In 2016 Kerry Sullivan wrote a rather interesting article about the history and use of Wytch’s Bottles. Considering the first workshop for 2020 that the Temple of the Dark Moon will be offering in our “Practical Crafting” series is on Making Your Wytch’s Protection Bottle, I thought I would include part Sullivan’s article. Please click on the link above to read the article in its entirety.
According to Sullivan, witchcraft was deemed a serious threat in 16th and 17th century Europe, and court records attest to the terror evoked by suspected sorcery. Judges gave serious consideration to the danger posed by wytches, and many were hanged for it. One case, found at the Old Bailey (London, England), records a man testifying that his wife has been subject to the ill machinations of a local witch. The judge, understanding the severity of the man’s dilemma, gives him clear advice to visit an apothecary and create a witch bottle to turn the curse back on the witch that cast it. Magick was a genuine source of fear and trepidation and wytch bottles were seen as one of the best means of defense.
Wytch bottles are stoneware containers that contained a wide variety of materials believed to have specific effects if properly prepared. In particular, they were used as both counter-magical devices for those already suffering from a wytch’s curse and as prophylactic to protect the maker from negative or evil elements. The earliest known written mention of a witch bottle comes from a book of witchcraft written in England in 1680. However, bottles have been found dating as far back as the early 1500s.
The tradition is believed to have started in Germany around the time of the Protestant Reformation. Bottled spells are believed to have traveled to the New World with English immigrants. Researchers have noted that witch bottles tended to proliferate during times of intense social anxiety, for example during the witch hunts of the 17th century. Wytches were widely blamed whenever ill health or misfortune struck a person. Wytch bottles were not only meant to heal the afflicted but also to send the curse back to the casting wytch and hopefully kill them.
When created for counter-magical purposes, a witch bottle often contained nails, pins, herbs, and samples of the afflicted, such as urine or hair. In the Old Bailey case mentioned above, the apothecary advised the man to prepare a potion of his wife’s urine, nail clippings, and hair, combining the materials in a pot of water and boiling it. Boiling was a key part of counter-magical efforts, as it was believed to help reverse the curse. Another key ingredient, if you could get it, was sulfur. “If you think about where sulfur came from in those days, it spewed out of volcanic fumaroles from the underworld. It would have been the ideal thing to [kill] your wytch, if you wished to” said Brian Hoggard, an independent expert on British witchcraft who helped researchers understand a sealed witch bottle found in London in 2004.
Wytch bottles could also be used to invite good fortune. A common love spell called for a handful of dried and crushed flower petals (preferably from flowers given by a lover), rosemary and lavender (for love and strength), and rosewater. The cork would then be sealed with red or pink wax and set in a place where it would not be seen or disturbed.
If making your own wytch’s bottle to protect your home (or car) is something that interests you, then on Sunday, 23 February 2020 the Temple of the Dark Moon is holding a workshop on Making Your Wytch’s Protection Bottle. This workshop also falls on the eve of the dark moon, which relates to our rebirthing as we unfurl us out from the depths and emerge from the Underworld of emotion into new potentialities.
All materials are provided. Bookings are essential as there are limited places available. See the above link for more information.
One of the most misunderstood ethics found within contemporary witchcraft is what is defined as the “Wiccan Rede”. While space does not allow for me to go into great depths here, it is a topic that I regularly address in all training circles I run and which takes up a full chapter in my forthcoming book Contemporary Witchcraft: Foundational Practices for a Magickal Life (due for release this year). The following excerpt is from an article by Mat Auryn where touches on this subject through observing the increased interest in cursing. His full article can be found here.
Recently I had the honor of appearing on Madame Pamita’s “Live Magic Q&A.” Madame Pamita is one of my favorite humans ever and I had no idea what kind of questions were going to be asked, so it went into some really interesting topics. One of the topics discussed [referring to a Q&A with Madame Pamita’s “Live Magic Q&A”, an Los Angeles based tarot reader, rootworker, author, and YouTube channel host] related to cursing and hexing. My views on this topic are not as clear cut as that of a lot of other people. Being pro-curse is trendy these days, to the point where it should probably concern any serious magickal practitioner. I think this is in response to decades of having the “three-fold law” and shallow interpretations of “harm none” shoved down our throats. The topic of cursing is something that I think needs a more balanced consideration. The following are some of my thoughts on the topic. How you choose to incorporate or disregard these perspectives is up to you. You do you, Witch.
