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  1. 2 points
    I'd really like to know where different practitioners draw their lines, or if they have lines, on this topic. To be clear, I'm not talking about how many generations of witches you come from. If that is the case this topic will not probably apply to you. A lot of us from the States (and probably elsewhere too) are absolute genetic mutts if we are honest with ourselves. And of course there are not truly any "States" specific long standing traditions except a few very specific localized traditions like different forms of mountain magic, hoodoo, etc. And Wicca of course(cough). I know, for me what styles of practice speak to me in a "like calls to like way", not in a "it's cool because I like dream catchers" way. And In my personal experience, what speaks to you is not always your dominant genetic lineage. The areas that speak to me ARE part of my ancestry, but not the biggest piece of my DNA pie, so to speak. But, that's just me. I certainly think if your going to claim a culture or tradition, you'd best know it very well and respect it completely. I also think ancestor veneration and assistance are important. But beyond that I do not personally have a strong opinion. So, how do my fellow mutts determine what tradition or traditions to embrace? Do you consider yourself bound to your dominant DNA? or Is DNA not all that important? What about someone who was adopted from one culture and raised in another? Do some of you consider it cultural appropriation if a witch chooses to practice a tradition that they have little DNA attached to? Do you think this matters at all? or Do you think this is the foundation of one's practice?
  2. 2 points
    When we begin to awaken we are very excited about our sharpened senses and intuition. Each "new level" we see, hear, taste and feel all the nuances of everything, as if we have been born anew. And even though it is absolutely delightful and valid to be happy about it and to enjoy these states, it is very important to let go of the excitement sooner than later. As long as you keep being excited and pay attention to every new detail, you keep getting lost in it and your progress will stagnant until you finally get used to everything "new". This can take years and years for some. Another problem with getting lost in details, signs and symbols and meaning is that it might get you into psychotic states, where you lose track of your main goal and the "base of reality" completely. It's like being swallowed by chaos and still trying to make sense of every shape and color that's flying around you. This might cost you your potential at some point. To make sure you progress as fast as it is possible and healthy for you, you need to learn the kind of discipline, where you let go of excitement, of your attachment to signs and meaning and identification with everything "magical" and extraordinary. Make it all, every crazy synchronicity or divine-Kundalini-alien-sex sensation (πŸ˜…) feel absolutely ordinary, like everyday business that you barely pay attention to. That way your capacity to hold "divinity" will increase exponentially and you will still not be attached to anything it brings up personally.
  3. 1 point
    Lol. Thank you. I needed a laugh today. πŸ™‚
  4. 1 point
    I've read the term, "let there be light." I've also read, "let there be dark." Our planet isn't wholly light or dark at any time. It travels through the spectrum. Maybe that's what we're supposed to do.
  5. 1 point
    I couldn't find a topic for this method of divination, only a scarce few scattered references, so I thought I'd start one! To be clear, I will be talking about the traditional method of divination using 16 figures - not about ley lines, places of power, sacred geometry or anything else it gets conflated with because of its ambiguous name. Does anyone use this method of divination? Any thoughts or tips you'd like to share? For those who don't know, geomancy is one of the most ancient continuous divinatory traditions. It probably started in the Arabian desert with diviners tracing the figures in the sand - hence the name, which translates to something like "reading by the earth". Geomancy is also sometimes cheekily nicknamed 'dirt astrology' because you place the figures in a house chart - the same used in astrology - to gain additional information. The figures also have planetary and zodiacal correspondences, which can give even more insights. It's still actively used in different cultures in and around Africa - I think the most vibrant branch of the tradition today lives on in Madagascar. There is a Western tradition as well, which is slightly different. It's currently enjoying something of a revival. I love this method of divination because it's so down to earth. It's not invested in anything beyond answering exactly the question you asked, in as practical terms as can be. I feel very connected to a long line of diviners when I cast a chart, tracing the figures by hand, making the same gestures as people have made for millenia to answer the same basic concerns around substance and sustenance. If you're interested in learning more, Sam Bloch's prolific blog The Digital Ambler is an excellent free resource. His free lecture series, Geomancy in the Reign of the Lady of Crowns from earlier this year is a solid introduction. If there's interest, I may elaborate here on what geomancy consists in exactly.
