Life As The Witch ~ Three-Fold Law of Return

Three-Fold Law of Return

 

The other “Law” of Witchcraft is the “THREE-FOLD LAW OF RETURN”. Basically, this is the natural law of “cause and effect”. The Goddess charges us to exercise great care in all that we, as Witches, do and say and even think. The Threefold Law takes the notion that “what we reap, we will sow”, a few steps further. In fact, THREE steps further. For what we do “for good or for ill, shall be returned to us threefold.” In light of this fact, Witches are loath to cause any harm, lest it be returned to them in spades!!

When we come to really understand the Three-Fold Law and it’s ramifications, we can see that although on the surface, it acts like a prohibition, it also serves as a source of blessing. Witches seek to heal and to help all of Life, and when we are working for “the good of all”, it is natural that the “good” will come to us also. But it falls on us multiplied and empowered. Three-fold is quite an increase no matter what mathematical method you use!

The word “just” is defined as” that which is merited or deserved.” With that definition in mind, you can see why Witches believe in the exercise of “justice” over “revenge”. We are assured that what is merited by a persons actions will come to pass. We need only to ask the God and Goddess for “justice to be done”. Since this is in line with natural laws and the promises of the Ancient Ones, we can rest in the knowledge that we are asking in a correct manner for the situation to be taken care of. Then we can release it to them to handle and go about our business.

“Revenge” on the other hand, is defined as “an urge to get even” (we’ve all been there!) or “to inflict harm in reaction to an insult” (we cannot go THERE!) It is difficult sometimes, especially when our loved ones have been hurt, to follow the principles outlined here…VERY difficult. Never the less, that is what we are instructed to do. It is a matter of trust…trust that the God and the Goddess will take care of it…trust that the Universal Laws apply to everyone equally…trust in the Three-Fold Law…and trust in yourself as a Witch, strong in your beliefs. We all go through deep soul searching when confronted with this issue. How we decide to respond tells us a lot about ourselves, what we give lip service to and what we really believe. It can be a valuable lesson that can change our life.

“The Great Mother and Father would not have their children suffer the indignities of oppressors for their sake, for what is within the hearts of Their children is dear and true to Them. The Ancient and Mighty Ones shall cause the balance to be made for those who desecrate the worship of the Lord and Lady, Their Temples, or their Creations” *

 

* quote from the “New Wiccan Book of the Law” by Lady Galadriel 1992

 

The Threefold Law in Folktales

Author: Nukiuk

Three is a magickal number. It is the number of forms of the Goddess – Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Likewise, it is the form of the God as Father, Sage, and Son. It symbolises the Druidic elements of Land, Sea, and Sky. It is the number of times you chant a charm, the number of times you walk around a circle… and it is the basis for the three-fold law.

We all know the Wiccan Rede, or some variation of it. My favorite version is one I read long ago, although I cannot remember the author who so cleverly put it into rhyme:

“Three times three, what you put forth comes back to thee.”

Simply put, the threefold law speaks of karma. The energy you put out is the energy you get back, three times over. It is the basis for yet another popular Pagan tenet: “An ye harm none, do they will.” Putting forward negative energy will bring you nothing but negativity in return.

Old folktales are full of this concept, although they may never state it directly. Whether the tale is from Western or Eastern Europe, whether it is written about magical creatures or just about lucky noblemen, the importance of both karma and the number three are readily apparent. In most fairy tales, people get what they deserve for their efforts. My favorite example of this is from The Girl in the Well. In this story, a girl drops her spindle down a well. Her stepmother forbids her to return home without the spindle, so the girl dives into the well.

At the bottom of the well, the girl finds an alternate world. There she meets three groups of people, who each ask her a favor: a group of shepherds who need help cleaning their sheep, a group of cattle herders who need a similar favor, and a rich couple who ask her to work for them for one year. She aids each group, and is rewarded.

When she returns home, her stepmother grows jealous and sends her own daughter into the well. However, the stepdaughter refuses to aid the shepherd and the cattle herders and when she gets to the elderly couple, she is so lazy that after three days they send her home. She bears no rewards, but arrives home covered in bugs and filth. The moral of this story is obvious: put forth good effort, and you will be rewarded; act lazy and mean, and you will be punished. The energy you put out is what you get back.

