Monday, June 26, 2006

Witchcraft Without Tools Part 2

Merry Meet!

As I said before, there may be times that you cannot do spells in the open. This may be because of living situations or problems of acceptance or even situations where you may need to whip up a little protective magic and you can't get to your sacred space or altar. Magic isn't just about the things we use, sometimes it is simply the power of our intentions.

There are many times in life when just going through the motions are not enough but in magic, sometimes going through the motions are just enough to send magic out on the spot. If you have been working with your wand, then you know what hand you use to work with it. For the sake of this dicussion, I will simply say wand hand. The other will be called your opposite hand.

When I need to use a wand and I have only my finger, I use one finger, my index finger, to be my wand. Remember when your mom or dad told you it wasn't nice to point? This is why, I think, because people believed that not only do witches use wands to cast, but they can use their index finger too, and they were right. To symbolize the athame, I use two fingers. If I need a cauldron, my opposite hand is the cauldron, cupped and ready. Simple gestures and seeing the brewing, casting and cutting in the mind are the only things that you need for mind casting. Imagine the simplest herbs, oils and flowers in your cauldron. If we believe that all things have a soul, then we can call upon the soul of our herbs and flowers and the four directions and the sun and the moon to help us at a moment's notice.

Can we cast this way? Yes....all you have to do is believe that you can, through the powers of God or by whatever way you define the creator, the elements and the magic around you at all times. If you do not believe in all of these things then you are just a potion maker or fortune teller and you are no witch. The Craft is about absolute belief in your ability and your place in the magical world around you. You are magic, and if you don't believe that then you you cannot work the Craft. No amount of reading or casting will work for you.

It is said that magic doesn't work if you don't believe in it and I believe that is true, whether you are a Christian Wicce, or a Wiccan or Pagan, whether you practice dark magic or light magic. This is a real test of who you think you are as a witch. Are you are a fashionable shopping center witch who looks the part, but doesn't really know what you are doing? Or are you a person people would never know was a witch who goes along quietly through life and studies and gathers knowledge to help others. Are you fortunate enough to work with a great study group or coven. Or are you plodding on alone and in secret to learn as much as you can?

I've said it before, Craft is about dedication and study and hard work, not fashion. Regardless of the tradition you embrace or whether you are a solitary or a covener, you have to discover, embrace and enrich the magic inside yourself, the great inheritance from God, your ancestors, the heavens and the earth. It is not something to play with or abuse.

Don't ever doubt the energies that each of us have and always think of the energies you create with each casting or ritual. Study all of the time. Even if every book you get says mostly the same thing, you will find some small tid bit. Understand not only that potions work but why they work. And always thank the spirits for the things you do. Even the most learned of us sometimes need to take time and thank God or the Creator or the ancestors and nature and the stars and the planets for their help.

Next fall, I shall be dedicated at the third degree and I will in a few years be considered an elder and after so much study and thinking and practice I am still learning my Craft. Keep learning and studying.

Blessings be

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Witchcraft Without Tools

Merry Meet!

While we may not have to fear being burnt at the stake, at least only in metaphor, there are those of us who cannot practice the Caft in the open. This may mean that they cannot burn candles, own books(other than those they can keep somewhere else, borrow, or read on the net), use herbs, or otherwise practice elements of the Craft be cause of some prohibition. It may be that you are a minor living at home with parents who would not approve, or you may be in a prison or in the military, or you may be sharing a residence with someone who would not approve of your practicing the Craft. It may seem to you that this is unfair and do a lot of rebelling and screaming and hair pulling, but you might also consider this a challenge and a true test of your desire to practice the Craft.

All of those things that we use, the athame, wand, cauldron, pentacle, are magic only because we imbue these things with our own magical energies.True, herbs, scents and candles are sources of healing and spiritual comfort, but if there is a reason for not being able to practice the Craft in a physical way, there is a mental way of practicng the Craft. It is more difficult to master and requires more spiritual discipline and concentration but it can be done. If you do not believe in your own magical powers, no amount of cauldron brewing, candle lighting and wand waving can give you power to work the Craft.

As with all magic, you must have an imagination. Being able to make images in your head of the magic you wish to perform is essential. It is essential in physical magical and essential in mental magic. Another thing you need is an understanding of the elements and the cardinal directions. Being in tune with the moon is also essential. Using the power and energies of the moon are crucial.

Being creative and spontaneous is great. Having some dramatic ability to make casting gestures is great, too. But most of all, concentration is the key.

Next time, I'll discuss in depth some scenarios where you can use mental magic.

Blessed Be
Aslinn Dhan

Friday, June 16, 2006

Magical Clothes : Or Do I have to Wear that Conical Hat?

Merry Meet

I have asked this question before and there is no reason not to ask it again. When people ask you to describe a witch, what do you hear? "Well, first of all, they wear all black except for their red and white stripy socks!" is probably the firm answer you will get from most anyone. And I admit that on a few Samhain celebrations I have embraced the Witch Hazel in me. Besides, black is so slimming and sexy. But the truth of the matter is, there simply is no correct ritual dress code for the working witch. One of the rules of thumb is dress in clean clothes, wear clothes that symbolize the magical part of you, and realize that color has meaning. Red can be healing or protection, black can be binding or new moon spells, purple can be worn for divinations, white for dedications or purifications. Greens and golds can be worn for fertility and handfasting, and silvers and metallic golds can be worn for wiccanings (or christenings) Whatever you plan to do during your ritual, think of clothes or colors that suit the occasion.

I have spoken of this briefly and it has to do with skyclad. Skyclad is being naked. If you are a minor and are joining a coven and they demand that you have to have to be naked, get away from that coven, no coven of the Craft that follows the Wiccan Rede will demand nudity ( most Wiccans won't allow you to join until you are in your majority anyway) And no coven will demand sex as the entrance fee for your acceptance into the coven. If they do, get away from them. Even sexual rituals are private affairs between the High Priest and Priestess and do not involve the direct energies of the coven. There are some Gardnerian tradition witches who do skyclad work and that is something they do if they have adequate privacy and the weather is with them. But skyclad has fallen out of fashion right now and like all groups and systems it will take a while for a another nudie witchy movement come back round. Even Raymond Buckland states that there is some mild but none the less infantile curiosity about your Witchy Brother or Sister's shape under their robes. One word of warning. If you are wearing long ritual robes, capes or dresses, be very careful with candles, fire, incense, and cauldrons.

Blessings Be

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Patrick Stewart, American, Patriot, and Wiccan

Merry Meet!

I have been following the news about the VA's position on placing the witches star on Patrick Stewart's grave marker. I believe that the star should be placed on his memorial marker. He was a military man, serving his country in Afganistan and being a warrior in his faith. He practiced his religion and fought for the freedom of others so they could be free of tyranny that told them there was only one way to find God and paradise. The US Military has written instructions in the Chaplain's guide book on how to support and facilitate Wiccans in the armed forces. Patrick won the bronze star and the purple heart for his service. It would cost very little for the American Government to honor Patrick and his faith.

Wiccans, Pagans and Chrstian Wicces and anyone who considers themselves to be among the wise should contact the VA and tell them about it. Go to and tell them about it. It is a little lengthy in process and you need to be patient. A little hint from an old hand at writing the government. Be polite, be succinct and back up everything with knowledge. Make sure you tell the VA that the US armed forces recognizes Wicca as a religion. If they already have a precedent, they can't balk too much. Also, use your magical name when you sign your message and say thank you and identify your particular tradition. Ranting and raving will only get you ignored. You don't have to kiss butt, but you don't have to kick it either and remember the karmic return, harm none.

Blessings be,

Aslinn Dhan