This blog does not represent the views, beliefs, traditions, etc. of all Pagans. This blog does not claim to be 100% correct, nor does it claim to have every answer. This blog represents the personal views, beliefs, and morals of one Pagan. This blog represents the belief system and spiritual journey of one Pagan. The blogger in charge of this blog is not looking for followers or others with the same outlook on life. The blogger believes that every individual is exactly that, an "individual;" with individual beliefs, individual paths, and individual outlooks on life. The blogger stresses how important it is for people to discover their own spiritual paths, their own system of beliefs, and their own morals.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blood Witch - The Salem Story and More Ancestry

Blood Witch - The Realization

Not long ago, I realized that my spiritual bond to witch-hood was stronger than normal. I have heightened sense of sight. Which is weird, considering I wear glasses for nearsightedness. I have a tetrachromatic sense of sight. Tetrachromatic sight is when the eyes develop four types cone cells. The cone cells can each perceive 100 different colors. Normal human beings have three types of cone cells. So if we do the math:

100^3 or 100 X 100 X 100 = 1 million colors

Neato! That means you, my friend, can see 1 million different colors. Now I don't mean to dim your spirits by out doing you, but I can see 100 million colors. Check my math:

100^4 or 100 X 100 X 100 X 100 = 100 million colors

Science says tetrachromatic sight most likely occurs in women who have a male relative who is color blind (usually a son or father). Why women? Well it has to do with genes and X chromosomes, and a bunch of sciencey stuff that I'm not going to get into. You can read more of it in this Huffington Post. Needless to say, my tetrachromatic sight can only be a gift from the Goddess; a gift passed from one woman to another (wonder if that means the God is color blind??). But why would such a wonderful gift be passed to ordinary me?

Well, it triggered some exploration into my ancestry. I know I have Native Cherokee blood in me on my maternal side, due to my ancestors adopting Mary Ann Sparkman (formerly Hicks), a full blood Cherokee, somewhere in the 1820s. I'm guessing she's the great, great, great, great, great, (recounting to make sure I got them all...missed one) great grandmother, that my grandfather always told me about. I also saw a Sparkman cemetery, nestled in the hills of Tennessee, not far from the Trail of Tears crossing. I hope one day to get back there and wander around.


I also knew I had Italian blood in me, it was the main part of me that I knew. My paternal grandmother was half Italian, making me one sixth Italian. But I also knew there was more to me than that. My paternal grandfather's side was never really talked about. All I really know is that when that side of the family came to America, the last name was changed from Goodale to Goodall. That's the only lead I had.

A quick search on "Goodale ancestry" brought up some promising results, all of which I would have to hand over my credit card information for (thank you Ancestry, Census Diggins, Roots Web, Genealogy, and you other not so free sites). But then I found the name "Sarah Goodale," and a bell went off in my head. Where the bloody hell had I heard that name before?

Sarah Goodale... Sarah Goodell... Sarah Goodall... Sarah... Sarah Good?

AHA! That's it! Sarah Good! One of the original three women charged with witchcraft in Salem Massachusetts during the famous Witch Trials! She Married William Good, who was the descendant of William Goodale. William Goodale was born to Robert Goodale and Joan Artys.

The Parish Records of Dennington, Suffolk County, England reads as follows:

Marriage: 1590, 12 June, Robert Goodale and Joan Artys
Baptisms: 1601, 15 August, Robert, son of Robert and Joan Goodale
Other children of this couple whose baptisms are recorded also: Mary, 1591; Margaret, 1593; William, 1596; Anne, 1599; Edward, 1603, Elizabeth, 1607, and Thomas, 1610.

So wait...rewind...I'm related to a Salem Witch?? Yes.

Of course, I wanted to know more! So I kept digging around on the inter webs. I found a lovely website after searching "Goodale Salem" that gave me more insight to my ancient and famous ancestors. In fact, there was more to the story than I thought. 

Before I begin my Salem story, I must explain that the spelling of "Goodale" changes a bit. Census' can be found dating back to the 1700s in England. More than six generations of Goodales lived there. The spelling of the last name changed between "Goodale" and "Goodell," sometimes within the same household. It wasn't until sometime after the Goodale family moved to America that the spelling variation of "Goodall" was picked up, and was also shortened to "Good."

Robert Goodale

I must start with Robert Goodale, since he was the one who originally immigrated to America. He and his first wife, Catherine Killiam. Robert was from Dennington, Suffolk County, England. I talked briefly above about a clip from a local parish record. Our Robert Goodale is the son of the Robert Goodale and Joan Artys, mentioned above.

Robert and Catherine sailed from Ipswich England to New England via the "Elizabeth," and landed in America in 1634 (fourteen years after the Mayflower). They settled in Salem, where they had their children, Mary, Abraham, Isaacke, Sarah (not Sarah Good, she comes later), Zachariah, Jacob, and Hannah. Shortly after their last child was born, Catherine died. Robert then married Margaret Lazenby, and together, they had one child; Elizabeth.

