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Everything posted by Michele

  1. Most compass points have specific associations based on the path the people follow. But I'd think that, being NESW, and then above and below - they are placing you in the center of everything, connecting you to everything, so you can then do a working (or whatever you're doing in the compass) with direct connection to the energy of any given thing you've got a relationships with. Being connected to everything it places one in the mid-place between worlds (what some call the hedge - as in hedge-crossing, hedge-sitting, etc.). Hedges are boundaries, and the compass is a boundary. Because most things are meant to stay in the world they exist in. But if one is using energies of things, one needs access to those worlds. Having a "point" (or place of entrance/exit) of all the worlds one could then access anything in any world that is willing to work with you.
  2. I don't consider myself a Christian, but there are many practices (including craft practices) that are interwoven heavily with Catholicism. The book Daughters of Witching Hill goes some into that. Certain members of the Cultis Sabbati have said the one of the ways to recognize traditional craft is its use of certain Christian concepts/things (not sure I personally agree with that one, I believe true traditional craft was shamanistic in nature). How many spells call for the use of Holy Water? or Gods? Who created "nature" - man or the divine? I actually know people who practice a pagan religion but attend Catholic Mass regularly and they don't see a difference between the energies once one strips away the "churchinaty" and humanization of the energies. If it feels right to you, do it. Ask whatever you believe in for guidance. Good luck!!
  3. I don't see why you can't! Get those plastic page savers and a 3 ring binder. Rip out the pages you want to keep and put them into the page savers in the 3RB, and voila!!
  4. Antiqueing!!! I've found some of the best stuff at antique stores. Old cast iron3-legged pots, religious articles from estate sales (where the relatives had no clue what the items were and just put them in consignment antique stores for 10 bucks when they should have been 1000), old wood cupboards and tables, book stands, herbals.... love antique stores. My son and I go often and find the coolest stuff!!!!
  5. I belong to a religion that is not of my culture. I grew up surrounded by it because of where I lived, but I was not born to that culture. I think it may depend on how one defines the claim - I used to work with an attorney who was Jewish. He never practiced the religion, and he considered himself Jewish by race (but not by religion). Another attorney there married a non-Jewish woman who converted to Judaism (a requirement for the marriage). So she practices the religion and is Jewish by religion but is not of the Jewish race. But bottom line is I think there is a big difference between practicing and respecting a cultural path and the cultural appropriation of another's practices without the respect and credit to the past.
  6. Interesting article. I think there is much to be said for rocking chairs - not so much in the Eastern definition of meditation, but for journeying. Basically to achieve the "drop down" that puts one into an altered state. The constant, lulling motion of the rocker I personally find can be very inducive to the between state of being. Kind of puts one into the not awake-not asleep moment of time.
  7. I just buy up 3 ring binders and note books whenever I see them on sale, lol. So far I have about 15 binders and may 120-25 notebooks of notes, printouts of conversations and emails (with notes scribbled all over the margin edges), dreams, inspirations, "jumpings", and even mundane conversations (because anyone and everyone can teach you something). They're in no order, but I know where most info is. When I get the "I've heard that before - I have notes on it somewhere" feeling I can pretty much get the right note book. But my books don't look like a grimoire of spells. They read as a story, as a thousand letters and memories and conversations kept, rather than as a spell book. Sometimes I just sit in front of them and pull one out at random and always I get something new from something I've already read a hundred times.
  8. <----- Is trying to figure out how this whole discussion ended up under a cartoon in the humor section, lol.
  9. Anyone use this form of altar and contact? At first I had a hard time with it because it has such heavy Christian language and I'm not Christian, but after working with it for a while, and attending many misas and spirit readings, I have come to really appreciate and benefit from the connection it brings. I use it both for my personal ancestors, my spiritual "quadrant" (weird word lol - basically spirit guides who work with you) and for the ancestors of my religious house. I also have an outside ancestor altar that is used for a more primal type of connection. Both altars I attend most days of the week. Attending the bovida regularly has really deepened the connection and opened up a slew of communications between me and those I work with or come from.
