Discovering Wicca

Discovering Wicca

Author: Tytus Lionheart   

It is more likely that the title should read “Discovering Myself in Wicca”, because since my first steps on the path of the wise that is what I have been challenged with, discovering who I am and what is my purpose in this life. Wicca has changed my perspective on life and living in so many beautiful ways it is hard to think I can even begin to place them here in this article. I will do my best as my words and my ability in writing can allow. Wicca is more than magic, more than philosophy, more than a religion. It is a lifestyle and a commitment to self-betterment through harmony with nature and the divine. It is a blend of all spiritual pursuits both ancient and modern. I will begin to explain my life before Wicca, then my life as I dedicated myself to learning and studying Wicca.

In my early years before Wicca was a part of my life, I was a bit of an outcast even among friends. I always felt there was something missing from myself that I was being called to something greater than what was in my life at the time. I was struggling with roles presented by society and the supposed morals of the Christian religion I thought were missing within me. Even as a young boy in elementary school I was a recluse, preferring the company of few friends and more often than not I was alone at recess in a field of grass playing with my imagination. I can remember befriending abstract companions such as the wind, which I imagined to be a female entity I so cleverly named “Windy.” I would imagine with my brother and friends that we were warriors of great magical prowess, having the power to manipulate energy to my will. Back then I was sure it was all pretend, but now I know these qualities and aspects are what lead me to Wicca.

In high school I shook off my reclusiveness as I embraced my inner self and accepted my homosexuality. Doing so challenged the societal roles and Christian morals that had limited my perspective of life. I began exploring different paths of living; different roles that I never knew existed. I explored other religions and spiritual concepts. After my sophomore year I learned about Wicca. At first I thought it was all smoke and mirrors until I came across some books and authors that would shape my understanding of not only Wicca, but also myself and my role in life.

Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner” by Scott Cunningham and “Sons of the Goddess” by Christopher Penzack were the first true teachings of Wicca that I had at the time. Both showed me basic principles of Wicca and magick, which fully absorbed me and my need for spiritual growth. After some time studying each book, I performed a self-dedication ritual, my first act of magick. I dedicated myself to the teachings of Wicca, to the study and application of magick, to discovering the Goddess and the God within me.

From then on I was studying magick and Wicca every day, reading lots of books on both subjects and on other traditions of the occult including Ceremonial magick, Chaos magick, reconstructive pagan religions and the different paths of Wicca. I became a solitary eclectic Wiccan, creating my own Book of Shadows and putting in it all the material I would use in creating my own personal Wiccan tradition. I would practice magick, exercise my psychic abilities with meditations, ritual and daily prayer. All I read were books on Wicca, the Occult and magick. I kept to the path by making Wicca apart of my every day; I prayed every day, studied ritual and practiced spell craft whenever the need arose.

Wicca had become a part of my life. I learned a lot about myself as a person, as a magician I learned my strengths and weaknesses; I built my power of Will to change the world within me and without. I became happier, clearer in thinking, more broad in my perspective of life and living. Family and friends noticed a change in me… more vigor for life, more understanding of myself and the world around me. I was finally coming into my own, discovering myself. I learned that I’m more powerful than I had believed for many years. Things were and have been conforming to my Will, in positive constructive ways.

After about two years of study (overkill I know) I fully embraced Wicca as my way of life and performed a self-initiation. I honored Lord Hermes as my patron, the god of magick, healing, communication, and merchants. I feel such a strong connection to Him; I performed a ritual of dedication to His teachings not only in ancient Greece and Rome, but His Egyptian counterpart, Thoth, and the legendary Hermes Trismegistus. Hermes to this day is my patron God. I grew also to adore the stories of the goddesses Diana, Aradia, and Hecate. I felt connected to the Great Horned One as well, an archetype and spirit of masculinity and male mystery. From these Gods and Goddesses I gained strength and wisdom. I feel their energy when I pray to them, when I call them in ritual… and in my everyday life, I have felt their presence. I have had many answered prayers and blessings from the Goddess and the God and the forms they assume.

