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18th November 2006

datura_shadows1:05am: intro...
i guess i should probably do this at some point. i joined this community a few days ago, and am really looking forward to being a part of it. i'm not sure that i'll have all that much to contribute to begin with, as i am just beginning my journey. i've always considered myself an atheist or an agnostic. my husband is a buddhist, and i've done a lot of reading and research on various relions and spiritual beliefs, only to find that none of them "fit" me. however, this is different...from the moment that i stepped into this realm (pagan & wiccan), i've felt at "home". i'm still very much a beginner, and i'm still trying to find my specific path, but i do feel that i am finally pointed towards the direction of the paths that are meant for me. and it feels good - really good.

anyway, my name is kym, but for all intents and purposes, please refer to me as "datura". i'm 32, married, have a 13 year old son and 8 indoor cats. we recently just moved back to northwest ohio from michigan to care for my elderly parents. currently, i am just beginning to study the very basics. i've picked up several books, visited a spiritual "variety" store not too far from here (where i've collected quite a few items to aid in my study), and i've also signed up online with magicka shool, tarot college, witch school, and the pagan college. i'm not certain as to the quality of any of these, but i figure they will at least give me a general base from which to start.

i guess that's it for now. i just wanted to say hello and to introduce myself. i'm sorry if you see this cross-posted to some different communities - i've joined a lot as of late, and i'm not feeling up to writing a seperate intro for each one.

i'm really looking forward to being in this community, learning from all of you, and hopefully making some new friends that take me seriously throughout this learning process. if you have any questions for me, ask away - i'm pretty much an open book.

i hope this finds everyone well.

~datura

18th September 2006

medical_macabre1:51pm: I'm Caitlin, and I'm 16.

I've come here mostly for support, maybe to find a few friends to help me on my path.

I was raised in a very christian household, one that frowns on anything relation to the occult SEVERELY. Instead of being close minded, I decided to do research for myself and found that it was nothing like what I had been taught. My friends aren't really into it, and my family doesn't know, of course, so I'm kind of alone in the whole thing.

If you want to chat, you can add me on here or IM me on AIM, my screen name is Body Bag Beauty. :)

(Posted to a a lot of different communities, sorry if I killed your friends page.))

23rd August 2005

maya_7911:33pm: Toronto Wiccans?
Merry meet everyone, I'm a new user to LJ and just wanted to say hello.

Also, I wanted to let everyone know that I've started a new community for Wiccans living in Toronto. I've always wanted to reach out to those who share my interest in Wicca.

If you are interested, go to toronto_wiccans

Blessed be to all,

maya
Current Mood: peaceful

10th July 2005

chemical_sex1:55pm: I'm Selling A Psychic Book and some Wicca Books On E Bay... Take a Look.

Thanks

27th April 2005

justcat11:10am: looking to leave
I will be starting a new job soon and well I haven't had time to post here to begin with so if any one wants to take this over let me know.

20th March 2004

sami4069:26am: Happy Ostara (or Mabonor or Spring Equinox) Everyone!!!!!!

18th March 2004

justcat1:59pm: Important Bible Versus
Why would I be bothered by knowing bible versus? Because while to us it may just be a book to us but to our parent, friends, loved ones it may mean so much more. I believe "coming out" to parents or friends is much easier when you can back yourself up with something that will mean something to them. This also shows them that you DO respect their religion as much as you are asking them to respect yours.
Read more...Collapse )
mz_cherrie_meow8:31pm: WOW
Walk alone through the land of the Goddess. Let moonlight chase away fears.
May you be my guide forever and let unconditional love reign here.

http://blather.newdream.net/g/gypsy.html

one of the most amusing sites I have ever been too.
Current Mood: amused

17th March 2004

justcat4:23pm: A State by State break down of your legal rights
http://journey1.org/freedom/stateconstitutions.htm
justcat4:21pm: EXCERPT FROM THE U.S. ARMY'S RELIGIOUS REQUIREMENTS AND PRACTICES OF CERTAIN SELECTED GROUPS: A HAND
From the Section Titled "Wicca"

Please note that the handbook was made to educate chaplains about possible faith groups they might encounter while serving on duty. It is a book of faith group descriptions only and was never an endorsement of any religion. The handbook was removed from military inventory in 1998 but still serves as a source of education for many people.


ADDRESS: No central address. Wiccan worship groups, called covens, are essentially autonomous. Many, but far from all, have affiliations with a myriad of national groups and churches, far too numerous to list.

