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

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 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 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 Everyday Life, Wicca/Witchcraft

On Becoming A Pleasant Witch

This is a post I’ve written before, or at least like one I had written. It’s basically about my evolution as a person since I embraced Wicca in the early part of 2004. It’s relatively difficult to change as a person. We may desire to change, and we may change for awhile, but real change is a challenge. It can happen though, sometimes by sheer willpower, and sometimes simply as a result of circumstances.

Beginning in high school, even though I was a hippie kid (this was the 70’s!), I was a cynical shit. I wore that badge of cynicism proudly. I thought I was being smart and mature. This pretty well continued until my life was shattered by death and divorce in the late 80’s. Cynicism gave way to hopelessness.

Luckily, I managed to make it through that period. Friends told me later that they were unsure I would live through those several years. My life eventually got back on track, but never completely. It was really one of those life experiences which is said to change you forever.

But sure enough, the cynicism came back like a champ, like a bad penny. By this time I had dropped all spirituality, including any trace of my birth religion. A lifelong affiliation with my birth congregation had proven useless when I really needed them, so, you know, screw them.

By the early 2000’s, I began to feel the need for some spirituality in my life. I didn’t want some organized religion that valued money over most everything else. I found Wicca. I’ve written before about how that happened, so I won’t go into details.

Then, something weird happened. I changed. Cynicism gave way to open-mindedness. Let’s be honest, it’s impossible to believe in a God and Goddess, the existence of many deities, and the power of magick, without having an open mind. Cynical people could never be Wiccans or witches. Never.

Losing cynicism made me a more pleasant person. If you look at the world with an open mind, you are absolutely going to be a nicer individual. This is not to say I’m not suspect about things from time to time. I am, but it isn’t my default life outlook, and that feels like a weight that was lifted off my shoulders.

I’ve always loved the movie Harvey. In one scene, Jimmy Stewart has a line that I can now identify with. And here it is:

Posted in Cottage Witchcraft, Everyday Life, Wicca/Witchcraft

The Sum Total of Many Things

170A2113-D640-4637-8372-3D9E8553F517Distancing myself from a depression fueled meltdown I had recently, I’ve decided to settle in for the long term with this blog. Having spent a lot of meditative time thinking about the ongoing direction of my spiritual path, I’ve realized that these words most describe me: Pagan, witch, eclectic Wiccan, hippie, patchouli, goth, cottage witch, kitchen witch, green witch.

This blog certainly fits the bill, with “eclectic Wiccan” & “goth” standing out a bit. I have to say that while I think of myself as polytheistic, I still find myself using Wiccan techniques, rituals, prayers, and magickal workings. However, I’m outside the proper definition of Wicca enough, that I don’t really feel it’s appropriate to classify myself strictly as a Wiccan. So cottage witch is a more comfortable fit.

Most things about me are hippie-esque. Clothes, being barefoot or wearing sandals, earthiness, concern about the earth, and absolute love & addiction to patchouli. However, there are some tell-tale goth traits too. I love goth music, art, literature, and many of the lifestyle traits. I love exploring cemeteries, anything to do with hauntings, ghosts, the paranormal and goth decor.

If you put hippie & goth on opposite sides of a scale, it would tip hippie, but not by all that much. So maybe we go with gothic hippie.

Ultimately, there is not anything requiring me to classify myself as one thing or another. Let’s just say I’m the sum total of that aforementioned list in the first paragraph. For purposes of this blog, we’ll go with hippie cottage witch for simplicity.

Sorry for the me, me, me post, but I needed to write down what has been spinning around in my head for the last week or so. Thanks for indulging me, and I promise to lighten the hell up!

Blessed Be!

Posted in Wicca/Witchcraft

Online Witchcraft Infighting

IMG_0720I came across this post on Patheos Pagan yesterday. At first reading, I thought it was a post decrying the current trend of infighting within the witchcraft “community,” which I’ve come to realize surfaces and peaks on a regularly occurring basis. But reading it for a second and third time, it strikes me more as the author meant it as a problem for the “real Wiccan” community, rather than a problem for the entire witchcraft community at large.

By “real Wiccans” I mean those indoctrinated into the path through a teacher or coven. While I agree with the premise that the bickering and crap that seems to be reverberating through online witchcraft these days is extremely unfortunate, I’m not sure that it is destroying the Wiccan religion.

The woman who wrote the piece has been practicing witchcraft since I was in middle school, so I won’t pretend I know anything close to what she knows about the Craft. However, I remember seeing lots of posts similar to this when I was beginning my path in 2004, except they were aimed at Wiccans who were self-taught.

Good or bad, most who have come to witchcraft in the last twenty-some years have done so as self-taught solitaries. I dare say, if Scott Cunningham had written his books and instead of calling it, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner had titled his book, Green Witch: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, there would be lots of green witches out there instead of Wiccans. I think that Cunningham had that kind of influence through his writing.

Going back to the original referenced article, I would have to side with the author, except to say that I think the heightened bickering and infighting is driving people not only away from Wicca, but from witchcraft altogether. There have been times I was ready to chuck it all because of the internet infighting. My solution was to shift to cottage witchcraft, which I guess plays right into the author’s argument. Except for the fact that she was talking about indoctrinated Wiccans, rather than self-taught folks, so it wasn’t really me to whom she was referring.

The real answer to all this is to turn off the computers and smart phones, and just live your magickal life without the noise. The rub is that 90% of us don’t belong to covens, and we get lonely on our paths. We enjoy rubbing virtual elbows with others like ourselves. Unfortunately, some people can’t help being assholes, and starting shit online, mainly their way of jumping up and down, waving wildly and yelling “look at me, look at me!” 

I enjoy the elbow rubbing, so I’m not going away. I’ve acknowledged that I no longer care to do elaborate rituals and magical production numbers, so I shifted my focus to cottage witchcraft. But there is always going to be that self-taught Wiccan in me, and I can’t completely walk away from it. So I’m not sure how long-time Wiccan elders can be driven completely away from Wicca by those jumping, waving Trump-like bullies. Just as I have learned to ignore the Trumpster, perhaps those elders should just look away.

Blessed Be!