My Religion

The Beginning

I was born into a Catholic household and family. My mother’s side of the family is a bit more religious than my dad’s side, but both consider themselves Catholic. I was baptized as an infant and upon reaching the appropriate age, I was put in Sunday School/Catechism where I learned about the Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty Father, and the Holy Ghost. Throughout my years in Sunday School I had my first confession, my first communion, and finally my confirmation. By this time which was approximately age 11 or 12, I had already decided that I did not really want to go to church anymore, and I was given the liberty of choosing not to attend church on Sundays any longer. I had a very strong spiritual connection with God and felt I could speak with Him from within my heart. My parents respected my decision.

All throughout my youth I wondered about certain conversations or things I observed such as my dad’s ‘collares’ or elekes, why he put apples or pennies in front of a St. Barbara statue we had and even wondered how the saints fit into the ‘church’ beliefs. On both sides of my family, there has always existed special or ‘magickal’ home remedies, superstitions, and several aspects that also seemed odd for me when comparing them to what I was taught in Catholic Sunday School. However, I never questioned them, but rather tossed them up as ‘cultural’ learning. I didn’t understand why I could see spirits. I didn’t question how I saw an image of my late grandmother before ever seeing a photograph of her. These were all just part of my life, just like all other things were.

I now know that my dad was a spiritualist and had joined the masons in his youth. He is a medium and has always been an open portal for the dead to speak through. His father, my grandfather, was a seer, and was a Rosicrucian.
My mother’s mom, my grandmother, and several of my great aunts were into the occult, and were sought out for readings, fortune telling and healing magic.

Fast-forwarding to age 15

My interest in witchcraft peeked when I had to write a research paper for English Composition class in high school. My selection of topics lead me to write about Witchcraft. I didn’t know anything about it, aside from what I had seen in movies, and unfortunately there wasn’t such a great selection in our school library. I did find 2 or 3 books on the subject and wrote a fantastic paper where I got one of the best grades I’d received. I’m certain that looking back now, those books are as accurate as putting a square peg in a round hole, but the images and illustrations in the books are what truly captured me. I remember getting lost in the illustrations, almost like a trans-state, where the images almost began to move. This exposure stayed with me, embedded like a seed in a very subtle but steady growth, hidden from the light of day, but felt within the core of my soul.

Fast-forward to 1997 age 22 (because it was some time before my 23rd birthday)

My first experience with the craft. I was invited to hang out at a friend of a friend’s house for a party that I vaguely remember being for a birthday or something. At approximately 11:30pm I was asked if I would like to participate in a Wiccan full moon ritual that was going to be held in the backyard. I was so excited and a little bit scared at the same time, but mostly just vibrating with elation that I was going to witness and be part of something that I had had a secret interest in for such a long time. Needless to say, it was everything I expected and more. At the end of the night, the high priestess gifted me a book called: The Way of the Goddess-A Manual for Wiccan Initiation by Ly Warren Clarke. My very first pagan book. Sadly I never saw that high priestess again because I’d truly love to find her and thank her.

After this, I began going to book stores like Barnes N Noble to look for all sorts of pagan related books. I acquired a few over the years by authors like Scott Cunningham, Gerina Dunwich, Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone, and Phyllis Curott among others, all which have guided or helped me develop into the witch I am today.

Transition from Christianity to Paganism

In the beginning of my transition into the occult, I had a very difficult time letting go of the concept of Christianity and embracing mythology gods and goddesses, so I decided I didn’t need to do that. *(see note)* This is when I began identifying myself as a Christian Witch (not a very easy thing to do), and not accepted by almost all Pagan folk. The years went by, I read more and more, and slowly I found myself transitioning, evolving.

Note *Part of the reason, or the main reason, I had such a difficult time “letting go” of Christianity was because I had a very strong spiritual connection with God (Jesus Christ) because of health problems, among other problems, I had to face throughout my life, like being sexually abused early in life, and later going through a miscarriage and at the same time undergoing renal failure at the very young age of 18. It is my faith in God that got me through everything, and I felt that I was betraying Him if I turned to other Gods. I thought, “What if I am wrong about paganism and turn my back on Jesus, but then end up needing him, and he might not be able to forgive me?” A thought that lingered with me for a very, very, VERY long time.*

Transition from Christianity to Paganism Cont’d

I found myself wanting to trust that other Gods and Goddesses existed, but how could I when my Christian beliefs were so strong? This is when I made a conscious decision to trust my gut, trust that intuition, that little voice from way inside and fully embrace the idea of other deities. A clear confirmation of their existence came to me in physical form (an undeniable series of what to me is concrete evidence that someone or rather, several someone’s where out there listening to me). One of the divine experiences I had, came about after my very first Tarot reading with the Tarot Maven of the Meetup.com pagan group I am a member of. I had not been out to the ocean/beach in a very long time. I knew I needed to reconnect with the ocean, but there were many obstacles, some physical, others emotional, that kept me away, but a message in the reading said I had to do this for myself, and sooner rather than later. So I selected a day and packed up my things and went out to the beach (Bill Baggs Cape Florida Park beach), on a week day, all by myself. I set up my chair and stuff near the lighthouse and did a little ritual without props and when the right time came, I walked into the water. Words will not do justice to explain the magick I felt when the water touched my skin. It was like the softest caresses of satin sheets barely brushing my legs. I walked in, to waist deep water, making my way to the rocks and the base of the lighthouse when suddenly I was surrounded by a ring of tiny little fish that created a circle around me immediately after I had requested confirmation from Amphitrite, the beautiful deity I had reached out to, to help me return to the ocean.

I decided then that I was going to put my Christian beliefs on a shelf for now and fully embrace polytheism. I began learning about Wicca at first. Mainly because it is what is most common and readily available, but in time I learned about other pagan practices like Neo-Druidism, Greco-Roman, and Celtic. During the last two and a half years I have grown and learned a great deal in occult practices, carefully balancing how the divine choses to manifest itself before me, around me, and within. I do not put barriers around my spiritual self with the thought that I can only communicate with a certain pantheon or type of religion. I allow the divine to reach me in any way.

It is only recently that I have delved into other pagan branches such as Thelema and Voudon, and have opened myself up to a ‘come what may’ mentality. Meaning that I am not closing myself off to any one particular pantheon or belief. I am open and accepting of a multitude of ways of communication with the divine. I accept all religions and I respect everyone and their choice of belief, because ultimately I accept and love myself completely.

My religion is that which consists of being a good person. Not intentionally hurting anyone or anything, but absolutely defending oneself if need be. I live in harmony with my surroundings and I am accepting and respectful of others.

I am spiritual, I am divine, and I am a Witch.

flying witch

 

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From Where I Stand

It seems to me that everything influences . . .  well, everything. I make choices constantly, we all do, and these choices help alter the outcomes.

Good or Bad, I take them all.

They shape me into who I will be, whether 5 minutes from now or 5 years into the future. Point is, I take them all and embrace them.

In April of 2011, I made a conscious decision to be bold, to be daring, to put myself out there, to do something purely for myself. The events that have transpired since then, have immensly changed my life. Truly, there are no words to describe the amazing journey it’s been. All I know is that I’m truly grateful for many things, to many people, but mostly to myself for taking that one very important step.

I’ve met some of the most wonderfully spectacular beings and I continue to meet more and more special like-minded people, all of who, in one way or another, whether in the most simplest way or ground-shaking manner, have touched my soul.

One of the biggest moments I experienced, was growing from a group of friends who shared spiritual journeys together to forming an official coven. All the time we’ve spent together as friends and as coveners means the world to me. I have grown, I have learned, and I have been able to share intimate moments with them. For those special times, I am thankful. They will never truly know how much they have each impacted my life. How they’ve changed the way I approach friendships. And so much more! But I am, in all sincerity, thankful to all of them.

The time has come to go on my own again, speaking specifically about the coven. I faced a very scarry moment, and trusted wholeheartedly that they would all understand and support me once I announced that I would be stepping out on my own into a solitary path once more. I will still maintain those friendships, for they are more than friendships. They are bonds of a spiritual family that are as meaningful as those of blood relatives or perhaps even more. And I expressed to them how I would still be honored if they would allow me to occasionally celebrate some Sabbats or Esbats with them. I hope they are able to see that my time had arrived. I was given everything I needed to be able to move forward and continue the divine path I currently walk. It seems a bit selfish, but it truly isn’t. This is a moment that all who experience joining a coven, must come to and at some point, identify when it is time to go or when to continue growing with that spiritual family.

So from where I stand, the sweet smell of the goddess continues to light the way as I travel to enlightenment. From where I stand, the bonds we formed will always be with me, helping me continue to learn and grow. From where I stand, the mysteries are being revealed. From where I stand . . .

