Book of Shadows Blessing Spell

Book of Shadows Blessing Spell

Preparation:

At the time of the Full Moon, take your Book of Shadows (one that  hasn’t been written in yet) and some incense (pennyroyal, anise or rue) outside.

Ritual:

Under the light of the Full Moon, draw a pentagram on the first page and under this  write the following information: date, time, place, your magical name (and sigil if you have one),  the moon’s phase and any other info you feel is important. Hold the book up to the Moon and say:

Here as the Full Moon shines upon me, Bless this Book I’ve made tonight. I humbly ask this of thee, Underneath your most sacred light.

 

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Solitary Misconceptions

Solitary Misconceptions

by Sylvana SilverWitch

I used to be a solitary many, many years ago now. After I moved to  Seattle — away from my first priestess and  coven — I looked for a new coven, thinking it would be easy to find one. In the  early 70’s, there was not much pagan activity in Seattle. As I became familiar with  the area and got settled, I ran into a number of people who claimed to be  practicing the Craft but were not into anything  like what I had been taught.

One guy I met ended up getting arrested a few years later for  luring young girls into a “coven,” only to  ply them with drugs and take advantage of them. I was very happy that I wasn’t  taken in by his charm and promises of third degree initiation into his  made-up tradition.

I read the submissions for this issue with interest because I always  wonder why one would choose to be a solitary, foregoing the rich tapestry of  learning and practicing with a group. I feel truly blessed to be a part of my coven,  Sylvan Grove, and I wouldn’t trade the last 16 years with the evolving group  for anything. As I read, I noticed a theme of misconceptions about working in  a group and/or being part of a coven. Misconceptions, that is, from my  point of view. Having been in a couple covens for a number of years each as well  as having been a solitary for over 10 years, I feel well-equipped to address  some of these issues.

Seemingly common misconceptions I have come across, and my  perceptions about them are:

1. That you can just find and join a coven.

Finding covens is not easy. It’s not like we advertise in the phone book  and you can simply call us up and come on over. In most cases, you cannot just  join the coven the next day, week or month. It takes training, discipline  and elementary knowledge to begin working with an existing group. Not to  mention social skills, responsibility and basic compatibility with the tradition and  the people.

2. That working alone is somehow better than working in a group.

There is a limit to how much you can learn and grow on your  own. Whether it’s getting a new perspective or opinion or having support in  times of need, We all need other people.

I have found value in working alone, but I can do that and still be part of  a coven. We get together on the new and full moons and the Sabbats,  and sometimes socially. But we don’t all live together. We have separate lives.

Also, I have found nothing to be as wonderfully challenging, stimulating  and rewarding as working magick with a group of intelligent, inquisitive, bold  and progressive people. The coven I am now HPS of has some of the brightest  and most amazing people I have ever come across in the Craft. The energy  we generate when we do magick is palpable. We are a focused and powerful  entity and our magick works well because of that.

3. That groups follow some “Sacred Book of Shadows” that was  passed down from Old Gerald, and that they duplicate the rituals  absolutely religiously.

This is true in very few covens I have been exposed to. More often,  when a written tradition hands down a book of shadows, it is passed from the HP  or HPS to the initiate. Initiates then expand on or change what they do to  suit themselves. Very few covens, in my experience, go by the letter of the  book for every ritual. In fact, most of the people I have done ritual with are  artistic, creative witches and have written and performed some remarkable  rituals. Maybe that’s a comment on who I tend to gravitate to, but it can’t be only  that after all these years.

4. That groups don’t allow for individual personal creativity.

If my coven is any indication, this cannot be true. Andy recently wrote  a paper for the Sylvan Outer Grove class and in it he mentioned the Sylvan  Grove Random Moon Generatorä in which we look at what astrological sign the  sun and moon are in and what that means. With this information and  group consensus about what we want or need at the time, we decide what magick  to do. I know other covens invent rituals as they go — during several years  as the New and Full Moon coordinator for a Northwest pagan organization,  I watched it in action.

5. That they somehow won’t “fit in” to a group.

This is one of the most obvious fallacies I have heard expressed.  Anyone can fit in if they find the right group or coven. It does take some social  skills to work with others successfully, but a coven is a lot like a family.  Everyone does not get along all the time, everyone does not always agree. There  are conflicts from time to time, but we are committed to working things out.

It is important to find common ground in philosophies and styles  of working, but you don’t have to agree with everything or like all things  about someone to work magick successfully with them. If you find people you  like and are compatible with, and you like the tradition, a year should be  long enough to figure out whether you can commit to a long term  working relationship.

