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Welcome to our blog!  Here you’ll find excerpts from our Inner Circle Newsletter and Living Wicca Today publications.  You can also explore topics that focus on the beliefs and practices of Wicca and read many interesting questions and answers about the Old Ways.  We hope you’ll visit often to share your thoughts with us!  Peace and health be with you,  Kardia

Banishing Curses and Negative Energies

Do you feel cursed? Are negative events in your life happening more frequently than you think they should? I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that these negative energies can be dealt with if you understand how they work. The bad news is that there are no words you can utter or incense you can burn that will make all the negative in this world magically disappear. Negative energy is something we have to deal with on a regular basis. There is no getting around it. The goal of this article is to help you better understand why it’s in your life and assist you in finding effective ways to deal with it.

To begin with, it’s important for you to understand that your thoughts and actions are affected by the energy of the places you go and the people you see. Between financial challenges, relationship problems, health issues and family or friends constantly sharing their problems with us, no one is really immune to negative energy.

To make matters worse, worrying about curses or harmful energies will only give them power.  The moment you start to wonder if you have been cursed, negative events can escalate. And any negative thoughts or feelings you harbor can prevent you from receiving special blessings in your life. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to fill your mind with positive, peaceful and loving thoughts every day, until there is simply no room for any negative energies. Clearing your mind of the negative is only half the battle. If you don’t fill it with the thoughts you want, negative thoughts will eventually work their way back in.

We can sometimes be our own worst enemy. How we choose to handle the challenges we face each day will ultimately determine whether we are blessed or cursed. Below is an excerpt from Lesson 10 of our Living Wicca Today publications summarizing this idea:

“Whether a situation turns out to be a blessing or a curse may ultimately depend on how you choose to respond.  While problems can cause pain, they can also provide a wonderful opportunity for growth.  When you view your problem as a challenge to conquer, or an opportunity to discover a creative solution, that’s what you will do … and you’ll be a stronger person for it.  For those who can stay positive, struggle and crisis can turn into new growth and success.”

If someone is actually sending negative energy your way, you most likely know who it is. The real question is what do you do about it? Too many people come to Wicca.com seeking a spell or a pendant that will protect them from certain individuals or bad spirits. In movies, we are led to believe that we can open up a book of shadows, utter a few special words, and our problems are solved! Or we are told that if we wear a special pendant, it will protect us from negative spirits and energies.

On our website you won’t find any spells posted that banish evil spirits and solve all your problems. Instead, we encourage you to create your own magic. The actual strength of any spell or pendant depends largely on its ability to tap in to YOUR inner power. In other words, you already have the ability to create the world you want. Magical spells and tools are simply used to assist you in directing this energy. Write your spells in your own words, and use tools or charms that have special meaning to you.

For example, when I look at the Goddess Tree of Life pendant, I am reminded that the energy flowing through my life comes from my Mother Earth, and as I grow in strength, I should strive to branch out like the tree, offering comfort and sharing the fruits of my life with others. When you wear a symbol that reflects your beliefs, it gives added strength to what you think or feel.  This type of pendant is much more powerful than one you simply purchased in hopes it would somehow protect you or bring you money. Again, the power to change things is within YOU, not the pendant! The stronger your mind or intent is, the more effective your magic will be.

Of course your own spirit must be strong if you hope to banish any unwanted spirits or negative energies that you do come into contact with. If life is currently extra tough, or if the actions of others are completely draining your energy, you can count on Mother Earth to be there for you, waiting to comfort you and renew your spirit.  Her Divine energy is far stronger than any individual or group of people that may be sending negative energy your way. Stay connected to her.  The Divine has always existed in Nature and always will. Spend a little time with your Mother Earth and she will help you find the strength to face any conflicts or challenges in your life.  Harmful thought-forms sent out by others will tend to bounce off and fade away if your own energy is strong!

If you can’t go outdoors as much as you’d like, simply surround yourself with special pieces from Mother Nature to remind you of her. Set up a desktop fountain for the sound of running water, collect rocks & gemstones, a twisted tree branch or wood box you can hold and touch, and gather fresh flowers to bring the fragrance of a magical garden into your home.

Finally, one reader asked me what to do when negative or unwanted spirits possessed an entire property. This is a big job, but the principle is the same. Remove anything you can that gives you negative vibes, and fill the area with new plants, young trees or other things that inspire you and lift your spirit. If you simply try to remove the negative without filling the area with beautiful things that you love, the negative can easily return.

