The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ancient Magickal Techniques - Using Candles


Greetings My Magickal Reader,

We have covered many ancient magickal techniques over this past month from using hair, stones, music and todays discussion will cover the ancient magickal technique of using candles. When I use the term 'magickal technique' it covers the tools, supplies and the actual usage of such tools and supplies.

Before candles were developed, candles as we know them to be fashioned with a wick in the center, rush lights were used and were made from sheaves of reeds dipped in animal fat and set on fire. Yet before candles in some areas of the world, around approximately 4,500 B.C.E. years ago the first oil lamps were created in countries that used oils such as olive oil. Then approximately 3,000 years B.C.E. candles were credited to the Egyptians who took scrolls of papyrus and rolled them tightly and dipped them repeatedly in animal fat, inserted a wick in the center and burned them, resembling closely the candles we have today.

The concept of magick surrounds the candle / oil lamp because before this time, the darkness was a handicap to deal with for everyone in the nighttime. Many times one would have a fire or even more than one but when one went to bed or even moved a few yards away from the fire, the darkness surrounded them. The idea of being able to hold a light and carry it with you was magickal and would quickly have come to represent keeping the spirits and harmful things that hid in the dark away, thus bringing a sense of protection to surround the one carrying the light.

Originally the first candles were made from animal fat, primarily beef tallow, but that made for a smoky, smelly darker light and the candles dripped and often when blown out flaming globules of fat were a danger of catching the surrounding area on fire. I have often wondered if this may have been the origin of our now common practice of never blowing out spell candles but always snuffing them out? Perhaps a habit of safety that hearkens back to a time in the long distant past?

At a later time the Egyptians had started using beeswax for their candles, at least the Royals did, as it was much more costly to obtain, and prepare, but burned cleaner, made for a brighter flame and smelled sweeter. The poor were still subject to using the tallow candles if they could afford to make any at all.

It is very hard to find early written evidence of the use of many magickal techniques, as so many written works, if they were written down at all, were usually destroyed by the invading forces of a civilization which overtook another such as the Roman Empire, or eventually the Catholic church which tried to eliminate that which did not adhere to their desired version of historical events.

I find many of the earliest magickal, or call them spiritual or religious techniques are readily preserved in the bible, most especially in the Old Testament, again most especially the versions of the Old Testament that are the first 5 books of the Torah called the 5 books of Moses, that have not been adulterated and revised as in some Christian bibles. They present not just religious teachings but historical information of legend that can tell us so much about a time when magick and miracles were considered one and the same.



Many do not realize that in Jesus's time it was a common practice for 'religious men' be they called Priests or Wise Men who would go door to door knocking and asking the inhabitants if they had need for any magick to be done on their behalf? During this time it was common to cast healing spells, curses upon those who had caused you harm, protection spells, most especially legal spells, and many others.

Magickal practice was as common then as going to a physician is today. It was not frowned upon or considered evil or bad. It was considered something that was part of regular society and people lived in a world that understood that magickal forces were around them everywhere.

It only makes sense that candles would also be used for magickal purposes. Many old candles have been unearthed by archaeologists that have been found with pins stuck through them for some unknown ancient purposes. Candles have been found in cess pits, in tombs, and in unearthed foundations of abandoned ruins of ancient churches.

I have found early Catholic church dictates that made it forbidden, that colored candles never be used in church or by Catholics, but only white candles, as colored candles donated Pagan practice, which tells us a lot by this simple rule of the new Church. So it is apparent that Pagans were using colored candles before the Catholic church took hold and that was approximately 600 C.E. when Pope Gregory unified the Catholic church in Europe. Now the church did exist a bit before this time, but it was truly empowered and came into full strength in the 7th century, along with most of it's new rules, regulations and newly enacted sins.

Today this most ancient of magickal practices, using candles for our magickal spell casting, to use in ritual, to honor Divinity, actually Pagans and witches use candles in just about any and all opportunities, allows us to touch a deep, ancient magickal place within ourselves.

One of our most ancient of all candle spells, which just about everyone has practiced and does so every year, whether they feel they are magickal or not, is the birthday candle spell. Yes, if you have ever blown out the candles on your birthday cake, you have cast a candle spell that goes back appx 5,000 years ago, this time to ancient Greece. You see ancient Greece was very close to ancient Egypt right along the Mediterranean and as such they shared and often came up with similar innovations at about the same time. Well, this candle spell can be attributed to the ancient Greek temple of Artemis.

It is reputed that people would go to the temple on a night when the moon was full, as the temple had an open space in the roof so one could see the moon shining down. They would bring small, crescent moon shaped cakes and tiny candles. They would lay out the cakes on tables and put candles all around. Then each person would light a candle, ask Artemis for a wish, blow out the candle and take a tiny cake and eat it, thus assuring the wish would come true. In a sense like an offering you would take into your body similar to our cakes and ale ceremony or the Catholics Holy Communion.

There is no doubt, just with this simple candle and moon shaped cake spell that candle magick has been around for millenia. Even today, it is not just Pagans or magickally minded folks who believe in candle magick. There are many Christians who burn candles to Saints, or for loved ones who are sick or needing prayers.  Even those who do not think of themselves as spiritual, religious or magickal are  known to burn some candles on the table when serving a special dinner for lovers, for Valentines day or an anniversary or other special occasion.

Candle magick has a long, varied history and today can be as simple or as complex as one wishes. There are entire books written on candle magick, but the best advice I can give you, is if you have candles in your possession, .  .  .  burn them.  Hanging onto them, will do you no good, unless you release their energy, by burning them.

I have an altar where I burn a candle every night. A love candle, to send love out into my world, every single night. I will also burn a candle if someone I know is sick and has given me permission to burn a healing candle for them, or for some other special reason. What you send out will return to you on one level or another. This is one way to do that. A most ancient of ways.