In this tale, the number three is easily visible. The girl meets three groups of people seeking her aid, and is rewarded when she passes their tests. The stepsister fails all three – in fact, she is sent back home after three days.

Another tale, The Three Feathers tells us of three princes who are in dispute over who should rule the kingdom. His siblings consider the youngest brother a simpleton. The king decides that he shall give them a quest to determine who shall inherit; he sends them out to see who can bring him the most beautiful rug in the land. To settle any dispute, he throws three feathers into the wind, so that each brother can follow one in the direction it went.

One of the feathers goes straight up and down again, so the simpleton remains behind while his two brothers set off, one to the east and one to the west. However, he happens to notice a trap door beneath his feather, and follows it to find a court of toads. He asks the queen of these toads for the finest carpet she has, and it is delivered. Meanwhile, his brothers figure that he won’t be able to find a rug from anywhere, so they decide not to waste their money and each bring back a handkerchief.

When they return, the king declares the simpleton to be the inheritor. The brothers protest, and manage to talk the king into two more challenges – for a beautiful ring, and for a beautiful woman. The feathers do the same thing, and both times the youngest brother wins the challenge in the same manner, and so is crowned king, with his beautiful bride (who was once a young toad maiden) . The two elder brothers put forth no effort in their quests, and thus received nothing. Meanwhile, the supposed “simpleton”, instead of trying to outwit his father, simply does as he is told, and through this wins the crown. This tale has three brothers, sent to find objects three times, who are guided by three feathers. Once again, the number three shapes the way the story turns out.

Finally, the third example of this is in a strange little story call The Three Spinners. A girl refuses to spin flax, so her mother beats her. The queen is passing by and hears the girl’s cries. When she comes into the hut to investigate, the mother is so embarrassed by her daughter’s lack of spinning ability that she instead brags and claims the inverse – that she is beating the girl because she will not stop spinning, even though there woman can afford no more flax. The queen is impressed by this lie, and has the daughter brought to her castle to spin. She says if the girl can spin three roomfuls of flax, she will be able to marry the prince.

Of course, the girl cannot spin. So she cries for three days. After this period, three old women appear who offer to spin the flax for her, if only they can attend the wedding and be treated as the girl’s aunts. They each have a different deformity: a large, flat foot. a massive hanging lip, and an oversized thumb.

The girl agrees, and the rooms of flax are spun quickly. When the wedding comes around, the prince asks the old women how they got their deformities; they respond that they are through treading the pedal, licking the thread, and pinning it down with their thumb, respectively. The prince is alarmed and says that his beautiful bride shall never be allowed to spin again. And so the girl gets everything she wanted from life. The girl in this tale is by no means a paragon of goodness; she is rather lazy and disobedient. However, she made a promise to the three old women, kept it, and was rewarded almost three times as much as was worth such a favor.

This story has three women – specifically crones, the third incarnation of the Goddess. There are three rooms of flax to be spun, and the girl cries for three days. Three three’s – a powerful number, which potentially aided the magic that helped her out of her predicament.

The rule of three is written in many old fairy tales, if you just know where to look. In these stories, the rewards for basic kindnesses are often overdone; but then again, energy does tend to return threefold as much. These three stories are but a small example of the multitude of such tales that fill the body of European folklore. All throughout these tales, the number three is woven into stories of karma that have been told for generations.

Morality Of Wicca

Morality Of Wicca

Wiccan morality is ruled according to the Wiccan Rede, which (in part) states “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.” (“An” is an archaic word meaning “if”.) Others follow the slightly adapted Rede of “An it harm none, do what ye will; if harm it does, do what ye must.” Either way, the Rede is central to the understanding that personal responsibility, rather than a religious authority, is where moral structure resides.One of the major differences between Wiccans and other types of witchcraft is the Rede.

Many “traditional” witches or witches that follow other paths do not believe in the Rede. This is a major topic of controversy within the Wiccan and Pagan communities.Many Wiccans also promote the Law of Threefold Return, or the idea that anything that one does may be returned to them threefold. In other words, good deeds are magnified back to the doer, but so are ill deeds.

Gerina Dunwich, an American author whose books (particularly Wicca Craft) were instrumental in the increase in popularity of Wicca in the late 1980s and 1990s, disagrees with the Wiccan concept of threefold return on the grounds that it is inconsistent with the Laws of Physics.

