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Please add to your address book to ensure our emails reach your inbox. - Monthly e-Magazine - June 2008

Looking Back, Moving Forward
by Kate West - Personalizing Advocacy - June 2008

Every so often in life something happens which makes you stop and take stock of life. An event, perhaps small, perhaps large, comes along and forces the mind to take a pause from daily concerns, to reassess priorities and to re-evaluate ourselves.

The most recent of these pauses for me was not driven by one of those life-stopping events such as the death of a loved one, nor even my relatively recent separation and hopefully anticipated divorce. It was something far simpler: the decision to clear out the spare room. You know the room, the one which should be set aside for the invited guest, or in my case as a small study for writing, but which in reality is the place where ‘stuff’ ends up. The place where old bits of computer and cables wait for me to find a home or use for, the place where retired rugs and unused curtains quietly rest gathering dust and cat hairs, the place where all the I’m-sure-it’ll-come-in-handy-one-day things wait patiently for their day to come. All but the most organised of us have such a space be it a loft, room, cupboard, or outside shed. This was the space my mother used to call the ‘messy space,’ a term which really doesn’t quite capture the quantity a whole room can hold.

My messy space specialises in paper. Folders, files, specially designed paper storage boxes, and even plastic carrier bags full of old book drafts, incomplete book proposals, notebooks I’ve used (with notes taken at meetings and conferences, or even just to record my thoughts), you get the idea. Now of course if I’d been sensible I’d have either dusted them off and put them back, or sorted them out with the same vigour you use on odd socks. After all, this paper hoard has been with me through 11 house moves, growing with each passing move and year. Whilst everything else has been whittled down to make moving easier, the Papers have grown and multiplied (I think they deserve a capital letter out of respect for their age and quantity). So instead of being sensible I sat down, handkerchief bandit-style over my nose and mouth to prevent asphyxiation from dust, to have a little look. Just a quick one you understand. Apart from the usual household stuff, historic bank statements and so on, most of the Papers come from over 30 years in the Craft and a fascinating peek into the past they are, too. In some ways old documents, especially those you yourself generated, are almost as evocative as certain scents and smells. Whilst the scent of fresh baking might take you back to your childhood, scribbled notebooks can also take you back to the place, time, and the people around you, even to the thoughts and feelings you had but didn’t record. I suppose my next comment isn’t going to come as a surprise to anyone, but, as I discovered, things have changed in the Craft!

As Witches, we used to be far more secretive; no wearing our pentagrams and Goddess symbols openly. No celebrating our Craft in our homes and lifestyle. We did wear long skirts, but that was the fashion. Visit the home of almost any Wiccan or Witch today and even the most discreet will have many clues to their path on display. I’d have counted myself among the discreet until I took a good look around me. Without moving from the keyboard I can see God and Goddess statues, decorative Witches and bats, and even a glow in the dark rat (but that’s got more to do with having a 10 year old than the Craft). There’s a crescent moon hanging in the window and a Horned God plaque over the door. My altar is not hidden, or even sensitively placed in the bedroom. There are witchy books stacked on nearly every step of the stairs (which can make coming down in the dark entertaining), and even the doormat says Blessed Be!

Our secrecy extended further than appearances; many of my close friends (let alone my neighbours) lived in blissful ignorance of the Witch in their community. 

Click here to read the full article.

Back to Top - Author Interview - June 2008

An Interview with Kate West, Author of The Real Witches' Craft and The Real Witches' Handbook
by Llewellyn

Wicca has become one of the fastest growing religions in the US and Europe. What do you see as driving this trend, and are there any misconceptions about what Wicca and Witchcraft may or may not be?The Real Witches' Craft

I feel that the growth of Wicca over the last 20 or so years has come from two key directions: Firstly people have become disillusioned with orthodox spirituality and organised religions. As a species we have grown past blindly following the beliefs and authority figures of our parents’ and grandparents’ generations; we question, think about, and then make our own decisions. We seek a spirituality that allows us personal responsibility and the ability to make our own choices and decisions. It is also becoming increasingly important to increasing numbers of people that we live in harmony with the land and the planet, and we no longer believe that we can freely plunder the Earth and get away with it.

The second factor is the Internet. Although not all the information is accurate or reliable, nevertheless it is far easier to find out about beliefs that were previously considered taboo. And never has it been easier to share views and information with others, even though they might be halfway across the world.

Growing up in Kent, what called you to your path?

As a very young child I was fortunate to live in close proximity to an elderly lady who, whilst she never used the word “Witch,” was certainly one of the followers of the old ways, and she introduced me to many of the concepts of the Craft. Later as a teenager I found that those early lessons resonated far more strongly than the mainstream beliefs of my family and school. I had always felt a strong connection to the cycles of the seasons and the moon, and knew that magic was real. This was in the days when Alex Sanders was frequently in the more salacious press and this encouraged me to look further. After that it was a short step from that to seeking and discovering Witchcraft. However, it was many years before I actually found and joined a Coven.

