Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another foot out the door

Alrighty, while I was playing MahJongg this week we were chatting and so on & one of my MJ friends told me that her daughter had gone to my etsy store, SpelledWith aW.com. And then she said, "now you are...???wiccan...??? Yet, again I  almost fainted & of course, instead of leaping up, grabbing the broom by the bristles & shreiking, "Yes! Yes! Alright, yes! I AM a witch!" I stuttered & stammered, turned red & finally said, "I don't know quite what I am, yet." Now, what is wrong with me? Why didn't I seize the moment. There isn't anything wrong with my religious beliefs. I am such a weenie. My little boat is so tiny & fragile & I am so afraid to rock it, lest it founder & sink...glug...glug.......glug

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Spiritual Evolvement of Me


What exactly is "coming out of the closet"? I guess it is anytime when one feels that their actions or behavior is such that it would embarrass or shame them if those that they are closet to (such as family and friends) knew about it. At least that is what it all boils down too. I understand the need to stay hidden in the closet. Standing up for your beliefs, no matter what they are, can be a very difficult and sacrificing action. Such a decision can change your life overnight simply by the admission or revelation of what you have been keeping secret and behind the closet door.



In regards to my own experience of “coming out” in regards to my spiritual beliefs I am not really sure if I ever would say I was in the closet; although that in itself may be a manner that I use to disguise the fact that I was. I grew up in a small rural town in Oklahoma. The Christian faith was second nature. Much of this was due to the fact that it was rural and there was always a loss for something to do. Although our town held only a population of maybe 1500 there were a total of seven church denominations represented. I was not born or raised in what was and still is called a “Christian home”. My mother was a native of East Germany and after her escape to Berlin; she met my father and eventually came to America. She was raised with the strict regimen of the Lutheran church yet since that was one sect that was not represented in our town she refused to take us. I remember her dislike of the social manner Americans put into church. It was not a place to show off what new clothes or shoes you may have purchased the week before she would always say.



Yet I loved church. I can honestly say that I attended 6 of the 7 churches which stood in our town. It was the Catholic Church which was the one which I refrained from. Yet it was the Catholic church that later led to the beginning of my questions. Seeing a small rural Catholic cemetery one evening driving home I marveled at the statue of Jesus and the lights that shone on it. I told my mother that when I passed I wanted to be buried there. She quickly informed me that this was impossible as I was not Catholic and only Catholics could be there. This answer did not settle well with me thus I started my quest.



Being a child who often sat quietly in the corner and observed her surroundings, I took everything in. I learned at an early age the meaning of the word hypocrite although I had not even heard the word yet. It was something that confused me as a young child. Yet with a dysfunctional home life I had no one to really explain its meaning or reason to me. There were times in my younger life that I was angry for this absence yet when I look back today I am glad. For this is the reason I sought so hard for the answers I am still finding today.



Even when I was quite active in the church, I was still somewhat controversial as my views rarely were toe to toe with those of the denomination I was with at the time. I think that is why I sought so much to find answers. I believed in prayer and still do. And the answers I was getting were not what the other “people” were telling me or attempting to make me believe. For something as important as my spiritual life, I was determined to keep looking until I found that which filled me.



I think it was when I divorced in 97 that I truly began to see the need to look elsewhere. Here I was at a time when there was nothing I could have used more than support and encouragement and I received none. The women of the church shunned me, as I was now a single woman. Rumors and gossip ran rampant and these high and mighty church going individuals followed it with eagerness much like a starving dog to a fresh piece of meat. It was not that I was alone and harbored ill feelings. I had been alone before and listened to the quiet whispers that you hear when you actually really do sit and be still. It was the contradictory in their words and actions that hurt and still even at the age of 35 confused me.



I had always had an interest in the pagan side of religion yet growing up as I did it was not necessarily an option. The internet was not around yet to explore and I daresay the library would have any books that may help out. There were also the constant teachings of my Sunday school teachers; the fact that anyone who even remotely dabbled in such evil would surely be tossed to the far corners of Hell and live in eternal damnation. Yet it still always lingered in the far corners of me, waiting until I finally was at a point where I could embrace its calling.



I have to say that my walk has probably become a run since I rediscovered my husband. With his support and encouragement I have been able to trust myself more and flourish in what I feel most comfortable in. I still very much feel like I am a babe in paganism, yet I have never felt more at home. I do not shout to everyone what I believe, however I was never that kind of person. It is known to most of my family and friends that I am no longer in the church and that my practices have changed. I am open to all who question this area of me yet have not specifically gone to any for the specific reason of telling them. I have always felt that whatever the spiritual path you choose it is a personal journey and unless YOU choose to share there is no reason to. So to the question as to whether or not I have come out of the closet; I think my closet door was always open or at least cracked.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Out of the Broom Closet: Easy Peasy


My parents were divorced when I was four, so it started like this: my father is Pentecostal (I like to describe it as one step away from Snake Handling,) and my mother was an atheist. So on my visits with my dad, it was pounding the devil out of the church floor with the bible, and singing in Sunday school and a lot of fire and brimstone. And when I went home, my mother would tell me that all the stories in the bible were just made up by ordinary people, and that I shouldn’t believe them. So of course, I was confused. However, I held on to my father’s faith for a long time - I guess something was better than nothing. It didn’t take me too long, however, to start to ask questions that he couldn’t answer - If there was a Father God, where was the Mother Goddess? And if the End Times came, and I was pregnant, would my baby be born? I don’t know why that question seemed so important. I was ten. Whatever. Questions like that. I became kind of angry at the idea of God, some old guy in a throne who had, obviously, no real idea what it was like to be a pre teen girl. Why should that guy be the boss of me?

