The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Author Ms.Faith

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Talismans and Amulets To Cast A Shield Around You!

Good Evening My Magickal Reader,

Goodness, there is all sorts of magickal energies swirling around out there lately!! I myself have felt them as well as people coming into Enchantments asking for help with one sort of issue or another. Interestingly enough the majority of most people's issues have to do with interpersonal relationships, for isn't that what life is all about. . .  living?  Yes we work, and by doing so we draw financial energies and keep abundance and security and shelter around us.  Yet it is really, most common for people to come in asking advice or magickal assistance in regards to an issue with another person.

Now, that person could be a co-worker, many times it is a troublesome family members, oh goodness those abound indeed!  Yet, lovers issues are also common, sometimes lack of love, or challenges with a lover, and then there is the social friends and acquaintance issues. People and how we interact with them truly do affect our lives in so many varied ways.

Have you noticed  though, we seem to make the same mistakes when it comes to dealing with the same "types" of people? Perhaps we are too soft hearted and we fall for the same type of "sob story",
maybe we are easily duped into allowing certain people into our lives that are not healthy, or are not loving, encouraging or supportive? Do you allow manipulative, or abusive, harmful or even people that use and take advantage of you into your life again and again?

Well, there are several magickal methods for dealing with all sorts of personal inter-relationship issues, but one of the most effective ones is an amulet / talisman created and charged by you, especially to keep these harmful, or unwanted and undesired people from entering your life at all!! Yes! You can actually create a piece of jewelry that in effect surrounds you with a shield of specific energy, designed by you.

Now this energy can keep a certain type of person away, or more accurately, be a warning device that awakens within you "warning bells" when that type of person comes near, so you can more easily identify them and be prepared and braced before they try to work their nefarious charms on you.

This energy imbued into your amulet / talisman can also repel a certain type of person you wish to keep away from you. This works well to keep dangerous, really harmful people away from you. This is especially good if you work or live in an area of high crime or perhaps need to travel through an area at late times of night, when few people are around.  This type of energy will work to make you 'invisible' to anyone looking for easy prey, you simply will not be visible to anyone wishing harm.

Now, do not be discouraged if you think I mean you to get out your blacksmith's forge and anvil and hammer! No, no, you do not have to fashion a pendant out of silver or gold from scratch! No, the best thing is to take a pendant, or a ring, even a bracelet you may already have. You may, of course, purchase one for this purpose also. I do not like the idea of using earrings as the two once charged together then need to be separated to be placed on either side of the head and the energy feels weaker, plus they would tend to be smaller by nature. Even a ritualistic, jeweled belt of sorts could work in this regard. But the more often you can wear this piece the better, as your energy will enforce and enhance the powers you put into the piece you choose and charge.

Firstly, should you do a bit of research you will see that today amulets and talismans are used almost interchangeably and it was only in the most ancient of days that the difference in their names and purposes really mattered. For historical sake, an amulet is designed to be protective only, whereas a talisman is designed for every other purpose, from love, healing, bringing in good luck, repelling harmful and evil energies, etc.

For simplicity let us say amulets are meant to repel that which is harmful, and talismans are meant to draw in that which is positive and helpful.  Yet, nowadays one can actually look up various definitions and see the two words used to describe each other, such as "An amulet is a talisman designed to .  .  .  "

I'll tell you a secret, it does not matter what you call it. Well, you can actually name your talisman should you wish to. remember, one of the most famous talisman's know to readers of modern literature and fans of modern cinema, in this case a ring .  .  .  one ring to rule them all .  .  .  Gollum called the ring "My Precious" , even though the ring's actual name was Narya, and this absolutely exemplifies a talisman .  .  .  or was it an amulet? Well, in the story where the ring first appears, The Hobbit, it has the power of invisibility so it is a talisman.

Now let us get to the business of creating your amulet / talisman. Choose a pendant or some sort of piece of jewelry, that you know does not have conflicting energies from others on it. The longer you have owned it the better, or if it is brand new, even better. Try to avoid pieces from antique stores or tag sales, estate sales, as they carry too much "baggage" riding along.  Yet older family pieces of yours are fine, especially a piece that may have belonged to a cherished family member.

After you have the item you wish to make into your special talisman (which will be the term I will use for ease of writing for the duration of this discussion) then you need to decide upon it's intended job. It's function. What will it do for you? How will it serve you? Then once you have it's job well defined, and no .  .  .  it cannot do more than one job. Also beware of having a necklace of many talismans, reminiscent of the character of Benni in the movie "The Mummy" whom had a dozen religious icons around his neck, from every known religion to hedge his bets, hoping that one would save him from the mummy!!

You may charge and enchant more than one talisman, and have more than one with a different purpose for each, but it is best to wear one at a time. Or to have a regular one to always wear and perhaps to wear another for special occasions along with the regular, every day one.

Now you have your talisman, and it can be any piece of jewelry you wish. It does not have to be a religious symbol, or a magickal symbol, or even a symbol at all. It could be a locket, or a Cameo, a key, a moon, a star, a sun, a crystal or a stone, any item that can be worn that can have magickal energy imbued into it.

These symbols are some commonly recognized symbols from around the world. Other talismans many are familiar with are the four leaf clover for luck, the heart shape for love, the rabbits foot for luck (though I always wondered how unlucky it was for the poor rabbit!) even in modern times a yellow ribbon means remembrance, and the ribbon image has crossed so many lines to represent many different causes.

