Spiritual, Religious, Magickal, Witch, Pagan, Wiccan…. What’s the Difference

wiccan spirituality.jpg

In recent days there has been a trend of people stating they are ‘spiritual and not religious’, wrongly assuming that ‘spirituality’ and ‘religion’ are necessarily opposite terms.

It is also observed that the words ‘magick’ and ‘witchcraft’ are being commonly used to refer to what people call ‘occult practices’ with the word occult meaning obscure or hidden, even though these are in reality spiritual practices and are no longer secretive in today’s world.

It is also quite often that I have heard people speak of Wicca and witchcraft interchangeably while the fact is that there is a difference between the two.

To add to the confusion, in the western world the word ‘paganism’ is often used by many people, especially witches, as their religion, while in truth paganism is a broad group of several spiritual traditions or religions and not any one specific religion.

This is a detailed article explaining my views on each of these things.

Let me begin with the word ‘spirituality’. This is a word we all use commonly but few know how to actually define.

Spirituality is the belief that subtle energy called ‘spirit’ is found in the world governing everything and everyone. If you are a ‘spiritual’ person, this means that you believe there is an unseen ‘force’ or energy that underlies all physical or material things and beings in the universe.

Atheists would be people who do not believe in spirituality or any spiritual power. Most atheists are materialists who believe only in the visible or physical world as a mechanical construct with no spirit or invisible energy in it. They regard themselves as ‘rationalists’ and according to them believing in spiritual energy is superstition or unscientific belief. According to them science is strictly limited to what is observable only through the limited five senses of human beings.

Religion on the other hand is groups of people believing in some sort of divine power or spiritual power (theism), some call it The God (monotheism), some believe in many gods and goddesses (polytheism) and therefore you can say that religion is a term used for many diverse spiritual beliefs. Any spiritual belief can be termed as religion if there are many people who share that belief.

Those people who are put-off by the word ‘religion’ after seeing examples of fundamentalism and religious politics, and therefore jump to the conclusion that spirituality is something ‘better’ than religion must remember one thing…. Religion is not a term that is exclusively used for conversion based faiths, for narrow minded beliefs, for rigid rites and rituals, or for divisive beliefs that ask you to belong to either one faith or the other but not both. There are many religions in the world that are open-minded, spiritually liberating and flexible, and you can believe and choose one or many religious faiths or beliefs accordingly. So when you use the word religion kindly do not restrict your imagination to just Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and other popular faiths. Just about any spiritual beliefs that gain popularity can become religion and these can be countless and variable. As masses awaken to the spiritual truth, even spirituality becomes more or less a religion.

Magick is a term that simply means spiritual power. To be spiritual is therefore to believe that there is magick in everything. While spirituality is the belief in magick, magick is the power which spirituality is based on. The letter ‘k’ distinguishes the word ‘magick’ from the word ‘magic’ which is sometimes used to refer to staged tricks or illusions. Magick is most often used to refer to the conscious application of magickal power such as spells. However magickal power is constantly flowing all around us, unknown or known to us.

And before you say – ‘I don’t believe in all these things’….let me remind you that almost everyone in the world, including anyone who is an ‘atheist’, not only believes in but also practices magick. And that too almost every single day! When we wish each other ‘good-morning’, ‘good-luck’ or ‘bless you’ for example….when you cut your birthday cake…or when you ‘‘touch wood’. Rings a bell?

If you make a wish, pray for something, believe that you can make something happen with the power of your mind or through a mysterious force… then you are indulging in an act of magick. All spiritual beliefs and religions are therefore based on magick, not just witchcraft, paganism or Wicca (described below).

Witchcraft is a practice based on applying spiritual energy or in other words magickal power with wisdom. The words ‘wit’ referring to mind-power and the word ‘wiz’ referring to wisdom are linked with the words witch and wizard respectively (practitioners of the ‘craft’). Therefore witchcraft means ‘crafting your life with wisdom’. You can also call this ‘spiritual healing’ as it is a positive application of spiritual power or magick. Today most witches or wizards use the word ‘spiritual healer’ instead, because the word witchcraft has been tarnished due to centuries of negative prejudice spread throughout the world. Remove the false stigma and you will find the true meaning of witchcraft. Today many healers are proud to say that they are witches.

