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Ye Harm None – A Poem

Wicca

Ye Harm None

Vindictive girl, she thought she would

cast magic spells for no good.

From her evil, neither far nor wide,

her adversaries could not hide.

Poor child, naïve to think it wise

to use her tricks on those despised.

These crucial words, that she had shun

Bide the Wiccan Law and Ye Harm None.

© Susan Barton 2013

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Praying In Church And Other Bizarre And Evil Behaviors.

I was watching a show on A&E the other night. It’s a show I usually enjoy watching called A Haunting or something similar (the exact name escapes me). Each episode features a “haunting” involving a family plagued by unknown spirits. Some spirits are benign and friendly and some are evil and threatening. It’s usually interesting and somewhat educational and I’ve always found it to be open-minded and informational. But, this particular episode surrounded a single mother and her son who were being visited by evil, demonic forces and the devastating ways their lives had been affected. The ensuing story was ridiculous and laughable.

The story was told in flashbacks because it had supposedly occurred in the 1960’s. According to the re-enactment, the woman had “always” been interested and somewhat obsessed with the Occult, Wicca and Witchcraft, much to the dismay of her husband at the time (apparently her interest in the occult had precipitated their eventual divorce). She read “Witchy” books and (gasp) set up an Altar. Her son was mortified with her evil behavior and eventually the two had become estranged. Suddenly, evil beings began visiting this poor, misguided heathen and her life became out of control. By this time her son had left for college and was quite relieved to be free of his devil-worshipping mother. In fact, during a rare visit he was forced to take down a picture of the devil his mother had hung over his bed. His mother was now dressing in all black and even wore a pentagram necklace. What was a good Christian son to do? And so on the story went in the same idiotic way. Eventually, the woman saw the error of her ways. Mother and son blessed the house, said a few prayers and all was well with the world again.

The whole story left me shaking my head and wondering if it had been written by Jerry Falwell. Had I stumbled upon an episode of the 700 Club by mistake? The entire episode was ridiculous. Wicca is a real and recognized religion. There are millions of practicing Wiccans all over the world. There is absolutely no devil worship involved. Wiccans don’t even believe in heaven, hell or the devil. The devil is a Christian myth and nothing more.

Now, I ask you this: Is there a difference between setting up an Altar in one’s home to meditate and going to a building, kneeling, placing hands together, looking skyward and saying prayers? Why isn’t sitting, standing and kneeling several times in one hour considered odd behavior? How about kneeling at a church altar and lighting candles to pray for guidance and healing? What about partaking in wine (juice) and wafers as a way to show reverence to a deity? No one shakes their head and questions these behaviors. No one thinks there are evil consequences to prayer and candle lighting ceremonies. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these things. Prayers are answered. “Miracles” do happen.

There is no difference between Wicca and Christianity except that they are different ways to obtain the same results. Misinformed television shows and movies only serve to perpetuate the ignorance and intolerance of the Wiccan religion. I know stories like these sell tickets and commercialized products, but come on people, enough with the “you’ll go to hell if you practice Wicca and Witchcraft”. Freedom and tolerance of religion means freedom and tolerance of ALL religions. Stop giving Wicca a bad rap. 

The Truth About Love Spells

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Love spells, love spells, love spells. Do a search on Google or Yahoo and you’ll come up with an overabundance of spells for love. Once again, I caution anyone thinking of performing a love spell directed towards a specific person, because it involves the manipulation of someone else’s will. Manipulative spells are unethical and violate the Wiccan Rede. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Karma can be a bitch and it will come back to bite you in the butt.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a spell to bring love into your life, a spell that attempts to make a specific person fall in love with you is definitely wrong. Remember the threefold rule: Everything you do, whether good or bad, will come back on you threefold. Three times as good or three times as bad. You wouldn’t want someone manipulating your right to free will, so don’t do it to someone else.

Some very simple ways to bring love into your life are hanging a rose quartz on the wall above your bed, placing pink or red candles on your nightstand and light them at night before going to sleep, placing several new, shiny pennies under your entry floormat or front porch or plant tulips inside or outside your home. Scott Cunningham has written some excellent books discussing natural ways to bring love and much more into your life and home.