So, now I will assume you have chosen your piece of jewelry and your talisman's specific job you wish it to do for you. Now the best herb to get is Angelica root as it will create a barrier and a shield which will surround you with the energies you desire. If you cannot acquire Angelica root, though it is available at health food stores and magickal herb shoppes, you can substitute rosemary to do the job. When you have the herb of choice, steep it in boiling water until it makes a brew. It is not to be drunk. Once it is steeped in the water, for about 15-20 minutes, then take a piece of paper and write on it the intention of the spell.

Write the 'job description' of the talisman on the paper. What will it do for you? How will it serve you? Then take the paper and wrap it around the piece of jewelry if it is metal or a material where it will not burn or catch fire.  At Enchantments we use flash paper in our rituals and in spells like this one. It burns, as its name suggests, in a flash and nothing and no one is hurt in the process the flash is so fast and even holding onto the paper as it burns, it will not burn your fingers.

After you have wrapped the paper around the talisman, light it on fire and let the paper burn away. Do this over a cauldron or censor so it does not drop burning embers on anything flammable. Then as soon as the paper falls away, douse the piece of jewelry in the Angelica water. Allow it to rest in the water for a few minutes. Do not rinse off. Let the moisture evaporate off of the piece.

Then take the piece into your magickal circle, and this is best done during an esbat and put the talisman through the incense smoke, through a candle on the altar and then slightly dip it, just a little touch into the blessed water.

Then place on altar pentacle for a while and at the end of the ritual you may place it on your body and it is charged, enchanted and told what to do to envelop you with the awareness, the magickal ability to protect yourself or to deal with people around you more effectively and with more success.

There is no need to use an incantation with this unless you feel that one you create will give the spell more power then by all means add this to the mix. This is the base and anything you add or use to enhance this spell will only make it more powerful and more your very own.

The key is, you must wear the piece as it will grow in strength the more you wear it. It does not dissipate and get weaker as you wear it as some feel magickal objects do hence the need to re-charge them under the moon, or rebuild their power at various times in various ways. No, no, this talisman grows stronger by your wearing it and your personal power and energy makes it get stronger and more powerful, especially as you touch it and think about the shield it has around you.

It is that simple, but simple can be deceptive as simple is not necessarily weak, by any means.

Live, Laugh and Always Love, Ms. Faith

© 2010-2018 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, March 27, 2018

Back To Basics: How to Get the Most Out Of Your Magickal Teacher!

Greetings and Blessings My Witchy Reader,

 To continue my Back to Basics series, I am touching on a number of areas that I feel have been left largely unsaid, by not only myself but by many elders of the Craft. Many of us, and I define an Elder as someone who has been on this path for at least 20 years and if they have been on the path for 20 plus years and have worked with covens, groups, have taught classes and have dealt with students and magickal practitioners who have been on the path.

 I do know my words and my opinion will upset and start fires amongst those in the magickal realm, especially those who specifically feel I am speaking of, but be that as it may be, if it applies to you, or you think it does, then stop for a moment, please try to give me the respect of 30 years of being on this path that I deserve, and try to learn from what I have to offer.  A standing rule if it is meant for you take it, if not leave it alone. But I do assure you, if it upsets you, angers you, then it is pushing buttons that you need to pay attention to, because it is striking much closer to home than perhaps you wish to admit.

I have seen a concerning trend of late. That is of magickal practitioners, and it matters not if you call yourself a witch, a wizard, a pagan, a Druid, call yourself what you choose, it really matters not, except to yourself.  The trend is, to be crystal clear, of a magickal person with very little real life experience portraying themselves as a Master, Elder or a Professional experienced enough to charge money for services.  This is flooding our magickal community with misinformation, ill informed so called 'expert' opinion and causing a heightened lack of respect amongst ourselves between one another.  Magickal practitioners who have been on the path a year or two or even five, who have taken a course of study, maybe a year or two and perhaps have peppered this course of study with many additional workshops, lectures, seminars and classes.  They may have a certificate of completion for energy work, Reiki, herbal studies, divination and of course they have read copious numbers of websites, unfortunately more websites than actual books nowadays, and then they actually call themselves Elders. I have seen students who have less than a year of experience in reading tarot cards start to go out and charge people for tarot card readings, even if it is only $5.00 or $10.00 a reading, that is completely inappropriate and gives the person getting the reading the absolute wrong impression. 

Let me show you how. If you are one of these individuals, try this. When setting up your table at a fair or a show and advertising you are doing tarot readings, list your prices. Then in writing just as large, write that you have a total of 3 months or 6 months total experience reading cards. Then sit back and wait and see how many people feel like spending even $5.00 on a reading.  You may get a friend of yours, but that will be it.  I think it is imperative you let people know you are training and when training you should never accept money for developing a skill.  That simply gets in the way and muddies the water.

There is nothing wrong, with being in a place of learning, a place of training. There is no shame or embarrassment in not being a master or not being at the pinnacle of mastery.  That is a serious issue in this day and age, everyone wants to be a master!! I have heard of some people taking energy or Reiki classes, a weekend course, 2 days, a few hours per day and leaving with a certificate that actually reads "Reiki Master" which is highly insulting to those I know who are really Reiki Masters who have put in real effort and time and have a lot of experience in this area. 

