Category: WAHT

Witchcraft Articles and How-Tos

Do you need to worship a deity?

Do you need to worship a deity?

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Image via Pixabay

The answer to this question can be complicated depending on your personal belief system, your view of religion, and if you belong to a specific tradition within a religion. To answer this question, you must first figure out where you fall on the spectrum of beliefs. So let’s start with some definitions.

Definitions

Theism – belief in the existence of a god or gods

Atheism – a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods

Agnosticism – the view that any ultimate reality (such as a deity) is unknown and probably unknowable: a philosophical or religious position characterized by uncertainty about the existence of a god or any gods

Animism – the attribution of conscious life to objects in and phenomena of nature or to inanimate objects

Monotheism – the doctrine or belief that there is but one God

Duotheism – the doctrine or belief that there are only two Gods

Pantheism – the worship of all gods of different creeds, cults, or peoples indifferently

Polytheism – belief in or worship of more than one god

Henotheism – the worship of one god without denying the existence of other gods

all definitions are from Merriam-Webster except duotheism, which is not in the dictionary

Now that we have some definitions under our belt, let’s take a closer look at each one so we can answer the question of worshiping deities.

Theism

The word theism comes from the Greek word theoi , meaning God or Gods . It is a term that was first used by Ralph Cudworth, who said that those who practice theism are “strictly and properly called Theists, who affirm, that a perfectly conscious understanding being, or mind, existing of itself from eternity, was the cause of all other things” (1). Those who ascribe themselves to theism believe in a higher power but do not necessarily give it a name. They do not follow a dogma or religious structure because they are not part of organized religion.

Atheism

On the other hand, atheism is a complete disregard or disbelief in theism. So, atheists reject the belief in any higher power.

Agnosticism

Those who hold an agnostic belief are among a population that does not believe that the existence of any higher power can ever be known or proven. They do not disbelieve, but they do not believe, either. Most who call themselves agnostic believe that leading a religious life can be a positive experience, but they do not live that way themselves.

Animism

In our modern world, animism is a harder concept to understand or believe. Put simply, it means that everything on the physical plane has a spirit. This means that the flowers in your garden have a spirit, but so do your electronics. The way we understand animism today is partly due to a Sir Edward Tylor, who said animism is “one of anthropology’s earliest concepts, if not the first” (2). Animism is attributed to the belief systems of most of the world’s indigenous populations and is quite possibly the first recorded system of belief in the world.

Monotheism

Looking at the word, monotheism contains two separate parts – mono meaning one, and theism , which we defined above. The most notable form of monotheism is Christianity, but any Abrahamic faith falls into this category. The most important pillar of monotheism is the belief in only one higher power.

Duotheism

Taking a page from monotheism, we can break down duotheism into its two parts as well – duo meaning two, and theism . Wicca is the most notable form of duotheism – if not the only. Within Wicca, there is the worship of a God and a Goddess 1.

Pantheism

Pantheists do not believe in a higher power. Instead, those who label themselves as pantheists believe that the divine is in everyone and everything – that reality is identical with divinity. Pantheism is a term that was coined by a man named Joseph Raphson in 1697 (3).

Polytheism

Like monotheism and duotheism, we can break down the word polytheism as well. Poly means many, and theism we defined above. Polytheism is one of the oldest systems of belief, and many faiths still practice polytheism today. There is some debate between the terms soft polytheism and hard polytheism, and if you’re interested, I spoke about that on my podcast. That is not something I am here to discuss today. Polytheism is the belief in more than one god. The most notable forms of polytheism from ancient culture is Hellenism and Asatru. Hellenism is the religion of the ancient people of Greece, and Asatru is the religion of the ancient Vikings and Nordic peoples. There are also religions and belief systems that did not die out that are considered polytheistic – Buddhism and Shinto being two examples.

Henotheism

Henotheism is a belief system that we do not hear too much about. It is not put into practice often, but one example of Henotheism can be found within several traditions of Hinduisms. Within Hinduisms, many individuals worship only one deity out of many but do not deny the existence of the others.


I know that was a lot of information, but we still have yet to answer the main question: do you need to worship a deity?

Depending on your standpoint and your religious belief, the answer could be yes or no. You first need to figure out where you stand in terms of the theisms described above and if you belong to a specific religion and tradition.

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Image via Pixabay

Within Wicca

Let’s use Wicca as an example. We know from reading above that Wicca is a duotheistic religion. Many traditions within Wicca have deities that are their Lord and Lady. However, since Wicca is duotheistic, the worship of other deities as individual entities is not something that is done. Wiccans often choose other deities to worship and call it soft polytheism , but I believe that soft polytheism is just monotheism or duotheism in disguise. So, within Wicca, you can choose to give names to the Lord and Lady, but ultimately, worship of the Lord and Lady is an inherent part of the framework of the religion.

