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[Witch Way] Volume #6 Issue #10 -- The Balance of Dark & Light
March 13, 2014
Hi, Happy Ostara!

Ken's Korner

My current 2nd Degree student Jason, and I were talking the other night. Jason is the only one out of the three 1st Degree students I took last year, to make it through the entire Year And A Day. As the year of training came to a close, he asked me if I would take him on as a 2nd year student. This is the first time any of my students have asked for more training, since I tend to be pretty tough as a teacher, and it showed his desire to really become a Priest.

This is something I actually look for in a student. I want to train the Priests and Priestesses, who will train other students. That is what was expected of all students when I was in training. Therefore I look for those who I believe have the potential to become Priests, and leaders within the community. They are the ones who really want to learn, so they are actually the easiest to teach.

So the other night at class, Jason and I were talking about ritual. Since I have no 1st year students this year, Jason’s training will be mostly magic and ritual, and he will help teach the next class. You see, Traditionally, the first year of training is learning the basics of the Craft, what the Sabbats are and when, what Full Moon and Dark Moons are for, and how to perform ritual.

The second year is helping to teach the new first years students, and learning how to write those rituals, and spell crafting. The Third year is all about taking charge, and learning how to run the Coven. Once you’ve gone through the third year, you are capable of starting and running your own Coven. At least, that is how it was traditionally.

So Jason came to class with Ostara on his mind. He had missed several weeks of class due to various issues, including his own health. The first thing he said was, “Between my health issues and other things going on in my life, I’ve got a guy at work who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, he’s got maybe 6 months to live, I’ve realized that Ostara is one of two Balance Points of the year, between the Dark and the Light.”

Jason is in his 20’s, I am old enough to be his father, and I have to say that at that moment, I was exceedingly proud of him. I understand that you must work with both the Dark and the Light, in order to not only perform magick, but to live your life to the fullest. To ignore the Dark, or label it as evil, as other religions do, is to cut off and renounce half of who you are.

Jason then explained that because of this revelation, he wanted to do an Ostara ritual that started off somber and dark, then moved to the light, and became joyous. In his own words, he said he wanted it to be like a New Orleans funeral. The carrying of the casket to the grave is slow and somber to the sound of the dirge. Once the body is buried, everyone dances to Dixieland Jazz, in celebration of life.

Suddenly we had the elements of a ritual.

We started talking about having a funeral for Winter. I still have the ashes of the Yule fire in the fire pit. It’s one of the portable above ground types that you get at a Big Box store, so it could be carried like a casket. We thought about having four men carry it up on their shoulders, as it contained the ashes of Winter, around the yard, and next door into the park. Stopping the solemn march every now and then, they would drop the casket to the ground and the mourners (those participating in the ritual) would take turns grabbing a hand-full of Winter’s ashes and spreading them to the winds.

At each stop, new people would come forward to scatter the ashes, and with it, they would toss away the things they no longer need, or wish to carry. It would be buried with Winter. Eventually, everyone would have a blackened, soot and ash stained hand, as a symbol of throwing out, and burying the things that are holding them back. Returning back to my yard, we would have water available so that everyone could wash away that Dark stain, both symbolically and physically.

Following that would be the party, and feasting. Oh, and the Ostara Egg Hunt! There is nothing quite so fun as a bunch of adults running all over the place, looking for brightly colored eggs.

This started the discussion on the interconnectedness of everything. Using the ashes from the Yule ritual, to welcome in the Spring. Eventually using the Maypole as the Yule Log, recognizing and using the continuity within our Sabbat rituals, to connect everything together, as it should be. The eight Sabbats of the year are not separate rituals, they are eight parts to the same ritual, that we call the Wheel of The Year.

Then we looked at the calendar, and realized we only have two weeks before Ostara. Also, the fact is, the end of Winter is Imbolc, not Ostara, like the calendar says. So, we won’t do Ostara this year, but we already have next year’s Imbolc ritual ready! As part of the Imbolc Feast, we will serve cream and honey. Honey will then be a center part of next year’s Ostara ritual. Perhaps we’ll weave the wreath for the Maypole in the Ostara ritual.

