Posted on Leave a comment

As Within, So Without


As a magickal practitioner I am very familiar with the axiom,  “As above, so below, as within, so without”. Attributed to Hermes Trimesgistus, the author of the Hermetic Principles, this saying could be considered one of the best known and one of the most studied principles in the magickal community.  I thought I had a great handle on its meaning until a few weeks ago.  It was then I fully realized what this principle truly meant in not only my magickal but my every day life.

About three weeks ago I began having stomach issues.  Sharp shooting pains, cramping, nausea, and several other issues I won’t discuss in this blog.  These were similar to the symptoms I had before my gallbladder was removed and which often occurred after the surgery. This time, however, the symptoms had magnified, increasing in duration and intensity.  Why was I still dealing with this?  Why was it suddenly worse? Being true to form I went on “high alert” and immediately decided to “fix” myself.  But where to start? My herbal books? Medical references? The internet? Then it came to me one night as I was tossing and turning in bed from the pain and subsequent worry.  “As within, so without.”  As if the phrase had become my new personal mantra, it kept repeating in my frantic brain.  But what did it mean?

The answer was truly simplistic.  I needed to take a hard look at what I was taking into my body and see how that what was reflecting on the outside. Whatever I eat or drink becomes a part of me. If I take in healthy, nutritious foods those nutrients contribute to a healthy body.  A healthy body makes me feel good, causing me to smile more, move more, and produce the glow of good health.  As within so without. Well, duh!

I began a quest to heal my insides. I cut all the things that seemed to be a major trigger. Gone was alcohol, any fried or fatty foods, and (gasp) chocolate.  My friends know I like nothing better than a glass or two of wine after a long day at work, so you understand how difficult this was. Next, I began working on cutting down on the caffeine and sugars.   Within days my stomach, my insides,  began to feel much better. But I was still having discomfort at strange times.  So I sat, made a mental list of what I had been eating at those times, then realized it wasn’t just food that was affecting me, it was my mood, environment, and attitude.

What we think, hear, see, feel, and experience becomes a part of us.   A bad day shows on our face. Mental stress can manifest as slumped shoulders, tight muscles, a clenched jaw.  A great day brings a spring to your step, a light heart, renewed energy and positive outlook . Constant emotional fatigue, worry and anxiety can cause physical malaise, often manifesting in a variety of symptoms, such as stomach pains, headaches, extreme fatigue, and muscular aches.  Continued joy, brought about by letting go of the stress, refusing to bow to pressure and emotional turmoil, reflects in our smile, and has the wonderful side effect of a relaxed mind and body. Again, as within, so without.

Once I’d identified what the hell was going on in this fluffy, out of shape, stressed out body, what was I going to do about it? Well, I was going to continue with my trend towards eating healthy and ramp it up a bit. My husband is on board with the changes so we shall be planning meals, shopping and preparing food together.  Not only will our meals be healthier , we get to spend more time together. A complete win/win.

The exercise may be a bit trickier.  As I am writing this I am babying a hyper extended knee which precludes me from several forms of exercise.  But it won’t be injured for long and a gentle walk can still be taken even with the injury.  Who knows, I may even use that gym membership I have (the only time I’ve been to that gym is when I signed up). Start slow then gain momentum.  It can happen!

The stress provides its own set of difficulties to overcome. My work environment is not the best for me and the job itself leaves me completely unfulfilled (but it pays extremely well and the benefits kick ass). I am trying to make the best of it, but it has been difficult.  What I can do is work on my attitude about the job and find ways to better deal with the constant stream of crap. Meditation, exercise (there’s that word again), singing at the top of my lungs to my favorite Stevie Nicks, anything to release the pressure valve.

Game plan in hand, sticky note stuck to my mirror and monitor and the Kybalion on my altar, I now move forward towards good health and joy. Sometimes the answers have always been with you.  You just have to open your eyes and reexamine what you thought you knew.

As within, so without.  May this seemingly simple phrase aid you in your own journey to health and happiness.

Blessed Be.




Posted on 2 Comments

An Ordinary Witch


For many years now I have sought to define my own brand, my own style, of witchcraft.  Exactly what type of witch am I? What are my core beliefs and where do they fit into the grand scheme of modern witchcraft and Paganism? I’ve pondered, ruminated, questioned, and meditated. All to no avail. I’ve come no closer to identifying my own specific flavor of witchcraft than I have to remembering my High School locker combination.  I have, however, identified what I am not.

