I’m Baaaaaaack!!

So, after a few years I’ve decided to revamp & relaunch my blog. I know I abandoned it years ago, but I’ve been thinking of ways to breathe new life into it. My Traditional Witchcraft path hasn’t faltered, it plateaued & now I’m ready to make a few tweaks with myself so that doesn’t happen again. Bear with me.

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Old Treasures Become New

So this has been an interesting week for me. I made a Facebook page for my blog and since last Monday, I have over 30 “Likes”. Not too shabby, IMO for a newish blog. I’ve also tried to record a video for the page (and for here) about my bookcase, in case you all were wondering what kinds of witchy books I’ve read. I do have my occult books in PDF formats, as I have downloaded them from the archives of the Yahoo groups I belong to. I also have a DVD-ROM that was given to me years ago with a collection of occult books that I should go into & take a gander at. I also have a binder filled with printed copies of letters from Robert Cochrane (AKA Roy Bowers) to Joseph “Bearwalker” Wilson and his articles for Pentacle Magazine. The video didn’t go quite as planned, as I used my son’s iPod, since my 5th gen Touch only has a Facetime camera. It was a bit shaky and I think I pronounced a few author’s names incorrectly. I will try to record a better video in the coming days.

So, because of my amateur video making, I re-discovered some books I haven’t read in a while, as well as the binder I mentioned above. I’m going to go back and re-read the book that started me on my path to Trad Craft, “Witchcraft: A Tradition Renewed” by Evan John Jones and Doreen Valiente.

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I found an old copy of this book in a used bookstore and it fascinated me. It was so different from all the witchy 101 books that are so prevalent nowadays. There were stangs, magisters, compasses (I think…..it’s been a few years).  I had heard of Robert Cochrane before, but not really a lot, just that he died after having an overdose of Belladonna and how Gardner strongly disliked him. After reading this book, I tried to see if anyone in my local community knew anything about Trad Craft or 1734. Not really, all I got were responses that they’ve either never heard of 1734 or that Cochrane was a hack. So, I decided to go out on a limb and read up on what I could, find folks on Facebook who could help. I was directed to some lovely groups who are still helping me with all the riddles and recommending some really awesome books to read. I joined a few Yahoo groups (yes, they’re still out there after all this time) and I’ve been devouring everything I can read.

So, you’re probably think that all I do is read, peruse my groups, read blogs and is an “Armchair Pagan” Not so. I may have been stuck indoors this unusually cold & stormy winter here on the Atlantic coast, but that didn’t stop me form getting my witchy on. I had a lot of spare time with hours cut back at work. Yes, I couldn’t get out to find my perfect ritual space (see 2 posts ago) but my livingroom made due. I may not have a stang in the purest sense, but I do have a 4′ staff that was a suitable substitute. Without the help of a proper working group (or a Cuveen), I taught myself how to Lay the Compass, Tread the Mill and other practices that I read about & incorporated into my practice. Even as I’m blogging, I have a few tabs open to peruse when I get stuck. It’s sort of like inspiration for me.

FFF

~Rowan

Wanted: The Perfect Ritual Space

wooded path

I know, I know, it’s been awhile since I posted. I’ve been busy with work and the weather has been quite dysfunctional lately. I haven’t been able to get out to find my “perfect” sacred space that I want to connect with. I’m hoping that on some sunny day soon, I can hop on the bus and go in search of a space that will suit my needs. I want it to be accessible, private, maybe with some water close by. I have a picture in my head of what I’m looking for and I want that image to be a reality. I’m kind of tired of being cooped up in my apt doing my rituals cuz it’s too cold to venture outdoors and I haven’t found what I’m looking for. I want fresh air, birds chirping, wind blowing thru the treetops (oh gods, I’m starting to sound like a freakin’ Disney movie!!).  I’ve had some folks ask why don’t I just go to a park & find a quiet spot. Ah………no. If I’m going to do ritual, I don’t want prying eyes of the public watching me. I have no problem heading to a quiet spot in the park for meditation, in fact, I already have one of those spots.

