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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/06/2020 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Hello, I wanted to post a link to a facebook group called Shadowlands I admin with some friends. It isn’t exactly trad craft, but I thought it might be of interest to some people here. If you do decide you would like to join, please answer the admission questions, or drop me a message (Belladonna Miles on fb) to let me know who you are. I tend to automatically delete requests I suspect might be bots or scammers, it happens a lot. Here is the welcome statement for the group, to give you some idea what it’s all about, and whether it is something you might be interested in. Welcome to Shadowlands, a place existing beyond the reach of the light. I am here searching for something, though I couldn't tell you what exactly that is. I thought perhaps others might like to join me, and we could learn from each other. Earnest and bold seekers of the occult are welcome, as are the adept. Just know I seek to break the binds of dogma and indoctrination. I would topple the high-towers and strike their occupants from the parapets. If this is not your path you are always free to go your own way. If we are able to get enough interested parties with compatible ideas and chemistry, we would eventually like to engage in some group activities and experimentation, providing everyone involved is on board with that. It is by no means a requirement for membership, and it will probably be awhile before we get to that anyway. Mind you, I feel like time is ticking. The following is an advert for the group written by my dear friend you might know by the name of Ouroboros. Dear fellow occultists, witches and practitioners of the craft, it seems humanity is at a crossroads. The current chaos is both as symptom of our disease and a potential catalyst for change. This is the tipping point. Will we dig our heels in and attempt to continue with the strongholds that are currently in place? Will mankind wallow in ignorance and continue to aide and abet the oppressors? Or, is it possible to use this fire to burn away our bonds and topple towers? If you are interested in discussion and the pursuit of knowledge in this vein, please join us. We do not pretend to have all the answers, but we hope that maybe together we might find them. To be clear, so that no one gets the wrong idea; This is not a meme group. We unequivocally support BLM and all movements that that work toward human rights. We believe science is real. If your politics do not agree with these sentiments, this is not the place for you. https://www.facebook.com/groups/889510984858973/about
  2. 3 points
  3. 3 points
    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.
  4. 3 points
    Trust your intuition - every single time. Know that you are so much stronger than you think you are. Tread carefully. You are leaving the safety of ignorance, and entering wilder territory. Centre yourself in your own work. Follow your own star. Craft is tools and techniques. Arte is your talents. You will develop your arte by practicing the craft. Get on with the witching work. Get on with the workings. Do the practice. Maintain a log of your practice. Write it down. The way that ye fall, shall be the way that ye rise. Thou Art Witch. Own it Sister. It's yours by blood and by rite.
  5. 3 points
    Wytches crone, wytches fair Fire light and bodies bare Drum and rattle, spell and song Midnight shadows deep and long Stag and doe, owl and crow Summer reaps the Springtide sow From your crafting may we see Autumn's bounty soon to be.
  6. 3 points
    I think that we are given a brain for a reason. Perhaps it is a question of balance, open heart/open mind. Follow your heart, but not off the cliff. Listen to common sense, but don't overthink. We know what right and wrong feel like and we understand consequences of action. You should follow your heart first, but let head help you avoid the fires and pointy things. I think both of these should be tempered by 'Gut'. Both Heart and Head can tempt destruction, Gut prevents it. Heart has a flair for the dramatic, not always helpful, but Heart loves play, which is necessary. Head kills artistic inspiration and causes self doubt, but can solve important problems. Gut has no tolerance for nonsense. Gut tells us not to eat poop or spiders and also has the ability to see through bullshit. So feel, think in equal amounts, but NEVER eat poop or spiders.
  7. 3 points
    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.
  8. 2 points
    Tablet weaving really is an ancient form of art! I don't do much tablet weaving myself; I prefer rigid loom weaving, but I've taught courses on both. The latter as a technique isn't quite as old, but many of the patterns used are the same, they've just been adapted. Most patterns have their own names and meanings, and once you look into it, it's quite easy to apply them to magical work. I don't have any pictures of my tablet woven bands, but I included some loom woven ones. The one on the left is what I'm currently working at. No magical purpose for these ones; just for fun!
  9. 2 points
    Alice gets brushed each time she is fed. We call it, 'Taking a bit of fuss'. She prefers to be spoken to in a British accent, for she is a Tortie with proper English roots and her staff must comply with her very reasonable demands. She is not a Princess or a Diva, she merely 'is', and that is enough. She is not in the least bit spoiled or indulged...
  10. 2 points
    I like to go to a park and be with trees, touch them, talk to them. It is too cold here yet to go barefoot, but in general I just try to ground myself in nature.
