When I was younger I discovered Wicca, but never pursued it because of family. Now that I’m older I’m interested again, but after being a Christian for over 20 years, I’m nervous about starting. Advice?

“When I was much younger, I first discovered Wiccan/Paganism, and it just felt right to me. I was excited, and happy, for the first time about a religion, and I felt happy with it. Being young, I didn’t pursue it fully for personal and family reason, but now that I’m older, I am beginning to get interested in it again. However, after 20+ years of being raised as a Christian, I feel anxious and nervous about starting, even though I still feel drawn to it. Any advice for overcoming this?”

Blessings,

It’s definitely not an easy experience or journey to go through. It’s always going to be difficult to leave something as big and personal like a religion behind and start something new. But you’re excited and happy about a new religion because your first religion had something that didn’t satisfy you fully, and Wicca/Paganism did.

There’s no reason to be nervous. You don’t have to completely drop Christianity and jump straight into Wicca/Paganism. Not so much in Wicca, but in Paganism you can still use some aspects and beliefs (if you carry any) from Christianity into your new path. Paganism is a broad and eclectic lifestyle, so if you still hold any Christian beliefs, practices, etc., you can bring them along.

In the mean time, start slow. Read. Craft. Meditate. Pray. Eventually as you start feeling more comfortable, conduct a spell or ritual, or something a little simpler like a house cleansing. You can also start working on your altar if you wish to have one, by decorating it with candles, crystals, stones, herbs, flowers, etc. Anything “witchy” and whatever you feel personal or important.

My post A simple guide to beginning Wicca and the Craft may be of help to you as well. It’ll include links to other posts about meditation and writing your own spells and rituals.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

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How do you pay respect to someone that has passed away when you aren’t able to go to their funeral or know where they were buried?

“How do you pay respect to someone that has passed away when you aren’t able to go to their funeral or know where they were buried?”

Blessings,

There are several ways you can pay respects to the dead, especially if you’re not physically close to their tomb. One way is to simply call upon a God or Goddess that are guardians of the next world: Anubis, Osiris, Hades, Kali, Shiva, Hella, Hathor, Hecate, or even an angel like Gabriel or Azrael. Burn some Frankincense and Arabic Gum, and light a black candle. Call upon the deity and ask them that they guard the deceased into the afterlife and guard their soul.

Another way is to get a handful of graveyard dirt, a photo of the deceased, frankincense, chamomile, copal, jasmine, and chervil (British myrrh). Light a couple of black candles. In a bowl, place the photo in first. Gaze at the photo; remember the deceased and of their journey in this life. Then, take the handful of graveyard dirt and sprinkle it over the photo. Finally, add the remaining herbs over the dirt. These herbs will help the deceased move on and be at peace. It is best to place these remains over the grave of the deceased, but since you can’t, you may bury it in a special spot somewhere.

Paying respects during meditation or ritual can also be done. By simply praying to your deity or to one of the deities mentioned above, you can pay respects by placing photos or personal items of the deceased near you or on your altar.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

It’s okay to write your own spells, right? I’ve been tweaking some generic spells for now, but I feel like I should be writing my own. I’ve read different opinions. Any insight?

“Hello! So I am still new to being an eclectic pagan and i have recently started being more hands on with my studies and practice. But in reference to spells and prayers, it’s okay to write your own, right? Like I just don’t feel like its personal enough using a generic one and I am a talented writer. I have just been using generic ones for now with a bit of tweaking, but i’d really like to have my own. I’ve read differing opinions from people, so i’m rather confused. Any insight? Thanks!”

Blessings,

The best spells are your own spells, for sure! At first, it’s probably easier to use other’s spells, rituals, blessings, etc. But eventually we all want to use and write our own. I’ve written a post about writing your own spells that could be of some use.

But yes, it’s best to write and use your own. Referencing or using some of the same terminology of other’s spells also counts as “writing your own.” Sometimes when I’m writing a spell, ritual, or blessing I get lost or stuck with words, and I sometimes look at other’s work or skim through some books I have for inspiration. Often I meditate on it and the words just spill into my mind and onto paper.

I can’t recall ever reading anywhere where anyone ever said that using other people’s spells are better – and if they did, it’s probably because they’re unexperienced and have little to no imagination to write their own. So keep in mind – writing your own spells IS better and more powerful.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

Can I wear someone else’s pentacle? If I do, will I get cursed?

