Popular Posts

Friday, 20 January 2006

Tool Time

Tool Time Cover
I met one of my online friends because of a message she posted on a board regarding tools. She asked if it was necessary to have every tool in order to be a Wiccan and if it was necessary to spend a lot of money on them because someone told her both things were true. I posted a reply explaining that she did not have to have every tool upfront, paying more for them did not make them better and when all was said and done, the magick was in her and the tools were just props. We are still in contact and she has returned the favor by giving me advice at a difficult time in my life.

It has been said that it is possible to practice magick without any tools but yourself and I have found that to be true. I have conducted rituals and raised power strictly in my head, but I prefer it with tools and find it more fulfilling that way. Seeing tools, especially on an altar, sets the mood and tells your subconscious that it is time for ritual and all the emotions and focus involved in it. I have participated in a group ritual only once and there was an altar and tools as well as a candle for each participant. I imagine that it would be quite difficult to have an effective group ritual without tools because it would not be likely that everyone could have the same focus and imagination that it takes to perform a ritual without tools.

Each tool and other items on your altar serve as a visual/physical representation of an element and/or purpose. Besides, it can be fun to find and use them and you don’t even have to grunt, “more power.” It is easier to focus on calling the elements to your circle when you are looking at and touching objects that represent them. Many Wiccans purify the ritual area with the elements at the start of ritual and in my experience it is more effective to have an object at hand, such as a broom to sweep negativity out of the area, than to just visualize it. Candles definitely add to the mood of a ritual and can be used for candle magick. There are items that may not be considered tools in the strict sense, but are quite useful in magick. It would be impossible to work cord magick without a piece of cord or yarn or to use crystals and herbs without having them in front of you. Traditionally, we have images or representations of the Lady and Lord and it is easier to connect with a particular god or goddess when you have an image of them. There could also be items related to a type of magick you practice such as scales for justice or a hex sign for Braucherei.

While it is fun to shop for tools at a metaphysical shop or online, especially if you can afford the fancy, pretty ones, it is not necessary and spending more does not make them one bit more effective. I agree with the statement that when you make something you use in ritual, it is embedded with your own personal power, making for a stronger link. While it is not practical to make your own athame unless you are a blacksmith, it is easy to make your own wand and depending on your skill, you could make your own chalice (ceramic or wood) or pentacle altar tile out of wood, wax or ceramic. If you are skilled at sewing, you could also make your own ritual gown. I paid at total of about $65 for all the tools on my altar and spent about eleven years accumulating them. My altar cloth is 3/4 of a yard of a fabric with a moon and stars pattern that appealed to me. My broom is a cinnamon broom that is commonly used for decorative purposes and my wand is a stick from a maple tree in the front yard of a house where I lived at the time that I whittled. The chalice is a green glass goblet with a gold rim that I bought at a fast food restaurant one Yule for 99 cents and my athame is a bone letter opener purchased at a Native American pow-wow. I found my brass cauldron at a yard sale and the glass candle holders I favor can be found at any store for about a dollar each. The images of the Lady and Lord that are placed on my altar are small prints purchased for about $10 each from a Pagan artist. There are things that cost me nothing such as a black raven feather representing air but also a gift from the goddess Morrighan which fell at my feet as I was mowing the yard and a rock I found that represents earth.

The important thing when you are acquiring tools is that they appeal to you, mean something to you and fit your magickal practice. I did not purchase a traditional steel bladed athame because I like to work with the fae and iron negatively affects their energy. Two years ago, I was at a local pow-wow where Native American craftspeople were selling their wares and spotted a bone letter opener. I picked it up and held it as I would an athame and it felt right, so I bought it. If you follow a Native American influenced path you will probably want to focus on tools with that theme, but if you are Celtic or Norse, your tools will likely reflect that in some way. If you can’t afford a tool, pass on it and maybe you will have the money another day or something else will come along that you will like better.

It is not necessary to have a complete collection of tools to call yourself Wiccan. Until I found the right athame, I used my hand by curling back my ring finger, little finger and thumb like the Boy Scout salute and never had a problem casting a circle. You can use a cup you already have until you find one you want to set aside as a chalice and you could use two candles (which are cheap) to represent the Lady and Lord. I found the process of finding the right tools to be an adventure and learning experience, not to be rushed. You may find over time that your selection of tools changes. My first wand was also a stick from a tree in my yard, but I carved characters in it and stained it. I just didn’t like the way it turned out and it did not feel right in my hand, so I whittled another stick and left it plain, which suited me much better. At one time, I had a Barbie doll in a witch outfit that I used to represent our witchy “ancestors”, but I decided that the image of Barbie was not appropriate. Someone to whom I delivered mail gave me a pewter miniature of a wizard, probably from a Dungeons and Dragons game, which served the same purpose and I felt much better about using it in that manner.

