Someone sent me this question, and I will try my best to answer it. So, what kind of person do you think a Pagan is? How would you answer this question? Can you add to what I’ve said here?
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[Excerpt: The Little Handbook of Spiritual Awakening]
We are spiritual beings. It often seems, in the chaos of living in our modern world, this side of ourselves gets lost. If you are reading this book, Spirit has tapped you on the shoulder and invited you to get reacquainted with this aspect of yourself. My hope is that this book will help you do that.
Whatever has brought you to this moment in life, where you seek to acknowledge and understand the deeper mysteries of existence, know that it is a priceless opportunity for you to discover new knowledge and answers to many of life’s questions. You have been given the chance to change the course of your life, the path you will take.
This is your personal journey of spiritual awakening, your moment of enlightenment followed by a lifetime of development. Allow your soul to soar to new heights. Allow your life to be touched by the infinite and the impossible. Allow your spirit to freely explore all the avenues and paths that call to you.
If you’ve read your new copy and have had time to get acquainted with it, jump on over to amazon with the following link and leave a word about the book. I will greatly appreciate it — thank you!!
I just received my first order of books, The Little Handbook of Spiritual Awakening, from Amazon. If you have an order in, your books should be arriving soon, if they haven’t already.
[excerpt: Chapter 3, page 112] (on the chakras: opening your throat chakra)
To open this chakra
1. Wear turquois or light blue. Wear it as clothing, or a piece of jewelry. Plant blue flowers; paint your nails blue; buy a blue throw rug for your house, or a blue blanket for your bed. Take pictures of blue things.
2. Sing. If you can’t hold a tune, that’s okay. Sing when you’re alone in the shower and you’re all alone in the house. You (and Spirit) will be the only one to hear you, and you will be opening up and energizing your throat chakra
3. Write a letter to someone you haven’t seen or spoken to in a long time. Write a letter to someone that you are estranged from. Write a letter to someone you’ve always wanted to talk to but never had the courage. You don’t have to actually send this letter to anyone, unless you want to. But you will be opening up the channels of communication, and your throat chakra as well.
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Natural Magick the Gray Witch Way ~ Natural Magick the Gray Witch Way explores the magick and mystery of old world traditions from a unique perspective, that of the Gray Witch. Natural Magick the Gray Witch Way is an excellent companion book to The Gray Witch’s Grimoire!
A gentleman once handed me a citrine stone, telling me that it would ground me, calm me down, make the atmosphere feel more settled. I stood in open-mouthed disbelief as he plopped a beautiful polished citrine crystal in the palm of my hand. I wasn’t so surprised at his concern or his kindness, I was more in disbelief over his choice of a stone. For me, citrine is not something that has any of the properties that it was being praised for. I mostly use citrine to enhance my psychic abilities. If I want a stone that’s going to calm me down, I use rose quartz or blue lace agate. If I wanted a stone to ground me, I’d use smokey quart or hematite.
I opened my mouth automatically, ready to correct him, but in a split second, thankfully before any speech left my mouth, I thought better. This man was obviously talking from his own experience, and if he found citrine to be calming and relaxing, who the hell was I to tell him otherwise.
How often have we been told that we’re doing something “wrong”? How often have we told someone else that they’re doing something “wrong”?
Whether we’re talking about stones and crystals, magickal oils, spells and rituals, reading the cards, or any other magickal undertaking or creation, it’s just like telling a cook in their own kitchen that they’re cooking “Wrong”. Who has a right to do that? And if we’ve never done something the way another individual does, how do we know that it doesn’t work? Maybe it wouldn’t work for us, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for them.
Where does this attitude come from in the pagan world? Is it a hold-over from mainstream backgrounds that most of us have, the Judeo-Christian world of rules and regulations, do’s and don’ts?
- Maybe a lot of us are subconsciously still trying to fit our old religion into the new one, especially those of us who might be fairly new to the pagan path.
- We need to realize that not all pagans are alike, and all the correspondences we read and absorb from the multitude of pagan authors out there are not written in stone. You have to find what works for YOU, whether it works for someone else or not.
- Stop ignoring your own instincts and that little voice in your head. You KNOW when you’re doing something right and you KNOW when you’re not. Experiment. Go with your gut feeling. And then bask in your own unique individual magickal and spiritual successes.
- Does the cat have your tongue? When someone is spiritually bullying you into doing something the way they do, whether it’s using particular ingredients for something, or stones, or crystals, or looking at a certain tarot card in their way… Speak Up! Be firm if you have to. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and stick to your guns!
- Stop automatically accepting the information you’re reading in all the books and websites out there and start doing some experimenting on your own. Nothing bad is going to happen. You’re not really going to turn your neighbor into a frog, or cause the world to stop spinning. People who warn you against your own individualistic spiritual practices are either insecure themselves and afraid to peer outside the box, or they like the feeling of superiority it’s giving them when they tell you how something should be done.
