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The Ordains: Part 17 – Practice Only What You Know

This is the seventeenth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Never practice a magickal system that you don’t fully understand.”

The idea that one should practice a particular type of magick only if they fully understand it exists for a good reason. The nature of magick is such that dabbling can prove dangerous. If you practice something you don’t quite understand—for example hoodoo, curses, or advanced spellwork—but you don’t really know where the symbols or words you’re using originate, whether they’re in your language or translated, then you’re at a disadvantage.

Using any particular magickal system with no study of or background in that system means you won’t be as prepared as you could be if something were to go wrong. If you’re performing an Egyptian money spell and the spell requires calling to Montu (the god of grain) or Renenet (a goddess of fortune), but you possess no knowledge of those deities, they’re not likely to respond to you and so your work is bound to be less effective.

It’s wise to spend some time learning about the elements of your magickal practice. That said, I don’t believe you must be an expert in any magickal system to practice it. This law might naturally rub some people the wrong way. Some people see this and feel they’re being told not to practice any magick at all unless they’ve perfected it.

That’s not the case.

I believe this tenet to be admonishing the act of “dabbling,” which is when a witch finds some new spell or practice and immediately decides that they’re going to do it. However, they’ve done no research, they understand nothing about the history of the practice, and they’re not interested in being taught how to work that system. On the surface, this law is for them.

For the rest of us, we understand that, like every one of these Ordains, there are nuances. Many of us, upon seeing something like this, would ask how we’re supposed to learn a magickal system without practicing it. Magick is something you do, it’s something you create. Magick is an action. So, it seems impossible to learn a magickal system thoroughly enough without actively participating in said system.

In this case I believe it’s important to build a working foundation before one dives into true magick work. This means spending time doing your research and listening to people who have been there before or been in the practice longer. I’ve seen a lot of newer practitioners dismiss the wisdom of those who came before us and it’s disheartening. Older generations hold a wealth of knowledge, and those practicing for decades can offer invaluable guidance.

So many new Pagans, especially Wiccans, seem disinterested in building a firm knowledge base before jumping into Magick. And that’s where they falter.

These are the people you see in witchy groups crying because their money spell seems to have backfired. When asked what the spell consisted of or where they got it, they’ll tell you it came from some questionable website or that they used elements or tools which had nothing to do with growing finances. They make it pretty clear they did little research and just searched a spell, lit a few candles, said a few words, and expected a fortune.

At Maiden’s Circle, we stress the importance of having all the knowledge you need before you ever step into magickal work. At the very least, we expect our Seekers to understand what magick is and how it works in general before doing spell craft. The Covenpath course gives Seekers a wealth of historic, deeply researched information before offering lessons on working witchcraft. (Though, we’ve got a lot in that department, too!) While you don’t need to be an expert, it’s necessary to “know” your craft.

What’s your opinion? Is it better to learn as much as possible before practicing witchcraft, or should witches just jump right in and do it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Blessed be,
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!

The Ordains: Part 16 – Keep An Open Mind

This is the sixteenth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Witches should never close their minds to knowledge.”

This seems like a simple concept: Keep an open mind in all things. Versions of this tenet can be heard all over the Pagan community. In fact, long before learning of Gerald Gardner’s Ordains, this has been a stable belief in my life. The belief, of course, being that taking in knowledge constantly is a basic part of being a witch.

I’d go so far to say it’s a need. That’s how it’s presented for me, in any case. Even as a young child, I devoured new knowledge. Books, documentaries, magazines, television, overheard conversations, and exploration of secret places—I did everything I could to consume a constant stream of information.

Some people say it’s a Gemini thing.

Whatever it is, I certainly leaned into the Jack-Of-All-Trades archetype, and that’s likely a huge reason my practice is so eclectic. Even now, there are only a few topics in which I consider myself deeply educated, my religion being one of them. Often enough, I’ll gain as much information as I need to be proficient in something before I’m ready to move on to the next pursuit.

I find this trait common amongst those who call themselves witches. We are a people of varied interests. It seems that nearly every witch I meet has her finger in at least three cauldrons. Nearly.

It’s easy to think that every single person in the witch community is open-minded and loving, with no trace of hatred or judgment in their hearts. However, there are those practitioners who believe their way is the only way. It’s unfortunate, and the rest of our community has a way of ignoring that those people even exist.

I think it’s important that we acknowledge them, though. The idea that Paganism doesn’t have these kinds of people is dangerous in that it allows them to flourish unchecked. If no one’s paying attention to them, then there’s no one to help them see that their unwillingness to accept others or other ideas is ultimately harmful. And the more closed-minded people there are, the less safe our community will be.

