The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

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.


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.

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.


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 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 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 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 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 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.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Tips For The Lay Person On How To Avoid Charlatans

Good Evening My Witchy Reader,

This discussion is written mainly for the lay person who may not be familiar with the magickal world of the psychic, readers, mediums and intuitives of our world. Firstly, it is important to state that there are very capable, gifted, talented intuitive psychics, tarot readers, mediums, channelers, a veritable host of those who are able to truly tap into the magickal ethereal world of the unseen around us.  Those who can truly give you information you desire concerning your future, your present, to connect with loved ones who have passed, whether you call it a gift or a talent or a skill.

As a witch who owns and runs a school for the magickal arts I believe and understand that everyone is born with this ability. Some are more in tune with it than others, some are more willing to put effort into developing these abilities and making them effective skills, more so than others.

Yet I have met those who do not put any effort into truly developing their natural abilities but put effort, instead, into manipulating people's lack of knowledge about the magickal world and when these individuals are encountered it inevitably makes real authentic psychics appear as fakes and charlatans also.

The fakes are what has traditionally been called Charlatans, which is a person falsely claiming to have a special skill, or knowledge, essentially a fraud.  This is not to say all psychics are frauds, not at all. But there are differences you need to look out for. For anyone who reads this and feels that some of the following apply to you, yet you feel you are authentic, then maybe you might wish to re-evaluate your technique when dealing with the public.

For instance, I recently went to a fair where there were a number of magickal vendors and one vendor selling tumbled stones had quite a song and dance. I saw such a show from a distance and was so intrigued I went closer to see and hear what he was saying to customers.  He focused on the youngest teens, and without asking he would grab their hands and put a tumbled stone in each hand and tell them to hold them. Then he would wave his hands in front of them from head to foot, up and down before going into a 'trance' and then while the bemused teen would be watching, he would come out of his 'trance' and then start asking questions. I realized he was trying to read the customer, who mind you had just stopped to look at some tumbled stones and had not even asked or even spoken to the merchant.

He asked "you live only with your mother, right?" the teen shook her head in the negative. He seemed surprised. then he said "You really don't like school do you?" She said, "why yes, I'm an excellent student and really do love school" well he continued and kept getting questions incorrect until he finally got one right.  In the meantime he kept taking breaks, telling her to feel the energy of the stones, see how you feel holding the stones, while he chowed down on big slices of pizza. It went from incredulous to comical to offensive from a magickal practitioners point of view, what I was witnessing.

He kept her at his booth for at least 30 minutes until she walked away, and he was trying to sell stones priced at a couple of dollars at the most. I was watching with mixed irritation and amusement, as it really was a lot of work on his part, with very little return. I then watched as the next customer, an older woman he looked up and down and said "You are not happy in your life are you?" She shook her head no. Then he took a stone sphere, without asking her permission, and held it over her head and then started to rub it on her head!!

He went on to tell her that buying that stone sphere, it was selenite, would "change her entire life for the better", it "would heal her", and do all sorts of amazing things for her life. At this point I had seen enough and I walked away, slightly sick to my stomach and highly irritated.

It is obvious, to you and to me, that NO a simple tumbled stone will NOT change your entire life for the better. I am a firm believer in using stones, crystals and minerals, and I use them often in many applications and many magickal ways, but they have limited abilities as does anything. Just as one simple herb will not heal your body of every illness, sickness or disease you may have.

I have spoken out about these concepts before and if you disagree please stop reading now, because the following will just make you mad, but as a magickal person and I have been a witch and magickal practitioner for over 30 years I am also not going to tell people foolish Hippie speak nonsense that hugging a tree and sipping Chamomile tea is going to cure your life of all of your issues. It will not.

Those changes take a lot of work, and the work necessary is shown in the changes you make in your life and in your sense of being. Not in using ridiculous words making you sound like you just got off the LSD truck from Woodstock, or that you just left a Renn Faire and forgot that "Oh yeah, I do not really live in the Middle Ages, and am not a wise woman of the village selling simples to the gentry."

We can be magickal, fabulous, amazing and knowledgeable without the hand waving, song and dance and ego boosting nonsense of trying to impress people with all of our super powers!

