Showing posts with label Witchcraft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Witchcraft. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

So, You Want to Know About the SALEM WITCH TRIALS - Part TWO - How Salem Village Discovers 3 Witches

Reverend Samuel Parris (1653-1720)
Reverend Samuel Parris (1653-1720)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Parris Family- This is where the hysteria started in 9-year-old Betty.

Samuel Parris started his education at Harvard but dropped out to earn his fortune as a merchant in Barbados. He was not successful in the Caribbean and moved his family back to New England in order to find steady pay as a minister. He had a difficult time finding a job because he did not have a degree. He was a talented minister, even his enemies would agree, but he was also resentful and close-minded. Salem Village could find no minister, and Samuel Parris could find no parish, but still, the two couldn't come to terms and negotiated for nearly a year before Parris agreed to take the job.


Samuel believed the village should give him the parsonage forever, but the town would only agree to let his family live there for as long as he was a minister. Because of this, Parris got off to a rough start in Salem and there were many who did not like him. Samuel wanted to be a mover and shaker but lacked the gumption to see it through. Samuel Parris was the type of man who hated when people asked him questions about his own life but loved when they asked him his opinion about life, in general.

Mrs. Parris had it pretty easy compared to her neighbors. The brunt of the housework was done by the two slaves the Parris' brought back from Barbados. Mrs. Parris was frequently ill or away from the home, leaving the children in the care of the slave, Tituba.

There were two younger children that did not become afflicted.

Elizabeth Parris, or "Betty," at only nine years old, was the first to display any symptoms in January. Her body would go completely rigid, or she would zone out and make animal noises. She was a young, confused little girl who lived under the roof of a sanctimonious, rigid, father, who was constantly preaching fire and brimstone. Those who witnessed her behavior, especially her father, became alarmed and wondered how to fix her. Betty was a part of the accusations against the first three "witches," but she sent to live away from the home soon after and was not a part of the ensuing uproar.

Abigail Williams, the 11 1/2-year-old nieces living with the Parris'. (There is no record of what brought her away from her parents.) Like most sad children, Abigail yearned for attention, especially from men, but her quest would have brought her all the wrong notice. Children were expected to be seen and not heard, and Abigail was frequently compared unfavorably to the well-behaved Betty.

Abigail, who had always been a little jealous of her younger cousin, became utterly green with envy when Betty started to have spells. Not only was the girl getting all of the attention from the adults, but she got to say and do whatever she wanted without discipline. Before long, Abigail got in on the act and went on to be one of the most ardent and vocal accusers.

Tituba, a female slave from Barbados, had always been regarded with suspicion. It was not common for Massachusetts families to own slaves, but it was not illegal. The Puritans couldn't figure out whether Tituba was one of those voodoo people from the Caribbean or one of those pagan Indian savages, but either way, they didn't like her. Above all, Tituba loved Betty, and would frequently sit with the child and stroke her hair.

John Indian was also a slave in the Parris household. He and Tituba were a couple (some say they were married, but formalities such as marriage were not necessary for slaves). Fearing he would be accused next, John Indian suddenly became one of the afflicted during Tituba's confession. He would put on "fits" at Ingersoll's Ordinary (the local inn), writhing about on the floor and passing off old scars proof of abuse by the witches. He also testified at examinations.

The Beginning

It is almost impossible for a modern-day American to understand what life would have been like in January 1692. The average Puritan house had a huge fireplace, big enough to roast a whole pig indoors, but unless you were within a few yards of the fire, you were going to be cold. There were few social engagements, and people did not go visit. Men kept occupied with hunting trips and other outdoor activities, but a female could easily spend the entire week between church meetings trapped inside her dismal home. Puritans did not have the merriment of Christmas (they considered it a pagan holiday!?) to take the drudgery out of the long winter, and by January, long into the solitude, every day must have felt like hopeless sorrow, with no end in sight.

There is no clear-cut proof as to what prompted Betty's affliction. Years later, John Alden (an accused witch), wrote the girls were experimenting with a Venus glass to determine the occupation of their future husbands. The method of fortune-telling was harmless enough; an egg white is dropped into a cup of water to see if any images can be discerned in the goo. Alden's version may be accurate, and many authors have run with the idea that the young girls were dabbling in the occult with the same moral trepidation of a young boy peeking at a Hustler, but because it was written five years after the crisis was over, Alden's account of how the scare started cannot be taken as fact.

What is known is Abigail began to display symptoms, too. Mary Sibley, a neighbor, thought the girls were demonically possessed and recommended Tituba bake a "witch cake" according to an old English wives' tale. Tituba mixed Abigail and Betty's urine into the recipe, baked it over the fire, and fed it to the dog. According to legend, the evil spirits were supposed to leave the girls' by way of their pee, and become trapped inside the body of the dog. Samuel Parris was beside himself with anger when he found out about the witch cake. He publicly scolded Mary Sibley from the pulpit, accusing her of "going to the devil for help against the devil." The congregation began to fear they were being invaded by invisible spirits they had no way of fighting.

Parris' next move was to call Dr. Griggs, who consulted his medical books and diagnosed the "evil hand," a perfectly acceptable medical opinion. It was official, the devil was in their midst, and Samuel Parris set about trying to figure out who his accomplices were. He beat the daylights out of Tituba and grilled the girls incessantly about what or who was torturing them. He even called in out of town ministers to pray and fast with the family.

The Putnam's

Thomas Putnam was an outspoken member of the community who always thought he was right. He hated anyone who seemed to have it better and sought revenge by sly maneuvering instead of direct confrontation.

