Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ritual Order and Ferrous Metals

We are often confused when we participate in someone else's ritual at a festival. Many people seem to have little idea about what they're doing, when, and why. When participants set out to begin a ritual, we should come to it with some sense of excitement; and that excitement can be enhanced in many ways: dancing, drumming, chanting, you name it. After the first phase, then, there has to be a release of the energy that has been raised. This is the time to do your magical work, which currently often consists of a healing or an attempt to change the path of history so that things get better. Alternatively, a very simple release of the energy is to send it into the ether or the earth : this is often called grounding. Grounding may not bring everyone down, so in a Frost ritual it is usually arranged that an orgasm occurs (in private outside the circle itself). When we come back into circle, we're relaxed. It is the obvious time for deep meditation. For some, this also involves astral travel; thus competent leaders will often arrange a talkout that helps facilitate detachment from the physical body. After this, some prayers of gratitude are in order. They are usually quite simple. The ritual closes with thanks to the elder ones. In summary: 1. Get ‘up' through excitement 2. Do ‘magic' 3. Ground 4. Meditate or astral travel 5. Close The order of the ritual is very important: the sequence in which the steps we name are performed. The excitement at the beginning is mastered and used for what are termed magical purposes. This brings the participants down so that they can meditate and (if they wish) escape the body. There are literally thousands of ways of completing such a ritual as this, but the order--the sequence of using the original excitement and then a complete grounding followed by deep meditation--should not be violated. While I'm on this rant, a word about athames and swords and ferrous metals: A young man of our acquaintance is actively looking for a spiritual path, investigating Wicca on his way to a commitment. On his quest he is reading very widely indeed. He informs us that many books now available talk positively about black-handled athames with blades of ferrous metal (metal responsive to a magnet). When I heard his statement, my insides shrank and a silent shriek convulsed me. Black-handled??! Magnetic??! Oh, my Goddess, why do I try? Over 2,000 years ago Julius Caesar reported from northern Europe: Before a ritual the Druids collect all ferrous metals and weapons in the village or town and remove them from the area. When Gavin worked with a Cornish coven, he found that they followed the same ancient rule, in discussion with Sybil Leek and her mother, he learned that in their experience the same rule applied; that the only exception was surgical tools. If a worker of hoodoos wants to do a magical or sorcery circle; wants to wear a robe of fabric printed with stars, comets, planets, and all manner of whiz-bangs; a robe of which the pointy sleeves touch the floor when he extends his arms; wants to summon spirits (oh gasp) from inside his black-draped chamber of horrors; wants to occasion sulfurous smells and blue balls of fire ... well, you get the picture. If such a worker wants to deal with spirits that probably have negative intent on their agenda, such a worker is welcome to do just that--and to face the consequences. But. If a group of people want to meet in a spirit of reverence and gratitude, want to reach upward toward the realms of the Guides and Elder Ones while the group opens in a spirit of reverence and gratitude to the information they may receive, they will ensure (a) that no magnetic material is within their circle; (b) that their athames have handles formed of natural wood, (c) that ideally the wood of the casting wand comes from a tree that was once struck by lightning; (d) that--if they cannot be skyclad--their robes are made of all natural fabric without synthetics, cut to an utterly simple pattern not to impress the hoodoo entities but to provide covering and warmth. Have I stated this thought clearly enough so that it cannot be mistaken? I encourage the visitors to this Site to examine their practices while they thoughtfully recall the Law of Attraction. Actions have consequences; not every discarnate entity has benign intent. Once you open that door, whether in a circle or through a ouija board or by some other means, shutting it may not be easy. Blessed be those who seek. Yvonne

