Tag Archives: Paganism

Beltane Blessings

Yippee! It’s that time of year. A time for the lovers, a time for family celebrations in the great outdoors, a time to dance around the May pole, jump fires, and roll around naked in the morning dew. Wait, what?

Beltane begins at dusk on the eve of May 1st and celebrations last all night long into the following day. As I mentioned it is the time of the lovers. The Goddess sheds her youthful robes and takes on the role of the Mother. The God, in turn, becomes her consort, and the two settle down in marital bliss.

This, by the way, is our anniversary! “So, happy anniversary oh husband mine.

“Now, I’m not especially a romantic kind of gal. Not personally. But, I do still believe in happy-ever-after, and that love-conquers-all, and this time of year makes me all gooey and girly and for young love.

 

 

It is a time for fertility magic. A May King and Queen were selected in celebrations on this day, to honour the Goddess and God. All unattached men and women would spend the night in the woods, choosing their partners and hence the saying “Gathering in May”.

Young women would dance around the May pole in the hope of weaving love into their lives. Plus, the May pole is kind of a phallic symbol!

It is considered favourable for those women who wish to conceive to roll in the May day morning dew, anointing their body in the lovers tonic, children born 9 months later were considered to be blessed by the Goddess and God. How lovely!

Another thing that I simply adore about Beltane are the little gifts of flowers and posies left for neighbours and friends as a blessing. Traditionally, a posy was made and left at a neighbours doorstep, with the gift giver remaining silent and secret. No one knows where or whom the gift is from. This to me, presents a wonderful lesson in gratitude, in giving, in humility, and also in the lesson of to stay silent (which is what we do after crafting spells to add to the potency of the magic).

Not only are all these wonderful celebrations happening at this festival, but also, we have the thinning of the veil. Beltane is the opposite to Samhain on the year’s wheel. The worlds collide once more on this night – only this time it’s the naughty and mischievous spirits: Loki, Puck, and Pan could visit, and they love to cause chaos, so be very wary about your wishes and spells!

I’m going to be very busy!

What ever your celebrations are for this May day bank holiday weekend, try to enjoy the spirit of Beltane. Love will be in the air, but also a little bit of chaos – those Gods and spirits do like to have fun; I wished for a rich man, I got a man called Rich!

Brightest Blessings to you all. x

Links:

Make a May Day Door Hanger

Make a May Pole

The God and Goddess Print


Thou Shalt not Suffer a Witch to Live

Yesterday, I spent the morning researching religion and belief systems to create the kingdom of Dagda Mead from the Kings point of view. My writing has so far been from the point of view of the Wytch – based on the old religion and paganism. I have had a problem with the Kings (and therefore the kingdoms) new religion, as I didn’t want it to be regarded as anti Christian (or other). So I set about creating my new world religion for my fantasy kingdom. This in itself is a rather large task!

Whilst researching, I received a text from a friend of mine with a link to her new website. About two years ago, they received a different kind message; one from God, to plant a church. Through prayer and hard work they are beginning to realise their work. I was excited for her, for her family, to be doing something that they believed was not just a calling, but also something that they were passionate about on the spiritual and physical levels. I checked out their website, I read everything. I texted back telling her how happy I was for them to be doing such a worthwhile thing, that they were amazing, and I wished them all well on their journey. I even tweeted a link, because I am genuinely happy for them.

My research continued. I came across a site with the title of this particular post : “What is Wrong with Witchcraft?” on Christianvoice.org.uk dated July 2013. Okay, it’s a while ago now, but the comments were still coming through as recently as this year.

In the article, the writer suggests that a Christian lady who was interviewed on a programme – BBC’s Big Questions, answered a question regarding witches, wrongly.

“In Exodus, it says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” What do you say to that?”

Her answer was that the particular passage was from the old testament and that the new testament encourages us to love our neighbours.

The author of this piece, suggested her answer was lame, and proceeded to explain why. The whole post however, there are websites and shops, being advertised dedicated to witches, wicca, neo-pagans, and generally the pagan faith. I continued reading, and bookmarked the site so that I could return and follow the links to said witchy sites. I was after all in research mode, not shopping mode!

