Questions & Answers

I receive a considerable number of questions from people, and I’ve answered a handful of them here.  I’ll be re-posting on this particular blog from time to time, when I get the opportunity.  This just seemed like an easier solution rather than trying to answer individual emails, as more than one person often asks the same question.  It just seemed logical to gather the answers all in one place.  Remember that these are my opinions, this is about my path– and you asked.

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Is there a difference between a Witch, a Wiccan, and a Pagan?
What do you feel are some of the major differences?

 Yes, there is a difference, and still, most people tend to lump these categories together indiscriminately.

 “Pagan” is a broad term that covers a variety of beliefs and practices. It’s an umbrella term that includes witches; Wiccans- every tradition, clan, or solitary path you can think of; Druids; and a garden variety of spiritual practices that stray from the mainstream religions, primarily Christianity.

 “Witch” implies someone who is knowledgeable in the ‘Olde Ways’, someone who casts spells, practices divination, herbology, etc. A witch is steeped in earth-based shamanic methods in free-form, not tying her/himself to any particular creed, to any particular set of rules or regulations, group or clan. The witch tends to be a free spirit and often treads where others fear to go when it comes to practicing the occult.

 “Wicca” is a religion which encompasses organized and ordered membership, regulations, and practices. It is also an earth-based and nature religion which has grown to include a wide variety of paths, traditions, clans, and covens. Most Wiccans abide by the Wiccan Reed, and seek membership that comes with required study and initiation.

 When did you first realize you were a Witch?

 I always knew that I was different and that I often perplexed people, though as a child I wasn’t sure how or why. The earliest memory I have of a ‘realization’ probably came when I was about five years old, crouched alone on a terraced hillside. It was a hot summer day, though I was in a dark cool place, as the hillside was full of trees. I looked to my right, past the wire fence that separated the yard from pasture, and watched a herd of cattle grazing in the hot sun, only a few feet away from my cool dark world. I reached to the low branch of a young locust tree, wrapped my fingers around a small green stem and gently slid the leaves off, into my palm. I stayed there for quite some time, crouched beneath the tree, closing my eyes to listen to the wind in the trees, believing that they were speaking to me.

 I don’t remember what I did with the leaves, though I do remember that I wanted them for a reason.

 Is it important for a Witch to have a code of Honor?

 It depends upon how you look at it. If by a ‘code of honor’, you mean that she must abide by someone else’s rules, someone else’s measurement of what is right or wrong, then I would have to say no.

 Each individual, witch or not, who is an intelligent human being knows when they are doing right and when they are doing something questionable. And ‘questionable’ in this instance doesn’t necessarily mean something you shouldn’t do, it can mean something that isn’t always done but needs doing, it can mean something gritty and serious that must be done.

 The Witch, a real witch, moves in a landscape that is neither white nor black, it’s filled with shadows that are shades of gray; and to the witch these shadows are not off limits. Balance is required in all things, including the practice of Witchcraft; and once in a while boundaries have to be broken to maintain this balance.

 How would you define “Mojo”?

 I would describe ‘mojo’ as ‘magick’…magick that incorporates natural elements to produce physical manifestation: herbs, stones, bones, personal items, bodily secretions, potions, powders, images, symbols, etc. Mojo also relies on intention and will, but not at the same level or intensity as Wiccan magick. With mojo, the magick resides in the molecules of the items used. The traditional voodoo priestess does not consecrate or empower her mojo bags; she believes that the power is already there.

 How do spells work?

 Spells work by using the energy of our will and intentions, along with strong visualization, coupled with natural objects such as candles, fire, water, herbs, stones, photos, images, etc.; to produce physical manifestation into the real world. You must be able to see the objective of your spell as though it already exists. If you cannot visualize what you desire as though it already exists, you will not be able to manifest into the physical realm.

 Why do you practice so many different
forms of witchcraft on your path?

 I am an eclectic Witch.

 There’s incredible knowledge and magick to be found on a number of occult paths. It’s like a magickal buffet of rich and varied practices that all work in different ways and on different levels. To me, it’s there for the taking, there for my use. We just have to be open-minded enough not to be afraid to explore other religions, other forms of spirituality. Human beings have a terrible habit of pigeon-holing everything, thinking that everything must fit into specific boxes and that you can’t mix and match or you’ll mess things up.

 I don’t eat the same thing for breakfast every morning, I don’t wear the same kind of clothes everyday. And as much as I love chocolate, if that were the only thing I was allowed to eat, it would get monotonous.

Buddhism & Finding Balance

 The Noble Truths: 

1.  Nothing lasts forever. Expecting to be miserable when things come to an end. This is called “impermanence”, often stated as “life suffering”.

