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Was I Born A Witch?

I’m in a lot of Pagan Facebook groups where Pagans of all traditions can come together to celebrate, grow, and learn. A question that pops up time and time again in these groups is something along the lines of How do I know if I was born a witch?

If you’ve wondered this yourself, you might have gotten some pretty varied responses. Well-meaning websites list anything from marks on your palm to just not giving a damn in general as “signs” that you’re born a witch.

Those erroneous articles aside, most practitioners know the truth: no one is born a witch. It’s true that some witches are born with certain spiritual gifts. You may have always “known” things beyond what you’ve been exposed to. You could even have been born into a family with a long-practiced witchcraft tradition. However, while anyone can be born with spiritual gifts—that doesn’t make one a witch.

What does make someone a witch is choice. You choose to practice witchcraft, to learn what it has to offer, and to make it a part of your life. No one else can tell you whether you are. No special marks or gifts. You choose to be a witch, and it’s as simple as that.

For most of us, it’s a lifestyle and endless journey. Sure, there are those who call themselves “dabblers,” but most witches have spent a significant amount of time learning our craft and incorporating it into our daily lives.

In the beginning of my own practice, I asked this very same question. Was I born a witch? I had many gifts and didn’t fit in with anyone, instead choosing to drift through social groups, mainly in shadow. I knew things others didn’t and saw the world differently from just about everyone around me. There are quite a few in online communities who’d claim those are signs I was a witch at birth.

I believe that I was born with the potential to become a witch. There are spirits, deities, and such varied otherworldly beings who interact with us on the earthly realm all the time. Whether in this realm or another, it’s possible for these beings to become attached to others. They may choose to guide and protect certain people, much in the way we might choose to help and protect our friends and family.

That’s why it might seem like witchery has been “calling” you. In a way, it has been. Some people are more inherently tuned into the spiritual realm and are therefore more likely to pursue a Pagan practice. Still, you are not a witch until you take on that mantle.

No one is born a witch, but most of us are born with the potential to become one. If you feel you’re guided to this path, I encourage you to pursue it for at least a year before deciding one way or another. Remember that no one else can decide for you whether or not you’re a witch—not relatives, not other witches, and certainly not strangers on the internet.

So, what are some of the signs you saw or experienced growing up that lead you to this Pagan path? How did you discover your connection with witchcraft? Let’s discuss in the comments!

 

With love always,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

 

Check out Maiden Circle’s Tarot readings, 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!

Are All Wiccans Witches?

Today’s topic came sometime last summer. A friend and I were discussing our different practices—she’s Norse-centered, I lean toward the Celtic, British, and American traditions—and she asked me, “Aren’t all Wiccans witches?”

Isn’t that a fun question? It’s one we’ve all probably heard at some point. I’ve briefly touched on this subject in the past, but thought I should take some time to discuss deeper the differences between Wicca and Witchcraft.

In order to discuss the differences, it’s important to make sure that we first understand what Wicca is. In Wicca Done Wrong, I offered my opinion on what makes a person Wiccan. That would be anyone who practices a “pure” form of Wicca—including Gardnerian, Dianic, and Alexandrian Wicca. That doesn’t really tell us what Wicca is, though, does it?

Another thing we’re bound to hear is that Wicca is a religion based on the idea of “if you harm none, do as you will.” While this is mostly true, it’s important to remember that there are more rules to Wicca that make it the religion it is. Both Gerald Gardner and Scott Cunningham included a section of “Laws” in their Books of Shadows which let us know the rules of their particular tradition.

Because Wicca is such a personal religion, there are likely hundreds of different traditions in the world. Despite that, Wiccans are held together by a few things. Of course, there’s the aforementioned “harm none,” which is a line from the Wiccan Rede. (This is also a line in the Witches’ Creed, which is not a strictly Wiccan text.) In addition, traditional Wiccans recognize Deity as a God and Goddess, and we tune in with that Deity through nature, meditation, and ritual.

While Wicca uses older practices and there is a focus on ancient knowledge, the religion itself is relatively new. Wicca became “famous” thanks to Gerald Gardner in the 1950s, and most of its modern practices date only as far back as the early 1900s.

