Let’s Talk Witch – Your Altar, Of Course

SPRING WICCAN

Your Altar, Of Course

 

They say that home is where the heart is–if so, then a Witch’s home is her altar. That is where your most precious tools live: athame, god and goddess candles, incense, crystals … whatever you use to connect with the gods in your most private rituals.

Your altar is where you go when you are most troubled and in need of help. It is where you go in your greatest moments of joy to give thanks.

You stand at your altar to summon what you want and banish what you don’t, to ask for help and to ask for answers.

What better definition of home could you have?

So tend your altar carefully. Find items that you will treasure, and set them lovingly in their places. You don’t need a lot. One candle or six (god and goddess and the four quarters)-it’s your choice. That one perfect leaf, feather, or rock. As long as it means something to you, your altar is where it belongs.

And your altar is where you belong, too. It is the one place where you can truly be you, with nothing hidden or held back. Laugh, cry, howl, or simply be silent… it’s all good.

So go to your altar often, even if only for a minute or two at a time, and check in with yourself, the gods, and the universe. Ground back to the earth and to your truest self. And don’t forget to dust on occasion, either.

 

 

Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft

Deborah Blake

 

Your Personal Daily Tarot Card for November 10th is The Hanged Man

Your Personal Daily Tarot Card

The Hanged Man


The Hanged Man is the most enigmatic card of the Tarot. Even Tarot giants like Waite, Crowley and Levi had trouble deciphering The Hanged Man’s true meaning. Generally The Hanged Man is thought to represent the value of surrender and selfless acts. The Hanged Man embodies the notion that sometimes to lose is to win. Unlike the aggressive Chariot, The Hanged Man creates his fate through inaction and accepts his fortune passively, without resistance. He does not struggle to control the path his life takes, but rather allows events to sweep him where they will, even if he is called upon to sacrifice himself. He is so at ease with the Fate the Universe chose for him that even hanging upside down from a tree does not ruffle his inner peace.

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for July 23rd is The Universe

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today

The Universe

 

Like The Sun, The Universe brings good blessings. The Universe appears where all is in balance. It allows you to act effectively not only as an individual but as a member of a group too. The Universe promises contentment, fulfillment and completeness to those under its influence. It doesn’t guarantee there will not be moments of strife or discord in your life, but it does indicate that your trials and tribulations will be overcome; that ultimately you will know inner-peace and contentment. The Universe suggests you have found or will find your place in the scheme of things—that place where all is as it should be.

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for July 1 is The Universe

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today

The Universe



Like The Sun, The Universe brings good blessings. The Universe appears where all is in balance. It allows you to act effectively not only as an individual but as a member of a group too. The Universe promises contentment, fulfillment and completeness to those under its influence. It doesn’t guarantee there will not be moments of strife or discord in your life, but it does indicate that your trials and tribulations will be overcome; that ultimately you will know inner-peace and contentment. The Universe suggests you have found or will find your place in the scheme of things—that place where all is as it should be.

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for June 24th is The Universe

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today

The Universe



Like The Sun, The Universe brings good blessings. The Universe appears where all is in balance. It allows you to act effectively not only as an individual but as a member of a group too. The Universe promises contentment, fulfillment and completeness to those under its influence. It doesn’t guarantee there will not be moments of strife or discord in your life, but it does indicate that your trials and tribulations will be overcome; that ultimately you will know inner-peace and contentment. The Universe suggests you have found or will find your place in the scheme of things—that place where all is as it should be.

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for June 15th is The Universe

Your Crowley Thoth Tarot Card for Today

The Universe



Like The Sun, The Universe brings good blessings. The Universe appears where all is in balance. It allows you to act effectively not only as an individual but as a member of a group too. The Universe promises contentment, fulfillment and completeness to those under its influence. It doesn’t guarantee there will not be moments of strife or discord in your life, but it does indicate that your trials and tribulations will be overcome; that ultimately you will know inner-peace and contentment. The Universe suggests you have found or will find your place in the scheme of things—that place where all is as it should be.

