If so, I’m with you. Why? Because every day I deal with asthma, dyslexia and clinical depression.
Here’s More Trouble: Beware of Those Who Shame People with Mental Illness in the Pagan Community
What do I mean by “shame people”? I’ve encountered people who told me that I do not need medication. Instead, they claim that “a certain herbal tea” will “Fix you right up.” No. That is a delusion. But what really bothered me is their self-righteous attitude that I was not “believing enough.” Now that’s what I call shaming!
I do meditate. And I take medication. I have medical doctors who help me.
I have depression and asthma—serious diseases. And it is B.S. to tell me to drink a tea or think or wish my asthma attack or depressive episode away. This is life or death!
I do magick rituals, and they help. Still, if someone says that I don’t need medication, they are deluded. Instead, we must be our own advocates as we deal with invisible illnesses.
Why do the God and Goddess let these things happen?
I believe that before this incarnation the God and Goddess helped us plan the lessons we wanted for this incarnation.
Learning lessons on this plane is about taking the direct route. Sometimes, the direct route involves trauma or mental illness. And we know this before we are incarnated.
The God and Goddess don’t want us to suffer. They want us to be happy.
They send help to us when we need it most. My husband—that is, boyfriend at the time—came into my life and encouraged me to get help in the form of therapy and medical assistance. I am so grateful to him for taking my hand and leading me to the help I desperately needed.
Why would we choose an incarnation with trauma?
I’ll share an idea: Do you really learn what touching a hot stovetop is by someone describing it to you? Or do you learn faster and understand more completely by experiencing the pain?
The same is true with the lessons of our life. We need to experience the situation to truly learn our lesson.
Then, there is the experience of real compassion. Recently, I went through a “bottom-time” (crying and feeling hopeless). My husband sat with me. He didn’t try to “cheer me up.” He rubbed my feet. I felt better the next day—Thank, Goddess!
Still, my husband knows that there is no “happy button” on me. Sometimes, we just need to sit with the pain. I deeply appreciate my husband’s real compassion and love.
I realize that we do not ask for pain today. Still, God and Goddess often help us have the experience of support when we’re suffering. Perhaps, you’ll want to do a candle ritual to remind yourself of God and Goddess’s presence in your life.
“Why is it getting worse?” my friend, Stephanie, said.
“I know there’s a lot happening. Anything in particular?” I replied.
“More violence in this country!” Stephanie said. And, this began a significant conversation.
What if Goddess Serves as Your Source of Certainty?
Is it possible to be certain of anything, anymore? Some people complain, “Unbelievable. I could not even imagine that people in leadership positions would be so … disgusting.”
I’ve learned that there is value in seeing ourselves as “spiritual beings having a human experience.”
As many of you know, I believe in the Summerlands, a place of love and peace in between the times we incarnate. We return and incarnate into a new body, and the lessons begin. We use our bodies as a user-interface for our spiritual being to learn lessons on this physical plane.
I realize that it can be tough to see this spiritual level when we’re in the midst of suffering and confusion. It’s as if we’re wearing “human-tinted glasses.” I suggest that we pause and consider looking at our lives from Goddess’s perspective. Goddess knows.
A Source of Comfort
Sometimes, I return to The Charge of the Goddess for inspiration and comfort.
“Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore, let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.” – Doreen Valiente (speaking in the voice of the Goddess—from The Charge of the Goddess)
A couple of meanings rise up for me with the above quote.
Notice the phrase “all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals,” and see that the Goddess gives us the answer. We can derive comfort in honoring Her with our compassion, reverence, humility and more. Acts of kindness and beauty honor the Goddess and make us feel good.
Dear Goddess Release me from my stale, limited beliefs And give me compassion and mirth in heaps. Acts of love and Acts of pleasure. I honor You in this way forever.
May the ideas expressed here comfort you and invite you to listen to your heart. May compassion for others flourish in your heart.
“I told her that I trust her with something that, in my local community, I have to keep confidential,” Julie began. “I made her promise me—but she told my secret to everybody. And now they shun me!”
“She told them you are Wiccan,” I said, realizing.
Have you had a similar situation in your life? Has someone betrayed you and now you just can’t get the painful thoughts and feelings out? Does it feel like you’re being ripped apart?