Witchcraft, however, has been around much longer. Witchcraft is less religion and more of a practice that pretty much anyone can do. As in the name, witchcraft is a learnable skill.

I have often said that Wicca is a witchcraft religion. What that means is that Wicca the religion was born from a collection of various old craft practices mingled with modern magick.

What we call witchcraft today includes practices that date back to ancient civilization. Communing with ancient gods we’ve now revived—working with sun and moon—healing through nature. All these practices which are older than our minds can actually conceive are elements of the craft, and we still follow them today.

My friend’s question has a complicated answer. Yes, Wicca is a witchcraft religion. So by its nature, shouldn’t that mean that all Wiccans are witches?

Personally, I think it’s a choice. I think of it like the invention of pie. All pies are pies. They all have a pretty basic shape, similar ingredients, and can all be recognized as pie. However, a person who loves chicken pot pie doesn’t have to eat cherry pie. In a similar vein, a person who loves Wicca doesn’t have to love any other witchcraft practice.

It’s true that we practice magick by merit of being Wiccan, but if you aren’t making the active choice to practice and learn witchcraft, you’re not a witch. That’s my opinion, of course, and you’re bound to find plenty of people who don’t agree.

But tell me what you think? Does being a Wiccan automatically mean someone is a witch?

Let me know in the comments!

With infinite love,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Come see Maiden Circle’s weekly Tarot readings 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!

How To Relax For Maximum Magickal Effect

In the last entry, we discussed the dangers of aiming for perfection and the need to just relax. Of course, that’s easier said than done. This week, I’d like to talk about some of the different ways to aid in relaxation that allow us to be the most effective in our Pagan works.

These are a few of the methods I’ve used in times of high stress or when I need more focus. Some of these methods have become such integral parts of my personal routine that going a day without leaves me feeling imbalanced and anxious.

You can tweak these anyway you’d like to best suit your practice. None of these techniques are strictly Pagan, but incorporating them into your Pagan practice will help you find a deeper connection by achieving a more relaxed state.

1. Reading

Pagans love books. Visit any of your Pagan friends and you’re bound to find a variety of spell-books, how-to manuals, “beginner” books, and more. We read a lot, but our reading material tends to skew towards non-fiction.

Make sure that, along with gathering knowledge, you’re setting time aside to read for entertainment. It could be fiction or narrative non-fiction, but it’s important that you allow yourself to be taken away by stories.

Whether it’s witchy-themed, a heart-racing thriller, or a cozy kid’s tale, getting lost in a story will improve your imagination and soothe your mind. An especially good story will make you feel things—joy, hope, sadness, excitement, and so much more.

It’s necessary to connect with these emotions and expand your imagination not only for an improved Pagan practice, but to live a fulfilled life.

2. Coloring

Did I mention that Pagans love books? Coloring books included. If you think you’re too old for coloring books, you’re sorely missing out.

Connect with your inner child and get yourself a spiritual or nature-based coloring book. Let yourself be drawn into the images and change your vibrations.

Color magick is old school, so this is the perfect relaxation method to bring into your spiritual practice.

3. Exercise

It might sound counter-intuitive, but pushing yourself to do short bursts of exercise is a great way to relax. If you’re feeling unfocused or unable to settle down, brief, vigorous exercise allows you to funnel any anxious energy out of your body. This, in turn, allows you to chill out.

Each day when you wake up and each night before bed, take about five minutes to engage in some sort of physical activity. This could be anything from jumping jacks to walking up and down stairs to doing seated triceps dips.

Not everyone is capable of such physical exertion, but if you are, this is an ideal way to relax and improve your overall health.

4. Aromatherapy

The human brain is uniquely connected to scent in a way that makes aromatherapy a rather powerful tool. Aroma is one of the fastest ways to human emotions, so it’s a perfect tool to relax.

You can use essential oils, incense, scented candles, and many other methods of aromatherapy. One of the most used and beloved scents in the witchy community is lavender, so do yourself a favor and pick up a vial of the essential oil today.

5. Bathing

Baths have been a source of relaxation for centuries and that hasn’t changed. Sure, nowadays many of us tend to think of baths as people soup. Ick.

However, a spiritual cleansing bath is imperative for any Pagan practitioner. It allows you to cleanse your aura, to release anything that may be holding you down or causing you discomfort, and clear your head.