It was to the full moon, Diana that I prayed and asked to find true love, to meet my soul mate. I asked Her to send me an angel, and shortly after I met my fiancé, it was love at first sight. I have been truly blessed by the divine powers of the universe and for that I am thankful, for I have felt the Love of the Lord and Lady and it is beautiful.

After about 5 years of personal, solitary study I felt there was a need to expand on the spiritual foundation I had built for myself. I began researching traditions of Wicca, seeking training into priesthood. I wanted a tradition where I can keep to my eclectic nature yet have a strong base to grow from. Many paths caught my interest including Faery Wicca, Alexandrian Wicca, and some other neo-pagan traditions, but it was when I came across the Correllian Natavist Tradition that I found the path that resonated with the Wiccan philosophy and theology I already subscribed to in my personal tradition as a solitary.

I am now currently studying the First Degree courses of the Correllian tradition, to become a Reverend of Wicca. I hope to take my training in the tradition all the way to my third degree and from there I want to open a Temple for the tradition here in California. I hope to join the Order of Herbal Studies, the Order of Reiki and the Order of Spiritual Advisors that are set up within the Correllian Tradition. I hope to one day meet and possibly work with Rev. Don Lewis of the High-Correllians, and many other legends of the Natavist Tradition and of the Wiccan community as a whole. I have found a purpose within my religion and I am working towards my initiation. From here I will continue to grow and study, to apply my spirituality into my every day and to be able to help others find their way in the Craft as well.

My discovery of Wicca has been a life changing experience and to this day I am inspired by my religion and its endless source of power, love and harmony. Wicca has changed me in many positive and progressive ways, making my life happier, my lifestyle more meaningful. I am thankful for all Wicca has taught me and for all the blessings the Lord and Lady have bestowed upon me and mine. It is because of Wicca that I have gained so much strength, wisdom and joy.

My journey into Wicca continues to evolve and move forward each day, I have found my calling in this life and hopefully more lives to come will be benefitted from the teachings I have received in this life. May all that read this article come to understand that Wicca is a religion of personal power and a lifestyle of love in all its beautiful, glorious forms. I am a Wiccan, and I am blessed.

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Becoming a Witch

Becoming a Witch

by Morgaine

© Morgaine 2001.

This article may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, providing that this original copyright notice stays in place at all times.

I am often asked how one becomes a witch. Do you find someone who is a witch and they make you one? Or are you a witch just by saying you are? Can you  make yourself a witch?

The process of becoming a witch doesn’t happen overnight. It is a life change, a new path upon the journey of your life. It takes consideration, study  and work. If you have previously followed a mainstream religion, you may have things that take time to let go, and new things that take time to absorb. I  have heard many people say it is often hard, coming from a life of Christianity, to feel comfortable praying to the Goddess. All new things take time, but if  you are serious upon this path, you will find your way. The Gods call their own home to them.

No matter how you have came about finding the Old Religion, here you are. So where do you go? To the book store. For a novice, books are like the air you  breathe. You must have them, or access to them in some way. If you cannot afford, or do not feel safe having books on the Craft, the internet is the next  best place.

In both books and on the internet you will find a wealth of knowledge that will help guide you upon your new path. Of course, as with anything else, there  is good information and bad information. Avoid any kind of book, or internet site, that speaks of controlling another person in any way, harming them, doing  love spells on a specific person, or tells you to chant in latin, even though you have no idea what you are saying (yes, I have seen sites like that). These  books/sites will not fulfill your need for knowledge in the Craft and will only serve to confuse you.

Once you have read a variety of books and feel called to this path, the next step is to find a teacher. If you have access to a teacher, in my opinion  this is the best course of action. A teacher or a coven can often be found if there is a new age book store in your community. Also, the Witches Voice is a  site that offers networking in every state. It has grown extremely large over the past few years and is a valuable resource in the Craft community. All of my  coven members have found me on the Witches Voice.

Having a mentor can offer so much to you when you are beginning. There will be things you come across that you have a hard time understanding and need  clarification. If you have a teacher, they are just a phone call or email away. If you do not, you must try to decifer things on your own, and may not come  to the correct end on them. If you do not have a teacher, again, the internet is the next best place to look.

