Lupercalia: Celebrate the Coming of Spring

Alpha & his family
Lupercalia: Celebrate the Coming of Spring

February was considered the final month of the Roman year, and on the 15th, citizens celebrated the festival of Lupercalia. Originally, this week-long party honored the god Faunus, who watched over shepherds in the hills. The festival also marked the coming of spring. Later on, it became a holiday honoring Romulus and Remus, the twins who founded Rome after being raised by a she-wolf in a cave. Eventually, Lupercalia became a multi-purpose event: it celebrated the fertility of not only the livestock but people as well.

To kick off the festivities, an order of priests gathered before the Lupercale on the Palatine hill, the sacred cave in which Romulus and Remus were nursed by their wolf-mother. The priests then sacrificed a dog for purification, and a pair of young male goats for fertility. The hides of the goats were cut into strips, dipped in blood, and taken around the streets of Rome. These bits of hide were touched to both fields and women as a way of encouraging fertility in the coming year. Girls and young women would line up on their route to receive lashes from these whips. There is a theory that this tradition may have survived in the form of certain ritual Easter Monday whippings.

After the priests concluded the fertility rites, young women placed their names in a jar. Men drew names in order to choose a partner for the rest of the celebrations — not unlike later customs of entering names in a Valentine lottery.

To the Romans, Lupercalia was a monumental event each year. When Mark Antony was the master of the Luperci College of Priests, he chose the festival of Lupercalia in 44 BC as the time to offer the crown to Julius Caesar.

By about the fifth century, however, Rome was beginning to move towards Christianity, and Pagan rites were frowned upon. Lupercalia was seen as something only the lower classes did, and eventually the festival ceased to be celebrated.

 

Author

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

Origins of Lupercalia

WOLVESOrigins of Lupercalia

Type of Holiday: Ancient

Date of Observation: February 15

Where Celebrated: Rome

Symbols and Customs: Blood, Februa, Goat, Milk, Wolf

Colors: Red and white, in the form of BLOOD and MILK , both played a part in the earliest observance of the Lupercalia. Nowadays these are the colors associated with Valentine’s Day, to which this ancient festival has been linked.

Related Holidays: Valentine’s Day

ORIGINS
The Lupercalia was a festival in the ancient Roman religion, which scholars trace back to the sixth century B . C . E . Roman religion dominated Rome and influenced territories in its empire until Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in the third century C . E . Ancient Roman religion was heavily influenced by the older Greek religion. Roman festivals therefore had much in common with those of the ancient Greeks. Not only were their gods and goddesses mostly the same as those in the Greek pantheon (though the Romans renamed them), but their religious festivals were observed with similar activities: ritual sacrifice, theatrical performances, games, and feasts.

The Lupercalia festival was held in honor of the WOLF who mothered Romulus and Remus, the legendary twin founders of Rome. During the original Roman celebration, members from two colleges of priests gathered at a cave on the Palatine Hill called the Lupercal-supposedly the cave where Romulus and Remus had been suckled by a she-wolf-and sacrificed a GOAT and a dog. The animals’ BLOOD was smeared on the foreheads of two young priests and then wiped away with wool dipped in MILK . The two young men stripped down to a goatskin loincloth and ran around the Palatine, striking everyone who approached them, especially the women, with thongs of goat skin called FEBRUA . It is believed that this was both a fertility ritual and a purification rite. It may also have been a very early example of “beating the bound, or reestablishing the borders of the early Palatine settlement.

There is some confusion over which god the Luperci or priests served; some say it was Faunus, a rural deity, and some say it was Pan, the god of shepherds who protected sheep from the danger of wolves. All that is certain is that by Caesar’s time, the annual ceremony had become a spectacular public sight, with young men running half-naked through the streets and provoking much good-natured hysteria among the women. February 15 was also the day when Mark Antony offered Julius Caesar the crown. Thanks to this historic event, and Shakespeare’s account of it in his play Julius Caesar, the Lupercalia is one of the best known of all Roman festivals.

It is interesting that such a rustic festival continued to be celebrated in Rome for centuries after it had been Christianized. Its survival can be partially credited to Augustus, who rebuilt the Lupercal in the first century B . C . E ., thus giving the celebration a boost. It continued to be observed until 494 C . E ., when Pope Gelasius I changed the day to the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. There is some reason to believe that the Lupercalia was a forerunner of the modern VALENTINE’S DAY: Part of the ceremony involved putting girls’ names in a box and letting boys draw them out, thus pairing them off until the next Lupercalia.

