Mailbag: Ask Sage (5)

I have to admit, I’m not one to literally believe in the Threefold Law (here’s my take). But raising negativity to banish it shouldn’t bring anything down on you… you’re pretty much raising whatever is already there and affecting you in order to push it away, right? So it’s kind of like taking the antidote to throw up the poison.

Negative magic in itself isn’t bad; it’s simply getting rid of something. Especially what you’re trying to do—expel an excess of harmful energy that’s keeping you from being balanced. Just remember to fill that vacuum you create when you do get rid of it— take a cleansing bath, drink an infusion of herbs that replenish peace and happiness (a little lemon tea is generally enough for me), and spend some time over the next few days meditating on more harmonious things.

The thing you want to be cautious with is baneful magic, or magic you’re using to initiate harm towards someone/something. If you’re doing it for petty, selfish reasons, then you’re definitely going to be wallowing in a lot of negativity that is going to take its toll on you. But it doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything like that so you should be fine.

 

Good question! I encourage you to look up the theory of abundance vs. scarcity, you will learn a lot about how much attitude can do.

There’s nothing at all negative about prosperity—unless, of course, you’re prospering by mugging old ladies or conning vets out of their retirement funds. But prosperity is actually good for everyone all around. When you prosper, you alleviate yourself of stress and worries. It frees you to become a better person, and a better Witch. In turn, you have more to offer others.

Whenever I invoke Gods for a spell or a prayer petition, I give them thanks and praise for it. Of course, you can thank the Gods even if you didn’t directly ask them for help, because they’re part of your reality, and by virtue of that alone it’s worth a nod to them occasionally.

But in general, if you’re cultivating an attitude of abundance, you are already part of a cycle that is beneficial to mankind. And that’s only going to keep you on an upward spiral (as opposed to a downward spiral).

 

 

Hi, and welcome to the path! Relationship with deity is definitely at the heart of Wicca, but at the same time, like any other relationship, it’s going to take time to develop. So first off, don’t worry about rushing it. This is something that will develop over time.

Different Gods revel themselves to different people in different ways. The first step to getting to know them is reaching out to them: pray. It doesn’t have to be prayer, just say what’s on your heart. Make it a daily ritual. Go to your altar, call to them, ask themselves to reveal themselves to you, perhaps make a little offering (burn some incense, leave a flower or some dried herbs, etc.).

Next step is to listen: meditate. Stop and practice a few minutes of mindfulness after your prayer and see what comes to you.

You can also do some research on different Gods and Goddesses, and this might help you hone in on the right direction for you to take.

It might be a good idea to get some books aimed at beginners, too. Check out my recommended reading list!

Until next week everyone, enjoy your Imbolc and have a great weekend!

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Mailbag: Ask Sage (4)

1st Wednesday: Let’s open the ol’ mailbag!

Hi; I’m sorry to hear about your brother. You’re in a very tough position. I know how difficult alcoholism can be on an entire family.

When I was little I grew up near a small amusement park and we used to go frequently.
They had a game for .25 cents I loved to play. You had to shoot a water gun at a clown’s head. If you could get the water to go into the clown’s mouth, it would blow up a balloon behind him. The goal was to make the balloon pop (first one to pop it would win a prize).

I played a lot, and I started learning tips and tricks to improve my game. I learned just where to hold the gun and aimed. I learned that the balloons that were freshly changed for a new game popped more easily than the older balloons that had been filled up and emptied repeatedly (they got stretched out).

Magic is a little like that. You have to learn to focus your intent to send energy toward your goal, kind of the way I had to shoot that stream of water directly into the clown’s mouth if I wanted anything to happen. You have to practice and learn your little tricks to improve.

But of course, it’s more complicated than a carnival game. The problem with casting a spell on your brother is that he’s not like that mechanical clown. He’s got a mind of his own. He can block your stream of energy, he can move away from it or spit it out. If he’s putting his energy into his addiction then the energy you send towards healing him can’t really compete.

