Page: Profile: (Personal)
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Personal Profile for...
Magickal Path: Solitary Adherent to Wicca
Age Group: Adult
Sun Sign: Leo
Occupation: Disabled and so Retired
Relationship Status: Married
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Located in: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Likes: Helping people with their problems (especially computer ones) , often by coming up with insights to geopolitical problems [small problems and big ones are often the same amount of work (as below, so above!) , so I may as well look to solve the big problems].
Dislikes: #1 -- Back-stabbers. #2 -- Pollution. #3 -- Wasting resources (particularly natural ones) . (Lacks of understanding I'm actually very tolerant of.)
My greatest desire is to worship and serve the Goddess and Her global community.
I seek to join a study group. Although I need to be in a coven (to keep myself grounded and centered) , my wife and I have long been planning to move to some new, distant area and so a study group would be more appropriate at this time.
Note: As unbelievable as it sounds, I was HP for the very first esbat I ever attended. I sensed something was drastically wrong from what I saw when I first entered, then I was made HP, and things went downhill from there. That's why I read and study -- so I now know things like it takes a 2nd degree to be HP.
The keys to Magick are:
--- Develop breath control (necessary for centering and grounding)
--- Practice meditation (necessary both for enduring focus and for trancing)
--- Learn a divination method (necessary for checking ahead on the results of magick)
--- Develop lasting visualization ability (eventually with eyes open)
--- Learn how to "count down" into trance (eventually utilizing visualization instead of count)
--- Explore chakras (requires good visualization skill)
--- Attempt energy work (requires improved visualization skill)
--- Practice pathworking (requires excellent visualization skill)
The basic idea is to go into trance and then project focused energy at and through a symbol so that your desired exactly-visualized "completed state" will come to pass. (More steps are helpful, but these are the crucial ones.)
Strong visualization skill, whose development is supported by the other skills, is the critical element. The following book is a very good beginning to acquiring this skill:
--- Shakti Gawain's "Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life" (2002)
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 for 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 seven 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 and back on 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, 38 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 22 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 ) .
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.
The books (of our over-188 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.....
-- Silverwind's "The Everything Paganism Book" (2004, light-weight reading) (read 18 targeted chapters in January 2016)
----- "Ultimately all correct actions are acts of love."
-- Higginbotham's "Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions" (2002) (read in December 2015/January 2016)
-- Strong's "Auras: Discovering How to See, Sense and Understand Auras" (2015) (read in January 2016)
----- ( An extremely-thin book that provides a very fine "kick-start" to reading auras. )
-- Pond's "Chakras for Beginners" (1999) (read in January 2016)
----- ( My first three chakras were badly harmed, but my fourth and fifth are still super-energized. And I see my sixth chakra surging open, albeit in an undisciplined manner. Finally, I have a very good shot at attaining the seventh chakra, but can't start on it at this time as a lot of trust-rebuilding is needed first (as well as repairing my first three chakras) . )
-- Vivianne Crowley's "Principles of Wicca" (1997) (read In August 2015)
---- (This book is far superior to any other I've read, as an Introduction)
-- Raven Grimassi's "Spirit of the Witch" (2003) (read in April 2014)
---- (my 1st Must-Read book for newbies)
-- McCoy's "Inside a Witches' Coven" (1997) (read in March 2014)
---- (my 2nd Must-Read book for newbies)
-- Orion Foxwood's "The Flame in the Cauldron" (2015) (read in June/July 2015)
---- (*** You very likely will read this book if you are a serious newbie ***)
-- Silver RavenWolf's "To Light a Sacred Flame" (1999) (read in July 2014)
-- 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.)