Also, people come and go as part of the natural order of things.  Everyone grows at their own rate. You don’t have to dedicate the rest of your life to  a coven. If it doesn’t work for you in the long term, you can always ask to  be released from your obligations.

6. That people are “solitaries” when they aren’t a formal part of a coven,  even  though they work with some group or even just one other person on a  regular basis.

Solitary implies alone. My personal definition of a solitary is a person  who does not work with, or belong to, a group. If you are working  magick regularly with a coven or group, whether or not you are formally dedicated  to the group, in my opinion you are not a solitary.

To find an appropriate coven or group, you must be persistent. Keep  your eyes and ears open. Go to whatever public rituals you can attend.  Take classes on different traditions if they are available in your area; if not,  read books on different traditions to find what you most resonate with. My coven only advertises  the Outer Grove class in one issue of the paper per year and there is a  deadline to get into the class.

When you do find a group you are interested in, ask if you may  attend something that might be appropriate. If you get invited to a ritual, ask what  you can bring or contribute. Make yourself useful, help out where and when  you can. Be on time. Be good listener. Keep an open mind. Remember, you are  asking to become a student — don’t come across as if you already know it all.  Be open to letting others get to know you and let your interest be known. If  in doubt, ask!

In the Sylvan tradition, you must ask many times before you are invited to  be part of the inner circle. This assures us that you are serious and  committed; that’s what we are looking for.

Good luck finding a coven, if you want to be a part of one. If you do  join one, you will find the group magickal experience to be profoundly  rewarding, fascinating and an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth  beyond compare. Blessed be.

Life As The Witch – Spell-Writing Basics

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Spell-Writing Basics

Don’t worry if you are not the world’s greatest writer. Spells don’t have to be long and complicated in order to work, and the Gods don’t care if you can spell correctly! The most common complaint I get is from people who can’t get their spells to rhyme. But that’s okay—-they don’t have to.

Rhyming is nice for some spells. Traditionally, rhyming is used to give the spells a little more power through the rhythms of the words and to make them easier to memorize. But it certainly isn’t necessary. I’ll give you an example of a prosperity spell done both ways, just make it clear.

Prosperity Spell 1 – Rhyming

God and Goddess hear my plea

Rain prosperity down on me

Bring in monies large and small

To pay my bills one and all

Money earned and gifts for free

As I Will, So Mote It Be.

(Originally published in Circle, Coven & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice, Llewellyn, 2007.)

Prosperity Spell 2 – Not Rhyming

Money I need and money I want

So let it come to me

In positive ways, at perfect times

As I need it, as I want it

As I Will It, So It Is.

As you can see, both spells ask for the same thing–they just do it in a slightly different way. The second spell is simpler; it doesn’t rhyme, it is shorter, and it doesn’t get as specific–but there’s no reason it couldn’t work. You could write a spell like that even if writing isn’t your thing.

So the first thing to know about writing spells is that it is fine to do so in whatever style or manner you are comfortable with.

Excerpts from:

“Writing and Casting Spells for the Best Results”
By Deborah Blake
Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac for Everyday Living

HEKATE THOU MOTHER OF MIGHT

Goddess Comments & Graphics
HEKATE THOU MOTHER OF MIGHT
by Jeanne Riegler

“Hecate, thou mother of might
Goddess of magick, of storms, of night.
Moon maiden, mother and crone
Dispensing justice from they lofty throne

Watching now with piercing eye
As thy moon palace doth glide the sky
All of life on the planet Earth
Selecting, weighing and measuring it’s worth

Grant us of thy wisdom sublime
Reveal to us the secrets of time
Help us winnow truth from lies
Harken now, please hear out cries

Hekate, thou mother of might
Goddess of crossroads, bearer of light
Moon maiden, mother and crone
Descend unto us from they lofty throne

Walk amongst us and reveal now
The mysteries of thy shining brow
Past, present and future merge
Let us feel thy power surge

Bestow healing upon this planet
Release the songs of thy stones of granite
Help us, strengthen us, in our resolve
To banish all hate, let it dissolve

Hekate, thou mother of might
Goddess of love, giver of sight
Moon maiden, mother and crone
Ensconced upon thy lofty throne
Acknowledge us, who by our own choice
Have chosen to listen to thy voice
Help us spread wisdom, truth, love and light
To save Earth from her desperate plight

We bide the Wiccan Reed to fulfill
“And ye harm none, do what thou will…”
Help us grow in serving thee
As we will, so mote it be.

