Monday, June 27, 2016

White-Lighters



This is merely my experience with White-Lighters and opinion. Many moons ago I was in an online study group with several friends. We would have many discussions about our paths and what we wanted to learn about. One discussions was about Wicca and many didn’t follow that path and why. I said I was Wiccan and I was learning about the “light” and the “dark” side of witchcraft and I felt balance was the key to understand this path. Well this one person was saying I wasn't Wiccan because I was studying both. I was young in my path and I didn't know at the time this person was a “White-Lighter.”

I was a little upset and I started questioning myself for about 20 minutes. A White-Lighter is a disparaging term used to describe a zealot devoted to what they perceive as the good or light side of spirituality and which typically attempts to change, cleanse, destroy, exorcise, or attack that which they perceive as dark, negative, or evil.

I learned that I was right the whole time and the White-Lighter was being prejudice. Wicca is not: black or white; right or wrong; good or bad. Wicca as in Nature is about finding a balance, accepting your dark as well as your light, both are equally important as one could not exist without the other.

If I was wiser at the time I would have explained the Wiccan Rede and the Sabbats to them. Yes the Wiccan Rede states harm none but it also states that we should not allow ourselves to be a victim and have harm done to us. We celebrate the light half and the dark half of the year. To understand light, you must understand darkness first.

If you are going to act like a fundamentalist in the Pagan path then celebrate only the light half of the year. That means no Samhain, Yule and so on. Just please leave us alone and follow your own path and not worry about what we do in ours.

Don't let anyone tell you your path is wrong. Everyone has their own path that fits them personally. Every religion has its fundamentalists. You have to cut these type of people out of your life to have a happy spiritual life.  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ritual Attire


Many Pagans do rituals and spellwork naked, referred to in the Craft, as skyclad- “Clad only by the sky.” This certainly seems a preferred and recommended practice. But there are times due to temperature; you may wish to be robed. It may even be that you just prefer to be robed most of the time and that is ok.  Personally, I prefer to be robed.

Robes can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. I’ll give you a few ideas to make ritual clothing. Two of them I have made for my husband and myself.

Any type of fabric will do, the choice is up to you. Natural fabric is usually preferred. Polyester (if you must!), silk, cotton, or wool. Consider, though, its weight: will it be too heavy and hot, or too light and cool? Also consider how easily it creases and wrinkles. Will it stretch too much? Is it washable? Will it itch? Since witches wear nothing under their robes, this last is a serious consideration!  Personally, I wouldn't pick wool, it makes me itch. Instead I choose cotton and it is breathable. If it is cold I have a velvet cloak to go over it.

The fabric you buy must be 46 to 60 inches wide. To determine how much fabric you will need, measure in inches from your shoulder to the floor, and then add 2 inches. Divide that number by 36 inches to determine how many yards of cloth you will need. It will most likely not end up with an even number, and it is best to buy a little extra. This measurement for me was 3.24 yards.

If the fabric is washable, prewash it. This will take out the chemicals used to treat the fabric and preshrink it so that it doesn't shrink after you have sewn the robe. If not washable it will need to be dry cleaned and it can get expensive.

Here are the measurements you will need to take:
1. Shoulder to floor + 2 inches=______ divided by 36 = ______.
2. The distance from shoulder to shoulder=_____.
3. The circumference of your head (for the neck opening) =_____.
4. The measurement of the fullest part of your upper arm=_____ + 4 inches ( you don’t want your sleeves to be too tight) =_____.
5. The length of your arm from your shoulder to your wrist = _____ + 1 inch = _____.

Robe:
Take the material and fold it in half. If the material has an “outside” and an “inside,” fold it inside-out. Draw out a more or less T shape. Another way is to use a loose fitted T-shirt and trace the outline and extends, belled out to the bottom of the fabric. Make a cut in the middle at the neck hole. The T-shirt method helped me since I had problems with the sleeves being too tight with a previous attempt, resulting to be turned into a sleeveless tunic for my husband. Sew along the bottom of the sleeves, down the sides and if you did the T-shirt method, the shoulders. All that remains is to turn it right side out again, try it on, and hem the neck hole, sleeves and the bottom of the robe to a convenient length (e.g., an inch or so above the ground). A few patterns are McCall’s M6630, Simplicity 4055 and 9891.  Long sleeves are one thing you want to think about. The last thing you ever want to do during a ritual is catch your sleeve on fire. It is best to be safe than sorry.

