Showing posts with label Wicca. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wicca. Show all posts

Sunday, June 14, 2020

SCOTTISH SORCERY - Witchcraft in Scotland

Persecution of witches
Persecution of witches (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When you think "witch", what comes to mind? A wart faced old woman in a black dress with a broom? Actually, all it took was a birthmark or freckle, or singing and dancing outside, or simply someone's accusation that could have you executed as a witch.

Although there have been stories of witchcraft since the beginning of time, persecutions didn't begin until the 1500s. The Witchcraft Act of 1563 made it illegal for anyone to be or consort with a witch. The first major persecution, the North Berwick Trials, began in 1590 with King James I and VI. Returning from Denmark with his new bride, a powerful tempest almost killed them. The King believed witchcraft was the cause of the storm and had nearly 100 people arrested. Many were tortured and burnt alive.

The Forfar Witch Hunt of 1661 and the Auldearn Trials of 1662 were prolonged by accusations made by "witches" in order to save themselves. At the Aberdeen Trials, 7 women were accused of using magic to murder others and using body parts from the victims to create potions. The Pittenween Trials of 1704 were based on the word of a 16-year-old boy. Each of the accused was tortured. One was even crushed to death under large stones. It was later discovered that the boy had made it all up.

The Renfrewshire Trials of 1695 began when 11-year-old Christian Shaw caught a housemaid drinking forbidden milk and threatened to tell her mother. The housemaid told the girl that the devil would take her to hell. Christian began having fits and visions, claiming that the maid was torturing her. She vomited up feathers, hay, wax, stones, even hot coal. There were accounts of her floating around the room and moving things without touching them. She also accused several others of witchcraft. Over 20 men, women, and children were imprisoned and examined by "witch prickers".

Several children and one minister were found dead on the morning of the trials. Fourteen of the charges were found not guilty. The remainder were hanged and burned. Christian was cured after the executions.

The Witchcraft Act was abandoned in 1736. It is estimated that over 4000 people were executed as witches in Scotland alone. Only 4 "witches" are recorded as being executed in Ireland, and only 3 in Wales. So for those of you with freckles or birthmarks (like myself), be thankful that things have changed!!

Books about Witchcraft and Sorcery at AMAZON

Friday, May 8, 2020

Unfolding The Mystery Of BLACK MAGIC

Magic is defined as a supposed natural prowess of making the impossible seem possible. It can give a person the power to control someone else.

In ancient times, a person who possessed the skills to perform magic tricks also used it for healing purposes. It was also used to keep away bad spirits, to seek the truth when injustice occurs, and lastly, used to seek revenge.

'In Black and White'

There are several types of magic but basically, it is subdivided into two categories: black and white magic.

You have seen a lot of movies that depict the good triumphing over evil. This is the same scenario between white and black magic.

White magic is done or performed on the "good" side. It is supposed to be used for the greater good and kindly or harmless methods are employed with this type of magic.

Black magic, on the other hand, is immediately associated with evil purposes. It is said that the evil spirits are called upon when a magician performs black magic.

'Sorcery and Witchcraft'

Because of the shady or not-so-good reputation of black magic, it is often referred to as sorcery. It is also known as witchcraft, though most of the individuals practicing black magic are actually harmless and they do not have evil intentions.

'Modern Black Magic'

Nowadays, supposedly there are several procedures and skills that one can learn through the art of black magic.

1. predicting the past and seeing the future through fortune-telling

2. searching for a person's innermost secrets through divination

3. casting a spell on a person by invocations

4. seeking revenge for an enemy through curses

5. having a spirit appear through evocations

6. creating procedures to sharpen one's wit and further enhance concentration

7. using black magic to heal diseases and end ailments

8. ceremonies and seals to call, evoke, command, or reward spirits

Modern witchcraft or black magic has a major misconception of being performed for evil purposes.

By learning about the history and development of black magic from the ancient era to modern times, one will eventually see that it is not something to be afraid of.

Believing in magic can leave you with a sense of wonder about the intricacies of black magic or modern witchcraft and finally put an end the ancient misconception that it is no different from Satanism.

Modern black magic actually teaches about the love of nature and harmony between opposite genders and love of nature and one's self.

At the same time, it still leaves us wondering about ceremonials, spells, and curses, which make us further appreciate the mysteries of the art of magic.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Benefits of GEMSTONE SPHERES in Your Wiccan Supplies

Part of the raw material a lapidary may use. T...
Part of the raw material a lapidary may use. These are tumble-polished gemstones. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Using gemstone spheres and adding them to your Wiccan supplies can be incredibly beneficial for many reasons.

Gemstones, in general, have much different healing, protection, attraction, and purification based properties that by themselves can be quite potent. When added to your rituals and spells these effects can be two-fold.

The benefit of gemstone spheres, however, is that they are good sized orbs and the energy concentrated within them is amplified. Being circular, gemstone spheres also make excellent tools for diving and divination purposes which will be discussed below.

Gemstone Spheres for Healing Purposes:

Gemstone spheres can have remarkable healing powers. Depending on the type of gemstone you have or want to get, they all have their own innate abilities that can enhance your own power.

Whether you are looking for healing emotional, mental, or even physical ailments, gemstone spheres can be used to help these issues.

A good way to use a gemstone sphere would be to take the stone and gently roll it around your body slowly going from head to toe. Focus on your forehead, chest, and stomach in particular, but by performing this slow rolling motion will have the gemstone sphere's energies go into and through your whole body.

This can be done as a prelude to a ritual, during a ritual, after a ritual, or all three depending on what you are comfortable with.

For example, if you were to perform a ritual to heal or purge negativity within and around you, a good stone for this would be the quartz gemstone sphere as quartz is incredibly powerful in eliminating negativity. You would take the quartz gemstone sphere and before you perform your ritual, roll it slowly over your body(ensure it makes direct contact with your skin) and say a prayer as you do so:
"Negativity within, you will leave 
You have no more power over me 
With this stone I purge you away 
In my body you will no longer stay"
The above is just an example you may use, you can create your own if you wish, whatever is comfortable.

