Category Archives: Spells

Protection Spell and ritual

This is a simple protection spell that even the children can participate in!

Friendship bracelet braid by Charity Bedell

Materials:

One 2 foot length of each of the following flosses (the kind you find in the sewing/embroidery isles for friendship bracelets) Red, Yellow, Green, Violet, White, Black, and Gray

A small piece of tape to tape the floss to the table while making the bracelet

Spell:

Tie a knot at the top of the bracelet and state:

“BY these colors and by my love you are protected”

Proceed to weave the floss one color strand after the other over the others in the shape of a 4.

After every color has been done once tie another knot visualizing a shield for protection

Repeat the above process 7 times

Tie the bracelet together and give it to your friend

Review: Old Style Conjure Wisdoms, Workings and Remedies

Old style Conjure Wisdoms, workings, and remedies

This book is not exactly what I expected. However Mama Starr didn’t leave me without wisdom and insight. To be honest I wasn’t entirely sure exactly what I thought I was getting when I got this book. I knew there would be folk remedies in there but that was about it. It was actually for the folk remedies that I bought this book.

The introduction of this book is actually very uplifting. This section should not be ignored. It contains the reason why she wrote this book and a cleansing exercise for the readers to do if they are ready to start making changes in their lives. Its simple exercises and affirmations that really make the meat of this book. The introduction cleansing rite is just the first to open the doors.

Prior to really getting into the meat of the word Mama Starr provides associations for candle colors and other magical and spiritual associations for the days of the week. The first section of this books covers daily affirmations. There is an affirmation or “daily wisdom” for each and every day of the year. Each month starts out with the Herb of the month, basic month trivia, sacred stone for the month and birthstone for the month.

The second part of the book is full of folk magic and healing remedies. She starts this section off with a fair warning that she does not expect anyone to try these themselves but if they do each individual must take their own responsibility for any averse effects that the treatments may have. She is not a doctor after all. These are just things that her family did while she was growing up to treat various ailments as they had no money to go to the doctor.

This is the reason why I bought this book. This section covers a small variety of the remedies that she used growing up and continues to use them. From earaches to dipper rash, nightmares and spirit removal this small section of the book covers many remedies that have proven to be effective. Some of these remedies are things I had seen elsewhere like the earaches with garlic oil.

Finally she ends the book with resources and references that readers may find useful. She also includes her own websites on there for further references as well as many other well known and trusted Conjure resources.

So if you are looking for a book of simple daily wisdom this is it.

Review: The Conjure workbook by Mama Starr

The Conjure Workbook Volume 1: Working the Root is an excellent tome on Southern Conjure work. When I picked up this tome I knew that it was going to be full of Christian mysticism and biblical references. That is what Hoodoo and conjure is. The Southern Hoodoo and conjure traditions are a mixture of folk beliefs from pre-slave days in Africa and the various Christian faiths in the south. This was how the slaves were able to hold on to a bit of their previous culture and identity.

If those who are looking to learn about Hoodoo and conjure work are expecting information to come from a pagan perspective and are looking at this work they will be disappointed. Mama Starr is very clear about her roots and the roots of Southern Conjure which are in Christian belief systems of the south. While she does say that you can be of any belief system and still work the spells and rituals she provides, unless you respect the Bible and understand that it is filled with lore, spells, and practices you will not get anything out of this book.

The author begins the book by discussing the work of ancestors. Here the author begins explaining one of the core concepts and beliefs across Conjure/Hoodoo/Rootwork traditions. There is an overall belief in an existence of an afterlife and that our ancestors will be there to answer us. The author starts by describing how they help us and work with us and finally ends with setting up an altar to venerate and pray to your ancestors.

I mentioned the importance of respect for the Bible as a sacred text and as a book of power as that is the second topic discussed in the book. As I said early on the author is clear in that this book is a southern conjure book which is going to have referenced to the Bible in there. Most of the references are in the Old Testament but they are still Bible references.

After working with the ancestors is covered, crafting altars and work spaces is discussed, and the Bible is mentioned as an important source the Author gets into the spirits and beings that are often worked with in her practice of Hoodoo. Prior to reading this book I was aware of the work with the archangels and the saints. Here I learned of new spirits and beings also associated with Conjure as well as how we can even work with the prophets in the bible.

Each being mentioned came with several different prayers and ways that you can work with them. These early workings are here to give you an idea about the powers each spirit has. These workings also introduce you to the concepts of repeating works, and how actual effort is put into the work. The author makes it clear that these things are repeated several times for effectiveness.

As the book continues the author mentions and focuses on another core belief in rootworking traditions. That belief and practice is one of divination. Starr provides many different ways of working divination including a very traditional practice of reading the bones. While the actual practice of bone reading is not discussed, the author does include its history of use. The author included a photo of her own bone set.

As the book continues the author continues an easy to follow step by step instruction on workings. The author also continues her straight talk. The author is very serious about their work and their tradition. Throughout the book the author mentions how some of these works are dangerous and are not to be simply played with. She does this not to discourage people from doing these works, but to encourage people to take the work seriously.

The author does speak only of their own tradition and practices. While the author does give you all the information you need to create your own Hoodoo/Conjure practice she does encourage you to find an actual teacher to learn more complex works. As an example the author explains why some packet spells written by other authors aren’t as effective as they could be because of folding the paper of the packet in a different manner than she was taught with an explanation of why the other method may actually backfire.

This book is filled with practical information. With the authors attitude, explanations, and the step by step processes in the book the tome The Conjure Workbook volume 1: Working the Root provides everything you need to know in order to effective start working your own spells and rituals. By working the spells in the book you develop understanding of associations and correspondences which can be useful in creating your own effective spells.

Pagan Blog Project: E-Energy

Today we are going to cover one of the most basic and yet most elusive concepts found within spirituality and magical practices.  Today even many modern self help and positive thinking programs talk about the effect of energy and working with energy.  Yet none ever really seem to cover and explain what this concept really is.  As a seeker this vague yet all important concept seems to be essential to any and all spiritual development.  So learning about an understanding what this concept is is important.

Energy: What it is and how to work with it

Spiritually the concept of energy is rather vast.  You have it as a force of life.  You can have it be seen as simply magic itself.  Energy comes in many forms, shapes and workings within the spiritual world and work.  As a seeker it is important to come up with your own basic understanding of the types and styles of energy out there.  I am going to provide you a few of my own examples and definitions.  With each type of magic I am also going to provide you with an exercise to work with and create your own understanding of that style of energy.

The first thing I am going to do though before I explain the different types of energy out there and how to work with the magically, spiritually, and effectively in day to day life is provide you with a simple exercise for sensing and feeling energy.  This technique is one of the first energy exercises I ever learned so placing it here will give context to the rest of the energy exercises.

Energy Ball exercise:

This deceptively simple exercise remains one of the most effective exercises for energy manipulation and energy work.  It is from this basic exercise that basically any specific type of energy work can be done.  This exercise teaches to feel and be aware of energy.  It also teaches shaping and direction of the energy.  This is essential to directing more complex energy forces later on in spell and ritual work.

  1. Vigorously rub your hands together creating friction.
  2. Cup your hands about a foot apart.
  3. Focus and see the energy on your hands from rubbing them form a ball between your hands.
  4. Gradually move and shape your hands until you feel a ball in between your two hands.
  5. Move the ball to one hand and then another.  Feel the weight of the ball as it transfers from hands.
  6. After a while start to stretch and change the shape of it to anything you can think of.  Use your hands and your mind to shape the image of the energy force between your hands.
  7. After a few minutes see the energy disperse into the air.
  8. Rub your hands on your legs to return the energy remaining on your hands to your body.

Now write down and note everything you just experienced.  This was your first magical exercise with energy.  You through that exercise were able to raise, maintain, manipulate, direct, and disperse the energy into the world.  For fun you can place thoughts and goals into the balls as you shape them and then when you disperse them those thoughts and goals are sent into the universe.  Try it both ways.  Write down different experiences with your mind, your body, and your emotional state.  You have in that exercise experienced all forms of energy.

Types of energy

Energy as I said comes in many forms.  Each form and style of energy has its use in day to day life, spiritual work, and magical work.  By understanding the different energetic forces in your life you can more effectively work to create a spiritual balance.  You can work more towards a sense of inner peace and have an effective way to work with the world.  We have physical energy, mental energy, emotional energy, and spiritual energy.  All of these energetic forces are working with you at all times.  These are the forces that allow us to live and have day to day experiences as well as significant spiritual experiences.

Physical Energy

Physical energy is probably the most obvious style and type of energy that I have mentioned.  This is the energetic force that gives our body motion.  This energy is created both by activity and by food.  This energy is effected by the foods we eat, physical health (sicknesses, pain, etc), sleep patterns, and behavioral patterns.  Physical energy is also greatly impacted by your mental state and thus your mental energy as well.

