Category Archives: Philosophy
So here is something interesting I thought of recently. I started making my own incense for different workings 10 years ago. At the time I had no recipes. I had no books to guide me other than Cunningham’s herbal encyclopedia and magical herbalism.
I had a mortar and pestal and I had some herbs on hand for different workings (but I was mostly clueless at the time). I realize now that really the ones who taught me how to make incense were not the books. They were in fact the spirits of the plants. Which is why my recipes and practices are as effective and as powerful as they are.
I mention this now because there have been times I have mentioned that the spirits really haven’t taught me all that much. I look back and realize now that the lessons were much more subtle. They actually were more my partners than anything else.
Just like how I’ve always listened to the spirits of the land when it comes to my practice on the sabbats. I’ve always worked and done them really when it felt more energetically appropriate for me and the land that I live on.
The apartment I currently live in was gifted by the spirits of this land. After we left our viewing I said a simple prayer to those spirits asking them that the apartment go to the ones who need it the most, and the right people for the land. The next morning I get a call saying we have the apartment. If that is not spirits working for me and with me, guiding me I dont know what is.
The Heart of the Initiate is a wonderful book. This book was created by Victor and Cora Anderson for their students and those interested in the Feri tradition of witchcraft. The forward states:
“THIS BOOK IS A VALENTINE from Victor and Cora Anderson to you. For those of us who are their initiates, the Andersons live on through the many personal recordings and letters we held close and treasure. We’re grateful for this great opportunity to share rare insights into the Anderson’s teachings, and offer you an imitation of what it was like to be their student.”
It is clear that the Andersons wanted their teachings to be preserved and shared. That they wanted more people to understand and know what their tradition was and is all about. The proof is in the quote mentioned above. For this reason the book was created which allows seekers like me and students of Feri to see what the actual founders and high masters said about the tradition and their teachings.
Due to the nature of this book there are not chapters. The book reads like correspondences which is what they are. There are a few sections in which various teachings are written about in letter or essay form, but not your traditional chapters and sections style.
The first section of the book is called Some Pictish views on the old religion. Here we learn about some origins of the practices and how the religion is different from others. It talks about the origins and how sex is sacred. There is a little bit on basically all aspects of the Craft in this section written by Victor.
The second section of the book is called Commentaries. In this section there are a few specific articles on points important to the specific Feri tradition of witchcraft as they teach it. Topics include Raising power to divinity, Sexual Initiation, Sexual ethics, Training and Initiation, The Consort, The Guardians, The morning prayer, Possession, and Salvation. All of these concepts are teachings important in the Feri tradition to some extent and these basic articles express how they work and what they mean.
The third section of the book is the most informative section of the book. Here there are glimpses at some of the rites and materials actually presented to their students. There are exercises and explanations given. The letters are written by Victor and Cora presented to us as they responded to their students. The only thing missing in this section would be the letters from the students to their teachers so the context makes more sense.
The very last section of the book is important for seekers like myself. In many books on traditional witchcraft there is an exercise to switch from a Christian path to a Traditional witchcraft path which involves the reciting of the Lord Prayer backwards. Here Victor describes yet another prayer that can be used which is essentially a modified version of the Lords prayer for seekers trying to be open to new paths and teachings.
The Fools Journey through Sunydale is an excellent way to combine the work of the tarot with a modern media source that many are familiar with. When the series Buffy The Vampire Slayer became popular there was a surge in young teens and adults that were interested in the Tarot and in witchcraft because of that series. This book is a way to combine the interests of the two groups in a way that shows the real true supernatural and occult symbols in the series and gets the message of the cards across.
As some one who started to read tarot cards and explore the occult at the same time this series was popular the use of the characters and the storyline to explain the symbols on the cards and the meaning of the cards is fantastic. It shows how in day to day life and how in that fantastic world of darkness how the cards can be seen. This book bridges the gap between the occult fiction in Buffy and the reality in this world showing.
Each chapter in the book focuses on one of the major arcana cards in the typical tarot deck. The chapter begins with a description of the traditional Raider-Waite card followed by an understanding of the symbolism in the card and the cards meanings both upright and reversed in a reading. The next section of the chapter examines the few ways the card has been manifested in the show. The last section of each chapter focuses on a character from the series that the author believes manifests all aspects of that particular card the best.
