Into the Silence by Heather Greene

We welcome guest contributor, Heather Greene. Writer, singer, Pagan journalist, she is also the Editor of the Wild Hunt.

 

 

Into the Silence by Heather Greene, 2016

“Journalists go to the silence.” – Amy Goodman, Democracy Now‘s executive producer.

The Wild Hunt is a fourteen year old online entity that emerged from a need for a focused Pagan-driven news source. Necessity, as some say, is the mother of invention.  Through those fourteen years, The Wild Hunt has evolved from a daily blog run by one person to a full-fledged nonprofit, independent news agency with a team of seventeen writers, editors, and administrators working to build a lasting institution whose mission it is to satisfy the very need that brought it into existence.

 

What is that need?

In recent years there has been an overall decline in mainstream religion-based news coverage outside of reporting on specific events or holidays.  Regardless, the so-called “god-beat” has never, even in its strength, been Pagan or Heathen -friendly.  Any coverage of minority religions and practices, specifically those falling into Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist realms, typically occur in October, or when a major news making event involves a pentacle, Thor’s Hammer, or some “witchy” element. For example, one such case happened this past summer when the international media picked up on the hex action launched in conjunction with a California sexual assault case.

Whether out of bigotry, disinterest, or just coverage scope, mainstream media rarely incorporate the Pagan perspective. Even when they try, there are understandable barriers preventing solid coverage with the level of nuance and even respect that interviewees expect, want and deserve.  While some reporters do try, deadlines and quick turn-arounds often make it difficult for even the most well-meaning journalist to adequately capture news from a Pagan or Heathen perspective.

Additionally, mainstream outlets typically don’t share news specifically generated by these minority communities.  Starhawk’s permaculture work and its relationship to her religious beliefs will not be shared widely beyond niche markets.  Any reports on the tragic death of Kansas Pagan Tisha Gill will not include how vital she was to the building of her local Pagan community.  And, the mainstream news won’t share how a new blog project is changing the way people discuss and share their polytheistic beliefs and practices.

That is where The Wild Hunt comes in.

Goodman said, “Journalists go to the silence.” Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist communities exist in that media silence.  And, as such, so does The Wild Hunt.

In that respect, our work plays two roles. First and foremost, we serve our communities with daily, original writing and reporting.  We share the events coming from our communities for our communities.  Did you know that Heathen Matthew Orlando is running for Congress, or that there is a growing Wiccan community in Thailand?  Did you know that the Pagan Federation International is co-hosting an online academic conference in November, or that Circle Sanctuary is now a membership-based organization?

These are all examples of news, stories, and issues that all come from a heart beating at the center of that silent space.

Our secondary function is to communicate without, or to break the silence, if you will.  For better or worse, The Wild Hunt exists in a public space where anyone can visit and read.  We welcome this role and are happy to be there. In 2016, The Wild Hunt was recognized by Google for the first time as a reputable news agency. When you search on Black Moon, for example, you’ll see the TWH article, along with that of the Washington Post, USA Today, and other major outlets that reported on that very hot topic.

Why does this matter? Sharing our voices publicly opens a window on the workings of our collective communities and also demonstrates how Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists are concerned about the many broad issues affecting our world. In September, our article on the Pagan Federation Disabilities Team was picked up by HuffPost Religion.  As a result, non-Pagans worldwide got the opportunity to see how a group of UK Pagans were affecting positive change within their own religious community.  In other cases, readers learned how Pagans participated in the interfaith Black Friday 14 protest in California, in the Climate Change protest in Illinois, or in the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City. “We are here!”

With that said, it is true that many Pagans and Heathens enjoy living in the media silence, going completely unnoticed by the public.  Some even prefer it. While we certainly understand and honor that perspective, we also know that there are times when minority religious voices need to be heard, even if it is just to correct misinformation or weigh-in. Wild Hunt writers, for example, spoke with the Pensacola sheriff’s office in order to clarify facts after a Wiccan ritual was linked to a local homicide.

Due to the fact that TWH journalists do not sensationalize or objectify religious beliefs, lifestyles, and practices, readers of all kinds can come to TWH and witness who we are, as we are and where we are, without the framework of “otherness” and the colors of Halloween.  Through this part of our work, The Wild Hunt defies the silence that is created by the mainstream culture.