I read a lot as a teenager. Books and books. And I lived out in the country, so I spent a lot of time alone, with only my books. This was important to my religious exploration in two ways: you can learn a lot from books, especially historical/fantasy fiction featuring proto Celtic races who worship Mother Deities and other Female aspects of the divine; and when you spend a lot of time alone with oak trees and a moon so bright you think you could touch it, you start to get in touch with other energies, things outside the realm of the Bible.

So over the years I read more, this time non fiction by Pagan writers and philosophers. And I tried to figure out just what I really believed. The term ‘witch’ scared me at first. So I just focused on the term ‘Pagan.’ Old Christian habits can be hard to shake. When I moved to LA, nearly a decade ago, everything sort of fell into place. I mean here, anything goes. Really. Being a witch is tame compared to most of the stuff you see.

So then I was just honest about it. When friends asked, I explained I was Pagan. And all of them were Ok with that. It never even raised an eyebrow among my LA Christian friends. People asked questions and we had discussions and I learned things about myself and what I really believed in through those talks. I don't really know many other Pagans, and I've never dated one, but I don't feel like an outsider at all. Actually, it made me feel rather normal and confident about the whole thing. But there was still the family.

My mom was first. Over the years, my mom had moved to some sort of Buddhism. Whatever kind of Buddhism it is that allows you to still really enjoy hunting. One day she found some of my bookmarked web sites featuring Paganism and witch craft, which I was more and more beginning to relate to. I tried to explain it as best I could in calm, normal tones in pretty simple terms. She listened and said that it really sounded very much the same to what she believed, which was that “it was all about energy.” And then she started sending me links to interesting Pagan sites she found! Go Mom!

My Dad’s Mom was next. She’s a Scientologist, which used to drive my Dad nuts. She also believes in energy and lots of other stuff, and that she is a reincarnated priestess from Atlantis. And she was explaining to me one day about my cousin, whom she is very close to, who kind of brought together all the stuff he believes in from Hinduism and Christianity and Buddhism etc. to create a body of beliefs that ‘served his needs.’ And we started this long and really awesome conversation about how faith should serve our own needs, and how we have the right to believe in whatever gives us strength and makes us feel loved by the universe. It was all very new agey but very cool, and she was happy for me.

I still haven’t told Dad. Not because I’m afraid of him, or afraid that he will disown me or something like that, but I know that if I do, he will just spend all of his time worrying about my soul and feeling bad, and my Dad is the most loving, caring person I know, and I don’t want to burden him with that kind of worry. He’s happy with his faith, and I’m happy with mine, and he shouldn’t have to fret about that.

And that’s it. I’m out, mostly, and it was pretty painless, and I’m really happy that I have such a loving, supportive family.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Falling Out of the "Broom Closet"


I was very unsure about this path when I first started to read about it.  It called to me, but everything I had been taught about Witches and Paganism made them sound evil.  I didn’t want to go to Hell or be left behind during the rapture as my Baptist Sunday school teachers had warned.  Still I felt pulled in that direction.  Cautiously, I started very slowly by participating on the Internet, hiding behind my first magical name for anonymity.

Once I started to understand the path, my pace picked up and soon I was running, finding everything that I could about my favorite topics.  My first mentor, who would later become my husband, taught me how to cast the circle, research and protect myself.  Things were great, but I really needed more structure to my training.  I also wanted to belong to some sort of group.

When I first found the Family Wiccan Traditions International it was growing slowly.  The idea of practicing spirituality as a family unit was something that we already did and it was exciting to find others who shared our philosophy.  Within a few months of joining the organization I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors as the Web Communications Weaver.  It was then that I really started going by my real name in the Pagan community.  This was my first step to coming out of the “broom closet”.

My husband’s parents and my two sisters were aware of my path, but that was it as far as family went.  Not much later my youngest sister actually took up her own path and is now currently studying as a solitary.  My parents and Grandmother were to be kept in the dark because I did not think they would understand or be supportive.

The job market in Ohio started to take a turn for the worse so my husband and I moved back to Texas.  We lived with my parents while we got on our feet and looked for a place to live.  While we were there it was painful to take the Pagan part of me and put it in a box.  It was actually my husband that grew tired of it and blurted out the fact that we were Pagan to my parents.  This was the second step.

At first they did not know what to do, but have slowly become more comfortable with our path.  Often they will ask what we believe about certain things or have us help them clear out the house (watching my Father smudge for the first time was hilarious).  In a lot of ways I think that we have forced them to take a look at their beliefs and widen their view on many other things.  This year during Yule my parents joined us in circle for the first time and participated in the ritual.  It was a very emotional experience for me.

Grandma and the people at work are really the only people left in the dark about my path.  I truly think that telling her would hurt her too much and that is not something that I want to do.  And while a few of my coworkers are aware that I am a Pagan, most just think I am a little strange.  I am definitely ok with that.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Finding My Way Out of the Broom Closet

  I come from a family that was never that religious.  My mom just always said that a person's beliefs were personal and not meant to be shoved in other people's faces and she was very distrustful of those that tried.

I agreed with this, but I also began to feel the "need" for something more in my life.  I was about 20 years old, I guess, married and pregnant with my first child when I decided to find some things out for myself.  I went to the small library in town and checked out the only two books they had on Paganism and witchcraft.  I took them home--not really knowing enough about close mindedness at the time to realize I probably should not just have left them laying around for prying eyes to see.

It just so happened that my monster mother-in-law was coming to visit during this time period and unbeknown to me, my then-husband told her about the books I had brought home.  Who knows, that may have been the whole reason for her visit.  I was folding some laundry in my room one day when she came flouncing in and proceeded to tell me that witchcraft was evil and of the devil and that I was putting my unborn child in danger!  She said that I needed to get those books out of the house right away.

