“…What are the ethics of magick?”

 

 

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“…What are the ethics of magick?”

From lovely “Beth’s World of Wonders”

“I’m so glad you asked. The basic rule is: Do as you will, as long as it harms no one.

Sound simple? Not entirely. There are certainly self-centered reasons to go along with “harm none” – as witches, we believe that our actions will come back to us. If you put a curse on someone, you are likely to face some negative consequences down the road. Beyond the effects of individual karma, we also believe in the interconnectedness of all beings, in which harm done to one is harm done to all.

At the same time, it is impossible to live without harming anyone. For one thing, we all eat beings (plants or animals) that had to die in order to feed us. For another, sometimes doing magick to help yourself (e.g. get a job) will inadvertently harm someone else (who therefore doesn’t get the job). We cannot avoid these contradictions; we have to face them squarely and accept the consequences of our actions.

Essentially, magickal ethics are no different than regular ethics. Would you beat someone up if they made you angry? No? Then don’t curse them to make them suffer pain. Would you try to bribe a prospective employer to get a job? No? Then don’t work magick on someone else to make them hire you. Would you try to make yourself look more attractive to an employer by wearing appropriate clothing to the interview and acting the way you think they want to see you? Sure you would. So there’s no reason not to work magick on yourself to attract a job….”

This post come from this fantastic blog. I highly recommend you go over and check it out for more fantastic information! http://www.soulrebels.com/beth/pagan.html   & http://www.soulrebels.com/beth/magick.html

 

Shared by Moro

(I’ve looked on how or how to reblog/sharing her site directly but there isn’t an option, it seems)

 

Title: “Fires of universe” by artist: sasha-fantom @http://sasha-fantom.deviantart.com/art/Fires-of-universe-378874511

“The 13 Wiccan Principles”

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“The 13 Wiccan Principles”

The following set of thirteen principles was adopted by the Council of American Witches, in April, 1974.

— We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.

— We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

— We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called supernatural, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

— We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity ~ as masculine and feminine ~ and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive to each other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.

— We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological, worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, Inner Planes, etc. ~ and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

— We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

— We see religion, magick, and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it ~a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft.

— Calling oneself “Witch” does not make a Witch – but neither does heredity itself, not the collecting of titles, degrees, and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with Nature.

— We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.

— Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be “the only way”, and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

— As American {Or World-Wide!} Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.

— We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as Satan or the Devil, as defined by the Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the sufferings of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.

— We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being….”

http://www.mysticmooncoven.org/rede.htm

 

(Check out this source for more that inspires you in your life and personal journey)

Source: http://www.mysticmooncoven.org/rede.htm

 

Moro

(I did not write this article in any way. I simply enjoy sharing pearls of wisdom and beauty from different sources into one source for many to enjoy. If inspired to from there, go to the original sources to discover more!)

Art title: “Daybreak” by artist: patriciabrennan @ http://patriciabrennan.deviantart.com/art/Daybreak-66741791

‘The Myth of “Elemental Dragons ‘

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‘The Myth of “Elemental Dragons’ 

Regarding Draconic Magic

(I do like this page/site and recommend it for anyone even a little interested in Draconic Magic; See bottom of article for the direct link)

By J’Karrah, 2005

“I always have to laugh when I hear people talking about “elemental” Dragons as if they were actual species variants. And it makes me wonder if the people who spout this information have ever actually *met* a Dragon. Personally, I doubt it. There simply is no such thing as an “elemental” Dragon. People have too often confused the magical affiliation of specific Dragons with the habitat in which they live. For example, there is a big difference between a Dragon who works with the elemental properties of water, and a Dragon who makes his or her home near the sea.

The game “Dungeons and Dragons,” and the book “Dancing With Dragons” are the primary perpetrators of this continued proliferation of misinformation.

As with human magic workers, different Dragons can have an affinity for different elemental energies. Just as you don’t have “elemental humans” you don’t have “elemental Dragons…” you simply have those who prefer to work with the energies of one element over another. Sometimes, you will find a Dragon who works equally well with all elemental energies and other times you’ll find one who couldn’t tell a salamander from an undine.

Whenever you hear someone talking about “elemental Dragons,” those that embody the forces of a particular Element, most likely they are either confusing the mage with the magic, or they are seeing an elemental critter in draconic form… 9 times out of 10 by simple virtue of their own preconceived notions…. Or they are confusing alchemical associations of draconic energies with actual Dragons.

The common metaphysical representations of each element are: Fire- the Salamander; Water- the Undine; Air- the Zephyer; Earth- the Gnome.

In my magical dealing with Dragons over the course of the past 20 years, I have worked with a wide variety of them and have established close working relationships with several. In ritual, when calling the “Dragons of the Quarters,” you are asking for a willing Dragon who is proficient with the energies of a particular element to watch over and direct the elemental energies associated with that particular quarter/direction. You are not calling on, for example a “fire Dragon” to guard the south, you are calling on the assistance of a Dragon who works primarily with the energies associated with the element of Fire. See the difference?

