Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Yes Witches Can? Yes, Witches WILL!
Article ID: 12998
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,546
Times Read: 3,743
RSS Views: 21,800
Author: Courtney Weber [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: September 13th. 2009
Times Viewed: 3,743
A few weeks ago, I struck up a conversation with a stranger in the grocery store. As Witches, we are no strangers to synchronicity. My copy of Christopher Penzcak’s “The Temple of High Witchcraft”, which I carried with me, sparked a conversation about our neighborhood, Inwood—the northernmost neighborhood of Manhattan.
Here, one will easily come across a Botanica (a Spanish magick store) , a candle-lit street shrine or even a severed hog’s head on a silver platter in the nearby Fort Tryon Park (Yep. Don’t ask me what for) . The streets are sprinkled with confetti of curses and hexes—usually one storeowner against another. My favorite Botanica closed last year, and I suspect it was the magickal doing of the rival Botanica on the next block.
I laughed as I told the woman about it.
She shook her head. “If they truly have that gift, ” she said. “It is a shame they’re wasting it on such petty issues.”
Over the next few days, I thought about that. She made a good point. I wondered what would happen if my neighbors began focusing their powers on things of a higher caliber. Would “freezing” rent spikes and landlord harassment prevent further gentrification? Could a strong banishing rite rid the block of drug dealers and gun-wielding teenagers?
Then, I thought about what I do with my own Magick.
I pulled a poppet I’d made from its hiding place. This poppet was used in a spell to keep an individual from verbally attacking myself and others—which had occurred frequently. I wrote the individual’s name on the forehead of a Cabbage Patch doll, bound it from neck to foot in white cloth and placed duct tape over its mouth.
I stated to the Gods that the subject would no longer harm others through words and actions, replacing her anger and pain with healing light.
I did not bind frivolously. At the time, it felt ethically correct. The person was wracking up high Karmic debt through verbal violence and physical threats. Since I was knew how to stop the damaging actions, I felt it my responsibility to do so—sparing a spiritually ignorant person the pangs of Karmic repercussions she would not understand and sparing others from further pain she was certain to cause.
The spell worked with frightening accuracy. Overnight, she stopped slandering others and overcompensated with effusive compliments all around. That was good. But she cowered in my presence, which I found annoying—not empowering. I was constantly aware of her moods and movements. It was taxing.
I unbound the doll and announced to the Gods that the spell was complete. The person was no longer under my power or protection.
The days following the unbinding were interesting. First of all, the subject immediately suffered an emotional breakdown. I now wonder if the binding delayed a necessary collapse by holding her in stasis. (The subject is reportedly doing much better now)
Right away, I received new messages from the Gods in my dreams in regards to our Magick group. My Tarot reading accuracy increased dramatically. I realized that the one binding spell nearly monopolized my psychic energy bank. I was back to my old self—something I didn’t realize I’d lost.
But where to direct this new energy?
On Tuesday, November 4th 2008, I—like so many—chanted…um, screamed “YES WE CAN!!!” as Obama won the election. And I, like many, lamented the loss of marriage and rights to thousands of our citizens in California, Arizona, Florida and adoption rights in Arkansas.
Inspired by Obama’s election speech on change, the woman in the grocery store and the change in my Magickal focus, I organized a number of our Group members to join a marriage equality rally at City Hall. We offered Handfasting Rites to any couple wishing to marry that day. One young couple took us up on the offer and before a crowd of supportive strangers, exchanged vows to live as husband and husband for a year and a day.
As I bound their hands with a lavender ribbon, I cast this spell, “May this union mark the beginning of change so that one day all unions will be legal under the Constitution of the United States of America. So mote it be.” With that, the two men jumped the broom and the people cheered. Binding their hands was a far better use of my psychic energy than the binding of an unfriendly acquaintance.
Whether or not you supported Obama’s election, few Witches could argue with his acceptance speech: Change begins with us. As Witches, it is vital that we do not waste our powers on things of little consequence. Instead, we must spread those energies to larger, more pertinent issues.
“Dress rehearsal is over y’all, ” Orion Foxwood said at the Harvest Home Gathering this fall. “It’s time to get in the game.”
“As above, so below…” We recite the phrase, but do we understand what it means? Most Witches work with the concept of Below—using their Magick to improve their lives and those of their loved ones—but not always aiming their energies toward that equally important realm, Above. Our occult bookshops are choked with books for recipes on attracting a mate or increasing personal prosperity.
But where are the spells for attracting peace to a war-torn region? Increasing prosperity in an impoverished neighborhood? Many Witches do not understand that Above is a reflection of Below. If we wish to build a healthy global community, the changes must be made in our immediate vicinity, first.
The Handfasting worked on both an Above and Below level. On a Below level, it provided the young couple the opportunity to pledge commitment to one another for the first time. On an Above level, those witnessing took with them the beautiful sight of two men joining a union of Perfect Love and Perfect Trust and perhaps the question, why can’t all enjoy it?
Perhaps most importantly on an Above level, the spell cast on their union aimed to make all such unions legal in the United States of America. I want my children to marry whomever they wish.
Now, if the principle of As Above, So Below holds true, and individual lives must be healthy in order for a population to thrive, sending your energies to a higher collective good does not mean abandoning changes for the better in our personal lives. But when you’re burning a series of candles to increase your powers in the workplace, throw in a spell that increases prosperity in a famine ravished community.
While you’re sticking your mother-in-law’s name in an ice-cube tray to freeze her religious jabs at the holiday dinner party, also throw in the name of groups causing death and injury in the name of religion.
As Hecate told our Group on Samhain Eve, “Mend the holes in the sweaters in your lives.” Our answer was not “Yes we can, ” but “Yes we WILL.”
We are Witches. We were born with the power to bless and to curse, to heal and to destroy. We serendipitously wind up in situations where something is needed when we are just the ones to provide it. Let us put our Goddess-given abilities to proper use.
Let us bring our brooms out of our personal broom-closets and into the mess around us. There is a lot of sweeping to do.
Where will you begin?
Location: New York, New York
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