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.

Regards,
Solonius

Enhanced by Zemanta

THE LAWS OF MAGIC

THE LAWS OF MAGIC

The Laws of Magic are not legislative laws, but, like those of physics or
musical harmony, are actually fairly practical observations that have been
accumulated over thousands of years. These laws describe the way magic seems to behave.  Most of these laws will make sense to you (I hope), and even the more
obscure ones should make some sense to you, but if they don’t, ignore them, or
send me some e-mail, and I will try to explain.

The LAW OF KNOWLEDGE: This is probably the most widely used law, and probably encompasses all the others in some way.  The basis of this law is that
understanding brings control.  The more that is known about a subject, the
easier it is to exercise control over it.  Knowledge is power.

The LAW OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE: An obvious derivative of the LAW OF KNOWLEDGE, this law carries additional connotations, as a mage who does not have knowledge of himself does not have knowledge (and therefore control) of his own magic.  This law is one of the reason’s “evil” mages are very rare – a dedication to “evil for evil’s sake” is usually do to a lack of introspection and awareness of oneself.  It is difficult to do harm to others when you understand fully what that kind of harm would do to you.  Know thyself.

The LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT: A simple scientific understanding – if exactly the same actions are done under exactly the same conditions, they will be associated with exactly the same results. Magicians have at least as much belief in cause and effect as modern physicists do, they just realize that a good ritual, like a good theatrical performance or a good bread recipe, isn’t always predictable. In truth, a spell involves so many variables, that controlling or even
understanding them all is impossible.  The key to magical success is learning
which variables are the most important, and how to keep them constant.  Control
over the variables is icing on the cake.

The LAW OF SYNCHRONICITY: Two or more events happening at the same
time are likely to have more in common than the merely temporal. Very few events ever happen in isolation from other events.  There is no such thing as a mere coincidence.

The LAW OF ASSOCIATION: If any two pattern have elements in common, the patterns interact “through” those common elements, and control of one pattern facilitates control of the other(s) depending (among other factors) upon the number of common elements involved.  This is a very important law, up there with the LAW OF KNOWLEDGE.

The LAW OF SIMILARITY: Having an accurate physical or mental represent-tion of something facilitates control over it.  This one is fairly obvious in it’s usage
– having a model, picture, or other representation of your target (like a voodoo
doll) gives you power to effect the target.  Look alikes are alike.

The LAW OF CONTAGION: Objects or beings in physical contact with each other continue to interact after separation.  Everyone you have ever touched has a magical link with you, though it is probably pretty weak unless the contact was
intense and/or prolonged or repeated frequently.  Magical power is contagious.
Naturally, having a part of someone’s body (nails, hair, spit, etc.) gives the
best contagion link.

The LAW OF NAMES: Knowing the complete and TRUE name of an object, being, or process gives one complete control over it.  This works because a name is a definition (yes, even “Harold”, “Marie”, “Kunte”, and “Jasmine” were at one
time) as well as a contagion link, and an association (if you call something the
same name over and over, that name becomes associated with the thing).  This
also works, because knowing the complete and true name of something or someone means that you have achieved a complete understanding of  it’s or their nature. This is why, in most pre-industrial cultures, people are given “secret names”, as well as “public names”, and why the sharing of a secret name is such an act of  trust – because the secret name is considered to be very close to, if not
identical with, the person’s true name.

The LAW OF WORDS OF POWER: There exist certain words that are able to alter the internal and external realities of those uttering them, and the power may rest in the very sounds of the words as much as their meanings.  Many of such words are names, though the meanings may have been lost or forgotten.  Very many magical tools require words to be inscribed upon them and/or said over them during their construction and/or use.

