Is the Green Man/Horned God a loving God?

“Hello, I’m just starting to learn about paganism. I’ve only ever been to one winter solstice event and it was lovely. One question that’s been nagging me for a while: (and I honestly mean no offense, i’m only curious) Is the greenman/horned god a loving god? When i say loving….how do i put it? It’s just that our society has turned that image into the devil for so long, not that i believe it, but….i’m a particularly shy individual who is tentative to worship “masculine” energy because i’ve had a lot of emotional trama with men from a young age. I’m still thinking about what exactly i wish to worship. I had an experience with him once, though, i think. Sorry if it’s really personal- I was “thinking” about sexual things one day alone, and worries were coming up about being treated well. But somehow i got to thinking about the image of pan and stopped fussing. i ended up thinking or feeling about everything but nothing at the same time and well, it went well. Are there people you know of who see him as fatherly and a healthy thing, not just a negative stereotype of aggressive males? It’s hard for me to not worry about things like that. But i’d like to believe people want to believe in deities of god things and love. Thank you, Allie”

Your question resonates with me. I grew up in a family full of women, a matriarchy de facto as men failed to stick around for family making; my own father was Army, so he was never around to be a father figure. I also experienced sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted boyfriend as a teenager. That said, I have *always* had an issue with masculinity and God.

However, I can tell you this: God, be he horned or green, is awe-inspiring. The Horned God is actually the Wiccan view of masculine divinity; he is all gods in one representation, like a diamond with many different facets. He is a god of the Sun, the hunt, harvest, wildness, and fertility. As the Horned God, he is seen with antlers as many prey animals would have; meanwhile, as the Greenman he has a face and body made of or covered in leaves, showing his interconnection with nature and growth. In both cases, the God is seen as dying in the form of plants and animals as a sacrifice to feed us and keep us alive.

In a less Wiccan-focused view, God is what he is. Not all men are aggressive or hyper-sexual beings; neither are all gods the same. I worship within the Greek pantheon, and I see all gods and goddess as individuals (as opposed to the facets of a diamond). That means that I recognize Zeus’ tendency to take what he wanted from women, while understanding his constant attempts to keep mankind safe. Apollo was a woman chaser, but he was usually spurned or accepted gladly (i.e. he didn’t rape as Zeus often did); Apollo also remained strongly protective of his twin Artemis and his mother Leto, as well as watching over the sick as both giver and remover of diseases. The mythology is complex, just as humankind is; no god is always loving or always violent, not even Ares as the god of war.

Essentially, you need to research and reflect for yourself on God. Who do you connect to him? Who is he to you? When you find those answers, you’ll know where your worship will focus.

 

Larissa Lee
Guest Writer

I was given a Halloween Witch a year ago, I want to give it up, but I can’t seem to let go of it or throw it away. Is there a way to “detach” her energy from me so I can let her part?

“I was given a Halloween Witch over a year ago. I kept her. But now I need the space in my home. It may be time for me to respectfully give her up. She is falling apart too. But every time I think of throwing her away, I can’t. It feels very cold and unfeeling, and I guess I have grown enough of an attachment to her, that keeps me from “throwing” her away. I really have no room in my apt, but the strangeness of the attachment is what has me confused, and won’t allow me to “throw her away” unless I can feel “right” about the way I return her to the energy of the world so to speak. wondering if any one has a suggestion? Thank you”

Items sometimes collect enough energy to develop a personality of their own. You have several options for your Halloween Witch, depending on what feels right to you.

First, you can consider regifting. If her energies are still present and definitive to you, perhaps a new home with another pagan would be a good option. Fix her up, write out her story, and pass her onto another home with another willing Pagan. If you don’t know any local pagans, you could look online for a willing taker. A listing in most forums would find you someone more than happy to help pass on a piece of magical history, however young or old that may be.

Secondly, you can consider a parting ritual. If she is beyond repair, you may want to hold a ritual in which you formally and officially say your goodbyes. You could include a release of all energies contained within her physical form, allowing her to return to the world, as you said. Depending on her construction, you may even find the desire or “push” to create something out of her parts.

A third option would be to ask her. I say this as a third option based on having no knowledge of your personal path or practices. As an animist, I believe that everything has a spirit of some form or another. That said, I would take a journey to the spirit world and see if the spirit within the Halloween Witch was ready to leave. If not, I would ask what she would like done. Does she want to be repair? Passed on? Taken apart or burned? Again, this method may not work for everyone. If you’re not an animist or don’t believe in the spirits of inanimate objects, then trying to contact one would be similar to an atheist praying to God; you may get an answer, but your disbelief will most likely block any potential response.

