Claiming My Power as a Trauma Survivor

I can act effectively in crisis only if I’m doing shamanic practices on a regular basis.

There are times survival takes every single ounce of one’s time. And it’s vital to do everything one can on the mundane plane to take care of a crisis. But, when crisis looms, I have the self-destructive knee-jerk response of automatically focusing solely on survival. I’ve learned that usually does not turn out well, not for me.

So I choose to instead focus on staying balanced, serene, and connected to my Gods in order to receive Their power and guidance. To accomplish all that, I need a lot of time for my shamanic practices and have to use a crisis as an opportunity for spiritual and shamanic growth.

If I, instead, frantically chase after money, security, a resolution of crisis, etc., then the money, resolution, security, etc., don’t manifest anyway. If I stay on my shamanic journey, then money, resolution, security etc., come.

When crisis hits, I need shamanism more than ever.

Historically speaking, shamanism as a means for healing from trauma—and keeping a disaster from damaging one’s psyche—has been a cultural norm. It has surely been a means for my survival and wholeness in rough times.

Shamans have also, since ancient times, used their traumas—even the worst traumas—as irreplaceable chances to manifest great magical and mundane power. This was surely my own experience.

After 9/11 traumatized U.S. citizens, and our government used that tragedy as an excuse to further traumatize us, enrollment in the shamanic classes I teach dropped for a while. When crisis hits, or appears as a possibility, some people believe they can’t afford the time or money for their shamanic training. They don’t understand that continuing their training can be pivotal to overcoming crisis. I provide scholarships, yet few people requested one in the year after 9/11.

One power of being a trauma survivor, for me, is that overcoming disasters left me with shamanic tools I can apply during this brutal administration. Another power is that I’ve learned the need for complete focus on survival is often a mirage. Mind you, I know it’s not always a mirage. But when it has been an illusion, living in that lie almost destroyed me. I’m lucky to be alive, considering what a lifestyle of overwork and worry did to my health.

“Long-term trauma” (LTT) is a worse diagnosis than post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Examples of an ordeal that causes LTT: being kidnapped and held hostage for years; and being married to a batterer for years. Quite a while ago, I suffered LTT. Not to worry, I took the necessary steps to be on the other side of that now, happy and whole. It’s all behind me. I bring up the diagnosis only to point out:

As someone who used Fey-touched tools to survive longterm horrors and come out the other side whole in spirit, I learned that serenity is possible during a horrific situation. Not always, for sure, but tranquility is not constant even in the best of circumstances. Though peace is often impossible when first in a terrible crisis, knowing that peace can develop—albeit sometimes only painstakingly in minuscule increments—is a power I’ve gained from being a trauma survivor.

When I create a calm place inside myself, I find strength and wisdom there to change a situation.

My familiar hangs out with a poppet. I made it probably in the ‘80s.

Like many survivors, I’ve been triggered by recent national events. Like many individuals, I started having trauma symptoms in response to national events. But now, screw Trump, screw his ilk. I decided I don’t have time to let fascists’ behavior traumatize me anymore. I’m doing everything in my power to keep their behavior from getting to me mentally anymore.

I affirm: They no longer will have space in my head. Heck, I’ve known all along that what’s going on in America right now is nothing new. That’s an advantage I have from being a trauma survivor. The horrific injustices currently widespread in our country are what I observed as a child in the ‘50s and throughout my whole life. I suffered terribly from some of these things My point is that what’s going on has been happening since humans first congregated, so I don’t have to lose my mind over it, but can carry on the same way I did the day before Trump got elected—fighting against such atrocities and living my life with joy.

I affirm: I can feel my indignation, rage, and even terror, but not sit in them. I can simply feel them, and then move on to feel my joy and love.

I affirm: Living in terror and rage would keep me from maximum effectiveness as an agent of change in the world. I want to help individuals upon whom horrors are being perpetrated, so I feel my indignation and rage, but do not reside in them.

In this post, I speak only for myself and of my experiences. I want every trauma survivor to find what works for them. So I support those who say a constant rage helps them fight oppression, even though that wouldn’t work for me. I used to walk around angry all day. That hurt my health and made me miserable.

Though I didn’t take my anger out on other people, furious thoughts consumed my mind, time, and energy, distracting me from doing what was needed to be as happy and productive as I became when I let go of constant angriness. Now, with less anger, I’m more likely to take positive action, more effective when I do so, and experience life’s joys more.

Wee shaman

Back to the idea that what’s going on in America is nothing new. I’ve physically, emotionally, and spiritually survived grueling ordeals that started in childhood. Some of these situations were next to impossible to survive, let alone survive spiritually whole. But I did it. For various reasons, I’m a person at risk in Trump’s America. Yet, because of the traumas I’ve gotten through in the past, I know how to find joy, peace, and beauty in my day now.