  6. 1 point
    It's been awhile since I've been in the forums, life and whatnot gets in the way so I thought I'd pop in and say hi and share some photos of my mandrakes - the first two are the sizeable Mandragora turcomanica I am growing (I have 5 but this is the biggest) and of my lone Mandragora officinalis root - I had to repot because the top was looking a bit half dead and the soil was quite wet (not from over watering but just general wet weather). So hi again all, hopefully I can become a little more active once again.
  7. 1 point
    I got irritated with the cook at a nursing home where I was working, because he was really going overboard with his foul language. I said, "language, sir," while making him think it was the administrator talking. It worked.
  8. 1 point
    I will not use a Ouija board ever. No bad experiences, because I have never used one. I guess I have seen too many Horror Movies.
  9. 1 point
    I think I'm cracking up, the small wand I said was Holly I have marked as Rowen. It is in fact Holly. It is from my endless supply of sticks waiting to become...Something. UnMasked, I hav'ent even opened the package with my Ultimate Crafting Tool, as they call it. It has 8 metal tips for stencil cutting, soldering, Leather crafts etc. I think I did buy it to cut Stencils, have not done that either. At least it is sitting on my desk now, so closer to hand. It is a fancy little unit! Maybe I should open the box! Burn something.
  10. 1 point
    I know that to some wands are fluff. Mine are a creative outlet for my magickal interests. Each is gathered as a fallen branch, smudged and charged under a full moon before hand carving begins. The type of wood is considered, and it's future use is determined. A harmony of minerals, colors, herbs, charms, feathers, bones, beads, shells etc. are chosen to create a tool of beauty and power to focus the energy of the user or to simply have a place in a collector's den. They have proven mildly profitable in shops throughout the country and into Canada, and maybe one day it will be my living. While wands are not my only artistic interest, they are my favorite.
  11. 1 point
    My entire wardrobe is in basic black, everything matches!
  12. 1 point
    I do find that costume offensive, for the simple reason that women died, just because they were different, or someone did'nt like them or wanted their land. Plus, the way they were killed, nobody could live through a Witch Trail. They were rigged! It was murder, plain and simple!
  13. 1 point
    These were made by three of my friends....I thought they were a brilliant attempt as they have special needs. πŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒ (my friends, not the pumpkins).
  14. 1 point
    Only did two this year, but they came out all right πŸ™‚
  15. 1 point
    I did a replica oracle deck of the Mildred Payne Oracle, just because the pictures were childlike in style. They were made from brown postal tags, I just cut off the part with the hole. These four cards are of my own design, I think I posted the entire deck on my Art Post. Art of Onyx. As you can see there are 88 cards, plus you have to do 88 backs of the cards. I used a corner stamp and then stippled the edges with stamping ink, in a brown color.
  16. 1 point
    Sleeping with the enemy in a bed he knew too well, Brude departed from Sabina's villa and had a wall to scale. He would leave Eboracum that night, never to return, as a legion was beyond the wall to pillage, rape and burn. Woeful of Roman women, as they were not of his kind, the chill of dawn warmed his heart and cleared the mind. It was Septimius Severus, Brude swore an oath to kill, as he led his soldiers beyond the wall to break the Pictish will.
  17. 1 point
    I’d like to add though, that before choosing between two things I try hard to have both. I don’t really like compromise and think of it as a last resort. Try to see first if there is a way for your heart and your head to both get what they want. And it can be easier said than done, but it’s the most satisfying of the options.