If you are new to working magically with Dragons, at first you will probably get several different Dragons standing in as Quarter Guards each time you cast a circle. Eventually, you may find that the same four are answering your call each time (you’ll be able to tell by the “feel” of the energy each brings). If/when this happens, you can either wait until the Dragon chooses to reveal his or her name, or you can choose a name by which you will call each one (don’t worry, if you pick a name the Dragon doesn’t like, you’ll know!). Many Dragons actually prefer to work this latter way, taking the name you choose for them as a gift. In either case, you can then substitute those names for the phrases “One who is willing” and “Great ______ Dragon” at the appropriate quarter.

To get the greatest benefit when working with Dragons you must always remember to set aside any preconceived notions you might have about Dragons and their ways of working magic. Dragons cannot be easily pigeon-holed into neat little compartments. They are as individual as humans are, and their talents, associations, abilities, and methods are as varied and diverse as the stars above.

Work with them in all their diversity rather than try to force them into narrowly defined patterns of behavior and you will have a much richer, more rewarding experience than you could ever have imagined.”

Source: http://ebon-dragon.com/cotd/elemental_dragons.html

 

Moro

 

Art title: ‘Blue Dragon.’ by artist:  Amisgaudi @ http://www.deviantart.com/art/Blue-Dragon-138136026

“If You’re a Witch, Why Can’t You…?”

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“If You’re a Witch, Why Can’t You…?”

From lovely “Beth’s World of Wonders”

“My friends and acquaintances sometimes tease me by saying things like, “Can’t you just do a spell to fix this problem?” “Don’t you have a crystal ball to give you the answer?”

My friends are joking, mostly. Of course they would kind of like it if I did have a crystal ball to give them the answers; but they know these stereotyped ideas about witchcraft and magic don’t apply to my practices. However, I’ve also heard these comments from acquaintances who actually don’t quite understand the problem with this reasoning. So I’d like to spell it out (no pun intended).

Common beliefs about magic assume that magic is a “supernatural” power which can counteract or reverse the laws of nature. This belief can be found in a wide variety of places, from the popular 1950’s movie Bell, Book, and Candle to the sociological and anthropological literature on witchcraft and magic. (This is particularly true about studies of magic and witchcraft in indigenous
societies, but it also holds true for many studies of modern witchcraft, for example Tanya Luhrmann’s Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft.) Given this belief, it makes sense that people want to know why I don’t have a spell to solve every problem. If magic trumps physics, chemistry, economics, and sociology, I certainly ought to be able to get myself an apartment, find out who’s going to win the next horse race, and (with enough effort) produce world peace.

The thing is that magic(k), as Witches understand it, is not a supernatural power. It is a natural power which allows us to create change in the world. This ability to create change occurs only in the context of other natural laws and powers (like gravity and conservation of mass), as well as cultural patterns. For example, economic and sociological influences, although culturally specific, are constantly affecting our lives and are certainly forces to be respected.

This doesn’t mean that magick only works psychologically and cannot affect the external world. It does mean that magick is more effective when it does not contradict major natural laws or cultural forces. For example, trying to influence the outcome of the next election doesn’t violate any natural laws, but it puts you up against some strongly entrenched political and economic forces. Trying to turn a traffic light from green to red (a la The Craft) doesn’t have major cultural ramifications, but it does go against natural laws of electricity.

Alternately, doing magick to find a job as a social worker, when I have a master’s degree in social work, does not go against any natural laws, and it doesn’t contradict our cultural beliefs and economic practices related to social work. Your magick is more likely to be effective if it meets these conditions.

I’m not sure about the boundaries of this interface – at what point it becomes impossible to influence events which are already shaped by natural laws and cultural forces. And I don’t believe it is wrong to try to influence these events, although magick may not always be the best way to do so. But it’s important to keep in mind that in magick – as in every other area of our lives – we are not all-powerful.

The bottom line: Magick is natural, not supernatural, and it is only one force among many.”