Pointing out that the origin of the Law of Threefold Return is traceable to Raymond Buckland in the 20th century, Dunwich is of the opinion that “There is little backing to support it as anything other than a psychological law.” Her own personal belief, which differs from the usual interpretation of the Threefold Law, is that whatever we do on a physical, mental, or spiritual level will sooner or later affect us, in either a positive or negative way, on all three levels of being.

A few Wiccans also follow, or at least consider, a set of 161 laws often referred to as Lady Sheba’s Laws. Some find these rules to be outdated and counterproductive.Most Wiccans also seek to cultivate the Eight Wiccan Virtues. These may have been derived from earlier Virtue ethics, but were first formulated by Doreen Valiente in the Charge of the Goddess. They are Mirth, Reverence, Honour, Humility, Strength, Beauty, Power, and Compassion. They are in paired opposites which are perceived as balancing each other.

Many Wiccans also believe that no magic (or magick) can be performed on any other person without that person’s direct permission (excepting pets and young children who can be protected by parents and owners). Sometimes when permission is expected but not yet attained magical energy will be placed on the astral plane for the receiver to gather if and when he/she is ready.

The Wiccan ReDe

Bide the Wiccan laws ye must
In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust
Live and let live
Freely take and freely give
Cast the circle thrice about
To keep all evil spirits out
To bind the spell every time
Let the spell be spake in rhyme
Soft of eye and light of touch
Speak little, listen much
Deosil go by the waxing moon
Sing and dance the Wiccan rune
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane
And the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane
When the Lady’s moon is new
Kiss thy hand to her times two
When the moon rides at her peak
Then your heart’s desire seek
Heed the northwind’s mighty gale
Lock the door and drop the sail
When the wind comes from the south
Love will kiss thee on the mouth
When the wind blows from the east
Expect the new and set the feast
When the west wind blows o’er thee
Departed spirits restless be
Nine woods in the cauldron go
Burn them fast and burn them slow
Elder be ye Lady’s tree
Burn it not or cursed ye’ll be
When the wheel begins to turn
Let the Beltaine fires burn
When the wheel has turned to Yule
Light the log and let Pan rule
Heed ye flower, bush and tree
By the Lady, Blessed be
Where the rippling waters go
Cast a stone and truth ye’ll know The Rede of the Wicca
When ye have a need
Hearken not to others’ greed
With the fool no season spend
Nor be counted as his friend
Merry meet and merry part
Bright the cheeks and warm the heart
Mind the Threefold Law ye should
Three times bad and three times good
When misfortune is enow
Wear the blue star on thy brow
True in love ever be
Unless thy lover’s false to thee
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill
An’ it harm none, do what ye will

The Wiccan Book of Days for Feb. 3rd – Februa in Februarius

Wiccan Pictures, Images, Comments, Graphics

Februa in Februarius

The transition from January to February heralded the arrival of a major Sabbat, but now that Imbolc has been celebrated, there is time to reflect on the name of the second month of the solar year. “February” is ultimately derived from the Latin word februum, which means “purification” or “purgation” and is linked with the Februa (or Februalia) festival of purification, expiation, and atonement that was held in Rome on February 15. It is thought that both the Roman month of Februarius an Februa, during which sacrifices were made to he dead were dedicated to Febuus, a god of the underworld.

“Many Happy Returns”

On this day, ponder upon the Wiccan threefold law of return, which holds that any magick that you do unto others will rebound three times as strongly upon yourself. Think hard before casting a spiteful spell lest you later have personal cause to rue its consequences.

Don’t Fear The Dark: A Discussion On Cursing

Don’t Fear The Dark: A Discussion On Cursing

Author: Ravenix

I can imagine that the title of this article has already raised a few Wiccan eyebrows, so before I launch into the discussion proper, let me say this to them: Don’t worry. I’m not flaming you. I’m not going to ridicule your beliefs, and to do so would be hypocritical, as I myself devoted several years of my life to Wicca. It’s a good, sound, well-structured system, with a wonderful sense of community and empowerment.

So don’t panic.

If you want to follow the Wiccan Rede, great! It’s an admirable ethic. But it’s not for me anymore. Yes, I have cursed, yes, I do curse, yes, I will probably curse again. But don’t run away just yet; hear me out, and bear what I’m saying in mind.

