Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Problem-Solving Technique: the Golden Key

This might be considered more New Age than Pagan, more 'spiritual' than 'witchy'. No matter— magic is magic, and works regardless of systems and labels.

It is an astonishingly effective technique for ridding yourself of those problems which appear insuperable. I've used it a number of times, and can attest to that. My title is perhaps a bit misleading; it is not so much that the problems get solved, although they do — it's more that the problematic situations simply vanish from your life!

It originated with the great spiritual thinker and writer, Emmett Fox.

Here is a link to the complete text of The Golden Key.

And here, for good measure, is another article which explains it well.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What's a Witch, These Days?

I read my last SnakyPoet blog post, about Wendy Rule’s recent concert, to the writers’ group.

‘What do you mean by the word ”witch” in a contemporary context?’ asked one. She wasn’t being smart; she genuinely wanted to know.

(I forget how little awareness of Paganism there is in the general community. When I mentioned to a friend — one who identifies with witchcraft, moreover — that I was going to a ‘Pagans in the Pub’ meeting, she hooted with laughter at the name, as if this were a clever joke that I had just invented instead of a well known way of getting together which goes on all over the country. But I dare say it’s not so well known if you've never subscribed to any publication listing the regular meetings.)

It was quite hard to explain contemporary witchcraft to someone for whom concepts that I take for granted were new.  She wasn’t septical and had no axe to grind; evidently she had just been unaware of Neo-Paganism, even as a word. That was the first word I tossed off, thinking to give a quick answer, but it led to more questions. I found myself getting into the whole thing about witch versus Wiccan: how one can be a witch without being Wiccan, but not the other way about; that Wicca is the religion of witchcraft, but not every witch subscribes to it — for instance, there are Christian witches. (I didn’t mention it at the time, but I happen to know both Buddhist and Hare Krishna witches; I dare say the same applies in other religions.)

We got into magic and what that is, after I answered a question as to what I mean when I say specifically that I’m a witch: why that particular term? I answered that I cast spells and participate in magical rituals. I explained magic as shifting energy to bring about a result in the everyday world. (I don’t think I expressed it as clearly as that, but it’s where we got to after I floundered around a bit.)

My questioner had spent time in Aboriginal communities and was aware of skills those people had which the white population, for the most part, lost long ago — telepathy, for instance. She wanted to know whether that was the sort of thing I meant. Was it the same as being psychic? And, having heard of the group spell casting at Wendy’s concert, she asked, ‘So does casting a spell mean getting together in a group and allowing the music to put you in a certain frame of mind?’ (Or words to that effect; I didn’t take notes.) She spoke of the way music can change one’s mood; was that what I meant by magic? If I didn’t mean these kinds of things, then how did I differentiate?

I ended up asserting that, whereas telepathy etc. are gifts which some people have more than others, witchcraft is something you DO. And it can be done either in circle or solitary. ‘Spells,’ I said, ‘Are active prayers. It’s like the way a Christian might pray alone at home, or might go to church and join in prayer with other people.’ That was understood.

I explained that there are all kinds of Pagans, as there are different denominations of Christians. (There are different kinds of Wiccans, for that matter, but the conversation didn’t get that far.) The question of Satan was left rather inconclusive. I trotted out the usual Wiccan line, ‘The devil is an invention of Christians’ but one of the group pointed out that there are Satanists who call themselves Pagans. I know this is so, but know little about them. I have the impression, however, that modern Satanism is about self-determination rather than evil deeds, and suspect that its adherents don’t worship the Christian devil — but I’m only guessing. (A quick Google reveals various, very different  ways of being Satanist.)

And then I told my story, in outline:

That I was a psychic child who was told it was her vivid imagination, and got the message that it wasn’t true and you’d better not think so or you must be mad. So I shut down hard for many years.

That eventually things happened which I couldn’t explain away. I struggled with them a long time, trying to find the rational explanation and eventually gave up and accepted the ‘irrational’, i.e. that these experiences were real. Upon which, the floodgates opened.

That in the course of time I explored Druidry, Shamanism, Ceremonial Magick, but had a resistance to witchcraft — until one day I realised that of course I was a witch, had always been one (a recognition based on things I did as a child). It was a homecoming.

That nevertheless I think scepticism is healthy. There’s a lot of bunkum out there. After my floodgates opened, I used to joke, ‘Now I believe anything‘ — but I didn’t really. One of the writers asked, ‘How do you decide what to believe?’  I answered that I believe what I personally experience, and which I can’t explain away by ‘rational’ means. I told them my personal slogan of which I’m rather proud: ‘Magic is science for which we haven’t yet found the scientific explanation.’

For my story in more detail, click on the 'About this crone' tab above.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Should Practitioners Charge for their Gifts?

