Sunday, 18 November 2012

Witchfest 2012

This year saw me attending my second ever Witchfest. I wasn't sure what I was expecting this time around, I was going on my own for one, meeting people when I got there, both people I knew and didn't. I wasn't sure on the sessions I wanted to go to, and I was anxious that tiredness levels would come into it soon and that I'd have to go early which actually saddened me as I wasn't going to see Damh the Bard :(

Once again Witchfest was an experience that has left me feeling more knowledgeable in some aspects, though largely in aspects of myself. I know that I don't like the complications that can be found on the pagan path, I don't like the whole idea of ritual. It's only something I've ever done once in my life and I felt really awkward so I decided to not do it again. But then I didn't really know what else I should be doing and I never really took the time to sit and look at what I actually wanted to do and how I actually wanted to practice things.

My path kinda went stagnate. I go through so many phases where I feel witchy but I don't really know what it is I am actually after. I might have decided the core of my beliefs but I rarely practice anything and do feel somewhat foolish standing with my hands above my head...

So what I learnt this year was simplicity. I learnt that things don't have to be complicated. All I need for a spell is to raise some energy, charge a candle et voila. Done. I  learnt new ways of doing Magick by moving, largely based on group exercises but I found things in there I can implement myself, interesting ways of casting circles of raising energy and of doing things with kids...when the time comes. I found confidence within me in the latter workshop which was the Moving Magic one as I volunteered for things, I was in the class on my own with no one else I knew. I Volunteered to be a quarter at the dispelling of the circle and I really enjoyed it. Group working has always scared me, or at least the idea of it as I'd never done any group working until yesterday. I think because it wasn't a formal ritual with a huge altar and tools and what have I didn't feel too pressured that I was going to fuck something up.

I did witness a formal ritual, or as close to one as I'm going to get with the closing ritual to the festival. There were proper parts and concencrating and circle casting (kinda...) and blessings to be given and received. It was wicked and I really enjoyed it too. I have, however, been going around telling the Husband I can't do things because I am an anointed one. (I got anointed with oil as a blessing on the way out of the ritual) I don't think he's falling for it sadly.

So as with last year I bought me pretty things, I took £80 to the fest but I didn't end up spending it all oddly, although even odder was the fact I was struggling to spend it! So in the end I bought...

  • Some Crystals: I bought Lavendar Quartz, Zebra Jasper, Mixed Tigers Eye, Blue Aventurine, Amegreen, Fire Agate, Blue Moss Agate, and Seftonite
  • Damh the Bard's Antlered Crown and Standing Stone Album.
  • Tylluan Penry's Staying on the Old Track,
  • Spirit of Albion Movie (
  • A Green Ceramic Leaf Bowl (
  • A Book of Shadows (
  • Two pairs of earrings, one Garnet and one Amethyst.
Pretty good haul I think :) Impressed everything and can't wait to get into my Book of Shadows and do work in it. I do feel a bit apprehensive with starting it as it's technically my first, although it's slightly imperfect so I'm going to try not to worry about messing it up!

Can't believe it's all over again for another year. I loved every minute of being there, of opening myself up again and being with friends. Roll on next year and the Artemis Gathering :)

Monday, 12 November 2012

The First Step

So this is a little later than I had anticipated, but I have finally re-read my first two books!

Since my initial blog on starting again I have managed to read Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner and Doreen Valiente's Natural Magic. The latter took a little longer to read than I would have liked due to time and other things going on but I finally managed to finish reading it. As I said, these were the first two books I ever read on Wicca and Witchcraft, and I find it easy to see where my beliefs fall within these two books. Firstly, my spirituality comes from Wicca, my belief in the God and Goddess I firmly believe I got from Mr Cunningham's works. What I got from Doreen is what I believe Magick should be. Although I believe she did have some form of ritual (though not evident in Natural Magick) everything seems to be far more back to roots and some serious old style magick.

Natural Magic looks to folklore, old correspondences and old beliefs. I suppose I like the fact that this feels like a more traditional path, one of old. It covers many topics  from weather magic, to colours, elements, herbs. It even covers the second form of divination I ever practiced, using playing cards. (The first was dominoes for anyone interested!) This magic is very homely, it's the kind of information you'd expect your country residing Grandmother to know just off the tip of her tongue, just because she did, and it was the kind of thing everyone knew. It's not necessarily a book for a beginner but at the same time it's a nice introduction to the ways of magic without being bogged down in the more modern Wiccan trappings.

Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner is where most start their path. I can see how this book makes Mr Cunningham "immortal" as I have heard many claim he will be. As the first book of this kind I can see why it was so popular, it was everything everyone wanted to know about Wicca and made it so accessible  This is what made me fall in love with that path, I love the knowledge of the God and Goddess and the information on rituals and the Book of Shadows at the back with the chants and recipes. I didn't know it could be so exciting, before all I really knew was what I could find on the internet and a lot of that was dubious at best. Having re-read it this excitement was exactly why I came to my path, and it is exactly why I've stayed on it. I bought this book and read it for the first time over 7 years ago, and I know my path has changed from this, my initial path. Though retrospectively it has started my interests in many things and they have changed me for the better.

When I initially came to Wicca I was going through a difficult period of my personal life. The spiritual practice I follow, although little means so much to me. It opens my heart and my soul and I feel alive. I enjoy being alive with nature. Although I feel as though I have had some time away and rediscovering my path this way has already made me feel more connected with everything again.

Saturday the 17th I'm going to Witchfest run by Children of Artemis. This is my second one, last year I had some eye opening experiences but I think that is for another blog. I can't wait to be around people of similar beliefs and to attend talks I hope with enrich my path and practices. That and go shopping of course! I'm looking forward to meeting old friends and new ones, and feeling like I belong. Something I feel too infrequently.

My current read is Wicca: Magickal Beginnings by Sorita D'Este and David Rankine. This isn't a re-read, I got this book on Kindle earlier in the year and it's been staring at me for ages, I now also have a physical version which doesn't seem any less formidable! It's a bit daunting in chapters (I'll post again when I finish that one as I feel it needs it's own post!) but I feel that what I've read so far really helps me with my path. Looking at it from a historical point of view and trying to figure out where everything has come from has been quite an eye opener for me so far. Still have lots of it to read so more of that later!

Blessings )O(