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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in witchcraft

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Through a fellow blogger, I came upon an article about an author's loathing for the Pagan sellers of all the Witchcraft stuff one can buy. The post boiled down to saying that monetizing your faith takes power away from you, and simply buying your equipment will lead to hollowed out rituals. The post is here.

There is a long discussion in this from the Witchcraft perspective, but I'm not going there. I'm not going there because I left that path behind and the more I look back, I realize what a tangled--but beautiful--mess it is. Instead, I'm going to write about this from the Hellenistic point of view and take you back to Ye Olden Days when the Ancient Hellens still practiced their faith in their temples.

Religion was entwined with daily life to such an extend that you'd be hard pressed to find a pottery seller who had not depicted one or more of the Theoi on his work. Near just about every temple was a stand which sold small statues which one could sacrifice to the Theoi at said temple. Every temple complex had a treasury where the various gifts of the devoted were stored. Religion, back in the day, was big business--as it should be. It helped instill the presence of the Theoi in daily life.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
'Devil's Night'

Some slightly more modern history and a slight indulgence: witches always end up in the news around this time of year. Suddenly every news paper or local news station wants to do a 'did you know there are real witches?!' story.

It all gets a bit tiresome.

I originally wrote this poem for my annual Halloween cards (a habit that has been lost to my gypsy ways and busyness). My father reminded me that he associated 'Devil's Night' with much more unpleasant memories: 1960s Michigan it was often a time of angry destruction. If you've seen the original Crow movie, they use it in a similar way -- an excuse for serious mayhem.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Art of Career Occultism

Witchcraft gets romanticized a whole lot.  Just look at my picture of the Charmed sisters.  They're off solving problems in mid drift tops living in a huge house, learning about love and sisterhood.  My first reaction is much like yours, it can be summed up as sigh.  But.  If it wasn't for Charmed, my mother and I would be locked in the same stalemate we had been locked in since I was 22.  Charmed made modern Witchcraft accessible to my mom and made her less afraid of whatever I was doing.  

Romantic witchcraft isn't reserved for non-Pagans though.  In Paganism, being able to be a career Witch/Occult Shop Owner/Pagan Writer/Special Shaman Who Talks to Ponies/Whatever has become the dreamy eyed ideal.  And why shouldn't it be?  There's enough of us now to actually support career minded people who want to support themselves off their Craft.  I know a few people who I'm incredibly jealous of who are doing that very thing.  It's not exactly a new concept, communities generally supported an occultist who lived on the fringe of society/in the weird house at the end of the block for ages.  

Let me ask you, how do you see a career occultist?  Do you see her as someone who gets up and does sun salutations, writing in her dream diary over herbal tea and an organic scone, sauntering through a field with an animal companion as she chooses herbs to harvest while wearing something fabulous and floaty, coming home to her gorgeous dedicated workshop for afternoon sketching for new designs?  Because . . .if so, you're going to be greatly disappointed as to what's actually the job.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tom Terrific
    Tom Terrific says #
    I find it difficult to keep separate the idea of devoting oneself to the occult as a career and that of being a priest or priestes
  • Deborah Castellano
    Deborah Castellano says #
    I don't really see myself as clergy really so it's not really an issue for me. But I know there are people who do both, hopefully
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    Ah yes, as a fellow Etsy seller and writer I can definitely relate to everything you say here! The occult marker is a difficult n
What "The Rock" Taught Me About Witchcraft

I have a small confession to make, I used to watch wrestling on television. I know, I know, I was younger, I had a television, and I got caught up in all the fireworks, loud music, and drama that goes with it. I haven't seen any of that stuff in over a decade; it gets repetitive pretty quickly, and my brain isn't a fan of repetitive. however, one persona on that show, "The Rock", taught me a valuable lesson with his catch phrase, "Know your role, and shut your mouth."

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If you keep any kind of regular spiritual practice over a long period of time, you'll find that you can hit a wall. The tried and true technique just doesn't do it for you like it once did. In my experience its not so much that the technique is at fault, or that you are at fault, as you've been sincerely using it as a part of your practice with regular frequency, but that you've hit a plateau or even made a permanent shift. 

If you are going strong enough, our spiritual practice can open us to new levels of consciousness. Our first experience with these levels is a “peak” experience. When you enter into this peak often enough, it starts to level out and become a more regular normal level for us, creating a plateau of consciousness. When you maintain this plateau for a period of time and use it as a base to establish new peaks, you are making a permanent shift of consciousness. 

Initiations are designed to trigger such permanent shifts, often by linking you to a lineage of energy that contains those who have made such shifts. Initiations of life can create the circumstances to grow spiritually and make the changes as well. But regular practice, often a slower path, can also make similar shifts. Initiatory maps, such as the Tree of Life as depicted in modern Qabalistic magick, can help us see where we are, where we were and where we might be going.  

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

A cross-post this week, if I may - between here at my first blog 'home', and the wonderfully eclectic 'Witches & Pagans' site (because if you can't 'moonlight' as a Pagan, then who can?).

I am very aware that I haven't written anything at either location for a couple of weeks. I could give excuses - ultimately, the days have flown past and life has been more important. I'm sure we all know how that goes. Instead, take a wander with me, if you will.

Regular readers know that one of my favourite places for inspiration is as I walk the dog across the hilltop where I live. This evening I wandered the streets, looking out at the fierce clouds parting after an intense rain and thunder-storm just a few hours ago, the remnants of a rainbow, and the slightly 'stunned' feeling of a normal, modern, country village after a violent and unavoidable incident of Nature. The grass is rich and green, the snails appear to have made a small bypass across the path outside one particular row of houses, and the occasional early bat is swooping overhead.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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Firstly, I’d like to say what a privilege it is to be invited to contribute to PaganSquare ­ I hope this will lead to a greater understanding of what witchcraft was like in Britain before the introduction of Wicca from those who still practice the Old Ways. Many of us have been around for a long time ­ some would say too long ­ but that’s another story.

I personally belong to the Coven of the Scales, a group founded by Aleister ‘Bob’ Clay-Egerton and his wife Mériém in the 1960s, after the first anti-witchcraft campaign destroyed their Warwickshire coven and drove them from their home. These roots can also be traced back to the Cheshire coven, which in turn had its antecedents in a copper-miners’ coven going back to the early-mid 1880s.

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