Ms Faith

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Part of our Pagan Heritage is to help in our Community.



 Good Afternoon,

So many people are turning away from traditional Judea-Christian philosophy these days and find themselves embracing a Pagan lifestyle. Being green, living in harmony with nature, worshiping the elements all are part of the Pagan life. But it goes, or ought to go farther than that.

For centuries, the Witch, the Green man of the village, the Herbalist, the Shaman all were a integral part of their villages, providing necessary services to their communities. Nowadays we can and I feel, should, give of ourselves in a kind of spiritual offering of ourselves to our community.

There is so much we can do. We can volunteer at our local soup kitchen, collect non-perishable foods for our local food pantry, collect scarves, gloves, socks and hats for our local shelters. Perhaps you work better dealing directly with nature. Grab a few garbage bags, the big ones, and a pair of gloves and go to a local greenway or wayside (alongside the roadways) and pick up discarded trash and debris.

You could collect used, clean blankets and towels for donation to your local veterinarian or pet shelter. There are always others who can use a hand in someway or another. 




The Witch, in history, was the person in the village you went to for advice, a spell, an herbal remedy to help in a difficult time. I assure you, times are not so different now. Running my own witch shop I often deal with customers who need serious advice on difficult situations in their lives. Sometimes a magickal stone or herb can help, but many times I end up selling them nothing. I just give them an insight they, for whatever reason,  don't seem to be able to get elsewhere.

You might not run your own store, but you can help others in magickal ways. Do you read the tarot cards or do some other form of divination? A quick reading can give insight into a person's life and when read back to them by an unbiased second party can help them see the situation more clearly.

Perhaps you are an awesome spell caster? I advise AGAINST doing spells for others. This just quickly leads you in a dangerous path. We do not do spells for others. But, we can help others do spells for themselves or teach them the proper ways. These spells are simply more effective when done by the person themselves. Doing spells for others can quickly lead you into a power trip. This is not the way to help others. Allow them to help themselves.

Perhaps you are an effective herbalist? Maybe you make herbal mixes and potions that can help a person? Firstly, BE VERY CAREFUL if making medicinal mixtures meant to be ingested.  Unless you are a licensed doctor or pharmacist this can lead you quickly into serious trouble with the law. Selling these medicinal mixtures also leads to woe. For example, do you know of any and all medicines being taken by the person you are treating and any contraindications for the herbal mixtures you are selling them? Danger!! But you can make simple, magickally effective potions and herbal mixtures that will bring magickal properties to the person's life which will aid them in their difficulties. By giving or selling these products (at a little above cost) can be helpful to those in your community. Do not expect to get rich selling your magickal services. That's not what being a magickal practitioner is all about. Do it to help others. Your magickal reward will come to you in ways much greater than monetary.

There are rules to follow being a magickal practitioner, but they are simple enough. What you send out, returns to you. It's as simple as that. There are many ways you can aid your community. You just need to decide what touches your heart and go out and follow it. That's a big part of the Pagan lifestyle. Or should be.



Peace and Happiness!




© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 


If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Easter! The Best Part of Being Pagan? Celebrating all the Holidays!


 Good Morning,

Happy Easter! The best part of being Pagan is being able to celebrate all the holidays. The main reason for this is many, many Pagans were raised Christian. I know some Pagans choose to celebrate only the Pagan holidays, but remember what I've taught you, the Christian holidays are actually Pagan holidays that were Christianized many centuries ago.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating the Christian holidays, as I said, they have Pagan roots, and we grew up celebrating these holidays. Even if you didn't celebrate these Christian holidays in your home, you grew up recognizing them as we live in a Christian society and these holidays are usually combined with days off from work or school.

I enjoy the festivities of my Pagan Wheel of the Year holy days, as well as the tradition of celebrating the Christian holidays. I truly believe we should and can all live together while celebrating our diversity without it becoming segregating. Just because we choose to set aside our Christian upbringing to embrace Paganism or Buddhism, or Judaism or some other religious path, or to choose a non religious path, there is nothing inherently wrong or bad about celebrating the days that are special.

