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Updates for September/October

Merry meet, my darling Witchlings!

If you’ve been watching the YouTube channel, you might already know some of what I’m going to say, but I wanted to be sure to get these updates anyone who may have missed the news.

For the last two years, I’ve tried to maintain a weekly posting schedule. Of course, that hasn’t always been a successful endeavor, but I did my best. There have been quite a few changes in life over these two years, so it’s only natural that this blog and all my other projects change a bit, too.

In addition to life changes, my energy has had a shift over the last few weeks. That’s bound to happen at times. Whether it’s due to the loss of a loved one or physical illness, our personal energy often fluctuates. And, even though meditation can make the fluctuations a bit smoother, no one is immune to these shifts.

Instead of resisting, I find it’s best to simply go with the flow. So, I’ve made some changes to our posting schedule, as well as a few other Maiden’s Circle offerings.

So, what’s new?

Posting Schedule

As I mentioned above, we’ll be changing our schedule when it comes to these blog posts. For the past two years, I’ve tried to post weekly, but that’s no longer feasible. So, now I’ll be posting once a month, publicly. We’ll also have a private post for a select few. I’ll give you details about that in just a moment.

In these public posts, we’ll have our standard fare: series and updates. But, in the private blogs, we’ll be getting deeper into magick and spellwork. I’m looking forward to talking more about those topics. Of course, that doesn’t start until there’s demand for it.

Tarot Schedule

In addition to reducing my posting schedule, I’ll also be reducing the amount of tarot videos I post. For quite some time now, we’ve had “daily” tarot readings posted on the weekdays. While this schedule forced me to really train my intuition and allowed me to get some meditation in every day, it eventually got to be a bit overwhelming.

The daily schedule also began to eat into my writing time and the time I spent on other creative projects. That aspect of my life is just as important as the spiritual aspect, so it’s important to me that I have balance.

It’s that need for balance that has led me to reduce the amount of tarot videos I make myself record each month. So, official as of last week, I’ll be doing pick-a-card readings once a week and Life Path Number readings once a month. This change will give me a little more time and wiggle room when it comes to these readings.

Patreon

Of course, even though I am reducing my overall posting schedule, I wanted to provide a few special offerings for Maiden’s Circle’s most loyal supporters. So, Maiden’s Circle now has an official Patreon!

It’s been a long time coming, but we finally have a way to maintain operations and keep a healthy, balanced life. I have been putting so much of myself—so much time and personal energy—into Maiden’s Circle, but it wasn’t providing me the stability necessary to continue at the rate I’ve been going. I have workaholic tendencies, and this Patreon is an effort to justify that work.

On Patreon, you’ll receive an extra private blog each month, as I mentioned earlier. I’ll also be offering a private monthly reading along with a spiritual channeling, a monthly live chat, some Maiden’s Circle branded gear, a free spell download, and more. What you receive depends on the tier level you choose.

So, if you want to directly support Maiden’s Circle, either click here or copy and paste the following link into your browser:

Https://www.patreon.com/mcca13

Thank you so much for your continued love and loyalty to Maiden’s Circle. It hasn’t gone unnoticed. Please know that you are appreciated. Since this update is coming so near the end of the month, this will be your only blog post this month. Look out for the next one in the first two weeks of October.

Thank you again and blessed be.

Yours in service,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Maiden’s Circle Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week. Check out our forums and say hi! 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.

Air and the East

Hello! This is the second entry in our series on the natural elements. In this series, we’re going to have short entries on the main cardinal elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. We’ll explore their connections with other aspects of the craft, such as color and direction correspondences.
We’ll start with those basic correspondences, then move on to tools of the craft which are used to represent these elements. Then, we’ll follow that with various activities one can do in relation to the elements and finish off with elemental connections to the Zodiac.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this series, so be sure to leave comments and say ‘Hi!’ on the Facebook page!

Air and the East

While I’ve never seen a ritual opened in the East, I’m sure there are some traditions which do just that. In any case, since most traditional rituals begin in the North and move clockwise, Air usually follows, placed in the Eastern corner.

