The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Author Ms.Faith

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.