QUESTION - Since I was a wee child, I knew I had the gift of healing. My grandmother Maude Donleavey always used herbs and natural things to heal with. She also had the sight. Since a child I have always been drawn to the curiosity and the love of healing with herbs and cooking with the herbs with intent. I don't understand if this is inherited or just a curiosity. I, now in my crone years, need to have the comfort of knowing if this has been my destiny or what I am doing with these gifts. My religion is that of a Spiritualist, but my love is for that of the herbalist the healer. Can you help me find the answers?
ANSWER - I'm not entirely sure I believe in the concept of destiny. I like to think that humans have the freedom and the potential to carve out their lives independent of predestination. To me, the hallmark of a valuable life is not conforming to a path you were designed to tread, it is developing a life that works for you, a life you can look back and feel proud of living. I see the acid test as imagining yourself rocking in an armchair in your nineties, looking back at your years and asking – Would I have wanted my life to have been fundamentally different? If the answer for you is no then using your gifts has been worthwhile.
I think for you in particular, you have devoted your time and energies to healing and to helping others. This is something you have been drawn to, possibly even guided to....You have used your gifts to help others and in doing so you have elevated your own life and given it meaning. Its rare I say this, but I'm not sure you need the answers, I think you've put the effort in to finding your own answers that work for you. Does it really matter if your gifts are inherited or a curiosity? To my way of thinking it is what you have chosen to do with them that is important. You have realised your gifts and put them to the service of others. You speak of your love for herbs and healing and that says it all. You live a life consistent with your gifts, your own enjoyment of what you do and an altruism and kindness toward others. What more could you ask from a life? What more could you have done to give it meaning?
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=766648 (Shelley_cun)
Personally? Yes, I have an intense dislike of cockroaches and the occasional panic of being outside in large open spaces in the dark. Neither are overwhelming or debilitating fears and should I ever be asked to be in a situation where I have to camp overnight in a field or hold a cockroach I could probably do so without worrying too much. The trick to overcoming fear is not to let it have any power over you. I confront my fears and take control of them. I live with spiders, snakes, crickets, cats and rodents. At one time, most of these animals represented a fear to me but each one has been conquered until they no longer command the impact they once did.
I have a much greater fear of the evil inherent in people than anything to do with the supernatural. I'd rather confront a malign spirit than a burglar in my living room any day of the week... I have existential fears as well, the concept of eternity bothers me.
And while I'm on the subject, I'm a bit afraid of the huge expanses between the planets. I have a recurring fear of being granted one wish and accidentally asking to be put on Pluto by myself. I actually struggle to look at pictures of the very distant planets but funnily enough I'm ok with the nearer ones. (Its a fear I'm happier sharing here than I would be with a psychiatrist!)
But any fears I do have, I'm very much in control of them. The best advice I can give anyone with a fear is to seek it out, confront it and familiarise yourself with it.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=828669 (under_net)
I think one of the hardest things is not getting carried away with your own sense of importance and power. It is very easy to believe yourself invincible and start to think that you can just throw your craft at whatever situation comes along. But a real sense of humility and perspective are crucial for a witch. Witchcraft is only one skill set, other people have equally valuable skills in other areas and the arrogance that you are all powerful is not a becoming attitude for a witch.
In honesty though, humility is hard. I often fall into the trap of thinking x,y,x doesn’t matter because I can work a spell to mitigate it. There is a danger that in a bias toward spell work you start to overlook other solutions that may be either simpler or more appropriate. Take if I fall out with a friend for example. I would be far better served to have a chat with them and find out what I’ve done to annoy them than I would be to leap in with a binding or a hex.
In another example, I recently found myself thinking up all sorts of potions I could make to reduce travel sickness. I spent ages on it before I had the bright idea of just nipping to Superdrug and buying some anti nausea pills….
I think another pitfall for the witch, again concerned with arrogance, is that when you start to see results from your work you can become a little over confident in your own spells. I’ve been guilty of stinting on the effort once or twice and then being surprised when I don’t get the results I want.
I use my craft in the world on a daily basis but I try not to ignore my more worldly skills and I remember that I am a witch, but not only a witch.
Pushing the arrogance aside is hard and I think most of can hold up our hands to struggling with it at times.
QUESTION - There seems to be a lot of negative energy that has been surrounding me. Everyday more problems arise. I have tried to determine where this energy is originating from with no luck. It has even caused me major problems with my love life. The man that I have been with for the past 6 and 1/2 years is in prison until the end of 2014. An old friend resurfaced about 3 months ago and a brief romance began to blossom there. For one reason or another it stalled. I have had people trying to take my 5 year old son from me and I might be losing my home by eviction this week. Help! I am lost and don't know what to do. I need protection, peace, understanding and guidance.
