Wiccan Friend

Just your friendly neighborhood Witch. Thoughts on Wicca, Witchcraft, Tarot, and Paganism today.

Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

Thoughts on Man Panels

About 90 days ago I had the good fortune to be a part of a special panel of men.  I am getting a little ahead of myself so let me back up a tad.  My wife and our High Priestess get together once a month and host a delightful podcast called Shhh! There are Pagans in Texas.  A few months ago they did a short segment over the role of men in Paganism and Wicca.  Unfortunately at the time all of the men in their lives were busy so it was a segment on men by women.  In all fairness they did have our input via email and were acting on our behalf, but it wasn’t good enough.  Their fans and listeners insisted that they have a discussion panel of men to go over the subject again in length.  Enter Keegan, 3 High Priests, and a little inspiration.

 
We’re men, MANLY men, we’re men in tights. Yeah!
We roam around the forest looking for fights. We’re men, we’re men in tights.
We rob from the rich and give to the poor, that’s right!
We may look like pansies, but don’t get us wrong or else we’ll put out your lights.
We’re men, we’re men in tights (TIGHT tights), Always on guard defending the people’s rights.
When you’re in a fix just call for the men in tights! We’re butch.
 
 

So as I said I had to do this panel with 3 High Priest.  I am not easily intimidated but this was kind of heavy.  I remember being quite nervous the night before and staying up late to prepare.  I wasn’t sure of the format or what kind of questions were going to be asked so I decided to write some of my own.  If anything I knew I could fall back on them if needed.  In the long run I’m glad I did write out some thoughts because I ended up kind of MC’ing the panel and asking some of the questions I wrote down.   So we had Charles, High Priest of Wren’s Nest coven and an active Pagan in the DFW community for at least 20 years.  There was Beowulf, High Priest of Rose Hollow coven and my current HP.  Next is Nikki Tree High Priest of Circle of the Moon American Tradition of the Goddess, also representing the gay male pagans out there.  Finally there is me… not High Priest, Pagan for only one decade but as the others put it maybe I can offer a seeker’s perspective.

So go check it out, then come back and tell me what you think.  Maybe share it with some friends, whatevs.

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Thoughts on Knot Magick

Knot Magick
A Brief History by Eliza Yetter
(written 2002 / revised 2007)

* I take no credit for the following article.  Please support the original writer by visiting the link below.*

as posted on www.sacredspiral.com

Knot magick has been in use since long ago times. Knots can be found in the art and literature of all ancient cultures, ancient Mesopotamia onwards. Reference to knots and knot magick is also found in all the religions of the world.

It was a practice among Catholics to tie a knot when invoking saints as a way to bind the saints to them until they have done their bidding.

Mohammed, founder of Islam, was cursed by a knot and, had it not been found and untied, it is said that Mohammed would have died. Some male followers of the Islam religion would tie a knot in their beard to protect themselves from the evil eye. When at sea, they might tie several knots in their clothing to put an end to violent winds, but when going to Mecca they must not have any knots in their clothing.

In Hinduism, knot tying is often associated with the death gods.

Buddhists refer to the untying of knots as a “process of liberation.” [5]

Knot tying was common in Roman magic as images of lovers were sometimes tied together to keep the couple bound to each other. Solemn oaths were also made to their deities while tying a knot.

In mythology, we have the Fates who wove, knotted, and cut the strings of life. We also have the famous Gordian Knot which Alexander was said to have cut in two with his sword.

In not so long ago times, there were men and women who were called blowers of knots. They would recite incantations while tying knots. The most famous of these incantations were done for wind knots.

Wind knots were three knots made in a string, rope, or rag and sold to sailors. If a sailor were to untie one knot, he would get a moderate wind. If he should untie 2 knots, the wind would blow half a gale. To untie all 3 knots would have caused a hurricane. [2]

Knots are prevalent in wedding lore, where two people are united in marriage which is also known as “tying the knot.” From the Dark Ages to the 18th century, it was forbidden to tie a knot at someone’s wedding for fear that it would prevent a true union between the bride and groom. Another form of knot magic associated with weddings is the wearing of a net over the bride’s head. Today, brides often wear a veil, originally meant to protect them from the evil eye and evil sorcery on their wedding day.