The Wild Hunt - used with permission.
The Wild Hunt – used with permission.

Shall we make some noise?

But, in the end, even if our chatter results solely in serving our own communities, we are there and ready to do our job. And, we are not alone in any of that work. TWH is joined by many talented writers working at group and private blogging venues, by hosts of digital radio broadcasts, producers of print magazines, and more. All of the ventures that make up the fledgling Pagan media are equally as important, because together our voices are heard – both within and without.

At the risk of sounding completely ridiculous, I draw your attention to the Dr. Seuss children’s story Horton Hears a Who. The main character Horton the elephant is the only animal that can the hear a single voice on a plant seed. “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” explains Horton.  But the others only hear the silence.  By the end of the book, it takes the entire community of Whoville making noise to be heard. “We are here! We are here!” they shout.

While that is a very simplistic and idealistic presentation, it exists as an allegory for our communities in some ways. We are often not heard, even within our own spheres of influence.  The continued publishing of Pagan voices, in whatever form that takes, can change that and, as a result, contribute to  the internal health of our communities and our people. How do other Pagans handle depression or think about death within a religious context? Let’s talk about.

Within the spectrum of Pagan media outlets, The Wild Hunt’s focus is primarily news and news commentary.  We speak the language of mainstream media and model ourselves using conventional news structures, such as the AP Style Guide.  At the same time, we also are mindful of who we are, as a entity and as individuals.  We will not compromise either.  In fact, TWH actually has its own style guide that always supersedes AP rules, including the spelling and capitalization of certain religious terms ignored by most editors. We have policies  in place that require the consideration of an interviewee’s religious identification and pronoun preferences. We honor Craft names and deeply understand privacy concerns.

The Wild Hunt rests comfortably and proudly in the overculture’s media silence, helping to amplify otherwise unheard voices for both ourselves and for the world.

 

But there is one more role that Wild Hunt journalists play.  We seek out the silence found within our own communities.  What Pagan voices still need to be heard? What actions are not being shared? What issues are not being discussed? We seek a deeper silence – one that is embedded within our collective spaces.

Our guest writers and columnists are often the best examples of our dedication to that part of our mission. We give the microphone, if you will, to new writers who provide unique perspectives rarely seen, helping them to say, “We are here.” In April, editor Kenya Coviak joined us to share her experiences growing up with Detroit Hoodoo.  More recently, elder Katrina Messenger shared her thoughts on being a mystic in difficult times, and David Halpin reflected on the language the gods.

With that said, The Wild Hunt actually plays three very distinct and vital roles. On the one hand, we exist in the silence created by the over-culture. “We are here!” we say both within and without. Those are our two more obvious functions. But, on the other hand, it remains our duty as journalists to go to the silences that exist within ourselves. To help us know ourselves.

That is our mission and our service and our contribution. In providing  a respectful, ethically-based, and professional space for noisemaking, we hope to offer a positive legacy for the growing population of Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists for years to come. We also hope that this legacy, one that grows day in and day out, tells the story of our communities and our people.

Each day, we go back into the silence.

“We are here!”

[The Wild Hunt is a nonprofit, independent media project. It does not accept advertising or paid content. Every article published is original and written by its own dedicated team of writers and guest writers. The Wild Hunt is currently running its Fall Fund drive. If you believe in the TWH mission, enjoy reading the daily content and want to keep the project going, consider donating today. Every dollar counts. This is your community; this is your Wild Hunt]

Ancient Faiths Alliance holds its first harvest festival is this Sat

Ancient Faiths Alliance hosts its All Hands Together Harvest Festival this Saturday Sep 17, 2016. Their second community festival, the first being the Community Earth Day Celebration in Madison Heights in April, this their first harvest event. Set on to coincide with the Autumnal Equinox, it takes place from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm in Green Acres Park, Hazel Park, MI.

All Hands Together Harvest Festival
All Hands Together Harvest Festival

 

They have selected multiple charities to support at this event. They are the Hazel Park Promise Zone college scholarship fund, Pagans In Need food bank, and the Michigan Pagan Scholarship. In addition to these, they are collecting new and pretty printed pillowcases for a pillowcase dress project for children.