Also anyone can call themselves a witch, and not be 'Of the Wicca' which is The Craft of the Wise. The difference becomes apparent when you get to know the person and their core attitude and behavior. How they treat others, how they interact with their elders and others in their sphere. A mature, well developed, well adjusted adult and magickal person knows they do not have to like everyone they work with, but they are able to be respectful, polite, civil and kind. Kind .  .  .  a word that is becoming more and more rare these days.

I have seen more arrogance, rude, entitled, disrespectful, hateful attitude and it boils down to immaturity and a strong desire to be better than the next one, to be the High Priestess' 'favorite' to be "The High Priest" or "High Priestess" and to have the accolades and "power' those mistakenly feels should automatically come with it, simply because they lack these things in their lives and they need to artificially create these things.  So they build a coven, and any group of two or more can be a coven, as my last discussion went over in great detail. But a coven should be a gathering of like minded people, not an opportunity for one person to collect 'disciples' and the numbers should not be the most important part of the group.

In truth if a 'coven' is created and has regular members, and there is no official, initiated fully designated third degree High Priest or High Priestess, then the position of running and officiating the circle should be switched off and everyone should be allowed the opportunity to run the circle. It should not fall simply to the person who opens their home to others, and allows their home to be the official covenstead. 

It is up to the group itself, but if a person puts themselves in that position they do need to brace themselves for the not so nice aspects of that position which will inevitably come their way, as it always does. There will be someone in the group another does not like, there will be dissension, or some may wish to do this while others want to do that, and the High Priestess will be expected to make a decision which will make everyone happy.

Let me tell you a secret. It cannot be done. Ever.  Because while you initially will think you are working with adult, mature, well developed, magickal people, you will in turn find you are working with humans who have come to your group dragging behind them the baggage they left their last spiritual path or religion with, disgruntled. If you, as the leader of your coven, have not done hard work with everyone to get them past their own issues and helped them work through these challenges, their personal challenges, then they will then turn their issues upon you, along with the blame and persecution. 

So, you will make the decision which is best for the group, and some will be satisfied with it and some will be bent out of shape and then the simmering of discontent will start, slowly under the surface.  It will simmer, and start to steam and eventually come to a boil, because another very key point is the disgruntled ones will never come to you as High Priestess and tell you the issues and why they are unhappy!! No, no, that would require them to take responsibility for their own part of the situation and not blame others including you!

Me, you say!!?? Why would they blame me!? I'm the High Priestess, I made a decision which was best for everyone and it wasn't personal, I had nothing to do with the actual situation to begin with,  so how could they put any blame on me!!?? .  .  .  . 

Allow me a moment .  .  .  (witches cackle!!)  Not only will they blame you, but in short measure you will become the main antagonist, the one whom which all of the blame for all of the troubles, issues, the bad luck, bad energy and possibly rumored evil spells and curses will be accused of!!  And some people, not all, but some, and students you have taught, people you have treated kindly and fairly will believe this about you!! No matter how untrue and unfair.  So, if you can read this discourse above and understand precisely what I am referring to, then you are probably already a High Priestess and have been on this path a while.

If you are shaking your head and can't quite grasp it, then either give it time or heed my words carefully and do all you can to avoid this pitfall. Yes, the pitfall of running a large coven and putting yourself in this position because if in any fashion you expect there to be glory or glamour or accolades or any of that nonsense, know that is not what walking the "Priestess Path" is all about, not at all.

One walks the Priestess Path, in my viewpoint, to continue a connection with Deity, and for me to allow the magick to course through me and to manifest as I wish it to in my life. Of course the fellowship of other like minded people is so lovely and a blessing in and of itself. 

The beautiful, magickal people I meet everyday are certainly a worthy trade off for the occasional "troll" which is a term for one who pretends to be a magickal person but they really aren't. They are just around to suck off of your love and light and they spew darkness and chaos and hope to create mischief and discord.  A well seasoned, experienced troll can even get really close, perhaps best friend status close for a number of years before you become aware of their peculiar troll-ness. But do not beat yourself up, it has even happened to me. Some experienced trolls are really hard to spot! But you do get better with each one! More experienced at warding them off also!

You do not have to live and work in a magickal world to find "trolls' in your world. They are everywhere. In your work environment, perhaps in your family, maybe even in your circle of social acquaintances!  You can recognize them by wanting to be away from them and when you are finally away from them you feel drained, and there is nothing good to say about the encounter.

The Witches Path is easy enough to set down in steps, it is trying to stay on the path that proves the challenge. Here are the steps as I have learned them and lived them from my personal experience over thirty plus years:

1.) Learn -  start learning some where, somehow and realize right from the beginning your learning does not have an end, ever. For once you think you have reached that place, where you know it all, you need to stop. And go back to the beginning.  Never stop learning.

2.) Find a teacher -  It can be a different teacher every week, or month or year. It can and often will be more than one teacher at a time, but find teachers and be quiet and listen, watch and learn. Realize you do not know it all, you know very little and if you can understand you know nothing, then, and only then can you learn everything.

