This is my 200th post, so I thought I’d do something special. I’ve just added a new page which you’ll find linked in blue below. This page contains today’s post. Today’s post is about what exactly I do as a Pagan Witch. Below the main body of text are links, to previous blog entries of mine that explore and explain some details about my system… Enjoy!
I’ve decided that I would like to dedicate a whole page to what exactly I do. The reasons? The first and most practical reason is that when people start following my blog they are not going to be looking through all 199 posts to find out where I stand, what I do and what I’ve posted on over a year ago. Most people come to a blog, read the last few posts and carry on from there. There is nothing wrong with this, it’s the nature of a blog, and most people do not have time on their hands to go through all of these posts. So on this level the reason for this page is to clarify and simplify.
The second, and other practical consideration is in order for me to have a place where I have it all written down, in one place. As I keep journals for my BOS, all of what I practice is scattered throughout the 10 books and 5 files I have. This page will be the page I go to in order to update my beliefs, without information getting lost.
The third reason is that the System or Path that I am forging for myself is an ever-expanding system. Not only have I grown since I first dedicated myself to the path of witchcraft, but I’ve changed as well. Silver Ravenwolf, in her large book “Solitary Witch” says that “The essence of Witchcraft is Transformation”. Love her or hate her, for many of us practicing Religious Witchcraft, this statement is not only true, but is inevitable. This page then will be an index to the way in which my path has changed, what I’ve added, what I’ve removed in order for my growth and learning to expand.
What Follows is what will stand on the page: My Witchery :What my system entails
Transformation is the essence of what I practice, if it is only a transformation into a more balanced, more connected state.
Michelle Belanger, states that working with Death, is working with the energy of Transformation. That is the essence of the Death Card in Tarot after all. Transformation… energy cannot be destroyed or created only transformed. Transform- to change, to convert, to alter, to metamorphose, to transmute. This process of transformation is what the alchemists were employing when they wished to convert lead into gold.
I’ve previously called myself an Eclectic, Solitary, Gothic Witch. I am eclectic in my path. I am a Solitary practitioner for the most part, I am a Goth, who is into Gothic things and of course I am a Witch. I do not actually have a name for my system, perhaps my faithful readers can help me out with that one 🙂
I am not Wiccan, however, I do follow some Neo-Wiccan practices like Casting a Circle and use some Wiccan tools. I also read primarily Neo-Wiccan texts, and use some Wiccan liturgy for instance the “Charge of the Goddess”. Many Neo-Wiccans will recognise what I do, as many of them practice the selfsame things.One of the major differences between my system and Wiccan and much Neo-Wiccan practice is that fertility is not the focus. My patron deities are not consorts, and they are not fertility gods. I also do not follow the Wiccan wheel of the year as it pertains to the changing relationship of the God and Goddess, in their cycle of Maiden, Mother, Wife, Crone, Son, Lover, King, Sage or whichever other names ones uses to describe the cycle.
I do celebrate the Solstices and Equinoxes, but I either work with specific deities during those times,or with my patron deities in celebration. Further I celebrate Samhain, and various other days of the dead, including the 10th of every month, QingMing, The Mexican Day of the Dead, and Halloween. I also specifically hold Rituals to my two Patron Deities Anubis and Hekate. These are celebrated on the Dark moon (Hekate’s Deipnon), Full moon (Often Kemetic ritual for Anubis and other Egyptian Gods) Last Day of Every month (Hekate),and 20/21 Every month (Anubis). Occasionally my Full and Dark moon celebrations are swapped, or something else is planned i.e Dark Goddess Work, Spell Work.
Ancestral Veneration is a large part of my practice, I currently have an entire altar dedicated to my Ancestors, and ancestral work includes working with other Spirits of the Dead.
Along with slightly Neo-Wiccan structure in my rituals, Kemetic ritual is also a large part of my practice. As Kemetic ritual is only reconstruction based on what some people think the Egyptians did, it is not as strict and codified as actual Kemetic reconstruction.
My system’s major focus is developing a relationship with certain deities and being a priestess in service to Hekate and Anpu.My system therefore is based primarily around energies of Death, Transition, Transformation, Rebirth and Magic.
Totemic work i.e spirit animals also play an important part in my system. All animals are honoured with an emphasis on Crow, Snake and Butterfly. All of these animals have been associated with Transformation and shamanic work in various cultures around the world.