Live, Laugh and Always Love, Ms. Faith






© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ancient Magickal Techniques - Using Music

The Divje Babe Flute - 67, 000 years old

Good Afternoon My Witchy Readers,

 When we practice magick today, conduct rituals, celebrate Sabbats, web-weave with other like minded magickal people we often have 'new age' or 'witchy' music as an accompaniment or background to our festivities.

It is almost impossible to go through a day in our world, in our society without musical accompaniment. From listening to the radio in our cars, to television commercials, to the musical score that flows through each and every movie we watch, to the background of every video game and phone app game you play.  Every television show, whether it is a news show, a sports show, or a sit-com, they all have a musical theme song that starts and ends each show.

That is not even mentioning the nightclubs, bars, churches, restaurants, and of course concerts and casinos, malls and supermarkets we frequent. Actually music is around us all of the time, so subtle so many times we are not even away of it. We take for granted that music will be there, and when we find ourselves somewhere without the music and chatter of humans the silence can be "deafening."

This discussion started as I was contemplating the origins of music created by humans and when it would have started being used ritually/spiritually in our world. I find we must go far back into the mists of time back to prehistory, back to the dawn of paleolithic times, where archaeologists and music-archaeologists have come to some very interesting conclusions where they have found prehistoric cave paintings in caves, in areas of caves where the resonance was optimal and 'pitch perfect' if you will, than in other areas of the cave.

This has been proven to be the case in not one, but in several caves and in any areas where cave paintings were found, and some of these paintings were in very unusual places, very difficult for humans to access and seemed to make little sense as to why they would be placed there, but when the resonance was determined to be musically superior in these locations it seemed to make more sense as to why these remote locations may have been chosen

Ancient flutes, carved by human hands from bones made from bear bones, bird bones and other animal bones have been found, one being as old as 67,000 years old found in Slovenia. Understanding how humans lived back then, spending every waking moment in the employment of staying alive. Hunting and gathering food and animals to be made into food, clothing and other items for purposes of sustaining life. Crafting shelter and tools, and doing all that needed to be done to ensure life and survival for oneself and ones tribe or village. The Divje Babe Flute, 67,000 years old is believed by some experts to be the only musical instrument associated with the Neanderthal culture, whereas other experts feel that the use of musical instruments by the Homo Sapiens and not the Neanderthal is one reason the Neanderthals became extinct and the Homo Sapiens flourished, but we will never know for sure. We can only speculate.

It seems activities such as making music would be more directed towards ritual practice, which was to thank the Creator, rather than making music for festive entertainment and fun.  We have much evidence by unearthed early Goddess figurines that early man felt it was a Great Mother figure, who was the Creator of all of life. I have written earlier about the Achuellian Goddess who has been carbon dated to between 800,000 and 1 million years B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and is the oldest human crafted artifact ever unearthed, to this date.

Some of the oldest musical instruments to have survived to this day, including the above pictured flute The Divje Babe Flute, and this flute dated to 35,000 years old
were all created during the time of an era where artistic culture began to develop and became very significant among human tribes that interacted among each other on the earth. This time was between 70,000 and 30,000 approximately years ago.  This is when most of the early cave art paintings were first developed, the regular practice of crafting and wearing of jewelry was undertaken, Many more Goddess figurines were being crafted, such as the Willendorf Goddess  (crafted between 28,000 - 25,000 B.C.E.) which again falls into the window of the artistic cultural era. It makes perfect sense that this level of human creative development would include the development of musical understanding.

In the earliest books of the Bible, the Old Testament, there is many references to music and musical practice in relation to honoring God and celebration of the Spirit. Many have heard of King David and his use of music in religious ritual and historians ascribe the 150 psalms of the Book of Psalms from The Old Testament, attributed to King David,  as the poetry most often set to music in Western civilization than any other. We have heard of the trumpets that brought down the walls of Jericho, which were really rams horns called shofars, and whereas their melody may be questionable they were absolutely music played for divine, religious spiritual purposes.

There are some music-archaeologists who feel the first concept of music struck early prehistoric man when he felt his own heartbeat. as the oldest musical instruments made by mankind to be found date to 165,000 years ago and are percussion instruments.
Percussion stones  165,000 years old

Now, many believe the very first musical instrument was the human voice, but after that, the banging and rhythmic beats kept by banging and striking objects against other objects, making a rhythm or a beat in a manner to resemble the heartbeat may have been one of the first musical making instruments made by prehistoric mankind.

Whereas these percussion stones were used to strike and bang and to make noise of a sort, the oldest skin drum ever found, so far, is an elephant skin drum found in the Antarctica dated to 37,000 years old. Here is a portion of this ancient drum pictured here:
It was preserved during the ice age.

Pan Pipes are at least 30,000 years old and date back to the ancient Greek Culture:

The bull roarer also known as a rhombus or a turndun is an ancient ritual instrument and with the loud sound it makes was also used as a way to communicate over long distances. It was used in ancient Greece in rituals and dates back to at least 17,000 B.C.E.



Aside from musical instruments you might be interested in the earliest known written musical notes and those are found here in this cuneiform tablet from Iraq, and dated to 2,000 B.C.E. with these notes specific to strings on the Lyre. This tablet represents one of the earliest melodies ever found.



During later cultures we have well documented ritualistic musical practice where some ritual groups would go into musical frenzied dance to create an element of magickal power and to raise their energy. Some use music to aid in meditation, to go into ritual trance, to tap into the magickal energy to aid in our rituals and our spell casting.

