An Empowering Definition of Karma

A misrepresentation of karma serves those who want others powerless and desire an immoral society.

It’s no surprise many people reject the idea of karma. An oversimplified understanding of it is disempowering—e.g., shaming people visited by unfortunate circumstances. Let’s look at a definition of karma that is empowering and joyful.

Karma is usually defined as “If you do good, good comes back at you. If you do bad, bad comes back to you.” While I believe that is an important truth, it is also so oversimplified as to be dangerous. Psychic physics aren’t that simplistic. Instead, it seems to me karma is the unfolding of the specific repercussions of whatever you do. Example:

If you cut down a tree, you end up with wood. That’s one possible repercussion. That’s one possible repercussion. But, when the tree falls down, it might hit you on the head, which adds an additional repercussion. Or the tree might hit someone else, and then their son kills you in revenge.

Or you use the wood to build beautiful furniture, which you sell, and its buyers are happy, and you have money for groceries, which helps support the local grocer.

We’re all aware of the threats posed when too many trees are killed. Those threats, too, are possible repercussions. And, if cutting on a smaller scale, a space you clear can be a bane—or a boon—to the forest’s animals. If some of them leave as a result, each refuge will have its own impact on its new home. E.g., a possum who takes up residence in your yard could eat a lot of ticks, which might lower your chance of contracting Lyme disease.

Karma, as defined in this post, has three large benefits. It helps us
1) Understand that reality is an unfolding series of events that we affect.
2) Take responsibility for how much our actions impact the rest of existence (All Our Relations!).
3) Claim the beauty, power, and magic of such an intensely intricate weave.

Replacement of those three enormous strengths with “The bad you do comes back at you, as does the good” can rob us of power as well as the chance to be morally accountable for the chain reactions caused by our actions. There are also enormously positive chain reactions, in which we can take healthy pride. Misrepresentation of karma serves those who want others powerless and desire an immoral society.

Embracing karma’s full ramifications might seem grandiose but is actually humble. Humility is knowing one’s strengths as well as one’s weaknesses.

Humility is also knowing one’s place in the universe, but not in the way it’s meant when someone tries to make you feel worthless by saying, “You better learn your place instead of being uppity!” When we understand karma, we can see our place in life’s weave in terms of our immense power to do good or wrong. Again, humility is acknowledging both your strengths and weaknesses.

Another way understanding karma can help us see our place: we might start to actually experience the incredibly vast and complex weave of life. That can be simultaneously self-enlarging and humbling.

Self-larging because we can see ourselves both as part of something magnificent and as a magnificent element of the larger magnificence.

Humbling because, for one thing, the grandeur of the cosmos provides perspective that can remove any over-inflation of self. For example, we might start to sense there are millions of factors influencing the outcome of any situation; we can see how powerless we are by comparison to all those factors. (I cannot use that as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for consequences of my own actions.)

The humility gained by acknowledging the consequences of my actions and inactions, and by acting accordingly, improves my life. For example, when I make reparations for wrongs done, I more fully engage in life, which frees me from any unhealthy preoccupation with self that has trapped me; I get swept up in the World Tree—the larger picture, the Gods’ plans. Being caught up like this is humbling on some level. But it is also empowering and even ecstatic.

The idea of “Your good acts generate good acts coming back at you, and your hurtful acts generate hurtful acts coming back at you” remains important. But reducing Karma to only that ends up blaming and shaming good people for the unfortunate events they suffer. Life is more complex than that. The World Tree—life—is a sophisticated organism. It consists of many parts: branches, trunk, leaves, roots, bark, sap, etc. Those many parts are made up of innumerable cells. All this weaves together in a complicated synthesis. Our own actions are only a part of that tapestry.

Spell to See One’s Karma
and Enjoy Life’s Weave

There are constant contradictions that, in fact, are not contradictory. Each one, when riddled entirely by the intellect, seems unable to abide as a reality. But, if entered into as an experience, the supposed contradiction has the chance to be understood, because we get to experience it as a living, breathing fact.

Later, that reality may seem impossible again. That is because, when we retire too fully from action into intellect, we might lose touch with reality again. Our minds are wonderful tools to use constantly, but they get in our way when we think the only way to discover whether something is a truth is to keep it spinning in the mind instead of applying it as an experiment.

So it goes with understanding karma: sole intellectual analysis of it will not work. But when I try to live according to it, it makes sense experientially. That is one of a witch’s powers: to know something is true because you feel it with your gut and in your soul. Witches use their fine minds without being trapped by their limits; instead, we use the whole being—mind, spirit, and body. The following spell helps us do that.

Optional: after putting a purple candle in a candle holder, sprinkle a teaspoon or so of lavender by the holder’s base. If you prefer, use the candle and no herb.

