Tired – Malaise of Abuse

With this new blog, I am committed to writing regularly again. Carving out time away from all my many obligations and writing about my journey to a life of thriving after significant and prolonged abuse. I am struggling today. I don’t want to write.

I want to go lay down.

Tired isn’t really descriptive regarding what I am feeling. Weary comes closer but really the term malaise is more accurate. I am literally so tired that the very thought of doing anything else is soul shattering. And yet, this morning, I have done dishes, cleaned up from ritual last night, prepared for a class that was held this morning, sorted laundry, said good bye to a good friend who stayed over last night, finished a crochet project, and led an hour-long class on energetics.

This is what thriving requires. I gave in to this soul crushing exhaustion once and ended up in a mental hospital in Atlanta after literally being in bed for six weeks. The more I “rested” the more fatigue crept into my life the more I stayed in bed and the more I binged True Blood. I was escaping from the world that had become overwhelming to me.

I had been diagnosed with a disorder I couldn’t see or control, Mast Cell Activation Disorder with Neurocardiogenic Syncope. I continued to battle Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from my childhood and I was completely lost. Cut off without a community and set adrift in a sea of emotions that threatened to drown me.

The fatigue is partially a real bodily fatigue from my various medical conditions, but the feelings that accompany this fatigue says, “I can’t handle one more thing going wrong,” or “If anyone is mean to me I will cry,” or “I want to curl up with Cas[ Castiel, call name Cas, is Dia’s service animal.] and pretend the world doesn’t exist.”

It is as if I have gone passed the place where the things I have seen, been forced to do, and had to experience are pouring out of my pores like a sickly sweet smelling sweat. I am drenched in the feeling, sticky with it. The smell is pungent in my nose and there is no escape from the insistence that even a shower wouldn’t rid myself of these overwhelming feelings of violation, hurt, and devastation.
The secret truth of trauma survivors is this…. we feel like this every day. Today isn’t some special exception to my life. This is a mind numbing normal that I cannot escape even with years of cognitive behavioral therapy – years…as in I was 18 when I started and I am 52 now.

Overtime, you learn to present your indomitable spirit as the mask others see first, refusing to be beaten by the trauma of your past and the chronic illness that past created. It becomes this second skin that simply suppresses the vile and vitriol the trauma creates in your emotions and mind. You learn to mimic the smiles and mannerisms of those who can’t smell the stench upon you. You learn to keep your disassociation to a minimum least it take over and ruin the house or cards you precariously balance upon the trauma ruins your life began with.

Some later time, I will do some research and explore more effectively the biological changes made in children who suffer severe trauma at young ages. Today, I am tired and I will stick to what I know.
Disassociation is a way that the mind copes with trauma and stress. We all will disassociate some: on days we binge, “Murder in the Building,” or read an entire book or lose ourselves in a world of crafts, video games, or watching sports. Some take this disassociation to horrible places by drinking too much, taking drugs, or doing other destructive and harmful things.

Disassociation for trauma survivors is not just a way to cope with stress it is a conditioned response to stress. As a child as stress and tension rose in our homes, we looked for escape which was reading, being outside and away from the abusers, going to other people’s houses, playing pretend, or literally disassociating from the current real moment by simply drifting off into the ether world where nothing was or is and certainly nothing is raping the mind as the pedophilia rapes the body.

The problem as a adults is that stress to the body is the same biological response as it was when we were being raped. Our body doesn’t understand that today’s stress is my overflowing basket of papers to electronically scan and file and not an active rape. To my body it is just stress. And disassociating is how my body has learned to handle stress.

When I do not comply and check out of my current environment.. my office and desk of cluttered papers in need of filing, my body fights back. It says to me, “Sleep. Your tired. You have earned it. Just close your eyes and sleep.”

I suddenly want to finish a book I am reading or there is some crocheting I could do or I could just give in and take a nap.

There are consequences though to giving in. Laundry doesn’t get done. The kitchen doesn’t get cleaned. My filing continues to pile up. My writing goes unwritten.

Which, when I am not disassociating, exponentially raises my stress level, which cause my body’s need to disassociate to grow which makes it hard to be motivated to get things done, which causes my stress to grow….

A cyclical return of never ending stress and the pressure our past puts upon us to do nothing but emotionally, intellectually, physically hide.

Food helps. But food is, in and over itself another coping mechanism that I can use to fight the stress and need to disassociate. Being addicted to caffeine when your heart is physically fragile isn’t such a great way to cope with the fatigue need of disassociation.

Exercise helps but who wants to exercise and be even more physically exhausted.
In fact my sister[ Any sibling or family member I refer to is a chosen one and not biological unless specifically indicated as biological.] has educated me on the term “self soothing.” A series of behaviors people do to try to alleviate anxiety and physical stress. I knew immediately what she was talking about because I knew exactly what I did regularly to try to alleviate my stress and anxiety levels. My biological mother did it too.

My biological father had been on a tear. I could hear him raging through the house knocking things around and screaming at my mother. The side door slammed and the loud rumble of his suped up wood paneled station shattered the hot, humid southern afternoon. It trundled down the road gaining moment with the increasing sound of his retreat, signaling the all clear to the children who had scattered and hidden when his rage had begun.

I walked into the piano room in the house and my mother was all huddled on the patten leather green chair that had somehow survived the 1970’s to live in my childhood home. It was hideous and my mother, for some unknown reason, loved it. I walked in and she was sucking her thumb and completely disassociated from the world I was currently walking in. I called her name softly, “Mama?”
She started and ripped her thumb from her mouth and then with venom said, “Don’t you tell anyone,” jumped out of the green monster and left the room.

I understood. I sucked my thumb until well past middle school and my biological parents spent lots of money trying to make sure I didn’t go through my life with horrible horse teeth caused my the “voracious” thumb sucking, one orthodontist quantified it.

But it was soothing and required nothing but my own body to help ease the ache of trauma all around me. I wouldn’t and didn’t judge my biological mother for thumb sucking something I caught her doing multiple times. I understood it and longed to be able to do it myself.

When my sister told me about self soothing, I was on the phone with her. My right hand thumb was laid along my right jaw line. My first two fingers of the same hand were curled up under my nose where I could feel the soft breath from my nostrils move the hair on my hands. With sudden clarity I saw myself and realized my was still sucking my thumb it just wasn’t in my mouth.

My hand jerked to my lap after that jolt of understanding hit me. I felt exposed and vulnerable and shamed. Like my biological mother I suddenly realized that this habit exposed some truths about me and my past and present, even when I thought my mask was firmly covering the stench of my tiredness.
Now I live a battle to not “suck my thumb” in public or when people are around. I catch myself doing it daily. Invariably I can’t help but feel some kindred with my biological mother over the similarities of our coping strategies.

For now, I am tired and will finally allow myself lunch and the hope of not wasting my day asleep hiding from the stress of my life.

Fragile Heart, Indomitable Spirit

Domestic Violence appears simple. People live together. One party beats, violates, or mentally abuses another party they live with and that equals Domestic Violence. With this simplistic view, persons’ who have never experienced beating, violation, or mental abuse come to believe that the solution is simple too. The person who is beating, belittling, or violating others should stop. The person getting beaten, belittled, or violated should leave. And that kind of thinking opens a world of blame for abuser AND victim. If the victim doesn’t leave or tell then there is something wrong with them. If the abuser doesn’t stop, then there is something wrong with them or there is some secret justification for what they do. In either case, the answer is simple, stop or leave and tell.

