Pagan Meme

Because I’m lazy I’m totally copying Rick, Veles, Polly, and Sarah by doing this questionnaire thingy that’s been going around the witchy blogosphere like a semi-entertaining chain letter. It’s not so silly really if key words are replaced. These are all questions one sees asked over and over again on Pagan forums …I bet it came from a forum too.  I really liked learning more about the bloggers I stalk and figured my stalkers might feel the same way – so here are my answers:

B A S I C S

Do you have a magical/Pagan name? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t tell you. My nicknames include Honey (cause I’m sweet), McGuillicuddy, and I was known as Lolair on forums for a while. I prefer my given name – I’m a lawless graceful princess – watch out!

How did you find Paganism? It started in elementary school with Malcolm Bird’s “The Witch’s Handbook” and an unhealthy love of fairy and folk tales. In highschool it escalated to an obsession for plant folklore, astrology, and palmistry. A few Wiccan roommates later and I was hooked. Up until then I thought witches were mythical creatures like unicorns. “You mean people today really can be witches and worship the old Pagan gods? Sign me up!”

How long have you been practicing? I’ve always thought this question was really to find out who’s a newbie so the other forum members can make fun of them. I’ve been actively practicing magic for a decade. Ha! Take that!

Are you out of the broom closet? That’s my full legal name up there in my blog’s title under the word “Witch”. What do you think?

Solitary or group practitioner? Both. I work mostly on my own, with my apprentice and witchy girlfriends, and with a local large ritual group I’ve been with for over five years now.

What is your path? A Luciferian Witch with a Scots bent. I’m both a Witch and a Witch Doctor. I follow the religion of trees and I’m a spirit worker.

D E I T Y

What’s your brand of deism? Animism and Monism.

Who is your patron God? First, I’d like to say I don’t think it’s a requisite to have patron deities. I’m tired of forum-Pagans making it sound like a must-have. There’s no choice for me due to my beliefs. My patron is the triple god. He has many faces, but the ones I see are Shoney, the Greenman, and the Old Man.

Who is your patron Goddess? The triple goddess. Same dealio - Nicneven, Bride, and Old Woman.

What Gods do you worship? The Earth, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and Fate.

Do you fear darkly aspected Gods/Goddesses, or rather respect them? Respect and love. You can’t love only the good parts of yourself or another. The shadow and the light are one.

Do you worship the Christian God? I do not worship Allah or El or the God of Abraham and Moses. I do worship a god on a stick whose symbol is a cross though… I was raised liberal Christian. I own five Bibles. I’ve read the Bible more than once. The Old Testament is like a manual for Pagan sacrifice and necromancy – seriously.

Do you worship animals? Or plants? Revere and leave offerings, yes, but not worship like gods. Rather they are friends, allies, teachers, mentors, and elders. The Kings of animal and plant species come pretty close to gods for me though…

N A T U R E

Do you regularly commune with nature? Nature doesn’t speak English. I walk on the earth, I breathe the air, I see the sun and moon move across the sky, I see plants endlessly grow and die, I eat and drink nature for three meals a day every day, I talk back to nattering crows and squirrels… So, yes, every day.

Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature? Only people who live within concrete jungles do that.

Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth? Who said Earth’s a chick? I personally think it’s a hermaphrodite. Probably when I was rolling in mud by a stream. I was covered in “Mother Earth”.

Do you have a familiar? Yes more than one, but not from a pet store.

Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual? Yes.

Or a plant? Yes.

Do you hug trees? No, they’re kinda rough and sometimes sticky and they don’t like hugs from strangers. I will touch them while talking to them so they know someone’s there.

Give them gifts? Mostly booze and water.

What is are your favourite flower plants to work with? Spearmint, Mugwort, Marshmallow, Wormwood, and all the Solanaceae.

What are your favourite trees to work with? Rowan, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, and Alder. I be a woodcarver.

W H E E L  O F  T H E  Y E A R

What is your favourite holiday? I can’t pick between Samhuinn and Yule… Beltuinn’s pretty awesome too with all the sex and playing with fire.

What is your least favourite holiday? I don’t have one. Any excuse for a feast, mead, and a celebration is a good one.

Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday? Yep, lots of times, even for large groups of people.

Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a Pagan holiday? Nope.

Do you celebrate Yule on the 21st rather than the 25th? Yep. If I’m with family I do both dates.

Have you ever felt the veil thin? Very much so, but especially in the wild wood.

Ever danced the Maypole? Every Beltuinn for years; man woman, man woman interweaving colourful ribbons around an uprighted fallen tree trunk while singing dirty songs. When we’re done it looks like a rainbow condom. Safety first.

Know what the Maypole symbolizes? The God’s erect penis. He’s very proud of it. The women like to stroke it to distract the men.

How do you usually celebrate the Pagan holidays? With rituals, feasts, decorated altars with offerings, and lots of friends.

D I V I N A T I O N

Do you use Tarot? Yes, along with plant and animal oracle decks. Sometimes I use the cards for spells instead of divination.

Do you use runes? Not for divination except seeing runes in trees and fallen branches. Otherwise only for talismans and spellwork.

Do you use a pendulum? No, but I have one I’ve never used.

Do you use dowsing rods? No. The city provides water and I have indoor plumbing already.

Do you use astrology? Yes. An old obsession. Comes in handy for spellwork and reading tarot and palms.

Any other forms of divination? Omens in nature, prophetic dreams, tea leaf reading, palmistry, and good ol’ fashioned necromancy.

S P E L L S

What was the first spell you did? A fire spell. I wrote down my worries I wanted smoothed out and burned the paper in the fireplace while speaking my wishes for the outcomes. I remember it worked and rather quickly. ‘Twas not the beginning of my pyromania however.

What was the latest? An evil eye reversal and house blessing.

Ever done a love spell? You know, I thought I had, but no, I really haven’t. I guess I didn’t need to being cute and having a sweet man of my own.

A job spell? You bet. It’s silly not to if you’re a witch.

A healing spell? Yes. Mostly for friends and family.

What was the most powerful spell you’ve ever performed? Necromancy is pretty awesome.

What deities do you usually call on? Nicneven and Old Man. Though I’m an animist, so I see them more as great spirits.

C R Y P T O Z O O L O G Y

Do you believe in vampires? Not undead or sparkly ones. Spirit ones in the form of succubi and incubi, most definitely. I’ve met two human ones as well. Mortal energy vampires. They can do crazy shit and manipulate people to do just about anything without even talking to them. Their practices and subculture are very secretive – you won’t find real ones on the internet. Not people to fuck with.

Werewolves? Not the movie ones. I’ve met a few. Some are just magicians whose fetches happen to take on the form of wolves when they leave the body. Others were humans possessed by wolf spirits – that’s creepier.

Shapeshifters? Almost any witch worth their salt can be a shapeshifter. Not as in physically transforming, but as in the soul taking on the form of an animal or possessing an animal when travelling out of body. I believe in the legends of skinwalkers too – don’t fuck with them either.

Elves? Seriously? Elves are fairies dimwit.

Fairies? Fairies are spirits of the dead and sometimes inhuman spirits bound to an area of land or a land feature like a stone or a spring.

Dragons? Dinosaurs went extinct over 65 million years ago. I believe in alligators, crocodiles, komodo dragons, reptiles and birds though.

Nymphs? See Fairies.

Sprites? See Fairies. (You realize it just means “spirit”, right?)

Mermaids? Hmm, they’re an awfully common myth around the world. There’s been two local sightings. One in the 1960′s and one in the late 1800′s. They could’ve been selkies. See Fairies.

Satyrs? Maybe as a godform. See Fairies.

Ever “seen” any of the above? Did you not read my answers? I don’t have the second sight so I can’t see spirits. I’ve seen some weird shit though.

Ever used any of the above in magic? As in killed it, dried and powdered it for charms or sacrificed one during a ritual? No. I don’t “use” any spirits. They might take offense.

Do you have one of them as a personal guardian? Sometimes Nic looks a bit like a mermaid and sometimes spirits stalk me, but no, not the way you mean. People who have imaginary fairy or dragon spirit guides make me puke in my mouth.

R A N D O M

Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon? That’s cultural prejudice. Some cultures see a frog. No, I just see a moon.

