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Kathen last won the day on May 18 2020

Kathen had the most liked content!

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About Kathen

  • Rank
    Advanced Member


  • Gender
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  • Location
    Idaho, USA
  • Interests
    Botany, Ethnobotany, reading, book collecting. Teaching (parent perspective)
  • How familiar are you with witchcraft?
    I’ve gone down other roads which all led me to the generalized term “witchcraft”, so that is paradoxically very easy and super difficult to answer at the same time. For the sake of time, and my thumb (mobile) I’ll have to say familiar enough to understand its relation to other paths in terms of “riding a current”, but not familiar enough to shy away from public forums and interaction to build upon.
  • Have you explored other paths?
    I took the time to answer this question and was told it was too long. So I’ll just throw random words out and let you put it together I guess.
    Verum, Greek Magical Papyri, Catholicism, Islam, Congo region of Africa, Espiritismo.
  • Have you ever worked with Traditional Witchcraft?
    No disrespect, but I feel like this is a bit of a loaded question. Anybody who has any kind of history with magic has dealt with traditional witchcraft in more than one way. I’ve never used a Stang, if that’s what you mean... haha<br /><br />I have a background that involves herbs and charms, I’ve been working with plants (not just physically) for over half of my life. So I’d have to say yes, I have a bit of a background with it. I honestly don’t know the ins and outs of it from a sociological point of view, and I honestly think that has a huge bearing on the craft and where it’s headed vs. where it’s been. So I’m pretty much learning a new trade with a subset of acquired skills I guess.<br /><br />I’m genuinely being lighthearted here...I know it’s hard to tell that apart from arrogance when reading a text wall...so I just want to make a point of the brevity so I don’t seem like a douche.
  • What does Traditional Witchcraft mean to you?
    I honestly think traditional witchcraft is a bit of an ironic title. I think we’re all kind of keeping this thing alive and letting it evolve into a modern type of “living” tradition”.<br /><br />I think the emphasis on using what you have, and not focusing on that which you don’t is the basis of it. I think it’s highly adaptive, which lends to how well it really works. Obviously you can’t substitute lavender for plastic, but I know for a fact that you can substitute lavender with another plant that has a similar spiritual aptitude or attitude. I think the approach is what sets the traditional craft apart from others. I absolutely love the malleability that I believe can happen with a personal flourish. I also believe that it comes with a lack of dogma. Use the psalms as something to solidify your directive, there is no right or wrong (in theory and approach). It doesn’t matter if you use Horned God, Pan, Lucifer, or even Prometheus...what you’re doing is reaching the right ears. Whether it’s a mask with a name or a current to ride doesn’t matter...it gets where it needs to go and the right things remain approachable.<br /><br />I can say that I’ve struggled with the basic approach of feminine and masculine duality. I understand it as physical vs. spiritual. I like to see it as Apollo and Hecate. The prince of poison and cure alongside the liminal mistress. I get it, it’s easy. They each get their time in the sky as well as their place in the underworld. I guess where my understanding lies right now makes it hard for me to justify how simple that seems. Simple is sometimes better, and I can appreciate learning the flaws in my own assumptions, though.
  • How long have you worked with witchcraft in general?
    I’ve been with spirits for as long as I can remember. Not as exciting as other people’s experiences, as I’ve never actually been good at seeing them directly, or communicating with words. I have however always been able to feel them and know them...it’s always scared the shit out of me. Even today, it remains a controlled fear when it happens.<br /><br />I’ve worked with stones (not necessarily crystals, but real collected stones) and plants since I was a child.<br /><br />I’ve actually had a magical outlet for about 5-6 years.<br /><br />Generally.
  • What brought you to our site?
    Google. Reading the forums has actually helped me get a sense of the general answers for certain questions I’ve had.
  • What do you expect to get from this site, and what do you expect to contribute to this forum?
    Conversation and the evolution of certain ideas. I’m hoping to find people who remain open to what I consider a very fluid work. I hope to propose ideas that can influence thought, while simultaneously being influenced by ideas that I may not have had on my own.
