Coexisting: I’m a witch. Are you okay with that?

I have taken a leap; A leap of faith, if you will.

Not to try a new faith, a new path, but rather to risk that dreadful conversation with a potential new relationship. What I mean is, I decided to join an online dating site. I suppose I could have joined a dating site that caters to people of the same faith, like christianmingle.com caters to Christians or Pagandatingservice.com is specifically for heathens, but I chose not to. Instead, I joined a dating site that supports diversity. They do not let you restrict possible matches with things like race or religion because they believe what all of us should believe, and that is, learning to coexist.

I am almost 40 years old and alone. All my friends from high school have married and formed families, and yes, some have ended in divorce, but that’s a different topic all together. My current friends, most of which happen to be pagan, are more like a family, and thus I do not view them as a possible romantic match, with one or two exceptions. I was married, now divorced and not by choice. I never had any children, and I’ve gone through many ups and downs regarding my health. I felt it was time to do something different. I knew that I was not going to meet anyone new if I kept hanging out with the same people and going to the same places, so I made a change.

I’ve been going to new places, like art events and other local activities happening in this huge metropolitan city I live in, and I also joined an online dating website. I joined less than one week ago. I immediately had over 20 messages and faced the task of how to proceed. I’m a nice person, so I didn’t want to just delete those I didn’t find attractive, so I began with my personally developed process of elimination. Eventually, there was one man. I liked his message and no doubt I think he’s cute, so I responded, and we’ve been talking every since. This brings me to why I’m writing this blog entry. I foresee going on a date with mystery man in the near future, as we seem to be hitting it off quite nicely. The topic of religion is going to come up. I’m fairly certain that it’s one of the first things people who start dating discuss (by the way, I’ve never dated, much less online).

What will I say if/when he asks me what my faith is? The truth, of course.

Will there be silence?

An awkward pause?

A shocked, blank stare?

However he responds, I’ll still be proud of who I am. Proud that I am a good person. Proud that I am not evil and I do not worship the devil. Proud that I have a deep connection with the divine and have embraced the beautiful soul that is me. I am proud to be a witch.

If he doesn’t like what he hears, if he doesn’t receive the response he expected and walks away, then I’ll just know he wasn’t the right one, but wouldn’t it be great if he or anyone who finds themselves in this situation or a similar one, could just be okay with it? I mean, I do not judge people who tell me they’re Jewish or practice Buddhism or if they’re Muslim. I accept them and I respect their beliefs. After all, what is important is that they have a pure heart, a good head on their shoulders.

If there is one thing that I can tell the world I learned from paganism, from Wicca, from being a witch, is that I have learned to coexist.

coexist

 Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they are alive and human.  ~ Albert Ellis

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

 

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 . . .

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

A Drink from the Scarlet’s Chalice

“I am the dowghter of fortitude & ravyshed every howr, from my youth, for behold, I am understanding & science dwelleth in me & the hevens oppress me, They covet an desyre me with infinite appetite few or none that are erthly have embraced me, for I am shadowed with the circle of the sonne; and covered with the morning clouds: My feet are swifter that the wynds & my hands are sweter than the morning dew.”

Babalon is The Great Mother, the Mother of Abominations, the Sacred Whore, the Mother of Harlots, she is Mystery, she is the Scarlet Woman.

“This is how Babalon works, the destruction of morality and the release of psychosexual energy into mystical illumination.” pg 108 Peter Grey’s The Red Goddess

The lurid and provocative descriptions of the Red Goddess have helped me form a more concrete image of the goddess symbols in my own workings. You see, coming more from the heart than from the head, The Red Goddess is not just Grey’s devotion to the Scarlet Woman, it is itself a talisman. If nothing else it is challenging, uncompromising, sarcastic and insightful, and at times downright funny, but always providing the clear message, “Let Go“!

Babalon is Rising! Babalon “is a power that comes out of the past and resonates into the now with the compelling song of the witch woman. She is both the primal form of the Goddess from the far distant past and the most modern icon of post-human style” (p2). His passion for the Holy Whore shines through on each page.

The call to Babalon is key in present day. It is essential in reclaiming female power. Of course, women can’t flock to temples and set up camp as Holy Whores in this day and age without being arrested, but a definite change in the way women see themselves, and in the way men see women, would be a start. Every woman can invoke the Holy Whore into her life with pleasure. The Sacred Prostitute is a woman who has reclaimed herself and has reconnected with her will. Most importantly, she is a woman who has reclaimed the sacredness of her body.

