Light Spell for Nightmares

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Whenever we have nightmares, we instinctively seek the light afterwards.

If you work with the other world through your dreams like me, you may tend to forget that there are spells you can use to help you through your journeys. This is a spell I invented while dreaming, to get myself out of my nightmare. It works. I believe if you have reoccurring nightmares, this spell may work outside of dreaming.

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5 Misconceptions about Wicca for Pagans

I feel like I have to make this blog because there is just so much misinformation/disinofrmation that still pervades the Wiccan and pagan community, as a whole. I have absolutely no problem with people who use some of these as a personal practice or beliefs. (Also, this blog will be a list because yay! Lists are fun!)

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The Wiccan Goddess in one of her many guises

Most of the time I see a lot of these words, oft repeat, ad naseum, by Neo-Wiccans. It’s usually not by Trad witches. (Thanks, Llewellyn.) These misconceptions are outdated and intolerant. Especially, to the greater occult communities. At this point, I don’t think we have to aim to please Christians, anymore, for the most part. (Long post ahead)

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Elemental Bonding Spells

I made up some spells (Or really one BIG spell using all elements.) to bond my spirits with the elements of nature. This can be done by anyone of any religion. It’s completely secular witchcraft and only relies on the forces of nature. I have found this to be imperative for my magickal practices. I want to pass this down to others too.

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The History & Controversy of Wicca

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Tools of the Trade

 Wicca and controversy

As with the previous entry, which was made for those starting out and those who are not Wiccan, I am trying to debunk and clarify some things about Wicca that even some Wiccans get wrong. There are a lot of misconceptions about it, such as “Wicca is anything you want it to be!” or “Wicca is the oldest religion in the world!”. These are not exactly true. There really is no one size fit all Wicca and Wicca isn’t for everyone, especially in coven format, which was originally made for small groups of people. There is likewise, an attack on both Christianity and Satanism by many Wiccans and I find this to be outdated. For one thing, witches can have something to do with the devil or God whether Wiccan or not. For another, a lot of Wicca’s history is wrapped in controversy and at times, outright denial. This is fine.

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Basic Wiccan Holidays (Sabbaths)

 There are variations on how to do a main Wiccan ritual, solitary or with coven members. I will try to cover the basic rituals format, then I want to talk about the different rituals and rites. Specifically, handfasting, drawing down the moon, and so forth. For the sake of this journal, I will not go into different tradition variations because I am not familiar with them all, and there is too many for this journal to go over. So, I will only cover the basic rituals which most Wiccan trads use. (I will be helped by a few authors, but mainly Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca: Guide for the solitary practitioner“. I will also include some of my personal practice.)

How one may do these may differ, for example there are a few ways to cast a circle. There may be different elemental correspondences for the the different directions when calling the guardians. These types of things all vary by location and tradition. If you’re a beginner and confused, I would say research different methods more in depth than this journal and pick what is right for YOU. I cannot tell you.

I will start with holidays known as “Sabbaths” are the major holidays, and “esbats” tend to be like full moon workings once a month. (Twice if you’re lucky.) Some Sabbaths are not even celebrated by all, and may likewise vary between traditions. (Mabon seems to be unpopular in non–American circles, from what I gather.) Since the Sabbaths go by seasonal cycles and was made for people above the equator, people below the equator may have the opposite going on. For example, Beltane is coming up as of this journal for us as we’re in America. But in Australia, Samahin is coming up instead. Likewise, when casting a circle, instead of the traditional clockwise for casting, Australian pagans may use counter clockwise for casting and clockwise for uncasting.

The Sabbaths

They are 8 major Wiccan holidays and they form a chart called “the wheel of year”. They are called Sabbaths or Sabbats. I have included the chart below, from Sasquatch’s lair blog. (The dates are the traditional dates. Under the equator the opposite would occur, for example, Litha would be celebrated instead of Yule.)

The Wheel of year

The wheel is not just symbolic of the changing of the seasons. The sabbaths tell the stories of the goddess and the god in the life, death, and rebirth process because Wicca is a fertility religion. It has paralells to the dying gods Osiris, Tammuz, and Adonis. With Tammuz (Dumuzi) the shepherd god, he spent six months in the underworld, and six months his sister Gestianna took his place. Some of these holidays are ancient pagan, usually Celtic, in origins, such as Yule and Samhain. Others are not, like Ostara and Mabon, and are modern recollections of the seasons. The wheel of year is popular among pagans, and may be used by non-Wiccan Neopagans.

