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Posts Tagged ‘wiccan’

In a recent class our teacher did a small questionnaire, polling the students to understand who they are as individuals. A simple exercise ended up spawning a great amount of discussion.

One of these questions had a great impact on me was the question “What is your most important possession?” It was very predictable that a lot of people said their cellphone. One girl chimed in with her wardrobe and a few changed their minds with her. One girl even argued that her hair straitener was important to her. I honestly wasn’t surprised by the amount of shallowness they showed though out the entire exercise (needless to say i don’t like the rest of my class mates). My head was reeling as I am very much out of my element in this class but more importantly the teacher was shocked.

Our teacher then went into a story about herself. A year ago a fire started in her basement in the middle of the night. Her dogs rushed in and climbed on the bed and she had to shake her husband awake in the smokey darkness. As the fire spread her first reaction in the sleepy panicked haze was to grab her family album of irreplaceable photos of past generations and children. In the moment that was the important thing.

This set the room into quiet thought that sadly didn’t last long. One girl fought to justify their cellphone response, saying that should would grab her phone any ways as it was by her bed and she could call 911. As the room explored in voices I sat quietly in the back, garbed my iPod and began typing this account.

My answer? It never changed. My most precious thing to me is my laptop. Not because the technology is something i cherish but because of what it contains. It has the only current copies of all my writings including a novel now over 10 years in the making (and many other unfinished novels) It contains photographs of memories, my video portfolio, and the art I have done. It even my book of shadows and all the research I have taken since I began on my journey into Paganism. That hard drive and everything on it holds a great value to me. It is me. It is my life… That reminds me, I need to back up a few files.

So my question for you, any and all readers out there…

As an exercise of putting the things in your life in priority, what do you hold dear as humans and as pagans? In the fire scenario would you save your goddess statuary on your alter? Book of Shadows? What is the one that and you hold dear everyday? Your favorite deck of tarot cards or bag of runes? Would it be photographs?

(Animals and family are a given. I hope everyone would try to save them from a fire if they can. Yet for the sake of the question, This is material objects only)

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So as you know, October marks so many things I love. First of all, my birthday is on the way, Fall comes into swing and Samhain is coming! I know you don’t need reminding from me about any of this as i’m sure many of you are already looking forward to the day.

My first day of work will come today (by the time this is posted, I will be there) and i hope that this blog can get into full swing.

Upcoming is my “Internet Mythology” series where I will delve into some of the “boogie-men of the internet”. Though not truly a pagan series I think it could be a fun bit of posts for the season.

That’s already i need to say….

Now with all that being said, how many of us as starting out solitaries were unsure of how to pronounce Samhain? It took a song about the holiday season for it to get in my head that i was an idiot. good thing i was solitary or that could have been really really embarrassing. Actually i can apply this story to every other Sabbat other then Yule and Beltane….

Anyway, Trial and error.

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The one thing that has strained my relationship with my mother is something she doesn’t even know about. I think that’s sort of unfair. For the past three years I’ve found it hard to call or text my mother now that I live out of state and it’s not because of the distance. I finally dedicated myself to a faith system that I fulfills me and makes me happy. Sadly, if I ever let it slip to my mother, it could very easily bring down my entire life.

Last week, I spend some time with my mother at home. We talked about my life and some of my friends I talked about and she relished that she couldn’t place where I met them. Other friends I could tell her “oh I met them in class,” or “They’re my roommate’s friend.” While talking about my friends (coven member) I spent most of the time, side stepping the subject of ages. “Right, mom, remember when I told you I played Dungeons and Dragons (not a lie)? I met friends online and we get together every so often to play (the lie).”

My mother’s knowledge of paganism is limited yet she knows enough to catch me in a lie. A friend recently moved out (a fellow coven member – she knows who she is if she’s reading) who had a bundle of sage that managed to make it out on the kitchen counter blending in with a pile of junk mail. My mother comes in and picks it up and remarks about it and about cleansing rituals and such. I feigned ignorance, blamed it on the room mate, said she thought it would be a good idea to do that as she knows of the practice from her Native American heritage but never really got around to it. It was all a lie/truth combo that i thought worked out rather well.  Mother continued to talk about it saying it was a good idea but also mentioning that burning sage was something in Wicca and (here I’m paraphrasing) “that they pray to some sort of goddess of light but it’s all pointless because anyone praying to anything other than the one true God and Jesus was just shouting into the wind. Also stupid.”

I changed the subject very easily and gave her a big hug as she left for the car. It all felt so empty. I said goodbye and as she pulled away, my heart hurt.

For years, I’ve been dreaming of telling her in a way that would not hurt our relationship. I even had nightmares about being outted by misplaced books or other untrustworthy people letting something slip. Once, I even had a nightmare of being in what I can only describe as a Salem witch trial (in full period dress) and my mom standing beside, innocent but would die alongside me. I woke up feeling horrible thinking about how I could never tell her these things.