InLore                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Enochian is a name applied to an occult or angelic language recorded in the private journals of Dr. John Dee and his seer Edward Kelley in the late 16th century. The men claimed that it was revealed to them by angels. Some contemporary scholars of magic consider it a constructed language. It is believed, by some, to be the only way to communicate with the Scarlet Woman. Aleister Crowley conducted invocations using the Enochian System of Magick that led to his book, The Vision and The Voice, consisting of chronicals of his mystical journey.

In Crowley’s, Book of Lies, he dedicated chapter 49 called ‘Waratah Blossoms’ to Babalon.

Seven are the veils of the dancing-girl in the harem of IT.  Seven are the names, and seven are the lamps beside Her bed. Seven eunuchs guard Her with drawn swords; No Man may come nigh unto Her.  In Her wine-cup are seven streams of the blood of the Seven Spirits of God. Seven are the heads of THE BEAST whereon She rideth. The head of an Angel: the head of a Saint: the head of a Poet: the head of An Adulterous  Woman: the head of a Man of Valour: the head of a Satyr: and the head of a Lion-Serpent. Seven letters hath Her holiest name; and it is This is the Seal upon the Ring that is on the Fore-finger of IT: and it is the Seal upon the Tombs of them whom She hath slain. Here is Wisdom.  Let Him that hath Understanding count the Number of Our Lady; for it is the Number of a Woman; and Her Number is An Hundred and Fifty and Six. 

Who is to drink of the Chalice of Ecstacy? The Whore, Babalon, shares her sacred elixir with all who dare savor its hidden delights through the purity of heart and transparency of soul. For me, the Chalice of Ecstasy is the fruit of the Tree of Initiation. I drink the nectar of transformation.

The day when BABALON reaches for me, She will touch a place which is not quite flesh. This place is fluid and constantly changing. She will push me over the edge and I will fly to meet Her. In that moment, I will have felt the yielding of myself to a force which is a part of me but which I cannot quite grasp. I will allow myself the freedom to be exactly who I am without fear of disapproval.  BABALON will reinforce the strength that I sometimes forget I have. She will enhance the Woman-Essence that is me. She will help me experience some of the more hidden and shadowy parts of myself: my creativity, my sexuality, my anger but also my joy, love and celebration of living on the Earth.

Hear the charge of the Goddess, “To Me! To Me!”  As she beckons to those who wish to be free; Calling Her children from hither and yon! I raise up the cup and adore Babalon!  ~ In Nomine Babalon: 156 Adorations to the Scarlet Goddess

I’ve been hearing whispers, and although I cannot make out the words, I feel the weight of their importance. Soon, She will roar through me. Soon my words will be Her words. Soon, there will be only Her.

Babalon Rising!

Love is the Law! Love under will!

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 ~

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.

For the love of Aphrodite

I think that one of the interesting things about working with a goddess like Aphrodite is that I often feel like no one sees her the way I see her. When I see other devotees’ relationship with this magnificent goddess, I think, “No, she’s mine!”  (silly, jealous me). Then I laugh at myself because I am so badly under her spell, aren’t I?

The Aphrodite that I work with, the one who apparently has been with me always, the one whom I handed over my heart to and created my first altar to – is rarely found when I’m looking at other people who worship her.  I definitely view Aphrodite as a love goddess (among other things), and a popular perception of her is that she’s only a sex goddess. I’ve seen skeptical people who mock at the idea of working with Aphrodite for a loving relationship. The goddess who visits me has no problems with this.

Aphrodite has helped in my most emotionally heart-wrenching and painful moments. She has shown me to be strong. She has embraced me when I’m drowning in sorrow. She has taught me how to love myself. She has even come through to help someone else with love, when I asked her for help on their behalf. She is many things. A sex and rapture goddess, a goddess of pleasure and procreation, a goddess of beauty and promiscuity, but she is also a goddess of love.

The true Aphrodite Greek Goddess of Love, is Aphrodite Ourania, the Celestal Aphrodite.  She is not other than the Divine Love Herself, in the form of spiritual devotion on the part of humans and loving care on the part of Dea. She is also the source of all earthly beauty and of human love in its purest and truest form, in which the love of the beauty of mind, body, and soul in other creatures is a stepping-stone toward the Divine Love Herself.

Once we understand this, the allure which so many feel toward Aphrodite Greek Goddess of Love becomes clear in all its beauty.