The holidays to me are a reminder of good family gatherings, socializing and enjoying each other around a feast of traditional, and for us, cultural foods.  From ham on Easter, kielbasa, hard boiled eggs, cabbage, pierogies, babka bread, poppy seed breads and cakes. Many families turn to the traditional foods of their cultural heritage because 'going home' means so much to many.

Some choose to go to church, I choose to celebrate my religion on the Pagan day, this holiday was Ostara on the Vernal, Spring Equinox. On Easter I went to a friends home where we celebrate Easter every year. There is one individual who says grace before the meal every time, and that is simply lovely as far as I'm concerned. To respect each others beliefs, even when they differ from ours, makes us better people, I think.

To be fair, we spent a part of the day talking about paranormal topics, from ghosts to Ouija boards. Everyone was accepting and understanding and everyone enjoyed the day. So be aware if you have strong negative feelings concerning some of the holidays, whether they be yours or others. There might be other issues, unresolved, that you might wish to address. The negative energy will only negatively affect you, in the long run.

I hope you enjoyed your Spring holiday, be it Easter, Passover, Ostara or simply the Spring. Bright Blessings to you! Ms. Faith


Peace and Happiness



 © 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Shadow, Baby Boy Baba, by Remembering the Good Moments


Shadow - Baby Boy Baba

Good Afternoon,

Today's discussion is tinged with sadness and grief. Last night I found my sweet, fur baby Baba laying in a darkened corner, already gone. It was such a shock as he is only 6 and a half years old. But as I lie awake last night, as there was no way I could sleep, I thought of the best way I could honor his life and his memory.

I would dedicate this blog post by remembering the wonderful, happy, funny memories I have of him over the past 6 years. These I would like to share with you.

On October 20th, 2008 I was teaching an evening class at Enchantments, when a small, scared black cat came in the school and walked up the stairs to my office and started to rub up against my ankles. She was lost I thought. We found out later that she had been abandoned at Enchantments because she was pregnant. We took her in, called her Calli, and welcomed her four kittens born a little over a month later on December 3rd.

Calli had four kittens and Shadow was the last one born. He came out pure black initially so we called him Shadow. He was the runt, so small and dark. I was worried about him making it, he seemed so weak at first. I remember one night around midnight, I went up to the store and laid down a green cloak, one that I had worn during rituals, on the floor of the closet where the kitten nursery was located, and placed him with the other kittens on it. By the next morning Shadow started eating better and moving around on stronger limbs. In magick, green is a color of physical healing.

After the kittens were about two months old, a dear friend brought a big, huge, bag of kitten chow up to the store. It was too early for them to eat it, they were still on mother's milk, so I put the bag down on the floor in the corner for when they could start eating dry food. One day I came around the corner and the sight I beheld was of one tiny, very fluffy kitten, Shadow, who had crawled up the massive bag of food. He had chewed a hole in the top corner of the bag and was contentedly sitting and chewing on the dry food! I checked with the vet and he said that the kittens were far too young for dry food and he might choke! I took the dry food away, but Shadow whose name morphed into Baby Boy Baba has had an awesome appetite ever since.

His name morphed because when I brought Shadow home from the store, now being the owner of 7 cats, I wanted to split them between home and work, I started to call him Baby Boy. All of the kittens had spots and unique characteristics about them that told us they were in part Egyptian Mau. When I started researching Maus I found out that the original Matriarch cat that started them all was called Baba, over 5,000 years ago in Egypt. Putting Baba after Baby Boy sounded just too good, and it stuck.

Baba also had long, fluffy hair, an amazing fluffy, full tail and strong Maine Coon markings which tells us something about his daddy. Now I found it interesting from the vet that if a cat gives birth to four kittens, it's very likely that there were four father cats involved! Which explains the difference in coloring and markings. Even though the mother is all black, I believe the mother is the carrier of the Egyptian Mau genes.