Source:
The Free Dictionary

Happy Lupercalia To All Those Celebrating Today!

a1d060a606f2f4e04170a5cbf07880c8

Lupercalia

This was an ancient Roman festival during which worshippers gathered at a grotto on the Palatine Hill in Rome called the Lupercal, where Rome’s legendary founders, Romulus and Remus, had been suckled by a wolf. The sacrifice of goats and dogs to the Roman deities Lupercus and Faunus was part of the ceremony. Luperci (priests of Lupercus) dressed in goatskins and, smeared with the sacrificial blood, would run about striking women with thongs of goat skin. This was thought to assure them of fertility and an easy delivery. The name for these thongs— februa —meant “means of purification” and eventually gave the month of February its name. There is some reason to believe that the Lupercalia was a forerunner of modern Valentine’s Day customs. Part of the ceremony involved putting girls’ names in a box and letting boys draw them out, thus pairing them off until the next Lupercalia.

365 Days of Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality for October 26th – Ludi Victoriae Sullanae

Wiccan Magic

October 26th

Ludi Victoriae Sullanae

The Ludi Victoriae Sullanae were the games held on October 26 to honor the Goddess Victoria. This festival was established in 81 B.C. to celebrate Sulla’s victory over a large army of Sammites at the Porta Collina in Rome.

Victoria was the Goddess of victory, and her temple was on the Palatine Hill in Rome. She was the equivalent of the Greek Goddess Nike and was pictured with wings. Victoria was an important Goddess to the Romans, and she appears regularly on coinage from the late third century B.C. Victoria came to be regarded as the guardian of the empire, and her altar became a symbol of Paganism.

 

Deity of the Day for September 4 is Cybele, Mother Goddess of Rome

Deity of the Day

Cybele

Mother Goddess of Rome

Cybele, a mother goddess of Rome was at the center of a rather bloody Phrygian cult, and was sometimes known as Magna Mater, or “great goddess.” As part of their worship, priests performed mysterious rites in her honor. Of particular note was the sacrifice of a bull performed as part of an initiation into Cybele’s cult. This ritual was known as the taurobolium, and during the rite a candidate for initiation stood in a pit under a floor with a wooden grate.

The bull was sacrificed above the grate, and the blood ran through holes in the wood, showering the initiate. This was a form of ritual purification and rebirth. For an idea of what this probably looked like, there’s an amazing scene in the HBO series Rome in which the character Atia makes a sacrifice to Cybele to protect her son Octavian, who later becomes the emperor Augustus.

Cybele’s lover was Attis, and her jealousy caused him to castrate and kill himself. His blood was the source of the first violets, and divine intervention allowed Attis to be resurrected by Cybele, with some help from Zeus. Thanks to this resurrection story, Cybele came to be associated with the endless cycle of life, death and rebirth. In some areas, there is still an annual three-day celebration of Attis’ rebirth and Cybele’s power around the time of the spring equinox, called the Hilaria.

Like Attis, it is said that Cybele’s followers would work themselves into orgiastic frenzies and then ritually castrate themselves.

After this, these priests donned women’s clothing, and assumed female identities. They became known as the Gallai. In some regions, female priestesses led Cybele’s dedicants in rituals involving ecstatic music, drumming and dancing. Under the leadership of Augustus Caesar, Cybele became extremely popular. Augustus erected a giant temple in her honor on the Palatine Hill, and the statue of Cybele that is in the temple bears the face of Augustus’ wife, Livia.

As the Roman Empire spread, deities of other cultures found themselves absorbed into Roman religion. In the case of Cybele, she later took on many aspects of the Egyptian goddess Isis.

 

Source:

Author: Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert

Article found on & owned by About.com

 

Your Daily Charm for September 1st is Abracadabra

Your Charm for Today

Today’s Meaning:

The most powerful of all talisman indicating you or someone close to you will recover from an infection.

General Description:

One of the most famous of all talismans, and used as a magical formula by the Gnostics in Rome for invoking the aid of beneficent spirits against disease, misfortune and death. Sammonieus, the celebrated Gnostic physician; instructed that the letters of this magical triangle which he used for curing agues and fevers, were to be written on paper, folded into the shape of a cross, worn for nine days suspended from the neck, and, before sunrise, cast behind the patient into a stream running eastward. It was also a most popular charm in the middle ages. During the Great Plague, 1665, great numbers of these amulets were worn as supposed safeguards against infection.