What particularly concerns me the eagerness that some are ready to curse others over trivial matters. For example, I recently saw someone on social media post about something really rude that a stranger said to them. The immediate response was a flood of people saying that he should curse the person to teach them a lesson. It genuinely makes me wonder if these people actually believe in the power of magick and what it can do, or if they’re completely void of empathy and remorse for other people. I wouldn’t go and stab someone because they hurt my ego or feelings. Sometimes the coin to pay for cursing is watching the curse unfold, which is why I give myself a three-day rule to calm down before I decide to even attempt malefica—to which I 90% of the time decide not to once I’ve calmed down and am thinking a bit more clearly – and think of more strategic ways to solve the problem then running to the magickal equivalent of violence.
One of the examples I gave to illustrate this while talking to Pamita was discussing the movie The Craft, a childhood favorite. I give this example because it’s similar to what I experienced when I was more curse-happy earlier on in my path. In the movie, Rochelle (played by Rachel True) places a curse on her racist school bully where her hair starts falling out. Rochelle’s coin to pay wasn’t going bald herself or anything like that. The coin she pays is shown when she sees the racist bully sobbing in the shower as her hair is falling out and we can see the remorse in Rochelle’s face as she realizes that even for someone like this bully, what she did to this person was cruel.
I do believe that there may be appropriate times to curse, hex, and bind during desperate circumstances—just as there are situations where you would use violence for self-defense when attacked. I am not against aggressive magick if done responsibly and willing to accept the price that action costs. I also think you should be well versed in defensive magick before you even attempt using magick as an offense. That being said, it’s important not to underestimate the power of magick, especially the consequences of cursing. Some will state that there’s no repercussions to performing cursing or binding but that defies everything we know about the world and nature. Everything we do, including mundane acts such as things we say, actions we take, and decisions we make have an effect based on that cause. Why would magick be any different?
This does not mean that our magick is going to come back on us threefold necessarily, but there are consequences to everything we do in life. Unless we think magick is somehow exempt from the way everything else in the universe functions and is seen as a completely un-natural, which I don’t. I often wonder what effect all this cursing and hexing is carrying out in the world through the chain of cause and effect like the butterfly effect. I don’t personally have an answer for that.
Another thing that I bring up with Pamita is my belief that every act of magick we engage in changes us in one way or another. That change either puts us into more alignment with our True Will or it distances ourselves from it. However, True Will is going to differ in what it looks like from person to person. But we aren’t going to discover our True Will if we’re throwing ourselves out of alignment.
I think ethics are personal when it comes to magick, but something we should definitely meditate upon if we want to grow as occultists, humans, and a collective species. Until then, the only moral guidepost I have for myself is what I feel is the occult’s version of the Golden Rule. It’s from the brilliant (though problematic) Aleister Crowley who wrote that “Love is the law, love under Will.” This means that our truest purpose for existence is to carry out our True Will and to have that in alignment with Universal Divine Will. To understand Divine Will, we have to understand that it involves love and a desire for unison. When we curse others out of the mentality of aggression against “otherness”, we’re cursing ourselves on one level because at the core we’re all one and we’re affecting one another, like cells attacking other cells within a body.
“IT IS WRITTEN that ‘Love is the law, love under will.’ Herein is an Arcanum concealed, for in the Greek Language [Agape], Love, is of the same numerical value as [Thelema], Will. By this we understand that the Universal Will is of the nature of Love. Now Love is the enkindling in ecstacy of Two that will to become One. It is thus an Universal formula of High Magick. For see now how all things, being in sorrow caused by dividuality, must of necessity will Oneness as their medicine… Understand now that in yourselves is a certain discontent. Analyse well its nature: at the end is in every case one conclusion. The ill springs from the belief in two things, the Self and the Not-Self, and the conflict between them. This also is a restriction of the Will. He who is sick is in conflict with his own body: he who is poor is at odds with society: and so for the rest. Ultimately, therefore, the problem is how to destroy this perception of duality, to attain to the apprehension of unity.
