Your Daily Horoscopes for Thursday, June 18th

 

 

 

 

Your Horoscopes for Thursday, June 18th

 

Aries 

Aries Horoscope
Aries

This is another good day for feeling a strong sense that you’re moving forward, for enthusiasm, and for energy, Aries. Ideas are easy to come by, and for some of you, a useful connection may be made now that helps you put ideas into action. Even with your mind engaged today, a strong part of you needs to settle in, put your feet up, relax, and enjoy the familiarity of people you love or home surroundings.

Taurus

Taurus

This is another day for keeping busy, but not necessarily concentrating, dear Taurus. This morning, try not to take on too much or speak too soon, as your nerves could be a touch frazzled now and this compromises judgment. After this, you remain energetic, but it’s not nervous energy. Today is strong for making financial connections, finding good advice, and emotional support from a partner or friend.

Gemini

Gemini

You have a strong sense that you need to take care of details and do preparation work today, dear Gemini, and this can be quite satisfying at the end of the day, as you’re emotionally geared towards feeling more secure in the practical world just for now. Even so, the day holds much promise when it comes to making connections with others, particularly creative ones. For some, there can be inspiration from a romantic interest. You are communicating in a far more positive, certain manner, and others are taking note of what you say.

Cancer

Cancer

You can be especially sensitive to what you believe others are thinking about you this morning, dear Cancer, after which you tend to come into your own. You could be feeling inspired and encouraged by your own thoughts of future plans related to travel, educational, or spiritual affairs. These things soothe and center you, and you’re able to tune out the negative distractions. You can have wonderful ideas about how to make your living conditions or relationships with family more enjoyable and supportive.

Leo

Leo

You may be a little more sensitive to the demands of life today, dear Leo, with the Moon in a part of your solar chart that encourages some level of solitude that allows for emotional renewal and healing. This is a time for taking a timeout of sorts in order to pull yourself together so that when you do emerge, you’re in a state of better understanding of your needs. You’ve been giving a lot of yourself to others these days, and it’s important now to reclaim your emotional center. Even so, today holds promise of potentially very useful information through friends, so keep yourself connected, but on your own terms.

Virgo

Virgo Symbol/Glyph
Virgo

You may be taking in a lot of diverse information today, dear Virgo, and the pace can be a little hectic as a result. However, as the day progresses, things seem to be falling into place, and in fact, you can come to some important conclusions and possibly make helpful connections along the way. You’re able to sort through what ideas or projects are worth your time and energy, and which of them may need to wait or fall behind. Today, you have a greater need to feel that your future is relatively secure, and that what you’re working towards will make you happy in the long run.

Libra

Libra Glyph-Symbol
Libra

Your heart is in your work, responsibilities, and performance again today, dear Libra, and if you’re feeling on top of these things, there is likely to be a nice feeling of satisfaction now. If not, then go out of your way to be productive, but avoid setting expectations of yourself too high. Chances are, you’re doing a lot more than you recognize. You’re more inclined to look for appreciation for what you do, so it makes sense to be creative or mix things up a little in order to earn some positive feedback. Today is strong for communicating in warm, positive ways. Show off your ability to take charge and handle things maturely.

Scorpio

Scorpio Symbol Glyph
Scorpio

You are in need of some level of escape from the ordinary, the routine, and the mundane today, dear Scorpio, as these things could make you feel a little claustrophobic or limited. While there is some tendency to speak a little too soon or too frankly this morning, the day progresses in such a way that things naturally smooth over. There is a need to reach, stretch, and go beyond the usual today, as your tastes for experiences, people, and things runs somewhat towards the exotic now. While your disposition is rather outgoing today, you’re nevertheless especially observant, and can make a nice connection with someone through your understanding manner.

Sagittarius 

Sagittarius Glyph Symbol
Sagittarius

While this is a generally sociable period in your life, dear Sagittarius, today you’re a little more introspective, and likely especially interested in getting to a place of better understanding, about yourself, close relationships, and your current path. It’s a good day for doing so, particularly as this understanding relates to your past. There is a little more patience at your disposal today, after the rebelliousness or mental tension of the early morning has passed, as you have a sense that you’ll get your turn soon. While you’re inclined to live inside yourself today, you’re nevertheless quite capable of being around others, and learning something important by observation.

Capricorn

Capricorn Symbol/Glyph
Capricorn

With the Moon in your opposite sign all day, dear Capricorn, you’re inclined to seek out balance in your life. This likely involves giving special attention the needs or agendas of important people in your life. While your charm is definitely a big asset today, it’s important to not go overboard with pleasing others, even if you are in greater need of peace and harmony now. It might “work” in the moment, but could lead to resentment later on. Today can bring you the right information at the right time, particularly related to work or health matters.

Aquarius

Aquarius

You may be a little detached emotionally today, dear Aquarius, not necessarily because you aren’t feeling attached, but more because you are keeping your emotional distance because you are driven to take care of business. Perhaps as well you are more inclined to analyze your feelings than just let go and feel them. Even so, prioritizing practical matters is a rather useful thing from time to time, and it may very well be that you need to handle important details in order to feel that you’re making progress. Today does stimulate good, creative ideas, so take note of some of the information coming your way.

Pisces

Pisces

Today is likely to feel steadier than it has been, dear Pisces. There is a good sense that you’re making progress. This week is good for getting new plans related to home and family into motion. Aim to keep your focus as you go forward, considering ways to improve your feeling of security and emotional comfort. Connections (or improved connections) to people who are reassuring and who make you feel comfortable may be made now.

 

 

 

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Get A Jump On Tomorrow, Your Horoscopes for Thurs., June 18th

 

 

 

 

Get a Jump On Tomorrow…..

Your Daily Horoscopes for Thursday, June 18th

 

 

Aries 

Aries Horoscope
Aries

This is another good day for feeling a strong sense that you’re moving forward, for enthusiasm, and for energy, Aries. Ideas are easy to come by, and for some of you, a useful connection may be made now that helps you put ideas into action. Even with your mind engaged today, a strong part of you needs to settle in, put your feet up, relax, and enjoy the familiarity of people you love or home surroundings.

