Wild Witchcrafting

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The above photo is of my landscape.

Today, I have been inspired to discuss wild witch crafting, and why I strongly recommend even the most structured witches operate in this way in parts of their life.  For me, its all of my life and way.   While I have no objections at all about using items, and working with artifacts, deities, spirits, herbs, spices, etc. from foreign lands (I do this too), I am of the opinion that the main tenants of what you do and use ought to be right upon the land of which you live on.   I am hoping you leave this blog with more insight on this, as well as tips and ideas on how you can either begin,, or enhance your connections for successful wild witchcrafting.

Why wild witch crafting is so important

To state the obvious, it is because this is your land, your home and surroundings of which are important to your day to day living.   There is no place like home, so the anchor is already there.   Rather than just have a home to go to, one should connect with, and become part of the landscape, harmonizing with their local land spirits and energy force. Everything in your surroundings has a very strong energy that is very favorable for work you do within your area; including the aid of spirits, which in both cases are very much ideal for a witch who has successfully connected with it all.  These are the things that will increase the strength of a witch.   In history, its known that traditionally the cunning folk/wise women worked with what they had on hand, available to them in their surroundings.   This also included dealing quite frequently with land spirits and/or  deities governing their land.   Travel use to be very hard to do, and many never even traveled outside of their very immediate jurisdiction.   So they embraced all the energy and spirits that their land and home had to offer, just like I think witches of today should try.

How to start

Some of you may be at different levels in this, and may not find every section useful, but others have never but would love to make the wild path part of their life. For their sake, I will start with the beginning tips to offer and hope benefits everyone.   Anyone that has mastered this, and its the main tenant of their path might depart the blog with new insight, tips or ideas; just like I do when I read about this same topic from others on the wild side of crafting.

1.)   Start getting out there and walking.  Yes, I know this sounds too simple, but really its the start,, and how you walk the walk matters here.   Don’t do this walk while talking on the phone, or with others, this isn’t a casual walk.  Instead, be quiet and very mindfully observe your surroundings.  Take a good look at what is in your landscape, the sounds you hear, the warmth or coldness of the air, and over all vibe.  Watch the animals and what they are doing.  Start out by doing this for a few days,  to get more familiar.  After a few days of just walking, next walk, try to put your mind into a more meditative state, or even a trance or semi trance state.   This time around, let your mind wander in this state more.  Stretch your hands out a bit and start feeling the surroundings too.  Start feeling for energy and energy shifts, and let it flow up into your hands, arms and body, til you start to feel like you are part of this energy.  Pay attention to any fleeting visions you might see, even in minds eye.  Each landscape may have different spirits, so what you see in one place, may not be in another.  They may not even be recognizable, as in    described and labeled in any book you read.  For instance, I have seen lots of these beings with wings that did not fit the descriptions of fae, or anything else, nor did they give off the same feel as fae or anything else that I have learned of.  This is fine. This is part of the magic and mystery of witchcraft that is not found in any books.  You are also likely to start seeing people of the past, who are etched into the history of the land or see past events.  Try this for the next two weeks, getting out there to walk as much as possible, if not daily.

2.)  After you’ve done the step above, the next time you enter into this walk you are going to introduce yourself.  You are going to state who you are, and what you are doing there, and ask for any advice or knowledge that the land spirits might be kind enough to pass on to you.  Let them know you are not there to harm or threaten the landscape, but to become part of it, to harmonize and connect.   Let them know you hope they see you as another kindred spirit of the land.  Go into your usual meditative/trance, feeling energy, and start seeing and listening.   You may still have the same vision experiences described above, as well as seeing more and more spirit types, but you are likely going to now start hearing fleeting statements.   Some might make sense, others not to much.   Some might be instructive as well.  Take it all in.   Sometimes, you might here a sentence from a human spirit who once was in the area.   In other cases, they might tell you what they want you to focus on, or how they wish to be approached.   Some of these spirits might not feel safe, which, witchcraft is not always safe.  Still they may be beings you will work with down the road, and worth listening to, and having as potential allies.   If your memory is not great, it might be helpful to keep a private journal to jot down things you heard.

***Personal gnosis – At this point you are more than likely going to be gathering up a lot of personal gnosis as the spirits of the land pass on knowledge to you.   This is fantastic, BUT I have seen witches show up and start fights with other witches about this sort of thing, which is not great at all.   You may learn something as a *fact* from these spirits, BUT this fact may not be a fact another witch learned.  In fact, facts can change and deviate over the lands, each area having their own set of facts, or ways.  So what is a fact by the ocean, may not be a fact in the mountains.  So never use your personal gnosis in any manner to talk down to other witches, or brow beat them with.   That is also being disrespectful of your own craft and the beings that shared this with you.  In fact, keep your personal gnosis safe with yourself, and only pass it on to some one if you are going to later mentor some one who wants to learn your path.   So guard it as a precious part of you, and IF you do share any of it in any witch groups, make it a point to refer to it as your own personal gnosis, rather than words like *fact*.   I felt the need to cover this, because the last thing I want to see is some one learning from this blog, then going out and being abusive to other witches about what gnosis they gather.

3.)  Remember, as equally as important, you should be figuring out all the plant life, fungus, minerals, rocks, earth, animals around you and what their magical properties are.   These will be very useful for spell casting or other reasons.  Get to know the type of trees and their magical properties as well.  Different trees can yield different types of wands, and etc.   Make sure to jot them in your book.   Also, on these walks you may wind up finding *gifts*.  For instance, I have come home with deer fur, bones, feathers, rocks, etc. that I was drawn to and felt that the land spirits wanted me to take, and I always thank them for it, as should you on your adventures.

4.)  Going into your land area employing the methods above now should be routine.   But now you may want to find a spot that becomes your special spot.  Although your landscape itself is sacred, this spot will be your most sacred, or where you create your witch circle.  You will use this spot as your meeting place among the spirits, evoking and or invoking.   This will also be where you do your outdoor spell casting, and petitioning, or most of your rituals and honoring of spirits or whatever deity/deities you have.   Which ever branch of witchcraft you are in, a circle meaning will vary.   In my case, this isn’t a circle of protection or barrier of any sort, but more like an opened portal that is kept for multiple purposes I described above.  Within my circle,, the energy is always a bit different, more potent of a feel, and kept that way even when I am absent from it.  I also use this highly energized circle for charging various tools simply by placing them in it for a period of time.   This is where I have charged wands and currently (although it may be out by the time you read this) have an extra stag absorbing that energy field and charging up. Anyone that has held an instrument I charged in that circle can attest to the strength and energy illuminating from it.    At the north part of it, I have a three pronged stag set with flat rocks that serve as an altar and base. This is where I set down gifts of my own, often from the ocean, or various flowers or feathers I find that I feel might please the old one, and the spirits.    At any rate, this will be how ever you cast your circle whether you follow a wicca path, or a traditional witch way, and have it more permanently set.   When evoking spirits, even with a permanent portal, it’s still always a great idea to set the compass round when inviting them, then ending the session in widdershins with the understanding that they will still walk with and guide you.

5.)  Always consider yourself a steward over your land.  If you see litter pick it up.  Always be kind towards the life, and respectful.   Be protective of the earth and animals within your landscape.  You are all connected and it is your duty to over see and look after it.   The spirits will notice and you will come more into their favor.  The energy will least likely reject you.  Remember to always say a word of thanks or show thanks when harvesting for a spell, or other need.   The more you are into this, the easier it will be fore you to forage and know what to pick for what kind of magical working you are doing.   Practice makes masters as always and Wild Witchcrafting is definitely a practice worth mastering.

Note for City Dwellers

I realize can be frustrating to always see blogs involving nature.  However, YOU dwell within,  would I dare say is one of those most energetically charged landscape.  When ever I venture into the city, I am struck with the enormous amount of energy I feel.  It is indeed, supercharged.   Therefore, you can and should follow the same routine or tips to become one with your landscape.  Even though you are surrounded by buildings, you will still have spirits native to your land, and then some.  If the buildings weren’t all around, the place would be full of all the natural flora of that region.  There is still trees, rocks and parkways present too. The only thing is, you may want to be a little more discreet so you do not come off as a bit of a weirdo to onlookers.   Also, you might want to stick with creating the altar in your room, as hiding places in the city are hard to come by.  What ever you do, don’t think you have to hang up doing something like this, just because of where you life.

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****If you, or anyone else has experiences with this and would love to add tips of your own, please share.  If you are trying these ways and have found any of what I said helpful, I would love to hear from you too and what in particular helped you on your way. *****

 

 

 

The Blasting Rod

The blasting rod is particularly a Traditional Witch tool, however, I am sure you don’t have to be a traditional witch in order to create and use one.   The instrument is created from Blackthorn tree/shrub.    However, many of us live in regions of the world where this either does not grow, or it is so scarce that you may go a  life time without seeing it out in the wild.   So I found that if there is no blackthorn trees in the area, it is okay to instead, select branches from any thorn bush local to you in order to create this.   Plus, traditionally, witches worked with what they found within their immediate surroundings; and that of which you find within your surroundings holds the energy, history, and spiritual essence of the land you live and thrive on.   So this is better, in my opinion, than trying to buy  a rod, or branches from a foreign area to work with.

Below is what a finished blasting rod looks like.  This is a photo of a rod that is housed in the Museum of Witchcraft in England

blasting rod

Blasting Rods are commonly used for the following reasons:  summoning and spirit work, cursing, hexing, binding, protections, exorcisms, warding, shielding and expelling (especially evil people, spirits, or magical workings against you).   If these are things you find yourself doing often, then you might want to consider creating one for your witch tool box.