Witchcraft is a multicultural or global practice. Wise men and women of pagan or native cultures all over the ancient world were witches, also called shamans, medicine men or women, or spiritual healers in various languages.

Paganism is a word for ancient spirituality and is used to refer to several ancient or native spiritual beliefs and practices such as natural folk-medicine or belief in divinity of nature, or the elements of nature in various cultures all over the world. These include ancient religions such as the Native Chinese, Native African, Native American, Aboriginal, ancient Hindu or Vedic faith, Celtic Druidry, Nordic Asatru or Heathenry, Egyptian Kemitism and so on.

These pagan belief systems developed naturally in each area of earth, and are NOT usually based on conversion, or on following any central organisation or personality or adherence to the words of any specific book.

There are some continuing pagan traditions such as the Vedic or Hindu faith of India which is deeply spiritual as well as religious and have been there for thousands of years from before the dawn of conversion based religions. Many of these ancient beliefs, especially in the western world, have been replaced by conversion based religions that came much later – religions such as Christianity or Islam for instance.

As an increasing number of people today are ‘reverting’ to the old or ancient spiritual beliefs, especially global paganism based on nature worship and pan-theism (belief in divinity in everything) today most of the pagan faiths are being reborn or reconstructed as neo-paganism.

Wicca is one such new spirituality that unites its believers under a common guideline called the Wiccan Rede that states, ‘An Ye Harm None Do As Ye Will’. In simple terms this means ‘exercising our will power as long as it harms none’. Wicca is not another name for general occult practices or a wide range of ritualistic or pagan ceremonies. It is an ethically conscious spiritual belief system that guides us to be kind to nature and ourselves.

The difference between Wicca and witchcraft is that while witchcraft is a practice, Wicca is a belief system centred on the Wiccan Rede. Many witches choose to believe in Wicca as a faith to integrate their practices into, yet not all witches call themselves Wiccan.

Just like other religions that have elaborate rituals and ceremonies such as wedding rites, funerals and worship, Wicca too has plenty of rituals. The difference is that Wiccans believe that the deity or higher power being invoked is not an outer God that rules over nature, but nature or the universe itself in its many forms and can be referred to by any name of any god or goddess of the globe. Wicca therefore appeals to the modern spiritualist who prefers to be open-minded and nature loving in their practices.

There is no central governing body or authority figure in Wicca as it is modelled around paganism. Similarly there is no conversion to become Wiccan – you can simply choose your faith through inner belief. Some Wiccans also study and get initiated to be professional witches or healers by learning through a specific Wiccan tradition or teacher. Initiation as a witch or priest/ess in Wicca is not mandatory or a pre-requisite of being Wiccan, but is all about learning spiritual skills and gaining mastery. It is often done ceremonially, just like being initiated into the spiritual healing system or priesthood of any other pagan or native belief.

Wicca is primarily scientific as well as spiritual in its worship as Wiccans believe in celebrating our earth’s seasonal changes and cycles through rituals. Wiccans believe in an inner natural guidance or intuition taking nature as the teacher, instead of following any one personality or pre-set beliefs. In short Wicca is a spirituality that believes in being harmless, loving earth and celebrating the divine in all of nature while keeping an open mind. It unites us all as children of nature…. beings of one earth.

For more detailed information read The Global Wicca Revolution available internationally in paperback as well as kindle edition through amazon.

Swati Prakash

www.swatiprakash.com

@witchyswati on Twitter and facebook.com/witchyswati

 

How to Be a Witch and/ or Wiccan

A lot of times I have heard people ask – ‘I want to be a witch, can you teach me?’, or ‘I want to be a Wiccan, can you initiate me?’

So allow me to clarify what being a witch and being a Wiccan really are all about and how to be a witch and/ or Wiccan.