In Neopaganism, there has been something of a shying away from the ‘dark side’ of spirituality; there is a great emphasis on being ‘nice’, on focusing only on the ‘good’ and ‘light’ side of things. Yet in comparison, our ancestors before us cursed each other like there was no tomorrow. To this day, archaeological digs uncover smashed clay portraits, bottles of punctured animal organs and other such wonderfully wicked hexes (just type ‘curse’ into the Boscastle Museum Of Witchcraft’s database search and you’ll soon see what I mean) . If you mention these items to a Neopagan, they’ll be likely to change the subject sharpish, or blame it on the witch hunters of old.

Everywhere you look, the Law of Threefold Return is drilled into you, as well as other such warnings and cautions about the ‘dangers’ of cursing. Terms such as ‘white’ and ‘black’ magick don’t exactly help. But is cursing as horrid and malicious an act as it is made out to be? Do we have to sacrifice this art completely to be spiritually ‘good’?

As a Wiccan, I always found that the Wiccan Rede was a hard act to follow; the Rede stated that, as a Wiccan, I could not harm anyone, in any circumstance, ever. The questions that came to me were these; what if they harmed me first? Doesn’t that entitle me to some kind of counter? Moreover, what if they deserved it? Then again, who’s to decide?

If we look at Western Heathenism as a whole, there is very little evidence that an idea like the Law of Threefold Return existed before the 1950’s, and it is in fact derived from Eastern spiritualism. Traditional Cornish Witchcraft, perhaps the only Traditional form that has truly thrived in the British Isles, makes great use of cursing.

Have any of these witches, or any of our ancestors, been made to pay for their actions?

Historically, only by the witch hunters. There are no reports that I know of relating to Traditional Witches being punished by the Gods for cursing in itself. Of course that’s not to say that cursing doesn’t require a certain degree of caution- indeed all spellcraft does.

My partner, for example, performed a curse on a group of people that had refused to act when his friend was date-raped at her own birthday party; he consequently suffered from minor blackouts for months afterwards. This, you might say, is proof enough of celestial punishment. However I propose a slightly different view.

Keep in mind that anger and hatred are incredibly violent emotions; they could be argued to be more ‘powerful’ than happiness and calm due to their speed, severity, and unpredictability. Compare how exhausted you are after laughing for five minutes, and after shouting and screaming in rage for the same amount of time. You would probably agree that the latter leaves you feeling much more empty and drained. Also think of the amount of times you’ve flown off the handle for trivial things. This is what makes cursing so risky: the power behind these negative emotions, and their tendency to amplify far beyond what is fitting to their cause.

Basically, if you wish death on someone for stealing your car, the Gods probably will turn around and admonish you for being harsh. On the other hand, if someone hurts your family and you want payback, the anger and hate you unleash in that spell will burst out of you far more readily than a healing spell. In all cursing, then, moderation of your emotions and a good deal of consideration beforehand are key; I believe that my partner’s blackouts occurred because he either wore himself out completely from the spell’s severity, or the Gods deemed him too severe and made him pay accordingly- but they weren’t admonishing him for cursing in itself.

In particular, the idea of your family being hurt is one that does not sit well with the Rede. What if someone did willingly hurt your family? Would you sit and wait for the Gods to avenge you?

This view is one that I imagine the Gods find slightly arrogant; they’re not there to hold your hand, and they don’t heal your friends for you- you have to do most of that yourself, even if you do ask for help, so why isn’t cursing the same?

Or, would you turn the other cheek, letting the instigator get away with their cruelty?

Now I’ve never been the most forgiving person, and I don’t see why I can’t give back what I get from people who wish to hurt me and mine. The trick is to cast a curse that is equivalent to the harm done; something that is very hard to do when the human condition makes us bloodthirsty for revenge of the worst kind.

I would definitely say that cursing is harder than well-wishing, as it requires more control; it also requires you to make contact with a part of yourself that you may not like. This I think is why many Wiccans and Neopagans turn away from it, to the point of fearing it; they refuse to accept the ugly side of their nature, as do most people. This is understandable, but it’s also an imbalanced way of life to me; it’s a sad truth that the world is both beautiful and terrible, and I believe that true balance comes if your spirituality reflects that.

Curses are nothing to fear (unless you’re on the receiving end of course!) , and they can be quite trivial; I performed a curse on a flea infestation in my house a few months ago, with the help of Tiw, and I haven’t had trouble since.

