Wicca Invades America

In the 1960's and 70's Murray, Graves, and Gardner found a wide audience in the United States, especially in the growing feminist community. Feminist writers ran with the idea of a pre-Christian matriarchal society and declared the witch trials a women's holocaust. In 1968 an organization called WITCH (Women's International Conspiracy from Hell) penned a manifesto that stated nine million liberated women and witches had been put to death by the Church for practicing the ancient Goddess...

Minding the Self

The environmental and mental toxins we encounter daily can build up in our bodies, leaving us feeling generally run-down even when we have no discernible medical illnesses. Energy remnants from old injuries and illnesses can often stay in the body and impair its overall function. Many mystics throughout history have engaged in periodic fasting for various lengths of time in order to cleanse the body of these poisons. Fasting and other forms of physical abstinence can be great tools of...

The Wiccan Rede and the Law of Return

With power comes responsibility as Wiccans recognize our ability to co-create reality and take an active part in the unfolding of the universe, we also recognize the vital role of an ethical basis for our actions, most often stated simply as The word rede means counsel, advice. It does not mean law. Detractors of the Rede, who say that it is impossible to both do your will and cause no harm, often ignore this fact. The Rede is an ethical precept, a goal for each of us to strive for--to balance...

Personal Transformation and Sacrifice

One of the most obvious and most challenging aspects of fire is the notion of transformation. Fire has the power to change everything it touches. It can burn wood, melt metal and rock, transform liquid into gas. When we invoke fire into our circles and into our lives, we are invoking the power of transformation the ability to burn away that which we no longer need, as well as the ability to mold those aspects of ourselves that are beneficial, but perhaps raw and unrefined. When we invite power...

Gender and Polarity

All dynamic movement in the universe, all life, is based on the attraction repulsion of opposites. What is gravity but the desire of one body for another Most Wiccan creation myths involve the ecstatic union of the Goddess with Her other, the complementary opposite that She brings forth from Herself. In the Gardnerian tradition, creation is seen as a strictly male female endeavor, reflected in the Great Rite, the symbolic (and occasionally literal) joining of the masculine and feminine in...

Introduction

One of the most exciting things about writing about the Wiccan religion is that there is so much potential material to cover. Between the complementary topics of Wicca, Witchcraft, ecospirituality and responsible living, there is a lot of material for the new Wiccan to uncover. But it also means that designing a six-month course that covers all the basics adequately can be quite a challenge. This textbook does not in any way attempt to teach the necessary aspects of Wicca in depth, nor is this...

The Throat Chakra Communication

The fifth chakra governs the word, whether spoken or thought moreover, it governs all forms of expression, how we represent ourselves to the world and how we communicate with others. It is the chakra of creativity, music, and humor. In addition, the Throat chakra reminds us of the importance of what we say and what we mean it is in many ways a chakra of integrity, expressing the Will of the Solar Plexus with creativity and then living up to that expression. It is overall the chakra of truth,...

The Sacral Chakra Connection

The second chakra lies within the womb and genitals, and as expected, it governs sexuality and desire. It is the chakra of Water, and therefore is deeply connected to the Moon (especially in women) as Water, its essence is fluid and changeable. In the first chakra we are only aware of ourselves in the second, we become aware of our connection to others and our need to be connected. The Sacral chakra is the home of most of our emotions, as emotion is primarily born out of our interaction with...

The Root Chakra Survival

The Root chakra is located at the base of the spine, and it is the foundation upon which the entire column rests. The Root governs physical existence and survival. It is the chakra of Earth manifestation, of health and material needs. The Root is a very dense and solid chakra, and its desires are difficult, if not impossible, to ignore we cannot progress spiritually until our physical needs are met. It is hard to meditate if you are starving. The Root is the chakra of grounding it maintains our...

Vocalization

Chanting, singing, and toning are three of the most widely used methods of energy-raising. A simple chant is best, needing no more than a few words that express the goal, repeated over and over. Complicated songs can distract from the ritual's pupose. Toning, or making a single vowel sound, can be very effective, especially when working with the chakras for example, toning a low note while visualizing energy rising from the lower chakras upward. Vocal vibration is used among many ceremonial...

Introduction to Wiccan Theology and Philosophy

Wicca is unique among modern religions in that it has a common structure--the rituals and essential concepts that are used throughout most traditions--but it is left to each individual (or group of practitioners) to choose how those concepts are best expressed in his her own practice. Phyllis Curott calls Wicca the jazz of religion it has many of the same melodies as other faiths, and its goal is the same (creating harmony with Deity), but there is room for improvisation, evolution, and...

Basic Magical Herbal Preparations

There are a wide variety of techniques used in herbalism of all kinds, but there are some that work especially well for magic. Charms - a selection of herbs blended together, sometimes with stones or other talismanic objects, then bound up in cloth and carried or placed in a strategic location. When the desired effect has been achieved untie the charm and cast its contents into running water or the wind. Introduction to Magical Herbalism 43 Floorwash - an infusion of herbs added to mop water or...

The Eight Sabbats

The world around us changes you don't need me to tell you that. The sun rises, the day grows warm, the winds blow, the sun sets, the moon hangs high, the stars twinkle, the night settles and a chill runs down your spine. The world slumbers and the cycle begins anew the next day. In a manner then, each day bears shadows of that which follows and that which precedes, and yet, each day, each hour, is unique. Each moment of life is an opportunity to explore the depth of the surrounding holy. Though...

Shamanic Circle Casting

Casting a shamanic circle is in no way a traditional Native American practice, though it borrows heavily from those traditions. A shamanic circle is suitable for healing or meditative work, but is not generally strong enough for heavy magical operations. When casting the shamanic circle, the first step is to smudge the ritual area with sage, sweetgrass, cedar, or a combination of other traditional herbs each person involved in the ritual is also smudged from head to toe to purify his or her...