Tuesday, August 6, 2019

When in Doubt, Do Witchcraft!

There are times in our lives when circumstances happen that frankly suck and sometimes in those times we feel like there is nothing that we can do about it.  Coping with such despair is one of those things that various religions have had to answer for. 

In true style, these answers fit within the pattern of said spiritual traditions.  For example, some forms of Christianity are fond of reminding people that “God has a plan” and some forms of Buddhism like to teach acceptance of change and non-attachment.  Well, the spiritual traditions found within Witchcraft also have answers. 

Sure Witches often will take the ole Fate as a Scapegoat route that is similar to the “God has a plan” paradigm and many others also buy into practices of non-attachment, I am not discounting either of these and a lot can be said about these approaches, but we have something more.  As Witches we have magick. 

No matter how bad things suck and no matter how much we don’t feel that there is anything that we can do, we can always do magick.  This doesn’t mean that our spells and workings will always succeed, but it does mean that we are always empowered with active action even when it doesn’t feel like there is any other.



Boidh Se!

-SM

“Lost in a thicket, bare-foot upon a thorn path.”

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Reading Aradia

I have not had much to say publicly lately, mostly due to biting my own tongue. However, today I have the urge to share a bit. Hence this blog, may it be of worth to you.

As of late, I have spent a lot of time molding my personal Craft and largely ignoring whatever the latest book happens to be that has been published. I did try reading Besom, Stang & Sword: A Guide to Traditional Witchcraft, the Six-Fold Path & the Hidden Landscape, but frankly couldn’t finish for a number of reasons, though I am considering reneging on my statement that I’m not going to write reviews on the rest of the book. I, of course, will have to get around to reading the rest of the book for that to happen.

This morning in my personal Craft crafting, I have had the urge to poke Aradia: Gospel of the Witches some more. It’s something I do a lot of, and honestly I am quite fond of the copious amounts of workable material and lore that can be mined from it. For those that don’t know, the sheer magnitude that this book has had upon the early praxis of the Wica cannot be overstated. Likewise, the shockwaves this impact has reverberated downstream into those practices deriving or influenced by such can also not be overstated. If you’ve never made a serious effort to deconstruct this work and chase the various roebucks therein then consider this blog your notice from the universe at large that the time is now.

With all of that said, what follows are not my words. They are all quotes, every last of one of them. As I wandered the thicket this morning, these are the roebucks this book set me upon. I decided to scribe them down, without explanation or context, and present them here as a whole for y’all to chase and see where they lead you. Good luck:

“The rich made slaves of all the poor.”

“And thou shalt be the first of witches known;
And thou shalt be the first of all I’ the world;
And thou shalt teach the art of poisoning,
Of poisoning those who are great lords of all;
Yea, thou shalt make them die in their palaces;
And thou shalt bind the oppressor’s soul (with power)…”

“She who fain would learn all sorcery yet has not won
Its deepest secrets, them my mother will
Teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown.
And ye shall be freed from slavery,
And so ye shall be free in everything…”

“Then Diana went to the fathers of the Beginning, to the mothers, the spirits who were before the first spirit, and lamented unto them that she could not prevail with Lucifer. And they praised her for her courage, they told her that to rise she must fall; to become the chief of goddesses she must become a mortal.”

“I’ll take my horn, and bravely will I blow
In the wine-vault at midnight, and I’ll make
Such a tremendous and a terrible sound
That thou, Diana fair, however far
Away thou may’st be, still shalt hear the call,
And casting open door or window wide,
Shalt headlong come upon the rushing wind,
And find and save me—that is, save my vines,
Which will be saving me from dire distress;
For should I lose them I’d be lost myself,
But with thy aid, Diana, I’ll be saved.”

“But the lady who had saved her, coming to her secretly, said: 'If thou hast
any desire, follow the Gospel of Diana, or what is called the Gospel of the
Witches (II Vangelo delle Strege), who worship the moon.'"

“Then in this dire need she prayed to Diana to set her free; when lo! She found the prison door unfastened, and easily escaped. Then having obtained a pilgrim’s dress, she travelled far and wise, teaching and preaching the religion of old times, the religion of Diana, the Queen of the Fairies and or the Moon, the goddess of the poor and the oppressed.”

Boidh Se!

-SM

“Lost in a thicket, bare-foot upon a thorn path.”

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Why I Don't Celebrate "All Snakes Day" and What to Do Instead


As Contemporary Pagans, we are better than All Snakes Day.  For those that don’t know what he hell I’m talking about, the short version is a counter holiday built upon badly compiled lore surrounding St. Patrick’s Day.  The gist of it is that the snakes that St. Patrick chased out of Ireland were actually the Pagans of Ireland, thus All Snakes Day is a celebration of the snakes.

The truth of the matter is that this just isn’t historically accurate, not in the least.  As someone that works heavily with Irish Reconstructionism, studies the myths and histories thereof, and speaks several hundred words of Gaeilge (Irish), and actively working on furthering this, I confirm that the scholarship is just missing in this regard.  I, however, really don’t feel up to doing the work to lay it all out, but not to leave y’all hanging, there is a blog by Ian Corrigan that helps to lay it out well enough that y’all will get the idea.  Plus he includes a few more links at the bottom for those that really want to chase this roebuck through the thicket.  Go HERE.

There is a charm here though that I do like.  I like the idea of celebrating Paganism as a whole and as a holiday separate from the common Pagan Pride Days.  I also love the Druid/Irishness of it, because I work in these areas in my personal Craft.  I just think that St. Patrick’s Day and All Snakes Day shouldn’t be it.

Instead, I think I am going to take up the Feast of Age as a practice. 

The Feast of Age comes from Irish mythology and is of the Tuatha dé Danann (the Gods and Goddesses of Ireland).  As a modern practice, it is something that the now defunct Henge of Keltria developed and was one of their own holidays.  I like it and so here is an excerpt of what they have to say about it, straight from “The Book of Keltria.*”


In particular the “feast to acknowledge agelessness of our ethical and moral convictions” bit speaks to me.  For me, this is a good alternative.  Feel free to join me in celebrating such, but don’t feel obliged.  Maybe you’ll even think of another good alterative for you and yours.  If so, do it and share it with others.  The spirit of All Snakes Day is right but the lore and timing is not.

As for the Feast of Age, I’m thinking that the first Saturday in June is a good time.  This year it is June 1st.  I picked the date for no particular reason other than that it is nicely placed after Bealtaine but before the solstice and is a good time of year for firing up the barbeque smoker (or grill), feasting upon said foods, and having a beer with friends in celebration of Paganism as a whole. 

Feel free to save the date and join in.

Boidh Sé,

-SM

“Lost in a thicket, bare-foot upon a thorn path.”


*Right before the Henge of Keltria dis enfranchised they took their correspondence course and turned it into a book, this is that book.