  10. I think the understanding of practitioners will differ depending on what they're involved with. I also think there can be more than one answer to most questions. I happen to be religious and very spiritual, and am initiated into a religion (that is craft friendly) and the plant associations and powers that I use will be effected by how my personal ancestors used those plants (and also how the ancestors of the religion understood those plants which may differ from my personal ancestors' understanding). Many workings could invoke not just the plant, but an ancestor who specialized in plant knowledge and would have much stronger power and relationships with the plants than I do (depending on the plant and the situation). So how I use and work with and relate to plants, and my belief system of them, might be very different from someone else's who is not in my religion and/or does not share my ancestors. And to contradict that, some plants unknown in my religion I would then use them in more craft-like associations. It's not black or white. It's much more BOTH black and white. So it will be different for each person depending on what they're into. The plant uses are usually very similar between most paths and beliefs, but the how and the way and the beliefs of the origin of the energy can appear quite different (although ultimately if it is stripped to its bare bones it usually has a thread of the same truth running through it, just personalized and named differently by different cultures and belief systems).
  11. Plants have their own energy, in my personal belief, as do all things (including people). I believe one needs to (or should have) a relationship with what one invokes if they want a better understanding and outcome of the energy. The nature of the plant energy is what makes it different from another plant... the strength of that energy depends on to what and how it is connected. Those are just my personal beliefs. I don't believe that the look and smell of a plant are the only thing they have to offer. I believe their look and smell can give one a good idea of what energies they might resonate with, but they also have a specific energy in them that needs to be invoked and directed for any working. I believe words said over generations gain a power of their own because certain energies are used to being worked with those words for that specific outcome. I believe all energies have (or can have) a connection to "other" and can be used as a portal to, or connection to, that aspect of energy. I also believe certain manifestations of energy, especially deific, have certain plants/animals they prefer to work with and respond to, and the repetition of the use gathers more and more power over time. But that's just me.
  12. I don't believe one actually works with a full divine force - it would probably disintegrate you. I believe that one manages to connect to an ancestor, or even a random spirit, of someone who worked that force and built up much power, and they connect to the energetic force for you and control whatever does or doesn't come through. One reason why in invoking a divine energy for a working the witch would also invoke the name of someone/thing that knows how to work with it and can filter it. If you think about it, that's actually what you're doing when you invoke an herb. It has connection to energy that is filtered through it into the specific property of that herb. You could try and invoke the property itself without the herb, but you'd be shooting in the dark.
  13. __________________________________ Oh yes! Post time and date?
  14. Yay the chat room is back!! Thank you!!
  15. _____________________ If you're interested and attracted to it, I would say to look into it. Just because it isn't in your dna ancestry doesn't mean it isn't right for you. As long as you're honest about your interest and intent. My understanding is the gods came to the new world by choice (although the salves didn't). Cultures met and eventually mixed to an extent. If you actually get initiated, although your dna ancestors remain the same, you are adopted into the house and the ancestors of the house become your "ancestors" too and part of your lineage.
  16. I find that adornments are great for keeping focus. Like if one is doing a working one can just walk in and do it. Or one can take a hot shower to relax and wash off the chaotic energy from the office, then have specific "things" they put on to start their working. While putting on these things and thinking and focusing on each item and its meaning and what it connects one to, and the relationships of all things, the mind is further honed and focused until by the time one is dressed one is already in an "altered state" and connected to the other worlds, and a good part of the working is thereby already done. For everyday, I do have some items I wear. Most are connections to allies. Yes, the allies are with me regardless, but wearing the items helps me to remember throughout the day that I am never alone in this world (or any other) and helps me to remember there is always a bigger picture behind-the-scene. The items also let other know (invisible others, and also others of my faith) who stands with me and what works with me and what they would answer to if they start something with me. Kind of like a wedding ring; it lets others know you are already "taken" lol, and it also reminds you daily of the one/s you love and your connection to him/her.
  17. I definitely believe that a cutting from a plant will retain the spirit of the parent plant (and add some of it's own!). I would tell the plant your intention and then wait until it signifies to you what branch to cut. I believe that if cut, a living branch will retain the spirit of the plant (because it was living when you cut it). I'd also try to get one that is bigger than a twig (although you could also get a twig-size to preserve and carry with you in your pocket or purse so you always have contaact). If you could get a branched one and preserve it, then you could also hang things on it that relate to its use or the purpose of the shrine.