The next time someone has the ballsy audacity to tell you you’re doing it wrong, how are you going to respond?
First, I want to start off by saying that I respect ALL religions. I want to start off by saying that there is no one true right path. I want to start off by saying that each individual has the right to choose their spiritual path and the beliefs that they adhere to, and they deserve this right to be respected by the world community without coercion, ridicule, or prejudice.
I have nothing against Christianity or Jesus. I have dear family members who follow this spiritual path as well as individuals close to our family circle, and I would not think of interfering with their decision, or degrading their practices, beliefs, and dogmas. Among my own immediate family circle, we are a wide and diverse group. My seven children include, not only Christian practitioners, but Buddhists, agnostics, Wiccans, atheists, and more. Apparently this is something that makes us unique as a group of people that are close knit in spite of our varied and often conflicting spiritual beliefs.
It’s all good.
The ONLY thing that I find offensive about Christianity and the Jesus cult is the hard-core Christians who have a very obnoxious attitude of “My way or the highway”; their incessant domineering insistence that you must believe what they believe; and their often disrespectful attitude and response to people of other spiritual paths. Sometimes this is very over-bearing and “in your face”, and other times it’s very subtle with biting quips and off hand remarks.
How should non-Christians respond when confronted by disrespect regarding our spiritual paths, practices, and deities without being disrespectful to someone elses’ spirituality?
It’s a conundrum.
A brief note to Christians determined to convert the non-Chrisitian ~
1. Just as grounded and passionate as you are about your Christian faith, we are just as grounded and passionate about our faith.
2. “But the Bible says…” — You are assuming that everyone in the world views the Bible as a divine work from the spirit world. Not so. I can’t speak for other non-Christians, but I view the Bible as a piece of literature written by men, from a male perspective, over the course of centuries, and modified much through various translations since then. (Although the original was bad enough.) There is nothing divine about it to me. As a matter of fact, as a woman I find it very insulting and reflective of the negative attitudes towards women that prevailed back in the day, and even survives to some degree in modern times.
What the Bible says does not impress me.
3. “You need God in your life…” — I’m assuming as in “god” you are referring to a super-natural entity of a high vibration. If this is the case, I call this entity “Goddess”, and She indeed enriches my life and life experiences through my connection with Her and the daily spiritual practices I use to connect with Her energy. I can only speak for myself when I say that I view divinity as a universal consciousness expressed around the world through a variety of pantheons, spiritual practices, mystical stories, and archetypes. However you personally connect with “Divinity”, it will be a unique and blessed experience. Just because your experience is different from my experience, it does not invalidate my experience, or the higher vibrational entity that I connect with on my spiritual journey.
4. “I’ll pray for you…” — Under certain circumstances, this can be a positive statement to hear. For instance, you’re facing a problem or a decision and close friends or family who are of the Christian faith want good things to happen for you. It’s like saying, I’m on your side, or I’ll add my energy for a positive outcome, or I’m concerned about you and I want to help. But when this comes from the lips of someone who is trying to convert you, someone who has pestered and preached to you about your spirituality, someone who has been at you to try and convince you that you are wrong in your beliefs… Then this statement can be chilling.
All thoughts are energy, no matter who they come from or what they consist of. The energy that these people will be sending out into the universe will be very negative and conflicting with your soul and your connection to divinity. Personally, I view this as the ultimate insult.
I like to respond without being negative or rude if at all possible. I usually say, “Well, while you’re praying for me, I’ll be casting a spell for you.” This generally brings about a very shocked reaction. Maybe they never considered that you would reciprocate in kind, or that this was even an option.
5. “It’s heaven or hell…” — Actually, this is inaccurate. The non-Christian has so many other options. First, I have to say that the idea of “hell” came from the Bible, the book that was written by controlling domineering males who wanted to intimidate and frighten people, which would make it so much easier to control people. So we can just let hell go all together.
Other spiritualities have a variety of beliefs in what happens to us after death. I can only speak for myself. The following perceptions were typed out randomly, as they came to mind, in no specific order:
I believe in life after death; I also believe in reincarnation. I believe that it’s possible for some very enlightened gifted individuals to connect with the spirits of those who have passed and communicate with them. I believe in the Wiccan idea of “The Summerland”. I believe that certain soul connections are so strong and indomitable that they reconnect through many life times. I believe that the soul is set free of the physical body at death. I believe we have spirit guides to help us through major transitions in life, which includes death.
The Witch’s Corner Newsletter is once again alive and well. It’s been resurrected and is re-launching this month ~ http://www.thewitchscornernewsletter.yolasite.com/january-2018.php
The goddess is old and wizened. She’s settling into this stage of her persona to reap the benefit of all that she has experienced, all that has transpired on her journey to this point. She’s preparing for the dark months, gathering her harvest about her, both for her physical survival and her emotional revival, using this time to rest, to gather energy for the future and the light that she knows will return. On this phase of her journey she can afford to sit back in quiet reflection, to shed those things in her life that have become a burden, and to look forward to the end of her journey, or rather, the beginning of the next.
