Thursday, February 26, 2009

Running a group....

Is hard.

There isn't a way around it. It's tough.

Beyond the questions of accepted decorum, beyond the constant configuration of different personalities merging, it's easy to lose track of what the Group or Coven came together to do in the first place--lead people to their spiritual path.

When you focus on the big message, it's so much easier. It's all the little bullshit ("Whose salt do we use??? What's the protocol here? Shouldn't we invoke Her as Hecate as opposed to Tlachta?")

The little things separate us from the Spirit. And makes it all the more difficult.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This is not how you pick up a Witch.

Or a chick, rather. Any chick. Sorry for my passive aggressive approach to the guy who found me through and is probably reading this. But this just isn't how you get a strange woman to respond.

I am a guy, 33 y old... You are very pretty. Now because just 2 lines dont look good...i am going ask questions

Which planet you are referring to ? "The" planet? There are so many.

I like alien race :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thoughts on St. Ignatius and the passing of my friend, Sally.

A nut. A masochist. Of course, he ended up detailing an excellent number of exercises which are meant to be life changing and I look forward to trying them. But he seemed to have subjected himself to a bunch of things that are rather unnecessary. I don’t have a lot of patience with people who continue to throw away the things that God hands to them. I see the point in throwing away riches in order to better know the power of the Universe, as the possessions, to quote “FightClub”, the things you own, end up owning you. Great. So throw away and know the Universe will provide. But then to throw them away again when you’ve got them? Mooching off everyone else’s hard earned resources? I imagine that that would annoy God, but maybe it’s all about that my Mom hated it when I would give away my things to other kids. Or spend my money on other people. “But Mom, that’s what JESUS would have done!!!” Then again, it wasn’t my money to spend and give to others, but hers. And it’s not like the kids down the street were starving when I gave them half a box of Honeycomb cereal. I felt bad for them because their Mom never let them have sweets, so I shared with them. Mom wasn’t mad about that, but because I gave away the cereal she bought. So, if we’re in need, and the Universe provides—is it foolish to throw it away and just expect that the Universe will provide again?

What’s funny though, is when I’m generous with my money and possessions, I end up with more money and possessions—that I inevitably end up giving away. I read Tarot for money and while much of this money goes to project that end up affecting my spiritual Group or supporting projects the Gods have assigned me to, I make sure to give a piece to charity, and make sure I give away a reading once in awhile.

Once, I gave away a striped scarf my mother gave me to a woman whose birthday it was. I didn’t know the woman hardly at all, but the scarf looked so much better on her with her outfit than it did on mine. I felt bad at first, but it wasn’t a scarf Mom had spent a lot of money on. Mom and I butt heads about the use of possessions.

I don’t know. I really hate Trustifarians and St. Ignatius of Loyola reminded me of one of those—given the riches of the world and turning them away to go on a journey. But yet, his was one to find the power of God and share it with other people. Not just to heap it on himself. And who am I to criticize the path the Universe has laid out for another person.

I was in the middle of writing this when I learned that a friend of mine passed away. It’s very hard to criticize a saint who lived long ago when a saint who you’ve known so well has just passed out of physical existence.

Maybe bitching about St. Ignatius and butting ideological heads with my mother isn’t the best use of my time.

I look forward to sharing my stories about Sally. But I think for now, I’m going to make it a quiet night, and go about my business. Last night I met a man who didn’t speak for a day as a way to learn to listen. I will not be speaking for the rest of the night as a way to honor the person I loved, whose voice will not be heard again.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Lives of Saints

I realized today, as I picked up a copy of St. Ignatius of Loyola for my "Introduction to Spiritual Formation" class that I know very little of the lives of Saints. Yes, I grew up Catholic, but I equate Saints with the schools my sister and I played volleyball against in Middle School and High School. I hear a Saint's name and I think of whether that school team sucked or not.

So much for parochial education.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love Spells

It’s easy to find a recipe for a Lovespell. Your local New Age book store has a whole shelf of them and more in the closet. Love spells are the primary reason people like me continue to stay in business—because they’re the second most popular thing people go to witches for, after Tarot readings to find out just how bad their love situation actually is, before coughing up more money to pay for a love reading.

The thing that most people don’t tell you about love spells is this: They actually work, so don’t fuck around.