It would be lovely if we could do away with everyone’s problems with the right words or the right candle and oils. Unfortunately,it just doesn’t work like that in real life; we’re Witches, we’ve learned to work with nature to try to affect change more efficiently. We’re not Gods– we can’t just bend all the world to our wills whenever we feel like it.

Your brother has free will; and until he decides he wants to truly change his situation, there’s little that can help him– therapy, family support, even magic can only do so much for a person until they’re ready to accept help. Heck, even with the desire change can be a difficult thing, but until he has a true motivation to change there is little anyone will be able to do for him

There are things you can do for your brother. Pray for him and/or send him positive energy in your meditations. Cleanse the house (use incense, or blessed water, etc.) and infuse it with peaceful, positive, happy energies (try charging and placing rose quartz crystals around the home, or draw symbols that represent love and tranquility around the house). Hopefully your brother will find the strength to fight his addiction and overcome it. These kinds of workings might also help your parents find some peace and clarity during this difficult time.

You can also do non-magical things that will help of course (the magic and mundane go hand in hand). Tell your brother in a non-judgemental way that you’re worried about him, give your parents love and support as they struggle with this. Don’t give up hope.

I really hope things work out for your family, particularly your brother, and for you. 

Wow, what an interesting find! For those reading this that may not be familiar with Witch bottles, you can learn about them here. Witch bottles were most often used to curse, or to protect. Sounds to me like you have one meant for protection, judging by the ‘good vibes’ you get from it.

I wouldn’t open it if I were you (there is a very good chance that liquid is, in part, urine). If you did want to dismantle it, it would not harm you or the bottle’s original maker. It would just no longer work. If you ever do choose to rid yourself of it by dismantling it, I wouldn’t do it in the home– I’d do it by the river and cast the ingredients in, then cleanse yourself to make sure nothing clings. If you cleansed the bottle well (both physically and spiritually), it shouldn’t be a problem if you kept that, either, but definitely return the contents to the Earth in some way (running water is ideal for its cleansing properties).

Since the old home had been abandoned, and the jar seems to be still working, I don’t see why you should not use it to protect your own place if you wish. Traditionally a Witch bottle would be buried on the property, hidden in a fireplace or tucked under a floorboard, so you might want to find a place for it in accordance with that tradition. I would not leave it sitting out in the open; if someone accidentally knocked it over and broke it, that could not only be a nasty mess, but it could release some seriously bad energy into the house. If that did happen, again– cleansing (both physical and spiritual) would be in order.

Hi there! Generally the Pagan community uses ‘Pagans’ as the most generic term. You’re right though, not everyone is a Witch, or even a Wiccan, but I believe what you’re seeking here is Pagan-ish or at least open-minded eclectic spiritual paths.

To find local shops, groups, events, etc. in your neck of the woods, try Witchvox.com. Use the dropdown menu on the left under ‘your town’ to navigate to the listings.

As far as adultery… well, that’s a much tougher question. How it’s viewed depends largely on who is doing the viewing. Pagans in general are a diverse group; the label encompasses many religions and spiritual paths and philosophies. Opinions will vary very greatly.

Even within a particular religion like Wicca, opinions are going to vary. We’re not a religion that has detailed rules or commandments written out for us telling us this is wrong and that is right. We realize that life is more complex, and often the truth lies somewhere in the middle– if there is a single, objective truth at all (some things are just a matter of opinion).

However, Wicca is an ethical religion. It is fair to say that breaking vows, lying, sneaking, hurting your loved ones, etc. is not usually something one might consider ethical. I don’t know your fella’s life or circumstances or relationships, so I can’t judge him. We’re humans and things do get complicated. Only the people involved here can examine their consciences and think about their choices in this situation, and the repercussions they may have. We have to learn to be honest with ourselves about that, too, when we try to justify our actions we have to make sure we’re not just making excuses for ourselves out of selfish reasons.