Aradia: Gospel of the Witches (Chapter 15: Laverna)

Chapter XV

Laverna

Charles G. Leland


The following very curious tale, with the incantation, was not in the text of the Vangelo, but it very evidently belongs to the cycle or series of legends connected with it. Diana is declared to be the protectress of all outcasts, those to whom the night is their day, consequently of thieves; and Laverna, as we may learn from Horace and Plautus, was pre-eminently the patroness of pilfering and all rascality. In this story she also appears as a witch and humorist.

It was given to me as a tradition of Virgil, who often appears as one familiar with the marvelous and hidden lore of the olden time.

It happened on a time that Virgil, who knew all things hidden or magical, he who was a magician and poet, having heard a speech (or oration) by a famous talker who had not much in him, was asked what he thought of it. And he replied, “It seems to me to be impossible to tell whether it was all introduction or all conclusion; certainly there was no body in it. It was like certain fish of whom one is in doubt whether they are all head or all tail, or only head and tail; or the goddess Laverna, of whom no one ever know whether she was all head or all body, or neither or both.”

Then the emperor inquired who this deity might be, for he had never heard of her.

And Virgil replied, “Among the gods or spirits who were of ancient times – may they be ever favorable to us! Among them (was) one female who was the craftiest and most knavish of them all. She was called Laverna. She was a thief, and very little known to the other deities, who were honest and dignified, for she was rarely in heaven or in the country of the fairies.

“She was almost always on earth, among thieves, pickpockets, and panders – she lived in darkness.

“Once it happened that she went (to a mortal), a great priest in the form and guise of a very beautiful stately priestess (of some goddess), and said to him: –

” ‘ You have an estate which I wish to buy. I intend to build on it a temple to (our) God. I swear to you on my body that I will pay thee within a year’

“Therefore the priest transferred to her the estate.

“And very soon Laverna had sold off all the crops, grain, cattle, wood, and poultry. There was not left the value of four farthings.

“But on the day fixed for payment there was no Laverna to be seen. The fair goddess was far away, and had left her creditor in the lurch!

“At the same time Laverna went to a great lord and bought of him a castle, well furnished within and broad rich lands without.

“But this time she swore on her head to pay in full in six months.

“And as she had done by the priest, so she acted to the lord of the castle, and stole and sold every stick, furniture, cattle, men, and mice – there was not left wherewith to feed a fly.

“Then the priest and the lord, finding out who this was, appealed to the gods, complaining that they had been robbed by a goddess.

“And it was soon made known to them all that this was Laverna.

“Therefore she was called to judgment before all the gods.

“And when she was asked what she had done with the property of the priest, unto whom she had sworn by her body to make payment at the time appointed (and why she had broken her oath)?

“She replied by a strange deed which amazed them all, for she made her body disappear, so that only her head remained visible, and it cried: –

” “Behold me! I swore by my body, but body have I none!’

“Then all the gods laughed.

“After the priest came the lord who had also been tricked, and to whom she had sworn by her head. And in reply to him Laverna showed all present her whole body without mincing matters, and it was one of extreme beauty, but without a head; and from the neck thereof came a voice which said: –

‘Behold me, for I am Laverna, who
Have come to answer to that lord’s complaint,
Who swears that I contracted debt to him,
And have not paid although the time is o’er
And that I am a thief because I swore
Upon my head – but, as you all can see,
I have no head at all, and therefore I
Assuredly ne’er swore by such an oath.’

 

“Then there was indeed a storm of laughter among the gods, who made the matter right by ordering the head to join the body, and bidding Laverna pay up her debts, which she did.

“Then Jove spoke and said: –

” ‘Here is a roguish goddess without a duty (or a worshipper), while there are in Rome innumerable thieves, sharpers, cheats, and rascals who live by deceit.

” “These good folk have neither a church nor a god, and it is a great pity, for even the very devils have their master, Satan, as the head of the family. Therefore, I command that in future Laverna shall be the goddess of all the knaves or dishonest tradesman, with the whole rubbish and refuse of the human race, who have been hitherto without a god or a devil, inasmuch as they have been too despicable for the one or the other.’

“And so Laverna became the goddess of all dishonest and shabby people.

“Whenever any one planned or intended any knavery or aught wicked, he entered her temple, and invoked Laverna, who appeared to him as a woman’s head. But if he did his work of knavery badly or maladroitly, when he again invoked her he saw only the body; but if he was clever, then he beheld the whole goddess, head and body.

