Self-Sabotage and the Light of Awareness

By Raiwvynn October 27th, 2016, under Personal Growth, Self Help

I recently read an article about healing and how sometimes we have parts of ourselves that just don’t seem to want to heal. I had toimages-8 admit to myself that there was something in what they were saying about how when we choose something that isn’t the best for us that there may be a hidden part that for some reason doesn’t want to heal. It was a bit of a shocker because its true.

I know that many times I continue to choose to hang out with a person who leaves me feeling drained and used up. I make choices to do things that I don’t want to do and that leave me feeling empty and directionless. I stay in relationships because its easier than causing upset or hurt feelings. Even the choices of that hamburger over that salad thought I know I will feel better – healthier with the salad. I know that I will feel better if I make the choices that I know are for my best life… but still there is something that stops me from making that “Enlightened Choice”.

It happens unconsciously which is why I’ve not noticed it before but I self-sabotage. That’s a hard thing to admit when you have spent so much time working on yourself and trying to learn and grow and heal. Why does some part of me resist healing, especially when I have struggled for so long to face my demons? I’ve come to realize that the part of me that gives battle against me is the part of me that needs my attention. That area hides the information that will help me to heal. Sometimes all it takes is the realization that I am self-sabotaging. It’s almost like it is a light that suddenly, shines through the darkness and reveals what the real issue is.

Question is though; if it works on the unconscious then how do I bring it into the conscious? I know when I am not making the right decisions – I have sat before that quarter pounder with cheese, fries and a milkshake, or have said yes to doing something that I knew was not the choice that would make me happy. I have known that I wasn’t making the healthy choice for myself. Sometimes I just must stop and say, “Wait! I am not taking care of myself by doing this.” Often this gives me that proverbial kick in the butt that helps me to stop and look at what is happening.

What next? I’ve been finding that sometimes just bringing that spotlight of awareness to the fact that I am not making the righ2bef1151faaa06ccd1bad290e5e896e5t choice often helps me to deal with the part of me resists healing. Sometimes I have deeper work to do… but the point is that I can’t do that work unless I am aware what it is that I need to be working on/with. I am tired of being afraid of these parts that seem to resist and sabotage the good work that I have been doing on healing the demons of my past and the ways that I have learned to cope with and be in the world.

So, for now, I will embrace those wounded places that don’t want to heal and bring them to the light… I will let you know how it goes! I am sure there will be more on this topic in the future.

My Charge of the God

By Raiwvynn October 7th, 2015, under Uncategorized

jgCernunnosListen to the words of the Great Father, who in days past and present was known as Herne the Hunter, Pan, Cernnunos, Osiris, Odin, Zeus and innumerable other names in a multitude voices.

I am the brilliant sun that fills the skies. I am the soft fingers of light on the Great Mothers breast. I am the sweet, soft kiss of love on her lips. I am the deep primal scream of desire that rises from her tongue. I am the flame of lust in her eyes and the lover in her arms. I am the fiery passion that spreads her open to receive me.  I am the creative seed planted deep within her fertile, dark womb.

I am the sacred lover. I am the vital spark and the heated embrace that ignites the fire of life. I am the growing, and expanding energy that blazes within – joining with her to create and change all things. I am the balance; my light to her darkness, my fire to her flood, my maleness to her femaleness. Together we are the sacred whole.

I am the rising sun, flaming in the sky. I wake you with a morning kiss, my light upon your cheek. I burn away the darkness of night, and draw you into the light of day. I will inspire you and illuminate your path with creativity and wisdom. I will guide you through the paths of life. You will celebrate me as the sun rides the azure skies and as the flames of summer burn.

I am the spirit of the wild. I run free and unfettered. I dance in the dappled light of the oak groves and hide in the deep shadows of the ancient forests. I am the laughing presence in the wild places. My essence the spirit of calm and the peace you find amidst the trees. My songs is heard in the whisper of wind. My darkness hides the mysteries of life and my light reveals them. My secrets warm your soul like the sun on your upturned face. I am the caress of memory in your mind.

I am the essence of all thing sacred and untamed. I am the Lord of the dance, the ancient one whose face is seen in many guises, whose voice is heard in the zephyr’s breath and in the violence of the summer’s storms.  I am the dancing whirlwind and the laughter that calls to you upon the swirling air.7XC0V3yiRwuK4JZVnRXl_zeus

I am the silent listener in the woods. I am the voice of apprehension – the eyes in the dark; that bring terror to the faithless hearts. Cloaked in the darkness of all nature I defend Mother Earth with my body and spear. I am the watching eyes of time.

Follow me into the dark places. Let my light illuminate heart and soul. My flame will burn away the dross and leave the treasure behind. I am the divine male within you. Use my power and strength to create the life you desire – for nothing is beyond you.

I am the stag running in highland meadows. I am the roaring lion on Africa’s untamed savannah.  I am the falcon soaring through the summer’s scorched skies. I am the power and strength of the wild beasts. I am the grace and stealth of the winged ones. Tiny or immense my essence emanates from their forms. I’m the dance of primal joy – wild, exuberant, limitless and free.

And yet, I am the hunter- the sure arrow that pierces the heart, allowing the life blood to flow and seep into the rich, brown earth. I direct the passage of life and death. I am the destroyer and devourer. I am hunter and the hunted. I am the panic and anguish of the prey. I am the power and cunning of the hunter. Living and dying – I am timeless and unending – the keeper of balance.

 I am the sun that warms the frozen ground and the fertile seed that sprouts within the mother’s soil. I am the seed of grain, grown to full measure, waving majestically beneath the shimmering summer sun. I am the shaft of ripened wheat, destined to fall, a sacrifice before the “sickle of time” to nourish and sustain beast and man alike.

I am the grape ripe upon the vine, crushed and poured out as a libation to slake your thirst. I am the wine of laughter, love and joy. I am the sacrifice and the promise of renewal. I return to the earth, as the cycle demands – a life bound to death – bound to life – to be reborn once more. The endless harvest of plenty, the sacrifice of life for life.

I am the keeper at the gate. I will take your hand and whisper to your soul as you breathe your last, and then step with you into the beyond. I will fill your heart with courage and expectation, protecting and guiding you to Crone’s Cauldron of rebirth and transformation. And then when you are reborn I will step onto the new path which you are to create, and walk with you as a companion and guide.

I am as She is.

The source and continuation of the cycle.

I live and die but am always here.

I am the magick in each day, the fertility of earth and imagination, the power of life and death.

I am the Sun God, the Child, the Lover, the Father and the Old Sage, the Great God– ever changing but always the same.

Cold & Flu Soother

By Raiwvynn April 1st, 2015, under Uncategorized

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I’ve noticed with this long, cold winter that a lot of people are still suffering from winter colds and flues. I’ve made this over the last number of years and have personally found it very helpful. Calling on the Elder Queen to enhance this Elixir wasn’t my idea initially but I think that it adds to the potency of it.

The Elder Queen Elderberry Cold Elixir

1/2 cups dried Elderberries

2 Tbsp. dried Echinacea

5 inch long piece of ginger, peeled and cut into thin slices

8-10 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces

3 cups distilled water

1/2 cups raw honey 

juice from one small lemon (optional – using the lemon can shorten shelf life)

Take all the ingredients from above with the except of the honey and lemon juice and put it into a stainless steel pot. Place on stove and bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 – 45 minutes.