A full day of programming awaits the public. Vendors, classes, activities and special events of interest to Pagan and non Pagan, Heathen, Christian, and other paths and faiths are part of the festivities. A county fair feeling is what the All Faiths Alliance seems to have heard is the way the people in Southeastern Michigan offer as unofficial feedback about the day.

The classes for presentation are listed on their website as Jerry “Casper” Mckinney’s Runic workshop, Fool Proof Tarot, Herbs for Harmonizing a Happy Home, The Spiral Circle Pagans In Recovery, A Witches Thread, Basic Crystal Healing, Unscript Yourself!, Numbers and Magick!, and Essential Oils 101.

Store Poster for Fest
Store Poster for Fest

A rather dynamic marketing campaign has set this group apart. Flyers, online adverts, and multiple media outreach has gained a large supportive swell of non Pagan based businesses and Heathen based groups that have not customarily been forthcoming to area events of this nature.  Multiple ads customized to various demographics have generated buzz.

All Hands Together - DJ AD
All Hands Together – DJ AD

Music plays a huge part of this event. Local DJ phenom DJ Brutal donated his services as Master of Ceremonies to act as ringmaster to the talent. Bands include Blackmail, Day Oshee Maatin, Agenda 21, and acoustic group Rebel A’s.  A special performance by Adam Arcana of the Doppleganger Circus Sideshow is also on the playbill.

 

The band 21 Planets Away was scheduled to perform at this event, however they have suffered a personal loss. This writer speaks in good faith that the Southeastern Michigan communities extend their deepest sympathies at this time and lift them up in ritual and love.

Children are not left out of the fun, since a midday children’s dance party gives parents a much-needed time to relax and enjoy the food while the little ones burn off some energy. Sponsored by the Little Witches Ball, it promises to be a good time.

Children's Flyer
Children’s Flyer

Because all of the organizers are parents, there is a strong emphasis on inclusive family programming. Children’s activities and Harvest Games are proper for participation at various age and ability levels. Even the layout has the youth programming area centrally located for easier monitoring and safety.

Dani Cakes

A Quest Master leads two scavenger hunts during this event. Michigan Renaissance Faire Tickets for four, donated by Dani Cakes,  are the prize of the family track. The adult hunt is for a gift bag donated by the Midwest Witches Bazaar

The Phoenix Cafe is also in on the fun with an all day Pokemon Party. This includes Pokemon themed art by local area artists, which is entered into the art show competition. They have an after party to the event that evening.

Family classes and activities are listed as Kids’ Suncatcher Painting, A Witches Thread (crocheting), a Hammer Toss, Ring Toss, Fish Bowl game, Pin the Tail on the White tail buck, Broom Races, Hokey Pokey: Festival Edition, Pudding Pie eating contest, a water balloon relay, and an old favorite from when these folks were with Pagan Pride Detroit Inc’s Pagan Pride Detroit Days, The Pickle Roll. Ancient Oak Scouts will also be recruiting at this event.

Rituals for those interested in the spiritual side of the event are Dream World Connections, Fears & the Dream Warrior presented by MeKailia Nimue of Owls’ Grove Coven; Waters of the World ~ a gift of the Covenant of the Goddess presented by Oberon Osiris of Covenant of the Goddess, and a midday HandFasting ceremony officiated by Minister Enafae Moore-Sweet.

For the Waters of the World Ritual, the presenter has requested folks to bring containers of waters from all over the area to mingle together.

 

So many more features at set to happen. And it all happens this Saturday in Green Acres Park here in Michigan. Hope to see you there.

 

 

 

Spirituality in a Multi-Faith and Multi-Home Family

I was born to parents from different religions and raised in a multi-faith house.  Despite the fact that my father and mother were both grounded by their religious belief systems, we attended church infrequently.  Our time in any house of God was limited mostly to Christian holidays and I was an adult before recognizing the subtle differences between the paths that my parents had pursued.  I believe that my experience was common amongst Canadian children in the early 70’s.