I couldn’t say for sure why Air always follows after Earth, but my own theory is that this is due to the actual rotation of the planet. Earth is the dominant element because, well, it’s our home. And because of the Coriolis Effect (a phenomenon that pushes air and water currents either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on the hemisphere) we in the Northern Hemisphere—where Wicca and similar crafts originate—naturally follow the clockwise direction.

So, that explains why we move from North to East, but why is Air associated with the Eastern corner? I think this may bear a slight stretch of the imagination. If you’ll allow me, I’ll take you through what’s running around in my head.

Picture yourself in space. It’s large and infinite, but no air moves there. There’s no atmosphere. Now, see yourself floating downward, safe and unafraid, towards Earth. You see Earth and know it’s there, so it influences your senses even before impact. Then, you enter the atmosphere. Air is the next element to influence your senses as it breezes across your skin.

So, in this macro, zooming-in sort of scenario, Air follows Earth because it’s the second we come into contact with. And, since East follows North, Air resides squarely in the Eastern corner.

Of course, that’s just my theory, and there are a ton more from a million other sources. I’d suggest looking into your own path or paths that catch your interest to see why they associate certain elements with a corresponding direction.

Since I’ve pretty much explained why I believe Air corresponds with the East in this section alone, I’ll tell you some of the reasons I think Air is a wonderful element of the craft.

Air is Uplifting

Have you ever been out on a nice day, where the sun wasn’t too hot and the breeze was just right? Those are the kinds of days in which nothing can dampen my mood. Because I spend so much time inside sitting at my computer, I prefer the days I do go out to be nice.

Of course, living in my city means “a nice day” differs depending on the season. Still, my favorites are those bright-but-not-too-hot Fall or Spring days when the wind is blowing just hard enough to make my skirts dance. Just as the breeze raises my skirt, it also lifts my spirits. Those days are often good-mood days, barring something terrible happening.

The buoyancy Air offers to birds, balloons, and plastic bags can be tapped into energetically. We can use that symbolism to raise our spirits and heighten our vibrations to improve both our lives and our magick.

Air is Calming and Cool

Sticking with our weather example, there are days in New York when the heat can be truly oppressing. It sticks to our skin like paste, and all we want is a cool breeze to bring sweet relief.

Or, say we’re in a crowded station and the proximity of hundreds of people begins to overwhelm us. Our chest tightens and our anxiety is suddenly through the roof. All we want is to be able to take in a nice, clean, full breath of air.

Air has a way of soothing our discomforts. It can cool our heads when we’re angry if we take a walk. It can calm our overactive minds through meditative breathing. We can use air to create balance before our rituals through breath exercises, through dance or moving through the air, or through meditation with incense smoke. We can use air to bring a sense of peace and focus to our rituals, as well as a bit of levity to counteract the somewhat “heavier” elements.

Air is My Element

The main reason I love the element of Air is that it’s the element associated with my Zodiac sign. We’ll get into the Zodiac in a future article, but I will say that I resonate pretty deeply with the generally accepted Air sign personality traits.

For one thing, Air signs are known to be big on communication. As a writer, singer, occasional actress, and Pagan teacher—pretty much everything I do relies upon my skills as a communicator.

It took me years, though, to get to the point where I could speak up for myself, let alone for or in front of others in any capacity. I was in my mid-twenties before I finally grew into this aspect of my sign. Now that I’ve found a voice for myself, I want to use it to free myself of old mindsets and help others do the same.

Of course, that long and ever-growing resume is yet another trait of my sign. Constantly moving from one project to another, taking on more work than I probably should—not because of some societal declaration that I must do so, but because I have an endless stream of ideas running through my head and they’re all super exciting. Those are the traits given us by Air.

Before I learned about my signs and numbers—the various charts that can help us understand ourselves—I lived in a state of resistance. I followed a path I thought I was “supposed” to follow and it led me into depression and confusion. I struggled so much with my identity. Then, I began to really understand my charts and explore sides of myself I’d suppressed. After all—art doesn’t pay. Writing isn’t a job. So, why bother?