Thomas Putnam was always demanding justice against his supposed wrongs, and his name graces the warrants of more witches than anyone else. Throughout the frenzy, Thomas constantly wrote letters making accusations against anyone he pleased, his allegations growing ever more outlandish each time. He had a dispute with just about everyone: the Nurse family over land, the English family over a failed election; the list of Putnam's enemies who eventually became accused witches goes on and on.

Ann Sr. was a disturbed woman, who carried around a load of anger, and blame. She had come to Salem Village with her dear unlucky sister, who lost every one of her babies before she, too, succumbed to death. Ann Sr. never got over this, especially when her own babies began to die. She would go in and out of affliction, and commonly confused a bad dream with a vision and testified to it as fact.

Ann Jr., at 12, was an uncommon child because her mother had taught her how to read. Around town, she was considered a little prodigy. She had the air of a child who is routinely spoken to about adult matters and treated as if she were an adult. Ann was the leader of the afflicted girls, and also the best witchfinder, testifying against 17 of the 19 "witches" hanged.

Mercy Lewis, Putnam's 17-year-old servant girl, watched as her parents were murdered by Indians. Mercy had been rescued by George Burroughs and placed in the home of the Putnam's.



More girls join the fray.

Ann Putnam, being only 12 years old and unable to resist the temptation of attention, quickly became the leader. It must have felt like Heaven to these young children. All of a sudden, the same grown-ups who were always "shushing" and ignoring were hanging on every word as if the girls knew the meaning of life. It was Ann who took over and began naming names, the other girls nodding in agreement.

On a leap year, February 29, the blame came back to Tituba, but that wasn't all, there were two other witches who haunted the children. Ann named the names, but soon the other girls saw, too.

The accused were rounded up to be examined; a sort of informal pretrial hearing set for March 1. The examination was set to be held in Ingersoll's Ordinary (the local inn), but so many people showed up to watch, the whole affair had to be moved over to the meetinghouse to accommodate the crowd.

Sarah Good was the most obvious choice and the first to be examined.

Her father killed himself in 1672.

She was on her second marriage, but her previous husband had died in huge debt, so Sarah had no money.

She was 39 years old, but most people would have guessed her 70.

She was married with a bunch of children, the youngest one was little Dorcas, was only five years old.

Her husband was a laborer, and though labor was valuable in those days, nobody wanted to hire him because he was attached to Sarah. A neighbor who they stayed with had to kick the Goods out because of Sarah's behavior. She was a mess, she was lazy, and she spoke without thinking. She was crude, and not worth having around, regardless of how much a family needed the extra hands on the farm.

Lately, Sarah had taken to door to door begging. She would show up unexpectedly, and the homeowners would have to watch her go away because she might try to sneak into their sheds. As she walked away she would mutter to herself. Sarah probably had a dash of schizophrenia. The mutterings were taken for curses, and her arrest caused many folks to remember curious incidents that could have been caused by Sarah.

Her favorite pastime was pipe-smoking, and one family had kicked her out because of it. Later, when she was in jail, she would beg tobacco off of the visitors, and even supposedly cursed young Mercy Short, who threw wood shavings at Sarah and told her to smoke them.

She was pregnant when she was arrested, and she had the baby in the Boston jail while awaiting trial. Jailers said she let the baby die. Of course, this is the opinion of a man who thought of Sarah as a foul witch. Sarah's other children were alive, and it is not fair to try to assume what Sarah could have been feeling while holding her dying newborn babe.

Her little daughter, Dorcas, became the youngest accused at 4 and ½ years old. She was thrown in jail like the rest of the "witches," and because she was too young to handle the horrors of being imprisoned in such an awful place, she went insane and was never the same again.

During Sarah's trial one of the afflicted girls screamed out she was being stabbed by Sarah, and the crowd gasped as the girl was even able to produce a broken blade. A young man in the crowd recognized the broken piece and brought out his knife he had broken the day before. The piece fit like a puzzle, and one of the magistrates scolded the girl for lying, though the rest of her testimony was never questioned

Sarah Osburn may have been a less obvious choice for which than Tituba and Sarah good, but she was a woman with a reputation.

She was an older woman in ill health.

After her husband died, Sarah allowed another man to move into her home without the benefit of marriage. This other man, being an Irish immigrant, was under suspicion for nothing more than being different. They eventually did marry, but that didn't change anything in the Puritan mind.

Before the accusation, Sarah had stayed away from church for more than a year.

She died in jail while awaiting trial.





Monday, April 23, 2018

So, You Want to Know About the SALEM WITCH TRIALS - Part ONE - Life As a New England Puritan

"The witch no. 1" lithograph
"The witch no. 1" lithograph (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A hint on how to use this: If you are really interested in the subject, read the whole thing and you'll be able to hold your own in a conversation with an expert. If you have a report to do, or otherwise couldn't care less, just scan down and read the first few sentences of every paragraph. I do not always add dates, as timelines are so easy to find on the internet, but I do follow a loose chronology. The main goal is to present the information as it can be best understood. This is designed for you to get a feel for the life, learn little tidbits of information, and become an all-around more knowledgeable person.

What was life like for the New England Puritan?

The people were floundering about, trying to find purpose. Until about 1660, Americans had a common goal; working together to forge a new frontier, but now the colony was well established and attention turned to gain, both materially and spiritually.

Colonists did not care for the English political leaders. Instead, people idolized the founding fathers, like those who came over on the Mayflower. In 1692, the founding fathers were dead and gone.

The majority of the population had always been born in England, but the tide changed, and in the late 1600's, America was filled with people born on her soil.

There was no separation of church and state, and people who did not attend meetings were suspect and could be punished. Many towns had a rule that a man could not vote if he was not a member of a church.

Because lying was considered a sin, it was punishable by law.