Within Celtic Paganism

Now, let’s take my faith, for example. I consider myself to be a Celtic Pagan with an emphasis on Welsh and Irish deities. My faith is considered inherently polytheistic due to the vast number of deities and entities that were – and are – worshiped within any Celtic faith. However, my faith can also be described as henotheistic because, while I may believe in all deities, I only worship a select few. However, since my belief is considered polytheistic, belief and worship of at least one deity is a requirement of my faith.

My form of prayer is different from monotheistic beliefs. I believe in all Celtic entities and deities, but I have one Goddess in particular that I worship and give offerings to on a daily basis. Within Celtic Paganism, prayer is different than the traditional Christianity-based method. Using myself as an example, I give an offering to my Goddess every morning to thank Her for the way She moves in my life and the opportunities She has provided to me. This is my form of prayer.

So, should you worship and pray to a deity?

No one can answer this question but you . The only thing I can do is give you a guide and framework to help you formulate your answer. Think about the following questions:

  1. Do you believe in any gods?
  2. Do you belong to a religion?
  3. Does your religion have a set framework for deity worship?
  4. Does your religion require the belief and worship of a god or gods?
  5. Do you feel that praying to a deity or worshiping a deity is necessary?

Answering these questions can help guide you to the right answer for you. Most importantly, you want to consult the elders in your tradition to help you make a decision if you are still unsure.

You also need to define what prayer means to you within your beliefs and religious preference. Does it mean sitting down and speaking to your deity? Does it mean lighting a stick of incense as an offering? Does it mean meditation? Does it require multiple performances throughout the day?

Overall, having a deity to worship or pray to is a personal preference, but it is a decision that must be taken in stride with your religious beliefs and the framework of whatever faith you practice. If something does not feel right to you, you may need to reevaluate your religious preferences and beliefs. Like I said above, consult the elders in your faith. Look within yourself to figure out what you believe is the right course of action for your life.


Do you pray to a higher power? If not, why?

Is something holding you back from prayer or worship of a particular deity?

I would like to hear your thoughts and opinions on deity worship and prayer and answer any questions you may have as well.


Sources

(1) The True Intellectual System of the Universe – Ralph Cudworth
(2) Animism Revisited by Nurit Bird-David
(3) Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature

Dating Non-Pagans

Dating Non-Pagans

According to a study done in 2017 by Pew Research, folk religions and religions classified as ‘other’ make up approximately 6.5% of the world’s religious affiliation (1). That is only about 474.5 million people out of 7 billion. I know those are large numbers to visualize, but these numbers are important when thinking about dating and relationships with others.

We make up only a small portion of the world’s religions, so it makes sense that most of us might end up in relationships with a partner – or partners – that do not follow our religious path. I am one of those people, so I am speaking from experience on this topic. My boyfriend and I have been together since 2008 and he does not have a religious affiliation. He describes his beliefs as agnostic, which means he does not believe in a higher power but he also does not deny the possibility of it.

There are plenty of times when we do get into healthy discussions about my beliefs and how I understand the world. We have talked about my views on the afterlife, magick, energy work, and the Gods. It is never a discussion of right versus wrong, only a discussion for further understanding. We are far from perfect, however. We still have our differences when it comes to teaching our daughter and how to answer her questions.

Things to Consider

When dating non-pagans, several things need to be considered when looking at long-term goals. Do you plan on getting married? Having children? How do your families get along? All of these questions, plus those that I could not possibly list as they come up, will have some sort of impact on your relationship in regards to religion. If you plan on getting married, will you have a religious ceremony or a secular one? If you have kids, will you raise them in your religion? Theirs? Neither?

It is important to be open-minded and honest with your partner(s) about your religious beliefs from the beginning. This does not mean that you need to talk about religion on the first date but keep in mind that some people have irreconcilable differences with those that do not hold the same religious beliefs.

Communication is a vital piece of the puzzle.

People of different religious affiliations can have long and happy relationships, but several key things have to be true for that to happen. All partners have to be open-minded. All partners have to be honest with each other. Judgment cannot hold a place in their relationship. Communication is the biggest concern when in a relationship with someone who does not hold the same beliefs as you. This goes both ways, no matter the religion. Even though you are a pagan, you cannot hold judgment or resentment against your partner(s) for their differing beliefs. It is a two-way street, and all parties involved need to have open communication and honesty.

Are you in a relationship with someone of a different faith? If so, how do you manage the differences that are bound to come up in regards to lifestyle, holidays, children, and beliefs?