Physical energy in magic and spiritual work may not seem to have a place but it actually does.  In ritual the physical energy is the energy our body raises by performing ritual actions.  In some styles of ritual physical energy is also used in the worship through the means of dance or physical movements and actions related to the myths and tales being told.  In working spells the physical energy is the energy you spend manipulating the objects for example in crafting incense the energy spent grinding the herbs in a mortar and pastel or weighing, pouring, and mixing with a grinder is put into the incense to be used for the completion of the spell.  In magic using physical energy is an excellent way to raise and direct energy to the universe through physical actions or directions.

Physical energy exercise

The following exercise is going to help you understand how to judge and feel your personal physical energy levels.  This exercise will also teach you how to work magic using just your physical energy and sending that energy out into the universe.  All you need for this exercise is a space to stand and not be disturbed for 10-15 minutes.  You may also want some music as there will be “dance” involved.

  1. Turn on any music you desired to use for this exercise.  It should be instrumental in nature.  Irish or Celtic instrumental music will work well for this.  Clear the area and make sure you wont be disturbed.
  2. Stand in the center of the area.  Take note of how you feel right now.  Listen to the music and let the music’s beat take an effect on your energy stance.  Slowly start to move to the music.
  3. Think of an idea you want to “grow”.  This should be a new plan, a project, or something you have been working towards you want a boost on getting completed.
  4. Bring your body to the ground.  Basically be a seed.  Make your body into your idea as you dance.  Begin to as you feel a plant would slowly grow towards the sun move your body in this fashion.  Repeat this motion over and over again.  Eventually you will get into a rhythm.
  5. As you dance if you feel the desire to move in a circle or outside of your standing position do so.  Continue to see your desire go from being a seed to a seedling, to a bud to a full mature plant for harvest.  As you dance you will build speed and energy.  Focus and direct this energy.
  6. When you feel you can dance no more jump straight up and move your arms into a point above your head directing the energy from your body into the universe.  See all the energy you have raised going into the universe knowing that it will be worked on and you will get your desire.
  7. Get your notebook and write down your experiences before, during, and after.  Take real note of any physical changes or feelings you had in your body during the exercise.
  8. Eat and drink something to ground and refocus your mind and body on reality.

What you had right there is an experience of working with the physical energy created by our body in movement and through exercise.  That exercise there was given to not only give you an idea about working with physical energy but also about working magic in general.  There are other ways you can work with and experience physical energy.  Exercising is one way-though regular exercise in a gym or through an at home system of some form you can learn the differences before and after exercise in your body’s energy.  It will be different for each of us as all of our bodies are different.  The technique though is something you can apply to basically all bodies.

Mental Energy

Mental energy is another energy that is really simple when you think about it.  In our day to day life this is the energy that we expend on thinking and problem solving.  This is also the energy we use when we focus on a task or concept intensely.  Mental energy then is simply the energy of our thoughts and our brains natural processes.  Mental energy is also the level of our ability to concentrate and focus on a concept and idea.

In our day to day life this is what allows us to write business proposals.  This is what allows us to focus on our tasks at work or at school.  With out our mental energy we can not get anything done.  We could have all the physical energy in the world but if we have no ability to focus nothing will get done.  This is why mental energy is effected by physical energy.

Mental energy like physical energy is also effected by our sleep patterns and behavior patterns.  More than physical energy though our mental energy is tied to the state of our emotional energy.  These three energetic forces (mental, physical, and emotional) make up our basic energetic health and these three all impact spiritual energy.

Now that we know what mental energy is and what it does for us in our day to day life we need to know what it does for us in magic.  Mental energy and magic have a very special relationship.  In magic mental energy is tied to belief energy.  By working mental energy, and belief together amazing results can happen.  This is why it is possible and even effective to cast spells and perform entire rituals just in the mind.

The power of the mind in magic is really what makes magic work.  Magic is the ability to work mental forces to create external and internal changes to the best of ones abilities.  This is why affirmations are a form of magic.  This is also why visualization skills and mental focus training is of great importance in most magical and spiritual practices.  Here is a meme to basically illustrate what I mean:

Chang your thought change your life

Our thoughts create our reality.  That is the role of mental energy in magic.  Have you ever wondered why the things you spend the most time thinking or worrying about are always what seem to manifest in your life?  By focusing on those things you are sending those thoughts into the universe and that is what the universe will bring to you.

This next exercise set will help you learn how to focus your thoughts and use your thoughts to work magic and create noticeable changes in your life.  There are two exercises here because there are two ways I want to illustrate working with mental energy to create changes in your life.  The first is sort of silly but effective for when you are running late and the second is more long term but also effective.

Time bending mental exercise

This first mental energy and mental magic exercise is something I use frequently when I am running late.  This technique here is something I picked up originally from Instant Magick by Christopher Penczak, but I have modified it slightly for my own use as it works effectively both ways.

  1. See yourself and your time stream in one place.  See the time stream of your location or if you are meeting a type of transportation service see their stream going the other direction.
  2. As you focus on the time streams see the other stream slow down and your stream speed up.
  3. See the streams eventually meeting the same speed, direction, and flow but with you slightly ahead of the other.
  4. Hold this visualization until you can no longer focus.
  5. Release the thought and the energy to the universe knowing you will be on time.

You can modify the exercise so that if you only have so much time before you have to leave and you want it to feel longer by slowing down your time stream.  This will allow you to mentally experience time passing slower.

This next exercise is about positive affirmations.  This is about thinking to yourself and saying to yourself repeatedly that you are something or you have something.  By seeing yourself with these attributes and thinking about having these attributes you will begin to develop them and the universe will manifest them for you.

Positive Affirmation Exercise

  1. Write down and consider five different items you are looking for in life.  For example you can write down love, succsess, friendship, prosperity, and appreciation.  These could be five goals that you are looking at working on.  They could be things you need to improve on.  Just have five goals in mind.
  2. Take each goal and write in at least five different ways that you have the goal.  For love for example you might write I am loved.  I have love.  Love surrounds me.  I love.  People love me.  You then do the same for each other goal in a similar fashion.  Note you write these in the current stance.  By saying I have love and I am loved it is manifesting in the known here and now while if you say I will be loved or they will love me it will manifest maybe at some unknown time in the future.   If you focus on not having something like not having debt you will manifest debt because you are focusing on the negative rather than the positive so in stead of saying not having debt or nor debt focus on prosperity or having enough to cover all your needs.
  3. Keep the affirmations by your bedside, probably on your nightstand.  Put them basically somewhere you will see them to recite them every day.
  4. In the morning shortly after waking or in the shower recite each individual affirmation for each goal five times.  Do this for each goal.  The more often you say them aloud the more you will believe it.  The sound of you saying it confirms your mental belief in it.  The two work together to manifest these five goals.  See yourself with each affirmation firmly.  Believe and know that you have them.
  5. In the mid morning repeat the affirmations aloud and mentally as before.
  6. In the afternoon around lunchtime or your midday meal repeat them again as you did before.
  7. Do the same with your afternoon snack or break after work.  Repeat each affirmation for each goal five time.
  8. Before bed once more perform the affirmation exercise for each goal.  This will program it into your dreams and also into the universe.
  9. Perform this exercise daily for two weeks and take notice of how you feel.  You may not believe the affirmations at first but give it time and it will work.
  10. Continue for another two weeks and notice any changes in your state of mind, life, and emotional states.  This will show any progress in manifesting these goals.
  11. After a month you can either continue with the same goals or you can try new ones.  The process of reflection and practice starts again though.

The affirmation exercise is a long exercise but it forms mental bonds and beliefs.  By changing the way you think about something you change the way you work and view the world.  Thoughts and thought processes are very powerful in forming the world we live in affirmations are a way we can work on ourselves and change our thoughts and thus change our reality and our world, and if that is not magic I don’t know what is.

Affirmations may take a little longer to take effect than other magical works, but at the same time the repetition of the visualizations and the verbalization as a daily spell will cause changes.  This is why I have you make a note of the progress after two weeks and then after a month.  After you have done the exercise a month you can change or continue to work.  Its up to you.  However a month is enough time to see some sort of change in your own mental views of the world and yourself which again is magic.

Emotional Energy

Emotional energy is a hot one.  Often times emotional energy and mental energy can become confused.  Emotions are how we feel and how we work.  Our emotions often effect our mental and physical energy is substantial ways.  When we are feeling depressed for example we have little focus (mental energy) and may have less drive or desire to do anything (physical energy).  When we are feeling excited about something we can have either a lot of focus on the subject at hand or we could have no focus on anything until the thing we are excited about happens (mental energy) and physically we typically have a lot of energy when we are excited (physical energy).  The emotional energy then is the excitement.  The mental and physical energy states are the reaction to the emotional energy.