I highly recommend taking at least a monthly spiritual bath. Make it part of your New or Full Moon ritual. By adding this simple practice to your routine, you’re sure to find all of your witchy workings improved, along with a lightening of your overall mood.

6. Meditation

I recommend meditation for just about everything. That’s because it is so amazing. Meditation is one of the best methods we have of connecting body, mind, and spirit.

If you aren’t meditating daily, then you should start. Having a base of meditation will make every working that much easier to get into. It helps your brain to focus faster, calms your body, and allows you to tap into other realms.

Meditation is my number one method for relaxation and is possibly the most important aspect of my spiritual practice. It’s important that you find a style or system of meditation that works best for you and put in the effort to maintain a regular practice.

7. Walking

More specifically, I mean walking away from whatever is causing anxiety. If you’re having trouble relaxing and getting focused for magickal work, then don’t do the work!

It’s important to remember that mindset plays a huge part in manifesting, and sometimes it’s better to just walk away from the work than to try to push through our anxiety.

Stepping away from the problem allows us to see it in a different light, so when we come back to it, we may be better equipped to move forward. So if you’re having trouble relaxing enough to do magick, walk away and try out one of the other methods above.

Those are just some of the ways I currently use to calm my mind and aid me in achieving my best form for magickal workings.

What do you do to relax? How do you prepare for magickal work? What’s your favorite method?

Let me know what you think in the comments!

With all my heart,
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. Be sure to check out my other works HERE
**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!

Spreading the Word of Wicca

Merry meet and Blessed Samhain!

 

This week has just gotten on top of me and I forgot to type up a blog. The plan was to record a personal Samhain ritual for you folks, but sewing my costume and prepping my author newsletter took more time than I expected. So, to make up for it, I’ve gathered a couple of questions from a friend and I thought I’d answer them here for you. I tried to avoid the type of questions you might see on your typical “Ask a Wiccan” style blogs, because there are only so many ways to say “no, we don’t worship Satan.” That said, let’s move on to our first question.

 

Why do you think certain secular religions assume we worship the devil?

As I alluded to earlier, a common question that Wiccans get is whether or not we worship Satan or the devil. The answer has always been and will always be, NO, but we still get that question time and time again. According to the beliefs of Wicca, there is no such thing as “the devil.” There may be darkness in the world, but we generally don’t believe it all comes from demons nor does it come from a fallen angel. Why, then, do so many outside of our religion assume that we worship a being we don’t even think exists?
I think the best way to approach this question is to look within the religion of those who make such assumptions. Most often, when I speak of other religions and their relationship with Wicca, I’m usually referring to Christianity. That’s the only religion I’m as familiar with as I am with Wicca. Christianity is the religion I was raised to follow, and it’s the first religion I and many of my peers had ever been exposed to. In addition to that, I live in a country where Christianity is the dominant religion. Where I grew up, it was assumed that if you weren’t a God-fearing Christian, you were a bad person.

As an adult, I’ve done my research on the religion. While the underlying message can be seen as one of peace, it is still very clear what that religion thinks of anyone who is not a Christian. One of the books in the Bible states that anyone who worships a different god should be killed. Obviously, that sentiment is no longer widely held, but any witch will tell you about the many times our spiritual ancestors were hunted—how many innocent lives were lost—all in service to a twisted ideal.
Most Christians I know are peaceful, loving people. My mother is the absolute essence of love, and she is a devoted Christian. She works to understand people and be compassionate every day. She listens and accepts my beliefs. So even if she might worry a little about my soul, I think she understands that I am just as loved by God as she is. I am blessed and protected and, in truth, I am Wiccan because of the love my mother’s shown me.

Unfortunately, not every person is as understanding as my mom. Their religion says that we are evil. It says we should be killed, shunned, converted. According to those people, we worship the devil because we don’t worship their image of God. Our oldest gods had horns, and so they painted their devil with horns. We saw the strength and power of fire, and so they made that the symbol of Hell.

The relationships between various Pagan practices and Christianity are characterized by strife and conversion. Many traditions that are now common in Christian practice have Pagan origins. Some things, like our Yule, become beacons of joy and goodness. Others, like our Samhain, are demonized. These conversions occurred centuries ago, so I couldn’t say exactly why. But there are people who still believe we worship a being their religion invented.

