So you want to be a Witch? (Part 3) Rhythmic Practice

Part #3…

The Rhythmic Practice Phase 

How are you doing so far?

The first two lessons should have taken you about six months of study and practice to complete(if you worked at it diligently). You should now also be fairly comfortable doing the basic ritual from the previous lesson. Remember that you actually have to DO the ritual – not just read it, dream about it or visualize it. Get up on your feet, get your tools together, light those candles AND DO IT!

“Effort requires that you either answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”

Teachers can always tell if someone who comes to them has done the work. The first time that a student will do a ritual or take part in one with others will clearly show his/her experience or lack of it.

If you have done the work, this does not mean that you will not be nervous your “first time out.” You will! But you will also be amazed at how quickly this nervousness will pass as the ritual progresses. Your spirit and inner child. (Him/her, again?) WILL remember all those practice sessions and soon you’ll be enjoying the whole thing immensely!

Along the way, DO Remember these four little things:

  1. Life is always changing. Nothing stays the same.
  2. To Know you have To Do. Experience requires action.
  3. The quality of each experience – as you draw it forth and do it and live it – becomes the substance of your wisdom.
  4. Yes, there will be a test on this. There is ALWAYS a test on this

 

 

K., what’s next?

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters,
compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rhythms of Nature, Rhythms of Life:

The Neo – Pagan Paths that we are discussing – including Wicca and Witchcraft – are called “Earth – based” religions. The rituals and practices follow the seasonal changes of the Earth. Some Paths use the eight holidays of the Wiccan Wheel of Life; some adhere to the more traditional Four Fire Festivals calendar. Some groups have come up with their own cycles according to their belief systems. What calendar will you use?

When you have decided which Holiday calendar that you want to incorporate into your life – lesson, read all that you can about it. Take one Holiday at a time. Look for resources, descriptions and Myths about each Holiday. Think upon each one as both a special event and as a “marker” for the year.

During the Rhythmic Stage, you will explore the year through the cycles of Nature. And yes, this phase DOES last an entire year. There is no other way. You may begin to reach out a bit more during this time – exploring new contacts, taking some classes, attending public events – but the personal exploration of the Rhythmic Cycle of The Holidays should be your primary focus.

Why? It is in this cycle that you will learn much more about yourself and your place in the Universe. Everything that is exists as vibrational energy. Some things have a higher frequency, some a lower one. You will learn to “feel” the vibrational changes around you as the seasons come and go.( An essential skill to have in Magick! )

Do you get a little “spring fever” around April or May? Look at the earth. She is excited about this time of year, too! Buds are swelling on the trees and flower plants are poking their first leaves out of the ground as if to ask, “Is it safe to come out yet”?

Do you feel particularly invigorated in the Fall crisp air? Watch the squirrels run around and dig into the ground to hide their nuts. Hear the bees as they bob from plant to plant racing down the coming frost. “Hurry, hurry, hurry,” seems to rustle the drying leaves from the trees. (I’m sure you get the idea.)

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There Are Patterns

“I learn by going where I have to go.” – Theodore Roethke.

Most Pagans have a belief in reincarnation or transmigration of the soul. All things in Nature are born (germination), grow, mature, reproduce, and then decline and die. The cycle begins again. This is why reincarnation makes sense to most Pagans. By observing the Rhythmic Cycle, we reflect on this process and we may come to think that it just “seems right”. Not too surprising really. It’s “natural,” isn’t it?

You have a place in this cycle. You probably were not brought up to think in this way. Most aspiring Neo – Pagans weren’t. This year of study will show you not only where you fit into the cycle of Nature, but how your active involvement in these cycles can change your life. When you come to understand and work with the natural rhythms in the world around you, you will understand what it means to be Pagan.

Here are some reasons why “rhythmic learning” – and possibly reincarnation – works:

  • Effective experiential learning will affect the learner’s cognitive structures (action theories), attitudes and values, perceptions and behavioral patterns.
  • People will believe more in knowledge they have discovered themselves than in knowledge presented by others.
  • Learning is more effective when it is an active rather than a passive process.
  • Acceptance of new action theories, attitudes, and behavioral patterns cannot be brought about by a piecemeal approach.
  • It takes more than information to change action theories, attitudes, and behavioral patterns.
  • It takes more than firsthand experience to generate valid knowledge. Besides experience, there needs to be a theoretical system that the experiencer tests out and a personal reflection on the meaning of the experience.

(The above principles come from the work of Kurt Lewin, one of the important founding fathers of social psychology who influenced the development of the Group Dynamics movement in the early 1940’s.)

I’d add a seventh point – Make It Fun!

Hunt down seasonal objects for your altar. Think about colors for cloths and robes. Make a headpiece for each Holiday. Pick a mythic story and follow it throughout the year. Act it out! Dress the part! Dance! Sing! Write a poem! Cook up a recipe! Adopt a “totem” animal for each season. Make a special storage box for each Holiday’s special decorations. (Every Holiday will feel like Yule as you open your Holiday boxes next year. Add more goodies!)

“A man of faithful thought may feel in light, among the beasts and fields,
the turning of the wheel.” – Wendell Berry

WHY Are You Doing All This?

Transformation!

Transformation begins from within. Many people turn to a religion – or to magic! – in an attempt to change the things that they perceive to stand in the way of their ‘true happiness.” Many a love spell has been cast more to ease one person’s own inner loneliness than as a real desire for an equal relationship with the object of their current “affections.”

Inner transformational work is difficult, messy and anything but instantaneous. This explains the current nervous searching out of “just the right spell” by many a new seeker to the Craft. Hoping to somehow by – pass the true work involved in developing a magickal way of life, they hope for something in the order of a Hollywood special effect. “Just say the magic words…” and your insecurity problems, heartaches and financial worries are over! Uh – uh…it just doesn’t work like that. Sorry, Mr. Spielberg….

As you work through the year of The Wheel, you will learn a lot about yourself.

Such as:

  1. Respect – Both for the interconnection of all Life and for yourself.
  2. Thought – How you can change your life by changing your thoughts.
  3. Examination – Looking within yourself for answers and solutions.
  4. Release – Letting go of old habits and emotions that no longer work.
  5. Synthesis – How an individual can also be part of a whole.
  6. Creativity – Trusting your intuition to help you make viable choices.
  7. Action – Learning how to act rather than re – act.
  8. Love – Being able to give and receive healthy love.
  9. Strength – Inner courage to overcome circumstances without harm.
  10. Transformation! – The realization that only you can change what is not working in your life. Only you can make your life what you want it to be. And only you – through difficult, messy and lengthy work – can make your magickal Life one of Love, Light and Power!

” The outstanding error of learners, in whom it is excusable, and of many teachers,
who teach without wisdom is that they associate Occultism with practices
rather than with PRACTICE. I teach the LIFE of concentration and meditation…”
– P.G. Bowen

By clnow3088

Monthly Subscription Box Update

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So you want to be a Witch? (Part 2) Beginning Practice

Part 2…

The Beginning Practice Phase… 

Greetings and Welcome Back to Basics! Before you begin this next section, perhaps it will be helpful to do a little summation. If you have been working through the “Interest Phase” and the “Exploratory Phase”, you will probably now be familiar with the following concepts and have some rudimentary knowledge in…

  1. The basic history of Witchcraft and its cultural origins.
  2. Some of the different Traditions and Ways that Witchcraft is practiced today.
  3. The basic ethical guidelines, such as the Rede or Law of Three.
  4. A basic overview of karma and reincarnation (or transmigration).
  5. An understanding on how Magick works.
  6. Deity Names and Aspects.
  7. The Elements and correspondences.
  8. Basic Tools of the Craft and their use in ritual work.
  9. Some divination, visualization and meditation techniques.
  10. Folklore and Mythology.