“Laverna was no more chaste than she was honest, and had many lovers and many children. It was said that not being bad at heart or cruel, she often repented her life and sins; but do what she might, she could not reform, because her passions were so inveterate.

“And if a man had got any woman with child or any maid found herself enceinte, and would hide it from the world and escape scandal, they would go every day to invoke Laverna.

“Then when the time came for the suppliant to be delivered, Laverna would bear her in sleep during the night to her temple, and after the birth cast her into slumber again, and bear her back to her bed at home. And when she woke in the morning, she was ever in vigorous health and felt no weariness, and all seemed to her as a dream.

“But to those who desired in time to reclaim their children, Laverna was indulgent if they led such lives as pleased her and faithfully worshipped her.

“And this is the ceremony to be performed and the incantation to be offered every night to Laverna.

“There must be a set place devoted to the goddess, be it a room, a cellar, or a grove, but ever a solitary place.

“Then take a small table of the size of forty playing cards set close together, and this must be hid in the same place, and going there at night…

“Take forty cards and spread them on the table, making of them a close carpet or cover on it.

“Take of the herbs paura and concordia, and boil the two together, repeating meanwhile the following: –

I boil the cluster of concordia
To keep in concord and at peace with me
Laverna, that she may restore to me
My child, and that she by her favoring care
May guard me well from danger all my life!
I boil this herb, yet ’tis not it which boils,
I boil the fear, that it may keep afar
Any intruder, and if such should come
(to spy upon my rite), may he be struck
With fear and in his terror haste away!

 

Having said thus, put the boiled herbs in a bottle and spread the cards on the table one by one, saying: –

I spread before me now the forty cards
Yet ’tis not forty cards which here I spread,
But forty of the gods superior
To the deity Laverna, that their forms
May each and all become volcanoes hot,
Until Laverna comes and brings my child;
And ’till ’tis done may they all cast at her
Hot flames of fire, and with them glowing coals
From noses, mouths, and ears (until she yields);
Then may they leave Laverna at her peace,
Free to embrace her children at her will!

 

“Laverna was the Roman goddess of thieves, pickpockets, shopkeepers or dealers, plagiarists, rascals, and hypocrites. There was near Rome a temple in a grove where robbers went to divide their plunder. There was a statue of the goddess. Her image, according to some, was a head without a body; according to others, a body without a head; but the epithet of ‘beautiful’ applied to her by Horace indicates that she who gave disguises to her worshippers had kept one to herself.” She was worshipped in perfect silence. This is confirmed by a passage to Horace, where an impostor, hardly daring to move his lips, repeats the following prayer or incantation: –

“O goddess Laverna!
Give me the art of cheating and deceiving,
Of making men believe that I am just,
Holy, and innocent! extend all darkness
And deep obscurity o’er my misdeeds!”

 

It is interesting to compare this unquestionably ancient classic invocation to Laverna with the one which is before given. The goddess was extensively known to the lower orders, and in Plautus a cook who has been robbed of his implements calls on her to revenge him.

I call special attention to the fact that in this, as in a great number of Italian witch incantations, the deity or spirit who is worshipped, be it Diana herself or Laverna, is threatened with torment by a higher power until he or she grants the favour demanded. This is quite classic (Grecco-Roman or Oriental) in all of which sources the magician relies not on favour, aid, or power granted by either God or Satan, but simply on what he has been able to wrench and wring, as it were, out of infinite nature or the primal source by penance and study. I mention this because a reviewer has reproached me with exaggerating the degree to which diabolism – introduced by the Church since 1500 – is deficient in Italy. But in fact, among the higher classes of witches, or in their traditions, it is hardly to be found at all. In Christian diabolism the witch never dares to threaten Satan or God, or any of the Trinity or angels, for the whole system is based on the conception of a Church and of obedience.

The herb concordia probably takes its name from that of the goddess Concordia, who was represented as holding a branch. It plays a great part in witchcraft, after verbena and rue.

Today Is …

Witchcraft

Today Is …

 

Floralia, Roman Festival of Flora Goddess of Prostitutes. She was secretly known as “Mother of Rome.” Celebrate your knowledge of Her sexual secrets.

