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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