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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Bonds: The Ties That BindWhile pondering what my topic should be for this week’s Pagan Blog Project, one word kept creeping into my mind: Bonds. I wasn’t quite sure what my brain was driving at, so I just kept going about my week. I revisited the task a few days ago and there it was again: Bonds. OK, I guess I need to write about Bonds…but I had such a raging head cold the thoughts just weren’t able to form completely. Today, however, my head is a bit more clear, and the musings are coming through…with the help of some well chosen quotes. 😉

“Nothing is more exciting and bonding in relationships than creating together” ~ Stephen R. Covey

This quote seems very appropriate if one is discussing the importance of a Coven. One must already feel some kind of bond to join a Coven, but the energy created, magick worked and lessons learned while working together can forge Bonds between it’s members that are stronger than steel. Connecting through shared personal experiences is powerful…connecting through shared energy and communing with the Divine, is life affirming and changing at the same time.

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” ~ Richard Bach

This quote truly speaks to me. My “true” family is made up of so many I have met over the course of my lifetime (and perhaps a lifetime or 2 that came before). There are some blood relatives included in this, but beyond them are people with whom I have shared some of the most spiritually meaningful experiences times of my life, as well as some of the most trying. From friends that I’ve met online  only to meet in person and find that we are truly cut from the same cloth, to long lost friends from school that turn up once more and turn out to be far more important to my life than I could ever have imagined they would be.

The Bonds we make throughout our lives are important, ALL of them. Even if something happens to remove someone from our lives (ended friendship, divorce, death, dissolved coven, etc…), we must honor the reasons we were bound together in the first place, because it is a part of our journey, and helped to create the people we are today.

We as humans are communal beings…we live to be connected…not always with other people, but with something. There are some who live without human companionship, but are truly fulfilled by their relationship with Nature & the Divine. As long as we have made a vital connection with something/someone, we are generally content. A life without a vital connections with Divine, Nature or Humanity can be a desolate existence and, in my opinion, quite unhealthy.

So, go forth my Pagan friends! Create, Cultivate and Nurture your Bonds with your friends, family, coven/community members, animals, the Earth and the Divine. It’s what we’re meant to do.

Big Blessings of Bonding Bliss,

Isleen

I know you’ve heard of him, actually, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a pagan/witch who hasn’t heard of him. I’m willing to bet you’ve got at least one (but I’m guessing more) of his books on your bookshelf. Who in blue blazes am I talking about?? Well, if for some reason you were completely oblivious to the title of this post, I’m talking about Raymond Buckland.

For many, he is the first teacher of The Craft that they’ve had, I know he was a huge part of my initial studies. Yup, “Uncle Ray’s Big Blue Book” (aka: Buckland’s Complete book of Witchcraft ) was always within arms reach…and is still a very useful resource.

Since he came to the United States in 1962, he has written an enormous body of work on Witchcraft & the Occult: A Pocket Guide to the Supernatural (1969), Practical Candleburning Rituals (1970), Witchcraft Ancient and Modern (1970), Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (1986), The Witch Book (2001), Signs, Symbols & Omens: An Illustrated Guide to Magical & Spiritual Symbolism (2003), Wicca For One (2004)…My Goodness! The list goes on, and on, and on!

Today I discovered his video Witchcraft: Yesterday and Today on YouTube, while the hair styles of some of the witches in the video are a bit distracting (There’s LOTS of hair and mullets running amok! lol), the information is still very useful for the beginner.

I can’t imagine finding someone who didn’t value his teachings, even if they don’t fully agree with him, but today I wanted to learn more about him, not as the Wise Sage of the Craft, but of him as our awesome “Uncle Ray”! I wanted to find out what he used to do before coming to America (go ahead, try and get Eddie Murphy out of your head now…I dare ya) and what, besides Witchcraft, makes him tick.

So, what did I learn today? I learned he’s as interesting as I always thought he was (judging solely by photos, of course). I learned that before heading across the pond he was a scriptwriter for British Comedic actor Ted Lune. He continued working in the entertainment industry once in the US. He wrote several screen plays that didn’t quite come to fruition, and worked with the likes of Vincent Price, William Friedkin (he directed The Exorcist), and Orson -Freaking- Welles! He actually worked as a Technical Consultant for the 1972 movie Necromancy starring Orson Welles. Welles plays Mr. Cato, a Coven leader who needs to obtain the powers of a woman, named Pamela Franklin, in order to resurrect his dead son. I now feel the need to find this, it’s got to be 70’s Horror-Cheese at it’s finest!

Other interesting tidbits: He loves to fly, and has actually built his own plane. He’s an avid fan of unusual cars, like ones with 3 wheels…and has also built one of those, so I guess I’ve also learned he’s quite handy. And, according to the Raymond Buckland’s Books facebook page, he is also a lover of New Orleans Jazz & Ragtime music (which makes me think Uncle Ray likes to boogie, but that’s is just a guess).

I also learned that I would REALLY like to attend a workshop of his. Learning from his books and videos is great, but to be there in an interactive setting would just make this Pixie SUPER HAPPY! 😀

Well, to sum up: Raymond Buckland is a highly intellectual, diverse human being with many talents and loads of Wisdom. To get a feel of the man himself, I’ll close with an interview that was done by WitchTV. The audio of the interviewer is difficult to hear, but Raymond comes through loud and clear. Enjoy!

Until Next Week…Pixie: Out.

