Ravemore's Notes

A little meandering… Pagan reflections on a left hand path.

Month: May, 2012

On Lesser Powers

You will see many references to “Lesser Powers” in this collection of works. The term is used to describe those entities that are less than gods, but more than mortal man. Demons, devils, fey, demigods, spirits, angelic beings, etc. are all prime examples. I will make no illusions, or beat around the bush. Some are good and helpful, and some are evil and will not hesitate to do you harm. Many can be summoned, bound, and made to serve. Some can be bartered with. Some can be pleaded with. Some will ignore you and have nothing to do with you. Any interaction you have with them can be uncertain. With that being said, my Left Hand Path finds nothing wrong with any of the aforementioned activities. The decision is purely a personal one.

I will tag any reference to entities in this category as a “Lesser Power” to enable ease of research…

On Action or Belief…

I read the other day an argument being made that witchcraft is more a religion of action versus one of belief.

Garbage.

I’ll say it again… Garbage.

Any religion that does not compose both is hollow, and the religion of witchcraft is rich and full of substance if you are willing to put a little work into it. I understand fully the impetus behind his argument. Nearly all of what you can find on the Internet and through book sources is a mishmash of polytheistic religions mixed together with a sprinkle of spells and rituals dribbled over the top to tie it together. Where is the coherent mythology? Where are the teachings? Where is the fulfillment many are looking for? My answer for you is that you have to find the pieces of your world-view and put together the jigsaw puzzle yourself. A couple of web pages and self-help books will leave you wanting more and feeling empty in the end. Remember though… some of your puzzle pieces may be hidden in them.

Why Should Spells Rhyme?

Ahhhh… there is a question. Why indeed should a spell be spoken in rhyme? I believe this practice should be followed for a few of reasons. The first and foremost reason is the effort one must take to compose a rhyming spell forces one to invest a piece of their-self into it. It is work for many, and comes much easier for others, but the fact remains it takes some thinking… and I believe that it assists in connecting you to the casting. It makes it more intimate.

Many of the historical accounts and documentation tend to support that this is the way our forbearers in the craft did it. In early times man danced around the fire chanting and singing before they embarked on the hunt or to war. The shaman often presided and lead them in their ceremonies. Singing, dancing, and music has a “beat” and rhythm. It is well documented that repetitions of beat and rhythm can lead to altered states of consciousness. Like music, chanting, and dancing the rhyme of a poem has a meter very similar to the beat or rhythm of music and chanting. Early witches recognized this and grasped it’s importance in relation to casting spells and weaving magic.

Modern accounts of witchcraft in the Renaissance period popularized spells as little ditties or rhymes. Some may theorize that it was an attempt to hide the reality of a spell under the seemingly harmless guise of a poem or nursery rhyme, but I believe it was just a continuation of the aforementioned altered state. This is also the period from which many modern witches begin drawing upon reference for their own paths or traditions. The written word was becoming so prevalent that we now have the ability to draw upon a wider range of wisdom and teachings over a wide swath of historical time. We are no longer dependent upon the spoken word being passed down through the generations.

This does lead to other questions though. Does this make a spell I have found elsewhere less effective? Is a spell I have not composed weaker in some way? For example one found in a book or on the Internet? The definitive answer to all of those questions is a resounding “no.” Spells found in other sources often carry an equally compelling and powerful quality… Atmosphere or ambiance. Obscure and cryptic magics found in ancient tomes and writings open up our imagination… assist in focusing the will. This is often just as powerful a tool. All the better if they rhyme though…

I often suggest taking spells and rituals from other sources and changing them to fit your own purpose, thereby making them your own. There is nothing wrong with this, and in many ways you can get the best of both worlds.

Prayer and Sacrifice

“When we come before the gods, it is wise not to come empty-handed.”      -Ceisiwr Serith (5)

What is prayer?  What is the purpose of prayer, and why does sacrifice so often fail to come into the equation in our modern times? Why should we pray? These are questions that can produce very simplistic answers, but ones that can also prompt detailed and lengthy treatises. Personally I think the answers fall somewhere in between… in “the shadows between” for lack of better words. And as often is the case, the shadows are where the juicy nuggets of knowledge are often left by the Horned God. He dares us to search and explore. Tempts us. Whispers to us, if we are inclined to listen. All of the Gods do. Prayer is essentially a divine conversation, and we often forget that conversation entails both speaking and listening.

Prayer should be a conduit, a two way highway where we step out of space and time to commune. We convey our intentions to the gods in words, writing, and our thoughts. Prayer is intimate and should not be just a vehicle used to express our desires and wants. It is not just a time to “take”… it is also a time to “give.” People pray for various reasons and the most common purposes to me seem to be to demand or beseech protection, gifts, good luck, or other items favorable to circumstance. Even those offered prayers that are espoused to be for the purpose of thanksgiving often have fear of retribution or intent for gain as underlying motivations, and the petitioner is focused only on the asking and determining if there has been receipt. There is nothing wrong with any of this though… as long as the other elements are also incorporated – the listening and the sacrifice.

The gods do indeed work in mysterious ways. They often tell us things and convey knowledge in inconspicuous ways. On the wind, through the chirping of crickets, or the croaking of frogs. The ways they manifest are myriad. If we do not listen, we will not hear… and if we do not hear we loose valuable insight and are not privy to the secrets of the divine. We are not searching the shadows where the Goat God lurks.

