Dear Silver RavenWolf, you were right!

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Dear Silver RavenWolf,

I’m writing you this letter to thank you for helping me get started on the path to Witchcraft and Paganism. I want to tell you the tale of how I came you and your inspirational writing so you’ll have a better understanding of the impact it had on my life. I was 14 years old when the first copy of “Teen Witch” fell into my hands from one of my Wiccan friends who had her own high school coven. At the time, I was fence sitting between a very poor understanding of Christianity as explained to me by my Grandmother and this new path, modern Paganism. I remember being so afraid to make a choice between those worlds that I actually asked my friend, “Well, can I be both?”

My Wiccan  friend at the time explained it to me while passing Teen Witch into my hands. I remember being so upset at not understanding what was going on at the time. “You can’t be both. You’re one or the other. It isn’t Paganism that has an issue with you being Christian, it’s Christianity that has an issue with Pagans. Those two belief systems don’t work together because of the fundamental tenets of each.” I remember the hot tears rolling down my face as the insecurity of leaving Christianity behind began to raise the bile up in my throat. I had to get answers from some one I trusted more than just a girl I’d known in high school for just a few months.

I brought the book home and thumbed through the pages. I didn’t give it the attention that it deserved. My home life was less than perfect. My dad was dying from end-stage renal failure and needed a lot of my help and my mother, of whom I had never been close to worked a full time job as a nurse. Spirituality was the realm that my father ruled over because he was the only parent that spoke strongly of his beliefs. You couldn’t call my father Catholic, although he was raised to be a devout practitioner of that particular path. He was fairly open-minded and was always up for some kind of debate as to the nature of things. I look back on it now and I see my dad struggling to see reality in much the same way I have done in my adult life.

I asked my dad about the nature of God, the universe, and even the powers of the mind. At the time, I was opening my mind to the reality that Magick existed and I was not crazy when I put my intention in something and it came true. My dad explained that no one really knows the true answer and that we either have to follow our hearts or follow our minds to the answer that is right for us. Some people find a lot of validity in Christianity and that’s alright for them. It does not give anyone the right to “hi-jack” your spirituality no matter what path they serve. I didn’t come out and tell my dad that I was considering Paganism yet I have the overwhelming feeling that he already knew that the tide was turning for his daughter. My dad had some natural intuition that I’m only now beginning to recognize as I raise my own five girls.

When my dad passed from this world on July 20th, 1999, my entire world changed. First, I was angry at God and told the universe that I was done believing in fairy tales and bible stories. Then I found that there was a scary, black emptiness that accompanied me during this time. It was depression, repressed memories of childhood and a host of other dark thoughts that occur to teenagers when they loose a parent. I was alone in the world, or so I thought at the time. My Wiccan friend was long gone out of my life and was no longer there to talk to since during my initial shock of losing my dad, I told her off and said things that I shouldn’t have said to another person.

All I had was the title of a book to give me some kind of direction in life. I went to my nearest Walden Books and bought myself a copy with the money from my summer job. I poured over the pages and studied each section carefully. No longer having my dad for any kind of direction, Paganism began to take root in my heart as a form of guidance. It was your words, Silver, that inspired me during the darkest time of my life. I remember Mabon of 1999 when I swore my first Oath to uphold all that being a Witch was, according to your book. In fact, while performing the ritual, the page got away from me and I was inspired to make my own ritual to put the most of my self into the promise.

Thank you, Silver RavenWolf. Eighteen years have come and  gone by since I took those first awkward steps on my path. I’ve made a lot of mistakes yet I’ve also done a lot of good things with my life. I’ve recognize my own passion to write and you’ve been an inspiration for that realization. I’m going to be a Pagan writer myself and follow in your footsteps.  I’ve found a wonderful Pagan community full of teachers, friends, and challenges that force me to be a better person.  That Community, Deeply Rooted, is where I’m currently pursuing the path of ordained Pagan Clergy. While so much of my beliefs have evolved since reading your book and I don’t agree with everything you’ve written, I do recognize the amazing work you did to show so many wayward girls and boys another way of doing things.