To heal after betrayal, we notice a process …
Identify the betrayal
The point here is that you need to acknowledge to yourself that you have been wronged. This person made a decision that caused you harm. Before my divorce, I put up with bad actions of my then-husband. Part of gaining the strength to leave him was for me to put my foot down and declare in my own mind: “This is wrong. I will not endure this, anymore.”
Feel the pain
Acknowledge the pain. Feel it. Until you do, you can’t grow and move past it. Additionally, until you feel the pain you might not have the energy to push through and move on. My then-husband would drain our joint account of money to buy his video games and there would be no food in the apartment. He would feed himself with fast food and think nothing of me.
I had to feel the pain and gather my strength to get the hell away from him. (By the way, I’m so glad because after the divorce, I was free to find my soulmate. It’s so much better now.)
Perhaps, you’re like me, and you’d like a break from feeling so much pain. In fact, I had a recent meditation session in which I asked the God and Goddess, “Why do I have to be in such pain?”
Their answer made me pause. They said, “Pain is to grow.”
So, feeling the pain is where growth happens. I know it sucks. But pain is the fuel that creates growth.
Protect yourself from more trouble
This is where you need to cut all contact with the person. You can do the ritual below for this.
Here are the steps of True Separation:
Verbally end the relationship
Stay away from the person.
Do the Separation Ritual (see below).
Do the Cakes and Wine ritual.
Close the circle.
Finally continue to have no contact with the toxic person.
You will need your usual ritual items to cast circle and your altar. As I mentioned you will also have a length of yarn or piece of red string. The yarn/string must be long enough to encircle your own waist and to encircle the object (that represents the toxic person).
The Separation Ritual
Take the object. First, your will asperge it. Asperge means to sprinkle the holy water with your fingers onto the object.
With the holy water, asperge and say:
I cleanse and consecrate you by water and earth.
Next you will cense the object. Cense means to waft incense smoke over the object.
With the incense smoke, cense and say:
I bless and charge you with air and fire.
Then take the string/yarn and cense and asperge it as well and say:
I cleanse and consecrate you by water and earth.
I bless and charge you with air and fire.
Take the red string/yarn in your hands saying:
Tiny bundle of String/yarn
You are now the same as the bonds between me and Name of person.
Tie one end of the string/yarn to the object and then encircle your waist with the other end of the string/yarn, while you say:
You are the bonds that connect us now.
From me to Name of person and from Name of person to me.
Our connection is by thee.
Sit and concentrate on the bond between you both and see it as the string/yarn that now connects you and the object. Once you have a firm connection with that thought, take the boline and cut the string/yarn, seeing in your mind’s eye the astral bonds being cut along with the string/yarn.
Once you complete the cut, say:
I am now free of the ties of Name of person as he/she is of me.
May my happiness expand, and may Name of person’s happiness expand.
Finish up with the Cakes and Wine part of the ritual and then close the Circle.
Call upon the God and Goddess to assist with your healing
Meditate and pray to the Gods for strength. Here is a prayer you can use.
Heal my heart and mind, Free me of violence that binds Keep me safe and sane from [his/her] madness, Let me stay centered and stay strong as my own badass. So mote it be!
Circle the Wagons with Friends
Keep your true friends close to you. Confide in them and let them build you back up.
Move into Inner Peace
Now that you are centered and have had your friends strengthen you, you can now move into peace. You now know that you have separated yourself from the betrayer, and you have surrounded yourself with the love of your true friends and the God and Goddess.
Keep in mind there is a difference between acceptance and approval. You do not approve of the betrayer’s actions. Eventually, you might get to the point of acceptance. What would you be accepting? You would accept that the person was caught up in their own crap, and you weren’t even a fly on their windshield. We notice that people can be seriously self-centered and cruel.
But acceptance is not approval. Acceptance is realizing that you went through an event, and today you are not ruled by it.
May this material support you and bring you peace.
“Sometimes, it feels like there’s so much going on and friendships can get hurt along the way. I mean—we all get stressed out,” my friend, Joyce, said. “I’m wondering if there is a magickal way to strengthen a friendship.”
I gave this a lot of thought, and here is a True Friends Spell.
What you will need:
One pink candle
Cast Circle in the usual manner.
Dress your candle by rubbing your oil from tip to base. Cleanse and consecrate your candle and rings. Place the pink candle on your altar in its holder. Place the rings by the candle. Take your friend’s hands and both of you say over the rings together:
I swear upon my soul,
Honesty, love, and kindness I shall show.
I State my true name (_each state your name_),
That I am a true friend to you through and through.
That I will be most honest with you,
As I so will, so mote it be!!
Each person places a ring on the other person’s hand other and says:
True friends, true as can be.
Together now so mote it be!
Do the Cakes and Wine Ceremony
Close your Circle
May this True Friends Spell strengthen your bond with your close friend.
I opened the large box that contained my holiday gift. Inside, I found a brewing kit. “Perfect!”
When I was in my mid-20s, I brewed mead. However, I lost my equipment in the move from my childhood home.
It had been a long time since I brewed anything, so I needed a refresher. So, I purchased a book about mead-brewing.
I eagerly read the book—and that takes some doing since I’m dyslexic. Learning about Vikings and how they brewed mead had my attention.
Today, I am once again excited to try my hand at brewing mead. However, this time I am trying an open-air brewing technique I found in the book. It’s brewing done old school—like our ancestors did long ago. Along this line, Wiccans like brewing mead.
Instead of using commercial yeast, I will be harvesting wild yeast. This is something our ancestors did at the beginning of their brewing exploits.
So, I gathered up all the equipment and ingredients that I needed, including a rod to mix my brew. I would dedicate my mead-brewing efforts to the God and Goddess. I wanted to make the mixing rod a sacred tool. Therefore, I wrote a blessing to imbue my new mixing rod with the powers of the God and Goddess.
Mixing Rod Blessing
Blessed Be this Sacred Rod May it Bestow with Healing Energies of the Gods Let my Rod mix my brew With Health, Wealth, Peace, and Joy anew All who taste the brew mixed with this Rod May Find Everlasting Blessedness from the Gods As I will, So Mote It Be
In the next days, I’ll see how my renewed interest in mead-brewing goes.
Are you considering adding something new to your daily activities?
Wiccan initiations vary a great deal. In today’s guest post from Angus, we’re invited to see his personal journey.
Many initiations follow a set ritual structure. However, some of the strongest initiations are guided in the moment by the God and Goddess.
Here is Angus’ guest post:
Well Water and Bubbles: Angus’ Initiations
My first initiation was also my first exposure to Witchcraft. It happened at the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, England in the summer of 1996.
I was visiting with 5 friends who were traveling across Southwest England via canal boat. For a week we had been working closely with the land, guiding our narrowboat up and down 44 locks. We barely saw a car as we journeyed, aligning ourselves with the rhythms of this ancient, energetic landscape—and put-putting along at 2 mph. It was like spending a week on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, except with stone and crop circles littering the landscape.
I walked into the Chalice Well gardens as an agnostic, but I immediately felt a presence on the grounds. A warm, inviting, HUGE personality that wanted IN. I acquiesced, separated myself from my group and made my way up to the top of the garden, where the Chalice Well is located.
Sitting down at the top of a short staircase above the Well opening I dropped into a lotus position—something I can’t normally do without 10 minutes of stretching—and the presence entered me through the back of my neck (throat chakra, the one about Communication).
And I was suddenly in all-time, all-space. I was everywhere, everyone, everything. Secrets and mysteries of the ages were downloaded into my aching brain. And then shining out of this mind-bending chaos was Her. She spoke to me in a 1,000 voice choir singing in perfect unison and across harmonies unknown in our reality. Female voices, male, and everything in between and beyond, with an age range from conception to long after death.
Her presence was the purest Love.
My friends found me at the Well 45 minutes later, on my hands and knees, completely unconscious, and twitching and crackling with energy. Eventually, I slumped over to my side and when my breathing returned to normal I arose and staggered out of the garden, right past my friends, and ended up across the street at our B&B, draped backwards over our pile of luggage. At least, that’s what my friends told me. I remember none of this.
I awoke there, alone, but not alone. Never ever alone. I had been chosen, dragooned, enlightened…initiated.
One of the things I woke up with was a mental picture of a storefront, back home in my town in California. I knew the place, and so when I returned from England I went there. It was the same storefront, but there was no triple moon sign out front…yet.
I knocked on the door and could hear movement from the back of the store. Finally, the door was opened, and before me was a beautiful woman with long blonde hair and piercing green eyes. She was dressed in a hooded black cloak that was trimmed with emerald stitching. Behind her was a bare room with black walls. The woman regarded me carefully. “Yes?” she said, finally.