Taurus

Taurus

This is another day for keeping busy, but not necessarily concentrating, dear Taurus. This morning, try not to take on too much or speak too soon, as your nerves could be a touch frazzled now and this compromises judgment. After this, you remain energetic, but it’s not nervous energy. Today is strong for making financial connections, finding good advice, and emotional support from a partner or friend.

Gemini

Gemini

You have a strong sense that you need to take care of details and do preparation work today, dear Gemini, and this can be quite satisfying at the end of the day, as you’re emotionally geared towards feeling more secure in the practical world just for now. Even so, the day holds much promise when it comes to making connections with others, particularly creative ones. For some, there can be inspiration from a romantic interest. You are communicating in a far more positive, certain manner, and others are taking note of what you say.

Cancer

Cancer

You can be especially sensitive to what you believe others are thinking about you this morning, dear Cancer, after which you tend to come into your own. You could be feeling inspired and encouraged by your own thoughts of future plans related to travel, educational, or spiritual affairs. These things soothe and center you, and you’re able to tune out the negative distractions. You can have wonderful ideas about how to make your living conditions or relationships with family more enjoyable and supportive.

Leo

Leo

You may be a little more sensitive to the demands of life today, dear Leo, with the Moon in a part of your solar chart that encourages some level of solitude that allows for emotional renewal and healing. This is a time for taking a timeout of sorts in order to pull yourself together so that when you do emerge, you’re in a state of better understanding of your needs. You’ve been giving a lot of yourself to others these days, and it’s important now to reclaim your emotional center. Even so, today holds promise of potentially very useful information through friends, so keep yourself connected, but on your own terms.

Virgo

Virgo Symbol/Glyph
Virgo

You may be taking in a lot of diverse information today, dear Virgo, and the pace can be a little hectic as a result. However, as the day progresses, things seem to be falling into place, and in fact, you can come to some important conclusions and possibly make helpful connections along the way. You’re able to sort through what ideas or projects are worth your time and energy, and which of them may need to wait or fall behind. Today, you have a greater need to feel that your future is relatively secure, and that what you’re working towards will make you happy in the long run.

Libra

Libra Glyph-Symbol
Libra

Your heart is in your work, responsibilities, and performance again today, dear Libra, and if you’re feeling on top of these things, there is likely to be a nice feeling of satisfaction now. If not, then go out of your way to be productive, but avoid setting expectations of yourself too high. Chances are, you’re doing a lot more than you recognize. You’re more inclined to look for appreciation for what you do, so it makes sense to be creative or mix things up a little in order to earn some positive feedback. Today is strong for communicating in warm, positive ways. Show off your ability to take charge and handle things maturely.

Scorpio

Scorpio Symbol Glyph
Scorpio

You are in need of some level of escape from the ordinary, the routine, and the mundane today, dear Scorpio, as these things could make you feel a little claustrophobic or limited. While there is some tendency to speak a little too soon or too frankly this morning, the day progresses in such a way that things naturally smooth over. There is a need to reach, stretch, and go beyond the usual today, as your tastes for experiences, people, and things runs somewhat towards the exotic now. While your disposition is rather outgoing today, you’re nevertheless especially observant, and can make a nice connection with someone through your understanding manner.

Sagittarius 

Sagittarius Glyph Symbol
Sagittarius

While this is a generally sociable period in your life, dear Sagittarius, today you’re a little more introspective, and likely especially interested in getting to a place of better understanding, about yourself, close relationships, and your current path. It’s a good day for doing so, particularly as this understanding relates to your past. There is a little more patience at your disposal today, after the rebelliousness or mental tension of the early morning has passed, as you have a sense that you’ll get your turn soon. While you’re inclined to live inside yourself today, you’re nevertheless quite capable of being around others, and learning something important by observation.

Capricorn

Capricorn Symbol/Glyph
Capricorn

With the Moon in your opposite sign all day, dear Capricorn, you’re inclined to seek out balance in your life. This likely involves giving special attention the needs or agendas of important people in your life. While your charm is definitely a big asset today, it’s important to not go overboard with pleasing others, even if you are in greater need of peace and harmony now. It might “work” in the moment, but could lead to resentment later on. Today can bring you the right information at the right time, particularly related to work or health matters.

Aquarius

Aquarius

You may be a little detached emotionally today, dear Aquarius, not necessarily because you aren’t feeling attached, but more because you are keeping your emotional distance because you are driven to take care of business. Perhaps as well you are more inclined to analyze your feelings than just let go and feel them. Even so, prioritizing practical matters is a rather useful thing from time to time, and it may very well be that you need to handle important details in order to feel that you’re making progress. Today does stimulate good, creative ideas, so take note of some of the information coming your way.

Pisces

Pisces

Today is likely to feel steadier than it has been, dear Pisces. There is a good sense that you’re making progress. This week is good for getting new plans related to home and family into motion. Aim to keep your focus as you go forward, considering ways to improve your feeling of security and emotional comfort. Connections (or improved connections) to people who are reassuring and who make you feel comfortable may be made now.

 

 

Your Daily Horoscopes for Friday, April 24th

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Your Daily Horoscopes for Friday, April 24th

 

Aries 

There is a desire to go with the flow and accept things as they are today, Aries, and this comes as a nice break from much of the pressure to get things going that you’ve had lately. Do something creative, physical, or otherwise tension-relieving. Give out the kind of approval and affection you’d like to receive, and it will more likely be returned. If you’ve had difficulty with, or have been holding grudges against, someone in your life recently, good energy is with you today for letting go and moving on. Don’t allow others to rent space in your mind if it’s unhealthy for you. Promoting peace and harmony is important now, and is mutually beneficial. This might also be a strong day for intuiting new ideas about how to handle your finances, although it’s also a time when you are especially attracted to beautiful and/or expensive objects.

Taurus

The Moon in your sign all day brings some pleasing liveliness to your world, Taurus, and it helps that the Moon is making mostly easy aspects today. As well, Venus is your ruler and currently in your sign, which on its own boosts your personal appeal and ability to attract what you want, and it also moving towards a nice aspect with gentle, dreamy Neptune. This serves to pull out your natural healing, gentle nature for all to see and enjoy. If you choose today to work through a problem with someone, it’s quite likely to be successful. Complicated emotional, social, and possibly even financial situations may reach a level of resolve, or improve in some way.

