Saturday, February 26, 2011

~~Various Wiccan Traditions~~

Gardnerian Wicca
A retired British civil servant named Gerald B. Gardner is the 'Grandfather', at the very least, of almost all Neo-Wicca. He was initiated into a coven of Witches in the New Forest region of England in 1939 by a High Priestess named 'Old Dorothy' Clutterbuck. In 1949 he wrote a novel [*High Magic's Aid*] about medieval Witchcraft in which quite a bit of the Craft as practiced by that coven was used. In 1951 the last of the English laws against Witchcraft were repealed (primarily due to the pressure of Spiritualists) and Gardner published *Witchcraft Today*, which set forth a version of the rituals and traditions of that coven. There is an enormous amount of disagreement about virtually every statement I have made in this paragraph.
Gardnerism is both a tradition and a family, and lineage is a family tree. The High Priestess rules the coven, and the principles of love and trust preside. We follow our handed down book more carefully than many others, but we are free to add and improvise, as long as we preserve the original.
We work skyclad, practice binding and scourging, are hierarchal and secretive, therefore we are controversial. We're also controversial because we were first - the first craft tradition in the U. S. and descended from the man largely responsible for starting the craft revival. So, we're called the snobs of the Craft, but I think we're as much fun as anyone else; our parties as good, our jokes as bad.
*Each Gardnerian coven is autonomous and is headed by a High Priestess who can turn to her queen (the High Priestess who trained her) for counsel and advice. This maintains the lineage and creates a pool of experienced and knowledgeable leaders and teachers.
*Reincarnation and the Wiccan Rede [An it harm none do what you will] are basic tenants of the tradition. Covens are as much as possible composed of male/female pairs for balance. Most working is accomplished with the energy raised by the interaction of the Lord and Lady as represented by the couples in the coven by dancing, chanting, etc.
*Like many Wiccan traditions, Gardnerians have three degrees. An American Gardnerian must be of the 3rd degree before she can become a HPS. The HPS/HP are responsible for conducting services (circles), training their conveners, and preserving and passing on Gardnerian Craft. *[This material quoted from Converging Paths Newsletter, Kyril, Brita, & Hugh authors.]
A lot of the controversy surrounding Gardnerianism questions the sources of the rituals and other materials, particularly those appearing in print. It is true that Gardner presented these materials as if they were directly from his New Forest tradition. It is clear, however, that whatever materials the coven may have had when he was initiated, Gerald made a lot of changes and added a great deal. Literary sources of the published Book of Shadows include Blake, Kipling, Yeats and Crowley. Much of the published material was written by Doreen Valiente, a member of the coven for a time and later founder of her own groups and author of many excellent books on the Craft.
Gardnerian Witches without doubt do have many materials which have not appeared in print, however, their emphasis on secrecy has made them a punch line in the Wiccan social world. How many Gardnerians does it take to change a light bulb? That's a secret! Their High Priestess will usually be called 'Lady' Soandso and High Priest, 'Lord Whats-his-name'. [This is far more true in the U. S. than it is in England.]

Alexandrian Wicca
*As most everyone by now is aware, the Alexandrian Tradition is very close to Gardnerian with a few minor changes. (One of the most obvious ones being that the Alexandrians use the athame as a symbol for the element of fire and the wand as a symbol for air. Most of the rituals are very formal and heavily indebted to ceremonial magick. It is also a polarized tradition and the sexuality of that female/male polarity is emphasized. The ritual cycle deals mostly with the division of the year between the Holly King and the Oak King and several ritual dramas deal with the dying/resurrected God theme. As with Gardnerians, the High Priestess is supposedly the highest authority. However, it is odd that the primary spokespersons for both traditions have been men. [*This material provided by Gillan]
Alexandrian Wicca is the creation of Alex Sanders (with his then wife Maxine) who claimed to have been initiated by his grandmother in 1933. It's principal proponents are Janet and Stewart Fararr whose books set forth most, if not all, of the Alexandrian tradition. Contrary to popular belief, the name Alexandrian refers not to Alex Sanders, but to Ancient Alexandria.
Although similar to Gardnerian Wicca, Alexandrian Wicca tends to be more eclectic, and liberal. Some of Gardnerisms strict rules, such as the requirement of ritual nudity, have been made optional by Alexandrian Wicca.
Mary Nesnick, an American initiate in Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions founded a 'new' tradition called Algard. This tradition brings together both Gardnerian and Alexandrian teachings under a single banner. This was possible due to the great similarities between the two traditions.

