Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lesson One

I received the book yesterday that I ordered, well one of them and the tarot cards. The book is "Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft". It's really good actually. I had heard that it wasn't the easiest of reads but it hasn't been so bad and really enjoying it actually. There are little questions and things to think about at the end of each lesson. At first I wasn't too sure I would do that part of the book but the questions are actually really good. So I started it today and am taking my time to really absorb the information. I did get a few of the essay questions today and it is very enlightening. So I thought I would share with everyone and maybe get some feed back on what I have so far. Like I said before "takes a village" and I am sticking with my idea of that. 

Lesson One Questions

1. It is often helpful to examine your feelings/attitudes toward a philosophy or topic we are interested in. What is your understanding, feelings of Witchcraft? Examine your impressions, preconceptions, biases, etc. How have your reactions changed regarding Witchcraft throughout your life? 

What is your understanding, feelings of Witchcraft? 

My understanding is that Witchcraft is about the balances in life.  As in nature there is a male and female side to everything; from animals, to humans, to even plants. No one side is stronger they are an equal part in life. It's also about respecting everything that we see around us. Everything has energy and that energy is life and should be treated with respect and love. It's about nature and how it evolves throughout the year. How it progresses through the different seasons and being happy in the fact that we have been blessed to be here to enjoy and revere the change. It's about seeing the God and Goddess in all things including ourselves.
My feelings on Witchcraft as I sit here today are that is how it's supposed to be for me. Simple but accurate for me. It just seems natural. Maybe that is why the word natural has always seemed like a very powerful word to me. I feel a peace when I think of Witchcraft, though I struggle with some of the past misconceptions that have been told to me, have to work to get those recordings out of the brain. But when those creep in I know that they are just that, misconceptions, and I try to wipe them out as quickly as possible. They are like a seed, let them take root and they will, throw them away and they can't take over your thinking.

How have your reactions changed regarding Witchcraft throughout your life? 

I remember when I was a child growing up Christian that I thought Witchcraft was evil and anyone that practiced it was evil and unholy. Thought that it was devil based. The more I started to think for myself I started to question everything with Christianity and religion. Things just didn't seem to added up in my mind and heart. It didn't seem to be about love, though I am sure for some it is very loving, but for me it wasn't. I watched all the "Christians" around me and didn't see love and acceptance. I saw judgement and hypocrisy. What kind of religion and "enlightment" is that? That didn't seem very enlightening to me.

And what about the world around us? The air and water and plants and animals? Where did they all fall into everything? I remember as a child bumping a plant and turning and saying sorry. I also had a cactus as a child that I would pet and talk to. Don't know why I did these things, just did. I always thought as a child that things had feelings, which I know now is energy but back then I thought they had feelings. Always thought about things being even, have to give just as much water to this plant that I give the others because it will hurt it's feelings if I don't. Same with animals and just about everything around me. I never thought I was more important than anything else on the earth, not a person or a plant or an animal, but a different form of life.

The more I learned about different religions throughout the world I realized that there isn't one true path to the Divine, that all paths lead us to the Divine. With that learning I realized that I had to find my path. And I really felt drawn to how the ancestors celebrated and worshipped the Divine. I always had the feeling of being drawn to how it was orginally done. How did the beginning people celebrate the Divine? How did they connect with the Divine? That's what I wanted to learn and be like. To me that was a time when there wasn't persecution for religion. It wasn't that everyone did it the same, it was a time when people did what they FELT was right. Isn't it that concept that makes the most sense? Wouldn't the Divine be within us to let us know what is right and wrong, isn't that what are intuition is for? Isn't it our intuition that we should be listening to me, because for me that is the Divine. That is my Jiminy Cricket of sort to reference a modern day representation of intuition. I think that is something that a lot of people ignore now days is their intuition and it is such a shame because I feel that is the Divine talking to us and trying to guide us on our path.

I really had found that all my beliefs and convictions all lie within Witchcraft. It's what feels right to me. I have grown to be a better and more certain person just with the studying I have done. It feels like home to me. It is my path to the Divine.

2. There are many different denominations of Witchcraft. Based on what you know at this point, which denominations do you think you would like to practice, and why? 

I can't say that I would pick any of them right now. In reading the short descriptions on each of them there was something that didn't ring true with me in each of them. I'm not sure if it isn't the right time in my learning to pick one or if maybe none will ever be the one for me. So I think for now I am just going to learn and see where it leads me, might be one of them might be none of them, so it's a time to just wait and see.

3. The earliest conceptions of primitive magick dealt with sympathetic magick. How can sympathetic magick help you today? In what ways can you foresee using it? List some possibilites. 

