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[Witch Way] Volume #5 Issue #3 -- The End of Summer
August 13, 2012
Hi, Hail and Welcome!

Ken's Korner

Here we are at the end of Summer. Some kids are already going back to school. For my part, I’m getting ready to finally go on vacation. In a week and a half, I head to Barcelona, Spain to board a ship and cruise around the Mediterranean for three weeks.

To make a long story short, my parents, brother, and sister decided to take a cruise, so I decided to join them. Unlike most people I suspect, it’s not the cruise I’m going for. Among other things, I’m going to see the Parthenon, and the Temple of Athena. I’m going to hike to the top of Mt. Vesuvius, and see as many of the ancient Helenic and Roman sites as I can.

I want to immerse myself in as much of the ancient spiritual culture as I can. I want to walk the avenues of Pompeii, buried for a thousand years under ash and soot. I want to open myself to the ancient energies of the Sacred sites of our ancestors.

Because it’s a cruise, I won’t have more than a few hours at any one stop, but it should be more than enough to find out where I want to go back to, and explore more thoroughly. I have no doubt that I will be returning to the Bazaar at Istanbul, and exploring the fortress walls of the Old City. For me this is an adventure, but more than that, it is a spiritual journey. Interestingly, I will be on a Norwegian ship call Spirit.

Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing other places, such as Pisa, and Florence. I’m excited about looking at the original works of De Vinci, and Michelangelo, among others. The chance to explore Rome for three days, and lose myself in what was once the center of the known world, is a huge opportunity.

I’m taking my video camera, which holds 19 hours of video at full HD. I don’t yet know what I’ll end up shooting, but I expect that I’ll be editing together something relevant for the website. I have learned that when you go on an adventure, the unexpected happens, and many times you find yourself in places you never knew existed. You don’t always end up where you planned to go, but you do end up where you needed to be. My hope is to take you with me through video.

I am a firm believer in challenging yourself, and finding out what you are capable of doing. Going to a new part of the world I’ve never been to before, where English is not the main language, will be a challenge. I’ve always been able to find fellow Pagans on all my travels, and I’m hopeful that this trip will be no exception. I definitely wouldn’t mind making some new friends who can guide me to the destinations I really want to see, and teach me things that most tourists will never know.

The Full Moon will occur while I’m there, and I plan to do a ritual on deck in the middle of the sea, with nothing but the glow of the Goddess, and a billion stars all around me.

I won’t be back home until a couple of days before the September issue is due to come out. It may be a bit late. I hope to give an accounting of my travels, and describe what I experienced. I’m also taking my voice recorder with me, to journal each day’s events for writing about later.

I encourage you to challenge yourself, both physically and spiritually. Take that trip you’ve always wanted to, while you’re still able. Start a daily devotion to your Gods, and honor them as they deserve. Take time to think about choices before you make them. Look beyond the moment, and see what each choice may bring. Always work toward your goals, and make choices that bring you closer to them. It’s rarely the easy path, but the right path never is. You may be surprised at how easily things begin to fall into place, once you begin walking the right Path for you.

Blessed Be,
Ken

Ken Biles



The Witching Hour

by Marcus Leader

Living Your Path by Surrendering To Deity

Many of us were drawn to the pagan path or one of the several traditions of Witchcraft because we felt something lacking in our lives. We knew that what we had been taught or told about religion just didn’t ring true enough to accept on blind faith. We felt emptiness in our soul and a separation from Deity creating a “hole” in our soul. Some of us searched far and wide for the truth that would fill this void while others were more fortunate and were taken by the hand and introduced to a “new/old” religion that resonated deep within our core.

This was a structure of belief that was not out of reach in some heaven world, but deeply rooted in our physical world as well. This was a religion that we could, for the first time, touch and interact with because our very bodies and souls were part of the whole of Deity. Deity was all around and in us at the same time. It felt right and made us feel connected and complete for the first time in our lives.

We felt the duality of Deity in ourselves and all of nature, the ebb and flows of life and energy. We learned to merge with these waves or cycles and it felt right and it felt like home. We recognized different aspects and abilities of this cycle of duality and gave each side of the cycle a name... God and Goddess. In order for us to truly embrace this concept we must have a working model of the nature of the Duality of Deity and at least a limited understand of how these Deities came to be as well as their basic nature of being.