Dianic Wicca
*The Dianic Craft includes two distinct branches:
*1. One branch, founded in Texas by Morgan McFarland and Mark Roberts, gives primacy to the Goddess in its theology, but honors the Horned God as Her Beloved Consort. Covens are mixed, including both women and men. This branch is sometimes called 'Old Dianic', and there are still covens of this tradition, especially in Texas. Other covens, similar in teleology but not directly descended from the McFarland/Roberts line, are sprinkled around the country.
*2. The other branch, sometimes called Feminist Dianic Witchcraft, focus exclusively on the Goddess and consists of women-only covens and groups. These tend to be loosely structured and non-hierarchical, using consensus- decision- making and simple, creative, experimental ritual. They are politically feminist groups, usually very supportive, personal and emotionally intimate. There is a strong lesbian presence in the movement, though most covens are open to women of all orientations. The major network is Re-Formed Congregation of the Goddess, which publishes "Of a Like Mind" newspaper and sponsors conferences on Dianic Craft. [* Amber K]

Celtic Wicca (Church of Wicca)
The Church of Wicca was founded by Gavin and Yvonne Frost. They offer correspondence courses in their brand of Wicca, which is sometimes called Celtic Wicca. The Church of Wicca has just recently begun including a Goddess in their deity structure, and has been very patrofocal as Wiccan traditions go. The Church of Wicca terms itself "Baptist Wicca"
*The Frosts call their tradition of Wicca Celtic. To me it seems more of a mixture of high magic and eclectic Wicca, with a smattering of Celtic thrown in. For instance, they use three circles, one within the others, made of salt, sulphur and herbs with runes and symbols between them instead of just one circle. They also insist on a white- handled athame and will not have a black handled one, whereas all the other traditions I have heard or read about use a black handled one. It seems to me the Wicca they practice and teach should not be called Celtic at all; but since a lot of it is made up or put together by them from other traditions they should also give it a made-up name; say Frostism. If you DON'T have to pay for the course, and have some extra time, it would probably be worth reading just for comparison. [*From Circe, who took their correspondence course.]
The Frosts have always been rather more public than most traditions (advertising their course in the Enquirer and similar publications) which has earned them heavy criticism in less public Craft groups.

Georgian Wicca
If one word could best describe the Georgean Tradition, it would be 'eclectic. Even though the material provided to students was nominally Alexandrian, there was never any imperative to follow that path blindly. George Patterson (the tradition's founder) always said 'If it works use it, if it doesn't, don't'. The newsletter was always full of contributions from people of many traditions. I've always felt Pat's intent was to provide jumping off points for students and members. So even though I can claim initiation into more than one tradition, I'll always consider myself 'Georgian first: George is greatly missed, may the God-dess watch over him. Bright Blessings, Lord Fafner.

Discordianism (Erisian)
*The Discordian or Erisian movement is described as a 'Non- Prophet Irreligious Disorganization and has claimed 'The Erisian revelation is not a complicated put-on disguised as a new religion, but a new religion disguised as a complicated put-on. " It all started with the *'Principia Discordia, or How I Found the Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her'*, a collection of articles and ideas compiled by Greg Hill (Malaclypse the Young-er). The central theme is 'Chaos is every bit as important as Order' as illustrated in the story of The curse of Greyface:
*Humor is central to Discordianism, but Discordianism should not be dismissed as a joke. Profound experiences frequently accompany the practice or Erisinaism. It is a perceptual game, one which demonstrates that the absurd is just as valid as the mundane and chaos is just as valid as order. It frees the practitioner from the order games (that most have forgotten are games) to play games with order or games with chaos, or both. The effects of Discordianism upon an individual can be far reaching and amazingly liberating. [Although a great many immature individuals have played at Discordianism and thereby side stepped any chance of spiritual growth whatsoever

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Life of a Witch

~~ Things My Mother Taught Me~~Humor at it's finest!