Measure the honey and lemon juice into a mason jar. Once the liquid has reduce by about half it is ready. Let cool until it is lukewarm. Squish up all the berries to release the rest of the juice and then strain the juice and pour it into the mason jar with the honey and lemon juice mixture. Stir gently while saying:

By the berries of the Lady’s tree

And by the herbs and the honey bee

This brew I stir and bless with strength

To heal and cure and shorten the length

Of cold and flu and all its pains

As health returns and strength regains

By the Lady’s Power and by my will

This potion now will cure this ill.

 

This can then be used for both adults and children. I would suggest 1 -2 tables spoons up to 4 times a day for an adult and 1 tablespoon up to 3 times a day for children.  It can be used for colds and helps soothe sore throats and ease symptoms of colds and flu. As well, all of the ingredients are known to help boost the immune system. Store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks if you don’t use the lemon juice. 3 weeks if you do use the lemon juice. Please note that this is a home remedy and I am not putting this out there as a medicine or claiming that it will cure your ills. If you are sick please see a doctor. This should not be construed or taken as medical advice.

A Short History of Wicca

By Raiwvynn April 1st, 2015, under Wiccan

Wicca is a religious system that came into being in the early 1950’s. There has been a great deal of confusion about the origins of Wicca because Wicca and Wiccan are terms that have often been confused and used interchangeably with pagan or paganism. Paganism is not Wicca. Wicca falls under the umbrella that encompasses almost every religion that does not fall under the “Abrahamic faiths” which include Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Wiccans, and witches as well as those that fall under the title of Reconstructionists will identify themselves under the  banner of Pagan or Neo-pagan. This is often because with the complex nature of some of the systems of belief it is easier to explain the general premises of Pagan belief which tend to encompass most of these belief systems. Paganism is a broad title in which to place these different systems of belief but it has often led to the belief that Paganism is a religion in and of it self.

Those that follow a pagan path are people who hold fast to the beliefs and practices that include accepting, embracing and working with the powers of nature, a belief in the “Great Mother” or the “Mother Goddess” and the connection of each individual with deity. Pagans understand and work the cycles of nature, the seasons, the moon cycles and so on. This understanding and interaction leads to different type of connection to the earth and to the various Gods and Goddesses. This brings up the question of magickal practice. Magick is not a requirement to paganism though many traditions that fall under the umbrella of Paganism have integrated a magickal practice into their beliefs.

Wicca is similar to ancient Pagan religions in that they hold to the belief of polarity in the duality of their deities. They believe in both the female and the male aspect of deity known as the Goddess and the God. The God and Goddess are the balance of the other and are intertwined with nature. They bear many names ranging from the well known “Mother Earth” and “Father Time” to simply the God and Goddess or Lord and Lady. It ancient times the people had a deity or spirit for every nature phenomena that occurred. Rivers, fountains, trees, winds and weather all had their deities or spirits. Like ancient pagans Wiccans have a deep and abiding connection to the earth. They also had Gods and Goddess for activities of every day life, such as Goddesses of the hearth, or Gods of the hunt. They created rituals to honour and seek the blessing of these Gods and spirits. These are just a few of the similarities Wicca has to ancient Pagan religions and is part of the reason why Wicca falls under the broader umbrella of Paganism.

Many believe that Wicca has ancient roots and while there are similarities and traditions that are borrowed from ancient pagan cultures and belief structures there is not a direct history of Wicca before Gerald Gardiner came on the scene in the early 1950’s. With the advent of Christianity people were being lead away from the earth based pagan religions. The growth of Christianity hijacked many of the pagan celebrations and traditions and turned them into Christian events. Through the expansion of the Christian realm came a great deal of persecution for those who believed something other than the “word of God” that was found only in the Bible.  It was during these times that pagan became a negative connotation for any that did not believe the Christian way. This led to the idea that non-Christians were evil or witches.

It was during the continuing growth of Christianity, that persecution spread across Europe and to the Americas and brought the excommunications, tortures and even the violent deaths of untold numbers of people. People were coerced into converting to Christianity or were driving into hiding if they were to continue to follow their own beliefs.  Even until the early 1900’s there were still laws and discrimination against those who continued to practice any sort of pagan faith or witchcraft.

In the late 1940’s Gerald Gardner as self proclaimed hereditary witch created a tradition based on his extensive understanding not only of archaeology but the occult. Taking from what was known of ancient practices, and using texts from Asia and Western Magical Texts Gardner developed a new religion which focused on the worship of the Mother Goddess.  So in truth the origins of Wicca are in the drawing together of various sources into an organized structure of beliefs.

Gerald  Gardener was an accomplished archaeologist who spent time in Southeast Asia, Malaysia and other locations. Through his study and travel he became very knowledgeable in the occult and different types of magickal thought. He was also quite involved with the Masons which further added to his cultural and occult knowledge. When he returned to England in 1939 he was heavily involved in the occult and it is believed that he may have become an active member of the Corona Fellowship of Rosicrucians thought there are some that would dispute this fact.[1] Gardner stated that this was where he met Dorothy Clutterbuck who initiated Gardner into the Craft. It was during the next 10 years that Gardner developed Wicca as a religious structure, however, it wasn’t until 1954 when he published “Witchcraft Today” that Wicca began to grow and flourish.

Some of the material that Gardner stated that he used as he was developing the structure and content of the Wiccan tradition included books on Celtic mythology and culture, Egyptian and Classical mythology, and the writings of Aleister Crowley. He also included fundamentals from Rosicucianism and Freemasonry. He used his extensive knowledge and research to thoroughly develop the foundation of  what we know today as Wicca.  He died in 1964 returning from his yearly Lebanon vacation.

The other significant figure in the development of Modern Wicca was Doreen Valiente. Born in 1922 she was initiated by Gerald Gardner in 1953 and from then on she worked closely with him. It was not long after her initiation that she became the High Priestess of the primary coven started by Gardner. Valiente was an avid and eager student. She was concerned with the abundance of “Crowley-isms” that were in Gardner’s rituals and Book of Shadows. She asked Gardner if she might make some changes and the result was a more poetic version of the various rituals and Book of Shadows.

Valiente was most noted for the “Charge of the Goddess,” which has become a classic part of Wiccan poetry. Additionally she wrote a number of books including The Rebirth of Witchcraft, ABC of Witchcraft: Past and Present, and Witchcraft for Tomorrow.  Her writing had become a staple for new Wiccans and covens as they develop their own rituals and celebrations.  

Like most other religions Wicca is not immune to differing political, practical, philosophical, and traditional differences. While all Wiccans tend to hold to the rule “An it harm none, do as ye will”[2] and also understand the law of three[3] that what you send out comes back to you whether it be for good or ill, and tolerance of other faiths and individuals, there are differences that have necessitated the development of different Wiccan Traditions. Basically if you accept these three premises as well as believing in the Goddess and the God and the cycles of nature you will be accepted under the banner of Wicca.

