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Posts Tagged ‘polytheism’

Khalil Gibran.jpg

As a witch, I follow no one sacred book. We are all children of Spirit and so all of our lips speak eternal truths. However, many of us are in a cloud. It shrouds us with illusion- we perceive reality from a only a small perspective: like trying to know a large house by peeking in through the front door’s key hole. There are so many possibilities out there that we are unaware of.

The writings of Kahlil Gibran light me up from the inside- it reminds me of my own luminosity housed in the hearts of all creation. His poetry is like that cloud of illusion lifted. His words comfort, inspire and dance in my head like a new found lover. I feel like I can take his poems and fashion them into healing charms and love spells and chant their sacred words to wake the dead.

“Love is the lover’s eyes, and the spirit’s wine, and the heart’s nourishment. Love is a rose… Love is the poet’s elation, and the artist’s revelation, and the musician’s inspiration…Love is the sacred shrine in the heart of a child, adored by a merciful mother…Oh seekers, Love is Truth, beseeching Truth, and your Truth in seeking and receiving and protecting Love shall determine its behavior.”

“Marriage is the union of two divinities that a third might be born on earth. It is the union of two souls in a strong love for the abolishment of separateness.”

-from Secrets of the Heart

I started reading his books just two weeks ago. I found the book Secrets of the Heart among my grandmother’s things when she moved into a nursing home five years ago, however I never started reading it until recently. It was always one of those books that beckoned me to keep it around, glance at her signature printed neatly within the inside cover every once in a while. I thought the book was strictly Christian (which it is not-)  and so I never bothered to do much more than skim it. But now that I have reached a new point in my spiritual path- where I honor all paths- I was pleasantly surprised when I began to read. And then by fate’s grace I came across a large book in a thrift store that contained many (it not all) of his writings, The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran.

“…the whole earth is my birthplace and all humans are my brothers.”

Kahlil Gibran was a true mystic- he followed no one religion- all inspired him and he wrote of the Spirit of Love as his guide. His writings contain many figures- including the Goddess herself. He was born in Lebanon into a Catholic family but was surrounded with those of many faiths and later as a teenager he moved back and forth between the United States and Lebanon. His family history was tragic- his father was imprisoned as when Gibran was a child and his mother, brother and sister all died of illness in his adolescence (I look up to anyone who can survive all of that) even his own lifetime love could not rightly marry him due to her family’s conservatism. However, the words that flows from him speak of joy, beauty and truth and point to the great mystery of the soul. He was also an artist and a fiction writer and knew Carl Jung (which makes him instantly cool, by the way). According to wikepedia, he is the third best selling poet of all time. His picture is also quite dashing, no?

And so it is with his words that I have been recharging this last week. I feel like the process is not fully finished, but I wanted to peek my head out of my hole for a bit to sing my praise of this wonderful writer.

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Last night in my multicultural counseling class we had a gay couple guest speak about the coming out process. I realize that there are many differences between the Wiccan community and the LGBT community, but I always find it interesting how many similarities there are because of us both identifying ourselves outside of mainstream society.

For one, we both face possible discrimination if we are publicly “out” and we have to constantly stand up for our human rights (so LGBT pagans really get a double whammy of work). Another thing they said was most LGBT people have usually felt a little different growing up, like they didn’t quite fit in to the main crowd so easy. Almost all of the Wiccans and Pagans I have known have said the same thing.

The couple went on to talk about the facts of coming out: it is not just a one time deal and you never have to do it again! The process never ends!! It is the same for Pagans… think about it: You may be out to your friends and family and maybe even those who you work with, but we are still having to judge the right time to come out to people we have just met, too.

For example, I have made some new friends at grad school, but I haven’t brought up my religion till last week because I wanted everyone to know who I was before any possible stereotypes would get slammed on me once I announce that I am Pagan. But here is finally how it went-and I wrote a nonfiction story about it so enjoy…

The Lesbian, The Christian and The Witch

Three female graduate students in their twenties are talking. One is a lesbian, one is a Christian and one is a witch:

The Christian to the Lesbian: “Sometimes I feel that others may be judging me on being a Christian because the stereotypes of Christians being judgmental, but I just want you to know that I completely accept and support your lifestyle. Not all Christians are the same… many of us do focus more on the love side.”