So, what can we do about it? Or…

How do we support and promote the healthy education of non-Pagans about our beliefs?

If you’re reading this blog, then you’re probably already on the Pagan path. Most of my Maiden’s Circle related work is geared towards Pagans. The Covenpath course was created to guide individuals who have decided this is the path they wish to take. Still, I often find myself answering questions about Wicca for non-practitioners on a fairly regular basis.
As I mentioned, much of my life has been spent around non-Pagans. Since I love to share the things I’m passionate about with those I love, I’m always happy to engage in a fruitful chat about my beliefs. Now, of course, there will be those who only want to antagonize and have no interest in a friendly and educational conversation. We’ve got to be aware and know how to disengage, as those talks won’t lead to anything productive.

More often, though, the person asking is genuinely curious. I believe, as someone whose goal is to establish an educational facility for Wiccan families, it’s my responsibility to try to answer them as clearly and honestly, and with as much background knowledge, as possible.

One of the methods I used when sharing with my mother was to buy the short book When Someone You Love Is Wiccan by Carl McColman. I read it through to check for accuracy. Anything I thought was incorrect or unclear, based on my personal Wiccan practice, I added notes to. Anything I thought was particularly important, I highlighted. In essence, I provided a mini-manual of my practice that wasn’t overwhelming and was written specifically to help non-Wiccans understand us.

It isn’t always possible to give someone an entire book, and in some cases, that could be seen as lazy. Most of the time, when someone asks about Wicca, the answer has to come in the moment. The best method I have is to simply talk to people. What you know and love will come to you. Many Pagans are passionate people, so we do have to be careful not to alienate a person who is just looking for answers. We have to keep our tempers in check when someone asks a question that we might think is annoying, like “Do you worship the devil?” Most people just want to understand.

Times have changed from when witches had to hide in the shadows. The secrets we hid in the night are ready for the sun. People are inherently afraid of what they don’t understand, and now is the time to help assuage those fears. Talk to people when they ask genuine questions. Don’t engage in un-winnable arguments. Be open and share your truth. That’s the best way, I believe, to educate others and support the growth, respect, and understanding of Wicca.

How do you talk to your non-Pagan friends and family about your beliefs? How do you think they feel about your practice? How do you feel about their opinions and how do you deal with them?

 

Thank you and with all the love in my heart,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

 

Today’s post was late because I made this awesome cloak over the last two days without a sewing machine. Because I’m a masochist. And also, I was putting the latest newsletter together, which you can see tomorrow if you subscribe now!

The Skyclad Witch

I’ve read the pages and activities in “A Charmed Life”. I simply cannot stare at myself naked in a mirror. The thought actually makes me physically ill. What on Earth should I do?

I received this question quite a while ago and filed it away with the intention of eventually putting it in the blog. It references one of the assignments in the Covenpath course in which students are asked to perform a private activity that involves standing in front of a mirror and removing their clothing, followed by a nude meditation and self-observation.*

Naturally, this is not an easy task for many—not just in the Pagan community but it’s something people struggle with throughout our society. Our attitudes toward nudity haven’t always been as friendly as they are today, and it makes sense that the idea of staring at our own stark naked bodies can be a bit terrifying.

I admit that this particular question was difficult for me to answer, as I have always enjoyed personal nudity. I’m at my most comfortable undressed, and I embrace the health benefits of regular nudity. When you factor in the spiritual and protective nature of mirrors—and that I think a home without mirrors feels oppressive—you might understand how I had to become comfortable seeing my own body.

This process, of course, can be a lot tougher for someone who isn’t accustomed to casual nudity. If you’ve lived 60 years of your life, and you’ve never taken even two minutes to gaze at your own uncovered body without judgment, this might seem nearly impossible. So, what’s a witch to do when she has trouble being naked, even when she’s alone?

The best answer I can offer is to take your time and to really try to listen to your spirit. Consider the roots of your discomfort. How are you talking to yourself? When you step out of the shower, do you turn away from the mirror or avoid looking at specific places? Similarly, do you focus on specific areas in a negative light? Why?