The closest thing I will ever get is that I took her to the same restaurant where I met with my coven every week just of a different day. I’ve done it twice now and, in its own way, it really is a rush.

-Kaida

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We live in a generation where if you don’t know something, just Google it. This works well for information like Lady Gaga’s birthday or movie showings, but when it comes to maters of a religion with no true, set doctrine or scriptural text, information found on the internet is not always reliable.

Here is a list of ways that I have used the internet to my advantage during my long, long years of study with out any books or teachers.

1.Take notes! If you find a relevant piece of information copy and paste it into a word document as well as the html source of the info. That way when you find the same bit of information somewhere else you can compare it to see how it stands up and make informed decisions. This is also good for starting a book of shadows.

2. Read as many different sources as you can. When looking up a particular God or Goddess look at multiple sources and take notes on the information that tends to come up the most. it is most likely that there is some truth to these bits of information. Look for sites that have a high recognition. Also don’t be ashamed to look at Wikipedia. It can put things in perspective but not take everything as “gospel”. Remember to keep those notes of everything you find.

3. Look for feedback messages or comments. Sometimes thoughtful discussion can go on there where one reader may have found a factual error in the information. Sometimes the writer will weed out those that contradict what they said but for the most part, the pagan community is up for discussion and debate.

4. Look at forums. There are some crazies, uninformed and buckets of drama in forums but most likely some question you have may have been answered there for you already. Searching though old posts can be very helpful.

5. Do some shopping. One of the easiest ways to get your hand on a book is though the illegal downloading. I do not endorse this but I have used this as a tool. I find a book I’m interested it, look it up for download and skim though it to find out if the book is for me. Then if I want the book, I search it down on half.com, one of the best places on the web to get cheap hard copies of books. Its easier then finding a hard copy of a book like a library or a store copy.

6. Reviews Reviews Reviews. You want a book to buy? look up reviews. Always to see if the author is on the up and up. Look up multiple blogs to see if its a good good with good information. Chances are, there is a review somewhere.

7. RSS Feed connection are your friends. Every blog I can find that has a good bit of information, I subscribe to RSS feeds or follow on my WordPress feed. This is how I like to keep up on pagan community info and useful blog posts. Sometimes I find a post that I like but I have something to add to it that end up parking a new blog post.

I hope this helps you in your journey. Tanks for reading and please leave a comment. Love all of you.

-Kaida-

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I attended a Christan school from 5th grade though 12th. Sort of giving  away a lot about myself by talking about this. if anyone out there that know me, they will recognize me and blogging under a sudo-name will be for nothing.

I would like to tell you all about the horrible time I spent at that school.

When I started at that school, Pokemon was a big thing. My first week, a pastor came in telling us Pokemon was evil, that the Japanese are evil people for making Pokemon and that it was of the devil because of Lavender town and the ghosts. There were some right out lies said about the game series. Everyone gave me back the Pokemon pencils I passed out on my first day to make friends. I did not give over all of my Pokemon stuff to be burned when the pastor called for them next week and thus no one talked to me for 3 years.

In 7th grade we had to have a permission slip sighed by out parents to read The Hobbit due to the nature of magic in the book.  On my own I read Harry Potter and Stephen King. I remember my moms face when I handed that thing over to her.

I died my hair black and became a goth. I was a ragefull teenager with a metric-crap-ton of bad poetry and drawings to express my anger. At school I was asked if I worshiped Satan because I died my hair black and carried a purse made of duck tape and bumper stickers.

In 8th the time that I was called to the office over a series of comics I drew about a man in an insane asylum. After leaving me to wait for three hours and he chatted up investers to help sponcer the building of our school, the principal told me that mental illness was a subject I should think about it because it’s evil and that man needed to be prayed over. He then prayed over me and asked me if I would draw nice thinks like children playing. I drew him a picture of the three girls jumping rope, you know like from A Nightmare on Elm Street, my favorite movie at the time.

In 9th grade I got detention for wearing a shirt with faeries on it. The teacher referred to them as gargoyles on the detention slip.

In 10th grade. The principal pulling me aside while I was an aid in the office to tell me that having a seasonal Halloween job was dangerous because that’s the Devil’s Birthday. What would he have said to the fact that I dressed as Jack the Ripper that year?

Or the time I watched school officials reading over an application of a student, seeing they were Mormon and then having a good laugh and tossing out the request.

11th grade marked the arrival of a teacher that would turn me off of conservatives forever. The teacher who used the same tactics that cults use to brain wash people used them on us. He convinced a student that his father had a demon in him. Yeah, this guy taught me economics. All we did was talk about how much Hillary Clinton was a raving bitch, how gay people want to turn everyone gay and that atheists wanted us to eat aborted fetuses because that’s how stem cell research works.