Robert claimed a massive thousand (plus) acres of town. Here he created a family settlement, and devoted his life to his children's benefit. He was a well educated man, but took no part in government affairs. He died in June of 1683, leaving his estate to his daughter Elizabeth and his grandson John Smith (yes, that's his real name).

Below is a picture, portraying Robert Goodale and his family, followed by a map of Robert's land in Salem:

Below is an article from the book "The ancestry of Lydia Harmon, 1755-1836: wife of Joseph Waterhouse of Standish, Maine:"

Jacob Goodale

So the next part to my Salem story lies with Jacob Goodale. Firstly, Jacob was the son of Robert Goodale and his first wife, Catherine Killiam. He was baptized in Salem on January 9th, 1640. He then died in 1675.

So what happened? Well it's about to get juicy...

Jacob apparently had some kind of mental problem, and was probably labeled "retarded." There was one instance when he was arrested, and his father had to pay 5 shillings to get him back. Because of his mental problems, he couldn't do much. However he did work as an indentured farm worker to Giles Corey.

In 1675, Jacob was allegedly caught stealing apples from Giles Corey's brother-in-law. Giles Corey picked up a stick (records say the stick was about 1 inch in diameter), and beat Jacob. He "unreasonably" beat Jacob, in front of Elisha Kebee (possibly another farm worker? I don't know, I couldn't find any information on him other than who he married). After ten days, Giles called Jacob's brother Zachariah, and told him that Jacob had fallen and possibly broke his arm. When Zachariah arrived at Giles' home, he noticed that Jacob looked very ill. He asked his brother if anything other than his arm hurt, but Jacob gave no reply. Zachariah wanted to take Jacob to the town doctor (one record calls her Mrs. Moles, but I couldn't find anything else on the doctor), and wanted someone to go with them. Giles refused, making up some excuse about his horse. Goody Corey went with Zachariah and Jacob. A few days later, Jacob died. The coroner's report stated that Jacob died due to blood clots around his heart, clots that directly resulted from Giles' beating.

Because corporal punishment was allowed to be used on indentured servants, Giles was exempted of murder charges, and was instead charged with "unreasonable force." He was only ordered to pay a fine, despite numerous eyewitness statements against him.

But Jacob's story did not end there.

Fifteen years later, Giles and his second wife Martha were both accused of witchcraft. Martha was hanged illegally because of the accusations, and her son from a former marriage, Thomas, collected funds for "loss and damages," totaling £50. Margaret Goodale, Jacob's step mother since he was a child, was one of the women who appeared afflicted at Martha Corey's trial. It is said that the ghost of Jacob's mother, Catherine, came to the afflicted girls during the witch trials, and made accusations against Giles and Martha.

Below is an illustration depicting the Trial of Giles Corey:

Giles on the other hand, refused to plead guilty or innocent. The law, at the time, stated that a person who did no plead could not be tried. The courts efforts to force Giles to plead were via pressing. Giles was stripped naked, and a heavy board was placed over him. Large boulders were then piled on top of the board, crushing him. He continued to refuse to plead. At one point, records claim that Giles' tongue was pressed out of his mouth, and the sheriff used his cane to push it back in. Giles was fed three mouthfuls of bread and water during his pressing. After two days, he was asked three times which way he would plead. Each time he refused, saying only "more weight!" He ended up being pressed to death, managing to mumble a curse on the sheriff and the entire town of Salem before he breathed his last.

Below is an illustration depicting Giles Corey being pressed to death:

Supposedly the ghost of Jacob Goodale could be seen, hanging around Giles while he was being pressed, chanting:

"Look! Look! It is the ghost of Jacob Goodale
Whom fifteen years ago this man did murder,
By stomping on his body! In his shroud

He comes here to bear witness to this crime."

Below is an illustration depicting Mary Warren, claiming to see the ghost of Jacob Goodale sitting next to Giles during his trial. This illustration is from Henry Wardsworth's play "Giles Corey of Salem Farms:"

Sarah Good

Lastly, Sarah Good, and the most famous part of my Salem story. She was identified along with Sarah Osbourne and Tituba as being witches and possessing the girls Abigail Williams and Betty Parris. The girls claimed the three women would abuse them, and when the judge asked "who torments you" during their public fits of "possession," they called out the three women.

Sarah, pregnant at the time with Mercy Good, was arrested. While in jail, awaiting trial, she gave birth. Mercy died a few days later due to malnutrition and unclean surroundings.

During the trial on March 25th, 1692, Sarah was accused of witchcraft. She was accused of rejecting "puritanical expectations of self-control" when scolding children. Townsfolk claimed to see Sarah flying through the sky on a stick, and ordering cats and birds to attack them (specifically Elizabeth Hubbard). Tituba testified that Sarah had signed her name in a book the Devil carried, and that Sarah forced Tituba to sign the book as well. 