The author does not limit the understanding of the cards in the Buffy Universe and the content in understanding the meanings of the cards t just the Buffy the Vampire series. The author does include in several different occasions descriptions of actions and situations from the spin off series Angel, which provided just as much information for the cards as Buffy herself did. The focus of the book though is on the Buffy the Vampire series cannon with the references in Angel being there to highlight the points seen in Buffy.
After reading through this book with a tarot deck, a reader can have a deeper understanding of the message of the cards in their deck. When you look at the episodes mentioned and the charterers with the traditional meanings of the cards its easy to see where the authors choices come from.
The references to a modern pop culture force make the meanings of the cards accessible and easier to understand to a new generation. This generation was raised with the occult in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Angel, and the tail end of the Sabrina the Teenage witch series. By relating the cards to those characters and situations, the people who grew up watching those series can relate to the cards through relating to characters they enjoyed growing up.
The power behind Magic
Many times we have discussed magic and spell craft on this blog. There are many different theories about how magic really works and why magic is effective. There are battles on philosophy on if magic is something that is only in the mind or if it exists outside of the mind and the body. I will leave the decision on what magic is and how it really works up to you as a reader and spiritual seeker.
Today we are going to examine and discuss magic from its most basic theory and concept. If you understand the concept of working with your intentions and projecting your intentions to the universe you can start to and understand the very basics of magic and manifesting your needs and desires. So today we are talking about the most basic form of energy work and magic-the work of our intentions and emotions.
So lets get started then. I know every one wants to focus and learn magic at some point in their lives. Who hasn’t wanted to be able to say a few words or do some actions to be able to create change. The practice of magic does this exact thing. Working magic can be a way to manifest your dreams and desires in this world and reality. Magic is one of the tools that we humans have to create needed changes in our lives.
Magic then is the process of directing and manipulating energetic forces towards a desires outcome. So when you work magic you are directing many different types of energetic forces (Energy basics) out to the universe. By programing them with an idea and concept you give the energetic force a job to do. This job is determined by how your program that energy.
So what is it that programs our energetic forces and magic? In the end what programs magic is your intent. Your intent is the desire behind the spell or ritual. To put it most simply your intent and desire is what you want to happen in the end. Your intent when it comes to magic is what you want to happen in your life. Its that simple. Your intent is your desire.
When you cast a spell you are working towards something that you want on an emotional level. Your intent is fueled by your emotions and desires. This is why in magic its always best to work towards something that you actually need rather than something that you just want or would like to have. The things that you actually need will have a stronger emotional tie to them, which means the intent behind the spells will be much stronger.
So how do we know what our intent really is? When a person performs a ritual or a spell for an item they need a clearly defined goal. Common goals worked on in magic are employment and money, health and healing, love and companionship. These are three of the most common types of spells and rituals you will find. With in each of these sections there are many different ways that a specific intent could be found.
Lets work with the example of health and healing. Many people wish that they could have a healthier life. Many people struggle with different health issues from high blood pressure and cholesterol to anxiety and depressive disorders the health issues that humans struggle with come in many different shapes and forms. So it makes sense that the type of healing rituals and health needs that an individual has is going to be very different from any other individual. This is why it is important to have a specific desire and goal in mind.
So if your goal is for healing and health its important to look at your life. Look at your personal health and your personal needs. If you are dealing with issues of high blood pressure you might want to consider doing a spell to release some and relieve some of the stresses that you have in your life. High stress and blood pressure have been linked. So if you work on spells to decrease your stress you will be working on your health. If your health issues are more related to depression and loneliness a spell to increase happiness or friendship in your life would be effective.
So lets focus on depression as the issue that you want to work on with magic. There are many different ways that you can go about this. Because even mental health issues like depression is very unique you need to think about exactly what will help you at this specific time. For example you could work on a spell or ritual to release past hurts and pain, or you could do a spell to increase the amount of joy you have in your life. Both of these goals are ways that you can work on and obtain the goal of minimizing your depression. You need to choose the one that best suits your needs and what you are really wanting to do.
In the end the goal that you choose is the actual intent of your spell. The goal is what you want to make happen. This is why having a clear intent is important. This intent provides the guide for the energetic forces to manifest in your life. The more thought you put into your goal the more emotional power builds up in your intent. The more time you spend working on the spell and the ritual the more force gets built up. This force can be focused just by working on your intent and focusing on your intent.
With out an intent spells dont work. The energy can be sent out into the world, but there will be no directi0n. You may achieve a goal or a desire, but in the end the energy that has been sent out will have no specific outcome that its trying to make happen. If you have a vague idea like simply better health, that goal will manifest but there is no idea exactly how it will show up. Your health could improve in one area but start to loose in another area. This is why having specific intents and goals is essential in working magic.