Great! This is the foundation from which your continuing studies will build and grow. Along the Way, you will stop often to ponder about new materials and visions. Remember to go slowly and to reflect much on what these concepts personally may mean to you. Again, it is very important to allow these new ideas to become integrated into your spirit. This is the only way that they can become “real’ to you. They become a part of who you are and how you think and feel. One of the ways to help this process along is through “practice.”

THE BEGINNING PRACTICE PHASE:

Chances are pretty good that you have already “dabbled’ a bit with some of the techniques of ritual work. Even if you have only begun this in your mind, you are beginning to feel the stirrings of a desire to actually DO the workings that up until this point you have only been reading or hearing about. Where do you “begin”? Do you dig through your books and find a ritual that appeals to you? Do you have a specific need in your life right now? What have you put into your Journal or Book of Shadows that you have underlined as important or particularly relevant? What do YOU feel?

You will notice a lot of emphasis on “feelings” throughout these articles. What do “feelings” have to do with all of this? Well, Carl Jung said it much better than I ever could:

“Feeling informs you through its feeling-tones of the values of things. Feeling tells you for instance whether a thing is acceptable or agreeable or not. It tells you what a thing is WORTH to you….It is, like thinking, a rational function.”

BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING:

  1. Look for SYMBOLISM-The subconscious mind works through pictures and symbols. This is why the “inner” work that you do is the starting point of all Magick. Look over your magickal tools and objects. Choose one or two at random. Touch them. Hold them in your hands. Close your eyes. What are they “saying” to your inner self? What images do they bring up and what memories do they unlock?
  2. You are using your IMAGINATION-You are not “making things up” when you are using your imagination. At least not in the sense that most of us have been lead to believe. If you have ever been reprimanded for “day dreaming” in class or at the dinner table, you may have to re-learn and “give yourself permission” to unlock this powerful tool again. Allow yourself some “flights of fancy” time each day.

    Imagination is the ability to use your mind creatively. The word “creative” is linked with “creation”. In a very real sense you are creating what you imagine. Just as a sculptor has an image of a work in his or her mind and then seeks to unlock the image from the physical materials at hand, so you create magick from the images that surface as a result of your meditations and desires. Have you used your imagination today?

  3. Now put the symbolism and the imagination together. What symbols came into your mind and what did your imagination do with these images? Ask a question and see if the images change around or become more clear. Don’t be surprised where you may end up. Your subconscious mind is a very rich and fertile place. It is the ‘playground’ of your spirit where anything is possible. And if you “wake up” with a start and realize that you have just spent 20 minutes in reverie, you are really getting the hang of it!
  4. The next exercise will be your first step from the mental/spiritual into the physical/spiritual realm. This is where you begin to actually DO THE WORK. You will start slowly and build on each previous step. Do not rush this process. This is very important. Let me explain a bit.

Do you remember as a child a favorite story that you never grew tired of hearing? You knew the entire book by heart. Part of its “magic” for you WAS knowing the entire story by heart. And remember how you would correct the reader of the story if they tried to skip a part or changed the words? The story for you was a ritual. The retelling of it the same way over and over was important to you. Because there were no surprises or changes, you could relax and really get “into” the entire tale in your…gasp!…imagination. (Don’t tell Grandma, but she was actually your first “Witchy” teacher!)

The gestures, tools and workings of your beginning ritual practice should be exactly the same each time that you do them during your Beginning Practice Phase. This repetition trains your subconscious mind to remember what is coming next. The subconscious is like the child who wants to hear that story the same way over and over. The “ritual”-repeated over and over- provides a safe and comforting setting for both your imagination and the symbolic elements to expand and grow. You’ll have plenty of time to “get fancy” later on.

The Practice Phase Do’s and Don’ts…

DO The BASIC RITUAL OUTLINE something like this:

  • Cleansing the Area.
  • Preparing the Altar.(nothing too elaborate, just a few of your favorite tools). Lighting the candles.
  • Casting the circle.
  • Welcoming the elements.
  • Welcoming the Deities.
  • Stating the Purpose of the ritual.
  • Magickal workings or devotions.
  • Raising the Energy. Releasing the Energy.
  • Grounding.
  • Thanking the Deities.
  • Thanking the elements.
  • Closing(or sometimes called opening) the circle.
  • Eating snacks!

There are many simpler or more elaborate ways to do a ritual. Many Traditions have their own formats as well. But if you know how to do this basic ritual, you will pretty much be comfortable in any open Circle that you may attend.

DO BEGIN! Start at the beginning of the above list. Make notes on each step in your journal as you begin to plan your ritual. How will you cleanse your working area? Salt and water? Besom (broom)? Incense? What will you place on your altar? (Making a list first insures that you will not forget something….”Matches, anyone?”, is the most classical “oops”!).

DO… Take time to sit quietly and center yourself before you begin. Be honest about your feelings. Are you excited…scared….nervous? That is normal. This is important stuff and not to be entered into lightly. O.K.? Now you can begin, but…

DO… Tell the Old Ones that you are “practicing’. Although They already know this (and They are ready to help you), it will be reassuring to YOU to state this in case you end up feeling that you may have “done something wrong”. You haven’t. You are “practicing” and practice involves a certain amount of trial and error. No one ‘upstairs’ is laughing at you.

DO… Perform each step slowly and carefully. Let the symbols speak to your inner self. Take time between each step to feel how the ritual has affected you and changed your surroundings. As you ground, listen for answers…listen for advice…listen to yourself…listen to the phone ringing because you forgot to take it off the hook….

DO… Listen. We ask for things and then we often do not take the time to listen for the answers. Write everything down. Doodle impressions in the margins. These symbols may be important later.

DO… this same basic ritual over and over and over again. Rather than becoming boring, you will probably find that it becomes MORE meaningful each time that you do it. And your inner child’s subconscious mind will be loving it! (Thanks, Grandma!)

DO… Continue to repeat the first Phases again. We are all constantly learning and going “back to basics” is always a good idea.

DON’T… worry about what you will say. Say what is in your heart. Use simple language-remember that “child” thing?-and DO remember to take deep breaths in between sentences. You want to ‘alter your consciousness”, not lose it!

DON’T… take any oaths or make lifelong dedications to the Old Ones. You have not made that decision yet. You are still trying to discover if Witchcraft is the right Path for you. This is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make in your life. Give it the respect and consideration that it deserves.

DON’T… be afraid. All those Hollywood movies may have made you a tad nervous about beginning actual ritual practice. Nothing like that will happen to you. You have done each step slowly and with much forethought. It is only when someone tries to go into places for which they are unprepared that the situation can get unpleasant. That is why teachers emphasize the NEED to go slowly. You HAVE taken the time to prepare yourself and done all the steps in order, haven’t you?

DON’T… do the ritual either too often or too little. Formulate a regular schedule-say once a week- and stick to that for a while. If you really desire to do something on a daily basis, a simple candle lighting ritual in the morning or evening will do just fine. Begin to think about Moon phases, Holidays and other times to do ritual Work. Witchcraft is based on the “rhythms’ of Nature and that will be the next step…

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By clnow3088

So You Want to Be a Witch? (Part 1)

Okay, today I thought we would take it back to the basics for a while. I have a lot of new members on the Facebook page who are messaging and posting that they are new to the Craft and aren’t really sure where to start. So, with that being said, let’s begin with this question, “So you want to be a Witch?”

Part 1…

STARTING OUT…

So You Wanna Be a Witch?

