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[Witch Way] Volume #4 Issue #3 -- Hitch Your Wagon To A Star?
August 13, 2011
|Hi, The Wheel turns again!
This is going to be a hard article for most of you to read. I am going to tell you some cold, hard facts, and that is going to make you angry. I ask you to read the entire article, all the way through, because this is a lesson we all need to learn.
There has been a lot of controversy over the last couple of weeks about an evangelical Christian group called the New Apostolic Reformation. It seems that for 51 days this fall, they plan to lay siege, as they put it, to Washington DC. Their plan is to pray for Divine intervention that will cause Congress to realize the error of their ways, up to and including renaming the District of Columbia, to the District of Christ.
It seems that these misinformed people believe that the District of Columbia was named for the Pagan Goddess Columbia. Included in this “siege” is the plan to hold rallies in each of the 50 states, one state each day, being the spearhead. Each state will take its turn as spearhead, starting with Hawaii, and progressing in reverse order of statehood, all the way back to the first state of the union.
Starting on 10/3/11, and going through 11/11/11, these people plan to use the power of prayer to bring God back into the nation. Their website, a link to which can be found on the page linked to above, contains information about who they are, and what they want to do, as well as prayer guides, a timeline of planned activities, some frightening videos, and details on their 51 state “Pointman positions”. I am not including a link directly to their site here, because I don’t want to add to the site’s popularity with the search engines.
The stated purpose of this demonstration from their website says, “The purpose of this siege is to change the atmosphere over the city of Washington D.C. through our worship, preparing the way for our legislators to function on a different playing field as we release 40 days of light over the city.” They also plan special events on Oct 31st, which they call “Reformation Day”, Nov. 1st, which they call “All Saints Day”, and Nov. 2nd, which they label “The Day of The Dead”.
I haven’t looked to see when calendarically or astrologically, Samhain falls, but most celebrate it on Oct. 31st. I am unfamiliar with this “Reformation Day”, but considering that one of their main issues is based on bogus information, I won’t be surprised if their dates are just plain wrong. You see, the District of Columbia wasn’t named for some Pagan Goddess, it was named for Columbus, who at the time was considered the discoverer of the New World.
At this point many Pagan blogs and websites have picked up this story, as have at least as many Pagan email lists. Debate ranges from this group being harmless crackpots, to attempts to organize magickal defenses against them.
Honestly, I haven’t done enough research on the group, or its leaders, to decide for myself how much of a threat they might be. Many Pagans are worried about conservative politicians joining their ranks, and giving them legitimacy. While it’s certainly possible that candidates such as Michele Bachmann, who has been very vocal about her bigoted religious beliefs, could come out in support of this, or groups like this, it’s an extremely risky move politically.
Generally, successful presidential candidates, those who make it to become their party’s nominee, tend to be very vague about what they truly believe on polarizing topics. There is much more appeal to a centrist, who only hints toward the edge of the spectrum. After all, it’s well known that the moral majority is neither, so being more toward the center politically, means a much better chance of getting more votes.
Having said that, I also know enough about history to realize that the National Socialist Party of 1930’s Germany, was a small crackpot group that no one paid much attention to, until an unknown, but extremely charismatic speaker named Adolf Hitler, started to speak at rallies. As the German economy got worse, his hate mongering, and scape goating became much more popular. People, as a rule, would much prefer to blame someone else for their troubles, than take responsibility for it themselves.
It was this fear of economic collapse, and desire to get out of it, that catapulted Hitler, and his political party into positions in the government. Those same economic conditions exist in America today. Or at least, most Americans believe so. With unemployment hovering around 10%, and the global economy pulling possible recovery away from us, people are likely to do whatever they think will make things better. Human nature is reactive, not proactive.
So as I see it, the question isn’t, are these people dangerous, but more to the point, how will Americans react to their message. Remember, the same laws that allow you to worship as you choose, also allow them to do the same. Freedom for one group must be freedom for all, or it isn’t freedom. I may not like what you have to say, but I will defend to the death, your right to say it.
I believe that instead of planning magickal defenses against this self proclaimed initiative, our time and energy would be better spent on truly understanding, and helping others to understand why our country, and the world, is in the economic situation we find ourselves in. Any idea can be used as a weapon, be it that Washington DC was named for a Pagan Goddess, or facts of how and why we are where we are.