The Lesbian: “Thank you, that means a lot. I never really thought about how you are worried about stereotypes, too.”

The Witch: “Wow, I am so touched by this conversation and I am feeling ready to tell you both something: I’m Pagan!”

The Lesbian: “Pagan?”

The Witch: “Another common name is Wicca.”

The Lesbian: “No way! That is great- I don’t know any Wiccans. Hey my mom is really interested in the Salem Witch Trials.”

The Christian: “What does it mean to be Wiccan?”

The Witch: To honor the masculine and feminine divine and see the sacredness of nature mostly.

The Christian: “It sounds really interesting to learn about. I’m glad you told us. It sounds like we all have something we worry about being discriminated for. ”

The Witch to the Christian: “I owe you an apology, I was worried about telling you because I was placing that judgmental Christian stereotype on you. I have experienced a lot of prejudice from Christians in the past, but now I see that is not true of all, or maybe even most Christians- thank you for being so brave and talking about your feelings.”

Three friends walk back to class… and it doesn’t matter which one is the lesbian, the witch or the christian, because the first word they think about when they see each other is, “Friend”.

The End.

awww… now I am all teary eyed just thinking about it again 🙂

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Where have all the mystics gone and why can’t they be seen?

Where are all the shadow men and singers to the trees?

Why are all these people gathering around a common sound,

When there is so much diversity in the world waiting to be found?

When can I escape to a wooded hidden home

Where folk who speak of magic safely may roam?

Why are those who are gifted  shunned from out of sight,

When we the people need their blessings and  insight?

When can we return to the doctors and the queens

Who can speak from our world into the great unseen?

I call out to the wild of places still unmet

Keep all of your secrets hidden there- because if we knew, we would forget.

Until one day when we all can meet as the lovers that we are,

and make new ways and reinvent how to love from afar,

May we hold our mysteries silent and deep and never surrender to

What others think we should be and what we are supposed to do.

For the path of the mystic can be like a mirror into the moon,

What is reflected is the truth of beauty, but logic taints it too soon.

-By Bonnie Waller (Cicada)

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keeper of the fire painting“Keeper of the Fire”

I have met a new love and it is infinite with paint.

Painting has become quite a surprising pleasure for me this year. Compositions of plants, gods, magick, love and desire dance in my head. With each paint stroke, I overcome my self-doubt. With each picture accomplished, I realize my ability to manifest creation.

The White Goddess, Raven and Crone

“Raven and Crone”

If you have been wondering what I have been up to lately, this is it! Magick has become swirled paint alongside my normal busy world of family, kids, school, sabbats and songs. The top picture is going to go on a poetry book I am in the process of getting ready for my store, Twitchy Witchy. The other paintings are currently for sale there, too.

 priestess of the fields

“Red Priestess of the Fields”

Me, being the proud mamma I am, had to share my daughter’s rendition of this:

Aiyana's red priestess

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snow moon

This Snow Moon I trekked to a nearby lake for a hike and a little bit of magic.

Tobacco and apple were given to the Guardian, an ancient Cottonwood who lives upon a hill, and a few healing prayers were spoken to the lake’s water, not quite melted yet from a recent snow. Once deep into the woods I carved out a diagram for myself to stand in and charged it with the directions. I’m not a huge fan of the cold, but snow does have it’s advantage when wanting to draw out circles to stand in.  Incense was offered to the west and a cycle of death and rebirth was reenacted upon the grounds still sleeping undernieth me.

snow moon 1

My sacred stones were taken out: The Shaman, The Queen, The Witch. I buried them in the snow, offered more tobacco and resurfaced them to dry in the sun.

February’s Snow Moon is like the last hour of one’s sleep: grasp on to the dreams and visions you have before you awaken! Soon the land will wake-up to the sweet smell of flowers and spring buds new.

