Category Archives: community
I can’t tell you. It’s oath bound.
I have always hated that! As a baby witch I had so many questions. How do you cast a circle? Should I ‘do’ an altar? How do I really know when my item has been blessed or cleansed? How do I bless or cleanse something, anyway?
I understand the need to keep some things private. I am totally open to sharing anything and everything but I never share absolutely everything. Why? Well … it’s simple really.
I will tell anyone absolutely anything about how I practice. I will help them find things they need to cast a spell or a circle but I never tell them the exact words I say. Why? Well … I tend to think that simply reciting words written by someone else and sending the energy out into the universe is kind of like going to see a cover band.
Let’s say you call up your witchy friend and say “I’m trying to whip up a spell to bring more positive energy into my life but I am getting stuck.” Your friend says ‘Hey no problem! I have a spell I do and it goes like this ….”
You write it all down, go home, and do everything your friend said. You are basically being a ‘cover band’ and just reciting whatever your friend wrote. While I don’t see a problem with this amongst friends or coven-mates who practice together – I personally – don’t see where any power lies in that.
When witches ask me questions like “How do you cast a circle?” I usually say:
Well I don’t get all Merlin the Wizard when I cast a circle. (which is true) I use very basic non-ceremonial words and actions when casting a circle. BUT – for ‘high’ holidays (Ostara, Litha, Beltane, Samhain, Yule) I am ceremonial. For ‘lesser’ holidays (Imbolc, Lughnasadh, Mabon) I am not ceremonial. My observation of the ‘lesser’ holidays are much simpler.
And just to clarify no one told me there are high/greater or lesser holidays. This is simply how I see things. The holidays I call ‘high’ holidays are the ones that resonate and speak to me. The lesser holidays I don’t feel a connection to. At least right now.
I don’t think basic information should be oath bound. Well unless it is some kind of cop-out and you really don’t have an answer. In that case I would just prefer to be told “I dunno!” instead of hearing “Oh it is oath bound. I can’t tell you.”
I never tell anyone chants said to my goddess. I never tell anyone the words I write for spells UNLESS
- I have written the spell for the purpose of being passed on.
- I work closely with that person.
- I trust the person asking.
These are just my guidelines. I feel that it gives my words more power and energy – and by someone repeating them word-for-word that their intent and words will have LESS power. I don’t do it for myself – I keep this secret for their benefit. This way their words have more power.
Not telling someone herb properties because it is oath bound is (in my opinion) stupid.
Not telling someone the basics or the ‘why’ of circle casting is (in my opinion) stupid.
Telling someone that absolutely everything surrounding your practice is oath bound is … again .. stupid.
There is so much to gain from passing on your knowledge! Not only for yourself, but for the baby witch asking! I think anyone with the interest enough to ask should be given the information with at least a ‘seeker beware’ warning. But – as humans – we have the ability to gauge what a person can, can’t or should NOT handle. You can ‘dumb things down’ to those who just wouldn’t be able to handle what you’re saying.
Even with people I practice with I find myself saying “This might make me sound insane but …” No. I don’t sound insane to THEM. To others – yes I probably would. BUT – if you ask – you’re going to get an answer.
I am very leery of people who say everything they do is oath bound. It makes me think they are just full of shit.
How much should remain secret? Aren’t we past that time in society where we have to keep ourselves secret? I understand in some cultures yes – secrecy is important. But in most Western societies?
Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? Am I completely off-base?
In recent months I have been watching YouTube videos made by witches/Pagans/root workers and everything in between. I can’t help but notice the staggering abundance of content related to protection rituals, protection spells and protection talismans. Protection. Everywhere.
Am I the only magick worker who does not feel the need to cast a protection spell every week? Am I the only witch who doesn’t sage my entire aura and house every month?
What are these witches protecting themselves from?
I look at protection magick the same way I view law enforcement. I am totally not paranoid of a police car. I know people who will chomp at the bit if and when a policeman pulls in behind them in traffic even if they aren’t doing anything wrong! They will still obsess over until the squad car is no longer following them. I assume this is the same kind of person who would do all these protection rituals.
Personally I do not feel the need to protect myself from much. I have been known to do ‘dark’ magick. Why? Because I feel that as a human all emotions are valid. I carefully consider all sides of the coin before doing ANY magick. If I’ve stewed on it for a day or two and I still want to cast something bordering on vengeful – I will do it. Why? Because in my mind it is better to release the urge rather than lie to myself and pretend I’m totally cool. Goddess knows I wouldn’t be true to myself or Spirit.
Perhaps I should explain a bit. I have never done anything mean. I have never casted a spell to cause harm. The times I have done something which would be considered “dark” … well .. I’ll tell the story.