The one thing that drives magic more than the mind is desire.  Desires are formed from emotional reactions to situations and stimuli.  The stronger our emotional reaction to a need the stronger our desire will be and the more emotion and intent we can put into the spell to make magic work.  The emotions we have can be very effective in driving our thoughts and then our behaviors.  In magic we can use this to create thoughts and behaviors which will effectively bring the desires to us rather than keeping the desires in the distance.

So how can we work with emotional energy in magic?  That is simple.  our emotions become our intent for the spell.  Intent is desire or wanted outcome.  Without an intent there is no reason to cast a spell.  So emotions and intent form our reasons for casting spells.  However the emotional energy can also be the force behind the spell physically through actions.  This next exercise is actually going to be a spell for removing stress (often a very difficult emotion to deal with) that uses emotional energy and physical behaviors and reactions to the emotion to drive the spell.

This spell will show you how emotional energy effects the body but also the mind.  This exercise and spell focuses on releasing the emotion through intense focus and action.  This spell is simple and effective.  It also works with the basis of elemental magic.  It actually comes in four different forms (one for each element) for now we will focus on fire.  I will probably post the other spells in elemental theory when I post on that next time I focus on the letter E.

Emotion energy exercise:

Fire stress relief spell

Materials: a candle, a fire safe container to collect ash and burn paper in, paper, and a pen
Spell:

Take the paper and write on it as many details as you can about the stresses you have going on in your life that you want to be gone. Push as much of the stress energy you can into writing down the stressors or stressful situation in your life.

When the paper is full or you have written out everything you can light you candle. Charge the candle with the power of fire. See the fire burning away everything that does not serve you.

Take the paper and rip it up into small pieces. As you tear the paper throw any more frustration and stress you have into the act. Grab the fire safe container. Light each piece of paper on fire from the candle. As the fire burns chant something along the lines of “Fire burn away all that does not serve me on this day”. Repeat the chant as long as each peice of paper burns. See the fire burning away each issue.    See the stresses get burned away with the ashes of the paper as well as with the burning of the candle.

Once all the paper is burned, the candle has burned out, and the ash collected gather the ash and the candle remains. Throw it on the ground outside and stamp on it. As you stamp the ashes into the ground state “Stressors no longer control me” Release any final stressful energy into the ground with that stomping. The forces the stress to be under your feet no longer being what controls you.

As you can see by looking at the spell above you the emotions in stress, anger, frustration, confusion, and even simply stress itself become what you charge the paper with.  You force those emotions out into the paper and into the candle.  The candle and the paper become full of those emotions and when they are destroyed through being burned the emotions are also burned away in your life.  The stomping in the ground is the announcement that those stressors no longer bother you and you have control over your life.

Spirit Energy

Up to now all of the energetic forces are forces that are directly observable and slightly measurable forces and effects on the human body and in our daily lives.  Spirit energy is not really observable or measurable.  It is something that can really only be experienced.  Spirit energy is the energy of our soul.  It is our life force.  This is the energy that makes up ghosts and phantoms.  This is also the energy of the various plants and crystals or physical items used in magic for the spells to work.

Spirit then is something that we can only experience.  Our spirit energy is expended basically by living.  It is effected by physical illnesses, mental states, and emotional states.  Our spirit energy is also our energetic connection to the greater world of nature around us.  It is our spirit energy that we use to communicate with spirits of loved ones through divination, but it is also the energy we use when we try and objectively think about and work for our best needs and desires.

Spirit energy is made up of physical, emotional, and mental energy.  Though it also has divine energy forces.  Spirit energy is the energy of magic.  This is the energy that makes up the universe.  For us it is connected to our soul and thus our minds and bodies.  Though our spirit energy is also connected to the land and the world of spirits around us.  Spirit energy is basically the known yet really unsubscribed and unmeasured force put forth by philosophers and some scientists.

In spirit work it is our spirit energy that leave the body for astral travel.  It is this energy that we use to align to our various spiritual allies.  This is also the part of us that is always connected to the divine currents in the universe.    Some believe our spirit energy is also the form our guardian angel or guardian spirits take.  Though I disagree with that.  Our spirit energy is us and not another being or part of us manifested seperatly.  Our spirit energy is unique to us and lasts for all lives.  It modifies and changes but is always our signature in the universe as it were.

This next exercise is a way for you to align your spirit energy with another spiritual force.  By aligning your spirit energy with another force you are actively working on your spirit energy.  This alignment and vibration exercise will teach you where your original spiritual energy is and where it will be after the exercise.  This exercise will also help you develop a stronger connection with various spiritual forces as you are trying to be at their spirit energy level.

Spirit Vibration energy exercise

  1. Set up a space with quiet instrumental music.  You may want candle light as well as some incense.  The idea is to create an atmosphere for meditation and spiritual work.  Make sure you will not be disturbed for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to calm and center yourself.
  3. Get yourself into a meditative state through self hypnosis, breath control, or what ever means you find useful for entering meditative states.
  4. State mentally and verbally “I vibrate in harmony with (insert spirit name or type of spirit here)”
  5. Repeat the statement over and over again.  As you repeat the statement see yourself spiritually becoming one of those spirits.  Feel yourself becoming filled with and full of that spirit energy.
  6. Continue letting your vibrations rise and your visualization develop.  As you continue the chant and the visualization if the spirit allies are welcoming to you, a door will open to their spirit realm and world.  Enter the world.  Take note and try to remember what you see and feel.
  7. Hold on to the energetic forces, visualization, and chant until you can no longer hold them.  Then release the energy and the vibration back to the universe.  You will slowly find your self returning back to your body.
  8. Record and note your feelings throughout the process
  9. Eat something to ground and center yourself.

You mat notice now that you physically and mentally feel a little different.  This means that the alignment was successful.  By repeating the exercise with those particular spirits you will be able to establish stronger vibration connections and a deeper relationship with those spirits.  This exercise also provides you with a simple and effective way to experience astral travel and astral spirit work.

Conclusion

This entry has provided you with several different exercises for spiritual development and focus.  This entry also introduced you to some of the most basic concepts of energy work.  You have felt and experienced all the different types of energy that exist within ourselves.  This entry has given you many tools to effectively start working magic and to start making simple and effective changes in your spirituality every day.

By working through these exercises our connection to the energetic forces will grow stronger.  We will be able to sense the energy of the world around us and we will more effectively be able to judge how much of each energy to use in a specific working.  These basic exercises will form the foundation of much deeper work.  They will also strengthen spiritual mussels and connections to our self and our spiritual guides.

The tools are now yours.  Discover for yourself what these energetic forces are.  Use these tools now to create your own theories about magic and spirituality.  The world is yours to explore and discover the mysteries.  I can provide you insight and tools to have experiences but you must do the work yourself.

Good luck.  As always if you have any questions, concerns, or comments feel free to ask and post them.  I will do my best to answer and respond to them.  The more you ask me the better I can provide information and insight for you.  The better I can assist you in your spiritual development.

Pagan Blog Project A: Altars- Temporary workings

Altars- temporary setups

 

One of the common issues many people come into when they first start seeking paganism, witchcraft, and alternative spirituality is that they might not have space for an altar all the time.  There are also many people who live with unsupported family members, or have room mates, or many other factors that do not really allow for having a full time altar set up.  This leaves them asking themselves and other pagans what can they do about this?  Some people feel they are less pagan or witchy if they can’t have a full time working altar or shrine.  If you fit into any of these, then this post is for you.

It is perfectly acceptable to only have your altars set up when you are going to be doing an active working.   Many people have to do this sort of practice and work.  There are many reasons why people don’t have full time altars (children, family, pets, room mates, room size, ect) set up in their lives.  For some it can be a hassel and for others they embrace it and make it apart of their actual rituals.  In this way they can build more power.  They will not be suseptable to any and all energy of day to day life when in storage, as such the ritual and power charge in them remains and builds.

In having your altars up only during working its important to still build a powerful personal connection with the tools on your altar.  When you have to set up an altar for each working you make that part of the work itself.  The set up will help you get mentally and physically prepared for magical, spiritual, and religious work.  The set up and placement triggers the body to know that certain actions are going to happen next.  The mind gets told that a different sort of mindset is needed and the transition from normal consciousness to ritual consciousness comes a lot easier.

By making the altar set up and preparation a part of the ritual you start building power and energy for the ritual the moment those items are touched and sent out.  By unwrapping the items and placing them reverently on the altar they get full of sacred energy.  This energy will build in those items and radiate when they are used.  This process also puts mental and emotional energy into the item that serves as triggers for magical, spiritual, and religious actions.

Ritual preparation is as much a part of the ritual as the meat or actual working is.  By treating this process as sacred and reverently as you would the actual ritual you create an even more powerful ritual working.  The power will start building the moment you start setting up your altar and get it complete for the working.  The blessing after the set up will seal the power in and set the tone for the ritual.