Samhain (pronounced ‘Sou-wen’) is a celebration that has a more somber side than the revelry of modern Halloween. It is a day of remembrance of your ancestors and for those family members who have passed over. Pagan families may set an extra place at the supper table on this evening, to honor those loved ones who are no longer with them. The veil between the world of the living and the dead is thinnest on this eve, and this night is an excellent time to perform divination, or to try and connect with those spirits from the other side.
Samhain is a big deal at our house. Some years ago we began the tradition of a bonfire in the front driveway, an open house for friends, childrens’ friends, and acquaintances. You’ll find a table set up by the fire pit for a weinie roast, with smore’s for dessert. In the kitchen, I’ve got a large kettle of chili on the stove, and a large kettle of hot apple cider. Costumes are optional, for those who are comfortable dressing up, I say go for it; for those who are not, don’t sweat it. And, of course, there will be a large bowl of candy for the children in our neighborhood who follow the age-old custom of trick or treating.
You always hear that the veil has thinned on this night and spirit contact is almost inevitable if one wishes to put forth some effort. Samhain is also reputed to be a superb night for divinantion of any kind, and with this in mind, I set up a table on the backporch full of divination tools: tarot cards, rune stones, pendulums, oriental divination sticks, and don’t forget the ouija board for those who wish to try their hand communing with the spirits. Guests seem to love this opportunity, and there will be people seated around this table off and on all evening. It gives many a chance to learn about, touch, and use divination tools that they may not be familiar with and might otherwise not have access to.
Herbs: patchouli, sage, heather
Altar Flowers/Herbs: acorns, apples, pumpkins/gourds, dittany, autumn leaves
Feast Foods: pumpkin, squash, nut breads, sweet potatoes, milled drinks (cider, wine), roast meat, root vegetables
Animals: bats, cats, crows, ravens, owls
Incense: cinnamon, cloves, myrrh, patchouli, pine, mugwort, nutmeg
Rituals/Spells: making besoms, divination, spirit contact, crone magick, working with dark energy, spells for new beginnings
My Pumpkin Pie:
1 16 oz. can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
1 13 oz. can evaporated milk
(but sometimes I use sweetened condensed milk– it makes it more “chiffony”…is that a word?)
1/2 cup brown sugar
Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and a dash of salt. Most recipes call for 1/2 teaspoon each, but I’m much more generous with my spices!
I tried for years to learn to make a good pie crust, and I almost gave up out of frustration, then I found this recipe. It’s almost fool-proof, no kidding.
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 cup water
Mix the dry ingredients together and cut in the shortening, as usual. Then combine the egg and vinegar, stirring it up a bit, and add this to your dry ingredients. Add the water a dash at a time as you work it in, you’ll be able to tell when you get a good texture.
Bake at 400 degrees the first fifteen minutes, and at 350 degrees for the next 30-40 minutes. When you can stick a butter knife in the center of the pie, and it comes out clean, your pie is done.
Hot Apple Cider
I have a *Huge*– did I say huge?– kettle that I use to mix up my cider. This sits and simmers all afternoon on the backburner of my stove, wafting a wonderful aroma throughout the house.
5-7 large jugs of applejuice
8-10 bags of peach tea
a handful of cinnamon sticks
and a large metal tea ball filled
with whole cloves and allspice
You can leave a shaker of nutmeg sit on the counter & anyone who wants to add a dash of this spice to their mug of apple cider can do so.
If you don’t like this cider full force, you can dilute it some with water to suit your own taste.
Herbs: ginger, myrrh, allspice, basil, clove
Stones: alexandrite, citrine, lilac kunzite
Scents: pine, patchouli
Colors: dark green, brown, gold
Trees: yew, cypress, maple, oak
Deities: Astarte, Horned God, Lakshmi, Ishtar
Astrological Signs: Libra, Scorpio
Crafting Your Magic:
Ancestral magic is cast with the Blood Moon. Do magic now to communicate with family members who have passed, to connect with your ancestors and your heritage. Magic surrounding divination is relevant, it’s the perfect time. Cast spells for justice and balance, and to overthrow anything oppressive which may be blocking your path to success. Ambition is highlighted, use magic to increase the potency of your own, or cast magic to contain ambition that may have run amok. This is also the perfect time to step into the dark shadows and take advantage of the vibrations found there. The gray witch revels in the magic of the Blood Moon and in this season.
The information from this blog post was taken from my books ~
The Spiritual Feminist
The Gray Witch’s Grimoire
To order your copies, click HERE
How did you “discover” Wicca/Witchcraft/Neo-Paganism?
I’m not so sure that I discovered Witchcraft, it’s more like Witchcraft discovered me.