All in all, pins in poppets and mutilated animal organs are extreme examples of what is, really, just another form of spellcraft; if you look past the hype and fight your fear, you’ll find that curses aren’t as terrible as they’re made out to be. Remember that the more severe curses are a last resort; like everything else, you must think twice and use caution.

And like all spells, curses are just a means to an end, usually getting rid of something undesirable when there’s no other way of doing so.

Of course I can’t convince you to agree, and if you’re still dead against cursing, so be it; you’re welcome to your views. But at least consider what I’ve said, and try not to be afraid of something that is, at its heart, an integral part of the Traditional Craft.


Footnotes:
http://www.museumofwitchcraft.com

The Journey of a Wild Witch

The Journey of a Wild Witch

Author: Eilan

It has been eight years since I first discovered Witchcraft in a spiritual context. Prior to this Magick was very much alive in my life as I was lucky enough to have been born into a family that understands the spiritual dimension of life. My family also had the insight and experience to see and live this dimension in their everyday. In truth there is no difference between what is conceived to be ‘spiritual’ and that which is apparent and ‘mundane’. It is all one. This is my truth and my wild way.

I am an initiated Witch and Priest of the WildWood Tradition of Witchcraft. This means a great deal to me, as I am also a ‘co-founder’ of the original Mother Coven, based in Brisbane and initiated at Samhain (April 30th) 2006. Our ‘tradition’ and way of living the Craft is deeply interwoven with what many people call ‘shamanism’; derived from the Siberian Tungus word for their medicine people – saman. Mircea Eliade, the late Romanian historian, described shamanism as a “technique of ecstasy” and my coven has come to define Witchcraft as an “ecstasy-driven, Earth-based, mystery tradition”.

Our (and all Witches’) rituals and methods of practice allow us to transcend the illusion of separation and therefore to dissolve the ego and actualize the freedom that lives in the heart of all things. I often call and relate to this ‘All’ as the Great Mystery. The beauty of being a Wild Witch is that nothing is absolute and I have come to realize that all of Life is a holy continuum, which constantly seeks to express itself through diversity. Through expression comes manifestation, which allows us to experience Beauty through Perfection (the world in which we live) and then once more we come to the Wholeness of Unity and the cycle repeats itself.

We are born into a plural world of many and pass into the One only to yearn to divide ourselves once more to grow, deepen and enrich our understandings and experiences of that subtle/overt thing – the Great Mystery.

My coven’s tradition has developed and evolved around this wild-trance-dance-of-wonder. The only consistency between our covens is that we honor and acknowledge our heartland the WildWood, keep holy our covenant with the Sacred Four (the Weaver, the Green Man, the Crescent-Crowned Goddess and the Stag-Horned God) and that we remain open and receptive to personal/group gnosis and to Awen (the divine flow of inspiration) . Other than this there are some structural similarities regarding dedication and priesthood and inner and outer courts.

Essentially however we are wild Witches who fly in the face of authority and seek the wilderness underlying the apparent ‘civilization’ of things. Nothing can be tamed, for the wild is free and the free is divine! As we say in the WildWood – “we have actualized our radness!”

What do Wild Witches do? First and foremost – we live! We breathe, we sleep, we eat, we drink, we sing, we dance, we make love, we scream and we spend time sharing presence and being with our loved ones. ‘Being’ is an important principle to consider. To be is quite simple but so many people find themselves distracted by the “this and that” that they leave ‘being’ behind and pursue illusion instead.

This isn’t the same concept found in various Christian philosophies which espouses a “Satan’s fault!” message when sheep stray from the flock so to speak. Witches understand self-responsibility and are aware of action, reaction and consequence (the Threefold Law) . Why not exist in euphoric awareness of self as Self – the animate Cosmos? You are not only a cell within a larger body of universal wholeness; you are whole and thus a perfect embodiment, expression and reflection of the Great Mystery whose cause, undercurrent and outcome is Life.

When we free ourselves from the illusion of past, present and future and surrender to the Flow of the Continuum (the spirals, the wayward ins and outs, the labyrinthine, serpentine undulations of fate becoming) we make real for ourselves the state of being known commonly as “here and now”. This seems to constitute location and time, however it simply addresses the emphasis of indwelling consciousness regardless of where you are and what frame of time constrains it.

