Part 1: When Did Perfect Love and Perfect Trust End?
Written by Firewolf (From Witches Voice)
Today, we live in a country in which we, as followers of the Old Religion, prosper and grow at enormous rates. Our religion and craft grow larger every day, and as a result of this rapid and seemingly unchecked growth, it appears that more misunderstandings are created through the dilution of misguided practioners and teachers of the craft. As Witches, we seem to have forgotten the true meaning of the Old Ways. We cast our circles and perform our rites, yet in many societies throughout our nation, the true meaning of the Old Ways is diluted and depleted as each day goes by. Of course, this is not addressed to those who strive to fix the misconceptions, but to those important societies and organizations who are supposed to represent us, yet portray us in a negative, if not egocentric, manner.
There seem to be many of us arguing over whether so-and-so’s tradition is wrong, historically genuine, or works the best. They frown on those whose blood and tears granted us the rights we have today, because of their arrogance and ignorance. We seem to have forgotten why we are here and that we are all connected to each other in the universal web of life. In a manner, we have forgotten that the point is to revive the Old Ways and not suppress them. Modern Wicca and Witchcraft is not an ancient religion; it is a revival of old pagan ways and worship. To improve the understanding of the Old Religion, and to keep its antiquity, we must stand against the misconceptions, which most either don’t believe exist or to which they turn a blind eye, and educate those who are willing to listen.
Compassion is the key to the Witches’ Magick. The ability to understand and relate to those who suffer, and to project kindness and healing to those around us, is what true Witchcraft embodies. We stand hand in hand in our circles, but allow our egos to overcome us at times and drive us to judge those whom we feel to be our inferiors. In the ways of the Old Religion, there is no superior or inferior. We are physically and emotionally very different, and yet we are still the same, and we must learn to nurture the diversity each human being has to offer. In the process of accepting and respecting other’s diversity, we may learn something and place it in our own lives to act as a catalyst for growth and magick. We must all strive to show the compassion and love of the Gods in everything we do, for love is the true key to the mysteries of the Goddess.
Now we come to those who seem to be compassionate, and yet who, in the end, suffer from hardship and disrespect. Sovereignty is the Crown of the Witch — it is the ability to project compassion while keeping a positive sense of self-control that grows and prospers. In my day, I have met many “weak” people who cling to magick and spells as a resolution for everything wrong in their lives. We as witches must take responsibility for this major misconception. We must once again have the sovereignty to educate those who have been guided onto this path of ignorance.
Within all communities there will always be differences and disagreements, but do we want the future generation of Witches to see us as arrogant, pompous, self-absorbed Priests and Priestess, looking for a way to control others? Especially when, in reality, those who seem to control others are those who have no control over themselves? We must learn to balance our egos — not to suppress them — for they are of our nature, but to balance them and understand ourselves. Knowing ourselves creates the energy for us to grow and become better and healthier people.
We must take a stand, turn the protesting signs around, and look at what we are becoming. We are becoming what we hate: those self-righteous people who are absorbed with in their own life but who judge the lives and spiritual progression of others. When I say “we must take a stand, ” I mean in our own personal lives. We must learn and educate ourselves so that, one day, our world will be more tolerant if not more understanding. And we must change ourselves to become more tolerant and understanding of the things around us as well. We need to stop hiding behind these masks of weakness, arrogance, and blame, and stand up for ourselves, and for the Gods our Ancestors so dearly treasured. The Gods, above and below, teach us to love, to dance, and sing in their honor… and it seems we have forgotten that. Bless those who fight, honor those who have died, and show compassion to those in need.
We need to ask ourselves, “What makes a Witch?” Is it lineage, age, tradition, degree…? A true Witch strives to balance his or her own life, to bring about a better connection with the Divine. Our Ancestors knew this, and yet it seems as though we are on a path which causes us to forget. And in the end of all ends, what does it matter what your lineage is, or who you were initiated by? All that matters is who you are as a person and as a follower of the Old Religion, and what is in the deepest places of your heart.
Look inside and ask yourself: are you a Witch? Are you, right now, striving to build a better connection and understand the Powers that be? If yes, then you are on the true path of our Goddess. If no, don’t give up; learn to bring about change and make a stand in your life for the better. We need to stand in our circles of magick and connect with those around us and become channels of love and magick for the world to see.
We must learn to Honor those who teach, bless those who are willing to learn, love all of the Old Ways, not what we pick and choose to love, and to draw the magick of Sovereignty and Compassion into our lives and use them as tools of magick and knowledge. We have no right to judge, for in the Old Ways, there is no judgment-only love and understanding!
In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust!
Part 2: The True Tools of the Witch – Compassion and Sovereignty
by Firewolf (From Witches Voice)
After writing an article last October, I did not expect to receive such beautiful feedback from so many people, and I want extend a special thank you to all of you who so enjoyed my article. At the end of the year many people rushed me to post another article, so I sat down for a long period of time and could not think of what to write about. Later, after a long lecture with a student of mine, I finally came to a realization. It seems that many of us in the Craft have forgotten the responsibility, and at some level the self-responsibility, we take as Witches. Many of us know the physical tools of the Craft yet overlook the important mental tools-those of Compassion and Sovereignty.