Yule

Yule is around the Christmas season. It is the time of the greatest darkness and the shortest time of the year. Many pagan solar festivals were done around this time, the winter darkness was a celebration of light. In Rome, it was Saturnalia where the agricultural god Saturn was celebrated, as a time of feast and debauchery. In Egypt, it was the time to celebrate the rebirth of Ra, the sun god. In certain cults it was the god Mithras, birthday. In Celtic Neopaganism, based on older practices, it is the part of the symbol of the Oak king vs the Holly king. During this time the Oak king conquers the Holly king, and then reigns until midsummer or Litha. (In some Wiccan traditions the Holly vs Oak king as seen as dual aspects of the Horned God.) In the main Wicca, Yule is sometimes celebrated at dawn to hark the rebirth of the God, the Goddess gives birth to him. Since the God is also the sun, this is why it is done at dawn. However, other Wiccans like to celebrate in the dead of night, between 12-4am.


Imbolc

Around Groundhog’s day in America, (February 1-2) is Imbolc, the festival of lights. In Celtic traditions, this was a time to celebrate the Celtic goddess of fire, home, hearth, poetry, and healing Brigid. She also became a saint in the Catholic church and this day is known as Brigid’s day. Some female Wiccans may use the crown of lit candles to celebrate. In Wicca, however, it is also marks the Goddess and her recovery after giving birth to the God at Yule. It is the returning of the sun and of spring. The Goddess fertilizes the earth, so the beginning of spring can appear. While the God is a young boy, his power is still weak until longer days. The more eclectic Wiccans tend to celebrate a mix of Brigid worship and honoring the God and Goddess. It is traditional to do this at sunset, because Celtic days were to begin then.

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Ostara

The spring equinox is more of a modern tradition, it happens around March 23rd. A scholar named Bede claimed that this was the time of an obscure Anglo-Saxon goddess named Ostara or Eostre, who was associated with the dawn, eggs, and rabbits. She may be related to Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn. However, there is no archaeological evidence for the existence of Ostara as a goddess. That poses a bit of a problem if you’re more into the reconstruction bit of pagandom. Academics also do not know why Easter or Ostara (the holiday) is associated with eggs and rabbits. Out of all the modern pagan holidays, this is probably the least “pagan” and more Neopagan. None of that should deter you, in my own opinion. in Wicca, it marks the first day of spring. The God stretches and grows into maturity. The Goddess and the God compel the animals to copulate and the plants to germinate. Light and darkness are equal here, and light is beginning to over take the darkness. It is a time of new beginnings and growth. Most Wiccans, like with Imbolc, mix Ostara with the Goddess and God.

Beltane

Beltane is the anglicized version of a Gaelic May Day festival. (April 30th/May 1st) This is halfway between the spring and summer solstice. In Irish literature it marked the beginning of summer. Bonfires were a huge deal, people and cattle would walk around bonfires, and sometimes even leap over them. Food and drink were offered to the aos si, or the fae (fairies) who live in the mounds. Maypole dancing is a common part of the celebrations, especially with the Germanic tribes and English. Fertility is a focus. With Wicca, this is the part when the God is in his youth after manhood. The God desires the Goddess, they fall in love, and consummate their desires. Beltane marks passions and hopes being consummated as well.

Litha

Also, known as midsummer occurs around June 20th. It varies. This is when the fertility is at it’s height. The reproduction powers of the God and Goddess are at their greatest. In history bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits, witches were also thought to be meeting powerful beings during this time. The celebration of the summer solstice does go back to Neolithic times, and is one of the oldest celebrations. it is celebrated at dawn or at midnight, usually. Midsummer is a time of purification and all sorts of magick.

Lughnasadh

Also, called Lammas. It is the time of the first harvest and is usually celebrated on August 1st. It is a Gaelic holiday that was once celebrated all throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Mann. It is believed to be pagan in origin and is named after the Celtic god of light, Lugh. Feasting, athletic games, and matchmaking often took place during these times. Coincidentally, around this time in a few cultures, August was associated with the dead and ghosts. In Aztec lore, August was the time for the true day of the dead festivals. The Catholics moved it to November 1st. In Chinese thought, all of August is the “month of ghosts”. In Wiccan thought, the God is slowly losing power as the sun’s power diminishes over time. The Goddess observes the God slowly dying with sadness, but is happy because she is pregnant. Meals are important around this time.