This blessing is for you, Silver. May you always have the inspiration you seek to achieve your goals. May your writing always impress upon your readers all the potential that Neo-Paganism has and challenge them to find answers to questions that they seek. May you live a long, comfortable life and may you always have a voice in our community. Thank you for the memories, the adventures, and the personal realization that there is always a choice to be a better person than you were born. May you always know that fact, Silver! Blessed Be!

 

PS: Congratulations on your new book and line of candles! I’m excited to work with them!

 

 

Deeply Rooted Clergy Training Manual Draft #1

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This is my contribution to the Clergy training program that is in place at Deeply Rooted Church in Athens, WI. This is only a draft and all contents of this document will be agreed and voted upon by the members of Deeply Rooted Church. It is my wish that everyone has a chance to contribute towards it and that this copy is meant to be a template. Right now, the document is 8 pages. I would love for each and every member to add their needs, dreams, and wishes for Deeply Rooted’s Clergy into this manual.

Please excuse the grammar and language in this document, as I said, it’s only a draft. The entire contents of this manual belong to Deeply Rooted Church and may not be replicated anywhere without express written permission by the organization.

 

Deeply Rooted

Clergy Training Manual

Draft #1

Clergy Council Mission Statement

The goal of this training manual is educate and guide prospective members of Clergy towards active service to Deeply Rooted Church and ordination. It provides a path filled with diversity, ethical standards and personal growth that is reflected in the applicant’s personal “Book of Roots” and is reviewed and evaluated by a team of dedicated individuals with a passion for spiritual leadership. Grooming individuals for such leadership extends beyond our community and has a very direct impact on the larger Pagan society. If Paganism wants to advance, then we must have very dedicated Clergy in place ready to build connections to our land and assist us to restore our connection to the Gods, magick & positive values of our ancestors.

The demand to have individuals who are well-versed in social skills, anthropological and historical knowledge and counseling remains very high as we enter into the dawn of Paganism. Applicants will be immersed and challenged in all areas of Deeply Rooted’s existing culture, philosophy, traditions, rituals as well as an education on the basics and more advanced work in the field of magick. Deeply Rooted is a varied community of folks from many spiritual paths that make up the modern face of Paganism today, it is our wish to have leaders that inspire, teach, and mold the future of our still-developing traditions. This training manual was written to provide a very specific method of teaching such traditions so that the applicant will be as completely prepared as possible to serve our Tribe and also the Pagans that exist outside of Deeply Rooted’s sacred land.


Preparation

  • Application

    • This application will be submitted to the Clergy Council & the Board of Directors for review and approval. It will also be posted to our membership on the Face Book group. Members of our community can always their concerns about applicants to the attention of the Board of Directors or to ordained members of the Clergy Council.

    • The application will consist of questions relating to legal information, experience, prior background in Paganism and other questions relating to the applicant’s pastoral goals.

    • Applicant will review and sign the “Clergy Code of Conduct sheet and submit it to the Clergy Committee along with their application for acceptance.

    • Applicant will be a paid member of good standing for at least one year prior to applying for Lay Clergy.

    • Applicant is expected to uphold the “Clergy Code of Conduct” during the entire duration of their training and also after their acceptance into Clergy via ordination. This will include a social media policy on a separate document. If an applicant fails to uphold the Clergy Council’s Code of Conduct, they will be warned three times by an ordained member of Clergy before removal from the training program.

      The applicant will be allowed to resubmit an application after a period of six months however they will have to provide additional support in the form of service to the land and the community in order to be considered for re-acceptance into the Clergy training program. If any disciplinary actions have resulted from their deeds as deemed by the Deeply Rooted Board of Directors and the Clergy Council, re-admittance into the program can be denied without further discussions.

  • Pre-Course Assignments

    • What is your definition of Pagan Clergy?

    • Why do you want to become Clergy and what would you like to improve upon in the community? What are your goals?

    • What is your definition of service and how can you best serve Deeply Rooted?

    • What is your spiritual path and what pantheon, if any, do you serve?

    • Self-Evaluation of experiences, strengths, and opportunities for growth.

  • Expectations of Lay Clergy

    • Meeting with ordained Clergy on expectations.

      • Lay Clergy will be expected to complete all assignments for the year in a timely manner.

      • Lay Clergy will be expected to regularly attend major sabbats and the equinoxes (may miss up to 2 without excuse, more absences will require a reevaluation of progress by sponsor.)

