The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

An Offering From this Witches Perspective


Greetings My Witchy Reader,

Many people have asked me as to what constitutes an acceptable offering to a Goddess or a God and when that may be a good time to give one. Well this can be quite a philosophical discussion and one could sit and debate and have a grand time discussing varying degrees of offerings.

So, please understand, here I discuss my personal views of this subject as a witch and magickal practitioner and elder in the magickal world for over 30 years. That does not make my concepts any more valid than anyone else's, they just make them mine.

Most times when one wishes to give an offering to a Goddess or a God one does so when they have worked with you and helped bring to you your desires when you have cast a spell or a prayer and things have worked in your favor.  It has seemed typical that people would put something next to a statue of the specific Deity, something they would be associated with and would give them pleasure. Such as Aphrodite coming from the foam of the ocean, is said to enjoy pearls and perhaps a bowl of sea salt, beautiful sea shells, even a polished stone of aquamarine because of it's color of water and water influences.



Some harvest gods could be appeased with an offering of bread or crops from the field, at one time a sheaf of wheat was left unharvested standing in the field "John Barleycorn" as an offering to the gods of the harvest.

Yet when I read the wonderful research out there on this topic, one of the foremost and authoritative works on Gods and Goddesses can be found in "The Witches Goddess" and it's companion piece "The Witches God" both written by Janet and Stewart Farrar and both of these incredible resources are still in print and should be in any serious magickal practitioner's magickal library, I remember my ancient history. It's one of the things I teach and it's important to take into consideration in this matter, I believe.



When you wish to give an offering, what at one time in ancient time would be 'a sacrifice' something of great value to give thanks and to show gratitude to the gods, the small, pretty or tasty items mentioned above seem sweet but inconsequential. Lets look again, shall we?  For someone who may have cast a love spell and had asked Aphrodite's help, and the spell caster's true love came into their lives they would very likely have made a trek, of perhaps miles on foot to go and gather sea shells, to collect precious sea salt, to find semi precious stones and polish them, so they shone like a drop of solid water like the aquamarine.

A person who wanted to give thanks to a harvest god would give up a piece of bread that could feed a hungry member of a large farming family, where every single scrap of bread was eaten and none went to waste. Even leaving a sheaf of wheat with its kernels in the field was a sacrifice as they could not be used to make flour or any food to be eaten. They would be consumed by the birds in the field. Willingly left out.  A true offering. A sacrifice.



So today I look deeply and consider offerings in a way many do not. But I am not saying all do not, as I do know many who do as I do. I believe an offering should be as in the old days, to put you out. To be a chore that is inconvenient for you, requires effort and causes you to go out of your way to help or benefit another.

Also, I don't feel that simply stuffing currency into a jar on a counter or writing a check, even a big one is the same thing. That's easy, and does not require any energy, hardly any effort. Because it is against human nature to write a check for more than you can reasonably afford.

So what am I talking about, specifically? These are some of the offerings I have done myself over the years, and always to give back to the Goddess and God for their gifts to us.

On Christmas Eve I deliver cookies to the first responders in my home town, the fire departments and police station, as I try to keep it in mind that while everyone is enjoying their holiday these people need to be away from their homes to keep you safe.

One morning I woke up with the voice of a woman in my ear, I know it was the Goddess, and she told me to get 4 backpacks and fill them with all sorts of equipment that will keep homeless people outdoors during our New England winters warmer, and safe from freezing. I filled them with gloves, socks, emergency heating foil blankets, granola bars, bottles of water, led flashlights, chemical hand heaters, chocolate bars, and some spare money in each backpack. I asked a police officer I knew and she distributed them to four homeless veterans she knew lived outdoors.

Have collected "Toys for Joy", for under-privileged children and distributed them at a local church. We have a pick up truck so we did that for years.

Planned, prepped and cooked a Thanksgiving dinner at a local church for 200 people every year for 13 years before we handed that job off to another generation of people who still do it today.