That’s more my interpretation of keeping an open mind, and I realize this tenet seems more about the general absorption of knowledge. But I think it’s wise to look at these tenets a little deeper than at face value.

Being open to understanding another person’s experience is necessary for growth, especially now when it seems that many people struggle with empathy.

At it’s core, this tenet reminds me of something I’ve always believed: knowledge is power. This belief came from a funny place, I think. Long before I knew anything about religion other than what I’d been told, I heard that phrase and taken it on as my own personal mantra.

It was the motto of the popular Schoolhouse Rock children’s series.

I see this as another example of how this path chose me just as much as I chose it. I could have latched onto any other aspect of that show, any other motto. But I chose “knowledge is power” to guide me. (Not to mention the song about the number 3; it truly is a magick number!)

It’s my firm belief that a person who is always learning is always growing. A person who’s always growing is always improving. And a person who’s improving themselves is more capable of improving the world around them. This is necessary for the future of our world.

We can gain knowledge by listening quietly when others speak, even insofar as to wait until they’re finished to ask questions. We can read any and every book that catches our eye, regardless of the reviews it may have. (The worst that can happen is that we don’t like the book.) It’s our job as witches to take in information, verify and confirm the truth of that information, and add it to our personal knowledge base.

You never know when it might come in handy.

Are you open to learning new things? What is one thing you learned this week that you never would have considered? Imagine you could live forever—what sorts of knowledge would you pursue with infinite time? Share your responses in the comments or on Facebook. Check out the Maiden’s Circle Learning Collective while you’re there!

From my open mind to yours,
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!

The Ordains: Part 15 – Energize Your Life Through Ritual

This is the fifteenth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Witches realize that the energy created through worship and rituals manifests as a circular stream of positive energy.”

Back in March of 2018, we posted a blog all about ritual in our Pagan practice. But, as I re-read over that entry, I realize that I missed one crucial reason we Pagans use ritual. In “The Dramatic Witch,” I discuss the physical reasons one may use ritual—it helps us focus; and I mention that we use ritual to connect to the Divine and to mark special occasions.

Still, I neglected to mention the main reason most of us do rituals: to raise energy for a specific purpose. Yes, it is used for all the above, but usually that includes building some energy through ritual acts. Whether that’s energy of healing at a funeral, the energy of celebration at a party, the energy of positive manifestation at a full moon—ritual allows us to stir it up and send said energy out into the universe.

In Wicca, many of our rituals involve chanting, lighting candles, calling corners and, sometimes, even dancing. These acts serve to build energy that, for many, is downright tangible. With the energy built, we are able to send our wills into the ether. That ritual-made energy heightens the likelihood that our request is heeded—whether by Deity, angels, or a vague universal greater consciousness—because it allows us to form a deeper connection through ritualistic focus.

Just as in our post where we touched on the Law of Three (which, as it’s defined, isn’t necessarily something I agree with*), we understand that the energy that’s sent out has its way of boomeranging back at us. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everything bad or good that happens to us is a result of our own energy, but it does mean we need to be more aware of what energy we intentionally release into the universe.

Because ritual creates such a boost of power, the things we send to the universe are that much stronger.

Imagine that your thoughts, wishes, or mundane intentions are droplets of water and the “universe” is a full swimming pool. The energy we send out on a regular basis (through thought, wishes, etc.) may create some ripples, but they won’t drastically upset the overall pool.

Now, imagine the energy of ritual creates enough water to fill a large tub. That will certainly make a difference! In fact, if we aren’t careful, we risk the “pool” overflowing and getting soaked. That is, if we don’t shield ourselves and take care what energy we build and release, we will suffer the consequences.


This happy Law isn’t so much about the consequences, as it is about the continuous beauty and positivity ritual can bring into our lives. When we go into a ritual space—when we dance together, sing, worship, and create, either alone or with others—we leave feeling more joyful and content with our lives.

Or, at least, that’s my experience. In the groups I attend, most people express some sort of relief, pleasure, or joy after rituals. Those pleasant sensations travel with us and, with repetition and regular upkeep in our own time, they can transition into every other aspect of our lives creating a truly endless cycle of positive energy.

Like every other Law in this collection, this one cannot be looked at through a universal lens.

There are many practitioners who are not ready for or open to the positive energy that ritual may bring, even though they attend the rituals in search of it. For some reason, they struggle to carry the comfort of ritual into their everyday life.

