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Everything posted by ArcticWitch

  1. The sun at 15° Leo will always have a special place in my heart. Today is no different, and although the music I'm listening to this evening is a far departure from the other themes and genres shared here, I firmly believe that it is an exceptional recording that is worth sharing with the masses: https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=nYj5SGF7Liw&feature=share LYRICS: You Gotta Be Des'ree Listen as your day unfolds Challenge what the future holds Try and keep your head up to the sky Lovers, they may 'cause you tears Go ahead release your fears Stand up and be counted Don't be ashamed to cry You gotta be You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together All I know, all I know, love will save the day Herald what your mother said Read the books your father read Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time Some may have more cash than you Others take a different view My oh my, yea, eh, eh You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together All I know, all I know, love will save the day Time ask no questions, it goes on without you Leaving you behind if you can't stand the pace The world keeps on spinning Can't stop it, if you tried to This best part is danger staring you in the face Listen as your day unfolds Challenge what the future holds Try and keep your head up to the sky Lovers, they may cause you tears Go ahead release your fears My oh my, eh, eh, eh You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together All I know, all I know, love will save the day Yeah, yeah, yeah You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together All I know, all I know, love will save the day Yeah, yeah Got to be bold Got to be bad Got to be wise Do what others say Got to be hard Not too too hard All I know is love will save the day You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
  2. Bump. Until last night, my experience with mirrors was what has already been mentioned in this thread: that they allow things from the Other side to view us, as well as to reflect things in our own realm that wouldn't otherwise be seen. One of the most surprising and comforting recent experiences was earlier this year, when I was on the other side of the continent and awoke in the hotel room to see something from home hazily imaged in the floor-to-ceiling mirror situated on the opposite side of my bed. Now? Some can be portals. In related news, I have added black cloth to my shopping list. At least my confidence was revived by how well I handled yesterday evening's unexpected situation, but now I have to weigh the consequences of satisfying my curiosity versus staying safe. Ah, the conundrums of the magical life! [Edited for grammar]
  3. --- This has been happening to me my entire life. No one (friends, lovers, coworkers, ex in-laws) believes me about it until they see it happen. It happens MUCH less frequently since I began formally practicing witchcraft- makes me think that I was "leaking" a little too much of my energy before I learned how to properly wield it. The "displacement factor" for this is that although I seem to inspire less violent outbreaks in total strangers, I now attract a lot more people who need someone to talk to about a long-term challenge or problem. Not a bad trade, if you ask me! ;)
  4. Damiana is my favorite, followed closely by wormwood. I find myself enjoying damiana year-round, whereas I seem to gravitate towards wormwood more frequently in the fall and early winter.
  5. --- Nope. Alaska is just that photogenic. Nearly everyone's iPhone photos taken up here look like they belong in an issue of 'National Geographic'.
  6. --- A basic point-and-shoot unit with a nice lens can produce photos nearly as nice as a more expensive, more complex DSLR: all of the photos for the cookbooks I've ghostwritten were shot with a tripod and old Sony point-and-shoot camera operated in manual mode, and the publishers were none the wiser that I was using "sub-standard" equipment. However, I never would have been able to capture my northern lights and action nature photos if it weren't for the DSLR. I credit my many years with point-and-shoot cameras as being the reason why I'm decent at capturing flattering lighting and framing a shot (which requires little to no cropping when editing). The new skill set I'm learning with the DSLR is the value of depth of field and how to instantly commit to snapping an action shot. It's worth it to take the time to determine the model you want, and then find a used version of it online. I strongly suggest going to a store and trying various cameras to get the "feel" for what you like. My sorely outdated, but high-performing Nikon D3100 was purchased on eBay for 1/3 of the price the combo would have cost at retail.
  7. --- I know the first question was probably rhetorical, but I don't feel that we should feel shallow or superficial for enjoying the act of buying tools with which to create. My art supplies outnumber my possessions 2:1, easily, and I used to feel guilty that they take up so much room. But then I realized that I don't choose to spend money on useless crap, and with art supplies the function is more than to just look pretty or entertain me. I feel that there's merit in purchasing tools for creation.
