Monday, February 25, 2008

Who are Satanists?

Merry Meet,

I planned to put this essay in my Christian Almanac blog but I think it is time to talk about this topic. As I told a young witch the other day, I wish I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if I worshipped the devil. If I had that money I could build myself a magik school.

Satanists are folks who believe in the notion that they will not live in the confines of the Christian religion. They believe that it is wrong for people to fight off their natural urges for pleasure and that it is natural to be self serving. Satanists do not even believe in a true personage called Satan. Satan, they say is a construct where they focus their mental and physical and magikal energies. He represents the natural struggle against control. But he is not real.

The first records of a true Satanic church come from Europe. Now, I ignore the fact that many covens were called Satanic, because as we all know, witches are not Satanists. They worship the gods and goddesses of nature, not the Christian devil. These first Satan centered churches were known as The Hell Fire Club for some. Rabelais spoke of a Satan Cult as the Abbey of Thelema, which inspired Aliester Crowley.

The first modern Satanic Church was started by hypnotist Anton Sandazor Levay. He had a circus and sideshow background and knew how to create an audience. When he formed his church, he carried out bizarre "rituals" for the tv cameras and dressed in a Devil costume, complete with horns. His black house still stands in San Francisco and is a landmark, though it has from time to time been abandoned and in disrepair.

What interests me is that there are people who foam at the mouth, howl at the moon and have fits over the devil and attribute to him all of these fantastic powers. When the truth of the matter is, he is impotent and has only the power we give him. Witches of the Wiccan/ Pagan tradition do not believe in the Christian Devil, so there is no way to empower him in this way. Christians who practice Witchcraft are not worshippers of the devil because we dedicate all we do to the good of God's kingdom on earth.

So, please stop asking me if I worship the devil, because I don't. (Now I've done it, I've probably messed up my chances for collecting more nickles for my magik school :() And don't harass my Wiccan/Pagan brothers and sisters because they do not worship the devil either. And stop giving the devil powers he never had. He has enough PR as it is with the Exorcist.

Brightest Blessings Be

Nature, Magik and the Christian God

Merry Meet!

So many people talk about the ecology now what with global warming on the forefront and more emphasis on removing so much fossil fuels from our environment which makes us virtual slaves to oil producing countries. Politically and environmentally, it is best that we do search out alternative methods of fueling our cars and homes of efficiently and cleanly recycling plastics like this computer or the plastic bottles we drink from and the packaging on our food.

I remember there was a program on television hosted by William Shatner called the Gaia Project. It extends the various world myths of Mother Earth or Mother Nature and the idea that she is dying because her children were killing her with emissions and the green house effect and with toxins polluting every one of her elements. This program was decried by Christian fundamentalists who said that environmentalists were pagans in disguise trying to "convert" people to the notion there was no heaven and that this earth was all there was and that we must worship the earth instead of God.

The Gaia Project died a death, to say the least and we could have cared less when gas was just a dollar and a half a gallon. Environmental issues were the mainstay of old hippies, tree huggers and pagans of all stripe. And to be honest, I never gave it much thought until a strange thing nearly happened in our state.

The state I live in is very poor. Walmart is her biggest employer. But I was married and my Husband was still alive and we were renting a little house with a couple of trees on the lot. One day, our Land lady came to us and said that she may have to cut our trees down. I asked why. In the news paper there was an article that the governor was proposing a bill that said people who had trees on their property would have to pay a tax per tree. The proposal was very vague and seemed ridiculous to me when a tax assessor came by about six months later to count the trees on the property. I told him we rented the house and pointed to my land lord's house.

A week or so later, my husband I were watching the news and we saw where the Buddhists in Vietnam and Laos were ordaining the trees as Buddhists monks to prevent them from being cut down. I told my husband that he, since he was Buddhist, should ordain those trees out in the yard because then they would become a tax free 501c3, a church or member of clergy. The next day I mentioned it to my landlord and she at first laughed and then she said, "Can he really do that? Can he ordain the trees?" We didn't see why not. Fortunately for my landlord and the trees our state government decided not to tax the trees.

Christians believe there is no reason for us to try to preserve the earth because there will be a great tribulation and the world will be burned away anyway to make place for the new earth. I believe in the end times myself but I also believe we have an obligation to God that he gave us in the beginning. Man was place in the garden to tend it, to be a husbandman and this spouse was his help meet. Just because we believe in a new heaven and earth does not mean we should abdicate our job here on earth.

St. Francis of Assisi was a Christian mystic and naturalist and he wrote this poem in praise of God within nature.

