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Saturday, 20 May 2006

Salem Witchcraft In Outline The Story Without The Tedious Detail

Salem Witchcraft In Outline The Story Without The Tedious Detail Cover

Book: Salem Witchcraft In Outline The Story Without The Tedious Detail by Caroline Upham

The author of the present volume claims to be neither a brilliant essayist nor an historian, but having been urged to prepare a sketch of the History, now offers it to the public as one would the photograph of a notable scene, not a great original painting. And if, as it must be, the rich coloring and delicate effects are missing in the reproduction, it is hoped the drawing may be found true, and no important lines set in awry. Having been desired by the heirs of the late Charles W. Upham to draw freely from the History, paragraphs from it have been woven into the sketch giving strength to the little story, and serving the reader better than a feminine pen I could do. As " Salem Witchcraft in Outline " has come into being in the same room where the History was born, the writer hopes there may be one
point of resemblance between them, a staying quality. That, whereas, her father-in-law earned for his creation a strong foothold in standard literature, the result of her work may be to have fixed certain facts firmly in the minds of those who read them.

Download Caroline Upham's eBook: Salem Witchcraft In Outline The Story Without The Tedious Detail

Suggested ebooks:

Caroline Upham - Salem Witchcraft In Outline The Story Without The Tedious Detail Ocr Version
Caroline Upham - Salem Witchcraft In Outline The Story Without The Tedious Detail

Friday, 5 May 2006

The Pentacle 1

The Pentacle 1 Cover
"In magic, a pentacle is a mandala or focal point for the work it encompasses." This statement was taken from a "WICCA 101" Course Outline currently in use by several California Covens of the Faerie Tradition. This would almost indicate to me the use of the Pentacle as and "Altar upon the Altar". Is this really "proper use" of the Pentacle?

"In most traditions of the craft, the pentacle is an Earth pentacle incorporating the symbols that are meaningful to the members of the tradition. It is the centerpiece of the altar, on which objects are consecrated; the water and salt bowls are placed upon it for blessing." This would almost seem superfluous, unless one were using the principle of contagion to give the blessing a little extra "kick"; and even then I wouldn't feel it really necessary if the Altar were properly consecrated in the first place. Why the special identification with Earth? Is it simply because there are other tools on the Altar that are essentially tools of Air, Fire, and Water? The Chalice, Athame, and Censer are all "active" tools in a normal circle ritual, why is the Pentacle "passive" in its use?

"Some traditions call it a Moon Pentacle, and the symbols, while basically the same, are carved into a silver disc. The idea being that consecration and blessing is performed in direct contact with the Goddess. The silver metal of the pentacle providing the link necessary for contagion." OK, this seems to indicate that though the Pentacle is a "working tool", it is also very much a part of the Altar too. I feel this is further born out when the outline goes on to say: " When the pentacle is an Earth pentacle, it is usually made of a metal such as copper. It is normally round, and 5-6 inches in diameter."

Now that I have illustrated the quotations from the outline that have caused a little confusion in my mind, I wonder about the possibilities of expanding these narrow (at least implied) definitions. How about making an inset cut-out place in the center of the Altar top that would accept a removable pentacle (or perhaps a couple of different ones)? One could also do a permanent inlay. The only problem I could see would be for those (like myself) who have special Altar Cloths that they like to use.

As to the material for this tool, how about starting out with a disk of copper (good Earth metal), and fashioning either a gold or silver pentagram upon it, and using gold or silver (which ever was not used for the pentagram) for the other symbols? This is where I got the idea for perhaps having more than one for specific use, depending on the focus of a particular ceremony. It would seem to me that if this tool is to be used for the centerpiece of the altar, it should be so constructed as to reflect all FOUR Elements, as well as links to God and Goddess.

OK, folks here is a topic for "craft" discussion, got any ideas? (by Paul Seymour)

Books in PDF format to read:

Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Temple
Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Unnamable
Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Festival

Tags: xxxi star goddess  enochian experience with  witches witchcraft  regum ritual kings  

Tuesday, 2 May 2006

When Your Path Takes A Magickal Turn

When Your Path Takes A Magickal Turn Cover Suddenly the wind is no longer just fast moving air. The sun isn't just a bright orb in the sky. The birds seem to have something to tell you and the moon wants to be your friend.

You have just been enlightened, your not really sure where to go from here but you know something inside of you is changing and growing. You take the first step, pick up a book, browse an internet site and now you are overwhelmed with what comes first.

In school, it was easier. They gave you a book, homework and a grade. In school though, you didn't have much of a choice whether you wanted to learn or not.

The Craft is different. No one will make you do anything and there is no way to get an F.

I use the term 'The Craft' because it encompasses all different aspects of the magickal community. Some of us are Wiccan, others are Pagans, there are Green Witches, Mystics, Mages, Sages...the list goes on and on.

Me? I'm an Ecclectic Witch.