      • Lay Clergy will be expected to attend and work (2) work weekends for the year on the grounds of Deeply Rooted or another approved sister community. If there is a reason that this can not be completed, it can be discussed with the teacher of the student beforehand to ensure that that accommodations are met to to the standard of the community.

      • Lay Clergy must remain a member in good standing as it is defined by the by-laws during the entire course of the training program. If there has been any sort of grievance filed, it is at the discretion of the Clergy Committee and the Board of Directors to remove the student from the training program with or without explanation.

      • Applicants with current disciplinary actions against them in progress at the time of submission of their Clergy application may be denied acceptance into the training program. The Clergy Council and the Board of Directors shall meet either in person, over the phone, or over video chat to discuss entrance into the program and any challenges that might arise from acceptance.

      • Ordained Clergy will also go over points such as confidentiality, pastoral counseling, and other matters that may come up during the course of the training program.

      • Lay Clergy will be expected to work as harmoniously as possible with previously ordained Clergy, other applicants to the Clergy training program, and all other members within Deeply Rooted. If there is a conflict that arises, the individual in training will be expected to bring up their concerns through the appropriate channels. Lay Clergy represents Deeply Rooted and Paganism in every action and that includes dealing with social challenges as maturely as possible.

      • Lay Clergy is expected to act appropriately on and off the premises of Deeply Rooted at all times. Lay Clergy represent the community and are expected to act accordingly on-line, at non-Deeply Rooted events or any other forum where Deeply Rooted is representing the larger Pagan community.

      • Lay Clergy applicants are expected to be “self-starters” and it’s encouraged for them to do extra curricular work to express their dedication to the progress of serving both Land and Tribe.

      • Lay Clergy are expected to assist with, write, or conduct at least 9 rituals in a three year time period. This could be solely performing the ritual, helping out existing Clergy with their rituals or writing rituals to be performed by other applicants or folks interested in rituals. The amount of rituals performed by the applicant can exceed 9, yet this is a minimum amount. It could be broken up into 3 rituals per year or all at once. This ensures the applicant is familiar and comfortable with performing public rituals for the community.

      • Lay Clergy will be expected to perform “field work” outside of the premises of Deeply Rooted. This includes attending non-Deeply Rooted events, visiting members from within our Tribe, or attending workshops held at other communities. If an event costs more money than the applicant can furnish, Deeply Rooted may provide a scholarship for that event or workshop depending upon the cost and transportation involved. The scholarship may cover all or part of the sum needed and will be awarded through hard work done for the community.

      • Periodic sabbaticals will be required from time-to-time to allow students a break from coursework and the ability to study or reevaluate themselves. This is not disciplinary or “personal” to anyone and remains at the discretion of both ordained Clergy or the Board of Directors based upon the situation. This also ensures that students are not burned out from the work that has been placed upon them.

      • Upon ordination, Clergy will only be recognized as ordained Clergy for Deeply Rooted unless it has been discussed as otherwise.

      • Acceptance into the training program and completion of the assigned materials does not guarantee ordination. This will be determined by the Board of Directors and the Clergy Council.

    • Review of previous assignments and application.

    • Selection of Sponsor / Teacher.

  • Sponsorship

    • Selection of a teacher / sponsor will be approved by Clergy committee.

      • Sponsor / Teacher must either be ordained Clergy or another clergy committee approved individual with at least 2 years of regular membership at Deeply Rooted.

      • Sponsor / Teacher will be in charge assignments, communication with their student and overall direction. They will also be instrumental in the evaluation process needed to determine the readiness or eligibility of the student.

      • Sponsor / Teacher will follow conflict of interest rules when chosen for a student. Teachers can not be romantically or otherwise involved with their students. If a relationship or something else develops, another teacher / sponsor can be found to eliminate a conflict of interest.

      • Sponsor / Teacher will also be assigning some work for their students that is relevant towards that student’s particular spiritual path. For example, a student who is passionate about the Kemetic path may be asked to write and perform a 2.0 Ritual after the major sabbat ritual has been performed. This ensures that our students will be challenged from time to time and be keeping a focus on their chosen pantheon. It also provides the community with a diversity in rituals.

