Lazy Pagan Clergy: The Introduction to the forthcoming Pagan Sex Book by Dia.

lazy-snoopyThere is an inherent problem among pagan’s clergy: a lack of continuing education. Even as this book goes to press much of the hours of research I have done for it may even now be out of date, incomplete, disproved, or thought of in radically different ways. Such is the nature of research and development in the sciences. 

As a pagan people, we have allowed the centuries of patriarchal rule of spirituality and spiritual philosophy to make us lazy. We are not concerned with what the results of the physical-biological sciences, psychology, and sociology have to say about the human condition, the interactions that create that condition, the ever-changing understanding of the human body and its commentary about that condition, and how that intersects with spiritual experiences singularly and in groups. We have become weight down by a new dogma of tradition and traditional values that we have inherited from Christianity.

In Christianity, there is a dogma of belief and practice. Clergy’s job is to simply maintain the status quo and slowly push the boundaries of that status to keep up with the changing acceptable social fabric of society.

It is precisely why books like this one and others must be written. I have been frightened into inaction when it comes to pursuing the writing of this, The Pagan Sex Book, and other books – what expert am I? What authority do I have to do these things, say these things, write these things?

Literally, in a dream, as I began to write this introduction, I realized something: how can I not? How can I continue to allow the laziness inherited by us through a patriarchal system of belief continue to be the prevalent wind directing the spiritual path I have devoted my physical and spiritual life?

Our clergy should be at the cutting edge of the philosophical debates around spirituality and the discoveries made by social science, psychology, and biological research. Let our counterparts in other religions create a slow push that gently moves the fabric of society.
We are pagan warriors, priests and priestesses. We do not slowly move. We shatter and destroy old ways of thinking. We radically alter the things we come in contact with. It is why we still worship and center ourselves around an altar. It is a literal reminder of the alteration we, as pagans, are attempting to create on the very fabric of the physical world.

What I produce will be flawed.

It will not be lazy.

It will demand that we stop sluggishly relying on the status quo created by our counterparts in Christianity and the Abrahamic Religions. It will be a radical and direct movement of the boundaries of what we understand and accept as part of the pagan spiritual movement. Because of all this, it will be controversial and what you need to know is this: 

It is not the idea of controversy or conflict that motivates me to use the forger’s hammer and burning forge, to bend, shape, and remold the priestesshood’s understanding of the concepts I am presenting. I am not, as Big Named Pagan authors of old, offering radical ideas and concepts for the sake of creating sales. I am simply doing what pagan clergy should have been doing long ago, refusing to lazily accept what Christian Spiritual paths tell us. Instead, I am looking towards the sciences to help us radically change and move everything we come in contact with. I am using the power of my words processed through my will to create the radical change I want to see in society.

She changes everything she touches and

Everything she touches changes.

Mindset of a Witch

The first tool a Witch has is their will.

The second tool a Witch has is what they do.

Any physical tool, spell or ritual is crafted to help focus the mind, properly direct action to bring the practitioner’s will to bare on the situation in order to create a real change on the physical plane.

Last night I was peer counseling a woman and was listening to her talk about herself. Her speech over all was extremely negative and when talking about herself it was dismissive and self-effacing. I turned to her and said, “That is not how witches think.”

The look on her face spoke volumes. The very idea that there was an actual thought process for witches was missing from her understanding of magick.

I have spent the past twenty-four hours contemplating this exchange. I talked with community sisters and my husband about it. I tried to force the words out of my mouth that would explain my own perplexity and her confusion. I told my coven sister, Pilosa, “I literally don’t understand.”

When I went to the battered woman’s shelter, I can remember the intake process clearly. The older woman in modest clothing getting me to talk and eventually coming around to what my name was and how I knew to come to that location. I was sitting across from her desk and I recounted the last beating I had received to the tacky eighties faux carving on the front of her desk. After telling her what I remember of the past three days and showing off my latest battle wounds, I took a deep breath and waited for her to tell me to go back home or that I was lying or any number of things I had been told before.

“Well!” she said matter-a-factly, “You can’t go back there and live.”

My eyes shot up to look her in the face for the first time since I had been aware of where I was.

“Really? I don’t have to live there?”

I watched confusion, surprise, compassion, and resignation flit across her face in rapid succession.

“No. You aren’t safe there. You do not have live anywhere if you aren’t safe. You do not have to do anything you do not want to do. You just do not have to do anything.”

Eventually, she would talk about the plan to get me away from my biological deputy sheriff father and complicit biological mother. First, though, she laid out a world for me that was counter to everything I had experienced up until that day. What she taught me stuck and has driven and guided me ever since, in my Craft and in my life.

Not Everyone Makes It

I can remember her rattling off the statistics for children who have been raised in abusive homes from birth. They are staggering and sobering.

1 woman is beaten every 9 seconds in the US

Battering is the single major cause of injury to women, exceeding rapes, muggings and auto accidents combined

40-45% of woman in physically abusive relationships are raped and/or assaulted during the relationship

4, 774, 000 women in the US will experience physical violence by an intimate partner every year

20 people are victims of intimate partner violence every 60 seconds

80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder

2/3 of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children.[1]

There are 1,500 battered women shelters in the United States and 3,800 animal shelters.[2]

On average, a woman will leave an abusive relationships 7 times before she leaves for good.

Then she said, “96% of the women I see through this shelter, will return to the abuse and not make it to what I call thriving: living a life happily beyond abuse and in safety. Only 4% ever thrive. Some leave and find new people to abuse them. Woman right now in this shelter will be murdered by the abuser they are with or a new abuser they will find later. Not everyone makes it.”[3] [4]

I can remember that she paused.

She stopped talking.

The silence lingered in the air and I sat there thinking that living with my biological parents was something I would never do again, but I knew she was right. I knew that there was some cycle being played out by my biological family that had remained hidden and disguised and secret. I also knew, I didn’t know how to not fall into all that again.

“It is all about what you decide.”

“You aren’t a child anymore. No one can make you do or say or believe anything ever again, if you decide that is how it is going to be. You have to decide though. You have to live a life where what you want is absolutely more important than anything else and you have to live a life where you just won’t take no for answer.”

See, my biological father was the deputy sheriff of the small town I had spent the last four to five years of my violent childhood. The intake officer had realized she couldn’t keep me on the books without notifying a man with a gun that his years of beatings and rapes had been exposed. She was about to turn me loose in my 1984 VW Rabbit, with all my worldly possessions in it, my broken and abused body, and instructions to find a place to live for less than $400 a month in one of three counties. She was about to hand me $100 cash out of her own pocket to keep me off the books and was working with other county agencies to keep it that way while ensuring I got the medical and mental assistance I was going to need. She knew that my own determination to leave my biological family might be the only thing that would keep me alive, safe, and with any hope of life beyond the abuse I had lived in.

I had to decide. I had to adopted a life of determination, a state of being in my very will that my entire life would change.

Little did I know that is the first mindset every witch must adopt.

Since that day, if I wanted something, there is no acceptable answer other than it will absolutely happen.

I wanted to go to North Georgia College. It never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t be accepted or that I couldn’t find funding. I was going to go to North Georgia College.

I did. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in 1994.


I met my current husband after doing a spell for him. It never crossed my mind the spell wouldn’t work. I just knew the spell would work. When I met him I clearly heard the goddess tell me, “Marry him.”

Not very long after meeting him, I was sitting on his lap and said, “I love you.”

“I don’t think I love you,” he said. “I am in love with someone in Chicago.”

“Okay.”

“Okay?” he said, a bit shocked.

“Yea! Okay! Let’s go get you packed up so you co go get her.”

“Wait, you are going to help me pack and encourage me to go back to Chicago to be with another woman when you just told me you loved me?”

“Absolutely,” I said, “The sooner you go and get back with her, the sooner you will return to me when you realize you love me.”

Within the week, he professed his love for me and we married very shortly after that.


I went to the doctor once for a blurry eye. I was told there was a hold in my cornea and no cure. My contact had caused an eye infection and that infection had created a hole in my cornea. He gave me antibiotic drops and prepared me for the idea that I will eventually be blind in that eye.

On the way out of his office, I decided I didn’t want to be blind in one eye. I stood outside his office door in the sunshine and pictured the hole in my cornea closing. For the next twenty-four hours, I put drops in my eye every hour as prescribed and every time, saw the hole in my cornea closing. I went back to the doctor the next day. He spent a long time looking in my eye and consulting pictures and chart notes from the day before. Finally, he sighed really big and said, “So this is weird, but there isn’t a hole anymore.”

“I know,” I said, “I really can’t afford to be blind right now.”

He checked me every day for a week, the hole never returned and I never wore contacts again.


Since that day at the battered woman’s intake center, I have lived a life of deciding what I wanted. I surrendered the idea that the universe is against me and embraced the idea that there is no way the Universe would stand against me. My will and the will of the universe were one in all things and every decision I made.

This is not to say that all the outcomes in my life have been good. It is to say that there is a place in me where when a decision is made, in my heart, in my will, in my mind… it is a done deal. For me, this is why I do not do spells a lot. Because I have to have a will for that spell that is extraordinary because I know that what I will – happens.

“It is all about what YOU do.”

After waxing about deciding to live a different life, the intake officer quieted for a bit and then said, “Because of your dad being a deputy, I can’t keep you on the books. I can’t do a lot of things I would do otherwise. I can’t even keep you at the safe house, any safe house in any adjoining county is compromised and not safe for you. Unfortunately, it is all about what YOU do.”

It was an almost reverent whisper that seemed to spiritually call to all the woman whom she had ever seen abused that rose above that start to find something else.

“It is all about what YOU do,” she said a little louder seeming to come out of some temporary trance. She then detailed a plan to get me help, get me to safety, get me to see a psychiatrist and get me into weekly therapy all off the books and all contingent on my physically leaving and finding a place to live.

She was unconsciously teaching me the second lesson of being a witch. Once your will has been decided, then your actions must support the decision of your will.