I am not a goth witch, bohemian witch, or a renaissance fair witch. My style is definitely comfy, casual and occasionally a tad Stevie Nicks – as long as it was on sale. I am not Celtic, Gardenerian, Dianic, Seax Wicca, Faery or Discordian.  I have included some of their teachings and workings into my own craft, along with a smattering of other traditions, but I do not fully identify with any of them.  Am I eclectic?  Maybe.

I do not always celebrate every Sabbat, though I try to.  Full moon? Sure, if I can stay awake after a long day of work.  I do not always perform a full ritual for those occasions I can celebrate, it may be short and sweet, though no less reverent and meaningful to me. I do what I can, when I can. Somehow, someway I always acknowledge the turning of the wheel, the phases of the moon, even if it is by a simple thought, a gesture, or the lighting of a single candle. I don’t always make a grand gesture, but I do make a sincere one.

I don’t work a lot of spells, stir up many potions or conjure many magicks. My everyday is infused with magick. So much so I only work when a great need arises or if I have a request from friends or family. I do not conjure just to conjure, though I do practice something “witchy” every week. It could consist of reading a new book on a different aspect of the craft, writing poetry to Goddess, or making sure the wards around my home are strong and consistent. I do not throw magick at everything, but when I do you know its for a good reason.  And it works,  Every. Single. Time.

I do not hide the fact that I am a witch. I wear my pentacles and the sacred jewelry proudly. I even have a tattoo of an owl with a pentacle on my upper arm.  I don’t dress all in black (though I do love to for ritual) I don’t interject into conversation how much I know about witchcraft just to get a rise out of the “muggles”.  I will, however, answer any questions about the craft to the best of my ability when sincerely asked. I do not rub my spirituality, my craft, into peoples faces, but I have, on occasion, worn a “Witches have awesome besoms” t-shirt just because it was funny (at least I thought so).

After acknowledging all the things I don’t do, I find that  I can only come to one conclusion about my craft.  I am an ordinary witch.  I do what I do in a manner which resonates with me.  I follow my path as I can, when I can, with just a modicum of guilt for not “doing it better”.  I do what works for me and fits my life. I follow my heart and live my craft everyday in a way that brings me joy and fulfillment. I am an ordinary witch because it works for me. Are you an ordinary witch as well?



Posted on Leave a comment

The Not So Dumb Supper


On Samhain Eve many of my fellow Witches and Pagans will sit down to participate in the tradition of the Dumb Supper.  To honor their ancestors they set a place at the dinner table then invite to their ancestors to join them. They then sit in silence and eat, waiting for the tingle that signifies the presence of the ancestors. In total silence. Waiting. Eating. Silently.

I’m not sure about you but I have a hell of a time with the whole silence thing.  I’m fine when I am alone, but with a group, at a dinner, not so much.  First of all, the chewing sounds seem to reverberate in the silence. Cringe.  Gods forbid if someone burps.  I’ll break with the pressure to keep silent and revert back to being a twelve year old girl and giggle.  Seriously, I try to keep my thoughts on the ancestors, wanting to honor and perhaps commune with them. However listening to one of your coven mates snoring in their fruit salad does not reverence make. For the sake of my ancestors and all those I may dishonor with my feeble attempts at not shooting cider out my nose when the High Priests farts, I would like to offer an alternative, the Not So Dumb Supper.

As the name infers, the Not So Dumb Supper, is not silent.  Quite the contrary, noise and merriment are mandatory.  As is traditional with the Dumb Supper, a place, or places, are set at the table.  The ancestors are then invited to join.  That’s where any similarity ends.  At the Not So Dumb Supper we toast our ancestors.  We call them by name. We tell their stories. We rejoice in those of the blood and of the heart who have gone before.

Let us forgo the silence and share their lives and hard earned knowledge with our friends and coven mates.  Enthusiastically, with raised glass, tell the story of your 4′ 11 grandmother who  would kill snakes with a simple garden hoe in the middle of the family corn field then, raising the snake into the air, holler “Dinner!” to her five children. Regale us with the tales of your Grandfather who was a gunner in a bomber in World War II and how he cried the first time he shot down a plane.  Perhaps you will tell of sibling who left this world too soon or the mother who gave her life that you may have yours. Sing of their victories and their losses. Give them thanks for all they’ve done. Speak up. Do it loudly and with great pride. Honor them.