My personal opinion is that if a marriage is not working, we should probably sort things out with the spouse and, if necessary, end it. That to me seems like a much better and more ethical solution than being selfish, deceptive, and throwing more problems into the mix. Personally it’s not something I’d want to be involved in on any level; but we all have to make the choices we can live with, and live with the choices we make. So I wish you all luck with that situation.

Hello! I think have just what you’re looking for:

Wicca for Beginners: Free Online Wicca Lessons

Spells, Exercises, and Lessons for Beginner Witches

I’ve worked pretty hard on those articles to help instruct beginners.

And, of course (couldn’t resist):

My book says, ‘Click Me!’

Have a wonderful week everyone!

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Mailbag: Ask Sage (3)

1st Wednesday: Welcome to the mailbag!

mb3a

I’m so sorry to hear that; I was a Christian into my 20’s and have teens your age, so even though I don’t agree with your parents on their position, I can understand where they’re coming from. I’m sure your parents don’t really think you’re a bad person; they’re probably just very worried about the kind of person you might become if you stray from the path they see as the ‘one right way’. Their religion teaches them that people who practice other religions have sinister intentions and are looking to entrap you in something, and you’ll be in  over your head; right or wrong, they’re just worried about you and want what’s best for you– if they didn’t care, they wouldn’t be worried.

This is a tricky situation. You’re getting old enough to want to explore your spirituality, and in an ideal world nothing would stop you from that or try to make you feel bad about it. What you believe is a personal expression, and no one, not even parents, can really change what goes on inside of our heads, or hearts, or our relationship with our Gods.

On the other hand, your parents deserve respect. They are legally and morally obligated to do their best in raising you and protecting you (again, even if I don’t agree with you needing protection from Pagan religions, they think you do, so they’re acting on that). I know it can be very hard, but you might want to put any formal study or practice on hold for right now, and give your parents the respect they deserve… believe it or not, a couple of years isn’t a very long wait, and you’ll have the rest of your life to do what you want.

No matter what religion you choose in the long run, in time you will be glad that you didn’t let religion cause any rifts in your family.

Until thenyou might want to check out this article: Teen Wiccans: What to Do When Your Parents Won’t Let You Be Wiccan. It will give you some ideas for things you can do to explore alternate spiritualities (Wicca, or generally any Pagan religion) without defying your parents.

Just hang in there! In time, your path will be your own to freely explore.

mb3b

It’s good to put some thought into it before jumping into any major undertakings! Good for you for having the patience to make a sound decision for yourself.

Now, is it okay to practice Witchcraft as a Christian– a lot of Christian Witches would say ‘yes.’ Other Christians would say ‘no’. I recommend you read both sides of the argument, pray for guidance, and follow what you truly believe your God wants of you.

Keep in mind– Wicca and Witchcraft are not the same thing. Witchcraft is a spiritual art that can be combined with any (or no) religion. Wicca, on the other hand, is a religion in itself that embraces Witchcraft as a perfectly acceptable spiritual art. Wicca is a Pagan religion, not a Christian religion. Wiccans have an entirely different world view (no saviors, nothing to be saved from, multiple Gods we can freely worship, etc).

So as I am Wiccan (a Pagan Witch), you might want to find a Christian Witch to help you out. A Christian Witch would be better able to give answers applicable to your own faith.

mb3c_edited-1

Hi! I see from your email heading, you contacted me through my Hubpages. If so, then you’ve found quite a lot of info that I have shared– over 200 articles worth (and growing)!

If you’re a little overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, I would suggest: Wicca for Beginners: Free Online Wicca Lessons. Just start at the top, and work your way down!

If  you check the bar up near the top of this page, click the ‘Sage Recommends’ link and you’ll find a list of books, websites, shops, etc.

Hope that helps! I’m closing up the ol’ mailbag for this month– but PLEASE KEEP THE EMAILS COMING! Your question might make it into next month’s batch, or I might respond to you personally.

Until next week– bright blessings!

 

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