ANSWER - I get the impression that you feel you are just hurtling through life at the moment and everything is just too much of a blur for you to stop and take a bit of time out for yourself. But stop you must or you will become so bowed down by all these problems and negativities that you will be in no position to help anyone, least of all yourself. Get these problems in priority order and deal with them one at a time. My advice is to write each problem down carefully on a separate slip of paper and then seal each one up in an envelope so you know it is safe and waiting to be dealt with but you don't feel overwhelmed by trying to deal with every single problem at the same time. Mark the envelopes with a number, place in priority order and stick them on your bookshelf. Then tackle each problem at a time with full energy and intent. Once resolved, move on to the next one.
Your first priority must be keeping a roof over your head. Practically you need to speak to your landlord and open up the lines of communication. Don't put your head in the sand and pretend it isn't happening. If you show willing to confront the issue, to suggest possible ways of clearing your debts and to take responsibility for your own errors, people will be more likely to listen to you and want to help you. Magically you can take ownership of your own place of earth by creating a bond between yourself and your home. Strengthen the bond by diluting a (very dilute, only a few drops needed) solution of your own blood in salt water and sprinkling round the boundaries of your home. Visualise yourself and your home as being one.
I think the real key thing here is to see your problems as single surmountable issues. If you let them lump all together as a mountain of negativity, you won't have the strength to see past them. Broken into separate pieces, you will have the energy to tackle them.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1411992 (michaelaw)
Some do, some don't. Full adherance to the whole eight sabbats of the wheel of the year is primarily a Wiccan/Pagan thing though a lot of Traditional Witches do choose to observe some or even all of them as well. I do so myself. The sabbats are split into the greater sabbats and the lesser sabbats. The greater sabbats are Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain – these all relate to pre Christian festivals and mark practical changes in the turning of the year such as birthing of the young and death of the harvest.
The lesser sabbats, notably those that change the seasons and which are more linked in with the nature based religions such as Wicca are Yule, Litha, Ostara and Mabon. Mabon is the most controversial in terms of being the modern addition to the group. Many Traditional Witches do not recognise Mabon.
Sabbats play different parts in different traditions and some are more important to individuals than others. Some witches do not resonate with a particular sabbat and may choose not to acknowledge it at all. Others may prefer to focus primarily on the Greater sabbats. It is also important to note that there need not necessarily be any consistency in practise. One year it may feel absolutely right to celebrate Beltane, the following year it may come and pass without celebration.
Its a matter of personal preference among witches. The only right way is what feels right to the individual witch. So in answer to your question, no, not all witches follow the sabbats, some celebrate all of them, some some of them and some none of them. Contrary things witches!
Image http://www.deviantart.com/art/Wheel-of-the-Year-13238843 (Morgandria)
QUESTION - So, I am turning 55 and I love the work that I do...BUT....I am making very little money doing it. I need a working that will increase my earning. I am currently in school, just got my associates with honors and working on my bachelor's. In the meantime I am drowning in debt. Thanks
ANSWER - You need to decide whether your focus in on reducing your debts or increasing your income. The two are very different directions and without a clear focus your magic will be confused and less effective. Lets work on the fact that you have debts that you would like to reduce. The first thing is to know exactly what debts you have. You cannot direct your intent until you know exactly what position you are in and what you have to work with. Gather all your finances together and make a comprehensive list of all the money you owe, to whom you owe and how much you owe. Write it all out on a piece of A4 paper. Add in a good bit of practical thought here, magic can only take you so far. Work out a plan of realistically paying off some of these debts, even if it is very long term, but make sure you have a strategy in place going forward. Take the sheet of debts and carefully snip the top off the paper, so you have cut approx ¼ cm off the page.
Light a green candle and burn the small piece of paper you have removed. As the paper burns, visualise the first of your debts disappearing and blowing away with the smoke from your burning.
You could use some simple wording to reinforce your intent:
“Debts that bind and hold and choke
Disappear in the smoke.”
Repeat on a weekly basis, each time carefully taking the same amount off the paper and burning in the green candle with the same wording. (Some people would tell you to use a different candle every time but to be honest, its the same spell so just keep the same one for the working each time.)
The idea is that by the time your paper is finally burned you will be in control of your debts.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1316485 (highwing)
QUESTION - I moved to my home state of West Virginia after living for over 10 years in Florida, where I owned my home. I practiced Magick there, but when I moved up here over a year ago, I have not been able to do my Craft at all, and I don't know why. I want to, I just don't seem able to get inspired like I was in Florida. Please help me.
ANSWER - I think you have temporarily moved out of your magical comfort zone. Living and practising in Florida you were probably accustomed to the weather, to the native flora and fauna and you would have been attuned as to how you practise your craft in that kind of environment. Florida is stormy and semi tropical, possibly you are very used to incorporating these things in your workings and now that you have moved to a totally different part of your country you are finding the very different environment difficult to adapt to. My advice to you is to get out there and start building up a relationship with your new environment. Find out about the local plants and their properties. Get out into the country and pick some wildflowers. Hunt out the herbs that grow wild in West Virginia. Reconnect yourself with your new surroundings. Think about how you can use the different weather systems to magical advantage - your new home is presumably colder and drier - how can you use this?
