Reading as a Magickal Practice

I have been described as a book witch, and have been an avid reader since I could read. Usually, I am seen with a book whether I am camping, going on vacation, or sitting in the break room for lunch. For the past few years, however, my reading has been solely Pagan and Wiccan literature with little deviation into Syfy, mystery, romance, or horror. It’s easy to see why I host a book club that focuses on Pagan reading and enjoy having something new to share with my members. There is so much to read in the p-word world I know I will never read everything I want but I keep finding new books.
Which made me realize the majority of my practice revolves around reading. Books, blogs, talking about books, writing this blog; Pagan reading is my Pagan practice. Where I have said I do intend on doing more magick this year and I do go to a few local circles for Sabbat ritual I tend to read more than any other work (podcast listening is just reading with your ears right?). I have a bookcase in my room filled to overflowing with just Pagan books, and there is a local used bookstore that I go to to find treasures. A recent visit had me walk out with books by Z Budapest and Pensky. Books I do not intend on reading in months but could not leave them in the store. They belonged in that overflowing shelf in my room with others just like it.
I do tend to read more than the average witch and feel it is essential to do so when you are a Solitary.
I have currently taken a short break from Pagan literature to read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, but once complete will dive back into a new list of books I want to read in a certain order. The lists I write are intended to give me a group of books at a similar level of education and theme. I call my current list a 102 list due to the material not being very introspective for the reader but also not being beginners material.
Thanks and Blessed Be,Autumn Wolfe

As always please feel free to comment and share! If you have any questions or wish to get in contact with me please email me at autumn.ironwolf@gmail.com, follow me on Twitter @AutumnIronWolf, or friend me on FaceBook!

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Good Year, Bad Year; Predictions for 2018 and Looking Back at the Past Two Years

2016 was the first year in my memory where it seemed everyone agreed that the year sucked. Looking back on 2016 I remember a few major events that caused the word to shutter and be happy it was over but nothing like 2017. Personally, 2016 was a huge year for taking out the garbage. It was a year of pain and numbness and by the end, I was left in a state where I had no blood relatives, single for the first time in my adult life, unemployed, in more duet then I ever been in, and essentially homeless. Due in no small part to amazing friends 2017 became a year of growth, and like all growing came to a lot of pain. On top of the political strife and unease of the world, I had to pick myself up and figure out who I am. I had an amazing support system that followed me through the year, but I had a lot of work to do and still do. At the end of 2017 for a second time, the world let out a sigh of relief and begged that it wouldn’t get worse. All across the magickal community, I see everyone predicting 2018 to be a positive and uplifting year full of prosperity and hope; but on social media I still see memes joking that the worse is yet to come.

2018 flowers

Where I fear the memes of social media may be correct for our political future I hope my horoscope is correct on a personal level. I needed a year of prosperity, career movement, and personal happiness. Aside from my personal feelings of the world needing a year or possibly a decade of average citizens saying enough is enough; I want to focus on the positive predictions and how individuals and the magickal community can make 2018 be the year we are hoping for. I don’t know about other signs but all that I have read for Aquarians is 2018 will be a year for career growth due to Pluto’s location in our career house and personal growth. I have read on several platforms that Aquarians will see a major turnaround in “luck” that will last past 2018. I am no astronomer and have no education in this field so cannot say for myself; please if you know more or better feel free to comment. I am sure we all need this kind of luck but how can we ensure 2018 is better?

On a magickal note, January is the best month for preparing magick for the year. The first falls on a Full Moon Monday! So much power for magickal use right at the start, but if you are reading this after the first fear, not the 31st is also a Full Moon, Blue Moon, and a Super Moon! What a powerful start that screams use it and one of my New Year’s resolutions (made back at Samhain) was to do more magick. My plan for January first is to do a job spell, one that I have done before but with a little more grown up magick to it. I am no longer looking for just a job but a career to build on and will be focusing my intention on longevity and financial independence. We are witches; we have the power through our magick to change our circumstances this should be the first thing we do to make 2018 our year.

fullmoon

As I have said before, I do hope all of the predictions for a positive 2018 come to light but I am not going to just sit around and hope. I intend to do everything I can about it. As every good magick practitioner will tell you, you can’t expect results without putting in the work. Do the magick and do the normal stuff to get you to your goals. Changing my grandmother’s favorite saying to fit “The Gods help those who help themselves.” Some of the things I am planning to help 2018 be positive and uplifting are:

1. To make a jar of positive thought- I am going to take a jar and fill it with fortune cookie slips, yogi tea tabs, and other small pieces of happiness; so when I feel down I can just pull one out and read it. To further this practice I might also use the thoughts to meditate on. I would defiantly help change a negative mood.

2. Work on my smile- My Christmas present to myself was a water pick, and since then I have used it every day! I have had bad oral health most of my life and it is definitively and expensive problem. I hope the water pick will help the current issues and prevent more.