Everything is connected. Everything affects everything else. This is the lesson learned in the second year of training. Recognizing this, and how you effect everything, is what the mantle of Priesthood is all about.

Blessed Be,
Ken

Ken Biles

If you like what you've read here, take a look at Witchcraft 101. A book that explains the basics of what Witchcraft is.



Plants, Petals, & Potions

by Julie Andaverde

Herb: Meadowsweet
Latin Name: Filipendula ulmaria (Spiraea Ulmaria)
Family: Rosaceae
Parts Used: Aerial parts, leaves, flowers
Gods and Goddesses: Diana, Isis, The Queen of Elfame
Magical Uses: love, passion, calming

History and Folklore:

Sometimes known as 'Queen of the Meadow', this lovely fragrant member of the Rose family is indeed a queen. It commonly grows in marshy grounds where the white flower plume appears like fairy mist among other, bolder herbs. The five-petaled flowers are dainty, accentuated by the fact that they never open all at once. Their sweet, almond like fragrance is quite different from that of the leaves, which is more reminiscent of wintergreen. Once upon a time, both were much favored as strewing herbs. However, Meadowsweet is much more than just a pretty flower. Its history as a medicinal plant is very interesting indeed: who would have thought that this humble herb lent its name to Aspirin? Meadowsweet contains salicylic acid (also found in Willow bark) and served as the 'donor' for the modern version aspirin. The 'spirin' part of the name derives from Meadowsweet's old name Spirea ulmaria. Meadowsweet is common in damp woods and meadows, in fens and by riversides throughout Europe, including the British Isles. It has fernlike foliage and tufts of delicate, graceful, creamy-white flowers, which are in blossom from June to almost September.

The leaves are dark green on the upper side and whitish and downy underneath which pinnate, with 5-11 fine-toothed leaflets. The flowers are small, clustered close together in irregularly-branched inflorescence, and have a very strong, sweet smell. The whole herb possesses a pleasant taste and flavor, the green parts partaking of the aromatic character of the flowers. It has been used as a medicinal plant since ancient times and it remains popular as an herbal remedy.

Magical Uses:

Used for love magick, and to help with happy energy. This is a subtle, but aromatic herb which can be used as the symbol for love when casting a spell for attraction. You can also burn the dried herb in your home to get rid of negative tension, and provide a warm, uplifting atmosphere. It is also linked with Water and Jupiter.

Meadowsweet was one of the Druid's most revered herbs. It was commonly used as a brewing herb for sacred meads and ales. In the Mabinogion it is told that, among other herbs, Meadowsweet served as a magical ingredient to create the flower maiden 'Bloddeuedd' who was to be the wife of Llew Llaw Gyffes. Thus it is often associated with love magic. Alas, the magical marriage did not last. Meadowsweet may be more suitable for finding a passionate but short-lived affair rather than marital bliss. It is also associated with the gift of courage and protection and may be used to attune to the fairy realm.

Medicinal uses:

Meadowsweet's salicylic acid compound makes this herb very interesting as a potential pain reliever, especially for arthritic and rheumatic conditions. It is also known to lower the stomach pH level, which helps ease heartburn, stomach ulcers and other inflammatory conditions of the digestive system such as gastritis and colitis. It can also be used to control diarrhea and is mild enough to be given to children. It is strongly diaphoretic and diuretic and is very effective in breaking fevers. It appears to have a drying effect on the mucous membranes, which makes it a very suitable herb for feverish colds and flu. It has also been used for kidney and bladder inflammations. The leaves are styptic and can be used externally as a compress to staunch the bleeding of stab wounds. Old herbals recommend simmering the flowers in wine for an even greater effect. This concoction is said to stop inner bleeding and leucorrhoea and give relief for painful rheumatic joints, lumbago and sciatica. By virtue of its diuretic action it can reduce edema and cleanses the blood. CAUTION: Should not be used by individuals who are allergic to aspirin.

