Creative Writing

now browsing by category

 

Brief Update and a Rerun

This week, I’ve been dealing with some personal things, so I’m still catching up. It didn’t feel right to leave you hanging, though, so I’ve found an entry from my now-inactive blog, Voix de Wilder, to share with you. I believe this piece does a good job of explaining my thoughts on things like “fate” or “destiny.” While my views have shifted slightly, a lot of what I said back then still stands, and I think it’s important to explore our own mindset over time. I’m still learning and always asking “why.”

I also wanted to take a break to let you know how things are going concerning the course and other Maiden’s Circle endeavors. As you know by now, Maiden’s Circle sends out a newsletter each time there’s a new update. Lately, that’s pretty much only been notifications of new blog entries and whatever news comes up that week. Do you like that format? Would you like more in the newsletters?

In any case, I want to let you know that our Covenpath course is coming along slowly, but surely. Each week, it gets a little closer to publishing. I want this to be as valuable as I can possibly make it, so I’ve spent many hours researching to make sure we provide the right amount of information while keeping in mind that this is a self-study course. As soon as it’s ready, you’ll be the first to get an email. Make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter, because only those people will get the massive discount of $13 (as opposed to $133). That’s $120 worth of content just for joining the newsletter!

The closer we get to going live, the giddier I become. I sincerely hope this course provides a sturdy base for your witchy practices and that it can lead to a huge growth within Maiden’s Circle. The fact is, I’m looking for coven members. It’s important we all have a similar understanding of the Maiden’s Circle practices, even with varying practices of our own. That means, new members would need to take the course. (That said, enrollment in the course doesn’t automatically mean initiation into the coven.) So, with the launch of the Covenpath course, I hope to see growth in our numbers. If it isn’t clear already, I have a deep need to share this journey.

To help sate that need, Maiden’s Circle now has a learning group on Facebook! The group is meant to foster discussion and learning from one another and is just a bit more formal than other groups I admin. This is because I truly want to have an engaged Pagan community where everyone expresses themselves and participates. I want to hear about your beliefs and practices so that we can connect with one another on a more personal level. So, be sure to check that group out, as well as the Bacchans of Witchsfest group for even more fun, witchy posts.

The Ordains series will continue next week, but I hope you enjoy this brief update and break. Let me know your thoughts in the comments or join us on Facebook. Until then, I hope you enjoy the entry below in which I discuss the ideas of fate or destiny. Blessed be!

Previously titled Sh*t Happens. First published Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Let’s just say that things happen, that sometimes events randomly fall together to create the perfect circumstances for certain things to occur.  Let’s say that’s it.  Things fall into place and things happen, without the hand of Fate or “the Universe.”  This is, indeed, the view of many skeptics and self-proclaimed smart people.  If that is the case, then we’re really just living to die, no?  Shit just happens, and either it’s good or bad, but it’s never important.  Moments aren’t special, so there’s no reason for sentiment and reminiscing.  There’s no point to romance.

I’ve seen two reactions from those following this school of thought.  Some people embrace it and adopt a devil-may-care attitude.  They live life fast and hard.  They live for the sake of experience.  They live dangerously, trying anything new, ignoring the consequences. These people believe they could die young, so they live every moment doing whatever they please.  Then, there are others who take this thought and find fear and misery in it.  If there is no meaning, if their lives are just a series of random events, what is the point of living?  These forlorn people often feel their lives are tragic, and tend to share their tragedy with others, leading to dysfunctional, often co-dependent, relationships.

It’s all very nihilistic, isn’t it?  On the other end of the spectrum are those who believe that Fate rules the world.  To these hopeful beings, every single event has a meaning, everything happens for a reason.  They are always where they’re “meant to be.”  There is some power in the universe that is watching over them, and even the smallest occurrences are meant for them.  A leaf falling at just the right moment is some message for them to interpret, or there’s a raging storm because they’re having a bad day.  Essentially, they believe the world revolves around them.  Truly, their own world does.

Then, of course, there are those of us who are the most idealistic.  We see the world as a gray area.  Some things just happen because they do.  Some things are destined.  Not everything happens for a reason, but nothing is pointless.  Life, ultimately, has a meaning amidst all the mundanity.  We’ve seen the magic that can occur; we’ve seen what can happen when certain random circumstances come together and create the perfect setting for creating change.

