Thursday, 25 February 2010

Karma's servant, moral geography

Cursing? I can hear the Wiccan population of the world wincing like the mechanic with bad news, the sound of wind fills the air as a sixty thousand mouths draw breath in over their teeth," well, what about three fold laws and karma and such like".
Is karma sentient? is karma a force? does karma act independently on the world? or are we servants to do its bidding? is there any such thing as Karma?
I of course don't know the answer to any of these questions, the only one I have is to say "its possible" as a reply to any of them.

I guess that before we can really discuss cursing, threefold laws or karma, we must pay our dues to what defines good and evil in our world , then we can see how that could be applied to karma and how it acts.
we don't really have to define "good", as in its simpler form it is merely something that fails to offend and is purely the opposite of evil, so let us assume that any definition of evil automatically leaves us with an answer.
Is ignorance evil? an act of pollution is an evil act from my point of view, does this mean that an individual that is guilty of causing , let us say an oil slick, is an evil individual, even though they may be ignorant of facts that may have caused said slick, is the oil company evil, ( most certainly yes) the captain of the vessel?even though another vessel may have caused this hypothetical situation, the buck has to stop somewhere , so why do I still perceive this as an evil act?
I think that a situation such as the above happens through carelessness and the more pollutants we ship around the planet the more is likely to go wrong, but at the root cause , am I evil? I, like millions of others drive a car, I am not making a profit from it but the polluters are working for me. I am not ignorant of the facts but still partly to blame, for me to place a curse upon the oil magnets would be hypocritical( although with all the profits they make I would expect them to take greater care than they do).
Is greed evil? generally I think yes, if it is defined by taking and using more than you need and wasting the worlds resources, so again I have to define myself as evil, I don't need this computer, I have books and music that I don't really need, I try, I recycle, I reduce and reuse, I have flown on holiday once in my forty years, I grow my own, hunt my own, I do less than some and a lot more than others.
Is Islam basically right, are we evil in the west? a bit rich perhaps on that score as the middle eastern countries seem to be among to worst for greed and land grabbing, perhaps as some Hebrew scripts suggest, we are all evil , the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve,we were told that knowledge was evil, maybe that is why Adams first wife refused to subjugate herself to him, perhaps we should take a note of Lilith, worship her as she was free of that original sin, a better role model for the human race ( apart from the mating with and giving birth to hundreds of demons, which has in turn become a useful aid to cursing).

Last year we saw the failure of the capitalist system, governments across the developed world piled billions of pounds and dollars into trying to prop it up, we have to wait to see if this worked, people across the globe die everyday due to poverty and debt, even under the thin veneers of the west this occurs, not always in Africa but someone near you will not have a meal or a bed for the night. Education is failing at an alarming rate, hospitals will have to close due to the fact that they cant pay cleaners and there are few policemen on the streets these days.
By these reckonings I declare that bailing out the multinational banks was an act of evil, rewarding ignorance and thoughtless hedonism, while people die all over this world is unforgivable, when a small business goes wrong banks pull the plug, how any government could bail out these idiots is beyond me, we have left an almighty mess for our children to clear up, pure unadulterated evil.
Personally I would see nothing wrong in cursing the politicians of today, making them see some kind of reality, to actually think and do what they are payed to do and not waste time and resources pursuing their own greedy interests.

Well, that lot should of turned your moral compass into some kind of moral sat nav, capable of taking you anywhere you don't want to be, the wrong way up a one way street or just down an impossibly small lane to a dead end.
This goes some way to illustrate that evil is really a question of geography, that one mans gold is an others poison, and as such is undefinable.

So how should we live and not be considered evil by our own judgement?
For me it is to not behave toward others in a way that I would find unacceptable to myself, sometimes this, for whatever reason doesn't happen, so it has to include the fact that if I behave like an idiot I deserve to be reprimanded.
So we ourselves regulate karma, we allow it or disallow it to act.
"Do what thou will, shall be the whole of the law", just as long as you are prepared to be done by.

In some witch traditions around the world cursing is still seen as a valid option for protection or punishment, even to the point that if you are unable to successfully perform a curse it is considered unlikely that you will be able to perform a cure.
In other pagan society's love spells are considered OK even though it may appear that subjugating another being to your will is mearly another curse, it just happens to wear a pretty coat.

If in your life you are being bothered by an individual, and perhaps that person puts you or your love ones at risk, after talking and exhausting all options do you A. punch this person in the face , risking arrest and incarceration, leaving those around you unprotected, or do you B. curse the individual so that each time he might approach you he or she falls flat on their face.
For me its option B untraceable no longer illegal and with any luck the person involved might actually learn from mistakes and adjust behaviour accordingly.
Bear in mind that if you do choose this option there are risks, all forms of magick create a link between participants, when this link is established(the tricky part) it is so easy to send stuff the other way, hence the threefold, all magick requires a lot of energy to make it work, I reckon it takes two thirds of the energy to establish the link so if you don't have to do this part you can just fling the whole straight back when and if you become aware of a curse acting against you.
So if you have a grievance with another witch then either sort it out or resort to option A.
If you can justify the action you should do it, it is always a black and white issue it only depends on which you prefer, I will not tolerate rape or child abuse, there is no excuse and I would use any means I have to protect anyone from falling victim to such, so cursing would be an option.
The only other thing I would say is , that I would do everything in my power to make sure I had all the facts, to declare myself judge, juror and executioner without doing this would be an act of Hedonistic Evil.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Banging heads against walls, Glastonbury song

Well as my good lady might say , I am seriously off on one again.
I read yesterday of the woes and stress of a man I know in Glastonbury who has become sick and tired of picking up rubbish left as offerings around his home town, on this occasion it was the wire frame of, wait for it, a dream catcher, I can only wonder what use nature might have for that.
"Its only a bit of wire, and will rust away at some point" could be an excuse , but maybe it might wrap itself around something else before it does, the legs or neck of a bird or animal perhaps,or a dog or child, and this does happen.

When you leave an offering to your gods do not leave something that you value by modern western standards, it is pointless, bake an extra cake or leave some wine, a portion of your picnic lunch or some other food stuff, you know the stuff that you need to survive , live, breathe, you know, a real not hollow sacrifice, something a bird might eat. As the man said , this item was left by someone with at least a rough idea or the beginnings of a spiritual belief, all be it one from an alien culture that has little relevance to Glastonbury .

I tend to be a little defensive about this part of the west country as it is the area I grew up in, I also feel that the area has kind of been" hoisted by its own petard", as it has grown with that monster they called the new age, mostly physically and commercially, although to some degree it has grown spiritually, you will have to scrape below the surface a little to see this ( remember there is always more noise in the shallow end of the pool).
There are and always will be good people that live and work there, but over the years the town has been dominated by the kind of new age follower that would A. purchase a dream catcher and B. leave it in a hedge as an offering, it is due to this kind of person that I feel unable to return to the places of my childhood, I cannot cope with all those who are there to "reclaim" their pagan heritage, mostly under the guise of visiting the shops, and I feel that the dream catcher has come to represent this side of human nature, far away from its American homeland.
I should be totally honest here, I am guilty of making a few bob from the pagan public, when I am not working in the woods, I make wands and staffs for those who want them, my wife also sells her artwork to the spiritual shoppers of Glastonbury and like the shop owners we all need to make a living.
What angers me is the fact that "pagan" people are leaving a bigger footprint on this land than those who go to pay homage to the holy thorn, that those who claim to have reached a certain degree of enlightenment are the ones leaving the mess.

So, go to Glastonbury, walk up the hill and admire one of the most beautiful and historical landscapes in this country, visit the chalice well, the Abby and King Arthur's grave, have a cup of tea or a pint of west country cider with a cheddar ploughman's, meet the colourful locals and browse all the esoteric shops in the town, treat your self to some witchy supplies or quality artwork( ) or even buy a dream catcher if you really feel you have to, but don't tie the bloody thing to a tree or leave it in a hedge, when you realise you don't actually want or need the thing, take it home and put it in a bin with the other rubbish.

Now that is off my chest I can resume thought about my next rantings, Good and Evil, Curses and Cures!!! That's if something else isn't making a play for my goat..

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Manners of Magick

In the everyday world , where we are solid immutable beings living in a tight knit society one on top of the other we have to observe a few rules or manners to stop everyone killing each other. Most of the dwellers in this strange land are actually incapable of following these guidelines by themselves, so other people have to make laws to govern those who do not wish to harbour any kind of responsibility for their own actions.

If someone drops a plastic wrapper on the street they can (in theory) be fined or punished by those in "authority"(yes I do have a problem with it, look it up in the dictionary and tell me you don't), if you yourself are to do anything you may risk getting stabbed apparently, so take care.
One of the reasons this law is there is to stop the idiots who cant or choose not to think from turning our world into one big rubbish tip, this in turn means that you and I don't have to wade through quite as much rubbish to get to the shop to buy and create some more rubbish by ourselves, (by reducing it generally to lots of smaller rubbish tips), there is also the question of Rats or seagulls perhaps creating a greater health concern but that really is only nature trying to balance our over consuming and untidy world anyway.
It would seem to me that although the pagan community consists of the sort of people who would not drop rubbish or wish to pollute our beautiful home and show good manners to others when and wherever possible that, there is within that community a group of people that litter the other places of this world with their etherical rubbish.
Rubbish that spews forth from untrained undisciplined minds, followers of a new theology that behave like the proverbial scientists only act because they can and never stop to ask weather or not they should or need to, leaving mess throughout the other realms and turning the landscape of the esoteric into a menagerie of ill conceived thoughts and beings.
A lack of faith is usually the cause here, the fact is, a great deal of pagans are converts from other religions where faith is only a concept and belief is kind of a fear, so, as a consequence they often don't really believe in what they are creating, a direct consequence of this is, that they rarely pick up their rubbish as they fail to realise that the rubbish even exists.
When dealing with the wilder more instinctive magicks it is important to remember this, there are beings out there who may be angry and aggressive due to the fact that they have been pulled out of the ether and now do not know what to do, just like lost and lonely children really, these beings may latch on to you and when they do it is your duty to help them, not to banish them or scold them as challengers , but to help them find the place they need to be, or if in deed they need to be at all.
On this level of existence you may find offence where someone has performed a ritual on an ancient site for example, maybe a circle was left open or guardians not thanked, even something as simple as an inappropriate act can cause the resonances to falter, changing the nature of the site, the more instinctive can usually see what happened and can put it right, if this is not possible leave and go back with guidance.A Friend of mine also fell victim to a protection placed at a site ( not an ancient one but a recently constructed cairn), there was no reason for him to know what it was or why it was there ,only it had a bad feeling to it, so foolishly he took it down, boom, he actually felt the magick go off. The person or people who constructed this knew what they were doing, not sure if they knew why or cared to think about what might "Bad Luck" bring to the defiler, it followed that this individual lost his parents within a month and marriage within a year, then proceeded to live in purgatory for a further six years with bad luck and misfortune the whole time. Seven years to the day he told me it lifted, actually felt it, at least these guys or gals were up for tradition, not ready for responsibility though.

There is another form of rudeness that I would like to touch on here, that is the act of psychic mind probing.
This I will explain, it would be considered rude to walk up to someone in a pub or any social place and demand to know stuff about them, who are you? do you have any dead relatives? what do you want to achieve? however , if you were to walk into any psychic fair or such like anywhere in the country and you have your barriers down ,that is exactly what will happen, especially if the said psychics are not busy and you are the only potential customer in the room, I have made this mistake once and had to leave the area to gather myself before returning feeling protected if not a little foolish. We should forgive these souls as often they are young, they behave like curious children with new telescopes pointing them everywhere trying to make sense of everything, or, should these naughty children be metaphorically placed over ones knee and taught a lesson, it is easily done with a quick blast of unpleasantness but how ethical would that be????.....

Monday, 15 February 2010

Planet Prozac

Has it ever been noticed by anyone within the occult community that there are a huge amount of people involved who would appear to have some form of depression.
By depression I am not referring to the " I cant afford a new car or wide screen TV" kind of sadness that seems to proliferate it way through society, but the "everything is ruined please someone stop me from sinking, its all hopeless" kind. The kind that will not be fixed by the consumption of vast amounts of pharmaceuticals, in actual fact this very act is part of the cause, yet society continues to throw slap happy medicine at the symptoms while failing to address any cure.
These two types of mental state should not be confused, the first is another symptom of a greedy capitalist society that has (at least in the west) taught us that greed is good and success is measured by the amount of material goods and money someone can accumulate, this is itself a deeper symptom of the second kind however, those who buy into this idea are often happier to pop pill after pill and behave like the proverbial ostrich where the real causes are concerned.
This leads me to my main point and the other kind of depression, this can be due to factors that you have might less control over.
Firstly we must assume that our planet is one vast organism, that organism functions on many levels both visible , physical and what others might call the esoteric or unseen, as a traveller upon such an organism you are connected to it in every way, when that organism becomes sick so does every living thing that travels with it, that depends on it.
Those of us who love nature and work within the seen and the unseen forces notice this , some of us have toted the environmental banner before the days of green wash, as a result we have felt and witnessed a decline in our mothers health, and as a further symptom of this, a great many of us have fallen victim to depression, M E and other illness that I am claiming are further symptoms of a sick planet.
When you truly become connected to this world, it becomes almost impossible to not feel the pain that humankind inflicts upon it, in a painful and very real sense, all foul actions seem to cut at you personally, each act of degradation is an assault upon you personally and those who you love, this is no metaphor or simile this is fact, you can not perceive the cut but cut you are.

The foundations of magick are not something to imagine they are very real and touchable, they depend on the connections we make through nature, real craft has little if nothing to do with the imaginings of a velvet clad plastic flower covered maiden, it is solid chewable energy and is almost explainable to the scientist, if the scientist will listen.
My father is a man of science, a confirmed atheist and fan of Richard Dawkins (who I feel unfortunately is as much of an evangelising moron as the born again Christian evangelist who insists on bothering people on the street, sadly this negates a lot of what he believes and that is a debate for another day), during a conversation a couple of years ago around February I was discussing the coming spring and the feelings that it generated in me, I explained how you could literally feel the seeds and bulbs ready to burst forward, at which my father yawns and dismisses my thoughts as offhand pagan rantings and tree hugging hippy crap.
I addressed this attitude using scientific theory, explaining that on a molecular level there was only an imagined space between myself and the seeds, and by utilising newtons theories there was no reason that I could not sense the seeds ready to burst, because I was actually connected to them on a molecular level. He said that he would get back to me on that question but has so far failed to do so.
There have of course been those people within the Occult community that have used these ideas as a basis for magical practice for a long time.
There is no such thing as the supernatural only aspects of nature that we do not always perceive.
So we are connected, both spiritually and on a molecular basis, so when our planet is sick we become sick also.
Finally psychologists have tried to put a spanner in the works, in the tests for Bipolar disorder(manic depression)there are questions that suggest a feeling of being connected to the cosmos, the ether and the planet are symptoms of imbalance and mental illness, together with perceptions of the world and the seeing of things that science cant yet explain, in this way we all fall neatly into the happy category of depression, poor deluded fools we are, while the Idiots who base their ideas on bad philosophy and flawed "science" are allowed to bury their heads in the sand once again.
We must not confuse Depression with this sadness and we must not let the establishment treat us as broken individuals, be connected , accept this pain and change some things in your outlook, fight back and the despair will lessen. become ....

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Rite or wrong.

I think that anyone reading this will gather that I do not have a particularly high opinion of those who practice ritual for the sake of ritual, I do however acknowledge the huge importance of ritual as an aid to focus, and to mark an event or change in circumstance of someones life.
There are in western Pagan traditions as most are aware, eight major festival dates of feast days and thirteen moon cycles in each Solar year.
Four of these dates known as the solstices and equinoxes are fixed dates within the solar calendar, they are the turning of the sun at times of equality at the equinox and high and low at the solstice, lunar cycles have little effect on these days other than what is generally considered to be a pleasant marriage when full moons coincide or dark moons at winter and so on.
These days are written in stone more or less, you can put them in your diary as dancing naked around the circle days, even the men of science will tell you when they are , in fact most are calculated by said men.
The four "fire" festivals are not fixed days, the dates in your pagan diary are mearly a guide, oddly enough the the actual days when the energies are correct to the feast day usually coincide with the appropriate lunar event,for example, at lughnasagh last year there was no harvest on the first of august the fields were (at least in the west) soaking wet, two weeks later at the full moon the first sheaves were cut. When a connection to the web is made this becomes almost a second nature, you can feel when the time is right, if you go by the date in your diary you are maybe purely enjoying a pointless ritual for rituals sake, often celebrating a time that hasn't happened of has passed weeks ago, how many people have done this, I know I have in the past, stood in circle thinking "the time is not quite right" or Felt to be missing the point a little.
This is partly the reason to develop that wild magic once more, your brain and body are part of the Lunar and Solar tides , listen to them and learn to trust them, any magic undertaken will have more energy when the time is rite.

There are rituals in life that we should celebrate and yet don't, or do it badly. the rites of passage, to welcome the newborn baby for example. Modern pagans have been so caught up in the bullying of monotheistic religion that we avoid the welcoming of new souls, due to christian dominance over a thousand years many avoid this welcoming as it is all a little familiar to a baptism, or of course we can just change the names of god to goddess and call it a wiccaning, that kind of feels like an unhealthy indoctrination as well, a child should be aware of its parents beliefs but should have the freedoms to choose when and where or indeed if if would like to share those beliefs, I did not and would not force my children to attend any kind of church.When my children were born they were both welcomed by our community and they have now in later life started to become an active part as well, by their request and not my summoning.
When my eldest was thirteen I gave her a silver pentacle as a gift, with it a letter which stated that the choice would be hers to join us when she wanted and that if she chose not to the star would be as a normal gift from father to daughter, from our faith to whatever faith if any she might choose, a small amount of ritual here as we sat in the woods when the gift was given, my younger daughter will be thirteen in a year or so and I will repeat this experience with her.
Ritual should but often fails to acknowledge the other rites of passage , only to be replaced with drinking parties, these are fun but we should never feel the need to justify a party with a time in someones life, sometimes this can be a mistake, a party for party's sake is OK no one has to feel guilty for that, and eighteenth twenty first or fortieth should be celebrated , but as I have learned to my cost perhaps not with with so much alcohol.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Wild Magic.

Firstly I must apologise, I have been told that my previous entry was a little harsh and somewhat elitist, I am sorry as this was not my intention.
It was my intention to offend some people but perhaps without making myself appear quite so arrogant.
The point I was trying to make was about the apparent disappearance of the wilder forms of the arcane arts, in favour of the worship of nature in the forms of deity,
How many authors have layed down directions without telling anyone where the directions might lead and what to do when you arrive.
I value the fact that so many modern pagans are now worshiping nature, in whatever guise they choose, and would not seek at the outset to put them down,however, to bestow upon themselves the title of witches may be stretching the truth somewhat, as what I believe is that they are no more than just followers of a new religion.
Granted this belief system has its origins in older possibly ancient times but modern it is, and is beginning once again to resemble another relatively new religion that also claims an ancient heritage.
So, how was that for an apology then., not great I know so I will seek to clarify my opinion.
There are guidelines, shapes and forms in all the occult practices throughout all forms of paganism , witchcraft and even Judaic magic. It would be careless for the student not to learn some of these or indeed as many as that individual might find appropriate, as they contain useful skills and give the student the ability to explore the esoteric safely (usually) and effectively (sometimes).
Forms of ritual teach the participants the ins and outs , the nuts and bolts of the magick arts, we must not forget however that the act of ritual itself is capable of very little other than focus( which is of course very important) and it is the people within that ritual that conjure, channel or invoke power using focus and intent. Very little knowledge is required to achieve this, what is required is for some or all of the individuals to be wired in to the web, to feel the magick, to change its shape and to send it on its way effectively.I have witnessed some elaborate rituals that have conjured as much real magick as would be obtainable by a herd of braying donkeys, yet I have also witnessed the quiet wild magic obtained through concentration and love that has ripped its way through the void with volcanic strength and purpose.
Ritual is fine as are the trappings of robes,cauldrons,fire and cups( I have a reasonable collection myself and enjoy their use), worship is also great although it is often good to remember what your gods and goddesses represent, these things can be lost sometimes, is it really appropriate to travel 200 miles to Stonehenge to celebrate the solstice, burning fuel to get there and polluting as you go, or would it be better to remain local.(What a killjoy, I do feel that a kind of pilgrimage is reasonable from time to time, and can be of great benefit, just get together with your friends and share).
The most important thing I am trying to say is that, aside from the trappings of ritual and regalia what really matters is the wild magick that surrounds us all, the real skill lies in tapping into this and respectively using it, you require nothing to do this as each and every one of us is wirelessly connected to it, one only has to switch the wi fi on and its away you go.
Close your eyes for a moment and listen, beneath the noise and detritus of this modern society there beats a heart, a great big one that produces energy for you to use, so use it, just use it, you don't have to get dressed up just do it.
Then walk six times round a bush or something in thanks, but it would be a greater gift to this mother earth to plant a tree of pick up rubbish near where you live.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Off the shelf religion