Sarah's own husband, William, testified against her, saying she had a "devil's mark" below her shoulder. 

Sarah's four year old daughter, Dorothy Good (also known as Dorcas Good due to a misspelling on her arresting warrant), was also accused of witchcraft. Townsfolk claimed that Dorothy would have fits and repeatedly bite them. She was arrested and turned five while in jail. The child admitted to practicing witchcraft, and was then forced to testify against her own mother, saying that she had seen her mother talking to the devil, and that Sarah gave her a talking, bloodsucking snake. After being in custody for nine months, Dorothy was released on bond on December 10th, 1692. Her imprisionment led her to insanity.

Sarah, however, was not so lucky. She was sentenced to hang to death. As she stood at the gallows with four other convicted women, Sarah continued to proclaim her innocence. When the judges and Reverend Nicholas Noyes proclaimed her guilty, she spat in their faces and cried out:

"I'm no more a witch than you are a wizard, 
take my life and God will give you blood to drink!"

She died on July 29th, 1692.

Below is a photograph of a memorial to Sarah Good at the Salem Witch Trials Memorial site, close to Old Burying Point Cemetery:

More Awesome Goodale History

There are two theories as to the origination of the family name, "Goodale," "Goodell," "Goodall." One is reported by a research bureau in Washington, D.C. and supported by Dr. Robert L. Goodale of Ipswich, Massachusetts.

The name is of Norse origin. There was a Goodel de Brixi who came from Normandy with Edward the Confessor before 1066. The Goodalls were a very early family in the British Isles, stemming from members living in Goldale, now Gowdall, a town in the parish of Snaith, Yorkshire. They were of the landed gentry and yeomanry.

Among the earliest definite records are those of Villa de Goldale, Johannes or John Godhale, Recardus or Richard de Goldall, and Johannes or John Godhall of Yorkshire, in the year 1379. In the class of 1470 at Oxford was a Richard Goodale (recorded in the library of Merton College). Listed at the head of his class, the name was "Godyle."

It is true that in early times very little attention was given to the spelling of names, and during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, there was no fixed authority for the spelling of either proper names or surnames.

The other theory is advanced by Professor Isaac Goodell of Ft. Worth, Texas, after much study:

Robert Goodell is claimed to be of French Hugenot descent. "Goodelle" is the French origin of the family name and this spelling is yet found in Paris and a number of smaller towns in France. Later, one of the ancestors immigrated to Scotland, and about 1580, as tradition goes, a Goodelle family (Robert's grandfather) moved from Scotland to London. The name of Goodelle was Anglicized to Goodell, then Goodale and later Goodall in the coastal counties of Suffolk and Norfolk, England. Baptiste Goodell, supposed to be a son of that family and uncle to Robert, made his first appearance as an actor with William Shakespeare in Henry VI before Queen Elizabeth in 1589.

The name is significant of family occupation as may be inferred from the coat-of-arms of the Scottish families, described as follows:

Arms: On 3 caps and in the middle fesse point as 
many ears of barley, two in saltire, and one in pale of the last.
Crest: A silver cup PPR, motto Good God increase

This was also true in early America. The record of Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolution gives no less than 16 different spellings of the name Goodale, many times with reference to the same man in the same document.

Thomas Goodale and the Family Crest

Thomas "the Elder" Goodale and his wife Elizabeth were probably parents of Robert who married Joan Artys and was father of Robert (the one I go into detail about, who lived in Salem). Robert was "a small landed proprietor and cultivator, employing his capital and labor in various modes which grew out of the occupation of lands."

On March 1, 1612, arms were granted to Thomas Goodall of Earle-Stoneham, as follows:

Arms: Gules, an eagle displayed Argent, beaked and 
membered Or, on a canton of the last a Chaplet Gramine Vert.
Crest: On a wreath an eagle displayed Argent beaked and 
membered Or and gorged with a chaplet Gramine Vert.

The Boston Transcript No. 9830 states that Robert brought to America the arms granted Thomas Goodall of Earle-Stoneham.

Below is an image of the arms and crest of the Goodale, Goodall, Goodell, etc. family:

King James had succeeded Queen Elizabeth in 1603, followed by King Charles in l625. One of the first acts of King Charles on his ascension to the throne, that caused a storm of indignation throughout the country was the imposition of a forced loan without the grant of Parliament. The imposition of ship money was the final measure that drove thousands, including the Goodales, to America.

Isaac (Issacke) Goodale

Now enters Isaac Goodale. Isaac was Robert's oldest son, and came to America when he was six months old. He, along with the rest of his family, grew up in Salem Massachusetts. When he was 35 years old, he married Patience Cook in 1668. Patience's parents, John and Mary Roote Cook, gave the married couple a tract of land. Together, Isaac and Patience had three children: Isaac, Zachariah, and John. They also had 15 grandchildren; 8 from Zachariah and 7 from John (who married 3 times).