Here is a piece of truth. Any persons involved in domestic violence have something wrong with them. How “wrong” they are depends on the extent and length of time they are abused. I don’t like to say that victims, survivors, and thrivers of abuse are broken. I would say that their operating system has been corrupted by the virus of abuse. There are glitches in their abilities to executive function, emotionally connect, carry out the mundane functions of life, sleep, eat, have sex…the glitches will depend on how they processed and are processing the abuse they suffered. They can find alternative pathways to function. This means that how they have learned to function is forever altered – different from the parts of society not touched by abuse.

I am intimately familiar with domestic violence. My father was (is?) an explosive abusive and pedophile. My life was measured by moments of terror interrupted by moments of bizarre behavior, strange coping skills, and a broken family dynamic. Even my own memories of my abuse and childhood are a little suspect given that much of my abuse lives in a clouded space in my brain that my mind’s eye cannot penetrate. I am left with context clues, my body’s own reaction to stimuli, other people’s witnesses of my abuse, other peoples’ violation at my father’s hand, and the assurance of the many counselors I have had over the years that I am a thriver of sexual, physical, mental, and emotional abuse. This also leaves me feeling less than .. Unsure .. feeling a little crazy. As crazy as my biological family claims I have always been.

I have started and stopped this book throughout the years unclear where it was going to go or how it was going to get my story out there. I recently had a waking vision that my sister brought me a book to sign for her and said she was sorry, then walked away. When you have been abused, you long for love from those who didn’t give it, those who have denied the abuse and its devastating effects upon you. You want them to acknowledge your truths and then offer some consolation prize of sorrow at their disbelief and the actions they made because of their disbelief.

I would like to say that at nearly fifty-two years my desire for that type of acknowledgment from my biological family is gone. It is not. I have been cut off from my biological family on both my biological mother’s and biological father’s sides of the family. An uncle on my mother’s side told me point blank he didn’t believe me. An Aunt on my father’s side simply walked away in silence after I told her I wouldn’t attend my dying mother because she was complicit in the abuse I suffered. Goddess bless, I long so deeply, to have someone of my blood turn to me and say, “I believe you….I believe you.” I am not holding my breath. It would cost my biological family too much to believe me.

My biological father was (is?) a charismatic man. Loud booming laughter often preceded him wherever he went. Good-looking in his youth, he didn’t age well but still, people were drawn to him. My biological mother would later confirm something I had suspected since my college days, my biological father was afflicted with bipolar manic and depressive episodes and spent most of his life unmedicated. I will never forget her telling me.

“You can come back around now. He is so much better since he went on Prozac. Turns out he was bipolar or something all this time.”

Because in my deeply rooted southern family the current status quo was all that mattered. Nothing from the past should be permitted to touch the present. My father was better at this time and had a good excuse for his violent and violative behavior. Suck it up. Get over it. Move past it. Let it go! Just like a cartoon. Terrible things happen and upheaval is everywhere but no one suffers mentally for it. They just, “Let it go!” while singing about it all.

It is how my biological family still lives with blinders. It is culpability. If they could be friendly with this man for all these years and like him, then there is no way he was raping preteen girls, feeling those same girls up, or beating his family. Maybe some knew he beat the children with a belt during his blackout fits of rage, but we, my sister, my brother, and I had broken rules, lied, or done wrong. Maybe the way they “disciplined” back then was misguided but it was no more or less than anyone else of that time or before. Parents beat their children and children just got over it and maybe chose to parent differently. I am intimately familiar with the excuses given for abuse and the ways people around abuse dress that abuse up or try to diminish the impact abuse has or, ultimately, blame the victim.

Even still, I am cut off from my biological family because they would have to let go of a reality that for them is comfortable and friendly, even. They would need to face their own abuse suffered at my grandparent’s hand because make no mistake, this story of domestic violence doesn’t start with me, although, I pray often that none of my cousins or nieces and nephews suffered as I did and continued the violence passed their generation.

And that brings me back to this blog. Originally a long-worked on book entitled, “Fragile Heart, Indomitable Spirit.” A nod to the genetic condition I have had my whole life and the physical changes, literal changes to the DNA of my body, that my excruciating abuse caused. It also is a nod to the triumph I occasionally feel. I survived. I didn’t buckle to the beseeching and cajoling and threatening and ostracization meted out because I would not back down from my truth..the truth…the reality that I was repeatedly raped, physically abused, mentally gaslit, and emotionally crippled by my biological family.
I want to write down this reality and simultaneously reach out to other survivors with this story.
I want to say, “I believe you,” but do more.

I want to help shed light on what many clinical self-help books teach. They explain clinically how severely abused people act as an adult and why they act that way. What I have are the stories to fill in the gaps and truly demonstrate what that looks like. I want to help those who do love the horribly mistreated better understand us, support us, and love us.

But I realized today that my book in total may never be written. I am a busy minister in training, currently undertaking an Ordination track that requires class projects, class time, homework, and pre-work. I serve as a Distinguished Religious Group Leader at a base two hours from my home. I am disabled but work three days a week for a not-for-profit and spend my other time in ministry. I have a service animal that will always need refresher training.

So maybe I need to go about this differently. This blog will be my book. Put together over time. Come along with me and laugh, cry, be outraged, be comforted, moreover, come along and learn to help those whose childhoods were far from situations that anyone can easily let go of.

Praying the Morrigan Rosary

To Make the Rosary

Dia’s Morrigan Rosary

1 large Triskele Charm

4 beads for the directions

1 spacer bead (total of 5, this is also called the medal and starts the ‘Y’ of the necklace)

9 beads for each decade (total of  45)

1 spacer bead

9 beads for each decade

1 spacer bead

9 beads for each decade

1 spacer bead

9 beads for each decade

1 spacer bead

9 beads for each decade

(Connects back to the medal or 1st spacer bead)


You came to me on raven’s wings

Embraced and empowered me

Waited patiently for me

There is no aspect of life you do not guard or grant access to

There is no aspect of death that you are not the gatekeeper of

Through this my prayer

Accept this worship and praise

And I humbly ask you to guide and guard my days[i]

Four Directional Beads



The Morrigan[ii]




Queen (repeat two more times)

On the Medal & Every Spacer

Blessed Be oh Highest and Holiest of Ladies

My Beloved Ladies of the Morrigan

To you I honor and worship in the Old Ways

When woman was the Center,

Woman was the Creatrix of the World

Your Temples of worship well laid.[iii]

1st Decade

The Morrigan

Seven Ravens you have sent to me

Lessons of sovereignty, queenship, and battle-hardened strength you have given me

I am yours, my heart is in the Raven’s claw

Accept this worship

Let this prayer be a sacrifice that is well laid

Bringing joy to your heart

As you bring joy to mine.


Blessed Be oh Highest and Holiest of Ladies

My Beloved Ladies of the Morrigan….

2nd Decade

Macha, sunlight upon my face

Fertile soil beneath my feet

Passion of my life

Horse and crow yours to call

Goddess, Warrior Queen, Faery Woman

Blessed Macha

Strengthen my bones, my spirit, my mind, my soul

All Hail Macha


Blessed Be oh Highest and Holiest of Ladies

My Beloved Ladies of the Morrigan….

3rd Decade

Badb, death’s blow and midwife of the soul

White Lady with the red mouth of death

The Wolf and hooded crow yours to call

Washer at the Ford, Holy Badb

Fair Maiden, Judgemental Crone

Wash away my negative habits

Make my emotions clean

Guard me as I commune with the dead

Holy Badb, make me worthy in life and death

All Hail Badb


Blessed Be oh Highest and Holiest of Ladies

My Beloved Ladies of the Morrigan….

4th Decade

Anu, mother that is the Earth

Whose body is the mountains, valleys, running waters, deep oceans

Holy Anu deeply rooted One

Great Mother of gods and humans

From you all life and riches flow

Prosperity and growth are your domain

Ground me

Allow me to feel your love, care, and prosperity

Blessed Anu, let me feel your presence here

All Hail Anu


Blessed Be oh Highest and Holiest of Ladies

My Beloved Ladies of the Morrigan….