3.) Do Not Rush To Teach -  A solid, serious, good rule of thumb should be when it comes to teaching others, you should never attempt to teach others until someone comes to you and asks you to do so. It is as simple as that.  I never once, ever approached anyone and offered to teach anything. Every single teaching assignment I have ever had, even in my own school, my students approach me and ask me to teach them. When and if you are meant to teach, you will, you will not be given a choice.

4.) Practice - whatever your magickal path is, practice, practice, practice!! As often as possible, every single day in some way or another. I cut my tarot cards daily to see an oracle card for the day. I light a candle or two or more on my love/ancestor altar every evening. I use my pendulum almost every week to speak to the spirits. Make your own potions, incense, oils, whatever your practice is to you. Do it, do not wait.  Truly the life of a witch or a magickal person is not a religion, it is living the life of. So what would you be waiting for? Live life today.

5.) Pay Attention/ Record in BOS -  The Witch/Wise One/  practices the Craft of the Wise and much, most of this comes from observations of the natural world, the manifestations of our spells, the phases of the moons and how they affect the world around us, the seasons, etc. Pay attention record your observations in your Book of Shadows and use these recorded observations to make informed magickal predictions and prophecies.

6.) Respect and be Humble -  This one should be the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega! For The Goddess' sake, realize that you like everyone else had a first day on this path. And no the chances of you being born into a hereditary magickal witch family is very rare, there are a few, but even so, if you had been you would know to be respectful of the elders who have gone before. Whether you agree with them or not. But to disparage, insult, demean and be downright rude and disrespectful to those, some who have been on this path for 30 years or more, and I say this because I have seen what is called 'witch wars' on social media amongst pagan groups, is disheartening. To even do so of those who have just started this path or are ignorant of this path is even more disrespectful, rude and beneath one who would call him or herself one of the Wise Ones.

What is even more sad is I have seen a rare few elders themselves jump into the fray to take shots at some really lovely people who have consistently risen above such non magickal, not nice behavior. So I guess even some who are old enough to know better and who can be officially considered an elder and High Priestess/Priest can still be guilty of acting like children, but at what cost? 

There have been those in our witchy genre since the 1970's who dress like anyone else, and it is touted "we are just like anyone else", we work in all industries, we wear the same garb, we drive the same cars, we live in the same kind of houses, we eat the same kinds of foods, in an attempt to demonstrate to lay people we are in effect human beings and real people, just like them.

Well, maybe medically when it comes to getting a physical, I'll give you that. But no, we are not the same as ordinary people, and we the magickal ones know that. We are special, the children of the stars, the daughters of the Moon and the sons of the Sun. We dance the Wheel of the Year as we dance around the bon fire and the magick circle and we feel the energy flow between us and it tingles all through our bodies, and that is not something everyone else feels. 

We are the magickal and yes we flow between the veils of the worlds of the magickal and the mundane but we see and feel both worlds and we can choose. I wish we would choose to be the magickal, to be the respectful, to be the special all the time.  To not give into the petty, the childish, the small and mean spirited dark part of ourselves when a High priestess tells us to do something in an attempt to better ourselves and become more like the witch we keep telling her we wish to be!  And not take it as a personal criticism, because it would take effort and time and care on our part.

But if you show respect, are quiet, humble and listen and wait, well then .  .  .  ahhhh then, you will start to learn because when there is mutual respect between you and your "teacher" no matter who the teacher is, then you will learn in a manner and level that before was not available to you.  Your teacher will start to show you things she would not show others, even if that teacher is a tree.

I wish that the middle world of magickal ones I will call them, would remember what it was like coming into the magickal world. You have three levels, like the three worlds. The first world when you enter into the magickal world and everything was new and exciting and scary and you wanted it so badly it made your teeth ache. You wanted to dance around a bon fire under an oak tree at midnight under a full moon!!

I wrote earlier about the upper world, where High Priestesses and Priests dwell and have to deal with all sorts of stress/grief and we do so trying to remember our blessings every day and commune with Deity every moment if possible.

But the middle world, where the magickal ones who have been on the path for a while, maybe a few years or longer, reside. This is the dangerous place. Some have stopped really practicing, on a regular basis. Some still read. Some just hold coven gatherings. Some do rituals. Some just decorate the house and dress witchy. Do not get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the above, each and every one of the things I mentioned is wonderful and perfect if you choose to do that.  But it is at this level that I find the respect level wanes for some, and if not for others, then others sit back and see  and allow others to display their lack of respect. As a magickal community it is appropriate to speak out to others and say, no, that is not appropriate. Show respect.

Just expecting people to glean it, does not work. We each need to share our feelings with others and let them know how we feel. And the other thing I see in this middle world is the area of responsibility. It does get difficult and challenging, the life tests the universe or the Goddess/God will send your way after you have been on the path for a while, especially if you persist in moving upward in rank. Getting through these tests without casting blame on others and accepting responsibility is part of the tests, in some cases is the test in its entirety!!

Simply taking entire responsibility.  How few actually pass this one.

I am proud to say there are a few High Priestesses I am close to at Enchantments who have passed this test and they are the most wonderful example of the very best in having done the work of the Wise Ones.

I hope this listing of things to take into consideration makes you think. There are many, many layers to the world of the magickal, and to make it work, and glimmer and shimmer and manifest in the most magickal of ways one needs to be aware of all layers and be able to work them all!!