Witch: The meaning of the word is wise-one. In the ancient times those people who were knowledgable about healing, herbalism, native medicine and those who could guide people with their common problems, through psychic predictions such as clairvoyant visions, or through various herbs and folk magic spells were regarded as witches. They occupied positions of respect. All over the world, whether the west or the east we had plenty of witches. What did they do to ‘become’ witches. Did they take classes, pass tests or get initiated into secret naked covens of 13? Or did they have an innate wisdom that they honoured and honed, learning through nature, through their grandparents and their own intuitive inner self?

Wiccan: The meaning of the word is someone who believes in the Wiccan Rede which means Harming None while doing as you Will. In doing so Wiccans become people who believe in recognising divinity in everyone and everything, being kind to nature, being tolerant with regard to specific beliefs, sexuality, personal choices as long as you harm none, believing in equality of gender, believing in animal-rights, sacredness of trees and forests, water and earth. All these directly flow from the principle of the Wiccan Rede. Wicca is not one of the religions typified by conversion process to be part of it. It is a natural spirituality, also called paganism or neo-paganism (being a new age revival of the ancient ways). What do you have to do to believe in the Wiccan Rede? Does it take an initiation ceremony to believe in something? Or is it something to be done within you, through your own mind?

Being a witch and being a Wiccan is all about your inner self, your inner choices and beliefs in your divine power, in the divinity of nature, in the sacredness of life, death and the magick of the universe which is constantly unfolding everywhere. There is magick in each moment – the way we are built, the way each cell and molecule of the world is built, the way planets revolve and rotate, the way seasons change, from the smallest to the largest thing in the world, magick is our infinite reality. To be consciosuly aware of this truth, and to use this knowledge wisely for the benefit of ourself and our world, that’s what being a witch and Wiccan is all about.

Initiation: This simply means getting accepted in a specific spiritual tradition or system, usually lineaged from a founder to a chain of initiates. A tradition means a body of knowledge that is carried forward even if the teacher is no more. The teachings are passed on from teacher to student and the student then becomes a teacher and passes it to other students and so on. This is true of several systems of ancient spirituality and it was the norm in Wiccan spirituality in the beginning till recent times. In Wicca so far, you would get initiated if you get specific skills and training with the aim of being part of an existing Wiccan tradition. However with the advent of technology, books, internet and multiple ways of disseminating information traditional initiation is no longer mandatory.

Is Initiation for you? Will the students of the original teacher pass on the right knowledge through the chain or will it become chinese whispers? If the original teachers or founders of those traditions that are lineaged were to be alive today, will they remain stuck at their old teachings and beliefs, or would they have transformed and updated their knowledge and practice from the time when they developed it? Are the initiates as good as the original master, or are they a bunch of egotists who are more interested in showing off their lineage and playing power games?

Thankfully today through books authored directly by the founders of the tradition it is possible to get accurate knowledge straight from the horses mouth. Yet if the authors are deceased its perhaps better to look for new authors too and be updated with the latest discoveries and inventions in the world. Whenever possible look for living masters who teach you directly instead of learning indirectly through a lineage of initiates. That is my advise and my preference as the Founder of Global Wicca.

Training: Classes, certifications, courses, degree training, all are surely there for those who wish to gain more specific skills either for personal use or for helping others professionally. But to be a witch and to be Wiccan, both are about an inner awareness, an enlightenment you gain yourself through meditation and inner spiritual work. You can learn to be a better witch through teachers and guides who add to your knowledge, who provide you opportunities to practice and hone your skills.

There is a vast universe within you and your inner self is the best teacher, the best master. Look for those outer teachers and guides who help you get in touch with the inner self instead of leading you to follow them rigidly.

Also remain focused once you find the right path without wandering around collecting information, collecting certificates, collecting initiations, collecting degrees – do not be a mindless spiritual consumer. If you were doing that then there was something missing within you.

Be on the right path and stay on the right path that goes straight within.

All the best

(*)

Swati Prakash

 

 

The Power of Three

My breath is the Air, my will is the Fire

Love is the Water that calms my desire

Earth is my creation, a manifestation

Of Spirit in me, and So Mote It Be!