During a woman’s labor it was custom in many cultures worldwide to undo all knots within the house. In black magic, knots can be used to hinder or stop the birth of a child, killing both the mother and infant. It was also believed that a knot could cause a painful and difficult delivery.

To knot a cloth that had touched a man’s penis was believed to bring about his impotence. The same was held true to tying a knot into a man’s pubic hair and burying it in the earth.

When someone was dying, it was once a common practice to untie all knots within the room so as to not keep the dying person bound to life and suffering.

In Russia, knot magick was once very common. There are written accounts of the many types of knot spells including an 8 double-knot curse to use against an enemy in which wool yarn was used. As each double-knot was made, these words were spoken:

“1. I go out onto the road, 2. I throw into the open field, 3. into the distance, 4. between the homesteads, 5. into the fields, 6. into the seas, 7. into the forest, 8. into the quaking bag.” [4]

This cord was then left in a place where its intended victim would step on it.

For protection from harm by a gun or other weapon, 5 knots were tied in a cord and kept about the body.

Red wool thread with nine knots was sometimes worn by children to protect them from getting a fever.

A cord with 40 knots might be kept as an amulet for protection against thieves.

In todays world, knot magic continues to have its place. Examples of this would be in the dream catchers made by the Lakota’s, the “Eye of God”, and shell decorated nets that are hung in homes and businesses.

Select Bibliography:
1. Amulets and Superstitions by E. A. Wallis Budge. Dover Publications. 1978.
2. The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer. Collier Books. 1963.
3. Taboo, Magic, Spirits: A Study of Primitive Elements In Roman Religion by Eli Edward Burriss. Greenwood Press. 1972.
4. The Bathhouse at Midnight: Magic In Russia by W. F. Ryan. The Pennsylvania State University Press. 1999.
5. The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols by Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant. Translated by John Buchanan-Brown. 1996.

Components to Knot Magick

  • Cord or Rope – Honestly it can be anything from thin thread to cotton cord or twine.  If you prefer to work with natural materials most craft stores can offer such things.  Cotton, Wool, Silk, Linen, and strips of Leather are just a few materials you could use. If you prefer an in depth approach you could even spin and dye your own thread. Additionally the cord can be colored to correspond with your spell work.  There is no set length the cord should be although some like to make the length a multiple of 3 or 13 inches.  Some people prefer to work with greater lengths and will have a cord 9 feet long.  This is helpful if you are doing cord magick as a group.  If you are a numerologist if could be any length with numerical significance.  This again falls under preference.
  • Knots – The knots in knot magick absorb the qualities that they are charged with. For energy you want untie the knot there by unleashing the energy contained to come back to you.  If you want the energy absorbed to be bound forever DO NOT untie the knot. Burn it or bury it. The knots can be as simple as an overhand knot or as complex as fusion knots (see below). This could even include weaving.  This can also be customized to what you want to accomplish. For example, weaving a bracelet or charm would be a good way to ward off the unwanted.
  • Purpose – Along with will and intent create magick.  This is more important than the cord or knots.  Be clear on want you are sending into the knots.  They are a powerful vessel and will gladly hold onto anything.  Mediation can help focus the mind from wondering during Knot Magick work, but avoid distraction as to not muddy your intent in the spell. I also find that chanting or old weaving songs also help when casting to focus the mind.

Practical Application

Knot magick can be simple to understand but it application will test your will and resolve. It is extremely portable and easily concealed. While working the spell it can be worn as a bracelet, necklace, or charm.  You can tuck it under a pillow or store it in a pocket.  The cord doesn’t have to follow you around but can as a reminder of the magick work.

Spellwork

Knot Magick can be broken down into 3 easy steps. 1. Meditate and raise energy to focus your intent. 2. Cast your magick. 3. Follow through with strength of will.