Hekate, thou mother of might
Robed in splendor, beauteous, bright
Moon maiden, mother and crone
Shine upon us from thy lofty throne.”

Raising Magickal Power

Raising Magickal Power

by Harley Hashman

Webster’s dictionary defines power as “…the ability to do or act…” or as “…strength or energy…”. Some might say that magick and power are synonymous; after all, magick without any power is nothing at all. I think Crowley’s definition of magick is perhaps the best of all (despite what you might think of the man himself) – magick is the ability to compel change to occur in conformity with the will. Therefore power is the level of this conformity which your magick achieves.

What are some of the means of raising and increasing magickal power? I have thought long and hard on this question. There are several principles which will aid the magician in the raising of energy. There is conservation, timing, visualization, emotion, will, the use of deities, and physical conditioning.

The first principle is simply conservation. If you expend energy that might be saved and employed in magickal workings, you won’t have much potency left. I myself have a terrible temper at times and might burn off a great deal of energy cursing at that chair that leapt across my path and made me stub my toe – or that ferret that just splattered chocolate pudding all over my book of shadows, after yanking all of the bristles from my witch’s broom and scattering them all over my living room rug. Some of us might waste energy in needless worrying.

Other emotions which may be destructive to magickal workings are jealousy, rancor, envy, self-pity, and depression. Emotions arise from thought, not perception – we process our perceptions of the world and then generate these feelings. Our internal dialogue reinforces our emotional responses to the world. If we practice clearing our heads of habitual thought patterns, we can minimize this source of waste. Should we find ourselves about to waste power in useless emotional habits, about to agitate ourselves needlessly, we can enter into a state of mental silence or try to divert the course of our mental dialogue.

Some habits may lead to the consumption of our energy, including smoking, alcoholism, arguing, oversleeping, judging others or excessive criticism, complaining or whining, and self-importance. I have met many witches, sorcerers, and magicians who practice such habits (self-importance being epidemic); that badly compromises not only their ability to focus power but how other practitioners view them. An important principle of all magickal practice is self-knowledge. It is much more difficult to raise significant amounts of power without this understanding, as we can then be trapped in mental patterns that deplete our resources without the tools to break free.

Timing of magickal workings is also important. The use of lunar cycles is commonplace. Typically constructive magick, which includes such workings as spells for love, wealth, health, and protection, are done during the waxing of the moon and destructive magick, which would include binding spells, are done during the waning phases.

Why? The moon is just a vast rock in space. It has to do in part with the effect the moon cycle has on biological rhythms; the menstrual cycle is just one such rhythm that naturally coincides with the 28-day lunar orbit. Called in some Wiccan circles the Blood of the Moon, the female cycle is a source of perceptual change for that sex. For many of the species on this planet, key biological rhythms are linked to the lunar cycles. It is widely believed that during a full moon, all the “crazies” come out and this is borne out by statistics generated by police records.

Another more important key to the value of lunar timing is simply that many witches include Lunar Goddesses such as Diana and Selena in their pantheons; therefore the moon is quite important to their practices.

Visualization is another component I believe to be vital to the focusing of magickal power. It is simply the ability to form mental images of people or objects. Visualization works with emotion to raise power in the first place through one’s emotional response to an image. If one were trying to bind an enemy, for example, it is important to construct a mental image of the despicable character to be bound. This acts as a lens to focus the energies on the desired target. If the image is weak or shaky the power of the spell may be also.

I have said that some emotions can restrict the flow and raising of power. Yet without emotion, the power itself cannot be stirred up. Magick works when emotion is combined with visualization and will to produce a noticeable effect. If one does not feel strongly about a working then it may be that little or no energy can be raised. I feel the key is to isolate the feeling that is best for the working at hand and not allow other emotions to divert or interrupt the spell. Magick usually requires the use of will, a single-minded determination or attitude, combined with the fury of an emotional maelstrom. A limp, half-assed attempt is a waste of time. As Yoda said, “…Do or do not. There is no ‘try’.” And he is just a muppet with Frank Oz’s hand up his arse!

The use of deities is critical to many magickal workings. In shamanism it is the use of spirit guides or allies that grants the sorcerer a gift of power. In ceremonial magic it is the evocation of preternatural entities like those listed in the Goetia. In Wicca it is the invocation or evocation of the Fey or elementals or various gods or goddesses. In each case a being whose power is much superior to any mortals donates some of that ability, if only temporarily, to a given working or quest for knowledge. Here again it is the visualization of the entities in question combined with emotion, will and timing, that makes the transference of energies possible.

