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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 28,389,986  

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Question of the Week: 50 - 7/16/2001

What's Your Magickal Focus?

What is YOUR magickal specialty? Herbalism? Healing Magick? Directing Energies? Invoking the Nature Spirits? How did you come to choose/decide to develop this area of expertise? How long did you have to practice and study before you felt reasonably proficient in your magickal focal-work area? Did you have a natural talent for this to begin with or did you decide to study this particular area of magick for another reason? What advice for developing skills or expertise would give to someone who is considering entering into your particular magickal focus-work area? What are the 'neglected' areas of magickal Work-you know, the not so glamorous service-oriented stuff that is really needed, but for some reason or another, not too many Pagans are motivated to develop or are interested in studying?

 Reponses:   There are 33 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Hi!; Magical Focus? Well, As An Occult Supplies Dealer, Before Retiring, Having... Jul 15th. at 11:17:33 pm EDT

Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) Age: 59 - Email

Hi!; Magical focus? Well, as an occult supplies dealer, before retiring, having to
have extensive knowledge in all Witchcraft related fields and Paganisms,
I would say, bringing the occult out of the darkness.

By showing there are no "devils and demons" behind every black candle, but there being a MIND, or group of MINDS working the warp and woof of metaphysical Time and Space.

My emphasis has been on training practical occultists to become potent wizards
and wizardesses in the field of those traditional "Black Arts".

I consider the hearts-and-flowers-bunny-huggers a lost cause and leave them
to things like Starwood.

Hm, My Focus? My Focus Is On Knowing My Goal And Finding... Jul 16th. at 8:57:49 am EDT

Di (Mankato, Minnesota US) Age: 25 - Email

Hm, my focus? My focus is on knowing my goal and finding what works. The reason I began practicing witchcraft was because I was at a dead end in my life and I had exhausted absolutely all the other avenues I knew of for solutions to my problems. Witchcraft was my last resort, and to my surprise, it worked -- both by opening my mind to other non-magickal avenues for solutions to things that troubled me, and by showing me in ways that I could not miss that magick works.

I still feel hesitant to commit to any one form of practice or another. Folk magick has its place, as does ceremonial magick. I dislike the sniping of "my magick is better!" from some community practitioners on both sides of the candlestick, so I rarely discuss my preferences such as they are.

I perform magick primarily for practical concerns in my life such as money and health, so that I can concentrate my every day life on my spiritual needs; as I understand it, I'm much the opposite of a lot of other Pagans. Most consider magick part of their spiritual life, so that it takes care of their everyday life.

Perhaps there's no real separation.

Hello, Since I've Only Started Studying Two Years Ago, I've Been Focusing... Jul 16th. at 8:58:23 am EDT

Artemis Moonshadow (Kfar Saba, Israel) Age: 16 - Email

Hello, since I've only started studying two years ago, I've been focusing maonly on energy workings, you know, using my own life force and borrowing energys from the Elements to do things. Through out these two years I've been on a continuos soul-search. I've discovered that The Darkness apeals to me, now before you go all "The darkness is evil and pagans have nohing to do with it" you couldn't be more wrong. The Dark is when our senses are most attuned and in my mind most powerful. I've been searching for information about Chaos Magic and Elemental Magic which is what I really want to do in my Magical life.
Lots of Pagans seem to believe that Wicca and Paganism have nothing to do with Darkness, that's not true, if you look inside your self and try to commuicate with your spirit you'll see it's darker than you thought. I've discovered that my Spirit is a Panther, black, a predator, a night lurker (yes I know very melodramatic) Paganism, I think, is one of the spiritual paths that can host the balance of Light and Dark exellently.
Don't fear Chaos or Darkness, they're just order within a disorder.
Blessed Be

Rememer this: Carpe Noctem

My Magical Focus Is Tarot. I Collect Decks, Work With Them In... Jul 16th. at 9:34:05 am EDT

Bethy (Staten Island, New York US) Age: 34 - Email

My magical focus is Tarot. I collect decks, work with them in all sorts of meditations and in ceremonies. Cards decorate my altar. I use various cards from different decks for spells, prayers, any time I feel the need to focus, I can always find the appropriate image. My favorite decks are the Matthew's Arthurian Hallowquest deck, the Druid Animal Oracle (which, though not technically tarot, is a beautiful deck) and the Morgan Greer Tarot deck.