Magical Herbalism is an important part of my practice, as well as “Garden Witchery” i.e gardening. Those who have been following my blog for a long time will know that my Ouma taught me how to garden when I was a child. I carry on the memory of her spirit through gardening. I am also a Kitchen witch as much of my practice is of the Hearth and Home, this not only includes magical cooking, but also magical housework and magical home decoration, it is the basic principle of bringing magic into your everyday life, or more accurately recognising that magic is everywhere, even within the so-called mundane tasks of day-to-day life. Crafting is a major part of this, and thus much of my magic is done through stitching and sewing.
I do have an interest in Hoodoo, so it occasionally is brought into my system as well. I do not practice the Religion of Vodou, but I have an academic interest in it, as I do with various other Magical systems and “pagan” religions.
My system is not based in any form of fear, but rather confronting the unknown, or at least attempting to understand it. Love and Nature are my moral compass, not fear.
I am a third wave feminist which comes through my practice. I do not believe in Dualities and Binaries. My practice is based on an understanding that there are more than just opposites, that there is more than just up and down, open and closed, male and female, etc. In Egyptian cosmology Nut is the Sky and Geb is the Earth, but in between them are Shu and Tefnut, in order for Nut to give birth to Ra. My Patron deities are psychopomps and are thus liminal deities, Hekate in particular has had male-to female transsexual priests known as Semnotatoi, I don’t think she would have an issue with transmen either. The Egyptians don’t seem to have had the prejudices of transsexuality either as Neith is both female and male, father and mother.
What follows is a list of links relating to my beliefs and the way in which I practice. Don’t feel obliged to read all of them. They are here for you to check on as you wish, and the list may grow:
Introductions and Viewpoints:
- First, if you haven’t read this already, this was my first post ever, originally written in 2009 on the old blog. What! You’re a Witch!?
- A Witch’s View on Death- An introductory note on my views on Death
- Death in Magic– A slightly more in-depth look at my views on death and how I incorporate it into my practice
- The Binary Notes– My first post exploring one of my earlier forays into why I don’t like Binaries
- The Nature of Eclecticism– A post about Eclectic practice, outlining some of my views about my emerging system
- Pagan Questionnaire– A quick questionnaire about my beliefs
- Thoughts on the Afterlife
- The Cauldron of Transformation A Witch’s view on the sacred symbol of the Cauldron
- Entering the Mysteries– A post about Balance and Divine Connection
- Sacred magic of Ancient Egypt– a book review that outlines my love for Egyptian magic
- Nature Worship– A post about Hard Polytheism, Animism and Pantheism
- Gender in Paganism– a Post about how Third wave feminism informs my understanding of gender, the body and Dianic Wicca
- Egypt– more on my love for Egypt
Gods and Goddesses: Patron Deities, Hekate and Anubis, and other Deities I work with:
- Who is Anubis?– An introductory post on the God Anubis.
- Anubis– A personal experience with Anubis
- Offerings to Anubis– Offerings with Kemetic Translations which I include in ritual to anubis
- Who is Hekate? An introductory post on the Goddess Hekate.
- Hekate Night – A quick post about the Night of Hekate
- Hekate– The way I feel about my Patron Goddess
- Hekate in her aspect as ruler of the sea
- Priestesshood a small post, that barely even begins to express the path of a priestess
- Ma’at and Balance – The Goddess Ma’at and the Principle of balance and order within my life
- Persephone and Demeter – Working with Persephone and Demeter for the second harvest
Spells, Sacred Days and Rituals:
- Just Another Magic Monday– A Day in the Life of…
- Crow Spirit and Offering rite– Crow is a sacred animal companion to the shamanic lower world, psychopomp, and embodiment of transformational energies.
- Re-articulating the Sabbats– A post about my first thoughts on celebrating Sabbats as a non-wiccan
- Striking out Lughnassadh– My second post about celebrating Wiccan Sabbats
- QingMing – a Chinese festival of ancestor veneration
- A Rite for a Dead Bird– an example of the type of passing ritual I conduct for animals
- A favourite holiday– Samhain
- Gathering Graveyard Dirt The Hoodoo practice of gathering graveyard dirt.
- Ancestor Veneration- My father
- Prayer for Marmalade– Memorial rite prayer for my cat, Marmalade.
All blog content is copyright of Nightshade 2012 author of http://www.thepurplebroom.wordpress.com