As we know the first Wiccan tradition is that which was organized by Gardner and was quickly labelled Gardnerian in honour of it founders. Numerous other traditions quickly followed. The chart below gives a sample of some of the major contributors to the Wiccan traditions. This is by no means a complete or exhaustive list of the different traditions. I would recommend the book Which Witch is Which by Patricia Telesco for general overviews of many of the other traditions that were created in the years following Gardner’s creation of his tradition. There are other books as well that are tradition specific that offer good overviews of the philosophies, structures, and beliefs of the individual traditions.

Alexdrian 1960 Alex and Maxine Saunders formed this branch of Wicca loosely based on Gardnerian but with their of philosophy and ritual structure.
Georgian 1970 Formed by George Patterson in Bakersfield California. Went through a few names including Universal Church and the Church of Wicca but was eventually named after its founder.
Dianic 1971 Zsuzsanna Budapest, formed the foundations of what developed into the Dianic traditions she was a Hungarian immigrant, and hereditary Witch, who came to the United States at the time of the communist invasion of her home country. Dianic covens are predominately women only and work solely with the Goddess.
Algard 1972 Formed by Mary Neswick. She has been initiated in both Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca and took what she learned from both of these branches to form her own form of Wicca.
Seax 1973 Raymond Buckland formed a branch of Wicca based on traditions from the ancient Seax religion. He is considered the father of American Wicca.

None of these were officially recognized as “religions” until 1985 when the Federal Appeals Court recognized Wicca as a religion. Other branches of Wicca include, Green or Kitchen Witch, Correllian, Celtic Reconstructionist, Faery, Dragon, and numerous others branches. In addition Eclectic Wicca has  become a fast growing branch as it allows a person to take what they feel works for them from the many traditions and to craft that into a practice that works for them.

Some of the other significant events that have moulded and shaped the face of Wicca include the formation of the Council of American Witches in 1974. It was made up of  witches from various traditions and they created a statement of 13 principles and definitions that were common to their different traditions. This was done with the purpose of correction some of the misinformation that was being propagated about their traditions/religion. Even though the Council is not longer in existence their work still remains as the foundation of many other groups and traditions.

The growing freedom of press, the increasing openness and willingness of people to write about their faith and traditions and the advent of the internet has given rise to a wide range of books, articles, classes, and websites where people can get information about Wicca in all its various forms. This has created growth and greater learning for all that seek to worship and live the Wiccan life. Wicca is a young religion in comparison to many other organized religions but it does draw on the knowledge and wisdom of the past and will continue to grow and expand as the years go by.

[1] Note should be taken that some of Gardner’s claims about his activities and his “hereditary witch” status are under question by others in the Wiccan community. I personally do not really care whether he truly was from a line of historical witches or if he tripped over some occult themes and decided to create his own religion. He gave a very significant contribution to the world as far as I am concerned in his work to create this religion.

[2] This is known as the Wiccan Rede.

[3] Also known as the Threefold Law

A Short History of Witchcraft  

By Raiwvynn March 30th, 2015, under Uncategorized, Witchcraft

 

In order to discuss the history of witchcraft one must understand what witchcraft is. Paganism and Wicca have often been used interchangeably with the word witchcraft but this is an incorrect use of the word. The online dictionary at Dictionary.com[1] states the definition of Witchcraft as listed below:

Witch-craft – noun

  1. the art or practices of a witch; sorcery; magic
  2. magical influence; witchery

The American Heritage Dictionary[2]y defines like this:

Witch-craft – noun

  1. magic; sorcery
  2. Wicca
  3. A magical or irresistible influence, attraction, or charm

The Merriam Webster’s Dictionary Online[3] states:

Witch-craft

Date: before 12th century

  1. a: the use of sorcery or magic,

b: communication with the devil or with a familiar

  1. an irresistible influence or fascination
  2. WICCA

I would like to first point out some discrepancies between what Wiccans practice and these definitions.

  • Sorcery is viewed as a negative and evil use of magic and thus for Wiccans would be in direct conflict with our belief that we should harm none.
  • Communication with the devil is rather a moot point since the devil is a creation of the Christian church and is not a belief that is held by Wiccans.  Though there may be some people who practice witchcraft who communicate with the devil this is not an aspect of it that is generally participated in by Wiccans.
  • Probably most notably in the Webster’s dictionary definition it lists the date of this words origin and used. Wicca did not exist before the 12th century
  • Not all Wiccans use magic or witchcraft in their religions

This being said witchcraft is something that many but not all Wiccans practice. It is not Wicca. Witchcraft covers a broad range of thoughts, ideas, and activities to be narrowly defined to what these three definitions have stated that it means. Wiccans do work magic, through the use of rituals, charms, and spells to name a few of the methods that they use but they are not generally used in the malevolent terms that as is inferred by these definitions.

Perhaps a more practical use of the term witchcraft would be to view witchcraft as some of the online “Wiccan” dictionaries define it.  They define it loosely as a religion that is influenced by pre-Christian beliefs and practices which acknowledge and use the existence of magic as well as the deities and the natural cycles of life. Witchcraft uses this knowledge and these skills to bring about change.

Often referred to as the oldest religion, witchcraft predates Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. Called the Old Religion, witchcrafts looked to the sun, moon, stars and all of nature in order to gain wisdom and direction. This included the plants and animals and the cycles of life found in the seasons             and the cycle of life and death.  The people of that practiced this early form of witchcraft used what we now call “sympathetic magick.” Sympathetic magic is using symbolism to represent what it is that is needed or wanted. This symbolism was believed to show the deities what was needed or wanted and thus bringing it into existence. One good example would be a tribal dance that told the story of a great and successful hunt. These symbolic actions became the precursor to the rituals that we use in modern day witchcraft. These forms of magick were considered positive and helpful to the tribes and cultures and were a nature extension of their religions.

The controversy over the nature of witchcraft really only started with the advent of the Christian Church. The ancient Greeks and Romans had clearly defined what was “good” and “bad” magick and only when magick was harmful to others was a person punished for it under the law. At first this also seemed to be the case with the Christians, but this did not last for long. Originally the Christian priests actually worked with the priest of the Old Religion and performed the seasonal rights that they both shared as holy days.  However once the Christian religion began to spread the Christians began to bring difficulty to the pagans. It was during this time that witchcraft became synonymous with the worship of Satan and fear and hatred began to spread across Europe and eventually into the Americas.

The Christian Church began teaching that Witchcraft was heresy shortly after the death of Christ. With this teaching the Church started its crusade to rid the world of all heresy. Early in the 1000 CE the punishment for heresy became death. This was usually accomplished by burning or hanging. As time marched on more and more people were found to be guilty of heresy.

In 1230 the Inquisition began. It was a Roman Catholic tribunal that was determined to uncover and heavily punish heresy. The people that they question were often tortured and had no rights what so ever.  People were to convert to the Christian beliefs or be punished by death for their beliefs.  Eventually all of the Christian Churches and the secular courts were on the hunt for witches.   This however simply sent the pagan religions underground and forced the pagan people to live as if they believed the Christian ways.

