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.

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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

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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…

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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.

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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

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Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

The Key

The Key indicates the existence of a powerful tool capable of favorably influencing your future. The Key may be an idea, physical entity, an action, a mentor, or the combination of a number of things. While readily available to you The Key may not be all that obvious. You might have to search for it, and it may take a fair dose of courage and faith to actually use it.

As a daily card, The Key indicates the presence of an idea or entity that can positively effect your life at this time. The advantage The Key will give you may concern a single element of your life such as your career, or it may have an impact on your life as a whole. The trick for you is to identify your Key and have the courage to use it.

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Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Festival of Jana and Janus

Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year

Festival of Jana and Janus

On this day the ancient Romans honored Jana, whose name means “luminous sky,” and her husband Janus, the guardian of all passageways. At their festival, a ram was sacrificed to Janus for his continue protection and Jana was invoked to shine her light on the New Year. To the Romans, who believed that the spirit of Janus hovered over all doorways, gates and passageways, this was a time of great consequence.

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Cloud Scrying

Cloud Scrying

Most of us watch clouds images at one time or another.  It is as if we are guided to look up and watch the patterns unfold at a given time.  Fluffy cumulous clouds bring messages, which sometimes seem to tell an unfolding story.  While flying on an airplane, it is fun to watch the clouds from above as if celestial art. You may receive telepathic messages while watching cloud images, coming from a spirit guide.

Throughout history symbols of political or religious importance have been seen in the clouds. In A.D. 312 when Emperor Constantine was marching against the army of Maxentius at Rome, both he and his entire army saw a shining cross of light amid the clouds.  It was said the cross contained the Greek words “By This Conquer”. Later that  night Christ appeared to Constantine in his dreams bearing a cross in his hand ordering Constantine to have a military standard made in the same image. Under this standard his outnumbered army was victorious. Down through history entire military battles have been witnessed in the clouds.

Source:
Crystalinks.com

Deity of the Day – Janus, God of New Beginnings

Witchy Comments & Graphics
Deity of the Day – Janus, God of New Beginnings

In the mythology of ancient Rome, Janus was the god of new beginnings. He was associated with doors and gates, and the first steps of a journey. The month of January — of course, falling at the beginning of the new year — is named in his honor. He is often invoked together with Jupiter, and is considered a high-ranking god.

In many portrayals, Janus is depicted as having two faces, looking in opposite directions. In one legend,  bestows upon him the ability to see both the past and the future. In the early days of Rome, city founder Romulus and his men kidnapped the women of Sabine, and the men of Sabine attacked Rome in retaliation. The daughter of a city guard betrayed her fellow Romans and allowed the Sabines into the city. When they attempted to climb the Capitolian Hill, Janus made a hot spring erupt, forcing the Sabines to retreat.

In the city of Rome, a temple known as the Ianus geminus was erected in Janus’ honor and consecrated in 260 b.c.e. after the Battle of Mylae. During periods of war, the gates were left open and sacrifices were held inside, along with auguries to predict the results of military actions. It is said that the gates of the temple were only closed in times of peace, which didn’t happen very often for the Romans. In fact, it was later claimed by Christian clerics that the gates of the Ianus geminus first closed at the moment that Jesus was born.

Because of his ability to see both back and forward, Janus is associated with powers of prophecy, in addition to gates and doors. He is sometimes connected with the sun and moon, in his aspect as a dual-headed god.

Today’s Tarot For December 31 is The Emperor

The Emperor

Tuesday, Dec 31st, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.