Article source: http://www.soulrebels.com/beth/whycant.html
http://www.soulrebels.com/beth/pagan.htm

 

Shared by Moro

(I’ve looked on how or how to reblog/sharing her site directly but there isn’t an option, it seems)

 

Picture title: “After the Sabbat” by artist: sasha-fantom @ http://sasha-fantom.deviantart.com/art/After-the-Sabbat-263322486

The Green Dragon and The White Tiger; “Heaven and Earth” ‘Taoist Cosmology’

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The Green Dragon and The White Tiger:


From “Heaven and Earth”
‘Taoist Cosmology’

“…Taoists believe that when the world began, there was only the Tao, a featureless, empty void pregnant with the potential of all things. At this point, the Tao generated swirling patterns of cloudlike energy, called qi (pronounced “chee”). This energy eventually developed two complementary aspects: yin, which is dark, heavy, and feminine, and yang, which is light, airy, and masculine. Yin energy sank to form the earth, yang energy rose to form the heavens, and both energies harmonized to form human beings. Consequently, the human body holds within it the energies of both the earth and the heavens, making it a microcosm of the world. Both yin and yang split further into subdivisions known as the Five Phases, which can be understood through their associations with the elements, seasons, and directions:

greater yang: wood and spring (east)
lesser yang: fire and summer (south)
greater yin: metal and autumn (west)
lesser yin: water and winter (north)
the central phase: earth and the solstices

The central phase represents a balance of yin and yang.

The primary symbols of yin and yang in ancient China were the white tiger and green dragon, also symbols of autumn and spring, respectively. By the Song dynasty, the Taiji diagram, commonly known in the West as “the yin-yang symbol,” came to represent yin and yang as well…”

Copyright © 2000, The Art Institute of Chicago.

Source @ http://www.artic.edu/taoism/tradition/introb.php

 

Moro


boy oh boy, some original artists are very difficult to find…luckily I was able to find this one!

Art title: ‘Yin Yang’ by artist: donsgirl @ http://orange-chan.deviantart.com/art/Yin-Yang-76077416

The Elements, an Eastern approach; What does it mean to you?

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The Elements, an Eastern approach; What does it mean to you? 

 

An interesting topic is the difference between the Western traditions Elements and The Eastern Elements with their philosophies.


In the Eastern Traditions, there are 5 elements that are from Taoism. Taoist cosmology is based on the beliefs of the School of Naturalists.

In this spirit, the universe is seen as being in a constant process of re-creating itself, as everything that exists is a mere aspect of Qi, which, “condensed, becomes life; diluted, it is indefinite potential”(1). Qi is in a perpetual transformation between its condensed and diluted state. These two different states of Qii, on the other hand, are embodiment of the abstract entities of yin and yang, two complementary extremes that constantly play against and with each other and can not exist without the other.

Human beings are seen as a microcosm of the universe, and for example comprise the Five Elements in form of the zang-fu organs. “Zang and fu consist of the 5 zang and 6 fu organs.”(2)  As a consequence, it is believed that deeper understanding of the universe can be achieved by understanding oneself.

 

(refer to original source-3)“Wuxing (Wu-hsing) 

The Chinese term wuxing (wu-hsing, “five processes” or “five phases”) refers to a fivefold conceptual scheme that is found throughout traditional Chinese thought.  These five phases are wood (mu), fire (huo), earth (tu), metal (jin), and water (shui); they are regarded as dynamic, interdependent modes or aspects of the universe’s ongoing existence and development.    Although this fivefold scheme resembles ancient Greek discourse about the four elements, these Chinese “phases” are seen as ever-changing material forces, while the Greek elements typically are regarded as unchanging building blocks of matter.  Prior to the Han dynasty, wuxing functioned less as a school of thought and more as a way of describing natural processes hidden from ordinary view.  During the period of the Han dynasty (202 B.C.E.-220 C.E.), wuxing thought became a distinct philosophical tradition (jia, “family” or “school”).  Since that time, the wuxing system has been applied to the explanation of natural phenomena and extended to the description of aesthetic principles, historical events, political structures, and social norms, among other things.  Cosmology, morality, and medicine remain the chief arenas of wuxing thought, but virtually every aspect of Chinese life has been touched by it.  As such, wuxing has come to be inseparable from Chineseness itself and belongs to no single stream of classical Chinese philosophy.”(3)

 

(refer to original source-4)”Wood Element   

Archetype: The Pioneer and Strategist/Directing

Wood Element Chinese 5 ElementsIt is yang/masculine in character. The predominant attributes are considered to be strength and flexibility, as with bamboo. It is also associated with qualities of generosity and idealism. One quality of the Wood element is leadership. It is the leader within us, that can take charge and determine a plan of action. The wood is one that seeks always to grow and expand. Wood heralds the beginning of life, springtime and buds, sensuality and fecundity.

Wood type people are often aggressive or assertive, direct, and can have a strong temper and a lot of drive. They are usually outgoing and socially conscious and can be insensitive.  The Wood element is associated with negative feelings of anger, and positive feelings of patience and altruism.

Fire Element

Archetype: The Wizard and Socializer/Marketing

Fire Element Chinese 5 ElementsFire is yang/masculine in character, its direction is upward and its energy is expansive. In Chinese thought Fire is associated with the qualities of dynamism, strength and persistence; however, it is also connected to restlessness. The fire element provides, warmth, enthusiasm and creativity, however an excess of it can bring aggression, impatience and impulsive behavior. In the same way, fire provides heat and warmth, however an excess can also burn. Fire is the Element responsible for the passionate resonance when you are following your life’s calling. It is the joy and laughter associated with playfulness. Fire type people are charming, fun, mischievous, easily excitable, and change emotional states rapidly. They love change, bright colorsand environments that stimulate.The negative emotion is hate, while its positive emotion is joy.