Own a cat? Three black ones. I’m a stereotype. Two are my man’s though so I’m not the creepy cat lady.

When you meditate, what does your happy place look like? What is this “meditate” you speak of? Is it like doing dishes? If it involves yoga I’m out.

Do you work with chakras? No. I’m not Indian or Hermetic.

Do you believe in past lives? Yes, but I don’t care.

If so, describe a few briefly: They’re called “past” because they were in the past and you can’t remember them.

Do you believe in soul mates? Not as in two people are destined and complete each other, blah blah true love. Maybe as in kindred souls who’ve met before and affect each other’s lives strongly are meant to meet again and again, but usually only briefly and they don’t stay with you your whole life. Most kindred souls I’ve met I only knew for a short time before our lives separated us.

Do you have a spirit guide? Not as in plastic shamanism or Native American faiths. I have dead people I talk to, gods, and familiars.

Is it always love and light? I sense some sarcasm… No. The sun sets, people fight, people curse, people die, winter comes, sorrow invades now and then. I’ve always figured you can’t know when you’re happy if you’ve never been sad and stressed.

Comments

No Responses to “Pagan Meme”

  1. ~*Rhi*~ says:

    Thank you so much! I giggled & giggled. But seriously, thanks for being real. You rock.

  2. Pombagira says:

    i love how some in the pagan blog’o’spere, are changing this meme, but it is keeping its central theme, if you will.. makes for fun reading..

    i had fun reading your answers.. most intersting..

    *smiles*
    Polly

  3. Skye says:

    Elves are part of the heathen tradition, as landvaettir. It would do well to not insult them. I maintain that Elves are different from fairies.

    • I agree that Elves is the term for such spirits in heathenism, but having researched and practiced Scots witchcraft for a while, which is a combination of Celtic, preCeltic, and Scandinavian traditions, I’ve found that the Scots “Fairies” are the Scandinavian Elves. Even the name for Fairyland is the same: Elphame, Elf-home. Irish fairies are a bit different and are more likely to be very old ancestral spirits than nature and land spirits.

      • Skye says:

        Well, when you put it that way, it does sound pretty convincing… Sorry for the angry sounding post, I need to remember not to comment when I’m absolutely tired and out of energy :P

  4. Jeannette says:

    that was very well put!

  5. Jennifer says:

    “People who have imaginary fairy or dragon spirit guides make me puke in my mouth.” LMAO! Perfectly put.

  6. Scylla says:

    I do have to give a chuckle at the vampire bit – Honestly? That’s the only kind I consider vampires. Not to be triffled with, but quite nice to have on one’s side. And you’re right – there’s a fracturing in the cultures, they spend a lot of time ensuring no one thinks they’re a threat – kinda like witches.

    Out here, by the by, we don’t even say the term s**nwalker aloud, and you’ll note my asterisks. I have seen them, and their power is very, very, real.

    You’ve inspired me to riff on this meme on my blog. It’ll be a nice “about” style post.

    • Agreed, it’s best to be friends with them. If you’re good friends they’ll even tell you what they are and who taught them. If you’re lucky they’ll teach you tricks – fun things to do in restaurants and malls as well as ways to make sure no one ever fucks with you or very much regrets it if they do. I met an evil one once though, tried to steal my soul. That was not so cool.

      It’s like the Bard says: “There are more things in heaven and earth… than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

  7. Very interesting responses, Sarah! I was secretly waiting for you to post this XD

  8. scott says:

    An excellent anti-treatise of personal practice and perception.

    Were common sense so common.

  9. Nikkie says:

    I loved this post. Had a good chuckle and a good many nodding of the head. I love that you can put into words what so many of us think! :D

    *Light and Love* ;)

  10. Pixie says:

    I knew I loved you for a reason… oh, wait, maybe 45 or so reasons… :)

  11. lancemfoster says:

    I will always remember you as “Lolair” (who I always imagined as this sweet cool little sister type). But “Sarah” I am in awe of as to her courage and artistry :-)

    I HAVE actually seen some spirits, some decades ago when I was more pure of heart (snork). Even a giant walking across the land when I was with a Cheyenne realtive- we both saw the same thing. Nothing for a long time.

