gods as energy? (philisophical rambling)

Very thoughtful and insightful. I totally encourage you guys to visit this blog.

The Luciferian next door

energyball

Gods as energy

Most ancient religions did not have such a “black and white” outlook of their gods. Often the gods held within them some sense of duality, and most gods had some sort of flaw that often got them into trouble (think of Oden’s womanizing (more often raping), and Prometheus’ punishment for wanting to enlighten humanity with the “fire of the gods”, even though it was forbidden). In the beginning even Christianity gave their God faults, the Old Testament is full of phrases like “I am a jealous god”, and I think we can all agree he had a bit of a temper. I mean, was wiping out humanity with a flood really the mature thing to do? Then suddenly in the New Testament, he is far more peaceful and loving, no longer the wrathful god that demanded sacrifices, he is now meant to be known…

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Coming Out of the Broom Closet

Good day my darlings! There is another storm brewing in my area and I am outside on my porch with a cup of tea, cigarettes, and my Maynard James Keenan playlist running, so what better time is there to discuss magick? I will go ahead and say that unlike my last few posts and the vast majority of the posts I intend to write in the future, this one is for my witches. Not to say that non-Wiccans can’t gain knowledge from it or that I don’t want you to read it if you’re non-religious or of another religious persuasion; just that this particular post is geared mainly toward my Wiccan readers. Like all of my posts it is from my heart of hearts (maybe even more so this go-round) and it has been on my mind for some time.

So without further adieu: if you haven’t started telling people you’re a witch (aka come out of the broom closet) you really need to. I say “need” instead of “should” because you should take out the trash early in the morning on trash day to avoid forgetting to do it at all. You should tip 18% when you go out. You need to come out of the broom closet.

To avoid sounding patronizing or hypocritical let me share my personal story concerning “coming out,” not to necessarily give you strength but to let you know that I definitely know where you’re coming from. Also, fair warning, this is about to get incredibly personal.

I mentioned in my first post, “Introduction to This Series”, that I was raised in a Christian church by a Christian mother. I will say here that while I was not technically raised by a single mom as she was married, my stepfather was and is an abusive drug addict that was physically absent for part of my life but mentally and emotionally absent for nearly all of it. Therefore, when I tell people that I was raised by a single mom I don’t really feel like I’m being dishonest. She was on her own in the marriage and in the act of raising four daughters (two of which were not biologically hers), so while not “single” she was unequivocally alone. God was/is my mother’s solace, sanity, coach, parent, heartbeat, and, understandably, she wished to raise my sisters and I to find her god to be the same to us. I was brought up in a pretty conservative Church of Christ setting, but we also dabbled in Full Gospel (*suppressed shudder*), general Non-denominational, and Church of God. I have been preached to, preached at, read the entire Bible, deeply studied the vast majority of the New Testament, been to church camps, and did everything any church kid could possibly do and still never felt this way about my mother’s god. Ever. I read and studied and tried to learn and absorb, but no matter what I did I still felt totally empty spiritually. I would watch my mother sing and move in church and was totally captivated not because I was watching someone stand at the foot of a throne praising their Lord, but because she was my mom. She was beautiful to me in those moments because she’s always beautiful to me. The only time in my memory that I ever really felt God move was when I climbed a mountain in Colorado, stood atop the summit 13,701ft in the air, and looked down on the world around me. I was surrounded as far as I could see by a vast expanse of loved creation and it was like something in my soul broke. I could hear God saying, “Here I am, kiddo. I’m in everything.” But that God I found in the Earth looked nothing like the god I had been taught to worship and love; the god who deemed things “worthy” and “unworthy”; the god who made rules for no reason other than to test our merit when he supposedly knew it before we were ever born; the god who supposedly wouldn’t let my mother leave her dreadful husband; the god who let me be born to a psychopathic father who abused me and then left me forever; the god who didn’t love me enough to speak to me even though I sought him with every fiber of my being; the god who listened to me cry, watched me cut and starve myself out of depression and was not moved; the god who let me live when I tried to die. No. I never wanted that god. Yet I stood in church and sang. I prayed and cried and searched, and I never found until I stood atop that mountain and looked at the world.