Earth Element

Archetype: The Mediator and Peacemaker/Human Resources

Earth Element Chinese 5 ElementsEarth is a balance of both yin and yang, the feminine and masculine together. Its motion is inward and centering, and its energy is stabilizing and conserving. It is associated with the turn of each of the seasons and with damp. In Chinese thought Earth is associated with the qualities of patience, thoughtfulness, practicality, hard work and stability. The earth element is also nurturing and seeks to draw all things together with itself, in order to bring harmony, rootedness and stability. Other attributes of the earth element include ambition, stubbornness, responsibility and long-term planning. On the shadow side, the earth element can represent selfishness and self-centeredness. Earth type people are usually warm, kind and supportive. They can be overprotective and tend to merge with their environment, having difficulties with boundaries. The negative emotion of the Earth element is worry and its positive emotion is empathy.

Metal Element

Archetype: The Alchemist and Judge/Organizing

Metal Element Chinese 5 ElementsMetal is yin/feminine in character, its motion is inwards and its energy is contracting.Metal represents the minerals, crystals, and gems of the world. The metal aspect is the diamond found within each one of us. It is similar to the Air Element found in western paradigms.  The Metal Element is the breath of life. When you are connected to that experience, you know your own self-worth.   You respect others and yourself; you are willing to give and receive acknowledgment for the magnificent being that you are.   The qualities associated with metal are unyieldingness, rigidity, persistence, strength and determination. Metal type people like minimalism. They are organized, clean, and contained. They can be controlling, ambitious, forceful and set in their ways as metal is very strong; and they are self-reliant and prefer to handle their problems alone.The negative emotion associated with metal is grief, while the positive emotion is courage.

Water Element

Archetype: The Philosopher and Thinker/Innovation

Water Element Chinese 5 ElementsWater is yin/feminine in character, its energy is downward and its motion is stillness and conserving.
In Chinese Taoist thought, water is representative of intelligence and wisdom, flexibility, softness and pliancy; however, an over-abundance of the element is said to cause difficulty in choosing something and sticking to it. In the same way, Water can be fluid and weak, but can also wield great power when it floods and overwhelms the land.

When your Water Element is in balance, you use your resources of energy, time, contacts, and money wisely, neither hoarding nor squandering that which gives you life.  Water is also the element of stillness and rest, taking time to rest and rejuvenate yourself. It is in the Water element that all great innovations and ideas are birthed.

Water type people appear a bit reserved, yet are often very creative, sometimes even eccentric. They can appear cool and stoic, yet have the capacities to be still and deeply reflect.     The negative emotion associated with water is fear, while the positive emotion is calmness.”(4)

 

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(1) http://www.roadtofortworth.com/YY_ref.pdf  (Taoism- PDF)

(2)Wuxing (Wu-hsing) ( http://www.iep.utm.edu/wuxing/ (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy; Peer reviewed academic resource; James Fieser, Ph.D., founder and general editor and Bradley Dowden, Ph.D., general editor)

(3) http://zangfu-omtcm.blogspot.de/ (Zang Fu TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE)

(4) http://www.innerjourneyseminars.com/the-five-elements.html (Michael Schiesser – Inner Journey Seminars) All pics from this blog are also from his original blog)

 

Moro

 

Art 1: “Wu Xing and the Cycle of Creation” by artist: JP-Talma @ http://jp-talma.deviantart.com/art/Wu-Xing-and-the-Cycle-of-Creation-316548011

Art 2: Elementalby blacher @ http://blacher.deviantart.com/art/Elemental-156113544

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Twittersnitch -o-‘ “

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“Twittersnitch -o-‘ “

“He woke
and saw my candles lit
and just because
I am “the witch”
he laughed a nervous
twittersnitch
and asked me
“Why would you have church?”

“I’m just praying” I seemed to hiss.
“Tonight I feel the needs of men.”
And brusk he blew out all the flame
and said, “Tell them I said ‘Amen.'”