OTHER NAMES BY WHICH KNOWN: Witchcraft; Goddess worshippers; Neo-Paganism, Paganism, Norse (or any other ethnic designation) Paganism, Earth Religion, Old Religion, Druidism, Shamanism. Note: All of these groups have some basic similarities and many surface differences of expression with Wicca.

LEADERSHIP: No central leadership.

MEMBERSHIP: Because of the complete autonomy of covens, this cannot be determined. There are an estimated of 50,000 Wiccans in the United States.

HISTORICAL ORIGIN: Wicca is a reconstruction of the Nature worship of tribal Europe, strongly influenced by the living Nature worship traditions of tribal peoples in other parts of the world. The works of such early twentieth century writers as Margaret Murray, Robert Graves and Gerald B. Gardner began the renewal of interest in the Old Religion. After the repeal of the anti-Witchcraft laws in Britain in 1951, Gardner publicly declared himself a Witch and began to gather a group of students and worshipers. In 1962, two of his students, Raymond and Rosemary Buckland (religious names: Lady Rowen and Robat), emigrated to the United States and began teaching Gardnerian Witchcraft here. At the same time, other groups of people became interested through reading books by Gardner and others. Many covens were spontaneously formed, using rituals created from a combination of research and individual inspiration. These self-created covens are today regarded as just as valid as those who can trace a "lineage" of teaching back to England.

BASIC BELIEFS: Wiccans worship the sacred as immanent in Nature, often personified as Mother Earth and Father Sky. As polytheists (This Editor actually considers Wiccans more monotheist than polytheist because of the strong belief in an overall Creator that is both male and female yet neither male nor female. This manifests itself as pantheons of Gods and Goddess which are archetypes of the overall creative power.), they may use many other names for Deity. Individuals will often choose Goddesses or Gods from any of the world's pantheons whose stories are particularly inspiring and use those Deities as a focus for personal devotions. Similarly, covens will use particular Deity names as a group focus, and these are often held secret by the groups. It is very important to be aware that Wiccans do not in any way worship or believe in "Satan," "the Devil," or any similar entities. They point out that "Satan" is a symbol of rebellion against and inversion of the Christian and Jewish traditions. Wiccans do not revile the Bible. They simply regard it as one among many of the world's mythic systems, less applicable than some to their core values, but still deserving just as much respect as any of the others. Most Wiccan groups believe in the direction and use of "psychic energy," those natural but invisible forces which surround all living things. Wiccans employ such means as dance, chant, creative visualization and hypnosis to focus and direct psychic energy for the purpose of healing, protecting and aiding members in various endeavors. Such assistance is also extended to non-members upon request. Many, but not all, Wiccans believe in reincarnation. Some take this as a literal description of what happens to people when they die. For others, it is a symbolic model that helps them deal with the cycles and changes within this life. Neither Reincarnation nor any other literal belief can be used as a test of an individual's validity as a member of the Old Religion. Most groups have a handwritten collection of rituals and lore, known as a Book of Shadows. Part of the religious education of a new member will be to hand copy this book for him or herself. Over the years, as inspiration provides, new material will be added. Normally, access to these books is limited to initiated members of the religion.

