Wiccan Shamanism

Wiccan Shamanism

by Selena Fox

typed by Lewis for P.A.N. 508-795-7628

Shamanism exists in tribal cultures around the world and has done so for centuries. Yet, in reading most anthropological texts on Shamanism, there is  little, if any reference made to shamanism in Europe. However Shamanism has existed among the peoples of Europe not only in ancient times, but also through  the present day. During the Middle Ages, the Old Ways largely disappeared from public view because of persecution. Yet they were not eradicated but took a  more underground existence. Today, there are some of us of European ancestry that are bringing Shamanic ways rooted in pre-Christian Europe back into the  light.

Wiccan Shamanism is a term I began using several years ago in an attempt to describe my own path of magick and spirituality in relation to the other forms  of Shamanism on the Planet. Wiccan Shamanism draws on the Old but it is not simply an attempt re-construction and revival of the Old Ways of tribal Europe.  Wiccan Shamanism blends both the Old and the New to suit the modern times in which we live. Although emphasis is on European symbology and traditions Wiccan  Shamanism is multi-cultural, incorporating ways of other healers and magick workers from many places and eras.

What follows is a glimpse into Wiccan Shamanism as I know it and practice it. While Jim, Dennis, and others who help with various aspects of CIRCLES work  may share many of these concepts, I speak here only for myself – for at the heart of this spiritual approach is the idea that each person must seek their own  connection with the Divine, within their own Self, rather than having me or anyone else do this for them. This is not a path of a leader with followers, but  a path where each becomes their own leader.

I call to the Powers of the Four Quarters — to Earth in the North which is the Realm of the Physical Body and Material Plane, to Air in the East which is  the Realm of Thoughts and Intellect, to Fire in the South which is the Realm of Will Power and Action, and Water in the West which is the Realm of Emotions  and Intuition. My Medicine Wheel is the Magick Circle which connects the Four Quarters. The sacred places I frequent include a high rock, a crystal clear  spring fed pool n a hidden valley and a circle of stones in a grove of Oak and Birch on a mound.

I am a channel between Planet Earth beneath my feet and the Heavens above my head. I become the World tree when I Shamanize, linking the transforming Dark  of the Underworld with the Awakening Light of the Upperworld.

I am the Crystal LIght that is at the Center of the Circle and is the fifth Element Spirit. I seek always to act out of MY own Inner Self which is at the  enter of MY being, for my Inner Self in the Balance of all the Elements, of my Female and Male sides, of my Lunar and Solar natures of my intellect and  intuition my Inner Self is my doorway into the realm where All is One.

I see the Circle of Life from the Center. I watch the Seasons change as the Wheel of the Year turns and I celebrate the 8 sabbats. I connect with the  dance of Night and Day, of Fair and Stormy Weathers, of the Waxing and Waning Moon. I see the cycle of Birth, Growth, Maturity, Death, and Rebirth in all of  Nature. I examine the cycles of my own life and of the lives of those who seek healing aid from me.

I am the traveler between the World of Daily Life and the Otherworld which is the land of Dreams, visions and Spirits. I am a Consciousness Explorer. the  Otherworldis as real and as important to me as the Day-to-Day World. I bridge the Worlds rather than seeking to dwell solely in one or the other. I journey  into the Otherworld for a reason — to bring back healing and knowledge to apply to Daily Life, helping others, myself and the Planet.

I see the Divine in all things. My friends and allies include not only humans but also plants, animals, rocks, winds, waters, fire, stars, and other life  forms. I commune with the Source some call “God” as both Mother Goddess and Father God, for both aspects are necessary for the Unity.

The main focus of my Shamanic work is Healing. I was called to this path as a young child in dreams and Out-of-Body experiences, but I didn’t begin my  work until my adult years when I started Healing myself. To do this I journeyed alone into the Pit of my Shadow Self and came face-to-face with my problems  and hang-ups; my doubts fears, disillusionments, rejections, angers and hurts; with all MY false self images. Words can not begin to express the misery, the  utter despair the powerlessness I felt during this time. Yet coming apart was essential; it enabled me to break through the barriers which I had formed and  let others form in my psyche that had kept me from being one with my True Self. In the deepest Darkness, I felt the Light of my own Inner Self beginning to  shine through. I focused on the Light and slowly emerged from the Pit, stronger and more integrated than ever before and with the power to heal others as  well as myself. As a result of this transformation process, my life’s work became clear. I now help others from their own pits of negativity and become  whole again.