“Candles can be lit again.”
I warned him as he left the room.
“Who knows?” I laughed in dark to self,
“I could have prayed for you.”

by Serenity Blaze

from: http://www.pagan-heart.co.uk/poems/twittersnitch.html

Moro

Title: “Emotion” by artist: Andreo Oprinca at http://www.andrei-oprinca.com/portfolio/emotion/

 

“TO BE A WITCH”

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“TO BE A WITCH”

“To be a witch is to love and be loved.
To be a witch is to know everything, and nothing at all.
To be a witch is to move amongst the stars while staying on earth.
To be a witch is to change the world around you, and yourself.
To be a witch is to share and give, while receiving all the while.
To be a witch is to dance and sing, and hold hands with the universe.
To be a witch is to honor the gods, and yourself.
To be a witch is to Be Magick, not just perform it.
To be a witch is to be honorable, or nothing at all.
To be a witch is to accept others who are not.
To be a witch is to know what you feel is right and good.
To be a witch is to harm none.
To be a witch is to know the ways of old.
To be a witch is to see beyond the barriers.
To be a witch is to follow the moon.
To be a witch is to be one with the gods.
To be a witch is to study and to learn.
To be a witch is to be the teacher and the student.
To be a witch is to acknowledge the truth.
To be a witch is to live with the earth, not just on it.
To be a witch is to be truly free!”

By Tonia Brown aka Ziller aka Starkraven Madd.

http://blessedbe.sugarbane.com/iamawitch.htm

Moro

Title: The Witch by artist: KatjaFaith @http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-Witch-78756969

 

“Introduction to Faerie Paganism”

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“Introduction to Faerie Paganism”

“The Faerie Folk have inhabited the hills, valleys and plains of the Earth since 
the very beginning of time. Shamanism is as old and as vast as the night sky.
Paganism, as a religion based on paganism, has been a part of humanity since the
building of the first small communal village. Faerie Paganism is a modern
expression of these three Universal Creations.

Faerie Shamanism and Paganism is a religion and belief system of great personal
and universal power. Imbedded in the Faith of the Fey is a deep reverence for
the Earth and all of her bounties, a firm belief in the Faerie Folk of the
Ancient Celtic and Norse Worlds, a respect for all life from the tiny insect to
the gigantic whale, a personal internal and external power called Magick, a love
of the nature inherent in human beings both inner and outer, and a communion
with the Ancient Divinities of the Earth, Sea, Sky, and Stars.

One of the first and most important beliefs of Faerie Paganism is a respect for
the Earth and an environmental consciousness which runs so deep it connects with
the divine spirit within. Energy and healing are gained from the soil. knowledge
and wisdom are gained from the trees, cleansing and purging comes from the
lakes, rivers, and streams. protection comes from the rocks and fire. The Earth
is a magickal, mystical Realm which mirrors the Astral Other Worlds and it is
important to see her as the Ultimate Mother who nurtures and protects her
children, whether they are Faerie, Human, Animal, Plant, and Mineral. Rites are
practiced which attune the seeker to the harmonious workings of the seasons of
nature.

Faerie Paganism has a firm belief in the Faerie Folk stemming from the
mythologies and folk beliefs of the Celtic and Norse Peoples. The Faeries are
sought for protection, companionship, wisdom, knowledge, inspiration, and
magick. They are invited to all of the Rites and Rituals, and they are
acknowledged in every aspect of life. Along with this comes a respect for all
creatures, both great and small. For the Fey are Shape-Shifters, and can assume
any shape. from a lady bug, to a bear, to a rock, a tree, or spring mist.

Magick is an integral part of the Faerie Shaman Faith. Magick is the art and
science of causing change in ones environment in conformity with one’s will.
Magick can be used to heal, to divine, or to assist in the obtaining of goals.
The only possible limits of Magick are the self, the imagination, and the
knowledge of the Faerie (or any other) Magickal System.

In Faerie Paganism, the natural human body, soul, and mind are seen as
beautiful, powerful, and divine. Human beings were not cast out of paradise,
they are born into it. Human beings are not born inherently evil or bad, they
are born innocent with the gift of choice. Human beings do not answer to the
laws of an omnipotent god, they answer and account for their own actions. And
the eternal afterlife of a human being is not judged by one lifetime alone. many
lifetimes will be traversed before we are all reconnected with divinity.

Finally, in Faerie Paganism, there is the communion with the Ancient Divinities
of the Ancient World. the Gods and Goddesses, Heroes and Heroines of the ancient
Celtic and Norse lands. The original race of Faeries who first came to the Earth
from the Stars were known to the Celts as the Tuadha De Dannan, or People of the
Goddess Dana. Eventually, when the Milesians (humans) came to inhabit the Earth,
the Tuadha De Dannan moved into the Realm of the Faerie, or Faerie Land. We know
speak and commune with them when we travel to their Realm or when they cross
over into reality….”

from http://www.ladyoftheearth.com/faeries/faerie-paganism.txt

 

Moro

 

Art title: ‘Believing‘ by artist Josiane-Rey @ http://jorgeremmy.deviantart.com/art/Believing-256323340

The Woman, the Snake, and the Witch:

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The Woman, the Snake, and the Witch:

Originally a series of posts, then made into a note for this blog’s mother page of FB’s Pagans, Witches, Warlocks, Shamans and Sages, I was inspired to seek this out again and blog it because of a very sweet woman finding such correlations and discovering this for her self on my friends list.  The agenda of this series is to connect the ancient wisdom and secrets of the snake to women and how the snake was iconized and used to shun women’s rights from the light of day and banish us into shame. With this in mind, it has a strong feminist feel to it but does not, in any way shape or form meant to slander our brothers and the modern masculine gender. Times have changed for many of us in the Western world, but time has also held very still for other cultures and countries. I didn’t realize to what extent until I moved here and have seen old or sick women of supposed “no monetary” value wearing their full Burqas (or Burka) and forced to sit by the popular pedestrian areas and beg for money.

