First Spell?

What was the first spell you did?

When I was in high school I found a reference book in our high school library on Witchcraft – this was in the mid 80s. I was extremely curious even though I was a very active Christian at the time. I read through it and found a dream spell.

The spell was to dream about the person you were meant to be with, your soul mate sort of thing. You put a glass of water half filled under your bed – under where you’re pillow would be – with a piece of wood over it. You would dream of walking over a bridge and you would fall in and the person that pulled you out would be the person you were meant to be with. You could do the spell until it worked and then you could not do it again (and have it work again).

So, I did that. It worked fairly quickly – within a few nights. I dreamed I was walking along a river on a path. The river was on my right and the bridge was behind me. On my left was a volcano. The volcano erupted and knocked me into the river and a tall dark haired man pulled me out.

When I tried to see his face it was blurred, like something from CourtTV. I could not see his face no matter what I did. I was infuriating. But more than that, I was completely freaked out that magic was real and I never looked into any pagan again until just a couple of years ago. I did try the spell again but of course, it never worked.

Interestingly enough, the only guys I have ever dated have had dark hair. I still haven’t met ‘that’ guy though.

“Religion with homework”

I’ve heard the phrase kicked about, especially with regard to reconstructionists of any sort, that their path is “religion with homework” (meaning that they do a lot of research). As someone who is blending her own path of witchcraft and druidry (of which I am currently studying the ADF Dedicant Program), I can say that applies to me, too in many ways.

At what point can “religion with homework” become “homework with religion”? At what point should we sit down our books and “just do it”? Can research become a crutch? Can it eventually interfere with practice?

And most importantly, what should the balance be between UPG and research? I know that’s a subjective, personal question, but I hope amongst us we could come to some recommended guidelines.

I know we’ve talked about these ideas before in other threads, but I don’t know that we’ve approached them from this angle lately.

Is Lore and Myth Really Important?

Although I have read quite a few mythologies of gods from different cultures, I have an aversion to ancient mythology. I often feel uncomfortable relying on myth and ancient texts as part of my practice, mostly due to the fact that I often associate it with my birth religion, Roman Catholicism and also Abrahamic religions in general. I’m not sure I want to have any sort of mythology involved in my practice at all.

Would you say reading mythology is a big part of being Pagan? If I’m not willing to read myths or have lore as part of my practice, do you think getting involved in Paganism is a waste of time?

Herbal Reference Book?

I’m looking for a good reference book on herbs. The one I see recommended all the time is Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, but that’s also the one I see being decried all the time.

One of the biggest issues with Cunningham’s book seems to be that he doesn’t warn readers about the dangers of some herbs, especially in relation to pregnancy, medications, and stuff like that. But for someone who already knows that stuff, would it be a good book just as a reference for magic? Or is there something else you would recommend?

Ritual Attire?

I’m attending public rituals with a group and they asked us to wear attire that’s just for the rituals we do with them, something that isn’t street clothing. While there are many websites that sell clothing like this my problem is that a. I don’t have loads of cash sitting around for this and b. I’m plus sized and pregnant so getting clothing off of a website would be difficult.

So what I’m asking really is where did you get your cloths, what do you consider ritual wear, and what suggestions/advice do you have to give?

Wisteria Correspondences

I was wondering if anyone knew of any correspondences for wisteria. Living in the Southern U.S., wisteria is endemic. I’m used to the purple wisteria, but recently moved and here, they have white wisteria. I was thinking the white could be used for lunar magic/worship. They have an evocative scent and most flowers are used for love magic so I thought that might be a good correspondence. I’ve looked in Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs and the only reference is in the very back (if you own it, page 288) under properties of oils and it says wisteria is for protection. I’ve also checked the only other herbal I own, A Witch’s Guide to Herbal Enchantments, Folklore, and Divinations by Gerina Dunwich and there’s no mention of wisteria at all. Any help filling in this gap of knowledge is greatly appreciated.

Sensing and Recognizing Energy

A lot of what I’m learning about seems to first start with energy and then centering/ground/shielding/etc. It makes sense to me. I am going to throw out a definition here and hope I’m using it right, but I get animism and that everything has an energy or gives off an essence. But my hold up is…I can’t feel it. I’m of the belief that we all have the ability to sense energy but it isn’t nurtured growing up so you don’t realize that energy is around you, like when you hear a buzzing noise and eventually your body just tunes it out and you don’t hear it but it’s still there.

I have been reading and re-reading on Jenett’s website the portion about energy and how different people sense it with different senses. And I have tried the activity of rubbing my palms together and feel the resistance. But all I feel is warm palms from friction.

So here is where you lovely people come in!

Did you learn to sense energy or did you always have the ability? How do you sense it (sight, sound, touch, etc)? What types of exercises would you recommend? Can I have walls up and not realize it?

I think that meditation would play a role in this as well, just focusing on your breath and your self will allow some of those hidden skills to emerge and become less hidden. Has this been the case for you?

I feel like energy is an important factor and I’d like to practice it while I continue to learn.

Can You Help a Family in Desperate Need?

By asterbreo Dear Reader,
A friend of mine, Kelly, and her family are in desperate need. They have lost their home, thanks to some bureaucratic crap. They’re currently living out of their small pickup truck. Literally. Three people and a dog.
Imagine your family living in your car!
We’ve set up a fundraiser for Kelly’s family, to try to help get them through this unbelievably difficult time. All donations (except for the small processing fees charged by the host website and the payment processing company) go directly into an account that only Kelly can access. Alternatively, donations can be made directly through Paypal (which the fundraising site does not accept), by sending funds to williambarnes26@gmail.com. (That’s Kelly’s SO.)
They have tapped out all the public resources in their area (central Washington state) are now relying on private food banks and dumpster diving for recyclables.
The goal of $3,000 is enough to secure the truck and basic temporary housing for the next 2 months — enough time to get Kelly’s son through the rest of the school year and to give the family time to find a better solution.
This is not a scam or a random stranger on the internet. This is a …read more

Source: Liminal Lotus

Take My Week. Please!

By asterbreo April 8 – 18, 2013
(OK, that’s more than a week. I’ve got personal crap, too.)
April 8: Begin death vigil for beloved family cat, Buzz, 13 years old.
April 10: End death vigil for Buzz. Bury him in the backyard.
April 10: Beloved family cat, Lola, enters health crisis. Rush to the vet, then the emergency vet clinic. Learn that Lola’s kidneys are failing, her diabetes is no longer controlled by daily insulin shots, and she has Cushing’s disease – each of which is likely to be fatal to a 14-year-old cat.
April 11: Begin hospicing Lola.
April 15: Boston Marathon bombing. 3 killed; 180 wounded, many seriously. (Also, Tax Day. Enough said.)
April 17: Ricin found in letters sent to President Obama and Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker. (Point of interest: “Elvis” did it.) [4/23/13 UPDATE: Charges dropped against that suspect. So, Elvis didn’t do it. Not this “Elvis”, anyway.]
April 17: Senate blocks gun control measures. Unbelievable.
April 17: Huge explosion at a fertilizer plant in Waco, Texas. Current reports: 15 killed, 160 injured, lots of property damage.
April 18: U.S. citizens unite to tell …read more

Source: Liminal Lotus