PRACTICES AND BEHAVIORAL STANDARDS: The core ethical statement of Wicca, called the "Wiccan Rede" states "an it harm none, do what you will." The rede fulfills the same function as does the "Golden Rule" for Jews and Christians; all other ethical teachings are considered to be elaborations and applications of the Rede. It is a statement of situational ethics, emphasizing at once the individual's responsibility to avoid harm to others and the widest range of personal autonomy in "victimless" activities. Wicca has been described as having a "high-choice" ethic. Because of the basic Nature orientation of the religion, many Wiccans will regard all living things as Sacred, and show a special concern for ecological issues. For this reason, individual conscience will lead some to take a pacifist position. Some are vegetarians. Others will feel that, as Nature's Way includes self- defense, they should participate in wars that they conscientiously consider to be just. The religion does not dictate either position, but requires each member to thoughtfully and meditatively examine her or his own conscience and to live by it. Social forces generally do not yet allow Witches to publicly declare their religious faith without fear of reprisals such as loss of job, child custody challenges, ridicule, etc. Prejudice against Wiccans is the result of public confusion between Witchcraft and Satanism. Wiccans in the military, especially those who may be posted in countries perceived to be particularly intolerant, will often have their dogtags read "No Religious Preference." Concealment is a traditional Wiccan defense against persecution, so non- denominational dogtags should not contravene a member's request for religious services. Wiccans celebrate eight festivals, called "Sabbats," as a means of attunement to the seasonal rhythms of Nature. These are January 31 (Called Oimelc, Brigit, or February Eve), March 21 (Ostara or Spring Equinox), April 30 (Beltane or May Eve), June 22 (Midsummer, Litha or Summer Solstice), July 31 (Lunasa or Lammas), September 21 (Harvest, Mabon or Autumn Equinox), October 31 (Samhain, Sowyn or Hallows), and December 21 (Yule or Winter Solstice.) Some groups find meetings within a few days of those dates to be acceptable, others require the precise date. In addition, most groups will meet for worship at each Full Moon, and many will also meet on the New Moon. Meetings for religious study will often be scheduled at any time convenient to the members, and rituals can be scheduled whenever there is a need (i.e. for a healing). Ritual jewelry is particularly important to many Wiccans. In addition to being a symbol of religious dedication, these talismans are often blessed by the coven back home and felt to carry the coven's protective and healing energy.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: Most Wiccans meet with a coven, a small group of people. Each coven is autonomous. Most are headed by a High Priestess, often with the assistance of a High Priest. Some are headed by a High Priestess or High Priest without a partner, and some regard themselves as a gathering of equals. Covens can be of mixed gender, or all female or male, depending on the preferences of the members. Every initiate is considered to be a priestess or priest. Most covens are small. Thirteen is the traditional maximum number of members, although not an absolute limit. At that size covens form a close bond, so Wiccans in the military are likely to maintain a strong affiliation with their covens back home. There are many distinct "Traditions" of Wicca, just as there are many denominations within Christianity. The spectrum of Wiccan practice can be described as ranging from "traditional" to "eclectic," with Traditions, covens and individuals fitting anywhere within that range. A typical difference would be that more traditional groups would tend to follow a set liturgy, whereas eclectic groups would emphasize immediate inspiration in worship. These distinctions are not particularly important to the military chaplain, since it is unlikely that enough members of any one Tradition would be at the same base. Worship circles at military facilities are likely to be ad-hoc cross-Traditional groups, working out compromise styles of worship for themselves and constantly adapting them to a changing membership. Therefore, the lack of strict adherence to the patterns of any one Tradition is not an indicator of invalidity. While many Wiccans meet in a coven, there are also a number of solitairies. These are individuals who choose to practice their faith alone. The may have been initiated in a coven or self initiated. They will join with other Wiccans to celebrate the festivals or to attend the various regional events organized by the larger community.

ROLE OF MINISTERS: Within a traditional coven, the High Priestess, usually assisted by her High Priest, serves both as leader in the rituals and as teacher and counselor for coven members and unaffiliated Pagans. Eclectic covens tend to share leadership more equally.

WORSHIP: Wiccans usually worship in groups. Individuals who are currently not affiliated with a coven, or are away from their home coven, may choose to worship privately or may form ad-hoc groups to mark religious occasions. Non-participating observers are not generally welcome at Wiccan rituals. Most, but not all, Wiccan covens bless and share a cup of wine as part of the ritual. Almost all Wiccans use an individual ritual knife (an "athame") to focus and direct personal energy. Covens often also have ritual swords to direct the energy of the group. These tools, like all other ritual tools, are highly personal and should never leave the possession of the owner. Other commonly used ritual tools include a bowl of water, a bowl of salt, a censer with incense, a disk with symbols engraved on it (a "pentacle"), statues or artwork representing the Goddess and God, and candles. Most groups will bless and share bread or cookies along with the wine. All of these items are used in individual, private worship as well as in congregate rituals.

DIETARY LAWS OR RESTRICTIONS: None.

FUNERAL AND BURIAL REQUIREMENTS: None. Recognition of the death of a member takes place within the coven, apart from the body of the deceased. Ritual tools, materials, or writings found among the effects of the deceased should be returned to their home coven (typically a member will designate a person to whom ritual materials should be sent). It is desirable for a Wiccan priest or priestess to be present at the time of death, but not strictly necessary. If not possible, the best assistance would be to make the member as comfortable as possible, listen to whatever they have to say, honor any possible requests, and otherwise leave them as quiet and private as possible.

MEDICAL TREATMENT: No medical restrictions. Wiccans generally believe in the efficacy of spiritual or psychic healing when done in tandem with standard medical treatment. Therefore, at the request of the patient, other Wiccan personnel should be allowed visiting privileges as though they were immediate family, including access to Intensive Care Units. Most Wiccans believe that healing energy can be sent from great distances, so, if possible, in the case of any serious medical condition, the member's home coven should be notified.