I hadn’t planned this part. I shifted from one foot to the other, thought of a thousand things to say, rejected them all, trusted in the Universe, and just opened my mouth. “I’m supposed to be here.” I heard myself say.
Branwen surveyed me carefully from foot to head and thought for a long moment. “Yes,” she said again, breaking into a smile. “Yes, you are.”
I was her first employee and the manager of “13: Real Magick”; the first witchy store in Santa Cruz County.
My second initiation was a formal one on August 15th, 1998—in a bathroom I shared with my housemate down the hall.
I had been in the Craft for two years by that point, and I learned the ways and means of the Occult via “Retail Trad.” My covenmates were all of my customers, my sanctuary was the little black store with the triple moon sign out front. There was also a local ad-hoc group that did public rituals in parks and halls and so I had a loose tribe to celebrate the sabbats with.
I did not need to seek out all of the various trads—they all came to me, via the shop. I wasn’t tempted by them, however. My focus was on helping my customers and learning all I could. I was so completely immersed in studying the Occult that I did not feel the need to be formally initiated into it. I was already living it, whether that was intense solo rituals that left a stain on the ceiling, or long walks in the forest that left a trail of happy tears on the ground.
But, all good things must come to an end. For two years I had been living in a tent in my backyard, having rented out my own room so I could afford to work at the Magick Shop. But then that house got renovated and I had to get another place, which meant paying rent again which meant getting a job that paid a whole lot better.
And so, I left my Tradition of Retail. Also, about this time the local public group was slowly falling apart. I had lots of witchy friends, but no framework left in which to study or celebrate together.
I had been a Solitary up to that point—but now I was also a witch on his own! Being “away” from the external stimuli reminded me that I was never alone: The Love of the Goddess that I felt at the Chalice Well would always be with me. Solitude also gave me the time and space to really think about my practice—what I did and why I did it that way.
I discovered that everything I resonated with really distilled down to two pillars: Helping others—and a personal relationship with Deity. That was my Trad. MY Trad. And I felt strong enough in my devotion to these pillars to formally recognize myself—nobody else need be present, because nobody else had what I had: The authority.
On the night of August 15th, a Saturday, waning half-moon (same as initiation #1 at the Well), I rode my bike home from my new job at the world percussion store. Inside my new studio I was hungry and tired and there was laundry and suddenly whoa! It was TIME to do this initiation thing.
Oh…okay. Yes, Ma’am! I didn’t have a plan for this, but I had all of the resources I needed. Plus, the guy in the other studio down the hall was gone for the evening.
I grabbed an armload of herbs and candles and headed for our shared bathroom. I arranged and lit all of the candles around the tub while I ran the bathwater.
I was going to make a witch’s brew—with me in it!
Not having to follow a liturgy meant that I could improvise. I had done many solo rituals by then and had learned to follow my instincts—and my nose. So, all of my herbs, oils, resins and rocks were unlabeled. What went in to that bath I can’t rightly say, but it was perfect.
I got in the water, cast the circle, called the quarters and Whoosh! I was transported. The walls of the studio faded away, the ground faded away, the ceiling, sky and stars faded away…I was in allspace and alltime. And I was in Their Holy presence.
And I told the Goddess that I was initiating myself. And She replied (with that same 1,000 voice choir I had heard at the Chalice Well): “To what will you dedicate yourself?”
I hadn’t expected a quiz. I thought being a solitary meant that you didn’t have to take any tests! But having a relationship with the Gods means that you never actually Work alone.
“Service” was my spontaneous answer. “I will Dedicate myself to Service.”
And Her voice was the purest love. “And so you have, and so you are.”
Soon after that, the old public pagan group disbanded formally and then reformed as a much more organized and decentralized group of witches serving the local pagan peoples.
And I have been a part of Community Seed since its inception, and my rituals are now sometimes attended by 80 people. My practice, however, is still solitary (even though I have been part of an informal coven now for 6 years), and my focus is still the same, 20 years later.
Ever since my Initiations at the Well and in the bathtub, my witchcraft is always dedicated to the Tradition of Service.
“It’s all wrong now. I’m boxed in. I just want to feel that I have some freedom. Freedom to choose.”