During high school school, for extra credit in my American History class, the assignment was to research a religion, explain their faith and describe how to convert them to Christianity. I wrote about Wicca and got a C because I couldn’t find a reason someone would convert from it so the paper was left unfinished. I think part of me was to do more research of what I wanted. I wish I still had a copy of that paper to laugh over.

How has this school effected me? I don’t know anything about evolution other then how to debunk it using scripture. Honestly, I do believe in creationism but though a universal spirit as the origin. I think it’s because I don’t know any better.

I know I have some unresolved issues with Christianity that may attribute to me becoming pagan, but honestly I think I lucked out for the better. I am now everything that they hate. If I just slim down a few pounds, i cant wait for the 10year reunion. In high school I promised myself I’d put a bomb under everyone’s cars, but I’m thinking i just might show up and give a big old f— you middle finger to everyone. That’s the only bomb I want to drop. That thought is enough…

Thanks for reading about my so many unresolved anger issues.

-Kaida-

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Greek mythology is everywhere, Egyptian mythology is reliably available as well as Norse and Roman. To get down into the nitty-gritty of Celtic mythology, much of the mainstream does not seem concerned. What is Celtic tends to either have a Christianized touch or read in such a deep Gallic that its hard to understand the keep at it. Many of what is Wicca as we see it is based in the Celtic culture and lore but for someone with a short attention span like me it can be hard to focus on and read and…. ooo look a butter fly.

Celtic Myth PodShow, for me, for nothing else, helped me understanding pronunciations. They use music and sound effects to drive the story home the way a radio show would and simplifies some of the readings in a way for everyone to understand without sacrificing any of the content or integrity of the stories. I am not as far in the series as i would like but if nothing else the first 11 of their pod casts are worth the mention.I have not come across many people talking about this little show much on my internet travels but I must say this is one of the best tools I have used for learning about Celtic Mythology.

Give it a shot. The first episode had me hooked. find it on iTunes or at

http://celticmythpodshow.com/

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Candles are used all over the world in religious ceremonies of all kinds. My time in church as an acolyte, i started off every service by lighting the candles and extinguishing them at the end.  In Pagan and Wiccan rituals they are for the light of the Goddess and God, as beacons to the elements and for other spells and rituals of candle magic.

But for the rest of us, candles might not be an option. Candles can cost with some pillar candles can end up being $10 (US) a piece and some spells and rituals calls for more than one. I lived for a long time in a dorm where we were not allowed to have candles of any sort and they would be confiscated on sight. It is very understandable. For how many people set their apartments on fire with an electric stove or tinfoil in a microwave (I’m not kidding), it was very wise of Student Housing to restrict the use of incense and candles.

(this is candles off light on, candles on light on and candles on light off)

So I used the only thing I could, flame-less battery operated candles. These gave my rituals a light (though not a warmth) that I had been missing. I was able to put them anywhere and not be afraid of burning my alter cloth. I treated them as real candles, I anointed them and. When a spell calling for specific color candle, I could cover the body of it with a cloth or paper of the needed color and remove it afterwards. Yes, these candles don’t have that same feel of real candles but I would recommend them to anyone who may be afraid of using real candles or in the situation I was in. I currently use them on my tiny altar on a shelf due to my fear of burning down my bedroom.

After I left the dorm I felt very excited to be able to use candles openly and without restriction. The first thing I did was go out and buy tee lights and tiny candle holders. I almost forgot the lighter. I’m not a smoker so I don’t usually have them laying around and before that all I had to do was flip a switch. I was very nervous about the candle. I didn’t want to be the one to set the apartment on fire not a month after signing the lease. I anointed some candles for use and set them on my alter… but wait.

Ah yes, candles have colors. All I have are white. How do I solve the color candle problem. I don’t want to use cloth or paper around them like I had before. Those cheep glass holders were clear, but I could paint them for my purpose. These two of the candles on my alter now, silver for the light of the moon of the goddess and gold for the sun god’s warmth.

Many places I have read say that one should not use scented candles. The only reason I can see to not use one is that too many smells can be over powering. If you use any sort of incense or herbs in your rite, I would advise not using these scented candles. Now If you are using one candle for a rite and no more, then a scented candle could be permissible. Its like combining incense and candle and if the smell is appropriate for the rite, even better.

Look for candles after holidays. After Halloween i got a bunch of cheep scented candles. they are all red, orange and black and are designed to last a long time. Once I did a rite with a candle to leave burning until it goes out and it stayed lit for over 12 hours. Also party stores are a good place to look. I got a few good white votive i use all the time that are meant to be used one tables at a dinner like a wedding reception.

It is not the candle, it is the energy you put forth. If you feel most comfortable drawing up a candle or imagining it in your mind, whatever you use, its power comes from the spell caster, not the item.

-Kaida-

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