5th Decade

The Morrigan

Seven Ravens you have sent to me

Lessons of sovereignty, queenship, and battle-hardened strength you have given me

I am yours, my heart is in the Raven’s claw

Accept this worship

Let this prayer be a sacrifice that is well laid

Bringing joy to your heart

As you bring joy to mine.

Spacer or Medal

Blessed Be oh Highest and Holiest of Ladies

My Beloved Ladies of the Morrigan….

Four Elemental Beads







The Morrigan (repeat again)


You came to me on raven’s wings

Embraced and empowered me

Waited patiently for me

There is no aspect of life you do not guard or grant access to

There is no aspect of death that you are not the gatekeeper of

Through this my prayer

Accept this worship and praise

And I humbly ask you to guide and guard my days

[i] Some of the references are about my personal relationship with The Morrigan and may make no sense to someone else. I encourage any worshipper of the Morrigan to change the main charm to your own words.

[ii] Stephanie Woodfield from Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess was a great inspiration for this rosary and some of these words are hers.

[iii] This is taken directly from Tirgereh at Sacred Grove but the prayer has been removed. I did alter it for my purposes.

Writer not Writing

I haven’t written anything in a long time. I lost someone very close to me a few years ago and to say that it devastated me is an understatement.

I have also been busy with Willow Dragonstone Community & Coven.

Then I joined the ordination program with Circle Sanctuary, something I have been pursuing for about a year and a half. I did this, not because I feel invalidated as a High Priestess. I joined because I wanted to make a difference, have different opportunities, and learn. All of these things are being accomplished.

Then Alice The Pagan Service Dog died and I got Castiel Crabtree my new service dog.

Honestly, though, my drive to write hasn’t been around. I want to finish my autobiography, Fragile Heart, Indomitable Spirit, and yet I have been having a horrible time trying to finish it and have scrapped it and re-written it several times. I have also worked on a Pagan Sex Book and a Leadership Book both of which are in stasis at this time. I am not going to push it. I have a new important clergy role in the world that is requiring me to become very familiar with the Nordic Traditions and I am going to continue to focus on that. I just wanted to jump on and give a bit of an update.

Lazy Pagan Clergy: The Introduction to the forthcoming Pagan Sex Book by Dia.

lazy-snoopyThere is an inherent problem among pagan’s clergy: a lack of continuing education. Even as this book goes to press much of the hours of research I have done for it may even now be out of date, incomplete, disproved, or thought of in radically different ways. Such is the nature of research and development in the sciences. 

As a pagan people, we have allowed the centuries of patriarchal rule of spirituality and spiritual philosophy to make us lazy. We are not concerned with what the results of the physical-biological sciences, psychology, and sociology have to say about the human condition, the interactions that create that condition, the ever-changing understanding of the human body and its commentary about that condition, and how that intersects with spiritual experiences singularly and in groups. We have become weight down by a new dogma of tradition and traditional values that we have inherited from Christianity.

In Christianity, there is a dogma of belief and practice. Clergy’s job is to simply maintain the status quo and slowly push the boundaries of that status to keep up with the changing acceptable social fabric of society.

It is precisely why books like this one and others must be written. I have been frightened into inaction when it comes to pursuing the writing of this, The Pagan Sex Book, and other books – what expert am I? What authority do I have to do these things, say these things, write these things?

Literally, in a dream, as I began to write this introduction, I realized something: how can I not? How can I continue to allow the laziness inherited by us through a patriarchal system of belief continue to be the prevalent wind directing the spiritual path I have devoted my physical and spiritual life?

Our clergy should be at the cutting edge of the philosophical debates around spirituality and the discoveries made by social science, psychology, and biological research. Let our counterparts in other religions create a slow push that gently moves the fabric of society.
We are pagan warriors, priests and priestesses. We do not slowly move. We shatter and destroy old ways of thinking. We radically alter the things we come in contact with. It is why we still worship and center ourselves around an altar. It is a literal reminder of the alteration we, as pagans, are attempting to create on the very fabric of the physical world.

What I produce will be flawed.

It will not be lazy.

It will demand that we stop sluggishly relying on the status quo created by our counterparts in Christianity and the Abrahamic Religions. It will be a radical and direct movement of the boundaries of what we understand and accept as part of the pagan spiritual movement. Because of all this, it will be controversial and what you need to know is this: 

It is not the idea of controversy or conflict that motivates me to use the forger’s hammer and burning forge, to bend, shape, and remold the priestesshood’s understanding of the concepts I am presenting. I am not, as Big Named Pagan authors of old, offering radical ideas and concepts for the sake of creating sales. I am simply doing what pagan clergy should have been doing long ago, refusing to lazily accept what Christian Spiritual paths tell us. Instead, I am looking towards the sciences to help us radically change and move everything we come in contact with. I am using the power of my words processed through my will to create the radical change I want to see in society.

She changes everything she touches and

Everything she touches changes.

Mindset of a Witch

The first tool a Witch has is their will.

The second tool a Witch has is what they do.

Any physical tool, spell or ritual is crafted to help focus the mind, properly direct action to bring the practitioner’s will to bare on the situation in order to create a real change on the physical plane.

Last night I was peer counseling a woman and was listening to her talk about herself. Her speech over all was extremely negative and when talking about herself it was dismissive and self-effacing. I turned to her and said, “That is not how witches think.”

The look on her face spoke volumes. The very idea that there was an actual thought process for witches was missing from her understanding of magick.

I have spent the past twenty-four hours contemplating this exchange. I talked with community sisters and my husband about it. I tried to force the words out of my mouth that would explain my own perplexity and her confusion. I told my coven sister, Pilosa, “I literally don’t understand.”

When I went to the battered woman’s shelter, I can remember the intake process clearly. The older woman in modest clothing getting me to talk and eventually coming around to what my name was and how I knew to come to that location. I was sitting across from her desk and I recounted the last beating I had received to the tacky eighties faux carving on the front of her desk. After telling her what I remember of the past three days and showing off my latest battle wounds, I took a deep breath and waited for her to tell me to go back home or that I was lying or any number of things I had been told before.

“Well!” she said matter-a-factly, “You can’t go back there and live.”

My eyes shot up to look her in the face for the first time since I had been aware of where I was.

“Really? I don’t have to live there?”

I watched confusion, surprise, compassion, and resignation flit across her face in rapid succession.

“No. You aren’t safe there. You do not have live anywhere if you aren’t safe. You do not have to do anything you do not want to do. You just do not have to do anything.”

Eventually, she would talk about the plan to get me away from my biological deputy sheriff father and complicit biological mother. First, though, she laid out a world for me that was counter to everything I had experienced up until that day. What she taught me stuck and has driven and guided me ever since, in my Craft and in my life.

Not Everyone Makes It

I can remember her rattling off the statistics for children who have been raised in abusive homes from birth. They are staggering and sobering.

1 woman is beaten every 9 seconds in the US

Battering is the single major cause of injury to women, exceeding rapes, muggings and auto accidents combined

40-45% of woman in physically abusive relationships are raped and/or assaulted during the relationship

4, 774, 000 women in the US will experience physical violence by an intimate partner every year

20 people are victims of intimate partner violence every 60 seconds

80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder

2/3 of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children.[1]

There are 1,500 battered women shelters in the United States and 3,800 animal shelters.[2]

On average, a woman will leave an abusive relationships 7 times before she leaves for good.

Then she said, “96% of the women I see through this shelter, will return to the abuse and not make it to what I call thriving: living a life happily beyond abuse and in safety. Only 4% ever thrive. Some leave and find new people to abuse them. Woman right now in this shelter will be murdered by the abuser they are with or a new abuser they will find later. Not everyone makes it.”[3] [4]

I can remember that she paused.

She stopped talking.

The silence lingered in the air and I sat there thinking that living with my biological parents was something I would never do again, but I knew she was right. I knew that there was some cycle being played out by my biological family that had remained hidden and disguised and secret. I also knew, I didn’t know how to not fall into all that again.

“It is all about what you decide.”

“You aren’t a child anymore. No one can make you do or say or believe anything ever again, if you decide that is how it is going to be. You have to decide though. You have to live a life where what you want is absolutely more important than anything else and you have to live a life where you just won’t take no for answer.”

See, my biological father was the deputy sheriff of the small town I had spent the last four to five years of my violent childhood. The intake officer had realized she couldn’t keep me on the books without notifying a man with a gun that his years of beatings and rapes had been exposed. She was about to turn me loose in my 1984 VW Rabbit, with all my worldly possessions in it, my broken and abused body, and instructions to find a place to live for less than $400 a month in one of three counties. She was about to hand me $100 cash out of her own pocket to keep me off the books and was working with other county agencies to keep it that way while ensuring I got the medical and mental assistance I was going to need. She knew that my own determination to leave my biological family might be the only thing that would keep me alive, safe, and with any hope of life beyond the abuse I had lived in.

I had to decide. I had to adopted a life of determination, a state of being in my very will that my entire life would change.

Little did I know that is the first mindset every witch must adopt.

Since that day, if I wanted something, there is no acceptable answer other than it will absolutely happen.

I wanted to go to North Georgia College. It never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t be accepted or that I couldn’t find funding. I was going to go to North Georgia College.

I did. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in 1994.

I met my current husband after doing a spell for him. It never crossed my mind the spell wouldn’t work. I just knew the spell would work. When I met him I clearly heard the goddess tell me, “Marry him.”

Not very long after meeting him, I was sitting on his lap and said, “I love you.”

“I don’t think I love you,” he said. “I am in love with someone in Chicago.”


“Okay?” he said, a bit shocked.

“Yea! Okay! Let’s go get you packed up so you co go get her.”

“Wait, you are going to help me pack and encourage me to go back to Chicago to be with another woman when you just told me you loved me?”

“Absolutely,” I said, “The sooner you go and get back with her, the sooner you will return to me when you realize you love me.”

Within the week, he professed his love for me and we married very shortly after that.

I went to the doctor once for a blurry eye. I was told there was a hold in my cornea and no cure. My contact had caused an eye infection and that infection had created a hole in my cornea. He gave me antibiotic drops and prepared me for the idea that I will eventually be blind in that eye.

On the way out of his office, I decided I didn’t want to be blind in one eye. I stood outside his office door in the sunshine and pictured the hole in my cornea closing. For the next twenty-four hours, I put drops in my eye every hour as prescribed and every time, saw the hole in my cornea closing. I went back to the doctor the next day. He spent a long time looking in my eye and consulting pictures and chart notes from the day before. Finally, he sighed really big and said, “So this is weird, but there isn’t a hole anymore.”

“I know,” I said, “I really can’t afford to be blind right now.”

He checked me every day for a week, the hole never returned and I never wore contacts again.

Since that day at the battered woman’s intake center, I have lived a life of deciding what I wanted. I surrendered the idea that the universe is against me and embraced the idea that there is no way the Universe would stand against me. My will and the will of the universe were one in all things and every decision I made.

This is not to say that all the outcomes in my life have been good. It is to say that there is a place in me where when a decision is made, in my heart, in my will, in my mind… it is a done deal. For me, this is why I do not do spells a lot. Because I have to have a will for that spell that is extraordinary because I know that what I will – happens.

“It is all about what YOU do.”

After waxing about deciding to live a different life, the intake officer quieted for a bit and then said, “Because of your dad being a deputy, I can’t keep you on the books. I can’t do a lot of things I would do otherwise. I can’t even keep you at the safe house, any safe house in any adjoining county is compromised and not safe for you. Unfortunately, it is all about what YOU do.”

It was an almost reverent whisper that seemed to spiritually call to all the woman whom she had ever seen abused that rose above that start to find something else.

“It is all about what YOU do,” she said a little louder seeming to come out of some temporary trance. She then detailed a plan to get me help, get me to safety, get me to see a psychiatrist and get me into weekly therapy all off the books and all contingent on my physically leaving and finding a place to live.

She was unconsciously teaching me the second lesson of being a witch. Once your will has been decided, then your actions must support the decision of your will.

I left that office knowing I had at least two nights in a hotel covered and a desperate need to find a place to live for under $400 per month. I needed a job in a town I had never been to and I needed to get into a college. I decided to go to Dahlonega, GA because there was a college there. I drove to Dahlonega and picked up a local newspaper. Under “Rooms for Rent” there was a blurb about an efficiency apartment for $150 per month at a Bed and Breakfast. I borrowed a phone in one of the shops on the square in Dahlonega and made the call. The room hadn’t been rented and it wasn’t much, but it was furnished. I got an addressed, bought a map, and drove to the place.

I can’t imagine what the owners of the Bed and Breakfast thought of this scraggly young adult with bruises all over. They showed me the place. I pulled out the $100 the intake officer had given me and said, “All I have is this, but here is the card of the woman who is helping me and she will guarantee my rent for the next six months. Also I am a hard worker, I could clean for you in the mornings and I am going to get a job in town. I just had to make sure I had a place to sleep first.”

I can remember knowing that they could scoff and run me off. My will, however, had already decided this was perfect. I could disappear into this small town at a bed and breakfast. Because I had decided I would never live with my bio family again I was not going to.

They took the card and money and gave me the key without saying too much. I was so afraid they would change their minds, I unloaded everything I owned up four flights of stairs to the attic efficiency in the hopes that would discourage any mind changing. Later, an envelope was slide under my door in the night while I slept. The owners gave me back the $100 and told me to go buy some pots, pans, dishes and food.

I was digesting that in a sort of sleep fog when the door rattled with another knock. I cautiously open the door to find a tray full of morning foods for me and a hand drawn map to the nearest home goods and grocery store. When I came back the owners verified the make and model of my bio family cars and told me they were friends with a local deputy who I might see parked outside sometimes but not to worry he was a good cop and he wouldn’t tell.

I was safe. I was housed. I was fed.

It seems a bit like magic.

“Fortune favors the bold,” however, no truer statement in magick and life could be made. I could easily have curled up and been overwhelmed by the idea that I was a battered woman with no place to live. It isn’t enough to have a will, I had to do the work.

You have to take the chance. You have to walk confidently toward your goal with an unwavering belief that the Universe is going to open up doors when you get to them. Even when that closed door is just inches from your face, you have to keep walking with a confident knowledge that it is going to open for you…as if by magick.

Looking back on that incident, I am grateful for all the good people who stepped up and took up my cause when I needed it most. I also know, that I was a powerful force that by my will and doing I wasn’t asking for handouts, I was just asking for doors to open. There was never any doubt in me that any door I needed would open.

Every thought and action was congruent with the idea that the Universe was going to make things happen because I was going to do what needed to be done to get it done.

The lessons that intake officer taught me have never left. I have fallen back on the habits cultivated by that intake officer time and again and they have never failed me.

I decide.

I do.

Magick happens.

There is never any question that life would happen any other way.


This is the first problem most Craft Seekers have. They have to decide. For me that first decision was really easy. I didn’t want to be raped and beaten, so I had to make a life without my biological family.