The world is within, it appears to be out

All that I need is within me throughout

My words of power are all invocations

Of the universe that’s we, and So Mote It Be!

All of us are many and yet we are One

By the power of One, this great work is done

The one manifests as the power of three

Of Me, He and She, and So Mote It Be!

Blessed be

(*)triquetraSwati Prakash

www.swatiprakash.com

Right vs Wrong Spiritual Gurus and Traditions

The De-Occultation of Witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism

Secret societies, underground witch-cult, hidden worship of pagan deities, clandestine initiations, ritual sex, skyclad covens, dark-magick, mystery religion, OCCULT – are these what you have been hearing all this while whenever you tried researching witchcraft and even Wicca?

Is witchcraft something that is learnt only through initiation in a coven?

Is the witch-power transferred only through either blood-lineage or coven-initiation?

Is Wicca a kind of occult ceremonialism?

Do you have to go through some secret ceremony to ‘become’ a witch?

Is Wicca just another word for the witch-cult?

These were questions that I have dealt with in my books but I still see a lot of darkness and ignorance being spread by certain ‘Wiccan’ traditions (also termed ‘fundamentalist’ Wiccans) who keep promoting Wicca as a secret, mystery cult that requires certain specific lineages and initiations by those who claim to have those lineages.

In the past people had several misconceptions regarding witchcraft and Wicca. These were owing to the fact that there was no open practice of paganism, witchcraft and magick in the western world not so long ago. The western world had been quite totally Christianised and any kind of belief that was not part of the widely approved Christian teachings would be classified as witchcraft and paganism and connected falsely to satan or devil worship. The only reason this was done was to establish a superiority of Christianity over any other faith, especially older faiths. The west, just like the east, had ancient pagan faiths such as the Celtic, Norse, Greek, Roman and other beliefs, deities, magical practices and folk-magic of the old-times. However these ancient faiths were so majorly suppressed and people so heavily converted that there remained hardly any who have a direct awareness of their ancient pagan ancestry.

Then came a host of secret societies who attempted to revive the ancient mysteries. These were perhaps inspired by travels of these occultists to the magickal eastern world that was still consisting of ancient pagan faiths and had not yet succumbed to conversions. Most of the occult practitioners of the west has some or the other inspiration from the eastern mystics for magic and paganism has been in a constant flow in eastern countries unlike the broken cords of the western paganism. At the same time in trying to somehow assemble the pieces of the pagan puzzle together, western occultists dabbled in various sources…  Egyptian, Greek, Mesopotamian, Arthurian, Hindu, Jewish and many more mystical ideas all intermixed with the prevalent Christian views. Their fear of being exposed while they formulated and crafted their ceremonial cults led to the creation of obscure, underground movements that spread in esoteric circles into which entry was barred to but a few, especially in the inner circles.

Witchcraft is different. Witchcraft is nothing but the crafting our our life with spiritual wisdom. It can be as simple as basic folk magic practiced all over the world and not just the west. Its existed for centuries of human history much before such secret cults were formed in the west. Witchcraft is also be the timeless practice of spiritual realisation and higher mind-power such as practiced by meditators and preached by self-help gurus of today. There have been witches and wizards, shamans and druids, babas and yogis all over the world who have had magical powers since ancient times. These magical powers were not always passed genetially through the bloodline, neither were they conveyed through any special ceremonies in covens. Initiations if any were presented to students by teachers as a transfer of blessing of the master, whether in group or individualy, but in no way was initiation the only way of ‘becoming’ a witch or magical practioner. One could gain the power on one’s own through inner work. In many cases one’s self discovery was a part of several lifetimes of inner work carried forward from past to present and future lifetimes and soul’s often remembered their previous learnings and awakened their powers with or without any formal lessons or initiations conveyed externally. This is true today as well, and will always be.

Wicca is an evolving and growing faith or religion which is spiritually open minded and based on the Wiccan Rede or guidance of harming none. It may involve witchcraft especially as Wiccan traditions have temples where trained healers help people through counseling and healing spells, rituals or therapies. Wiccan healers are highly studied in various healing modalities and therefore called witches. But not all Wiccans choose to become professional healers or witches. It is completely possible for you to accept Wicca merely as a faith by aligning with its philosophy without getting too deep into the witchcraft part of it.

