Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tolerance in the Wake of 9/11

Let's face it.....9/11 was a day that shall live in infamy in the United States of America. As well it should. Let us get a few facts straight at the outset. A small group of Al Qaeda extremists caused the death of over 3000 people by taking control of 4 flights, impacting both of the World Trade Towers, another into the Pentagon and the last impacted into a field after passengers forced it down.

I, as do most Americans, know where I was and what I was doing as my heart sank into my chest and tightened. I was heart sickened, shocked, angered and deeply saddened. I had also come to see the reality of life and that people that want to do horrific things could impact me and my family. So at what point did we also come to blame all of Islam and the Muslim population as a whole worldwide? Where is our logic and have we not seen this behavior before? No? Really?

I am not a warmonger. I am also not quick to judge others. Now let us look at some of the ridiculous behaviors that have happened since that day. I will stay with the most current. We are involved in 2 wars. Many more Americans and Muslims and others have died as a result with little truly accomplished. There has been an Islamic Community Center by the site for a very long time (more than a year) and now it is an issue. There are Christian Pastors wishing to burn copies of the Quran. Why?

Here is my view. I have met, and remain friends with many people of Islamic and Muslim faith. I am friends with many of varied faiths. It amazes me that we are taking a "holier than though" and "absolutes" approach. This was a very small group of extremists that caused this and other events. Jihad is an extremist view held by people of extreme beliefs.

If we look back on history we can find events that have been caused by virtually every faith that could be held in comparison and some even exceed this violation and the loss of life. The Crusades. The writing of the Maleous Maleficarum aka "The Witches Hammer", written by 2 catholic priests. This book brought about "the inquisition/the burning times". The ongoing battle over the Gaza Strip. The Mountain Meadows Massacre. At what point do we deem ourselves "holier than thou?"

I think we need to take a personal inventory,of sorts, and make a decision to try to be more tolerant of other faiths. We all realize that there are parts of other faiths that we disagree with, thus, the vast number of faiths that exist. Does this mean that we become elitist in our own faith? Where do we justify the "we are right and they are wrong" mentality? Or do we simply shut down that part of our intelligence and logic so we can rationalize our corresponding poor behavior?

Don't get me wrong........people that perpetrate these types of actions can, and should be, punished. But do we punish everyone that has a similar belief to the offenders? If we did that, we would not have a human race to worry about. At the very least we would have anarchy worldwide.

In closing I ask each and every one of my readers to stop and think. How many more people do we need to lose before we learn tolerance? Justice obtained through violence is not justice. It is illogical tyrrany and makes us no better than those we are persecuting. "An eye for an eye" means the perpetrators eye, not a mass group of people of similar faith. We need to begin thinking with our minds instead of our raw emotions before the world as we know becomes nothing but a war zone. Our survival depends on it. Tolerance means not forgetting but forgiving and understanding the source.

Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 20 years and remains outspoken about bringing this faith into the public knowledge. Not for ridicule or degredation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gratitude Determines Attitude

I have been, and remain, a Correctional Officer for the Texas State Department of Criminal Justice. On January 15th of 2010 my shoulder had finally seen the last of its action after years of wear and tear and I knew that something had to be done in order for me to continue having effective use of this arm. This is also my dominant arm.

I called in sick and promptly scheduled a doctors appointment with my primary care physician and was soon sitting in his office in Huntsville, Texas. As is standard he did some usual strength and mobility tests and immediately referred me to an orthropedic surgeon for further evaluation.

As time went on, the State of Texas continued to subtract my earned "time" from the books and on February 23, 2010 I ran out of State time and as they say "slid off the books" and onto leave without pay status. After seeing the first surgeon I was referred to his partner, a specialist in sports injuries and the eventual surgeon that would do the actual surgery.

Surgery was the least of my concerns at that time. I was living in the bachelor officers quarters at the prison unit and on March 15th I called about my final check from the State and they informed me that they had been holding my check for 2 weeks waiting for me to turn in my state ID and uniforms. I drove to the unit and turned in everything.

The inmates have "chain bags" that are used to carry their belongings whenever in transit and this is what I was handed when i turned in my uniforms and was instructed to put them in. I surrendered my state identification and complied, feeling like an inmate the entire time. The next day I received my check and paid the bills that had piled up for the previous 2 weeks.

On March 22nd I received the surgery. This was the beginning of what has proven to be an "adventure" to say the least. I immediately applied for short term disability way back in February prior to falling "off the books". Needless to say, the fight with the insurance company has been trying, simply to get the benefits that I have paid for every month throughout my employment.

We are now at April 11th and I still have not received my first short term disability check. The bills have piled up, the truck has been repossessed, and we are almost out of food and everything else that we all think our very existence relies upon.

So Nathan, what is your point? How have I kept from going stark raving mad? I took a walk a short while ago and while I walked it came to me. I stay positive, not because I have too, but because I am grateful for all that I HAVE and all that cannot be taken away from me.

I awoke with a heartbeat and breathing. I awoke with 2 children that are alive and healthy. I awoke with many friends and family that love me. And I have many other things in my life to be grateful for. Everything else is material "stuff" and when you have lost those things you haven't really lost the most important things in your life. I have a great deal to be grateful for. One of which is the friend that has allowed me to stay with he and his wife and has taken care of me post surgery.

This is what I meant by our gratitude determines our attitude. I could have been brought down to the depths of despair. Could have thrown my hands up in the air and given up on life, and in turn I would have let my sons down, all of my loving friends and family down, and myself down in the process. That would be too easy and would be the path of least resistance to be sure. Selfishness is always easy......for some people.

My friends, keep in mind that negativity begets negativity and positivitity begets positivity. I choose to stay positive, not because it is always the easiest road to take, but because it is the only road that does not send me off the broken bridge and down into the deep ravene below and crashing into a heap of flesh. My brightest blessings to you all and may you all remember, regardless of your religious faith, be grateful for what you HAVE as even when I have been at my lowest point in my life..........I have still been alive and that is indeed something to be grateful for!

Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 19 years and remains outspoken about bringing this faith into the public's awareness. Not for ridicule or degradation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Going Green and Wicca

The concept of "going green" is not a new one but it is one I will be doing a series of articles on as it is so crucial to our survival, and also really a main tenet of the Wiccan faith. We are by faith nature lovers and see deity within all creation, including ourselves. Now I must qualify this as I know some will say "then you are self worshippers". Not quite the point. We believe that deity exists within us and not "out there" somewhere. We do not think of ourselves as deity/Gods,etc.

