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Magickal Path: Solitary Practitioner of Wicca
Age Group: Adult
Sun Sign: Leo
Relationship Status: Married
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Located in: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Likes: I view Wicca as evolving into a compassionate Goddess/God relationship that rings far more true than the "corporatized" religions currently dictating their rulebooks over society.
Dislikes: Everyone has their strengths, weaknesses, and twists of fate in their experiences. However, my experience as a long-distance runner is that the worst choice the average person can make is to lie to themselves.
I really should change my name here to "Spartan". But "O'Thir" -- which I will not explain here -- is much more suitable.
I have to admit to being completely perplexed. I am well aware that spells are being cast that affect me, but not of their content or intent (only of the effects I see, from which I have a way of defending myself) .
One recurring effect is that I wake up consistently between 12:30 am and 2:30 am, and thus am awake at the hours that my mind's acuteness is at a low. This also means that I fall asleep about 8:30 pm, and thus lose the prime socializing hours. On the very-rare occasions that I use protective measures, this does not happen -- my sleeping hours are normal.
I don't see this as having any point beneficial to anyone. I'm not going to be coerced into contacting the local covens -- not after the letters I received (which are about a third of the reason why my wife and I prefer to practice as Solitaries) . The other covens (such as the one we were invited to join) are too far for me to put an effort into exploring solo (my wife can't travel those distances frequently) . It does keep me in incessantly-constant proximity of my wife -- but that's exactly what she needs right now, and I'd be doing it anyway. I simply don't see a point.
There's an axiom in dating: Relationships survive based on communication, compassion and compromise. (Marriages -- and I suggest covens -- further need common goals and common interests.) Whatever it is that you want, I suggest you start with Communication.
--- An old man wandering around the [ancient Greek] Olympic Games looking for a seat was jeered at by the crowd until he reached the seats of the Spartans, whereupon every Spartan younger than him, and some that were older, stood up and offered him their seat. The crowd applauded and the old man turned to them with a sigh, saying "All Greeks know what is right, but only the Spartans do it." ---
(Note: "Simesa" is a temporary name)
The first witch I ever met was a high school classmate named kathe who deliberately befriended me and who we all adored intensely. Kind beyond words, she was truly a radiant being. I knew her about two years before she died tragically -- we were literally devastated. I think of her every day, as I believe several of us do (at least I did until a bizarrely unfortunate event in February 2012, but I've resumed that) . I still "worship the ground she walked on".
I've been pagan-oriented since 2008 (attending occasional Beltane and Fires of Venus festivals, and, for awhile, some open Wiccan celebrations) . I was hurt badly (I test to be a Highly Sensitive Person) by a Wiccan-related problem that I had no prior inkling was even a possibility, from which it took so long to recover that I've decided to stay a solitary practitioner. My ailing wife of over six years is herself a long-time solitary practitioner because she does not wish to follow anyone else's path.
My profile used to be virtually a resume. I've been to some unusual places in the U.S. and done many things I never expected to. I have, for example, been to the bottom end of the Bright Angel Trail, on the refueling floor of a nuclear power plant, and naked on the lawn at Beltane. I have created articles in Wikipedia, and ridden side-saddle in an open-door Huey. Through it all I've always had the greater good in mind, and my lack of self-centeredness has too often led to a large amount of personal heartache.
(About nuclear power and the superior fusion power: I saw that nuclear was intended to be a better-than-fossil-fuels stopgap solution until the far-cleaner fusion power came along -- which, 37 years since my Physics degree, still has yet to happen. The proper solution is a mix of solar/wind/bio/geo/tidal/hydro, but there simply is no political will to tackle this problem as long as the world remains obsessed with wars over oil. Fusion power is the necessary intermediate step, that should stabilize the environment, replace the country-side "dirty" power plants with clean ones inside the cities, solve half of the balance-of-payments deficits, and halt the incessant battling over oil.)