Some people who are stuck in the secret-society times and cling on to their deeply ingrained versions of the history and origins of Wicca, imagine that one has to be ‘properly’ initiated in a coven to become a witch, to belong to a hereditary or initiatory lineage by a specific British person who claimed to have such a lineage from some obsure source. Their insistence that such and such lineage is the be all and end of of witchcraft, and that British witchcraft or traditional witchcraft or the ‘craft’ is how Wicca began and will therefore will have to end is being totally ignored today.

People now realise that most of the covens that practice such ‘traditional’ witchcraft are not practicing the original witchcraft of really ancient origin, but something that was put together or assembled from various sources by British occultists. These occultists were  indeed inspired by Margaret Murray’s witch cult hypothesis claiming that witchcraft is a religion of the horned god and moon goddess, carried out in secrecy in the western world through covens. Occultists who claimed to be initiates of such covens attempted an amalgamation of pagan mythologies with ceremonial magic which was in vogue then, and created their book of shadows full of rituals that were a mix-and match of several things. Many of these occultists were also perhaps high on substance abuse and indulged in a few ‘demonic’ practices to come up with rather kinky rituals involving harmful kinds of magical spells, sexual orgies, whipping initiates on the bottom, spewing ritual curses against those who angered them, offering animal sacrifices, harmful use of vodou dolls and secret skyclad or naked gatherings under the full moon. In the eastern world of magic too, there have been plenty of negative practitioners who focused on the left-hand path including harmful aghora to create fear of their power, sexual tantra to control women, rituals to curse and harm others and manipulative vashikarans that are equally abhorable. Practitioners of both eastern and western occultism who induldged in harmful rituals did not have especially pleasant, peaceful or happy lives of course, and had distrubed families, physical and mental health problems and complicated relationship or sexual lives as well as financial and legal difficulties to handle all the time. They clinged on to their covens and expanded their following to satisfy their shallow egos and to add something ‘special’ to their inner void. Some even took some sort of unusual prominence and a weird kind of respect in the world in which they would otherwise not be accepted very well if not for their interest value. Now to link Wicca exclusively to those kind of western occultists and claim that the real Wicca is what these people claim to be as their version of the rebirth of the ancient religion or craft is an absolutely outdated way of thinking.

Today witchcraft is not regarded as harmful sorcery but as a magical path of wisdom which is simple and meditative, using ordinary herbs, natural stones and crystals, positive thoughts and visualisations for healing and self help.

Today most people treat Wicca as something different from witchcraft in general as a spiritual path based on ‘An Ye Harm None, Do As Ye Will’ – the Wiccan Rede that is the main guiding philosophy making it one of the most positive of all faiths.

Today Wiccan witchcraft is not a cult, and not normally consisting of secret activities practiced in closed covens, but a spirituality which is an acceptable religion for the masses to easily follow.

Today there is not usually a need to get initiated in covens through any lineages, in order to ‘become’ a Wiccan, leave alone to become a witch. Thanks to the wide spread of knowledge and open spirituality through books, internet and the numerous teachers and institutes of spirituality in the new-age wave, we have a lot of people realising their inner-witch and also choosing Wicca as a faith on their own.

Instead of secret covens of those specific lineaged traditions who claimed to be the only type of Wicca, we now have many modern traditions that are promoting a positive and open form of Wicca to the masses without trying to control or dominate the Wiccan scene by proving their ‘legitimacy’ or superiority over other traditions or ideologies.

A lot of darkness and negativity has been lifted away from the entire gamut of Wicca, witchcraft and magick.

Today these paths have much more light and love, being free of rigid notions or narrow minded secret practices, free of harmful content and gimmicks, and welcoming to one and all regardless of your faith, your lineage or the lack of it, your ancestry or ethenicity.

Today while Wiccans worship pagan deities, they also realise that all deities represent their inner powers and instead of focusing on external idolatory or entity invocations, they focus on self-awareness and inner work.