Using the gemstone spheres in such a manner is also very soothing and calming. Another idea would be to use them as a massaging tool as well. If you normally perform massages for friends or lovers, you can have them lay on their stomach and you can take your gemstone sphere and gently roll it up and down their neck, back, and legs which will guarantee an even more pleasant massage.

If you or someone you know is suffering from illness such as a cold, flu, or even something more severe, you can take your gemstone sphere and use its energies for this as well. Again, rolling the stone over the body is best, you can even have the person who is inflicted with the illness hold the stone as you perform a prayer or ritual for them. With them holding the gemstone sphere directly, they will be able to draw in the stone's energies directly. One gemstone sphere that is excellent for ailments such as detoxify the liver, lowering blood pressure, fever reduction, speeding up recovery from burns, and can alleviate cramps is the Chrysocolla gemstone.

Divination Uses For Gemstone Spheres:

Gemstone spheres make excellent compliments to your crystal ball, scrying mirror, or pendulum if you use divination.

Many gemstone spheres have the ability to enhance your abilities as you are crying and diving, so having a gemstone located right next to your crystal ball or scrying mirror can be very beneficial. One such gemstone sphere that promotes psychic awareness, enhances mental powers and increases strength is Black Amethyst.

As noted, these gemstones can also be used for specific rituals and spells as well, being used as a sole tool or as a compliment tool. If you are performing a ritual for prosperity and to gain more wealth, you can use a Malachite Gemstone Sphere which promotes prosperity, wealth, better business, and to protect the money you already have.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Witches, Wiccans, Warlocks and WITCHCRAFT

Witchcraft symbol
Witchcraft Symbol - Photo  by   quinet
Witchcraft and its origins can be traced back as far as 2000BC in Ancient Egypt and Babylonia were in existing records of the code of Hammurabi it says

If a man has put a spell upon another man and has not justified himself, he upon whom the spell is laid shall go to the holy river.

Persons who engage in witchcraft and who are male are called wizard, sorcerer and sometimes a warlock if they indulge in black magic. Females who indulge in witchcraft are called Wiccan or witches.

Witches are thought to worship the devil. They are portrayed to cast spells and use supernatural forces to cause havoc within the community.

In Britain during the late medieval / Early modern period, many women were killed during witch-hunts. They were accused of being witches and would be strapped to a dunking stool, and submerged in the local river or lake. If the woman dies, she was then proved not to be a witch. If she survived, it proved her guilt and she would be burned at the stake alive.

Of course, most of the alleged witches were, in fact, destitute old women with no family. They plagued the communities begging door to door for food and milk. They would often curse the households who wouldn't give them any food, to make them more generous when she next visited. But of course, this gave the local folk cause to try the old women for witchcraft.

The Wiccans, on the other hand, were herbalists of their time. They used plants to cure people and animals. However, the Wiccan was misunderstood and would often be accused of being a dark witch when patients under their care worsened or died. Sometimes they were also called witches when they healed the very sick.

The spell casting evilness traits of witches have always been used to scare young children, just look at the classic children's fairy tales. In Snowhite the wicked witch tries to kill her stepdaughter. She uses a spell to put Snowhite in a death like sleep. In the story of Hansel and Gretel, the evil witch likes to eat children. The mysteriousness of witches lends itself to creating chilling stories, and not just for children but adults too in the case of the Blare Witch Project.

Our fascination for witches and witchcraft is highlighted each Halloween when many people like to dress up as witches. Luckily they no longer try witches on dunking stools. But curiously, 'witches' do still go begging for food door to door 'Trick or Treating'.

    S. Roberts is a ghost hunter and medium extraordinaire. 
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Friday, September 28, 2018

Is HALLOWEEN a Satanic Ritual? Pre-Historic Celts - Halloween and Samhain

Samain - Photo  by Feans 
Halloween's Ancient Origins
How many of us really know the meaning behind Halloween? Most of us enjoy Halloween, that is with the exception of a few Religious Zealots who believe that it's devilish, and perhaps also a few overly concerned mothers. Halloween has been celebrated differently, at different times and different places. Its lore is nearly as diverse as the costumes that you see parading around on Halloween night. But Halloween has always been a bit of a mystery and filled with contrariness and revelry, a necessary release of social tension.

Halloween is so much fun, that we almost forget it's a holiday (Holy-Day). At least the Christian Evangelists have, who claim that it is evil and demonic. The founder of the Christian Coalition, Reverend Pat Robertson even went so far as to call it a 'satanic ritual' and did his utmost to have it banned in 1982. He completely ignored the fact that Halloween is most definitely a Christian Holiday and one of the most important ones at that.

It has been celebrated by the Christian Church for over fourteen hundred years and is one of the six holy days of observance when high mass is held. Sunday is also one of the six holy days of observance!

You probably know that Halloween is the 'All Saints Day' of the Christian world. Correspondingly, the following day of November 2nd is 'All Souls Day'. This juxtaposition of days is meant to ensure that the Heavenly Saints will look after the souls of the dearly departed. Halloween or 'Hallowtide', as it was once known, was not always observed on the 1st of November, but a much older festival was.
Halloween inherited some of its supernatural flavor, and the tradition of bonfires from this ancient festival but surprisingly little else. Most of the customs we celebrate today, such as wearing costumes and trick-or-treating, originated in Medieval times.

Halloween and the Pre-historic Celts
Imagine what it would be like if you could travel back in time, to a time long before Halloween was celebrated on the cobbled streets of Medieval Europe. Our time machine may not be able to transport you bodily, but it will transport your mind back in time, to explore the ancient festival that Halloween eventually replaced.

