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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 22: Follow the Rules or Be Banished From Earth

This is the final 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, Aleister Crowley, and more. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.
Read to the end for a special note!

“A Witch who knowingly breaks the Law (Ordains) will not be permitted to incarnate on Earth again.”

I can already hear the collective groans. The notion that breaking a certain list of rules will lead to some sort of cosmic punishment is reminiscent of certain dogmatic religions. Because of my upbringing, the first to come to my mind is Christianity, but there are tons of religions that uphold a similar concept.

Don’t fret, witchlings. Even though the intro for each entry has stated that the Ordains in their current form represent our core beliefs, this one doesn’t actually fit that mold. This last Ordain won’t be found in the Maiden’s Circle Book of Shadows. It was included in this series to demonstrate how everything must evolve with time, including religion.

Personally, I believe that, without change, there can be no growth.

Rules change and, while most of the Ordains are essential to my own practice, this one reminds me to accept those changes. They’re not only inevitable, but they’re necessary for us to fulfill our various paths throughout our lifetimes.

The men who created most of our laws lived in a different era. Their views about the world are old and outdated today. Even in their time, people were already beginning to question these kinds of ideas. And the idea of a witch simply deciding these Laws aren’t for them leads to their soul being forced into some arbitrary quarantine from Earth—well, that idea has no place here.

In my own practice, I believe that a soul will reincarnate if it needs or wants to, regardless of what choices were made in its previous life cycle. Of course, if it chooses to, I believe they may need to face karmic consequences. This leads into the second reason we’re including this Ordain in our series.

It makes us question what really happens after life ends, and what the consequences may exist for breaking the main Law of “Harm None.” No one alive can say for sure what happens after we die, though plenty will tell us their theories. Whether it’s ascension into some netherworld, reincarnation, or oblivion, everyone has some belief concerning the afterlife (or lack thereof). I shared some of mine above.

This old law is just one belief, representing the mindset of a man from another time.

Throughout this series, I hope I’ve demonstrated how no law is 100% all the time. I believe that goes for all laws, especially those of men. Occasionally, this puts us in a grey area. Who decides which laws are to be followed and when? I feel that, if we follow the most important one, “An ye harm none,” and if we let ourselves be guided in love, we might make the right choices. If we try to live in a way that helps other people and is good for our planet, breaking the Ordains or other written laws isn’t going to lead to any sort of punishment—at least not spiritually.

(I am in no way suggesting anyone engages in illegal activity, just to be clear.)

What I believe in is the freedom to choose. No spiritual law written by humans can dictate what our souls are called to do. The only law that must be honored in the Maiden’s Circle tradition is that you harm none, save for in defense of yourself or others who request your aid. Naturally, though, it’s up to each of us individually to decide what that means for us.

What do you think of this or any of the past Ordains? Do you believe we face punishment or banishment from Earth if we break this or other spiritual laws? If so, why? Is there something we must do to be allowed to incarnate again? Do you believe in reincarnation?

P.S. This is the end of our series on the Ordains. This has been such an interesting journey, and I sincerely hope it was educational and entertaining for you. Stick around. Next week, we’ll have a brief update before moving into our next series. See you there!

P.P.S.

Please forgive me for posting this so late in the week and missing last week’s post altogether. For the last month or so, I’ve been considering closing the blog. I have posts planned until next year, but in two years, I just haven’t seen the growth I’d hoped for. I love writing about Pagan things and feeling like I’m providing a service to my community. Over these last two years, however, I’ve added so much to my life—all of it I adore. Some things just take a little more out of me than others, and I’m searching for the best way to manage it all while still taking care of myself.
In any case, I’ve decided to continue this blog for as long as I have ideas. That’s how I feel for now, anyway. Sure, there may be only about three of you out there who read it, but all three of you are appreciated! And in the future, I know it’s going to be a valuable resource for the Covenpath students. Plus, writing this blog is good for my practice. It forces me to routinely check in with myself, which I believe is a good thing.
So, I’ll have to ask you to forgive me when the blog is occasionally late. I tend to take days off to care for myself when I notice stress or depression creeping up, and that’s not likely to change. It’s the best way I know to keep stable. But I will make sure you get something from me every week. If not a full blog entry, I’ll drop in with something.
Thank you so much to those of you who are here, and who encouraged me to keep going. And thank you to those who’ve been here all along, lurking in the shadows.
I love you and blessed be.

Check out our Monday to Friday 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. Sign up now!

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!

#NotAllPaganTeachers

This post is a bit of a warning.

There’s a group on Facebook that claims to be a teaching group for witches (Witchy Witch Teaching Circle). It’s a pretty normal group most of the time. The admin, however, was found giving bad advice. When questioned about it, she blocked at least 4 people from commenting or posting in the group. Possibly more at this point. I think this is a dangerous response for someone who claims to be a Pagan teacher, to resist any kind of disagreement.

I also think it’s important to explain the situation. She posted a screenshot of a conversation in which she told a man that he couldn’t be a witch because he was Taoist, Buddhist, and/or Hindu. She said “being a witch means having only witchcraft as a belief system.” This post is in an effort to avoid that kind of misinformation.

What’s wrong with that?

Being a witch requires 2 things 1] the practice of witchcraft and 2] the choice to be called a witch. That’s it. I may not agree totally with the idea of a Christian witch, but I wouldn’t tell them they *can’t* be a witch if they so choose.