The task, then, is to learn to discern the difference; and when you find the things that are significant, when you do receive messages from the Universe (or the Fates, God/dess, Spirit, the Higher Power, or what-have-you), you must determine what they mean.  Perhaps it is just that I like puzzles, that I feel this is the most accurate idea of why things happen.  Who really knows why some people fall into jobs they’d never imagined and end up finding their calling?  Who knows what determines whether or not one person survives an accident?  Is it luck?  Or is it Fate that brings a person into another person’s life?  A person that makes the other feel joyous and free?  Or a person that leaves pain and destruction behind?

We search for lessons and often find them too late.  It isn’t easy figuring out what is mundane and what is a whisper from the gods.  I am happy that my mind works the way it does, but even that is a mystery to me.  The life I lived as a child, the environment that raised me, could have a different influence.  Instead of following in the footsteps of generations before me, I chose to take a new path.  Though, I’m not entirely convinced it was a choice.  I believe that, when it comes to destiny, mine is one of greatness.  I do, however, have to make the choices that take me there; nothing is set in stone.  I believe life will bring to me all I need, but it is up to me to make it mine, to keep it.

Some things are truly supposed to be in our lives, but we must work to prove we deserve them.  Not everything that’s meant to be is easy.  Not everything that’s difficult is a random occurrence or a “lesson learned.”  Perhaps sometimes, the lesson is, “Don’t give up.”  In that same vein, not everything that’s pleasant is fate.  Sometimes, we’re just lucky; it’s just good timing.  So, how do we figure it out?  What do we do with the information once we’ve done that?  How do we know which actions are “right”?  I can’t answer that.

I am working to figure it out in my own life.  There are things I see as signs, and but I am ever skeptical.  Everything is a sign and nothing is.  I am attempting to look at unique occurrences from as many angles as I can conceive.  Of course, it makes me seem a bit…insane, but I’m not sure that matters.  I am analyzing life constantly, and I can’t seem to let go of certain concepts, certain “signs.”  I don’t know what’s happening yet, or why, but I know something in my life is changing.  I don’t know which direction it’s going to go.  All I can do is make the choices that I believe will bring me the most joy and fulfillment.  I hope luck is on my side.

With love always,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

New Series: The Ordains

Hello again, witchlings.

First, let me apologize for taking such a lengthy hiatus. You deserve better. This blog deserves better. I do hope you can forgive me for going away for so long.

The energy I once directed into this blog was diverted towards other writing and entrepreneurial efforts. The creative juice that would be pumped into these posts went instead into my novels and other projects.

The days flew by, though, and turned into months—and you got nothing. For that, I’m sorry. I always intended to return, and that time has finally come to pass.

In “The Future of Maiden’s Circle”, I expressed difficulty when it comes to writing this blog. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to say here anymore. I’d lost my motivation and my purpose.

None of the ideas I’d prepared for the blog felt right. They didn’t seem to matter. Most importantly, they weren’t as connected to Maiden’s Circle Coven or or our Covenpath Course as they should have been.

Ultimately, that’s why the blog was created in the first place. To honor and return to that purpose, I’ve decided to write a brief series on a topic covered in our Maiden’s Circle Covenpath course.

In the first part of the course, we cover the basic beliefs and tenets of the Wiccan religion. Among those tenets are the traditional Ordains, also known as The Witches’ Laws. These “laws” were popularized by a man known as the “father of Wicca,” Gerald Gardner.

In this series, I’ll be posting a short entry on each of the twenty-two Ordains that help form MCCA’s practice. These entries are my personal thoughts and feelings, and they are in no way meant to dictate what you or anyone else should believe. This is an activity similar to one of the assignments in the course, and I’ll post an entry each week on Monday.

Hopefully, you find the following entries to be entertaining, as well as informational. I’d love to know your thoughts on these so-called “laws” for witches.

Be sure to check back every week for a new entry, and check your email for any big Maiden’s Circle updates.

Thank you so much for your patience, for your continued support, and for your divine love.

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Come see Maiden Circle’s Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week!
Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page!
PLUS I’ve decided to start a new MCCA newsletter so that you can be updated whenever there’s a new blog post, as well as on any other MCCA matters. Don’t worry, I won’t spam your inbox! Sign up now!

How To Be A Healthy Heathen

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably guessed that health is an important subject here at Maiden’s Circle. I believe that if one intends to serve in any way, one must be well in all aspects. That means spiritually, mentally, and physically.

The internet is host to tons of websites about having a healthy body. You can find anything from diet plans to entire wellness agendas. Looking for that kind of information is how I came across bullet journaling. And we all know how I feel about that.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that I love hunting for ways to incorporate my spiritual practice into literally every aspect of my life. That includes my health and fitness routine. So, today I want to talk about the Pagan things I do to stay balanced and healthy.