How can sympathetic magick help you today?

Not sure if this would be considered sympathetic magick or not, but as in my case wanting to move to Arkansas I try to visualize myself driving down a road in Arkansas. Maybe it would be closer to taking a picture of Akransas and then paint shopping a picture of me into that picture.
Or if I am need of money to pay a certain bill I would actually make out the check for that exact amount made out to who the money was due to, which in turn will bring that money to me to pay that bill.
It could be used to banish things out of your life as well, but not too sure that is a good idea as the concept of banishing isn't something I am caring for right now. Seems so permanent. But to use sympathetic magick for banishing, you could make an effigy of that object and burn it to take away that object from your life.
Could it also be just making the effigy and placing it in a place where it will be seen on a regular basis that that will bring it into your life? I would say it was the same. So maybe making a small house and placing it on the mantle, if you are wanting to find a house you want to make your home, would that be sympathetic magick as well?

In what ways can you foresee using it? List some possibilities. 

In my first example I could definitely see using it for that. A way of depicting me already living in Arkansas and having that around would be a perfect way to me to use sympathetic magick.

Also writing the check for the amount of money I need to pay a bill would be another I would use.

In the banishing aspect I am not at a place right now to use it, but one way that I could see using it is if I wanted to get rid of all negative thinking. Make something that I see as representing negative thinking or even energy and then burning it till it is nothing but ash.

That's what I have so far.

Many smiles and blessings!!!

Bold and Italic questions copied from "Buckland's Complete Book Of Witchcraft" by Raymond Buckland

Saturday, February 5, 2011


At one point in history it had the same value as gold. After studying up on it I can see why. It was amazing to find out all the medicinal uses throughout history and still today. Even John Hopkins has done studies on it for it's anti-inflammatory properties and releaving anxiety.

Facts -

It is a resin that is tapped from trees that grow on rocky hillsides and cliffs or in dry river beds. The trees grow best in a dry climate. Some of the countries that it grows best in is Oman, Yemen, India, and parts of Northern Africa. The trees grow to about 20 feet and their branches begin near the base/bottom of the tree.
The resin is best harvested two times a year. January to March and also August to October. To harvest the resin one has to make a large cut in the tree and leave it for a couple of weeks or longer. The tree produces the resin to "heal" the cut and seal it off from infection getting into the tree. The longer the resin is left to harden the easier it is to harvest it. Once harvested the resin is then left alone for 12 weeks to age.

Medical and other uses -

In aromatherapy it is used as an antidepressant. (Which I have to agree, the smell is very uplifting)
The medicinal applications are almost endless. Not just the resin but the entire tree was used.
The bark was ground to a powder and made into a paste which helped with swelling and also rheumatic arthritis.
Used in a tea to help with stomach problems and morning sickness and also thought to ease morning sickness.
Can be used as an antiseptic when mixed with water used on cuts and burns.
Often used in eye washes. The smoke is thought to help with sore or tired eyes.
The bark and resin were used in making splints. A cloth would be soaked in the resin before it hardened and then wrapped around two pieces of the bark placed over the broken limb. Then the resin would harden to make a make shift cast.
Most modern uses medically is for rheumatoid arthritis and is also administered for gastro-intestinal diseases like colitis and Crohn's.
It was also one of the ingredients used in ancient embalming practices.

Magical uses -

Magically it is associated with the Sun God Ra and connected to the fire element, also listed as gender male (though I am not sure what that exactly means, next thing to study). It is used for protection and purification and luck. Use the oil to anoint your tools or yourself. It is said to accelerate spiritual growth. Rids negative energy. Helps with psychic abilities and meditation.

I was really blown away by this and amazed that our ancestors used it so much. I feel that it is something that isn't even heard about in modern times. A lot of people associate it with the birth of Jesus, it being one of the gifts that the three wise men brought to the baby. I often wondered why would you bring a spice to a baby, but learning of its purpose and how much it was valued I can now see why.

The magical purposes seem to mainly deal with protection and purification. Catholic churches still use it to this day for those reasons as well. Isn't it amazing that though the world views all the religions as being so different but when you get down to it we are all kind of same. Yeah sure some of the rituals and thinking about the Divine is a bit different but even with this one little thing like frankincense we all use it for the same thing.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Few new things

So I haven't been doing any real studying the past few days. I think I am still adjusting to living alone again. I am finally relaxing and just being so I seem to be tired constantly. Really annoying as my mind isn't tired as well so it keeps going but my body is still back at the starting line. 