Picked up bagged and boxed Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets at the local food pantry to be delivered to people in the local community many of them shut ins and the elderly.

Collected non perishable foods to be brought down to the food pantry.

Collected sets of socks, gloves, scarves, hats made into Christmas packages, wrapped and delivered to the local homeless shelter, with prior phone calls to make sure every man, woman and child had a "warm" present delivered on Christmas Eve.

These are just  a few of the things I have done in the past few years, and you may find other different areas that you may wish to give offerings. An offering should be something that causes you to put in effort, it may be inconvenient, uncomfortable and may even cause others to become disagreeable with you as you do things which might inadvertently inconvenience them, as you may not be as available for a moment or they may not understand why you choose to spend an entire afternoon chaperoning a girl scout troupe on a nature walk when everyone else is going to the ball game. Or why you wish to plant trees in a field that you own, wishing to regenerate poor soil and help the earth when everyone is going to Broadway that weekend.

Or the sideways glances you receive when you say you wish to set up honey bee hives and not to harvest the honey but to only help the decimated bee colonies. And everyone with a fear of bees treats you like you have the plague even though they are as docile as lambs. No, it;s not always easy to walk this path. There are a lot of choices and many areas where you could go to give your offerings. You don't even need to give an offering. It is more for you than for the Gods, but that is another story for another time.


Blessings, Ms. Faith


Live, Laugh and Always Love,

Especially Under the Full Moon, Think of Me!!






© 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 www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.

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

A Phenomenon Called "The Dropping of The Crosses"




There are a number of phenomenon that can be perceived as spiritual or mystical, and this discussion will cover one, The situation of spontaneous breaking of spiritual or religious jewelry without apparent accident or cause is an ancient phenomenon which has become to be known as the "dropping of the crosses" which many Christians will claim to be a Christian phenomenon but it seems to cross all religious and spiritual paths.

Historically it has been written that when ones wears a religious symbol such as a crucifix, or other religious pendant as a necklace around the neck, and it falls off, usually from the chain breaking, but not with it getting caught or pulled, or any seeming reason or direct cause it is never considered coincidental. For as people share experiences with one another it is often found during these times, these short phases of time, usually over the course of a few days to a week, that others, many others also experience the same phenomenon, during the same period of time!

This, though, does not simply happen to necklaces. It happens to any piece of jewelry that has spiritual significance to the wearer, and I have seen it happen, and have heard stories of it happening to rings, bracelets, brooches, hair pieces any piece of jewelry that has religious or spiritual significance.  It does not seem to matter if the piece is well made and an expensive piece or an inexpensive piece. Also, among this phenomenon are pieces that do not break or are unbreakable and they simply disappear! Never to be seen again.

Now, you may well ask, how is this significant? It is believed by some who study spiritual evolution of the soul,  along with past life regression and working with the akashic record that some people will come to a place in their lives, and perhaps more than one time in their lives,  where they reach another spiritual level of being. I am careful not to say or infer that one is stepping "up" but merely reaching yet another spiritual level for them, different from where they had been prior. It is up to them to determine if the level they have reached is a better place from where they had been, and it is nice when that happens, but it is not always the case for all.



I believe even the most traumatic experiences can be healing and life affirming if one can take time to sit aside, in quiet and contemplation. I do not mean meditation, but focused, active, conscious contemplation of what you have experienced, how it has affected you, what you have learned, and how it can best benefit you and the world you interact with.

Pay attention to any pieces of jewelry that suddenly breaks, becomes lost, shatters, or becomes unable to be worn, is most important to note if the piece is of spiritual or religious significance. Especially pieces that have been consecrated or spiritually blessed in some way. Also any piece of jewelry that has been worn without being removed for 28 days, a lunar month, is considered as blessed and consecrated as if a Priest or Priestess had done so.