Gemini

 

You could find it quite easy and natural to smooth over tensions today, Gemini. This is a good day for compassionate understanding of matters that have previously frustrated you, as it’s time to let go of anger so that you can move forward and live with yourself more happily. Career matters can be serendipitous, and drawing on past ideas can be successful if you decide to now put them into motion. Love’s complications may be of the pleasant variety right now. This may be a nice day for creativity, but perhaps more so for envisioning something than producing in physical form. The Moon’s position today brings a need for some down time.

Cancer

 

Today, you’re more likely to feel more content and emotionally grounded, Cancer. Forgiveness and grace are reigning over insecurities. Very good energy is with you today for social situations, understanding, and increased faith in your life, as well as your future. You’re reaching out to others more. A pleasing aspect between the goddess of love, Venus, and dreamy Neptune highlights your friendship and adventure sectors, and you may want to take a chance on love and friendship with a kind gesture or expression. Imagination is heightened, and inspiration can be found through friends and through new experiences. Love cues are subtle but there, so keep your eyes open if this is what you are looking for. Challenging relationships could improve and happy ones may get better.

Leo

 

Forgiving and forgetting come more naturally today, Leo. There is calmer energy to the day. Venus and Neptune combine in a pleasant way and affect not only your relationships, which Venus aspects tend to do, but also your business sense and professional appeal. There is an intuitive understanding of others’ feelings and moods, and this affects your dealings with them. There can be a visionary quality to your career or business efforts now. You can engage an audience, group, or important person. You may even mesmerize people on some level now. Keep in mind that the day’s energies favor small advances and subtle moves, rather than bold ones.

Virgo

Love matters can thrive today, Virgo, as you open your heart. Energies of the day favor slowing down and appreciating what you have, while daydreaming about other possibilities as well. It’s a good time for connecting with people who benefit you romantically and/or spiritually. There can be an almost psychic rapport with others now. It’s also a strong time for intuiting how to manage your finances. Someone special may be looking on you quite favorably. The key now is to attract through gentleness and warmth, and you may naturally maintain some emotional distance or an air of mystery. Compassion and understanding are highlighted in your interactions.

Libra

Recent problems tend to smooth out nicely today, dear Libra, as you are more willing to let mysteries unravel at their own pace rather than push to find an answer. You’re also seen in a favorable light today, although not necessarily understood, and this can suit your purposes quite nicely right now. While you may not get things done in a measurable way, this can be a useful day for unwinding and enjoying yourself. The gentler side of your nature is enhanced today, and people around you might even feel that you have healing energy. Others tend to want to be around you. Your day is colored by your imagination or your inner landscape and dreams. There can be good intuition for work, health, and research or analysis.

Scorpio

This is a strong day for consciously choosing to let go of negative thoughts and ideas, Scorpio. Love opportunities can emerge, and it can be a creative, romantic time. You are more intuitive about people and especially sensitive to their feelings. New relationships formed around now tend to have a very pleasing, almost mystical quality, while current relationships can improve as you notice things to appreciate about your lover that you may have previously overlooked. This is a good time for creating, writing, and making art or music, or for appreciating and enjoying imaginative art, theater, writing, and music. Not only is loving Venus in harmonious aspect to dreamy, romantic Neptune, both bodies are stimulating your relationship sectors. It’s a subtle energy, but decidedly positive and hopeful. A warm, gentle approach to others is favored, and in some way, rewarded.

Sagittarius 

Charm levels increase today, Sagittarius, especially if you let things flow naturally rather than push to make things right. Let go of problems and errors right now. There is easy, gentle, and subtle energy with you now, so that charm can be drawn upon to pursue your goals. Connections with others tend to be enhanced, and you may be experiencing some form of psychic rapport or communication. Your social life can be warm and comforting today, and it’s a good time for promoting peace, and possibly beauty, in the work place. It’s also strong for pampering or spa-like treatments. You might take special pleasure in offering your help or services today.

Capricorn

If you play your cards right today, there can be a nice release from stress now, Capricorn. It’s a strong day for communications, especially of the non-verbal kind, so be sure to connect personally, not only through devices. It’s also a good time for romantic expression. Your ability to soothe and heal through your communications can be emphasized. Your perceptions are heightened, and this allows you to understand others on a whole new level. It’s also a good time for coming up with new ideas in your career or business. Your romantic imagination is stimulated now, which can be expressed or applied through relationships or artistic creativity.

Aquarius

This is a strong day for letting go of suspicion and negative thinking – something we all can benefit from. Sympathy for the underdog or stronger compassion for people in your life can be moving today, Aquarius. You may play a supportive role to others, or you could be asked, or you could volunteer, to help a friend in need. Some of you could be making a personal sacrifice of sorts for a loved one, and quite willingly so. Going the extra mile for someone can make you feel stronger. Circumstances are such that spiritual support is much more appreciated, and needed, than physical or practical aid. Today is strong for helping out family members, offering an ear, and for mending broken fences with others. Life is slowing down today, in a good way, and this affords you the opportunity to take in and appreciate your life and the people in it.

Pisces

Healthier and more productive conversations can be experienced today, Pisces, if you need to discuss anything too seriously at all. Sometimes just being around people and letting them do their thing is enough to communicate the best message. Personal magnetism is strengthening. This is a fine day for feeling good about yourself and your relationships. People are tuning in to, noticing, and appreciating the personality traits that you express effortlessly and naturally. Allow your sentimental and gentle nature to emerge – own it, appreciate it, and express it unapologetically. You may feel inspired to help someone in need, and you are more inclined to communicate openly. Your words, and even your nonverbal communications, can be soothing, healing, and very attractive.

Converting to Paganism

Converting to Paganism

Author: RuneWolf

To say that I converted to Paganism would be somewhat inaccurate. I think one must first belong to one religion before one can convert to another. As I claimed no religious affiliations when I came to Paganism, I don’t really think of myself as converting, so much as finding what was missing all along.