I was young and dumb and I allowed this woman to intimidate and scare me.  I returned the books unread to the library the next day and I spent the next 13 years trying to be a good Christian wife and mother and ended up completely losing myself in the process.

I ended up divorcing my first husband after only a year because he was extremely psychologically abusive.  Thankfully, I  have my beautiful daughter to show for that hellish year, though.  Later I met a very nice man who I should have just stayed friends with, but married him anyway when my daughter was 3 years old.  That lasted about 3 years before we mutually called it quits and went out separate ways.  Then in '99 I married a Christian man I had worked with for 6 years.  We went through the whole pre-marriage Christian counseling and were faithful churchgoers.  Poor guy didn't have a clue what he was getting into.

I was 33 years old when I realized I was on the wrong path and I needed to make some changes.  I knew what path I wanted to be on but I have to admit, I was still a little scared.  Was I really opening myself and my family up to evil?  Was I going to go to hell?  Christian dogma is very difficult to get out from under.  I just couldn't get the ideas out of my head, though.  What had begun to call to me 13 years earlier was now demanding my attention.

I secretly ordered some books about witchcraft from Amazon.com--because I really knew nothing about it-- and when they arrived I hid them in the trunk of my car.  I would drive to a local park and read the books whenever I happened to have a few extra minutes.  I was so scared that I was going to be found out but I was loving everything I was reading.  Everything these books talked about was something that I believed down deep inside.  It was freeing...I don't know how else to say it.

Well, my husband did found the books in the trunk one day and truthfully, at first, he was a little bit freaked out.  But, he loved me and he trusted me and he knew that I was level headed enough to know what I was doing.  We talked about everything.  I shared what I was learning and what being a Pagan and a witch really meant.  He had a lot of questions and I answered as best I could.  When I didn't know the answer I would look it up and get back to him later.  He has now become completely open minded about it and really pretty much believes as I do--although I know he would never call himself a Pagan.

My children now know what I am and the path that I walk and I am here if they ever want to talk or have questions or if they ever want to explore it.  But, I still agree with my mom's idea that their faith is their own and I know that they will have to find their own way. As for the rest of my family, they know as well and are actually very open to it.  My mom has asked me for house cleansing spells (for negative energy) and I got her a deck of Tarot cards for Christmas.  She is quite intuitive.  My grandmother even got me some witchy books and a journal for Christmas.

However, no one else in the town where I live would have any idea that I call myself a witch.  They think of me as kind of a tree hugger kind of gal but that is as far as it goes.  I don't think, I know, that my family would receive flack and I just can't do that to them right now--not with my husband trying to start up his own business.   So I remain for the time being partially in and partially out of the Broom Closet.  For now, I am okay with that, but I don't think I will be forever.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Father the Muggle

Bless his heart, my father is a "Muggle." He can't help it and had a very difficult time raising a daughter who was a witch. Oh, you don't know what a Muggle is? You probably haven't either read the "Harry Potter" books  or seen any of the related movies. Well, a Muggle is "a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born into the magical world." <"Muggle." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 Feb. 2010>.  Do you see how this might  have lead to a few tears, some frustration and misunderstandings on both of our parts? It's not that we didn't love each other, no, if anything we had such an attachment to each other that we each wanted to be "perfect" in each others eyes, which just can't happen between a parent and a child especially between a Muggle and a witch.

I inherited my mother's penchant for magic and all things mysterious. She wasn't a practicing witch, she gained her incredible knowledge and wisdom from books, other wise women, adult education classes, etc..However, she and I always clashed horribly and I never felt accepted or seen which naturally lead to a great deal sadness and insecurity.
I remember when I was about eight years old I believe and watching on television the 1948 film version about "Joan of Arc" with Ingrid Bergman. I ended up with me sobbing and traumatized with the unjustice and brutality with her being killed as a witch. I ran out to my parents who were sitting in the living room, hungry for comfort and reassurances that Joan couldn't have been possibly killed as she did in real life as she was in the movie. I asked them desperately, "Did she really hear the voices of the Angels? Why didn't somebody rescue her?" My mother replied, "Of course she heard those voices" to which my father immediately shot hack, "Don't tell her that! We don't want her thinking that people can hear "angelic" voices" And so ensued one of their many typical embittered battles. I was left forgotten and felt like a  lost cause, much like Joan of Arc.Life wasn't always that traumatic growing up, but I grew a defensive shell, carefully protecting who I was. I continued to learn more and more about the craft letting everyone know I was a true witch, even though I was just a little girl. Children of my own age, considered me too weird to play with and shunned me. Of course it hurt, but I found consolation in my cats who loved me unconditionally. My father continued to deny that I was a witch or for that matter that any real witch's existed. I knew he was just concerned for me and that out of love  he was trying to protect me from a society ruled by Muggle's.
As I grew older my faith in the  magickal world grew as well.  Everyone whom  I met knew right away what I stood for, who I was and too bad if you didn't like "Wendy the Witch". My situation wasn't "coming out of the broom closet", it was more like I was already out and no one wanted to believe that there was a closet in the first place. I really didn't care what the general population thought, however I did care tremendously that the father I adored still wouldn't acknowledge I was a witch.

The year was  1997, and there was a huge, buzz about a book, called, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone."I had heard the premise of the story and read about the characters of the book, but I myself had no desire to read it. It sounded too trite for me. My father however called me sounding more excited and impassioned than I believed I had ever heard from him. "Wendy, you must read this book! It's exactly how you've described yourself." He went on and on and I sat there listening to him feeling very bemused about it all. who's just this wonderful witch!" He now had my attention.


Friday, February 19, 2010

I came out of the broom closet at Liberty University. & I didn't even know it!