Yet my work also extends to more than Humankind; it involves bringing Healing to the Planet as a whole. In my communing with the Land, I have heard the  cries of the Earth Mother, sorrowing over the self-centered, greedy, intolerant, and destructive behaviors of many of Her human children, who are polluting  the soils, water, and air; who are playing power games with nuclear fire; and who are polluting the spiritual atmosphere of the entire world with their  narrow-mindedness and hate. I am deeply concerned about survival — not of the Planet Herself for all the humans in the world can not destroy Her even with  all their weapons; She is too strong and powerful for that to happen. What I am concerned about is the survival of the human race. — will we annihilate  ourselves and many of the life forms around us, or will we wake up in time to see the larger picture, find and implement creative solutions to the worlds  problems, and enter a New Age of expanded consciousness?

The Balance of Life can be restored on Planet Earth; Harmony can be restored between humankind and other life forms; Love consciousness can increase and  be prevalent on the Earth. I, along with numerous other healers and ministers from a variety of spiritual traditions around the world today have responded to  the upset of Mother Earth by dedicating our lives to this Planetary Healing Work, each in our own way. It is this Great Work that underlies all the healing  and other things I do. It is the Heart of Wiccan Shamanism.

First published in fall 1984 “Circle Network News”;   © 1984, CIRCLE, Box 219, Mt. Horeb WI 53572 USA.

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Ecomagick

Ecomagick

The following is excerpted from an article, Making Magic For Planet Earth,
written by Selena Fox for Circle Network News (Box 219, Mt. Horeb, WI 53572 )
and presented here as being of public interest to the pagan  community at large.
Selena, I didn’t have time to ask your permission, I presume that by the very
nature of your writings you want them to be shared with as many people as
possible, and so they are presented here. This is submitted with this statement
and not to be edited, by Shadowstar of Boston, MA.

“There are many things that can be done in spiritual realms to help bring about
solutions to the world’s problems:

* We can kindle spiritual friendships with other lifeforms through communication with Nature Spirits, who can be teachers for us and allies in bringing about planetary healing.

* We can do daily meditations in which we creatively visualize the spiritual
body of the planet glowing with radiant healing light.

* We can organize and/or take part in ecumenical planetary prayer services and
rituals with practitioners of other spiritual paths and cultures.

* We can honor Mother Earth as an aspect of the divine in our solo and group
rituals.

* We can send Mother Earth our love and pray for planetary health each time we
visit a stone circle, sacred grove, place of power, temple, shrine or other
sacred site.

* We can do spiritual healing magic for the planet in our circles.

It is important to reinforce whatever spiritual work we do with physical action.
There are a variety of ways to do this and you should decide on at least one
approach and then carry it out. Here are a few examples:

* Recycle trash from your household, take paper, plastics, glass, aluminum cans,
and other recyclables to recycling centers.

* Recycle clothes and no longer needed household items by donating them to
charities to distribute to the needy.

* Join and actively participate in environmental action groups.

* Write government officials and urge them to take specific actions on specific
environmental issues, such as stopping all ocean dumping.

*  Write letters and articles for publications about the need for environmental
preservation.

* Plant trees as part of reforestation efforts.

* Compost food scraps.

* Stop buying and using non-bio-degradable detergents.

* Boycott products from companies that are destroying the Amazon rainforest.

* Pick up cigarette butts and other non-biodegradable litter from parks and
other wilderness areas.

* Donate money to nature preserves.

* Give talks at schools, civic groups, churches and in other places in your area
about ecological issues.

* Read publications, view films, and attend presentations in order to keep
informed about ecological conditions and to learn about additional ways you can
work for planetary healing.

* Conserve electricity, water and other resources on a daily basis.

Network with others.