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Oh witch bottles, interesting to make and probably even more interesting to find!

Here are some links to archeology witch bottle finds for your pleasure…

The U.K.:It apparently took some seriously bad mojo to go up against 17th-century witches. According to the Sept.-Oct. Archaeology magazine, U.K. researchers opened and analyzed the contents of a rare intact “witch bottle,” which was buried to ward off spells. Inside were “bent pins, a nail-pierced heart made of leather, fingernail clippings, belly-button lint, and hair, all swimming in a bath of 300-year-old, nicotine-tinged urine.”

And Pennsylvania: Here
Greenwich London: Here
Here are some protective plants to use in charms or what have you from the older book, Mastering Witchcraft A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks and Covens by Paul Huson:
Holda (Elderberry- flowers or berries gathered at midsummer)
Madwort (alyssum), Marjoram
Dragon Herb (tarragon), Angelica, Fennel
Bay Laurel, Asafetida Grass, Holy Thistle Herb, Bishop’s Wort  (betony)
Garlic Flowers, All-Heal (mistetoe), Dog Roses, Arum Lillies
“Trefoil, vervain, St. John’s Wort, dill,
Hinder witches of their will.”
(trefoil is a three-leafed plant)

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Eurus of the East

    Ravenous and cloudy.

Notus of the South

   Cloudy, moist, warm.

Zephyrus of the West

   Soft, pleasant, bringer of Spring.

Boreus of the North

Fierce and roaring. Binds water with frost.

Info from The Philosophy of Natural Magic: A Complete Work on Natural Magi, White and Black

by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, 1533

Click here for more information regarding the names and the Greek gods that they were identified as.

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Hathor, goddess of music, is the oldest Egyptian deity depicted in art… Sacred to Hathor and a symbol of her power, the systum was like a miniature temple where the goddess resided… In Egyptian mythology, Hathor is the heavenly cow who nurses the newly dead from her udder. Her pillar-like legs hold up the sky. Her belly is filled with stars. At dusk, the sun, as the hawk Horus, flies into her mouth. She is called Lady of the Stars, Lady of the Sycamore, Mistress of the Desert. She is a goddess of healing and of all things sensual: the touch of a lotus petal, the taste of a pomegranite, the sound of a harp, the scent of musk, the intoxication of red barley beer, the silky fluids of sex.   ~Susan Elizabeth Hale in Sacred Space, Sacred Sound (wonderful book!)

Reading this description of Hathor, I felt like she was already in my life, weaving music sensually into my dreams and magic. And so, she must be honored. This is just my preliminary research on her so I can work a ritual for her properly later. You, the reader, gets to explore her mysteries with me!

Her form has cow ears in ancient art. Some also see the connection of the shape of her head and ears to that as the fallopian tubes and uterus. She is great mother and her temples served as centers of healing, birthing chambers, libraries and sacred bath rituals where incantations were spoke in trance-inducing ways.

She was a sexual goddess and was ritually united with her lover, Horus, every New Year along the Nile. Her golden statues were anointed, fed and dressed, similar to Hindu practices. Myrrh was burned and praises were given in thanks for the fertility of the land. Her cow horns held the Sun God within it’s hold.

Hathor is the “Misteress of the West” because she welcomed the souls of the dead into the afterlife. Both priests and priestess served her, royalty and land folk, too. She was seen as Lover, Wife and Mother and was similar to Aphrodite in many ways. Music, joy, sex, milk… all was connected to Hathor.

If anyone else has information for me, I would love to know it! Egyptian magic is not yet familiar to me.

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Language is what defines our reality. In a postmodernistic view, where reality is subject to everyone’s own perceptions, language helps form our realities and can be different for different groups and individuals.

Words convey symbols. But what one word may convey to one person, can mean something so different to another. (Just think of all the connotations connected to the word “magic”).

It seems that with all religions, everyone has a word for God, but the words themselves do not match.

