Tag Archive | Pagan

The Witch’s Pyramid

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the Witch’s Pyramid. To me, the Pyramid is another way of understanding the Elements and their realms. It also is a guide on how to live – it’s not a strict code, rather an optional guideline. I choose to incorporate the Pyramid into my day to day life, because it feels right – it’s also nice to have a “something” to use as a base. It’s a common criticism of Wicca and Witchcraft that there’s no set outline or guide as many other religions have for how to live or what to do on a day to day basis. I think that’s terribly untrue – there are many different outlines for a practitioner to choose from – and this is what makes it appear as though there were no outline at all. I think the ability to choose is very important.

Here’s my take on the Witch’s Pyramid, right out of my Book of Shadows; the format is like this: the corner – the Latin verb that corresponds to the corner (and a literal translation) followed by my personal interpretation.

A visual interpretation of the Witch's Pyramid

To Know – NOSCERE (lit. to become acquainted with, investigate)

This is the power of air, the power to know and to learn and to grow from the knowledge we gain. This is the witch’s obligation to strive to know the world – intellectually and otherwise. This isn’t striving to always be correct, but rather attempting to correct yourself.

To Dare – AUDERE (lit. to be daring, venture; to bring oneself to)

This is the power of water, the power to dare and venture forth boldly and let fear flow away from you. This is with witch’s obligation to be courageous and firm, but flexible. This is not ignoring fear or trepidation, but finding a way to transform emotions to give you strength.

To Will – VELLE (lit. to be willing; to wish, want; to will, ordain)

This is the power of fire, the power to will and wish and manifest that which is desired. This the the witch’s obligation to always be aware of the will and the power of desire. This is striving towards goals and not letting setbacks hold you down or erode your will

To Keep Silent – TACERE (lit. to be silent; to keep still, quiet)

This is the power of earth, the power to keep silent and still and listen to the universe. This is the witch’s obligation to understand when to keep silent, when to go within and listen rather then share and speak. This is striving to be comfortable in the silence and within the self.

To Go – IRE (lit. to go; to proceed)

This is the power of spirit, the power to go and transform and connect with the Divine. This is the witch’s obligation to seek the Divine in everything and to understand the elements as they present themselves. This is striving to be fully human and fully spiritual and finding the balance between these realms.

I’ll link you to the first in my video “miniseries”, which is a little more in depth.

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Fighting With Stereotypes

As I mentioned before, I’m working my way through Roderick’s Wicca: A Year and a Day. Days 2 and 3 go together and deal with exploring words. The “hot button” kind of words, like “Wicca”, “Witchcraft”, “Pagan”, “Magic” and so on. The exercises for those days deal with confronting our understanding of and feelings toward these words. He asks that you choose one emotionally charged word that captures your “theme” regarding these words, inscribe it on a candle, and reflect on transforming the feelings you have towards this word/concept. You should “vow to remain aware of your feelings during your learning” period. As the word melts away with the candle, you should imagine your feelings/concepts toward it changing as well.

Stereotypical Witches - from The Craft

The word I ended up choosing was “stereotype” because I think that is the one aspect of my faith that I’ve never wanted to confront or embrace.

On the one hand, stereotypes are often negative or focus on the flamboyant/ostentatious members in groups. And these members rarely are the majority. But stereotypes aren’t always negative, sometimes they are positive or (more likely) neutral; for example the stereotype that “all Lutherans like Jell-o” isn’t really positive or negative. Stereotypes can help us, psychologically speaking, understand, classify and approach other groups.

I have a lot of negative feelings attached to the stereotypes surrounding Wicca/Witchcraft/Paganism. On some level I want to embrace them. I want to be the person who says “yeah, I’m unorthodox; yeah, I’m different; yeah, I think ‘strangely’ according to society; so what?” Sometimes I really want to be that person. Sometimes I kind of hate that person – those are the “crazy” people that the media latches onto and portrays for the world to see – I sometimes wonder if they realize the trouble they cause for the rest of the community.

As this year and a day progresses, I’ll be sure to tackle my issues with the stereotypes that surround Wicca and Paganism.

Yule 2010

This year, I decided to try something different for Yule. I usually do a simple ritual involving a reflection on the darkness and lighting a candle, letting it shine through the long dark night. This time ’round, I’m holding a vigil – watching the sky and waiting for the sun to rise. During this, I’m reflecting on the darkness and it’s purpose and preparing for a little celebration when the sun does rise. It’s only right to celebrate the return of the sun, even if we are heading into the coldest part of winter. We are coming out of the darkness.

Dawn of the Winter Solstice as seen at Stonehenge.

When the dawn comes, I’ll don my coin belt, grab my drum and encourage the  coming light and see the Goddess through her labor. Where I live, dawn (the beginning of twilight before the actually sun rise) occurs around 7:40 this morning and the sun will rise nearly 35 minutes later.

I find active ritual that includes dancing, chanting, singing and the like to be the most amazing experience. For many years I planed out my Sabbat rituals meticulously, which isn’t really a bad thing to do at first. This allows you to truly understand the purpose for the Sabbat and the symbols often used; but, I think I’m ready to try out new things and experiment. If I don’t like what I do this year, I can always do something else next year.

Full Long-Nights Moon

The full moon in December is the Long-Nights moon, which makes sense seeing as it falls around the winter solstice. This year, the full Long-Nights moon falls on the solstice. But that’s not all – this year, there is also a full eclipse – however we’re in the middle of a snow storm here. It is at this time that we truly notice how long the nights have become. This is a time for introspection; a time to face the darkness that surrounds us. This is the time to go into the darkness to learn from our shadow-selves. Rest, recuperate, take care of yourself – this is the time of the Dark Mother.

The Hanged Man – Odin

I’ve been thinking about the Tarot as of late, so I thought I’d share some of my feeling about the Hanged Man. I’ve always felt called to Odin, the most common myth associated with the Hanged Man. So, I think now is a good time to focus on this card and what it means to me. The Hanged Man is about decision making – namely the decision to sacrifice yourself for yourself. The Hanged Man sacrifices himself and gains wisdom and insight as his reward. This is why the story of Odin on the World Tree shows this so well.

Here, Odin is drawn as a traveler - a form he often took

138 I know that I hanged on a windy tree
nine long nights
wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
myself to myself,
on that tree of which no man knows
from where its roots run.

139 No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn
downward I peered;
I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
then I fell back from there.

Havamal from Poetic Edda
translated by Carolyne Larrington

Odin hung upon the World Tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days and nights. He was a sacrifice unto Himself, seeking wisdom and knowledge from Well of Wisdom. From His sacrifice came the Runes – the gifts of magic and writing. He also sacrificed one of His eyes for a drink from Mimir’s well, giving Him great fore-sight.

The Hanged Man teaches us that we have to make sacrifices in order to attain our personal truths and wisdoms. Not physical sacrifices but spiritual and personal sacrifices. Learning takes time, takes energy, takes dedication. There are times when we will have to set the word aside and hang by ourselves in order to understand and find what we seek

Sing a Song

To me, music is very important in both my spirituality and religion. I sing in ritual, out of ritual, before and after ritual, and a few times in place of ritual. Music stimulates the energy flow and can facilitate healing (ever heard of music therapy?) and just feels good! I just wanted to share a few of my favorite chants – all are pagan themed today.

Lyrics:
Mother I can feel you under my feet,
Mother I can hear your heartbeat,
Mother I can see you when the eagle flies,
Mother won’t you take me higher…
(Sometimes I decided to say “feel your heartbeat” but that’s okay)

Lyrics:
We are the flow, we are the ebb
We are the weavers, we are the web

We are the weavers, we are the web
We are the spiders, we are the thread

We are the spiders, we are the thread
We are the flow and, we are the ebb…

Lyrics:
She changes everything she touches,
And everything she touches changes,
(Repeat as desired)

Changes, touches, touch us, change us (repeat as desired)

We are changers, and everything we touch can change (Repeat as desired)

~Take care and Blessed be

Full Frosty Moon

I call the full moon in November the full Frosty moon, because where I live the cold of winter is really setting in right about now.  This is a time for reflection on past choices. This is a time for thankfulness too, in a sense – being thankful for being able to be comfortable about the onset of winter.  Where I live, winter is generally cold, long, and ruthless. On this moon, I take the time to realize that winter is now here; it’s no longer something I can plan for or pretend isn’t creeping up on me – it’s here.

~Take care and Blessedbe