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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: 9,445,147  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 33

Lurker/Post Ratio: 992 to 1

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 


My Specialty Lies In The Practices Of The Less-tread Areas Of My... Jul 19th. at 2:50:27 pm UTC

9;2;2 (Derby, Kansas US) Age: 16 - Email


My specialty lies in the practices of the less-tread areas of my path: the shadows, darkness, chaos. These things are unfortunately grasped by the community as "evil" or "something to be avoided." People first accept me as the "teenaged idiot out for a curse." Sure, if you say so. I don't study curses whatsoever, I tune myself more toward the philosophies, theories and practices of the darker side of things. I study the nature of darkness.

Sure, darkness should be avoided if one cannot handle it. If this is the case, then one should exercise him / herself so they CAN handle it. Too many people avoid the darkness, try to live away from it. This is a very sad case. The Crone, the Dark God, Thanatos, Hel, Kali, the Kings and Queens of the Underworld are all waiting and watching. All I can say is, if you don't eventually face yourself and look into the darkness, learn to walk without the night-light and grow, then when you finally face death you are going to meet this neglected bunch. Then you will face the music.

Some advice. Don't dive into these areas until you've had years of experience to toughen yourself up. Remember the Descent of Inanna? The Goddess of Light eventually walked into the darkness. When you walk the path of shadows and twilight, you may leave in a better shape. You can say we're all lumps of mishappen metal, inert and unchanged. The descent will bring you poundings of a hammer and the flames of the forge. If you don't turn back, if you don't jump out of the forge, then all the beating and flaming will turn you into a fine sword.


Being More Of The Treehugging Earth-worshiping Type Of Pagan, My First Thought... Jul 19th. at 11:39:14 pm UTC

Secular Pagan (Minneapolis, Minnesota US) Age: 37 - Email


Being more of the treehugging Earth-worshiping type of Pagan, my first thought was that I don't really practice "magick, " per se. But then again, if one considers magick the art (however explained) of creating change, shaping reality by power of will and intention, then I'd have to say that's something I've been doing all my life, and quite taken for granted.

Early on in my young adult life I was drawn to books about life and career that were based on a simple fundamental premise: Assuming harm to none, it's O.K. to want what you want. You can, and should, base your life's decisions upon being keenly attuned to your "inner voice, " your deepest desires and motivations and passions and pleasures. If you like to sing, then you must sing. If you like to write, then you must write. If you like sociability, seek a sociable job. If you like solitude, then don't beat yourself over the head for not being extroverted; seek a job in which a penchant for solitiude (in mind, if not in literal physical circumstances) is a strength and an asset.

Now, that may seem rather simple, the sort of observation that elicits a chorus of "Well, DUH." ;-) However, in my decades upon this planet, I have observed time and again that one thing that holds so many of us back is a failure to give ourselves "permission" to articulate what we want and to go after it. We're hesitant to say that simple: "I WANT."

I am convinced that nothing is more powerful than a keenly-honed, precisely-focused, true-to-ourselves-100% INTENTION. Once you KNOW what it is you want, on a small daily scale or on a grand life-path scale, and you have got all of your personal and emotional energy behind it, change happens. Explain it how you will; metaphysicalists and naturalists can co-exist peacefully in their different understandings of the whys and wherefores. All that really matters is that you truly grasp hold of the knowledge that the power to shape your own life lies in your hands, mind, heart, and will.


My Magickal Focus Has Always Been Tapping Into My Inner Divinity And... Jul 20th. at 12:46:36 pm UTC