(Magick work is always best when done within a cast circle)

You should start with what you want to accomplish.  What is your intent?

Hold your cord and meditate on the meaning behind your spell.  When you have a clear focus on what it is you want tie the knots in the following order.  This is called a traditional nine knot spell, and is only one of many tying possibilities. (The x indicates a knot and the – is the string.)

–x—————————————————-

“By knot of one the spells begun.”

mystic knot, one of the eight Buddhist symbols of a happy omen

–x————————————————-x–

“By knot of two, it cometh true.”

–x————————-x———————–x–

“By knot of three, so shall it be.”

–x————x————x———————–x–

“By knot of four, the opened door.”

–x————x————x————x———-x–

“By knot of five the spell is alive.”

–x——x—–x————x————x———-x–

Click me to learn how to tie this knot!

“By knot of six, the spell is fix’d.”

–x——x—–x————x————x—–x—-x–

“By knot of seven, of Earth and Heaven.”

–x——x—–x——x—–x————x—–x—-x–

“By knot of eight, the stroke of fate.”

–x——x—–x——x—–x——x—–x—–x—-x–

“By knot of nine, the thing is mine.”

Make sure when tying the knots that if you plan on untying them later that you don’t tie them too tight. Also, as you tie them charge each one with the energy of what you are trying to accomplish.

If it is a spell for good, growth, or enhancement you want to untie, in backwards order, a knot every 24 hours after you cast the spell. By the time you reach the final knot your goal should be accomplished.  This will release those positive energies out into the world guided like a missile with your intent as rocket fuel.  I like to do simple visualizations of releasing colored energy out around me when I untie knots.  I really like doing growth/enhancement spells with knot magick because for nine days while I untie the knots it gives me something to think about and meditate on every day.  It becomes a good reminder of the purpose I was trying to fulfill when I cast the spell.

It is very important that if you are doing Magick to banish something like a bad habit or bind something that you do not keep the cord around you after your spell is done.  Bury it away from you or burn it after your ritual.  It should be thought of as poison with each individual knot having sucked up the bad energy.  I can’t stress enough how powerful this object will be and if you keep it around how it will amplify what you were trying to get rid of or bind.

For more spell ideas visit sacredspiral.com and Eliza Yetter’s post on Knot Spells.

Ritual

Knot and cord magick can be an invaluable ritual tool to store and release energy.  During each ritual you can charge the cord with energy and store it to release at a more appropriate time or if you are doing ritual with multiple people charge the cord and then use it like a laser beam to focus the energy when you release it.  Many covens and groups have a cord present at each ritual to store energy for those times when the group’s reserves are low or use it as another barrier of protection.

Celtic Knotwork

The use of interlaced knot work as decoration can be found in many cultures that pre-date Celtic design motifs. The earliest example of this being roman architecture around the 3 and 4th centuries AD.  It is not known for certain when the Celts started their use of knot work design, called plait work, but it is believed that the practice of broken and reconnected plait work spread from northern Italy and the southern Gaul area by the 7th century.

Much of the popularity of Celtic knot work design we owe to the reconstructionists of the 18th century, who as a conscious effort began to re-establish this type of design with Ireland and Modern Celts.

According to George Bain, a 20th century Scottish Celtic art professor, Celtic knots that have a closed path, (no end or beginning), are considered to be a symbol of eternity, or represent the infinite. Those with open paths are said to signify a journey (both physical and otherwise).

Magickally Celtic knot work can be use like a labyrinth to aide in meditation. Many Celtic knot work designs can be tied with cord as well, making it possible to create amulets or do Knot Magick through weaving.

Fusion Knotwork

Fusion knots are amazing works of art that can dazzle the eye and stir the soul.  I never realized, until I got deeper into knot tying, that most Celtic designs can actually be tied with cord or rope.  I really find this form of knot tying very closely related to weaving.  These knots take time to tie and lend themselves well to old weaving songs or chants.  They are a good way to clear the mind and meditate almost like you were tying a labyrinth.