Yes, Alternative Medicine Works No Matter What the Medical Community Says…

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I got drawn into an extremely heated debate when I commented on a recent post. I had the audacity to defend my belief that alternative medicines are effective and really do work. Well…you would have thought I ran over someone’s cat. It actually escalated to personal attacks on my intelligence. Hmmm…perhaps I hit a nerve. Apparently one is not allowed to express one’s own opinion if it differs from either the blogger or those who comment on the post. Those of us who practice Wicca, folk magick, etc. (and I know there are many of you because I can tell from the response to my own posts) should take exception to the remarks that alternative medicines do not work. Clicking on the link below will help you have a better understanding of the benefits of holistic/alternative medicines. This website is extremely informative with regards to holistic/homeopathic and “alternative” medicines and healings. A wonderful woman maintains the site and I’m sure you’ll find her information helpful and invaluable when exploring your path to enlightenment! 

***Please note: As you can see from this post, I am in no way continuing my debate on whether alternative medicine is effective, legitimate or “woo-woo”. I am simply giving my FEELINGS with regards to the responses I rec’d on the other post. MY FEELINGS ARE JUST THAT. My post is simply meant to direct people to an alternate point of view on alternative medicine: i.e. sacredearth.com. Please don’t send me argumentative comments because I won’t even bother to answer them. I have my OWN OPINIONS on the subject. If you have your own opinions write your own post. This post is not an attempt to continue a debate.

http://www.sacredearth.com

Spell Casting and The Book of Shadows.

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It’s interesting to me that many younger people, particularly females, are coming to Wicca with only the “spell” aspect in mind. There is so much more to Wicca than spell casting. The practitioner must know what she’s doing because energy is a very powerful force and it’s unwise to use it foolishly.

The concept of spell casting is no mystery. Many religions advocate prayer to bring upon blessings. Young girls make colorful string bracelets as symbols of friendship, with hopes that it will forge a stronger bond. Wishing upon a star is a perfectly acceptable way to bring luck and love into our lives. The truth is there is energy all around us.  Spells  are the words that are spoken, but the energy is what sends the spell out into the universe. The power of the spell is within the magician or witch, who builds up the energy and lets it go at the precise time so it can perform its intended purpose.

Spells are not necessarily found in ancient books or any store-bought book. The most effective spells are those written personally by the spell caster. And if the spell is rythmical then all the better. Many solitary Witches and Witch Covens have what are called a Book of Shadows. A solitary Witch is a Witch who practices the craft alone and a coven is a group of Witches, usually limited to 13 members. This is a book that is written and added to on an ongoing basis by either the Coven or the Solitary. It’s not a mysterious writing, but a place to record all of your magical work. It is not a place to put thoughts and feelings because these things are more suitable for a journal. Your Book of Shadows is your own personal reference book for your unique path as a Witch.  Books of Shadows are almost never shared or loaned out. They are, however often written with the intention of handing them down at some point to the next generation. Which is another reason to leave out personal thoughts and feelings. A good Book of Shadows contains the moon phases and which spells work better at which phase, information on the Sabbats (the eight seasonal holy days corresponding to former pagan seasonal festivals), information on The God and The Goddess, Magical recipes, meditations and a copy of The Wiccan Rede. As your experience grows so will your Book of Shadows. You’ll want to record each and every spell you cast and its results. It would be disheartening if you’ve cast a successful spell and have forgotten the ingredients you’ve used because you didn’t write it down. A Book of Shadows can be a massive handmade wooden book or it can be as simple as a writing tablet. It’s all up to you. Remember you can always “trade up” later and transfer your information to another Book.

 It is true that spells work with energy and energy means power. Power is neither positive nor negative. It is the intention of the spell caster that makes a spell “good” or “evil” and that determines whether the spell will be helpful or harmful. That’s where morality comes in. Most practitioners understand and follow the Wiccan Rede (Ye Harm, Do What Ye Will) and do not perform any spells to manipulate, hurt or kill anyone. This is why love spells break this important rule. Most love spells are a form of manipulation. Casting a spell to bring love into one’s life is fine. Casting a spell to make a specific person fall in love with you is not. This would involve manipulation of another person. Casting a spell to harm an enemy is negative magic and violates Wiccan beliefs. Using negative energy and spell crafting is harmful to you, to your intended subject and, more importantly, to the Earth and all its goodness.

***This post and all others (including all new posts not published here) can be read at my brand new blog site: http://www.mylovesleftovers.com. Thanks for checking it out!

Wicca and The Devine Powers of The God and Goddess.

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Wiccans recognize the two equal but opposite divine powers of the Goddess and the God. We have more of a partnership with the God and Goddess and do not worship them as in the Christian religion. It is also common to commune with past deities, relating to perhaps Athena, Isis, Venus, Apollo, Adonis, Pan, Zues, just to name a few.