So I will conclude this portion of the series Back to Basics. I'll be back with a few more discussions covering the basics and how it pertains to magickally working with others!

Live, Laugh and Always Love!  Ms. Faith

© 2010-2018 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, March 18, 2018

Back To Basics: Guidelines for Running Your Own Coven

Magickal Greetings My Witchy Readers,

Ahhh, I love it when my inspiration simply walks in the door!! As it did just last week with two lovely young witches, young adults, who asked some questions and wanted to know about practice, starting their own coven, we had a lovely conversation. I hope they come back so I can thank them!  They got my thoughts going in a direction that I am starting with this discussion, and we are going back to basics.

Much of what I write is usually geared towards the solitary, individual practice. Yet, all one needs is another to have the lovely beginnings of a coven, and the energy of two or more witches combined is powerful and of course there is slightly different dynamics one must take into account. So I am going to dedicate the next few or perhaps more discussions to the basics and beginning workings of group magickal workings, or coven magick.

Before we get into the magickal work a coven can do, and it should do magickal work. Too many, in my magickal opinion, covens simply get together to socialize and party and while that is perfectly fine, or to hold classes, also fine, a coven's ancient, first and foremost purpose was for witches to gather to create magick they were unable to do on their own. Plain and simple.  Yes, there was the socialization part of it but people could socialize during other times without risking their very lives and the lives of their families by gathering in secret to hold magickal gatherings. They were conducting very important magickal workings for serious reasons and desired outcomes. They were not risking their lives to simply worship the moon phase, they could do that and did solitary at home.

So, whereas we gather at the Sabbats for celebration of the life and abundance Goddess and God has given us, for Sabbat's origin is Greek meaning "To rest" , so there is no magick typically done during Sabbats. But covens are very likely to also gather for the esbats, the full and new moons during the month and this is the time for serious magickal workings to take place.

But long before magickal working can happen, there should be guidelines when running your coven. After working with covens for over 30 years, having run my own, having been part of covens from small, intimate close covens of no more than 5 people to groups as large 50 or more I have seen probably more than I should have, or needed to!  But I can share with those like the two lovely witchlings that came into my store and those readers who would like to start your own group and hopefully together we can help you avoid some basic, typical pitfalls. I'll do my best to share what I have seen. It is up to you to pick and choose what you think works best for you and the friends that make up your coven.

So before any gatherings or magick is done consider the following first:

The coven members, who will they be? Will everyone be of the same rank or level? Is one person more experienced or educated than the other (s)? Will just one person act as High Priestess? (you can be male but for this article and convenience I will use the female gender)  I recommend that each person take turns being High Priestess, switching off with each coven gathering.

Book Of Shadows: A MUST!! Get a notebook, it can be fancy or it can be a basic notebook, and you can later transcribe the notes into a computer and share the files with the others or write them into a fancy book which usually stays at the covenstead. All in the coven should have free access  to the notes of each gathering.

Someone chooses to be the scribe to write the notes of the gathering. Usually the information recorded into the BOS is the magickal workings of the gathering. It is NOT meant to be a transcript of "minutes of the meeting" of the coven, and if any names are used (not recommended, then magickal names only, or initials only). I recommend not writing names down, only magickal potions, spells, the moon phases, and what magickal goals were worked for. The end result, and other magickal goals that came from the spell.

Coven stead:  A Coven stead is the place the coven usually meets and houses the covens altar room, altar and most of its magickal supplies and tools. Now it is feasible that gatherings could be moved from house to house monthly, and as was done in olden days tools and supplies were carried to the ritual place in baskets.  Where ever the coven stead is chosen it does need to be in a home where everyone's magickal tools, supplies and items can be trusted to be safeguarded and not risk others touching or coming into contact with them. It is best that an altar room, and any magickal supplies are not out on open display in a home, if not all of the items are yours.

Coming up with a name for the Coven, and then having a naming ceremony can and should be the very first magickal circle your group casts together as a new coven. You can come up with a name any way you choose. Some like to work a name so it has numerological meaning, or a spiritual meaning, or some other significance. For whatever reason you choose your name, then have a ritual, tell the name of the coven to all the watchtowers as well as the Goddess and the God and something should be made that has it's name upon it. Some like to make a flag, or a banner or even a clay tile or plaque, maybe a painting.  Even having your new BOS in the ritual circle with the name of your new Coven on the Book of Shadows will count.

Then decide, will you have ritual wear or garb? Some groups wear robes or cloaks. Some wear regular clothes.  But it needs to be a group discussion. If you feel magickal, spiritual and ritually ready by wearing flowing robes and some also wear cloaks and the energy is all in sync, will it bother you or any other if one chooses to come wearing raggy pants, dirty sweatpants, and looks like a bag lady? Yeah, yeah for those who are about to say "we don't judge" please, save it. I'm 54 years old, and one thing I can tell you, is yes. We do judge. Everyday, in almost every situation. We are human and there are basic primal reasons I could go into, but that is another discussion.  So, enough of that. WILL it bother you how another dresses? No? Okay cool. Continue on. If the answer is Yes! Okay, then everyone in your group needs to determine a dress code. Maybe everyone wears black (So Goth!) Or purple? Or Oooh Gold, so Egyptian, or maybe all greens or all robes or cloaks, or everyone makes and wears a beautiful witch hat?

