What Sort of Witch Are You?

For some individuals, witchcraft is a journey of finding one’s unique style of magic, own cosmology, and personal philosophy.

This post was on Witches and Pagan in 2016, at http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/a-faerie-haven.html

Have you seen the popular lists of different types of witches—e.g., traditional witch, Gardnerian witch, Faerie witch, eclectic witch, hedge witch—with precise definitions for each category? These charts help some beginners. Learning you fit a certain style can be validating and reassuring. It also makes some newcomers feel they belong.

But this post is for beginners who find the categories make things really difficult. Everyone else, I’m not naysaying what works for you; this entire post is simply ideas and methods that work for me, in case they’re useful to someone. I don’t want the charts thrown out. They’re great for some people. And with that:

There are individuals whose witchcraft entails a journey of finding one’s unique style of magic, own cosmology, and personal philosophy. Being new to Pagan community and being told there are specific witch types, each with very specific definitions, can box these folks in, lead them to think they won’t fit anywhere in the Pagan community, and ill-legitimize personal self-discoveries that transcend the categories.

What if you come from a traditional witch family, talk to fairies, and enjoy practicing Gardnerian magic occasionally? Sure, that might classify you as an “eclectic witch,” but that term is redundant historically speaking; it was once a given that witches were eclectic, because witches understand the connectivity of all things. To me, the term “eclectic witch” robs me of my heritage. My witchy heritage fuels spells, making them powerful.

As to connectivity, the Old Gods unite me with the enchantment that flows through the entire universe. That current carries me, its sweep making me joyful, as it bears me toward even more joy. But “eclectic witch” implies magic is not in everything around me and thus denies what’s inherent to many folks’ witchcraft.

In the same vein, I see witches as wild creatures, transcending every limit. I’m a child of the Gods. Their infinite powers are mine. Mind you, I’m not suggesting I can successfully cast every spell anyone else can cast. I believe witches can have specialties.

In any case, categorizing keeps some people from developing specialties. These are folks whose process demands they look not at definitions but into their own selves and, despite how scary it might be, journey into seeming formlessness until it becomes recognizable as their special gift—their specialty.
WildCreaturesI love—and use—the different terms for types of witches. They’re great jumping off points, e.g., for connecting with like-minded individuals.

They also can be pointers. But I use the terms the old way: to evoke—lyric speaking to our wild witch hearts and whispering of the undefinable and unlimited—rather than as part of quantitative charts, mapping magic out so exactly as to be … boringly limited for some folks.

I love magic so much it makes me sad to realize charts might crush certain people’s magic.

Also, poor scholarship defines witch types incorrectly. For example, it’s sadly a current given that Gardnerian Wicca bears little resemblance to traditional witchcraft. I lived in a Gardnerian household in England with one of Gerald Gardner’s students and, as a traditional witch, I can tell you people living in that house practiced old-fashioned witchery. Furthermore, I met members of the family tradition that greatly influenced Gerald.

Lack of scholarship also portrays traditional witchcraft as consistently the same. It varied, village to village and family to family.

And many a scholar will say “eclectic witch” makes no historical sense. Global travel is not a modern occurrence. Various ancient cultures shared their rituals constantly.

Are you dismayed by witch categories because they make you feel the magical Art has been divided up like slices of a pie … and you feel like the whole pie? Be the whole enchanted pie.

If you’re a fledging witch who resonates with what I’ve written, I support you not by giving you categories to validate you, but by validating who you already are. Like most of us when we come into Pagan community, you’ve always had Paganism in your heart and life, perhaps without having named it as such. So trust what you already know and build on it. You have the intelligence and insightfulness needed to do so.

Enjoy the names for all the different types of witches, or use none of them. But claim your path as valid.

By “valid,” I’m not saying everything you do currently as a witch is always safe and effective. No one is perfect. Also, some spellcrafting requires substantial training. Get a teacher if you want. But don’t worry about what “type” of witch a prospective teacher is. Choose someone whose spirit calls you and who honors your spirit in turn, whether or not you know how to describe your path. Witches used to work together in all their differences and likenesses, getting along just fine, learning just fine.