A few weeks ago, the current events in our country stopped triggering and traumatizing me anywhere near as much because I started taking advantage of being a trauma survivor in the ways I’ve described above.

In other words, I remembered that I’ve been through all this before, that I survived it, and that the horrors reported on the news every day have consistently been part of human society. I reminded myself that I learned tools to overcome crisis, shamanic tools that can keep me whole so I can enjoy my life and keep fighting oppression. I affirmed my commitment to devote as much time possible every day to shamanic practices and to spiritual and shamanic growth.

My shamanism centered me again, moving me miles toward inner wholeness. I intend to keep that movement going till I feel back to normal and then maintain that state through an ongoing abundance of shamanic practices.

I don’t bury my head in the sand about what’s going on in the world or what risks I am in. However, constantly thinking about the terrible state of humanity, or what bad things are happening to me, or that might happen to me, or the very real fact that I may not survive this current administration, will help ensure I don’t survive because unceasing worry would hurt my body badly. For one thing, the stress of nonstop worry exacerbates Multiple Sclerosis symptoms.

I will think about terrible things only to the degree needed, e.g., to minimize my risk, to change bad situations for myself and others, to discuss with my students the problems they face. Today, I signed up to be a phone volunteer for the upcoming elections. That felt great.

Nightmare monsters hide under my bed. They’re close by, threatening, trying to freak me out. I refuse to dwell on them. I prefer to use my time and the spaces in my head to celebrate existence and see its beauty.

If I focus on my shamanic practices and inner growth, I have the strength and bravery to not take the bait—in other words, to not freak out when monsters taunt me with cruel words—and to instead enjoy life.

I’m getting into top form for battling monsters. Staying serene and joyful and in pursuit of beauty help me achieve—and remain in—top form. Vehemently, passionately serene. Joyfully, loudly seeking beauty. So mote it be!

The Most Important Magical Tree

The Most Important Magical Tree
Are artists and shamans faithless, committed to the moment and nothing else?
Sept 21, 2018 (Fall Equinox)

I fall in love with every bit of wood that I craft into a talisman.

As I’m sanding, doing pyrography, and otherwise working with a piece of wood, I start to realize how special it is.

A lot of the time, mind you, I see how marvelous it is to begin with but, oh, when I work in depth with it, I become enamored. When I strip off a layer of bark, nuances emerge. As I sand, the grain shows more and more. When I tenderly apply a beeswax finish, the wood’s mystical powers electrify my fingertips so I come to know both those powers and my skin.

It is through such thorough interactions that I understand wood, other people, the Gods, the emptiness from which of all creativity springs.

Often, the process of crafting a morsel of wood sends it and me into another world, where we rebuild Faerie.

Here’s that piece of wood when I first started working with it:

The sort of pyrography I tend to do is challenging to execute on some woods I use. Perhaps that’s because, unlike birch and basswood, which are the pyrographer’s staples, many woods that visit me tend to be ornery about pyrography. The wood-burning I usually see folks do on these woods is minimal and straight-lined—e.g., a solo rune or pentacle—whereas I attempt designs that are, by comparison, complex and detailed, and that include spirals, twists, and swirling flourishes.

Each difficult wood I pyrograph might have its own way of being ornery. Once I’ve figured out what will work on that type, it won’t necessarily work on another. I have to start figuring out a new way all over again. But determining how to pyrograph whatever wood is in my hand is giving me an understanding of the tree the wood is from, how different it is from all other trees. The realization that it would be too difficult to pyrograph more than a simple ogham or the like on some woods would be equally informative about the nature of the tree the wood is from.

From the toil that arises from committing to work with the wood as it is, from such thorough interactions, I can better understand that wood and do a better job serving it. When acting as a shamanic guide, the toil that arises from committing to work with a client as they are, such thorough interactions, allows me to better understand that individual, and thus do a better job for them. Such thorough interactions foster relationship. I fall in love with my clients.

My analogies between woods and clients do not extend to the orneriness of some woods. My clients aren’t ornery. I must have the easiest clients in the world. I wonder why the Goddess sends me ornery woods and easy students.

When I see what pyrographed design the wood in question will allow, that is part of my falling in love. The more I work with a piece, the more I adore it.

I am eternally fickle, wholeheartedly deeming each piece of wood my new favorite. Each one shows me how the tree from which it came is the most beautiful, important, and magical in all the planet. Each piece of wood is my new friend, gifting me its secrets. It has exactly what I need to make my life the way I want it.

It doesn’t matter how many pieces of oak (or elder or willow or other tree) have found their way into my hands, each oaken (elder, willow, or other tree bit) is the new and only path to power and ecstasy.

Within days, another piece of wood catches my fancy.

