Faerie Beltane Ritual 2016

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Please join me for a May Day celebration, Tues, May 3, from 3:00 to 4:00 EST.

We’ll meet in a circle of love to enjoy Spring’s return and heal Mother Earth. I’ll also lead you through a spellcasting for one of your wishes to come true.

The event is a group phone call. Free and open to all. (Your usual long-distance charges apply, and appear on your phone bill). No experience needed.

To participate, call 1-712-775-7000. When prompted, enter 1095248#. Dial three to five minutes before 3:00; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.

Mayday celebration!

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Sign up for my free newsletter—ideas, events, and other offerings: http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/InfoForm.htm

Traditional Witchcraft, Spirituality, and Ethics

FDG2016TphatCurrently, it is a prevalent opinion among Pagans that traditional witchcraft was strictly magical, lacking theology or moral aspects. While I can respect that theory, it is not congruent with my own experiences. I suspect whether traditional witchery had sacred or ethical aspects varied by locale or by family tradition.

I never argue with anybody’s experience, only their theory. Theory is ever-changing. I’d never want to invalidate anyone’s experience, including my own. I’ll share mine below.

My experiences lead to conclusions that differ from the aforementioned current popular Pagan position. I hope to add to the Pagan dialogue on the topic, and provide support for those who, like me, have an unpopular point of view.

Growing up in a family tradition, I learned magic and a mystical worldview con leche. Therefore magic and mysticism were a given, as much a part of life as the air I was breathing. In the process, a religious and ethical worldview was deeply ingrained in my cells.

Note I say “my cells,” not “my brain.” It took my entire childhood and adolescence to imbibe the tradition’s basics, because cellular lessons take time.

The understandings of the tradition were so deeply imbedded in our home life that much of the family tradition was taken for granted, not out and out spoken, but more implied and lived. This includes the theist or moral aspects.

In fact, calling it an understanding in the above paragraph is somewhat of a misnomer. It is not so much an understanding as a way of being.

In any case, a lifestyle with many of its important aspects being subtle or unspoken seems an earmark of many traditional witches I have met.

When I got older, I saw that this subtlety sometimes causes people who were viewing the family tradition from the outside to not see the tradition’s deep religious and ethical roots, only the more overt—and perhaps less core—trappings. When I participated in family traditions in Europe, I usually found deep religious and ethical roots in them.

Observers are not engaged in the family culture. They are standing outside it, watching. Only by being part of a shamanic family culture over a long period of time can one can really understand the culture. The notion that to watch something is to fully understand it is a fairly current concept of scholarship. As I said above, learning the traditional witchcraft of my family required an experiential, long term lesson.

It has become almost de rigeur to insist traditional craft never had sacred or principled aspects. This makes it important to me to write this post about my family tradition, because I feel I’m speaking up for my Gods, for my witch ancestors, and for others who feel as I do.

I do not like it when a theory ceases to be a theory and becomes a mandated belief—in other words, when someone is mouthing somebody else’s words to, consciously or not, invalidate other seekers. Unfortunately, the concept that traditional witchcraft had neither ethical nor theological base has become yet another Pagan rote declaration, usually said—or written—in an intimidating tone of I-know-better-than-you-so-whatever-you-think-is-stupid.

I can admire people who authentically believe other than I do. An informed and friendly exchange of ideas about traditional craft, spirituality, and ethics could be a lovely thing. Healthy debate is a wonderfully educational process for everyone involved. A supportive, respectful, and thoughtful exchange of ideas can do wonders.

But debate is not the same as trying to legitimize and define one’s path by invalidating someone else’s. That hurtfully invalidates a lot of newbies who already feel insecure about their belief system. This can crush a newcomer’s spirit.

Coming to our community, hoping to finally find fellowship, but instead encountering someone just as invalidating as mainstream society, can be doubly heartbreaking, because they thought they had finally entered a safe space. So they often never participate in our community again, and end up without support in their Pagan explorations.

People who need to squash others in order to validate their own power have less power than they think, and more mere bluster than they realize.

Thus, I felt impelled to write this post to support invalidated Pagans.