Most high omnipotent good Lord.
All praise, glory honor and blessings are yours.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong.
And no man is worthy to pronounce your name
Be praised Oh Lord, with all your creatures
Especially Sir Brother Sun, who brings the day and give us light through him.
How handsome, how radiant he is with great splendor
Of you, Most High, he bears your likeness
Be praised , My Lord, for Sister Moon and the stars.
In the Heavens you have formed them, bright, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, My Lord, for Brother Wind and for air, for cloud, for all weather
By which you give your creatures nourishment.
Be praised My Lord, for Sister Water, she is useful, humble, precious and pure.
Be praised my Lord for Brother Fire, by whom you light the night
How handsome, happy and powerful and strong
Be praised my Lord for our Sister, Mother Earth
Who nourishes and governs us and produces the flowers and fruits herbs.
Praise and Bless the Lord and give thanks and serve him with all humility.

So Mote it be

Brightest Blessings Be
Aslinn and Gaelyn

Magikal Colors

Merry Meet!

One of the simplest ways we work magik is the wearing of colors. We know through research that color effects us emotionally and spiritually. One of the things that people who are Catholic or Anglican/Episcopalian is the change in colors with the various parts of the church calendar. For example, the colors predominately in our church now is purple. On Good Friday, a catafalque will be draped with black cloth. On Easter everything will be white.

So what about color in magik? First of all, take a piece of paper and make a list of the primary colors. Think about what they symbolize to you.Your attitude about color may be affected by culture or taboos.

From a western witchcraft perspective, the colors are thus:

Color****** Energy****************** Magikal use

Red***** Stimulant******** Sexual excitement, Courage, blood illness
Orange** Cheering *********Depression, mental illness, rheumatism
Yellow** Inspiration****** Detox, Hormones, Menstrual problems
Green*** Vibrant,Harmony** Antiseptic, balancing, money troubles
Blue**** Calm************* Insomnia, nerves, reflection
Purple** Leadership******* Self Respect, courage, protection
Black*** the Occult******* Protection, discipline, binding
White*** Reflection******* Purity, initiation, curing, release
Gold**** divinity********* supplications, gratitudes
Silver** Magik/Moon****** Emotional balance and strengthening powers

These are just a few and they be different from tradition to tradition. When you work spells you should try to use colors that correspond with the need or the person invoked. For example, if you invoke God, you should burn a gold candle. For Christ, you should use a gold or a purple or both if you desire. For the intercession of Mary, you might use white or blue or silver.

Some candles are tough to find, like black candles. You can sub them with either very dark blue or brown candles or with white candles. With Halloween becoming an even bigger decorating holiday that ever before, I stock up on these little black tea lights.

But think about color as you work your rituals and spells

Brightest Blessings Be

Saturday, February 23, 2008

When your coven hives off

Merry Meet!

There are those times when you slap yourself on the forehead and wished you'd paid a bit more attention to the "Run Your Coven" chapters of all those Craft books that solitaries usually skip. Gaelyn and I never meant to have a coven, we just thought a few witches of various traditions would want to get together to chant the corners, do some spelling and have cakes and ale a couple of times a month. We didn't realize we were running the Coven of Eclectic Misfits with a handful of couples and one lonely person who was testing the waters.

Gaelyn and I were getting together with two other Christo-Pagan couples. One was a mixed relationship sort of like Gaelyn and me, he was a Christian Mystic but not a witch and she was a Christo-Pagan. The other couple were both Christo- Pagans. They brought the lone person in to observe and participate in our discussion group. The other four couples were Wiccans. But they knew we were primarily interested in blending Christianity and Paganism and would always include Christian worship in our rituals. At first they seemed fine with it.

Then there were a couple times when Gaelyn and I couldn't join the group because Gaelyn's beloved Grandfather passed away and we were splitting our time between here and there. When we were away, Christian segments of worship were ignored, even to the detriment of the Christo-pagans in the group. When we returned and were able to get back to our routines, there was a request that we remove the Christian portions of our rituals for private practice and perform only the Pagan/Wiccan portions of the worship since I would be the only one completely excluded.

Of course my old goat refused. It didn't matter to me, group ritual seemed more important to him than it did to me, anyway. But now, there has been a split and the circle has hived off. But not without bad feelings and that troubles me. So, I want to say in this blog that I am sorry to those who wanted to exclude me and I am sorry to my Gaelyn for being the root of aggrivation and to the lovely ChristoPagan pairs and the one lone observer for the upheaval.

What had been a lovely, lively group is now a little sad and I hate to think that there are bad feelings. But for the circle to work, we must work together and appreciate the energies that we bring with our uniqueness. We lost, all of us, by losing each other.

Brightest Blessings Be

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Women and the Church: Is there a women's priesthood?

Merry Meet!!

As many of you who read my blog know, I am a Catholic, and while I write this I will be thinking in terms of the Catholic Church. This should not make any of you feel slighted because I know there are many churches who would not allow female priests. Not in the ordinary, anyway.