In 1324 an Irish coven lead by Dame Alice Kytler was tried by the Bishop Ossuary for their worship of a non-Christian God. The entire coven with the exception of Dame Alice was burned for heresy. It was because of Dame Alice Kytler’s socio-economic status she was not punished along with her coven. Once the 1400’s rolled around anyone who rejected God and makes a pact with the devil would be found guilty of witchcraft. These were usually women who were found to be practicing the craft and thus were seen to be tools of the devil who were “hell bent” on destroying the Christian Church and the good followers of Jesus Christ. Even with this continual attempt to rid the land of witchcraft and heresy was not very successful it simply submerged it.

In 1431 Joan of Arc was burned at the stake as a heretic because it was believed that she, as a woman could not have led France’s armies to victory without the help of witchcraft. Her visions and “voices” were considered to be communications with the “evil one” and thus acts of witchcraft. The irony is that she was later canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church – the very church that charged her with heresy and killed her. Their belief was changed over the course of history and it became a common belief that her visions and voices were in actuality messages from God and not the work of a witch or sorceress or messages from Satan himself. Other people viewed as witches included the legendary Robin Hood, Merlin, Gilles de Rais and Baba Yaga.

Later that century the Malleus Malleficarnum or The Witches Hammer was published by Kramer and Sparnger of the Dominican. This was the first guide for the “Witch Hunters.” They worked for Pope Innocent and determined that all witchcraft stemmed from lust and in the case of women was an insatiable lust. This was an interesting definition that allowed anyone and everyone to be accused of witchcraft even the innocent children. Their laws allowed for torture and murder based on a definition of witchcraft that was solely created and by the church.  It targeted anyone that the Church fathers felt were a danger or threat to the Christian Church and beliefs. This did not have to be based on any reality but on the perceive threat by suspicious and self righteous clergy or even an embittered neighbour who felt you had wronged them in some way. There were no limits on this accusations or any real proof needed to prove them. Their methods of torture often got them the confessions that they “needed” to prove their claims.

The Papal Bull of Pope Innocent VIII was a piece of literature that strengthened and legitimized the persecution of the pagans. It claimed to be fighting against the evil wiles of the Devil and saving men from his evil designs but it simply brought about a time of torment all across Europe which lasted right into the 18th century. During this time the church did not change and there continued to be no rights for the accused. The so called witches were charged with horrendous crimes like human sacrifice and devil worship. Whether or not this was actually true in some cases or not is debatable but the rumours and stories were enough to cause terror to those who were members of the church. The Witch Hunts continued through the early 1600’s and many were tortured into false confessions and then sent to prison, banished or killed.  An entire paper could be written on the stories of unfairly treated suspects and coerced confessions.

The persecution of the “witch” eventually drove most if not all of the members of the Craft into hiding and thus the church, having no one to contradict them continued to distribute false and inflammatory information about witchcraft. However with the coming of James VI, of Scotland (who became James I of England and Scotland) brought about the beginning of change for those that practiced the Craft. While they still remained in hiding His views on “Demonology” helped Him to get parliament to pass a new act changing the focus of the “Witches Hammer” from “Malleficamum” to “a pact with the Devil.” Then in 1736 George II stated that there was no such thing as witchcraft and that anyone pretended to have occult powers was committing fraud. This lead to the calming of the Witchcraft hunts in Europe and the last of the executions was believed to have happened in 1685.  This however paved the way for the witch hysteria that came to New England in the late 1600’s.

The most well known of the American Witch trials took place in Salem Massachusetts. In 1692 the General Council ratified the 1604 Bill, which gave the rules and guidelines of the witchcraft laws which continued to be in effect until 1695. The society in New England was primed for the hysteria that surrounded witchcraft. The economic climate, the ongoing frontier war, a strict religious structure, dissentions in the church and disagreements between neighbours set the seen for the suspicion and accusations that followed. As well their religious beliefs led to the belief that the “devil” was responsible for much of the misery in the world and was an easy patsy for those who refused to acknowledge their own actions.

In 1692 Salem a small group of girls became fascinated with the occult. One of these girls was the daughter of Rev. Samuel Parris. The girls began meeting with Tituba, who was a West Indian slave.  It was during these meetings that the girls received divination messages and other psychic phenomena. Most likely due to their feelings of guilt about their occult activities and the nature of hysteria the girls started taking fits. They began to have behaviours and symptoms that seemed to mimic what we know as epilepsy, asthma, and various forms of psychosis including hallucinations. At the time there was no medical evidence to prove any physical problems and there is also the question of ergot poisoning. Ergot was mould that grows on grains that causes a wide range of physical complaints including hallucinations. This all could have been blamed on the group mentality and hysteria as well. In addition to this well known story, Dr .Margaret Jones was murdered because her patients became sick and died. It is believed that they did not take the medicines that she prescribed to them. She was accused of using witchcraft to cause the illness and even the demise of some of her patients.

The punishment for confessing to these crimes of witchcraft was imprisonment.  However if you failed to confess to the crimes then you were executed. Of the approximately 1711 people that we accused of the crimes of witchcraft only 55 were actually convicted and they were eventually released from prison. The Common Wealth of Massachusetts eventually realized their errors and in 1957 they reversed the remaining convictions. Fortunately the punishments for witchcraft in the New World were not as ruthless and severe as those of England’s burning times.

As we can see from the historical stories of the witch hunts in England and in Massachusetts Witchcraft as a religion was forced underground and appeared to have been routed. However the faith and practices of witchcraft has simply been driven underground to avoid the possibility of persecution and punishment. It wasn’t until Margaret Murray published “Witch Cult in Western Europe” in 1921 that people began to see that the “religion” of witchcraft was still thriving in various forms though hidden underground. There were many who argued against her opinions but it was a catalyst in bringing witchcraft out of hiding and back into the mainstream. Her book and the following one “God of the Witches” were a means of getting people talking and starting a dialog about witchcraft, and the implications of what had happened.  In addition, when England finally abolished the last of the witchcraft laws in 1951 it opened the door for a wave of authors to have the freedom to write on witchcraft, and other pagan religions which for too long had been hidden and denied.

Other authors followed with their works and the library of witchcraft related books has blossomed especially since Gerald Gardner’s creation of  “Wicca” and the books and traditions that have come about because of his writing, teachings and the different views that have come from those who stated their own traditions and practices. As the years pass and people continue to practice witchcraft – whether that be under the umbrella of Wicca, or paganism or just plain old witchcraft it is now out of the proverbial “broom closet.” The understanding, practice and use of witchcraft will continue to grow and be used for the good of the earth and her people.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/witchcraft

[2] http://www.bartleby.com/61/1/W0190100.html

[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Witchcraft

A Short History of Paganism

By Raiwvynn March 28th, 2015, under Uncategorized

Paganism is a nature based religion. Pagans see the divine in all things be they an animal, plant, stone or person. They understand the duality of life – the dark and the light, life and death, the magickal and the mundane, the male, and the female. They believe in the cycle of life and though they might celebrate it differently they acknowledge it and revere it. Paganism has developed over thousands of years. Cultures have come and gone bringing  changes in traditions and practices, but the roots have maintained their integrity. Paganism celebrates life in all its forms.

       

According to written history, Paganism’s roots began in the Paleolithic age approximately  10,000 BCE (before the current era.) The people of this age were itinerant and primitive. Their concerns in life were survival; which consisted of hunting for sustenance. Hunting and fishing were the primary sources of food and it was likely this continual focus on the hunt that brought about the appearance of the “God of the Hunt.”  The God of the Hunt was portrayed as the horned god, a stag. It was this God of the Hunt – the Stag God that these early people called upon to give the guidance for the hunts and strength to kill their prey. The men being physically stronger and more inclined to the hunt  worshiped the sun, the horned god and also paid special reverence to the animals that they hunted.

 

During this time, women were the caretakers of the tribes. They prepared the food, cared for the children, elderly, wounded and sick. Women were understood to have a different power about them. They dealt with a different magick. Whereas the men dealt with the sun and the horned God the women, due to their own natural cycles, were very aware of the lunar phases and the numerous aspects of the Goddess. In the tribes, it was the women who were given the responsibility of preparing and leading rituals and worship.

 

As the cultures progressed agriculture became a viable means of sustaining the food stores of the tribes. The people found that they could grow food and hunting became a way of supplementing their food stores. This gave them a wider variety of food, keeping them healthier and engaging them in different activities. The focus at this time became the cycle of life and the mysteries of fertility. This new focus brought into consideration that the assumption that Goddess had been responsible for the birth and continuation of life was not entirely correct. An acceptance and understanding of the need for and role of the male and female was developed.

 

The change from solely hunting to agriculture brought change to the people. They were finally able to make permanent settlements as they were no long required to follow the herds and the animals that they hunted. Hunting was still a vital part of their culture, but they were able to sustain themselves easier and with less travelling. Thus, the people became “country dwellers” which is the definition of pagan.  This change in their mobility and the no longer transitory nature of the people allowed them to begin exploring and studying the mysteries of the cycle of life – death – and rebirth.

 

Thought there was a definite change in the mobility of the tribes migration still occurred.  Many tribes and peoples migrated and settled in areas such as Rome. It was in these places that the diversity of the beliefs of the different tribes began to appear. The Romans worshiped different Gods and Goddesses than the Greeks though they had similarities.  The Etruscans migrated from Asia Minor and they focused on divinatory arts and magick. The Celts brought their own set of beliefs and deities. There were groups of people coming from all over that changed the landscape of pagan beliefs.

 

It was at this time that a new group of Celtic origin, predominately men migrated. These were the druids. The Druids came with a great deal of knowledge and wisdom and were eventually chosen to watch over the rights and concerns of the pagan people.  Through this time (6500-4500 BCE) the solar and lunar religions/cults continued to exist and focused on learning the mysteries and magick of animals, herb lore, and the solar and lunar mysteries but they gradually intermingled with the pagan communities. These people were sometimes referred to as the “wice” and known to be the keepers of mysteries. Of this group, it was largely the woman that developed understandings of the mysteries of the cycle of life and Earth.  It was during this time that it again began to be popular to move about – this enabled the sharing of wisdom and traditions.

 

The world began to change drastically starting  around 0 AC. The death of Jesus Christ was the precursor to the advancement of the Christian religion. Starting in the Middles East Christianity began to move across the continents and of course to the center of civilization at the time – Rome. With that Christianization of Rome, the ruling class made it difficult for the commoner and pagans to continue to practice their faith. Pagan temples and places of worship were destroyed and replaced by Christian Churches. Knowing that survival was often dependent on the whim and generosity of the ruling class.

 

The Christians forced the pagans off of their sacred lands and replaced not only their buildings and temples but their holidays and celebrations with Christianize versions that have continued on to this day. With the change in the dominating religion, the pagans were now forced into hiding.

 

This change was the precursor of the Dark Ages which began about 1100 AC. This was particularly difficult time for pagans as a lot of their writings were replaced or destroyed by the Christians and the “holy wars” followed quickly. It was during this time that Christian leaders began the inquisitions based on the premise that the pagans were devil worshipers.

 

Shortly after the “burning times” began. Prompted by a text called the Malleus Malleficarnum (the Witches Hammer) written in 1494 by two Dominican monks, the persecution of pagans and non-Christian believers began. It is estimated that during this time  over nine million people were held prisoner and tortured in order to obtain confessions of their participation in witchcraft. When these people were tortured into confession they were brutally killed often by burning at the stake. The laws that were writing during this time continued to be in effect for many years and the last accused witch to be executed was in 1747.

 

It is not surprising that after so much persecution that most of the pagans who still continued to practice did so as solitaries or in hiding. This practice of hiding pagan beliefs continued until the witchcraft laws were repealed in England in 1951. With this change in the laws came an opportunity for pagans to start to practice their beliefs openly. However the was still a great deal of secrecy knowing what people had endured in the past and the fear that it could happen again.

 

After the change in the witchcraft laws, one of the foundational characters in bring paganism out into the open was Gerald Gardner. In the early to mid 1959s. His books High Magick’s Aid and Witchcraft Today ushered in a time of freedom for pagans. The result of this new freedom was the development of what is know commonly as Wicca and the availability of mystical and pagan literature. Gardner’s books also made way for a greater number of people to read, learn, and explore faith other than traditional branches of Christianity.

 

Conclusion

Paganism is not a new faith structure. It has been around for thousands of years and encompassed numerous different belief systems and ways of practicing ones faith.  Many of the modern day Christian celebrations have their origins in the pagan celebrations that they tried to subvert. We only need to look deep enough to find that many of the Christian traditions have pagan roots that have been twisted to conform to Christian dogma and theology.

 

One of the greatest losses due to Christianization was the loss of connection to the natural world. We have lost touch with or awareness of the cycles of life, death, and rebirth. We have lost our wonder at the beauty in the world. We have lost our sense of responsibility for our natural world and humanity. This connection with the natural world was the common thread between all the different aspects of pagan tradition throughout history. It is something that only now are we reconnecting with and restoring to its proper place in our lives and our consciousness. Modern pagans are now rediscovering the melodies of our pagan history and are slowly learning to twine that into a symphony of peace, recovery, and celebration.

Raiwvynn’s Thoughts on Weight loss

By Raiwvynn January 8th, 2015, under Exercise, Food, Health, Personal Growth, Self Help

10261844-fat-woman-cartoon-fat-exerciseSo I was talking to a friend the other day about what I was going to post here in my blog and she looked me up and down and said “Have you looked in the mirror lately? What makes you think that you have any expertise on weight loss?” I looked right back at her and said “Well 7 years ago I weighed twice what I do now. That’s over 250 lbs gone with no surgery, no drugs, and no eating disorder.” She just shrugged and walked away.

I got thinking then, well do I really have a right to talk on this topic at all. Like really! I am still 120 lbs or so overweight. But then I thought about it. I have suffered because of my weight; the teasing from school kids, the ridicule from my family, the jobs I got passed over for because of my weight have left scars that I still feel to this day. I just might have some insight that helps someone else.

Personally I don’t believe in making New Years Resolutions. We all know that there is a high expectation to do so at New Years but it also sets us up for a huge amount of stress. Stress doesn’t help us to keep our resolutions however. It simply adds something else to our plates where we are trying to adjust to the new year we keep writing wrong on our checks, adjusting from being on Holiday time back to work and school time, adjusting to the fact that winter is finally really here. Look at it! January is a stressful time even without the New Years Resolutions to keep up with. So I take January as it comes. I use the month to plan and prepare for a year of healthy eating, good exercise, and building a healthy, balanced life.

