Category Archives: Theology

Unintentional Path-working

For most practitioners path-working requires quite a bit of setting up, creating the conditions where you can move your consciousness to another place, or allow it to be moved. When working with a partner this can require a period of alignment or synchronising, but in either case it almost always isn’t something that just happens.

But recent experience has shown me that this isn’t always the case.

To set the scene a little as a Pagan I have used and practiced path-working for quite a few years both singly and with a working partner, so I sort of know what’s required to get into the right state and more importantly how it feels when you begin to move from this experience to the Otherland.

I also like to take baths rather than showers, they are so much more relaxing J, and on occasion I have been known to add a little something to the bath.

Recently I added some Himalayan salt to a bath and proceeded to lie there and try to relax not something I find easy in the last 5 or 6 years. As I was starting to ‘Zone out’ I heard a voice calling I couldn’t make it out but it was definitely calling me and from some distance. I also started t feel that slightly unworldly feeling of both being separate from the ‘normal’ world but also aware of it fully.

Now I hadn’t planned this, and wasn’t in any sort of mood to undertake a path-working, in fact I had avoided it as, as anybody who has experienced it will know, they can be rather challenging. Sometimes the message the Goddess has isn’t one you want to hear!

I felt pulled into that Otherworld place, a hyper-reality, where we share experience with beings long gone from the ‘normal’ world. The details of the experience isn’t important here, though it involved re-evaluating something I thought had been forever denied me because of things that have happened in the past, what’s interesting is the fact that this wasn’t something I was looking for. Indeed it was, is, something I feel a difficult prospect.

Path-working is usually seen as a way for us to make contact with that otherworld when and as we wish. This experience has shown me that sometimes that Otherworld will take the initiative and reach out to us whether or not we are ready for it.

A thing to remember perhaps, The powers in that Otherworld are not simply there for our bidding

Samhain: Memories and Thoughts of my Fathers Death

Just over 18 months ago my father died. I was fortunate that I was able to spend time with his in his last few months and we were able to talk, not just about his illness and what he wanted at the end, or didn’t want to be more accurate, but about memories, both good and bad, times spent together and apart. Some things he said didn’t make too much sense at the time, but now I can see and understand what he was trying to say to me.

In his last few weeks I would sit beside his bed, and talk. I’m not sure he heard me, or if he did was able to understand but my presence seemed to calm his somewhat. In his last few days he seemed to become more agitated and while I wouldn’t say distressed certainly confused about where, or indeed who, he was.

This wasn’t a simple not knowing that he was in a hospice, or exhibiting the memory loss associated with dementia. No this seemed to be something more than that. Almost as if the world he was experiencing was very very different to the one we live in and he was struggling to make sense of it. Struggling to adapt to the new environment where all the learnt skills and expectations were of no use.

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Thoughts on Disclosing Childhood Abuse to the Authorities

Harm None? How do we judge

Things have moved on a bit since I last thought about this.

I was asked to talk to social services, who informed me that they would want to consider what action they would take based on my story and that the natures of things was that they might have to also refer this to the police.

So the question became do I talk to them, to tell them my story or not? It is not in this case a simple equation of who will be harmed by my actions and what offset benefit might there be. It is a question of where responsibility lies.

The core of the problem is that if I was to open up to them then the control of what happened with information, and what the consequences were, would no longer be in my hands, and it would be me of my own free will giving that control over to them. How does that sit with the ideas of personal responsibility imbedded in the injunction to ‘harm none’?

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An it harm none, a moral dilemma

I recently have had to begin facing a rather difficult question. One that at its core asked me to interprets one of the prime directives of Wicca.

“an it harm none, do as thou will”

The question boils down to this, if doing something that is needed for my own recovery & survival adversely impacts on the life of others the where do I stand with respect to the tenant expressed in the harm none rule?

Add into this that there is a moral and potentially legal component, in that the action I am contemplating is to formally report historic sexual abuse, and the who question becomes even more murky.

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Self Harm and the Wiccan Rede

So I have been thinking how, as a Pagan, I should view the issues around self Harm.

I mean for the person who is Self Harming rather than the wider issues of support and help. While there are obviously Pagan specific factors to consider when treating, or providing help, to somebody who self harms, such as belief structures and world view which would obviously be very important in treatments such a s talking therapies, I am more interested at the moment on the more internal view. How does being a Pagan sit with Self Harming.

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The bond between souls.

 

I believe that two souls can be bound, in exceptional circumstances, in a time of shared loss and trauma. If the souls chose the right path and if they stand together.

All good beliefs need a story, a story that tells, in its way, what the belief means. Our story begins, as so many do, with a dream, a vision and perhaps a memory.

In my vision I see a warrior standing in the predawn, atop a hill.

Behind him a small village, round houses and pens for horses and pigs. A few families live there, had lived there for 10s or hundreds of years in harmony with the forest surrounding them.

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What is magic?

Recently I was talking about Paganism to somebody and was asked about Magic, was it like the bang flash Harry Potter type of magic?
This led me to start thinking about how I see Magik, how it manifests and how I work with it.

So no magic isn’t the wave a wand and turn somebody into a frog neither is it the brash kick in the door type of magic we see in films. Magic is much more subtle than that, so subtle in fact that you won’t even see it working!

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Edge Witch

Today is the autumn equinox, or fall equinox if you live across the water! It is a time of balance and equality when those two great protagonists, day and night are balanced, equal.

In this we see the reflection in the heavens of the Goddess and God, Both very different in nature but equal in stature. Both essential to us and a reminder to us that we, like the universe, need to embrace everything that makes us what we are, as we are, and not try to squeeze ourselves into and limit ourselves by accepting the stereotypes others would foist onto us.

Those of us that call ourselves witches need to particularly remember this, there are a lot who talk of being ‘white witches’ or practicing white magic. The truth is that Magic, or Magik, is a tool we use, just like a hammer, it isn’t good or bad, white or black and it won’t help you with moral decisions.

If you want to truly understand magic then you need to understand both its light and dark, you need to be aware of both the light and dark in you and then you can decide on your actions.

It is this need to stand not in the light or the dark but to stand between them both, understand both and know both the light and dark within that makes a true witch. A true Witch is an ‘Edge Witch’ she or he stands between the shadow and the light being of neither but not scared to look either square on and see it for what it truly is.

Magic or Pharmacology?

One of the problems with defining witchcraft is where to start. If we look back into history we see a mixture of superstition, herb lore, psychology and general wisdom as well as what might be called Magic.

All of these things went into what we call the ‘craft’, but can we isolate and consider the ‘magical’ elements of these things? And what do these things look like?

There are aspects of witchcraft that I think most of us would agree are full within the realm of magic, the high magic workings described by Idries Shah [1] But also, and perhaps surprisingly to some, I would include folk charms.

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An Astronomical Lammas?

 

At Lammas we celebrate the first harvest, obviously this has connotations with agriculture and we shouldn’t ignore or minimise that. It is likely that it is this connection that most preoccupied our ancestors. But they would undoubtedly have also thought about how this ‘First Harvest’ and the “Second Harvest” that it presages was reflected in their own lives.

For modern Pagans we also use this time to reflect on how our lives have developed and look forward to the second harvest which with the Goddesses help and guidance we can row and bring to fruition all that is positive and work with her on those aspects, the weeds in our lives, that are negative and holding us back.

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