Pagan Pentecostals – Why Pentecostals Make Better Magick Practicioners

If you weren’t aware, I am a magickal practitioner, Wiccan, Pagan – give me a label that you are comfortable with that describes someone who does psychic, spell and celebratory work from a pagan perspective, who lives in the Southern United States.

I was born in Georgia – the heart of Dixie Land and raised a Pentecostal Independent Southern Baptist.

So we can all move forward on the same page, I need to give you some definitions.

Southern Baptist can mean two different things. There is the Southern Baptist Convention which is comprised of churches who affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention for political and economic reasons. Then there are Independent Southern Baptist churches who hold to the basic tenets of the Southern Baptist Convention and refuse to give up God’s authority to anyone else. This means that depending upon the church what Southern Baptist looks like can vary widely church to church in the south.

However, pentecostals have no convention and share some basic beliefs that can vary widely church to church. Wikipedia gives an excellent definition of pentecostal:

Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a renewal movement[1] within Protestant[2] Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience ofGod through the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts.

In practicality, this means that pentecostals are taught from a very young age to channel the Holy Spirit and commune directly with the essence of God. What varies is the degree to which each church takes its practice of Pentecostalism. The spectrum runs the gamut from practices of poisonous snake handling to a simple speaking in tongues to ecstatic trance dance and spontaneous healing.

I was raised by my grandmother to firmly and thoroughly believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit as set down Biblically in I Corinthians 12:7 – 11 which reads:

The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing.10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.

For my grandmother the gift of prophesy and to tell different spirits apart and translate what is said when people spoke in tongues is all part of the spiritual legacy of my biological family. She didn’t like the term psychic because she felt psychics didn’t acknowledge the divine nature of the gift they had. Her first rule was, “This is about what God gives you, and not what power you have without God.”

There was this very clear knowledge that God, The Holy Spirit was responsible for her ability to prophesy, identify spirits of the dead and translate language. Lest, you think I mean only speaking in tongues, I mean any language. As a student in college I worked for the Latin professor. One day he was out of the office and I answered his phone. I had a pleasant conversation with the German teacher who was coming to college in exchange for one year. When my professor returned and I gave him the message he looked at me strangely and then marched to the phone and made a call. When he returned he said, “How long have you been able to speak German?”

Stunned I said, “I can’t speak German.”

He shows me the note where very neatly in my own handwriting in German was the message I had taken earlier.

“Heir Kitterman said that you spoke perfect German and was confused because I hadn’t told him my student assistant was fluent in German. You took this note in fluent native German. Why are you denying you can speak German?”

“Gifts of the Spirit,” I said to him quietly and left the office.

I had never studied German, but in the moment in time when I needed to speak German, understand German, I was able to. This has happened to me several times in my life with Spanish and French which I have studied but had until that day never happened with a language I had never studied.

The problem is that paganism and paganism classic training is driven from the idea that most people who find this path have no experience in energetics and therefore, a lot of the training is in an attempt to get them to learn how to run energetics especially in circle. If someone is a Christian they are seen at being a disadvantage when it comes to energetic working because most pagans do not understand the energetic and psychic consequences that come from a life raised, trained, and encouraged by the pentecostal church or any church that acknowledges the ecstatic gifts of the Holy Spirit and the actual manifestation in humans on this earth.

In my own community I am beginning to see the marked differences in pagans with pentecostal backgrounds and those without. Pagans without need basic training in energetics and working energetics. They resonate easily along the accepted resonances of degree levels, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and beyond. I can watch them use the traditional methods of psychic and energetic training and easily level up.

My experience with pentecostal pagans is quite different and helps me better understand why my own teachers had so much problem dealing with me.

When I came to paganism the term meditation was not only foreign to me but I had been taught they were dangerous. I had never “meditated” before. However, I had spent HOURS and HOURS and HOURS in different types of meditative trances. There was prayer trance when I was praying. There was prayer trance when others were praying. There was the trance of channeling spirits or receiving prophesy. There was the trance of singing the same song over and over again during the call to the altar after a service.

Because pagans see these things as separate and different activities, instead of similar magickal practices, my own teachers couldn’t figure out why given minimal instruction I was able to quickly master grounding, centering, trancing, pushing energy in a circle, calling the energy of the elements. For them there was no foundation from which I should be pulling from.