Music still today is used in churches to raise spirits, to touch the energy of the Divine, used in rituals of Pagans as well as every spiritual and religious group typically found in this country and around the world. What is today called religious is also known and was in ancient times known as magickal.

There are times when singing a song I can feel the energy of the Divine overtaking my spirit and overtaking my entire being and I am filled with an energy and a power greater than myself. This is what the ancients felt and what we so often feel today. The best thing about music is you do not have to be in a sacred space to create this phenomenon, because music works by its very vibrations on the airwaves and by doing so, it creates sacred space simply by the notes being played, wherever you may be.

Something as simple as ringing a bell to start a ritual, three small notes, can start an amazing magickal energy that builds and accumulates until we release the cone of power to be sent off to manifest in the change we wish to make.

Humans have known the power of music for thousands of years, hundreds of thousands of years and the magick of music is with us still.


Live, Laugh and Always Love,  Ms. Faith








© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ancient Magickal Techniques - Using Stones



 Rose Quartz


                                                                                                                    
Good Afternoon My Magickal Reader,

Many people these days use or have heard of the use of stones, crystals and minerals for magickal, ritual, or spiritual even healing properties. Yet most people are not aware that the human use of stones go back thousands of years, even more than a million of years.

We know that the first humanoid species used stones to create tools, such as some stones struck against others creating sharp edges which could be used as cutting edges, and the creation of other tools, thus the human creative era called the stone age. But, these stone tools were made and used in practical, necessary, functional manners.

One of the earliest ritual or magickal uses of stone I can find in my research is the use of red ochre, which is a form of hematite and was found to have been used by Paleolithic man (Old Stone Age) when preparing the bodies of their dead before burial.  They did bury their dead or entomb them deep in caves, but before doing so, they pulverized the red ochre into a powder and when mixed with water, created a paint which resembled blood and they painted the bodies before placing them back into the body of the Great Mother earth.

We see the creation of Stonehenge in Western Great Britain which dates from the Neolithic period, (New Stone Age) as another example of a ritualistic, magickal or spiritual use of stones. There are thousands of stone circles still in existence all over Europe to this day as well as cairns. Cairns are piles or mounds of stones which seem to have their origin in ancient Scotland, and cairn is an old Gaelic term which means  heap or mound of stones.  They first originated as a grave marker for people who had been buried,  as a common way to keep wild animals from digging up the corpse to attempt to consume it.



Crystal Quartz


Cairns were later used as border markers for properties but rather than simple stone walls which would have sufficed, the mounds, or cairns, were placed at compass points or intersecting spots along the property lines.  Some legends hold that people would place protective items under the stone cairns like an item of silver, a shoe, a witch bottle, or something from a local specialized tradition or legend and lore which was supposed to bring protection or to prevent some harm like lightening or a tree from falling on the property and causing disaster.

Another very ancient magickal, ritualistic use of stones is the Jewish tradition of placing stones on the gravestone of a deceased loved one. My research turned up an ancient legend which interestingly shows that the actual origin of the gravestone or headstone we see today in a cemetery was started by this tradition.

Malachite


As the legend goes, a Jewish man broke the Sabbath by trying to solve a crime where he placed a note. Later, he felt guilty for breaking the Sabbath, though it was necessary, and decided his punishment should be his grave should be 'stoned' after his death. So, the tradition of placing stones on a grave became popular.

Thus the tradition of Jewish people placing stones at the head of a grave in honor and remembrance of their loved one became a tradition. After a time, the pile or mound of stones at the head of a grave was eventually morphed into the headstone or gravestone we are familiar with today. And Jews today still will place small stones on top of the headstone in this tradition.  This dates to Biblical times or even before and of course is a legend and as such is difficult to prove and must be looked at as myth as much of the earliest legends.  I present it as yet another ritual way of how stones were used by a culture thousands of years ago and are still used in a similar way today.

There are other legends surrounding stones and graves where legend says that people would place heavy stones over the graves to prevent the spirits of the dead from rising and walking in spirit form among the living.

It is a legend that ancient Roman soldiers would carry Tiger's Eye stone, some carved with certain symbols, into battle with them to provide protection for them.

In ancient times, the stone we know today as Peridot along with other stones were known  as Topaz. These stones were kept in the home to prevent fire and accidents from happening in the home.

Any stone you find that has a hole in it, not man made but caused by natural means is called a Hag stone and is considered extremely lucky and magickal to have in your possession. Hag stones like many magickal, superstitious items from the distant past have a dual legendary purpose to both keep witches away and to ward against witchcraft as well as to be used by witches and aid a witch with her work.
Bloodstone


It simply depends on the viewpoint of the person using it and their beliefs.  Hag stones could have been used to look through into other worlds, as a divination device, a portal into the faerie world. It was reputed to prevent nightmares, ward off curses, sickness, the evil eye and to allow the possessor to really "see" another person without magickal glamour surrounding them.

Also throughout history we have heard the legends of the sorceresses using their natural crystal balls, within which they were able to see the future for their client most notably a King or Queen, and semi precious stones have been treasured and considered as valuable as money, if not more so, than gold in just about all ancient cultures from the ancient Egyptians  to the Incas to the Asians, from all corners of the world.

Some cultures would powder the semi precious stones and use them as cosmetics, some would ingest them, some would use them in magickal potions, on ritual altars, on ritual tools and religious artifacts and relics. Everything from sarcophagi to tombs to temples to inner chambers of the Pyramids would be encrusted with stones, crystals and minerals mined from the inner earth.


Rhodochrosite


We have decorated crowns and diadems of royalty, to tipping scepters to weighing down necklaces, bracelets, torques, and rings of ancient rulers and people of power and importance. Emperors, Kings, Popes, and the very wealthy have always had stones of some significance, some of special importance, some of superstition, some of supposed curses or good luck.