If you are only looking for a ‘how to’ on casting spells, then the Craft is not for you. Witchcraft is a serious spiritual path, in which magick  is performed, but is secondary to the religion itself. I would suggest you look to ceremonial magick for that.

A couple of things need to be said about beginning this path, in light of recent attitudes about the Craft. Here lately it seems that you have a people  who, after reading a few books, feel as if they can call themselves a master of the Art. They throw on a title like Lady/Lord, or HP/s, add some black  clothes, a pentacle the size of a hubcap, and they are ready to go. This is not what the Craft is about. If you have spent years following a particular path,  have worked hard for the spiritual lessons that have been presented to you, and through this have attained the title and rank, then by all means use it. But  think of how you would feel if, after all that, you have a newbie with 6 months and 5 books unde their belt walking about calling themselves Lady Starry Ski  or Lord Thunderbutt. It is very offensive. Just like your parents told you when you were growing up (or maybe you still are) ‘don’t rush things, it  will all come to you in the end, and be sweeter for the waiting’. This is true with the Craft. Using titles, putting on airs, and in general acting high  and mighty are not going to make you any more spiritual. And that is what this path is about. What it will do is alienate you from people whom you may  actually want to meet and get to know!

All of this being said the way to become a witch is through study and dedication. Gather all of the information you can. Find the best teacher possible.  Read whatever you can get your hands on. Go outside in nature and commune with the Goddess and God. Listen to the trees and the wind and the rush of the  water, for this is the witch’s world.

Remembering and Reconnecting

Remembering and Reconnecting

Author:   RuneWolf   

I do consider my religion – Wicca – and my particular practice of it, to be Earth-based. Such a statement might seem absurdly obvious on the surface, but it is, I think, important to state it in this fashion. Wicca has within it elements of Ceremonial Magic, and it has been my personal experience that it is quite possible to become obsessed with and lost in the liturgical and ritual forms, to the extent that what one ends up practicing has, in fact, more in common with CM than with Wicca.

Now, don’t misunderstand me: We need ritualists and liturgists who can preserve the outer forms of our religion, and re-invent them as time goes by, so that we neither lose our traditional roots nor become mired in them. The creation, preservation and cultivation of ritual and liturgy are important, but I’m not talking about that here. I am talking about an unhealthy balance where an individual or group over-focuses on those outer forms, often to the detriment of the inner energies. So it is important, I think, that we remind ourselves, individually and collectively, that our religion IS Earth-based, and that, in my personal tradition at least, re-connecting with the Earth and Her cycles is one of the central concepts and objectives.

But then, what is this whole “re-connect with the Earth” thing, anyway? Sounds like a bunch of neo-Hippie, tree-hugging, New Age bushwa, doesn’t it?

Oh, contraire…

Western thought seems to enjoy lampooning and belittling whatever it doesn’t like or cannot understand, as if by satirizing something, it is made harmless and non-threatening. (This, oddly enough, is a very Celtic concept. Bards of Old Eire were feared for their power to debilitate a powerful leader by the use of satire.) Culturally, we will even go so far as to transform an inherently neutral or positive label – New Age, for instance – into a synonym for something wacky and outlandish. So those outsiders – or insiders, for that matter – who roll their eyes when they say or hear “re-connect with the Earth” obviously haven’t bothered to fully consider what that means.

We aren’t talking about sticking our feet into the ground and putting out roots. What we are talking about is simply becoming fully aware of – and experiencing as fully as possible – our relationship to the biosphere. For the most part, citizens of modern technological nations have fallen out of that awareness and experience. Some would argue that, without this awareness and experience, we as a species are doomed, because nothing short of these will prevent us from terminally fouling our nest. In more immediate and individual terms, however, I believe that a fuller awareness and experience of our relationship to the biosphere and, by extension, the Universe itself, is mandatory for true physical, mental and spiritual health. This is, as I understand it, the primary thrust of Taoist philosophy and religion, and is certainly a primary objective in my practice of Wicca.