Excerpt:

“Firstly let me say that no Christian could support ‘trial by ordeal’ by which unfortunate women were wrongly convicted of witchcraft in our land during a period of more than two hundred years with the seventeenth century at its heart.  There must be solid evidence to be convicted of any crime.  Turning to the self-styled witch on ‘Big Questions’, where is the evidence to convict him?  Sticking a star around your neck, growing your hair and dressing in your mum’s old curtains does not come close.

However, it does seem today that we have passed from the hysteria against witchcraft of the seventeenth century to a feeling today that witches and witchcraft are benign and either a bit jolly or silly.  Certainly, no-one today could take witchcraft seriously, or say that it is any more than a bit of fun, could they?  Well, I believe we ought to examine witchcraft in our day rather more closely.”

He then goes on to state:

“I once heard Colin Dye of Kensington Temple tell a story of Christians in an outreach somewhere in Africa who were opposed by the local witch.  The opposition was on purely economic grounds, like the shrine-makers in Ephesus.  Christianity would decrease or eliminate her income.  So she cursed the missionaries with death before the morning light.  Needless to say, they stayed up all night in prayer, praying that God would be their shield and defense and that the arrows of witchcraft would be returned to sender. We can be shocked in Britain by such an approach, common as it is Africa; many of us would pray for the witch instead.  Some might go so far as to pray that God would ‘bless her’.  Show grace, they would say.  Well, these Christians prayed for protection and for the arrows to be returned to sender. (insertion of a quote from Acts 13:8) You are probably way ahead of me already.  As dawn broke, the Christians found themselves all alive and in good health.  But news soon came.  The witch was dead.  Then the news spread.  What power was here!  The village followed the Biblical Deputy and turned to Christ en masse.”

Ding Dong, the Witch is dead! How glorious for them to have such proof and now more dedicated followers. (Sorry, it irked me!)

My perception of this article was that this guy was, actually is, suggesting that witches are in fact a danger. That we have the ability to harm our enemies, that without the light of his God in our lives, we are in fact his enemy. What enemy does a witch have? Do we not live by a code, that although  is a recent writing, is still very much based upon ancient lore:

“‘An it harm none, do what thou will.” Harming none is the absolute in the earth based religion.

As I read it, he even suggested that the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, bought upon the floods in 2004. The museum had been there for a long time – 50 years. It brings tourist and trade from around the world, and has a huge traffic to its website. Would their God have flooded the entire area because of a museum?

I was intrigued by what I was reading. Are we bad people? Because we believe in something else, are we the enemy? It made me think about my book, about my King and the Wytches in Dagda Mead. I am happy that I came across this article, as it has helped me form opinions in the point of view of the King.  Yet maddened because he states that through prayer, Christians make a spiritual connection to their God, whereas Witches make a false spiritual connection through spells and potions. While the answer to a prayer is in Gods hands, the spell unleashes a power at the hands of the practitioner.

He also states that witchcraft is jolly and silly.

Erm, what? Which is it – do we have the power of your God or are we silly? These two statements don’t match up to me…

More importantly though, from the passages that I have copied above, you can also see that it raises serious questions in the real world. Firstly, that no Christian would support trial by ordeal (yeah, let’s not go through the witch hunter general and the burnings again), but that it is okay to pray for the death of an enemy. As is Gods will? Isn’t this how wars start?

It also raised a question in my own personal world. With my new witchcraft classes due to begin soon, if I were to message my friend of the Christian faith with my own happy news of establishing my business would she tweet a link? Would she be happy for me?

wpid-a0bf55f8171827601d5acb546a2bd135.jpg

NB: The word witch in the true translation means something else entirely than our modern day meaning of the word – apparently! As my research continued I came across this article: An Enquiry into Biblical Mistranslation over at  Proteus Coven 

Still. With all this, I got some research done, I reached the heights of spiritual outrage with opposing views and can now happily write the Kings p.o.v.  🙂

 


Girl Tuesday

It was one of those moments. I picked up the phone, punched in the numbers and waited for an answer.