It is into the prehistoric world of the Celtic tribes that our journey will take us, and this is where it gets a little tricky because the Celts didn't use writing. Julius Caesar tells us that, 'They consider it improper to entrust their studies to writing'. The myths, history, and tradition of the Celts, were orally recounted and passed on by the Druidic bards, who sang their sagas at festive gatherings.

"These sagas were part of a long vernacular tradition that was written down centuries later, probably in corrupted and abbreviated form. These stories should be read as clues to the mystery of ancient lore and to the art of storytelling, rather than as straightforward evidence of social practice."1

The Celtic tribes were the fiercest enemies of Rome and sacked it on four occasions. Yet, much of what we know about the Celtic culture was written by the Romans. What do you think your enemies would write about you? What the Roman's did write, was generally filled with horrifying tales and pernicious propaganda. As exemplified by the Hollywood film, Wicker Man, which was loosely based on Roman accounts of the Celtic celebration of Halloween, their Samhain.

The most reliable source for us to understand the mysterious culture of the Celts is by way of their stone age monuments and gold and silver artifacts. Even with our time machine, it is a seemingly impossible task to date the line that divides pre-historic Europe from Celtic Europe, or indeed to tell if such a line even exists. All that we can know with any surety is that the obscure origins of the Celtic tribes lay somewhere between 34,000 years ago, the age of Ireland's old mound of New Grange, and 3300 BC, marking the first construction of Stonehenge.

From Julius Caesar, we also learn that the Celts were divided into aristocratic tribes. They lived in circular houses and formed cozy communities ruled by a king like chieftains. We also know that their legendary festivals were held in huge rectangular halls. Some people believe that these were an early prototype of the Medieval Cathedral.

The Celtic Sagas tell us that they were a mystic Culture. Like Halloween itself, the Celts existed between the very real world of daily practicalities and an enchanted world, filled with fairies, fey and supernatural feats. They lived their fearless lives with great zeal and fervor. The Celtic women were the most liberated women in the ancient world. They enjoyed sexual equality and fought side by side with their men in battle.

The men fought without clothes or armor. Can you imagine what they must have looked like? Their naked bodies would have been a terrifying sight. The men were completely shaven except for a mustache, and a wild mane of hair highlighted with powdered limestone. As you may have seen in Mel Gibson's movie 'Brave Heart', some of the men even dyed their bodies blue and wore amulets and huge torcs around their necks.

Halloween and the Ancient Festival of Samhain
Thousands upon thousands of years before the dawn of the Christianity, around the 1st of November, the Celtic tribes celebrated what has become Halloween. It was their Harvest Festival of Samhain (pronounced 'sow-win'). The Celtic calendar of festivals was based on cycles of nature and the agricultural year. They celebrated the Solstices and Equinoxes, as well as the Cross-Quarters in between - Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain. 2

The eight-spoked wheel of the Celtic year perpetually turns on and on. At each of its eight points, the natural rhythms of the seasons, of our personal lives, of our communities and of the heavens, come into alignment. Like nature itself "people are moved by the rhythms of the earth, its tides of ebb and flow, caused by the cycles of the sun and moon. While the moon magnetically controls the waters, the sun controls the seasons. With the withdrawal of the sun's light, warmth, and energy, like nature itself, we automatically draw our energies inwards in order to sustain life".

The Celtic Halloween - Samhain, marked the beginning of the sun's journey into the wintery underworld. The harvest was reaped, the fields lay fallow, the livestock was ritually culled and its meat salted and smoked in readiness for the coming cold. The agricultural year had come to its end, and on Samhain, the Celtic New Year would begin.

Daylight is the summer of the seasons while nighttime corresponds to the winter. The line that divides day and night is at it's thinnest at twilight, at dawn and dusk. Samhain was the dusk of the seasons when the sun of the old year passed away and entered into the underworld. It was the twilight season, when the veil that separates the world of the living from that of the dead and supernatural, is at its thinnest. So thin that cracks open between the worlds, allowing fairies, ghosts, and other supernatural beings to enter the living world.

Samhain was a time of supernatural intensity when an immense amount of spiritual energy poured into the world. It was a time when divinations were performed to see what the coming year had in store. It was a time of purification and a time of magic and ritual to appease the dead.

In Celtic mythology, Samhain was the day when the tribal god, the Dadha, made love with Morrigan, the raven goddess of war. You might know of Morrigan because in later ages she played the role of the evil sorceress in the legend of King Arthur.

After our brief journey back in time, some of you may be thinking, that even if Halloween isn't Satanic, then Samhain sure sounds like it could be. To put the matter to rest once and for all, there is no way it could be. There is no corresponding god, angel, or any utterly evil being in the Celtic pantheon. In closing, I will once again quote from Nicholas Rogers' extraordinary book, 'Halloween - From Pagan Ritual To Party Night'-
"The belief is satanic cults blossomed only in the late medieval era when it formed part of the persecutory discourse against heretics and witches - long after the demise of Samhain."4

Foot Notes
1. Rogers Nicholas, 'Halloween - From Pagan Ritual To Party Night', Pg 18, Oxford University Press
2. The Cross-Quarter festivals of the Celtic calendar.
A) Imbolc, the spring festival was celebrated on the 1st of February.
B) Beltane, the summer festival was celebrated on the 1st of May.
C) Lughnasadh, the autumn festival was celebrated on the 1st of August.
D) Samhain, the winter festival, like our Halloween, was celebrated on the eve of October 31st and the 1st of November.
3. Paterson Jacqueline, 'Tree Wisdom', Pg 83, Thorsons - Harper and Collins
a 4. Rogers Nicholas, 'Halloween - From Pagan Ritual To Party Night', Pg 13

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Religion, WITCHCRAFT and Sex

Sorcery - Paramour with the devil
Sorcery - Paramour with the devil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The word witch derives from an ancient variant of a Willow tree. The willow was the tree of the triple moon goddess (maiden, women, & hag). Willow worshipers (witches) were said to possess supernatural powers of divination. They were generally associated with venerating the Devil at nocturnal orgies. Witchcraft is a bizarre art that has been prevalent from immemorial times. 

