Posted in Wicca/Witchcraft

Devotion to Witchcraft

0b28d81e0c3b20e0820f2f7a1d679176I have a mundane Facebook account that holds my interest less every day. I follow very few of my friends, and am mainly interested in my kids posts about my grandkids. However, one of my children posts very rarely due to the sensitivity of his job. Instagram provides the same photos. Other than that, it’s my right-wing friends harping about the damned liberals (that would be me), or posting stuff like “repost if you love Jesus.” I’ve filled my news feed with Pagan & witchcraft groups & pages, but don’t feel I can really participate in them. While I identify as Pagan, I think posts regarding witchcraft would cause a bit more than a mild stir.

A few years ago, I started a Facebook account under my then Craft name, which is basically interchangeable with the one I most commonly use. I’ve filled that feed with witchcraft and Pagan groups & pages, while eschewing most of the political pages I follow in my mundane account. Interestingly, I have almost as many friends on that account as I have on my mundane account, which is 6 years older! I’ve found most Pagans & witches on Facebook to be very friendly.

The reason I bring this up is to demonstrate what is quickly becoming my nearly total immersion into witchcraft life. I’m lucky to have a few very good friends in “real life”, and we stay in touch. I see them on a fairly regular basis. But past that, most of our old friends have fallen away. This has resulted in a closer bond with immediate family. There are no other witches in my family, but I’ve made no secret about my Paganism. We just don’t talk about spirituality that much. Which makes my social media life so important to me.

Most all my social media is witchcraft driven. It is what I like to talk about, and I love to read the writings of others who are on similar paths.

I’ve fallen back in love with Wicca. It’s a far cry from my freak out a few months ago. Actually, it’s probably a result of it. It was a spiritual reawakening for me. Fortunately, I have my blog readers, my Twitter friends, my Google+ friends, & my Craft Facebook friends with which to rub virtual elbows. I’ve stopped reading judgmental blogs and articles by those who want to talk at, and not with to others.

With a background in psychology & sociology, I understand the complications and hazards of harboring the secrets of a life you would like to lead. I’ve gotten tired of suffering the suppression of my spiritual path. I enjoy the association with other witches and Pagans. I’m a much nicer person as a witch, and am often surly when I’m hiding it, simply because I resent hiding it. So why make myself and others miserable?

There will be future roadblocks, but this is the very thing that can enable the possibility of achieving serenity in my life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. I know many people have to keep their Craft lives close to the vest. How does that affect you? Are there others out there who have completely changed their lives to accommodate their path? Please feel free to comment!

Thanks for reading and Blessed Be!

Posted in Wicca/Witchcraft

Witchcraft Sexuality

bdsm_symbol_tattoo_design_by_slipripzipd4tphb4This post may be a bit NSFW.

I read a lot of material on Paganism and witchcraft online. Most of what I read has to do with magick, spells, rituals, and how to be a witch. What I look for most is how people actually incorporate their Pagan & Craft paths into their everyday life. That’s what I try to do as much as possible with this blog.

Most people who come to these paths from other paths will tell you how it changed their lives. What rarely gets touched on is how it might have affected their sex life. I’ve gotten to know some witches as well as I can via the internet. We’ve had private conversations via the private channels of social media. I’ve become email pals with some witches.

We have had communications about sex. These are discussions about our lives people, not sex via the internet. Just in case you were thinking that. What I’ve found is that the sex life of most of the witches I’ve talked to about it changed in some way because of the path.

I’ve found that most people who are witches had a pretty active sex life before they became a witch. Witchcraft does set your inhibitions free to a great extent, but I think most witches were fairly uninhibited before they came to the path. I think that witchcraft empowered many to expand upon that sexually.

I will say that the concept of sex magick has often been the key that opened their sexual pandora’s box. If you are trying to manipulate energy in order to magically create a change, the energy created by sex and orgasms are very powerful avenues. This can be accomplished on your own, but two people working together can be ever so more powerful.

A couple of sexual practices most commonly channeled by witches seem to be tantric sex and adding elements of BDSM. Both of these practices are good at building & creating energy. Tantric sex is more of a slow build, and its’ power lies in that building of the energy. Here’s a good description of how tantric sex works.