Silver and Gold representing for millennium, the Goddess and God, to Amethysts, Malachite, Carnelian, Hematite, Jade, Quartz Crystal, Citrine, Blood stone, Tiger's Eye, Rose Quartz, Lapis Lazuli, Pyrite, Jaspers and hundreds of other stones found all around the world. Some were easily picked up off of the ground to some being mined from deep within the earth. Some were cracked open within geodes, to those being found growing inside of caves, have always enchanted and awestruck humans with their beauty and seemingly mystical, magickal and possible potential to make magickal change for the person who held the precious stone within their grasp.


Lapis Lazuli

Where we have the Blarney Stone in Ireland where people need to hang upside down to try to kiss it to attain a semblance of good luck, and hundreds do so every year willingly,  we can also see the magnificent Hope diamond that has been owned by the richest and most famous of celebrities and has brought nothing but death, sadness and tragedy, but hundreds flock to view it in a museum yearly to dream and wonder.

Stones have been held in special regard by the earliest humans. Perhaps because by their very nature, stones are permanent and never die, never waste away, never biodegrade. You can pick up a simple stone and be holding a piece of earth that is a million of years old. I believe some people take comfort in the stability and longevity that they find and feel in holding a stone.  I feel humans have felt this way for millenia. Perhaps we always will. For even after we have passed away and have turned to dust, stones will remain. Steadfast and shining in their beauty.



Live, Laugh and always Love, Ms. Faith











© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ancient Magickal Techniques - Using Hair


Good Evening My Witchy Readers,

This month I am going to present to you a short series of discussions which will focus on some ancient and unusual magickal techniques and or objects or materials not normally considered magickal. Like tonight's material, hair. Actually hair has had many magickal attributes attributed to it since the earliest biblical times, and is mentioned magickally numerous times in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.

We all remember the famous story of Samson and Delilah and how she robbed him of his strength by cutting his hair and that way he was able to be overtaken by the Philistines.  And in the New Testament when Mary anoints Jesus at Bethany (John 12:3) 'Mary therefore took an expensive pound of ointment, made from spikenard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair.' After anointing his feet with the special ointment, the only reason to wipe his feet with her hair was magickal in its totality. It was known, and still is, that the hair holds an electrical charge and it can be released into what it is rubbed against to enchant or charge or 'bless' if you will.

Yet most of the stories throughout history focus on taking the woman's or the witches magick and power from her by cutting her hair, In many very old cultures, from Greece, to Rome, other European cultures, coastal Mediterranean cultures the most magickal hair on a woman's body was the underarm hair. In various legends any hair from pubic to head hair even body hair was considered powerful, as those accused of witchcraft in ancient times often had their entire bodies shaved before trial and subsequent execution.  If the hair was not considered powerful and magickally dangerous it seems that such a laborious step would not be taken and the accused would simply be tried and put to death.

It is interesting that one of the first 'spells' was considered to be braided into women's long hair. It is the only 'hair style' considered unacceptable' in the Bible for a woman, and it is mentioned because of the adornment but hair had been adorned in much more elaborate ways even before then, but the braided hair being considered a witches spell was known back then and was forbidden. The reason is because it was a common fashion for Pagan women.

The braided hair containing spells were common among Pagan women who used magick in their day to day lives. We see the braided design used again and again in the Celtic designs in their elaborate knot work, as seen in their jewelry, their clothing patterns, and in later times in stone carvings in their cemeteries and in sacred texts. Their knot work itself was magickal by its very nature and it is braided by design, so it is not hard to see a strong coloration to a woman's hair braid, which ancient Celtic queens and royal women were often depicted on coins, that have lasted through the centuries.

During the Victorian Era 1837-1901, mourning hair jewelry became very popular, especially as funeral pieces. Loved ones that had passed on, some of their hair would be harvested by a family member as the body was prepared for the funeral service, which was typically held in the family home, and different jewelry varieties, all unique, would be made from the hair of their loved one. These pieces would be kept as a keep sake or a talisman as a way to keep the loved one close and protected.


I do not think, in this day and age that hair jewelry would be a big thing anymore, but there are magickal ways we can continue to use our own hair to create magick and to cast spells to make needed change manifest.

You can use the ancient Celtic concept of braiding a love spell into your hair as long as you think of yourself and the happiness and love that will come your way. Only think of another person if you have asked that person and have received their permission.

You can use some of your hair from a hair brush of yours to help bind something of yours to you and to keep it in your possession. If you have a pet, that has a collar with a pocket for a tag, you can tuck a bit of your hair inside to help keep your pet from wandering too far away from home.

If you find a car at a dealers or an apartment for rent you really want, you can leave a small bit of hair behind to make circumstances better for you to be able to come back and take possession of your car or apartment.. Now, that is, if you are supposed to actually move into that space or buy that car. If there are other energies working, most likely energies you may have already put into the universe  that have determined you are meant to go in another direction then that will happen. But your hair can help keep your 'item'' waiting for you until the time is right.

You might just need a couple of weeks to get the last of a security deposit or to get approval from a bank or something like that, so the placement of the hair just keeps things waiting for you, while others are not kept from buying a car or apartment, they simply find themselves attracted to other choices.  It is much better that you do not know of any others who are interested just to be sure you are not manipulating any others. If your dealer or realtor starts to tell you of other interested parties stop them immediately and tell them you do not want to hear of any others.  Besides, they only do that to pressure you anyway, there is no real reason you need to know of others interest.