Mabon

Around September 21 is the Autumn equinox. Not every Wiccan tradition celebrates this one. It is the second of the three harvest festivals and is a time of thankfulness. It’s basically a Neopagan thanksgiving. Day and night are equal again, here. The God prepares to leave his physical body. Nature declines and draws back it’s bounty. The “fire” burns within the Goddess’s womb.

Samhain

October 31st or Halloween is Samhain. It is probably the most popular and sometimes the most important Neopagan holiday. Halloween is steeped in old Celtic customs. It was originally a Gaelic festival, with Neolithic roots. The veil between this world and the next is thought to be thinnest at the time, so spirits from the otherside are more likely to run rampant. This includes the aos si. The reason people dress up during the time, especially if they are scary, is to confuse the evil spirits brought into the world during the time.  Offerings for the dead, ancestors, and the aos si were giving at the times. Similar rituals are done around this time in Mexico, for the day of the dead, and by Neopagans, including Wiccans. This is the sabbath in which the God dies, to be reborn at Yule. It is a time of reflection, especially about death and life.

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Esbats

The term is usually used to refer to coven meetings that are not Sabbats. It is typically referred to as a full moon. However, it may refer to other coven meetings as well. In solitary practice it just refers to full moon rituals.

The idea of such is probably from different sources. However, it is noted in Aradia or the Gospel of Witches in Leland’s English translation.

When I shall have departed from this world,
Whenever ye have need of anything,
Once in the month, and when the moon is full,
Ye shall assemble in some desert place,
Or in a forest all together join
To adore the potent spirit of your queen,
My mother, great Diana. She who fain
Would learn all sorcery yet has not won
Its deepest secrets, them my mother will
Teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown.
And ye shall all be freed from slavery,
And so ye shall be free in everything; p. 6
And as the sign that ye are truly free,
Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men
And women also: this shall last until
The last of your oppressors shall be dead;
And ye shall make the game of Benevento,
Extinguishing the lights, and after that
Shall hold your supper thus:

This had a big impact on Gerald Gardner. Solitary Wiccans will do drawing down the moon rituals during this time, though not always. The full moon is considered a time for great magick.

Moon phases

Moon phases are thought to be very important to some Wiccans, and now also Neopagans. The full moon is a time when some say the Goddess is said to be in her mother aspect and it is good to use healing, intuitive, raising awareness, and any magick related to developing your abilities during this time. The waning moon period is good for baneful magic, banishing spells, and spells to get rid of people or things. The new moon is a good time to do wish fulfillment, new beginnings spells, and focusing on the inner self. This is thought by some to be the Goddess’s crone aspect. The waxing moon is good for bringing love in your life, money spells, and the moon phase to get things done. It is thought to be the Goddess in her maiden form.

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Wiccan tools of trade

Wiccans have four main tools; the pentacle to represent the element of earth, the athame or knife to represent the element of fire, (Sometimes a sword), the wand to represent the element of air, and the chalice to represent the element of water. Other tools, which are not a requirement, is the boline or knife for carving and cutting, the censer for incense, the sourge, which you shouldn’t worry about if you’re not in a coven, cingulum, another thing not to worry about if you’re solitary, the cauldron which is similar to the chalice, but has multiple uses including making incense, and using a fire proof container, and finally the besom or the broom used to sweep and clean away negativity, as well as in handfasting ceremonies. Candles, statuary/images of gods, and incense is also important. Most of these tools are concentrated or blessed, and charged with power before usage.  If you’re on a budget you can always substitute, like using a kitchen knife for an athame, until you can afford the proper tools. Also, if you do not have a wand, you can use your finger in the meantime. Things like salt, candles, candle holders, incense, and the works can be found at many dollar stores in America to help get you started.

Altars

There are many ways to set up altars. If you have images or statues of the gods, if only one it can be in the middle surrounded by items of the seasons, while of the god and goddess, the goddess is usually on the left and the god on the right. Altars are very personal, and may or may not include your personal tools at the moment. They can also be temporary and do not have to be permanent.