I exist to serve others -- not in a submissive way (unless the situation calls for that) , but in a contributory one. That's just the way I am, for if I'm not making others happier I usually am not too happy myself. I've tried to make the best (or if not at least safest) of each situation as it arose, but that approach hasn't served me well. Therefore I'm going to remain an uninitiated solitary practitioner, albeit a well-read one.
I have a preference for strong women (and have asked to work under at least one) . My wife is both easily my equal and superior in several vital aspects (we're both Mensa members, where we met -- only her Chronic Lyme Disease holds her down) . We're not identical people, but we meld our different strengths into a happy marriage.
My greatest failings have come when I've been called on to be the stereo-typical "alpha male". I simply have never believed that forcing situations through into a "win-lose" was preferable to finding a "win-win" outcome. Developing a bipolar condition at age 37 certainly didn't help (the result of overwork and an undesired divorce) -- although under control 20 years later, the shadows of a decade of misery still haunt me. (For the record, one of my brothers had an identical breakdown in late 2007, which dragged me into quite a different morass.)
I've long had a saying (based on a Shakespeare quote that I've since learned is renowned here) : "A man who will lie to others, will lie to himself as well." However, the most important verse to me is "With our brothers, we will share" from the song "One Tin Soldier". Finally, there's a quote from Cantrell (see below) -- "Witches harm none, not because they fear the consequences of the Threefold Law, but because all is sacred."
My favorite song is "Time Will Tell" from (appropriately) "Wizards" -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwlgNT-vDEA (note that the MP3 file has a far better quality of sound than the YouTube video) . I've also watched other videos, and one I've long admired still strikes a chord -- The Impossible Dream ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgzXwpePTTU ) .
(NOTE: Redaction doesn't work for me.)
Not being in a coven, I've had to "feel my way forward" in a non-traditional learning path. Basically, I skimmed a number of books, found some very good introductory books and read them, and added in some very good intermediate or advanced books. From these last books I am learning the kinds of things that a novice should concentrate on learning and why (tree lore, for example) . I've done little actual practicing to date (visualization is going to be tough for me) , but now that I much-better know what to practice and why I hope to start true novice-level studies.
*** Ironically, despite all of my reading, I currently refuse to use magick beyond the reading of a Tarot or, on very rare occasions, the use of a pre-made protection candle. That's because I appreciate the power of magick so greatly that I won't use it without both adequate training and safeguards (remember my military and nuclear engineering backgrounds) . This hesitation has been going on for three years now, but I see no alternative. In any event, I have other assets I can employ in the interim. ***
The books (of our now-155 Wicca/paganism books and many associated ones) and albums I've found most useful so far are listed below (the ones I've recently read thoroughly have dates beside them, for my use) . However, in the end the Goddess is right -- if that which you seek you find not within you.....
-- Raven Grimassi's "Spirit of the Witch" (2003) (read in April 2014)
---- (my 1st Must-Read book for newbies -- an excellent introduction book, NOT a Wicca 101)
-- McCoy's "Inside a Witches' Coven" (1997) (read in March 2014)
---- (my 2nd Must-Read book for newbies)
-- Silver RavenWolf's "To Light a Sacred Flame" (1999) (read in July 2014)
---- (my 3rd Must-Read book for SERIOUS newbies -- Note: The first chapter contains The Ordains)
-- Starhawk's "The Spiral Dance" (1979/1989/1999) (re-read in July 2013 and Sept./Oct. 2014)
---- (This is the classic "Wicca Primer" book, and should be read by everyone before they become a dedicant. However, I found it to be "information overload" on my first attempt at reading it, and it is a book to be read with the intent of revisiting it.)
