Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Olympics and the Gods

It is common knowledge that the Olympics originate with the ancient Greeks. Now normally, I am not a sports fan, too much overly aggressive competition and blind support for your local team for my tastes. The Olympics, however, fall into another category for me.

Whereas I know that all the various countries involved have a lot invested in their teams and there is a lot of rivalry, I don’t see the Olympics as a competition in which anyone can win. To me, it is about pure athleticism, mastery of the self and senses, and the journey for physical magnificence. I know all of that can still sound a lot like the same reason I don’t watch normal sports, but there is another vital difference.

In my eyes, whether intended or not, it is about the imitation of the Gods. By seeking to exist on the same level of physical prowess, even if it’s not actually possible save for the point in which we both occupy, is a form of worship and offering of devote recognition of the divine connection between the Gods and our own physical selves. By doing that which the Gods do, we bring the two closer, the false space between thee and me is made less. This is what I see in the Olympics. I see men and women whose lives have been devoted to one of the three levels of beings, the physical, and by laying that life of work upon the field before their peers with little gain, what is suppose to be little gain anyway, other than to see where the measure of that life of effort falls, is an act of devotion and imitation that few can pull off.

Keeping all that in mind, I love me some Olympics.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

Monday, July 30, 2012

Keep What is Yours

Just a short musing today.

Own the journey for it is yours. Every step taken is done so by none other. The foot prints left upon the soil of the path’s past tell where only one has been. It is your life, live it, and take responsibility for it. Be your own witness, and your own judge.

The same applies to magick. The magick spun originates with intent and should be owned for it is that of weaver. Live a magickal life, wield creation, and allow it to shape the very most inner being into a thing of wonder.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

Friday, July 27, 2012

Transforming Our Now

Not everything about being a Witch is about magick. Well, depending upon the use of the word. Some magick is about trying to pay the bills or heal a loved one. Then again, some magick is about the spiritual journey and the process of traveling the road of life. The Witch is still shaping the world in accordance with their Will; but the Heart, Mind, and Body are the affected. One of the hardest skills to acquire as a new Witch is the ability to immerse severity and difficulty into the moment, the cauldron of transformation, and to step forth upon the next moment anew. Let’s face it, life isn’t always easy. Everyone has some form of stress and difficulty in which they must deal with.

The degree of life’s severity isn’t really something that can be compared either. Each of us can experience the same situation and it will have very different impacts upon those individuals. Let us not denounce the struggles of others out of the egotistical belief that our own strife is somehow greater and of more worth. Take the competition out of who is having the worst day/moment/etc. There is no need to compare, just empathize and help to hold one another up.

Any moment is the point of transformation, a shift from one state to another. It is the goal as a Witch to foster this change in such a way that it is one of growth and inner transformation. It is the eternal seeking to be like the alchemist of old; to transform the lead of our Being into gold. We are the ones responsible for our lives and as such what we make of it is our own. We are the shapers and weavers of our lives; we are like the smith at the forge, the Witch stirring their cauldron brew.

Only by knowing every aspect of their being is a Witch able to foster change and improve the Self as a whole. This is not just merely a spiritual mastery of the Self, but also a physical and mental/emotional mastery by which the Witch comes to know the world about them. In doing so, it is important not to delude oneself with illusion or to cloud the truth of ourselves from our own being.

There are many parts of life that are outside of our control. They will be what they are, and will not be changed. The past cannot be undone. By dwelling upon the irreversibly done and allowing regret to shape the now, those temporary mistakes of the past reign over the sovereignty of the Self. Acceptance of what has been fated to the past is crucial if a Witch is to live in the now, and wield the power of change in accordance with their Will. Just as the Craft begins and ends here, so does change. Here is where the Witch walks the path, wherever here is.

Self transformation is no easy task, it requires years of work. There will be challenges and trials that must be overcome. The most difficult of which arise, will be self-imposed. If lessons are to be gained, no matter the severity of the trial the Witch must have dedication and perseverance.