Here in New York, it’s easy to feel bogged down by the energy of such a dense population. If you are someone who’s sensitive to those energies, it can affect both your mood and body. This could lead to bouts of depression or irritability, and even to physical illness.

It’s important that we make cleansing and shielding part of our daily routine—or at least something we do whenever we go out. The easiest method I have found for this is to incorporate a short visualization in with my morning drink of water. Drinking water is something I have to do every morning to function like a person. Since it’s going to happen daily, it’s easy to see the water as a purifying, expanding light source. As I drink, I am cleansed and balanced.

If I’m going out, I will often do a shielding meditation during my morning commute. In fact, you can add meditation to anything you do. It’s the perfect way to add a little spirituality to your mundane life.

Like the need to regularly cleanse and protect our bodies, mental health is imperative to living a well-grounded, Pagan lifestyle. As someone living with a mood disorder, I have always been interested in mindset “hacks.”

My favorite method of altering a negative mindset is to use affirmations. Affirmations, for those who don’t know, are statements meant to support and empower by repeated use.

I use a number of affirmations that keep my mind from going dark, such as “I am naturally healthy” or “I am strong in mind, body, and spirit.” Speaking the words every day, or even just once a week, has drastically improved my outlook and energy levels.

To further keep my mood up (and keep track of it when it isn’t), I set daily intentions. Each night before bed, I decide how I want to spend the following day and note it in my bullet journal. I include any physical exercise I want to do, along with the energy I’d like to rule my day.

This all leads to me starting my day with intention. When I wake up with goals, I generally feel better. Why this is, I’m not 100% sure, but it may have something to do with having a sense of purpose. When we have that sense of purpose, it’s a lot easier to care about our own well-being.

Of course, visualizations and affirmations aren’t necessarily Pagan methods. One definite Pagan health tool is the use of spells. Spells can be cast for just about anything, so why not for better health? In fact, spells for health are among the top three most requested spell types in the Pagan community—including spells for love and spells for money.

Because I practice daily activities towards healthy living, I don’t need to cast health spells all that often. Still, there are times when my usual meditations could use a boost, and then I work a little magick.

Coincidently, I’m in the process of writing a book of spells for a healthy Pagan lifestyle. It’s a lot more well-organized and in-depth than any blog post could cover. It contains a handful of spells and a bit of bonus material that cover all aspects of healthy living.

I suppose this is the first “official” announcement of 10 Spells for the Healthy Witch. So, woohoo! The book will be available in the fall and should be available for pre-order in late Summer.

In 10 Spells for the Healthy Witch, I offer spells for sleep, for breaking bad habits, for dealing with anxiety, and so much more. I am so excited to share this with you and I know you’re going to love it!

There you have it. These are just a few of the methods I use to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I focused on mental and spiritual health because I believe those are necessary for physical health.

On top of that, there are a million sources with information on how to be physically healthy. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for finding spiritual balance nor for incorporating your spiritual “self” with your physical and mental “selves.”

Yes, we have a lot more Pagan health resources now than we did just ten years ago, but it’s still far from adequate. It’s necessary to work towards health and balance on all levels of being if we are to fulfill our purpose in this lifetime.

It’s likely that this topic will be revisited in the future, because there’s so much more I could say. I’m still in the process of healing and learning the best way to care for myself.

I still have some unhealthy habits I’m working on—like staying up way too late. As I type this, it’s a quarter to four in the morning. Nights like these are rather common for me, and they used to be a huge problem.

Now, I work in the afternoon, and so I get to sleep in—but there was a time when my bad sleeping habits affected my school and my jobs. During that time, I wrote a spell to help myself sleep at night.

I think it’s appropriate to share that with you here now. If you’re a night owl like me, take this spell and sleep with the brightest of blessings. May you awake refreshed and ready to start a successful new day!

Sleep come easy,
Sleep be sweet.
Goddess hold me,
From head to feet.
When night should fall,
Before morning comes.
By midnight play
The Sandman’s song.
To dream through night,
To wake with ease.
As I will it,
So shall it be.

What do you do to stay healthy and incorporate your spiritual practice in your health routine? What’s most important to you when it comes to being healthy?

Send me your responses in the comments!

With love,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Did you folks know I do weekly Tarot readings? Check out the videos here, and subscribe to catch them every Monday.
**PLUS** I’ve decided to start a new MCCA newsletter so that you can be updated whenever there’s a new blog post, as well as on any other MCCA matters. Don’t worry, I won’t spam your inbox! Sign up now!