Wicca, as I have said, is my religion. My spirituality, however, is Witchcraft. Some would not agree with this dichotomization, but then, as mother used to say, that’s why they make vanilla and chocolate. I make the distinction because I define those terms differently. Wicca is my religion – it is something I joined, a community that has a unique identity, and to be part of that community I am obliged, to a greater or lesser degree, to conform to the community template. I, personally, believe that there are certain things that I must agree to, that I must practice, that I must believe and that I must espouse, in order to be Wiccan. While there is certainly a great deal of individual latitude, I nonetheless believe that were I to deviate too far from the “community template” of Wicca, I would no longer be practicing Wicca. In the practice of certain martial arts, students are given a great deal of latitude to improvise and personalize the art. However, at a certain point, if that improvisation and personalization goes too far, that individual is no longer practicing that particular art, but something unique unto themselves that they have created there from. This is not a judgment on the art itself nor on what the individual has created from it; it is simply a statement of fact.

So it is, I believe, with the practice of Wicca, or any religion, for that matter. (But then, these are only my beliefs, and have no power beyond the tip of my nose.)

Witchcraft, on the other hand, I define as that body of techniques that enables the practitioner (Witch) to live in harmony with the rhythms of Life. “Life” here may be seen as synonymous with All That Is: an individual’s life-path, the greater community of Humankind, the biosphere and the Universe – in short, Everything. And those rhythms include the “bad” as well as the “good.” By this definition, Wicca is just another “technique” in my practice of Witchcraft, something which helps me to attune to the rhythms of Life. And this is, for me, as it should be: religion should always be the servant of spirituality. When that formula is inverted, we are left with dictatorial religious institutions.

When one truly seeks a deeper, fuller understanding of our connection to and place in the Universe, one cannot help but develop, I believe, a concern for the welfare of the “natural” world, i.e. the biosphere. Even if one were a staunch “scientific Pagan,” I don’t believe one could overlook the necessity of preserving an uncontaminated environment in order to ensure the survival of Humankind. And if one looks beyond mere survival, then we must recognize the necessity of preserving the beauty of unsullied nature as an adjunct to the mental, emotional and spiritual health of humanity.

Those of us who believe this face grave obstacles today. We are now ruled by an administration that is obviously bent on furthering the cause of “Big Business” – which has always been the destructive exploitation of the Earth for profit – at the expense of the environment. More and more, corporations are freed of the restrictions imposed on them by former, relatively saner, regimes. More and more, they are free to “rape and pillage” as they see fit, regardless of the destruction they cause. Nor can we simply blame “Western thought” for these travesties, as the policies of China in modern Tibet relieve the West of sole responsibility in the rape of the planet and the destruction of her children.

At times, it seems overwhelming, and it may well be an effort doomed to failure, although such failure will certainly doom humanity to eventual extinction. But we must try, each in her or his own way. I myself am not much of a “joiner,” and taking care of what little land is “mine” takes up most of my time. So you won’t see me at many demonstrations or protests. But what I lack in “discretionary time” I make up for in “disposable income,” and I can and do support the environmental cause with my monetary contributions. In the end, only money can defeat Big Money, so I don’t feel that this is merely a token gesture to assuage my conscience. And I do take an active, if geographically limited, part: there is a nature trail in the community near my home, which I avail myself of at every opportunity. As one might imagine, this trail is subject to all kinds of littering, not only from walkers but from nearby homeowners. When I walk, I always carry a trash bag, and I clean up what I can. When someone creates a mess too big for me, I make sure the community association knows about it, as there are strict rules regarding such abuse. I don’t know that my actions have ever led to the censure or fining of a guilty homeowner, but it hasn’t been for lack of trying.

Tattle tale? Snitch? Ratfink? You’re damn right.

And then there are the “little” things that all of us can do: proper soil management on our property; avoiding fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides; using “low impact” products; driving fuel-efficient autos; using mass transit when possible; recycling. It is gratifying to see that, in our neighborhood at least, we have a very high percentage of participation in the recycling effort. But then, these things should be “no brainers” for everyone, Pagan or not, in my opinion.

Perhaps the biggest difference between me and my neighbors is that, when I recycle or pick up litter, I see it as a sacrament, an acknowledgment that I AM RESPONSIBLE; not for the whole shebang, but for what I, as an individual, can do. I’ve always subscribed to the belief that “a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.” On any given day, I can’t solve all of the world’s environmental problems. But I can do something, even if it’s only picking up one piece of litter. No action occurs in a vacuum; every action has consequences, and resonates along the Web of Wyrd.