– Aleister Crowley, “De Lege Libellum“
But if that unity is threatened, or the True Will is being restricted, would cursing be acceptable? That’s a question I think every practitioner should meditate on and decide for themselves. Remember that for Arjuna his dharma is to be a warrior and to fight in a war. In that vein, magick is often seen as a tool of the oppressed to balance the playing field towards justice, as we see in the mythopoetic Aradia.
But when do we truly know that we’re just when it comes to personal slights? For example, two lovers who divorce are usually going to vilify the other in their perspective and experience. That’s much harder to judge than say, the marginalization of a group of people using political power to do so. When do we step from oppressed to oppressor and start taking on their tools and inflicting it upon others? When do we become different versions of the monsters that we’re fighting? My opinion is to ask yourself if the magick you are going to cast is justified and going to bring more balance or throw things out of balance in life.
As this current calendar year draws to a close, to brings to an end a rather “interesting” (to say the least) year for the Temple of the Dark Moon.
This year saw the first Outer Court training circle in five years commence that delivered more challenges than the initial desired result. As such, the Temple will be taking all of the Southern summer off, instead of commencing at Lughnasadh, as what has been the norm. This will mean that no teaching on the Craft will be offered until April, the end of Autumn, when Gathering Around the Cauldron will commence on Thursday, 2 April 2020 and continue throughout the year on a monthly basis.
Between now and April, there will still be a number of events being offered, including the annual Yemaya: Blessing of the Waters that is held at Grange beach, Adelaide, as well as new practical crafting workshops on Spells, Amulets and Talismans held on Saturday, 15 February 2020 that will provide in-depth information on various highly effective techniques of spell casting as well as the purposes of using an amulet or talisman. Then on Sunday, 2 February 2020, the ever popular Making a Protection Bottle will be held.
April will also see the commencement of a six part exploration of the Tree of Life glyph that is found within ceremonial magick in the Climbing the Tree of Life series from Thursday, 16 April 2020, which will be nicely complimented with a ten part mediation series of corresponding Qabalistic archangels on Thursday evenings from 7 April 2020.
As with all events offered by the Temple of the Dark Moon, save for the Yemaya: Blessing of the Waters, it is essential to book as there are limited places available.
At this current time, there is no desire to recommence the Outer Court training circle. Those attendees who participated in the 2019 Outer Circle are fully aware of what is required of them should they wish to complete this training. My own personal commitments and focus for the new year will initially be on finalising the manuscripts of two books (including the long awaited Encountering the Dark Goddess) ready for publication.
With the South Pole of the Earth now tilted towards the sun, those of us residing south of the equator are approaching Mid Summer, the Summer Solstice, the time of when the hours of light are greatest. However as I write, this, I am listening to the rain on my roof and thunder rolling across the sky. But that is okay, the garden is greatful in receiving whatever rain is about at this time of the year as fruit and vegetables approach being ready to harvest. I have also checked the long range forecast which assures me that the storms will have passed and it will in fact be a pleasant evening for when we celebrate the Summer Solstice in our sacred circle.
Now is the time to make the most of the strength of the sun’s power. The energy of the Summer Solstice can be harnessed for tackling seemingly insolvable problems, or bringing to light much needed answers that have been hidden in the darkness.
As the sun is often considered to be a “male” symbol (whereas the moon is often perceived as female), the energy available can also be of benefit to address issues such as male potency. Issues such as career, maximising opportunities as they present themselves, self-confidence and even inner power for anyone approaching middle age can also benefit from harnessing the power of the sun.
In the popular Rider Waite tarot deck, the 19th card is that of the Sun, depicting a naked child riding a white horse, holding a red standard, under an anthropomorphized sun, with sunflowers in the background. The red of the standard is considered to represent the blood of renewal while the smiling sun represents accomplishment. This is associated with attained knowledge. the conscious mind prevails over the feares and illusions of the unconscious. Innocence is renewed through discovery, bringing hope for the future. It reflects happiness and contentment, vitality, self- confidence and success.