I’ve told a bit of my tale before on WitchVox, mainly to set the stage for some other topic. I’m not at all shy about the details of my arrival in Paganism – I came to it as a direct result of getting sober in ’93 and joining AA. I suppose it’s a bit indiscreet to mention the program in these essays, but since I’m using my “Pagan name, ” I think it still qualifies as “anonymous.” And I think one of the reasons the Gods helped me get sober was to help other Pagans in recovery, and that would be difficult if I kept the fact of my sobriety to myself.

But I digress…

The irony of the whole situation, I suppose, is that I found my way to the Goddess and the God through AA, which is founded on Christian principles, although it is – ideally – supposed to be a non-religious fellowship. The sad fact is that there are plenty of folks in AA who don’t mind you having a “God of your understanding” as long as that understanding is the same as theirs. They seem to echo the Religious Right that claims the founding fathers didn’t mean freedom of any religion, just freedom of Christian religion. Similarly, there are some who believe that the founders of AA really meant a Christian God of your understanding, not just any old Deity and certainly not – shudder – a Pagan Deity! You can even be an atheist, as long as you are a “Christian atheist, ” i.e. you choose not to believe in the Christian God.

Now how’s that for dysfunctional?

Thankfully, as vocal and obnoxious as this contingent of the fellowship can be, it does not hold sway, and many suffering alcoholics of non-Christian belief can find the help we need. Despite the attempts of some to co-opt AA for their own agendas, the fellowship remains open to all who seek it out, and anyone can get clean and sober regardless of their religious beliefs or spiritual preferences.

I was raised Methodist, in the suburbs of DC. I wouldn’t say that my parents are particularly liberal, but they are Earthy and pragmatic individuals, and as dear as the Church is to them, they don’t feel particularly constrained by it. They live their beliefs, through their relationship with life and nature, through right action and love, and don’t presume to limit the God of their understanding to a particular building on a particular day of the week. So it wasn’t really out of character when they decided to try their hand at farming in the early ’70s and bought some land on which to raise cattle. Needless to say, this took up most of their spare time and, little by little, going to Church on Sunday became less important than being at the farm. Eventually, around the time I was 13 or so, we stopped going altogether as a family. My parents didn’t insist that we children do something they weren’t, and they let us decide individually whether we would continue with the Church.

While my sister continued on, my decision was already made. For some time I had been restless and discontented with the Church. Not so much because I disagreed with the tenets of Christianity, but because I felt the Church was getting away from what we would now call “Mystical Christianity.” Our church, at least, was very much into socio-political issues such as the anti-war movement, women’s liberation, civil rights, feeding the hungry and homeless and such like. At the time, I didn’t have the life experience to realize that true spirituality can be found in just such things. Rather, I was looking for the “burning bush;” what later decades would come to call “peak experiences.” I felt I could get all of the “social studies” I needed from school or the morning paper. What I wanted from Church was to feel the breath of God blow through my soul, and I just wasn’t getting it.

So I went out to find it on my own.

My quest, as it were, started out pretty well. I began to read extensively on other religions and spiritual paths throughout history and the contemporary world, assimilating what I liked and leaving the rest. In my mid-teens, I was introduced to the martial arts – karate, initially – but within a few years had discovered aikido, and the whole concept of ki, ch’i and the Tao. Taoist thought and philosophy had a profound effect on shaping my personal spiritual philosophy, as it meshed so well with what I intuitively believed about the nature of Deity and Its relationship with us. As silly as it may sound, my self-conceived “Western Taoism” resembled nothing so much as Lucas’ concept of the Force – and this was years before Star Wars came out.

I saw Deity as the whole of existence, including all the myriad alternate universes that must exist. I saw Deity as both transcendent and immanent, existing both apart from and as a part of all Life. I saw no paradox in this, at least none that could not be resolved by a truly infinite Deity. And why then should that Deity be limited to any single gender, nationality or form? To even consider such a thing was ludicrous. An omnipotent God must, by definition, be able to assume any form, any gender, in any place or places, any time or times, simultaneously or uniquely.

Long before I new that modern Paganism or the Craft existed, I had decided that God could be Goddess and visa versa, if She/He/They wanted to.

With this general spiritual bent and direction, I probably would have found the Craft years earlier than I did, had my voyage not run aground on the shoals of alcoholism in my early 20s. But run aground it did, and I stayed a prisoner of the disease for the next 15 years.

One of the significant effects of active alcoholism is that it leads inevitably to what we call “spiritual bankruptcy, ” a loss of all connection with any concept of a Higher Power. Which isn’t surprising, since prayer and meditation don’t work very well if you are getting up every 5 minutes for a cold beer. Nor does a spiritual life mesh well with the desperation, frustration, humiliation and degradation that the alcoholic experiences with increasing frequency and force. Not only the physical addiction to the substance, but the mental obsession with it, crowd out all other considerations, and the first to go is often our faith and belief in a Power Greater Than Ourselves. For many of us, it happens as a result of the shame we feel at what we believe we have become. How could any Deity, no matter how loving, love us?

The beautiful truth is that the Gods do love us and care for us, even when we do not love or care for ourselves. For those of us who become desperate enough, They ultimately lead us to the solution.

In May of ’93, I had finally had enough, and I reached out for help. I went into treatment, where I received the bad news that, if I wanted long-term sobriety, I would have to join AA. Like so many, I thought AA was something of a cult, but I was desperate enough to try anything.

Happily, I discovered that AA was anything but a cult, and that the only thing required of me was a desire to stop drinking. I fell in with a group where not drinking one day at a time was the single most important thing in the world. No one really cared about your race, creed, color, politics, job, sexual preference or anything else. The quest for sobriety eclipsed all other considerations. It was from that group that I learned the true heart and purpose of AA. “Our primary purpose is to stay sober, and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.” That’s it – period. It doesn’t say anything about advancing our political, religious or economic agendas, although I have seen people try over the years. But AA remains resistant to such tampering, and for that I am grateful to the Gods.

AA’s concept of a personal relationship with a “God of our understanding” validated rather that repudiated what I had come to believe about spirituality in the early days of my quest. I found that quest renewed and nurtured in AA, and it was from the foundation of physical sobriety and spiritual awakening that I found in AA that I struck out again to find a personal spirituality that would “fill the hole in my soul.”

