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Feb. 5th, 2010

magic, wicca, herbs, witch, pagan

Done with the Community Thing

While some of the communities of Livejournal host some of the best people ever, I am done posting to their 'wall'. The negative remnants of such communities seem to lurk about, waiting for someone to post something they can find fault with, exploit, and make the OP feel like crap. They tear down first, and then (if you're lucky) they will try to build you back up by feeding you their own thoughts and ideas. And they post fast! Which is why I use the word 'lurk'.

Once a couple of negative comments are in place, others, who may not of had a problem to begin with, will show up to the feast. Like piranhas, they dart in and take a bite. Some of them show their stupidity, while others are very clever and make very educated sounding arguments--twisting what you wrote to mean something that you didn't (I will say that these particular people are not without virtue though; they really show you flaws in your writing, which can be helpful... provided that the seething pool of arrogance and condemnation doesn't scare you away).

I spent three hours, THREE HOURS, yesterday trying to converse with these people. I was thinking that maybe, if I am just misunderstood, I could clear it up. Wrong. It is as if these people truly believe that in admitting that maybe, just maybe, you knew something about the subject you posted, it would kill them. If you are allowed the 'last word', it would be a catastrophe. If you do put them in a place where they can't argue, they will just find something else.

Negative, negative, negative. I can't deal with it. I am not a debater. I do not find pleasure in it. A friend of mine told me I should just 'post and run'. Maybe she's right. After all, she has been on LJ for years now. Perhaps guerrilla warfare of sorts is needed, but I just don't have the patience. My life is my own, and it is too short to spend hanging out with a negative crowd. I wouldn't do it in real life, and I sure as will not do it digitally.

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Feb. 4th, 2010

magic, wicca, herbs, witch, pagan

Just invert it...

So many places and from so many mouths have I heard that Wicca = Satanism. More than that, if you are 'pagan' at all you are a satanist by many Christian standards.

First off, I don't get it. I really don't. It makes about as much sense as saying, "You don't like apple pie? Then you must only eat lemons, just like all the rest." What? How does one thought lead to the other?

On top of that, I really don't like the judgment, "You are Satanist," when I don't even believe in Satan. Satan? Really? Isn't He like, an innate part of Christianity? "Neo-Pagan Witches aren't Satanists. The Christian anti-God, Satan, has no place in Pagan pantheons, either mythologically or theologically. Plainly and simply, to non-Christians, Satanism is the dark side of Christianity." - Otter and Morning Glory Zell

I'm not Christian, so how can I be Satanist? That said, wouldn't that make Satanism the flip-side of Christianity? "Oh, but Satanist use the pentagram." Yes, some do, but it is inverted. "What difference does that make? It's still the pentagram and therefore associated with Satanism." So, the inverted cross used by some Anti-Christ/Satanist means... ... ... the cross is associated with Satanism? There's shooting yourself in the foot with shortsighted thinking.

{I'll be cross posting this to two other communities as well as my journal.}

Feb. 3rd, 2010

magic, wicca, herbs, witch, pagan

A Good Day

A good day starts with a good yawn, followed by a good shower. If you were sick the entire past week, a good day gifts you with the ability to breath clearly and the energy to make an actual breakfast. A good day gives you new friends. A good day will see to it that your needs are met; if you need help with something, you will receive it. A good day is positive in energy; it would seem nothing can go wrong. A good day feels good, feels great.

Today is a good day. My sickness is waning, I am earning new friends, and my request for help on Craft Haven has seen encouraging responses. I wished for writers who wouldn't mind contributing articles to the site, and I got them; even more are interested. If this keeps up, Craft Haven will take off and be a flourishing site. Years from now, I hope it is still getting articles with unique outlooks and views from ordinary everyday people. I hope the site, while also informational, can be inspiring. With enough people sharing their views and experiences, it will be.

I needed a good day.

Jan. 29th, 2010

magic, wicca, herbs, witch, pagan

It Has Room

I received an article through e-mail yesterday from a friend of mine. She saw some of the latest negative reviews I had endured from my second post ever to livejournal. She cringes at the negative energy that these people are releasing into the world, for 'it will all come back to them'. I feel the same way.

Granted I am not without guilt. The article that got flamed was littered with my own doubts and anger from the past. This negative energy, I believe, bought me a lot of the resulting criticism. It was time I took a slice of 'humble pie', no matter how unappetizing it was, and fix my mistakes.

