Category Archives: The Wanton Witch

All things wyrd and wonderful.

Wise words

Your spirituality should be what’s right for you your politics should be what’s right for everyone.

Words like that are why I try and make the effort to attend my local pagan gatherings.
In the sharing and discussions I will always come away with food for though and something which rings true.

This month this wonderful Utterance was by George Harmon who runs
www.witches-attic.com “A quality craft / bookshop covering all areas of Paganism, Occult & Esoteric practice”

Last Full Moon of the year.

This evening is not just the last Friday of 2012 but the last full moon of the year.

moon

And what a year it has been; I have learned more about myself then what I expected and took on challenges that a few years previous I would have hidden from.

So as the Sun starts it’s journey back, bringing us out of the dark part of the year, it’s time to start dreaming of the year to come.
Of what we might learn, of what we may bring to it and how we will face the challenges to come.

Time to look back and take stock of lessons learned and plan to make ready for more wishes to come true. What dreams to you wish to come through for the next 6 months as the Sun reaches it’s high point? Will you be ready for them when they knock on your door?

There is still many days of winter left, time enough to clear away the old so that we may nurture our new shoots when spring comes.

Every cycle has it’s point of rest and reflection and I think we do ourselves a disservice by not making the best of them.
Time to dream in the dark for a while.

We have had legal pagan weddings for the last two years…

We have had legal pagan weddings for the last two years but it seems that some of our TDs are unaware of this fact.

http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/local/o-dea-backs-humanist-wedding-ceremonies-draws-line-at-satanism-1-4618629#.UNwNKqAv2SI.twitter

An article in the Limerick leader this morning quotes Willie O’Dea TD as being supportive of legislation to allow for Humanist soleminisers.

An amendment to the 2004 Civil Registration Act, the bill passed in the Dail last week, comes on foot of representations from the Humanist Association of Ireland.

Figures from last year’s census show that 5.3% of the population of Limerick city described themselves as having no religion.

Speaking on the bill, Deputy O’Dea commented: “I have never attended a humanist wedding but I recently attended a humanist funeral in Limerick. I was impressed by the dignity and solemnity of the occasion. People of the humanist persuasion espouse an ethical philosophy of life and are required to act with reason and compassion. I do not doubt that many of them live their lives far better than people who claim to be members of particular religious organisations.”

But it seems that there are some groups he think should not be able to apply to have soleminisers.

Mentioning scientologists, “pagan associations and the Universal Church of Satan”, Deputy O’Dea said “most people would find it undesirable that such organisations might be authorised to solemnise marriages … in this country simply because they happen to be part of a religious group as per the broad definition set out in the principal act”

Oh dear.

I’ve already emailed the Deputy to make him aware that we already have legal pagan marriage in this country for the last two years.

http://www.freewebs.com/paganfederationireland/paganweddings.htm

Legal Pagan Marriage

With effect from 15th December 2009,
the National Coordinator of Pagan Federation Ireland,
has been registered on the Register of Solemnisers,
under the terms of Section 53(3) of the Civil Registration Act 2004.

Consequently, it is now possible to be legally married
in a Pagan ceremony in Ireland

If you wish to be legally married in a Pagan ceremony,
please contact paganfederationireland@gmail.com
to discuss the necessary requirements and availability.

In fact I know of a fair new which have even happened in his constituency,
I guess he wasn’t invited.

Waiting for the return of the Sun…

Every year I try and keep the same tradition, I light a large candle from the hart of the house and leaving burning during the longest nights.

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These days modern pagans can check when exactly the Sun moves into Capricorn, but it wasn’t that long ago what it was a little harder to tell. Yes, yes there is Newgrange but even then there are 3 days that the sunlight will make it down the passageway, on the Solstice and the day before and the day after.

I have used the same small program for years, to help me keep track for you do need to, as you can’t rely on the calendar dates, it is called Lunabar

The Wheel of the year turns but we do not turn with it unless we put the time and effort in. This winter so far has been a good one, one of accomplishment and new challenges and for me discovering new skills and forging new relationships. I look forward to what they year to come will bring.

I love this time of year as we reach the tipping point, the point of change and transition and I am grateful for the time winter gives me to contemplate the past year, and the year to come and to spend time with friends and family.

I have friends the far side of the planet and am aware that for them it is the Summer Soltice, for them the Sun starts to wane and the harvests start to ripen. There is such wonderful balance in this.

So were ever you are, what ever your spirituality or if the Sun is returning or taking it’s leave, I hope the next 6 months are wonderful for you and in ways you don’t expect.

Science and Magic

This was written June 2006 and presented at the An Fáinne meeting with a discussion afterwards

Science and Magic

Too many people science and magic seem to be world apart from each other. They could be considered to be opposing takes on the worlds we live in esp. as science has been used to try and debunk magic by many.

I would disagree with this and say that they owe a lot to each other and that we could not have one with out the other.

There was a time when all science was magical and all knowledge was hoarded and passed on with much secrecy, from the parent to child, master to apprentice, magician to adept. Too keep the knowledge of certain crafts with in the craft there were lineages either with in families which can be seen in names such as baker, cooper, smith the trade and the family becoming synonymous with their craft, to the records that were kept in guild houses tracing back the journey of apprentice to master craftsman and under who’s sponsorship and teachings, a different sort of lineage.

This then eventually became as we know it today in the realms of academics and of engineering and medicine, where were you taught and under whom did you do your training and researches. The same ways of vouching and accreditation applies.

There are as ever those who figure things out them selves and debark on the process of trail and error for there are some things that occur to people to test and seek and to see what will or could happen, this curiosity and experimentation has served both magic and science well.

From the person who first discovered striking flint and iron pyrite together to make sparks and create fire, to the person what learned to speak to the fire and the fire elementals, to the person who smelted the first metals to the application of gas and oil fired heating each of these processes had something in common the magical moment of inspiration and imagination that allowed the person to view how things might be done differently or the magical moment they fell on their rear ends and discovered something by accident.

There are schools of science that simply would not exist without the magical or pseudoscience that begat or fostered them. We would not have astronomy with out astrology, chemistry with out alchemy, pharmacology with out herbalism and even psychology with out the head logy of shamans, kenning people, wise ones, druids, witches and medicine women and men.

Even the methodology of experimentation and substitution used in science, of how one carries out an experiment from the listing of tools and ingredients needed, how they are gathered and prepared, the instructions on how to, the what to expect and the conclusion that can be draw afterwards can be found in magical texts from the key of Solomon to grimoires and texts on herbs and simples.

It is the literacy of the many that has moved science forward so much over the last 150 years. The publishing of findings and the open sharing of science that enabled many minds to puzzle out and build upon each other’s knowledge and take discoveries once step further. To the extent reading science text was fashionable and everyone marveled at them and learned.

So much knowledge became less secret and most children now learn the principles of magnets and have how the solar system spins explained to them.

Is magic going through the same process?
Has science now developed from magic and come full circle to give us the tools develop magic in a similar revolution?
The quiet type where things which were magical and fantastical and that only odd people believed in like the earth being round are gaining common creditability were as before hand they were dismissed completely.

How many house holds have oil burners and incense in them, crystals and dream catchers? How many people believe and practice reiki? How many people are seeking out alternative treatments and holistic therapies?

With the many books and writings that are out there will we see more people? Taking up magic or what was perceived as magical practices and making them work for themselves in their lives? how tuned in will we all be when we all or the majority believe in energy workings as much as we believe in magnets and magnetic fields?

As science gains ground and more is learned about energy and particle and wave physics the more it is being seen that everything in the universe is connected and the only difference can be the energy patterns and how they vibrate and react.

This universal communality was considered to be one of the core teachings of alchemy and it has come around again.
Also the seven hermetic principles are being rediscovered by physicists and they are surprised to see how they apply esp.

The Principle of Vibration which embodies the truth that motion is manifest in everything in the Universe, that nothing rests, and everything moves, vibrates, and circles.

The Principle of Rhythm which embodies the truth that in everything there is manifested a measured motion, a to and fro; a flow and inflow; a swing backward and forward, in short, a pendulum-like movement.

The Principle of Polarity which embodies the truth that everything is dual, everything has two poles, and everything has its pair of opposites

The Principle of Cause and Effect which explains that there is a cause for every effect, and an effect for every cause

These 4 alone have scientist wondering about how they are seeing all this in the fundamental building blocks of the universe and that these principles are supposedly over two millennia old and the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus There has been a lot of speculation on the origins of the Kybalion it certainly makes for interesting reading.

So how does science impact on your magical views and magical workings?
If how we view the world and the universe from how we are thought which is for the most part through the tools of understanding that have been developed on a scientific bases (from primary school level we are taught 2 +2 = 4 and to accept it and not ask why or what if it didn’t) how unhinged do we have to let our rational minds become before we can accept things that science has not found ways to explain or measure yet?

I do mean yet for it was the engineer and physicist Lord Kelvin (of the Kelvin scale of temperature), that declared in the 1900 that “X-rays are a hoax.” As they were immeasurable and had no useful applications and we all know how that turned out.

Do we as magical practitioners use magic to bridge the gaps in our science or science to back up our magic or restrict and shape it and can this cause conflicts and blocks with in ourselves limiting what maybe possible ?

Many of the things that were considered magical have been as the human stores of common knowledge expand simply seen as matter of fact.
But of then science can explain the how of things but not the why.