I have a few theories as to why that is, but the reasons tend to rely on the individual. In group ritual, we’re exposed to other people’s auras. Our energy interacts with theirs, and so those joyful feelings touch us during the ritual. If, however, one is unable to create that positivity within themselves, this group positivity will naturally fade soon after the individual parts from the circle.

That’s why it’s important to practice ritual regularly, including worship of Deity or other beings if our practice calls for it. We can use ritual to cultivate positive energy within ourselves, to create steady growth and access the good that’s available to us. Through frequent solo practice, we can come to know ourselves better and come to understand what it is our souls need to tap into that positive energy inside of us.

Rituals can be solemn and somber, or they can be silly and light. Whatever the mood, regular rituals can be truly life-affecting. They can change things for the better and enhance any magickal or spiritual practice. Someday, I hope we’ll all see how ritual can enrich our lives.

What are your favorite rituals? How often do you perform rituals? Do you work with groups or alone or both? Let me know in the comments!

*Disclaimer: The Law of Three generally states that the energy we send out will return to us threefold. While I do believe that sending it will cause us to receive energy in turn, and the nature of said energy may determine what we get, I think too much reliance on this idea can be dangerous. I don’t believe that everything bad that happens to someone is some reflection of the energy they’re putting out or that they asked for it. That seems unfair and implies that people in war-torn countries, abusive situations, or suffering chronic illness are somehow attracting their suffering.
Some people believe these things because of the Law of Three or the Law of Attraction. I believe the LoA and LoT can be used to improve one’s life, but it is not the end-all of a well-rounded spiritual practice. I’d much rather consider it the Law of Reaction, which falls more in line with the more logical idea that an action creates a reaction, prompting us to ask why a specific “reaction” or event occurred.

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!

The Ordains: Part 13 – The Stories We Tell Ourselves May Harm Us

This is the thirteenth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Never lie to yourself for this is the ultimate act of deceit.”

I believe this is a tough one because most of us tell ourselves too many stories to count. Personally, as someone who is pursuing a career in writing fiction, I find that it can be quite easy to build a story in my head and even easier to believe it. The older I get, the more vigilant I have to be about what those stories are.

In the last two or so years, I’ve gone through some pretty big shifts emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And while the core of my belief hasn’t changed, a lot about the way that I practice and the way I think of myself is very different from five years ago.

Five years ago, I moved to New York with my mind set on following a particular path. At that time, I told myself I was being guided by Goddess and, if I didn’t take that exact route, I was a failure. Failure, in my warped mind, was equivalent to badness. So, when I moved here set on a certain course and I couldn’t hack it, that meant that I was bad.

The lie I had told myself was that people chose their path and stuck to it. Anything else was wrong.

It’s taken a few years to overcome those stories, as well as the fear of not living up to them. But I’ve realized that those stories don’t have to be true. When I accepted that, I finally began to feel like myself.

From childhood, I told myself so many stories. I listened to what people said about me,—that I was too quiet, that I was smart, that I was weird—and stepping out of those labels always left me questioning my identity.

But so many of those stories were false beliefs. Because they weren’t true, the part of me that knew that suffered. These lies I told myself led to near-constant confusion, depression, and feelings of worthlessness. They led to self-destructive choices and unhealthy compulsions. Things I’m still facing.

Nowadays, I’ve reached the point where I’m more aware of the things I tell myself. Of course, it takes work to actively try to change the kinds of thoughts that come into one’s mind. Many people knock the idea of positive thought, but it’s part of what’s kept me alive.

With words of affirmation, rephrasing negative thoughts, and reminding myself over and over that I don’t have to believe every thought that crosses my mind, I’ve found that my mindset is a lot more stable than it was a decade ago.

When we lie to ourselves, we’re robbing ourselves of the opportunity to feel peace. We’re stealing happiness from ourselves with dreadful stories.

How many people do you know are struggling to find a job? How often do you hear them say things like, “No one will hire me,” or “I just can’t seem to find a job.”? We lie to ourselves when we engage in bad behavior due to mental illness, but refuse to acknowledge any personal responsibility in the matter. These lies serve to absolve us and to temporarily free us from the hard work it takes to live fulfilled.

The more we believe these lies, the harder it becomes to understand ourselves and to truly feel joy. As we age, it becomes that much harder to find true freedom. That is, the freedom to be our most authentic, joyful, and spiritually-connected selves.

