Thursday, August 30, 2007

Online Magic School Experiences?

I find it difficult to sit down and just read a book, but at the same time I find myself doing open-ended Google searches and joining in on forum discussions on religious topics. I guess it's just more interactive, and that is why I am interested in something like an online learning program. I've checked into some of the educational sites out there and some stand out more than others, and I am trying to figure out if any of them are right for me.

Anyway, the sites that I've found are

College of the Sacred Mists -- Very nice website, well laid out, and upcoming video seminars with Janet Farrar + Gavin Bone (The Farrars are probably my favorite authors in the field). On the negative side, quite expensive at $20/month plus a $25 enrollment fee.

WitchSchool -- seem to offer a much more diverse set of courses than the other schools and even put out stuff on YouTube regularly. They are probably the lowest costing of the bunch. The problem is that they seem quite "fluffbunny," in some of their methods. They put a seance on YouTube that made me wonder if they were serious which really made me think twice about becoming a member. I believe that they recently disabled the ability to do a trial course for non-paying members, as well.

Grey School of Wizardry -- has the right people with credibility behind it (Oberon Zell), but aimed at younger people with lots of Harry Potter overtones, so I'm not really feeling it's a good match for me.

Magicka School -- Offers more than the others for free, but seems to be lacking in diversity (seems limited to Wicca/Tarot/Kaballah)

I was wondering if anyone was (or is) a member of any of these sites or any others I may have missed. If I do decide to try it, I am leaning towards WitchSchool or College of the Sacred Mists since these seem to offer the most variety/credibility, but definitely want to hear your thoughts good or bad on any of them.

Looking forward to reading your replies!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Information on the Fae

Basically, due to various things in my recent past I've become very interested in learning more about the Fae, fairies, little folk, etc. Specifically, I'm interested in reading more about their role in traditional folklore and what one may do in order to experience them these days. I don't mean that I want to use them in any way; it's more that I'd like a sign around my neck saying "Any seelie fae passing, feel free to visit." I'd particularly like to know about specific charms that they're attracted to- as a beginning jeweller, I'm really hoping to include that sort of thing in my jewellery.

My problem is that I'm finding it very difficult to separate the serious, well-researched information from the fluff that seems to be everywhere on the web these days. Any book/website/article recommendations would be extremely appreciated. Thanks!

Do Magic and Some Religions Mix?

I'm seriously interested in witchcraft and magic of the non-Wiccan variety, but I'm also trying to find a belief system that most fits the way I live my life and makes more sense to me than the ones I've seen so far. Really, what I've been interested in is Hellenism and the ethical codes and sensible attitude they have toward their gods and their everyday lives; plus I am intimately familiar with the gods of Hellenism and have felt a connection with them more than once.

However, I've heard from some that magic and Hellenism do not mix, nope, no question about it. I'm just wondering what your opinions on it are and if these two things can be used in sync. Also, what are the differences between non-Wiccan witchcraft paths? I'd like to learn more about them so I can fairly evaluate which one is best for me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Book Opinions Wanted

I have just ordered A Witches Bible by the Farrars, which I've seen good responses about on here.

The other two books I've bought are Brighid's Healing by Gina McGarry and Healing Reiki by Don Alexander and Eleanor McKenzie.

Has anyone else read these? I'd be grateful to know if I've made good choices or not!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Types of Magical Practice?

I know most of us don't fit into one category in regards to how we choose to do our workings but I'd really like to hear about other people's 'style', if you could call it that. Do you prefer ceremonial magick with all the bells and whistles or do you go more along the lines of intrinsic or inner magick? How about the so-called kitchen witches? How would you describe your 'style'? How do those who follow nature magick go about their business? Or how about shamanism or alchemy? I'd love to have different points of view.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I know some of you are more knowledgeable about stones than I am. Okay, quite a few of you.

Anyway, I recently read about this stone. It is also called heliotrope, and is green with red speckles. I was wondering what you all might know of it?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I very recently stumbled upon a form of divination that I had not known about before. Lithomancy, the art divination using stones. I actually first heard about it this weekend from me new favorite book Witchcraft for Tomorrow.

