Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Wild untamed saucy abundance

Well, here we are,the roodmass has begun, summer is once more awakening.
Seasonal blessings to all that happen upon this, a time to lap up the abundant energy ,to love and laugh and to make passion become your fire.
It would seem, that here at least the May will reach its climax very close to the first of the month,the buds are on the branch but she still holds them tight, another day or two then BANG.
Unlike the other three, Beltane seems not to be governed by lunar tides alone, but remains balanced with the solar also, triggered very much by the natural energies of the world as a whole, the perfect union, as it very much should be.
The calendar only gives us a approximation of this one, the old OSS from his stable will come on the first of May, this often coincides with natures sometimes obliging power, but not always, my OSS was shod this morn.

The wild ones have departed for a time, to give the children a chance to grow, the calm has come and on at least this level things are at peace.
As with all children, the need to grow has become paramount , there is a different voice to be heard calling in the wind now, the child shouts "look at me, am I not beautiful, do I not hold the keys to all that is to come", and it does.

I have always been a creature of the darker months, taking joy in meeting the black rider, hearing the hounds tearing across a storm filled sky, now becomes a quieter time, a time for building, thinking, growing with natures offspring, a learning of different mysteries, the practical skills that will reap the harvest, the time for the other self in me.
Seedlings in the greenhouse need to move on and be re potted in order to grow, you and I like them must also move, or we ourselves will cease to grow and become stale, the stale loaf is still edible, it just doesn't taste as good.
The herbs and hedgerow greens are already fruitful here, wild garlic, sorrel and jack by the hedge,nettle leaf and purple sprout(last years planting) have been here for a while, last years final pumpkin bit the dust this week, its family progeny are at this moment needing a new bed, the wheel turns and I have to turn with it.

A different kind of love for the summer, anticipation toward the autumn harvest aside, summer evenings at the beach watching the solar disc descend into the underworld, visions of other places, mad evenings drinking with friends in the warm air(hopefully), prancing stupidly around the woods and slipping on the bluebells carelessly squashed underfoot, the joys of summer.

Finally my mind wanders to some dear friends of mine, who are to be wed on the first.
A very special couple who have found a love that is rare, the one, to them I send my blessings and all love and luck for the future, and if through effort we make our luck then theirs will be abundant like the like the abundance that whispers in this Beltane breeze.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Pagan rules and ducking stools, need not apply.

Well, another odd week has passed in the life of this Cunning one.

The tale begins with a thought on what magick is and then deteriorates into the virus led deluded ramblings about the lonely journey along the crooked path.A visit from some dear relatives who happen to be Christians brought about some thoughts on the subtle differences between "Traditional" magick, or spellcraft, gardnerian style "wiccan" magic and common church prayer.

Simple really, and as you may be aware, a subject I have already touched upon.

Basically ,Christian prayer and some forms of Wicca(yes they have become quite similar over the years) generally petition a Deity to act on the behalf of the petitioner, there is then some sacrifice or energy transfer bought about as some kind of divine payment in the case of Wicca, where as within the Semitic faiths the deity (the great master, lord or boss) is remarkably expected to come down and take action the Faithfull’s behalf, master acting as servant, an odd concept that I find difficult to get my head around.

The Crafter however does not petition the deity to act on his or her behalf, but undertakes the transformations personally; the only divine intervention might be one of strength or guidance, but apart from that the undertaking and responsibility falls to the individual or group.

So there you are, that is what I consider to be the subtle difference and I am not suggesting one works better than another, it is all about the suitability to individual.

This question and an inner ear infection bought about a rather melancholic musing on the loneliness involved within the Traditional path, certainly where the solitary practitioner is concerned, maybe less so for those within an established cuveen, the secretive nature of what is after all a mystery tradition has certain rules that must be adhered to.

One is, without over complicating it "thou shalt not blab", this is not to facilitate some kind of secrecy for the point of secrecy, this is very much to do with discipline and the value of the journey itself, to know the secrets is a part, it is the discovery of those keys that unlock the mysteries that will explain the knowledge, and as such have as much importance themselves, letting the cat out of the bag as it were may lessen the knowledge and experience sought by the true seeker, guidance by all means is good, preconception is not so.

I am currently alone in my journey, hopefully there will be some to join me soon as I have sent out the call, my partner has her own way of working and occasionally joins me, but she is on her road and I am upon mine, I find myself on occasion quite out in the cold.I have met and enjoyed the company of many great and powerful people in the past, many of which I am at least vaguely still in touch with, although at the earthly level there are few that I have met or I know of local to me that A. I would like to work with and B. that would like to work with me.A situation of my own making, I have lived and worked in many places, the result being that my Clan is spread to the four corners of this green and pleasant land.

This solitarily esoteric existence is one I happily choose, although it has made me look at the way the world perceives us, as “witches” we have always been outcasts, often feared by our communities and treated with varying degrees of suspicion, by church and to a lesser degree some pagans “that dark, left hand path etc”, that is until our skills and our tolerance of all faiths is called upon for the benefit there of, this has always been the price and always will, it is the way things are meant to be, someone has to clean up the rubbish, there will be no displays for the public , no book of shadows available in paper and hardbacked versions,and our society will remain behind the hidden door, where it belongs.

So, happy to be the outcasts we are, even in the lonley wasteland, our choice and happy to be we must be.

Remember the importance of friends and family, look to the travelling communities and see how they perceive such things with great love and reverence, when your life shifts from place to place these things can easily be left behind, without them you can lose an important part of yourself, there are parts of me still to be gathered in,at this time I only hope to save at least someone that pain.

On occasion, this witch would relish the contact of others upon a similar path and hopefully those pathways are under construction, this spy would sometimes like to come in from the cold!

One final thought, why did they swim witches in the times of persecution? The answer is again simple, it stands to reason, in a biblical scenario we are the survivors of the flood, the line of Cain not Seth. therefore we must float!

Me, I am Lilith’s man today.


Friday, 16 April 2010

Didn't see that coming.

It is said by some that one of the important ways a witch's skill may be evaluated is by his or hers ability to predict or see, this again brings us to the issue of the off the shelf oracle and its effectiveness.
There are available on the market now as many different ways to "predict" and as many oracles as there are religions in the world, all are valid and some are beautiful works of art but they are only as effective as the person who is using them.
The art of prediction like all forms of traditional working is a thing that has to be nurtured and cultivated, it is not as simple as opening a box of cards, giving them a shuffle and reading out the appropriate meaning, the skill is derived from one being able to look beyond the symbol,any oracle is not definitive it is only a series of clues for the investigator to follow.
Here I will give a example.
Many years ago, a Friend of mine gave me a Tarot reading for the year ahead, twelve months of misery and disaster in his eyes, thankfully my wife was present and was able to counter my"what is the point" attitude, and this is what happened.
We did another reading, the cards were virtually identical to the previous reading however, T has a pure insight and an absolute ability in such matters, the same cards revealed a very different future to the one predicted previously, fifteen years on and I still remember that fruitful year that brought with it a new job , a change of address and the birth of my eldest daughter, almost exactly as she had predicted.

I have never really been drawn to the Tarot until quite recently, I find myself learning here as with other aspects of my craft, faith in your prediction is again an issue although I am surprised at the accuracy that I am achieving at my novice level.

Just to add here, I once found and got back in touch with a very dear Friend through a set of tarot cards, not in the obvious way either, they were a set I had acquired because the artwork and motifs therein appealed to me on many levels, on familiarising myself with them I came upon the image of a man who was un mistakenly my estranged Friend, I was able to track him down through the artist and we are thankfully still in touch, no mystery there really only fate.

Some of the many overlooked oracles around are those free ones, the signs and methods that abound within our own universe, scrying for example, I knew of an old traditional witch that would use an egg in a saucer with accurate results, fire is a proven one for another Friend of mine, I personally like the wild signs but as with all things they are changeable..
Nature will provide the clues and symbols to predict and see the possible future, these can be and are to be learned and the method is once more to be able to look beyond, when a Raven would fly over our house I once would know that it was foretelling of an illness within my family, Ravens now nest near by, they still give the clues but now you have to listen to them a little better, it would be foolhardy to expect trouble as we are now blessed with regular Corvus activities, and they fly over us three or four times a day.
Many of the animal behaviours can be directly due to weather systems or the onset of a storm or even a dry spell, many though are auguries, these creatures are hard wired into the cosmos and no person has told them otherwise, it pays to listen to them, as well as people all over the world have found out, toads in Italy for example, left an area two weeks before the onset of an earthquake.
The recent dark moon has passed, it was a wild one with us and the local creatures were there to announce the arrival of the wild hunt, all the animals I met that evening gave me the signs, and fabulous the chase was.