The Universe loves giving love, but you have to treat what you ask the Universe for as if you were dealing with a McDonald’s clerk who not only doesn’t speak English—but is officially deaf as well and reads lips only marginally (no offense to the Gods above or around us). The best way to do a love spell is to simply ask the Universe for what you want. Whether that be in the form of prayer, meditation, or simply saying it aloud while you’re sitting in the bathtub or on the toilet. The Universe has big ears.

But be careful what you ask for. You will certainly get it.

My first love spell was more of a sex spell. I was 21 and for some reason, not getting laid. I asked the Universe for sexual love—but that it would come in a form safe, sane and consensual. I placed this intention on a candle by rubbing oil on the candle and drawing my wish to me.

I forgot to mention that the sexual love would come from people I was remotely attracted to.

The next day, I was sitting at a bar with six married women who all at once announced they were secretly bisexual and all at once decided they wanted a piece of me. That weekend, I ended up crashing in the basement of my friends’ house with a coke-head who kept me away all night by gnawing on my neck but couldn’t get it up to do the job right. I wasn’t into women—at the time—and wasn’t into coke-heads, ever. I got what I asked for, but it wasn’t what I wanted.

About two years ago, I went into a deep meditation and asked my Goddess, Brid, for a man containing the following qualities: Spiritual, kind, intelligent, hardworking, hilarious, between the ages of 25 and 35, fluent English speaker, living in one of the five boroughs, great in bed who wanted marriage someday, but who wanted a relationship—right then. I didn’t understand why I saw my Goddess laughing as she stirred my wishes in Her cauldron.

About a week later, I met the man. He embodied all of the things I asked for—including being 30, smack dab in the middle of the age bracket I requested. We never stopped laughing and the sex was fantastic. He was also a Witch and said he wanted someday to marry. Thrilled to have found everything I was looking for, I fell hard for the guy. As a result, I learned a valuable lesson in romantic spell-craft. What you don’t ask for is every bit as important as what you do. He did indeed want a relationship, one of the more important things on my list. Oh, yes. He did want one. But I forgot to specify that he would want a relationship with me. For as he did want a relationship, he wanted that relationship with someone else. In fact, he already had that relationship going with someone else, and was perfectly happy in it, as I learned a year and half into our affair. For in my mega-check list to the Goddess, I forgot to ask for honesty.

I did another love spell when I finally healed from that one—keeping it very simple. I just wanted to meet a nice guy who would wear a top hat and a coat with tails when we went out. Shortly thereafter, I met that very guy. Nice as he could be and not only wore top hats and tailed-coats—he made them. Needless to say that since I neglected to ask for personal connection, shared spiritual beliefs and sexual compatibility, that relationship lasted about 22 hours.

Don’t be scared off by my past with love spells. This is only to prove a point that they do indeed work. But they are tricky.

The method of your love-spell casting is not as important as what you are asking for with that spell.

Write down a list of every quality you want to see in a mate. Every single one of them, even if you think they’re too far-fetched. Maybe in a village in Alaska you’d have troubles meeting the person who likes to spend seven weeks out of the year on a yacht, but in New York, that person probably lives upstairs from you. I know of a woman who carried this very list around in her pocket for weeks before posting it in an ad on Craig’s List. She did indeed meet that very guy and now they’re moving in together. Refine your list and revise it many times over before making the formal ask to the Universe.

When you’re ready to do it, I recommend the following techniques:

Carve your wants on a candle. Either use a big candle or use a toothpick to carve. Burn the whole thing at once—put it in your shower or bathtub if you need to leave the house. Don’t leave candles burning unattended anywhere else.

Create an oil—use pine, basil or earthy scents to attract women. Use rose or lavender to attract men. Using a jojoba base or almond base (because they smell good!) put a drop of one, or a combination of, these essential oils into the base—concentrating on each drop being the quality you would like to have in a mate. Wear this oil on your pulse lines as often as possible.

Write down your list and carry it in your pocket, like my friend did.

Pray or meditate and ask for what you want. Good Gods to talk to about this include Isis, Freya, Aphrodite, Chango, Oschun, Lada, Quan Yin and Brigid. Be sure to research proper offerings.
Hard boil an egg and with a non-toxic paint or marker, write or draw the things you want your mate to bring. Bury it beneath a tree or plant it in your garden. The egg is now a seed to grow the change you’d like to bring into your life.