Their house, originally built by Isaac's father, Robert, was located in Salem Massachusetts, in 1668. It was later deconstructed and moved to Ipswich Massachusetts, in 1928. The house was restored by Dr. Robert L. Goodale, and now sits at 141 Argilla Rd. Ipswich Massachusetts. It is currently on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Below are photographs of Isaac and Patience Goodale's house:

Below are some photographs of the interior of Isaac and Patience Goodale's house, after the restoration:

The Continuation of the Goodale Bloodline:

Isaac and Patience's son, Isaac (I'm referring to him as Isaac Jr. for sanity's sake) Jr., married Mary Abbe, and together they had eleven children: Isaac (the third), Jacob, Samuel, Hester, Ezekiel, Jonathan, Sarah, Abigail, Enos, Jacob (another one??), and Mary.

Isaac Jr. and Mary's son, Enos, married Mary Anglers, and together they had eight children: Sarah, Ebenezer, Mary, Ezekiel, Enos (referring to him as Enos Jr.), Miriam, Persis, and Elijah. In 1735, Isaac Jr., Mary, and their children moved out of Salem. At this point, the Goodale family had resided in Salem Massachusetts for over 100 years. The family first moved to Marlborough, then to Shrewsbury in 1743, and then to Jeffrey/Temple New Hampshire in 1750.

Enos and Mary's sons Ezekiel and Enos Jr. were part of the group that marched to Cambridge on April 19th, 1775. Enos Jr. also participated in the march to Saratoga, in 1777. Ezekiel also marched to Valley Forge and Monmouth Courthouse, and petitioned for compensation at Ticonderoga.

Their son Elijah, married Elizabeth Stickney, on August 10th, 1779, and had one child together: Elijah (referring to him as Elijah Jr.) Jr. Elijah Jr. married Sally Davis, on September 20th, 1802.

Elijah was part of the Training Band of Jeffrey, New Hampshire, in 1784. He was a soldier. Unfortunately, when Elijah died, no officer could validate his wartime roll status, so Elizabeth could not collect his pension.

Below is a list of names of those who were enlisted in the training band:

Elijah's brother, Ezekiel, married Elenor Gill. He served as a lieutenant in June 1777 in Captain Isaac Frey's Company, and  Colonial Seamon's New Hampshire Line. He was discharged a year later at Valley Forge. Then, he served as a private in Colonial Benjamin Tupper's regiment in Massachussetts, in 1782.

Below is a letter from officials at Temple, New Hampshire, requesting that Ezekiel be made an officer in the Militia of New Hampshire, followed by a list of Revolutionary War rolls, naming Ezekiel as a Captain:

Ezekiel died on July 10th, 1827, from illness. His obituary reads: 

"At Ellisburg, July 10, 1827, after a short illness, Ezekiel Goodale, for several years a Captain in the Revolutionary War, in the 84th year of his age, he was possessed of extraordinary powers of mind and a vigorous constitution.  His faith in the universal benevolence of his Saviour, continued unshaken to his last.  By this afflicting dispensation of Providence an aged wife and numerous descendants even to the fourth generation have been bereft of a worth friend and relative." 

Below is a list of war heroes of 1776, collected from a monument in Temple, New Hampshire:

* Silas Angier        * Ens.Benjamin Cutter * Peter Felt
* Timothy Avery       * Arch.Cummings       * Samuel " "
* Jona.   " "         * Eben. Cobb          * Joseph " "
* Wm.Andrews          * Stephen " "         * Joshua Foster
* Jere. " "           * Seth " "            * Joshua " "
* Jacob Annis         * Capt. Gershom       * Jacob " "
* Samuel Burnap       * William " "         * James " "
* John " "            * Daniel " "          * Daniel Fuller
* Gen Francis Blood   * Zedk. " "           * Amos " "
* John Ball           * Eben. " "           * Ezra " "
* Caleb Bancroft      * John " "            * Capt Robert Fletcher
* Eph. Brown          * David " "           * Ens. Peter " "
* Peter " "           * Needham " "         * Samuel Griffin
* John Boynton        * Zebh. Dinsmore      * Enos    Goodale
* Samuel Bredeen      * Abram. " "          * Lieut Ezek. " "
* Lieut Benj. Byham   * Henry Davis         * Abijah Gould
* Ens. Francis Cragin * Peter " "           * Major Eph. Heald
* Lieut. Benj. " "    * Phil. Ducet         * Peter " "
* John " "            * Capt Eben.Edwards   * Joseph " "
* John " " ,jr        * John Everett        * Oliver " "
* Simeon " "          * Zech. Emery         * Daniel " "
* Elias Colburn       * Aaron Felt          * John Hillsgrove

Elijah and Elizabeth Goodale's son, Elijah Jr., married Sally Davis, on September 20th, 1802. Together they had four children: Eliza, Charles, Harry, and Sally. When Elijah Jr. died, he was just over 100 years old.

