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For The Love Of Wicca

I’ve always been kind of relaxed and experimental in my practice. I’ve been the most lax concerning Sabbats and Esbats. Sabbats, if you’re unfamiliar, are Wiccan holy days that celebrate the changing of the seasons, while Esbats are what we call the celebration of the full moon. Over the last five or so years, I’ve managed to celebrate these special days in one way or another at least half the time. That’s a marked improvement on my observance of Pagan holidays when compared to my first decade of practice.

Truth be told, I’ve never been into any holiday except for Halloween. Subsequently, when I found my Wiccan way, I fell in love with Samhain and began attending group rituals to celebrate that and other Wiccan holidays in high school. A couple years later, I was celebrating the moon twice a month, full and new, with a group of solitary witches in Chicago. In September, I joined another group here in New York for my first public Mabon celebration.

This last full moon, on October 5th, I celebrated privately with a friend in her home. As always, we had a beautiful ritual. Working magick with her is consistently a fulfilling experience. While she’s held a mild interest in Wicca for years, she is now digging deeper into it than before and has graciously allowed me to take part in her journey. So, when we do private rituals, I prefer for her to take the lead.

I like this for a number of reasons, the most important of which being that I don’t want my personal practice to influence her so much that it over-powers her instincts. I can be a strong personality when I need to be, and I love to share what I’ve learned. But I find that most times it’s wiser to stay quiet and let someone find their answers on their own. Typically, I’ll sit back and follow her direction, offering input as we go, but ultimately deferring to her.

She’s been reading and exposing me to new books for Wiccans and, right now, she prefers using those books to guide our rituals. At first, part of me resisted; I’m accustomed to making up my own rituals, and I rarely use spells from books. But, for the most part, practicing with her has been a fun and intimate learning experience for me, and I can only hope she feels the same.

I’ve been a practicing Wiccan for around 16 or 17 years, and I forgot how much I relied on books in the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, I still have and love Pagan books and can’t resist buying a new one at every event, but the kind of books I read now are different. When I started, I stocked up on how-to books and every “Beginner’s Guide” I could get my hands on. As a teen, I found Patricia Telesco, who is still one of my favorite Pagan authors. Now, I’m less interested in guidebooks and more into books about history, philosophy, and spiritual balance.

At the moment, my friend is reading the books I read all those years ago, plus a ton of new Pagan authors that I’ve never even heard of. These are authors who, like me, or like Scott Cunningham before us and Doreen Valiente, seem to want to share our experience and reach out to the Pagan community, and so their material is for people in the early stages of their practice.

As an eternal skeptic, I do have a habit of bristling towards new Pagan works. Publishing online has never been easier than it is now, so it’s that much easier for people to put out inaccurate information and profit off of it. I have read books that completely disregard historical evidence, convolute different systems of belief, or imply things that are obviously untrue to someone who takes the time to do their research. It’s important for anyone starting on this path to study the origins of Wicca, meet Pagan elders, and read the bibliography of whatever Wiccan guides they choose.

That said, the majority of Wiccan books are written with good intention, and the authors have a true desire to help others. Each author offers a different facet, a new thought stream of a much larger, evolving religion. Wicca is one of the only religions I know of that is a wholly unique journey for every person that chooses it, while still allowing all of us to share and receive the message. I think it’s safe to say that (while there may be a wrong way) there isn’t just one right way to practice Wicca. Every Wiccan experience is somehow both unique and universal.

Whether you’re strictly solitary, a Circle hopper, or a coven-member, your journey is special, beautiful, and all yours. How you walk the Wiccan way is entirely up to you and I’m glad to help in whatever ways I can. Each singular experience is like a leaf on the universal tree, with its fingerprinted veins. We strengthen each other.

This entry was supposed to be about the pros and cons of following another person’s ritual word-for-word and of making up your own (either as you go or pre-writing them). Seeing as I’m already over 900 words in and I haven’t really gotten to that, I’m going to save it for another time. I suppose, this time, I had to say something about the beauty and diversity of Wicca.

What are your favorite resources to help guide you on your Wiccan path? What’s your favorite thing about being Wiccan?

With all my heart,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

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How Do I Use My Power?

All living beings possess some level of spiritual power. I believe this as much as I believe gravity holds me to the ground. Sometimes that power is dormant, waiting to be utilized—like the power of grass to fuel the horse. Other times, it’s a wild, destructive power like that of the earth’s molten core. Human beings are in the unique position of being aware not only of our own spiritual power, but that of all living beings.

With this awareness comes the responsibility to be conscious of what we do with our power. Some people abuse it, using their status in an effort to dominate others and take power however they can. Some aren’t aware they have any power at all, and many don’t believe they deserve it. I can’t begin to try to solve the power balance in the world at large, but I do believe it’s important to ask what we in the Pagan community can do on a smaller scale. How can we reclaim our power and help others find theirs?

We explore this topic early on in the Maiden’s Circle Covenpath course, as reclaiming your personal power makes sense as the first step in a journey of spiritual growth. On top of that, there are countless websites, books, and workshops geared toward personal growth. These resources provide millions of avenues for us to tap into and expand our potential.