There are moments in my life, which I refer to as ‘Nostalgic Rites’. They are pure, simple, soothing, knowing moments that are like the punctuation points in a flow of sentences. They are the markers and the thresholds that appear along our paths when it is time to pause, reflect and feel. I have them often enough in my life to understand their imminent message of timelessness, peace and overwhelming Love! For what I have learnt above all else thus far is that dwelling within the chaos in the cosmos is the peace which neither subsumes or overrides it, but embraces it and lets it be. Chaos is what happens naturally when the undifferentiated potential becomes “this and that” and peace is the understanding that this is the way of Life. All of this is wild; we dwell in a far-reaching, limitless wilderness.

In a recent priestess training session with two beautiful women from my coven I asked both of them to divulge their feelings and reflections of the journey toward their priestesshood, as they are nearing to the ‘end’ of the beginning – Initiation. One of the women honestly came out and said to us that she feared for us (the other priestess-in-training and I) because we are on the top of the mountain, but because we are risk-takers it is inevitable that we will fall.

I had to stop and wonder in that moment why anyone would not want to fall. In fact I also wondered whether it had occurred to her that surrounding the mountain were vast forests, plains, rivers, deserts, tundra, bushland, seas, oceans and lakes; not to mention all of the beings who inhabit these places.

For me the mountain is not the point. It is part of the whole Great Mystery, but the journey does not lead to a single place; in fact the journey doesn’t really lead anywhere. There is no aim to my wandering, to my blissful dance through the wilderness – I simply embrace every experience because it is worthy of it and I laugh, smile, cry, choke, rage, relax, love, ***, change, grow, and a million other things that I couldn’t possibly articulate or fathom for the purposes of this article.

The other woman, who knows me very well, and is one of my closest friends, then turned to me smiling and said, “You are so glib!” She then went on to explain that it was the “natural, offhand ease and articulate fluency and flow” of how I expressed my truth that made me glib in her opinion.

It wasn’t a criticism on her part, merely an observation. I think it is actually quite accurate. I have such ease and flow in my expression because I don’t have to think too hard about who I am or how I feel because I am and I feel in the “here and the now”. I live and I am, and in my experience Life itself is glib.

To my fellow journeyers of the wild way who know in their hearts that they are heading nowhere, anywhere and everywhere – may you dance the Wander with all you are. My deepest well of love to you all!

The Wanderer

The sages say that samsara is to wander, to pass through,
I say samsara is to know the way and dance it.
To dance is to live, and to live is never “to pass through”;
Dance doll – dance and light up the stage…

Then they came with their wrought-iron weapons
And they pierced my soul, and looked for the mark.
I sang to them to soothe their battered spirits.
They sunk their swords in harder, my heart is in shreds.

The blood ran dry and the old seas heaved
And there in the darkest hour all was forgotten,
And tattered clothes were left in tatters,
And the ashes were left in mounds at the pyres.

Is it a fact that when we are lost we wander?
Is it true that when we are in love we dance?
Or do we dance when we are lost?
And do we wander when in love?

Samsara, O holy wheel of Life,
Keep turning, I want to stay.
I don’t want nirvana in clouds far away
For I feel it already…here.

The Wanderer – the Fool?
I don’t mind, I don’t mind being;
For all the pain and suffering and the attachment to desire
There is a keenness that is not worth losing.

I want to live,
I want to wander if that’s what it takes,
But through all this I will dance
And I will dance because I love.

– Gede Parma

Which Element Are You?

Which Element Are You?

 

You can gain insight into your personal elemental affinities by asking yourself questions that cover a wide range of topics. Ask yourself many simple questions. Think of it as peeling an onion. Layer by layer you slowly reveal your core. Revealing spells have their purposes, like when it comes to remembering thing we may have chosen to forget, but when it comes to determining something as deeply ingrained as an elemental affinity, you must peel, peel, and peel. If you write your answers on single sheet of paper, one element will often appear many times. Here is a list of questions to consider.