Lets briefly review the purpose of the common tools. The broom or besom is used to sweep away negativity and is a symbol closely associated with witches. The athame is used to direct power, particularly in casting and taking down the circle, as well as cutting a door in the circle when necessary. It is not used for cutting anything physical. The wand is used as an instrument of communication, particularly when calling or speaking to entities. The cauldron is an instrument of transformation as well as a place where things come together to make something new. Candles provide illumination as well as having a magick of their own. Incense also sets the mood as well as representing air in the circle. The important thing to remember about tools is that they are a means to magick and a representation of something in ritual. The real magick is in each of us and we channel energy through us and our tools to accomplish our ends. If you think of ritual as a play, our tools are props in that they make it easier to perform the play and make it more meaningful, but they are not the play. Happy hunting in seeking out your tools and may it be as rewarding and educational an experience for you as it was for me.

Free e-books (can be downloaded):

Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Temple
Aleister Crowley - To Man
Howard Phillips Lovecraft - Cool Air

Keywords: sacred texts   idra rabba assembly  representation paganism mass  lyttle witchcraft version  mimir asatru meanderings  tarocchi aleister crowley  guide witchcraft  rites that  asian witchcraft  gendered concepts gender  dark magick  witches wives  

Tuesday, 17 January 2006

The Early Pagans

The Early Pagans Cover This is a good place to start with our creation story. Paganism has existed in varying forms since the times of the cave man. We know from archeological evidence how these early humans lived and honored the natural world around them. From cave drawings to artifacts we have at least a general Understanding of how early man lived with nature and honored the forces of nature as divine beings.

As tribal societies evolved, so did their religious practices. These early societies were often Goddess societies. Figurines such as the 'Venus of Willendor' are perfect examples of the early reverence for fertility of a woman and her ability to give new life. This miracle of life was seen just as that, a miracle given to a woman by a deity, or the Goddess. Often celebrated through Great Rite ceremonies. A woman who was extremely fertile was considered to be favored by the Goddess and elevated within her tribal structure.

When early man realized it took two to create life, the pendulum slowly switched from focusing on the matriarch to the patriarch. As long as a woman could bear children, she still held great power within her tribe. When she grew older and less fertile, she often chose her successor. But her singular power shifted to that of a wise teacher or healer. The concepts of the Goddess still existed, but the God was also a formidable figure through his strength of a hunter/warrior. The Great Horned God is a good example of this.

Paganism thrives through the ages Before Christ (BC) around the globe. From Egyptian, Roman and Greek philosophies; to Native American, Hindu and Mayan cultures. In Greece, the Pythagorean brotherhood (around 530 BC) helped to formalize and document some of the early metaphysical beliefs that were prominent in pagan beliefs. The brotherhood was actually a group of young men who gathered around Pythagoras, hoping to learn from his wisdom and inspired by his teachings. They were very spiritual in nature and form, dedicated to reforming political, moral and social life within society. The group became so widely known and popular that it grew into a formidable political lobbyist machine. Because of this political impact, the brotherhood was disbanded and Pythagoras was forced to retire and leave home. He went to Metapontum, a Greek city in southern Italy where he died around 500 BC.

The Great Greek Philosophers continued with the theories of the Pythagorian Brotherhood. At first in secret, but later challenging the political authority and bringing their metaphysical thoughts and theories out in the open. From Plato, Socrates and Aristotle we have some well documented views of physics and Metaphysical History.

We can't discount the influence of these early thinkers on our spiritual views today. But we also can't discount the influences of the great civilizations of the time, as they expanded their dominance. For instance, we know that the Romans battled in Ireland for many decades, and it's thanks to them we have some writings of the time about these early Celtic Religions, both of the Druids and the early Celtic Shamans.