Creating a Blasting Rod

You can create these as fancy or simple as to your own liking.  However, you’ll probably want to avoid using materials, stones, etc  that contradict, or contraindicate the purpose of the rod.   Before you begin, you will need the following:

  • Three blackthorn, or other kind of thorny branches.  Try to keep them all the same length or close to it.  Mine is about three feet.   (Make sure they are still fresh so they will be easier to bend and twist.  Old ones crack easier and are not as flexible.)
  • Something to attach or assemble the point together, as well as the end you will use for a handle.  Usually like a soft bending wire, hardy string, etc.
  • Black spray paint, other kind of black paint and varnish (varnish is optional)
  • Something to hold the handle end of the branches together, as well as what you are going to use to make the handle.  I used a hollow copper pipe for the handle part, as copper is an excellent conductor of energy.   Then I coiled leather around it, using a strong glue.  You can use a pipe like this, or anything to make your handle with.
  • Gloves – working this thorns can be an uncomfortable experience, without them. But these are optional.
  • Something to cut and prune with.  You may find you have to cut down some of your branches, any wiring you are using, or leather. You will also likely find that you have to prune off a few of the thorns at the base by the handle.

Now that you have all your stuff, its time to assemble your new blasting rod.

1.)   Take the branches and attached them together at what will wind up being the handle area with the wiring or whatever you got for this task.   Once that is secured start twisting the branches around each other in a triple helix pattern.  It does not have to be perfect or tightly woven.  For mine,  I was only able to twist twice.   Once that is done, then take your wire to wrap around and attach the branches at the tip area, make sure its secured well.

2.)   Prune off any branches that are undesired, and make sure the area you are making your handle on is thorn free.  Now, Spray paint the branches with your black paint, or if another kind of paint, brush it on until all branches and thorns are covered and allow to dry.   If you are using a pipe for the handle, paint this piece too.

3.)  Once dried, you can now create your handle. If you got piping, force the base area into the pipe tightly.  It might help to have something like gorilla glue in the pipe to hold it even better.  If you are just using leather, then just tightly coil and glue as you go along.   Super glue might work best for this.

4.)  Decorate your handle whatever way you want: gems, sigils runes, ribbons fitting for the uses of the blasting rod, or leave it as is if you like.

Your blasting rod is now finished and ready for use.  The way you would use this would be the way you’d use your other type of wands.   Except you would only be using it for the purposes described above.

 

 

Halloween and The Dumb Supper

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While most of you are aware of the history of Halloween (Samhain, or Sauin), its purpose, festivities, the thinned veil, etc.; you might not be aware of (or maybe a little aware) of a long standing tradition that some do, known as the Dumb Supper.  Perhaps you will be inspired to include it into your Halloween Tradition here on in.

Before I begin about Dumb Supper, lets be reminded that Halloween is traditionally the best day for spiritual communicate, and visits from beyond the grave.   This is considered the time that the veil is thin enough that spirits of all sorts can easily pass to and fro.   It is a time that witches often welcome the visits from their dearly departed, and might seek insight and communion with their ancestors.   There many ways of which a witch might do this, and one of them is a Dumb Supper.   You don’t even have to be a witch to host a Dumb supper, or even partake in welcoming visits from the deceased.  Either path you walk, a Dumb Supper is a great way to welcome such visits.

So what exactly is a “Dumb Supper” you might wonder?   A Dumb Supper is literally a dinner for living and dead to join in.   It is the dinner of honor and communion with any friends, family, ancestors that you wish to invite in on Halloween.  Of course, Halloween is not the only time that you can host this kind of dinner, but it’s the most popular night, only because of how thin the veil is, of course.   Other nights, might be times that it is harder for some loved ones to come through so you could run the risk of a loved one that you want there, not being able to attend.

The internet is chalk full of all sorts of ideas on how to host one of these dumb suppers.   Through out the years I have tried many different methods, some more effective than others.   I will share the method that I personally found most effective.   You might want to give it a try, or try something different.  I welcome you to even make adjustments and add some personal touches to your dumb supper, as I believe, the more personalized (rather than rigidly following some one else’s structure, the better it will work for you.) It also helps a lot if you have a natural aptitude  like medium-ship, but this isn’t necessary.  Remember, a dumb supper is always done in silence, hence the word ”dumb”.

Moving on, here is a method that might greatly help enhance your dumb supper…

Preparations! 

Any dinner that comes out grand is usually well prepared in advance.  This one is no different.    First, decide who you are going to invite, both living and dead. You can invite some of your pets that you loved too!  Next consider what were foods that the living and the dead liked.  Sometimes, you can recall a get together with the deceased as a group at a function and found they all liked a particular dip, or dinner plate there.   Your departed grand mother may have been a huge fan of swedish fish.   Perhaps your great Uncle always enjoyed a beer. Maybe you are inviting a cat that loved tuna fish as a treat.  Before long, you should have some kind of list that includes a variety of foods.  Don’t go crazy though and buy up every single thing that you knew the deceased liked, nor do you have to pick a favorite food for every deceased person you are inviting.  If you are inviting a lot of them this can get crazy and wasteful.   After all, the deceased isn’t actually going to be eating the food, it is merely going to attract them and let them experience a dinner once again, where something  they liked was served.  So it’s acceptable and practical to even pick some dishes that are universally enjoyable, like mashed potatoes or something, plus better on the budget.

After you’ve done your guest list and menu, move onto selecting artifacts to put around the room and on the table.   See if you can find some photos, and personal items the deceased owned at one time.   If you can not access a photo and have no personal artifacts, then think of something that you knew they owned and liked.   Maybe your great grand mother loved to knit, so you can get a set of knitting needles.  Maybe you decided to invite your great uncle and you heard he was a fisherman, so get some fishing lures.   If you decided you wanted to generally invite ancestors, perhaps you can put up the family crest, or try to find some period items at an antique or consignment shop, or both.   One thing that always seems to work in case of ancestors is period money, which you can often get cheap, or empty bottles or tins.

Lastly, you will want some things for aesthetic purposes, such as candles, scented or not, flowers, or other types of decorations.   I have found that aesthetics do enhance anything I do, whether it’s a ritual, spell casting, seance, or something like this.   Also, it’s very helpful  to have a set of bells, as these can be chimed when calling your guests to dinner.  I have found that spirits are pretty responsive to this.   I also set my black mirrors up to aid in it, but having other types of table mirrors, surely can help too.   In fact, anything you normally use with your spirit work, should definitely be included in all this, which ever these might be.   Another thing spirits tend to be receptive too is a little bit of tobacco and a nip of good whiskey, so be sure to set these too on the table or near by.

Setting up

On the day of the dumb supper, take some extra time to set the table you will be using.   You want it to look nice, like you put some care into it.  Set any photos directly on the table, especially closer to the plate or plates you will use for the deceased.   When it comes to how many places to set for the deceased, I have found one seat, plate, glass and set of silverware perfectly sufficient, opposed to trying to set up a bunch of spots.  Put the extra artifacts on the table or surrounding tables or areas in a decorative fashion, including items you use when working with spirits.   After this, go ahead and prepare your meal, which can be as elaborate or complex as you desire, as I have found, this didn’t matter much.  I have done a dumb supper with just pizza (which everyone I know that passed liked a lot, and cake, which none were ever adverse of either.)

The Dinner

Now everything is done, you are ready.   At this point, gather the items you use for spirit work, start using them in a manner to draw the spirits in.   Call out vocally the names of the live people first that are invited, if any.   Next, call out the names of the deceased that you have invited, but at this point, when you do it, chime the bells as you call them forward letting them know that dinner is ready.  I found it helps at this point to also stand behind the chair designated for them.    If there are ancestors you don’t know their names but wanted them there anyways then just say, something like ”all my ancestors, come forth, dinner is ready” as you chime the bell.   After you have called everyone forward, do a small opening speech that you wrote about how everyone is gathered here together in communion with honored guests from beyond, everyone be seated and enjoy.

After that speech and the dinner officially started, there should be no talking at all from the living.   This entire dinner should be kept in silence.  You as the host should light the candles, if not already done, and be up serving the dinner on everyone’s plate including a little portion on the plate set for the deceased.   For them, set the tobacco by their plate as well as pour the whiskey into a small glass.  After all is served,  be seated and join.  Sometimes the living guests may want something like butter passed to them.  To prevent them from accidentally speaking, leave flash cards with pens by everyone’s place so they can write what they need passed to them.   If you are alone, none of this is a problem.

What to expect during the dinner

While you are eating, pay attention to the surroundings.  The most common things you should be experiencing at this point is the sense that there is a presence in the room.  You should start feeling the feelings you use to get when some of these particular loved ones were around you in life.   You might even start smelling the smell they use to give off.   Often you will feel drops in room temp or in spots, or feeling touched or poked by unseen hands.   If the deceased speak at this point, you will suddenly hear a statement pop in your mind, usually sounding just like a certain loved one, tone of voice and all.   Past memories with some of them, even memories you forgot about are likely to start coming back in bits and pieces or floods of them during this time.   If ancestors were invited, you will hear sentences out of no where in your mind, but you won’t recognize the voice or tone.   Its not uncommon to start feeling a rush of a breeze at times either.   It is not too likely that you will see full bodied apparitions appear, your loved ones are still trying not to frighten you, so don’t expect dramatics; however, you might notice a shadow or other type of anomaly.   It is not uncommon to notice something in peripheral, or fleeting in the mirror.  You are also likely to start feeling the vibe you’d get when a certain person was present.  This vibe is hard to explain but you will know it when it happens.   ***With a successful Dumb Supper, you should at least be experiencing some of these things.   Some suppers yield stronger results than others, not necessarily everything on this list of what to expect, but maybe some of them a lot stronger or longer in duration.   This method, including the list I will give following on what to avoid is the one that has yielded the strongest results for me. But you might want to test out a few methods you research to figure out which one is best for you.

When Dinner is completely over, stand up, chime the bell and do a small speech about dinner being complete, everyone may now commence with talking, thank the living for attending, then thank the departed for being the honorable guests that attended and let them know that they are welcome to stick around and be part of the after dinner company til they feel it is time to leave just like any other guests.   I find that some stick around for a bit longer, others leave pretty quickly, they tend to follow the habits they did in life.   Now clean off the table, but leave the artifacts for a little while longer. (Hopefully the live guests are helping you) then engage in what you would normally do when company is over.  If you don’t have company then just do what you regularly do from there on in.