 

Women, the healers, the midwives, the wisdom innate within us and witches, yes, a very few were actual witches because of their natural abilities, watched all of it taken away by the twisting of the ancient symbol of life and knowledge, the snake.

 

Still standing proud are two snakes, representing the knowledge of medicine,  and are wrapped around the Caduceus as a symbol of medicine. This symbol connecting as ancient healers is now stripped from us as women.  We were powerless through out ancient times as we watched our rights as women ripped from us, no longer allowed to help those in need and indeed, banished by popular religions connecting the three, woman, knowledge and snake. In times past, we were instead accused and burned as witches and to this day, we have never fully recovered.

 

I am by far not the first to know this nor am I the last. Spread the love and knowledge dearest brothers and sisters, so that our legacy may not be completely forgotten in the mists of time.

 

Let’s first take a look at the various meanings, cultures, god, goddesses through out the world.

 

In American movies, snakes are pretty much used as a standard creepy-crawlies creature to get the girls to scream and the tough guy to protect them. Although they are used in this way in Asian cinema as well, there is another application: snakes don’t scare women: they are women. And it is the men who had better start running, lol.

 

So below, we have in summary the various aspects of snakes connecting them to knowledge and trees. Why, in modern popular religions are snakes demonized in connection to trees, healing, knowledge and then woman? Next we I will share with you the very same aspects of healing, shamans, knowledge, women then directly to witchcraft. Following this, how that connection was the very cause which instigated the destruction of female wisdom, healers through the accusation of witchcraft…a nasty means to an end.

 

Initially, snakes are most connected to Wisdom, then Cycles, Rebirth, Patience, Fertility, Balance, Cunning, Intuition, Awareness, Healing, Intellect, Protection, Solemnity, Rejuvenation, Transformation, Occult (hidden), Male/Female, Yin-Yang, Duality, Protection, Regeneration, and the Primal life force.

 

The serpent is often found associated with a sacred tree, perhaps guarding some sacred fruit. This chthonic serpent may be coiled at the bottom of the tree. The snake as protector at a sacred tree is seen in Biblical and Norse mythology, as well as in the tales of the Bodhi tree of Buddhism.

 

Ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, Scandinavia, Greece, and Pre-Columbian America, to name just a few, all shared the symbolism of the snake in their religion and folklore. Snake gods and goddesses are seen throughout different ancient cultures such as the Greek Medusa with snakes for hair, or the Minoan Snake Goddess, or the Sumero-Babylonian Enki, the Serpent Lord of Wisdom and trickster god. They are significant deities with fierce and fearful power.

 

Snakes were an extremely popular representation of deity, of magical powers, and of regeneration and life. Indeed, serpents are life-giving and life-affirming. The Arabic has related words for serpent (hayyah) and life (hayat), both coming from the same root with the implication of the serpent being a life-giver.

 

Mythological Snakes Hold Opposite Interpretations.

 

Serpents represent both good and evil in mythology. Worship and fear of serpents has been seen throughout religious history, as the snake represents a male, a female or androgynous god. Throughout the world the serpent may symbolize opposing qualities to different peoples, such as death, destruction, rebirth, authority, sin, trickery, temptation, wisdom, prophecy, mystery, fertility, healing, medicine, poisoning, warning, renewal, mortality, and immortality.

 

Snakes serve as guardians in folklore. Symbolically they can represent the earth and the underworld. Snakes are thought of as secretive and are equated with the hidden and most sacred aspects of religion. Early religion used the serpent as a phallic symbol, and also as a symbol of the mother goddess. Their forked tongues are thought to show duplicity, and their words cannot be trusted.

 

Cosmic Serpents:

 

Much folklore worldwide depicts a great serpent that encircles the world. In this case where the snake swallows its own tail to form a circle, it is known by the Greek term Ouroboros, although the symbol first appeared in Ancient Egypt. Such a cosmic serpent is found in the Norse Jormungandr which encircled the world in the deep of the oceans, swallowing its own head.

 

The snake also inhabits the subterranean earth or the underworld, where he is a guardian of sacred entrances. Serpents are found throughout Egyptian mythology, usually as females. The cobra is a symbol of the goddess from antiquity and appears on the crown, the Uraeus, and in the hieroglyphic names of female goddesses. The cosmic chthonic serpent of Egypt is a male, however, known as Apep. Apep, an evil demon, represented darkness and chaos. Apep, who appeared from the Middle Kingdom onward, was considered the enemy of the Sun God, Ra.