But we need to consider the early nomadic cultures who traveled from one region to the next, conquering villages along their way. There are many we can research for this kind of practice. But the Norse might be the best example. As the Norse spread out and migrated across Europe, they either replaced or merged their beliefs with those of the cultures they conquered. Certainly we can see many of their influences in the Celtic cultures of Ireland.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Aleister Crowley - The Litany Of Satan
Julius Evola - Against The Neopagans
Aleister Crowley - The Drug Panic
Devi Spring - The Emerging Indo Pagans
Arlo Bates - The Pagans

Friday, 6 January 2006

Casting Circle Method 1

Casting Circle Method 1 Cover
Mark the North with salt or a stone to represent earth. Mark the East with your choice of incense to represent air. Mark the South with a red, orange or white candle to represent fire. Mark the West with a chalice full of water to represent water. Evoke the Lords of the Watchtowers, beginning with the North.

Go North, East, South, West if the spell is for invitation or increase, or North, West, South, East if it is one of decrease or banishment. Describe a circle in the air with your wand, sword or athame and salute each corner with it..

"Hail, Lord of the Watchtower of the North. I call upon thee to join my circle and foresee my magickal workings. By earth, air, fire and water I call upon thee. By the Law of Three, I call upon thee. Enter, Lord of the Watchtower of the North and welcome."

"Hail, Lord of the Watchtower of the East. I call upon thee to join my circle and foresee my magickal workings. By earth, air, fire and water I call upon thee. By the Law of Three, I call upon thee. Enter, Lord of the Watchtower of the East, and welcome."

"Hail, Lord of the Watchtower of the South. I call upon thee to join my circle and foresee my magickal workings. By earth, air, fire and water I call upon thee. By the Law of Three, I call upon thee. Enter, Lord of the Watchtower of the South, and welcome."

"Hail, Lord of the Watchtower of the West. I call upon thee to join my circle and foresee my magickal workings. By earth, air, fire and water I call upon thee. By the Law of Three, I call upon thee. Enter, Lord of the Watchtower of the West, and welcome."

You are now ready to perform you spell or ritual. Ground power by lying hands palms down on the ground and forcing the energy back, saying:

"The Circle's open, the spell's released. Farewell, Lords of the Watchtowers. Go in peace."

Suggested ebooks:

Paul Huson - Mastering Witchcraft
Giuseppe Bezza - The Astrological Metaphors
Anonymous - Bealtaine Circle Of The Dark Moon

Labels: accepting witchcraft philippines  covens alike  wiccan free  answer queries  traditional witchcraft  homeland witchcraft  notes literature  magickal name  modified hexagram workings  magic popular history  seal truth french  the clavicle of solomon  

Tuesday, 3 January 2006

A Closing Ritual

A Closing Ritual Cover
We have been together, friends, for a short time this evening. Now before we part let us focus our thoughts for a minute on the spirit that informs us while we are here, that we may take the energy with us when we leave.

Think of the North--our ties to mother earth, that grounded feeling, that attendance to practical matters which we represent by calling in the spirits of the grain . . . may we take this strength with us, whether it is to build a sandwich or to save the earth.

Strength upon strength.

Focus on the West, our capacity for emotion that we represent by calling in the spirit of water. In this sometimes harsh and materialistic world, let us not be reluctant to show genuine emotion, whether it be to share the joy of a child's discovery or the pain of losing a loved one.

Love bringing strength.

Salute the South, our capacity for free choice that we represent by calling on the spirits of Fire. May we take with us the warmth of the spirit, the courage of conviction, especially in the day to day decisions of which all life is made.

Resolve building strength.

Remember the East, that ability to think, that we represent by calling on the spirits of air. May we take with us the finely honed edge of logic to cut through the little confusions and large delusions we face day after day.

Mindful strength.

Each of us is the Goddess. When I say these things about the Goddess, repeat them about yourself, for example,

The Goddess is good. I am good.
The Goddess is powerful. I am powerful.
The Goddess is wise. I am wise.
The goddess is strong. I am strong.
The goddess is loving. I am loving.
The goddess is resolute. I am resolute.
The goddess is mindful. I am mindful.

Blessed be.

Suggested ebooks:

Anonymous - Full Moon Ritual Group
Aleister Crowley - Songs For Italy
George Robert Stowe Mead - A Mithraic Ritual

Labels: magickal implements  witch brew  casting dragon style  tool time  ancient celts  weaving internet  witchcraft elsewhere  witch magician magic  five liber  exploring bennett crowley  blotar ritual  snorre edda edda  anthology latter  pron stars