I find, however, that things aren’t as easy now. I meet Seekers who really aren’t clear what they want. They can’t settle on a clearly defined decision to set their will to.

I have also learned over time, that a vague will is as bad as no will at all. I have learned it isn’t good enough to say, “I need a new job.” That type of vague decisions leaves a lot up to the Universe and the Universe has a very sick sense of humor.

My husband did a spell to create self-confidence in his life. The next day he lost his job. The next job was working for the most racists, bigoted, ass hole, he or I had ever met in a professional setting. Stone took nearly a year and half of verbal and emotional abuse from this guy before he quit and sought other employment.

Here is the thing. Stone gained all kinds of self-confidence in his work and his ability to do his job. The spell absolutely worked and in hindsight, it is not the kind of spell he would recommend anyone ever doing.

When you decide, you have to be specific. This requires the Seeker to spend time with themselves.  “Know thyself,” is a common craft theme for a reason. Only those who really know themselves can make decisions that really benefit themselves in the long run. Too many practitioners rush here and there, from decision to decision, without the benefit of real thought or the balance of real investigation.

When I came to the craft and wanted to learn, I did not ask a bunch of people their opinions about what to learn. I went to a book store and decided what to read. I looked in the back at the reference notes and read those books. I didn’t believe that there was ever going to be some teacher who gave me the knowledge I was seeking. As a Seeker, knowledge was out there and it was my job to find it, read it and assimilate it. I decided to learn and didn’t worry or wait around for someone to teach me.


This is where deciding and doing intersect. It isn’t enough to decide what you want, you also have to follow through and do what you personally are able to manifest that in your life. You want to belong to a community and never visit or do research to find one, then you can’t complain you can’t find a community.

If you consistently live hours from where you know communities exist and are unwilling to drive to those events or move closer to those locations, then you can’t complain that you don’t have support and learning available to you.

Doing means so much more than doing just enough to get by. It means creating a life that allows for manifestation of all the things you know you want and need.

Doing requires bold action drive by decisive will. This means that your thoughts, what you say, everything you do is congruent with the decision you have already made. If something counter to your decision creeps in, you address that immediately and correct your thoughts, actions and emotions.

Yes! Emotions! Part of most Craft Seeker’s issues is an erroneous belief that emotions are beyond their personal control. Recovery from my childhood trauma has made me very aware of the fact that my emotions are as much in my control as my bladder is. Even with diagnosed PTSD, ultimately I can control and manage my emotions. It is a discipline as surely as physical fitness is.

I have read a lot about Emotional Intelligence (EI) that examines emotional control in individuals and how to gain it. What my study of EI has given me as a witch is an understanding that when my will is made up my thoughts, verbal communications and MY EMOTIONS must be congruent with my decision for the magick to be powerful and successful. I find I am not successful when my emotions aren’t as clear and concise as my decision is. Typically, this notifies me that maybe my decision should be modified or abandoned.

For a witch, doing is about a complete self-possession of spirit, will, emotion, mind and communication that ultimately embodies a foundational tenant of the Craft: “As within, so without.”

As I am self-possessed and disciplined so the world I create around me is. Where I am not, my outward world will reflect this back to me so that I can make adjustments and corrections.

I must know myself, having clear and concise knowledge about the decisions I am making so that I can do exactly what needs to be done and have an economy of action that signifies a successful witch.

When these two things join, I can be a witch and everything is possible.

As I so will it,

So mote it be!

[1] http://americanspcc.org/child-abuse-statistics/
[2] http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/facts.htm
[3] The 96% is what she told me back in 1990-1991 and I couldn’t find a statistic about recovery after going to a battered women’s shelter. All other statistics are the most current I could find. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/23/domestic-violence-statistics_n_5959776.html
[4] http://www.domesticabuseshelter.org/infodomesticviolence.htm

Practical Magick: What Magick Looks Like In Everyday Life & Magickal Leadership

OR: Pink Haired Seekers & Timing

In my blog on visualization, my writing took a bit of a detour after I explained that my high priest drilled into my head the adage “There are no such things as coincidences.”

My priest made sure I knew that magick was part of things happening daily. This article comes from a series of “coincidences” and is very reliant upon my personal ability to act on all the intuitive cues I came across. Put another away, this blog looks at a series of coincidences that I recognized as they happened while being open to the spiritual cues I received that lead to definitive results in my life and others that were purely magickal.

Barefoot Sandals

It starts with the decision to crochet barefoot sandals to sell Pagan Pride Day in Atlanta as a fundraiser for my community. I prefer to make them out of a very specific type of yarn that doesn’t fray with wear and is water proof. I went into Michael’s on a Sunday after a meeting with a person who had asked for a reading. I do not normally give individual readings, but I heard the goddess tell me to meet this person on Sunday and give her a reading. So I met her in another city, gave the reading, and headed to Michael’s because Hobby Lobby, the only carrier of that very specific yarn that I was sure of is closed on Sunday’s because it is a church run store front. I went in Michael’s because it was on my way to JoAnne’s. I was pretty sure Michael’s didn’t carry the yarn I wanted but thought it wouldn’t hurt to check.

Needless to say, Michaels’ doesn’t carry that yarn. I had found something I wanted to buy and then decided not to buy anything so I went to put the item down on an aisle display. Upon doing this I noticed the 75% off tag on that display and realized that it was sale on plastic storage bins for crafting. This strikes me as good fortune because my husband has leather goods all over my kitchen table and I noticed that the containers he had for that craft were all full. I also know that I had gained five grocery bags of small yarn for these barefoot sandals I was making. On impulse I decided to buy the item I had already picked out and two containers that are on sale.

At the checkout there are two girls ringing up items and one guy pre-ringing items for those in line. He rings me up and the timing is such that a girl with bright pink hair opens up just as he hands me a barcode card and says pink hair will scan the code and check me out. I approach her and set down the items, give her the barcode card and notice she is staring at my forearm which has two wonderful tattoos. I observe her scanning my forearm and notice that she is not looking at the beautiful raven but the pentacle that is prominently displayed closer to my wrist.

“I like your tattoo,” she says quietly.

Feeling some intuitive prompting, I run my finger over the pentacle and say, “Oh really? Do you like this symbol? Do you know what it means?”

She looks at my face a bit startled and then whispers, “I have been studying on my own. I am solitary?”

I laugh.

In this moment every action I took from deciding to give a reading that I do not normally give, in a town that is far away from me, to deciding to chance a look in Michael’s even when I was pretty sure that the yarn I wanted wouldn’t be there, to deciding to buy something then changing my mind and finding the most expedient route to leave, to coming across the sell, has led to this very moment. Even the placement of my tattoo, the choice of a sleeveless shirt, the timing to be at that place at that moment with that person…. All of that is magick manifested in myself and in the pink haired beauty checking me out.

I take out the community’s card that has the North Georgia Pagans Facebook Group on the back and suggest she join to find people of like mind and ask questions.

I leave and give her no further thought. I give out cards all the time. I am quite used to not getting responses and don’t take it personally. I give the cards out when those overwhelming coincidences pile up upon first meeting someone. If they chose to harness the magick of that moment is upon them, not me.

In this case, I get a friend request at the same time I notice someone trying to join the community’s Facebook group which is restricted. I have been getting a lot of people trying to phish me, so if I think a Facebook profile is fake, I delete them. This new request is obviously fake so I am going to delete the friend request and then delete the request the community’s group thinking it was just some phisher. Before I do this, I Facebook Messenger the other group moderators and say that I think this new request is phishing instead of deleting the request first.

I have just hit send on my message when a new Facebook message pops up from the person in question saying, “I am the pinked hair woman from Michaels’.”

I laugh again. Timing – timing is everything.

