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BirdieMcCloud last won the day on February 6 2013

BirdieMcCloud had the most liked content!

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About BirdieMcCloud

  • Rank
    Advanced Member


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  • Interests
    Tea, snarking at bad movies, drawing, reading
  • How familiar are you with witchcraft?
    Bookwise, I know witchcraft quite well. As a practicioner, it's taken me a long time to say 'Screw the books, listen to what your body's telling you,' so my personal understanding and skill with my own witchcraft is limited but growing.
  • Have you explored other paths?
    As a child in a combined Catholic and Buddhist household, I grew up with an open mind. In highschool I discovered my first taste of witchcraft with Cunningham's Wicca, but the religious aspects didn't fit comfortably so I kept looking/researching - nothing quite 'fit' until I discovered hedgewitchery, which was blessedly free from religious dogma that distracted me from the actual practice of magic. My faith is still ambiguous and may always be so.
  • Have you ever worked with Traditional Witchcraft?
    Throughout most of my development as a witch, I practiced by the book - spells and rituals as laid out. I tried to tell myself that the empty feeling, the lack of any actual magic was just due to my inexperience. Whenever I gave into impulses to throw my script to the wind and just DO what felt 'right', magic happened. It's only been in the past year that I've been able to disregard the worry that I'm 'doing it wrong' and listen to what I need, what my herbs and objects can do for me. And to learn that I could traverse to the Other Side (as I define it) was freeing.
  • What does Traditional Witchcraft mean to you?
    To me, Traditional Witchcraft is working with what you have on hand for the problems/needs/wants facing you. It means taking your locality into account, and adjusting according to climate/culture/fauna/flora rather than a calendar of special holy days. It means being willing to hex as well as bless, and screw any idea of an equation of returns (basic physics...Equal and opposite reaction, not 3 times). And it means that if magic isn't needed for the situation, then I don't use it. I can admire the moon without it being full and without being in ritual garb; my practice can be a separate skill from my search for a religious home.
  • How long have you worked with witchcraft in general?
    Since I was 15~16, on and off. Unfortunately, many times I became discouraged because calling to the Gods never felt real to me, and that made the mandatory rituals in many paths an exercise in frustration and disappointment. So chronologically, I've been exploring witchcraft for 13 years, but realistically the total time I've worked with witchcraft is probably more like 5 years.
  • What brought you to our site?
    A desire to reconnect with other practitioners, to discuss things with like-minded (or not!) people without having to worry about being lectured about proper Wiccan ethics, while at the same time not being limited to any one Tradition in particular. Sometimes it feels like there's a focus on specialization in a specific path rather than building on and adding to old traditions.
  • What do you expect to get from this site, and what do you expect to contribute to this forum?
    I'm hoping to find a community with which to discuss techniques and methods removed from 'Call upon Him/Her, then do this on this date'. I want to compare notes with other practitioners on *how* magic works for them as a force - do they feel it the same way I do? As a very pragmatic and often skeptical over-thinker, I tend to assume a scientific reason for everything and when I've exhausted physical/mental/emotional causes before finally admitting there may be something magical going on, I've tried to go to people on different forums - only to be told to go to the doctor/shrink/counselor, nevermind that I've already done so. I expect to contribute as many perspectives as I can think of as impartially as I can - respecting each other is vitally important to me.
  • Do you belong to any other online witchcraft sites?
    In the course of my life, I've been a member of eCauldron, Mystic Wicks, and a few Livejournal communities back in the day. I don't frequent any of those anymore since MW tends to go down when I have the time to browse through, and the eCauldron members made me feel uncomfortable because there seemed to be no room for agreeing to disagree. LJ I just don't use anymore.
  • What are your strongest points in witchcraft?
    Raising energy, Otherworld journeying, ancestral communication.
  • What are your weakest points in witchcraft?
    Divination - I'm absolute crap at it no matter what I try; I can even mess up readings received from people who are otherwise consistently accurate. At this point I've given up on that branch of skills - it's just not meant to be. I think my tendency to be a skeptic is also a weakness - it gets in my own way and makes listening to my intuition feel naive or foolish.