The LAW OF PERSONIFICATION: Any phenomenon may be considered to be
alive and to have a personality – that is, to “be” an entity or being.  Anything
can be a person.  Most weather mages personify the winds and the clouds, for
example, and thus find focusing their magic on the atmosphere much easier to do.

The LAW OF INVOCATION: It is possible to establish internal communication with entities from either inside or outside oneself, said entities seeming to be
inside of oneself during the communication process.

The LAW OF EVOCATION: It is possible to establish external communication with entities from either inside or outside oneself, said entities seeming to be
outside oneself during the communication process.

The LAW OF IDENTIFICATION: It is possible through maximum association between elements of oneself and those of another being to actually become that being, to the point of sharing it’s knowledge and wielding it’s power.  This is the law that controls most lengthy or permanent possession phenomena.

The LAW OF PERSONAL UNIVERSES: Every sentient being lives in and quite possibly creates a unique universe which can never be 100% identical to that lived in by another.  So called “reality” is in fact a matter of consensus opinions.  This law is nowhere near as obvious as the other laws in it’s applications, but if
you can figure some out, you can use it.

The LAW OF INFINITE UNIVERSES: The total number of universes into which all possible combinations of existing phenomena could be organized is infinite.
Anything is possible, though some things are more probable than others.  You
might consider this to refer to the “alternate probability worlds” of science
fiction, but it also has a much wider application.

The LAW OF PRAGMATISM: If a pattern of belief or behavior enables a being to
survive and to accomplish chosen goals, then that belief or behavior is “true”
or “real” or “sensible”.  If it works, it’s true.  Another rather obscure law,
but it does have some very useful applications.

The LAW OF TRUE FALSEHOODS: It is possible for a concept or act to violate the truth patterns of a given personal universe and still be “true”, provided that
it “works” in a specific situation.  If  it’s a paradox, it’s still probably
true.  This law is basically useless, except to justify use of the above three
laws without screwing things up in your version of the real world.

The LAW OF SYNTHESIS: The synthesis of two or more “opposing” patterns of data will produce a new pattern that will be truer than either of the first two were. That is, it will be applicable to more levels of reality, and this new pattern
may not be a compromise, but may be something rather new indeed.

The LAW OF POLARITY: Any pattern of data can be split into (at least) two
“opposing” characteristics, and each will contain the essence of the other
within itself.

The LAW OF OPPOSITES: A sub-law of POLARITY.  The “opposite” of a pattern
contains information about that pattern, by providing information on what the
pattern is not.  Thus, control over a pattern’s opposite (or close to it’s
opposite) facilitates control over the pattern itself.  (Note that this one I
alone take the blame for, as it is my own extension of POLARITY and SIMILARITY)

The LAW OF DYNAMIC BALANCE: To survive, let alone to become powerful, one must keep every aspect of one’s universe in a state of dynamic balance with every other aspect.  Extremism is dangerous, as the extreme being becomes so
associated with the extreme aspect, that they lose the ability to avoid that
aspect at all.  This is another reason “evil” mages are rare, as continuous
association with pain or death will cause a mage pain or death, ending the
mage’s ability to continue actively with “evil”.  This is also why “good” mages,
especially healers, tend to live a long time.

The LAW OF PERVERSITY: Sometimes known as Murphy’s Law.  If  anything can go wrong, it will, and in the most annoying manner possible.  Magical associations sometimes operate in the reverse of what was desired, and meaningful coincidences are just as likely to be unpleasant as pleasant.  Even if nothing can go wrong, some element of the universe may change so that things will go wrong anyway.  Whether we like it or not, the gods (or fates, or what have you) do have a sense of humor.  Emotionally healthy mages have less problems with this law than others do, as the mages own subconscious mind is probably a major perpetrator of this law.