I teach. Classes are mostly via group phone calls (aka telesminars): you don’t need a computer or any special technology to attend; just dial the phone. Subscribe to my free newsletter, which gives details about upcoming classes: http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/InfoForm.htm

What sort of witch are you? You’re you! So mote it be.

Ancestor Work

Ancestor Work:
Mom’s Holiday China

HlidyPttrnThe above plate is in the pattern with which my mom set holiday tables during my childhood. I forget our day-to-day pattern, but this one stuck in my mind.

As a child, I thought the dish pattern was tacky, but it remained a nice memory. Mom acquired complete settings for at least 10 people, obtaining the pieces one at a time by going to the movies. I love that Toni went to such lengths to add beauty to our home, not letting lack of income thwart her.

One of my brothers got the dish set when Toni died. I would not have used it.

But recently, I searched online until I found one dish in the pattern—just one in her memory and in reminiscence of her passion, amazing kitchen skills, and elegance—elegance I now see in this plate to some degree, and that showed immensely elsewhere.

Rest in peace, Toni. You were a model of exuberance, devotion, otherworldly flight, and competence both culinary and professional. You were also a true lady, in every positive way I use the word lady, including how the Goddess infused your spirit and your magic. Thank you for being a living example for all parts of my day, including my kitchen witchery.

… Later: The more I use the plate, the more beauty, elegance, and grace I find in it. I don’t know if that is objective. E.g., perhaps the grace I notice is a projection of my mother’s gracious maneuvering amidst the immense challenges of her life. She found reason to laugh and give, no matter what.

In any case, to snap the above photo, I had to wash the dish, since I’d eaten lunch from it. Handling the dish with soapy hands, I experienced more of its elegance, this time on a tactile level; the china felt so nicely made despite being a movie giveaway. I wonder if my mother loved handling it.

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Be a Goddess Master Class

A Six-Week Shamanic Training:
Acquire magical and mundane abilities to match any challenge or opportunity.
Open to all
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Feeling powerless? This class will change that.

Already have plenty of power? Rock on! And if you’re not achieving everything you want, take the next step.

You only need one of the following prerequisites:
* completion of the first 12 lessons in my book Be a Goddess!
* completion of first 8 lessons in my book Goddess Initiation
* one of the entry-level classes in the Mystic Rose branch of Third Road

Students need both books on hand during class, for reference purposes. You only need to have read what was required to fulfill one of the above prerequisites.

Been a long time since you’ve read the book you used? That doesn’t matter.

Click here to enroll in the Be a Goddess Master Class.

FaerieRlmWetWPnk99Many readers say Be a Goddess! and/or Goddess Initiation empower them still, even after decades. I’m humbled by their words.

You may be working on different things now, internally and externally, than when you first used one or both of those books. And you’re a different person now.

And my work is tried and true. Build on your past achievements with it to meet your current needs. Here’s how we’ll do that in the Be a Goddess Master Class:

PastelSqThe books’ magic has unpublished facets that are more advanced. They can meet who you are now, in whatever circumstances you’re in now. I’ll teach you that material. The tools you know will acquire a deeper layer of power, which you can apply to your current situations.

You also learn new techniques. Having one of the prerequisites gives you a shamanic foundation, so we can immediately dive into ultra-focused lessons between the worlds. The benefits? Sky’s the limit! I’ll show you how to apply tools from the books—as well as the new tools I teach you!—for whatever you need: prosperity, creativity, or anything else.

Traditional shamanic lessons include individualized attention, which tailors the training to you. Both beginners and adepts love this class. Make real headway in your goals.

Every meeting includes direct spiritual transmissions that increase your magical and mundane abilities to take control of your life.

Also, you receive the following benefits. And, if you’ve accomplished them already, this Master Class helps you do it more so:
* Strengthen your inner guide.
* Honor the deity within.
* Experience profound soul-healing.
* Serve all our relations.
* Ignite the fey-touched joy that makes life worth living.

BaGMCGreenManDon’t spin your wheels with run-of-the-mill material. Be a Goddess Master Class is a circle of power. Expect twice the progress in a fraction of the time you’d spend elsewhere.

Offered once a year at most, this Faerie shamanism training is core Third Road (Third Road is the tradition I teach), and is a prerequisite for Third Road advanced training.