BDSM, which I might have had to explain before 50 Shades of Grey, is more of what I describe as sparks of energy rather than a slow build toward it. Personally, I think that  the power of this type of energy is heightened when the female is the dominant person. Paganism & witchcraft are all about female empowerment, and having the female be the  the “top” is a visual, emotional, and mental example of that power.

Obviously, there are countless avenues of sexual expression by witches. The examples I’ve given were tied to sex magick, but obviously these and others can be practiced simply for the pleasure of the practitioners.

That’s about as dicey as I want to get on this blog. I just wanted to touch upon witchcraft and sexuality, because if you look at a lot of witchcraft blogs and pages, it sometimes seems that witches don’t have any interest in sex. And there’s no real reason not to talk about it. For gods sake, if 50 Shades of Grey can be a best seller and made into a movie (vanilla as it is), then I think we can discuss sexuality.

Blessed Be!

Posted in Wicca/Witchcraft

Witchcraft Bonding

There is, I believe, a fairly large chasm, or perhaps disconnect, between the “experts” at certain, more commercial Pagan/witchcraft blogs, and those of us who do our best to chronicle our personal experiences & opinions. I’ve long had a love/hate relationship with blog warehouses such as Patheos Pagan portal. I have certainly learned a lot there, and found interesting ideas & concepts. On the other hand, I’ve felt a certain degree of condescension in the tone of some of the posts. The, “I know better than you, let me set you straight” kind of posts.

Contrast that with the everyday blogs I read by Pagans & witches struggling to be heard above the noise of a million blogs. We write about our experiences, our thoughts, ups & downs, and how we manage to continue practicing an much maligned path.

Speaking for myself, all my attempts are to write at readers, not down to anyone. I’m desperately trying to make a personal connection with other Pagans & witches who also struggle to balance a magical path with everyday life. Yes, I’ve read a crapload of books, and scour the internet & blogosphere for article about the Craft, but that doesn’t make me any kind of expert. Chances are you do the same thing. We all hope to learn something which we might not have been previously aware.

But mostly, I think the average writers & readers of blogs are simply trying to learn how others, who are on similar paths, intertwine Paganism & witchcraft into our daily lives. I want to tell you how I struggle to & manage to do it, and I want to know how you do it too. That’s why I love the comment section of blogs. On other social media sites we often “like” or perhaps, repost, or post links, but that is often the extent of the communication. In fact, recently there was an article regarding the fact that a great number of people don’t even read the articles of which they are sharing links.

You will never find me telling others how to lead their own paths here. To be honest, there was a time where I was somewhat of a witchcraft snob. I couldn’t fathom how people could combine say, Christianity and Paganism. It would drive me crazy. But when I let go of ego, I became enlightened. I understood that was how that person perceived and expressed their spirituality. For me to judge them, would be akin to people of other faiths, who believe only their path is the true path. And that is something I abhor.

I don’t read much of Patheos anymore. There are a few authors there that write beautifully, and I follow them on an individual basis. But mostly, I would rather read the writings of people like the ones who read or follow my blog. Everyday people, who found a path they love, and want to tell me about it. Please keep those coming!

Thanks for reading, and feel free to share your thoughts!

Blessings to you!

Posted in Cottage Witchcraft, Wicca/Witchcraft

My Wicca: Absolute Belief is Essential

86DC5EB4-95B8-493F-A352-D46153D8F75BWithin the past year, I’ve had a couple of freak-outs. Like “I’m gonna leave the Craft” kind of freak-outs. Thankfully I managed to put those behind me, and I must say I’ve been a happy witch since. Over the past month, I’ve really ramped up my devotion to witchcraft, to infusing magick into our home, and even to getting back to my Wiccan roots.  The fact that I am using the word “Wicca” more on social media hasn’t gone without notice to me.

I do think of myself as a cottage witch and a Wiccan. Yes, in the past I’ve moved away from regular, more formal rituals, in favor of small bits of magick sprinkled around our home on a daily basis. But what I discovered is that for me, it does help to have some kind of ritual on at least a semi-regular basis. I think it keeps me grounded, and helps cement my relationship with the gods and goddesses.

What! The gods and goddesses?? Hey mister, wasn’t there a time in the recent past that you decided that the deities were archetypes? Hmmm?

Well, I’ll admit, that’s true. That nagging logic part of my brain that says, “Cmon, there’s no proof.” Ultimately, that’s pretty much true. However, I think that as a witch & Wiccan, my relationship with deity is way different than say, a Judea/Christian, who, when it comes right down to it, fears their God. Their God is one of death. By that I mean that his/her followers are trying their best to please their deity, in order to get a good seat in the afterlife. The orchestra pit isn’t as attractive to them in death as it is in life..

I don’t think the deities care that much about me. I think they cosmically do, or have done their thing, and we are just momentary commuters to them. I do think you can appeal to a deity for whatever reason, and maybe, just maybe, they will lend you a hand. But for the most part, witchcraft is all about you controlling your own life and destiny, not praying to a deity for his or her help on a constant basis.

As an example, take casinos. How many prayers to the Judea/Christian God are asked in a gambling setting each day? Thousands, right? Conversely, as a witch, I might create a good luck bag, using stones, herbs, oils, crystals, or whatever else may be needed, and carry that with me. Or perhaps, cast a spell before going to gamble. No asking deities for the right card or a good spin.

The key to all the witchcraft happenings, the spells, the rituals, the deities, the guardians of the watchtowers, the elements, the power of stones, oils, herbs, etc., etc, is one thing: rock solid belief. Janet Farrar, long time Wiccan author, wrote in her bookProgressive Witchcraft: Spirituality, Mysteries, and Training in Modern Wicca, that in order to practice the spirituality of witchcraft, she believed belief in deity was vitally import (I paraphrased there).

There are times of doubt for most all of us. Our logical brain tries to kick out the unseen, the things we can’t possibly wrap our minds around. And yes, I guess you can be a witch without believing in deities. But that is a practice, not a spiritual path. That witchcraft is all about spells and the mechanics of magick. But many of us need more. We need an empowerment brought on by a belief system. And that is exactly why I’ve gravitated back to Wicca.

I think my power lies within my total belief and acceptance of the existence of deity, and the full, unwavering belief in the power of magick through witchcraft.

Blessed Be!

Posted in Cottage Witchcraft, Wicca/Witchcraft

Witchcraft Intuition

img_3371Firstly, I have to admit that I’m floored by the fact that tomorrow is July 1st. The older I get, the faster time seems to slip away. Remembering back 40+ years, the summer days would seem to last forever, and that was a good thing. We were disconnected, unlike today, and that was probably a better time, as far as our physical and mental health was concerned.

This morning, I found this blog post in my inbox. It’s a short post, but I think, carries a big message. The author, a kitchen witch, writes about using intuition when putting together spells, or even simply what to have on hand for magical purposes.

This struck a chord with me, and I left a comment to that effect. In today’s world, with the internet, everyone who has an opinion can voice it online. There is no shortage of people out there in the witchcraft community (if there even is such a thing) who want to tell you exactly how to be a witch, perform ritual and spells, and even judge your path. There is also no shortage of books, with authors giving precise instructions on how to be a witch, Pagan, Wiccan, or whatever.

Every witch was a newbie at one time. We all remember reading books, and trying our best to adhere to the exact instructions given in whatever book we were currently reading or using. Yes, there are some general concepts that need to be learned to be a witch. However, we often lose sight of the fact that the authors of any how-to witchcraft book are instructing you on their particular style of practice. It is their opinion.

I’ve seen message boards with questions by those new to the Craft, excessively worried about using archaic language, because that’s what the author said had to be used. I’ve seen people panicked over the fact that they didn’t have a purple candle, and wondering if a white candle would work. I went out and bought all the stuff books instructed me I had to have to be a proper witch. I spent hundreds of dollars buying essential oils and herbs that seemed common to many spells. Many of those oils have never had the seal broken. Some were purchased in my first year in 2004.

It’s common that our excitement over the path rushes us to do as instructed. But what we should do is take our time, absorb the information in books, and then armed with that information, use our intuition to be our best guide. There are books on what color candle to use, what kind of stone, crystal, herb, or oil to use, and when exactly we should do a particular spell or ritual. Those can help guide us, but what we feel is right should carry a lot of weight also.

Ultimately, perhaps we should let those feelings, our intuition, our gut reactions guide us. If you are drawn to an ingredient or object that is different than the one suggested, then maybe that’s the right choice for you. If you feel strongly to amend a spell, or even think up one of your own, well then do it.

In the end, it’s important to realize that there is no rule book on how to be a witch. We have no bible, or other sacred tome that is central to our path. We have a lot of books by authors who make suggestions, some really, really good ones, and some that are just silly. The how-to books, chosen carefully, give us a foothold to the Craft, but once those are digested, it’s up to you to determine your best way of practicing. Because really, the archaic language isn’t really necessary unless it means something to you, and a candle, often dipped in a color vat somewhere in Vietnam or China, really doesn’t mean that much per se, only if it means something to you.

Let your conscious and intuition be your guide.

Thanks to the author of that blog post for inspiring this post, and happy July 2016 everyone!

Blessed Be!

Posted in Wicca/Witchcraft

My Wiccan Altar

My main altar has been through a lot of changes over the last 12 years. It started out as a very bright, cheery hippie kind of Wiccan altar. When I opened up to my goth personality, my altar was drastically influenced by that. Generally, the goth aspect has become the consistent theme since about 2007 or 2008. I fell in love with black candles. Normally, I’ve balanced the God and Goddess candle with having the Goddess candle white, and the God candle black. Duality.

My altar has been simplistic at times, and has also been quite ornate. The photos above demonstrate that. I was looking at the various photos of my altar the other day, and I fell in love all over with the simplistic altar pictured above. Something about the quietness of it brought me feelings of peace.

Granted, there are times when ritual and spell craft is in full swing, and mayhem takes over.

IMG_0476

But as a static altar to gaze upon during the day, I have to say I now favor the simplistic approach. It seems to be a common theme in my life as I get older, the idea that less is more. And that goth is a constant, no matter how hippie I might want to think that I am.

Blessed Be!

Posted in Cottage Witchcraft, Wicca/Witchcraft

Hail Vesta! Goddess of the Hearth

vspToday is a holiday observed by some in the Pagan community called Vesta’s Opening. Vesta, in simplistic terms was the Roman goddess of the hearth. Vesta’s name roughly translates to “torch,” and she was thought of as “Keeper of the Flame.” If you ever use or hear the phrase, “keep those home fires burning,” you can thank Vesta for that.

Vesta usually appeals to women, as a symbol of domestic empowerment. Me, having a deep connection to my feminine side (there’s no explaining it, I just always have), have a great fondness for Vesta. Actually, my greatest connection is with Hestia, who was the Greek incarnation of the Goddess of the Hearth. I tend to default to the Greek gods and goddesses.

I am in charge of our home. I do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and most of the home chores. I enjoy doing it, always have, and my wife is delighted about it, as she absolutely hates doing those things. So I’ve always felt an affinity for Hestia.

The Roman version of Hestia, who was Vesta, had her scope of influence widened by the Romans. Not only was she thought of as Keeper of the Flame at home, but they made her a goddess of the community and public fires.

I bring all this up because today my calendar informed me was Vesta’s Opening. In ancient Rome, the Feast of Vesta began on June 7th. On June 9th the Vestal virgins opened the holy sanctuary so women who baked goods could come into the temple and give the baked goods, usually bread, as offerings to Vesta. After 8 days, the temple was closed, it was cleaned, and the temple then reopened.

On the 15th, donkeys (Vesta’s sacred animal) were decorated with wreaths as part of the temple opening celebrations. Thus today’s incarnation of Vesta’s Opening.

There is more information on this page, including a Litha spell/ritual that I have performed for several years. It is simple, yet reverential to the Goddess of the Hearth.

So today, if you feel so moved, give thanks to Vesta for your home and hearth. Perhaps light a candle in the kitchen in her honor, and even give that ritual a try later this month.

Blessed Be!