The essence of this craft is an inane desire to possess additional powers to either enhance his youth or life. The epitome of this is the mystique of sex that is closely interwoven with witchcraft. Why sex? As Hegel and Adler have written, sex is a prime ordeal force and the sublime that everybody craves for. It does not die with old age or infirmness though one can crave and not be able to perform. At this stage, sexual fulfillment can only be prolonged by the black arts and its supreme the Devil. This is in sharp contrast to the religious doctrine which generally shuns sex. If God represents this doctrine than its antithesis the Devil represents sensual pleasure of which sex and all its variations are the main body.

The first stage of this art is the initiation and the ceremony involved with it. Initiation ceremonies are held the world over and vary from place to place. In England local initiation meetings were usually held once a week, but the "Sabbath of the Witches" held four times a year and usually on Thursday was the more important of the gatherings when a large no believer would be admitted to the fold. The person or Devil under whose superintendence it functioned was referred to as Beelzebub, Satan or Lucifer. The people who constituted this meeting called it the Coven. And to all such members of the Coven, the presiding person represented the GOD. He was worshiped and the greatest gift a disciple or a person being initiated could give was his or her body to the devil. In other words, the devil would copulate with the person and the person would receive the seed of the devil. This was and remains a major part of the initiation ceremony. So strong indeed was the covens belief in his power and so much was he adored, that the witches (persons attending the coven) dedicated their bodies and also of their daughters if any to the Devil,. The ritual was in early times quite queer, though by modern standards not all that bizarre. The ceremony would start with Devil undressing in front of the gathering and then would wear a long loose robe. A lady who had to be initiated into the cult would be led to the altar in the center of the room and laid on a raised platform. The Devil or the presiding deity would undress the lady in front of the congregation. She would be asked certain questions as to her willingness to be the Devil's disciple and whether she was ready to receive the seed of the devil. On her affirmative reply, the ceremony would proceed further.

The Devil would then begin the final part which was again played before the audience as the 'Devil' would position himself for the "Coup de Main", an entry into the initiator's body. The man would mate with the woman by making loud cries as if simulating the Devil. If the lady conceived the children were considered the Devils progeny and grew up "in the service". After the Devil had partaken of the woman she was kept on the altar and offered to other covens that also had sex with her. In fact, this ceremony is beautifully depicted in Roman Polanski in his film "Rosemary's Baby". In England, such ceremonies are still in existence and serve as a source of extreme sexual gratification.

Even in New Guiana in the Dutch East Indies, it was quite common to make love to the woman being initiated by a strong stud from the gathering, right out in the open air. Once in every 7 years there would be, what was called "Great Sabbath", at which all covens of a wide district would congregate, and tradition has it that on that occasion the Chief Witch or 'Devil" would sacrifice a young virgin after she had been deflowered and had mated with the Devil and his apostles. Thankfully this is now obsolete, but in some primitive cultures in India and Africa is still in vogue.

The actual initiation ceremony into the mysteries of witchcraft must have been an exciting experience. The aspirant to membership, after being duly recommended, would have to be introduced; and the manner of introduction would be kept secret until the actual event. Before the assembled covens there would be a renouncement on the part of the candidate of any former faith and then the person would give his or her body to the Devil. After the reception, the candidate would be baptized with a new name such as "Thief of Heaven" etc. The initiation ceremonies are an important part of the ritual of the black arts. Nothing can be complete until one gives his or her body to the "Devil". Also if there is a betrayal of confidence on the part of the member, then retribution is swift, sometimes with an iron rod.

There are also Demons, fiends and Specters known as Succubus and Incubus. Incubus is supposed to be a lascivious demon who appears to a woman at night and ravishes her body. While Succubus was somewhat similar Demon possessed of the power of assuming the form of a woman. This is itself a worldwide phenomenon and is persisted in modern times. Taylor in his work 'Primitive Culture (1873) says that these male and female nocturnal demons which consort lasciviously with men and women are indeed a fact. In the Islands of West Indies, there are Ghosts of the dead, vanishing when clutched at. In New Zealand ancestral deities form an attachment with females, paying them repeated visits. In the Samoan islands, such intercourse with inferior Gods was believed to bring about supernatural conception. In Hindu Tantra, formal rites are specified which enable a man to obtain a companion nymph by worshiping at night in any burial place. One of the aspects of witchcraft is the continuation of pagan ritual for fertility for barren women. In real terms, it is little more than absolute belief in the divine power of Satan. Many a barren woman has resorted to such rites for herself. But sex is the ultimate path in the Devils armor and leads to him. Like prayer leads to God.

The sexual act is known to release energy and is looked down by all religions, but for the Devil who is the Anti-thesis of God and goodness, it is an essential ritual. Perhaps this energy released in a sexual union does have something to do with black arts.

In Europe nocturnal intercourse with Incubi and Succubi are carried out in full belief by ecclesiastics and lawyers; priests and witches.

Nowadays the part of Incubus is usually played by the chief of witches Coven, in disguise and sometimes in semi-darkness to heighten the power and effect of the occult.

Bram Stoker in his famous work "Count Dracula" has vividly portrayed another facet of witchcraft. In this form a vampire (usually a man who remains alive after death with the help of sorcery) to remain 'alive' needs to have intercourse with a female and a woman vice versa i.e., cohabit with a man, with a peculiar ritual that makes such creatures live on by drinking the blood of their victims.

Like in prayer one gives himself up to God, so in this case, also there is a voluntary personal surrender of ones will and body to the Devil; and then only one can get something in return. The immortal tale of Dr. Faustus and the selling of his soul to the Devil in return for the immortal love of Helen, the most beautiful woman in history is a tragic example of this. Again the fundamental driving force for Dr. Faustus was sex and he craved of it with Helen.

Hence we may conclude that one of the essential ingredients of sorcery, witchcraft and black magic is the sexual act. Mans desire for the sublime pleasure of sex will ensure that the Black arts including witchcraft will survive for all time to come.

