Archive for February, 2014

“You shouldn’t try that until you know what you are doing.”

But how can one know, unless one does? Witchcraft is a very experiential path, full of mysteries and wonder that cannot be taught, only alluded to. It is for each practitioner to convert the knowledge shared by others into personal experience, for without experience the magic of the world is simply academic understanding. Direct experience turns the words on a page into a rich tapestry of understanding, and turns the knowledge of others into personal wisdom. With the wonder of modern technology, more and more practitioners are turning to online forums for guidance and support, which presents its own challenges. Despite the ease of meeting like minded souls virtually, and despite the accessibility of information, there is little support for in depth spiritual studies. So often I see the words above typed in chat rooms in response to valid questions – but no further information is shared. The teenage rebel in me rises her head every time and shouts ‘But how do I know when I know what I am doing unless I do it and see?!’ and the woman in me nods in understanding. Too often this kind of vague response only fires up the desire to experiment, rather than encouraging one to step back and reflect upon our skills and past experience.  The tone of this overused phrase comes across as a petty ‘I know something you don’t know’ at best, and at worst it appears superior, patronizing and condescending. Most of the time neither of these attitudes are actually present, but the lack of physical communication in a virtual world encumbers and disguises the true intent of such a statement. Most of the time, the practitioners who use this phrase and similar warning phrases genuinely care that others feel safe and secure in their spiritual experiences. (more…)

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Deliverance: a 14th Century word to describe the state of being saved, rescued or liberated from something dangerous or unpleasant. In modern terms, this is often used to describe the act of Divine Intervention after a prayer of appeal, to be rescued or liberated by a deity.

I overheard a conversation between my atheist husband and my neighbor, a Christian  Preacher, about a Pentecostal Preacher who refused an antidote after being bitten by a snake and about his religious belief of deliverance. This reminded me of a story I heard many years ago:

A man is walking along the cliffs when he slips and falls. He catches himself and balances precariously upon a ledge. In distress he prays for deliverance, and so strong is his belief that his God will save him from his plight that he remains calm in the face of potential death. Soon the man hears a dog barking somewhere above him, followed by the face of a woman peering over the edge of the cliff. “My Gods!” she cries “Don’t move! I am going to get help!”

“No, no, don’t worry” the man replies “I have prayed for deliverance and I have faith that my God will save me.” But his words were lost to the wind as the dog walker had already run for help. (more…)

Cleansing StormWitchcraft teaches the duality and polarity of spectrums, the interconnectedness of all things, of light and dark, masculine and feminine, positive and negative, conscious and subconscious. Just as we accept that our universe is made of dichotomies that cannot exist without the context of their opposing meaning, we must accept that we are also many different and often opposing aspects that create a whole. Many practitioners envision a spiritual split that creates ‘Light’ and ‘Dark’ aspects of ourselves. Some practitioners attempt to work with and develop their light sides, and shun the dark aspects of themselves as negative or bad.  However, to know thyself is to know those parts we keep hidden in the shadows, locked in darkness, obscured from understanding. When I ask why someone is afraid of the dark, I wonder if it is the darkness itself that causes fear or whether it is the fear of what we may find within the darkness. (more…)

I would like to introduce you to Mabh Savage, author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors. In Mabh’s own words:

Mabh Savage

Mabh Savage

My book, A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors is at its heart an exploration of how an ancient culture has so much impact on our modern, day to day lives. I speak to ordinary people from all walks of life, some pagan, some not, who describe events that either hark back to the tales and myths of the Celts, or speak of a spiritual connection to the Fae and those we now call Gods and Goddesses such as the Dagda, The Morrigan and Lugh. I look at how to seek a connection to your own ancestors; to understand your own place in the universe. I also look at how the stories and tales, originally passed solely by word of mouth, have survived the millennia and are still so relevant in our society of concrete and technology. We see how the wheel of the year, the cornerstone for many pagan lives, was not only the Celtic year but their understanding of how the world worked, and how tapping into that can enrich our own lives. (more…)

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Pagan Blog Project 2014

When it comes to magic, I hear people use the terms casting and crafting interchangeably but I personally see them as two very different energetic techniques. This is the first time I have attempted to verbalize the differences to others, so I would be very interested if you could share your thoughts with me in the comments section.

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, many practitioners will use the terms in different contexts – the word Spellcraft to describe the act of preparing, creating and designing a spell, and the word Spellcast to describe the completion, culmination or release of a spell. To me, crafting not only describes the act of actually preparing your spell or magical working, it is also the energetic act of creation or transformation. Casting is a little more like fishing, casting the energy out into the universe and reeling back in the desired result. Spellcrafting takes various elements, ingredients or techniques to create a result; Spellcasting takes various elements, ingredients or techniques to attract a result. (more…)