Witchery: Why Eclectic Witchcraft?

As previously discussed, there are many different paths to travel for spirituality.  When it comes to the world religions, spiritual paths, and even practices such as secular based witchcraft, there are branched paths leading from some of the oldest and most established belief systems in the world, from all over Africa, Asia, and Europe in numerous directions. Being the cradle of civilization, many of the best known belief systems started in Africa and spread as humanity and written history did to other continents and countries as time progressed and people looked for a place to call their own.

Some of the so-called new, or neo, pagan practices have been based on rediscovered information, some of it extremely well documented as having roots which come from ancient times that have been brought forward, to our modern era, through renewed interest in the ancient ways that our ancestors practiced their beliefs. From African Diasporic Traditions handed down person to person, which held focus on relationships with nature, ancestors and spirits, etc. to Norse beliefs with their own traditions, Gods, and Goddesses, to ancient Celtic beliefs passed down orally for centuries, and finally preserved in written form during the Middle Ages, and on to discovered Egyptian practices found on papyrus centuries after they were written. People are returning to the faiths that call to their individual spirits in record numbers.

From old and new traditional paths to the varying forms of Witchcraft, to Wicca, and to other new age belief systems that have sprung up during the last one hundred years, people are actively seeking a way to make sense of their personal beliefs, whether they are related to a specific faith or stand-alone practices. Many different varieties: Asatru, Candomblé, Hellenic Reconstructionism, Kemetic Reconstructionism, Luciferianism, Neopaganism, Satanism, Vodou, Witchcraft , Yoruba, Zoroastrianism, and so many more systems, or paths, are practiced around the globe, not just centralized to where they once began. People of all ethnicities are discovering practices they never knew existed before, but which seem to be made for their souls.

http://www.humanium.org/en/children-and-religions/

However, just as the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Islam and Judaism have become fractured religions, consisting of many, and in the case of Christianity sometimes thousands, of variations that continue to divide as time and beliefs progress, so have many other belief systems, including the African Diasporic faiths, Buddhist faith, Hindu faith, etc. They have splintered into varied belief forms that change and adapt to the people who follow them. All these various paths are valid for the people who believe in them and each of these paths have their own inherent beliefs and basic truths, and as truth is truth, and truth is universal, all these basic truths may be shared from one path to another. This explains the prevalence of so many paths having the same truths as their core values.

This is my reason for practicing eclectic witchcraft. Eclectic witchcraft tends to blend portions of many paths together as one. It takes the common truths as seen from all the different paths and acknowledges them as equally valid and blends them together into a single craft, or path. Each eclectic witch must make a choice of which portions of belief systems they will use in their practice of witchcraft. Some choose to use a blend of Nordic and Celtic paths; others may choose a blend of Christianity and Vodou; while still others may practice an eclectic blend of witchcraft that is completely devoid of any religious overtones and entirely secular in nature.

The thing about eclectic witchcraft is that it does not have to be a “one-size-fits-all” belief system. With eclectic witchcraft, as you study different paths and belief systems, if something specific calls to you, a particular practice, a specific deity, an accepted way of performing a ritual or casting a spell, etc, you learn all you can about it, try it out, and see if it blends well with your current beliefs and practices. Mixing and mingling various beliefs and practices in a way that specifically suits your soul. For a layman’s way of describing the way it works, imagine that all the spiritual paths are lined up in little bowls on a table, in a fashion similar to a salad bar. Just as you might choose a variety of lettuces, and vegetables whose flavors blend well, so may you find a group of ritual or spell casting techniques that blend into a nice whole for you. Add in some varieties of additional flavors like croutons or cheeses, just as you might add in working with a powerful entity or a deity, or a specific additional layer, like metals, runes, glyphs, or sigils, or themes or colored candles. Top it all off by adding in some herbs, and/or spells oils, just as you would top the salad with a dressing and voilà, it is perfect for you!

By Tudokin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Some say this is cultural appropriation, others say it is a misappropriation, of the cultural beliefs of a group to whom a person was not born. However, in this day and age of mixed ethnicities, multiple lineages, and even belief in past lives and reincarnated souls, which I believe bear direct importance on our current lives, I cannot believe in this strict interpretation of a spiritual path. I am aware that some consider this a very unpopular stance. I understand that some people object to others practicing a faith or path they feel the person is not entitled to, born to, or raised in. Again, I cannot believe in this strict interpretation. I cannot force myself to believe that merely because I was born to a specific set of parent’s with a set variety of ethnic lineages that I am beholden to the one way that my parents chose to raise me, n a narrow subset of a spiritual path shared by the one or two accepted lineages that my parents chose to acknowledge.