Pagan Magic asked:   

This is a question that I see a lot, and I would like to know the opinion of the people here.

Should a spell caster charge for their gifts - is it right to make money from the Craft, or should it be freely given?

I said:

I have a double standard. I charge for doing psychic readings and mediumistic work, and for any form of hands-on healing – except for very close friends and family with whom there is a lot of give-and-take and no-one could possibly keep track of who owes what to whom. For absent healings I don't usually charge; it becomes too complicated. In return I feel free to call upon other absent healers to help with any work I need for myself or others. Again there is that give-and-take operating amongst us. And so far I haven't charged for doing spellwork either, for similar reasons.

I do however like the point that others have raised, that when a spell is requested one has the right to ask for an energy exchange. I might do that if it were a member of the public asking rather than someone close to me. Mostly, however, clients ask in the context of readings or healings I'm doing for them. If possible I instruct them in how to do their own spells for their particular purposes, and incorporate that instruction into the time for which they're paying. If it's complex, though, I just tell them I'll 'do something' later. If they offer me a gift, or extra money, I accept; if not, no matter.

I have a friend who is able to 'see' people's energetic origins before their life in this place and time. She herself is what she calls a 'feathered angel', whose joy and purpose is to serve; so she never charges for the psychic information she is occasionally impelled to give someone. The first time I met her, she walked past my market stall while I was doing a reading, and caught my eye. She came back later to tell me – as others have done – that when I read I am plugged into Source. She added, 'You are a human being. You have chosen to do this work. Never let anyone tell you that you shouldn't charge for it. I never charge for what I do, because I'm an angel and it's my duty to serve. But you have chosen it freely and you have a right to be recompensed.'

I like what I recently heard a healer say (after working on my husband for free): 'I do some work for love and some for money. This one's for love. Aren't I lucky that I can choose to work for love or money?' I guess that's how it is for me too; and if the choice is sometimes arbitrary, well that's my right and privilege.

PS A young woman did once take me to task in the market for charging for spiritual work. She cited the case of 'a wonderful man named Edgar Cayce who never asked for money for the wisdom and healing he gave the world.' I was a bit flabbergasted and just reiterated that I was comfortable with what I was doing. I didn't think until afterwards to ask whether Edgar Cayce had a day job or people who supported him! (Of course I have some books about him, but they focus on his spiritual, not mundane life.) Personally I'm on the Age Pension, which is a frugal living, and the readings etc. merely supplement it within the allowable limits.


 Re-reading [other answers, some weeks later] I think it rather depends on whether one treats it as the career / profession, or as something extra, outside one's everyday work.

If you're working as a shop assistant, accountant, hairdresser, plumber, you-name-it, then some form of donation or other energy exchange when you do magickal work for others might well be sufficient. It's fine to refrain from charging for the work if you are provided for by some other means.

But some of us choose to make this our actual occupation and source of income, and that's a valid choice too. Then it becomes like any other form of self-employment: a means to eat and pay the bills. It's just that we choose to work at something that is both our passion and our service.  (Not unlike those who have a vocation for nursing, teaching, etc.)

In my case I used it to supplement the Age Pension within the limits legally allowed, as the Pension alone was impossible to live on when I was in private rental. Now that I have recently moved into Housing Department accommodation at lower rent, I've retired from my regular work as a psychic medium and energy healer, but will continue to help some people privately — for love, barter or money, as appropriate. I have been given gifts; I also spent much time, energy and even money developing them, and I'm good at what I do, so I don't have any qualms about being recompensed financially.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Silent Prayer

Found on the Wild Women page on facebook and reposted with permission:

In my heart, I accept my perfect Being.
I accept that the joy that I have intended is already in my life.
I accept that love I have prayed for is already within me.
I accept that the peace I have asked for is already my reality.
I accept that the abundance I have sought already fills my life...

In my truth, I accept my perfect Being.
I take responsibility for my own creations,
And all things that are within my life.
I acknowledge the power of Spirit that is within me,
And know that all things are as they should be.

In my wisdom, I accept my perfect Being.
My lessons have been carefully chosen by my Self,
And now I walk through them in full experience.
My path takes me on a sacred journey with divine purpose.
My experiences become part of All That Is.

In my knowingness, I accept my perfect Being.
In this moment, I sit in my golden chair
And know that I Am an angel of light.
I look upon the golden tray - the gift of Spirit -
And know that all of my desires already have been fufilled.

In love for my Self, I accept my perfect Being.
I cast no judgment or burdens upon my Self.
I accept that everything in my past was given in love.
I accept that everything in this moment comes from love.
I accept that everything in my future will result in greater love.

In my Being, I accept my perfection.
And so it is.