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The Controversy of the Rule of Three

Posted in General Magickal Practice, Uncategorized on September 30, 2017 by nikkisnature

Lately in the magickal world there have been a lot of heated debates over ethics in magickal works.  I hear a lot of “I don’t believe in karma-  it’s an Eastern concept, not part of my tradition, so I don’t need to worry about that.”  I also hear a lot of “I’m not Wiccan, and I don’t believe in the rule of three.”  So they are saying that they don’t believe the energy of their actions will come back on them threefold.  I don’t necessarily, either, but I do have a large bone to pick with this mindset-  the one that feels that it’s okay to simply do revenge magick, or f–ck someone’s sh-t up because they can, or they think they deserve it.  I am a Witch, who also is not specifically Wiccan by tradition.  I don’t know if what I put out there comes back to me in perfect multiples of three…but I do know that I generally reap what I sow.  Here is the ONE BIG POINT I hope that everyone who has clicked on this article will read, and I hope I state this clearly enough for everyone to consider it:  if you do any magick at all, at some point, you are operating under the assumption that like attracts like.  You choose a honey jar because the sweetness has a similar vibration to what you are trying to create.  You use certain color candles, certain words, certain actions, certain herbs, certain timing, because it vibrationally and energetically lines up with your goal.  You must somewhere believe that like attracts like. This absolutely applies to mindset, maybe above and beyond all else!  So go ahead and do all the revenge work you want, but look at the mindset you are emanating that caused you to want to do this in the first place.  You are projecting the need for revenge out into the universe, and the universe will see that.  Like attracts like over and over again in life, even when it is not done purposefully.  That is the only big thing I want you to consider-  like attracts like.  You will attract life situations with the vibes similar to what you give off, even when you step away from the altar.  I’m not glued to the Eastern view of karma, or the specifics of the three-fold law, but I think I realize why every major spiritual tradition has a moral code…and it’s because like attracts like.  So just see if your emotions, your motivations, your thoughts and your actions would be cool if they did come back to you in some form…because they will.  If you don’t think like attracts like, I am open to hearing the principles on which your magickal workings are based.  Sometimes quotes like “Be the change you wish to see in the world” are super popular because people realize very deeply that they are true.  If you would potentially be fine with other people doing the type of magick to you that you are doing to them, then you are all good.  If this has challenged your beliefs, no offense is meant…just hoping for some contemplation and consideration.  Blessed Be.

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You Might Be A Witch: Author Addendum

Posted in Magickal and Occult Book Reviews, Uncategorized on August 30, 2017 by nikkisnature

My first experience with publishing has been really fun and interesting so far.  It has only been a few weeks since I released my short, introductory book, “You Might Be A Witch”.  My goals in writing this book are 1.  to help the public to better understand what modern day witchcraft is to increase acceptance and religious tolerance and 2.  to help readers look for similar threads and sparks of magick in their own lives, also to help us all relate to one another.  To sum up for those who haven’t heard of it or read it, this is a straightforward and accessible book appropriate for anyone to read, and is written in two parts.  The first part is a comparative memoir where I point out interesting psychic and magickal occurrences from various phases of my life and prompt the reader to consider what similar experiences they may have had.  The second part is a simple, brief and very truncated discussion about what types of things modern day witches actually believe and practice.  There is some discussion of ethical approaches, and then a very light-hearted, just for fun “how witchy are you” quiz at the end.

So far, this little book has been received well, with open minds and appreciation by those around me.  It is already quite often being gifted by witches and pagans to the skeptics in their lives, so that more openness and acceptance can be gained among friends and family that don’t understand this path.  I am also already starting to experience something that I’m sure every author goes through, but I never really thought about before.  As I respond to questions about it, and receive my family’s impressions, I am often being given reminders of additional tidbits about my past that would have been great to include.  This must happen all the time, where writers find themselves saying “that would have been a great thing to include in the book!” after it has already been published.  I suppose this is what originally led to the idea of multiple editions…though that is not currently in my plans.