  18. 1 point
    Just a smidge of light entertainment for the upcoming Samhain: The day is filled with love and light, but my best work is done at night. And in-between the twilight's lull, are creatures dark and beautiful. The 'one of kind', the 'shunned all life', the 'lost' that walk along the knife. These kindred spirits are my kin, the kind I find my interests in. We 'nightmare creatures' fill the night, or so it's thought.... but that's not right. Real 'monsters' also live in day, but not like how the films portray. They prey on youngsters, old, or weak, and sex or drugs is what they seek. So next time someone sees the Witch, the Werewolf, Vampire... flip the switch. And spare a thought for us you might, the misjudged creatures of the night... _AAF9_
  19. 1 point
    Thanks AAF9, I did a series of small acrylic eclipse paintings, most of which my oldest Son now has. Several Solar Flare ones and of course Moon eclipses in different stages. they were a lot of fun to do. They also have gold leafing on them. It gives them another dimension. I must confess that the Northern Lights picture was one of the first paintings I did. In fact I seem to think my earliest efforts are actually my best.
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
    No worries - they are madly expensive as very few are printed - only about 500ish per book for his first few, hence the insane price tag. I don't feel bad about reading the PDF of those ones as it is literally the only way I have access to them - I'm in the process of doing my own one off binding of Viridarium Umbris and lux haeresis in the hopes that I'm honouring the content and author. When and if there is ever another mass market printing I'll happily pay for a copy to legitimise the one I currently own. There is a mass market run of Veneficium, which I have purchased propperly as it is affordable. I feel it is good practice to purchase the books you can afford, but I'm certainly not above checking out a PDF first to make sure it is what I'm after. The cost of specialty books from the likes of Xoanan, Miskatonic and Scarlet Imprint makes me cry, to get a copy of John Michael Greer's Dolmen arch (even the less fancy version) here to NZ would cost me over $300nz which I just can't justify. I live in hope that it (and many other authors books) will be rereleased as affordable paperbacks once the limited eddition are universally sold out and they realise there is an ever increasing demand for such things.
  22. 1 point
    Okay, I just know I'm going to keep coming back to this thread, as I have a project of my own underway that kind of ties into some tangential themes. If you feel stumped. Like you don't know where you're going with it, nervous that you might not be "doing it properly", then make fiction. Write a short story, or a series of flash fiction, or a play or a poem, about you or someone like you researching and reconstructing ancient rites. What would they do? What breakthroughs would they have. What does Kybele say to them, etc. etc. That might help turn off your critical left brain, and help you dip down into that deep mind inspiration.
  23. 1 point
    I actually think this is one of the few shows that might be outdoing the books. Which is a fairly controversial thing to say I’m sure. But the cast is so good, and the humor is better in the show as well.
  24. 1 point
    10,000 hours to master a skill, or so I have been told by a really old watercolor artist, now dead I'm afraid. I wonder if I can contact him for another lesson. Channel him maybe?
  25. 1 point
    As per your request for photos of my wands, I just took a couple of photos for you.
  26. 1 point
    Fantastic thread! The earth is indeed in crisis and I'd go so far to say that not considering your relationship to earth when using magick is daft. I mean, the fossil fuel industry infiltrating politics is probably more dangerous than litter-magick, but lacking conscious connection to your surroundings/environment seems like shooting yourself in the foot! Especially if you're in less industrialized areas, or places that you're just visiting. I wouldn't be opposed to putting glass in the earth to set up protection if I had my own land, but I wouldn't want to regularly be depositing glass into areas where you don't know what might be watching you... I keep seeing glitter being used in spell candles on Etsy... I prefer using crushed herbs to add a pop of colour. Melting some wax and affixing flowers to the candle is aesthetically pleasing and of course, flower magick. I love the idea of the earth consuming your offering, that's exactly what it feels like! I too look for hiding spots like holes in trees, the places where it feels like nature wants to take what you're offering. In new places that I plan on visiting often, I might ask the land to present a spot for me. Tried to google beeswax biodegradability/decomposition/recycling, would love to use it to enclose offerings... anyone know how long it lasts in the earth?
