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[Witch Way] Volume #4 Issue #8 -- New Year, New Beginnings
January 13, 2012
Hi, Happy Imbolc!

Ken's Korner

Hello, and welcome to the New Year! The last month has been absolutely incredible as far as new things coming to me. I am busy working on a new book (which you will hear about later) and a website to go with it. I am in the process of buying a house, and for at least the next month, I am told that I am in the middle of some extremely good luck, due to my Jupiter Return.

Things have been so busy that I didn’t have time to actually write any articles for this month’s Witch Way. I did however get a couple of emails with some very interesting thoughts, which I asked the authors if I could use.

The first, which you’ll see right after my thoughts here, is an email I got from a long-time visitor to the website, Harry M. Harry first wrote to me several years ago, asking questions about this Path that he’d found. He was unsure about the Path, and very unsure about his part in that Path. I answered his questions the best I could, and continued to correspond with him from time to time.

Here we are several years later, and I get an email from him with his thoughts on what has become the main symbol of our spiritual Path. When I read it, I realized that Harry really gets it. He really understands that spirituality is a personal Path, that we each walk. From being a shy, unsure Seeker, he has in just a few years, found his confidence in what it is he does.

You don’t have to be some famous author, with years of experience in Witchcraft, to truly live your Craft. All you have to do is work at your Craft every day. You just need to take a little time each day, and think about who you are, and who you want to be. The journey is life-long, but it doesn’t have to take a lifetime to realize the benefits. This is what I saw, when I read Harry’s email, and that is why I wanted to share it with you.

Pentagrams

Do you give them any thought? I wonder. When I practiced Christianity, I believed that the pentagram was a symbol representing fringe ridiculousness at best, evil, Satanism at its worst. Like so many people I let popular culture dictate my beliefs with out looking any deeper than some stupid hack and slash movie for why that star would enter into my mind so very often.

As a child I would draw or doodle on every paper a five pointed star. Over and over again, I would fill school papers, book covers, every newspaper, magazine and unfortunately the occasional bedroom wall. With age came the propaganda of modern Christianity, it’s evil, your bringing forth the Devils symbol, STOP IT! So I did, for awhile.

Now more than a few decades have passed and I try not to accept anything at face value. Nor do I believe that my obsession as a Christian youth was just idle musings of an easy to draw doodle. To paraphrase a quote from one of my favorite movies, like the Gods I don’t play with dice and I don’t believe in coincidence.

As many patient teachers began to show me, the Pentagram, the Pentacle, that star is a symbol of my Pagan beliefs. If you are reading this likely it is a part of your beliefs too. A representation of the five elements, Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and of course that fifth element of self. Some folks insert the fifth element as Deity. Like most things I have found in our beliefs and even in Christianity, Buddhism, and a hundred other belief systems, every soul seems to have different take on the way they believe in their religion. But most of us here can come to agree that the four elements are four of the arms of the Pentagram and the fifth well I guess you can follow what ever you personally believe about the fifth arm. My personal beliefs are the fifth arm represents the self or my soul as a part of the divine whole. Take that for whatever it is worth.

I have witnessed more than a few people flaunting their Pentagram, hoping it will bring a reaction of shock from non believers. I have seen a few Pagans who carry it out of duty and some people are ambivalent about it either way. I am for the most part a closet Pagan, hidden quite purposefully deep in the closet. It took several long agonizing months before I started wearing one. Even so, no one but me and now you, know I carry one.

But why you ask, if you are in the closet, why carry one at all? The answer is simple, it is a symbol of my faith. Magick is magick, ritual is ritual, strip them from me and it will not matter because I will still have my faith. Between one full moon and the next, between one ritual, one circle, one spell and the next I am just a normal cranky old man. So I carry a small silver Pentagram to remind me. Remind me of what you ask?

That the universe has purpose, that my Gods are in everything, that they will be there when I need them and when I don’t, that I will harm none. That you and I and Christians and Buddhists and everyone else are all linked together all parts of one whole. That this cranky old man can and will love unconditionally all of the above.

There is no darkness my little silver pentagram can not see me through. No problem we can not together over come. There is a reason I scribbled them all my life. I prayed a long time ago out of fear, out of desperation, when I hit rock bottom and still continued to fall even lower, I prayed and they heard. I said show me a sign and they did. It took a very long time to actually see that sign was there all along. It took me a little longer than that to realize the Gods were that sign, that my faith needed to be strong not so much in them, but in me. Because quite simply if you believe you can over come, they who created our whole universe, they who are all powerful will give you what you NEED, maybe not what you wanted, but very definitely what you NEEDED to survive.