Yes.  That is an important part.  If you are not going to be having a permanent altar the altar should be physically cleansed before and after each ritual.  This is yet another part of the ritual prep and the building of power over the altar.  This will remove any mundane or day to day energy that has built up on the surface of the altar making it sacred and suitable for workings.  The blessing when the altar is set up charges them for that specific ritual.

When you take the items down and put them away you have an action that serve as a way to transition in and out of ritual consciousness.  This serves to finally disperse any energy raised in the ritual that was not directed.  From here the sacred energy can be placed into the objects to be used again.  Anything not wanted to be kept will be dispersed into the ground as the altar is taken down and day to day life returns.  This is why the blessing and cleansing of the altar items and actual altar surface is essential.

I hope that now you can see that even if you have to use temporary altars you can make the most of it and still perfor very powerful and effective rituals.  The spells and ritual workings may take a little longer, but if you put all your intent and focus of the ritual into the items from the beginning the power will still be there.  It will not diminish.  It will only grow the more you feed them.

C: Crafting and Casting simple and easy spells

This weeks blog post is something that has hit at me hard over the years as a practicing witch.  I had for years always figured that I had to have substantial amounts of dried herbs and candle colors, oils, and other assorted objects that cost a lot of money.  For that reason for many years I did not actively try and cast any spells.  I felt that while I considered myself a witch, there was a lack of magical practices in my life.  I felt I couldn’t craft spells because I didn’t have the best herbal selection (and I also had no real idea how to use the herbs in spells) or burn any incense or candles.  I felt that there was no real way I could cast or craft any spells.

I was constantly refining my energy working techniques and manipulation of those energies, but I still felt that things were lacking.  Then one day I had an idea to use yarn, paper, and pens for crafting a spell.  I knew then that there were ways I could craft spells.   I tried two spell experiments and both of them got me the results I wanted, though they took longer to work than I had originally anticipated.   Yet they worked.  I once again felt that I could call myself a witch confidently.

I feel that many new witches feel that they can’t practice spell craft because they can’t buy any fancy tools or they don’t have access to herbs, ect.  This is a common issue that I have come across in my dealings with seekers on the various forums I belong to where I discuss witchcraft with seekers, newbies, experienced, and elders of all sorts.  When I tell them that they don’t need anything more than their mind or even a pen and paper they seem aghast.  So that is where this post is coming from.

Crafting and casting spells

In most spell books there are things like candle colors, herbs, oils, that many people don’t have access to in their early days.  There may even be day and planetary associations which make no sense to a beginner.  They just use the associations because they simply feel that if the spell says they need it then they must need it.  This makes many feel as if they cant actually craft spells.

I mentioned above that I found a solution to my no candles and no oils or herbs situation.  I started to use string of various colors, paper and pencils.  I occasionally had extra coins and flowers.  So I was able to work with them and make some very specific spells for specific situations.  I have since through a project I participated have come to create a new specific style of spell crafting based on reworking spells published and written by others.  I have also learned the simplest fact in spell crafting and casting: Use what you have on hand and what you find works.

In the process of learning the spells can be incredibly simple I also had to relearn and craft my definition of  both spells and magic.  So before I can address how simple a spell and magic is I have to address what magic is and what I consider spells to be.  Once these two concepts have been established I can get onto explaining and elaborating on how with just a piece of paper, a pen, and your imagination you can cast

Magic:

The force built up during  the casting of a spell or the manipulation and direction of subtle energies towards a specific desire and goal.  The process of manipulating energy towards specific goals.  The result of energy manipulation and direction of intent.   That is magic.  Let’s break it down into simpler explanations for each section.

 The first definition was “The fore built up during the casting of a spell.So Magic is the force built up during the spell.  What is this force?  Well this force is the intent.  It is your desire and emotion.  The first thing when you think about crafting and casting a spell is what are your defined needs and desires for the situations.  It is through working with the emotions associated with the goal that spells gain their true power. This is the intent.

You may be asking what about the colors and the symbols that I often read about in spells and rituals.  Why are they there?  Those  are popular herbal and color symbols that have become associated with certain magical actions and have specific properties.  Their energy is there to add extra power to your spells, but how much is always up to you.  What makes them have power is that you associate them with your intent and thus that has their energy.  You will make this association yourself, but that comes later.  For now all you need is paper and pencils or even just your mind.

Those associations hold energy and power.  These energies and associations come into play within magic.  They can be essential and are very nice tools and toys to play with.  Yet they are not what makes the magic.  What makes the magic is the intent these items and more,

Ok.  So the first aspect of my definition of magic was explained.  The second was the process or manipulation and direction of energy towards specific goals and intents.  This is true.  Spells and rituals are called magical actions because they involve the process of magic.  Each spell and ritual involves the direction and manipulation of various energies.  That process is magic.

When you take the emotion,  intent as well as physical energy, mental focus, and the energy found within the various symbols and associations we develop over time and combine all of these various vibration frequencies into one cohesive item  directing that new energetic form towards an outcome is magic.

Finally magic is the result.  When you add those processes and energies together and you obtain your desire you have effectively worked magic.  Thus magic is the result.  You are crafting magic in the creation of the intent.  You are creating  the magic through the manipulation and creation of the new energetic form.  Finally you receive the magic when you obtain your goal and desire.

To me magic is all of those things at once.  The key behind magic is all three of those definitions in action.  Intent is all you need to start magic as the actions can be mental. but every part of my definition is still in play.  Learning this simple fact which while “hammered” in through many books took several years of failure with both spells and rituals.  Yes I failed.  It was when I started to really apply intent my spells and rituals I started to see how a simple action could actually be a spell.

One of the books that was key to this new inspiration was the book: Instant Magick by Christopher Penczak.  Here I learned how to craft spells and work magic simply by focusing my mind and directing the mental energies towards the desired outcome.  I had been using that type of magic for years with out knowing it.  Now I had learned how to refine it and work with it.

So now that You understand what magic really is to me, the next thing to cover is spells.

Spells:

Spells are a specific type of magical action.  There are many types of spells.  You have herbal spells which would deal with herbal lore, crystal and gem magical spells which deal with gems and crystals, you have kitchen magic (which involved food as well as oils, soaps, and other objects), you have candle magic which uses primarily candles as their magical  aids, There is the art of evocation which are spells that call and work with specific spirits.  Basically any action performed with an intent towards obtaining a desire and a change in your life could be considered a spell.

I have heard it argued that energy manipulation performed during healing sessions like Reiki, Polarity Treatments, Integrated Energy Therapy, and several others is not a form of magic.  I would have to disagree.  I would call Reiki a very specific type of magic using a specific type of energy.  The energy is manipulated and directed by the practitioner who controls the intent.  You will have to come up with your own decision on if energy work is considered magic or not.

Ok.  Enough of a lecture.  It’s time for you to get your hands dirty and explore magic and energy manipulation  You have to have an idea of what energy feels like in order to be able to direct any sort of energy in spell work and magical workings.  So before I give you an outline for a simple spell for you I want you to understand the nature of the energy we work with when we work magic.

Energy exercise one:

This is a very simple exercise and will form the basic of any simple energy manipulation exercise.  Put aside five minutes to do this exercise.

Sit or stand in a comfortable position.

Rub your hands together vigorously for about 20 seconds.

After rubbing your hands together hold them about 5 inches apart.

Slowly move your hands close to each other until you feel a magnetic “charge” between your hands.

Feel this force and focus on it.

Eventually you’ll be able to manipulate it’s size and shape.  For now just focus on holding that force as long as you can.

Release the energy after the time you set aside and record your results.

Energy exercise two:

Set aside 5 minutes.

During these five minutes focus on nothing but an emotion, a desire, a goal, or an item.

During those five minutes focus all the mental energy into your hands and form that energy into a ball

After the five minutes are up release the thoughts and the energy at the same time.

Record your results in the book.

The second energy exercise listed there is a very simple form of magic called mental magic.  It was the direction of thought and energy towards a specific goal and outcome.  That is indeed magic.  This is the sort of spell craft that requires no tools but your own mind and your own desires.

These sort of spells are what I use more often than not.  I have used these sorts of spells and magical techniques for catching buses when running late, to calm me down before a test, to grant me wisdom and a quick mind when taking tests, for protection driving and in travel, and many other items.

I know not every one is comfortable with visualization and mental exercises.  I said in the beginning of this post that I would provide a simple way of casting spells using house hold objects and now I will.

To craft a simple spell using only pen and paper requires only your imagination and a willingness to give magic a try.

Spell outline

On the paper write out or draw in the center something that represents your goal or need

Focus your emotional thoughts end energy into the writing of the words and the drawing of the images

Fold the paper stating a rhyme or phrase about your desire over and over.