I was very fortunate when I stepped upon my own path because I had the help of one of the most influential shaman of our times, Carlos Castaneda. Over 8 years he took me under his wing and taught me not just the ins and outs of becoming a Toltec shaman in his lineage, he positioned me to become a caretaker of the incredible body of knowledge known only as the Toltec shamanic core knowledge. This privilege came with some heavy responsibilities because it was only given to one or two people in a generation.

It was my responsibility to preserve and pass the core knowledge to the next generation or to release it to the public if the proper omens manifested in my lifetime. Those omens have now occurred and I am beginning, for the first time in over a thousand years, to release some of that knowledge to the public which applies to the pagan path here in Ken’s newsletter as well as other media such as future books I am preparing for release.

This article reflects some of those core teachings in regards to the duality of deity and I will now attempt to explain in the simplest terms the perspective of the Toltec core knowledge concerning Deity and how it relates to our own lives. First I should give you a glimpse of creation through the eyes of a Toltec shaman and describe the energetic characteristics of the God and Goddess. Then you will be in a better point of perception in understanding how your life is a mirror of the Duality. I can only take this back to the point of the creation of our multiverse. There is no way for the human mind to comprehend any events that took place before this starting point or the origin of the primal force.

At the center of creation of our multidimensional universe there was the source of all that is and ever will be. This source was a non-propagational force, meaning it’s power was contained in a defined space and did not radiate or travel from its center. This force could be called the creator. Then for some incomprehensible reason this force exploded outwards in all directions expanding from its center forming the multidimensional cosmos around us.

As the force expanded from its center, it began to vibrate as a result of diminishing density and outward motion. The closer you were to the center of the source the higher was the frequency of vibration and the further you traveled from the center the slower the vibrations became. These oscillations in the field of force created something that had never before existed..... A polarity in the force......an opposing duality that would become a motivational factor for constant change, while at the same time bringing balance to the multiverse. The original force of creation had transformed into a dynamic and perfectly balanced duality which many of us refer to as the God and Goddess.

This propagating energy contained within it small countless packets of oscillating energy, each mirroring the newly created duality of force. In other words, these packets of energy were mirrored images of the God and Goddess. These packets were the beginning of what we call souls. These souls traveled in all directions and attached to many of the rings of vibrating energy that began to form as a result of vibrational resonance. These souls had a strong vibrational affinity and resonance of the primary core of our newly formed multiverse (the God and Goddess) and naturally tried to return to the central core. However, there was not sufficient energy to travel against the waves and pulsations coming from the core so the souls began to absorb energy and evolve to more powerful energy packets. To keep this as simple as possible, for now let’s just say this was the beginning of the evolution of human souls.

We all are at our very core one of these energy packets called a soul and we are biologically encapsulated in one of the lower vibrational rings of the multiverse called the physical plane. We of course call this our body or current incarnation in physical life. So what does all this mean to you as humans or even more specific Witches/pagans?

Well, if you look around in any direction you will see the manifestation of the God and Goddess expressing the duality of all things. Day and night, seasons of the year, life and death, pleasure and pain and it goes on and on. Everything mirrors the duality of the God and Goddess in some way, including you! Most people are at odds with these cycles, confronting them rather than embracing them each as a necessary part of the whole. One of the few groups of people who do see these forces for what they truly are, are witches and pagans. They are centered and grounded within this flow, going along with the many changes and cycles of life through time (our wheel of the year).

Once we surrender to this Divine Duality our own energies flow and thrive, growing stronger, which in turn makes US as human beings physically and emotionally stronger. Our deities are everywhere, all around and within us, and to find balance and prosperity on our own personal path all we have to do is to surrender to the flow and live our daily lives in harmony with the flow around us. We have to live our religion and craft in every moment. It is not something we do just on certain days, it is a way of life, a way to embrace the totality of the God and Goddess and become whole once again.