So you hold onto your Pentagram, your wand, athame, your circle, or alter. What ever your symbol is and learn. Learn that your Gods are ALWAYS there, that if your faith in yourself is strong, they will be there for you and help you to overcome every obstacle, every problem. That fifth arm of the Pentagram is YOU! You really are important to the Gods because you are a part of them. So that fifth arm is also THEM a part of the whole. So hold onto your Pentagram, whatever it may be, to remind yourself of your faith.

Harry M.

Blessed Be,
Ken

Ken Biles



The Witching Hour

by Marcus Leader

2012 – End of The World Or The Return of Magick?

This is it, 2012 the year when everything changes. But will this change bring the end of the world as so many mindless media and internet drama queens proclaim or is this in fact, a time when human evolution takes a big step forward triggered by energetic changes within our magickal universe? Allow me to present you with the facts of the 2012 doomsday scenarios as well as a sneak peak at the Toltec prophesies relating to this time from the core knowledge passed down through my shamanic lineage.

How in the world did all this end of the world crap get started in the first place? It started appearing when someone discovered that the Mayans suddenly stopped tracking days on their famous or should I say infamous calendar. After projecting their calendar thousands of years into their future, it just stops at what scientists calculate to be December 21st 2012. To the scientist, this sudden end to a long running calendar meant nothing more than the end of a cycle of tracking time. The Mayans tracked time in a cyclical pattern because that is the path that nature takes as it cycles through the many changes of the planetary seasons as well as the changes in the sky with the movement of the stars and planets.

The Mayan long count calendar is just a time tracking device based on about a 5000 year cycle. NOTE the word CYCLE. This means that once the long count calendar is finished this year, you simply go back to start and begin again. The Mayans never claimed that the world would end when their calendars ended; they just assumed that people would not be so ignorant and blind to see it as anything else than a cyclical calendar. The world is not going to end because the Mayan calendar ends no more than it is going to end when the 12 month calendar on your refrigerator ends on December 31, 2012…. It simply begins again on January 1st!

However, it is human nature for those that seek attention or have boring life’s, to fill it with such ridiculous doomsday drama. This type of thing has happened throughout most of human history, but with the advent of the internet it seems to take on a life of its own and I admit, I was caught in this trap myself until I started examining the information being thrown at us by end of the world theorists and more powerfully by Hollywood.

Another false story going around talks about a mystical planet in orbit around the sun that is supposed to return at the end of this year and I also have seen many stories about how our solar system is about to pass through the galactic plan on the winter solstice of this year and how it will cause the earth to tumble pole over pole! Give me a break!

I have been an amateur astronomer for about 4 decades, it was my major in college. Consequently, I have quite a bit of knowledge and experience in addressing the last two threats circulating around the internet.

Let’s start with the invisible planet theory for it truly must be invisible if it is supposed to be here by the end of the year. There are dozens of military observatories and scientists watching and documenting the heavens 24/7 and even more privately owned civilian observatories not to mention millions of amateurs diligently watching the skies each night.

IF this large mystery planet was out there and this close it would have been detected by now and I don’t even want to hear about it hiding behind the Sun. Our perception of the solar system is no longer limited to the Earth so even if it was behind the sun, we would know about it.

Examining the rumors about crossing into the galactic equatorial plane is another matter entirely. Doomsayers claim that earth will cross this galactic plane on the winter solstice of this year and that the black hole at the center of the galaxy is throwing out a ring of magnetic energy because of its high speed spin rate. They further claim that this energy ring will rip apart our own magnetic poles.

Part of this is actually true, but a classic example of how a little knowledge can be dangerous in the wrong hands. The truth is that our solar system does in fact pass through the galactic equator in a regular cycle about once every 33.5 million years and there is a black hole at the center of the galaxy that is spinning and throwing off magnetic energy through the galactic equatorial plane.

However, this is a regular cycle and has happened many times without ripping the planet apart. The ring of magnetic energy is far too weak to affect the Earth in any way. The other major error with this type of thinking is that doomsayers randomly picked 2012 as the date this would happen probably to further feed the Mayan calendar theory. The fact is that after careful calculations and accurate measurements, scientists have found that we already crossed the galactic equator 3 million years ago! It won’t happen again for another 30.5 million years! So I say “nice try again“ to all the doomsayers and drama queens out there, but no cigar.