How Do You Handle Rejection?

Q.  People I work with say that their religions accept people for who they are, but when they find out you are different, they reject you. What is the best way to handle this?.

A.  We all tend to feel rejected when someone does not accept our beliefs.  But it’s important to realize that people can often reject the label or name you use to describe your path without necessarily rejecting YOU.  For example, if I refer to myself as a Witch around my family, they become uncomfortable.  However, if I talk about my interest in herbal medicine, my bond with animals or my love of nature, I become an interesting person they enjoy talking to.  They have not rejected me, but they DO reject that label.  If your friends or coworkers are uncomfortable with specific words, try to avoid using them.  Instead, put the focus on subjects you are passionate about … perhaps gardening or camping (if those are your interests) and let them get to know the real YOU.

Is Paganism Just Make-Believe?

Q.  I ask this not only for myself but for other teens as well … what should I do about parents who say that paganism is all about make-believe and is crap?

A.  Keep in mind they are usually saying that because they know little (if anything) about Paganism.  Like many, I grew up Christian and I was taught that a Pagan was a godless person.  When you add to this all the outrageous powers a witch is given in movies and literature, it’s not hard to understand why some feel it is all just make-believe and not a serious way of life.

What’s not make-believe, and much easier to sell parents on, is our connection with our Mother Earth.  Nearly everyone, Pagans and Christians alike can relate to the way nature brings peace to our soul and renews our spirit.  Most parents will encourage an interest in animals, herbs, crystals or meditation and they may even share a desire to learn about folklore or the ways of our ancestors.  Help your family or friends focus on the individual interests linked to your beliefs, instead of dwelling on the name your path is called.

For now, learn how to appreciate the gifts of your Mother Earth and find ways to live green so you can help preserve and renew her resources.   When you are old enough to live on your own, you’ll have a good foundation of knowledge and plenty of time to learn about the other aspects of the spiritual path you choose.

The following is an excerpt from What Is Wicca, written by the founder of wicca.com as he expressed what Wicca meant to him.  “Wicca is a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day.   It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face.  …  It is being in the presence of Mother Earth’s nature and being humbled in reverence. ”

Will Goodness Be Punished?

Q.  How do you respond if you have told your family member what you believe … and they say that it is “not of God.”

A.    Clearly these paths are not at odds in the eyes of the Divine, but if we ever hope to achieve our true destiny in spiritual evolution, we must first overcome any lack of understanding and intolerance of other paths.

The Divine Spirit always reflects love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, etc., so we can assume that when a life is full of these things it’s a good indication the individual is living according to Divine will. If you can get a person to focus on these things instead of the terminology used to describe your beliefs, it becomes much harder for them to argue that you are not of God.  Just remind them that all these things ARE of God, and then do your best to send forth thoughts and actions that reflect this energy.

The article “Will Goodness Be Punished” offers some thought provoking questions, and specific information that can be helpful in responding to those in your life who truly believe the Divine is going to punish you just because you follow a different path.

Divine Blessings of Nature

If you already follow one of the old Earth religions, you know that connecting with nature can bring peace to a stressful life.  It’s a wonderful way to recharge your energy and heal your spirit.  If you’re just starting down an ancient path, take every opportunity to visit Nature, celebrating her seasons as often as you can.  In turn, your Earthly Mother can bless you with gifts of unprocessed foods, pure water for drinking and fresh air to breathe.  These things can heal and renew your body, mind and spirit. Keep in mind that the more you connect with Nature, the more opportunities the Divine will have to offer you wisdom, healing and true spiritual fulfillment!

“…that most precious gift of your Earthly Mother is the grass beneath your feet, even that grass which you tread upon without thought. Humble and meek is the angel of Earth, for she has no wings to fly, nor golden rays of light to pierce the mist. But great is her strength and vast is her domain, for she covers the earth with her power, and without her the Sons of Men would be no more, for no man can live without the grass, the trees and the plants of the Earthly Mother.”  (Excerpt from The Teachings of the Elect – Book 4)

Celebrating the Sabbats

Many of us celebrate the Sabbats because they mark shifts in the Earth’s energy that have a physical, mental and spiritual effect on our life. It’s wonderful to welcome these changes when they happen, but too often we think of these celebrations as one-day events. It’s the beginning of a whole new season.  Why not plan ongoing activities appropriate for the time of year we are entering?