I didn’t know it then, but that was when I became Wiccan. That moment was when I met the Goddess, the Earth Mother, who loved and understood and breathed and moved within everything. She is in all life, all sound, every rock, every handful of dirt. She is the God I had always needed. I didn’t embrace her then, and wouldn’t until years later when I was able to come to terms with who I am. I continued to seek after my mother’s god and proceeded to find only a deep, sad pinning for the God I had found in Colorado. I lied to everyone I met when I told them I was Christian. Yahweh, Jehovah, Emmanuel, were just names to me that held no power, love, or beauty. My mother’s god was just an empty name and face that I couldn’t make myself love, and I suffered no end of guilt for this.

After I married in September of last year I immediately stopped attending church; I wasn’t required to lie to get through day-to-day life anymore. I embraced apathetic agnosticism (aka “don’t know, don’t care”) and let go of all hope of ever finding that God again.

Then my marriage began crumbling. I was lost and alone, had no clue who I was, and I had nothing to stand on or for. My whole identity had been in the eighteen year long lie I had woven over Christianity, so now that that was over who was I? My husband and I agreed to work intensely on our marriage for four months, and at the end of those four months if I still wanted to leave I could leave. During that time we focused on ourselves as a unit, but more than anything I worked on myself. I wasn’t a whole person; I was a shadow of a woman who wasn’t exactly healthy to begin with. I had no real personality, no real definable faith, and knew nothing about myself. I knew that my emotional suffering was directly linked to a spiritual suffering (no real introspection needed there considering that had been the trend my entire life), so after some time I made a list of all the things I believed to be true about god. Who was god? Where and when was god? What was god? After inspecting all of my set opinions and beliefs about god, I contacted an old friend of mine, C, nearly on a whim and asked, not for the first time, for her to talk to me about Wicca. C has been a witch for pretty much as long as I’ve known her but all of our previous discussions about Wicca had been purely academic and in relation to Christianity. In that phone call I asked for the first time for her to truly break Wicca down for me, and I immediately fell in love. The whole time all I could think was, “Yes! This is it!” I got books and found blogs and explored websites; I couldn’t get enough of it. It fit in every way. For the first time since standing on that mountain I heard that voice in my head and my soul. I started practicing magick late at night on my balcony once my husband was asleep, and I was able to pray for the first time in years. My marriage magically (pun very much intended) started improving and Wicca quickly became a part of me and my husband’s life together and our vocabulary once I shared with him what I had discovered. That was actually the easiest for me and I don’t really consider it part of my “coming out,” even though it technically is. My husband is my teammate; I’ve never struggled with being honest with him.

My mother, however, is a different story. The first time I told my mom I wasn’t a Christian we were sitting by my pool on the fourth of July while my younger sister swam. The discussion of church or my personal faith had come up and I didn’t want to, couldn’t, lie to her anymore. I looked at her and said, “Mom, I don’t believe in god. I’m fairly positive I never really did.” I watched her face move between emotions, varying from confusion to shock to sadness, but when it finally settled it was calm and solemn. She told me that she appreciated my honesty and that she knew God wasn’t done with me, that one way or another I would be found again. Clearly, she meant her god. When I began practicing Wicca I had none of the apprehension about telling my mother that I had initially when I thought about informing her that I wasn’t Christian. That was the worst part in my opinion! Everything else after that should have been an improvement. Honestly, I thought she’d be happy; sure it wasn’t her god but it was a faith, a belief, something other than clinical, cold science. But no, she reacted in what might have been the worst way possible. She told me that she felt like she couldn’t talk to me about her faith for fear of being mocked, essentially saying that I don’t feel like her daughter anymore. She continues to make no move toward understanding my faith, actively keeps me from even mentioning my faith in front of my sister (not discussing it at length but even telling her what I am, for lack of a better word), and judged my harshly with no qualms after I spent eighteen years learning about her god. I’m not saying that she’s not entitled to her feelings, only that the way she has expressed them has put a potentially irreversible road block in our relationship. For me, it doesn’t matter that we have different religions. She’s my mom, the woman who gave birth to me and raised me, and she’ll always understand pieces of me better than anyone else. But she has taken this choice I’ve made that has bettered my life, marriage, and soul as a personal slight, and that hurts my heart in ways I cannot express.