hugs and bright blessings,

My Interest/study Of Paganism And Witchcraft As A Religion Is My... Jul 16th. at 9:55:29 am EDT

Ciarrai (Somewhere in Somerset County, New Jersey US) Age: 34 - Email

My interest/study of Paganism and Witchcraft as a religion is my true and primary focus. I want to learn as much about the religious aspects as I can before I explore specific areas of expertise. Although I must admit that I am very interested in astrology, herbalism and candle magick. And I just learned yesterday, to my surprise, runes. I wasn't quite "getting" the concept of runes so I sort of of dismissed it at first. I anticipated a very manic Monday morning due to some very negative co-workers, some nasty gossip about me, and I wanted to be able to "deal w/ it" without getting all "Cancer-like" -- the hypersensitity, etc. I went through all of the books I have been studying, and I came to the chapters on runes, and I said to myself, "self, this makes the most sense right now." I drew a negativity rune on paper with black ink, and then immediately applied white ink over it while focusing on wiping out the negative energy. It worked; better than I ever would have expected! I did the very best that I could, but I'm sure with more study and practice that I could do even better next time.

PS: My year and a day of "serious" study will be next March 17, 2002, although I have been "dabbling" in research since about 1995.

Magickal Specialty? That's A Question I've Asked Myself Many Times. I Can't... Jul 16th. at 3:38:12 pm EDT

Asta (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii US) Age: 15 - Email

Magickal specialty? That's a question I've asked myself many times. I can't work that much magick with candles and herds and such, because I'm still living at home and its easy and less conspicuous to pray. I wandered around for a few moons, wringing my hands over what my special area was, until I suddenly realized that it was right under my nose: poetry! I have a natural gift with words and rhapsbody, and had been using it in my craft from the very beginning. All of the spells I write have rhyme to them, so they are easy to remember, and I can put more power into one of my little 'jingles' than some friends of mine can put into whole, elaborate rituals with all the traditional tools. Whenever we get together for Sabbats, they always pick me to do the guided meditation because my words 'sound pretty and hypnotic'. My quarter calls usually sound the most melodic and rehearsed, even though I make them up as I go along.

The only problem with this talent is that very few books talk about utilizing rhyme as a form of magick. You have to weed it out from topics on creativity, actual spells themselves, and a scattering of music magick. In a way, I suppose this is a good thing, because as a very young seeker, I've been forced to look away from books and other written material. I've seen so many people become dependent on text for inspiration and will come to believe anything in print. The lack of information on poetry magick has given me the freedom and independence that I need (esp. since I'm a teenager and don't have a car yet).

Merry Meet! I Tend To Generalize, Not Wanting To Focus Too Much... Jul 16th. at 4:00:38 pm EDT

Rowan Ameth (Kutztown, Pennsylvania US) Age: 16 - Email

Merry meet!

I tend to generalize, not wanting to focus too much on one aspect, but I suppose I tend to lean towards energy focussing... I used to teach a little underground class on energy manipulation at my school, but it was shut down by the Dean of Students... I've noticed that I find it easy for me to focus energies and direct them. I don't know if it's normal or not, but I can drop down into a state of mind in which I can sense other energies (auras, spirits, etc.)... Well, anyway, that's my Magickal Focus...

Bright Blessings,

My Focus? I'd Have To Say Dragons, Witch Was Hard For Me... Jul 16th. at 5:43:20 pm EDT

Sam (Ruckersville, Virginia US) Age: 18 - Email

my focus? I'd have to say dragons, witch was hard for me since I have only found one book on dragons and I don't think thats enough I have to do most of the study myself through shamanistic tecniques. witch is a hard thing for me to do as my mind has a mind of it's own so to speak. and then I only have that one book to connect those exsperances with. Dragons had always been a major part of my life when someone introdued me to the craft my reaction was "you mean dragons are real?" anyone who knows me knows the love of dragons I harbor. and some inssist I have a dragon within me or a dragonic mannor. so my focus is working with dragons and thier kin witch I have found a challangeing and rewarding exspearance.