Now some rules you might want to be aware of:

You might enter a store or an event and see a reader and even be greeted by a reader. Some readers who really do need to make a living may even offer to do a reading for you, but the legitimate ones if you decline will back off. The charlatans will come up to you uninvited and start to do a reading without your permission. Or they may say, Oh a loved one on the other side has a special message for me to tell you, and for $50 I can sit with you and tell you , blah, blah , blah  it's a con, run away.
A sincere psychic, reader or medium will not violate your boundaries in such a way. They have integrity and real psychics will rather have you approach them.

Also anyone that comes up to you in a store or supermarket and starts to say you have a curse on you, or a dark spirit following you or any such nonsense, and no money is discussed they are simply nuts and are into the power trip this affords them. Stay far away from them, as unfortunately this world does attract the less than mentally stable also, as does any religion, government agency or conspiracy theory.

A magickal person who knows their magick will be happy to explain their products and answer questions, good readers present the information they pick up without judgment or getting personally involved.

 Also to be aware of with a magickal vendor or reader they do not delve into curses, dark energy and harmful magick where they 'create' a need for you to have to come back again and again, and pay more and more for them to remove a curse that they discover has been put on you, or to remove bad luck or any such thing. Even a good reader will discourage a person coming back every week for a reading as that is too soon. I recommend my clients to come back every few months, when things start to happen from their last reading, unless they are interested in exploring a totally different area of their lives.  Even that should be limited to no more than once a month or two.

There are legitimate magickal practitioners out there. We do not need to make outrageous claims, or put up huge bill boards proclaiming our amazing powers! You won't find us on 1-900-psychic but you will find us recommended by word of mouth and some really amazing witches and psychics I know do do readings by phone.

Also a psychic or reader will never touch you without your permission as for anyone that is a violation of your personal space, but anyone who would do this is not in touch with boundaries or proper social etiquette and should not be dealt with as they are looking for their own ego boost and not in to really trying to help you.

In conclusion, a good reader or psychic should come across as a normal person, they may appear a bit different, perhaps in dress or attitude because many are centered and grounded and are very comfortable in their skin, but they should not come across as looney or totally off their rocker!! That is not a good example of an authentic reader. If you meet someone and think they remind you of someone who should be in a Scooby Doo cartoon, well then, you should probably keep looking!!

Of course, it should go without saying, but I will say it anyways, the above as with all of my discussions are my opinions and observations of over 30 years of experience in the magickal world, of practice and teaching. If you find you have a different opinion or experience I respect that and encourage you to write about it in your own blog!

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 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.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Things to Know If You Choose A Goddess' Name As Your Own

Beltane Greetings My Witchy Readers,

Today we continue in the Goddess vein I have been discussing all month. So many areas come to mind when discussing the ancient Goddesses and how they interact with our lives today, we as magickal people. One very important way, is when we choose, as some do, to give ourselves a magickal name and we choose a Goddess' name for our own.

Firstly, there is nothing wrong with choosing a magickal name. Many do for many reasons, primarily to give you a special magickal feeling when in ritual and when around magickal friends as well as a sense of anonymity which can give us a sense of protection and security if others do not know our real name.

It is a respectable witch who respects another's privacy and we would never divulge a person's real name without permission, not ever "out" someone from the "broom closet" as it is said, if they are not ready to come out.

Many choose fantastical names that may include names of nature like wolf, moon, flower, star shine, and such. I have met Laurels, Jolenes, Esmereldas, Yet each name we choose has an energy and they will draw to you the energy surrounding the name. If it is a fairy name, light and happy, fun and free you will be surrounded with that energy.

Some names are protective and wise, like Merlin, Raven, Obi-Wan even Frodo. But when one chooses a darker name or a name of chaos or death and destruction, Whoa's be the person who wears that mantle.

I have watched people choose names like Hekate, Kali (as in Kali Ma) Loki, Nyx, Pandora and all sorts of curious names. Of course if they are students of mine, I don't say anything one way or another, as their name is personal and their choice. But I am no longer surprised when after a year and a day, when a student happens to choose a name of destruction and chaos, for whatever reason, that they seem to pull those energies into their swirling morass and they find themselves surrounded with exactly what they have named themselves.

Names are not simply a word that we put on and off like a suit of clothes. They are an energy that we surround ourselves with and we develop and build upon. It grows within us and it gets stronger and more pronounced as we continue with it.

If you choose a name because you think it is Goth and punk or cool because it is a Goddess of Death and destruction, then you probably are not really plugged into what this world of magick is all about. If that is the energy you do wish to attract then more power to you, as dark as it may be, have at it.

But realize, you create  your reality. You cannot name yourself after a Goddess or destruction and chaos and then blame others when you create exactly that in your life. Ah, but some will, because they just do not get it. Others will simply leave this path and search out another.

Again, the change must come from within, "For if you do not find what you seek within yourself, you will never find it without" So speaks the Goddess.

So, when thinking of a name, a magickal name for yourself, give it plenty of thought and consider the energy. It is not necessary to call yourself "Blue Rainbow Princess Flower Petal", but "Hekate Dark Blood Grave Goddess" is probably a bit far in the other direction.

Do some research when choosing a name. For instance my one of my magickal names I have had for many years is Calli. No, not Kali from the skull wearing, death causing Kali Ma from the Hindu culture, (shudder) no my Calli is a shortened version, using numerology from the Cailleach from the ancient Scottish, and She was an ancient Grandmotherly ancestor spirit. Kindly, gently, comforting and loving. They may sound the same but the energy I invoke is much different from Kali Ma, whom I would never invoke, not even by the spelling of my name.

So read up on the history of your magickal name, the Goddess that may be attached to it and see if it has the energy you like. If not, keep looking. I assure you, your magickal name is out there looking 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 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, April 25, 2017

Goddesses and Gods Feast Days and Offerings

Good Afternoon My Witchy Reader,

Many who come to the magickal world, whether they call themselves witches, Wiccans or Pagans often choose to work with a Goddess, some choose a general Goddess energy and some a more specific, traditional Deity from an ancient culture. These ancient Deities have been personified over the centuries and as a cultural Goddess or God, worshiped by entire cultures or smaller tribes or villages, they have been given certain days of recognition called feast days, and many have developed specific offerings over hundreds or thousands of years that their followers feel would gain their Goddess' or God's special favor if given.

Many people give offerings to their Deity in different manners, but basically an offering is a gift of thanks. After working magick with the help of Deity and when the spell manifests then I give an offering of gratitude to give thanks to my Goddess or God.  I do not give an offering before I work magick with the help of Deity as it is not a bribe. I ask Goddess to help me, I speak of my needs or desires, I may burn a candle, or mix together a herbal spell mix, perhaps a potions or even cord magick, whatever I choose for that particular spell. After there starts to be even the slightest manifestation, is when I give an offering of thanks. Some common offerings can be foods or drink, stones, crystals, jewelry, chocolate is a modern day offering to Goddesses, and hard liquors for Gods, even burning a simple candle anointed with oil and infused with your energy is a lovely gift, as the energy is sent to the Deity as it burns.

Offerings can be placed upon the altar, or placed outside on the ground or poured upon the ground. One note of caution, whether the offering is placed inside on an altar or placed out of doors, make sure it is not a food item that will poison or kill an animal if they can get to it and consume it.

I have read articles on offerings to the Gods and some have suggested that you do not allow wild life or passing animals to consume the offering. I totally disagree, as that is how the Gods will actually consume the gift to them, if they desire. So if a squirrel comes along and grabs up the piece of cornbread you left at the base of a tree as an offering, and scurries up the tree, to happily munch on it high up in the branches, you can be sure your offering was accepted.

Another concept I want to touch upon in this discussion is most Gods and Goddesses each have their own feast days, days of celebration and feasting. Some have more than one feast day. It is a Christian concept to have a period of fasting and sacrifice and of going without. The ancients, most especially the Celts, whom I am most familiar with in history, would not have understood a day of fasting and sacrifice by giving up and going hungry for some spiritual concept as they spent too much of their Wheel of the Year, doing just that, starving and going without and trying to survive until the next harvest season.

Each year, Celtic tribes and villages lost people due to starvation, sickness and maladies made worse by malnutrition. These ancient cultures were not civilizations that suffered from obesity, just the opposite. So they celebrated spirituality, their Gods and Goddesses and their celebrations of Life with Feasts, a form of sympathetic magick, as when their bellies were full during a Sabbat they hoped they would not go hungry by the next Sabbat 6 weeks later. That food were to remain abundant.

I was asked, aren't all Goddesses Goddesses of fertility and abundance, and the answer is no. Remember there are Goddesses of death, war, chaos, destruction, child birth, home and hearth, so if you are not really aware of what your Deity's focus or purpose is spiritually for the culture or civilization it is or was worshiped in, then some research is necessary and that is always fun!