Things My Mother Taught Me
by Author Unknown

Note: This is not an inspirational poem, but it's funny and I think it'll make you smile and laugh too. Have a break and enjoy!

    1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
    "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

    2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
    "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

    3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
    "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

    4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
    "Because I said so, that's why."

    5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
    "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

    6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
    "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

    7. My mother taught me IRONY.
    "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

    8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
    "Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

    9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
    "Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

    10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
    "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

    11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
    "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

    12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
    "If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

    13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
    "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

    14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION.
    "Stop acting like your father!"

    15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
    "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

    16. My mother ! taught me about ANTICIPATION.
    "Just wait until we get home."

    17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
    "You are going to get it when you get home!"

    18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
    "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, They are going to freeze that way."

    19. My mother taught me ESP.
    "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

    20. My mother taught me HUMOUR.
    "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

    21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
    "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

    22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
    "You're just like your father."

    23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
    "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

    24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
    "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

    25. And my favourite: my mother taught me about JUSTICE.
    "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 17 and still going.....

Since January 3rd of 2011 I have been on this diet. There have been days when it was easy. And days when it was everything BUT easy. I have a major sweet tooth, so laying off the sweets have been tough. most days I haven't been able too. Succumbing to a little  morsel of chocolate( Hershey kiss)...But I am determined to get back to my healthy self. I'm not ready to stand up and tell you all how much I weigh. That's another day, another story. Today I am just blogging to let you all know that it has been 17 days that I have been on Phase One of the South Beach Diet. I have stayed on it with only a minimal of cheating. (Don't look at me like that!. If you knew how bad I used to fail at dieting before, a little cheating is good.. I would rather fall off the wagon and get back on again. Then give up completely because the cravings are too much for me. 

This diet is still hard. But I have done harder things before. I know I will one day attain the weight I wish to be. Wish me luck!

Handling the Craving Monsters.....(.tips to keep you on track)

It's never easy to commit to something, even if the desire is strong. Being human, means we are fallible to a degree. We are bound to "mess-up" from time to time. And because of that, i have learned to forgive my little fallacies. I have learned that with want, one must also have need. At least when trying to achieve weight-loss. So I have used that technique on a daily basis.

View the craving for exactly what it is: a craving. It doesn't mean you are not motivated to lose weight. It doesn't mean you are a failure and can't get past food, it doesn't mean you are going to relapse. A craving simply means a trigger went off in your brain that told you to crave something, nothing more, and nothing less.
Learn about your triggers. Start to record the information about your cravings, such as, the time of day, smell in the air, what you see, and of course what you're craving. Learning them can really help you get through them.

Most of the time cravings are short lived. We just decided too fast sometimes to give in with our instant gratification thinking minds. Set up an agreement with yourself not to act on any craving until it lasts over 10 minutes. You can change the time frame but keep it realistic. 10 minutes is more than enough time. Train yourself to immediately engage in some sort of activity to distract yourself from the craving. Take a walk, wash dishes, vacuum, call a friend there are many things you can do to distract yourself.
If I am about to "slip-up" by having cravings for the no no's foods, then I do three things.

1. First I drink 8 oz. of water.( that usually subside the wicked, annoying little voice in my head that wants to "just have a little taste of the food that is forbidden".
If that doesn't work, then I try...
2. I eat something from my "allowed food" list. (This definitely usually does it).

