The Craft and Politics

     Today I had set aside some time to continue my blog posting on my trip to the UK. But then I started thinking… I mentioned the London terror attack briefly in one of those posts…maybe all too briefly. Today my mind is galloping across the political… greed, corruption, social justice, and most specifically, another mass shooting, a massacre at a high school here in Florida…the lists of these shootings keeps growing..high schools, concert events, churches, theaters, elementary schools. In addition, it is estimated that more than 30 people a day are killed by guns. In the midst of coverage of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, three students in this area were arrested after making threats to “shoot up” their respective high schools and a 7 year old child walked into his elementary classroom and committed suicide with a gun. This level of violence…gun violence does not exist in any other western country. I believe that clearly we have a gun problem on multiple levels.

     I have seen two of our well known teachers of the Craft, Starhawk and Raven Grimassi, address these issues on social media, and I have seen some persons respond to them with anger that they should stick to witchcraft and not politics. If you are familiar with the Craft, you know that Starhawk has always engaged in political activism. She sees silence as anathema to the practice of the Craft. You need to cast the spell, but you also need to do the work! In fact, the Craft has always been political… some ways we have chosen it, someways we have not.

     I do not own a gun, I do not hunt. I grew up in Vermont, surrounded by people who did own guns, multiple, guns and did hunt. I did not know anyone who hunted people except a group who were drafted and served during the Viet Nam War…a few of their names are now etched on the Viet Nam War Memorial in D.C., but that is yet another discussion for another time. Many people in Vermont are still avid hunters. Many of those depend on hunting to help feed their families, and all of those I know most definitely eat what they kill.  I also know many people both here in Florida and in Vermont who are armed because they are convinced that they must be armed to protect themselves and their families. I have lived in Virginia, in inner city Philadelphia, in Tampa and even on a relatively isolated farm in Vermont; yet, I still have great difficulty embracing that rationale. I confess that I have never lived in fear, nor been threatened by imminent violence. If I were threatened, I have no idea what my response would be beyond my fierce protection of those I love … I have no idea how it must be to live in a fear so strong that you are compelled to buy a gun, try to keep it both accessible and safe and then invest time and energy making sure you have the expertise and mind set necessary to turn that weapon on another human being. 

     This is a violent time and I struggle with it even as I watch Game of Thrones and re-watch episodes of it waiting for the next season…or re-read the books, or tune into Blacklist. How to reconcile these interests with my anti-violence campaign.  Do not demand an answer, I have no idea but I do knew I have no inclination to wield a sword myself or shoot an arrow through someone’s heart. So the question is how do we as witches walk our path in today’s world?  Do we turn away from the world and turn to our altars? Those of you who know me, know I am a proponent of the conjunction AND rather than the OR. I think we need to do both. There is shadow, but there is light.

      Most in the Craft believe in the Rule of Three…what you send out to the Universe returns to you in this life or the next three fold. That means that the love, light, all the energy you send does return…you can send that energy via your altar or via social media, or via your own walk on your path day by day. We say do as you will, harm none…think about that, harm none…that is an awesome task. I do not think we should just stick with our herbs, candles, crystals and spells, but we should not neglect them either. We should also not be silent, but our voices should represent our creed, our values. Can we encourage respectful discussion? Can we listen? Can we state our own opinions clearly without disparaging those who think or feel differently?  Do not underestimate the power of such a stance and, importantly, do not underestimate the difficulty of maintaining that stance. Every time I go on Facebook, I state my intent to be a positive contributor, to be kind, to be generous, to use my voice clearly without attacking others in any way. I will not promote the posts of others who sow discord in lieu of discussion. I am firm in my intentions…and then the feed begins, I enter the Facebook world designed to manipulate us to keep going, a hotbed of misleading and false information posted and reposted by deliberate design and by impulsive clicks by those who are simply responding to part of the message. And you know what happens? My intentions start to wane and I start to get angry, angry at the racist half truths or outward lies, angry…and I get sucked in to allowing myself to get all riled up just as those people rile me up and make me more susceptible to my own counterproductive emotions. And when I give in…more and more I do not…dear Goddess, do I regret my contribution to the darkening shadow…and, ironically, that regret is helping me stay more distant from those ravings and less inclined to fix things. I speak my personal truth; I will not be silent, but while I am riled, I am far less likely to be heard.