For many years we, as a human race, have gone about our daily lives without really giving the way we are doing this a second thought. We have created waste and toxins and they have to go somewhere. Where do they go? Into the ground, into our waterways, and into the atmosphere that protects us. This isn't going to be an article all about global warming as that would take up the entire article. I will, however, visit the subject in a future article.

So what are the ways we are polluting currently and in the past? Every day we dump unknown quantities of "garbage" into landfills. Within this garbage is tons of non-biodegradable refuse. This simply means that in a million years from now, if the Earth still exists, this refuse will still be there, much as the day it was buried. We continue to drive our cars without giving it much of a thought about how much exhaust is damaging our health and the health of the ozone layer.

While recycling has become a movement through the years, we still fall way short of doing all we should be doing. Why? Because the majority of us have become so busy with our lives that we simply do not slow down and think and just "throw it away". Pretty easy when you get the out of sight, out of mind habit. Let's face it......we have become a society of "refuse and not re-use". So busy that we do not consciously think about where all of that is going to end up.

In addition to doing this, we also use products that contain toxic chemicals in our homes and in our daily lives. We eat foods that have been inundated with chemical/artificial everything. From sweeteners, to preservatives. We eat these without thinking too much about it until it affects our health through cancers and other disorders. Heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and obesity are just the by-products and how do we correct those? By taking synthetic pharmaceuticals.

Some would question then, "how do those affect our environment?" Well, everyone is going to urinate and defecate. It is unpleasant to think about, however, it is a fact that we cannot deny as all things organic leave organic waste. So then if we are eating synthetic foods and taking synthetic drugs then where is the waste going? Into our water treatment plants and into the Earths water table. Nasty thought huh? I think so too. We will continue to reap the "benefits" of our behavior over and over. The result? We will make the Earth, and ourselves, sicker and sicker in the process.

How then do we begin to correct this? Well, pretty simple really. It is just a matter of changing/breaking old habits and using resources already in place within our society. Recycling centers have existed for decades yet we are nowhere near doing everything we can do in that area. We can start by saving our plastics and our newspapers and magazines and taking the simple step of finding the recycling centers or participating in the programs in our communities and delivering our "garbage" to them. And some of them even pay you for doing the responsible thing.

Myself, I have aligned myself with a green company and I now work that business full time. They are green, and have been for over 25 years. You will find those links on my blog. I use the products they sell and in so doing reduce the impact on our environment. I am not saying that you should hop right over and join this company or even use their products, but I am saying we all need to weigh the options and begin using the ones that improve the situation of our damaging the Earth and her waters.

I hope you will join me. Here are some simple steps that YOU can do to help this cause:

1: Recycle 2: Use "green" products 3: Drive less and walk or bicycle more 4: Stop using synthetic foods and medications and go "natural" when feasible 5: Eat more healthy and lead a healthy lifestyle 6: Use biodegradable products any time we possibly can 7: If you see someone illegally "dumping" REPORT IT 8: Practice every day in changing poor environmental habits.
You can see this list could go on page after page but you get the idea.

I hope you will join me again for my next topic along this same line and I thank you for taking the time and effort to read this, whether it was here or on my blog. May the Lord and Lady bless you always and may you have the fortitude to make the changes that we must all make in order to bring about meaningful change.

Nathan Jeffery

Author and Wiccan Religious Leader

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Toxic Water-The Slow Killing Of Our Waterways

We have all been aware of our waterways being polluted by industrial waste as well as our own for many years. We are aware of it but what have we really done to correct it? Truth is, we can modify our own behavior but how do we modify others behavior and then begin to "heal" the water and the earth surrounded by, and beneath It? We will be discussing some of those issues here.

I remember growing up going to Gunnison Bend Reservoir in the small town I grew up in. Delta, Utah was, and remains very much an agricultural area. That means there are cattle being raised in the area. That goes without saying. As I grew older I discovered what people were doing with the carcasses of animals that had died and was sickened to learn that they had been being dumped into the reservoir for years.

Now, that is rather disgusting in and of itself, however, I suppose that I could look at it as at least they biodegrade. Right? Well, yes they do but that is still just creepy. Now, I bring this up as over the past few years there have been "mercury level" warnings and bans on fishing or warnings about eating the fish caught in Utah waters. Now the question arises, how did mercury levels get so high? The answer? Car batteries. I have found out from locals that there are tons of them full of lead and mercury that have been being dumped into the water for years.

We know that there has been dead animals, batteries, raw sewage, run off of road grime, salt from ice melt used during the winters......but at what point did we stop and evaluate what all of those in concert were doing when we add in industrial waste? We have and so has the government. We have the E.P.A. that from what I have seen has done a mediocre job at best at policing the illegal dumping of these toxins into our waterways.

Why have they done such a poor job, or it appears that they have been? It is my personal opinion that there are bribes being made by huge corporations to the "officials" at some level. This is just my opinion so this isn't meant to slander anyone. It IS public knowledge that some of these worst polluters pay handsomely into political campaign contributions and therein lies a major problem.

How do we now correct the problem? Do we impeach them all? Do we do an investigation to find out who is taking bribes? None of these are really within our power. What is in our power is to begin looking at candidates for government that support a "green" platform and will stick to their guns. In addition, we can come together as a global population and begin changing our behaviors AND being HEALING the damage that we have caused.

Back to the message that was sent to me on Facebook. A fellow Wiccan sent me a message regarding a movement that was begun by a Native American to have a Water Healing Energy Raising. I am including this information here as it is the inspiration for this article and I want to invite everyone, regardless of faith or belief to participate. Hold ritual, prayer, or whatever you wish to call is all the same just different names, and let's raise healing energy and begin to reclaim and repair our waterways so our children and their children's children will have clean water in the future.

According to the website this is a "global effort to come together worldwide, To heal the Earth and it's waters which are increasingly threatened and so very crucial to our survival here on this planet". The website to read more and connect is HERE. Please join myself, and countless others for this monumental energy raising ceremony.

At the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers Conference in Sedona, Arizona USA on December 6, 2009, a message came that we are to reach out to all belief systems to manifest energy for our planetary waters on May 18, 2010. Through the astrological realms, planetary alignments indicate that May 18, 2010 would give us the most powerful energies to manifest pure and abundant waters for all nations.

Thank you to Amanda for bringing me this information and brightest blessings to you all for paying attention and joining me in getting the word out about this important, and very critical task of healing our Earth and her waters.

Nathan Jeffery

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wiccan Beliefs on Satan - My Perspective

Let me begin by stating emphatically that Wicca is not, and has never been, a Satanic faith. For centuries there has been this label of Wiccan means Satanist. Well, I am to discuss my views on this not only as a Wiccan but as a Wiccan religious leader. So how did all of this begin? Well, there are a great many theories out there so here is mine.

