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PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

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So, you want to learn the Craft, eh?

Great. Let me give you thirteen good reasons why you don't want me for your teacher.

 

I'm a beginner myself.

After almost 50 years in the Craft, I not infrequently still feel like a beginner.

After 50 years in the Craft, chances are, you will too.

 

I don't bother with basics.

I'm not going to waste either my time or yours with the basics. Those you should know already. If you don't, go learn them.

 

All I teach is basics.

Once you know the basic principles, it's just a matter of applying them as you go.

After that, it's all experience.

 

It's all on you.

The initiative is yours. If you want to know what I know, you need to come to me. I'm not going to set up times to meet, or give you assignments, or provide you with a curriculum.

All that needs to come from you.

 

I'm not going to draw your conclusions for you.

Ask me a question, and I'll tell you the story, or sing you the song, but you'll have to reach your own conclusions.

By the way, I'll expect you to remember the song or the story, too.

 

Memorization.

You need to know the sacred songs of the Witches, all 900 of them, and you need to know them now. The poems, the stories, the rituals: you need to learn them all. If they came tomorrow and took away all the books, would you have enough in your head for the Craft to survive?

I tell you, it's the work of a lifetime. I'm still working on it myself.

 

I expect you to watch, to listen, and to ask.

Don't expect any preemptive explanations. If you want to know the insides, you need to ask.

This, of course, means that you need to pay close enough attention that you'll know what to ask.

This much can I promise you: I do know an answer to your question. I just may not know that I know until you ask.

So ask.

 

We'll spend a lot of time together.

Really, the best way to learn the Craft is by apprenticeship. I know lots that I don't know that I know; there's much that I assume everyone can do, simply because it comes naturally to me.

So we'll need to spend enough time together for you to observe me in lots of different situations, and so learn what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I'll get it right, sometimes I won't. In the future, these will become part of your repertoire of precedents from which to draw, so you'll need to attend carefully, and store them away.

Really, you'll need them all.

 

I don't want students, I want peers.

Witches think actively. When I'm in the process of working something out for myself, I'm going to come to you and ask.

I'll expect an answer, and I'll expect you to know why that's the answer.

 

I'll expect you to know why.

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Midnight Moon Purification Ritual

Set up your altar outdoors, weather permitting. The altar should be facing north, the direction associated with the energy of manifestation. North is also the direction of the midnight hour, also known as “The Witching Hour.” Find a pure white square of fabric to drape over your altar for clean and clear new beginnings. Take two green candles and place them in green glass holders, and position them in the two farthest corners. Place your censer in between and burn sandalwood, camphor or frankincense for purification. Adorn your altar with objects that connote well-being to you. Perhaps an amethyst candleholder with purple candles, a bowl of bright red apples from your backyard, a dwarf lemon tree bursting with the restorative power of Vitamin C, a cellar of curative salts from the sea. These symbolic items and any others your select will imbue your altar with the magic that lives inside of you and your intention toward good health. It is imperative that it be pleasing to your eye and fills you with gladness when you gaze upon the altar. After you have been performing Midnight Hour rituals for a while, a positive healing energy field will radiate from your altar. Blessed be!

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Introduced in Congress on February 18, 2021, H. R. 5, the Equality Act, offers the most far-reaching legal protections for sexual and gender minorities so far seen in the United States. Predictably enough, religious conservatives are whining about how it violates their “God”-given right to discriminate.

Sounds to me like time for a little well-earned satire.

 

April 10, 1864

 

Senator:

I was appalled sir, absolutely appalled, to hear of your support for the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States.

I would like to remind you, sir, that the Bible—both Old and New Testaments, sir—not only universally accepts the institution of slavery, but in fact presupposes it. Slavery, sir, is part of God's plan for the world.

Thus, sir, I have a God-given right to own another human being.

Your so-called amendment violates my religious freedom.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Plus ca change....
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, That may be satire, but I'll bet solid money that plenty of letters got sent by angry, pro-slavery, Christian white fo

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Psychic Tuning Fork Meditation

The great psychic and healer Edgar Cayce used this otherworldly stone azurite for achieving remarkable meditative states, during which he had astoundingly accurate visions and prophetic dreams. Indeed, azurite helps achieve a high state of mental clarity and powers of concentration. If you can’t find the answer to a problem in the here and now, try looking for solutions on the astral plane. Write the problem down on paper and place it under a small azurite overnight on a windowsill so it collects moonlight.