I’m sure most people who’ve known me for any length of time have heard the story of the first spell I cast, as a teen-ager, in the basement of my Grandmother’s house. The fact that, somehow– by instinct or higher power, or both– I managed to get so many of the magickal correspondences right is somewhat of a marvel. Actually, the idea that a teen-ager living in South Dakota in the 70s, who had never been exposed to witchcraft, would even think of such a thing in the first place gives pause for thought.
Do you grow herbs?
Yes– mostly in the garden. I tend to have a very black thumb when it comes to house plants. I’m not sure if their untimely demise is totally dependent on my lack of indoor gardening skills, or my very dark very plant unfriendly house.
Are you “in the broom closet”? If not, share your coming out experience.
I don’t think I’ve ever been in the broom closet. I’m too open an individual, the closet would have been too confining and stuffy for me. The phrase “My Life is an Open Book”– I think it was written for me.
I am what I am. It is what it is.
What tradition do you follow, if any?
I’m eclectic– a mixture of practices.
Actually, over the years, I’ve developed a new religion, a new practice, or spiritual path, if you will. I dubbed it “Gray Magerium”. It’s a combination of Wicca, Green Witchcraft, and Hoodoo. (I feel another book coming on.)
For more information on “Gray Magerium”, follow this link: My Path/About Me
Do you consider yourself a Witch, Wiccan or Pagan (or maybe something else)?
Witch…most definitely. The word is all-encompassing.
I also love the sound of Hag, Crone, Wise-Woman, Priestess, and Conjure Woman.
How much of Witchcraft/Wicca are you able to incorporate into your everyday life?
Witchcraft, and being a witch, are an integral part of my life. It defines how I look at the world, how I relate to the people around me, how I set my moral compass, and the direction my life takes.
But on the other hand– just because my spiritual path is outside of the mainstream, mysterious, ancient, intriguing, interesting, exciting, or any other adjectives you can think of– this does not mean that my every waking moment is riveted on the fact that I’m a witch and practice witchcraft. I’m the mother of a large brood. I have groceries to pickup, laundry to do, toilets to scrub, meals to cook; I have pets to take to the vet, kids to take to the dentist, and a million other everyday ordinary things to do.
My spirituality is a large part of who I am, as I plod through regular life, just like everyone else.
Do you have a familiar? If you do, tell us how you met him/her, and how she/he takes part in your practice (if at all).
Yes, I do…Salem. He’s a beautiful black American Short Hair cat with a small white spot on his chest (called a ‘button’, by the way). He is elusive, prefers to live downstairs (away from the dog and visitors). My husband has lived in this house almost two years and has only seen him once. Various people have been to this house and have never seen him. I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking he is a figment of my imagination. But he is extraordinarily loving, and sweet with me. He looks deeply into my eyes and communicates quite clearly. He is my Sweet Boy.
Does he take part in rituals or spell casting?…only in so far as eating all the catnip that I left out one evening; rolling through the black circle of stones which I had so carefully laid on the floor; tipping over a bottle of open oil; or trying to push his way into my lap as I sit in a cast circle trying to be all mystical and witchy and serious.
I nominate the following blogs for “The Witchy Blog Award”:
I’d like to thank Ayslyn’s Corner & The Purple Broom for nominating me for “The Witchy Blog Award”. I’m honored to be added to the list of bloggers who strive to educate the public and expose them to Pagan religions and nature-based spiritual paths.
Thank you, Ayslyn, for your own efforts in educating the public about Pagan spirituality. You’re so right, the world needs to learn that these nature-based natural god/goddess oriented religions are not harmful or scary or evil– they are beautiful, inspiring, and uplifting spiritual paths that add loving energy to the world.
We think that the Pagan, all hippie love-child neo-nature spiritualist, are above the snobbery of the mundane middle-of-the-road Christian mainstream society. Well, we’re not. Pagans are just as human as the rest of the population, and we fall into all the same societal traps, we just don’t like to admit it, and we tend to fall back on the peace, love, nature theme to justify ourselves (look at how spiritual I am, look at how in-tune with nature I am, look at how white is my magick, how pure my intentions, how saintly I am).
This is how it really is: Just because we practice witchcraft, just because we believe in magick, just because we worship the Goddess, does not mean we are perfect by any means, nor does it imply that we are necessarily even nice– some of us aren’t. Sorry, but this is reality. Pagans can be snobbish, elitist, bigoted, holier-than-thou, and just as irritating as any Southern Baptist, as any Catholic, as any Fundamentalist, as any anything.
There is always conflict in the Pagan community, among ourselves. Pagans are just as opinionated as the next person; and there are very definite views and contradictions, contentions and disputes. The disputes range from how to practice witchcraft; how to practice goddess worship, what about the god; how to practice magick, what’s acceptable, what’s dark, what’s too dark, what’s light, what’s too light; pantheons– you can’t mix them, it’s okay to mix them, a Greek goddess would be angry if her energy was mixed with a Nordic goddess and your magick won’t work; you weren’t initiated by another witch, or you weren’t initiated in a coven, so you can’t be a witch; you can only do spells on certain days aligned with certain energies or it won’t work; you should cast spells in the heat of the moment; you should never cast spells in the heat of the moment; I’m a Very-Important-Witch because I was initiated by someone who was initiated by someone who was initiated by someone (however many times back) who was initiated by another Very-Important-Witch…and so it goes.
