Reading for the Intermediate Witch: A History of Witchcraft

Title: A History of Witchcraft
Second Edition
Authors: Jeffery B. Russell and Brooks Alexander
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
ISBN: 0500286345

This is a rather comprehensive book covering the history of witchcraft starting with the late middle ages. Don’t be fooled by its slim appearance, this book is packed with a lot of great detail. It gives an extensive explanation of what the troubles were that caused the infamous ‘Burning Times’ and maps out a fairly clear path of the rise of modern witchcraft. I find this book to be a little bit dated but it is approximately ten years old. If a third edition is out, I would snap that up in a heartbeat.

The discussion of the differences between sorcerer, heretic, and neopagan is interesting. It is also timely considering the increased resistance towards the idea of witchcraft within the United States. It would be wise to review the social system imbalances that gave rise to the ‘Burning Times’ and consider the parallels to today.

Originally Published: 10/16/18
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Wednesday ramblings

Dear Reader,

Pictured is how I spent my day, working on my manuscript. The red book is where I’m writing the rosary book I’m working on. The composition book is where I have my notes. Today was a passable day for writing. I got my goal done for page count and a page beyond. I lost about half of my writing time to fixing research errors that I had made. Tomorrow, I hope to do better.

As I was reading through my list of blogs I follow, I was delighted to see this post from Cara Freyasdaughter. Her description of ‘dark Freyr’ is rather consistent with the face of Freyr that I see during the autumn and winter. Some years, he shows up earlier than others. My experience of this facet of Freyr is not what most people expect of Freyr. He is the hunter and the hunted. In my experience, he has his own Hunt party that goes about to chase off and take down the dangerously nasty spirits where they go. I find it telling that Freyr in his dark aspect became very persistent and present early this year (as in almost mid-July) and that there are now more reports about deer with bovine tuberculosis. (None reported in WNY at this time, but it is a thing to keep an eye on. It is unclear if this disease can be transmitted to humans. Hunters, take full safety precautions as per usual.)

This is going to be a bad year for hunting, I can feel it. Freyr’s warned me that things are happening that requires the Hunt to begin soon. If it hasn’t begun already, I’m not sure. Both Freyr and Loki have been telling me to focus on myself and my household. The last of the summer’s heat is passing away with the ending of this heatwave, if my joints are accurate in their predictions. I was going to harvest my herbs but it is going to rain tomorrow and I just didn’t get to it today. Hopefully I will get it done before the first frost hits. Again, I have a feeling that it is coming sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I am going to be working on my writing and taking that harvest of knowledge and putting it to use. Maybe this weekend I’ll talk a little bit about autumnal Freyr. Spring and Summer is Loki’s season with me. Autumn and Winter is Freyr’s season with me. But sometimes they make their presences known at random during the other’s season. It may be heretical for me to say it, but Freyr and Loki get along well and have some kind of relationship. Maybe a friendship, maybe something else that I just don’t have the word for. They’ve more points in connection than me. I’ve watched them have disagreements. They don’t have screaming arguments, they have very civil, very calm and very cold discussions. I’ve watched them also conspire together. Well, sort of watched half of it unfolding. Loki is very much the “I have a GREAT IDEA!!1!eleventyone” guy as Freyr tends towards the direction of “I have a plan.”

It gets weird sometimes when that happens. Weird like last January weird. But, everything works out well in the end. I trust them implicitly. It is when I stop trusting myself that things get hard.

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Intermediate Witchcraft: Psychic Safety Lessons

Here is a link to the posts on psychic safety. I will be posting on psychic safety in the future something like a series of lectures on how the mechanics of some of this stuff works. Because if you know how your equipment works, it is easier to service and use it properly. I’ll be getting into some weird topics like egregores eventually. I’m going to start out with the nuts and bolts level of basic magical ‘machines’.
If we were talking about actual machines, this would be my showing you how hammers, saws, and levers work. The previous posts are simple exercises using those proverbial hammers, saws, and levers. Egregores* and related topics would be the simple computers of magical construction. Now, just as tools can be used for various purposes beyond what they were originally intended and in the hands of a creative and properly motivated person anything can be a weapon, I know that these lessons can be taken in directions beyond what I am promoting.

Anything you do with this information is on you. Caveat emptor. I am the writer who produces the spell book. You are the one who decides if it is a coffee table book or a tool. And what you do with said tool is your karmic and moral responsibility.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

* Somewhere, I know, there is a ceremonial magician ready to pull their hair out right now. Homonculi, egregores, and tulpa are on one level more complicated than computers and at the same time, they’re very simple. So, I apologize to the ceremonial magicians who are probably just this side of a meltdown over this eventually coming up. You’re not the only keepers of this knowledge and I assure you that my path to it is different from yours.

