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[Witch Way] Volume #4 Issue #7 -- It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Yule!
December 13, 2011
|Hi, Happy Yule!
I got an interesting email sent to my Witches Meetup group this week. The first email was a forwarded reply from a state Senator, to one of the members, thanking her for her support to kill some bill the Senator didn’t like. It was filled with the usual crap about the legislation, that supported this Senator’s position, and the fact that the bill was “unfortunately passed”.
This started a chain of email, first in condemnation of the bill, and how it could jail innocent Americans for undetermined amounts of time, and then for the legislation with counter arguments that the legislation only allowed those who aren’t American citizens to be detained.
This article isn’t about which side is right, it’s about a basic problem I see not just within our own Pagan community, but all around us. The problem is how people pass on stories, rumors, or any information without checking on the facts first. I get several emails a week from well meaning friends and family, which are obviously inaccurate, or worse, plain wrong, because the email hit a nerve, and the people felt the need to tell everyone they can.
There used to be a saying that just because something was in the paper, that didn’t make it true. It seems most people today have forgotten that. They hear something from a friend, or read it in email, or watch it on YouTube, so it must be true!
The difference is, we as Witches and Pagans are supposed to be better than that! We are supposed to be people of our word, and more to the point, we are supposed to be responsible for ourselves. Part of that responsibility includes checking on things before you blindly pass on stories, rumors, or any information to others. Everyone reading this has the same access to the internet as I have. Every one of the people reading this can find the same information I can, and can verify if the facts of just about any story, really are facts.
We hate when Christians tell us that Witches are devil worshipers, and are all going to burn in Hell. We look at these people as ignorant, and narrow-minded. Yet these people are simply passing on the information they heard from others, without bothering to check out the facts. So if you are passing on information to people without checking the facts, doesn’t that make you just as ignorant, and narrow-minded?
If we, as individuals, and as a group, want to be believed, we need to be viewed as truthful. Everything we tell others must be accurate, and as factual as possible. We all do this when we talk about Witchcraft, and what it really is, but what about everything else in your life? Are you absolutely sure that the rumor you passed on about someone you know, is really the truth? What about correcting facts others give you? If someone tells you that the religion of Islam is out to exterminate all that aren’t Muslim, do you correct that person, and point out how Christianity has also followed the same doctrine?
This isn’t about being a know-it-all, this is about being responsible for yourself. Telling people information that isn’t correct, is the same as lying. Passing on information that you haven’t verified, no matter how small or insignificant it may be, is simply irresponsible. If you know the information to be true, then by all means pass it on if you like. If you don’t know for a fact, then hold onto it until you check it out.
We live in a world where everyone wants you to believe what they tell you, and most are willing to change the facts to suit their own needs and desires. A US Senator tells you that a new piece of legislation could possibly be used to lock up American citizens, because he doesn’t like the fact that it may take away rights and freedoms from people who aren’t US citizens. The media and a few zealots take that and spin it into something completely different, but with much harder impact. Now you have those who saw the news, and believed what they were told, telling everyone they know inaccurate information. It happens all the time, and you know this.
We are Witches. We are better than this. Our word is our bond, and everything we say should be honest, truthful, accurate, and verifiable. The Christian church has run a smear campaign against Witches for a thousand years. They call us Devil worshipers, Satanists, and liars. If we are to take back the word Witch, we must be ever vigilant of making sure everything we say, no matter who it is to, or how small it may seem, is absolutely accurate. Only when Witches have the reputation of being the speakers of truth and fact, will we have reclaimed our title of Witch.
Witchcraft isn’t something you do once a month at the Full Moon, or eight times a year at the Sabbats. Witchcraft is a lifestyle. You live it every day, or at least you should be trying to. You can’t pick and choose what to be responsible about, or when to be responsible. Responsibility isn’t something you do only when it’s easy or convenient. Witchcraft isn’t the easy Path. You chose this for yourself, not because it was easy, but because you knew it was right.
I’m not telling to not to believe what you hear, I telling you that before you tell others, check the facts first. If most of what you tell others is unverified rumor, that is how others will see you. You have the ability, and the responsibility to make sure that what you tell others, is factual.