The Summer Solstice is a time to reflect on the growth of the season – not only the seeds that have been planted within the earth but also those planted within our own souls. It is also a time of cleansing and renewal, a time of celebrating creativity in all its many expressions, as well as joyous love and growth that surrounds us.
Summer Solstice (by Cheryl Ban, 1998) Brown earth lay blanketed beneath the weight of white snow People hold within their heart the promise of light Light that overcomes the night Igniting fire That burns a hole all the way to the hot dry summer fields The hope that the light holds in winter becomes in summer the knowing of the sun’s pathway back again We poise on the edge of these great turnings Balanced night and day Ah for a moment …
In his “Modern Witch” blog (18 November 2019), Storm Faerywolf explored the secrets of witchcraft, in particular the Faery tradition, of which he has been an initiated since 2002, and currently holds the Black Wand of a Faery Master. Many of the points Storm talks about could also be applied to contemporary witchcraft, which is why it has been duplicated here. Please visit Storm’s blog and web site, and subscribe to his podcast for more information about his work and that of the Faery tradition.
Witchcraft is a practice filled with secrets. But what exactly are they? Are they forbidden rituals opening doors to storehouses of unimaginable knowledge and power? Are they arcane words and symbols that can be used to influence outcomes, bless one’s allies, or even blight one’s enemies? Are they the secrets of which herbs and plants will lull the mind to sleep, or grant visions of true love? Maybe they are the closely guarded names of ancient spirits, bound to service through occulted machinations stretching back through a lineage of practitioners, each of whom have been entrusted with this knowledge under pain of oath? What spells and barbarous words have been painstakingly kept from public view, lest their power become diluted, corrupted, or abused? Perhaps this knowledge is best kept out of the hands of those who would seek such power for themselves and kept only by those who can fully understand their context and treat them as sacred. The witch knows how to keep silent, passing secrets down only to others of their kind, in lineages and witch-families since the beginning of time.
Or so the story sometimes goes.
In other stories the witch is the ultimate revealer of secrets. If you think about it, most of a witch’s job is discovering nature’s secrets for themselves… working to understand the hidden mechanisms behind what we think of as reality. It is looking beyond what we can see and touch and delving deep into the inner workings and relationships between things in order to better understand how they work together. And with that understanding, comes the faint possibility of being able to influence those connections in order to bring about a desired result.
Modern religious Witchcraft is sometimes described as a “mystery tradition”. It is not uncommon for some members to patrol the edges of their systems, guarding the secrets that lie therein. They might even use deliberate misdirection and outright false information to discourage non-members from learning too much too soon. Here we might begin to see the all-too-common conflation between mystery and secrecy; the former being the indescribable experiential core of a path, while the latter covers material specific to the particular ritual, group, coven, lineage, or tradition. Secrets must be guarded. Mysteries take care of themselves.
But why do we even keep secrets? What purpose does it serve? Before I was initiated, I might have thought that certain secrets were kept in order to prevent the ignorant from causing harm, and indeed this reason is often cited in defense of ritual secrecy. Sort of like the occult equivalent of guarding the nuclear codes, many groups profess possession of knowledge so dangerous that it threatens the very safety of the world. Or at least one’s own health and sanity.
Another reason often cited for the practice of ritual secrecy is that it helps to maintain and deepen a relationship with the groups’ egregore or “group mind” in a way that is both personal and profound. Here is where we begin to see the practice of secrecy being used as a magical device. When practiced in this way, secrecy can be a tool that creates a sense of intimacy and this helps to create a sense of energetic connection that is vital to the continued magical development of a group and its members. This might include specific symbols or ritual steps needed in order to make contact with a particular spirit or to grant access to a specific astral temple.
Secrecy can also be a tool that helps certain teachings “carry more weight”. When a secret is revealed in the context of a ritual, the revelation can be deeply moving in a way that simply conveying it as pure information might not be. The element of surprise is often utilized in occult ritual for this purpose, as it helps to further internalize the symbol or teaching.