  11. 2 points
    And just so you all know, I did the research & a familiar may be any animal or entity which shares a close bond with a practicioner - basically only YOU know if a particular creature is a familiar or not. Our beliefs create this world, what we "know" to be true is true only to us as individuals. There are no rules.
  12. 2 points
    28" natural Blackthorn
  13. 2 points
    I came across this article by Mat Auryn (author of the super popular Psychic Witch) today - he went around and interviewed basically the most famous Traditional Witches/authors, from Gemma Gary to Lee Morgan to Daniel Schulke, what books they'd recommend to someone curious about the Craft. They give detailed reasons so it's rather interesting. I'm familiar with some of these titles and I think they're great additions to a bookish witch's library at any level, I've added a few to my reading list! https://www.patheos.com/blogs/matauryn/2017/11/09/book-recommendations-trad-craft-witches/
  14. 2 points
    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.
  15. 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?
  16. 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 (😅) 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.
  17. 2 points
    "The fire you like so much in me is the mark of someone adamantly free" - Liz Phair (Strange Loop, from Exile in Guyville, 1993)
  18. 2 points
    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.
  19. 2 points
    The Catholic Church practices “magic” too, they just don’t call it magic, or because they are praying for their god to do most of the work it’s simply faith, rather than magic. But my ancestry is heavy with Roman Catholicism, I know about the vigil candles, the novenas (I’m also Mexican American) and really the church only permits these practices under the terms that it is their deities doing the work and not the person. But when they say “In the name of the Lord (insert command/desire)” it’s basically magic. They just won’t admit it. I never felt anything in church either, but I agree with an above comment that most churches don’t want you to, because if you knew what it was like to feel a personal connection with the worshipped spirits then you wouldn’t need the church anymore. Also, you can be a witch with a “capital W” and still be catholic or any religion. Being catholic doesn’t make you less of a witch. I practice what I call “spiritual Catholicism” where I wait for the Holy Spirit to come through and speak to me rather than having a priest guide me. It’s very personal that way. Actually, I believe it may have been the Holy Spirit itself that told me I must be a conjurer/witch, it definitely felt like it.
  20. 2 points
    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.
  21. 2 points
    Or your could say Cauldron and then cackle manically!
  22. 2 points
  23. 2 points
    And now for something different. Ixtapa, Southern Mexico.
  24. 2 points
    I gave up trying to interpret my dreams, they really don't seem to fit any of the interpretations in any Dream book I have looked at. I think my mind just takes a holiday when I'm sleeping. One thing I will tell you is the next time I have a dream lover, I'm giving in to him.
  25. 2 points
    Also, I think we as witches, should explore the idea that maybe there are paths we cannot argue with... I do believe there is a higher divinity system based on evolution just as there is here & nothing is just coincidence. As witches we ALLOW what we want to happen because we understand how to using various methods. After all, the universe only delivers if you are 100% willing to accept... I think all here know what I mean by 100%. On the contrary other people will hesitate, doubt, worry, overthink, etc. They run through various scenarios in their head & manifest energies in which are unnecessary & affect their reality.
  26. 2 points
    Protection is fine and good. I don’t have more than a couple experiences with this sort of thing but I want to ask. Don’t you think you’re underestimating the difficulty of destroying a spiritual being? I have zero experience here but this doesn’t sound like something you can just do on a whim. And let’s say one of us did know how to destroy a spiritual being. That is not something that should be shared willy nilly on a public forum. That is dangerous information. Predators stalk prey/keep tabs on it, it’s generally their nature. If you show you’re too much trouble to be bothered with I’m fairly convinced that will be enough to get rid of this unwanted attention. I’d focus on protecting your space consistently and diligently. Also. Pocket dimension? Am I the only one under the impression that one cannot simply conjure up their own pocket dimension?