3. Minimize my footprint- 2018 I will stop using one-time use plastics. Including shopping bags, straws, cups, containers, etc. I will refuse Styrofoam and seek out new ways to minimize waste in my daily life. I know this will be a work in progress but I have all year to do it.

What are your New Years resolutions? What kind of magick are your going to do to make 2018 your year?

Blessed Be,

Autumn Wolfe

As always please feel free to comment and share! If you have any questions or wish to get in contact with me please email me at autumn.ironwolf@gmail.com, or follow me on Twitter @AutumnIronWolf

The Wiccan Rede, and How to Live by It

 

Reviewing past posts I found a promise I made in The Ethics of Hex and Curses; a promise I have yet to make good on. “Harm none, Do as thy will.” Is one of many modern interpretations of the Wiccan Rede, followed by countless Neo-Pagans. The original, first seen in Green Egg (1975) under the title of “Rede Of The Wiccae” was a full-length poem written by Gwen Porter and can be found republished and updated on the internet. The most common take away from Porter’s poem is the statement above; how far do we go with harm none is debated amongst its believers.

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A section of the full-length poem Rede Of The Wiccae by Gwen Porter

Like many Neo-Pagan beliefs, the Wiccan Rede is not believed by all Wiccans and not limited to Wiccans. However, the extent to which it is practiced differs wildly. A common way of implementing the Rede into life is to apply it to magick only but this does come with a problem. If a practitioner casts a spell to get a job and gets the job someone will not get it. Does that cause harm to the person who did not get the job? Yes, could harm someone is avoidable with or without magick? No, but not all who look at the rede from a magickal standpoint see it that way. Another view is to apply the Rede to daily life, but again to what extent differs among practitioners.

A large amount of Pagans limit the harm to no harm to the earth. Meaning they work very hard to minimize their environmental impact. You will also see Vegetarians and Vegan Pagans refusing to eat meat and animal products to limit harm to animals. Following the Rede may even drive some into the healthcare profession. My first life-altering commitment to follow the Rede was to stop using make-up and beauty products tested on animals.  After doing a small amount of research I was floored by how many beauty companies still test their products on animals and how many lie about their testing practices. To go completely cruelty-free I had to start from shampoo down with my beauty routine and now make no qualms about turning down free or gifted products that have been tested on animals.

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Leaping Bunny Program’s logo seen on certified cruelty free products.

The easiest way to pick products that have not been tested on animals is to look for the Leaping Bunny symbol on the back. The Leaping Bunny Program is a Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) created in the 90’s as a third party unit to define and regulate cosmetic companies that want to be certified cruelty free. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) also maintains a list on their website of companies that produces and distributes cruelty-free products. Even with these resources, it is not always easy to shop cruelty-free on a drug store dime. Most of the quality cruelty free products are pricier then their common competitors and certain products are hard to find cruelty free. I am still struggling to find a box hair dye with a pigment that lasts and is cruelty-free.

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PETA’s logo for cruelty-free products.

I have recently branched out from beauty products to household cleaners and goods such as candles. It took me a year or so to get beauty products that I liked cruelty free so I expect a similar curve with household goods. Other ways I work toward no harm include bringing reusable bags while shopping and refusing to use one-time-use straws. The bags have become common practice and the country of France recently outlawed one use shopping bags, but I still get strange looks for the straws. I recently made the commitment to stop using one-time-use straws after watching a YouTube video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck down his nostril. I am not above saying this video traumatized me into action.  I took a few days to become aware of how many straws I go through in a day and then reviewed an image I used in the previous post on recycling to see how long our one-time-use straws last.

In this time I decided there were instances that I favored having a straw and did not believe I could get around not having one so I purchased a pack of reusable straws from Starbucks. The pack I got had three green straws that fit in most medium to large beverages and the packaging fit into my purse. So like reusable shopping bags I started carrying around a pack of straws. After a month I saw myself getting better at refusing straws at restaurants and remembering to pull out my own straws for to-go cups, but I found smaller cups to be an excuse not to use my big straws. In response to that excuse, I went back to Starbucks and got a pack of smaller straws to carry as well. I have every intention to minimize the amount of useless and unsafe trash I produce, at any cost. Some people do not like trading one type of plastic for another and for them there are plenty of stainless steel reusable straws out there for purchase.

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An Image from that video of Texas A&M University researchers removing a straw deeply in bedded in the nostril of a Sea Turtle.  If you want to support the Marine Biologists that saved this Turtle’s life please follow this link: https://www.gofundme.com/wuhvd6zj

So as I have demonstrated there are many ways to do as you will without causing harm. You don’t have to do everything all at once but making small changes every day and becoming aware of the harm you can cause makes the world a better place.

How do you implement the Rede into your life?

Please share with me in the comment!

Blessed Be,

Autumn Wolfe

As always please feel free to comment and share! If you have any questions or wish to get in contact with me please email me at autumn.ironwolf@gmail.com

Refuse Single Use Plastic: http://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/