Being Black And Pagan

Last night, my partner and I were watching one of my favorite shows on Hulu, the instant classic Black-ish. It’s a show that stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson as a mother and father of four children living in an affluent, predominately white neighborhood. While the show is filled with hilarious jokes and ridiculous situations, it also provides valuable teaching moments in every episode.

At one point, they present an episode in which one of the main characters reveals that they don’t believe in the Christian concept of God. Unsurprisingly, this causes a huge upset with the lead character, Andre—which he laments at length to his free-spirited wife, Rainbow. As he states it, black people are supposed to be Christian. Why does he make this claim? According to him, it’s “what we do.”

Being that this is a family sitcom, the situation is resolved in a very sweet, believable way. The purpose of that episode, I believe, was to show why American black people have relied on their Christian faith for so many generations, as well as to show how important it is that our community become a little more open-minded and accepting of other walks of faith.

Unfortunately, for some of us, it isn’t always easy in the real world to admit that you aren’t Christian. It’s especially difficult to come out as Pagan or Wiccan. Of course, I acknowledge that, depending on where you live, coming out of the broom closet can be tough for anyone. However, the idea that Christianity is “what we do” is disturbingly and consistently present among black Americans.

It’s this pervasive idea that makes every interaction I have with an elder a little more charged; so much so that, as much as I love talking about my path, I tend to avoid the subject of religion entirely when I’m in their presence. I won’t deny my beliefs if asked, but it’s impossible not to cringe when, after explaining I’m not Christian, the questions are followed by a lecture on why I should be—or remarks that make it clear exactly what they think of me and my blasphemous ways.

These may be entirely unique experiences, but considering that Black-ish is but one of many sources in media that restate that stereotype of black people only being Christian, it’s easier to believe that this is a common occurrence for many of us in the Pagan community.

In addition to the pressure we get from media and black Christians who believe such things, it seems that the overall Pagan community is suffering from an imbalance when it comes to visibility and representation of people of color. I’m fortunate enough to live in one of the most diverse cities in the country, and I think that’s accurately demonstrated during large Pagan gatherings (like New York’s Annual Witchsfest).

The same can’t necessarily be said for the smaller groups I attend, in which I am often the only person of color. I’m not saying this to be disparaging towards those groups—they’re wonderful and I genuinely appreciate everyone I’ve met and the beautiful ceremonies they provide. Still, I get a bit like a kid seeing a unicorn whenever I see another black person at ritual.

While there may be fewer black Pagans in America, which I’m not so sure is still true, I think the cause of this imbalance goes a bit deeper. In fact, the topic of race relations throughout the Wiccan and Pagan community is wrought with tension and disagreements. Saying that racism is still a huge problem in the community tends to push against some people’s core beliefs. They often believe that, because Wicca is such an encompassing religion, that Wiccan groups are inherently free of hatred.

This is a clear disconnect from the reality that all Wiccans/Pagans/and literally everyone else is a human with their own personalities and beliefs. When you factor in that racist terrorist groups are still allowed to operate and that there is a volatile political atmosphere currently at play, you have to acknowledge that the likelihood of every single Pagan group being intersectional and welcoming of the perceived other is extremely low.

The fact is, I would be naive to assume that just because a group is Pagan or Wiccan, they’re going to welcome me with open arms. Before I attend a group, I have to do my research. I have to ask how they’ve treated people who don’t fit into the mainstream standard Wiccan box in past. This includes how they treat black people, but I also have to know how comfortable of an environment they provide for people in the LGBTQ community, how women are treated within their internal structure, and how they treat people who don’t necessarily agree with everything they have to say.

I never recommend anyone join a group without first understanding that group’s core beliefs. That said, I want to encourage other Pagans of color to reach out more. I do think part of the reason we’re so nearly invisible in the community is because we’re still entrenched in this old idea that if we aren’t Christian, we’re doing something wrong, so we hesitate reach out.

I’ve been Wiccan for a decade and a half but, even now, I sometimes think, “What if?” What if—despite all my studies and experiences—there is a Hell and I’m going there for my beliefs? I feel deep in my heart that this isn’t true. But because of the pressure I grew up under to be Christian, and because of the scare tactics that were used in the churches my family attended, I believe these thoughts are echoes of my childhood fear. I also believe I’m not alone in having them.

The seeds of fear that my religious environment planted in my childhood are like deadly weeds in my spiritual garden. When those thoughts crop up, I’m usually in a place of depression. Sometimes depression just happens and, when it does, it somehow manages to make me believe that all the good in my life is a lie. Luckily, my faith is strong enough to stamp down those dangerous, fear-based thoughts.