  8. This is somewhat embarrassing. For the past year, I've been using my cat's eyes almost exclusively for scrying. Cat lays on my chest, looks down into my eyes, pupils dilate slightly, and I do my thing. Then I saw the exact same technique in the film 'Constantine' a few weeks ago. :brickwall:
  9. Damiana and mugwort are a interesting combination, both in terms of flavor and effect. Exceptional flying dreams on that blend. Damiana and wormwood, for me, is a little too intense, and was a one-time experiment that I do not intend to repeat. I tried smoking catnip: once. (Never been a tobacco user, and have only been smoking herbs for a couple of years. I'm a total wuss when it comes to inhaling the harsh stuff.) I much prefer tea as the delivery method for catnip. :) I know you said no cannabis, but a small pinch of blend that is 1/4 sativa strain marijuana with 3/4 damiana is one of the best things I've ever used to communicate with the genius loci: no intoxication required.
  10. My pursuits are seasonal in nature. Summer: fishing, hiking, nature photography, kayaking, and this year I will [hopefully, with some help] finally have a crops garden to tend. Winter: photographing the northern lights, cooking, reading, arts and crafts. Looking forward to taking up cross-country skiing later this year. This year's non-seasonal goals: learn how to properly play guitar, and pick up some conversational German. I've gotten too old (and am too needed by others) these days for flying airplanes and travelling solo to international destinations.
  11. The dark, sting-tailed Capatas tossed me into the cell. As it locked the prison door, its eyes focused on mine. "You are the last of your blood. This is your inheritance, child. Do or die." My mind in a haze, my heart ravaged by fear, I scuttled backwards until my back hit the wall. When had this new Capatas taken over; where had the scale-mistress gone with her fairness and harmony? Adrenaline cleared the tears from my eyes. Primal instincts to be silent quelled the whimpers of confusion. The dying spark of fearlessness that had once been a raging, consuming fury sputtered once, twice- then winked out. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I see that I am not alone in this prison. Teacher had prepared me for this as a child, for he knew what was in store for my future. The lessons that I had ignored or spurned for too long flooded my mind. The gaze of a thousand eyes regards me from every shadow. Like a rabbit, I open my lungs and call out my fear. Dinner bell sounded, the Things attached to the eyes flew out from the shadows and descended upon me. I let Them feed. The friends beyond the walls heard the feeding, and cried for me. I gave assurance that this was all a Learning, and that all would be well in the end. I mourned that I could not share with them that the strings between a puppet and puppetmaster go both ways. Adopting the mask of Prey meant that I could intimately learn of Predators. I had no choice: this was my birthright. Time flowed on. I grew stronger as my body toughened against the gnashing teeth. My mind armored itself from malicious influences. My sleep, once shattered by terrifying scenes, flourished with rest. The darkness of the cell became Home: a womb for the ancient hidden wisdoms being shared with my unremarkable, mortal self. Fear was slowly being replaced by a wonder and gratitude for such a powerful opportunity to See. Even the weakest light was shirked in favor of the deepest shadows. The smaller Things that once tore at my flesh and soul were now at my command. Larger Things- the Ones that held windows to the past and the future and other realms- showed me truths, but only after I found the courage to question the lies. Enough time passed for us to ride two whorls around Sol. I finally heard Capatas approach the cell. In an instant, all resoluteness escaped me and I screamed to be released. It inserted the key into the lock and slowly swung the door open. Freedom, freedom, freedom. Feet flying, I ran down the corridor of stone walls and flickering torches. The pen's filth had fallen from me by the time I reached the first step to the staircase leading to promised liberty. Suddenly, an inky tail whipped me against the stone wall, digging its stinger into my chest- but no venom flowed. "You are not ready." I awoke days later, finding myself once again in hell. There was a hint of comfort in its familiarity, but my hubris raged at this mistreatment. "What could there be left that I have to learn? What kind of cruelty is this?" Nothing answered. Every shadow was empty. I felt for a sign of Life everywhere, anywhere. Absolute desolation. Final test. Months passed. As before, my ears picked up the patent rhythm of Capatas' steps. I stood with my straightened back turned to it, even as the key rattled in the lock and the hinges protested movement. "You are ready, child." I slowly turned, posture emanating the Power that I had always possessed, but had allowed myself to become weak enough to fear. Along with that Power was a new restraint, a fresh sense of mercy, a respect for the Power and myself that would never have ripened if it weren't for this midnight cage. Stepping forward, I regarded the new centaurian Capatas with an unflinching gaze. The voice that came from me echoed off the walls; it was soft, but strong and dignified. "I know." I did not flee down the hall- my steps were measured, my movements poised. As I reached the threshold to the stairway that spiraled from the abyss up into the Radiant, I paused and turned to Capatas. "Thank you."
