“You’re Doing it Wrong” ~ How do you respond?

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?

 

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The Jesus Dilemma ~ What do you say to them?

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 Desk: Celebrate October! ~ Full Moon & Samhain

Samhain

(October 31)

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.

My Celebration:

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.

Samhain Correspondences

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

Samhain Recipes

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?)

2 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 sugar

the spices:

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!

the crust:

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.

Ingredients:

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.

October

Blood Moon

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

Elements: Air/Water

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.

Sources:

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

7 Magickal Questions

33
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”:

1. Writing the Witchy Way

2. The Witch Of Howling Creek

3. Witches of the Craft

4. A Witchy Life

5. Cauldron & Brew: A Witch’s Blog

 

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.

Bright Blessings,
Amythyst