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Wicca: A Living Tradition of Witchcraft

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Wicca: A Living Tradition of Witchcraft

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June 24th, 2016

Focus......

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So, while the poop was hitting the vents Tuesday, as my want I did a Runecasting. Not all that Useful 'cause it basically said, "The Shit has hit the Fan". Duh;>! For the rest of the day Runes kept popping up in my thoughts. Not surprisingly, during my shower I got what I call a "Voiceover" where I Hear _____(fill in the Blank; Subconscious, Higher Self, Voice of Deity, etc). It said, "Time to Focus".
Since the late 90's I've been using both the Elder Futhark and Anglo-Frisian Futhorc(though Honestly more the EF). I've done a lot of Work with both over the passing decades. I've filled a few notebooks with stuff. Never had any interest in the Younger Futhark and the Armanen? Don't think So.
I don't know how much time I have left on Midgard(at least a decade, maybe more) so I think that was a push to get more serious. So my AF Runestaves have been put away and my EF stavesets are out where they can be used. My favs are a Copper EF and an EF carved into Snowflake Obsidian. My more traditional sets are those risted into Yew, Holly and Antler though I'm more "tuned" to my Copper set.
Cheers,
Pat

March 3rd, 2016

Magic.....

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A couple weeks ago, waiting for the cable company(which btw STILL hasn't fixed the problem;>)I started to re-read old journals. I've been doing them since the late 70's but lost those before the mid 80's when I moved to DC back in the late 80's.
They've been very informative, though not always in a positive manner;>. I can at least say that there has been a movement toward Positive Growth continually over the decades. Not as great as I'd have wished or hoped but better now than in the beginning.
One thing that was really noticeable was that the older the entry, the more likely it to do with Magic in some form. Maybe it's good that the 1st few yrs of my Path logged got lost;>! Looking back, I wonder how I had time for Work and a Life with all Crafting being logged(and I know dern well that a LOT didn't...I'm not that diligent a journaller;>!).
I think a lot of us in the alt.rel community when we start off on our Paths we tend to go overboard with the Spellkraft. It's just sooooo kewel;>!!!! Later, as you Grow, you not only realize how to Work better, you also realize when NOT TO. Sometimes I think a lot of the krap that happens to us later on our Paths is simply the Weird/Orlog/Karma/etc form our Magical Actions early on.
Like a lot of folks, I didn't Understand back then why my Elders who were fairly Evolved(I lucked out) did very little Magic and did ONLY after much Introspection. If I knew where they were today I think I'd apologize for being such a royal Pain......
Cheers,
Pat

February 19th, 2016

Looking Back....

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So, while waiting for tech #7 day before yesterday I was browsing my metaphysical library and looked through some of my old notebooks/journals. As anyone whose journalled for a significant amt of time knows, this is an Interesting Experience.....not necessarily a Pleasant one;>. And since I have mine from the late 80's on(the earlier ones were lost when I 1st moved to the Gulf Coast in the early 90's), that's a lot of self-indulgent whining, scattered with minute bits of wisdom. For some reason one from the late 80's when I was Working with Flower Essences caught my eye.
One bit was my self-diagnosis of Gentian/Hornbeam Personality. Re reading my notes and my Bach Flower books I was in a way pleased to note the diagnosis held up AND that I carried less of the Negative aspects of those personality types....though less than I would have liked since almost 25 yrs had passed since;>!
It also reminded me of my life studies. While they LOOK diverse, they tend to focus in 2 areas, Healing and Botany. Even my studies of Runestaves tended to focus on the use of them to deal with ailments.
Reading these entries reminded me of one of the greatest Weaknesses those of us in the alt.rel community have; the distraction of the new and shiny(which in the case of jewelry and cutlery literally;>!). It takes Discipline to NOT drop what you're Working on to a new Modality before you've Mastered it. I admit I DON'T. I also admit that I'm better than a lot of folks I know too, so I don't beat myself up too much;>.
Just being on this platform is a form of Journalling and rereading archived material if you've been on a while can be just as revealing...or disappointing. Still, I think it's a "Good Thing" to ever so often get out an old journal at random and read, if only to see how your earlier self dealt with life's lessons.
Cheers,
Pat

February 13th, 2016

I ran into another "hard polytheist" arguing that the ancient Norse were hard polytheists. There are several problems with this argument.