Long-term transformation is accomplished bit by bit. By making positive change a continued reality in the moment, thus the Witch succeeds. That is the trick. The events of a badly begun morning cannot be undone, but the reaction, attitude, and actions can be. These are the tools of the Self by which the Witch applies the magick of change and rebirth unto their own eternity.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I don’t usually spend a lot of time thinking about Gatekeepers. I have a relationship with a number of Beings that fulfill that role for me in my Craft, my magick, my worship, and within the ritual use of all of those. Now please note that I am speaking from the perspective of magick in regards to this blog, some of which applies to the other three but not everything. To clarify, Gatekeepers have specific functions; primarily to open and close specific doorways to their corresponding sphere of influence within the Witchcraft cosmology, if they have been provided with the appropriate ‘key’ and set of symbols. I hope that made sense to everyone.

Sometimes though, a relationship with specific Beings whereby their functions are established is not part of the process at hand. This is not a commonality for Traditional practice. These groups of people have already developed a relationship and understanding with a variety of entities. I have nothing against solitary practice. In fact, all Traditionalists have their own individual practice in addition to the praxis of the group with whom they work. The use of Gatekeepers becomes an issue when various Entities are provided with keys to doors without an accompanying set of additional functions. In a newly established working relationship, these functions need to be made clear.

If an individual is working alone and not within the boundaries of a set methodology, before the name of some Spirit/Ancestor/Angel/Deity/etc is called upon to bring forth or open the pathway to a particular plane/directional providence/realm/etc then that entity needs to have had a rapport developed prior to then with that individual. During that establishment, the role of that Being must be laid out along with the specifics of their guardian functions, and most importantly accepted by that Being. Imagine the havoc that could ensue if during the first time having been called forth a Deity* is made demands of, given access to the ritual space, perhaps even being insulted by in-their-eyes being reduced to the role of a porter, and has no intention of complying, playing nice, or refraining from making the insult upon their mantle known.

There are many scenarios that could play out. Perhaps the Elemental Spirit, just as an example, called decides to open the door as asked and additionally just lets anything from their plane mosey on through. Why have guardians if they don’t do anything? This is particularly problematic when someone who does not know better picks up a how-to-book and uses established methods to open channels. Usually nothing happens. Sometimes though, the gate opens and without further ado, what comes through the gate comes. Someone can say all day, “I honor thee East, spirit of ___, and ask for your wisdom,” in relative safety and without fear, pretty much as often as they would like. This is not the same as calling a specific entity within a magickal circle to open a particular doorway by which the Witch can access that sphere and gain its influence upon their working.

Additionally, sometimes the roles of Gatekeeper and Guardian are separate. Even if this is the case, my advice stands. Get to know the Beings whom will be your ally in the Arte before they are called to fulfill that position. If you aren’t doing that level of magick, don’t be too concerned. Lighting a few candles does not require for a portal to a specific influence to be opened. But if a name is used, even in normal worship and ritual, know what you are asking of whom. For example, asking the King of the Djinn to teach you the lessons of Fire will bring much to the table, not all of which is gentle or desireable. It would not take much additional work to set up parameters of these lessons when entering that relationship.

So what got me thinking about all this? Driving to work did. I work on a military base and this morning, no ID check, the guards at the gates were just waving everyone through. Thinking this a bit absurd, I voiced the thought by saying, “What is the point of having guards if they don’t do anything?” This turned my thought to the more metaphysical and this post is the result thereof.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

*Please have a good reason for asking a Deity to be a Gatekeeper. Some Gods or Goddesses, such a Manannan mac Lir work naturally in this capacity, others, such as Loki, do not.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Some Thoughts

I wrote the following yesterday, but did not post it. I wanted to think about it some more first. So please enjoy yesterday's post.


This morning as I watch the Sun rise, I have many, and I do mean many, thoughts to occupy. If truth be told, I have had little sleep. I have also spent the last hour or so simply trying to decide whether or not I will say anything at all, let alone what to say. I am an introvert by nature and of the mindset that a blog is not the place to discuss such. On the other hand, this blog has become a place for me to lay my thoughts out upon.

Instead of digging into the core of the matter, I am going to briefly, very briefly, talk about two pieces of Witchcraft lore that come to mind, which are providing me with much to consider at the moment. I do not think either of these will be new to any of my readers.

The Four Words of a Witch are: To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Keep Silent. There is a lot of meaning there if you look for it. On the surface they are the four basic virtues needed in order to be successful at magick. Needless to say, they apply beyond the realm of magick. One must know what to do and how to do it, have the willpower to act, the courage to act, and act diligently, owning the action, and without betraying it.

