Thursday, May 26, 2011

Yet Again

Well my dears, it seems that Death has come calling again, and this Saturday the family and I will be taking off for the Eastern side of the U.S. to attend the funeral of Stephen's Uncle Al. We're going as a family and staying for a week to make the best of it. Most of my hubby's family lives out that way so we will be able to spend some additional time with them (as we were already planning a family vacation out there this August). So, wish us luck as we travel to say good by to yet another family member. (Have I mentioned that I'm tired of death?)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Response

Hello everyone! I'm sorry on yet another absence... I seem to have school work coming out of every orifice right now. My brain is feeling foggy at the moment, so I'm going to treat myself to a quick blogging excursion.
I've received a lot of responses about that bat shit crazy email I received a week and a half ago, so I decided I would put out the email that was written in response to said email. I sent it out last week after meeting with my circle and spending time talking about what had occurred, working some protection magic, and verifying that everyone was good with me sending out what has simply become known as "The Response".

"I have taken time over the past few days since receiving this email from you to meditate, talk to my circle, and do some research. I have come to several conclusions that I would now like to share with you. First and foremost, my circle and I do not recognize you or anyone else as the High Priestess of Pagan Magic. We are children and followers of the God and Goddess, and therefore we recognize them as our only "authority figure". The Pagan Treaty that you referenced is not available on any public forum that I, or the circle, could find. For this reason, I have no choice but to believe that this treaty does not exist, or it is something for you and whatever circle you may or may not have. Therefore, we also do not recognize the aforementioned treaty. Additionally, circle members have expressed to me that they are all adults, capable of making informed decisions about their life and chosen spiritual path. That being said, my original email clearly states that the spell in question will be discussed in detail when we gather for our weekly circle. The circle has also made sure that I know that they fully support me and know that if they ever have questions, are uncertain of something, or do not wish to participate in anything, they are free to make that decision. I have also been asked to remind you that any actions that you make, or your circle makes on your behalf, are also subjected to the law of three- and I can assure that the Deity’s of those in this circle do not appreciate having their children and worshipers threatened or attempted to be made subservient to another.

On the more mundane side of things, as a military sponsored circle, we are under and entitled to the same rules, regulations, and protections as the military chapel. Emails of the nature in which you sent, with threats of "stripping you and your circle of any magical ability" are considered harassment and hate crimes under military and federal law.  Any further emails from you or any of your associates will be handed over to military law enforcement officials and investigated and handled as a hate crime. In addition to this, any further unsolicited correspondence to myself or any of the circle members in regard to ANY manner will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the military and if found to be harassing in any way, may result in legal action.

 While we are not a coven, but an open circle welcome to anyone, we do still have rules to abide by. One of these rules is that no member is allowed to belittle or discriminate against another member because of their beliefs (or lack thereof). Because of this rule, and the respect of those I practice with, I do not seek to tell anyone else what is "right" or "wrong" on their path, for that is there choice. As a circle leader, I must ask that you bestow that same courtesy upon this circle and its members. Only those who make the conscious choice to join your coven (which you may or may not have) are subjected to the rules you have laid out. As ours is not one of them, I thank you for your concern but ask that you leave us to our path while you follow yours.

Lastly, I would like to leave you with an email that was sent out by one of our former circle members in response to your original email. Though the military forced her to move, she is still a very valued circle member and an even dearer friend. Enjoy.

"It has come to my attention that in the previous days the members of Circle have been the recipients of a letter of concern regarding the Master Key Ritual that had been planned for future dates. I have many, many thoughts about the letter in question, (which was also forwarded to my email address as a former participant of the Mountain Home Circle). First. Let me address with you the matter of the "Ritual" being a curse. The Master Key Ritual does in fact have some background in Houdoun/Hoodoo/Voodoo magics. That is a fact that shall not be disputed. However, anyone who knows anything about Voodoo magic also knows that there are many variations of this type of shamanistic art. The Voodoo genre mixes, matches and blends powerful aspects of many religions; making a sort of primordial 'magical soup' if you will. For example one of the prayers Voodoo practitioners commonly use is Psalm 23 of the Christian Bible, which many an African tribes person learned when the Christians swooped in to conquer and enslave their people; and even before that when the Hebrew people were in constant contact with the Egyptians who enslaved them. Now... Psalm 23 is also used in ONE of the traditional Master Key spells to bless and cleanse the Key at the start of the journey.

