Monday, May 30, 2011

Pagan Prompt: Wiccan Rede

When I was in high school, I was one of the few pagan students in the entired town I lived in as well as one of the most studied and experienced of the group (next to a young man who was raised in the Wiccan faith). There was a large push by the whole group for covenship and for me to take place as a sort of young High Priestess. I did not and, instead, removed myself from the group in many ways, though they were my friends. I was not ready for that sort of responsibility and now am glad that i made this decision.

My withdrawel from the pagan group at my school and in my town was viewed by many in two very different ways. One group saw this as an act of humility and modesty on my part, encouraged me and my work, and remained close friends to this day.
Another group felt I was being pompous, that my removal was in a way saying that I felt I was too good for them. One person in particular, though she acted as if she was my friend, began to perform certain spells, host certain rites and act in certain ways that were hurtful to myself and many of those around us.
In the end, I felt that if I did not do something to stop her someone was going to get hurt.

I did a simple, yet powerful bind spell on this person. I will not post the spell on here and it is listed in my BOS with words of precaution. After the binding I refused to speak to this young woman again. The binding was fairly thorough and this person found that not only could she not harm anyone but had a hard time performing any magical working. I heard from a mutal friend that her binding has lasted to this day and has caused her some problems in the magical and pagan community she has recently moved into (they will have nothing to do with her).
I did, however, set the spell so that she or someone of ability can break the binding if they do so in love, compassion and with the desire to not harm but help others (the opposite actions and emotions of why I performed the binding int he first place).

I tell this long story in order to say this.
ALL ACTIONS have an EQUAL REACTION! WHATEVER you send out WILL COME BACK! This can be viewed however you wish and be the basis of whatever lesson anyone would like to teach and set creed to: Golden Rule, 3-fold law, Wiccan Rede, Karma, etc. It is simply how the Universe works.

When I bound this person in high school, I did not consider that this act (which was done out of the desire to prevent harm, an it harm none) would eventually come back to me.
Almost a year later exactly, I began to have disturbances in my ability to perform any magical act or even meditate. It felt like my mind was in a fog any time I even thought about doing magic and when I meditated I felt literally bound up. At first I thought I had somehow picked up a leeching energy in astral travel, that recent stress had worn me thin, that I was somehow ill.
Finally, it struck me after a phone call from our mutual friend (the girl I had bound was getting married to another mutual friend). I realized that my binding spell had come back to me.

I worked through this ricochet magic slowly and with as much patience as I could muster. When I mentioned it to a local magical practitioner, she repremanded me not for binding another but for thinking I would be punished in some way for protecting myself.
I do not feel that I am being punished for trying to prevent harm. I don't think the Universe works that way. I think this was merely the Law of reaction. I did this, it was done to me. It is simple.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Covens and Cults

I want to take a moment to post about a problem come to my attention today.
I met a girl at a local ecclectic shop who explained that she was pagan and in a coven almost right after giving me her name. I have no issue with people who identify themselves predominately by their belief systems, don't get me wrong, and I do find this very common among younger pagans.
I asked, with interest, what path their coven followed. She seemed quite confused so I rephrased and asked what religious beliefs the coven followed. She replied matter-of-factly, Wicca. I paused then asked, well, which path of Wicca? She continued to seem confused and then said, mostly just wicca and pagans.
I gave up on this line of questioning but the girl continued. We plan on getting a temple eventually. Our High Priest wants to make us wide spread, at least through Tennessee. First we have to get a coven house.
I asked what a coven house entailed.
She explaiend that one of her coven members was getting a large farm house, out away from town with hardly a neighbor that was large enough for the whole coven to live in.
At this point Damon had grown interested in the conversation and asked the girl how long she had been practicing.
She said she had been in paganism for only 3 months and that her High Priest had brought her into it by helping her get in touch with her abilities as an empath.

Now, I'm trying not to be critical of any coven or their practices but it seems strange to me to
1. initiate a young girl
2. collect and seclude the whole of the coven
3. concentrate, at an early stage of coven-hood, on widespread outreach for the coven
4. have a coven member who seems confused on the coven's basic doctrine

This seems bordering on cult-ishness. Maybe I'm wrong and have a skewed view as a solitairy pagan but the whole situation seemed uncomfortable to me.