One theory has it that it is because we like to wear black all of the time. While many of us do so, it has absolutely no religious significance except that which we give it. I like it because it represents for me an inclusion of every color in the spectrum of color. It is not devoid of all color but contains them all. Much like we as Wiccans are to love everyone, without exception, whenever possible. All colors are represented in nature so it is understandable that many of us wear black.

Another theory has it that we wear black as it is the color of evil. This is an interesting one. Let us look at this as does red always represent anger.....or love......or anything other than the emotion we attach to it? At what point do we make the separation or similarity between the two? Again we must be cautious in our assumptions. I heard it said once that assume makes an ass out of you and me.

Is there a correlation when color is involved? Of course there is in some aspects. As humans we generally are lovers of light naturally. All plants grow when they have sunlight so it makes sense that we, as human beings, would also be attracted to it as well. We are organic, as is everything in nature. We do, as Wiccans, refer to the "light and dark" of magic and to make a comparison of what many would call "good and evil". My understanding of this is that we all are capable of great acts of kindness and good behavior and we call that the light side of humanity. Of course, we are again, as human beings, capable of great atrocities and we generally call that the dark side.

I must point out the fact that all faiths through history, including Christianity, use colors in their worship. Does a Catholic priest wearing a black robe and collar with a white shirt make him evil? Or a nun wearing a habit evil? Of course not.....that would be ludicrous and small minded to say, of course. So enough of the chat about color. I think my point on my thoughts has been made.

So how do we get the Satanic label? Well this is much easier, quite frankly, to explain. During the many years prior to Christ there were Pagan faiths. Then came Christianity and many things changed and suddenly we were labeled evil and there many atrocities against those that fought Christianity, supposedly done in the name of Christ. Behavior like this is still seen every day as we get involved in religious wars around the globe.

The Christian scriptures speak of Satan as being Lucifer, or an angel cast out of heaven by God. As I understand it, Christ wanted to send us here to earth so that we could have free agency and learn and grow as intelligent beings. Lucifer had the idea to force us all to return to God. This was not in agreement with God or his alleged son Jesus Christ so he was cast out when he went against God. (I also do not contest the historical fact that Christ was on earth and concede he was a wise teacher, however, I disagree that he was deity)

Now, here is my major point. At no time in history did the term Satan exist prior to Christianity. There were those that behaved well and those that did not and they were generally dealt with in a number of ways and many of them were admittedly, barbaric. There are still those today that behave in the same way.There are those today that believe capital punishment is barbaric. I will not address my views on this here as that is not my topic.

The Satanic Church of America was not even formed until 1976 in the United States by Anton LaVey, along with his scriptures or gospels of Satanism. Now, I will not argue as to the validity or nullity of the Satanic faith. It has the same protections in this country as any other. They believe what they believe and while I disagree with their theory I will not make any argument against their right to practice, save it that they harm none or be held accountable within the civil laws of our society.

There are many versions of the Rede but I will share this simple one with you here.

Wiccan Rede

"Bide the Wiccan law you must, In perfect love and perfect trust. And these eight words the Rede fulfill: 'An ye harm none do what ye will.

What ye send out comes back to thee, So ever mind the law of three. Follow this with mind and heart, and Merry ye meet, and Merry ye part."

This is a very simplified version of our Rede, however, it is enough to show that we are not hateful, spiteful people that would take the negative side of life and pray for destruction of ourselves or anything in nature. We are a loving and accepting people that only wish to live in tune with nature and other people around us. I am accepting of all others. The funny part of this statement is that Christ also taught this principle when he walked upon this earth so many years ago. So why then do so many so readily go against their own teachings?

In a nutshell here are my views of Satan. Satan has never existed. There are negative poles and negative energies that some would deem evil, however, I do not believe there to be an entity or deity that propagates such deep negativity as to rule a "hell". There is dark and light in all of nature. Night and day. Sun and moon. For each and everyone of us these hold differing meanings. To accept the existence of Satan, that I have already stated did not exist prior to the advent of Christianity, I would have to accept Christ as being deity. I do not, and that makes me simply non-Christian, not anti-Christian.

So my view of what Satan or Satanic represents is this. Satan was made up by people already upon the earth that wanted a scapegoat to blame for their shortcomings, poor behaviors, and absolute atrocities against people and nature. If you were to ask any of the inmates in our prisons if they were guilty the vast majority would say "no.....or it wasn't nearly as bad as the justice system made it out to be". But they find God in there and the same system uses this as a weight of measure every day in parole hearings. I know this because I am a correctional officer.

In summary, we are not here to convert anyone. We do not proselytize or knock on doors. We are not out to get your children and turn them to our ways. We are simply a religion of nature loving, Lord and Lady worshiping, Wiccans. The majority of Wiccans just want to be left alone in peace to worship in the way we wish without being looked down upon and hated for NOT being another faith. I am not by any means negative or Satanic in any way and have never been. I do not follow a path of darkness. I also fully realize that I have within me the same attributes of any human being and that I am capable of great things, or despicable atrocities.

Everything in life is a choice, aside from natures forces. I hope that you will take a long hard look at what your beliefs tell you. I certainly do every day and while at times even the best of us, Wiccan, Pagan,Jewish,Islamic,Mormon, etc. do not fully live up to our teachings, we are all essentially seeking the same fulfillment of life. Peacefully and amicably together. Perhaps one day we will set aside our petty differences and come together as a whole, accepting one another with our similarities as well as our differences.

The majority of the faiths out there teach peace and acceptance and it is my wish that we all will be who we are and live our lives as an example for others so that in the end, regardless of what faith we are, we will return to mother earth with the respect of deity (whatever we wish to label them) and of our fellow man. As I said in the beginning, this is my perspective and does not reflect everyone's views within the Wiccan faith.

Brightest blessings to you all and I wish you all of the love and peace in the world,

Nathan Jeffery

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Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 19 years and remains outspoken about bringing this faith into the public awareness. Not for ridicule or degredation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

The False Dichotomy of the Modern Wiccan

Dichotomy......what is it and how and why is it to be avoided? This is an interesting question so let us first define what it is and why my title differs from it's definition. Dichotomy is the splitting of a whole into exactly two non-overlapping parts. In other words, it is a partition of the whole (or a set) into two parts. Wow, now that's a mouthful and bends the mind a bit. (

So how does that fit into this article? Well, many of us in the Wiccan faith tend to separate our faith from our public profile as it were. What I mean by that is we tend to unintentionally, and sometimes intentionally, "hide" our faith from the public knowledge of our coworkers and even our friends and family. Now I know what you are saying. Well, by that definition how can that be a dichotomy? Well, it can't and that is the topic of discussion in this article.