In order to predict any possible future it is important to (like the toads) hook up to the multiverse, from the cards to the stones, from sticks to the natural world, the pictures are there but they are only keys to the doors of your perception, not flashing screens telling of a distant future, the true aim here would be to become like the seers of legend, and to not rely on anything but your ability, to train your mind and expand the belief you have in your own skill.
Reach out with your feelings(There speaks the voice of another wise man), sense and feel the world.

One last note on Prediction, and that is common sense and honesty, practice will show you that it is easier to tell when you may be barking up the wrong tree, when you are leading your fortune telling and not really looking, don't try to fit any reading to what you desire, let it flow through you not from you directly

The mystery will be solved by the seeker of the truth, and seek you must.


Saturday, 10 April 2010

Cornerstone, the faith crisis

Faith, belief call it what you will, together with a bloodymindedness will or absolute determination are the true cornerstones of all craft working, the absolute foundation in everything that a witch does.
Imagination is often said to be another , although this is true in order to begin the journey into true belief and it is an important tool with which to do so, ultimately even this becomes a secondary one, as the places found therein become as real as the places we walk in our everyday lives.
We reach a point when either imagining is no longer necessary, or we actually do it without any realisation of it, the things we do or see when we work are then perceived by our primitive brains as real and as so become such, enough of imaginations, each to their own and all should be free to use whatever tools at their disposal.

There are many who would agree that with absolute belief or faith anything can be achieved, and many of those would also believe that a lack of faith will mean that nothing will really be achieved, by the same token a working done in a hap hazard manner with little faith will produce a result of much the same, becoming nothing more than the empty words and actions that you can experience in any number of other ways.
Another important thing concerning faith is that it is very much a two way thing, we are able to effect things and other beings in this world from one side without their prior knowledge or even their permission, however, if someone asks you to do something for them magickally it is usually a sign of faith in you or your working, this person's belief starts the magick working at the moment of asking, opening that channel if you will, your work is aided and the result is usually harvested with greater satisfaction and efficiency.
If the individual is sceptical and is trying to prove a point , we have to use our other minor psychology tricks to try and force a little belief into them, a darkened room, a few candles , a little strange behaviour and a "did you hear that"is usually enough to make the sceptic borrow enough fear and subsequent belief, and the end result will depend on that, borrowed faith.
Before you start any working, be sure of yourself, personal faith in what you are preparing to do, believe what you are doing IS going to work and it most likely will, if you waver so will the results, when you are ready let if fly.

Again, Faith is not only important in witchcraft, modern pharmaceutical medicine is pretty much useless and certainly no match for a decent herbal practitioner, the results that we get come mainly from the fact that as a western society we have greater belief in popular science than we have faith in our world (I have to say that I see the Craft as more of a scientific world than most, that is down to absolute faith and the fact that I know it works)and the result is we heal through that faith and not because a doctor has filled you full of noxious chemicals, even herbs require faith for some people.
My mother in law(no this isn't a joke) has in the past tried many herbal remedies for her complaints and ailments at our behest, they do not work for her, waste of time as her belief in them is in the negative, so it is back to the chemists for her, I however have what I would refer to as an healthy suspicion of modern medicine(T says its a phobia but I can see the germs in doctors surgeries and hospitals, all lurking ready to spring out at me, better stop for a cup of tea now, ah,that's better, i will continue), and as such suffer conversely, by which I mean that modern treatment will not work on me, I subconsciously will not let it as I have no faith in it, unfortunately this has coincided with occasions for instance when I have had to have local anaesthetics for stitches and such like, they do not work on me, so I have had to use other techniques(trying not to shout and lash out mainly), after telling the doctor that I know the difference between feeling,no feeling and feeling numb and then pain and that his bloody chemicals are having no effect(reliving a bit of a nightmare), anyway modern medicine by and large does not work for me.