What to avoid

1.)  This shouldn’t be a scary or creepy experience.   If the idea of having deceased guests in your house feels creepy to you, or you are scared of spirits, then don’t do a dumb supper, period!   Plus, your fear will likely be picked up on by your deceased friends and family making them leave or not show up anyways; they still love you and don’t want to be creepy or scary for you.

2.)   Personally, I think you should greatly avoid interjecting pagan or witch nuance.  Not unless all the loved ones you are inviting were also pagans and witches.   Remember this supper isn’t about you, proving your rights, or proving any points, this is suppose to be ALL about your loved ones, and for them.   So be mindful that the grandmother you loved fiercely, who fiercely loved you, might have been a devote Catholic, or  Baptist, and may still harbor some of those beliefs.  From what I have observed (yes I have tested this myself, done plenty enough dumb suppers to do so), when using witch or pagan terms, phrases, etc. many of who I invited, did not attend or were afraid to because they never understood or feared that about me.  Then when I removed all this from it, the attendance was far better.  Don’t you like it better when people keep their functions more generic as far as religion is concerned, therefore respecting that not everyone is their religion?  I know I can’t stand when I am at a function and spoken to like I am expected to be christian, or told to bow my head and  pray.  Unless I am visiting a church,  I find that pretty uncomfortable, in fact.   So treat your deceased guests as you want to be treated by keeping religion completely out of it.

3.)  Try to keep live guests to a minimum, and be very selective about who you invite.   Don’t invite anyone who is very skeptical about spirits, or who is frightened by them.  This is not a dinner just to invite those that are curious, or might not be as respectful and as serious as should be about it.  If I invite guests, it’s typically only one other person.   Otherwise, I prefer to be the only living being in attendance.

4.)  Do NOT treat this like a ghost hunt or paranormal investigation.   Do not set up EMFs, or any thing to try to track or prove anything.   There are times and places for that and this isn’t one of them.   If you are doing this dinner just to try to collect paranormal evidence, then you have done it for the wrong reasons and that is rather a mean thing to do to those you love that died.   How would you like to be invited to your cousin’s house for dinner, you show up and find out that it was set up just to study you?   Your departed loved ones don’t like this either, and may not ever want to come back to have dinner with you again for a stunt like this.  They are your honored guests this time, so honor them fully, and study them at a later time under the right circumstances if you must.

5.)  If a guest accidentally slips up and speaks, just smile, giggle and say Sssh then drop it. Ruminating on it, is more likely going to screw up a dumb supper than the slip up itself.  So don’t stress this.  The dinner will not be ruined over an occasional incidental uttering.

 

Now that you know what this is, how to host one, and things to avoid, go out and host the best dumb supper ever!

Coven Shopping

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Previously, I did a blog on seeking a mentor.   Hopefully, most have taken those steps and it paid off.  But now, I’d like to offer some help for those who have thought about it, and have decided that they truly are a coven person, and really want to find what is right for them.   The problem is, there are so many troublesome groups (or high priestess/priests) out there, along side so many eager to join, not realizing they are about to be caught up in a situation they never bargained for.   I have heard many sad tales about this, some even being turned off from continuing their witchcraft.  Others, it took a long time to recover from.   So if this blog can even help just one person either not invest any more time in a coven they already started involvement in, or another steer clear in the first place, then it’s not in vain.

The warning signs are sometimes obvious and upfront; like the man who was telling prospective students that witchcraft is all about nudity, and insisting he be sent pictures of the woman standing up nude, as well as laying on a bed nude, and spread eagle so he can read their “garden”.   Wearing a cute belly chain or pentacle necklace was also suggested but optional.   Other times, however, it’s far more subtle, and the HP/HPS rely more on the person’s ignorance of what is acceptable, and what is not.   Not all the signs are necessarily predatory in nature either;  some are just, the person is a very bad leader for the coven, or the coven itself and leader might be fine, but just not for you.   These types I will focus most on.  Either way, this should be a service to you in your search for the right coven.

The Personality of the HP/HPS

There are some personalities out there that just have no business leading  a coven no matter how much of a wise sage they are!   Here is a list of personality traits that should make you look elsewhere

1.)  Holier than thou  Leading a coven is no excuse for this type of behavior at all.  Plus people that act this way, were already this way long before they came to lead a coven.  A great leader promotes the growth of their members, not how they are so much higher above the members!

2.)  Know it all    A good leader STILL considers them self a perpetual student of the occult, and looks forward to further growing in it, along with their own members growth.   A good leader ALSO knows that they know little about a lot of other types of witch communities out there and does not try to pretend they know all about everyone else.

3.)  Lack of respect for others, especially those of different beliefs  I’m not referring to not respecting predatory behavior, or when some one peddles personal gnosis was facts for all to accept, there are excellent reasons to not respect these antics.   I am also not referring to throwing judgement calls to the winds either.    I am talking about talking down or insulting other groups.  For example, referring to those that do not adhere to “three fold” rule from Wicca as “foolish”,  or automatically claiming a type of witch or group of them are evil, even though they themselves know nothing about them (this happens to satanic witches all the time).   A great leader will promote understanding and acceptance of different types of witches, and focus more about what is in common than not.  If they do point out something the coven does not believe in, rather than insult, they will instead say something along these lines  “That type of witch does not adhere to three fold like we do.   We do not worry about, or attack that, it is good to learn how other witches are, as they are wise in their own practice as we seek to be in ours.”

4.)  Very little or lack of self control     This type ALWAYS needs the last word, and they can not stand it when others do not agree with them.   They get irate fast, and if you challenge them, their behavior gets increasingly condescending and patronizing.   They seem to have no filter when talking to others and  because of their own lack of control, they have a great ability to exacerbate situations, whilst no or low ability to defuse.  I know of a HPS that just started a new coven.   She is also a book author.   Her finely edited and polished up book IS rather a good read.   Unfortunately, my first hand dialogues, discussions with her, not to much.   She has practically no self control, and therefore no business running a coven.

5.)  Often the catalyst of drama or doesn’t really know how to quell drama that occurs  If you are noticing that the HP/HPS is either the creator of the drama in the coven, or having little or no ability to handle and disperse drama that arises, this is a very  bad thing for you and the coven as a whole.   How in the name of magic can anything be accomplished in either a coven run by a drama king/queen, or some one that has no idea how to reign in any drama?   All groups will have drama at times, that’s unavoidable and not the issue here, but rather who is the culprit behind all the drama, or how it’s dealt with.

6.  The control freak   A coven should never be run by some one who looks at it as a group to rule over, but rather by some one that sees all members as their equal, and are most interested in promoting their progress, and over seeing what is in the best interest of everyone in the group.   These types can not stand it, when a member has a different opinion or even a slightly different belief.  Usually they deal with this by attempting to lecture the member in front of everyone else about why the member is wrong, and hope to embarrass them into compliance and conformity.    They might use phrases like “You are very new to the craft, so you really have no idea.  You need to listen more, then you’ll get it.”  Those types of phrases serve to dismiss you over your experience, while shoot down your thought, all while completely avoiding explaining what might be problematic (if anything) with your thinking.   Also, these types do not like to be questioned at all usually.  They serve to tell you what to do, how to think, etc.  It is their way, or no way.

7. Over all bad attitude   This person might actually seem all fine at the coven meetings, even a sweat heart.   But observe how they treat and speak to everyone around them, including non members.  How do they talk to their friends, family, etc?   How do they talk about other groups of people?  Do they spend quite a bit of time bashing others?  Or are they as out going and sweat with everyone they deal with?   Can they stand different opinions, or do they come off as aggressive, passive aggressive, or snarky when something is said or asked that takes them out of their own comfort zone?  Really pay close attention to this!

8.) Nice and passive to a fault   Sweet and passive people make good friends, and people tend to love them.  But many of them have a real hard time in leader ship roles because being a leader often requires situations where there might be some confrontation, or hurt feelings.   With some one like this leading, it’s likely that situations are going to spin out of control over the leaders fear of confrontation, or sadness about hurting feelings.

9.)  The manipulative type   This type is terrible because often, you won’t even notice the manipulation tactics.   So the best way to figure out if you have been, or are being manipulated is to think about what it is they asked you to do, and how you feel about it.  Just about any time you went forward and  did something per request of another, especially a leader like a HP/HPS that you felt either guilty, ashamed, scared, uneasy, etc. means that you had been manipulated into doing that thing.  After all, it had to be something you had reservations about in the first place, so they did what it took to persuade or manipulate you into it.  Likewise, if you are feeling uncomfortable with what is being asked of you, and you are turning it down, but the leader continues to try to insist, and pressure you at all, then they are a manipulative person running the show.

10.  Little or no tact, not very diplomatic in their dealings   A good leader should reflect what you would expect from an ambassador.   All their dealings should be straight forward and fair minded.   More over, their speech should reflect how they would want to be spoken to.  They shouldn’t be showing favoritism, demanding that only their feelings matter, nor speaking to members of the coven in a manner that is not seasoned with salt.

11.  Refusal to admit when wrong  No one is perfect and no one is 100% right ALL the time.   A good leader knows this and will readily stand corrected during an occasion that they are wrong.

The Coven Itself

This doesn’t always mean that the coven itself is bad or wrong, it just might be all wrong for you is all.

1.)  Compatibility of beliefs with yours      While every witch has unique beliefs of their own (no two are identical) but the main tenants of the coven system should be compatible with your own.   This is for your and the coven’s benefit as I am of the belief that a major clash in belief can have a negative effect on the group coven work.  An Atheist witch won’t be compatible with a deity believing coven.  A person who believes in polytheism in the sense that all deities are solely sovereign and different may not be compatible with one of those covens that believes that all those different deities around the world are really the same one deity taking on different shapes and acts.   A goddess only or more emphasis on a goddess based coven may not work with with some one who emphasizes a god more, or believes that both or more types should be focused on just as much.  Three folders might not be compatible in groups that do not believe in three fold, or your three fold belief might be drastically different than the covens.  This last point might be minor enough that compatibility can be had, it depends on how strict, or how much the coven pushes “three fold” into their group.   You get the idea I am sure!