If you are not currently in a relationship, do you have any reservations about being in one with someone who doesn’t hold the same beliefs as you do?

Sources
(1) – Pew Research


4 Tips for Creating a Consistent Meditation Practice

I have trouble meditating on a regular basis just because. I get busy or lazy (or both) and sometimes I just forget. I know I can’t be the only one, so I’ve gathered four of my best – and easiest – tips to help you build a consistent meditation practice.

I make every attempt to be inclusive and accessible to everyone. If you would prefer to download a PDF copy of this transcript, click here.

Be Consistent

Schedule out a block of time in your day and meditate. So, this could be any time that you have a little bit of extra time. When you meditate, especially when you’re first starting to build a meditation practice, you don’t need to meditate for 20-30 minutes or an hour. Five minutes is just fine. So, if you have to wake up five minutes earlier in the morning to meditate, wake up five minutes earlier. If you want to meditate on your lunch break at work? Meditate on your lunch break. You want to meditate before bed? Do that! But you need to be consistent in when you meditate and the length of time that you meditate when you first start. If you have to, schedule it out in your schedule.

Find a Style the Works for You

Now, the whole sit down and quiet your mind type of meditation is not going to work for everyone. You might need to do some experimentation with different forms of meditation to find one that works for you and that really benefits you in whatever way you need. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with the different styles of meditation. You could even mix and match them because the whole point of meditation, in my opinion, is not to make sure that you’re “doing it right” but to make sure that you’re doing it actively and consistently in order to receive the benefits from the meditation.

Check out the guided meditations available in my shop!

Go Easy on Yourself

Don’t beat yourself up if you skip days or if you miss days and just try to ease yourself back into the practice. Things happen, and you can’t beat yourself up over the fact that you missed a day or two, or a week. You just need to ease yourself back into it and don’t get discouraged. Sometimes creating consistency is hard, especially if you tend to be a busy person or if it’s not something that you’re used to. So, be easy on yourself and give yourself a break if you need to.

Use a Meditation Object

Another tip that I have in building a meditation practice is to use something on a consistent basis. Now, what I mean by something is like a meditation shawl or mudras. There are studies that show that using the same thing over and over again can help to train your brain, essentially. So, for me, I have meditation shawls. I use a meditation shawl regularly whenever I meditate. I also make them and I have some available in my shop. But for me, using a meditation shawl on a regular basis during my meditations helps to remind my body and let my spiritual body know that it’s time to meditate. It’s time to relax. We’re going into this with a purpose and it helps you enter that meditative state faster because it’s a physical reminder to the body and the brain of what’s about to happen.


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Becoming a Witch in a Week?

She spent a week “becoming a witch”, but her article falls short of being respectful. The Independent continuing to let this article slide is clear communication from the editor(s) in charge that they don’t care about the discriminating and offensive nature of their journalist poking at an entire group of people and their belief systems.




Video Transcript


Video Transcript
Gods help me not lose my shit in this video.

Hey everyone. Welcome back to my channel. So today’s video was going to be something a little different. I was going to do a sort of reaction to how Christian parents are freaking out over the fact that Disney just released a new show called the owl house. However, that video is still coming, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about today. I’ve got my tea because we’re, going to yeah, this is a tea episode. I was going to say we’re going to spill the tea, but I don’t know how to use that terminology properly. So if that’s the proper term for this video, let me know in the comments below. Oh. And I will try to keep my swearing to a minimum, but I’m not making any promises. I will do my best to keep my F-bombs down, but I’m very upset at this fact right now and I need to let you know why and what’s going on – what’s happening in the pagan community.

So, I saw something on Twitter today that really pissed me off. So, and I’ll link – everything will be in the description, all the links. The links to this article, the links to the tweet that I’m going to mention, it’ll all be down there. But the article was written by someone who writes for the Independent, and this person’s name is Ceri Radford. I think I’m saying her name right. At this point, I don’t care. But she wrote an article called, “I spent a week becoming a witch and the results were worrying”. Now at first glance, it might just be like your typical, I tried to do this and I didn’t like it or it didn’t work for me or whatever. Which those sorts of things are fine because you’re giving criticism and feedback on something that you tried and it didn’t work. However, I have a huge problem with this article and the way it was written.

So let me just read you, if you haven’t read the article already, let me just read you some of what she says because she comes off in an extremely condescending manner. She is essentially poking fun at the belief in witchcraft, which that’s her prerogative. That’s fine. If she doesn’t believe it, that’s cool. But she went into this experiment that she did thinking that it wasn’t going to work to begin with and with just to sort of attitude about her that was really condescending and really offensive to those of us who practice witchcraft. Now I’m going to be talking about witchcraft here as a belief system in response to this article because it’s – witchcraft is not a religion, but in this aspect, it is a belief system. It’s something that you believe and it’s something that you hold true in your own heart and you believe that it works.