Being Wiccan is like no other faith. And when you are Wiccan you are by all means all of the time.......a Wiccan. So why then do we create a false dichotomy by pretending NOT to be who and what we are? This is called a false dichotomous relationship. I am Wiccan through and through. I can never completely sever that fact, regardless of how convenient it might be. I am still Wiccan even when I do not share my views with my coworkers, friends and family.

My views have become a part of me. They are integrated into the way I think, behave and interact with others. I do this without even thinking. Now, for me......I am an openly Wiccan man. I make no attempts at hiding my beliefs or the very nature of them. By doing this I no longer suffer the negative affects of this false dichotomy. So, how does this make you suffer? How can you be open and honest and have negative physical and mental costs involved with that? You can't.

The reason I am discussing this is due to the number of emails and questions I receive in chat about "how can you be openly Wiccan? Don't you worry about what others might think?" The answer of course is not just no, but hell no! I am very proud of being who and what I am. It is no different than those of Christian faith standing up and declaring their devotion to Jesus Christ. We simply differ in our views and that in no way encroaches on their beliefs.

There are sooooo many Wiccans that still hold their heads in shame, and for what purpose? I, for one, am very proud to be a child of theLord and the Lady and make no apologies for it at any time, nor to anyone. Even if religion were not a protected right here in the United States of America I would die before I denounced my religious convictions. You could call this article a "call to pride".

When you chose, which I honestly believe this faith chooses you, you swore at initiation to always love the Lord and the Lady and to be reverant before them in all of their splendor......or words to that effect. To deny who and what you are is to deny them and all of nature which, consequently, includes each and every one of us and everything on and within the earth and space and time.

I urge you to avoid the pain and the anxiety that comes with trying to separate that which you were born to and that which you so deeply believe and realize that it is all for naught to try to deny it. It is a true false dichotomy and I am proud to stand with each one of my brothers and sisters of any and every faith. After all, we all may have our differing views on deity and the worship thereof, but inexplicably we all came from the same source. Let us all get along in love and peace and be who we are, proudly.

Brightest Blessings )0(

Nathan Jeffery

As Featured On EzineArticles

Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 19 years and remains outspoken about bringing this faith into the publics awareness. Not for ridicule or degredation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.


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Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Costs of Secrecy

I received a message through skype earlier today and it got me thinking about how secrets affect our lives every day. Keeping secrets can be good sometimes, however, what are the side effects of doing so? Are they benign or do they work like a cancer on our very soul, eating away at who and what we believe ourselves to be?

I will attempt to examine this in some detail without completely boring you, my reader, or sounding as if I was coming to this topic in a victim mentality. When I was younger I recall doing things that I knew were against the rules or "taboo". I also remember well how I felt while keeping the secret bottled up inside. And, yes, there are some secrets that remain so today and are just better left in that little place we call the "skeleton closet".

I remember well the knots that welled up within my stomach, that wrenching feeling deep down that told me that I really knew that there could be hell to pay when it was discovered what I had done. Of course, looking back now, I fully realize just how trivial keeping the secret really was, and that keeping the secret really only made me sick and very on edge. Generally when the truth came out, discipline was swift and the pain generally subsided. I also now recall how much relief was there after it was out in the open and dealt with.

How many men and women have had adulterous affairs? And of those, how many of those people became mentally and physically ill from keeping the affair a secret? Most come into the light of day eventually and the damage is already done. Not unlike my example of a child hiding a secret, the physical and mental toll it takes is the same. It makes one edgy, knots well up in the stomach, and it is what will eventually end in divorce. In this situation why is it so difficult to just say "the marriage has issues" or the "marriage is in trouble" and deal with it prior to getting into that situation of lies and deceit?

This one leads back to my opening comment about the skype message I received. I grew up Mormon and made the transition to Wicca and that is already known. What I hadn't really stated prior was this. I kept it a secret how I felt and what I believed for many years. I knew what I believed but out of fear of retribution and ridicule, I kept it bottled up and it was like a time bomb. I always felt incomplete, unfulfilled and generally felt that I was being watched by everyone......although that was not, in fact, the reality of the situation. I functioned this way for years and when i finally "came out", while there was some of the ridicule and retribution, it was nowhere near at the level I predicted it would be.

I have been participating in a rating and comment group for business. We write articles, make blog posts, and make videos and then comment and rate one an-others work. At first I began by making them all about marketing concepts and how to self brand......all of the while hiding who I was "deep down". The knots began to well up and I felt again incomplete as a businessman and something had to give. I was always on edge, muscles tense, headaches and all of the usual side effects. And happened. An awakening of sorts. Why not mix my deep seeded faith AND my business?

Seemed like a great idea at the time so I went with it. Needless to say I am still "with it". So how does this come into play within this article? I had been hiding who I truly was and when I came out about it and began making videos about Wiccan products and Wiccan things......I suddenly received fewer ratings and fewer comments. I received comments on my Facebook profile about "what happened to you?" What happened WAS me and shall remain. I felt relief.

The comment sent to my skype this morning said,"If I'm being honest - the Wiccan Stuff isn't my bag either Nathan. I do my best to eat the chicken and spit out the bones in my interactions with EVERYONE. But some of the stuff on those sites (Images More than anything) are a bit against the grain. I would work on building YOU - rather than the Wiccan Beliefs. You'll get A LOT bigger audience!

While this comment is true, I would still not be ME in doing that very thing, and my Wiccan beliefs govern everything else in my life. To this individual I sent the response that I appreciated his opinion, however. ME and my Wiccan beliefs are one in the same. It would be like any other faith in business not being their faith while they are doing business. It would be a secret and therein a lie! Feels good to be ME instead of what others expect and the secret being out has made life so much more simple. Cost me friends? Not many, and those that decided to stop rating and commenting were never friends to begin with in the grand scheme of things. Life goes on in peace and business. Well, I am still here and still doing business.....just without the stress of "the secret".

Another big one, and one I encountered often, both as a paramedic and a religious leader, is premarital/teen pregnancy. This secret is a biggie and does so much damage mentally, physically, and spiritually, that I would be remiss if I did not address this secret and the aftermath here in this article. The fact of the matter is that some teens, regardless of religious upbringing, will engage in pre-marital sex. Of those some of the young women will become pregnant. The teachings within many faiths make this very taboo.

So what is the effect? For women that I have spoken to that have been in this situation it is very heavy to pack the weight of this secret around. They feel ashamed (although they shouldn't as nature happens), they feel that they have let their parents down or even let themselves down and that takes a tremendous amount of energy, physical and mental, in order to maintain the secret. They compound the morning sickness by holding the secret in and the knots and the vomiting associated with morning sickness, compounded by the lie, become excruciating.