Now, I can happily say I am definitely an Air sign. Letting myself pursue the things I love, instead of doing the things everyone else wants me to do, has provided me with balance and freedom like I’ve never known before. Yes, I have taken on more work than might seem normal, but I’m doing what my soul directs me to do. And just knowing that leaves me feeling light and airy.

How do you use Air in your ritual work? Do you use it for more mundane things, like calming panic attacks or just cooling yourself down? Do you associate any other directions with Air? Let me know in the comments!

With infinite blessings,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Maiden’s Circle Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Check out our forums and say hi! 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.

Earth and the North

Hello! This is the first entry in our series on the natural elements. In this series, we’re going to have short entries on the main cardinal elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. We’ll explore their connections with other aspects of the craft, such as color and direction correspondences.
This series starts with those basic correspondences, then moves on to tools of the craft which are used to represent these elements. We follow that with various activities one can do in relation to the elements and finish off with elemental connections to the Zodiac.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this series, so be sure to leave comments and say ‘Hi!’ on the Facebook page!

Earth and the North

If you’ve ever attended a Wiccan ceremony, you may have noticed that most rituals begin with participants facing the North. This is more common than the Maiden’s Circle tradition of starting in the West. North is the default direction for most navigating tools, so it makes sense that people consider it the “dominant” direction. (The University of California, Santa Barbara has this interesting and short article on why that is.)

Of course, Pagans have a number of different reasons for why we start our rituals in certain, specific ways. For some, it’s simply because that’s what they were taught. For others, we make a connection with the corresponding element. In this case, that element is Earth.

I can’t speak to why other Pagans may associate Earth with the North, but I can tell you why I do.

Earth is Grounding

In ritual, we call elementals or guardians to join us from their associated directions. Guardians of Earth share traits with their element, as you might imagine. And, as one of its names suggests, Earth has a grounding nature.

Grounding, in witchy terms, is the process of connecting metaphysically with the earth’s core. It allows us to stabilize our energy and connect with our fellow practitioners. This is because we associate the earth with a solid foundation. It symbolizes stability, strength, and wholeness.

When we need to ground, we imagine the energy of the planet filling us with the essence of those traits, and it allows us to feel strong and ready to do the tasks ahead of us. Perhaps that is why so many Pagans start rituals in the North, as that grounding energy is necessary for effective spellcraft.

Earth is Cold and Dark

Imagine what it would feel like to be buried deep underground. The heavy soil piled on top of you and blocking out the light. It’s a scary thought, a reminder of life’s harshness, and of the dichotomy between vitality and death.

What does that have to do with the North? That harsh cold can be found at our northernmost peaks. Admittedly, the southernmost peaks have even colder temperatures. But where I’m from, the North is known for its cooler climate and harsher weather.

If you’re wondering why “cold and dark” would be considered a good aspect of Earth, know that it’s simply a matter of perspective. For some, “cold and dark” describes their ideal aesthetics. Personally, it reminds me to be grateful for the warm and bright aspects of life.

It also shows me what I’m capable of withstanding. So, by enduring the harshest of winters, I am made stronger. And I am that much more thankful when the spring comes around.

I Was Just Taught That Way

When I was just a few years into my Pagan study, I had the honor of working with a variety of groups in both high school and college. By that time, most American Pagans knew pretty much the same associations thanks to the torchbearers of our community such as Scott Cunningham and D.J. Conway.

These witches paved the way for writers and Pagans like me with their books, and they established certain connections that many of us still adhere to today. That is, Earth corresponds with the North, Air with the East, and so on.

Whether it’s arbitrary or not, I couldn’t say. All I know is that these associations make sense to me. They just feel right. Sure, that probably sounds a little woo-ey, but look around—this whole blog is woo-ey!

That’s all I have for you today. I’m hoping this series has a bit of a lighter tone than that last one. I spent half the year writing about a pretty serious topic (which I encourage you to read for a more in-depth look at the core beliefs that make up the Maiden’s Circle tradition). Now, I’d like to be just a little less strict for a while.