Effects:

Contraindications: Those who are allergic to aspirin should NOT use this herb!

Spring is just around the corner, dear witches! Let the intoxicating nature of this herb sweeten your days as they get warmer and brighter!

Love, light, and blessings!
Julie Andaverde

Resources:

  • Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. St. Paul, Minesotta; Llewellyn Publications. 2000
  • Hopman, Ellen Evert. A Druid's Herbal. Rochester, Vermont; Destiny Books. 1995

DISCLAIMER: It should be understood that Julie Andaverde is not a medical doctor, nor is Witch Way a medical journal. Some of the herbs and ingredients discussed in this column can be dangerous or even deadly if misused. Proportions and ratios discussed are based on personal observation and experience. Use of any herbs or ingredients is at your own discretion and risk. None of the information contained herein should be construed as medical advice. Always consult a trained medical professional.





The Witching Hour

by Marcus Leader

Seeing Through The Eyes of Spirit

On one of my many training excursions into the Arizona desert with my mentor Dr. Carlos Castaneda, we found ourselves sitting under a beautiful star filled sky in front of a small campfire. This was one of his favorite teaching methods because it set an air of mystery and adventure. It was very surreal sitting in the middle of nowhere in the dark staring into a primitive fire. At these times it seemed that we had left the ordinary world behind and entered a separate reality where all things are possible. I would sometimes be allowed to ask a couple of “free” questions that he would answer through some kind of mind altering experience, (without the use of drugs), that would catapult me into the stuff of dreams. Tonight was going to be such a night.

I had so many questions that I found the hardest part was choosing which I would ask, but soon decided on one that had been burning in me since childhood. I asked him what a spirit sees when they enter into the physical world and how does the spirit know who to go to for assistance. He said “Why don’t I show you...” He then grabbed my right forearm and we were off flying through what seemed like a tunnel.

It was dimly lit with ambient light and as we moved I could see that the tunnel had an energetic texture to it of swirling energy and did not look solid. Then it started getting brighter and we slowed down after a few seconds as the tunnel disappeared and we were standing in a terrain that looked like rolling grass covered hills. It was daylight, but I could not see the sun or any other source of light. The air around me felt lighter or finer than the air in the desert chaparral. Much like the difference that you can feel when it is very humid outside, yet there was no humidity. Carlos said that this was the upper levels of the dimensional planes you call the astral plane.

We started moving again, slower this time and I could feel like a gentle wind blowing against me from the movement and it got coarser as we progressed through the tunnel. This time the tunnel appeared a little translucent, but was still there and retained the same energetic texture.

After a few more seconds of this motion, I could feel a resistance almost like wind pushing me back and our motion slowed down almost to a stop and then there was a loud snap accompanied with a flash of light and we stopped again. All around us was a bluish looking fog rolling all around and again it too was lit with an ambient light coming from somewhere beyond my vision. It was very quiet and I could sense that I was not alone. I saw movement in between the billows and waves of the bluish fog and once in a while I saw shapes, large orbs and others more human shaped. Carlos told me that this was what we called the veil and it was as far as most spirits can come into the physical world.

He pushed me to what seemed to be the edge of this realm and told me to touch it. When I did it felt squishy with static electricity and stretched like the fabric of a balloon. He told me to press my face against it and push inwards. When I did I saw the surface I was pressing against was becoming translucent the harder I pressed and I was starting to see flickers of light.

Carlos said that those lights were living creatures and the brighter ones were humans. I watched them moving and interacting with each other for a few moments and then I saw a brilliant ball of light off to my left it was moving toward us. It had to be at least 5 to 10 times brighter than all the other human lights. Carlos said that was a person with a great deal of energy flow through their spirit. He said those are the ones we call psychics or mediums. He said that spirits who have a purpose to communicate or who have come to realize that they need help, feel drawn to these brighter humans because they can feel their own energies vibrating harder when one approaches and he was right, I could feel the resonance inside my spirit body much like how it feels with the booming vibrations of a bass drum in your stomach.