    I do believe in dragons, the kinds that live in the land, and that the Chinese call luong…the dragons that ARE within and are PART of the land.

  12. Miaerowyn says:

    “When we’re done it looks like a rainbow condom. Safety first.”
    Lmao!! I had a good laugh at this among other things!
    Think I may post this too. Go laziness!!! :D

  13. greycatsidhe says:

    I like the modern concept of the fairy in an artistic sense, but like you say, it seems more likely that the “fairies” of the Celtic tribes were ancestral. Somehow they seem like more powerful ancestors… I do believe in Nature Spirits, though. I’m still exploring this. It is easy to imagine them as personified, and they might reveal themselves to us in that way, but a majority are just… the trees, the plants, the animals, the rocks… I’m still trying to sort this out for myself and my hearth culture.

    When I think of household spirits, I can see them as a sort of ancestor who is up for helping around the home in exchange for some offerings and closeness with descendants.

  14. Célie says:

    I love your answers Sarah! :)

    I have just a little question. In some books such as ‘A Dictionary of Fairies’ by Katharine Briggs, ‘The Fairy Tradition in Britain’ by Lewis Spence or ‘Le Dictionnaire Féerique’ d’André-François Ruaud, fairies are described as creatures living on earth far before human beings.
    For example, the Daoine Sidhe in Ireland are the Tuatha de Danann who decided no to flee in the West Islands when the Milesians (humans) invaded them, and to stay in Ireland underground. They are said to live under the burial mounds.

    So, if we consider these examples, how could fairies be “spirits of the dead”, spirits of the ‘human’ dead if I have well understood?

    I cant’ wait to read your answer :)

    • Lewis Spence, Robert Kirk, and Evans-Wentz all conclude that Fairies are a combination of nature spirits and ancestral spirits. The creatures you speak of are generally believed to be a race of small dark people who are genetically and linguistically different from the Proto-Indo European peoples who migrated throughout Asia and Europe as far back as the Neolithic. Some of the last survivors of this separate group are believed to be the Picts, Iberians, and Basques who are thought to share the same origin. Those in the Anderson’s Feri tradition are taught that the peoples of Polynesia and Hawaii fit into this ancestral group as well. It is believed that they had superior knowledge of lost magical arts and excell at necromancy and so their spirits were both feared and revered. Being Black Irish myself I’ve always been fascinated with the peoples outside of the PIE group.

      I’ve been constructing an article on the fairy-faith as an animistic ancestor cult, but it’ll be a little while until it’s finished. Some of the best quotes on the subject that sum it up are from F. Marian McNeill’s The Silver Bough vol.1:

      “The formal religion of primitive peoples is based mainly on the rites and practices associated with the burial of the dead; for the spirit world as they conceived it included both the ‘nature spirit,’ which was inherent in the sun, moon, stars, earth, rivers, trees, and so forth, and the ‘ancestral spirit.’” (p.85)

      “The evidence collected by Dr. Evans-Wentz throughout the Celtic territories and published in his book, The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries (1911), shows that the majority of witnesses regarded fairies either as non-human nature spirits or as spirits of the dead. According to Lewis Spence, they were believed to lurk in mounds awaiting reincarnation. Similarly the elves of Northern Europe were originally regarded as spirits of the dead living in hills, and more especially in barrows and burial-places.” (p.102)

      So basically, the Fairy Faith is a remnant of Animism – the worship of spirits.

      • Célie says:

        Thank you very much Sarah for sharing your great knowledge with us. It is always a real pleasure to read your explanations and point of view.

        I’m very eager to read your article on the fairy-faith. Fairies are part of my life since my childhood ^^

  15. Faidh says:

    ‘ I met an evil one once though, tried to steal my soul. That was not so cool.’

    On that subject I wonder if you might tell me how one notices their soul is in danger and how to prevent it from being taken? I’ve never heard this before and it has admittedly alarmed me.

    • It’s very very rare and will probably never happen to the majority of people. I just happened to encounter someone who was very ill and was theiving souls to stay alive. Generally if someone looks at you with crazed glassy “snake eyeing their prey” eyes, it’s time to run away.

  16. Faidh says:

    Thank you! That sounds like a horrible yet strangely fascinating experience.

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