Take on your responsibility in everything you say or do.
The Witching Hour
by Marcus Leader
Spirit Mountain is a very powerful and sacred place that I make yearly pilgrimages to for both spiritual and magickal purposes. I recently returned to this power spot with the sole purpose of summoning Deity on behalf of a friend. It is one of the most incredible and mysterious places I have ever encountered.
If it were not for my brother, I would have never discovered the exotic power spot called Spirit Mountain or experienced the incredible feelings of walking through a truly powerful energetic vortex which I suspect could serve as an inter-dimensional portal between worlds under the right conditions. Not only could we feel the energy of this sacred place, we were able to photograph a vortex with its eerie set of energy tentacles that wrapped around my brother as he stepped into the portal!
About 3 years ago, my older brother told me about this place in the desert that he had been visiting for over 20 years. He was telling me that it contained many petroglyphs and he always got the feeling that he was not alone in the canyon even when he knew he was. It was not until he mentioned seeing strange petroglyphs and what looked like Irish Ogham markings, which are an ancient form of Celtic writing from Ireland, that he caught my attention. Most of these petroglyphs are a 1000 years old or older. How could there be Celtic writing on these stones from that time? Then, when he showed me pictures he had taken of hand carved stone monoliths on top of Spirit Mountain, I was hooked and we started making plans to meet at my Father’s house in Arizona, only a short distance from the mountain.
Spirit Mountain is one of those extremely rare sacred places of power that exists only a few miles away from a major city, yet has remained hidden in obscurity and undiscovered until now. Part of the reason that the energetic properties of this place have remained a secret to modern civilization is due to an adjacent canyon that contains an abundant supply of Native American petroglyphs or rock writings that draw all the attention away from the place of power. This canyon is considered sacred to several Native American cultures over the last thousand or more years as indicated by the layering of drawings on the rocks and cliffs. Some of these drawings are unique and unlike anything I have ever seen.
Located in the southern part of the Nevada desert about 90 miles from Las Vegas, Spirit Mountain rises in contrast to desert floor, with its pale whitish terrain overlooking the Colorado River only 6 miles away. Its light colored peaks make it easy to find as it stands out from the rest of the tan colored chaparral of the area, which is what probably, first drew the Native Americans to investigate this place. Upon visiting this place, the early Americans would have discovered a natural artesian spring where water flowed right out of the ground winding through the canyon for a quarter mile and then just disappearing right back into the ground before it left the canyon. This in itself would be a an excellent reason for Native cultures to consider this a sacred place in the desert, if it were anywhere else, but with the Colorado River being only a short walk away, the artesian spring had little value to these people.
There had to be something more to this mountain and adjacent canyon besides water, something that would draw Indigenous people to this rattle snake ridden mountain over and over for a millennium or more. We could find no signs of long term habitation, not even blacked rocks from camp fires, so we ascertained that it was some sort of meeting place either for social reasons or more likely religious worship. My years of shamanic training told me that this must be a place of power that indigenous people must have sensed upon entering the area.
If you walked into a place of power like Spirit Mountain or Sedona’s Bell Rock, or several other places on the planet, you would instantly know that something is different by the way your mind awakens, or the way you feel like you are not alone. From your inner core you feel a subtle vibration resonating with different parts of your body. These feelings are caused by the natural Earth energies that are erupting through the energy meridians of the planet and flowing out of the ground in a magnificent shower of shimmering energy. This energy flows up into the air, sometimes extending a mile or more before it loops back down and flows back into the Earth, to complete the cycle again.
All living things, including the Earth, exhibit this type of energy flow. In humans we call it life force, chi, prana, orgone and by many other names, but in all things it is the same primal force that resonates throughout the entire Multiverse. Humans are drawn to places like this because of the energetic vitality they experience and the sense of connectedness with our Spiritual side. This is exactly what we experienced at Spirit Mountain just as generations of indigenous people must have as well.
