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  1. Today
  2. I whole heartedly agree, but it still happens nevertheless. With social media and the increase in need to share Everything I see it more and more. People recommending practices to others with no history, context, disclaimers or background to said practice. But then my opinion on this comes from a place where witchcraft should still remain secret. If witchcraft had remained as secretive as it once was, then the amount of available information would be very limited, which brings us back to my original question. When I first started I had to hunt for information, the internet was only just becoming available in the home, so there wasn't much there. I scowered my local libraries and became friendly with local "new age" shop keeps who stocked a few books that allowed me to read them in store and take notes. It built my appetite. Perhaps I'm just being too nostalgic and old fashioned. And I agree, you can not fully learn from reading alone, but it is part of the learning process. For example you read about the highway code and the theory of driving as well as the practical element. You need to know the theory behind the practical. It was both parts that I meant when I said learn.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Hmmm I see what you mean, but I feel like all magical systems have built-in safeguards. A complete beginner could theoretically go through the motions of an advanced ritual in any number of magical traditions after a quick internet search but I don't see how they could be doing much more than that. The pattern they would half-assedly try to copy might simply be unrecognizable, so the system could just not respond, lock them out, or perhaps punish them if it can be bothered. I believe there's an intangible component to any ritual, something I might term authority, that in some traditions you gain through initiation or a special relationship with the spirit world or sacrifice etc, but that is always earned. Same thing for practices that might appear much more pared down and which are as widely appropriated as, say, smudging: I don't believe a bundle of sage would work with you just because you're mimicking something you've read/seen. Who even are you? So yeah, I think that distinction between reading and learning is fundamental. I'm often guilty of taking one for the other, I think it's commonplace hubris (but hubris nonetheless). Learning is something profound and slow that can be aided by cultivating the right conditions. Ultimately, though, it's a process one has no direct control over, imo. Like digestion or decomposition. To learn something, for me, is to incorporate it in a very literal sense, and so the body has to get involved beyond just moving your eyes across a page; even if it is just sitting with it for as long as necessary (there's a reason behind all those stock phrases). That's why I just don't believe it's possible to cut corners in magic, no matter how widely you read.
  5. You've thrown me now by saying "reading is not learning", as we all learn by reading. But to elaborate on what I said, and now reading it back I realise it is going off on a bit of a tangent to my original question. With all this information at our fingertips it is easy to find out about practices of witchcraft. But just because we can learn about it, I often wonder if we should. Before there was a progression to the way we learnt. You start off with the basics, you acquired more skill which lead to more knowledge, whilst gaining wisdom along the way. If you learnt from someone they would judge whether you were ready to move on. Or if you were self taught, a lot would be trial and error. But with so much information being readily available, you can quite easily jump into the deep end without going through the steps to get there. And I feel this ties in with cultural appropriation as well. Just because we know how to practice something from another culture, do we have the right to, if that information has not been handed down to us. If you are an eclectic witch, then you will think differently on this.
  6. Wow, I came to this late. Still, last post was a month or so ago, so I'll dive in. I have found that limiting Demons and Angels to the Christian definitions is limiting in unhelpful ways. I tend to define Demons as beings which represent or exert a force or personal nature that is anathema (intentionally or otherwise) to humans or perhaps to the world in general (note that I don't mean the human world, but some aspect(s) of the world independent of us). Some humans find kinship with these beings, take them on as teachers or allies. This just means that these people have a nature more in line with the Demon in question or some current of demonic energy in general. It also means most will likely not have this same experience. Same with Angels. In my definition they are beings that exist to support either human existence or some function specific to humans, or they exist to direct/maintain/embody some form/expression of natural/universal order. Again, some people will jive with the energy of an Angel, some will jive with the energetic current of a group/tradition of Angels. Some will feel neither and leave them be. Note that I am using immensely generalized modernized terms and that most spirits that fall under these ctegories will have a tradition they belong to and a traditional name for their class of being in that tradition, like animal/spirit guide to many native traditions might fit my Angels description, but I would not refer to them to their face or to native medicine practitioners as such. Similarly, some Jinn in middle eastern lore might fit the category of Demons as I have described, but I would not refer to them as Demons, I'd refer to them as Jinn in any work specific to them. I do find these terms as a great category, however, to categorize spirits in my own notes who do not fall into a predetermined cultural or religious paradigm. Take from it what you will. I use these categories to help remove my own value judgements from entities I work with, and for that purpose, it suits me well. Let me know what you think.