“Have you asked the ALL for help?” I suggested.
Simply put, Rachael was stuck. She felt she had no where to go in her current situation. So here is a simple spell to gain the help of the ALL.
Read over the spell carefully several times before you do it.
What you’ll need:
One small white candle (it needs to be small, so you can burn it out in one sitting)
Perfume (frankincense preferably)
Cakes and wine/juice (This can be as simple as some cookies and juice)
Offering dish (you will need one)
Small table (something to put your candle and cakes and wine/juice on)
Small bowl of purified water
Small bowl of sea salt
Purified or spring water
Lighter or matches
What to do:
Start by thoroughly crushing the garlic and put it into a small jar of your olive oil. Set aside the mixture in a dark place (like a closet) for nine days.
When your oil is done do the following.
Take a ritual bath:
On a full or waxing moon. First bathe to wash all of the physical dirt from your body. Then draw a new bath and put three tablespoons of sea salt into the water. Soak in the water and think of all the negative energy being absorbed by the salt water. Breathe in and out deeply. Relax… Take your time.
Use a clean towel to dry off. Put on a clean robe.
Next, go to your room and clear a space and place your small simple table (this will be your altar) in the center. Place the candle in the middle of the altar. Additionally, set up your small water bowl, sea salt bowl, and food and drink on either the side of the candle.
Disrobe and sit in front of the altar.
Submerge your index fingertip in the bowl of water and say:
I cleanse and consecrate thee, Water, that you are pure and clean.
Then place your index fingertip into the bowl of salt and say:
I cleanse and consecrate thee, Salt, that you are pure and clean.
Put three pinches of the blessed sea salt into the bowl of water and stir clockwise (using your index finger).
Sprinkle (asperge) the bottle of perfume with the holy water (the salt water you just made) onto the candle and say:
I cleanse and consecrate thee, Perfume, that you are pure and clean.
Asperge the candle with the holy water and say:
I cleanse and consecrate thee, Candle, that you are pure and clean.
Spray some of the holy perfume onto you and breathe it in deeply. Breathe in and out three times as you clear your mind. Take your time…
Time to dress your candle: This means that you take the garlic oil and rub it onto the candle from wick to the base of the candle. Carve the word “freedom” on the candle and place in the candle holder.
Light the candle and say:
I ask you,
Who is the lightness and darkness,
Who is the powers of the winds,
Who is the powers of the seas,
Who is the powers of the mountains,
Who is the powers of the flame within.
Who is powers all life and love.
And who is the source of all things,
The Great and powerful ALL,
I ask you for change and freedom for the good of all!
As I so will, So mote it be!
As the candle burns, think of all the freedom you now have as this Spell manifests what you desire.
Again, take your time…
Finally, set your cakes and wine/juice in front of you. Hold your dominant hand over them and say:
I bless this food and drink that it will keep me strong.
Place each of some of the food and drink into the offering dishes saying:
To the ALL!
You can now partake of the food and drink.
Let the candle burn itself completely out. (Warning: Never leave a burning candle unattended.)
“I’m concerned about curses. How can I protect myself?” one of my readers asked.
Here’s an easy Hex-breaking Candle Spell.
What you will need:
One black chime candle
One brown chime candle
One white chime candle
A picture of yourself
Cookie sheet or pan
What to do:
Cover the cookie sheet with your tinfoil.
Start at the middle of the pan, and pour a line of salt, going from left to right.
Place your picture on the right end of your salt line.
Make a circle around your picture by pouring salt to create that circle. Make sure the salt-circle connects to the salt-line you previously made.
Set the black candle on the left side, at the starting end of the salt-line.
Place the brown candle in the middle of the line, and finally set the white candle on the end of the line, next to your picture.
Think of all the stuff that has been going wrong in your life. Really get your emotions into it. Once you have worked yourself up, light the black candle. Next, light the brown candle. Imagine all the muck draining away from your life.
It’s important to breathe deeply, as you focus on the bad stuff leaving your life for good. Take your time.
Once you have envisioned the muck completely vanishing from your life, light the white candle.
You can meditate on the good things you would like to see manifest in your life.
IMPORTANT: Let all the candles burn themselves completely out. And make sure to avoid leaving a burning candle unattended.
May this Hex-breaking Candle Spell help you move forward in your life.