By debunking the 2012 end of the world scenarios, I hope I have calmed your fears by illuminating the truth, but before I end this article, I should make very clear that this does not mean there will be a state of normality on the planet for the rest of your life. Natural disasters happen all the time; it is part of planetary evolution. There have been and will continue to be earth changes and mega disasters.

So it is a good idea to be prepared as much as possible for a condition that could take us off the grid, meaning no communications or power as well as no way to buy food and water. This can still happen on both large and small scales. It can occur for reasons related to political, economic, or natural disasters. So while we hope nothing happens, it is best to be ready to face anything that might come our way.

This can be done by storing 6 months to a years’ worth of food and water or learning how to survive off the land. Be certain to store as well, medication, and other items like aluminum foil (for cooking in an open fire) and toiletries (for, well, you know ). Most important of all ARM yourself with some sort of firearms. Even the kindest neighbor will turn survivalist at any cost when it comes to protecting their family.

In closing I would like to share with you part of a Toltec prophesy about this time, directly from the core knowledge of my Toltec shamanic lineage. This has never been released in print anywhere until now. The knowledge has been preserved for the last 500 years by word of mouth alone, teacher to student until the time that it was to be disseminated to the public. That time is almost here and I, being one of the “students” am allowed to release some of it right now right here in Ken’s newsletter.

The ancient core knowledge of the Toltec shamanic lineage comes directly from the sorcerer/priests of Teotihuacán near Mexico City, but has its roots extending back thousands of years to the ancient ones. The prophesy speaks of a time right after the start of our third millennium (now) when the Human energy system begins to change and adapt to an increase of etheric energy, which by the way, scientists just discovered at CERN and will be announcing its existence probably this summer.

This change has already started and can be seen as an increase of paranormal activity and the frequency and the number of people being born psychic as well as the increase of people turning toward Earth based religions. The prophesy goes on to say that there will be an acceleration or “quickening” of human consciousness as we start to evolve from homo-sapiens to homo-luminens or beings of light. There is more, but this is all I want to share at this time.

If you have feared the coming earth changes, rest easy. Humans have been in the dark ages for a long time, but no more. There is a light coming at the end of the tunnel and that light brings with it new levels of consciousness and consequently, the return of Magick to our world.


An Interview with Carla Wills-Brandon on Death Bed Visions

Death Bed Visions come in all shapes and sizes. Some people receive visitations from deceased relatives while others encounter angels, or religious figures. Many of the accounts contained in Carla Wills-Brandon's research discuss seeing a wisp of "something" leaving the body of a friend or relative at the moment of a physical passing. This phenomenon is nothing new. It has been described over and over again, for as long as time can remember. Those who are about to leave will often talk about seeing beautiful landscapes on the other side or next dimension and then state this is where they will be after they crossover. In most cases, once one has had such a vision, death is no longer something to fear. Death Bed Visions or Departing Visions bring comfort not only to the physically dying, but to those who love them. In this article, Carla presents some Frequently Asked Questions about Death Bed, or Departing Visions.

What is a departing vision (often called a death bed vision)?

Those individuals who have an open mind with regard to like after physical death may be aware of this phenomenon. Death is just another word for journey to the next dimension so the departing vision is viewed as a normal occurrence. Most Hospice workers are also very familiar with departing or deathbed visions, but for many folks these experiences are difficult to put into words.

A death bed vision or DBV is a powerful, comforting experience the dying and their family members often encounter just before physical death occurs. The dying will report visions of angels, deceased loved ones, or religious figures, moments, hours, days or even weeks before actual death takes place. These visions typically lessen the fear of dying and make passing an easier transition for all concerned.

Family members at the death bed of a loved one who are not familiar with the death bed or departing vision phenomenon will often ask healthcare workers and Hospice caretakers, "Couldn't these 'visions' just be the by- product of a dying brain?”

In the 1920s, 1960s and 1970s, several researchers asked these exact same questions. To try to understand the DBV these investigators decided to put this phenomenon to the test. What they discovered was astounding. The visions of the physically dying most often were those of deceased relatives. During the vision, deceased relatives would appear to the dying person to offer support, guidance and assistance as physical death drew near. Interestingly, in some deathbed vision accounts, the dying individual received visitations from relatives s/he did not know were already deceased. While scientifically investigating this phenomenon they also discovered that these departing visions have been reported by the dying for centuries. Even President Abraham Lincoln had a 'deathbed vision', just before his own assassination.

When DBVs are reported, Hospice workers and healthcare providers are often confronted with a number of questions from confused family members, such as "What about wishful thinking, related to a fear of death? Maybe my loved one is imagining all of this."