My altar is set up, finally!
When we were living at the apartment, I have a 3 tiered altar in the eastern part of the main room. Now that we're with my in-laws, I have a smaller altar in our bedroom, trying to face as eastward as possible.

The base of the altar is a little besdide table my grandmother gave me. Its abotu a foot square around and 2 feet tall. There's a flat surface on tope, an open shelf beneath that and then a cupboard. Perfect.

On the table I have Ganesh, who I need now that we're starting new journeys and I need help with my business and finances. With him I have a few homemade supplies I sell for my business (including 1 votive beeswax candle, 1 4oz bottle of homemade shampoo, 1 bar of soap, 1 tin of lip balm), a quartz crystal, and an offering of yerba mate tea.

Om Gum Gana Patie Namaha

The shelf holds my almanacs and a deck of faery oracle cards by Froud.

The cupboard has incense, my witchy kit (a chesk of salt, oils, bell, chalace, and everything else I feel I need on hand), and a stone incense burner.

I feel so much more at home with the altar set up.

Pagan Prompt: The Rapture

What a topic! Though understandable after the "event" of Saturday...I had so many invites to hedonistic End of the World parties it was crazy.

Having been raised from childhood mostly by my Southern Baptist grandmother and a mom and aunt who rarely said anything about religion (but did let me miss church if I wanted to) I have had what you could call an immersion course in the Rapture Riot (as I like to call it).
Hearing enough about it, the Book of Revelations was the first book I read thoroughly (at age 8). I also asked a lot of questions because what I was being told didn't go hand in hand with what I was reading (what a shocker). In the end, I decided if the rapture happened before "The Tribulations" I didn't want to be a part of it. I wanted to see many of the things detailed in Revelations such as the dragon, the Lady clothed in the sun and crowned in stars, the angels and horsemen, etc.
Of course my desire to stay behind horrified my grandmother and after a stern talking to from her and her pastor, I never mentioend a word of it again...

14 years later...

After 2 years at a Christian college, where I studied the bible academically (and the New Testament in Greek), I am more apt to believe the Old Testament is more Kabbalistic wiht 127 different meanings for each verse, and the New Testament needs to be taken with a grain of...well...I won't go into all that.
I will say that now, Revelations still hold interest in me and more and more I am reminded of Aleister Crowley's books and teachings when I read this book.

The mysticism of a man, John, who had a vision and saw God and his thrones and all these magical things.
Plus, theres a Goddess in the book! Who woulda thunk it? The Lady clothed in the Sun, crowned by Stars, standing on the Moon. The Bride of Heaven. Sounds goddess-like to me.
The dragon has always been a favorite of mine (it wasn't until I was 15 that I made contact with my Dragon Guide and Guardian). Which leads to a second goddess! The Harlot. Now she may not be a goddess in the eyes of many Christians but she's a figure of great darkeness and the companion of the Dragon.
The 4 horsemen(no, not Jim Jack Johnny and Jose) with Hades following (I love how in Greek it is actually Hades in many translations and never The Devil, but sometimes Death. Just more fun when explaining there is not Devil in the Bible). The use of 4 is all through Revelations, which has a very strong numerological connotation. 4 hosrement, 4 thrones, 4 creatures, etc.
The use of 7 is also very strong with the 7 seals.

Anyways...I digress from the prompt...

What about the Rapture?
Well the Bible says Jesus Christ will come back for his followers but he will be like a theif in the night and no one will know the Day nore the Hour of his return.
So why are so many Christians obsessed with "It'll be in my lifetime" or "It'll be May 21, 2011" or "October 21, 2011" or "December 21, 2012" (now I have my own beliefs on 2012 but that's for another post).

I read another post on this ask, why are Christians so ready to be done with this life and move on with eternity? I think that it is because, even though they claim no belief in reincarnation and enlightenment, all beings desire it. We all desire to reach enlightenment or "heaven" and this life on this plane of existence is the main area to change your karma and reach enlightenment. We all feel this on a basic level and seek for it through religion, magic, meditation, etc. Even Christians.