Consider the perspectives I have presented here from the core knowledge and you might begin to see that sometimes we tend to get in our own way, trying to force ritual or magick or life to conform with our will, when what we should first be doing is surrendering to the forces that are wiser and more powerful than we are individually and then allowing those forces to guide us down our own personal paths of discovery.

These are some of the most difficult bodies of knowledge to comprehend from the Toltec core knowledge and I hope that some, if not all of these concepts, were presented in a way that might allow you to see from a different perspective and leave you with something of value that you can apply to your own life.

Many Blessings, Marcus





Betwixt & Between
THROWING DOWN THE GAUNTLET

Conversations with Goddess—

To Whom it MAY Concern:

OK, this is Weird. SINCE WHEN did I become a card-carrying member of the Draconic League of Karmic Enforcers?

Oh. And WHY are You leaving it up to me to decide what the proper course of action should be???

I DIDN’T ASK for this assignment, damn it!

Piffle.

OK. So, FINE. I get it. Stepping up to the plate, now. Just as I promised that I would. {NOTE: This ROTS.} ***

“The first step in solving any problem is recognizing that there is one”—Opening scene of the HBO series The Newsroom.

“The TRUTH will set you free, but first it will make you really ANGRY.”—Bumper sticker from a car parked at the Colfax Avenue Tattered Cover Bookstore garage, 08/05/12

All right. For all you gentle Witch Way readers out there, here’s the TRUTH: Our so-called “Pagan Community” isn’t just fractured; it’s shattered into a million-million pieces right now.

What. A. Mess.

So, what does that mean?

It means that many sincere Seekers are being hijacked and turned away from the Path of TRUE Pagan Spirituality by a failure in leadership, lack of standards and an inability to police our own or hold them accountable.

It means that many of those self-anointed “High Priests” and “High Priestesses” out there are nothing more than nit-picky, micro-managing, control freaks on psycho-dramatic power trips. Secretly, they are more interested in enhancing their own prestige and/or raking in money than they are with welcoming and teaching newcomers, or the well-being of the Pagan Community as a whole.

It means that the Pagan Community is STILL plagued by the entire rogues’ gallery of the usual suspects: charlatans, con artists and sexual predators trolling for prey among the pools of potential Craft students.

And it means that there are far, Far, FAR TOO MANY prima donna BFW*-wannabes POSING as Pagan Spiritual Leaders and Craft Teachers who are completely unqualified and unsuited for those positions. (*And by “BFW” I mean “Big F*cking Witch”.)

To all those sincere Pagan Seekers reading this, YOU DESERVE BETTER!

Yes, you do.

Back east in New York City, we referred to such egregious abuse and misuse of power and authority as “HPD” and “HPsD” (High Priest/ess Disease). Nowadays, modern psychology labels it “Bullying” and “Narcissism”.

HPS/HPsD is caused by a failure to successfully navigate the Second Portal. It results when a Witch refuses to do the relentless introspection and honest self-evaluation that’s necessary in order to understand their own Shadow self.

Shadow work should begin right after 1st Degree in Wicca, if the Initiate expresses sincere interest in becoming a Craft teacher and healer and counselor and ritual facilitator and leader and one who serves as a High Priest/ess. Such work can take years. It must be self-directed and self-motivated; it’s not something that can really be taught—though it can be monitored.

Most cannot afford—nor do they have the time or inclination—to do something like that. The Pagan Priest/ess Path requires a whole-hearted devotion that few are willing or able to give. Unless and until one fully understands the true nature of Humility and Compassion and what it means to Serve, all the “degrees” and “certificates” in the world won’t magickly turn someone into a REAL Priest or Priestess.

Unfortunately, there are a great many HPsD-afflicted posers running around nowadays who have just skipped this Shadow Work step entirely. It’s pretty clear who they are—and I seem to keep tripping all over them—and/or getting stabbed in the back by them. I must say that it’s been a rather “interesting”* 10 months back out in the Pagan Community. (*In the Chinese curse sense of that word.)

I believe that being targeted by a narcissistic bully who has HPsD is one of the major reasons that fellow Wiccan Priests and Priestesses and experienced Craft Teachers drop out of the “Community” and go underground for years at a time. We get fed up, burnt out and exhausted from dealing with all the abusive nonsense.