The best resource I can give for Fusion Knots is www.fusionknots.com and Tying it All Together from Youtube.  Both were created by J.D. Lenzen who has  been formally recognized by the International Guild of Knot Tyers (IGKT) for his contributions to knotting, and is the originator of Fusion Knotting–innovative knots created through the merging of different knot elements or knotting techniques.

Below is only on example of the over 100 videos J.D. posts on his Youtube channel.  If you find this interesting please visit his website.

I hope you enjoyed the post and found it informative.  Thanks for your support and if you liked this post spread the word about my blog.  All the kind words and emails keep me moving forward to post new content.

Blessed Be.

Thoughts on House Blessings

So recently I was checking out some postings of fellow pagan bloggers and read over on Saga Parva that the author, Artista Oscura, was looking for some suggestions on house blessing charms.  I thought it would be an awesome blog post to put out there and give me a chance to share with my readers a house blessing along with two charms I have in my house.   If you have the chance check out Saga Parva, I find Artista Oscura’s writings interesting.

So you got yourself a new pad? Moving feels good doesn’t it?  For me it is like a fresh start in a new space.  New rooms, new energy, new possibilities.  I find it extremely important to protect the things that we love so much.  Not only should this include warding the space to protect against unwanted energy and visitors but also to allow the things we do want in our lives passage into our space.  This can be as simple or complicated as you really feel is necessary.  It really doesn’t have to be much more than sending out positive energy and asking the gods to watch over the space.  If that is what feels right, then it is.  Personally I enjoy ritual and like finding corresponding elements and items to attract those things which I want in life, and banish or bar the things that I don’t like.  So I’ll describe one way of going about this.

Things you’ll need:

  1. Smudge Stick – usually made of sage but I’ve seen other made from various other grassy herbs.  This will be used to purify the space.
  2. Small cauldron filled with a mixture of appropriate herbs, incense,  or a salt and alcohol mixture.
  3. Friends/ Loved ones to help with the cleansing.
  4. Care – please be VERY careful when handling anything that is on fire.  Have an extinguisher handy just in case.

Start at the entry inside your new home and light the smudge stick and herbs/salt. Walk clockwise around the perimeter inside your home and while doing this put out energy of the things you want to attract to your space.  This should be things like peace, love, understanding, consistent flow of money, happiness, and the like.

To explain, the smudge stick purifies the surroundings with the element of air and fire, as well as helps get the participants into a better state of mind.  I know that whenever I smell burning sage I find getting to an alpha state is much easier.  The herb or salt mixture purify with water (the cauldron) and earth.  This could also be done with salted water but I just know that my cute little dog would probably just find those spots and try to re mark them… *sigh*.  We travel clockwise because not only are we purifying the space but also projecting into it new energy.  If we were banishing something we knew was in the space that might be different.

When you arrive at a window you should pass your tools counter clockwise around the window and imagine barring out the things that you do not want in your home.  I also find that if before hand you come up with a simple symbol or sigil you can draw it into the air in front the window as well.

When you arrive at a door you should pass your tools counter clockwise but avoid barring it like the windows.  Instead maybe saying a few words about protecting you from harm and granting passage to good.  Symbols and sigils are also appropriate here.

After you have traveled the perimeter follow the ritual with a nice meal while leaving the herbs/salt in a central location.  If you have a fireplace, it would make a good place for this as the cauldron will eventually heat up and become very hot.  Leave some food and drink from the meal to offer up as a sacrifice.

After the ritual:

There is a world of things one can do with charms to keep one’s house and space safe and magickal after the house cleansing.  Satchels, poppits, and small bags full of purpose appropriate dried herbs make a great way to attract good things into your home.  Also creating a Sigil that is unique to your home could be useful as well.  It would be almost like giving you new space a name and purpose.  You could then paint or draw it and then frame it for your new walls.

