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Author Archives: Erin

ErinAll about Erin - who has written 731 posts on Erin's Journal.

An author, a Wiccan, a Druid, a Priestess, a member of the ULC, Owner of Erin's Journal, mystic, magickian, DragonKin, Guardian and Transsexual. All these and more describe Erin.

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Everyday Magic

by Dorothy Morrison
Llewellyn Publications, 2002 $9.95 US
ISBN 1-56718-469-3

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★½ 

This is another of the books I wanted to look at for it’s suitability for my Magick Class. I must say, that I think this text will cut the nut.

What do I mean by that? I think that Dorothy has done an exceptional job of staying on topic and having original information for the reader.

Of note in this book is a section that many practical magickians would be thrilled to see, a section on modern twists to old spells. One example of this is her tale of how she learned to use an automatic drip coffee maker as her tool for making infusions and tinctures of herbs. She has several suggestions that many books of this kind skip. Things like why you do different magicks at different moon phases, how the time of day effects magick, the day of the week and the best explanation as to why one would do their spells in rhyme. I’ll admit that I am somewhat resistant to doing rhyming couplets in my spells and chants, but Dorothy has convinced me that it can be a powerful addition to my spell.

How to Get Started in Wicca

One question that just about everyone has ever asked in the online forums is this one: “Hi! I’m new to Wicca and I just started. What do I do now?”

The slew of answers that the questioner will get will generally boils down to one word: “Read”.

Believe it or not, gaining knowledge is about 60% of what you have to do in this case, beginning on this path. The rest is actually practicing and getting the practical knowledge under your brain and in your fingers. But reading and gaining knowledge is the primary thing you have to be doing.

Why? Most people who start in Wicca or any esoteric path have a basis in their faith that they grew up with; most likely (at least in the United States) that faith is Christianity. Because of this, there is a lot of dogma and information that one must gain during the first little bit of the Path, and that requires study.

So the first thing is to read. Read whatever you can about Wicca and Paganism. Read about New Age mysticism. Read about Hindu beliefs, read the Buddhist philosophy. Read the Koran. Read the Bible. Read.

Religion In The Workplace

If you have spent any time online reading about religion, you have probably come across a few articles on the appropriateness of taking your religion into the workplace. Most of those articles tend to be very conservative, citing discrimination, abuse, bullying by bosses and coworkers and other such problems to discourage you from displaying your faith in an office setting. Other articles make you aware of your right to display your faith and the symbols of your belief in a workplace environment.

I’m not going to recreate what those articles do, but I will address one thing they lack.

How much religion should be taken to the workplace?

I’m not taking the side of the HR departments or the bosses and saying that you can’t be religious in the workplace, but there are lines that have to be watched carefully or it could cause problems. For instance, publicly praying to Mecca twice a day in the office may be seen as interesting, but it would probably be frowned upon if previous arrangments haven’t been made.

Progressive Witchcraft

by Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone
New Page Books, 2004, $15.99 US
ISBN 1-56414-719-3

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Generally when writing a review of a book, I work really hard not to look at other’s reviews of the same book. I do this so that I don’t “contaminate” my opinion of a book with someone else’s opinion. But while I was looking up publication information on Amazon to place in this review, I glanced at the “average customer review” and was shocked to see that it was fairly low.

I say “shocked” because this is one of the best books on Witchcraft I have seen in recent years. It is by far the best I have seen yet this year. I guess this is one of those books that you either love, hate, or love to hate. I know that many of the books that push the edge of religious practice get this label, and this one is no exception.

Pagan Publishing

I was reading Jason’s Fourth Pagan Carnival and there were many entries about Pagan Publishing, and I can say it’s a subject near and dear to my heart.

I have to say that I’ve contemplated many of the topics raised in the blog entries referenced (and I wrote one of them LOL) and I can only offer the conclusions I’ve come to.

On the topic of “same old Wicca 101 crap” and why many pagan authors re-write the same thing again, I think I have an insight. It’s not that they want to re-write, it’s simply that they think they have a unique perspective to offer.

Some of these ideas explored in the various books require some context as well. Given that, there are times when you have to explain what the holidays mean so you can understand the ritual in the proper context later. For instance, my friend Seshen is a Lycian Witch. I don’t completely understand her practice, but I know that if I wanted to read a book written by her on some topic, I would have to understand the context she is putting the information in. This means that she is going to have to explain her beliefs, even though 99% of it is going to be the same as what is out there. But it’s required to understand what is going on and how the information is being presented.