I left that office knowing I had at least two nights in a hotel covered and a desperate need to find a place to live for under $400 per month. I needed a job in a town I had never been to and I needed to get into a college. I decided to go to Dahlonega, GA because there was a college there. I drove to Dahlonega and picked up a local newspaper. Under “Rooms for Rent” there was a blurb about an efficiency apartment for $150 per month at a Bed and Breakfast. I borrowed a phone in one of the shops on the square in Dahlonega and made the call. The room hadn’t been rented and it wasn’t much, but it was furnished. I got an addressed, bought a map, and drove to the place.

I can’t imagine what the owners of the Bed and Breakfast thought of this scraggly young adult with bruises all over. They showed me the place. I pulled out the $100 the intake officer had given me and said, “All I have is this, but here is the card of the woman who is helping me and she will guarantee my rent for the next six months. Also I am a hard worker, I could clean for you in the mornings and I am going to get a job in town. I just had to make sure I had a place to sleep first.”

I can remember knowing that they could scoff and run me off. My will, however, had already decided this was perfect. I could disappear into this small town at a bed and breakfast. Because I had decided I would never live with my bio family again I was not going to.

They took the card and money and gave me the key without saying too much. I was so afraid they would change their minds, I unloaded everything I owned up four flights of stairs to the attic efficiency in the hopes that would discourage any mind changing. Later, an envelope was slide under my door in the night while I slept. The owners gave me back the $100 and told me to go buy some pots, pans, dishes and food.

I was digesting that in a sort of sleep fog when the door rattled with another knock. I cautiously open the door to find a tray full of morning foods for me and a hand drawn map to the nearest home goods and grocery store. When I came back the owners verified the make and model of my bio family cars and told me they were friends with a local deputy who I might see parked outside sometimes but not to worry he was a good cop and he wouldn’t tell.

I was safe. I was housed. I was fed.

It seems a bit like magic.

“Fortune favors the bold,” however, no truer statement in magick and life could be made. I could easily have curled up and been overwhelmed by the idea that I was a battered woman with no place to live. It isn’t enough to have a will, I had to do the work.

You have to take the chance. You have to walk confidently toward your goal with an unwavering belief that the Universe is going to open up doors when you get to them. Even when that closed door is just inches from your face, you have to keep walking with a confident knowledge that it is going to open for you…as if by magick.

Looking back on that incident, I am grateful for all the good people who stepped up and took up my cause when I needed it most. I also know, that I was a powerful force that by my will and doing I wasn’t asking for handouts, I was just asking for doors to open. There was never any doubt in me that any door I needed would open.

Every thought and action was congruent with the idea that the Universe was going to make things happen because I was going to do what needed to be done to get it done.


The lessons that intake officer taught me have never left. I have fallen back on the habits cultivated by that intake officer time and again and they have never failed me.

I decide.

I do.

Magick happens.

There is never any question that life would happen any other way.

Decide

This is the first problem most Craft Seekers have. They have to decide. For me that first decision was really easy. I didn’t want to be raped and beaten, so I had to make a life without my biological family.

I find, however, that things aren’t as easy now. I meet Seekers who really aren’t clear what they want. They can’t settle on a clearly defined decision to set their will to.

I have also learned over time, that a vague will is as bad as no will at all. I have learned it isn’t good enough to say, “I need a new job.” That type of vague decisions leaves a lot up to the Universe and the Universe has a very sick sense of humor.

My husband did a spell to create self-confidence in his life. The next day he lost his job. The next job was working for the most racists, bigoted, ass hole, he or I had ever met in a professional setting. Stone took nearly a year and half of verbal and emotional abuse from this guy before he quit and sought other employment.

Here is the thing. Stone gained all kinds of self-confidence in his work and his ability to do his job. The spell absolutely worked and in hindsight, it is not the kind of spell he would recommend anyone ever doing.

When you decide, you have to be specific. This requires the Seeker to spend time with themselves.  “Know thyself,” is a common craft theme for a reason. Only those who really know themselves can make decisions that really benefit themselves in the long run. Too many practitioners rush here and there, from decision to decision, without the benefit of real thought or the balance of real investigation.

When I came to the craft and wanted to learn, I did not ask a bunch of people their opinions about what to learn. I went to a book store and decided what to read. I looked in the back at the reference notes and read those books. I didn’t believe that there was ever going to be some teacher who gave me the knowledge I was seeking. As a Seeker, knowledge was out there and it was my job to find it, read it and assimilate it. I decided to learn and didn’t worry or wait around for someone to teach me.

Doing

This is where deciding and doing intersect. It isn’t enough to decide what you want, you also have to follow through and do what you personally are able to manifest that in your life. You want to belong to a community and never visit or do research to find one, then you can’t complain you can’t find a community.

If you consistently live hours from where you know communities exist and are unwilling to drive to those events or move closer to those locations, then you can’t complain that you don’t have support and learning available to you.

Doing means so much more than doing just enough to get by. It means creating a life that allows for manifestation of all the things you know you want and need.

Doing requires bold action drive by decisive will. This means that your thoughts, what you say, everything you do is congruent with the decision you have already made. If something counter to your decision creeps in, you address that immediately and correct your thoughts, actions and emotions.

Yes! Emotions! Part of most Craft Seeker’s issues is an erroneous belief that emotions are beyond their personal control. Recovery from my childhood trauma has made me very aware of the fact that my emotions are as much in my control as my bladder is. Even with diagnosed PTSD, ultimately I can control and manage my emotions. It is a discipline as surely as physical fitness is.

I have read a lot about Emotional Intelligence (EI) that examines emotional control in individuals and how to gain it. What my study of EI has given me as a witch is an understanding that when my will is made up my thoughts, verbal communications and MY EMOTIONS must be congruent with my decision for the magick to be powerful and successful. I find I am not successful when my emotions aren’t as clear and concise as my decision is. Typically, this notifies me that maybe my decision should be modified or abandoned.

For a witch, doing is about a complete self-possession of spirit, will, emotion, mind and communication that ultimately embodies a foundational tenant of the Craft: “As within, so without.”

As I am self-possessed and disciplined so the world I create around me is. Where I am not, my outward world will reflect this back to me so that I can make adjustments and corrections.

I must know myself, having clear and concise knowledge about the decisions I am making so that I can do exactly what needs to be done and have an economy of action that signifies a successful witch.

When these two things join, I can be a witch and everything is possible.

As I so will it,

So mote it be!

[1] http://americanspcc.org/child-abuse-statistics/
[2] http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/facts.htm
[3] The 96% is what she told me back in 1990-1991 and I couldn’t find a statistic about recovery after going to a battered women’s shelter. All other statistics are the most current I could find. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/23/domestic-violence-statistics_n_5959776.html
[4] http://www.domesticabuseshelter.org/infodomesticviolence.htm

Practical Magick: What Magick Looks Like In Everyday Life & Magickal Leadership

OR: Pink Haired Seekers & Timing

In my blog on visualization, my writing took a bit of a detour after I explained that my high priest drilled into my head the adage “There are no such things as coincidences.”

My priest made sure I knew that magick was part of things happening daily. This article comes from a series of “coincidences” and is very reliant upon my personal ability to act on all the intuitive cues I came across. Put another away, this blog looks at a series of coincidences that I recognized as they happened while being open to the spiritual cues I received that lead to definitive results in my life and others that were purely magickal.

Barefoot Sandals

It starts with the decision to crochet barefoot sandals to sell Pagan Pride Day in Atlanta as a fundraiser for my community. I prefer to make them out of a very specific type of yarn that doesn’t fray with wear and is water proof. I went into Michael’s on a Sunday after a meeting with a person who had asked for a reading. I do not normally give individual readings, but I heard the goddess tell me to meet this person on Sunday and give her a reading. So I met her in another city, gave the reading, and headed to Michael’s because Hobby Lobby, the only carrier of that very specific yarn that I was sure of is closed on Sunday’s because it is a church run store front. I went in Michael’s because it was on my way to JoAnne’s. I was pretty sure Michael’s didn’t carry the yarn I wanted but thought it wouldn’t hurt to check.

Needless to say, Michaels’ doesn’t carry that yarn. I had found something I wanted to buy and then decided not to buy anything so I went to put the item down on an aisle display. Upon doing this I noticed the 75% off tag on that display and realized that it was sale on plastic storage bins for crafting. This strikes me as good fortune because my husband has leather goods all over my kitchen table and I noticed that the containers he had for that craft were all full. I also know that I had gained five grocery bags of small yarn for these barefoot sandals I was making. On impulse I decided to buy the item I had already picked out and two containers that are on sale.

At the checkout there are two girls ringing up items and one guy pre-ringing items for those in line. He rings me up and the timing is such that a girl with bright pink hair opens up just as he hands me a barcode card and says pink hair will scan the code and check me out. I approach her and set down the items, give her the barcode card and notice she is staring at my forearm which has two wonderful tattoos. I observe her scanning my forearm and notice that she is not looking at the beautiful raven but the pentacle that is prominently displayed closer to my wrist.

“I like your tattoo,” she says quietly.

Feeling some intuitive prompting, I run my finger over the pentacle and say, “Oh really? Do you like this symbol? Do you know what it means?”

She looks at my face a bit startled and then whispers, “I have been studying on my own. I am solitary?”

I laugh.

In this moment every action I took from deciding to give a reading that I do not normally give, in a town that is far away from me, to deciding to chance a look in Michael’s even when I was pretty sure that the yarn I wanted wouldn’t be there, to deciding to buy something then changing my mind and finding the most expedient route to leave, to coming across the sell, has led to this very moment. Even the placement of my tattoo, the choice of a sleeveless shirt, the timing to be at that place at that moment with that person…. All of that is magick manifested in myself and in the pink haired beauty checking me out.

I take out the community’s card that has the North Georgia Pagans Facebook Group on the back and suggest she join to find people of like mind and ask questions.

I leave and give her no further thought. I give out cards all the time. I am quite used to not getting responses and don’t take it personally. I give the cards out when those overwhelming coincidences pile up upon first meeting someone. If they chose to harness the magick of that moment is upon them, not me.