I have two things that I leave out consistently leave out that would fall under the charm category.  Neither were made by me, but by other members of my coven as an herbal gift.  The first is a small bottle filled with an herbal concoction to attract a steady flow of money into the house.  This was done by adding herbs to a pot of water and basically making a tea then bottling the result and charging it with energy and purpose.  Every now and again I will grab it and charge it more just to reinforce its properties.  Otherwise I keep it perched in a window sill so sun light can reflect through it.  The second is a protection satchel with various herbs and stones inside.  This smells amazing and currently I keep it in a drawer with my most often used magickal things like my tarot cards and BoS.

Hopefully this might inspire some of my readers to create something for their home.  Feel free to share what charms you have in your home.

 

Thoughts on the Cold and a new tarot spread!

Texas.  Texas is a funny place when it comes to winter time and colder weather.  With less than 2 inches of snow/wintery mix on the ground schools and businesses and life in general have closed down for the entire week.  It is funny that just a few weeks ago my wife and I were talking about how we wish life were a little slower moving.  Well it looks like we got our wish.  Indoors for the last few days, not counting the daily walks with the dog or trip to a nearby grocery store, we have settled in to madness quite nicely.  Personally I prefer the short cool winters over the blazing hot never ending summer, but when the temp hovers in the teens and lower it really starts to get to me.  I remember growing up we had a quarter basket ball court in our back yard and every time the weather would threaten to snow or freeze we would go out late at night and spray it down with water.  It was our hope that a few Texas boys would be able to enjoy not only a day off from school but that we could have a home made hockey rink by morning.  The next day we would put on our warmest clothes, or actually just more of our everyday clothes, and head out to the back yard.  With gardening tools for hockey sticks and a tennis ball as a puck we would awkwardly slip around pretending to play hockey with the pros.  Only now am I old enough to realize this probably scared the hell out of our mother.  I can see her standing in the kitchen window looking out at the wintery scene and all of us falling down on the iced over concrete like a bunch of new born baby dear.  Now however I take the weatherman’s advice to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary.  I did get two new mandolin books via mail right before the weather turned south, and have been enjoying sleeping late and taking long hot showers.  I wish I could count on the power to keep me entertained but the power company has been “balancing the system load” with rolling blackouts.  Thats right folks, in Texas they have to start turning off your power if it stays in the teens for more than a day.  With Imbolc here and March right around the corner I glad to see the snow, but I won’t miss it when its gone.

I am happy to introduce to you my latest creation, a new tarot spread which I have named “The Road Less Traveled”.  I will have it posted in the Tarot section along with a reading soon for myself using it for examples sake.  So here is the background on it…  Being self employed with no boss or set in stone schedule can be tough from time to time.  Lately I have found it difficult to find the motivation to pick myself up and go into the office to get some real work done.  I do have the luxury of working from home but I am never as productive when I do that.  I really needed motivation and was having a hard time finding it on my own so I turned to the Tarot.  Over a couple of weeks I started to think of a creative solution to find that motivation, or rather a way to explore the benefits to putting in a little extra hard work to get the job done.  What came out of that was this spread.

1:  This card represents your current situation.  You may be just starting the journey or may be well on the way to your destination but this describes the state of things.

2: This card represents how you arrived at your current situation or what “crosses” or affects the current situation.

3: This card represents your destination.  What is waiting for you when your goal is complete.  If you know what the goal is this card with tell us about it, if you are not sure about the destination this card offers a possible end and may reveal a goal you haven’t thought of yet.

4: This card is the easy way or path of least resistance.  It might very well lead to your original goal, but what of it effects?  Is the short cut always worth making up the time to an outcome?

5: This card is the road less traveled.  Is it full of heartache and hardships, or does it offer an rich experience more important than getting to the end of your journey?  I turned this card sideways to represent the fact that its harder to traverse and sometimes out of the way.

From using this spread I have seen some interesting insight.  Ultimately I am finding that inspiration I need to self motivate.  It has acted as a good reminder that it may be more effort and harder work to get to the same result but that I am better off and that sometimes I should focus on the how and not the what.

Tell me what you think! Blessed Be.


Thoughts on Spirits and New Experiences

Séance conducted by John Beattie, Bristol, Eng...