Each story we share, each toast we give to our departed family and friends brings them closer to us, opens our hearts to them.  As we tell of the time Uncle Ed was kicked by the mule and landed 5 feet away in the manure pile or of the pie eating contest Cousin Sue won when she was 9, we feel our ancestors stepping through the veil, jostling for position around the table.  We can feel them as they take turns sitting in the chair left open for them in anticipation of their arrival. As we give them our love, so shall we feel theirs in return.

For those of us who have difficulty holding our tongues we can now can share in a new tradition which plays to our strengths. Let us no longer hold our silent feasts, keep our Dumb Suppers.  We shall be loud, but mindful. Raucous, yet reverent.  We shall feast, sing, shout and make a Klingon proud with our tales of ancestral valor. We shall honor them with our words so they know they remain valued, loved, remembered.

Then, when the night wanes, the feast is done, and the stories have been told, we shall be silent. Alone at last, tongues at rest, bellies full, we may sit in quiet contemplation.  In those  hushed wee hours of the morning we think of those ancestors we did not have the privilege of knowing, whose tales we have not heard, could not share.  We listen to the rustle of the leaves, the rush of the wind, waiting, hopeful. For perhaps in that silence those ancestors are calling to us, trying to tell us their stories so that we may share them come next Samhain Eve.

However you choose to honor your ancestors this Samhain, may they answer your invitation. May they feel honored and loved with your silence or your stories. Heed the call of the ancestors and feel the special richness, warmth and joy that only comes from communing with those that have gone before.

Blessed Be!



Posted on Leave a comment

It’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to.


Warning:  This blog post may contain rambling thoughts, incoherent sentences, and random bursts of sadness punctuated by tears.

I am sad, no grief stricken. I sob at the least provocation. I vacillate between anger and intense rounds of keening sobs. My body is tired, weak, as is my heart and soul. If I owned stock in Kleenex, I’d be rolling in the dough right now.  Instead, I am fighting the feeling that I should just crawl into bed, pull up the covers and sleep for a century or two. But instead of hiding, I write, giving my grief purpose and my tears a chance to dry. If only for the moment.

The horrific tragedy in Las Vegas, the floods, hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes over the last few weeks and months have taken an extreme toll on my psyche and my body.  The constant barrage of emotions and despair makes my heart quiver, my head ache and my muscles tense and cramp.  You see, I have the dubious honor of being clairsentient and an empath. I feel – everything. Everywhere.  Walking down the hallways at work. In the park or shopping mall.  I sense the emotional energies left in old homes and even in clothing found at the Goodwill (which is why I don’t shop thrift stores very often). I feel deeply watching movies and the news. This deluge of charged emotions seems to seep into my pores, saturating them to the point where I can no longer determine whether these emotions are mine, or someone else’s.  So I cry, not exactly knowing why.

I’ve worked hard to shield myself, to keep the worst of it at bay. Its failing.  There is so much of it. It oozes through the cracks in my armor, pools into psychic sludge at my feet. I wade through the muck, only to fall into a sink hole of despair. And then I give in. I feel. Then I weep.

I cry when I think of the terror those poor souls felt as they heard the shots, the screams, saw the first fall.  I weep,  pictures of people standing in the rubble that was once their home captured in my gaze.  My soul agonizes as I watch surreal scenes of people standing in waste deep water, searching for family, pets, anything they can hold on to.  My heart aches for those buried in the piles of brick, concrete and twisted steel brought down by the forces of nature and for those working to dig them out. The sobs break forth, and the tears flow.

I try to close my eyes so I cannot see.  I hold my hands over my ears so I may not hear. But I cannot stop what my soul feels, cannot stop the aching of my heart.  I don’t really want to stop it. I just want it to come in trickles, not floods.  I wish for time to recuperate from one disaster before the next arrives.  Then I could process, digest and then let the feelings move through and out of me. Then I feel selfish, ungrateful, small.

So many others have not had the luxury of a trickle of emotions, time to process or block out the pain. Tragedy was thrown at them and they dealt with it, coped, and were transformed.  Bravery, compassion, perseverance, love, all are despair transmuted. As the waters recede, the rubble cleared, the wounded bandaged, and the dead laid to rest we find the blossoms of hope growing wild. People are coming together, giving of themselves, showering that tender flower with kindness. These are the emotions that shall dry the tears, overcome the despair and pain.  As they heal, so shall my woes mend.  As they recover, then flourish, so shall I.

