Where the Wild Things Are: Keeping Faith

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, February, 2, 2004.

I’m not a Buffy or Angel fanatic but I do follow the series, more or less. I like Faith, that character. I’ve thought about her even after the credits are rolling and the next show is starting. Of all the characters Faith has the least faith. She is distrustful and destructive. At least for awhile.

I’ve been thinking about faith, what that is and where it comes from and where it goes to. Kind of interesting. Having faith basically means believing in something without real proof that your belief is justified.

I once read about a woman who was charged with murder. She went through the trial and in the end the verdict was handed out as ‘Not proven’. That was something they used to do, ages ago. Not any more. But, it was interesting. For her and her life she always had that black cloud of suspicion hanging over her, not proven. Neither guilty or innocent, just some limbo.

Faith is like that too. If you take an idea to heart it’s hanging in limbo but if you have full faith in it it’s proven. If you are in doubt it’s not proven and you don’t have real faith, not blind, trusting faith anyway. There are levels of faith. I think that’s good. You shouldn’t close your mind to new theories, options and chances. Keep looking for more questions and their answers. Faith isn’t a permanent thing, written in blood or chiseled in stone. It’s subject to change.

The woman in the book had to live with people who were suspicious of her. She had trouble getting a job being allowed to go to church and being accepted by the community at all. It wasn’t fair, she wasn’t guilty after all. But, they didn’t have faith in her. They needed that final solid verdict to put her on one side or the other. you don’t get that with things you have faith in though. Pagans and Christians and all the other Faiths don’t get to see their gods or the heaven or hell they put faith in. We don’t get a preview or screenshot. It’s taken on faith.

But, it comes from within you more than something you read or are told. It has to seem realistic and practical, possible. We don’t put faith in something completely out there. Faith is too precious to just give away so easily.

Now that I’ve rambled on and on… the woman in the book did finally get her verdict of innocent. But, it came late in her life. Someone else confessed when they were dying and wanted to get all the skeletons out of their closet.

Where the Wild Things Are: The Whole Circle

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, March, 1, 2004.

The magic circle, sounds so mystical… But it’s like many things in Witchcraft, it’s adaptable to your own style, your whims and personal needs of the moment.

Witch/ Wiccan rituals take place in a circle. Not always, it’s not written in stone with blood or anything really dramatic. But, it does make things tidy in it’s own way. You draw in power and you keep it to yourself, out of the way of others. Then, when you’re done you release it. It goes back to nature and the powerful parts of yourself.

We draw the circle and then we close it. Some people cast the circle and banish it at the end of the ritual. I tend to think of it as drawing and closing the circle. When you draw your circle take a moment to bless each of the elements at each of the 4 directions. Yes, you might need a map to know where north, south, west and east are in relation to your location. If you choose, bless the goddess and god too. Then bless the Earth and life, those are most important to me. When you close your circle just do the steps in reverse order. Gather your pebbles, erase your chalk, whatever you used as you go around in the 4 directions again. Sounds too simple? Why shouldn’t it be simple. You’re welcome to make a bigger production out of it. I like it simple.

You can use chalk, hemp rope, embroidery thread, pebbles, sand, dust bunnies, anything really. Consider a circle of jack o lanterns for Samhain, wouldn’t that be fun! It depends on how fancy you want to be or how close to natural elements. My personal choice are pebbles. I love them. I collected them from a beach here in Ontario. Took my time to find stones I especially liked for their shape, colour or some markings on them.

The circle represents wholeness, the cycles of life and the seasons, the wheel of life to make it simple. In theory it is without beginning or ending and perfect in it’s completeness.

To draw the circle is to make a place set apart and sacred. Where ever you are- living room, backyard, beach, clearing in the woods – the circle becomes a place where we focus on magick in ourselves and the Earth around us. The circle is a pure place where we can think, make notes in our Book of Shadows, create and practice rituals, anything. It doesn’t have to be dramatic and you don’t have to feel you must do something special. It’s your circle, your dime.

This summer when I have a road trip out to the beach I want to cast a circle on the beach. Using a piece of driftwood to draw my circle and some stones to point to the directions. I don’t even know what ritual I might do. I just want to sit in a circle of my own creation and enjoy the world, life and being alive.

“In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.” -Charles Lindbergh

I take thee, herb, to cure my ills
or perhaps while dancing pon the hill.
I’ll dip you in the cauldron fine
Then asperge a circle in the pines.
I’ll make you into teas and brews
when picked from ‘neath the morning dews,
or hide you in a pillow seam
to guard me close, come night and dreams.

– Marian Loresinger

Where the Wild Things Are: Writing for a Wiccan Topic

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, April, 19, 2004.

I have this twisted compulsion to take on more stuff than I can actually do. It’s a form of madness.

Anyway, now I am starting a new Wicca/ Witch site for a network called AIA (All Info About). Why? Because it’s there. Also, because I thought of an idea and then I had to put life into it. In other words, do it.

So, this is going to be a Witchy site for people who are Witches. Not looking for converts, going out of my way to explain or defend Witches or Wiccans. I wanted to call it “The Living Witch” but that didn’t work out with the format they use. So, I will use that somewhere else. I plan to set up a blog as part of the site. Something I can add bits of stuff to as I go along. My idea of a Book of Shadows.

The rest of the site is going to include sections like: a regional directory of Witch groups, traditions, art, career, romance and relationships, home and garden, environment, health and beauty, spiritual, holidays, and hobbies. I’m sure this will change as I actually get started and change my mind about what will work. But you get the idea, I hope.

So many sites about Wicca leave out the reality, the living of it all. How many times do you really need or want to see the same information about sabbats and rituals? Let’s see how it works together in real life.

If anyone has ideas or articles to contribute let me know. It would be nice to hear from you anyway. Later, when the site is up I will send the URL out with this newsletter. Likely this will integrate into the site too.

Take care,

Laura