We certainly know that Psalm 23 is not Voodoo in origin, it's an ancient Hebrew spell/poem written under the reign of King David. Neither is the "Master Key" Ritual specifically Voodoo in origin. To assume that the Master Key Ritual is a Voodoo curse and nothing more, shows a true lack of research on the part of the author who wrote that reproachful email. Voodoo practitioners did not formulate that spell; they picked it up because it was powerful and worked wonders, much like Psalm 23! Can the Master Key spell be turned into a curse? Of course it can. But so too can the Great Rite; if you were to perform a ritual where the Blood of the Goddess and the Body of the Consort became real factual human sacrifices made to nourish the coven members you would inherently be cursing your victims to be bound to you physically as you consumed their flesh in a cannibalistic rite. Unless the human sacrifices went into the ritual whole heartedly willing, there would be spiritual repercussions. Going back to our Magic 101 lessons... Magic is neither dark nor light, it is purely energy. It is the person who wields it that will determine the end result of its power.

Second. In regards to ritual and your rights as Pagans to practice and learn magic, every ritual EVER written throughout time is a framework for magic and spiritual expression; it is NOT pure magic or spirituality alone. Let me repeat that one more time, ritual is a framework. Modern day magicians and spiritual practitioners are free to take apart, edit, modify and rework ANY of the ancient frameworks of magic and ritual to form new creative rituals of their own. Yes, they must still abide the Rule of Three in their new creations; summoning up nasty energies will have backlash, so be sure if you don't understand a word or a name to research it. Other than that there is no person, group, or rules that can prevent you from writing and naming your own rituals however you like. Spirituality is an art of the soul, there is no copy write laws to govern it. Just because you are doing a modern day ritual based on something called the “Master Key” DOES NOT actually mean you are going to do the EXACT Voodoo ritual itself. For anyone to hear the words “Master Key” and jump to the worst conclusion possible makes them both foolish and unreasonable. For all they know you could be blessing keys over smoke from the root called “Master Key” and meditating. Or you may have come up with a completely different perfectly original Master Key spell of your own that was inspired by the idea you’d heard but has absolutely nothing to do with Voodoo; other than the fact you read a similar spell title in your studies. 

Therefore, whoever is absurd enough to believe they have the right to police you or other pagans via email, simply on the basis of what they ‘think’ they know, should be regarded as an insult to our entire spiritual community. Such a poorly educated person does not take enough time to consider any reasonable explanations, or consider the fact that perhaps they do not have all the information at hand.  Nor does this person bother to do the research to find out whether the historical information about the ritual, which is the foundation of their own accusations, is correct and worthy of pursuing. Which, let me repeat, because there are several Master Key rituals from various cultures, this person’s accusations are NOT at all legitimately founded. The most popular Voodoo Ritual is actually a watered down spin off of an ancient Hermetic Rite (which was designed to access the planes of the tree of life called the Kabbalah in order to understand and gain success and not at all a curse) for anyone who dares to their spiritual homework. Yes, there are some corrupted versions of dark magic Master Keys too, which takes a world of know how to summon some rather interesting gate keepers. But, even those spells are more a bargaining with demons more than a curse aimed towards anyone. So for future reference, anyone instantly assuming that they know what you’re doing is ‘wrong’ and threaten to “strip you of your magical abilities,” shows complete lack of wisdom and magical knowledge and should be regarded as incompetent. Any responsible coven, circle, or religious group does not threaten any person or persons without first learning if there is reasonable and due cause. There is nothing more to their email than factious harassment and unfounded blame. Normally I do not speak so harshly of my fellow pagans, but this particular person has shown not only intellectual ignorance but moral and spiritual ineptitude as well. If these people truly wanted to police dark magics, they should be sending out insulting emails to the Voodoo queens and leaders of various sects across the nation. I'd love to see how well THAT goes over for them. 

Lastly. I would not hesitate to advise everyone take the appropriate legal and magically logical actions to ensure this problem does not persist. I understand that the Circle leaders are hard at work to counsel over the necessary corrective measures. I am again, very, very sorry to hear of the troubles that have befallen your group, which is full of wonderful, brilliant people. I wish you all the best of luck on your spiritual paths. May the Divine embrace you as you find your ways through the ever winding rivers of life."

Monday, May 9, 2011

What a weekend! Can I get some help?

Well, I have yet to make my Beltane post, and for that I am truly sorry. I received a nasty email on Friday that truly shook me to the core and I've spent most of the past few days working with circle members to sort out what the hell happened and figuring out what to do about it. I've been thinking about it, and I would like to share it with you guys to see if perhaps you can shed anymore light on some of it, because I'm having no luck. Additionally people need to be aware that this kind of thing really does happen... Before you read it though, I would like to clarify a few things-
1.) The spell in question does indeed have voodoo roots. HOWEVER, it is a spell of self empowerment- not a curse or a spell that would harm anyone or anything. It requires visiting places that represent various stages in life (a hospital, bank, cemetery to name a few- there are 9 total) and charging a key with the mysterious of that place and therefore granting the owner of the key aid in that phase of life.
2.) If someone knows about the treaty that is mentioned, would you mind cluing me in??
3.) This email was sent by a person who is in no way affiliated with the circle. The best I can piece together is that a circle member forwarded my email to a friend who then sent it to the person who wrote this email in response to my original one. It was sent to me, and bcc'd to the entire circle (plus a few other people I don't know).