A last thought on traditional witches and ethics: perhaps in some cases, a lack of morality had less to do with any tradition and more to do with human nature. Some people just take anything, even that which is moral and sacred to begin with, strip it of those roots, and use it for their own selfish—or even evil—goals.

I hope this post is a useful contribution to Pagan dialogue about traditional craft.

If you want experiential lessons in traditional craft, I teach The Third Road, a tradition I channel, informed by the magic of my ancestors and my mom. (Channeling teachings is part of traditional craft.) I teach mostly via group phone calls—aka teleseminars. Here’s the link to subscribe to my newsletter, which tells you about upcoming classes: http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/InfoForm.htm

Bless you.

Equinox 2016

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Ostara Ritual 2016

Please join me for a Spring Equinox celebration, Friday, March 18, from noon to 1:00 EST.

The event is a group phone call. Free and open to all. (Your usual long-distance charges apply, and appear on your phone bill). No experience needed.

To participate, call 1-712-775-7000. When prompted, enter 1095248#. Dial three to five minutes before noon; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.

I look forward to our shared ritual renewal and joy with Spring’s beginning.

Fey Witch

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ScrollBarHI am a fey witch. Magic is my heritage and my salvation. I will not be deprived of it. I will remain ever immersed in the magic that flows through the entire cosmos.

This subtle current dances about me all day, even in my sleeping hours, empowering me and making me whole. It heals me, delights me, and celebrates me. It relieves me of my pains, doubts, and flaws. It removes obstacles.

Oppressors deny magic, lest we use its ever available power to live wild and free, with direct access to Deity and the gifts Deity bestows, independent of dour religious institutions and oppressive societal hierarchies.

But magic is real and a Goddess-given right. I would go further to say magic is a living aspect of my Goddess. No one will rob me of my Goddess and Her power. I live in magic.

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I’m sharing my above prose-poem not only for its own sake but also because it’s in the spirit of my upcoming seven-week ritual. For full info on the event, click here.

It’s impossible to explain the ritual’s style or all its benefits, because it’s oral tradition, but this poem and the graphics convey a bit of the flavor. I can’t wait to start the rite!

As always, I’m working hard in preparation, hoping to create an amazing magical experience for participants—including me. I enjoy preparing. Did you know I paint art for my event handouts sometimes? The Third Road Book of Shadows pages (aka handouts) for this event are rocking my boat. The process of painting art for them and channeling their text has plumped up my cells with happy mojo.

I believe giving life your all, like I’m giving it my all to prepare this seven-week ritual, makes life its fullest. That describes the rite: with each other’s support, and our Gods at our backs, we’ll go for broke in a wild Fey ride that magically propels us toward our dreams. So mote it be.

The above poem will be used in the seven-week ritual, and is in a handout I’ll give ritual participants. One initial motivation for this post was to display that Book of Shadows page here. I’m having such a ball creating handouts that I just had to share one online.

But, alas, alack, I couldn’t do it. The handout is too big a file for a webpage to load in less than a decade. I need a lesson on how to shrink large, detailed art files without losing too much quality.

I can show you the graphic at the top of this post, which is part of that handout’s art. And I made the little graphic at the side especially for this post. Because I love ya!

Enjoy the poem, join in the ritual, its info is here.

Magic Is Sacred

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My beloved witch,

The Goddess blesses your rituals. I wrote/painted the above picture-poem as the third and last meme in my mini-series about the sacredness and beauty of witchcraft.

The previous two memes are here and here.

(All three memes blurred a bit, because I shrunk the files so their webpages would appear quickly for you.)

I call them poems, though they could be viewed as prose. To me, they’re poems or prose-poems, both in that they are lyric and evoke magic.

I believe one of my jobs as a bard is to evoke magic. I’ve not seen that description of a bard in a historical text, but I know in my bones and past life memories that the Gods choose some bards to create ritual aka bardic poems.

My class lectures are sometimes lyric and other times straightahead prose, but on some level they are still my concept of bardic poetry.

Are you a bard who creates ritual? Or were you chosen to do bardic work other than ritual creation? We all are given such different jobs by the Faerie Queen.

