Monday, 20 August 2012

Covered in Light Day

I wanted to share with you a worldwide event that is happening on the 21st September this year. It is called Covered in Light Day and is a day to celebrate women who chose to wear the veil, celebrating their choice and reasons to do so, (whether secular or religious) and to promote tolerance and acceptance of this choice of clothing.
This event was created to a group of Pagan women who chose to wear a veil but it is of course not just for them but for ALL women who choose to do so. The event calls for women who wear the veil to speak up proudly about it; it also calls for women who do not chose to wear it, asking them to either wear it on that one day (to experience and appreciate it) or to support those who wear it (men are of course included in this support!).

My friend Katherine spoke about the event on her own blog and inspired me to write about it here to spread the word and get people to join in! Here is her blog post:

Here is the Facebook event: 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Yes, I'm a Witch.

I have previously explained how I feel about Spiritual labeling and where I fit in with it all, so you probably already know that I identify as a 'witch'. That word is swarming with excitement, fantasy, prejudice, misunderstandings and history, and unsurprisingly invites the most interesting of questions towards me.

Before I start sharing aspects of my craft - the Witches Craft - I thought it best to explain what exactly I mean by 'witch', as it does vary from person to person, book to book.

To my knowledge, a witch is a developed name for the 'wise' (other words such as Wicca/Wicce are included also but I won't go into them).  In the villages of old there would be a 'wisewoman' (typically a woman but also men; men and women can be witches and during the witch hunts of the middle ages both sexes were persecuted) who would help the villagers in their expertise with the knowledge they possessed that others did not. That is part of being wise. They were experienced in the 'wise craft' or 'witchcraft', a craft that involves herbal medicines, midwifery, spell work, divination... They served the community with their knowledge. Unfortunately as new religions appeared and superstitions increased these people became feared due to their specialised knowledge and potential power over people's lives. 

So how am I a witch? My craft (a witches craft incorporates many different practices which may vary among practioners') involves manifesting my wishes and desires through spellwork, with moral codes in order, divining for answers for myself and others, healing prayers and crystal working. Unlike the witches of old I do not accept requests of spells from others unless it is a very just and serious cause. My reason being that I don't want to be taken advantage of and it is unlikely that I will find out the whole story behind a spell request (which is absolutely necessary!). 
I go by the ethical rules of Karma and law of three (that which you send out returns to you thrice back) and so would never dream of cursing another person or even overindulging in unnecessary spells. This is my code, not necessarily the code of all others.
The reason I practice witchcraft is to make my life and the lives of the people close to me, easier and happier. I can find answers in divination to help me progress and make the right decisions in life. I can also connect to nature and the divine by learning the secrets hidden in the power of the earth.

So there is a basic explanation. I'm bound to have missed parts out and I'm unfortunately unable to give a detailed historical account of the history of witchcraft (which you can find elsewhere), but I hope this covers the basics before I dive into any posts about it in the future.

Blessed Be!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

My Fellowship of Isis Training

I became a member of the Fellowship of Isis a couple of years ago, when I turned 18 and instantly fell in love with its openness, freedom and all-embracing Goddess devotion! Unlike other groups I'd seen, the God was not disrespected or ignored, despite the feminine focus; its members were not criticised for their individual beliefs and all were united under one cause, the Goddess.
I began searching for training courses available under them, wanting to explore the mysteries of the Goddess and build upon my understanding and connection to Her. I'm not sure what I had expected from it but I think I recall expecting the usual from training: A set organised course structure, set information to learn, certain rituals to perform on certain dates... ticking the boxes and then being awarded the title Priestess for all the hard work.
This is not exactly what I experienced and because of that, it has been more beneficial to me than the aforementioned could ever have been. Within my training, which is completely free and set by long-distance correspondence with a FOI Priestess, I am simply asked to set up a FOI shrine to Isis and to perform FOI liturgy when the time suits me. Due to my busy schedule and dualistic lifestyle ritual can only be done effectively when I have time for it and the motivation, otherwise things fall flat, so this is useful to me already. 
The liturgy itself is collections of beautiful writing's, oracles and theatrical performances. I usually stick to the 'script' but I can add my own personality and flavour to it still. After reciting the rite, there is time for meditation on the lessons of the Goddess and here is the crux of my experience under this training:
I report my experiences to the Priestess guiding me and she gives me advice and encouragement and in particular instances of significant Divine revelation I am awarded a Magi degree (four is needed to complete the training. She is so helpful to me and I'm very greatful for her patience and support for me. Beyond that The Goddess Herself is the One training me. In other training degrees the Priest or Priestess may teach you many fantastic things and chose to initiate you at the end of it; however, in this training it is the Goddess Herself Who teaches me all I need to know.
It means that I get to make my own mind up about things, learn what is important to me upon my own initiative and communicate with the Goddess directly - which is what a Priestess does! It does not mean that the structure and content of other courses are not valuable though! I spent 4 years prior to this training soaking up as much information as I could about it; now I have began to really spiral into the core of what this path is all about.

I wanted to share this with you because I hear many people asking to become Priests and Priestesses the moment they find out they can. I hear many people being told what to do and what to believe in, even if the teacher is just guiding them, they often just follow (as I did starting out, we do need that at first). 
The FOI may not appeal to everyone but I hope this post at least gave you something to think about :)

Image by Olivia Robertson