  27. 2 points
    I don’t quite see the point of this thread, but I also disagree with this comment. And would like to explain why. What does being “evolved” have to do with defending yourself? Hurting someone because they hurt you doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with vengeance. Sometimes the best way to make sure someone stops messing with you is to hurt them, it’s a perfectly valid tactic. They may think “oh I wasn’t aware messing with this thing could cause me this much trouble, I’ll stop now” and be on their way. Or they’ll get busy and preoccupied dealing with the damage you caused and not have the time or energy to hurt you anymore. Either way, it’s a valid tactic. and to second Oroboros, this forum doesn’t generally take kindly to being lectured on morals and ethics. We speak about it when someone asks first or brings it up with the purpose of discussion. And we don’t try to push our own codes on someone else by claiming our code is more ‘evolved’ because well... that is considered preechy. Edit: grammar (and got a name wrong)
  28. 2 points
    There is a lot here that strikes me as an odd response in this forum but perhaps I misunderstand? - it SOUNDS like you are responding to a post I am missing. I see nothing where anyone is discussing killing wasps or animals... not to say there is no place for that in some practices because there is. i also see no discussion of the wasps “ghost.” -it sounds like you are utterly unfamiliar with the concept of representational magic and how it works. -it sounds like you are unaware that the majority of people in this forum are quite comfortable with curse work, hexing and malefic workings when appropriate. Those who are here and do not DO this type of magic at least respect that it is accepted here. It is understood by those with maturity in their path that personal responsibility, shadow work and mundane problem solving are integral parts of this path. So I would not assume that members need to be lectured on this unless they have said something to indicate they do not grasp these concepts.
  29. 2 points
    Sometimes I make a discovery that makes me very excited, I'm bursting to tell someone but who? My Grimoire, I guess!
  30. 2 points
    As per your request for photos of my wands, I just took a couple of photos for you.
  31. 2 points
    Grow them, kill them, weep for them. Grow them again. Eat them, drink them, smoke them, wear them. Tincture them and distill their oils. Capture their Alchemal essence in a spagaric preparation. Grind their body, blood and bones to make your incense. Carve them to make the tools of your craft. Plant them to guard you home and boundaries. Visit them and leave offerings of yourself to help connect with their spirits. Sleep with them, meditate with them, lay with them and put down your roots.
  32. 2 points
    Hey Caps - that last bit is interesting to me "the guitar plays itself through your fingers"... I have read that true, magical connection is like that. When the witch becomes so familiar with the stream, so much a part of it, and so attuned to it, that spells are no longer necessary. The witch herself (himself lol) becomes the stream and becomes the magic.
  33. 2 points
    I've just had this conversation with Llyr :) We are a strange bunch, aren't we? I really suffer if I don't get alone time and that can be difficult as a working, married parent. All those people around all the time! Craft time is time for myself and I really value this community and the people I chat with on here. I would love to find a local group to be a consistent part of but I tend to dip in and out. Partly out of a need to be discreet, partly because I don't gel with some of the 'leader' types. Why is there always some grand poobah type in these groups?!
  34. 2 points
    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)
  35. 2 points
    ... 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:
  36. 1 point
    I decided to give this poor old jewelry box a second life. I found it at a Goodwill store for 99 cents in pretty rough shape. As a kid in the 70s I loved going to hot rod shows and looking at all the wild paint jobs. I especially loved the custom vans with the metal flakes, pearls and candy oversprays. Airbrushing and lace painting were a couple of my favorite techniques. Here I have lace painted with candy blue over chrome silver and black with contour fading giving a definite moonlit forest look for the owl medallion I inlaid upon the lid. The inner tray is completed the same way. I added a mirror to the inside of the lid and framed it in blue velvet. The rest of the box got the blue velvet treatment as well. Magic and luxury in one pretty blue package...
  37. 1 point
    Only did two this year, but they came out all right 🙂
  38. 1 point
    Do any of the rest of you, when you're following your paper trails, commune with books/records in archives? When I do so, i have an uncanny knack of pulling a book off the shelf that contains exactly what I'm looking for. I never really thought before that it could be ancestor spirits guiding my hand, but...??
  39. 1 point
    I second Valerian. I love that stuff when I need to relax or sleep. Also if you have access to it you could try a full spectrum extract. That may also help.
  40. 1 point
    At my age I take what I can get.
  41. 1 point
    Definatly Dryads, tree spirits. I have one I honor, that inhabits my Apple Tree.
  42. 1 point
    Well you were brave, JennAdelek! Mine is down to my waist, but I really do need about three inches off the ends and to even it out. Hubby is the one who really needs a cut!