 

Larissa Lee
Guest Writer

I’m a beginner Pagan and interested in working a few spells; are there certain requirements when casting spells like a circle or pentagram?

“I am a beginner pagan and i would like to know as I am interested in working a few spells that span a different range of categories if there are any certain requirements when casting a draconic type of spell? Also when casting any spells in particular, as i said im a beginner to casting, are there any requirements such as a circle or pentagram?”

Generally speaking, a spell is a small piece of magic done with or without casting a circle, calling deities, or using any traditional tools. A spell can be a chant said to the moon or a candle burning to eat up negativity in a room. A ritual is a more formal type of magic; often, rituals include a structure of casting circle, calling energies, doing your magic, and then releasing what was called. In a ritual, you may include a spell between simply celebrating the season or acknowledging the full moon.

By a “draconic” spell, I’m assuming you mean a spell using dragon energies. In that case, I would strongly suggest further research on your end before any attempts. A wise adage would be “don’t call up what you can’t put down”, or don’t work with things you don’t fully understand. As a beginner pagan, it would be wise to learn as much as you can about the mechanics of energywork, spellcasting, and focus before attempting any magic.

Spells take on many forms, often based on their intent. A spell to send a message might involve toss a paper into the air, as Air is associated with communication. A spell to calm turbulent moods might include saying a chant while in the shower, as Water is associated with emotions and balance. Spells are simply the actions you use to direct your energies toward a goal.

I would suggest taking a look at the Wicca 101 list here. Several of the titles include a chapter or section on spell writing and technique. I especially recommend suggestion [7] Earth Power and Earth, Air, Fire and Water by Scott Cunningham. Both books are focused on natural spells, as opposed to full-blown rituals as found in some pagan books. I would also suggest practicing spells such as self-balance and inner peace on yourself; while it may seem less than exciting, the chances of harm or misdirected energies are much smaller while you learn to raise and direct energy toward a focused goal.

 

Larissa Lee
Guest Writer

Become a writer at Ask a Pagan!

Blessings all,

Ask a Pagan is looking for two or three writers to answer questions for the next few months while I take a leave-of-absence to work on research! I wish I had the time I did in the past, but I don’t and I’ve been slacking with replies to questions, and I apologize sincerely!

So instead of shutting Ask a Pagan down, I just need some talented, experienced practitioners to fill my spot until my return! I need two or three great people with a minimum of three years of practice (when I say practice, I mean the period after your initial learning and 101-training). Because I get a lot of questions for a myriad of topics like beginning the craft, spells, dreams, divination, empathy, spirits, and any other topic that has to do with the craft, I need more than one person who “specializes” in one or more of these areas.

So if you’re interested in becoming “Intrim-Ask a Pagan,” please fill out the form below and submit it!

NOTE: There are TWO types of questions that need answers: ASAP answers (for questions that need answers for upcoming events, days, etc.) and regular questions. ASAP answers are needed within two days of the question (or at least a day or two before the event or day of the question) and regular questions need to be answered within a week of the question answered. So please keep in mind that when I send you your questions, you will need to reply to them in a timely manner. You will get no more than three questions a week (depending on the type of questions and your specialties).

My husband and I would like to do a Wiccaning for our daughter. She will be turning one in March. I can’t find any information on Wiccanings. Should we write our own? Where do we start?

“My husband and I would like to do a Wiccaning for our daughter. She will be turning one in March. I can’t find any information on Wiccanings. Should we write our own? Where do we start?”

Blessings,

What a beautiful thing! Wiccanings, like Wicca, is still a fairly new concept. As far as I know, most Wiccanings are preformed within a coven. However, that doesn’t mean solitary practitioners can’t perform them! From what I can remember, I haven’t come across much about Wiccanings in my readings over the years very much – just a few references here and there.

With that said, I’d recommend you write your own ritual. Just like a Baptism or even wedding vows, you make and recite oaths, promises, and prayers to protect, heal, and comfort. I can’t imagine the ritual format would be any different from any normal ritual; casting the circle, calling the energies/deities, elements/directions, etc.