Depression is not uncommon from what I have seen and many times these young women will seek counsel from religious leaders. Now this can be stressful as well because by sharing the secret with clergy, will the clergy divulge this "secret" to their parents who are generally also of this faith? And what then will be the resulting consequences of this decision? You can see the paradox involved here. Many will become depressed, some suicidal, and all over something, that while not necessarily planned, can be dealt with in an adult and loving manner.

I have seen many young women involved in a premarital pregnancy that have not kept the secret, and the results are never as grave as had the secret been kept. While some parents "freak out" and many actually go against their faith and try to convince the teen to abort, the majority do not and eventually accept the reality of the situation and again take on the role of loving and supportive parent. Secrets do damage my friends. Some damage even causes the loss of lives when in fact it shouldn't.

My question then is this. Do we keep secrets? Of course we do. However, at some point we must cease harboring secrets in order for us to truly be who we are and who we were meant to be. Ultimately it really doesn't matter what everyone else thinks, but what we ourselves think, and when we can accept responsibility for our own actions, behaviors and choices, how wonderful life can be. Life isn't always easy. life isn't always without stress and pain and all of the other human emotions that make us who and what we are. However, secrets make us DIFFERENT than who we really are and we must think about what the cost benefit ratio will be if we decide to keep a deep dark skeleton in that closet.

Be who and what you are. The God/Goddess didn't make junk, nor does deity intend for you to be miserable in order to placate or bow to the wishes of everyone else. We are all here for this short period of time we call life. We need to learn the lessons we are meant to learn, however they may present themselves, and act upon them for the benefit of ourselves and those we love and care about. I urge you to purge the negative influences of all of those secrets that you hold deep down inside and feel the freedom of just being proud of who and what you are as a fellow human being. In the end you will respect yourself much more and those around you, that truly care about you, will have more respect FOR you as well.

Until next time my friends, be kind to yourself, be honest and true to your nature and brightest blessings to you always. As always you may reach me privately by email at

Nathan Jeffery

Author-Business and Religious Leader

Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 19 years and remains outspoken about bringing his faith into the public awareness. Not for ridicule or degredation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Toxic People & Relationships

Are you a toxic person/personality? And what is even meant by that? A toxic person is one that is negative almost all of the time. This is the type that looks at a beautiful day and says "it could be nicer". We all have this type of personality in our lives now, or have in the past.

As it relates to business this is the individual that makes a million dollars and then complains about having to pay taxes.So what type of person are you? Have you ever been this way and then made the turn around? Let's face it, we all have our down days. Some just take it and let it roll off their shoulders and yet others take it to heart and those are the ones that I am writing this article for.

So let's evaluate the different types, and this is not all inclusive by any means, of toxic people in our lives:

1: The "naysayer". This type will argue, no matter what, with anything and everything that is said or decided.

2: The "nothing is good enough". This type will, no matter how great things are, find something to gripe about.

3: The "I'm not happy, so no-one else should be". This one is quite possibly the worst as they will always try to pull others down ino their depressed and negative state with them. This is one of the most devastating types to be involved with in our personal lives, and our business lives. (This type was the primary cause of my divorce)

4: The "the grass is always greener". This type always tries to beat the neighbor or the person competing with them in business and regardless of the level of their success continues to try to "one-up" everyone else. *This one can be healthy if kept in check It becomes unhealthy when our happiness depends on it.

5: The "if you are not with me, you are against me". This type believes that everyone should be as miserable as they are, and that is the natural state of things. This is very closely related to the type described in number 3. You will find that these all intersect.

6: The "I am always right and you are always wrong". This is what I call the narcissist. This type of personality really believes that they are always right and everyone else's opinion does not, and should not matter. This is a difficult one to deal with, however, I am about to go into some ways of dealing with all of these types as they all correlate.

That should be sufficient for now. As I stated, I am not by any means going to get them all. So how then do we deal with this type of personality and keep them from permeating our lives and our personality? I am going to be speaking from my experiences here. I am NOT a psychotherapist and I do not follow the DSM3 or the DSM4. Just for those that would be this type and criticize this article. LOL.

I have found that the easiest way to deal with the ones of this type of thinking in business is to NOT associate with them. Hmmmmmm. Well Nathan, that is easier said than done? Right? Not really. At any time did I say it was going to be easy? Well, no I didn't, and for good reason. It is neither easy, nor is it comfortable....for you, or the other person or people involved.

I personally, cut ties with any and all people that I do business with that behave in this manner. It is not always easy and it is by no means comfortable, so why then do I so readily do it? They will not be paying my bills or putting a roof over me and my families head. It is a matter of principle. Too bad, so sad.......NEXT!!!!

Now to the most difficult one. What do you do when it is family and/or close friends? There are a number of ways, and trust me folks I have tried many ways and they do not always insulate you from the affects of the behavior completely. Thus, the everyone has bad days statement earlier. We all have them. When I was married to my last wife, she was very negative. Nothing was good enough, no amount of money was ever good enough, what was for dinner was never good enough.......I think you get the idea here.

I must say this. I did not love her any less and this is where it gets a bit sticky. I noticed that this negativity was depressing me and it was affecting not only our relationship, but my relationships with everyone else. I ended up on an anti-depressant (probably the most over prescribed medication in the USA today) and knew that I didn't want to keep living this way. I knew I could not afford to continue for the sake of our son and my being able to support him.

I made the decision that it was best for the sake of my son's welfare, as well as for my own sanity, to end the marriage of almost 10 years. We tried counseling and for a short while things did improve but in the end the marriage was over. It was not an easy decision, however, was one of the best I have ever made. Now, to get into extended family and other friends. This is a bit easier. We have our interactions with our extended family and friends at our discretion. This one is controllable.

Just like in my business dealings, I NEVER make it personal. We cannot do it in our personal lives either, without becoming the way those we are dealing with are. I love my family and I love my friends enough that I choose to distance myself from the ones that are so negative that they affect my attitude and personality. This way we can remain friends and the love stays in tact.

The people I have been discussing are not "evil" people. They are not this way always by choice and too many factors play into them being the way they are and we must cut some slack without it infecting us. Toxic people are, in many ways, diseased. Whether it be by choice, upbringing or simply socialization. It is not for us to decide which of those was the cause.

We must simply choose our best course of action in order for us to live healthy and successful lives and to see that our children do the same. So what if our child is this way??? Then we better begin doing some soul searching, as it were, and find out why. After all, they learn from us and the people they associate with, and we have direct control over that as parents. Get them and ourselves help if necessary, but deal with it now and it is easier to change the negative thought process.