In this case, I get a friend request at the same time I notice someone trying to join the community’s Facebook group which is restricted. I have been getting a lot of people trying to phish me, so if I think a Facebook profile is fake, I delete them. This new request is obviously fake so I am going to delete the friend request and then delete the request the community’s group thinking it was just some phisher. Before I do this, I Facebook Messenger the other group moderators and say that I think this new request is phishing instead of deleting the request first.

I have just hit send on my message when a new Facebook message pops up from the person in question saying, “I am the pinked hair woman from Michaels’.”

I laugh again. Timing – timing is everything.

So I friend her, add her to North Georgia Pagans, send a new message to the moderators and Vetting Officer of my community explaining who she is and that I suspect her Facebook profile is her broom closet profile[1]. I then dismiss everything from my mind about this. I have learned that all you can do is point in a direction. People must have the get up and go to get what they need.

This morning, I decide on a whim to go to Waffle House with Sam and our weekend house guest Mr. Clark.[2] We all decide to go together and Sam asks if he can drive to practice. I agree. While waiting on Sam to get dressed, Mr. Clark and I go out to the car and I scroll through Facebook to see if anything is pressing. I see the Pink Hair Beauty has asked a question on North Georgia Pagans, so I go check it out. I read it, go through the responses already posted and start to give my two cents and quickly decide the subject is blog worthy.

All that is Italicized

You may have noticed that I have taken pains to italicize seemingly random words in the previous section. These words represent two different acts of magick. Some are where I was aware of the magick and energy around me and that prompts me to respond in specific ways. The other type of italicized words reflects the energetic cues given by outside sources that if I had ignored would have resulted in different decisions and different actions. For me these reflect types of magick or energy that I deal with on a daily basis.

When I first got the call to do the reading, I could not have visualized meeting a pretty Pink Haired Woman in Michael’s who would benefit from exposure to other pagans. What the act of practicing magickal discipline can do for you is help you tune into the messages the universe is always sending our way and harness those to feats of monumental magick that can’t even be conceived.

Magick and Leadership

I am pagan because of a long study into the history of Christianity. What most do not know about the story I have told before, is that I blame Treyos. See, I was already studying Christianity and had decided in order to be a good Christian I must convert to Catholicism. My first marriage was over and I met Treyos in an IRC chat room. I tell him that I don’t know what I want to do with my life, now that my marriage was over and he said, “What do you want to do?”

I hadn’t been asked that ever. In my entire life, no one had ever taken the time to ask me that question. My study into the history of Christianity had lead me to brush up against what was then termed Neo-Paganism. Without much thinking, I blurted out, “I want to study Wicca.” I sat in stunned silence at my declaration, and could feel the energy in the room shift and realign.

Could Treyos have ever imagined that that one exchange would radically change my life and in many ways lead to this very blog? Could I have understood that my first brushes with Wicca would be part of the narrative in Treyos’ life that would lead to him meeting and marrying a pagan woman? Or that that exchange would lead to us both being at Convocation the same year at the same time nearly ten years later?

Empowerment or Power Over

Treyos’ dealings with me also points to a very significant lesson pagan leaders can learn. Treyos could have TOLD me what I should do. He could have TOLD me how to react to the new circumstances I found myself in. What he did was ASK me what I wanted to do. It made all the difference. When I entered Wicca and paganism, I found a lot of telling high priests and high priestesses. Persons who were very clear and sure what I should and should not do. These are leaders who were sure I should have sex with them or leave my stable husband or give up custody of my son. These were leaders who sought to have power and control over me instead of empowering me.

Years later, as a pagan minister I can fully understand the ability to look into a Seeker’s future and see possible outcomes that may or may not be beneficial for a Seeker and then feel a desire to force them into a specific outcome. I can understand why a pagan minister would choose to suggest courses of actions that will have long term benefits for a community or coven, even if the immediate expense is to the Seeker in question.

This Power Over dynamic is losing ground in paganism for one simple reason: Magick doesn’t work that way.

What I have come to understand about the very nature of Nature is that she is unpredictable in every way. My spiritual growth was often stunted by priests and priestesses who had found a method or way that worked for them and bought into an idea that this constitutes a dogmatic and universally correct system that would apply to everyone. The problem is, the way I have spiritual developed and what I have developed into is NOT how everyone else will develop or what everyone else SHOULD develop into.

When we empower people with questions instead of answers, with suggestions instead of dogmas, with options in safe structures instead of rules in constricting hierarchy, we set the stage for the wild magic of Nature to blossom and grow.

Magick is wild and to try to limit, constrict and use dogma upon magick is to ultimately confine, limit, and subjugate the development of Seekers themselves.

[1] A profile set up on Facebook or other Social Media to protect a real life identity in order to avoid persecution because the person is a witch, Wiccan or Pagan. For these profiles to be effective you must not post real personal information or real pictures of yourself. This is a common practice for pagan practitioners and there is no shame to be had in it. The South can be a very tough place to be pagan.

[2] My home covenstead often has people from my community who come and stay the weekend. Mr. Neal came to stay because my husband took off to deep sea fish and vacation with a bunch of men from work.

Visualization & Magick?

Recently there was a post about visualization on the main pagan group I participate in. The question was about visualization and the answers were thoroughly academic, detailed, in depth and impressive.

Unfortunately, I tend to be a practical person and witch, hence the article on ham radios and psychic abilities.

To be honest, visualization has always been extremely easy for me. As a seer who was trained from a young age, I am used to seeing images in my mind – individual symbols and what I refer to as “TV of the Mind.” There are times when I literally see entire things happen in my mind’s eye in the same way one might view a television program. Looking back on my life, however, there was a subtle training that happened by my grandmother that helped me hone my skills and abilities and lead to the ease I have in communication with the dead and spiritual entities.

Like most other things in my life, it was a practical application of skills not an academic understanding of skills that shaped my ability. As someone who has a few academic degrees, I appreciate academic approaches. As a seer who was trained by a grandmother who only had a high school education and a grandfather who didn’t even have that, my esoteric training was decidedly lacking in academic points of view.

When I moved into paganism, I quickly learned that most persons in paganism approach the esoteric from a very academic view point. I came to value that point of view, seek it out and try to incorporate it. What I discovered was Occam’s Razor is a very sound principle. Or as my favorite childhood book said, “Simple pictures are best.”

Academically, visualization is the art and scientific practice of forming a mental image or to make something perceptible in the mind. In modern magick, visualization can be described as the technique involved in focusing on positive mental images in order to achieve a particular goal.[1] Of course, there are great academics who have made a better explanation of visualization than I. In a blog by EagerEyes on Visualization and Visual Communication, you can read an entire article on what visualization actually means,[2] well, means to this guy.

Which fundamentally is part of the problem with magick in general. What magick is and isn’t to one practitioner vacillates wildly. For me “visualization” actually involves all the senses, not just mental projection or creation of an image.

When I am talk or experience visualization, it comes in various forms from psychic intuition: auric readings, auditory information, visualized images I translate into verbal communication. Because my training was organic and practical in nature, I never ran up against these hard and “definitive” views of magick or visualization.

Definition

I would define visualization as the use of a persons’ mind to create change in their personal life and in the world around them. After all – why practice closing your eyes and seeing something? Because the ability to see something leads to the ability to create change on any realm and to receive information from realms that are not easily accessible or achievable in other ways. All magick is some form of visualization, from my perspective.

Simple Example: A Broken Hip

WDSC, the church I serve, has an elder member who fell and broke her hip. She has been slow to heal. I went with her to the orthopedics’ office to address the pain she is still having nine months plus later and the most valuable thing I gained out of that visit was an understanding about why this member continues to have pain.hipadjustedpic

The original fix was to put screws into the ball of the femur to address the cracking. The screws will eventually be removed. Normally, over time, the ball of the femur and the femur will rejoin with new bone growth so no screw of other implementation is used to join them.

This takes longer in some people than others. In our member, the ball of the femur is now sound and there has not been enough new growth from the femur onto the ball of the femur to stop micro-movement of those two bones. This causes our member pain and this is why she is not pain free.

Our member, being a long term magick user, and our group, now have a very clear picture that we can use to pinpoint healing energy sent to her. Now there is NO question about what healing for our member looks like: just like the picture in this blog only with three screws in the ball of the femur. For magickal practitioners nothing is more valuable than to understand this, to “grok[3]” this.

In terms of magick, the difference between the magickal work that could be done before and now is night and day. Before, our group sent energy to her hip without a real understanding of what was needed. Now, we send energy with specific imagery in mind. With the diagram I have posted I can “see” our member’s bad hip – it has three screws and a small fracture in the area where the femur and the ball of the femur attaches. I can also “see” her hip well. I can visualize bone growth creeping up from the femur and attaching and holding the ball of the femur eliminating her pain and creating a literal wellness in her.

Now when I think of her, I visualize her hip with those three screws and that micro facture that is healing. I visualize the bone growth creeping up and attaching. I visualize the hip as whole and sound. I visualize her return to circle with a cane and significantly less pain. Now my magick can work on the very specific injury that will heal and enable her return.

Dia? That Was 100% Visualization!

Okay, earlier I actually said that visualization involves all the senses and then proceed to give an example that was largely mental imagery. Fair enough. One thing my childhood training taught me was to mentally translate psychic or intuitive feelings into imagery. In my experience this is training that seems to be lacking in the magickal community as I have experienced it.

To be intuitive is to have feelings that suggest information you could not know on your own. The best example of this in popular media is people who do things out of their ordinary routine that have consequences that are extraordinary. Society calls these “coincidences.”

My esteemed High Priest, Lord Mannawyddan drilled me with the adage, “There are no coincidences.” There is a belief that as a magickal practitioner ties themselves into the energetics of the world, everything happens for reason and has a rippling affect that cannot be imagined or understand in the actual moment of the event.  After 9/11, these coincidences are still a matter of wonder and discussion in this CNN article.

“There are no coincidences.” Lord Mannawyddan

(I have to admit that at this point my blog became two different and related blogs. Look for a future blog called Practical Magick – What Magick in Real Life Looks Like.)

The problem with most magickal practitioners is that they are blinded to the events of magick that are happening in a constant stream around them and to them every second of every day. Christianity has a teaching of “Sunday Christians.” Persons who are Christians only when they go to church on Sundays.

Paganism today, has “Sunday Pagans,” pagans who think that only when they are actively involved in some visualization or meditation or magickal endeavor or ritual practice or Sabbat celebration is magick happening. They are blind to the FACT that magick is happening in every second of every day. They buy the idea of coincidences and then blithely watch as magickal opportunity after magickal opportunity scroll by them unharnessed and unclaimed. Eventually the Universe decides the person isn’t really interested, and stops sending the messages as frequently.

Conversely, paganism has a lot of “Holy Roller Pagans” who spend so much time in ritual, meditation, visualization, spell crafting or Sabbat celebration that they too are blind to the magick happening around them every day. They are waiting for the sky to open and the heavens to sing. Holy Roller Pagans dismiss their own small quiet voice of notice.

VISUALIZATION!?!?!!!

About now, you are remembering that I started this blog talking about visualization and the promise to a practical guide about visualization.

As you can see, however, it is hard for me to delineate between visualization and other magick disciplines. Life is magick. Living life is magick. The act of developing visualization is based in fundamental magickal understanding. Therefore, visualization requires an understanding of magick: what it is, what it does and how it behaves. And magick like any other energy does have a standard set of rules by which it behaves just like gravity or electrons or neurons. Magick is an art and a SCIENCE.

In order to harness visualization, you must become friends with what scientists call your amygdala. In my book, Family Coven: Birthing Hereditary Witchcraft, I devote an entire chapter to what I call the Three Truths: Mundane, Amygdala and Circle Truths. This is an in-depth discussion about what types of feelings and intuitions you receive and how to distinguish between them and harness them. Something that is intimately tied to this discussion and cannot be covered in this blog.

I am friends with a great high magician from the OTA who wrote to my Pink Haired Beauty after her question about visualization, “You may not even be primarily visually oriented, even while most people are. If you primarily feel, rather than see things, substitute “feeling” and “knowing” that a transcendent structure is in place rather than “seeing” it in the mind’s eye (or better, do both together). You can “feel” the circle and the pentagram and fields of flow and energy too. Yoda actually insists on this, even when talking about the “luminous” force (a visual) — “…You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.””

Step By Step

1 – Check In

This is an active practice that is advocated by psychologist and counselors. There are apps to help you with this practice. DBT or Dialectal Behavior Therapy is a great place to start this and there are plenty of DBT apps to help you figure out what Checking In with yourself means and how to use Check Ins to move your mental and emotional wellness and, of course, your magick. The first goal of Check Ins should be to feel, see, taste, touch, hear, or smell energy when it happens. Recognize the force, if you will.

2 – Learn Your Energy and to Recognize Outside Energy

After you can recognize energy, you need to separate your energy from outside energy. This is continued work of Check Ins. When you can recognize the force, then you need to determine if the force is from YOU or happening TO YOU. If you are empathetic this might mean a lot of your anxiety is actually being generated by your nervous mate or an unwell friend or because you are accidently still energetically plugged into unhealthy relationships.

3 – Be Able to Moderate and Control Your Own Energy

My husband is five foot, six inches tall. I have seen him use energy to appear to be seven feet tall to someone who was threatening a gathering with drunk and disorderly conduct. That act is a goal of all magickal practitioners. Control of your emotions, and the harness of the energy emotions in you create are all disciplines required by magickal practitioners. I often think of Sam right now when I think of emotional and energetic control, or lack thereof. When Sam is angry, his energy expands and would fill the whole house. I am watching him learn to moderate the energetic consequences of strong emotions and have come to understand that this is an actual function of the developing mind and body. There is nothing wrong with being angry (happy, sexually charged, sad) and something not quite right with making it rain every time you are sad.

4 – Be Able to Identify Outside Energy Sources

Once a magickal practitioners understands their own energy sources and can control them, they can learn to identify outside energy sources and control the effect of those sources upon the practitioner. If you are empath you already know that if you best friend is angry, it might make you angry. Know that you can recognize and deal successfully with your own emotions and energy, you can move on to identifying the outside energy sources and tuning down and out the ones that do not serve you. Further you can tune in and up sources that have so far been weak and in the background, bringing them into focus. My article about ham radios is a great place to start.

5 – Be Able to Identify Symbols

There are sound reasons why learning a symbol set – any symbol set – can help you. This is where active visualization comes in. If you can visualize runes, witch’s runes, ogam, or any other symbol set, then over time those can be used by Divinity to help direct you. Unfortunately, the best symbol set to learn and use for new practitioners is the plants, trees, insects, and animals in the area you live. Too often we ignore those messengers or do not spend time deciding what their messages could mean and miss Divinity’s messages to us. Moths are not butterflies.

6 – Master Visualization (Magic, Meditation, Energy Manipulation)

BUT WAIT! There Is More!

Here is thing, what I propose in the section before should not be viewed as a ladder. There is no way a person has mastered number one then moved on to number two without skipping around to the other numbers and working on them simultaneously. There is a reason why I have harped on about “Doing the F@#$ing Work!”

The activities and disciplines that I was given by Lord Mannawyddan more than fifteen years ago, still hold today.

  1. Keep a magickal journal DAILY – Have some way to keep notes on animals, symbols, energies, feelings, events. (This can be short and sweet.)
  2. When you do magick or ritual, keep a journal about how that works out and what symbols and signs you receive. (You don’t have to know what it means. If you notice a specific butterfly on day one, it may just be a butterfly. But if that same butterfly has shown up at the same time every day, that is something you want to know. If you do ritual and then receive a sign, it may not be until much later that the meaning of that sign is clear. If you record it, then you can get to the meaning later. If you don’t, you have lost that divine message.)
  3. Practice the discipline of meditation daily, at the same time everyday. (Preferably sunrise, noon, sunset and midnight. This can be a simple mantra or go out and face the sun in the sky and say a prayer or blessing of your choosing. It can take as little as three to five minutes to do.)
  4. Practice a daily symbol discipline. (Pull a daily tarot, rune, witch’s rune, ogam, oracle, I-Ching, animal card…. Something…. Anything! WRITE IT DOWN.)
  5. FOLLOW UP: When you receive a sign or symbol, hunt it down. Determine what it means to you and then WRITE THAT DOWN. (GOOGLE my friend…google.)
  6. REALITY CHECK: Have an accountability partner you can run your experiences through. Decide together what something means and then write down the difference between what you thought alone and what you think now that you have had a reality check. Keep up with confirmations. Write down the thoughts of your accountability partner even if you disagree. The difference between what you think, what the partner thinks and what was actually true can prove to be invaluable information.
  7. Practice psychic games with friends or your community or your spouse(s) or roommates. This is really the greatest advantage to group working.

In Conclusion

All magick revolves around a set of standard ways in which energy functions. In order to detect and interpret energy, you must cultivate in yourself how to see, feel, taste, touch, know, energy and this leads to the collection and manipulation of energy for the physical change only witches have the power to create. Cultivating that requires work. Sometimes very tedious and boring work, that over time and with great discipline will transform the very way you look at your life and things that happen to you every day.

[1] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/visualization

[2] https://eagereyes.org/criticism/definition-of-visualization

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok Authors Note: I do not agree with this definition. GROK for me is to have more than a basic understanding. Grok is to have a soul deep understanding that will lead to change in the physical realm. It is one thing to KNOW something (I knew my member had a broken hip.). It is something else to GROK her injury (I know she is having micro-movement between the ball of the femur and the femur and healing will only be complete with the ball of the femur and femur are joined with new bone growth.).

Contemplating Suicide as a Pagan

Death is natural. Death happens. It isn’t burdened by guilt or fear. It is something that is to be expected because death is necessary to balance out life. To live is to expect death and to die is to expect rebirth, these two constants are part of a pagan spiritual journey.
Because of this view, I have a different perspective on suicide.
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I have been personally impacted by suicide four different times. I have come to view suicide as an act of someone taking their destiny into their own hands. However, often when suicide has been chosen, those left behind see that suicide as a failing of their won relationship with that person. Suicide for survivors seems to bring out a long list of guilt and burdens as survivors try to think about how they personally could have thwarted the decision made by the dead.
This view is wrong.
The dead have chosen and the those who live on were not given the opportunity to have input or choice in the path the dead chose. Their death is not a statement about the living, it is a statement often about the dead.
Of course, there are some who would argue that bullies and parents and assholes who may have tormented the dead when they live have a culpability in suicides. Some would even argue that having unsecured weapons will contribute to suicides bringing culpability. Usually, though, the law doesn’t agree with this. If someone chooses death, chooses to end their life, they will do so one way or another. It is a silent battled waged within and rarely and ultimately has little to do with the living who have been left behind.
Being a medium I have communed with those who have died by suicide twice. Both times, the person who chose death presented as happy, sometimes confused, but at peace with the situation they created for themselves. In one case, the person was anxious to find a whole body with better physical health and live again. In the other, the person was tired and wanted to rest a bit and found that rest in his death. Later that same person would visit to tell me he had chosen to live again.
What I personally have experienced is that those who chose suicide understand that they have caused great pain and are deeply sorry to have caused it. AND they are not sorry that they found a peace in death, they could not have found in the life they were leading. They seem wiser and less likely to choose that path in future lives they were looking forward to living. Both told me that they had chosen the path they did and they were not filled with any regrets.
I am not advocating that suicide is a good choice. I have gone to great lengths to personally avoid my own suicide. Suicide is not what I would expect from whole, well and spiritually aware persons to chose, necessarily. However, I can understand the logic of it, especially those who suffer emotionally or mentally or physically.
Most importantly, I know that suicide isn’t about the living, at the end, it is about one person making a decision to take the ultimate control and determine when their destiny in this life time ends.
This is the other gift of paganism. Paganism teaches a spiritual seeker that everyone has the right to seek and find spirituality in the best possible way for themselves. Pagans don’t really care what religion you are, as long as your religion makes room for everyone’s religion.
This attitude of the right of spiritual choice has seeped into how I view death. I have seen those terminally ill live years and years longer than expected because they had made a visceral choice to do so. And faced with suicide of those I knew and loved, I am able to see their choice as something they had to choose, not something related to me. Suicide isn’t about me or you, it is about those who choose the time and place of their passing.
Should we try to help those who are facing this chose, make another one? Absolutely! Most who chose suicide may have been able to find a life that was better if someone knew.
But – if for some reason someone we know and love chooses suicide, we can choose how we view them, their decision and their death. We aren’t bound to a God who says that suicide is a sin. We, as pagans, are not bound by white and black meanings to life and death. We are the people of the gray. We have the ability to see that death and life are not cut and dry concepts and we can add to those thoughts, that what we could bear may not be the same for others.
In the bearing, they may have felt that they could not bear it. In this realization, they may chose suicide and death, an end to the strife.
More importantly, I have never, ever thought that death was an end. Persons die to live again. If I focus on the LIFE of the dead, I keep alive the spirit and essence of all that was right good and whole about the person who has committed suicide. I can send with them into their next incarnation all that was good and right about their living. The laws of magick tell me that the energy of that goodness and rightness will follow the dead into a world that they will be able to choose a longer life in. My thoughts and meditations and prayers for them will go to them where ever in this multiverse they may be and in that energy and that exchange nothing has truly be lost as long as I remember.
What is remembered lives.
ASIDE: The warning signs for suicide in teenagers and adults are different. If you suspect someone is considering suicide, you should act. You should not wait. Take the person to the ER immediately and demand they be held on a suicide watch for 72 hours. Better an angry friend or relative than one who can no longer chose to be angry at you.
If you are contemplating suicide, before you make that final decision of your life, utilize the National Suicide Hotline below or any of the other resources provided by the National Suicide Hotline.

TEXT THE NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE’S TRAINED CRISIS COUNSELORS ABOUT ANYTHING

THAT’S ON YOUR MIND.

 

TEXT “GO” TO

741741

FREE, 24/7, CONFIDENTIAL.

OTHER RESOURCES

  • Boys Town
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • 1-800-273-8255 (24/7) Press 1 for Veterans line
  • Disaster Distress Helpline
    • 1-800-985-5990
    • Text TalkWithUs to 66746
    • TTY for Deaf/Hearing Impaired: 1-800-846-8517

 DATING ABUSE & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 HUMAN TRAFFICKING

  • National Human Trafficking Resource Center
    • 1-888-373-7888
    • Text BeFree (233733)

 CHILD ABUSE

  • USA National Child Abuse Hotline
    • 1-800-422-4453 (24/7)

RUNAWAYS

 EATING DISORDERS

  • National Eating Disorders Association
    • 1-800-931-2237 (Monday-Friday, 11:30 am-7:30 pm EST)
  • ANAD: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
    • 630-577-1330 (Monday-Friday,12 pm-8 pm EST)
    • Email ANAD

 CUTTING/SELF INJURY

 SUPPORT FOR GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER (GLBT) YOUTH

 REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

  • Planned Parenthood
  • STI Resource Center
    • Call 919-361-8488 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-6:00 pm EST)

 VETERANS

And Jesus said, “Do not be afraid…”

AsWithining

Every once in a Blue Moon you will find me in an Episcopal or Methodist Church. I was raised in the Methodist Church and I attended an Episcopal Youth Group without which I would not have made it through high school. It has been my experience that the Methodists and Episcopalians are generally open-minded individuals and won’t condemn anyone to hell for not believing and worshipping as they do. Now, I have come across a few exceptions to that rule but those churches tended to be in smaller, Southern towns.

I have known my godsister, Marie, since I was five. Before my parents became her godparents, we were ketchup sisters (instead of blood sisters. I think we saw that on Punky Brewster or something. I have one other ketchup sister, who is one of the followers of this blog. LOVE YOU!! MUAH!). We grew up together. We attended that same…

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Frustrations with Celtic Reconstructionism

After finding the book mentioned in this article. I am excited about the study of the Ogam for the first time in a very long time. However, the Celtic Reconstructionalist leaning of the book really scared me. This blogger, nails it on the head. “Isn’t it trading one dogma for another.” With my natural aversion to dogma…. I found this article in time. I don’t have to be CR to appreciate and study the gods of the Celts.

Tír na nOuray

bluefireweb3Go to the source.

This has been my philosophy on all things spiritual for many years.  It is an impulse that lead me to Celtic Reconstructionism in the first place.  I wanted to learn as much as I could about the Pagan Celts, from as many sources as I could.  Don’t get me wrong, a thorough study of Celtic lore is invaluable, and there is plenty out there to learn.  But I want a heartfelt, passionate education not just an academic one.  Go to the source!  What did the idea of “source” mean to pagan Celts?  What does it mean to me?  What did they see as the source for their emotions, cosmology, and life?  What do I see as the source for my emotions, cosmology, and life?  What if they differ in substantial ways?  And if they do, how do I have a comprehensive spirituality without making apologies…

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Do the F**king Work for Newbies

Do the Fucking Work was the most popular post I have ever had. I pay attention to these kinds of things. They are signposts for me and how I proceed in my ministry.

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I also pay attention when I get really annoyed with something in the pagan community. I learned long ago when I am annoyed, my subconscious is unhappy and that is important. It means that something is rubbing against the spiritual soul of me that 1. I need to acknowledge or 2. I need to acknowledge and address in myself 3. I need to acknowledge and address in myself AND in those I deal with.

Please note that TO KNOW is part of the magickal mantra “To Know, To Do, To Will [or Be], To Be Silent.” There is an entire other blog around TO KNOW. I am realizing that many many pagan magickal practitioners do not KNOW themselves. Oh, they believe they know. They do not KNOW and this inherent lack of knowledge of SELF is a fundamental tripping element to their magick and mundane lives. That might be another post someday called Get the Fucking Knowledge. Right now I am annoyed.

I am really annoyed.

When I ranted about doing the fucking work before, it was directly in relationship to money, jobs and prosperity. However, this inability to do work bleeds into every aspect of many magickal practitioners lives. It is so annoying.

What Christianity Taught You That Isn’t Helpful

I do not have a problem with Christianity. I was a Christian for many years (nearly 27). However, there are thought processes that some (note the dramatic emphasis) Christians use as fundamental tenants that do not serve magickal practice, paganism or Wicca.

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The bigger problem is that these thought processes are energetic and bleed into our secular culture, especially in the United States. Even persons who were not devout Christians end up having these unconscious thought processes and then relying upon them when they leave Christianity or interact in any other faith. These unconscious and unchallenged thought processes affect everything from how a person deals with their life to how they approach their own spiritual journey. I would like to take a moment to expose some of them and ask you – are YOU falling for these false thought patterns and are those false patterns keeping YOU from gaining spiritual wisdom?

Throw Out The IDEA of a Ten Commandments

If you leave Christianity, please leave the Ten Commandments behind as well. Do not come to a non-Judeo Christian spiritual path looking for another Ten Commandments to abide by. They do not exist. The search and adherence to these commandments are not serving your spiritual journey.

Do not get me wrong. I still think that killing is unethical. It is also in the Biblical Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt not kill.” However, as a magickal practitioner I am very clear in my spirit, soul, that mystical place in me, when I would be willing to kill and not be sorry or even feel I was living outside of a deep spiritual place. I would also be willing to take whatever punishment the government I live under gives me for that action.

This is the fundamental difference between adherence as a Christian, and adherence and understanding of the world as someone outside Judeo Christianity. As a Christian, God says, “Do not Kill (“Thou Shalt Not Kill” 2016).” As a Christian, there is only adherence. There is nothing to think about or analysis. God said, Christians obey. THE END.

When I left Christianity, the most important work I did was to define for myself my own ethics in great detail. I am clear when I face situations what the ethical issues are in my mind and I am clear about all the various strands of web that inter-relate to that issue. I have learned that action is not one thing – it is inter-related. Much like a spider’s web is.

If action happens anywhere on the spider’s web, the spider will know where that action is simply by the feelings transmitted by the web itself. The web, for magickal practitioners, is our ethical understanding of our world. Just as different spiders create different webs, different magickal practitioners will create different ethical understandings. However, when another spider hits my ethical web, I know whether or not that is a spider that is living an ethical life in tune with my own ethical web. When my web resonates I know rightness and wrongness without the benefit of Ten Commandments.

This is because the very Laws of Nature and the Universe create the construct of all ethical webs, no matter who creates them. I no longer live in a world of RIGHT or WRONG. I live in a world filled with subtle nuances where something right in one situation will be wrong in another. However, even this grey world has a construct based on greater universal laws that helps me know when I meet someone whose web is outside the grayest of gray.

I can only live in the gray, if I know myself. I must know what my personal ethics are and have an understanding of the Universal Laws of Nature and Ethics that cannot be put into words or defined and are no less real for human’s inability to describe them. I had to do the fucking work, by myself, alone with my own thoughts and demons.

There is rightness and wrongness in magickal practice and it is defined by universal laws of nature and those indescribable only experiential things that a practitioner must experience to know. It requires a great deal of work. If you want to stay a sheep, continue to be a Christian. The Great Shepherd will provide for you. If you leave the fold, stop looking for The Shepherd. You left him. He wasn’t for you. Start looking INSIDE yourself.