Originally Posted: 10/9/2018
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Pagan Parenting: Demigods?

Photo by Mat Brown from Pexels

Dear Reader,

My boys have some interesting ideas about the divine. They call out to gods from a pretty wide range of pantheons for a rather wide range of reasons. When there was a fire at a garage a block away from us, my eldest called on every single storm deity he could think of to help put that fire out and keep people safe. He made a special point of calling on Zeus first and a few more times in the prayer. He’s come to the conclusion that Zeus is a god who supports heroic professions, such as fire fighters because of how Zeus stood boldly against chaos in the beginning of all things (as per the book of mythology we have here that I read him the old stories out of). Zeus is a hero and therefore must be a god of heroes, that’s how Cuddle Bear explains it.

(Interesting side note about that fire, it was a pretty severe fire. When the structure began to collapse, there were people inside. As the firefighters described it, the building paused for a moment long enough for them to get out. Considering the timing of it all and when we heard the building collapse, which was terrifying for Cuddle Bear, I’m pretty sure that his prayer was being answered by the firefighters getting out with minor injuries.)

They have also come up with alternate names for the powers that manage things when they can’t remember the names given to them from the myths. The one that stands out strongest in my mind is how they have decided that in the Norse pantheon there is a deity named Windia (pronounced wind-dia) who is female and directs the winds. They have called out to her to help make the weather better for them to play outside. Interestingly, they argue that Windia is a helper to all the Norse/Germanic storm deities. That her job is just to move the wind in the right direction.

I’ve tried explaining to them that Njord is the god of the winds, but they insist she is his helper. I’m not sure, but I think this is how demigods happen. I’ve done divination on the matter, fortunately, the gods find the children adorable on this and think that having a being to delegate tasks to is always helpful. So, I guess there’s a new household demigod here.

 

Originally Published: 10/8/2018

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Triune Goddess: Separate or Not?

Photo by Alem Sánchez from Pexels

A kind soul on Tumblr messaged me with a question that had been troubling them. At the end of time, when all of reality is in-gathered by the Dark Mother, what becomes of the Daughter? It is a question that can be rather fearful, to be honest, to think that the Sustainer and Savior of the World may cease to exist. In reading the Scriptures and meditating quite a bit on the matter, I do not think this should be cause for fear.

The Bright Mother and the Daughter are one. From one perspective, this means that the Daughter shall continue to exist as part of the Bright Mother. The Daughter, however, is more than a mere creation but Dea herself. As such, the Daughter stands beyond the limits of time. The holy Daughter is also one with the Dark Mother. Just as the Dark Mother moves in mysterious ways that we may never fully comprehend, so too does the Daughter.

In the beginning of all things, the Daughter was present with the Bright Mother in the potential of creation and the creative urge. Obviously, the Daughter is present during the era of history and time, sustaining reality and protecting us from oblivion. In the final time of existence, the Daughter is present with the Dark Mother, guiding us to our true home and She that loves all.

Originally Published: 10/8/2018

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Examination of the Heart

Filianic Sutras: The Temple of the Heart

Verse 1

Know your own heart and make examination thereof: for if you know not your own heart, there can be no true knowledge of anything.

We are all familiar with the maxim – An unexamined life is not worth living. We are called to have the simple faith of children but we are also called to be responsible in ourselves through self knowledge. When a small child acts out of frustration and we ask them why, their answer is almost invariably “I don’t know.” This is because they do not know their own heart and/or have the language to express what is therein.

We must carefully study our own hearts and acquire deep knowledge of ourselves. Through this process, we may come to know something of our spirit and that which transcends our humanity. Most of all, we may answer the question of whey we acted in the fashion we have when we find ourselves at the feet of our Teacher and She is giving us our lessons in Thamë. 

Because through deep self knowledge we find ourselves pulled along the thamelic path of our current incarnation and we draw closer to Our Lady.

Dea bless.

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Godspousery Notes: Do the THING (again)

Freyr1I have a problem with anxiety. It gets in my way rather often. With the current state of affairs of my nation, I am struggling with heaps of it. As a result, I find myself trying to diminish my expression and limit how much I say in the hopes of not repeating the horrific harassment that I endured when I was younger. It is a daily struggle for me.