Not everyone has access to these resources, but if you’re reading this blog, chances are high that you do. I may sound like a broken record here, but it’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to do the work to change. The resources are out there for you to find what best fits your way of life and, with patience, you’re bound to see growth no matter what path you choose.

As we work to grow within, it’s common to see increasing positive change throughout our lives. After reaping the benefits of reclaiming our spiritual power, it is necessary to consider how we’re giving back to the world. Take the time to think about what you’re doing to help balance the scales of power in our world.

I can’t tell anyone the “right” way to use their power. I can only do whatever I can with what I have. At the moment, that manifests in the form of this blog and of the Maiden’s Circle course. Through these, as well as my work with children, I hope to affect positive change in my immediate world that radiates outward.

What methods do you use to reclaim your power, and what are you doing to give back to the universe? Let me know in the comments below!

With love and a thousand blessings,
Lady Morgana Brighid, HP MCCA

Did you folks know I have a newsletter? It’s where you can find updates on my personal life and writing career, as well as brand new flash fiction each month. The first 20 subscribers will receive an exclusive mystery gift, so sign up now!

 

The Depressed Witch

If you’ve been following the blog, or you’re reading this later and paying attention to the dates, you’ll notice there’s a two-week break between now and the previous post. In the interest of transparency, I feel it’s important to explain my absence with more than just exclamations of a busy life.

I’m typically a private person; I consider compartmentalizing a sort of special skill. So, I originally intended to keep these posts related only to Maiden’s Circle business and separate from my personal life. The issue with that is Maiden’s Circle was born from an aspect of my life that is very personal. The core of Maiden’s Circle is my belief in the Divine and desire to serve Her. It comes from my desire to reach out to the Pagan community and, in turn, deepening my own relationship with the Goddess.

Unfortunately, there are times when I fall into a depressive state and, during those times, I have a knack for shutting down. I have cycled through these depressive states since adolescence. After being evaluated and diagnosed, I tried different medications and was in and out of  therapy. Over the years, and with plenty of help, I’ve learned many coping skills, and practicing Wicca has been one of them. Even with what I’ve learned so far, I know there’s still a long road ahead of me. It might sound cheesy, but recovery isn’t a destination.

That said, I have found myself in a low cycle. In the last few months, life has thrown a few curve balls my way, the aftermath of which I’m still dealing with. In response, I withdrew and nearly fell back into old habits. My days consisted of my day jobs and Netflix or game binges before bed. This is fine on occasion, but I wasn’t doing any work at all towards my goals. I couldn’t write; I didn’t even want to think about MCCA. I didn’t meditate or read or any of the things I’ve come to rely on to maintain a sense of balance. Instead of taking steps to improve, I almost gave up on myself and my goals!

I’ve given up before; as a teen, I harmed myself. I am not that person anymore. I’ve learned too much and there are so many more experiences to look forward to. However, I will never experience anything if I don’t move forward. If I allow myself to stagnate, then I will remain in this darkness. For me, that is absolutely unacceptable.

So, I’ve taken a vacation. This trip was planned months ago, but the timing couldn’t be any better. I need space from work and other societal obligations. I need this time to reconnect with myself, with nature, with my goals.

There’s an idea I often share, that you can’t help anyone if you aren’t okay. It’s one of the ideas I live by. I have to be well if I am to do any good for the world around me. One of the first steps I’ve taken to be well has been to start re-reading one of my favorite books. I’ve also begun bullet journaling, getting outside a little more, and, of course, writing this post. There’s still a mountain to climb ahead of me, but these little steps have already made me feel a bit more balanced.

Depression has been a long journey, and has never been easy–to deal with or to discuss with others. I’m grateful for the community here, those of you reading this. I’m grateful for those of you affiliated with Maiden’s Circle and others in the Pagan community. I’m grateful for my friends, witchy or otherwise, who have been a constant source of support. And, again, I am always grateful for you, the readers.

Expect more regular posts in the coming weeks. I’ll try to return to a regular writing schedule, but there may also be transplants from some of my other writings or even guests posts. Thank you for being a part of my journey, and for allowing me to take part in yours.

Deepest blessings and love,

Lady Morgana Brighid, MCCA HP

A Bit of A Rerun

Merry meet!

This week/month/year has been hectic, to say the least. It seems that there’s been one change after another—many good, some not so much. This week in particular, I’ve bounced from one thing to another and I never seemed to find the time to write a proper entry. So, I’ve decided to share a super short story I wrote two years ago after a long meditation. I do intend to have a regularly scheduled post in the following weeks, but I have a couple medical procedures coming up that may prevent me from writing. If that does happen, I’ll be sure to update you. With that, I hope you enjoy the story. Please feel free to share your opinions and reactions!

With boundless love and blessings,

Lady Morgana Brighid, HP MCCA

 

Fairy Tale

There is a Sickness, and it is poisoning a country.  It is killing a People in massive numbers.  It is taking children from their mothers’ hands, taking fathers and breaking them, turning them into beasts of labor.  It is slaughtering human beings, and there is little consequence because it doesn’t believe they are human beings. 

 

They scream and fight. “We bleed, we cry.  We breathe!” 