So I friend her, add her to North Georgia Pagans, send a new message to the moderators and Vetting Officer of my community explaining who she is and that I suspect her Facebook profile is her broom closet profile[1]. I then dismiss everything from my mind about this. I have learned that all you can do is point in a direction. People must have the get up and go to get what they need.

This morning, I decide on a whim to go to Waffle House with Sam and our weekend house guest Mr. Clark.[2] We all decide to go together and Sam asks if he can drive to practice. I agree. While waiting on Sam to get dressed, Mr. Clark and I go out to the car and I scroll through Facebook to see if anything is pressing. I see the Pink Hair Beauty has asked a question on North Georgia Pagans, so I go check it out. I read it, go through the responses already posted and start to give my two cents and quickly decide the subject is blog worthy.

All that is Italicized

You may have noticed that I have taken pains to italicize seemingly random words in the previous section. These words represent two different acts of magick. Some are where I was aware of the magick and energy around me and that prompts me to respond in specific ways. The other type of italicized words reflects the energetic cues given by outside sources that if I had ignored would have resulted in different decisions and different actions. For me these reflect types of magick or energy that I deal with on a daily basis.

When I first got the call to do the reading, I could not have visualized meeting a pretty Pink Haired Woman in Michael’s who would benefit from exposure to other pagans. What the act of practicing magickal discipline can do for you is help you tune into the messages the universe is always sending our way and harness those to feats of monumental magick that can’t even be conceived.

Magick and Leadership

I am pagan because of a long study into the history of Christianity. What most do not know about the story I have told before, is that I blame Treyos. See, I was already studying Christianity and had decided in order to be a good Christian I must convert to Catholicism. My first marriage was over and I met Treyos in an IRC chat room. I tell him that I don’t know what I want to do with my life, now that my marriage was over and he said, “What do you want to do?”

I hadn’t been asked that ever. In my entire life, no one had ever taken the time to ask me that question. My study into the history of Christianity had lead me to brush up against what was then termed Neo-Paganism. Without much thinking, I blurted out, “I want to study Wicca.” I sat in stunned silence at my declaration, and could feel the energy in the room shift and realign.

Could Treyos have ever imagined that that one exchange would radically change my life and in many ways lead to this very blog? Could I have understood that my first brushes with Wicca would be part of the narrative in Treyos’ life that would lead to him meeting and marrying a pagan woman? Or that that exchange would lead to us both being at Convocation the same year at the same time nearly ten years later?

Empowerment or Power Over

Treyos’ dealings with me also points to a very significant lesson pagan leaders can learn. Treyos could have TOLD me what I should do. He could have TOLD me how to react to the new circumstances I found myself in. What he did was ASK me what I wanted to do. It made all the difference. When I entered Wicca and paganism, I found a lot of telling high priests and high priestesses. Persons who were very clear and sure what I should and should not do. These are leaders who were sure I should have sex with them or leave my stable husband or give up custody of my son. These were leaders who sought to have power and control over me instead of empowering me.

Years later, as a pagan minister I can fully understand the ability to look into a Seeker’s future and see possible outcomes that may or may not be beneficial for a Seeker and then feel a desire to force them into a specific outcome. I can understand why a pagan minister would choose to suggest courses of actions that will have long term benefits for a community or coven, even if the immediate expense is to the Seeker in question.

This Power Over dynamic is losing ground in paganism for one simple reason: Magick doesn’t work that way.

What I have come to understand about the very nature of Nature is that she is unpredictable in every way. My spiritual growth was often stunted by priests and priestesses who had found a method or way that worked for them and bought into an idea that this constitutes a dogmatic and universally correct system that would apply to everyone. The problem is, the way I have spiritual developed and what I have developed into is NOT how everyone else will develop or what everyone else SHOULD develop into.

When we empower people with questions instead of answers, with suggestions instead of dogmas, with options in safe structures instead of rules in constricting hierarchy, we set the stage for the wild magic of Nature to blossom and grow.

Magick is wild and to try to limit, constrict and use dogma upon magick is to ultimately confine, limit, and subjugate the development of Seekers themselves.

[1] A profile set up on Facebook or other Social Media to protect a real life identity in order to avoid persecution because the person is a witch, Wiccan or Pagan. For these profiles to be effective you must not post real personal information or real pictures of yourself. This is a common practice for pagan practitioners and there is no shame to be had in it. The South can be a very tough place to be pagan.

[2] My home covenstead often has people from my community who come and stay the weekend. Mr. Neal came to stay because my husband took off to deep sea fish and vacation with a bunch of men from work.

Visualization & Magick?

Recently there was a post about visualization on the main pagan group I participate in. The question was about visualization and the answers were thoroughly academic, detailed, in depth and impressive.

Unfortunately, I tend to be a practical person and witch, hence the article on ham radios and psychic abilities.

To be honest, visualization has always been extremely easy for me. As a seer who was trained from a young age, I am used to seeing images in my mind – individual symbols and what I refer to as “TV of the Mind.” There are times when I literally see entire things happen in my mind’s eye in the same way one might view a television program. Looking back on my life, however, there was a subtle training that happened by my grandmother that helped me hone my skills and abilities and lead to the ease I have in communication with the dead and spiritual entities.

Like most other things in my life, it was a practical application of skills not an academic understanding of skills that shaped my ability. As someone who has a few academic degrees, I appreciate academic approaches. As a seer who was trained by a grandmother who only had a high school education and a grandfather who didn’t even have that, my esoteric training was decidedly lacking in academic points of view.

When I moved into paganism, I quickly learned that most persons in paganism approach the esoteric from a very academic view point. I came to value that point of view, seek it out and try to incorporate it. What I discovered was Occam’s Razor is a very sound principle. Or as my favorite childhood book said, “Simple pictures are best.”

Academically, visualization is the art and scientific practice of forming a mental image or to make something perceptible in the mind. In modern magick, visualization can be described as the technique involved in focusing on positive mental images in order to achieve a particular goal.[1] Of course, there are great academics who have made a better explanation of visualization than I. In a blog by EagerEyes on Visualization and Visual Communication, you can read an entire article on what visualization actually means,[2] well, means to this guy.

Which fundamentally is part of the problem with magick in general. What magick is and isn’t to one practitioner vacillates wildly. For me “visualization” actually involves all the senses, not just mental projection or creation of an image.

When I am talk or experience visualization, it comes in various forms from psychic intuition: auric readings, auditory information, visualized images I translate into verbal communication. Because my training was organic and practical in nature, I never ran up against these hard and “definitive” views of magick or visualization.


I would define visualization as the use of a persons’ mind to create change in their personal life and in the world around them. After all – why practice closing your eyes and seeing something? Because the ability to see something leads to the ability to create change on any realm and to receive information from realms that are not easily accessible or achievable in other ways. All magick is some form of visualization, from my perspective.

Simple Example: A Broken Hip

WDSC, the church I serve, has an elder member who fell and broke her hip. She has been slow to heal. I went with her to the orthopedics’ office to address the pain she is still having nine months plus later and the most valuable thing I gained out of that visit was an understanding about why this member continues to have pain.hipadjustedpic

The original fix was to put screws into the ball of the femur to address the cracking. The screws will eventually be removed. Normally, over time, the ball of the femur and the femur will rejoin with new bone growth so no screw of other implementation is used to join them.

This takes longer in some people than others. In our member, the ball of the femur is now sound and there has not been enough new growth from the femur onto the ball of the femur to stop micro-movement of those two bones. This causes our member pain and this is why she is not pain free.

Our member, being a long term magick user, and our group, now have a very clear picture that we can use to pinpoint healing energy sent to her. Now there is NO question about what healing for our member looks like: just like the picture in this blog only with three screws in the ball of the femur. For magickal practitioners nothing is more valuable than to understand this, to “grok[3]” this.