Coming out of the broom closet, as we witches laughingly call it, is something I have avoided doing for a few years now. I have no clue what to say to my family or when to say it. There are a lot of good articles about coming out but really, when it comes down to it, only you can know what to say & to whom.  I live in Lynchburg, VA the antithesis of paganland. I am not sure there is another place in this whole country that could be any more conservative. But, having said that, where there is a right there is usually a left & Lynchburg does have a smallish but not too active, pagan community. We have one store, that sells some pagan items & of course online there are all sorts of resources
But still I trudged on towards the closet door without even really trying. After all, I write a pagan column for The Examiner, blog two pagan blogs & I have a pagan supply store that I run from my home. I have hundreds of books on Wicca, divination, spells, rituals & so on so why I think my family is unaware is a mystery. **snorts**


At any rate, last weekend I was at a track meet to see one of sons run for William & Mary. The meet was here in town at Liberty University, Jerry Falwell's crown jewel. As I was standing around waiting for my son to run, one of his team mates came up to me & said, "Hey Mrs. W! I have been reading your blog. It's interesting." Once I roused from my faint I mumbled something about knowing how weird I was & then tried to change the subject. I was after all, at the Mecca for right wing Christians, standing at their indoor track. I was in their house. But this sweet young man went on to say that, "he knew it was a weird thing to be pagan over at the Liberty side of town but wondered if it was like that over where I lived."  And honestly, I didn't know. I just said that, "we rarely talked about religion at all." Bright bulb that I am I realized that if my son's team mate was reading my blog then my son was certainly reading the blog. And that meant that all three of my sons were reading the blog so my secret was actually out without me doing a thing.
I decided that that was good enough for me. My husband sometimes comes into my workshop & peers around at all the herbs & oils & spellbooks but he never asks me anything. I think he is a "don't ask, don't tell" man & that is fine, too. I don't want to push anything his way if he isn't ready. And maybe he will never be ready although this would mean that I would have to write my own obituary so I could mention Summerlands & not have phrases like,"she went home to the arms of her loving Savior" or "she is an angel in heaven with the Lord." But, if he wants to talk, I am here. If he wants to read about Wicca, he just has to walk to the bookshelf.
I still haven't told my friends but I think I will wait until they ask me. I won't lie but I won't confess either. So am I out of the closet? I think I am, sort of.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Conspiracy of Valentine's Day!

This tale starts with two twin boys born to a holy vestal virgin named Rhea and the God of War, Mars.

If that combination doesn't spell DISASTER I don't know what does. But you know back then, they didn't have Dr. Phil  to counsel them and tell them that they were "dead crazy" to be together. After all these boys were born in 771 BC[2]–c. 717 BC and c. 771 BC–c. 753 BC  respectively. These two "fortunate" babes were named Romulus and Remus. How were they to know what they were born into? Their grandfather a king (Rhea's father) had been sent packing by his own brother who declared himself the new king of the city "Alba."

You would think that Mars being the upstanding kind of guy he was would do the right thing by protecting  poor Rhea and his two strapping sons, right? Not a chance. The lesson to be learned ladies is, no matter how good looking a god is and even if he promises you immortality, don't fall for those old lines! A god is a god is a boy and  they don't show you any more love than a mortal man would.
The new king (the great-uncle of Romulus and Remus) decides he doesn't like the little tykes running around to possibly stir up trouble for him later as they get older and want to regain the crown. What is family after all, if not to make you feel unwanted and unloved! So he decides to give them a really nice baptism and  locks them in a trough and then tosses them into the river Tiber hoping they'll drown of course. Meanwhile poor Rhea and her destitute dad were left to wander the land and never  see the twins again. But, because the river was flooded the boys were washed to the shore, safe and sound (naturally!).
Crying and hungry, a mother she-wolf
just happened to find  them. One would think that being a hungry mother wolf  she would eat them up as they were after all,  nice,  juicy fat tidbits. That's what most people would assume about wolves calling them ferocious, bloodthirsty creatures who kill everything in sight. I get so angry how ignorant people can be!! Sorry, I'm digressing from the story. But, Noooooooo, out of the kindness of her heart she didn't eat them, instead she brought them back to her cave known as a "Lupercal" (meaning "cave of the wolf") and them suckled them with her milk as any human mother would; protecting them from all danger.
  Eventually the lads were discovered by a kindly shepherd (like all shepherds seem to be, right?) named Faustulus who brought them home to his wife, who just happened to be childless. As the years passed, there grew a dark jealousy and competition between Remus and Romulus. Faustulus  just laughed it off saying , "Ah, boys will be boys." Perhaps he was right, or maybe by sheer coincidence they inherited their father's love for violence and war or it could have been that the genes they inherited from their maternal grandfather ran cold, so that they too would turn upon each other as their great-uncle had betrayed his brother.