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  1. I like the New World Witchery podcast, if that counts. :) Their magic tends to be focused on Voodoo and Granny Magic and all sorts of trad crafting, though admittedly I can only take in so much info at a time before my attention wanders because they get into some serious depth about things that I honestly don't know much about.
  2. I wanted to share something that isn't exactly an everyday tip, but handy for vacations. ;) I find there are few things more effective for severing ties or letting go of past worries or fears than hopping on a rollercoaster and letting all my worries and hangups leave me as I scream.
  3. An addendum to this topic...I was recently training a student to take over my work study job when I graduate soon, and this was the first time we'd really spent any time together. We were completely in sync and often said things in unison, to the point where someone commented that we must be old friends. We both laughed because...no. :cool_witch:
  4. I've never used a pendulum - is it required that you actually hold the cord or string? Wouldn't a pendulum set into a holder of some sort be less prone to you swinging it unintentionally?
  5. After I'd posted, I wondered what possible use for this particular talent could be. This is a fantastic idea - one to keep in mind when I finally get my own place and pet(s). :D
  6. I do this very often; freaks people out when I say what they're thinking in sync with them. My friends have all joked that I have a brainwave antenna. On rare occasions, I can make people think/say things they wouldn't do otherwise, but that's not something I've tried doing in ages because 1) seems pointless, and 2) feels invasive, and 3) takes too much effort.
  7. I have admittedly juvenile/mainstream tastes, but the past couple of days the following two songs have alternated running through my head. Carpe Diem I think it's the spring energy - that and just all around happiness. XD Edit to add: Couldn't figure out how to embed videos. Bah...
  8. Ann Grammary's "Witch's Workbook" - most of it was not relevant to me, but it was nice to read something that wasn't super fluffy. And she had a section on amulets and charms that've inspired some thoughts in me - I'm taking a bookmaking class, and there are little book charms she describes that I think I can adapt to my own purposes... :vhappywitch:
  9. That's seen as a sign of good fortune and wisdom in Chinese culture, and some people let them grow long very proudly. ;)
  10. I have a maple-leaf shaped birthmark between my breasts, does that count? ;p It used to weird me out because it was such a clear and distinct shape. It's gotten much lighter since I hit puberty, so I generally forget that it's there. I think I may have a similar 'talent', Jevne - I can't keep plants alive at all. I don't have the high-rot rate, but I can't seem to keep any sort of plant alive. :( The best successes I have had are cactus-type plants that dry up and can go without water for a while...and even those I manage to kill dead either through underwatering or OVERwatering. My extended family seems to think I have some sort of 'sight' that can help or hinder their fortunes - not sure what they're basing that on, since frankly I'm crap at divination. I've had other witches identify me but I'm not sure how - apparently I give myself away when I talk or do things. It's kind of irritating because I don't know what my 'tell' is, and I never have any luck identifying anyone else unless they've introduced themselves as a witch first. I like tea - that's apparently a common witchy trait. :P
  11. QFT. I ended a close friendship when my friend blurted out things I had confided to her about some issues back home...and she mainly did it to show off how much closer she was to me than the other person we were talking to. Yep, cut that tie. I don't trust easily, and thus far...it's been years since I've felt comfortable enough with *anyone* to clue them into the witchcraft. Sylvan, your entire post was super appropriate, and resonated a lot with me. I've never understood anyone's need to proclaim "I support 'xyz'" or "I believe 'xyz'." For certain occasions, that's entirely appropriate (any sort of pride day, cancer events where it's ALL about that cause/belief/right etc), but on a day to day basis, it's a source of needless friction at best and completely alienating at worst. Like people who get tattooed on their face and those horn piercings/bumps in their foreheads, and then complain about being 'judged' unfairly....well, if you're going to *present* yourself this way, you should expect to be perceived a certain way. Re: privacy vs. secrecy - I was bewildered when I worked as a secretary at a law firm in NYC and every attorney that I addressed as 'Mister Lastname' or 'Ms. Lastname' looked gobsmacked and seriously uncomfortable as they quickly told me to call them by their first names, which to me seems awfully disrespectful. That's just weird to me...they earned a bunch of degrees, why shouldn't I be allowed to pay them respect for that? Also love hiding in plain sight - I have 'pretty rocks' scattered across the top of a cheap bookshelf and people assume it's just another one of my collections of nicknacks rather than an altar with offerings. :D I have to agree with you there, Jevne. QFT. Aurora....you made me smile. Frankly, I'm amazed it took this long for someone to make this joke! XD