I combine words with art to further the experience. Even when I first started teaching shamanism, class handouts sometimes had my calligraphy and artwork, though they were far more primitive than they are now. But I feel that extra effort added blessings.

I make memes like this not just for my site but also as Book of Shadow pages for myself and students (aka handouts). I’m fascinated with painting borders around my words to add magic for Book of Shadow pages. I even had to paint a border for the newsletter button below this post.

… Oh, if you wonder what the newsletter button has to do with Books of Shadows, bear with my following explanation, since at first it may seem to have no relation to the topic:

Ok, to me a Book of Shadows page points to your day and how you can live it magically. In the same vein, I teach oral tradition—which the written word cannot convey—and you only grasp oral tradition when you use its lessons by living magically in your day. So, in the final analysis, your day is your ultimate Book of Shadows, because it is your life that holds the most magic, not any text. Your life is the real ritual, not the words on any page.

And my newsletter is a doorway into that oral tradition, because it announces upcoming classes. So I can think of one of my newsletter buttons as the front cover to a Book of Shadows. So mote it be.

Since I view life as the ritual, it might seem contradictory that I work hard crafting my words and visually ornamenting them. But I want my pages to be really good pointers to the magic available in the world around us, so they can help me—and hopefully other people—see how to live a day magically. I believe that is why Goddess gave me gifts with words and art. Blessed be.

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Scrying on an iPad

Scrying on an iPad
Using Commonplace Items for Scrying

ScryCalS Fey Witches tend to be resourceful, using what’s on hand, instead of being uber-consumers. In that spirit, here are helpful hints for determining which everyday objects you already own are suitable for scrying, to spare you an unnecessary purchase.

As a reference point, let’s start with items commonly used for scrying:
* crystal ball, either quartz or glass
* polished obsidian ball or egg
* fire in a fireplace, fire pit, or cauldron
* large concave clock face, which has been painted black on one side: if you place the clock face so that it’s like a right-side-up bowl, it would be the bowl’s outside that is painted; then when scrying, you’re looking into the unpainted shiny surface inside the bowl.

Now that you know those traditional objects, you can search your home for something similar. Be creative and you might end up choosing—or adapting—an unexpected object.

When teaching scrying recently, I’d told people to bring scrying tools to the class and that, if they had nothing else, to bring a candle. A lit candle is certainly a traditional scrying tool.

One student had trouble scrying in her candle. A candle flame is one of the more difficult things to scry in, because the flame provides such a small point to focus on. So I asked if she had a large black bowl. Many witches fill a large black bowl with water and peer into that for divination. I do not know if that’s traditional, but it’s definitely an option.

She had no such bowl. Then I got really excited, because I remembered she has an iPad. I grabbed my iPad and looked at it. Sure enough, it was a perfect scrying surface. Take note, I did notice my iPad was grubby with my fingerprints, so would not be good for scrying without a cleaning. You want a smooth reflective surface (although there are exceptions, but that’s a whole other story not relevant to most peoples’ scrying).

TrdWtchPsbltTraditional witchcraft relies on the ever present sacred possibilities that surround us disguised as mundane objects. See what you have on hand. Look around the room and note where your eyes fall.

After suggesting the iPad, I realized—and therefore suggested to the student—she could just take a small piece of clear glass and lay it on a black piece of cloth, then scry into it. In fact, if you had a clear plate or bowl, you could do the same.

In the same vein, use an old picture frame. Paint the back of the glass black. Once the paint’s dried, put the glass back in the frame. I suggest you choose a simple frame and paint the frame black as well. My reason for that will become apparent in the following paragraphs.

Something to keep in mind when choosing or creating a scrying surface is the benefits of simplicity. Recently, I’ve seen scrying mirrors for sale with beautiful elaborate frames. I wonder if those frames might impair one’s scrying when one is first learning. My reasoning is as follows:

In my early scrying days, I placed a crystal ball on a black velvet pillow, not only to hold the ball in place but also to serve as background. Very simple. And if memory serves very traditional.

In the same vein, traditional scrying mirrors I’ve seen are frameless; if set at all, I’ve only seen them set into black velvet boxes. This speaks of a simplicity I believe is conducive to scrying. I have never seen elaborate settings or complex backgrounds in traditional scrying tools.