Monday, June 4, 2018


English: Wheel of the Year with Fire Festivals...
Wheel of the Year with Fire Festivals and Quarter Festivals, Neopagan holidays: Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasadh, Mabon, Samhain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Wheel of the Year is an interpretation of the Earth's seasons created by Neopagans and Wiccans. The wheel itself is formed from eight festivals more or less equally spaced throughout the year. The origins of the eight festivals can be traced back to pre-Christian Germanic and Celtic feasts and the wheel combines both cultures. The eight festivals are not only celebrated by Neopagans and Witches as the most commonly known have been adopted by various religions throughout the world.

The eight festivals of the wheel are known as Sabbats, which is a term of Hebrew origin, and there are four greater and four lesser Sabbats. The greater Sabbats are also known as cross-quarter days or Fire festivals and are of greater importance. The lesser Sabbats are also called quarter days and fall on the solstices and equinoxes. The combining of the Sabbats into the Wheel of the Year is a modern concept as there is not thought to be any such wheel before Wicca Witchcraft created it in the 1950's.

Early forms of Wicca only observed the four cross-quarter festivals and it was not until 1958 that the solstices and equinoxes were added by the Bricket Wood Coven, whose High priest was Gerald Gardner, the founder of Wicca Witchcraft. They were added to allow for more times of celebration, which brought Wicca more in line with Neo-Druidism, founded by Ross Nicols, a friend of Gerald Gardner.

The festivals on the Wheel of the Year are closely linked to the seasons and lunar cycles, which explains the common celebrations across religious groups, as the seasons play an important part in most systems of belief, be they bathed in ancient history or more recent. The eight festivals have set
days in the modern world but older forms of Paganism and religion follow the more exact dates which change annually depending on the lunar cycle. This cycle can alter the date by a few days which allows some Pagans to conveniently celebrate each on a weekend rather than a working day during the week.

The festivals of the Wheel of the Year are not copied from ancient rituals by Wiccans but they do draw inspiration from them. Common charms or items are still used in modern Paganism as they have been for thousands of years. Samhain, more commonly known to most of us as Halloween and celebrated on October 31st, is the start of the Neopagan year and is, therefore, also the start of the Wheel of the Year.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Esbats and Sabbats - The Holy Days of WITCHCRAFT

A photograph of a painted Wheel of the Year fr...
A photograph of a painted Wheel of the Year from the Museum of Witchcraft, Boscastle.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every religion has its own days of power, reverence, and celebration. Wicca is no different in this regard. The holidays that Wiccans celebrate are referred to as Sabbats or the Eight High Holy days. They occur approximately every six weeks and denote the changing of the seasons. The sun, as a representation of the God, is revered during a sabbat, and the ceremony for a particular holiday is often performed at high noon. The other type of holy day that is more familiar to most people is the Esbat. The Esbat is a monthly occurrence that generally coincides with the moon being full. It is the night when witches gather to perform a ritual and magickal workings for the coming month.

This article will detail all of these holy days and hopefully shed a little light on what witches do throughout the year to honor their Deities.

The Esbat
As stated above, the Esbat is a ceremony that coincides with the cycles of the moon. Generally, the day that it is done occurs when the moon is full, though this is not necessary. The full moon is significant because witches firmly believe that the power of magickal workings wax and wane with the phases of the moon. When the moon is waxing or becoming fuller, it is good to perform rites that are drawing things to you or increasing positive influences in general. When the moon is waning or diminishing, it is good for banishing influences that are no longer wanted or getting rid of negativity. Yet when the moon is full, the magickal workings are at their peak, and it is good for nearly any rite that a witch may wish to perform. The new moon, or dark moon, occurs when the moon is not visible at all. During this time, the rites that are performed are either for extreme protection rites or negative magicks.

On whatever day the esbat is performed, it is done in the evening or at night. The reason behind this is that these rites are meant to be working with the Goddess, who represented by the moon.

The actual process of performing the esbat can be summed up very concisely. The witch or coven will gather at a designated ritual space. There, they will cast a circle, and perform rites that will raise their magickal and psychic power, and then direct that power at their desired goal. Since there are so many variables as to what a witch or group of witches may wish to direct their energy, it is difficult to offer up an example of what these rites may entail.

However, one of the things that is a common theme among esbats is that it is a time for connecting and communing with Deity. This is often done by the reciting of The Wiccan Rede and The Charge of the Goddess while in a circle. Afterward, time may be spent in either meditation or performing acts of divination with tarot cards, runes or other means. This is followed by a communion of cakes and wine, where the gathered witches will celebrate their coming together and catch up on the previous month and make plans for the coming one. Then the ritual circle is opened, the leftover cakes and wine are offered up to Nature, and the witches will go their separate ways.

The Eight High Holy Days
There are eight major holidays that Wiccans celebrate:

- Samhain (pronounce saw-vin or sow-en

- Yule 

- Candlemas 

- Ostara 

- Beltane 

- Midsummer 

- Lammas 

- and Mabon

Each of the Holy Days represents a different turning of the seasons, and a different phase of life. The common representation of these phases is the God, though many practitioners incorporate an aspect of the Goddess in some fashion as well. They are primarily Sun festivals, and, unlike esbats, the rituals are often performed when the sun is at its highest in the sky.

Sabbats are usually large gatherings where entire families will come together and celebrate with food and drink in addition to the religious rites.

Samhain is probably the most recognizable of all of the Wiccan Sabbats. It falls on October 31st and signifies the ending of one cycle of the year. While many view it as the beginning of the next yearly cycle, that does not actually occur until Yule in December.

The main symbolism behind this holiday is death and honoring loved ones that have passed on. It is commonly thought that on this night, the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, and witches take advantage of this opportunity to communicate with their family and friends who have passed on.