  • Clergy Council & Board of Directors Approval

    • Meeting with the Clergy Council, consisting of the ordained Clergy, lay Clergy and Clergy Committee members as well as a meeting with the Deeply Rooted Board of Directors for final approval for training.

    • This provides the community with a “checks & balance” system for the Clergy Training Program.

  • Oath to serve Land & Tribe

    • Swear an oath to serve both the Land of Deeply Rooted and also the Tribe. The Tribe may bringing up expectations of their own during this time as well as well wishes or other challenges. This experience should give the student an idea of what will be required of them in the future.

    • Begin “Book of Roots” to store assignments, evaluations and other relevant coursework. This will be a wonderful way for both student and teacher to review the progress a student has made over the course of their three year training.

    • Lay Clergy applicants will be expected to chose a shrine or circle to manage and maintain. During the course of their training, they will be expected to provide upkeep for this area such as mowing the lawn, cleaning, or upgrades. This ensures that each of our shrines has some one to take care of them and also helps the applicant develop a relationship with the land.

Year 1


Theme “The Basics”, Public Ritual Work & Connection with the Land

Required Reading List (Teachers may assign additional)

1. True Magick by Amber K

2. Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland

3. To Light a Sacred Flame by Silver RavenWolf

4. Living Wicca by Scott Cunningham

5. Sabbats by Edain McCoy


Field Work

1. Managing and maintaining a shrine on the grounds of Deeply Rooted. Student will be expected to help with mowing, gardening or any other physical help needed to maintain the circle or shrine of their choosing. They are also encouraged to upgrade the existing shrine as long as any changes to the shrine are approved by the head of the Buildings and Grounds committee. They will also be encouraged to write and perform a ritual at that shrine as either a main celebration ritual or additional side ritual.


Assignments (One for Each Sabbat / Esbat)

1. What is Paganism? When did you decide to become a Pagan?

2. How do you define and view mental illness in the Pagan community?

3. What are the responsibilities of Pagan Clergy?

4. Who is the most influential Pagan in the course of our history?

5. Why is it important to build a connection with the land?

6. How are rituals important for the development of Pagan communities?

7. How is Paganism represented in Pop Culture? Is that view of our spiritual path accurate or skewed by fantasy?

8. Where and how do you see yourself in the future of Paganism?


Extra Credit

1. Read Coven Craft by Amber K

2. Write or perform a public ritual at their chosen shrine.

3. Read Taking Sacred Back: The Complete Guide to Designing and Sharing Group Ritual by Nels Linde, Judith E Olson-Linde

Evaluation takes at Yule and will determine progression to next level.

Year 2

Theme Diversity, Ethics & Service to the Community

Required Reading List (Teachers may assign additional materials)

1. Legitimating New Religions by James R. Lewis

2. The Truth about Witchcraft Today by Scott Cunningham

3. Hereditary Witchcraft by Raven Grimassi

4. Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals by Luisah Teish

5. The Secrets of High Magick by Francis Melville

Field Work

1. Visit a non-Deeply Rooted Pagan event and write a report about your experience to share on the Deeply Rooted website.

2. Attend 3 different Christian denomination Sunday services. Write a report about the differences and similarities between these denominations.
Assignments
(One for Each Sabbat / Esbat)

Assignments (One for Each Sabbat / Esbat)

1. What are the responsibilities of a Magickal Practitioner?

2. Pick a Path that you have never researched and answer the following question. What are the principles of that particular spiritual path that make it unique?

3. Write a ritual for cultural pantheon assigned to you by your teacher.

4. What is the view of Christianity as defined by a Pagan?

5. What is Christianity’s view of Paganism? Does Christianity feel that there is competition or any real spiritual threat?

6. Who was the most influential ancient Pagan society and what was their impact on our present?

7. Why is it important to practice Magick ethically?

8. Do you interact with Deities? If so, how do you view your chosen Deity?

Extra Credit

1. Read Shades of Faith: Minority Voices in Paganism by Crystal Blanton

2. Perform a 2.0 ritual from assigned to you by your teacher.

3. Help with hosting a Paganicon suite.

4. Run an event weekend by yourself, such as Women’s Weekend or Games, Crafts and Curry.

Evaluation takes at Yule and will determine progression to next level.