The second are a few words of Robert Cochrane, “Do not what you desire – do what is necessary.” Ah, yes, that. The first time I read those words as a newly initiated First Degree, they boggled me, but not anymore.

Hopefully, others will find something in these concepts, which will help them when they need it.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

Monday, July 23, 2012


My apologies, this blog is partially my venting and musing.


Hospitality as an act of devotion and worship has been important to me for several years. I open my home, go out of my way to ensure my guests are without want, and ask very little in return. A recent visitor has forced me to rethink much, and the limits and merits of such.

Depending upon my level of knowing and interaction with people will determine just how I respond to treating them as guests. Everyone, regardless, will be offered food and drink. It may not be much, but something will be offered. The better I know someone though, gets them more of a ‘make yourself at home’ approach. You will still be offered food and drink, but will also be extended the offer of ‘help yourself.’ This is not something that is given lightly. If those words come out of my mouth, a great deal of trust is being put forth. These nuances of hospitality are not something that normally need to be explained to someone.

Treating my guests well and trying to ensure that they leave happy and content is an act of imitation. I recognize sacredness in the Being of each person. I worship my Gods and Goddesses and further give them honor through the imitation of this worship by extending offerings of food, drink, place, and kinship unto those I have welcomed into my hearth.

Recently the doors of my home were opened to a guest, a relative by marriage whom I have had very little interaction with. Our hospitality was offered in the spirit of them being family and in need. They are not someone I know well or would treat in the same way as a very close and dear friend. Simply put, I barely know them. Apparently the basic offerings of ‘can we get your something to eat or drink’ turned into ‘please make yourself at home and eat or drink anything you want regardless of whether it has been offered.’ I could list several things is which I feel this person overstepped their welcome with.

Needless to say, I was not happy then or now with their stay. I feel as if my hospitality was not just accepted but taken advantage of, and I have spent the last couple of days re-evaluating a lot of things. Normally people are familiar with the nuances of where the line has been drawn in the sand of welcome. So I must conclude, either they have no concept of what it means to be a good guest, assumed because we are family that they do not apply, or just didn’t care.

Due to family circumstances at the moment, this person will be in our area, in need of a place to stay, about once a month for the next year or so. I am torn. I want to offer a place to stay and the basic offering of ensuring they are feed. Likewise, I want to deadbolt the door and booby-trap the lawn.

If they are to continue to be welcomed, then an understanding must be reached. Returning to the idea of treating guests in imitation, I may have found the answer. Though my practice is polytheistic and I have and continue to work with multiple Gods and Goddesses, I have not made all Gods and Goddesses welcome. In fact, I have expressly made it clear that some of them are not welcome. If I can tell a God or Goddess that I realize they are divine and still not offer them a place at my hearth, then I can do the same to other Beings.

I have not figured out an approach to take yet. I do know that I am willing to open my doors in the spirit of helping family, but only if they can learn some basic manners in regards to being a guest; I will not have my hospitality desecrated, for it is sacred, and I do not have to quarter such.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Athame Crafting Update

After finishing the blade blank for my athame that I am working on I turned my attention towards two things. What to do for the handle and the cross-guard? The Cross-guard answer came easily, but that blog will be later, when I actually get around to working on that portion. The handle on the other hand was a bit more difficult. I spent a lot of time mulling over what I wanted to do, let alone how that would be accomplished.

As a Traditionalist, a large portion of my being really wanted to craft a handle that was both black and has the Tradition’s symbols upon it. I thought of many different ways of doing this. The one that I kept returning to was the idea of buying an ebony dowel, cutting and shaping it, burning the sigils in place, and filling the grooves with gold based paint. I probably thought of a dozen or so other different ideas. However, every time I thought I had decided on what I would do, my mind would picture the athame with an antler handle, not black with sigils in any form what so ever. I finally decided to entertain the idea of an antler handle and now I know that the handle will be antler. I will not forgo the sigils completely, whereas I will not carve or otherwise mark them onto the athame, there is a magickal technique for transferring the essence of a magickal sigil into something without actually marking it. I’ll be doing that.