The goddess from one pantheon would be angry if her energy was mixed with the goddess from another pantheon– who the hell knows that? What mortal can say this with finality? In truth, if magick works through energy and there are five goddesses out there, all from different pantheons, whose attributes all work for the same purpose, their energy aimed at the same outcome, why couldn’t you work with all five of them for some kick ass enormously powerful energy? Truth is, you could, and you can. At the other end of the spectrum is the pagan who embraces and immerses themselves in the deities from one pantheon, who swears by and only works with the gods and goddesses from one culture, and this is okay too
The truth is that paganism, or any spiritual path for that matter, can be practiced anyway that the practitioner chooses. You cannot police another person’s spirituality. You cannot force people to believe, or to practice what you do, or how you do it.
There’s been a segment of Pagans, around for some time now, who combine witchcraft and Christianity, and this has driven both hardcore Pagans and hardcore Christians nuts. “They can’t do this!” both sides howl in indignation. Why not? Who says?…I mean who says, who says who really has any authority, whose opinion would really count? No one, nada. If a Christian Witch wants to cast a circle and use Christ for her god-form and Mary as the goddess, who’s going to stop her? Whose going to be standing around policing her spiritual practices? The fact is that no one has the right to interfere in this case. This witch is what she is, she’ll find her energy through the magickal means available to her, and I predict that the universe will work with her, blessing her endeavors.
There are also cliques. Really. You think this is a phenomena relegated to the halls of Junior High? Well, you would be wrong. Adults are just as guilty of being cliquish as teen-agers, and Pagans are no exception to this. Sometimes these cliques are disguised as covens, or as literary groups (who has the magickal stamp-of-approval from the powers that be and who does not), or social site groups, pagan internet societies, or any other such society by which people must be okayed and allowed in. I can understand this to a point, as in the case of a coven, where a very specific number of people are desired; but in a vast internet social site, or a Pagan Page, etc., it gets a little stickier, a little trickier.
A spiritual path is suppose to enlighten us, to inspire us, to help us live better lives, more productive lives. We find our inspiration where we do, by super-natural and miraculous means. It really is magickal, this business of finding one’s path, working ones spells, solemnizing life with our little rituals. The most we can do is to try– try to be better human beings; try to be kinder; try to be more open-minded; try to be understanding; try to love other people and treat them well; try to see the world and the universe in the big-picture scheme of things.
All we can do is try– and some of us will succeed.
What do you do? I’m asked this question all the time, in respect to my spiritual path, in respect to religious practices and routine, in respect to practicing witchcraft. People think in conventional terms of what they are familiar with– you have to attend a church service once a week, you have to follow this rule, you have to obey that rule, you have to undergo certain ceremonies (rites of passage) at particular set intervals, you have to follow a leader, etc. Paganism, and especially witchcraft, is not like that, it’s not like that at all. I keep trying to tell people, to explain to them, but I don’t think they understand.
Truth is, I don’t do a damn thing unless the urge hits me. I might go for days, or weeks, or months without lifting one magickal finger to cast one crummy spell. Then– Pow!– something comes up, something comes up that actually needs to be taken care of, there is a reason, there is a rhyme behind it. Something comes up in life that needs my attention, so I take care of it with a spell, with a candle, with herbs, with a poppet, with other magickal twists and turns, whatever needs doing.
And that’s what I do. There’s no law in my book that says I have to run around interneting people Happy this, or Blessed that– if I choose not to observe ‘traditional’ pagan holidays, that’s my choice, that’s my decision. The sky isn’t going to fall, and my magickal little soul will be just fine.
And that’s what I do…just exactly what I want to do.
This is the spirit of the witch…it wreaks of freedom.
Traditions: love/sex magic, leaping the bonfire to bring luck, dancing ‘round the Maypole, honoring garden and house spirits, fertility magic
Pagan Lore: The Maypole…in ancient Irish history there was a sacred tree believed to be the forerunner of the maypole. It was thought that dancing around this tree on Beltane would send energy to the womb of the Earth and awaken her.
May Day Baskets…comes from the ancient Beltane Eve tradition of a young man leaving a garland of flowers at the door of a young woman who has caught his eye. This was an invitation, and if accepted, the young couple would steal away for a night together in the forest, awaiting the Beltane sunrise. In modern times, the garland was replaced with a basket of sweets.
Youth and Beauty…it’s said that at sunrise on the morning of Beltane, those women wishing to recapture their youth, as well as all women wishing to retain their beauty, should go out into the grass at the break of dawn, sweep up the morning dew within their hands, and bathe their faces with it.