Okay? So technically speaking, in my opinion, it is a belief system. It has rules, it has structure. Now, those rules and structure is going to depend on your tradition and how you practice. But however, most people within their witchcraft have their own rules and their own structure and all of that stuff. So in this video, I’m speaking of witchcraft as a belief system. And this lady – or this person – from the independent really missed the mark and a lot of people are pissed off. So, she starts off the article saying that she could have given up booze and bacon or started a punishing new fitness regimen for the new year, but instead she decided to do something that has dogged resistance to logic – witchcraft. Now she said, okay, so I need to preface this by saying that she was inspired by a book called the Modern Witch’s Guide to Happiness written by Luna Bailey.

Okay? So this whole new year transformation for her turning herself into a witch for a week was inspired by a book that she read. Which is totally fine, right? We’re going to get to why I have an issue with this particular thing in a minute. But she said she could have given up booze and bacon or started a new fitness plan, but instead she decided to do something against all logic and practice, witchcraft, okay? Whatever. So she breaks her article down by day because she did it for a week, seven days. So you’ve got Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. And then she lumped in Saturday and Sunday together. The first thing on Monday, she says that one of the things she needed along with a suspension of belief in the scientific underpinnings of the universe, is an altar – condescension. Okay? And then she says it’s not to sacrifice a goat upon. No, this book is whiter than a student union snowflake, but to claim a space for quotation, creativity, spiritual growth and guidance. So right off the bat she’s extremely condescending and is poking fun at everything that a witch believes in all right. And… ugh!

So, she said about her altar that she got a potted plant, a bottle of Polish plum vodka, and a stripy scarf. Now those things are supposed to represent for her the elements, earth, air, fire, water and spirit. If they represent those for her, that’s fine. You know, whatever your altar is, your altar. But then she says it doesn’t look anything like the Instagrammable extravaganza in the book, but at least it made me tidy my bedside table. By the end of the day though, it has been joined by a light smattering of cat hair. And my four-year old’s Lego T Rex. Is the universe trying to tell me something? Okay. So Tuesday was about crystals. She goes in and she talks about how the book that she read says that you should let your intuition guide you when picking crystals. So she said that she went into a gift shop. I don’t know what she means by gift shop. Is it like a touristy gift shop – or why couldn’t she go to a metaphysical or an esoteric store? Because one of her complaints was that while she was uncannily drawn to something, it was a price tag for the Rose Quartz bracelet and it was 10 quid. Now I don’t know what 10 quid is in terms of US dollar. Hold on, let me look it up.

All right. So according to Google, 10 quid is roughly 13 American dollars. $13 for a Rose quartz bracelet, or just for a bracelet in general. Like that’s not bad. That’s kind of average. If I’m being honest, it’s kind of on the cheap side. So this makes me think that she went into just some like random gift shop where you buy knickknacks and shit and saw a Rose Quartz bracelet. Who’s to say that it was real genuine Rose Quartz? $13 or 10 quid for a Rose Quartz bracelet is fairly cheap and inexpensive. Now, one of the things that she does say about the crystals is that they do have a price tag, which of course they do. They are crystals. They come from the earth. They are minerals and gems, but she makes it seem like crystals are a requirement in witchcraft. And this ties into one of my major complaints with this article that I’ll get to in a minute. So, Wednesday was all about embracing nature, connecting with nature blah, blah, blah. Thursday she decided to attempt a spell. Okay, so it’s – she says, “since I’m well into my first week as a witch, I decided the time has come to attempt my first bell. None of the magic incantations listed, involve putting pox on my enemies, which will be a relief to the landlord who’s failed to fix my broken boiler” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. “They’re all perky personal growth exercises”. So she settled on a, what she quoted as a burning and banishing spell. And this is like a spell that I have on my own website where you write down things that you want to get rid of, light it on fire and let the universe take care of it. Okay? So she said next to tax return, I put knee-jerk scoffing cynicism. I would have set it on fire, but I was too cynical to waste a match. She says in fairness, there is a reasonable body of evidence to suggest that journaling is good for us. Taking time to think about and articulate what we want to let go of is no doubt psychologically healthy. For me, it’s the puff of smoke that’s a step too far.

