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

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

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

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

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

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

“Remember, always, that I love you.”

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

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

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

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

Let’s consider the makings of a human being.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

The Ordains: Part 11 – Every Action Has A Reaction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is, for every action there is a reaction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

The Ordains: Part 9 – We Both Have Truths

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

“Witches know that there are no absolute truths.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

The Ordains: Part 8 – Pay What’s Due

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page!
PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news!

The Ordains: Part 7 – Always Do Your Best

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what can we take from this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With blessings and love,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

The Ordains: Part 6 – Cleanliness is Close to Goddessness

This is the sixth 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.

“Keep clean your body, your clothes, and your house.”

Despite the title, I don’t believe any Deity cares if you wear the same pair of pants twice in one week. No God or Goddess will smite you for neglecting to clean your home for a while or skipping a shower. Unless your level of filth is harmful to you or others, I doubt Spirit is worried about it at all.

That said, I see the wisdom in this line.

For me, keeping my home clean is imperative to feeling balanced. It allows me to think clearly and be more efficient with my work. More importantly, having a clean home is helpful in my lifelong quest for mental and emotional clarity. Without it, my mental health suffers.

I realize that cleaning isn’t a priority for some people, which is their right. But it’s become a key part of my schedule. Each weekend, I give my place a thorough cleaning, give myself a little basic spa care, and do a brief cleansing ritual. Last week, I missed that ritual. Last week, I also forgot to post the previous entry and ended up way off my schedule.

I’m not saying skipping my big weekly clean always leads to a totally disrupted system, but life seems to run a lot smoother when it’s done. That regular maintenance keeps me going. It’s a reset from all the different experiences and energies I may have come into contact with over the week.

Even if somewhere off in the future, I get so busy that I need to hire someone, I’ll still relish the ritual of cleaning. It gives me time to think, time to imagine and plan, time to relax. Many nights, I’ve gotten into a cleaning frenzy at three a.m. after a particularly stressful day. It helps me cope.

Of course, as I mentioned, making the bed every day and keeping a neat home isn’t top priority for everyone. When I was younger, I thought that was madness. How could anyone live comfortably in clutter?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been forced to view a different perspective. That is, I’ve lived with people who weren’t family a lot over the last twelve years. Across high school, university, and five years of living in New York, the number might surprise you.

I’ve had nearly 30 roommates.

You learn a lot from living with people. One thing I’ve learned is that everyone has their own level of acceptable cleanliness, and it’s not my right to judge. This wasn’t an easy lesson to learn, and it’s still something I struggle with.

As it stands, I’d rather hang out in my home than in the home of someone whose home is full of clutter—or worse, actually dirty. I mean, dust-caked surfaces, sticky floors, a weird smell that you can’t quite place.

Because I don’t want to have negative feelings towards my friends (and I acknowledge that too much mess holds negative connotations for me), it’s easier to bring my friends into my space or a neutral public place than to put our relationship at risk by exposing myself to a triggering environment.

If we look the at it another way, I don’t personally know anyone whose mental health is put at risk by being in a clean environment. The same goes for having a shower and wearing clean clothes.

Sure, we could look at this as a shallow message. We might associate being told these things with societal demands.

True, it’s a good idea to try not to offend people with our bodily aromas. Personally, I’d rather smell a little human sweat over a strong perfume. But if you aren’t making people gag and are hygienically healthy, I don’t think society should have much say concerning your personal body practices.

This tenet reminds me that the Ordains aren’t about telling us what we need to do in order to please the Divine. They’re about living an ethical and healthy life. That’s why they’re such an important factor in the Maiden’s Circle practice. I believe all people should have the freedom to pursue a healthy life—whatever “healthy” means to them.

Everyone deserves to have these basic comforts. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees. There are many people with no home to clean. No access to a shower or laundry. This breaks my heart. It isn’t right, as I believe we do have the resources to remedy this problem.
Someday, Maiden’s Circle will provide aid to those in need in many ways. I’m considering starting a charity to offer aid to people who are homeless. Would you be interested in participating in an endeavor to create care packages for New York’s homeless?
The idea would involve bags of essentials including blankets, non-perishable food, feminine hygiene products, and more to help someone navigate life without a home. Homelessness can happen to anyone, so I want to do my part.
If you’re interested, email me here and I’ll let you know how you can help!

From my heart to yours,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

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The Ordains: Part 5 – Honesty is the Witch’s Way

This is the fifth 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.

“Be truthful always, save when speaking would lead to a great harm.”

What does it mean to be truthful? One of my favorite quotes comes from my favorite musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic masterpiece, Jesus Christ Superstar. (The 1973 movie version.)

The quote comes when Ted Neeley’s Jesus is taken to the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate to decide Jesus’ fate—that is, whether to crucify him. Pilate sings during the trial, and in his song, he offers the lines:

“But what is truth? Is truth unchanging law?
We both have truths – are mine the same as yours?”

The first time I heard these lines, they struck me to my core. I was 17, zoned out on mood stabilizers and anti-depressants, and only a few months out of a brief stint in a psychiatric hospital.

Yes, in my never-ending search for truth, I’ve asked similar questions. But it was seeing that not-at-all-subtle movie that really sparked something new within me.

It changed the way I try to understand truth. That is, it helped me realize that the only truth I’m in control of is my own. The way other people understand truth depends entirely on them–their core belief system, their experiences, their desires.

I think we can all agree that some things are revealed as fact–things confirmed through repeated experimentation, mass experience–things like birth and death or like the basic need for clean water and sunlight to sustain life. Those are truths we all know and accept.

Even so, there are still people who deeply believe the world is only a few thousand years old (or flat, or that dinosaurs never existed), despite evidence to the contrary.