St. Zita If you frequently misplace your keys, you probably need to know about St Zita, who is invoked for help finding keys, apparently because she was a sanctimonious Italian serving girl who frequently gave away her master’s bread (and even his fur cloak) to beggars. Apparently she also misplaced his keys from time to time. During her ecstasies, angels baked her bread, so she is also the patron of bakers, housewives and servants
Blackburn, Bonnie and Leofranc Holford-Strevens, Oxford Companion to the Year, Oxford University Press, 1999

Africa: In the African republic of Mali, a mythical half-man, half-animal being called Tyi Wara is honored by farmers on this date with songs and dance. The Bambara tribe believe that Tyi Wara was send to Earth by the Nature Gods to each human beings the necessary skills of farming.

Voudun: Dan Wè Zo, alias St Louis Cleimeille

1991 As many as 70 tornadoes hit the states of Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa. Thousands were left homeless; there were 23 fatalities.

28 May 3:The three day Festival of Flora and Venus, or the Florialia in Rome; Goddess of Sexuality and Spring flowers.

30: Walpurgisnacht celebrated by German witches

Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

 

Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Quirinalia and The Feast of Fools

Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments

February 17th

Quirinalia and The Feast of Fools

Quirinalia was a first fruits festival that honored Quirinus, the name given by the Romans to the deified Romulus. As a divinity, Quirinus ranked as one of Rome’s most important patrons, along with Mars, Jupiter and Juno.

Early Rome was divided into 30 curiae, each of which had its own day in February for the performing of the Fornacalia, or first-fruits offering to Ceres of toasted emmer-wheat. As the city expanded, the curiae were displaced by the new divisions known as “tibus.” As a result, many people did not know which curiae they belonged to. Because of the confusion they were allowed to make the sacrifice on the Quirinalia, which came to be called “The Feast of Fools.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Today’s Tarot Card for Feb. 14 is The Emperor

The Emperor

Friday, Feb 14th, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the most practical terms, what has traditionally been called the Emperor card represents the highest leadership, a head of state or the most exemplary and powerful person in the realm. This archetypal ruler is responsible for the positive working out of affairs of a society or community, which are directly proportional to his well being and happiness.

The more enlightenment and cosmic perspective this energy brings, the better life is for all. The Emperor archetype masters the world of matter and physical manifestation. When you apply this card to your situation, acknowledge your potentials for mastery. Reinforce a sense of sovereignty within yourself, despite any self-limiting beliefs, habits or appearances to the contrary.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Discovering Wicca

Discovering Wicca

Author: Tytus Lionheart   

It is more likely that the title should read “Discovering Myself in Wicca”, because since my first steps on the path of the wise that is what I have been challenged with, discovering who I am and what is my purpose in this life. Wicca has changed my perspective on life and living in so many beautiful ways it is hard to think I can even begin to place them here in this article. I will do my best as my words and my ability in writing can allow. Wicca is more than magic, more than philosophy, more than a religion. It is a lifestyle and a commitment to self-betterment through harmony with nature and the divine. It is a blend of all spiritual pursuits both ancient and modern. I will begin to explain my life before Wicca, then my life as I dedicated myself to learning and studying Wicca.

In my early years before Wicca was a part of my life, I was a bit of an outcast even among friends. I always felt there was something missing from myself that I was being called to something greater than what was in my life at the time. I was struggling with roles presented by society and the supposed morals of the Christian religion I thought were missing within me. Even as a young boy in elementary school I was a recluse, preferring the company of few friends and more often than not I was alone at recess in a field of grass playing with my imagination. I can remember befriending abstract companions such as the wind, which I imagined to be a female entity I so cleverly named “Windy.” I would imagine with my brother and friends that we were warriors of great magical prowess, having the power to manipulate energy to my will. Back then I was sure it was all pretend, but now I know these qualities and aspects are what lead me to Wicca.

In high school I shook off my reclusiveness as I embraced my inner self and accepted my homosexuality. Doing so challenged the societal roles and Christian morals that had limited my perspective of life. I began exploring different paths of living; different roles that I never knew existed. I explored other religions and spiritual concepts. After my sophomore year I learned about Wicca. At first I thought it was all smoke and mirrors until I came across some books and authors that would shape my understanding of not only Wicca, but also myself and my role in life.

Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner” by Scott Cunningham and “Sons of the Goddess” by Christopher Penzack were the first true teachings of Wicca that I had at the time. Both showed me basic principles of Wicca and magick, which fully absorbed me and my need for spiritual growth. After some time studying each book, I performed a self-dedication ritual, my first act of magick. I dedicated myself to the teachings of Wicca, to the study and application of magick, to discovering the Goddess and the God within me.