  12. ArcticWitch

    Lonely road

    You're making me want to go on an impromptu road trip to do some occult investigating! ;) In all seriousness, though: I know this isn't a "regular" forum post seeking input, but your experience has really got me thinking. It sounds like maybe you are a little too 'open' at the moment? If I were in your shoes, I would Craft a type of Protection that forces Things to announce/"knock" first before inserting itself into your mind.
  13. Dear self of 2015, You think that you have eliminated organized religion's impact on your logic. But its influence continued to linger, as subtle as it may be. Religion is about what you "deserve". Witchcraft is about what you can negotiate. And you've always been a damn fine negotiator when you really want something. Signed, Always Learning
  14. Phallomancy sounds like a legit reason for a guy to rename his manhood "Nostradamus" or "my magic wand".
  15. It depends. When I use herbs to cross over, it seems that I am completely gone from my body and this "reality": every single sense is in the Other. When I don't do herbs, typically my senses seemed dulled in the Other and I may be vaguely aware of my earthly physical environment/body.
  16. She got a bull whip tongue Feel that indecision and a rambling heart She drags a line of feet like a piece of one that luggage she cannot part Don't try to fake her with love that's not real Remember the taker Has no conscious to heal There's a plague outside falling dark and heavy and she wants the blame But every mistake lie and misfortune that has plagued her name Don't try to fake her with love that's not real Remember the taker Has no conscious to fear She got an edge on you she was born on fire with a burning will You better think it through To steal her from the taker is a worthless thrill Don't try to fake her with love that's not real Remember the taker Has no conscious to fear
  17. ---- Same here, on all counts. Thirty years of being haunted, stalked, followed by these Things at night when I was trying to sleep- and it all stopped literally the day that I began formally practicing witchcraft. It's a beautiful thing when that happens to us, isn't it? Have you tried using witchcraft to address your PTSD?
  18. --- Ah, I'm in good company, then. I find it surprising how much I've been criticized as a witch for refusing to immediately (or even soon thereafter) slap a label on new things and experiences.
  19. When I was a sweet little girl And I'd go to sleep I'd see a man, standing in my doorway Say, Brother, won't you let me be No, no my child I'm taking you away with me Close, close your eyes In the darkness you cannot see When I was a sweet little child I had visions visit in the night They followed me down to the tunnels underground I burrowed them all in my mind Come, come my child I'm taking you to be with your kind Close, close your eyes You never know what you won't Never know what you might Never know what you won't find https://youtu.be/dj4Zt5zTSfA
  20. I'd like to piggyback on RoseRed's excellent response by offering a resource that, although mundane in context, provides a perspective that I feel is prudent to embrace when exploring the other side of the Hedge for the first time. When reading this article, simply replace "India" with "Other side", and you've pretty much got a manual of how to behave respectfully while also getting what you need from your "trip": http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150901-indias-chaotic-lesson-in-letting-go
  21. --- Depends on the witch, as well as their unique preferences and priorities. Some may be focused on the mundane aspects of daily life and don't care to get a "ping" when their Defenses are hit; others may may regularly and heavily involved in occult activity and find it necessary to keep a tight log of "visitors", as well as the Defense responses that those visitors trigger. Yet another tangent to that approach is that a new witch might be clueless about both the presence and constant work of inherited ancestral spirits that keep him or her Protected from other magicians. Think how prevalent the lore is regarding guardian angels. What better egregore for protective spirits to exploit than preexisting archetypes like the Old Hag and the Hat Man?
  22. Not sure if I can heave this train back onto the tracks, but here goes: I'd like to point something out that I don't think anyone has really mentioned. I am NOT the Gatekeeper on this community, but this is my time to speak up. If a new witch goes poking and prodding behind the Veil and over the Hedge, it is of course expected that they will attract a thing (or five) that go "bump in the night". It's common sense, right? What isn't always understood, however, is that if a new witch goes poking around in another witch's business, there is a whole other world that you are connecting to. To me, it is well with the realm of possibility that something like a hag attack could be something as calculated and insidious as a delayed response from another witch's Protection system. Just sayin'.