So I cry.  I cry for the many. I cry for those alone and afraid.  I feel for each and every soul, embrace each and every emotion. And hope.  Hope that I can be as brave, as compassionate and worthy as the many I have witnessed facing these trials of nature and of man.  I shall cry, and often.  But may it soon be from joy,

Blessed Be.


Posted on Leave a comment

The Race


The Race
By Terry Lynn Pellegrini


From the crossroads I run
Bare feet striking hard packed dirt,
Jarred bones, ragged breath, arteries pumping.
I crash through the waist high weeds at the roadside heedless of the stinging of the nettles, the thorns stabbing my legs.
They follow.
Fetid breath upon my heels, bone white canines dripping.
Watching me with eyes made luminescent by the moonlight.
Terror. They are terror.

I race, away, away, I must escape. No rest, not yet, never again.
They pursue, closer, ever closer.
Their growls and barks echoing in my ears, competing with the sound of my frantic
heart, ragged breath, anguished sobs.
A sound, unexpected, sharp, then the pain.
I feel her scourge upon my back, punishment deserved, punishment meted.
The blood excites them, spurs them on.

I fall.
Down on all fours, then up.
Begging the Gods to aid me, to release me from my torture, from my lies.
A sound of gold changing hands, of delight echoing through the trees.
No aid for the accused, no quarter for the wicked.
They are nearer now, the pack, these Hounds of Hell.
Racing forward, snarling, hunger evident. Their prize. My reward.
A deal gone bad, betrayal, murder, no regrets, evil embraced.

Still I race, legs moving, long past numb.
Head pounding, lungs bursting, my sweat dripping into bloodshot eyes.
I feel them. Nips at my heels, salty saliva flung into wounds by dripping muzzles.
A misstep, a stumble. I fall, finished.
I will run no more. Cannot. I am done.
They are upon me, tearing, gnashing, ripping, feasting.
With my last breath I hear Her laugh.
Justice has been served.

Posted on Leave a comment

Keeping the “I” in Witch


It’s Friday evening and you stumble home from another grueling work week. Your brain has assumed the consistency of tapioca pudding and the tightness in your neck and shoulders is showing no sign of letting up. Oh, no.  You suddenly recall that tonight is the full moon. Your magickal mind immediately turns towards ritual and communion,. Your body, however, is definitely unwilling,  What’s a witch to do?

We’ve all been there. Exhausted, stretched thin, there doesn’t seem to be enough time for witchcraft let alone taking care of yourself.  Yet we all know how important it is to take care of ourselves,  Our craft truly suffers when we are ill, run down, and energetically drained.  Still, we want, no need, to be there for our deities, our covens, and circles.  We are driven to practice, to connect with our magickal side. So how do we go about giving ourselves a well-needed rest, combined with a bit of pampering, and still practice our craft?  How do we keep the “I” in Witch?

In answer to that question I have listed below several ways you can give yourself the care and pampering your body and mind needs while still working on your craft.  Many of these require little to no special tools other than yourself and a few items you probably already have in your herbal cabinet or kitchen shelves.  Creating these items with intention and then allowing yourself to indulge in self-care will only strengthen you and your magick.