How did you go about letting people know you were a witch? Do you have advice for others making their faith known, or “coming out of the broom closet,” as it were?

It wasn’t until I was in my thirties, when I started working for a Pagan music company, that I felt able to come out of the broom closet. Not only were my employers not going to discriminate against me, I was encouraged to become active in the promotion and defence of paganism. Also, by that time both my parents had died, so I knew I wasn’t going to upset or embarrass them. I always counsel people to think long and hard before ‘coming out,’ because not only can it affect their own lives and careers but it can have adverse effects on their near and dear.

As a pagan parent, have you encountered any criticism from those outside the pagan community?

Click here to read the full interview.

Back to Top - Llewellyn Journal - June 2008

Rejuvenating Your Daily Rituals
by Jason Kitchen 
The daily rituals are the most commonly practiced techniques by the modern Occultist, Beginner and Adept alike; for one to halt their practice altogether would most likely prove to be unwise. Yet, I am sure most would agree that the monotony of the day-to-day continuation can tend to become boring or even tiresome. The following are some techniques to rejuvenate the power and manifestation of your daily rituals, including the Lesser Banishing Ritual.

Read More

In the Beginning...
by Z Budapest
Z Budapest, author of Summoning the Fates, talks about the the meeting of feminism and witchcraft in the US, the turbulence of the Sixties, and her own personal journey with the Fates.

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Local Gardens Foster an Ethic of the Land
by Clea Danaan
How can we create a sustainable world? Are we doomed to extinction, or is there hope? Clea Danaan, author of Sacred Land, believes we can craft a new world, one garden at a time.

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An It Harm None: Pagans, the Military, and the C.O. Question
by Stefani E. Barner
As the United States continues to be engagd in not one, but two, wars, Stefani Barner, author of Faith and Magick in the Armed Forces, proposes the question: how should pagans deal with the the topic of war?

Read More

Back to Top - Try This! - June 2008

Midsummer Garden Party

Gemini Soup

Midsummer's Dream Tarot Spread

Llewellyn Journal - June 2008

Rejuvenating Your Daily Rituals

In the Beginning...

Local Gardens Foster an Ethic of the Land

An It Harm None: Pagans, the Military, and the C.O. Question - New Releases - June 2008

One Witch's Way
One Witch's Way
by Bronwynn Forrest Torgerson

Sea Magick
Sea Magick
by Sandra Kynes

Llewellyn's 2008 Annuals on sale while supplies last! 65% Off all calendars, almanacs, & datebooks! - Reader's Top Picks - June 2008

  1. 2008 Witches' Companion
    by Llewellyn

  2. Psychic Vampires
    by Joe Slate, Ph.D.

  3. Craft of the Wild Witch
    by Poppy Palin

  4. Discover Your Psychic Type
    by Sherrie Dillard

  5. Magical Aromatherapy
    by Scott Cunningham - News - June 2008

New Worlds May/June 2008

The May/June issue of New Worlds  is here! Download the PDF file of the latest issue of New Worlds or click here to sign up and have it delivered to your home!

2008 Newsletter Reader Survey
Please take a few moments to answer this brief online survey to help us improve your experience with Llewellyn's new monthly e-magazine. - Llewellyn Encyclopedia - June 2008

1)June 20
The first day of summer is Litha, a festival that honors the Sun at its zenith. Summer Solstice.

2)A name for the summer solstice used in many modern Pagan traditions. It has been claimed as the original Pagan name for this festival, but no evidence has been presented to back this up. The actual origin of the term appears to be J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings; in the calendar Tolkien devised for the fictional race of Hobbits, midsummer’s day is named Lithe.

Witches' Ladder
A length of cord tied with thirteen knots. In modern Wicca/Witchcraft it is used to keep track of counting during changing or meditation. If, for example, a chant were to be repeated nine times, the Wiccan/Witch would use a cord with only nine knots and slide his or her fingers along the cord during the chant. Each time the chant is completed the Wiccan/Witch slides their fingers to the next knot until all nine knots have been encountered. 

Another type of Witches’ Ladder is used for magickal binding. Personal items such as a hair clipping, and symbolic charms or items are tied within the knots. This is believed to bind an offender and prevent him or her from further acts of harm. The cord is kept inside a box until the person is released from the spell. Untying the knots and burying the items in the soil will negate the magick.

Odic Force
There is a specific type of energy that many occultists call the Odic (pronounced Oh-dek) Force. It is believed to be the underlying principle of metaphysical nature, behind the physical forces of electricity and magnetism (as well as light and heat). In metaphysical terms Od (pronounced like the word owed) is the very fabric of the universe and is present in all things to varying degrees.

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