Add a cord around the waist as a finishing touch. The cord I use to use is made from nylon cord found at the hardware store. This cord is thin and comes in a variety of colors. I crochet three rows each of black and white together. My new cord is made from 550 paracord, 100 ft found at A. C. Moore's.

Think about the color of your robe. Some Witches will wear white or black but more people in this day in age are wearing other colors to symbolize nature.

Yellow is an excellent color for those involved with divination.

Purple is favored for those who work with pure divine power (magicians) or who wish to deepen their spiritual awareness of the Goddess and God.

Blue is suited for healers and those who work with their psychic awareness or for attuning with the Goddess in her oceanic aspect.

Green empowers herbalists and magical ecologists.

Brown is worn by those who attune with animals or who cast spells for them.

White symbolizes purification and pure spirituality, and also is perfect for meditation and cleansing rituals. It is worn for full moon celebrations, or to attune with the Goddess.

Orange or red robes can be worn to Sabbats, for protective rites, or when attuning with the God in his fiery solar aspect.

Black robes are quite popular. Contrary to popular misconceptions, black doesn't symbolize evil. It is the absence of color. It is a protective hue and symbolizes the night, the universe, and lack of falsehood. When a Wiccan wears a black robe, s/he is donning the blackness of outer space-symbolically, the ultimate source of divine energy.

Sleeveless Tunic:
For the tunic you can follow the same steps for the robe just leave out the sleeves or use a sleeveless shirt. Measure from just above your knee to the floor. This measurement is used to mark a 1/8 inch cut on both side seems of the tunic and hem up the side slits. Finish by hemming the neck hole, sleeve holes and bottom of the tunic.

Hooded Cloak:
This project is a bit more difficult, but the results are well worth the effort. You might want to use the same fabric used for the robe-natural fibers. If you want your cloak to be fancier, try using wool crepe or velvet. This will be considerably more expensive than the heavier cottons, but if you watch for sales after the winter holidays you can often find some good bargains.

You will want to line your cloak, so you need to buy lining fabric. It’s very difficult to find lining fabrics made from natural fiber. Rayon or silk are both good choices. Avoid fabrics that are too lightweight and slippery. They also have a tendency to pucker and gather when you sew them. If the fabric is going to be heavy it is best to have a heavy metal hook and eye. My hooded cloak was made from velvet and satin lining using the McCall’s Costumes P409 or M4139 by a seamstress since at that time I didn’t have much of a sewing skill. It had a light frog clasp and the weight of the cloak just made it pull apart and tear. A few weeks before Pagan Pride day I replaced it with a metal hook and eye and it works much better with the heavy fabric. Other hooded cloak patterns are Simplicity 1582, 5840, 5794 and Wal-Mart exclusive 0882; McCall’s M4698, and M5957.

Jewelry:
In some traditions certain jewelry such as a wide bracelet with inscriptions, a bracelet, or a Moon crown to signify rank. Many Witches usually female wear a headband. Necklaces and pendants are very popular. Rings often bearing inscriptions or depictions of deities are also very popular. There are some very talented Witch jewelers who make incredibly beautiful items that deserve to be displayed.

But some people feel that jewelry has no place in the Circle. There are some who feel that it is a hindrance to the raising of power. I respect those who feel this way. If they truly believe that it restricts, then it will restrict. So decide for yourself whether to encourage the use of jewelry; whether to limit its use or prohibit it altogether. I wear a necklace 24/7 of a dragon holding a pentagram in its wings. My husband is making me a wide bracelet with my deities’ names with symbols and a headband I plan on using for ritual use only.

Emblems or Insignia:
Many covens design their own individual emblems or insignia, which they use on notepaper and put on flags and banners for Craft festivals. I've created two versions for my coven with a pentacle and Holly.

Info from:
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland
Wicca: A guide for the solitary practitioner by Scott Cunningham
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca Craft by Miria Liguana and Nina Metzner

Monday, June 13, 2016

So you want to do a spell?