It’s that faith that inspired me to look for and connect with other Pagans, even in a place as religiously strict as the town in which I grew up. By that point, I was already an outcast for a whole list of other reasons, so I didn’t have much to lose by stepping out into the light.

I realize this isn’t the case for everyone. Many black Pagans have a lot more to lose than I did. The fear of being ostracized, disowned, and becoming the subject of the family rumor mill is powerful. That said, I want to urge my fellow black Pagans to act against these fears and make a real effort to not only become part of the current community, but to come together and create groups in our own communities, which typically don’t get much Pagan exposure.

It’s not solely up to the majority to create space for people of color, it’s our duty to create our own facilities. I could be biased because I’ve always been the kind of person who, if I see something I want but don’t have a route to it, I tend to try to forge my own way. This means I have to be flexible with my goals and the way I achieve them, while still maintaining a clear objective.

Some day, I’d like to see Pagan schools that are just as common as Catholic schools. I don’t know the exact steps I’ll take to get there, but I do know that my goal influences how I choose to run my business and my life. I want this because I want to send my future little witchlings to such a place. However, dreams like that can’t be achieved by just one person. My goals ultimately affect the Wiccan community, and therefore it’s essential that I try to be an active and helpful member.

Whatever your goals are, you’re going to need a support system. No one exists in a vacuum. If your Wiccan or otherwise Pagan faith is important to who you are, then be willing to step forward so that you can find and create your tribe. We’re doing no favors by remaining in the shadows. Too many little black kids are raised with no choice in what they believe, no other visible options, and the lesson that our religion is evil. I think it’s time for that to change.

I’m Pagan. I’m black. I’m proud.

 

What are your experiences concerning diversity and representation in the Pagan community? If you’re a person of color, what is your experience being Pagan in your community?

Thank you and with love from the moon and back,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

I’m not a very political person, but I do think this is an issue that should be discussed. If you’re interested in my less witchy, more creative work, go ahead and sign up for my author newsletter here!

Rhyme All The Time!

Raise your hand if you love spells that rhyme. Just kidding, don’t raise your hand. I can’t see you and you’re probably disturbing the people around you. But if you figuratively raised your hand, I’m right there with you. Spells that rhyme are the bees-knees (not that I know much about bees or their leg anatomy).

In a previous entry, I mentioned some of our favorite Wiccan texts, including the Wiccan Rede. Most new Wiccans hear of the Rede early on in their practice, as it’s known as our “golden rule” of sorts. Nowadays, in the era of memes and short-form information sharing, the Rede is most often boiled down to the phrase “Harm None.”

However, as you probably know by now the Rede is actually much longer (and if you didn’t know, you can read it here). Harm None is a neat and tidy phrase, but it’s actually the end of a lengthy poem. Ten years ago, we’d only shortened it to some variation of “An it harm none, do as ye will.” Five years before that, I couldn’t open a book without seeing the mouthful that is the final line of our Rede: “Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill – An it harm none, do what ye will.” From the very beginning, I was drawn in by the musicality of our most basic tenets.

Recently, I was thinking about my first personal spell—that is, one I wrote myself—which I, of course, made rhyme. It was a love spell and while I never won my target’s affections, the experience of that particular ritual sticks with me more clearly than my first self-dedication, which I don’t remember at all.

Then I thought about some of my favorite and most frequently used spells and chants. While I don’t rhyme for every ritual or spell in my book, there are certain ones—like the spell to find a lost object—which I use rather frequently, so rhyming makes each of them easier to remember.

This is due to something called mnemonics. I can’t claim to know much about mnemonics, except that they’re tools used to help aid human memory, and there are plenty of useful techniques aside from rhyming. Still, rhyming is one of the oldest and best-known methods for committing something to memory, which can be useful for people who host group rituals and prefer to be off-book.

Perhaps that is why witches have done it for so long. The fourth couplet of the Wiccan Rede states “To bind the spell fast every time, Let the words be spoke in rhyme.” It’s a case of ‘right there in the manual,’ if you ask me. Which I suppose you didn’t, so let’s move on.

Not only does rhyming make it easier to remember something, but it also engages you with the words in a way you might not otherwise find. Most people don’t typically speak in a metered style. And most witches aren’t in constant spell-mode. Much like music, rhyming spells and singing chants provides a different way of interacting with language than we do in our day-to-day lives, and so it instantly creates an elevated kind of energy.

Whether or not a spell rhymes is entirely up to the person behind it. Some people don’t prefer it and that’s totally okay. I think many of us can agree, though, that rhyming is pretty fun and an inherently beautiful, yet practical, way to work our magick.