Also, and this is important.  Open or Closed? Your Coven. Open means you will entertain allowing others to come in. Closed means, the door is closed you are good with those who are members and no others will be allowed. Unless an extreme exception is made.  Only the founding members can make that decision.

Now for the toughest part. If everyone, whether you have 2 or 5 of you, are all good with one another. You all get along, and all are trusting and good friends. If someone wants to bring another into the group, the following is highly recommended, no matter how difficult it may be:
Have the new potential member be invited and have them meet everyone and have a social occasion where that person can interact with everyone and get tp know everyone for a little bit. Maybe even a couple of occasions. Make sure the potential new member knows that it is up to a later vote and NO promises as to anything. Then at a later time have a secret vote. Trust me, make it an unbreakable rule if it is not a unanimous all yes's for the new person, then the new person does not get let in. No matter how much some may want her to become a member. I say this because if someone does not want her, if there is a divide it will split your group much faster than any hard feelings about not letting someone in. That will pass. The divide, once the person, at least one does not want comes in, will never be healed and it will continue to break apart until your group is a memory.

Dynamics of Holding a Gathering / Ritual 

Make some basic ground rules for the gathering and ritual and feast afterwards. Remember the person running the group, the High Priestess running the gathering and the coven stead are to be respected. That nonsensical phrase "Pagan Time" which people use to wave away their disrespectful lack of promptness needs to be done away with. Set a time for the circle casting say 6 pm, and make sure it starts by 6:15.  Now, of course everyone has text and smart phone technology. If there is an accident or an emergency people can let others know, but it soon becomes very apparent those who are consistently late and simply do not respect others nor the worship enough to be prompt.

I started my coven years ago with the rules no alcohol for any reason at any gathering, ever. This has saved many an issue and problem. Even when new people come in there is never an issue because there is never any drinking. Not that there has been no issues with people and their drinking but they have not brought it to my coven stead, that is key! If you are to allow wine, or drug use or tobacco use, etc. be specific and clear as to what is allowed and what is not. It can be difficult changing the rules mid-stream when issues arise, although of course that can happen. Best to have it thought out right from the start.

So, if you are respected enough to be invited and accepted as a member of the gathering and you receive an invitation, if it is not a regularly scheduled day, then a response is expected so the hostess can plan for the number that will attend.  Also, and this is a personal point of interest for me. If you cannot make a coven gathering, replying back to the invitation by saying something so trite, so trivial and insignificant that you can't make it "because you'd rather sleep in", or " you have to organize your sock draw" is not only rude to everyone else in the group, as there are those who wish they had a group to worship with and because of circumstances they are unable to and it also makes your commitment look pretty weak. I'm not saying it is, I don't know, but remember words have power, and your words become your deeds and your creation.

Many ask me why after studying, practicing and surrounding themselves with witchcraft or such  long time, they suddenly find themselves no longer as committed, they wonder why?  Remember the passion you had when you started? Remember how excited you were to just come to class and talk about spells? Your magick stays special as you keep it special in your day to day life.

It is traditional to have the ritual first, then feast afterwards. Why? Because everyone needs to achieve ritual trance to manifest the magickal goals they are sending forth and creating and you cannot do that if you have just eaten. The body is too involved with the act of digesting and breaking and processing foods. You will, simply be standing in the circle, but not spiritually or magickally participating.  Then eating afterwards helps ground you and re-balances and realigns the body.

Having said this, it is important to think about the actual ritual itself. There is a trend that turns into a mistake amongst many who run gatherings nowadays and I have seen this mistake perpetrated in large regional gatherings to the smaller groups. I do say mistake and I will explain my harsher choice of words.

The casting of a ritual circle and during the actual working of the circle, the person acting as High Priestess will attempt to hold a class within the magick circle. Please reconsider this, if you are working in constructing a coven. Now we cast a circle for three primary reasons. Yes, yes the actual circle itself provides protection, seals in and enhances energy and keeps out harmful energies but that is not what I mean, when I say why we cast a circle.  The things I just mentioned is what the circle does in its construction and existence.

We cast a circle for 1.) to celebrate Sabbats, to honor Life and the Divine, 2.) to hold esbats - lunar magickal workings rituals 3.) for special rites, Requiem rites, Handfastings, Wiccannings and Initiations.

These are the primary reasons we cast a circle. And when we cast a circle for any of these it is not to hold a class or to teach a history lesson, or to even have the crafting aspect of the spell if it is detailed and lengthy and extensive. That can be done before the circle is cast.

One casts the circle,  for a Sabbat you may have a short talk to with the coveners present to think about, give thanks to the Goddess and the God, Cakes and Ale,

If there is any extra component like the individual Yule logs at Yule, those are made at a time outside of the circle, either before the ritual or at a day or two before the gathering. They are then brought into the circle to bless them, and they are brought home to bring a piece of the covens energy to each coveners home.

For an esbat,  the workings for the spell can be done in the circle if it is not lengthy, but this is primarily anointing candles and charging the supplies for the spell. The carvings, drawings, written words, any extensive work is done before casting the circle.  That focus is actually a bit different and more more direct and intense and different from ritual trance which you will use to release and cast the spell.