Now, the article that my friend sent involves her own introduction to pagan sexuality. She felt that people should realize that what I mentioned within the main article on the subject, is not fan-fiction, or improper, or false in any way. I was very relieved when I read it.

This friend of mine is a third generation pagan whose craftname is Sage. She has written a few other articles for the site, already. Her latest article reads more like a story than a 'finding-fact' piece, which I suppose is best considering it is her own real-life account.

If you are interested in reading the article, I posted it this morning. Just click here.

Jan. 28th, 2010

magic, wicca, herbs, witch, pagan

Quotes

Late last night I updated the Everything Else section of the website to include an 'Intriguing Quotes' section. Quotes have been very influential on my life. To gather in the intelligence of others is a hobby, a pervasive one at that.

I love quotes. They embody a small collection of wisdom, gathered together from the experiences of another. To read them is inspiring; to share them feels natural. It would not surprise me if this section becomes the largest in all the website.

Quotes can be oddly comforting at times. Finding that quote that says, in effect, "You are not alone in feeling the way you do", grounds me and encourages me. I have been quoted before, though I do not consider myself possessing enough wisdom to be quoted. However, it has been my impression that we all have some words worth quoting at some time or another.

Jan. 27th, 2010

magic, wicca, herbs, witch, pagan

An Intro to Coven Beginnings

Part 2 of 2:

Further, if you plan to build a coven, you probably have some sort of leadership qualities. In short, this is a very positive thing. A word of caution, a great leader doesn't lord his authority over anyone or anything. They simply give people choices. An example of such would be:

Please don't interrupt the ceremony. If you wish to do so, you can leave. (Positive)

(The choice is theirs. Chances are, they will comply because they would feel foolish to do otherwise.)

In contrast you could say:

Do not interrupt the ceremony. If you do so, I will remove you from this coven. (Negative)

(A bit to brash, wouldn't you say? You are commanding people now, people who may not stick around when being talked down to.)

With the precautions out of the way, we should discuss exactly how much time you will have—be honest with yourself—to spend on making this coven work. How much effort will you put into creating a friendly atmosphere? What are you willing to sacrifice if your coven needs more of your time?

It is very advisable to have a questionnaire ready to be taken by prospective initiates. This will allow you to get a quick glance of their current frame of mind and previous education, if any, in the craft. If you are having trouble creating a solid questionnaire, read the 'sample questionnaire' provided in this section. It is not to be copied or used as it is; it's just a sample and therefore unfinished. However, feel free to use it as inspiration; that is the reason it is there.

Next, you should consider your 'rules'. Contrary to the popular belief, rules are not meant to be broken, but are meant to support and safeguard. Whether or not you have a 'rule book' is not important. Rather, more attention should be given to the standards: respect, love, and honor each other. Build your set of rules around those three traits in mind, and you will have a solid start. Don't forget to have each initiate read it. After which, it is recommended that you have them sign their name, representing their having read the rules, having understood them, and that they agree to abide by them.

Speaking of rules, you should really think about age requirements. It is not advisable to allow persons under the age of 18 into the coven. This is, for a number of reasons, a safe rule. While age eighteen does not automatically make somebody mature, it does make sure everyone is at least an adult and responsible for their actions. Some covens raise the age requirement as high up as 26 to weed out as many young (and therefore sometimes irresponsible or immature) people as possible.

An Intro to Coven Craft

Jan. 26th, 2010

magic, wicca, herbs, witch, pagan

An Intro to Coven Beginnings

Part 1 of 2:

Starting a Coven can be a wonderful experience. Having those of like-mind alongside you in worship can strengthen your craft, perhaps even beyond your wildest reckonings. However, while starting a coven may sound like fun, it is a lot of work. In fact, I cannot even begin to describe the dedication and time you must put forth. Yet, with a good group—people who are willing to help build each other up—a coven can be a wonderful arrangement.

Do not get discouraged. Discouragement leads to doubt; doubt leads to fear; fear is the mind killer. You cannot possibly hope to accomplish something as fragile as a happy coven with even a speck of doubt. Say that your coven isn't growing to your desired size in your desired frame of time; would you get discouraged? If so, quit now when you have little energy wasted to the cause.