Below is a map, showing the movements of the entire Goodale family between the years 1600 and 1830:

Goodale Cemetery, Danvers Massachussetts

The Goodale Cemetery is on Andover Street off of I-95 in Danvers MA. See map below:

Even though this is called the “Goodale Cemetery, only two Goodales are can be found. Major William Goodale (1781-1849) who was present in the war of 1812, and Hattie Goodale. The other graves are of Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers.

Below are some photos of the cemetery:

Moral of the Story:

So the moral of the story is that I have an awesome family tree. I have bloodline ties to the Salem Witch trials, and come from a line of war heroes. Granted, I only told you part of the story; only 230 years. There's still a lot more to my ancestry than I know. I hope I get to have the chance to discover more about my ancestors, and visit the Goodale Cemetery and Isaac's house. That would be great! Those are two things that are definitely going on my bucket list.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my Salem story, and the history of my ancestors as much as I have. I've been going at this discovery for hours upon hours now. I guess that's part of who I am though, always discovering new things, and always wanting to learn!

For more information, and the source to most of mine, check out this website about the Goodale Ancestry.

*Note: None of the pictures used in this blog post are mine. All rights belong to their original owners.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Principles of Paganism

I've been trying to catch up on my Pagan studies. Finally getting around to reading Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions by Joyce & River Higginbotham. It's a great read, full of general information that is beneficial to anyone of any faith. Many of their concepts can be applied to multiple religions, not just Pagan or Earth-Bound ones. 

I myself, am more of a visual learner. Needless to say, I've been making some infographics from my studies. I hope they help you as much as they help me! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Solitude - The Forced Practice

Solitary Witchcraft. It is not something I would have chosen, giving the option. However, due to a lack of fellow pagan friends, and even a scarcer number of local ones, I have been given the only option of solitude. It's a tough one to do.

Although solitary practice has it's benefits, I sure. It has proven to be much more of a struggle for me. I was introduced to Wicca with two others, who were close friends for a few childhood years. One friend and I were about 7th grade when we discovered Wicca and were instantly fascinated. Our third we found in our freshman year of high school. Those two went to school together, which was different than the one I attended. Not even two years later, our third fell out of contact with us, and by the end of high school, my friend and I also fell out of contact.

I actually attended two different high schools. The second, although I had more friends there, none of them were remotely interested in anything pagan related. So the whole subject wasn't even talked about.

When I started college, I had accepted that I had no choice but to practice in solitude. However, the adjustments to yet another new school, new people, new and harder classes, and the pros and cons of being on my own (living on campus), all seemed to take priority. My faith was put on the back burner.

It wasn't until maybe a bit over a year ago, that I buckled down and got back to my faith. I bought some books and a tarot deck. It was around that time that I also discovered two other pagans attended my college. One of them happened to be somewhat of a friend. However I quickly realized that neither of them took it as seriously as me, and it was more on the back burner for them.

After I re-evaluated my beliefs and faith in the summer of 2013, I found yet another pagan at my college. Despite his social awkwardness, his unintentional creepy vibe, and his lack of proper social communications, he seems to be more promising when it comes to paganism. Now that the shock of his mannerisms is over, he and I have shared sources and pagan related information.

As for pagan related information, I've developed quite a collection. I have over 950 infographics and reference photos, 72 PDFs of information, 25 or so books, two tarot decks and their books, and who knows how many websites of further information.

The books I have, if anyone is interested, are as follows:

  • Witch School by Rev. Donald Lewis-Highcorrell
  • Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions by Joyce & River Higginbotham
  • Circle, Coven, & Grove by Deborah Blake
  • Naughty Spells / Nice Spells by Skye Alexander
  • The Good Spell Book by Gillian Kemp
  • The Book of Spells by Nicola de Pulford
  • Wicca for Beginners by Thea Sabin
  • Wicca for Couples by A.J. Drew (signed copy)
  • Wicca Source Book by Gerina Dunwich
  • Exploring Spellcraft by Gerina Dunwich
  • The Real Witches' Coven by Kate West
  • Raising Witches by Ashleen O'Gaea
  • Color Casting for Wiccans by Sister Moon
  • A Witch's 10 Commandments by Marian Singer
  • Gothic Grimoire by Konstantinos
  • *Vampires by Konstantinos 
  • Wiccan Beliefs & Practices by Gary Cantrell 
  • The Witch's Journal by Selene Silverwind
  • Advanced Witchcraft by Edain McCoy
  • The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft by Judika Illes
  • The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
  • Creativity and the Six Senses by Jennie Harding
  • Healing Plants by Victoria Merrett
  • Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal by Readers Digest
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies by C. Norman Shealy
  • Amulets & Talismans by Robert Dancik

*I do include this because I feel there is something magical about the subject matter.