  43. 1 point
    Back from the school run ^_^ My Ancestry is more based in the South, but am I right that you're still in Northern Ireland? Is there someone there you could quiz as though I have relatives there I've quizzed, you might be better placed to find out. I'm happy to share Irish practices (you may know lots of this already, but as newer witches might read, so I'll go from basics and just ignore what you know already). To explain above, fairy doctors were seen as different to Witches. Witches were seen as being given (mostly) evil powers by spirits, whereas Fairy Doctors were bestowed gifts by the people of the hills. One big difference seems to be that Witches sought power through their own will, whereas Fairy Doctors were chosen - either taken by the people of the hills, or having an encounter with them that resulted in gifts such as healing or the sight. However, I mention them because many techniques were similar. Off the top of my head, there are other practices and traditions that are Irish that I or my family use. I mention hag stones (also known as fairy stones, but as we don't speak the word fairy aloud, I tend to use the other name) above, but circles can be utilised in many forms. You can form a circle from materials - I had a willow one but it got damaged - and walk them through it to heal them. I'd stand it upright and literally get my son to step through. I think with this, it's useful to think about what you form the circle of and why you're doing it. So, just because a text says to use Ash, if you have a brilliant relationship with a particular tree and ask that tree to help, it's going to be more powerful than random ash wood. I use sunwise circles when casting for good luck or protection. If I draw a charm for good luck, I'd draw the circle sunwise for that. Our May Eve traditions include decorating a tree with ribbons or bright pieces of cloth. Traditionally these trees did not have the rags removed and were hawthorn, but we don't always use hawthorn and our tradition takes them down on Samhain when we reach the dark half of the year. Needless to say, we tie things carefully to the tree so it isn't damaged and never tie plastic based material or anything like that. I wash my face in the dew for long lasting youth and we pick yellow flowers that we scatter on our door step for good luck and protection from negative energy or negative spirits or lesser unkind people of the hills (not used for strong entities, but for a more general minor protection). We work a lot with holy waters, so dew, waters from wells or springs/streams, sea water and also the human water of spittle. Spittle mixed with dusts can make healing pastes, or sprayed across objects, people or animals to bless them or heal them. Spit can obviously also be used as a curse. Milk is also useful to utilise, the cream as mentioned above or types of milk, for example, Goat's milk in some healing spells. I love a great chamomile and goat's milk foot bath that can be used for tired, sore feet. Herbs were used a lot and there's quite a bit of lore surrounding it. To be honest, there's a lot of Irish/Welsh/Scottish/Breton lore that overlaps or is similar. Spoken charms can also be important and there are many recorded that you could research and try. They were often muttered repeatedly under the breath and were common in several situations including emergency ones (to stop bleeding etc.). Burning twigs can often be used in healing, as can the ash that remains. Twigs and stems were used in divination, but one of my favourite things that I'm still working on is divining with birds or seeing/hearing their messages. Birds tend to have specific Celtic symbolism - so Blackbirds were liminal birds, often seen as messengers from the other side, able to cross the boundaries. Rhiannon's blackbirds were said to sing the dead back to life and sing the living into a trance so their soul could take flight. After Christianity came to Ireland, we also see the myth of St Kevin and the Blackbird where the Saint raises his palm to heaven and a blackbird lands on it. The bird nested upon it and the Saint kept his hand held up and open for the bird the entire time. Heaney wrote a poem about that story, but not much is known about the Saint as few records remain. There are several 'omens' relating to Blackbirds including seeing a nest by your house at the beginning of the year, or seeing two blackbirds together, meaning that you'll have good luck. They are occasionally seen as 'death omens' but I have found more (for me personally anyway) they bring a message from the Ancestors or remind me they are with me. Sometimes they mean change is coming to me and symbolise a hope, singing in the dawn after a darkness. The blackbird can impart mystic secrets and their feathers can be used in magic. On a personal level, I find they are useful in relation to soul flight, to finding mystery, for connecting to spirits or ancestors, for emotional healing and esoteric wisdom. They also represent poetry and song (linking to the people of the hills) and that poetic inspiration we need. I also find Magpies represent this to me, but with a different energy, more of a power of voice feel. For dream work or the times when you need to open to dream-like association and symbols, I think blackbird feathers can work wonders. Sorry, that's a long ramble about Blackbirds, but I thought it was still roughly relevant because really the most important part of Irish/Celtic Witchcraft, Druidism, Fairy Doctoring or Magic has always seemed to be that deep link with the land and the beings around you. Birds were a big part, as were other animals. Much of the Irish magic I know of was in reading the symbols given or listening to the spiritual advice being offered on which plants to work with. Another important part was story telling and folklore/myth, so those are well worth going through for Celtic practices. I keep a book where I record birds seen, what happens in the day etc. to work out what they mean to me as well as the prior reading. Hope this is useful in some way relating to Irish/Celtic practices.