I grew up in a rural farm town, an hour north of where I currently reside. It’s no problem to head out of my parents’ house, walk for a few minutes and I’d be in a good spot for ritual. There are even deer nearby to watch over me. It’s a place where I’d play as a child, go sledding in the winter with my friends, build tree houses in summer. When I go back for visits, I make sure I visit my space there. But alas, I don’t visit as often as I would like to.  😦

I love being outdoors in nature. Sometimes my city-weary heart craves to be in the wild, traipsing along in my boots through the woods, collecting rocks, sticks, leaves, etc. I love hearing birds in the trees singing, the snap of a twig by a critter doing their own thing. I used to go camping in lean-tos as a teen, when I was in Cadets. I learned survival skills, how to hunt, fish and trap my food. I miss the roughness of it all. Nowadays, getting back to nature is camping in a tricked out tent, complete with electricity, internet, etc. I’m a simple gal who likes simplicity. That’s what I’m looking for in my ritual space.

If I were to place an ad, it would probably go something like this:

“Wanted: A private clearing or space in the woods, near a source of water. Must be quiet, private and accessible off a lonely road. A huge rock would be a plus, but if not, that’s ok. Trees that encircle the space, critters nearby, a place for a small fire pit.”

 

My Fluffy Bunny Post

Frank the bunny

So, I feel like a little kid who’s excited about trying something new for the first time. I got my witchy back and I want to dive head first back into things. I should ease back into things but I’m excited or ecstatic as my son says.  As much as I love the winter and all the snow we’ve been getting this year, it’s kind of hindering me from foraging for things : sticks, stones, bones, etc. It’s hard to look for things under 30cm of snow. I do have a few rocks that I’ve picked up at my favorite beach, along with shells, coral from a trip to the DR a couple of years ago. Somewhere, I do have some feathers that are in good shape, that my cat hasn’t gotten to yet.

I’m hoping to do some nature walks next week when I go away to New Brunswick. There is a huge nature reserve owned by the university for their forest ranger school. There are trails, ponds and lots of wildlife. I was only there once before, in the last days of summer & I was an All-You-Can-Eat buffet for the mosquitos. I’m hoping to go again for a wintry hike & take a few pix, too.  As soon as the snow melts & temperatures warm up, I’ll be on the hunt for a stang to use as an altar. I have a clear image in my mind of how it looks. I will also be on the hunt (asking my friends who hunt, more like it) if they have any deer skulls or antlers they want to get rid of. I want a skull big enough to fit on my stang.

There is a leather/tannery shop in my city that I’m planning on going to soon. They sell skins, leather ties, furs and other bits & bobs. I first discovered this store with my best friend when she was picking up some crafting supplies a few months ago. I’d like to make a leather pouch, sorta like a medicine bag, but a witchy bag to carry my things, when I go to rituals or do my private rites for my ancestors.

Yes, I’m diving back in, head first and I want to get my hands dirty. I feel the call in my blood & in my bones to reconnect with the lands and its spirits.

My Road to Traditional Witchcraft

So, lately, as in the past year, I’ve been struggling with my spirituality and searching through various paths. I started out years ago as a young witchlet wanting to become a Wiccan. I thought it would be an interesting path and that was what resonated with me early on. I read books, joined facebook groups to learn from (when I first decided to join the world of social media). When I was trying to find a coven in my city, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the outer court to see & learn. I contacted folks who had connections, but soon found out that maybe this path wasn’t for me. I never did get to participate with the coven & I wish that I had before I made my decision.

I tried the neo-pagan route for most of my journey. I dabbled with crystals, Shamanism, divination (I have been a Tarot card reader since high school) I’ve gotten together with like-minded folks, we did meditations to meet our animal totems, traded pagan music for our iPods, went on pagan shopping roadtrips to various different types of metaphysical shops. It was a fun time and I was learning a lot from these folks, but I felt like something was missing.  I admit, I did do a lot of flip-flopping in my early days, but that’s how I was learning.

Then it happened. I lost my witchy. I felt alone, like the Gods weren’t there for me. I had gone thru a lot of of heavy shit and felt abandoned. I wasn’t really keeping up with my altars (which I love doing), I wasn’t blogging on my old blog, I lost touch with a lot of pagan folk in my community, just as I was starting to get to know them. All I had were my pagan podcasts, which I listened to and saw that some of them were going thru what I was. Their podcasts became fewer & some even faded. I felt the exact same thing in my pagan life. I started to read books on Southern Conjure and thought that was something to try out.

