Signs in the Crowd…

So I work at the Universal Studios theme park here in Orlando. I mention this because you’d figure it out anyway if you read the blog regularly and pay attention to this post in particular.

I was working a food service tent near the stage last night durring our month long series of Mardi Gras events. The musical headliner was Heart, and it was an awsome show!!

I got my break just as the parade was starting and was feeling tired and kind of empy inside. I am wading my way through the crowd and not really watching the parade when something catches my eye and I look up at the float passing by.

“The Universal Krewe of Dionysus”


I smile to myself feeling strangely encouraged go to break and continue my evening with a MUCH better attitude…

Its the little things "thats gets" me…

So as a Witch on a lot of Pagan e-mail lists, who uses G-mail, I sometimes get some interesting ads at the top of my inbox page…
today the headline reads…

“Honest Spellworker – – thats gets fast results 110% success reuniting relationship”

Now I know I sometimes mix up on spelling and grammar, but “thats gets”… on an ad?


Nevermind the train of thought that started with 110% success…

Is she sitting there minding her own business when suddenly her Psychic senses start to tingle, sensing a relationship in danger so that she can swoop in in her violet tights with a big pink and grey all seeing eye in a heart symbol on the chest and help to repair relationships that are going sour before they can actually break up?!?

Of course the truly disturbing part is that I clicked on the link out of morbid curiosity, and its not just that she’s a spell worker… she use “Wiccan Love Spells” for her 110% success rate. It is people like this who give Witches a goofy image…


A Bacchant’sPrayer

I am a Bacchant!
By birth and by choice,
I follow in the wake of,
and revel in the ways of,
My Lord, Dionysus!
Ecstasy and Inspirations,
Tempered by
Responsibility and Moderation.
“All things in moderation!”
Even, on occasion, moderation.
Gentle, Wild One, Dancing,
Torch Bearing, Emancipator,
Who Prowls the Night,
Guide my steps,
Grant me good counsel,
That I may be
Good and Healthy and Prosperous and Wise
That I may be worthy of Thy leadership!
Blessed Be!

The Bacchant’s Birthday

A white candle is lit and the sandalwood cone burns bright. A hot bath is drawn and its water, and salt, are blessed. The warmth of the bath and the incense smoke play upon the night air from open windows. The wine is blessed…

I bless thee, oh creature of Earth and Water,
I bless thee by fruit and vine, by seed and stem.
I bless thee oh blood of Dionysus
Blessed be so mote it be.

I raise the goblet up, toasting the Gods and Goddesses of my heart and soul. I drink in the wine, in scent and taste and touch. The rich scents of black fruits and berries in the wine dance with the scent of the sandalwood, and the hints of cedar and citrus blossom in the night air. I am overtaken by a dream of decadent dythrambic dalliances with Dionysus.

I dry myself and go outside to sit in the starlight seeking a moment of silence staring at the stars above. Seeking out constellations familiar and imagined. Staring at a single flickering star, seeking silence as midnight works its alchemy upon both day and night. In a moment I am one year older, feeling both ancient and newly born as my thoughts take flight.

The Gods are as remote as the stars, and as close as our indrawn breaths.

Highest Ideals

“Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it;
let nothing stop you or turn you aside.”
~From The Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valliente

This is one of the many passages from the Charge that has a few different layers of meaning both literally, and personally for me. I thought I would write this post and be done with it, but I find myself wrapped up in ideas and contemplation, so here is what I have so far.

Take a moment to check out these definitions of Ideal, Ideals, and Idealism… don’t worry I should be here when you get back!

Hi, again.

So this simple sentence could be telling us to maintain in our minds the archetypes of the Goddess and God and to strive ever towards Them an ideal to exemplify. Or we could be being told to find outstanding and worthy goals and to strive ever towards them.

Although for Pagans there are some interesting metaphysical implications to the philosophical notion of idealism… for if the world only truly exists because there are beings there to perceive it, does that mean the living creatures form the Universes self-awareness? That is that we are a part of the sentience of the universe around us!?!

Thou Art God, Thou Art Goddess, indeed!

Language and definitions are sooo… interesting sometimes!

Most Pagans and Witches I know tend to take the view that this passage relates to Ideal and Ideals in the ethical sense. That is that we must find good and worthy goals and strive ever towards them. I am trying to identify, for myself, what causes and goals in my own life I find worth striving ever towards, letting nothing stop me or turn me aside…

What would I live for… What would I die for…?

More on this later…

An amusement


I found the quiz whilst wandering online and tried to answer honestly… I remember years ago my friend Nathan, before moving away from Alaska gave me the Empress card from his Tarot of the Cat People, because I was such a caring and nurturing person…

I wonder if this means I have changed or been transformed over the years or if the quiz, or my friend, is daft?


You are The Emperor

Stability, power, protection, realization; a great person.