Year 3

Theme Pastoral Counseling, Death & Dying, Rites of Passage & the Future

Required Reading List (Teachers may assign additional materials)

1. On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

2. Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions by Starhawk & Diane Baker

3. Witchcraft Today by Gerald Gardner

4. Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca And Paganism in America by Chas. S. Clifton

5. Evolutionary Witchcraft by T. Thorn Coyle

Field Work

1. Visit or volunteer at a hospice or attend a workshop on death and dying.

2. Sit in on pastoral counseling as along as there is consent from all parties. All confidentiality rules must be followed. If no real counseling is available, folks from Clergy can role play a scenario with help from members for the sake of the lesson.

3. Lay Clergy must perform or assist in 1 Rite of Passage ceremony for at least 2 members that year which could be anything including Wiccanings, funerals, handfastings, etc.


Assignments (One for Each Sabbat / Esbat)

1. What is American society’s view on death and what are the challenges Pagans face in preserving our beliefs?

2. How does Paganism view death and the dying process?

3. Why is confidentiality important when dealing in pastoral counseling?

4. Rites of Passage: Why are they important to the longevity of a culture?

5. Why is is important to preserve ideas from our past? What lessons have you learned from ancient human history that apply in your own life?

6. Where do you see yourself as leadership in the future of Paganism? In what direction would you go if you were ordained tomorrow?

7. What do you think is the most valuable asset in the development of modern Paganism?

8. Why is it important to support other spiritual communities? What impact does the longevity of other communities have on Deeply Rooted and Modern Paganism?

Extra Credit

1. Visit or volunteer at a NiCU

2. Invent your own modern Pagan Rite of Passage and perform that ritual publicly.

Evaluation for Ordination

  • Evaluation for ordination occurs when the third year of the training program finishes and all assignments have been reviewed. A meeting with the Clergy Committee will take place to put forth a final vote. After that process, the applicant will be put before the Community. All paid members of Deeply Rooted will have a chance to voice their concerns or approval of the applicant. The applicant serves the Deeply Rooted community, so their approval is paramount and completely necessary to proceed to the next step. If no one from the membership voices any concerns, then the applicant may choose a sabbat that they feel connected with to become ordained.

  • The applicant will be assigned a 2.0 ritual to conduct after their ordination performed on the Sabbat of their choosing.

Ordination

As stated previously, the mission of Deeply Rooted’s Clergy Training Program is to provide the future of Paganism with honest, ethical, knowledgeable and compassionate leadership. The most important principles from this entire course are as follows.

  • The applicant involved in this course has seen it through from beginning to end and has put forth their best effort possible.

  • The applicant has demonstrated a knowledge of basic, intermediary, and advanced knowledge of a wide variety of different cultural beliefs and magick.

  • The applicant is a motivated self-starter who can take an assignment to the next level.

  • The applicant is a good representation of what Paganism is at Deeply Rooted. They are familiar with the culture, philosophies, traditions and values of the entire Tribe. They have grown as a person through their various interpersonal interactions and research.

  • The applicant realizes their potentials, strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. They understand the need to take sabbaticals and have realistic expectations of themselves.

  • The applicant has demonstrated the compassion and objectivity to effectively resolve interpersonal issues within the Tribe.

  • The applicant has grown as a person. In doing so, they have effectively changed who they are and the course of their destinies. They are now Deeply Rooted Clergy.

Continued Education

The Deeply Rooted Clergy Training manual and program is only the first step. Even Ordained Clergy realize that they can not possibly know everything. They understand the need to stay relevant in order to effectively communicate to their community. Deeply Rooted Clergy makes every effort to attend whatever workshops are offered, read whatever books may be relevant to issues ongoing throughout the community and stay open-minded to the many teachers that life presents. Experience is the teacher that the lesson of life affords us. Mistakes captured by wisdom are seldom repeated.

Women’s Weekend 2018 – Isis and Hathor

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Opening of the Ways Ritual

Open, O’ Slumbering Terra beneath my feet! Awaken heartily from Your long rest and honor us with Your presence in the Northern quarter. I open the connection to You, Sacred Earth!

Open, O’ Soothing Gusty Breeze! Awaken playfully and honor us with Your presence in the Eastern quarter! I open the connection to You, Sacred Wind!