Remus and Romulus grew up as shepherds until one year, they decided to avenge their grandfather and they slew their great uncle and to give back the crown and the city that was rightfully their grandfather's.  Being sons of a power hungry god, they went off to conquer lands and decided they wanted to rule their own city.  They decided to build their city by the old cave where they were brought to safety by their mother wolf. One day, when they were erecting walls to protect their city, Remus stupidly made an off-hand remark about the lack of building skills Romulus displayed. Romulus, not having the strongest of ego's took out his hurt on Remus and murdered him then on the spot. Feeling such guilt, he decided to name the city after himself, calling the city "Rome" and declared it would be the greatest city ever to be seen! In honor of Romulus finding Rome, a strange event started to take place on the fifteenth of "Februa", or as we know it, February. A group of priests called the "Luperci"who wore goat-hides (and probably smelled a bit raunchy) brought two adolescent boys of royal birth into the very cave where the she-wolf brought Romulus and Remus. It was whispered that sacrifices of goats and a dog took place, in order to cleanse the city of evil, bringing about a new "Spring." They also knew the god Lupercus, patron of shepherds watched over them. 
A knife was dipped in the blood of the slain animals and wiped on the brow of the boys with sheep's wool. After the ritual was finished, the skin of the goats that were sacrificed were cut into pieces. Some of the pieces were worn by the new initiates while the other pieces of hide were made into thongs for flogging, (What a pretty picture that must have made!). The lucky villagers did get to participate in the ritual being chased by the laughing boys and the Luperci who ran after them flogging them. The villagers gladly took their beatings, especially the young ladies of the village took to these boys like groupies to rock stars. The girls were told that the floggings would ensure great fertility and help with the birthing of babies (Huh?!!!)
 As Christianity started to become a greater force, these pagan rites diminished in popularity. Although Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) the great-nephew of Cleo's old man, Gaius Julius Caesar, (and what a hottie Old Caesar was, eh?) decided to revive the old flogging festival every year on the fifteenth (ides) of February, (hmmmm, wonder what he was into...). This rite was to be called "Lupercalia", a.k.a., "the wolf festival."
In the first century, Cleo's boy-toy, Marc Antony
 
decided to be a party pooper and ix-nay'd the whole par-tay (I know moans, moans, moans) deciding it was improper and all, even though he decided it wasn't improper to be unfaithful to his devoted wife and do the nasty with Cleo, oh the hypocrisy! Oddly enough, a trace of this idolatry carried on with floggings for Easter Monday nights.

Eventually , with only the "lower" class having  the fun, I mean partaking in such abominable displays of lust and deprivation. They had to  keeping everything hush-hush so the Christian authorities wouldn't find out and arrest them all.
connect with Valentine's day? you may ask. Well, see the big dogs of  Christianity  popes were smart and they knew that regular folks weren't about to give up the wickedness so easily and so one Christian holy roller said to the others, "well, remember that St. Valentine guy is really into the righteous sanctity of  love and marriage and propagation?" And his bro's said, "Oh right! He was the dude who backed up Emperor Claudius to abolish those lewd and crude pagan orgies.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hello...This is Me

Basics
Do you have a magickal name? 
 I am about to share something that I have not shared online before.  Dessa Wolf is my magickal name.  My real name is Lisa.
Does it have a special meaning?
Yes, it does.  Dessa means "to wander" and I have definitely done some wandering in this life.  And the wolf is one of my main Totem animals so it just sort of came together.
How did you find Wicca/Paganism?
I have always felt a calling to this path, I can remember feeling the "stirrings" back when I was in high school.  But, I caved to what others thought was best for me and became a Christian at the age of 20 when my daughter was born.  I followed that path and I really tried to be a good Christian but it just never felt "right".  I always felt more holiness in the woods than I ever felt in any church building and I found more tranquility and peace in the sound of Nature all around me then I ever did through any sermon.
How long have you been practicing? 
 I have been walking this path for about 5 years now--albeit a bit haphazardly.  I really want to buckle down and get serious and this year I performed a re-commitment ritual earlier this year to formalize that.
Solitary or group practitioner?
Up until joining this coven, I have always been a solitary.  Finding those with like-minds in the area that I live has been a little difficult and honestly I tend to be on the shy side so that doesn't help.
What is your path?
I am a very eclectic hedge or green witch-in-training.  I just don't feel that I know enough to call myself Witch yet.  Maybe some day.  Eclectic because I take what speaks to me from many different paths and combine them into something that works for me and I leave the rest.  I love gardening and have a special affinity for herbs and herbal remedies.  One day I hope to become a master herbalist.
Are you out of the broom closet?
Out with family but very much in with the rest of the world.  
Gods/Goddess
Who are your patron Gods? 
Really don't have any...except maybe Pan or The Green Man
Who are your patron Goddess'? 
I have had an affinity for Hekate for a long time now.  However, I am going to have to be a lot further down my path and know a hell of a lot more before I begin to work with her energies.  I have a feeling she is going to be quite intense.
Which Gods/Goddess' do you worship? 
The Mother
Do you fear darkly aspected Gods/Goddess, or rather respect them? 
Hell ya, fear and respect them both.
Do you worship the Christian God? 
No.  Not as he is written in their book.
Do you ever worship animals? 
No, I do not worship them.  But as like all Nature...I revere them as my brothers and sisters.
Or plants?  
See Above.

Nature
Do you regularly commune with nature?
I try...like when I am gardening, but I need to work on this.
Ever walked barefoot in the woods?
No, and this is something I would like to do. I usually have my hiking boots on.
Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature? 
Not a camping trip--those are usually all about family and kids, but I have taken solo hiking trips to get closer to Nature.
Describe the moment you felt closet to Mother Earth?
I feel close to Mother Earth when I walk the ranch my family owns in Oakhurst, CA.  The land is filled with quartz crystal and I can literally feel the energy running through it.
What is your power animal(s)? 
The wolf, the crow, and the coyote
Do you have a familiar? 
No
Have you ever called upon the powers on an animal in ritual?
No, I have only ever done 3 rituals
Or a plant? 
No
Do you hug trees? 
Oh, I LOVE trees.  I touch them, hug them whenever I can.
Give them gifts? 
My adoration...does this count?
What is your favorite flower to work with? 
Sunflowers
What is your favorite tree to work with?
Redwoods

Wheel of the Year
What are your favorite holidays?
Samhain and Yule
What if your least favorite holiday? 
I don't really have any
Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday?
I did do a small Blue Moon ritual at the beginning of this year
Ever taken a day of work to celebrate a pagan holiday? 
No
Do you celebrate Yule on the 21 rather than the 25? 
I celebrate Yule on the 21st but I also celebrate Christmas with my family on the 25th
Have you ever felt the Veil thin? 
Yes
Ever danced the Maypole? 
No
Know what the Maypole symbolizes?
Yes
Ever made love on Beltaine? 
Yes
How do you usually celebrate the pagan holidays? 
Usually in a quiet way of my own.  My husband is Christian and although he supports me he does not really join in.