This picture is only some of my books (missing about 6).
As you can see, I'm running out of space to put them.

I also managed to set up an altar space. I had to take it down for a few months due to some personal reasons, but it is now, ever so slowly being built back up. In fact, I just started doing that today.

I have a few stones, some cinnamon sticks, candles and two metal tea candle holders, my wand, a tarot deck, a rabbit pelt, a witch wish box, a deer antler, and a sea shell on my altar. My altar is a bit small in size, so even though many of these items are small in size, it still looks a bit cluttered. I keep my wax burner within arms reach from my altar.

On the subject of wax burners: I use a wax burner/heater instead of incense. Incense is messy, and also requires an open flame. I know I have candles on my altar, but I rarely burn them, and when I do, I am usually right there watching them. The wax burner allows me to step away and meditate or do something else and not fear that I'm going to burn the house down. It is also very clean, not dropping ash everywhere, and still gives me the benefits of incense, i.e. smell.

Needless to say, I seem like I am well on my way, despite being in solitude. However, I feel insanely behind in my studies. I know I am nowhere near where I should be with them. I also have zero guidance. I am completely self taught, and although that is great, I would still prefer to have a mentor to guide me and share their wisdom. I like being a student. I also would like to find a coven to learn and practice with. 

I've thought that maybe I can share my wisdom with the pagan guy at my college, but I have no idea where he is at knowledge wise, or what his fundamental beliefs are. We haven't had much time to talk about it.

At one point, I thought I had found someone who was willing to mentor me. He is a voodoo priest, and although he did not live locally, he frequently visited my area. However, he cut all contact very suddenly, with no reason at all. 

Every year I tell myself "by Samhain I will have a mentor." Every year Samhain comes, and I don't have a mentor. Every year I feel further and further behind. Every year I have to pull myself back together, and raise myself out of the depression solitude leaves me in. Every year I tell myself again "by Samhain..."

Perhaps this year things will be different. With this blog, maybe I can reach out a bit more. Perhaps this year?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Persecution - The Daily Battle

I have been persecuted many times in my life, because of what I believe.

There was one incident where I had the joys of dealing with a woman who chose to bully me online:

"She posted a photo of my son and I on the internet (Twitter), without my consent. I don’t want photos of my son in public eye. She further left a bullying title/message with the photo. She made fun of my parenting skills because I use a harness on my son. She made fun of the fact that I even had a son. She also tried to make a claim that I hexed them (who, I’m not so sure). I left her a warning to remove the photo or I would take the issue to court.
I don’t care what people say to me, or about me. I’m used to persecution from others. But my son is innocent. He has done nothing wrong.

And hexes? Are you kidding? It is so unfortunate how related this situation is to my beliefs, when in actuality, hexes and Wicca have nothing to do with each other. Hexes go completely against the Wiccan Law of Threefold. It is completely stupid to accuse a witch of hexing someone. Any self-respecting witch would never do such a thing. Hexes, in the structure of Wicca, don’t exist any more than ghost stories. However entertaining the thought may be, in reality, hexes are simple folklore stories told by adults to children to frighten them into behaviors their parents want. It’s pointless, if you ask me.

Hexing people…are you kidding me!? I thought I left high school persecutions behind. Maybe it is because of the high rate of Catholicism here. Catholicism seems to make people so closed-minded. Is that what this is about? Closed-minded Catholics? I don’t know. Is it because I’m different, and differences scare people? Is it because I’m not an athlete and have millions of friends? I honestly have no clue why so may persecutions are thrown at me in particular. But I’m used to it by now, it is no longer an issue.

Just don’t drag my son into it."

- excerpt from my personal journal

There was another time when I was persecuted because of my clothing:

"So last Wednesday I wore a pair of skeleton tights under my shorts. They are black with a skeleton design on them. I was pretty stoked to wear them. They were a Christmas gift from a friend, and wednesday was the first day warm enough to wear something other than pants. They're also like....AWESOME! They're unique, original, and something you don't usually see on a catholic college campus. So fuck yeah, I wore them! I'm all for silent "fuck yous" to the system. 

Well, needless to say, someone snapped a picture when my back was turned. They threw it on Twitter and Instagram, and tagged me with #schoolprobz, #hawt, #special, and #college. Yes, apparently I am an especially hawt problem at my school. LMFAO! I'm an official school problem, and I like it. I have my first official hater. On the board! YES! Who knew all I had to do was wear tights. I mean jeez. It's a catholic campus, you'd think they're all for covering up! So, of course I wore the same damn tights today. I wonder how many other haters I'll make. I hope one person snaps a pic with my face in it! When do I start to get hate mail I wonder. I really would like a good laugh. Maybe I should make a like page for my haters. I bet they'd like that. So checkmate haters. Since you're already pissed, I'll purposefully go out of my way to make your day worse. Challenge accepted haters, like a mother fucking boss. Who knew it took balls to wear bones."