  27. 1 point
    "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name." Austin Spare was undoubtedly inspired by the concept of the Tao, of Brahman, and of the Buddhist Sunyata (non-self, voidness) when he conceived of Kia. First referenced by Spare in 1904, the concept of Kia has been pretty influential within the Chaos Magic movement, so I will include here yet further ramblings on this subject for any interested in this current. As Spare himself stated in The Book of Pleasure, the less which is said of Kia, the less obscure Kia itself is---it is not a mystery to be unraveled, and is instead quite elusive in regards to concrete understanding. However, it has endured as a core concept in fringe occultism for the better part of the past century, and was a foundational element of early Chaos Magic philosophy which continues on today. As best as I can deduce, Spare's concept of Kia is akin to a universal unity---a single universal mind which includes and expands well beyond all known consciousness, awareness, or gnosis. It is similar to the notion of the omnipresent Buddha-Nature, and of the Supernal Wisdom of Jewish mysticism. In broader terms, it can be loosely compared to the anima mundi or world soul, though Spare's Kia seems to highlight the intelligence and awareness present in things moreso than a unitive life-force which propels existence. Still, the streams cross early and often in this area, depending on your focus. Spare contrasted Kia with his idea of Zos, which I find comparable to the Buddhist concept of the Skandas or the five aggregates---the physical or experiential components of life which overlay the singular unitive awareness of the Kia. Together, Kia and Zos encompass all of reality and all outlying potential. Kenneth Grant, a Thelemite and a friend of Spare's in the 1950's, further developed the concept of Kia following Spare's passing. He poetically described reality (Zos) as the dream of Kia, and his ideas about it diverge from Spare's in some ways. For one, Grant places the route to further realization of Kia as one which is sought through the flesh and through physical experience, rather than Spare's focus on the mind and gnosis. Grant even contrasted his flesh-grounded approach to the mental striving found in Zen, stating that though the object is the same between them, the methods for achievement differ. Furthermore, Grant conceptualizes Kia as a feminine force, while Spare leaves is non-distinct. Though I believe that Grant's take on this was far more metaphorical than literal in any sense, he does compare Kia to the popular divine feminine, and to the Babylon of Crowley's theosophy. I personally favor Grant's metaphorical notion of Kia as a limitless void, feminine in the sense that it is inherently fruitful and can be made to bear one's sorcerous will and 'give birth' to it in the form of magical results. Following Grant comes Peter Carroll, one of the founders of Chaos Magic and the primary link between Kia and the Chaos current itself. Carroll's use of the term Kia also differed from Spare's, and can be found primarily discussed in his early and foundational writing, Liber Null. In it, Carroll makes a differentiation between the consciousness of any given individual, the ephemeral "I" which he attributes to Kia, and the broader universal force, called Chaos. Carroll conceptualizes Kia as one aspect of Chaos, and confines it specifically to human consciousness with which he also associates the soul or the spirit of an individual. Chaos, meanwhile, is the source of all; the originator and the continuing propellant of phenomena and events. In Carroll's view, the degree to which one's Kia can be unified with the all-enveloping Chaos is the degree to which one can project their will--to accomplish magical works, in other words.