The Emperor is the great authority figure of the Tarot, so it represents
fathers, father-figures and employers. There is a lot of aggression and violence

The Emperor naturally follows the Empress. Like an infant, he is filled with enthuiasm, energy, aggression. He is direct, guileless and all too often irresistible. Unfortunately, like a baby he can also be a tyrant. Impatient, demanding, controlling. In the best of circumstances, he signifies the leader that everyone wants to follow, sitting on a throne that indicates the solid foundation of an Empire he created, loves and rules with intelligence and enthusiasm. But that throne can also be a trap, a responsibility that has the Emperor feeling restless, bored and discontent.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Chrysalis, One Witches Journey

“Chrysalis – The form which Butterflies, moths, and other insects assume when they change from the state of larva or caterpillar and before they arrive at their winged or perfect state.”

I have been a solitary Witch for almost 18 years now. I am willing to learn and study within a Coven environment, just haven’t encountered a Coven interested in having me yet. As a result of this I have had to come to my own understanding of the Goddess and God, of Magick, and of Witchcraft as a faith and philosophy.

I sometimes think that in the end that this personal striving, alone or in groups, to grow through ritual and gnosis, ecstacy and inspiration, into our winged or perfect state; that this is what Witchcraft is about at its heart.

Sometimes I wonder if all of this is just in my head.

Does anyone else face those moments of doubt?

I think that’s what I miss out on the most in not being part of a Circle, Grove, or Coven. The bonds of friendship and fellowship and discussion that happen outside of Ritual.

“Breathe Inspiration, Exhale Doubt,
Return to the Beginning,
In through the nose,
Out through the mouth.”

From discussions, and my own experiences, back in Anchorage with some of the dear friends I trust, I know that The Gods are real. That Magick is real.

I just need to hold onto that.

The Virtuous Witch

“Therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, and mirth and reverence within you.”
From The Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valliente

This passage from the Charge of the Goddess has been a challenge and an inspiration to me in my journey as a Witch. Eight things that She wishes us to embody. None of these words are more than three syllables, but each of them is carrying a lot of weight and power within them. One of the first things I did when I began to contemplate the above piece of the Charge of the Goddess was to look up the dictionary definitions of these eight words and in some cases their root words… humble for humility for example.

Go ahead and take a moment to look them up, and while your at it, take a look at some of their related words…

“Therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, and mirth and reverence within you.”

I looked these words up in my own (hardcopy) dictionary and wrote the definitions that seemed applicable to living my life as a Witch, into my Book of Shadows. From there I developed a prayer that I say each day.

“Mother Celestial and Father Divine,
Let me walk in Strength and Beauty,
Let me exercise both Power and Compassion,
With both Honor and Humility,
Let me always remember Mirth, as well as Reverence,
That I may be worthy of Thy Perfect Love and Perfect Trust,
And that of those in whose hearts you dwell,
Blessed Be,
So Mote It Be.”
~ A prayer by Geoffrey Stewart/Pax

Like other aspects of my daily practice, I have not always remembered to recite this. I lose track of center and balance in the mad rush of daily life. Yet, continually, I am reminded of and return to them.

Taking Valliente’s Charge as a divinely inspired text. Taking it as the Words of the Goddess, and looking at these qualities or virtues as what She expects of Her Witches, She asks a lot of us. I am sometimes intimidated by the thought, but then I remember my prayer, and it helps me not only get through my day; it helps me to stumble towards being the man, and the Witch, I believe my Goddess wishes me to be.

Harm None

Harming None
By Pax / Geoffrey Stewart


“An ye harm none, do what thou will.”


The Rede, as the above is known, is often cited as the only rule, ethical statement, or religious law of Witchcraft. While I disagree with the only part (See previous post on Love unto all beings…) I would say that examining the Rede, and really thinking about it, is central to understanding the philosophy of Witchcraft.


First let’s focus on the word Harm…


HARM (noun)
Physical or Psychological injury or damage.
Wrong; evil.


Nouns are words that name a person, place, thing, quality, or action. Eliminating the person and place we have Harm describing a thing, quality, or action. This would seem to say that Harm is something that is done by one party or group to another. To do something, to do anything in fact, you need intent. So while you may not always succeed at it, if you strive to do no harm to yourself or others you are practicing the Rede.


Now let’s look at the word “An” in “An ye harm none, do what you will”. An, is the archaic form of “If” so a more modern wording would be…


 “If you harm none, do what you will.”


“If” is darned important.  “IF” means that we have the choice to do harm, to ourselves and to others, but that we must face the consequences of our actions.


If… So what if you harm someone, with intent? Since Witches don’t believe in the Devil, we can’t say “the Devil made me do it?” or “It was because I was a sinner!” or “It’s not my fault because I was acting under medication for my sinus infection”. In fact Witches and a lot, if sadly not all, of our fellow Pagans believe very strongly in personal responsibility as a part of their life paths.