When the Veil is thinnest

I love Halloween! It has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love wandering down dark streets in the crisp air, with the leaves crunching under my feet, passing strange apparitions, always with a hint of fear, the sense that something is lurking in the darkness. Since I grew older, my attention shifted away from trick-or-treating and parties towards the main theme of this dark festival: death.

Halloween is one of the great quarter-days or pagan festivals which fall midway between the solstices and the equinoxes. That makes it an agricultural festival — it marks the time of the last harvest, the winter slaughter, the death of the crops and the rest cycle of the land. The Saxons called it Winter’s Eve. The Celts called it Samhain, which means “summer’s end.” To the Celts, the day began with night fall. Thus it was natural for the year to begin at the start of the darkest time of the year. Celtic feasts were celebrated from sunset to sunset, so Samhain began at sunset on October 31st and continued until sunset November 1st. The Feast of All Saints, which came into existence in the 7th century, was commemorated on November 1 under the name of All Hallows Day, from which we get the name Halloween (the eve of Hallows). The following day, November 2, is All Souls Day, a day when the priest wears black, the church is draped with mourning and the faithful pray for the souls of their departed, with the hope of shortening their time in Purgatory.

The Day of the Dead

In Mexico, All Souls Day is called Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) and is a time of commemorating the dead by decorating their tombs (with marigolds, a flower sacred to the Aztecs) and inviting them to a feast in their honor. Families go to the cemetery for a picnic and eat skeleton cookies and sugar skull cakes. Trick-or-treating derives from an ancient British custom of going from house to house begging for soul-cakes. Some say the soul-cakes were given to the priest to buy Masses for the souls of relatives in Purgatory. Others believe they were offerings to the dead. Candles flickering in the windows (or pumpkins) were meant to serve as beacons for the dead, just as on the similar holiday in Japan, lanterns are hung by the garden gates.

The Month of Blood

There are some obvious reasons why this place on the Wheel of the Year is associated with death. The sun is approaching its nadir, the leaves are falling from trees, the death and decay in the natural world remind us of our own mortality. Martinmas, November 11th, was the traditional time for slaughtering the cattle, sheep and pigs which could not be maintained during the winter. The Welsh called November the month of Slaughter while the Saxons called it the Month of Blood. In the Odyssey, Odysseus summons the shades of the dead by sacrificing animals. Their blood drains into a pit and the restless shades come eagerly crowing up from the underworld. Odysseus holds them at bay with his sword until the particular spirit he wants comes forward, laps up the blood and then prophesies what will happen in the future. This scene combines the themes of fear, slaughter, death, the Underworld, ghosts and divination which are common to Halloween.

Honoring the Dead

There are many ways you can honor the dead, starting with the simple act of setting out food for them. While you’re at home and can properly supervise, place lighted candles in the windows to serve as beacons for the spirits. Host a Feast of the Dead as I will be this year with my coven family & friends. Set a place at the table for the dead and offer them servings of the food you eat. Invite departed friend and relatives, ancestors and heroines. Ask the living participants to share a memory about someone who has died who was important to them. Light a candle or ring a bell for each person after you speak about them. In Feeding the Spirit, Cunningham suggests a variation of a Shinto tradition: cut out or draw pictures of things the dead would like. Then burn them in the fire (or candle flame), saying something like, “George, I am sending you new clothes for your journey in the spirit world.” You can also make an altar for your ancestors. Z Budapest in Grandmother of Time suggests putting pictures of your departed relatives in the middle of the altar, burning white and yellow devotional candles and incense, and talking to them. If you feel uncomfortable talking out loud, write letters. You can burn these too and imagine the smoke carrying your message.

Celebrating

Decorating for this holy day is easy since there are so many items available for Halloween which will set the proper tone of mortality: autumn leaves, skeletons, miniature coffins, skulls, tombstones, pumpkins carved with terrifying faces, black candles. While you enjoy the fruits of the harvest, you can honor their source by wassailing the trees. Go out to the trees which have shared their bounty with you and thank them, drink a toast and pour a libation on their roots. For a dramatic but simple Halloween ritual I recommend this piece of the long and beautiful Samhain ritual described by Starhawk in The Spiral Dance. Light candles in a dark room. Take a pomegranate and hold it up saying, “Behold, the fruit of life —” Put it down on a plate and cut it open with a knife, saying “— which is death.” The ruby-red juice of the pomegranate will look like blood in the candlelight. Then hold up an especially shiny red apple — one that reminds you of the apple the stepmother gave Snow White — and say “Behold the fruit of death —” Put it down and slice it open horizontally rather than vertically. Hold it up so others can see the five-pointed star made by the seeds and say “— which is life.” Cut up the rest of the apple and feed it to each other or use it for one of the many forms of divination.