I exited a first marriage with 2 tremendous children and a number personal feelings to untangle.  At the time, my son was just reaching an age where in my mind, he could understand the notion of spirituality and its many teachings.  My daughter was still steadying her steps and mastering the art of controlling newly realized abilities.  As the kids and I settled into our new reality of a 50% custody and residency agreement, the question of spirituality for our children remained unanswered and was overtaken by the necessities of life.  My former spouse continued to pursue a personal path devoid of spirituality and religion.

Nearly 2 years later my question about spirituality for my children rchristian-paganeturned.  I had by that time introduced spirituality through books, songs and our occasional attendance at a local church or Zen temple.  I remained cautious about sharing my Wiccan path with the kids and introduced them instead to an eclectic commonality of underlying themes from many religions.  My goal was help establish a moral compass within them and help them to learn how to accept and appreciate others. 

Each time the kids enjoyed a spiritual talk or event with me, they shared it with their mother.  Sadly, a trend emerged as the kids would return to me espousing the evils of Buddhism, Christianity or other easily identifiable paths.  One day my son returned home from kindergarten in a state of dysregulation.  He explained that all of his friends were mad at him because he informed them that he agreed with his mom and that god did not exist anywhere.  On another occasion my son explained to me that Buddhists were bad because mom had showed him a story from Myanmar in which some Buddhists had apparently attacked some Muslims.  On a third occasion, I received a scathing email from ‘mom’ chastising me for the kids attending a church service at Christmas.  Concerned about any age inappropriate messaging that the kids might be receiving in retaliation for my spiritual sharing, I suspended temple and church visits. 

I have since married a devout Christian woman and we openly share our spiritual beliefs with each other.  Together we have woven a spiritual tapestry of love, mutual respect and humor within our home.  We celebrate Christian and Wiccan events; sometimes together and sometimes individually.  There are benefits to a multi-faith home but it takes understanding and togetherness.  It isn’t always easy to hear the snide comments of close-minded, 3rd parties when they speak to my wife about my beliefs when I’m within earshot. 

The kids are still operating on a weekly schedule and spend 50% of their time at our home.  The goal of mastering spirituality in a multi-home environment is one that continues to elude me.  With Samhain drawing close, I am feeling a pull to share more information about Wicca with my children and to celebrate as a family.  Ultimately, I believe that it is critical for me to shield the two young spirits that I am blessed with guiding until they can choose their own spiritual paths.  For now, protecting them from misinformation and manipulation is paramount.  I think that I’ll feel it when the time is right to share more.

Image Credit:  johnwmorehead

(https://www.google.ca/search?q=multi+faith&hl=en&biw=1368&bih=795&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjw25WRiovPAhXIeT4KHUz2A4UQsAQIOg#hl=en&tbm=isch&q=pagan+and+christian&imgrc=uqAY7blJrTq3PM%3A)

Church revival at Michigan Pagan Fest 2016

You read that title correctly,The Church Of a Poultrology had a full service and revival style workshop at Michigan Pagan Fest this year.  Affectionately known as the “Chicken Church” by local Michiganders, it  from the mind of Daemon Wilburn.

Daemon Wilburn

Daem, also known as “Mother Clucker”, is our local homegrown celebrity Pagan comedienne, teacher, storyteller, and aspiring writer.

Yes, Daem, I put you out there about your writing.

Dedicants came arrayed in varying degrees of yellow, feathers, and/or, jewelry befitting the faithful.  The altar was lovingly set with representative sacraments to the religion. All were welcome.

There was, of course, an order of service. Members arose to read the litany. As seen here.

Charge of the chicken goddess "Gather my brood, and heed the words of the great hen .....
Charge of the chicken goddess “Gather my brood, and heed the words of the great hen …..

 

And of course, in all things polarity, there was the second part to the Charge.

Reading from the charge of the chicken god: "I am the alarm clock of the universe..... .
Reading from the charge of the chicken god: “I am the alarm clock of the universe….. .

The church then began its true service. A message of unity and human connection with the Divine in all of us. That element being known as the “Yolk”.

There is one yolk, which is the one yolk, the yolk in you, the yolk in me .......
There is one yolk, which is the one yolk, the yolk in you, the yolk in me ……

An Eating of Sins occurred. All the sins of the world were absolved by this rite. The Great Hen would be proud.