On top of that, I picked up tarot decks after I became pagan because pentecostals prophesy through touch and trance most often. I quickly learned that in pagan circles this type of divination, as they called it, was very scary to them. I realized they attributed the power coming from the tarot deck and without the deck in evidence (or a crystal ball, or mirror, or some tangible object) the whole operation freaked them out.

Now, this never bothered me because I have always known, even after coming to paganism where my power comes from – and it isn’t inside of me, it is through me. So when Divinity speaks, through which ever form Divinity takes, it’s all good, because that means a God or Goddess is there.

I can remember, however, reading at a gathering and them trying to get me to read an elder who was there. She pointed at me and said, “She isn’t just playing with a deck, you know. She is the real thing and I will never let her touch me or read me and you are all fools if you think she is telling you even half what she actually is learning from you.”

To her point, that was true. My grandmother taught me about the knowledge you should and shouldn’t release into the universe and that what we learn is sacred as the power God drives through us. I think she was the only elder who realized when I tried to explain my abilities in relationship to my grandmother that I was just blowing hot air and there was something to what I was saying.

However, it wasn’t until recent years that I began to recognize what was going on. As I met more pentecostal pagans I began to realize that, as pentecostals, we had had extensive training in energetics and magick working without knowing it.

It hadn’t necessarily been very good magickal training either. I notice pentecostal pagans have a base energy level they run that is nearly always 1st degree level before they have actually acquired the knowledge usually associated with that energetic level. Then these pentecostal pagans spike energy levels like no one’s business. One circle sister will spike to the level beyond first I related to channel and trance work during ritual and is completely unaware she does this. Is you point out what she is energetically doing it crash around her and she will sometime go almost energetically void. It is as if when consciously being focused on the working, she forgets she inherently knows how to do it.

Her husband has always resonated 1st degree energy for me and he has a background in some ecstatic churches but not as much as his wife. His energy spikes 2nd during rituals and when he goes to try to push the energy to third, he can’t reach it. Further I have seen him watch his wife do this with great ease and then ask how she is doing it. The response is that suddenly she isn’t and he is left feeling like maybe it was something he misread.

Then you take pentecostal pagans and put them in circle. If there is one thing a pentecostal pagan knows it is how to run energy up. Attend a pentecostal church and watch the energy ebb and flow before the preacher comes on. They use music, song, and dance to bring the energy level slowly up from dead stop to holy roll. All that energy the preacher will tap into when the preaching starts. He lets it out during the sermon and then releases the rest during the call to the altar after his preaching is done.

Again, this is not great magickal training. In pagan circles you want to whip up the energy and then do a massive release. Most pagans see the ability to direct large group circles of energy as a special skill set belong to High Priests and High Priestess and not always then. However, you give a pentecostal pagan a little instruction and they set energy off in a circle like an elder would. After all every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night they were doing it in church growing up.

My first public ritual was done with a group of about 150 pagans at a large gathering. Once ritual was finished, I was still a bit buzzed when I am confronted by a man who says,

“My Lady!” bows to me formally, “How long has someone as young as you been a high priestess?”

“I am not a high priestess,” I tell him.

“Ahh, so this was before you conference. To make sure you were ready. I am sure your teacher is pleased.”

“Umm, nope. I am not a 1st Degree,” I reply.

He watches me for a few minutes and then says, “Who is your teacher?”

I point him out on the other side of sacred space and watch with alarm as he marches to my teacher and begins to gesticulate wildly. Later I learn that my High Priest was reamed out for not granting the office my energy related to, which was no end of annoying to him. Now, however, I understand. Watching other pentecostal pagans I understand that while they can tap into the energy of higher levels and degrees they cannot sustain it for very long, largely because they were not trained to do so.

Moving forward I think Mentor/Teachers especially in the South must be aware of pentecostal pagans. People with an ecstatic Christian background who will have different abilities and traits than a Catholic pagan or some non-ecstatic tradition of Christianity.

The focus of training needs to be around recognizing meditative states and trance states specifically. It needs to be about sustain a level of magical energy with consistency instead of dropping it off like you would after church.  There needs to be a focus on not dismissing the magickal ability these ecstatic traditions of Christianity imbibe upon those who are raised as part of them from very young ages. Pentecostal pagans come with a definite ability that is far beyond what would normally be expected from neophytes and training should focus on making the best of that ability and recognizing that ability for what it really is – the remnants of having been trained in a different magickal tradition.