Many people think therapy or medication is the way to finding balance. I believe that those methods have extreme value in one’s healing process, especially therapy. That should be a resource that every person has access to. However, it sometimes feels like people use therapy as a tune-up, while doing little to no maintenance in-between sessions.

They go to a session, suss out their feelings, tell themselves they’re fine for a week, and then start the whole routine over. For whatever reason, many people seem frightened of the deeper, harder work. There’s no questioning of their beliefs and morals, no examination of their daily thoughts, no consideration for what they truly desire.

Instead, they continue on their routine. Work, home, dinner, entertainment, bed. In and out. Then, it’s back to therapy to discuss how they feel like they’re in a rut.

If we don’t work to reach the core of our problems and take the steps to solve them from within, then we can’t come to a place of true healing.

The only way to solve our problems is to face them and be honest about why they’re there. I counsel everyone to do so. The world will be much better for it. No matter how scary that is or how much it hurts, look at yourself with clear eyes. Ask yourself the hard questions, then ask again a month later or whenever you’re feeling unsure of who you are.

This is something I’m still learning. There are still things that I believe or that I tell myself that I know aren’t true. There are moments when I question my motives and my work, but that’s just one story. It doesn’t have to be true, and if I can see the lie for what it is, I can get through it to see the truth.

Have there been times when you knew you were lying to yourself, but kept going with it? Why do you think some of us do such a thing?

With eternal love,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings on Youtube! 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 a Maiden’s Circle newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

The Ordains: Part 12 – I Am You and You Are Me

This is the twelfth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as The Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Witches know that we are all one, we are all connected.”

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you may have noticed that I use a lot of “we” language. Even though these posts are all written by one person, I’ll usually speak of topics using “our” or “we” instead of “my” or “me”. This is, in part, due to my desire to make sure that every person who comes to Maiden’s Circle knows that we’re connected in some way.

For as long as I can remember, though, I’ve used the “we” language (or some might call it the “royal We,” though I don’t believe that’s fully accurate). In essays and past blogs, this habit has been rather persistent, and I can’t really remember how it began—but the act has become a bit more intentional as of late. As I said above, I want to show those who find Maiden’s Circle that no one is alone. That, in my eyes, we are all one.

On Monday, I had a conversation with my partner about the idea of loving everyone. If you watch the tarot videos, you may have noticed that I end each one with a certain phrase:

“Remember, always, that I love you.”

My partner posed the question: “But what if you don’t love them?” To this, I snorted a laugh and told him that was impossible. I love all people.

Of course, in this day-and-age, such sweeping statements are frowned upon and rightly tested. So, he asked, “What about Donald Trump?”

Now, this blog isn’t about politics, so I’m not going to go over all the reasons a person might ask that question in response to the phrase “I love all people.” I’m sure most of you understand. If you don’t, feel free to send me private message on Facebook or simply Google the man.

In any case, my answer was measured. I can love a person that is harmful. I can love their spirit, even if I believe said spirit to be misaligned and out of place. That is because I believe their spirit and mine are part of a greater whole. We are intricately connected, and to hate them would feel like hating part of myself.

Let’s consider the makings of a human being.

Quite early in life, we learn that humans are made of cells. Sure, we’re made of much more than that, but the existence of cells is one of the first biological facts we’re taught in the American school system. These organelles represent my views on Spirit.

A person’s cells are all connected, but the cells that make up their brain are different from the cells that create skin—and that’s different, still, from the cells that form their heart. Sometimes, there are abnormal cells. These grow and, if left unchecked, can seriously hurt the person they’re part of (and so they’re removed, for love of the whole). Of course, if you dig deep enough into that metaphor, questions will start popping up about viruses and the like (and I could philosophize on this subject all day). But as a basic, simple metaphor, it describes my belief that all people are part of one much larger whole. My usual description is that of a jewel with as many facets as there are people and gods.

This tenet has guided me for much of my life and has had a strong influence over how I interact with other people. Although, since childhood, it’s been difficult for me to feel connected to others, I’ve always been interested in figuring out that connection which makes us all one. I’m not a neurotypical person, so, for a long time, that quest for connection seemed never-ending.

Even now, I find my circle is relatively small. But I’ve met so many people over the years and have learned so much. I’ve known and loved amazing people. I’ve felt the pain of loss and the bliss of soulful connection.

And I’ve seen—in every person I came to know—something divinely familiar.

Whether our connection ended in pain or pleasure, or simply because it was time—whether our connection is ongoing through lifetimes—it exists because we all recognized that spark of divinity in one another. I see it in every person I meet, including those unfortunates who can’t recognize it in themselves. And so, good or bad, because I know our connection exists, I can’t help but love them.