"Mrs. Scott.
I regret to inform you that by way of Pagan Treaty 4.265, Handling Of Common Artifacts, that this curse ritual is no longer permissible to be performed in large groups.
I also would like to inform you of the following matter.
The magic you practice with unsuspecting individuals such as this, simply informing them of the fact that it is "Hoodoo" will not protect you from backlash. We have been made aware of this matter, and if we must adress it with you again, or anything similar, we shall be taking retributive action, not least of which may include stripping you and your circle of any magical ability. As the spiritual counselor of such a group, it is your responsibility to ensure that they practice safely. You may as well as you may not be aware that such a responsibility also correlates to the Law of Three, to which you shall be paying the price for, in full, if you continue this ritual.
You have not been taking responsibility for your circle, but now, this responsibility has been placed on your shoulders for the duration of your role as leader, even should you take a position of Shadow Leader.
As of this moment, your standing with the High Priestess of Pagan Magic is damaged. Please take care to not damage it further. Your compliance in this matter is of the utmost importance. Thank you all for your time.
With regards to Minerva
All questions can be directed towards this email address, and will be answered as soon as possible. Anyone requiring a voice may ask Gregory for the number to his PRIMARY Pythia. All questions must be direct-No inferences will be made about the suject matter."
When I first got this email, I was ready to throw in the towel and become a hermit. However, now that several days have passed, I am ready to meet this head on and protect my circle, my friends, from harassment and hateful words. We have a circle planned for this weekend which will involve the member who sent on  my email talking to the circle and explaining what has been found out and done, followed by a nice round of cleansing and protection spells. I'm also working on a nice professional response to this email... and shoving aside the snarky comments is like a mental exercise. =)
Really, the purpose of all this is to make sure that everyone is aware that there are those that would seek to claim some sort of power over you and your magic. (As far as I'm concerned, anyone claiming to be the High Priestess of Pagan Magic is in need of a good cosmic 2x4 wake up call). You must remember that your abilities are gifts that have been given to you, and it is not up to any man or woman to decided to take that from you. Any actions that you take are subject to the law of karma, or law of 3 (whatever you want to call it), and you are responsible for your actions. If your deity doesn't like what you're doing, I can assure you that you will hear about it. =) But that is for the Divine to decide, not a nosy little twit who believes that it's their job to take care of it.
Take care everyone. Remember to stay true to your beliefs and who you are. You're spirituality is yours, and yours alone- unique to you and your life. 
Many blessings. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yanni... music that reaches the world.

Yup, it was a cheesy title, but it's just so dang true. =)

So, I spent Saturday night glued to my seat at the Maverick Center in West Salt Lake City, UT with every sense in my body being washed over and consumed by Yanni's musically riveting performance. Really, I can remember very rare instances of being at a lack of words, but this is truly one of them.

I first remember being introduced to Yanni when I was 10 years old. It was one of the only instances in which my father actually did something that bettered my life, though doubt he saw it as anything other than bringing home a VHS he got for free from a work promotion. He brought me the Live at the Acropolis [VHS] that had just been released and I was hooked. There was no question in my mind that he was the greatest artist I had ever heard and that I wanted to hear every piece of music he had ever written. Shortly there after, I started asking my father for music lessons.. flute, piano, violin... I didn't care, I just had to be apart of music. He told me no, that it would be a waste of money and time. (yeah, my father was and still is an ass). With Yanni's music filling my soul, I taught myself to play the piano and flute at the age of 15- five years after I first saw that tape. My father was no longer in the picture, and I was able to use a friends old flute and music books to learn from. My Junior year of high school I SUCKED, being 12th out of 13 chairs (flute), but my senior year I vastly improved, moving to 5th out of 15 chairs. While I never learned enough to go anywhere with my music (outside of band and choir in high school), I can still think about it and say that I at least followed my dream to play music as I had been so deeply inspired to at such a young age.

Since then, I have seen Yanni in concert four times, and I will continue to see him with every tour he goes on. One day, I know, my next wish will come true and I will actually get to meet the man that so influenced my life so early on. It's been 17 years now, and I find his music, both new and old, no less moving (probably even more so now) and no less inspiring. I use it for many of my meditations and ritual times as it leads the perfect air of peace and calm on the edge of mystery.

Oh, I did get to meet his drummer and friend of 30 years- Charlie Adams! He is such a nice guy! Talked to me like I'd known him for years and we needed to catch up because he'd been gone on tour. Love it!

I would recommend his new CD to anyone wanting some different circle music!