  • Give yourself an herbal bath:  Create a simple herbal bath with Epson salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oils such as lavender, rose, and sage.  As you add these into the water picture the ingredients taking away your cares and fatigue.  Relax in the warm waters and see the worries and stress sluicing off of your body and into the fragrant water. Arise from the bath feeling energized and refreshed and watch as the waters swirl down the drain taking with it your strife and lack of energy.
  • Meditate: Yes, meditation. It is one of the most beneficial and magickal ways we can pamper ourselves.  Even 10 to 15 minutes a day will make the world of difference in your mundane and magickal energy levels, not to mention the boost it gives to your general well-being.
  • Imbibe of the sacred chocolate: Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is a mood enhancer and anti-oxidant.  Magickal, and well, it’s chocolate.  Enough said.
  • Give your feet a good soak and scrub: If a full bath is not possible try a good foot soak and a sugar scrub. I always have a box of Epsom salts and “Mom’s” sugar jar that I have imbued with healing energies and stress relief.  On those stressful days I set the kettle on the stove to boil, set out the foot tub filled part way with cold water and add the salts.  When the hot water is ready I add it to my desired temperature. Then the bliss begins. Let your tootsies soak for a bit then grab a palm full of the sugar. Add a bit of the foot soak water to the sugar then start gently scrubbing your feet. Feel the stress slough off with each stroke, along with any rough spots and calluses. Rinse your feet when done, and as with the bath, watch the worry and stress flow down the drain as you pour out the water.  Ahh, the wonderful feeling of clean feet and no worries.
  • Listen to your favorite “Witchy” music: For me, nothing releases the stress, worries, and daily crap like listening to my favorite music, especially of the “witchy” kind.  My personal favorite, Stevie Nicks.  I turn it up load, sing, dance, and just revel in the beat and the sound.  Before you know it, stress be gone.
  • Indulge in a good cry: Yes, cry.  Talk your Deities.  Offer up your woes to their care. If you don’t work with the Gods then offer it to the Universe. Weep. Scream. Implore. Cry buckets. Get it all out. There is amazing therapeutic benefits loaded into a good cry.
  • Get a massage or Reiki treatment: Body and energy workers are some of the most magickal people I know, whether they realize it or not. They transform, transmute, move and manipulate the energies currently in our bodies,  changing them into something entirely different, something more beneficial.  A great massage therapist or Reiki practitioner will relieve you of your stress and replace that destructive energy with love and peace. If you haven’t had a treatment before I highly recommend one.  Don’t stop at just massage or Reiki.  There are many other healing modalities that are equally as beneficial. Explore and find one that works for you.
  • Soak in a hot tub in the light of the Moon:  If you are fortunate enough to own a hot tub or spa (alas, I am still saving up for this) a glorious soak under a full (or new, dark) moon is a fabulous way to relax and feel especially connected to the Elements and to your magick.  While the jets pulsate your tension away, the Moon will fill your essence with Its energies, renewing your body and spirit.

Life is full of stress, both in our mundane and magickal lives. Work, home, family, covens, kids, and responsibilities, all of these bring us both joy and stress.  How we handle that pressure can be magickal as well as practical. It is my wish that the few simple suggestions that I have made will aid you in placing that “I” back in witch. May your stress melt away and your magick forever thrive. Blessed Be!

Posted on Leave a comment

Mabon: Preserving the Harvest


The cooling breezes and turning leaves signal that once again the wheel of the year has turned towards the Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon. This Sabbat, considered the second harvest of the season, was traditionally the time when farmers and home gardeners made haste to prepare for the coming winter.  The final seeds sown in the spring are now mature, ready. Golden grains are harvested and ground to flour. The hot summers have brought the fruits of the vine to perfect ripeness, overflowing our baskets with grapes and late berries ready to make into wine, juice, jams and jellies. Apples have ripened in many parts of the world along with pomegranates and early squashes. Harvested, they are stored in root cellars and basements, waiting to assuage the hunger of the cold winter nights.

Yet how many of us truly relate to the reality of this scenario?  The majority of us are city dwellers who do not get any closer to the work of the harvest season than a trip to the local farmer’s market or harvest festival.  Yes, we acknowledge the changing of the seasons with our rituals and circles, but the fear of the coming winters hold no sway. We are tucked snuggly in our city or suburban homes, larders full and pantries bursting.  We watch the leaves fall while sipping a nice California wine, eating Wisconsin cheese and Washington apples.  If the original intent of the season was the harvest and we no longer do so, what’s the point? Why celebrate this season at all if the meaning has been lost?

Harvests come in many forms. For many this season of Mabon has become one of spiritual harvests. Months ago, during the Sabbat of Ostara, the Spring Equinox, groves, circles and covens sowed the seeds of change, both in the physical and the spiritual realms. We planted our seeds with intention, giving birth to ideas and goals.  How did you nurture those seedlings, how did you make them grow?  What did you feed them during the summer?  Were those intentions watered daily? Was liberal spiritual fertilizer applied?  Did the warmth of your thoughts and meditations sprout those ideas or did you leave them unattended? Now at Mabon what does your harvest look like? Did it grow as you envisioned? How does that growth make you feel? Was it all that you expected? Is it ready to harvest? Should you have left it in the fields a while longer or perhaps have not planted it in the first place? Or like so many, did you forget what you had even planted to begin with?

Alas, while many of us will easily reap our harvests a great many in our communities can’t even recall what was sown in the Spring, let alone harvest the benefits. As busy as we all are in this day and age it is imperative to our spiritual harvests to keep records of that which we have planted.  Life happens, memories fade. Trust me, I have been guilty of this as well.  We complete our Ostara (or other Sabbat) rites, go on our merry ways, and forget. We get caught up in the magickal high of the circle and leave, unintentionally forgetting to take stock of the seeds we have just planted. We then neglect to add the necessary spiritual nutrients to our fields causing them to whither and die.  How can we nurture our crops and preserve our harvests if we’ve forgotten their contents? How do we watch our gardens of intentions grow and mature and be secure in the knowledge that our fruits will ripen on the spiritual plane? We write it down. Immediately.

