The Hidden Truth About a Wiccan Incarnation

“I did not want to be in that car accident. Nothing you can say to me will change my mind,” my friend, Rhonda, said. She was loud, real loud.

“Okay,” my other friend, David, replied.

“Don’t tell me that I chose what I wanted to happen in this incarnation—”

“I wasn’t—”

“Don’t say that there’s some lesson in all this—”

“I didn’t—”

“All right! What could be a lesson in all of this…?” Rhonda said, then she sat down. David just sat there for a moment or two. Just breathing. Just letting Rhonda calm down.

Some time ago, at a gathering of friends, David suggested that we make choices before we incarnate here on earth. These choices give us challenging situations to help us learn certain lessons while we’re here.

I once heard a speaker say, “If it’s true that we make choices before we incarnate—maybe we better hope that we didn’t say, ‘I want to learn patience.’ I could imagine a person in your soul group raising his hand. He says, ‘I’ll help you with that. I’ll be your first husband.’”

As I was reflecting on this, I had a thought. A disturbing thought. What if I chose to go through the hardship of gaining weight, becoming obese, and then struggling to lose weight?

I chose this? NO!

Or maybe? Could it be that I planned to go through this weight-trouble so I could learn empathy for others?

Wait a minute. Wasn’t I already in the empathy-club?—with enduring the torture from my brother when we were kids. (I was a tiny girl when he held me down, drowning in a neighbor’s swimming pool. There was more….)

Over and over again, I hear about women who were attacked in their younger years, and they did something to get “bigger” or at least, to “be unattractive to male attention.”

Author Roxane Gay was gang-raped when she was 12 years old. She writes in her book, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, “I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”

I have dropped 32.6 pounds. I’ve kept them off. To me, I think that bringing my Wiccan faith into the mix has helped.

Sure, I make certain to cast Circle and to gather with my coven.

I often do a candle-lighting ritual. (I certainly light a candle to say ‘thank you!’ to Goddess Squat for parking spaces!)

But I’ve brought a Goddess-style to my eating habits now. I’m on purpose with eating that which comes from the Goddess and dropping processed “food.”

Every day, I eat natural plants (unprocessed) and natural animal protein (unprocessed).

The big change is that I keep processed sugar and carbs out of my diet as much as I can.

Here’s my point: These changes have helped me in two ways: Get closer to my Gods and move forward with my healthy goal of weight loss.

32.6 pounds means a lot. I’ll put it plainly. I’ve backed away from a dangerous weight. You see, my mother has diabetes. My efforts have kept me away from that health problem!

I’m grateful to God and Goddess for Their Support.

I’ve learned that as I take better care of myself and I connect with God and Goddess, I do NOT need the extra weight to feel safe.

After all the neglect and physical abuse in my childhood … I can now be free.

Wait! Let’s pause here.

What a transformation!

What if I chose (on the spiritual plane before this incarnation) that I was going to take a journey in which I’d be hurt deeply, long for safety and then rise up to have a new goal … to … be … FREE.

Is that what you want, my friend? To be free?

Blessed Be,
Moonwater


 

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See my designs at Redbubble. For more of Moonwater SilverClaw, consider some of her books:

Be a Wiccan Badass: Become More Confident and Unleash Your Inner Power

As a Wiccan I found this an inspiring read. Written in a way that makes it accessible to everyone irrespective of their current knowledge. – Shona Cathro

 

 

Goddess Reveals Your Enchanted Light: Peace, Prosperity, Possibility Along Your Wiccan Path

I don’t generally write reviews on books I’ve read…but this time i feel lead to. This book spoke volumes to me, as if the author knew exactly where I’m coming from and what I’m struggling with. It’s not often a book can make me cry, but this one did by making me see the many blocks I’ve put up in my life. I knew they were there, but I’ve gotten skilled at pretending they’re not. Thank you for helping me see I’m not some freak because of circumstances throughout my life that have caused the blocks, and that i need to stop hiding from or burying them and face them one step at a time. – Crystal Sparks

 

Real Magick

Beyond the Law of Attraction to Real Magic: How You Can Remove Blocks to Prosperity, Happiness and Inner Peace

This book is a must have for all of those starting out on the spiritual path of Wicca and for all of those who are just looking for some light and love in their life. MoonWater SilverClaw uses her knowledge of Wicca and her personal experiences to not only teach the Law of Attraction in a clear manner but to help you use the Law of Attraction to better your life.