With several years’ experience as an initiated member of a witchcraft tradition that practices ritual secrecy, I can say with confidence that secrecy in the Craft works best, in my opinion, as a personal devotion. Instead of actively trying to prevent others from learning our secrets, I simply choose to keep certain things private as part of my internal practice. I keep them secret –not necessarily to keep them away from anyone—but to keep them inside myself as a special, cherished thing. This empowers my relationship to the material and in turn makes it even more powerful for me. That power is not diminished if someone learns the secret, but neither does that release me from my practice with it. There are things that I have pledged to keep secret that are already “out there” in the public eye. But even when something that I keep secret becomes known to others I don’t suddenly give up on my internal practice. Secrecy becomes less about trying to keep others OUT… and more about trying to keep the message IN. When we restructure our relationship to secrecy in this way, I feel that we make a huge leap forward in terms of our overall mental and magical health. Whatever we decide, once we are clear about why we are keeping certain things secret, then we will have a healthier relationship to those secrets, our traditions, the mysteries, and each other.
Summer in Australia can be a rather difficult time of the year to get through, especially as the soaring temperatures often mean the threat of bush fires. Even the proposed respite of a cool change can often mean more danger as the approaching winds fan the flames. With the official summer season only having commenced just over two weeks ago, the Australian “purification season” has arrived early as parts of New South Wales and Queensland have been aflame since early September.
This ancient land upon which we live has long sought cleansing and the clearing out of the old in order to make way for the new through fire. In fact, many of our native plants only germinate through the scorching flames. The Aboriginal people understood this and used to start small bushfires to clear the fallen bark, dried twigs and dead bushes. These fires were slow-burning and the native bush quickly regenerated after the heat of the fire. This practice also helped to prevent larger and more destructive fires, especially as the native eucalyptus gum trees contains an oil within their leaves that is susceptible to bushfires, making them burn faster and hotter.
When I read Starhawk’s book The Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the NaturalRhythms of the Earth (HarperOne, 2005), what struck me were the similarities between where she lived in northern California, and where I live in Australia. As such, when I wrote Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats, I sought permission to include an adaptation of a ritual that focused on protecting one’s home from bushfires. This ritual can be found on page 168 within the chapter dedicated to “Lughnasadh”, the Sabbat more often associated with bush fires – yet, as we have seen (and are seeing this year) there are always exceptions to the rules.
In light of what is currently occurring in various areas around Australia, I include the excerpt of this rite in the hope that even the visualisations may assist anyone who finds themselves in danger of purification through fire.
Visualise the boundary of the land that you wish to protect. Invoke the elements, reflecting on each in turn in their natural environment. Feel the air on your skin as a natural cool breeze; visualise the waters as the most immediate water source (this could be St Vincent Gulf or the Murray River, etc); try and understand the element of fire as an integral part of the landscape, regardless of the danger it brings in the middle of Summer. Feel the earth that is under your feet, that makes up the land upon which you reside.
In the centre of your circle, have a small earthenware bowl into which you pour some water (preferably from a local spring, although normal tap water is fine). Reflect on the water and the gratitude that comes with being provided with it.
Add to the bowl a small handful of dirt from your own land. Again, when reflecting on the dirt, conjure up feelings of gratitude.
Make a fire charm that consists of the alchemical symbol for fire, an upright triangle within a circle, the latter representing containment. Starhawk uses bay laurel branches, a protection herb. However, native flora can also be used. If in a group collective, have each participant also ties onto the symbol either small branches from bushes and trees on their property and/or sprigs of herbs and plants from their gardens.
Alternatively, other protective charms can be made including Ojo de Dios (“God’s Eyes” from Central and South America) as well as pentagrams (star shaped).
Once completed, the charm is then passed around the circle whilst the participants recite a chant, such as the following which has been adapted from Starhawk:
Sacred fire that shapes this land Summer teacher, Winter friend Protect us as we learn anew To work, to heal, to live with you.
When the charm has gone around the circle, all participants then hold it together and chant, raising a cone of power, a request of protection, as well as a request for knowledge.
Prayers that homes and lands will be preserved can be said.
We need to learn how to integrate fire with this land, as well as how to restore the balance that has been lost.
The charm can then be hung from a tall tree, preferably in an area where it can survey the land that it is to protect.
It is to remain there until the rains come, where it will then be dismantled and sections of it burnt by each of the participants in their own homes as a further means of protection for the coming season.