I was quibbling with myself over weather or not to write some things today when Freyr calmly said, “Are you a writer or not?” I answered that I was indeed a writer. He then asked me why I wasn’t writing. It’s been a discussion we have had on several fronts and on several different occasions. It always boiled down to “are you YOU or not? why are you not acting like YOU?”

It is always an awkward moment when you are getting called out for not acting like yourself. Especially when you are in your own home, technically alone. It is especially awkward when you are called out for not acting like yourself, when you’re home alone not to be disturbed for several hours, and there are to be no negative consequences except for making yourself feel bad.

Did I mention that Freyr has sternly told me that I shouldn’t be making myself feel bad for being myself? I have a taboo about this. It’s on my list of things to be working with my therapist with. It’s on my list of things to meditate and work with my spirit companions on healing. At the same time, when I have days that I get so caught up in anxiety and fear that I am not conscious of the fact that I am breaking my taboo.

Fortunately, Freyr is kind enough to remind me. Though it is usually with a droll comment, something that is directly to the point but also with enough dry humor to make me pause and chuckle. And breaking that tension and anxiety with a laugh is often a big part of what I need to get moving forward on things.

Originally Published: 10/6/2018

Edit to Add:

The stick figure for myself is different to reflect my new hairstyle. Short, spikey, and lots of natural grey. I still feel like potato is the best adjective for me at the moment. Not that potatoes are bad, because they can work with ANY dish (some mad food scientists have found away to make potatoes into a dessert, I’m sure). But they’re not the most exciting and active of things.

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Recommendation: Goya Novena Candles

Dear Reader,
If you are looking for long lasting and clean burning novena candles, the ones from Goya appear to be the best. (Note: I am not being paid for this post, just mentioning what I’ve observed over the last few years going through novena candles.) They’re inexpensive. You can find them pretty much anywhere Goya products are sold. And they burn really clean. I’ve never had issues with this brand having the wicks off center. Nor have I found them to have any problems with scents that trigger my asthma. When they have been scented, the scent is very light and dissipates quickly.

They’re excellent for candle magic that requires multiple days of burning a candle for said spell. They are obviously excellent for novenas. And they make really good sources of emergency light during a power outage. (Yes, I actually did that once. Someone had a car accident with a power pole down the road and most of the village’s lights went out. I just happened to have the candles on the altar lit when this happened.)

Originally posted: 10/5/2018
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Video Post 15: Belief

Transcript:

Belief is a word that has been in the news a lot these days. It means different things in different contexts. In matters of faith, it is a state of acceptance of an argument as truth or falsehood. For the religious person, the criteria for something to be believable is highly personal. Religious creeds and systems of belief develop when groups of people come together and agree to accept the same criteria for belief.

I believe that people are fundamentally good. I believe that evil happens when they fail to follow the fundamental good within themselves. I believe the victims of evil who speak out are doing their best to seek aid and healing. When one has done evil to another, a rupture is made in the relationship that must be addressed before long term harm is done. This is the way of Thamé as I see it.

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Wednesday Rambling.

Dear Reader,
You may not be aware of it, but I now have a Tumblr account. You can find me on there as Lady Brythwen Sinclair. My blog (which I think of as a mini-blog, to be honest) is The Abbreviated Priestess. I try to post daily prayers to the Janya/Angel of the day. I also post links to my work on my main blogs. I hope to begin sharing some artwork at some point when life calms down a bit.

I am somewhat stalled on my transcription project. Mainly this is because my favorite pen for writing in that notebook ran out of ink. If I knew that the paper was heavy enough, I’d be using a dip pen or a fountain pen for it. As it stands, I’m looking at my collection of pens and debating which I will be using for the next transcription session.

Over the last month, I have written a mere six additional prayers for the next edition of Rose Petals. I am, however, at twenty four additional prayers because I had a good number written up before then. So, progress is still happening on that project.

Coming up on National Novel Writing Month, I have decided that I’m going to work on my rosary book and actually finish the thing. I’ve been collecting notes for a while. I just have to sit down and write out the draft. Then edit it. I think I may still be able to get a paperback out in time for the beginning of Advent. I confess, I am cheating a little bit at NaNoWriMo because I’m starting work now. November, however, is shaping up to be a very busy month at my house.

I know that there are still some bugs to be worked out with the digital editions of the books I have already done. I’m still trying to fix them. If I can’t get it sorted out by the end of the month, I’ll be having my technomancer husband have a look at it. I’m pretty sure I’m missing something really simple and silly.

Originally Published: 10/3/2018
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