The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Author Ms.Faith

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Brief History of the Witch Part 1

Good Afternoon,

The human race has been on the Earth for approximately 6.5 million years, and clay figurines have been found (some considered the first works of art created by humans)  depicting a Mother Goddess which have been carbon dated between 800,000- 1  million years B.C.E.*  These attempts were examples of early man trying to fashion what they thought the creator would look like. Since the female of the species gave birth, it was natural for early man to see the creator, of all that existed, as being female. Every early culture on Earth had a female deity in it's origins.

The earliest part of human history saw society as tribes organized and governed by women. Matriarchal  societies were not only ruled primarily by women, the principal  deity of such tribal groups were female though, often depicted as a Great Mother Goddess. The women's primary role was to  organize  and determine the structure of the tribe, teach the young, provide food and medicine to provide  nourishment and healing, to assist in births, and comfort the dying, and prepare the dead. The women acted as counselors, teachers, priestesses, judges, healers, oracles, and magi (magickal ones).

The knowledge, that was needed to keep a tribe flourishing, was necessary to pass on to the young.  This knowledge of herbs, of knowing when to gather the food, the understanding of seasons and cycles, knowing natural signs, seeming to understand deep mysteries of birth and death all contributed to the woman's reputation of being wise, mysterious, magickal and powerful. The female governed societies for over 65,000 years until approximately 5,000 years ago when the first patriarchal societies originating in Mesopotamia invaded Egypt and other countries in the Mediterranean.

The concept of kingship stated to spread, and male dominated tribes started to overtake countries once dedicated to the Great Mother Goddess, and in a short period of time  male dominated cultures  had overtaken the Mother governed tribes of the Earth.

Very quickly, in relation to Earth's history, the wheels of change turned and the woman was denigrated to the lowest levels of society. With the introduction of Christianity she was reduced to a status, that in many cultures was, less than cattle. She was considered by the early church to be unclean, sinful,  evil, to cavort with the Christian devil, to have been responsible for luring Adam into sin in the Book of Genesis' Garden of Eden, and to be lustful and wholly responsible for sexual deviation. Soon fear and distrust was directed at any female  regardless of  age.   Also with the introduction of Christianity the roles of women in society all became outlawed. Laws were passed forbidding midwifery, cremation (which was a common way to dispose of the dead in many cultures), using herbal knowledge for healing and  divining the future  by natural  means became  an offense  punishable by death. The wise woman became known as the witch, a direct enemy of the church.

The Burning Times were  also known as the Roman Catholic Inquisition, a 300 year period in which the Catholic Church was responsible for the women's holocaust.  A time when approximately 9 millions women, children  as well as  men were arrested, tortured and put to death in the most horrendous ways to eliminate the woman's power and to eradicate the Goddess in the people's belief.

To be continued .  .  .

Peace and Happiness, Ms. Faith

© 2010-2016 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 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 be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Pagans and Witches Do believe in a God, Here Let Me Explain!

Good Morning,

It has been a while since we chatted, but I've been off doing mysterious witchy things! I had a lovely discussion yesterday with a  good friend and during the conversation she mentioned, "So, I take it you don't believe in God?"  Well, I love a good opening which allows me to explain a bit of our beliefs and customs as a pagan and a witch.

I told her, that of course we believe in a God and also a Goddess. Whereas I know some pagan or witch groups focus pretty heavily on the Goddess, some exclusively, I and many others, tend to focus on both. For, truthfully, the world is inhabited by species of both genders and both the feminine and the masculine have a purpose and place in our world.

The picture I chose  above, of the white stag, is a symbol of the God, actually any horned male  animal in nature represents the God to us. This is one of the reasons the early Christians, trying to convert the pagan populace to Christianity created a devil with horns. By vilifying the horned God and making him into an evil creature they hoped to shift the focus to their Christian God.

When she asked if I believe in Jesus, I answered, but of course. I do believe he lived  and had a strong influence on the people of the day, that has continued to this day. But do I believe in him as the savior of my soul? No. As pagans, we live an enviable existence where we don't need to be saved, we are perfect just as the creator  made us. And when I say perfect, that is in every aspect. Whether you are handicapped, fat, thin, tall, short, quick witted or slow, it matters not. In the eyes of our creator, most commonly thought to be a mother Goddess, we are perfect. Now, that does not  mean we do not try to become better people, to help others and try to leave aside those attitudes and behaviors that do  not serve us any longer. We do have work to do. But that very fact does not  make us any less  perfect.