The next big question to answer was where to get a good piece of antler? I decided to look all over the internet. Alas it was not to be. Either all the pieces of antler that I found looked like crap, like they wouldn’t work for my idea, or were very very expensive. I had almost given up on the idea for using antler when I decided that I knew two people who might have some. One was a hunter and the not. I asked the other first.

I have a friend that is a Rootworker, Witch, and Eternal Harvest Initatie, whom amongst other things is good naturally called the ‘Pagan Picker.’ Why? Cause he goes picking but not for anitiques, but Pagan stuff. Needless to say, he is pretty good at it. Anyway I decided to ask him if he happened to have a piece of crown antler, and furthermore if he would be willing to barter for it. I received a resounding yes. He had a dozen or so specimens; sent me picks, and was more than willing to accept a trade of sorts.

Another friend, and Brother in the Arte, makes use of Master Candles in the conjure work he does. He first told me about this practice, I dunno, maybe a little over a year ago. Anyway, I now utilize Master Candles in my Crafting. Now, I never bothered to ask his methods for creating. I just came up with my own process of blessing, dressing, and making based on a combination of Hoodoo and Ceremonial Magick. Long story short, I developed a means of linking planetary powers to the materia with a conditionary trigger, so that the power flows whenever the flame is lit. No invoking involved, and the power will transfer anytime something it lit from that candle. I offered to barter one such Master Candle for the antler. The Pagan Picker was more than willing to oblige.

At least now I know what the handle will be made from. Since blogger has not been agreeing with my adding pictures for some reason, here are some links to outside hosted pictures:

Jupiter Master Candle that was requested in barter.

Antler picture.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cultivating Action

Magickal routines aren’t easy to keep up with. Which is an understatement for anyone that has tried to implement some form of work into their schedule, and that is what Witches end up doing in order to be successful. For example, one of the basic building blocks from which various magickal techniques are built is meditation. Trying to learn to meditate effectively and make it a regular part of one’s practice is no easy feat. Why? For the same reason that a lot of other things that we know are good for us and will make us better are hard to do. They are work.

To be completely honest when it comes to these things; we don’t want to. I would much rather get an extra ten minutes of sleep in the morning than to make myself get up so that I have that little bit of extra time. This is part of being a Witch is about. No, not the laying in bed part, but the other part. To be successful, a Witch has to make it a part of their essence to force themselves, whether they want to or not, to get up and go do what needs to be done.

In fact, being a successful Witch can and will make one more successful in other parts of life. Once a Witch develops the self-discipline needed to follow a pretty regimented schedule, then this same self-discipline can be applied to other parts of life. None of the people I know that exercise regularly, myself included, want to get up and go to the gym or go running, or whatever method is used. Nope, not a one of them. I have to force myself. Every. Single. Time. The same goes for almost anything that is not easy and time consuming.

Sure you’ll think of excuses, sure many, if not all, of them will sound very convincing. Step one is the idea that blank needs to be done. Before that thought is done, an excuse is going to show up. If the excuse is dwelt on for any amount of time, or given the slightest bit of recognition, it has been given power. Maybe you’ll win that battle in the end, but it is just as likely that the Dweller will triumph.

We can, as Witches, take steps that will help to mitigate excuses. There are two approaches that can be used, that in combination will make the likelihood of winning the initial battle easier. It takes a LOT of small battles, which never go away, to be won in order for the larger ones to be won.

The moment an excuse shows up, ignore it and turn the attention somewhere else. That is the first approach, not giving the excuse the time in which to arm itself with our own logic, because if allowed to, we will talk ourselves out of anything. The next thing, which is going to take willpower in-of-itself, is to immediately take some forward moving action towards achieving that goal. Thought occurs—‘I should really start taking a multi-vitamin everyday—Immediately do something—*Grabs phone and puts two alarms in; one to go off when next at the grocery store, reminding me to buy vitamins; the other to go off every day, reminding me to take said vitamins.*—All that is left is following through.

This same thing can be used for other more difficult items, say with our first example of meditation. Lets even say plans are made and the morning alarm clock is moved just a smidge so as to give time to meditate. Now, that battle that has to be won is a tough one, it is over sleep. The trick is forcing oneself when tired, groggy, and still half asleep to do something towards actually getting up and not just hitting the snooze and sleeping until the normal time. Try getting two alarms, and putting one on the other side of the room so that you have to get up to silence it; just don’t get back in bed, at this point no extra sleep is coming, FORCE yourself to go meditate.