In discussing the book, my mother went on to tell me about the moment of my birth-  a story I had never heard.  She said that I was born, and the nurses wiped me off and put me on my mom’s chest.  I wasn’t crying, or wriggling, apparently, but it was not for any medical issue or lack of health.  She said she had a very strange feeling as I simply looked at her with a serious and somewhat inquisitive face, holding eye contact right away, for what seemed like quite a while.  I ended up being the oldest of three children, and my mom says that the births of my two younger brothers were very smooth and normal, with the usual crying, wiggling, squinty eyes and nursing that usually happens.  But my mom had forgotten about the stoic baby behavior until reading my book.  She also related to me a story from when I was somewhere in the age of eight to ten years old.  I had put on a long skirt for dress-up.  My mom said I looked to her and breathed a sigh of relief and said very wistfully “Ah, I don’t know what it is, but when I wear long skirts I feel so much more like myself”.  She said it was a very odd moment where she felt a sense that even as a child I had a memory of a past life closer to the surface than normal.

In talking about the book with my Dad, he agreed that he never knew I had any tarot cards, and so that whole era of my habitual setting up of gypsy camp and reading the cards still remains a mystery.  My Dad also told me that he and my mom had purchased the house I grew up in from the family of a 98 year-old woman who had died onsite in the house.  I actually remember having conversations with my mom, asking her “Mom, did the lady who used to live here die here?” and she would tell me no.  I think she just didn’t want me to be scared, but I definitely did have those experiences of hearing voices, and I think I was accurately sensing her presence.  Despite all of these oddities about me, they were isolated incidences from the eyes of most, and so I did not appear to be a weird child, or overly psychic, or anything like that.  All of these little things, as well as the events I describe in the book are things that, in various ways, happen to many people.  I reiterate this to point out that I believe we all have threads of psychic ability, energy sensing, expanded consciousness with respect to other realms, and other magickal experiences and abilities.  If you weave them all together, they sometimes result in taking on a life of enchantment as a source of purpose and inspiration, and I call this being a Witch.  Witchcraft is not the path for everyone, of that I am sure.  But I write about this in the hope that readers can recognize that we are really all the same.  We are humans with the same experiences of mystery, having a wide variety of interactions with various combinations of energy and consciousness.  There are many folks out there who claim that their religious path is the one and only correct one, and I know for sure that that cannot be true.  There are many paths to the same place, and we get to choose.  Choose what inspires you and provides you with a sense of wonder and inspiration.  Every moral spiritual and religious path is equally valid in my eyes, and this is the concept that I hope to illuminate.   Thank you for being you-  Blessed Be.

What It Means To Be A Priest/ess

Posted in Uncategorized on August 24, 2017 by nikkisnature

As a beloved group of my advanced students finishes their course of Pries/tess training in our order, the Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick, and undergo their special ceremonial rite of passage into the priesthood officially, I get a little sentimental and contemplative.  Watching others work hard and truly elevate themselves magickally to a new level of spiritual competence and awareness is so very rewarding.  It reminds me of how I, myself have evolved in my own role of Priestess, and it highlights for me some very important things that I’ve learned along the way that I feel are overlooked by the general magickal public.  To understand what it really means to hold this title, you have to look at what our society holds as an archetypal definition for the word “priest”.  A priest is someone who is trained to pass on their religious and spiritual arts, who holds important ceremonies and teachings for others, and who ministers to others.  It saddens me a bit to see people referring to themselves as Priest/esses when they don’t actually do any of the above mentioned things.  In the past I’ve seen too many people get excited about Priest/ess training as an option in my order, and I realize that many times that excitement was not properly motivated.  Attaining the title of Priest/ess should not be done solely to advance one’s own skill, or to feel elite or more empowered.  Does it result in these things?  Yes, of course.  The thing is, to truly minister to others in a way that is effective and high in integrity, you need to be humble.  You often need to give an exhausting amount of yourself to people-  and not just the people you like or want to be around, necessarily.  To me being a real Priest/ess involves helping people work through things even when you don’t really jive energetically with that person, or you feel like they don’t see things the same way you do.  It truly involves an amount of compassion, humility and patience that is rare.  I am not saying that I always have this.  Sometimes, at the end of the day I know that I have really supported others in the best way I can, and sometimes I’m not so sure.  I am human of course, even though as a Priestess I strive to walk the most divine part of myself through this world.  But I think the thing that matters is that I WANT to be in that role-  the role of giving selflessly whenever I can, the role of spreading ritual, and spiritual and magickal inspiration in the world as much as possible.  So, when someone calls themselves a Priest/ess because they feel they are a divine and advanced practitioner of the Craft but they have no responsibility for others, I can’t help but to question it a little.  I am in no way badmouthing those who have formally earned this title and don’t happen to be in practice, by the way, and I am also not badmouthing those who have simply fallen into the role of ministering to others in a caring way and wish to entitle themselves Priest/ess…what I am frowning upon is self-appointed titling of Priest/ess when there is no ministering of any sort being done.  In our order a person who ascends to the title of Priest/ess is not obligated to teach and run a congregation, but they are expected to be generally helpful, good examples in the coven community at the very least.  To sum up, the title Priest/ess reflects what your role is to other people and should not be used as a status symbol.  If you feel like you don’t want to deal with people who irritate you, you probably should not become a Priest/ess.  If you feel you are so empathic that being around others frequently is too much, you also probably should not become a Priest/ess.  Magickal students considering training in a priesthood, therefore, should think about whether they feel they can generally be there for other people or not.  I don’t think I truly understood the extent of this when I first trained to become a Priestess, but I certainly know it now, and thankfully have found that I can step up to the challenge enough to feel rewarded by it.   And of course, for all of those who are using their advanced skills to help others, you know that all of that effort DOES in fact pay off-  you end up gaining unanticipated levels of skill, confidence and connections to deity and Spirit that you would have never dreamed of.  The key is that the payoff doesn’t happen without the generous giving and sacrificing.  To all of those true Priest/esses that I know (and you know who you are), thank you for your service.  To all of you who are walking the walk and holding true, safe space for others in the magickal world, thank you.  Blessed Be.