Regardless, I do not regret coming out to her for a minute. Sure it was painful, still is quite painful, but I’ve grown from it. Life needs light to blossom; nothing truly fruitful can grow hidden in the dark. My dears, you will find that while telling those closest to you is difficult, uncomfortable, and just plain scary that once it’s over, nevermind the outcome, you will emerge stronger, more at peace, and thus will work more powerful magick. The basis for all magick is personal power, infusing the God and Goddess energy you carry with you always, and this will grow immensely once your possession of it is no longer a secret. So, all that being said, here are a few things to meditate on when debating the how’s and what’s of coming out of the broom closet:

  1. Know your audience. If your family/friends are blunt people don’t waste time preparing a long speech detailing the ins and outs; likewise, if they are more sensitive discuss appeals you know to be true. Delivery can make or break any proposal and can paint even some of the worst ideas as totally legit (ever read The Manifesto of the Communist Party?).
  2. Remember that those who truly love you selflessly won’t care, and some of them probably already know. My husband is a great example of this. Not only was he not phased, he wasn’t shocked and I wasn’t even worried. Remember the end of that old Dr. Suess quote, “…those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
  3. Prepare for the worst. This sounds pessimistic but it’s straight realism. My mother’s reaction blind-sided me because I never would have expected it, and that increased the rejection tenfold. I’m not saying ready yourself to be burnt at the stake, but it would behoove you to envision arguments or debates to give yourself time to come up with strong rebuttals (especially if you are addressing people of another religion and/or family).
  4. Re-read number two over and over again. Seriously. We all come from the Deity’s energy and are full of God and Goddess energy just like every other piece of creation. Your personal magick is woven in the pattern of your soul. You have always been a witch; it’s who you were born to be, and the people who love you will recognize that.

I truly hope this was helpful and I do apologize to my non-Wiccan readers for the narrow scope of this post. As always if you have any questions, comments, or if you just want to talk hit me up via email or the comments. I’ll always respond and be more than happy to engage in discussion or debate. Have a good weekend and stay out of jail, you crazy kids.

Blessed be!

Everyone Should Own Tarot Cards

Good day dear friends! There is a beautiful storm going on outside that has cut my power off so I’ve got candles lit all around my house and the blinds open. All that to say I’m feeling rather witchy at the moment, and what better time to write a blog over one of my favorite subjects? I want to shift the focus away from Wicca specifically today and talk about just some straight up occult things: tarot cards. If you couldn’t tell from the title, I’m a huge proponent. Let me start off by describing what exactly they are, since the word gets thrown around a lot in movies and TV shows and has thus become quite bastardized, and then I’ll explain why all people (religious, spiritual, or reptile) should own a deck and make good use of it.

Tarot (tair-oh) cards are a deck of 78 cards divided into major and minor arcana. There are 22 major arcana cards and 56 minor arcana cards divided into 4 suits. The four suits of the minor arcana differ from deck to deck but are typically some variation of swords, wands, cups, and pentacles (my personal deck names them arrows, bows, vessels, and stones), contain four face cards (king, queen, knight, and page) and ace through ten numerically. The meanings of and connections between the cards are vast and they too differ from deck to deck, however archetypes of the cards are set. There are motifs within the suits themselves but also within the numbers across the suits; ie the suit of pentacles tells a story but so do the three’s of every suit. The major arcana contains 22 stand-alone cards that each have separate meanings, divinations, and personalities based on each deck; however as with the minor arcana archetypes flow across all of tarot. Essentially this means that while the 0 card is “The Wanderer” in my deck but “The Fool” in the deck of my best friend, M, they both branch out their meanings from the same archetype of the beginner of a journey. Just to give you an idea of the pattern of the major arcana I’ll list the names of them from my own deck:

0    The Wanderer

1    The Shaman

2    The Seer

3    The Green Woman

4    The Green Man

5    The Ancestor

6    The Forest Lovers

7    The Archer

8    The Stag

9    The Hooded Man

10    The Wheel

11    The Woodward

12    The Mirror

13    The Journey

14    Balance

15    The Guardian

16    The Blasted Oak

17    The Pole Star

18    The Moon on the Water

19    The Sun of Life

20    The Great Bear

21    The World Tree

Keep in mind, the names of my major arcana are unique to my deck. My cards are less stereotypically occult or mystical and pay homage to the shamanistic origins of all spirituality, and I’m utterly in love with them. Most decks provide alternate meanings for both the major and minor arcana depending on whether they are upright or inverted, depicting contrast within the image on the card and deepening the analysis. My cards are an exception to this. None of my cards are completely positive or negative; they are all neutral, like the Earth, and the meanings are set however they fall in the spread. This also means that, depending on the reading I’m doing, I have to be a lot more thorough in my analysis of the cards so that I actually understand what they’re saying.