Throw Out the IDEA of DEFINITIVE ANSWERS

The greatest conflict in Judeo-Christianity comes when there are clashes around the same written works seen as being holy and to quote a catechism “inerrant” (“Inerrancy: Roman Catholic Views on the Bible’s Infallability and Inerrancy” 2016). I will never forget when, as a Christian, I discovered that the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible are not the same. It helped me understand the laid back theology of many Catholics. They knew that protestants didn’t have all the books of the Bible, so protestant misunderstanding could be explained. It also explained the vehemence I was raised with that taught all Catholics are going to hell. The very foundation of belief rests on the correctness of the Bible Protestants use. Catholics reject that Bible SO Catholics have to go to hell or the very foundation of belief for Protestants is in question.

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Despite the fact that Christians and other Judeo-Christian religions still fight physical conflicts over the rightness of their spiritual beliefs, new spiritual magicians, pagans, Wiccans and witches still walk around looking for The Mystic Bible to tell them what to do. There isn’t one.

On this side of faith and belief, there is an understanding of UNITY. Protestant, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Gentiles, EVERYONE OF FAITH are all in the Universe of Faith NOT separate universes, as most would assume. Joseph Campbell is my mentor in this understanding. I watched his videos and read his books and found a knowing that all spirituality is underpinned by some Universal energy and laws and basic understandings . This type of understanding is termed monomyth by Campbell (“Joseph Campbell” 2016)

Again this knowledge came through doing the fucking work. It came through reading and studying and thinking and challenging myself. As an adherent to Sacred Geometry I can rest safe in the knowledge the world is based on real and knowable principles that are mathematically precise (“Sacred Geometry” 2016). I can see the sacred shapes of Triangle, Circle and Square in any spiritually aware human or seeker. I can see Christianity at its best and understand how it can go wrong terribly wrong. Again, this isn’t something I can articulate to any great effect. It is something that I live with as a deep knowing, some would call it grokking. In the place where I grok, there is a right and wrong and it is much harder to pin down (“Grok” 2016).

Throw Out “Let Go and Let God” and “Have Faith”

In Christianity, when my questions were too complex for an answer, I would often hear, “Have faith.” Faith was this mystical bandage that held together the incongruency I experienced as a Christian and those mystical bandages eventually failed. Faith doesn’t make a good bandage, like say, duct tape might.

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When things were difficult, I would be told, “Let go and let God.” I once asked what I was going to let God do and the response was, “Have faith.”

When you leave Christianity, you leave certainty that comes with one answer: GOD. In Christianity the basic tenants revolve around the idea that God is ALL and the answer to everything. This frees up humankind completely. We have no more work to do but believe in God, that it is it. Mass murderer in life? Ask God to forgive you and BELIEVE IN GOD and POW! You can go to heaven even if the thousands you murdered didn’t have a chance.

This is counter to the Laws of the Universe as I understand them and is one of the fundamental reason I left Christianity. When you don’t tend your garden, nothing grows. When you don’t water a plant, it dies. When you don’t feed your cows, they don’t produce milk. The Laws of the Universe from my time on a farm have taught me all things have a cause and effect. Christianity seeks to circumnavigate the effect from any cause by using a belief in God as a get out of jail free card.

This is where a magickal practice comes in. Suddenly we understand that cause and effect are paramount. We adopt a magickal practice to influence the effects around us and it goes awry. It goes awry because we do not want to do the amazing amount of work required to really and truly affect change. See Money, Magick & Bullshit: Do the F**king Work.

YOU DO NOT NEED A PROXY

Christianity has taught us that if we lose faith in God or need to connect to God, then we can seek out God’s chosen – Priests, the Pope, a Guru, a Preacher. Then we can reach God through these people and borrow their knowledge to adopt as our own.

In the world of magick, paganism, Wicca, witchcraft, shamanism or whatever name you wish to ascribe to this world outside of Judeo-Christianity, that thinking is dangerously inaccurate. Every spiritual journey while having a similar cosmic geometry, is unique. Part of what makes it unique is how someone actually gets there. It is true that some will find getting to those spiritual places easier when lead or part of a strict magickal tradition like the OTA, OTO or strict Wiccan/Pagan traditions. However, even within these traditions that do work to bring spiritual elevation to seekers, there is a uniqueness to the journey of each Seeker. If a Wiccan tradition raises Green Witches, for example, they will not all be the same shade of green. Those raised in that tradition will carry a shade of green with them for the rest of their lives, but they will NEVER all be the exact same color of green.

It is the laws of nature again. You can take trees and mathematically predict how far apart the tree branches of specific trees within a species will be. In this knowledge there is a certain gentle calmness that can be sought. However, you can not mathematically predict the exact color of every leaf on a tree of the same species because nature causes other factors to be at play. Are the leaves on a dying branch that is diseased? How far from the sunlight is that leaf? Are these leaves the first for this tree or the last? Color of the leaves will be in a spectrum NOT a predictable sameness.

Given that, you do not need a proxy to do the real and hard work of spiritual development and magickal growth. You need you. No teacher, guru, witch, grand master, preacher, minister, seer, or person is ever going to be as good as you are at developing who YOU ARE.

This doesn’t mean that the experience of others can’t help you. It does mean that the experiences of others will never help you as much as the work and experiences you have with yourself.

Before you, as a newbie, ask a question, do yourself a favor. Google the answer. Research the answer. Hold that question in your heart and think of an answer for yourself. Seek out your guides, your intuition, your innate knowledge buried under years of deferring to other authorities. Spend time with the question and ask yourself, “If I knew the answer to this question, what would it be?” There is no proxy on Earth or in the Universe that is better suited to answer your question than YOU.

It DOES NOT take a witch to make a witch, unless the witch in question is the witch that needs to be made.

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Leadership & the Laws of Magick: Bring Back Public Shunning

I was really surprised about the popularity of my latest blog Money, Magick, & Bullshit: Do the F**king Work! This had led me to think about leadership and the Laws of Magick.

I often refer to Bonewits when I discuss the Laws of Magick because he was the first person I ever read on the topic and, in truth, the only author I knew who reviewed and discussed them in such length.

One of the arguments that seems to have rankled many around pagan leadership is the term Elder. These arguments have come around a discussion of a person who teaches at Cherry Hill Seminary and this persons stance against transwomen, stating blatantly that transwomen aren’t really “women,” but men attempting to use some ruse to steal power from women. (Wild Hunt; June 12, 2016)

I do not support this particular person’s claim to eldership, leadership or, even priestess-hood. The exclusion of transwomen in women’s mysteries and rites is simply unacceptable and contrary to paganism as I practice and teach. I would call such an exclusion an “act unbecoming,” negative behavior that I find to be outside the boundaries of spiritual calling and rooted in ego and unresolved personal issues.

What is curious to me is how the Laws of Magick get twisted and used to support acts unbecoming and those who teach them. The most common law is The Law of Names.

The Law of Names

Turning once again to Bonewits, we receive this information:

This works because a name is a definition (yes, even “Harold,” “Marie,” “Xunte,” and “Jasmine” were at one time) as well as a contagion link. Perhaps more importantly, it works because knowing the complete and “true” name of something or someone means that you have achieved a complete understanding of its or his [or her] nature. This is why, in most pre-industrial cultures, people are given “secret names” as well as “public names,” and why the sharing of a secret name is such an act of trust – because the secret name is consider to be very close to, if not identical with, the person’s true name.

The generation before mine was and can still be very stuck upon names like High Priestess and High Priest and Elder. These names were more than a title, following the Laws of Magick, they were an admission of a definition. At the heart of this definition is the suggestion of knowledge, power and correctness or rightness. If we defer to someone as an “elder” or a “high priest” or a “high priestess” we are in essence feeding into the energy that suggests, according to the laws of magick, that a person is literally powerful, correct and knowledgeable.

There are two inherent errors with this type of thinking, one on the part of those who wield the terms for themselves and one on the part of those who use these terms for others.

Not My Elder

Courtney Weber, author and pagan journalist, wrote a rebuttal against transphobic elders called Not My ElderAt the time, even I cringed, at the thought. Here in the South, titles have a distinct cultural significance that goes well beyond how someone acts and speaks and is related to Southern hospitality. Elder, in the South is any person of an older age, who by virtue of their age alone, has earned the right to a little respect. It is the antithesis of being mean to someone who is old just because they are old and pass their “prime.”

However, when we move into magickal circles, the term Elder becomes something more and those of us who were indoctrinated to have manners first and think it through later, have to pull ourselves up short and look critically at our conditioning.

About Religion has an excellent article on a definition of Pagan Elder that is worth a read; however, it too is linked to age. The Elder title that someone like Weber talks about isn’t necessarily linked to age, it is linked to perceived and real contributions to paganism in some form.  When researching the person above, I expected the person to have many actual degrees. In actuality, the person only holds one in Folk History from 1976. The person is also a founding member of a significant pagan tradition that is feminist based and has a long history of artistic work and writings around feminism and spirituality. The term “elder” has been applied to her based upon this body work.

Elder

Here is the thing. Elder in the pagan community is based upon the idea that the person has given a significant contribution to the pagan community. The person reference above has. Agree with the person or not, you cannot deny that contribution.

And, yet, pagan elderalso implies power and right and correctness. It is this implication of rightness and correctness that Weber is addressing.

Weber brings us to an understanding that the power the term Elder can have when applied to the above person, can be diminished by public outcry. The verbal denial of that type of speech is an active magickal act.  The person above may be accepted by many feminist pagans as an elder, and as Weber so eloquently states, this doesn’t make that person Weber’s Elder. Weber is using the Laws of Magick to fight trans-phobic speech that has no place of acceptance in the paganism Weber practices. Weber is actively fighting the idea that the person in question has any power, right, or correctness.

But The Person is an ELDER!  Presidency v Ladyship

Let’s break this down some. Titles can be honorific or denote a sacred office. I agreed with nothing President George W. Bush ever said on foreign policy. I actively demonstrated against what I saw as illegal military action by the United States in direct defiance and disagreement with the Command In Chief. However, if I had met or ever met President Bush, I would not say, “Yo, George, you are an f**cking asshole personally responsible for the loss of American military personnel and innocent people in an unjustified military conflict that you actively lied to the American people about, you f**cking dickhead.”