I would like to make on last point concerning this matter of faith, as I feel that there are a lot of people out there missing the point by trying to treat the esoteric world as they do the waking world , i feel that some of us dedicate to much time to the petty, wordy intricacies of life and of ritual, trying to memorise too many various words or chants, recipes and repetitions, with real faith this too becomes less important, Faith lets the words flow as and when they are appropriate, the powers that be don't mind if you tread the mill ten times or one hundred only you know of your intent,or if for that matter you muddle your words, it would be a sad world if a person without speech or a poor memory could not conjure the magicks, words have power in themselves of course, but silent ritual performed mind to mind in an instinctive working can produce powerful results as there are many who can bear witness.
You don't need to memorise a thousand cures or remedies to become a healer,instinct and faith will guide you, together with, might I suggest Bartram's herbal encyclopedia and perhaps a magical one also.
Faith will show that the rules of this word as most people understand them do not apply in these realms of ours, yet without it you might as well be deaf and blind.

Open your hearts and have absolute faith, fall backwards into the arms of your goddess, you are her child and and she will not let you fall, run wildly with the lord of the hunt, for if you fall he too will always pick you up and see you are right.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Elemental reclamation.

Another issue I am finding with some of the esoteric and magickal books these days , is the fact that too much information is available,this can is especially true with regard to the solitary student that may have only text books to work from and no mentor or overseer to guide them.
some of the older writings on the occult gave only clues and hidden messages to the seeker of truth, this leaves the student to discover the finer points for them selves, bringing deeper insights from self discovery, without the pollution of preconceived ideas, this is a basis of all "mystery" traditions and is important, as opposed to the modern paint by numbers approach we see a great deal these days.

I see see how certain scenarios in the head may be of great aid to the neophyte,of course an imagination is one of the most important tenants of all occult working, however, to much preconception will cloud the mind to the absolute truths,it should be your own imagination and not that of someone else, It goes beyond aid when the pupil is told not only what colour the compass he or she casts will be, but much further into what images he or she will expect when calling the quarters or invoking the goddess and god.
There are many out there who need to take two lessons from an occult master (all be it a little green pointy eared fictional one from a sci fi genre), the first is "you must unlearn what you have learnt" the second is to "reach out with your feelings".
I know there will be those who can now claim me to be the delusional science fiction geek, well I guess this may be in part true, but these two ideas are what could enable you to keep learning and go over the top of what has possibly become an esoteric trench,then to to evolve in your practice.This is when it comes down to actual belief or faith if you like, do you trust your abilities , do you really believe in what you are doing and that by doing it you are having an actual effect, actually becoming one with the powers, or are you only performing actions, a lead role in a mummers play of your own delusions.
If you know that what you are going to see when you call up the watchers of the east is an enormous golden eagle , then a version of that is what you will see, if you stand in the west expecting wild crashing ocean again something like that is what you will see, It is time some of us broke away from preconceptions , even those of our own creation and return to the circle as a novice once more, let the powers that be tell us about themselves and for us to stop dictating to them what they are.

During a recent working I did exactly this, I had craft work that I wanted to do in full compass ritual and not in my kitchen so a circle was cast, I walked in after twenty years or more of practice,this time as a novice, my mind a blank as to what was going to happen, I had the form and structures in place as usual but gave all trust to the powers that be, to show me their true nature.That feeling of dread moment, the awakening and my trust was rewarded, as my faith had told me it would be, new shapes and images came pouring to the top through years of self imposed imagery, beautiful visions ,sensations and even smells filled my world at each quarter, unexpected colours filled the compass edge, and my perception of the old gods were as those of people I know very well although slight less godlike than usual, my treading took me to new places and my fire was all colours, this was akin to the first circle work T and I did many years ago,the same levels of excitement and achievement.
I have yet to see if my magick has worked , these things can take time and manifest in odd ways, I am still reaping the benefits of my money charm, this week I have been picking rocks out of a field and helping someone to build his house, and wait for it...getting paid.

So there is much truth in the fact that the devil makes work for idle hands, these ones at least.

Another important thing to remember about Magick is that it is an evolving force ,there fore any ritual needs to evolve also, one should not stick to old ideas exclusively when there are new ones emerging, time to remove the blinkers and step forward into new realms, to walk the walk, to stop splashing around in the shallow end and go for a swim into the deeper realms.

Could anyone tell me of the possible significance of the rhyme "three blind mice" first line only ? as I heard this quite clearly being hummed while in trance , does anyone use this as a chant? if so I heard you the other night and welcome.