Let’s hand out the dreaded 3 x 5 cards and pens to all ritual participants so they will be able to recall what they have planted.  Facilitators, add lines to the end of the scripted ritual for participant notes.  Our seeds, our goals, will then be made doubly manifest when we take these notes home and “plant” them in our Grimoires, Books of Shadows, and journals.  We will be able to refer back to those notes so as to monitor how our seedlings are growing. They can remind us of our intended crops so we may make the proper adjustments of light, water, and nourishment for optimum harvest.  At Mabon, we then preserve those harvests as we put pen to paper, inking the final words with regards to the quality and quantity of our bounty. We can then enter into the autumn and winter satisfied with the work we have done, ready to rest, ready to plan again for the coming spring.

Preserving our harvests is important but remembering what we have sown in the first place is vital.  By writing down, preserving our cycles of seed, seedling, plant and harvest, we remind ourselves of the beauty, the magick, of the changing seasons. As we continue to walk upon our individual paths, records of our traditions and practices, our sowings and our harvestings, are essential to our magickal and spiritual evolution. It is our sacred duty to preserve our knowledge, to preserve our seasonal and everyday harvests for ourselves and for the future generations of “farmers” to come.

May you be filled with the blessings of the season.   Happy Harvests!


Posted on 1 Comment

Witchcraft- Why hast thou forsaken me?


“So, you are a Witch.  That’s cool.  I used to be one too.  Now I’m (insert the path of your choice.)”

Cue the blank stare, jaw drop, and the inevitable, “Why?  Why did you leave Witchcraft? How?”

I have had several conversations along these lines. Every single time it has left me flabbergasted.  How do you stop being a Witch?  How does one make the decision to just stop? Why? Just why?

I realize that Witchcraft is not for everyone.  We all have our own paths to follow and sometimes that path takes us places we never thought  it would go. Where I have concerns during these conversations is how casually those I talked to had claimed, then abandoned, the title “Witch”.   Did they truly  understand what it means to be a witch? Was it the notoriety, the cool clothes, or the shock factor that got them interested in the first place.  Did they not have the proper training or were they even trained at all? Let me share with you some of the answers I’ve received when I’ve inquired as to why someone has left Witchcraft.

“Witchcraft is hard work so I stopped doing it.” –Yes, Witchcraft is work. You study, train, practice.  There are correspondences to memorize, rituals to write, books to study. We spend hours tapping into energies, meditating to open our minds, stirring the cauldron of our souls. We create on our own and with other witches. We network with like-minded people through festivals, workshops and classes. We experience, immerse ourselves in and practice our craft daily.  Witchcraft is not easy. But the rewards are immense.

“My spells didn’t look (work, make fireworks) like you see on TV or in the movies”- If I had a dime for every time I heard this one I’d be one rich witch.  While I’ve been a part of some pretty spectacular spells and rituals I have yet to see a big shiny spinning portal open up, sparkly stars shoot out of my cauldron, or someone “blink” from one spot to another.   But if that is what you were expecting Witchcraft to be you really need to put down the remote and get a reality check.

“I found out I couldn’t actually ride on a broom.” –Yes, really.  No words. None.

“I didn’t know that Witchcraft had rules. If I’d wanted rules I’d have stayed (insert mainstream path here). – Witchcraft does not have rules.  Certain traditions may have their own rules and regulations but Witchcraft does not.  If you came to Witchcraft through Wicca then yes, you may have been taught the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law, but these are guidelines, not rules.

My family and friends did not understand my path and ridiculed me.  – I am always devastated to hear that, but it is common.  Being a Witch is out of the norm. Many were taught that it is evil and an abomination.  This can be a difficult mindset to overcome and one many do not.  It takes guts, courage, and fortitude to throw aside the expectations and beliefs that have been drilled into us from birth to spring forth into a new reality.  Its often easier to give in. Much easier.

I waited and waited for a Goddess (or God) to choose me but they never did. –This one is more difficult to address.  Did they try to communicate or did the just expect one of the Gods to just jump in front of them and say “Hey, I pick you for my priest(ess).”  Were they of the “instantaneous, I want it now” mindset? Or did they not really understand the relationships between a Witch and the Gods? Many work for years without hearing the call of a Patron but have the privilege of working with many Deities. Many Witches don’t work with the Gods at all. For everyone it is different.  This is one of the things that makes Witchcraft so exciting.  We strive for connection with our Deities (or nature, the Universe, the All) through meditation and ritual.  They answer us in many different ways, we have but to listen. Carefully and patiently.

These examples are just a few of the most common (yes, most common) answers I get to my inquiry as to why an individual has left Witchcraft, why someone may feel that the Craft has forsaken them. While I can logically understand their positions (with the exception of that broom thing) these answers still leave me hollow, bereft.  I can’t imagine it, tremble at the thoughts that race through my head. How can one just leave Witchcraft? What is the reasoning behind the rending of the witch’s mantle? Why do some leave the Craft even after many, many years?  I’ve thought long and hard on the causes, the reasoning behind those who think the craft has forsaken them and I would like to address these issues.

What I have discoverd is that so many who leave the Craft seem to do so because of a lack of training, of guidance.  It can be scary when you are a newbie Witch to reach out and connect with others.  Finding an experienced teacher/mentor is even tougher. Witches usually don’t advertise.  Students are brought to us by word of mouth. If you are not connecting with other Witches and Pagans then it would be nearly impossible to hear about a good teacher.  Instead the fledgling Witch turns to books, hopefully the excellent ones.  Why this is a wonderful way to learn the basics of Witchcraft for many it just doesn’t work. Not everyone learns the same way. Some need face to face explanations and hands-on practice with a more experienced individual to feel confident in their skills. When they can’t find that person, they try to muddle through with what they have and eventually just give up.  This is tragic.  There are many sincere, talented people out there who would be a great asset to the community but we never connect and their talents are lost.

The second reason is clearly based on unrealistic expectations.  One cannot gauge a spirituality, a craft,  based on the fantasies shown in movies and television. Yes, many of us have used these shows as a catalyst in finding our callings and the Craft, but we truly did not expect that everything would be as fantastical and theatrical as we’ve seen on the big screen. It would be awesome if it did work like that all the time, but we understand that it is Hollywood, not true magick.  Those who leave because of reality of the Craft vs. Hollywood should probably reassess why they wanted to be a Witch in the first place.

And last, the pressure to conform is real.  Good thing Witches do not give a rat’s ass about conforming.  We are an open minded, rebellious, strong-willed, non-conformist bunch.   Yes, we have been pressured by friends and family, laughed at for our beliefs and ridiculed for being out of touch and in a fantasy world. We don’t care. We know who we are, what reality is and dare you to try and change our mind.

It is not easy being a Witch.  Anything worth while is not easy.  I for one shall never leave my chosen calling.  I will, however, always support those who do leave, whether I understand why they choose to do so or not. I will stand by their decisions regardless of how it personally makes me feel. Your life is yours.  I will never tell you that you are wrong in your choices.  I just ask that you show me the same consideration and understanding when it comes to mine.

May we all find our true paths, and be healthy and happy on them. Blessings!






Posted on Leave a comment

Darkest Night


Darkest Night
A Poem for Hekate
By: Terry Lynn Pellegrini

In the darkest of nights, She lights my way.
Phosphorous, illuminating, brilliant one.
Torches held high, I follow.
Through my despair, through my apprehension
She leads me to knowledge, she leads me to joy.
And through my joy, She shows me life and what lies beyond.

Her torches burn through the forgotten fields of my soul.
Scorching that which has died, lain fallow, neglected.
Blackened earth and ash nourish the slumbering seeds of inspiration,
Pushing visions through the parched earth towards the moonlit sky.
I feel Her pull, Her presence quenching my thirst, slaking my hunger.

With Her keys, She unlocks for me the mysteries.
Invites me through the door and into the welcoming darkness I have forgotten.
Her hounds, black, menacing, ever at my side.
Guarding my steps, teeth bared, haunches taut.
Ever ready to protect as well as devour.
And they watch, as fears are defeated and yearnings are satiated.

And when I stand at the crossroads of my life, She comes.
Lighting the path of my existence, showing me the path to my destiny,
Gifting me with the secrets of life, death and beyond.
And I rejoice in the knowing of Her.
Giving freely of my heart, my devotion, my pain and my joy.

