Pagan, Wiccan or Witch???

Today I wanted to share a little more about some of the things I do on a daily basis (or as close as possible) regarding my beliefs and practices.  However, I realized that before I delved into that perhaps a discussion and personal breakdown of the concepts out there was in order.

Often the three words above are used synonymously.  While most of us who live the life understand those outside don’t know the difference, there are those who become highly indignant or offended when someone refers to them as one of the others. While I am not one of those, I felt that, before I could begin talking about my own practice, I need to clarify what each of them entails and holds.

First, let’s start with some simple definitions (from The Celtic Connection):

Wicca:   A modern Pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature. Some major identifying motifs are: reverence for both the Goddess and God; acceptance of reincarnation and magick; ritual observance of astronomical and agricultural phenomena; and the use of magickal circles for ritual purposes.

Witch:   A practitioner of folk magick, particularly that kind relating to herbs, stones, colors, wells, rivers, etc. It is used by some Wiccans to describe themselves. This term has nothing to do with Satanism.

Pagan/Neo-Pagan/Paganism:   General term for followers of Wicca and other magickal, shamanistic, and polytheistic Earth-based religions. Also used to refer to pre-Christian religious and Spiritual belief systems.

So, as you can see each of these has some overlap, and yet is unique in its own right.  I will try to expand a little bit in regards to Sacred Mists as a school as well as to my own practice.  I want to start by saying that one of the things I like most about Sacred Mists, is that while they do follow a traditional Celtic base, they allow their students the freedom and flexibility to follow their own beliefs as well.

Now, on to a deeper definitions so to speak.  Wicca:   A modern Pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature. The Modern Wiccan Tradition is attributed, usually, to Gerald Gardner.  He was initiated into a traditional coven and then began supplementing with other “non-traditional” belief systems (Free Masonry, writings of Alastair Crowley and others).  While he claimed to stay true to the traditional pre-Christian beliefs, he supplemented the traditional pagan beliefs creating Modern Wicca.  Some major identifying motifs are: reverence for both the Goddess and God; acceptance of reincarnation and magick; ritual observance of astronomical and agricultural phenomena; and the use of magickal circles for ritual purposes. All of this holds true for Sacred Mists as well as within my personal belief.  In addition, the Goddess and God are embodiments of all Goddesses and Gods as well as Mother Earth and Mother Moon. So there isn’t any single deity focus.  All historical beliefs and “religions” are called upon depending on  your need, desire, want, area of focus.  Celtic, English, Norse, Egyptian, Japanese…all Gods and Goddesses become available to you. 

Witch:   A practitioner of folk magick, particularly that kind relating to herbs, stones, colors, wells, rivers, etc. So this is where it can get sticky.  There are many Wiccans who use natural items in their practice, but don’t necessarily consider themselves a Witch. I, however, am not one of them.  I use stones, candles, water, food, herbs, colors and even nature itself on a regular basis in my daily practice of the craft.  I am a Witch and I will stand by that.   It is used by some Wiccans to describe themselves. This is often where those who practice, or don’t, get offended.  There are many Wiccans who are not Witches, and there are some Witches that are not Wiccan (that is their belief is not necessarily that of following the Rule of Three, or of staying within the boundaries of “white magick”).  This term has nothing to do with Satanism. The last sentence is by far one of the most important.  There is nothing Satan related in Wicca or Witchcraft.  One has to believe in the conventional idea of “Satan” before there can be any relation to him. This is not to say all Witches are good and work only for the good of all.  There are many who practice beyond the scope of what is Grey or White magick.  However, their belief is that what they are doing may be the right things. 

Pagan/Neo-Pagan/Paganism:   General term for followers of Wicca and other magickal, shamanistic, and polytheistic Earth-based religions. Here are all the sticky widgets.  You DO NOT have to be Wiccan to be Pagan.  There are many other traditions that you could follow that make you Pagan.  Often people will refer to themselves as Pagan as general term that allows those who aren’t sure of the definitions to understand they don’t follow a modern religion.   Also used to refer to pre-Christian religious and Spiritual belief systems. The link here is back to the Nature Based Religions and Beliefs.  Those that are not necessarily monotheistic and have no single deity that is worshipped. 

I hope that these help you understand some of the overlap as well as some of the differences.  I think these are important to see and be able to reference prior to reading about specific rituals, practices or ideas.

 

Goals and Intentions

It’s that time again, where people feel the need to reinvent themselves based on the passing of the year. Goals are different from resolutions. And with those goals we must create intent.  

As we all look forward and decide what it is we need to be doing and what  we’re changing in the month of January and the year of 2017 I have to stop and wonder why? What is it that makes us think simply by saying I am going to be a better person, or I’m going to lose 20 pounds, I’m going to clean the house daily, or fold the laundry when it comes out of the dryer, what will actually happen? When we haven’t been doing those things for the past 12 months why do we think they will magically begin to happen for the next 12 months?

In magic and a witch’s world, words and intent are everything. When we say something there is intention behind what we say, for we know that there is energy carried within those words in the intent of them is with the energy will follow. So when I say I’m going to do the laundry, I mean I’m going to do the laundry. However, I am still responsible for the actions that go with that intent. When I do not follow the intent of the words, then what karma is for. So then what do I do when 2017 rolls around and everybody else is setting resolutions for themselves? I set goals.

What is the difference you might ask? Well there are several things that I do that are probably different the first is I make a list of those things that I want to accomplish. Then usually have that list somewhere in my planner or on a vision board where I can see it. The next then of course is a vision board or even just a blog, or a page with some pictures on it, simply shows me what it is I am aiming for. After that I set realistic time frame is for those goals. If Michael is to make sure I fold the laundry after it is washed weekly, well then the dates are weekly for that particular goal. However, since I know I need to lose about 20 pounds going to take a little bit longer. However, I do know that I can set myself at the workout time on a daily basis. It’s workout time will then make reaching my goal a particularly easy task the hard part will be following through on the workout daily. So again the intent is there always the intent is always there. It is the follow-through. So I’m going to share my list of goals for 2017 and then I would love for you to share yours and if you need help in setting some or in setting time lines that are realistic for yourself and by all means please ask for that help I will be glad to offer some assistance.

My goals for 2017:

Lose 15lbs – use Beach body on-demand programs on a daily basis

Clean and organize one room in the house each month

Continue to blog even if no one is reading it on a daily basis

Save up the money to buy the house by May 31

and

Start back to school in June for doctorate in spiritual co

unseling