So Friday she says that it was time to take it up a level and start to read tarot cards. Okay. So keep in mind, she’s going along for a whole week. We’ve done Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Now we’re on Friday. Okay. Out of this whole time she spent some time in nature. She went to a gift shop to look at some crystals and ended up walking out with nothing because it was too expensive. She, half-ass did a spell. She couldn’t be bothered to completely follow the instructions in the book anyways because as she said, she was too cynical to light a match and she didn’t think it was going to work anyway. So on the last day, she is going to practice tarot. She’s going to read tarot cards, but she didn’t have tarot cards. So what is she going to do? She goes and she gets a deck of cards from her kid – from her child. It’s a set of sea creature playing cards. So according to her, the book suggests that she started by selecting three cards and using them to answer three questions. What is my dream? What is stopping me, and what is my reality? Or what is the reality? So she turned the three cards over – dolphin, shark, dolphin, and she says that the interpretation should apparently come from her own intuition. And then she goes on to say that, Hey, it makes sense. But then she says, confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias has its place. Yes, I get it. This is part of the reason why I don’t personally like to do a full spread reading for myself all the time because I know about the issue of confirmation bias. Okay? But that was her main issue. She says that our brains are built to leap to conclusions to see what’s not really there. Helpful if the twitching leaves might hold a crouching saber tooth tiger – misleading in modernity. It’s part of the reason we’re all such credulous suckers still seduced by superstition at a time when we have the technology to make a space probe orbit Saturn.

So now to the weekend. She spends the weekend pondering all things witchy. “On one hand, it’s not hard to snort coffee through your nostrils when you read that water that has had a Rose Quartz soaking in it can be given to sooth traumatized animals. On the other, Witchcraft is no less irrational than any other religion, and many of its practices are in fact a fairly reasonable response to the major challenges of our time.” Okay. So that’s basically what she did for a week. All right? One week – seven days. Do you know how long I’ve been practicing witchcraft? More than 10 years. And there are some people that have been practicing witchcraft longer. It’s a practice. You can’t learn everything that you need to know in seven freaking days. Okay? Like this is just a – it’s offensive and one of the most offensive parts of this article to me is towards the end. I’m quoting from the article here, I’ll put it up on your screen. It says, “the answer of course, is that however benign or even beneficial the rituals, it’s all built on a wobbling base of bat****. No matter how many spells we cast to ask the universe for help, the universe isn’t listening. On a personal level, it’s probably better for us to just accept that life doesn’t always go our way and lower our expectations.

And on a broader level, the recent zest for the mystic is part of a worrying backlash against the enlightenment values that have driven human progress. On the one end of the political spectrum, you get the anti-vaxx movement; on the other climate change deniers. Standing in the light of a full moon to recite our resolutions may be harmless, but as a society we shun science at our peril.”

Please, I encourage you, if you haven’t already, go read the full article and I want to know what you think. Let me know in the comments below what you think about this article, but I’m going to go ahead and talk a little bit about some of the issues I have with this. The first issue is that she goes into this experiment with a piss poor attitude. It’s like she did it for the clickbait. She did it so that she could write a really snotty, condescending, offensive article about a minority group of people who have a set belief system so that she could put a clickbait title on it and get views to her article and to the website. It’s bullshit. My next issue is that instead of reaching – out if she was genuine – instead of reaching out to people that actually practice witchcraft and whose belief in witchcraft is a part of their everyday life, she read one book. One freaking book. That’s like rule number one of learning. You don’t read one source. No! You don’t read one source. You read as much as you can get your hands on. Go from that book and look at books by Scott Cunningham and – especially since the book that she seemed to pick up appears to be a very love and light and airy and very self-care-based and peace and all of that stuff. There’s way more to witchcraft than that. And if she would’ve done her research, she would have known better. She would have known that. And I want to say this, she says that – essentially she makes the point that witches aren’t logical people. That witches throw common sense and logic out the window. Okay? That we shouldn’t be doing these rituals and we shouldn’t be casting spells and playing pretend because as a people, we have the technology now to orbit out into space and do space exploration and explore the ocean. That’s fine. But, I don’t know, rewind several hundred years and if you would’ve gone into the past and told somebody that in the future you’d be able to do that. Do you know what people would tell you? You’re a witch. You’re practicing magic. Historically, as far as I’m aware, most of our scientific developments have their basis in some occult practice – medicine! Modern medicine, okay? Historically, herbs and plants were used to treat ailments.

Herbs and plants were used to create tinctures and potions and salves, and it would’ve been called witchcraft, right? Using nature and the energy of nature to affect the world around you and to make a change. But now what do we have because of that? Modern medicine. So, speaking to you, Ceri, you’re probably never going to see this video and that’s fine, but I need to tell you something.

