Category Archives: Spells
This is a simple protection spell that even the children can participate in!
Friendship bracelet braid by Charity Bedell
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
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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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:
Materials: Coin Paper Pen Green Ribbon
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
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
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!
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.