Read This Even if You Think You Already Know About Moon Phases and Manifestation!

Posted in General Magickal Practice, Uncategorized on March 28, 2017 by nikkisnature

Okay, we need to get some things straight.  For a lot of years now, I’ve been seeing people post backward information about the moon’s phases.  What you think you know about doing manifestation work or intention setting in conjunction with the moon’s energy may be all wrong-  could explain a lot, eh?  I am continually seeing people write about setting intentions for what they want to bring into their life at the new moon.  This is wrong.  (And those who know me know that I don’t say that lightly.  Whenever I teach about an opinion I have on something magickal I always make sure to acknowledge that I’m teaching in a specific tradition and that I respect the alternative perspectives that exist in other traditions.  But the moon is the moon regardless of tradition, and its cycle has a very obvious energetic pattern.) Now I will explain why intention setting at the new moon is wrong.  The 28 day lunar cycle is an exact mirror of the female menstrual cycle.  The new moon is when the moon is dark (Dark Moon and New Moon are synonymous terms) and not visible from earth, and at its most yin point.  After its darkest point, we move into the period called the waxing moon, when the crescent slowly starts to be visible again, increasing a bit daily for two weeks.  During the waxing moon, you can add an energy of increase, or building up, to your magickal or manifestation work.  The waxing moon is equivalent to the uterine lining building up and preparing to be fully fluffed with healthy cells that would allow an egg to implant. The full moon is when the moon is a bright, round, fully lit orb that is visible from earth-  this is the moon’s most yang point in the cycle.  Yang energy is emanating, vital and creative.  The full moon, like the white round egg, signifies ovulation.  It is at the time of ovulation that ideas can be fertilized and put into play effectively.  At the full moon we charge tools and stones, we charge ideas and ask that our intentions be put into action.  Once the moon passes peak fullness, it begins waning, or decreasing in lightness and visibility.  The waning moon phase is equivalent to the aging, quieting of the uterine wall.  There is no longer a ready egg, and the cells are no longer ripe to support creation.  It is an energy of lessening, and it is a good time to be lowering stress, getting rid of negativity, or lessening of blockages.  When we get to the new moon again, that period of lunar darkness, we need to remember that this phase is equivalent to the actual period!  This is the shedding time.  This is when you clean house, banish, and complete any removing processes that may have started during the two week period of the waning moon.  So in the current day, the terms new moon and dark moon are synonymous.  I believe that in older times, the term New Moon may have been used to denote the time when the moon once again became visible as a crescent, validating to the naked eye here on earth that the cycle had miraculously begun again.  But you need to remember that this is actually the waxing phase, when the moon is already in a pattern of increase.  When you set intentions during the dark/new moon, you are in the shedding/period time, so you are fighting against the current.  Now, once you can actually see the waxing crescent, if that is what you prefer to call new moon, it wouldn’t be wrong to get your intention focus building at that point, but your peak manifestation moment is always going to be the full moon.  I hope that you can clearly envision and understand the cycle in its entirety as I have explained it here.  You can feel free to ask me questions about this-  there are many, many people who have this skewed, even some of the websites that come up first in the list upon googling “moon phases in magick”.  Anyone who likes to study the metaphysical, or actively engages in manifestation needs to know this.  After mental focus, timing in accordance with moon phase is probably the most important ingredient in any type of magickal work.  I’m tired of seeing people who are trying to lead or set an example for others disseminate wrong information about this incredibly universal energy.  Don’t fight it folks-  line up with the ebb and flow and you may be amazed with the results.  So mote it be!