 

2/27/2016 Birch Beith

Sometimes I drawn an Ogham knowing full well what my day will be centered

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around. Today is one of those days and Beith reflects it perfectly. Looking on the website Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids I quickly learn that Beith is associated with the work of everyday. The work that keeps our world going round. It gives an element of protection as you go about doing that daily work. Since today is all about that type of activity, I won’t be looking any further for an explanation.

2/25/2016 Pine, Fir, Ailm

Given my meditative results today, choosing this rune this morning is not at all surprising.

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Original Artwork by Ruby Clark 2012

Reading through Blamires the following passage stood out:

“It is making you break new ground, to go forth and, using your will, to experiment in new ares and see your results.”

My morning meditative journey was all around my current project with insights into that project and ramifications for that. Then my meditation for resting my mind ended up being an extension into using the ham radio equipment I referred to earlier in the week in a different way.

I feel inundated with new ground and new ideas and overwhelmed at wanting to capture them before they slip from me. All of this makes any time I can disconnect from everything more important.

What new ground are you breaking in your life? What is overwhelming you because you can’t seem to capture and manifest it quickly enough? How do you disconnect in order to stay stable?

What references do you use to study the Ogham?

Artwork found here.

2/24/2016 Broom (Reed) nGetal

Given what I have written on the past few days about energetics and taking a break for your psychic and mental health, I found drawing this Ogham today interesting. Typically I draw the Ogham early in the day but today I didn’t draw

reedbroomngetal

Original Artwork Ruby Clark 2012

the Ogham until I got home from work and a ministerial meeting. Only a few hours before drawing this Ogham, I had written on Facebook, “Got caught up on Facebook posts. I am finally feeling the effects of the illness I spent the week fighting off. I have lots of work to do and am just trying to stay awake to do some work. I may have to take tomorrow off and rest only. So much to do though and I don’t really want to do that.”

Blamires writes about the mental and spiritual health that this Ogham suggests by saying: “To leave things lying around half done on a magical level can cause infection and disease. Independent life forms can attach themselves to things left by careless Otherworld travelers. These Otherworld “viruses” can take on a life of their own, and do considerable damage.

In the higher realms, these unwanted items, dirt you will, may not be obvious. They can consist of abstract things such as incorrect or malicious thoughts, feelings, emotions, and mental actions. You must learn to recognize them, and this is what the ivy [the ogham before broom] will help you do. Them you must learn to use the broom as your inner sight and smell to pick up these things and get rid of them.”

Combine this confirmation of the focus of my spiritual and magickal workings, this Ogham today seems to reflect that. Given, my recent bout of physical illness, this Ogham seems to suggest a time to rest is at hand.

What is weird to me is that my reliable Ogham mistress, calls this Ogham Reed not broom and says that the keys are communication and insulation. I resonated with the insulation portion of this Ogham as I felt like I need some insulation myself. Sometime to physical recuperate which I have put off because of one thing or another since I took ill last Saturday.

I’ll have to ask my reliable Ogham mistress why her interpretation differs from Blamires?

Artwork found here.

 

2/23/2016 Ruis Rowan

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Original Art Work Ruby Clark 2012

Today I am in the Daily Ham Radio. This is odd. Even odder is why I am in it. Yesterday I posted a blog called Magick, Energetics and Burn Out of Pagan Leaders. This article was one prompted after a two hour car ride with another magickal practitioner. During this car ride we were talking about mediumship and channeling and some of the problems associated with that work. I gave him a brief run down of my scientific view about this type of work and resolved to write an article about the specific mechanism I use which has to do with ham radios and antennas. I have trained for the certifications for Ham Radio and passed the related test and when searching for a mechanism it is what I turned to (tuned to?).

The article got picked up the Daily Ham Radio and is now circulating through an entire subculture I had not originally intended. On the one hand, this is great! Other magickal and pagan workers might see the article and be able to use the technique to great affect! Yea! Go me!

On the other hand, I just drew the Ruis, Rowan Ogham which is Protection and Inspiration. I have drawn attention to myself and having known lots of ham radio operators over the years, many of them are not going to be too fond of my article. So I am called to draw up my protection today. I do some extra things to ensure the prayers turned psychic missiles don’t wreck my day.  I feel the doubled edge sword that is a writer’s desire to be read and known with a writer’s desire to be read and known.

I find it interesting that in Full Moon ritual I called the Daghdha and this is the tree that he is associated with. The Wild Hunt is also here, all that male energy suddenly flooding my antenna and ham radio.

Holy Daghdha

Come to me and cast your shining sunlight

Cloud the eyes of those who seek 

To dim my inner bright

Holy Daghdha Rowan Shield

Blessed be your child this day and through the night.

LMNC, 1/23/2016; Inspired by another poet

Art work found here.

1/22/2016 Ruis Elder Daily Ogham

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Original Artwork Ruby Clark 2012

Here we are again with the Ruis Elder Ogham. We looked at this yesterday and talked about the veneer the people might put in place to ensure they present the most favorable presentation possible.

Yesterday, I lost my temper at a beautiful woman in our coven. I yelled, cussed, argued and pretty much held an entire conversation in her presence over everything I was frustrated about that had nothing to do with her specifically. I was rushed, harried – hell – the excuses could be a mile long here and aren’t important.

I love her. I was rude to her. She didn’t deserve it. I could have dealt better.

So I told her that today. I apologized and asked for forgiveness.

Yesterday I ordered a book from Christine Hoff Kraemer, an editor ofPagan Consent Culture: Building Community of Empathy & Autonomy, of which I am part of. She refunded me $1. 67. One dollar and sixty-seven cents!

Here is a person who is owning in a deep and meaningful way the Ruis, Elder. Her actions when no one would know are still driven by the highest moral and ethical standards.

For me, this is about who I am deeply. Am I being true to that? Am I living that? Am I reflecting that?

The answer is probably not, none of us are really. And those who try can count that as a win worth more than $1.67.

Don’t Ask Me To Hate

This week I had someone I like fairly well private post me about the dangers of the Islamic faith and allowing Muslims into the United States. It started with the horrible story posted in the Wild Hunt in 2013 about an online pagan who had allegedly been beaten, raped and killed by a mob in Syria for being pagan and continued with information about how the Middle Eastern World deals with gays, lesbians and transgender persons. Then the poster suggested that people who are “left leaning” need to wake up and realize the danger Muslims present here in the United States and how we must be vigilant and work against Shari Law in the United States. The poster sent links from the Wild Hunt, to the Pew Research Institute and more reputable media agencies to prove their point.

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If you are doing nothing wrong – BE OPEN

If you really believe this way and you find within your heart and consciousness nothing wrong with what you are saying – then publically post your opinions. Don’t private message me in some misguided attempt to sway my opinion. I will not respond to you personally. You have an opinion and you obviously suspect I will not agree or you wouldn’t have bothered to send me the post in the first place.

I am public about what I think and feel and believe because I want to be challenged. I want someone to further my personal knowledge and give me links and help me flesh out what I feel and think. Those who hide in the shadows to stir discontent against a group of people based upon the actions of a few remind me of what Christians and Politicians have done for ages. Try to stir up feeling to override common sense. Pick a group to ostracize in righteousness so that you can personally feel better about yourself and the groups you belong to. Use information as a weapon, bending it and forging it until it fits your personal narrative.

Stop with the Western Superiority

It is Western Superiority that has destroyed most tribal cultures throughout the world. I don’t agree with the laws or beliefs of most Muslim countries. However, when I come in as a white former Christian and start saying to them how things should be all I do is fuel hatred for the Western World within the Muslim community. I am not Muslim. It is not my place to fight for equality there. It is the place and right of those in the Muslim community to do this. I couldn’t possibly understand the steep history of tribal culture and Islamic belief that runs in that community and to suppose that I did is beyond arrogant.

Point the Finger Back on Paganism

When people go on and on about Muslims or even the Transgender People in paganism, I think about the eldest member of Willow Dragonstone Community & Coven (WDSC). She and her mate have been together for 40 years. Her original high priestess back when they first got together told her that it wasn’t “good and right” for the energies of two women to mate for life and refused to handfast them. This High Priestess refused to recognize the sacredness of their love before the gods and their community because it wasn’t “good and right.”

Pagans today can’t imagine that there would ever be a coven who would do this. We think of ourselves as being on the cutting edge of acceptance. Start suggesting that transgender women be allowed in a red tent – now that isn’t “right and good.” Does anyone see history repeating itself?

The fact is that paganism is dealing with the same prejudices that the greater community does and we keep coming up short. In dealing with race, in dealing with cultural appropriation, in dealing with patriarchy, in dealing with gender, in dealing with the acceptance of other religious beliefs, Pagans come up short all the time.

Why do Pagans Come Up Short?