There are some real issues that should be discussed right at the beginning of this section. The first thing that the seeker should know is that much of the “knowledge” that we possess today about Witchcraft and its origins is a combination of archeological data, the myths and legends that have been passed down and some historical documents that have been translated. The rest is conjecture and the “best guesses” of scholars who are working on “bringing it all together.” In other words, no one can say for certain what the Ancestors really did or why.

That does not mean that we have NO knowledge-we certainly DO!- just that we do not have THE historical knowledge of the origins of the Modern Craft. Different interpretations will continue to abound both in written materials and in any teachings that you may encounter. There will never be only one Way of practicing Witchcraft. Get used to it. No one has the “one true answer”…and any teacher worth his or her salt will tell you this up front.

The above is your first introduction to what is involved in following the path of Witchcraft. You are expected to do a LOT of research on your own. This is actually a very healthy way to approach the beginning study of any Path you are considering. Read many, many books on the subject-both scholarly and those that some would consider in the “fluff’ category. Why? Because this is your first foray into unknown waters. You should approach it with an open mind-ready to question and probe and ponder. I cannot overestimate how useful this first step will be. It can help you to formulate your own ideas about what this Path may mean to you.

Do not try to incorporate all that you read into one cohesive whole at the beginning. Look at whatever material that you are reading as a “theory” or “hypothesis” of Witchcraft. Some things will appeal to you right away. Others will seem “off the wall” or too fantastic to be of use. Accept or reject nothing at this stage; just keep on gathering information. You are doing “research”. The more you read, the more a “coming together” of certain aspects will begin to form within yourself. Then you will have a foundation from which you can take the next step.

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Part One-The INTEREST PHASE:

You saw a movie (which shall remain nameless!), you read a few books, you stumbled onto a website, you talked to someone who said that he/she was a Witch-and now you want to know more! You have an “interest” in the Craft.

Many seekers at this point rush into the nearest message board area and cry out, “Teach me everything you know!” The reaction of others to this plea may range from the semi-helpful, “Do more research” to the out and out rude, “Those Wannbees!”

Either one of these responses will probably will leave you feeling unsatisfied (If not hurt!) and discouraged. Why can’t you get the help that you are asking for? Well, perhaps you did not phrase your request in a way that would elicit the sort of assistance that you were really looking for.

Witchcraft is a Path with depth. It can not be summed up in “25 words or less”. You need to learn how to ask SPECIFIC questions. This is where your previous research comes in. An intelligent and thoughtful question about a specific topic will generate an intelligent and thoughtful answer or opinion in return. Cite your sources. “This author writes that this is the way to cast a circle, yet this other author states it this way. Can anyone give me their opinion or experience on this? Does it matter?”

Interest Phase Do’s and Don’ts…

DO… Read as many books on the subject as you can-on History, Myths, Poetry, Psychology and Science as well as books on Witchcraft or Magick.

DO… Make yourself a research library. Take notes or highlight passages that particularly interest you. If you have a question on what is written, place a question mark next to that passage. You should enjoy what you read at this stage-the enjoyment will actually help you to retain what you read better than struggling through dusty tomes on alchemy (unless you happen to love alchemy, that is!).

DO… start a journal. You can even call it a “Book of Shadows” if you want to. (It can just be a loose leaf notebook, These are handy for creating different sections.) Write down both the things that you have found to be of interest and the things that you would like to know more about.

DO… Look at Nature. Witchcraft and most other Pagan paths are called “earth or nature based” religions. What is Nature saying to you? Bring home rocks, sticks, leaves or other things you find that attract your attention. Now ask yourself-WHY did you bring that home? Write it down.

DO… get organized. Concentration is an important skill in Magic. Disciplining yourself to make regular entries into a journal and writing things down will help you to develop concentration.

DO… learn to ask SPECIFIC questions of other Witches or Pagans when you need help. And ask yourself some questions, too. “What do I think Witchcraft is? What do I find here that has meaning for me?”

DO… tell the truth. Can seasoned Witches tell if someone is “full of it”? Yes, they can and rather quickly, too! Be honest about what you know and what you don’t.

DO… spend time alone to think carefully about how you feel and what you want for yourself. Some people think at the onset that Witchcraft will allow them to change other people or circumstances. But YOU will be the one who changes as you explore this Path. Do you really WANT to change?

DON’T… take it too fast. You have not made any commitments yet. You are doing research into a subject that interests you on a personal level. Jumping into a group situation at this point may hinder your development more than help it. You need to find out where YOU are going before you hit the trail with someone else.

DON’T… get discouraged. Sometimes it is very difficult to “go it alone.” But the Craft is made up of individuals who bring something of value to the Path-as well as receive benefits from it. Many “old timers” have the “Grampa attitude”. You know, the “When I was your age, I had to walk three miles to school every day…in the snow…with no boots…carrying my little sister…and a load of firewood…” Well, in a way that is true. It WAS much harder to be a Witch only a few decades ago. So be forgiving if they are not ready to hand you all their hand gathered “firewood” on a silver platter….you may have to walk a mile or two by yourself….in the snow…with no boots…..

DON’T… ask about joining a terraspace coven just yet. A coven is a close knit group working together. It is a difficult process to create an effective magickal unit. Most covens are not actively looking for new members, as each time a new person is added to the group, it takes time for the unit to re-adjust. There are some cyberspace “covens” that readily accept new members. If you look on it as a “training exercise”, you could learn a few things. Ask around the Internet.

DON’T… be afraid because you are not part of a group. Many, many Witches find out after much trial and error that they actually PREFER to work alone. Traditionally the Witch WAS a loner…and many still are by choice. Often solitary Witches get together to talk and exchange information and then happily go back to their solitary practice. You CAN do a little bit of both.

Still “Interested”? Then you will probably want to go further into…

Part Two-The “EXPLORATORY PHASE”:

You have read quite a few books, taken tons of notes and written faithfully in your Book of Shadows or journal. You have found some resources on the Internet and may have even asked a Pagan a few of those pesky questions that have been bothering you lately. Now what?

This is where you begin to exercise your discretion a bit. As you start weeding out the things that you have decided are not for you and embracing what DOES feel right, you are also making decisions about what sort of group you may eventually be comfortable with. (And many seekers still feel at this point that they DO want to find a group.)

Does the whole circle casting with sword, smoking incense and flickering candles appeal to you? Or would you rather simply sit quietly and let your heart speak?

Are you more introverted than extroverted? All grand dreams of leading a large public ritual aside, do you feel comfortable right NOW speaking to large groups of people? Or do you prefer the company of a few close and intimate friends?

Do you like to mull things over before making a decision? Or are you spontaneous and always dashing off to go rock climbing or roller blading?

Asking yourself these and similar questions will help you to make decisions. What are the reasons that you would want to be part of a coven or group-and what sort of group may that be?

You may also begin visualization techniques at this time. You begin to see yourself in the tales of mythic heroes and heroines. You may visualize actually doing the rituals and circles that you have read about. You imagine what it may be like to be a member of a coven-laughing as you all run through the woods on your way to the bonfire. How do these images and scenarios make you feel? Be honest. No one is looking over your shoulder at this point.

Most importantly, how comfortable are YOU with this Path that you are researching? Does it fit who you are? Not who you would like to be…not who you would like others to think that you are…but you as you are right now. Think about this a lot. It will save you much disillusionment in the future.

You may begin to collect a tool or two or think about setting up an altar area. You start buying lots and lots of candles and incense. You browse the herb shops and look through catalogs for magickal items. You may even buy some things. You are beginning to actually make some outward decisions about what you feel inside. You are “exploring” new possibilities.