Instead of focusing on ceremonialism and ritualism based on specific chants and rote-learned motions, Wiccans in the modern world focus on energy work, meditative spellcasting, inner healing and self-transformation with the aim of being happier, more positive people.

Today Wicca is indeed transforming the world for the better through an eco-consciousness, an awakeneing of nature loving spirituality and kindness towards all on earth. Wiccans are seen openly performing earth healing rituals that are fun and relaxing, and easy to participate in. There is a lot to learn, and even children can feel safe in these modern Wiccan events and gatherings where there are enlightened and loving souls who participate joyfully without any of the obsure mumbo-jumbo to puzzle, riddle and confuse the masses.

Indeed these are good times for spiritual seekers of the new Wiccan paths, and things are only getting better each day.

I hope that you will have the discretion to choose those teachers and guides who are truly helpful in your spiritual growth and will have the wisdom to understand that all teachers are ultimately here to guide you back to your inner-self.

Blessed Be

(*)

Swati Prakash

www.globalwicca.com

karma

Beware of Spiritual Couching!

A few years ago someone I knew was promoting himself as a spiritual coach. Inadvertently the word that he typed on his profile was ‘spiritual couching’ instead of spiritual coaching. Its funny how these ‘Freudian slips’ can be very revealing. Something deep from our unconscious knows how to communicate and express itself through meaningful coincidences even through mistypes and miscommunication.

Yes, we all need to reflect on this – all thanks to my acquaintance who made this slip and taught us a valuable lesson. Are we in the danger of becoming ‘spiritual couches’ who are passive livers than active spiritualists? Do we misunderstand and misinterpret much of our ‘spiritual’ new age gurus’ teachings are many of these teachings true in the first place? Read on to know what all ‘is’ and is not being spiritual in this ‘new age’ world.

Myth: Being Effortless = Being Lazy. 

Truth: Relax, receive and effortlessly attract, these new age principles do not mean we should be ‘couch potatoes’ just sitting and waiting for the apple to drop right into our mouth. Yes we receive the fruits of our karma effortlessly when the time is ‘ripe’ but hey – don’t forget to sow the seeds and water them. When the fruit is ripe it will fall down on its own, for sure. But go and prepare your soil first, get your tools out, dig and delve, sow and grow, nourish, be patient – it takes effort. Some karma is required for us so invest into your life and surely the returns will flow back to you. All the ‘effortless’ things you have received in the present life are your past life fruits ripening up now. Being ready to receive has helped. New age spirituality helps you be more ‘ready’ and receive your fruits, but do not mistake this receptivity state for being lazy and dull.

Myth: The Universe is Within = We should be self centered/ selfish.

Truth: The definition of within needs to change. Who are you? Know thyself. The Universe is within means expand your consciousness – you are not just your limited lower self, your body, your material possessions, your limited mind. Make your mind more unlimited and see how everything in the universe is part of your Self. The universe is within this greater ‘Self’ not in your narrow and contrived notions of your selfishness. To be selfish is to love only your limited self or your lower self. To be self loving is quite a different approach. It means to love everything and everyone including yourself. It means being aware that love is not something very limited that can be either given to yourself or to others, but an endless energy flowing to all in ever increasing amounts. Be generous and expand yourself- reach out and love everything and everyone as part of you.

Myth: The Secret and Law of Attraction = Pursue Material Goals All The Time

Truth: So you have read all these new age books and they seem to tell you that the universe exists to serve your lower needs of food, sex, shopping, diamonds, fashion and beauty? Just tell me one thing. Do you ever meditate and is there any substitute to your inner peace? Can any amount of food, sex, glamour and money buy you peace? No, you do not exist merely to accumulate and gather material comforts. Having money and things is simply not a state of true abundance. Being spiritual is all about being aware of your spirit nature, your real self, at all times. There will actually come a point when you will no longer ‘hunger’ for anything, ‘crave’ for anything, be ‘needy’ for anything. Being content is possible – make that you.