Some offerings and feast days for your favorite Gods and Goddesses can be the following:

Roman Goddess Diana

Goddesses and Gods of Nature such as Diana, Artemis, Dionysus, Gaea, Bacchus, Lupercalia are just a few. Some offerings may be suitable:

Foods:  Fresh made whole grain breads, sheath of grain, such as wheat or rye, cornmeal, fresh fruit
Drinks: wine, mead (honey wine) sparkling grape juice, spring water, fresh milk
Herbs or plants:  parsley, sage, fresh flowers, and flowered circlets worn as crowns
Other: small crescent moon cakes would be offered to Artemis along with tiny candles, a wish would be asked, the candle blown out then the cake would be eaten. This happened in her temple in ancient Greece and was the origins of our birthday cake/birthday candle celebration of today.

Feast Days:

Lupercalia is February 15
Diana is August 13-15 encompassing a 3 day feast day or on the August full moon
Dionysus has a 12 day celebration that stars on December 25th
Gaia is January 31st - February 2nd

Goddesses and Gods of War, today unless one is an actual soldier, the art of war is waged in the area of business. In the boardrooms, the conference rooms, in the stock market and in offices across the country and across the globe. Business is the modern day battle field for most people, and the Goddesses and Gods of war will aid you in this area of your life.

These Deities may be: The Morrigan, Lugh, Mars, Ares, Athena, Nike and Apollo just to name a few. Some appropriate offerings that may be considered:  For these Deities, offerings in groupings of 9's is suitable.

Foods: tiny cakes covered with honey, parsley cakes, bacon, meat, pastries
Drink: wine, ale, water
Herbs or Plants: cedar, oak, peony
Other: iron items, weapons, armor, blood meal (found in garden stores)

Feast Days:

Mars is March 1st and March 14, March 19th, March 23rd.  (This demonstrates that some Gods or Goddesses had more than one feast day, depending on how important and significant that Deity was for the people of that culture.)

The Morrigan is not known to have a feast day, but Samhain November 1st could be appropriate
Lugh's feast day is Lughnasadh August 1st
Athena's feast days are held in June, over the centuries at various dates

Norse Goddess Frejya

Godesses and Gods of Love and Passion, such as Aphrodite, Cupid, Eros, Pan, Hathor, Rati, Oshun Yuruba, Freyja are just a few as love and passions Gods and Goddesses are of the most numerous Deities in ancient culture.

Since the beginning of time, one of the most compelling needs of humans seems to have always been the desire to be loved, needed and wanted in a romantic way.  As necessary as food, water and shelter to the human condition, love and being needed by another has always been a desire that humans have asked the Gods to bring to them. Wishes, offerings, magickal spells, and prayers have been fervently sent out into the universe for centuries with the hope that they return and with them bring happiness.

Some appropriate offerings that may be offered when the petitions to the Gods start to be answered may be:

Food:  eggs, honey, apples, apple cakes made with honey, tiny jelly donuts
Drink: apple juice, apple cider, strawberry wine, sparkling water
Herbs:  roses, lavender, rosemary, thyme,  apple blossom
Other: rose quartz, crystal quartz, amethyst

Feast Days:

Frejya October 14-15th
Yuruba or Yemaya September 7th
Aphrodite February 6th

Ancient Concept of the Goddess Cailleach

Gods and Goddesses of Ancestors:  Many people are not aware that some ancient cultures have Gods and Goddesses that rule over the land of the Ancestors and our ancestors. From the ancient Celtic culture, African culture, to Norse culture as well as others. A few are mentioned here: Danu, The Cailleach, The Dagda, Bile.

These Deities are honored to remember and bring respect and memory to our ancestors who have passed, some many years or even centuries before we were born, but we are still connected to them through our blood. Ways to offer our thanks to them can be done with the following:

Food: Fava beans, whole grain bread, whole grain pastas, casseroles, family traditional dishes, corn
Drink: Honey Mead, Ale, Cider, a special drink that may have a special significance to your loved one
Herbs: sweet grass, sweet tobacco, rosemary, thyme, sage
Other: petrified wood, otheroceras stone, jet, amber, any fossil

Feast Days:

Cailleach  February 1 February 5th
The Dahda is Samhain November 1st
Danu January 18th

These are just a few ideas to help you get started working with a Goddess or a God.  You may work with any number of Deities depending on what your desire is, simply go to that Deity and ask for the help you need. You do not need to dedicate to a specific Deity, but be warned if you do, that God or Goddess may turn your life upside down, as you are drawn down a path to do the work they wish you to do. Many find the demands too daunting and still others simply do not realize that after a lovely dedication ceremony to their favorite Goddess like the Morrigan or Hekate or Kali (I am mentioning some of the more intense, demanding Goddesses) that the chaos and challenges that suddenly enter their lives are actually what they wrought by dedicating to such a Goddess.