The LAW OF UNITY: Every phenomena in existence is linked directly or indirectly to every other one, past, present, or future. Perceived separations between  phenomena are based on incomplete sensing and/or understanding.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Let’s Talk Witch – Sanctifying the Temple of the Body

hecate4

Let’s Talk Witch – Sanctifying the Temple of the Body

Of all the spaces that surround us, of all the blessings we send out into the world, of all the things we honor and consider sacred, it is often our own bodies that are most in need of honor and celebration. Considered by many to be the vehicle through which our soul experiences the physical world, our bodies are indeed worthy of recognition as the spiritual temples they are. Too frequently we focus on our perceived physical imperfections, forget the miracle of the body’s ability to heal itself when we are ailing, or take for grannted the fragile balance our bodies need to sustain us, instead choosing to abuse ourselves with excess, deprive ourselves of adequate sleep or nourishing food, and engage in other physically and psychologically damaging behaviors.

For women especially, how we carry ourselves and think about our body is incredibly emotionally charged. We are constantly being bombarded with messages telling us how we are suppose to look and what we are supposed to wear. Women’s bodies have been objectified by a culture that has also programmed us to believe they are objects of sin and shame. Reclaiming the sacred nature of our physical form is a service both to our selves and to our sisters—it is a rejection of the old paradigm and a reframing of how women think about themselves on their own terms.

There is a Hermetic Axiom that states: “As above, so below. As within, so without.” One treatment and reverence for our body both reflects upon, and is a reflection of, the spirit that dwells within. How can you bring a sense of the sacred to your physical self? Perhaps you can incorporate a daily routine of self-anointing with oils you have blessed for this purpose and chosen to consciously eat wholesome foods to power your body-temple. Indulge in sacred spa days and pamper yourself with a luxurious bath scented with herbs and flowers that stimulate the essence of the Divine within. Wear colors and styles that reflect your personality and make you feel beautiful, rather than feeling like a slave to the trends of fashion. Adorn yourself with stones and symbolic jewelry that serve as reminders of your holy nature. And, perhaps most importantly, support other women in cultivating a sense of the self as sacred: discourage self-deprecating remarks, do not engage in disempowering body behaviors, and praise your sisters and brothers as the beautiful and perfect being they are.

While it’s useful and beneficial to create a physical sacred space, such as a hearth or garden, creating sacred space within yourself may be the best thing you can do for your spirit.

Excerpt from:

Making Space Sacred
Author Jhenah Telyndru
Llewellyn’s 2012 Witches Companion

Let’s Talk Witch – Energy, It’s Everywhere!

m

Let’s Talk Witch – Energy, It’s Everywhere!

Energy is flowing all around us. Magick spells and rituals, when done with the proper concentration, allow us to harness that energy to attract what we desire.

There are three main sources of energy in the Universe. It’s important to know what kinds of energy we are talking about when we start to cast spells.

The first kind is personal energy. This is our own personal life force. We take in energy from the Sun, Water and food, and we release it through exercise, movement, and even as we exhale.

The second type of energy is Earth energy. This is the energy from our planet. Each natural element has its own power which can be used in magick: Earth, trees, stones, wind, fire, and crystal are some examples of Earth energy.

The third, most powerful type of energy is Divine power. This is the energy that makes up the entire Universe. This is  higher power energy, life–whatever you want to call it. It’s the Universal power source, and it’s what we tap into when we perform magick.

Remembering and Reconnecting

Remembering and Reconnecting

Author:   RuneWolf   

I do consider my religion – Wicca – and my particular practice of it, to be Earth-based. Such a statement might seem absurdly obvious on the surface, but it is, I think, important to state it in this fashion. Wicca has within it elements of Ceremonial Magic, and it has been my personal experience that it is quite possible to become obsessed with and lost in the liturgical and ritual forms, to the extent that what one ends up practicing has, in fact, more in common with CM than with Wicca.