There is no such rule that states a witch isn’t allowed to follow different belief systems. Furthermore, witchcraft is a practice. Yes, it is based on a type of faith, but in and of itself, it is not its own “belief system.” And it isn’t an exclusionary practice.

Naturally, this was pointed out to the admin in question by multiple people. Her response, instead of considering that maybe she’d given some bad advice, was to block and ban every person who commented along those lines. Every one.

Petty and dangerous

To make such a claim as “being a witch means having only witchcraft as a belief system” is harmful, misleading, and a sign of dangerous leadership. To deny any questioning of a claimed religious teacher is borderline cult behavior.

This did not sit well with me at all. As someone who strives to be a Pagan teacher, who wishes to help and guide witches in need, I’m always on the lookout for dangerous and controlling behaviors. The Pagan community deals with enough misunderstanding and negative representation. We don’t need more.

It’s okay to ask and even correct a teacher

Keep your eyes open, Witchlings. Not every witch who claims to be a teacher wants to help you. Some just want to be religious leaders, to have followers, to never be questioned.

But I urge you to question. I urge you to speak out when information rings untrue, when something seems harmful, or just because it’s confusing. Speak up and question anyone who claims to be a religious teacher. The right teacher won’t mind.

Blessed be.

Lady Morgana Brighid, HP MCCA

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

 

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Reflection and the Future of Maiden’s Circle

You may have noticed that I skipped the last update. I had begun two separate blog entries, but neither felt ‘right.’ Both entries focused on topics I’ve had lined up for months, so you’d think they would be easier to write. That has not been the case.

The truth is, I’ve always had some difficulty writing this blog. Non-fiction has never come quite as easily to me as fiction writing. Due to the specificity of this blog, I’ve also realized just how much I’ve had to limit my writing here. Somewhere in the search for appropriate topics, the seeming necessity for a broader reader-base, and my desire to be easily accessible while still providing useful information—this blog became somewhat of a chore.

Recently, I read something along the lines of, ‘in order to have a successful blog, you have to first and foremost know what you want to say.’ That struck a chord and forced me to reevaluate the purpose of this blog. This is a Pagan blog, yes; but what do I want to say here?

While I’ve got plenty of topics lined up, I haven’t given myself plenty of reasons. Yes, all of the topics are things I like talking about. But are they helpful? Does each entry somehow feed into this blog’s original purpose? Do the readers even know what that original purpose is?

In the beginning, this blog’s sole purpose was to aid the growth of Maiden’s Circle Coven and to draw in students for the Academy. However, I didn’t want to just talk about Maiden’s Circle. The practice behind Maiden’s Circle is one of growth and eclectic Pagan practices, so that’s what I chose to write about.

Instead of focusing on the coven itself, I aimed my energy on discussing witchy issues, history, and spiritual beliefs—topics I’d hoped would spur some sort of conversation. I figured, the more people who join that conversation, the further reach Maiden’s Circle would have, and that would mean I could share the gift of healing on a larger scale.

However, in the pursuit of that larger scale, I feel my writing has lost some of its meaning. The last few topics have been on my list since the birth of this blog, and I do believe to be important, but I’m not sure similar posts can’t be found elsewhere. That’s not to say I want to be the only person who knows something, but I do want my content to be relatively unique and to add something of value to the Pagan community.

In addition, because I diverted so much energy away from the actual Coven and have focused on more general Pagan things—on top of building my fiction writing career—Maiden’s Circle has been in a nearly standstill state. The course is no closer to being complete than it was at the end of 2017*, and I’m considering outsourcing its structure and administration to lessen my workload.

I’m hesitant, though. Having someone build the structure and put everything into place is one thing. But, it doesn’t seem proper to have someone who isn’t a member of Maiden’s Circle administrate a program that is integral to this Coven’s existence.

So, again, I am searching for beta students to take the course. This time, however, taking the course gives you the opportunity to actually join Maiden’s Circle Coven. In this case, you would not only be able to take part in MCCA’s inner-workings, but we’d meet up regularly to celebrate Sabbats and Esbats.

Becoming an official member is only open to New York and New Jersey residents (or other close states, so long as you can make a meeting once a month). There are other forms of membership, however, which have no location restrictions. I’ll be updating you on all of this within a couple of weeks.

One thing I know now is that I do want to continue writing for you. The desire to inspire conversation, to reach out to the community and touch hearts—that desire is still here and still strong. I’d like it if you joined the discussion, but I won’t pressure you. I’ll just keep writing until you feel ready share your journey.

Who’s to say what the future holds? For Maiden’s Circle? For me or you? This blog might change a hundred times over the years. I’m happy as long as it keeps a Pagan heart. I’m happy if it helps just one person.

More attention is going to be given to the Coven as an organization in the future. I will still use some of the pre-planned topics (because I think they’re pretty interesting!) but I do want to recenter the focus on this blog’s original purpose. I do hope you’ll stick with me through the changes.

Other than the aforementioned topics, what would you like to learn more of from Maiden’s Circle?

Remember that I love you,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Come see Maiden Circle’s 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!

*After some reflection, I realize this isn’t entirely true. All of the lessons have been written. I’ve just been unable to choose a proper format for delivery—one that allows us to connect as a community. So, it’s closer yet simultaneously…not.

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!