This holiday is one of the most Pagan. It is a celebration of fertility. To the modern world, it’s more commonly known as May Day. What the Roman Church tried so hard to control, to portray as evil, sinful, or dirty is the very thing celebrated at Beltane…human sexuality. The ancient rites of Beltane celebrate the copulation of the God and the Goddess (the priest and the priestess); and in some Wiccan traditions this celebration of sexuality is honored with a ritual known as The Great Rite.
What was once considered wonderfully human, delightful, a miracle of life, and in some cases a spiritual act, was degraded by the Roman Church, the same church which branded women as evil and with it the emotions of lust and passion.
Modern-day Pagans have reclaimed the celebration of human sexuality and the miracle of fertility that accompanies it. People still dance around the Maypole, a phallic symbol, while they hold brightly colored streamers spilling from the top of this pole, symbolic of the creative force of sex.
Correspondences for Beltaine
Herbs: cinquefoil, frankincense, marigold, meadowsweet,
Altar Flowers/Herbs: daisy, hawthorn, lilac, primrose, wildflowers, rose
Feast Foods: barley cakes, oat cakes, red fruit, elderflower drinks, herbal salads
Animals: honey bees, cats, horses, rabbits, white cow
Incense: frankincense, lilac, passion flower, rose, vanilla
Rituals/Spells: bale fire, fertility magick, sex magick, handfasting, beauty magick, love spells, The Great Rite
(From “Natural Magick the Gray Witch Way”
by Amythyst Raine © 2011)
My September newsletter from The Witch’s Corner has gone live this morning. You’ll find that I’ve changed up the format a bit with the addition of some new sections, including one entitled “Pagan Highlights”. You’ll find information about pagan authors, artists, activists, and other unique individuals that need to be brought into the spotlight so that we can all benefit from their wisdom, their sense of humor, their talent, and their eclectic pagan views. This month features Lunea Weatherstone, Susan Weed, Mickie Mueller, and Witches Rising.
There’s an essay on“Autumnal Holidays” and links to an article on interfaith marriage,“A Christian & A Witch”, learn how this couple handles both interfaith and inter-racial issues in their relationship. We’ll be “Makin’ Magick ‘Round the Kitchen Table” with some “Workplace Mojo”– bosses beware! And “From the Witch’s Kitchen” is a recipe for “Full Moon Biscuits”, it’s easy as pie.
I’ve also edited a photo slideshow called “Nebraska Autumn” with some new pics.
You’ll find updates and news from The Witch’s Corner with links.
The Wykid Wytch Newsletter
Some of the following commentary and excerpts from various essays have been posted before, here or there, can’t remember all where. “Are You Empathic?” is actually a new piece that will be included in the March newsletter from my website, consider this an early preview.
The following essays and commentary are my own and are copyrighted. You can not reproduce this body of work in any form without my written consent. Contact Lady Amythyst at: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2006 Amythyst Raine, The Witch’s Corner
Most people have a certain amount of empathy (sympathetic feelings) for other human beings and even animals. It is this natural empathy that stirs compassion and in turn sets in motion good deeds, well-wishes, prayers, assistance, and mercy. But being empathic goes one step further. An empath can ‘feel’ or ‘sense’ the emotions of those people around them. When someone is talking face to face with an empath, the substance of their words will shine in bright contrast to their true feelings. An empath will know when you are lying to them. They will actually feel your dislike or approval, acutely. An empath will pick up the smallest of nuances in the expression of the eyes, the twitch of a facial muscle, an almost unnoticeable inflection in the voice.
But aside fromkeen awareness to these physical cues that most people are oblivious to, an empath will be able to feel someone else’s emotions as though they were their own. This phenomenon is amplified in large crowds and can become overwhelming and uncomfortable, as well as physically draining; which is why many empaths learn, over the years, how to block and shield themselves from other people’s emotions. It’s a necessary survival mechanism for many super-sensitive empaths. It’s also why some avoid circumstances involving large crowds of people.
Being empathic brings a different dimension to how you view the world, how you feel about specific people and circumstances, and decisions that you make. Would you want to know how certain people in your life really feel about you? About decisions and choices you have made? Would you like to feel other people’s approval, admiration, dislike, envy, disapproval— all without a word spoken? This is not always the blessing many people think it would be. It often sends you on an emotional rollercoaster. The phenomenon of this quirky psychic overload certainly reveals your true friends, but it also reveals adversaries that may wear the cloak of friendship, ulterior motives, as well as other shocking revelations.
(The following is an excerpt from a longer work…)
About being grounded and at peace…for me that’s something that has come with time and age. I’ve been through three divorces in my life, uncertainty, fluctuations– financial, spiritual, mental, a variety of paths, faced a number of irritating obstacles, etc. I finally *arrived*…that’s what it feels like to turn 50. I don’t know why people dread aging and especially dread middle-age. This has been the best time of my life. I know who I am, what I believe, what I want out of life, the path I desire. I like myself, my world, my choices, and the energy around me. It’s a hoot!