Sacrifice is an important component of prayer. Gaining knowledge requires giving something in turn. Whether it be time, valuable property, or just ordinary items holding great symbolic significance. Modern man has fallen into a rut where they expect everything to be given to them on a silver platter with the least amount of time or resources expended. This cheapens the experience of prayer. If we must give something of value we are showing both the gods and ourselves that we are capable of transcending attachments and thereby opening ourselves up to the divine. Even a whore gives something in return, and because of this she (or he) is further ahead of those who profess themselves as religious pundits and evangelical saviors of man… at least in my eyes. Look to the shadows my friends. Listen and offer sacrifice when you pray to the gods.

Lughnasadh Rite

-Cast the Ritual Circle.

-Perform The Sacrament.

Declaration

Kneeling or standing before the altar say:

On this dark night we celebrate sacrifice. The life of our Sun God Lugh is willingly given. His body returns to the fields to nourish the grains that will be planted in the upcoming year and his spirit begins the long journey on the Low Road to the Underworld to await rebirth. This is the holy night we commemorate and give thanks for through the Sacrament, consuming our Lord in body and blood. We pray on this night to the Horned God of the Witches, Great Cernunnos, to watch over Lugh’s journey. Guide him with the eternal fire harbored between your great curved horns. We both mourn and rejoice, for although the Great Sun God has perished… death is not the end.

Opening Invocation

Kneeling or standing before the altar say:

Horned God of the Witches, Great Cernunnos,
I utter your name into the darkness.
Giver of knowledge, Goat God of the witches, I invoke thee,
By standing stone, and twisted tree.
By fiery flame and starlight pale,
In shadowy hosts that ride the gale.
By moonlit meadow and dusky hill,
When haunted wood is hushed and still.
Come to the tone of chanted prayer,
As the moon bewitches the midnight air.
Come to us from dark depths below,
When the pale white moon is climbing slow. (1)

– Prayers and invocations can be offered to the individual Gods and Goddesses at this time.

Sacrifice

Offer a sacrifice of dried grain stalks or a handful of grain, laying them upon a plate on the altar. Other offerings can also be made if desired. After the circle is opened, the sacrifice can be burned in the bonfire or buried beneath a tree. Wherever it is left, Pour a libation of ale or beer.

Horned Wolf

Polytheist Pagan and Witch. Hurrah!

The Pipe Smoker

Pipe Smoking is Not a Habit.

Coven of the Catta

Founded in 1967

The Coven

Must be the season of the witch.

Sparks of Insanity

Haphazard Explorations & Experiments In Fiction

Adversus Mentis

Ad Umbra et Tenerbrarum in Aeternum

Encyclopedia Satanica

As above, so below

Aleister Nacht's Satanic Magic Blog

Satanism and Satanic Magic Blog - Aleister Nacht

THE LOS PERSPECTIVE

The Journey and Adventures of a Hindu Pagan

Theruine

Theruine Wordpress.com

Queen of Swords

Using the tarot in imaginative ways

DISSONANCE THE DARK ASPECT

A WORLD OF GODS AND MONSTERS

ONA-NXS:352

THE ORDER OF NINE ANGLES

Frisson

I am a warrior, who's only liberation is myself, and through myself, others.

The Darkest Places

Before there is light, there must be darkness.

The Witch of Forest Grove

Animism, Folk Magic, and Spirit Work in the Pacific Northwest

The Seeker's Dungeon

Troubling the Surf with the Ocean

D'arcy Digs Her Heels

Words of folly and ascension

Fabulous Realms

Worlds of Fantasy, Folklore, Myth and Legend

A Writing Vice

The Guilty Pleasure of Words

Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge

BlueStarBlackSnake - An Appalachian witches daily musings and interests

Kiera World

A World of Magick and Mystical Fun

  Rogue Priest

a philosopher's journey to meet the gods

Son of Hel

I walk a Helish road, the only road that I have ever known.

Art of Stumbling

Curiosity killed the cat but I imagine she died happy. New to this whole synchronicity thing.

harvestliberty

A 21st Century Homemaker's Castings on Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Whatever Necessity Requires

Uncanny UK

Dedicated to British ghosts and folklore. And general weirdness!

Druid Life

Pagan reflections from a Druid author - life, community, inspiration, health, hope, and radical change

Peragro Umbrae

The chronicles of a Wanderer through the Shadows of Existence

The Dark Aspect

Part of the Force Academy, founded in 1998.

freaky folk tales

A haunting we will go...

The Great Unspoken

Sex, Race, Art and Afterlife.

Confessions of a Hedge Witch

on the cunning arts, and other strange tales

The Wanton Witch

All things wyrd and wonderful.

Magic of the Ordinary

encounters with mystery, politics and sex

Abhainn

That's Mr. Abhainn to you!

stormyviews

Just another WordPress.com site

Hunting for Diamonds

Sifting though the sediment in my brain

Fenland Wyldcraft

A solitary English Witch

Angel's Devilish Creations

the art of Angel Laveaux

Maleficus Amor

A playground for the musings and scribblings of a Sith.

The Tight Fisted Photographer

Fighting the System with a camera. British budget photography

The Gates Of Magick

A Fool & Her Journey

Cassie & Sophie NSFW

Ladies of the Left

Jack of Many Trades

fictional reconstructionist, chaos consultant & freelance occultist

Devil's Advocates

Satanic family life, thoughts and issues.

%d bloggers like this: