Posted in Wicca/Witchcraft

Wiccan Joy: Releasing Negativity

b56eca1462b26476ab3078e04ada6cd0There are a bunch of things floating around in my brain this morning, so I’ll try to focus on a couple. It’s been 10 days since I posted here. I’ve taken a bit of a break from the computer, and have focused on becoming more physically active. I’m here to tell you there is nothing better for one’s outlook than,, a. getting outside, b. exercising, c. getting away from the computer and the internet. Getting started is the biggest obstacle, but now I can’t wait to get out there this morning.

I’m working on my joy, my happiness, and quieting my mind. The past few days I’ve been thinking about what kind of spells I could do to aid my goals during the magically powerful time culminating with the full moon on Thursday.

I decided to focus on releasing negativity and the pain of the past. Negativity is the main category of several sub-groups, such as jealousy and envy. I’ve fallen into the trap of feeling envious of the good fortune of others, which has left me brooding, deflated, and very depressed.

But during several long runs, I’ve found some clarity. I decided that I was not embracing my Wiccan spirituality enough. As a witch, I have the power to create change, yet I wasn’t even trying to do so. In fact, this negativing was actually pushing me away from Wicca.

Also, I realized that the negativity that I was feeling was attracting more and more negativity. Misery loves company, and I was even seeking out thoughts and reasons to be negative about more and more things. Snowball effect.

So what to do? The first thing was to grab onto Wicca and hold on tight. Not only for the magick, but for the religious spirituality, and the faith in the God and Goddess. I know there are lots of witches who shun deities, and I get it. But for me, a belief in deity, even in the most abstract form, centers me, and gives me comfort. I tend to get too logical at times, and question deity. Ultimately this gives me no comfort, so why give into it?

Secondly, I need to release the negative thoughts. I need to release the pain, the past, the envy. So being a witch, I went looking for spells. I found a couple of spells that I plan to adjust to my situation, and perform them in these next several days. Those spells are here and here.

I think quite a few of us Wiccans and witches forget the power we have to create change for ourselves. I see many instances, on social media, of our kind asking for the energy and even prayers of others. While that can’t hurt, I think relying on our own power and energy is the ultimate goal.

I believe the goal of releasing negative and envious feelings, along with cementing my faith in this path I’ve been on for 12+ years, are two of the keys for joy.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment, or if you have any good spells or rituals pertaining to this, I’d love to take a look at them!

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 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, Everyday Life

Tending My Own Magickal “Garden”

T40960a62878703828196c3900d8babe6oday, I read a very fine essay by John Beckett on Patheos entitled, Something Bad Isn’t Coming, It’s Here. In it, Mr. Beckett writes about The Long Descent of society, a term coined by John Michael Greer (whose book The Druidry Handbook, is wonderful). The premise is that every empire in the world has eventually fallen, and ours is probably no exception.

Mr. Beckett cites rising temperatures, strange weather, an economic recovery that really has only been beneficial for the ultra-rich, and the intense discourse in politics as indicators that things are not going well for us. The causes are many, and it did not just happen overnight, and it will be ongoing for hundreds of years.

I would like to say that Mr. Beckett read my mind when he wrote this, but I think there are a lot of us who sense the storm that is brewing. I find that those who are spiritually sensitive, and Gods know most Pagans fit that bill, are especially attuned to this tempest.

I understand that politics has always been contentious. The things said about Abraham Lincoln in his day are no less inflammatory that what is often said today. The main difference today is that the Internet has given everyone a voice, and the malcontented are very vocal. I believe that things started really getting bad way back in the Regan era, when that President refused to acknowledge the AIDS epidemic until he had to give into the mounting devastation.

The Internet truly amplified the sheer awfulness of the the 2008 Presidential race. Once President Obama was elected, it seemed to give the GOP carte blanche to oppose any social, economic, environmental, and rights issue that didn’t fit into their party stance, or more disturbing, their religious beliefs. The GOP seemed emboldened to publicly announce that they would not be cooperating in any way. Ditto for the 2012 re-election. If there is a person on earth who doesn’t think there was a racial undertone to all this, their head is in the sand.

So now, despite the majority of Americans believing in climate change, not much is being done about it. Despite most Americans believing in LGBT rights, and same sex marriage, and despite it being made law, it continues to be under attack by the GOP. Women’s rights are being handcuffed by elderly Republican men. The middle class is evaporating, Wall Street is healthy, and the arctic ice is melting. All the while, the GOP are fiddling.

There is so much adversity in the world, I can’t see a way out of it. It’s here, people are fighting each other at Presidential rallies, and in 2016 Donald Trump followers are yelling “go back to Auschwitz” at Jewish people, and “go back to Africa” at people of color. It’s fucking 2016! Today I read someone wrote on their G+ account that “the Jews’ President puppet landed in Cuba,” and that was one of their milder atrocious posts. We live in a world with a lot of hatred.

I’m a Pagan, a cottage witch with a deep Wiccan background. Whether it is realistic or not, I’ve decided to withdraw into the Scott Cunningham magickal worldview. It is why I’ve moved to cottage witchery from the more formal Wicca path. I feel the need to make a happy, magickal, and peaceful home life. Yes, I have grave concerns about all the aforementioned ills of the world, and I will vote accordingly. I will do my level best to be a friend of the environment, just as I have for the past 12 years. Past that, all I can do is communicate my concerns through a forum such as this. Otherwise, I will use whatever power I have for the betterment of my family. The world is past what I can do on a magickal basis. I’ve basically always practiced folk witchcraft, and it is small witchcraft.

Perhaps others feel they have the magickal power to change society, and I would love that to be so. I will tend to my own garden, with an eye toward having what I do enrich the world, rather than harm it.

Blessed Be.

Posted in Cottage Witchcraft

Cottage Witchcraft Evolution

IKwc3wE1vflCz6k5q9HlqOifZ0BD9MEV7n-aj9GZhcGFl14HkLgI762WWcWCEQ1MFFWtEImD87x6PACberZ5-Zmq3r9NAIvE29Hdl7eG6oVJ3cl_LigVEsk5eOLJ2MUAMN1lFfMRRUZoSpzcMn3tldz-EzTPBeX4_zzxNHIkuIg2sYxSDIBh2H2COviGhzRojI99u9a6WwK29sA82pfEAWGMIPRZOLtlcOver the last 5 or so years, our social life has had a dramatic change. For a good chunk of our lives, we lived a very social life. Vacations with friends, house parties, pool parties, taverns, bars, and other social events heavily dotted our calendar. As we’ve all gotten older, and tip-toed over that half-century mark, those events have largely gone by the wayside. Age plays a big part, as does our children having children, the economy, and a lack of desire and fortitude to party like we once did. So while our Facebook pages may indicate a large number of “friends,” we now largely stay home. It has been an adjustment, not always easy at times.

Obviously, our home has become more important to us. A year or so ago, I started exploring cottage witchcraft. Some might also call it hearth, kitchen, or even green witchcraft. Because I spend so much time at home, and since I am in charge of the house, I thought it might be appropriate to have a shift in my Craft practice from Wicca to a more relaxed, less formal practice, centering around the house and kitchen. Truth be known, I have been moving away from the formality of Wicca for some time.

Up till now, I’ve been see-sawing back and forth, from cottage witch practices, while trying to do some degree of formal Wiccan rituals. It’s become something of a burden, vacillating mentally back and forth each day, trying to decide which way my path is going. So in order to alleviate that stress, I’ve made the decision to make a permanent move to a cottage witchcraft path.

I know that you can take the boy out of Wicca, but you can’t take the Wicca out of the boy. After 12 years, Wicca has become a permanent part of who I am. So I realize that whatever small rituals I may do, the type of magick or spells I may use, will be flavored by my Wiccan roots. However, there comes a time when one’s actual Craft practice stretches the definition of Wicca too far, and doesn’t really reflect a standard Wiccan practice.

Anyone who has read my Twitter posts, and my now defunct blogs, knows I have some depression and anxiety issues. I firmly believe that throwing all my mental and physical efforts into cottage witchery, rather than trying to juggle several paths will be a calming and beneficial influence.

As I was thinking about this new phase in my magickal life last night, it occurred to me that there is so much more magick I could infuse into my daily home life. I, like a lot of people, spend too much time behind a screen. I love social media and learning new things, but it does take time away from household chores. In looking around our house last night, I realize that I’ve let a lot of things slide over the past few years. I also realized that I don’t necessarily fully appreciate what we have here.

So I have pledged to myself to spend more time giving our home some magickal loving care. Using that time to make my own cleaning products infused with herbs, oils, and magickal intent. Using that time to rediscover why we have the things we do, and why we loved them enough to acquire them. I think this will result in a healthier, happier environment for a space that we now spend so much time enjoying.

I’m very excited about this next witchcraft step. I think this will give me lots of fodder for things to write about on this blog. This is practical application of magick and witchcraft, and I think that is something which others on the path would like to read.