With practice this approach will become the norm and when a thought comes, without thinking, action will be taken. Waste no time arguing or convincing yourself otherwise, just do it based on that impulse that has been cultivated.

What methods do you use to make yourself do the work?

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What is Oligotheism?

I am currently reading A World Full of Gods: An Inquiry into Polytheism*, and plan to write a review about it when I am done. Until then, everyone will just have to enjoy this post instead. So I was reading a portion of it last night, while sipping some hot tea, and ran across a new theism; sorta. By new I mean that it is new in that I now have a word for a concept I am already familiar with, and am sure many others are as well. Up until now if I wanted to talk about this particular theistic worldview, I would have to use a similar word and add a qualifier.

Interestingly enough, although the author has footnotes throughout the entire book, but nothing in that part and the word is only mentioned once. So I did what anyone would do, I turned to google, nothing more than the basic definition given in the book.

Without further delay, allow me to introduce you to oligotheism. Oligotheism meet whoever is reading this. Alright, what exactly does that mean you ask? It is a form of polytheism whereby the individual holds a belief in many Deities but only worships a few of them. Yep, almost like henotheism, only not.

Henotheism is the worship of one Deity while accepting that there are, or that there is the possibility of, there being multiple Deities. Oligotheism takes that just a step further, by not only accepting multiple Deities but worshipping several of them, and for whatever reason, still believing in, but not worshipping, other Gods and Goddesses.

As the book by Greer, is my only peer-reviewed, or at least I believe it to be peer-reviewed, reference, here is a very short quotation concerning the topic at hand.

“It’s also worth noting that, while henotheism is always an option to the devout Pagan, it’s not the only option. More common is what might be called “oligotheism,” belief in many gods combined with actual worship of a few. To monotheists, this may seem unbearably complicated, although Catholic and Orthodox Christians used to dealing with the crowded calendar of saints may find that it has familiar aspects. Historical evidence makes it clear that this was in fact the way that many ancient polytheists related to the gods, however, and contemporary experience shows that it is not only possible but intellectually and emotionally satisfying as an option today.”

I find this terribly exciting. Not because I subscribe to this theism or the like. Personally, I see the inherent truth in many forms of theism, don’t worry too much about them, and go on with my devotional relationships between me and my Gods and Goddesses. I find this exciting for the same reason that I find monism or pantheism or animism or any other theism exciting, I am a religious studies geek. There you have it; I read and analyze scholarly works on religion for the pure thrill of it, and let there be no doubt that it is thrilling.

I find the concept of oligotheism to be particularly interesting because like in traditional polytheism, the actual nature of the Gods and Goddesses is left up to the individual to discern. All that I have found on it say it is the belief in many but the worship of a few. It in no way breaks down whether any of those Deities are in fact an aspect of one, as monists or pantheists might suggest, or if they are aspects of a particular one, henotheism, or even if they are distinct and separate as some polytheists would argue. Furthermore, I believe that duotheism, the belief and worship of two Deities, would fall well within the sphere of oligotheism.

When I think about it from this point of view, I can safely say that I know and have known many oligotheists within Contemprary Paganism.

There you have it, “oligotheism,” or at least my interpretation of it. Feel free to add your thoughts to this conversation, as I am deeply interested in various points of view on this, and frankly almost any topic of theism.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

*Greer, J. M. (2005). A World Full of Gods: An Inquiry into Polytheism. Tucson, Arizona. ADF Publishing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cell Phone Magick

Several months ago I read someone else’s blog that briefly talked about using their cell phone for magick. I don’t remember where I saw this, or I’d reference it here.

I was reminded of this blog this morning when I picked up my phone to determine whether or not a certain planet was above the horizon. So I decided that I would very briefly, in the same spirit of that blog I had read, write a quick post pointing out some apps I use as an aid for magick.

There are four apps that I use. I’m not gonna bother listing out their names, but only their function with which I am concerned. Be warned though, they are all concerned with the tracking of information.