This is the hard part of taking responsibility. It wasn’t the politicians, or the banks, or even Wall Street that caused our economic collapse. It was all of us, together. I know no one reading this wants to hear it, but it is the truth. Certainly those with more power in making decisions, hold more responsibility, but if you invested in the late 90’s, then panicked and sold in 2000, if you lived high on the hog when times were good, without thought of saving for the leaner times, if you thought the economy of the 90’s would never end, and acted as if it wouldn’t, then you share the blame.
The number of people who can honestly say they didn’t do any of those things, is very small. I suspect they were born during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. The following generations, who were given everything by parents who grew up before and during World War II, have shown ourselves to be self centered and greedy. Absolutely, I include myself in the blame.
George W. Bush grew up with a father who witnessed how World War II ended the depression, and put everyone back to work, either fighting the war, or producing material for it. If the current wars had done the same thing, he would have been hailed as a hero, single-handedly pulling us back from the brink of collapse. It didn’t work.
The current administration seems like it wants to spend every cent it gets, on programs to support those who are out of work, instead of putting them back to work. It wants to give everyone a fish, rather than teaching them how to fish. Unfortunately, the country can’t declare bankruptcy. Those with more power, are more responsible, but we must all accept our part.
We did this together, and it’s only together that we will be able to get past it. That is the message that America, and the rest of the world needs to hear, and understand. I’ve talked about it many times before, in abstract terms, and you agreed. Now I point it out to you in stark reality. Taking responsibility for your actions is easy when it’s just an abstract concept, or when the choices are easy. It’s much harder when you actually have to admit to bad choices, and make amends.
The most valuable lessons are the hardest ones to go through. You chose to walk this Path because it was the one Path that made sense to you. That was the easy part. You agreed that you must take responsibility for yourself, and your actions, because that is part of growing spiritually. I know the incorrect choices I have made over the last 15 years, and the lessons they lead to. I have taken responsibility for those choices, and made corrections to the journey I call life.
I’m not saying you are the only one responsible for what has happened to this country. I am saying that you, and I, and everyone else, is responsible for a very small part of it, roughly a 300 millionth of it. If you cannot accept your part in this, and feel you must blame the politicians, the banks, the stock market, or the company you used to work for, then you might as well join the New Apostolic Reformation. Blaming anyone but themselves, is exactly what they are doing. If it’s wrong for them, why would it be right for you?
I warned you that this was going to be hard. Now you understand just how hard.
The Witching Hour
by Marcus Leader
A New Light for an Ancient Term
I recently offered Ken a series of articles based on my own personal research and experiences from my forty years in the study and practice of witchcraft, shamanism, and magick, so that he could share this knowledge with you. He graciously accepted and the article you are about to read is the first of many.
I chose Ken’s site, not because it was the biggest, but because it was the best that I have yet to encounter. I am drawn to the “no nonsense” format, the quality of the information presented, and the ring of sincerity and truth that I sense as I browse each page. It is truly an honor to share my stories and knowledge in this magickal place.
Before I continue with this month’s article, I should first qualify my statements for those of you who are not familiar with my research or me.
I have studied and experimented with parapsychology, Witchcraft, Shamanism, and various magickal disciplines both in and out of the laboratory since 1971. I first became interested in Witchcraft and magick early in my high school years when I discovered that I was a direct descendant of Bridget Bishop, who was the first person hung in Salem in June of 1692.
Just about the time I discovered this, archeologists discovered many of the tools of the Craft hidden behind a loose rock in the ruins of her basement suggesting that she was indeed involved in some form of magick. This ignited my interest and passion in the magickal arts that still burn brightly to this very day. As a private researcher with the professional division of the Monroe Institute, I experiment with human consciousness and awareness in a pursuit to understand the many levels of the Human energy system and develop new methods to harness the powers of the mind through the manipulation of the assemblage point of awareness.
I was also extremely fortunate and privileged to befriend one of the most famous Shamans of our time while studying in the UCLA library. This Shaman, dubbed by Time magazine as “the Godfather of the New Age”, later took me under his wing and taught me the secrets of the Toltec Shamanic Path in a one on one apprenticeship over a period of 8 years before leaving this world in 1998 on his own quest for freedom. I continue my Shamanic research and practice today as one of the few remaining apprentices to the world famous anthropologist, best selling author, and Shaman, Dr. Carlos Castaneda.
When I am not researching or practicing these various disciplines, you will find me in my basement lab experimenting with Instrumental Trans- Dimensional Communication, which is basically communication with the dead and other energy systems outside of our own with the use of specially designed equipment that I invented. I share this research and knowledge with others through my weekly radio show called The Shamans Brew.