Through simple guided meditations and tips on living a happy healthy life this book takes you on a journey that will teach you how to love yourself, better your self image, and rid yourself of the negative energies that prevent you from reaching your goals.

This book covers many wonderful topics that will teach you basic magical practices as well as the theory and idea of “like attracts like” From setting up an alter to casting a circle and how to perform and find the magick that you are seeing in your life this book has so much to offer.

MoonWater SilverClaw is truly an inspirational writer for a newer generation of Wiccans and those seeking to use the natural energies of the earth to make changes in their life. Her writing style speaks from the heart because she has been where the reader is, she has used these techniques and steps to better her own life and now she is helping the reader use the Law of Attraction to better theirs – Amazon Customer

 

Goddess Has Your Back

Goddess Has Your Back: How Wicca Can Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem and Make Your Life Magickal

This is an absolute gem for the witch with issues. Rituals for things like self-esteem are something i have never seen before. Moonwater’s writing is engrossing and draws the reader in. I am a witch with PTSD M.S. and other issues and this book made me feel hopeful and capable. – t’air

 

The Hidden Children of the Goddess Book

The Hidden Children of the Goddess Embrace Wicca, Become Strong, Be at Peace with Yourself and the World Around You

Ms. SilverClaw has written a book that is really great for the beginner wanting to learn about Wiccan or wants to start practicing the art of Wicca. I found this book wonderful, easy to read, and extremely helpful and informative. It covers everything from what Wicca is, the history of Wicca and how Wicca became misassociated with evil, along with how Wicca can help/save people’s lives. Ms. SilverClaw also discusses practicing Wicca either in a Coven or Solo, and all the things you need in order to have in order to perform your ceremony, and she explains what each item means. She explains how to create spells and gives examples to use, and explains the pitfalls of creating certain types of spells. Ms. SilverClaw has truly created a book that is a cast all net the seems to cover everything that I needed to know to begin practicing Wicca. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is searching for their first book on the topic and wants to start practicing the art of Wicca or is just curious about the topic. This is truly a Must Have book. – Tamra L. Shipman

 

 

Goddess Walks Beside You: How You Can Listen, Learn and Enjoy the Wiccan Path

This is a terrific book! It is like talking to the author over a cup of tea like one of the bloggers says. –  Kitri

 

 

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Online Wiccan and Pagan Schools – Are They Right for You?

Online Learning
Online Learning

 

Would you benefit from studying with an online Wicca or Pagan school? To explore this topic, I interviewed Heather Greene, Luna Marr, and Aline O’Brien.

(Some responses may have been edited for length.)

Let’s start.

* When should someone consider going to an online school?

Luna: When it’s necessary. Some students work out very well with books and doing their own research, but there are others . . . who feel they need to hide their beliefs and study in secret, or just live in areas where a one-on-one pagan education isn’t available. Not all online educations are equal. . . . Some online schools just charge you money, hand you a bunch of information with little to no guidance. And others give you a mentor experience [in] your own home via the Internet.

Aline O’Brien: In the case of Cherry Hill Seminary (CHS), because there is no other school offering full training parallel with what is taught at mainstream seminaries. I strongly feel that Pagans should collaborate on the creation of our own culture. That means not attending liberal Protestant seminaries because you think they’re the only game in town when it comes to seminary-type training (chaplaincy, pastoral counseling, interfaith, history, etc.)

Heather: Online schools can help people who, for one reason or another, don’t have the ability to physically attend classes. In addition schools like Cherry Hill Seminary offer access to subjects and teachers that might not be available locally.

Moonwater: I agree. Online education may be necessary for someone who does not have a local pagan community for support.

* Would you use an online choice for your primary way of learning Wicca verses face-to-face learning?

Aline: Not necessarily. It really depends a lot on what’s available in a particular individual’s area. 