Gather round! 🙂
I have had some bad relationships.
Fresh out of highschool I met a guy who was impossibly good looking. He lived about 10 miles away and went to a different school. I was so astounded he was at all interested in me. Not that I have ever been repulsive – but I didn’t consider myself in the same league with him.
The night we met in a random parking lot hanging out as 18 year olds in a town of about 7 thousand people we were just inseparable. I was infatuated with his good looks. He was attracted by my sense of humor, honesty, and my insight.
Quite a few months passed. At first I hadn’t noticed that he no longer had a job and had spent his every waking moment near me. When he woke up, he would call me. When he had dressed and showered – my parents’ doorbell would be ringing. We’d just graduated highschool so it was common for young people to still live with their family. When I had to go to my job as a clerk at a liquor store – he would show up about an hour into my shift.
At first I loved all this attention. It simply amazed me that anyone would find such joy in me that they would want to always be near me! I was so smitten with how ‘into’ me he was that I hadn’t noticed any warning signs.
Slowly my friends stopped calling. Bit by bit I stopped participating in anything that didn’t involve this new boyfriend.
When the isolation had begun I assumed I was doing it to myself. Oh, I am working a lot of hours so I don’t have time for many social things. Oh I’m just tired from working a night shift in a liquor store and going to college during the day. The only reason I don’t hang out with an of my friends anymore is because we are all too busy for each other.
It wasn’t me.
It was him.
He was isolating me to control me. I hadn’t noticed but I was no longer listening to songs I liked. I was only listening to what he liked. I wasn’t wearing my usual clothes. I was wearing things he would ‘casually’ point out and say “Oh Jen you’d look really good in that!” I wasn’t reading books I enjoyed – I was finding books on topics HE was fluent in so we could have conversation about what HE wanted to talk about.
All this is abuse.
It didn’t hit me until a long-time friend came into the store I worked at and said, out loud “Everyone is worried for you. You aren’t yourself. You’ve changed in a bad way since New Boyfriend came on the scene. Is he hurting you?” Since New Boyfriend was always near me – he flew into a rage.
I had never seen him get so completely angry. I had never seen him even frustrated! This incident did frighten me, but I excused it. Well afterall if someone had said derogatory things about me I’d likely be upset, too!
The isolation grew worse.
It got physical one night that I suggested we go to one of my friends’ houses.
Why on Earth would I want to hang out with these friends? These friends had totally abandoned me! They haven’t called me in months! They don’t care about me. No one probably does. I heard all the terrible things they said about New Boyfriend and he has done nothing but love me since the moment he met me. They have to be completely awful people to be so jealous of me being loved.
They’re good people – I said. They’ve been busy, I explained. Of course they still care about me I’ve just been spending so much time with You (New Boyfriend) that I haven’t made time for them.
This is not his fault. I have done something to drive the others away.
What have I done? I go to work. I go to school. I spend time with you. I’ve done nothing.
He can’t believe how insulting I am! I completely do not appreciate anything he has done for me. I am probably acting like this because I am fucking someone else.
There was no one else. I promise. He can ask anyone.
That wasn’t even the last time he hit me. This was just the first time. I was so busy trying to defend myself against his WORDS that the fact he was now physically abusing me didn’t even bother me!
The second time was worse. It was the last time.
When I decided to break ties I told my parents what had happened. They were very saddened that I had not come to them sooner. They could see he was suffocating me with his physical presence but they chalked it up to puppy love because in their eyes – everyone would fall for me ‘like that’ because I am wonderful.
This was the first time I had done a protection spell.
I did not wish him harm.
I simply casted a spell to ask spirit to guide him to do good deeds. I asked my guides to protect me while I broke it off with him. I was afraid.
I made a spell bottle with items to both send back his negativity, but also to ‘heal’ and soften him. BUT. But – in this bottle I included items which would inflict him with equal negativity and nasty stuff if he messed with me.
Here are the ingredients I used:
- A small glass jar (it was a peanut butter jar) -This symbolised that I wanted his rage and anger contained in close quarters.
- Nails ————-nails are used to construct things – but can also be used as weapons
- Broken Glass ———symbolised how even when something is perceived broken can still serve a purpose
- Bullet ——-deadly when the VESSEL is aimed correctly
- 1 small mirror (unbroken) ————–to reflect his ugly negativity back to him
- My Menstrual Blood ————Ties the bottle to me further. It is mixed with all the ingredients. The bottle and its contents are ‘exposed’ to the most primal parts of me.
- Obsidian ————-I feel this stone harnesses all the energy of the volcano it came from — meaning my spell will have continued energy for years and years
- Quartz ———–the man was so awful – I wanted to be sure that any negativity which lingered could be cleared by this quartz.