Perhaps the app I use the most is a simple one that tells me moon phases as a percentage, and lists the new and full moon dates.

I also have an astrology app that displays the current skymap based on my GPS location; it also can pull up my natal chart and allow me to compare the two.

I have a simple planet tracking app which will tell me which planets are currently above the horizon, based on GPS location. It also lists rising and setting times. No more complicated equations to figure all this out for me.

The last app again uses the GPS, but it shows me the relative position of various constellations, stars, planets, and the directions from the viewpoint in which I happen to be using the phone.

So there you have it, everything the practicing Witch needs to track influences when preparing a working.

Do you use any apps towards magick?

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Only Takes a Moment

Anoint yourself in the moment. The presence of our Lady and Lord is there for the basking. All it takes is a moment of pausing and turning the mind towards their luminescence.

This morning my alarm for work did not go off and if not for my wife waking me, I am sure I would not have risen until long after it was time to be there. Sadly this meant my entire morning routine was shot. Whereas I thought I would have a little over an hour to get ready and out the door, I ended up with little more than enough time to dress and rush out. It is a rare thing for me to miss my morning devotionals but little choice was had.

My morning practice is simple: moment of meditation, ground, center, shield, my dailies, offering of incense and oil to my Lady and Lord, and a few prayers. Sometimes I’ll add something else in if I feel the need. None of it is required to be a spiritual person or to have a well developed relationship to a Deity. In fact most of it is not about that at all.

A portion of my routine revolves around the development of mental discipline. After all, so much of magickal practice is made easier because of such. The majority, however, is about spiritual and energetic maintenance and hygiene. Running out the house without doing them, when they have been consistently done for a very long time, is like not brushing one’s teeth.

I don’t like missing making my morning offerings and prayers. Time for Gods and Goddesses works a bit different. If you work with one (or more), you know what I am talking about. Having developed a consistent routine, a patterned cycle, on when I make my offering and prayers makes my presence expected within that cycle. It becomes a part of the natural cycle; night comes after day, summer after spring, and when I rise in the morning I greet my Goddess and God. A lot of the time I feel their presence already in attendance in the Temple but not always.

Let it not be said that I have to make these offerings and prayers, or that they are demanded of me; not at all. Not being there though makes me feel out of sorts. I know it is because my own cycle and routine has been disrupted. I know that my Lady and Lord are understanding of this. This intellectual knowledge does not alleviate the emotional response to not seeing expected familiar faces, it’s is like getting up in the morning and the house being empty when guests were expected to be down stairs.

Having forged a bond between myself and my Lady and Lord, I can easily feel their presence in any moment in which I desire to turn my focus towards them. They are there. This is most certainly how I greeted them this morning, while the sun was beginning to crest above the tree tops. It was a splendid moment of mutual greeting and unity. It is no substitute for my routine; I miss the ritual and formality of it. It is an important one though, being able to greet them in any moment and fill the vessel of my being with their presence. In the end, I think I prefer having my cake and eating it too.

I think the important thing to remember with all of this, is that reaching across the bond does not require ritual but only the willingness to glance, and to never be in too much of a hurry to do just that.

What kind of daily routine do you have with your Gods? And how do you feel when you miss it?

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Folly with Explaining

On occasion someone I work with, professionally that is, will ask me to explain the basic beliefs of Witchcraft, specifically Wicca. I must confess, however, that I have a horribly hard time doing so. It is not because I lack an understanding of my praxis, Tradition, or the spirituality of Contemporary Paganism. I think the problem I run into is two-fold. Firstly, I don’t understand their religious views. I will not lie and say I find the major spiritual paths of the Western World to be anything other than baffling. Secondly, just that they asked me what beliefs are a part of Wicca tells me from the beginning that just to get them onto enough common ground wherefrom I could begin to explain things would take several hours.

They want a brief list of ‘Wicca teaches belief and doctrine of’ but I can’t give it to them. Traditional Wicca is orthopraxis in nature and listing beliefs just isn’t really possible. Nor do I blame them, the religious rhetoric of the West has been dominated by the monotheistic religions for thousands of years. So there is the initial dilemma. Do I right off the bat try and correct their assumption that all religions are belief based or just give them a few arbitrary statements to satisfy their interest?