Weight Loss and food issues are a sore subject with a lot of people. Over 60% of Americans are overweight. I am sure that the statistics are not much different up here in Canada. Each year millions of people make that same resolution – I am going to lose weight.  But the days go by and the diet and exercise plan fall by the wayside and they find themselves looking in the mirror three months later saying “What did I do wrong?”

There is no easy answer to weight loss. The truth of the matter is that it is hard work, self-discipline and understanding your body and the foods you eat. It’s also about your emotions. Sound like too much work already? Well, there are some tips that can make it easier. The following are tips that have been gathered from books, and conversations and trial and error over the years. I offer them here for you to see if maybe they might help you out in some small way. I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, therapist, or fitness expert. These are just ideas and concepts that have worked for me in the past.

Raiwvynn’s Nine Tips to Start You on Your Way 

See a Doctor/have a physical – You may be saying to yourself, “Well Raiwvynn, that is just a no brainer!” But the truth is that many people jump into weight loss without taking this step. We all hate going to the doctor. Who likes being poked and prodded, stuck with needles, having their arm squeezed off as the nurse takes your blood pressure. Not me!!!

However it is a vital part of effective and healthy weight loss. You need to know if there are any conditions that may be hindering your weight loss. Do you have a thyroid condition? Are you on a medication that makes weight loss difficult of even causes weight gain? For women do you have hormonal issues, or polycystic ovarian syndrome?

Do you deal with depression? These are all things that can really put a strain on your efforts and sometimes even doom you to failure before you start. Knowledge is your friend and so is your doctor.

Buy a journal – You don’t like to write? It’s never helped before. I never know what to write. Yes I have heard and used each of these reasons for not writing before but it is quite simple here is what you write each day:

  1. What did I drink today and how much?PERSONAL_JOURNAL_1024x1024
  2. What did I eat at breakfast, lunch, dinner?
  3. What did I have for snacks?
  4. How late was my last meal?
  5. What did I do for exercise?
  6. How did I feel today?

It’s all quiet simple really you can do all of that in less than a paragraph. You may be asking why do this? Well the reason for keeping a journal like this is because often times we eat unconsciously. We don’t really consider what we are stuffing our faces with when we feel sad, anxious, or happy. This helps us to have a bit more awareness about our food intake but also about the triggers that set us up for emotional eating (and emotional eating include emotional not eating as well!!!)

Make a plan – This can be the hardest part of getting started on your weight loss journey. You need to have a healthy, ACHEIVABLE plan. What do I mean by achievable? Well, you need to set goals that will enable you to succeed. You also need to have a blueprint about how to accomplish those goals. Remember the key here is to break things down into manageable steps. Make sure that you are making goals about food, exercise, water intake and self-care. What is the Goal and what do I need to do to accomplish this goal (list at least three things)

Goal – To drink 8 glasses of water daily

What do I need to do to accomplish this goal?

Drink one glass as soon as I get up in the morning, take a water bottle to work with me in the morning, drink another glass each time I brush my teeth, drink one glass with every snack or meal.

Goal – To walk for 1 hour each day

What do I need to do to accomplish this goal?

Purchase some good walking shoes, get a pedometer, week one walk for 15 minutes three times a week; week two walk for 15 minutes 5 times a week; week three walk for 15 minutes 6 times a week; week four walk for 20 minutes 3 times a week and 15 minutes the rest of the week; etc.

Breaking down these goals into smaller more manageable steps eliminates a lot of the fear of failure that can subconsciously sabotage our efforts. It also helps our bodies adjust to the changes that we are making.

Find your personal motivation and a plan for keeping motivated – Somehow just saying “I’m fat!” isn’t the motivation that we need. In fact all that statement does is make us feel guilty and worthless. What is it that really makes you want to eat better, get in shape and drop those pounds? Is it that small child who you can’t play with as much now because you get winded so easily? Is it that memory you have of being able to do something that you can’t do now – like playing baseball or hiking or climbing the stairs without getting winded? You need to find what really motivates you to change.

My motivation came when I was travelling a few years back and we had just eaten fried chicken that had been rolled in potato chips, eaten with French fries, and followed by a Deep and Delicious chocolate cake. I remember looking at myself in the mirror at 505 lbs and saying to myself “I hate you.” I looked at myself and said either I hate myself enough to let myself die or I hate myself enough to do something about it. Looking back, I know now I made the right decision. I’m here, 250 lbs lighter, happier, and being an active part of the world. One would hope that the motivation would be positive but to be honest sometimes you just have to go with whatever motivation you have. If it is negative like mine was there is always time to work on changing that. If it is a positive one like you just love yourself enough to take care of yourself that is great!

Now comes the hard part – how to keep motivated. My way of staying motivated was keeping those “fat pants” where I could see them on a regular basis. I can’t tell you the joy I felt when I finally stepped into them and found that I could fit both legs in one pant leg. A friend took pictures of himself completely naked from every possible angle and then stuck them on his fridge. He lost 160 lbs in a year and has kept it off – He’s even been on Dr. Phil and other TV and radio programs. So find a way to keep yourself motivated!

Tell someone – You may be going “WHAT?!?!” but secrecy really doesn’t help when it comes to loosing weight. A lot of times our emotional eating is just another way to keep the secret of our hurt feelings, our anger, our disappointment, and our pain. Find one person, someone you can trust and talk to them. Tell them about your goals, your motivation, and your struggles. Tell them about what’s eating you and what’s making you eat. You don’t necessarily have to find a therapist or a professional though they can be good resources. Ask your partner, a trusted friend, a family member and ask them to help you by being an encouragement and support to you. So let the cat out of the chip bag – or tube, it may be that you find that they will join you in your journey to better health and weight loss.

Variety is the Spice of Life – This might be another one of those things that make you go “hmmm…” but it has been my experience that a lot of people overeat because they are bored. They also quit exercising because it’s repetitious and monotonous. So spice it up! When it comes to food try new things. Eating the same foods over and over again can be deadly to your weight loss. Having a wide variety of healthy foods helps by making sure that you are getting the vitamins and minerals that you need. Different foods can also help by cutting down on the cravings that can be the booby traps that lead you into a frenzied feast of a 2 quart container of double chocolate fudge ice cream and a bag of bite sized brownies.

When it comes to exercising change it up! When you become bored with something what is the first think you want to do? You want to stop! So if you are doing things that are different and enjoyable you will be all the more likely to continue with it. Try a new sport that you have never tried before. Get into a competitive team where you will be challenged and encouraged by others. Change up the routine so you are not doing the same thing day after day. Your body will thank you for it as well. I know for myself that I need to change up my routine pretty much every four to six weeks because my muscles and body get

Used to doing the same movements over and over again. You will find that if you don’t change your routine you will hit a plateau and this can be frustrating and discouraging. So even if your mind doesn’t tell you that it’s ready for a change your body will.