Divining the Future

After being fed and entertained, the ghosts might provide oracular advice as they did for Odysseus. Since the spirits are so close to us on this night, this is an excellent time for all forms of divination. You have more access to your personal underworld, your unconscious. Consult your favorite oracle — the tarot cards, the I Ching, a Ouija board, runes, tea leaves or a crystal ball, etc. Request images of what you can become or what you will do in the new year. There are many traditional forms of divination practiced on this night, most of them used to reveal the identity of your future spouse. If this is not something you need to know, ask for another vision. Several forms of divination involve apples. For instance, you are advised to take a candle, go alone to a mirror in a darkened room and eat the apple while looking into it, combing your hair all the while. The face of your lover — or the Devil — will appear over your shoulder. A variation of this says you only have to peel the apple while looking into the mirror. You can also cut an apple into nine equal parts, eat eight of them, toss the ninth over your left shoulder, turn quickly and glimpse your future mate. There is something to be said for helping the spirits provide the answer which is in your best interest.

References

Barolini, Helen, Festa: Recipes and Recollections of Italian Holidays, Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich 1988 Budapest, Z, Grandmother of Time, Harper and Row 1989 Cunningham, Nancy Brady, Feeding the Spirit, Resource Publications 1988 Kightly, Charles, The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore, Thames & Hudson 1987 Owen, Trefor, Welsh Folk Customs, Llandysul, Dyfed: Gomer Press Starhawk, The Spiral Dance, Harper & Row 1979

 

Visions: a waking dream and flight of a black bird

I recently had an intense experience that now lingers in my head. It surrounds my moments of tranquility and appears vividly in my minds eye. This moment was overwhelming and intense but not in a bad way. I wasn’t frightenend or uneasy, but rather focused and almost in aw of what I was seeing. I believe that a waking dream is an emotionally charged event that stands apart from the rest of your day. Each waking dream in our life is divine. They are created for our spiritual growth. That said, this is what occurred . . .

Several nights ago I lived through this particular moment of what I am now calling a waking dream, although I had not yet fallen asleep. I got into bed, turned off the lights and started to get comfortable with my blanket and pillow when a red light captured my attention. I looked over at the light and saw two eyes, a woman’s eyes. I began to focus my vision and allow my eyes to adjust to the darkness in the room. Was I seeing things?

Once my eyes adjusted, I could clearly see, there was no mistake. It was a woman’s eyes. At first it appeared to be the eyes of a woman who’s face is covered by a Saree, but as I continued to examine, the woman was only wearing a mantle over her head without covering her face. I was still confused and in disbelief of what I was witnessing. My rational brain began to take over and so I did the logical thing to do. I began rubbing my eyes. Then I covered one eye to look and then the other eye, but the image was still very clear right in front of me. Once I realized it wasn’t my vision, I relaxed a bit and continued looking back at the eyes that were utterly fixed on mine. Now an amazing thing started to occur. The eyes and face of this woman began to transform into what looked like a black dog or a wolf. I was puzzled. Who was this? Why was I seeing this? A message no doubt, but what could it be? The image of the wolf/dog’s face morphed back to the woman’s and then back to the wolf and back to the woman and it continued happening for a few seconds before it remained as the woman. Those eyes!  Needless to say, I eventually turned to my side and fell asleep.

The next morning, the first thing to come to mind was what I had witnessed, and thus began my investigation. I searched the web for a connection between a female deity, a goddess, and a wolf or dog. I immediately found that the goddess Hecate was connected/associated with dogs and is sometimes depicted wearing a mantle over her head.

Thus far, it could quite possibly be this vision is of Hecate. She is among other things a goddess of crossroads and transitions. Something I am currently experiencing in my life. My search continues . . .

In some readings, I noted that crows are also sometimes associated with Hecate. Now it’s beginning to come together. Last November (2011) I had my first encounter with a crow. Having never seen one, other than on television, I experienced a very out-of-the-ordinary moment with a crow. As I was exiting a parking lot and moving slowly across the isles of parked cars, a crow decided to fly down from where ever he was and land on the hood of my car, then immediately swoop upward to perch on a stop sign just to the right of me. I stopped, and I looked over at him. It was indeed a crow! I couldn’t not believe my eyes! A crow! This was a very exciting moment for me. I saw a crow! Later I found out that crows are associated with messages. And thus I took it as that. A message.

