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The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
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Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
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August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Five Tools For Divination
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Article ID: 10009
Age Group: Adult
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Author: A Catherine Noon
Posted: August 14th. 2005
Times Viewed: 7,305
"Youíre a Witch? Could you tell my future?" the stranger asks breathlessly.
It doesnít work like that, I try to explain. Much of what I do is about getting in touch with my inner self, the inner wisdom. It is not about flashy spells or incense and silk scarves. Magic is about discipline, stillness, and understanding.
"Yeah, Iím a Witch. I do all that stuff, you know, Tarot, crystals, runes..." one woman said to me. It doesnít work like that.
It doesnít work like that.
I use four primary tools in conversation with the divine. In addition, my subconscious gives me clues and if I am careful to listen to my dreams, I am led where I need to go.
The first of these tools I learned from the book The Artistís Way, by Julia Cameron. Morning pages, or three pages of longhand written first thing in the morning, practically before I am fully awake. Through them, I meet my self: my petty self, or Monkey Mind as itís known in Chinese philosophy; my child self; my adult self; and my Higher Self. My Higher Self, when I listen, tells me many wise things. Through her, I can hear the divine. Through her, I am reminded: "Thou art Goddess."
I use morning pages as a tool for recovery. They calm me and I notice the lack when I skip or avoid them. Julia Cameron describes them as daily meditation and I quite agree.
The second tool came about after my sister and I did some ritual one day. We were relaxing in the kitchen over coffee, she in her chair, and I in mine. I asked a question that I had been asking for a while, a question which was the focus of the ritual weíd just performed. I stopped short of finishing my question and we stared at each other. It was clear from the expression on her face she had the same experience I did. I heard Brede belt out, "LISTEN!" To myself, to my heart, to the answer Iíd been given in ritual but didnít like.
Itís become shorthand between us for following your inner voice, the promptings you get from the divine. We already know what we should do, but let "life" intervene. "I know I should meditate, but I have no time." "I hate my job, but..." "I should set up my altar, but..."
Strangely, (or perhaps itís not so strange), these two tools work together. When I do my morning pages, I hear those insistent little urgings better. I have learned it is not always easy to hear them, but I believe it is important to do so. Staying true to our own authenticity is central to staying connected to deity.
The other two methods are more outwardly "Magical." The first is fire scrying, the second is Tarot. What they have in common is that they are both active methods. Listening and doing morning pages are receptive activities. When I do them, the process of doing them is whatís important. I am not asking a direct question, as I do with scrying or cards. If I get an answer, great; if not, they are still meditative. Scrying and Tarot are active: I cast my awareness out in a wide net and actively look for an answer.
Fire scrying was unusual for me. Raised in a very "Type A" mode, the idea of staring at flames seemed hokey or odd. What actually happens is neither hokey nor odd.
First, a brief explanation. While one can certainly use a candle, I prefer a larger and more active flame. It gives my Type A brain something to look at while I scry. My sister and I use a small cast iron cauldron, which would hold eight ounces of water if filled to the brim. We place that on an old metal stool low enough (about 18 inches [45 centimeters] off the ground) to allow us to see into it while seated. We fill it a quarter to a half full of isopropyl alcohol. Donít use rubbing alcohol, as it has oil in it. Try to get as pure as possible Ė 97% isopropyl is best, though harder to find. If you add a couple teaspoons of Epsom salts to it the flames will last longer. The salts will solidify after one burning; soak in cold water and scrub before your next use. Ensure your vessel will withstand the heat of ten to twenty minutes of flame and make sure itís on a flame and heat-proof surface. As my neighbors called the fire department one year, I also recommend you close your blinds. A metal bowl kept handy can be placed over the vessel if you should need to smother the flames.
Having taught others to do this, Iíll note here that scrying is a lot simpler than we think it is (me included). I kept expecting something flashy, Magic with a capital M, but as so often happens, the reality is much simpler and ultimately more profound. What do you do? (Insert cheesy movie voice here.) Look into the flames.
It helps to meditate on your question beforehand, as weíre taught to do with Tarot, runes, and the like. Watch the flames and be. Listen. (Thereís that word again!) On some occasions, the flames seem to dance. Other times, they have a voice. Itís an interesting method partly because weíre raised on such unrealistic depictions of Magic. Young girls pricking their fingers on spindles, dragons, Merlin... The real thing is much less flashy.
The fourth method, Tarot, is fairly common. There are plenty of great how-to books. Suffice it to say we use Celtic Cross and generally donít use reversed readings.
I go to the Tarot either when I have a specific question or when I want to talk to the Universe in a more concrete fashion than in meditation. Also, since I do Tarot with my sister, we both add our energies and both participate in the discussion.
A fifth method I use to get information isnít a method, in that I donít do anything to precipitate it. I sometimes get information from my dreams. Most often, itís like experiencing a vivid form of dťjŗ vu. Itís as though my dream-self doesnít distinguish time as my conscious self does, and I get echoes. Bits of conversations, pictures of things Iíll see later in waking life.
I use the information I receive in a variety of ways. I made the decision to leave my last job based on discussions I had with the Tarot and morning pages. I try to live my life in accordance with Will, with my highest truth, authentically. I find that Will, that truth, by using the tools I have outlined. If Magic is a living, breathing art, I try to live that art in concrete and mundane ways. One of the things I am learning is that Magic isnít about "out there, Ē it is about right here, right now. It IS about the mundane. Thatís the key to it. We are on this plane for a reason, and our ability to do Magic is about our ability to implement our Highest Truth on this plane in mundane, concrete ways.
Copyright: Copyright 2005 by A. Catherine Noon
A Catherine Noon
Location: Chicago, Illinois
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