The reason I said the teaching or holding of a class within a circle is a mistake,  has a number of components. Firstly there are usually no chairs, desks, paper or pens brought into the circle. A ritual circle from beginning to end, with all of the necessary components necessary should take about 30 minutes. Maybe a little more when you are starting off.  Not everyone is comfortable telling you if they can stand for longer than that length of time, or if they have other physical or medical issues.

And I am going to be real here.  If you want to teach a class or hold a workshop that is wonderful. That is NOT part of the worship or magickal practice and when one is in the magick circle, they re in effect "stuck" and cannot simply walk out. Yes, you have them hostage. They are not even, respectfully allowed to interrupt the High Priestess, and ask questions and have a back and forth discussion because that is not appropriate in the circle. See what I'm saying? The magick circle is not a classroom,  it has an altar not a podium.  And podium is to hold the Book of Shadows not to teach and deliver a lecture. To assume that a convener and or any guest or visitor that comes to worship, also wishes to remain for a lengthy lesson or lecture and to keep them sealed in a circle for any longer than 30 minutes for the entirety of a ritual is not considerate.

If there is a Requiem Rite, a Wiccanning a Handfasting or an Initiation let us say it may take a bit longer but everyone is informed of the extra component before the circle is cast.  The point is everyone needs to be informed of what is going on.

Have the class or workshop afterwards with the feast where people can participate should they wish to, or they can leave should they wish to, or quietly visit elsewhere in the house with others. Also having the class while eating after the ritual will help ground people and relax them, allow people to take notes, ask questions, have a back and forth with the instructor now, NOT the High Priestess, and this is an important distinction.

And if you normally like to have your rituals out of doors, that is great. Yet if the elements are harsh for humans, please take this into consideration. I have heard of High Priestesses holding Sabbats out of doors in the bitter cold in the wintertime, after dark rituals where conveners were eaten alive by bugs, standing for two hours in the direct sun with no shade with coveners overheating and becoming ill. My point is, yes we are Pagan but we are also of the Wise Ones, The Wicca. We need to remember that.  If the weather conditions are not good, we can and should move indoors to make it healthy for all to participate.

IF you happen to have the situation pop up where there will be visitors or guests that are not part of your coven, but everyone agrees that they are welcome to join, perhaps you are having an "open to the public ritual" it is very important that it is known to all that any pictures or videos taken are only taken with everyone's consent and if anyone is not good with their photos taken, then keep them out of your pictures. It is that easy. If anyone is not good with their photo taken then it is recommended no video should be allowed, at all. Again, everyone in charge of the coven needs to make the final decision.

Sooo, still want to run a coven? Giggle! Yep, lots of fun! And we haven't even touched on the magickal workings yet!!  No you have to master Inter-magickal-personal relations first! Oh yes, now that's a mouthful, but it is true.

I can tell you all sorts of horror stories of how all it takes is a couple of mean spirited brats in a coven, or one really subversive, gossipy, lying troublemaker can wipe out your magickal group and leave people disenchanted, really disillusioned and worse.  .  .   all hating you!! So I strongly recommend you keep your magickal coven to a few close friends and the less the best.  Because when you do have a small, close group with a few wonderful, magickal special people then it can be a very magickal experience, and that's what it is all about. Keep in mind an old occult belief is three witches working together is considered by some to be the most powerful force in the universe.

So, taking that bit of knowledge, combine it with the only real rule "An it harm none", my assurance you really can't do any harm, light a candle and pull close a note book and pen and start to craft what your perfect coven would be!

I would personally like to take a very brief moment to wave hello at those from the past both distant and recent, those who gave me all of the experiences and knowledge I write about.  I want you to know I am doing so well and I am blessed to find myself surrounded by such wonderful, magickally gifted, and light and love beings whom I am proud to call my students and graduates and friends.

Knowing you only made me stronger, more magickal and in the end happier where I find myself.  Proof that one can find blessings in all sorts of experiences and circumstances.

My next discussion will also cover some Back to Basics and working with others!!

© 2010-2018 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.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Do you End Up Cursing Yourself?

Good Evening My Witchy Reader,

Some discussion topics come to me by way of the clients, customers and students I work with weekly, as this one has.  Over the past several weeks and months I have counseled so many people who truly feel they are cursed and in some ways they are! Yes! I, Ms. Faith have said those words!! Those of you who know me and have read my words are thinking .  .  . what??? Has she gone off the deep end?!! Hahaha, no, not quite, but whereas I do not believe others are capable of casting spells against you to effectively do anything to you at all, simply because magick does not work that way.

But!! Having said that,  I do allow for the very strong possibility that we are capable of cursing ourselves. Yes, we, ourselves, are more than capable of cursing ourselves, and this is my discussion with you this evening.

Guilt or remorse is one of the strongest causes for "self cursing", as I will call it for this conversation. For example take a situation where someone has betrayed a good friend, or family member, deceived, lied, stolen from or done other hurtful things which caused the end of the relationship and created pain and distrust as well as fostered anger and intense upset emotions. Well, of course those kinds of negative energies and behaviors will indeed have karmic feedback, pretty intense karmic feedback, but instead of simply walking away and expecting to turn your back and finding that it all goes away, even if you never see your antagonist again   Even if you never see the one who hurt you again, you may find yourself haunted or in your mind cursed.  They stay in your mind long after you should have forgotten them and the wrong things you did to them, (remember, you are the bad guy in this scenario, as we are talking about you cursing yourself).