Wiccan ritual magick format

For the purposes of this journal, I am only covering solitary formats. If planning a ritual, you need to write down what you need to do. You may want to ground and center yourself before the ritual, and many solitaries take a shower before the ritual for purification reasons. In coven format, they may gather a group of people to cast a circle. However, since we’re only talking about solitary it is not needed. Circles can be cast indoors and outdoors. There are many explanations given why they are cast. The main one is for protection from outside sources. The one I like, is top raise energy in the circle, and then release it for the spell. For this purpose, I will direct you to this link on how to cast a circle. It includes pictures. I will say that you can take your athame and cut through the circle if you have to go through it, without breaking it. Something the link doesn’t mentioned.

You will also have to call quarters, the guardians of the different directions. The elemental aspects of these directions differ depending on the tradition. I like north is earth, south is fire, east is air, and west is water, myself. I usually do my ritual facing east and then going clockwise.

Inside the circle you can do any sort of practice from chakra works, to different spells, to meditations. Even just simply honoring the God and Goddess. There is no requirement. Afterwards, say good bye to whatever beings you called upon and release the circle by going counter clockwise. This will release the energy that was trapped in the circle so your spell can work.

Just so you know for future reference, this is high magick which is more ceremonial in nature. Low magick, also called folk magic, or even natural magick which is considered the opposite of ceremonial magick, doesn’t require an elaborate ceremony such as this to cast. It’s more along the lines of saying incantations to raise energy or lighting a candle for a simple spells, without casting a circle or calling quarters and the like.

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Other important Wiccan ceremonies

Initiation or dedication

Initiation is when you are initiated formally into a Wiccan tradition and recognized. The main two, Gardnerian and Alexanderian, have 3 degrees of initiations. I do not know if other trads have more than that. Once you’re in your 3rd degree, you can start your own coven and branch off, if you want. Dedication is solitary and is just about self-dedicating to Wicca and the gods.


Drawing down the moon

Drawing down the moon is a ceremony performed by the high priestess of a coven, mostly likely on a full moon, where she draws the moon Goddess into her body. She enters a trance to do this. The Goddess than speaks through her. In some versions the High Priest may do this as well for the God. In solitary format, this is done alone. I would not advise beginners do this.


The Great Rite

The Great Rite is a ceremony performed in a coven which requires sexual intercourse to raise the energy between the male and female. It is a rare ceremony and is usually performed when the coven is in need spiritual intervention. It does not involve 1st or 2nd degree members and it is usually done by the High Priest and Priestess, or a couple who is in the 3rd degree. No one should pressure anyone to do this rite, and it is extremely uncommon. If a coven is trying to pressure you into this or anyone else, or say this sort of thing is for initiation reasons, leave. It is not a healthy coven. In solitary practice this may be done symbolically by putting the athame into the chalice.

Handfasting

Handfasting is based in an old Celtic ceremony where a couple may be committed for a year and a day. It is sort of like a temporary marriage or commitment of sorts.

Other ceremonies

As with other religions Wicca has marriage ceremonies, funeral rites, baby dedications, and even ‘parting of ways’ (divorce). These may vary with trads.

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Basic Wicca/Witchcraft FAQ

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A basic witchcraft set up

What is Wicca? What is it not?

I wanted to make this journal because among the Wiccans here (This was originally published for Deviantart.) I noticed a lot of misconceptions. Misinformation that they are actually spreading as “fact”. (The loudest of us seem to be historical revisionists, who hate Christians and Satanists.) I do not hate either. I am not going to insult people of either religions. But these bad ideals are some of the reasons why sites like “Wicca for the rest of us” exist.

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Hinduism within me

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Kali maa, the devi of time

Been doing a lot of contemplating and learning about myself. Something I believe I missed doing in my early 20’s due to religion. I definitely consider myself an Indo-Pagan and I have been looking into Wicca again. I am more of eclectic witch though, always have been.

Before I did Aztec reconstructionism, in my early 20’s, I was drawn to Hinduism. (I had read Mahayana Buddhist texts and Buddhism came from there.) I started worshiping Kali maa on the side. I did this for about a decade. Even as an Aztec person.