Just because you don’t believe in the practice that you just decided to hop in and read a book and do for seven days doesn’t mean that you get to shit on the rest of us that do believe this, that have been doing it for years and that have the proof in our hearts and in the world around us that what we do works and what we do matters. And since one of my themes for this year, since I’m doing a depth year, is shadow work. Maybe if this person ever sees this video, they will go to previous videos or listen to the podcast I did on shadow work because I think they really need to examine why they feel the need to react this way to the belief systems of other people. And I want to let you guys know too – I’m not going to put the tweets up on the screen because I don’t have permission from that person to include that.

But I will leave a link in the description below. Someone had sent an email to the Independent complaining about this particular article. Okay? And the Independent replied, let me find it here really quick. The Independent replied, and I’ll link these in the description below, but I want to read you this last paragraph from their reply to this person. And this reply was written by someone named Madeline – I can’t pronounce their last name. Palacz. The Editorial Compliance Manager for the Independent. Okay. They say, “While I do not consider that the article requires correction or amendment for the reasons I have explained above. I nevertheless wish to thank you for taking the time to raise your concerns to the editorial team. We always welcome the opportunity to engage with our readers. If anything in my response is unclear, please do not hesitate to get back in touch.” Now in this whole email, in this whole reply, this person says that they’ve received several complaints about this particular article, but that it doesn’t go against their code of ethics. It doesn’t go against any of that stuff. You know, they’re totally fine with letting one of their journalists just shit all over a whole group of people. Let me ask you this, what would happen if she did an article and instead it was, I became a priest for a week and I did an exorcism and it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to?

What do you think would happen? Or what if =she did this whole piece and it was still condescending and full of attitude on Islam or Buddhism or any form of Christianity or Catholicism?. What do you think would happen? People would be pissed off. And in those cases, it would be way more people because those groups of people are larger in number, but no. Instead she decided to just dump out and be condescending to the witches of the world. Now you might be saying, Megan, you’re overreacting. I disagree because of the point that I just made. If this was written about any other belief system in the world that had a larger following than witchcraft, there would be an overwhelming response. Okay? Everyone would be pissed off and the Independent would probably take the article down because they pissed off a huge number of their client and a customer base, right?

Because it’s about the money. So this lady, this person, wrote this article with a clickbait title. She read one book and she practiced witchcraft for seven days and decided that it’s all bullshit and we just don’t believe in science and we don’t believe in logic. Well, I call bullshit on her article. And that’s all I got to say about that. So read the article for yourself. Let me know in the comments what you think. Do you think I’m overreacting? Do you think the whole pagan community is overreacting? Do you think her article was condescending or was it informative or, I don’t know. Let me know what you think. I want to know. So yeah, thanks for sticking around for this video. So I forgot to mention that this article was written on January 12th, I believe. I think it was January 12th, but yeah, go read it. Let me know what you think. I’ll see you guys later. Bye.


Have you read the article in the Independent yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

MENTIONED:

o Independent Article: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/witchcraft-astrology-modern-witch-guide-happiness-book-luna-bailey-a9276886.html
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Shadow Work – Embrace the Darkness to Become Whole

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge, and it therefore,. as a rule, meets with considerable resistance. Indeed, self-knowledge as a psychotherapeutic measure frequently requires much painstaking work extending over a long period.

(From Aion: Phenomenology of the Self published in The Portable Jung, edited by Joseph Campbell, Penguin Books, 1976, p. 145.)

We hear about shadow work in the spiritual sphere often, but many people don’t know what it is and what it involves. I think it’s fitting to talk about shadow work at the beginning of the year, especially as we approach the first full moon of 2020. If you Google the term “shadow work”, you’ll find that most of the results that come back to you are going to be psychologically related. This is because shadow work started with psychology and a man named Carl Jung.

Who was Carl Jung?

Carl Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology. He worked for a while with another well-known psychologist named Sigmund Freud, although they weren’t always on the same page. Carl Jung is known for several psychological concepts including the ideas of synchronicity, the collective unconscious, and the shadow. It appears that Carl Jung in modern times would be considered a psychologist, yes, but also a spiritual person. Maybe he wouldn’t think like that, but I certainly do.

Among his many theories and psychological discoveries was the concept of a divided self. This divided self was made up of the Ego, the Id, and the SuperEgo. According to Jung, these are all aspects that everyone carries around with them and they dictate how we see the world. Today, we’re just going to talk about the Ego – the outer self – and the Id – the shadow.

“Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.”

Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion (1938)

What is the Shadow?

Looking at this concept from a psychological perspective first – because that’s necessary to understand why shadow work is spiritually beneficial – we need to take a look at both the Ego and the Shadow. The Ego, according to Jung, is the part of ourselves that the rest of the world sees. This is the “I” that we present to our family, friends, loved ones, and anyone else we interact with. When we think about who we are as people, we usually think about the “I”, or the Ego.