Once the folded paper with your desire has reached a small amulet/charm size that you can carry with you tie the bundle with a knot

Direct the energy raised through the chant and the actions into the object and into the universe.

Carry the new talisman with you until your desire comes true.

 

Now I’m sure you would like a sample spell that follows that outline so here we go:

Money wish

Materials: Coin Paper Pen Green Ribbon

Spell:

On the paper write your wish for money to come to you include any details you feel are necessary such as job desires (if employment is what you seek) what you need the money for and any other things that come to mind

Once you have written out a list of what you desire and need the money for place the coin in the middle of the paper Start folding the paper

As you fold the paper state: “Ever shall the money flow to me Free from debt as of now will I be”

Once the paper has been folded into a small bundle that can be kept in the wallet take out the ribbon.

Wrap the folded bundle in the green ribbon several times. As you wrap the bundle repeat the chant above. After several passes tie a knot and place the wrapped bundle into your wallet or pocket until your financial problems cease

 

 

 

 

Altars: Worship tool, work bench, shrine, or some other mixture?

Altars

For any one who has ever gone to a temple or attended a church service of any kind you are typically familiar with some sort of altar. The altar is a place where sacred texts are placed, where candles are lit, prayers are murmurer, and worship happens. In witchcraft and magic the altar can serve as any number of things. Some paths encourage and use the word altar and others prefer terms like shrine or work bench and anything in between. There are so many different concepts and terms associated with altars here that the purpose of an altar is hotly debated.

In regards to Pentalism the altar actually has three different purposes. In an ideal situation those who follow the path of Pentalism (which can be practiced solitary as I am now) will have three different types of altars. Each of the altars would serve a different purpose. So there are three purposes to an altar in Pentalism. All three of the purposes and all three types of altars will be covered here now.

The primary purpose is to focus as the center point of worship. The next part is more spiritual than religious. This is the “shrine” type of altar. The final type of an altar is that of the workbench. All three aspects of the altar come into play in ritual. Once and a while they will also work together in the form of spell craft. That however depends on the type of spell you are working. For now I am going to focus on the spells and magical practices that would use an altar and the ritual uses of the altar.

Before I can talk about the use of an altar in magic I must discuss the use of an altar in ritual. I find that before magic is practiced some sort of spiritual and religious background is required. Having either a spiritual (which does not need to be religious) background or a religious background will allow a person to have a philosophy in which to base and construct their magic. That is why the second type and purpose of the altar discussed will be that of the shrine and the final use will be that of the magical workbench.

So in ritual the altar serves as a few things. In some ways it serves as the focal point. On the altar there are two figures or representations. One for the God and one foe the Goddess being worshiped at that time and sabbat. At times there may be two Gods and Goddesses involved in which case you would need two different representations on the altar or in the center of the circle (one for each God and Goddess).

So what does the altar have on it for content?

Aside from the representation on deity, there are the symbols of the elements and the elemental guardians. How the elements are important will be discussed in the posts of elements and spirits as well as cosmology. You also have the offering bowl for the libation and the plate for the food. There is typically something in the very center to represent the ancestors. You also have the tools for the creation of sacred space (which will be covered in the circles post) on the altar which will include wands, earth, candles, incence, and the like.

Ok. That covers the equipment. So the next thing to cover is how they are used actually in ritual. The use in ritual depends entirely on what sort of ritual you are performing. Each of the traditions and types of witchcraft that form the foundation of this tradition have different styles of rituals and different tools they use in ritual. The equipment and altar set up is going to vary.

The one common practice and use of the altar in all of the rituals is the place where the offerings to deity are placed. That is why this is the primary purpose of the altar in ritual. While all the tools used in the various forms of ritual are placed on the altar, in essence it’s key role is to hold the offering to deity in the liquid and physical state as well as the gaseous state (incense burning in ritual can been seen as offerings if they are blessed and lit with that intention as part of the ritual).

There. I have covered the basic needs and purposes of an altar when it comes to ritual. The next thing I am going to discuss is the use of an altar as a shrine. While I see all shrines as a type of altar, not all altars are shrines. I’ll eventually get to the full aspect of a shrine in a later post. For now there is a basic purpose that any seeker and any beginner to any path can use.

A shrine here is a place that is sacred. It is blessed and consecrated in the honor of the beings that the shrine is for. On the shrine you can place any images or representations of the beings you like. It also holds a place for offerings to those beings and is a place that prayers to those beings can be offered.

At this moment I have two shrines. I have one for dragons and one for the ancestors and the spirits of this land. The concept of the ancestors will be discussed tomorrow in my second A post for the pagan blog project. Ideally I would have at least five more. One for each of the elements and one for the spirit of the land and the hearth/home (which in my case is the same being as I told the spirit of the land my apartment is on that she could come in to the apartment in the winter if she felt like warming up in the cold *her home is a giant oak which has scattered hair [my own] and coins around it as offerings to her*). For now the elements will have to have their small representations on the main altar and the heart/home and land spirit shrine will be shared with my ancestral shrine.

So an altar holds offerings and ritual tools. A shrine as an altar is a place for offerings to those beings and prayers. It also contains symbols and representations of those beings. That covers the first two aspects and roles of an altar. Both of those were ritual and spiritualistic based. Can we get to the workbench and magical aspect now?

Yes we can. The third role of an altar is that of the workbench. When an altar is functioning in this form it primarily has to deal with magical work. While many witches and pagans do practice magic as a form or part of their rituals, magic does not have to take the form of ritual magic or work. Right now I am going to talk about pure spell crafting and casting that would require and altar to function as a work bench.

So before I can talk about spells and spell craft and magic I should probably define what magic is right?

Um yeah. That would be helpful. So how do you define magic?

Magic for me has three distinct definitions and aspects. There is the aspect of performing an act to cause a change in the universe. There is the act of wishing and visualizing, and finally there is the aspect of energy manipulation. The energy manipulation and the act of causing a change are often considered to be the same thing. I do not see it as such. That is why I will cover all three aspects of magic separately starting with energy manipulation.

The most common definition was coined by Alister Crowley which basically is “The art and science of causing change in conformity with one’s will”. In that aspect I take it a bit further. As a practice and process for me magic is the art and science of causing a change in ones world and the universe by manipulating and directing the subtle energies that exist in this world.

There are many ways to raise and direct this energy. There will be more information on that covered in a few more posts later. For now the most typical way of raising energy is through chanting and repetitive motion. Once the energy is raised you direct the energy out to the universe to have it manifest your goal. That is an energy manipulated specific spell.

In spell crafting a workbench may often be required. This is the magical function of an altar. While you work spells you often need a place to hold the materials you are using to craft and perform your spell. The materials you use will depend entirely on what sort of spell you are crafting and performing. The types of magic worked are so various that the tools and materials found on workbenches depends entirely on the personal flavor of each witch and spell caster.

So what sort of tools or materials can we see on an altar as a work bench? That depends on the type of magic and the spell you are performing. If you are a kitchen witch (one who performs magic and spell craft through the foods and drink we ingest) then you will have spices, meats, herbs, baking and cooking supplies and maybe candles or stones. Some one who works just herbal magic will have different herbs and a candle typically as well as a censer for burning incense. Candle magic involves candles (based on color and needs) and oils. Prayers can be magical as can wishes. It all involves the type of magic you are performing.

There are the various uses of an altar in pentalism. I mentioned that they can sometimes be mixed in ritual and spiritual work. This is true. When I discuss the wheel of the year I’ll explain a bit about fertility. For me fertility takes many forms. One of them is simply the ability to provide for yourself and have all the needs you have in your life. That is where magic can be applied in rituals. When I discusses ceremonial magic there will be more information about that.

There you have it. I hope I have given you some idea as to the role and use of an altar. I also hope I have given you some idea as to what you might put on it for yourself. My personal altar changes on

Forging Pentalism

So what gives about the blogs name?  Forging the Pentacle?

The explanation is simple.  The path I have started to develop is called Pentalism.  There are five aspects to almost all parts of the practice.  There are five primary influences, five Gods, Five goddesses, five parts of the soul, and more.  The pentacle for me shows how while there can be five individual points, in the end they can all be connected and are always interwoven in peace.  The Pentacle is an extremely sacred symbol for this path due to the importance of five.   Pentalism is meant to be experienced in a group setting.  However I have not really developed each of the degrees and practices (related to each of the foundational traditions of types of craft) I can’t really teach and initiate people until the first degree has been formed (I’ll develop the second degree material in my personal practice as I teach the first degree and so forth).

Ok, so that explains the name, what about content?

I already mentioned some of the content you will be seeing.    There will be information on ritual content as well as some basic sabbat or holiday information.  There will be some basic information about the deities involved (this is going to be an initiatory oath bound tradition).  There will also be posts about failures and successes and everything in between.   When I fail I want to have people laugh at it and also help me find out where I went wrong.