In fact, I personally think the word “God” is still too limiting to what it is I feel the Infinite Spirit represents. The word God feels so human to me. I once read in a Hindu scripture (can’t think of exact one) that people need a personal view and an impersonal view of God, so all the deities help a person connect to God, as there is a humanistic image of He or She, the impersonal view is called Atman (God within) and Brahman (God outside of ourselves). The goal is realizing that they are identical.  I like this perspective, as do many.

However, the word God, or even Goddess, is still limiting in it’s symbolic form. At least for me. Even if I try to connect to the impersonal God, I still end up imagining this old dude in the sky. Some people have an androgynous form of God they like to connect with, but it is still so human. Here’s the thing… out of all the hundreds names for God, what is it that God really means? What is it that God is?

=

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~LOVE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If everyone could just accept this about everyone else’s gods, this would be the start of peace.

If everyone could just place LOVE on their altars, we would have the ultimate ideal for our lives.

LOVE is limitless. It has infinite forms. This is why there are so many deities and ideas of what they are. The world needs so many forms of Love. From the love of creativity to the love of the future generations to allow for death. Love is why we are here. Even if your parents conceived you from what most would deem as loveless sex, you were still conceived because they desired connection.

LOVE IS CONNECTION.

I am not saying I’m giving up on paganism or the God’s. Since love is infinite and we are part of this Infinite energy then there are many forms. Just like there are many, many people born to serve Love in many ways (teachers, musicians, librarians, leaders, garbage truck drivers, mothers, morticians, acrobats, etc…) there are many deities needed to serve Love in many ways  (Allah, Kali, Diana, Jehovah) and yes, many saints and prophets and wise ones (Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Mother Theresa, You?). And let’s not forget about the animals and plants of this world!

Thus, I am a servant of Love. I am love and you are love.

So Blessed Be

Picture by

http://www.cianellistudios.com/spiritual_paintings.html

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As a hedgewitch, I work primarily with natural materials. Although I can successfully do magic without the aid of things, I like to incorporate the energies of the natural world into rituals often. This makes traveling to do ritual a bit complicated in terms of planning and packing. I like to bring so much with when I go to Sabbats or mid-forest rituals and it usually takes a while to collect everything that I want. And then I have to think in practical terms, like what am I going to feasibly want to carry out with me for miles?

I imagined a small carrying case that could be tucked into my purse and be with me wherever I go, just in case I want to do a bit of spell-working or ritual impromptu. And this is how my Bag-O-Tricks began!

I chose a sturdy purple tapestry fabric for the cover and I used dark purple felt for the interior. There are four pockets, six vial holders, two loops to hang things and one tiny candle holder sewed inside. I made it so that the bag could roll up into any size and a long Japanese silk cord could be wrapped around the whole thing and weaved around two buttons to secure it together.

Inside is what holds all of the fun… A tiny lighter, sage stick, candle, wood-burned pentacle, incense cone and a Shiva and Shakti statue to honor Goddess and God. There is also a pouch for collecting any wildcrafted items, tobacco, my counsel of stones (see below), elemental correspondences: corn for air, crystal for fire, shell for water and lightning struck pine for earth. Some of the vials hold citrine for cleansing energy and nature offerings, salt, moon-blessed water, shapeshifting oil (Otherworld Apothecary), and sacred life oil (read Courting the Lady by Patrick McCollum for more info). Believe it or not, my small rattle was made using pistachio shells! I placed small bits of glass and rock inside the shells, superglued them together and sewed it inside fabric. They actually sound pretty loud considering how small they are. The natural silk cord that wraps the bag can be easily broken off in bits to leave as spirit offerings, too.  I find that ritual is not negatively impacted due to the small size of everything.

Counsel of Stones: These are sacred stones that I like to meditate with or go to when I have a question. Each one represents a different aspect of the sacred for me, for example, I have a “Shaman” stone.

It feels good to make something for me! I had been so busy making things for TwitchyWitchy that Ganesha finally told me that I needed to get back to crafting sacred items for myself, too. Here’s a picture of matching coyote teeth necklaces I made for my husband and I:

May the light shine upon your path,

Cicada

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