My Area Of Expertise? Predicting The Future. I Don't Use Tarot Cards... Jul 16th. at 6:58:39 pm EDT

Silver Owl (Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas US) Age: 14 - Email

My area of expertise? Predicting the future. I don't use tarot cards or anything; for as long as I can remember, I've had dreams that came true to the smallest detail. Too bad I can only see it from my perspective- it's unlikely I'll ever be in a disaster. There is one very fortunate thing about it- the only other kind of dreams I have are really strange ones. There's no chance of me confusing a premonition with a normal dream!
I am also interested in darkness. Flowers and fuzzy bunnies just do not suit me, and I am hard pressed to ever fall asleep before midnight. Also, my eyesight doesn't really diminish in the dark. I can find my way around with the smallest light and, hey, it's not like I can read the big E on the eye chart with my glasses off anyway!

Blessed Be.

Hello, I Love This Question Because In Just The Few Entries Posted... Jul 16th. at 7:13:49 pm EDT

Lynne-Renee (rural, STL, Missouri US) Age: 29 - Email

Hello, I love this question because in just the few entries posted (Mon.), it's given me a sense of what I do. I don't normally think of it because this is a normal extension of living here.

Being raised in the Ozarks, you just do things a little folkie anyway. I've done energy work and much weather-conjuring from my early childhood. Around 18 I decided I was getting my kicks out of doing it for others to see my "parlor tricks" so I stopped. As a tiny girl on the farm, I just liked talking to the winds and asking the Goddess for a shower to cool me.

A neighbor taught me about directing energy for healing and about intent and "empowering" things to produce certain effects. It was just called focus back then. I've been interested in the use of herbs and minerals since then. That has been directed to aromatherapy. Expensive, time consuming and such a gift.

I journey and divine to learn. I meditate to get *lots* of things. If you look at where all this goes, it is the fundamentals of those around me, the Midwifes of the Mountains (and the Bootheel!). Part healer, part priest. It's about healing on all levels.
That's what my aim is.

I Find It Heartening To See That There Are Others Looking Into... Jul 16th. at 7:32:02 pm EDT

Chad (Lake Dallas, Texas US) Age: 22 - Email

I find it heartening to see that there are others looking into the oh-so feared "Darkside" of magick. I've often worried if my interests into, for lack of a better term, Necromancy were abnormal. I've never understood why others were so wary of it. I suppose they have been too influenced by Hollywood and the occasional D&D role-playing game lich.

My specialty is magick connected with the dead, their spirits, and the energies released and/or remaing. The areas near where I live are filled with old graveyards, and missing graveyards (they had things built over them). So most of the time I am using whatever I can find to help spirits move on and disperse or use up their energies after they have left. I look to old superstitions for inspiration on how to contain them, but occasionaly dip into ceremonial magick for seals and gates. I'm thinking about looking into alternative uses for runes and the Tarot, using them ofensively rather than defensively. Minerva Waters's site ( has been helpful. I use a fishing net in my worship space for very effective spirit warding.

I've been studying magick solidly for five years and started focusing on Necromancy the last two of them. I have much to learn but my patron God Anpu(Anubis) is helping me.

P.S. If anyone from Scarmig's Religious Refuggees message board reads this, e-mail me please. I lost my bookmark and can't find my way back.

My Focus Is Actually On Focusing My Skills. I Am Very Good... Jul 17th. at 12:39:31 am EDT

Sundown (Wichita, Kansas US) Age: 43 - Email

My focus is actually on focusing my skills. I am very good at finding painful areas on people and animals, figuring out what they've done to themselves--I can even tell them exactly what structure (bone, muscles, tendon, etc.) they have injured and to what extent. What I am currently working on now is augmenting their own natural healing ability with my energy--very difficult for me to do. My energy just wants to merge with theirs in a general fashion, not focus on the particular injured part. It's a little frustrating, but I'm using meditation exercises to better focus my will.

Focusing on other beings' pain is a natural ability of mine, I can remember doing it when I was very young. I was in and out of the hospital a lot when I was a kid and I remember being overwhelmed by the sensations there. It was very scary. With effort, I was able to teach myself to focus on one person at a time; I didn't know why I was doing it, but I think it must have been a form of psychic self-defense.

As Wiccans, I don't think we pay enough attention to the importance of meditation and developing control over our energies. The techniques are boring (my neices really hate candle meditations) but I feel that we must gain the control over the energies ever-present that our ancestors had. I've been to some circles where a great deal of energy was raised, but not focused too well. We must become more adept if we are going to make a positive impact.

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