WOTC Extra (b) – The Basic Steps in Spellcraft

Altar

The Basic Steps in Spellcraft

 

As in crafting rituals, creating and casting a spell follow a certain sequence of events. While every spell is different, the basic steps are:

  1. Establish your need or desire. Doing a spell for the sake of doing a spell is a waste of time and energy. Why trouble the web and the pattern of energy around you if you don’t have to?
  2. Compose your spell. It is essential to determine a clear and precisely defined goal. Take the time to think about your desired outcome. Think, too, about the energies you wish to incorporate or call upon to help you achieve that goal.
  3. Shift consciousness. Your mind must be in the correct mode for working spells. A mind overrun by everyday thoughts isn’t very efficient at gathering energies, weaving them into a tight and well-focused spell, and then releasing them toward a goal. Shifting your consciousness allows you to attain a different state of mind ideal for ritual or spell-craft. You need to be able to filter out the surface noise and distractions to concentrate and focus on what you’re doing. (This state is often referred to as alpha.)
  4. Raise energy and release it toward your goal. Spells are powered by the energies possessed by the correspondences you incorporate in your spell and by your own personal energy as well.
  5. Manifestation. Ideally, the final step is the achievement of your goal.

 

 

Solitary Wicca For Life: Complete Guide to Mastering the Craft on Your Own

Arin Murphy-Hiscock

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Daily Motivator for Feb. 11th – No rush

No rush

It’s better to wait at the traffic light than to get hit speeding through as  it changes to red. It’s better to take the time and do the job right than to  rush through and get it wrong.

Before jumping ahead to what’s next, get the full value out of what’s now.  Don’t give up your quality experience of the present in a futile attempt to get  yourself more quickly into the future.

Time spent waiting never has to be a waste. You can always make it into a  valuable opportunity.

That’s because the value of each moment is not dependent on where you are or  what activity you’re engaged in. The value of your life in each moment comes  from the value you choose to give it.

If you’re in such a hurry to get somewhere else, you lose the ability to give  your best to where you are. Slow down, stop rushing and start putting real  quality, substance and richness into whatever moment you’re in.

Instead of being a slave to the clock, be a master of your own beautiful  experience. Your life right now is much too valuable to speed past, so treasure  this very moment in this very place, and make it great.

— Ralph Marston

 

The Daily Motivator

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Grant Me Peace

Witchy Comments & Graphics
Life is full of noise and bustle
Rush and hurry, run and hustle
People ‘round me with demands
Open mouths and open hands
Lend me now a quiet place
A moment’s peace, a silent space
Time to think and time to plan
A quiet, peaceful, restful span
I ask the Gods to grant me peace
A brief time for the noise to cease
An hour or two out of my life
Free from hurry, free from strife
Peace and quiet for my soul
A restful place to make me whole
Grant me now this time and place
So I might live my life with grace.
 
So Mote It Be.
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The Daily OM For Jan. 22nd – The Time of Your Life

The Time of Your Life
Learning to Slow Down

by Madisyn Taylor

When we rush through our days and lives, we fail to notice the simple beauty of living.

Throughout our lives, we are taught to value speed and getting things done quickly. We learn that doing is more valuable than merely being, and that making the most of life is a matter of forging ahead at a hurried pace. Yet as we lurch forward in search of some elusive sense of fulfillment, w

e find ourselves feeling increasingly harried and disconnected. More importantly, we fail to notice the simple beauty of living. When we learn to slow down, we rediscover the significance of seemingly inconsequential aspects of life. Mealtimes become meditative celebrations of nourishment. A job well-done becomes a source of profound pleasure, no matter what the nature of our labors. In essence, we give ourselves the gift of time—time to indulge our curiosity, to enjoy the moment, to appreciate worldly wonders, to sit and think, to connect with others, and to explore our inner landscapes more fully.