At 11:11 a.m., lie comfortably in a quiet and darkened room with the azurite stone placed over your third eye on your forehead. Clear your mind of everything for eleven minutes and meditate. Sit up and listen for the first thing that comes into your mind—it should be the answer, or a message regarding the issue at hand. Write down the words you receive. For the rest of the day you will be in a state of grace and higher mind, during which you will hear information and answers to help guide you in many aspects of your life. If you, like me, enjoy this meditation, you may want to do it every day at 11:11 a.m. and every night at 11:11 p.m. I strongly suggest that you keep a journal of these “azurite answers.” You may receive information that you won’t understand until many years have passed, making the journal an invaluable resource and key to your very special life.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

A friend's publisher asked him to write them a Wicca 101 book.

Thank Goddess, he told them that the last thing that the world needs is yet another book on Wicca 101, but that he would be willing to write them one on Wicca 501.

Great, they said, write it.

Well, good on him, and good on them, and luck to the maker and the made. Pardon me, though, if I remain a little skeptical.

Wicca, at heart, is a fairly simple system. This is one of its great advantages, and helps explain its rapid spread across the world. But of course, this very simplicity is also its greatest problem.

The problem with Wicca 501 is that there is no Wicca 501.

What would Wicca 501 look like? Well, I'll tell you, but—if you're thinking psychic techniques and harnessing the power of the subconscious mind—it may not be what you're expecting.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Auguries: For the Birds?

Birds abound in Minoan art: swallows (shown above in a detail from the Spring fresco from Akrotiri), doves, partridges, hoopoes, and other birds whose exact species we can't identify. I've looked before at the variety of our feathered friends who appear in the frescoes, statuary, and other Minoan art.

In Modern Minoan Paganism, we associate swallows with Therasia, doves with Rhea, and larks with Korydallos. But how did the Minoans view birds, through the lens of their culture and beliefs?

...
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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Pangur Bán

This is a translation I did in 2016, but I thought it would be fun to share here today. Its a well known 9th century Irish poem about a scholar and his cat called. The following original Irish is from Stokes' 1903 Thesaurus Paleohibernicus; the English is my own.



Messe ocus Pangur bán,cechtar nathar fria saindán;bíth a menma-sam fri seilgg,mu menma céin im saincheirdd
(Myself and Fair Pangurboth of us with our tasks;for his mind is on hunting,my mind on each separate art)
Caraim-se fós, ferr cach clú,oc mu lebrán léir ingnu;ní foirmtech frimm Pangur bán,caraid cesin a maccdán.
(I love the quiet, better than fame,and my book zealously I studyno envy against me has Fair Pangurhe loves his own youthful skill)
Ó ru-biam ­scél cén scis ­innar tegdias ar n-oéndis,táithiunn ­ dichríchide clius ­ ní fris 'tarddam ar n-áthius.
(Where we are adventuring without rest  here in our house, the single pairwe have unlimited featsof acuteness to apply against something)
Gnáth-huaraib ar greassaib galglenaid luch ina lín-sam;os me, du-fuit im lín chéindliged ndoraid cu n-dronchéill.
(Usually his furious attackcatches a mouse up in his net: my eye, my own net, reachesa difficult concept that is well hidden)
Fúachaid-sem fri freaga fála rosc a nglése comlán;fúachimm chéin fri fégi fismu rosc réil, cesu imdis.
(He sharpens his skill against thesehis eye is the perfect tool for thisI direct my clear eye, though very weaktowards sharpening knowledge)
Fáelid-sem cu n-déne dul,hi nglen luch ina gérchrub;hi-tucu cheist n-doraid n-dil,os mé chene am fáelid.
(He rejoices with his swift snaringCleaving a mouse in his sharp clawsI grasp a question, difficult, dear,and my mind in that time is happy)
Cia beimini amin nach réní derban cách a chéle;mait le cechtar nár a dánsubaigthiud a óenurán.
(Even if we work thus every timeneither hinders the other one;good we each are at our skillrejoicing when alone)
Hé fesin as choimsid dáuin muid du-n-gní cach óenláu;do thabairt doraid du gléfor mumud céin am messe.
(He himself is capable of the purposeat the work he does every single day;to bring a dark thing to lightat my own work, am I)

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