Whatever season it is in your part of the world, don’t just welcome it, then wait for the next change.  Find ways to embrace it and enjoy its gifts everyday until it is time to say good-bye, and then greet the new season with the same enthusiasm.  This helps you stay in tune with nature’s cycles daily, and not just 8 times a year!

Drawing Energy From Our Mother Earth

In Wicca, energy and nature are one.  We know that Divine energy naturally flows through everything.  It connects us to each other and to the very world we live in. This energy can be manipulated and directed by our thoughts and activities, so it’s important to learn exactly what increases or drains it.  In this article we’ll explore how our Mother Earth can help us draw on this energy.

Many of us feel renewed after contact with our Mother Earth or one of her four elements.  Who hasn’t been refreshed by the feel of soft grass or cool earth beneath their feet, the fresh outdoor air, the warmth of the sun on their face or the relaxing sound of running water?  You don’t even need to be outside to draw on these energies.  Filling a room with plants, a water fountain, pictures or artwork of Nature and other gifts from your Mother Earth can also lift your spirit and raise your energy.  Your mind simply needs to visualize or sense the Earth and it will naturally begin to draw energy from the connection you have to her.

Mother Earth can also strengthen your energy by improving your overall psysical health.  In addition to fresh air, sunshine and pure water, you should allow your Mother Earth to bless your kitchen with an assortment of fresh, unprocessed foods.  Her bountiful gifts of living foods can help improve your health and increase your lifespan.  Spiritual leaders from many different paths also believe that these foods can actually enhance our ability to communicate with the Divine.

Sharing Your Energy and Gifts With Others
Once we learn how to raise or maintain our own energy, most of us feel the need to reach out and help others in any way we can.  One reader recently asked “Can I bring this gift to people who do not ask for it? Another wrote, “I now worry for my family who are non-wiccans. What can I do to protect them?”  I believe it pleases the Divine when we extend this positive energy to others.  Of course we should get the persons permission if we want to do serious energy work on them.  But as for sharing a smile, hug, kind words or some bit of knowledge you have about natural remedies, these are all perfectly acceptable ways to lift up and help strengthen a person’s spirit.  Best of all, when you give this positive energy away, it tends to multiply and return to you 3-fold!

What is YOUR favorite way to share positive energy with others?

Avoiding Negative Generalizations

Most of us DO share similar beliefs and it’s the little things that separate our paths.  We might all enjoy a little more freedom to explore if we refrained from generalizing each others beliefs.   For example, most Christians today do not feel the need to kill those who don’t share their beliefs and most Wiccans do not join the religion so they can control others with magic.  Yet how many times have you heard someone speak about Christians killing people in the name of God, or Witches casting spells on someone?  How frustrating for those of us who don’t feel this way!

If we do judge others, we should judge them on how they apply the Divine teachings in their personal life, and not on the past actions of others who have followed their path.  By avoiding negative generalizations like “Christians all do this” or “Wiccans all do that”, maybe we can eliminate some of the tension and keep our focus on the positive spiritual teachings of a path. Feel free to share your thoughts and personal experiences about this subject.

Magic – It’s All In Your Head!

Whenever I’m asked if magic is real, I feel the need to determine what is meant by “magic.”  More often than not, those who ask are referring to the magic they’ve seen in Harry Potter or Charmed … the type where magic words and a magic wand or amulet give a person the power to fly or transform someone into something outrageous.  While words and objects can certainly have power, for the most part, it’s the user giving these things their power, and not the other way around.

There is real magic in everything around you, and you already have within you the ability to create a magical life for yourself.  Wands, amulets, and especially words, are simply used to help you focus your thoughts. One of the best definitions of magic I found, was in “The 21 Lessons of Merlyn” by Douglas Monroe.  The training of the WILL seemed to be the very heart of Merlyn’s teachings.  He tells his young student “The true definition of Magic, little one, does not center around spells or incantations, or the mysterious waving of arms… no.  As is recorded in the Blue Book of our forefathers, true Magic is ‘The art and science of changing states of mind at will.’  And as we have learned by experience, action follows thought.”

The bottom line is that YOU make it happen.  Use tools such as relaxing sounds and music, fragrance or aromatherapy, and candles, stones, pendants or even wands, to help you focus your thoughts.  But always remember, these are ONLY tools, and not the true source of magic.  Real magic is all in your head!