Heather: I would not choose distance learning as my primary way of learning any subject unless no other option was available. And there are situations where that is the case. I do prefer the immediacy of presence and the concentrated, shared energy of the “classroom” experience. This cannot be replicated online. However I also believe that there are educational opportunities in all forms of learning processes. Distance learning gives us access to teachers and professional who might otherwise not be available to us at any point in our lives. I see that alone as an invaluable resource.

Luna: I wouldn’t say that I would choose it over face-to-face learning, simply that it’s an alternative and another valuable option. . . . In my school Pagans Learning Online we believe that an online education should mimic the face-to-face experience as closely as possible, through technology such as Skype, Google, and the ability to upload voice, video, and written materials. We are able to replicate the face-to-face experience fairly well. Is it the same as having that mentor there who can give you a hug when you’re down? Absolutely not. However, an online education can still offer the same benefits.

Moonwater: I prefer the face-to-face approach when possible. This way you can experience how your student moves and uses energy. However, it’s important to me that students have access to information. That’s the reason that I write this blog (with the help of my editors) and I wrote my book The Hidden Children of the Goddess.

* Are online schools helpful or harmful to our community?

Luna: This question is like a double edged sword. I want to say that online schools can be incredibly helpful to the Pagan and Wiccan community . . .  . [But] some schools offer a lot of false certifications and dangerous ideas that if a person was so willing they could take advantage of. I even heard of one online school that tells you that you’re not allowed to worship the Gods and Goddesses unless you are a Level 1 priestess and [have] passed their tests. A student looking into an online school needs to know when something just doesn’t sound right or seem right. They need to do their research. . . . Healing of the aura and the chakras is something that should be left up to trained professionals. . . . For people who are forced to practice in the shadows, having the opportunity to practice online is something that [can] change who they are in a positive way. Online schools have the ability to help guide and grow future leaders of the Pagan and Wiccan community so that the next batch of people who look for a place to learn may not have the same struggles.

Aline: Some are helpful, others not so much; depends upon the school. I can say, however, that Pagans attend CHS for two primary reasons: one is for personal enrichment and the other to better serve their own communities. They don’t come so they can get a degree and get a job by being hired by some Pagan ‘church.’ They don’t come so they can get a raise at their current job. In the bigger picture, some seek chaplaincy degrees because in the mainstream world having one is required in order for one to do that work (the military being the most stringent in terms of chaplaincy requirements).

Heather: Just like anything, distance learning can be both helpful and harmful. It is helpful for the reasons specified above. Distance learning can offer people an opportunity to attend classes that they might not be able to otherwise. At the same time, distance learning is not yet accredited in the same way as conventional institutions. Assessing a school’s credibility and legitimacy is left to student and [it’s] often very difficult. The digital world has created a universe in which legitimacy is easier to falsify. Students must be very cautious.

* Online schools are on the rise, so how can you tell if one is right for your student?

Luna: It’s about doing the research, knowing yourself and your own personal learning style, and using your common sense. . . . Paganism and Wicca are terms for thousands of proud and dedicated religious pathways and traditions, rooted 60,000 years in the past. That isn’t easy stuff to learn over night. I think that as a society we get far too wrapped up in the “I want it now” of things and we overlook the hard work and dedication it takes to do something right. So before you jump into the first online school of Paganism that you see, do some research and ask some questions and remember that if it doesn’t look right or sound right then keep looking.

Heather: It is important to research the institution, teachers and the administrative staff; to examine the promises made and the cost; to talk to former students and to ask as many questions as possible.

Aline: I would say in the same way one would explore schools for any other kind of learning–read everything possible, ask others who attended that school, etc. I’m not sure I quite ‘get’ telling what’s right for one’s student. To me, the student her/himself would be the person making such decisions. S/he could seek advice and recommendations from a teacher. Alternatively, a particular teacher may wish to direct a particular student to a specific online educational resource/school for, say, a course on ministering to the dying.

* When should you not consider a school as a supplement for your student?

Heather: If local resources and lifestyle permit, it is good to consider the local options first. I would also steer a student away from a school that does not “check out” as legitimate.

Aline: Again, I can’t really speak knowledgeably to this because my experience is with a graduate school. It’s not about learning Wicca per se.