I believe that Jesus lived as I believe the Buddha lived, as well as Krishna, Allah, Mohammed. There have been many,  many magickal masters that have come to the earth to tell the earth's people of their message of love and acceptance.  But, my God and Goddess comes  from a time far earlier than any of these masters.

Many of us believe in the God/ Goddess energy that started at the beginning of creation. The original big daddy or mommy if you will!  There is archaeological evidence, that has been unearthed, of  mother Goddess figurines that have been carbon dated as old as  800,000  to  1 million years B.C.E.
Such as this figurine called the 'Achuelian Goddess"

This picture is a replica of the original Achuelian Goddess, so named because she was dated to the Achuelian period, which is the lower paleolithic and was thought to be created by individuals called Homo Erectus. It is considered to be the oldest human created art form ever unearthed, up to this point in time.  It shows the faceless body, as in the earliest days, Goddess figures did not have a face, as She was every woman. The figurine has large breasts and the genitals are made obvious, because She was the one who gave birth to the world. This made a lot of sense for ancient mankind, as they looked around the world for explanations as to their existence, and saw the female of all of the species gave birth, so therefore the creator of all must be female.

The modern era concept of a creator being male comes from the warrior races that originated in the Mesopotamia region, such as the Huns, the Goths and like races that eventually overcame the Goddess worshiping, agricultural, hunter and gatherer races. Eventually, the Egyptians, the Romans, the Greeks, and then other cultures and races were either overtaken by force or eventual conversion culminating in the burning times which almost eliminated the Goddess cultures from the earth.

Note that I said,  almost. Considering the many methods employed during the hundreds of years of the Burning Times, it is almost inconceivable that the concept of the great Mother Goddess survived, but She did.

It is due in large part by anthropologists and scholars such as Dr. Margaret Murray and Robert Graves and their books detailing the ancient Goddess cultures, that allowed this belief system and religion for some to be resurrected in modern times.

One cannot simply look at a Pagan or a witch and think they know of who and what we are. For so many of us, our history, which stretches back through time, hundreds of thousands of years, to the earliest tribes, the earliest people  on the earth and culminates in a diverse, colorful, rich and satisfying lifestyle and  religious belief.  To  know us, to understand us, one must do a bit of research and study.

But,  know absolutely, that we do believe in a God and a Goddess, for many of us, we believe in aspects of the Great God and Great Goddess as  many gods and goddesses, similar to a Catholic who believes in many saints. It is similar to that concept. But we are, by no means, godless. Pagan does not mean Atheist, it does not mean Agnostic. From my personal experience pagans and witches are deeply spiritual and rather than thinking about our God and Goddess on Sunday or on holy days, our God and Goddess are an integral part of our day to day lives.

We see our creator represented  in every flower, tree, rock, mountain, stream, river, ocean, cloud, drop of rain, blade of grass, weed, seed, bird, animal, fruit and vegetable. We also see our creator in every human, as we are all part of the great creation.

To answer the question, yes, we do believe in a God.

Peace and Happiness

© 2010-2016 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 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 be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Proper Etiquette for Attending Pagan Moots, Sabbats, Gatherings and Events

Good Afternoon Magickal Reader,

Today's discussion allows me to act as a witchy Miss Manners.  As you walk along the path of the magickal ones and get to know more  like minded people and attend  more gatherings, there are some rules of etiquette one must be aware of.

Whether you are attending a Moot (which is a Pagan gathering, usually held outdoors), a Sabbat or Esbat  ceremony, one needs to be on their best Pagan behavior. I, myself, have been in the Pagan community for over  30 years now and have attended countless events from very small to quite large. Unfortunately, not everyone polishes up their best behavior and as such this can adversely affect others. As these events are spiritual in nature, on one level or another, we must be certain that our behavior does not take away from others enjoyment of the moment.

When we come together at these events, they become mini Pagan communities, where we all come together for a moment, to enjoy, share, worship and socialize with each other and these occasions should be as wonderful as we can make them for ourselves and each other.

For those who resist following any etiquette or rules of  polite behavior, they have the option of practicing solitary, as they should.  That's one of the best parts about being a witch or pagan, we can practice alone or with a group. For those who wish to practice with a group please be sure to observe the following rules.  Also know, I have come up with these from my 30 plus years of attending celebrations and my observation of these events and the people attending.

