Articles/Essays From Pagans
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Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
Native American Spirituality Myopia
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
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Into the Dark
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Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Weeds and Seeds
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Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
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A Pagan Altar
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Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
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Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
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I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
My Concept Of Grey
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
August 3rd. 2014 ...
Are You a Natural Witch?
You Have to Believe We Are Magic...
July 27th. 2014 ...
Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?
Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle
The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys
July 20th. 2014 ...
Being an Underage Wiccan
Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition
Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches
Thoughts on Ghost Hunting
July 13th. 2014 ...
A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...
From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
My Wiccan Ways...
July 6th. 2014 ...
Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds
The Lore of the Door
Leaves of Love
June 29th. 2014 ...
What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?
Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene
Are You My Familiar ?
Invocations of the God and Goddess
Results Magic and the Moral Compass
June 22nd. 2014 ...
Witchcraft vs. Religion
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Telling A Ward
Article ID: 15021
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Alayne Owlcraft
Posted: September 16th. 2012
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How can you tell a ward? Now you can tell your kids to go to bed. You can tell the time. But telling a ward involves some little knowledge of the craft and telling. What do I mean by that? For any not too familiar with poker parlance, a “tell” might be that opponent player who has some habit he displays, lighting a smoke, touching his glasses, checking his watch, when he knows he has a superior hand (or if he is bluffing) . Expert players look for these habits and call them “tells”.
So then, what of a ward? Well, now we begin a discussion about the craft and Magick.
No, I'm not referring to that chill running up and down your spine when you're on an elevator alone with someone who you just know has a bloody knife hidden under his cloak, and you just caught him sneaking a look at the soft pulse beating in the side of your slender throat.
The old ways are very much still in use, and the tools are probably stronger in these modern days of jet travel, talk about building bases on the Moon, the Internet, and a general disbelief in Magick. We have come a long, long way from the dark ages, witch hunts, the Inquisition, crones and hags, black cats, and even go so far as to corrupt All Hallows Eve, it's not even called Halloween anymore but ‘holloween’.
A ward, in the sense that I wish to tell you of is nothing like a brick wall, tall fence or barking dog; no, not like that. The truth is this: a ward of the old day is cast from the silken spider webs of -your- very thoughts and therefore is invisible to you. As an example, just the other day when seeking out a new place to explore on my daily walk, I came across an interesting looking path leading away from the everyday street, the path lead down into a canyon, meandering easily, wending its way into the short distance that I could see, before disappearing behind a nearby low hill. The sky was clear; some dogs were exchanging long distance greetings. A scatter of raucous Crows was spinning a circus in the sky, while some smaller birds darted in and out of their midst.
What an extraordinary day, I thought, as The Sun was already climbing high into a bright robin’s egg blue sky and there close beside was clearly visible the full Moon, He and She, God and Goddess, visible, handfasting, celebrating the sky.
I stopped and looked around, extending my senses, why was I thinking about Magick? Why had my thoughts turned, like a compass needle suddenly turning from North.... to point South? Could this be the -tell- of a -ward- standing close by, wanting me to "move along, move along, there's nothing special here"? Nothing, except…
So there I was walking a new strange path on a beautiful sunlit day, the Moon looking down over all, when my path was blocked! A web extended, right across the entire width of the path. I might have missed the big black spider sitting squarely centered there, but for the many tiny dewdrops glowing like some fine fireflies among its many branches. Making a quick decision to go to the right, I headed towards the dry streambed. Then with a bit of bushwhacking, again I was moving South along the paths general direction. Coming to a massive tree, I was forced to change my direction of travel once again, experiencing the joy of adventuring under the stars (you couldn’t see them, but I knew they were there) . So, now walking East, I had again regained the path and looking back now, over my shoulder to the North.
There Sidhe was! This beautiful creature, probably a full eighteen inches high; transparent invisible wings visible only by their casting of incredible rainbow of colors, onto the forest behind her. She cast me a smile while caressing that intricate red violin she frequently played.
“I am hypnotized”, I thought, as this ‘reality’ was unfolding in the here and now.
“It’s no really a web, you know, but since you really did touch it” …she had some lilting quality of voice, high yet soft. “You seem a fine one, well, you did pass the ward” She beamed another of her devastating smiles. I was visiting here and now with the beautiful Sidhe.
Grandfather Dru-wids name is “Oaklochfain” She said, which roughly translated meant, ‘Would that I lived by the lake’. What she was referring to was the tallest tree I had ever seen, so, how could I have ever missed it? A circular staircase encircled the tree which looked strong and sturdy, “There are eighty steps” said Sidhe. “Will you climb? I’ll show you the house.”
Now this had only one drawback, there was no handrail. She obviously having no need for that as she could fly. She beamed me the smile, as my thoughts were already hers. So, smiling again Sidhe said, “Come to-ward me”.
I did and we stepped.
“How do you tell time?” As we climbed the staircase, to pass the while, Sidhe talked of the Tarot.
“Look! We have a card!” she exclaimed.
“A card”… I don’t know much about the Tarot.
“A fortune card, then?”
“Yes, the Page of Wands”, Sidhe beamed the devastation. The fire was with her. “It’s all about us, but come let’s climb to my house”
The tree house stood perhaps fifty, sixty feet into the sky. Not the house, but the tree, it was so easy to think of them as one, actually to not think of “them” at all: Here was a tall tree. And therein lies the Magick of the ward, so skillfully crafted was it, that nothing was there, just this path leading down away from this quite ordinary road, winding through an ordinary City, "Have a good walk on a beautiful day, and safe travels!" was the message.
But stop and look, is the sun shining at just the right angle in the sky, and why is that scatter of crows circling, silently now, just across the way? It should be obvious to the Witch that the animals have a far keener sense than modern man, or any man, or woman, and this is why we study the Craft. But stopping just for that one more moment and having done some few studies about the nature of Nature, I had penetrated a ward. Verily neatly crafted and radiant, standing there in a glen, not for anyone to see, but the owner.
The path is still there certainly, and I still walk there from time to time. The ward has moved. No doubt the occupant wanted privacy. Maybe that scatter of crows had given her a sense, visitors! But thoughts of that beautiful tree house still walk with me, and I can't help but wonder who is that Witch, the one who casts' a ward none can see, that one, the Sidhe? But that's another story. For now maybe you should just remember this: you can tell your kids turn off the TV and go to bed. It's a bit harder to tell a ward.
When I returned home my daughter would ask me, ”Where were you, Dad?”
I said, “I’ll tell you a story, honey. Just don’t tell Mom. Sidhe wrote the story.”
© Alayne Owlcraft
Location: San Diego, California
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