt that worship of the Devil was ever widespread, if indeed it even took place. But stories about it created a mood of fear and anxiety.

The witch hunt reached its peak in Europe during the late 1500’s and early 1600’s. Many victims, who were mostly women, were falsely accused of witchcraft. Many accused witches were tortured until they confessed. Then they faced imprisonment, banishment, or execution.
In the American Colonies, a small number of accused witches were persecuted in New England from the mid-1600’s to the early 1700’s. Some were banished and others were executed.

The most famous American witch hunt began in 1692 in Salem, Mass. There, a group of village girls became fascinated with the occult, but their games got out of hand. They began to act strangely, uttering weird sounds and screaming. Suspicions that witches were responsible for the girls’ behavior led to the arrest of three women. More arrests followed, and mass trials were held.
About 150 people were imprisoned on witchcraft charges. Nineteen men and women were convicted and hanged as witches. A man who refused to plead either innocent or guilty to the witchcraft charge was pressed to death with large stones. Today, historians agree that all the victims were falsely accused. The girls pretended to be possessed. Their reasons are unclear, though they may have been seeking attention.

There are also several factors that could have contributed to the general mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Hunts. One interesting factor could have been ergot in rye.
The Puritans made bread with rye, and ergot may have been the culprit in causing lots of the strange behavior exhibited by the witnesses and the accusers. Ergot is a plant disease that is caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea. Ergot thrives in a cold winter followed by a wet spring. The victims of ergot might suffer paranoia and hallucinations, twitches and spasms, cardiovascular trouble, and stillborn children. Ergot also seriously weakens the immune system. Its victims can appear bewitched when they’re actually stoned.

Another factor that may have contributed to the witch hunts was general distrust and suspicion. In the time leading up to the witch hunts, Salem was splitting into two distinct areas. Salem Village, which was composed of the farmers and original setters, and Salem Town, made up of newcomers, merchants, and people who were more prosperous. These two groups did not like each other in general. The merchants were capitalistic, and this was no approved of by the other Puritans who wanted to create a society of purity and Christian rule.
The witchcraft scare lasted about a year. In 1693, the people still in jail on witchcraft charges were freed. (In 1711, the Massachusetts colonial legislature made payments to the families of the witch hunt victims.)

By the late 17th century, the witchcraft was well underground, as it was illegal to be a Witch, as well as against the Cannons of the church. It wasn’t until 1951 that the last of these laws was repealed, and modern witchcraft surfaced with Gerald Gardener, that all of Witchcraft was able to resurface, in it’s many forms.

Now there are many Covens out in the open and many many more still in hiding and who practice solitary, fearing a resurgence of the persecutions. In the 1960’s Raymond Buckland, Sybil Leek, Gavin, Yvonne Frost followed in Gardner’s footsteps, then more and more Covens came out into the open.

Witchcraft has come a long way, yet, sadly, even though there are laws today which protect an individual’s right to practice a personal religion such as witchcraft, there are those who still feel threatened by imaginary untruths about it.

Reference:

Wicca’s One Universe

Good Monday Morning, My Dearest Family & Friends!

 

How’s it going this morning? I hope super-duper! I have to admit I had a very lovely weekend. I believe I was on the go all weekend, but for pleasure. One thing I really enjoyed was going out to my daughter’s for dinner. She has bought a farm and I hadn’t seen it yet. I loved it. She has a spare building, I believe I am going to move in with her, lol! But she has horses, donkeys, dogs and kittens. A wonderful garden and she has also planted a herb garden. It is beautiful. Lots of land, a barn, a small adorable shed, a mother-in-law’s cottage and then her house. We were taking a tour of the house and I noticed something in the bedroom that I got tickled at. She had a scent warmer beside her bed and on it was a star or a pentagram, hmm. I asked her about it over supper and she pretended not to know what I was talking about. Makes me definitely go hmm! Anyway, I had a great time. I know she reads the blog so again, sweetie, “Thank you for inviting us out and supper. It was wonderful.”

Now that was the good part, this morning I received an email that disturbed me greatly. I know the email came from someone who has never read our site in great detail. This is the second time I have received this message. I figure coming out in the open will stop the nonsense. The person always writes, “I want you to tell me how to get magickal power. I want all the power in the world. I would sell my soul to the devil to get such power.” I always think we are getting our message out till I get an email like this. I don’t know if people don’t read what we have here or still believe the old myths. I know my family and friends that follow this site are Witches, Wiccans, Druids and other similar Paths, so this part is not for you.

“If you are visiting this site for the very first time, stop and read what a Witch is really about. Find out what we are, our beliefs, our practices and most of all our Religion. Don’t think anything is just handed to you on a silver platter. I personally believe the Goddess calls us or She puts a yearning in our heart. That yearning is for something different, something pure and beautiful. I believe each one of us is called by Her. When we actually find our true calling, we have to study, YES study! For a year and a day, you see witchcraft is a continuous learning process. You never stop learning, if you do you stop growing. Witchcraft is a Religion to be taken very seriously. This bull about give me power, I don’t give power. The Goddess shows you where the power is. Sell your soul to the devil, that burns me up (pardon the pun). Witches do not believe that the Devil exists. That is a Christian concept. No where in our Religion will you ever find mention of the Devil.”

“Give me power, sell my soul to the Devil!” You want something for nothing. I believe it would be a waste of your time to study the Craft. I know I have ran across people like you in the past. It honestly does make me angry. Why you might wonder? I will tell you then. Witches have been stereotyped for centuries. All of those stereotypes are wrong, incorrect and inaccurate. We are a peace loving people. We love nature. We love mankind. It is our responsibility to do good for mankind whenever we can. We follow our Laws. More importantly we follow our Goddess and we love our Goddess. She loves us, guides us, comfort us and helps us grow. We are not monsters, we never were. We are just normal people that want to worship the way we choose and be left alone. In our world, “Love Is The Law.”

I hope dear friend I have straightened you out about Witches. Where you can sell your soul at, I don’t know. But I do know it is not here.