A life savored slowly need not be passive, inefficient, or slothful. Conducting ourselves at a slower pace enables us to be selective in how we spend our time and to fully appreciate each passing moment. Slowness can even be a boon in situations that seem to demand haste. When we pace ourselves for even a few moments as we address urgent matters, we can center ourselves before moving ahead with our plans. Embracing simplicity allows us to gradually purge from our lives those commitments and activities that do not benefit us in some way. The extra time we consequently gain can seem like vast, empty stretches of wasted potential. But as we learn to slow down, we soon realize that eliminating unnecessary rapidity from our experiences allows us to fill that time in a constructive, fulfilling, and agreeable way. We can relish our morning rituals, linger over quality time with loved ones, immerse ourselves wholeheartedly in our work, and take advantage of opportunities to nurture ourselves every single day.

You may find it challenging to avoid giving in to the temptation to rush, particularly if you have acclimated to a world of split-second communication, cell phones, email and overflowing agendas. Yet the sense of continuous accomplishment you lose when you slow down will quickly be replaced by feelings of magnificent contentment. Your relaxed tempo will open your mind and heart to deeper levels of awareness that help you discover the true glory of being alive.

The Daily OM

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Pagan Doers – How To Get Things Done

Pagan Doers – How To Get Things Done

Author:   Sia@FullCircle   
There has been a lot of talk in our community lately about what our Pagan Leaders do for us (and in some cases, to us). But I’m not going to speak on that subject, because the folks here at Full Circle are not Leaders, we’re Doers.
Doers make things happen and their actions light the way for those that wish to follow their example. Full Circle lights the way by organizing events for the Earth Wise Community as a whole. Those who want to join us, show up and get to work. Our volunteers have a say in what we do and how we do it. Those who simply want to attend our events, do that. The latter vote with their feet and with their pocketbooks and we think that’s fair.
What we do here at Full Circle is done at a grass roots level. We work in and for the community. You have a chance to meet and talk to any of us whenever you attend or work on one of our events. You also have the power to help our organization grow and to make a difference in your community.
Full Circle was started by two women with a vision of a Pagan Event Group that was non-denominational and community based. We were committed to networking and to charity work and we wanted this organization to reflect that. We also wanted to create a group that was family friendly but offered adult only events, as well. Finally, we wanted to do Inter-faith work because we wanted to meet people of like mind who cared for Mama Gaia and respected Earth Wise Spirituality. And so we began the work of creating Full Circle. We were later joined by some marvelous men who helped us make this vision into a reality.
I occasionally hear stories that paint Full Circle as some huge organization with deep pockets and a vast network of volunteers. The stories are born, in part, because we do complex events, like M.U.S.E Camp and The Witches Ball, rather well. Would that these stories were true. The money that funds Full Circle comes from several of our Council members. We are not rich and we have families to support, so this was cause for some nail biting on our part. Happily, we have managed to end every year in the black. As for our volunteers, they are few in number, but highly organized, extremely competent, and very dedicated.
The Council members and our Web Builder put in a lot of volunteer time for Full Circle. This is added to the time we spend at our jobs and with our families. Over time, we’ve found others who share the vision and, equally important, they are people who share our work ethic. While we would never ask our volunteers to work the insane kinds of hours we put in (we’re twisted, we freely admit it) we do ask them to follow through on the things they commit to do. We have been wonderfully surprised at the results. We always knew in our hearts that responsible Pagans were out there and they’ve proved that to us. We also knew that the other kind were out there, and sure enough, they’ve taken on projects only to “flake” and let us down. Thankfully, that has happened only a few times and we’ve always been able to regroup, so it has never hurt the quality of our events.
Yet, even responsible and dedicated people can get hit by what our Chief of Operations calls “The Cosmic Twinkie Truck”. For this reason, we try to train two people for any one position, just in case. It is not unlike the apprentice programs you’ll find in the various guilds or in the martial arts. By training up those who will replace us, we insure that our people won’t burn out and that our work will go on after we’re gone. Otherwise, we ‘ll have nurtured nothing more than a Cult of Personality and that’s not what we’re about.
But how do you find people with whom you can share both authority and responsibility? We do that by working with our volunteers over a period of time. We get to know their skills and their areas of interest. When they have shown us that they are committed and capable, then we ask if they’d like to do more. If they say “yes”, they are given more responsibility. We try to give them work to do that excites them because people with a passion can move mountains. At the same time, we make sure that the folks who do the dull jobs get first pick when something fun comes around. In this way, we find the Doers: the people who have the time, commitment, skills, and resources to make things happen. For example, acting Chairs from two of last year’s events were asked to join the Council this year. Some of last years’ volunteers were asked to act as Chairs of Committees. Some members have now become very active volunteers on certain committees. Members of other Pagan groups have since signed up to work on special projects with us for next year. We believe that by doing this work in an organized fashion we are building something of value for all Pagans.
We’re blessed here and we know it. Very often, the people we’ve needed have miraculously appeared and they’ve done a stellar job. As for the few people who’ve let us down … well, what can you do? Flaky people are everywhere, not just in the Pagan community. Alas, they are often the most charming and enthusiastic people we encounter. The so-called “Flake Factor” is the reason why most non-profit groups don’t hand important responsibilities over to untried volunteers. You see, we’ve all been disappointed too many times to take anyone on at face value. Don’t let that worry you though, you will find a welcome here. We don’t pre-judge anyone but we do pay close attention. What you say is not as important as what you do and how well you play with others. If you let us down, we’ll release you with blessings, wave goodbye and wish you well. Then we’ll get on with the work we have on hand.
Some people come to us and want to give us their power. To this we say “Thanks, but no thanks”. None of us want to be Gurus. We believe that being Pagan means accepting responsibility for yourself, your actions and for the quality of your life. We believe that it means claiming your own power and not giving it over to someone else. Ideally, it also means that you use your power to better the world you live in. That’s what Pagan Doers do.
Occasionally, we’ll have someone approach us who wants to pad their “Pagan Resume” and they think that our group might be a good way to do that. These people often want to start at the top and they are disappointed to find that we don’t care very much for titles around here. You may be Lord Duck-a-Muck or a 5th Generation Atlantian or even an Elf-friend. That’s fine; this is California after all, but when you’re here among us, you’re just one of the gang.
For this and other reasons, I ask our people to read books on subjects such as:

  • Active Listening,
  • Positive Confrontation
  • Codependency & Dysfunctional Family Systems
  • Group Dynamics
  • Stress & Anger Management &
  • Effective Management Techniques

We then sit with our volunteers and work out ways of dealing with certain situations. “Praise people very publicly, ” we say, “and correct mistakes privately”. “Don’t spread gossip”. “Listen more then you talk”. “Remember” , we say, “to place principals before personalities.” And most importantly, “Fight fair when you disagree and treat each other with respect.”
Not everyone has these tools placed in their toolbox during childhood. Some of us have to add them in as adults. I know many Pagans who can claim to have 50 books on ritual techniques in their library but they don’t own a single book on conflict resolution. I believe that this is one reason why so many Pagan groups don’t last.
We’re an eclectic bunch, we Pagans, so that means we need to listen to as many different voices as possible if we want to serve our community. We have people in positions of responsibility that are Gay, Lesbian, Straight, or Bi-sexual. Some of our folks are in monogamous relationships, some live the single life, and some are in polyamorous households. Some have children and some do not. Overall, we encompass a wide range of Paths and Traditions. Our backgrounds, ages and life experience vary widely. We also do inter-faith work, as I’ve said, and I’m proud to say that we have Jewish folks, Buddhists, New Age Thinkers, Christians, and Secular Humanists working right alongside of us. Some of these people attend our events, some are involved in groups we sponsor, some serve in Operations, and some work on various committees. All are valued for their greatness of heart and for their many skills.
When we do use a title such as “Leader” we have a wyrd way of defining it. A “Leader” at Full Circle is the one you see doing the donkey work. This comes as a shock to some people. We’ve had folks approach us who want to have all the “fun” of leading, that is, they want to pick and choose all the interesting tasks for themselves and they want to have other people do the dull and boring jobs. Other types think that leading means telling other people what to do and doing nothing at all themselves. Here at Full Circle we think differently. We think that being in charge of something means that you do the most work of anyone in your group. It means you’re the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. You do whatever needs doing. If that means you clean the toilets before an event, then so be it. Don’t laugh, I’ ve done that. The closest I’ve ever gotten to holding a Staff of Office is that toilet brush. So it goes.
Often people come to us and say “You should do THIS!” (“And with what army?” I think to myself). What I reply to them, though, is this: “That’s a great idea! Now, how are you going to make that happen?” I even have a form for them to fill out. (1) . It asks for details, schedules, budgets, fund raising ideas, and a list of likely volunteers for said project. Ninety-nine people out of a hundred shake their heads and walk away. But sometimes that one special person approaches us and says “I’d like to see this happen and here’s what I can do to help”. That person usually ends up on a Committee. And then, Goddess help them, because they are now a Pagan Doer. As such, their goal will be, as our motto states, to “Honor the past, celebrate the present and create the future”.
Wishing you strength, laughter and good company,
Sia
(1) Oh, yes I do! How do you think I’ve survived this long?
Bio: Sia recently completed a two year term on the Board of Directors of the Wildlife Rescue Effort. Overall, she has worked with a total of 5 different non-profit groups on a variety of social & educational issues. She has over 15 years of experience working behind the scenes at a variety of conventions and gatherings; mostly in the Neo-Pagan, Science Fiction and Feminist communities. Her academic background is in English Literature, with an emphasis on Women’s Studies and Art History.
She practices in a Green Tradition and is active in several Ritual Circles in Silicon Valley and in Santa Cruz. For the last 6 years she has presented lectures and led workshops on such topics as wildlife preservation, conflict resolution and Neo-Paganism.
Sia is the Owner of Snapdragon Gifts (www.snapdragongifts.com). She lives with her husband and 4 cats in Santa Clara, California. In her spare time, she gardens and works as a volunteer Rehabilitator for various wildlife and cat rescue groups. She is currently writing a book on the use of humor in Ritual.
Photo credit: The amazing image above comes from the Fairy Oracle by Brian Froud mnd is used by permission. Other images by Brian can be viewed at www.worldoffroud.com


   Author’s Note: If you have enjoyed reading this piece, I would ask the you help support the Witches Voice in their efforts to celebrate and support the Pagan community by becoming a Witchvox Sponsor. They rely on our support to keep this non-profit website up and running, so please, do your part to help our community and send them a donation. With thanks, Sia

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Daily OM for December 18th – Conscious Decisions

Conscious Decisions
Going against What Is Popular

by Madisyn Taylor

Because an idea or way of doing things is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

Just because an idea or way of doing things is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. However, part of the way that something becomes popular is that many of us don’t take the time to determine what’s right for us; we simply do what most of the people we know are doing. In this way, our decisions about life are made by default, which means they aren’t what we call conscious decisions. There may be many other options available, but we don’t always take the time to explore them. This may be the result of feeling overwhelmed or pressured by family, peers, and humanity at large, to do things their way, the way things have always been done. Regardless of the cause, it is important that, as often as we can, we decide for ourselves what to do with our lives rather than just drift along on the current of popular opinion.

It is not always easy to make decisions that go against the grain. Many people feel threatened when those close to them make choices divergent from the ones they are making. Parents and grandparents may be confused and defensive when we choose to raise our children differently from the way they raised us. Friends may feel abandoned if we decide to change our habits or behavior. Meanwhile, on our side of the fence, it’s easy to feel frustrated and defensive when we feel unsupported and misunderstood simply because we are thinking for ourselves. It can be exhausting to have to explain and re-explain our points of view and our reasons.

This is where gentleness, openness, and tolerance come into play. It helps if we are calmly persistent, consistent, and clear as we communicate to those around us why we are making the choices we are making. At the same time, we have the right to say that we are tired of talking about it and simply need our choices to be respected. Our lives belong to us and so do our decisions. Those who truly love us will stand by us and support our choices, never mind what’s popular.

The Daily OM

Daily Motivator for December 5th – The moment when you can

The moment when you can

Now is the most important time in your life, because now is the time you can  do something about. Now is your most powerful moment, because now is when you  can exercise the power of your intention.

Don’t waste this powerful moment complaining about the past or worrying about  the future. Invest your time, this time right now, in living with purpose,  passion, creativity, effectiveness and joy.