If this irritates or inflames others sensibilities; I will apologize for being the source of this irritation, but I will not limit the path that calls to my soul, base on someone’s irritations or even their cultural outrage. Cultural diversity, especially in the United States and other regions that were heavily influenced by centuries of immigration and inter-marriage are known for the multicultural “melting” pots they are. I do not believe, nor have I experienced, being judged by various and assorted deities, merely because my chosen list of deities with whom I have taken the time to build relationships, is not purely based a single pantheon, path, or faith. If this were so, then why would they work together so well when called upon? I find it interesting that the “man-made” rules call for one specific thing, yet the deities do not seem to follow these rules that some men claim they prefer.

As an eclectic, my job is to honor and respect any deities with whom I work. Personally, I speak to them, give gifts, and address them on issues that share important with work for which they are well known. I would not ask a war deity to bless a spell relating to marital health for a couple, any more than I would ask a deity of harvest, drink and song to join their energy with mine to fight against atrocities committed in the name of ISIL or Boko Haram. Common sense is still a requirement for any spiritual path, just as it is for every day life, even for eclectic witches. Follow in the ways your soul leads you, not in arbitrary rules established by some group of people who do not know you. If you are called to a strict interpretation of one specific path, then follow your path with joy, but remember, all witches are different and as such each witch’s path may differ greatly from your own, it is a good point to practice tolerance until you are given a reason not to.

"Barack Obama and David Cameron on White House South Lawn" by The White House photographer Pete Souza from Washington, DC - P072010PS-0555 (direct link)Uploaded by Matthewedwards. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Witches’ Spell: Clear Communication with an Enemy

Eventually, in every person’s life, it becomes necessary to work with someone toward whom we feel nothing but animosity. They may be someone who simply rubs us the wrong way due to things they have said, or even, as with myself, someone who knows nothing about witches but hate us for religious reasons or due to their own agenda. It can grate on your nerves to even have to speak with the person, or look at them, but you are thrown together to solve a problem. You may be forced to work together on a project in class or on the job and yet, coming from two such different places, you may find it hard to communicate ideas because you speak at cross-purposes to one another unintentionally.

Such is life. Whether it is a requirement on the job, or in the classroom witches are not immune to these problems. However, as witches, we do have access to tools that will help us and make it easier for us to function toward a single goal, even with an enemy.

When you have to reach a temporary “cease-fire” with an enemy, here is a spell to help you get through to one another for the duration of the commitment. You will need to have a small vial of Dove’s Blood ink, a piece of parchment, a yellow candle and a cauldron or other fire safe container to allow the candle to burn down completely. When using your cauldron for candle burning, I suggest lining it with tin foil to make clean up easier.

First, cleanse your altar area, prepare yourself with ritual cleansing, deep breathing, grounding and centering, meditation, etc. whatever you normally do before your spell work. Then, make sure you have gathered all the items needed and have them at the ready. As you speak the first portion, visualize your energy and the energy of Maiden, Mother and Crone forming and blending together with your own. As you light the candle, see the energies blended into a single source.

Stand Maiden, Mother, Crone with me
I’ll meld with Holy Trinity
I set this candle now alight
Communication to set right

Turn now to the parchment and write the name of the person you are working with on it with the Dove’s Blood ink. As you stare at the name, visualize their face and think about their personality, visualize the clashes you have shared in the past. As you speak the next verse, see them fading to gray, like old film seen from a distance.

On parchment, I do write the name
To form as one a single frame
To set our minds on common ground
Where understanding may be found

Now, visualize the things you have in common with the person, even small things you have agreed with them about. In your mind let them become stronger and more vibrantly colored. Once you have several examples in mind, take the parchment with the person’s name, and hold it in the flame of the candle to set it alight and set it beside the candle in the cauldron to burn to ash as you speak the next lines.

I burn this name now to release
Make turbulence between us cease
Its smoke will rise into the air
A sense of clarity we’ll share

As you watch the smoke rise from the parchment, feel a sense of calmness toward the person, a new feeling of cooperation toward them and visualize the ease with which you will be able to work with this person toward solving the problem presented. Visualize working together to solve the problem, create the report, fix the issue, and then see yourself walking away with a “win” for the two of you as a team.

Together we will work as one
Until this problem’s work is done
Then when our work meets our accord
Our separate selfdoms be restored

Remember, you need to realize that even as you separate, you can work with this person again, in the future, if you need to do so, and it will not have to be a trial or something to dread.

Communication is the point
Once problem’s solved, we will disjoint
Disband from Holy Trinity
This spell is cast, so mote it be

Allow the candle to burn out completely and retain the stub and ashes from the parchment. Set them aside in a place where you can view them easily and send energy toward them daily until the issue has been completely resolved and then once the need for cooperative communication has ended, take the remains of the spell outside and bury it deep.

Inscribing the candle with runes, sigils, or anointing it with spell oil for communication can help to add layers to your spell. Choose a stone to include in the spell, anoint it with the same oil, and carry it in your pocket when dealing with the person, that way if you feel yourself losing patience you can hold it and focus your energy toward the person. As always, each witch has to determine how to make the spell their own, how to tweak the magick to meet their individual needs.