However, there is a deeper part to you that you might not be aware of. Chances are if you’re more spiritually inclined, you may know some of this already, but perhaps you didn’t know what to call it. The Shadow self is the part of us that is rejected and/or repressed. These parts of us have been pushed into our subconscious by our Ego from a young age. Why? There could be many reasons, including childhood trauma, important events, or how you were raised. For one reason or another, your Ego decided that these things were dangerous to you and needed to be hidden.

So what kind of things are hidden in the shadow?

Since the shadow is made up of those aspects of us that were rejected or repressed, it is most often full of negative – or “bad” – thoughts, emotions, and behavioral impulses. These will be things like rage, selfishness, laziness – things that you were told as a child were bad and you shouldn’t do them.

The shadow doesn’t necessarily contain only negative thoughts, emotions, and behavioral impulses, though. Take, for example, someone who, as a child, was verbally abused. They learned early on that talking back and standing up for themselves was dangerous because it would lead to more abuse. So, people like this may have shoved that part of themselves into their shadow – their ability to stand up for themselves. That is a positive aspect that got pushed into the shadow based on someone’s life experience.

So then, what is shadow work?

Shadow work is the process of meeting your shadow-self. It is a method that was proposed by Jung as a solution to closing the gap between the two aspects and becoming aware of our impulses. In this way, we can choose how we react to them. If our shadow self is continuously repressed and pushed to the back, we have no control over those impulses and how we react to them. There is no chance for behavior modification if we don’t understand the behavior in the first place.

As Jung wrote in Psychology of the Unconscious:

“It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster’s body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature.”

According to Jung, the purpose of shadow work is to integrate. We stop rejecting parts of our personalities and find ways to bring them forward in our lives. This doesn’t mean that, if you have homicidal urges you get to act on them. This means that the fear, aggression, and wisdom informs our actions, our decisions, and our interactions with others. It is a process of healing because, in doing shadow work, we might come to understand why we feel a certain way, why we have impulses to do certain things, and we can move on and move past those impulses and urges because we now have the wisdom that comes from understanding them.

How do you do shadow work?

Several methods are out there for doing shadow work, and it’s not something that you sit down and do once and then you’re done. Some people have been working with their shadow for years, and that’s okay. It is work, and it’s not easy work either. Many of these methods can be done on their own, but I recommend combining the ones that work for you.

Meditation, Self-Awareness, and Taking a Step Back

I grouped all of these methods together because they involve a similar process. You can’t effectively begin to understand your shadow self if you don’t take a step back and allow time to process what’s going on. Self-awareness is one of the first things I would recommend when practicing shadow work. You need to be capable of recognizing your own behavior and emotions before you can begin to understand them. This might look like you realizing that your anger or your fear is irrational. From there, you can begin to break that down and figure out why you feel anger or fear.

During meditation, you can do a specific shadow-work meditation. This would be one that would allow you to meet your shadow and have a conversation with your shadow-self. You can find a few on YouTube, but a specific shadow-work meditation is not necessary.

Keep a Journal and Analyze your Emotions and Behavior

Along with self-awareness, I recommend keeping a journal to write down your thoughts and emotions. This is a good way to go back and look at certain events that happened – and your reaction to them – and dig a bit deeper. You need to be honest with yourself about why you feel that way and why you have the impulses you do. If you aren’t honest with yourself, the shadow work will get you nowhere.

Practice Self-Compassion and Nurture your Inner Child

A lot of our shadow-self is repressed and rejected thoughts, emotions, and behaviors from childhood. Maybe this came about because of abuse or trauma. Maybe it happened because of the way you were raised or societal expectations. Either way, most of us have an inner child that is missing some form of love or compassion. Go back to the child, either in meditation or trance, and give them what they need. Tell them they are loved, that nothing is wrong with them, and they are perfect just the way they are. Allow yourself to feel these emotions and begin the process of healing.

Why bother?

Now that we know about the psychological process of shadow work, we can look at the purpose. Why do we do it – or why SHOULD we do it? Shadow work is beneficial for spiritual reasons as well as psychological. It can improve your relationships with those around you by allowing you to be empathetic to the behavior and emotions of others. It also allows you to grow spiritually by avoiding something called spiritual bypass.

Spiritual bypass is a concept that is prevalent in the New Age community. It is the idea that you can ignore all negative things in your life or the world around you. That focusing only on the positive energy, positive vibes, and positive emotions will keep you happy. You can’t have the light without the dark, and ignoring the anger, the sadness, and the fear will get you nowhere. Allowing yourself to understand and acknowledge the negativity in your life will allow you to grow from it. If you don’t acknowledge it, you become stagnant.

