witchy ethics

The Witch’s Walk

by on Apr.16, 2012, under philosophy, social remedies, special offers, witchy ethics

My dears,

There are those of you to whom the following subject is familiar, perhaps painfully so.  As for me, I find it as painful as fingernails upon a blackboard, and freely admit that I reserve the right to ignore anything said by, or promoted by, the like of extremists like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.  However, when it comes into your world and speaks to you personally, it becomes difficult to ignore.

Please let him shut up

I was working in my local food bank today.  I got to stuff sacks with groceries.  We worked hard, and couldn’t help commenting on the fact that the shelves had gaping empty spaces, were unusually empty, and we were serving more families than usual.  There were three of us volunteers from Trinity Episcopal, and I couldn’t help but think, ‘What nice people.  They are working so hard!’.  And I was right, of course.  They were nice, and we were all working very hard.  In the fullness of time, our conversation turned to life in these United States.

We talked about the increasing shortage of good food, the rise of prices, the fact that we were now only allowed to give peanut butter out to families with kids because of the recent doubling of the price, and the scarcity of our supply.

I noted that the ‘breads’ in our donate section were primarily sugary specialty treat breads, and that there was a distinct shortage of good solid complex carb bread, or for that matter, no whole grains of any kind.  No produce at all.  Lots of cans, though.  AND some good dried beans, a poor folks’ (remarkably healthy) staple.

We were just a gathering of country folk, talking about the hard times, the importance of being prepared for more hard times, about our pantries and medical supplies.  One of my companions was a retired nurse who had volunteered for deployment in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  She had qualified opinions on what it took to keep body and soul together.  I contributed a bit of info about canning and food preservation.  We talked about clean water and how important that was for any community.  We spoke about community, and the need for people to help one another.

Good people, doing useful work.

Suddenly, one of the ‘good people’ began to talk about a book he’d just read.  It was called A Patriot’s History of the United States.  Now I’ve heard of this work.  It has the reputation of being a work of pseudo-history cum fantasy, written as a neo-conservative response to Howard Zinn’s award winning and critically acclaimed People’s History of the US, and was thus eminently ignorable.  Until Glenn Beck recommended it to his disciples and put it on the NYT bestsellers list.  At some point it has become required reading for neocon Christian Reconstructionists, the fascist arm of the Protestant party.

My new friend talked about reading this work in conjunction with the Bible, and how he’d come to understand that the US was a Christian nation, founded upon Christian principles, and that the Bible was historically real and a contract for all people.  I blinked.  He began to talk about how the US has a duty to lead the rest of the world to a God driven form of government, all inspired by Biblical truth.  I blinked twice.  All this while continuing to fill and distribute food to clients.

Since the conversation, as it often does down here in the American South, then drifted over to the usual hatred of the feds and especially of the president, and I felt that my head was about to explode, I broke my cardinal rule.  You know, the keep your mouth shut and your eyes open rule.

Surely you know that the Bible is a collection of myths and cultural stories, and not a recording of history?   I said, not so innocently.  It’s a book of mystical revelation, not facts!  Smile and blink.  That worked.  The silence was as thick as the fog on a humid summer at dawn.  Blessed, echoing silence.

After about a half hour of this blessed silence, my friend smiled and agreed to disagree, “The Great thing about this country is…”, and we continued our ‘good work’.

But my hair continued to stand up, and the feeling of tension stayed with me thru the afternoon, and all the way home.  When had my little cypress Episcopalian church, my bastion of Anglican tolerance in a sea of Baptist this and Presbyterian that and born-again tents popping up like mushrooms…  When had Trinity been infiltrated by this fascist belief system that no amount of logic could dislodge, that covered poisonous hatred so deeply that even truly good people were brainwashed into embracing it, even as they went about their day doing good works?

(For those of you who don’t know me, or who haven’t read my bio – I am a witch in the Western tradition.  My heritage holds traditional witchcraft, Western Mystery Lodge tradition, and Episcopalian Christianity.  I embrace them all, having also practiced Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism.  There is a place for all faiths upon the Tree of Life, and ‘each to their own’, to me, creates a beautiful kaleidoscope within the Purple Ray of mysticism.  Christ sits firmly upon the throne of Tiphareth, the Sephirah of the Heart.  And there are a plethora of Pagan Gods all over the place, up and down the Tree.)

To be sure, I am in no way bashing Christianity.  I’m bashing Fascism.  There is a rise in these groups that join fascism together with religion.  In Islam, they are Al-Qaeda and its knockoffs.  In Paganism, they are white supremacists.  A belief in divine purpose, combined with a nationalist jingoistic fervor, the belief that YOUR belief is the only truth and should govern how others behave.  How much scarier does it get than that?

The path of the Mage, or the Witch, is a path of tolerance.  We are attempting to understand, by listening and observing, rather than reacting.  We are human, surely, in our reactions to things that make us distressed or uncomfortable.  And it goes without saying that if you see evil in action, such as a child or animal being abused, you must act – lest by your inaction you become part of that evil.  And it is also true, and very difficult, that a Mage must judge their actions to know if by acting they will make the evil worse.