Of course, some of my readers who may be more mature or nostalgic may remember when it was a more common thing to wear lockets, and at times one would put a lock of hair from a loved one within the locket to wear close to your heart. Actually, being one of the only body parts (if you will) that one can carry that would not be considered creepy or just downright weird, it still will do as it has always intended to do, carrying hair in a locket would keep your loved one close to you in spirit and energy. It does not matter if they are alive or passed on, their energy would be just as strong, carried this way.

Ancient women in most ancient cultures were considered young and innocent when they had short hair and when their hair was long and luxurious, it indicated a power and wisdom, experience and knowledge. Women back then were respected and revered.  When the witch hunters came, the witch or woman accused of witchcraft was always stripped naked, her entire body was shaved of all hair including her head  and in this fashion, completely naked and shaved, in front of hundreds of jeering, gaping, scornful, accusing people, she would be brought before a bank of 3 to 10 or more judges and tried. Many times in a language she did not understand.

Many of the 'witches' were country women, from small villages,  who had little to no formal education and worked on their small farms who were accused and brought into the larger towns.  Not knowing the formal language of the day, be it Latin, or formal French, or courtly English, only knowing the dialect of the countryside she resided in, she was unable to defend herself and was not allowed any legal defender, no witnesses in her defense and no defense of any kind except the opportunity to confess. Most did so, hoping for the forgiveness afforded the sinner that confessed her sins, but that was normally given over her body after it had been hung, burned or stoned to death.

All of this spoke of a great and deep abiding fear of the woman, even a simple country, village herb woman and the believed power she held. A power so great that she needed to be stripped of everything but her very skin to try to take as much of her power away before her life was taken.  This happened again and again, hundreds of thousands of times, for well over a thousand years before the grip of fear of the witch finally loosened. It has only loosened because of the advent of modern, rational, reasonable laws preventing these actions from happening again.

Yet, the fear of the witch and the woman still, insidiously exists in our society to this day and we can see it, if we look very closely.  We also see it in older women being told by the media and fashion magazines and men!! that shorter hair as they get older looks better on them. I myself have heard men say, older women look better with shorter hair. Hmmmm, really? I wonder why? Maybe because an older woman with wisdom and longer hair is just too much for a typical man to handle?


I will be discussing other ancient techniques over the next three discussions over the next week or two.


Live, Laugh and Always Love,  Ms. Faith







© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Some Real Truths About Blessing Objects, You Do Not Need Me To Do It!




Good Evening My Witchy Reader,

Tonight's discussion will be brief but hopefully informative. As many of my discussions involve, it covers topics that people come into Enchantments to see me about. This is about those who come into the store to ask about items they might already have, or that they purchase and they wish to have blessed.  We use the term charge, or enchant, but it is all the same. To infuse with blessed, special energy and to give it a special enchantment that it did not have before.

For those who know me or know my writing, you will find my next comments familiar. I do not typically bless items for people. Not jewelry, or crystals or candles or any items such as that. Now I do enchant spell candles that we make especially for a certain purpose, to bring in financial energies, or love energies, or tranquility, or protection along those lines. Yet it is still important that you put your own energies into those candles when you bring them home, before you light them.

Yes, you, in effect do the blessing yourself. And, it is just as effective and just as powerful as anyone else blessing your object, dare I say it? yes, I will, even the Pope, himself! I actually saw him recently bless the first lady's rosary beads on the Presidential trip to Rome and it made me think of this topic.  The first lady asked the Pope to bless her rosary beads, he said of course, she handed them to him, he cupped them in his hands for a brief moment, closed his eyes, and then handed them back.

I honestly do not mean any disrespect to any Catholic, that truly believes that the Pope has some special one on one direct line to God, but he does not, or shall I say he does, just as we all do. You can also bless your spiritual jewelry, your altar tools, your supplies, your special tools that you use in your life whether you are an artist or a musician or a gardener or a writer, no matter what you do. The tools, or instruments you use to perform your hobby, your work, your passion can all be blessed by you and the divine.

It is very much as the Pope demonstrated. Hold the item, close your eyes, but take a bit longer than a brief moment. Imagine bright white light energy flowing from the heavens into your crown chakra, on top of your head, flowing through your body, through your arms, into your hands, into the object you are holding.  See this exchange of bright white light energy flowing through you, as the tool connecting the universe with your object for just a few moments, it does not have to be for a long time. Then open your eyes and place your tool where it belongs. Use it as you normally do.

Also the more you use your tools and objects the more charged and enchanted they will become, bonding themselves to your energy. Simply wearing an item of jewelry for 28 days, a lunar month, without taking it off, will enchant it and bind it to you and it becomes part of your energy.

In this same way, it takes some time for us to affect an items energy, so do not have any fear of items in a store being affected by others having picked them up and touching them, then putting them down, before you buy them.  We need to work with an item, or have it in our possession for a time before our energy starts to affect that items energy field. Some people get all uptight about the energy of items, but unless they are at a flea market or especially antique stores or estate sales, which I never attend, I wouldn't worry.

Items at those places can very well have very old and intense energy and you should hold an object, walk with it for a while before deciding if it feels good enough to bring home. And, no, you cannot clean off an object that has 'bad' energy, simply because it may have built up over decades. It may not be 'bad' energy, simply energy that does not sync up with yours and will make you anxious, uncomfortable and unhappy to be around. Leave it behind. Simply smudging or cleaning may not rid it of the energy, because you do not know what 'stained' it of the energy to begin with.

Back to blessing objects. A bit of history, and forgive me but this goes waaaay back. A thousand, 1500 years or more. To the beginning of the Catholic religion, which started in Rome after Constantine, most notably under Pope Gregory who was credited with unifying the Catholic church and the religion in Europe. He was instrumental with building Cathedrals, churches and instituting rules and regulations, for example i.e.,  such as everyone, regardless of desire must attend church. Everyone must pay tithes, everyone had to ask the priests if they had a prayer, as in the early church it was forbidden to pray to God on your own, and if the priests felt it was a worthy prayer and payment was made, they would pray for you.