About men and commitment…This is the one thing I would change about my life if I could go back and make different decisions. I would choose to find myself first, to be a whole person on my own. I would strive for financial independence, spiritual freedom, dreams and goals that were mine alone. Only then would I choose to take on a partner and become one of a pair– and even then, I’m sure I would insist on maintaining that unique mental independence that makes me who I am.
Commitment is a strange thing. It means different things to different people. I have one lady who is absolutely tormented at the fact that her lover, who recently went through a devastating divorce, won’t marry her. At the other end of the spectrum, my Aunt has been with her man for almost 40 years. They were never legally married, but they are more committed to each other than many people I’ve seen who are. Commitment doesn’t necessarily come with a slip of paper from our judicial system– it comes from the heart.
Christianity has warped our sense of humanity with it’s myriad rules and policies that try to dehumanize us. Not every relationship is meant to be ‘forever’. It’s a rare thing, as a matter of fact. I’ve only seen two couples in my life who were true soul mates and were in love and happy with their relationship until the end of their lives. I’ve seen many more who lived out a miserable existence, barely tolerating each other, because they believed it was expected of them.
Anyone lucky enough to find love should enjoy it while it lasts, whether it’s for a season, a life time, or a fleeting miraculous minute.
(The following is an excerpt from a longer work…)
About ‘being out’…I’m so used to being Pagan that I really don’t think anything about it, no more than if I were Lutheran or Jewish or whatever.
My mother is a witch. She has never tried to hide what she is and yet she has never deliberately flaunted it. But anyone walking into her home would know immediately that she is not Donna Reed.
My dad is a shaman, the ‘ole gray wizard’ he calls himself. They live in the west and he hikes the trails in the Rocky Mountains as if it were his own backyard. He climbs up above the timberline to perform solitary rituals. He says there’s nothing like it.
My grandmother was a woman fascinated by the occult. I grew up surrounded by books and conversation on astrology, numerology, and a wide assortment of paranormal topics. She was forever checking her astrological charts before any major decisions or doctor’s appointments. She had her own little ‘rituals’ and odd things she did, but she never would have thought to fit herself with the title of witch. I think that’s funny.
My youngest sister practices witchcraft, as well as two of my cousins, and three of my own daughters.
I guess, growing up with paganism in one form or another, I didn’t always realize how ‘different’ it would seem to people. I know that sometimes I get some strange looks from someone here or there, and I know that when people meet me, some will like me and others won’t– but that’s the way it goes. And those that don’t like me may not have liked me if I were pagan or not, or they may not be worth the effort it would take to get them to like me…insidious little circle, isn’t it?
Since I home school, I’ve never run into the grade school and high school ‘Mean Girls’ with my children– thank Goddess, I had enough of those when I was in school…needless to say I never fit in, I was always a little odd, but they couldn’t put their finger on exactly why. lol!!
I find that the older I get the less I care about other people’s opinions. I also find that Pagan Rights is becoming a more and more important issue for me. I hope I don’t offend anyone– but I think that Christianity is one of the worst things to have happened to the world. It’s such a do or die, my way or the highway, unforgiving institution. It’s a bully.
I must say that the worst case of disrespect and bigotry I’ve experienced has come from my husband’s family. They are an ultra-conservative Iowa farm family who has nothing to do with us because I am a “Witch”– I figure good for them, that’s one less holiday meal I’ll be responsible for. I don’t have to listen to my husband’s sisters-in-law whine, I don’t have to put up with his brothers’ moods and life goes on here in our little household with a peaceful grace.
I guess I’m comfortable with my path and with who I am, so much so that I don’t think about it all that much. I imagine, being raised in this house, that my children will be the same way.
To Whom It May Concern:
Publicly, you say all the right things; you display all the right images. You nurture a magickal persona, a nuance. You portray yourself as an authority on everything, and you have tricked other people into believing that you are just that. You act as an authority of steel that smacks down free thought for everyone but yourself…”My way is the only way.”…How many religions and cults and egotists have spouted those words?
At first I was charmed and awed by you, just as everyone else. But then I began to notice little chinks in the public persona, just little things at first, but enough to put a spark of doubt about you in my mind.
Then Jerry Falwell died and you posted a blog about his death.
As a pagan, he was about as far removed from my world and the spectrum of my spirituality as he could get. I didn’t pay any attention at all to this man—until he died and you posted that blog.
I was shocked.
The viciousness of your words, the complete lack of humanity was appalling. It was the epitome of bad taste and poor judgment and showed a complete lack of compassion for a fellow human being. It was vicious and mean. This blog grated against all the other quiet authoritarian, “wise woman”, sage words that you had posted before…and, as I rightly suspected, this was your real voice.
You slipped up here, exposing your real personality, if only briefly. But I knew it was only a matter of time until the artificial veneer that you nurture so carefully would crack, exposing the genuine ugliness that lay below.