Despite the odds, none of us are totally powerless; we can always do something. And sometimes, in the wee dark hours of the morning, that’s all we have to hold onto.

The Witches Spell For Aug. 16th – 3 Folk Magick Spell To Increase Your Power

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The Witches Spell for August 16th

3 Folk Magick Spells to Enhance  Your Power

 

Power Spell

Ingredients:   Dragon’s Blood Powder or Resin

If you would like to add a little extra power to your spell, incantation, incense, or other magic, you should add a little pinch of Dragon’s Blood powder or resin to the incense blend, sachet, or herb offering.   This should NOT be used with ANY internal or external healing applications, teas, or compresses, and should only be used in spells which do not require the digesting of the herbs.

 

Enhanced Spell Power #1

Ingredients:   Ginger

If you are trying to increase your magical abilities, ceremonies, or spell power, eat Ginger before performing   your Magic.   You can eat the Ginger before you perform any divination, meditation, ceremonial magic, summoning, or any other magical act you may want to encourage the results of.

 

 

Enhanced Spell Power #2

Ingredients:   Doll, White Feathers, & Dragon’s Blood

One particular method used to enhance one’s power and abilities is to create a Voodoo Doll, or Poppet made from black material or cloth.   Fill the doll with white feathers, and a dash of Dragon’s Blood Resin.   Put the doll where it will not be found by anyone else.

 

The Spell Book of Wiccan Shadows
Flowers, Dawn

CEREMONIAL (OR ‘HIGH’) MAGICK

CEREMONIAL (OR ‘HIGH’) MAGICK

 

High Magick was once called so because it was the practice of those who were ‘above’ farmers and labourers…those people whose station in life determined that they had much more time on their hands. However, it is generally more accepted in modern times to use the term ‘high’ or ‘ceremonial’ magick to describe the magickal workings that use specific rituals and guidlines. The rituals are intricate, and have to follow exact rules and definitions. The people involved in the ceremonies of High Magick call upon entities (and sometimes demons) to do their bidding and will. The guidelines of the ceremonies and rituals may not be deviated from nor changed, as this may cause severe problems. It may also be noted that this genre of Magickal workings requires a group of people, and is not practiced solitary. Magickal spaces are used to confine the Ceremonial Magick- such as the triple circle.

Many practitioners of this Magick use it to connect to the Divine, for enlightenment, and often use complex astrological and numerical charts… the rituals are elaborate and take much time to perform. It has been known for practitioners to use animal sacrifice within the boundaries of ceremonial Magick..but much less so in modern times. This is a very disciplined form of Magick

Alexandrian Wicca

Alexandrian Wicca

By , About.com Guide

Origins of Alexandrian Wicca:

Formed by Alex Sanders and his wife Maxine, Alexandrian Wicca is very similar to the Gardnerian tradition. Although Sanders claimed to have been initiated into witchcraft in the early 1930s, he was also a member of a Gardnerian coven before breaking off to start his own tradition in the 1960s. Alexandrian Wicca is a blend of ceremonial magic with heavy Gardnerian influences and a dose of Hermetic Kabbalah mixed in.

Alexandrian Wicca focuses on the polarity between the genders, and rites and ceremonies often dedicate equal time to the God and the Goddess. While Alexandrian ritual tool use and the names of the deities differ from Gardnerian tradition, Maxine Sanders has been famously quoted as saying, “If it works, use it.” Alexandrian covens do a good deal of work with ceremonial magic, and they meet during new moons, full moons, and for the eight Wiccan Sabbats.

Influences from Gardner:

Similar to the Gardnerian tradition, Alexandrian covens initiate members into a degree system. Some begin training at a neophyte level, and then advance to First Degree. In other covens, a new initiate is automatically given the title of First Degree. According to Ronald Hutton, in his book Triumph of the Moon, many of the differences between Gardnerian Wicca and Alexandrian Wicca have blurred over the past few decades. It is not uncommon to find someone who is degreed in both systems, or to find a coven of one tradition that accepts a member degreed in the other system.