Self-Care – Self-care isn’t necessarily about a hot bath, with candles and some scented bath salts. It is about doing what is necessary to help keep you healthy emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well as the physical side of it. Make sure that you are taking regular time to work on you. Get to know yourself – your likes and dislikes, your passions and your dreams. Take the time to find out what makes you tick. Invest time in learning something that you want to learn.

Take time to relax and rest. Get good nights full of restful sleep. Pamper yourself and treat yourself gently. Yes! Even you men can take time to look after your heart and soul. Explore your spirituality, get in touch with the Lord and Lady, and spend time in nature. Find ways to nurture your soul. Find ways as well to take care of the emotional needs. Some of us will need to seek therapy and there is absolutely no shame in that. Some of us will be able to address life’s hurts and pains by writing or painting or singing or some other outlet. Do what you need to do to create balance in your emotional life. It is this aspect of our lives that most often connects to the food we eat, the amount we eat, and the time we eat. Find ways to nurture yourself without food. Find ways to fill the gap inside without devouring the entire contents of the refrigerator.

I’m not a big fan of Dr. Phil but he did say something that I think is really important. It went something like this: You can’t keep giving and giving of yourself if there is nothing in you to give. You must feed yourself emotionally, spiritually, mentally in order to have something to give to yourself and others. Now those are my words, but that was the gist of what he was getting at. Feed your soul, your spirit, yourself with love, acceptance and with the knowledge that you are a wonderfully worthwhile person.

Reward Yourself – Rewards are great ways of marking you progress, encouraging oneself and  celebrating success. But DON’T REWARD YOURSELF WITH FOOD!!! Somehow rewarding yourself for a 5 lb weight lost with a family sized chocolate bar doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Pick rewards that are health and that will give you pleasure. One that I like for myself is that for every pound lost I add a dollar to a fund for books or crystals or something that I enjoy. Rewards like a movie rental or money set aside towards something you want or some special self-care are great motivators in helping you to reach your goals.

Forgiveness – There is an important reason why I left this to the very end. Forgiveness is vital to successful weight loss. There are going to be days when the world seems to crash down on your head and nothing goes your wait. The storm during the night knocked out the power, your alarm didn’t go off, you woke up late, you forgot your lunch, you had to stay late at work to get things done and you didn’t get to the gym and on top of that you ate horribly from the corner store on a quick break. Life happens and you have to have the grace enough to forgive yourself for not accomplishing your goals and forgive the world for getting in the way of your plans. Guilt over not meeting your goals or for letting the world get in the way only adds to the emotional baggage that often leads to our problems with food and exercise.

When things don’t go your way, take it in stride, and say to yourself “that was just today- tomorrow will be a better day.” Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and pick up tomorrow where you left off. If it was just a matter of you not being organized or prepared forgive yourself for that to and make a plan for tomorrow to be a better day. It’s only one day in your life. Don’t waste any time wallowing in regret and guilt when you could be looking forward with expectation to what you can accomplish tomorrow. Remember it is just one step at a time. I hope that there was something that struck a chord with you today. You can reach your weight loss goals. I am living proof of that. I have confidence in you! May the Lord and Lady bless you on your journey to weight loss and better health.

 

Raiwvynn Dusana

Thoughts on Holiday Stress

By Raiwvynn December 4th, 2014, under Personal Growth, Psychology, Sabbats, Self Help

Do you find yourself frustrated and overwrought by all the demands of trying to have the perfect holiday dinner, gifts, and traditions? Many of us set ourselves up for failure by demanding perfection that we can not deliver. This push for perfection brings up an over abundance of stress and anxiety and leaves us feeling disillusioned and too worn out to enjoy the holiday season.

What drives us to the perfectionism? Often times we are comparing ourselves to others or afraid that we are not going to measure up to the expectations of others. Or perhaps we are afraid that if we do not have the perfect dinner, decorations or gifts that we will loose the respect, love, and acceptance of family and friends. Perhaps it is simply that we need the validation from others that we did a good job. abstract-christmas-tree-vector

Regardless of the reason behind why we strive for perfection, more often than not we can’t achieve it. Too often our goal of perfection is unrealistic and ultimately harmful to our health. Especially during this season of spending, parties and family gatherings we need to look at perfection as Geoffrey F. Fisher commented “when you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.”

Every attempt we make at having a perfect holiday season is hindered by the fact that others may not be inline with our ideas, money restrictions may not allow what it is that we want, or even the weather may not cooperate. Perhaps even the fact that it just doesn’t resonate with who we are inside. We need to learn that our constant striving to be perfect only serves to stifle the accomplishment of a joyful and free spirited holiday season and turn it into a scripted, ridged, and unfulfilling chore.

This year attempt to realize your own unique potential. Accept that limitations are there and you can not change that. Liberate yourself with the understanding that things do not have to be “just so.” Give yourself permission to go with the flow, and to let things slide if it isn’t working out the way that you had hoped. You will find yourself faced with unbelievable moments of magick if you let go of the obsession with being perfect or making a mistake. Not having things go as planned is not the catastrophe that most of us make it out to be in our minds. Sure it might be an inconvenience or a momentary embarrassment when you take to opening your gifts and find that you put Bob’s tag on Sally’s gift. Embrace that as a moment to join in some gaiety and laughter.

Make a conscious choice this year to accept your best – even if that is not perfection. Accept that each time something doesn’t work out exactly as you planned it is a learning opportunity for you. Chose to accept that the expectations of others are simply that – their expectations.

Step out of the habit of saying “this is how we always do it so it has to be done this way.” Traditions are good, there are comfortable and soothing but when they become “ho hum” maybe its time to try something new. If it doesn’t fit try something different. Trying new things, making mistakes, taking the road less travelled are all part of things that make this life and especially this holiday season bright and rewarding. Stop focusing on being and having everything perfect and don’t let the “perfection bug” paralyze your own creativity, inspiration, and joy. Do what you can, do it well and enjoy the process of learning and growing.

During this holiday season, make realistic goals – define them clearly and how to achieve them. If you look at the goal and it fills you with panic or fear then it is an unrealistic goal. Sure the season if full of challenges: places to go, people to see, things to do, but it should not leave you feeling frustrated and angry with yourself for not accomplishing what you wanted to do. Celebrate the fulfillment of each goal as a job well done – even if it wasn’t done perfectly. Learn for next time. Concentrate on one thing at a time and find your flow – the one that brings you through the season likely still tired but content that you have done what you wanted and have grown and learned through it all. Make this years holiday celebrations an extension of who you are and what you are about.

Make it a season of magick for you and yours.

Yule Blessings from my home to Yours!

Raiwvynn

Rituals, habits and daily magick

By Raiwvynn November 15th, 2014, under Deities, Energy, Meditation, Personal Growth, Rituals

00848_BGI don’t know about you but I’m a very routine and ritual oriented person. Perhaps it comes from the fact that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder but perhaps its just that I know that it helps me to bring the magick into every day of my life. We all have little rituals that we do whether we realize it or not. The way we do things when we first get up in the morning, the way we put on our clothes, the way we create a meal. All these involve little rituals that we do and they make us feel comfortable, safe and they get the job done so to speak. Another way of referring to these little rituals is to call them habits. Unfortunately the word habit has long since had a negative connotation.