I asked if a spirit can get through this barrier I was pressing against and he said only if they have enough personal energy stored or if they are able to tap into the energy they feel from the psychic or medium. He said that usually the only other thing that can push a spirit through is deep emotional energy from the spirit of a person in the physical. I asked him if they ever have trouble getting back and he says sometimes, especially if they do not want to go back. He said eventually they will drift back into the spirit world though several natural openings that pop up from time to time.

I asked him if all psychics and mediums look similar to the one I was looking at and he said yes but some are much brighter and some are so bright and make so much energy available to nearby spirits that the spirits become energized and can move objects around with their intent alone. They can also speak once they have mastered the use of the energy. He said this type of medium is rare and he said that you refer to them as physical mediums.

I told him that I have like a gazillion more questions to ask and he smiled and shook his head saying “Marcos, you have seen as much as you need to see in this moment. It is time to return.” He grabbed my arm and we were instantly back in the desert night sitting around the campfire. I asked him why the return trip was different than our original journey and he said because he took me very slowly the first time so that I could experience the differences in the dimensional layers and there was no need to repeat it on the return trip.

This was one of many direct experience shamanic journeys that my mentor took me though over an eight year period. From time to time I will be sharing them with you here in Ken’s newsletter. I have something special planned for next month’s issue that I know all my fellow witches and magickal practitioners will find most intriguing. So until next month... Blessed Be!

Blessed Be, Marcus





Betwixt & Between

By Gwynalda Shadowalker

Covening vs. Kinder-Covening…*

“By trying to be all things to all people, we wind up being nothing to anyone.”

Before I decide to attend a Sabbat or Esbat, I ask, “Is this an adult-oriented Ritual?”

One of the local CUUPs (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) chapters near Denver, CO sponsors periodic Kids’ Sabbat Circles on Sunday afternoons. The rituals are tailored exclusively for the little ones. A local Coven then holds rituals at the UU church—for the grown-ups—in the evening. Teens under 18 are only admitted at the discretion of the presiding High Priestess. They also lock the doors before they begin, so that latecomers won’t interrupt the proceedings.

Other local Pagan groups hold semi-open "family- oriented" congregational style gatherings. A while back, I attended and even helped facilitate one of those at a beautiful scenic park. None of the kids were in Circle, save one 6-year-old (who actually did quite well because she was under her mom’s watchful eye the entire time). One of the older kids—I doubt that she was more than 12 or 13—was assigned to “baby-sit” all the other little ones (half a dozen or so). The kids were up the hill playing in a shelter that had benches and picnic tables, a few dozen feet away.

We had just cast Circle. All of a sudden, one of the women who was co-Priestessing the rite, broke out of the Circle without cutting a doorway and raced up the hill.

I just remember standing there, befuddled, swaying on my feet. It was then that I heard a kid screaming. Evidently, he’d fallen down and gotten a bloody nose.

Rather than waiting for co-Priestess Mommie to come back so that we could start over, however, the other co- Priestess made some joking comment about how kids and their moms could enter and leave Circle without disrupting it.

WAIT, WHAT?!? (Since WHEN did the RULES of Circle Integrity and Etiquette stop applying to ALL adult Witches??? That one was news to me....)

We soldiered on, and co-Priestess Mommie did eventually return a few minutes later. During the part of the Ritual that featured the kids’ activity, I had to call them all back down to the Circle because they wouldn’t listen to co-Priestess Mommie when she’d ordered them to come. (The trick is to ask for the kids’ help and turn it into a game.)

OK, this is just one (rather extreme) example, but it gives you a fair indication of why I'd really rather not have to contend with irresponsible parents and their disruptive offspring during a Ritual.