Because most pagans haven’t dealt with their own issues yet. The fear you feel in your heart around Muslims is rooted in some past fear that you haven’t dealt with. Your feelings of disgust around transgender people is a feeling rooted in your own hatred of men or women and the issues you have around gender definition. When pagans Christian bash at events, this is rooted in your unresolved feelings around your own past in Christianity.

Paganism isn’t a sudden get out of your issues path. Those issues you had before paganism will haunt you in paganism unless you deal with them. Whatever problems you had when you were Christian are the problems you are going to have as a Pagan. No doubt the manifestation of that problem is going to be slightly different but the root issues will ultimately be the same. There is no escape from your racism, your sexism, your problems with organized religion. You are going to deal with those issues until you DEAL with those issues.

And just because most pagans have learned to be quiet about their issues by private posting or by only associating with pagans who agree with them or by being careful to not demonstrate bigoted behavior in public does not mean pagans have dealt with their issues. It simply means pagans have gotten better at putting on the face of civility to hide the hatred that really drives them.

We Need Someone To Hate

I recently watched a horrendous video on the “Laws of Pagan Leadership.” It was so psychologically unsound and the suggestions potentially harmful, I refuse to reference the link.

One of the laws was, “Cultivate an Us versus THEM mentality, preferably against Christians. Only bad pagan groups choose another pagan group to do this with.”

Other than being completely and utterly applaud and knowing that this is not a good way to create group mind, I knew that this is rooted in a western mentality that has haunted western culture since the first gunshots of the revolution in America against the British.

After fighting the British we turned the THEM into American Indians. Then the THEM was chattel slaves and eventually in the Southern US it was all Blacks. In my lifetime the THEM has been blacks, Hispanics, Catholics, Jews, Non-Christians, Pagans, Satanists, Gays, Lesbians, Transgender people, and Muslims.

In absolutely truth, I was taught to play this game called Underground Church where the world was trying kill off all Christians and we had to hide and pray in groups and not get caught for an entire day at Bible Camp. The last group who didn’t get caught was the winner.

Sounds absurd right? So what about that is any different that an attitude about Islam taking over the Western World? I have enough faith in the United States and the laws here, especially when more right-leaning conservatives control congress, that Muslims are not going to pass Sharia Law in the US. Mostly because Jews weren’t able to pass Kosher law and implement it against unsuspecting Christian people and that was exactly what I was taught would happen as a child. If I am going to fight for something, it is going to be a continued push to keep the separation of church and state. That keeps me safe from any religious group – even paganism – that thinks their religious laws should trump a society built upon a law that benefits all not one group over another based upon religious views.

Here is the thing, when someone says, “Look over there and hate and fear them,” what they are really doing is making sure you are distracted. In this way they can do whatever they want, in the name of protecting you from the very thing they have taught you to hate and fear. Look at the civil liberties that have been lost in the name of fighting terrorists, specifically Islamic Terrorists. That is the real end game.

A house divided cannot stand, Abraham Lincoln said, and yet the government, politicians, and religious leaders want us to be divided because division keeps us occupied and focused on something other than what our government, politicians, and religious leaders are doing.

Do some Muslims do horrible things in the name of their religion? Yes. So do some pagans, Christians, Jews, Buddhist, Catholic Priests, High Priests, High Priestesses, Hindus. There are radical elements in every micro group you can think of and they do not define that group. When you buy into the idea that the outlier defines the mean and allow fear to grow, hate always follows.

As a pagan and Wiccan who is open, I suffer whenever someone does something stupid and violent and wrong in the name of paganism. I suffer whenever someone leaves a pentacle at a crime scene. I have to fight for equality that much harder when someone is killed because of some misguided belief that magick and the death of a person equals power. I have to fight today all the misinformation published in 1486 in the Malleus Maleficarum.

Is it so hard to believe that some Muslim woman watches the news with this same type of fear and trepidation that I do?

Stop private posting me. You can’t make me hate. I have and continue to deal with my issues around racism and fear, sexism and fear, religiosity and fear. You can’t hold up to me some sacrificial Muslim in the name of creating group mind in Paganism or in the left leaning political sphere. That is not the way to create group mind and move society forward.

I wouldn’t allow society to use paganism and Wicca as that lamb, and I can’t allow anyone to use Islam as the new lamb any more than I can allow pagans to use the transgender people in that way.

Fear. Anger. Hate. These are the paths to the dark side. – Yoda