While this sounds like a bit of a disorganized rant I hope you have been, at the very least, able to stop long enough while reading this to notice those that are impeding your personal development in your personal life and in your business life by their negativity. I further hope that you are able to combat that negative influence in your life and become who you are meant to be.

If this helps you do that in your business life then you have a shot to be successful and I am happy for you. If this helps you in any way improve in your personal life then I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have helped you. And finally, if this is able to help lead you to help, and it assists in saving your marriage, and possibly your child from self destructive behaviors that could affect him/her? Priceless.

Reform negativity when you can, remove negative influences and thinkers if you have to, but remember one thing, only you have the power to change your thoughts and your actions for the better or for the worse and sometimes it just becomes habit and habits can be broken.

As always, if I can be of any help to you at any time please simply email me at and may the Goddess bless and keep you always.

Nathan Jeffery )0(

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Author - Religious and Business Leader

Monday, March 1, 2010

Are We Limiting Our List of Friends and Business Contacts Subconsciously?

I recently started a blog titled "Wiccan Things", and shortly after placed a picture of me from my active days as a religious leader in Wicca on my Facebook page. The results have already been commented on in a previous blog post and article.
So why then am I following up on that with this one? I noticed some things from the study that I honestly hadn't given a great amount of thought. While sleeping last night it came to me! How much do we limit ourselves from other human contact and friendship, in our personal lives and our business lives, due to preconceived notions or stereotypes?
While I have not conducted a huge scientific study to accumulate data and statistics, I would "guess" that the incidence is quite high based on casual observance, as well as my own biases I have had to come to grips with and overcome. As I have said before, we are all human and we all have them....myself included!
It goes without saying that since the events of 9/11, many are "suspicious" of every middle-easterner they see. Many of us will look upon them with some level of guarded curiosity and wonder if they are connected to terrorism in any way. I know I have. While this is not fair, we do it without consciously thinking about it........or how that makes them feel.
As a society we have let our differences in appearance, dress, language, religion, life experiences, upbringing,etc. determine, and seriously limit, who we associate with and who we are friends with, and include in our social and business circles.
I am not arguing against those of common interests "hanging out" or going into business together in any way. My point I am making is that we also "shut out" those we feel are different from us in whatever way we use to judge them. A sort of arrogance in a way. Are we truly better than they are? I don't know about your beliefs but mine teach me not to do this.....there is a difference between what we are taught and the way we put, or fail to put, those teachings into action. Again, I have also been guily of this at times.
We are all guilty of this behavior, after all, we are all human and it is within the psychology and sociology of human nature to behave in this way to an extent. My argument here is this. It is behavior we can change. So why change it? What does that benefit me? I ask myself this question and I know you do as well. How many potential friends do we overlook this way? And how many do we exclude from our business ventures as either clients or recruits?
As a business leader and a religious leader I have to ask those questions. If I continue to think this way then I am limiting my human interactions. It costs me friends, and in my business ventures, it costs me money and potential long lasting friendships and business contacts. I know that we cannot completely overcome our biases or all of the ideologies that have been drilled into our heads.
This article was never meant to give us ways to overcome them but to simply make us stop and think about something that we normally just take for granted. How can we not take for granted something that is done subconsciously? Now that you have read this I hope we will all make the choice to make a concerted effort to make those decisions conscious ones and help us expand our horizons in our friendships and potentially explode our business to new heights.
As always, I can be reached at my email address at and until next time take care of yourselves and each other, and continuously work on personal development. When we fail to continuously learn then we have truly learned to fail.

Brightest blessings )0(,

Nathan Jeffery

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Author-Nathan Jeffery- Wiccan Religious and Business Leader

Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 19 years and remains outspoken about bringing this faith into the publics awareness. Not for ridicule or degredation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Witchvox.Com-Overview (Nathan Jeffery)

Due to popular request from numerous venues, I have been asked where people of Pagan faiths, and those wanting to learn about Pagan faiths, can go to network with one another and find very credible sources of information.
I could think of none better than Witchvox, set up by Wren Walker in 1997. This is free to join and is in my opinion the best site for networking within the pagan community. I hope you enjoy my blog as well as Witchvox is commercial and pop-up free.

As always, I hope this assists you and if you have any questions please feel free to email me at and I will be glad to help you in any way I can. Brightest blessings. )0(
Nathan Jeffery

Teaching Tolerance

While listening to the song Empire by Qeensryche this morning it hit me. What are we teaching our children? Even as those of a very peaceful Wiccan path, what are we teaching our children? Are we teaching them tolerance and love for their fellow man regardless of race, creed or religion? If we aren't then we should be!
I don't know how many of you that are reading this, have listened to this same song, but have you really LISTENED to this song? The words are eery really. Our civilization is out of control in some areas yet we think we are doing so well at just modifying our behavior as it relates to mother nature. Have we thought about mother nature being here after we are gone?
It is highly possible that our civilization could disappear or fall into absolute chaos if we don't change the course of our behavior. Not only is our Nation, as well as others, embroiled in controversial wars and conflicts, we have wars happening on our streets and in our schools right here at home.
This article is NOT an instruction booklet on how to parent. It does not strictly adhere to people of the same faith that I am. The time has come for us to stop teaching our children to hate. Stop teaching them that the world will meet them half way. Stop teaching them learned helplessness.
We need to return to the days when schools did not require armed guards and the biggest threat was a bully or the occasional fight on the playground, and that is even more aggression than our schools should ever have. I have been in law enforcement and currently work in corrections at a very rough prison. I can tell you that the number of inmates is not declining.
Many of those inmates are claiming to be of a pagan religious path. I have to wonder then, how did they commit their crime and still be in adherance with the Wiccan Rede? The answer is they didn't. It is not for me to judge though, and they receive the same treatment as any other inmate.......religious similarity aside. This does, however, tell me that we need to concentrate our teachings on our youth and change the way of thinking and in turn the behavior.
My ending plea is that we are setting the example by adhering to the Rede or whatever scripture our faiths teach us. If we are not adhering to what we believe then why should our children? They learn from us and those around us! Let us be who the lord and the lady intended. Regardless of your faith, I invite you to join me in this challenge. This is a challenge without boundaries of locale or time.
I wish you the best and please let me know if there is ever any way that I may be of help to you....again, let us put aside our differences and start to see people instead of Wiccan, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon.......let us keep our labels to ourselves and begin working as a collective human society as we are intended to and straighten out this mess we have GOTTEN OURSELVES INTO!

Brightest blessings one and all,

Nathan Jeffery )0(

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Author, Business and Religious Leader, Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 19 years and remains outspoken about bringing this faith into the public awareness. Not for ridicule or degredation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Sociology of Human Behavior - External Influences on Perception of Others

This evening I decided that I would try a small experiment to test the theory that we all tend to "judge" others based on appearance and come to some conclusions about the way that person is from those perceptions.