  • Do you belong to any other online witchcraft sites?
    I joined the Covenant of Hekate at one point years ago....then once I got in I was informed it was pretty much Facebook based. I don’t do social media so that was that.
  • What are your strongest points in witchcraft?
    Spirit sensing, spirit wandering, raising energy for spells, and plant work (creating relatively safe chemical changes in reference to what is trying to be accomplished).<br /><br />I’m also very good at coming up with verbal charms. The whole rhyming scheme seemed like a joke to me until I realized the power it had when you’re trying to maintain a headspace.
  • What are your weakest points in witchcraft?
    I’ve strayed so far away from ceremonial shit that I actually hate the idea of compass/circle casting or the use of ritual items that don’t serve a “real” physical purpose.<br /><br />Maintaining a mindset while doing multiple things. In my Verum work I could get everything ready beforehand and just focus on outcome during a ritual. Witchcraft is more hands-on. The more tasks I’m doing, the more my mind tends to wander off. When I’m mixing an incense bag it’s so hard for me to stop myself from thinking about other plants that could be used, or if I’ve watered my personal plants, or if I remembered to make my lunch...you get the idea. My mind wanders past the words I’m saying once I’ve gotten comfortable with my tongue as a memory muscle.<br /><br />Fear. I still fear spirits. I fear the dark. It sounds stupid, but I have reason to fear, which is what brought me to the Arts in the first place I guess.

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  1. From what I know, Jupiter in conjunction with Saturn is bad. Really bad... Like four-horsemen potential. However, I’d like to note a difference from what’s being said. I live in a small city that’s been suffering from the growth pains of exponential job markets and outside funded housing explosions. I’m not seeing an “us vs them” in regards to spirituality...I’m seeing an enlightenment happening in my area. This place was once nothing but farmers, ranchers, and “god-fearing ‘whatever’ folk”. Now we have a community college bringing in refugees for the government handout. We have a huge percentage of liberal California becoming economic parasites to the local population. We’re seeing inflation in regards to housing and groceries rise to the point that local people can no longer survive in the environment that they were born into. I don’t really see this as a question of religion or spirituality, but a problem that comes with socioeconomics. We have a group of people that agree with another group of people on many spiritual points....but we have these same people at each other’s throats in regards to the survival of their offspring. I’m only pointing this out because I feel it’s important. There probably is some conflict brewing. You can see it happening internationally. I don’t think it’s a religious movement, I think we’re facing something deeper than that. We’re trying to find ourselves in the midst of a human movement. We don’t agree with each other, we aren’t familiar with each other or our cultures, but we’re starting to realize that it doesn’t matter. We’re starting to see the forest for the trees. People aren’t hating on each other for their religion or beliefs here. People aren’t finding conflict with herbalism, new age beliefs, aromatherapy, or blatant paganism. People are upset about economic influences. People are upset about Californians coming in and fucking up their housing economy. People are upset about their grocery bills doubling, people are upset about how much harder it is to feed their kids now. People are upset because they KNOW THIS struggle isn’t in human nature, it’s an economic system that’s been forced upon them. Welcome the refugees. They can teach us. Welcome the disheartened, they can find what they lost. Be a good neighbor, be a good friend. However, I saw something when I was a kid that I’ll never forget...and I still think about to this day. It was some graffiti sprayed on an old abandoned factory wall that we used to scale...it said; “God is the only thing that keeps the poor from killing the rich...” I think about that a lot...