After this encounter, I continued to have many others with crows. I was seeing crows everywhere, flying over my house, singing while I walked my puppy, in movies, on outings, they were everywhere. A few days after the vision of the woman/dog in my bedroom some nights ago, I visited a store. As I was already standing in line waiting to pay for my items, when I suddenly felt a strong pull. A force I couldn’t resist wanted me to leave the pay isle and go back a few lanes to where the merchandise was. On a shelf were some seasonal decorations and on that shelf were 2 little black crows. Needless to say I purchased them as well, and they are now perched upon my bedroom dresser mirror.

Now what does all this mean? Are the crows related to the vision of the woman and the dog/wolf? I needed to be sure, so I consulted with some women I trust, who happen to be daughters of Hecate. Based on my descriptions of what I saw, how I felt and the experience as a whole, it seems that this indeed was The Goddess of the Underworld herself, Hecate.

HECATE, Hekate, Heket, The Distant One, The Far Darter, Queen of Night, Night Mother, Queen of the Ghosts, Queen of the Witches, Mother of Witches, Mistress of Magic, Most Lovely One, Goddess of Paths, Goddess of Crossroads, Goddess of Transitions, The One before the Gate.

Heka means “magical speech” in Egyptian while Hekate means “influence from afar” in Greek. The latter attribution is due to her ability to
use magic upon a person from a distance. Hence the appellations “Far Darter” and “The Distant One” given to Hekate.

I am now aware of Hecate. I don’t know if her appearance was  a welcoming gesture or that of a longer stay. This I will see and recognize in due time. For now, I just say, “I am now aware of Hecate.”

Image I created that closely depicts how I see Hecate.

A Solitary Path to a Circle

Meeting through a local Pagan meetup was no coincidence. We all walked along the path we were each destined to travel. Some of us were long time practicioners and others just testing the waters of Paganism. Destiny brought us all to a common place where our faces became familiar to one another. Bonds formed, friendships developed and trust grew. Soon we all began to share our stories, our experiences and our time together writing a new story with us all entwined between the words of this tale.

It was not long at all when we wondered in silence, “What if . . .”

“Am I the only one who feels this way?”

“Does this thought cross anyone else’s mind?”

“and if we try it, would this even work?”

The very question must have lingered upon the others’ minds. Toying with the possibilites. Yearning to bring it forth. Stirring in the bubbling cauldron that was soon to overflow. And so it did . . .

“SHALL WE BECOME A COVEN?”

There is was. Out for all to see, feel, touch, smell, dream. Imagining all of the possibilites we had at the tips of our magick wands. It was no sooner than a twinkle of a witch’s nose that we became a circle of trust. We shared together more than ever before. We danced, and chanted and called the Gods and Goddesses. We celebrated together and honored the earth. A multi-faceted circle. We all had traveled different paths. We all brought forth those beliefs and share them with each other. And why not! We were embarking upon a journey unlike others we’ve heard or seen. Our circle was truly one of a kind and completely Eclectic in the literal form. Our main goal as a coven was to demonstrate that witches of different Pagan Traditions could be a coven, could be a circle, and still share and experience various rituals and share sacred space wholeheartedly without having to conform to a particular coven’s tradition or to go in search of a coven who shares your beliefs.

Thus our practices evolved. We have each taken turn directing a ritual in our own tradition or free-flowy way. We are learning and growing with each other and from each other. Experiencing something new with each sacred space we share, from Wiccan celebrations to ADF rituals, and preparing for future exposure to a blend of Judaic-Pagan styled ritual, sharing an Indo-Pagan one, and visiting a Santeria misa as well.

We have only been a formed circle for a few months now, but we are moving toward several common goals while embracing each witch’s personal spiritual goals as well. Our journey has brought us to develop what we appropriately call ourselves: Every Witch Way Coven ®.

Every Witch Way is a coven of friends who have come together in celebration of the divine spark that resides within each and every one of us through the essence of the Divine.  We aspire to create an environment that fosters continuous spiritual growth and unite to honor and celebrate all that life brings us. We strive to be a cohesive group of Pagans, to share the vibrancy and strength within us and give back to our fellow brotherhood of mankind.  Our mission is to help educate our community about Paganism, serve as an outreach group providing resources to both Pagans and non-Pagans alike, and we hope to set a positive example for all those looking in our direction by embodying the love of God & Goddess in all our endeavors.