  I have only my own answers, guided by my Path. There are many concerns for this day…hunger, environment, wars, social justice; protecting our Beloved Planet including all creatures. There are many ways to be political, many ways to walk our Path. I will continue to support several NGOs, I will share my opinions honestly and as clearly as I can, I will be open to dialog and I will listen, I will engage lawmakers and be more politically active…as always, I will vote. I will carry the light of the Goddess within me and allow it to shine in my treatment of others, in my own words and actions, gently, clearly with love and respect; and yes, I will go to River to be filled, search the night sky for the Moon and the Stars, marvel in the wonders of my day, go to my altar and light my candles, cast my spells. I will work to strengthen that light within me and to stand with others who share my dream and my intent…I will never give up… I am, after all, a witch.

Blessed be.


Wynde…My Path, My Site

    With the passing of yet another birthday, the Solar and the Lunar returns reveal the swirl of possibilities and the illumination of promises still unfolding. This was a remarkable birthday and with its passing a stronger commitment to this site was born…a renewed energy and a stronger vision. Such incredible sites on the Internet dedicated to the Craft. Sites resplendent with candlelit pentagrams, and besoms, magickal calligraphy, images of Goddess and God, many dark and beckoning emerged from my searches and visits. With renewed commitment, I realized these sites had affected me in yet another realm….the realm of self doubt…was my site witchy enough? There is a mirror image to that question that many of my students have voiced…is my life witchy enough?

    The title of my page is Wynde.  Wynde is my adaptation of an old Scottish word, Wynd.  A wynd is a narrow pathway or alley way. It often has twists and turns, and more often leads to hidden treasures. Gael refers to all things celtic and thus the name of my site and my store reflects both my path and my affinity for Scotland, Ireland and all things Gaelic.

     I do admire and love to visit those intensely witchy sites….especially the dark ones that seem seeped in mystery. These sites are so mystically magcikal to me. I also admire the houses of witches whose craft permeates every nook and crannie of their abode. I have one friend in particular…even as you park your car on the street the house calls to you…a powerful witch and priestess abides within…magickal offerings adorn the trees, spheres hang from branches and peek out of bushes, magick is in the air!  Inside the air carries the sweet scents of incense and candles, tributes to the Goddess and God transform mundane to magickal…inside, outside, above and below, it all vibrates with the essence of her craft and the path she shares with her Shaman partner. I love being in that space, soaking in that essence, and I especially love when we weave our energies in that ritual space. I live in a condo…a fairly small condo, but even before I moved to smaller spaces, the visible signs of my craft have been more subtle. I have maintained my same Goddess blessing at my entrance, but now a I have a sprig of rosemary across the top of it since I no longer have outdoor space. My witches ball still hangs in the center of my sliding glass doors that face West, but now those doors lead to a Juliette balcony. Herb pots, candles, a lunar calender, a magickal planner, all are scattered hither and thither around the living area, dining room and kitchen, tributes to my Spirit Horse and the ELements. My bedroom is less subtle…my altar centered on my Amethyst Cathedral, my besoms, my window adorned with a stained glass crescent moon and numerous crystals…candles, cauldrons, magick abounds.

   My spaces are a bit more subtle because my space reflects the path I follow and the merging of my particular magickal with mundane.  Your Wynde is yours to create. How you choose to express your Craft will be determined by your own context and your footsteps upon your path…where will it lead you? I am witch of Air, Water and Fire: I am High Priestess and teacher, healer and crone, this site reflects who I am at this manifestation of my life. There are many ways for you to experience and express your path as you journey forward. Let go of expectations and listen to the Goddess who speaks within. Be true to the Voice. Perhaps your monuments to your craft will be filled with pentagrams and candlelit corners, images of the Goddess, crystals and besom…perhaps your expression will be a single candle and a small bouquet of flowers, whatever your create, create it with joy in your soul and the love of the Goddess in your heart…all else will follow.

    And, yes, my site is witchy enough – it is a creation of the path I have followed, a journey that continues to twist and turn, that narrows, then expands to narrow yet again… there is magick on this path….and endless possibilities.

So mote it be!