 

The Egyptians practiced many rites to aid the god Ra to make his successful journey through each night undefeated by Apep. During the New Kingdom, the serpent Apep became associated with the god Set. The great antiquity of the place of the cosmic snake against the solar god was found in Egypt with a snake figure shown as an enemy of a solar deity. This was depicted on an ancient pottery bowl, now in the Cairo Museum (Naqada I, ca. 4000 BCE).

 

As a Native American Indian symbol (depending on the nation/tribe) the snake can be a masculine symbol, associated with the phallus of lightning which is considered a medicine staff of tremendous assertive power. Other tribes lean in the direction of feminine attribution for the snake and pair it with mothering (creation), and lunar (moon) symbolism.

 

Whether raising itself in masculine authority, or encircling the Earth in a motherly fashion the snake symbol of the Native American’s was highly regarded; utilized in ritual to invoke an element of pointed focus and weighty influence.

 

The ancient Celts were extremely nature-wise too, and approached snake symbolism from the behavior and life cycle of this magnificent creature. From the Celtic perspective, the snake was a symbol of secret knowledge, cunning and transformation.

 

Further, the snake Celtic symbol comes from observations of the European viper (also known as the adder) which is the only (along with the common grass snake) species able to tolerate the colder climate of the ancient Celts.

 

In the keen Celtic mind, snake symbolic meaning of transformation came from the shedding of its skin. Physical evidence of leaving its form behind (casting off the old self), and emerging a sleeker, newer version made the snake a powerful symbol of rebirth and renewal.

 

As far as the occult (hidden) symbolic meaning in Celtic and other cultures, this can be connected to the sleuth-like ways of the snake.

 

Disappearing in colder months and summoned by the sun marks the snake’s connection to the shadow worlds with its successful ability to live within the dark realms for extended periods of time. Alternatively, the snake softly moves into the embrace of the sun, and so it encapsulates the ancient magician’s creed of moving in perfect rhythm of natural forces.

 

In Eastern Indian myth the Sanskrit word for snake is Naga and these are associated with the element of water. Picking up water’s symbolism of emotion, love and motion, Nagas in this light are considered a feminine aspect and embody nurturing, benevolent, wise qualities.

 

To wit, the practice of Nagayuna in Eastern Indian alchemy seeks to achieve loving harmony between the physical and ethereal. Simply put, all of us striving to better ourselves by calmly easing into places of personal balance within the cosmic balance of the whole are practicing this ancient technique.

 

Snake tattoo symbolism varies according to the bearer of the mark. For example, My frien has a back piece depicting two serpents (nagas) wrapped around the seven prime chakras down the length of her spine. This (to me) incorporates the kundalini power available to all humans.

 

Additionally, this entwined snake imagery hearkens to the caduceus, in which the staves of Asclepius are made of two polar (and copulating) serpents which symbolizes balance, equanimity, union and regeneration.

 

We have looked at many things so far to really look at the histories, cultures, deities, and meanings behind snakes and how they are connected to women, more often than not, wisdom, healing and even the connection to sacred trees. I have been building up to this to help people understand why the most popular prevalent religions shame now both women and snakes, dismissing the knowledge and the healing wisdom within women and dismissing our rights,  subjugating us through the ages. I am using the well know myth connection of the snake as the archangel Lucifer…both the most beautiful creatures in heaven but both banished for “pride”, the snake into the sacred tree of knowledge and the using of the icon Eve to bring down and shame all women in connection to all. This is propagated one way or another throughout all modern popular religions and shaped the way many cultures and societies viewed and treated women. Then came the inquisition and the witch trials. Don’t think for a second that there was any real “religious” reason for what they did, but instead used these associations as a means to an end. Let’s look at its history and how it has affected us in our modern society and still even today.

 

“By the early 1970’s feminists were becoming aware of a variety of race women were abused or treated unjustly by the medical system. As healthcare professionals, women were largely confined to subordinated roles as nurses and aids. As consumers of care, we found ourselves we found subjects insensitive and hazardous treatment; unnecessary hysterectomies, over-medicated childbirth, insufficiently tested contraceptives, involuntary sterilizations, and the almost universal condescension of male doctors.

 

We were not supposed to know anything about our own bodies or to participate in decision-making about our own care. As girls, the women of our generation had grown up thinking of their reproduction organs as the unmentionable region “down there.” In the Ladies’ Home Journal, which many of our mothers read, the medical advice column was entitled “Tell Me, Doctor.” Women who asked too many questions or insisted, for example, on “natural” childbirth, frequently found themselves labeled, right in their medical records, as uncooperative or neurotic. Serious complaints were likely to be dismissed as “psychosomatic” and attributed to women’s assumed suggestibility.