Explorer Phase Do’s and Don’ts…

DO… Continue to read, study and record notes in your journal or Book. Why did you choose this athame over that wand? Why do you prefer sandalwood to jasmine? Should you hide your altar when Granny comes to visit?

DO… Begin to think about which Way appeals to you…Celtic? Egyptian? Druid? Can’t decide? Maybe you are the Eclectic type?

DO… Understand that you will be challenged as you begin to speak and interact with other Pagans. It’s our hobby. And it makes you think about what you say you believe in. It will tell you a lot about your commitment to the Path that you have chosen for yourself.

DO… Keep a sense of humor. It puts things into perspective. You will be laughing at yourself for a lifetime as you look back on your early days. We all do. We were just learning when we began and we weren’t always very good in our first attempts. (I’m laughing right now just thinking about the first time I cast a circle by myself!) But we did learn and you will, too. And since we all are continuing to learn each day, you will never run out of things to laugh about!

DO… “Talk little and listen much”. Lurk around the chat rooms. Peek in on a cybercircle. Check out your local area for open circles or workshops. Keep your eyes and ears open…opportunities for learning are everywhere.

DO… Continue to ask SPECIFIC questions. It is easier now that you have some real information under your belt, isn’t it? Instead of a broad-based “I dunno anything about this!”, you can ask “Well, what about THIS?” At last those answers are beginning to make some sense!

DO… begin thinking about Deities and ritual structure. Who of the Old Ones speaks to you? What sort of relationship would you have with the Deity of your choice-or the One who has chosen YOU?! What are the symbols associated with these Deities? Learn Their stories.

DON’T… Get ahead of yourself. All worthwhile lessons take time to become integrated into your spirit. The mind is usually the last to know! That is because your subconscious is learning through dreams and visions and symbols while your conscious mind is still struggling with the words. Continue to spend time alone to allow all your new feelings and thoughts to become clear. Take a walk and enjoy your life!

DON’T… Put all your spiritual eggs into one basket. Even though you may have a favorite author, continue to read other viewpoints. Even though you may respect a Witch or Pagan, continue to listen to other voices. Read about the latest “conspiracy theory”. It may be ridiculous, but it does train the mind to be on the look out for alternatives. (However do know that if you are abducted by aliens, they didn’t hear about you from us!)

DON’T… Tell all that you know and don’t pretend to know about something that you don’t. Complete honesty may be difficult with other people, but it is essential to be honest with yourself. Lies waste energy.

DON’T… get frustrated because you STILL haven’t found out how to contact a coven. That will come later…if it is still what you want to do.

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About a year ago I decided that I wanted to create a website, just for fun. It would be based on something that was a huge part of my life and that many people misunderstood and/or looked down upon.

So I created www.EverydayWiccanWays.com It started slowly and eventually ended up being a one stop spot for everything Wicca. All of the information that you could possibly need I have been trying to pile into this one website. Including trying to do daily blogs, and even planning to start vlogs. Then one day I got to thinking about how much I would love my website to be my business. I thought more and more until I realized I could do something that no one else has. Monthly Subscription Boxes, solely for Wiccan’s and Pagan’s. Then I realized, anyone who was interested in the subject really could enjoy them. I searched for  another monthly box out there that was like the one I wanted to do, but there was not a single subscription box that covered Wiccan/Pagan supplies. I have so many who want to sign up for this and I want to be able to bring this gift to the world so you can all enjoy the benefit of having quality supplies delivered to your door every month.

What We Need & What You Get

We need start up money to fuel this dream. This money goes into bring a product and service to people across the world who can’t get to a store that sells what they need, or order online, but pay a lot for what they need. We need $3,000 to cover the ordering of the following products: Boxes, Tissue Paper to go in the boxes, Logo Labels, Mailing Labels, promotional ads, and of course (the most important to us) the products to go into the boxes!

We are offer three sizes of boxes at varying prices: The Maiden Box-  The Maiden signifies youth, the excitement of the chase, and the newness of life and magic. Our Maiden box is the smallest, but don’t let that fool you! This box includes 5 products with an over all value of up to $50!

The Mother stands for nurturing, caring, fertility; she is a woman in the prime of her life and at the peak of her power. This is the mid-way box which includes 7-11 products! This box values up to $100!

The Crone is a being of age-old wisdom. She is shrew and counsels well. Our largest box gets you 12-15 products every month! The ultimate package for any Wiccan! This box values up to $150!

The products that will be included in these boxes can and will be a mixture of any of the following items: Tumbled or Rough gemstones/crystals, Herbs, Oils, Incense, Jewelry, Simple Spells, Recipes, Fun Facts and Information, Bath and Beauty Products, Candles, Teas, Rune Stones, Pendulums, and Occasionally Tarot Cards or Oracle Cards. More will be added as we go and we are open to suggestions on what people would love to see in the boxes.

The Impact

I believe this service will bring quality products to a scattered community across the world. There are so many who practice Wiccan or Pagan Beliefs. So many who have a hard time collecting supplies or fun and interesting things relating to Wicca. My goal is to try to bring together the magical community and to try to help further enlighten people on the topic and try to do away with all of the misconceptions formed about us.

Risks & Challenges

3 Challenges I’m certain we will face in trying to raise funds for this.

1. Is this for some sort of church or religious organization?: No. We do not try to force our beliefs on anyone and this is not to start any sort of church or organization. This is to start up a small business which provides a monthly box filled with goodies for everyday use and enjoyment.

2. Wiccans and Pagans are evil!: Hardly, humans all have evil in them, it is those who choose to act on those emotions that are truly evil. These comments or concerns will be met with respect and we hope that others can see that we are not here to force you into belief of something you do not believe in. So please, be respectful.

3. Why should I give you my money? What good will this business do for people?: To restate my comments above on this topic: I feel that this business will be bringing closer together a rather scattered and truthfully hidden and scared community of people, who are some of the kindest and most hopeful individuals I’ve ever met or spoken too. I feel that the prodcuts to be included are of great quality and will be truly useful to those many who are already interested.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you can’t donate, don’t worry! Your help is still valuable! Just share this campaign and help spread the word of what we are trying to bring to life for so many people! We are truly grateful for your help, however you choose to help!

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO CHECK OUT THE FULL CAMPAIGN AND ALL THE AWESOME PERKS AVAILABLE TO THOSE WHO DONATE!

(Please help up share this link and spread the word so that we can bring these amazing boxes to you!)

Our Indiegogo Campaign!

By clnow3088
Tarot-Illuminati-High-Priestess

Priests and Wicca

What is a Wiccan High Priest?

WICCAN HIGH PRIESTS

High Priests within the Wiccan faith have practiced and learned the basics of Wicca and will be specialists within at least one particular field. Second Degree High Priests and Priestesses will generally teach magical and religious rituals to members of the lower levels, and may also help to lead rites and ceremonies. Wiccan High Priests may also be ordained and can conduct legal weddings, baby naming ceremonies and funerals.

BECOMING A WICCAN HIGH PRIEST

Once you decide to practice Wicca, you will need to find a coven to gain training and education. It is normal practice for all training to take at least a year and a day, meaning you will not reach the status of Wiccan Initiate until you have mastered the basics of the faith. Your journey towards becoming a High Priest or Priestess will encompass completion of the First, Second and Third Degrees of training, knowledge and specialization.

ATTRIBUTES OF A GOOD HIGH PRIESTESS OR PRIEST IN WICCA

In Wicca, a good High Priestess or Priest will be extremely knowledgeable about the faith and will lead by example. You will need to have excellent magical knowledge and be able to lead the ceremonies and rituals in a professional manner. Within the ceremonial context, the High Priestess is considered to be the primary leader, as she is considered to be closer to the Goddess.