- excerpt from my personal journal

I cannot even begin to explain how many times I'm persecuted by my own parents. They are Catholic, and honestly believe that persecuting me is going to save my soul. It makes living with them difficult. 

The thing about Christians in general, they honestly believe there is only one way to live. Not all of them are like this, but in my experiences, I'd safely estimate about 90% of them are. Unfortunately, many of them are quite blind to reality.

There was one time, in an American history class, I had quite a laugh and thanked Goddess for bringing me home to her again. My professor asked who had heard of the Catholic Crusades, and no one, other than me, raised their hand. It is a classic example of “sheeples” (sheep people) – people being herded from theory to theory, not thinking for themselves, not searching for religious truths on their own, and simply accepting whatever their religious teachers tell them. It is a term also used to describe the relationship between a body of people and their government. It doesn’t surprise me, honestly, that here at a Catholic college, the Catholics knew less about the negativites of their religion than the non-Catholics. To me, it just further points to Catholic ignorance, which was the driving force that pushed me away from it.

There has never been a war or religious tragedy in the name of Wicca…

I found a wonderful quote in the Wicca book I am reading:

The “Satanic witchcraft” that the church persecuted, if it ever even existed, was a Christian heresy that included a pact with the devil, black magic, human sacrifice, and other atrocities. Wiccans do not believe in Satan, Wicca is not a Christian heresy (it’s a religion unto itself), and Wiccans find black magic and human sacrifice as abhorrent as anyone else does. 
– Thea Sabin

It is an ugly truth in the face of Christians. One they will never admit is true.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spiritual Realization - The Beginning Of Another Journey

I was always in tune with nature. Growing up, my cousin and I would roam the woods of Cambridge Ohio. We would pretend we were wolves, and the 14 acres our grandfather owned were our territory. Those were wonderful times, and the memories of the two of us, catching frogs, stalking small animals, climbing trees, and sunbathing in the forest clearings, have stuck with me all these years. She and I would get lost in those woods, and no one would come to find us because we always managed to find our way back to the farm house before dinner.
I was always amazed by nature. She and I both were. We summed it up to the Cherokee blood that ran though our veins, but looking back now, realizing my cousin and I are not blood related, and that she had no Cherokee blood flowing through her, I realize our bond with nature was not simply ancestral notion, but a faith bound one.
It has been about nine years since my discovery of Wicca, and I feel I haven’t made it very far in my studies. It has been nine years of persecution from my own parents, nine years of trials, tribulations, and terrors. It has been nine years of silent, solitary studying, of reading and rereading. Nine years of hoping and dreaming for the money to purchase tools. Nine years of throwing prayers into the atmosphere with little to no reply.
I am 21 years old, and almost starting a new for the umpteenth time in my life. Over the past summer, I did a lot of internal searching, for what, I’m still not sure. But I redefined my beliefs, realizing that I may not even be Wiccan, but that my beliefs ran parallel to it. Tis all well and good in the end as I would rather not be bound to one organized religion. I have my own way of praying, thinking, thanking, and living. I don’t wish for those things to be dictated by the set belief system of a given religion. So I’ve come to the point of simply saying I’m an Eclectic Pagan. It is about as far as I can simplify it. My views are very parallel to Wicca, and it is comforting to know that the past nine years of my life haven’t been in complete vain. I continue my studies of Wicca because quite frankly, I can still feel at peace with calling myself as such, despite the internal knowledge of knowing that I’m not 100% there.
This summer, after a lot of soul searching and redefining my faith and beliefs, the world became brighter, more colorful. I could see every shade of every color. I could see the colors combined to make new colors. Everything is beautiful and I’ve been in complete awe since.
The August after I redefined it all, for the first time, I prayed specifically to my Goddess. As I stood naked in the shower, the water falling warm, yet cool on my skin, I asked her to wash away my sins. I closed my eyes and imagined all the flaws, impurities and sins slipping down by body and then down the drain. I got out of the shower, not feeling much different. I was sad, hoping to feel lighter, happier, and I wondered if it had worked at all. I went to bed quiet and lost in my thoughts of my prayer.

I woke the next morning feeling a bit more awake than normal, my body didn’t groan, creak and complain when I pulled myself from the comforts of my bed. As I drove to the college campus I attend, I saw the faint traces of a rainbow in the sky. I still don’t know if my prayer worked, but I think if nothing else, Goddess heard me. I feel she was welcoming me, almost thanking me, for finding my way home to her.

