From the Forums: Intolerance in the Pagan Community by Kirt A White

~~~Bloggers Note: I have read some amazingly well thought out posts on the forums and this was definitely one of them. It also started off a great discussion of the issue, which is always fun to read and take part in. For some reason a great many of the interesting posts seem to come from the same handful of people, one of whom is Kirt. He is not a part of SacredHandsCoven and I have never been graced to meet him IRL, but from what I have read of his posts, he strikes me as one of those guys you want to hang out with in a coffee shop all night talking over life, the universe and everything! Thanks for permission to post, Kirt!~~~

This is going to offend people but personally some need to be offended. we get to complacent and hidebound when there is nothing to challenge the way we think.

I have been seeing a lot of intolerance in the Pagan community lately. It seems that those that believe in spiritual inclusiveness don’t really when faced with it and this saddens me. When did we allow ourselves to become just as venomous and destructive as the fundamental Christians that persecuted and killed those that came before us? Some of our brothers and sisters are Satanist, some walk the darker paths. Because the Left hand paths are just as needed as the right hand paths. They are just as necessary to the formation of a healthy universe. And walking a dark road does not automatically mean that they are bad or evil people, it does not mean that they are always working bad magic to hurt others. It just means they have a different road to travel, and the left hand path deals with more internal work than the others. They know themselves with an intimacy that most will never attain. Yes the darker paths are more about offence than defense and there is no prohibition about causing harm, but that is all dependent on the person using the magic to decide if it is needed or not. That is their cross to bare and not our place to judge.

I am also seeing a watered down safe version of Wicca springing up and this really worries me as well. Yes it is good to focus on being positive and putting more light into the verse, but we humans are made to feel the entire spectrum of emotion and actions, to block ones self off from half of your emotional being so you only experience the emotions and actions that bring you bliss is completely narrow minded. It leaves you in a place where your growth begins to stagnate, then stops. I see more and more people show up that are so afraid to cast spells because they are afraid of repercussions or karmic backlash. They are inhibiting their magic and in turn their growth. No lessons are being learned because they are so focus on not causing harm that they are unaware that the greatest harm they are causing is to themselves. Modern Wicca has taken all the fight out of the “White Witch” the healers no longer know how to harm and defend themselves.

The modern view of Karma is completely off and westernized into something that it was never meant to be. Karma is not reactionary to quote a marvelous essay “Karma is not some big brother looking over your shoulder waiting to punish you when you have done wrong… Karma does not come into play until after you have died and is only used in determining your next life.” We have given Karma teeth she was never meant to have and she has become an excuse to blame all the things that go wrong in our lives. Personal responsibility for our own choices and actions has been taken away and placed in the hands of a force no one can live up to but everyone can blame. It ranks right up there in absurdity with the three fold law. The three fold law is a modern Wiccan invention that, does not even have a hundred years under its belt, was invented to keep the initiates in line yet the thought of it has paralyzed generations of practitioners with fear, keeping them from shining as brightly as they were meant to. In this way the law of three has done more harm to the pagan faiths than anything else. And before you get all butt hurt and tell me how well it works let me remind you of something most forget. It works because you believe it works. Under the law of manifestation, ” The more power and energy put into an idea, the more that idea becomes reality.” Humanity would rather have a crippling self imposed limitation where they can shift personal blame to an unseen force rather than accept the consequences for their own actions and dive into a limitless future of unbound potential. If given the choice we inevitably (As a species.) choose suffering over true freedom. We have created the condition of this world and it is past time that we create a better future before there is no future left to create.

Witches Tools: Runes in Modern Magick

Runes are the individual elements, or letters, which were use to create ancient alphabets in centuries long past. The three most popular and most widely-known runic alphabets are the Elder Futhark, the Younger Futhark and the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. Representations of these runic alphabets have been discovered in various locations around Europe containing a glimpse into the history of the time period in which they were carved: standing stones, buckle, scabbard, arm rings, rune stick talisman, amulets, knives, rune stones, rings, etc.  Many works of art and antiquity have been discovered with markings of a single rune, ligatures of multiple runes, even entire stories and poems written in runic. When translated these have often been found referring to gods, naming the items they were inscribed upon, depicting familial relations, recording sites of burials, several recordings of poetry in these runic alphabets, from ancient times preserved for the future and even ancient spells.

Though each ancient runic language has its own inherent power, the Elder Futhark Runes are the most commonly used set of runes in modern magick. They are excellent tools for various uses as each witch determines to use them. The runes may be used in the physical sense by writing, carving, painting, casting as jewelry, etc. or used as a mental sign or sigil, signed into the air, with the power of the rune visualized by the witch and “sent” to a location determined by the witch signing it for magickal purpose according to their needs. All are old practices used for centuries and still in use today by many magick practicing peoples of multiple paths.

In modern magick, runes may be used to inscribe magickal names or words of power, used as sets of runes with specific intent to combine their power during a spell, or even as a single rune used in conjunction with other items, and incorporated into a simple spell.

Runes can be carved into various types of tools to provide that tool with the power contained within the rune(s) or name or word formed of the runes. Witches may carve the runes into wooden tools, such as a wand, staff, stang, or even wooden altars to add a layer of power provided by the chosen rune(s). Some witches will even carve runes into larger pieces of wood to target a specific effect or power, then, the wood is later burned after doing their spellwork. The power focused into the wood during the runes’ creation is held and built upon during the spell, itself, but once the spell is completed and fire set to the wood, the power of the runes combined with the power in the spellwork within the wood is released.

Working with an individual, or a set of runes inscribed into a chosen candle to access the power of the specific runes used within spell work is another extremely popular way of using runes in modern magick. Using a single rune in a love spell, a group of runes to target healing, inscribing magickal names or working with power words using the individual runes themselves, it all comes down to how the individual witch decides to use runes in their spell work..

Whether a witch is carving runes into a specific tool, a candle, adding runes to written spells, using a runes as a mark of protection, creating a talisman that includes the use of a special rune, writing a entire spell in runic, wearing a favorite rune inscribed on an amulet for its magickal purpose, using runes for divination, or carving a certain rune into a piece of food as a spell and eating it, runes are more popular with modern witches than ever.

Much like the tarot, there are positive and negative meanings behind each rune, so be very careful when drawing your runes out in spells, on altars, etc. to insure that you are using them properly. For example reversing “eihwaz” to face the wrong direction so that it appears more as a “z” instead of an “s” can wreak havoc in your magickal defense workings. Above all, read and learn before you practice any magick at all, with or without runes!

In divination, runes may be individually pulled from a bag, set in place in a specific layout, and “read” to determine the answer to a specific question, much in the way tarot cards are used to divine an answer. Rune may also be “cast” via the reader of the rune reaching into the bag, taking a handful of runes and “casting” them across a cloth, then reading the resulting “lie” of the runes to deduce the answer to the question sought. As with tarot, be careful to read the runes as they lay, do no adjust them to correct position, as the lie of the rune tells you so much or when read properly.

One crucial thing to remember when using Elder Futhark, Younger Futhark and Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, is that these are very ancient and powerful tools in their own right. When used for divination and magick spells; they should be respected. However, always remember that until you have consecrated the runes and charged them to their individual use, there are merely pretty drawings, just like any other magickal tool, such as glyphs, tarot cards, sigils, etc. it is the intent that is put into the runes which charges them and, in effect, primes them for use.

As with any other types of purchases, or any time you use found material t create magickal tools, be certain to cleanse all items and then charge them on your own. Don’t take a chance on someone elses’ energy disrupting your magickal workings!