  7. Well, I'm not a Hereditory Witch, but if I could off been anything before the internet happened I would have been a ShapeShifter. As a child I would imagine being diferent animals, especially a horse. But all in all, I think eventually I would have become a witch. I always had an interest in herbology, horror and fairy stories. Controling my own destiny and I have a vivid imagination. And then I saw my first ghost, well that changed everything for me. I knew there was something else.
  8. Interesting question. I willingly admit that I would be a very different person without search algorithms (plus, 2000s piracy shaped my young mind much more than any formal education, or so I like to think). For now, for me, witchcraft is a way of relating to the world(s) (a definition so wide and vague it's probably useless to anyone but me at this moment). I found my way there through philosophy and poetry, and now through history, anthropology and ethnography (as well as general witchcraft and magic books of course but they're actually the ones I could do without if I really had to! so really this whole post might be off topic since I'm less interested in "specific practices of withcraft" than in sorcerous worldviews, from which practices, to me, naturally emerge). All sources I could've found without the internet, but its (sadly eroding) serendipity facilitated the process considerably - magically, in a way. And I treasure the informal sources the internet affords us: forums such as this one, conversational podcasts, small blogs... They're the last bastions of serendipity on the corporate internet. They help me think. As to the question of can vs. should when it comes to "consuming" information, I think anything is worth reading, and that's an important distinction. There are tons of different ways to read. Reading between, of course, but it's also perfectly possible to read against (though, in this day of algorithmically curated "feeds", that practice might be less familiar). I might go so far as to say that reading a bad source is more formative than reading something "good", if you really ponder its failings and shortcomings, constructing a counter-source as you go. That might be the teacher in me talking but there's no better learning tool than correcting an error or expanding on a shortcoming. So, I believe that it's much more about how you read than what or how much you read (which is an old argument in an old debate). Certain forms of reading are encouraged by the internet as it exists today because they're profitable for corporations: consuming in circles in chambers generated by algorithms for ad profiles (not people). But that doesn't mean that other forms of reading are not possible, even within the mass of information afforded by the contemporary internet. My 2c on the issue in the form of a tip: do everything you can to be a reader, not a consumer. That means being active as you go through information: read with a pencil and paper (or whatever digital annotation tool), underline stuff, write in the margins, journal about what you read, write responses, discuss it with other people, confront your source with others etc. All practices that are alive and well in witchcraft spaces, which makes me very happy. (sidenote: I find the reading and writing practices in modern witchcraft fascinating, it would be such an interesting case study for the sociology of reading.) But reading is not learning so I'm a bit thrown off by the wording here. I feel like your choice of the word "learn" is significant, what do you mean by it?
  9. Phagos, that's what I meant to address in the last part of my original post but the forums still won't let me post it. Even now in a reply to a brand new comment! I'll just try to post screenshots at this stage I can't think of anything else. (I disagree that the system of astrology looks completely different today though, modern Western astrology looks a lot more like Graeco-Roman astrology than Graeco-Roman astrology looked like Mesopotamian astrology for instance, because of the techniques and uses they fixed in the Western tradition. They basically invented natal astrology and its attendant techniques wholesale, which has since become the dominant branch by far. The revival of astrological magic and even electional astrology, the dominant forms of astrology in the ancient world, is a very recent blip in Western history).