When this happens to me, and it has happened before, this past time over a 72 hour period every ring and bracelet dropped, broke, disappeared! I replaced, fixed some and other pieces I put aside until the energy dissipates but it was a nice place I found myself in afterwards. I do not like having my jewelry suddenly broken or lost but the lightness of being that overcame me afterwards was worth the experience preceding it.  Interestingly that the "Dropping of the Crosses" for me came at the very end of October a typically frenetic, intense, stress driven month in my business and I had spent many moments in quiet contemplation trying to find my love of humanity, in light of so much human created tragedy, and a sense of peace and tranquility.

If you walk this path of magick and wonder, looking for the way of the witch there is no way to do so without growing spiritually and to do so you have to continually shed the old skin of the past, and grow new again. The waxing and then waning we work with every month.

I think the more we do this, the more our jewelry will "drop" and we will be required to get new!! 

I will soon write a discussion on all of the magicks one can do with old, broken or unwanted silver jewelry. It can and has been used for centuries in many magickal ways and I will share these with you soon.

Blessings, Ms. Faith               Remember Always to Live, Laugh and Always Love!! 

Especially Under the Full Moon Think of Me! 




 





© 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 www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Ways you can Celebrate Halloween like a Witch




Greetings My Witchy Readers!

My wands & pentacles!!  I can't thank you all enough for the wonderful comments, and really sweet thoughts and words that have been sent my way!

Tonight I am going to get a bit somber. And real, as always.  As a witch, if you are "out of the broom closet" as some like to say, meaning you are okay with people knowing you follow this path, you tend to run into a lot of people who assume all sorts of things about you come Halloween.

We hear everything from "well of course you will dress up as a witch for Halloween" to "being a witch all year why would you dress up as a witch for Halloween"? , To "You must hate that kids trick and treat for candy on Halloween, as it really is a witches holiday!" to the assumption we will all be at some far away Witches Ball and of course we all know one another. Of course.

Even some who do not want to pass assumptions do so by their very demeanor, as one such woman came into the store and did not want to assume she knew what witches did on Halloween, so practically leaning over the counter in her excitement she very excitedly started asking "So what do you do at Halloween?! It must be the biggest Holiday of the year, isn't it? It is the most important Holiday for witches right!? So how do you celebrate? What will you dress up as?" and I mentioned it is a special holiday but all 8 of our holidays were special to us. Her face looked a bit crestfallen because she did not really want to hear that, and I knew she did not want to hear the truth. I also won't lie. It is not a 'happy' celebration for many of us as much as a day and night to remember our loved ones who have passed on. A day and night of reflection, sometimes regret and memories. A time we exist not only in the present but also in the past.

The truth you say? Yes, and it has little to do with any of the above questions.  I always dress as a fashionable witchy woman, no matter the day. On Samhain eve (Halloween) I may wear a more formal outfit. But I don't wear costumes.

Samhain is our Day of the Dead, or Memorial Day.  I do spend the day decorating the out of doors and make the front yard like a spooky witches' cottage and then enjoy the children coming trick or treating. That is a tradition which I truly enjoy then afterwards no party, just a simple dinner and a late night small ritual on a special altar set to honor the ancestors.  It is also a night of reflection, what has been set aside, specifically what no longer serves you beneficially in this life, from harmful people, to bad habits, to anything that diminishes your inner light.

What is important about an ancestor altar is not what your religious or spiritual beliefs may be, but what represents your ancestors.  Many times cultural threads stretch through the decades and can connect you in this way.  Of course photos of any ancestors, or loved ones, friends, family members who have passed away is always acceptable. Pieces of their special items, small items of jewelry, or a special items of theirs is good too.

It is traditional for many to place a small plate of food on the altar and a chalice or cup of drink and this food is for the spirits of the loved ones on the other side. You can place a bowl of fava beans on the altar or a bowl of fava bean soup especially if there is any Italian ancestry,  noodles or Babcia bread on the altar if your ancestry is Polish. A glass of beer if there is Germany heritage or even if the loved one who had passed had a fancy for beer. Now, it is vital that no one touch, eat or drink the food and drink placed for the spirits of the loved ones. You choose what you wish to place for your loved ones on the other side, as you know them or your culture and family best.