First of all we don't know what "the ancient Norse" believed. We have precious little of their mythology much less their theology or philosophy. So no one can claim authoritatively what they believed exactly.

Secondly, this claim is based on the assumption that the ancient Norse were literalists. And nothing more. The Hindu sages, and the Greek and Roman philosophers have left us documents where they discuss less literal ideas about their deities. There is no reason to assume that the ancient Norse had a less robust diversity of philosophical or theological positions.

Thirdly, the ancient Norse were a people, not an authoritarian cult, or a school of philosophy. The chance of all of them holding the same beliefs is very slim. I firmly believe that atheists and fundamental literalists have existed along with the full spectrum of philosophical positions throughout history. People really don't just accept what they are told, as a general rule. Well some of them do. But some of them think about it and come up with their own ideas. (You really should read "The Cheese and the Worms" by Carlo Ginzburg. It says nothing about the ancient Norse. It is about the peculiar beliefs of a common millar in the 1500s. I feel it demonstrates how complicated religious belief is.)

Personally I have a problem with the absolute duality of the hard polytheist position. They tend to phrase things as either the gods exist as distinct persons, or they don't really exist. Personally I think it is more complicated than that. I believe that all of reality is the manifestation of the unitary divine. Which means I am "just a facet" of the divine. But I am quite obviously a real individual person as well, so I don't see the problem with gods being facets of the larger divine as well as individual persons. It's just not a problem for me.

If you want to talk about your beliefs that is fine with me. But don't go defining what I believe. That is my prerogative. And what does it really matter what is going on in my head while we are in ritual? The only thing that should concern other people is what I do, not what I think. My thoughts neither pick your pocket nor break your leg (to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson).

January 8th, 2016

Time......

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Sometimes, it shocks me when I realize how long in this Incarnation I've been on my Path. It seems like yesterday that I found a Sybil Leek book in a used bookstore and realized THAT'S WHAT I THINK!!!!! Not as big of a shock as the weight I've gained since the same time period though;>.
Things change. Back then there was what today is mostly called British Traditionalist Wicca and Pagans. The Pagans weren't non-lineage Wiccans either. And my Spiritual Life was FILLED with Ritual....and Tools.
4 decades later, the alt-religion world has changed. BTW is a Minority and Pagans, for the most part are those that use Wiccan methodology. And Me? Rites are short with minimal Tools. I'm more likely to Interact Deity to Human than Pantheon to Human or even more General God/dess to Human. Definitely a Pantheist today;>!
Not that my Altar isn't cluttered as always;>! Truth is, I've not used most Tools in decades. Just don't have close friends on the Path to give them to. Besides, they pretty;>! Take Yule. All I used was a mug(a nice one from my great-aunt's estate though;>), a bottle of hard cider and Incense sticks(the good kind!). Truthfully, I spend at least the same amt of time if not more with Those the Rite is for than I did back in my "Bells & Smells" days; all the schlepping of materials, the setting up, the using them THEN the breaking down and cleaning up. Not that they WEREN'T needed then. It takes YRS of doing something to get to the point you can do the same thing "freestyle" and have the same Effect on Spiritual, Mental AND Physical Realms.
So Remember, some of us "Old Farts" aren't just Lazy(though we've certainly been through enough to be TIRED;>), it's just the Experience that has Freed us to CHOSE because even though we may not NEED all the "geegaws" they're still Fun and Pretty;>!
Cheers,
Pat

December 29th, 2015

Intro!