Nuts and bolts:
* Lessons are group meetings by phone. To participate, just dial the phone. Long-distance charges may apply. If so, charges appear on your phone bill. The event’s area code is a U.S. #.
* Class meets six consecutive Wednesdays from 6:00 to 7:00 pm EST, starting Wednesday May 17.
* Reserve Weds June 28, same time, for a makeup class in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions.
* Click here to enroll.
* If you’ve taken this class before, repeat it at half-price.
* Upon receipt of payment, your place is reserved. You’ll receive event phone #, etc., by email. If you need more info, or want to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan, call 814-337-2490. No refunds.

Life is extraordinarily beautiful and extraordinarily awful. We don’t have to bury our heads in the sand. We can use shamanism to face difficulties, conquer them, and create beautiful lives. Click here to enroll.

The Goddess … in Congee

Congee1After I made a topping for tonight’s congee, the topping struck me as so pretty. That got me thinking:

When I’m in the moment, I find the Goddess’ beauty.

When I’m in the moment, I find my own beauty reflected back to me.

I might run from the moment, especially when crisis hits. But, when I can return to allowing the painful, awful moments my full attention, I eventually find beauty again.

To be free, releasing my wild soul, I have to allow both the beauty and the pain.

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A Beautiful Goddess and a Dirty Spoon

Remains

A Beautiful Goddess and a Dirty Spoon:
Kitchen Magic

Even the remains of breakfast—egg shells, tangerine peels, a dirty dish and spoon—are blessings on me.

A blessing: the remains of this meal flooded by sunlight pleases my eyes.

A blessing: to eat today and nourish my body is beautiful—such a gift!

For me, to be a kitchen witch means to acknowledge and appreciate the immensity of the harvests given me by my beautiful Goddess and to gift others in kind.

Today I will make a donation to feed a hungry child.

A blessing: to have some money to help someone in one of the most important ways—food.

To be able to give is such a gift. Were I to instead view giving as magnanimous on my part, it would imply that I was bending down from on high to help someone less worthy. I’d be denying who they are by turning them into a character in a story I’d written to pump up my ego. Instead, we are all in this together. Farming communities have long understood that it is by having each others’ backs that we all survive and thrive. It is a lie perpetuated by the American upper class that the best way to “make it” is on our own, climbing over the backs of others.

Getting to give is a gift. It is part of the cycle of life, a gate into the sacred circle, a consecration of the four directions, and one of the great mysteries. Giving is a chance to be a human being—such a gift! Giving is a chance to be with another human being (even if you never meet them because you’re donating to an organization that serves them)—such a gift!

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How to Enchant Your Cup of Tea

Add Magical Healing to Medicinal Herbs

SaffronTea Herbs have physical properties that heal and strengthen one’s body. Herbs also have psychic properties that heal and strengthen one’s spirit and physical being, if given a chance. Here’s how to access that magical healing:

When your cup of tea is ready to drink, simply say, “May this tea Mother Earth has given me in Her wisdom and generosity heal and strengthen my body and spirit.”

Then just drink your tea!

It’s that simple! Saying the words I suggested gives the magical attributes of the herb—or herbs—in your cup a chance to emerge. And the words’ grateful acknowledgment of Mother Earth’s gift opened you to receiving the herb’s magical healing and empowerment. You don’t have to get fancy about it by adding visualization or any other technique. Just say the words.

(If you want to add magical techniques, though, go ahead. I love magical techniques and am committed to teaching them. But the point of this post is a quick enchantment anyone can easily fit into their day. Even advanced practitioners can add more magic to their lives if they embrace some simple spells. In fact, I’m committed to teaching both easy and advanced magic. They both have their place.)

Never use magic in place of proper medical care by a trained, professional physician. Magic is a powerful addition, not a replacement.

And remember, when it comes to herbs’ physical properties: just because herbs are natural doesn’t mean they’re all harmless. And what’s a good medicinal herb for one person can be really harmful for another. Know your herbs—research an herb using several sources. There are many medical conditions and other circumstances—and even many herbs—that require you consult with a professional herbalist instead of just deciding what herbs to use yourself.

Enjoy the spell! This magic in a teacup is simple kitchen magic anyone can use, whether a witch or not.

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Do You Fear Making Mistakes?

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If I’m afraid of making mistakes, I will be afraid all day every day.