-- Lady Maeve Rhea's "Summoning Forth Wiccan Gods and Goddesses" (1999) (read in December, 2014)
---- (my 4th Must-Read book for SERIOUS newbies)
-- Adler's "Drawing Down the Moon" (1979/1986) (finished reading in February 2015)
-- Penczak's "The Inner Temple of Witchcraft" (2002) (read in May 2014)
---- (my preferred first-year book)
-- Murphy-Hiscock's "Solitary Wicca For Life" (2005) (re-read in August 2013)
-- Cabot's "Power of the Witch: The Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment" (1989) (read in December 2013)
-- Starhawk & Valentine's "The Twelve Wild Swans" (2000) (re-read all of The Elements and The Inner Path sections in February 2014)
-- Holland's "Wicca Handbook" and "The Spellcaster's Reference" (both used frequently)
-- Raven Grimassi's "The Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings" (re-read in August 2013)
---- (Note: Chapter 16 has ten questions which require going back over the previous chapters)
-- Cunningham's "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" (1988)
-- Rabinovitch's "An' Ye Harm None: Magical Morality And Modern Ethics" (2004) (read in November 2014)
-- Cantrell's "Wiccan Beliefs & Practices" (2001)
-- Lord Foxglove's "Advancing the Witches' Craft" (2005) (read in February 2015)
---- (read but not practiced)
-- Zukav's "The Seat of the Soul" (1989) (read in November/December 2013)
-- Rain Dove's "The Tangled Web of Wicca: Through the Eye of a Traditional Wiccan Witch" (2014) (read in January 2015)
---- (Coven leaders absolutely should read pages 260-261 near the end of Chapter 8)
-- McCoy's "Advanced Witchcraft" (2004) (read in March/April 2014)
---- (initially somewhat painful, in that I could have written over half of Chapter 1)
-- Grey Cat's "Deepening Witchcraft: Advancing Skills & Knowledge" (2002) (read in April/May 2015)
---- (a Wicca leadership book)
-- Morgan-Douglas's "Wicca 334" (2007) (read in April/May 2015)
-- Rain Dove's "The Tangled Web of Wicca: Through the Eye of a Traditional Wiccan Witch" (2014) (read in January 2015)
---- (Coven leaders absolutely should read pages 260-261 near the end of Chapter 8)
-- "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tarot" (read in March 2014)
-- Pollack's "Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot" (1980) (read in June 2014)
-- A Very British Witchcraft (Full) : Documentary on Gerald Gardner
-- "Shamanic Journey Solo and Double Drumming" (an album for journeying)
-- "Celtic Trance" (an album for special energy-raising)
-- "Two Worlds One" (Lisa Lynne -- I have 10 of her albums -- http://www.LisaLynne.com )
BASICALLY SECULAR BOOKS:
-- diZerega's "Fault Lines: The Sixties, the Culture War, and the Return of the Divine Feminine" (2013) (read in April 2014)
---- (a Must-Read book for coven leaders)
-- Campbell's "The Power of Myth" (1988) (read in November 2013)
-- Collins/Raeburn -- "Building a Magickal Relationship: The Five Points of Love" (2002) (read in January/February 2014)
-- Maitland's "From the Forest: a Search for the Hidden Roots of our Fairy Tales" (2012) (read in April 2014)
-- Reis's "Spellbound: Woman and Witchcraft in America" (1998) (read in December 2014)
---- (The last chapter, Chapter 12, should be read first)
NOT RECOMMENDED -- Elsbeth&Johnson's "The Silver Wheel" (1996)
---- (Chapter 2 has, at best, bizarre psychology based on a minority viewpoint)
ORDERED -- Davies's "America Bewitched: Witchcraft After Salem" (2013)
NOW READING -- Morgan-Douglas's "Wicca 333" (2003) (read 7 of 16 chapters)
NOW READING -- Howard's "Modern Wicca: A History From Gerald Gardner to the Present" (2010) (read 1 of 16 chapters)
NOW READING -- Silver Ravenwolf's "To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft" (2002) (read 1 of 23 chapters)
----- (I am practicing this book)
PAUSED -- Penczak's "The Outer Temple of Witchcraft" (read 16 of 17 total chapters)
PAUSED -- Wildman's "Wiccan Meditations" (2002) (read 3 of 6 very-long chapters)
PAUSED -- Bruce's "Astral Dynamics: The Complete Book of Out-of-Body Experiences" (2009) (read 3 of 31 very-short chapters)
--- "Religion is for people afraid of going to hell -- Spirituality is for those who have already been there." ---
--- "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." ---
--- "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together." --- But if you have to march through Hell, follow a soldier. ---
--- "Never look down on someone unless it is to help them up." ---
--- "A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding." ---
. . New, from ANONYMOUS (viral on FB) :
Only trust someone who can see these 3 things in you:
--- the sorrow behind your smile,
--- the love behind your anger,
--- & the reason behind your silence.