I have been totally loving all the podcasts out there. I have downloaded so many on my iPod and listen to them all day at work. So much fun!! Maybe that has been my studying. On the Pagan Hooligans she is talking about tarot cards and that has really peaked my interest in those. Then on Witchesbrewhaha she has herbal and stone sections and that has my interest peaked as well. I guess I am going to hop around in my studying and for me that is perfect. I can't keep my brain on one subject for too long otherwise I get bored and lose interest. 

I do have some pictures of my altar from Imbolc I just need to upload them and get them on here. Just haven't found the energy to deal with it. I have to adjust all my USB plugs to plug in the SD card so been putting that off. 

I have ordered me some books and stuff and I am waiting anxiously to get everything in. I ordered the books "The Craft" and "The Craft Companion", did I already tell everyone that? I think I did, oh well. I also ordered "Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft" and a deck of tarot cards - "The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck". Read that is a good basic one, hopefully that is right and a good one to start with. Just really want to study each of the cards, which I could do without the deck but I want to be able to look at each cards closely and see what I get out of them. 

I also got a few oils and some sage sticks. I am really amazed at the smell of the oils. I guess I have expected them to stink. I got sage, lavender, frankincense, and myrrh. The frankincense and myrrh are the ones that really amazed me. They smell so good!!! Frankincense is kind of a spicy smell and myrrh is a very sweet smell, almost like cookies or something. I can't place what the smells remind me of but it is something. But love them so much!! Not sure what I am going to do with them yet. Any suggestions on that would be greatly appreciated. Maybe that's what I should study next. YEAH that would be a great idea. Just start with the ones I have and then expand from there. 

Past couple of days have been really busy at work and that might be why I have been so tired. Guess I just need a good day of rest and hoping to get that on Sunday. I only work four hours tomorrow thank goodness. Hopefully it will be a quick four hours. Well I am getting really sleepy and I am sure MoMo is ready for bed as well. So off to read and head to lala land. 

And as always...

Many smiles and blessings to you and yours!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just have to share

I finally took the plunge. I was sitting here most of the day listening to podcasts and just going over things for Imbolc tomorrow. I got my candle holders done and also a Brighid's cross as well. The cross is actually still in the oven as all this was made out of clay. 

So this evening I decided it was time. I wanted the house to be clean and ready for Imbolc tomorrow. And it was physically clean but it wasn't complete in my mind. I started to read others way of doing a cleansing of their house and chants that they used and they were all great but didn't connect with me. I decided to write my own and also wrote out the whole ritual. Wasn't a lot but it was just right for me. 

I started off by talking to the God and Goddess and asked that they guide me in my ritual. At first I was scared and nervous and thought to myself "what are you doing?" but I wiped it from my mind and just went with it. Figured if I was asking for their help I better shut my thoughts and mind out of it and just go with where they lead me.

Next I took a cleansing shower (don't do baths...just a quirk of mine) and I have to say that was amazing. I don't have all the special little things that a lot of people use so I just kind of went with what felt right. I imagined the negative energy running off of me and down the drain and away from my home. It was so peaceful and warm and and and...a thousand words to describe it but I don't think that would even be enough. 

I then did my little ritual of cleansing the house. At first it felt weird like I was almost just going through the motions and not really feeling it per say. But before I knew it I was just moving along and wasn't even following what I had written out for my chant. Was just saying what I felt needed to be said. Then I realized I had the biggest smile on my face and nothing felt weird or wrong just amazing and completely right. 

As I finished I thanked the God and Goddess for helping me through my first cleansing and sat down to just be. 

I have to say that everything I have been reading and studying all seemed like it was out of my reach. Something that I wouldn't be able to attain. Now I feel like it all makes sense. I get the reason for the Sabbats and Esbats and the reason for the altar.

I think especially the altar. I thought it was just something that Pagans do but now I get it. It's not something to just do it's something I WANT to do. I want to lay an altar out for them to show my gratitude for what they have done. To show them the love I have for them. 

I know some may say "You've done one little thing" which is very true and looking in from the outside it very well may seem that way. For me though it was a big step and one I have been putting off for months, maybe even years. Yes I have only been officially studying for a few days but I feel like I have been studying my whole life just not the actual steps of everything. 

Now it is all falling into place within my head and heart. I could probably go on and on about it. But I'm really kind of tired now and really hungry, what is that about? LOL So I am going to go find some food and then get my butt to bed, still have a lot to do for tomorrow and want to get an early start. 

Thank you for reading about this "newbies" first experience. 

And as always...

May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings!!