Archive for the ‘magic’ Tag

Episode 21- Samhain and loving the darkness 11/01 by Jessica Ann | Spirituality Podcasts   Leave a comment

Episode 21- Samhain and loving the darkness 11/01 by Jessica Ann | Spirituality Podcasts.


Posted November 1, 2013 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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Episode 9- Shadows and secrets 07/07 by Jessica Ann | Blog Talk Radio   Leave a comment

Episode 9- Shadows and secrets 07/07 by Jessica Ann | Blog Talk Radio.


A discussion of our secrets and the hidden places of ourselves, along with how to honor our secrets during the time just before the new moon.

We also talk about our next Celtic animal: the horse

Posted July 7, 2012 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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The In-Between (Episode 6)- Getting it Done 04/24 by Jessica Ann | Blog Talk Radio   Leave a comment

Episode 6- Getting it Done 04/24 by Jessica Ann | Blog Talk Radio.

How do you make time for your magical and devotional practice?  Is it difficult sometimes for you?  It is for me!  In this episode we talk about that issue, what some of us try to do about it and shifting our expectations about what is magical, what is special and how to make it happen.  I also introduce the “Four Quarter Challenge” in which I invite others to join me in making room for at least four magical/devotional/spiritual activities (of our own definition and tradition) during the next four lunar quarters.  Will you join me?  It could be fun!


Posted April 24, 2012 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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Episode 5- Treasures from the Earth Crystals and Stones 03/25 by Jessica Ann | Blog Talk Radio   9 comments

Episode 5- Treasures from the Earth Crystals and Stones 03/25 by Jessica Ann | Blog Talk Radio.

We spent just a little time together talking about the creative ways that people use stones and crystals, including my own thoughts on them.

Opening Music:  Wild Mountain Thyme by The Brobdingnagian Bards

Closing Music: Lady of the Lake by Elaine Silver

Posted March 25, 2012 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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Threshold times   8 comments

This morning, the landscape is foggy.  It’s foggy to the point where they put the kids on a two hour delay for school, so the busses wouldn’t have to run in a half-lit fog.  A little late myself this morning, I took off for work and found even the expressway engulfed in waves of silken mist, hypnotic in its movement, drawing me onward in my little car toward my targeted exit, the lit gas station, the intersections, past flashing school crossing signs, and onward to my office building.  I understood better during that drive how sunrise, sunset, fog and other conditions create a liminal time, a sort of “between worlds” moment when nothing looks like it would usually look.  It is the quintessential layer of un-reality where I know that the “real” lies beneath but I don’t really have any interest in that.  The misty “between” is where I want to be.

 I drive and my mind departs to a great field, engulfed in white cottony softness that clings to my hair and clothes, guttering the flame of the candle I look down to notice is in my hand, and that I place in a small hollow at the base of a tree.  I feel myself drawing a symbol within a circle in the soil at the foot of the rough-barked trunk and then step inside it.  If I close my eyes and open them again, will I be somewhere else?  I see a man walk out of the billowing white toward me, and I know his shape and his gait and how his breath comes in the sound-dampened air, and I know that I have called him to me.  I know that he is glad and that this is not the first time.  It will not be the last.

Then, the sound of tires on expressway, semi truck and trailer up in the lane to my left rattle me out of my otherworld place.  My exit ramp rises up a few hundred feet ahead and I take it, surrendering myself back to this world to which I owe my time….for today.

Posted March 16, 2012 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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Just getting started….   2 comments

There’s so much I don’t know, it’s ridiculous, after all these years.

My tradition has always talked about venerating the ancestors, and so I do, in my way.  However, only through exploring other cultures and traditions have I realized that not only can one venerate the ancestors, one can actually work with their spirits and other spirits too, for that matter.  However, this requires some relationship building.

I have, for my own reasons, somewhat avoided working with the dead.  This is partially because I have not been on board with my own grief and healing process for my dad, and I lost him a long time ago.  Like…18 years ago.  I have carefully avoided the concept of the dead, life after death and whatever else. This is absurd, of course, and I know that.  It probably also has limited me in a lot of ways.

So I have now set up my first “ancestor altar” though I don’t like that term so much.  It feels like I’m trying to reach into hallowed antiquity or something.  So I am calling it my altar to the spirits.  I have a small film strip of me as a baby, with dad.  I have his class ring.  I have other things on there that he would have liked, like driftwood from Lake Michigan and Petoskey stones and Michigan iron ore and anything from local nature.  My dad was an outdoorsman. I added a glass of water and a candle, which I am told is pretty standard for these sorts of altars.