Unless you wish for intense life changing experiences and lessons, then think long and hard and carefully about choosing a Goddess to dedicate to. For She will work with you. Yet, it is not necessary to dedicate to a Goddess. Simply asking for a specific Goddess to come to you for Her special attributes and help will suffice, and being respectful and remembering to give thanks when the desire starts to manifest, is appropriate and all that is necessary.

You can research the legend and lore of a specific Deity as well as appropriate offerings and Feast days. Even doing some meditation and getting in touch with your God or Goddess can help you decide what She or He would like.

Some Deities may ask that you make an offering of another kind. I had a dream several months ago. I heard a woman's voice, my Goddess, spoke to me and told me to purchase 4 backpacks. Then she showed me the items I would gather, purchase or find to place in each backpack. She showed me a thin, silver plastic looking material I had never seen before and explained to me it was a special material that emergency personnel used to keep accident victims warm. I as able to find these on line, in thin packets that opened up as blankets to keep people warm in the cold.

She also showed me other items, such as socks, scarves, boxes of granola bars, bottles of water, chemical hand warmers, flash lights and other items. I put these backpacks together and asked a Priestess I know who works in a job that puts her in contact with homeless people, as the Goddess told me that these four backpacks were to be distributed to four homeless people last winter. This is what she helped me do.

When I was putting these together, my husband asked, why four? I said, I don't know. That is what I was told, and I do not question, when She gives me a direction to follow. I had a feeling of urgency until this task was completed and then a sense of relief and calm when it was done. This was an offering to the Goddess I work with. Perhaps for all She has done for me, She wanted something more than a simple candle or flowers? Regardless of why, She got what She asked for.

If you pay attention to your dreams, and the omens around you, you will glean many things and more will come to you.

Blessings, Ms. Faith

Live, Laugh and Always Love

© 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 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, April 11, 2017

Goddess Worship and It's Origins

A replica of the Acheulian Goddess

Good Afternoon My Witchy Reader,

Today we will discuss a little about ancient Goddess worship and what we think about how it originated.  Of course, archaeologists and anthropologists can't say definitely how early mankind thought or what their beliefs were, as humans who lived during the prehistoric period (pre-history is the time defined before written language) left very little behind for us to know about them.

Yet, luckily, archaeologists are constantly digging in the earth's soil, and at times unearthing objects created by early humans that we can study and try to understand what they believed and how they saw the world around them.

The above figurine is called the Acheulian Goddess and is a replica of the original that was found in 1981 at the Acheulian site of the Berekhat Ram in the Golan Heights in Israel. It is believed this figure which, the original is 1.4 inches long, was created by a hominid species which predated the Neanderthal era, since it has been carbon dated to between 800,000 and 1 million years B.C.E. (Before the Common Era, which is before the year 1. Afterwards until the present is now referred to as C.E. the Common Era)

The Acheulian Goddess, which as of now, is known to be the oldest, human created piece of art work ever unearthed, tells us about the people who created her. Like many Goddess figures hundreds of thousands of years after her, she had no facial features. Her body is round and rotund, large breasts, large hips, a distinct vulva which was considered sacred. All of this points to an understanding of how ancient mankind, even the earliest understood his/her Creator to be.

The Original Acheulian Goddess

Every culture, every generation of man has always looked around him and wondered at where we have come from, who our creator is, and how we came to be. It is one thing we all seem to have in common. We look to the stars and wonder, what is out there? What made us? Who made us?

Understandably, early man was much simpler than we are today. Not that he was less intelligent, that is not at all what I am saying. Mankind looked around and made observations by what he saw in his surroundings. The Sun rose in the sky and died at night. The moon rose in the night sky and many times lived on during the day, as we can sometimes see the moon in the sky during the day. So ancient man, had the concept of a God that was born, lived and died. Whereas the Goddess had a reign of being a young maiden, a full mother and an elderly crone, but She never died, She was always among us.

Mankind looked around and saw the female of all species gave birth to offspring. This was in nature, from birds, to fish, to the animals in the forest and fields, to other humans. The female gave birth to the babies. So when the concept of a creator was considered, it made perfect sense that the one that gave birth to the whole universe would be a female, a Goddess.  Perhaps, rather than a Goddess, back in Neolithic times, it would have been a Great Mother, but a female form nonetheless.

It is telling that early Goddess figures did not have facial features, for what woman would the Goddess look like? When she is all women.

Even the Old Testament of the Bible, the original from the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Jewish Torah, before the Christian Kings sanitized and re-wrote so much of the bible mentioned Goddesses' and many holy women of power and influence. The Sacred Divine Feminine that was worshiped and revered before Christianity worked in the early days to eliminate the memory of the Goddess by burning her Priestess' and midwives, her herb women and her wise women on the stake.

After the Burning Times, patriarchal rule was complete and a male God, who was vengeful, punishing, terrible and  judgmental ruled over the world, except for some very distant, obscure isolated pockets of humanity where the Christian missionaries had failed to find and convert or kill the pagans who still lived there. The loving, forgiving and turning the other cheek God or Christ is a fairly modern, new concept in the history of man and still giving mankind a challenge as Christians try to emulate those concepts in their day to day lives with varying degrees of success and failure.

It is known that older cultures such as the Greeks and Romans that the Moon and at least one planet, Venus, both represented the Goddess to the inhabitants on Earth at various times in history. We also know for some cultures, for instance the Egyptians, for a period of time, felt the Sun in the sky represented their God, thus giving us an understanding that the ancients looked around them and saw their creator(s) in the world of nature around them.

Modern Pagans have a few authors, anthropologists and scholars to thank for the revival of the Goddess worshiping culture we have today.  First and foremost is was the Scottish Anthropologist,  Sir Jame George Frazer's The Golden Bough published in 1890 which first introduced the comparative study of mythology, magic and ritual.

This was followed by a wonderful work by Margaret Alice Murray who was born in 1863 and died in 1963 and was an Egyptologist. She wrote and published in 1922 "The Witch Cult in Western Europe" which was geared more for Academia but re-introduced into a Judeo Christian world the concept of Goddess worship, which had primarily at this time the Virgin Mary or female Saints.

Then author and poet, Robert Graves wrote "The White Goddess" in 1948 in which Graves proposes the concept of a Mother Goddess, a European Deity of Birth, Life and Death which he ties into the phases of the moon.

Then we have Gerald Gardener to thank for introducing us to Wicca a modern religion he created from the ancient Witchcraft practice and Goddess worship, and his book "Witchcraft Today" and then Raymond Buckland brought the practice of Witchcraft as a formal spiritual practice to the United States and with it, the Goddess worship that is so much a part of witchcraft.

These are really the first ones to bring back the worship of the Goddess to us, and yes, there are others that I have not mentioned, but anyone that is knowledgeable of the family tree will recognize the contributions these individuals have given to all of us and how they have helped resurrect the ancient Great Mother for all of us to meet again and to become close to again.

I could write down the 'family tree' of the modern practice of modern Wicca and Witchcraft, and I do so for my students at classes at Enchantments, but I do encourage you to do the research yourself. Do you know the name Janet Farrar? You should. Laurie Cabot? Doreen Valiente? Margot Adler? Vivian Crowley? These are just a few names you should know. Names that, without their contributions, their written words, their work, our practice of witchcraft, our Goddess worship would be woefully lacking. And again, I have left out so many more, but I will leave them for you to discover.

If you simply cast a circle when the moon is full, or read tarot cards for friends, burn a little incense, yes you are doing some of the practice of the witch, but without really knowing our history and learning of the wonderful men and women who have gone before us, who have taught us, who have shared their knowledge with us,  you are not enjoying all this path has to offer.

In my next discussion I will cover more Goddesses and their cultures and the beliefs surrounding them, along with some of their mythos. Did you know that your Goddess, may require a specific offering? Do you know her feast day or her favorite incense or perfume? Haha yes, just like a woman Goddesses have their favorite likes and even dislikes.  If you wish to work with Her properly, you need to know these things.

Today I wanted to introduce you to the first Goddess image created by mankind, dated to almost a million years ago, and we are still, some of us, seeing the Divine Feminine in women to this day. Now that is an enduring concept.

Live, Laugh and Always Love

© 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 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.