Now you dont need to do a full ritual to do magic and to work your intent. Working Positive Affirmations on a daily basis is another way that you can work your intent and make magic happen. By stating in a positive way that you already have what it is you want (positive affirmation) the universe knows your desires and intents and can manifest it through your voice and your thoughts. By working on your thoughts and focusing your thoughts on having your goal, you are working your intention and you are able to work magic.
The important thing to take out of this is that having a clear intention and goal makes for effective magic. This is why its always best to work on that which you need. Desire fuels emotional states and emotional states can fuel intention. By working with your emotions and your thoughts you can and will create powerful changes in your life. By understanding the power of your intention you can work magic.
One of the first things most books on witchcraft and spiritual practices say is to trust your intuition. If something feels right then do it. If something doesn’t feel right than it probably isn’t. If you feel like there is something you need to do or really should be doing than you probably should be doing those things. These feelings of something needing to be done, and of something feeling right or off are ways that our intuition comes to us and manifests in our world.
There are many different ways that a person can trust and develop a sense of their intuition. When a person learns to trust their intuition they can really have the world at their feet. By trusting and working with your intuition a person will essentially “never be guided wrong”. Your intuition is really your highest self talking to your conscious mind and telling you basically what needs to be done at that moment. Our intuition is also one of the many ways that our spirit guides can contact us.
Learning to develop a sense of your intuition is typically one of the first things that witches and pagans do. By developing their intuition a person can better understand messages sent from their Gods and spirits. It also helps them to better connect to the spiritual forces and energetic needs going on. By developing a sense of your intuition you also develop a sense of what works and will simply “know” how to work the ritual on that day for that reason. This is our spirit and ourselves working as one, and when this state is reached one really has become a witch if they practice witchcraft and aware of the spiritual nature of reality if they are not a witch.
For me I have only really recently started to work with my intuition. For years I knew I had a strong intuition and sense of energetic flows. I could read energy and see auras. I was especially sensitive to emotional energy. For me understanding my intuition and its strength was a scary process. My readings when I did them were so strong and accurate I scared myself from doing my own readings and for reading for others. Its only been recently I have realized that this intuition is a gift rather than a curse so I am actively working on recognizing my strengths and listening to my intuition.
The very first time I realized that my intuition would guide me in my magical and spiritual spells was when I created an incense I use in all my reiki and healing work sessions. When I created that first incense I didn’t know what I was making. I just grabbed the herbs I had that dealt with healing energies. I laid those herbs on the floor in front of me and I started to just grab and mix the herbs as seemed right. I don’t remember making measurements or anything along those lines. I just knew that the incense was right. I remembered to write down what I put in the incense so I could try and make it again but aside from that no record was made.
The healing incense that I sell in Mystic Echoes was inspired by and is an offshoot of that original healing incense blend. The core is the same, but there were other factors that personalized the other incense so they are not exactly the same but they are related. The tincture blend is also related. The core is the same with some modifications in both situations to be more generic than the original purely intuitive blend. You can buy those items Tincture & Incense blend
One of the many ways I have started to recognize my intuition has been in casting spells when it seems to be the right time. In the past I have felt a desire to cast a spell or thought that maybe a spell would help deal with this, and never done the work. I never really trusted myself to just do the right thing. In this sense I didn’t trust my intuition to basically tell me what I needed to do for that spell. Now I am being more active in my spell casting. I work my magic when it seems right and when it feels right.
The key way I am developing my intuition when it comes to my magical practices and my spirituality now though is through the development of products for Mystic Echoes and the writing of the exercises and content on the Seeker Sight blog that I also run. By working on both projects I am listening to my inner truths and knowledge and my intuition is guiding me.
With the products I develop for Mystic Echoes I have a concept in mind that I want to work with. I do some research. For example if I were to develop a hex breaker product or products I would look up herbs and items that correspond with hex breaking. I would then just let my intuition look over the list and decide what to use for items. In many cases it also depends on what I currently have available to work with.
I test all of those products as well. So by developing the products I am developing my spirituality, my intuition, my magical practices, and my knowledge of herbs. The herbs seem to work together because I trust that they will work together. My intuition guided me and will continue to guide me in my craft and practices.