The Magick of Ritual

Rituals can be simple or complex, they can be composed and rewritten, or spontaneous, they can be performed by a solitary witch or a large gathering of people of like mind. Each ritual has its own special power. I often go to my altar drawn by some inspiration or some concern and perform an impromptu ritual. I often times dance my circle casting, sometimes I stand in the center and cast with my witches finger, other times I cast with faerie dust. I do still use an athame or my wand, but those are for more planned rituals rather than my being spontaneously called to my altar. I always call the Elementals and the Fifth Element, and in my mind I hear their voices…I am Air and I am here. I honor the Goddess. Sometimes I sit in silence, sometimes I speak, sometimes I dance, the work of the ritual flows from my intent. I always have a chalice on my altar and my ritual is always sealed with a sip…or even two of wine. I may pause before the releases, just because the sacredness of those moments lingers and I am often reluctant to disperse the energy that surrounds me.

I am awed by the power of ritual when performed by a group of witches who have practiced consistently together. I find that the whole is ever so greater than the sum of our parts. The energetic weaving that begins with the first moments of gathering intensifies as the ritual unfolds. Time disappears within that sacred space. We may have written a special ritual, orchestrated and choreographed our sacred work, but all that disappears within the casting of the circle and the ritual takes on a very special Magick of its own. To experience this oneness with each other is to truly touch the Face of the Goddess and to be lost in the holiness of Her embrace. The power of ritual is the power of those who honor it and who walk with the Goddess dancing between the worlds.





Scry…..Who Me???

Dark Moon, Dark Times, the power of the journey within. I have a powerful Dark Mirror. It seems to strengthen each time I use it. A few years ago it cracked. Its pewter frame holds it together, but it is cracked. My first thought was  “Darn, it is ruined”, my second thought was “No way, it is simply renewed”…it is still beautiful and reflective of my inner journey…just a wee bit cracked.

Teaching scrying had been a challenge. I once owned a shop….Mugwort and Malachite…a truly magickal place. One day in the shop I was discussing the art of scrying with my friend Meredith and sharing stories of our own learnings… When I scry I am more likely to hear then to see…Meredith shared her initial frustration….she was at Witch Camp and they were doing a scrying exercise…she gazed deep within the mirror, calmed herself,  softened her eyes and….and….nothing. As she became more frustrated the workshop leader looked over her shoulder.  “What do you See?”  “Nothing,” she replied and then repeated  ‘Nothing,” The workshop leader smiled…told her to look again, only this time to pretend she saw something…anything….just pretend…so she did, and she did. I do not know the name of that teacher, but I know that his particular wisdom and Meredith”s sharing of that wisdom has enabled many a student to look into a dark mirror, or a bowl of water, a drop of oil or the flame of a candle, and make that inner journey….    

Imagination is the key to magick and pretending opens the door…so if you have not done so lately, why not take a look?


To Know

     I am witch. Because I am of the Earth and not Christian, Muslim or Jew, some might call me pagan. You may call me pagan, but I am witch. I derive my power from the cycles of the Moon and the Sun, the swirling energies of all Spirits and the essence of all living things. I inhabit the Wheel of the Year, honoring the Goddess and Her consort, the God.

     I am witch. I believe that we were born to tread lightly on the Earth, to live with intent and to embrace all of life…its pleasures, its sadness, its pain, all of its challenges, living our Rede and harming none. Harming none is not unlike other paths that teach “do unto others”, but our Rede intensifies that message with the Law of Threefold Return: whatever I do unto others will return to me in this life or the next. No judgement, no conditions, no delineation of good/bad, you simply get what you give….and then some.

     I am witch and I use the tools of a witch: athame, wand, cauldron, besom, pentacle. I use these tools in ritual and magick to weave my spiritual path with the Goddess. I see Her and honor Her in all Her aspects and see Her face in all the creatures of the realms.

     Some would call me Wiccan. Wicca is used in many contexts. It is an organization of beliefs and practices held by many witches, I am a Third Degree Priestess of Wicca,  called to serve those who would honor the Goddess. As priestess, I am mentor, teacher, healer ,and spiritual guide. I teach the ways of Wicca and I am witch.

     I am Witch, Priestess and I am Crone….Keeper of Ancient Wisdom, Teacher of Ancient Ways..I bear witness to the journey of the soul and the mysteries of life, death and rebirth. I am Lady Caillean, Priestess of Brigid, dedicated to the Cailleach and this is my journey.