  23. Nikki: brilliant timing for this bump! :thumbsup: It seems to me that the rest of the online world today is brimming with strife from folks experiencing the post-holiday blues. What a great thread to celebrate inclusiveness while also appreciating individuality! ---- 1) The only standard I see that connects us under the same banner is that we all seek to use magic via witchcraft in order to achieve our intentions. 2) I can't speak for all TWs, but there are times I haven't felt connected to other witches- for various reasons. One example: I didn't start formally practicing until I was in my 30s, whereas most people in this community seem to have started during (or shortly after) puberty. Because of that, it can be very difficult for me to find common ground with witches who never developed "mundane" methods to approach life problems/obstacles/challenges because they've almost always used magic to resolve those situations. 3) Desiring a connection to the past wasn't any part of the catalyst for my decision to begin practicing witchcraft, and is only somewhat important to me now that I'm firmly entrenched in my Path. I have always had a deep respect (perhaps even a penchant) for the "old ways", so I prefer to learn how to do things in my craft that don't require the use of electricity. So I guess that narrows down my preferred eras to anything before the twentieth century? ;) 4) Being free of religion and dogma is a huge reason why I was attracted to traditional witchcraft. Religion/dogma only exacerbates the very things that I now use witchcraft to manage. 5) Whatever gifts I began using at a very young age is what connects me, but I feel that following the wisdom of "Witch, know thyself", taking responsibility for my actions (magical and mundane), and seeking to develop relationships with spirits (rather than summon/command unknown entities) is what makes me a witch rather than a sorceress or other types of magicians. 6) This seems to be encroaching on the notorious debate territory of "Is one born a witch, or made a witch?". (There are plenty of good, juicy threads in this community on that very topic! ;) ) But to answer the question: yes, I believe I can still use occult forces to manifest my intentions even if I were to cease formal spellcasting. But there are some connections and skills that I suspect would fade quickly: I don't think I would retain nearly as strong of a connection to the sea and land, and have doubts that I would receive (or notice?) important signs or synchronocities if I were to no longer use witchcraft (i.e.- scrying) to assess those signs. Because I've never taken an extended break from my practicing, I have no idea if it's like riding a bicycle in terms of being able to quickly regain the same amount of previous skill. 7) Again, this strikes me as delving a bit into the "Nature or nurture?" argument of how a witch comes to be. Anyways, I feel that this was the most beautifully subjective question of the post. In the context of my own Path, I feel that there isn't more to being a traditional witch than traditional witchcraft because I see the term "witch" as merely a label to describe a specific set of talents (whether gifted or hard-earned skills), and I do not personally use the word to describe a lifestyle that embraces the aesthetics of witchcraft.
  24. --- Perhaps the real question is: what if they're always there, and we just don't see them unless we're in the transition phase between sleep and wakefulness? ;)
  25. All of the comments made by other members are brilliant. My computer mouse is getting worn out with all of the +1 clicks. :D The only thing that I feel I can add is the discipline of establishing a baseline. What this means is that before engaging in new activities in witchcraft, take a few days to define your "normal". Humans are dynamic creatures, always changing and growing- so what is "normal" behavior and thinking for you is probably going to be different now than it was a year ago. Personally, during these periods of establishing a baseline, I like to be as "clean" as possible: engage in little to no witchcraft, completely abstain from any mind-altering chemicals, and even adhere to a strict diet of unprocessed foods. It is a time not only to prepare for new experiences, but also to reflect upon my personal development. Creating this "control group" to use as a reference comes in handy when new experiences with the Other may prompt a witch to doubt their own perceptions (and, in extreme cases, their sanity). It provides a set of criteria for that one can strive to regain if they begin to feel as if they're losing themselves when working with the dead, autonomous entities, or traditional deities. Also, it can be an excellent tool to use when defining the different levels of influence a witch experiences when communicating with the unseen: there is an enormous spectrum of interaction, ranging from easily-missed messages to full-on invocation. "Witch, know thyself" isn't an adage that applies only to Seekers: it's a wise commitment to self-awareness that is critical for safety when dealing with the occult.
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