From then on I was studying magick and Wicca every day, reading lots of books on both subjects and on other traditions of the occult including Ceremonial magick, Chaos magick, reconstructive pagan religions and the different paths of Wicca. I became a solitary eclectic Wiccan, creating my own Book of Shadows and putting in it all the material I would use in creating my own personal Wiccan tradition. I would practice magick, exercise my psychic abilities with meditations, ritual and daily prayer. All I read were books on Wicca, the Occult and magick. I kept to the path by making Wicca apart of my every day; I prayed every day, studied ritual and practiced spell craft whenever the need arose.

Wicca had become a part of my life. I learned a lot about myself as a person, as a magician I learned my strengths and weaknesses; I built my power of Will to change the world within me and without. I became happier, clearer in thinking, more broad in my perspective of life and living. Family and friends noticed a change in me… more vigor for life, more understanding of myself and the world around me. I was finally coming into my own, discovering myself. I learned that I’m more powerful than I had believed for many years. Things were and have been conforming to my Will, in positive constructive ways.

After about two years of study (overkill I know) I fully embraced Wicca as my way of life and performed a self-initiation. I honored Lord Hermes as my patron, the god of magick, healing, communication, and merchants. I feel such a strong connection to Him; I performed a ritual of dedication to His teachings not only in ancient Greece and Rome, but His Egyptian counterpart, Thoth, and the legendary Hermes Trismegistus. Hermes to this day is my patron God. I grew also to adore the stories of the goddesses Diana, Aradia, and Hecate. I felt connected to the Great Horned One as well, an archetype and spirit of masculinity and male mystery. From these Gods and Goddesses I gained strength and wisdom. I feel their energy when I pray to them, when I call them in ritual… and in my everyday life, I have felt their presence. I have had many answered prayers and blessings from the Goddess and the God and the forms they assume.

It was to the full moon, Diana that I prayed and asked to find true love, to meet my soul mate. I asked Her to send me an angel, and shortly after I met my fiancé, it was love at first sight. I have been truly blessed by the divine powers of the universe and for that I am thankful, for I have felt the Love of the Lord and Lady and it is beautiful.

After about 5 years of personal, solitary study I felt there was a need to expand on the spiritual foundation I had built for myself. I began researching traditions of Wicca, seeking training into priesthood. I wanted a tradition where I can keep to my eclectic nature yet have a strong base to grow from. Many paths caught my interest including Faery Wicca, Alexandrian Wicca, and some other neo-pagan traditions, but it was when I came across the Correllian Natavist Tradition that I found the path that resonated with the Wiccan philosophy and theology I already subscribed to in my personal tradition as a solitary.

I am now currently studying the First Degree courses of the Correllian tradition, to become a Reverend of Wicca. I hope to take my training in the tradition all the way to my third degree and from there I want to open a Temple for the tradition here in California. I hope to join the Order of Herbal Studies, the Order of Reiki and the Order of Spiritual Advisors that are set up within the Correllian Tradition. I hope to one day meet and possibly work with Rev. Don Lewis of the High-Correllians, and many other legends of the Natavist Tradition and of the Wiccan community as a whole. I have found a purpose within my religion and I am working towards my initiation. From here I will continue to grow and study, to apply my spirituality into my every day and to be able to help others find their way in the Craft as well.

My discovery of Wicca has been a life changing experience and to this day I am inspired by my religion and its endless source of power, love and harmony. Wicca has changed me in many positive and progressive ways, making my life happier, my lifestyle more meaningful. I am thankful for all Wicca has taught me and for all the blessings the Lord and Lady have bestowed upon me and mine. It is because of Wicca that I have gained so much strength, wisdom and joy.

My journey into Wicca continues to evolve and move forward each day, I have found my calling in this life and hopefully more lives to come will be benefitted from the teachings I have received in this life. May all that read this article come to understand that Wicca is a religion of personal power and a lifestyle of love in all its beautiful, glorious forms. I am a Wiccan, and I am blessed.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Your Charm for February 10th is Leo the Lion

Your Charm for Today

Leo the Lion

Today’s Meaning:

This aspect of your life will be strongly influenced by a person who is generous, warm-hearted, creative, enthusiastic, broad-minded, expansive, faithful and loving. This person is most likely a relative.