Could it be that we should look again at the world around use with the awe and appreciation of a child who makes paper clips dance to their command with the magic of a magnet, is that less of an act of will and the application of secret knowledge ?

And if we are aiming to live a magical life we should see the magic in science, the science in magic and aim for the middle path between the two for we need both.

You are invited to a book launch…

The book launch for A Practical guide to Irish Spirituality will be held on the 14th of December, 10.30am – 1pm in The Irish Writer’s Center.
There will be a talk from the Author, a drinks reception and a signing.

A perfect chance to pick up a copy and have it dedicated as present for someone this coming Christmas/Yule/Winter Solstice.

For further enquirers contact: WolfpackPublishers@gmail.com +353 (0)71 9634754

Very much looking forward to this, see you there.

The Dagda’s Club

The Dagda’s Club
© 1989, 2001 c.e.
Words by Isaac Bonewits
music by Henry Work (1875) for “My Grandfather’s Clock”
Key of C

The Dagda’s club is too large for much stealth,
So it drags all the time on the ground.
It’s longer by half than the Good God Himself,
Sure it’s like has never been found.
It amazed on the morn of the day that He was born,
And was always His treasure and pride.
The power / of / the Dagda’s mighty club
Just cannot be denied!

‘Cause it’s huge and it’s frightening,
Wham! Bam! Wham! Bam!
It’s fast as the lightening —
Wham! Bam! Wham! Bam!
The power / of / the Dagda’s mighty club
Just cannot be denied!

The Dagda’s a God at the peak of His prime —
No bare cheeked lad is He!
With the strength and the wit to match any other God,
And the appetites of three!
He will eat up all your food, and He’ll drink up all you’ve brewed,
And of maidenheads soon you’ll have none.
They’ll line up / at / the sight of His mighty club,
Sure it dazzles everyone!

‘Cause it’s huge…

Morrigan, Mighty Queen, Terror of all the Gods,
Is a dangerous female.
When She screams out Her lust, mortal men grab their cods,
And immortal ones turn pale!
But the Dagda has no fear, their relationship is clear,
He can turn Her roaring to a purr.
When She wants / Her / rough and tumble way,
He just stands right up to Her!

‘Cause it’s huge and it’s frightening,
Wham! Bam! Wham! Bam!
It’s fast as the lightening —
Wham! Bam! Thank you Ma’am!
The power / of / the Dagda’s mighty club
Just cannot be denied

“A Practical guide to Irish Spirituality” Book Release.

So I have a friend who was writing their second book, on a topic I have an avid interest in and they asked for input from people and then all of a sudden, the input I gave manifested it’s self as the front cover and forward of the book.

The book is “A Practical guide to Irish Spirituality Slí Aon Dhraoí” by Lora O’Brien, it is published by Wolfpack and is available now. http://www.wolfpackpublishers.com/spiritual.html

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It bills it’s self thusly “You don’t have to be Pagan, or New Age, or Magical, or Spiritual, to read this book. You don’t even have to be Irish. To get the full benefit, you do have to be open minded, willing to learn something about yourself, about Ireland, and maybe even about your place in this land.”

It is packed full of thinking points and questions, many of which you will answer about yourself, offering many personal unexpected and wonderful insights as well as the ones provided in the book by the Author.

Tam Lin

The first appearance of the ballad of Tam lin is in the ‘The Complaynt of Scotland‘ which was printed in 1549.

I found the tale re told in a book which was part of a series of fairy stories around the world, which my local library had in the children’s section and which I worked my way through, many times.

It is about a headstrong young woman, named Janet who goes where she wills and falls in love with someone  who is under the thrall of the Queen of Fairies so she rescues him, by being brave and seeing through the glamours cast on him.

There are many different versions and variations of the ballad, most of them have been collated here at http://www.tam-lin.org/tamlin1.html

Of course one of the most famous modern english versions was recorded by Fairport Convention.

I don’t know if we will ever see a Disney movie version of Tam Lin, how ever I do know I preferred that Janet as a role model rather then Cinderella or Sleeping beauty growing up.  And then there is the haunting way it ends, with the last words given to the Queen of Fairies, which has always made me wonder what happened next for it seemed to me that this was not going to be the last encounter between her and Janet.

  1. Out then spak the Queen o Fairies,
    Out of a bush o broom,
    “Them that has gotten young Tam Lin
    Has gotten a stately-groom.”
  2. Out then spak the Queen o Fairies,
    And an angry woman was she,
    “Shame betide her ill-far’d face,
    And an ill death may she die,
    For she’s taen awa the bonniest knight
    In a’ my companie.
  3. “But had I kend, Tam Lin,” said she,
    “What now this night I see,
    I wad hae taen out thy twa grey een,
    And put in twa een o tree.”