Samhain is also the last harvest festival of the year, and the last opportunity for the coven and their families to come together to share their resources before digging in for the winter. The period of time between Samhain and Yule is spent contemplating plans for the coming year and remembering the year that has passed.

Yule is generally thought to coincide with the Christian holiday of Christmas. This is not precisely so. Yule actually falls on the day of the winter solstice, which generally falls on or around December 21st.

The significance of this holiday is that of rebirth. This is the day where the days begin to grow longer, and the sun is making a comeback. The general representation of this is of Holly King, a Dark God, passing and being replaced by the Oak King, or Sun God. Though the sabbat that signifies the beginning of the year may vary from tradition to tradition, this is the one that is most popular in signifying the beginning of the year.

All of the sabbats represent a phase of life, and Yule falls into the fertility category. This is a time of conception, where the beginnings of life begin to stir. When covens and families come together on this holiday, plans begin to be made for the coming year, as well as preparations for the coming spring.

Candlemas is also known by the name of Imbolc. It is well and truly the first fertility festival of springtime. The specific date that this day falls on varies from tradition to tradition, but it can be anywhere from January 31st to February 2nd. At this time, we are beginning to see the very first signs of spring, and the renewal of life.

The festivities for Candlemas all center on clearing out the old and making way for the new. The Maiden aspect of the Goddess is honored at this time, as are any Gods and Goddesses that relate to love and fertility. This holiday is considered an especially auspicious time for a new marriage or relationship.

One of the traditional symbols of Candlemas is the plough. They are often decorated and incorporated into the festivities. Another tradition for the holiday is to create a besom, a simple broom constructed of twigs or straw, and use it to ritually cleanse the home. It is then placed near the front, symbolizing sweeping out the old and welcoming the new.

Also called Eostar, this High Holy Day falls on the spring equinox, on or near March 21st. This is the second of the three fertility festivals. Springtime is coming in full force at this time, and planting for the year's crops is well underway. New spring growth can be seen everywhere, and the Gods are petitioned for luck with the crops and the home.

Two of the traditional symbols for this holiday is the egg and the rabbit. The egg is an emblem of new life and new growth, and it is incorporated into many ritual workings and festivities at this time. The rabbit, known for its prolific mating habits, is also a symbol of growth and abundance. Both also symbolize change. The Christian faith has fully adopted both of these symbols into their celebrations that occur at near the same time.

Also known as May Day, this Holy Day falls on May first. It is the last of the fertility festivals for the year, and with it comes unabashed sexuality for many traditions. The May Pole is one symbol of this holiday that is found throughout many traditions. It is a tall pole set in the ground, symbolizing the Sun God uniting with Earth. It is decorated with long ribbons and fresh flowers, and, of course, maidens traditionally dance around the pole.

One of the traditional May Day activities for this holiday is to secretly leave baskets of flowers and goodies at the doors of your neighbors.

Generally, this is a holiday that celebrates and revels in the return of the sun.

This Holy Day celebrates the God, represented by the sun in all of his glory. It is celebrated on the summer solstice when the longest day of the year takes place. Midsummer is neither a fertility festival nor a harvest festival. In this way, it is similar to Yule. On this day, rites often center on protection for the home and family for the coming year, rites of divination, and celebrating the abundance of The Oak King in his prime of life.

For those who work with faerie energy in their rites, Midsummer is an ideal time to commune with them. It is a common tradition for witches to go out in the twilight and look for faerie folk in stands of oak, ash and thorn trees.

Another name for this holiday is Lughnassadh. It occurs on August 1st, and it is the first of the three harvest sabbats celebrated by witches. Attention turns now to harvest the crops and gardens, and preparations begin for the coming winter. The days are beginning to grow shorter, and the Sun God begins to lose his strength as the days grow shorter.

As this is the time of year when we first begin to reap the bounties of harvest, it is often a holiday accompanied with feasting and celebration. Decorations and dollies are often made from dried ears of corn, and used in rites and to decorate the home.

Mabon is the primary harvest festival, the counterpoint to Ostara, and it occurs on the Autumnal Equinox. On this day, witches pay homage to retreat daylight and prepare for the coming winter. This holiday symbolizes the God in old age and readying for his impending death and rebirth.
Though this holiday is a little more somber than the rest of them, it is also one where Wiccans are sure to give thanks for what they have received throughout the past year. It is a popular time of year for witches and pagans to give back to their communities and generally share their bountiful harvests.

With so many holidays to celebrate, Wiccans always have something to look forward to in their faith. As the seasons come and go, witches around the world celebrate the wheel of the year. Though traditions and names may be a little different from place to place, they are all basically the same at heart.

Monday, December 18, 2017

WITCHCRAFT - The Witch of Today

For centuries, the practice of witchcraft was considered an evil and foul tradition, and witches were hunted and killed, often by cruel and painful methods, usually by being burnt alive at the stake. Fear of witches and witchcraft was widespread throughout several areas of Europe and in some areas of a newly settled America. The witchcraft delusion was an epidemic affecting everyone, and even a simple accusation of being a witch, despite the absence of any real evidence, was often enough to condemn an individual to torture and death.

Thankfully, modern society has moved beyond such superstition and insanity, and today, witches are free to practice varying traditions of witchcraft openly and without fear of persecution. The Wiccan religion is perhaps the most well-known form of modern witchcraft, thanks in part to movies and media attention. However, there are several forms of modern witchcraft being practiced today, though most have roots in ancient cultural traditions.

Modern witchcraft in western culture can be largely attributed to the influence and practices of three specific individuals. The first is Gerald Gardner, sometimes referred to as the Father of modern Witchcraft. In the late 1930s and during the 1940s, Gerald Gardner began establishing several covens throughout Britain in an attempt to revive the foundations of the old religion, which is closely related to modern Wicca.

Gerald Gardner was a public figure who wrote several books on the subject of witchcraft, helping to cast the old traditions in a new and positive light and reshape society's perspective of witchcraft.