Jerry Falwell? I didn’t know him, didn’t follow him, and probably would not have given his death a second thought—but then I read your blog.
Regardless of his religious beliefs or his politics…he was merely another human being among the millions on earth. He was a man slogging through life as we all are– rising to an alarm clock, driving through traffic, paying his taxes, brushing his teeth.
And then he died.
Now he was a man who would never hold his wife again, never dance at a grandchild’s wedding, never offer a comforting hug to his children, never watch a sunset, have coffee with a friend, or pet a dog. Strip away from him all the labels society placed upon him, and it simplifies things tremendously…
He was a man who died.
It’s Name is Fear
I can feel something lurking near me, something insidious and full of guile and malice. It’s a sheer white mist that has its origins deep within human minds, curling and twisting its way from eyes to arms to fingertips, to computer keys. It creeps like a fog, swirling around desks and keyboards, creeping around still bodies caught in rapt concentration, their faces illuminated by the screens before them.
And it speaks…”you can’t”, “you must”, “thou shalt”, “thou shalt not”, “you will be punished”, “you will be sorry”, “tremble before me”…
It is the ghost of Christianity wearing a cloak of narrow-mindedness. And slinking along close behind it is a twisted, ugly creature, its predatory eyes darting here and there, searching for prey. Its name is Fear.
Its eyes suddenly open wide in shock and recognition—there is a being too elusive for Fear to touch. It senses her very near now and a shiver runs through its crippled frame. He sees her then. She steps from the shadows of the trees, tall and proud, the soft breeze gently lifting her hair. A flicker of emotion changes Fear’s eyes for the briefest moment.
This being raises her arms, slowly spreading her hands, her fingertips. She empties her lungs and takes a deep breath and can instantly feel the tingling on the souls of her bare feet as the energy of the earth is drawn upward, into her body. It rises swiftly, coming faster and getting stronger until it makes the skin on her legs rise in goose flesh. It begins to rush upward, through her thighs and her pelvis, her torso. Her arms begin to tremble, her hands to shake—the energy overtakes her and she turns the palms of her hands toward Fear.
For a brief instant his grotesque, deformed face reflects his own persona…and then he disappears in a shattering of colored particles, dispersed in time and place.
The witch drops to her knees, overcome yet with the energy still coursing through her body. She gently places the palms of her hands flat on the ground and feels the release and rush as the energy returns from whence it came. Her shoulders slump and she sighs in relief.
It is done.
I ran across this blog yesterday from a Lady who is a little paranoid when it comes to witches, halloween, and pagan practices. Okay, so she’s not just a little paranoid, I’d label her psycho on the subject. I wasn’t taking her too seriously until it got so ridiculous that I felt I had to say *Something*. I had meant to leave a brief comment in the comment box and let it go at that, but my relatively brief rebuttal turned out to be too long for the comment box…so I’m posting it here, along with a link to this woman’s article. And I should warn you that if you go to this link, you’ll be leaving the world of reality behind. This woman hates and fears that which she doesn’t understand, or that which is different from her own beliefs…and just for the record, at my house we don’t hex or curse the candy that we hand out at Halloween to the kiddos, though she might be onto something here. 🙂
Rebuttal Comment: topic- Halloween
My goodness woman. Do you realize how many people you have offended in your clumsy attempt to justify your contempt for a sacred pagan holiday? As the local village witch, I can tell you that, for one thing, we don’t worship Satan- we don’t even believe in him. He is an invention of christian mythology, and you can keep him, thank you. I suspect the main purpose of his inception was to frighten people and thus give those in charge some leverage and control over the population. Second, and this is so off the wall it’s difficult to address without laughing or shuddering– ritual slaughter of animals, babies, etc. Many witches I know are actually animal rights activists and vegans. If you want to witness ritual animal slaughter, you’ll have to go to your nearest slaughterhouse- and then venture on over to McDonalds or some other fast food place where you can ingest the poor critter and add to your cholesterol level. Good grief. As far as witches harming babies, you’ve watched too many ‘made for tv’ movies. I’m the mother of seven biological children, and nope, I haven’t eaten neary a one yet– though I’ve had to ground a few now and then.
Spells? Hexes? Curses?…A spell is no more than a prayer with props. The spell I might cast for a particular intention is no different than the prayer requests you make to your god. Don’t tell me that there has never been a christian who hasn’t prayed for the downfall of a foe– that would translate into a ‘hex’ or ‘curse’.
Halloween– or ‘Samhain’…is a time to reconnect with the spirit of your ancestors, a time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest and communication is easier with the spirit world, an excellent time to practice divination, and the end of the harvest season– the beginning of the dark months and the season of winter. The pagan, my dear, seems to have a reverence for Mother Earth, her turning seasons, her creatures, and her spirit that you and yours lack. Watch us closely…and learn.
The Not-So-Wicked-Witch of the Midwest