What is a Wiccan High Priestess?

CONFIGURATION OF THE COVEN

The high priestess is a job description inseparable from the existence of the Wiccan coven. In “A History of Witchcraft,” Jeffrey B. Russell writes about gatherings where Wiccans meet to cast a sacred circle, prepare an altar with gifts for the goddess, symbolic candles, a chalice to hold wine or water, a pentacle emblem and an athame or ritual knife. The objects are used in a ceremony to call on the power of the goddess to bestow blessings on the land, the coven and particular petitions of coven members. The organization of a traditional coven and the summoning of the goddess are the responsibilities of the high priestess.

ROLE OF THE HIGH PRIESTESS

The role of high priestess is not rigidly defined and varies, depending on tradition. Gardnerian Wiccans designate a high priestess as the leader of a coven and the chief celebrant of all rites. Newer branches of Wicca may have specialists who act as high priestess, depending on which rite is enacted. No one person takes on all roles. In the ceremony to draw down the moon, the high priestess stands in the center of the sacred circle and the goddess-as-moon is drawn into her so that she becomes the incarnation of the goddess. This is most likely to happen during a sabbat, a meeting on a great Wiccan feast such as Samhain or a solstice. The high priestess of a large, traditional coven may initiate secondary high priestesses for smaller regional covens. Many contemporary covens reject the concept of high priestess, preferring to regard each member as the priestess of her own religious progress.

SYMBOLISM OF HIGH PRIESTESS

Shared role or solitary responsibility, the position of high priestess is first a symbolic one. In the Tarot, the High Priestess guards the liminal realm between this world and the Otherworld of profound inner wisdom. The priestess embodies the attributes of intuition, creativity, dream knowledge and the divine feminine. She is an ecstatic, entranced character, connected to the deep stillness of the moon, the goddess, the inner world and all of nature. In the “Druid Craft Tarot,” by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, leaders of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Wiccan High Priestess is pictured with the athame and chalice for male and female energy, her Book of Shadows that contains all of her wisdom and sacred rites, and a pentacle, an ancient goddess symbol. She draws down the power and illumination of the moon and the goddess, as a high priestess does in Wiccan rites.

Role of a Wiccan Priest

BECOME A WICCAN PRIEST

Anybody with a sincere interest in the faith can become a Wiccan priest, however the training will take time; and you really need to find a practicing coven. Once you join a coven, you will need to study to become initiated which takes a minimum of one year and a day. After initiation your studies will lead you to First and Second Degree status in Wicca and finally to Third Degree status, which gives you formal recognition of High Priest or Priestess level.

ROLE OF PRIESTS

Once you have attained First Degree status within your coven you may call yourself a Wiccan priest, as you will be aware of basic theory in Wicca, be able to conduct some rituals on your own and be an active participant in coven ceremonies and rituals. When you reach Second Degree level, you may be able to class yourself as a High Priest or Priestess and lead some of the ceremonies, however, your official recognition as a High Priest generally occurs when you reach Third Degree status. Second Degree Wiccans often take a joint role in leading rituals and ceremonies and teach First Degree priests.

COVEN ROLE OF HIGH PRIEST AND PRIESTESS

Recognized High Priests and Priestesses within Wicca will generally have achieved Third Degree status and will lead the coven. If coven leadership is unavailable within their current group, they may branch off to create a coven of their own, which will involve the creation of an individual Book of Shadows (information, rituals and spells) that is relevant for their own coven. In the event of joint leadership of a coven by a High Priest and Priestess, the High Priestess takes the leadership role within rituals; as handmaid to “the Goddess” recognized by the coven.

WICCAN CLERGY

Wiccan priests or priestesses may wish to become ordained to the clergy. The Wiccan clergy perform religious ceremonies, legal marriages, funerals and baby blessings and are also available for personal counseling. Although the covens within Wicca are separate entities and are not subject to any centralized form of leadership, the religion is spiritually-based and conforms to a code of practice, known as the Wiccan Rede.

How to Become a Wiccan Priest

 
 

STEP 1

Contact a local Wiccan coven and apply to join. You will need to demonstrate interest and knowledge in the religion of Wicca and will undergo a period of training that traditionally lasts for one year and a day, prior to your initiation ceremony or acquisition of First Degree status. You will discover that training and initiation differs between covens, so select the group with which you feel most comfortable.

STEP 2

Practice all magical techniques and attend all major festivals and celebrations to qualify for Second Degree status in Wicca. Some of the techniques you will learn include working with crystals and gemstones, divination, healing, herbal magic, charms, astral projection and visualization. After at least a year and a day, you may qualify as a Second Degree Wicca practitioner in your coven.

STEP 3

Work and practice your specializations as much as possible for the following year and a day in order to qualify for Third Degree Wicca status and be ordained as a high priest or priestess. Specializations include teacher, healer, spell weaver or counselor. Study Wicca in depth to acquire deep-rooted foundations of knowledge and lore and work with other Wiccans to expand your abilities as a spiritual leader.

 
 
TIP
  • You can complete your Wiccan studies online, if you prefer.
  • Followers of Seax-Wica can initiate themselves into the role of priest or priestess, if they choose to practice their faith independently.
 
WARNING
  • Followers of Wicca practice magic according to an ethical code, teaching that magic may only be carried out in order to help people and if it does not harm others. However, once you begin to practice magical arts, you are responsible for your own actions and it may be easy to use and learn techniques that are more allied to the dark arts.
 
Ceremony for Becoming a Wiccan High Priestess

SACRED EDUCATION

Before becoming high priestess, a woman may spend a significant amount of time in training, either as a solitary practitioner, as a coven member, or as an apprentice. The responsibilities of the high priestess are to guide the coven, and to continue in her own education and spiritual development while doing so. Like a teacher of any subject, she must gain knowledge that she can pass on to her coven sisters, and like any other position of responsibility, she must develop skills to guide and manage the coven. Her sacred education may consist of reading, writing a grimoire or personal book of magic, working with teachers and guides, as well as personal and group spiritual practices.

THE COVEN

In “The Spiral Dance,” Starhawk describes a coven as the “Witch’s support group”. It is meant to be a place of safety where women practicing Wicca can learn, train, grow spiritually and commune with others who share their particular beliefs and a bond of trust. Covens come together in many different ways, often gathered together by a woman who has attained the status of high priestess, or a group of women may put a coven together and elect a high priestess. Generally, a ceremony of acknowledgment of the woman who will lead the group takes place when a decision is made to come together as a formal coven.

PREPARING FOR THE CEREMONY

Prior to the ceremony, a space is selected that may be considered sacred or special to the coven. Coven members may be selected to provide spiritual readings, and a mistress of ceremonies may be appointed to lead the group through the event. An altar is prepared, upon which representation of the five elements, earth, air, fire, water and spirit, are placed. Coven members may also choose to present the prospective high priestess with gifts or remembrances, which will also be placed on or near the alter. A scared path to the area may be erected. This could be as simple as a candle-lined walk way, or some type of constructed arch. An offering table may be placed nearby and used to place gifts to honor ancestors, gods and goddesses and spiritual beings. Prior to the ceremony, coven members may help the prospective high priestess dress in sacred garments.