General Description:   

Fifth sign of the Zodiac, July 23rd to Aug. 23rd. Ruled by the Sun; correct metal, Gold. Those born under the influence of Leo were believed to be enthusiastic, high spirited, affable, generous, strong, quick tempered, artistic, inventive, generally successful and proverbially lucky. The Leo stones are the Peridot and Onyx, also Amber. The Peridot was in former times valued more than the Diamond. In Rome it was worn as a charm to drive away evil spirits, despondency and illusions. Peridot amulets enjoyed a great reputation in the Middle Ages for inspiring wisdom and eloquence. Many medicinal properties were attributed to Amber, and its supposed virtues are still relied on in the East

Enhanced by Zemanta

The State of Paganism: A Perspective From an Old Witch

The State of Paganism: A Perspective From an Old Witch

Author:   Crick   

As Paganism slowly but surely emerges out of the grip of suppression brought on by what is now commonly referred to as organized religions. We may want to be aware of several pitfalls and realities as we once again step into the light of day.

First of all, the top three organized religions are themselves fairly new in the grand scheme of history. Prior to their appearance on the world stage, basically everyone in the world followed some type of pagan belief, which was for the most part an individual spiritual belief and not an organized religion per se. Such beliefs were influenced by ones personal environment and the immediate world around them. There was an interpersonal awareness that helped to shape one’s values and thus their corresponding beliefs. In today’s artificial world we no longer have such a mainstay or influence to guide us.

The current “accepted” beliefs being touted by the main three organized religions and the suppression of former popular beliefs did not occur as a natural effect of events in human history.

It was and continues to be a planned and concerted action, which began in one instance with the advent of the apologists and has continued on through the ages by acts of repression, fear and some very clever propaganda. These deliberate actions have been supplemented by the tactics of politicians who are overtly biased in favor of the institutions of organized religion.

After all, power begets power.

As such we should be aware that the basic tenet of these man made religious organizations is to hold onto such power at all costs. We as a community would like to think that we are accepting of all religious beliefs and spiritual paths, as we should be.

But we should not be so naïve as to think that just because we are so accepting that organized religions will welcome us back with open arms from the isolation of an exile that they themselves imposed upon those of pagan beliefs.

In all reality they (organized religions) would very much like to see paganism fade away as just another passing fad. An example of this is the gathering in Rome in the summer of 2007 of the Roman Catholic Church of which the primary topic was “how to draw folks away from Devil worship (allegedly paganism) and back into the grasp of the one true church”.

Granted there are some individuals within organized religion who are realistic and enlightened enough to accept the fact that not everyone is going to believe as they do. And thus are willing to work with members of alternate beliefs such as paganism.

However the harsh reality is that these folks generally belong to one of the very aggressive religious organizations whose leaders do not endorse such openness. And as such we are being accepted only in isolated situations and only at the very grass roots of these religious institutions.

Acceptance of the fact that the oldest religious/spiritual beliefs in the world were not obliterated and are making a re-emergence is going to take some considerable time, effort and patience.

We will re-emerge into the light of day one enlightened heart and soul at a time. To believe otherwise is in my personal opinion, both foolish and self-defeating.

Another pitfall we should be wary of is manipulation by the organized religions. They have by virtue of their position in the world today, proven to be very adept at such tactics.

And quite obviously (to some of us anyway) they are employing these tried and proven techniques to the very community that they would like to once again vanquish back into the throes of exile.

What is this manipulation you may ask?

Over the recent years, a crumb will fall off of the table of organized religion and a pagan will be ‘allowed” to sit at the same table as these folks. Each time it has been a Wiccan who is chosen to take such a seat and in each case the chosen Wiccan will proclaim themselves as representative of the whole pagan community. And then folks in the pagan community will swoon like young schoolgirls and say, “oh what a great thing this is for the community”.

In my personal opinion, such proclamations fall right into the hands of those of the organized religions who are sponsoring such meetings.

I have serious reservations about such an approach and reaction for several down to earth reasons.

First of all, realistically we as a community are dealing with folks who are well schooled in such manipulation. It is quite apparent that if you can’t outright obliterate what you object to then you find a way to control it.

For example Brighid the Goddess did not become a Christian saint by happenstance. It was an act of sage manipulation by an organized religion. Hence we have the old adage of, “keeping your friends close but your enemies even closer”.

And so with all due respect to those of the Wicca, I personally have to wonder why organized religion seems to only choose members of Wicca, which is by all accounts barely a generation old and thus but a babe in the world of paganism as the ones who are proffered a seat with these folks.

Please don’t misinterpret what I am saying here, I think that it is great that a pagan of any path gets the crumb that is offered, to a certain extent.

But then this brings me to my next concern.

One of the primary tenets of paganism is diversity. And if we are to avoid the pitfalls of hypocrisy then perhaps those Wicca who are chosen to be seated with organized religions should state responsibly, that in fact they represent but a small portion of the pagan community.