Your Magickal Correspondence for August 4

Your Magickal Correspondence for August 4

Magickal Intentions: Spirit Communications, Meditation, Psychic Attack or Defense, Locating Lost Things and Missing Persons, Building, Life, Doctrine, Protection, Knowledge, Authority, Limitations, Boundaries, Time and Death
Incense: Black Poppy Seed and Myrrh
Planet: Saturn
Sign: Capricorn and Aquarius
Angel: Cassiel
Colors: Black, Grey and Indigo
Herbs/Plants: Myrrh, Moss, Hemlock, Wolfs bane, Coltsfoot, Nightshade and Fir
Stones: Jet, Smokey Quartz, Amethyst, Black Onyx, Snowflake Obsidian, Lava, Pumice
Oil: (Saturn) Cypress, Mimosa, Myrrh, Patchouli

Saturn lends its energies to the last day of the week. Because Saturn is the planet of karma, this day is an excellent time for spellwork involving reincarnation, karmic lessons, the Mysteries, wisdom, and long-term projects. It is also a good time to being efforts that deal with the elderly, death, or the eradication of pests and disease.

More Blessings Comments

Making Your Own Wand

Making Your Own Wand

One neat way to make a wand that is very popular is to get a piece of copper tubing and a crystal that fits in the end of it or even one for
both ends of it. Then you can decorate the tube in various ways.
SOME people solder small chips of gemstones on it, while others wrap
it in black leather (crazy glue keeps this on the pipe!) and then
braid various colors of embroidery thread about this or attach
feathers to it or whatever. You can fill the tubes with herbs sacred
to your purpose/goal in life too.

Some folks have more than one of these wands for various purposes in
their lives.

You can solder the crystal/s in the end/s or you can fashion prongs
out of the end of the tubing and stick it in in much the same way a
jeweler sets a diamond in a ring. Again, if you do this, you may find
a touch of crazy glue keeps it in better.

Of course a wand doesn’t have to be this complicated. Another nice
wand is the ceremonial Magick – type “lotus wand” that some witches
have adopted as their own. Take a branch from a tree that is fairly
straight and the right length for a wand. Preferably this should be
one you find, but it can also be taken from a living tree if you
psychically “ask the tree’s permission” – if you get a strong feeling
this is wrong and that you shouldn’t cut that tree, don’t do it. THIS
SHOULD BE DONE ON THE WAXING MOON. All ritual tools you make should be made and/or consecrated ONLY on the Waxing moon. The waxing moon is the time from one day after the new moon up to and including the
night of the full – moon.

Either way, leave an offering of thanks afterwards. If you are into
the Native American traditions, an ounce or so of tobacco (PURE – the
kind used in the sacred pipe) or cornmeal is appropriate. If you are
in Wicca / NeoPaganims, a libation of apple juice is most fitting – as
is some home-baked cakes (unfrosted plain cupcakes, some corn muffins,
oatmeals or cornmeal cookies or cornbread, a loaf of home-made or
all-natural whole wheat bread, etc – NATURAL stuff, please NO TWINKIES
AND JUNKFOOD) or even a few small charged crystals can be implanted in
the ground for the trees growth. In Santeria it was traditional when
taking anything from nature to leave a specific number of copper
coins, perhaps with specific foods, depending upon the Deities/Orishas
or other entities being invoked according to a very strict tradition
of what Beings ruled what places. (for example, 5 is the number of a
river or fresh water, 7 is the number for the ocean, 4 or 6 for a
mountain, 2 for the forest, etc.)

Then you strip the bark, sand it down, mark it in 7 segments and paint
them each in these colors of the rainbow from top to bottom. Red,
Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

Some celtic traditions put a steel rod through the middle of any
wooden wand – a tricky business, but effective to make it a channel of
the energy. To do this you MUST be sure your branch is of a certain
thickness or it will split as you try to do this. This channels the
energy in a simillar way to the copper tubing in the crystal wand.
They also wrap a coil of thick steel wire around it’s handle, like a
snake, for 4-5 times which makes a grip and is also said to contribute
to the energy flow.

