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The Ordains: Part 14 – Achieve Spirituality Through Acts of Love

This is the fourteenth 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 ultimate act of spirituality is the act of positive creation through love.”

As a child, before dedicating myself to this faith, I believed I was a Christian. At that time, my church taught us that God was a very specific type of being. God was a man—or at least, a “He.” God loved the people who claimed to love him—regardless of whether they hurt others. They only needed to repent and be forgiven, no matter how many times they repeated their actions. And God loved to punish anyone who questioned him or believed in something different.

To be clear, I’m only speaking of what I gathered from the few Christian communities I was a part of. This is in no way a reflection of every single Christian. It’s just what I was taught. Which was that questioning God or the pastor, questioning one’s “elders”, or questioning the Bible or related stories meant one risked eternal damnation in the fiery pits of Hell.

Naturally, as evidenced by this blog and my life-to-date, the teachings of my church and others I’d attended didn’t sit well with me. The idea that our worship should be based in fear of a jealous and vengeful deity always seemed ridiculous to me. Even if I do believe that jealousy and anger are characteristics of the Divine (and I do), the idea that those are Her main personality traits never felt right.

At some point, I found the idea that God could be about more than Hellfire and commandments. That I didn’t have to live my life in fear of breaking some arbitrary rules about who I could love or what questions I was allowed to ask was truly a game changer. This was around the time I began looking into Wicca, and I came to the personal conclusion that the God I was taught about as a child wasn’t the true essence of the Divine.

I will always believe that the true essence of God, of divinity, is love.

When I figured that out, it blew my mind. The belief that God is Love became the early foundation for my spiritual practice. I chose to approach my faith with that belief as my guide, and it’s led me to where I am today.

Today, I’m secure in my spiritual beliefs. Even as I regularly evaluate and alter them, my beliefs remain always grounded in the thought that Love is the Divine’s most important gift to us and is Her most prominent aspect. It is her love that leads me through life—in both good and bad times.

This ordain supports that belief for me. I feel closer to the Divine and more in-tune with my spiritual guides when I engage in loving acts. When doing spellwork, meditation, manifestation, and anything else related to my craft, I do it in the name of Love. In fact, in my experience, those things work best when I actively remember to put myself in the headspace that emphasizes the love in my heart.

Sometimes, I do this by simply remembering what makes me happy. Other times, I’ll play with my cat, Brooklyn, or dance to joyful music. I’ll look at pictures of some of my happiest times and sing at the top of my lungs. All these things serve to raise my vibrational energy to that of love, and I’ve found that my craft work is far more effective than when I just jump right into it with no joy-building warm-up.

Often, in online forums and in-person Pagan groups, I hear people complaining about how their spells don’t work or about how they feel negativity around them all the time. Unfortunately, many of those people seem to carry worry or fear or sadness in their hearts. They have trouble finding joy, and therefore trouble feeling the elation that one has when experiencing a surge of Divine love. That, in turn, makes craft work difficult.

Eventually, as you traverse your Pagan path, you’ll no doubt hear about the concept that what you send out will return to you.

Many people seem to think of this in terms of Karma or the Law of Three. Personally, I don’t think Karma affects us in our current lifetime, rather it determines our next life cycle, and I’m not crazy about the Law of Three, either. Instead, the concept that “what you send out will return to you” refers to something that occurs at many levels—not least of which, the energetic level.

When you carry fear, worry, and other negative energy, these are the things you’ll attract. Unlike magnets, when it comes to energy, like attracts like. So, when we make a concerted effort to fuel our everyday thoughts and actions with the energy of love, we invite more love into our lives, along with all of the positive energy that accompanies it.

When we flip the narratives in our own heads and actively inject love into our spiritual work, we may find the experience much more fulfilling and healing much more attainable. Anything we create in the name of Love will be divinely inspired, and so will be more connected to Spirit and our Higher Selves.

How do you imbue your spiritual practice with love? What do you do to raise your energetic vibration before working the craft? If you don’t do that, do you find it affects your magick?

With love always,
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 13 – The Stories We Tell Ourselves May Harm Us

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!

The Ordains: Part 1 – Harm None

This is the first part in a series on a set of laws known as the Ordains.

The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener, the man scholars credit as the founder of Wicca. Depending on the source, these Ordains may contain anywhere from twenty to over eighty rules and guidelines that most practicing Wiccans have accepted for generations. The Ordains have, over the years, morphed into various versions. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

Every version I’ve read begins with the same specific line. You may recognize this rule. You’ve heard it echoed in various Pagan tenets and groups, and it’s the basis of my own practice.

“An ye harm none, do as ye will.”