I have read a number of psych books and self help books and most seem to go with the adage that it takes 21 days to break or create a habit… So less than a month to start a new good habit. That worked for me when I decided that I wanted to add some time each day for meditation. I decided to make sure that I added some quiet time to focus on the day each morning and each evening. It didn’t matter really how much time just that I was taking some time. At first it was hard slogging. I would go a few days and I would miss and then I would forget. So I thought about it and said to myself “maybe you are trying to make to much of it.” I decided to just start again with a night time meditation. What better way of ending my day and to be honest it was much easier to do that than try to think about it in the morning when my mind was overrun with all the things that I needed to do that day.

Eventually I got to the 21 days and indeed it did seem to have worked. I naturally felt drawn to meditate before bed. Now I am not saying that there weren’t days that I missed but it has become a habit and one that if I missed I usually could tell by a less restful night. It was a good thing for me. Eventually I added other little ritual habits into my day. Since each morning I would go to the window to pull back the curtains or put up the blinds I took that few moments to address my Goddess and welcome the day. I set a little note on the window sill to remind me and eventually – even before the 21 days I threw out the note. I had added a new little ritual into my life that started me off on the right foot. Got my focus in the right direction each morning and connected me with my Goddess.

Now you are probably going – well doesn’t the fact that it is a daily ritual that I do take away some of the magick. I will admit that during that first few weeks it did seem a little like a chore and a planned tribute but over time as the Goddess blessed my efforts it became a pure joy to come to her each morning and greet her and commune with her for a few minutes before facing the day. I used the same words and process when I was first starting but it very soon became a “planned spontaneity” – a moment that I was going to take to greet her but now it took on a life of its own. No longer is it done by rote but now it is a pleasure and a different conversation each day.

It’s important to me to have these little rituals each day. We can get so very busy that we can often go all day long without taking a minute to commune with our Gods, to see the great beauty in the world and to give thanks for what we have. I don’t want to do that. I want to make sure that every day is fill with that magick. I want to be one who has a grateful heart and vision for a beautiful, magick filled day.

May your day be filled with little rituals that fill your life with magick!

Light, love and laughter

Raiwvynn

Wolverine – No! I don’t mean Hugh Jackman!

By Raiwvynn November 14th, 2014, under Animals, Energy, Totems

I thought I would continue with more about some of the totems that I work with. This is just a short… ok short for me discussion of the Wolverine and some of the things that I have learned and experienced with the Wolverine. I think it is important to learn about the nature of the animal you are thinking of working with and its environment as well. It gives you a fuller picture and opens you up to understanding better the nature of the creature you are working with. It also helps you to know how you can help the animal if like the Wolverine it is a threatened or endangered species.

 Gulo 1

After doing some study there are many things that I learned about the wolverine. Though the Native Americans often view the Wolverine as a trickster there are many more positive traits to the Wolverine. The Wolverine is considered to be a messenger between the physical world and the spirit world. I think that in this sense the Wolverine teaches me the skills that it takes to move between the spiritual and the mundane and aids me by helping me to keep a better balance as I do so. This help moving between realms helps me in my desire to be a spiritual teacher and to grow in my own faith and spirituality.

Interestingly enough Wolverine babies are born blind and are very tiny (less than a pound at birth.) However despite being blind and so very small they have a great sense of smell and touch. This enables them to find food and know their enemies even when they are so very young. They are known to be very intelligent and have strong intuitive senses. This makes a lot of sense to me. Having had the opportunity to observe a Wolverine in the wild on more than one occasion I think that this is likely one of the ways that the Wolverine helps me personally. The sense of intuition combined with the intelligence encourages me to continue to develop not only my “brain” intelligence but also to work on developing and trusting my intuition.

The colour of the Wolverine helps it in camouflaging. You would be surprised at how hard it can be to see one in the shadows and even when out in the open it can blend in to seem like part of its surroundings. The First Nations people from the Northern Ontario region view the Wolverine as a type of shape shifter. They see the Wolverine as being of the “medicine of space and time.” I think that in this way the Wolverine helps me to move from situation to situation being what I need to be for that particular situation. But also like I mentioned above it helps in having a successful move from the physical to the spiritual realms and back again.

Wolverines are also noted for being very cunning. Technically the definition of cunning can indicate shrewdness, slyness, or even deception but it also means the ability to do something with great skill and agility. I think that the Wolverine totem aids me by drawing in the skills and abilities that I have and helping me to hone them into a more practical and helpful tool for my growth. I am not saying that the whole idea of cunning as in being shrewd or sly or even deceptive is not applicable but for the most part that is not a trait that I try to draw upon in my life. However there are times in my life (as with anyone else) where there may be the need to show those traits in order to help protect oneself and make sure that one survives difficult situations. I know that in dealing with this situation with Daniel that I have had to incorporate some of these traits in order to get out of the situation and stay safe. So there is a place for these traits that the Wolverine brings as well.

Having seen a Wolverine hunt, attack and kill I know firsthand how ferocious, tenacious and strong this creature is. The Wolverine does not give up the hunt easily. It takes on the challenge and sees it through to the end. This animal is completely focused on its task and one should beware of getting in its way. I think that the Wolverine has a particularly strong impact on me in this way. One of the things that almost every friend that I have would say is that I finish what I start, I don’t (or rarely) quit and that I can bowl others over in my intensity and single minded focus. I think that the Wolverine helps me to be strong and tenacious (ok maybe stubborn in some cases would be a better word) and that when I “sink my teeth in” to something that I want or need I will not often be persuaded to let go until I achieve my goal. I think that the Wolverine brings the gift of endurances and an attitude of “never give up – never quit!”

This animal is one of the most wild and ferocious in North America. I think that when it appears in one’s life that it is time to be active in striving after what it is that I seek. Whether that be hunting down the dreams and goals that I have laid aside or seeking wisdom and knowledge I think that the Wolverine totem encourages me to fight for it – tooth and nail if need be. I think that like the Wolverine who is not known for ever backing down that this totem is encouraging me to stand up for what I believe in, what I want in my life and not bow to the desires of everyone and be the person that I want to be.

On the other side the Wolverine power and energy can be completely overwhelming and I think that this is the warning of the Wolverine – to find the balance. Know when to use your power and when to hold back. The Wolverine seems to have an innate understanding of what to do and when. It seems to walk the balance very well. I think that this totem helps me to know what to do in the moment and helps me to keep to the path.

I found an interesting website and I am going to list here the “Wisdom” that the Wolverine is said to have/bring. I think that they are all very appropriate from what I know of the creature and from the experience I have had working with it over the last few weeks.  I could go on into a further discussion of what these particular ideas mean to me but I think that at this point I have touched on the ideas that are most relevant to me.

Wolverine’s Wisdom Includes:

  • Last phantom of the wilderness
  • Hyena of the North
  • Master of the Forest
  • Trickster hero
  • Magical link between the material and the spirit worlds
  • Revenge
  • Craftiness
  • Understands how to satisfy appetites
  • Ability to travel in very cold places
  • Understanding aggression
  • Protection against attackers
  • Multilevel protection
  • Standing your ground
  • Fierceness
  • Elusiveness
  • Gluttony
  • Cleverness
  • Strength
  • Non-retreat
  • Endurance
  • Effective attack
  • Courage