Image via Wikipedia

Early in the month I attended a class on mediumship.  Honestly, I must say that it is not my thing.  I find myself so rooted in mindful thought and lost in creativity that I have a hard time distinguishing between what is imagination, or what my mind has created, and what is being given or said to me from an outside source.  Early on in my pagan studies I found visualization to be fascinating.  I studied and practiced and at this point I find it pretty easy to create images and situations in my mind to immerse in.  This has been a great asset to my mundane and magickal life.  Often times I use it to create a place to worship as well as help myself more quickly fall asleep.  It also makes meditation more meaningful to be able to create the sights, sounds, and smells easier.  However, all this I do so both knowingly with purpose and semi-automatically where things are added or improved on without me needing to will it so.  This to me is how intuition works.  Somewhere in the subconscious my brain add things and takes cues from what is already present.  This is what makes medium-ship so difficult to me.  I find myself sifting through the images, feelings, and sounds trying to decide what I am creating (making up) and what is being given to me.  Everything that is being visualized I start to label in my head… me, train of thought intuition,  silly random thought, me, real, not real, ?, etc.  Normally when I label things then the concern over their origins is fleeting and I can move on to label something new.  It makes the process of going out and looking for a spirit guide or connecting with spirits exhaustingly complex.  And then, maybe I am over analyzing it all.  That being said, at the mediumship class I had an awesome experience.  There was a childhood experience I had that was both extremely scary to me and at the same time saved me some pain and kept me out of a more hurtful situation.  I have lived my whole life so far without knowing all the answer to that event, until the class.  Someone explained what had happened during that event, and showed me the truth behind what I could not see.  It is my believe that I was able to connect with a spirit guide.  She told me her name, explained what she had done all those years ago, and it overwhelmed me.  Interestingly enough I did not have to sift through or even question these thoughts from the guide.  I knew they were not from me and she did me the favor of literally artificially shaking my emotions so I would further understand what was happening.  I felt a chill, fear, and excitement ran through my body and my eyes without emotion started to tear up.  I was not sad, did not feel in danger, but experienced something unique to me.  I found an awareness about what was going on at that moment and chose to end it by backing off and putting up some distance between what just happened.  Not that I was worried or frightful, but I wanted to have some time to understand it and think about what happened.  I also needed to do some research over the name that was given to me.  I couldn’t really substantiate the name to my liking but for now I am going to just go with it.  Who knows, maybe in the future I can have that conversation with my new friend.

My new friend, as i’ll call her for blogging purposes, has proven elusive.  It would seem at the moment that I cannot reach out to her for contact and maybe this is because I am mostly untrained and lack the know how to do so.  She has visited me though twice since the class.  Once only moments ago while writing the post with some concerns over giving away too many details about her, and once earlier in the month to give me another name.

Whats in a Name?

A tiny person sits in a movie theater inside a...

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I can be a pretty lazy person.  I seem to like to think about it as giving into life’s little distractions.  I am also forgetful and tend to spread myself to thin.  I have notice for a long time though that this comes in waves.  Sometimes I will be super focus and get a ton of things done, tonight being one of those nights, and other times I cant seem to get anything done and my head feels like soup.  I had never thought that it there may be outside influences involved.  I am beginning to think differently.  My friend nudged a thought in my head while taking a bit of a meditating shower.  She gave me an awareness of things and then a name.  The awareness was that of what helps contribute to my laziness.  Notice that I say “ helps contribute” because I truly do believe that I am responsible for my actions and have the will and ability to change as hard as it might be.  That alone was eye opening.  Looking out on the world I noticed it too.  Something, a entity, shadow, reflection, spirit, demon… I’m not sure what it is but I know what to call it.  The name I will not share, or even say aloud most of the time, because I also truly believe that saying somethings name grabs its attention.  That goes for writing it down as well.  I think that only if I want to address it should I speak its name.  Now I think I know what some of you might be saying.  That playing into it like this is me just giving it more power over me, and you might be right.  Part of the understanding I was given of the thing is that it is only harmful if I let it, and that it has value to me.  I can use it to my advantage, so I don’t mind its existence.  I welcome it to me almost like a familiar.  Maybe that is what it is, a familiar.  Or perhaps another guide that focuses on more selfish pursuits. Or maybe one of my readers has a better name for it.  I’ll leave that for the comments section below or email.

