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questions for a witch – answered!

October 3, 2010

Although the witch I was supposed to meet with did not show up, and I did not get any answers from her, a rather kind woman named Storm, who has been leaving detailed comments on my blog answered these questions for me! Here is her response. My questions are in quotes. Note, in another comment, she made the point that answers are subjective and that these are her answers – other witches/pagans might disagree. I think her answers are rather good, and this posting is definitely worth reading.

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I held off on commenting on these for after you meeting, but since it didn’t hapen – and I’m so sorry it didn’t – I’ll try to give you my answers to some of these questions of yours, feel free to ignore them if you wish. You asked:

“If there are good spirits, then there are bad spirits too, so.. how do you know that the spirit or spirits you have called up and are working with are really the ones you think they are..how do you know?!!”

Spirits, Like People, are indeed both good and bad and inbetween. How you ‘tell’ if they are one or the other or neutral is the same you tell with humans. Sometimes you just get that little feeling that something isn’t quite as it seems. When that happens, if your working with Spirits, you should take a step back, metaphorically, politely decline their interest, and maybe wait to work with other spirits for a little while (Like an hour or two, longer if you feel the need to wait longer)

Personally, I think working with Spirits that you try to call up is a bit of putting your neck on the line. Some spirits liek to hang around once they’re called, even if you declined their help or oppinion. Always always always be polite but firm. It won’t do to get them angry at you; it’s best to treat them like door to door salesmen, you know, like – ‘Thank you for stopping by but I’m not interested in your wares at this time, Goodbye’

You asked: “Where did Nature, the Goddess, and all of life come from? ”

This is a tricky one to answer, sicne every Culture has their own ideas. Science says the Big Boom, or Organisms got stuck to a rock that cracked onto our planet with just the right set-up to allow the organisms to grow and evolve. Some cultures believe in the Cosmic Egg, which hatched and out spilled all of life in it’s various forms. Christians believe God created the world, and the first humans from clay. And all of these can be true. Noone can say with exact certianty that the earth formed one way or the other, though Sciense wants to get as darn close as it can!

The Ancient Egyptians believes that the first deities, who would later create life, came fro mthe Primordial Waters of Nun.
I think they were pretty darn close. Land masses don’t just happen, Underwater Volcanos vent Magma, over time it builds up, sometimes fuses with other volcano ‘tops’, sometimes crashing together and forming mountians and valleys. These formations of land could then offer organisms an oppertunity to grow a bit differently then their cousins who remained in the water, thus the many different kinds of life that grew from them, from Fish and Dolphins to Birds and Apes, and evolution took care of the rest. Our planet isn’t exactly ‘New’, after all. It’s been around the block more then a few times.

You asked: “Do I have to believe in Nature as Goddess in order to be Wiccan? I suppose, if this is the case, then I should be some other form of pagan – so what other form?”

Nature can be male OR female… or Both, depending on your view. After all, some Creatures and plants reproduce without having sex. The Term ‘Mother Nature’ is so common because it fits how We as humans experience life. For the Most part, It’s the Females who bring forth the next generation, who give birth. Essentually, the whole WORLD is constiantly giving birth. When you plant a seed, you could see it asnature having sex, ie, The Male (in this case the human doing to planting) puts his sperm, or seed, into the earth, which acts like a womb and allows the seed to begin to grow, develop roots to allow it to live and get stronger – like the ambilicle cord for an unborn baby – and eventually it pushes it’s way through the topsoil and is born into the world, an infant of a plant, but born all the same. andas long as nothing happens to it, it’ll grow big and strong and eventually produce seeds of it’s own, and the process will begin again.

That’s why Nature as a female is so common, it makes sense. But you could also see Nature as a Male. For the Ancient Egyptians, Natureas a whole was a Male fertility God, named Geb. Osiris(Asar), Son of Geb, also shared this title, while his Brother, Set, was considered infertile (Plants are harder to grow deep in the desert and away from the Nile, after all)

So it’s really a cultural thing on if Nature is male or Female, and not a Religious thing. Wiccans for the most part though DO see nature as being female.

You asked: “Is the Goddess (or are gods or goddesses) offended by certain human behaviour? Do they become displeased and angry with us, and punish us? ”

I think they do get offended with howwe treat the planet, eachother, other animals, ect. Like beating an animal on purpos, for no reason whatsoever. Or intentionally polluting (toxic chemicals burried by the industrial-sized barrel, instead of properly disposed of, for example)
The Earth is their home as much as it is our’s, They keep guard over it, in a way, so yes I think they do get angry with humans fro mtime to time. As for punishing us… I believe that they will if we earned the punishment.

Mostly I think they’ll give us a stern talking to as we pass through their realms when it’s our time to die, unless a human was particularly evil, in which case I think the punishment might be much worse then the common person’s lecture.