I would still address him with good manners and by the title President because the American people voted for him, their bad judgement not withstanding, and the office of President has also been held by past and living persons whom I admire and respect. It isn’t because I like President Bush that I refer to him as President Bush. It is because I respect the office of the Presidency and what it magickally represents for the republic of America.

When dealing with pagan elders, high priests and high priestess, we should remember the totality of what the title means. The Law of Names tells us that by giving someone a title we are energetically imbuing them with the power of that office as we perceive it. We are saying that someone is demonstrating holy spiritual knowledge, power and correctness on behalf of our religious representation. This is how Act Unbecoming came to be.

Acts UnBecoming

There is no central body that puts out pagan elders and verifies that they are actual qualified to do jack. Given that, the titles adopted by pagan leaders are honorary and only have the power we ascribe. However, most of us have met people we would gladly give the title Lord or Lady or Elder to.

It is because these people, for each of us individually, represent what a person would behave like if they had been ordained by Divinity as we understand Divinity. This also means that there will be plenty of leaders of all types that we do not recognize as being worthy that other people will. I reject evangelical teachings and find that most of what they teach is dangerous and divisive; however, this doesn’t negate that evangelical leaders have a falling that far surpasses mine mostly because they are followed by people or spiritually and politically agree with them. Still not my reverend.

This is the beautiful, complicated and difficult part bound up in freedom of religion and speech.

Mistake of Pagan “Elders” “High Priests” “High Priestesses” or “Clergy”

There is a belief among some pagan leadership that the title makes the person.

The title doesn’t make you.

An emphasis on legitimacy in The Craft through the ordination or recognition by outside human sources has lead to a clamoring of persons demanding to be recognized as an “elder,” “high priest,” or “high priestess.” It has also lead to those who have the suggested “legitimacy” of elevation by a Wiccan or witchcraft tradition or sect, demanding everyone honor their title and elevations.

Because these human sources are often NOT regulated at all and vary wildly from group to group, what one person did to earn the title “high priestess” is NOT going to comparable to what someone else did to earn the same title. The general pagan population knows this.

Further, even if you have a masters or doctorate in some specialty, it isn’t your knowledge that people are worried about, it is your presentation.

How you behave. How you handle conflict. How you deal with people who disagree with you adamantly. How you process and empower people who are under educated about the topic you teach.

Paganism values inclusivity. What today’s pagan leaders are trying to wrangle is how we can remain inclusive while paganism as a culture defines acceptable and unacceptable behavior. This means, the general pagan population is not going to wowed and ahhed by the enforcement of titles, degrees or education unless the above are wielded with a deft hand.

“The athame should be use like a scalpel,” a former high priestess told me, “When too often it is used just to maim.”

The athame represents a leaders knowledge, power, and righteousness given to them by the gods and goddesses they serve. Too often, our pagan leaders look to conquer through the force of their words and their divisive and demeaning rhetoric. All this type of behavior does is suggest the pagan leader is unbecoming any title they claim.

I would assert, and many pagan leaders do, that no title should be necessary. If a pagan is an elder, high priest or high priestess there is no need for them to announce it. Their very life will do that for them. The Law of Knowledge, Power, and Self Knowledge will be all the magickal confirmation they will ever need of their title.

Still Not My Elder: Bringing Back Public Shunning

You read this whole blog and are thinking, “Okay, Dia, I agree with you and I still don’t like that woman you mentioned above and can think of several other pagans whose behavior I abhor. What do I do?”

There are for me personally, a couple of leaders who fall into a category of “beyond redemption.” Their acts unbecoming are so heinous that their association with The Craft is dangerous to the craft and to pagans. I have a little list going in my head. I personally, have decided that not only will I not feed their power by agreeing they are an elder, high priest, or high priestess, I will literally deny them any energy at all.

If I were to ever see these people, I will simply behave as if they do not exist. I won’t speak their names unless I am absolutely forced to for the safety of others. I will not acknowledge their existence except in relationship to discussing other more important issues. I will not name them.

I will send them private letters with my concerns and give a list of things I think the person should do in order to find my acceptance in the future. I will not engage in public open bashing of them as a human being or person.

Now, really, who cares what I do? I am just one person in Georgia.

Imagine a speech given by the person I fail to mention by name in this article. People show up, stand in mass and literally give their back to the speaker while putting on head phones. An act of civil disobedience that actively works against transphobia while silently holding signs of support for our trans-sisters and trans-brothers?

Imagine a seminar at your favorite gathering where a well known and married couple are forced to deal with persons in headphones, holding signs exposing the dangers of a pagan consent culture and demanding pagan leadership that teach responsibility when it comes to sexuality and paganism.

Imagine picketing a Red Tent that is trans-exclusive. Silent protesters with head phones filled with chants to the Goddess and signs that say exclusivity should be behavior, not gender based.

Imagine civil disobedience that doesn’t rely on trolling but is active and real and impactful. Civil disobedience where your voice and place in shaping pagan values is assured while allowing groups to continue to hold great festivals and not be penalized by the teachings of gatherings’ poor seminar choices?

At each of these places and times, a clear list of how to end the shunning is displayed. For the person above it might read: “Stop your transphobic speech and saying that that hate speech is holy and spiritual and feminist.”

The married couple might be asked to “Admit past teachings have had a real detrimental  effect on sexual consent in paganism and on individuals who have been assaulted in the name of The Craft. Freely admit that you do not have any training in sexuality as it pertains to assault victims and are not qualified to teach sexuality due to your lack of psychological understanding and training.”

Real Pagans Consent

To Asatru groups who exclude specefic races it might read: “Stop spreading racism in the name of paganism and saying that racism is holy and sacred.”

Real Pagans Racism

Imagine memes that take over your social media feeds that say:

“Real Pagans Are Not Racist.”

“Real Goddess Worshipers Worship with Transwomen.”

“Real Pagans do not condone or teach rape.”

“Real Pagans say, “If you cannot dance in the circle – we will push you or give you a chair and drum!”

RealPaganDisabled

One More Thing

Real pagans also create communities where trans acceptance is an actual communal out put. Communities where many races and cultures are represented. Communities where sexuality is taught in healthy and psychological sound ways. Communities where protecting the community is the top priority and making room for those who come in love and trust and honor is also a priority.

As we wrangle with this difficult time in Paganism where pagan values as a culture are identified and refined, we must also be focused on community creation.

If we aren’t tending to the inclusiveness of pagan communities there is no energy powerful enough to counteract the useless jesters our empty words become.

 

 

Magick, Money & Bullshit: Do the F**King Work

 

I always pay attention when I see themes running around in my life. Themes in those I minister to and themes in those who are in my community usually point to a life lesson on magick and leadership and are well worth paying attention to.

Recently the theme has been around money, housing, and how to become a stable productive member of society.

What magickal practitioners often overlook in our magickal equations are the influences, the energetic influences, created by other members of faith in our society. Christianity being the most prolific in the United State and therefore, the most energetic significant.

Right now there is a huge trend in Christian teachings called “Prosperity Gospel.” And I am beginning to see the influence of Prosperity Gospel in the thinking of pagans and Wiccans. Nothing could annoy me more. Having lived as a religiously devout Christian, the Prosperity Gospel is an affront to everything I believed about Christianity. Its infection into paganism and Wicca is simply another great travesty.

Prosperity Gospel

Prosperity theology is defined by Wikipedia as:

Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) is a religious belief among some Christians that financial blessing is the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations (possibly to Christian ministries) will increase one’s material wealth. They are based on interpretations of the Bible traditional in Judaism (with respect to the Hebrew Bible), though less so in Christianity. Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver his promises of security and prosperity. Confessing these promises to be true is perceived as an act of faith, which God will honor.(“Prosperity Theology” 2016)

As a magickal practitioner I am not going to miss the fact that this teaching is tied into the Laws of Magick, which leads me to another disturbing trend amongst Pagans and Wiccans. The lack of an understanding and study of the Laws of Magick.

The Laws of Magick

Just because you are a person who doesn’t identify as magickal practitioner or witch or Wiccan or whatever you want to label yourself as, doesn’t meant that you aren’t affected by the Laws of Magick. If you are a pagan and you perform any simple or elaborate spiritual practice. Or if you attend one or two gatherings a year and that is the extent of the time and energy you put into being pagan, the Laws of Magick are acting upon your life. In fact, most would argue, whether we know it or believe it or not, the Laws of Magick are acting upon all of our lives. The Laws of Magick can be compared to the Law of Gravity. Most of us do not understand the mathematical formula that proves Gravity; however, none of us can escape gravity’s affect upon us.

It is the same for The Laws of Magick. Understanding the Laws of Magick helps make us better people NOT just magicians.

Laws of magick

For me Isaac Bonewits is the go to author around the Laws of Magick, although, I am sure there are others who have written on the subject with great effect. If we do a simple Google search, we are quickly directed to Bonewit’s website (“Authentic Thaumaturgy: The Laws of Magic” 2016) which has an excellent simple discussion about the Laws of Magick as he understands them.

The Prosperity Gospel intersects with the magickal laws of Similarity, Association, Contagion, Names, Words of Power and more than likely many, many more that I am not going to get into.

The foundation for the Prosperity Gospel is based upon The Law of Names. There are plenty of Bible verses about the Christian God’s people crying out to him and him delivering them from whatever ails them. It is a basic tenant in Christianity. Christianity says, “Do you have a problem?” If you do then the answer is to give it to God and God will find a solution, a miracle, like magick, if you will.

The next thing that magick needs are the actual workings of a spell. The Prosperity Gospel teaches the spell that giving to the Church brings prosperity. Giving “until it hurts” is a common belief in The Prosperity Gospel. Based upon the magickal laws of Similarity, Association, and Contagion, this spell is created to demonstrate your faith in the Christian God to give back to you what you willingly give to the Church. The more you give to the church, in the construct of the spell, the more that the Christian God will give back to you.

What the Prosperity Gospel misses in the construction of this spell is the fact that all magick works upon the physical laws of the Universe. The Universe doesn’t peddle in money, literally. There is no currency for God, the Christian God or any other God that I am aware of. When a congregation gives up money, it is unlikely that money is going to appear in your bank account or somehow your bills are going to just magickally be paid. This is tied to The Law of True Falsehoods which states “It’s possible for a concept or act to violate the truth patterns of a given universe (including an individual’s or group’s part of a consensus reality) and yet to still be “true,” provided that it “works” in a specific context (“Authentic Thaumaturgy: The Laws of Magic” 2016).”

This leads me to one of my favorite movies Leap of Faith (“Leap of Faith (Film)” 1992). In this movie Steve Martin plays a tent preacher who isn’t really a preacher at all. He peddles in miracles and magick and showmanship. During the course of the movie, Martin’s character peddles the idea of Prosperity Gospel asking people to donate to his tent rival. Then he has his ushers, who are all converted pick pockets, to slip money into the pockets and purses of those who donated, more money than they donated. This “miracle” sets up the small town to give money they don’t have to a preacher who doesn’t even believe in the God he is preaching about.

The Law of True Falsehoods is why this miracle is accepted by the townspeople. There is no plausible explanation so it must mean that God had magically found money to put into their pockets because of their act of faith. The falsehood in the prosperity gospel is you can receive money from nothing. In Leap of Faith the circumstances created a true falsehood through he magick of pick pockets.

The Problems

Something for Nothing

I am by no means some great magickal practitioner. I think I have learned over my years that what I am is the granddaughter of a pragmatic farmer and his wife. I grew up understanding you had to have a rooster to get eggs. If you wanted crops to grow you had to fertilize and tend and plant and tend and work hard from before sunup to after sundown. There is a price to be paid in order to be a farmer that makes a living – not even a farmer that is wealthy, there are not many of those. To be a farmer that can keep his land and continue to plant crops and sell crops, means lots of hard, hard, hard work.

After all the work, praying for rain was the least the Good Lord could answer because the farmer had done everything else. And if praying to the Good Lord didn’t cut it, sneaking out when the moon was high to beseech the Great Spirit, our ancestor’s God, that was alright if no one else knew.

This has left me scratching my head in perplexity that pagan magickal practitioners who should understand the basic Laws of Nature, the Laws of our Universe that govern and control all The Laws of Magick and they too seem to have a strange belief of a pagan prosperity gospel.

Having spent most of my youth on the farm, my assumption was that pagans were going to be hard working people because people close to the land understand inherently how much time and energy tending the land requires.

But The Prosperity Gospel’s  most secular and prominent incarnation is The Secret (“The Secret (Book)” 2006). Based upon the magickal Law of Attraction, it focuses on living with a mindset that magickally creates money and wealth. I have watched the DVD of The Secret and read the book. Here is what most people miss about that book – work, actual real work, is still required.

The Prosperity Gospel and the Secret seem to push a belief that actual real work is not necessary. Like magick, it is an unseen thing that you can send into The Universe and then suddenly it will happen.

$20 Angel & Tables Without Food

In college, when I was still a Christian, my friends joked that I had a $20 angel. I would be out of money and start praying for $20. I would see myself picking up $20. I would walk around for days broke, going about my business, walking to school if I had to all while praying and visualizing $20. Just when things were about to be critical, invariably my $20 Angel would deliver enough money to feed myself. This example makes it seem like I am manifesting money out of thin air. I am not. I was living in my head a reality where my needs were taken care of. There was no room for me to be hungry or homeless again. There was only a consistent belief that all would be provided. And it was, every single time.

Once, my $20 Angel didn’t come through. I literally had no food. So I started setting an elaborate table setting as if some huge feast was going to be prepared in my barren kitchen. I went outside to the cow pasture and picked weeds that flowered and put them in a glass. I spent time cleaning the table and the house, all preparing for this big meal I was absolutely going to be eating. Just as I set a glass of water on my table, a knock came to my door. I thought to myself, “Oh look, dinner is here.” I opened the door to find my favorite professor carrying four bags in her tiny arms. I took what I could and let her in my little one room crap hole of an apartment which was immaculately clean.

We went straight to the kitchen and started putting up groceries and cooking a traditional Palestine meal that required her to teach me how to clean a whole fish. Sometime during the cooking she noticed my set table. She looked at me in horror, “Why did you set a table when you had no food?”

“I did have food,” I said, “It just hadn’t gotten here yet.”

“How did you know I was coming?” she asked.

“I didn’t,” I replied, “I believed.”

Both of these stories seem to demonstrate a person or God manifesting money or food out of absolutely nothing.

Nothing is further from the truth. I invested time and energy and prayer and visualization. I practiced living in a place where all my needs are met, period. End of story. I lived in a place in my mind and heart where everything I needed would always be provided for. And it always has been.

Time and Energetic Cost of Magick

The Kitten and the Lottery

I had a good friend who did two spells on the full moon. One was to get an animal guide, preferable a kitten. The other was to win the lottery. The next morning, my friend went to retrieve his paper and there was a kitten on his door step so young they had to buy formula and hand rear that kitten for the next four weeks. The kitten’s eyes weren’t even open. That cat follows him around to this day. He never won the lottery.

He was musing about why he didn’t also win the lottery, even after going to buy a ticket that next day, and his partner said, “Lots of kittens, little chances of winning the lottery.”

What his partner meant was there are a ton of homeless kittens who would love to be someone’s animal familiar. And the chances of winning the lottery is less than getting struck by lightning. Doing one spell on one night, no matter how powerful is not likely to be enough to create the kind of universal movement on the physical plane to manifest a lottery win. Still most pagans do a one-night spell and then assume that is all they need to do.

If you want to manifest something that has to have lots of things come together to make it happen, it requires more energy than a one-night spell. I walked around when I got down to my last $5 in college, starting to pray for wherever my next money was going to come from. If I wasn’t studying I was actively putting energy into my $20 Angel. I actively avoided any thoughts or feelings of self-pity or doubt. When I got down to rock bottom, I set my table anyway. I was fully prepared to sit at the table and eat an imaginary meal if I had to. I was going to prove to the Universe that I believed the Universe, God, was going to provide for me, even if I died of hunger. I was willing to go all the way in my mind and heart and body to manifest my magick.

Recently my co-priestess, Disa, moved into a beautiful half million-dollar home. The community walked around in awe during her house blessing, clearly shocked at her seemingly magickal good fortune. Since that house blessing, I find myself having conversations that reveal the two years of magickal working Disa did to secure her dream home. I tell them that her home is available to her now because of a devastating and permanent injury she suffered in a car accident. She is literally paying a price in PAIN to live in the house she magickally manifested. The accident afforded her funding that she would have never had to be able to afford the house she wanted. I talk about her working weekends and nights at a crap job to make ends meet while her husband started their business. I talk about the hours she works in the early morning and late evening and the out of town trips her husband takes regularly to continue to have the income necessary to afford the payments on their dream home. I talk about the continued magick she does to keep her “prosperity” secure.

As Above, So Below; As WITHIN, So WITHOUT

Not only is energy applied across a period of time required for something big, like a half million-dollar home, there must be a tenacity and stubborn refusal to believe that any other outcome is an acceptable outcome based upon the magick you have done. You have to live the magick you have done.

What others do not realize about Disa, and I was honored to have witness, was her consistent statements when it seemed like she would never manifest her house.

“I don’t understand,” she would say, “I know that the house is out there and it is mine. I know I am going to have it and NAME OBSTACLE HERE is in my goddamn way. The HOUSE IS MINE!”

Sometimes she would call me angry at her husband because he was talking negatively about the possibility of them getting their dream home. She would tell me how she had to talk him out of that energy and get him back into the head space of absolute belief that the house would manifest.

Then I would listen as she and her husband worked around the obstacle or over the obstacle or through the obstacle. She would make phone calls and she would talk to banks and she would talk to lawyers and go to doctors. The whole time with a tenacious hold upon the reality that she was going to have the house of her dreams. Her WITHIN was always, every day, every second of every day, reflecting the WITHOUT even when the WITHOUT seemed to being saying, “HELL NO!”

Magick isn’t something you do.

Magick is something YOU ARE. How you think. How you live. How you love. How you behave all affect any magickal working you perform.

Do the Fucking Work

Long, long ago in gathering place called Dragon Hills, I can remember a priestess running around screaming, “Do the fucking work! Do the fucking work!”

At the time I was baffled by this declaration and now I understand.

If you want a better job, do the spell and then do the fucking work. Write a new resume. Send a resume a day to open positions. Do research on the Internet. Live a life in your head that supports the reality of a new job. Fight all feelings and thoughts that are contrary to what it is you want to manifest.

Do the fucking work.

If you want a book published, do the spell and then WRITE THE BOOK. Then send out letters to publishers and get rejected. Send out more. Get rejected some more. Re-write the book. Send more letters out. Meditate with your gods or goddesses about what you should be writing and re-write the book again. Live in a reality where you are a published author and fight all thoughts and feelings that are contrary to what it is you want to manifest.

Do the fucking work.

If you do not have a job, do the spell and then FIX YOUR RESUME. Send it out. Apply every day for a different job. Live in your head seeing yourself working the type of job you desire and living the life you desire. Fight off all thoughts and feelings that are contrary to what it is you want to manifest. If you want a very specific job, then spend more than one spell on the effort. Do a spell overtime or do a series of spells based upon the jobs’ manifestation.

Do the fucking work.

If you look at your life and it is in chaos, do the spell and then work on how you think about yourself. How you react to your emotions. Seek counseling. Meditate every day. Say mantras every day.

Do the fucking work.

If you think you need some guidance from spirit or someone else. STOP LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO DO YOUR WORK. Meditate every day. Adopt mantras. Visualize the reality you want to live in. Make a plan to manifest that reality. Work the plan.

DO THE FUCKING WORK.

If you need prosperity in your life, then by all means do everything in your power to manifest that prosperity, including spell work, then get out from behind the TV or the phone or the computer or the gaming console and help the universe manifest the prosperity you need in your life.

Anything else is bullshit.