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.
Starting A Book of Shadows
Most Pagan traditions have a personal book with things you have learned written into that book. Some paths have strict guidelines as to what goes into the book, who can read the entries, yadda yadda.
This is what I think.
It does not have to be called a Book of Shadows. However, it may be easier to relate what the item is to someone else if you use the same terminology. Call it “My Magical Book of Sparkling Unicorns”. Call it “The Fonz”. It doesn’t matter!
I don’t feel that every single thing you’ve learned/read/heard should be put in your personal book. Things you feel are important that you may forget should certainly be put into your book. You don’t need a big 4 chapters to explain (essentially to yourself) what your path is and what you believe.
I feel that a 3 ring binder with printed pages is just fine. Its easy to replace pages – and it is sometimes easier to read than your own handwriting! Some people are not very artistically gifted and would therefore prefer to print out pretty pages to make their personal book feel more elegant. Should they feel bad for this? No!
My first book was a leather-bound journal. The 200 or so pages in it could not be replaced. I could not add to the book. I decided that I wanted to decorate some pages – but was then unhappy with the outcome. Then came the gut wrenching activity of tearing pages out. That was so painful! I had probably 5 of these journals in a book shelf and thought “Wow what a waste.” All that time I could have combined everything into one big binder and have been able to add or subtract as time went on.
When actually doing spells I feel those should be hand written. But your book? I don’t feel that is necessary. Mostly because it is only meant to be used for reference and possibly teaching someone else. However – if they only learned from a book what would they need you for?
Where should you begin?
Begin by having an idea what you want your book to look like. Craft stores have come a long way – so get creative! And if in a couple years’ time you don’t like how it looks don’t worry! You can get a new binder and start all over! That is the great thing about using a binder as your personal book rather than a bound journal. As people we grow all the time. Our tastes in all thins change. My first book looked more like a weird interpretation of a Necronomicon than anything else! Why? Because I was about 15 and I thought that was how it should look.
Here is a video done by a British Lady with quite a posh accent. She shows her Book of Shadows done in a binder form. Maybe it will give you ideas.
“I think I will Google how to do a spell”
If that thought has crossed your mind, STOP.
You do not need to do an internet search on how to do a spell. There is no right way or any certain way to do any spell. In my opinion, beginner witches shouldn’t be doing spells, honestly. I feel that you need to have a personal relationship with your chosen deities before you start asking for assistance of things. They need to know you’re serious. They need to know you aren’t just going through a ‘phase’ and want to see if you will get what you ask for before you commit.
What is a spell?
Well a spell isn’t something that requires a list of exotic and expensive ingredients. As a matter of fact – I get a bit insulted when I see ‘witchy stores’ offering spell kits. I feel that when it comes to spell casting there should be no convenient alternative. I don’t feel any spell should be offered in a zip loc bag for the low, low price of $19.99. From a business point of view, I can understand why they do it. However, I feel a better alternative would be to offer ‘make your own spell kits’ where a customer can pick a candle, an herb, an oil, piece of parchment, incense, and a crystal. That’s just how I would do it if one day I live my dream of having my own ‘witchy store’.
A spell is simply a prayer. A prayer that has been strengthened with other items. Some spells are as simple as thinking of something really hard – or as elaborate as acquiring crystals, specific herbs, etching a candle, burning a special candle for 7 days … the list is endless. The bottom line is – all spells are a prayer with focused intent.
I heard to do a spell you need x, y, and z.
No. You don’t. Not unless you personally feel you must have those items to strengthen your intent. The more you do yourself for the spell, the more powerful it will be. If you simply punch “love spell’ into a search engine and write everything down word for word, gather the exact things the internet says to gather, do it at the time the internet said to do it – how completely pointless. I imagine that for the God and Goddess hearing spells like this is like going and hearing a really bad cover band.
I can understand becoming stuck while trying to write a spell. It happens! But I personally feel that casting spells should be done once you have a personal relationship with your chosen deities. That is because the human mind is very powerful. The saying “you can do anything you put your mind to” is very true. Anything you put out to the universe can be done. Does it always happen? No. Why? For the same reason that we aren’t all millionaires. The potential is there. Anyone could be a millionaire. Yet we aren’t all millionaires.
Spells are the same. We can all cast spells. Should we? No.
When is the best time to cast a spell?
When you aren’t angry. When you aren’t sad. When you are totally emotionally stable and have meditated on the focus of your spell for at least 48 hours. Why? Well this is to be sure that if your intentions aren’t entirely good that you have time to back out before its too late. Sometimes we think we want things, but all too often we wish we could go back and change it. In my path there is no repentance. You will pay for your mistakes no matter how sorry you are for them. Eye for an eye.
Can’t you only cast spells at certain times of the week/month/moon phase?
Some people think so. There are people who believe that if you want to cast a protection spell it should be done on Thursday night between 8pm and 11pm in the New Moon with a black candle, a mirror, a piece of quarts while burning blue sage. I, however, do not think this.
I think any time you need to cast a spell and you are in control of yourself – do it. I am not entirely comfortable only doing things when I’m told by someone else they need to be done. Sabbats are different. Spells, I feel, are personal. Rituals when done with a group/coven are less personal but still powerful. I have never been part of a group that does spell work together.
I just heard about witchcraft and I want to cast a spell.
Who am I to say you can’t? No one. But I like to tell people “I just heard about heart surgery and I want to do a transplant on you”. It doesn’t work that way with anything else in the universe, so why should it work that way with witchcraft? It shouldn’t. It doesn’t. It won’t.
Try doing a daily devotional for a few months first. Get familiar with what it feels like when you are charged with energy. Get familiar with how to release that energy in a focused way in order to empower your intent.
Have a conversation with your chosen deities every morning when you get up. Tell your deities what you would like to focus on that day (example: let me have patience with co-workers today) and start from there!
The First Post
Well here goes.
This is officially the first post. Well, the second actually. I spent way too much time filling in the ‘about’ page. Have you read that? You should.
I hope to post here very often with information, inspiration, divination and anything else that pops into my mind.
As a witch who started her path at the dawn of the Internet Era, I have sifted through a lot of garbage as far as my online guidance attempts go. I grew up in the Bible Belt where there was no ‘New Age’ section at the Barnes & Noble (which was over an hour away from where I lived) or any way of finding other Pagans easily. If they did exist – they were super deep in the broom closet.
Some posts here may be as simple as a picture. Perhaps as complex as a new ritual I am trying. Maybe I put a song I heard on iTunes that I think others will enjoy.
I am not the authority on Paganism. I would go so far as to say there are many people out there much more qualified to share what’s in their mind than I am. However, without the guidance of other Pagans from all over the world I would have never become the Witch I had always wanted to be. I think there is a time in everyone’s life path where they need some information, ideas, or inspiration from someone else’s mind. I want to be that. I want to help push others. I want them to be the witches they want to be, too!
Information I share here will be open ended with no path as a focus. That is because it is the way I have chosen to travel my path. I spiritually identify with a lot of paths, but I can’t seem to 100% follow everything on any one path. Instead of having any internal conflict – I take the bits I like. The bits that feel right. The pieces that are non-restrictive. I’m just totally Pagan.