I hope you enjoyed this start to our new series, and I’ll see you next week for Air and the East.

What other reasons would we associate Earth with the North? Do you associate any other directions with this element in your own practice? Let me know in the comments!

Love,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Maiden’s Circle Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Check out our forums and say hi! 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 19 – Safe Within The Magick Circle

This is the nineteenth 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.

“A Witch uses the magickal circle as a physical and non-physical representation of a temple on the earth plane.”

This isn’t really something one might have a lot of opinions on. It’s pretty straightforward in meaning and, I believe, most witches would be hard-pressed to disagree. Our Circle is sacred, and we all acknowledge that simple fact, no matter how a Circle is constructed.

I’d be overstepping it if I said that every witch in the world casts the magickal circle, but all of the witches I’ve met have done so at some point in their lives. It’s safe to say this is a common practice. If you’re reading this, then you probably already know what the magickal circle is. For those of you who don’t, I’ll gladly explain.

First, to keep things clear, I use “magickal circle” and “Circle” interchangeably, with “Circle” capitalized to denote its spiritual importance to me. We witches use the Circle to create a sacred space where we can safely practice magick and worship the Divine.

Image by RD LH from Pixabay
To create a magickal circle, one needs little more than intent.

That said, most of us do prefer to use certain tools that allow us to physically mark the space as sacred alongside our spiritual efforts. This serves in not only giving our minds a type of anchor, so that we’re grounded and focused on the task at hand, but it brings together our earthly world and the spiritual one.

Witches use a variety of methods to create their Circle; some even use different methods for different occasions! Here at Maiden’s Circle, we have a basic Circle-building structure that we feel is useful in all occasions. The full method is taught in our upcoming Covenpath course, but I’ll go over the basics here.

Generally, all of our Circles start with an activity to help participants ground themselves and focus on the upcoming ritual. This could be anything from a few deep breaths to a full on meditation to singing and dancing—anything that gets us grounded in the space and within our bodies.

Once we’re grounded and our intentions are focused on our purpose—whatever reason we’ve chosen to create the Circle—then we’re ready to erect our Circle. This usually means calling to the four cardinal corners of the earth (North, East, South, and West) and asking their spiritual guardians to protect us while we work. In our practice, these guardians are represented by four major elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.

We would then hold an object that represents each element in its corresponding direction and call upon those guardians to join our Circle and protect it. Many witches also call upon a deity or two, often a feminine and masculine pair.

Lastly, we would visualize an orb of light growing around us, covering our space and solidifying it as sacred.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
This is our temple. This is our church. It exists where we choose to create it.

Of course, once we’ve completed our Circle, it’s important to respect the space we’ve built. A good rule of thumb is: if you wouldn’t do it in a public church, you shouldn’t do it in your own Circle. Naturally, there are many exceptions, since public churches tend to have a very different idea of what’s appropriate.

But, what I mean is if it would be disrespectful to a spiritual space, you might want to avoid it. For example, you wouldn’t want someone coming into your Circle and starting fights. You wouldn’t want someone to enter your Circle with cheesy or greasy fingers and then proceed to touch all of your ritual tools. So, don’t do it to yourself or to anyone else’s Circle. In general, when you’re in another person’s sacred space, you’ll follow their lead for how the space should be treated.

Over time, we all figure out what works best for us in Circle. Even people in covens have their individual methods in addition to the coven’s style. Like most things in witchcraft and Wicca, we have the benefit of being able to cast a magickal circle in whichever way suits us.

However we create our Circle, I believe it’s a useful practice for every witch. The Circle allows us to have a sacred space anywhere we choose, it protects us from any ephemeral beings that are up to no good, connects our mundane lives with the Divine, and enhances the magickal energy of all of our workings. We are truly safe within the sacred Circle.

Do you cast a magickal circle? Do you cast it for every work or only during certain rituals? Is it an important part of your practice? Share your responses in the comments!

With many blessings,
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 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!