So that’s really cool and all, but why should anyone actually need to own them? As you might already know, tarot cards are traditionally used for divination. I however, rebel that I am, do not use them for divination but for situational analysis, lateral thinking, and teaching myself to be more self-aware. There are hundreds of ways to practice tarot and hundreds of spreads, and that’s being quite modest. The Sleeping Knight spread helps you discover the personality of your subconscious to keep you from projecting your own faults onto others while simultaneously describing the path of your life. Healing  spreads force you to analyze your past and find what possible emotional block(s) lie in your way to personal health or growth. General “tell-all” spreads stimulate your mind and help you unravel your own lines of thinking, strengths, flaws, etc. There are so many ways to tarot and none of them have to be spiritual. Obviously its a spiritual experience for me as I believe the cards have their own personal energy and the Deity speaks to me through them, but spirituality isn’t a requirement for use. Discovering Yourself Through Tarot by Rose Gwain is a rather comprehensive piece on both the many meanings of the cards and tarot’s general uses; but the really niffty part about that read is that it’s focus is less on the spiritual aspect of tarot and much more on how it can be applied to Jungian psychology. Tarot doesn’t have to be a hocus-pocus, ouija board, Princess and the Frog thing; it’s an incredibly functional form of self-analysis.

Now I grew up in church in the South and believe me, I am very aware of the stigma on the cards and the religious arguments made against them. However, give me but a moment to make a case for them from a religious perspective. God is everywhere and in everything; calling a church a “House of God” is a formality. God can’t be bound by walls and the universe is His domain. He is sovereign and omnipotent; nothing escapes His eye nor His hand. If this is what you believe, is it so hard to imagine that God would speak to you through the cards? Obviously God doesn’t need the cards to convene with you (simple prayer is evidence of that), but why couldn’t he use them? Sure, they’re pagan in origin, but God has proven countless times that origin means little to Him; it’s the heart, the intent He’s after. Additionally, if God is in all things then no object is inherently evil or wrong. In the same way that toasters don’t toast toast, heat toasts toast, the heart of man damns him, not the objects he uses to send himself to hell. Things aren’t evil, people have the capacity to do evil things. Therefore, regardless of the origin of tarot cards, religious people can use them just as effectively if their mind is on the holy communion it represents.

Well, that’s my spiel. I hope this has been enlightening or at the very least entertaining for you. It would please me greatly if you all ran out and bought a deck of tarot cards that spoke to you after reading this, but alas, I know it shall not be so. If you do decide to snag a deck or want to know more about mine let me know! As always, if you have any questions, comments, or love to share hit me up and I’ll always respond. Until next time…

Blessed be!

You don’t actually believe that, do you?

Hello again! I’ve returned with more timeless wisdom and charming wit, only this time I’m eating pizza as I write and am therefore in a much better mood. I had an experience the other day that I’ve been reflecting on since and wish to share with you. There is nothing particularly special about this experience as it has happened to me in the past, but the brutal honesty in the question struck me as comical and a little sad. I work for a popular video game vendor and as I’m sure you can imagine we see all creeds and all kinds in and out of our doors; from the CoD bros to the LoL-ers to the lost moms who just need a phone charger and batteries. Thus, when I spotted a young man at the register wearing a “Fiction” t-shirt I thought nothing serious about it but did remark on the fact that I rarely see them while out and about. He seemed to take my comment as thinly veiled disdain for his atheism and asked if I was offended, to which I assured that I was merely noticing something he obviously meant to be noticed in the first place. The matter seemingly settled, he let me know where I could purchase a similar t-shirt in the event that I had a desire to own one. A little amused, I told him that the commonly used symbol for my religion was actually dotting the “i” of fiction so I wasn’t overly interested in wearing the shirt, but thanked him for the info anyway.