1.) First and foremost. BE ON TIME!  And do not give me that tired nonsense of  "Pagan Time".  It is simply disrespectful, and rude to show up late, especially when you are given a month or more notice in advance. Also, if you say you are going to come, show up!  If you can't come, please let the organizers know. Events like these always require a head count for cakes and ale or other things, perhaps party ritual favors and the like. Please let your hosts know if you will be attending and then, unless you are on fire, show up!

Also, and I mention this from experience, because it has happened. If you cannot make it, a simple "thank you but I will not be able to attend" is all that needs to be said.  To tell someone who has invited you, "I'd really like to come, but I prefer to sleep in" or  "I just can't get motivated enough, but have fun without me!" Well, comments like this emphasis that your event, no matter how nice and well planned, just isn't of interest enough for  the person,  .  .  .  no party planner needs to hear that.

So, RSVP promptly, and stick with your RSVP and show up if you said you would.  Of course, emergencies happen, but people that bow out tend to do so often and it becomes expected and so no one believes all of these emergencies any longer.  Then you do not get to have an attitude because you are no longer welcome or included. This is your worship and your fellowship, if you desire it and the Goddess presents you with it, take it and be grateful.  Remember that time, not too long ago, when you so very much wished for others of like mind to share this path with?

2.) DO NOT/NEVER/NO HOW! EVER bring someone to an event without the permission of the High Priest or High Priestess  and they are those who run the covenstead (the home the event is held at), especially if they haven't met everyone yet. Just because someone is interested, don't bring them along without permission. Many witches and pagans are still in 'the broom closet' as it were and don't wish to be 'outed' to a stranger. Also, it is so inappropriate to bring someone who is NOT like minded to prove to them it is not what they think. This is never the time or place to try to educate or convince people we aren't devil worshipers.

Also, never bring small children without express permission. With rituals having flames, smoke, sharp metal blades and the like, it can be a dangerous place and if you get permission to bring small children, be absolutely sure you keep a close watch over them. It is not a time where "the whole village" will watch them. Each person is there for their own experience, they do not want to watch your child. And if you have a child so young that it may interrupt the ritual or a meditation with fussing or crying, even if you have been given permission, DO NOT bring them. Again, this is not just your spiritual experience but everyone's present. Hire a babysitter and enjoy the event fully.

3.) Never bring your own alcoholic drinks to an event. If the organizers wish to provide wine or mead for cakes an ale or offer some wine with the feast that is their prerogative. If the event organizers have asked someone to bring wine or such, that's fine also, but you do not get to bring your own just because that is what you want to drink. Despite legendary lore, witches gatherings and Sabbats are NOT drunken orgies.  (I will wait a moment while the disappointment sinks in)

And, getting drunk at an event is beyond rude and completely unacceptable and you are dishonoring your coven and your hosts, and you shouldn't be surprised if you are not invited back again. When you become inebriated you not only risk your hosts getting in serious trouble if you get in an accident or arrested for DWI, you also put other's lives at stake by driving drunk. That is unacceptable for anyone. And it needs to be said, if you cannot go to an event like this and not drink alcohol, well you have a serious problem and should focus on dealing with that and leave magick alone entirely, until you become sober and can regain control of the energies around you.

4.) Always ask if you can bring a dish to share with others. You may ask if there are any dietary restrictions and if your dish cannot abide by these restrictions,  please mark the dish clearly that it contains various ingredients that some people may wish to avoid. Just screaming out that the casserole has nuts in it, while standing by the buffet table,  and hoping everyone hears you, especially at a large, loud, excited gathering is not acceptable. Clearly label the dish or put a marked index card in front of it warning of the ingredients.

If you bring a dish that is pre-wrapped like a fruit tray or a dip, be sure, when the feast begins, that you attend to your feast offering by opening it up and making it available to the other people. When someone has a plate in their hands and they come across a tightly wrapped and sealed  food tray they will simply pass on by and at the end of the event it will remain unopened.

Also,  please make sure you know your host's desires for left over food. If they wish for you to leave it, make sure it is in a disposable container they do not have to try to get back to you.  Also if your hosts or event organizers ask that any left over foods be taken back, please do so graciously. Arguing that you really won't eat it, you don't want it, etc is not polite. Even if you decide to throw it out, you do so, do not make your hosts do so.

