Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pagan Blog Project- S is for Salt

I am a witch, but I am also a poor witch :). As such I have to make use of things I use on a regular basis or which can be obtained very cheaply.

So I usually go through my cabinets and see what I have on hand and I always have some salt :). Salt is cheap, easy to use and can be used in a variety of ways.

Protection Magic- salt can be used in spells and rituals as a protection item. Add a few grains to a gris gris or mojo bag and you have a portable device for protection. You can also sprinkle salt around the area you are working in to protect from negative energies. For example to form a protective circle or a circle of salt around a mirror for scrying.

Kitchen Magic- when cooking meals, you can add herbs to infuse magic into your meals. Salt can be added for protection or purification/cleansing.

Ritual bathing- when I do rituals I always like to prepare by taking a ritual bath. The salt not only softens the skin but helps cleanse away physical dirt as well as negativity. The Egyptians used natron in all of their cleansing needs. You can even color bath salts for use in sympathetic magic as well. For example, using blue food coloring with salt and then adding to the bath can help facilitate healing magic.

Earth magic- salt is considered related to the element of earth (at least in my way of doing things). You can use salt as a consecration tool for cleansing altars and altar tools. Just be careful of what you use salt on, it can be abrasive to certain objects. 

In most wiccan covens a ritual circle is usually cast prior to performing ritual. In some traditions, salt is mixed with water to help cast the circle. 

I had a friend who used to live in an old plantation home. She complained of being able to feel this negative energy throughout the home, so we put together a cleansing party. Once we were able to complete the cleansing we also added salt around windows to keep out negative energies. 

Do you use salt in your practice?


Pagan Blog Project- R is for Repetition

The online free dictionary defines repetition as

rep·e·ti·tion   (rp-tshn)
1. The act or process or an instance of repeating or being repeated.
2. A recitation or recital, especially of prepared or memorized material.

[Middle English repeticioun, from Old French repeticion, from Latin repetti, repettin-, from repettus, past participle of repetereto repeat; see repeat.]

repe·tition·al adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

repetition [ˌrɛpɪˈtɪʃən]
1. the act or an instance of repeating; reiteration
2. a thing, word, action, etc., that is repeated
3. a replica or copy
4. (Law) Civil and Scots law the recovery or repayment of money paid or received by mistake, as when the same bill has been paid twice
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

I was raised Catholic and was active in the church until my early 30's. Anyone who has ever  been Catholic or just attended a service there knows that repetition is a big part of their rituals.  As children we are taught our prayers and had to recite them every night to make sure we learned them properly and retained the knowledge. Mass is always done on the exact same format, with maybe the exception of Easter Sunday or Christmas. Otherwise, regular masses are always done the same. One could walk into a church in another country, but still know what was going on at any time of the ceremony. This is one concept from my christian upbringing that I do firmly still believe in. 
Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.
I am not sure about anyone else, but for me, I learn faster by doing. So repetition is a staple in my life, including my pagan faith. Rituals and spells work so much better when you know what you are doing and learning things by heart or at least knowing them well enough for a good flow makes a world of difference. I do believe that words are power and if you are speaking from the heart and remember the words instead of just reading them off a paper makes the words so much more powerful. At least in my opinion. Now I do on occasion not remember everything and I do use note cards to guide my way, but I am at least familiar enough to still say the words with meaning. I am working on memorizing my invocations and such and I have seen a difference on how my rituals and spells work when I do it this way. Practice makes perfect. So practice, practice, practice and learn repetition, repetition, repetition.
Do you use repetition in your faith?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pagan Blog Project- R is for Rites of Passage

My definition of Rites of Passage are ceremonies that mark important/significant events that happen in a person's life. Wiccan's have many celebrations that can be performed and celebrated.

Belly Blessings- performed on mothers-to-be as a blessing for both mom and child. Mom can also be pampered during these ceremonies.

Wiccaning/Naming Ceremonies- done once a child is born. The child is blessed and introduced to the gods and elements. Different traditions will have different ways of doing this.

Becoming a Woman- done for girls who have started menstruating.

Becoming a Man- done for boys who are entering teen years.

Handfasting/Marriage- this can be a spiritual or legal ceremony, joining a couple together as husband and wife, or partners. In older times a Handfasting was for a year a day, but now people tend to go longer :)

Divorce/Handparting- done when a marriage or partnership ends.

Croning or Saging- done for elders who are ready to enter the next stage of their life.

Death- service to honor the dearly departed.

Other rites of passage can also include initiation into a coven or even your own dedication to your gods can be viewed as a rite of passage.

What rites do you celebrate in your faith?



Q is for Q & A- Pagan Blog Project

I have seen others do a Q&A section as part of the PBP before, so I thought I would join on the band wagon :). I do think that if people get to know someone just a little better, the more they are likely to visit again. So here are a few questions I came up with. If there are any other questions you would like answered, just ask!

How long have you been on your current path? I found the goddess in 2001, so 11 years now.

How did you find your path? I was actually raised Roman Catholic. On a trip to Salem, MA in October of 2001, my sister came out of the broom closet to me and introduced me to the goddess. After that I started doing my own research and haven't looked back.

What is your path? I do consider myself Wiccan, but I am not a fanatic nor do I believe the rede is a law or commandment. I view it more as an ideal to strive for. I do not weigh every single decision I make against it, but I do think about the rede for important decisions. I am also very eclectic. I do not come from a specific tradition and take bits and pieces from here and there. My sister and I are very interested in bringing back hereditary witchcraft. Of course our children won't qualify as hereditary, but it is our hope that they will teach their kids, and their kids teach their kids, etc.

Do you practice solitary or with a coven? My sister, husband and I do have a coven, KOTH, Keepers of the Hearth which started as an Internet coven so my sister and I had a way to celebrate our faith together. Today KOTH is a physical coven here in SW Louisiana.

Are you in or out of the broom closet? Actually, a little of both :). I don't hide who I am. If you are on my facebook page then you have seen the pagan items plastered on it :). But at work or in public I don't scream "Hey look at me, I am pagan". But if asked, I certainly won't lie about it. Some of my immediate family knows, the others don't want to know :) We have told them, if you really want to know, just ask. To date no one has asked, I guess they are afraid of what the answer might be.

Are you active in the pagan community? Yes I try to be. Here locally, we have a few outings that are regularly scheduled. For example, we have coffee cackle which is the first Sunday of every month unless it falls on a holiday. This is just a networking idea for people of like minds to get together and get to know each other. We also have tarot study groups and sharing circles once a month. Our community is small, but we do have a dedicated few who try to make a difference. We do have a community yahoo group for new people to find us as well. On the not so local front, I am also involved in the planning for the NOLA PPD which will be held next year in New Orleans. We have a great line up happening, more details to follow later on.

What are your hobbies or interests? I love to read and have way too many books :) And my kindle is getting fuller each day as well. I also love movies, especially sci-fi. I am a Star Wars fanatic :) My family and I also enjoy being outdoors, taking nature walks and camping whenever we can. We also love to travel and attend as many pagan festivals as possible.

This is just a basic overview of me. If you have any specific question, just let me know.