Monday, June 8, 2015

Baboon Behavior

During the rutting season, males of all advanced species fight for the right to mate with the females. The males who win the rut win the females. In humans such behavior seems to be a year-round phenomenon. It's not only the right to mate, of course, but the right to be the boss too. However, studies in baboon troops show that some of the smarter, trickier baboon males mate more often than the alpha male does. This pattern shows that occasionally intelligence wins out over brawn, at least in baboons. Incredulous? See the work on baboon troops of Robert Sapolsky; then compare those patterns with human leaders of solar-deity cults. Nowadays with the rise of female power, rutting behavior seems to have become partially transferred to the females. We're finding that, given the chance at dominant positions, females can be just as ruthless as males in gaining their goals. The question is: What can be done to ameliorate these dominant behaviors and substitute instead intelligent behaviors? The answer seems to be: very little. Politicians will continue to volunteer us to go to war--from behind their comfortable polished desks--so that this nation can re-make other countries in our image and can get them under our control. It doesn't matter whether they want to be under our control or want to change; the man with power will exercise it. In Wicca we deliberately try to level that playing field, refusing to cede leadership positions gained through brutality and strength. Instead our leaders have to exhibit intelligence and compassion: not only for other people, but also for the earth on which we live.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Make love not war

The question is: Why are young people leaving the US (or more often, European countries) and going to support ISIS? When it's boys, perhaps their instinct to fight anything and anyone, especially authority, is the root cause. How do we convince them that when they get into a Muslim terrorist army, the rules are going to be much stricter, more rigid, and enforced at the point of a gun? The more juveniles are encouraged to play what we have to call thumb games of a violent, destructive nature, the more their wish to fight is enhanced. We need somehow to give boys and young men outlets for their naturally aggressive instincts. The aggression continues, of course, until they discover that most women will not put up with it. And with the first good sexual experiences, the aggression tends to evaporate--that is, until they're placed in some situation of competing for the local arm-candy/bimbo(s). So as we see it, it's up to the young ladies to calm the aggressive behavior of their beaux and show them how much better it is to stay home and make love ... The realistic question each family has to answer for itself is: When should our children be taught how to enjoy sex? The advice given to young people is, "Don't do it. It's a sin. You'll go blind or go crazy ..." unless you are signed off by the local, priest, minister, or magistrate to a life sentence of monogamy, with all that Research undone, to remain the stuff of (wet) dreams. Why such authoritarian approval makes the difference is beyond our comprehension. Who stands to gain? Cui bono? Hmm. Yet it's the rules of the game as we know it in the western world. You parents, telling your children that sex before marriage is off limits, consider: Would you rather they stay at home and do the forbidden in the comfort and security of their own bedroom, or would you prefer they go out into the wilds of Syria or Iraq or perhaps even darkest Africa--and become who knows what? The situation with young girls leaving to become Muslim trophy concubines or sex slaves or wives is in many ways more interesting--and more troubling. Many such young women set out from what have come to be called broken homes, where there is at best a succession of father figures whom they can or cannot talk to, and a mother who is doing exactly what she tells her daughter is forbidden. The first way out of this mess is obviously that sex education must be improved and rules must be modified so that the young ladies can get a natural release of their hormonal tension--a natural release of their natural drives--a release that harms no one. In the real world, denial is not a river in Egypt, nor is the clitoris an island off the coast of Greece. It is real and it is present, even if not quite so obvious as a young erect penis. Mother Nature has a plan to increase the race--a plan that the human race and the planet can no longer afford to honor. Contraception is not that difficult. Marriage performed by an Abrahamic church supposedly joins two people both spiritually and mundanely for life. Marriage by the local county clerk is only a mundane f---ing license: not a spiritual joining, but only a gesture to satisfy the legal profession and to protect property. In the Church of Wicca we distinguish between the physical and the spiritual. We think in terms of two ceremonies: (a) a f---ing license from the civil authorities and (b) a spiritual ceremony that we call a handfasting. In neither case do we inquire into the spiritual gender of the participants. After all, if it harm none ...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Science and God-ess