What do you think about this statement? Do you think we’re all connected or do you take a more individualistic approach? Let me know in the comments or on the Facebook page!

P.S. I’d like to offer aid to people who are homeless. Would you be interested in participating in a grassroots endeavor to create care packages for New York’s homeless? Hopefully, we’d branch out with steady growth.
A small team would deliver bags of essentials including blankets, feminine hygiene products, small flashlights, and more to help individuals navigate life without a home. Homelessness can happen to anyone, so I want to do my part and welcome you to join me.
If you’re interested, email me here and I’ll let you know how you can help!

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings, 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!

The Ordains: Part 11 – Every Action Has A Reaction

This is the eleventh entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as The Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Witches realize that for every action there is a reaction.”

In some circles, this is called the Law of Three. I don’t really like to use that phrase, but it’s pretty common in most Wiccan-leaning circles. Put simply, the Law of Three states that anything one does will somehow return to their lives threefold. There’s a lot of debate in Pagan communities about what that actually means, though. When it comes to the Threefold Law, I’ve heard lots of different ideas.

We have the strict belief that should you, for example, lie to someone, you’ll receive three times as much dishonesty in return. You steal five dollars, you lose fifteen. That kind of thing where your consequences directly reflect your actions.

Then, we have the idea that whatever good or bad deed you do, you’ll receive three times as much good or bad. So, the results don’t have to correlate with the action, just with the intention or effect of the action.

In any case, it’s rather difficult to assess how much is “three times” a good deed. Who determines what’s three times helping an old lady cross the street? How do you triple a kind word or helping someone move?

Because of this vagueness, I prefer not to use the Threefold Law/Law of Three, but felt it necessary to bring up as you will often find these laws grouped together. That said, I do believe they’re separate laws and choose to follow the less confusing one.

That is, for every action there is a reaction.

Of course, I think this should be common sense and not solely in the domain of witchery, but having that understanding as part of our basic philosophy puts us in a unique position. This law forces us to ask “why?” when it comes to just about everything.

Some witches, like me, have spent their entire lives asking why things happen. Others come into this curiosity only after finding their Pagan path. However we approach this question, I can’t think of a witch I know who doesn’t wonder at the consequences of their actions.

Although, that could just mean I know very responsible practitioners. But I believe that any thoughtful witch will have faced this question at some point, and this law is a constant reminder to think before we act.

In order to continuously grow on our path, it’s important that we ask ourselves: “What reaction can I expect if I take this specific action? What if I take action B?”

When I ask myself these questions, I find that I’m quite a bit more mindful about my behavior. Before I say something that may be harmful, or do something that could hurt me or someone else, I am able to stop and consider the direction that choice would take me. This is a big deal in my life, as it isn’t something that comes natural to me.

I still make a lot of impulsive decisions, and I’m still learning how to take more time to consider my actions before facing the inevitable consequences. If I keep this law in mind, the learning process seems just a little easier.

What do you think? Do you follow the Law of Three? Do you see it as I do or in a way I didn’t consider?

P.S. I’m in the process of starting a charity that offers aid to people who are homeless. Would you be interested in participating in a grassroots endeavor to create care packages for New York’s homeless?
The idea would involve bags of essentials including blankets, feminine hygiene products, and more to help individuals navigate life without a home. Homelessness can happen to anyone, so I want to do my part and welcome you to join me.
If you’re interested, email me here and I’ll let you know how you can help!

Blessed be,
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!

The Ordains: Part 10 – Balance is the Word of the Day

This is the tenth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Witches understand that the universe consists of perfect balance; therefore, everything has an opposite.”

When it comes to balance, you’ll find I’m a bit of a broken record. In videos and blogs, I often stress the importance of pursuing a balanced, healthy life. But what does it mean to be in perfect balance? And how is the knowledge that everything has an opposite useful when it comes to guiding us on our Pagan path?

Acknowledging that everything has an opposite can be as deep as we want it to be. We can think of it simply—as light and dark, hot and cold, up and down. Or we can consider more complex pairings—life and death, destruction and creation, right and wrong. Whatever we imagine, it will find its opposite in some form.

But, again, what does it do for us to acknowledge this concept? For me, life is all about cycles. I see the idea of opposites on a circle rather than a straight line, and it allows me to be a lot more zen about my life. Knowing that there’s always another side allows me to take the harder times in relative stride by reminding me that I’ll soon get back to good.