-- Lady Maeve Rhea's "Summoning Forth Wiccan Gods and Goddesses" (1999) (read in December, 2014)
-- Frater U D's "Practical Sigil Magic: Creating Personal Symbols" (1990/2012) (read In December 2015)
----- (not a purely-Wiccan perspective)
SOLITARY WICCA (PRIMARILY) :
-- Cunningham's "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" (1988) (re-read in January/February 2016)
----- (see especially Chapter 11, for Visualization)
-- Sylvan's "The Circle Within" (2003) (read in January 2016)
-- Buckland's "The Tree: The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft" (1974) (read in January 2016)
-- Buckland's "Wicca For One: The Path Of Solitary Witchcraft" (2004) (read in November 2015)
-- Murphy-Hiscock's "Solitary Wicca For Life" (2005) (re-read in August 2013)
-- Cantrell's "Wiccan Beliefs & Practices" (2001)
-- Penczak's "The Inner Temple of Witchcraft" (2002) (read in May 2014)
-- Adler's "Drawing Down the Moon" (1979/1986) (finished reading in February 2015)
-- 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"
-- Holland's "The Spellcaster's Reference"
-- 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)
-- Rabinovitch's "An' Ye Harm None: Magical Morality And Modern Ethics" (2004) (read in November 2014)
---- ("To cast a spell is to project energy through a symbol")
-- Lord Foxglove's "Advancing the Witches' Craft" (2005) (read in February 2015)
-- Zukav's "The Seat of the Soul" (1989) (read in November/December 2013)
-- "Warnings & Cautions For The New Wiccan or Witch"
---- Use magic "only in direst need, and then must the cause be just"
-- Covenant of the Goddess
----"super-organization" and credentials-clearing organization
-- "The Cauldron" on-line radio station
-- The "classic" 161 Laws
-- Howard's "Modern Wicca: A History From Gerald Gardner to the Present" (2010) (read in May/June 2015)
---- (Accurate, detailed, and raw)
-- Clifton's "Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca And Paganism in America " (2006) (read in June/July 2015)
-- Vivianne Crowley's "Wicca: A Comprehensive Guide to the Old Religion in the Modern World" (1989/1996/2003) (read in Sept./Oct. 2015)
---- This is "Wicca 101 / 102 / 103"
-- "Gardnerian Book of Shadows (Forgotten Books) " (originally published in 1950) (read in July 2015)
-- Telesco's "Advanced Wicca" (2000) (read In August/Sept. 2015)
-- Draco's "Traditional Witchcraft and the Path to the Mysteries" (2015) (read in August 2015)
--- (The initial chapters resonate very strongly with me.)
--- "... and what appears as inspiration to one person, will be completely incomprehensible to another."
-- 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 333" (2003) and "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)
-- Leland's "Aradia: Gospel of the Witches" (1899) (read in September 2015)
---- (Had only a few insights.)
-- "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
-- Legend of the Witches Documentary 1969
---- This video is about witchcraft, but not about Wicca
-- "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 )
-- St. Clair's "Sign of the Labrys" (1963) (read in June 2015)
-- Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land" (1961) (read in August/Sept. 2015) )
---- (Originally read in the late 1960's)
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)
NOW READING -- Raven Grimassi's "Wiccan Magick" (1998)
--- (read 3 of 11 chapters and 2 of 4 appendices)
RECEIVED -- Stewart's "Advanced Magical Arts" (1988 edition, not the expanded new one)
SOON RE/READING ALL SECTIONS OF -- Starhawk & Valentine's "The Twelve Wild Swans" (2000) (read Intro and 1 of 7 chapters)
---- (re-reading all of The Elements and The Inner Path sections as in February 2014, including The Outer Path sections this time)
EXCERPT FROM -- Pond's "Chakras for Beginners" (1999)
--- "The shift from the Third Chakra perspective to the Fourth [Heart] Chakra is huge since it represents an entire paradigm shift. The sense of rivalry with others is abandoned with the Fourth Chakra as you become aware of dealing with others from the heart. From this perspective, cooperation is the way to get needs met. The sense of abundance accompanies this perspective and you realize there is enough of everything for everyone. Compassion awakens as you see that everyone's best interest is in everyone else's best interest as well. We are all here together; interconnected."
--- "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." ---
--- 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"
You do a "Dark Night Of The Soul" -- my own "Dark Night" lasted just over a decade. While the "newest" medicines (in wide use since 2004) achieve near-perfect results, I still remember every bit of the ordeal that (somehow, although several times it was a near thing) I survived.
--- 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." ---
--- (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. ..... It was part of the Safeguard Program." ---
If you never understand why I put the above two paragraphs in, you will equally never have the faintest chance of understanding me.
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