Divination
Do you use Tarot? 
Not yet, but I want to learn.
Do you use runes? 
No
Do you use a pendulum? 
Yes
Do you use dowsing rods?
No
Do you use astrology? 
No
Any other form of divination? 
No, but my Great, great, great grandmother used to read tea leaves so that interests me as well.

Spells
What was the first spell you did? 
I did a home finding spell when the house we were renting was sold out from under us.  It worked very well.
What was the latest? 
I have not worked a spell since the first one.  I take the working of spells very seriously and do not use them for just anything. 
Ever done a love spell?
No
A job spell? 
Not yet
A healing spell? 
Not yet
What was the most powerful spell you've ever performed? 
The first one, the home finding spell


Cryptozology
Do you believe in Vampires? 
Energy stealers, yes.  The ones who HAVE to drink blood to survive--not so sure about these.  I think there are a lot of pozers out there, though.
Werewolves? Shapeshifters? Elves? Fareries? Dragons? Nymphs? Sprites?Mermaids? Sirens? Satyrs? Angels?  
 For the above...not sure
Ghosts/Spirits? 
Yes
Ever "seen" any of the above? 
No
Ever talked to any of the above? 
No
Ever called on any of the above in magick? 
No
Do you have one of them as a personal guardian?
I do not know, I would love to, though

Random
Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon?  
Honestly, not sure what this means.  I think of the moon as a lady.
Own a cat? 
Yes
When you meditate what does your sacred/safe place look like?
I am just getting better at meditating and my sacred space seems to be some type of a wooded area.
Do you work with Chakras? 
I need to.  I have a feeling that some of mine are blocked.
Do you believe in soul mates? 
Not sure if I believe in love soul mates.  I do believe that some souls stay together through different lifetimes.
Ever met one? 
Sometimes I think so.
Do you have a Spirit guide? 
I would love to find out.  
Is it always love and light?
I think a Witch needs to know about the shadows and the dark to protect herself and those she holds dear 

Nice to meet ya'll.  

Be blessed and be a blessing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My how we have grown!

Holy crow! eWitch has got a waiting list now. Please don't stop letting us know that you are interested in joining. Just email any one of us & tell us about yourself. We will be taking more witches soon.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What is in a Name?

Magickal names are very popular within our Pagan culture for a variety of reasons.  In many cases, taking a magickal name is one of the first steps that a new Seeker takes on their path as it provides protection and anonymity in a world that is not always kind to those of our faith.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing your magickal name.
  1. Be creative!  Don’t use the name someone else is using because it sounds cool.  Odds are you can come up with something that fits your personality and spiritual walk better.  Plus, if you might end up as BlueMoon8952 when you go to sign up for a forum.
  2. Don’t force it!  If you are unable to think up the perfect name for yourself, do not settle for something that does not feel right.  Wait a while and go on your normal routine.  Pay careful attention to your dreams and monitor your thoughts while you are doing repetitive or mundane tasks.  You will likely get your answer when you least expect it.
  3. Do not pick something that is condescending or harmful to others!  This should not be an issue, but some people do not think about the effect that their name has on other people.  Though not everyone follows the Wiccan Rede, harming others has a way of coming back to bite you in the butt.  Be respectful of other people and their paths and do not pick something that is rude, gross or hurtful.
  4. Most importantly – magickal names change!  The whole purpose behind spiritual study is to grow.  As you do, your magickal name may no longer fit or may not feel right anymore.  No reason to panic.  Meditate and pick a new one.
So once you have chosen your magickal name, what do you do then? 
  • Most people will mull it over for a few days and make sure it fits and feels right.  If it does not feel just right, think it over some more.
  • You can make it official.  Go through a naming ceremony and take the name for yourself before Deity (and coven if you have one). 
  • Begin telling others your magickal name, if you choose to do so.
Have some more tips for choosing a magickal name?  Leave them in the comments!

Consecrating Salt Scrub

I highly recommend the use of this salt scrub as part of your pre-ritual personal consecration.  The salt draws toxins and negativity out of your body while the essential oil leaves you with a greater sense of well-being.  It is perfect for the shower.

Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup coarse Dead Sea salt
  • ¼ cup fine Dead Sea salt
  • ¼ cup Epsom salt
  • ¼ cup Apricot Kernel or Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1 tsp Cosmetic Grade Borax
  • 3 drops Essential Oil (I prefer lavender for cleansing, but you can use others)
Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a stainless steel bowl with stainless steel mixing instrument.  This recipe makes enough for 1 - 4oz. container of salt scrub.  When container is empty, refill and reuse.  Shelf life of 3 – 6 months.

Please see my post on Essential Oil Safety.  This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition.  Essential oils are not a substitute for professional medical care.

Essential Oil Safety

Essential oils are the lifeblood of the plants that surround us.  They are generally made from the distillation of leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other plant elements.  The product of this process is a highly-concentrated liquid plant essence, clear or amber in color.

While the essential oils are good for mind, body and spirit, they must be used responsibly so as not to cause allergic reaction or sensitivity.
  • NEVER use undiluted essential oil on your skin.
  • TEST new oils before you use them in any bath or body recipes.
  • READ the guidelines and warnings for the oils that you are using.
  • ERR on the side of less instead of more when it comes to adding oils.
  • KEEP essential oils out of the reach of children.
  • KEEP essential oils away from your eyes and other mucous membranes.
  • INTERNAL use of the oils should be considered after consulting with a qualified aromatherapy practitioner.
  • If IRRITATION redness, burning or itching occurs, add more carrier oil to the troubled area.
  • The oils are FLAMMABLE so keep them away from sources of ignition.
This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition.  Essential oils are not a substitute for professional medical care.