“Can I wear someone else’s pentacle? if I do, will I get cursed?

-Hannah”

Dear Hannah,

No, you won’t get cursed, exactly. However, you could attract some bad mojo to yourself that might be associated with the pentacle. Any personal item of yours or someone else’s always hold their energy – that energy could be positive or negative, so it could affect you in different ways.

The best thing to do, if you insist on wearing it, is to cleanse it and charge it with your own energy. Do a simple cleanse of the pentacle by cleansing it through flame, incense smoke, water, and salt (or sand). You may chant a simple chant to help you focus cleansing any negative energies from the pentacle. After you’ve cleansed it, charge it with your energy so that you can release any last drops of anyone else’s energy and fill it with yours.

After you’ve managed to cleanse and charge it, you may wear it. You can also bless it under the moon and/or sun before you wear it, but that’s not necessary.

Blessed Be
Sage

What is a respectful way to dispose of my offerings after I’ve left them out for my patron deities to enjoy?

“I was wondering what is a respectful way to dispose of my offerings after I’ve left them out for my patron deities to enjoy? And how should I dispose of offerings I have left outside? I do have some privacy in my backyard so I don’t have to worry about anyone disturbing them but should I pour my wine into the ground and leave the food for the animals or throw the food and drink away? Also, what should I do with items and trinkets after I’ve them offered to my patron deities?”

Blessings,

The traditional way is to burry the offerings and pour the wine over it. Also, depending on what the offerings were for and the type of ritual that was done, you may also leave the offerings in the wild, by a tree, in a lake/river, or simply feed them to animals. Any “natural” way is a respectful way.

If buried, food will disintegrate fairly quickly, so you can also burry offerings over each other. That way you don’t always have to find a new place to burry them. If the offering is of bread, you can also burn it – normally in a fireplace as you reflect on your ritual.

Though it’s not very common, some people eat the offerings themselves. Believing it was blessed by the gods so they feel empowered by sharing and eating their offerings.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

I understand that Paganism is an “umbrella” term as they say. But I’d like to know, if I believe that all things are part of the same whole or “God” classify as one or can be one?

“Hey! I understand that Paganism is an “umbrella” term as they say. But I’d like to know, if I believe that all things are part of the same whole or “God” classify as one or can be one? I don’t think that belief contradicts polytheism, just that any God/dess or being would be parts of this whole. And also, what are all the pagan symbols? I have Thor’s Hammer but I have no personal experience with him. Anything that’s just generally pagan?”

Blessings,

First I’d like to remind you that Paganism is not a form of religion or a set of beliefs. Instead, it is a set of “my own beliefs.” Modern Paganism is more of a philosophy of your own beliefs and practices – you make what you want of it. Its general practice is the belief in natural magick, nature, and energies of the Earth and Universe. Anything outside of that including the worship of a God or severals Gods, or the implementation of other religions or beliefs into that practice is all up to you.

In my own belief, the Universe is my “one” God. The Moon (Goddess) and the Sun (God) are aspects of the Universe and I see them “survival” energies for Earth and its inhabitants. All other gods act as “messengers” of the Universe and sometimes given certain abilities or gifts to control or give blessings over things; weather, harvest, health, birth, war, etc. So it’s really up to you on how you want to believe in deities, or even believe in them at all.

As far as symbols go; Thor’s Hammar isn’t necessarily Pagan, it’s Norse. But many Celtic Pagans/Wiccans use the symbol as part of their beliefs and practices. The general symbols of Paganism is obviously the Pentagram/Pentacle, among others like the Triquetra and the Triple Moon. A symbol Google search can be more elaborate.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

I have a healing gift, but every I heal someone I get sick. What can I do?

“I “think” I have this gift… healing ability. I did it for the 1st time 10 years ago when I was eleven. My mom had a liver problem, in fact, she needed a liver transplant, if not, she’d had less than a year of life. I don’t know really what I did, because I was starting to read about Wicca and stuff, so I visualized my energy and tried to make her pain dissapear. She had a full recovery after that; a miracle, the doctor said. But I got really sick… so much that I panicked and stopped doing things like that again… until this year. Now I know I can do it. I really have this gift, but every time I heal someone I get sick (if it’s a little flu, i just get headache, but if it’s more, I get really sick), what can I do?