After observing how so many Pagan parents just let their little tikes do whatever they dang well please until the kids either break something or start screaming when they hurt themselves or one another, I have pretty much zero faith in Pagan parental supervisory skills during Rituals. One of the few exceptions is one young girl whose Wiccaning I attended long ago, but she's 9 going on 30 now, and her Dad is an HP....

RE: Kids at Rituals. All right. Lucifer’s Advocate, here— Beware “Rock-from-the-Road-and-Weed-from-the-Yard” Syndrome

RE: Future Pagan Leaders: Actually— the kids’ PARENTs are potentially our next generation of leaders. Who’s to say whether the kids are going to grow up to be Pagan at all? Most Witches and Pagans were not raised in this faith. Did you and your siblings really enjoy being dragged to church every Sunday when you were little? Wasn’t it pretty boring? Did you really miss going there?

And what about the Craft prohibitions against proselytizing and indoctrination? Shouldn’t kids be allowed to decide which religious path, if any, is right for them when they reach the age of consent and majority—rather than being expected or forced to join and conform to their parents’ faith?

RE: Keeping an eye on their own kids during Circle, OR ELSE: Pagan parents—especially if they themselves are new to this path—do not know how to properly supervise their own young children during Rituals. Indeed, most newcomers have a hard enough time figuring out what to do with themselves. Nor do they usually realize that it’s important to learn how to do so—on both counts.

And unfortunately, from what I’ve observed, a lot of Pagan parents seem to think that if they’re at someone else’s place, it’s that someone else’s responsibility to either baby-sit their little ones and/or tolerate/ignore their children’s misbehavior. But the someone else isn’t allowed to get angry or upset—or Goddess forbid, actually discipline a child—if the kid makes a mess; or breaks something they’ve been told not to touch; or noisily disrupts the proceedings; or hurts another child (or critter); or endangers themself or others; or decides to pitch a tantrum because they haven’t been getting enough attention.

It can be especially disruptive (and even downright disturbing) to witness an inept parent attempt to discipline their unruly child during the middle of a Ritual when the child acts out. (It’s even worse if the parent just stands there obliviously doing nothing.) And it’s really not appropriate for a parent to haul off and smack their kid—or verbally threaten to do so to control them—during a supposedly “worshipful and celebratory” event.

And seriously, WHERE is a misbehaving youngster supposed to go within the Circle when they’re given a “Time Out”? (I mean, there is no corner to go stand in or separate room to send them to….) So, what do we do then? Stop everything so that one of us can cut them out of the Circle and send them on their merry way home (or back into a non-child- proofed house)? Wow, talk about POWER—that child and their parent just brought an entire Ritual to a screeching halt and managed to ruin a potentially sacred experience for a whole bunch of folks….

And unfortunately, if those of us who don’t have kids attempt to educate Pagan parents as to the error of their ways by cutting them out of the Circle and telling them to leave—we’re only going to really offend them and tick them off. Why run the risk of having such an unpleasant confrontation during what’s supposed to be such a joyous occasion?

Also, I wonder—how can a RESPONSIBLE Pagan parent truly participate in a Circle if their chief concern is minding and tending to their young child? Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of being in Circle if the parent can only watch—as a distracted audience member who’s continuously trying to quiet and shepherd their kid?

Adults need a chance to play and have FUN, too—which, from what I’ve heard from several Pagan parents—is nigh on impossible if they’re worrying about what their kids might be doing. (And if the parents are NOT “worrying” or paying attention to what their kids are doing while they’re right there in front of them in Circle—then their parents AREN’T “keeping an eye” on them.)

Young children who ARE naturally respectful and well-behaved and mature beyond their years and who can fully participate in a grown-up Pagan Ritual are exceedingly RARE. That self-censoring, mindful appreciation of the consequences of one’s actions doesn’t usually significantly develop in girls until their late teens and in boys until their early 20s. (Of course, in some people, that capability never does seem to develop at all.) In about 15% of the population, it does develop much earlier—but that’s a horse of a different color….