Wicca - A Stepping Stone In The Journey Of Spiritual Realization

Looking back now, it seems that Wicca has always been a factor in my life. I always knew I was different than those around me. The Catholism I was raised in never sat comfortably to me, and I questioned the faith more than any other child my age. I was always hungry for more faith-based knowledge, and it seemed to me that the Catholic leaders at the church and school I atteneded would always cloud the facts and twist the faith to how they saw fit. The faith itself was quite facinating, and although I never bought into the idea that a man was born from a virgin and lived his life in purity, and that his death resulted in the forgiveness of sins worldwide, I still found it all intriguing none the less. Catholics always seemed, in my opinion, to look down upon anyone whose beliefs strayed from their strict, pre-set ones. I realize now, that not all Catholics are like this, and I most likely was just surrounded by snobbish people in general. I couldn’t ever understand why all other faiths seemed to be wrong in the Catholic eye, when in reality, everyone was praying to the same god, and wanted the same things: salvation, afterlife, forgiveness, peace, hope, etc. I realized that, despite the attitudes and behaviors of the Catholics around me, the more pressing matter was, I wasn’t buying the who “Jesus” character, which is basically the foundation of Christian religions. I mean, it’s called CHRISTianity…
So, Christian religions were pretty much a no go. What little I knew about Judiasm and Muslim didn’t seem to flatter me either. I do regret not looking more into Buddhism. But it seemed nothing really fit into my beliefs. Or moreso, my beliefs didn’t fit into a religion.
By the time I reached eighth grade, Harry Potter had began to make a pretty large mark on literature. No, I’m not comparing Harry Potter and Wicca. Not in the least! But I was very intrigued by magic, spells, and things not so…normal? I stumbled upon Wicca by looking more into magic, and I took a fancy to it from the very beginning. I was surprised at how many Christian traditions were adopted from old pagan traditions. I liked the concept of the Threefold Law (Golden Rule, for all you Christians), and that there was beauty and magic in everything. The world was a temple to be cherished and thanked everyday! AMEN!
Finally. Finally I found a place where I felt like I belonged. But the tough journey was ahead of me. I was so naive about it all. Young and innocent. I didn’t know then that I would struggle with belief conflicts with my parents, my faith would be tested more times than fathomable, that I would be teaching myself all the knowledge about Wicca, that it would slowly eat away at the weak relationships I held with family and friends, and how stressed all this would be, thrown onto my shoulders at once.
But I would not change my decision for the world. Nothing has made me happier than my decision to part ways with Catholism and start a new journey down the road of Wicca.

Eclectic Paganism - The Chosen Path

I’m an eclectic pagan. My views run very parallel with Wicca, and for the longest time, I simply called myself such. However, I’ve realized that I cannot define myself to on specific religion. I was raise Roman Catholic, but my views do not fit there. Granted, I believe in a God. Whether that’s the Catholic’s version of “God” or not is a different story. I also believe in a Goddess. I believe our universe was created by their sexual union. I believe that the God and Goddess split their domain in half. I believe God’s domain is over logic, ethics, mathmatics, science, morals, thoughts, and other left brain concepts. I believe Goddess’ domain is over the right brain concepts; art, beauty, nature, inspiration, creativity, and the senses. I believe some people are closer to one of them, depending on their own human nature (ie artists have a closer connection to the Goddess. Doctors have a closer connection to the God). I believe some people have an equal connection to both the God and Goddess (such as myself. Being a graphic designer, you must rely on your right sided brain, but also must understand thought, mathmatics, ethics, morals, and even sciences of human behavior and thoughs).
Contrary to what you may have been told, pagans believe in the sanctity of life. We do not sacrifice living things. We do not worship ‘satan,’ nor do we revere any similar figure. Most of us do not even recognize the existance of ‘satan,’ let alone heaven or hell. We do not cast spells to cause evil to befall on others. We believe that causing evil will bring back evil to the one who caused it. Our religion is based on nature, and is founded on the belief that the whole world is interrelated, that everyone is responsible for their own actions, and that peace, love, and tollerance for everyone should be encouraged everywhere. We walk the path of the ancient ones; nature is our church.
“I am a witch, with rhymes and reasons. I am a changeling like the seasons. My mother is the Moon, my father is the Sun, With Goddess Earth am I as one. I am a witch, a Pagan child. Mother Nature’s spirit wild grows within me, flows within me, meandering like a spellbound scream, enchanting my every waking dream. I breathe the air of liberation. I tend the fire of transformation. I drink the water of creation. Earth-magick is my conjuration. I am a witch of shadow and light, of Avalon mists and raven’s flight. I am a witch with pride say I, for a witch’s soul does never die.”
“We are not evil. We don’t harm or seduce people. We are not dangerous. We are ordinary people like you. We have families, jobs, hopes, and dreams. We are not a cult. This religion is not a joke. We are not waht you think we are from looking at T.V. We are real. We laugh, we cry. We are serious. We have a sense of humor. You don’t have to be afraid of us. We don’t want to convert you. And please don’t try to convert us. Just give us the same right we give you — to live in peace. We are much more similar than you think.”~Margot Alder