The following entry comes from my previous on-line diary that I thought I would duplicate here …
Within the “Charge of the Goddess” it is written … “Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you ….” which ties in very nicely with the following posting from Daily Om.
The notion of humility as a virtue brings numerous images to mind. We tend to envision those rare individuals who humbly bear life’s struggles while downplaying their own strengths. Yet humility is also associated with people whose insecurities compel them to judge themselves unfavorably as a matter of course. The true definition of humility, however, does not correspond precisely with either of these images. Humility is not passivity. Rather, it is an utter lack of self-importance. The individuals who embody the concept of humility appreciate that each human being on the planet occupies a unique place on an infinite spectrum of development. Though they can take pride in their own accomplishments, they also understand that the people they interact with each day are as valuable and have as much to offer the world as they themselves do.
To be humble is to accept that while there will always be individuals more and less advanced than yourself, those on all parts of the spectrum of development can provide you with insights that further your personal evolution. Recognizing these insights is a matter of opening yourself to the fact that not only do others think and feel differently than you, but their life experiences have shaped them in a very different way than yours have shaped you. This means that while you may have a greater understanding in some areas, others will always be able to teach you something.
When you cultivate a genuine yearning to know what skills and talents those you encounter have been blessed with, you cannot help but learn humility. You instinctively understand that emotions like envy breed resistance that prevents you from growing, and that being flexible in your interactions with others will help you connect with unexpected mentors.
When you practice humility, you want to become as accomplished and evolved as you can possibly be, yet you are willing to submit to the expertise of others to do so. You understand the scope of your aptitudes yet you choose to eradicate arrogance from your attitude, and you can distinguish the value you possess as an individual while still acting in the interests of your fellow human beings. Humility, simply put, is a form of balance in which you can celebrate your own worth while sincerely believing that every other person on the planet is just as worthy as you.
I get criticized from fellow Witches and Wizards that my teaching are dangerous for the muggles. I usually respond with an eye roll and say, “If they can’t handle, it they will run”. Lately I have been getting some really hateful feedback that my teachings are dangerous. They tell me I that I don’t understand what Im messing with. I know exactly what Im messing with! Im gonna help change the world. The orthodoxy of this world is getting ready to fall off a cliff. People have only used the ego side of their mind for far too long. So long that patriarchy is running on autopilot in the subconscious of most people. I understand that most want the autopilot life, but for those who want to take control, Magic is for them.
I realize Magic is not for everyone. One has to question why they are pursuing Magic. The more I study Magic the more I can interact with people and listen to how they have used Magic or failed at Magic. Magic is uniqued to every person. There is no right way or wrong way. Your life and your path are yours. It is totally unique to you. Everyone has their own fears, limiting beliefs, upbringing, genetics and trauma. The path of Magic is different for every single person. I will say that it is much easier for women an young people who want to learn Magic because they are more in touch with the feminine side of their mind. Ultimately Magic is about letting go. Letting go of trying to control every last thing. Letting go of all your limiting beliefs. Letting go of how you were raised. Realizing your parents, teachers or any other authority figure didn’t know jack.
Life is the pain of a God or Goddess. Magic will help you see who your are. All people are not equal. Sorry. That was made up by religion and government because they see us as herd animals. Are all people equally looking for the truth? Mankind is in such a state that even if you show them the truth or show them they are a God or Goddess, they can’t handle it. They are not ready. This world does not want anyone to ever be ready. Very few are ready to let go of the material. Its not that the rulers of this world understand Magic either. Some do, don’t get me wrong, but for the most part they are stuck in just as much ego, greed and materialism as everyone else on this planet. They just want to be in charge of everyone and most don’t want the responsibility of being in charge of themselves, so the masses happily hand off the controls.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying what you think is pleasurable, fun or good. You must engage life to actually live. Most just want the pleasurable and don’t want the pain that goes along with life. We are so worried about pain the we try to keep our kids away from pain. Parents used to tell kids, “Go play” so kids would go play out of sight and do what they wanted. Then parents said, “Go play, but only under my supervision”. This is how the term helicopter parents originated. Parents literally hovered over their kids. Today parents are bulldozers. They bulldoze the path for the kids, so their are no ups and downs. It has gotten to the point that governments are doing whatever they can to keep a recession from happening. Anything to keep the rich from feeling pain. The world is about ready to find that you can not stop duality. Having only good and pleasure with no pain will cause one to stagnate. Stagnation causes people to get left behind.