Hangings were not common, but when one occurred it was a form of entertainment that young children were encouraged to attend. The most popular part of the hanging was the last words when the person about to be executed would say goodbye to his or her family. Puritans reasoned allowing children to witness hangings would teach them the consequence of immoral behavior.

Life was an exhausting array of chores with little amusement. The average family made their own bread, butter, cider, ale, clothes, candles, and just about everything else they used. Every member of the family could expect to work from morning to night.

Houses were dark, damp, and depressing. A candle was always burning, even in the middle of the day because the tiny windows let in so little light.

The nearest neighbor usually lived a few football fields away.

Most people could not write, and signed their names on legal papers with their "mark." Signing an "X" was unfashionable to young girls (and even grown women), who liked to make curly cue hearts and other inventive designs.

Because people couldn't read, they didn't care (or know) how their name was spelled, and, since the court reporter couldn't very well ask an illiterate person how to spell his or her name, the spelling depended on who was taking the notes. Many of the official documents spell individual names differently. Mary Easty was also Esty, Osborn, Osburn, Cory, Corey, and so on. Even learned and educated men used a loose grammar, and did not worry about proper spelling.

Normal families had 5-10 kids of their own, and it was common to have an extra child living in the home. By the age of 7, children were given their full share of responsibility and expected to perform to adult standards.

New England had one of the lowest rates of infant mortality in America. "Nine out of ten infants born there survived at least until age five, and perhaps three-quarters lived to see adulthood." In more rural areas as many as 25% of children died before the age of 1, and only about half made it to adulthood.

Most marriages ended with the early death of a spouse. A couple was lucky to get seven years out of each other. Second and third marriages were common.

The man was head of the household. A woman might offer her opinion to her husband behind closed doors, and even prove a valuable ally, but she was expected to concede to her husband in all matters. She could not own property without her husband's permission, or vote. It was assumed that woman was the weaker sex in every way, and if she did not follow her husband's rules, he was encouraged to use physical abuse as a form of "correction."

There was a real fear of Indians (Salem was never attacked), and everyone knew at least one orphan from Maine who watched on as their parents were killed by Indians. Ironically, many people who were captured and held captive chose to stay with the tribe rather than go back to their families.

Politics

America was a colony of England, and had to run things according to a set of rules, called a "Charter," handed down from the English king. Just to get word to England would take 10 weeks by ship. In March, when the witch scare first broke out, the previous charter had been long eliminated. This meant there was no leader, no rules, and the nearest thing to a leader was in England negotiating for a new charter. Because of the situation, the accused witches were examined and held in jail, but not tried. In May, Increase Mather, the president of Harvard (the only New Englander with an official title), sailed back from England with a new charter and a new governor. This is when the actual trials began.

Puritan Beliefs

The Bible was law; period, no questions asked, end of a conversation. It was taken literally, and sins like adultery and sodomy could be punished by death.

"The House Where Witchcraft Started, Now ...
"The House Where Witchcraft Started, Now Danvers, Mass." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Puritan faith had been taking some blows, and there were no new people joining the ranks. Ministers were constantly preaching about the falling ranks and the rise of the devil as if they were one.

Ministers commonly spoke of the virtue of being a good wife, which was all a woman could really hope to be. A woman would be frowned upon if she owned her own land, didn't have a lot of children, or was in any way, outspoken or different.

People dabbled in the occult and practiced white magic. Simple wives tales like fortune telling were passed down from generation to generation, though it was considered evil. Ministers were always preaching about the dangers of inviting the devil in through the occult, no matter how harmless it may seem.

There was a general distrust at the time, and if a cow suddenly died, its owner would likely think one of his neighbors had cursed him. A man would not dare to question God's judgment; he just questioned it being aimed at him. If he searched his soul and found he had done nothing to deserve the death of his cow, he would blame the misfortune on the devil acting through a witch.

To deny God was unquestionable, so by the same token, to deny the existence of the devil would be just as blasphemous. The Bible was taken to be complete truth, and men who could read would consult the Bible for personal, as well as legal matters.

Puritan lifestyle was stringent and righteous, and they were not the loving and forgiving type one would expect to meet in such a religious community. According to Marion Starkey, if a man had a toothache the Puritans figured he had in some way sinned with his tooth. This feeling was so strong that some of the accused witches confessed in bewilderment and wracked their brains to find something they had done in the past to allow the devil to use them in such a manner.

The Puritans used fasting as a means to give God a little extra oomph and unite the community in a cause. Meals were very important, and usually the only time during an average day when a person could sit and relax for a moment.

There was little separation between dreams and real life. To the Puritan, there was a reason for everything, and "...dreams contained prophesies, revelations, truths more real than daily life, and there was no clear explanation of what else they were."

Salem Village

All his life, Thomas Putnam had been resentful of rich families, like the Porters. Both families grew up in Salem Town, but the merchant Porters were more worldly and successful than the farming Putnam's. No matter how hard he tried, Thomas Putnam, an influential man in his own right, just couldn't beat those uppity Porters. The Porters had more land and more money, but what really bothered Thomas was that the Porters were considered smarter than the Putnam's because they were better spoken. Thomas set out to break away from Salem Town and from Salem Village, but the township wasn't eager to let the property go.



Salem Village was allowed to build a meetinghouse, but it was to act as a franchise of the Salem Town meetinghouse. Thomas Putnam tried to pull rank by handpicking the ministers, but this only served to divide the community in half; those who supported Putnam and his choice of  theminister and those who hated Putnam and wouldn't support any choice he made. All the unsuspecting ministers would eventually leave Salem Village because of the conflict. Sometimes, Salem Town/Village would refuse to pay, (George Burroughs had to take a suit to the General Court in order to get paid) and sometimes the ministers would bow out, frustrated by all the arguing and infighting.

