Welcome Back, Witches!

1111springwitchIt’s good to back online!  The site was down for quite a while as we tried to figure out what was keeping it from loading.  Then, life grabbed hold of us and whisked us away to other projects while we dreamed on this one.  We’re really grateful for your patience, Witches and especially honored by those of you who’ve kept up with out facebook posts!

There are a couple of new items on the agenda.

First, if you are currently a subscriber to Crafting the Witch or Daily Witch, you’ll want to know that the list was merged with Karina B. Heart as that’s where the majority of Karina’s work is currently taking place. You might also receive notices from SunCoast Firewalk Center which is another business of Karina’s.  When you receive the next mailing from CTW you’ll be given an option to choose which mailing(s) you wish to remain subscribed to.  We apologize for this inconvenience.

Next, CTW is growing!  We are currently interviewing new Witches to add their expertise to our Training, Practice and Support Collections!  If you or someone you know would like to join the CTW Team, offering online training, practices, digital magic or support to the amazing Witches who visit here, we’d love to hear from you!  Find out more right here!

Find us on Amazon.com

Hi Witches–

Soon, A Witch’s Book of Silence will be published and available on Amazon.com
Meanwhile, the site is closing for much needed repairs.  Look for us around the Wheel of the Year as these things take time!

Blessings, Witches!

Seasonal Musings

autumn new englandHere in New England the trees are putting on a riotous display of color, the air is crisp and the light is all gorgeous golden-slanty.  Pumpkins are showing up on porches.  Dinners are becoming progressively heavier.  There are nights when I’ve almost given in and turned on the heat in the house.

This is the season that makes the whole year of disappointing weather worthwhile in New England:  Apple cider, sweaters,  leather boots crunching in the fallen leaves, the sweet-tang of decay on the wind and the landscape colored so intensely it’s actually hard to drive around without pulling over and gaping in awe.  This is the stuff, Witches. right here and now.

Drink it in.

We are fast approaching Samhain–The End of the year followed by six weeks of living in the liminal space between endings and beginnings, death and birth, decay and renewal.  As we Witches gear up for the myriad Samhain celebrations, it’s easy to forget that this time of year is actually meant for slowing down, gathering in and quietening ourselves. Costumes and parties are wonderful!  Big rituals with dramatic displays can be powerful.  At the same time,  it would do us good to take some cues from nature.

Stand still.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Sink down.  Connect.  Let go.

Pour a cup of tea to share with the Ancestors.  Take it out by the fire and chat.  They’re already slipping in and around the Veils.  They are ready and willing to spend time with us no matter the time of year.

This time ’round the Wheel, I’ll be talking with my Uncle who moved further and further gulf autumnsouth as he aged.  New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and finally, Florida.  It was hard to recognize him as my Dad’s brother.  He was so lively, open and happy.  Dad, on the other hand, had taken on the dour attitude of New England. My earliest memories of them together put them at the age I am now.  When I look in the mirror I see the worry lines and disappointment I saw on my father’s face.  I think it’s not too late to be more like my Uncle.  If I’m going to have wrinkles, I want laugh lines.  It’s not too late.

He was brash, inappropriate (by today’s standards), loud and called attention to himself. He jokingly referred to himself as a “Dirty Old Man.”  He wasn’t really, but he loved the idea of himself in that character.  He left people laughing wherever he went.  This Samhain Season, I’m calling him close.  I guess there’ll be Bryer’s Ice Cream and raunchy songs. Maybe I’ll even flirt outrageously with folks “way too young” for me when I head South where it’s still what I know think of as “summer.”  I’ll walk with him along the coastline there as I do with my parents here on the New England Coast.  I’m going ask him how he stayed so happy and fiesty.  And, I’m going to follow his lead.

Blessed Be You Samhain Season, Witches.

 

 

 

 

To Each Witch, Their Own Way

 

Sincere thanks for all your powerful responses to yesterday’s Daily Witch (December 7).
I honestly appreciate every single opinion, every description of your Craft–be it your religion, your belief system, your discipline and/or your Way of Life.

Whatever your thoughts, opinions and beliefs are about your Craft, they are yours.  They are right, true and correct for you.  They may not be and should not be right, true and correct for everyone else who dares to name themselves Witch.  When we go down the path witches teaof defining ways of being as incorrect or lesser, we are on the dangerous road to fundamentalism.

None has the right to tell another what to believe or practice.

We say, “A Witch bows before no one.”   That includes other Witches.

Words have Power.  Words are Power. We can safely assume everyone using the title/descriptor “Witch” has had his or her own struggles and processes in coming to clarity on what that means. It’s got to be okay, for unique individuals to come to uniquely different definitions or we find ourselves engaged in war with one another over ideology! In standing apart and in judgement of one another, we do the work of the persecutors for them.

There are enough forces in the world(s) working against us.  Let us not work against one another as well.

I vowed to uphold all my Craft brothers and sisters. Whether I agree or disagree with them. Whether, in my opinion, they bring honor or dishonor to the Craft.  Whether they worship the Gods I do,  or some other(s) or none at all.  I don’t have to like everyone.  I don’t have to agree with everyone.  But, I do have to allow them their Truth.
Blessed be your Way,  Witches.

A Witch Needs Magic

It’s true that when we’re “going through stuff” the last things we feel are magical, powerful or enthusiastic about our Craft practice. We can shy away from practicing magic “until witch napthings get better.”

Here’s the problem with that thinking: We’re Witches. When a Witch isn’t doing magic, she isn’t practicing the Craft. Rather, he’s practicing self abuse.

We need our magic. Even if all we can manage is a long soak in a hot salted bath with a candle and some incense burning, it’s something. Even if all we can do is offer a quick prayer of thanksgiving over our food, that means something. If we can’t do anything else other than sweep the floor with the intention of moving the negative energy out the door, we’re doing something.

We need our magic most when life is throwing its worst at us. Use every breath, every act of self care and every last drop of Will to get some magic done.

Don’t let a rough patch steal your Will. A Witch bows before no-one.

Magic heals, Witches.  And, Magic heals Witches.

Excerpted from Daily Witch.  Get Witcheries like this one delivered to your inbox every day.  Just click that Subscribe button on the right.

Witch-Power

(excerpted from October 8th’s Daily Witch.  If you want to receive Witcheries like this one in your inbox each morning–click the big subscribe button to the right!)

 

Witch seeks power, courts power, flirts and dances with power; kisses power; honors power; runs power; generates power; revels in power.  A Witch is Power.

Just as all things in nature have and generate power–the sea, moon, trees, storms, frogs, monkeys, mountains–so too is the Witch a force of nature.

aradiaTo negate or refuse our power is to negate or refuse what is natural within us.  It is akin to the bird denying her song for fear of awakening someone!  Preposterous!

The magic of the Witch is power-full.  To tone it down in order to make it safe, palatable or otherwise acceptable is to deny ourselves of our birthright.  It also denies the Seeker what they desperately long for–the very thing that interested them in the Craft–the experience of ecstasy.

Be not afraid nor ashamed of your power, Witches.  Be who and what you are.  Don’t apologize or dial yourselves down.  For you, Witches, are a glory to behold!

 

 

Left + Right Handed Magic

We’ve been discussing magic as conscious creation in Daily Witch. If you’re a new subscriber and want to catch up, please check the archives.  If you’re not subscribed, go ahead and click that big button to the right .  It’s free.

Having identified the beliefs that lessen or block our ability to attain our desires through magic (or other means). We’re ready for the work of transformation.

Here, we choose between what are commonly referred to as the Right and Left Handed Paths.

magic handThe Right Handed Path acknowledges that while we might know what we don’t want (the negative belief), we don’t have a clear idea what we do want. Right Handed Work involves trust in powers greater than ourselves to look out for and manifest what’s in our best interest. It is a path of Surrender: “Your will, not mine, be done.” If you really trust the Unseen (Gods, Goddesses, GodSoul, Angels, Allies, Animal Spirits, etc.) more than your own best laid plans, this path is safest and best. Brace yourselves, though, for you cannot be sure what They will have in store for you.

The Left Handed Path is the path of Will. We opt for the Left Hand Path when we have a clear and precise idea of what we want. Left Handed Work involves trusting ourselves more than anyone or anything else. In transformational magic, we need to have a clear idea of how we want to be instead of the way we’ve always been (with our beliefs and blocks). This is no small feat! If you really trust you know best, this path is the correct one. Your Work will be to transform your old beliefs (and how they manifest) into new ways of being. Likely, this will require some research so you have a very clear idea what you are attempting to manifest within yourself. Be prepared, though, this kind of transformation can feel jarringly rapid. Like wearing a new pair of shoes, your new way of being may take some breaking in and getting used to.

Which Path calls to you, Witches?

 

Karina BlackHeart

The Art of Witchery

So often these days I read Pagan blogs, news outlets and social network posts that name Paganism and Witchcraft as a religion.  This is true for some (including myself), but Witchcraft is also an art.

Considering what we do as Art and ourselves as Artists brings a fresh perspective to the Craft.  I often emphasize the importance of a Daily Practice but even more strongly encourage students and practitioners to blur or entirely erase the boundary between “Practice” and “Life.”

Understanding Witchcraft as an Art and Witches as Artists helps us do this because it undermines the enculturated dichotomy between “religion” and “real life.”

An artist is an artist all the time.  Yes, there are the hours set aside for creating art at the easel or writing desk, but the eye and sensibility of the artist can never really be set aside.  The artist is always paying attention to light and shadow, pattern and color, rhythm and  meter, texture and feeling.

So, too with the Witch.  We set aside time for our Daily Practice but, eventually that practice expands to include the whole fabric of our lives.  The Witch is always paying attention to the patterns of energy.  Our eye is trained toward life-death-sex-rebirth, silence, the sacred and many of the same things an artist gives his attention to.

Craft and Art are often differentiated along class and gender lines.  But, in our art and craft, they are one and the same.  It’s important for the Witch to seek out, give attention to and manifest beauty (and power is Beauty-full).  Our practices are the “piece” we’re currently working on.  Our lives, however, are the Masterpiece.

Go make beautiful magic, Witches!

Boston

April  16, 2013

I want to take a moment with you this morning to give attention to the bombing at the Boston Marathon yesterday in Boston, MA.  Let’s just stop for a moment.  Stop reading.  Close your eyes.  Be still and breathe.  Find your center and breathe.  Send a positive thought to those affected.

We’re all affected.  Perhaps not in a personal way.  But, this happened and it impacts every one of us.

kwan yin2A quick survey of my social divination tools, Facebook, Twitter and G+ early last evening clearly revealed the impact this event had.  The emotional responses ranged from outrage to disbelief, angst, anger, fear, panic, paranoia, apathy, grief, hopelessness and even some self-satisfied, “I told you so’s.” Calls to action included donations of blood (the Red Cross says they have enough so please don’t flood the blood banks), to demands for justice, war, prayers for peace and compassion for victims and families to curses against the perpetrators and even the sending of “white light” to the bomber(s).

We’re all affected.

Far be it from me to tell anyone how to interpret these events.  I suspect that our outrage, our desire for revenge and our proclivity to call for more violence doesn’t really serve us.

Anger is an ally.  It tells us something is wrong.  Our outrage at random acts of violence feels justified.  It’s easy to go to the place of dread, panic or paranoia.  It’s almost a default setting to shut down our responses.

I would ask though, that we continue to ground and return to Center. That we enter a state of stillness deep enough to access our core response to this violence (and all violence).  Can we find the  courage to sink beneath our adrenaline-fed emotional states and access our grief?  Below the anger, disbelief, apathy and panic, lies grief.  It is seeded by Love.

Love for humanity.  Love for the strangers wounded or killed and their friends and families.  Love for the people who witnessed in person and through the media.  Love for the first responders.  Love for the city of Boston.  Love for humanity — even in the midst of violence.

From the deep well of love (that might make you weep, which is appropriate), flow compassion and connection.  Open your heart.  Stay with your center.  Here lies the wisdom concerning correct action.  Follow that wisdom with the actions which arise naturally from it.  Every action taken from that deep well–no matter how small or seemingly insignificant–has an impact as great as those bombs exploding. This is your Power in a time when we are angered by our sense of powerlessness.

Love is stronger than fear.

Bless this Life and make it right.

Karina BlackHeart 

empty wellIf your own well is empty, how can you quench the thirst of others?

It’s notable that in our desire to be helpful to others we often forgo our own self-care.  Who among us hasn’t pushed on when we needed rest? Cancelled an appointment to be there for a friend? Volunteered for a task knowing our calendars were already too full?  Tried to pass on wisdom we haven’t yet integrated.  We all want to be helpful!

Another way “giving from an empty well” shows up is in our resistance to Manifestation Work.  Many is the time I’ve witnessed Witches’ inability to craft and execute a spell for something they want/need.  Sometimes, there’s a basic disbelief that magic works.  Other times, we don’t feel worthy of receiving what we say we want.  And, still others, we harbor a belief that having what we want constitutes greed and prevents the less fortunate from having what they need.

In each of these circumstances, there is work to do!  Sometimes that work is putting ourselves front and center–creating and maintaining a boundary within which excellent self care can flourish.  Or, we may need to examine and transform our beliefs about the efficacy of magic, our own worthiness or how our world view may be clouding our magical vision.

These are tough assignments!

What’s harder though, is to give from an empty well.  Whether the “water” is our time, energy, wisdom or other manifestations of our Craft, it behooves us to take a look at what’s holding us back as well as what’s pushing us forward when we’re already depleted.

In the coming Daily Witch will be taking a look at how to “catch” yourself if you’re feeling stuck in any of these areas.  Are you subscribed?  Click that big, black subscribe button in the upper right corner of this page to get on board!

Take good care of you, Witch!

Karina BlackHeart

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