Think about what first inspired you to practise magic and reconnect with your own personal roots. Its understandable that all the pressures of moving home has temporarily diverted you from your workings with magic but now you are more settled you have the opportunity to explore and discover. I honestly believe that once you start to do so you will discover that spark again and find that magic in West Virginia will bring you a new set of challenges and a new set of rewards.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/806856 (YSheperd)
I have been struggling with money issues since childhood. I am wondering what a good plan would be to address this. I am clear that it cannot be resolved with a quick spell etc. I know that mind, body and spirit must be addressed but I wonder if you have
There are a few things I can suggest. The thing as you so rightly say is not to much to cast a quick spell but to turn around your finances slowly with a good long look at your life and the direction it is going.
The easiest way to get your hands on money is of course to earn it. Are you making the most of your skills and talents at the moment? Are you in the right job? Have you considered taking additional qualifications to improve your job prospects? If not, I'd go down the route of looking for a better job and focusing your magical intent into luck spells to help you do it. Sometimes a luck spell (I'm a fan of anything that uses orange oil) can be enough to give you the confidence to apply for jobs significantly better than the one you have at the moment.
The other thing is to think about making money in less conventional ways. Have you thought about writing a novel? Painting pictures/sculpting? Selling magically crafted items on etsy? If not, you could look at using magic to bring out your talents and use them to make you money. I'd start with some focused meditation to bring you to an understanding of your talents and then spend some time learning and developing your skills. Once you've got a viable product that you are happy with, there are magical ways to get it noticed (write to me again and I'll go through them in detail – most of mine use chilli powder!)
If you are more worried about money going out than coming in, there is work you can do with your bills. I admit I did laugh at the fellow witch who puts all her household bills in the freezer but I can't deny she gets results... You could also try binding your bills – tightly wrapping them in cling film or elastic bands perhaps to limit their effect on you.
The key correspondence for money is basil. You can utilise in a range of ways...Try wrapping your purse in basil leaves, or making a dilute or basil oil to wear or even to soak your coins in.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1155246 (brambora)
Do you think it acceptable for a witch to use mind altering medically prescribed chemicals to reduce depression or is it a sign of mental weakness?
I think any hurdle that can be overcome should be. If a witch feels depression is holding her back then I see no reason at all why she should deny herself medication that will help her feel better and help her to concentrate her mind on what she wants to do. To my mind it makes sense to do whatever needs to be done, I don't see taking medication as mental weakness, just good practical common sense.
Having said that, there are many things that can be used either by themselves or as a compliment for medication to reduce depression. I would never overlook the impact of meditation, shielding, crystal healing, tarot guidance etc. Finding the balance between spiritual practises and medical help can often be the key breakthrough people need to successfully beat back depression. I wouldn't call a person who chose to rely solely on medication mentally weak but I would perhaps consider them a little hasty to reject taking a more holistic view and treating the cause as well as the symptoms.
Fundamentally, your doctor will guide you. There is a reason they spend so long in medical school, they know what they are talking about. If a doctor suggests a course of anti depressants, it may well be the best solution. But there is nothing to stop you improving your spiritual health as well as you are then giving yourself the best chance of that depression not returning.
Do real witches get annoyed at the whole popularity thing with young wannabe witches? Does it wind you up?
Lol. Good question! I think there is a difference between being an actively practising witch and someone who embraces the culture of popular witchcraft. Certainly there are many people who do not practise the craft who are attracted to the trappings of witchcraft as a cultural identity. Its perfectly natural for people to try out different lifestyles and cultures before finding their own way in life, so no, it doesn't bother me at all. Some of those young gothy types may well end up being consequential and respected witches of the future, witches who will take our craft into another generation. Were I in my teens or early twenties, I may well be tempted myself to cover my own body in tattoos and interesting piercings and wear some of those crazy black lacy creations! I also don't think a person is necessarily any less of a witch because they choose to adorn themselves with the more cliched fashion aspects. I know witches who dress from Marks and Spencer and witches who wouldn't leave their house without three inches thick of heavy make up and their robes. There is little to suggest that dress makes any difference to powers!
The only time I feel any irritation toward other witches, wannabe or not is when they tell me they are completely miserable, their lives are rubbish etc. In my opinion a witch takes control of her life and she works to make it better. Anybody who openly admits everything about their life makes them unhappy is either not a witch or they are a pretty bloody poor one (and probably shouldn't admit it!). If something goes wrong in my life, I use all the skills at my disposal to make it better. Sometimes it takes a lot of work, effort and energy but I never feel powerless or that my life is in the hands of the fates. I control my own destiny and I expect other witches to. The whole point of working with your own power is that you make a difference, if you fail to make a difference, you might be following the wrong path.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=1428247 (Roxanne727)
Join the Witch Path Forward Facebook community. (Click the icon).
Changing your path/religion/way of life can be a time in your life when you need a bit of support. The purpose of this site is to offer a helping hand and a starting point to explore all the information available on the net.