1. What element do you feel you align with?

2. List any hobbies you have. Is there a recurrent theme?

3. Are you basically happy and content or restless and bored?

4. How are you when it comes to money matters?

5. Do you have a sharp nose for business?

6. What are your favorite food groups or preferred taste sensations? (Sweet, salty, etc.)

7. Are you an artist? Is so, what medium do your prefer? (Words, paint, sculpture, etc.)

8. What is your preferred divination method? (Tarot, scrying, pendulum, etc.)

9. Do you know your aura colors?

10. Do you have past-life memories?

11. What are your preferred textures? (Satin, cotton, etc.)

12. How would you describe your musical taste? What is your favorite type of music?

13. What is your favorite kind of mood enchancer? (Aroma, music, stones, etc.)

14. Do you have any physical impairments? (Hearing, sight, smell, etc.) Do you have asthma or any other type of health condition?

15. Do you have any phobias?

16. What is your favorite activity?

17. What is your preferred reading genre? (Fantasy, horror, nonfiction, etc.)

18. How old are you?

19. What kind of imagery do you prefer? (A waterfall, roaring fire, sky scene, luxuriant garden, etc.)

20. Do you collect anything?

21. What is your favorite color?

22. Do you have a weight problem? (Are you overweight or underweight?)

23. Tell me about your space….is it organized or cluttered?

24. Do you have any bad habits?

25. What color is your car?

26. Do you follow the Wiccan Rede or the Golden Rule?

27. Do you believe in the threefold law?

28. Do you have an altar? What is on it?

29. Are your rituals formal or informal?

30. Tell me about your book of shadows. Is it organized? Divided into sections? How many sections? Are the pages decorated or is it more of a journal? Tell me all about it.

31. How do you handle anger?

32. How do you handle love?

33. Are you methodical or more free-spirited?

34. What is your Sun sign? Moon sign? Ascendant?

35. What is your profession? What do you want it to be?

36. Do you believe in ghosts? What would you consider to be “proof” of a haunting?

37. Do you have a totem animal? If so, what is it?

38. Is there a season of the year that you feel most in tune with?

39. Do you consider yourself a day person or a night person?

40. What mythical or fantasy creatures do you love? Which ones scare you?

41. Looking in your book of shadows, what type of spells are predominant? (Candles, herbs, mojo bags, etc.)

42. What color are your eyes? Your hair?

43. Where are you most comfortable? (At home, in the forest, at the beach, etc.)

44. Do you have any specific dream memories? Describe them.

Natural Baby Ritual

Preparations begin before the birth of the child:

  1. The expectant couple obtains some special wood and burns it down to ash. Traditionally, the desired wood leaves white ash, because it will make the rest of the spell easier, however this may be adapted to suit specific desires. Any traditional magick wood, such as birch, ceiba, hazel or rowan would be appropriate, too.

  2. These ashes are reserved until the birth.

  3. After  birth, the placenta is carried to a strategic area, traditionally a mountain crossroads, and placed on the ground.

  4. The ashes are sprinkled onto the placenta.

  5. The first animal to leave prints either in or with the ash is the child’s protector or represents the species.

Of course, this spell obviously derives from a rural area, with little traffic but a lot of wildlife. Adapt to your needs.

Don’t Fear The Dark: A Discussion On Cursing

Don’t Fear The Dark: A Discussion On Cursing

Author: Ravenix

I can imagine that the title of this article has already raised a few Wiccan eyebrows, so before I launch into the discussion proper, let me say this to them: Don’t worry. I’m not flaming you. I’m not going to ridicule your beliefs, and to do so would be hypocritical, as I myself devoted several years of my life to Wicca. It’s a good, sound, well-structured system, with a wonderful sense of community and empowerment.

So don’t panic.

If you want to follow the Wiccan Rede, great! It’s an admirable ethic. But it’s not for me anymore. Yes, I have cursed, yes, I do curse, yes, I will probably curse again. But don’t run away just yet; hear me out, and bear what I’m saying in mind.

In Neopaganism, there has been something of a shying away from the ‘dark side’ of spirituality; there is a great emphasis on being ‘nice’, on focusing only on the ‘good’ and ‘light’ side of things. Yet in comparison, our ancestors before us cursed each other like there was no tomorrow. To this day, archaeological digs uncover smashed clay portraits, bottles of punctured animal organs and other such wonderfully wicked hexes (just type ‘curse’ into the Boscastle Museum Of Witchcraft’s database search and you’ll soon see what I mean) . If you mention these items to a Neopagan, they’ll be likely to change the subject sharpish, or blame it on the witch hunters of old.