-Kanjo”

Kanjo,

What a wonderful gift! Though my first concern would be to check with your doctor to make sure you are in good health, you don’t have to tell your doctor about your gift. But I advise to find out whether or not this gift drains you more than currently known. If it seems your body can handle the energy drain, try to see if you can build a tolerance. Start with small wounds or illnesses. If you believe in and feel comfortable with rituals, find ones for good health or stamina. Try to think of your gift as any part of your body that you workout and drain. You have to exercise it (without running yourself into the ground) until it builds and builds, allowing it to handle more. You use a lot of energy doing what you do, keep yourself and it well and you should be fine.

 

-Onyx
Guest Writer

How do i cast a circle before doing a spell? Please teach me how to cast a circle and how to close it after a spell is performed.

“How do i cast a circle before doing a spell? Please teach me how to cast a circle and how to close it after a spell is performed.

Thanks for your co-operations.

-Alred”

Dear Alfred,

Casting and closing a circle is simple. You can make it elaborate and wordy, or easy and simple. I like the simple way because it’s just as effective as spending thirty minutes casting. My simple way of casting a circle is to trace around your circle and chanting some sort of protective chant or spell. I like to use “Thrice around the circle bound, sink all evil into the ground.” But you can use whatever chant or spell you want. Below is how I Put up a Circle. I then call the quarters/elements and my deities. If I’m doing a full-blown ritual, I will cast the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. The basic Wiccan circle casting is as follows:

Cast the Circle
Cast your circle. The space within your circle is sacred and considered to be “between the worlds.” Not only does your circle keep unwanted energy out, but it also serves to keep your energy in.

Call the Quarters
The Quarters, or the Watchtowers, are the guardians of your circle. They are usually directional and/or elemental in nature.

Inovke Deity
Call on the Lord and Lady and/pr your specific deity. You should always be respectful and ask deities to join you, not demand them.

Raise Energy
If you are performing ritual with a specific goal in mind (like doing a spell), then you’ll need to raise energy before you cast that spell. If the ritual is to celebrate the Sabbats or give thanks to the Gods, then you may not feel the need to raise energy. Methods for raising energy could be dancing or chanting, among other ways.

Purpose of Ritual
This is the central part of the ritual process. If you are working a spell, now is when you cast it, using the energy you’ve raised. Worship, celebration, or giving thanks could also be apart of your ritual, and also done now.

Ground your Energy
You raised energy earlier, and now you must ground it. Release the remaining energy down through your body and into the Earth – even if you are indoors.

Thank Deity
If you’ve asked deity to join you in your circle, you must thank them when the ritual is complete.

Release the Quarters
Similar to thanking the deities, you’ve called the quarters to assist you, now you must thank and release them.

Release the Circle
This will return your ritual area back to “normal space.” Simply close the circle the exact opposite way you opened it (going backwards in forming the circle).

*Eating is traditional after ritual. It can be fruits, cookies, cake, etc. And drinking; water, juice, or wine.

Putting up a Circle
To pull up the magick circle, you need to concentrate and use your powers of creative visualization. As you walk around the edges of your circle, imagine white light flowing through you, through your athame (finger(s) or hand) and out. See it pouring out in the form of white fibers that spin out until the whole circle is cocooned. You can also see it as a bubble that grows from the gloor, curving overhead until it meets on top. You can also visualize plates of armor surrounding you, or see the circle made up of scales of a dragon. Or imagine the circle as a magick web that grows so it’s all around you.

It doesn’t matter what you pick to imagine, just be sure it works for you.

Taking Down the Circle
With your athame (finger(s) or hand), start in the East and walk widdershines (anti-clockwise) around the edge of the circle. Imagine the energy of the circle getting “sucked into” your athame. See the energy moving through the athame and traveling up your arm, through your body, down your legs, out of the bottom of your feet, and into the Earth.

After sending the energy back into the ground, you can say something like “The circle is down,” or “The circle is open, but unbroken.” Or anything else you wish to say instead.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

I’m starting to become interested in Wicca, however I can’t afford to get any tools or supplies. Do you have any advice or resources where I can get some basic Wiccan needs?

“I’m starting to become interested (or semi-re-interested) in Wicca/Paganism, however I’m nearly completely broke, so I don’t have the funds for any “typical” altar/tools, and I don’t really have the artistic/craft abilities to really make anything (nor can I buy the supplies to make any of them). I can barely afford candles. Do you have any advice/resources where I could possibly acquire the basic Wiccan/Pagan needs on a very tight budget (or possibly free)?”