Recite the following. To what extent you can manage, say it from the bottom of your heart.

May I honor and celebrate
my place in the weave of all existence.
May my Pagan heart thrill
to the beauty and magic
of the intricate, powerful weave that is life.
May I see the ripples from all I do.
May I take responsibility
for my place in the weave,
so that I act with good intention
and make reparation for wrongs I’ve done.
May I understand that these words I say echo through the World Tree, as do all words and deeds.

Now say, “So mote it be” (while lighting the candle, if you’re using one).

Let the candle burn down. Or extinguish it after a few minutes to relight again, should you want to repeat the recitation some time soon. If leaving the building or going to sleep, extinguish the candle and relight it when you have a chance. Never leave a burning candle unattended.

Emptiness Is Alive: Releasing the Self

emptyliveBoSNwsltrSmI needn’t fear becoming empty that God may reside within me. God Herself is empty.

The Bible lied about Her emptiness, portraying Her as a mere absence that a patriarchal Deity breathed life into in order to create the cosmos. That myth would keep me from my emptiness: I’d revolt against it or, thinking I strived toward it, pursue a loss of wholeness.

I prefer this myth: She is the vast eternal living void, the Tao, the first source; from Her virgin womb came all that is.

In releasing self, I am not making space for a bullying God who’ll eradicate me. I do not need Him to bring me to life. In my emptiness resides all life and all power and all love. So mote it be!

Kitchen Moon

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If you can’t see the graphic at the top of this post, here’s its text and photo:

You Needn’t Leave Yourself to Find Magic
Diana Magna Mater Is Everpresent

KitchenMnSm

After glancing down into my sink, I was thrilled by what I saw there, snapped the above photo of it, and wrote the following:

Quarter moon tide does not arrive pounding at my winter door, but sneaks into my kitchen sink, as clever as steam.

Moon tides are everywhere—dark moon tides, whole moon tides, quarter moon tides. That is my safety, solace, and soul: moon tides are everywhere.

You need not leave yourself to find magic. To walk into Fey lands, walk into yourself, just as you are; live there; you can then recognize the entry to Faerie.

Ask a Strega to Teach You a Spell and …

Strega2018Ask for a spell from a witch raised in a family tradition of Italian magic that reaches back centuries, and the witch might change the topic so smoothly that only hours later do you realize your question was avoided.

Ask that same person how their aunt Teresa is doing, and you’ll hear an hourlong story about Teresa’s new boyfriend, during which tale you’re also taught the exact rite you requested … though you may have to watch carefully for it.

A few days later, you drop by the witch’s house to ask a vital question about your magical path but, when you show up at the door, the witch greets you with, “Hiya, I need to run out for a minute to pick up some groceries.”

If you choose to tag along, your question is answered … though you may have to watch carefully for that reply. Or the witch might give it to you outright: perhaps, at the grocery store, while examining cabbages, looking for the best one, the witch uses clear, precise words to express her or his thoughts about your magical journey. But, just as likely, while shopping, the witch does something that, on the surface, seems unrelated to your concerns, but that thoroughly resolves them.

Or perhaps, walking down the grocery aisle, the answer you need pops into your head.

During the grocery trip, something else might happen: a door opens to a world your heart has always longed for, a world you’d so hoped the witch would show you. You have been taken to the heart of the mysteries … if you were paying attention.

In fact, this breakthrough was the real reason you’d shown up at the witch’s door that day, though you may or may not have realized it until she opened that other door for you, a portal that appeared in a supermarket and opened to Faerie.

However, none of the above scenarios might come into play. You could ask the very same witch to teach you a ritual, and she or he might immediately give it to you, undisguised, in clear-cut, straightahead language, and answer questions you have about the spell just as quickly and clearly. In fact, you might get taught in that manner on a regular basis, so you easily learn a lot of spells and charms, and receive a great deal of valuable input about your overall witchcraft journey. You are the exact same person, and the witch is the exact same witch, so why might there be different scenarios?

Other scenarios could occur.

A multitude of them might all happen between you and the witch, so you learn not just in a single manner but through various modalities.

The above post is an excerpt from one of my online courses on Italian magic. To receive announcements of upcoming classes, subscribe to my free newsletter here: http://www.outlawbunny.com/newsletter/

Rabbit Magic: an Easy Prosperity Spell

BnyCrmoTlsmnThis morning, I intuitively chose a talisman to wear, without knowing why it was the right one for the day ahead. A while back, I’d made the talisman out of Angora fibers (otherwise known as rabbit fur), Cormo, which is one of the softest wools in existence, some other fibers, and two glass beads. (In case it’s hard to see in the photo: the three center beads are ones I made out of fibers, and on each side of them is a glass bead. If memory serves, I spun the cord entirely out of bunny fur.)