Salem Village was finally allowed to act on it's own, and Samuel Parris was the first minister to hold the job for the budding community.

The witch, according to the Salem Puritan.

Witches were notorious for killing otherwise healthy infants.

Witches had pets, known as "familiars," to do their evil bidding. The familiars would drink the blood of their witch masters from an extra "teat" located somewhere on his or her body, usually near the genitals. Salem familiars had the particular habit of sucking between the index and middle finger.

Witches could throw curses like Frisbees, aiming at anyone who irritated them.

Witches made a pact with the devil, sometimes for a specified amount of time. The devil was always tempting people into signing his book.

A witch could not say the "Our Father" prayer without making mistakes.

A witch could be in one place while her specter was causing pain and mischief in another.

The devil had no power over those who didn't give him permission. He could not assume the shape of a righteous person, though the Puritans had no valid reason to believe this and many argued over the use of "spectral evidence."

If a person was convicted, or even accused of being a witch, his or her family was automatically suspect.





Thursday, March 15, 2018

WITCHCRAFT SYMBOLS and Their Meaning

Witchcraft symbol
Photo  by quinet 
There are hundreds of different witchcraft symbols and each one has it's own use and meaning. Some of these witchcraft symbols are already well known, and even used in modern Christianity. Here are just a few of the major witchcraft symbols and their meaning.

The Pentagram, or the five-pointed star. Though the exact meaning of this witchcraft symbol differs from one form of paganism to another, the basic meaning remains the same. This symbol represents the five natural elements of nature. Earth, water, fire, wind, and spirit or akasha.

The Pentagram is used for rituals as well as a symbol of protection and balance. It is a physical representation of the spirit being in balance with all of nature and the world around it. Wear a pentagram if you need protection or wish to ward off evil.

The Cross. That's right ladies and gentlemen, the cross is actually one of many witchcraft symbols. It became a Christian symbol when Christ was crucified on it. But we are talking about the pagan and witchcraft meaning. The cross has been used across many cultures throughout history including the Egyptians, the Japanese, the Sumerians, and many others.

The most widely used representation of the cross is to represent the sun and as a sign of life-giving power. It is also a symbol of life and fertility. The horizontal bar represents the physical existence. Our body and our life in essence. The vertical bar represents knowledge and understanding. To hang on the cross is a sign of having overcome the physical and to have entered the realm of understanding.

The triple goddess is another of witchcraft symbols. This symbol is a crescent moon on the left with the points facing to the left, a circle in the middle, and another crescent moon facing to the right on the right side of the circle. As the phases of the moon are very closely followed and used in witchcraft, this symbol represents three of the four phases of the moon. The first quarter, the full moon, and the last quarter.


The triple goddess symbol is a representation of the maiden, the mother, and the crone. The Maiden represents enchantment, inception, expansion, and the promise of new beginnings. The mother represents fertility, sexuality, nurturing, fulfillment, and stability. The Crone represents wisdom, death, and endings. Like the meaning of this witchcraft symbols, you have the maiden which is the waxing moon, the mother which is the full moon, and the crone with is the waning moon.

These are just a few of the many witchcraft symbols. Do some research and you will begin to find many more and their meanings. The key is to learn how to use these symbols in the ritual to your advantage and to understand each key energy that the symbol represents.




Monday, January 29, 2018

The Magic and WITCHCRAFT of Water Spirits

July 7 2009 Extravaganza - Prediction = True
Photo  by Pilottage 
The process of self-transformation in magic and witchcraft is very difficult to understand.  We all have been told over and over how we ought to act and think, what we ought to be like, but somehow the doing of it is not as easy as they make you believe.  We seem to make spiritual progress, but then we always slip back to square one.  Even when we see that we have indeed grown spiritually over our lives, nonetheless we don’t understand how it is that we got here from there.

Self-transformation is a process which cannot be understood intellectually but can only be felt.  The easiest and most effective technique which is employed in witchcraft and magic is the resort to nature spirits, especially tree spirits and water spirits.  Although some nature spirits such as cave and mountain spirits can be strict and difficult to deal with, or else require lots of propitiation, water and tree spirits are mellow and gentle.

Go alone to a creek or river in a wilderness area where there won’t be any people about.  You ought to go alone because if you take a friend with you, then you will be tempted to refer your judgment to your friend to be validated, rather than take responsibility yourself for your own intuitive judgment.

It is best to be alone when you don’t know what you’re doing.  Begin walking upstream, and pay close attention to the sounds and sights.  Water spirits are usually located in places where there are deep pools, springs, bends in the river, rapids, cataracts, etc.  Also, you usually find striking physical formations or features where water spirits live, such as interesting vegetation or unusual rock formations.  There is often a noticeable change in the river’s sound:  if it has been calm, then it suddenly becomes gurgling or vice versa.  In short, you will usually find some sensory clue which indicates that a water spirit is present.

However, you ought to be able to feel the spirit directly:  i.e. feel that this particular spot in the river has a unique personality or feeling to it.  Whenever you receive the feeling that you have arrived at the correct spot, then be assured that you have arrived at the correct spot.  Magic and witchcraft are a matter of learning to trust yourself.

Then sit on the bank of the river and just relax.  You can talk to the water spirit.  That’s another reason to go alone so that you don’t feel silly in front of another person.  Explain to the spirit who you are, and why you have come.  Ask the spirit to help you wash away your self-pity. Then remove your clothes, and jump in.  If the water is shallow, then just splash around.  Do not use soap.  If the river is not polluted, then take a sip.



Then get out, thank the water spirit, dry yourself off, and leave.  It is best to do this witchcraft and magic every day if this is possible; but if it isn’t then just go as frequently as you are able.  If you’re serious about your magic and witchcraft, you should go at least one time a week, even if this entails freezing weather.  You might be surprised to find out that you only feel cold before you jump; while you are in the water the spirit will keep you warm.  It is also a good idea to go whenever someone has put a bad vibe on you; or when you feel self-pitying, desperate, or depressed.  At first, you might not feel much of a difference after visiting a water spirit, but after you’ve been doing it for a while you will feel a definite change after visiting the spirit.  You will be amazed how much the spirit calms and soothes you when you go to it in a mood of upset or turmoil.

You can obtain holy water to be used in purifying and blessing from a water spirit.  This is best done when the moon is dark – warning, before the moon has risen – and with the moon in a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces).  As you draw the water, ask the spirit to bless it for you.


    Magic and witchcraft are merely sets of techniques for transforming ourselves by eradicating self-pity. By performing the same act of witchcraft and magic – such as resorting to a water spirit – on a daily basis without fail, the ultimate success is assured. 
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Monday, December 18, 2017

WITCHCRAFT - The Witch of Today


For centuries, the practice of witchcraft was considered an evil and foul tradition, and witches were hunted and killed, often by cruel and painful methods, usually by being burnt alive at the stake. Fear of witches and witchcraft was widespread throughout several areas of Europe and in some areas of a newly settled America. The witchcraft delusion was an epidemic affecting everyone, and even a simple accusation of being a witch, despite the absence of any real evidence, was often enough to condemn an individual to torture and death.

Thankfully, modern society has moved beyond such superstition and insanity, and today, witches are free to practice varying traditions of witchcraft openly and without fear of persecution. The Wiccan religion is perhaps the most well-known form of modern witchcraft, thanks in part to movies and media attention. However, there are several forms of modern witchcraft being practiced today, though most have roots in ancient cultural traditions.

Modern witchcraft in western culture can be largely attributed to the influence and practices of three specific individuals. The first is Gerald Gardner, sometimes referred to as the Father of modern Witchcraft. In the late 1930s and during the 1940s, Gerald Gardner began establishing several covens throughout Britain in an attempt to revive the foundations of the old religion, which is closely related to modern Wicca.

Gerald Gardner was a public figure who wrote several books on the subject of witchcraft, helping to cast the old traditions in a new and positive light and reshape society's perspective of witchcraft.

Another individual of note is Margaret Murray, a British scholar who studied ancient witchcraft and also wrote of old religions, preceding Gerald Gardner's work by over 20 years. Her books are considered essential reference sources for practitioners of modern Wiccanism.

The third individual credited with influencing the contemporary witchcraft movement is Alexander Sanders. Alexander studied witchcraft as a young boy, as it was a family tradition passed down by his grandmother. Alexander also established several covens throughout Britain, and proclaimed himself the "king of witches."

While Wiccanism might be the most popular tradition of witchcraft studied and followed by modern society, other old traditions still exist. Native Americans and indigenous tribes located in Central and South America still practice shamanistic magic. Similarly, tribes in Africa and Australia look to their tribal witch doctors whenever tribal magic might be needed, whether it be asking the gods for a good hunt, or seeking to expel a sickness from a tribe member.

In Louisiana and Haiti, Voodoo is practiced, and similar traditions such as Santeria in the Spanish Islands, as well as other offshoots of voodoo such as Hoodoo and Macumba.



Most forms of witchcraft share common denominators -- rituals, spellcasting, and calling upon the gods for help or wisdom. Typically, most forms of witchcraft are also considered "white", or good, and are meant for healing and positive effects, rather than to induce harm, curses, or ill will towards an individual.

While many books and resources are available for those interested in Wicca and other forms of witchcraft, individuals should also take care not to treat witchcraft lightly or as a form of entertainment. Spells and rituals are best left to professional witches who have several years of experience and have studied extensively.


    Considered a Gythia (Asatru High Priestess) among her Coven, Julia Roslyn Antle is a master of divination and dream interpretation. Her wisdom is sought-after by her peers, her colleagues as well as the public. http://www.7witches.net
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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

ODIN's Ravens, Magical Myth and Fact!

Odin, der Göttervater. Odin enthroned with wea...
Odin enthroned with weapons, wolves and ravens.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Norse myth tells us that the god Odin has two ravens perched on his shoulders. Their names are Huginn (meaning thought) and Muninn (meaning memory). These Ravens, are more than Odin's pets, they are his informants and messengers. He sends them out every day into the world, upon their return, they relate to Odin everything that they have seen and heard.

But what do we really know about "ravens" in general? I thought it would be interesting to explore this subject. Ravens, are in a family of birds called corvids and are powerfully associated with witchcraft and magic.

Ravens are in the same family of birds as crows. But ravens hunt more than crows, who are mainly scavengers. When mythology distinguishes between the two, ravens are usually associated with transformative magic while crows are identified with healing. Both are teachers and sponsors of magic and shamanism.

Ravens are characterized by their shiny black color and their raucous, loud voices. Daytime birds they noisily greet the sun. As a result, they are identified with solar power and may be understood to venerate the Sun themselves.

Ravens, are in many worldwide myths and are generally considered to be "trickster" heroes. This includes Celtic, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Native American, Scandinavian, Vietnamese, but most especially in the indigenous traditions of Siberia and North America's Pacific Northwest.

Ravens are assertive and unafraid of people; and willing to play a joke on a person, as well as a dog, cat or on each other. Shiny things attract them and they have been known to steal them.

The associations of Ravens with witchcraft and shamanism pre-date Christianity. After Christianity took hold the perceptions of Ravens changed. Rather than positive associations with wise-women, shaman, and seers Ravens were now associated with diabolism and sin.