  In September of 2004, like any other S.K. fan, I was anxiously awaiting the debut of Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital on ABC. I knew I would find a world filled with ghosts and mystery, sarcasm…and even the occasional disturbing incident, I did not, however expect to discover my Patron God. For most of the mini(?) series Anubis is portrayed as a giant anteater type creature, due to a little girls misunderstanding his name…she hears it as Antibus and thus pictures him as a creature that would fit the name. It’s a long and twisted story, but essentially I learned that Anubis dealt with the dead, afterlife and justice. I then began a search for more information.

Anubis is part of the Egyptian pantheon, however he seems to pre-date most Egyptian deities. Anubis was God of the Underworld before Osiris came into the picture. After Osiris was accepted as God of the Underworld Anubis has been seen as the God of embalming. Anubis is also the keeper of poisons and medicines, which is why Isis went to him for the proper herbs necessary to embalm Osiris after his death. Anubis was the one to perform the funeral of Osiris, which became the model for all funerals that followed.

After the dead have been placed in their tombs, it is Anubis that guides them to the afterlife and the Halls of Ma’ati. It is in the Halls of Ma’ati that he, acting as ‘He who counts the hearts’, oversees the weighing of the heart against the feather of Maat and judging of the deceased. Before the actual weighing, Anubis makes sure the scales are in proper alignment so that the heart may be weighed correctly. It is then Anubis’s job to weigh the heart and pass judgement on the  deceased. Anubis would then give the guilty over to Ammut to be devoured, but would protect the innocent from her jaws of Final Death.

Anubis is most often seen as either a jackal or a man with a jackal head. This is most likely his totem because he is also the Guardian of the Necropolis (cemetery) and jackals were known to hunt the edges of the desert, near the necropolis and cemeteries throughout Egypt. He is very rarely seen in full human form, but a spectacular rendition exists in the Temple of Abydos of Ramses II. In the temple he is pictured fully human and seated in a chair next to the Goddess Heket (who I personally believe to be an incarnation of my patron Goddess Hecate).

Opening up to the male aspect of the divine was difficult for me, but he was patient with me, to a point. I have learned that, like Hecate, he will keep bugging you until you listen.  Although, I do find him to be much gentler in his prodding. I believe it is he who has guided me to work with herbs in manners both magickal and medicinal, for before I knew him, I had little interest and now I seem to have a gift for them.

I do not see him in his jackal form or with the jackal head. I feel privileged to see him as a man, and was quite overjoyed when I discovered the picture of him in the Temple of Ramses II. To me he is a beautiful man with raven black hair, thin with skin the color of coffee with lots of cream. He has black eyes that are gentle and can see to your soul. I think that knowing Anubis is knowing how to judge the life you lead. If you are true to yourself, you should have no problems when it comes time to weigh your heart, for if you follow Anubis, you’ve really been weighing it all along.

 

  Awareness, it’s a word that’s tossed around a lot these days. Usually it’s used in conjunction with the latest popular cause, but what does it mean to us as Pagans? Well, I kinda think it’s a HUGE chunk of what we’re all about.

As we go along our respective Paths, we must become “Aware” of a great many things. We must become aware of Our Surroundings, Ourselves, Universal Energies, and the Cycles of Nature.

So what does it mean exactly…to become aware? It is taking the things you know (or think you know) to a whole new level of understanding. All of those Oprah “Aha Moments”, those would be moments of gaining awareness with a nice catch phrase. 😉

Now here’s where I ramble a bit (I know how y’all love it when the Pixie rambles, lol). Let’s break down those few broader categories I mentioned previously.

Awareness of Our Surroundings:

This goes way beyond “I’m standing on the corner of 31st & Elm ST and it’s raining.” Being aware of your surroundings includes the moods and behaviors of those you come into contact with, as well as an understanding of how your words and/or actions may effect them. It is being able to sense the overall “mood” in a room, or even an area outdoors. It also goes to practical things, like knowing which way you’re headed by being able to use the path of the sun. Paying attention to, and understanding the moods of pets and wildlife. In other words “being in tune” with the people and nature that are all around us. If you are plugged into your surroundings, things tend to go more smoothly and things are less hectic…at least in my experience. If I am feeling out of touch, well, then I truly feel lost…I become discombobulated (<= love that word!) and things just become chaotic. Once I take a moment to ground and center myself once again…things become much clearer and I am a happy Pixie once more.

Awareness of Self:

This is perhaps the most difficult for many. It involves delving into One’s history and exploring even the nasty bits, learning from every incident. Understanding why we did what we did, and hopefully to know we have grown since then. It is to be mindful of our thoughts, and our words, as well as our body language. It is knowing that every thought, word, or action we think, say, or do will send ripples through the Universe….creating some kind of change. Whether these changes are for good or ill, depends largely on the intent of the original action. Being self aware means accepting responsibility for the changes we help to create.

Awareness of Universal Energies:

As Pagans/Witches, we know that all things are connected. True awareness of this connection is where the Magick happens! Knowing which phase of the moon will give your spell the most mojo is powerful! I personally believe that you can work any magick at anytime, it’s all in the wording….you just have to be able to mold your words and intent to fit the energies of the moment. Ya just gotta tune in. 😉

Awareness of the Cycles of Nature:

Birth, Death, Rebirth…The Wheel of The Year, these are things that we  have a fairly simple time understanding on an academic level. Being aware of them, however, comes from the core of our being and is an ever evolving process (much like self awareness).

OK, so I’ve gone on and on, and have probably told you things you already knew…but who knows, maybe you (or I) simply needed to be reminded to be mindful. If that’s the case, then this was a useful post after all.