Do I believe Christ is coming for his followers? Sure, but I don't think its going to be like in the Left Behind series or how many Christians think. I think Christ bridges a span of planes so that Christians can reach a level of heaven when they die instead of condemning their souls to a personal hell in the next life (for even Buddhists believe in hell).
Do I believe I will be left behind? No. I believe that I will transcend due to my own personal beliefs and work. I doubt that my next stage is true enlightenment but I have met people who are at that stage and it is glorious.

I'm sorry if thise post rambles. There is so much to say on the subject (which is why there are so many books on the topic).

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pagan Prompt

Stumbled upon Pagan Prompts today adn thought I'd give it a go since I am in a blogging mood.

What is my Book of Shadows like?
Well...I have 3 full BOSs.
1 is a basic store bought BOS with an embossed Pentacle on the cover bought at either AzureGreen or Dillys (I can't remember).
2 is a digital copy on my computer and on disc. This one has more on it but most of it is copied off line.
3 is a Scrab Book of Shadows. This is the least developed of the 3 but mostly due to the work that goes into it. Pictures, drops of annointing oils, a bit of melted wax, dried leaves and flowers, drawings, etc.

I am also working on a Lineage Book of Shadows that I plan to pass down to my future daughter. This is a book of everything I feel she will need to know if she follows the path of witchcraft and contains a little of each sect including wicca, hedge witchery, ceremonial magic, kemeticism, etc. This particular book is made up of handmade paper, bought at a bookstore.

Anothe rbook I have is a fairy/drema diary and it is also made of handmade paper. I write faery oracle readings, dream interpretations and the like in this one.

Magick in the Mundane: Canning

So I've been picking, pitting and canning cherries today and as I worked on stirring the juice I had a thought about how to make this seemingly mundane practice magical.

Use specific fruit and herbs to create a magical concoction.
Example: cherry or apple and rose for love, golden peaches or apples and cinnamon and nutmeg for prosperity, mint for prosperity, etc.

Stir clockwise to bring desired outcome, counterclockwise to banish the undesired.

Decorate, set on altar, make during certain days or planetary phases, surround with crystal grids, add elixir drops to brew, etc.

There is just so much you can do to make simple tasks into a spell or potion! This is why I love being a witch!


WOW! What a month I've had. Between family drama (I think Pluto is in retrograde?) and cleaning up and job junk, my partner and I have moved AGAIN!
We're back in East TN, from 8 months in Kentucky.

I have so much going on!

As we prepare for a few weeks with my in-laws and are looking for new jobs and a new home, I'll post a few basic witchy things about our move such as travel protection, a small altar for our room, and some other things going on magically.

I do want to post the books that I grabbed to have on hand as the rest of mine are packed up and stored.
They are: Llewellyn's Magical Almanac and Spell-a-Day almanac for 2011. I read daily forcast as it were for inspiration for my day. Sometimes they inspire me to do a spell, write a journal entry and maybe even a blog post! Totally recommend them.
I also grabbed my Prakriti (Ayurveda) book to keep my healthy lifestyle inspired and I plan to dig out my Cunninghams herbal encyclopedia in the next week as I'm doign quite a bit of herbal work right now.

Other things I have ready:
My altar in a box - 1 deck of basic tarot cards (small), 1 large quartz crystal, 1 mini chalice, 1 bottle of sea salt (try salt packets as well), 1 small bottle of olive oil, 2 small white candles (also try tea lights), 1 small altar cloth decorated with pentacle, 1 lighter, and a couple sticks or cones of incense.
I also have readily available a fairy statue/candle holder, my teeny medicine Buddha and my Ganesh statue. I recommend having whatever available that makes you feel connected to patron deities or the divine no matter how small.

We've only been back in TN for...about a week now. I still plan to check in at Dillys in Kingsport, Three of Cups, Atlantis and Caravan Mystique in Johnson City. There's also a few places I havent been yet that I want to check out (specifically a small local in Greeneville, TN). Just wanted to give my fav witchy spots a shout out!

P.S. Apparently I moved just in time for the End of the World on May 21 ^_^