There is much confusion in thinking and talking about "God/ess"--that is, god-or-goddess, meaning a deity of all/any/indeterminate gender. Here today, then, we propose a simplistic but powerful view that (we hope) helps you understand what a god or goddess really is. Imagine a time past, so long ago that there is no record. Imagine a small group of people worshipping--that is, putting energy into--a tribal god. Fairly soon that energy nexus would contain sufficient power to make some small thing happen (gasp). It could be something as simple as turning water into wine ... or it might be that prankster god Coincidence, or defeating the next tribe along the creek. Immediately, then, the whole tribe begins to worship--that is, put energy into--their specific god. They might even name it: maybe Juju or Joshua or Shiva. Pretty soon you have a huge store of psychic energy contained in the juju. The more people worship the juju, the more energy is collected under the chosen name. Other tribes in other areas are doing the same thing. Pretty soon you have many stores of energy with many different names. If we think of such stores as positive, then we can also think of them as potentially negative. As word of the new procedure gets around, some people store hate, as contrasted with love. These become the negative stores. When people tap into the energy, whether positive or negative, many different things--"miracles"--can happen. People can absorb so much of the energy that they become "possessed" ... and therefore not responsible for the acts performed by their possessed physical being. Thus you have the phenomenon of drawing down the god/ess into a person. All you're doing is getting a charge as if you had received an electric shock--and indeed many of the after-effects of drawing energy down (when it works properly) are very similar to the effects reported with electrotherapy or shock treatment. So let's stop the BS. Let's understand that, stripped of the gasping, gods and goddesses are nothing more than energy. Now certain sects will also tell you that they can form elementals. Elementals are small energy stores. There is no difference except in size; or you might think of it as in voltage potential. "But we have to control elementals!" they pant. Yes, but because the energy stores are small, you can control them. But can you control an energy store that has been formed over centuries and regard it as a god/ess? You probably don't have enough energy to do that, although some of the medieval magicians tried very hard to. As the stored energy is used for more and more earthplane tasks such as healing, so the energy store is depleted. Imagine a battery. You use it to light lights or to run an engine, and it loses its power unless it is continually recharged. The gods are just the same. We have found recently that the energy store popularly called "Jesus" is much depleted. It behooves you to use a different god/ess in your healings, maybe even one that you and your group have constructed. There are many well-known ways to put energy into a god/ess form. Chief among them seems be loving sexual relationships. Okay, guys and gals. So this is a different way of thinking about gods, goddesses, and elementals. We have applied it for many years and have found that it explains "psychic" phenomena. The god/esses we discuss here are not a juju-on-a-stick. The god/esses we discuss here ae not a juju-on-a-stick. They are real and can be harmful when used improperly. This, by the way, is not a new idea. It has been extended to explain "dark" energy. Seventy percent of the energy in the universe is the so-called "dark" type, the astrophysicists tell us. Then it follows that it expands; because every living entity contributes its bit of spiritual energy to the system and the multiverse will continue to expand. A suggestion from Yvonne: When you tell your Guide daily of your gratitude, mention gratitude for the level of understanding we're beginning to attain. I find that gratitude and humility are not bad habits to practice. Just a personal observation ... Blessed be.

Monday, April 6, 2015

On The Road

We're on the road again. Our engagement is in Springfield MO on April 11 at Phantasmagoria, 1950 S. Glenstone (Tower Shopping Center) between 5 and 9 p.m. There will be dancers, drummers, chanters, guest speakers, and perhaps even a movie. There will be a panel discussion on what's going on in the world and what we can do about it. This is a free event, though donations are very acceptable. Our thanks to the Greenleaf Coven Church of Wicca for arranging the event. We're certainly looking forward to seeing long-time friends and to meeting new fellow-Wiccans. Blessed be each one who seeks. GY

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Resurectiom or Reincarnation