But how can you listen to the unseen, how can you walk between the worlds when your mind has locked closed on itself.  Your attention totally on your own thoughts.  Your doorways of perception shuttered down so that they no longer can see anything except the propaganda posters you’ve plastered all over the inside of your own head.  Somehow, I had to be able to get to a place where I could acknowledge that inside this little country church that I love, where I sing in the choir every week, there are forces of reactionary rage and blindness at work.  That within the hearts of these ‘good people’ exist both paradigms, tolerance and love combined with chaos and hate.

Similarly, I had to acknowledge that my local coven was circling not to celebrate the lights and the seasons, but working out their anger and hatred of everyone who had ever hurt them, a High Priestess acting out her fear and pain magickally, rather than experiencing the Joy of oneness with nature and the flow of Life.  I had to walk away from my participation in coven, something I’d done in 5 states over 35 years, and be willing to walk as a solitary once again.

As a witch, you must to be able to hold the dichotomy, the concept that one thing can have completely contradictory realities, the ‘real’ and the ‘astral’ for example.  The good and the bad in other people and their beliefs, in governments, in corporations, in life.  When you can see past the surface differences in things, people, events, places and times, then you can begin to notice the connections between them.  The similarities that reveal that we are all part of the net of the stars.  When you can see this net, these connections, then you will know when your magick has merit, when you are acting in concert with the flow of Universal Life Force, and not simply acting out.  You will be able to discern a Path between the Points of Light, and be able to avoid the pitfalls of Chaos.

As a witch, you will practice Silence, Observation and Discernment.  You will try to understand.  These practices will help open your mind to the Unseen, and make you fit to truly Serve others.

My loves, next time we will look at some magickal languages and symbols that you might wish to use to decorate your wand, in greater depth.  If you wish to read ahead, look at Freya Aswinn’s Leaves of Yggsdrasil, and anything you can find on the Ogham.  You might want to also get ahold of a good dictionary of symbols.

AND, for those of you who would like to participate in the eBook questionnaire, please read THIS ARTICLE, and let me know your opinions!  I thank you for your help.

Until then,
Blessed Be!
Marie Angeli

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by on Mar.10, 2011, under daily practice, garden, herbs, moon magick, Moon Unit, sacred space, the moon, witchy ethics, zzzzz


pink spring rose

I’ve been away from the blogging world for a time, mostly thru last fall and winter.  My croning passed uneventfully (thank the gods), but deeply.  I was, however, strongly reminded by the universe that part of preparing to do ritual involves the preparation of the body.  Duh.

Our bodies are the vehicles for our magick, as I’ve said before on this blog.  But it is so easy to be distracted by lives that seem too fast for thought.  The glamour of our jobs or careers, our friends and family, and all the things that call upon our energies makes us think sometimes that our bodies are just ‘there’, getting us around like little cars.

Well, OK.  But my little car has lots of miles on it, and needs an oil change.  And the transmission serviced.  And the tires rotated.  And the plugs spaced, the wired replaced, the windshield wipers re-wiped, and the points repointed.

In my time away from writing, I’ve been focussing on those things as age and temperament have taken their toll on my body.  I’ve been refocussed on directions, as is natural when the croning hits you.  But just so this post doesn’t get too depressing, the refocussing has been a source of great joy for me.  I’ve allowed myself to get back to some things in my life that I had put aside, and to reconsolidate other less-deserving things that had taken over.

How will all of that nebulous me-ism affect this blog?  Well, since I’ve changed my perspectives a bit, so will the blog.  We were already on our way with the Moon Units segment.  So I find myself wanting to focus more on the herbal aspects of Green witchery.  Herbal remedies as well as potions, and preparations as well as gardening.  The principles of astrological timing apply to all of those things and should be in the arsenal of every witch, or green earth sister or brother.  So we will continue to journal times, phases, signs, and explanations of all that so that eventually timing to the stars becomes easier.  This understanding of timing will inform our discussion of ritual magick, and so we will also cover the mechanics of ceremony and energy work.  AND, where would we be without a look at the creation of amulets and talismans and potions, the physical components of ritual.

I’ve also committed to posting the timing info daily, eventually in a calendar format for download, so that readers will find it all easier to use.

Waiting for Summer, watercolor by Marie Angeli

Waiting for Summer, watercolor by Marie Angeli

AND, in this year, in addition to making this little blog a bit more professional in appearance and function, I’ll be posting some videos of instruction in divination techniques.  Now, the intuition you’ll need to provide for yourself!  But the techniques can be taught.  Through learning them, you can begin to open your own intuitive selves.  And intuition is one of the great skills of the human brain that applies to all areas of life, but IS NOT TAUGHT US.  The creative function of the mind used to be taught thru poetry, art, and music.  But our schools have shied away from education in favor of training.  This leaves all of us with a great gap in our skill set.  Divination, besides being a fun and entertaining thing if one doesn’t take themselves TOO seriously, is also a wonderful way to jump start working with that creative/intuitive mind skill set.  Through what I’ve written and taught on this blog about self-care, meditation and boundaries, you should be able to walk your own path without having to cow-tow to gurus, or be sidetracked by egos other than your own!  🙂

This is all for now, dears!  I’ll be back tomorrow morning with the phases, signs, and timing and gardening info for the day, as well as an assigment for anyone who wants to work with divination!  Be good, and Blessed Be.

Marie Angeli

prints of Marie’s artwork are available at Artangeli on ImageKind



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All Text and Images © 2010 - 2014 Marie Angeli

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The Tao

When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish.
Lao Tzu
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