Women have a unique and sometimes problematic relationship with the Church. They are like Janus with his two faces; dual sided entities, the two faces of the same sexual coin. Woman is both Whore of the Devil(Eve) and Mother of God(Mary). Some of the apostles loved women, some admittedly did not. But I never thought of women's relationship to God as a popularity race and I never thought Jesus ever said anything to exclude the woman from her own priesthood.

The hearth was the center of the home for many millenia. It was where the family could find warmth, food, a face with softness to see into them and know what they needed. Here, the early Christian, particularly in the early days of the Church under persecution, would find the woman of the house cooking up a little unleavened bread, roasting a little meat and stirring a little soup. Before the meal, she would take the crisp little bread and a cup of wine, or maybe even water and sit it by her husband's place and he would say "This is the body of Christ";"This is his Blood" and the family would remember the Eucharist with each other. But what if she was alone? What if it was just her and her little kids? What if she was all alone?

Then she would take the bread in her hand and give God thanks and praise and break it and give it to her children and tell them to remember Jesus who gave up his life for them and she would do the same with the cup. Any Christian who does not feel empowered to remember Christ in the breaking of bread needs to examine their relationship with Christ. Not the Church. I love my Church, I would die for my Church, but I know that the Church is a human construct.But your relationship with God. Just as I am empowered by my sisterhood with Christ as I am an adopted Child under the contract of blood Jesus shed for me, so I may celebrate in the most profound symbols of Christ's sacrifice. It is not something for women to fight over and screech like scalded cats about. It is something for them to do when the time has come when gathering in houses of worship will be dangerous and the home becomes God's kingdom on earth and the hearth once again becomes the altar. That time has not yet come, but it may be in the future.

Ironic though, the hearth is also the place of worship and Craft for the witch.

Brightest Blessings Be

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Great Article

Merry Meet!

One of the things that I enjoy about my studies in the Craft are the yearly almanacs. I love them. They are always so topical and have the greatest articles. One of them I just have to share and write about. It is in the "2008 Witches' Companion" published by Llewellyn. It is written by Elizabeth Barrett. I'm not going to type the whole thing here but it talks about what she calls "Granola Wicca" the nuts, flakes and fruits of Wicca. Now, there are these same people in all religions, believe me, I've belonged to more than my fair share of churches and youth groups and Bible studies. And after reading so many books by very serious witches who would not dare admit to these people, this was a breath of fresh air.

Barrett basically talks about the personalities one might find in a coven or even a goodish size medieval fair and since I go to the latter about every year, and am preparing to go this year, reading this article really excited me. Because I have met some or all of these people, such as:

The Hex Master- don't piss off this dude or he'll change you into a know this guy, he acts like a demon who has escaped from the set of Charmed.

Pan's Man- He's got all his natural attributes hung out for everyone to see....My old goat will be keeping an eye out for him.

Then, there is my personal favorite, the "Womin" witches who declare any man as subordinate sperm donors not worthy to join in their full moon crotch shaving rituals.

I'm not making fun of thes folks, really, well...maybe I am but it is only because I know these people in another plane of existance in the traditional Christian side. For example, the Hex Master could be:

Damn them all Dan, these are the big guys who work out all of the time, is usually a police officer or prison guard who believes that Jesus just needed to apply a little more of that tough love he showed the money changers. He's the one who would happily wollop the sin out of you.

Pan's man could easily be: "Youth Group Justin", the girls go gaga over him, ignore his beautiful girlfriend he has dated since he was three and get "saved" every three weeks or so so that they can cry in his arms and confess just how naughty they are. Of course old "Youth Group" never tries to avoid the situation. He just keeps 'em coming back for more.

And then, representing the "Womin" there is the "Preacher's Wife". She might also be known as the youth pastor's wife. It doesn't really matter because they are all the same woman. They are mousy and tired and have had so many kids they can't keep track of them. She's the one whose name you can't remember when you talk about your reival experience years later.

On the flip side, there is "Save it for Marriage Sally" she runs the teen girls youth group. She talks about love and romance and saving your virginity til marriage. She sings "I don't know how to love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar and "Kumbaya". She generally falls from grace for about six or eight weeks after having a passionate episode with "Youth Group Justin" but both reappear at another church, at another retreat near you.

And this is just in Protestant circles. These people show up in Catholic circles too.

There's The Reverend Father. He was at The Last Supper, met Satan personally, and generally thinks none of us is worth saving and longs for the days when the priest was not just your confessor but your inquisitor. He'd sleep in a coffin, like medieval monks did and go bare foot in the winter if he could. He's a priest's priest.

Then there is Father What a Waste. He's the handsome, breathlessly virile, hopelessly chaste priest in your parish. All the women fuss over him. All the men would like to smack a little of the cute off him and tend to like going to Reverend Father's Masses. They tell the wives it is so they won't miss the big game with Notre Dame.