By writing this blog I am sharing the basic outline  of what will become my tradition.  I process information best when I write out my thoughts and my experiences.  By putting the information and the process on a blog I hope to get input from other people in the Pagan community .  I want that input to challenge me.  I want people to point out mistakes in my research and logic.  I also want people to tell me why they like something or find something useful.  That way I can become a better writer and explore the things I write about in a different light.

This blog will also be participating in the Pagan Blog project.  However all of the entries on this blog will reflect this path specifically and only this path.  My other blog  (Seeker sight) is more about my search for knowledge and wisdom which I can find any where.  There will be some cross over as they both will cover some of the same beliefs and practices.  That said both blogs should be treated as unique and individual blogs.

You said the title is “Forging the Pentacle” right?  So what are your tools and what are the foundations and origins of Pentalism?

There are five primary spiritual and religious practices which form the basis of Pentalism.  All of them are different forms of witchcraft as a spiritual practice.  Each of them has provided me with many different ways of working my craft and my religion.  They have all had an effect on how I have experienced the Gods and Goddesses of Pentalism.  I don’t belong to any one of these practices, but have combined them all.  Which is why I am and Pentalism will always remain an eclectic religious witchcraft tradition.

The first witchcraft path I must discuss is Wicca.  When I say Wicca I don’t mean the works of Silver Raven Wolf, Edain Mc Coy, D.J. Conway, Raymond Buckland, or even Scott Cunningham to name a few.  I am refering to the books by Janet and Stewart Farrar (What Witches Do, 8 Sabbats for Witches, Way of the Witches, The Witches God, The Witches Goddess), Gerald Gardner (Witchcraft Today and The meaning of Witchcraft), and some of Doreen Valientines work as well as the writings of Alex and Maxine Sanders.  Those are actual Wiccan initiates who have lineage via initiation which is cross gender and that can be traces back through Gerald Gardner to the New Forest coven of witchcraft.

A brief explanation of how I define Wicca is required here.  I define Wicca as an Oathbound, Mystery, Cross Gender initiatory, Orthapraxic Witchcult where every initiate is a member of the clergy  That is a lot to swollow.  So I am going to break it down into little bits.  I’ll cover each section in it’s own paragraph.  Once you’ read each paragraph you’ll see why that simple definition required extra explanation.  You’ll also see why I have such a strict view on Wicca and why I am only Wiccan influenced and Inspiried.

Let’s start with the term “oath bound”. By oath bound I mean that the rites and rituals, mysteries, names of deities, and practices are known and only taught to initiates after initiation.  Prior to initiation the rites and rituals a seeker and pre-initiate experience are Wiccan flavored and Inspired, but Not Wiccan.   There are many religions whose practices are oath bound.  In history the Eluisian mysteries come to mind as only the members of that cult ever experienced those rituals and knew what those rituals entailed.  There you go.  A historical reference to a religious practice and set of mysteries that are oath bound.

The next term in my definition is mystery oriented or based.  So what does this mean?  By Mystery I mean that there are some aspects of the religion that are based on expereince in ritual which are deeply intimate and can not truly be expressed by words.  All witchcraft traditions have mysteries.

The Cross Gender initiation is self explanatory.  Only men can initiate women and women can only initiate men.  This goes into the power myth described in the decent of  the Goddess.   There is also an issue of polarity.  I’m sure all the reasons for this practice are explained after initiation.  It’s something I have experienced.  The “public” rite I went to basically said that in their circles it’s male-female-male-female as much as possible (based on the ration of men to women).  I actually think it’s a great way to raise energy.

The orthapraxic aspect of Wicca is something that many people can’t grasp coming from orthodox religions such as Christianity where having specific beliefs was the important part of the religion.  In Wicca it is not the belief that is important rather it is the proper practice and performance of Wiccan rites and rituals (which can only be performed in a coven setting) that is important.  It is the proper performance of these rites and rituals that allow the clergy

The witchcult aspect is important to note as well.  Upon the seeker or dedicant’s initiation into Wicca they are made a witch.  This is especially important if that person never identified or used that term before.  All wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccan.  In fact most witches are not Wiccan.  Wiccans are witches because they use witchcraft in both practical day to day life and in their worship of their deities.  That is what makes them witches.

The final aspect of my definition of Wicca is that they are all members of the clergy.  That is right.  Once you have been initiated into Wicca you have become a priest or priestess of the Lord and Lady.  For this reason every one is a part of the clergy.  If you are not called to serve the Lord and Lady of the Isles (the two specific deities in Wicca) then you are not a proper person for Wicca.

Ok.  So you explained what Wicca is.  You didn’t explain why you say you are inspired by Wicca.  Can we get an explanation for that please?  Afterall you even said that you aren’t an initiate.  There for you don’t actually know the rites and rituals of Wicca.  So how are you influenced and inspired by Wicca?

There are a few reasons why I say that.  The first thing is that I cleanse ad consecrate my holy water in the same fashion, often times using the same words outlined in 8 sabbats for witches.  The second thing is that part of my understanding of the deities I work with (with in Pentalism) was influenced by the Oak and Holy King battles (also described in 8 sabbats for witches).  Finally there is the full ceremonial outline.  When a full complex ritual is performed it often includes all the elements described within Wicca. These form the first foundation of Pentalism.

The largest element found within my path is the central fact that this path is eclectic.  Generic eclectic-neo pagan witchcraft can be found in many different books.  My favorites include Christopher Penczak, Laurie Cabot, Ellen Dugan, and Doreen Valientine.  I have however also been influenced by Starhawk, Silver Ravenwolf, Edain McCoy, D.J. Conway, Raymond Buckland, and Scott Cunningham (you see there was a reason I mentioned them before).  All of these author claim to teach eclectic Wicca.  There is no such thing (as shown above).  There is however essentially a core tradition of eclectic neo-pagan witchcraft loosely based on Wicca and ceremonial magic as outlined by Cunningham in his book “Solitary Wicca” and “Living Wicca”.  At the end of his life he did drop the association with Wicca and simply called it a witchcraft tradition, but the publisher kept the title as is.

The books by these authors all have different views of the God and Goddess and the wheel of the year.  However there are some key and central similarities in the practices that lead me to believe they are essentially practicing the same religion, but not always the same way.  It is a witchcraft tradition or set of traditions and way of thinking/practicing that has it’s own mysteries and basically a freelance style of ritual.  Every eclectic is different, but they are all the same at the same time.  We embrace the similarities and celebrate the differences.  That is what being a true eclectic is all about.

The MMC concept here is one of the reasons I came to the 5 god and goddess concept for this tradition. It seemed with in the various discussions about the forms of the Goddess with in the wheel of the year there were some things described which never seemed to fit to the MMC concept. I started to see five different Gods and Goddesses described with in the lore and the rituals. That, along with the outline in Wicca lead me to the format that became the Gods and Goddesses of Pentalism.

The ideas about experimentation and the different types of ritual and altar set ups encountered through these books gave me the foundation of how to explore and experiment.  That is what has lead me to know what does and doesn’t work for me in my religion and spirituality.  That is how I have been able to begin to piece together this tradition.  I am very thankful to be an eclectic and to have started to form a cohesive eclectic tradition that I am going to be proud to pass on to others.

Hedge witchcraft is a practice of witchcraft that not many people are aware of.  While there are more books available on the subject these days,  originally there were only a few websites out there that had any information out there.  I am not entirely a hedge witch, but I do embrace and participate in the practices.  I say I am not a hedge witch because it is not the only practice I engage in for my craft.  While it has played a central role in my access to mysteries, it is not the only or the central aspect of my practice.

So what is hedge witchcraft?  Hedge witchcraft is based on the concept of the hedge representing the border between the civilized world (towns, farms, and cities) from the wild (forests, open fields and stretches of road where no one is in sight) and the practitioner being able to be in both this world (civilized) and the other worlds (wilderness and forests).  This is the European native form of shamanism.

One thing about hedge witches and hedge witchcraft it is essentially a solitary practice as each hedge rider must find there own way of getting into those trance states, and they need to find their own connection to deities and the sabbats.  The other thing is that often time hedge witches will celebrate the sabbats through their trances.  This is where the myth of the flying to the witches sabbat comes from.  I haven’t used trance as a sabbat celebration yet, but I bet it would be powerful.

However due to my use of various types of trance and trance states to acces the mysteries and to contact spirits I have to add this as one of the foundations of Pentalism. It has been a major part of my practice for years. In fact it was during a workshop on “shamanic witchcraft” that I met my first formal teacher Christopher Penczak. That is also one of the reasons I consider hedge witchcraft to be one of the points on the foundation of Pentalism.