There is a Saint Jude candle on here in this picture because I was asking Dad for some help with someone who meets the definition of “lost cause.”  My dad would probably find that amusing.

I have recently added the favorite costume jewelry of another of the family’s beloved dead; someone I didn’t know but who was close to my husband.  I want to bring her into our home.

So I have no idea if this is even how it’s supposed to work!  Just trying…clueless…but with good intentions.

Posted June 4, 2011 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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Magic, ethics, common sense and all that jazz   7 comments

I was really struck by something I heard on a pagan podcast the other day.  It’s a good podcast, actually.  I haven’t listened to it exhaustively but I find the hosts to be generally reasonable.  However, the discussion of magic and ethics came up and it got me thinking (and muttering a little to myself) about how magic and ethics go together and how this subject  is being taught to new people.  I was further stunned by how readily people just believe in certain “rules” because someone told them they were “the rules.”

I have never yet read a 101 book from any pagan author that doesn’t address ethics and magic and they almost all say the same thing, which is that your work will return to you threefold (for good or ill), and that you can’t do this and you can’t do that, to the point where I have met some witches who are just about paralyzed to do anything magical at all for fear that their world will implode.  There’s also a big thing about never doing anything magical for another person that might take away their free will. (And if anyone is really powerful enough to truly dominate someone’s free will with a spell, I will be deeply surprised….)  This includes not even doing any “nice” magic for someone without their permission. Really?

Then I started exploring older folk traditions like Hoodoo and old world European magic, and I am not finding anything at all about spells “rebounding” on people, or the law of three or any of that stuff.  For that matter, Hoodoo root workers even prescribe actual domination spells and don’t seem to lose a lot of sleep over it.  So what’s up with that?  As a new person, I  originally bought into the whole “it will return to you threefold” until I had been doing this long enough to say, “who says so?” and “why?” and “explain, please.”  The only answers I get are “because so and so author says  and so do all of the other authors… it must be true.”    If I wanted answers like “because it says so in the book,” I could just go back to Christianity, couldn’t I?

Now back to the podcast and two very good hosts who I find to be generally reasonable people.  The male is talking about ethics , but that he would see nothing wrong with it if a group of magical people got together to send love and light and healing energy to someone in need.  The female host says she disagrees and would find it to be “presumptuous”.  Really?  She says, but what if the person doesn’t want to be loved or healed?  I hung my head with a deep sigh. 

Do Christians stop and say “I forgot to ask Millie if I can pray for her gall bladder problem…so I better not pray for her.”  Not any Christian I ever met.  I am also Reiki instructed and they do discuss such issues.  Even the seriously white light-ish new agey Reiki folks will say that if you send healing energy to someone and it’s “not in the interest of the person’s highest good” that the healing energy will just go somewhere else that it is needed. They’re not really worried about it.  So why are the 20th- century-founded neopagans (read:Wiccans) so worried?

I think that common sense ought to come into play and that this is the mark of a mature witch.  Discernment.  I should not be willing to do anything with magic that I don’t feel  justified to do by other means and be accountable for.  I am responsible for all of my actions in the entire world, so why not the spiritual world as well?  I am an adult.  Would I do something nice in the “mundane world”  for someone without asking?  Yes, within the boundaries of common sense.  I see no difference between this and magical common sense.  Would I be willing to physically  harm someone if they tried to hurt my children?  Yes.  Then why, therefore, would I be unwilling to act against someone spiritually for a similar  reason?   I find it laughable that some people think  I will have less backlash from punching someone in the face than I would from a spell.

I hear from people now and then who are blaming “backlash” from a spell for the problems of their lives when the truth is that they are making very poor decisions in life.  When you make poor decisions, have terrible boundaries and don’t do what you’ve got to do, things aren’t going to go well.   This is not the backlash of magic.  Blaming some kind of mystical punishment for one’s own life errors (and we all make them) is just a continued failure to take responsibility for one’s life. ….which will probably lead to even more misery.  It’s also a little delusional.  Or so says I.  But then again, I haven’t written a book!

I found a quote that is attributed to the Buddha (and sounds like something he would have said) so hopefully it is his.  Regardless, it is good, and speaks right to such topics:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.  Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.  Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.  But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it, and live up to it.”

Posted May 3, 2011 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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