 A chair, not to be sat in, may also be placed near the altar. Placing a black or purple ribbon across the chair from the top corner of the back to the corner of the seat crossing over the body of the chair so no one could sit, is a passive way to let people know this chair is for the spirits. You may also wish to place a small pillow in the seat of the chair and place a picture of your ancestor on the pillow.

Playing a favorite type of music, spraying a favorite perfume, even burning a bit of a favorite pipe tobacco of a loved one can help make that special connection that will bring them to you during this most special time of the year.

One thing, you may choose to do, as so many are choosing these days to not have a conventional burial and be buried in a cemetery so many people have no final resting place. This means to the family left behind there is no place to go and honor them and remember them. This is most important, and as the old traditions get put aside during these modern times I have seen the inner discord among people who have no sense of closure, no sense of peace, no sense of finality when it comes to their loved ones who have passed.  This is found in a "final resting place" and lacking that, an ancestral altar will take that place and provide this for those left behind.




So, I recommend for people having issues in this regard, to construct in their home somewhere a small ancestor altar. It can be a shelf, a small niche built in the wall, a small side table even a glass hutch. A wall collection of photos with a small table beneath can be an ancestor shrine.

This is so important as those left behind need that millenia old tradition of going to pay respect to the memories of those who we love and miss. And having a family altar or shrine within the home actually goes back much farther than having personal individual graves. For centuries many graves were merely "borrowed" for a year, up to a few decades, and when there was nothing left but bones then they were removed and placed in large depositories such as the catacombs beneath Paris France. This was not unique to Paris. All throughout the history of mankind there have been more bodies that have no permanent grave to this day than those that do.

But throughout the centuries, not having a cemetery to go to, to pay respects to loved ones who have passed, was not an issue because everyone had a family shrine in their home. The Greeks, Romans,  Egyptians, it was a common thing and so much so it was one of the first things banished and forbidden when the Catholics took power and started the unification of the Catholic church in Europe which forbid just about everything when it came to personal worship.

But it is perfectly appropriate today to bring back the concept of an ancestor altar or a personal family shrine to have in your home to remember your loved ones. No need to go to a distant cemetery where their spirits are not there anyway. Having a personal family shrine dedicated to your ancestors goes back well over a  few thousand years. This was how so many people in so many cultures worshiped long before the first Christians built the first churches.

It is a myth that people had no religion or did not worship or have any structured, organized religions before the early Christians. There were hundreds of religions if not more before then, and now we have 4,200 recognized religions on the face of the earth as of this day. And these are religions that are not simply private based but have a public aspect.

Now having detailed a bit of what I do on Samhain eve, that is not saying all witches are staying home, passing out candy and having a quiet night with their ghosts. Some do go to Witches Balls, some work as our holidays, though sacred and as religious to us as anyone's religious holidays are not considered serious, especially this one.  It's hard to blame employers as they initially see adults dressed in costume, wearing fake blood, with various weapons sticking out of body parts by some and then others ask for the day off as it is a "religious" holiday. The confusion is easy to understand.

I could go over the history of Halloween and the reasons behind the costumes and why we celebrate with such fervor today, but that is not what this article is about. If you are interested in knowing more about "The History of Halloween" I do have a 2 hour class, by the same name,  on this upcoming October 26th, a Friday night at 6 pm at Manchester Community College.  The class is $20 per person and is course number CRN 31562 located in the Great Path building in GPA Room GP139. The lights go off and the show starts at 6 pm sharp.

You can call the phone in registration at MCC and pay over the phone for the class. You can call the phone in registration number # 860-515-3232 between 8:30-4:30 Mon-Fri  they accept M/C, Visa, Discover and Amex. They say to leave a detailed message if staff is busy.

The class at MCC is filling up quickly so if interested, be sure to call and pay for your seat as soon as possible!









© 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 www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

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