Whenever I work with a client, I am in love with that individual, eternally fickle, wholeheartedly deeming each client my favorite, the teacher’s pet. Each is the most beautiful, important, and magical being on all the planet. Each is my new friend, gifting me their presence. Serving that client is exactly what I need to transform my spirit into how I want to be.

I am eternally faithful: regardless of how many clients I work with in a given day, or how many folks are in a class, or how many times I’ve worked with a given client before, each time I work with a client, I understand how irreplaceable and essential they are to the universe and to me. (I usually keep class enrollment small, to have time for thorough interactions.)

Do I seduce wood, do I coax it to cooperate with my desire for it to be the most important piece of wood so I can be in union with it? Do artists and shamanic guides practice serial monogamy, devoted to each art piece or student, but only until it’s time to turn their attention to the next art project or client?

Artists and shamans are faithless, committed to the moment and nothing else. No, that’s not true. They’re also committed to crafting the next moment, so that it will be beautiful, so that it will best serve the client. The job of artists and shamans is to craft the next moment. … They are faithful to that job. … It is a prevalent lie that they are faithless. They serve. They serve. They belong completely and unceasingly to their students and the Muse.

I revel in the void of outer space, from which all creation comes. There, I constantly feed the stars. There, I am faithful to the needs of wood, clients, Gods, and self.

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La Vecchia Religione

LVROnline Course:
La Vecchia Religione—
An Inside View of Traditional Italian Witchcraft

“La Vecchia Religione” is Italian for “The Old Religion” and refers to the traditional practices of a strega. “Strega” translates into “witch.”

I was born into a Italian shamanic family tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Our family has many magics. This online course focuses on one of the most pivotal. Traditional magic is taught contextually, so lessons also provide a mystical overview of La Vecchia Religione.

The Strega practice we’ll focus on is considered the most advanced magic possible, can magnificently improve every aspect of life, yet is accessible to a magical beginner.

stregamoonThis course has five powerful aspects:

One) Weekly lessons received by email. Each lesson is a digital Book of Shadows entry (PDF).

Storytelling relays a great deal of the course’s information, making lessons easy and fun for you. I’ll share my personal tales of being in an Italian shamanic family tradition.

stregaroseI’ll add other relevant chronicles, too, as well as additional material needed to understand the aforementioned pivotal strega practice and traditional Italian witchcraft as a whole.

La Vecchia Religione is a shamanic path. Some shamans invoke magic simply through their personal, quite human stories. If you want strega magic, it’s in such stories.

Your reading this course’s stories, with no more effort on your part than when you read a fantasy novel, magically transforms every part of your life—large improvements everywhere. After the course, a special enchantment remains available forever to continue creating numerous, marvelous changes for you.

Benefits of merely reading the stories:

* You automatically start becoming a new you, with greater wholeness of being and peace. You notice your power growing magically and in other parts of your life, so you have better access to all the inner resources needed to reach your life goals.

* Your circumstances automatically start improving. Your most cherished goals become more viable and attainable.

* The stories transport you to a Fey-touched realm. And this course’s stories are true-life Faerie tales with real magic that helps you live in your own special Faerie tale: dreams can come true.

Our lessons will bring us into the presence of Diana Magna Mater (Great Mother Goddess). She gave humankind magic so we can live free and prosperously, overcoming challenges, including liberating ourselves from oppression. She will protect and guide us in our journey.

Lessons also provide easy shamanic exercises that reinforce the tales’ enchantments and deepen your relationship to them.

stregamoonTwo) My full-color art ornaments the PDF Book of Shadows pages, including new paintings created especially for this course. I joyfully painted for ages to create fifty new page ornamentations specifically for these lessons! I wanted imagery to convey the enchantment of Italian sorcery.

Three) Nine audio files recorded expressly for this course. The spoken word is a way you and I can be in sacred space together. So I recite excerpts of the PDFs.

stregamoonFour) Two fun, easy crafts projects. I’m thrilled about my Pagan-style craft ideas because they’re sooo magical: they help you experience the power of Italian witchery, deepen the magical journey, and increase its benefits. I’ve never seen anything like these projects, and I’m not going to say here what they are, heh. They’re special, and I’m saving them for you.

I painted art specially for these projects, making your part easy: you receive full-color digital files of my Pagan art, so you only need to print the artwork and follow a few simple instructions. I can barely wait for you to have the art! Heck, I’m chomping at the bit, waiting for you to have the rest of the course, too.

stregamoonFive) One-on-one support. I’m available by phone for up to 45 minutes. If you have questions about the material, need help because your commitment to doing the lessons falters, want to further explore a particularly tantalizing part of the curriculum, or have other concerns, feel free to phone.

You can divide the 45 minutes into two or three conversations. Conversations must occur during the span of the course or within a month after.

stregarose2I love integrating my art into my writing. Ditto creating audio portions and being available by phone. The five parts of the course (text, art, audio, etc.,) weave together to take you on a mystical journey into the heart of Italian witchery. During it, along with the benefits already listed:

* You gain confidence in your own journey—its spiritual, magical, and mundane aspects.