(I guess one could argue that ancient witches, in using what’s on hand to scry, would not turn their nose up when faced with an elaborate object. But that argument starts caving in when I realize simple things are more available. For example, in ancient times, it was easier to access a dark moonlit lake—or, at least, a dark moonlit puddle—to peer into than it was to approach an elaborate mirror protected in a fortressed palace. Often, witches would only have simpler items on hand.)

Another reason I suggest simplicity: When learning to scry, using a black bowl filled with water required I play with the surrounding light. In other words, I had to try scrying in the bowl to see if it worked better in a fairly dark room or a room with a single candle in it. I decided I needed a candle, but then had to determine its best position in terms of its reflection in the water. Or even whether I wanted it reflecting in the water. Otherwise, the water became less tenable as a scrying medium. I don’t remember what I decided, but my point is I needed utter simplicity.

In fact, I just realized my iPad is black, but some are white. I imagine white ones create a white frame around the black screen. If that’s the case, you’ll have to try it out to see if a white frame is a distraction or other problem.

Perhaps elaborate frames and backgrounds will not be a problem for you. For one thing, my preference for simplicity is based on the particular Faerie scrying modality I know, which entails a relaxed, soft focus that complex backgrounds can mess with. Perhaps there are other scrying methods that do not involve that soft focus.

Plus, my quartz crystal ball has a veil through its middle, and it does not distract me. But I’m not necessarily a good reference point, because I’ve been scrying for decades, so it would take a lot to sidetrack me. I can scry into complex objects. I’m not saying that to brag (we all have our strengths). Instead, it’s relevant to our topic:

I’ve taught a lot of people how to scry. Over the decades, students repeatedly told me scrying has been one of the hardest magics they ever attempted; overall, my students found it so difficult that a large percentage never pursued it past their assignments from me.

The context of this feedback from students is important: a good number of these trainees who could not scry well did fine with almost all other magical techniques I gave them. Even more striking is that they also tended to be comfortable using some divination form other than scrying. And even more striking is the fact that, among the students who could not scry very well were amazingly talented—and advanced!—witches who mastered far more daunting spells from me. They mastered spell after spell I gave them, and magical technique after magical technique, willing to work endlessly to become an adept.

So no point making it hard on yourself with ornate frames and backgrounds, or stones with elaborate mottled patterns, or the like, unless they happen to suit your style.

Another suggestion: different witches seem to do better scrying into different mediums. Some seem to do better in water, some in fire, some in crystal. Keep that in mind, so if one household item you try doesn’t work, it may not show a lack in you but that you chose the wrong item for your particular predisposition.

So those are some considerations when trying to choose—or adapt—something you already own for scrying.

Play around, see what works for you, and let me know how it goes. If you come up with something new, share it below so that others can use it for their own scrying.

Blessed be.
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Use Your Magic

Here’s another picture-poem I wrote/painted:

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The border I painted for a previous picture poem (check it out here) was almost the right magic for the above picture-poem. I just needed to change the background color, and rotate the frame … and I might’ve tweaked a few other things, too … I forget, because it’s been a few weeks.

I’d written both poems around the same time, and consider them part of a larger whole. So I’d wanted almost identical borders.

I worked hard on the border, so it feels satisfying to find more than one appropriate use for it.

I was striving for the look of an old Book of Shadows page, with a personal and modern twist—something that evokes traditional witchcraft, but feels like it is here with me, in the now.

My beloved Faerie witch, stay tuned for one more meme that is part of this mini-series.

(The art work blurred a bit and what-not, when I made the file smaller so the webpage would appear quickly for you.)

Remember your magic. Use your magic. Revel in your magic. Blessed be.

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Upcoming Event

Full-Tilt Magic:
A Go-All-the-Way Unfettered Ritual
to Live Free and Consummately

FullTlt1To explain the upcoming ritual, I need to start by sharing a personal vision of what I’m working toward in my own life:

I want to go the whole way, the last 9 yards—full happiness and prosperity, while of maximum service and burning off the last of my karma. I don’t want another incarnation.