Harming “none,” also includes oneself. This is a key ingredient in this Witches decision making process… Is it more harmful to myself to allow this situation to continue, than any harm X, Y, or Z might encounter as a result of my decision? The thing is to be a Witch you must be willing to strive to do no harm. There may come times in life where you have a choice and no matter what you chose someone will be harmed by your actions, but in most cases you have a choice open to you to NOT harm anyone or yourself.


Many Witches also believe that what we do will come back upon us, classically(at least according to some Craft Traditions), three-fold. Thus IF you choose to somehow do harm to, yourself or others, you MUST be willing to take the repercussions of your actions.


“Harm none” is an ideal, much like “Perfect Love, and Perfect Trust”; we can strive in our every word and action to live up to these ideals, and should work to bring them about to the best of our abilities. We should also not wallow in a sense of failure or an idea that we are somehow lacking in worth when we do not live up, 100 percent, to our ideals. We should dust ourselves off, pick ourselves up, and try, try again!




I hadn’t felt ready to deal with the concept of will in the Rede. True Will, not just what one wants to do. Partly because it has been so long since I had read up on True Will. In her comment to this post Cossette (who has a great blog of her own) says it better than I could…


“An important aspect of the Rede is the part of about “will.” It isn’t just about the individual’s desires or wishes, but true will as Aleister Crowley described it deals with a sense of a person’s greater purpose and path of action that operates in perfect harmony with nature.”


~Thanks for the eloquence Cossette!!


~ Rede Related Links ~

The Evolution of Wiccan Ethics ~ an interesting series of web articles

The Wiccan Rede Project ~ another online set of articles about the Rede

Wiccan Rede and Wiccan morality on Wikipedia…

The Wiccan Rede article at Religious Tolerance (dot) Org

Finally the Wichvox Wiccan Rede article

Love Unto All Beings

“Sing! Feast! Dance! Make music and Love all in my praise and presence.
For mine is the Spirit of Ecstasy, and mine as well is joy on Earth,
and Love Unto All Beings is My Law.”
~ From the Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valliente

Early in my journey as a Pagan when I felt called to the faith of Witchcraft I tried to find a Coven, but could not. So I read and studied and practiced on my own. The Solitary Witches journey is a difficult one, and there are a lot of side paths, but it has been my path for 17 years now. I would not trade a moment of it because it is how I got to the wonderful place in life where I am today.

At one point, fairly early, in my journey I began to read and analyze the Charge of the Goddess, and other writings and liturgy within modern Witchcraft. For me the Charge is a divinely inspired work; as much so for the Witches faith as the Bible is to any Christian, the Koran to any Muslim. The text of Valliente’s Charge represents The Goddesses Own Words. In my studies I realized one day that the above quote was central to my understanding of the faith. Yet, surprisingly one never sees it given any emphasis in the written works about Witchcraft. Heck, sometimes it doesn’t even get mentioned unless the author quotes Valliente’s Charge, or one close to it.

I sometimes joke that as a Witch my Goddess instructs me to Love all people; unfortunately the way some of them choose to behave makes this very difficult!

The thing, for me at least, is that Love in the same sense of the word as Buddhists discuss Loving Kindness is so obviously a key part of the Witches journey. Or at least it seems obvious to me.

Love unto All Beings. This is the ideal. You know, one of the ones we are supposed to strive ever towards? The practice, well, the practice of this is much harder.

It starts with trying to honestly love yourself, your head, your heart, and your body. To act and think and make choices for oneself rooted in that love. Not to beat yourself up emotionally when you do or say something you regret, but to accept that you are mortal and mortals make mistakes. To Love and accept who you are, what you look like, where your life is right now, and the choices you have made that brought you here.

You may not be where you want to be. But as I’ve learned you cannot change your life for the better until you can see yourself and your choices clearly with both love and acceptance. From that place, which can be tricky to find sometimes, you can move on to finding love within yourself for others. Loving them for who they are, not what you wish they were, and sometimes in spite of what they do or have done.

Loving Links
Loving Kindness ~ redirects to Metta on Wikipedia
Facets of Metta ~ an essay by Sharon Salzberg
The Lady Arising, Aphrodite, Goddess of Peace and Love ~ links about this most multifaceted of Goddesses

Articulating the Inscrutable…

So I am working on a number of essays for the blog, all of them based on different parts of the Charge of the Goddess that have informed my faith and philosophy. I am having trouble writing them. Part of this is that I have held these parts of my faith fairly close to my chest for years now, being a solitary and all; and while the thoughts and feelings I have and the understanding I have come to about my path as a Witch make sense to me I am not sure how to fully explain them to others… or how far I should go with examples from my own life.

Then too there is The Fear(tm). In this case, the fear that once I post these pieces of my soul, that I will have to put up with people tearing them to ribbons. Strange how you can think you’ve outgrown old fears and limitations and then they rear their ugly heads…

Back to work…