But I need help to not be afraid. When I receive Divine help, my fear dissipates. Here is my prayer for help:

MistakesMay I not fear my mistakes.

May I have the highest ideal possible and do everything within my power to achieve it. May I realize that even my best attempts are riddled with imperfections.

May I remember mistakes are part of doing anything, and thus fearlessly reach for the stars.

May I feel safe knowing whatever problems my errors cause are nothing compared to the Goddess’ power as She carries me unceasingly toward beauty and happiness. May I fearlessly trust She is doing this even when I cannot see it.

May I love myself exactly as I am and celebrate my mistakes as part of my attempts to live fully and serve the Goddess well.

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Upcoming Event: Animus Power

Animus Power:
A Shamanic Ritual about
Healthy, Joyous Masculinity in All of Us

This is a seven-week ritual process for women, men, and individuals of any other gender identity or lack thereof.

2ndGreenMan1

Everyone has a male aspect. (The word animus means a person’s male aspect.)

In most people, the male aspect is deeply wounded. The majority of folks don’t see that some of their major life problems come from a wounded animus.

We will heal that injury and empower a healthy, holy, joyous masculinity within ourselves. We’ll also embrace the internal, loving father.

Are you wondering what benefits this ceremony provides? The ritual helps you:

* End frustration. Find the determination to accomplish whatever is important to you.

* Stop the self-sabotage of not following through on your objectives. Keep working toward goals right to the finish line.

* Set free the suppressed animus, so you express yourself fully and with confidence. It can be too hard on one’s own to recognize one’s animus as suppressed. I will show you how to do it.

* Heal the (often subconscious) shame of a suppressed animus. Expect a big boost in self-respect once you take this journey with me.

* Leave behind the maddening inability to find solutions. More easily see ways to survive, thrive, and self-express … and have the power to do so.

Those are a lot of big benefits. They really spare us some misery. There’s good reason to celebrate this event.

You see, starting about 1987, I led the Animus Power ceremony regularly for years. Despite it really helping attendees, I stopped offering the event for a long time, to focus on some other work, though I consistently shared some of the ceremony’s material in my classes and with clients one-on-one. I eventually started offering the ritual again, but no longer on a regular basis. I’m thrilled to be in a position to lead the ritual this year so you can experience all its material. It was always joyous, important work.

Portrait of suppressed animus:
SprsdAnimus

My background: I developed innovative modalities for—and understandings of—gender empowerment (for example, my concept of, and rites to free, a suppressed animus). I am trained in traditional shamanic healing forms of gender empowerment, and my anthropological research helped me as a shamanic practitioner overall.

“Her insightful research in anthropology led to her innovative work in the modalities of spiritual healing.”—S.S. Kush, Professor of Anthropology

This ceremony is entry-level yet multi-leveled. It meets you where you live.

Animus Power fulfills one of the electives needed for advanced Third Road training.

Nuts and bolts:
* We meet in teleseminars (group phone meetings). To participate, just dial the phone.
* Meetings are seven consecutive Tuesdays from noon to 1:00 EST, starting Tuesday April 11.
* Reserve Tues May 30, same time, for a makeup session in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions.
* Upon receipt of payment, your place is reserved, and you receive event phone #, etc., by email. If you need more info, or want to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan, call 814-337-2490. No refunds.
* Total fee is $250. You might also pay long-distance charges that will appear on your phone bill. The event’s area code is a U.S. #. If you’ve attended this rite, attend again at half-price, $125. Choose half-price in the drop-down menu below.

Scroll down to enroll: enter your phone number and pay securely with PayPal.


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Participants have consistently found this ceremony to be an irreplaceable pivot point toward reaching inner and outer goals that previously had them stymied. Nothing like this process is available elsewhere, even after three decades. I won’t offer Animus Power again for another five years. So do it now.

Embrace animus power.

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Spell to Banish Anxiety

Kitchen Magic

MyDoorDetailLife is filled with small tasks that are opportunities for a witch to perform natural, easy magic.

Here’s an example. I use vinegar to keep ants from my kitchen—it works! I mix white vinegar and water, roughly half and half. In a 25 oz bottle, I’d add about eight drops of essential oils that thwart ants. Here are a few: tea tree, peppermint, and clove. If you don’t like those, use a search engine to find others.