The entire societal structure which was redeveloped and restructured upon the foundation of the Catholic church and it's new regulations was hierarchical in nature. The emperor was now the Pope so the royal ruler has now become the religious ruler, next were Cardinals, bishops and priests, even altar boys who all had more 'spiritual power' than the common congregant. This ranking of religious, spiritual power and who had it, who was worthy and who was not was so prevalent for centuries, so ingrained, that vestiges still remain in so many ways to this day. We see this in the average persons belief that some people have a special 'gift' that they are able by their very touch to bless something mundane and make it part of the divine.

So the concept of rosary beads, and other items being blessed by those who were 'special' in God's eyes went with the flip side, hand in hand, with some of those same people, such as priests handing out punishments for those sinners who simply lived life and perhaps enjoyed living life a little more than they were told they should. Especially if they were living as their Pagan forefathers had taught them to, as that was being punished, fasted, prayed and penanced out of them as hard and as fast as possible.  No longer was the Pagan lifestyle accepted and revered but shunned and those who followed it were being eliminated in many ways.

So, still today, the concept that some people, are special and have a power that others do not, so therefore are able to magickally enchant something and make it special is a lovely fairy tale and some refuse to let it go, but truly you have as much spiritual energy and magick within as I do. Yes, some may be in touch with the Goddess on a more regular basis than some others, simply because of what we do and how often we do it, but that can be said about anyone.  Yet if you take the time to sit quietly with your object, say under the full moon, and hold it and feel the energy and feel it flow into your object you will have then blessed it far more effectively than I could.

Having said all of this, I will say I have held objects for the occasional person, as I have met people who simply want  me to hold something of theirs and they do not care that they could bless it better than I, or that I have the same energy as they have themselves. They are vested in the legend and lore they have surrounded me with and to refuse would be mean and petty and I do not wish to do that.

But I hope through my words here I can help those who are walking along this path and are learning about our ways, that you are as magickal as I am, right here and now, no matter if you just stepped upon this path yesterday and I have been on it over 30 years. The magick is pure and strong on day one as it is on day 10,000, the only difference is the longer you are on the path, the easier and quicker you can detect the magick. That is all. The magick remains the same.

If you cast a full magick circle, another way to charge or enchant your items is to, after having cast your circle, take the item you wish to charge, let us say it is a pentagram necklace for this example, and first put a pinch of incense powder on the charcoal and swing the necklace through the scented smoke, then hold it in the candle flame and then dip it briefly in the blessed salted water. That is another way to bless an item, but this works best with items that the flame or water will not ruin. Then lay it on the altar pentacle for a few moments and it is charged.

 These are just some concepts that come to mind when one is discussing blessing objects. But as I often say, you must really do what feels best to you. If it makes you feel better to have another do this for you then by all means, but know you have it within you all along. Hmmm, why am I reminded of the words of the Wizard of Oz to Dorothy?



Live, Laugh and Always Love, Ms. Faith








© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

What Magickal / Spiritual Practice Can Look Like

"Magic Circle" by John William Waterhouse 

Good Afternoon My Witchy Reader,

Today I want to touch on a topic that comes up probably more than any other in my line of work, running a witch shop and school for the magickal arts. When I meet people new to the magickal path, they often admit they are hesitant to start casting circles, or casting spells or really doing any magickal practice. That is besides reading books on magick and Wicca and purchasing magickal supplies, tools, and pretty items they enjoy for their home, altar or magickal area.

The reasons are mostly the same, they feel they do not know enough, or are worried they will do something wrong, somehow disappointing the Goddess and God for not doing something properly. Some feel they must have everything memorized to perform a ritual, or they must have all sorts of fancy tools, and supplies, rare incenses or herbs, oils and ingredients. Some feel they must have witchy garb, robes and cloaks, silver pentacles and fancy jewelry.

Let me start at the beginning, first and foremost, if you are working with anyone or reading any book that has made these things absolute requirements, that you must acquire before you can start your practice, before you can call yourself a witch or Pagan or magickal person, lose the book and find better people to hang out with. Now, having said this, and I am serious, .  .  .  now yes, you do need some basic items to cast a proper circle and to have a basic altar. You need a few ingredients to cast a simple spell, but we can cover those, and I have in other discussions that you can search on this site.

My point is, and this is important. Your magickal practice starts inside of your heart and soul. I am not being trite by saying this, it is true. Your magickal practice may be as complex and involved as you desire, it may be saturated with perfumed incense and CD's chanting heavy drumming and Pagan music, an altar the size of a pool table and a coven of 20 cloaked participants should that appeal to you. I respect that and have myself participated in many such coven gatherings through the last 30 years. I have danced around bon-fires in the woods under the full moon, and participated in gatherings as large as 50 or more coven members.

I have also walked alone in the noon time woods, so dense in the middle of winter the day was as dark as twilight, and ducked as a snowy white owl screeched and flew over my head as its out stretched wings almost grazed my head as it glided past me and I felt the spirits of the woods alongside me. I walked along until I found a long forgotten white birch tree larger than any I have ever seen before or since, at least 20 feet around, and I could feel the Goddess near by.

This lone experience along with so many others spent in the forest on my own was as much a spiritual ritual for me as a witch, as any experienced in a circle cast with incense and blessed water. For you, especially for those reading this discussion, who find yourself new and/or learning on the magickal path, know that your magickal experience is totally up to you. Never let anyone tell you, it must be this way, or it has to be that way, especially never let anyone tell you, you are not a real witch or not a magickal person if you do not cast a circle, or conduct a ritual on a full moon, or on a new moon or that you do not read tarot cards, or cast spells etc. etc.  Again, it is all up to you.