Be as creative as you want. Make something for your daughter to give or put on her during the ritual – this can be anything, a bracelet or a necklace, or even a sachet. Create a special spell or poem to recite to her every night. Maybe even make her a dolly.

Be simple. Unless you want to be elaborate about it. Either way, the outcome is still the same. Words from the heart are words she’ll remember!

 

Blessed Be
Sage

Today marks the one year death of my brother. I wanted to do a ritual or light a candle for him to bless him, but I don’t know of any. Any suggestions?

“So today 1-4-13 makes the 1 year death of my 16 yr old brother I wanted to do like a ritual maybe light a candle for him something to bless him on his travels but I don’t know any. I wanted to do it tonight for him any suggestions would be great… Blessed be”

Blessings,

Every year on my grandmother’s birthday, who is one of the most dearest people to me, I conduct a little birthday ritual in her honor. Because I have a small urn of her ashes, it makes the ritual much more powerful and get a quicker response from her. The ritual is more or less a spirit summoning ritual that I’ve written many, many years ago when I was experimenting with spirits and summoning. This is something you can do if you have your brother’s ashes or something else that is extremely close to your brother (hair or blood are next to best after ashes). But you can also use jewelry that he always wore and appreciated, his favorite shirt, or even his favorite shoes!

If you don’t wish to have a summoning ritual, instead you can use those items as part of a remembrance shrine (it doesn’t have to be an actual shrine and all decked out, just a shelf or a table will do). Place the items down, maybe with some flowers, herbs, crystals, other things that he may liked and enjoyed, and then simply light a candle and say a few personal words. Let the candle burn to its end in honor of your brother’s life (so you may want to have a small candle, or a candle you can watch all day while it burns so it doesn’t burn down the house!)

Creating a sachet, poppet, or something that you can use something personal of his, or maybe even a cut piece of his shirt or something, some protection herbs, flowers, and a small stone to be placed in his room or at a place he enjoyed going to often.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

Is there any danger in casting more than one spell for pain? Would using multiple spells make them ineffective or cause more pain?

“I’m a McFarland Dianic Wiccan and I don’t use spells often but I’m in a lot of pain nowadays and I really am looking for help from anywhere. I suffer from a subcutaneous nerve entrapment which causes hypersensitivity in my left knee and most of my left high. my question is, if I do use magick to help my pain is there any danger in casting more than one spell on it? by danger I mean will using multiple spells make them ineffective? or worse, cause me even more pain?”

Blessings,

Casting multiple spells for the same cause can sometimes result as if you just casted one spell. It’s like painting a wall the same color over and over – regardless of how many times you paint it, the color isn’t going to change or get darker. So instead of doing multiple spells, you can just focus and concentrate your whole energy into one big spell.

Other than spells, herbs, yoga, tai chi, Reiki, and other ancient forms of healing can also help. I’ve found Tai Chi to be completely liberating and enlightening. And Reiki is a great practice for relaxation and healing.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

I have a lock of my deceased mother’s hair that I want to braid with a lock of my hair. Is this something I can do? Is there some kind of blessing or ritual to perform?

“Hello. My mother passed away almost a year ago. While she was still alive but unresponsive, I clipped a lock of her hair. After she passed, the day before her memorial, I had my hair trimmed and kept a lock of my hair. I wanted to braid them together and keep as maybe a Talisman or something. But before I do, I would like some advice if this is a good idea and if there is some blessing of some kind I could say or perform. I would appreciate any help you can me. Blessed Be.”

Blessings,

There’s nothing wrong with braiding the locks of hair together, as long as you don’t plan on doing anything magickal (spells) with it. This can be a beautiful and powerful talisman for healing, guidance, protection, and courage.

You can braid the hairs in a very non-formal setting, or do it during a moon ritual. As far as saying something, anything simple like asking that your mother’s spirit help guide you, and/or give you courage and protection. Or you can recite a eulogy. Anything that just comes out naturally with love and high regards to her.

You can then hang this talisman somewhere safe; around your bed somewhere, in your car, in your dresser, or even on your altar. You can also use it during divination or spirit contact (if you’re trying to contact her).

However, as much as we always want our parent(s) to be with us even after they have passed, sometimes creating these types of talisman’s using parts of their body (hair, nails, skin, blood, etc.) can create a bond, or a hold, of their spirit in our world. This might sometimes give you overwhelming feelings of her watching you or being there ALL the time. I’m not saying this will happen, but it is a possibility. Factors like the type of person your mother was, the energies you raise or have around you during the making of the talisman, how protected your area is of wandering energies and spirits during the making, etc.