Lastly, physical condition is important to magickal workings. If one is so ill that you cannot get out of bed or your legs have recently been broken by a rampant wildebeest then your energies will be largely diverted towards healing and it would be ill-advised for you to try any magickal workings. Many practitioners, myself included, are out of shape physically and this may rob us of our maximum potential. If you are panting and out of breath after small exertions then how can you be expected to have any energy in your magick?

To raise power for magick one should practice magick – a muscle gets stronger with use. Regular magickal exercise whether alone or in a group will increase your abilities tremendously. If you are an arm-chair witch you may have the knowledge of magick but not the power to make it go.

Love and the Use Of Magick

Love and the Use Of Magick

Author:   Gentle Deer Lion Tamer 

In this rambling, I will talk about the ever-present topic of Love Spells and also offer some guidance on the use of any spell, ritual or potion for manipulative purposes. By manipulative purposes, I am referring to a working where the object of said working is not aware it is being done, nor has he or she consented to such a working.

Of course this is only my opinion and it is not intended to embarrass anyone. These are simply my thoughts on a subject that gets batted around quite frequently, so take it for what is worth. From the mail I receive from those who have made or seen these mistakes happen, I’m confident the majority who are experienced in this path shares them.

The primary question one must consider before undertaking any ritual working, especially where Love Magick is concerned is, “Is This Working Consistent With The Basic Tenant of HARM NONE as expressed in The Rede.”

Upon asking yourself the following two questions, you can effectively analyze the reasons to either justify or dismiss the working.

1. What is my intent in performing this work?
2. Is this spell or ritual influenced by anger; hatred; lust; greed; jealousy or envy?

If your answer to question number 1 is found within question number 2, then as a Wiccan and follower of the Light Path, you must abandon this spell or ritual because it will not be consistent with the Rede.

Likewise, if question 1 is answered by question 2 and you continue, you can no longer rightfully call yourself Wiccan. A True Wiccan will not use manipulative magick to negatively influence another for his/her own personal interests.

The whole purpose of following this path is to live in harmony and balance with the natural rhythms of life, not to manipulate them to suit a selfish goal. At this point, you need to refer to yourself as a follower of the Dark Path since manipulative magick for personal gain without consideration of the outcome falls within that realm…

Harsh Words? You Bet…

Does It Make You Uncomfortable?

Good…

By undertaking such an action without the consent or approval of another, you are clearly disregarding the Rede and using your gifts for purely selfish reasons. Therefore, you are setting forces in motion that will ultimately have negative impact in one way or another and you are practicing Dark Magick.

You must remember that once you create and release this energy as a thought form, it will acquire life, form and substance. It will run it’s course, and the final outcome through the laws of cause and effect may not be what you wanted. The potential for great harm to both yourself and others are clearly evident in such a working. This is especially clear when you consider that you will eventually need to absorb this energy back into yourself after it has ruined your life and the lives of who knows how many others…

Let’s Look At a Potential Outcome of Such a Working for a Moment…

You create a Love Spell, focus your energy and release it toward your victim. I use the word victim because that is what you have just made this person if they are unaware of your work and have not given their consent.

Through the laws of magick, your victim begins to fall hopelessly in love with you or the person you performed this spell for. So much so that they become increasingly dependent as time passes. They can no longer function without your presence and guidance. You cannot get a moments peace because they constantly have to be with you. You can no longer function at work because they are calling every ten minutes. They become increasingly jealous, possessive and suspicious because they cannot have all of your time. The list of undesirable effects could go on and on and can become more than a little frightening.

Ultimately, you must ask yourself the following questions. Would “you” want someone doing this to you, and if you truly cared for someone, how could you risk doing something like this to them? In my humble opinion, it does not show a very high regard or respect for others or yourself and the decision on whether or not to proceed is clear.

I caution you that non-consensual Love Magic is a double-edged sword and borders on the manipulation of another human being against their “Free Will”. It is also dangerously close to Psychic Rape and is considered highly unethical by most who practice the Craft.

I hope this has given those who have considered using such practices food for thought. While all may not share my opinion, it illustrates the need to consider all potential outcomes before focusing and releasing a spell.

A Better Solution

A friend who wishes to be known as “Betty” writes this:

A couple of years ago, I was single again after the demise of a long marriage. I was lonely, and hoping I would not spend the rest of my life alone. I had decided to ask the Goddess for help, using my own energies and powers. So, not wanting another not-so-good marriage, I was asking for what qualities in a person I wanted, and asked to be -SENT- someone rather than just find someone. I went outside and performed a ritual under the full moon, by myself. I asked that I be sent -THE RIGHT- person, with no particular idea of who that person would be, or any specific qualities about that person. From my previous marriage, I knew that it was important to me that the person share important things in my life, including my religion, at least in a basic sense.