* You find confidence in yourself, just as you are, right now.

* Important insights come to you—wisdom needed to get the maximum out of life.

* You claim your birthright—your heritage of magic and wildness as a Fey-touched child of the Old Gods.

In addition to being transformative, this journey is core to understanding Italian witchcraft as a whole. In other words, along with improving your life, the journey is also an experiential lesson that conveys a mystical overview of: traditional Italian witchcraft as a magical culture, its otherworldly sensibilities, and its history.

stregarose3Though they impart an overview and history, lessons are easy, not like reading a textbook. This is not dry history, not dry material, not a dreary recitation of facts, charts, and lists that you have to memorize, plod your way through, or otherwise labor over. You experience La Vecchia Religione in your spirit.

This look into my family’s magic is traditional Italian shamanism no one else teaches. A lot of this is material I’ve never taught until now.

stregastarThe course starts April 30, with your first lesson. You receive one lesson a week by email for 11 weeks.

If an unexpected event makes me unable to send one week’s planned material, I’ll extend the course an extra week.

Tuition is $250. Scroll down to pay securely with PayPal:




No experience needed. But even advanced practitioners will enjoy this. If you need more info, or want to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan, call 814-337-2490. No refunds. My online courses aren’t transcriptions of oral tradition lessons. (I teach oral tradition by phone.) The online courses are special unto themselves—magic tailored to be spectacularly effective, relevant, exciting, and safe when learned online.

What to Do after a Major Otherworldly Vision

AfterVision

What to Do after a Major Otherworldly Vision
Alternative title:
A Powerful Calling from the Gods:
Priesthood Means Service

A major, otherworldly, life-changing vision—or a forceful calling from the Gods—that lacks the follow-through of acts of service corrupts one’s spirit eventually.

Without a follow-through of service, the calling or vision ends up feeding the false ego. (… Wow, voice-recognition software turned “feeding the ego” into “cheating the eagle.” Oh, my Gods!)

The false ego then curtails connection with the Divine and creates a mirage of connectivity that gives erroneous information. This misleading guidance leads one into wrongdoing.

The whole process I described of going astray after a major vision or Divine call can occur unwittingly.

NesltrSqTPeople who call themselves a priestess or priest, but the only thing they serve is their own ego—even if they do it unknowingly—get corrupted. Yes, even if they have the best intentions, corruption sets in unknowingly.

I am by no means suggesting the follow-through must be perfect, fearless, or immediate. All human undertakings are far from perfect. And it can take someone a long time to figure out what their follow-through should be.

And often, we might know the most immediate way we can be of service but not know our longterm plan of service yet. That’s to be expected.

For myself, I’ve been in an ongoing process; my ability to serve and the ways I serve both continue to grow, and they need to continue to grow because I cannot rest on my laurels; to whatever degree I am not of service is the exact degree to which my spirit is not whole and the exact degree to which I will not be happy.

I’m not suggesting self-neglect; service includes taking care of myself, knowing my limits, and having boundaries.

A priest or priestess is a servant. That can take many forms. It might mean you give Tarot readings to the general public. Or perhaps your work is hidden because you serve the Gods through constant offerings to Them, rituals to heal Gaia, and tending the property on which you live.

Perhaps your wonderful work would invalidated by misled priests and priestesses who deem your service too humble to be called priesthood, e.g., cooking healthy nutritious meals for your family and otherwise taking care of them on the physical plane.

A Divine call or major vision, without a follow-through of service, not only eventually corrupts the spirit, it also can destroy one’s spiritual peace and material well-being.

If my definition of priesthood— that a priest is a servant—is true, then humility must be an ever present goal.

Achieving humility is a topic unto itself and no easy trait to acquire. Nor is it an asset that, once acquired, is permanent. Finding humility is a lifelong journey. But here are a few suggestions.

1) Find a teacher who does a lot of service and ask them for instruction.

2) Pray for humility.

3) Think of someone whose arrogance really bothers you. Good chance it’s because they’re mirroring your own arrogance. Yes, you may have other good reasons for being bothered by their conceited attitude, such as it hurting those with whom the pompous person comes in contact. But put that aside for a moment and try to determine what in yourself they might be reflecting. You may have to get creative here, because large or subtle differences between their arrogance and yours can make you not see your own. In these instances, I get in touch with the sort of feeling that person’s arrogance gives off, as opposed to any specific haughty actions of theirs that bother me. I then check inside myself to see if that same feeling is in me.

Be assured none of this essay is empty words. Life has taught me a road to happiness, and what I’m saying in this essay describes part of that road.