5.) Usually an event will have a start time and an end time. Be courteous and if all the clean up is done (and always offer to clean up) and it is time to leave, do so. Remember that your hosts have put a lot of energy, work and effort into this event, much more so than the participants and to over-stay your welcome just makes it harder for them. They are tired and want to go to sleep. If you want to be all pagan and watch the sunrise you can do it in your car or at your house.

6.) Also being thankful and grateful to your hosts is so important. I personally have known covens, groups, large and small that have disbanded, all because of the lackadaisical attitude of some of the coven members, the expectation that there will be a Sabbat or event miraculously appear and created just for them and no appreciating all for all the work that goes into it.

Showing appreciation can happen in so many meaningful but small ways. Helping set up the altar, or break down the altar set up. Making sure the candles are lit or extinguished, picking up of any and all trash that may have found its way to the ground. (this last one you wouldn't think would need to be pointed out to pagans and magickal people, but sadly it does.)  Welcoming newcomers who  are invited but may be feeling a bit unsure and left out, shy and nervous. Asking the High Priest or Priestess if there is anything you can do and then promptly doing it and not getting in the way.

Also bringing an offering for the altar, a  bouquet of fresh flowers, or a gift for future rituals like a container of sea salt, or a small bag of sand,  or a cylinder of charcoal. Any of the items you know are gone through quickly when having rituals. These would all be graciously received and appreciated.

Please  leave in depth questions and talks of philosophy, or personal or spiritual problems aside until a better time. Trying to bend the High Priest/ess' ear while they are trying to get the gathering started is distracting and you won't get all of their attention. Wait for a more appropriate time to ask your questions or discuss your problems.

7.) It is also important to know the dress requirements for a ritual. Wearing a cloak is usually accepted but stripping bare because you like to do your rituals sky clad is not acceptable. Some very large gatherings will have designated areas where sky clad worshipers may congregate, but find out about that before hand.

8.) This is a new rule of etiquette. One I have never had to instruct on before, but times, .   .  .  they are a changin'.  When you get to the event, do not look at your phone, except to check on the time so  you do not overstay your welcome. Sitting on the couch or with others, totally immersed in your phone, game playing or checking your stock accounts, it really doesn't matter, it is the height of rudeness.  And you run the risk of an old high priestess like me telling you, in front of everyone, to knock it off! You are there for the fellowship, the socializing, the camaraderie and the spiritual experience, and NONE of those things are to be found in your phone.

Maybe you are well versed in all of these, maybe you learned of one or two you hadn't thought of. But, when going to an event, whether at a person's private home or in a huge field in nature, be very careful that your attitude and behavior doesn't impede on any others. And have a great time!

Peace and Happiness!

© 2010-2016 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 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 be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Witches and Pagans, Accept Us or Leave Us Alone, but Do Not Try To Convert Us!

Good Evening my Magickal Witchy Readers,

Unfortunately, I do realize that those individuals who really need to read this discussion, wouldn't be caught dead reading the words of a witch.  At least not to learn anything new or to open their minds. For those new to the magickal path, you might not have encountered any covert hostility, or openly hostile people. But stay on this path long enough and you will, especially if you let others know of your beliefs. Many of you know very well what I am talking about. Extremist Fundamentalist Christians who feel compelled to change your mind about your beliefs and to try to save your soul.

Yes, you and I both know the basics of our beliefs. How we do not worship or even acknowledge the Judeo-Christian created Satan or devil. How we do not do any harmful magick or direct any harmful energies towards anyone. How we try to care for the Earth, animals, people and our community.

Yet, there are those in our community that secretly hate us. They despise everything about us. They are filled with hatred, fear, ignorance and would hurt us if they could. It sounds scary and it is. Occasionally I will receive a letter or someone will call on the store phone and try to convince us of the errors of our ways and how evil the path we tread really is. Many of these encounters are reported to the local police department.

I do find it  interesting that these individuals, who on one hand feel so strongly about 'saving our souls' and teaching us the righteous Godly way to live, and they beg us to give up our 'evil ways' and are so earnest and sincere and seem to truly believe what they are saying .  .  .  but they never sign their names to the letters and the phone numbers are always blocked. Hmmmmm?