Now, don’t misunderstand me: We need ritualists and liturgists who can preserve the outer forms of our religion, and re-invent them as time goes by, so that we neither lose our traditional roots nor become mired in them. The creation, preservation and cultivation of ritual and liturgy are important, but I’m not talking about that here. I am talking about an unhealthy balance where an individual or group over-focuses on those outer forms, often to the detriment of the inner energies. So it is important, I think, that we remind ourselves, individually and collectively, that our religion IS Earth-based, and that, in my personal tradition at least, re-connecting with the Earth and Her cycles is one of the central concepts and objectives.

But then, what is this whole “re-connect with the Earth” thing, anyway? Sounds like a bunch of neo-Hippie, tree-hugging, New Age bushwa, doesn’t it?

Oh, contraire…

Western thought seems to enjoy lampooning and belittling whatever it doesn’t like or cannot understand, as if by satirizing something, it is made harmless and non-threatening. (This, oddly enough, is a very Celtic concept. Bards of Old Eire were feared for their power to debilitate a powerful leader by the use of satire.) Culturally, we will even go so far as to transform an inherently neutral or positive label – New Age, for instance – into a synonym for something wacky and outlandish. So those outsiders – or insiders, for that matter – who roll their eyes when they say or hear “re-connect with the Earth” obviously haven’t bothered to fully consider what that means.

We aren’t talking about sticking our feet into the ground and putting out roots. What we are talking about is simply becoming fully aware of – and experiencing as fully as possible – our relationship to the biosphere. For the most part, citizens of modern technological nations have fallen out of that awareness and experience. Some would argue that, without this awareness and experience, we as a species are doomed, because nothing short of these will prevent us from terminally fouling our nest. In more immediate and individual terms, however, I believe that a fuller awareness and experience of our relationship to the biosphere and, by extension, the Universe itself, is mandatory for true physical, mental and spiritual health. This is, as I understand it, the primary thrust of Taoist philosophy and religion, and is certainly a primary objective in my practice of Wicca.

Wicca, as I have said, is my religion. My spirituality, however, is Witchcraft. Some would not agree with this dichotomization, but then, as mother used to say, that’s why they make vanilla and chocolate. I make the distinction because I define those terms differently. Wicca is my religion – it is something I joined, a community that has a unique identity, and to be part of that community I am obliged, to a greater or lesser degree, to conform to the community template. I, personally, believe that there are certain things that I must agree to, that I must practice, that I must believe and that I must espouse, in order to be Wiccan. While there is certainly a great deal of individual latitude, I nonetheless believe that were I to deviate too far from the “community template” of Wicca, I would no longer be practicing Wicca. In the practice of certain martial arts, students are given a great deal of latitude to improvise and personalize the art. However, at a certain point, if that improvisation and personalization goes too far, that individual is no longer practicing that particular art, but something unique unto themselves that they have created there from. This is not a judgment on the art itself nor on what the individual has created from it; it is simply a statement of fact.

So it is, I believe, with the practice of Wicca, or any religion, for that matter. (But then, these are only my beliefs, and have no power beyond the tip of my nose.)

Witchcraft, on the other hand, I define as that body of techniques that enables the practitioner (Witch) to live in harmony with the rhythms of Life. “Life” here may be seen as synonymous with All That Is: an individual’s life-path, the greater community of Humankind, the biosphere and the Universe – in short, Everything. And those rhythms include the “bad” as well as the “good.” By this definition, Wicca is just another “technique” in my practice of Witchcraft, something which helps me to attune to the rhythms of Life. And this is, for me, as it should be: religion should always be the servant of spirituality. When that formula is inverted, we are left with dictatorial religious institutions.

When one truly seeks a deeper, fuller understanding of our connection to and place in the Universe, one cannot help but develop, I believe, a concern for the welfare of the “natural” world, i.e. the biosphere. Even if one were a staunch “scientific Pagan,” I don’t believe one could overlook the necessity of preserving an uncontaminated environment in order to ensure the survival of Humankind. And if one looks beyond mere survival, then we must recognize the necessity of preserving the beauty of unsullied nature as an adjunct to the mental, emotional and spiritual health of humanity.