For the past 6 months I have been network marketing and have had a rather conservative picture on my Facebook profile. Tonight I changed that to a photo that was of me 3 years ago when I had my Wiccan shop running full time. The Witches Haven in Cedar City Utah.
I was not so surprised to see what the result was. The immediate result was that I received comments of even saying.......WOW! Others were less "shocked" and ranged from a thumbs up to "I didn't have any clue". This is not a negative thing and my theory was not to show negativity versus positive resulting reactions but to see raw reaction.....period.
I placed a status statement shortly after placing the picture on my profile that stated, "I changed my profile picture here to make a point. Whether you call your clergy Bishop, Father, Rabbi, or High Priest,etc.............never judge by the cover as we are peaceful and only wish to assist our fellow man."
I am happy to state that while my theory was proven that we all make judgments or we tend to have pre-conceived ideas of one another we also have the intelligence to think about these ideas and notions and make informed decisions about our final judgment.
I hope that we all will take the time to think about how we are judging others based on appearances only and that we will stop and think about all of the reasoning and conditions that played into the way they appear. I may have looked like a "hippy" to some. A "satanic" person to others.........neither of which would have been any where near accurate.
This article will be appearing in a post on my blog and by the time this is posted the picture on my FB profile will have been changed back. I neglected to mention that apparently it did have the affect that people were no longer friend requesting me and some chose to leave and that was also expected. I have left it on my blog as it portrays who I truly am.....away from the politics.....and out of the "lime light" as it were.
May we all be cautious about the way we are treating one another because of the language we may speak, the clothing we may wear, the creed we may hold ourselves to, and just treat one another with the respect that deep down we all deserve. In the end nothing else matters but the fact that we are all here on earth and we are all human and have feelings, emotions and frailties.

Until next time take care of yourselves and each other. Brightest blessings. )0(

Nathan Jeffery

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Friday, February 26, 2010

My Transition From Mormonism To Wicca

I was adopted by a good Utah Mormon family when only an infant. I had no comprehension of what that meant through childhood, however, I recall that I never really felt comfortable with the Mormon teachings from my earliest days of cognition.
As I passed through, and out of the Mormon faith at the age of 23 by way of ex-communication, it became very clear that it was a blessing in disguise.
I remember my first contact with the Wiccan faith very well, as it came about absolutely by what I believe to be pre-destiny.
I was attending Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah at the time and had a class about the Sociology of Religion. I knew from the beginning that having a professor that was Jewish AND an openly gay woman, this class would be interesting.
We were all given an assignment to do research, and a report, on a religion. The only catch was that it could not be on any faith that you were a member of, had knowledge of, or had previously attended. My attention was captured and I was absolutely intrigued by the idea.
I began to diligently search and after going through over 100 different faiths I was at a point of complete and utter frustration. Which one do I choose??? I didn't have to wait long for an answer......none of them.
A few days into my search I was walking across the campus of SUU and was stopped by a very plain looking young lady, whom I had never met, and she said," this book is for you". Startled, I simply took it and thanked her without asking any questions and she quickly walked away. I never saw her again from that day forward.....on or off campus.
That book would prove to be the turning point for my finding the faith that I am today. The book in question? The Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland. It was worn and tattered and I could tell that it had been read many times, however, it was complete in every way......including all of the workbook section not yet written upon.
And so my research began. The more I researched and the more I read the more intrigued and enlightened I became. I was like a firework that had been lit. I not only did my research paper and report on the faith but continued as a strong student for the following 3 years.
This faith had been right there, under my nose all of this time? Well, sort of. I learned early on that this faith fit my thinking and my belief systems to a "t". I also learned, however, that it was still very much in hiding. Being the legal minded type that I was and still am, I questioned how that could be? How could people possibly still be hiding their faith from the public?
I knew there was nothing illegal or immoral about Wicca, so why then was it so difficult to find others of my faith? I beame an activist of sorts and began to broadcast (quietly) that I was Wiccan after I initiated in my 3rd year of study as a solitary.
I wore pendant necklaces with pentacles and a shirt that had "proud to be Wiccan" emblazoned upon it. I was proud! And I remain so today.
Shortly after I began doing this though, I began getting scriptures left on my vehicle (had bumper stickers on it stating the same pride). I began receiving threatening emails and phone calls and soon understood why so many....too many.....were still hiding in this great country of freedom we call the United States of America.
From that day forward it became a crusade for me to declare and bring out of the broom closet as many fellow Wiccans as I could. I refused to live with my rights given away out of sheer ignorance and fear. I started a pagan student group at SUU and again fought an uphill battle with the student association as well as with some of the administration at the time.
Then came the turning point. I met with then President Gerald Sherratt, and within the week the student association approved the Pagan Student Association. While it has not lasted through the past 13 years it did exist, and many people became aware of this faiths existence.
I wasn't through at that point and soon discovered that other Wiccans in the majority of Utah were coming out more and more and the public soon began to take notice in even the smaller towns and cities in Utah. Not due to what I was doing but because the social connections on the internet and elsewhere was empowering us to be who we are.
It was not long after that I decided that there really was no business that was catering to us, except in SLC, and that was much too far for many of us to travel to pick up essential ritual (prayer) tools and supplies. I got the idea after graduating college that I would open a shop out of my home that would stock the necessary herbs and supplies.
The shop was called The Witches Haven and was founded in 2004. Again it was a bit of a fight to gain a business license and it was put aside by the city council a number of times. Coincidentally, the former president of the university had become mayor and after meeting with him the license was approved.
It remained quite successful for approximately 3 years and I finally sold it to one of my younger friends so she could cater to the increasingly younger following, and I could then raise my family.
To make this long story short I am Wiccan today. By pre-destiny, by choice, or by chance. In the end it really doesn't matter.
My family remains devout Mormon and they have become very accepting of what I believe and the fact that it differs from their beliefs causes no friction or heartache. I really like some of the Christian hymns and my favorite sums up my feeling on my transition from Mormon to Wiccan. "I once was lost, but now I'm found."
Peace and brightest blessings to each and every one of you and be kind to others and be who you are!