Many years ago--more than forty now--we had a gathering in Durham NC, where we invited the Bishop of Durham to speak. In the Q&A period someone asked him about reincarnation and resurrection and about Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians seeming to give a view of resurrection diametrically opposed to that reported in the gospels as given by Jesus. Only many years later did I look up the references to the two topics. I found that the Bible seemed to be saying two different--opposite--things. In Corinthians it is obvious that Paul is trying to substantiate a belief based on the total regeneration of the physical body. In fact he said "...[H]ow can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there be no resurrection, then Christ was not raised; and if Christ was not raised, then our gospel is null and void, and so is your faith. But the truth is, Christ was raised to life--the firstfruits of the harvest of the dead. For since it was a man who brought death into the world, a man also brought resurrection of the dead." [I Cor XV:13-15] * In Matthew's version of the gospel, we find Jesus answering a question about resurrection: ‘Master, Moses said, "If a man should die childless, his brother shall marry the widow and carry on his brother's family." Now we knew of seven brothers. The first married and died, and as he was without issue his wife was left to his brother. The same thing happened with the second, and the third, and so on with all seven. Last of all the woman died. At the resurrection, then, whose wife will she be, for they had all married her?' Jesus answered, ‘You are mistaken, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. At the resurrection men and women do not marry; they are like angels in heaven.' [Matthew XXII:24] * When thinking about reincarnation, we think about spiritual resurrection, though we are told the spirit actually proceeds to inhabit a new and different body. It seems to us that if the Christians would take the next step in the teachings attributed to Jesus (that is, that angelic spirits can now come to earth), Christianity would align itself with all the major eastern religions--and it could have no argument with Wicca. This begs the question, though, of actual raising of the "dead". The miracles of Jesus come to us purely as hearsay. There is no hard evidence. Surely it's not possible that a group of people trying to establish themselves as a new religion would actually fake it? The question of Lazarus is somewhat different: Supposedly there were many witnesses. We also have the myth of Sir Lancelot del Oc reanimating a knight whom he had just killed: a myth based on a myth. * All quotes from The New English Bible Oxford University Press 1970

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Soul Retrieval

You probably recognize that your spirit (some call it soul) is separate from your physical body. When you leave your physical body and go out into the astral planes, the physical part is left idling while the soul travels. I use the word soul because our friends in the First Nations tend to use it instead of spirit; spirit is usually reserved for the Great Spirit (otherwise Manitou). It is a strong belief among many groups that the soul can be split into many parts and that, whether you realize it or not, you may leave such parts at distant places or with people you love. You are still connected to such parts with what has come to be called an aka thread. "Or ever the silver cord be loosed or the golden bowl be broken ..." and so on in old poetry. So did you ever think that your soul could be split into several pieces--that you could give away, as it were, fragments of yourself and still limp along? Often human beings may leave behind or give away parts of their soul, perhaps to a former lover or to a deceased relative. Soul retrieval is one name for the experience in which you may get back that fragment and become whole again. The underlying idea here is that your soul is divisible, and that when you fall deeply in love with someone you give away part of your soul to that person--and you probably receive part of their soul in return. Many of you have had such an exchange. So what happens if the relationship ends? "Oh, when s)he left, I felt as if part of myself went with them!" It's the stuff, all too familiar, of unnumbered love stories and torch songs, non? --that feeling of loss associated with any major separation, whether it be by death, divorce, military events, or even when a child goes to college. You feel as though there's a hole in your life. Such a hole is the missing part of your soul that has remained with the Other. When you meditate on the over-all situation and on the idea of becoming whole again, you can get over that feeling of loss in a more rapid, more wholesome way. Our friends of the First Nations say a thread remains, that joins you to any part of your soul that you have left somewhere, and that in meditation you can follow the thread and find the piece of your soul that is missing--and can bring the fragment back with you to become whole again. This is a straightforward approach to what a psychologist or counselor works toward with you in grief counseling ... though it does not happen in a single sitting, goodness knows. In meditation you can grief-counsel yourself (thinking of your loss in terms of a piece of your soul that is temporarily lost or absent). We have had experiences with work such as this. One which was truly amazing was with a young woman who had been comatose for six weeks. With the aid of a shaman we communicated with her astrally as she lay in her comatose state and told her to follow the spirit thread leading to the place where she had left her soul. It turned out that she had been driving late at night with a carload of her young friends, that she had missed a curve and had run head-on into a tree. A very good friend had been killed. She blamed herself for the accident, so deeply indeed that her soul had remained at the scene though her body had been carried to hospital. In less than 15 minutes the shaman had helped her release her self-blame and had talked her out of her comatose state, by leading her soul to rejoin its body. She became whole again. When you lose someone, you need to think in terms of becoming whole again. Dwelling on what you have lost and weeping over old mementoes and such things doesn't hack it. You have to take a pro-active approach and determine that you will get all pieces of your soul back and go on with a full life. Indeed, the most wholesome step to take is to purge your dwelling of any and all traces of the departed one: all photos, artifacts, old garments and possessions ... when you can bear to do so, get rid of it all. I, Yvonne, promise you this: Your tears are the first sign that your healing has begun. Blessed be.