Then there is the Priest Hag. She's the one who loves all priests inordinately. In fact her husband even wrote the dioceses asking that the priest, especially if he is a Father What a Waste, is censured. In reality, she would priest hag anything in a white collar.

So what does all of this mean? I don't know, except that maybe it reveals the truth that all of us, regardless of our faiths or Craft traditions have similar experiences. Maybe it shows that none of us have the right to pick on another's religious group because shake most of our religious trees and the nuts will fall out.

But, if you get a chance, read the article in the 2008 almanac companion. It's funny.

Brightest Blessings Be

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Merry Meet!

The Saudi government is seeking the death penalty against a woman accused of witchcraft. She was forced to place her thumbprint on a document she could not read nor understand. Witchcraft is considered a crime against Islam. Copy and past this link to your browser and check out the story. Don't let this happen to another person. If it can happen to her, it can happen to you.

Brightest Blessings Be
Aslinn Dhan

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Merry Meet!

My wand is made of cedar, which harkens back to my Cherokee ancestory because the Cherokee considered the cedar sacred. It is said that a great giant was killed and his head hung in a great tree and the blood turned the tree red and stained it with magic and from the tree the wise ones of the tribe learned all of the sacred songs and spells. I treated the wood with tung oil and wound tourquoise and silver beads with copper wire around the ends and in a criss cross pattern up its 15 inch length.

Of course I know that I cannot say "Expelliarmus" and have things fly out of someone's hand but it is magical. It feels like it is an extension of me. But I have to tell you that my very first wand was an eighteen inch piece of dowling. I got it and I lightly sanded it and I painted creeping vines around it and decupaged crosses, pentangles, and a tiny medal of the Blessed Virgin and there were four angels decoupaged all around the bottom of the wand where I held it and large quartz bead from a hobby shop. It took me many days to make it and I even sanded everything off and redid it when I was not satisfied. I used it for years and then a circle sister gave me this cedar wand and I put my old one away. I take it out and think about when I made the wand and what was happening in my life. The little symbol of the Buddha representing my husband. The tiny picture of a rose decoupaged near it for my step daughter, both now dead. A small picture of my college mascot (A buffalo...Go Herd!!!) A picture of my brother-in-law who is no longer a part of our family. The wand tells my story.

So, the thing I am trying to tell you is that whatever you create to do magik with, you should make it personal to yourself and what you do and what you believe in and who you care for. The materials are really unimportant if you take the time to make it a part of you. It is great to have a wand of cedar that looks like it could do "Expelliarmus" but a wonderful wand can be a simple piece of wooden dowling. It is just as magikal.

Brightest Blessings Be

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sexual Identity and the Craft

Merry Meet!

There are so many diverse people in the world today and there has never been such openess. This is true of the Craft. In the old days of the Craft, there were thoughts that gay folk could not perform magik because they could not raise the magikal energy in the Great Rite and there was imbalance in the energy because there were two of the same sex and not one of each, representing both god and goddess.

This was of course in the early years of the Craft and that is cahanging. There is a quote that many gay witches use that all love is from the goddess. This means that the sacred spirit embraces the energy from all acts of love, regardless of the orientation. Even those who have little or no sexual identity or who are single/celibate.

There are people out there, myself included, who identifies themself as Asexual. When I thought about myself as a sexual person, I thought of myself as non-sexual. Then I heard the expression asexual identity. I had heard the expression in biology but thought it applied to protozoan not to people, but, apparently there is a growing group of people who do not see other people in a sexual way who do not consider sexual activity with other people as very important and cannot relate to people as sexual creatures. We acknowledge physical attractiveness and desire relationships with others, including love relationships but not neccessarily sexual relationships.

My boyfriend, the old goat, learned of my asexuality early on. I was very upfront with him. But I also told him I was interested in experiencing the great rite with him. And he and I performed the great rite. This was a wonderful ritual but not in the way that I suspect that many people see it.

So can I be a witch and have no real sexual identity, no sexual nature? I think so. Because in the Bible there is a passage in Matthew, chapter 19 verse 12 "For there are some who are eunuchs which are born from their mother's womb, and there are some eunuchs which are made eunuchs of men and there be eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake. He who is able to receive it, let him receive it."

I know that eunuch is not really the right word for what I am, but is the closest the Bible comes. And as with all things, there will be some who see it differently but for me, this verse acknowledeges people who may be like me and may be like me in that I consider it a part of my Craft work for the Kingdom of Heaven.

So, do not segregate people of other sexualities from your circles and covens. They are children of the sacred spirit and a part of the circle.

Brightest Blessings Be,
Aslinn Dhan Dragonhawk