After less than a year sober, a friend brought to my attention a workshop on shamanism being given by a Lakota “medicine man.” Back then, I earnestly believed that everyone on Turtle Island was one big happy family, and that there was nothing intrinsically wrong with a white learning the Red Way. I’ve since come to understand that some among the Native Peoples find this distressing and exploitative, and that some Native “teachers” peddle spurious goods against the wishes of their Nations’ Elders. But I knew nothing of such things then, and I was intrigued by the advertisement for the workshop.

Whether Ghost Wolf was the real thing or not, whether he was earnestly trying to teach for the good of all mankind or was a fakir making a buck off of credulous white folk, I do not really know. Nor does it matter, in the final analysis. Because whether Ghost Wolf was a true and sincere teacher or not, he set me off in a new direction that ultimately led, not to the Red Way, but to the Way of the Witch.

I assimilated everything I could get my hands on regarding shamanism, eventually finding Michael Harner’s excellent book on the subject. In addition, I joined the online community discussing shamanism and journeying, and it wasn’t a far leap from there to the online Wiccan community. Again, my interest was sparked, and I took the “road less traveled” at the next fork. For some time, a desire had been growing in me to externalize some of the internal work I had been pursuing with such fervor, and the richness of Wiccan ritual seemed the perfect vehicle for that expression. Shamelessly, I admit that I began my career in the Craft as a “dabbler, ” trying out various rituals and techniques gleaned from books and the online community. But it wasn’t long before I was hooked.

What I found in the Craft was something that no other path had offered me – a spirituality AND a religion that expressed what I had come to deeply believe. AA often makes the distinction between spirituality and religion, and I think it is an important distinction to understand. The beauty of the Craft is that it fulfills both needs in me – the internal need for a mystical spirituality, a relationship between myself and the Divine, and the external need for ritual, liturgy and form. Not to mention community.

I am an initiated Wiccan, who now practices as a Solitaire out of equal parts circumstance and temperament. The Way of the Witch feeds my heart and soul, and I wouldn’t trade what I have found along this Way for all the green cheese in the Moon. My only regret is that I did not find this Path sooner. But then, O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of aikido, did not create that art until he was in his 40s. I have many years yet in which to serve the Lady and the Lord.

I left Christianity, not in anger but out of a need to find something more. I lost many years to the prison of addiction. In the end, through circumstances beyond my imagining or control, I found my way to the arms of the Goddess. Like so many of us, after years of wandering, I came home at last.

In Their Service,

RuneWolf

Witchcraft and Empowering your Herbal Work

Witchcraft and Empowering your Herbal Work

Let the Magick come to life….’

You do not have to be practicing Witch to make use of the recipes and skills which are covered here, but it will help if you have an understanding of the principles of the Craft. For some this mean putting aside the misconceptions created by the media especially the popular press) and the adverse comments made by those who have no understanding and no desire to understand our heritage. Witchcraft is one of a number of belief systems whose roots pre-date Christianity and which come under the umbrella heading of Pagan. Indeed, Witchcraft has roots which go back to Pala eolithic times, as illustrated by the cave paintings of our ancient ancestors. Having said that, the Craft is a living religion and has as much relevance to us today as it had to its practitioners in the past. We still seek healing of our bodies and minds, strength to deal with our daily lives, understanding and compassion to help us relate to those around us and to develop our own selves.

So what do Witches believe in and how do they express these beliefs? First, you have to understand that, unlike the more orthodox religions, the Craft has no paid or formal priesthood we are each our own Priest or Priestess and therefore make our own decisions as to the expression of our beliefs. As a result there is no one true way to being a Witch. This gives rise to a great diversity in our daily practices and indeed enables the Craft to grow and adapt to the real world in a way that other paths find difficult because of their interpreted doctrine. Having said that, there are many beliefs and practices that most Witches have in common.

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for April 17th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

The greatest tragedy of life is not that we quarrel with our fellows, but that we do not take time to know them.

In his great understanding of man and nature, Thoreau wrote, “Let a man take time enough for the most trivial deed.” Take time.

How often what seems to be an unfriendly atmosphere is only a lack of time. Some of our dearest friends are hidden behind the mask of hurry. And we need so desperately to know each other.

Understanding comes when people are allowed to talk to one another. They discover the ways and needs, the loves and hopes, and the despairs and fears when they take enough time to speak of them. All these things that make for understanding and compassion come from personal contact and the knowledge and practice of good will.

People become more civilized, more peaceful, more as God intended them to be when they take time to make friends out of acquaintances.

To be a good listener endears many a friendship. Everyone needs someone with whom to talk at length on all subjects without later regret. It has been written, “What a great blessing is a friend with breast so trusty that you may bury all your secrets in it.”

And how often we need to be that friend and be the listener, and to make sure we are worthy of that trust.

Listening comes in many ways. We listen with all our sense, knowing many times without having to be told what someone’s needs are. Charles Dickens said that no one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else. And it just may be by listening that we lighten another’s load.

Sometimes we listen with our hearts and understand in silence. Sometimes we simply have to put ourselves into a situation to understand all sides of it. And we best do so by listening.

All our lives we carry secrets with us that we long to reveal to someone who understands.

There are relationships in our lives better and closer than the ordinary. Closer yet than brothers or sisters are those with whom we can share all our secrets, we think.

What a sad state of affairs when life imparts that others cannot always be trusted. What a shock to realize we have given all our hearts and bared our souls to people whose curiosity was the only motive that compelled them to listen.

Phillip Massinger, sixteenth century poet wrote, “I have played the fool, the gross fool to believe the bosom of a friend would hold a secret mine own could not contain.”

Not one of us can testify that we have nothing within our lives and thoughts that we cannot reveal. And many of us have not expressed our innermost thoughts because we have found no one in whom we can confide.

As Shakespeare said, “Many a man’s tongue shakes out its master’s undoing.” Sometimes the loquacious tell their secrets not out of a need to tell them, but out of a love of talking.

One of the greatest feelings in the world is to discover we haven’t told something we cherish very much to someone we once thought we could trust.