Sadly though I have no real information on it and the few searches I have come up with haven't given much detail on how to use it. I understand the main concept, different stones relate to different astrological plants and also different aspects of live, love, luck, news, magick, ummm, I forget the others... and you would predict depending oh how the stones would fall. I hope I am understanding it right.

What I would like to know basically is if anyone has any kind of information or resources on this type of divination? have any of you used it personally and how has it worked out for you? Are there any books devoted to the subject that I might be able to get a hold of?

Monday, August 20, 2007

God/Goddess vs. Specific Deities

In doing more research and reading, I've come across a bit of a snafu that I seemed to have overlooked "last time." Much of Pagan literature speaks of the relationship between the Goddess and the God, almost as a pantheon unto themselves. And then, on the other hand, there are tons of pantheons which people follow, either collectively or working with one or two deities.

If you are drawn to or are working with a set pantheon or deities, do you still honor the Goddess and the God? At this point, I believe that both modes are equally "legitimate," and that the separate gods and goddesses are all different facets of the God or Goddess. My sometimes-straight-and-narrow Virgo mind has trouble wrapping itself around all the shades of gray that could be involved. And the more I think about it, the more muddled I get.

Is there anyone out there who just follows the Goddess and the God? (Sort of the "monotheistic" way of Paganism.) Do you just follow a specific pantheon or god(s)/goddess(es)? If you worship both ways, how do they fit together in your path?

Reversed Tarot Cards

I was going to ask how you go about allowing reversed cards in, as I am particularly fussy about ensuring things are the right way up, generally, but suddenly feel I should allow my cards to reverse, should they so wish.

My original question was how do you go about introducing the possibility of reversed cards? Would you deliberately reverse say half of them? Would you twist the odd card during shuffling? Etc. However, on shuffling the cards earlier this popped in to my head and one of the cards literally jumped out of my hands and slid across the table lol! That, combined with the fact that I feel ready to read reversed cards, let me accept it, and it did make me giggle somewhat too!

I glimpsed at the card on replacing it and it was reversed in the pack. I don't know which card it was though (I'm good at that, I can look at the answers to crosswords and sudoku without seeing anything I shouldn't do!) and since then I've quickly gone through the pack and there are at least 4 or 5 that are the wrong way up in the pack now (not sure how there are that many, only one jumped and I was, until today, very careful).

I'm just wondering whether or not anyone else ended up doing reversed cards like this, or whether you took deliberate steps to accept reversed cards?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Articles Wanted For Cauldron Newsletter!

As a member of the Cauldron Forum, you might know that the Cauldron also produces a monthly e-newsletter, Cauldron and Candle. (Click here for subscription information.)

Newsletters include updates about the forum, links to especially interesting threads, book and movie reviews, poetry, and articles on a variety of paganism-related topics.

The editorial staff of Cauldron and Candle invites you to submit articles for publication in the newsletter.

Article drafts must be submitted to me by the 15th of the month prior to the publication month. I will review the article and work with the author to edit as necessary for grammar, typos, and clarification. If the article meets the newsletter's standards, I will refer it to Randall for final approval.

First Tarot Reading Accuracy?

I went out earlier and bought my first tarot deck, a Waite, and a guide book, and I just finished playing with it. I did my first reading, one on myself, and the results are kind of bugging me. Not because I think they are way off, its quite the opposite. They seem to have hit right head-on, and I'm just afraid that I'll put a serious relationship at risk if I follow them and end up being wrong.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Early "High" Magick (Pre-Christian)?

I was wondering if anyone knew if there were practices of ceremonial/high magick practiced con temporarily that did not have Judeo-Christian origins, like Egyptian, etc... Not necessarily re constructionist pagan ideas, just the modernization of the magick. It seems like most of the stuff I've read about is highly eclectic, such as the Golden Dawn system.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Question on Meditating and Guides

Has anyone else tried visualising their guide? (Probably a silly question).

I have been trying (admittedly, on and off) for years now, and never get any further. My method is imagining walking along a path which takes me up a hill to a gate. Through the gate is a beautiful garden, and in that garden is/are my guide/s.