 2. This suffering starts because we are attached to the idea that things will last forever or that if we can just find the magic formula, we can make things the way we want them be , always. This is called “craving” or “attachment”.

 3. We don’t have to be miserable. We can teach ourselves to let go of our cravings and attachments so that we don’t have to suffer as much when things change, as they inevitably will. This truth is called “freedom from confinement” or “extinction”. It is like getting the key to our jail cell or blowing out a candle that‘s burning us.

 4. There is a path to liberation from suffering and getting burned by our expectations. This path runs between the extremes of hedonism and asceticism.

 The Eightfold Path:

 1. Right Understanding
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action,
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

 
The information above is taken from:
“The Witch’s Almanac”, Issue 27, Spring 08-09

“Buddha’s Magical Numbers”
By Elizabeth Rose
 Buddha.jpg picture by witch_of_endore

One of my daughters practices Buddhism and although my path is different, I still found this article to be representative of basic truths. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people crushed when a marriage, job, lifestyle, relationship, etc. changed, because they apparently expected it to go on indefinitely…and it doesn’t.

Anne Lindbergh stated in an essay that a woman’s life goes through major change about every 20 years or so, and she’s right, it does. Beginning with the end of your school years and marriage, on to child bearing and rearing, then possibly to widowhood or divorce, and so it goes. And isn’t it mind-boggling to think of the thousands of changes that take place within all those phases, some good and some not so pleasant.

I view the Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path as yet another unique collection of wisdom to add to my very eclectic path. I feel that, when all is said and done, it’s basically reminding us that we need balance in all things.

Believe-Nothing--Buddha-Magnet-C125.jpg picture by witch_of_endore
 

usca10168.jpg picture by witch_of_endore

The Triple Goddess

Triple Goddess

Triple-Goddess.jpg Triple Goddess image by DawnMorningstar1120

 

 

 


The Crone…

I don’t know if it’s this time of year or this phase of life I’m in now, but I feel a tremendous magnetic pull to The Crone.  I relish her– I revel in the beauty of her darkness and the depth of her knowledge and all the life tasted that she represents to me.  She is a milestone, a goal, an accomplishment.

She brings to me a sense of peace, as I hope she does to all of you.

 

The Mother…

 

 It is the Mother aspect of the Goddess that seems to encompass most of our lives– we are the nurturers.  Whether we are women who have given birth to our own children, or find ourselves entrusted with the care of other women’s children.  And it is not only the children of the world we nurture, but the animals, the earth itself, and the men in our livesWe nurture growth in all things, including new ideas and ventures, in the arts and literature, in all things worthwhile that need careful care and a magic touch.  Within that magic touch is the promise of creation and growth.

 

The Maiden…

 

It has been my experience that the older a woman gets, the farther away the Maiden feels.  It is probably a natural progression.  And yet, even women entering the more mature phases of life need the vital life force of this aspect of the Goddess.  She is what propels us forward with strength and tenacity and the self-confidence to discover our inner selves and our hidden strengths.

 

Blessings,
Lady Amythyst Raine

 

Female Only Assemblage

 
Note…This blog was originally posted at one of my MySpace profiles: 

The Goddess Grove

http://www.myspace.com/the_goddess_grove

(an online circle/sanctuary for women)

I had finally come to grips with a lot of preconceived notions about religion, God, the Goddess, and where I, and my female side, fit into the big picture.  I’ve been exploring Dianic Wicca and do believe that I may have finally found my nitch.  This short blog was the result of one of those ‘ah-ha’ moments…

 



 
How do you feel about this?…Invoking only the Goddess for rituals, holding female only circles, considering the Gods’ main claim to fame as being consort to the Goddess? 


Personally, in 51 years of living– through the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, Christian Fundamentalism and the four husbands who drug me through all this, kicking and screaming I might add, I’ve been infused with enough male energy to last me several lifetimes.  I’m still trying to figure out why men think it is thier duty to direct every aspect of a woman’s life, including her spirituality!…And, by the way, it doesn’t work.
 
For myself, me personally– I’m ready and enthusiastic to embrace female Divinity, to take my place with the “Womyn” of the world, to reclaim power that was taken from women with the creation of the Eve/apple myth.  To quote Z Budapest– “Eve should have eaten a bushel of apples!– It was her tree!"
 
I know this will bristle some of the male population, but I’ve never kicked about ‘male only domains’– like gentlemen’s clubs and other good ole’ boys’ assemblage places; so I figure they don’t have the option of protesting when we womyn go off on our own little jaunts to the wild places to gather and drum and dance and let loose with our spiritual expression.


And that’s ’bout ’nuff said– for the moment!