  10. If there were no internet or widespread witchcraft publications, do you think you would still be a Witch? Unless you are a hereditary witch, the chances are, probably not. Of course I can only speak of myself with that statement, or at least I would be a very different witch to the one I am today. I was always out and observing nature as a child, I even communed with, what I know now, was a creature of folklore at a very early age. So there was always something there, but the vast majority of practices I have learnt has come from "modern" witchcraft books and the internet. Of course knowledge of herbology could have been relatively easy to obtain, also direct communications with spirits and ancestors can teach us, but as far as certain practices, charms and rituals goes, I would have no clue about without the internet or the books I've read. Obtaining information today is easy, but as we all know, obtaining misinformation is just as easy. Acquiring knowledge demands a degree of wisdom. I feel the question of whether to learn something because we can or to learn something because we should, is something that should be addressed more with the overwhelming amount of information that we have access to. This also implies to the rise in appropriation of other cultural practices. Do you think, honestly, that you would have still found the way to your path without this ease of acquiring information? I would love to hear your opinions on this and any circumstances that you have learnt about specific practices of witchcraft that hasn't come from modern media.
  11. Maybe I shouldn't have used the word evolved, as the system of astrology would look completely different today as to when the Romans started using it. What I meant was, I wondered why other mythologies from newer times and cultures did not overwrite the associations, like the Greeks did to the Babylonians and the Romans did to the Greeks. I speak more of the constellations here, probably every culture throughout history have looked at the stars and drawn their own shapes and given stories to them, so why did the Roman myths stick?
  12. Last week
  13. Ok let me try posting again (feel free to delete my previous buggy posts!): I don't know that associations/correspondences are subjective, they are the product of tradition and systematization. I'm sure your example was a shortcut and I get what you mean by it, but Mars doesn't get its significations from its color: it gets it from a series of attributes, mostly gender and temperament. (Funnily enough, passion is totally within the realm of Mars. A dignified, well-aspected Mars, meaning a functional Mars, can denote a passionate character in the best - and worst - sense of the term - I should know ;).) Before giving the planet the name of a god, the Greeks (who did that before the Romans btw) named them according to the way they shone in the night sky. Mars for instance was "the Fiery One" (source: Hellenistic Astrology by Chris Brennan). So, the planet-god associations happened after the planets’ significations coalesced into a system: the gods and planets match to some extent, they certainly overlap, but they are not synonymous. Someone well versed in Graeco-Roman mythology but who doesn’t know astrology might get somewhere by interpreting the planet-as-gods… but not very far at all. Astrology totally evolved after the Romans; it's still evolving today! The most significant modern innovation (conceptually) is the "psychological turn" in Western astrology in the 20th century: that looks nothing like what the Ancients practiced, and yet it's still recognizably the same discipline. And, of course, astrology has evolved alongside astronomy: the Ancients used only the visible planets (obviously), but most Western astrologers today use Uranus, Neptune and Pluto to some extent. Some also use asteroids, and new ones are discovered very regularly. Significant conceptual evolutions happen every few centuries: in the Renaissance, a whole new branch of astrology was invented, for instance (horary astrology, where you cast a chart and interpret it to answer a question).
  14. I have never paid too much attention to astrology, but I am working on a project that got me looking into the origins of it. After it's invention by the Babylonians, the Greeks and then Romans adopted it. Each attaching their mythology to the planets and constellations. The red planet being associated with blood was linked to the Roman War God, Mars. The brightest planet in the sky was associated with the love goddess Venus and so on. But the point I'm getting to, is why did astrology not evolve and adapt after the Romans? The word Zodiac means the cycle of animals but with western astrology it is mythical creatures and gods, so what happened there? Also associations/correspondences are subjective. The colour red to a lot of people is the colour of love and passion. So the attributes/characteristics of the Roman Goddess Venus could have quite easily been linked to Mars. Which would change the readings completely. I'm not trying to ruffle feathers here, but hoping someone more learned in the subject may know more about the history of it? Was there a reason why the system didn't evolve with other cultures? or did it but they were not popularised?