  18. ____________ How cool! So this plant knows you, and is familiar with how your work. You have a relationship with it and it knows what you need when you work with it. I love hibiscus - in some religions they are used as offerings to divinities. Beautiful plants! They line the walkway (well, what is going to become the walkway lol) leading up to my front door.
  19. Michele

    Mango Seeds

    I have a mango tree in my yard, and I love mangos, lol. Perhaps it is just happiness and health? Full of vitamins, full of flavor, full of the magic of a happy and healthy existence? Mangos are often given as offerings to divinities.
  20. I never really taught about holidays - I did the secular holidays but taught my child there is no Santa, that I work hard to earn money (some of which will get spent on gifts at Christmas if I have any left over after paying the bills, lol).
  21. When I moved, I told my house I would be moving. I told my yard and my plants I would be moving. I whispered it to the wind. I gave everyone a heads up so they would know what all the disruption and packing was about. The week before I left I made a spirit house and put it on top of the moving boxes and did a little something, I invited any energies who wished to come with me to go into the spirit house and they would be transported in my car to the new residence. Some people might force them to come, I gave them the option.
  22. To me traditioinal craft is something that is done in a specific way, and has been done so for a long period of time, thereby lending it energy and power. Also, if it has been done in such a way for aeons, then it is familiar to the energies of things (plants, spirits, what-have-you) and they will recognize it and know how to work with it and what you are trying to do with it. If you call an energy in a way it doesn't recognize, you may hook into it by luck, or you may not. Eventually, new age will become a tradition, too, although so many people do it so many different ways it will be a very soft-flowing tradition with a very limited reception (IMHO). Ancestors to me are all important, if for no other reason than without them I would not exist and neither would any tradition. My path has been a very round-about one, and I am grateful to the ancestors on whose shoulders I stood and who brought me to where I am. Witchcraft I see as a practice of doing something (like jogging is the practice of running, lol). Religion is a belief in a spiritual system and usually in a divinity. Often the two coincide and sometimes they do not. There are religions that recognize energies and therefore have no opposition to craft practices. There are religions where the divinities were involved in the craft. There are religions that don't believe in the craft. And there are religions that do believe in it but pretend it is "evil" so their followers have no power outside of the religion.
  23. I have a garden, and there is a corner of it where I grow specific plants - some I work with and some that have very deep roots. My ancestor altar (one of them, anyway) is also there. The Earth is a graveyard. Everything that has ever died is in the Earth. I go there most days and talk to the plants there, tell them how work went, what I'm worried about, what I'm happy about. I take some flowers for tea, I leave them water. I touch them. They're used to me. When I need specific help, I go there and call to my ancestors. I ask the plants questions, I watch for the wind in them to see the answers.
  24. Fear is healthy - it keeps us from doing stupid things, lol. If something is making you feel fear, then slow down, delve deeper but without acting upon it. Find out more info. Also, a very wise man once explained to me that the supernatural has a feeling about it that is alien to us - we're not used to that particular feeling. As part of our survival instincts, we feel fear or aprehension (or at least are on our guard) whenever we encounter something new and unknown - and that's a healthy reaction! So accept the feeling as you moving forward and having healthy, normal, reactions to the changes in energy... and remember to go slowly and make sure everything is safe before you take the next step, and the next... M
  25. I personally believe that Europen craft practices have their roots in shamanism. There seems to be a point, to me, where Shamanism got trunkcated though. It seems there are a ton of books out there on journey to the upper/lower, etc., get your power animal/totem/ soul retreival, etc., but then they leave the rest blank and the relationship dies. True shamanism, to me, is about relationship (as is true craft (IMO). Relationship can differ within practice - baced on ancestral connection, based on plant spirit relationships, animal relationships... But if I were you I'd develop the relationship first and let the rest fall into place and grow from that. If you don't have a specific plant/animal/ancestral path then just start with getting a relationship with nature itself. Some of the best books I've read (and each book is very different in the type of shamanism they describe) are: Kali's Odiyya - a Shaman's True Story of Initiation The Way of Wyrd Ecstasies - Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath (about night travels) Also - Sarah Lawless blog is quite good and she is very shamanistic in her practice.
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