Looking at this concept as a wheel also helps me to reconcile the idea of balance with my spectrum-galore lifestyle. I’m no stranger to the “gray” areas of life, so I try not to view the world through a black and white filter, either.

The problem I think some people have with the idea that everything has an opposite is that they’re looking through that black and white filter.

You know the people: “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” “If you don’t love everything about this thing, you must hate it.” “If you have a gap in your knowledge about this one thing, you must be stupid.” The list goes on.

Those same people hear “everything has an opposite,” and they immediately begin to decide that only certain things are allowed to be the opposite of others. So, while they’re happy with the idea of night opposing day, to say that pansexual is the opposite of straight (as opposed to gay/lesbian) might spike some fur. Even worse are those who ascribe opposites in much the same way, but this time assuming that that’s what you mean by “everything has an opposite” and being mad at you in advance.

If we really break down what that phrase means, there are no limits to what can and cannot have an opposite. Nor are there to what can and cannot be the “appointed” opposite of things that rest on a spectrum. And acknowledging this can bring us a deeper understanding of our universe.

I think asking these questions opens our minds to expansion. The more we question our universe—the more we ask “why” or “what does that mean”—the closer we come to reaching our potential as human and spiritual beings. Billions of people exist in this world, but many don’t actively pursue balance.

To me, that’s a dangerous way to live.

In my practice and the practice of Maiden’s Circle Coven, health and balance are primary concerns. Of course, I had to learn this the hard way. I’ve gone to extremes plenty of times—with drinking, with relationships, with things that were supposed to be good for me—you name it. Luckily, I’ve never gone so far with anything that I wasn’t able to come back to a healthy medium.

Today, balance is something I have to enthusiastically pursue, so I’ve arranged my life in a way that keeps me on track. Now, when things seem out of sorts, I can sense it in my energy much sooner and deal with the imbalance before it manifests in some physical way. I notice quickly when I’m more tired than usual, when I’m more or less hungry, when I’m suddenly sad for no reason.

Striving to maintain balance in my everyday life, in my spiritual practice, in my health and relationships allows me the comfort of feeling content in my life even when things are difficult. Having that kind of balance internally also affects my external life and being. Things seem to work well for me. Life seems a lot smoother the more I work towards understanding the concept of perfect balance.

What do you think about the ideas of “perfect balance” and “everything has an opposite”? When it comes to the overall universe, what do you think this Law means? What does it mean to you on a personal level? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook.

P.S. I’m in the process of starting a charity that offers aid to people who are homeless. Would you be interested in participating in a grassroots endeavor to create care packages for New York’s homeless?
The idea would involve bags of essentials including blankets, non-perishable food, feminine hygiene products, and more to help someone navigate life without a home. Homelessness can happen to anyone, so I want to do my part.
If you’re interested, email me here and I’ll let you know how you can help!

Blessed be,
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!

The Ordains: Part 9 – We Both Have Truths

This is the ninth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Witches know that there are no absolute truths.”

This title would have worked better a couple of entries ago. Still, as I said in that post, I can’t help but think of Pilate’s line whenever the question of “truth” comes up. That entry offers a pretty in-depth look at my personal views on truth, so I won’t repeat it all here, but I did mention my belief that all of our ideas of truth are filtered through personal experience.

One of the reasons Pilate’s line struck such a chord with me is because I already followed this tenet. The idea that there are no absolute truths guided me through childhood, though it was often a struggle for my black-and-white mind (itself a symptom of my inability to gauge subtlety from others) to fully accept.

Even as I struggled with the idea, I knew it to be true. At an early age, I learned that what looked red to me might look pink to someone else. As I approached adolescence, I began to think more deeply about truth. More accurately, I began to question the truths everyone around me believed.

A couple of years after my father passed away, my mom took my little sister and me to live in Mississippi. Most of our years there were lived in a small, close-knit, very Christian town. There were many things I loved and hated about living in Eupora, but my least favorite was the tendency all small towns have for extreme groupthink.

So, when I started to question my Christian upbringing—started to pull away from the accepted “truths”—I became more aware of how a differing understanding of truth affected every interaction with other people.

In addition, my truth and beliefs had changed and, as ever, I sought to understand why. In response to my changing core beliefs, I dove deeper into the sciences on the search for more concrete truths. I wanted something to rely on.

At first, the natural sciences provided some needed comfort. I could be satisfied knowing the facts of things like birth and life and death. These truths I knew to be absolute. They happened regardless of one’s beliefs about them.