Well, in a couple of days, I met a new person online. I thought we were writing about our shared interest in folk music. Then, after a little while, first he, then I, admitted that there was more interest than that. One thing led to another there, he came to visit me. He told me that he too, had been doing a simple ritual during that same full moon: Lighting candles, and asking Goddess, “Please Mother, send me someone to love so I don’t spend my life alone”. He ended up staying and sending for his things, and we were later married.

This is a better solution than asking for a specific thing, in a specific way, or especially from a specific person. For one thing, the issue of manipulation completely went away. Instead, the person who was sent was also asking for someone to love, through his own ritual. We did not know each other when we did these rituals.

For another thing, we were both asking for a “right person” for us. In both of our cases, sure, other people (former spouses) believed that we were not “the right person”. We probably weren’t for them. For each other, we may well be. Neither of us is perfect, no one is a “perfect partner” for everyone.

We have always been amused that we were doing these rituals with similar intent, although the specifics of the operation of the rituals were very different at the same time, for the same purpose. Perhaps Goddess runs a “cosmic switchboard” of sorts. When She gets various requests, She just introduces people on some criteria – kind of like a dating service with ALL of the information.

The Natural Witch

The Natural Witch

Author:   Hypatia 

My mother was a natural witch. she died in 1998. She was not a nice witch. She practiced dark magick and was not a good mother. She abandoned me when I was just a child. My father tells me she was powerful and passionate. She would scare him with witchcraft.

The memories I have of her are so intense. I remember she loved nature… but she was a hunter. I remember she had a madness that seemed to plague the thoughts of others. I was four when she left on her journey. I guess it’s where she felt she needed to be.

Me… I stayed and waited… the journey of a four-year-old witch was a rollercoaster ride of emotion, turmoil and eventual discovery.

Even at four I felt different. My whole childhood I felt a strange connections to nature and my dreams. My stepmother used to say I was one with my dreams. I talked, walked and enacted my dreams even as I slept.

I ran away a handful of times. I wanted to find my birth mother. The first time I ran away I was 13. I was chanting on the streets of Long Beach, “I will be fine, no one will hurt me”. I came up to a Jack-in-the-Box and sure enough a large black man (maybe large to me because I was all of 13) offered to buy me fries and a drink and asked me to sit down.

I could tell by his eyes that he was a kind man, intuition mind you that I would begin discounting in my late teens. He knew I was running away and managed to talk me down from my emotional ledge. I walked home at midnight on a busy street across from a strip club with a sense of accomplishment. I may not have found my mother, but at least I was looking.

My parents thought I was strange about nature but put it off onto my Navajo roots. I used to stick my head out the window while my parents were driving to get a better look at trees. I spent hours in forest preserves. I always felt like someone was waiting for me. At first I thought it was my mother. It was, but not any mother I could visualize with my mental database at 13.

At 16, I was pushing my birth mother out, everything about her, especially the fact that she was a witch. Actually, as open-minded as I was, I wasn’t very apt to listening to the nonsense people spewed about witchcraft. I didn’t mock it. Somehow even at a rebellious 16, I was still respectful. I hated her though. I hated what she had done to my father.

At 18, I met and fell in love with a beautiful woman; it was the first time I had ever loved another woman in a romantic way. She was a witch. She was older than me. She was my mentor in many ways. I would laugh though as she would cast spells.

I would think she was ridiculous as she tried to teach me. I was intrigued, and the power was still in me, but the chaos was so strong. I couldn’t pull together a fragment of a thought, let alone try to piece together the history of my people.

My beautiful kept telling me that I was a natural witch. She said I had a power that I didn’t even know how to harness. She said she observed my connections with nature, but abilities to get anything I wanted without hurting people and again… the dreams. I told her I didn’t believe in that voodoo. I slowly pulled away from the first coven that I was ever in, without even knowing I was a part of something real.

It wasn’t until I turned 30 and forgave my birth mother that the Goddess really started to hone in on me. I felt Her everywhere. I craved the outdoors just to be near Her. I saw Her face in everything: the trees, the sky and the ocean. It seemed that even the wind was calling my name.

Still friends with the witch from my childhood, I began to confess my feelings. She smiled and said that she had known all along. She was just waiting for me to be found.

I have always had this power. It is confidence. It is love. It is compassion. And it is so much more. I cannot tell you any more than this. I am a private woman with my craft. I will not even share my name with others. The only person I tell anything to is my friend, and she only hears some things.