Hekate Soteria. Hekate Phosphorous.
She of the three faces. Guardian of the Crossroads.
She who stands as my Mother, my sister, my Goddess.
My teacher, my mentor and my muse.
Hekate. May I live a thousand years in your service.
May you be forever in my heart, my mind and my soul.
Hail Hekate!

Posted on Leave a comment

Devotional Fatigue: Identifying Spiritual Connection or Mundane Habit


In the wee morning hours she rises, stretches, then walks softly to her altar. She pauses, centers herself, then inclines her head in salute to her chosen deities.  Murmuring her morning litany she lights the candles waiting in their delicate crystal holders.  With the surety of constant repetition she continues, never faltering in her words of devotion and thanks.  Silence falls as the last candle is lit.  Another moment of contemplation, a slight bow to the Gods in thanks and she turns, ready to begin her day. 

Many of us begin and end our days in such a fashion, with our own daily devotionals.  Perhaps we smudge, cleanse ourselves, before visiting our altars.  We may have a repeated script, a litany, or we prefer a freeform style, saying that which comes from our hearts. We may give offerings, sing, pray, or stand in silent companionship with Deity. But are these daily devotionals merely a habit or are they a true spiritual connection with the divine? Could they possibly be a bit of both? If so, how can we identify when these devotionals shift from the sacred to the mundane, from nourishment for the soul to a hurried duty?

The signs of “devotional fatigue” aren’t always easy to spot. A few “symptoms” of this condition are:

  • Your devotional time is shrinking. Where it once spanned ten or more minutes, suddenly you are lucky to be at your altar for two.
  • You’ve run out of things to say to Deity (this could actually be a symptom of a deeper problem).
  • The words you say feel stilted, mechanical. They’ve lost their emotional content.
  • Your devotional feels more like a chore that you have to do, not something that you want to do.
  • You’ve lost your focus.  Your mind wanders, thoughts drift elsewhere.

Lets face it, even the most devoted priestess or priest may have their days when they are exhausted, ill or distracted. Days when all they can do is shuffle their way to the altar for a brief moment. That’s okay.  We are only humans after all.  But when these moments turn into days or even weeks,  your devotionals have gone from a joyful spiritual experience to oft neglected habit. Stop. Step away from the altar and take some time to reevaluate why you are performing devotionals at all.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I doing devotionals because I feel it is some I want to do or something I feel I have to do?
  • What do I seek from my devotionals? Closer connection to deity? Quiet time with myself and the Gods? A way to start and end my day spiritually?
  • How did I feel when I first began my daily devotionals? How did I feel the first time? The last? How do I feel when I perform them now?
  • How would I feel if I just stopped doing them?

Write down your answers in a notebook or your journal.  Then walk away.  Let it sit for a day then re-read these questions and answer them a second time.  Review both sets of answers. Were they similar on both days or did a day apart show different insights?  Meditate on what you have written to determine whether you wish o try this exercise again. 

If upon review you realize that you have a great need to continue with your devotionals yet have realized they’ve lost a bit of their magick, you may want to shake things up a bit.  Redecorate your altar, freshen it up. Change the time you do your devotionals.  Perhaps you are doing them too early and/or too late for your mind and heart to be truly present. Rewrite your litany or instead speak unscripted heartfelt words. If your devotionals are near and dear to your heart and your connection with Deity keep working on them. Experiment.  Find a new rhythm, a new route to the sacred. You will know you found it when you’ve once again felthe excitement, the spark, the tingle that comes from true communion with Deity. Once you’ve recreated and reawakened this joy, your devotionals will be as they were designed – sacred, spiritual, fulfilling.

What if after contemplation you realize you can’t recall why you ever started devotionals in the first place.  Your devotionals have become nothing more than a habit, and a poor one at that.  Stop. Now.

It’s best not do any devotional rather than give your Gods a half-assed attempt because you think you have to.  Trust me.  They know the difference.  Perhaps one day you’ll wish to do daily devotionals again, but for now, you’ll honor the Goddess, God, Deity, in other ways. That’s okay.  Don’t beat yourself up.  This type of worship just wasn’t right for you.  Keep on your own spiritual path and let your heart guide you on the way.

Daily devotionals are but one path on the road to spiritual connection.  When they are kept fresh and alive they take on a life of their own, inviting you to partake of the sacred. Hurried, rushed, starved for content, they become habit, devoid of connection. With the information found here, and in your heart, may you be able to honor your Deity, your Gods with joy and reverence.  Blessings.