Everywhere you look, the Law of Threefold Return is drilled into you, as well as other such warnings and cautions about the ‘dangers’ of cursing. Terms such as ‘white’ and ‘black’ magick don’t exactly help. But is cursing as horrid and malicious an act as it is made out to be? Do we have to sacrifice this art completely to be spiritually ‘good’?

As a Wiccan, I always found that the Wiccan Rede was a hard act to follow; the Rede stated that, as a Wiccan, I could not harm anyone, in any circumstance, ever. The questions that came to me were these; what if they harmed me first? Doesn’t that entitle me to some kind of counter? Moreover, what if they deserved it? Then again, who’s to decide?

If we look at Western Heathenism as a whole, there is very little evidence that an idea like the Law of Threefold Return existed before the 1950’s, and it is in fact derived from Eastern spiritualism. Traditional Cornish Witchcraft, perhaps the only Traditional form that has truly thrived in the British Isles, makes great use of cursing.

Have any of these witches, or any of our ancestors, been made to pay for their actions?

Historically, only by the witch hunters. There are no reports that I know of relating to Traditional Witches being punished by the Gods for cursing in itself. Of course that’s not to say that cursing doesn’t require a certain degree of caution- indeed all spellcraft does.

My partner, for example, performed a curse on a group of people that had refused to act when his friend was date-raped at her own birthday party; he consequently suffered from minor blackouts for months afterwards. This, you might say, is proof enough of celestial punishment. However I propose a slightly different view.

Keep in mind that anger and hatred are incredibly violent emotions; they could be argued to be more ‘powerful’ than happiness and calm due to their speed, severity, and unpredictability. Compare how exhausted you are after laughing for five minutes, and after shouting and screaming in rage for the same amount of time. You would probably agree that the latter leaves you feeling much more empty and drained. Also think of the amount of times you’ve flown off the handle for trivial things. This is what makes cursing so risky: the power behind these negative emotions, and their tendency to amplify far beyond what is fitting to their cause.

Basically, if you wish death on someone for stealing your car, the Gods probably will turn around and admonish you for being harsh. On the other hand, if someone hurts your family and you want payback, the anger and hate you unleash in that spell will burst out of you far more readily than a healing spell. In all cursing, then, moderation of your emotions and a good deal of consideration beforehand are key; I believe that my partner’s blackouts occurred because he either wore himself out completely from the spell’s severity, or the Gods deemed him too severe and made him pay accordingly- but they weren’t admonishing him for cursing in itself.

In particular, the idea of your family being hurt is one that does not sit well with the Rede. What if someone did willingly hurt your family? Would you sit and wait for the Gods to avenge you?

This view is one that I imagine the Gods find slightly arrogant; they’re not there to hold your hand, and they don’t heal your friends for you- you have to do most of that yourself, even if you do ask for help, so why isn’t cursing the same?

Or, would you turn the other cheek, letting the instigator get away with their cruelty?

Now I’ve never been the most forgiving person, and I don’t see why I can’t give back what I get from people who wish to hurt me and mine. The trick is to cast a curse that is equivalent to the harm done; something that is very hard to do when the human condition makes us bloodthirsty for revenge of the worst kind.

I would definitely say that cursing is harder than well-wishing, as it requires more control; it also requires you to make contact with a part of yourself that you may not like. This I think is why many Wiccans and Neopagans turn away from it, to the point of fearing it; they refuse to accept the ugly side of their nature, as do most people. This is understandable, but it’s also an imbalanced way of life to me; it’s a sad truth that the world is both beautiful and terrible, and I believe that true balance comes if your spirituality reflects that.

Curses are nothing to fear (unless you’re on the receiving end of course!) , and they can be quite trivial; I performed a curse on a flea infestation in my house a few months ago, with the help of Tiw, and I haven’t had trouble since.

All in all, pins in poppets and mutilated animal organs are extreme examples of what is, really, just another form of spellcraft; if you look past the hype and fight your fear, you’ll find that curses aren’t as terrible as they’re made out to be. Remember that the more severe curses are a last resort; like everything else, you must think twice and use caution.

And like all spells, curses are just a means to an end, usually getting rid of something undesirable when there’s no other way of doing so.

Of course I can’t convince you to agree, and if you’re still dead against cursing, so be it; you’re welcome to your views. But at least consider what I’ve said, and try not to be afraid of something that is, at its heart, an integral part of the Traditional Craft.

 



Footnotes:
http://www.museumofwitchcraft.com