Even now, these are the only truths I know to be undeniable, but the circumstances around them are murky still. The way we handle birth and death in this country leaves much to be desired. And nearly everyone in my generation seems to have some general struggle as they attempt to ‘understand’ life.

So, even these things I feel to be undeniably true are filtered through a billion different eyes—measured under a constant “what if?” What if we could live forever? What if we’re reborn after death? What if life exists in forms we’ve yet to discover?

It’s that constant “what if” which lives at the heart of this witches’ law. No matter how much we learn, there will always be something we don’t know. There will always be unattained knowledge. And the pursuit of that knowledge is an endless pursuit that means we can never know anything completely.

As a lover of both magick and science, I’ve come to accept that I know nothing. No matter how much I study, no matter how much information I try to shove into my brain, I will never know enough. I will always be learning, and therefore, must remain ever open to the changing nature of “truth.”
So long as I do my best to be an ethical and honest person, I can carry this law in my heart without abusing it. While I can acknowledge there are no absolute truths, I won’t pretend that this amounts to a go-ahead to tell lies. It’s not.

This law serves as a simple reminder that truth comes in many forms. I believe it’s a witch’s duty to figure out the most ethical and spiritually sound truth and to pursue that.

What do you think it means when one says there are no absolute truths? Do you think this is meant literally or in a very specific context? Please share in the comments or on the Maiden’s Circle Facebook page!

P.S. I’m in the process of starting a charity that offers aid to people who are homeless. Would you be interested in participating in a grassroots endeavor to create care packages for New York’s homeless?
The idea would involve bags of essentials including blankets, non-perishable food, feminine hygiene products, and more to help someone navigate life without a home. Homelessness can happen to anyone, so I want to do my part. If you’re interested, email me here and I’ll let you know how you can help!

Yours,
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!

The Ordains: Part 8 – Pay What’s Due

This is the eighth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Do not haggle over the price of your ritual tools..”

So far, the Ordains we’ve seen have offered us guidance for living a balanced, healthy, and truthful life. We’ve gone over some of the most important tenets that I try to follow in my own life, and that I believe to be useful for not only witches and Pagans, but for all people.

When the subject of money enters the conversation, however, people tend to gloss over it. For whatever reason, society prefers to think of money as a “necessary evil.” I certainly used to think of it that way. Although money is an integral and constant influence on the construction of human history, we still see it as something separate from the things that “matter.”

We don’t talk about it with our children, we disparage people who wish to monetize their talents, and we use language that perpetuates an eternal division between money and happiness.

Now, of course, I know money isn’t what brings people happiness. It has never been a source of motivation to me and—even though I no longer consider it an “evil”—it’s still a sticky subject for me. But the way our society speaks of money causes people to see it as taboo, instead of a simple energetic tool that can be used for healing as much as it has been for destruction.

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve glossed over a conversation about money. Whether discussing salary for a job, payment for a service, or even the cost of food, I like to keep the cash conversations short and sweet. We get the pertinent information and we move on to more pleasant topics. Everyone I know is the same when it comes to talks about money. At this point, it seems like human nature (or, at least, Millennial nature?).

Because of this need to get through any money-related discussion as quickly as possible, I’ve never had the patience to haggle over anything.

Either I wanted it enough to pay asking price or I didn’t, which meant I didn’t need to get it.

While my relationship with money is steadily improving, I still feel that way about purchasing items, including my ritual tools. Never-mind that I’m great at spotting a budget (dollar store witchery is the way to go), but with the wealth of options available, why haggle? Why argue with someone about the perceived worth of their product? Be it handcrafted or factory-sourced.

True, there are those out there who take advantage of this guidance. Some sellers stick exorbitant prices on products that cost a fraction to make, especially in smaller locations where finding ritual tools can be difficult. Worse, still, many brands have taken the tools of our practice and mass-produced them with nothing more than greed in mind.

It’s frustrating to see something as benign as an etched wine glass, a few chime candles, stones, and a book, sold on store shelves for a hundred dollars. Don’t get me wrong, the right box might have some amazing tools, but there are certainly people who take advantage of this Law.

At the end of the day, I see no point arguing with those people.

The fact is that, unless the item is truly one-of-a-kind, I can probably find it elsewhere. We have no need to haggle in the age of the internet.

My ritual tools come from various sources. Some were gifted to me, others purchased at various places (dollar stores, Target, occult shops, etc.), and many were found. The way I look at it, the cost of a tool isn’t what makes it valuable. The meaning we attribute to our ritual tools, the love and care we give them—these things make them valuable.