Even in my classes, I have students learn various things, such as how to cast a circle and conduct rituals in certain ways, learn proper scientific principles of spell casting and such, so they have a firm basis of learning and understanding to build on, but I expect them to continue to learn  and develop and expand their magickal training with their experience and practice.

Yes, it is helpful to read, and take classes and learn from those who have more experience than you in the beginning, but the time comes when you need to start building upon your knowledge with what you have learned from your mistakes, mess ups and ooopes along the way!

But, please!!!  Do not wait to start practicing. If you wait until you feel you have enough knowledge and experience you will never start. We can be very hard on ourselves and very critical, especially those of us who find ourselves drawn to this path. Start now. Simply, easy. Tonight, light a candle. I know you have one. Even if it is a tea light. Hold it in your hands and say a blessing or prayer. Something simple like for love and happiness to come in to your life. Hold it and close your eyes and see white light energy flow from your hands into the candle. After a few moments, open your eyes and light the candle.

Let it burn and keep it somewhere safe and close where you can see it. Have no candles? Not even one? How about a birthday candle? Yes, even that counts, though it will burn kind of quickly but it will still count.

No candles at all? Can you see the moon as you drive home from work? As you drive home from work, look for just a moment at the moon, and say a blessing of thanks to the Goddess for the blessings in your life and for those in your life. The love, happiness, the friends, health, job, family, whatever you have to be grateful for, be grateful for it. Give a few words of gratitude. This is a ritual in and of itself. It is simple and easy but it is valid and no one can tell you it does not count. If they do tell you this, they are simply not worth listening to.

Our spiritual practice is very much like our grieving practice when we lose a loved one, or how we love those in our lives, it is personal and should not be dictated by others. You yourself should not be too hard on yourself about when and how you should practice. Even if you wish to cast a circle and do not have everything you need, a witch is very resourceful. For instance, if you do not have an altar pentacle because you have yet to find that perfect one, the one that is just right, do not wait. You can draw one on a piece of paper, or I have even used a silver pentacle pendant necklace. If you have a book with a pentagram on the cover, you can place the book in the center of the altar, it will work in a pinch.

I do like to use charcoal briquettes to burn my powdered incense on, and if you do use them, you must use the ones made to be burned inside. They are made to be used in Hookahs, and, no you cannot substitute the charcoal normally used for outdoor grills because they contain poison that will make you sick and can kill you if burned indoors, so that is not an option. But you can use two or three wands of incense or a few cones to make enough incense smoke to cast the circle.

I have a saying I like to use. Many have heard the old adage "Necessity is the Mother of Invention", well I like to add, "If that is so, then Necessity is the name of a witch". If you do not have candles for the watchtower candles for the various elements round the circle, you could use a few stones in the North, a feather in the East, a statue or picture of a dragon for the South and a sea shell or bowl of water for the West.

The best improvisations are the ones the magickal practitioner comes up with and if it makes sense to you, then it makes sense, and the Gods will not mind. It is humans that are  judgmental not the Gods, not our Gods.

So if you have never cast a magick circle, nor cast a spell, or made a potion or worn a cloak and frolicked around Salem, Mass do not worry that you are not a real witch or Pagan or magickal practitioner. If you have ever looked at the full moon and felt the wonder and your breath catch in your chest at it's beauty, if you have held a crystal or stone and could feel it's energy and touched a plant or tree and could feel it's spirit living inside of it, you have done many rituals all respectful of the Goddess.

As Doreen Valiente wrote when she penned "The Charge of the Goddess"  "Let Her worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you."

All acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals, and isn't that a lovely way to look at living Life? I do enjoy casting a circle and having a sacred esbat or sabbat, but spending time with my close friends, planting flowers and herbs in the gardens, when I teach a magickal studies class and we get deep into the world of magick and witchcraft, when I spend an hour at singing class, or practice on my own as music has always been spiritual to me, no matter the genre of music I am listening to. Whenever I do anything that I love and that brings me happiness, they are Her rituals and I try to not rush through them, but to take my time, be present and enjoy each moment.

These are all spiritual moments. The path of the Witch, the Craft of the Wise, is not a hobby, or an occasional activity, it is not just something we do at Halloween time, but when you step upon this path it will be there for you always and can eventually become a way of life for you, if you choose for it to be.

If you feel the pull of the magickal world that is all you need. Now follow where it leads. Read more about it, start simple and easy, set aside a special place for you and write down ideas and thoughts of where you would like to go with your spiritual journey, and just be present for each and every moment and enjoy, love and have fun. Trust the rest will fall into place.


Live, Laugh and Always Love, Ms. Faith






© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

"If You Do Not Find It Within, You Will Never Find It Without"


Original art created for the author of this blog by Giancarlo Fusco


Good Afternoon My Witchy Reader,


Today I want to go a bit deeper into the philosophy of the witch. Mind you, there will be those who will claim, quite loudly, that the following principles, because they are found in Wiccan writings, are Wiccan in their entirety and therefore do not apply to anyone who does not follow Wiccan practice or theology.  They would be wrong.

In truth, the earliest writers of Wiccan theology or religion, Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente and others of their time, simply wrote of philosophy that applied to human experience and benefited all, whether you were Wiccan or not. That actually was a great benefit of a new religion first developed in the early 1950's, for while it was based on ancient principles of witchcraft, it was able to incorporate more modern understanding of the human condition.

Such as, "what you send out, returns back to you", and "an' it harm none do what you will", are a couple of well known "Wiccan" concepts but they are found in the basis of metaphysics, such as karma and regardless of how you wrap it up, call it what you will these concepts exists beyond the trappings of religion and affect anyone and everyone even those who have no religion or spiritual belief system.