THE INITIATION CEREMONY

Coven members enter the space to be used for the ceremony and a sacred fire is lit at its center. A circle is cast and deities and spiritual guides are called in. The prospective high priestess takes her place at the altar. Coven members may present her with readings, advice and encouragement. She may be asked to respond to a series of questions in regard to her knowledge, beliefs, practices and commitment to the coven. The prospective high priestess may have prepared messages for each coven member. She walks around the circle, delivering each message personally, receiving a kiss from each as acknowledgement. A communal cup of wine may also be shared around the circle. It is then traditional for a high priestess to receive a silver ring when appointed to lead a coven. By accepting the ring, the high priestess accepts responsibility for leadership of the coven. After the ceremony the circle is closed. Food and drink may then be shared with coven members and invited guests.

 
By clnow3088

42 Flowers You Can Eat!

The culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greek and Romans. Many cultures use flowers in their traditional cooking — think of squash blossoms in Italian food and rose petals in Indian food. Adding flowers to your food can be a nice way to add color, flavor and a little whimsy. Some are spicy, and some herbacious, while others are floral and fragrant. The range is surprising.

It’s not uncommon to see flower petals used in salads, teas, and as garnish for desserts, but they inspire creative uses as well — roll spicy ones (like chive blossoms) into handmade pasta dough, incorporate floral ones into homemade ice cream, pickle flower buds (like nasturtium) to make ersatz capers, use them to make a floral simple syrup for use in lemonade or cocktails. I once stuffed gladiolus following a recipe for stuffed squash blossoms — they were great. So many possibilities…

Eating Flowers Safely
So. As lovely as eating flowers can be, it can also be a little … deadly! Not to scare you off or anything. Follow these tips for eating flowers safely:

Eat flowers you know to be consumable — if you are uncertain, consult a reference book on edible flowers and plants.

Eat flowers you have grown yourself, or know to be safe for consumption. Flowers from the florist or nursery have probably been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.

Do not eat roadside flowers or those picked in public parks. Both may have been treated with pesticide or herbicide, and roadside flowers may be polluted by car exhaust.

Eat only the petals, and remove pistils and stamens before eating.

If you suffer from allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may exacerbate allergies.

To keep flowers fresh, place them on moist paper towels and refrigerate in an airtight container. Some will last up to 10 days this way. Ice water can revitalize limp flowers.

Allium to Carnations
1. Allium
All blossoms from the allium family (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) are edible and flavorful! Flavors run the gamut from delicate leek to robust garlic. Every part of these plants is edible.
2. Angelica
Depending on the variety, flowers range from pale lavender-blue to deep rose and have a licorice-like flavor.

3. Anise hyssop
Both flowers and leaves have a subtle anise or licorice flavor.

4. Arugula
Blossoms are small with dark centers and with a peppery flavor much like the leaves. They range in color from white to yellow with dark purple streaks.

5. Bachelor’s button
Grassy in flavor, the petals are edible. Avoid the bitter calyx.

6. Basil
Blossoms come in a variety of colors, from white to pink to lavender; flavor is similar to the leaves, but milder.

7. Bee balm
The red flowers have a minty flavor.

8. Borage
Blossoms are a lovely blue hue and taste like cucumber!

9. Calendula / marigold
A great flower for eating, calendula blossoms are peppery, tangy, and spicy — and their vibrant golden color adds dash to any dish.

10. Carnations / dianthus
Petals are sweet, once trimmed away from the base. The blossoms taste like their sweet, perfumed aroma.

11. Chamomile
Small and daisylike, the flowers have a sweet flavor and are often used in tea. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.

12. Chervil
Delicate blossoms and flavor, which is anise-tinged.

13. Chicory
Mildly bitter earthiness of chicory is evident in the petals and buds, which can be pickled.

14. Chrysanthemum
A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colors and a range of flavors range from peppery to pungent. Use only the petals.

15. Cilantro
Like the leaves, people either love the blossoms or hate them. The flowers share the grassy flavor of the herb. Use them fresh as they lose their charm when heated.

16. Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat)
Citrus blossoms are sweet and highly scented. Use frugally or they will over-perfume a dish.

17. Clover
Flowers are sweet with a hint of licorice.

18. Dandelion
Read more about dandelions here: Backyard Forage for Dandelions.

19. Dill
Yellow dill flowers taste much like the herb’s leaves.

20. English daisy
These aren’t the best-tasting petals — they are somewhat bitter — but they look great!

21. Fennel
Yellow fennel flowers are eye candy with a subtle licorice flavor, much like the herb itself.

22. Fuchsia
Tangy fuchsia flowers make a beautiful garnish.

23. Gladiolus
Who knew? Although gladioli are bland, they can be stuffed, or their petals removed for an interesting salad garnish.

24. Hibiscus
Famously used in hibiscus tea, the vibrant cranberry flavor is tart and can be used sparingly.

25. Hollyhock
Bland and vegetal in flavor, hollyhock blossoms make a showy, edible garnish.

26. Impatiens
Flowers don’t have much flavor — best as a pretty garnish or for candying.

27. Jasmine
These super-fragrant blooms are used in tea; you can also use them in sweet dishes, but sparingly.

28. Johnny Jump-Up
Adorable and delicious, the flowers have a subtle mint flavor great for salads, pastas, fruit dishes and drinks.

29. Lavender
Sweet, spicy, and perfumed, the flowers are a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes.

30. Lemon berbena
The diminutive off-white blossoms are redolent of lemon — and great for teas and desserts.

31. Lilac
The blooms are pungent, but the floral citrusy aroma translates to its flavor as well.

32. Mint
The flowers are — surprise! — minty. Their intensity varies among varieties.

33. Nasturtium
One of the most popular edible flowers, nasturtium blossoms are brilliantly colored with a sweet, floral flavor bursting with a spicy pepper finish. When the flowers go to seed, the seed pod is a marvel of sweet and spicy. You can stuff flowers, add leaves to salads, pickle buds like capers, and garnish to your heart’s content.

34. Oregano
The flowers are a pretty, subtle version of the leaf.

35. Pansy
The petals are somewhat nondescript, but if you eat the whole flower you get more taste.

36. Radish
Varying in color, radish flowers have a distinctive, peppery bite.

37. Rose
Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced in darker varieties.

38. Rosemary
Flowers taste like a milder version of the herb; nice used as a garnish on dishes that incorporate rosemary.

39. Sage
Blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves.

40. Squash and pumpkin
Blossoms from both are wonderful vehicles for stuffing, each having a slight squash flavor. Remove stamens before using.

41. Sunflower
Petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an artichoke.

11. Chamomile
Small and daisylike, the flowers have a sweet flavor and are often used in tea. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.

12. Chervil
Delicate blossoms and flavor, which is anise-tinged.

13. Chicory
Mildly bitter earthiness of chicory is evident in the petals and buds, which can be pickled.

14. Chrysanthemum
A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colors and a range of flavors range from peppery to pungent. Use only the petals.

15. Cilantro
Like the leaves, people either love the blossoms or hate them. The flowers share the grassy flavor of the herb. Use them fresh as they lose their charm when heated.

16. Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat)
Citrus blossoms are sweet and highly scented. Use frugally or they will over-perfume a dish.

17. Clover
Flowers are sweet with a hint of licorice.

18. Dandelion
Read more about dandelions here: Backyard Forage for Dandelions.

19. Dill
Yellow dill flowers taste much like the herb’s leaves.

20. English daisy
These aren’t the best-tasting petals — they are somewhat bitter — but they look great!

21. Fennel
Yellow fennel flowers are eye candy with a subtle licorice flavor, much like the herb itself.

22. Fuchsia
Tangy fuchsia flowers make a beautiful garnish.

23. Gladiolus
Who knew? Although gladioli are bland, they can be stuffed, or their petals removed for an interesting salad garnish.