 

Where do you stand? Do you prefer rhyming or is it simply not for you? What are your favorite rhymed spells? Let me know in the comments!

 

With infinite love,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Today’s post would not have been possible if not for my lovely friend R, so I just wanted to extend a thank you with love to her here. So, thank you. 🙂

I also thought I’d share my favorite spell for finding lost objects below. I found this spell online many years ago, and have used it regularly ever since. Unfortunately, I can’t find the original source, but here it is:
Bound and Binding
Binding, Bound
See the sight
Hear the sound
What was lost
Now is found
Bound and Binding
Binding, Bound
Say the spell as needed, while visualizing the missing item. Then, just be patient. Depending on the item, and what actions you take towards your goal, it could take time to return.
I’ve used it for years, and it has always helped in a pinch!

For The Love Of Wicca

I’ve always been kind of relaxed and experimental in my practice. I’ve been the most lax concerning Sabbats and Esbats. Sabbats, if you’re unfamiliar, are Wiccan holy days that celebrate the changing of the seasons, while Esbats are what we call the celebration of the full moon. Over the last five or so years, I’ve managed to celebrate these special days in one way or another at least half the time. That’s a marked improvement on my observance of Pagan holidays when compared to my first decade of practice.

Truth be told, I’ve never been into any holiday except for Halloween. Subsequently, when I found my Wiccan way, I fell in love with Samhain and began attending group rituals to celebrate that and other Wiccan holidays in high school. A couple years later, I was celebrating the moon twice a month, full and new, with a group of solitary witches in Chicago. In September, I joined another group here in New York for my first public Mabon celebration.

This last full moon, on October 5th, I celebrated privately with a friend in her home. As always, we had a beautiful ritual. Working magick with her is consistently a fulfilling experience. While she’s held a mild interest in Wicca for years, she is now digging deeper into it than before and has graciously allowed me to take part in her journey. So, when we do private rituals, I prefer for her to take the lead.

I like this for a number of reasons, the most important of which being that I don’t want my personal practice to influence her so much that it over-powers her instincts. I can be a strong personality when I need to be, and I love to share what I’ve learned. But I find that most times it’s wiser to stay quiet and let someone find their answers on their own. Typically, I’ll sit back and follow her direction, offering input as we go, but ultimately deferring to her.

She’s been reading and exposing me to new books for Wiccans and, right now, she prefers using those books to guide our rituals. At first, part of me resisted; I’m accustomed to making up my own rituals, and I rarely use spells from books. But, for the most part, practicing with her has been a fun and intimate learning experience for me, and I can only hope she feels the same.

I’ve been a practicing Wiccan for around 16 or 17 years, and I forgot how much I relied on books in the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, I still have and love Pagan books and can’t resist buying a new one at every event, but the kind of books I read now are different. When I started, I stocked up on how-to books and every “Beginner’s Guide” I could get my hands on. As a teen, I found Patricia Telesco, who is still one of my favorite Pagan authors. Now, I’m less interested in guidebooks and more into books about history, philosophy, and spiritual balance.

At the moment, my friend is reading the books I read all those years ago, plus a ton of new Pagan authors that I’ve never even heard of. These are authors who, like me, or like Scott Cunningham before us and Doreen Valiente, seem to want to share our experience and reach out to the Pagan community, and so their material is for people in the early stages of their practice.

As an eternal skeptic, I do have a habit of bristling towards new Pagan works. Publishing online has never been easier than it is now, so it’s that much easier for people to put out inaccurate information and profit off of it. I have read books that completely disregard historical evidence, convolute different systems of belief, or imply things that are obviously untrue to someone who takes the time to do their research. It’s important for anyone starting on this path to study the origins of Wicca, meet Pagan elders, and read the bibliography of whatever Wiccan guides they choose.

That said, the majority of Wiccan books are written with good intention, and the authors have a true desire to help others. Each author offers a different facet, a new thought stream of a much larger, evolving religion. Wicca is one of the only religions I know of that is a wholly unique journey for every person that chooses it, while still allowing all of us to share and receive the message. I think it’s safe to say that (while there may be a wrong way) there isn’t just one right way to practice Wicca. Every Wiccan experience is somehow both unique and universal.

Whether you’re strictly solitary, a Circle hopper, or a coven-member, your journey is special, beautiful, and all yours. How you walk the Wiccan way is entirely up to you and I’m glad to help in whatever ways I can. Each singular experience is like a leaf on the universal tree, with its fingerprinted veins. We strengthen each other.