I had been toying with the idea of teaching Paganism and witchcraft again since being asked by a couple a while ago to get back into teaching. As much as I liked the idea of getting back in the saddle, setting up a new class with new students, and working from a different book of shadows, I had no idea where to teach!

A friend of mine had recently been to a psychic night. She herself had not been picked out of the audience to be read, she was nevertheless impressed by the mediums, and their messages. Over-hearing a few of those who had been read, she learned that it wasn’t just her who was impressed. After the platform work, the ladies had stayed on to read privately for those who were interested. My friend couldn’t stay, but took one of their cards with the intention of booking herself a reading in the near future. This card, she showed to me for the number.

As the phone rang, I did a quick mental check: the moon was waxing (good) and Mercury was still direct for a little while longer (also good). I had a conversation with one of the women regarding room rental at their premises, and asked if they were at all interested in having a witch work alongside of them. The answer was a resounding yes!

I arranged to meet them for a chat, and view the room, the following Tuesday.

I am now their Girl Tuesday.

I work in the office on a Tuesday afternoon, I have set up plans to report on their work through social media, and I have been invited to go along to their Psychic Nights, Vigils, and occasional classes to document and report.

I also have a room to teach my classes – yay!

It was one of those moments: the moon was right, the number dropped into my lap at a time I requested it, positive word of mouth had encouraged me to punch in said number, and the answer I received has so far proved to be much more than I expected or hoped for.

Even Mercury turning retrograde didn’t blink his eyes, except of course to mess around with my computer (again).


My NaNo Week

It’s been a fairly productive week for me and Wytch. I’ve managed my personal goal of 20,000 words, and so far (fingers crossed) things are running smoothly.

 

 

I wrote my first 7000 or so on the Friday night, after all the celebrations of Samhain, and with NaNo kicking off at midnight, I thought what the hell. I sat up very late (or should that be very early?)

On Saturday (kick off day) I got myself into Town to the pub to meet with other NaNoers from my region. I didn’t stay long, as although they all seemed like a nice crowd, they obviously knew each other from previous years. With my previous late night and plans already for that afternoon and evening, I don’t think I was in the most sociable of moods. I won’t be going for the second meet-up, but may go along for the third – as long as I’ve had some decent sleep!

By Monday I had focus and determination gnawing at me. It was great! I’ve been very surprised with how much motivation this has given me. The pep talks are quite interesting, especially if you’re new to NaNo.

One thing I did learn about this little online club, is all the wonderful people – I’ve got some great buddies and we are messaging each other with words of encouragement and lots of cheer leading  as we all plod on with achieving our word target.

So far, it’s an interesting journey. One of self discovery as well. I never used to plan much with my writing. I enjoyed the act of sitting down with a notebook and free writing, which I would then type up and edit as I went. However, not much got to the finish line. I then took a great leap faith and decided to co-author a project. a great big project I might add, that has been some time in the making, and is not any where near completion yet, but that’s ok, because it’s a  lot of fun 🙂

My writing partner is a planner. Everything needs to be thoroughly plotted, planned, researched and organised. This is great too.

It’s what I started to do with Wytch. But, I recently discovered, something that just doesn’t work for me on my own. Over the last year or so, I’ve written more than I ever have done, I’ve completed lots of short stories! I have done so because, while I plotted and planned a little, I also allowed myself to sit and free write. I allowed the characters to tell me which way they wanted to go. And with Wytch, this has worked. Yes, I planned and plotted, I also ended up scrapping a lot of the material I had done. So when, at the stroke of midnight on the first of November rang out, I sat and I simply wrote. Things change. Writing is a fluid art form, ever changing.

This week I learned that my King is not happy with how much weight he’s recently put on. That my cross dressing prince is actually gay. That my guardians can only tell the truth, and that the Raptures are hiding because they’re scared.