As a shamanic teacher, I don’t suggest anything I wouldn’t do myself. While I’ve been writing this essay, I’ve also been examining myself for ways I need to apply it to my own life right now. (It doesn’t matter that I’ve applied this essay’s thoughts before; if I’m writing about them, I need to apply them again.) So know you’re not alone in your journey as a visionary or as someone whom the Gods have called; we are in this together, growing and learning, even if we never meet in person or online.

Serve well! You will be whole and happy.

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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

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.

The Love-Witch: a Two-Month Faerie Ceremony

A two-month Faerie love-in! The unconquerable magics of love, gentleness, compassion, play, pleasure, and beauty will help you
* reach goals your heart longs for,
* make the world a better place,
* and enjoy wonderful self-care.

weebunnyhat1Some Pagans insist a “real witch” is always brooding, hexing, and amoral. Humbug! They might call this event “fluffy bunny Paganism,” but the event’s immense power syncs all the way to the center of the earth and rises all the way to the stars.

The Third Road tradition of witchcraft can be fierce and determined. We also have gentle magics that reach goals just as effectively. This event focuses on that gentle mojo, letting our love, compassion, and playfulness radiate to illuminate our lives and the world.

The world needs your loving light, which my student Jenelle Campion describes as a sweetness that’s invalidated.

This event is for witches who strive to be both wild and gentle, strong and compassionate. I call such a Pagan a “Love-Witch.”

You’ll be drenched in love! The event has four magics that add up big. You receive:

1) Long distance direct spiritual transmissions, three days a week, for two months. You don’t have to do anything for the transmission to work. I do the work for you.

Traditional craft—my magic spinning to support your every cell. The transmission shapes to you: it gives you what your heart needs next, helps you go heart-led directions, and nestles you into the love and bounty within the Great Mother’s heart. For two months!

2) Seven ritual circles of love, via group phone call. Our rites together draw on gentle magics—our loving suppleness, light-heartedness, and spiritual beauty—to make a better world, achieve personal goals, and nurture self-love.

These gentle magics also align us with the enchantments that surround us every moment—that power is Divine Love, the most potent magic of all.

It’s a Faerie Love-In! Our shamanic process will be compassion, play, beauty, and pleasure. I push students when needed, but not in these meetings. I’ll guide with a gentle touch. We can best bring gentleness, compassion, play, and pleasure to the world if we give that to ourselves in our own process. These meetings will model that for you.

weebunnyhat2If you’re the rare heart-led being, you know it’s hard to be an agent of love in a world where vision is often scorned by those who prefer greed and narrow-mindedness, Receive tools to do your work in the world and to take loving care of yourself in the process.

Win as an agent of love:

* Has darkness tried to snuff your bright light? We’ll discuss shining brightly without drawing attack and other protections.

* Learn gentle magics that create immunity to cynics, greedy people, and others who fight Love. Move through the world as a love-witch, without being crushed by attacks or discouragers.

* Give yourself all the love, compassion, and joy you readily give everyone else.

Receive personal attention. During tribe meetings, I’ll intuit lessons and rites that help you go where your heart leads and nestle you in Divine Care.

The group meets via group phone call. Simply dial the phone to participate.

We meet seven Thursdays, from 6:00 to 7:00 PM EST. Meetings are spread over two months’ time. Holiday weeks are among those we skip. Meeting dates:

November 10
November 17
December 1
December 8
December 15
December 29
January 12
Reserve Thursday, January 19,
same time, for a makeup class in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions.

(Direct spiritual transmissions start November 7, a few days before class, to begin our Faerie love-in before we even gather.)

3) Heart-Centering: On weeks without tribe meetings, a quick-to-read email centers you in your gentle witchcraft and heart-goals.

4) You receive a full color digital talisman tailored to your unique spirit. I magically activate the talisman to moor you to your Gods’ love and protection as you work toward your life goals and do Their work. Their powers and love feed yours. These talismans are my original art painted in trance. You receive yours as a JPEG by email. (I retain full copyright of my art. Commercial use of the piece is available at additional cost.) Here is one of the talismans, called “Silly Dragon Hiding.” Its detail is blurred a bit by this site’s download process:
sillydragonsmThe email explains the symbol’s specific powers, and includes instructions to receive the symbol’s blessings almost effortlessly.

Individually, all these services would cost $560. I’m reducing their cost:

Pay securely with PayPal, with two options. Both are big savings:

Option 1) Total cost: $460, with two easy automatic monthly payments of $230. Payments appear on the credit card associated with your PayPal account. This option is available if you have a PayPal account. Use the Subscribe button.




Option 2) Pay all at once by October 20 to save another $80. Total cost: $380. You don’t need a PayPal account. Use the Pay Now button.




Upon payment, your place is reserved, and I email you event phone number, etc. Refunds unavailable. For more info, or to discuss scholarship, partial scholarship, or trade, call 814-337-2490. I do not discuss this work by email.