The Wiccan Mystic

By Ben Gruagach
WitchGrotto Press (print on demand from Lulu.com) 2007, $19.99
ISBN13 978-0-6151-4311-8

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Mr. Gruagach (and no, I don’t know how to pronounce his last name myself) asked me to consider doing a review of his book, and obviously I agreed. I’m very glad I did.

The subtitle of this book is “Exploring a Magickal Spiritual Path”. That’s a very accurate subtitle. In this book, Ben gives a good description of not only what a mystic is, but how Wicca can be a mystical path just as well as any other spiritual path.

The impressions I got as I was reading this is that he has spent some time on this path himself. He has apparently thought about how to be a mystic and what it means to be a mystic. He gives instructions on how to be not only mystical, but also how to be a mystic on a path that is more practical than mystical.

The cover is plain white with a nice picture of a fossil of a snail shell and a pentagram in on the fossil. It is obviously a vanity press publication and there isn’t anything wrong with that. For it being a vanity book, it’s a good publication. But Lulu is a good “print on demand” company anyhow.

For Mary

A poem

Each laugh line
around her beautiful eyes
is more precious to me than emeralds.
Each is a time she smiled
that smile that stole my heart
Each one means I did something
that made her enjoy life.

Each tear she shed
broke my heart.
They are symbols that I failed
to ease her sorrow.
They represent times
when the stress of living
made her hate life.

Each grey hair
that crowns her intelligent head
I cherrish as the silver they are colored.
They are war-wounds
badges of honor.
They are the the hair pulling episodes
that tempered her life.

Each stretch mark
surrounding her stomache
is a map of the life she helped bear.
She has given me the
supreme gift of my daughter,
the girl who I get to raise
and teach to live her life.

Watching her live
with me and in my life
makes my life a thing of beauty.
There are scars on her soul
that none will ever see
but which I know are there
and which completes her life.

To be a witch

A friend of mine (seshen if you want to know, linked to the right) posted this thing about “what it means to be a witch”. I’ll quote it below and give you my comments.

A woman was asked by a co-worker, “What is it like to be a witch?”

The co-worker replied, “It is like being a pumpkin. The Goddess picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then She cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. She removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc., and then She carves you a new smiling face and puts Her Light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.”

This was passed on to me from another pumpkin. Now, it is your turn to pass it to a pumpkin.

~author unknown~

Bullshit.

What it’s like is similar to being a deity. You have no one to blame but yourself. It is completely in your power what you make of your life and how you live it. That is what it is like to be a witch. You can’t cop out, you can’t blame others, you can’t blame the gods, you can’t blame fate for the hell your life may be. It is up to you to do or not to do what you will, with the tools you have.

Thoughts into the night

Recently there was a suggestion that we of the ODU each write up a “bio” and tell about ourselves. In typical Daven fashion, I didn’t follow the “format” of the first poster, but I came up with my own way of doing things.

But I started thinking a few hours ago. “Not bad for a cheesy site put up in a couple hours.”

That’s what Daven’s Journal started out as, a personal journal of a druid character on a site dealing with historical research and reenactment. I chose the Celtic countries, and beacuse I was Wiccan at the time decided to play a Druid. Not allowing myself to insult the memory of the Druids of old, I decided to do some research on Druids and share what I learned with others.

Thus “Daven’s Personal Journal” was born. It was a small information site off my “domus” (my “home” in the role playing side of things) that I used to inform members of my “family” (the Iceni) what was going on and what to do.

That was back somewhere around October of ’99. I know this because two events happened in August, I found Ancinet Sites and I got the job I’m still at now.

What has happened

Dear all.

Well, it’s happened. Poor financial decisions on my part has finally caught up to us and Mary, Rhiannon and I are being evicted.

The complex has said that we can stay if we can come up with $5900 to pay them off for everything, all the money we owe and the rents we haven’t been able to pay. So we are busy putting together all our belongings and are working on moving.

Currently the plan is this: We pack, we put everything in storage, we either live in a hotel for a while with the bare minimums to live on while there and look for someplace to live permanently, and then move into that. OR we put everything in storage, move in with a lady who has offered to put us up and then she and us move into a 3 bedroom apartment together and get our stuff back and fill the apartment. See flaws in these? We have seen them now.

Mary, Rhiannon and I have been discussing this most of yesterday and today and come to a decision, right now we pack.