Most people who consider starting a coven are third-degree initiates or people who have logged countless weeks of study and practice into their solo-craft. While this is the best background scenario, their are some covens out there that were started by someone who really didn't know what they were getting into, and succeeded. That said, careful thought should be given into exactly how much you, personally, know about the craft. How do you suppose to lead a coven if you have not even taken your own education seriously?

 

Jan. 25th, 2010

magic, wicca, herbs, witch, pagan

What is Wicca?

Part 3 of 3:

Wiccans believe in the Three-Fold Law (reminiscent to Karma), which is mentioned in some form or another in several religions—the Golden Rule, Reciprocity; the idea that what you sow, you will reap. The Three Fold Law states, in part:

“Mind the Three-Fold Law you should,
Three times bad and three times good.”

Due to such belief, no Wiccan would want to cast a spell of a negative nature for fear the consequences being three times upon their own head. In addition, it isn't just mindful of spells but the very energy, either positive or negative, that a Wiccan puts out into the world will return upon them threefold. To such ends, a Wiccan wants to project positive energies at all times.

The Wiccan faith is also adaptable to some degree. Many people carry on several paths within Wicca, be it Dianic, Alexandrian, Hereditary, Celtic, or others. There are some that do not follow the core beliefs of Gardnerian Wicca, and as such are not accepted as Wicca. One such path is Hellenismos. Those who follow such a path may still regard themselves as Wiccan, yet paths such as these developed independently, never following the traditional elements of Wicca. Therefore, one shouldn't confuse them as Wiccan.

Wiccans can practice their craft in groups, known as covens, or alone. While this can give rise to Wiccans who develop their own beliefs, rituals, etc, everything is governed by the Wiccan Rede. Part of this Rede was mentioned earlier in the citation of the Three-Fold Law. The Rede forbids a Wiccan from harming another person, including themselves, except if needed—such as in self-defense.

Wicca is a peace loving, earth loving faith and, despite being ridiculed and being highly misunderstood, continues to grow and thrive.

Wicca Overview

Jan. 24th, 2010

magic, wicca, herbs, witch, pagan

What is Wicca?

Part 2 of 3:

Wicca is also one of the most misunderstood faiths, partly because many hide their beliefs. This may seem unusual, but the truth is those who allow their faith to be known publicly are sometimes persecuted in some way. There are still a very large number of conservative Christians who, by lead of extensive religious propaganda, link Wicca to Satanism. Yet, the "similarities" between Wicca and Satanism are few. Wiccans do not recognize an all-evil spiritual being at all, nothing similar to the quasi-deity Satan that is found in Christianity and Islam. Many of these same conservative Christians will agree that if you are not a part of their faith, you are in effect a worshiper of Satan; unfortunately, this makes Buddhists, Taoists, and the practitioners of hundreds of other faiths Satanist, according to this view. Quite a bold statement.

Both Wicca and Satanism do use a pentagram as their religious symbol—only, Satanists invert the star. Both Wiccan and Satanism also perform religious rituals within a circle cast upon the ground. Lastly, both engage in magic of sorts, yet Wiccans are bound to “white-magic”—or simply non-manipulative, consensual, and overall positive magic...

Jan. 23rd, 2010

magic, wicca, herbs, witch, pagan

What is Wicca?

Part 1 of 3:

Wicca is a neopagan religion about fifty - sixty years old, and is the largest of the Neopagan religions. That said, it is also an ancient religion in that it follows, to a great extent, the symbols, rituals, beliefs, and deities of the early Celtic culture mixed with Masonic influences; all in all roughly dating as far back as ~800 BCE. To most people, Wicca is more or less a reviving of the ancient ways of rural spirituality. Wicca reveres the Earth, the Goddess, as well as the horned God—both the Goddess and God being equal, balanced, and in harmony.

Does it have its fair share of members? Indeed. It is currently experiencing a very rapid growth, however, it's hard to get exact numbers due to the fact there is an organization crisis. Albert Webb, a member of the “Covenant of the Goddess”—an international, Wiccan non-profit networking group—noted (2004) that because of this lack of centralized organization, it is hard to track an accurate member count. If an estimation was to be made, the Wiccan population ranges from five-hundred thousand to over two-million in the United States alone. Webb mentions that it is the fastest growing religion in the States, but there is not a “Southern Baptist Wiccan Church” that keeps track...
 

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