In many ways it has been equated to traditional witchcraft in it’s truest form, but I personally think there are other things.   This goes into traditional witchcraft.  I had mentioned it in my foundational forms, so I will discuss it briefly here.  This is an aspect of the foundation I am still developing.  It is a new addition to my practice, and as such it is something that needs a lot of exploration.

So what is traditional witchcraft?  I thought that Wicca was a form of traditional witchcraft?  Am I wrong?

There are many definitions of traditional witchcraft.  The most common definition is that of “forms of pre Gardnerian witchcraft”.  By default that makes Wicca not traditional witchcraft, and there are a few reasons for this.  Wicca is a more ceremonial form of witchcraft than most traditional witchcraft practices.  That is the first and primary difference between Wicca and traditional witchcraft.  The other is more of a focus on a personal relationship with the land.  While there are some correlations and the like,  there are many differences between them.  I have explained why Wicca is not traditional witchcraft, but I haven’t explained what it is yet.  So here goes.

For me traditional witchcraft is pre-gardnerian forms of witchcraft.  There are some forms of this practice which are initiatory (The new Forest Coven for example) and there are many forms which are solitary. The sources I have read on the subject come from both solitary and coven based books. So my view has a bit of both. That still doesn’t explain what exactly traditional witchcraft entails.

Well it is an underworld tradition. The rites and rituals typically involve some sort of physical and spiritual travel which symbolically and spiritually bring us to the underworld. That is where the Gods reside in this tradition. It is also where fate is woven and where the ancestors reside. That is why I say traditional witchcraft is an underworld tradition.

Traditional witchcraft also involves a lot of ancestral worship and veneration. Who and what the ancestors are and what the ancestral worship and veneration mean will be covered in another post shortly. For now they are those who have passed beyond the physical veil and into the underworld reals and they are those who are yet waiting to come back and return (they will be future witches and will create future ancestors). The ancestors are of blood and body as well as emotional and spiritual ties.

The final difference between traditional witchcraft and Wicca is the way the rites are performed and the tools used in rituals. The rituals in traditional witchcraft are less formal and theatrical/scripted. They are more spontaneous, yet they have some structure. All of these are factors in why this form of witchcraft has become part of the spiritual foundation that is Pentalism.

The final point in the Pentalist foundation is that of Hermetic witchcraft. This is a style of witchcraft in religious and spiritual terms as well as magical practices that highly engages the mind. When the tradition will be taught this will actually be the first degree. The points and lessons of this degree are outlined in the book “The Kybalion”. There will be many more essays on the Kybalion and how it relates to this tradition.

The is also tied into the first degree of the Temple tradition. That is where I have started my official training as a witch. For the last three years my magical practices and my rituals as well as meditations have been based entirely off of the teachings in the first degree of the Temple tradition as well as the Kybalion. As I begin to develop more and develop techniques for each of the key principles I can begin to further develop this.

Ok. So there you have the foundation. This should give you a basic idea as to where the ideas and concepts in this tradition are found. Things will become more clear as I post more. Every post will add insight into this path and how it comes together. This has served as your basic introduction and foundation to Pentalism. Some of the basic practices will be covered in an upcoming post. Please enjoy!

~Loona~

year end reflecting and starting a new

So it has been a very long time since I have written or done any updating on this blog.  I have come to realize that there is much for me to learn still, and much I already do know.  I have come to realize that it is time to start going back to the basics which started my love for the path I am on.  It is time for me to figure out what I do know and what I am.

 

I just started to read a new book.  The book “The Faery teachings” by Orion Foxwood and the first chapter had four basic questions that one should answer.  These four questions are the questions in which we all as humans seems to seek to find the answers to through life and religion and basicaly everything.  These four questions are the questions that essentially form the basis of the meaning of life.

 

The four questions are more basic than anything you may actually consider.  The first question is : Who am I?  The second question is :What is it? (What is God, the force behind creation, Spirit, ect).  The third question is Why do I exist?  The fourth question is finally Where do I/we go when we die or What happens when we die?.  These are the basic questions that all religions and philosophies seek to answer.

 

I am a college student who studies many things.  I study religion, anthropology, religion, philosophy, and in many ways psychology ans sociology.  All of these fields of study are interconnected.  All of these fields seek to understand the basis of what is essentially the human experience.  These areas of study are my passion and they fire my soul.  They are why I feel I am here.  I am here to gain understanding found in the mysteries of life through the exploration of mysticism found in comparative religions and folklore/theology.

 

One of the things I have neglected over the years is what “I know”.  The questions that Orion says we seek to answer are questions I have never actually really asked myself.  I keep reading and reading and saying “yes that makes sense” and what not.  When I am asked questions I never respond with “this is my thought”. I typically respond along the lines of “I don’t really know to be honest.”.  I have discredited what I know.

 

The only time I have ever considered what “I know” is when I have to write a paper for school.  My teachers have always told me I should be a writer.  I have been afraid of doing the writing and getting published.  I have never given myself enough credit for my knowledge.  I often amaze myself when I read my papers.  I have come to realize that the reason I feel I “know nothing” on any subject is that I doubt my personal experiences as well as my own thought processes when compared to others.

 

Upon finishing the first chapter in the book :”The Faery Teachings” I realized that it was time for me to consider what I know.  When the author explained why it was important to answer these questions before starting to follow any path, that it was time for me to actually answer these questions.  I feel part of the reason that I don’t really know what I am and who I am is that I have never asked myself these questions.  That is why honestly am not secure in my beliefs.

 

It is time for me now to answer these questions.  One of the ways I am going to get through these questions is for me to go through my old diaries.  There was a time when I was constantly writing anything and everything that came into my mind.  A lot of this will reflect who I am and my thoughts and beliefs at the time.  It will also mean going through some of my old papers  written at school and on my own.  It may even mean digging up very old and in depth gaia posts.

 

If I am to ever really consider myself a writer then I must start having my thoughts published somewhere.  I am going to start with this blog.  The next several “essays” will be responces based on the very first question “Who am I”.  The first article will be a basic biography of my life.  The second will more likely be more thought processes on a specific topic and then the rest will flow from there,

 

In many ways it may work out to being a book full of essays and exercises much like one of my favorite books on traditional witchcraft (and one I wrote a paper on) “The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill” by Robin Artisson.  This is one of the reasons I am starting with the blog.  I figure that it is best to start e-publishing through this blog.   

 

So this is the end of a year and the start of a new year.

 

 

 

Winding Way Intro-A pagan Meme

I saw this meme on Angus’ blog and thought that answering this would help anyone who reads this blog.  Most of these questions will be expanded on in future blogs.

Please describe briefly your Path:

I would say I am a seeker.  A lot of my work does involve the other worlds.  I have had some influences from traditional witchcraft (by authors like Robin Artisson and Paddington) which shows the underworld tradition.  As I am a member of the Temple tradition that tradition plays a lot into my beliefs and practices.   I have also worshiped the Norse Gods.  I feel I should start that over again.  There is some influence of Germanic paganism in my religion.

I worship a 5 fold God and Goddess.  The Goddess may be Frau Holda.  I have yet to confirm that through folk tales and UPG.  I believe in fate or wyrd.  I also believe in all deities. I am a hard polytheist.  I believe all deities to be seperate individuals and not faces of one supreme being. I work heavily with Dragons in my practice.  I have been working under the Hermetic philosophy as outlined in the Kybalion.

My path is constantly twisting and turning, with some criss crossing.  I am a seeker as such my path will change and evolve as I gain wisdom.

Please describe briefly how you practice it:

I practice by holding rituals.  Lately I have been lax in my practice.  I am working on getting back into practice.  Meditation and trance work are essential practices.  When I don’t hold a ritual I typically try and do a bit of journeying through the use of Drums.

When did you first commit to your Path?

I started to explore paganism when I was 13.  My practices back then were quite odd.  I incorporated a lot of the anime I was watching at the time to my practice.  At the time I was moody and quite odd.  I was confused about a lot of things, add to that most of my information came from Teen Witch and my delusions of being those charecters in this day it makes for an entertaining story now.

When I was 18 I first learned exactly what Wicca was and how it was not what I thought it was.  I got in contact with a local coven (now disbanded) which I later found out was associated with Oath breakers.  For a while I looked at being a Hellenic pagan.  Then I just started to read any book I could find on the subject.

I was 21 when I found the Temple tradition through the books.  The next year my mother and I took a weekend workshop with Chris Penczak.  It was after working with him and having some of the most vivid experiences that I have ever had that I knew I wanted to learn more from him and seek the deeper mysteries.  Last year I was enrolled in Witchcraft 1.  I was unable to continue for personal reasons.

It was at that time that I began to remember what I had read from Artisson.  Those things have begun to become included in my path.  If I had to say I would say it’s only been the last 3 years that I have really committed to trying to follow a specific path.  One of the things about the Temple tradition is that I can add in some other practices as I learn and explore.

Why did you choose to follow a path of paganism?