Those of us who believe this face grave obstacles today. We are now ruled by an administration that is obviously bent on furthering the cause of “Big Business” – which has always been the destructive exploitation of the Earth for profit – at the expense of the environment. More and more, corporations are freed of the restrictions imposed on them by former, relatively saner, regimes. More and more, they are free to “rape and pillage” as they see fit, regardless of the destruction they cause. Nor can we simply blame “Western thought” for these travesties, as the policies of China in modern Tibet relieve the West of sole responsibility in the rape of the planet and the destruction of her children.

At times, it seems overwhelming, and it may well be an effort doomed to failure, although such failure will certainly doom humanity to eventual extinction. But we must try, each in her or his own way. I myself am not much of a “joiner,” and taking care of what little land is “mine” takes up most of my time. So you won’t see me at many demonstrations or protests. But what I lack in “discretionary time” I make up for in “disposable income,” and I can and do support the environmental cause with my monetary contributions. In the end, only money can defeat Big Money, so I don’t feel that this is merely a token gesture to assuage my conscience. And I do take an active, if geographically limited, part: there is a nature trail in the community near my home, which I avail myself of at every opportunity. As one might imagine, this trail is subject to all kinds of littering, not only from walkers but from nearby homeowners. When I walk, I always carry a trash bag, and I clean up what I can. When someone creates a mess too big for me, I make sure the community association knows about it, as there are strict rules regarding such abuse. I don’t know that my actions have ever led to the censure or fining of a guilty homeowner, but it hasn’t been for lack of trying.

Tattle tale? Snitch? Ratfink? You’re damn right.

And then there are the “little” things that all of us can do: proper soil management on our property; avoiding fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides; using “low impact” products; driving fuel-efficient autos; using mass transit when possible; recycling. It is gratifying to see that, in our neighborhood at least, we have a very high percentage of participation in the recycling effort. But then, these things should be “no brainers” for everyone, Pagan or not, in my opinion.

Perhaps the biggest difference between me and my neighbors is that, when I recycle or pick up litter, I see it as a sacrament, an acknowledgment that I AM RESPONSIBLE; not for the whole shebang, but for what I, as an individual, can do. I’ve always subscribed to the belief that “a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.” On any given day, I can’t solve all of the world’s environmental problems. But I can do something, even if it’s only picking up one piece of litter. No action occurs in a vacuum; every action has consequences, and resonates along the Web of Wyrd.

Despite the odds, none of us are totally powerless; we can always do something. And sometimes, in the wee dark hours of the morning, that’s all we have to hold onto.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Author:   Grey Ghost 

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” … caught that old lyric as we were walking thru the mall. While the song is more in line with the winter season, I was always fond of the sentiment around the first of September when the kids would go back to school some twenty-five years ago. We in the Witch/Pagan community should be profoundly singing that lyric as Samhain approaches.

As the eve of all hallows is upon us, reflect upon the past year. The veil between Malkuth and Spheres of the spiritual realm grows thin, allowing contact made easier with those who are no longer of the flesh. Sing the praises of those past glories and rejoice upon the “good moments” spent with those now incarnate. The time is now!

Perhaps the most difficult subject to discuss is the process of passing from this reality of the body to the true nature of spiritual existence. Plainly evident from concerns spent here is the underlying preoccupation that our younger members have with the material world. They have not made the discovery that this physical world is of much less importance than their true inner nature as spiritual beings. They seem to value peer acceptance above spiritual advancement.

They appear to value a feel good spell or enchantment more than accumulation of Prana or life force. And lastly, they speak little of transferring psychic energy to heal others. While living with the reality of physical world has needs, the true power of the Witch needs to explore the spiritual realms if we are complete or even contemplate the great work.

Enough of the soap box … my purpose in this writing is to remind you that this is the most wonderful time of the year for the Witch in all of us. This is the time to celebrate the past year and plan for the next year. Now is the time to prepare ourselves for the turn of wheel, celebrating the life force around us.