I don’t say that to make fun. Heck, it’s my truth that Fae live in the rivers and woods, that we exist in more than one dimension, that cards can reveal mysteries from the Universe–with little evidence to support those things.

However, I recognize a difference between holding a belief based on faith (even with a lack of concrete evidence), and believing something where all evidence points to that belief being false. So, while we all hold varying views of truth, some things are self-evident.

This tenet asks us to cultivate an awareness not only of our own idea of truth, but of the truths others hold dear. It asks us to speak and live in those truths.

But what if speaking our truth puts us or others at risk? This law covers that dilemma, too.

In today’s society, you may be surprised to learn that witches are still persecuted in various countries. In fact, just a few months ago, a woman and her children were killed by family members for practicing witchcraft. Whether or not she truly was didn’t matter. She was accused. And as we’ve seen in the past, that’s enough for some people.

That’s why coming out of the broom closet can be frightening. I know that I am open about not only my practice, but also about the fact that I’m a queer woman. For me, the need to share my beliefs in order to make a better world is stronger than the fear of other people’s ignorance.

In a previous entry, I touched a bit on the difficulties of being openly witchy. So, if you choose not to reveal that side of yourself (or anything that might inspire hatred), doing so would not be in contrast with this law. As much as it may hurt to deny any part of yourself, it isn’t being dishonest if you’re doing it for your own safety or that of someone else.

Remember, you deserve to feel safe.

For most of my life, before ever hearing of the Ordains, I’ve tried to be honest and transparent in all that I do. The older I get, the more important it is to continue the search for truth.

So, what is your truth? Let me know in the comments or find Maiden’s Circle on Facebook.

Always,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

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The Ordains: Part 4 – Watch Your Mouth

This is the fourth 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 boast, or threaten, or speak evil of anyone.”

I love this one. That’s not to say I’ve always been good at sticking to it. Although I try not to boast or gossip, I can’t say I’ve never threatened anyone—including myself.

As far back as I remember, I’ve had a strong distaste for gossip. Perhaps it’s due to that popular saying, often attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

For sure, that saying impacted me at a young age, but I think it goes deeper than that. I grew up in a teensy town in Mississippi. It was the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else. Even if I’d never met a person, they knew me or something about me before we were ever introduced.

For people in that town, this was normal. Accepted. But it’s always made me uncomfortable. The idea that folks are talking about me when I’m not around—and sometimes sharing personal secrets—squicks me the heck out. Now, as an adult, I try to avoid people who gossip and tend to stay quiet at times when I can’t avoid them or escape the situation.

It’s one thing to say, “How’s Jane?” and get a quick update on the basics of someone you care about. It’s entirely different to hold a full conversation detailing all the things someone else is doing in their life. It’s worse, even, when judgment of those things comes into the discussion.

In my experience, those who gossip aren’t doing it for anyone’s good. In fact, talking negatively about another person tells more about the gossiper. It tells me that isn’t a person I want to trust with with the private moments of my life.

Boasting is a more complicated matter. With today’s current trends, I think many of us struggle to draw lines between self-love and self-aggrandizing.

It brings to mind a conversation between my partner and I. We were discussing the merits of self-reflection. That is, the process of observing and analyzing aspects of one’s own personality and choices.

While I firmly believe that to be an important step on the path of spiritual growth and healing, he is of the opinion that self-analysis is no more than masturbatory narcissism. So, with that mindset, one might avoid ever speaking of the good in their life. They see it as bragging/boasting, which our society has taught us is in poor taste.

However, I think it’s necessary to draw those lines. We each should spend time reflecting on ourselves, on our choices and thoughts. We are happy (or comfortable) focusing on our failures. Failure, after all, is where we learn most so that we can grow.

But our successes deserve just as much focus. We can learn plenty from success that failure can’t teach. Failure shows us what went wrong, but success shows us what to repeat.

Does that mean we should let success or good luck go to our heads? Should we, in acknowledging our success, let everyone we come across know how successful we are?

Well, yes and no.

Yes, we should accept our success and feel good about it. It’s healthy to celebrate our wins. But no, everyone doesn’t need to hear the story of how we landed that big deal.

How do we draw that line between boasting and celebrating or, simply, sharing our good fortune? Intent comes into play here.

If our goal is to show someone how much better off we are than them, that’s bragging, and it serves no purpose. If our goal is to inspire, to help people see what’s possible, to feel good about ourselves without putting others down–well, there we have a purpose. There we are engaging in self-love.

It’s okay to love ourselves. It’s okay to celebrate the good in our lives and to share that with others.

Bragging isn’t sharing. It isn’t celebratory. It’s meant to elevate oneself above another, in a way that makes the other person feel lower. And it’s plain rude.

Threatening others is even ruder. To say you’ll have someone punished for harming you is one thing. It’s more like self-defense. But to seriously threaten harm to another for any reason goes against my beliefs. It goes against the “Harm none” law (which I discussed here), so try to avoid it.

That includes threats of self. Self-harm is a common problem, especially in sensitive communities like ours. Someone who’s sensitive to the myriad of energies that we come across every time we step outside is more likely to deal with thoughts of self-harm.

The same can be said for any sensitive person or anyone dealing with mental illness. To threaten ourselves or others is almost always a no. For sure, there are times when we must protect and defend ourselves, but for the most part, we should never need to threaten anyone.

So, this law is actually three-in-one, and I can say I’m a fan of it. Don’t speak evil of or gossip about others. Don’t brag to make yourself feel superior. And don’t threaten anyone.

For me, it’s an easy one to follow.

What do you think? How else could you interpret this law?

With love,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week!
Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page!
PLUS 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. Sign up now!