A teacher of mine once spent many months trying to get my stubborn Aries mindset to understand that Compassion is the heart and soul of what a Witch does and represents. The ability to understand others, to feel the pain and sorrow they experience, is the first step. It is imperative, though no easy task, to understand and relate to the people we are surrounded by.
We surround ourselves with people of a like mind, of people who agree with our personalities, people who understand and respect who we are and where we have come from, and people who help us to grow. We do this, at least on a minute level, for selfish reasons-it gives us validation of who we are and of the choices we have made in life.
We get consumed within our own comfort zones, choosing to focus on what is good and right in our lives, overlooking the fact that our personal viewpoints and interpretations may be far from anything correct relative to the strangers and their life experiences around us.
In our own community, this idea manifests itself in the judgments we pass on each other, especially regarding others level of knowledge and years of “service” in the Craft. You find many Witches using derogatory terms such as “fluff bunny” and/or “Newiccans, ” but we must ask ourselves, “Who are we to judge anyone?”
Are the Ways of our Ancestors judgment and hatred? Instead of titling those we perceive as dabblers and meddlers and dismissing them entirely, guiding them should be our true calling as Witches. When I hear others use derogatory terms judging others of the Craft, it breaks my heart to see people projecting such negativity and judgment. No one has the right to judge anyone or anything; we are made by the Gods in the manner in which they desire.
It is up to us to grow and learn every day and to experience love and light in all that we do, and also to guide those around us towards that light, as long as they truly ask for help in seeking. We recognize and respect the experiences of others – without judgment – as we desire others to recognize and respect the experiences that have shaped us into the people we are. Only then do we show Compassion for others.
As I stand surrounded by my delightful coven of intelligent women and humble men, my heart is filled with hope for our future. We all stand with Compassion in our hearts and Sovereignty sitting on our heads like a crown. Many of us go through life’s chaotic experiences and ask ourselves how we can overcome them, understand them, and learn from them.
Sovereignty is the crown of our soul; with it we have the ability to practice Compassion in a correct and positive manner, aiding us in protecting ourselves and removing ourselves from that “victim” personality trait. There are so many scrupulous practitioners who claim lineage and hereditary bloodlines, overlooking the fact that in the end of all ends, that alone truly does not make one a Witch. What makes a Witch is what magick they project, what is within their heart, and their path towards doing the greater good in the name of the Goddess.
There are also many who, claiming to follow and practice the Old Ways, strive for controlling others mentally, physically and even financially. Seeking the control of another is not of the Goddess. Her path is of love and magick, not of self-disposed egos and the lack of a positive mind.
I myself have witnessed many of the Craft extorting themselves as having some outstanding hierarchy, when in fact the only hierarchy in the Craft is the Goddess and God. As it seems, their actions are the result the seeds they have planted long ago… seeds of jealousy and a lack of self-love.
Many feel that when negativity or hate is sent their way, and life’s chaotic experiences cause them difficulty, that they should use the Art of Magick to send it back to the person or event that caused it. These people are overlooking the major points of life. In order to grow and respect this wonderful gift of life, we need to endure hardship at times, and to overcome life’s problems, focusing on growth and happiness, not curses and hexes, helps to teach us the lessons we are supposed to learn.
Through the gaining and understanding of knowledge, we as human evolve and grow. It is blatantly understood that many do not believe in karma or follow the threefold law, which is an opinion and a belief of others that I respect. But to throw a black candle at every problem that arises in life dilutes our ability to learn and love, as well as grow.
To entirely experience life, we must learn and understand all of the hurtles on our roads, and to find love in all that occurs; this is the Witches Path. It is a time in history that we need to put our black candles down and focus on planting seeds of love and peace. Through this we can laugh and dance, and solely experience the ambrosia of life, whole-heartedly and balanced.
It is the negativity and self-disposed mindset that causes many misconceptions in the Craft, this our Elders so dearly fought against. The rights we have today seem to be unappreciated and ignored, as if they are something to be expected or taken for granted.
We again must stop focusing our intentions and magick on these simple troubles, and focus them on bettering ourselves and the world around us, and allowing time to take its course. I sit at my altar in my quaint little home lighting candles for world peace and to protect our soldiers at war. Although for many this may seem as a childish thought, but we must ask ourselves “Does this small charge of magick help?”
The answer is, of course, that it does.
The Magick of the Goddess and God infuses our every thought and wills us to push our intentions towards our own personal balance. Within that balance, we will laugh, dance, and sing in their praise.
Through Compassionate actions and Sovereign decision-making, we will guide ourselves down the spiral path towards Summerland. We need to stand strong and use Sovereignty as our armor and Compassion as our sword.
And with these tools, we will accomplish what is correct and for the good of all.