  2. I haven’t read through all of the responses, but I did practice ceremonial magic for a minute, and I can tell you what the difference between the two means to me from a practical perspective. Ceremonial magic is basically saying...”If I perform this “x” way...I’ll potentially be able to influence “y”...via the grace of outside factors. Traditional Witchcraft to me is saying...”I AM “x”, which means “y” is an extension of myself AS “x”. At this point x=y as opposed to x being a factor in the outcome of y. Stupid comparison...I don’t even like algebra...but I hope you understand what I mean haha. Traditional is taking the folk magic of the past and integrating it into the present. I personally believe it’s based more on a spiritual hierarchy of ingredients and self; than a hierarchy of tangible external spirits and favors...which is why dual faith observances were so common in Europe. Also why folk magic is so potent now that we have a free exchange of information via the internet. Witch means nothing...it’s a title that bored-ass housewives like to take in order to get Youtube views or instagram followers. It’s a self-proclaimed title that has become a boon for acceptance and a bane for real practitioners. Craft is where it’s at. Taking different traditions and trying to create a practice that works for your own life. I understand that “Traditional Witchcraft” is usually used to represent the post-modern types of craft that are represented in historical accounts of the witch-trials....but in all reality that’s bullshit. The records we have from that time are biased AT BEST. Emma Wilby and Ginsburg gave a great effort, but you can’t base a practice or a craft from such scattered records with such biased testimony or record keeping. Traditional Witchcraft is the realization that reality is malleable, and the expectation that you are the main factor contributing to that movement.
  3. Revere only that which you would be revered by.
  4. Edit: deleted, didn’t answer the question at all.
  5. I’m trying to get started in order to ease myself into being able to have periods of fasting....but it’s so hard to cook without carbs...and so much more expensive. Not easy at all.
  6. Plants have always been a kind of traditional thing for me and my family. There are certain plants that we’ve gathered or grown and used for generations. When my grandmother (mother’s side) came to the US she taught her kids to use the plants that she knew growing up by buying seeds and growing them. My grandmother on my father’s side was from the same town in Italy (interestingly enough) and used the same plants for the same purposes. There was no “witchery” involved, just practicality and the belief in spirits. (Maybe witchery, but good luck if you say that to them.) Growing up my parents would take us up to the mountains or down to the river a LOT. I always thought it was fun to play I-Spy with the plants and find ones that smelled, looked, or felt similar to the plants that were considered important to us. It kind of sparked a rehashing of old customs on family camping trips. I remember a lot of different tests, conversations, and heated debates going on around the local flora and their integration into the old systems we used as a family. It didn’t mean much at the time, but looking back it taught me a really valuable lesson. There is no master list for plants in practice. However, practice is key to mastering plants. Knowing that I played a part in reshaping a family dynamic and widening the base of knowledge for generations to come feels pretty good. The point of this is we all found the local stuff to be VERY potent. More potent for me than my parents, and more potent for my parents than my grandparents. I think there’s a legitimate spiritual power and resonance with plants that naturally inhabit the same space you do. I really feel that using some store bought incense from a tropical or middle eastern plant to accomplish magical works won’t be as potent as using the spirits of your own place who care just as much as you do about the area and it’s populace. (You know, unless you live in the tropics or Middle East...) I would encourage anybody and everybody to look into local flora and it’s folklore or actual chemical components to find similarities with plant material they’ve been taught about from other regions in order to find good substitutes. The power of a Place is a reoccurring in almost every magical tradition under the sun and moon. I don’t think it just pertains to a single spirit at a big rock. Take advantage of it. I feel like this would apply to people that are new to an area or people who live the life on roam as well. I’d like to get some feedback on that if anybody has any.
  7. I’ve recently been subjecting myself to a string of embarrassing book purchases. Not because they are bad or embarrass me based upon content, but because I have to figure out how to hide them now. I’ve always been very frugal. I’ve always done what was best for the family....but I’ve recently purchased something like $650 worth of books...somewhat impulsively. Let this be a testament to context. You’re embarrassed by your choice of content...but I may literally DIE when my wife finds out. At least a Silver Ravenwolf paperback won’t get you stabbed by an angry Virgo in her third trimester. Remember me fondly when I’m gone.
  8. Pieces of Eight by Gordon White; one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while. It’s from the Chaos Magick arena, but I think Traditional Witchcraft was kind of the archetype for Chaos Magick so it shouldn’t be a long journey from home. It gave me quite a bit to chew on, which was very refreshing given the last 4 or 5 books I’ve read did little more than piss me off.