This is an introduction for those beginners looking for the next step. I just wanted to share with you what worked for me, and what didn't.

My very first book on magick was Scott Cunningham's "Wicca, a guide for the solitary practioner".

In my opinion, it is one of the best starter books out there. It opens you up. It tells you that it's okay to think for yourself and decide what you want out of this experience. It awakened me, I felt that someone finally understood.

I read it and moved on.

For a while, I practiced being aware of my surroundings. I would sit outside and listen to the wind blowing in my ears. When the sun shined down on my face, I let it's energy absorb into me and felt the love of the God reach out to me. I gazed at the moon and felt at one with the Goddess.

I burned candles and incense, with no particular purpose. I watched the candle flame and appreciated its glow. I watched the incense smoke dance around my room, swirling and twisting and inhaled it's scent.

I picked up stones from the ground and brought them home with me. I held them in my hand and opened myself to the energy they provided.

I got familiar with colors and what they meant to me when I saw them.

Red made me think of anger, motivation, movement, power and strength of will.
Dark blue made me feel safe and protected. Light blue provided me with comfort and soothed my emotions.

I wrote down the colors and their meanings and followed them for my spellwork.


I started reading up on books that told me how to cast spells, what I needed, how I had to do it.

To be honest I didn't like it. I almost backed off altogether on spellwork. I wasn't a good student in school, maybe that's why but I was very against the idea of being told what to do.

Then I remembered my first book. One thing that Cunningham was always inserting in his words was "If you do not agree with this, do what feels comfortable." So I put my books down and I felt better. :)

My spells were unique, most of them were for the purpose of cleansing. I was depressed and I had alot of pain to get rid of. The God and Goddess understood that and pointed me in the right direction.

When I got into my 'witchy moods' and jumped into the circle, I didn't think "Am I doing this right?" I knew that if it felt right, it was right.

So when I came here to Modern Wiccan, I already had a set of beliefs and a good idea of what worked best for me.

But, I was open to learning from others. In this mind frame, I could take what I liked and leave the rest for others. I grew at my own pace, sometimes things that I rejected, came back and made sense later.

Trust the process. If something feels wrong, don't do it. You may not be ready, or it may not be for you.

Either way, there is plenty of time to learn. Look at The Craft as a giant garden, take the time to smell all the flowers and appreciate each one's different scent.

Intuitional Magick is what I call my practice. In my opinion, it's the best way to go.

The great thing about The Craft though, is that you have every right to disagree.

Blessings to you on your journey.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Ophiel - The Art Practice Of Caballa Magic
Malcolm Mcgrath - Practical Magickal Evocation
Jarl Fossum - Seth In The Magical Texts

What Kind Of Coven Should I Be In

What Kind Of Coven Should I Be In Cover WHAT KIND OF COVEN SHOULD I BE IN??

What covens can and cannot do for their students:

Magical and spiritual power comes only from the Gods.

The knowledge and skill you need to use that power effectively come from your
own hard work.

Coven training is the easiest and safest way to learn and to practice in a
supportive context.

Alternatively, you might seek individual training from an elder you respect.

Be aware that the best training system accomplishes nothing unless you actually
do the work.

And there certainly are skilled and empowered Witches who are solitary and
completely self-trained.

Credentials come from other people.

If community recognition is important to you, you should join a coven that is
part of a lineage, one whose elders have traditional religious authority to
bring others into that collective.

If legal clergy status matters, look for a group that is affiliated with one of
the duly incorporated organizations like Covenant of the Goddess.

Of course, one coven can convey both types of credential.

Be mindful, though, that power, skill, and credentials are three entirely
separate things.

No one of them can substitute for either of the others, nor prove that either of
the others is also present.

Coven Shopping:
finding a place to root yourself and grow

If you choose to seek formal training, look for competent training from
experienced elders who are authentically spiritual in the context of a
functional coven.

Remember that you have a choice.

Ours is one of the fastest growing religions on this planet.

There are many more covens than there were, even ten years ago.

Most of these covens make themselves accessible to sincere seekers.

As a result, potential students can "shop around," for the best possible coven,
the best possible match.

As always, people who have options are responsible for the choices they make.

Be thoughtful and careful.

Ask for the guidance of the Gods and listen for the still small voice that
carries Their response.

The quality of your experience depends on the choices you make now.

Here are some things to look for:

People you can respect, trust and love.

Good people. How could anyone be spiritual without being at least honest and

Authentic people - people who seem to live in accordance with the values they
If they claim to be able to teach you Nature spirituality, do they live lightly
on the Earth?
If they claim to be able to teach you magic, do they seem to be grounded,
centered and empowered?

Competent people - people who seem knowledgeable and skilled, people who are
organized, who keep their appointments and are well-prepared for their classes.

People who listen.
People who ask the kinds of questions that encourage you to explore your own
spirituality and your own ideas and feelings about traditional lore.
People who are genuinely open to learning from their students, as well as
teaching them.
People who will respect your confidences.
People who will neither gossip nor use Information you share to manipulate or
hurt you.