Things to avoid when performing Love Spells:

--Asking for a list of “nots”. Better to stick with what you do want instead of saying, “I don’t want them to have abc…” Mention what they should have.
--Asking for a specific person to fall in love with you. That’s just manipulative. If you’re in love with someone, you can do a spell encouraging love that already exists to grow—but don’t harness the emotions or wrangle a heart that is not yours to begin with.
--Don’t break up couples. That’s mean.
--Avoid using black candles. Unless you’re very experienced (and if you’re listening to me, chances are you’re not…). They tend to absorb everything and often absorb more bad qualities than good.

Be prepared that you’re probably going to have to do your love spell more than once! Perhaps several times!!! Enjoy the ride and have a good laugh.

So mote it be.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Why is this MY problem?"

I spoke with K last night about her run-in with the douchebag husband of her group member. She hasn't heard anything further from him and hasn't had the opportunity to speak with her group member about it.

"What I don't get," she said, "Is why this is my issue to deal with. Their spiritual paths, how they raise their son, what they talk about--that has nothing to do with me. Why do I have to be the one to deal with her husband's fears? This shouldn't be my problem."

"Actually," I said. "It's your group. You're the leader. is your problem. You have to be the spokesperson. You have to calm down the jittery family members. You have to help out your Group members if and when they have a problem with their families over this. That's what a leader does. Bottom line, it IS your problem."

There was silence long enough that I thought we'd lost the call.

Finally she said, "Well, THAT bites."

"Welcome to the Clergy," I replied.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dealing with Douchebags

I've gotten spoiled.

Living in New York City where people don't pay attention to your jewelry--working with University professionals who are sensitive to insensitivity, hanging out with the fringe of the fringe weirdos who don't judge 'cuz they sure as hell don't want to be judged--I forget that Wiccans and Pagans are still getting screwed with in various places.

Even in my ultra-liberal hometown of Portland, Oregon.

My best friend K, who runs a sister-group to ours, got this nastygram in her MySpace inbox the other day:

Well Miss K,

I hacked my wife's account to send you this message because I didn't
want to endanger your employment by sending it to what appears to be
your work E-mail.

So anyhow...

Pagans poisoned my parents. A pagan threatened to kidnap my child. And
it was a pagan that tried to break-up my marriage. In each instance
the aggression was initiated without warning or provocation. Given my
history with paganism, I have tried hard to treat you fairly.

As witches often times harbor persecution complexes and make effort to
conceal their "religion" from the community, I have tried to remember
not to discuss this topic in public. And, in respect for your
household, I have attempted to avoid confrontation when a guest of
your home.

However, Imbolc is merely days away and, unless I've missed my mark,
there will soon be an effort to solidify your new coven by offering my
wife an opportunity to initiate. Regardless of her response to this
proposition I'm setting down some ground rules:

1. I will not tolerate deception or secrecy. I am to be made aware, in
advance, of all dates, times, locations and purpose of all rituals,
and of all the persons involved, actively or passively. This includes
all spell castings, conjurings or communication with non-human
entities, or any other efforts to work magic. L will make sure I'm
updated with the coven's business but you, nor the coven in general,
shall not withhold this kind of information from her. There will be no
"impromptu" ceremonies or "last minute" additions to the participants.

2. You will not include our son in any ceremonies, rites, prayers,
sacraments, rituals, spell castings or magical workings of any kind.
This includes any and all "skyclad" activities. Nor will you
administer to him any form of home remedy, traditional cure, or
medicine. In addition, as it has come to my attention that your home
is haunted, our son will not be brought to your residence until such
time as the haunting is discontinued or your household relocates to a
non-haunted location. My grandmother's home was haunted and because of
this I have adopted a zero threat policy concerning such issues and my

3. Meetings involving my family, regardless of time, place or purpose,
will not include narcotics, hallucinogenics, or other "medicines" of
any kind. I don't care how beneficial or natural they are.

4. The coven will not publicly protest or support any political or
community actions or policies. Nor will there be any cooperation or
fellowship with any criminal or terrorist organizations/individuals,
including, but not limited to, the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), the
Animal Liberation Front (ALF), or Earth First!

These are not open to debate or negotiation.

In conclusion, and without intending to breed ill will or conflict,
only so that you are perfectly clear about the situation, I am obliged
to give you fair warning:

Any harm the coven, or persons or entities associated with the coven,
inflicts upon my household will be visited back upon you tenfold.

That's not a threat.

That's a promise.

I'll be sending a copy of this to my wife so that she knows what I've
been up to.


