I will be a Wiccan for a Year and a Day and I want to hold a circle with some friends who aren’t Wiccan. I’m just not sure how to do that without freaking them out.

“So in a few weeks I will have been a Wiccan for a year and a day, and I’m really excited about it. I want to hold a circle with a couple friends, but the problem is I don’t have any Wiccan friends! I’d love to gather some people, I’m just not sure how to do so without them thinking Wicca is a bad religion or making them feel as if they’d be defying their own religion. Any suggestions? Blessed be. )O( ~Autumn”

Autumn,

Your options on celebrating your year and a day are limited by your preferences. My first suggestion would be for you to examine what that timeframe means to you. Do you feel like you need to ritually mark its passing, or do you simply feel like celebrating your path so far? What you’re trying to celebrate determines how to go about including others.

The easiest option is to mark the occasional individually in ritual, then celebrate with a group of friends. This allows you to enjoy the energies and happiness of celebration without asking anyone to participate in something they may be uncomfortable with.

Another option is to ask your friends what they think. If they know you’re Wiccan, then they also know Wicca isn’t evil or scary. That means they may be willing to participate in a rite of passage ritual to celebrate your growth with you, at least as witnesses. It would require little of them, leaving the idea of going against their religion as a non-issue; if they don’t feel being friends with a Wiccan is an issue, then they’re unlikely to see minor participation in a celebration as a religious threat. However, if you’re still in the closet about your beliefs, you can’t assume the same leeway.

Early on my path, I celebrated with a trip to the waterpark with friends; they were completely unaware that the day was special for me. Now, over a decade later, I rarely think about how long I’ve been Wiccan; I celebrate personal holidays and success as they come, rather than an anniversary of the same date I dedicated to my path. All in all, you have to examine your personal situation.

Blessings,
Larissa Lee

I’ve read a lot about spirituality over the past couple of years, but I don’t feel like I really know anything. I want to learn more about meditation, chakras, astral projection, hypnosis – what reading material could you recommend?

“I am in a place in my life where I feel that I am ready to delve into the ocean of spirituality. I’ve read a lot about it all over the past couple of years, but I don’t feel like I REALLY know anything yet. Everything seems so cluttered and poorly explained. The YouTube videos look very attractive, but that’s where it ends. I want to seriously learn about meditation, chakras, consciousness, astral projection, manifestation, hypnotism, etc. Is there any reading material that you could recommend on these and related topics? I’d like to read both books and articles on the web. Please keep in mind that I am a beginner and merely 19 years old.”

Blessings,

A lot of texts about religion and spirituality is somewhat cluttered and poorly explained, because most of those texts (especially books or articles) are opinion based and written in how the author sees, feels, and believes about the topic they’re writing. So not everything, or all the information, is always there. Especially specific information a reader might be looking for. It’s worse when you read so many different opinions and arguments that you can’t even create your own opinion about it because of all the “randomness” that you’d read.

Meditation is one of the easier lessons to learn. Well, it’s easy to learn the forms and ways to practice – it’s the actual doing it part that’s tricky (for some). Have you read my post about guided meditation, chakras, hypnosis, and astral projection? It could be helpful to you. Meditation and chakras (chakra cleansing) are very doable and information is ample on the web. Hypnotism, astral projection, etc. are not so doable. Because hypnosis, astral projection, consciousness and manifestation (depending on what  you mean) are very specific techniques that have to do with more than just relaxing your mind and body. Some might argue that they’re not even real things to be able to do (i.e. astral projection isn’t real, or hypnosis is faked).

The books listed on my Wicca 101 books page are all excellent books that I highly recommend reading. They all include information about concentration, energy, meditation, chakras, auras, etc. Those books would be a great start to begin your reading and research. Some of the better books that aren’t necessarily Craft-related like meditation or chakras aren’t even in the “metaphysical” section. Usually they’re close by, but sometimes it’s in its own section or spot, so don’t think you have to only look in the metaphysical section to find books that might interest you.

 

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

When I was younger I was in a relationship with someone who was beginning to practice and open himself up spiritually. We preformed blood sex magick together to form a bond. I want to open myself up spiritually again but I get flooded by him every time I do. Suggestions?

“I’ve always been rather empathic towards people, but I’ve also grown up learning how to block it out. My mother got me into meditation early and things like that to help me learn to control it… However when I was younger I was in a relationship with someone who was beginning to practice and open himself up spiritually. We preformed blood sex magick together to form a bond. I want to open myself up spiritually again but I get flooded by him every time I do. Suggestions?”

Blood sex magick, ‘eh? Don’t you think that’s rather binding? If you read some ancient history books about cults, the occult, and some religious organizations, the only way to break a blood bond between two people is to kill one of them. But… Since murder is illegal in the 21st century, we’ll have to find alternative ways.

Traditionally with any magick that has to do with blood, blood has to spill from all parties that performed the magick. Blood is the ultimate bond in magick and there’s really no way around it or to unbind it. In some occult books, the raising of demons and spirits to command them to break that bond may be an option, but there’s always payback and consequences you have to think about – none you’d want to afford to attempt.