This entry was supposed to be about the pros and cons of following another person’s ritual word-for-word and of making up your own (either as you go or pre-writing them). Seeing as I’m already over 900 words in and I haven’t really gotten to that, I’m going to save it for another time. I suppose, this time, I had to say something about the beauty and diversity of Wicca.

What are your favorite resources to help guide you on your Wiccan path? What’s your favorite thing about being Wiccan?

With all my heart,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Did you folks know I have a newsletter? It’s where you can find updates on my personal life and writing career, as well as brand new flash fiction each month. The first 20 subscribers will receive an exclusive mystery gift, so sign up now!

Myths and Tales

As a kid, I always loved myths, especially Greek and Egyptian stories. As I grew older and started to delve into Wicca and Paganism, this love of myth grew with me. With the recent success of the new Wonder Woman movie, and the ongoing obsession Hollywood has had with superheroes in the last decade, now seems like a good time to talk about what a myth is and how they’re seen today. This entry was inspired by one of the beta lessons in the MCCA course.

In the lesson, I asked students to demonstrate an understanding of mythology, why it’s important, and to consider any modern or long-standing examples that come to mind. Mythology, as I understand it, describes the stories people tell to understand their world and the changes that take place. Hundreds and more years ago, we didn’t have the level of understanding we do now when it comes to weather, the earth, space, or the ocean. We’ve only barely breached the surface now in the grand scheme of the universe. So, people told stories to explore topics like those, as well as the nature of humankind and concepts like love and power.

No society in history has existed that did not tell stories in some form, and many of those stories were what we now consider myths, fairy tales, and legends. Some of those legends have not only lasted in the minds of man, but have been revived–in a form. This brings us to the portrayal of ancient myths in modern media, as well as the creation of new mythological heroes.

If you’re a movie fan like I and millions of other people, chances are you’ve seen a superhero movie in the last ten years. The highest grossing superhero film to date, The Avengers, presents a perfect example of an old myth brought to the modern eye with the character Thor. In fact, almost since their inception, comics and the media that branched from them have a history of taking old myths and reformatting them to suit the times. Before comics, many children may have never heard of figures like Thor and Loki, or Diana and the Amazonians. They may never have become acquainted with the underwater city of Atlantis or the heavenly Asgard. Truly, comics have kept certain heroes alive for generations.

In addition to these older stories, we have seen an influx of new heroes and legends. It may seem silly, but children have their own legendary characters they look up to. Superman seems like an obvious modern-day American legend. Children idolize the Man of Steel. They wear his colors and think of him when they’re scared. Those in harsh environments dream of their hero swooping down to save the day. Whomever the hero is, these stories appear to us as grand legends until someone tells us otherwise.

But even after we stop seeing our heroes as real, extraordinary people, even when we learn the meaning of fiction, many of us hold on to something of our childhood heroes. As children, they helped us understand the world. Superman helped us deal with bullies and helping others in need. For me, Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) helped me see that the world is full of people who feel like they don’t belong. My hero helped me navigate the rollercoaster of emotions and fears that came with growing up.

It is true that there are many different types of stories which serve the purpose of helping people understand their world. That’s basically what stories do. But myths, fairy tales, heroes—they all seem to linger in the minds of people far longer than the general story. They teach lessons, help us to grow, and give us a common thread through which to connect with our fellow humans. They are valuable because they linger. They are important, and I look forward to the future of myths, fairy tales, and great heroes.

 

Many blessings,

Lady Morgana Brighid, MCCA HP

A Bit of A Rerun

Merry meet!

This week/month/year has been hectic, to say the least. It seems that there’s been one change after another—many good, some not so much. This week in particular, I’ve bounced from one thing to another and I never seemed to find the time to write a proper entry. So, I’ve decided to share a super short story I wrote two years ago after a long meditation. I do intend to have a regularly scheduled post in the following weeks, but I have a couple medical procedures coming up that may prevent me from writing. If that does happen, I’ll be sure to update you. With that, I hope you enjoy the story. Please feel free to share your opinions and reactions!

With boundless love and blessings,

Lady Morgana Brighid, HP MCCA

 

Fairy Tale

There is a Sickness, and it is poisoning a country.  It is killing a People in massive numbers.  It is taking children from their mothers’ hands, taking fathers and breaking them, turning them into beasts of labor.  It is slaughtering human beings, and there is little consequence because it doesn’t believe they are human beings. 

 

They scream and fight. “We bleed, we cry.  We breathe!” 

And It thinks, “So? Cows bleed and cry and breathe.  We still make our boots with their asses.” 

The people don’t give up, yelling, “We’re human!  We laugh, we love, we have souls.”