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that current body trends have a massive impact on how we view ourselves. The effect of societal pressure to look a certain way can be extremely damaging. How, then, is it possible to free ourselves when everywhere we turn, someone’s telling us we aren’t good enough?

My suggestion would be simply to build up to it. Move slowly, but push yourself forward. Try taking the first half of the activity and modifying it a bit. Plan a few private hours, or at least 30 minutes a day, and start with just removing one thing. Stand in front of your mirror and take off your jacket, your shoes. Watch yourself undress. It sounds strange, but the act of watching yourself remove clothing gives you an awareness and forces you to be present with yourself.

Before bed, watch as you change into your pajamas. Then, take some time to gaze at yourself in your pajamas. During the day, don’t avoid your body. Take a little longer in the bathroom to gaze into your own eyes as you wash your hands. Glance at yourself in reflective surfaces. Many of us already do this, but here’s the key: you cannot and must not judge yourself.

You have to look in the mirror and say, “This is my face. I love my face.” Do the same for your body. You might want to focus on acne or scars, but let those thoughts pass. When negative thoughts arise, repeat the phrases to yourself. Be patient and, over time, you’ll start to feel more comfortable seeing yourself in less and less.

Push yourself to move forward, but be gentle when you can’t. Do the work to understand the root of your fear and to change your attitude towards your own body. You are not just a spirit inside of a shell. Your flesh, your blood, your bones – these all are a part of you. The path we follow is one of healing and growth, and I firmly believe that we cannot be our best selves if we only treat a part of ourselves as sacred.

Keep practicing and you’ll be a skyclad witch in no time!

Remember, I love you and send a thousand blessings,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

How do you deal with body anxiety and discomfort? Let me know in the comments!

*You can find the activity on page 15 of Patricia Telesco’s A Charmed Life

Q&A: How Do I Find the Time?

A question I often hear from beta readers: How do I make the time? Time to practice my faith? Time to meditate, to learn, and to pursue hobbies? How do I find the time around work, school, a family, and the hundreds of other responsibilities we all have?

This is obviously not an easy question to answer. In fact, I had intended to write this response over two months ago. I started, got halfway through, and realized that I had no idea. So I put it down, saying I’d come back to it when I had time. We see how that worked out.

Still, the question persists in my thoughts. It pops up when I’m hard at work at one of my day jobs, attending a weekly martial arts class, or spending time with loved ones. Any “free” time I have between that has to be divvied up for writing my novel, prepping and planning for the growth of Maiden’s Circle, and seeing to the basics of self-care, like sleep, food, and human interaction.

This new year has been one of change for all of us. Since October, I have moved to a new home, begun a new job, and entered a new relationship, among other changes. With these, came less time for my personal pursuits. In addition, I dove into writing the novel and let MCCA slide, resting on the fact that I was ahead in lesson planning and things seemed to be flowing forward without any need for a heavy hand (at least that’s what I told myself).

However, as the months rolled by, I meditated less, missed out on my usual rituals, and slept through full moons. Anyone who knows me in my personal life could probably tell you how important those things have been to me over the years, yet lately there seemed to be no time. At least, I kept telling myself there wasn’t. I believed it, too, until a little over a week ago, when I finally sat down and took stock of how I was actually spending my time.

Budgeting, whether time or money, is a skill I’ve not quite managed to master. Like many in our generation, I have made procrastination—and justification—an art. After a long day at work, I tell myself, “I deserve a little relaxation with Netflix; I can meditate before bed” (which I never get around to). Or after five hours of novel writing, I’m too fried to even think about Maiden’s Circle business. Worst of all, I have spent countless hours scrolling through Facebook, looking for nothing in particular.

This past week, I have been attempting to budget my time a little better and get it back under control. The flexibility of my current schedule actually makes that a little more difficult, as I don’t always know my day-to-day schedule for each week. At the moment, I’m timing myself. I’m looking at how long I spend doing activities I deem important, such as writing or MC work, and weighing it against the time I spend on unimportant things, such as Netflix binging or video games. Once I have a good idea of how much of my day is spent on these things, and factor in work and my dojo schedule, I’ll be able to readjust the ratios and be more efficient in my daily activities.