You might pay long-distance charges to call the event’s number (a U.S. area code), depending on your long-distance plan. Charges would appear on your phone bill.

This two-month process can be used as one of the electives needed before advanced Third Road training.

No experience needed. But adepts are deeply impacted.

My poem “We Are the Old Ones” describes a Love-Witch:

We’re the Old Ones—ancient as forests—born into Gaia again
to continue our work and our joy.

We’re dreamers wanting to make a positive difference
by bringing love—and more love—everywhere
our free spirits wander.

We’re the Fey children of Mother Earth
who believe magic infuses
every aspect of Her being and all Her children.

We know Her gentle magics
are as powerful as flashy, overt magics.
We embrace both.

We know a flower found by the roadside
can be a transformative gift to a friend.

We’re the ones who defend
Gaia’s children from being harmed.

We’re the ones who speak up
to protect the defenseless.

We try to make our thoughts and actions
reflect the Goddess’ love.

We take care of people around us,
both those we know well
and those who pass through our lives.

We might do the above things poorly sometimes,
but they’re central to our lives:
we bring love, gentleness, and compassion to the world.
So mote it be.

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Spirit Doll

SpiritDoll1Sometimes our friends/clients don’t need “help,” even if we have skills capable of creating positive change for those we serve. Sometimes we serve a person best by investing our skill set in honoring them—and their circumstances—exactly as they are.

Here’s an example. I know someone who’s suffered extraordinary difficulties for years. I foolishly wanted to meddle—”save” her. I wanted to give her spiritual healings. I wanted to teach her shamanic exercises to become stronger. I wanted to show her abilities she doesn’t know she has. I wanted to make a protective amulet to ward off negative energy around her. I wanted to, I wanted, I wanted. None of it was what she wanted … or needed.

Mind you, everything I longed to do for her is perfect for many of my clients. And could be perfect for her at another time.

But the following is what I did. I made her a totem. As I chose objects for it, I let go of what I thought was “right” for her. Instead, I selected items to honor and celebrate who she already is.

The totem’s sole purpose (oh my, voice-recognition translated that as “soul purpose”) was to represent how wonderful she is. I completely let go of all other agendas. That included releasing the thought that her experience of my celebration might empower her to make changes I felt could help her with her struggles. She knows best, not me.

So there’s a long bone bead with stars in it, because if anybody has stars in her bones, it’s this woman. The wood is European Elder—sambucus nigra—and is a piece so young that it’s mostly soft, spongy pulp—fragile, as are we all. Its youth also gives it a wondrous sensitivity like my friend’s, and a gentle, subtle, yet dynamic magic that my friend has. The ladybug portrays another aspect of that.

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Three luminescent cobalt beads represent the mysteries she lovingly serves. A bead that is probably tiger’s eye and one that is probably goat horn represent how down-to-earth she is; she modestly infuses sacredness into her daily mundane responsibilities, though they are immense and humble.

A purple bead symbolizes the beauty of her spirit and the beauty she gifts people around her. A leaf indicates her care of Gaia’s children. I made the wool bead on top because … well, she’ll know why. And I had to add something sparkly because she is Fey.

At some point in its creation, this wall-hanging chose to be a doll. (Heh, a wall-doll.) So I spun yarn (which I felted a bit to help it set, since its winding wouldn’t be held tight by a weaving or the like) to shape the body.

Is “totem doll” an actual term? … This totem doll represents her spirit. … The term “spirit doll” is popular nowadays. … I could call it a “poppet,” because that’s a term for a doll used in magic. Not that I expect my friend to do spells with this, unless she wants to, but this doll was used magically in that I blessed it. And to play with words, “poppet” is a traditional term of endearment; making this artifact was an expression of love.

SpiritDoll3Creating the poppet was an unexpected gift to myself: I no longer need to fret about someone I hold dear. Affirming some of this woman’s wonderful attributes reminded me she has many other amazing powers, so needs no rescuer; she has every resource she needs within her, including the ability to ask for help when she requires it.

In case someone reads this post as an either/or proposition: I do not usually choose between helping friends/clients create positive change and honoring them exactly as they are. Most of the time, serving them both ways is beneficial.

Facilitating shifts they want in themselves and in their lives is a more respectful process if I also mirror back to them, in word, visual art, or ritual, their beauty and power—including that which is hidden to most eyes and that which they do not even see themselves.

It feels important to mention this sort of mirroring and affirming of those around us can require as much skill, thoughtfulness, and magic as does helping them make changes. For example, I have the psychic ability to see the beauty and power in people, even if they cannot.

Why is it important to mention the skills involved? Because people with lots of skills for creating change can feel frustrated when they can’t use those abilities for someone they care about. But you can apply your gifts another way—to honoring someone just as they are—and accomplish something vitally important. People need to be respected for who they already are. People need to be fully met right where they are.