Lady Nikki, High Priestess, Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick

The Art of Feather Finding

Posted in General Magickal Practice, Uncategorized on May 25, 2016 by nikkisnature

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At this moment in late spring, feather finding season is finally here for those of us who are magickal practitioners in the northern US.  In many cultures and through much of time birds have been considered to be very magical-  one of the great mysteries of metaphysical exploration has always been seated in the notion of understanding celestial, heavenly, ascended realms while still immersed in our time here on Earth.  Birds have come to be a representative symbol of this, since they exist here on our earth and are dependent on earth substances for their survival as we are, but they also take to the skies and embody flight and transportation between earth and sky.  Finding feathers has come to be even more meaningful to me personally since I have a bird-oriented Goddess as my primary guide and divine connection.  I consider found feathers to be gifts of magick, and have naturally found hundreds of feathers per spring/summer/fall season per year in the past few years, continuing to increase as my magickal practice deepens.  Many of my coven students and clients have asked me if there is some trick…they want to know how I manage to find so many feathers.  I have realized that while not tricks, there are some definite approaches that make feather finding more likely, and so I will share my insights with you here:

  1.  Go walking outside a lot, and be open to the idea of spotting and collecting feathers.  It sounds obvious, but if you only walk outdoors once in a great while, your odds are going to be much lower than that of the next Witch.
  2. Make a point of walking in the morning, when it has not rained for the past few days.  It is much harder to find feathers on wet ground, and the ones that you find like that will probably be in crummy condition anyway.
  3. Choose quiet settings where people don’t walk constantly, and go when the grass has not been freshly mowed.  (This, too, will ruin any feathers that were there)  Cemeteries, trails at local ponds or land conservation areas are great options.
  4. As you walk, allow your eyes to casually scan along edges of things-  edge of the path or road, or places where a feather would get stopped if it were being blown by wind.  Also when you pass open patches of grass, scan out over these areas and look for anything sticking up.  If you aren’t sure if it’s a leaf or a feather, it’s often worth getting a closer look.
  5. Soften the visual expectation in your mind’s eye.  By this I mean, watch to make sure you are not just envisioning one style of feather or one size of feather in your mind.  Just like doing a large jigsaw puzzle and looking for that one piece you need amidst all the rest, it can be very hard to spot something that doesn’t really look like what you were expecting.  If you have a hard time being present enough to do open-minded noticing, try rotating in your mind through all different feather types as you walk-  picture barred feathers, solid colored feathers, small feathers and large.
  6. If you have a connection with a bird as a power animal, or a guide or God/Goddess that has bird energy, create a short, rhythmic incantation that you can repeat to yourself as you walk.  I’ll give you an example of one that I use (although I don’t use this solely for finding feathers, it sure does seem to help).  I’ll repeat:

Morrigan, Phantom, Queen of the Sidhe,

Show me the feathers, let me see.

Note that “Sidhe” is pronounced “shee”, so this has a nice sound to it.  To really use it as a wonderful meditation while looking for feathers at the same time, I suggest pacing out four walking steps per line, inhaling through the mental stating of the first line, and then exhaling through the second line.  This is just an example, and again, I urge you to personalize and create something that has you working with your own guides for intuitive steering.  Even if your primary guide or God/dess is not related to birds in any way, they can still guide you, and it’s worth a shot.  Even if you are not sure who your guides are but you feel an affinity or interest in a specific Goddess…make an incantation that honors her and asks for help.  S/he will appreciate it, and if s/he is truly yours, you will receive help and validation!