First, I’d like to ask you to read this post about having to use tools and resources. It basically covers and answers your questions.

Second, as for getting stuff for free – if you live somewhere where there are woods, parks, or any nature around, that’s the perfect place to get lots of free gifts from Mother Earth. Pick up branches and twigs to make crafts or use them for spells or rituals. Pick flowers, leafs, or any available plant to (for the most part) substitute for general herb use.

Use things you already have in your house. Roam around in your closet, attic or basement for things. Statues don’t always HAVE to be of a specific Goddess or God to represent them, it could be of Jesus and Mary, but as long as YOU see them for your own deity, that is what they will represent. I’m sure you have herbs and spices in your kitchen – you’d be surprised how many of them could be used for magickal use.

An athame could be a kitchen knife if you wanted. Rocks and stone from outside can be used to place on your altar or used to create your circle for ritual. You can even use a Sharpie to draw magickal symbols on them.

Just because you don’t have all the fancy witchy “stuff,” that’s exactly what it is… Stuff! Performing magick, spells and rituals don’t REQUIRE all that “stuff.” Sure, the books say you need “three white candles, frankincense and rosemary,” but these are simply tools to HELP you – to help strengthen your spell or ritual. But really all you need is yourself. Your power and energy is within you, it comes from you, not the stuff.

Performing spells and rituals outside while surrounded by nature is also a power booster.

Visit yard and garage sales if possible. You’d be surprised what you can find there that might be “magickal,” yet also look normal.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

I’ve been having visions of a previous life of sister witches gathered in a circle protecting something. I feel as if it’s being shown to be now for a reason or because I need to do something. Any insight?

“here is my situation i have been having very clear flashes from a previous life time when i was a very very powerful witch, i will explain the most recent one:

I see myself and two others in a circle but we are facing outwards, i know that whatever is in the center of the circle we are protecting with our lives, i cannot see what we are battling but I am standing first and foremost in the circle, im the front line i guess, I feel i am the most powerful one, behind me is my soul mate knelt down, and the only thing that comes to my head is that he is keeping me grounded, to my right is my sister she is being protected by her knight who is standing in front of her ready for battle, behind me in the third position is someone else very fuzzy i cannot tell who she is, although i know it is my sister that was not born to my family in this lifetime, whatever is in the center is of great importance, i feel we are protecting a goddess and her secrets.

for some reason i feel this is being shown to me because i need to know it now and it cant wait any longer for me to know, like there is something gonna happen and i need to gather the three of us again, and awaken our majick, does this make any sense to you, if so have you got any insight on it??

blessed be, shannan (or as i know i was called in a past life Pheonix)”

Blessed Shannan,

It is very difficult to say that this is a past life.  Usually in past life dreams, there is significant detail about the time and place it may have occurred and they are usually very sequential and logical.  There are many things that are needed to be known in order to properly interpret the meaning of this dream.  A lot of times, the feelings you get while dreaming are exactly what it means.  Usually “kneeling” of someone other than yourself in a dream means a form of deceit or you will be cheated somehow.  However, that being said, sometimes seeing a man kneeling behind you, could be showing his submission.  I find that the man who is in front of your sister, is protecting her, why would the man behind you not be doing the same.  In dreams you have to meditate on them to find out who is who, and what their presence is in your current life.  Is there something in your life you are fighting for?  liberation, children, school, work, promotion, money? Or are there secrets you are protecting for the “greater good”.  All of these things you have to look deep within yourself and your current situations.  A circle is never ending, and I feel that somewhere this situation you are experiencing is a cycle.  There are three women mentioned in your dream as well, this could be representation of the triple goddess, are there three men also?  You only mentioned 2 men however, I have a feeling there is a third for the third woman, all of whom represent the consorts of the triple goddess.  The battle you are feeling, is it personal? You have to ask yourself if it is about your, your issues, and what are they.  the fact that you have people who are willing to stand with you and fight, is a good sign.  You must meditate and find what it is you are resisting, burying, or fighting for.  Remember, pay attention to color and surroundings when you are in your dreams, ask questions of those around you in your dreams, get more information.  If you remember more, please let me know.

 

Bright Blessings,

Selu Haruspex, Guest Writer