Open, O’ Fiery Child of Light who calls to divine desire! Awaken hungrily and honor us with Your Presence in the Southern quarter! I open the connection to You, Sacred Fire!

Open, O’ Sparkling Waters of the Womb and River! Awaken radiantly and honor us with Your presence in the Western quarter! I open the connection to You, Sacred Water!

Open, O’ Sol of RA! Open, O’ Luna of Khonsu! Open, O’ Abyss of the Afterworld!

The Gates of the Temples Isis and Hathor have been flung wide and open! We are ready for You, O’ Goddesses of the Ways! I open the connection to you, ISIS and HATHOR!

The Circle is Open yet Never Broken!
As Above, So Below

So Below, As Above!

Invoking the Goddesses

Lady Isis of Magick and Healing, We call to You! We call to the Watcher of Women and the Keeper of Mothers! We call upon the sacred name of Eset to guide us through our path!
Be welcomed, Great Queen Isis!

Lady Hathor of Beauty and Inner Strength, We call to You! We call to the Life Giver and the Protectorate of Women! We call upon the sacred name of Mehurt to instruct us through our darkest times! Be welcomed, Shining Queen of the West!

Isis and Hathor “Open the Ways” for Us

We have called You, Isis & Hathor to assist us today.
The grains of sand that represent time have taken much from us.
We are Pagan women, alive and well in the craft! We ask you,
Sacred Goddesses of Motherhood, Magick, Healing, Sexuality and Beauty,
those who embody the strength and raw power of the sacred feminine,

To Open wide the Ways for Us!
Be as teachers, guides, and Sisters to us!
Please reveal to each lady standing here within this circle,
in Your very own way,
The vision needed to MOVE FORWARD from the past
Assist us in writing the tale of our own destinies!

Please advise and counsel us in dream, dance, and speech!
So that every woman here may embody You
and find the starlight that dwells within!
We ask for You, Great Queens of Africa,

Warriors of Life and Death,
Open the Ways for Us!
Let our creativity and imagination flow like the Nile!

Let our love for one another endure and create Sisterhoods
that honor the old and create new ways!


So Mote it Be!

Lady Isis, Lady Hathor
We direct Your attention towards our newly crowned Queen!

We honor Her as we Honor You!
Please welcome, Willow LeFay into the fold of Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Queens and Warriors!

Willow, what have you learned?

Willow, what do you bring to us?


Willow, what do you seek?

And who will help her upon her way? (All Shout US!)

Then Willow, it is my honor to give you these Wings of Isis. May they carry you towards the brightest future!


(Willow gets her wings and is smudged with sage)

Great Mothers, Hathor and Isis!
We now direct Your attention to Lady Shahara!
She who has fed us when we hungered,
blanketed us when we were chilled,
and hugged us when we wept…
Shahara has been our Mother in the absence of our own!
We ask You Goddesses
to watch over and protect this Great Mother!
And
let her behold the radiance within her eternal soul!
So mote it be!

(Holds Mirror, a symbol of Hathor, up to Shahara and Smudges her with sage)

Closing

What I Love about The Shaman’s Drums

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What I Love about The Shaman’s Drums

What I love about the Shaman’s Drums is the beat that carries from heart to hand
emotions stirred by smoke and trance,
feather and quill, laughter and tears culminating into a single truth
What I love about the Shaman’s Drum is reflected in the storm cloud on the prairie,
the sultry rumble of the solar season as it writhes Mother earth’s marshy thighs
The thrumming and strumming of the Shaman’s beat excites me,
summoning forth the wild rage within me!

What I love about the Shaman’s Drum, is the first reflection of memory,
like an icy mirror casting it’s gaze beyond the snowy mountains.
The sun peaks it’s head from it’s lofty throne and enshrouds us with light and clouds,
a velvet sunrise working it’s charm on my senses.
What I love about the Shaman’s Drum is the the way it resonates within me,
As if we’ve danced this dance before, caught in some vision left in a dream.
Dance in tune with his rhythmic being, cast a glance to sky and earth entwined
Let’s sing of victory! Of our losses! Of our ancestor’s tales!