Anyone else have any similar experiences in mediumship?  Let me know.  Blessed Be.

 

Thoughts on pagan business.

Or moreover, thoughts on being a pagan who owns a business.

I want to be clear that this is not an advertisement for my business.  I do not wish for my blog to turn into spam and certainly respect my subscribers more than that.

I feel really fortunate and proud to own a business.  I didn’t finish college, don’t know any trades, and have few marketable skills besides being a creative thinker type.  Actually I used to have on my resume “creative think tank” as a description of my skills.  Furthermore, I am proud to own a business which can really help people.  Without going into much detail and alerting Google’s crawlers, possibly outing myself, I teach people how to invest.  I myself hate numbers and was never good at math or technical things like math.  I am however good with people and love to flex the more creative side of my brain in building a business.  This is where my Brother and now business partner steps into the picture.

He is Baptist Minister with a degree in Theology who instead of having a congregation was called to help people through their finances.  I respect his decision to take a non-traditional approach to his faith a lot.  He, for some time now, has owned a financial planning business that doesn’t charge the client for his time.  Through everything he does the client never has to write him a check for his services, and then behind the scenes he works hard to get as many contracts with companies as he can as a free agent.  He wanted to start another company but needed help with the administration and creative side of things and asked me to jump on board.  We did a few months of planning then went live with our business a little over a year ago.  He still to this day does not know I’m a Pagan/Wiccan/Witch.

I am certainly proud of what I do for people.  I could rattle on for hours about it.  I just wish as a pagan that I could find someway to bring what I do to the pagan community.  My problem is with the target audience.  During the initial phase of our business planning we really wanted to narrow down who are our “5 pointers”, and what are the five points.  After a lot of research and debate we found out the answer to those questions and although I wasn’t shocked I did find myself disappointed.  Most of the people I know, and associate with, didn’t fit the target.  In fact the largest group of people who fit our target audience are Christian church-goers.  Truthfully it is not a bad demographic to have, but I constantly wish that I could use what I know to help the Pagan community along with my pagan friends.  I look at my business partner with envy sometimes because what he is able to provide for his friends, and fellow worshipers.

Right now I think there are Two major things that are holding me back from really approaching my fellow pagans as a target audience.

  1. Coming out to my Brother and Business Partner.  I know that if I were to start sending him business from unknown areas and avenues that he would eventually find out.  He talks about his faith a lot and doesn’t have a problem, like most Baptist Ministers, talking about that faith to strangers and asking about their views points and feelings.  I don’t think that he would ever turn business down when it comes to what someone’s religion is, but it would definitely get him into preacher mode.  I would feel horrible if he caused someone grief from a referral I sent his way.
  2. I feel like I might not be giving my fellow pagans due credit.  I feel sometimes that I am pigeon-holing pagans into a category that is based on my own bias.  They say to be successful in sales you have to spend 80% of your time in your target market.   Out of all of the pagans I know currently I really can only think of two that fit that target.  Am I maybe limiting what I can do by what I know and my own bias?  I think maybe I am.

I know people who can help people with everything financial in their life.  Credit, Insurance, Investments, Health Care, and Retirement are only a few of the things that I know the pagan community deals with just as much as any other community.  I get closer everyday to coming out of the Broom Closet with myself and my business.  It is starting to feel less of a choice and more of an obligation, especially since there is a lot of good I could do for people if I were more open.