Deities are somewhat like Parents and Grandparents, they want us to learn, and sometimes we mess up, and we get sent to a time out corner or lectured or grounded from the fun stuff for a while; I do not believe, however, that the punishment would be immediate, or eternal suffering. Personally I believe in reincarnation, so any ‘lessons’ I mess up in THIS lifetime, I’ll just have to repeat and pay more attention to in the next. Won’t know until I diewhich lessons that’ll be. *shrugs*

You asked: “In Wiccan practice, are men subservient to women? ”

NO. No no no. Men and Women are EQUAL. Neither is better than the other, in many many faiths. Wicca seems to put more empesis on the Goddess, However, because a lot of people come to it from a Christian faith, and find the Goddess aspect more forgiving then the God aspect they’d been raised with. In truth it’s all about balancing Masculen energy with Feminin Energy. Wicca DOES have a Male Deity, known as ‘The God’ or ‘Horned God’ or the like, but a lot of people already had enough bad experiences with just a male deity that they’ll tend to stay away fro mthe God aspect for a while, until they’ve healed that part of themselves, THEN they’ll add The God back into their practice. This also gives Wiccan Writers a selling point on the bookstore shelves for New people looking into the path. Not to say all writers do this, but people from Single-Deity faiths have gone so long without the other kind of energy in their faith that they tend to gravitate towards the missing part right away as they wander, but in the end, it’s all Balancing the two, the Male AND the Female together.

You asked: “Is sex really part of pagan rituals? Do Wiccans perform some rituals “sky-clad” – naked? Co-ed covens? Are Wiccans and other pagans more promiscuous than most people? ”

This is a personal preference kind of thing. Yes some people do include Sex magic in their pratice, though usually not Orgie style. It’s more of a personal thing with a willing partner(s), and what they’re comfortable with. Like, say, if your fine with threesomes, and your partners are also fine with them AND fine with Sex magic, then yes, you might work it into your path. You don’t have to use Sex Magic, but if you feel comfortable with it, then go for it.
Sky-clad is also a personal preference thing. Don’t have to, but if you want to then usually noone will stop you. If your in a Group, or Coven or Grove, they’ll usually inform you if they do groupwork naked or not before you even get to the ritual. Not everyone likes being naked. It’s like a Nudist Beach; it’s there for those who like being nude, but you don’t have to go to one if you like your new Swimsuit.

Co-Ed Groups are pretty common, but like I said before, It’s personal preference on the Sex and Nude stuff. There are groups out there who do rituals nude, but if you don’t want to join them, noone is gonna force you. And the Sex stuff is kept in the bedroom mostly. As for the promiscuity (sp?), it’s anyone’s choice, again. Plenty of Pagans are happily married to one person and stay faithful to that one person for years and years.

You asked: “Are most Wiccans vegetarian or vegan?”

While this is another ‘personal preference’ thing, a lot of Pagans DO try to eat healthier and exersize like they should. Grilled Chicken instead of Deepfried, for example. Deep fried may be tasty, but it’s not doing any good for your health to ingest all that extra frying oil and fat. They might even go for the Organic stuff to try to avoid the pesticide leftovers that can get into the actual fruits and veggies, (not just sitting on the surface), and try to buy more free-range meats and eggs – healthier animals means healthier food that isn’t bogged down with anti-biotics from being in a small pen with dozons of other animals or being fed the wrong kind of foods (Cows arn’t evolved to eat corn, they’re evolved to eat grasses, but big production companies find corn to be cheaper to buy, grow and harvest for the cows.)

You asked: “Can I attend a ritual without participating? If I choose to participate, how to I do that? Are rituals usually done at midnight, or earlier? Some witchcraft performed during the day? ”

This is, of all your questions, my favorite. If your in the U.S. There’s a thing called ‘Pagan Pride Day’, local communities of Pagans from all paths come together to celibrate, check out the goodies (Swords and Jewlery, Crystals and Books) the Entertainment, and connect with other pagans. You just gotta look it up! Go to google.com and search ‘Pagan Pride day’ and you’ll find it. If your not in the U.S., there’s still probably simmilar things. There’s probably even groups who meet up monthly in local coffe or bookshops, search ‘Pagan Gatherings’ along with your area and see what comes up, like, for example, ‘Pagan Gatherings in Chicago’. Most of the results you’ll get fro mthis kind of search are open to the public and you can always email the event leader if you arn’t sure if it’s open to the public or not.

You asked: “If/How do deities intervene in human affairs? Are there any deities and/or spirits that are hostile to us? How do we magickally protect ourselves, and how to we know our protection is working? Who and what can we trust in? ”

I think Deities and Spirits do get involved with Humans rather frequesntly. Not nessicarily in hostile ways, either. There are TONS of books on how to protect yourself from Psycic(sp?) attacks, Energy drains and the like, and often when people become ill, their friends can ask the Deities that they send healing energy to the person who’s ill, or if it’s severely life-threatening, that the Deities help, if it’s that person’s time to go, help to make the transition from life to the beyond as painless as possible and help their famiyl and friends through the greiving process.

As for knowing if the protection is working or not, some people like to Trust (and Expect!) that it’s working, others like to do a protection spell a few times over to build it up and make it stronger over time, it’s, again, a personal preference which way you go with this, but if you don’t believe it’s working, then your taking a lot of energy out of it. Doubt can create weak points sometimes, Force of Will (as in, My Sheld IS strong,) can be a powerful fix-and-prevent aid.

Last question since this is getting LONG. o.o;; You asked: “At what point in one’s pagan practice does one start with spell work?”

Again, Personal preference. Some people start in right away, some like to learn more about the hows of spellwork before trying their first one. I’m of the latter, I’ve been researchign it a LOT, but as of yet, I’ve only tested out ONE spell, for Weather change, and though it worked, I feel I need to learn even more before I do anymore spells. It’s fine to try out spells right away if your curious or have an immediate need of them (like for helping someone heal), but you should ALWAYS look into the hows of spellwork as well. Blindly casting spells without knowing what your doing won’t be a good thing and could backlash on you a bit (Not like instiant death or anything, but you’ll notice thigns snowballing out of control a bit)

Hope this helps a bit!

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