Let’s love the Shaman’s Drum Together!
Let the beat carry between the walls formed by our imaginations,
Birth us into reality, bring us kicking and yelling into each other’s arms
In trance, in universal harmony with the heart beats of our brothers and sisters
What I love about the Shaman’s Drum is how it unites us when we’ve divided ourselves
One Tribe, Under Truth, One Rhythm of Voice

April Fool’s Day Poem

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April Fool’s

Humanity is a curious paradox. Free will used to enlighten versus free will used to harm.
A world of contradictions and duplicity.
I learned this for myself in the course of my path!
Are you a victim of your own self-delusion?
Have you looked into the mirror only to discover that you are reflecting on your failures?
Have you ever considered that you’re the mirror of what you think you are?
That the lies you’ve told yourself have become reality?
What will you do with that new found power?
Will you turn it around? Will you prove yourself to yourself?
Can you help others? Can you bring them to the same mountain that you’ve scaled?
Is the patience there to overcome the energy that’s released?
Or will you seek more darkness because hiding has become all too familiar?
Can you take these lessons and look at the victories that are also present in the whole image?
You were never meant to be defined by your failures…
You were meant to shine like the sun.
Your eyes are meant to reflect the awesome power of nature….
Twin orbs, one reflecting the inner and one the outer vision, the completeness of self and acceptance
Not only defeat and arrogance
We are the sole authority on who defines us, not other people
So stop blaming them, stop lying to yourself, you knew what you got into when you did it and ignoring the strength is just as bad as not having any at all.
Those are all aspects of nature whether we deify it or not.
That is the power of Truth, the power of being
That is the power of not being a victim to your own circumstances.
Accept the ills of your past, don’t forget them, don’t be complacent in that knowledge
Look also at what you were able to do,
Stop looking for something to come along and save you, people don’t work like that
But you can! You can make the world you want to create!
Stop looking for a way out, it isn’t there
There’s no heaven or hell, there’s only this life, and what comes next is not the same as this precious moment in time
This time, you know what you can do to make it right
The Savior comes from Within not from Without
From being the sum of parts as a whole, not broken and separated
Be something more in spite of your abuse, neglect, bad decisions, not because of it.
Be something more than a victim, be your own hero!

April Fool’s, the only joke you ever played was on yourself!

Stop!

Be Awake! Be a Pagan! Be a Witch! Be!

Find peace in that Truth!

April Fool’s on Self – Ignorance!

Self-Forgiveness, Truth & Sowilo

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“Lies are like a cataract over our Third Eye. When we lie to ourselves, it distorts the view we have of others. Only when we are honest with ourselves do we see beyond the veil.”

Today I saw a very strange rune in my vision as I was dancing around with my kids. Dancing lately has been a huge outlet for my emotions and is proving to be very beneficial. For a brief moment, in the midst of a trance, I saw the rune Sowilo very clearly! It flashed hotly in my mind’s eye for a moment and I realized I am ready for the next step in my transformation. I’m truly ready to forgive myself for all of the decisions I made regarding my own fate. Often, I saw things very clearly for what they were yet I ignored them because I didn’t like the path I was going down and I was scared to ask for the help I really needed. Sowilo, what does this mean to me?

File:Sowilo.png - Wikimedia Commons

I’ve spent the last year or so “reprogramming” my psyche. I’ve been doing all sorts of mental exercises to achieve this goal and make it a reality. Everything from meditation, shadow work, complete and brutal self-honesty, and working through my anxiety. It’s been a painful and terrifying experience yet I am glad that I was able to witness both the best and worst of myself during this period. All of those experiences, whether they had a “bad” or “good” outcome gave me invaluable personal insight.

There were times I was screaming hysterically, in a fit of tears in front of my entire Tribe to when I looked up during a ritual and realized the people in that ritual were truly engaged in the process. These are the ups and downs of reality. It isn’t personal to me or anyone else who begins to take these experiences and use them for their intended purpose. Human beings were never designed to sit around and be miserable about their circumstances. Human beings were meant to take these experiences as lessons and improve the next session with the wisdom acquired from these experiences. Evolution judges winners who get up and do something instead of whining about their circumstances.