2)  The type of coven    Are you looking for something that has lineage to Gardner, or Alexanderia, or something hived from it? If so, make sure that the credentials are in order.   There are people out there that actually start up covens that THINK that they are starting a Gardnerian coven because they think that Wicca automatically = gardnerian.  These are the worst because the person obviously doesn’t even know enough about Wicca to even be starting a coven if they don’t know the difference.  Gardnerian Coven is the first type of Wicca, and since then other types have emerged.  If some one claims a coven like this and is unable or unwilling to share their credentials, then look elsewhere.   If it’s not this type, that is fine, and it is fine if you wish to belong in a coven that was created and not hived out of the main groups, but the founders should explain this clearly to you.  There is nothing wrong with these types of covens either, after all, even Gardner’s coven was a starting point.  Just that you have to know that this is what’s going on.

3.)  Is the coven upfront about what is expected?   These are mystery groups, so you are definitely NOT entitled to be privy to ALL the deeper mysteries that you might learn as you progress through the coven.  However, the coven SHOULD be upfront and telling you what the basic requirements are for their members.  For instance, do they only practice in the nude, or sometimes and is this not something you are comfortable  with?   What other things might be involved, dues, membership fees, required amount of meetings, etc?   Make sure you get the scoop on all of this before attempting to join.

4.)  The experience of the one who founded the coven    There are some eager beavers out there who may have been a practicing witch for a year that suddenly want to do a coven.   This is fine IF they admit that they are still new, and if they present the coven as something that they wish to grow and develop along side you, eventually into a good foundation.  In this setting, those leading circles should probably take turns at it, and there should be some more experienced witches involved with it.  They should probably hold off on appointing a HP/HPS until the belief system, coven rules and ways are more established.  I suppose this could be fun and exciting, as long as this is what you want and you are well aware that you are all babes in the woods unified in co finding a coven.

5.)  Putting pressure on members     Does the coven ever try to make or force members do do things they are uncomfortable with, using guilt, or other manipulative tactics?   This behavior is never acceptable.

If you suspect that you might be getting involved in an ill run coven, here are some questions you should ask yourself to evaluate the situation.  If you find yourself answering yes to a number of these, kindly do yourself a favor and pull out! 

  1.  Has the HP/HPS often dealt with you in front of the coven that make you feel ashamed, belittled, hurt, embarrassed or in any manner humiliated?
  2. Have you  observed the HP/HPS doing the same things to another member, that is described in the question about?
  3. Does the HP/HPS use tones of voice, or say things that strike you as patronizing, condescending, mocking, or vocalized in any way that has made you or another member feel inferior to them?
  4. Does the HP/HPS demand that you or others accept and respect their views and opinions but does not offer the same courtesy in return?
  5. Does the vibe of the coven feel more like a dictatorship than it does a democracy?
  6.  Do you or other coven members fear approaching the HP/HPS with questions and concerns?
  7. If Drama takes place, do you notice that the HP/HPS appears to be the sower of this kind of discord?
  8.  When and if some one leaves the coven or decides it is not right for them, do you observe the HP/HPS bad mouthing the person to the coven after their departure?
  9. Do you regularly get talked into doing something, or did the HP/HPS attempt to talk you or someone else in the coven into doing anything that make you feel uncomfortable?
  10. Does the HP/HPS demand complete obedience from you and the others?
  11. Does the HP/HPS make demands on you or others that are either ridiculous or over bearing?
  12. Does the HP/HPS promote only a our way or the highway attitude, mocking the beliefs of groups that differ than the coven?
  13. Do you feel like the HP/HPS has tried to force their own opinion down your throat when you attempted to politely disagree or share a different view?
  14. Does the HP/HPS promote a separatist attitude within the coven, rather than the coven seeking common ground with other witches to fellowship with them on?
  15. Has the HP/HPS gotten flustered, combative, argumentative, etc. toward you or another member when a question or concern was raised that took them out of their comfort zone?
  16. Does the HP/HPS have a short fuse with you or others, that escalates and continues getting worse and worse until you back down?
  17. Are you starting to dread going to the coven meetings or feeling like you or others are walking on egg shells around the HP/HPS?
  18. Do you feel as if the HP/HPS is more invested in showing how great and wise they are, than they are at catering to the needs and goals of the coven?
  19. Do you feel like your questions often go unanswered, or like they are discouraged?
  20. When and if there are some differences of opinions on certain matters, does the HP/HPS use the threat of kicking the member out of the coven as a way to discourage such individuality?

****  It is important to remind you, NO ONE IS PERFECT!  Sometimes you might see a bunch of these things at one time or another.   Maybe last week, the HP/HPS beloved dog died, and they are heavily grief stricken, and lost their patience a bit with you or someone.  Perhaps, their work is demanding 60 hours a week for the next three weeks, or their loved one’s health has taken a turn for the worse.  There are many reasons and stressful circumstances that may easily cause a good number of the above behavior.   So the way to use the list is to see if these things you answered yes to are the norm, or a habit in the coven, rather than the rare instance. *****

I am sure what I covered in my blog is non exhaustive.   I wonder how many of you readers have any additional types, or have you ever had a bad experience with a coven?  Please share your experiences, and let your voice be heard!  

No, Your Pet Is Not Your Familiar

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Or in all likelihood, they are not.   It is possible that sometimes there is a pet that is a familiar but these would be very rare cases, rather than the norm.   I think a whole slew of very bad information out there has contributed to this culture of people insisting that their beloved pet is their familiar.   The internet, indeed, can be a blessing as much as a curse, if the reader doesn’t look beyond (or even know to) the bad info they get; and some book authors don’t help matters much either.    You will find, in countless communities, some one one posting a picture of their cat with a heading like “Hi everyone, meet my familiar, his name is Sylvester”  Then a bunch of others follow suit by showing pictures of anywhere from cats, dogs….all the way to pet mice, in all cases, calling them their familiars.   Then some one always comes along to point out that these are not familiars and tries to educate the crowd on the matter of familiars and is usually met with scorn, told not to judge, told that all paths are different, word meanings change, etc.   Indeed, this is a very sensitive subject matter that rides the heart of the witch, therefore, I intend to try to be as gentle and nice as possible about this.

Before I begin, I will touch base on the general non witchcraft version of a familiar (noun not the adjective) which is:

familiar

noun

fa·​mil·​iar | \ fə-ˈmil-yər  \

Definition of familiar

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a member of the household of a high official
2one who is often seen and well knownespecially an intimate associate COMPANION
3a spirit often embodied in an animal and held to attend and serve or guard a personthe loathsome toad, the witches’ familiar— Harvey Graham
4aone who is well acquainted with somethingfamiliars of violence— John Updike
bone who frequents a placefamiliars of the embasy— Rebecca West   
(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
**Now if some one is claiming their pet is a familiar because their pet is a close companion, then in that sense, the pet is a familiar.  However, this is not what the person means when they are in witchcraft communities showing off their pet as a familiar.  In these cases, they think of them as a witches familiar which is fitting to the third definition above.

So What is Actually a Witches Familiar and The Main Tenants Of This Kind of Familiar?

A witches familiar is a spirit, often one in folk lore that can shape shift into various animals or humanoid figures, who also assists and protects the witch.   During the medieval period, the church referred to them as demons; perhaps in some cases, they were.   Other legends have them as fae.   But in ALL cases, they are some kind of a spirit.  Their duties ranged from helping the witch cast spells, sometimes imparting knowledge to help he/she improve, acting as an assistant in all manner of ritual, as well as protecting the witch from both magical and mundane attacks.   While they frequently took on the form of an animal, they did not remain in this constant state, and often even shape shifted into different type of animals, depending on a specific task they were doing.  For further info on this, it would serve you well to research the following types of animals that a familiar might shape shift into in order to better serve the specific task of the witch: Witches cat, Witches Hounds, And Witches Hare.   There are other animals they could shape shift into for certain things to be done, but these three seem to be the main forms.  In some cases, some familiars did not take on any animal forms, and remained in their spirit form.   (please feel free to research everything I have said to check for accuracy.  I am always willing to take correction from credible sources.  However, if you intend to show me something from a blog made by some one with a name like Silvermoon, please do not bother me with that.  I have no doubt there is a wealth of very bad info that comes from curators of sites that they themselves received and did not research beyond the bad info they received as well.)
So a Witches familiar encompasses everything on this list…
1.)  Is a spirit
2.)  Is capable of shape shifting into multiple animal or human like forms depending on need, but not all necessarily do this.
3.)  May be a demon, fae, or other type of spirit.
4.)   Helped out the witch in all manners of their magical practice.
5.)   Protected the witch, therefore would be the one to take on the brunt of any harmful magic administered towards the witch.
Therefore, to be a witches familiar  all these attributes must be present.  This means that not all spirits are even familiars.   Thus, if you have a spirit around you that is kindred, but doesn’t meet the criteria on this list, then that spirit isn’t your familiar either.   So how many of you who posted photographs of your pet, or claim your pet is a familiar fit this very simple list of how a familiar functions and what they are?  How many of you REALLY want your beautiful loving pet to be in the position to possibly wind up dead or badly hurt because they protected you from a magical attack? If you are forcing them into this role, and you forcing it on them actually works, you are putting your pet in quite a bit of danger that I don’t think they deserve to be in.  In my opinion, I would never want any of my pets in a situation like that, and I feel it is my duty to protect them from everything, as well as serve them, so they can be spoiled happy pets who lived a wonderful life.   I am willing to bet, you also love your pets so much that you would also agree with my opinion.