That's as far as I get! My visualisation is excellent, to the point that I can relax and just walk through the gate (though I do start from the beginning each time for the build up). In fact, the images are as clear as a memory now. My problem is that although I can see my guide to a certain extent I can't see his face. I can sit next to him, but still not see his face. I can talk to him, but I can't hear the replies.

Am I trying too hard, or not hard enough? Or am I just not meant to know? It's not that there is no face or sound, it's there, but it's blurry, like when you've just rubbed your eyes!

When I ask for a sign without the visualising I feel him touch me, in the same place each time.

I know it's not my visualisation that's not strong enough because of the above (being able to walk straight in if I choose) and I am also able to "self heal", i.e. clear headaches/tummy aches etc by using visualisation techniques. In fact, I can do that within seconds now! I even used to be able to make my ex's IBS pains go by using my hands and visualising the pain leaving, although he was very receptive and open so that may have helped... But what I'm saying is I must be doing something right.

Anybody else have the same problems? Or any ideas on how I could perhaps improve my techniques, or whether it's a sign to give up because he doesn't want to be seen!

Point of the Astral/What is the Astral?

I hear a lot of discussion about what people are doing on the astral.

What I've never understood, and what I'd love to have explained, is what the astral /is/. How can you tell the difference between the astral and a daydream? What do you /do/ there?

I mean to ask with respect, so if the question is coming across wrong, I'm sorry. I just don't understand - and I want to.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tarot not for Strong Empaths?

So I've gotten advice from people in my life, and I'm wanting to get a collective opinion on the subject. I was at a (real) occult shop in my hometown last week, and the shopkeep (hehe I love that word) walked over to me and gently removed the deck from my hand. I was a little peeved, to say the least. He said that tarot isn't for strong empaths. I was surprised, as not many people save for family have ever been able to tell (it runs in the family, thanks ma), but I was confused. The gentleman laughed, called me a wild empath, and tried to tell me that while I am extremely powerful, I am but wild and not accustomed to my worth. While this is true, I can't control it nor things I am able to do, I was a bit upset. Why would empathy make for a bad tarot reading? I mean, I'm not out to pretend to be something I'm not, I'm not going to read tarot for money or anything of that sort. I just wanted to get to know that sort of thing a bit better, you know?

I suppose, if anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated. I'm still going to purchase a deck and work with my Teacher in my Order, but I'm curious to know what you all think about what this shopkeep (man I love that word!) had said to/about me.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mixing Pantheons?

I have read that it is not good to mix pantheons is this good advice? But what if one were to feel the pull of two Goddesses from different countries?

I feel a thrill every time I see or hear the name Danu, also the same with Hecate. Some advice or information would be of great help. I have been a seeker now for about 7 months not long I know so forgive my stumbling baby steps.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Heathen Altars?

This is directed more toward Asatruar, but if anyone else has seen a Heathen altar feel free to chime in!

I've been thinking about setting up an altar in our guest bedroom and I'm just trying to bounce some ideas around. Do any of you even have an altar? If so, what does it look like and what do you use it for? Do you honor all the gods and goddesses at your altar, or focus on one or a few?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What Does the Pentacle Mean to You?

What does the Pentacle mean to you?

This symbol doesn't really have much of a place in my life right now. Other symbols have always been more in the forefront. I guess I just never felt a "connection" to it. As of late however, it has been appearing to me. I don't know what this could mean, so any insights will be helpful!

I did look back into past posts and found that terms vary for the five pointed star within a circle: Pentacle, Pentagram, Pent. But no matter what the term, what significance does it hold for you?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wicca and Polytheism

As a disclaimer, let me first say that by Wicca, I'm talking about is non-oathbound material - that is what is available in books, magazines etc... I understand that there has been a lot of discussion about what separates NeoWicca from Wicca from Wiccanesque from eclectic, but I'm still unsure of exactly where the lines are.

That said, I'm wondering if there is anything contradictory in being a polytheistic Wiccan. Most of what I've read presents Wicca as duotheistic or even a kind of light monotheism* but I've also heard people say that they themselves are hard polytheists who have a patron and matron deity (oftentimes from ancient pantheons) which they focus on. And then I've also heard some Wiccans say that the Goddess/God of Wicca are separate deities whom you worship using Wiccan rituals.