OTHER: With respect to attitude toward military service, Wiccans range from career military personnel to conscientious objectors. Wiccans do not proselytize and generally resent those who do. They believe that no one Path to the Sacred is right for all people, and see their own religious pattern as only one among many that are equally worthy. Wiccans respect all religions that foster honor and compassion in their adherents, and expect the same respect. Members are encouraged to learn about all faiths, and are permitted to attend the services of other religions, should they desire to do so.
justcat4:16pm: Legal Rights part 3
Student Rights
The right of students to wear a pentagram in school is an active area involving pagan religious liberties. An increasing number of schools are instituting rules and policies forbidding students to belong to groups or engage in activities considered to be "inappropriate or unacceptable in the school setting." Some of these rules actually refer specifically to pagans, Wiccans, and/or Witches as forbidden groups, and the wearing of a pentagram--frequently termed a "gang symbol"--has been one of the banned activities.

Students--primarily teenage girls--have successfully fought these restrictions with lawsuits or the threat of suits. Some of the most visible and recent cases have occurred in Lincoln Park, Mich.; Hammond, Ind.; and Elmwood, Ind. With the assistance of the Michigan and Indiana ACLU and various Wiccan legal rights organization, students have risked indefinite suspension, expulsion, loss of class credit, and other punishments in successfully defending their right to wear their pentagrams in school as a symbol of their religious belief. Brandi Lehman, for example, said she was forced to leave her post as a student teacher at Edgewood Elementary School after officials told her to stop wearing a pentagram in her third-grade classroom. In an interview with the Associated Press, Kenneth Lehman said of his daughter, "She did the best thing she could have done, she sought out a lawyer and took it to the courts…. The school taught her a lesson in one of her classes about individual rights, and she decided to take them up on what she was taught."

The First Amendment ensures that pagans are entitled to the same right to practice their religion in peace and freedom as any other religion in the United States. An awareness of these rights and a vigorous commitment to their defense will transform the climate of negative stereotypes and religious bigotry that have long restrained their uninhibited enjoyment by all citizens.
justcat3:59pm: Legal Rights Part II
Child Custody

Child Custody
There have been numerous instances where religion has been made an issue in child custody cases. Thus far, the U.S. Supreme Court has chosen not to take any cases in this area, and state courts vary widely in their opinions. In a recent New York case, a husband sought to win custody of the couple's children by raising the wife's Wiccan religious beliefs as a concern. The judge refused to consider it in determining "the best interests of the child," the main criterion for deciding which parent should be granted custody.

Generally, most states consider religion in deciding custody only when specific religious beliefs or practices may impede a child's development in some definable way. Some states, such as New Hampshire, take the position that religion may never be addressed in a custody determination because it would improperly entangle the government, via the courts, in religious matters. Other states include religious beliefs as one among many considerations. Until the negative stereotypes about Witches and pagans change, this area may present legal challenges, depending upon the state in which the parties reside. Domestic law attorneys and their clients can receive legal support through pagan legal networks.
justcat3:54pm: Legal Rights
While I really should re-edit this and find some updated information it does give some place for most people to start. We should all understand our legal rights and know cases which can prove our point.