Arguments People Typically Use When This Subject Comes Up and They Want to Argue A Case for Why Their Pet Is a Familiar

 

This would not be complete if I did not help the reader be aware of the type of arguments they will likely face if they ever try to educate others on this subject.   I will address the most common ones I see.
My pet and I share a very special connection:  I agree, or else it would be unlikely that this person would be considering their pet a familiar in the first place.   This pet is, indeed a familiar, IF we are using the term in the non witches familiar sense as shown above, but not in the witches familiar sense.   In fact, having some special kindred connection isn’t even required of  a witches familiar.   If you think about it, a typical person has many people, animals, spirits, etc. that they have felt some kind of special strong connection too, but you certainly wouldn’t go calling all these your familiars based on this attribute, would you? Of course not.
My pet always comes around when I am working magic, seems very interested and assists me.   Are you sure of that?   Are you totally sure that they are actively assisting you, and not just very curious about what you are doing, like pets tend to be and therefore watching you?   I recall certain cats I use to have that would come up every time I cooked, or did home work (back in college) who would watch and nose around for much of the time.   They certainly were not helping me cook, nor with my home work.  In fact, one cat, when I did my homework, liked to take his body and plop it dead center down right on the book I was trying to read.   Don’t your cats also come around to watch you do various chores?  Do you consider them to be assisting you in all these chores you do that they hang around at, or do you only selectively consider them assisting when they are doing the same thing when you are working magic?   Plus, not everything that assists with magic is a familiar.  I’ve had the assistance of plenty of spirits and people in my time with magic that were not familiars, that’s not unusual.
Yes the term familiar use to mean what you say but words change over time:   Yes this is true.  But, however a term changes, the main tenant still remains intact.   Even with the shift words can take on, that doesn’t mean we can just go around bastardizing terms to fit our own liken in any old direction the wind blows.   Take the term “witch” for example.   The term use to more specifically pertain to some one that did evil magic.  As time went on, it now includes those who don’t do, or only do baneful magic.  However, the main tenant remains, it is, and always will be some one who practices witchcraft.   Pets being familiars started well into the neo pagan movement, and became most popular in the late 1990s into the 2000s (when it really flourished thanks to the internet).   But it is a logical fallacy to claim that just because so many do it, means it must be correct, or that the definition needs to be stripped of its main tenants and replaced with new ones in order to appease a popular movement that is most likely a result of piss poor information that went rampant like wild fire out there.   No, that does not seem quite right.
My pet sees when and warns me when spirits are around:  They probably do.  Through out the ages, animals of all sorts have been reported to be able to sense spiritual activity before their humans notice it.   This does seem to be a natural aptitude that animals in general have.  It even seems universals.  So are you really observing some thing specific that your one animal does that differs from others, or are you noticing something that animals in general are typically capable of anyways, with or without your familiar label?
I didn’t choose my pet, my pet chose me:  Maybe they did.   But did they choose you because they knew you were a witch and know all about working witchcraft, and want to help you and also take the hit and possibly getting badly hurt from magical attacks, or maybe it was just an animal that sensed that you were a wonderful person that they simply wanted in their life?  Maybe the animal just saw how great you are, how you love animals, noticed the gentleness of your soul, and figured you’d be the best at taking care of and protecting them!

Additional Considerations

If in the rare chance some one does have a pet that does meet the criteria on the familiar list, then their days dwelling as that pet are likely numbered. In that unlikely case, the spirit will expect to die quickly and will intend to incarnate as another animal in order to continue to serve their witch.   But this doesn’t even make sense to me this kind of spirit would even go this route.   A pet can not take the same kind of magical hit that a spirit that is meant to serve in this way can, nor would I see a spirit that is suppose to be a familiar even weakening themselves by incarnating as a full blown flesh and blood animal.   A REAL witches  familiar understands that in order to best protect and truly serve the witch, they would remain incorporeal rather than corporeal.  In other words, even when it may shape shift into an animal form, it still remains a spirit, and may not always stay in the same shape as the same animal, if it does this at all.   So no, as much as many people in the neo pagan world would love for familiar spirits to make this kind of decision to incarnate as the kitty, I don’t see the spirit being so impractical that they would opt for this choice.  That would just even be foolish of them at best.  So I personally, don’t even honestly agree with the supposed rare times, a flesh and blood pet is a familiar.  However, I can’t not totally 100% discredit that possibility either, no matter how foolish or impractical that would be for a familiar spirit to do, therefore I lend it as something I don’t believe, but perhaps, in some rare cases, possible.

Summary

I do not wish that this offends anyone.   As I said, I understand how sensitive this subject is, and quickly feelings can get hurt if others disagree with Fido being  a familiar.  But I also owe it to my craft, as well as others who care to learn, rather than cling to terrible information out there, to share some truth.  The truth is, there is nothing wrong with your cat fluffy simply just  being a loved companion, who gives you inspiration and positive energy.   There is nothing wrong with Peter the Parakeet bringing you happiness.  There is nothing wrong with any special bonds and connections you feel about your pet, and you loving them dearly.   But considering what a familiar actually is, what it does, with all due respect, truth is, there is something wrong and even diabolical about demanding, or putting this kind of pet into that kind of position that could prove to be very dangerous for them should wrong magic come your way.  This also means they take the hit if your magic some how back fired on you.  Just don’t put an animal into this kind of situation.  I have always believed that it is OUR duty to care for, assist and protect the animals, rather than the other way around.  I hope you do too, and even if you don’t agree fully with this blog, at least appreciate the concern I have about every animal I see paraded around as a familiar.   While I apologize for any hurt feelings, I will not apologize for coming up against crappy info that has been fed to those trying to learn witch craft that has been peddled around far too long; especially when it pertains to animals.

Black Mirror Scrying Tips

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(I choose the above all black image for those who want to start practicing and don’t yet have a black mirror.  You can use this for now.  Right click and then open image in new tab.  It will enlarge and have enough black to practice with.)

The same advice can work with regular mirrors too, however, those have a higher tendency of reflecting more things from the room that can create distractions. These same tips can also be used to help with crystal ball scrying as well. So I will get right into this and put all the types that I have found helped me out quite a bit, that I hope will help others in their quest to learning this kind of divination.

Before you start, you’ll want to do whatever it is that you do when you prep for any kind of divination if anything at all. Some people like to do cleansing baths, others like to listen to certain kinds of music to put their mind in the mood. If you don’t do any prior preparations that’s okay too, this is optional.

If you like to use any type of incense, herbs, crystals, scents, oils, etc. that enhance clairvoyance. (Frankincense is good example). If you haven’t used anything like this before, then it’s worth a try to help during your session. These you will set up in the area you are working in. Incense you’ll light right before you begin.

Make sure to have all the lights off in the room and just have one or two candle’s going. Lights are extremely distracting, in fact, I wouldn’t even be able to begin under that condition. After you have the candle(s) lit, you will want them behind you, set in the distance. You don’t want them to the side or front of you, where the sight of the flame will keep catching your attention. After that, you want to angle the mirror so that your face isn’t reflecting in it, nor is any other items in the room. Try to angle it so that it’s reflecting the blank ceiling, but you can still see the surface fine.

Next it is important to get into a comfortable position. You don’t want a position that might get so uncomfortable that it takes you out of your trance. Once you do this, close your eyes, try to clear your thoughts a bit. This would also be a good time to beseech any spirits of any type that you work with, for guidance. Once more relaxed, and almost in a meditative state, open your eyes and gaze. At this point, go into a trance, keeping your eyes on the mirror. It’s okay to blink if your eyes are feeling strained or getting too watery.

You will at first likely notice the mirror take on a white haze. You may not get beyond this your first few times. But eventually, you will start noticing other things take on shape in the mirror, or bright spots. They could form pictures or symbols. Some might look like black figures of animals or people starting around on the mirror, in like a fleeting image. Some might show color. They could be slow moving or so fast and rapid that it takes you a few extra seconds to process what you saw. Also, during this session, pay attention to any fleeting thoughts or images that come into your mind as well. Often, these sessions don’t just show you things in the mirror, you will get messages in other ways as well. Suddenly songs might pop into your mind, words, statements, etc. A perfect example of this: About a month ago a male witch friend of mind asked me to look into a matter with him. So I did a mirror reading. I kept seeing this long cloaked figure, and suddenly the song “Dear Mr. Fantasy” by Traffic popped into my mind. For some weird reason, that song always made me think of wizards. Then I realized I was looking at some one that calls them-self a wizard. Turns out, long ago, he had some one in his life like that, and what they did to him pertained to the problem he was having now, which was an occult related situation. I saw something else, and it took him off guard that I saw it, because it was a secret that no one is suppose to know about. I can’t disclose it because it’s confidential, but it flashed right after the wizard showed up, and sort of like flew out of the mirror. Sometimes you may spot images outside of the mirror too. So all of this, what’s in your mind, your senses, what’s on the glass, off the glass, is all relative to the session even if it doesn’t seem that way..

When starting out, buy a note book, just for this purpose, and have it handy. Record your practice sessions, everything about it, what you saw, heard, etc. After a while, you’ll start realizing that when you see certain things, they have certain meanings to you when they show up. So this is a way to help you decipher your own personal divination process, sort of like learning the language of how your own clairvoyant mind works. Example…for a while, you may not know why you keep seeing trees over and over again. You write this down, and it keeps showing up. Then suddenly some day, you realize what the trees meant to you. Maybe for you, you realized that the trees were revealing that you are connecting with Tree spirits. Now you’ll have figured out that when you see trees, it’s about these spirits.. But some one else might find out that when they see trees, it means some kind of journey usually. So it’s always good to keep track of what you see, and will help make the process of learning how you interpret things, easier.

No matter what, do not get discouraged. This takes a lot of time and practice. Try setting aside practice with it, three times a week, and start out with 10 minute sessions at first then eventually increase the time to 20. I usually won’t recommend (nor do I myself) go beyond 20 minutes, unless I am doing a extended reading I am taking breaks at times during it. The more you practice the better you will get. Practice always makes masters when you are determined and stick with it. I assure you, in time you will start understanding what you see and developing your interpretations. It’s all personal to you. First, spend a lot of time practicing on yourself. Then after a while you might want to grab a trusted friend who will let you practice on them. I have heard from many in my travels that they consider this to be the hardest to form of divination to do. I think the reason it may seem that way is because there’s plenty of instructions on doing it, but not a whole lot on what the images might mean. There are books that try to help with this, and can be of great assistance, but in reality, the interpretation is up to the interpretation to figure out; hence the challenge. So the real trick is a lot of practice which helps you figure out what certain figures, symbols, etc. mean to you when you see them show up for other reasons.