In terms of magick, the difference between the magickal work that could be done before and now is night and day. Before, our group sent energy to her hip without a real understanding of what was needed. Now, we send energy with specific imagery in mind. With the diagram I have posted I can “see” our member’s bad hip – it has three screws and a small fracture in the area where the femur and the ball of the femur attaches. I can also “see” her hip well. I can visualize bone growth creeping up from the femur and attaching and holding the ball of the femur eliminating her pain and creating a literal wellness in her.

Now when I think of her, I visualize her hip with those three screws and that micro facture that is healing. I visualize the bone growth creeping up and attaching. I visualize the hip as whole and sound. I visualize her return to circle with a cane and significantly less pain. Now my magick can work on the very specific injury that will heal and enable her return.

Dia? That Was 100% Visualization!

Okay, earlier I actually said that visualization involves all the senses and then proceed to give an example that was largely mental imagery. Fair enough. One thing my childhood training taught me was to mentally translate psychic or intuitive feelings into imagery. In my experience this is training that seems to be lacking in the magickal community as I have experienced it.

To be intuitive is to have feelings that suggest information you could not know on your own. The best example of this in popular media is people who do things out of their ordinary routine that have consequences that are extraordinary. Society calls these “coincidences.”

My esteemed High Priest, Lord Mannawyddan drilled me with the adage, “There are no coincidences.” There is a belief that as a magickal practitioner ties themselves into the energetics of the world, everything happens for reason and has a rippling affect that cannot be imagined or understand in the actual moment of the event.  After 9/11, these coincidences are still a matter of wonder and discussion in this CNN article.

“There are no coincidences.” Lord Mannawyddan

(I have to admit that at this point my blog became two different and related blogs. Look for a future blog called Practical Magick – What Magick in Real Life Looks Like.)

The problem with most magickal practitioners is that they are blinded to the events of magick that are happening in a constant stream around them and to them every second of every day. Christianity has a teaching of “Sunday Christians.” Persons who are Christians only when they go to church on Sundays.

Paganism today, has “Sunday Pagans,” pagans who think that only when they are actively involved in some visualization or meditation or magickal endeavor or ritual practice or Sabbat celebration is magick happening. They are blind to the FACT that magick is happening in every second of every day. They buy the idea of coincidences and then blithely watch as magickal opportunity after magickal opportunity scroll by them unharnessed and unclaimed. Eventually the Universe decides the person isn’t really interested, and stops sending the messages as frequently.

Conversely, paganism has a lot of “Holy Roller Pagans” who spend so much time in ritual, meditation, visualization, spell crafting or Sabbat celebration that they too are blind to the magick happening around them every day. They are waiting for the sky to open and the heavens to sing. Holy Roller Pagans dismiss their own small quiet voice of notice.


About now, you are remembering that I started this blog talking about visualization and the promise to a practical guide about visualization.

As you can see, however, it is hard for me to delineate between visualization and other magick disciplines. Life is magick. Living life is magick. The act of developing visualization is based in fundamental magickal understanding. Therefore, visualization requires an understanding of magick: what it is, what it does and how it behaves. And magick like any other energy does have a standard set of rules by which it behaves just like gravity or electrons or neurons. Magick is an art and a SCIENCE.

In order to harness visualization, you must become friends with what scientists call your amygdala. In my book, Family Coven: Birthing Hereditary Witchcraft, I devote an entire chapter to what I call the Three Truths: Mundane, Amygdala and Circle Truths. This is an in-depth discussion about what types of feelings and intuitions you receive and how to distinguish between them and harness them. Something that is intimately tied to this discussion and cannot be covered in this blog.

I am friends with a great high magician from the OTA who wrote to my Pink Haired Beauty after her question about visualization, “You may not even be primarily visually oriented, even while most people are. If you primarily feel, rather than see things, substitute “feeling” and “knowing” that a transcendent structure is in place rather than “seeing” it in the mind’s eye (or better, do both together). You can “feel” the circle and the pentagram and fields of flow and energy too. Yoda actually insists on this, even when talking about the “luminous” force (a visual) — “…You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.””

Step By Step

1 – Check In

This is an active practice that is advocated by psychologist and counselors. There are apps to help you with this practice. DBT or Dialectal Behavior Therapy is a great place to start this and there are plenty of DBT apps to help you figure out what Checking In with yourself means and how to use Check Ins to move your mental and emotional wellness and, of course, your magick. The first goal of Check Ins should be to feel, see, taste, touch, hear, or smell energy when it happens. Recognize the force, if you will.

2 – Learn Your Energy and to Recognize Outside Energy

After you can recognize energy, you need to separate your energy from outside energy. This is continued work of Check Ins. When you can recognize the force, then you need to determine if the force is from YOU or happening TO YOU. If you are empathetic this might mean a lot of your anxiety is actually being generated by your nervous mate or an unwell friend or because you are accidently still energetically plugged into unhealthy relationships.

3 – Be Able to Moderate and Control Your Own Energy

My husband is five foot, six inches tall. I have seen him use energy to appear to be seven feet tall to someone who was threatening a gathering with drunk and disorderly conduct. That act is a goal of all magickal practitioners. Control of your emotions, and the harness of the energy emotions in you create are all disciplines required by magickal practitioners. I often think of Sam right now when I think of emotional and energetic control, or lack thereof. When Sam is angry, his energy expands and would fill the whole house. I am watching him learn to moderate the energetic consequences of strong emotions and have come to understand that this is an actual function of the developing mind and body. There is nothing wrong with being angry (happy, sexually charged, sad) and something not quite right with making it rain every time you are sad.

4 – Be Able to Identify Outside Energy Sources

Once a magickal practitioners understands their own energy sources and can control them, they can learn to identify outside energy sources and control the effect of those sources upon the practitioner. If you are empath you already know that if you best friend is angry, it might make you angry. Know that you can recognize and deal successfully with your own emotions and energy, you can move on to identifying the outside energy sources and tuning down and out the ones that do not serve you. Further you can tune in and up sources that have so far been weak and in the background, bringing them into focus. My article about ham radios is a great place to start.

5 – Be Able to Identify Symbols

There are sound reasons why learning a symbol set – any symbol set – can help you. This is where active visualization comes in. If you can visualize runes, witch’s runes, ogam, or any other symbol set, then over time those can be used by Divinity to help direct you. Unfortunately, the best symbol set to learn and use for new practitioners is the plants, trees, insects, and animals in the area you live. Too often we ignore those messengers or do not spend time deciding what their messages could mean and miss Divinity’s messages to us. Moths are not butterflies.

6 – Master Visualization (Magic, Meditation, Energy Manipulation)

BUT WAIT! There Is More!

Here is thing, what I propose in the section before should not be viewed as a ladder. There is no way a person has mastered number one then moved on to number two without skipping around to the other numbers and working on them simultaneously. There is a reason why I have harped on about “Doing the F@#$ing Work!”

The activities and disciplines that I was given by Lord Mannawyddan more than fifteen years ago, still hold today.