Witchcraft in the United States is a living, growing religion. As a religion, Witchcraft is protected by the Constitution. The law has the obligation to serve and protect Witches in the religious endeavors, equally as much as it protects the rights and freedoms of other groups.Issue 1:
Witchcraft is recognized in the United Sta?tes as a legitimate religion. In 1985, Dettmer vs. Landon (617 F Supp 592) the District Court of Virginia pursuant to rule 52 (a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ruled that Witchcraft is a legitimate religion and falls within a recognizable religious category in 1986 in the Federal Appeals court fourth circuit. Butzner, J. affirmed the decision (799 F2d 929) since in most cases Federal law, even case law supersedes state law in this type of matter; the affirmation by judge Butzner clearly sets Witchcraft as a religion under the protection of constitutional rights. The Church of Wicca (or Witchcraft) is clearly a religion for First Amendment purposes.
While there are certainly aspects of Wicca philosophy that may strike most people as strange or incomprehensible. The mere fact that a belief may be unusual does not strip it of constitutional protection. Accordingly the Court concludes that the Church of Wicca. Of which the plaintiff is a sincere follower; is a religion for the purpose of the free exercise clause. "Williams. J. 1985 Dettmer vs. Landon Supra. We agree with the district court that the doctrine taught by the Church of Wicca is a religion."
Issue 2:
The first amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of religious belief. The USCA states that a practice is a religion if it is for an individual a belief system for their whole life. The constitution does not wish to dictate what an individual should hold as a belief system or how it is practiced and will not enter into a ruling on that. USCA Constitutional amendment I "To be a bonafide religious belief entitled to protection under either the first amendment or Title VII, a belief must be sincerely held" USCA Const. Amend. 1: Civil Rights Act 1964 701 et seq., 717 as amended 42 USCA 2000e-16
Issue 3:
The equal protection clause is guaranteed to all people and groups; if one group of people is entitled to equal protection then all groups are. Witchcraft is accetped as a religion, therefore, Witches are entitled to the same protections as all other religious groups; under the equal prtection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. First and Fourteenth Amendments insure without qualification that a state may not forbid the holding of any religious belief or to say or believe anything in conflict with his religious tenets.
Conclusion:Issue 4:
USCA Article VII #2 states: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the Supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding." In light of the fact that Dettmer Vs. Landon supra, being a Federally Adjudicated case. It is thereby protected by the constitution. No state can override this federal adjudication. No witch can be denied his/her civil liberty and right to be a Witch, open and free, in any state in the land; within the parameters of the Law.
Current Mood: nerdy

16th March 2004

quert5:52pm:

Maybe an explanation of the word "practice" is in order. I'm here to find my path. "practice" includes, but is not limited to, reading and celebrating the sabbats. Rarely do I ever do a spell. When I do they are usually to give me a bit of focus or healing when I feel the need for extra help in a tough spot, or doing rune readings. Other than that I try to live in a way that I don't have to use magic

 I have a very small amount of privacy here, and so I'm struggling to find a way to learn in secret (for the sake of a calm family life-it wasn't before). I'm thinking of joining a class at the shop I go to, once the current one is finished and enrollment is opened.

 I don't want to come across the wrong way. I am interrested in wicca, but do not have that much experience with it as a lifestyle or religion. I became interested in it to find a way to calm and deflect a particular nasty that was following me. so, I suppose I was drawn in by the magic aspect, but I stay to learn the religion. I tend to do these things alone, so this site appealed to me. I also tend to be a bit eclectic in my interests and don't mean offense if what I write here is a smidge counter to the wicca norm. (please don't take it as disrespect to this religion if it seems so) 

Current Mood: thoughtful

17th March 2004

mz_cherrie_meow8:17am: mm
Hi my name is Meow. I am a Buddhist Kwan Yin I also follow structures from Wicca and Druidry. I am Blessed to have sometime to fully concentrate on my spiritual path. I am 28 and come from the most isolated city in the world. Hence I am very much and feel very much “one” at times. This I don’t mind, as I believe everyone individual path to enlightenment is different. As nature is never the same.
Current Mood: optimistic

16th March 2004

quert3:40pm: New community

Hello, I'm Quert (druid for apple tree). I just joined and thought I'd say "hi".....Hi. Sorry, I don't usually have a lot to say. Quick question though, any one have some suggestions for practicing in a non-wiccan household? I've had to move back home and I'm not comfortable enough to open up about it to mom and the family (I'm working on that though- you'd have to know my mom) I'm sure some version of hell will break loose if I don't consider this carefully. Grateful for any suggestions!

--Q

Current Mood: curious
lion_wings2:40pm: *waves* Well met!
*does the first Wiccan post dance*

Hello, I'm Omaline, and I was very pleased to see this little community pop up. I've been a practitioner for about 7 years now (about 1/3 of my lifetime), and felt that this community was very appropriate after the very obscure posting from a random, and non-informed member of the public. This is I hope going to be a productive thing to be in and if possible I'd be willing to offer a hand in monitoring this community too. >^_^<

I'm wish you all brightest blessings, and we'll be seeing this place grow in no-time!

blessed be
~*Omaline*~
Current Mood: pleased
justcat5:09pm: Welcome
I will from time to time be posting things straight from my own archives. NOT SPELLS but poems and articles I have found in my travels. To get this group started...

These are my shadows inscribed within...
Written to rhyme, again & again...
To read them is to remember, reflect & grow strong...
To see all the lessons that may have went wrong...
These shadows written from my heart to my hand,
& then to these pages since like mind began...
I shall continue these pages, so truth I shall know...
To learn & to love & always to grow!!!

I have that on the front of the folder I keep these things in so I figured it would be a great place to start.
Current Mood: accomplished
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