And some things to avoid:

Authoritarians - stay away from anyone who tries to censor your reading or to
isolate you from family or friends.

Beware of those who get irritated when you ask challenging questions.

Be even more wary of anyone who, when you ask a difficult question, either
ridicules you or patronizes you ("let your elders worry about that one, dear,
your job right now is just to learn what we teach.")

If anybody tries to forbid you to express your opinions in the presence of your
elders, run screaming out the door. (all these things have happened)

Sexual predators - unfortunately a few of these creeps infest every religion.

If somebody tells you that your magical or spiritual advancement depends on your
giving them what they want, first spit in their eye, then get away fast.

Hypocrites - those who say they love Mother Earth, and live carelessly and
wastefully, those who say they love the Goddess and dominate or abuse human
women, those who claim to be Spirit-led while their behavior is ego-driven.

Exploiters - but they're not instantly identifiable.

Any coven might ask students to take a turn bringing consumable supplies like
candles or cookies.
Teaching covens may have monetary expenses, such as photocopying or rental for a
meeting room -- and it's entirely reasonable for them to charge dues and cover
their costs from the common purse thus created.
There is some debate in our community about whether a Craft teacher should
accept payment for their time and work.
This is a matter of opinion, but you can be sure that a teacher who takes
payment is not practicing Traditional Witchcraft.

It's also fair for a teacher or coven to ask you to do your share of set-up and
clean-up, or of ongoing coven projects.
But if some coven leader expects you to work free in their profit-making
business, or act as their domestic servant, run screaming out the door.

People who order you to go against your values.
Again, this involves some subtle issues.
One of the major goals of spiritual Development is to learn to hear the still,
small inner voice.

But some of our inner directives are actually cultural or familial programming.
These prescriptions and prescriptions may also be wise, or they may be limiting,
or actually evil (consider racial prejudice).
They often drown out the voice of authentic Spirit.
The best teachers will gently challenge their students to override outworn
programming, but never to go against core values.
The issue of readiness is also important.
If you try to override even the nastiest old programming before you are ready,
you might cause a painful backlash.
This psychological trauma can actually retard your progress.

Beware of insensitive autocrats who try to force all their students into the
same Procrustean bed.
Don't ever let anybody pressure into doing anything - in or out of Circle - that
you believe is wrong.

In ritual, we speak to our deepest minds, establishing the moods and motivations
that shape our lives.

Don't ever do in token what you would not do in truth.

Compatibility issues
As polytheists, we celebrate diversity. Sacred diversity also shows itself in a
wide range of variation among those covens that are ethical, competent and
Spirit-led. You don't just want a good coven, you want one that is a good fit
for your own talents, temperaments, inclinations and style. Here are some
compatibility issues to consider:

Mixed gender or all female or male?

Size - the traditional maximum is thirteen, but quieter people may feel more
comfortable in smaller groups. The average size of a coven is more like five or

Ritual style - ranges from highly formal and ceremonial to spontaneous and

Teaching style - they may have a highly structured curriculum or they may let
their teaching be directed by student interest. If there is a prescribed
curriculum, does it cover your particular interests?

Decision-making style - this can range from full consensus process through
majority vote to parent-like benevolent dictatorship.

Time demands - good training requires the student's time and work. As the Craft
matures, our notion of what a priest/ess needs to know has grown accordingly.
Pacing makes a big difference -- we can either pack it in or stretch it out.
Find out what a coven's typical time demands are, both for attendance and for
Figure out whether you can meet those demands while continuing to have a job, a
family and a life.

Theological emphasis or focus: Goddess only, Goddess and God in balance, or
full-blown polytheism? Any particular pantheon or historical or cultural

Social contact - do you want your coven to also be a large part of your social
life, or would you rather keep social and coven life mostly separate? (If your
mate is not involved with the coven, you'll almost certainly prefer the latter.)

Coven-shopping is healthy for both covens and coveners.
Meet as many covens and coven leaders as possible.
Visit as many covens as you can before you commit to one.

Remember as you weigh your choice that they are asking themselves remarkably
similar questions about you -- and this is exactly as it should be. We all
benefit when the best possible matches are made, for the coven process forms the
leaders of the future -- and our Craft must ever survive.

Get to know the coven.
Get to know the leaders.

Coven Participation is not just a simple transfer of knowledge or skill -- it is
socialization into a small, closely-bonded community of priest/esses. So one
final question sums up all the issues we've looked at so far.
Do you want to become more like these people? If so, ask them if they will have
you as their student.
And may the Gods guide your Path to Their service.

by Judy Harrow

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Miyamoto Musashi - A Book Of Five Rings
Basil Crouch - The Book Of Forbidden Knowledge
Michal Jerabek - The Book Of Enoch Vol I The Watchers