Because of the recognition of the female aspect of the Diety, Wicca is an extremely appealing religion to women. Some covens do not even invoke the God in their rituals. However, this type of “Goddess only” religion is unbalanced just as a “God only” religion is. Wicca recognizes the equality of both men and women, unlike Chrisitanity, which historically reserves positions of authority for men only. Christianity also holds men higher in society and in the family structure. A very unappealing concept for enlightened women. Wiccans recognize sexual behavior as a gift from the Goddess where as Christians view sexual behavior in a negative and restrictive way. Many Christians still believe that sex is solely for the purpose of procreation and not an act to enjoy and be comfortable with. Devout Catholics are forbidden to practice forms of birth control because of this belief.

Conservative Christians consider any form of sexual behavior that is not between opposite gender couples who are married to be an abomination of god. In other words, they preach that sex between two women or two men is sinful and immoral. Wiccans, on the other hand, accept all sexual orientations as moral and natural. Wicca as a religious practice is a much more free-thinking religion than most other religions. It is becoming one of the fastest growing religions in the country, but unfortunately, there is still so much ignorance and misinterpretation surrounding Wicca. Despite all the misinformation we are content to have our beliefs and enjoy the empowerment of it.   

The Truth About Witchcraft and Wicca

Witches have been victims of religious intolerance over the course of centuries. There is an incredible amount of ignorance when it comes to the practice of Witchcraft and Wicca. I can start by saying what Wicca is not. Wicca and Witchcraft are not satan worship. We do not perform sacrifices on babies or anyone else for that matter. We neither proselytize nor make attempts to alter a person’s mind from Christianity or any other religion. It is not a cult. We do not believe in sin, heaven or hell. We do not believe the Pentagram, a common Wiccan symbol, is evil and used to conjur up the devil.  

  So what are Wicca and Witchcraft? Witchcraft is the craft of the Witch, the craft of folk magic. Some Wiccans extend this to include the religious rituals of Wicca.  Folk Magicians rarely refer to themselves as Wiccan, but Wiccans often call themselves Witches. Wicca is a religion that is many centuries old.  Wicca is a natural based religion that is still being practiced today by thousands of people in the United States. It is rooted in a reverence for the God and the Goddess through nature. We practice a form of folk magic, believing that there is power in the Universe. This power is present in all things. It’s within humans, plants, stones, colors, shapes and sounds and it can be concentrated . It can be awakened and moved through dance and movement, through music and chanting, and through manipulation of objects and concentration and visualization. Hence the use of candles, stones and crystals, runes, colors, herbs, roots and oils,  just to name a few.

Folk Magic is used for protection, prosperity, peace, love, happiness, fidelity and employment among many other purposes. It is never used to “get even” or put “evil spells” on anyone. In fact, Wiccans live by a strict code of ethics that recognizes that every bit of energy we put out will come back on us threefold. Life is respected, Mother Earth is respected and Power is respected. We live according to The Wiccan Rede, which states “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will” ( an is not used as a substitute for and, but as an archaic use of the word if). Here is the Wiccan Rede in its entirety:

Bide the Wiccan laws ye must,
in perfect love and perfect trust.Live and let live –
fairly take and fairly give.
Cast the Circle thrice about
to keep all evil spirits out.

 

To bind the spell every time,
let the spell be spake in rhyme.

 

Soft of eye and light of touch –
speak ye little, listen much.

Deosil go by the waxing Moon –
sing and dance the Wiccan Rune.

Widdershins go when the Moon doth wane,
and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.

When the Lady’s Moon is new,
kiss the hand to Her times two.

When the Moon rides at Her peak,
then your heart’s desire seek.

Heed the North wind’s mighty gale –
lock the door and drop the sail.

When the wind comes from the South,
love will kiss thee on the mouth.

When the wind blows from the East,
expect the new and set the feast.

When the West wind blows o’er thee,
departed spirits restless be.

*Nine woods in the Cauldron go –
burn them quick and burn them slow.

Elder be ye Lady’s tree –
burn it not or cursed ye’ll be.

When the Wheel begins to turn,
let the Beltane fires burn.

When the Wheel has turned a Yule,
lighty the Log and let Pan rule.

Heed ye flower, bush and tree –
by the Lady blessed be.

Where the rippling waters go,
cast a stone and truth ye’ll know.

When ye are in dire need,
hearken not to others’ greed.

With the fool no season spend,
or be counted as his friend.

Merry meet and merry part –
bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

When misfortune is enow,
wear the blue star on thy brow.

True in love ever be,
unless thy lover’s false to thee.

Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill –
an ye harm none, do what ye will.