I hope this inspires greater feather finding confidence as you go back out there!  There are many ways that feathers can be used magically, and maybe that is a topic for the next article.  Wishing you many flights of fancy and inspiration-

Lady Nikki, HPS, Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick

 

Book Review: “A Witch’s Guide to Psychic Healing”

Posted in Uncategorized on February 8, 2011 by nikkisnature

I just finished reading “A Witch’s Guide to Psychic Healing” by Gavin and Yvonne  Frost and thought I’d share my take on it.  It does read quickly and easily, but I find the approach a bit strange.  The authors keep making reference to what Witches would and wouldn’t do with respect to health and healing, as though the reading audience were non-witchy folk.  I find that odd, because after all, it is termed “A Witch’s Guide…”, and has a nice big pentagram on the front.  That is going to prevent anyone not interested in the Craft from picking up the book and giving it a thorough read.  There were a few chapters that I really did like:  there was one on using a special twelve houses style astrological tarot spread as an intuitive tool for uncovering the mental and emotional causes of illness.  This spread seemed like something I would use, and was described in a way that seemed much more immediately applicable than most non-traditional tarot spreads you see.  There were also some instructions for exercises to hone different clair senses using magnets-  I hadn’t seen these all described like this in one place before, so I found that useful though I have yet to try them.  Unfortunately, aside from the few practical applications I came across such as these, I found the book too simplistic.  Keep in mind that I have been pretty much engaged in reading one occult book or another for the past twelve or thirteen years straight, so I am a discerning audience.  It’s just that a lot of the material was basic medical or healing information, or just health tips given from a holistic standpoint.  I also study holistic care, so much of this seemed like everyday common sense.  I feel that given the title there should have been a greater emphasis on practicing the psychic and intuitive aspect and less on diet and exercise suggestions.  If any of you have read this as well, please chime in and let me know what you thought.  I’d like to know if I’m way off the mark here, or if this book was more gratifying from a different standpoint.  Thanks for listening!  Soon to come:  my review of my deck “The Tarot of the Vampyres” and its accompanying book “Phantasmagoria”!  Blessed Be.

No Static in the Snow

Posted in Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 by nikkisnature

Here in CT we got two feet of snow between last night and today!  There is nothing like that peace that is present in the morning of a fresh snowfall.  It reminds me of why I am so appreciative of my rural surroundings.  I used to live in a more populated, busy town, and there was just something very different about the air there.  Now I’m not talking about the air quality itself, although I’m sure that’s better in the country too, I am referring to the quality of the ether.  The atmosphere in a busy place can be very disturbing for those who are perceptive to the vibrations (especially stressful vibrations) of others.  Obviously there are many people that can thrive off of that type of energy-  see NYC or other big metropolises for example, but I am one who gains great mental clarity and renewed energy from the natural calm of a quiet wood, and I usually leave a highly populated area feeling drained.  I believe that our thoughts and energies create a certain static in the air that is accessible to those who are receptive.  I believe in picking things up out of the ether randomly, like when you have one of those days where a certain very uncommon word or phrase pops into your day on multiple occasions from different sources.  Anyway-  back to my original thought about the snow.  We all know there is a magic in the snow-  it is beautiful, and miraculous and peaceful.  I am thinking, though, that a big part of its magic is its inherent ability to cleanse the air of unnecessary static.  Its balance of beauty and danger makes people slow down and focus-  it makes other critters slow down and focus, too.  It also gives us the ability to see the world through a different set of lenses, and this lends great perspective to how we carry on through the mundane.  Water is a cleansing element, and snow is just water in a sparkly, star-filled form.  Rain seems to cleanse the ground whereas the lightness of the snow cleanses the air while insulating the ground.  The quiet threat of snow travel brings Kuan Yin to mind-  and hers is a very calm yet strong energy.  In this new blog I hope to have discussions about many aspects of myth, magic and dreams-  but today I just wanted to bring your attention back to the now, so that we can share the wonder and opportunities for magic that occur when you experience the fact that there is no static in the snow.