Simple things like seeing red roses your friend always adored will bring the magnitude of your "karmic crimes" back to your mind to visit you every single time, or perhaps it is every time you see the full moon, or when you smell steak cooking on the grill, or maybe when you see a car the same make or model that your best friend drove before you borrowed all of that money and promised to return it and then never returned his calls or ever made contact again?

People have come to me with all sorts of stories, circumstances and situations and wondering how is it possible for that person, who may never have even been a magickal person, to put a spell on them? Or to curse them? And the most sad of all, how to remove such a thing? Well, they are not pleased to know that they themselves are the cause of their "curse" and to remove it?

Hmmmmm, for some of them, considering some of the hurtful things they did  to people who were completely innocent and whose only fault were they were family or friends of these people I am hesitant to say, as a part of me feels they deserve the karmic feedback they suffer from. But, then again, there is a good chance they would not be reading this discussion anyways, besides if they were to actually go to the effort to attempt the "cure" for removing their "self-imposed curse", it would take a lot of self reflection, behavioral change and in some cases psychiatric therapy.

I'm serious. For to take their "curse" away they would need to make amends to those they hurt, and I don't mean the 5 minute "I'm so sorry" exchange you see portrayed on television as shown to be part of a twelve step program. No, no. It takes so much more than that. You see, if the "karmic crime" is severe enough it will stay with a person's soul through lifetimes, to come back to them and to manifest in another fashion in another lifetime.

Yes, now doesn't that sound formidable? Yes, the crap you have delivered to that innocent person, simply because you couldn't take the heat, or the hit or the blame or the responsibility, (take your pick here), It will continue to haunt them in this lifetime and will walk with them as their shadow and into their next lifetimes and they will never be free of it's clutches.

Some people try to free themselves of it by drinking, or doing drugs or even trying to convince themselves the other person was somehow deserving of the treatment, or somehow brought it on themselves, but they know deep down inside the truth. Because if that were the truth, then .  .  .  why the "haunting"? Why always reliving the guilt and the remorse? For instance, every time you see the full moon? If one were so innocent, that hollow pit in your soul when you reflect back on that person you "did wrong" simply wouldn't be there.

There is one area I want to specifically address. Karma. I have had so many people over they years come to me and tell me about this person or that person who does all sorts of terrible things to others, treats people terribly, but "Nothing ever happens to them!"  and they are very skeptical as to whether "this karma" really works or not!

I assure you it does. This is how I know. Because I am also sitting down with clients just like those my other clients complain never have "Karma" visit them, and "they always come out smelling like a rose!".  Well,  you may not be in a position to see close enough, or to have "inside information" regarding the person who you feel is so terrible, but I assure you, karma works like gravity and is not attached to any religious system or belief.

You do  not have to believe in gravity to hold an apple, open your hand and see the apple fall to the floor, or even to expect such a thing, and know it will happen. It is a universal principle. It simply is. This is the same with karma, as much as there are people out there that want you to think Karma only happens to others, because they just do not believe in it, so therefore it won't touch them. They can say or do anything they wish to and it will not touch them.

Well, these people share with me how karma does touch their lives and if you pay close attention you can see it yourself.  Is that guy that stepped all over your feelings a "player"?  He looks confident, and self assured doesn't he? Like he has it all together?  Yet be absolutely sure, you are not the one he is calling to tell every time someone blows him off, when every time a new girl tells him she is "looking for someone different", or when he is working late in his office because he has convinced himself he wants to be working that hard instead of being out having fun with friends.

He won't tell you his behavior and attitude towards you and others has caused him to have very few real, sincere friends.  Oh yes, he is surrounded by people he pays, employees and those who fawn over him, but no one he can trust.  Karma visits everyone. Even if you do not get a front row seat to see the show.

I tell this also to people who have loaned money and then sit and wait and stew for it to be returned. It may take years, if at all. In the meantime, these  people are not living in the lap of luxury, no indeed. They tend to live hand to mouth for their lifetime, and it is better if you do loan money to consider it a gift and not expect it back. Ever. Then if it does find its way back to you, it is a happy surprise and that is all.

The hardest lesson in this cauldron of self cursing, and this is the trickiest.  When you find yourself getting all uptight and stressed because someone close to you, someone you trusted, someone you felt you cared about, tells you the truth about something.  Well, first we get offended, because that is what we do nowadays, rather than actually considering if there is any truth in the actual words.

We do not even take into account how it was presented. Did the person say it to you in a cruel, hurtful manner? Call you out in front of others? Or did the person tell you in a way that tried to spare your feelings but needed to get a point across?

So check your feelings and see if your feelings are in a proper place or if you are being childish and insecure? Or simply disrespectful and rude. We simply cannot go throughout our day to day life and not be honest with people and we need to accept that at times we are told things we do not want to hear, but we soldier on and get things done and learn from the experience.

Those who can hear things about themselves and allow that feedback to make them better people will go far on the witches path, those who crumble and cave to peer pressure and find themselves pointing fingers at all of those who did and said "wrong" things to them, well  .  .  .  be sure you are not one who plays at being a witch, but actually live the life.               

Live, Laugh and Always Love!! Ms. Faith

© 2010-2018 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.