Additional considerations….There is differences of opinions on handling the black mirror. Some insist that a ritual should be done to charge it. If this is something you feel you should do, or would make you feel better if you did, then I’d do it. Personally, I have never found it to make a difference either way, but if it’s important to you, then it may matter. A lot of sites also advise against allowing others to touch your black mirror. I have been dealing with them for years, and I have found that other people touching my mirrors did not hinder any ability to use them, so I don’t personally mind people touching mine. But I realize that some witches really get bothered by people touching their items, so if you aren’t at all comfortable with other hands on your mirror, then definitely keep them from other people. The one bit that I do agree with that is often advised, is not to let others do scrying on your mirror. Although, I know that the mirror is just a tool that can get your divination juices flowing, and that all that you see and hear is all solely from within you; I also believe that all things are flowing with energy. I believe that when we use our tools, we are also infusing them and imprinting them with our own energy, especially over a good period of time. In my opinion, the more your regular tools get infused with your energy, the easier they work with you. I know I would not want my mirrors having any one else’s energy imprinted anywhere in it, just my own. However, again, I realize that witches are a very vast group, and another witch might not feel this same way about this. Just bringing these points up, and you can determine what is best suited and most comfortable for you..

Mabon. Mabon not.

Please click on the link below to read the blog! I am sharing this, because a lot of people in the pagan/witchcraft community do not realize how this term got started.   Apparently, it is not the ancient term people think it is, and in fact, was coined by some one that is an Oath Breaker who harmed many in his own community.  Personally, I always called the equinox, the fall equinox, but others call it “mabon” unwittingly thinking that the historical pagans did as well. Well they didn’t.  Now you can explore this, and decide if you would rather stick with the older ways, or adhere to a term created by the Oath Breaker. What’s more disturbing than the term being new (terms get coined all the time, and some day a new term becomes old/ancient) is who it was created by.   Because of this person, people lost their jobs, children, etc.  He outed witches that he swore a vow of secrecy with during times when people could still be in deep trouble for openly admitting to being a witch.  It is troublesome for me that some would still want to use a term made from some one like that, for a holiday which is suppose to be a respectful festive one.

via Mabon. Mabon not.

Free Will And Witch Craft

Freebirds.jpg

How often have you seen a self proclaimed witch say “I won’t do this, it bends free will….bending free will is a no no….Do not tamper with free will” or something of that effect?  I’ve seen it quite a few times myself, and I can honestly say, it baffles me how this concept even crept into  the world of  witchcraft to begin with.    In my opinion, I even wonder how some can even dare say they are a witch while insisting that they would never bend free will.   I also wonder since when did “bending free will” even become such a dirty phrase, or taboo?   A wise person knows this isn’t ALWAYS a  bad thing, for bad reasons, or negative.  A wise witch doesn’t see the world in black and white either, and sees a lot of gray areas; and this includes when to, or not to bend a will.  If you are a living breathing human being, you HAVE, in fact, bent free will, or TRY to influence it, at one point or another in your life, likely a lot more times than you realized it.   If you TRULY are a witch, you have certainly used magic that  bent free will at one time or another without even realizing it.

I’ll explain….If you have ever done ANY of the following mundane things in your life, you HAVE either succeeded in bending free will, or tried to….

1.)   Talk your parents into letting you sleep over a friends house.  (you are trying to bend their will to agree that this is a good idea.)

2.)   Approached a friend who has problems with addiction, to try to get them to get treatment.  (you are trying to bend their will to get sober)

3.)   Refused to let your child do something, no matter how badly they wanted to do it. (You used your will, and authority to over power theirs.)

4.)   Went to a job interview dressed to impress, and answered the questions in the matter that you think would show the potential employer you are best for the job. (Everything about this is an attempt to bend the will of the boss to see you as the only candidate for the job.)

5.)  Taking some one out on a date, dressing to impress, as well as watching how you speak and making sure to arrange what you consider a beautiful perfect date. (You are trying to bend the will of your date to potentially see you as some one to keep dating.)

6.)  Tried to talk a friend out of dating some one that was abusive, or ending a toxic friendship with some one. (You are hoping to get their will to bend to see what you see, and get rid of the bad person.)

Of course I could go on and on, but as you see, in regular every day life, we are often doing and saying things that we feel might influence or bend a will.

Now for some witchcraft examples of how even the people boasting to be the biggest love and light witches out there that would never do this, are actually doing it…

Did you ever cast a spell or work magic to do any of the following?

1.)   A spell of protection for a loved one who is being targeted by some one else, for malicious treatment?  (Your spell will in some way, bend the will of the bully.)

2.)  Set up wards or protections around your home to prevent burglaries and home invasions? (You are affecting the will of a would be robber or home invader by making them not want to bother with your home, or cloaking it to prevent them their free will to choose or not choose your home.)

3.)  Done a job spell for yourself or friend? (Same reasons you are tampering with free will applies to the job interview example above.)

4.) Done any kind of spell at all or blessings for anyone you care about, who is facing a legal situation? (You are attempting to bend possible multiple wills in court to find favor in your loved one’s case.)

5.)  Banished or drove a spirit out of a home? (You’ve by force and against the will of the spirit, made them leave the area.  Even if you “showed them a way to move on” you did so in order to bend their will to want to leave.)

6.)   Done any spell to make some one see the error of their ways?  (If your spell was successful then you forced their will to bend and see things they did not before, nor otherwise would have without your spell.)

This is also a non exhausted list of ways witches, even without realizing it, DO, in fact, bend, influence or tamper with free will.

Is Bending free will really so bad?  

So maybe it isn’t so BAD to bend, or influence free will at times.  Maybe some times there are excellent reasons to, and the witch needs to know when it is right, and when it is wrong.   Once again, it ALL boils down to the intent.   Are you trying to save your friend’s life?  Or help them succeed?  Or protect some one from the daily beatings from the school bully?   Is your loved one starving and desperately needing a job?  Any of these are very good reasons, with very good intent, for going ahead and doing something that may bend a will here or there in the process.   You do it one way or another in your daily life, why would the rules of human engagement suddenly differ just because you want to aid it with magic?   I think the problem is, people assume automatically, without thought,  that bending free will equates to making some one enslaved to them, or more like a zombie.   In reality, there is a world of differences between the two.   Remember when you were young and your will was to go hang with your friends,  but your parents grounded you instead?  Your will did NOT desire being grounded, therefore being grounded was against your will, and STILL you remained a free thinking human with your will fully intact.   You were not a damaged enslaved soul, having your will fully destroyed were you?   Well neither was  most people who’s will may have been influenced by magic or other wise either.   So the problem isn’t about tampering with free will, but rather anything done magical (or mundane for that matter too) that attempts to fully destroy some one’s free will, or enslave them in some way.   The witches of the old ways knew the differences, never fretted over “free will” (this is a newer phenomenon) and neither should you.  Always consider your intent and why you do what you do; as a wise woman/man will know when the time is right, and for what good reasons that a will may need some influence/bending.

Cause and Effect Being Used as Proof of Three fold

threefold

I am finally beyond my wits end, seeing some three fold believer or another through out the years, during a discussion with a non adherent of it, bring this up as if it validates their claim and invalidates the non adherent.   In most of these cases that I have seen it, it clearly shows me that the three folder is ignorant of of what the non adherent of it actually believes.   To be clear, I have never met a non adherent that DID NOT believe in cause and effect, so I never understood why a believer of it thinks this is going to prove them wrong.  But even worse, many of  those that use this and call this three fold, did not apply enough critical thinking to see how Cause and Effect, albeit important in three fold, is far from a friend.   Very recently I had a run in with a high priestess of a non Gardenerian Wiccan coven who actually thinks that Three fold = results from magic work, AND cause and effect.     “Yea, this non belief in a 3 fold is silly. If you do magic, there’s going to be results – that’s the 3 fold in action.”   then in an area where she was more frustrated with my not believing in three fold, she said this while attempting (but failing to bait me into a three fold debate)  “Most people who do magic – EXPECT RESULTS.  If one knows how ENERGY works – one also knows there is CAUSE AND EFFECT ”  Yes, you read that right and that second sentence was in context of her telling me that this is what three fold is. (I’m always perplexed as to why it bothers any of them that I don’t believe in this. I promise it won’t hurt them that I don’t.)  I expect something like this from a newer witch still developing and learning, but I never expect this from anyone that’s been initiated to a high priestess in  some kind of wiccan coven, who also boasts 25 years of experience in witchcraft under her belt.  In fact, in fairness to the many high priests and priestesses that I have met and befriended in various covens, I can say this is NOT the norm for them, and I have never ever seen one make a claim that magical results themselves are three fold in action, until now.   Most times, I see things like this from newer people, as well as book learned ones who got some bad info.   But lately, I am seeing more and more of this whole “Cause and Effect = three fold” movement coming surprisingly, from those of experience too.  Hence, being fed up with having to say the same thing over and over again, and my concern for newer witches who might get this kind of poor teaching quality from a more experienced witch, I am putting this out there.  Those of you (I know I am not the only one) who are also sick of this card coming up in those discussions are more than welcome to share this as well.

DEFINITIONS DO HAVE AN IMPORTANT PURPOSE 

Definitions ARE relevant and vital. Without them, we can just take ANY term we want and twist it into something so foreign to it’s meaning, we then we turn the English language into gibberish, to suit our own agenda rather than let the language stand. Sometimes words vary or have updated meanings that are widely accepted. For instance, the word witch use to only mean those mythical like monsters in folklore (back in those days the actual witches called themselves cunning-folk and kin people and were also worried about those creatures) but has now updated to include the people of today that define themselves as a witch. However, 3 means three. It does not mean 1, 2, 6, 10 nor an infinite number. Three is an absolute number with an unwavering definition.  IF we start changing what three means,we are really going to screw up some math.  AND three fold has its definition too, which is ALSO consistent with Gardnerian version as well as many others that believe in it, have explained which I will touch on later. Three fold by definition, lest we want to go screwing with math again, means three times the amount, or three times greater, no more or less.  This is very important for a lot of formulas that have nothing to do with witchcraft as well. It is when people start taking away from the meaning of three and three fold and calling all these things that do not demand three times or even three for a number that the problem arises and people thinking it’s okay to call “Cause and Effect” three fold. By now I am sure some of you are seeing a problem here already.