He then looked down at his shirt and said, “Paganism?” to which I replied, “Wicca, actually,”

He gave me a quizzical  glance and asked, “Like magick and stuff?” I won’t lie, I actually laughed at that and said, “Something like that. That’s part of it anyway.”

Here’s that part that has had my wheels turning. He looked at me with a slightly amused look and asked the question: “You don’t actually believe that, do you?”

Friends, have we grown so seemingly knowledgeable, gathered so much information, learned so much about our planet and universe that we have become jaded and arrogant to the point of not even entertaining the idea of forces beyond our perception or control as valid? I realize that things like magick, god, or even spirituality take a certain kind of personality (and in my own opinion, intuition) to accept and have been given terrible stigmas by the media, history, and even other religions but the principle is the same. Society has drawn lines around and in between beliefs, deciding what are and aren’t acceptable faiths; denoting what’s religion, philosophy, factual, or just plain crazy talk. Sadly, my faith typically falls in the latter.

I’ll hop off my soap box now get to the real point of this post. Since we’re still getting to know each other and you’re hopefully here to learn a little about me and what I believe, I’m going to make a list of some of the “craziest” things about Wicca that I, yes, actually do believe and briefly explain why I believe them. If you have any questions about any of my declarations leave me a comment or shoot me an email and we’ll talk more about it, or I’ll write a whole post about it if my answer is long-winded. All that said, here we go:

 

The Goddess and God are alive and magick is real.

I figured I’d start with the biggie. This one is probably going to take the most explanation so bear with me. Unlike many witches, I don’t consider myself polytheistic (I’m considering doing a post on this specifically so let me know if you’re interested). The God and Goddess are two sides of the same coin in my personal faith; masculine and feminine versions of the energy that created everything. This energy is known as the Deity. It’s what started the Big Bang, formed gravity to keep us all on the rock, gave life to all plants and people, and it’s in literally everything you can imagine; living or not. Because of the Deity, we all have a personal energy that we can change and manipulate as we grow and this energy is linked to the Deity. We carry within us a connection to the creative force behind our existence and the existence of everything. This is why Wicca is often described as nature worship. Witches acknowledge the interconnectedness of all matter; the way all things weave and move within the Deity’s tapestry of creation, and we revere it. Since this energy is within all life and life is…well, alive, the God and Goddess (aka the Deity) must also be alive. Don’t ask me to explain the existence of this energy to you scientifically because I can’t. There’s work that has been and is being done to prove it’s real, but if you want my honest opinion it doesn’t matter what proof there is as people will always reject whatever truth they find personally offensive or hard to believe. It’s existence is a quiet knowledge within my soul; I feel it in everything and can’t imagine a life without it. In a word, I take it on faith. Now for how magick ties into all this. A simple definition for magick is the use of personal energy fused with the energy around us or the energy of an object to achieve a specific outcome, kind of like spiritual jigsaw puzzle. There is stone magick, rune magick, gypsy magick, candle magick, color magick, and the list goes on. The Deity’s energy is in everything and all energy is manipulatable, even our own, making literally everything magickal. Now some items have stronger energy than others making them “special”, but you can seriously work magick with anything if you infuse personal power and your connection to the Deity. But that’s not even the weirdest part about magick. Against all odds, magick works. I’m not kidding. When done correctly and with the right frame of mind and spirit, we are capable of mindblowing things.

 

Practicing magick vastly improves my day.

If you are religious, I think this might be easy for you to understand. Magick is one of the ways I worship the God and the Goddess, kind of like the equivalent of singing hymns at church. After practicing I feel much more connected to the earth and the Deity and, not surprisingly, I’m in a better mood. It feels a bit like washing my aura with fabric softener and drying it with really great dryer sheets; I’m just clean.

 

I thank the Goddess after I eat meat.

