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This is the twenty-first 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 use common sense and do not share their mysteries with fools.”
If you’re a Wiccan, this Ordain might ring sort of familiar to you. In fact, the Christian Bible has two proverbs that speak to the same topic of avoiding fools. In the long version of the Wiccan Rede, we find a similar line in the sixth quartet.
No Season Spend
The idea of avoiding the fool is certainly intriguing. It’s especially so when we consider the Tarot. For me, the Fool represents forging one’s own path. It speaks to individuality, leaps of faith, and trusting one’s self. Contradictorily, when most people hear the word “fool,” they imagine an imbecile—someone who doesn’t think before they act or holds too tightly to ignorance. Indeed, there are times when the card speaks to that sort of energy, as well. In either case, the Fool offers a lesson that aids in the growth of whoever receives the reading.
In that same light, I think we learn a lot from the foolish people in our lives. Now, some of you might be asking who gets to decide whether someone is a fool or not. Shouldn’t we all just live and let live? Well, of course, we should understand that people will make their own choices. Their lives are not our lives, and only they can decide what path those lives will take.
However, if another person is doing things that’s bringing harm on themselves, we can and must acknowledge it. Perhaps not always to that person, but we should acknowledge their behavior to ourselves, learn from it, and probably distance ourselves. That’s where this Ordain comes in. If we’re able to recognize that a person is behaving foolishly, we’re more discerning about what we tell them and how much time we spend with them.
We’ve all done it.
Many of us have known a person who seemed nice, but something about them simply didn’t click with us. Maybe they lived a life filled with violence and drugs, or perhaps their moral views directly conflicted with our own. Those of us with a calling to heal most likely tried to offer guidance only to be met with derision. Whatever the reasons, we’ve all had to let someone go at some point. We knew that we could no longer spend time with them and, even if we never said it, we saw them as a fool in our lives.
These situations can often cause guilt, but if we live by this Law, that guilt is lessened. This tenet reminds us that it’s our duty to protect the sacred wisdom given to those of us on this spiritual path. To do so means being aware of the foolishness of people and acting in a way which keeps us and that wisdom safe. Sometimes, that means biting our tongue and walking away when our relative makes choices that put them in danger. Even if we feel helpless and want to guide them away from their current path, it isn’t our job.
We use common sense to know when some arguments just aren’t worth having. When we learn to cultivate our common sense, it can tell us whether a person is interested in learning from us or not. Once we’re able to know that, we stop wasting our breath on those who aren’t interested. We stop trying to share with people who don’t want what we’re offering.
When we shift our focus to helping those who seek it, we find ourselves far more fulfilled. If we offer guidance, sacred wisdom, or our own secrets, let it be to the ones who are receptive to it. Otherwise, we’re just asking for a headache.
What do you think makes a person a fool? Do you find yourself locked in useless arguments with people who have no interest in hearing you out? How do you deal with those situations?
From a fool at heart,
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! Want to chat with other like-minded witchfolk? Check out our online community HERE! 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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
Lady Morgana Brighid, HP MCCA
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.