In the eyes of the Christian Church, this probably had a lot to do with their color, black, their sharp harsh voices, intelligence and assertive nature. Shades of the wicked queen's ravens in Walt Disney's version of,"Snow White"?

Because Ravens are blackbirds and daily herald the light, the church identified them with Satan in his guise as Lucifer, the fallen angel and light bringer.

Brightest of Blessings,
Lory


    By Lory Woortman
    Lory Woortman is a writer, watercolor artist and garden designer. Lory is interested in the study of quantum physics, Norse Myths and Religion. She lives in a small country town in North East Pennsylvania with her writer husband, Ellis and her little dog Dixie. Lory has a blog and written many articles that are "Free," pertaining to Norse Mythology, Shamanism, Runes and Quantum Physics.

    http://mistressofenchantment.blogspot.com/

    Article Source: EzineArticles



Monday, November 20, 2017

The History of WITCHCRAFT

Goddess
Goddess - Photo  by Frances Lane 
The history of Witchcraft can be traced back as far as the Paleolithic period some 40,000 years ago. Archeologists have discovered cave paintings from this period that depict witchcraft in its basic form. Our ancient ancestors would not have considered themselves witches but they were using practices associated with witchcraft today.

Witchcraft has evolved since that time and was much more commonly referred to as such beginning before medieval times. The practice of witchcraft was fundamental to many cultures of this period and was widely practiced in Europe where it is most often referenced. The emergence of Christianity as the main religion of the period would bring untold misery to those practicing witchcraft.

Many so-called witches of this time, who for the most part were healers using basic herbs to treat their villages, were persecuted as a result of edicts from Pope John XXII in 1320. The history of witchcraft was mainly peaceful until this time as witches were not directly sought out by the
inquisition, but this edict authorized the Inquisition to prosecute sorcerers as well.

Estimates of those killed during this period range from 40,000 to 100,000, a large number of which were brutally slain out of revenge or jealousy more than for actually practicing witchcraft. Burning at the stake was the original method of execution but this later changed to hanging in many regions as it was less barbaric. Witchcraft would be practiced in secrecy for centuries as a result of this treatment.

Modern-day practices are broadly referred to as neopaganism, although this term does not accurately represent the many varieties followed in modern times. Traditional witchcraft as a way of life with very limited direct structure is probably the most common but there are more regimented religious forms of witchcraft. Wicca is perhaps the most well known of these and is very much a religion involving witchcraft.



During the history of witchcraft, no overarching principles were laid down that governed all covens or witches, which led to each coven practicing the arts in their own way as directed by their individual leadership. Solo practice is also widespread and unique, again following the persons own beliefs.





Friday, November 10, 2017

What Are Some WITCHCRAFT Chants I Can Do?

The Love Potion
The Love Potion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Witchcraft or witchery as some people know it better by, first came around a few hundred years ago and is still alive and well to this very day. The word "witch" means many different things to many different people. However, a witch isn't exactly the ones we see on TV flying around on broomsticks like in the Wizard Of Oz. Of course, this whole broom business may have or may have not been real, but I don't think anyone is even around now to prove that it is or isn't.

Just the same there are people who do practice magic(k)s of sorts and though a lot of people might find this sort of stuff "creepy" or "demonic" it doesn't all have to be unless you choose for it to be! I checked a few of these "chants" online and they aren't anything incredibly disturbing if anything they are "wishes" we desire to have in our lives such as the money or love spells. I'm not talking about anything like Love Potion 9 either.

I'm talking about real verses that you can actually say that might or might not bring you the things you want from these spells. Some people say witchcraft is all in the belief and if you don't believe it won't happen. Personally, I do believe that there are "witches" out there and that they did exist hundreds of years ago. To be able to actually sit down and say who was more real; the old or the new is crazy. Honestly I don't know about you, but I don't know any witches, however, I am open-minded about certain things!

Either way, you decide to go; believe or not, there are a few spells I found that I decided to list below. I'm merely listing these because I take interest in things like this; things that people fight over if it's true or not! In the end, I suppose it's really up to you!

Simple Love Spell -
On your altar or coffee table if you don't have one, place one red candle and one white candle. Make sure you have a cauldron or other fireproof container to which you've added some sand. (It helps absorb the heat)

On a piece of parchment or fine writing paper, write down the qualities of the person that you'd like to have come into your life. The color of ink doesn't matter, although you could use red or pink if you have it. (Keeps with the theme if colored ink is used). When you're finished writing, concentrate on the words and try to envision how this person makes you feel, the things you'd like to do together, and allow yourself to feel happy. You should feel happy, you're creating something wonderful to look forward to! When you're ready, light the piece of paper from both candles and say something like: I ask that the Gods/Universe send to me this person I desire, I may not yet know their face or name. Still, I know they're out there, And they're looking for me just the same!

Three Red Leaves Spell -
This spell is used to protect the mind against things such as nightmares, negative thoughts and "invasions of evil". First, you must gather three red leaves from any tree, plant or bush. Lay them in a triangle on a flat surface. In the center of the leaves, place an already lighted candle, and place a few drops of chrysanthemum oil on each leaf. Say this incantation three times:

Red leaves, a gift from the earth - Birth to death and death to birth - Keep all evil far away - Day to night and night to day. Then, extinguish the candle, and wrap the leaves in a white cloth or pouch. Place this near your bed within three feet of your head and it will stop all nightmares and negative thoughts.