So, you’re just going to have to do it the hard way with meditation, herbs and crystals. Regularly cleansing and balancing your Chakras can help you be able to open up yourself again without the worry of him. Danburite crystals are great crystals for relieving emotional pain and increasing acceptance for one’s self and others. This crystal can connect your heart and mind.

Meditate or sleep in a circle of crystals and gems. Visualize yourself in this sphere. Visualize the sphere absorbing this blockage from you and releasing you to openness. Create a charm or something that you can charm and bless. An item, crystal or stone that you can bless to absorb any negativity and keep the flow of openness and positivity within you. When trying to perform anything, don’t think about why you can’t be open to this. Don’t even think of your past blood sex magick, that’s just causing more blockage and holding you back – pretend it never happened. Open yourself to the Universe completely. Free yourself. Forget the past and just see yourself being opened and free by radient light and positivity.

This is going to be like a bad experience with something, the more you hold on to it, the more it’s going to hold you back. It’s one of those “you need to get over it” things so you can move on and have new, better experiences to forget about the past.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

Since about the age of six, I’ve been considered an empath in some form or another by people around me, and I believe I could be. I’m just wondering though, because I don’t usually have trouble with crowds or large groups of people if they might be wrong?

“Since about the age of six, I’ve been considered an empath in some form or another by people around me, and I believe I could be. I’m just wondering though, because I don’t usually have trouble with crowds or large groups of people if they might be wrong? Usually, the smaller the group the more difficult it is for me because each emotion around affects me but in a large group I tend to either bounce the feelings back if they’re all similar enough or ignore them entirely if they vary a lot -Molly”

Dear Molly,

Despite the past posts where the empaths had trouble going outside or around people or groups, that’s not always the case. Some empaths are stronger than others, know how to control it better, or just know how to block it out. It’s not always because of practice, but it could be the type of person someone is. Think of the threefold law for this scenario: what you give out, comes to you threefold, right? Well, whatever kind of emotion(s) you give out, you’ll also be able to receive threefold. So for empaths who don’t know how to control their empathy is sometimes because they can’t control their own emotions. But for someone who might not care what people are feeling, they might not receive the emotions surrounding them. Make sense? Basically, the more you worry, think about it, or become emotional, the “harder” and stronger the emotions from people or crowds will get to you. The less you show or give emotion, or care about it, the less people’s emotions will affect you.

If you haven’t been practicing to control it, you might have been unconsciously your entire life and you’ve gotten to the point where you know what situations are going to affect you in what ways. Or you may fit in the scenario above, or you just may not be an empath at all and just have an ability to feel things like someone with the ability of Clairsentience – the ability to sense subtle feelings, emotions or energy.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

Answer #2: I’ve always been interested in Wicca since I found out about it a few years ago, but I’m not very religious and I don’t really feel comfortable performing any magic. How I should go about becoming a Wiccan?

“I’ve always been interested in Wicca since I found out about it a few years ago, I have a few books about the religion/culture and love reading about it. There have been a few times where I considered becoming a Wiccan, but I’m not very religious and I don’t really feel comfortable performing any magic, ceremonies, or anything like that. I guess what I’m trying to ask is how I should go about becoming a Wiccan.”

You’ve got a few questions rolled into that one:

1. Should you consider becoming part of a religion, although you don’t consider yourself religious? But what does ‘being religious’ mean to you?

2. You don’t feel comfortable practicing magic or participating in ceremony and perhaps wonder if this is a requirement to be a Wiccan.

3. You’d like to know what to consider in respect of becoming Wiccan.

Well, all these are excellent questions! I can help you with numbers 1 and 2, but there is only only one person who can answer number 3 – you! But you need to have the information and the tools which will be the response to questions 1 and 2 in order to make your decision and that is what I’m going to provide for you.

You’ve asked specifically about becoming a Wiccan. Wicca is but one flavour in this vast universe of pagan religions and practices, and I think it’s worth outlining the differences between them all for you.

First of all, you need to consider what a religion is.

The difference between a religion and a practice is that a religion is a set of beliefs that has a social aspect. This means that it is organised, has clergy, a liturgical calendar. A spiritual practice is a set of beliefs that lacks the social aspect. A religion will be a spiritual practice, but a spiritual practice may not be a religion. Most people I talk to understand that ‘being religious’ means proselytising, attending mass weekly, and being god-fearing. Really, it means holding a set of spiritual beliefs and participating in the social aspects of those beliefs with others.

So, would you consider that you could be ‘religious’ in the right religion for you?

How do you find that right religion? Let’s have a look at Wicca and paganism in the broadest sense as potential candidates.

The word pagan originally meant ‘one from the country’, but was borrowed by the Catholic faith to mean ‘not Catholic’. Today, a pagan is someone who is not a follower of an Abrahamic or Karmic religion and celebrates the cycles of the Earth. Broad, isn’t it!