Resources:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Quick Note from Bright

Bright blessings, ladies. I'm sorry I haven't been very active in the discussions lately - this week has been rife with personal drama which is sucking up my time and energy like a sponge. Which makes me very glad that we started out with the Imbolc Ritual: I feel like it lent me a lot of strength and personal courage, which I need right now.

It was a beautiful ritual, also, and it was very lovely to know that we were all doing it together, our energies reaching out and connecting in spite of the distance. RAD!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Brace Yourselves, (heh-heh)

Guess, it's my turn to take the latest swing in "getting to know you". Note: I love Meme's, questionaire's, etc...so thought this would be a fun way to introduce myself. Would love to see others answers if so inclined. I found it on the internet and it's kind of long, sorry about the length.



Basics
Do you have a magickal name? Bast

does it have a special meaning? In homage to the Egyptian "Cat Goddess" Bast/Bastet

How did you find Wicca/Paganism? My mother was a "scholarly" witch, who unveiled the magickal world very, very early in my life.

How long have you been practicing? Although paganism is my main path, I have also dedicated myself to other spiritual paths, so "practicing" since about twenty or so. I'm now 46.

Solitary or group practitioner? Solitary until now.

What is your path? I tend to be drawn to the earth based paganism ways.

Are you out of the broom closet? yep.

Gods/Goddess
Who are your patron Gods? Hermes, Ganesh and Odin, Archangel Michael and Herne.

Who are your patron Goddess'? Bast, Brigid, Aphrodite, Kwan Yin and not really a "Goddess" but Mary Magdalene and the same with Morgan Le Fey.

Which Gods/Goddess' do you worship? I don't know if I "worship" any deity although I certainly honor and revere them. My cats are certainly very worshipped as the saying goes, "Cats were once worshiped in Egypt and they have never forgotten this" so perhaps Bast?

Do you fear darkly aspected Gods/Goddess, or rather respect them? Both fear and respect especially Kali

Do you worship the Christian God? I believe that Jesus was a great teacher and am very drawn to the true Gnostic teachings, but definitely don't worship ole Yaweh!

Do you ever worship animals? As mentioned above, I certainly pay a lot of homage to my cats.

Or plants? I don't worship plant life necessarily, but am very respectful and drawn to plant's and herbs, esp. sage, sweetgrass, rosemary, and saffron to name a few.

Nature
Do you regularly commune with nature? In one form or another, most definitely.

Ever walked barefoot in the woods? Yes, loved it.

Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature? Not really a "camping trip" more like a pilgrimage to certain sacred places.

Describe the moment you felt closet to Mother Earth? Too many to mention, but first really profane experience was in Ireland when I traveled with my mother (accordingly enough) and every time I've visited Indian res.'s despite the sadness and every time i participate in a sweat lodge or similar rituals.

What is your power animal(s)? Wolf, hawk and cat.

Do you have a familiar? I'm owned by my two sister cats, but really for special ritual and magic, Miss Bella is my familiar. Her sister, Sele is my clown and heart.

Have you ever called upon the powers on an animal in ritual? Yes, often.

Or a plant? Yes, especially when participating in Native American rituals, like sage, sweetgrass, cedar and copal.

Do you hug trees? Actually I do and I really love old oak trees which are in abundance where I live fortunately.

Give them gifts? My love and energy, does that count?

What is your favorite flower to work with? Lotus flower and jasmine.

What is your favorite tree to work with? Oak tree and willow.

Wheel of the Year
What are your favorite holidays? Samhain and Litha

What if your least favorite holiday? In the "western" world I cant' stand 4th of July or Columbus day, too much hypocrisy and death.

Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday? Yep!

Ever taken a day of work to celebrate a pagan holiday? Yes, usually Samhain

Do you celebrate Yule on the 21 rather than the 25? I do.

Have you ever felt the Veil thin? A lot!

Ever danced the Maypole? It's been a while, but I have many times in the past. When I was a little girl, in really early elementary my school always celebrated May Day with a Maypole although I know for a fact, that most is not all of the people knew of the real origins or worshiped it as a pagan.

Know what the Maypole symbolizes? Fertility, the coming together of the Lady and Lord? and a welcoming of the true Spring spirit?

Ever made love on Beltaine? Sigh, been too long, but most definitely!

How do you usually celebrate the pagan holidays? Spent in nature and at home with loved rituals and practice.

Divination
Do you use Tarot? I can easily pick up a tarot deck and "divine" with it, but haven't in a long time.

Do you use runes? I've dabbled with the runes but am more drawn to tarot.

Do you use a pendulum? no

Do you use dowsing rods? Never have tried, although I really admire water witchs

Do you use astrology? Love astrology. Here's a little view of my chart: Sun-Libra, Moon-Virgo, Rising-Virgo, Venus and Mars in Scorpio and Mercury in Libra. Born in the Year of the Cat (appropiately enough) or as other Asian cultures call it Year of the Rabbit.

Any other form of divination? I always pay attention to what animals I see in nature and what they're doing, especially Hawks.

Spells
What was the first spell you did? When I turned 9 years old, my mother gave me a book on how to call forth Faeries, and I started to do one in my bedroom by myself and all of a sudden felt their presence and stopped because I was too scared. Wish I had a "teacher" or "mentor" who could have walked me through that road.

What was the latest? I haven't cast one in a long time, the last one was a prayer/blessing for my 21 year old son who was abusing heroin three years ago. I prayed, cast a circle, etc...for three months straight. Now, he's completely clean, straight "A" student and just really an amazing person. Thank the Goddess!

