Asking for Help on the net

One thing that happens periodically on the net is that people of whom you have no knowledge of turn up and ask for assistance with a spell or a dream.

Usually these people are ignored by most people. This is not just because we do not know these people, but because they have not shown that they will do a certain amount of work. There is the whole of the net to research spells and while a question such as “this spell says to use a blue candle, but I don’t understand why” will get a lot of responses while just a plain request for help (e.g. “I need help with a court case”) will not.

In other words, if you are asking for help with a spell or dream via the net, do some research first. Last January a well-known pagan wrote some pagan verse and posted it on a message board. I understood some of it and wanted to know what the rest meant. I also knew that he did not know me at all and if I just asked what it was about he would probably ignore me.

So I went away and researched some things in the poem which I didn’t know, thought about the rest and wrote to him with what I thought it meant. For nearly all of the poem I had been able to work out a meaning, but there were one or two things for which I just guessed. And because I had put in the work and shown him I had put the work in, I got an answer.

To do, to Dare and to Keep Silent Part Three

The third part of this triad is to keep silent. There are things you are asked to keep silent about, and whether this is an oath or a promise to a deity, in my opinion you should not break either of these.

If you break an oath which is a magical bond, then in my ‘umble opinion if you get magical repercussions, then you knew that something would happen and it’s your own fault and responsibility. I have made promises to deities to keep things silent until the deity says otherwise. I will not break my word as it goes against my ethics and also because I believe the deity would mete some sort of repercussion out to me. If someone were to find out, accidentally or otherwise, then that would be different.

The other part of keeping silent is how much do you tell anyone? There are people out there who just want their path handed to them on a plate. They want to follow. They don’t want to do any work. This blog is written for fun, but I deliberately give people the framework and not any of the details. For example, when I have helped with a spell, I’ve said that you can use X and Y but I haven’t given them any of the words. The only time I’ve made an exception was when I gave someone a ritual because she had clearly done the work and read a lot of the forum I was on, she wanted to know what to study next (out of three choices) and no-one else was able to help her.

People will take what you write and put up on the net and blindly copy it, instead of doing the work and (most importantly) thinking for themselves. The people who have the real problems with this are those who are running pagan businesses. Time and time again they put up pictures of what they are selling only to find that someone else has copied what they have done. Frankly, I hope the deities have a lightning bolt with these people’s names on it.

To do, to Dare and to Keep Silent Part Two

The second part of this triad is to dare. Witchcraft and paganism are both dangerous. There is so much that can go wrong, and I have found that while elsewhere you may get away with a mistake, in witchcraft and paganism I have never got away with one.

Daring is difficult. We have to weigh up carefully whether what we are doing is a good idea or not and sometimes I can err on the side of caution, while at other times I can err on the side of risk. Some people, like the student I heard about who studied witchcraft for eight years and never cast a spell, can never take the plunge, while others take too many risks.

I minimise risks by protecting myself whenever possible : with my charm bracelet (which unfortunately needs to be mended) and drawing circles. I also research the subject and take classes on it if I’m not sure what I’m doing and do divination before casting spells.

I haven’t got into herbal remedies, because I’m on medication with which many other medications are contra-indicated and it’s too risky. Some herbal remedies can stop medicines working and unfortunately I have not yet found a scientific herbal that will inform you of this.

To do, to Dare and to Keep Silent Part 1

Some people will have heard this maxim for a witch, as it’s oft quoted on the net. I thought I’d take some time to think about it and write my thoughts here.

The first part of this triad is “to do”. As most people have worked out, it’s getting off your backside and doing things.

I have known a lot of solitary pagans/witches who say something like “I just went out for a walk to celebrate the last festival”. There are things that stop us from practicing witchcraft and paganism and relegate us to the armchair. Illness, family problems and getting married are some of the things that can stop us practicing. I have known a lot of people who do not have a good reason and still don’t celebrate.

It doesn’t take much to do a small ritual indoors or outdoors that taken ten minutes for a festival. It’s only by doing things that we progress in this craft and actually get there. As I wrote in my previous post, it’s like cooking : you can read all the books in the world, but you don’t know anything until you actually try to do it.