The concept I will discuss today, we touch upon briefly as we cast the circle using a sword. The high Priestess, holds the sword upright, then turns it point down, then point towards the Priestess and then the point is directed away, while she says, "As above, So below, As within, So without". This references the words of Doreen Valiente's "Charge of the Goddess" in which she wrote "Know that thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless they knowest the Mystery, If that which thou seeks, thy finds not within thee, thy will never find it without."

This is a beautiful passage which seems simple at first read, but can get deeper and deeper as the seeker studies and tries to apply it to their path and their magickal work. If what you are seeking, in your magick, in your family, relationships, at work, career, in your life if you cannot find it within yourself, you will never find it outside of yourself.

When you start to break this down and think of it, in detail, this applies to all.  If you are looking for love, happiness, fulfillment, abundance, success, acceptance, in your life from others around you, you first must have these qualities within you yourself. Within you not only for yourself but .  .  .  and here's the rub, for others.

Yes, you cannot expect others to accept you, show you mercy, compassion, love, be non-judgmental, or as many in Wiccan tradition like to throw around, to show you"perfect love and perfect trust' but while you in turn fail to show and give others these qualities. You will find the feedback, the karmic return to be harsh, swift and a slap in the face. Sharp and painful.

For many, they will simply sit about and wonder why? Why is my life so unhappy? Why me? Why do I not get what I deserve? Why is everyone always overlooking me, not taking me seriously, not respecting me, not treating me as I expect to be treated? And what you need to do is look inside of you. That is where is starts.

If you cannot find it within, you will never find it without. Although Ms. Valiente beautifully crafted the original "Charge of The Goddess" and it has since been rewritten and adapted by many more Wiccan authors,  the philosophies in this work are not specific to Wicca, but can and should be applied to humans living their lives and trying to be the best people they can be.

In this time, in this country, if not the world, but most certainly in the United States of this day and age, we have found ourselves in an age of blame. Fingers pointing to everyone but ourselves and blaming everyone and everything for all of the woes of the world and our problems. Yet the philosopher, the scholar who studies the human condition understands that it all starts within us, and emanates from us outwards.

This unfortunately has been role modeled from the top level of our government and has seeped down like a poison and it has caused a lot of people to feel entitled to cast blame on others for their problems, from local and state government to Federal government, to immigrants coming into our country to those who look differently from us, who sound differently from us, who believe differently from us, even those who were born and raised in this country. We are in a new sad era of separation and discrimination that disempowers every single one of those who fall into this abyss.

This belief feeds hatred, prejudice and fear.  Yet, many who follow this dark path of personal destruction actually seem to feel a sense of empowerment, but it is short lived, as the spark of light of their inner souls knows on some higher level that this belief feeds the base lower levels of our Shadow selves and not the higher light of our souls being.

If you need an example of how this energy actually works, I will use the current President of the United States.  I do this, as he opened the door, stating just last week, he is a victim of a witch hunt. I will leave that alternative fact aside and bring your attention to his entire demeanor since his election victory. Yes, he did win the election in November of 2016, regardless of statistics, he is considered the 45th President of the United States.

In the time since his election victory, his initial bravado and pride, perhaps hubris at his win, has steadily and consistently traveled a path downwards as he has clearly demonstrated how he feels victimized, unloved, unwanted, harassed, disrespected, constantly parodied, teased and bullied. By the media, by Congress, by the opposing party, by his own party even by members of his own 'team', he feels unloved and even by sitting in the seat of the President of the United States in the Oval Office of the White House, the highest position in this country he constantly complains like a petulant child.  This is because what he is so desperately seeking outside of himself, what he has for his entire life paid for with his millions and billions of dollars, he no longer can pay for and now when he needs to be able to access it within himself, it is not there. It never was.

As much as his father tried to set his son up to be successful in life by giving his a lot of money and businesses and opportunities, he failed his son by not giving him a sense of inner respect, love and self worth. But I just use this President as an example, a good example as I leave his politics out of this. I do not write about politics in this column, whatever your political bent is of no interest to me. But the observations of this President demonstrates this topics point very clearly.

So look at your path and your life. Realize that passing judgment has become almost like an air born drug in our culture these days, where it is on social media, on the news, in our day to day life and even within us as we judge ourselves.  We have to work harder these days just to let others live and let live and simply not care if they like something different from us, if they believe differently from us, if they look differently from us, if the speak, think, or come from a place that is different from us.

This used to make us a stronger country and culture, but it is now breaking us down and making us weak because we are allowing it to. In the magickal world, on the magickal path the differences and uniqueness amongst us is even more pronounced and radical. Yet, that is to be expected as there are no two witches, pagans or Wiccans who are the same.  It is even more crucial that we work on looking inside for those things we want and hope to find outside of us. The acceptance of others, the understanding, the common courtesy, the compassion, the love and friendship, loyalty and trust.

These things, everything you are looking for, if you cannot find these within you, you will never find them outside of you.  Yet remember, it is not just for you and of you that these things must be applied, but towards others if you wish to have them return back to you.

For those who ask, How? How do I stop passing judgment on others? This is a very good question which shows you are ready to do the work, you have recognized that you like just about everyone, myself included, have moments when we do pass judgment, and now you wish to transcend this place.

First stop fearing them. Judgment comes from fear. Once you stop fearing someone else simply because they are different, then healing and acceptance of yourself will start, then acceptance of others will follow.

For those who wonder what this topic has to do with magick? Start working on this philosophy and the answer will become apparent sooner than you could realize. But I will let you discover that, when the time is right for you.



Live, Laugh and Always Love, Ms. Faith












© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.