Be careful using essential oils: they’re very concentrated so can burn you if they get on your skin; and they’re not for internal use.

Twice a week during warm weather, I wipe the vinegar solution along the ant trail from outside into my kitchen. Otherwise I’d have an ant-filled kitchen.

Channeling a spell to get rid of worries and anxiety, it occurred to me that worries are like ants:

Ants invade the home like worries invade the mind. And the way ants can invade everything in your cupboard, anxiety can invade every part of your life.

So I channeled the following spell to help get rid of worries, large and small. There are two versions of the spell. The first can be used if you have an ant problem in your home. The other one can be used independently of that.

First version:

PastelSqI believe the properties an object has on the mundane plane often translate into otherworldly properties. This provides an opportunity, when doing a chore, to apply the chore’s tools to magical purposes. Tea tree not only deters ants, it is a natural cleaner. For example, it is somewhat antibacterial. So I figure it must also be a cleanser on the psychic plane. That would help the spell cleanse away anxiety. Peppermint is an uplifting scent, so probably has the energetic ability to lift the spirit magically, even if you can’t smell it in the vinegar. The same goes for clove’s uplifting scent. So I think those two essential oils would be good in a spell to relieve anxiety.

As you start to wipe the vinegar solution along the ant trail, say this chant once:

Ants and worry, go away.
This is not your place or day.
No anxiety need be here.
Heart and home be free and clear
to only hold what I hold dear.

Next, while you continue applying the vinegar mix, relax your feet, then your legs, then pelvic girdle, then each of the following one at a time: torso, shoulder girdle, arms, hands, neck, and head. You only need to spend a few moments on each part of your body.

Consciously relaxing the body not only helps stop anxiety but also helps the magic of the spell flow. No need to worry if you’re not good at relaxing. The attempt is what matters.

When you’re done applying the vinegar solution and following the above magical instructions, say, “So mote it be!”

You can repeat this spell whenever you want.

Second version:

PastelSqSay the following three times. After each recitation, do the relaxation described above. Doing both recitation and relaxation three times compensates for the lack of essential oil magic.

Antlike worries, go away.
This is not your place or day.
No anxiety need be here.
Heart and home be free and clear
to only hold what I hold dear.

When done, say, “So mote it be!”

You can repeat this version whenever you want.

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Baba Yaga’s Apprentice

Baba Yaga’s Apprentice:
A Faerie Tale Ritual

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If ever we needed ways to stay focused and whole, and experience some gentleness, this is the time.

Baba Yaga’s Apprentice is my gentle enchantment that creates focus and wholeness. I believe this magic is all the more powerful and effective for its gentleness.

This storybook is for grown-ups . . . but the sort of adults who remain, or want to remain, childlike at heart.

This book’s format: PDF.
List price: $25
Price: $19.99

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The tale is my revisioning of Baba Yaga folklore.

As the book’s story proceeds, a ritual simultaneously unfolds for the reader.

Here’s one of the illustrations:SampleILLstrtn

Baba Yaga’s Apprentice is fun, easy reading.

Along with being a Faerie tale and a gentle ritual, this book is also a work of art for you. Trying to evoke the embellishments in old Faerie tale books and add a layer of enchantment to the magical foundation I’d spun with the text, I ornamented every page with my original full color art. Most of the art is my spin on Poland’s folk art.

I have felt immense mojo on the project; I wanted this spell to happen so much.

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From the preface:

“The spell is very easy to do. You don’t even have to “do” it. The sheer reading of the Faerie tale to oneself, just for fun, even silently, and enjoying my paintings, is all it takes for the spell to work.”

“The storybook’s magical current helps you:
* Focus on what’s important to you.
* Follow through on it.
* Stay centered in your power and your love.
* Protect your dear heart from being hurt or blocked.
* Feed your witchy soul.

“The ritual also supports you if you are introverted, empathic, exceptionally magical, or sensitive psychically.

“And when you are fearful or nervous, this is a good tale for you.”

The book is 7000 words and 46 pages.

Here’s another sample, a text frame I painted:
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This volume was created with my sincerest hope that the gentle love and hope with which the Muse infused the pages will sustain and empower you … over and over.

Available only from the author.

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