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I' Pat Duffy, a 5o-something Heathen Gay male living with his Handfasted Partner of 15 yrs on the Florida Panhandle with 2 Rescued Cats. I've been on my Path since the late 70's and originally was Initiated into a Celtic Wiccan Coven whose founders had been Alexandrian but chose to break away a few yrs before I met them. I'e had an Eclectic Path though the Impulse has not been; that is, to Return to the Ways of my pre Christian Ancestors.
This lead me from Wicca to Celtic Reconstructionism to Heathenism, to which I've belonged since the mid 90's. Hope that's not a problem. I've a few decades of Western Herbal studies(both Medical and Mystical) under my belt and credit this to me surviving aids from being diagnosed in 85 to living until the "Cocktail" came out.
I'm also an avid Gardener though this yr we moved from a dbl lot to a condo with two courtyards so I'm reliving much of my Adult life as an apt dweller....though I'd NEVER had this much personal Growing space in ANY of those apts;>!
We moved originally here from the Bay Area to help my folks and relocated to our present location due to them Moving to a property more in tune with the health issues of 90 yr olds. It's actually much prettier both inside and out, being set in an Oak forest instead of suburbia....
Up for pretty much any question or subject since in around 4 decades in the Magickal Community I've pretty much run into or heard it all;>!
Cheers,
Pat

September 23rd, 2015

Happy Mabon!

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A joyous Mabon to you all.

Apparently someone updated the wikipedia page on the Wheel of the Year to say that in 1970 Aidan A. Kelly came up with the idea of calling the Autumnal Equinox by the name of the Welsh hero Mabon ap Modron, dispite the lack of any conection between the hero and the equinox. And now smart asses are telling everyone who wishes people a "Happy Mabon" they are WRONG and totally "bogus".

Well, that argument hasn't stopped English speaking Christians from calling the resurrection of their god by the name of the Teutonic goddess of spring, Easter, even though it is called Passover in every other language.

Ár nDraíocht Féin has only been in existence since 1983 and call themselves Druids. They are hardly in a position to call other people "bogus".

Words mean what people use them to mean. As long as people know what you are talking about you are using words correctly.

So happy Mabon to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere and Happy Eostar to everyone in the Southern Hemisphere.
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August 5th, 2015

Today's discussion topic is about Wicca/Paganism and Christianity and my thoughts on both.

Though Christianity, Wicca and Paganism are all very old-even ancient-religions, Christianity, or at least some sects of Christianity, are fairly new. The same goes for some Wiccan sects. My belief, and correct me if I am wrong, is that most Wiccan and/or Pagan sects are much older than Christianity, even dating all the way back to the very early beginnings of Humanity itself.

Though Wiccans, Pagans and Christians share some of the same values-or at least some Christians claim to share some Wiccan and/or Pagan values and claim them as their own-I have found that there are more Christians practicing intolerance and persecution toward other faiths/religions than many of the other faiths/religions I have studied or learned about/and or practiced. But that's not to say Wiccans and/or Pagans aren't guilty of it as well, because to never admit wrongdoing is foolish and folly. Many Christians today have forgotten their religion's most basic principles.

Wiccans and/or Pagans-or at least many sects of them-follow Nature-based Paths and worship the All-Mother and the All-Father, or the Lord and Lady, or the Egyptian, Hindu, Greek, Roman or other ancient/current civilization's pantheon of Gods and Goddesses. However, not all follow a Nature Path or even the Wiccan Rede. The Rede, like the Christian Scriptures, is simply a set of guidelines to live by. Many Christians have forgotten that their scriptures are just that-guidelines for living-instead of Black and White laws set in stone. The King James versions of the Christian Bible is guilty of that.

Christianity-or some sects at least-was based upon love and religious tolerance. Their basic principles dwelled on that and have even adopted some Wiccan and/or Pagan holidays. However, not to be confused with the Wiccan/Pagan holidays and to avoid confusion, Christians twisted them around and changed their names and dates for their own ends. Christians, though their praying is similar to casting a Spell, do not believe in Magic. In fact, what they do not realize is that their most famous figure in their New Testament and founder, Jesus, practiced a form of White Magic and was actually considered a Healer. The King James Bible twisted him and his story around to make him the Son of their God and to make the Christian religion look better (my opinion).

Like Christianity, there are many sects and subsects of Wicca and Paganism. So many, in fact that, to name them all would have to be in a separate post all together.

Well that's it for now! Hope you find this informational or, at least entertaining.

Sincerely,

Rebecca M.

June 1st, 2015

Let's talk about an interesting-and probably less controversial-subject: Dream Interpretation and how it can correspond with Wicca and my thoughts on it.