 The Sickness laughs and says, “How can that be?  You don’t look like me.  I built this world standing on your back.  You have soles? You must be shoes.” 

The People wail, “You’re wrong! We’re your mothers, your grandfathers.  We have always been and you were born of our breasts.  We are the ancestors of your ancestors.” 

 

The Sickness grins. Its face morphs.

 

 Its voice draws blood to the ears of the People as it responds, “No.  You are the ancestors of those I have infected.  I am something separate, born of greed and jealousy and lost souls.  Your sick children are blind.  They will never remember you.  As long as I live within them, you’ll be their enemy.  They’ll beat you, imprison you, enslave you.  They’ll kill you and soon you will become infected.  They’ll rape you, dear mothers.  They’ll ridicule and crush you, grandfathers.  They’ll build a world around destroying and using you.  And the best part of all is that they think they’re doing ‘the right thing!’ But they don’t know that each wound they inflict upon you becomes their own.  They can’t feel it, I have numbed them.  Each wound they give you, weakens you, so that I can begin to infect you, too.  And now, they have created a system that all but guarantees your destruction.  Go ahead and fight back.  Your anger and pain will open you more to me.  Give in, for there is no cure.”

 

The People wept. 

 

Mothers stand in the blood of their sons.  Infected children murder other children.  The People fall to their knees and weep.  They weep for the dead and for the infected killers, for the broken and for the lost.  The people weep and their weeping becomes a hum, the hum a melody, and the melody a song.  The song rises louder, filled with the pain of a million souls.  The noise thunders.  The infected hit harder, cut deeper, trying to quiet it.  But the People will not be silenced, and finally the Other hears their suffering.

 

One-by-one, the Other calls to the People, quietly at first, whispering its way through the Sickness.  The People begin to open their eyes to gaze upon this newcomer.  Their eyes burn as the Other shines dimly above them, and the souls of the People are set alight. 

 

Only those willing to burn can hear the Other speak.  “I have heard your song, I have seen what the Sickness is doing.”

 The People lamented, “There is no cure. We are doomed.  We are doomed!” 

 

The Other reaches forward and touches the People.  It bandages their wounds, feeds their moaning stomachs, and gathers their tears. 

 

It asks, “Have you forgotten me, like your infected children have forgotten you?” 

The People shake their heads, “The Sickness is strong.  We’ve almost forgotten ourselves.” 

The Other laughs, a warm, musical sound.  Again and again It reaches forward, touching the People, many already infected.  Each person touched begins to see a bit more clearly, begins to feel like they are waking up.  Their souls burn hotter, and the more they awake, the brighter the Other glows. 

Again, it speaks, kissing the brow of the People.  “Look up and remember me, for in my memory you’ll find yourselves.  Remember, before the Sickness, I was with you.  Remember, before the changes, you and the infected were one People.  You have forgotten, Children of Africa, that you are more than mothers and fathers, more than slaves and victims.  You are Kings and Queens.  You are the First People and you will be the last.  You possess ancient knowledge and infinite power.  Know, then, that you are noble.  Know that you are eternal.  Rise, Pharaohs, daughters of Nefertiti, sons of Isis.  Rise and remember! Open your hearts to me and you will find your cure.”

 

Upon this proclamation, the People begin to leat in joy.  Their weeping becomes laughter as the Other floods their senses.  Elated, the People dance and stomp!  Their dancing shakes the earth and, in so doing, disturbs the Sickness.  The People are no longer at the mercy of the Infected, but instead, are spreading their new-found vision.  Over and over, Infected fall to their knees as the Other’s light spreads throughout their being.  They rise, once again as part of the People, cured. 

 

The Sickness howls, furious and afraid.  It sets fire to homes and sends its darkest agents to corrupt the newly cured, but its efforts are in vain. 

 

The strength of the People is undeniable.

 

 The Sickness shutters at the uproarious din, weakened by its power.  The light of the Other spreads to every corner, illuminating every soul.  The Sickness begins to fade, no longer able to feed on the People.  More and more Infected are cured, and the People stand tall. 

 

They remember themselves, “We are mighty!  We are free!”

 

 A few Infected can never be cured, but they have no control.  The world is a star, burning with the light of the People, and it is exquisite!

 

The Sickness that had ruled for centuries, dwelling in the hearts of men, is finally obliterated.  Eradicated from the collective conscious, the world becomes a Utopia.  The People are once again One People, the children grow to be elderly, and mothers rejoice.  No longer is the Other an ancient memory, it is within the People.  And there it will remain, forever.

 

The end.   ©

 

Originally posted here: https://voixdewilder.wordpress.com/2015/07/