Sometimes trying to “help” someone robs them of dignity. If instead, we honor them as they follow whatever path they choose, achieve victories that are important to them (as opposed to victories you think they need to gain), make the mistakes they need to make, and explore the parts of themselves they think vital to explore, we give an invaluable respect. That respect is also known as “love.” So mote it be.

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Upcoming Seven-Week Ritual

Witch Power, Ancestors, and Past Lives:
A Seven-Week Faerie Ceremony to Strengthen Our Magic and Our Hearts
This group will meet by teleseminar aka a group meeting by phone.

Our DNA is made of stardust, so magic fills every cell of our bodies. In our veins, ancestors’ blood flows, coursing back to the fiery explosion that created all existence. That dynamic creative power to manifest anything is within us. It is the Old Magic.

MyWebmaster2012SmIn this ritual, we will:

* Heal ancestors and be aligned with them, making our witchcraft and mundane acts powerful. (If you have reasons to avoid ancestors in your specific lineage, there are still ways to do this part of the rite.)

* Heal from centuries of stardust DNA being refuted and suppressed.

* Claim our stardust DNA, casting off confused doubt about our fey essence and gaining confident clarity about being innately magical.

* Heal trauma from past lives.

* Regain the enchanted power and beauty of past lives.

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The above photo is of my mom, may she rest in peace. Her witch blood flows in me, telling me I’m a Goddess. We’re each a God, descendant of the Faerie race. This ritual helps us access our Divine power. The Old Ways can be fully embraced.

This ritual empowers both novices and adepts.

This event is a Faerie Druid rite and a prerequisite for advanced Third Road Druidic training.

Nuts and Bolts:
* These are group meetings by phone. To participate, just dial the phone from anywhere.
* Class meets seven consecutive Thursdays, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm EST, starting Thursday September 15.
* Reserve Nov 3, same time, for a makeup class in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions.
* Tuition: $250. Your usual long-distance charges apply, and appear on your phone bill. The event’s area code is a U.S. #.
* Enroll securely using PayPal. Sign up for “Special Event” at http://www.outlawbunny.com/special-events-registration/
* 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 me at 814-337-2490. No refunds.

ScrollBarHThe Old Gods promise freedom:
we have the right to
an enchanted, fulfilling life,
ease in our steps,
wildness in our hearts,
health in our bodies,
and trust of our beautiful fey souls.
This is a witch’s freedom.
Find it,
celebrate it,
live it: click here to attend the Witch Power ceremony.

Pagan Trends, Absolute Truths, and Trusting Yourself

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Trends change rapidly in the Pagan community. We often see “an indisputable fact” ricochet to its exact opposite within years. These “truths” cause immense discord. How can we navigate these treacherous waters without disavowing our own personal wisdoms? We all find our way of doing it. If I share mine, perhaps that might make finding yours easier.

So, a story:

Way back when, most American Pagans insisted traditional craft was nonexistent. People became downright nasty in their disdainful insistence there is no traditional witchcraft. Nowadays, many Pagans discuss traditional craft, what it is, how to do it, and where to learn it.

The party line back then was that anyone who claimed a traditional craft lineage was a liar. The person in question might be completely discredited.

To the best of my understanding back then: a big name Pagan dishonestly validated the material he taught by saying he’d gotten it from his grandmother, a traditional witch, but he lied about her being a witch.

People just decided, if he was lying, everybody else must be. Good grief!

Ok, let me continue this tale by adding how it affected me personally:

I was raised in a longstanding European-based shamanic family tradition. This was hardly a secret to some of the Pagans I knew. But, in case it’s useful context for the rest of my story, I didn’t have a best selling book yet, so the number of people who knew anything about me were far far fewer than later became the case.

You can imagine, amidst all the vitriol and possibility of being totally discredited, I was thoughtful about when to mention my traditional witchery to a Pagan. I wanted to avoid the near certainty of being branded liar in the larger Pagan community.

Close friends knew my family background, and I’d tell others when it was important. In fact, when the bestseller did come out, its back cover mentioned my mom was a Sicilian witch. To do otherwise would’ve insulted her and all my witch ancestors. But I also used discretion. For example, skirting my family history in casual conversation.

What I’m saying is: navigating the dangerous seas of trending “absolute truths” was challenging—for one thing, it can be frightening to buck popular opinion—but I found ways to maintain integrity while also guarding my emotional equilibrium. We can keeps our spirits whole. Here are two navigation skills that worked for me:

One is knowing it is vital to trust your own beliefs and respect the value of your own experiences, despite people who try to hit you over the head with trends to make you feel ignorant or otherwise not as “authentic” a Pagan as they are.

The second navigation skill is discretion. I want to practice discretion about whether to say something.