Our first expedition into this enchanted power spot took place about 3 years ago in the cooler mild climate of fall. We had decided to wait until summers end due to the heat and the thick infestation of rattle snakes indigenous to the area. After pulling off the main highway and driving across the chaparral on a narrow, sandy, washboard road for several miles, the light colored majestic peaks of Spirit Mountain appeared directly in front of us. At that moment, I could “sense” the sacredness of this place so intently that I wanted to stop the vehicle and just sit there soaking up the incredible view. This was going to be an adventure!
When we came to the end of the dirt road, Spirit Mountain and it’s adjacent canyons still sat about a mile and a half in the distance. So we parked, packed up our gear and hiked into the canyon at the foot of the mountain. The closer we got the more drawn I became to the energy of this place. Walking along an ancient footpath I could imagine what the first people to this site must have felt, knowing instinctively that they were walking into the land of the Creator. I couldn’t help but to get goose bumps even in the warmth of the sun and the feeling of “lightheadedness”, often associated with places of power, was beginning to take place.
The first thing I noticed as my brother and I entered the canyon was the deafening silence and serenity of the canyon. Lush with growth from the artesian spring, it truly was an oasis in the desert. The dark oxidized walls of the narrow canyon were covered with centuries of native drawings with all kinds of pictures of animals and odd shapes and symbols. There was even a picture of what seemed to be a wooly mammoth. I felt like we had literally stepped back through time.
The next thing I noticed was one of the many oddities that we encountered every time we ventured to this place, the abundance of crows. To the shaman, the crow is a great-spirit animal, because of their intelligence and commonality. A crow can move about with little attention from humans whereas a hawk or eagle or some other majestic bird of pray always draws our imaginations to it. This is also why shapeshifting shaman prefer the form of a crow. In this canyon, the crows were watching us with great curiosity. One even landed a short distance from me on a protruding rock and watched intently as I walked by. The really eerie thing about this crow, is that when I snapped a picture of it I could clearly see it in the view finder of my specially built deep IR camera from Moditronics, but the only thing the camera recorded was the rock the crow sat on. The crow itself did not appear on the image! This happened twice in a row when I knew that it was in the viewfinder. This confirmed, beyond any doubt that we were in place that was teeming with spirits and possibly other magickal beings.
After asking permission from the spirits in a sacred manner and offering a gift of sacred herbs to the canyon, we proceeded to explore this amazing place.
I had brought some of my specially designed electronic equipment, used to investigate paranormal haunting, in hopes of detecting some of the energies flowing through this place. Included in my arsenal of scientific toys was the deep infrared camera from Moditronics used to capture the extremely low end of the visible spectrum, a paramagnetic resonance meter that I designed and built myself, which is used to measure the subatomic spin of electrons in the outer orbits of atoms, EMF and magnetometers, recorders, as well as an assortment of regular cameras. Often, places of power as well as haunted locations exhibit unusually high paramagnetic resonance caused by the flow of subtle energy. This is also, what I believe causes what is known as residual hauntings of a place. Electron spin orientation can be affected by certain types of energy and situations of great emotional intent from humans. Along with a few other cameras we started to explore the canyon before taking on the treacherous climb up to Spirit Mountain’s summit.
My brother was filming and photographing primarily in the visible light spectrum while I shot in deep IR. I was shooting in the lower spectrum with the hopes of picking up some of the more intense energy fluctuations and it did not take long until I caught something incredible. While letting my brother take the lead on one side of the canyon walls, I followed about 15 feet behind taking pictures of the canyon as well as him. I had this “idea” that energy vortexes or even possibly inter-dimensional portals may be triggered into action if disturbed with human energy. Yes, I was using my brother as a guinea pig. Sorry bro, it was in the interest of science.
While using my brother as “bait” I continued to snap pictures of him with the deep IR and in only a matter of minutes, my theory was substantiated as I captured long energetic tentacles that shot up out the ground and wrapped entirely around my brother up to his shoulders and triggering some kind of aurora effect in the immediate area. He was not aware that anything was even taking place and I did not have time to tell him as I kept snapping pictures and then it was gone as suddenly as it appeared. It seemed that once the energetic anomaly was triggered, that it required time to rebuild its threshold power until triggering again. However, we were not able to get it to trigger again during this trip.