I hope that other solitary witches and even witches already in existing covens realize that there is more that they can do to work toward the world wide goal of living in peace and harmony together. I hope that our circle will teach and serve as a positive example to inspire you to go . . .

“Where no Witch has gone before”™

http://everywitchway.wix.com/everywitchwaycoven

The Great Rite

Assist me to erect the ancient altar

At which in days past all worshipped

The great altar of all things

For in times of old, woman was the altar

Thus was the altar made and placed

And the sacred place was the point within the center of the circle

As we have of old been taught

That the point within the center is the origin of all things

Therefore should we adore it

Therefore whom we adore we also invoke

O circle of stars

Whereof our Father is but the younger brother

Marvel beyond imagination, soul of infinite space

Before whom time is ashamed

The mind bewildered, and the understanding dark

Not unto thee may we attain unless thine image be love

Therefore by seed and root, and stem and bud

And leaf and flower and fruit, do we invoke thee

O Queen of Space, O Jewel of Light

Continuous One of the Heavens

Let it be ever thus

That man speak not of thee as One, but as None

And let them not speak of thee at all

Since thou art continuous

For thou art the point within the Circle, which we adore

The point of life without which we would not be

And in this way truly are erected the holy pillars

In beauty and in strength were they erected

To the wonder and glory of all men

Altar of mysteries manifold, the sacred circle’s secret point

Thus do I sign thee as old, with kisses of my lips anoint

Open for me the secret way, the pathway of intelligence

Beyond the gates of night and day, beyond the bounds of time and sense

Beyond the mysteries aright, the five true points of fellowship

Here where the Lance and Grail unite

And feet, and knees, and breast, and lip

~  The Witches Way by Stewart and Janet Farrar, 1984 ~

Traditional Great Rite

When performed in a more formal or traditional way, which is also a long version of the rite, the Priestess lays down and a veil is placed over her. The Priest kneels at her feet and a female circle member brings the athamé from the altar and stands by the Priestess and a male member brings the chalice and stands on the opposite side of the Priestess.  This symbolizes woman as the altar, as the place where all magick and creation springs from.  The Priest then recites an invocation which begins with several lines which express this:

“Assist me to erect the ancient altar, at which in days past all worshipped; The altar of all things. For in old time, Woman was the altar. Thus was the altar made and placed, And the sacred place was the point within the center of the Circle.  As we have of old been taught that the point within the centre is the origin of all things, Therefore should we adore it; Therefore whom we adore we also invoke.”

After the full invocation (as written above), the Priest then removes the veil, handing it to the female who then hands him the athamé.  The Priestess then rises to her knees so she is kneeling before the High Priest and she is given the chalice.  The Priest then continues the invocation:

“Altar of mysteries manifold, The sacred Circle’s secret point Thus do I sign thee as of old, With kisses of my lips anoint.”

The Priest kisses the Priestess on the lips and continues:

“Open for me the secret way, The pathway of intelligence, Beyond the gates of night and day, Beyond the bounds of time and sense. Behold the mystery aright The five true points of fellowship.”

The Priestess then holds up the chalice and the Priest lowers the point of the athamé into the chalice which is commonly filled with red wine (different groups will use different liquids such as mead, while some will use water as it is considered to be one of the most sacred liquids of all).

The Priestess says:

“Here where Lance and Grail unite, And feet, and knees, and breast, and lip.”

The Priest gives the athamé to the female covener and then places both his hands around the hands of the Priestess as she holds the chalice and then kisses her and she sips from the cup.  In turn she kisses him and he then sips, all the while both keep their hands together holding the chalice.  The Priest then takes the chalice and they both stand.  Then the Priest will begin the passing of the chalice.  In a traditional coven, where all acts are done male to female and female to male, the Priest will start this by passing the chalice to the a female in circle with a kiss and then she to a male with a kiss and so on until the chalice comes back to the Priest.

Next the cakes or bread are consecrated, which is done by the male and female members who assisted in the wine blessing.  The woman takes the athamé, the man the dish, and he kneels before her holding the dish up to her.  She then draw an earth invoking pentagram over the dish while the man says:

“O Queen most secret, bless this food into our bodies; bestowing health, wealth, strength, joy and peace, and that fulfillment of love that is perfect happiness.”