This is not a time to be timid or vengeful, angry or disappointed. This is  your time to find sweet fulfillment in using your wisdom and your efforts to  make a difference.

It doesn’t really matter what’s been happening lately, or whether you’ve been  falling behind or speeding ahead. Now is a valuable new moment, filled with new  possibilities, ready for you to live with all you have.

Now is jam-packed full of great opportunity. Grab some of that opportunity,  right here, right now, and do something beautiful and meaningful with it.

You are here, this moment is here, the possibilities are here, and you can  immediately start to transform those possibilities into fulfilling reality. This  is the moment when you can, so do.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

The Daily Motivator for Oct. 14th – Your best day yet

Your best day yet

You are here, on this day, with dreams, desires, challenges, opportunities,  and the ability to successfully deal with it all. So give this day a solid,  meaningful, positive purpose and claim the great value it offers.

Make the choice to make some progress in a direction of your choosing.  Instead of merely letting the time pass, put life and love, substance and  experience into that time.

Think of what a great opportunity you have with each day that comes your way.  You have the opportunity to make a difference, to truly change the world, and to  live your precious life in new and joyful ways.

Look back and recall the best day you’ve ever experienced, and make the  choice to make this one even better. The quality of each day depends on what you  put into it, so start right now to put your best into this day that you  have.

Instead of merely wishing for what could be or complaining about what has  been, you can do something much more powerful. You can act, right here and now,  to significantly raise the quality of your life experience.

Today is happening, so take an active and positively supportive role. Feel  your authentic purpose, live this day with that purpose, and make it the best  day yet.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for October 14th – Staying Conscious

Staying Conscious

Staying Grounded in a Big City or Busy World

by Madisyn Taylor

For a more grounded life, choose not to get caught up in the fast-paced world around you.

1. Live simply and live deliberately. By choosing not to get caught up in the details of this fast-paced world, you are doing your part to slow down the . You will also discover that you have more time to enjoy being alive.

2. Stay in touch with yourself. Soul searching, meditation, and journaling are just a few of the many activities you can take part in to stay aware and learn as much as you can about your emotions, reactions, likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears. Having a solid sense of self gives you a firm foundation for living in this world.

3. Support or teach others as often as you can. This can help you form connections with people while also giving you an opportunity to make the world a better place.

4. Consciously choose what you will allow into your being. The media bombards us with visions of hate, war, and pain. Be judicious about what you read, watch, and listen to.

5. Acknowledge the beauty that resides around you. Whether you live in a sprawling metropolis or a stereotypical suburb, there are natural and man-made wonders just waiting to be discovered by you.

6. Nurture your ties to your tribe. If you don’t have one, create a community that you can belong to. Modern life can be isolating. When you have a tribe, you have a circle that you are a part of. Its members loved ones, friends, or neighbors – can be a source of support, caring, guidance, and companionship.

7. See the larger picture. Remember that the way that you choose to live is not the only way to live. Widen your perspective by exploring other modes of being through research, travel, and discussion.

8. Embrace the challenges that life presents to you, and challenge yourself often. After a time, even the most exciting jobs or lifestyles can seem routine. Never stop assimilating new knowledge about whatever you are doing, and your life will never seem dull.

9. Move your body. In this busy world, it can be easy to live a sedentary life. Movement reacquaints us with our bodies and connects us to the earth in a visceral way. It also restores our vitality.

10. Make time for stillness, silence, and solitude. The world can be noisy, and we are subject to all kinds of noises nearly every waking hour. We are also often “on the go and unable to relax. Being alone in a peaceful place and making time for quiet can help you stay in touch with yourself.

Current Moon Phase for October 2nd – Waning Crescent

Crescent Moon

(waning/15 illumination)

This is a time to rest, reevaluate and reflect, pulling back into yourself to reconnect with inner sources of strength. Now is not a time to initiate anything new. It’s a phase suited to spending time with friends and getting in touch with the “big picture.” A window of opportunity exists for seeing your life objectively and becoming aware of what is important to you. At this point, what are your dreams and aspirations? What larger goals can you aspire to that will bring vitality and excitement into your life? This is a time for resting and gaining inner strength to prepare for a new cycle.