Future Thoughts and the Call to Teach

So I have found myself drifting into thoughts about the future lately.  Specifically about paganism and ways that I can give and make things better.  I have been asking myself lately what the future holds for my pagan path, about being a third degree witch in my tradition and what lies both before I get there and after.  I try hard not to dwell on the after because I feel it more wise for me to focus on how to get there.  There is a prospect that really excites me and that is that opportunity to teach my fellow pagans.  Our High Priestess and Priest believe that the coven should really teach itself.  They encourage us to share the things they we have learned with our coven mates, and it is a refreshing idea.  That way collectively we can grow and share the work of learning new things.  It is interesting that I have been on this path for over 10 years now, but I still feel like I am in a learning stage.  I wonder if that ever really goes away.  Do sages and wise men ever really feel like sages and wise men?

Luther rose

Image via Wikipedia

When I was a younger lad I had someone say something so overwhelmingly encouraging that it has stuck with me.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don’t really remember the little stuff.  Most of my memories are more about what I felt at the time and less about what people say and the details.  It was at the end of Junior High School.  The Lutheran Church I went to as a kid would split the youth into to groups, Junior High and High School, and at the end of the term our Sunday School teacher just took the last day to go around and tell everyone what she thought.  Her name was Donna.  I wasn’t sure what she did for a living but I know that along with teaching Sunday School she also played the organ and organized the music for the church.  I was sitting at the end of the table so just by fate I ended up last.  She looked at me and I’ll never forget how.  She was proud, and hopeful.  Donna told me that she admired me for the unique gift I had to be able to take the thoughts in my head and put them into words so someone could understand them.  It floored me, and had an interesting effect that I don’t think was intended.  I started thinking how I could use that gift and eventually arrived at teaching.

Since that moment I have wanted in some form to help others and teach.  Soon after the comment I started helping my church out by helping the Sunday School teachers with their work.  Later I remember assisting a teacher with the young adults catechism class.  I gave piano and guitar lessons to other kids in High School.  I taught climbing and repelling for the Boy Scouts.  Even after I graduated from High School, I took on the role of Youth Minister at my church.  During the next year I reveled most in teaching Sunday school classes to the High School class.  I would spend every Saturday coming up with a lesson plan to go over the next morning.  I also entered college declaring myself a Music Education major in hopes of someday teaching band in a class room.  It was that moment that Donna poured into me the thought that I was good at something unique that has inspired me to use it to help others.  It is a powerful thought that she guided me so absolute with just one sentence.  It is quite possibly one of the reasons why I started this site, so others could learn from my experience.

This is one of the things I really appreciate about the Pagan Community and Wicca.  In many ways Wicca is a Teacher/ Student based religion.  Someone or something has to teach you those mysteries.  Be it a book or a person, there is knowledge and wisdom that you have to get from somewhere.  Becoming clergy in this religion means in many ways to pass your knowledge on to others that seek it.

That brings me to the root of my need to teach others.  Some might be familiar with a psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow. He was a psychologist in the mid 1900’s who came up with a hierarchy of needs.  Early on it occurred to Maslow everyone has five levels of needs.  At the bottom, Level 1, were listed the very basic needs or physiological needs like breathing, food, water, and procreation.  From here the idea is that once we meet those physical needs that other needs arise of a different nature.  Level 2 is the need for Safety, like having a good paying job and keeping your friends and family out of harm.  Level 3 is about the need for Love and belonging; friends, family, intimacy, and being accepted by others.  Level 4 is about esteem.  Not only of the self but from others as well.  Not only do people accept you but they respect you too.  That brings us to Level 5.  Originally this was the need for Self-actualization or in simple terms being the best one can be and realizing your potential.  Later in the 70’s two  levels were added before this level of 5) cognitive needs, and 6) Aesthetic needs.  These are the need to know and understand and the appreciation of beauty and form respectively.  That makes Level 7 Self Actualization.  It is a terribly interesting theory of behavior that I could probably go on for hours about but there is a point.  In the 90’s yet one more level (click to see a chart) was added to the very top, level 8, Transcendence.  See, once we realize our full potential it is at this point that we have the need to help others self-actualize.  Ultimately we need to step outside ourselves to help others find self-fulfillment.  It is a eye opening idea.

I just think that along the way to my own self-actualization I can help other towards theirs.  Hence my drive to teach and maybe the root of all teachers.  Blessed Be.