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The Yule Tree (Lore, Decorating/Consecrating & Correspondences)

Yule Comments & Graphics
THE YULE TREEThe Celtic Druids venerated evergreen trees as manifestations of deity and as symbols of the universe. To the Celts, these trees were sacred because they did not die from year to year like deciduous trees. Therefore they represented the eternal aspect of the Goddess who also never dies. Their greenery was symbolic of the hope for the sun’s return.

The Druids decorated the evergreen trees at Yule with all the images of the things they wished the waxing year to bring. Fruits for a successful harvest, love charms for happiness, nuts for fertility, and coins for wealth adorned the trees. These were forerunners to many of the images on today’s Christmas trees. Candles were the forerunners of today’s electric tree lights.

In Scandinavia, Yule trees were brought inside to provide a warm and festive place for tree elementals who inhabited the woodland. This was also a good way to coax the native faery folk to participate in Solstice rituals. Some believed the Saxons were the first to place candles in the tree.

Gradually sacred tree imagery was absorbed and minimalized by the Christian church–but it was never able to destroy trees’ resonance within our collective unconscious completely. We realize when we plant a tree we are encouraging the Earth to breathe. And when we decorate our evergreen trees at Yule, we are making a symbol of our dream world with the objects we hang upon it. Perhaps a chain or garland, reflecting the linking of all together on Earth. Lights–for the light of human consciousness, animal figures who serve as our totems, fruits and colors that nourish and give beauty to our world, gold and silver for prosperity, treats and nuts that blend sweet and bitter–just as in real life. The trees we decorate now with symbols of our perfect worlds actually animate what we esteem and what we hope for in the coming year; as from this night, the light returns, reborn.

Decorating the Tree

It’s best to use a live tree, but if you can’t, you can perform an outdoor ritual thanking a tree, making sure to leave it a gift when you’re finished (either some herbs or food for the animals and birds). Start a seedling for a new tree to be planted at Beltane.

If apartment rules or other conditions prevent you from using a live tree indoors, be sure to bring live evergreen garlands or wreaths into the house as decorations.

* String popcorn and cranberries and hang them on the Yule tree or an outdoor tree for birds.

* Decorate pine cones with glue and glitter as symbols of the faeries and place them in the Yule tree.

* Glue the caps onto acorns and attach with a red string to hang on the Yule tree.

* Hang little bells on the Yule tree to call the spirits and faeries.

* Hang robin and wren ornaments on the tree. The robin is the animal equivalent of the Oak King, the wren of the Holly King. Each Yule and Midsummer they play out the same battle as the two kings.

* Hang 6-spoked snowflakes on the branches of the tree. The Witches Rune, or Hagalaz, has 6 spokes.

* Hang sun, moon, star, Holly King, faery, or fruit decorations.

* String electric lights on your tree to encourage the return of the Sun.

Consecrating the Tree

Consecrate the Yule tree by sprinkling it with salted water, passing the smoke of incense (bayberry, pine, spruce, pine, spice, cedar, or cinnamon)through the branches, and walking around the tree with a lighted candle saying:

By fire and water, air and earth,   I consecrate this tree of rebirth.

Correspondences

EVERGREENS

Symbolizing: Continuity of Life, Protection, Prosperity
Types: Pine, Fir, Cedar, Juniper, other evergreens
Forms: boughs, wreaths, garlands, trees
Divinities: Green Goddesses & Gods; Hertha; Cybele, Attis, Dionysius (Pine); Woodland Spirits
Traditions: Roman, Celtic, Teutonic, Christian

OAK

Symbolizing: New Solar Year; Waxing Sun; Endurance, Strength, Triumph, Protection, Good Luck
Forms: Yule log, acorns, wood for sacred fires
Divinities: Oak King; Oak Spirit; Sky Gods including Thor, Jupiter, Zeus
Traditions: Teutonic, Celtic, Christian

SACRED TREES OF WINTER SOLSTICE from the Celtic Tree Calendar

Yew: Last Day of Solar Year; Death.
Silver Fir: Winter Solstice Day; Birth.
Birch: Month following Winter Solstice; Beginnings.

written by Selena Fox