My husband doesn’t know. My kids are probably natural witches as well and that is a path they will find on their own. I found it, because the Goddess willed it so. I do not know if secrecy makes my powers stronger, but I figure I have no reason to share my identity with the world. If the Goddess wills it to be, it will be.

I wanted to share my story because I believe that others are like me. My grandfather was touched. My mother was touched. My brother and I are both touched. We never talk about it; but we know.

Maybe every person has the potential to harness such great power, but I know in my heart that the Goddess chose me. She sought me out. She spent 30 years waiting for me to find her. After my discovery I knew that She had been with me all along.

In retrospect, I felt Her with me at 11 while I was running through the meadow in the back of my house. I was a bookworm who never read outside. It was almost like outside is sacred. It was my first altar of sorts. I need this always to be my place of solace.

I respect my Mother, my Goddess, and reciprocate her kindnesses. I will always protect Her, the way She has always protected me.

Finding Serendipity

Finding Serendipity

Author:   Mirage 

When I was first drawn to Paganism and Wicca, I had some high expectations. I thought that I could summon dragons and fairies and they would appear whenever I wanted. I expected sparks to fly out of the end of my wand and every love spell I cast would bring the man of my dreams right to my door. As we all know, those events never came to be. One thing I didn’t expect, or even consider for that matter, was the relationship I would develop with the Divine. The ironic thing is, the one expectation I didn’t have became the most profound part of my spiritual journey.

I was brought up hardcore Catholic. I only knew of ONE God and His fury if you did something that He disapproved. Not a very fulfilling spiritual experience if you ask me… I was dragged to mass on a weekly basis and I also had to suffer through religion classes as well. I was forced to receive Holy Communion and become a Confirmed Catholic. This was a very angering experience for me- it never felt quite right and it left me feeling empty. I am by no means bashing the Catholic religion; I am just sharing my experience with it.

I was spiritually lost and confused and I had nobody to turn to with my questions and doubts. For a while, I did not believe in anything at all and considered myself Agnostic. I questioned the existence of the Divine and wondered why I should waste my time praying and worshipping something that never responded.

On top of that, I was going through a rough time at school and at home- I didn’t fit in and everybody knew it. The worst part of the whole thing was that people always had to express their feelings of disapproval toward me and that just made things even more difficult and awkward.

When I hit rock bottom and pretty much didn’t care if I lived another day, the Egyptian Goddess Isis called to me. I can’t recall the exact moment that it happened, but I was strangely drawn to Her. I researched Her online and at libraries and also bought everything I could that related to Her (jewelry, statues, books, etc.)

At first I thought the fascination was just something to distract me from all of my emotional issues, but now that I look back on the situation, I think She saved me from myself and my situation. She gave me a new focus and a reason to live.

Unfortunately, I had to hide my beliefs because I was still living with my parents and they considered anything other than what they believed to be “devil worship”. I still continued learning and worshiping, trying to avoid their “blasphemy radar”- I know they knew what I was doing, but they had no proof since I would do most of it after they went to sleep.

I hate to say it, but even after Isis had called to me, I was still skeptical about the existence of the Divine, so I decided to conduct a little “test”. I made several requests to Isis and if they came to be, I told myself that I would never doubt the existence of the Divine again.

Sure enough, my requests were met- not always in ways that I expected, but Isis definitely got Her point across. In the midst of all this, I ended up leaving my parents house-for two reasons to be exact. First of all, I couldn’t stand them continually bashing my spiritual beliefs and trying to impose their beliefs on me again. They never made an effort to learn about my beliefs or ask me why I didn’t want to be a part of their faith any more, and I found that disrespectful. They just assumed I was trying to be rebellious and if they kept threatening me with the fires of hell I would come back to their church and their beliefs. Second, they disapproved the greatest gift that Isis had given to me- my husband (at the time we had just been engaged) .

Once I was out of my parent’s house, I was able to worship and learn freely. No more hiding books and statues… Isis was my fortress. With Her I felt like nothing could harm me- She would let me stumble to learn my lessons, but She would never let me fail completely. I continued my studies pertaining to Wicca and Egyptian Paganism, but I felt something was missing…

Isis was wonderful and She was everything I could possibly want in a Deity, but Wicca emphasized both a Mother and Father God and there were also several Egyptian Gods I read about in my studies as well. As you can well imagine, every time I thought about the idea of a male Deity, I would cringe because of my experiences (or lack thereof) with the Christian God who so happens to be male. I suppose my past had caused me to develop a negative view of the Male Divine. The thought would cross my mind every now and then, but I would brush it aside because it would bring back those uncomfortable feelings I had as a Catholic.

