Friday, November 25, 2016

5 Tips for Finding the Right Psychic for You


Sometimes you need advice from someone who is not your friend, roommate, or family member, and you want someone who has a special edge in addition to being a neutral third party. Enter the psychic.

But there’s a million psychics out there. How do you find the right one for you? Here’s 5 tips for finding Mr. or Mrs. “Psychic Right.”

1.       Price DOES NOT EQUAL psychic competence.


Some psychics depend on readings as their primary income, others do it as a supplement, and still more do it because they like helping people. This leads to vastly different prices for essentially the same service.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

My Goddess is not the Maiden, Mother, and Crone...

Copyright Susan Brooke, 2016

Lasara Allen's new book, Jailbreaking the Goddess, has been getting a lot of attention as of late for its reenvisioning of the Goddess. While her new perspective is interesting, it reminded me how my view of deity doesn't fit in well with a large portion of Paganism.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Witchcraft Hack #1: Scrying with a Counter Top


Scrying is not in the average witch's repertoire, requiring special tools such as a scrying mirror or crystal ball. But this skill shouldn't be hard, especially given that you can replace those tools with a simple counter top.

We talk a lot in our community about sacred space or ritual space; however, we rarely talk about what those spaces look like. Here's a brief tour of the space I use to work my magick.
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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Guest Post: Sorcery vs. Witchcraft

Hi all!

I wrote my first guest post for another blog this week. It's on the topic of Sorcery vs. Witchcraft.

Check it out over at Learning Witchcraft

Susan

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Sorcery versus Witchcraft – The Difference of Science and Relationships

...Copyright (C) http://learningwitchcraft.com . Read more at Learning Witchcraft http://learningwitchcraft.com/sorcery-versus-witchcraft-the-difference-of-science-and-relationships/ .

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Struggle with the Language of Witchcraft


I get really, really uncomfortable talking about the experience of spell work and ritual. This is particularly a problem considering I produce a blog and YouTube channel on these subjects.

Have you ever heard someone waxing on their personal gnosis and relationships with spirits and gods: how a certain god gets pissy if things on their altar aren’t just so, how the spirit that lives in their toilet bowl sings every time they provide it with an offering, and they can hear tomatoes scream when they’re picked off the vine?

Hyperbolism, aside, it’s hard for my rational brain to come to terms with these fine folks without using the term “fruit loop.” While I accept the cognitive dissonance of being a spiritual AND scientific person, I do not particularly want the labelling and social stigma that comes along with being counted among them.

The stigma related to how we sound when we use the above language to describe witchcraft does not entirely fall on our more eccentric members. It is exacerbated by the English language specifically as it relates to witchcraft. None of the various English-based dialects have given us a lot to work with when it comes to describing the personal experience of doing this type of work.  We generally fall back on the use of scientific terms such as “energy." When used in this context and in such a logically minded society, it just sounds wrong and a little "whoo-whoo."

When not co-opting well defined scientific terms, we fall back on very vague, abstract language of “feelings” and “power”, often creating narratives for the experiences we have which include gods or spirits.  Thereby we end up sounding a little more like those wonderful fruit loops I mentioned earlier.

For their part, in this country, the Christians are probably the best at describing these things without sounding like crackpots. They get feelings that “god was with them”, see “lights at the end of tunnels,” or feel “rapture.” While we still think they sound a bit weird, generally no one in larger society instantly thinks they’ve spent too much time in a drum circle or had one too many pot brownies. Fair or no.

So what is a scientifically minded pagan/Wiccan to do when wanting to talk about these things while maintaining a semblance of credibility in their mundane life?

As of late, I have been trying to emphasize and refer back to more psychological terms and concepts as I try to convey my experiences. I like to use words like “brain chemistry” and “blood sugar” because these are things that we know can produce specific effects that we feel. I also try to tie my experiences to emotions that are much more relatable and keep an ear to the ground for new scientific discoveries that might provide new ways of speaking about them.

For me, our bodies are governed by the principles of a scientific world. How we experience the world is the heart of both our soul and our Craft. Understanding the world's mechanics doesn't take away from our faith. It only gives us a greater appreciation of it.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Gods and Your Ancestors Don't Care...


by Susan Brooke, https://along-came-a-spider.blogspot.com
by Susan Brooke, https://along-came-a-spider.blogspot.com

The Gods and your Ancestors don't care...
  • if your altar boasts a fine chalice or a solo cup
  • if you burn organic incense from the Whole Foods or spices from the cabinet 
  • if you use handmade beeswax candles or 20 for a buck tea lights
  • if your Athame is finely honed steel or a spare butter knife 
  • if your salt is natural from the sea or iodized from a cardboard cylinder
  • if your pentacle was made by an artist or drawn on paper with your own hand
You don't need to prove the conviction of your worship through fine things. Being there and doing it is more than enough.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Developing a Sense of Place, Spirit of Place, Magick of Place for Your Own Home

The sun has reached its zenith and summer is now in full swing. With schools out, people are looking towards vacations, taking time away from their busy lives to travel to somewhere else and experience all that a new and different place has to bring.  

It's called several things - sense of place, spirit of place, magic of place, cultural landscape - but when it's boiled down, every place has its own magic that is derived from it's people, its buildings, and its general atmosphere. We experience this the most strongly when we get that special feeling when we are somewhere new.