I don’t remember the words I said. I know I asked that this bottle protect me for all my Earthly days from this man. I asked that this bottle also help him see his errors and resonate with his spirit to turn his strength and virility into something positive. If he must fight – let him be a professional boxer. If he must hit someone – let it be for good purpose. If he must be a psycho – let him help the FBI solve murder cases committed by abusive husbands/boyfriends/fathers.
Since then I have not done a true protection spell. I have done clearings where I have neutralised energies …. like when I move into a different house. However, I do not feel there is anything which I should be protected from.
Do these YouTube witches have so many enemies that they honestly need all this protection? Or … are they being paranoid about seeing a police car (a perceived threat) in their rear-view mirror?
Do you do protection spells often?
Let’s discuss it in the comments!
My father has always said
When you assume it makes an ass out of you, not me.
There are so many assumptions in regards to Paganism and spirituality as a whole. All humans like to categorize things. We like things to fit into neat little columns and rows and when we can’t do that we can sometimes get .. well .. pissy.
The worst part about it all is the amount of assumptions I have seen/heard about Pagans BY Pagans! Here is a long list of examples.
“You aren’t a real Pagan because you wear makeup.”
Really? Are you kidding me? Pagans aren’t allowed to wear makeup? Why!? If my heart tells me wearing makeup is somehow wrong, then I won’t wear it. I have no spiritual conflict wearing bright purple eyeliner and multi-colored eye shadow
“You can’t possibly be a real Witch because you don’t wear long flowing skirts and shawls.”
While it is true that some Pagans enjoy wearing a certain style of clothing – we are all individuals. We don’t ALL like it. I love seeing the stereotypical witchy lady – but I don’t feel I can pull that look off. Does that make me less spiritual? Of course it doesn’t! How insane!
“You aren’t vegan?! You’re not a true Pagan.”
Some Pagans choose to be vegan. Others don’t. While many Pagans follow the rule of “An it harm none, do as thou wilt” – (in my opinion) is pretty damn vague. Does that mean only humans? Humans and animals? What about plants? Its very open to interpretation. I do know of non-Pagan vegans who use ketchup on their fries. Unless it clearly states it is vegan … ketchup is flavored with beef. I know of Pagan vegans who use drums during ritual. They’re covered with animal hide! Life is all one huge contradiction – and I’m totally cool with that. But don’t force your views of whatever it is upon me if you, yourself can’t fully accept them!
As a community (whether we’re physically connected or not – we are all the walking, talking, breathing representatives of whatever it is we believe) we should support each other. I know that sounds like ‘tree hugger bullshit’ but its true. There is so much harsh criticism outside our own faiths (ANY faith!) that we shouldn’t meet that kind of judgmental stereotyping within it!
So many years now I have heard how Pagans are so misunderstood and want to be accepted … but time and time again there have been many who have shown me that they can’t even accept each other! How can anyone else except us if our own brothers and sisters can’t?! I think its sad. It really does hurt my heart.
I, for one, do not agree with all aspects of all Pagan paths. I do not, however, judge those who do! Is it not possible for us to follow these steps:
Does this work for me (Yes/No)
If Yes – Adapt it! Share it!
If No – Move on. Nothing more to see/hear. Thanks for sharing, though!
My whole point is: don’t assume. To my knowledge there is no total right and wrong. Circumstances make everything in life complicated. What works for A won’t work for B – and there is nothing wrong with that. If you see something wrong with that – that is totally fine! Regardless of how big the group you belong to feels it is wrong – doesn’t make you right! What’s right for me probably won’t be right for you. That’s what makes being a human beautiful! We’re all different. Celebrate it instead of hating, criticizing, demeaning, assuming, and putting other negativity into it.
Here is a great exercise:
Make friends with someone who has totally opposing views to your own. Give them a chance to break any stereotypes you might have about them. Maybe you already have a friend like that. Ask what kinds of things they assume about people who present themselves with some kind of difference in religion/politics/sexuality/race/economic standing.
I think everyone should meditate on who they are. Are you being true to your spirit? What can you do differently to improve? Have you improved in some way? Are you guilty of rampant assumptions? Let’s talk about it.
Some are very fearful of being publicly open with their choice of religion. Many think they will automatically be judged and take a defensive stance. I haven’t had this experience – and neither has the woman in the video I will be posting below.
The only way to improve public perception of the Pagan community is to be public. There will be the odd ‘baddie’ who will just try to get a rise out of you.
I share many (if not all) of what this woman says, and feel it is very good advise for everyone in the Pagan community.