 

We were beginning to suspect that women had not always, in all circumstances, been so disempowered with respect to their own bodes and care. After all, medical technology and the medical profession that monopolized it were relatively recent historical developments, and yet somehow our female ancestors had, however imperfectly, negotiated the challenges of the female life cycle.

 

Sometimes, in conventional histories of American medicine, we found tantalizing references to a time when women predominated as healers – but only as an indication of how “primitive” American society was.

 

There is now wealth of information about women as lay healers, midwives, and “doctresses” in early America and their subsequent exclusion from formal medical education in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. If anything, even more information has become available about women as lay healers in early modern Europe, and their fates in the witch persecution of the time – enough to tempt us into what could be many rewarding years of study.

 

First, on the matter of the number of women killed as witches, we used the estimates available to us at the time – scholars accepted figures of one million or even much higher. Although the body count will never be exact, historian John Demos writes that recent studies yield estimates that “fall in a range of 50,000 to 100,00.” Demos adds that, “These, in turn, were just a fraction of a much larger number of suspects….”

Second, we should clarify the role of the European medical profession relative to church and state. Witch trials represented extraordinary cooperation (and sometimes conflict) among all the dominant institutions, including both the legal and medical professions, which were heavily dependent on approval from the highest authorities. It was the medical profession that provided the courts with expert testimony: for example, Paulus Zacchias, the personal physician to two seventeenth-century Popes, authored a seven volume treatise called Medico-Legal Questions to demonstrate ”where medical knowledge could inform Canon Law on such issues as…the causes of foetal death, types of madness, poisoning, impotence, malingering, torture, [and] witchcraft…”

 

Physicians benefited from the suppression of their competition: In the European cities where they congregated, they practiced in a market filled with lay healers and empirics. In London, in 1600, there were fifty physicians affiliated with the College of Physicians (a stronghold of Galenic medicine), outnumbered by some 250 mainly unlicensed practitioners (not including surgeons, apothecaries, midwives, and nurses) who made a living. In 1581, the College of Physician, which claimed the right to regulate medical practice in London, attempted to prevent a lay healer named Margaret Kennix from practicing – but Queen Elizabeth had intervened decreeing that “the poore woman should be permitted by you quietly to practice and minister to the curing of diseases and wounds, by the means of certain Simples [herbal remedies] in the applying where of it seemth God hath given her an especial knowledge, to the benefit of the poorer sort…” Such protection for her favored few was not to last after Elizabeth’s death in 1602.

 

We stand by our assertion that male physicians were both more dangerous and less effective than female lay healers. Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626) himself a scientific originator, thought that “empirics and old women” were “more happy many times in their cures than learned physicians”. The conservative philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679) concluded that he would “rather have the advice or take physic from an experienced old woman that had been at many sick people’s bedsides, than from the learnedst but inexperienced physician.”

 

Third, we made the assumption that witches may have met in “covens” or other organized groups, and we referred to Margaret Murray when we said that “some writers speculate that these may have been occasions for pagan religious worship.” Murray’s research has since been discredited, and today most scholars seem to agree that the beliefs of women who were executed as witches cannot be differentiated from those of the rest of the population, and most were avowedly Christian. Some pagan religions or remnant did survive in places but the connection between this and women accused of witchcraft remains unclear.

 

Another point worth revisiting concerns the religious wars in the background of the witch hunts. We wrote: “…witch-healer’s methods were as great a threat (to the Catholic Church, if not the Protestant) as her results, for the witch was an empiricist…” we can no more do justice here to the conflicts of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation than we could in a short booklet. But it should be noted that while Protestant fought the Roman Catholic Church, they tortured and executed witches too.”

 

From the Book: Witches, Midwives and Nurses-a History of Women Healers (second edition)

By Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English copyright 1973

 

Much work has been done to support this in the decades that followed, but it still completely altered our society and our world. Even in modern times, though amazing efforts have been made to counteract this…it is nor ever will be enough for what they have done, not to a culture, not to a country, not to a group of people belonging to a specific gene pool but to the entire female population. the treatment of atrocities still goes on today in our culture, under the curtains of political correctness and in other cultures and societies, it is blatant and lawful, even encouraged.

 

Moro

 

Note: This article was done sometime ago and several contributing sources were not appropriately given credit. I do apologize for this and if you happen to see a source that you recognize, please feel free to let me know so that I may also look it up and give them credit.

 

Regarding the Art: I must tell you this was a difficult original owner to track down because it is such a popular altered wallpaper nowadays. Even when I found it originally, it was from Nexus Desktops. I am glad to have found the original artist and very happy to share her link to this great piece.

Art title: ‘wrath‘ by pieceesnp @ http://pieceesnp.deviantart.com/art/wrath-138460567?q=gallery%3Apieceesnp%2F1054735&qo=26