Generally, I’ve just given up. If they are only making polite conversation, I steer things another way all the while ensuring them I’ll answer any questions they may have but still offering up little more than that. If they truly are interested though, I will make an attempt to explain the basis of being an experience and practice based religion whereby belief is derived individually therefrom without having actual mandated doctrine of belief. This is not something I bother with for most. Honestly, it is just not worth the effort.

This then brings me to the second difficulty, trying to relay experience verbally without breaking any oaths. Quick, try and explain sex to someone that has never done so and see if you can truly have them understand the experience of it, oh and you are not allowed to say what you did, how you did it, or use any terms that might give away the fact you are talking about sex. The closest I get to explaining what Witchcraft is about is through a combined approach of explaining my personal work within the greater framework of Contemporary Paganism. For example, I might say, “Samhain is usually the time when Contemporary Pagans honor the dead. I do this by having a silent meal where I reflect upon those I have lost and my ancestors.”

Perhaps, others have better luck than me. I try and be honest, polite, and accurate in any explanations I give. Mostly though, I turn the conversation to something else. If for whatever reason the converstaion becomes lengthy, I usually feel like I am teaching; which I am, but not in a way I believe would encourage further enquiry, too techinical or academic. Anyone else have a difficult time explaining the beliefs of their religion when so asked?

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Athame and the Heart

Our Hearts are a Crossroad; they are the point at which the Hearts of the Moon and Earth conjoin. Two held in perfect balance as manifest Thou. This is the thought I had this morning while conducting my morning devotionals. I had just finished ringing the bell to herald our Lady and Lord but before advancing to anointments and prayers, when a glance at the sigils upon the athame brought this wonderful image to the fore of my thoughts.

Not to delve into those sigils in any depth but suffice to say that this imagery that they invoked then expanded into thoughts whereby the athame is a symbol and tool of this Crossroad in addition to being the Witches’ Will. This is the thought that was at my center when I anointed myself with the same oil as used upon the brow of the Lady and Lord.

Perhaps I will embark upon working with prayer to bring this presence into the use of my athame? Food for thought it is. Whatever I decide, I know that casting circle and erecting a temple will take on an altered nuance for me.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wandering Thoughts

I’ve spent a lot of time lately mulling over whether or not I want to continue with this blog. It is something I have been thinking about in silence until now. Firstly, all the work I have put into keeping this blog rolling hasn’t scratched the itch it was intended to. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, my spiritual world has been shifting a lot lately and I find myself in territory I am unfamiliar with. This of course is not a bad thing; it just means that I have been more focused on delving deeper in those areas.

Tomorrow, I turn thirty. Yep, thirty. In the days still remembered by our Grandfathers and Grandmothers, this would put me at the mid-point in my life. With the advancement of modern technology, this is no longer the case. Astrology teaches that I am now in the time of my Saturn return, and I certainly feel it. Modern psychology also nicely synchronizes meaning with this threshold time, apparently thirty is a time of deep reflection whereby the course of the life having been built is before us and can be seen, for better or for worse. I am not bent out of shape or anything but as with any threshold, the pull of both sides of that point are felt. Change has arrived.

Maybe it is the being at this threshold of which I speak, which has brought about where my heart lay as of late. For years, I have gathered, worked, and scoured through countless amounts of information on all things even slightly related to the modern Contemporary Pagan movement. My thirst has been unquenchable. All it would take to send me into a spiral of fervent research, reflection, and application via experience was a hint of related meaning suggested through off-handed comments or the appearance of similarity regardless of whether it was true or not. I have belonged to, been trained by, and been affiliated with more groups than I think I could honestly list if I tried.

My eternal seeking hasn’t gone away, just shifted. For example, I probably have learned and worked with a dozen different models of the directions and correspondences. Now only extend that to tons and tons of other such topics. I now find I am no longer in any rush to learn another, I’m kinda done with all that. Instead of continuing to learn new ways of doing things, that I already know how to do, I am just gonna play this game here for awhile and stop jumping from one to another. On that note, I might even stay in the same field for awhile.

As for the blog? We will see. Today at least, it serves as different purpose than the one for which it was created.

The Moon is reflected in the Silvered-Well from which the Tree of our Heart grows, which holds up the Starry Heavens and whose roots extend into the Forges below.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."