Again, with all due respect to those of the path of Wicca, not only would this be a realistic statement but it would also leave the door open to those of other pagan beliefs. And as such would be a confirmation of the pagan community’s stated belief in the tenet of diversity.

Paganism is after all an acronym or umbrella for many “diverse” beliefs. And no one path can honestly state that they alone represent the many different beliefs that align themselves under the banner of paganism.

In all reality, and yet once again with all due respect, as an Irish witch who also engages the path of shamanism, Wicca does not remotely represent my personal path. Nor does it accurately reflect the beliefs of those who are Asatru, Voudon, Santerian, Odinist, Yoruba, Shamanic, witch and so forth.

If we as a community are going to endorse diversity as one of our founding tenets then we need to surpass the temptations of ego and thus avoid the snare that is being put into place by those religious organizations that have shown such skill in manipulation.

Those who are tapped should show some responsibility and use their opportunities to ensure that organized religion is aware that we are in fact a diverse community and do not fit into one spiritual/religious shoe fits all.

By the same token, we as a community need to overcome our petty ego driven differences and be willing to proffer folks from various pagan beliefs as representatives of our community. Granted this will take a measure of maturity that has for the most part been lacking in our community.

But I personally believe that if we are true to ourselves and our community that we can indeed find the inner strength to exhibit such maturity as a community to express ourselves in such a manner.

The final concern that I would like to express in this treatise is this.
Why do we buy into the perception that organized religion has of us?

Realistically, it is “their” perception and should not be the view that we as pagans hold of ourselves.

Why do we as a community get all flustered and swoon whenever organized religion allows us a seat?

They are in all reality the newcomers to the world stage of religious/spiritual beliefs.

Paganism is in fact the oldest such beliefs in existence, period!
When one of us is invited to their table it should be with the approach that they (organized religions) should be honored to have a member of such an ancient belief seated at their table.

We need to stop playing into their blatant manipulation and express ourselves with aplomb and dignity and not as eager children grateful for a brief moment of attention.

I personally believe that this is why they (organized religions) only invite the Wicca (who are the babes of pagan society) into their midst. In this manner they can point and say “but they have only been around since 1952” and so the manipulation continues and unadulterated attempts at control continues.

In closing I would like to make it clear that I am not casting about disparaging thoughts against those of the Wicca or any other members of organized religions and/or other pagan paths.

My words are simply a reflection of the realities that we as pagans did not create but which we have to live with. How cognizant we are and how we approach such issues as a community in regards to organized religions will determine whether we remain in the daylight or whether we once again resume our existence in the darkness of religious/spiritual exile.

If you don’t want to think of these issues in regards to yourself then maybe you should consider the religious/spiritual freedoms (true freedoms) of your children and your children’s children.

For in all reality, such manipulation and control did not occur over one generation nor is it likely to ebb within just one generation. Freedom of religious/spiritual beliefs is an ongoing struggle against those who would have it otherwise.

I think the last 2000 years or so has made that quite clear…

Enhanced by Zemanta

Celebrating Spiritual 365 Days A Year – Feast of Hecate

Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments

Celebrating Spiritual 365 Days A Year – Feast of Hecate

Hecate is one of the oldest embodiments of the Triple Moon Goddess worshipped today. She holds power over the heavens, the earth and the underworld, where she is in control of birth, life and death. Hecate is the giver of visions, magick, and regeneration. Her chief symbol is the crossroads where all paths connect—the past where one has been, the present where one stands, and future where one is headed. In ancient Rome, statues of Hecate were place at the important crossroads. Those who frequently traveled would make offerings to the Goddess in return for her blessings.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Your Charm for January 27th is The Serpent

Your Charm for Today

Today’s Meaning:

This aspect will be affected by someone’s illness being shed. Their healing will cause positive changes within this aspect for you.

General Description:

In primeval days the Serpent deeply appealed to man’s imagination, and owing to its length of life was used as the emblem for wisdom and eternity. It was a household god in ancient Rome, and sacred to their god of medicine. The Romans believed that the Serpent renewed its youth by casting its skin, and it became their symbol for long life and vitality. In India the Serpent symbolizes the infinite duration of time and wisdom. Serpent rings were worn to ensure health, strength, and long life. The rings were also believed to possess great protective and enduring virtues. The Serpent was a mark of royalty in Egypt, and worn as a head dress or UR.AEUS

Enhanced by Zemanta