I then took out my paramagnetic resonance meter and started systematically scanning the entire area while simultaneously reading background electromagnetic densities and gravitational fluctuations. I was hoping that I might detect either an energy vortex much like our chakras, or an actual dimensional portal that are believed to occur in places of energetic vortexes. Within an hour I had two confirmed vortex readings, one I stood in while my brother took pictures and the other he stood in while I shot pictures. We both could feel the change in energy as we stood within the mini vortexes. As exciting as these discoveries were, I was intent on finding a dimensional portal. Portal research has always been one of my most passionate areas of research as well as time anomalies and I was certain that this place harbored at least one of them.
About two hours into the investigation I started picking up an extremely strong and unusual reading in the ground beneath my feet indicating the possible existence of a fluctuating shift of para-magnetism which is indicative of a suspected portal. The LCD display of my paramagnetic meter was showing a dark blue pocket of shifting energy about 10 feet below me and extending out about 20 feet in all directions and it was moving! I immediately took a second static reading to determine the direction and was shock to find it was rising toward me sitting now only 4 feet below the service.
My first reaction as a scientist was to take another reading, but my secondary reaction as a shaman, was to leap out of the area as quickly as possible, to avoid the possibility of being swallowed up into another dimension. There have been reports throughout history of people vanishing from places like this without a trace, as well as historical mysteries of entire races of indigenous people disappearing from the face of the Earth. Feeling somewhat foolish I opted to do both by taking a last snap shot reading before sprinting out of the area like a madman. My shamanic instincts proved to be the wiser of the two as my last reading showed “something” breaking the surface of the ground only seconds before I left. Although I could not capture anything on film, I could “see” it with my shamanic sight, like a shimmering cloud of heat waves rise up about a dozen feet or so and then snap right back into the Earth.
By this time it was getting late in the afternoon so we decided to head for the summit of the mountain. On the way up we came across one of the most historically intriguing finds of the expedition. About 30 feet up the cliff there was a very large rock with an enormous amount of petroglyphs, one of which was a distinct sailing vessel looking very much like a Viking ship! These petroglyphs are between 800 and 1000 years old. How did people from 800 to 1000 years ago ever see a Viking ship in the desert? The only answer we could formulate is that at some point in the past Viking explorers must have sailed into the mouth of the Colorado River and got at least as far as this point on the Nevada/Arizona border. We are still investigating these petroglyphs as they also contain what looks like a possible map of some kind.
After an hour and a half, we finally reached the summit, and I was shocked at the gorgeous view of the desert below with the Colorado River in the distance. Turning around to look the other way my shock turned to awe as I was standing in the presences of huge man made standing stones at the very top of Spirit Mountain! In the photographs you will see very weathered yet distinctly carved stones that must have been used as markers or monuments to honor the Gods. After returning home we made some phone calls to the local universities and discovered that to our knowledge these standing stones are unknown to archeologists. This was surprising to me since this is not an unknown area, but as one of the experts explained, “…there are so many archeological sites in the area that they simply do not have the man power to investigate all of them. In time perhaps we will”.
Before leaving the mountain we noticed that on one side of one of the standing stones there were very eroded carvings of what looked like an eye, very similar to the Egyptian eye of Horus, and it was gazing out across the desert into Arizona. We are planning another expedition to this area this winter in which we will try to find out “what” the eye of the Spirit Mountain Monolith is looking at.
Our investigations of Spirit Mountain are on going and I will continue to bring you updates as they unfold. If you would like to learn more about my sacred site research and other items I encounter on my journeys, then please visit my website www.sacredsoils.com and browse the many wonders and items I offer to my readers. Feel free to contact me as well through the website.
Time Of The Season
Here we are at Yule again. Another year has flown by (at least it seems that way when you’re my age), and it’s time to take stock what you’ve accomplished, and the goals you still have. People talk of New Year’s Resolutions, most with the understanding that they’ll never be kept. That really is a shame, since New Year’s Resolutions are a form of magick that everyone does without realizing it.