There is only one reason that people start Magic. They want to know the truth. It takes people being fed up with the way life is to start Magic. How do people get fed up? Pain and discomfort. Once you get into Magic and understand it, you realize that there must be ups and downs in your life. Magic will not stop the ups and downs, but it will help you deal with them. I’m not saying I know what happens after one dies, but I know Nature goes in cycles. I always look to Nature for my answers. Everything has cycles in Nature. You can not stop the cycles. So why wouldn’t your lives have cycles. In Magic you understand these cycles. Magic will not stop the up and down cycles within your life, but it will help you deal with them.
Magic will make you question your life and values. Using the subconscious or the sacred feminine will bring truth. It will show you the software that is running your life. It will mean the loss of certain people, things and ideas. Magic can be lonely, but as the world awakens it will get less lonely. Awakening is a form of Magic. This is why older people will not accept Magic. The lies of their life are exposed and could cause dangerous side effects. Most older people are set in their ways and will not change. If you try it will be detrimental to you, them or both. For this reason I leave my parents alone. They have an open mind for their age. As open as an old patriarchal mind can be. But the truth would literally kill them.
The path of Magic can get dark. You will have phases of being depressed and doubting yourself. You may misinterpret what the Goddess is showing you because you are trying to interpret her with the ego. The mind will still interpret all information, but if both sides are not working together you will misinterpret what the Goddess is saying. This is why there are so many religions, spiritualities, and self help categories. All the information is going through a persons human filter and their ego thinks it knows what to do. Throw out all the spiritual and religious garbage. Do you see anything in nature praying, meditating, hurting itself, secluding itself for years, recruiting others, doing sensory deprivation, going to church, going to retreats, walking on hot ashes, sweating in a tent to cleanse themselves, or any other nonsense. No! Nature does not have an ego to filter things through. Nature just is.
Magic is a hardcore path. Gurus will not give you answers they will give you things to do till you find the answers yourself. Magic takes work and effort. There is no right way for Magic, but Magic demands you do the work and be truthful to yourself. How can you expect the truth if you can’t be truthful to yourself? Magic drove me to the brink of suicide. Eckhart Tolle was on the brink. It doesn’t mean you will go to the brink. Not everyone has the same journey. You must conquer your own ego. Everyone’s experience will be different. Once you are reborn you must accept the truth that your life is yours. You are living your life as a God or Goddess. You have been told how to live your life your whole life and now you have Magic to help you live your own life.
Be prepared for all sorts of things to come up. Depression, inner demons, meaninglessness, thinking you are losing your mind, etc. Dark moments will come and go with Magic. Because we have egos you will regress back and forth between clarity and non clarity. I don’t care what these gurus, priests, monks or other spiritual leaders say, you will never get rid of the the ego. It just a matter of getting the ego to work for the subconscious instead of the other way around. You will not win every battle with yourself. You must take it slow and steady. Magic will last the rest of your life. There is no hurry to become a great Witch or Wizard. It is just like everything else. You can’t jump in and expect to be an expert dancer, musician, athlete or artist. You must work at it. Its the same logic with Magic. Sometimes when you go slower you get there faster than when you try to rush. The ten thousand hour rule works with Magic too.
It is hard to not try to make Magic dogmatic. This is why I get people telling me to leave the muggles out of Magic. I even had someone tell me I should not teach Magic to the goyim. Bad things will happen to me for doing it. That is what’s wrong with this world! Everything has to be an idealism or set in stone! I get it. Our minds want a set of points it can memorize and execute. But that is not Magic. Magic is a genuine teaching. Nothing is set in stone. Everything I teach you must be held loosely. Magic is not the truth it is a way to seek the truth and find it for yourself. Because Magic is such a good system it has been hidden so only the worthy get to use it. Bullocks! Everything these magicians see they are looking through the lens of Magic and that in itself is wrong. Magic is not the only path. If it resonates with you then great. But it is not the only way and its not just for certain people. This is the ego using your awakening in a deceptive way for its own agenda. The ego wants to be in control and will do anything to stay in control. Magic can be for anyone who wants to be responsible for themselves.