But now our Community needs us.

It’s time and past time to call out those posers with HPsD and PROCLAIM: This is NOT acceptable behavior! It is “Conduct Unbecoming” ANYONE claiming to be a neo-Pagan Witch or a Wiccan or a “Reverend” or a “High Priest/ess” or ANY sort of SPIRITUAL LEADER.

The Fine Art of Shadowalking

Sorry. I royally screwed up. I neglected to warn folks about my Craft Mentor, Joe Z.—the founding High Priest of Shadowfolk.

As a result, his opinions and commentary about the recent Chic-Fil-A controversy grievously offended a friend of mind on Facebook…. Oh, dear. My bad.

Joe worked at Enchantments—an NYC East Village Occult shop—where he also taught a Pagan Way/Grove class and was an iconic figure for many years. When I first met him and asked him if he was a Witch, his answer was, “Well, that’s what they told me 25 years ago!”

Joe is a self-described “Thelemic/Klingon/Viking/Jedi Troublemaker.” He’s also “a bit crazy.” He is an actor, has done clinical self-defense, has taught self-defense to women, and has “stood up to fundies and other Pagan elders.” According to Joe, “that’s his good side.”

Joe is passionate about his beliefs. His heart of gold shines through in all that he says and does. I love this man. He restored my faith in the Craft and what it truly means to be a “Wiccan High Priest” at a time when I’d completely lost faith in the meaning of that term.

When I went to him, hurting and in pain due to a horrific betrayal by one who’d been my first Craft teacher and High Priest, Joe whipped out this ginormous blade, took me out back to the garden, and proceeded to cut the subtle auric ties that had bound me to that degenerate. It was a truly liberating experience.

Joe once described being a leader in the Pagan Community as walking around with giant targets pasted on your forehead, heart, back, gonads, and butt. Makes sense, doesn’t it? And this was from a guy with black belts in several martial arts traditions.

I wish that every aspiring Witch could have their own personal Joe Z. as a friend and Craft mentor and teacher.

Rebuilding Our Pagan Community

In the “Charge of the Goddess”—a piece of classical Wiccan liturgy that’s often recited by the Pagan Witch serving as High Priestess during Full Moon Esbats—the Goddess says, “…Let there be Beauty and Strength, Power and Compassion. Honor and Humility, Mirth and Reverence within YOU.”

These are the eight “Virtues” that Witches are charged with manifesting both within and without. These Virtues are encompassed within the “Law” of the Goddess, which is “LOVE unto ALL beings.”

Unfortunately—over the last couple of decades—many Wiccans and (neo-)Pagan Witches in our Community have lost sight of these high-minded principles. As a result, many newcomers to the Craft aren’t even aware that we HAVE any such ethical principles at all. It’s time to correct that.

I therefore invite all Pagans, and Witches, and Priests and Priestesses to visualize what it would be like if those eight simple virtues under the Law of Love permeated throughout our entire Community.

When I took some time to imagine this, here is what came through—

By the LAW that is “LOVE unto ALL Beings”
In Service to the Gods and Goddesses of Old
And in Fellowship with Spiritual Seekers of Good Will and Kind Heart
I hereby PLEDGE myself to the Building and Nurturing of
TRUE Pagan Community,
With NO harm and NO alarm
For the Greater Good of ALL Concerned.
So Mote It Be.

Blessed Be—Gwynalda Shadowalker )O(





Trending Toward The Positive

By Evylyn Rose

Keeping a Distance: When Not to Help Others Part 1

Last month I briefly discussed the witch’s role as one that provides service to others. However, we can get so wrapped up in trying to help others that we forget how to say no. Learning when to say no—or simply that we have done enough—can be tricky. If we let a sense of obligation or guilt nag at us, we find ourselves giving too much, even after we have reached a point of knowing better. On the other side of the scale, we may grow so comfortable in saying no that we turn away those who really do need and deserve our aid and get trapped in the ego that prevents us from reaching our spiritual potential. To get you started in recognizing those who you can and should help, here are some guidelines of when to say no.