Dreams can be a wonderful experience and/or they can be a terrifying experience. Good or bad, they are part of nearly every person's natural sleep rhythym. True, there are some people who do not dream at all because they either forgot what their dreams were or because they suffered and are still suffering from a traumatic brain injury or have insomnia. The average person, however, can or does have up to four or more dreams in one night. The dreams can come in bits and pieces and be scattered about in random order or they can come in sequential order-like in a movie. Another important thing to note: dreams often occur when our bodies are in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep. And nightmares, a.k.a night terrors, often occur when our bodies are in the Deep Sleep stage(s).

But here is where the scientific stuff ends and the magical stuff begins. Dreams are often linked to our subconscious mind. They can reflect on how we felt and/or what our emotional states were that particular day and what we were feeling before we went to bed. Dreams can also tell us about our past lives, our current lives, relationships, how we can get around life's curve balls and obstacles, and so on!

Using dreams on our past and current lives can help us better understand ourselves, the lives we lead, how we can improve our lives and ourselves, and what our purpose for living is. This can also be achieved through meditation. In my opinion, meditation, sleep, and dreaming are all connected. Meditation relaxes the body so that one can fall asleep more easily and meditation can also help make dreaming come much more easily. It is also part of our daily health and recuperation regimens.

Dreaming can also help us improve our lives and relationships through our subconscious mind coming up with creative solutions to life's curve balls. They also are great relationship problem solvers.

This is where it gets tricky, however. Dream symbol interpretation is very tricky anyway. Yes there are professional dream interpretators out there and yes, there are tons of books on dream interpretation out there. In my opinion, dream interpretation is completely up to the individual.

In order for dream interpretation to take place, I would suggest keeping a dream journal and as soon as you wake up, write down what dreams you remember and what details you remember. As time goes by, your dream journal will become more and more detailed and lengthy.

How is dream interpretation associated with Wicca? Well, dream interpretation can bring up past life memories. Also dreaming is used in magical rituals. However, this is a murky subject for me and I will have to do more study on this topic. It can also be used to work out problems and kinks in a spell or ritual, at least in my opinion.

Well, that's it for now. Hope to hear all of your thoughts and opinions on this. If anything, I hope you learn something from this and I hope to learn more from you!
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May 17th, 2015

Dear Grammy (Grandmother) and Pop-Pop (Grandfather),

You have both taught me so much. You both taught me to have great respect for all life on Earth, be it Human or otherwise. You both taught me the Ancient Ways of Wicca and Witchcraft. You taught me to respect and about the way the life energies that surround us and bind us together work and their uses. You taught me patience and tolerance for others, even if they don't treat me in the same manner. You also taught me how to love, yet be tough at the same time.

Grammy, you showed me how to honor Mother Earth and all of her children, human and otherwise. Grammy, you showed me the secrets to having a successful flower garden as well as a fairy garden. You also showed me and taught me about birds and their individual names and habits. You, Grammy, treated them the same way you treated your Human children. You also taught me about flowers and their individual names and habits, as well as their likes and dislikes and also treated them as if they were your children. Grammy, you also taught me the basic core values I have now and about Karma and its workings. You and Pop-Pop were the first ones to teach and show me unconditional and undying love.

Pop-Pop, you taught me to respect, or at least be tolerant of, those that follow other paths and/or religions, even if they do not show me the same respect and/or tolerance. You also showed me how to plant a successful vegetable garden. You, Pop-Pop, showed me all of your secrets to growing huge, tasty tomatoes and having the biggest, juiciest watermelons. You also showed me the secrets to cooking the finest snap beans and pole beans ever. Pop-Pop, you disciplined me and taught me everything I know nowadays with nothing but love in your heart. Even when I acted in a deplorable manner, you and Grammy disciplined me and set me straight in a gentle, loving, non-threatening manner. You and Grammy never yelled at me nor did you strike and/or spank me. And you both treated me like an adult in my later years-even supporting me in, and guiding me in, my individual Wiccan/Pagan path.

To both of you: I love and miss you both. Even though death may keep us apart physically, you are both still with me in Spirit, Heart, Mind and Soul. One day we will meet in Summerland. But not today. You both are still loved and missed, if not by your children, then by your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

With Love,
Your Wiccan/Pagan granddaughter
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