  12. I'm very private about my beliefs and practices, in part because I think it's so personal and possibly divisive that I want to make absolutely certain that those who are let in the know are both trustworthy and will also not be overly distressed for the state of my soul or whatever. So there's the self-protective reasoning - yes, the world is more understanding now, but we're not at the point where I can say something about hedgecrossing and have people respond as casually as if I'd been to Sunday church service. Bad enough that plenty of people in America give me odd looks when I talk about the ancestral offerings that are part of mainstream Taiwanese practices and religion; that is an open part of the culture that is hardly hidden or secretive, and it still makes people give me strange looks. So no, I'm keeping my witchiness to myself. However, I'm also private because I know quite a few of the people in my social circles are exploring their own paths along magical lines, and I don't want to become an adverse influence on their own growth and development - to assimilate THEM into my developing path. I am all too aware that in the beginning stages, people often latch onto anyone with 'more experience' as an expert and will follow everything they do or say as holy writ. (And yes, I include my younger beginning self in this group of wide-eyed ducklings looking for a guide across the road.) And that's not fair to them or myself - I don't want to unfairly skew their perspectives down any path or other (or cause them shame if they're discovering something that makes them feel empowered for the first time in their lives) because all that I know right now is what is right for ME, and my experiences will likely not apply to anyone else. I keep meaning to write things down and I keep just dismissing it as unimportant. I wish I had more of a complete record of my explorations and failures and successes - but it never seems important to me to actually write anything down, and seems more of a security risk than it's worth. If it's true, real, and done, then I just want to move forward without reflection because sure, it's real and done and complete in my view, and no one else is going to have any use for my notes...I don't plan on having kids to pass things onto and no one else in my family is magically-inclined. Still, sometimes I daydream about having a lovely grimoire with clear sections and awesome personal notes.
  13. I keep my witchcraft secret, so I have New Age friends who don't know what I do or believe, and a couple of them have been incredibly condescending in their attempts to 'enlighten' me with hints about ways to a better life. I think the holier than thou attitude sends my tolerance level immediately into flashing tilt-mode more than anything, be it New Age or otherwise. I'm always torn two ways when it comes to the love and light approach - if it genuinely makes the person happier or more complete, then I almost don't mind the lack of thought or inclusion of all rainbows all the time. On the other hand, even if that approach works, I feel like ignorance is a shaky foundation for anything. Someone earlier in the thread mentioned people working with 'archangels' who were anything but Biblically accurate. If I knew someone who was coming out of a dark place and needed the emotional and mental healing working with love and light 'archangels' and it was *working* for them, I'd be happy for them...but also I'd start to wonder when it would be healthier for them to move on from rainbows and sunshine.
  14. Rereading a collection of Ray Bradbury short stories, which are much more disturbing as an adult than they were as a child... Thinking of picking up 'Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland' - never heard of it before, but it looks marvelous. :)
  15. I'd be the first to admit that I know little about Native American practices beyond what I learned in a college seminar...and while the teacher was a legit member of a specfic tribe (I regret to say I can't remember which one), half the time he seemed like he was pulling our legs when telling us about his tribe's lore and practices. Sometimes I felt like I was actually learning something real and accurate, and sometimes I felt like the target of a grandiose joke. Maybe both? But it's wonderful to read more perspectives, especially from different tribes! :)
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