There seems to be some new faces in the forum’s that I’m in, and I’m finding the same thing mentioned again and again. We’ve all seen it – those of us who “remember when we were new.”
NB: I also want to apologise if this comes across as negative. I’m in the height of PMDD this week, I’m tired from a week of training, I’m back in a variation of therapy, and Herne has been very upset with me since Samhain so EVERYTHING is pissing me off right now!
There’s nothing wrong with reading books. I could slag off some authors, but I won’t. If you’re going to read books, read LOTS of books! Read lots of different opinions, and then find your own within that. Don’t take any one book as Gospel. Yes we’ve all read Scott Cunningham, but there’s a multitude of amazing books to find outside of the ‘Wicca for Beginners’ section. Or maybe just stay away from the “Wicca” section and seek out books the Traditionalists would suggest such as ‘Mastering Witchcraft” by Paul Huson. Personally, I love ‘Visual Magick’ by Jan Fries.
Read books, read blogs, read articles. And this blog post (I FUCKING LOVE THIS POST!)
Then put the book down, close your laptop, turn off your tablet…and go experience. As the linked blog above says, “Open your eyes, then open then again.” Open your senses, open yourself to what we are.
Oh my gods! What a crazy idea!
Meditate. Practice creating a ball of energy. Feel for energy within the land and see where you feel most comfortable. Create a shield and learn to protect yourself. If you honour the Gods, go introduce yourself to them. Watch the birds, see the changing leaves and see what Mother Earth is doing.
Don’t worry about mastering it word-for-word with spells or rituals, it’s more fun making things up on the spot. Don’t worry about getting a line wrong, just laugh it off and go on.
And by the LIGHT! If you choose to work a ritual in the dark, please do not invoke by the light of a mobile phone! Light a candle or two or three, or however many will provide you with enough light that if you do need to read to recite something, you can see!
If you’re new to working with the Gods, I’ll give you some advice. Don’t assume to know them. Don’t google them, read a few articles and think you know who they are and what they’re about. It’s as bad as saying ‘Diana is the Roman version of Greek Artemis’ because she’s not! They’re different Deities with different energies and personalities!
Assuming to know who a Deity without working with them is…what’s a good equivalent…
“I know exactly what Kim Kardashian is like, because I keep up to date with the tabloids.” or “I know all about One Direction because I’m a Professional Fangirl AND they followed me back on twitter AND I stalk Niall on Instagram! We’re besties in my mind!”
No no no no no. Nooooooooooooooooooo no no no no. Just…no.
I remember in a group years ago (I was a forum leader before I started working full time out of boredom) there were a few young ladies who were discussing the Gods as if they knew them through doing google searches or quizzes. I lost my SHIT when they said Diana and Artemis were the same person. LOST IT!!
For example, I know next to nothing about Hecate, although I’d love to learn more about her. I can read a few websites, but will my knowledge then be like that of a Dedicant of hers? Of course not! I can devour everything Setjataset posts (which I do!) and I will still have just a small fraction of knowledge compared to her wonderful self because I have very little knowledge of the Goddess herself, her personality, and who she is.
Regardless to their story, they are Deity. Regardless to how they got there: whether they were born on Mount Olympus, were born out of the fire to the heart beat of mother earth, or were once a man who rose through association, myth and legend. They deserve respect, and individual honour and attention.
Herne becomes a great example. Yes he died a man, and became a God through association. He is still very much a Dark God, a Winter God, and (as I’ve witnessed this last fortnight since Samhain) not one you really want to piss off or insult. To me, he shows himself as a man because he wants to keep that human element of him. He has seen the others who were born Gods, and that is not him. He has different aspects of himself he shows to different people in different stages. Which is a very human thing to do. The people I work with only ever see one side of me.
If you ask for their assistance, just like you would a friend, give them a token in return. For a friend (depending on what it was) it could be buying them a coffee through to buying them a slab/case of beer in thanks. Deity expect the same. I asked for Apollo’s help, so I returned the thanks through an offering of bay leaves, an apple and honey. I asked for Vesta’s assistance during a move, so I returned the thanks by burning her cauldron (an incense burner that reminds me of a cauldron, I love it!) with a special oil blend for her.
Work with your ancestors, and just begin by talking to them. Talk to them as if they were sitting on the other side of the kitchen table while having a cuppa. Offer them a cup of what they drank.
Since I’ve begun really working with my Oma and Opa (in particular) I’m finding it a lot more easy to sit down and chat with Oma. Last night at the local public full moon circle was particularly entertaining!
(Okay, yes, I have subscribed to Niall from One Direction on Instagram. I don’t CARE that I’m almost 30!)
There is so much more to learn once you put down the book. Read, read, READ!! but make sure after all that reading you EXPERIENCE and GROW!