Myth: Being Positive = Thinking Positive (Doing good is secondary)

Truth: There is so much hype created around positive thinking that the worst of criminals have been projecting themselves as spiritual people. Some ‘spiritual’ people actually believed that they could get away with anything and everything by just thinking positive and imagining all kind of good things happening to them right now even while indulging in negative activities on the side. The truth is you simply cannot delete or cancel out your negativity just through superficial thoughts. Being positive right now is a great thing and this includes positive actions. You need to transform all over – mind, body and soul. You need to start doing only positive things else it will be very difficult for your inner or unconscious mind to believe that you are a good person and you deserve good. Our unconscious mind is way beyond our conscious thoughts and affirmations. We have to change the way we live into something phenomenally positive in order to be truly positive.

Myth: Joy and Bliss = Drunkenness

Truth: Being in a state of spiritual bliss is very different from the ‘trance’ you induce through drunken dancing, substance abuse and lewd sexual performances. ‘New-agers’ reveling in pagan rituals that focus on excessive enjoyment do feel great for the short run but the effects wear off. A real ritual should empower you and shift your consciousness so deeply that you never need any drugs, alcohol and sexuality to stimulate yourself ‘spiritually’. Real paganism is about being in tune with nature through our inner meditative state, not just an external but an inner connection that is expressed outwards in such beautiful ways that even a child can feel safe in your rituals. Truly children require no drugs to dance, play and be merry – so why should we? Be in tune with you inner child and give yourself only those things you know are good for the child within. Be in a natural state of deep inner bliss.

There are many more such insights I would love to share with you in my next book – stay tuned into my author page on amazon http://www.amazon.com/Swati-Prakash/e/B00V54BBHQ

Blessed Be!

Swati Prakash

karma

The Man With the Beard

In India it is almost impossible to not come across a man with a long beard, giving wisdom eloquently to thousands of enchanted people. Swamis, Sadhus, Babas, Sri Sri’s, Oshos, Sadgurus,…there is no dearth of men with long beards and saintly robes preaching, teaching and guiding others spiritually. Yes, there are a few who are not usually bearded – Yogananda, Ramakrishna, even Buddha probably considered shaving to be of at least some importance in addition to meditation.

In the West there were and still are (a few) wise men or wizards, druids, shamans (from before the Pope and his team took over) symbolized by Merlin, Gandalf the Gray, or even the Hermit card of Tarot. All pointing to the higher self, respected, revered, held in awe and fascination, so much so that we call clever computer programs wizards that help us get things done so easily. Truly it has always been a compliment to be a wiz, hasn’t it?

The Hermit of Rider Waite Smith Tarot cardsThe Hermit of Rider Waite Smith Tarot cards

But where are the women? Not just the few scanty Matas and Ammas (and just why does a woman need to be a motherly figure to get some respect here) but all those numerous women who are wise and enlightened…why just a few in the limelight amidst so many men with beards? Why are they hiding under the veil of mystery just like the High Priestess – sworn to secrecy to practice in mystery covens or solitary, but not proud and open on every street and corner.

The High Priestess - Rider Waite Smith Tarot cards
The High Priestess – Rider Waite Smith Tarot cards

Perhaps they all off on their broomsticks to Discworld (of Terry Pratchett) where it is completely normal to be a witch (a wise woman). Are they all still burning at stake, trapped in the cage of the past memories left by Christian inquisitors who made the word witch such an abomination that till date people are afraid to say – Yes, I am A Witch! Confused about whether witchcraft is purely evil or somewhat evil? Worried about whether half the witches are bad ones and not sure which half? Worried that they will put up a curse on you should you refuse to keep them happy? How many people have been brainwashed by Roald Dahl’s The Witches, Hansel and Gretel and other such innocent looking fairy tales passed on over generations to impress upon young minds that a witch can be really a dreadful thing to come by.