In memory of the 1 in every 8:
"Mental Illness in the Pagan Community"
"Summing up suicide data in bipolar disorder"
..... and 1 of the 8 .....
You do a "Dark Night Of The Soul" -- Our "Dark Nights" can last decades.
(From Wikipedia) -- "The LIM-49A Spartan was a United States Army anti-ballistic missile, designed to intercept attacking nuclear warheads from Intercontinental ballistic missiles at long range and while still outside the atmosphere. For deployment, a defensive five-megaton atomic warhead was planned to destroy the incoming ICBM. It was part of the Safeguard Program."
If you never understand why I put this in, you will equally never have the faintest chance of understanding me.
A Three-Part Theory of the Sources of Today's Most-Pressing World Problems
( Sent to -REDACTED- )
The three-part Theory below (and that is ALL it is, until discussed, dissected, and verified against facts-on-the-ground) attempts to explain why our Earth is so perilously close to completely annihilating the human race. The problems of incessant wars, over-population, Global Warming, and the Iranian Nuclear Crisis are addressed. The key difference between my analysis and all others is that I'm doing this from a Wicca perspective.
CAVEAT: One of the reasons people go Type-II Bipolar, as I did 22 years ago, is that they push their minds past what that organ was ever designed to stand. Today (since 2004) we have really fine medication for that condition -- one I must always take daily. So now I can use my Physics and Engineering degrees, my Military Intelligence training, and skills from a wide variety of business courses (including Myers-Briggs and Kepner-Tregoe) with good assurance that my conclusions will likely have at least some validity.
My wife and I thought to have me look at why, in the 21st Century, we have in the world so much non-Jesus-taught religious fundamentalism (that is "peaceful religiousness", phrased in a way that non-Wiccans can absorb) and so much repression of women (since the two do seem to happen together so often) .
I chose to start my thinking by looking for "the canary in the coal-mine" -- that is, some additional and easily-checkable symptom that correlates to the above two conditions.
After some pondering, I realized that an additional symptom to the above two conditions could well be the number of guns (excluding non-semi-automatic hunting rifles) in the hands of the public of a country. (Of course, politician Mike Huckabee's new book jumped to mind immediately.)
Now, I don't see the presence of solely-human-killing weapons in civilian hands as a cause. I see it as the canary in the coal mine.
Please note that in extremely-repressive regimes, such as Russia (the nascent-reborn-USSR) and Cuba, there is all of "no available-to-civilians human-killing guns" and also no religious fundamentalism and equal rights (except political) to men and women -- and these regimes are very stable (Cuba has endured 50+ years of sanctions, after all) .
However -- I think I do see the cause. And the "canary" above is exactly the tip-off we need.
I suggest that the INITIAL cause of religious fundamentalism and the repression of women is the amount of fighting in wars that a population has recently done. And that the resulting glorification of armed men leads to "wanna-bes" in the civilian population both arming themselves and disdaining both religious-pacifism and non-combatants (i.e., women, the elderly, the disabled, etc.)