  9. I think anything that is given the capacity to cope with change in a logical way can develop consciousness. I mean that in a pattern recognition/data interpretation kind of way...I’m going to be honest, AI scares the shit out of me. It is the Golem of Prague in modern times. At a spiritual level, yes, I believe so. If you look into the Tulpas of Tibet or various ancestral Egregores in different cultures you’ll find that over time they are known to become self-aware, sentient, and cognitively individualized into a consciousness. At some point you have to look at the various creation myths and interpretations of a soul and start wondering how hard it really is to create one....especially when feeding something from multiple generations over time.
  10. That sounds like a shitty situation for sure. When I was younger, I was that guy. I don’t think I have bipolar disorder, but everything was everybody else’s fault all of the time. I was mentally and emotionally abusive to everybody around me, definitively toxic as a person. I can tell you right now, nobody can change that but himself. The more you try to coach him or work with him, the deeper he’s going to resent you for trying to “control” him. People only change when they’re put into a position that requires reflection and betterment to progress in life. A lot of people never change, it’s a sad reality. That being said; I’ve noticed in divination (especially with tarot) the cards are only giving you a premise to continue a story based on right now. It is an outcome based on the current situation if the trajectory isn’t changed. You can choose to not talk to this person and avoid that outcome. Nothing is set in stone. If you choose to change the story the cards are helping you tell, you can avoid the outcome they’ve given you. You remember those old “choose your own ending” books? Same concept...in my opinion.
  11. Excellent post! This is exactly why I started wanting to learn more about folk magic. Beautifully written, I appreciated this. (I posted a reply earlier but I don’t think it went through. So if two show up..my bad)
  12. Great substance here, I love seeing the dates on these and knowing people are getting something out of them years later. I’d like to add a few things from my experience and a few things I was taught about spirits from my grandmother. Some of this may seem like common sense, but I think they’re common things people get wrong or need to know. If you’re going through the motions of calling out to a spirit or spirits in general, it will be heard. I like to think of it as a payphone ringing on a busy street. Somebody may answer just to see what’s going on, or somebody may answer because you’re annoying the hell out of them. They may not stick around, or you may not notice them, but eventually you’re going to get what you asked for, ready or not. Casting a circle or compass or whatever you want to call it doesn’t mean you’re protected. It takes practice to tweak rituals like that to get the desired results. It isn’t just an automatic barrier. For example: I used my circle for RAISING specific types of energy for points of manifestation. It was literally for drawing things to me, and it sure as hell didn’t stop some of them from wandering if they chose to. If you’re going to use tools, be aware of how to use them in the right situations. Bread knives and butcher’s knives both have blades, but I wouldn’t use them in the same way. There was a great visualization technique touched upon, and that’s something that I also learned along the way. It works, usually! However...sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you get something more stubborn, or more energetic than you are. In this case I was always taught to use incense. I don’t mean Dragon’s Blood incense from the store...you need to make your own. I can’t give you any of my own recipes, but I CAN give a point of advice. Use local plants. This is very important. Using plants from your own area to get rid of an unwanted guest should have fairly obvious implications. If or when you get desperate enough to need to get rid of something, doing the research won’t seem like a chore. There are a couple more options that I’m hesitant to toss out, but hopefully nobody will be in a position to need to go further. Never let fear stop you, but let it guide you into being prepared. Sometimes fear can be your best friend.
  13. In my opinion, demonolatry is a shit system. I’m not saying you can’t get any results, but I think the exchange of your time for what results you WILL get is not close to equivalent. I think your results would go either in the direction of Jung, and you’ll be manifesting yourself (which isn’t bad at all), or you’re going to get something to show. I doubt it will be what you were expecting, though. I’ve found that if you spend enough time calling to a spirit, something eventually DOES show up. It’s very often not what we thought it would be though. This thread is a month old, did you end up trying it out? Sometimes I like being wrong...
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