Articles of witchcraft have been totally muddled up with all kinds of nonsense even till date – no matter how much we tell these journalists to pay attention to real facts and not fiction. References to movies and television shows such as The Craft, Bewitched, Charmed… that make a mockery of witchcraft, images of brooms and cauldrons of green slime, focus on hexing and love spells, newspaper headlines that begin with the word Devil, features that focus on myths and burning times as if the Christian views of witches are the most important thing about witchcraft, stories that almost always present counter-views by some ill informed rationalist or ‘expert’ who has no idea what witchcraft truly is with focus on how women are hunted and killed on accusations of ‘witchcraft’ when the fact is that it is merely a wrong or inappropriate use of the word witchcraft which as NOTHING to do with those ‘accusations of cursing’, and right on top Halloween cartoons designed to mock at witches used to embellish the story and make it more colourful (Phew! but I am not going to shorten this sentence)….truly journalists can do much better than all this.

Yes, I would love to see more real witches and real witchcraft featured in the media – stories that say the truth, not some conditioned misconceptions but the real truth – that witches are nothing but the wise people who practice folk medicine, give intuitive or spiritual advise and were generally respected long before the meaning of the word witch was distorted to wicked from wit or wisdom which is and will always be what witches are all about. Why else are there so many places and plants, as well as people with the words such as wych, wich or witch in their names all over the western world, if not for the fact that these words were never meant to refer to evil but only to folk or pagan magic which has been practiced all over the world as a natural way of life – you may introspect and find the answer for yourself.

So the next time you hear someone say ‘wise wizard’ and ‘wicked witches’, do give them the facts without any hesitation.

My book Yes, You Are a Witch! has more information. You can get it on kindle or as a paperback – just search on amazon.

yes you are a witch cover - frontglobal wicca revolution cover front

And….for the sake of the Goddess, do not forget, witchcraft (not necessarily religious but a spiritual practice) is not exactly the same as Wicca (a specific religion or spirituality). More about Wicca in The Global Wicca Revolution 

Happy witching!

(*)

Swati Prakash

www.swatiprakash.com

meaningofwitch

Get more information and useful quotes, free pdfs, courses and newsletter on www.globalwicca.com

RWS_Tarot_10_Wheel_of_Fortune

Reach your Inner Core

Earthquakes are felt on the surface, there is peace at the core.

In the circle of life, we experience ups and downs, highs and lows, trials and tribulations – only if we are superficial.

Going within in the first step to experiencing peace. At first it is challenging, there are many distractions in the outer world of superficiality. Only the one who meditates goes within. That is how it all begins – the journey of magick – to find your power of spiritual consciousness. You see the suffering all around. You feel for the world, not just yourself. You seek healing and love. You have made an intention. You are ready for transformation.

At a deeper level we are not only aware of the superficiality, there is also a temptation to return to the outer world and engage in the same cycles of unconscious karma. Only the one who persists goes truly within. You hear the voices of chatter – the hollow sounds of laughter and cries of ignorance. You see the sights that excite and depress. You are tempted to engross in them – to be a victim once again – to blame, curse, suffer. You meet your inner devil luring you away from yourself. You choose to love yourself. That is how it continues, the path of magick -through dedication. You stay on the path – the straight path that goes within. Through sattva or the middle pillar of the tree of life you travel within. Through your chakras from earth to crown you journey on. Towards your center..you focus…focus and focus …shedding all the layers one by one…from one initiation to the other…going on deeper and deeper within. Letting go of your personalities and facades…leaving behind all your shadows to meet your inner light of truth.

At the innermost and deepest level, we are aware of the outer superficiality, but established in our innermost core. Unfazed by the highs and lows of the outer world, we have found a perfect grounding in our spirit, the inner self. We are at the apex of our being …which is the axle of the wheel. We turn the wheel through inner magick…no longer trapped in the automatic and semi-automatic, unconscious and subconscious cycles of destiny or fate. We have arrived, only to return again – but when we return we are not the same – something has changed forever. The gold that can no longer be corrupted. This is alchemy.

The lotus blooms in the muddy waters, untouched and unpolluted, only to spread love and light.

As we change the world changes too.

You create and dream…the world is shaped around your consciousness. As you row your boat gently down the stream

…the wheel turns, merrily this time….

Blessed Be!

(*)

http://www.swatiprakash.com

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Illustration: The wheel of fortune – Rider Waite Smith tarot