It’s not terribly realistic to expect little kids to be quiet and obedient and cooperative during any sort of religious ritual—especially ones that last for more than 20 minutes. It’s not really fair to the children to expect them to behave like grown-ups. That’s why I recommend the JUC-CUUPs “Children’s Sabbats” as an option for families who want to experience child-centric Pagan rituals.

(I have no interest in facilitating those sorts of rituals. As a childless Wiccan Priestess, I do not believe in fostering the Kinder-Coven “R” Us Wiccan Clergy/Congregation mentality that caters exclusively to families with kids at the expense of the adult Pagans and Witch-Priests and -Priestesses.) Sabbats are for honoring and communing with our Deities and celebrating the glories of Nature and the turning of the Wheel of the Year—not a casual afternoon family trip to Pagan Disneyland for the purpose of entertaining the children.

And as far as “holding newbie pagan parents to a higher standard” is concerned… Since I’m not a parent myself, it’s not my job to instruct wanna-be Witches how to properly parent their kids. I can teach them about the Craft and Magick ‘till all the sacred cows come home, but Dr. Spock’s “Greatest Hits” aren’t in my repertoire…..

In Covens, especially (rather than run-of-the-mill “Open Circles”), it’s important that everyone be able to ground and center and shield and concentrate and meditate and visualize and handle energy. That’s what that all-important year-and-a-day training program is supposed to do—teach would-be initiates all those necessary skills. Since children are by definition precluded from full membership until they have come of age, our focus as mentors and Craft teachers and Priest/esse/s and Elders needs to be on our Gods and encouraging our students to make that same level of connection for themselves.

Blessed Be, and Happy Ostara—Gwynalda )O(

*Please note that this essay is still a work in progress. I would invite those who vehemently disagree to read Judy Harrow’s “Wicca Covens: How to Start and Organize You Own” (Citadel Press, U.S., 1999) pp 66-85.





Clarifying the Sacred Whore

By Lady Rhiannon Dragcruin

Ahhh...I bet that got your attention! Sounds lascivious, doesn’t it? Sounds like something that people will have an opinion about...but what is it?

I suspect most people will see “Sacred Whore” as only a female role, to begin with. I also suspect that it brings to mind a certain presentation, such as ‘nympho’ or ‘slut’. But let’s start by addressing this thinking. Where does it come from? How does it affect the person who is gifted with this path? What does it say about us as Pagans to present with this sort of thinking?

Gnostic work refers to the Sacred Whore as Babalon, Crowley speaks of her as the rider of the beast but also she who has introduced him to many different concepts and beings through his interaction with her. But little seems to be written from the perspective of the female.

As I read these accounts and the intonations of the men’s thoughts, I am reminded of the descriptions of Gardnerian traditions of the practice of the Great Rite. In their traditions, often the High Priest and High Priestess actually consummate the sacred marriage in view of the coven. This is often perverted by modern society to construe the HPS as a whore and that she would copulate with any of the males of the coven at their will. However, this seems to be the dirty minded puritans sneaking in to the modern psyche. This is not our reality. Good Gods, my High Priest would suffer apoplexy if I even suggested a symbolic Great Rite to be performed in ceremony!

So what is the role and magic of the Sacred Whore? She is a woman strong. She is skilled in compassion and healing of the body, mind, and spirit. She is gifted in the use of touch and of heart and true *hearing* as a healing source for others. She *chooses* with whom she shares her gifts and does not merely roll over for anyone. Much like any empathy, she is drawn to the need of others but she is also aware of which ones she can, and which she cannot, aid. She must be aware of her limitations and have good boundaries. The calling to this work can be very draining. She must be able to say “No” and take time for herself and her needs. She must be able to stand up to the misunderstanding and derision of the community OR she must be circumspect and never let anyone know her true path.

A true Sacred Whore does not perform sexual acts for money, nor does she do it for self-serving reasons such as ego or to fulfill her own needs (that is probably a bonus to the path but not a real drive for following it), she may even fulfill the role by being a companion or confidant rather than a sexual partner.