At first I wanted to get out of Christianity.  I was angry at Yaweh or Jehova and thought I should explore other things.  I went through my confirmation, but it was then that I realized I did not agree with the central doctorine of my church.  I was not a trinitarian.  I had always believed in other gods and knew that I should leave the church formally and go my own way.

That was when I was 14.  During my teen years I was at church on a regular basis.  I assisted in the nursery and as a Sunday school teacher.  That church had been family.  So I had a dual faith for a while where I tried to combine Christianity and generic neo-paganism sometimes called “neo-wicca”  a term I hate with a passion.  Though I would call it extreme fluffy bunny.

Today I still believe in Jesus and Jehova.  I am learning about Jehova through a bible study at the local Kingdom Hall.  I feel it is important to understand what other Christians believe.  I consider myself pagan as I do not worship Jehova but I do honor him nor do I follow Yaweh or Allah.  I choose to be a pagan because I feel my core beliefs do not resonate with Christianity.

How is your practice different now than it was then?

I grew up.  I no longer hold the views I did then.  I no longer blindly follow rituals and practices outlined in books.  Today I basically question everything and work based on what I see as truth.  Due to my constant questioning of myself I am constantly changing or revising my views.

Is your practice different today than how you thought it would be back then?

Very much so.  I feel I have learned a lot but I know that there is so much more to learn and explore.  I have my own beliefs and I no longer follow cultural misapropriation.  I have gained wisdom.  I see clearly where I once saw only shadows and clouds.

Does your Path and core belief system differ now than how it was when you first started?

In some ways very much so.  I used to believe in one divine being that was expressed as a God and Goddess who were seen through the faces of all other deities.  That changed when I actually started to read core myths and saw just how different the Goddesses were from each other.  I did see some similarities but nothing to say they were all the same.

I now believe in one being known as The All which is an all enompassing living mind.  We live with in the mind of The All.  I believe in different planes of existence where we learn lessons until we can move to the next plane.  The highest plane is being in full union with The All.  The universe is infinite and there are myrids of reality.

I also believe that the other planes of existence are seen in the other worlds.  In this specific  reality the three worlds are one yet viewed seperate.  We are all part of one reality connected through an intricate web.  Yet we see ourselves as seperate.  This is the key to understanding fate.  I am still working on getting into my full and true self.

My concept of the soul has changed quite drastically.  I include many different philosophies in my view of the soul.  Many of them tie into the concept of Wyrd.  Though I feel there are a few components missing from Wyrd.

What is your heritage and how does this inform your Path?

It wasn’t until I read and seriously took the time to explore Asatru that I felt a need to get back to those roots.  I felt that I should explore those paths seriously.  I have read the Eddas several times and they resonate deep within my core.  I feel close to Odin as well as Niord and Nerthus.  From that point I felt that there should be some element of the religious beliefs of my blood ancestors (and quite likely my Franco-American ancestors as well) in my religion.  I quickly inserted ancestral veneration into my practice.

What are your main influences for your Path?

For books I would have to say:

  • The Kybalion
  • Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches
  • Poetic and Prose Eddas
  • Temple of witchcraft series
  • The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill
  • Sorgitzak: Old Forest Craft
  • Wicca for one (Buckland)
  • Assorted Grimms fairy tales and other folklore
  • Essential Asatru
  • Exploring the Northern Tradition

Which do you do more: practice or research?

Research.  I have to admit it.  I have more academic or book knowledge than I do actual experiences.  That changed and will continue to change as I work with the Temple tradition and other sources.

Do you feel that one is more important than the other?

No.  I feel that they are equally important.  I feel research is good for understanding cultural context and exploring new ideas.  Practice however is how we actually worship the beings in question.  It is how we actually physicalize our beliefs.

What values and ethics are important on your Path and in your practice?

The Nine Nobel Virtues.  They are guide lines to help me live a life where I feel I am being ethically responsible.  These virtues are:

      COURAGE

  • TRUTH
  • HONOR
  • FIDELITY
  • HOSPITALITY
  • DISCIPLINE
  • INDUSTRIOUSNESS
  • SELF-RELIANCE

I am working on discipline.

What sort of cycles do you feel your practice goes through?

Read, ponder, journal, test, reflect, use, nothing….repete

What is one of the greatest obstacles or struggles you have had to over come?

My mental illnesses and my developmental problems.

How do you see yourself practicing in ten years?

Public rituals and writing.

How do you incorporate your practice into your life?

Meditation and energy work.

Has walking your Path changed you as a person?

I think so.  I feel I am more free to be open to new thoughts and thus new ways of conducting my behavior.  It has also helped me understand my own behaviors.  My worldview has changed as well.

Do you consider yourself to be a priest/ess? How so?

No.  I have not been trained in the rites and rituals of my tradition to the point where I would call myself a priestess.

A witch? How so?

Yes.  I practice witchcraft.

A shaman? How so?

I do not call myself a Shaman.  There are elements of Shamanic practices in my practice.  These come from European views and not Native American or Siberian.

Which matters more: getting the vocabulary right or the actual practice of what we are trying to define?

The actual practice is important.  If there are specific terms to be used in rituals then knowing the correct vocabulary would be more important.

One of the most profound things anyone ever said to you was:

“You only fail if you stop trying” which was told to me by my fiance when ever I feel as if I have failed.

A defining moment on your Path was:

The journeys I took during the workshop with Chris Penczak.  I had started to access the mysteries but I was not yet ready to do so.  I needed to start at the beginning, which is where I am now.

Have you ever taken a “leap of faith”?

Yes.  I have and I hope to do more so soon.

Please tell us something stupid, reckless or embarrassing you did once in your practice:

I almost set my bathroom on fire with a spark that fell into an open bag of toilet paper.  It took a few moments but I fixed it.  This happened during one of my ritual bath/meditations.

What is the most frustrating thing about your Path?

I’d say trying to avoid following or taking one authors word with out question.

Have you ever been frightened?

In ritual?  Once.  I was outside and alone at dusk doing a ritual to gain power.

Can you perform ritual without a script?

Yes.  Though I use one when I am trying to invoke a being or try a new evocation that I have written.

Have you ever preformed spontaneous magick/spellcraft?

All the time.  It’s how I was able to get parking at school.  It also helped my fiance and myself in a financial situation.

What are you still exploring or experimenting with?

Everything?

What (or whom) are you the most committed to in your practice and on your Path?

The Gods who choose to listen to my worship and prayers.

Ritual tools are …

Expensive and fun.

Magickal tools are …

Enjoyable and great helpers and often the same as ritual tools

The one thing you can’t do without is:

My mind and a journal with pen/pencil

power is …

With in and everywhere

Politics and you Path are …

Hardly ever involved.  The whole separation of Church and State thing.

One thing you wish people would understand about your Path and/or practice is:

I am a witch.  I work magic.  I will do what is necessary to get what I desire or defend my loved ones.

Do you teach?

No.  I may advise and guide though.

What do you feel is the role of clergy in modern Paganism and Heathenism?

To teach and inform the community about our beliefs at large.

When the Veil (or Hedge!) is thin, how does that feel to you?

I feel hyper and I also feel jittery.  I hear a lot more things than I normally do at these points.

What entities do you work with most? (ancestors, gods, fae etc)

Ancestors Dragons and the spirits of the land.  I also worship deities.

What is your relationship with the Land?

I worked well with the spirit of this land.  She lives in an oak tree in my front yard.  I have given her hair and money.

The most important aspect of ritual is:

The reverence in which you perform the ritual.

The main purpose of ritual is:

To honor and be close to the deities or beings to which the ritual is directed.

What is the purpose of divination/dowsing (or whichever for of augury you use)?

To gain insight as to how things may come to pass.  It also gives me another way of looking at what has happened.  I use an oracle deck based on the medicine wheel.  Though I feel I may start to look back at something more European.

What was the most difficult book you ever read? (Either difficult to understand or hard to face what it said or both)

It’s actually a book I started but decided I needed to give it more attention than I could at that time.  It’s the 3 books of occult philosophy by Agrippa.  The language is odd.

The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill was difficult, but I found the Horn of Evan Wood to be much more difficult.

The book I read on Germanic Heathenry was only complicated when it came to the explanation of the calander.

What book do you recommend the most to others?

That will depend on what they are looking for.

What is you favourite podcast (if any) and favourite blog (other than your own)?

I dont know.  I have only seen a few blogs and heard one podcast

If you could impart only one last piece of wisdom or knowledge, or share one experience with the world at large, what would it be?

Trust your heart.

Is there an additional question you would like to see here?

Yes

Do you have any specific beliefs regarding the afterlife or what happens after death?

Yes, but I dont have a lot of room here to explain it.  Multiple part soul reincarnation and

Please finish this meme with a picture, image or photograph of some sort:

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