In this months article I am going to be sharing my knowledge and belief about the true nature of the Witching Hour as well as the origins of the term.
The Witching Hour...the very phrase stirs emotions and shifts our sense of awareness into the border lands of reality. It has been used by writers and movie producers for years to stir the caldrons of the darkest regions of our subconscious to set the magickal mood about to be spun. The phrase, "The Witching Hour" was first used in the 1831 edition of Frankenstein and used again in 1835 in a short story written by Washington Irving.
However, the true origins of the term can be attributed to William Shakespeare, who in 1603 wrote the phase, "The witching time of night" , while composing Hamlet. The actual verse is as follows:
The Witching Hour is generally synonymous with Midnight and some believe it to be the time from midnight to 3 AM. A time when Witches, magickal creatures, and spirits come out to play and frolic as the veil between the worlds grows thin allowing their powers come into full force. Just a silly superstition driven by folklore and fear, right?
Wrong! There is recent scientific evidence that supports the above scenario, well, at least the hyper-dimensional aspects of the energy exchanges.
My own personal apprenticeship in Toltec Shamanism also supports this scenario and suggests a model of our magickal universe that explains how this works. I will share with you certain aspects of this model of reality pertaining to this time of night we call The Witching Hour. Some of what I will be telling you has been validated through my own personal observations and experimentation in the field as well as the laboratory.
Without getting into a great deal of detail, it is best to picture our physical world as a sphere of energy that is constantly going through many stages of transformation, of energy to matter and matter to energy. Next picture another sphere of a more refined energy, so fine that its frequency of being is completely out of sync with our physical sphere, keeping them from totally merging as one.
This higher, refined sphere of energy is often referred to as the etheric plane or plane of power and is actually superimposed within our physical sphere, but kept separate as a result of the extreme difference of energetic frequency. The “spheres” are actually in contact at the surfaces creating what I call a Buffering Zone, where some energy is allowed to pass as a result of a scientific process known as sympathetic resonance.
This phenomenon can be observed in our physical world using tuning forks. Strike one tuning fork and bring it close, but not in contact with another, and the second tuning fork will begin to vibrate as a result of sympathetic resonance. There is an entire field of magick related to this phenomenon called sympathetic magick, which I will write about in the future.
This Buffering Zone is also known by many as “the veil between the worlds” and is the place where many earth-bound spirits and elementals dwell. This “veil” or buffering zone has some very interesting properties that I have personally observed with my teacher in the deserts of Mexico.
First, it seems to vary in thickness and transparency. The cause of the variations are still not fully understood, but one contributing influence seems to be related to the Earth energies of various geographic locations. Places that are sacred to indigenous people or highly energetic seem to have the thinnest and most translucent qualities. These are places like Sedona, Arizona or the various sacred sites and temples found around the world.
Another contributing factor to the translucency, or ability to transmit energy, comes from our Sun. In addition to all the light and heat we receive from the Sun, we also receive highly energetic particles that not only react with the Earth and ourselves, they also have a strong affect on the stability and translucency of the veil or buffering zone between worlds.
When our side of the planet is exposed to these highly energetic particles it causes a great deal of turbulence within the fabric of the veil which creates so much activity that it thickens the elastic skin of the veil making it more difficult for sympathetic energy transfer. This makes it harder to draw our magickal energy from the plane of power and it makes it far more difficult for communication to pass from the spirit world.
Science has determined that the lowest point of solar interference density occurs at about midnight and extends to about 3 AM...the Witching Hours! Another interesting fact is that during this same time there are far more reports of paranormal activity and psychic attack. This would also suggest that the best time to perform magick or communicate with Spirit is during the Witching Hours 12AM to 3AM.
This does not mean that ghostly encounters can not happen at other times or that your magick will not work during daylight hours, but it is something to consider the next time you want to really put a punch into a ritual, or spell, or when communicating with lost loved ones on the other side.
One should also consider being extra cautious in paranormally active locations during this time and bring your most powerful forms of protection against psychic attack.
So it seems there are some truths found in folklore and superstitions, and it is with great satisfaction that I invite you to take back the term The Witching Hour from the writers and Hollywood producers, and apply it with a new understanding to your own magickal endeavors.