Church of Poultrology eating of sins
Church of Poultrology eating of sins

A call to membership was also shared. Truth be told, everyone is already a member. This is just a formality, according to church doctrine.

 

Induction into church "I solemnly swear that I will always cook my poultry thoroughly, and with at least one of the holy sides
Induction into church
“I solemnly swear that I will always cook my poultry thoroughly, and with at least one of the holy sides

 

Blessings
Blessings

Because the church encompasses all times and all places, they accept nominations for sainthood. Members flocked to write the names of the sainted down for ceremonial recognition. Also, there was time for official ministry as part of the induction, and blessings.

The chicken is a noble bird. It is descends from the Tyrannosaurus Rex. It is a symbolic embodiment of divinity and the will to survive, evolve, and thrive. If you can wrap your mind around this concept, you are already halfway there to recognizing the Yolk in all of us

I recognize the yolk in you. The Yolk, the truest self. That light. That spirit. We all have it. And now many more recognize it now. The truth was served up by the Mother Clucker, who revealed it all that afternoon at Michigan Pagan Fest 2016.

 

Poultrology is about laughter and silliness. Isn’t that enough? – Daemon Wilburn

And now, a message from Daemon Wilburn.

 

 

 

Foreshadow


Foreshadow
She heard a cry in the night
It shook her from her sleep
She sat up in the full moon bright
Her sorrow stuck her deep
She listened to the Owls screech
The howling Wolf in the wood
She knew she wouldn’t fall asleep
She shouldn’t if she could
Goddess Nature was calling
Soon Her tears poured as hard as rain
She could feel her heart falling
Lightening ignited the pain
She stood and cried in the storm
Let the water heal where she felt torn
Nature mirroring how she felt
her sadness soon began to melt
She got it out
that broken heart
Through the storm
a brand new start
She crawled back into bed
With only darkness to see
A smile spread across her lips
She whispered “Blessed Be”

by Jill Marie

Starting a Daily Practice

There is one question that many new Pagans ask and that is how do I incorporate my path into my daily life?  In what ways can I make my practice be a real part of my everyday life?  There are many books out there on holiday rituals, formal offerings and worship styles but there is not always information on what a daily practice could involve and how to go about starting a daily practice yet many of those same books tell the readers the importance of a daily practice.

Its easy to see why new pagans and even those who have done the basics and want to go deeper into their path and practice can get overwhelmed when they are trying to find a way to go deeper.  Daily practice is one of the ways that a person can develop their spiritual and religious practice deeper.  These daily practices help you align yourself with the Gods and spirits.    They give you a tool to bring all aspects of your religion and spiritual practices into your life.  Finally they can provide structure which allows deeper development with spirits.

Daily practice doesn’t have to be formal.  It can be as simple as prayers said a few times a day or it could be simply working on altar maintenance.  Daily practice should not take up an extended amount of time in your day.  It should just be a small part of what you do in your daily life.  Setting aside 15 minutes or so for prayers, meditations, etc is all that daily practice really needs to be.

Daily practice does not have to involve magical work but it can.   One aspect of working magic on a daily basis is that you begin to see the reason why so many folk magic traditions are very practical.  You begin to notice that everything you have in your home readilly available can be used in some way shape and form of spells and charms.   Anything from how you shower and prepare for the day to how you eat and cook your food can be things that are part of your daily practice.

Your daily practice is essentially one of the cores of your practice.  It is how you establish a daily routine for working with and honoring your Gods and spirits.  This practice develops your relationships with the forces you are attuned and allied with.  The more time you spend with them the better you get to know them and the better they get to know you.  This is how partnerships in religion and spirituality really begin to form.

Prayers and altar maintenance are the most common forms of daily practice.  Your prayers are prayers of thanks, devotion, honor, praise etc.    By saying these prayers at altars you maintain to Gods and spirits you develop power at the altars.    For some Gods and spirits out there you can find formal and traditional prayers to various Gods and spirits.  Two good books on prayer for Pagans are The Wiccan Way by Rae Beth and A Book of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith.  Both books are excellent starting point on the use of prayer and give you ideas on how you can write your own prayers. 

One of the ways prayer work and altar maintenance are connected is through praying at your altars or shrines.  The altar builds energy and emotion.   The altar and shrine become the “home” or place in your home where they can reside and place their essences.  It is your place to honor and work with them.  It becomes a symbol of your relationship and connection with them. It becomes not just your way of communicating with the Gods and spirits but also a powerful tool for any and all work that you do with them.   Prayer work is one way you maintain an altar.  Other things that altar maintenance can include are offerings, candle burning, cleaning the altar, and feeding the spirits that live there (through offerings, and prayer work).

There are many other things that can be part of a daily practice.  Meditation is a common practice.  Many people begin meditation through lighting candles, burning incense, and or setting light music.  Meditation is a tool for communicating with different spiritual forces as well as a tool for developing a sense of self and a connection to all aspects of yourself.

Cooking your food, how you shower, and even the way you clean your house can all be aspects of a daily practice.  These are all aspects of your daily life.  If you perform them with an awareness of spiritual forces (in cooking thanking the spirits of the animals,plants etc in the meal, in cleaning visualizing negativity etc being cleaned away) they can become essential parts of your spiritual practice.  The key is the mindset in which you perform those tasks.

Now that there are some ideas of what a daily practice can include and why we should maintain them its time to talk about putting them into practice.  At first you might be temped to add several things into your routine.  If you try to add to many things at once you will get overwhelmed and you may want to give it up all together.  This is why its best to pick one or maybe two things to start with.  If you already have altars adding prayers and regular offerings of water at the altars may be a great way to start.  If you don’t have any altars starting with prayers in your bedroom as you get ready in the morning or before bed at night are also an option.

Once you get into the habit of your simple daily routine you can start to add in other things.  The best thing is to simply start with something and then go from there.  Once you have a starting place you can figure out where to go.  Keep it simple and keep it consistent.  You will soon find that you have found a new sense of depth in your practice and you may start to notice stronger connections and clearer communication with the Gods and spirits you work with.

Detroit Pagans, the Street Store needs you

My path of peaceful war

So the topic came up today, talking to one of my closest friends here in Michigan. The question of me, and why I did not pursue my career in the military.

The fact is, I wonder how life would have been had I not walked away from that candidacy board that night and decided “no”.

What would my life be like if I had not decided that I did not want to fight upstream? With the grade scandal that surrounded my school because of the Marine Corps students, should I have really tried to pursue my naval career anyway?

I turned away for a number of reasons, primarily due to questioning of my test scores being in their minds. I had a proven record of excellence, but that doubt would have followed me. It was not worth a 15 year stretch of that.

But the biggest reason was that the Goddess, or God, or Both, reached out to me and touched my heart through encounters with other people. I have told Kyle, my husband, many times that week was the first time I really understood that what I would do would be done to people who had souls. And that changed my mind.

Evening - Image: Pixabay
Evening – Image: Pixabay

For the record. I was going into a special service area. My files would have been “Black”. For those who know what that means, you know that means my true self is a certain kind of way.

For those who do not, let me make it brief. I was going into the service to be an interrogator and an assassin for my nation. When I was a small girl, I wrote an essay that sums up my belief systems.

When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said either a nun or an assassin. They asked me why. I said I wanted to either help people suffering in the world by being a spiritual person, or as an assassin who would kill the people making them suffer.

I chose a different path than what lay before me. I chose the path of peace, yet I still claim the warrior. Because what I did not choose to do in flesh, I do in spiritual warfare.

Make no mistake. I am always who I am. But for some of you, you have never seen me…the real me.

Here I stand.

 

Pagan Perspectives articles do not necessarily reflect the view of PBN News Network.  All views expressed in Pagan Perspectives are entirely those of the writer.

PBN Blues Series: Willie Dixon – If The Sea Was Whiskey

Today we are going to talk about the addiction of loved ones. As practitioners, we will often be approached in our business life with the requests of a person who has friend, or family member who has a substance abuse problem. The most common situation is alcoholism in this region because of the legality and ease of purchase of liquor and beer.

Because this is a life issue, it is a matter of a controlling magick. For some this might be outside of their regular scope of practical wares. But in this case we are going to be in a setting where controlling work is allowable to the worker’s moral matrix.

The ability to discern the correct products and methodologies regarding each client’s situation is important. It is equally important to address the fact that the issue may be a symptom of something greater going on, or may not be. That is where consultation and divination comes into play.

Yourmanstan
Yourmanstan

A little too quick to call it

Johnny W. has come to you regarding his wife Edith W., the love of his life. They have been married over 20 years. Recently they traveled to Georgia, and once they returned Edith W. began to drink. Not really alarmed at first, Johnny W. began to notice that instead of going out occasionally to drink with friends, she started purchasing liquor.

Johnny W. explains that in the last month Edith W. has purchased liquor by the gallon twice. She drinks on a daily basis, where before now she only would imbibe once every few months. Their relationship is now strained. She is belligerent and hateful in her intoxicated state and seeks out reasons to argue. He is at a loss of what to do.

You decide that what he needs is to sweeten her up with a honey jar to make her listen to him. You have always wanted to try this kind of thing, so you want to experiment.  You add to this a bit of domination oil, and a bit of poppy seeds. You do not pursue the cause of the issue, only focus on his immediate goal of trying to stop the fighting. He purchases your creation and leaves.

A couple of weeks later Johnny W. returns to you. He is heartbroken and angry. His wife’s behavior has gotten worse, and often she is confused about simple things. Though they do not fight as much, the drinking is getting worse. You stand now wondering what to do.

A little closer look

Johnny W. has come to you regarding his wife Edith W., the love of his life. They have been married over 20 years. Recently they traveled to Georgia, and once they returned Edith W. began to drink. Not really alarmed at first, Johnny W. began to notice that instead of going out occasionally to drink with friends, she started purchasing liquor.

Johnny W. explains that in the last month Edith W. has purchased liquor by the gallon twice. She drinks on a daily basis, where before now she only would imbibe once every few months. Their relationship is now strained. She is belligerent and hateful in her intoxicated state and seeks out reasons to argue. He is at a loss of what to do.

You are an experienced worker, so immediately something in this story struck you as significant. This behavior change began after the trip to Georgia. You know that there had to be a catalyst.

Voodoo_doll_Louvre_E27145b
Nude female voodoo doll in kneeling position, bound and pierced with thirteen pins. Found in a terracotta vase with a lead tablet bearing a binding spell (katadesmos). – Marie-Lan Nguyen

You ask Johnny W. why they were in Georgia. He tells you it was a high school reunion. You ask him if he met anyone there that did anything he would find unusual. He tells you that his old sweetheart was there and that she took he and his wife home for a nightcap that evening to catch up on old times. They were offered the hospitality to spend the evening before driving back to their hotel.

You ask if Edith W. is missing any items. He finds this strange, but as a matter of fact she was missing her makeup bag and hairbrush. His old sweetheart had even called him recently to reassure him that it was not at her home. She calls a lot lately. It was at this moment the realization comes across Johnny W. that this is more than carelessness.

You recommend a divination. This allows you and Johnny W. to confirm the suspicion of enemy work. The fact that Edith W.‘s personal concerns are missing is a red flag.

Your reader is able to determine the working and the solutions needed. You assemble the necessary components and consult with Johnny W. about what can realistically happen at this point to reverse the condition.

Because this is a serious situation, you give him a multilevel approach. First cut the work. Then bind the worker next. Simultaneously, he will work to heal his wife and their relationship. Because you feel it is necessary, you give Johnny W. some acacia oil and recommend the “To Quit Drinking” ancestor working found here at mojomoon.net.

Magick without works is hamstrung. You advise him to seek counseling for his wife and himself in order to repair some of the damage.

 

Resources:

Alcohol Abuse and Crisis Intervention: 800-234-0246

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Helpline and Treatment: 800-234-0420

Alcohol Hotline Support & Information: 800-331-2900

Spiral Circle (Pagans In Recovery) made charity for Midwest Witches Ball

This year, The Spiral Circle Pagans In Recovery rises being one of the new charities for the 2016 Midwest Witches’ Ball.  Many in Michigan learned of this organization through the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry, Witches of Michigan, or through word of mouth.   Those who have found it are making changes, and are agents of their own change.