Many debates have taken place over the Milena concerning the validity of certain religious views and practices, who is right, how you should achieve greatness ,knowledge and wisdom and ultimately of course, power.
When I first embarked upon the ship that was paganism it was a pleasant place to be, the lack of written knowledge had meant that nearly all its participants were on board because of some kind of self discovery, at this time the bookshelf in Waterstones labeled "mind body spirit" contained only a few books on the Tarot, some Kabbalistic,Crowley and occasionally a little gem, a gem that would always confirm that "yes there was something else".
But most importantly , we were on board because of an instinct. Some you might argue through genetic or family connection, others maybe a spiritual past life scenario, but all of us were there because a voice in our heads told us that was where we needed to be.
The first moots we went to were fabulous, by today's labels there was everyone from the ritual magician to the wiccan, the "hedge" pagan and Druid to the spiritualist tarot reader, the left hand alongside the right, we were there because we enjoyed the esoteric nature of life, and not one of us chose the faith, it had chosen us.
We were all right in what we were doing and we all excepted that everyone was right to do what they were doing as well, sometimes we would get together for a celebration of the seasons, other times just for a bit of a drink and chat, finding out how others planned and celebrated the seasons and the magick.
Needless to say, we all eventually went our different ways, although I am still in touch with some of that crowd we are all following what were our original beliefs that have been finely tuned perhaps with a few tweaks here and there.
That bookshelf in waterstones is now 100 times the size it was, unfortunately it is about 100 times less authentic with 100 times less integrity, there are some good books out there, mostly books of suggestions and not the ones entitled "THE XXXXXX BIBLE" that are worth a look.
Gone are the days of having to search for arcane knowledge, it has its own sub category, chat rooms and blogs like this have replaced the jovial moots, which in them selves are not such an exchange of ideas but a meeting place for those who cant think for themselves or cant find any other working groups from which to start, or no established covens want them.
These poor souls have bought into an off the shelf religion, one that has told them the way to think so that they become blinkered and ignorant of the facts, paganism is becoming Christianity, imagine that.
I was at a moot recently , at someones house, the altar had all the accessories available from countless Internet shops, cloths, knives , plastic pentacles you name it, what was missing were any of the signs of the year, perhaps a snowdrop or a hazel twig, there was nothing that showed any instinct at all, all layed out in proper order with as much soul as the altar in a church, another off the shelf belief.
I could rant on and on but the fault is not theirs, it is ours, we should have kept the knowledge to our selves , freely giving it to the true seeker and not the person requiring faith as a commodity.
The numbers would amount to much the same, but it would give these people a sense of instinct, to feel the wild magic of the world.
To those of my peers that cashed in on the new age, a shame on you, you failed the world, you never suggested you told, you never encouraged you only pushed, you sold your beliefs.
There are some of you that have maintained your integrity but there are more who did not, that you may come to regret and you know who you are.