In The Beginning

It started with a book.

This book.

Originally, I just thought it was a book about a lost little girl, one who’d been abused by her parents, and had decided to “adopt” a new family, Fynn and his mum, in pre-2nd-world-war England.  I have no recollection of where I got this book, who gave it to me, or why it was in my possession, but I’ve had it for as long as I can remember, and it’s one book that I think I will always have in my library. 

I know it may seem strange to some, but this is the book that got me started thinking about religion vs. spirituality, church vs. faith, and how I fit in to this realm of theology that I had known all my life, but wasn’t really happy with.

This book made me think about what “God” meant to me, and how we fit into each other’s lives.

Anna was a “bomb with legs on”, as the author, Fynn put it.  She had a multitude of questions and ideas, seemingly too grown-up for a child of 4-5-6-7.  But the ideas that she had, the logic she used to answer the questions fermenting in her brain, and the simplicity with which she described her conclusions, drove a spike of light into my own head at a very early age.  And it split my head wide open to a whole new world, and a new way of looking at everything around me.  With childlike curiosity, an open heart, and eyes that saw more than just what was immediately visual, Anna taught me how to “Ask the right questions” of myself, and everything else.

I think I was about 9 when I read this book for the first time.  And while I wasn’t able to truly understand a lot of the science and math (still can’t, for that matter, I suck at math), I was able to grasp the simplest of her messages.

That God didn’t exist only in Church, and that Heaven wasn’t really a place up above the clouds, with a benevolent old man sitting on a throne, waiting to see if you could be “good enough” to get beyond his pearly gates when you died.

God lived inside you.  And God wasn’t necessarily how I’d been taught to think of him.  That he didn’t care if you went to church, because that wasn’t the important bit.  That he didn’t care if you gave him money, because what was he going to spend it on?  That the important bit?  Was just this:

[“Our local parson was taken aback when he asked her about God.  the conversation went as follows:
‘Do you believe in God?’
‘What is God then?’
‘He’s God!’
‘Do you go to church?’
‘Why not?’
‘Because I know it all!’
‘What do you know?’
‘I know to love Mister God and to love people and cats and dogs and spiders and flowers and trees’ – and the catalog went on- ‘with all of me.’
Anna had bypassed all the nonessentials and distilled centuries of learning into one sentence:  ‘And God said love me, love them, and love it, and don’t forget to love yourself.’]


Anna also spoke to Fynn about the nature of God’s gender, and she ended up coming to the conclusion that he had to be male.  Her explanation involved a piece of popped balloon, and a finger pushed partially through it, to show the genders.   And the funny part to me was that, while she knew, irrevocably, that this logic she used meant that God had to be male, it was just the proof that I knew told me that Deity was neither male, nor female alone, but both.  You have to have both, in nature, or species die.  Without both male and female, there is no continuity of any living thing. 

The real point I’m trying to make here, isn’t that I want anyone to follow my logic, or my path, or even Anna’s, for that matter.  The ways we came to our conclusions are varied, and I have often disagreed with some of the answers she came to in the book.  It doesn’t matter.

What matters – is that it got me to ask questions.  Both of myself, and of everyone else.  And to find the answers to those questions, for myself, I had to open my eyes wide, look around with an open mind, look inside myself with an opened-up consciousness, and open my heart to the possibility that all that I’d known before – was going to fall apart in the new light.

I was brought into Anna’s world at the age of Nine.  Anna herself never saw 9.  She never made it to 8 years old.  But what she brought to Fynn’s world, and to all the people who’ve read about her since… is immeasurable. 

This story was a story about a lost soul, and the journey of finding its way to the light of understanding.  But it wasn’t Anna who was lost.  It was Fynn.  And Anna was the guide who took him by the hand, gently, with a smile and a giggle, and walked him down the path to his own truth.  He was a real person.  So was Anna.  This is not a book of fiction, or fantasy.  It is a true accounting, made by someone who not only knew this little girl, and loved her, but missed her with a grief that was so all-encompassing it took him 30 years just to work up the ability to write her story down. 

In the end, everyone has to find their own Anna, their own light-bringer, someone, or something that helps them open up to the world of possibilities.  There’s no magic to it, no instruction manual, no sign posts along the way.  There’s the desire to know, the yearning for understanding, the quest for your own truth, and the willingness to accept that all the answers – might not be the ones you were looking for.  But, as long as you have the answer, you can work your way back to the question it fits, in time, and find the light of truth – waiting for you to come home.

In the beginning, for me, there was Anna.  And she brought me the light, and it was good.

*Today’s post is my 500th post on this blog.  I wanted it to be something special – hence, I bring you Anna.  Someone extraordinary.

Philosophical Sunday

I’m feeling rather introspective today.

In the last few days, I’ve had occasion to take a long look at who I was, who I am, who I’m becoming.  I’ve thought a lot about what it was that I used to want, what I need to get where I want to go, and whether the “needs” and the “wants” really match up, or whether they’re incompatible.

And I wish I could tell you that I have any answers to the questions I’ve been posing to myself.

But *sigh* I don’t.

The questions are still all there, swirling around in my head, spinning me in a million different directions, and never letting me stand still long enough to grab a point of reference to hold onto.

But, funny thing?  Even with all the chaos inside my brain, all the questions and frustrations of the past few days – I’m oddly calm.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m ultimately happier when life is in a constant state of flux.  When changes happen one after another, I don’t have to sit and worry; I have to act – react – and adapt. 

Yeah, I like the quiet times too.  I love being able to sit, just in one moment and be.  I like the calm of a still afternoon, spent relaxing, listening to music, or my children’s laughter, or just the play of the wind through the trees. 

But, those moments aren’t meant to last.  Those perfect spaces of stillness and balance are transitory, finite.  It is their temporary nature that makes them so wonderful, because you know that they don’t last.  That forces you to stop, “smell the roses”, and enjoy it, because you know that it’s not permanent.  The winds die down, the flowers wilt, the sun sets, and the moment is over.

Things change.

Things stay the same.

Both statements are true.

I am in the middle of changing my life.  I’ve already made a few of the changes – and whether they’ll be positive ones or not, will remain to be seen.  There are more changes coming, I can see them working their way toward me from down the road.  Some decisions are going to be harder than others, and I don’t know yet how I’ll react to the situations.  Some of the decisions have me really frustrated, because of the variables that refuse to sit still and behave in predictable ways.  The logic circuits are not functioning at full charge all the time, which leaves me confused and exhausted.  And there are times when I think about just chucking those issues out the window, “turtling up” and hibernating while the storms pass overhead. 

But something keeps me moving forward. 

Maybe it’s the idea that there’s a better moment up ahead. 

Yes.  A better moment.  With wind in the trees overhead, flowers in bloom, the sun dancing through the leaves….. and a second of balance – before the next change.

I’ll be ready.  I’ll be waiting. 


Tuesday Theology – An it Harm None

The main tenet of the Wiccan faith is the Rede, shown above.

Basically?  It means that as long as you are not harming anyone, including yourself, you are free to do what you wish in your life.

Imagine that.  Freedom of choice.  Freedom of will.

Freedoms that we now enjoy in our nation.

After the news on Sunday night, I know that many people rejoiced that one of the world’s most heinous terrorists had been stopped from ever harming another living soul.  I was one of the people that found this to be welcome news.


I also know that there are many people out there that find the idea of killing someone, even someone as evil as that man was (I don’t wish to give his name anymore space here, or anywhere, because names have power), to be just as wrong as what he did.

I disagree.

I do believe that you need to refrain from doing harm, to the best of your ability and knowledge. 

When I do any magick, and when I teach people about the ethics of Wicca and Witchcraft, I teach them that they need to be mindful of the consequences their actions could have.  They need to remember that all actions have results, and when you seek to change the world around you, you not only have to be aware of the changes you’re seeking to make, you also need to remember that everything you do, will affect others.  Not always positively.


You have to accept it for the things you do in your life.

And whether that man ever took any real responsibility for the horrible things he did, is debatable.  I won’t debate them here, however. 

He’s being judged by a power by far higher than anything that we humans could ever hope to be. 

But, to get back to “An It Harm None”.

Yes, you should seek to avoid harming others.

But when the cost of not harming is greater by far, such as in leaving a man to run free, and allowing him to cause so many others to be harmed, or killed, on his orders… then something has to be done.

And yes, his followers may choose to follow in his footsteps.

But he won’t be making any new ones.

And his days of harming others….. are over.

I, for one, breathe a little easier today.

And, whether you believe in Allah, God, the Goddess, Buddha, or any of the other millions of names of God, Cosmic Karma, or whatever – Justice and Responsibility will always catch up with your actions.  Whether it happens in this life or the next, it will come. 

It has come for him.

“I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” — Mark Twain

Tuesday Theology – Beltane

May 1st is Beltane.  It’s a joyous celebration of Spring, complete with flowers, ribbons and fire.

And yes, it’s a fertility holiday, too. 


It’s not just about that.

Beltane is a fire holiday that celebrates not only the creation of new life, but the creation of prosperity.  In the old days, people would light the Beltane bonfires in celebration of the sun returning in full force to help everything grow.  Couples would hold hands and jump the flames to show their commitment to one another, with those that jumped the flames at their highest, without letting go of each other’s hands, bringing good luck to their relationship for the years to come.  Usually, the eldest couple in the village would wait till the end of the night, when the fire had dimmed to just coals, and holding hands, they’d step over the remaining fire calmly.  This was the culmination of the night, and afterwards, everyone would take some of the leftover coals home to light their hearthfires, knowing that they contained all that hope and love that had been infused into it by the people that leapt the flames.

The villagers would also bring their cattle, and drive them past the bonfires, to bring fertility to their herds, and luck to their farms.

Beltane is about the earth breaking open, to release the magick of the seeds that had lain just under the surface, and growing into the crops, flowers and grass that was necessary for life.

It’s about the breaking open of all sorts of magick, that’s lain fallow over the winter, waiting for its moment to come forth and spill good luck and prosperity over those that wish for it.  It’s about the fulfillment of hopes and dreams, and seeing the beginning of new and wonderful things in your life, after waiting through the darker times, and working for this new start.

And then, there’s the maypole.

Young maidens and young men were typically chosen to dance around the maypole, weaving the ribbons round it in a certain pattern.

It was designed to bring the young people together, allowing them to meet one another in a supervised setting, giving the parents a chance to find “good matches” for their children in the future.  It was also about “weaving the magick” to the earth, through the wooden pole stuck into the ground, making it stay in one place, to “hold” the magick and good luck in one place, ensuring the prosperity of the villagers for the whole year.

This Beltane, some friends and I are finishing a ritual that we began at Ostara.  Eggs were cleaned out, decorated, and a slip of paper containing our hopes and wishes were placed inside of them, and sealed with tissue and wax.  In this way, we were “planting” our dreams, giving the magick time to grow within.  At Beltane, we will crush the eggs in our ritual, releasing the magick into reality, and burning the slips of paper to deliver our dreams to the God and Goddess, in the hopes that they will be received and fulfilled for us.

No one speaks about their wishes that were written, safeguarding the magick with silence.  I know, though, that the magick has already begun.  Speaking with one of the others, as well as my own experiences, tells me that this is so.

And on Sunday….. everything will become the reality that I’ve been wishing for.

So Mote It Be.

Tuesday Theology 2/22/11

Kwan Yin – Mother of Mercy, Compassion and Love

Saturday, February 19th, was the birthday of my Patron Goddess, Kwan Yin, also known as Guanyin, Kannon, and Avalokitésvara, among others.

My Goddess has a murky past.  Doing some research this weekend, I learned that there are many people that believe that the deity began as a male god.  Others believe that KwanYin was a hermaphrodite, being both male and female at the same time.  Still others say that Kwan Yin was a real person that lived in the Shang Dynasty in China (1600 BC–1046 BC).

My favorite story of Kwan Yin involves the legend of Miao Shan.  In this legend, she was a Chinese princess, raised by a cruel man that wanted her to marry well.  Miao Shan told her father that she would marry, only, if the marriage eased 3 misfortunes:  1.  That her marriage would ease the misfortune of the suffering that people feel when they age.  2. That it would ease the misfortune of the pain people feel when they fall ill.  And 3.  That the third misfortune it would heal was the suffering caused by death.

When her father asked who she could possibly marry that would ease these misfortunes, she replied “A doctor.” 

Her father, furious, wanted her to marry someone of wealth and power, not a “healer” of no note, so he threatened her, locked her up and took away many of her privileges. 

Miao Shan didn’t balk or back down, though.  Instead, she begged her father to let her live in a temple, as a nun.  Finally, he let her go to the temple, but told the monks there to give her only the worst jobs, thinking that would soon bring her home to do his bidding.

Instead, Miao Shan worked tirelessly, until finally, even the animals began to love her, and help her with her chores. 

Her father was enraged when she refused to return and marry as he wished, so he ordered the temple burned.  Miao Shan put out the flames with her own hands, but suffered no burns.  Frightened, her father then ordered her executed.

There are many tales of how she was executed, but they basically all tell the same story, Miao Shan was first sent to the Buddhist version of “hell”, where, through her compassion for the suffering she found there, she released all the good karma she’d built up over her many lifetimes, freeing so many souls that she turned hell into a paradise, and was kicked out by the ruler there. 

As she began her ascent to “heaven”, Miao Shan/KwanYin heard a cry of suffering, and turned around to see what was happening.  Upon seeing someone crying out, she decided that she could not ascend to heaven until all the suffering on the Earth was cured, and descended back to help.  Thus, she became a revered “bodhisattva”, which is a semi-divine Goddess. Forever between Earth and heaven, she hears the laments of the world, and seeks to comfort all.

Is it any wonder, that she is my Patroness? 

Happy Birthday, Blessed Kwan Yin.

Tuesday Theology 2/15/11

What is Wicca Anyway?

I know I’ve talked a lot on my blog in the past about being Wiccan, and little bits and pieces, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually described what it is to me.  The word carries so many different connotations for so many different people, and it can be difficult to get a description. 

There’s a saying:  “Ask 10 Wiccans about Wicca, and you’ll get 15 different answers”

So, today, I’m going to define my religious beliefs. 

You’ve officially been warned. *insert smirk*

The books all say that Wicca is “A Nature-based religion encompassing the belief in both a Goddess and a God as Deity, with a reverence for all living things, incorporating magick to cause change in every-day life.”

True, so far as theoretical theology defines it.

To me?  Wicca is the belief that all life has a sacred value to it, because everything is, in fact, connected.  At the atomic level. 

Yes, I use Science to define Religion. 

Blasphemy, some might say, including some of the Wiccans I know.  I’ve been told time and time again that Science and Religion are mutually exclusive, and can’t ever be combined.

Hooey, I say.

Because, one of my core beliefs is that all things in the universe are made up of two things:  atoms and energy. 

Atoms are the substance, and Energy is the force that catalyzes motion and change in that substance. 

All the atoms in the universe are touching at some point.  The floor’s atoms are touching your feet’s atoms, are touching the atoms in the air, are touching atoms from a tree outside my house, are touching… you get the picture.  To affect one thing is to affect all things, even if you can’t see the effect of it, it’s there. 

The Butterfly Effect.

Now, as far as Deity is concerned?  Well, check out the symbol for Yin and Yang.

Perfectly balanced between light and dark, male and female, in motion and at rest.  Everything in the universe struggles for that balance.  Nature abhors a vacuum, and seeks to fill it with the opposite element, to correct the imbalance.

So, for me, there must be a balance between male and female.  God and Goddess. 

In fact, the largest part of why I began to study Wicca was that search for balance.  Learning how to balance home and work, spirituality and mundane life, moods, etc.  Finding emotional and spiritual balance was something I’d searched for – for a long time, and Wicca gave me the freedom to find it in my own way, and the acceptance of peers that were also searching for their own way, without being told we were doing it wrong.

And I’ve found it.  I carry it.  In my heart, within my head, and on my body.

A balance between light and dark, male and female, and the elements: Air, Fire, Water and Earth.  It’s all there.  It’s all within me, attainable.  Sometimes I forget that, and I don’t act the way I profess to work toward, but that’s human nature.

I get back up, I strive, I stretch myself, and I try again.  That, too, is human nature.  And, as the books say… Wicca is a Nature religion.

~Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.~ Albert Einstein

Thursday Thoughts 12/30/10

Science vs. Magick?

I’ve had a lot of people ask me over the years, since I became Wiccan, what magick is.  And whether or not I think it’s real.  Not the “pick-a-card, nothing-up-my-sleeve” type of magic, those are illusions, sleight of hand tricks.

Oh, and no “newt spells” either.  Disney has the patent on that, and I don’t have enough karma to take the price that transmogrification of another person would exact on my fate. (You can rest easy now, Mark)

I’m talking about the magick I use when I send out my love bombs to friends and loved ones.  How I believe that people can be helped in their everyday lives by a subtle manipulation of energies.  How we can apply the science of electromagnetic fields by using our bodies as conductors to shift reality.

Yes, I use Science to explain Magick.

Now, like all newbies, when I first started on my path, I wanted to use magick for everything.  It’s a thrill learning how to craft a spell, and how to get all the tools (read – all the toys) for a ritual.  Learning how to make incense, how to mix oils and how to put together a poppet for healing is rather like learning a new game.  At least it was for me.  I wrote up tons of spells – spells I might need if this or that might happen. 

As I got more into the mechanics of spellwork, however, I discovered something.

Magick based on stuff and things doesn’t work very well for me.

Magick based on energy manipulation works extremely well for me.

So I pretty much quit doing stuff magick.  No more herbal tinctures, or incense-making for me.  Most of what I do for spells now has to do with manipulation of energy.  How?

Well, here comes the science, from my point of view.

Everything has an electromagnetic field that vibrates at a certain frequency.  From the human body, to trees, to animals, even to rocks.  You vibrate soundwaves just right, you can shatter glass, crack rocks, cause animals to go crazy, and break up kidney stones and tumors within the human body.  The aura that a lot of people talk about is that electromagnetic field.  It reacts to the world around it, as well as to our own emotions and intent.  You can pull it in close to your skin, or push it out and away from your body to extend quite a ways.

This EM field is what causes the hair to stand up on the back of your neck when someone comes up silently behind you.  It’s the extension of your body’s natural energy.  And it can be manipulated and used to affect change in the world around you.  You can also learn to use and manipulate the EM fields of other things. 

With their consent if it’s a person.  My faith doesn’t believe in overriding someone else’s free will.  If you want to do magick on someone else, you better have their permission, or it will boomerang back on you.  Most often unpleasantly. 

I have a knack for being able to drain, or “ground” energy from a person or thing.  I can pull the excess away from one place, and push it away, either into the air or into the ground, without it harming me.  It’s rather like acting as a lightning rod.  Yeah, the lightning strikes, but it doesn’t hurt the antenna, it just uses it to travel.  I do this on my Eldest all the time, when she’s feeling skitzy or can’t seem to settle for the night.  After a moment or two, she slumps in my arms and almost goes to sleep.

I can also send energy out the same way, in reverse.  I pull it from the ground, or the air, and push it into an object or person.  Most often I place it into a softball size ball of energy, and send it out to its intended receiver, with the instruction to wait till the person needs the energy, and then they will have it available, rather like a blanket that wraps itself around you automatically when you’re cold – or the feeling that someone’s just hugged you, but there’s no one there. 

From my point of view, Science and Magick don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  After all, during the medieval era, can you imagine what the people would have thought of televisions, cell phones, computers?  We’d all have been burned as heretics, or worse, simply for using velcro and zippers.  It would have all been seen as magick – evil magick.  But in the end, it was explainable through Science.  And I truly believe that one day, energy manipulation and other procedures that are now seen as “Magick” will one day be explained, quantified, and accepted as Truth. 

For now, I call on the Goddess and the God to bless my endeavors, and I picture Nikola Tesla in my head, playing with lightning.

The Last truly great Wizard of Science and Magick combined.

Friday Filosophy.2 10/29/10

So in my own “Gemini-split-personality” way, I’ve split this holiday into two distinct and separate things.

Halloween, as I’ve already explained is more about the kids, the costumes, the candy.

Samhain, however, is more about the unseen, the unexplained.

I was asked this year if I was going to be doing a public ritual to celebrate the holiday.  I told the ones asking that I keep Samhain as a “family” night, and that it is a private celebration.  I normally do the “kids, kandy and kostume” thing early on in the evening, but once that is over, and the kids are all tucked safely in their beds, this is when the real Spirit of Samhain takes over for me.

Samhain is, for me, a quiet celebration.  It’s a night when the veil between the worlds is so thin, that you can almost, but not quite, see through to the other side.  Spirits of loved ones passed over can cross back and share space with you, sometimes talking, sometimes simply being together again. 

It’s a time to sit in the dark, in the quiet stillness, and gaze into the flickering candlelight, letting yourself go, stretching your spirit out, communing with the Goddess and God.  It’s a turning point on the Wheel of the Year, signaling a return to darkness and introspection.

It’s a night to take stock of what you’ve accomplished over the year, “count the harvest”, so to speak, and prepare for the winter to come.  Time to plan, to accomplish that which can be accomplished, to set aside that which must wait, and to dream of what can be.

And it’s a time to be silent.  As though Nature holds its breath, just for a moment, and all is suspended, poised for the Wheel to begin turning again, when dawn breaks.

Tuesday Theology

I am not normally a person that spouts about my religion a lot.  I have my own views on what I believe, and I never expect anyone else to follow, or subscribe to the same.  What works for me, and keeps my faith chugging along will probably not work for the woman that sits next to me at work, or my children, my husband, or anyone else on the planet.  So, what I’m going to talk about today is strictly my own viewpoint.

As we get closer to Samhain (Halloween), the veil between this world and the next gets very thin, allowing us to interact with the other side, and allowing them to slide back and forth, visiting.  It’s a mysterious, powerful, spiritual time of year for me, and for many Pagans.  This subject is on my mind this year for more than one reason.


My nephew and I were discussing reincarnation the other night on the phone.  He’d been having some disturbing recurring dreams, and was looking for my insight, or at least some comforting words to help explain. 

He was dreaming about his mother, who passed away in 2009.  He was talking to her, as were others in our family, and he couldn’t understand how we could all be talking, hugging, etc.   She would turn and  tell him that she was alive and well, not dead at all – and what was his problem? 

He was confused, in the dream, and woke up disoriented and jumbled.  It had been bothering him, as this dream would not seem to go away, but would come again and again, night after night.  So, I told him what I believe.

I believe that, when our souls are young, they root themselves in the Summerland (the pagan version of “Heaven”) like an anchor.  This is the whole of our being, all of our experiences, everything we see, feel, learn, know is tied here for all time.

When we are ready for something “new”, we send out a portion of this consciousness, and we “incarnate” into a human form of our own choosing.  We decide what we want to learn about, rather like choosing college courses, and a map is laid out for us.  We then are “Born” into this incarnation, all the while being tethered like a balloon to that anchor in the Summerland.

We go through the experiences that are on our road map of life, learning the lessons we chose, and at the end, when our time here is done, the balloon “pops”, we pass over the veil once more, and end up back at our Soul Anchor to process what we’ve seen, heard, felt, learned. 

This, I told my nephew, would allow him to interact with his mother’s “Soul Anchor” and allow her to have been reincarnated into a new life.  I believe that she has returned for her next life of choice. 

As for me, next time on “The Life is Right”, I hope to be able to continue helping people.  But I guess I won’t know that till I see what courses are offered.  I know that death is not the end, and I’m content to wait my turn.  I’ve still got a lot to do here and now.



A world of only the compassionate, the hopeful, the thankful, the peaceful.

Striving together to achieve goals only dreamed of.

Competition – only for the sheer joy of testing your skills against another, to urge each other to greater heights. 

Scientific discovery – for the benefit of the whole planet, to make life longer, hope greater, love fuller.

Spirituality – fulfilling humanity’s fervent dream that there is a reason, a purpose for it all, coming together to worship, each in his own way, but sharing the common bond of Faith in Something.

Gratefulness – for the fullness of life, the abundance of riches, made available to all, out of the gratitude and compassion of a healthy, loving heart.

There can be joy in everyday things.  And with balance of heart, mind and soul, you find true serenity.  Imagine it – if we could attain this balance!  This hope!

Oh, to find this balance, even for a moment – this I think would truly be Nirvana – the Blessed Enlightenment of the Soul.

Imagine, moving beyond the grief, the pain, the rage.