One of the chief methods of focusing our inner power is the art of visualizing. Many books and speakers talk of this in a manner of fact way as if everyone can visualize without further lessons. So I will speak to especially our younger members of a simple approach to basic visualization.

Peoples all over the world of many differing religious views have known for a long time that the love of the Lord and Lady was more than asking and receiving material things. The Pagan community then must come to realize the grace and love of our Lady are the really only important gifts that She can bestow upon us.

We must first learn to manipulate the forces and forms of the Pentagram, to understand the energies and powers of the universe. Once understood, we can begin the quest to understand ourselves. By quieting our minds and subduing the unimportant thoughts, we train our minds to be fit containers to be used to hold the wisdom and love of our Lady. Only through these cleansing rituals can we become prepared.

The visualization: gaze now upon the pentagram. You must be able to see the pent alpha in our mind. When you open your eyes, the pentagram will remain momentarily in mid air. This will take practice and patience; it does not happen over night. Once you can hold the pentagram for at least thirty seconds after you open you eyes, you will be ready for the nest step.

Any visualized symbol can be use to project your personal energy. Forming the pentagram should be practiced and practiced until proficient before using this method in creation of the circle. To form a pentagram, we start by seeing the pentagram by using retinal retention (scientific term) .

This is not the same as projecting the energy and visualizing the pentagram. Using a pentagram or pentacle, look at the object with much intensity and focus under a bright light. Close your eyes tightly and you will “see” an after image or retinal retention of the pentagram in your minds eye. A bright image against the dark of having your eyes shut. This exercise creates an image that will be similar to the one you will create through visualization.

Exercise 2: This exercise will allow you, with practice, to create an image like the one you “saw” in the previous example, without looking at an example of the pentagram. By creating the image in your mind along, you are imbuing it with your personal energy.

Look at a candle, white in a dark room; then close your eyes. The bright spot of light will be seen by the mind’s eye after your eyes are shut. (Retinal retention again) Relax for a few minutes until the retinal retained image of the candle is gone. Then close your eyes, relax and let a white point of light appear. Think about it and your mind will do it.

You may need to think of the candlelight to make it appear. Do not look at a bright light to create the point of light, which is retinal retention and not creation of power. Once you can form the dot of pure white light with your mind, move the dot to create a line. Repeat this exercise until when you open your eyes, a retained image of the line remains in the air in front of you in the darkened room.

Exercise 3: close your eyes and form a line with your mind. Now form another line, whose head starts where the first line ends. Continue this process until you can form a pentagram. Once you have practiced enough to form a pentagram, open your eyes and “see” the retained image in the air.

Exercise 4: Close your eyes again and form a pentagram and then draw a circle around it forming a pentacle. Practice until you can do this with ease; then open your eyes and “see” the completed pentacle in the air.

Once you achieve this level of concentration, you start the whole process over; only this time you do it with your eyes open in a darkened room. After forming the pentagram with your eyes open, light the room and retain the image in the air.

You will need to visualize, that is create the pentagram in the air without first visualizing it with your eyes closed. This again will take practice. It is sometimes easier to do one arm at a time. Some also find it easier to begin with an all white pentagram. When performing this ritual you need to sit or lay in a relaxed, comfortable position, but not so relaxed that you fall asleep. To avoid falling asleep, you might find that it is best to perform this ritual in the morning when fully awake. Once that you can hold the pentacle for a full thirty seconds in the air, with your eyes open and in color, then are you ready to proceed to the next step. Do not proceed until you have mastered the basics.

Enter your meditative state, control breathing. Prana in, air out; Prana in, air out. Establish your pentagram in the air, in color. Start your mantra while holding the image of the pentagram. Now draw a white circle around the pentagram, just touching it at the tips. You now have the Pentacle. Look deeply at the center and clear your mind of all but the mantra.