Think about it, what is it that you’re really doing, when you make a resolution? You’re making a vow, you’re taking an oath, you’re giving your word on something. Many resolutions are standard things, like quit smoking, or lose weight. What about manifesting things into your life that you want? While everyone else is talking about getting rid of something as their resolution, why not instead, use it as a way to create goals?
After all, you have all year to manifest the goal, and Yule makes for a very identifiable marker to determine if you’ve made your goal. Also, if making a New Year’s Resolution, or a set of them, is a form of magick, shouldn’t you treat it as such? Remember, magick is all about Intent, and Will. Sounds like a New Year’s Resolution (the way they are supposed to be done) to me.
Don’t forget that on January 1st, the moon will be waxing. A waxing moon is for drawing things to you, not banishing them. Celestially speaking, the moon is one of the smallest objects in our solar system. It’s only one sixth the size of Earth, so it really is small, but it’s the closest celestial object to us. This tiny relative distance makes the moon’s influence on us, the planet, and our magick, massive.
You could simply reword your resolution, so that instead of resolving to lose weight, you instead word it to become a specific weight by next Yule, but most people want weight loss to be more immediate. Since we’re talking about working magick over an entire year, why not make the spell more long term? What is it that you want to happen for you in the next year?
This is going to rule out a lot of the things that most people cast spells for. If you’re looking for a job, you probably need it a lot sooner than next Yule. The same for money, unless you’re wanting it for something like a dream vacation. A house is something you could work long term magick for. Working a spell like this to bring you the perfect house would give you plenty of time to find exactly what you want, and save the money for the down payment. Remember, you’re not trying to manifest the goal at next Yule, you’re trying to manifest it by next Yule.
What other goals could be used for this long term spell? Well, if you’re currently suffering from some lingering illness, something completely curable, but with a long recovery, you could certainly work magick to be healthier by next Yule. Even something as devastating as cancer, can be helped with a positive attitude, and a little magick.
You don’t want to rely totally on magickal ability for something this serious, but in addition to conventional treatment, magick can increase the speed at which you heal. The same goes for recovery after surgery. As with any magick, you want to have a specific goal in mind. It may be that you simply want to be out of a wheelchair and walking around your house unaided by Yule, or maybe you’re more ambitious, and you want to be pain free, and walking around the block.
If you’re in treatment for cancer, you might cast a spell to be in full remission, and off treatments by next Yule. Again, this isn’t something you do instead of medical treatment, it’s something you do along with it. You must work both in the physical realm, and the magickal. You can’t expect a goal to just drop into your lap. You have to work toward it in every possible way.
Only you know what your situation is, and where you’d like to be this time next year, so only you can decide what goals are possible in the next year. Only you know how much you want to be healthy again. The more you want it, the more you will work toward it. Don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t possible, or it can’t be done. Know it can, and do it.
Other things you might manifest in the next year; maybe you like to write, and you want to finish writing a book and have it accepted for publication. It can take quite a while to write a couple hundred pages, and it usually takes six months to a year for it to be out on store shelves, so unless you’ve got the book already written, it probably won’t be out by next Yule, but a year is certainly enough time to write a book.
More likely than writing a book, maybe you’d like to be living your Craft more than you are today. If you know what the Sabbats are, and how to perform rituals, you’ve learned the basics, but living your Craft means everything you do is done with Intent and reverence. You think about what you’re about to do, and the consequences of doing it, then decide if it should be done. It takes time to relearn how you live your life.
Learning to live your Craft is a life-long process. It’s not something you achieve in just a year. You continually find things that you could be doing differently, or better. You continually work at finding ways to honor your Gods. You continually strive toward becoming a better you.
While magick gets the larger share of the attention, magick isn’t what Witchcraft is about. Witchcraft, like any other Spiritual Path, is about evolving into more than you are. Magick is simply a tool you can use to help that evolution. If Witchcraft is truly the Path you wish to walk, then it is a Path you will spend the rest of this life on. Setting a resolution to become a better Witch means you are setting a resolution to become a better person. It won’t happen in a year, or ten years, or perhaps not even in a lifetime, but each year you work at it, you will be better than you were.
After all, isn’t honoring the Gods, and becoming a better you, what called you to your Path in the first place?
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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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