  28. 1 point
    Just a thought, but would silence, darkness and rocking work well for you? I've found that very effective for going into trance alongside breath work. Also, one that is a bit less specific and can really be done anywhere could be to run hard on the spot and focus on a single spot. I concentrate and let the chatter of my mind come and go, focus on opening up to spirit. I usually take about 40 minutes (but it will differ for everyone). I either find I surpass the exhaustion and keep going, no longer feeling it, but seeing images and hearing some sound from the spirit I am communicating with, or I give into the exhaustion and go to the ground but still get the same results with images and sound. I found that quite good to do with nature spirits, sometimes I focus on giving my energy to nature whilst doing it and at some points, it has almost felt as if they 'caught me' or gave me soft landing as I came down (not fainting, but head spinning sensation). I've also walked and walked and walked allowing trance to take me that way, I've found dusk was a good time for me doing it that way. And doing specific breathing whilst watching light reflecting on water - this one I found a lovely one for connecting to water spirits, but could be replicated at home with a dish/bowl and a candle. I heard Alkistis Dimech (of Scarlet Imprint) describe the running on the spot in a recording of The Mirror of Sacrifice talk, and I was really pleased to hear about it as I think it sometimes gets passed over in favour of the drums that people often think of (not that drums don't work, they just aren't for everyone). I'd been using the running since my teenage years, and have found it can be very effective for a certain type of trance. With trance aid tinctures, it really depends on what's in it. I wouldn't use much at all until you feel able to reach trance yourself, but people have differing views on that. I have found Mugwort tea to be helpful. I've found different techniques give different feels to trances and levels of trance for me, and so I'd tailor the herbs to your experience where possible. Though, a friend of mine found Skullcap helpful for SPD and perhaps that may help you relax more easily.
  29. 1 point
    A long time ago I made a cord to store "moon power/energy". I came across this when cleaning out. And I thought, how daft was that - I don't even relate to the moon that much. I cant remember now if I've ever used the cord or not. And what would have been held in it, anyway? Not the power of the moon because I sure as hell didn't sit out all night directing moon-light into the cord. And there was another item, something I always have on me. Not particularly magical, but something that has deep meaning for me... colors that I, personally, like. Little things that remind me of my family, and of certain values I hold dear. I wear it often and keep it with me when I'm not wearing it. It hangs on the edge of my computer screen when I'm at work, I sleep with it in the bed or hanging on the hook above my bed. I fiddle with it when I'm thinking deep thoughts (or dense thoughts, lol) or when I'm having deep conversations with things. Because it has things strung on it, I will use it in magic to remember where I am in saying a verse or line. Anyway, I held that... which had been made with no meaning or concentration at the time of its making. But which held in it an infinite storage of past deeds and spells, family conversations, my mother's wisdom, my son's strength and perseverance, my granddaughter's laughter and ability to tune out. Such power and wisdom stored in there unintentionally, lol. I can pick it up when I'm tired or upset and get instant input and quietness and strength... power. It made me think about what power actually is, and I don't think it's "umph" in a spell..... I think it's the strength to hold your head up and be proud of who you are, the will to go forward when you're tired, the ability to stick to your guns, and even to put things on a back burner for a good night's sleep. It;s energy, but more like energy of the memory of what gives us true strength. And that gives us the power and the courage to move forward with whatever it is we are doing or want to do. This unintentional little nothing I made for a necklace has become a storage shed of advice and memory and "power". It reminds me of who I am. M
  30. 1 point
    I've been working with this spirit for over two years now. I remember him in dreams from when I was very young and saw his statue in a complete catalogue of Louvre artwork, then realized it was him. Most people either don't know who he is, or from what they know, think he's the devil or are simply terrified/disgusted of and by him. I thought I'd post a little lore about Pazuzu because I know quite a bit of information about this demon and I believe he's greatly misunderstood. ​Most of you have probably seen the Exorcist. I'm sure some of you know that Pazuzu was the demon that possessed Reagan (had no idea about this until later), which perpetuated him as being the Devil. However, Pazuzu actually originated far before Christianity would be established. He was revered and idolized around the beginning of the first millennium BCE onward until the fall of the Neo-Babylonian empire (approx. 