Invoking the Egyptian Gods
By Judith Page
Call upon Isis for boundless love, invoke Sekhmet for protection, summon the jackal god Anubis when seeking to end one thing and begin another. By combining elegant rites with an evocative description of each deity's myths, Invoking the Egyptian Gods invites you to begin a soul-level transformation and awaken to your own strength, power, and divinity.
Invoking The Egyptian Gods is both spiritual and practical. Not only will it be an aid to the advanced practitioner, it will also be a valuable learning tool for those who are just beginning to practice invoking.
Throughout the book, you will be calling on many gods and goddesses based on ritual invocational rites. There are very few times in ritual when you do not invoke gods. But, before you can invoke a god, you must first know just what it is that you are invoking. Each chapter is accompanied by a brief outline explaining the meaning and purpose behind each invocation. Our invocations and meditations are not empty verbalism; they greatly enhance and enrich our lives as we enter into the realm of the gods.
Working with the energies of different Egyptian gods can be powerful and enlightening. They can also restore a sense of calm, balance, and harmony within. There are many ways you can work with these ancient gods, and many reasons for doing so. For example, you may be faced with an upcoming event in your life for which you could use some support and encouragement, and connecting with a powerful god can help bring these elements to aid your situation.
The goddess Bastet and the god Khonsu both possess healing qualities, and depending on your circumstances, invoking them will help channel the healing process. Whatever connection you make, you may find that the association is in itself very healing and empowering.
Sometimes there are situations where you have lost or given away your power to someone or something. Invoking particular gods can help connect you with inner forces, thereby establishing boundaries and restoring assertiveness.
By the act of invoking, you are communicating with the god using words, thoughts, and feelings, and you are open to receiving any messages.
We are also attempting to reveal through invocation how an ancient Egyptian would interact with a god. Using the ancient Egyptian language, you will “summon” or “call up” the god through the use of speech.
Why in Egyptian, you ask?The Egyptians claimed the gods, or Neteru, gave their language to them directly from the Spiritual World. Like all languages, ancient Egyptian has similarities and roots shared with some other ancient languages. However, it was believed that the very sounds that make up the language are themselves “powers,” and that claim should not be dismissed lightly.
We already know sound has the power to break glass and pulverize rock. Sound is used to break up kidney stones within the body, without the need for surgery, and sound can make us feel happy or sad, well or ill. The power of sound is undeniable. We know that the very matter of the universe resonates with vibration.
Why then wouldn’t it be possible that the universe we know is created by sound, which, in its most basic definition, is just a vibration? It is our hope that future generations of scientists may yet discover that sounds are powers in their own right.
According to Jerry Clifford Welch, author of Hebet En Ba: The Egyptian Mystical Rites, “Egyptian ‘divinity’ may very well still ‘speak’ the Egyptian tongue,” and may very well be listening to our utterances! It is through these utterances that we will connect with the gods.
The Word Neter and Its MeaningWhen the term “gods” is used regarding the ancient Egyptian religion, it is a misrepresentation of their term Neteru. The Egyptians gave the name Neter to the great and supreme power, the “One God,” that which made the earth, the heavens, the sea, the sky, men and women, animals, birds, and creeping things, all that is and all that shall be. They felt that to know this One God was to know the many faces and qualities of this entity, and the more they learned of these faces, the closer they got to the divine origin.
This One God was self-produced, independent, invisible, eternal, omniscient, almighty, and immortal. Although this One God was never represented, the functions and attributes of his domain were represented in the many forms of the Neteru. The difference between the conceptions of Neter, the one supreme God, and the Neteru, the gods, is best shown by an appeal to Egyptian texts in the pyramid of Unas it is said to the deceased:
'Thou existest at the side of God' (un-k ar kes Neter).
Stories and gods were essential to explain events and situations that could not otherwise be explained, or to give divine right to someone or something. New gods were encountered as the Egyptians traded with new cultures, and by combining two or more Neteru together, they found a better match for their needs at that time.
This is not unusual. One only has to look at the changes Christianity has gone through in two-thirds of that time. It is a normal part of history that people change, and so do their spiritual needs.
The Egyptians simply adapted their Neteru to best fit the needs as they saw them. Understanding this will help you to retain your focus on the Neter, and not on the name used.
Invocational RitesIn ancient Egypt, the priests of the temples performed daily invocational rites to the statues of the Neteru. These rituals were elaborate, and were held in the morning, at noon, and at night.
In the morning, the ritual was designed to awaken the Neter, feed it, bathe it, and clothe it, while the evening ritual was designed to put the Neter to bed. Clothes, food, drink, and incense were all essential parts of the invocational rite, and each rite was several hours long with lengthy litanies read.