So what IS the definition of Cause and Effect? Cause and Effect is the relationship between things or events where the first part is partly or wholly responsible for the second, and the second thing or event is dependent on the first, either partially or wholly. That is it! There is nothing more or less about it. It is vague and encompasses a very vast scope of possibilities.  It doesn’t even require an equal action.  It certainly does not demand, is related to, or even dependent on the number three, or three times.  You will NEVER find “three fold” as its definition, no matter where you look it up.  So no, cause and effect does NOT equal, and is NOT defined as three fold; regardless of how much some people want it to. It also does not equal or mean “karma” either, which is another thing some people think is its definition or vice versa.  One thing you should be noticing at this point, is that Cause and Effect does not care, it does not keep score, AND it also does not demand that everything winds up fair, good, or just.  In other words, we as witches  SHOULD be wise to this fact, and realize that cause and effect even can work in ways that might even anger us, and happen in very unexpected ways.   Being aware of this is what, for a lot of us, helps us make decisions to act in our craft to redirect an event where we felt that the effect resulting from the cause was not fair, right, or just.   I don’t even think I’ve met a witch yet that did not ever use their craft to try to right a wrong or unjust effect that resulted from some sort of cause.  So people can stop kidding themselves and gloating and thinking that every time they hear of some one doing the wrong thing (cause) they are going to get theirs, and the (effect) for them is going to be bad.  That’s, in my opinion, lazy armchair thinking that invites a witch not to be watchful and instead to be very complacent, when they should be looking for what the effect might be, and able and ready to take action if it’s not a fair or just one.

THE MANY WAYS OF CAUSE AND EFFECT 

Sometimes the effect is greater or lesser, maybe one little thing happens, maybe a whole bunch of awfulness. It fully depends on what the cause is.  Here are some examples of different causes and effects,and not all of them are nice, just, or even what good people would like them to be. But they DO exist regardless of what we like, or wish.

Lets say I am a complete jerk to one of my best friends one day. The cause of that might result in her feeling sad. That’s the effect, and it’s one negative effect, not three. However, it might also cause her to not want to be my friend anymore, never speak to me again, as well as many other things, Could be three things, could be 1, or 20 things.  Or perhaps the effect could be she simply thinks I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, nothing at all results, she doesn’t ever mention it to me, and I might not have even been aware that I was such a jerk to even feel any remorse from it.  So sometimes, there really isn’t even an effect all.   While cause and effect occurs in most cases about most things, there are, in fact, times that a cause does not produce an effect.  This happens too in some experiments that scientists do, which disappoints them when they are hoping for some kind of effect.

A thief robs a store, gets caught and is facing a possible conviction and sentence to some time in jail. The effect of his robbery is being caught. But what happens to him, depends on numerous factors. Again, could be 1 thing, could be 100. But for sure, unless the legal system has three other robberies to pin on him, they won’t give him three times more than what the law says. But if that same Robber has a stellar attorney, maybe he will win and be acquitted even if guilty. The cause of having a stellar attorney, effected how the end result would be, and if he was guilty, then justice was not served by it.   This is an example of a cause causing a certain effect, but the person  took some action to then create another cause to bring about a whole different effect then what initially could have been an effect.  This is also an example of some one who should have rightfully paid for his wrong doing, but was able to cause a more unjust effect to happen.

A prosecutor is very corrupt, and has a stellar record of convictions, including many innocent people that she got away with tampering evidence with. Due to their stellar record, they get a huge promotion and become a judge. They live happily ever after. This is a prime example of things that do happen, that might anger us and is unfair, BUT it is STILL an example of cause and effect, But for her bad conduct and screwing people over in order to get where she got, she wouldn’t have gotten that promotion. (this is an actual thing that did happen in my state btw.)

Now for a more traditional example that fits the ideology of a three fold believer.   A male witch, in a fit of insanity and anger about his own life, decides he’s going to hex children.   He unwittingly has hexed a child of a  witch who has no qualms about hexing and cursing.  In fact, she’s already got wards set up protecting her and her family, which results in any magical attacks towards them will return back on the male witch.  He winds up getting nailed with his own hex.   Now maybe some believers of three fold are now thinking “AHA, exactly!  That’s the three fold”.  But wait…no….actually, it isn’t.  Remember that annoying fact about three fold AND the number three having certain definitions?   If  not, remember it now and think about this for a minute.   UNLESS the witch herself, deliberately set up the booby trap in the ward to come at some one three times worse, and had the experience to make sure it kept to the number three, then really what’s happening is equal times, NOT three times.  All this witch did was set whatever he was doing to come back at him, just the same, no more or less.  But some how I have seen people showing that they think equal  amount = three fold as well.  In fact, I have seen numerous debates where the three fold believer shares a story or something similar to the above that they think is proof of three fold; only to have many of us who don’t believe, raising our  eyebrows wondering when it was, that an equal action got turned into, twisted up and redefined as three times more?  Just like you will never see “three fold” under the definition of cause and effect, you will never find three fold for the definition of equal either.   I saved this example for last because this sort of thing I see constantly.

HOW A TYPICAL NON THREE FOLD ADHERENT VIEWS CAUSE AND EFFECT

Basically, we believe that most causes have an effect  What we don’t do is  pretend to KNOW what that effect might be, or even assign a number to it, or anything that designates a definite amount of times greater or lesser the effect might be.  We also don’t think that curses or hexes automatically cause bad things to happen to the spell caster either.  In my opinion, again, that’s lazy thinking that simplifies things and refuses the brain and leg work to look at all the factors that might be involved.   Perhaps some one was cursed, and the effect of the curse was that a life was saved.  Perhaps as an effect of a hex, some one learned a lesson and corrected some bad behavior that was effecting others.  There are many examples of curses and hexes not being an auto punishment towards the caster and even IF something DID go wrong, it may not be three times, maybe it’s minor, maybe greater.  Either way its not three fold.

But what baffles many of us, is that many three folders seem to designate or thump three fold ONLY WHEN they see some one discussing wanting to curse or hex.   Do they not realize that ALL magic, when used wrong, recklessly, or by some one very in experienced, has a high risk of going wrong? In fact, MOST of the time I’ve seen something go wrong  in all my years it was NOT because some one was attempting to do a curse or hex, in fact, maybe only 1% of the time one of these kinds of spells were involved.  For the 99% in my experience, most cases were spells that the most strict three folder wouldn’t have seen a problem with, including some healing spells where the sick person permitted or asked for it.   In this 99% category I saw that the reason something went so south was a result of one of the following reasons:   A.) A very inexperienced novice witch, or dabbler (non witch playing with witchcraft)  was working something beyond their skills, B.)  a witch was not treating their craft responsibility and not going about what they were doing mindfully, C.)  an experienced  witch accidentally screwed up something in the execution of the spell.  (if only humans were all perfect, this could never happened, but alas, it can even for most experience ones out there.)  So the reasons these causes resulted in bad effects were very pragmatic, and NOT because of some mystical three fold out there trying to cause these practitioners some grief..  And funnily enough, I haven’t seen, in the ANY  cases I’ve observed, things going on with the number three, or three times greater.   IN all of these cases, what happened varied, some times a huge mess that if you wanted to apply a number, you’d be far beyond three fold all the way to as minor as a little oops that quickly was able to be fixed with nothing terrible.

But we DO have some common ground with the three fold adherents, which are just like YOU, most of us believe:

1.) In cause and Effect.  2.) That magic should be treated respectfully and responsibility.  3.) That nasty things can and does happen at times with use of magic.   4.) In doing what is right and just.   5.)  In our own morals and ethics that similar to yours maybe even identical.

The ONLY real differences I see is a different way of looking at it, and we don’t put it all in a narrow little box of three.  Nor do we demand that the definitions of words be changed, or get so….whatever it is you get, I don’t even know why… that some how words like equal, or situations where even though the effect was obviously equal, you insist on calling it three or saying three fold.

THE THREE FOLD BELIEFS THAT ACTUALLY ARE CONSISTENT  

Figured I’d touch on this at some point, because I am sure some of the readers fall into this category.

So far, one of the  most practical and consistent three fold beliefs I have found, which I really have no reason to object to, are the ones held by the Traditional Gardnerian Wiccans.  These are the folks that coined and originally defined Three fold.   They have kept to their original definition too.  Having befriended many priests and priestess, as well as initiates of this tradition, many have taught me a lot of stuff that did not break their oaths.  One of which, is their version of three fold.    Their three fold is NOT universal, is not RUN or controlled by the Universe and NOT for everyone under the sun.   It is also NOT for every single action done by everyone, or even every single action a witch does.  Their three fold pertains to  a witch to another witch.   I had shared a blog by a Gardnerian that explained it best.  If you do good by a witch, then by the Gardnerian three fold, they are obligated to repay you three times better.  But if you do good by a  Christian neighbor they are not under this, they are not a witch.   Also, three fold plays a part in second degree initiation of a Gardnerian witch.  http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/gbos/gbos34.htm

Another consistent version started in the 1970s.  This version, which I have sourced to originate with Raymond Buckland, alters the original Gardnerian version and now changes it to be a universal thing.   This is the most commonly held version by many eclectic wiccans, non Gardnerian wiccans and even many non wiccan witches out there have adopted it.   It’s the most poplar for sure.   This version teaches that every action has three times an action be it good or bad.   Many stick to this, and sincerely believe it, and wouldn’t call an equal action or even cause and effect three fold UNLESS they saw something happen in that way, like something happen in threes or three times greater.   This does not tamper with any definitions.  Now I can find many practical flaws in this belief, and have many times in the past.  Never the less, I at least respect them, and their sincerity, as well as their remaining consistent.