_________________________________________

Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site:
http://www.whitebison.org

Let’s Talk Witch – Respect for Water

Let’s Talk Witch  – Respect for Water

Water, like all the elements, can bless, or kill. A real understanding of the immense force of all the elements is essential to understanding our true place in the world. The very noise of the ocean, so soothing when you meditate from the right distance, can buffet your sensibilities, too. Similarly, waves of emotion can cleanse us or, bursting out inappropriately, can be profoundly damaging. Water can glamour us; stay aware, to learn life lessons about balance, allowing grace and beauty to enter. We are small, but we have a right to our place in the world; we can also be mighty in our effect, so we should deal compassionately with each other. And, like the tides, our fortunes will wax and wane. This is being human, being alive. Be joyful!

Water takes the line of least resistance, yet remains completely itself. Waves may fret around large obstructions, but the river’s impetus carries it inexorably onward. Water constantly moves in a cycle, evaporating, becoming clouds and dispersing as rain, hail, or sleet to rejoin the earth or sea. Amphibians and many insects live dual lives between water and the land. These are seed-thoughts for visualizations, which will keep us on course in the changing, moving flow of life.

Excerpt from:
The Joy and Magic Of Water
By Penny Billington
Llewellyn’s 2014 Magical Almanac: Practical Magic for Everyday Living

Before You Call Yourself A Witch

Before You Call Yourself A Witch

Author:   Alorer   

“When can I call myself a Witch? What are the basics everyone is telling me to learn first?” In this essay I will try to provide you with some answers to these questions. Please note that this is by no means the “end-all, be-all” of such views; it’s simply my own answer to a seeker’s aforementioned questions. Take it with a grain of salt people; this is the Internet after all!

So, you found a path that seems to fit you and satiate your spiritual hunger. You have probably read a couple of books, skimmed through a couple of sites, talked with a couple of people and feel a genuine, honest and strong pull towards religious Witchcraft. Thus you proceed to call yourself a Witch. Right?

No!

Before you pause in disbelief and stare the screen calling me all sorts have… names (mehehehe) for my apparent “bigotry” stop and think. What does calling yourself a Witch entails? Is it just a name for this spirituality that anyone delving into can take up? Or does it mean something more, something deeper?

Well, I’d say the second. Why you ask? Because any name or title of any empirical, practical and knowledge-filled system has specific connotations and denotes an understanding and a form of capability in the name’s/title’s fields. For our own example, what does one profess, even unknowingly, when taking up the name of a Witch? Well, you’ll find that views differ on this (just as they do on any other subject) , so I’ll present my own view here.

I believe that by calling one’s self a Witch, that person professes a level of mastery, understanding and experience in a variety of fields. Specifically, it denotes a range of various experiences, a degree of mastery over various arts of Witchcraft, a developed and well-grounded spirituality and an effective relationship with deity. I doubt any newbie that starts studying or is at the first few months of their studies have attained or reached any of those things.

I’ll provide a list of requirements that one should meet before they can take the name Witch for their path.

1. Sabbats: One should have acquired an understanding and comprehension of what the Wheel of the Year and its Sabbats deal with as well as have observed it wholly (without having missed any of the sacred days) at least once (meaning, throughout at least a year) .

2. Seats: One should have acquired an understanding and comprehension of what an Esbat deals with as well as have observed any number of Esbats between 4-7 or more within a year.

3. Arts and Crafts: One should have acquired an understanding and comprehension of a number of arts of Witchcraft of their choice and preference as well as have attained a level of mastery in those.

4. Deities: One should have acquired an understanding and comprehension of the deities of their choice and preference or calling as well as have built a working relationship with them.

5. Organization and Structure: One should have formed and follow a standard, stabilized and concrete path, with regular observances, rites and practices.

Of course, those apply on a specific form of religious Witchcraft, one that is influenced heavily by outer court Wiccan material (known as Neo-Wicca or Dedicatory Religious Witchcraft) or has Celtic influences. If you find yourself drawn to another form of religious Witchcraft, simply replace the sacred days, the requirements etc with the appropriate ones. In addition, this is geared mostly towards solitaries and not people under training with a traditional coven. If you happen to fall under the latter, please consult with your uplines/High Priest/ess regarding the requirements that specific Tradition has set.

Why do I say all this? What does it matter whether you meet certain requirements or not? I say all this and it matters because to call yourself something you have not yet attained, have not yet fully understood and have not yet fully realized will cause issues.

First of all, it will deceive and trouble those that seek you out for help be it practical or spiritual. Second of all, it will confuse you since you’ll find yourself unable to neither meet the expectations of the community nor help those in need. You’ll say, “But I don’t intend doing so!” I know you probably don’t wish to deceive others or find yourself in a tough position.

I’ll give you an example: let’s say you have a medical issue and want to find what it is and how to treat it. What will you do? You’ll probably seek out a doctor. Now, think for a moment how you will feel if the person you found calls him/herself a doctor but in all actuality is still only a sophomore of medical school. Won’t it cause you problems? It’s something similar with calling one’s self a Witch.

After reading all this you’ll most probably feel confused, lost and wondering, “What the heck do I call myself then?” Call yourself a Seeker. Call yourself a Student. Or find another term that fits your case better. However, I ask that you do not mislead others and burden yourself by calling your path something it isn’t yet or something it might never be.

NOTE: Due to the fact people might overlook this part of the essay: this refers only to Wiccan-influenced paths. If your path is different, more power to you. I am not Wiccan-influenced either. I simply understand that the majority of people are indeed on such a path, at least while in their Pagan “infancy”. These are completely my own views of the “basics” of such a path. I am in no way an authority on a subject. My word is not law; it’s not written on stone.

Spell Ingredients: Add a Large Dose of Reality

Spell Ingredients: Add a Large Dose of Reality

Author:   Solonius  

The first ingredient for any spell: A large dose of reality…. I mean, really, what do you expect? If all spells worked, wouldn’t humanity universally believe in witchcraft and magic and use it wholeheartedly? And to that extent wouldn’t worthy practitioners be a desired commodity? It is imperative for practitioners to separate their wishful and whimsical fantasies from serious study, contemplation, experimentation and application.

I believe that in order to further understand and define the super-natural, you first have to develop and have a thorough understanding of the natural. Any study of the Craft requires a greater amount of study into the realm of Laws of Nature and the Laws of Physics. After all, how can you define what is extra-ordinary, if you don’t even know the extent of what is ordinary?