Several years passed and I met a man who was a coven leader. I was a solitary practitioner and still am, but I am always interested in the viewpoints of others. His coven was Ecclectic, so they dealt with various Pantheons and Deities. I refused to budge from the Egyptian Pantheon when it came to worship and working magick, but I was willing to listen and learn about other Pantheons and Deities. I was having some personal issues at the time, and I needed a way to effectively let go of issues in my life that were holding me back.

The coven leader and I held a small private ritual in which we asked the Egyptian God Set for help to clear away my issues. I was both skeptical and uncomfortable for a few reasons. First of all, in Egyptian mythology, Set murdered the husband of Isis so he could be ruler of Egypt. Basically people have viewed him as being evil. I was afraid that by dealing with Set, this would irritate Isis and I would lose everything I had with Her. Second, my issue with the Male Divine came to mind as well.

I decided to let things take their course and go from there.

Months passed, and things gradually got better for me. I moved to a better apartment, got a promotion at work, and improved my relationship with my husband. I also strengthened my relationship with Isis and began a relationship with Set. I began to look past the gender of a Deity and focused on their aspects and how to develop a relationship with them.

I have several personality characteristics in common with both Isis and Set and I think this is why I am so close to both of them. I know it is an odd combination of Deities to work with (for those of you who follow the Egyptian Pantheon, I’m sure you can see why) , but they have both shown me that faith doesn’t have to be a blind and empty ordeal- the Divine is out there and if you know how to connect with it in a way that is personally moving to you, you will feel it and experience it!

I guess you can say that Set allowed me to let go of my negative preconceptions of the Male Divine and also helped me balance my spiritual life with guidance and protection from both a God and Goddess.

What I’m trying to say here is not to take religion or spirituality at face value. You can get caught up in all the glitz and glamour of magic and such, but our path has so much more to offer us! Expect the unexpected and view it as a gift from the Divine. I hope my story has inspired you to take a look at your spiritual life and count your blessings as well 🙂

Brightest Blessings,

Mirage

Living Life As The Witch – Finding Your Personal Goddess

Witchy Comments=

Finding Your Personal Goddess

One of the things that most of us have in common–whether we call ourselves Pagans, Witches or Wiccans–is a belief in the female divine. Many of us also acknowledge the existence of a male divine, albeit one that bears little resemblance to the God we may have grown up with, but it is Goddess worship which sets us apart from other religions and brings us together in this one.

But which Goddess? There are so many names by which we call her, it can be hard to decide which of the Lady’s incarnations is best suited to our own practice and personality. Yet for many of us, the search for our personal Goddess is part of the path we walk as Pagans. How can we know which Goddess to call on in our prayers?

The first question to ask, really, is does she need a specific name at all? Some Pagans are happy to simply refer to their female deity as “Goddess” in the abstract, without attaching any particular name or tradition to her. (I often do that myself, although I have one Goddess who I worship primarily, and often call on others for specific tasks or holidays.)

There are a few benefits to this approach: it is simple and easy, you can be sure that your prayer will get to Goddess in one form or another, and you don’t have to worry that you are addressing the wrong deity for your magickal work.

There is certainly nothing wrong with calling on a general all-purpose Goddess. After all, most people who talk to “God” don’t call him by any particular name. If you are just starting out, or haven’t figured out a specific Goddess who seems right to you, then it is absolutely appropriate to address your prayers and spells to “Great Goddess,” “Mother of Us All,” “Lady of the Moon,” or any other generic term for the feminine one.

Reference:

Excerpt from “Finding Your Personal Goddess”
By Deborah Blake
Llewellyn’s 2012 Magical Almanac

Pagan Lite: Being A Non-Magical Witch in A Magical World

Pagan Lite: Being A Non-Magical Witch in A Magical World

Author:   Charmed Boy 

This article is one I had hoped to put off writing for a while. It is a continuation of sorts to the first article I wrote entitled When Walking The Path…Wear Shoes.I am what I call a “non-magical” Witch. I don’t cast spells or perform elaborate rituals. That may be fine for most of my Pagan brothers and sisters but it’s not really my thing.

I first realized magic and spells weren’t my thing when I attended the last Samhain celebration hosted by my friend Fran. As many who have read my first article know, Fran was the High Priestess of a group here in Arkansas called Net-per-netjer which means “beautiful house of the Gods.” Fran was an amazing woman. She meant business when she donned the crown of Isis and acted as High Priestess and conducted rituals. She also cared about the people who attended the celebrations.