So I'm kind of confused. I know a lot of people who claim the Wiccan label have totally different ideas wrt theology and such. I just feel a strong draw to a lot of what I read about Wicca, but I'm also more of a hard polytheist and I'm looking for a little elucidation.

* This, I will admit, is something more common in fluffier books, but it's still pretty common.

Monday, August 06, 2007

O' Great Golden One (It's Apollo...)

As you all probably know there are several followers of Apollo here on TC, myself included, so I figured it's about time he got his own thread. He's already getting a cookie, it's the seventh of the month. (The cookie is almond sugar rolled in coconut...)

I'd like to keep the thread UPG, various instances you've experienced, odd quirks of his(though he would never do anything odd), or even favorite myths....

I'll start, he hates my cat. To the point of a giving me a near allergy despises him, poor Barnaby never did anything wrong, spoiled, yes. Pain in the butt, I'll give him that. But nothing that should make him hate Barnaby...

Besides being a cat-hater I adore him, he's pretty much perfect....

Anyone else or just me?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Avatar Design Challenge #1 Results

And the winner is....

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Cauldron Fiction Writing Contest

HeartShadow, ShadowCat and I have come up with the idea to have a fiction writing contest here on The Cauldron. If you would like to participate, please read the following rules:

The Cauldron fiction contest August 2007 Rules:

Theme: Harvest Festival
Length: a maximum of 6000 words

Contest opens: August 10, 2007
Contest closes: September 15, 2007
Voting starts: October 1, 2007
Winners notified: October 8, 2007
Honorary Prize: Avatar or Sig Pic, by Cat, and publication in Cauldron and Candle, the TC newsletter
Judges: Celtee, ShadowCat, HeartShadow

Judging criteria:
--Clear, concise writing
--Easily readable and understandable
--Sticks to the topic

Two submissions maximum per person. However, only ONE submission will be allowed into the final judging so it is fair for everyone.

Contest open to all members of The Cauldron.

Submissions must follow all rules of The Cauldron; including being PG-13 or better.

HeartShadow, ShadowCat and I will be the judges with the (impossible) job of narrowing all entries down to the top three. After the contest ends and the top three are picked, they will be posted on the board and all members of The Cauldron will be able to vote for their favorite.

PM Celtee through her profile for her email address. In the subject line of the email, put your Cauldron name and "Cauldron Submissio" (f’ex: "Celtee’s Cauldron Submission") and note “ESL” if English is not your first language.

Hope you participate. Can't wait to see your submissions so dust off your paper, sharpen your pencils and let the stories unfold!

Discreet Ways to Practice?

I live in a very Christian household in the Southern US. Needless to say, it's rather conservative over here. I'm interested in beginning a small devotional practice, just something to add a spiritual dimension to my day. If anyone has any ideas on ways to do things like this that aren't obvious, that would be lovely. Thank you all!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Doppelganger Experience?

Today, I went to Walmart, the place that sees me 7 times a week haha, on my way to my mother's. I had to pick up some things for her, and I got in line behind this woman in a self check out. Well, she kept trying to pay for things with cash, and the machine kept jamming. I was running late, as it had already taken me longer than planned, and here I was, stuck behind this woman, getting later and later and later..... I was feeling frustrated. I kept thinking I needed to get on to my mother's because she needed to eat her breakfast. (she is a brittle, type 1 diabetic, and needs to eat on a very regular schedule).

Anyway, I get out to the car, and my mother called me, and before she could really say anything, I said I am on my way, she said okay, and I left. I didn't think any more about it, till I got there. I walked in, and she said that about 15 minutes before, (just before she called me) she said she heard me come in, and even heard me say something, and Smokey Jo, the cat, ran to greet me like she always does. Then she said something to me, and I didn't answer, so she went into the living room, and that is when she realized I wasn't there. That is when she called me.

Well, this isn't the first time things like this have happened in relation to my mother. I did it once in high school, and then here while back, there was a similar incident to the one above. I wasn't stuck behind a woman in the self check out, but otherwise it was similar. I think each time it was triggered by a strong need to be somewhere, and being unable to be there physically at the time I was needing to be there.

Has anyone else ever experienced this?

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