The Laws of Physics are many, and the typical high-school student mostly understands the important ones. Opposites attract (by and large this only works for ions, kids, not people) , for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, for any change in state the by-product or causation is heat, etc. How can better knowing these things help us in a greater understanding of our spell work? Because all these things deal with Energy, and what is the Universe constructed of? Anyone…? Yes, Energy. And what does spell work deal with, when you boil it all down (pun intended) ? That’s right, Energy! Or more accurately, the transfer of energy. This is the First Insight that any practitioner should grasp. EVERYTHING is energy.

The Second Insight that we should understand, because it deals with both types of laws, is that Nature abhors a vacuum. That can be observed as simply as watching a balloon deflate. What do you discover with these phenomena? That Nature seeks a balance. This holds true for the Laws of Life and the Laws of Physics. The Universe naturally seeks equilibrium. Whether this is between hot/cold, high pressure/low pressure, too many predators and not enough prey, the Law stays the same. In the end, Nature will follow its Laws. You do know, though, that there is a defined and empirical Order to Things. You might not understand it fully, but you can be assured that an order exists by observing the smallest things in nature. This is crucial: Be observant to Nature and learn from it. Nature, in all its complexity, is still a system of doing things the easiest and least energy wasting way. Contemplate that reality for a while.

Where does this energy come from? Good question. Is it physical energy, which means connected to our current plane of existence? If that is so, then you would not be able to contain it for the energy you are talking about on the physical plane is electrical in nature, and you would become walking atom bombs if you gathered the energy required to perform some spells. So it can’t be a physical energy type.

Is it spiritual energy (which obviously means it is energy collected from higher levels of existence) that you are able to gather and use? The usual consensus is “Yes, it is.” This leads to the next set of questions. Can energy from higher levels of existence cause effects on a lower level of existence? How can if affect the energy in a lower existence, if the two existences are not on the same sphere? Can the physical things you do on a lower plane of existence affect what happens on a higher plane of existence? Is your mentality the only link between what you perceive as the physical plane and planes above what you can perceive with your physical senses? What is the extent of ‘Reality’, does it encompass ALL spheres of existence as ONE reality? Nature abhors a vacuum, so if As Above – So Below is a Law of Nature, does this mean that the energies of a higher plane seek a balance with the energies of a lower plane?

It is said that in the higher planes all things are possible if you only imagine it so. I further postulate that you must not only imagine it so, it must become your perceived REALITY. You must learn to tap into the energies of the higher planes, and effect permanent changes there, before any changes can happen in the physical plane. I’ve often said that there is an ocean of difference between Understanding and Knowing. Understanding is intellectual; it is accepting truth without necessarily going through all the motions to prove it. Knowing is visceral; it deals more with proof from the physical senses perceiving something as true. Ergo, to make a change here, you have to Know that you have made a change in higher realms first.

I postulate the reason for this is the hypothesis of ‘trickle down economics’ if you’d like. What does this mean? It means that in order to build a hut on the physical plane, you must first build a mansion in the higher planes. More complexly, Nature (meaning all planes of existence) seeks a balance. Nature also does things the absolute least energy-wasting way. I perceive that Nature does not easily permit energy to flow across planes of existence, even if they are in the same ‘Reality’. With As Above – So Below, you can see through a simple diagram of two superimposed triangles (one point up, the other point down) that the equilibrium point is above here and now (the bottom point) , yet below the ultimate expression (the top point) . As you move down from the ultimate expression (the open V) , less and less energy is transferred. Therefore you must have a firm and knowing conviction of what you wish to accomplish and see a clear and precise picture of it occurring, before you can hope to realize it happening.

Ironically, you should also have a wonderfully developed sense of imagination up to the point of believing in what seems impossible. Only with an active imagination can you build that mansion up to the point of actualization in the higher planes. This seems contradictory, but I don’t feel that it is. Without a firm mental picture of what you require to exist, can you hope to achieve your goal? You have to build that mansion brick by brick, through much mental exactness and conviction. This requires a great deal of imagination as well as focus. The constructed mansion should then remain in that higher plane once you have completed it. It’s there; there is no doubt of its existence in your mind. Every time you visit the higher realms your mansion is there, gleaming with its glory. Make it Reality. Does this mean that a mansion will magically appear here and now for you in the material plane? Probably not, but the single minded effort it took to imagine it as reality in the higher plane, could translate into the required motivation and focus to achieve it in the here and now. Here is something else to consider: owning the mansion is secondary to the method of achieving it.

I’ve used the visualization of a mansion to put a face to a concept. However, it holds true for any endeavor. What you wish to have happen is secondary to HOW you achieve its happening. You build the mental picture (higher plane reality) while simultaneously going through with the steps required to achieve the same results. This multiple avenue approach enlists all your faculties to achieve what your desire is. The greater the amount of energies enlisted to achieve your desire, the more energy the universe aligns with the outcome. Remember: the method of how you achieve your goal is primary to the goal itself.

As an example: There is a twice-weekly fervent prayer on many lips throughout the land: “Please let me win the lottery!” However, if you never go out to purchase a lottery ticket, the effort placed into your prayer was wasted, wasn’t it? The same occurs with your Craft. Creating a spell to achieve the end result is short sighted. You still have to do the work to realize your goal. There really are no shortcuts. I don’t mean using some elaborate spell either. I mean elaborate mental visualization, coupled with following a plan to achieve the goal. Each reinforces the other, making the possibility of achievement vastly greater. Ground that visualization into what Laws Nature has already demonstrated. This lends conviction and credibility to the achievement of the goal.

What would be the required steps to achieve that goal without using any Craft? Incorporate those steps into the visualization with your spell. Bypass any flights of fantasy; they require too much energy to maintain. After all is it easier for your mind to accept flying to work on a broomstick, or driving your car? Your mind will default to what it Knows is possible, and will automatically call B.S. to what is not. Even a child imagining flying around the house on a broomstick Knows that they are just pretending. So why kid yourself? The more reality you incorporate into your Craft, the greater the results you will receive.