I remember one occasion; it was after ritual. Fran had made a delicious feast of ham and colcannon. My father and I had both attended but my father preferred to observe from outside of the circle. He’s not Pagan but he is very supportive of my choice of faith. Fran made sure everyone ate. I was sitting in the front room watching a movie when I heard Fran’s voice from the kitchen.

“Chuck! Where is your father?”

I shrugged. “I think he’s in the car.”

My father is the type of person who doesn’t like to get into other people’s way when they are doing things like ritual. Fran frowned.

“Tell your father to come in and eat something.”

I went out and got him. Fran made sure he ate before we left. That’s just the kind of person Fran was. Always concerned with the welfare of others. After that, Fran and I didn’t see each other. Not because there was an animosity between us but because we both had things going on in our lives. We e-mailed and spoke on the phone quite a lot.

One day last year I sent an e-mail to Fran just to say hi and see how she was. I got a reply from her husband informing me that Fran had passed away. I miss Fran very much. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and the good times we shared. Attending those rituals made me realize that, that sort of thing wasn’t what I wanted.

I took some time for meditation and reflection to decide if being a Witch and Pagan was really for me. I walked in the woods near my house and listened to the birds and the wind as it blew through the trees. During these walks I posed questions to myself. Do I really need to practice magic and perform rituals to consider myself a Witch and Pagan? Do I really need all the trappings that go along with it, such as candles and incense and athames? Where am I meant to be? I asked the Goddess and Fran for guidance. I asked them to speak to me and give me a sign if this is the path I am meant to be on.

One day I went out for one of my walks when WHAM!! The answer hit me like a ton of bricks: You don’t need to practice magic or perform rituals to honor the Goddess and or God.

I have spoken to other Pagans and Wiccans who have told me that if you don’t practice magic and do rituals you ‘can’t really call yourself a Witch and Pagan’. I believe differently. The definition of “Witch” as I understand it means “wise one” and “knowledge seeker” and that Pagan means “country dweller” I believe we are all Witches and Pagans, regardless if we cast spells and perform rituals… or choose not to.

I have come to realize things about my faith and myself. I am both a Witch and Pagan and am very proud of that fact. I wear my Pentacle with pride. Whenever a Pagan holiday or Full Moon comes around, I pray, make an offering of thanks to the Goddess… and that is pretty much it. No muss, no fuss. For many other Pagans and Wiccans, the lighting of candles and incense, the chanting and casting of a circle adds to the enjoyment of ritual, and that is awesome. I believe everyone should be able to do his or her own thing, whatever that may be. Goddess knows, I don’t have the right to judge someone by what they do or don’t do.

Occasionally I’ll read an article on Witchvox.com about performing ritual and working magic. Want to know what is magical to me? Standing outside on a cool night when the moon is full in the night sky and glows like a big orange night light. Talking to my best friend on the phone and hearing the sound of her laugh. Seeing the sparkle in my godson’s eyes when he is excited about something. Stepping outside in the wintertime and smelling the sharp, fresh, cold scent of the air and seeing the freshly falling snow on the ground. Seeing the leaves in the Fall change color from green to red and orange and yellow. Smelling the scent of burning leaves and wood. Eating handfuls of candy corn. Sipping hot apple cider on a cold October day while going on a hayride with my dad. Feeling the power and ancientness of All Hallow’s Eve. These are my rituals. This is my magic. This is the way I honor the Goddess.

Do I believe those who do cast spells and perform rituals are wrong? Of course not. Fran did, and seeing the joy and power it brought into her life was an amazing thing to witness. When I am asked what my choice of religion is and I tell them “I am a Witch”, the child within me claps his hands and squeals with glee. I laugh whenever someone asks me if I fly around on a broom. I smile and say “No but I wish I could. It would make getting from one place to another a lot more exciting!”

In all seriousness, I am very proud to call myself a Witch. Walking the path I have been walking for the past 12 years has made me the person I am today. I am a little wiser and a lot more compassionate and forgiving. I am humbled and honored daily by the compassion and endless love the Goddess has shown me. We are all her children, regardless of how we choose to honor her. I cherish the Pagan and Wiccan friends I have made, especially Fran. She will live on in my heart and in my memory forever.

In closing, to all my Witchy brothers and sister out there I say this to you: Be comfortable in your own skin. Don’t let others tell you your way of worshipping the Goddess and God is wrong. Wear your Pentacle with pride! These are indeed magical times!

Blessed Be!