Merry Arianrhood (West Haven, Connecticut US) Age: 40 - Email


My Magickal focus has always been tapping into my inner Divinity and using it to create beauty and healing in my life and others. When I was a child I had a gift for knowing, seeing and hearing what others could not. My mother, who was of Hungarian Gypsy descent, understood such gifts (she had them also), but her Roman Catholic beliefs led her to caution me against the use of them. As I grew into young adulthood and experienced a particularly painful puberty, I turned to the church for relief and succor from my distress. Unfortunately, the church's dogma heightened my fear of using my gifts, as well as my fears of demonic possession. ("The Exorcist" had a powerful effect upon my young psyche.) The out of body experiences I had enjoyed as a child became something caused by the Christian devil, and my ability to "read fortunes" a path to the destruction of my very soul. (As I write this I feel such compassion for that poor, confused girl!) The Goddess did not abandon me, however. After a painful divorce, during which I visited several different parish priests, pleading for understanding and help (and was told, "he's your husband - you must stay with him, no matter his infidelity and abuse"; and the one I liked best, "What did you do to make him drink?"), I began to search for a religion that would support me in who I was, rather than make a slave of me. I meandered through Protestantism, stayed for awhile with Buddhism and Hinduism, but they all still held that MAN was first in the Universe, while woman was created to fulfill HIS needs. (Even Buddhism had a very subtle patriarchal thread running through it.) I was infuriated. Then one day I literally stumbled over Wicca (a book that fell at my feet in a book store tripped me - as a double Libra I tend to live out of my body alot - I'm surprised it didn't bonk me on the head to get my attention). Even with that message from the Goddess my induction into Paganism 101 was slow. I still had 28 years of prejudice (and probably several Christian lifetimes) that I had to overcome. But the message of personal empowerment and balance between the male and female really resonated with me. The opening of my mind brought about a re-opening of my "gifts", which brought about some scary (and some not so scary) nighttime visitations. It was a difficult time for me as I was between belief systems. I couldn't bless them in the name of Christ because I had some definite issues with the man of Nazareth, as well as all of the Christian symbols that had served me in the past. But I had not yet learned enough to replace them with my OWN inner Divinity. Luckily (or should I write that it was 'serendipitous'?), some very powerful teachers came into my life about this time (all of them from various spiritual paths, but not one Wiccan - the Goddess knew that I was not quite ready for that yet), and they taught me that it was only reflections of MY inner shadow that I was manifesting and that I had the power to dis-spell them myself. What a revelation! ("The power of ME compels you! The power of ME compels you!" Hee hee!) Now 12 years (and alot more mileage)later, I have finally come to rest (for the moment anyway) in a place of being at peace with myself and the hardships that my life seemed to be totally comprised of. As I look back over the painful circumstances of the last 40 years, I understand why I chose such a difficult path in this lifetime. My capacity for compassion has grown amazingly, along with the clarity of my Sight. Now when clients come to me, it doesn't matter if they're Pagan, Jewish or Roman Catholic. I can see the world in their context and pass along the messages from their Spirit in symbolism that they can understand. I have learned (many times the HARD way) to allow people to follow their own paths and to honor them for it. And when people come to me to learn about themselves, I can show them that the Shadow they fear is only another face of their own Divinity. A scary face, yes, but like Cerberus, it guards the gate to the deepest part of themselves and if offered a "sop", in the form of their willingness to trust their Spirit's path for them, it too will allow them to pass into the golden center of who they TRULY are...and that's when the Magick really begins!


Sometimes I Think That My Magickal Focus Is Among The Most Neglected... Jul 20th. at 1:02:00 pm UTC

Lily WhiteRaven (Shelton, Washington US) Age: 26 - Email


Sometimes I think that my magickal focus is among the most neglected of all. I am a Celtic Kitchen Witch, and quite proud of it. I find that this is a more down-to-earth (seriously) take on magick and the forms of Old Worship used in the Craft today. I am totally willing to admit that Kitchen Witches are a vanishing breed, and that we tend to have fewer altar tools and other fancy things around us.

I don't have a coronary if I need to cut something and all I have is my athame, I use it. Heck, I used my athame to clean and prepare my staff. Do I think that using my athame for "real" work lessens it? Not at all, I think it has helped to forge a greater bond between us. I have a seperate mortar and pestle for non-edible herbs, but I use the same one for edible herbs both in and out of the kitchen.

I do believe that this is an underutilized system, simply because I don't believe that my ancestors had the time or money or space to have a whole set of tools just for maigickal use. I have a few things that I use just for ritual, but the majority of my tools are used in all places of my life. I have also found that working in an "open circle" has helped to spread a certain vitality throughout my home that I don't believe would have happened otherwise.

I know that to many in the Craft, it is nearly blasphemous to admit that I use my home and tools and space for things other than just magick sealed in a bubble. Personally, I think it is wrong to keep magick from all aspects of my life. Whether you agree with my or not, I would love to hear your opinions.


I'd Have To Say That I'm Mostly A Jack Of All Trades... Jul 20th. at 1:12:44 pm UTC

Stormmerayvn (Bemidji, Minnesota US) Age: 16 - Email


I'd have to say that I'm mostly a jack of all trades. If, however, I had to pick one area that I have the most ability in I'd say protection. Ever since I was little I've been able to make astral nasties leave me and others alone. I was a kid who was never really scared of the boogie man, I'd just tell him to leave and never come back. I have also always been extremely claire-sensory (voyant, audient, empathic). I can scry very easily, but usually just prophesy orally. Healing is another matter. I am a second degree Reiki practitioner and one of my greatest joys is promoting emotional healing in people. Being an emotional healer is no act of magick, it's simply the gift of being able to listen.


My Specialty Is A Little Unusual. I Craft Things. Home Made Soap... Jul 20th. at 1:14:29 pm UTC

WyndeHawke (F'burg, Virginia US) Age: 31


My specialty is a little unusual. I craft things. Home made soap, hand quilted altar cloths/wall hangings, anything that involves working with my hands and that piques my creative interest. I don't know if I made any sort of choice in the matter, I've just always been kind of artsy. I took art in high school and a drawing class in college (for fine arts credit), but other than that, I'm self-taught and just do whatever I like and that feels right. Which is the sort of advice I'd give to someone interested in this topic - go with what you like, be it painting, sculpture, origami, pottery, or whatever. But be sure you are doing it with love and good intentions.


Right Now I Guess My Specialty Is Working With Runes. I'm Not... Jul 21st. at 1:58:42 am UTC

Green Wyvern (Priorlake , Minnesota US) Age: 20


Right now I guess my specialty is working with runes. I'm not very far in my studdies and rune magic is one of the simplest forms of magic that I can think of. I like to mix my runes with a bit of candle magic too. I love working with runes cause they have so many different uses.

Though runes are my specialty I would have to say that astral projection is my focus. I've never had an out of body experiance and would love to see what it is like. I find that it is better to make what you are least expert in to your focus. I find that for me it is a wast of learning to focus on what I already know. It makes my learning move alot slower cause once I'm doing ok with one thing I automaticly move to the next.

I realy don't have any natural talent in the craft. Everything that I learn takes time and a good amount of struggling. I know that it is the same for most people when they first find the craft. My advice for anyone working with any focus is keep at it and eventualy it will come to you.

I think that what is most neglected has nothing to do with magic in particular. I think what should be done more are parties:-} I think that there should be more get-togethers and other related events. Many places already have events for pagans to gather but most these places aer centralized in big cities and collages. There are many pagans out there who feal isoalted, and would like to get to know other pagans in their area. I know from experiance that these events can be very good learning experiance and are also fun.


My Focus Is Healing. I Didn't Really Choose It, It Is Just... Jul 22nd. at 2:51:46 pm UTC

Cary "Sketch" Vandever (Long Beach, California US) Age: 20 - Email


My focus is healing. I didn't really choose it, it is just what I seem to do the most of, and what works more bacause I'm still learning a lot. I use energy and visualization to heal myself and others, and have dabbled a bit in actual spells, which seemed to work. It's almost creepy, though, to work on healing someone else and not telling them how I'm doing it (or in some cases, not even telling them that I'm doing anything at all) and then having them describe to me exactly what they felt (and in essence, what I did) after whatever was ailing them is either lessend or gone. I'm also looking into herbalism to heal, relax, and energaize. I've only been healing for a year or two with energies and visualization, and for even less with spells- it seems more a natural thing to me so I think I'll explore speels simply for that purpose: just to explore, see what it's like. I'm always telling my friends to mediatate more if they're stressed or restless or seem to have no energy. They usually just shrug and say "yeah, maybe" and then when they finally try it they come running up to me the next day all excited that it worked. Then if theyr'e interested, I tell them what I know of energy and visualizing. I think that simply taking time out each day to sit and clear your head is important, because then anything's possible. After your head is clear, that clears the way for further explorations.


Hey All! It's Whitefeather Again! The Only Advice I Have For Practicing... Jul 22nd. at 3:34:59 pm UTC

Whitefeather the Magnificent (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario CA) Age: 17 - Email


Hey all! It's Whitefeather again! The only advice i have for practicing pagans is to practice practice practice! That's the only way to learn and get good at what you want to do. It took me forever to learn all of the Tarot cards, what they said and what they weren't telling me. Sometimes that was more important than what they were telling me. But, I got it. And now, I'd like to think that I'm good at it. Reliable at least. Tarot is my thing, even though some think that it's just a cheap party trick, or a hoax, or that I'm lying flat out at. That's that. Blessings and Light! Whitefeather


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