Another way to paint a wooden wand is half black and half white or
half gold and half silver, to express the balance of the polarities.
If you are into Kabbalah, some folks also use Red and Blue as these
are the colors usually associated with Chesed and Geburah in magick
which are the central spheres on the masculine and feminine pillars of
the tree of life, respectively.

And some people leave the wooden rod plain, allowing the natural
beauty of the wood to come through.

ALSO, some people make their wands out of a wooden dowel rod bought at
a local lumber supply house.

I do, however, suggest that if at all possible, you still go into
nature and make a small offering to mother earth for the materials
used. Even a purchased dowel or a crystal bought from a rock shop or
a copper tubes are all gifts from Mother Earth and Father Sky and it
is important to show our gratitude for what they have given us.

Ultimately, you should make the wand be what you FEEL. A simple stick
wrapped with embroidery thread that has some feathers tied to the ends
of the thread works well for one friend of mine in MASS.

Air Wands

There is some controversy in both Ceremonial Magick and Wicca as to whether the
Wand relates to the direction of the East or the South and whether it relates to
fire or air as an element. I am going to share here what I use and what works
for me. Others who work differently are more than welcome to share their usage.

The way I use the wand in my Magickal working is as the tool for the EAST the
element of air. I can’t PERSONALLY see the fire attribute, as I have problems
with the idea of a tool relating to an element that can destroy it. Since some
wands are made of wood and almost ALL of them were until the popularization of
Crystal work with the adoption by some NeoPagans of Native American practises
made the metal wand with a Crystal in it the latest thing. If I WERE to work
with people who used the wand as fire, I would certainly used a metalic and
stone wand of this type and NOT a wooden one. Again, this is personal taste.

The air element relates to communication, intellectual ideas, Linear Logic,
Clear and intelligent THINKING, and telepathy. It relates to the concept of
unity too, in that ALL of us – and all species of life – breathe the same
atmosphere. (note – I realize the plants use the Carbon Dioxide while we use
the air, which is why I said ATMOSPHERE)

The wand relates to the suit of RODS in Tarot and vice versa.

The Wand is a MALE tool, like the Athame. The FEMALE tools are the Chalice and
the Pentacle.

The wand is used to summon the Rulers of the 4 directions and to invoke the
Deities in casting a circle. In CERTAIN types of Magick it is sometimes also
used to cast the circle, but it is more common to use the athame for this. (or
the sword if it is a coven and they have one)

The Wand can also be used when invoking the spirits.

It is particularly helpful at times when wisdom is needed and in invoking the
spirits before tranceworking where specific information or guidance is desired.
It is also good for doing this for VERY important divinations when they are done
in a fully cast circle.

The wand is used in some traditions in a Spring Equinox celebration to create a
hole in the soil in which seeds, symbolizing people’s hopes, are planted –
obvious fertility symbolism.

The wand can hold a lot of power and be a very special and personal instrument.

There are some Witches/Pagans I know who use only the wand and the chalice as
their tools. Their thoughts on this being that the Pentacle is drawn from
ceremonial Magick – which is correct – so they want to eliminate it as they feel
it is necessary FOR THEM to get back to the roots of Wicca/Paganism. These
people also eliminated the knife/sword because they pointed out that in ancient
times Wicca was the religion of the Masses and the Peasants – who were not
allowed to carry weapons. These people use the wand to cast all their circles,
replacing it for ALL the purposes for which the athame is used.

Their are other groups, most noticably the Community of ISIS and it’s inner
circle the TEMPLE of ISIS in Salem MA., that use the wand for casting the circle
although they retain the athame – which they seem to use only for blessing the
chalice in the symbolic re-enactment of the fertility theme central to Wicca.
(PLEASE NOTE I SAID SYMBOLIC)

These are the major uses of the wand.

How to Banish

Author: Taliesin McKnight

The first thing that one should learn to do in magick is to banish. This is a simple precautionary measure. Before conjuring things up, intentionally or unintentionally, banishing should be well understood. Banishing can be defined as cleansing an area (or person) of negative energies or entities. There are various hostile forces in the spirit world that need to be warded off at times.