One would think, if they truly felt as they preach, inside of their hearts, they would want to shout it from the roof tops, and be proud of trying to bring us into the 'light'. But in truth their actions, sending anonymous letters, blocking their names and number on the phone, show that they do know that what they are doing and saying crosses a boundary and violates a person's right to religious freedom.

I personally know many wonderful Christians who have only love and acceptance in their hearts, even if the other person's beliefs differs from theirs. They know a few secret things, that fundamentalist Christians, those 'pushy' people don't.  They know that God/Goddess created .  .  .  everyone. They know, as Pagans do, that humans were created thousands of years before modern religions. And they know that once we pass from this world, that heaven, or the summer land (as pagans call it) or the temple of the God/Goddess, or whatever you call it, has no religion. There is only love on the other side.

For those who somehow find themselves reading this and they feel that they fall into the fundamentalist Christian beliefs, where they believe that everyone that believes differently from them are evil or destined for Hell, that they are required to convert everyone who doesn't believe as they do, we ask that they simply leave us alone. We are good with our understanding of the world and our place in it. We are happy with our Gods and Goddess' and we are not in need of being saved as we are not in danger.

Also, please, do not try to convince us of the wrongdoing (in your eyes) of our ways, by cherry picking passages from the Old Testament, which by the way, the commonly chosen texts, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers from the first five books of the bible were written by Moses 1400 years before Jesus walked the Earth. Many Christians are not even aware that these first five books are also known as the Jewish Torah. Yes, the old testament is not by definition, Christian at all. They  are books which happen to have pretty brutal, extremist views of how people should live and how they should be punished if they break laws forbidding many things.

Yes, forbidden things like wearing two different types of fabrics, eating pork, eating fat, eating blood (which along with fat leaves out steak or hamburger) drinking alcohol in holy places (this includes wine in a church or temple) getting divorced, going to church within 33 days of giving birth to a boy, going to church within 66 days of giving birth to a girl, stealing, lying, holding back the wages of an employee overnight (yes, you should be paid daily according to the old testament) trimming your beard, cutting your hair or getting tattoos, reaping to the very edges of your field (which means mowing your grass to the very edges of your property!! Uh, Oh! Also standing in the presence of the elderly, or working on the Sabbath and selling any land you own permanently and other outdated Jewish laws that are no longer practical in today's world. Of course, doing any magicks, divination or magickal healing were also forbidden. Yes, laying on of hands and healing the sick, the blind were considered magickal acts, not miracles back then in Jesus's time. He was considered by his actions, a magician.

Check it out for yourself, there are over 70 such forbidden laws and many are punishable by death! DEATH! For trimming your beard? Yet, some would hold these pages as sacred and point to them saying, see, .  .  .  see it says so in the bible and you should take Jesus as your savior.  Even though Jesus would have been guilty of some of these himself, as would his apostles and disciples. Why? Simply because they had become outdated 1400 plus years later when Jesus was born.

Firstly, one is not allowed (according to the early books of the bible) to pick and choose which part you wish to follow. But I have no issue with that, because as far as I am concerned and as it is with most witches and pagans, we don't care what you choose to do. That is a personal choice and it's totally up to you. We simply ask the same level of respect, to let us choose our ways.

Secondly, the bible is not one of our holy books. I wouldn't go to a Christian and expect them to follow the Qua' an, or the Vedas or Bhagavad Gita or the Sutras. Why would they? It is not their religion, nor their beliefs or followings. So why try to convince us, to 'save our souls' and accept Jesus? Yes, your religion may be interpreted by some to feel you must, you are compelled to go out and convert others or risk being considered unacceptable to your religion and your God. I am sorry for that, but you do not have the right to push your beliefs on anyone. And deep inside you know this, because if you didn't believe this, you would have signed your name and have been proud of it.

I personally, much rather enjoy discussing religion and philosophy and difference of opinions with those who can think independently and have no need to grab an outdated passage to try to force their belief on another.

Just sitting back and observing the world today, in 2016, and seeing how many people are being killed every day around the world, all because of outdated religious beliefs and philosophies which allow no personal choice. The extremist beliefs that feel, if you do not believe as I do, you must die. This has become understood to be a form of insanity and has no place in our world today. We are civilized, educated, no longer fearful of superstitions and loving and accepting of others. At least some of us are, and for those who feel differently we ask .  .  .  please leave us along.  Blessed Be

Peace and Happiness!!

© 2010-2016 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 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 be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.