You’ll find in your travels that many Wiccans are vegetarian or vegan. I personally am not nor do I feel called to be, which is a completely separate aspect of my life that is both medical and spiritual. However, because I recognize that all life comes from the same source I have the respect to thank the Mother for her earth’s gift. It sounds strange but to me it makes perfect sense. All life is intertwined making both I and the cow I just consumed something like energy cousins, therefore I thank our common ancestor (the Deity, but here specifically the Goddess) for their donation.

 

I believe in something like reincarnation.

Matter is neither created nor destroyed. All matter has energy. When things die their energy isn’t destroyed but is transformed or converted and is absorbed into the universe and all life, so we never really die. I don’t believe that our entire souls reappear in one specific living thing based on the merit of our lives, rather our life force is distributed throughout all life and we become various parts of the earth. However, you get out what you put in. If I lead a life filled with terribly negative energy then when my body dies my aura manifests within the earth negatively. I don’t think that we are necessarily conscious or aware of what’s happening around us once we die, but instead we become part of all life. We never again see the ones we love whom we lost, but we become part of them and something even bigger. I find this to be both comforting and beautiful.

 

When I say I love you, I seriously mean it.

I have personally found Wiccans to be some of the most loving and accepting people in the world, and this goes back to recognizing the connection between all life. We are all children of the God and Goddess, the sun and the moon, the stars and the water; we are all intertwined and beautiful regardless of race, gender, faith, age, or level of intelligence. For real, I love you.

 

Pentacles are powerful, and I abhor seeing them used sarcastically.

A pentacle is a flat circular piece of metal or wood with a pentagram inscribed upon it. They are a key part of rituals, either group or solitary, and any witch’s altar as it is used to draw God or Goddess energy into a spell. They are used as wards and alongside runes for protection and many other things and are considered incredibly powerful. They are not a symbol of “devil worship” or evil and nothing bugs me more than when people will see my pentacle jewelry or a book with one on the cover and treat me like a pariah. Stop it now and please do some research, thanks.

 

These six points are just a few of the “craziest” things about Wicca, but ironically enough I think that when you break them down they are also some of the most relatable. I could go on forever spouting off little eccentricities and quirks of my religion, but for time purposes I’ll stop for now with these. Like I said before, if you have any questions about something I did or didn’t mention please feel free to let me know. Ta ta for now my dears.

Blessed be!

 

Introduction to This Series

Greetings Earthlings! Since this is my first post let me take a moment to tell you a little about myself and what I hope to share with the masses. My name is Jess and I am happily married to the love of my life, JM, with whom I just shared a one year anniversary. My husband is my bear, my rock, my world, and my everything. He is a wonderful man whom I love dearly and a faithful Christian. As you might have guessed from the title of my blog, I myself am Wiccan. You might be asking yourself how in the world this relationship functions, or even more basic than that you might be wondering what exactly Wicca is. The first is an easy answer: we love all parts of each other and wish to understand the other more fully, which requires humility and acceptance of the other’s beliefs. The second has many answers, some of which I can’t give you for I am still discovering them myself. My goal is to share what knowledge I have gained and what I continue to gain regarding my faith, as my understanding of the Deity is ever-moving and ever-expanding, with people to answer that second question for you in some small way.
Like most modern witches, I am a convert to Wicca. Now do not mistake me, not ALL witches are Wiccan and not all Wiccans practice the Craft. The Craft is a part of Wicca (which I will explain in a later post) but not all Wiccans feel called to this particular practice as an expression of their faith, and not all who practice the Craft consider themselves Wiccan. I myself am both Wiccan and a witch as I personally feel that the Craft enhances and furthers my understanding of the God and Goddess, but not all of my faith share this belief.
But continuing my original statement I am a recent convert from apathetic agnosticism to Wicca, but I was raised in a very Christian home and attended church for most of my life (which is a tale all it’s own). I, in no way, consider myself an expert on my religion as Wicca is non-dogmatic and thus is left very much up to the interpretation of the individual witch or coven of practitioners. To believe that I myself possess some profound knowledge that not even others of my faith profess would be the worst kind of arrogance. Thusly, this blog shall be an attempt not to educate people about my faith but merely share what I’ve learned so far and what I’m continuing to learn on this journey. Feedback is and will always be appreciated, as this I a learning process for me. I severely look forward to continuing this series and hope it is as fruitful for you, dear reader, as I intend it to be for me.
Blessed be!