4th century BCE). During these 600 years, Pazuzu was both feared and greatly respected. He was the demonic god of plague and pestilence, the ruler of the Southwest wind (which brought locusts and heat), and King of the Wind Demons. Sounds evil right? However, Pazuzu possessed a paradoxical soft side. He was also the tutelary demonic god of maternity, parturition, pregnant women, children, and neonatal protection. ​His iconography is very unique and recognizable. Pazuzu is a combination of humanesque/thermiomorphic parts. He usually has the body of a thin man, the feet of a bird-of-prey, the face of a snarling/grinning canine possessing large eyes and thick brow, horns on his head, a scorpion tail, and a long penis ending in a snake head. Not the handsomest devil by many means. ​This wind spirit was greatly revered across Mesopotamia, especially in Babylon and Assyria, though he also spread to Anatolia, Egypt, Iran, and parts of Greece. Pregnant women would wear amulets of his apotropaic head to ward off malevolent demons who could hurt the mother or child during pregnancy. The most notable of these aggressive spirits was Lamashtu, a malignant demonic goddess who was known to harm women and children, spread disease, kill animals, and destroy anything that hit her path. Statues of Pazuzu were put throughout abodes and worn as jewelry to ward off the goddess. Because Pazuzu was her husband, he was the only one who could coerce her away from the victim and back to her abode in the Underworld. ​I would also like to say the demons in Mesopotamia could be both benign and malignant. There's an old Assyrian chant that goes "Go away bad rabisu, good rabisu come in!" Rabisu is a word used for demons in this area and time. There were also Lamassu, who were demons known for their fierce protective nature of homes and families. Pazuzu himself is a bit enigmatic, as he possesses both fierceness and gentleness. While he protected pregnant women, babies, and children, it would be wise to simply say he protects the weak and the innocent. Plaques and statues of Pazuzu were hung over the beds of those who were sick and dying. His nature, though terrifying to some, was one that is equivocally solicitous. While I cannot say he is a saint, he is a demon that encompasses those who are vulnerable under his wings of protection.
  31. 1 point
    I'm usually the kinda woman who likes big chunky jewelry... But on my wedding/handfasting day I wore a single tiny droplet of faceted moonstone on a silken string as a necklace. Really simple, almost invisible. It rained a lot that day and everyone cried a lot, too. The droplet is not only like a reminder of the amounts of water spilled, the rain and the tears, but it feels to me like it holds the entire magical energy of love, union, positivity and celebration. Whenever I wear it I feel that I'm immersed in that loving energy again. So, yeah, I think objects can store energy.
  32. 1 point
    While there are a plethora of meditative techniques from different paths and teachers most seem to fall into 1 of two forms IMO: 1. Void meditation. The pursuit of 'empty-mind' a good training tool, good for relaxation, may be useful in inducing trance. 2.Discursive meditation. The pursuit and intensely focused unfolding of one particular idea, concept or image to obtain greater meaning. This is key to the symbolism of many traditions and, (again in my opinion) a more useful magical tool. I would expect, and be trying to still/remove (in most cases) images in the case of (1). I (being a visual person) would both expect, and be trying to control and retain useful/relevant images in the case of (2). An interesting essay comparing the two can be found here. (AODA [druidic], comparing x-tian vs buddist interpretation of the two types)
  33. 1 point
    The first one that comes to mind for me is Bjork. Maybe also Joanna Newsom.
  34. 1 point
    I echo what Travsha says. Different mediation practices for different desires results. Here are the ones I am most familiar with: 1) I have a daily practice of meditation similar to a Buddhist or Hindu style where the goal is an empty mind. It's a discipline...a workout for the mind. Part of that exercise is learning how to set aside visuals and thoughts and ideas as they pop up. Identify them and set them aside. That daily practice helps me with the other, more "witchy" forms of meditation that I do. 2) If I'm meditating to set intention for a spell, or with a specific purpose, I want to drive my own visualization. The more detailed and "tangible" the better, because I'm trying to keep focus on where I am funneling a boatload of energy. 3) If I'm meditating with the purpose of recieving messages from spirits, I may begin with an intentional visualization but at a certain point I need to let go, returning to the empty state that I work to acheive with my daily practice of meditation. It is in those moments of openness that Visuals, or thoughts or words may pop into my head. Because of the practice of identifying thoughts as they come that I mentioned in my first form of meditation, I am able to distunguish the thoughts that are my own mind's wanderings from the thoughts that are guided by spirit. These situations are usually pretty intense, because I'm allowing myself to be open to another entity. I recommend learning how to get RID of entities and become comfortable with that before attempting to invite spirits to influence your thoughts. 4) hypnosis could be considered a form of deep meditation and makes plenty of use of visualization to help change subconscious reflexes and beliefs. The hypnotist will usual walk the client through the visualization using descriptive imagery. Very effective for making long lasting changes in your lifestyle and habits and thinking, especially if you feel like a part of you is resisting the change that you know you need. The more vivid your imagination the better I'd mention astral traveling, lucid dreaming, hedge riding, as other forms of meditation that use the forming and recieving of visuals, but since I am only just now learning these things, I'll leave it to others to post on the details.