Ever done a love spell? Never a conscious manipulative one like casting for a specific person or taking some one away from someone else, but when I was younger used to cast lots of love spells.

A job spell? Yes

A healing spell? The one I mentioned for my son it that could be considered a "spell".

What was the most powerful spell you've ever performed? When I was 19 my mother (again ; ) gave me a St. Brigid statue and a 10 day novena to meet a husband. On the 10th day I met my now ex-husband.


Cryptozology
Do you believe in Vampires? The energy vampire's perhaps or wannabe's.

Werewolves? Perhaps

Shapeshifters? Yes!

Elves? Yes

Fareries? Yes

Dragons? In some form or another.

Nymphs? Yes

Sprites? Yes

Mermaids? Yes

Sirens? Yes

Satyrs? Not sure

Angels? Without a doubt!

Ghosts/Spirits? Absolutely

Ever "seen" any of the above? Yes a few of the above.

Ever talked to any of the above? I've met a few N. American Shapeshifters.

Ever called on any of the above in magick? Yes, quite a few times.

Do you have one of them as a personal guardian? I believe so.

Random
Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon? I always talk to Grandmother Moon, but I have seen a rabbit in the moon.

Own a cat? I don't know that anyone can "own" a cat, but they "own" us. I've already talked about being owned by two female felines.

When you meditate what does your sacred/safe place look like? A lot like Lothlorien or the high desert like at New Mexico or Arizona.

Do you work with Chakras? Yes

Do you believe in soul mates? Yes and not just the romantic type.

Ever met one? Yes, I've been blessed to meet quite a few.

Do you have a Spirit guide? Yes a few different one's.

Is it always love and light? I practice white/green magick, but I firmly believe you can't have the light without the shadows.

Pheww, that was exhausting but great for my own knowledge about myself and hope that any of you enjoyed it too. Oh yeah, and my name is Wendy


Friday, February 5, 2010

Meet Boo...

Merry meet!

I just wanted to take a brief moment and introduce myself as all my other coven sisters have done. :)

I'm Bridgett, a.k.a Boo Shamrock, a Sagittarius and mother of two munchkins. I'm a registered nurse and wannabe writer. I have a huge interest in alternative medicine and a more holistic lifestyle. I should probably also mention, as this probably effects many of you as well, that I'm mother of an autistic child. We've been recovering him using biomedical interventions with WONDERFUL results.

I started studying Paganism almost 8 years ago, but officially dedicated myself this past spring. At this point in my path, I haven't found my niche quite yet, but I do know I'm drawn to many aspects of Wicca and I also pull heavily from the Celtic pantheon.

One thing I do know, I am NOT a kitchen witch. Terrible, terrible cook, I am. :)

Merry part!

I am luna


Merry meet & welcome to you all. A coven is new for me as I was a solitary, but now, happily I have a coven home. I am a part of the new virtual coven. I already feel like we are a "group."
I am a 56 year old crone & the mother of three sons 26, 25 & 22. I have been married for 29 years to the best man in the world. I live in Lynchburg, Virginia (home of Jerry Falwell's empire) and have been a serious Wiccan for two+ years & studied it off & on all my life. Oddly enough, it was a book, Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling that caused my final conversion to a polytheistic, Wiccan life. One of the main characters in the book is a witch named Juniper MacKenzie. She is the High Priestess of her coven & her character is so warm, wonderful & thoughtful that as I read the book, I thought, "I want to be like Juniper." Yes, a fictional character is my role model.
I am not completely out of the broom closet either. I haven't said to any friend or family member, "Hey ya'll! I am a witch." I think they all know I am not an Episcopalian anymore, though. Wicca is so much harder than being a Christian. I NEVER spent as much time & energy on religion as I do now. There isn't an hour that goes by that I am not thinking about my religion & what it means to me. Isn't that odd? I am like a rabid, right-wing witch. Dang! I've lived in Lynchburg too long & the Baptist Church mentality has rubbed off onto me.
Love from luna

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Message From Mother Moon

Well we are finally off and running... A welcome to all who pass and also to those who choose to stay and join.  It seems that introductions are in order so here goes.  The idea of joining a group/coven, is new to me as I have always been a soilitary.  Yet I will admit that the need to join with others and share experiences, suggestions, and just plain discussion on topics is something I think I would greatly love.  I am a 48 year old mother of 3 and GG (grandma) to 2 with one on the way.  I bear the sign of Scorpio and am would have to say I am true to its qualities.. both good and bad...   I am married to the man I have loved since I was 7 yrs. old... and reside in Oklahoma.  I have followed the pagan path completely for only a short time, yet have always been drawn to it since I was young.  My areas of interest lie in Druidism, nature, cooking, gardening, writing, photography, and divination.  Which means more than likely my writings will be a little of all plus a bit more....

I look forward to the experiences that we will all share as well as the bonds we will create.  Welcome... sit a spell.... and enjoy

Flight of the Sparrow

Hello and welcome to the eWitch Virtual Coven!  We have been expecting you so please come in, sit down and stay for a spell.  My name is Serephina Sparrow, but you can just call me Sparrow.

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself here on the site.  I am a 27-year-old Pisces who is married to the most wonderful man in the world.  We live in Texas and have two dogs.  I have been on a Pagan path for the great part of five years and am glad to have found this wonderful group.

Some of the topics I will be talking about on this blog include aromatherapy, making natural bath products, magickal ethics, family spiritual practice and some introductory material on Earth-based spirituality.  I will also be preparing the ritual and other information for the Sabbat of Beltane.

I am so glad you have found us.  Please leave us a note if you are interested in joining our group.  Come back often!

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