Luna: The only answer I would have for this is when the reason for seeking out the education isn’t pure of intent. . . . However if what you’re looking for is a chance to grow both as a person and in your magical abilities and you embrace the dedication it takes, then online schools are a great choice. I have seen many students whose self-esteem has bloomed. [And, one’s] inner light and love of yourself and those around you [become] powerful tools to change the world.


Since, Luna and Aline are active with online schools, I asked this question:

What can web schools like yours offer students with mentors?

Luna: I suggest a student stay with their mentor . . . unless they aren’t getting a full education from their mentor. I have had very good mentors. My first mentor was a Wiccan High Priestess. I myself have chosen the path of druidry, but it was very nice and refreshing to be able to learn so much about the Wiccan beliefs and practices. [I enjoyed] spending time with someone who knew what I was going through at a young age and was able to help guide me. It was a valuable experience. However, she was only able to offer me part of the picture that I was looking for. She could only teach me about Wicca. Because of this, I found myself studying books for years, doing research and seeking out others who had other beliefs.

Aline: The online school with which I’m affiliated, Cherry Hill Seminary (www.cherryhillseminary.org), provides primarily graduate-level education. We offer two masters’ degrees–M.A. in Pagan Studies and M.Div. So CHS is different from other online Pagan schools in that our students are already whatever kind of educated Pagan they are. In other words, mentors aren’t in the picture. Those who are seeking degrees, which is not all of our students, must attend two live, in-person multi-day retreats during the course of their studies. (http://www.cherryhillseminary.org/) CHS has a Dean of Students, who is not exactly a mentor but does help students determine their personal course of study. I think (not entirely sure) students have faculty advisors when they choose a degree path. (There’s tons of detailed info on this topic in CHS’ Catalogue.)


Some Pagans view Online Wiccan education as a controversial topic. The views expressed above belong to those who expressed them.

I, Moonwater, prefer the one-to-one mentor/student process (and that is my training). However, it strikes me that it is helpful to carefully study material if a local Pagan community is not available.

As with other important decisions, devote great care to your educational path.


Biographies of Our Interviewees

Luna Marr, has been studying paganism both independently and with various mentors for the last 21 years. She is very proactive in her local pagan community, serving as both clergy and secretary in her local pagan church. She says, “I have always believed that paganism deserves the same respect as other religions, but with that respect comes responsibilities to be knowledgeable in your beliefs and in the history of your beliefs. I feel that with the growing interest in paganism there need to be more hands-on ways for people to learn and grow without the pressure of being forced down one pathway or another.” Email: Luna@paganslearningonline.org  Her online school is Pagans Learning On Line.

Aline O’Brien, known among her co-religionists as M. Macha NightMare, is an internationally published authorritualist and all-round Pagan webweaver. A member of the American Academy of Religion, the Marin Interfaith Council, the Nature Religion Scholars Network, the Covenant of the Goddess (CoG), and the Advisory Council of the Sacred Dying Foundation, Macha speaks informatively about Paganism to news media and academic researchers, presents at colleges, universities and seminaries, and teaches on the broomstick circuit. She has taught at Starr King School for the Ministry and since 2000 has served in various capacities at Cherry Hill Seminary, the first and only seminary serving the Neopagan community.  Blogs:  Broomstick ChroniclesWitch at Large , Wild Garden: Pagans in the Growing Interfaith Landscape at Patheos.

Heather Greene, is a freelance writer living in the South. She has a master’s degree in Film with a background in commercial media and technology. She is currently serving as National Public Information Officer for Covenant of the Goddess. From 2010-2012, she served as Public Information Officer for Dogwood Local Council. Additionally, she collaborates with Lady Liberty League on a variety of cases and is a regular contributor to Circle Magazine. Heather has been practicing Wicca and Witchcraft for almost twenty years in both solitary and group settings. Personal Blog  Google +  Twitter  Pinterest  – See more at: http://wildhunt.org/about/heather-greene#sthash.mwzYAeWA.dpuf

Heather Greene

Freelance Writer

Staff Writer, The Wild Hunt
Staff Writer, Circle Magazine

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