  44. 1 point
    Greetings Quietworker, I think a lot of people tried Wicca first, in fact sometimes saying you are Wiccan is an easy way out, and more acceptable and safe. But then you realise it is too goody, goody for your tastes, too many rules, too many types of magick, ceremonial magick is too rigid, groups are intimidating, everything must be just so or it won't work. Being a Traditional Witch seems more authentic to me, Most witches never have a teacher, I did'nt. I joined Forums, and read everything I could, you will find wisdom in the forums and in the fellowship of other seekers like you. Take what you need and feels authentic to you, discard anything that would make you feel uncomfortable. For example working skyclad, really! Do you think that the Scottish Witches danced around in the freezing cold of winter? Probably not, and most of us would rather not be naked anyway. Try things out, if it works for you, keep it. If not, ditch it. Keep a Grimoire or Book of Shadows, record eveything you do. But make your book about your experience and the things that make your heart sing. Good Luck on your journey, if you have questions you can ask on the forums or ask me if you like.
  45. 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.
  46. 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
  47. 1 point
    I used to work with a Slavic goddess in my pagan days. If you are interested in working with deities, they will offer patronage from what I understand. Some traditional witches work with deities, but from what I understand that is rare. I hope you find what you're looking for.
  48. 1 point
    I think the most important aspect to this is: are you using someone’s cultural practices in a way that could harm that culture? Or is it something you are doing in the privacy of your own home? In my area cultural appropriation usually means a white person taking on some Native American practices (I know it does have a much wider meaning than that). For example, my uncle (via marriage to my aunt) is an elder and spiritual leader in one of the local tribes. It’s a huge part of who he is, and specifically links him to his ancestors. It’s also deeply important to him because he has only been legally allowed to practice it since the 70s. I’m an American mutt, but basically of European descent. I don’t think I could ever practice any of my uncle’s beliefs without feeling very uncomfortable. It is not my culture, and my ancestors had a hand in making it illegal for my uncle and his ancestors to practice it. I love reading and learning about all the different cultures and practices, but I basically lean towards the practice of my ancestors, though that is a wide swath of traditions. But I believe the bottom line is: what you do in private is your own affair, and no one has the right to tell you otherwise. It is when someone steps into the public to gain something from another culture’s practices (like a white person selling weekend warrior sweat lodges) that I think a line has definitely been crossed.
  49. 1 point
    Dear younger me, My advice would be to forget the books. They are helpful, but the way you are, you learn so much faster by being out there doing it. Everything I have read so far you have already figured out, its just validation and deeper thought at this point. Dont shut yourself in your room, closing out the world because you are an angry teenager. The whole point of this path is to connect to the world and learn how to manipulate the fabric of this world for your benefit. No matter what the books say, you wont figure that out shut up in your room with candles. You wont find "mister right", right off the bat so just have fun and work on you and its not worth the tears to take everything so seriously. Also, teenagers have no idea about how the world works, let alone how to manipulate it for their benefit, they are all just as clueless as you are so don't follow anyone. Beware: predators are everywhere. They have exploited every niche, even witchcraft. Dont fear. That thing you are most of afraid of feeds on it. She will go away once you overcome your fear. You wont be alone in this. Listen to that voice. You are not schizo. That voice has saved your life many times, some you are not even aware of. You are unique. Many others can not, and will not understand you. This is a good thing. It allows you to be free. You will go through times of unbalance, of being too light and good and too dark and nasty. Balance yourself or you will become very ill and vulnerable to things unseen. You can do nothing effective on this path if you are not balanced. Follow the sign posts and your internal GPS. They are there for a reason. Stop being so damn stubborn. Because you are, you will ignore all of this. Even though the voice has told you all of this already.