If something like that does happen, you can simply burn the talisman to execute the bond of their spirit being stuck in our world. This doesn’t mean you’ve rid them forever – it just means they won’t be in a world where they’re not supposed to be in for very long.

Blessed Be
Sage

My spells, though I’m doing it correctly and putting my intent into them, aren’t working. I’m a good person with no bad karma, but none of my spells work. How can I get my spells to work?

“I’ve been reading about and learning Wicca for years now and I understand the concepts and stuff.

I know it is mostly about intent and putting thought into it.

When I do spells, I put serious thought and intent into them and I look for the smallest and most subtle signs of my spells working. But honestly they aren’t working. I know I’m doing everything correctly. I know that not all spells will work and it’s really up to the universe. But none of the spells are working. And I’m not a bad person, I have not done a thing wrong to anyone, so im sure its not bad karma. How can I make my spells work with my intent and have them actually… well.. work?

-Kira”

Blessings Kira,

If all spells worked the way we wanted them to, then everyone would be a witch! Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple. You are right, it’s up to the universe to will our spells to do their intent, but the universe knows better and more than you do. Perhaps it’s not the right time for your spell, maybe it’s not necessary, maybe you’re asking for something that’s already there but you can’t see – there are many factors that go into the decision-making process of spells.

Sometimes people, who are not knowledgable of how spells actually work, will cast ridiculous spells to be invisible, change their eye color, levitate, or become famous. Money spells aren’t going to make you rich, love spells isn’t going to make Channing Tatum love you, and beauty spells aren’t going to make you skinny and beautiful. That’s just not reality, or spirituality. Unfortunately, it’s all these misconceptions that look appetizing to younger generation that “get into” Witchcraft.

Examples: a money spell won’t necessarily BRING you money at your door step, even if you say it in the spell. It will, however, bring you opportunities to SAVE money so you’ll have more. The same with love spells, it’s going to make someone fall in love with you. Instead, it’ll signal the universe to attract love to you.

Spells work in mysterious ways and almost never work the way we think they will. So while you’re looking out for your spell to work in a very specific way, it’s probably already happening, but you’re too focused on a different way it’s supposed to work. Makes sense?

Casting spells is easy. Yes, it’s about intent and letting the universe wield its outcome, but it’s also about energy. You need the energy to actually send it off to the universe. Without raising energy, honing its power and brilliance, you can’t “program” that energy with your spell’s intent to be sent off to do its job. Rhyming a bunch of words, burning candles and incense, and raising your arms up in the air – that’s just decoration. There’s no cake for those decorations unless you bake (raise) energy. Once it’s done cooking, you add those pretty decorations, and blow out the candles so your wish comes true.

 

Blessed Be,
Sage

I live in a place where we can’t have candles or incense. What can I use instead of candles and incense for spells?

“I live in a place where we can’t have candles or incense.  What can I use instead of candles and incense for spells?

-Rukie”

Blessings Rukie,

Here’s an excerpt from one of my posts about beginning the craft and living with parents:

“It’s not the tools that are making your magick happen or work. It’s you. Your energy. Your own self. Not external, mundane objects. Yes, some of these objects CAN help, but they are NOT the sole “magickal object” that will make your spells work or your ritual complete. It’s all about your own energy. The way you raise it, store it, use it and send it out.”

Living with parents, or maybe in a dorm in your case (?), trying to do magickal workings can be difficult, but not impossible. There are many substitues for candles, incense, statues, etc. All these items used in spells and rituals are for the most part representations of the elements, so you simply need to substitute them for another representation. Substitutions don’t even have to be items, they can even be colors! Fire: red, earth: green, water: blue, air: white. Replace candles/fire for lava rocks for Fire. Using sea shells, sea salt, or actual water for the element Water. Feathers or plant leafs for Air. And crystals, stones, or dirt for Earth.

Tools and objects are not a necessity when doing spells and rituals. “Tools aren’t a necessity in your practice. They are simply tools to help you “guide” your magick and energy – this is mostly for the wand/athame. Incense doesn’t really “power up” your magick. It simply helps you relax and put you in a state of clear consciousness and comfort.”

Feel free to visit the FAQs page for quick links to “the basics.”

 

Blessed Be
Sage