And It thinks, “So? Cows bleed and cry and breathe.  We still make our boots with their asses.” 

The people don’t give up, yelling, “We’re human!  We laugh, we love, we have souls.”

 The Sickness laughs and says, “How can that be?  You don’t look like me.  I built this world standing on your back.  You have soles? You must be shoes.” 

The People wail, “You’re wrong! We’re your mothers, your grandfathers.  We have always been and you were born of our breasts.  We are the ancestors of your ancestors.” 

 

The Sickness grins. Its face morphs.

 

 Its voice draws blood to the ears of the People as it responds, “No.  You are the ancestors of those I have infected.  I am something separate, born of greed and jealousy and lost souls.  Your sick children are blind.  They will never remember you.  As long as I live within them, you’ll be their enemy.  They’ll beat you, imprison you, enslave you.  They’ll kill you and soon you will become infected.  They’ll rape you, dear mothers.  They’ll ridicule and crush you, grandfathers.  They’ll build a world around destroying and using you.  And the best part of all is that they think they’re doing ‘the right thing!’ But they don’t know that each wound they inflict upon you becomes their own.  They can’t feel it, I have numbed them.  Each wound they give you, weakens you, so that I can begin to infect you, too.  And now, they have created a system that all but guarantees your destruction.  Go ahead and fight back.  Your anger and pain will open you more to me.  Give in, for there is no cure.”

 

The People wept. 

 

Mothers stand in the blood of their sons.  Infected children murder other children.  The People fall to their knees and weep.  They weep for the dead and for the infected killers, for the broken and for the lost.  The people weep and their weeping becomes a hum, the hum a melody, and the melody a song.  The song rises louder, filled with the pain of a million souls.  The noise thunders.  The infected hit harder, cut deeper, trying to quiet it.  But the People will not be silenced, and finally the Other hears their suffering.

 

One-by-one, the Other calls to the People, quietly at first, whispering its way through the Sickness.  The People begin to open their eyes to gaze upon this newcomer.  Their eyes burn as the Other shines dimly above them, and the souls of the People are set alight. 

 

Only those willing to burn can hear the Other speak.  “I have heard your song, I have seen what the Sickness is doing.”

 The People lamented, “There is no cure. We are doomed.  We are doomed!” 

 

The Other reaches forward and touches the People.  It bandages their wounds, feeds their moaning stomachs, and gathers their tears. 

 

It asks, “Have you forgotten me, like your infected children have forgotten you?” 

The People shake their heads, “The Sickness is strong.  We’ve almost forgotten ourselves.” 

The Other laughs, a warm, musical sound.  Again and again It reaches forward, touching the People, many already infected.  Each person touched begins to see a bit more clearly, begins to feel like they are waking up.  Their souls burn hotter, and the more they awake, the brighter the Other glows. 

Again, it speaks, kissing the brow of the People.  “Look up and remember me, for in my memory you’ll find yourselves.  Remember, before the Sickness, I was with you.  Remember, before the changes, you and the infected were one People.  You have forgotten, Children of Africa, that you are more than mothers and fathers, more than slaves and victims.  You are Kings and Queens.  You are the First People and you will be the last.  You possess ancient knowledge and infinite power.  Know, then, that you are noble.  Know that you are eternal.  Rise, Pharaohs, daughters of Nefertiti, sons of Isis.  Rise and remember! Open your hearts to me and you will find your cure.”

 

Upon this proclamation, the People begin to leat in joy.  Their weeping becomes laughter as the Other floods their senses.  Elated, the People dance and stomp!  Their dancing shakes the earth and, in so doing, disturbs the Sickness.  The People are no longer at the mercy of the Infected, but instead, are spreading their new-found vision.  Over and over, Infected fall to their knees as the Other’s light spreads throughout their being.  They rise, once again as part of the People, cured. 

 

The Sickness howls, furious and afraid.  It sets fire to homes and sends its darkest agents to corrupt the newly cured, but its efforts are in vain. 

 

The strength of the People is undeniable.

 

 The Sickness shutters at the uproarious din, weakened by its power.  The light of the Other spreads to every corner, illuminating every soul.  The Sickness begins to fade, no longer able to feed on the People.  More and more Infected are cured, and the People stand tall. 

 

They remember themselves, “We are mighty!  We are free!”

 

 A few Infected can never be cured, but they have no control.  The world is a star, burning with the light of the People, and it is exquisite!

 

The Sickness that had ruled for centuries, dwelling in the hearts of men, is finally obliterated.  Eradicated from the collective conscious, the world becomes a Utopia.  The People are once again One People, the children grow to be elderly, and mothers rejoice.  No longer is the Other an ancient memory, it is within the People.  And there it will remain, forever.

 

The end.   ©

 

Originally posted here: https://voixdewilder.wordpress.com/2015/07/

Vacation

Many blessings!

 

This week, there will be no blog as I’ll be on vacation to celebrate a friend’s wedding, and won’t have much time for blogging. There should be a new post on Monday, June 5th.

 

Thanks and see you next week!

 

Blessings and Love,

Lady Morgana Brighid, HP MCCA