Money Spell -
This spell helps double any denomination of cash paper money that you have. First find some almost new cash paper money, in the largest denomination possible. The twenty, or fifty dollar bill is good. Place this in a white envelope, and lick, and seal it. Fold the envelope, and say once, every day, for about seven days: Occult powers to me shall bring, The way to double this sum. Hear me, thou cherubim which sing, Quickly, and softly come. Hold the envelope up, and pretend that it has become heavier. Keep the envelope in your bedroom. After you receive more money, open the envelope, and either spend or deposit the money that was in the envelope.



I also study positive thinking a lot and it's funny because I see a lot of similarities between these "spells" and positive thinking. So I don't think personally that all witchcraft is bad or that all witches are bad. I think it all depends on how you plan on using it and who you're using it for or in some cases; against! Even with positive thinking, if you think negative things about a person long enough or negative things about yourself, they are bound to happen eventually. So good or bad? Who can say really? True or false? Who knows! Worth a try? Especially if it's a spell that is simple and that might bring you positive things? I think so! Check out some of these spell sites and you will be surprised some of the really normal things that you can find! You have the whole history of the witch trials in the US, France, UK, Spain along with spells and different "potions" you can make. It is pretty cool stuff!




Thursday, September 28, 2017

ALEISTER CROWLEY: Reflection on the Pioneer of Magick

Aleister Crowley.jpg
"Aleister Crowley" Via Wikipedia.
Aleister Crowley was a pioneer, a trailblazing searcher who opened the door of magick to reveal the secrets that had not been, until his time, even whispered in the confines of a closet. Aleister opened the doors and swung them wide for all followers of the occult to rush through in pursuit of their magical attainment. For this reason, he has been called a genius as well as a trivial madman but one thing is true; he has not faded into the facade of history nor has his persona quietly died. Quite to the contrary, Crowley has continued at the forefront of those cited as contributing the most to the spiritual dark arts.

During Crowley’s youth, he traveled with his father who preached across the country and so, Aleister was exposed to the work and skills needed to communicate a message and idea to the masses. In the days before technological advances, the “face to face” communication was not only the most effective; it was one of the few ways to spread the word of any philosophy. Aleister was drawn to belief: not good or bad, but he had a deep-seeded wish to search for more and this trait was one that served him well throughout his life. Ever a student, he would spread the word of his magical workings throughout his entire life.

Young Aleister’s father died of cancer and the experience left the impressionable youth stunned and ultimately, bitter. He set his path on an unspoken philosophy of “anything that does not conform”. His earliest poetry illustrates the idea of “anti” while opening the mind to that which was “unthought” or never spoken. I do not say that Aleister’s heart was filled with hate; that would be untrue and an easy way to dismiss his life-long works. Aleister was filled with something much different. He was filled with a burning wants to question everything (a trait embraced by Satanists even today) and a tenant to believe only what could be proven. This served him quite well throughout his life.

Crowley was a connoisseur of sex and he loved sexual encounters with both men and women. He often remarked that he “only had sex to fulfill the requirements of his magical workings” yet it seems that he also took great pleasure in the many deviations to sex acts that were anything other than conventional. He would enjoy paying a prostitute to degrade him by inserting various household items into his rectum and on one occasion, was sodomized by two men in a Turkish bathhouse while performing ingeminating fellatio on yet a third man. He also enjoyed subjecting his partners to pain as well. During a sex magick ritual, he placed his fist into a young man’s anus to the point of almost rupturing his intestinal wall. All within the spirit of magick and finding a higher awareness of “self”.

Aleister was also interested and even curious about the fragility of life itself. After hearing a saying that a cat had nine lives, he reasoned that it would be almost impossible to kill a cat, and he set out to do just that. Crowley caught a cat and administered nine different terminal treatments to the animal which culminated with the cat being thrown from a second story window to “remove any remaining life”. Quite to the contrary, the animal had been dead since giving it a lethal dose of arsenic; the first of the treatments. For the curious young lad, the event was performed in the name of science and the results were simply a byproduct of a scientific experiment.

Crowley’s “The Book of the Law” is hailed as his best work even though there are other great titles to choose from. His writings were factual, confusing, poetic and mystifying, all at the same time. He had written poetry since a young boy and that motif operandi was seen as a common thread in all of his future writings. Prolific yet reserved, he preferred to write poetry and insisted on being called “The World’s Best Poet”.

He was an enigma that was perhaps, before his time and I often contemplate what he could have achieved if he lived in our wonderful time of email, internet, and cyber chat. Oh, what he could have accomplished! Without conscience and devoid of humanity, he is what all members of the human race should strive to be… “a searcher”. He was not encapsulated by hearsay, dogma or urban legend. He opened his mind and all senses to receive all he could discover. Satanists take so many of his attributes to heart and strive to learn that which will show itself during a magical endeavor.

Mwt.jpg

"Mwt" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

Crowley’s magick was without bounds and he did not set out to be evil at all. He believed there were forces and spirits just beyond our worldly grasp and he wanted to experience those dark images that do not cast any shadows on the floor. “Evil” was a moniker that was assigned to Aleister by a self-righteous society unable to open their minds enough to discover and benefit from Crowley’s work. His acts frightened the population and his words angered the monarchy of the time. He was not a Satanist per se. Satanism was not his primary focus and Aleister did not seriously believe in a pointed-tail viper, as it were. He communicated with demons and spirits thus being more of a student of demonology than any other magical operation.

He has been the inspiration for countless searchers; myself included. He inspired L. Ron Hubbard through his magical workings which can be glimpsed in Hubbard’s Dianetics and The Church of Scientology. Anton LaVey cited references and praised Crowley’s written works. Led Zeppelin guitarist, Jimmy Page, was an avid follower of Crowley and even purchased the house “Boleskine” once owned by Crowley, on the south-eastern shore of Scotland’s Loch Ness. Page claimed the house was haunted and also confessed the house “held a sacred and creative feel that allowed for total artistic freedom”. Crowley continues to inspire and influence music and writers in modern society today.