Over time, my views, quite independently, based on my experiences became more and more inline with Hinduism. I always revered Kali even not active in puja, she always had a shrine in my house, and she was always dear to me. I was always speaking good of her. I love her dearly. I also always believed in reincarnation and thinks of the nature of Hinduism without always knowing it.

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Kali ma with a third eye open

I spent seven years in the Aztec religion. Seven long years, that I feel robbed me of myself and my life by that religion. My experiences with many, *not all*, of those teteo (Aztec word for “gods”. Singular “teotl”.) was definitely terrible. One of the biggest problems I had, wasn’t just the lack of support from the community and problems with the attitudes they had which scarred me for life when I was a kid, but also as time went by, me and the Aztec gods didn’t just grow apart, my whole ideology clashed with theirs!

I just couldn’t be that mean, prude, and sacrificial. I could no longer support the slavery system the religion called for. I could no longer be that anti-human. I hated the ideas of cultural purity imposed (Though some Aztec gods don’t really give a f*** from what I seen on that issue.) and I hated how not-very-progressive the religion was.  And I really dislike their prude attitudes towards sex. (Yeah, that’s a thing in that religion. Even down to stoning people for adultery!)

Increasingly, because of my indulgence in Japanese pop-culture, (Shintoism has something to do with Hinduism in history) I could not let go of the Hindu cosmology. It is still used in much Japanese fiction and lore. And it totally fit my UPG! Everything I experienced. Yet the teteo would not have it, would not see it my way. I was a liar and delusional. I did not feel these gods were ever on my side and a lot of them just seemed to insult me. (They seemed to take other peoples’ side in debates, and then later, years later, apologized. It was too little, too late by then.) I feel like they contributed to my mental illness, in so many ways. But I want to make it clear, not every teotl made me feel this way. However, enough of them did to make me leave the religion permanently. (Also, due to scholarship, which other Aztec recons figured out eventually too, the religion never actually died. It merged with Christianity. I am not a Christian, I was raised one, and I don’t want *that* back.)

I was distressed in that religion. People were not as nice to me as they are now. I stopped believing in love. I believed in harsh things and hostility, because the world seemed hostile to me and I was hostile back. I was really losing it. Eventually I left Houston, after destroying my altar and I left the entire Aztec thing behind me.

I asked what religion made me the happiest, I thought it was Wicca and I have been seeking it, too. (The proper initiated way.) However, despite my eclectic witch leanings in my magickal practice, I believe I am thoroughly Hindu. (I still consider myself a pagan because of my magickal experiences and practices.) Specifically, Shakti Hindu and Tantra, which almost fits my exact beliefs I developed almost entirely outside of Hinduism. I cannot go back. (I don’t think Shiva will let me be Wiccan, too. But we’ll see what happens.)  Especially after the Aztec religion caused me to lose family and friends.

I tried a few religions, this is all I tried; Buddhism, Hinduism, Neo-Wicca/eclectic paganism, and the Aztec one–that’s it. (Note: This is over a period of years. Aztec religion was my longest “pagan” religion. I am not a religious butterfly either, contrary to the sentiments other recons say about this. Trying out religions =/= a bad thing. Find yourself and your place!) Nothing else. I can’t say I “tried” Christianity per se, because I was heavily brought up into it with family almost to the point of total indoctrination. Buddhism and Hinduism are not really that far apart, in many respects. Some Hindus even consider Buddhists merely an off shoot.

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Wicca lasted a few years until I got mad at all the bad history, this was my teenage years. (A lot of pagans start out as Neo-Wiccans.) Buddhist philosophy always influenced me during that time. Hinduism was exactly where I was heading until the Aztec gods bombarded me just because I like to study religion. I thought that was what was right for me, but it ended up being worse than Christianity for me. Kali maa was always there though, she never left me and I still have her statue from a decade ago when I was confused about my direction in life before the Aztec thing.

I sincerely apologize to anyone I ever offended or was unnecessarily mean to in my Aztec days. I was completely wrong. You didn’t deserve it. I was having issues with the religion, home, finances, school, and family. I do not ever want to be that condescending and rude again. (Except to my enemies and those who deserve it!!! Haha.)

Beware of any religion that says it’s the only way, but also beware of any religion that does not practice peace! Buddha was right on that one! And if a religion distresses you more than makes you happy, leave it. Don’t waste years of your life, like I did.