The Athamé is placed on the altar and the woman takes the dish and, with a kiss passes it to the man, then he passes it back with a kiss, and then the woman begins the passing of the cakes, by giving the dish to another male in the circle with a kiss.

Traditional Great Rite in Truth

The above is the rite in token.  The rite in truth changes at the point where the Priestess  to her knees.  After the invocation is said by the Priest, all other members will either leave the room, in some cases they simply turn their backs to give some privacy to the Priest and Priestess in the center of the circle and they face outward and the Priestess remains laying down.  The Priest recites another piece of the invocation and then kisses the Priestess in the sign of the Third Degree (according to the public Gardnerian version of the rite).  The next portion of invocation includes the following verse:

“Foot to foot.  Knee to knee.  Lance to grail.  Breast to breast.  Lips to lips.”

At the point where the Priest says “Lance to grail”, if this section is used in the rite in token, the Athamé would be placed in the chalice.  If the rite is being done in truth, this would be the point of physical union.

Now, this is very much a traditional Wiccan method of doing this and is the publicly know version that is often said to be Gardnerian in nature.  This  version specifically comes from Janet and Stewart Farrar’s, The Witches’ Bible Complete.

Each Individual Light

~ original image by Dark Wallpapers Collections ~ photoshop effects by luna lioness, 2012

The brightness of the singular lights

Afloat through time & space

Entering through experience & thought

Along the paths of chosen moments

Cross they may or travel far distances

Amidst the winds and songs

With guidance of the God & Goddess

Intuition, Light and Love

These individual rays of colored lights

Though different from one another

They hold a common bond uniting

Shinning bright and sparkling throughout

Each one brings a gift to share

A precious token, a word, a will

Their long traveled roads have come to this moment

They meet at the base of the Tree of Life

In a circle of bright-colored lights they reside

Now blended as one in sacred synchronicity

To share the new road of divine & unity

Is our circle of each individual light

~ words by luna lioness, 2012 ~

Dark Goddess Meditation

Breathe deep the scent of the ocean.

The eternal abyss.

Breathe deep the starlit skies.

The never-ending void

Breathe deep the love your Self, of sisters and those who have come before.

The womb of our Mother.

Breathe deep the Moonlight, our most Holy of Guides.

As you stand at the shoreline, you know you are safe.

You take one step into the incoming tide, and feel the water splash around your ankles. Another step and another still, until you are completely immersed within the Ocean embrace.

Water fills your lungs as you begin to get sucked down to the very bottom of these dark waters. Deeper you go…dreaming in emptiness.

A voice calls to you from the watery depths, “Release these things that hold you back and immerse yourself in the Goddess.”

You find that you are able to breathe and before you stands the entrance to a cave hidden beneath the waters…Before entering the cavern the Voice calls to you once more, “What is your name? For your name itself holds power…Do not forget your name.”

As you make your way into the cavern the water slowly recedes. You find yourself emerging into an enclave with many doors in crescent moon formation. Sparkling stalactites hang precariously overhead. The soft trickle of water droplets collect in a small dark pool at the center of this room, separating you from the doors that lie ahead. Slowly you make your way to this pool, “To go up one must first go down”, you kneel and see your reflection within the black waters.

What do you look like? What do you want to look like…. what do you really look like?

“Your purpose” demands the Voice from the abyss.

“Why do you seek Us in Our Halls?”

“What can We teach you that you cannot learn yourself?”

The pool begins to quake and the doors open forcefully, shaking with power.

“Why have you come?” asks a voice from one of the doors. “What makes you think you are worthy?” asks another. “Who is She who dares stand before Me?” says a third. “How was Her price paid?” . . . One by one a woman emerges from each of the doorways.

Robed in feathers and pearls…in blood and in satin…in wool They come. Some, stand naked before you, primal and refined, hungry and satiated, in unison They say, We are that which the light has hidden. We are They who have known you since birth. We are She who will destroy you, and from Our hands, create you once more. Now what is it you fear?

As you step forward, you are approached by the Goddesses. One by one, spend time with as many as you see fit.

(allow time for your personal journey to manifest)

When it is time, and you are ready, saw your farewells. Remember, these are your Mothers, your Grandmothers, Ancestors and daughters that have yet to come. See within Them the reflection of that which has always been and ever will be.

“Return.” , calls the Voice, “Return, Return, Return”

As you make your journey back to the world of Light you reflect on the things you have seen, heard, and spoken. You are armed now, and ready. The choice is yours. You have stood before the Dark Goddess in Her many forms.