You will now under go the “A … Ha”. Sometimes it happens the first time. Others take many times for it to occur. Eventually it happens to all who perform this ritual religiously. What you see inside the Pentacle is completely yours. I will not introduce preconceived ideas of what you will find, but I know in my heart of hearts that you will not be disappointed. This is the first stage of Illuminati. You will need to practice this for sometime to become proficient enough to proceed further. As a guide, I suggest that you be able to “see” what is inside of the formed Pentacle for at least a minute before you continue.

This, my young friends, is the basic of visualization. To be able to manipulate the mind and control your physical world with you inner spiritual being is our goal of these exercises. You must be proficient with the basics before you are able to perform the more advanced magicks.

Daily OM for Thursday, Oct. 17th – Universal Messages

Universal Messages

Signs

by Madisyn Taylor

The universe is always offering us signs to help us, we just need to slow down and pay attention.

The universe can often relay messages to us through signs. Often, we are too busy to stop and consider what may or may not be a sign. We may ask the universe for guidance, yet fail to recognize the sign it sends us in response. Learning the subtle language of signs can help you interpret the guidance the universe sends your way. We all have been blessed with a connection that allows the universe to communicate directly with us. To be able to understand the information relayed over that connection, however, it is necessary that we learn to pay attention and know what to look for.

To see and correctly interpret a sign, you must open your heart and mind to the universe and invite its guidance into your life. Many of us are blind to the signs we receive because we expect angels or our spirit guides to speak to us in a booming voice and tell us exactly what we need to hear. But signs are usually of this earth and therefore easier to encounter. A song lodged in your mind or a number that seems to pop up everywhere you look after you’ve asked the universe for guidance can both be signs. Signs may come through the animal world, from strangers, or jump out of a book in the form of an insightful passage. A sign may be a direct answer to one of your questions. Other signs may point you in the right direction, warn of impending difficulties, or show you a different way. If you want the universe to send you a sign, tell it that you are ready and willing to accept its guidance.

Not everything you hear or see will be a sign. If you are receptive and patient, however, the signs you receive will become easier to recognize. It is important to listen to your intuition. A sign can mean many things to different people, and only you can decipher a sign’s meaning is for you. As you practice reading the signs and following their guidance, the universe will send more of them your way.

The Daily OM

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.

Daily OM for October 15th – Surrender Box

Surrender Box

A Place for Worries and Fears

by Madisyn Taylor

 

A surrender box is a tool to let go of our burdens so the universe can take care of them for us.

There are times when our minds become too full. Our to-do lists, worries, plans, and dreams may be so crowded together in our heads that we don’t have room to think. We may believe that we are somehow taking care of our desires and concerns by keeping them at the forefront of our minds. In maintaining our mental hold on every detail, however, we may actually delay the realization of our dreams and the resolution of our worries because we won’t let them go. At times such as these, we may want to use a surrender box.

A surrender box allows us to let go of our worries and desires so the universe can take care of them for us. We write down what we want or need to happen and then place the note into a box. By writing and placing our thoughts in the box, we are taking action and letting the universe know we need help and are willing to surrender our feelings. We give ourselves permission to not concern ourselves with that problem any longer and trust that the universe is taking care of it. You may even want to decorate your box and place it in a special place. Your surrender box is a sacred container for your worries. Not only do you free up space in your mind by letting go of our worries and desires and dropping them into your surrender box, but you are giving your burden over to a higher power. Once we drop our worries and desires into the surrender box, we free our minds so we can be fully present in each moment.

Surrendering our worries and concerns and placing them in the hands of the universe doesn’t mean that we’ve given up or have been defeated. Instead, we are releasing the realization of our desires and the resolution of our worries and no longer concerning ourselves with their outcomes. It’s always fun to go back and pull the slips of paper out of the box once your requests have been granted. And it’s amazing how quickly problems go away and dreams come true when we finally let go and allow a higher power to help us.

Daily OM