  1. Keep a magickal journal DAILY – Have some way to keep notes on animals, symbols, energies, feelings, events. (This can be short and sweet.)
  2. When you do magick or ritual, keep a journal about how that works out and what symbols and signs you receive. (You don’t have to know what it means. If you notice a specific butterfly on day one, it may just be a butterfly. But if that same butterfly has shown up at the same time every day, that is something you want to know. If you do ritual and then receive a sign, it may not be until much later that the meaning of that sign is clear. If you record it, then you can get to the meaning later. If you don’t, you have lost that divine message.)
  3. Practice the discipline of meditation daily, at the same time everyday. (Preferably sunrise, noon, sunset and midnight. This can be a simple mantra or go out and face the sun in the sky and say a prayer or blessing of your choosing. It can take as little as three to five minutes to do.)
  4. Practice a daily symbol discipline. (Pull a daily tarot, rune, witch’s rune, ogam, oracle, I-Ching, animal card…. Something…. Anything! WRITE IT DOWN.)
  5. FOLLOW UP: When you receive a sign or symbol, hunt it down. Determine what it means to you and then WRITE THAT DOWN. (GOOGLE my friend…google.)
  6. REALITY CHECK: Have an accountability partner you can run your experiences through. Decide together what something means and then write down the difference between what you thought alone and what you think now that you have had a reality check. Keep up with confirmations. Write down the thoughts of your accountability partner even if you disagree. The difference between what you think, what the partner thinks and what was actually true can prove to be invaluable information.
  7. Practice psychic games with friends or your community or your spouse(s) or roommates. This is really the greatest advantage to group working.

In Conclusion

All magick revolves around a set of standard ways in which energy functions. In order to detect and interpret energy, you must cultivate in yourself how to see, feel, taste, touch, know, energy and this leads to the collection and manipulation of energy for the physical change only witches have the power to create. Cultivating that requires work. Sometimes very tedious and boring work, that over time and with great discipline will transform the very way you look at your life and things that happen to you every day.

[1] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/visualization

[2] https://eagereyes.org/criticism/definition-of-visualization

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok Authors Note: I do not agree with this definition. GROK for me is to have more than a basic understanding. Grok is to have a soul deep understanding that will lead to change in the physical realm. It is one thing to KNOW something (I knew my member had a broken hip.). It is something else to GROK her injury (I know she is having micro-movement between the ball of the femur and the femur and healing will only be complete with the ball of the femur and femur are joined with new bone growth.).

Contemplating Suicide as a Pagan

Death is natural. Death happens. It isn’t burdened by guilt or fear. It is something that is to be expected because death is necessary to balance out life. To live is to expect death and to die is to expect rebirth, these two constants are part of a pagan spiritual journey.
Because of this view, I have a different perspective on suicide.
I have been personally impacted by suicide four different times. I have come to view suicide as an act of someone taking their destiny into their own hands. However, often when suicide has been chosen, those left behind see that suicide as a failing of their won relationship with that person. Suicide for survivors seems to bring out a long list of guilt and burdens as survivors try to think about how they personally could have thwarted the decision made by the dead.
This view is wrong.
The dead have chosen and the those who live on were not given the opportunity to have input or choice in the path the dead chose. Their death is not a statement about the living, it is a statement often about the dead.
Of course, there are some who would argue that bullies and parents and assholes who may have tormented the dead when they live have a culpability in suicides. Some would even argue that having unsecured weapons will contribute to suicides bringing culpability. Usually, though, the law doesn’t agree with this. If someone chooses death, chooses to end their life, they will do so one way or another. It is a silent battled waged within and rarely and ultimately has little to do with the living who have been left behind.
Being a medium I have communed with those who have died by suicide twice. Both times, the person who chose death presented as happy, sometimes confused, but at peace with the situation they created for themselves. In one case, the person was anxious to find a whole body with better physical health and live again. In the other, the person was tired and wanted to rest a bit and found that rest in his death. Later that same person would visit to tell me he had chosen to live again.
What I personally have experienced is that those who chose suicide understand that they have caused great pain and are deeply sorry to have caused it. AND they are not sorry that they found a peace in death, they could not have found in the life they were leading. They seem wiser and less likely to choose that path in future lives they were looking forward to living. Both told me that they had chosen the path they did and they were not filled with any regrets.
I am not advocating that suicide is a good choice. I have gone to great lengths to personally avoid my own suicide. Suicide is not what I would expect from whole, well and spiritually aware persons to chose, necessarily. However, I can understand the logic of it, especially those who suffer emotionally or mentally or physically.
Most importantly, I know that suicide isn’t about the living, at the end, it is about one person making a decision to take the ultimate control and determine when their destiny in this life time ends.
This is the other gift of paganism. Paganism teaches a spiritual seeker that everyone has the right to seek and find spirituality in the best possible way for themselves. Pagans don’t really care what religion you are, as long as your religion makes room for everyone’s religion.
This attitude of the right of spiritual choice has seeped into how I view death. I have seen those terminally ill live years and years longer than expected because they had made a visceral choice to do so. And faced with suicide of those I knew and loved, I am able to see their choice as something they had to choose, not something related to me. Suicide isn’t about me or you, it is about those who choose the time and place of their passing.
Should we try to help those who are facing this chose, make another one? Absolutely! Most who chose suicide may have been able to find a life that was better if someone knew.
But – if for some reason someone we know and love chooses suicide, we can choose how we view them, their decision and their death. We aren’t bound to a God who says that suicide is a sin. We, as pagans, are not bound by white and black meanings to life and death. We are the people of the gray. We have the ability to see that death and life are not cut and dry concepts and we can add to those thoughts, that what we could bear may not be the same for others.
In the bearing, they may have felt that they could not bear it. In this realization, they may chose suicide and death, an end to the strife.
More importantly, I have never, ever thought that death was an end. Persons die to live again. If I focus on the LIFE of the dead, I keep alive the spirit and essence of all that was right good and whole about the person who has committed suicide. I can send with them into their next incarnation all that was good and right about their living. The laws of magick tell me that the energy of that goodness and rightness will follow the dead into a world that they will be able to choose a longer life in. My thoughts and meditations and prayers for them will go to them where ever in this multiverse they may be and in that energy and that exchange nothing has truly be lost as long as I remember.
What is remembered lives.
ASIDE: The warning signs for suicide in teenagers and adults are different. If you suspect someone is considering suicide, you should act. You should not wait. Take the person to the ER immediately and demand they be held on a suicide watch for 72 hours. Better an angry friend or relative than one who can no longer chose to be angry at you.
If you are contemplating suicide, before you make that final decision of your life, utilize the National Suicide Hotline below or any of the other resources provided by the National Suicide Hotline.








  • Boys Town
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • 1-800-273-8255 (24/7) Press 1 for Veterans line
  • Disaster Distress Helpline
    • 1-800-985-5990
    • Text TalkWithUs to 66746
    • TTY for Deaf/Hearing Impaired: 1-800-846-8517



  • National Human Trafficking Resource Center
    • 1-888-373-7888
    • Text BeFree (233733)


  • USA National Child Abuse Hotline
    • 1-800-422-4453 (24/7)



  • National Eating Disorders Association
    • 1-800-931-2237 (Monday-Friday, 11:30 am-7:30 pm EST)
  • ANAD: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
    • 630-577-1330 (Monday-Friday,12 pm-8 pm EST)
    • Email ANAD




  • Planned Parenthood
  • STI Resource Center
    • Call 919-361-8488 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-6:00 pm EST)


And Jesus said, “Do not be afraid…”


Every once in a Blue Moon you will find me in an Episcopal or Methodist Church. I was raised in the Methodist Church and I attended an Episcopal Youth Group without which I would not have made it through high school. It has been my experience that the Methodists and Episcopalians are generally open-minded individuals and won’t condemn anyone to hell for not believing and worshipping as they do. Now, I have come across a few exceptions to that rule but those churches tended to be in smaller, Southern towns.

I have known my godsister, Marie, since I was five. Before my parents became her godparents, we were ketchup sisters (instead of blood sisters. I think we saw that on Punky Brewster or something. I have one other ketchup sister, who is one of the followers of this blog. LOVE YOU!! MUAH!). We grew up together. We attended that same…

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