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

 

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

 

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.

Drawing Down the Moon

All ye assembled at mine shrine, Mother Darksome and Divine.

Mine the Scourge and mine the Kiss, Here I charge you in this sign.

All you assembled in my sight, Bow before my spirit bright.

Aphrodite, Arianhod, Lover of the Horned God.

Mighty Queen of Witchery and night,

Morgan, Erione, Nisene, Diana, Brighid, Melusine,

Am I named of old by men, Artemis and Cerridwen,

Hell’s dark mistress, Heaven’s Queen.

Ye who ask of me a rune, Or would ask of me a boon,

Meet me in some secret glade, Dancing round in greenwood shade.

By the light of the Full Moon.

In a place wild and lone, Dance about mine altar stone,

Work my holy mystery, Ye who are feign to sorcery.

I bring ye secrets yet unknown.

No more shall ye know slavery, who give true worship unto me.

Ye who tread my round on Sabbat night,

come ye naked to my rite, in token that ye be really free.

I teach ye the mystery of rebirth, work ye my mysteries in mirth.

Heart joined to heart and lip to lip,

five are the points of fellowship,

that bring ye ecstasy on earth,

for I am the circle of rebirth.

I ask no sacrifice, but do vow,

no other Law but love I know,

By naught but love may I be known.

All things living are mine own,

from me they come, to me they go.

I invoke Thee and call upon Thee Mighty Mothers of us all.

Bringer of Fruitfulness by seed and by root.

I invoke Thee by stem and bud.

I invoke Thee by life and love

and call upon Thee to descend into the body

of this Thy Priestess and Servant.

Hear with her ears, speak with her tongue,

touch with her hands, kiss with her lips,

that thy servants may be fulfilled.

~ words by Jessie Wicker Bell, The Grimoire of Lady Sheba, 1974 ~

The Charge of the God

I am the radiant King of the Heavens,

flooding the Earth with warmth and encouraging the hidden

seed of creation to burst forth into manifestation.

I lift my shining spear to light the lives of all beings

and daily pour forth my golden rays upon the Earth,

putting to flight the powers of darkness.

I am the spirit of all beasts wild and free.

I run with the stag and soar as a sacred falcon against the shimmering sky.

The ancient woods and wild places emanate my powers,

the birds of the air sing of my sanctity.

I am the harvest, offering up grain and fruits beneath

the sickle of time so that all may be nourished.

For without planting there can be no harvest;

without winter there can be no spring.

I am the thousand named son of Creation.

Know that by all names I am the same.

The spirit of the horned stag in the wild, the endless harvest.

See in the yearly cycle of festivals my birth, death, and rebirth

and know that such is the destiny of all creation.

I am the spark of life, the radiant Sun, the giver of peace and rest.

I send my rays of blessings to warm the hearts and strengthen the minds of all.

 

~ Author Unknown ~  This version is similar to Aleister Crowley’s Hymn to Pan, 1929

The Charge of the Goddess

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called Artemis; Astarte; Diana; Melusine; Aphrodite; Cerridwen; Dana; Arianrhod; Isis; Bride; and by many other names.

Whenever ye have need of anything, once in a month, and better it be when the Moon be full, then, ye shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all Witcheries.

There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not yet won its deepest secrets: to these will I teach things that are yet unknown.

And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye are really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.

For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and mine also is joy on earth; for my Law is Love unto all Beings.

Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever toward it; let naught stop you or turn you aside.

For mine is the secret door which opens upon the Land of Youth; and mine is the Cup of the Wine of Life, and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of Immortality.

I am the Gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand sacrifice, for behold I am the Mother of All Living, and my love is poured out upon the earth.

Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess, she in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven; whose body encircleth the Universe; I, who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the heart’s desire, call unto thy soul. Arise and come unto me.

For I am the Soul of Nature, who giveth life to the universe; from me all things proceed, and unto me must all things return; and before my face, beloved of gods and mortals, thine inmost divine self shall be unfolded in the rapture of infinite joy.

Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.

For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

 

~ The Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente, as adapted by Starhawk ~

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.

Return to the Ocean: A journey with Amphitrite

“We are tied to the ocean, and when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.” ~ John F. Kennedy
My relationship with the ocean began in my first month of life, and for more than three decades since, that relationship that began as a friendship, blossomed into a passionate love affair. Several years ago, during a very difficult time in my life, I withdrew. I pulled away from everyone and everything, the ocean included. As an only child, I learned that during difficult situations, I needed to cope with everything on my own. What I didn’t expect was what happened this time around. Not visiting the ocean created a void in my soul. There was an emptiness that could not be filled and I had no idea why I was feeling this way. It wasn’t until July of 2011, when I had my very first Tarot reading, that the messages of the ocean came out and brushed the surface of my heart, allowing me to see clearly what I had been missing. This Tarot reading was a true wake up call in so many ways, but more specifically, it questioned why I had not visited the ocean. A direct question came from the cards and the Tarot Maven spoke, “I don’t know why I must ask you this, but why haven’t you been to the ocean?” I was stunned.
MEETING AMPHITRITE
Amphitrite (Αμφιτρίτη in Ancient Greek) is the immortal wife of Poseidon and Queen of the Sea, she is ancient Greek goddess of salt water. She is sometimes listed among the Oceanids,  but more often said to be one of the fifty Nereids, daughters of the Sea god, Nereus and the Oceanid, Doris. By Poseidon, she is the mother of Triton; her offspring also includes seals and dolphins. Her Roman counterpart is Salacia.
Back to my story . . .
I was advised to call upon Yemaya, the Yoruban Orisha or Goddess of the living Ocean, considered the Mother of All, but I knew this wasn’t the goddess I needed to seek to help me with reconnecting with the ocean. I did my share of research, looking high and low, within and without. It was Amphitrite. She would be the one to help me with this painful task. It was difficult for me because of the deep-rooted love I had for the ocean, and how I had turned my back on her. I had no good reason to do so, and I feared her wrath upon my return.
The day arrived when I was ready. I prepared myself physically and spiritually and began the long road to one of my favorite beaches. As I pulled into the state park, an overwhelming feeling came over me. It wasn’t overpowering nor drowning, but a peaceful and warm sensation.
Amphitrite was here!
She was allowing me to feel comfort upon my arrival to the beach. I gathered my belongings, and made my way down the soft white sand in the early morning sun. I sat for a while, and I read my book. I enjoyed the ocean breeze and the smell of beach filled me up. Then the moment arrived. I knew I must enter the water.
The moments that followed were magickal but I dare not speak of them out loud. They are for me and me alone, or rather they are between Amphitrite, the Ocean and myself. Let’s just say that the ocean accepted my return, for she missed me as I had missed her. Amphitrite welcomed me to her home with open arms, and her gift to me was one that touched my soul. Standing in waist deep water, next to the rocks by the lighthouse, a school of minnows surrounded me in a perfect circle. This was Amphitrite’s clear message. Her way of welcoming me back. Her embrace.

from Darkness into the Light

“A Spiritual Rebirth is at hand.  It is the re-awakening of the Great Goddess in the world, and within each of us.”  by Drangonsong

I am walking through the gateway to a new level of spiritual evolution.  The signs are all around me. A journey that began so very long ago, and not a few years ago, but hundreds of generations past. It’s a fire that runs through my veins. A veil has been lifted and I can now see where this path has led me. It is only now that I must continue my journey, make my continuing path. A path that my ancestors began so long ago. A path that I am creating for my family’s future.

I have begun this blog to write about my experiences through this beautiful Divine journey. Welcome to the Lioness’ Den!

I am reborn. I am a Witch. I am a Priestess!