One last one, is I have met some that believe in three fold but they believe that it manifests in certain conditions and NOT all the time.  So they too don’t think every cause and effect or action is three fold.  They also don’t think every time a curse or hex is done, that three fold automatically rears a head or grinds an ax.   They think that if some one is recklessly using magic, or out of malice, spite, hatefulness, then the magic worker is risking some kind of three fold to take place.   In this case, still, they will only call those results or effects that can actually be measured in three or that there was clearly a three fold effect.  For anything else, like equal effect, if it’s a negative one, you might simply see them refer to this as karma instead of three fold.   This is also a view that does not screw up definitions, and it has less flaws than the version above because they don’t claim it’s always and a constant thing for everything.

THE ROLE CAUSE AND EFFECT PLAYS IN THREE FOLD

With all the above said this does NOT mean that cause and effect is irrelevant in threefold, it is obviously VERY relevant, and plays a huge part in three fold; such a huge part that it has become clear to me that too many have blended the line so much that they actually think cause and effect IS the three fold.   I would say that Three fold even is dependent on cause and effect and would not stand alone without it.   Even with many types of wiccan beliefs where they might feel the universe plays a part, Deities, spirits, energy currents or a little of all of the above, still, an initial cause would be necessary for even any of these factors to react, whether making decisions or what have you, in order to produce a three fold effect to that cause.   So the next time some one wants to tell you cause and effect is three fold, kindly tell them, no, cause and effect is  larger than that, and stands alone without it.  In fact your three fold NEEDS it, in order to have a prayer of chance to exist in the first place.   Then by all means share this blog with them and be done.

No Such Thing As An Atheist Witch Myth

Atheist Symbol 1

As an Atheist who is also a witch, I am getting pretty sick and tired of people in the Pagan/Witchcraft community trying one way or another, tell me that it is impossible/incompatible for an Atheist to be a Witch..   I see this over and over again in various forms, and it is almost always simply because the person does not know what the term “atheist” means and insists on trying to add more to it, than it actually is.  On the rare occasion it is because the person does not understand that witchcraft can be separate from deities of any form.

So what is an Atheist? 

In every dictionary I can muster up, I will allow the term to define itself in it’s pure form…I will share multiple to save some one the lame argument of trying to claim I am dictionary biased (you never know, people are strange….)

Oxford Dictionary

A person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

‘he is a committed atheist’

 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods one who subscribes to or advocates atheism

MacMillan English Dictionary

someone who does not believe that God exists

Needless to say, in every single dictionary I can find online, in every case, the term Atheist very clearly means a person who does not believe in/lacks belief in god(s).   Nothing else is included in it.  Therefore, the ONLY criteria for it, is lack or disbelief in deities, nothing more or less.

Why other’s think there are additional requirements for Atheism. 

While I can’t speak for what goes on in everyone’s mind, I believe I do have a good idea as to why others add more to the definition than actually exists.   The loudest voices in Atheism tends to come from materialist Atheists.   They also account for the majority of Atheists.  This type not only lacks the belief in deities, but they also lack the belief in anything supernatural, the after life, metaphysical, or anything occult.   They argue against all these to the point that it would seem to others who never actually looked into the definition what an Atheist is that these categories are all inclusive to the term.   Even these types, if pressed, will admit that although they might think it’s foolish, silly, or stupid, an Atheist can believe in all these things, and still be an Atheist; just not a materialist Atheist.  This can make it challenging for the Atheists that do have these beliefs as they are not only chided by the majority of the atheist community (since most are materialistic) but also have to deal with the occasional scorn from the Theistic communities as well.

So What’s an Atheist Witch to do when encountering some one who doesn’t understand what an Atheist is, and thinks it’s incompatible with being a witch?

Usually, all you have to do is politely point out that the only requirement for Atheism is lack of belief in deities, show them the definition, or an essay covering the subject and they will have accepted that they just learned something they did not previously realize.   But on occasion, there is always that one person that wants to sit there and continue to argue with the Atheist witch about it, some how feeling emboldened to dictate to an Atheist witch what an Atheist is;  which is insulting and foolishly implies that the Atheist witch did not already look into the definition and sort this out before realizing that they are a witch who is also an Atheist.  But there are ways you can highlight the foolish nonsense of the argument, and show easily how the attempted logic lacks any merit.

1.      Some one might continue to say to you that they don’t understand how you can be a witch too, and then name all the things a materialistic Atheist rejects (see above).  This is when you again, reaffirm the definition (that you probably already showed them) remind them that they, nor materialistic Atheists have the copy writes to re-write the definition of an Atheist, to suit their own liken.  Then point out that not all Theists are the same, there are many different types, and therefore, logically, you will find different types of Atheists as well.  You can’t broaden theists while narrowing atheists

2.   Some one might argue that the vast majority of Atheists they know or had experience with did not believe in anything outside of scientific findings, therefore implying that you being an atheist that accepts more than these findings makes no sense to them.  You can let them know that this is also your experience (if it is) but that experience is limited to the person’s own encounters and does not, in fact, exclude anything different than anything they’ve encountered.  All that means is they simply never experienced it yet, but now they have with you, and it’s illogical to assume another group does not exist just because they never met one yet.  Encourage them to seek communities or other areas where they can find atheist witches so therefore, they can increase their experience and understanding of this type of witch so that they no longer have a narrowed down view of what an Atheist is..

3.   Some one might suggest the definition is outdated because, once again….all the observations they made about what materialistic Atheists say, caused them to include all the other paranormal like categories into what an Atheist is and they think the definition should fit more with the majority..  Remind them that since the term itself was coined to describe people who were opposite of theists in regards to believing in a deity, the definition is quite current and fitting..  To add more too it, would make it something that would demand a whole different term all together.  Remind them of what the term Theist means and how they’ve met so many different types: religious, non-religious, monotheist, polytheists, etc.   but yet the one sole thing all theists have in common is the belief in deities whether one or more.   Therefore, it’s irrational to assume that when it comes to atheists, there needs to be more added to the term when this isn’t demanded for the term theist; especially if the argument is due to majority.   This is especially silly if it’s coming from a Witch.   Christianity is the largest religion in the world, toppling about 2.1 billion.   Paganism is among the smallest, and Pagan Witches even less, only a fraction of pagans.   How fair or right would it be to then take the term Theist, and bastardize it only to fit for Christians, and therefore, in a way that excludes pagans, or pagan witches?  This won’t make the minority go away, it just tampers with a term to make it now inaccurate and  no longer an  umbrella term that covers every kind of Theist imaginable.  Same principal applies to the term Atheists. So the term Atheist as it is, wields the most accurate definition, encompassing every kind of Atheist under the moon.

4.  Recently, I saw some one argue that  “lack of religion is a key tenant of calling yourself an atheist”.   This was supposedly an argument for why an Atheist can’t be a Wicca (which I actually agree with based on what the religion of Wicca is), but the person incorrectly stated “The belief in spirits, magic or any supernatural forces or beings also, in most definitions, would prevent atheism. ”  Wiccans are not the only witches that believe in these things, so she make a sweeping statement here.  First of all, it’s in error because,  I already showed what “most definitions” say out of the most prominent English dictionaries (See above); apparently, she did not look the term up when she stated that most definitions say this.   Second of all, not all Theists even believe in everything on her list, I have met some that don’t believe in spirits, and some that reject an afterlife.  Both theists or atheists have the luxury to believe in all on her list, some or none. But getting to the claim that lack of religion is the key tenant in calling yourself an atheist, this is wrong on many levels. Firstly, it is wrong because, the definitions do not include it.  Secondly, it is wrong because there are many theists out there who are not religious, or a-religious, but believe in some kind of deity and that’s about it.  I have met plenty of them in my life span so far.    Also, if the term Atheist demands lack of religion as a key tenant, then it logically stands to follow that the term Theist demands that having a religion is a key tenant to calling self theist.  So, she incorrectly now would have these types of Theists included in the category of Atheist.  Thirdly, there are religions out there that Atheists are part of because they are compatible with Atheism, thereby, making some Atheists, obviously religious too. Buddhism ranks as the 6th largest religion in the world (about 376 million) which is compatible, and there is a branch of secular Buddhists.   Then you have Unitarian Universalists who rank in at 20th with about 800,000.  They too have quite a few members that are Atheist or Agnostic, including clergy.   Let’s not forget about the Laveyan Satanist too, which is a strictly Atheistic religion.

5.  Then finally, you find people out there who do not misunderstand the term “Atheists” but rather what makes some one a witch.  There are some that think that the key, or essential component of being a witch is belief  in and working with deities and can’t understand how you can be one without them.  This is actually true for some Witchcraft paths, Wicca being one of them, but not all.   The main tenant of being a witch is practicing witchcraft (which has many formats, some, like in Wicca involve it in a way that pertains to deities.)  However, based upon the actual definition of witchcraft, religion or even belief in deities is not a requirement at all, therefore it’s very possible and even not uncommon for some one to keep their witchcraft path separate from their religious or non religious path.   So when encountering some one like this, it’s useful to focus more on what a witch actually is, and then apply how it therefore is compatible with Atheism.

The above arguments (Save for the fourth one which this was the first time I saw it used, but really felt it was worth attention because it will probably get used again some where) are the main ones I see.   None of them are very logical in my opinion, and are based on an individual person’s ignorance.   Not using the term ignorance to be fresh, but that’s exactly what it is, the person never really looked into the term Atheism and is going by their limited understanding.  If you are reading this and are an Atheist witch that has come across other types of arguments, I would be happy to see you share it, and your ideas on how to deal with it.   If you are some one that has always thought Atheists had to be materialistic, then I hope you appreciate the eye opener, and the broadening of the term that I hoped you would have upon reading this.   Please, if you encounter an Atheist in any magical communities, rather than assume upon them what you think they are suppose to be like, it would be more helpful to engage them and actually ask them what they believe, think or feel.  It is also perfectly fine to ask them if they do believe in things like the afterlife, spirits, etc.   If they seem materialistic, it’s fair to ask them how this kind of belief ties into their magical practice; as I’ve even met some that lean more materialistically, practicing witchcraft.