Aleister Crowley was one of the first practitioners of the occult to blend magick with consumption of mind-altering drugs during his rituals.His grimoires, which read like scientist’s process books, recorded many occasions when Aleister and those asked to join him, would ingest large amounts of narcotics and natural stimulants to achieve a higher state of conscientiousness and open their minds to events that would enlighten the participants. Experimentation in such arenas was frowned upon and in some cases, the act of performing a blasphemous ritual as he often performed, was illegal. His connection with the other side of the human brain can be called “cutting edge” however, Crowley’s grimoires were often dismissed as “drug-induced gibberish”.

Within the framework of magical operations, Aleister was meticulous in the execution of rituals. He would labor over the details and weigh the effects of each slight deviation from the original working to gauge the expected result. He also looked at magick as cumulative or “cross-collateralized”, which built upon the earlier building block; increasing power and heightening the magician’s experience. Nothing was taboo, too sinister or any idea dismissed without fully exploring the possibilities that might reap benefits. Aleister was anything but shy and if the ritual called for him to be treated with violence, disdain and abusively injured, so mote it be.

Aleister Crowley was a well-known member of the group Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of the Temple of the East) which closely resembled the Freemasons and Masonic Lodge until Aleister joined. He led the association in a different direction which adopted Thelema as the core principle. The Book of the Law communicated two of Crowley’s best-known verses which are still used quite often even today. First, the groundwork for his belief and theology was laid with a simple phrase; “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will” which is cited regularly by those practitioners of all magical arts. He was never quick to dismiss anyone’s ideas or beliefs without first evaluating and contrasting the belief compared to his very own.

Aleister Crowley painted portrait _DDC7564

Aleister was always fascinated with lines, angles, and voids created by an enclosed symbol, especially a unicursal creation. Aleister’s unicursal hexagram is a star that can be drawn in one line without stopping the continuous flow. Geometric shapes were often drawn by Crowley to illustrate his projections occurring in astral travels. He believed “reason” was shielded by logic and by understanding motivation, one could clearly look deep into the logical progression of magick. Transitional Logic and Cognitive Modeling were paramount to understanding the results of magick rituals and by disseminating the logic relationships, one could also change the variables to estimate the results of a ritual, having slightly changed the inputs and elements. The idea was revolutionary for its time and the general population was too critical of Crowley to even seriously consider the possibility that he might very well have a theorem that was truly brilliant. He did not help his cause when the press ran articles about his magical escapades including homosexual encounters, spells/hexes, animal sacrifice and a report revealing that Aleister had eaten his own feces as well as the feces of others in his ritual group. Reports of killing animals during sexual intercourse did not help his cause at all.

Aleister was also an avid Astrologer and he studied astrology almost as in-depth as magick. Evangeline Adams was one of the most important influences on the development of American astrology and Crowley developed a relationship with Adams that was based upon their mutual passion of studying the stars and planets. The two would collaborate on articles, papers and books about astrological aspects and the relationship of celestial bodies and planetary orbits. Crowley also used many astrological illustrations and references in his magical writings as well. One such reference was used to explain how a person cannot readily change their path through life and how inertia plays an important role in continuing the established directional path and momentum: “There are no ‘standards of Right’. Ethics is balderdash. Each Star must go on its own orbit. To hell with “moral principle”; there is no such thing.”

So, I have pointed out some facts and observations of Aleister Crowley; some good and some “not so good”. To me, he is truly a pioneer that was perhaps a few generations ahead of his time. I read and study his works from time to time and I appreciate his dedication to his craft. His entire life reads like a grimoire of magick, experimentation, excess and theories “tried and proven”. Because Crowley and searchers like him have documented so much – so well, we are able to take advantage of his efforts which allows us to be light years ahead of where we would be had he never written even an article about magick. We should recognize the advantages we have and the knowledge passed down to us by Crowley. His efforts of being totally uninhibited have allowed seekers to “pick up where he left off” in the never-ending quest for increased magical knowledge. We are better magicians, seekers, followers, practitioners and ultimately more powerful because of this man. Yes, he was eccentric and his approach to the magical arts was unorthodox (and stomach turning as well) however, he blazed a path into history and for his efforts and sharing of his art form, we are better for having access to his writings and privileged to do some of the same workings that he not only practiced but actually created.

Aleister Crowley will live forever and his words will be shared for all eternity; which is something he could only dream of in his time.

Author Aleister Nacht is a Satanic Magus and leader of a regional coven comprising of numerous groups located in Florida. With a modern view of Satanism, he brings the darkness to life in a very tangible manner. His books have found favor with a multitude of searchers crossing all demographic and geographic boundaries. Nacht is also the spiritual/technical advisor for the “Gods of the New Church”; a Satanic group that meets in a virtual sanctum created by Nacht in cyberspace. Nacht’s audio recordings (Aleister Nacht’s Satanic Audio Blog) are available for free download on iTunes.

His books on Satanism have connected with the emerging multitude that refuses believe the lies of the religious establishment. Nacht manages to offer searchers an alternative based upon truth and reason instead of hypocritical rhetoric and lies. His digital and hard-copy books are distributed worldwide by Loki / Speckbohne Publishing. Recently, Nacht was approached by an independent producer/director interested in filming a documentary entitled “The Resurrection Next Door” that will explore modern Satanism and the recent increasing interest and popularity in Satanism. Nacht lives in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys the “Salt Life”.


By Aleister Nacht - http://satanicmagic.wordpress.com/ - http://www.aleisternacht.com/

Article Source: EzineArticles