I believe this will allow me to finish my manuscript, to get Maiden’s Circle up and running, to return to my regular spiritual practice, and to reach my highest potential, as well as, help others to do so.

This may not be the most satisfactory answer, as I am still in the process myself. I suppose the real point is to keep trying. Don’t wait for the “right circumstances.” Don’t let yourself fall back on excuses. The only one who can determine whether you succeed or fail and who can tell you what you can and cannot do is you. Simply put, you decide what’s worth your time, and you decide how to spend it.

Many blessings and with great love,
Lady Morgana Brighid, HP MCCA

Thanks to everyone for the great questions! Keep’em coming!

Here’s one for you: What do you feel are essential and unessential uses of your time? Do you think there is a balance of the two? If not, which is dominant and what methods might you use to find that balance?

Q&A: Should I Skip It?

An MCCA beta student sent in this question:

About the crystal and herb assignment – I’m afraid I have an unfair advantage because I’ve been working with both for several years. Should I skip over it? –Sapphire Silverheart

That’s a good question, SS. I struggled with finding an answer that I was satisfied with. Instead, I have a few questions for you. Do you feel fully confident in your knowledge of these elements/crystals/stones/herbs, both their metaphysical properties and mundane uses? Have you spent a few minutes a day, three days a week in meditation, communing with these tools? For an entire month? If you have done all that, you could simply write or copy that information into your MCCA notebook without any additional research and be done with it.

However, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend taking that route, even if you have done all those things before. I would suggest at least making a new page with as much information as you feel necessary, a small file, so-to-speak, for your MCCA notebook. I like to imagine my future descendants inheriting my book (Moon Book, Book of Shadows, Grimoire, or whatever you wish to call it) and the knowledge within. I’d like to pass this knowledge on, so that the future generations I help to create can further heal the world. That approach inspires me to be as thorough as possible in creating my book, not only for myself, but to provide a valuable resource for my family and for the future of Maiden’s Circle Academy.

Of course, that may not work for everyone; I’m what we’ll call a “free-form” academic. While writing each lesson, I’ve become aware that, while I may have been aware of certain concepts for years, I hadn’t logged the information anywhere but in my head. As I’ve gone through my research and work through the lessons, I’ve found that some of the information I thought I remembered was inaccurate or outdated, influenced over the years by other ideas that came into my life and the basic unreliability that is my memory. I have found that writing these lessons helps me to refresh myself on concepts I may have let slide, and, as a result, I have strengthened my overall knowledge of my craft.

In addition, I now always have a resource to go back to that provides information on stones and plants I actually work with and own. You may have a stellar memory, of course, but I am the most scatter-brained person I know. I couldn’t remember off the top of my head, for instance, where any certain herb might grow wild or the historical significance of specific stones. So, I find compiling the information more formally to be a big assist to my future goals, and a fantastic, organized resource to fall back on. In fact, the same thing can be said for almost all the assignments, if we’re taking notes.

Essentially, a large part of this course is creating a record of your own personal path. Some of the lessons are largely academic in order to have information to refer to when you’re too tired to remember clearly; or when you want to explain something to a curious friend and don’t want to mislead them. I’d like to encourage each of you not to assume there are any advantages, as that implies that your focus is more on how the other seekers are doing and less on your own progress. I try to stress that this course is about your personal journey. Some goals of this course are re-learning what you may have forgotten; taking in new information; and forming bonds with yourself, your environment, and with the Goddess in her many forms. I encourage you not to focus on where you are in the course in relation to any other students, and instead to put your energy into making your journey as fulfilling to you as possible—both spiritually and academically.

I encourage you to consider the four key pillars of what is known as The Witch’s Pyramid: To Know. To Dare. To Will. To Be Silent. Seek the knowledge of your craft for you. Look for places you may have grown lax in your practice and work to strengthen them. Rebel against the pride of “I already know that,” and enter your studies as a child under the Divine, with a mind open to learning—and re-learning. Only then can one make progress.

So, should you skip the assignment, SS? Only you can decide that.

 

Many blessings and with great love,

Lady Morgana Brighid, HP MCCA

Thanks to everyone for the great questions!

Here’s one for you:  What do the four pillars of The Witch’s Pyramid mean to you and how can you apply them to your practice?