I will go all the way to touchdown, at peace like a wolf howling at the moon or wrestling with its cubs.

I am a fey witch. I choose to be free. I do not bow to anyone’s opinion of me. I choose the wildness of my heart.

The vision describes what I want. Do you want it too, you untamed Faerie witch? We will work toward it together: Participate in my upcoming seven-week ritual. Run free with me.

I’m accepting fifteen people for this ceremony. To be one of them, there are some ideals to strive toward, or the rite will be wasting your time. Participate in the ritual if you will work toward these goals:

No excuses. No playing victim. Instead, take the next step toward your dream life, right away. Heck, maybe that’s choosing your dream life. Find what power you have—small or large—and use it right now.

Give up your ego. Instead of identifying with greatness, do great things. Know when you are getting in your own way. Know when you are getting in the way of the Cosmos loving you. Ride the magic currents sweeping through the World Tree—ride them in their wildness, embracing their magic, power, and beauty.

Surrender. When bad comes your way, accept. When good comes your way, accept. Surrender to serving your Gods all day. Be part of the world change the Gods long for and created you for.

Start now, no waiting. Great endeavors begin when someone says, “I’ll do what I can.” If all you can do is five minutes, that’s a legitimate start. Don’t wait to be you. The world needs you.

No one can fully achieve the above ideals. One of the goals of the ritual will be to empower you to achieve them. Know I am working toward them myself. I live them to whatever degree I can manage today. Today. Today. Join this group, then accept that you fall short—let go of ego. Ego keeps you frozen, not taking action. Accept your imperfections, so you can do great things today.

Though this post kicked off with a verbal expression of my vision, I’d like you to also see the vision and upcoming ritual represented by a painting:

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Our meetings will consist of
* full-tilt transformative ritual—we will rock ‘n’ roll,
* direct spiritual transmissions from me to bolster your spirit,
* and assignments tailored to your journey, challenges, and strengths.

This Third Road Faerie ritual qualifies as one of the two electives needed before advanced Third Road training. Not to worry: if this ritual doesn’t appeal to you, other qualifying electives will be coming.

Nuts and bolts:
* These are group meetings by phone. To participate, just dial the phone from anywhere.
* We meets seven consecutive Thursdays, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm est, starting Thurs March 31.
* Reserve Thurs May 19 same time, for a makeup session in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned meetings.
* Tuition: $250. Your usual long-distance charges apply, and appear on your phone bill. The event’s area code is a U.S. #.
* Upon receipt of payment, your place is reserved, and event phone #, etc., emailed to you. If you need more info, or want to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan, call 814-337-2490. No refunds.
* Scroll down to enroll: enter your phone number and pay securely with PayPal.


Pls give yr phone number.



I call forth your wild self, come be with me, I call you forth, I call you forth. The shamanic dancer, I call you forth. The heartbeat of the shaman, I call you forth. Be of maximum service, run free, and otherwise go the whole nine yards: Enroll now.

I am a fey witch, so mote it be.

Witchy Heart

FeyFlkLvSM The Fey folk love your beautiful witchy heart.

After having the above thought, I painted a border for it. To add Faerie magic, I paint everything I can: memes I write, the newsletter button below, my clothes—including my shoes …

(The art work blurred a bit and what-not, when I made the file smaller so the webpage would appear quickly for you.)

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Brigit Ritual 2016

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If you cannot view the above graphics:

Brigid Ritual, 2016

Please join me for a Sabbat celebration on Thursday, February 4, from noon to 1:00 EST.

Goddess Brid’s festival is a time of renewal.

Let’s renew ourselves and the earth, in a ceremony of joy and freedom.

The event is a group phone call. Free and open to all. (You might pay long-distance charges, depending on your long-distance plan. If so, they appear on your phone bill. The event is a U.S. area code.)

No experience needed.

To participate, call 1-712-775-7000. When prompted, enter 1095248#. Dial three to five minutes before noon; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.

I hope you will visit Brigit with me. Mark your calendar. Let’s be renewed for the New Year.

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Enjoy my newsletter, because I’m all about sharing the journey with my fellow Faerie travelers. Here’s the link: http://www.outlawbunny.com/newsletter/