*On a side note: I don’t think of the planes of Reality as floors in a skyscraper, nor are they in some cardinal Direction. They don’t exist as pages in a book, where you can turn a page and have a new reality. I think of it as a condensing of energy from zero (conversely the most dense) to the ultimate amount of energy. They are all concurrent and here and now, superimposed upon what we can only perceive as the physical plane due to the limitations of our senses. This energy is limitless to infinity. For infinity is provable as far as we have observed. Outside the edge of the growing globe of galaxies expanding outward, is vacuum. Forever. You could hypothetically travel so far away that this entire globe of expanding physical energy seems like nothing more than a single spec of brilliant light. However, the theory of infinity breaks down if you require a starting point. As Above – So Below… Infinity must go in BOTH ‘directions’ forever, or the concept breaks down.

I thank you for your time in reading this. I hope it gave you some food for contemplation, and in some way helps you with more success on your path.

We Can Change The World

We Can Change The World

Author: Lady Wolfwind

I am growing older. That’s a fact. I’m still in the Mother stage of my life, but I am fast approaching Crone. I am okay with this. More than most people, I would guess. I’ve learned that part of my contribution to society, as a Crone, is to provide wisdom and guidance to those seekers who ask. I’ve fit into this role flawlessly. Most people don’t want to hear what you have to say and if they do, they don’t listen anyway. I’m sure this is just a natural part of life. I never listened to my elders either. I look back on it now and I remember their words. How I wish I’d heeded their advice. The road would have been so much easier and I would have traveled so much farther.

I think that we’ve all learned some hard lessons on our journey. I believe that it’s what life is all about. I believe that our lessons and experiences have shaped who we are and what we believe to be true today. I wonder what experiences have led all of you to the Goddess’s path? What made us choose to be so different than mainstream society and their beliefs?

I was talking to my husband this morning. He is not Pagan, but he respects me for who I am. I had had a conversation with our daughter the previous night and there were some things that were said that bothered me. It seems that in talking to my children, they expect me to “be” a certain way. They have expectations of who I should be and how I should be living my life and even what I should believe. They are grown and out of all the people in my life, they are the ones I feel pressure from to live the way society says I should. To put on a false face to please them and the world. They don’t live near me so there is no embarrassment that Mom is a Pagan. Most time I don’t think they know what it truly means and they don’t care to ask or to listen. They are caught up in living their lives and making a living.

As children, I put aside dealing with my own life and figuring out what I wanted for my future to raise them. I didn’t let my past life experiences determine how I would make decisions regarding them. I have come to realize, now that they are older, I’ve grown into the woman I was meant to become. All of my life experiences have made me who I am. They don’t seem to understand that I had past experiences before they were born. They don’t understand that I am living my life exactly the way I want to. They don’t’ seem to understand that it’s a person’s choice to not fit in. It’s the way it has to be. They talk about their past experiences and lessons and think that if it is so with them, it must be so with me. I can never be the person they think I should be.

My husband feels that this is a lesson for them to learn. That it takes years of wisdom before you understand what I’m trying to say. I’m so afraid that even he doesn’t understand what I’m trying to say. Maybe he feels that I should live like everyone else as well. He is younger than me. He set my fears at rest when he looked me in the eyes and told me, ” There are not many people who have the courage to live as you do.” I knew then that he understands me. He said it with such a deep feeling of respect and love that it brought tears to my eyes.

I am afraid that my children will wish they’d gotten to know me after I pass to the other side. Isn’t that the way it usually is? Don’t we all stand back and wish we’d said this or that? Don’t we wish we’d listened to one more story or just sat a few moments longer? Is there a time when we have that “ah ha” moment when it all becomes crystal clear and we finally put the final piece of the puzzle in place and understand the whole picture we’ve struggled with for so long? It is a sad realization that we never took the time to get to know the ones we love the most. Why do they feel the way they do? Why do they believe what they believe? Why is Mom so quiet? Why does Aunt Mary not cry? Do we know? Do we care? Wouldn’t it be nice to figure it all out while you’re sitting with them, looking into their eyes?

This is one of those lessons that I know will have to be learned the hard way. One day they will realize that I had a life before they were born. One day they will honor my strength for overcoming the obstacles that could have stood in the way of me being a good mother to them. One day, they will understand what it means to be Pagan and they will honor me for my courage to walk a different path. One day, they will realize how much I love them. One day, I will not be here. I want them to know me and understand me before that time comes. I don’t think it will work out that way. I think we all walk around with the wounds of “what if.” I don’t think it has to be that way. I think we need to take more time with the ones we love. We get so caught up in the daily grind. We get angry at each other for things that don’t even really matter. We need to learn to listen, not just hear. We need to listen to their body language, and we need to listen to the voice inflections. We need to listen to the subtle clues that vibrate through the air currents, which tell us about the other person. We need to take a moment each day and consciously decide to learn one thing about another person. Take the time to tell the ones you love how you feel about them.

I think if we would take a few moments each morning, instead of running out the door, to make a decision to slow down for a little while each day. If we would make the choice to not keep procrastinating about visiting our aging mother who tells the same stories over and over, to sit with our child and understand how their understanding the world around them, we would become better people for it. I believe it would change not only the ones we’ve taken the time with, but also ourselves. We have to stop letting life get in the way. I think we would understand how we all became to be the people we are and how the ones around us became the people they are. I think all of us would be able to let things go easier.

I believe, as a society, we have lost the course we were supposed to be on. Somewhere, we allowed money and instant gratification to become more important than even the ones that are supposed to mean the most to us. I think, as a Pagan community, we need to be different than that. I think we need to set the standards and set them high. I think we should start living as we talk, to be the example of change in our world. One person can make a difference. I feel that our time is coming. We need to be united and to send a message to the world. We need to slow down and let the message come through loud and strong. Pagans are about love and about doing what is right. We’re about caring about each other, even others of different races and beliefs. We have to start at home.

Tonight, call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile and tell them how much you’ve missed them. Reach out to someone who’s made you angry and tell them that you have forgiven them, set up a date with your spouse, dinner with your parents, a movie with your kids. Don’t worry about how much it will cost. It will cost you much more to not do these things. Don’t worry about what others will think. It is up to us to be the example. Today is the time to take the first steps toward a new world; one we all know is possible. I don’t believe we can put it off any longer.

Love to all my fellow witches,

Lady Wolfwind