Hexes and Curses

A woman makes a cursing ritual ceremony

Cursing ritual ceremony (Photo: Wikipedia)

Now I know that Wiccans don’t curse and hex because it’s against the Rede, but what about witches that don’t call themselves Wiccans. I know this might be a stupid question, but I would love to know. I would also like to know what your opinion is about those that do hex and curse, who are not Wiccan. And what if their Wiccan and they do hex and curse?

Workshop Crowdsourcing: Being Pagan with a Chronic Illness

Southern Maine Pride 2010

Southern Maine Pride 2010 (Photo credit: Sam T (samm4mrox))

So, I volunteered to do a workshop at the Southern Maine Pagan Pride day, and threw out a bunch of topics, and one of the ones they leapt on was about being Pagan and living with chronic illness.

But because my experience of same is typical in some ways and very atypical in others, I definitely want to crowdsource my planning. What would you be interested in hearing in this kind of workshop? (I suspect the majority of the people there will be solitary practitioners, and one of the larger

issues in the state is that it can be a long way to go do anything not in your immediate area.)

I don’t expect to quote anyone directly: it is possible I may end up saying “As I was planning this, someone mentioned X” in passing. (If that’s a problem, please let me know so I can avoid it.) I default to not talking about stuff in individual conversation unless I know that someone has discussed that bit openly on the public ‘net in the past.

Things I’m already planning to talk about (but would love more comment about)

– Energy work and how both illness and medication can affect how it feels for us, what’s easy or hard for us, etc.

– Small daily or occasional practices that we can set up when we feel better, but remind us when we feel worse (I plan to definitely talk about painting my toenails, playlists, and wearing specific jewelry, but I’d love lots of other examples.)

– Ways to stay connected with other Pagans that do not require substantial exertion or driving (my current issue, in part.)

– Dealing with some aspects of group interaction/practice (I don’t intend to go hugely into this one, but more a “Here’s stuff to bring up early” and “here’s ways to frame it” and “here’s ways to deal with stuff like food restrictions in ritual in a way that’s likely to not cause too much fuss”)

(Probably with a brief sidebar on “small groups are not going to automatically do every accessible thing ever all the time: some of them just cost too much money and time if no one actually needs them. However, if you do need them, here’s stuff that might be readily possible, and things that event planners/etc. can consider doing/you can consider asking for.)

– A more philosophical bit about living to the edges of your space, even if you have changing edges to your space, and about not artificially restricting yourself, at the same time you need to moderate so you don’t do stupid things to your body you didn’t mean to.

Black Energy?

English: Energy Arc, central electrode of a Pl...

Energy Arc (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been wondering about black energy. My friends around my area who practice energy work have tried to use black energy and found it to be very uncomfortable, and almost damaging at times. I’ve been able to safely use it from early on and was wondering if its possible for the body to adjust to ‘negative’ energies or if black energy may not be a negative energy at all, or if I might be naturally grounded against it? I think it could be helpful to get a new perspective, because if I can I wan’t to teach them how to safely manage black energy.

What are your Bible Equivalents?

Books

Books (Photo credit: henry…)

Every time I move, I have a few books that I stuff into my backpack and bring with me, along with the most important of my currently active notebooks. When my backpack is packed it’s the last thing to leave the place except for the cleaning supplies — and it stays with me no matter what.

The books I put in it are the equivalent of the Christian Bible for me. Around the time that I put them together, I always wonder what other people’s are.

They can be books that you just really, really like a lot, I guess. But what I mean are what books are meaningful for you, or say something profound to you about the way to live life? Or have a spiritual message that applies to you, even if they aren’t necessarily spiritual in nature? They can be pagan books or not, or fiction, nonfiction, poetry, whatever.

Mine are:

Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach (this one was the first book I made sure I always had with me)

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite (Billy Martin)

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo (this is the latest one to make the grade for me — it’s been with the others for about the past five or six years)

There are a few others: The collected Poe, Millay, and Yeats. Best Loved Poems of the American People. The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, and The Awakening by Kate Chopin. But they aren’t in my absolute, last to leave group.

I hope this makes sense, I’m really tired but having an insomnia fit.

So what about you?

Egalitarian Magical Organizations?

Eliphas Levi's Pentagram, figure of the microc...

Eliphas Levi’s Pentagram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I follow a non-hierarchical magical path and have a group of friends with whom I work on an egalitarian basis (there is no formal coven or other group structure, and we take turns in first-among-equals roles in order to share our knowledge with each other).

Does anyone know of an organization that practices egalitarian magic? Thanks in advance for your input.

Funerals and Burial

Garnisons Kirke (Garrison Church), Copenhagen,...

Headstone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do your religious beliefs affect how you would ideally like to be buried? Does your religion have an already existing set of funerary practices? If so, do you plan to follow them? If you’re a recon: how would you adapt ancient funerary procedures that aren’t viable in the modern world? Do you ever worry that, even if you set out your wishes in writing, non-pagan family and friends will ignore them and carry out your funeral according to their religion? Or do you view funerals as primarily for the benefit of the bereaved anyway?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how you could adapt Kemetic burials for the modern world. You can hardly state in your will that you want to be mummified, and modern embalming isn’t really the same thing, but I don’t think it actually matters that much. I have however been thinking about requesting to be buried with an amulet, probably the Eye of Heru.

Magic In Ancient Greece

Parthenon from west

Parthenon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, I read in A Handbook To Life In Ancient Greece that the Classical Hellenic period there were no magicians. Now what I would like to know is what was the view of the Hellenists about magic, witchcraft, stuff like that? I read that it wasn’t considered okay to practice witchcraft. So what is your take on this?

Making Tarot Cards

Tarot cards.

Tarot cards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people make their own runes. Makes sense, since you get much more of a connection with something you made yourself as opposed to something mass-produced you purchased. I’m quite sure the act and spent time creating something adds a lot to its spiritual value, so to say.

So I want to make my own tarot deck as well. Partly because I just cannot afford it, partly because I don’t even trust store-sold decks. What connection do I have to it? None. I would feel much more comfortable with my own cards made from scratch.

I’ve got the bases made, 78 cards, a quite comfortable size; I painted their backsides all the same colour and cut round the corners, etc. Now I am at the fun part – designing.

I have no problems with drawing, it’s something I do a lot. The thing is – all guides to understanding and reading tarot cards are very directly related to the scenes pictured on each card. Most minuscule of the details all seem to be of utmost importance. Am I supposed to just look at a classical deck and redraw all the 78 scenes exactly? I would much prefer using my own symbols and style while still reflecting the message each card is meant to carry. Would this mess the reading up a lot? How important is it really to adhere to all of the symbolic nuances?

Believing in Multiple Gods/Goddesses?

English: Egyptian gods and goddesses. These st...

Egyptian gods and goddesses. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m just kind of going off of what I read on various sites over the internet…so bear with me. From my understanding, Pagans generally believe in multiple gods/goddesses (which is called polytheism, right?), but they don’t HAVE to… correct?

Are there certain paths of Paganism (is that the word?) that usually only believe in one god/goddess/other entity or being?

Are there certain paths that don’t believe in any gods/goddesses/other related?

Sorry… I know next to nothing about Pagan beliefs, so I’m just trying to sort it out little by little.