Surprise, surprise! I was ready to whip out a poppet and go to town.

K handled it beautifully and I believe I could learn from her response:

Well Mr. F,

I am so sorry to hear about the obviously traumatic past that you have
had with Pagans, however, I think that you are unfairly lumping pagans
into a group of psychotic/ crazy people. Someone who tries to poison
someone is Psychotic. Someone who threatens to kidnap a child is a
Freakin whack job. Someone who tries to break up a marriage is
obviously someone who has NO respect for the sanctity of marriage. I
am sorry that they had one thing in common; however, none of those
personality traits have any correlation to Paganism. They are merely
Bad people. Bad people come from ALL religious faiths!

I have been out of the broom closet for some time. I am not ashamed of
my religious affiliation. I am a good person, a good partner and a
good friend. I do not fear others opinion of me. So please don't ever
feel like you can't discuss this with me in public. Obviously you have
questions for me and that's perfectly okay.

I will admit that in certain pagan groups they have an initiation.
Courtney and her friends in NYC and me and mine in the NW do have a
name we use for our groups. We call it Novices of the Old Ways. I came
up with it. (Back Pat) But the philosophy is clear, those who wish to
participate are welcome and those who don't are not judged. There is
no real initiation. If you are involved for one week or ten years is
totally voluntary and up to the person and judgment is not passed
either way.

As far as your ground rules Mr F. Hahummmm:

You will be made aware of what your wife tells you about and that is
between your wife and you. I will NOT meddle in your marriage or
communicate with you in regards to our practice unless you wish to
actively participate or have specific questions. It is up to your wife
to involve you in this not me or anyone else. Out of your and my
friendship I would gladly share things with you or not intentionally
deceive you. I will not however give you a list of notes of our
activities as this would qualify as nun ya damn business! If you have
a problem with that you may take that up with your wife. As someone
who is not actively participating you MAY NOT tell me or dictate to me
what or who may or not be involved in any rituals or activities. You
in no way are in charge of my spirituality and practice and will have
NO say. To expect such is grossly over stepping bounds.

You and your wife decide what your son participates in. Not me or
anyone else. The fact the you think that the gatherings we have
involve being skyclad I have to admit makes me seriously question YOUR
sanity as that is gross and lets be honest who the hell wants to see
me naked. So I will let that concern go. So I am assuming by natural
medicine you mean if your son falls down he can have no Aloe for his boo
boo, Neosporin only. That's fine I have both. A natural remedy would
be like putting a cold compress on a child's head and putting lavender
oil on the cloth so the scent could calm and soothe them. So whatever
weird remedies you were thinking I'm honestly not sure I want to know.

I hope very seriously that you did not mean what you said about having
your son in my home. I'm not sure what you mean by my house is haunted.
There is and forever will be spiritual activity in my house. There is
in fact spiritual activity in most houses. Perhaps at your
grandmothers there was some type of poltergeist which is more like a
mean demonic presence which is very different and yes would in fact be
scary. The fact that I practice allows me to keep crap like that out
of my house and I am able to filter the good in and keep the bad OUT!
G and I love you and your family and look forward when we have
our own family having the two families being close. SO obviously your son
whom I adore not being allowed in my home would be a huge problem.

As far as the drugs I will keep it short and just say. Are you freakin
kidding me? Drugs. OY! Of course I don't do drugs. Sheesh!

Guess what everyone I know voted for Obama yup sure did and we all
said we loved him. We are individuals and may support whatever
organization we damn well please and neither you or I have the right
to dictate to anyone who they may or may not support I will say I'm
not familiar with either of the organizations you mentioned nor do I
support PETA as I love steak. However if I ever changed my mind I may
do so, as I am my own person and have that right!

These are not open to debate or negotiation.

As far as your warning, don't be a turd or I swear I will kick
you square in the balls! The bottom line is I'm not crazy, your
wife isn't crazy, after this letter your sanity has been called into
question a little bit. I will however try to still treat you fairly.

I'll be sending a copy of this to my wife so that she knows what I've
been up to.

You know you love me,

I really admire the way K handled this because she didn't back down, didn't cower, but stayed very much in the line of "An Harm Ye None, Do What Thou Wilt", which we all know has a million and a half interpretations, but I've taken it to mean following your own path with respect to others.

Plus, she was funny. So many others would have gone the curse the fucker out route, which is not so very cool.

Okay. Going back to the day job, now.