Wicca is a pagan religion which has a specific subset of beliefs of paganism and usually encompasses the practice of witchcraft. Big names in Wicca are Buckland, Cunningham, Gardner, Starhawk… the list is as long as your arm. There are also various forms, such as Gardenian, Dianic, and Alexandrian.

Witchcraft is the practice of magic, or, as I call it, the direction of energy using ritual. On its own, witchcraft is not a religion but is a spiritual practice.

Considering the above:

·         A witch can be pagan

·         A witch can be Wiccan

·         A pagan can be a witch

·         A Wiccan can be a witch

·         A pagan may not be Wiccan or a witch

For example, I am a witch and a pagan but I am not a Wiccan.

What I think you should do is get this whole ‘should I become a Wiccan’ question out of your mind for a moment. The beauty of finding the practice and religion that is best for you is that wondrous ‘ah ha!’ moment. The, ‘I thought I was the only one that thought this way!’ moment that ignites your very core and stirs your soul.

Let’s sort out if Wicca is the path for you.

Collect:

·         A half hour of spare time

·         Pen and paper

·         Your favourite CD

·         Your favourite incense

Sit quietly and write down answers to these lists. Set a timer of three minutes for each list. The total is fifteen minutes of list writing.

First list is all the things that are important in your life. The non-negotiables. Things like living close to trees, treating others with respect, speaking your mind etc.

Second, write a list of what makes you happy. This could be sleeping in, walking in the forest, watching the moon, catching up with friends.

Third, write a list of what you believe is important about the Earth. Her seasons, day and night, animals are all possible answers.

Fourth, write a down three social justice issues that are important to you and why they are important.

Fifth, write the names of three people you admire and dot points about why you admire them.

At the end of these five lists, you should have an insight into what motivates and is important to YOU. Find the words and themes that overlap. These are your primary clues. Really sit and think about your results. Journal and contemplate today. Don’t do any more than that.

The next day or even a few days later, find some basic information about some Wiccan traditions and reduce them to a few key themes. Do these themes align with what is important to you? If not, it is likely that this religion is not for you. If so, GREAT! Enquire, read, talk to others, ask questions, then read some more!

In any case, read and ask more questions about paganism as this appears to be the underlying theme of what stirs you.

On a personal note, I never felt comfortable chanting in yoga until I had a mind-blowing experience with an amazing tacher who opened my eyes to what sound can mean as part of the practice. Lack of comfort can be a great thing. This is where we find out who we really are. But there is also the lack of comfort that comes from the ‘whoooa, wrong for me!!’ If you can learn to distinguish between the two and push your boundaries a little bit, you can learn amazing things about yourself.

Good luck, lovely! I wish you the absolute best.

Guest writer,
Sarah
http://underthewaningmoon.tumblr.com/

I’ve been interested in Wicca for many years, but I don’t necessarily believe or practice everything in Wicca, does that still make me Wiccan? And can I use Norse Gods for my deities?

“I have been extremely interested in Wicca for eight years now; I love the spirituality, the love for nature, the use of runes and stones… I don’t believe in ALL of it, but I don’t think that should keep me from wanting to call myself a Wiccan, should it? I’m also wondering about the deities used in Wicca; I don’t feel that strongly drawn towards Celtic deities my friends have told me about. Is it possible to use other figures (like Norse Gods) as deities (I’m strongly drawn to them) in Wicca?”

The thing about Wicca is that a lot of people don’t really have a full understanding of it, even those who’ve been practicing it for years. If you Google “what is wicca” you’re going to come upon websites made by everyday people explaining what Wicca is to THEM, so you’re going to get multiple different answers. Wicca itself is a very new religion. With its own set of guidelines and rules and how-to’s for specific things. Wicca’s official deities are the God (Sun/Sky) and Goddess (Moon/Earth) (Also known as Duotheistic Wicca). But you then also have Monotheistic Wiccans who believe that the God and Goddess are dual aspect of one “creator.” And then you have Polytheistic Wiccans who believe in multiple Gods and Goddesses and pantheons.

Whatever you want to call these different things or beliefs, the basis of Wicca is that there is dual belief in a masculine and feminine deity.

Many Wiccans may also work with different Gods and different pantheons at the same time. If your friend is telling you Wicca only follows Celtic deities, then they need to go educate themselves.

Wicca has a basic “this is what Wicca is and these are the basic rules” thing going on, the rest is up to you and what you want to take in or out – for the most part. Other than the masculine/feminine deity, Wiccans follow the Wiccan Rede “If it harms none, do what ye will.” And the practice of Magick in attempt to alter the natural world and alter mental and material conditions.

You have to remember that Wicca is a religion, so it has it’s basic layout set pretty much. Paganism, on the other hand, is more of a personal, self-path making. Many will say Paganism and Wicca is the same thing or have the same beliefs, practices, etc. From an angle, it may seem like it. I have my own definition of what Paganism is, just like everyone else – but it’s not a Wiccan religion.

So to simplify everything and answer your question simply… Yes. You can use the Norse Gods in your practice.

Blessed Be
Sage