Learning To Walk Alone

Learning To Walk Alone

Author: Mistress Ravenfyre

Requests. Requests. Requests.

Is this all the Gods and Goddesses ever hear? Over and over again they listen to us who worship them tell of our woes, tales of sorrow, our despair. In times of sorrow, stress and loneliness, we reach out for them. Calling their names individually, seeking their guidance. Pouring out our trials and tribulations hoping to be heard. Hoping to have some kind intervention. Will there be a miracle to save us from whatever is going on in our lives that is making us call them in this manner? Are we seeking instant gratification instead of taking the long road ourselves?

Do the Gods and Goddesses ever tire of these requests placed upon their shoulders? When they know that they are unable to intervene even in a small way, do they hang their heads and say a silent prayer for us? Do the thoughts run through their heads that certain people only call upon them when they are in trouble but no other time? Knowing that the reason that there will be no help from them is because these people have to learn to help themselves. Just as we parents must let go of our toddlers, letting them experiment. Using trial and error. They too do the same for us.

I am sure that they do tire of all this. Hearing it from thousands upon thousands, day in and day out. This can be wearisome. Not to mention – do these same people give thanks to the Gods and Goddesses when times are good? Or simply when the going gets tough? Hearing the pain in their voices, seeing the tears cascade down their faces. Holding their heads in hands, weeping. No, I am not talking about us, mortals. I am speaking of our Gods and Goddesses. Are we so selfish and wrapped up in our lives and ego that we forget that they too feel these pains from us? They feel our despair. Yet they at times know that it is our job, here on our planet, to solve our problems without their help.

They are giving their help. They are helping us by not helping. Letting us make mistakes, solve these mistakes and pave the road smoother for our travels. Each individual, as they know, has a path to walk. This path may be filled with ruts and holes, but it is the path we must travel. To learn to fill in these ruts is our job. Not the Divine Ones. We need to learn to fill these ruts with concrete. Filling one hole at a time. Once we do this, our travels are not as burdened.

Our Gods and Goddesses, whoever they may be, know that we must learn to solve our own problems. Solving our own problems alone teaches us those life lessons that are needed for us to grow inside. Each time we solve these problems we have laid another new section on our road.

This re-building of our paths seems to be never-ending. Obstacles seem to be placed in front of us. Making us stop, not being able to go around whatever is there. Sometimes we must open our mind’s eye to see the solution. Causing us to bring out our inner strengths and trust. Worry, doubts, fears are those main obstacles that, in any given situation, prohibit us from coming up with a viable solution. Once we are able to overcome the fears, doubts and worries, we are able to free our mind and let the soft inner voice caress us with the answers. Listening to this voice can be all the help that you need. For you have opened up to see and hear the signs that are leading you to the solution. You are now able to walk straighter and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Nobody said that life was easy all the time. If it were easy what would we learn? Would we in fact have our faith?

If we did not have these opportunities to overcome obstacles would we recognize a Divine Intervention? Would we appreciate it? The awe would seem to be gone.

Our Gods and Goddesses may revel in our accomplishments. For they know that even by the tough love that they sometimes send out, we have survived another passage. Instead of tears of sadness, they shed tears of happiness in our advancements.

We will grow each time by learning to be strong, independent and happy individuals.

They see us and smile, knowing that we are doing fine alone most of the time. Our faith guides us. Our intelligence and perseverance to face the hardships are only stepping stones on the way to enlightenment.

You know and feel that their eyes and hearts are never closed to us. They are doing us a favor by allowing us “free will.” Their silent prayers are our answers to our requests. We just have to learn to open our minds and listen for them. They have done more for us by doing nothing.

After the hardships are behind you, please remember to thank your Gods and Goddesses for the blessings that you have in your life. One should do this daily. Whether in time of need or not. Don’t just call upon them in times of sorrow or hard times. Share your happiness with them. Your love and faith should be shown to them continuously by the things you do each day. Use personal words or prayers created just for them. Speak to your chosen Gods and Goddesses as if they are with you, because they are. Choose to do whatever makes you feel closer to them.

