The pleasure in chaotic selfishness

Source: Medea by Henri Klagmann

Light is the grief which can take counsel and hide itself; great ills lie not in hiding. ’Tis pleasing to face the foe. – Medea (Seneca’s Tragedies) 

Too often than not, I hear witches ask and plead to me for answers to a great problem they face, “why is my craft meaningless?”

It is not so much that they openly state the question like the above, but rather say it in subtle ways “How can I become more involved in my craft? How can I prevent myself from falling out? How can I motivate myself to do more than what I already am? How can I become more than just a beginner?”

“How to I go beyond the 101 stuff?” Is one of the most common of these. Why do people feel stuck in this infamous starting state? What even is the 101 of witchcraft?

I believe one the biggest pitfalls of this thought is equating witchcraft to a class to be taught in school. And why should they think of it as anything different? We grow, learn, and earn our careers from attending school. Things are structured, things are in order, things come and are answered when we simply raise our hands. We expect goals and receive them from our betters. You want this career? You must learn this, know this person, do this thing, follow these exact steps in this exact order, and you will, though hard work, good luck, and usually a bit of money, succeed in becoming what you want. And, you will know exactly what you are without a doubt.

Witchcraft does not have such a structure. There are no beginning, middle, or ending parts to it. You simply start or end to your own decision. What is old news to a /beginner/ may be completely unknown and new to someone who has been practicing for years. You cannot judge your growth based on the perspective of what others are doing. You only have yourself as reference.

Of course, this does not mean there are no teachers of witchcraft. There are many. Teachers of many different shades, colors, and backgrounds. However, you will find they are far different from the teachers and professors you had in school. The teachers of witchcraft have no set lesson plan. When you raise your hand, they do not provide the answers for you. Instead, they will say “Go look,” or if they are generous they might point you in the right direction. These teachers are not here to answer your questions, to guide you, or even lend a helping hand. They are here to make you question, to act, and to learn from your own independent thought and desire. You are the lone fire burning in the pit, and they are the child that add kindle to the flame. They whisper “grow, spread, burn.” They are merely the small push needed for you to set fire to the world.

I think of witches that try to become cosmic gurus, whom try to abandon this world to obtain self enlightenment. They distance themselves from the troubles of the world and of our society and put on a false air of wisdom, but in doing so they dim their own flames. These individuals are not experienced elders, but rather they are youths seeking salvation or freedom from the pains of their lives. I have nothing against their desires for more, but witchcraft is tied to the very world. It is a part of society. Its about the power of releasing your desire and self pleasure. I find myself asking these individuals a question “how can you want to become enlightened, yet have no experiences in this world?”

Witchcraft is the interaction of the physical self and the spiritual other. The hand that heals and the hand that kills, all with the same poison. We are the phoenix that dies in the fire of its own being, yet is born again from the ashes of its own body.

To all those that dread the thought of losing the meaning, to encounter the dead end of their craft, to be nothing more than a beginner in their own eyes: Grow, become luminescent, dance in your warmth, and burn yourself in the very flames you created. Better to destroy yourself in your own passion’s fire, than to let it flicker and fade.

Take pleasure in your own chaotic selfishness.

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Independence is key, but unity is vision

“Unity is vision; it must have been part of the process of learning to see.”
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams

The Sabbatic practices have officially called me in, and it is in their name that I now, truly, seek unity within the craft. The idea of a Coven, a secret or close-knit group of associates, excites me greatly. However, I know that patience is most important when forming a group. You must make sure that all are comfortable, especially in something so intimate as witchcraft. It is easy to get lost in the idea of having a coven of witches.
I have, over the last few months, come up with various guidelines to follow:

  • All should be comfortable with the general practice
  • LGBTA+ friendly
  • Willing to meet for the full moon and dark moon
  • accepting of the Counter Mass (though they do not need to participate, since the Counter Mass is not the center point of the witches’ Sabbat)
  • understanding of the crooked path and respect for those who follow it
  • tolerance towards the beliefs that others have
  • Be safe to be around
  • Place the needs and welfare of the Coven as an important priority

It will be difficult to find a large group that can fit all of the needed criteria, but its something that will come in time. And at the moment, I feel that those joining should have some degree of experience, since I do not feel comfortable with teaching others.

With sabbat focused craft, the physical unity isn’t always needed. You can, ever full and dark moon, go out into the otherworld to dance, sing, and celebrate with other witches. Even those that are long dead, the sabbat is what can bring community to your craft.

Overall, a coven should bring unity, support, strong bonds, and a deepening of self. Others can bring more motivation, excitement, and joy to practicing. Though, one must not forget that witchcraft is about the self. Though we can be together, I must be able to strong on my own.

Hope this helps any that seek to join others in the craft

Historical practices of witchcraft: Day 3- Sieve

Place two keys on a sieve, in time form of a cross. Two men hold the sieve, while a third makes the sign of time cross on time forehead of the suspected party, and calls out his name loudly, three times over. If innocent, the keys remain stationary; but if guilty, the keys revolve slowly round time sieve, and then there is no doubt as to who is the thief.

-Source

A utensil consisting of a wire or plastic mesh held in a frame, used for straining solids from liquids. It is found to be quite useful when cooking; however, it has a huge connection to witchcraft and its folklore. There are many tales of people being forced, by witches, to gather water from a sieve only to have it drain out, “she handed her a sieve and said to her: ‘Go, fill it at the Well of the World’s End and bring it home to me full, or woe betide you.’ For she thought she would never be able to find the Well of the World’ s End, and, if she did, how could she bring home a sieve full of water?” (The Well of the World’s End).

It most notable tales include Baba Yaga and even The Horned Women.

In witchcraft, it is often used either to find lost items or reveal truths. The most common use was the charm above, in which it located the item and the thief.

I even believe it has the ability to make a connection with spirits, since within a few different folk tales it notes that the people suddenly can speak with spirits and animals.

There are even depictions of individuals using sieves, while being surrounded by many spirits, demons, and mystical creatures.

download It may be that the witches used sieves as a way to pour out distractions and the veil and see what the truth was, just as a sieve does so with water, dirt, and gold.