When You Are Not in a Position to Help

Sometimes we are asked or feel an urge to help others when we simply are incapable of doing so at the time. For example, a friend may come to you asking that you heal or cast a healing spell for one of their loved ones, but you have not learned any healing techniques or are just starting out in learning about magick and spell casting. You take on the request because you want them to be helped; however, the end result is that the one in need does not receive any true healing or the spell was not effective. Because you accepted the request, the friend assures their loved one they do not need to seek out any additional aid. Instead of providing assistance, you actually blocked your friend’s loved one from receiving the help they needed.

Other problems in this category include being under the weather, going through high levels of stress in your personal life, having too many projects going on at once, or any number of other circumstances that could leave your energy scattered, thoughts unfocused, and body weakened. No matter how good we are at keeping ourselves together and staying healthy, sometimes life gives a good rattle to our foundations we thought were strong. Remain honest with yourself about where you are in the moment and what you can and cannot do.

Another key point here is to avoid rushing to help when the help needed is a specialized one and you do not have the training and experience to fulfill it. We see this when accidents, crimes, and natural disasters occur or even something as simple as a wild animal in a neighborhood. Some of us see a need for help and want to dive right in and save the day. We may not do it for the glory; rather, we have a sense of obligation to do whatever necessary to protect and help others. When we do not possess the training, skills, and experience to help however, we are serving more as hindrances than saviors. Trying to take down the man robbing the store when you do not have any training, skills, or tools to do so will only turn you and possibly others into casualties that could have been avoided. Let the professionals do what they are trained to do and stand ready to offer your services after the commotion settles.

A way to help when you cannot help is to refer those who are in need of assistance to those who are able to help them when they need it. This is where networking becomes important for the witch. We cannot be expected to know it all and we certainly cannot be expected to know everyone in the world. However, as we learn and grow we become more aware of what our strong points are. Knowing others who are stronger in our weak areas is vital when it comes to referring others. For example, you may be excellent at reading tarot cards, but struggle with channeling spirit guides. Knowing someone with good values and ethics who is an excellent channel will help when someone comes to you and the information they need is simply not coming through for you.

Those Who Do Not Need Help

This is perhaps the trickiest of all categories. We are all raised to hold certain values and norms above all others. We are taught a sense of right and wrong by our parents, families, society, and the media. Our cultures ensure we are influenced to at least some degree by the time we are adults. Although this is not bad in and of itself, the problem is that the one value and norm rarely taught in any culture is that all cultures are different and what is abnormal in one is perfectly acceptable and even to be expected in others. For example, in American society, dogs are our beloved pets and animal companions. In other cultures, they are a delicacy and no different than cattle. They may be loved, but they will be on the dinner plate in time. This is not wrong. It is simply abnormal from our perspective.

Be conscious of your beliefs and whether or not you are imposing them on others. This is not to say that you should allow innocent people to be murdered or molested because such behaviors may not be defined that way in other cultures. If you can prevent such actions through magick or calling the proper authorities, do so. However, if someone is perfectly content and not causing harm to others but you simply think or feel they are not living their lives as they should, do not tell them how to live. We get so caught up in claiming that so many individuals of other faiths and belief systems (or lack thereof) are bigots that we fail to recognize when we are the ones refusing to accept and tolerate other perspectives and beliefs.

Do not waste your energy on those who do not need help. As a witch, you are an important part of society. Wasted energy is energy spent not taking care of you and helping others who do need it. You will get further and help more individuals in life if you focus your energy and resources in appropriate directions. Keep these two key considerations in mind when choosing whether or not to help others. In time, you will find that you are able to help others better than before because you are taking care of yourself first and not wasting any energy where problems simply do not exist. Next month we will look into other important reasons why we should refrain from helping others.

Blessings,
Evy







If you have an article you'd like to submit as a guest author for Witch Way, or for CyberWitchcraft, go to the Contact Page and click Submissions in the drop down box. Let me know what the article is about, and I will reply back to you so that you can attach it in an email.

Articles for Witch Way should be at least 500 words, and those for CyberWitchcraft should be around 2000 words.

If you have any comments or suggestions, you can go to the Contact Page on CyberWitchcraft, or simply reply to this email. This newsletter and the website are created for you, your thoughts and ideas are important to us.

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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