Another individual of note is Margaret Murray, a British scholar who studied ancient witchcraft and also wrote of old religions, preceding Gerald Gardner's work by over 20 years. Her books are considered essential reference sources for practitioners of modern Wiccanism.

The third individual credited with influencing the contemporary witchcraft movement is Alexander Sanders. Alexander studied witchcraft as a young boy, as it was a family tradition passed down by his grandmother. Alexander also established several covens throughout Britain, and proclaimed himself the "king of witches."

While Wiccanism might be the most popular tradition of witchcraft studied and followed by modern society, other old traditions still exist. Native Americans and indigenous tribes located in Central and South America still practice shamanistic magic. Similarly, tribes in Africa and Australia look to their tribal witch doctors whenever tribal magic might be needed, whether it be asking the gods for a good hunt, or seeking to expel a sickness from a tribe member.

In Louisiana and Haiti, Voodoo is practiced, and similar traditions such as Santeria in the Spanish Islands, as well as other offshoots of voodoo such as Hoodoo and Macumba.

Most forms of witchcraft share common denominators -- rituals, spellcasting, and calling upon the gods for help or wisdom. Typically, most forms of witchcraft are also considered "white", or good, and are meant for healing and positive effects, rather than to induce harm, curses, or ill will towards an individual.

While many books and resources are available for those interested in Wicca and other forms of witchcraft, individuals should also take care not to treat witchcraft lightly or as a form of entertainment. Spells and rituals are best left to professional witches who have several years of experience and have studied extensively.

    Considered a Gythia (Asatru High Priestess) among her Coven, Julia Roslyn Antle is a master of divination and dream interpretation. Her wisdom is sought-after by her peers, her colleagues as well as the public.
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

ALEISTER CROWLEY: Reflection on the Pioneer of Magick

Aleister Crowley.jpg
"Aleister Crowley" Via Wikipedia.
Aleister Crowley was a pioneer, a trailblazing searcher who opened the door of magick to reveal the secrets that had not been, until his time, even whispered in the confines of a closet. Aleister opened the doors and swung them wide for all followers of the occult to rush through in pursuit of their magical attainment. For this reason, he has been called a genius as well as a trivial madman but one thing is true; he has not faded into the facade of history nor has his persona quietly died. Quite to the contrary, Crowley has continued at the forefront of those cited as contributing the most to the spiritual dark arts.

During Crowley’s youth, he traveled with his father who preached across the country and so, Aleister was exposed to the work and skills needed to communicate a message and idea to the masses. In the days before technological advances, the “face to face” communication was not only the most effective; it was one of the few ways to spread the word of any philosophy. Aleister was drawn to belief: not good or bad, but he had a deep-seeded wish to search for more and this trait was one that served him well throughout his life. Ever a student, he would spread the word of his magical workings throughout his entire life.

Young Aleister’s father died of cancer and the experience left the impressionable youth stunned and ultimately, bitter. He set his path on an unspoken philosophy of “anything that does not conform”. His earliest poetry illustrates the idea of “anti” while opening the mind to that which was “unthought” or never spoken. I do not say that Aleister’s heart was filled with hate; that would be untrue and an easy way to dismiss his life-long works. Aleister was filled with something much different. He was filled with a burning wants to question everything (a trait embraced by Satanists even today) and a tenant to believe only what could be proven. This served him quite well throughout his life.

Crowley was a connoisseur of sex and he loved sexual encounters with both men and women. He often remarked that he “only had sex to fulfill the requirements of his magical workings” yet it seems that he also took great pleasure in the many deviations to sex acts that were anything other than conventional. He would enjoy paying a prostitute to degrade him by inserting various household items into his rectum and on one occasion, was sodomized by two men in a Turkish bathhouse while performing ingeminating fellatio on yet a third man. He also enjoyed subjecting his partners to pain as well. During a sex magick ritual, he placed his fist into a young man’s anus to the point of almost rupturing his intestinal wall. All within the spirit of magick and finding a higher awareness of “self”.

Aleister was also interested and even curious about the fragility of life itself. After hearing a saying that a cat had nine lives, he reasoned that it would be almost impossible to kill a cat, and he set out to do just that. Crowley caught a cat and administered nine different terminal treatments to the animal which culminated with the cat being thrown from a second story window to “remove any remaining life”. Quite to the contrary, the animal had been dead since giving it a lethal dose of arsenic; the first of the treatments. For the curious young lad, the event was performed in the name of science and the results were simply a byproduct of a scientific experiment.

Crowley’s “The Book of the Law” is hailed as his best work even though there are other great titles to choose from. His writings were factual, confusing, poetic and mystifying, all at the same time. He had written poetry since a young boy and that motif operandi was seen as a common thread in all of his future writings. Prolific yet reserved, he preferred to write poetry and insisted on being called “The World’s Best Poet”.

He was an enigma that was perhaps, before his time and I often contemplate what he could have achieved if he lived in our wonderful time of email, internet, and cyber chat. Oh, what he could have accomplished! Without conscience and devoid of humanity, he is what all members of the human race should strive to be… “a searcher”. He was not encapsulated by hearsay, dogma or urban legend. He opened his mind and all senses to receive all he could discover. Satanists take so many of his attributes to heart and strive to learn that which will show itself during a magical endeavor.


"Mwt" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

Crowley’s magick was without bounds and he did not set out to be evil at all. He believed there were forces and spirits just beyond our worldly grasp and he wanted to experience those dark images that do not cast any shadows on the floor. “Evil” was a moniker that was assigned to Aleister by a self-righteous society unable to open their minds enough to discover and benefit from Crowley’s work. His acts frightened the population and his words angered the monarchy of the time. He was not a Satanist per se. Satanism was not his primary focus and Aleister did not seriously believe in a pointed-tail viper, as it were. He communicated with demons and spirits thus being more of a student of demonology than any other magical operation.