The above would be a simple explanation, but the DBV phenomenon is not that cut and dry. One researcher compared the DBVs of dying Americans with those of people in India. Thousands of nurses and doctors were interviewed and asked what they had witnessed as physical death drew near. DBVs were often reported. Except for a few religious differences, the DBVs of both cultures were incredibly similar. The consistency of the experiences between those dying in America and those in India has guided me to believe there is more to the DBV experience than wishful thinking.

Hospice workers and healthcare providers are also often asked, "How about medication? Medications can certainly induce hallucinations."

Many of the individuals who have reported these visions were not on medications and were, up to the moment of death, very coherent. Those who weren’t on medications have also shared visions similar to those who were not on medications. Finally, well, alert, sober family members and friends of the physically dying have had DBVs. Along with this, Hospice workers and healthcare providers have reported DBV experiences.

Are the DBVs of family members, friends and healthcare professionals similar to those of the physically dying?

Interestingly yes! These individuals can also receive visitations from deceased relatives (in some cases they too were not aware the dying person was actually preparing to pass), angels or religious figures. Like those reported by the dying, dreams of "heaven", other dimensions or the “over world”, along with communication with other worldly figures also have been reported by those attending the dying. In many situations, loved ones of the physically dying will have a visitation from the person who is passing at the moment of death. In other words, a loved one at home may be awakened from a deep sleep by a feeling, or knowing that passing has occurred, or even by a vision of the dying person (who is at the hospital or in another location). Many of these individuals then receive a phone call minutes later confirming death.

As a clinician and seeker yourself, has understanding DBVs helped you assist those who are in grief?

In many cases, bereaved individuals will come to me and say, "I had a rather strange experience just before Uncle Joe passed," or "While Mom was dying, she started talking to all of the dead relatives as if they were right there, in the room with her!" For those who have had such experiences, my own personal and professional involvement with DBVs validates their encounters. My sharing of my experiences and of those I have collected and reviewed (over 2,000), allows these individuals to feel "normal" about their experiences. Such folks usually walk away from my office feeling very relieved to have found someone who understands.

For those who are dying, DBV information offers them comfort, validates any visions they might have had or may have in the future, and lessons the fear of death. With individuals seeking answers to questions about death, DBV information often propels them into resolving their own issues around physical dying. Understanding this “life” is just one experience of our journey, and that there are other dimensions of existence “out there” can reshape how we operate in the “here and now” with our fellow travelers and the planet.

Why did you decide to investigate and publish about departing visions?

I’ve written a lot of books, but this topic, the departing vision, is very personal to me in more ways than one. My son experienced a DBV when his grandfather died. I too had a DBV at the age of 16 when my own mother passed. Since then, I’ve experienced a number of afterlife communications from both relatives and friends.

Over the last 20 years I have heard numerous accounts of DBVs not only from the dying, but also from those who love them. Sadly, I have often been the first person they’ve ever discussed these blessed events with. Aside from living in a very “death phobic” culture, fear of societal judgment keeps many of us silent and a lack of validation often creates confusions. My job as a seeker and healthcare provider has been to validate DBVs for those family and friends of mine. Professionally, when patients of mine who report them, I use them for processing grief and developing a sense of spiritual wellness. The lack of public awareness about the DBV phenomenon convinced me to publish in the topic. Out of my 12 books, two are on the departing vision and I’m working on a third.

DBVs are sadly a neglected source of peace and comfort for many of us. This must change. The information must be made more available to the public at large. Today, I have no absolute answers regarding life after death, but I do strongly believe the DBV experience must not continue to be ignored.


Carla Wills-Brandon a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and fellow seeker, is also the author of twelve published books discussing topics ranging from relationships, healthy intimacy, sexual healing, self esteem, sexual trauma, addiction and recovery, to grief, death, afterlife research and spirituality. She has appeared on numerous radio (including Coast to Coast with both Art Bell and George Noory) and television programs. She has also lectured across the United States and the United Kingdom.

For more information on the departing visions of the physically dying and the incredible spiritual experiences of everyday people, see Carla’s books One Last Hug Before I Go and A Glimpse of Heaven. BUY USED AND SAVE MONEY! Also, look for her third book on departing visions, due for release next December, 2012. To contact Carla go to www.carlawillsbrandon.com






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Until next month, may you be blessed in all that you do, or as we usually say,

Blessed Be,
Graphic Signature

Ken Biles


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