While you are alone, look again at the path you are traveling. See where you have been, where you are and where you are going. See how far you have come. See the things that brightened your life.

Finally, raise your eyes and arms to the heaven; say a silent prayer of love and gratitude to your Gods and Goddesses for their safe travels.

When Walking The Path, Wear Shoes

When Walking The Path, Wear Shoes

Author: Charmed Boy

I have often asked myself, “Are there others like me?” I am what I like to call a “non- magical” Pagan. I don’t do spell work or ritual. I am just a humble servant of the Goddess. I have tried to cast spells and perform rituals but it never seems to work. I have come to the realization that there are many different types of Pagans out there. There are those of use who cast circles and spells and perform rituals. There are also those like myself who are contented to just be of service.

I began my journey in my sophomore year of high school. I had always known there was something or someone watching over me, I just hadn’t figured what that was yet. I began studying various religions such as Buddhism and Quabalah, which I am still interested in after all these years.

One day I was at the library with my father when I came across the New Age section. I looked at some of the titles and when I found a book on Wicca, I picked it up and started reading.

A friend from high school was also into Wicca. We started wearing black clothing and pentacles. My high school had its various groups. The jocks, the preps, the goths. We were the Witches. Or so we thought. We would meet at a friend’s house and try and cast spells. There is a line from one of my favorite “witchy” movies Practical Magic that applies here: “You can’t practice Witchcraft while looking down your nose at it.” That is, in a sense, what we were doing. We were teenagers. We didn’t know any better.

Later, I discovered Gaia. I was reading a book about various Greek Gods and Goddesses and when I came to the part about Gaia something inside me clicked. For those who don’t know (and I am sure there aren’t very many) , Gaia is the Greek Goddess of Earth. She is the creator of everything that exists in nature. The birds and the winds and the oceans. That is why she is called “Mother Earth”. I felt like I had found what I had been looking for.

I had been hearing a gentle voice in my head comforting me when things went wrong. No, I wasn’t turning into Norman Bates! I had no desire to run a motel or dress in woman’s clothes and chase anyone around with sharp butcher knives. I knew this loving, caring voice could be none other than the Goddess speaking to me.

After High School, I moved from Illinois to Arkansas with my parents. I was bummed because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if there were any Pagans and Wiccans. I was entering part of the “Bible Belt”. To my amazement, I came across WitchVox.com. I noticed that an event called Pagan Pride Day was going on in Little Rock. I asked my dad if we could go. My father has been supportive of my choice of religion since I first talked with him about it.

On the day we went, I popped a Loreena McKennitt cd in the car’s cd player to get us in the mood. I had never been to an event like PPD and I didn’t know what to expect. The event was being held at a place called Burns Park. We didn’t know where to go, so we stopped at the visitors’ center to ask. The man behind the desk looked up at me when I asked him where the event was and said, “Are you one of them Witch people?” I laughed and said I was. He was smiling when he asked me so I knew he meant no harm.

We followed the directions until we came to a group of tents. We parked and walked across to the entrance. At this point, I was buzzing with excitement. There was the scent of patchouli in the air. We paid the entrance fee and looked around us. There were tents arranged in a circle. We walked around and looked at all the things people were selling. One woman was doing henna tattoos. My dad bought me my first pentacle. We came to a tent where two women were selling homemade perfume and body spray. This was where the patchouli scent was coming from.

I picked up a bottle and smelled it. It smelled like mint and patchouli. One of the women saw me holding the bottle and struck up a conversation with me. Little did I know she would become one of my best friends. She told me her name was Fran and she was the High Priestess of a coven. She held rituals and celebrated the holidays from the circle she had built in the back yard of her trailer. She invited me to attend the next holiday, which was Samhain. We e-mailed each other and on Samhain I went to her house with another friend. When I got there and saw the Circle she had built I was blown away. It was beautiful. The moment I took off my shoes and stepped inside the circle I felt its power and was at peace.

My friend was not Pagan and opted to observe. I had a lot of fun that night. I tasted mead for the first time. It is very good but very strong. Fran and I kept in touch through e-mail and by phone. I was able to attend the next PPD. When I got there Fran was talking with a friend of hers. She ran a tent with friends. When I went up to her to say hello, she didn’t recognize me at first. When I told her who I was she hugged me. We spent most of the day together. She made my father feel welcome. There was entertainment and belly dancing. After it was over and everyone began packing, I was walking to the car with my father when Fran called to me. She gave me a homemade besom her friend had made. A besom is a broom used to clear any negative energy from a room. I will never forget the gift she gave me as long as I live.

The last time I saw Fran was at the last PPD I went to. She was hosting a seminar on Egyptian Gods and Goddesses and history. After that, Fran and I lost touch. One day I decided to e-mail her just to see how she was. We hadn’t spoken for a while, but not because of any hostility between us; we were just busy. I received an e-mail from her husband informing me Fran had passed away. I was heartbroken.

I miss Fran a lot. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her. She was a wonderful, courageous woman who loved to laugh and enjoyed the occasional dirty joke. I thank the Goddess every day for the privilege of having known her. One thing I took away from attending the rituals at Fran’s was the realization that spells casting and ritual isn’t for me. I am content with just serving the Goddess to the best of my abilities.

What do I hope you take from this article? Be content in your own skin. So you don’t cast spells. So you don’t do ritual. You are serving the God and or Goddess by praying and making offerings. They are spiritual Parents and They love us whether we choose to perform an elaborate ritual… or just to say a prayer and make an offering.

Also, cherish the time you have with your friends. You never know when they might not be there anymore.

Cast your eyes to the ocean. Cast your soul to the sea. When the dark night seems endless, please remember me.” — Loreena McKennitt

Seeing is Believing… Or Is It?

Seeing is Believing… Or Is It?

Author: Mirage

We have all heard the age-old phrase “Seeing is believing” or ” I will only believe it when I see it.” For some situations in life, I have to agree — when dealing with the material world around us. I find it especially true when dealing with people. You can only be burned so many times and then you just end up losing your faith in human nature. I’m sure that I am not the only one here who has felt that way at one time or another- and for good reasons as well.

It saddens me, however, when people use this phase when referring to the existence of the Divine (God, Goddess, any divine entity) . I have heard so many Atheists, Agnostics, and even people who claim to have faith, make comments about the divine that basically translate as, ” I will believe it when I see it.” I have also heard people crack jokes about how silly it is for an adult to have an “imaginary friend” that they continually talk to but never get a response in return.

I am a firm believer that everyone is entitled to his or her own beliefs/opinions but I really think that we should all take a look at the other side of the fence before making any rash decisions. So, despite all of the multi-faceted views on religion and/or spirituality, I have a proposal to make. I think that if people gave the divine a chance, no matter how skeptical or bent on logic they claim to be, they would discover that seeing isn’t believing, but believing is seeing. However, this “sight” is more of an emotional awareness that allows us to “see” and experience the divine. First I think we should explore the problem before we discuss a solution…

People have asked me why I believe what I believe. Why do I believe in the Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses? Simply because I have ‘seen them’ by emotionally experiencing them or by feeling them? No, they did not manifest out of thin air and demand my undivided attention. Nor did they shout my name from the sky and underworld to prove to me that they really do exist.

I do not doubt that this could really occur, in one sense or another, but I have not experienced it for myself, therefore it is not the reason I have faith. So many people seem to have this expectation when it comes to deities. What seems more ridiculous to you- only believing in something if it makes itself physically apparent or having faith in something you haven’t physically seen but have emotionally experienced?

I think that knowing and experiencing the divine requires more of an effort on our part. If I was a divine entity, I wouldn’t just pop out at random times to offer people bits of wisdom and enlightenment. I would make them work for it! I’m pretty sure that all of the Gods and Goddesses, no matter what pantheon or time period they are from, would expect the same.

What concerns me is when people are new to Paganism, or any religion/spirituality for that matter, and expect to hit it off right away with every God or Goddess they choose to call upon. Some people are lucky, and a certain deity may favor them, so they get instant “results”. The deity tends to the individual and encourages him/her to form a relationship by allowing him/her to “see” the divine presence. Other times, the deity will choose to ignore the individual altogether or make the person work for results (most likely a fulfilling relationship with said deity) – the latter probably being more common.

This is why I think people have little or no faith. They just don’t want to put forth an effort to get to know a deity that they want to relate to. I have found that quite a few Pagans/ Wiccans at one point or another (myself included) tend to EXPECT Gods and Goddesses to grant desires with little effort on their part.

Yes, we can “promise” a deities that we will pay them homage in a certain manner or offer them incense, oils, foods, etc. so our wish will be granted, but to me that seems superficial and empty (again, I have done it myself, so I am by no means pointing my finger at others.) I think that we can almost relate divine relationships to relationships that we have with other people- especially significant others.

Sure, we can shower them with gifts and grant them “favors”, but there is so much more to a relationship besides that. We should learn about their personality (likes, dislikes, quirks, etc.) and how to work with them instead of against them. We should do this when relating to the divine as well and maybe we would get better results, thus strengthening our faith as we go.

I think that we have issues describing our spiritual experiences as well, so sometimes we put it on the back burner and brush it off as a coincidence or fate. My theory is that we are so used to describing material items, we are programmed to think that if we cannot describe the way something looks, sounds, smells, feels, etc. then it is illusive or does not exist at all.

For example, if I was asked to describe a rose, I would say that it is red, smells sweet, has sharp thorns, and so on. Needless to say, not too many people would describe the flower much differently.

However, if I was asked to describe the Goddess Isis, that might be a bit more difficult.

Since I have never physically seen Her, I couldn’t accurately describe Her physical attributes (hair color, skin color, clothing, eye color, etc.) unless I was basing it off of an artist’s depiction of Her. On the other hand, if I described my spiritual “sight” of Her, I would say that She is a being of light that brings me a very warm and peaceful feeling, almost as if She was my own mother.

Skeptical people might raise a brow to this description, but again, it all boils down to having faith, putting forth effort, and opening our minds to things we may not think to be possible.

So, if there is that one special deity in your life that you are not to sure about because he/she seems a tad bit illusive or you don’t know how to approach them, I say go for it! It won’t be as easy as looking at a person across the room from you and acknowledging him/her, but it will be well worth it in the end.

I suggest researching the deities that you are drawn to before you form a relationship with them. What are their attributes? What do they like/dislike? Do they have any aspects that you would like to relate to as well?

The research is the easy part. Now open your heart and your mind to them and allow their presence in your rituals or daily life…I’m sure that when the time is right, you will gain sight of them through your emotions and intuition.

Goddess of the Day for 4/1 is My Lady Morrigan

Goddess of the Day

The Morrigu / Morrigan / Morgaine / Morganna (Irish, British)
Celtic Goddess of Water and Magic. Supreme War Goddess, Shape-shifter. Reigned over the battlefields, helping with her magic but did not join in the battles.  She is the Crone aspect of the Goddess. Great Mother; Moon Goddess; Queen of the fairies. In her dark aspect, her symbol is then the raven or crow.  She is the Goddess of war, fate, death; she went fully armed & carried two spears. Goddess of rivers, lakes & fresh water. Patroness of priestesses & witches. Revenge, night, magic, prophecy. A Triple Goddess made of three largely autonomous Goddesses. Their names vary, but they are usually called Macha, Badb and Nemain. Morgan was said to be married to Merlin, and it was from him she learned her magic. She was also doubled with The Lady of the Lake.