Nowadays, most people use the word discretion to mean holding silence. But discretion can also mean wisely considering the best course of action, judging each situation according to its specific circumstances. I’m using the latter definition here. So, in terms of our topic, discretion might lead one to speak—to good purpose—or to remain appropriately mum.

It’s vital to speak up for your beliefs when there’s good reason. Losing self-respect does not constitute successful navigation of treacherous waters.

As to choosing silence, let’s start with the example of avoiding arguments with people who aren’t going to listen.

Back when mentioning a family tradition might completely discredit you with many people, I was at a dinner party where someone who was constantly on power trips declared, in a high and mighty tone, that as a scholar she was devoted to naysaying the possibility of a family tradition. She did not know I came from one. I didn’t tell her. (A friend in the know did surreptitiously wink at me. That was lovely support.)

Most people who jump on trending absolutes will neither listen nor engage in a courteous, informative exchange of ideas, because they’ll rush to prop up wobbly egos with pseudo-knowledge. They’ll just try to browbeat you into feeling you’re wrong, though that may not be their conscious motivation, bless them. Wasting your time in a verbal entanglement amounts to letting someone’s pseudo-truth get the better of you. Your time is sacred.

Yet if she had been honestly interested, and merely misinformed about whether traditional witchcraft existed, I might have discussed my family.

Important aside: Though I avoided an argument at the dinner party, I admit my record’s not perfect with that sort of thing. Luckily, seeing how it depleted and upset me helps me not repeat the mistake any more. A hard won lesson, but one that frees me from other people’s opinionated insistences.

This blog is long but the following feels vital. Another example of discretion and silence:

(Please note, I’m going to use traditional witchery as an example in this essay again. That’s a coincidence. The examples have no relation. So don’t think you need to connect the dots between examples.)

More than once, a segment of the Pagan community inflated their position to one of dominance by stating “superior” pseudo-truths, and I could have deflated their posturing by disclosing a bit of traditional witchcraft’s sacred lore.

I stayed mute about the lore. I was blessed to have received it, so would not disclose it merely to prove a point to people who would not have viewed it as precious information but who would have pawed it.

They’d have greedily grabbed at it as mere words—exploited it as verbal fodder they could parrot to appear in-the-know and first string. (Heh, at least I got to feel smug about keeping my mouth shut. … Ok, I admit, feeling superior wasn’t good for me.)

Had I said anything authentic, nobody would have cared. The agenda on their table was to show how important and “wise” you were. That was not an agenda I wanted to be part of, even though telling them traditional material would’ve moved me to the top of the food chain. But climbing up would have actually, as the old expression goes, dragged me down to their level. … Goddess, I was tempted anyway. … Maybe smugness about my silence was my solace.

My story about being silent is relevant to discretion stopping fake truths from derailing your personal hard-won beliefs, in the following ways:

Opening my mouth would have been my ego reacting to theirs, as well as meeting their attempt to move up in a hierarchy with a similar attempt of my own. Both of those would have betrayed my personal belief in not living in ego or falling prey to power struggles.

It also would have wasted my time and life force, instead of me going about my merry business, living happily according to my own ecstatic truths.

Responding to someone’s power play with one of our own can be incredibly tempting, but also incredibly damaging to ourselves. Ego-driven magic and power-hungry grabs put someone on the slippery slope of chasing chimera more and more, less and less living joyously in the beautiful world the Goddess created for us.

Had I shared the lore for the purposes of my ego, I also would have debased that material. Reduced to mere words in order to feed my ego, the power of that beautiful material would’ve been lost to me, crumbled into dust like Faerie gold.

There’s one more way someone’s pseudo-truth would’ve gotten the better of me if I’d blabbed sacred knowledge for the sake of ego and dominance. I would’ve betrayed my following personal truth: I hold my religion sacred by only using it for honorable purposes. To do otherwise, I would truly have failed navigating the rocky seas of community-enforced pseudo-truths and sunk to the depths.

When magic and spirituality become tools to create unhealthy hierarchy—aka dominate others—they go sour. So does the spirit of the practitioner in question. His soiled shamanic path is handed down to his students, its very essence feeding their worst aspects, perhaps subtly but thoroughly. A nightmare for the community.

When magic and spirituality remain tools to serve, in respect for our differences, those tools become more powerful and capable. So do our spirits. Free of contentious opinions and excess verbiage, our innate magic fills each day, often silently. We become blessed by—and a blessing for—community.

I hope some of my above opinions are useful to you.

I teach traditional craft. My Gods bless me with wise students: They are wise in so many ways, but one is that we all respect each other. Honoring our differing views as assets allows each of us to uniquely contribute to the group’s magic and well-being. This in turn allows each of us to benefit from all the participants’ strengths.

If you’d like to join us, I teach mostly via group phone calls—aka teleseminars. Subscribe to my free newsletter, which tells you about upcoming classes: http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/InfoForm.htm

Have a magical day.