24. Hibiscus
Famously used in hibiscus tea, the vibrant cranberry flavor is tart and can be used sparingly.

25. Hollyhock
Bland and vegetal in flavor, hollyhock blossoms make a showy, edible garnish.

26. Impatiens
Flowers don’t have much flavor — best as a pretty garnish or for candying.

27. Jasmine
These super-fragrant blooms are used in tea; you can also use them in sweet dishes, but sparingly.

28. Johnny Jump-Up
Adorable and delicious, the flowers have a subtle mint flavor great for salads, pastas, fruit dishes and drinks.

29. Lavender
Sweet, spicy, and perfumed, the flowers are a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes.

30. Lemon berbena
The diminutive off-white blossoms are redolent of lemon — and great for teas and desserts.

31. Lilac
The blooms are pungent, but the floral citrusy aroma translates to its flavor as well.

32. Mint
The flowers are — surprise! — minty. Their intensity varies among varieties.

33. Nasturtium
One of the most popular edible flowers, nasturtium blossoms are brilliantly colored with a sweet, floral flavor bursting with a spicy pepper finish. When the flowers go to seed, the seed pod is a marvel of sweet and spicy. You can stuff flowers, add leaves to salads, pickle buds like capers, and garnish to your heart’s content.

34. Oregano
The flowers are a pretty, subtle version of the leaf.

35. Pansy
The petals are somewhat nondescript, but if you eat the whole flower you get more taste.

36. Radish
Varying in color, radish flowers have a distinctive, peppery bite.

37. Rose
Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced in darker varieties.

38. Rosemary
Flowers taste like a milder version of the herb; nice used as a garnish on dishes that incorporate rosemary.

39. Sage
Blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves.

40. Squash and pumpkin
Blossoms from both are wonderful vehicles for stuffing, each having a slight squash flavor. Remove stamens before using.

41. Sunflower
Petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an artichoke.

42. Violets
Another famous edible flower, violets are floral, sweet and beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts and drinks.

30 Traits of an Empath

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Empaths are often quiet achievers. They can take a while to handle a compliment for they’re more inclined to point out another’s positive attributes. They are highly expressive in all areas of emotional connection, and talk openly, and, at times quite frankly. They may have few problems talking about their feelings if another cares to listen (regardless of how much they listen to others).

However, they can be the exact opposite: reclusive and apparently unresponsive at the best of times. They may even appear ignorant. Some are very good at “blocking out” others and that’s not always a bad thing, at least for the learning empath struggling with a barrage of emotions from others, as well as their own feelings.

Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them. This can cause empaths to ignore their own needs. In general an empath is non-violent, non-aggressive and leans more towards being the peacemaker. Any area filled with disharmony creates an uncomfortable feeling in an empath. If they find themselves in the middle of a confrontation, they will endeavor to settle the situation as quickly as possible, if not avoid it all together. If any harsh words are expressed in defending themselves, they will likely resent their lack of self-control, and have a preference to peacefully resolve the problem quickly.

Empaths are more inclined to pick up another’s feelings and project it back without realizing its origin in the first place. Talking things out is a major factor in releasing emotions in the learning empath. Empaths can develop an even stronger degree of understanding so that they can find peace in most situations. The downside is that empaths may bottle up emotions and build barriers sky-high so as to not let others know of their innermost thoughts and/or feelings. This withholding of emotional expression can be a direct result of a traumatic experience, an expressionless upbringing, or simply being told as a child, “Children are meant to be seen and not heard!”

Without a doubt, this emotional withholding can be detrimental to one’s health, for the longer one’s thoughts and/or emotions aren’t released, the more power they build. The thoughts and/or emotions can eventually becoming explosive, if not crippling. The need to express oneself honestly is a form of healing and a choice open to all. To not do so can result in a breakdown of the person and result in mental/emotional instability or the creation of a physical ailment, illness or disease.

Empaths are sensitive to TV, videos, movies, news and broadcasts. Violence or emotional dramas depicting shocking scenes of physical or emotional pain inflicted on adults, children or animals can bring an empath easily to tears. At times, they may feel physically ill or choke back the tears. Some empaths will struggle to comprehend any such cruelty, and may have grave difficulty in expressing themselves in the face of another’s ignorance, closed-mindedness and obvious lack of compassion. They simply cannot justify the suffering they feel and see.

You will find empaths working with people, animals or nature with a true passion and dedication to help them. They are often tireless teachers and/or caretakers for our environment and all within it. Many volunteers are empathic and give up personal time to help others without pay and/or recognition.

Empaths may be excellent storytellers due to an endless imagination, inquisitive minds and ever-expanding knowledge. They can be old romantics at heart and very gentle. They may also be the “keepers” of ancestral knowledge and family history. If not the obvious family historians, they may be the ones who listen to the stories passed down and possess the majority of the family history. Not surprisingly, they may have started or possess a family tree.

They have a broad interest in music to suit their many expressive temperaments, and others can query how empaths can listen to one style of music, and within minutes, change to something entirely different. Lyrics within a song can have adverse, powerful effects on empaths, especially if it is relevant to a recent experience. In these moments, it is advisable for empaths to listen to music without lyrics, to avoid playing havoc with their emotions!

They are just as expressive with body language as with words, thoughts, and feelings. Their creativity is often expressed through dance, acting, and bodily movements. Empaths can project an incredible amount of energy portraying and/or releasing emotion. Empaths can become lost in the music, to the point of being in a trance-like state; they become one with the music through the expression of their physical bodies. They describe this feeling as a time when all else around them is almost non-existent.

People of all walks of life and animals are attracted to the warmth and genuine compassion of empaths. Regardless of whether others are aware of one being empathic, people are drawn to them as a metal object is to a magnet!

Even complete strangers find it easy to talk to empaths about the most personal things, and before they know it, they have poured out their hearts and souls without intending to do so consciously. It is as though on a sub-conscious level that person knows instinctively that empaths would listen with compassionate understanding. Then again, for empaths, it is always nice to actually be heard themselves!

Here are the listeners of life. They can be outgoing, bubbly, enthusiastic and a joy to be in the presence of, as well as highly humorous at the most unusual moments! On the flip side, empaths can be weighted with mood swings that will have others around them want to jump overboard and abandon ship! The thoughts and feelings empaths receive from any and all in their life can be so overwhelming (if not understood) that their moods can fluctuate with lightning speed. One moment they may be delightfully happy and with a flick of the switch, miserable.

Abandoning an empath in the throes of alternating moods can create detrimental effects. A simple return of empathic love–listening and caring compassionately without bias, judgment and/or condemnation–can go an incredibly long way to an empath’s instant recovery. Many empaths don’t understand what is occurring within them. They literally have no idea that another person’s emotions are now felt, as one’s own and reflected outwardly. They are confused as to how one moment all was well, and then the next, they feel so depressed, alone, etc. The need to understand the possibilities of empath connection is a vital part of the empaths journey for themselves and for those around them.

Empaths are often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things. As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer. They often will search until they find one – if only for peace of mind. This can certainly prove beneficial for others in their relationships, in the workplace, or on the home front. Where there is a will, there is a way and the empath will find it. The empath can literally (likely without the knowledge of what’s actually occurring) tap into Universal Knowledge and be receptive to guidance in solving anything they put their head and hearts into.

Empaths often are vivid and/or lucid dreamers. They can dream in detail and are inquisitive of dream content. Often they feel as though the dreams are linked to their physical life somehow, and not just a mumble of nonsensical, irrelevant, meaningless images. This curiosity will lead many empathic dreamers to unravel some of the “mysterious” dream contents from an early age and connect the interpretation to its relevance in their physical life. If not, they may be led to dream interpretations through other means.