Nathan Jeffery - Blessed Be )0(

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meta Pot - Overview (Nathan Jeffery)

This is a brief overview of one of the most affordable, and expansive sites to find all of your metaphysical and non-metaphysical needs.
There are tons of products here that will appeal to the general public as well. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do and are as satisfied with their product line as I have been.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Repost-Religion/Beliefs by Kierstin

Are you Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Mormon, Wicca,'s an extremely long list. As a teenager it's even harder to figure out what you do and do not believe. I mean decisions that should be simple have to be so much more complicated. I do it all day long. "This shirt or that one?" "What for lunch?" "Say something, don't say something." "Breathe, don't breathe." Okay so the last one I'm kidding but really, think about it. You see an apple and a banana. One of your friends takes two seconds and grabs one but you have to stand there and argue with yourself for five minutes about which one you want. These decisions seem all important, let alone deciding whether you believe in a 'higher power'.

Some of us have a hard time accepting a religion/belief because something just doesn't seem right to you. Christians believe in Heaven and Hell, but what if you don't accept a God that tosses you in fire to burn in agony because you screw up? Mormons believe that if you don't get baptized together with your family in the temple you won't be together when you pass over. Religion and beliefs can be really scary and in fear of something happening you might join them.

I don't want to point you in any directions or tell you to believe this or that. I just want to let you know that just because you don't believe in something someone else does, does not mean you are strange or 'lost' as some will say. Take your time and don't let anything influence you but your own beliefs and feelings. I don't think that I will ever say I'm a specific religion. I just say I'm a believer of a 'higher power'. I've experienced things that cannot be explained away and so has my family and friends. For all I know they all exist and they watch over those that believe in them. I just know that 'higher power' exists and I hold onto that. Basically to sum all this up just remember this. We cannot and will not know the truth until the time comes when we pass away.

Other's may be able to influence your mind and feelings but they can't change who you are and what you are meant to be. At least that's what I believe to be true. ^_^


I just want to thank all of those that have found refuge here if even for but a moment. I invite you to return with honor and in peace anytime you need to or simply desire. I will make every effort to make this blog pertinent to the craft.
I welcome submissions from anyone to my email below. If you need I may also be contacted on Facebook.
Once again, thank you for visiting and I hope to see you again. Blessed be always and Goddess bless and keep you my friends. )0(

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What Is Wicca?

What is Wicca, Really? by LadySeluna

Wicca is often mistaken for Witchcraft. The truth of the matter is, Wicca is a religious faith all of its own. What might surprise many people even more is that Wicca is a very loving religious practice, one that demands its followers to adhere to strict ethics and high morals. Summed up, these ethics convey the Wiccan Law of "Harm None", which enforces those of Wiccan faith to be consistently mindful of their daily actions and resulting effects, and their interactions with mankind, animals, and the environment in which we live.
Wicca incorporates a combination of religious beliefs and practices. These include; Eastern Philosophy, Mystical Quabalah, and old European traditions. From Eastern Philosophy, Wicca derives its belief system of Cause and Effect, Karma and Reincarnation. The Quabalah lends its principles of Spiritual Evolution through 'path-working', as well as Esoteric Knowledges. And, from European tradition Wicca receives its passions and understandings of nature and many of its Deities.
What Do Wiccans Worship?
The foundation of Wicca is based on the teachings and belief that there are many forms of 'Divine Spirit' which reside with us here on Earth, as well as in 'Heavenly' Realms, all of which are benevolent, and accessible by mankind to assist us with our needs - both physical and spiritually. Many of these Divine Beings are found in Nature - in the elements, the sky, and the Earth 'Herself'.
How Do Wiccans Worship?
Wiccans base their primary observances on what is referred to as 'The Wheel of the Year'. This 'Wheel' contains eight times in each year where the changes of the seasons are celebrated by Ritual to pay tribute for the gifts and opportunities inherent in each season.
Examples include the asking for protection and needs to be meet during winter months, the 'calling forth' of spring (seed and planting time), and giving thanks for crop abundances in the autumn.
What Are "Wiccan Tools" and Why Are They Used?
During Rituals, Wiccans use 'tools' - or 'altar items', to assist them with their performances. These include athames, wands, chalices, bowls, candles, and pentacles. Most all of these items correlate with an element of nature, and each has a specific purpose to aid in rituals - which are often performed to portray the roles which Divine Spirits play in interacting and impacting our daily lives.
Wicca and Magick:
Much of the misconceptions about Wicca stem from its practice of performing 'magick'. This magick is often (wrongfully) attached to some type of devil-worship by those who do not take the time to research the facts. In truth, most Wiccans do not even believe in a devil. And, if they did, the Code of Ethics and Principles of Wicca would enforce its followers to stand clear of "him". Wicca promotes well-being unto all.
The Origins of Magick:
The art of performing magick dates back to prehistoric man, whereas tokens of appreciation were offered during semi-rituals by the tribes in hope of being granted particular blessings from the Gods of Old. The most common documented proof of the Gods that were believed in during this era were those of Fertility Goddesses and Gods of the Hunt, both of which were honored frequently in exchange for food and safety.
Magick Today:
Today, much of the makings of magick in Wicca is based on the same platform: Celebrations, dances, and feasts are performed to pay honor to particular Divine Spirits in exchange for blessings which are bestowed. Crafts are made and tokens are offered in the same fashion. These magicks range from elaborate gatherings of wiccan multitudes, to the less casual practices of solitary wiccans, whereas an individual (or group of a few) will perform smaller rituals to gain more personal-type blessings.
Other Tools of Craft:
It is believed by wiccans that most all natural materials, from stones to plants, withhold specific 'energies' which may be utilized in magick as additional aids for attaining specific results. The Most popular of natural materials is perhaps the usage of herbs. Herbs are incorporated into magick by way of making crafts by them for offerings and tokens of appreciation and honor. Herbs are a also incorporated into magickal workings for their large variety of pleasing fragrances, and for this reason are commonly used in incenses - which are burned during all religious ceremonies in effort to attract and compliment the Divine Spirits.
Wicca, during the past many years, has done much in the way of promoting religious tolerance in the publics eye. It is not within the religious practice of Wicca to solicit new members or reform those of other religious creeds. But rather, to teach, by example, the many blessings bestowed upon those who abide by the Law of Love, and kindness to all.
Each of the Great Religions of the World is based upon the teachings of making personal improvements and rising above our environments, helping those in need, and becoming more spiritually evolved. It seems impossible, therefore, that with so many similarities among various religions - that any particlar creed could be right or wrong.
With all of the struggles that separate mankind in today's world, I maintain that Religion should not be one of them. But in fact, should be a common ground that unites us all - despite a cultures 'name' for its God (or Goddesses) and the origins or mythic tales attached. I believe that "God" - in any aspect, is most likely BI-LINGUAL (speaking many languages) and is present to all cultures. I further suggest that any Almighty Being has better things to do than play monopoly among religious creeds. Education is the key, and there are many informative books on Wicca available.

The author of this article is Lady Seluna.

We All Come From The Goddess