But sometimes my cravings are stronger than the first two steps . that's when I pull out step number three.
3.I ask myself  "How badly do I want it. and do I think I really need it!"....and if I decide that my cravings are far beyond any reasoning......then I usually have a small portion of what my mind is telling me I need.....(usually a small piece of chocolate, like a Hershey kiss will take care of the craving)

** I figure having a "small" set back is better than raiding the pantry for other good foods to eat, and never really satisfying the true urge I had for sweets. At least then, I can have the "treat", and still stay on my diet. By not sabotaging it too much. I just do better the next day.**


Start to Curb those Food Cravings

GoodfoodYou can tell the difference between what the body actually needs (physiological) and what the mind thinks the body needs (psychological) by paying more attention to how your body feels. For example, if your body needs iron you will develop a craving for iron containing foods and when this type of craving develops it will stay with you until the body's needs are met.With a psychological craving, you may just feel the need to have something sweet after dinner or grab a crunchy snack while watching TV just because it's become a pattern and not because your body is actually hungry.
Once you become more aware of the differences, it will become easier to tackle those random cravings and stay with a healthier diet. Here are some simple things that you can do to curb those cravings while staying healthy:
  • Eat something every 3 hours. Having mini-meals or even grabbing an apple can keep your metabolism running and stave off cravings.
  • Drink 8oz of water every hour. It's easy to confuse hunger cravings when your body is just dehydrated. By keeping water introduced to the body, you'll feel less hunger and clearer of mind to deal with random cravings when your body is fully hydrated.
  • When a craving hits, take some time to wait it out. Keep a food journal and give yourself between fifteen and twenty minutes to see if the food craving is still there.
  • Get distracted. When a craving comes on occupy your mind with a different task and the random craving will pass.
  • Exercise a bit. If you are just having a food craving, the want will pass when you get active.
  • Mix up your daily routine. If you normally settle down after work in front of the TV and grab a snack, try taking a bath when you get home to relax or start prepping for dinner. Making a change in your routine can take those cravings of habit away.
So, the next time you get a random craving for some fast food or a sweet and salty snack give the above tips a try. You can curb those cravings and keep your body in a healthier state just by being more aware of habits, your daily routine and listening to your body when it is is need of nutritional value.

Read more:

In conclusion you can't stop cravings from happening but you can stop yourself from giving in to them. Know that cravings are just cravings, learn your triggers, set a time frame, and engage in another activity. Good luck!

~~~~Finding Time for You~~~~

Your Most Vital Commitment

Within each of there is a well of energy that must be regularly replenished. When we act as if this well is bottomless, scheduling a long list of activities that fit like puzzle pieces into every minute of every day, it becomes depleted and we feel exhausted, disconnected, and weak. Refilling this well is a matter of finding time to focus on, nurture, and care for ourselves, or "you time." Most of us are, at different times throughout the day, a spouse, a friend, a relative, an employee, a parent, or a volunteer, which means that down time, however relaxing in nature, is not necessarily "you time." Though some people will inevitably look upon "you time" as being selfish, it is actually the polar opposite of selfishness. We can only excel where our outer world affairs are concerned when our own spiritual, physical, and intellectual needs are fulfilled.


Recognizing the importance of "you time" is far easier than finding a place for it in an active, multifaceted lifestyle, however. Even if you find a spot for it in your agenda, you may be dismayed to discover that your thoughts continuously stray into worldly territory. To make the most of "you time," give yourself enough time on either side of the block of time you plan to spend on yourself to ensure that you do not feel rushed. Consider how you would like to pass the time, forgetting for the moment your obligations and embracing the notion of renewal. You may discover that you are energized by creative pursuits, guided meditation, relaxing activities during which your mind can wander, or modes of expression such as writing.


Even if you have achieved a functioning work-life balance, you may still be neglecting the most important part of that equation: you. "You time" prepares you for the next round of daily life, whether you are poised to immerse yourself in a professional project or chores around the home. It also affords you a unique opportunity to learn about yourself, your needs, and your tolerances in a concrete way. As unimportant as "you time" can sometimes seem, it truly is crucial to your wellbeing because it ensures that you are never left without the energy to give of yourself.