  15. Earlier
  16. Be careful what you wish for. I remember that line from The Incredible Mr. Limpet. Belwenda... Two of my five cats are very bonded. They meow to each other, or when one can't find the other.
  17. Onyx

    Rune Stones Anyone?

    Well, nothing of suitable size for Rune making. We ended up removing half of the tree, it was completely hollow inside. I saved a log, it had a hole on the top and a hole on the side. If I nail a round board in the bottom end, and stand it upright, the log will make a nice planter. Put some trailing plants in it.
  18. This reminded me of a song that goes..."Do what you say, say what you mean. One step leads to another"
  19. My thanks to OP for this compilation - amazing work ❤️
  20. Forgive me if this has already been answered, but I'm new and just found this thread. Can I just say that I would LOVE to engage in a discourse about this, it's fascinating. As in, people rubber-necking at an accident scene fascinating LOL. Anyways, I too believe this and haven't met many others who have or, that could potentially have a great discussion about it.
  21. Resurrecting an old thread to say: this really resonates with me so thank you for sharing. I have always either been the quiet type, or, a complete blatherer but usually only when I'm stressed or am in forced social situations haha. In forced social situations my mouth seems to have a mind of its own and then I talk too much and say things I didn't mean to say just for the sake of talking. So, I have literally had to take a step back, become quieter and re-center my energies. Not let situations stress me out. I've always believed and taught my own children: "Mean what you say and do what you mean so own your words." Funny how sometimes we can forget what we've always known. Interestingly, (probably just to me) with my natal mercury trining Uranus in my 10th house this has trickled over in a massive way to my professional life. Lately, I have been often frustrated by my reports or other co-workers who don't read what i spent so much time to write and then misunderstand the entire thing, or, things I have said have been twisted to throw me under the bus. I should mention that I am NOT writing essays here, but simple policy documents or emails - really not hard to read or understand and are things I've written before this transit with no issues.
  22. I'm a herbalist and love to garden. I don't typically have many indoor plants though and I don't know why. Yesterday I moved my mini-weeping willow into our bedroom for the energy and it made such an immediate difference and I slept so good so I guess I need to move more inside - maybe some palm trees or something. In the garden, I have a greenhouse (not a big fancy one unfortunately, though that is the dream!) and when I'm out working in it I play music for my "babies". They particularly love Beethoven and Nina Simone LOL. Heirloom plants have always been a passion of mine, have always loved the idea of growing a tomatoe plant that is the same variety as a little old Italian lady grew over a 100 years ago. I imagine her saving that seed and passing it on and somewhere along the line it got to me. In my mind there is magic just in that exchange of energy. I grow all kinds of peppers, tomatoes, and herbs - the herbs I use in my spell work, culinary purposes and also in making healing ointments etc.
  23. Onyx

    Rune Stones Anyone?

    True, I'm always looking for a new project to amuse myself with, but credit to you for making it look possible. I mean, making a detachable pin on the front of the bag, to identify the set and to wear if you want. Genius! By the way, I saw a beautiful ceramic set of runes at the local Witch shop. Just looking! I might make another set from our Apple Tree prunings. Just a thought though.
  24. Thanks UnMasked! Sometimes, you succed dispite yourself. Sometimes designs will change because the unconcious mind takes over. I love that lost in the moment feeling. but you only recognize it when it ends.
  25. British Columbia is quite like Scotland in some ways, especially the Kootenay area, it has more Glacial, rounded mountains. They are called the Selkirk Range.
  26. Lovely work as usual, Onyx... I love the wand, even if it didn't come out the way you had planned 🙂 Funny how that happens in art!
  27. Ha ha, it would be the first what I would think too.
  28. The one at the left could be Scotland.
  29. A couple of mini paintings for my Grandaughter.
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