He has been the inspiration for countless searchers; myself included. He inspired L. Ron Hubbard through his magical workings which can be glimpsed in Hubbard’s Dianetics and The Church of Scientology. Anton LaVey cited references and praised Crowley’s written works. Led Zeppelin guitarist, Jimmy Page, was an avid follower of Crowley and even purchased the house “Boleskine” once owned by Crowley, on the south-eastern shore of Scotland’s Loch Ness. Page claimed the house was haunted and also confessed the house “held a sacred and creative feel that allowed for total artistic freedom”. Crowley continues to inspire and influence music and writers in modern society today.

Aleister Crowley was one of the first practitioners of the occult to blend magick with consumption of mind-altering drugs during his rituals.His grimoires, which read like scientist’s process books, recorded many occasions when Aleister and those asked to join him, would ingest large amounts of narcotics and natural stimulants to achieve a higher state of conscientiousness and open their minds to events that would enlighten the participants. Experimentation in such arenas was frowned upon and in some cases, the act of performing a blasphemous ritual as he often performed, was illegal. His connection with the other side of the human brain can be called “cutting edge” however, Crowley’s grimoires were often dismissed as “drug-induced gibberish”.

Within the framework of magical operations, Aleister was meticulous in the execution of rituals. He would labor over the details and weigh the effects of each slight deviation from the original working to gauge the expected result. He also looked at magick as cumulative or “cross-collateralized”, which built upon the earlier building block; increasing power and heightening the magician’s experience. Nothing was taboo, too sinister or any idea dismissed without fully exploring the possibilities that might reap benefits. Aleister was anything but shy and if the ritual called for him to be treated with violence, disdain and abusively injured, so mote it be.

Aleister Crowley was a well-known member of the group Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of the Temple of the East) which closely resembled the Freemasons and Masonic Lodge until Aleister joined. He led the association in a different direction which adopted Thelema as the core principle. The Book of the Law communicated two of Crowley’s best-known verses which are still used quite often even today. First, the groundwork for his belief and theology was laid with a simple phrase; “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will” which is cited regularly by those practitioners of all magical arts. He was never quick to dismiss anyone’s ideas or beliefs without first evaluating and contrasting the belief compared to his very own.

Aleister Crowley painted portrait _DDC7564

Aleister was always fascinated with lines, angles, and voids created by an enclosed symbol, especially a unicursal creation. Aleister’s unicursal hexagram is a star that can be drawn in one line without stopping the continuous flow. Geometric shapes were often drawn by Crowley to illustrate his projections occurring in astral travels. He believed “reason” was shielded by logic and by understanding motivation, one could clearly look deep into the logical progression of magick. Transitional Logic and Cognitive Modeling were paramount to understanding the results of magick rituals and by disseminating the logic relationships, one could also change the variables to estimate the results of a ritual, having slightly changed the inputs and elements. The idea was revolutionary for its time and the general population was too critical of Crowley to even seriously consider the possibility that he might very well have a theorem that was truly brilliant. He did not help his cause when the press ran articles about his magical escapades including homosexual encounters, spells/hexes, animal sacrifice and a report revealing that Aleister had eaten his own feces as well as the feces of others in his ritual group. Reports of killing animals during sexual intercourse did not help his cause at all.

Aleister was also an avid Astrologer and he studied astrology almost as in-depth as magick. Evangeline Adams was one of the most important influences on the development of American astrology and Crowley developed a relationship with Adams that was based upon their mutual passion of studying the stars and planets. The two would collaborate on articles, papers and books about astrological aspects and the relationship of celestial bodies and planetary orbits. Crowley also used many astrological illustrations and references in his magical writings as well. One such reference was used to explain how a person cannot readily change their path through life and how inertia plays an important role in continuing the established directional path and momentum: “There are no ‘standards of Right’. Ethics is balderdash. Each Star must go on its own orbit. To hell with “moral principle”; there is no such thing.”

So, I have pointed out some facts and observations of Aleister Crowley; some good and some “not so good”. To me, he is truly a pioneer that was perhaps a few generations ahead of his time. I read and study his works from time to time and I appreciate his dedication to his craft. His entire life reads like a grimoire of magick, experimentation, excess and theories “tried and proven”. Because Crowley and searchers like him have documented so much – so well, we are able to take advantage of his efforts which allows us to be light years ahead of where we would be had he never written even an article about magick. We should recognize the advantages we have and the knowledge passed down to us by Crowley. His efforts of being totally uninhibited have allowed seekers to “pick up where he left off” in the never-ending quest for increased magical knowledge. We are better magicians, seekers, followers, practitioners and ultimately more powerful because of this man. Yes, he was eccentric and his approach to the magical arts was unorthodox (and stomach turning as well) however, he blazed a path into history and for his efforts and sharing of his art form, we are better for having access to his writings and privileged to do some of the same workings that he not only practiced but actually created.

Aleister Crowley will live forever and his words will be shared for all eternity; which is something he could only dream of in his time.

Author Aleister Nacht is a Satanic Magus and leader of a regional coven comprising of numerous groups located in Florida. With a modern view of Satanism, he brings the darkness to life in a very tangible manner. His books have found favor with a multitude of searchers crossing all demographic and geographic boundaries. Nacht is also the spiritual/technical advisor for the “Gods of the New Church”; a Satanic group that meets in a virtual sanctum created by Nacht in cyberspace. Nacht’s audio recordings (Aleister Nacht’s Satanic Audio Blog) are available for free download on iTunes.

His books on Satanism have connected with the emerging multitude that refuses believe the lies of the religious establishment. Nacht manages to offer searchers an alternative based upon truth and reason instead of hypocritical rhetoric and lies. His digital and hard-copy books are distributed worldwide by Loki / Speckbohne Publishing. Recently, Nacht was approached by an independent producer/director interested in filming a documentary entitled “The Resurrection Next Door” that will explore modern Satanism and the recent increasing interest and popularity in Satanism. Nacht lives in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys the “Salt Life”.

By Aleister Nacht - -

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