I am not sure exactly how I define my intuition. I would call it an inner sense of knowing. I would say that for me my intuition is a combination of things I know within myself and messages and content sent to me through guides, ancestors, and maybe the divine. I don’t necessarily know the difference between which intuitive thoughts and practices are from guides and which is from deep within me. I just know that when I listen to my intuition things seem to work out in the end. When I don’t listen to my intuition things don’t always work out, or I will be tested in the same way or manner until I do listen to my intuition and then do something about it.
The book The Way of Wyrd is a fictional story of a Christian Monk who is sent to learn the ways of the Anglo-Saxon pagans. The story is rich and entertaining. The author worked hard to research and present the information in a way that was informative and entertaining. By working the true beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon sorcerers into this work of fiction the author has brought back the use of stories to transmit knowledge and information.
The book is actually in two parts. The first part focuses on the early aspects of the Monk’s training. Here the monk is very skeptical of all the powers the sorcerer claims to work with and hold. While he works hard to learn all he can learn, Brand (the name of the monk) never really believes the ways of the people or that the powers are real.
In this part of the book the author introduces the basic beliefs of the people. The story actually opens with Brand working with Wulf (the sorcerer) at a healing ceremony banishing an evil spirit. This powerful start to the book illustrates a few of the key practices and beliefs that Brand is exposed to as he begins the training. This ceremony is set after he has completed his journey so we see here that Brand has much to learn and yet he was open to them.
In this first part of the book Brand is highly skeptical of the beliefs and practices. There are some that even scare him. Though he is fascinated with the tales of the Gods and of the spirits he does not appreciate their real value aside from primitive beliefs and practices.
The first powerful ritual that Brand is exposed to is an example of his difficulty in attempting to switch worldviews to learn the beliefs and practices. Here Brand is taught about gathering power from plants and how to properly gather the plant and give it an offering.
Other powerful rituals are experienced in this section. Here the author also goes into reading the omens of nature such as the flight pattern of birds and the way fish swim. The largest concept of Germanic paganism introduced here is the concept of Wyrd and knowing how to read and work with Wyrd.
The final experience in this section of the book Brand has is watching Wulf heal an elf shot horse. When Brand declares the process a fraud Wulf knows then that he must make Brand experience these forces or the mission to learn their ways will be a failure. The experience at the farm and Brand’s declaration of being a fraud.
In the second part of the book Brand is forced to encounter the shamanic aspects of Germanic paganism. Here we learn about spirit flight, how our spirits can be stolen, and how to work a soul retrieval in the practices of the Anglo-Saxon sorcerers.
The authors use of the narrative story teaches several elements of Germanic paganism. There are tales of the Gods taught, beliefs about plant lore explored, beliefs of the soul, and much more. The book provides through the story a basic concept and outline of many main beliefs found in Germanic Paganism as well as in Traditional Witchcraft, Anglo-Saxon shamanism, and much more. This book was well researched and written allowing a student to learn concepts in a way that non-fiction books may not be able to portray them.
Once again we have a weekly post for the Pagan blog project. This weeks topic is all about spiritual development and practices. Its about why they call it working magic and working rituals and not just reading the material. Today we are going to talk about Effort and why Effort is so important.
Effort in spiritual studies
This is a lesson I have learned myself. Spiritual development and the development of spiritual and magical skills are like every other skill set and practices. You need to actually work at them and practice them to develop them. You can read the theories and some of the exercises and gain a type of knowledge. When you actually want to make the changes you need to do the actual exercises and work in order to have the experiences.
I’m saying that you need to put effort into the work. You can’t just do a meditation once and get everything you need out of it. You cant just do a practical exercise a handful of times and expect to get anywhere spiritually. In order to really have mystery experiences with spirits and to really develop skills in meditation and mental focus you need to put in effort.
The more effort you put into your spiritual development the stronger your outcomes will be. The more time you put into development of your skills the sooner you will be able to see results. There is a lot of work in spiritual development. In many places you will have to face your darkest sides and deepest fears. This is hard work. This is why it is important to put your all into it.
Often there are meditations to meet Gods and Goddesses. The more often you do those meditations the more you will learn from them. The deeper your relationships will grow. These are part of how mysteries are experienced and spiritual truths are found. If you only do the meditations a handful of times your relationships will not be as deep as they could be.
Putting effort into your practice and into your studies is going to pay off in the long run. The better you are at learning to enter a meditative state eventually you will be able to achieve the state any where and at any time by using physical triggers. You will also be able to manifest thought changes instantly and be able to know how to train yourself to shift one emotional state into another through working vibrations and other techniques.