  35. 1 point
    The fact that there's no instruction manual for TW is perhaps its most attractive quality. It can also be the most frustrating thing, especially for us newbs. I'm gonna quote RoseRed above and say "Look deeper". And while I think she was probably referring to the forums specifically, I'm going to advise to expand that to all areas of your life. Read deeper, search deeper, experience deeper, feel deeper, believe deeper. Go deeper in your connection to nature, into introspection, in exploring levels of consciousness, in reading history and folklore and religious texts. Go deeper into your family history, with your practice and rituals. Go deeper into your connection with spirits. It can be so frustrating when you are a solitary witch and people tell you "it's not about what's in the books". It can make me want to throw my hands up and say "then where am I supposed to find it?" But yet, I do end up finding the wisdom I need and precisely when I need it. Ask your ancestors or any spirits that you have a good relationship with to help you. They will show you exactly what how they want to be worked with and can lead you to new resources and teachers and experiences. Focus in on a couple of practices and become an expert on them rather then feeling like you have to become an expert at all aspects of traditional witchcraft in all traditions at once. You've got plenty of time to explore. It's not so much about what you read but how you read it. You're already learning how to think like witches of old...that's why Wicca didn't sit right with you. Your perspective is changing, as though you were able to step back a few feet and see a bigger picture than before. Dive into religious texts, historical documents and folklore with these new eyes. Study the culture of your ancestors, or whatever tradition speaks to you. Plus a couple of other trads for perspective. Find the common threads in beliefs and practices. Look to the shamans, or the healers, or the diviners and spirit workers and storytellers. They are present in almost every culture. Learn to be comfortable with metaphor and parables. It's good to study the history of the occult as well, even Gardner and Crowley and all that, even when it doesn't speak to you. You're not reading their works as a how-to guide, but learning about where they got their resources and why they set up their orders the way they did. Understanding the how's and whys will help you to know what parts of their teachings you can ditch, and which parts may have some wisdom for you. It's okay to take a deeper look at Wicca, as long you do it with your new eyes. Don't blindly follow anything someone tells you is fact...get to the bottom of things and see the big picture. The heart of Traditional Witchcraft is a connection to the ancient practices of witchcraft. You can come at it from many angles and cultural perspectives. But for the most part, there is no clear view of exactly what those ancient practices looked like, so we can gather evidence and piece it together (which is how most of our understanding of history is put together anyways). But we have the added bonus of being able to directly ask ancient spirits and teachers to help guide us on that hunt for wisdom, to help us navigate the sea of crap that is out there in modern occult teachings. It is a tedious process to dive deeper, but trust that the process is as valuable as the end of the journey.
  36. 1 point
    Cultural appropriation is based on the idea that someone can own a culture.... Which has never been the case in all of human history. No one can own a tradition or practice or style. Humans have always learned from each other and influenced each other and whenever we meet we rub off on one another. Now saying you practice a specific tradition when you really know nothing of the tradition will make you look like an asshole for sure. Trying to pretend to be something you are not will make you look silly too. But learning from another culture or adopting practices you learned from them is pretty normal. For a while I tried to learn the practices of my ancestors only.... It felt incredibly forced and fake, and also pretty impossible since I have ancestry from 10+ different countries and who knows where all those ancestors originally came from. I dont live anywhere close to those places my family used to live either. Go far enough back and chances are we are all related in some way right? People dont generally stay put in one piece of land but borders change and people intermingle and their are migrations and such. How is someone with ancestors from 10 countries supposed to follow where the people of all those countries came from before that, and who intermarried who? And what would be the point? Eventually I decided to just follow my heart... Led me somewhere I wouldnt have expected and which has little to do with my DNA... But it feels so much more natural and so much more "me." And in the end, I still dont practice any one cultures tradition - I have let my own tradition develop and evolve naturally the same way I develop myself. I'd rather just be one with myself and one with the Earth then focus too much on limiting myself to just one culture, or trying to relive the past...