In particular... I'm concerned that the U.S. might be being deliberately suckered into wars into order to "fundamentalize" our country.
Now I'm going to expand on the above, from an even-more Wiccan perspective:
I'm suggesting that our Earth may be responding to over-population by initiating a feedback effect.
I suggest that the more a society represses women and others, the more and increasingly-larger wars it will get into. This effect will positively-feedback until that society is annihilated -- thus weeding out the societies most repressive of women, etc. and thereby controlling the Earth's population.
(About the theory and methodology of feedback loops: I always wondered if my 1970s Physics-Lab lectures on operational amplifiers were ever going to be of any use) .
Above, I proposed that (1) the INITIAL cause of religious fundamentalism and the repression of women, etc. is the amount of fighting in wars that a population has recently done -- and that the resulting glorification of armed men leads to "wanna-bes"in the civilian population both arming themselves and disdaining both religious-pacifism and non-combatants (i.e., women, the elderly, the disabled, etc.) , and (2) our Earth may be responding to over-population by initiating a feedback effect by which the more a society represses women et al, the more and increasingly-larger wars it will get into (an effect positively-feeding-back until that society is annihilated -- thus weeding out the societies most repressive of women et al and thereby controlling the Earth's population) .
Now, the easiest way to discredit any theory is to find a prominent example that it DOESN'T explain and which doesn't fit with it at all. So I went looking for a new "ridiculously illogical" situation
The one I looked at is Global Climate Change (aka Global Warming) . It simply doesn't make sense that the Goddess would launch it to reduce population -- since it would kill off virtually everyone.
Here's the explanation. The Iranian Ayatollahs aren't going after the U.S. -- They're really fighting "The Great Satan".
I suspect that in France in 1978 (while he was briefly there in exile) , the Ayatollah Khomeini was exposed to the power of British Traditional Witchcraft (BTW) . And -- since Islam literally executes witches on sight -- he's going after the Wiccans (possibly at the behest of the French intelligence services, since the British intelligence services use magick) .
Let me support the following tentative conclusion: the Ayatollah Khomeini took dictatorial power in Iran in 1979, cemented it in 1981 (by ousting Iran's first-ever president) , and then, in 1982, the roof started to fall in on BTW.
--- the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. failed,
--- the U.S. began its war on drugs (Wiccans often use drugs) ,
--- there were huge strides towards the internet (TCP-IP and the Commodore 64) which led to an explosion in the number of basically-untrained eclectic covens,
--- the Israelis went into Lebanon (the most liberal Middle Eastern country, and probably as close as Wicca ever got to Iran) ,
--- Brezhnev died, leading to the collapse of the USSR (good for France but leading to Putin's new religious intolerance) ,
--- the Falklands War erupted (good for France) ,
--- and, possibly as a last-ditch method, Global Warming (solid evidence of which was first found in 1982) will wipe out everyone except "designated survivors" (whom the various governments certainly won't choose from among Wiccans) .
In sum -- it looks like the Iranian Ayatollahs hate Wiccans far more than they hate the U.S.
*** If you think the above is "silly", read the last two paragraphs of http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/irans-anti-us-conspiracies-117509.html?hp=t2_r (which was just released at 4:36 pm on 5/1/2015) ***
SUMMATION: Unfortunately, the above Parts hang together horrifyingly well. Certainly well enough to be worthy of divination by those experienced enough to do it competently and reliably.
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS: I have two. First, I'd let the Russians take over Iran before the Iranians spark World War 3 (the Russians are the only country either positioned to or capable of doing so) -- this is solely a desperation measure. Second, I'd take Lockheed Corporation's fusion power plant design (in active research and due within a decade) and spread it world-wide in a similarly-desperate attempt to shut down every single fossil-fueled power-plant.
Now, neither recommended action solves the root-causes of the problems -- they merely address the symptoms. Once the patient is stabilized and in no danger of immediately dieing, then we can try to cure the underlying illnesses.
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