In these modern times we do not have the time to complete such exhaustive daily rituals. We would never leave the temple or shrine, if we tried! Thus, we have developed invocational rites, which distill the essence of the rituals of the temple, so that we can honour the gods in a similar way to the ancient Egyptians, and experience and develop a relationship with the Neter while still maintaining our daily routines.
Practically all invocational rites use a few basic principles that are, in fact, truths in themselves— principles that work upon their intended subjects, even though you may not yourself be able to hear or see the “sense” of it all! Many traditions of “magick” today still use such rites— for example Kabbalah, which means “receiving”— most having been arrived at independently by cultures from different continents and ages in history.
These principles should be accepted as simply working methodologies, rather than anything to “believe” or “believe in.”
All Invocations occur within a sacred space that can be metaphysically drawn or created by the practitioner for the occasion, invocational rites and erased or banished to “release” the powers to go on with performing the work the rite requested of them.
The ancient Egyptians were known to have employed a sacred space within their rites, where the gods were invoked— called upon and asked to manifest themselves. This was done via ritual through the invocation of the First Time (Zep Tepi), which, according to Jung, was seen as an existence outside of this reality.
It was known as Hebet En Ba, The Egyptian Book of Rites. In later times, the four deities, or Neteru, that represented the equivalent of the four quarters— Tuameutev (east), Amset (south), Qebsenuv (west), and Hapi (north)— were invoked to guard a sacred space.
Aleister Crowley, an influential English occultist, mystic, and ceremonial magickian and member of the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, states that “To ‘invoke’ is to ‘call in’ just as to ‘evoke’ is to ‘call forth.’” This is the essential difference between the two branches of magick. In invocation, the macrocosm floods the consciousness. In evocation, the magickian, having become the macrocosm, creates a microcosm.
As already discussed, the universe is the “macrocosm” and the body is the “microcosm.” Hence, the top of the head corresponded to the top of the universe, the North Star. Ascension macrocosmically through the heavens (often numbered as seven) to the highest heaven corresponded to ascension microcosmically of the fire-snake (Kundalini), the primal source or power that usually lies dormant in the noninitiate.
According to the philosopher Iamblichus in his treatise, Theurgia or On the Mysteries of Egypt:
There are two primary methods of invocation, the first being the traditional Western method that is devotional, and the second being the Egyptian method whereby the personality of the godform is awakened from the beginning by the invoker.
Learn to recognize the connection don’t create it. The connection is always there; you are just unaware of it most of the time. Day-to-day issues and concerns distract you from feeling the connection.
Don’t worry if nothing seems to happen. Mastering invocation takes time and practice, but everyone has the ability. Once you get to the point where you do recognize the connection to Deity, make your mind perfectly still and open to the divine, call out to the god or goddess you wish to invoke, and feel a shift in the connection when he or she answers.
As Ken Biles rightly says, “When you invoke a god or goddess, you are invoking part of yourself. You are communicating with that part of you that is divine.”
The book is only the tip of the pyramid, as so much more has yet to surface. A lot of rituals and invocations are purely ceremonial with no intent of reaching out to the god. Our work is an elegant way to approach an Egyptian god. It is also to the point, and truthfully written. We have held nothing back.
Many invocations that have been written are so cosmetically perfect, offering you only a façade and never really getting in touch with the chosen god.
We have attempted to understand the spiritual and aesthetic aims of the ancient Egyptians. In short, we have endeavoured to reconstruct their creative process. Clearly, it is possible only partially to succeed in doing so. We may have an idea of what it may have been to perform invocations to the ancient gods, but as much as we try, we must accept that these were people working against a background very different from ours. We cannot put ourselves in their place, even with the help of the knowledge we have collected about their civilization.
As you utter the names of the Neteru, invoking them into your space, be mindful that you will be contributing to the ever-rippling waters that will serve as a free-flowing river for others to immerse themselves into. Let us leap directly into the powerful undercurrents of Egyptian magick and be changed forever.
Let us venture into a hidden realm where true gnosis and healing can be found. By invoking the deities of ancient Egypt, you create a "stargate" whereby you can enter into other dimensions, receive messages from the Neteru, and become one with the gods once again.
Judith Page & Ken Biles authors of Invoking the Egyptian Gods published by Llewellyn Worldwide ISBN 9780738727301
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Until next month, may you be blessed in all that you do, or as we usually say,
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