So, for the past 2 yrs or so, I’ve been studying Hoodoo/Conjure. I make mojos, floorwashes, etc. I belong to a few forums and on most days you can find me perusing the Lucky Mojo forums, reading & learning from Miss Cat. Money has been a thorn in my side, so when my hours get better at work and I have some spare cash, I will actually be taking some courses from some very reputable teachers, Miss Cat incl.

This past year, I decided to get back into full witchy mode, but I didn’t want to go back to neo-paganism. Yes, I still do some things that are along that path, but I wanted something that was older, more traditional. I once found a book by Evan John Jones w/Doreen Valiente that was so different from what I read previously. I went back and re-read it and something clicked in me. I pulled out a few of my DV books that I had on my bookcase & read those. Then I started reading the Robert Cochrane Letters, some books by Robin Artisson, Peter Paddon, etc. These were my jumping off point. I found some groups on Yahoo that I joined, some on fb and talked to some people who actually practice Trad. Witchcraft. My book collection is growing, thanks to Amazon. My local bookstore doesn’t really cater to Trad craft, you can find some gems every so often in the used books, but the majority of the stuff they sell is Llewellyn books, crystals, Reiki, etc. I have nothing against that, it’s just not my thing and I do have to go online to get the books I need.

I’m working on re-doing my ancestor altar.  I don’t really have any Deities, but I do have my ancestors to watch my back & to kick my ass when I fuck up.  I have some pix and mementos, things I know they liked when living.  It’s a Hoodoo based altar, not so fru-fru.  I’m more of a minimalist when it comes to my practice.  I’m starting to get back out in the community & network with those I feel I can learn from. I’m getting my hands dirty with my workings, whereas before I wouldn’t thought of doing things that I’m doing now.  I’m in the process of finding good spot not too far from home to do my workings that’s still relatively private. I’m doing more trance work and practicing enchantment techniques. I’m learning how to Lay the Compass & Tread the Mill.  Granted, I’m doing this solitary, even though there are a couple of girls at work who want to learn along with me.

This blog will hopefully be a record of my journey, which is still ongoing. I may fuck up some things, but really, who hasn’t at some point?  Til next time,

FFF

~Rowan  

Greetings

I am a solitary witch living on Canada’s Atlantic Coast. I’ve been practicing for close to 20 years, if I include the times when I did lose “my witchy” which has occasionally happens. I’ve been on my journey, exploring various paths. I have come to Traditional Witchcraft and 1734 because they were what resounded with my spirit. I honor my ancestors often and not just at Samhain/Hallowe’en, when most Neo-Pagans do. I’m also learning Hoodoo/Conjure, as well.

I’ve tried the Neo-Pagan route and after a while I lost interest in it. There are things that I still hold onto, but it wasn’t really a path for me. I find here in my local community, no one likes to get their hands dirty, everything has to be “safe”. It’s almost like a dirty little secret if you perform rites that use blood and other bodily fluids.

I previously had a blog before and in the few years that I have let it go, I feel I have changed from that person. It’s still up and if people like what I wrote, kudos to them. I still have my opinions about some of the topics I wrote there, like the whole New Age hooey that has infiltrated modern Paganism. I do not use crystals in my workings, nor do I use Reiki or any other New Age practice that gets commonly mistaken for being Pagan these days. I do use, however, stones. Yep, plain old stones that I see lying around on the ground. And I use sticks, twigs, branches, bones, etc. These are some of my tools that I use.  As of this posting, I do not dress up in robes and capes to do my workings or wear a bunch of tacky jewelry. I know who I am, those around me know who I am, I don’t need any type of costume to validate who I am or what I practice. Costumes and capes are for Hallowe’en, but as time goes on, my opinion on this may change.

I’m going to try to post on here as often as I can. I want to share with you things that I’m doing, books I’m reading and what podcasts I’m listening to. I may not post for a period of time, sometimes life does have this funny thing of getting in the way. I hope you like this newer blog and that you read it and get something useful from it. I will be putting this post in the About Me page.

Flags, Flax and Fodder

~Rowan