“Return, Return, Return…for She will always be within you.”

You float blissfully up to the surface, collected and empowered. You have come face to face with She who is You, as only a Woman can be.

Creatrix and Destroyer. Mother of Rebirth.

Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to come fully back into your body…When ready, take a deep breath, open your eyes and smile.

~ original work by Jessica ~ http://bandaidctrl.wordpress.com/

My journey through witchraft in search of healing

I have been a witch at heart for as long as I can remember. Although I didn’t know how to identify it being that I grew up in the Catholic faith. I admit I was pretty lucky as I was never forced to continue going to church or bible studies when I was old enough to decide, which for me was about age 12. I’m not saying that I renounced my religion. On the contrary, I embraced the spirituality of it even more once I began upholding the faith I had learned because it was now in my heart, in my soul, in my hands.

I had several tragic life-changing moments when growing up. I was sexually abused and molested by two predators, both whom I knew. And later in life, I also suffered a great illness, when I was diagnosed with End-Stage Renal disease at the age of 18. These things scarred my soul and when added to heartache from a failed marriage and the inability to bear children, it was more than I could take. Depression followed along with self loathing and lets just say I was in a very dark and lonely place.

I had always been curious about Wicca ever since I was 16 years old, when I wrote a research paper on the subject for English class in high school. I didn’t know that this would be tattooed deep within me and would serve as the light within that grew over the next two decades. Later in life, when my life had seem to have fallen apart, is when I began my practice as a witch. I had not turned my back on Christianity but in turn, I had blended both in a gradual concoction that worked for me. I read some books I had acquired over time about Wicca, and I began to incorporate it more and more into my life.

It was the refocusing of doing something purely selfish, something that was solely for me and me alone, that began the healing process for my pain-ridden soul. I did not know that this is what I was doing but it is a decision I am truly grateful to myself for having taken those steps. I acquired some magickal tools (which I now find aren’t necessary, just fun & sparkly to use) and I embarked upon a magickal journey that has brighten my life in every possible way.

I have healed myself. I have healed my soul. I am a new woman. I am not Wiccan. I am not Christian. I am a beautiful soul who is learning how to continue to heal and grow beautiful each and every day. I am walking the path my heart and my mind are guiding me to follow. I trust myself and I have undying faith with the purest of hearts. I am healthy now and taking care of that aspect of my life with the utmost dedication. I will not neglect any part of me, for I now love all of me. I am happy. I am a woman. I am a witch.

Bridge of the Summit ~ A Gateway

I walk along these walls of black jagged rock that glisten from the faint glow of the spaced out lit torches. There is a stillness in the stagnant air. It’s quiet here. The only sounds that fill my ears, are the steps I take as I go forth. The path inside this darkness twists downward in a subtle decline. It twists and twists and as I continue my journey on this downward spiral, I know I’m exactly where I need to be. There is a faint light up ahead and it is an opening to a giant space. It’s a void inside this place of darkness with a light shinning it’s glow in the center of this space. The light is coming from a small fire pit placed above a small pillar. There are others gathered around this pit. I walk on, closer and closer toward the place where they all stand. A narrow bridge of stone now stands before me but I cannot walk ahead, for there is a guardian who stops me. Exquisite skin and amber red hair, dressed in feathers, fur and woven cloth. She asks me who I am and why I am here. I answer with silence, but she is not pleased. She begins to speak but I say out  loud and my voice echoes against these walls,

“I am she who brings the light. I am she who carries love. My colors are the spectrum of life. I am Iris”

She steps aside and welcomes me. As I walk forward onto the bridge, images & sounds enrapture  me. I hear powerful rumbles of thunder, and I hear the wings of something large brushing the winds upon my face, I feel the messages of hope in my heart, and I suddenly loose my sight. I keep moving forward on this bridge, relying on my senses to help me on this path. I will not fall into the bottomless pits on either side of me. I walk on. Upon reaching the end of the bridge, my sight returns and I find myself among these beings. I see them all and I know I’ve met them before. I know who they are. We have gathered together in this time and this place. We have each crossed our own bridges, our own journeys we have traveled, through times that are neither here nor there.  And when our tasks are complete, we will once again continue our journeys and cross more bridges. These bridges are the road for all to reach the Divine plane, and I am on my journey, expelling  my fears to cross what bridges may come.

 

~ written by luna lioness 2012 ~