  50. 1 point
    My personal opinion at this point in time (which is given to change without notice - one of the perogatives of being born female, bwahahaha...): I was not born "witchy." I didn't try to cast spells when I was six as a teenager I was quite put off by anything having to do with spells or possession. What I was born with was questions, deep introspection, and a leaning toward what most refer to as the mystical. So was I born with inherent "witch knowledge?" Who knows. But knowledge isn't necessarily what is in the cognizant part of our brain. Some things are in there but need to be prodded into "re-remembering." I've had fantasies that were damn weird even for me and were I a more inhibited person I would have been upset by them but they were weird enough that I wrote them down only to find out much later that it was actually a ritual used to "awaken the blood." Where did that come from? Was it in me already, or in that deep state of fantasy (which can be trance-like) was something introduced from somewhere else? I have pathworked to places and asked for information and been given it. Sometimes I had no clue what it meant and other times it was obvious. Is the pathworking to inner worlds a part of me that already "knew" this info or was it to an outerworld where something "else" gave me the info? Who knows - and does it have to be one or the other? Perhaps (and very possibly) one goes through the inner world to break out of the restraining (physical) realm. I've done intense ritual where not a damn thing happened, then in the days that follow I get sudden impulses and intense moments of knowing to the point where I'm writing things down at traffic lights. I've had dreams that are just "dreams" and dreams that tell me things and have interactions in them. All of the above are examples of being "taught." Whether the teaching comes from something has inherent inside of me or from outside sources is up to definition. The more complex an energy becomes the denser it becomes, and thereby physical (that's how we got here in the first place). Perhaps to pass into the other reams we have to go "inner" first to break down and/or away from logical complexity to where worlds exist that are not of the physical-material realm. Becuase we are physical we exist in physical duality. This is me and if something is not me than it is other than me - it is "other." Therefore, impulse, dreams, gnostic moments - all things that come from the self people assume are not "real" are not from a teacher, are not contact. Everything is connected within the web - if it wasn't magic wouldn't work. So one's guides, teachers, etc., have accesss to the witch through the threads that connect all energies. One does not have to have a tangible being appear before their eyes to have a real "other world" teacher. That can happen, but in today's world where technology and logic have taken over it is highly unusual due to the hold of the logical mind. Mystical experiences are trained out of us very early - even in witch families (unless the child has no contact with the outside world) they will be exposed to a logic-based culture very early in life through friends and school. Even religion has become logic-based - chants are no longer in Latin or any language of the gods where the unknown words washed over one catapulting one into a trance-like escatsy - the words are in English where the logical mind takes over and closes doors by fixing the devotee in the physical/logical realm of trying to understand and define the meaning of the sentences. So to me, one of the first things to do to gain understanding of "other world teachers" is to try and "unlearn" cultural duality. In the compass (and I know many aren't into that but...) it is the first and last "round thing" (got forbid I should say cirular thing, lol) ever made. So all witches past, present, and future exist within the compass. Stepping into it transpports one to the realm of the ancestors, including witch ancestors (not physical ancestors but beings who were "witches"). The compass exists out of time. It's not necessarily about "sacred space" or ceremonial protections. It is tapping into memories of the others who have walked the path before you yet whose memories still exist within that "round thing". These can also be your teachers. There is also the lore of the Fallen - this is mystical and symbolic - it is not angels created by the Xtian god who had a fight with him and got the boot; that is merely the xtianization of older myths. It is evolved entities/energies who descended to the physical realm to impart knowledge into the floundering race of man and raise them up above the animal level. Soome people believe the witches are actually of that race (anlthough not pure that race). Some believe all peoples have that spark within them. Some believe this race faded from this world as the logical mind took over and the mystical became dusty fantasy books on shelves and that they became what is now regarded as the Fae. Some believe they went into the land. Maybe all are right, maybe none of them are. Plants can also be teachers. Plants have an awareness but no logical mind. The spirits of plants live by day in the sun and concentrate on the more physical aspect of growth and survival, but by night as that aspect of the plant "sleeps" the spirit of the plant is highly connective and can be contacted. I bought a wand from a man (or woman, I never did find out which, lol) who, per emails I had with him/her, I believe has much greater knowledge than I did of how to charm plants and make a tool which holds the actual spirit of the living plant within it. I have had conversations with this wood and been shown and told things of great interest and to date, great truths. Most people would laugh at that and say it's neo-pagan claptrap to go about having conversations with wands. It may be if it's a dead wand with no spirit and no connection is made. But if the wand is proplery made/charmed and the witch is receptive to it then contact can be made. One can also do the same with any living plant but the plant's "knowledge" is much greater in wild plants that have limited contact with humans - the plant's "spirit" tends to withdraw itself with a lot of human contact, especially contact with humans who have no clue how to interact with it - it becomes "domesticated". But you have to still the logical mind, and you have to keep it still afterwards and not let it poo-poo the information and/or experience. And one can feel quite foolish doing it until one starts to make contact. It takes dedication and repitition and a willingness to be foolish or insightful and fuck what others think. But in that respect, the plant is also an "other world " teacher. Familiars - in the word-usage of the witch trials, they can be teachers. In the usage of thought forms made by the witch they are help-mates, but can also teach as they will often have access to things the witch does not (at least I have found that). The Shadow, as I personally define it (the mirror self that exists beyond the veil) is also a teacher and contact with that self is to me a very impportant part of growing as a witch. That's my current take on things. M
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