Empaths are daydreamers with difficulty keeping focused on the mundane. If life isn’t stimulating, off an empath will go into a detached state of mind. They will go somewhere, anywhere, in a thought that appears detached from the physical reality, yet is alive and active for they really are off and away. If a tutor is lecturing with little to no emotional input, empaths will not be receptive to such teaching and can (unintentionally) drift into a state of daydreaming.

Give the empath student the tutor who speaks with stimuli and emotion (through actual experience of any given subject) and the empath is receptively alert. Empaths are a captivated audience. This same principle applies in acting. An actor will either captivate the audience through expressing (in all aspects) emotions (as though they really did experience the role they are portraying) or will loose them entirely. Empaths make outstanding actors.

Empaths frequently experience déjà vu and synchronicities. What may initially start as, “Oh, what a coincidence”, will lead to the understanding of synchronicities as an aspect of who they are. These synchronicities will become a welcomed and continually expanding occurrence. As an understanding of self grows, the synchronicities become more fluent and free flowing. The synchronicities can promote a feeling of euphoria as empaths identify with them and appreciate the connection to their empathic nature.

Empaths are most likely to have had varying paranormal experiences throughout their lives. NDE’s (Near death experiences) and or OBE’s (Out of body experiences) can catapult an unaware empath into the awakening period and provide the momentum for a journey of discovery. Those who get caught up in life, in society’s often dictating ways, in work etc., can become lost in a mechanical way of living that provides very little meaning. All “signs of guidance” are ignored to shift out of this state of “doing”. A path to being whole again becomes evident and a search for more meaning in one’s life begins.

These types of experiences appear dramatic, can be life-altering indeed, and are most assuredly just as intensely memorable in years to come. They are the voice of guidance encouraging us to pursue our journey in awareness. Sometimes, some of us require that extra assistance!

For some empaths, the lack of outside understanding towards paranormal events they experience, may lead to suppressing such abilities. (Most of these abilities are very natural and not a coincidence.) Empaths may unknowingly adopt the positive or negative attitude of others as their own. (This, however, can be overcome.) Empaths may need to follow interests in the paranormal and the unexplained with curiosity so as to explain and accept their life circumstances.

30 Traits of an Empath

1. Knowing: Empaths just know stuff, without being told. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing. The more attuned they are the stronger this gift becomes.

2. Being in public places can be overwhelming: Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums where there are lots of people around can fill the empath with turbulently vexed emotions that are coming from others.

3. Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own: This is a huge one for empaths. To some they will feel emotions off those near by and with others they will feel emotions from those a vast distance away, or both. The more adept empath will know if someone is having bad thoughts about them, even from great distance.

4. Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable: The more attuned an empath becomes the worse it is and may make it so they eventually have to stop watching TV and reading newspapers altogether.

5. You know when someone is not being honest: If a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many empaths try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know.

6. Picking up physical symptoms off another: An empath will almost always develop the ailments off another (colds, eye infections, body aches and pains) especially those they’re closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains.

7. Digestive disorders and lower back problems: The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it’s known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel the incoming emotion of another, which can weaken the area and eventually lead to anything from stomach ulcers to IBS (too many other conditions to list here). Lower back problems can develop from being ungrounded (amongst other things) and one, who has no knowledge of them being an empath, will almost always be ungrounded.

8. Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an empath’s attention and compassion.

9. Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own.

10. Constant fatigue: Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much from others, which even sleep will not cure. Many get diagnosed with ME.

11. Addictive personality: Alcohol, drugs, sex, are to name but a few addictions that empaths turn to, to block out the emotions of others. It is a form of self protection in order to hide from someone or something.

12. Drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all things metaphysical: Although many empaths would love to heal others they can end up turning away from being healers (even though they have a natural ability for it), after they’ve studied and qualified, because they take on too much from the one they are trying to heal. Especially if they are unaware of their empathy. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to empaths and they don’t surprise or get shocked easily. Even at the revelation of what many others would consider unthinkable, for example, empaths would have known the world was round when others believed it was flat.

13. Creative: From singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination.

14. Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for empaths and pets are an essential part of their life.

15. Need for solitude: An empath will go stir-crazy if they don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empathic children.

16. Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated: Work, school and home life has to be kept interesting for an empath or they switch off from it and end up daydreaming or doodling.

17. Finds it impossible to do things they don’t enjoy: As above. Feels like they are living a lie by doing so. To force an empath to do something they dislike through guilt or labelling them as idle will only serve in making them unhappy. It’s for this reason many empaths get labelled as being lazy.

18. Strives for the truth: This becomes more prevalent when an empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels plain wrong.

19. Always looking for the answers and knowledge: To have unanswered questions can be frustrating for an empath and they will endeavour to find an explanation. If they have a knowing about something they will look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload.

20. Likes adventure, freedom and travel: Empaths are free spirits.

21. Abhors clutter: It makes an empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy.

22. Loves to daydream: An empath can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy.

23. Finds routine, rules or control, imprisoning: Anything that takes away their freedom is debilitating to an empath even poisoning.

24. Prone to carry weight without necessarily overeating: The excess weight is a form of protection to stop the negative incoming energies having as much impact.

25. Excellent listener: An empath won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care.

26. Intolerance to narcissism: Although kind and often very tolerant of others, empaths do not like to be around overly egotistical people, who put themselves first and refuse to consider another’s feelings or points of view other than their own.

27. The ability to feel the days of the week: An empath will get the ‘Friday Feeling’ if they work Fridays or not. They pick up on how the collective are feeling. The first couple of days of a long, bank holiday weekend (Easter for example) can feel, to them, like the world is smiling, calm and relaxed. Sunday evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, of a working week, have a very heavy feeling.

28. Will not choose to buy antiques, vintage or second-hand: Anything that’s been pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. An empath will even prefer to have a brand new car or house (if they are in the financial situation to do so) with no residual energy.

29. Sense the energy of food: Many empaths don’t like to eat meat or poultry because they can feel the vibrations of the animal (especially if the animal suffered), even if they like the taste.

30. Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.

If you can say yes to most or all of the above then you are most definitely an empath.

Empaths are having a particularly difficult time at the present time, picking up on all the negative emotions that are being emantated into the world from the populace.

Tarot Card of the Day

Today’s card is…

The Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune

GENERAL MEANING: The central theme of what is traditionally called the Wheel of Fortune card is cyclical change. The Wheel keeps on rolling, churning events in a ceaseless progression of ups and downs, either way freeing us from the past. No one can escape its cyclical action, which can feel somewhat terrifying — no matter whether we are rising or falling. When one is balanced on top there is a moment of crystal clarity, but the only part of the Wheel not going up and down is the hub, which is your eternal Self, the Source of Freedom.

Every one of us will occupy all the points on the wheel at some time or another. The cycle of the wheel is its lesson — and we can learn to take comfort in it (as we do when we celebrate our birthday). If you don’t like the look of things right now, just wait — things will change. Of course, if you do like the look of things right now, enjoy it while it lasts, because that will change too!

Tarot Card of the Day

The Emperor!

The Emperor

GENERAL MEANING: In the most practical terms, what has traditionally been called the Emperor card represents the highest leadership, a head of state or the most exemplary and powerful person in the realm. This archetypal ruler is responsible for the positive working out of affairs of a society or community, which are directly proportional to his well being and happiness.

The more enlightenment and cosmic perspective this energy brings, the better life is for all. The Emperor archetype masters the world of matter and physical manifestation. When you apply this card to your situation, acknowledge your potentials for mastery. Reinforce a sense of sovereignty within yourself, despite any self-limiting beliefs, habits or appearances to the contrary.