Like the phrase “Blessed be” and a powerful devotion to the number three, this statement pervades throughout most Pagan circles I’ve participated in. It lives in the core of Wicca and remains a constant influence over how I choose to live my life.

The idea of what this phrase means to me, however, has changed drastically from when I was 14. And there was a time when it meant nothing at all.

At first, I took it to the extreme—something I believe many of us do. It got to the point that I was so intent on saving nature that I couldn’t stop to appreciate it.

A year later, my world-view took on a more nihilistic color. Nothing seemed to matter, and “do as ye will” shone a little brighter than the “harm none” that precedes it. I stuck in that mindset for a few years.

Now, though, I think I’ve found a healthy medium. “An ye harm none, do as ye will,” without the archaic language, boils down to: “So long as you harm none, you may live as you choose.” However, the world we live in complicates that sentiment.

Simply by existing in the modern world means we’re complicit in the harm of someone somewhere. While we are all responsible for improving the situation, the task doesn’t lie on the head of any singular person. Not you and not me.

“Harm none” doesn’t mean you have to go off-grid and live in a minimalist box.

Sure, in my ideal world every single person would live in a self-sustaining home powered by wind and sun with gardens both inside and all around the neighborhoods. No one should be homeless. No one should go hungry. And I won’t believe anyone who tells me we don’t have the resources.

My ideal world isn’t yet a reality. Someday, I hope we get there, but for now, I must do what I can. In my actions and words, I try to limit the direct harm I cause any other living being.

I fail a lot. Even when my intentions are to help, things don’t always play out that way. People get hurt, including me.

In my evolving understanding of “An ye harm none, do as ye will,” I’ve had to take frequent looks at my own flaws and misbehaviors. There are many moments in my past I’m not entirely proud of. There will be more in the future.

The key to not letting guilt or shame overwhelm me is in forgiveness. So long as I do my best to be a good person and try not to actively hurt anyone… So long as I work towards helping others heal and keep love in my heart, I can forgive myself when I mess up.

“An ye harm none, do as ye will” isn’t a call for perfection. Nor is it permission for bad behavior or recklessness. We can’t turn a blind eye to our own misdeeds under the guise of “I’m not trying to hurt anyone.”

This is certainly true on my end. The way for me to honor this important guideline is to continue to do my best. I must not only actively avoid harming other living beings, but I need to regularly look at my failings in order to learn how to be a better person.

The first Law reminds me of this. Showing up in both the Wiccan Rede and the Witches Creed, it is the main tenet of the Wiccan practice. Therefore, it’s a constant guide in my life.

What does it mean to you to “harm none”? Leave a comment here or a message on Facebook. I’m dying to hear from you!

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Come see Maiden Circle’s 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. Don’t worry, I won’t spam your inbox! Sign up now!

New Series: The Ordains

Hello again, witchlings.

First, let me apologize for taking such a lengthy hiatus. You deserve better. This blog deserves better. I do hope you can forgive me for going away for so long.

The energy I once directed into this blog was diverted towards other writing and entrepreneurial efforts. The creative juice that would be pumped into these posts went instead into my novels and other projects.

The days flew by, though, and turned into months—and you got nothing. For that, I’m sorry. I always intended to return, and that time has finally come to pass.

In “The Future of Maiden’s Circle”, I expressed difficulty when it comes to writing this blog. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to say here anymore. I’d lost my motivation and my purpose.

None of the ideas I’d prepared for the blog felt right. They didn’t seem to matter. Most importantly, they weren’t as connected to Maiden’s Circle Coven or or our Covenpath Course as they should have been.

Ultimately, that’s why the blog was created in the first place. To honor and return to that purpose, I’ve decided to write a brief series on a topic covered in our Maiden’s Circle Covenpath course.

In the first part of the course, we cover the basic beliefs and tenets of the Wiccan religion. Among those tenets are the traditional Ordains, also known as The Witches’ Laws. These “laws” were popularized by a man known as the “father of Wicca,” Gerald Gardner.

In this series, I’ll be posting a short entry on each of the twenty-two Ordains that help form MCCA’s practice. These entries are my personal thoughts and feelings, and they are in no way meant to dictate what you or anyone else should believe. This is an activity similar to one of the assignments in the course, and I’ll post an entry each week on Monday.

Hopefully, you find the following entries to be entertaining, as well as informational. I’d love to know your thoughts on these so-called “laws” for witches.

Be sure to check back every week for a new entry, and check your email for any big Maiden’s Circle updates.

Thank you so much for your patience, for your continued support, and for your divine love.

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Come see Maiden Circle’s 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. Don’t worry, I won’t spam your inbox! Sign up now!