  37. 1 point
    I'm totally a Heinz 57, genetically and culturally. I don't know what I could add that isn't in the other thread you mention... and I don't know if I feel comfortable, or even capable of, approaching this in a moral way. I am a very practical person, and my life has taught me that worrying about whether what I do and who-what-all I do it with is appropriate, lies beyond the bounds of what I can afford. I've got people to take care of, living, dead, and otherwise. My family taught me what they did of magical craft through the things I was forbidden, and when I learned anyway I was beaten and drugged. Nothing special there, that's how my family tradition has dealt with witch babies for hundreds of years. Since I'm not interested in stifling my gifts or abusing kids, mine is a very loose interpretation of family lore. Following the main branch of my cultural heritage would have taken me into the southern episcopal church, with a select area of divination permitted but very little direct spellwork or even evocation. Also, contact with local nature spirits is right out. Long story short, nope. On the other hand, the land wights here seem to recognize me. Or, you know, Norfolk could be fucking with me. This is the land five generations of my moms' moms walked, so we've had plenty of time to get noticed, and to be jerks. But more in the spirit of your inquiry, I didn't start working with the land because it was traditional to do so, but instead this was inevitable. In fact, a major stumbling block in my praxis is the lack of reliable transmission. European folkways no matter how long I study them out of love (lifelong, then) don't encompass all there is to be dealt with in this region. Disease and war have fractured local knowledge; in fact the people who could have helped me, the Scikoak, were wiped out by Powhattan. I've said it here before, but it bears restating, that I view my role in the scroll of ancestors as an instigator of tradition, more than an upholder. And yeah, this is undoubtedly the result of having so many histories to weave together. My outlook on this was very much different, by the way, when I was a maiden. At that time, I felt that I could see the moral implications of my choices, and my magics, much more clearly. Maybe it was indeed so. At that time, I felt very strongly that the imperative of working within the ancient traditions of the land underfoot trumped all cultural considerations. Family heritage seems much more significant to me now. Your questions are good questions. They may not be answerable, but I really like that you've formulated them.
  38. 1 point
    If I were feeling a bit bitchy I'd be tempted to start a complimentary sister thread for this with all the "celebrity" witches who probably aren't.
  39. 1 point
    I always test as INFP but I don't relate to the description at all. I think it is the same problem I always run into with these sort of quizzes: I think too many of the comparisons are essentially flawed, as they set up false dichotomies. I want an extra button: Agree/ Disagree/ Speak Any English? I always have chalked that up to my being a witch in the societal sense as well. Neither fish nor fowl.
  40. 1 point
    ... I suppose it depends if you think that darkness (i.e. nightime) has any relation to the dark side of the craft. Im not so sure that it does. The same way that black isnt necessarily associated with evil. (not to say that the dark side is evil, just an example!) For instance in the occult, black is seen as a sign of the feminine, the passive, the fertile. Not a negative thing... Its interesting ... like in Egyptian culture, the 'black land' was what they called the parts of egypt that were fertile, where they could live and farm on, a happy colour. The colour they associated with evil was red (colour of set, and dry sand!) Question is then, why is black (and night time darkness) associated with evil and "the dark side"? (cue darth vader music). I suppose the nature of the colour black, and the veil of darkness, perhaps holds mysteries, and things unknown. Yet that doesnt make them 'the dark side'. Does this even make sense, or am I rambling?! :Spider-1:
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