If I had stayed on the road I was on, buried in self-loathing and lies, I would most certainly not be typing this article right now. I doubt I would even have overcome enough of my depression to get out of bed and shower. That’s how debilitating it was to be a prisoner of my own pain. Yet that’s the secret right there. Sowilo is the Norse rune of the sun. It represents enlightenment and victory. Shedding light in these times of darkness and motivating us to find a way out of the cave of the Underworld that we’ve imprisoned ourselves.

So, evolution stepped in and chose me to rise up from my current predicament and take action. If you’re an atheist, simply stop there. It was evolution. If you’re a Pagan like me, I see it as Gods because I worship nature and that’s where this insight originated. While I was sitting in the woods, usually by myself, the lies I had told myself over a life-time began to fade away. My own inner voice rose up and began telling me the truth about my childhood. As I sat under a very beautiful, very ancient flowering Apple tree, yelling out my frustrations and agony, I looked up to see a flock of birds over my head that had gathered, very uncharacteristic of their nature.

Moving through the interaction with nature, I asked for insight. To be fair, I was more than a little freaked out that this was occurring. I had always considered myself one who could only work magick with machines like my father.  Maybe there was more to it than that, I pondered. Suppose the Gods were listening to me. I asked for inspiration. I asked for the Gods to help give me lessons necessary for my eyesight to be correct and match up with reality. The ugly truth is, when we spend most of our lives lying to ourselves (and we all do in varying degrees) we forget what reality actually is aside from our own perceptions of life. You see, that’s where the battle of ego took hold and finally exposed it’s self as the demon ego.  I realized then there was a really good reason why I was attracted to Kali in the first place as a teenager.

In spite of the overwhelming fear, I jumped into the battle head first. I spent long hours writing, crying, thinking and remembering my childhood. After a while, I began to realize the strength that had accumulated over the years as well as the weaknesses. When I had identified these strengths, I used that Magick on myself to accept the weaknesses and work through them. This is the Magick that a Pagan can really have and use to institute real changes in their lives.

I looked at my failures, honestly, and I forgave myself for making those painful decisions. I also looked at my victories and that invigorated my sense of purpose. What’s my purpose? That’s where SOWILO comes in! Sowilo helps a person realize their full potential. By accepting both of these aspects of myself, I attained balance. Balance helped me look at myself both emotionally and objectively so that I could think clearly and listen to both of the needs of my heart and mind. I realized that these two forces had been at odds for a long time. In that time, my will was strong in whatever direction yet I wasn’t accepting of myself so thus, I could not accept my true potential.

I’ve learned to accept myself as the person I am. I forgive those in the past and thank them for teaching me the necessary lessons that have helped with my transformation. There is no shame in any of our unions. I forgive myself for making those decisions, because I understand why I was lying in the first place. Any reality was better than the one I was living in after my dad died. I sold myself short and made some pretty shitty decisions regarding my well being. Those people who hurt me? It wasn’t personal. They would have done the same thing to anyone else who treated them the way I treated them and vice versa. I could see it from their point of view when I acknowledged the ability within myself to do exactly as they had done to me.

Is that enlightenment? Did Jesus and Buddha run into the woods and discover this reality for themselves? Were they at first dishonest about this insight only to become aware of the fact that lies hide us from the reality that frees us? What if reality wasn’t the enemy, I asked myself a year ago. What if reality, what if Truth, was the God I was trying to petition before I got knocked off course by the same thing I was looking for…Gods. Gods, God, science, psychology, whatever anyone wants to call it as long as whatever it is called is held sacred to the person who represents that idea.

This experience has been sacred to me and full of lessons learned that have been a delight and horror for me to live through. That’s truth, non-sugar coated. The most important thing you can do is forgive yourself, accept reality, and work to get the hell away from whatever made you unhappy in the first place. You can’t ignore it with lies to yourself, you  are the only one who can make your truth. Never allow anyone to take that from you, because as I’ve learned, that’s what makes a Pagan a Pagan!!!

 

 

 

The Raven and the Wolf

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The Raven and the Wolf were as different as can be,
the Raven cawed and talked, as if there was no one but he
the Wolf rolled his eyes and crawled into his den,
and would wash away the moments telling stories to his ken,
Raven saw this Wolf one day and flew right over!
Wolf was unimpressed, another storyteller,

And one day I’ll finish this, lol.