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The Spiral Circle is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience,strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from their addiction to self-destructive behaviors. – Preamble to Spiral Circle 13 Step Program Material
Why a need for a Pagan “step program of recovery”is the first question on some readers’ minds.  There are many organizations doing great works out here.  The pause that some take when hearing of this is understandable.
There are many reasons that many Pagans hesitate in getting the full benefit of the programs that are most ubiquitous for recovery. The main one is that they tend to emphasize a heavily Judeo-Christian base of belief and integration as part of the systems.  For those who are no longer on that spiritual path or who have no ties to it in any way, this is a hindrance.  Proselytizing can undermine the goal of the programs by injecting a feeling of being the “outsider” in a space where this is inappropriate.
Spiral Circle does not engage in this practice.  There are no cliques, no causes, and no categories of belief.  There is simply the space where healing happens. Their 13 Traditions’  stance of “Principles before Personalities” sets that bar, and rivets it in place.
Rebecca Sisler, a local Pagan business woman and community healer through this work, is the leader of the groups.  She continues facilitating safe spaces for people to come together in trust and openness.   Why does she do it?  Because it works.  In her own words, she shares this.
Spiral Circle has a wonderful core group. Some of them have been in other recovery meetings, and I have seen them really blossom from this program.
The Spiral Circle Program is based off the 12 steps of AA. It is designed for those people looking for a program of recovery that is non-Christian. I personally do not have an issue with the Christian dogma used in AA or NA. However it has been proven that Christian dogma is alive and well in both AA and NA meetings.
Up until now I have not spoken out about this program. I have heard a lot of people in recovery question this program, so now I am going to address the questions that I have heard. I have watched many people suffer even in recovery. I have seen people feel isolated and even shunned for their beliefs.
On the other side I have seen many people find recovery outside of 12 step programs. I have seen these people find their healing through Earth based spirituality. Some of these people have helped me work my program in profound ways
My heart bleeds for all those that NA and AA has not helped. Yes, there are people that these programs have not helped. And while listening I have heard two very disturbing facts.
One, there are those who feel excluded because their issue is not drugs and alcohol. They have been told that their issues are not as serious. Some of these people suffer from things like cutting, depression, eating disorders, the list goes one. And the truth is that drugs and alcohol are only a symptom of the disease. Self-destruction comes in many forms, and people are dying from self-destruction.
Two, even though these programs say a God of your understanding and a High Power, they are still based in “God” related thinking. For some people this creates an issue. Personally, I have heard many people say at meetings, “the God of my understand is Christ Our Lord”. Where this personally doesn’t detour me from meetings it does detour others. Furthermore, I know of people who have chosen to walk no-Christian paths that have been shunned at meetings for doing so. I don’t feel that people at meetings intend to come across this way however at times they do, and for some this is enough to railroad their recovery.
Perhaps there is a need for another 12-step recovery program that eliminates these issues? Personally, it is not my place to decide. It is for those seeking recovery to decide. And for those seeking out this new recovery program their reasons are personal. I have only spoke of what I have seen and experienced myself.
So, for those who still question the motive and validity of this program all I can say is that I come to you with an open heart. This program is not in completion with NA or AA. I can only hope that this program will save lives, help people find their true spiritual essence, and promote true recovery for those involved. I think that recovery in any form is a good thing and I believe whole heartily that all recovery programs can work together in carrying the message.
One primary difference in approach is the Pagan version of the Serenity Prayer. This goes into the personal toolbox of those who are working the steps.  Other  prayers based around Pagan spirituality make a big difference when you do the internal spiritual heavy lifting.  They work toward making connections within the personal spirit.
To contact the program, you can look for them on Facebook at their group page, The Spiral Circle Pagans In Recovery.  Their program guide is available by visiting the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry’s resource page.  There you can find the complete written form to decide if this is right for you.
This song featured in this article, Rootless, dedicated to those who are making the healing journey, whether as healer of self or others.  Ginger Doss and S.J. Tucker just  hit it out of the park on this one.  Through the bad times, and the good times, we SEE you.  We are here.  And we honor your strength.
Addendum:  This article failed to mention that the research, development, and implementation of this entire program was done by Michigan’s own Gordon Ireland.