There are three basic ways to get rid of negative vibrations. These techniques are used in virtually all systems of magick: Wicca, Voodoo, Santeria, ceremonial magick, to name just a few. Once the art of banishing is understood, then it can be done for others as well. After all, magick is not just about your base desires and self-glorification (sobering thought, I know!) , but about helping others. You will be a cunning man or woman, an instrument of the Divine. The three basic methods of banishing are the burning of herbs, the sprinkling of holy water, and ritual.

The burning of herbs is a very ancient form of exorcism (exorcism is another word for banishment) . But not just any herbs are used; they must be cleansing herbs! This may include such plants as vervain, onion, patchouli, and hyssop. You may now be asking yourself, do those herbs really have any power in themselves? This issue is highly debated in the occult community. Some are of the opinion that different herbs have various mystical properties, which can be harnessed and employed by the witch. Others, however, think that it is simply the belief in the mind of the practitioner that makes the employment of herbs effective. Whatever the case may be, virtually all forms of witchcraft regard herbs as highly powerful agents to be made use of in magick.

The basic technique involves burning the herbs and allowing the smoke to touch the area (or person) being cleansed. The smoke is said to drive away impurities. Warning: Do not merely use the incense sticks or cones! Many would-be magicians are conned (intentionally conned by the manufacturers) into using these. Typically, there is no herb in the incense at all. It is merely the “fragrance.” Thus, if you buy lavender incense, chances are there is no lavender in it. So try to avoid merely using the incense named after the plant.

There are various methods for procuring your herbs. The plants can be bought or grown. Most pagans like to grow their own so they can incorporate the seasonal practices of planting and harvest into it. They may also be purchased at your local metaphysical store or online. Another alternative is to simply go to the grocery store and just see what you can find. If nothing else then many of the herbs can be found in the “spices” section. Onion, garlic, black pepper, and rubbed sage are easy to find; these are all powerful herbs used for banishing. Tobacco can be blended with such herbs to help them burn. Tobacco is often used to replace sulphur in old grimoires. It is connected to Mars (the god of war) . The herbs may be burned upon charcoals. Smudge sticks are also quite popular. These are often composed of a mixture of rubbed sage and bluegrass.

The concept of holy water is found in many different systems of magick. Please note that this does not necessarily refer to holy water from a church. The use of holy water predates Christianity and is used in virtually all forms of Paganism. At its most basic, it is water mixed with sea salt. Various other formulas exist in which one mixes the water with various cleansing herbs such as sage, hyssop, and vervain. This is all up to the individual witch. The herbs are boiled in water and then are strained. This is how such herbal mixtures are made. Marie Laveau water (highly prized in New Orleans Voodoo) is one such example. It is composed of 1 cup of rainwater, 1 cup of spring water, 1 cup of lavender water, 1 cup of rose water, and holy water from a church.

Holy water should always be blessed in some way, which can be accomplished by an elaborate spell or a simple prayer. The water is then sprinkled in the area to drive away evil and any negative, hostile forces. This ancient practice goes back to the very beginning of magick.

Ritual is the last of the three methods. Of course, sprinkling holy water and burning herbs do serve as rituals within themselves, but there are other more elaborate forms of ritual. One of these is the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. This ritual comes to us from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which was a secret society that taught initiates the practices of ceremonial magick. Although this rite is derived from ceremonial magickal tradition, practitioners of many different paths and systems have used it. This is simply due to the fact that the ritual is so effective at cleansing the environment of negativity. Another technique is the ringing of a bell, a method used by a number of cultures.

Those of a Christian background may call on the power of God by invocation and prayer. Another practice is to cut an onion into quarters and to place these in the four corners of a room. The idea is that the onion will absorb the negative “vibes” and is later discarded or burned. Chanting may be employed or various candle spells may be used. Once again, there are countless rituals that can be utilized as rites of exorcism.

Remember, banishing is the first thing that should be learned in the practice of magick. From that point on you may proceed, somewhat safely, on the path of the occultist. The three methods outlined above (the burning of herbs, the sprinkling holy water, and ritual) are used in virtually all forms and systems of magick around the world. They are tried and tested methods that have been successfully employed by witches for many thousands of years. When all else fails, appeal to a Higher Power, however this may be defined.

Always remember that the Ancient Ones are there to aid you upon your path.