A Sacred Whore is also NOT subject to abuse and debasement. She may not be abused and cursed by those who come to her. She is not to be shunned by the people of the circle and not to be judged and branded as unnatural or unclean.

She is an embodiment of the Goddess. She is Inanna, Prende, Tiacapan, Ragaraja, Astarte, Aine, Bes, Hathor, Bastet, Aphrodite, Philotes, Rati, Milta, Ishtar, Freya, Sjofn, Dogoda, Erzuli Freda Dahome, and Oshun. She is love, lust, affection, sensuality, gentleness, healing and wholeness. Her gift to her partners is pure love. She may have one or more people who are primary relationships but she is NOT in love with most of those whom she heals.

However, she must have love for them else the magic will not work. This is the way with most paths, whether it be kitchen witchery, spell singing, herbology, healing touch, aromatherapy, or even the Warrior’s path. If there be no love in the making or doing, the power may fail or backfire. The intent of the interaction is the magick, not the acts or actions performed.

This is part of the reason that the Sacred Whore must do a lot of preparation work before embarking on this path. She must wrestle with and tame the demons that have come to her through life experiences. Trauma from past abuse or self-esteem issues must be brought forward to awareness and be made manageable. The heart chakra must be as clear as possible for one going through a human incarnation. The love and loving that is shared needs to be of pure intent, clear of controlling or manipulating behaviors and clear of self-destructive behaviors. The work doesn’t stop with one or two therapy sessions or AA, Alanon, or ACOA meetings either. It continues constantly and it is tiring. Most people never look this deeply at themselves but rather trip along blindly being FINE (Fucked-up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional). A Sacred Whore can’t be FINE and be effective at the magick that is hers.

Looking at this, it strikes me that rather than being seen as something dirty, dangerous, or unsavory, the Sacred Whore should be respected for the strength and work it has taken to get to a place where she CAN do the work she is called to. Part of what she does is help others (men and women) wrestle with their own demons.

So how does the standard thought pattern that the term “Sacred Whore” evokes affect the person who is compelled to follow this path? The thoughts, and looks, and shunning that come with the path are heavy burdens. They wear on the individual and tire them out. Living up to the expectations of others, no matter what your path, is exhausting. It drains her resources and destabilizes her self-image. It causes pain and frustration and heartache…especially because these people are usually *STRONG* empaths. You don’t have to say what you think or feel about her path for her to know it.

What does it say about us as Pagans to inflict this on a Priestess of the path? To me, it says that we are still carrying the concepts, thoughts and morals of a path most of us have willingly walked away from. We continue to have the puritanical mindset despite protestations to the contrary. This is not always bad. I personally feel that it helps us have guidelines for appropriate behavior in many circumstances, but in this case, it can be very harmful to our sisters. If our tenet is to Harm None…then perhaps we need to stop and look at this attitude toward sacred sexuality and the many paths that it can create.

All of our interactions are intended to be in Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. How then is a Sacred Whore a lewd, lascivious, or negative thing? As stated before, what she brings is pure love…whether it manifests in a physical act, or companionship and conversation. I hope for this to become an honored path with joy and delight for those who are called to it. There will be tears, there will be ecstasy, there will be pain...but hopefully not inflicted through ignorance or hate.

Blessings of Love, true and bright & the Ways of Healing guide your sight...today and always!

—Lady Rhiannon

List of Love & Lust Deities
Sacred Whoredom in a Thelemic Context (Caution: Lots of popups & pop unders)
Babalon
The Book of Babalon and Other Writings
Mary Magdalene – High Priestess and Sacred Prostitute
Sacred Prostitution: The Whore and the Holy One
Who Is The Sacred Whore?"





Recipes for This Month's Herb

Meadowsweet

Tea

For a cup of tea, pour 1 cup of boiled water over approximately 1 tablespoon of dry, loose herb. Steep covered for 15-20min. Strain, drink and enjoy.






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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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