I believe that, if the tool is meant to be ours, we will be shown a way to get it without asking others to lower the value they’ve put on their work and without stealing. What we’re meant to have is already ours, but we don’t always need the things we want.

Once I saw the difference and changed the way I looked at money, things began to change. More and more I’ve learned that there’s no need to haggle. Whatever I need, I’ll have.

How do you feel about haggling? Do you find yourself trying to get people to lower prices? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

P.S. I’m in the process of starting a charity that offers aid to people who are homeless. Would you be interested in participating in a grassroots endeavor to create care packages for New York’s homeless?
I’d be creating and delivering bags of essentials including blankets, non-perishable food, feminine hygiene products, and more to help someone navigate life without a home. Homelessness can happen to anyone, so I want to do my part.
If you’re interested, email me here and I’ll let you know how you can help!

Yours,
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!

The Ordains: Part 7 – Always Do Your Best

This is the seventh entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Should you take a task upon yourself, work hard and well to accomplish it properly and in good time. Always do the best you can.”

You may notice that this entry is a day late. You may also have noticed that last week’s entry was even later. Pretty much all of my life, I’ve had trouble with the “in good time” thing. Whether it’s missing deadlines, showing up later than intended, or taking three times longer to do simple tasks than I might on a well-scheduled day, time management and I are not always friends.

This law, like the others, is still a handy guideline to keep in mind as you take on any activity. Even if you share my bad timing issues, it’s a good idea to do the best you can with whatever task you take on.

I think it’s more important to try your best and work hard than to necessarily do things in good time. The way I see it, it’s like the story of the tortoise and the hare. I assume we all know this tale, but if not, click here.

The gist of this tale involves a race between a very slow tortoise and a very quick hare. The hare, in his hubris, runs ahead, but then decides to stop and mess around. He even takes a nap. The tortoise, however, keeps his eye on the goal. He takes his time and arrives across the finish line at his own pace. Of course, the hare wakes up too late and loses the race.

So, what can we take from this?

For me, it means that as long as I stay true to myself and true to my goals, the timing will line up. So long as I don’t completely dismiss my deadlines, it doesn’t stress me out that much if I’m a little late.

Naturally, lots of people will disagree with me. There are many who believe that being late is a sign of disrespect. I’ve seen people literally take another person’s lateness as a personal slight against them. This seems excessive. The truth is that 90% of the time, people aren’t passive aggressively being late to piss someone else off.

Most of the time, when I’m rushing out the door, I find a million different things that need to be done—usually when I’m already in the hall. My cat is begging for attention (how could I resist!?). I forgot to blow out a candle (what if a fire burns down my entire building and it’s all my fault?). It’s supposed to rain, and I forgot an umbrella (if my headphones get wet, will I be electrocuted to death?).

Because I live in New York, going back into my apartment for even thirty seconds means I could miss my train (even though I originally left five minutes before it’s scheduled). I miss my train, and what should have been a simple twenty minute commute now takes double the time and means I’m ten minutes late.

If you don’t live in New York, that might not make much sense. But, trust me—MTA is kind of wacky that way.

I don’t think a person who’s chronically late is intentionally disrespecting others. For some of us, life just works at a different pace. Yes, I make my best efforts to be on time, but more often than not, it’s a crapshoot.

I know I move at a different pace than many of my peers. While I have no control over whether or not others will take my bad timing personally or use it against me, I am in control of how I perform when I’m there.

Even on those days when nothing seems to fall into place, I work hard to make sure that what I’m doing is done well. This could be writing, working one of my day jobs, working with a tarot client, or literally anything else. I may not be the best, but I will always try to bring my best to the table.

This attitude has kept me from giving in to failure. Even if I’m doing my best, things don’t always work out the way I might hope. But as long as I continue doing my best, as long as I keep my eyes on the goal—then, just like the tortoise in his race, I’m confident I’ll get where I want to be in due time.

How do you manage your time? Do you find yourself slacking off or putting less effort into things like your job or home life or relationship? Share your experience in the comments or come say hi on Facebook!

P.S. I’m considering starting a charity to offer aid to people who are homeless. Would you be interested in participating in an endeavor to create care packages for New York’s homeless?
The idea would involve bags of essentials including blankets, non-perishable food, feminine hygiene products, and more to help someone navigate life without a home. Homelessness can happen to anyone, so I want to do my part.
If you’re interested, email me here and I’ll let you know how you can help!

With blessings and love,
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!