Also, the Wytches are darker than I had first intended them to be. Which has been a happy discovery. I didn’t want to have a story that was as simple as magic vs mundane. I needed it to be more of an exploration between the good and bad personality traits of everyone, whilst not letting that exploration eclipse the theme of book.

Anyway, my Quene is about to be exiled, so I really should push on. Happy Writing 🙂


And so it begins…

I’ve spent the last couple of nights writing until around 4:00 am. I love it when this happens.

I’ve always been a night owl, and enjoy the silence that comes when everyone in my family sleeps and all I can hear is the wind outside and our neighbourhood (real) owl.

I have had a complete re-jig of Wytch.

When I first began this blog back in March it was with the intention of writing a book that I had a little idea of what was going to happen. I had some great characters forming in my head, a world that was beginning to show itself to me in which to set the story in, and yet no real plot. Vague ideas floated around.

I knew I wanted it to be about magic. I had the central structure of my magical rules balanced out. I knew that three characters’ lives  in particular had to collide in one way or another.

So, I played around with a few scenes and had fun creating situations and gathering information for my world. I even drew out a map and dreamed up the way in which my characters would measure time, how they perceived the after life , and other small things that contribute hugely to world building.

The A-Z Challenge in April was extremely useful to me with much of the planning, however it also allowed me to get carried away. I was a balloon, floating ever higher into the sky, and when I looked down I realised, I had forgotten about the story, the adventure, I could no longer see the world as it was supposed to be, only a blur of colours.

As I said previously, when I decided to join NaNoWriMo, I had to completely re-work my book idea.  I removed scenes and characters, I changed some of the story line, and now I hope, the book will flow. I’ve come down from the balloon and discovered my borders and boundaries, I have a clear view of the journey.

The past will now stay in the past, but the history will be hinted at and folk stories told through the present day characters. Magic will be explained throughout, instead of me trying so desperately to explain the workings of it in text book style. The biggest decision I made was to change the format of my heroes. It drove me mad, with two characters constantly fighting over who was to be the star of the show! I hope I’ve done the right thing.

I’ve been at it now for two days, and managed 10,000  words or so. I am pleased so far with what I’ve written, I have plans to continue to write as much as possible.

I’m not editing as I go either, which always seems to be my downfall, it’s so far about the word count, and getting the story told. Editing will come later, as it does with my short stories. It just means that there won’t be any excerpts posted here for a while!

 

 

 


Which Witch Blog-Hop 2

Today marks the final day for the Which Witch blog hop. Up until now, I haven’t really had time to post anything. Leaving it until the last minute has always been my forte!

It’s the 31st. Yay. Halloween, or as we call it – Samhain.

Where the veil between the worlds is thin and we can commune with our ancestors, and light their path. We can make mischief too, or protect our homes from others who want to make mischief – Mash potato on the gate posts ward away the malevolent spirits, yes, I said mashed potato!

It’s been fun trying out a blog-hop, but something that I probably won’t do again on my own. Sure, I’ll take part in them, as I have discovered some new blogs which I may not have otherwise stumbled across, but it was a tad tricksy trying to figure it all out. I’ll leave it up to the pro’s from now on.

I do want to say thank you to all of you who took part, your posts were very informative and creative.

While I learned that the word “wicca” wasn’t actually coined by Gerald Gardener himself (it was Doreen Valiente, who was one of his initiates), I mostly learned that it doesn’t matter what we call ourselves. Most people now are familiar with Paganism and we are no longer persecuted for our faith – in the mainstream that is. Also, there are more people out there who follow a Pagan path without actually knowing it.

As for which witch is which? As long as it harms none, it really doesn’t matter.

Here are the bloggers who participated, with a post or two:

Steampooka 

The Wayfaring Otter 

Not Quite Wicked

Rose Laden Magdalene 

Notes Tied on the Sage Brush 

When my Brain Farts

Thanks again guys – You’re all great. And, I hope I didn’t mis anyone off – Let me know in the comments if I did, and I’ll add you. x

 


Wednesdays Wisdom

Getting ready for Samhain!

Brightest Blessings to you all.

Samhain


%d bloggers like this: