Monthly Archives: April 2014
With Beltane happening next week (already? didn’t we just celebrate Ostara?) there are a lot of groups holding open rituals. (There are at least three in my general vicinity this weekend.)
So, how do you find out about them? I mean, Pagan groups don’t normally take out huge billboards or full-page newspaper ads.
Well, for one thing, check out The Witches’ Voice to find others in your area. (The links are down at the bottom of the page.)
There is also PaganSpace, which has local contacts as well as general forums. (Where asbestos — the general forums can get a little heated at times.)
And then there is Facebook, which probably needs no introduction. Just type Pagan in the box that says “Search for people, places, and things” and be prepared to be overwhelmed. You can narrow the search to your area by including the name of a nearby city, or the county you’re in (and surrounding counties).
As far as what to expect at a public ritual, don’t ask me. I’m very solitary, and my introverted self would probably be very unhappy at a large public gathering. (The weekly coffee night is almost too much sometimes, and all we do is sit around and talk and eat.)
I would, however, suggest you read about the event – most have a website or Facebook page – to see what it says. There may be suggestions for what to bring, information about the space (indoor or outdoor), etc, that will give you some idea of what to expect. Also, some are going to be more “family friendly” than others, so check before bringing your young ‘uns.
The main thing is to be respectful (of the people and the place) and to go in with an open mind – they might not do things the way you do, but then, they might not do things they way they do when they’re alone, either.
I’ve seen a lot of people asking how to find their deity, how do they know who their deity is, etc. And, quite frankly, I’m baffled: I just don’t understand the question.
One part of the problem is that I’m not quite sure exactly what they mean. The deity that they feel closest to? The deity that they are supposed to serve? The deity that they are called to? (How they expect anyone other than themselves to answer that last one is beyond me, but anyhow…)
For that matter, how they expect anyone to provide them with the answer to any of those questions is also beyond my understanding.
Maybe I’m just in “Cranky Old Crone” mode, but why does it seem that no one wants to do the work for themselves anymore? Why are they looking to other people to provide quick answers to questions that they can really only find answers to by looking within?
Maybe I’m just lucky. Once I’d been practicing long enough for things to sink in, I knew who my deities were — I’d always known, actually, I just didn’t realize it at first. They were the ones who first “spoke” to me, way back in high school: Apollo, Artemis, and Athena. Apollo especially. (And, more recently, Hermes.)
How did I know? I just knew.
Looking back, I can see Apollo’s touch in so many little things in my life: my need for sunlight (I swear I run on solar batteries), my love of poetry, being drawn toward divination, being called to a healing path…
And why is it so important to know who their deities are right off the bat?
When I started practicing, I simply invited “The Lord and Lady” to my rituals. There were no specific names — naming them seemed to limit them somehow. (In fact, in general ritual I’m still most likely to use Lord and Lady, unless I am trying to connect with a specific energy or am honoring a specific deity.)
If anyone out there can explain this phenomenon, please do.
It is one of the things that turned me off of a Hellenic Reconstructionist group that I found on line.
Yes, there are some things that are pretty far out there, like claiming that The Morrigan came to you to cheer you in your darkest hour. (That’s an actual line found on a Face Book meme. I cannot make this stuff up.)
(And, frankly, if your darkest hour is dark enough that the Morrigan is able to cheer you up, I’m going to make sure that you, me, and sharp objects are never in the same place at the same time…)
Unlike the Hellenic Reconstructionist group, I think that UPG is fine.
I’m not saying that what you learn in meditation is the answer for everyone, but it might be the answer for you. And if it works for you, then by all means, use it.
After all, at some point, everything we know about the deities was UPG. No one has any way of really knowing for a fact what they are like, although we can know them on an emotional and spiritual level.
Anything other than that is just UPG that was agreed upon by a bunch of other people and preserved through history.
But I’m still not sure that the Morrigan brings cheer…
Recently I posted about casting spells to help yourself, and why it’s okay to do that. But what about casting spells to help others?
Of course that’s permissible. I think it’s better if it’s done with their knowledge and consent, but everyone is going to have different opinions on that, and I’ll admit that there is a huge grey area there.
What about charging someone to cast a spell for them? Much bigger grey area. I mean, yes, your time and energy are worth something, and there should be some sort of exchange if you are doing work for another. And money can be considered to be a form of energy. But…
Are you liable if it backfires or doesn’t work?
I think I’d be more comfortable with teaching them how to do it themselves: not only does that relieve you of liability, but it helps to demystify the process, make it more accessible and understandable.
And more enlightenment can only be a good thing, right?
Now, what about going to someone to have a spell cast for you? (This is what prompted this post…*)
Personally, I’d rather do it myself.
For one thing, no one is going to be more emotionally invested in your problem than you are, and it’s emotional energy that fuels the magic.
(Note: if you are sick or run down or otherwise unable to raise enough energy to do a spell, then by all means, ask for help from friends in the Craft until you are back on your metaphysical feet.)
But more importantly, this path is about taking responsibility for yourself and your life, for creating the change you want and the outcome you want.
Giving that responsibility to another lessens your own power and control over your life.
Don’t do that.
Do it yourself.
*I’ve been getting comments about how great so and so is and how much s/he helped the poster gain control over their life or do whatever.