So you want to do a spell? First you need to understand what magick is. Magick is the movement of natural energies (such as personal power) to create needed change. Energy exists within all things-ourselves, plants, stones, colors, sounds, movements. Magick is the process of rousing or building up this energy, giving it purpose, and releasing it. Magick is a natural, not supernatural, practice, though it is little understood. A spell is a magickal ritual, usually nonreligious in nature and often accompanied by spoken words.

There are different ways to do a spell. You can use candles, runes, herbs or stones. What matters is intent. The moon phases are important to the proper working of magick. The two main phases are as follows: the time from the New Moon, through the First Quarter, to the Full Moon, through the Last Quarter, to the New is known as the Waning Moon. When the moon is growing in size, it is waxing; when it is decreasing in size, it is waning.

Basically, constructive magick (for growth) is done during the waxing cycle and magick for destruction is done during the waning cycle. Constructive magick would include love, success, protection, health, fertility, luck. Destructive magick would include binding spells, separation, elimination, extermination.

The second basic of magick is feeling. You must want whatever you are working at to really happen. You must want it with all your being. You must put infinite particle of power into that desire, and that urge for the act to come to pass. For this reason it is usually far more effective to do magick for yourself than do it on someone else’s behalf. It is seldom that another person can feel as intensely about something as the one directly concerned. This strong “feeling” is in effect the raised “power” used in magick. As a aid, a booster to your power there can be used as a number of amplifiers.  One of these is chant and the other is rhyme. The rhythmic chanting of a spell, with a solid, regular beat can do much to intensify your feeling and, thereby, increase your power.

Whenever doing magick, always consider the Wiccan Rede. Will your action harm anyone? If the answer is “Yes…” do not do it. Some sources state magick should be a first resort to a problem, others state magick should be a last resort.  Personally, I use spells as a last resort to a problem. I don’t use spells often because from my experiences the situation is resolved before I resort to using spells. Its not the timing is off, I simply choose to wait it out.

Writing your own spell is far more powerful than using someone else’s spell. Figure out the goal or intent of the spell. Are you looking for prosperity? Hoping to get a better job? What is the specific aim of the spell? Whatever it may be, make sure you're clear on what it is you want- “ I will get that promotion at work!”

Determine what material components you'll need to achieve the goal. Will the spell require herbs, candles, stones, runes? I use Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham for herb and candle color correspondents. If I use pepper or a kitchen spice, I would find its correspondents in Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca in the kitchen by Scott Cunningham. If I’m using runes, I use the Futhark runes in Norse Magic by D.J. Conway. If I’m working with a certain deity for a spell, I will look for the day, attributes and offerings in the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses by Judika Illes.

Moon phase is crucial in most traditions. Remember positive or constructive magick is done during the waning phase. Negative or destructive magick is done during the waxing phase. Some spells are done on certain day of the week or hour of the day. You do not have to feel obligated to be right down to every detail.

Figure out what wording or incantation-if any- will be verbalized during the spell. Are you going to chant something formal and powerful, calling upon the gods for assistance? Or is it the sort of spell where you simply ponder the Universe in silence?

Put all of the above together into a workable form and then perform the spell. If a spell hasn't begun to manifest within a few weeks-some traditions within 28 days, a lunar month- you may want to stop and revise the spell. Figure out what variables may need to be changed.

Remember magick is a tool and a skill set, but some common sense should prevail as well. You can cast a spell all day to get your self a job, but your chances of success are greatly reduced if you haven’t sent out copies of your resume.

You can ask a mentor or a Pagan/Wiccan practitioner to help you with magick but they are simply not going to spoon feed you all the information. They will however point you in the direction to find the answers and do the research yourself. Everyone has their own path and methods of doing magick. This is one of the reasons we don’t proselytize. It’s none of our business to pry into your personal life. Only seekers come to us when they are ready to learn and develop their own path that fits them personally. Unlike organized religion, you follow blindly on what you are told. By choosing your own path, you are a free spirit to decide what fits you.  

Information from:
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland.
http://paganwiccan.about.com/


Monday, June 6, 2016

Sneak Peek of the Website



A sneek peek of the Lavender Luna’s Cauldron website I'm working on. Lots of work to do. Recommend books, articles, Book of Shadows, shop and etc.  


35+ pages in progress. Open to everyone. 

Members only access to the Book of Shadows.  

Follow me on Instagram.

Follow us on Facebook.