Later today, while on my physical therapy walk through the woods, I meditated on what the talisman had for me today. The first thing that came to me was the gentleness of rabbits.

The second thing that came was a new chant Rabbit sent me. I really enjoyed using it, but apparently it was meant just for the moment because, when I arrived home from the forest, I couldn’t remember the exact chant. What I did manage to hear from Rabbit, once I had my iPad to type on, was another, really solid version to use henceforth.

Like the original, this version is silly, fun, and singsong. I believe these traits feed magic.

Instructions: recite the chant while you’re walking. Or if you’re in a wheelchair, roll along. If you’re laid up in bed, perhaps you can move a finger or some part of your body a little bit in rhythm to the chant. If not, no problem, your spirit will automatically move to the rhythm of the chant.

Don’t rush the words or shout them. Just say them in a natural, easy-going manner, at a natural pace, enjoying the fun of singsong.

If it feels comfortable and unaffected, you might want to slow down the three lines that repeat at the end, but if so, probably slow down just the tiniest bit. And for those lines, don’t suddenly get loud, majestic, ceremonial, or the like. Still just have natural fun.

The ritual consists of saying the chant once or saying it three times (the repetitions happening right then and there, as opposed to spacing them out over time).

After you’ve finished the recitation, you can consider the rite finished or repeat the rite once a day for a week, whichever feels right. Then return to it again later if you need another prosperity boost.

You don’t need to add any special magical techniques for this chant to work, just the simple instructions above. However, if you personally feel the need to add certain techniques, do so. The same goes for protection: if you feel like this rite should be done in a magically protected space, do so. Myself, I set up a spell that always has me in protection, wherever I go. Someone else might not need that.

The chant mentions the World Tree. “The World Tree” means the Divine as it manifests in everything in existence. Well, it means a lot more than that. However, to do the chant, the simple definition here is sufficient. I should tell you, though, the definition I provide here is not one everyone uses. The World Tree is a deeply esoteric reality, which means definitions widely vary.

Rabbit Magic: an Easy Prosperity Spell

Hippity hoppety, hippity hop,
abundance comes and never stops
coming to me.
La la lee,
money and goodness flow to me.

Hippity hop, it’s easy to leap
over road blocks to what I need.
Hippity hippity hippity hop,
gently gently as I walk,
all I need will roll in now.
The World Tree holds me in its boughs.

Hippity hippity lala lee.
As I will so mote it be.
As I will so mote it be.
As I will so mote it be.

One nice thing about this rite is that, after I did it once a day for a week, little snippets of its words—or just its cadence without its words—would occasionally sing in my head. That was lovely because it cheered me up and made me feel optimistic about getting what I needed. For one thing, it helped me feel the Tree of Life (Tree of Life is another term for World Tree) was taking care of me—that I was part of the magic I believe pervades the entire universe. That doesn’t need to happen to you for the spell to work, but if it does, it’s a wonderful experience and a good sign.

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Witchy Ways to Put Love in Your Life

Heart6Love takes many forms. Romance, platonic relationships, love from your Gods, and self-love are some ways love manifests. Perhaps the most important love is the love we give.

There are many reasons someone might not experience the love they want. They might, for example, feel they’re not good enough for anyone to truly care about, so they start isolating.

Here are five witchy ways to put love in your life, with help from the Old Gods.

1) Affirm “I am a child of Gods. This makes me sacred, worthy of love.” Using this affirmation opens you to love of any kind.

2) If you ever want to do something for someone, but you feel whatever you have in mind is not good enough to offer, you might be wrong. This can be another excellent time to remember you’re a child of Gods, and Their divine spark and love are in you.

In other words, just being yourself and doing what you are able can be more valuable to people than you realize.

Yes, this tip is about giving. But when we give love freely, the Universe’s love fills us, so we receive love too—bunches of it.

3) Realize you are a child of Pagan Gods. They enjoy themselves and want the same joy for you. They’re not dour deities frowning on you. Remind yourself now and then that your deities actually want you to feel loved.

4) Be open to signs of unconditional love from the Gods. Also open to experiencing it. If you notice and feel nothing or only the tiniest bit, it’s a start. Keep trying. It’ll pan out.

5) I channeled the following prayer for a client, to say once a day, for five days over one week’s time, then whenever she wanted thereafter. It helped her love and be loved:

Divine Mother and Father,
my very cells are made of You.
Help me love me.
Help me see my immense worth and endless beauty.
Help me offer myself to You in beauty,
for I am a worthy gift.
Thank You for making me the way I am.
Help me offer myself to the world in beauty,
for I am a worthy gift.
Help me know I am worthy of
Your love, my love, and the love of All My Relations.
So mote it be.

BYABar4

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!

BYABar4

 

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.

BYABa3

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.

BYABa3