Don’t think that because Magic helped you wake up that you need to get away from the life you built and go find others who are awake. Less than 1% of the population in this world is awake. Of that 1% only a fraction are fully awake. If you drop the life you built, you will be alone. Literally. This is why most Witches and Wizards in stories are living alone in the forest or somewhere secluded. I started this website to help those who want to wake up and to attract and meet others who are awake. This world is a lonely place for the ones who have awaken. Understand that there will be peaks and valleys. Magic will not make them go away. It helps you not make rash decisions.
Ultimately Magic will help you speak your own voice. You will learn to act as yourself. Which is the hardest thing in the world to do. Magic may not be the only way, but in my opinion its the best way. Of course I am bias because it is what I am. Others need to be challenged in a different way. Zen masters know this and that is why they give students riddles, chores and activities that have no logical reasoning. They are trying to get the student to not only give up but think with their Higher Self mind. These activities silence all the other voices in our head, so our voice alone can speak. Doing something over and over again until we stop stop trying or give up makes your rational mind think you have exhausted all angles. The voices in the head cease to tell you how its done because you already tried it. That is when the Goddess speaks. It is how new ideas manifest. Magic will release the truth that lies inside you. To this world, that is the most dangerous thing of all.
Life is all about ebbing and flowing, and this year has been no exception. As the calendar year enters its twilight months, reflection has been given as to what direction the Temple of the Dark Moon will be heading in for the new year.
Already there will be a number of exciting changes ready to be brought into manifestation when the new training year commences around Lughnasadh (end of January) 2020.
Gathering Around the Cauldron is proposed to continue as an open entry however on a more regular monthly basis. This way it will be utilised not only as a means of offering basic ritual and magickal training, but also a gateway to closed or special events and advanced training in the magickal arts.
Free registration for Gathering Around the Cauldron circles through Eventbrite with the attendance cost payable on the night will also continue. This way notifications of relevant themes and what the upcoming circles will consist off are able be provided through Eventbrite’s email message system.
If you are interested in attending a closed or special event, then the requirement is that you will have to have had either completed a previous training course offered by the Temple or attended at least THREE Gathering Around the Cauldron circles to ensure that you have a basic understanding of how the Temple of the Dark Moon conducts its workings. The rituals and magickal workings organised by the Temple are not for bystanders – all attendees will be expected to have a basic degree of understanding and experience when it comes to ritual work and how to conduct themselves within circle.
More about the continuing ebb and flow of the direction which the Temple of the Dark Moon will be taking over the coming months into the future will be made available on the web site.
The following link is to the above article by Courtney Weber. Whilst the five points raised are indeed not new (similar articles have appeared over the years), I thought I would share this article as a timely reminder for the novice seeker/neophyte as to what a coven or magickal group is not be considered a substitute for. While I do necessarily agree with all points raised, or indeed the manner or even the style in which they are raised, I do agree with the overall points made.
A coven/magickal group is not:
:: A “replacement family” for your physical family – although the bond within a close knit working group can almost replicate this.
:: A support group – if anything, the Craft (as well as most other magickal groups) focus on taking self responsibility.
:: A replacement for therapy – in many instances this point follows on from the previous one with the focus however being directed more at those who are already seeking professional assistance.
:: A place to get laid – whilst intimate partnerships may occur between members in some groups, this should not be your prime objective for joining a group.
:: A place to validate yourself – if you need external validation all the time, maybe what you actually need is to address your own areas of self worth and self esteem through gaining professional assistance.
I would also add to Weber’s list that a coven or magickal group is not a place to join simply because your friends are and you are suffering a degree of “FOMO” (fear of missing out). Likewise if you are not prepared to pull your weight. There is a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to coven work (usually by the High Priestess/leader). Stepping up and offering assistance moves you from being a spectator to gaining more about what happen behind the scenes, as well as assisting your own knowledge and experience in the work to hand … and after all, is this not why you have joined ….to gain experience and to learn?