Final thoughts…

Shadow work isn’t an easy process and it can be painful depending on your past. That being said, I do think it is a process that everyone should attempt. However, not everyone should hop into it with both feet because of what their shadow may contain. Also, depending on your emotional trauma and mental health, you may want to take it slow or do shadow work under the supervision of a mental health professional. Be safe – your mental well-being is important.





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Sigil Magick – How to Make a Sigil

Sigil Magick – How to Make a Sigil

What is a sigil?

A sigil is a magickal symbol created and used for a specific purpose. They are often used in ritual, tarot, and spell crafting to suit the needs of the witch. Each one is unique to a specific phrase or situation, and they can be crafted quickly and discreetly any time you need one. They can be crafted in multiple ways, but there are two techniques that are the most popular.

How do you make a sigil?

There are two main techniques when it comes to sigil-crafting, and I will go over them both. The first one involves creating an affirmation, and the second involves a concept or idea.

Technique #1

With this method, you’re going to create an affirmation first and then the sigil that matches it. When you create an affirmation, be sure that you create it in the present tense – and try to keep it positive.

Example: I am happy and healthy.

Once you have your affirmation, you are going to cross out any vowels. Using the example above, you are left with the following letters.

M H P P Y N D H L T H Y

Next, cross out any duplicates. You do not want to have multiples of the same letter.

M H P Y N D L T

Once you have your final letters, you can then create your sigil. Some people like to take this a step further and break the letters down into their respective parts.

M becomes | \ / |

Then you will draw a circle and create a symbol unique to your affirmation using the letters – or shapes – you have left.

Technique #2

The second method for creating a sigil is simply creating a symbol that has meaning to you. You will know what the symbol means, but no one else will. Create the symbol around the situation or concept you desire.

I am happy and confident.

The sigil doesn’t have to use any letters from your affirmation, but it should reflect the affirmation in a way you can recognize.

Now what?

Now, go forth and practice your sigil crafting! As you can tell from the examples I’ve included here, they don’t have to be pretty, and they don’t have to have an obvious outward meaning.

I have used sigils to help plants grow, to boost my water’s purpose, and to help me get over a cold. They can be used for many purposes, and we’ll go over those next.

If you’re more of a visual learner, be sure to watch my video below and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more content!


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Hiding in Plain Sight

Image from Pixabay

Sometimes, practicing your craft and your faith will require hiding in plain sight. This can be for several reasons, but the most common is safety and professionalism. Now, I’m not talking about kids hiding things from their parents or guardians. That’s a different topic and one I will touch on at a later day. I’m talking about needing to hide your faith for specific job-related reasons, or public related reasons.

Do you work with the public? Do you live in an area that is predominately Christian? Do you have a mental illness that makes certain situations hard for you? There’s nothing wrong with needing to keep certain things to yourself to keep you safe, both mentally and physically. If you’ve grown up in an area that is mostly Christian, you might find this strange. In most Christian faiths, it is frowned upon to hide your faith. They expect you to shout your love for their God from the rooftops at any given moment.

That’s not always the case with Paganism and Wicca. If you have a job that requires discretion, it may be best to hide any jewelry or tattoos you have that might pertain to your faith. If you fear for your safety in any way, do not proclaim your faith just to do it. You should never put your safety on the line for your faith.

So what are some things you can do to hide in plain sight?

  1. Wear inconspicuous jewelry
    • Typically, people don’t pay any mind to random symbols that don’t hold a lot of weight. I have a necklace that has the triangular symbol for the element of water. If you didn’t know what it was, you would just think it was a pretty piece of triangular jewelry. Don’t deck yourself out in pentacles if it isn’t safe to do so.
  2. Meditation
    • Meditation doesn’t have to denote any faith at all, and I’ve found that it tends to be safe in most places. If anyone asks about it, you can say you’re doing it for spiritual or mental health reasons.
  3. Practice glamor magick
    • If you wear makeup, glamor magick is something quick and easy you can do on a regular basis. Your lipstick can be enchanted to help you speak with confidence. Your eyeshadow can be enchanted to help you see through murky situations. And best of all? Everyone will just think you’re wearing makeup!
    • Don’t wear makeup? This can be done with any piece of jewelry, handbags, etc. It doesn’t have to be makeup, it can be anything that you wear on your person regularly that wouldn’t bring any unwanted attention.

Do you practice your faith or craft in hidden ways? Leave your suggestions in the comments or reach out to me via e-mail or social media!

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