Being partially Maine Coon, he had a fondness for water. Every time I went into my bathroom he would be right there ready to jump on the sink for a drink of water. He had a habit, as my hand was turning the faucet on, of licking the back of my hand as if in thanks. He kissed me every time he did this. In the past few months he grew a bit lazy, or it might have been his heart, where he would sit on the floor and look up at me. Beseechingly, asking me with his big soulful eyes to lift him up to the sink. The vet feels that he had an undiagnosed heart condition that caused his sudden passing. Maybe asking for help to get on the counter was a sign, that sadly I didn't see for what it was. Every night he would sleep in his kitty bed, and I would hear it creak when I went to the bathroom, as he would follow me in, always, and want a drink of water and always kissed my hand.

He liked to lay on the bed next to me at night, when we would watch television together. He would lay next to me and kneed the blankets with his big, gray paws.  His paws were large, over an inch wide and so gentle. I never knew him to ever extend his nails. He always kept them in. He would lay next to me, but when I would lift him up and put him on my lap he would tense up and when I took my hands off of him he would scamper away. To always come back later and lay next to me. Happily, in the last few months, he started to initiate laying on my lap all on his own. He would climb on me and lay down and turn so he could watch the television or turn so he could watch me. This made me happy, that he chose to lay on me, without my grabbing him and putting him there. This happened mostly in the past few weeks. He seemed lately to want to be near me as much as possible.

When we would sit down for dinner, we have a booth and benches in our kitchen, Baba would sit next to me on the booth and look over my plate for his one favorite food, chicken. He wouldn't eat any table scraps or pieces of any kind of meat unless it was chicken. I'm glad the last time we ate chicken, I shared my portion with him.  He always looked up at me with his deep, soulful eyes, looking so wise and sweet.And pleading for one bite of chicken, Mom, please?

Shadow Baby Boy Baba is an impressive name for an impressive cat.  He was a gentle giant, that only meowed when he wanted a drink of water or to tell us something special. He liked to play with the feather stick but only on the ground, he wasn't a jumper. He would sit next to the couch on the floor next to our feet and loved a red, fluffy blanket we call the mommy blanket, because as soon as they are on it, a cat has to start kneading as if ready to nurse from the mother cat. I'll always remember his enjoyment of sitting next to the balcony door, in the sunshine, looking out at the birds on the feeder, his big, fluffy tail swiping the floor in his happiness. I'll always remember his one little snaggle tooth that stuck out when his mouth was closed, giving him an endearing expression. I'll always remember how full and heavy he was in  my arms, filling them and making it feel like you were holding a big, furry baby. Which I was. I'll always remember him.

Last night, after he passed, I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I knew he was gone, but I still turned the water on for him. Only this time I didn't feel his little tongue on the back of my hand. I miss that gentle kiss in the worse way.

Baby Boy Baba was my gentle, loving, fur baby and I will miss him, like a piece of my heart is now gone. I couldn't sleep last night, but when I closed my eyes I envisioned the two of us, walking side by side along a dirt road in a vast field of green. In the sunshine of the Summerland, just the two of us. I'm not ready to leave him. So I'll continue to walk by his side .  .  . 



I thank you for reading my memories of Shadow Baby Boy Baba. Ms. Faith



Peace and Happiness


 © 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Easter . . . Why Bunnies, Baby Chicks and Eggs? They're all Pagan Really!

Good Afternoon,

The Christian holiday of Easter is right around the corner, and as Pagans we are getting ready to celebrate a much older, ancient forerunner of the Easter holiday. As Pagans we celebrate Ostara, the Spring Equinox. There's a lot happening with this sacred Holy day, let me tell you what I know.

The Spring Equinox is a day when the hours of light and darkness are equal. This will happen, this year, on Friday, March 20th, coinciding with a new moon.  Also, the ancient holiday (or Holy day) for Pagan people this time of year was Eostre. This was the Spring Equinox. Over the years this became the Sabbat of Ostara.

Many who follow my discussions here at "The Life and Times of A Contemporary New England Witch" already know that many Pagan holidays were absorbed by early Christians and made their own. This is true of All Hallow's Eve, and All Soul's Day which surround our Samhain on November 1st, as well as Christmas which is near our Yule in December around the 25th. Well the same holds true for Easter.

What you may not know is that the word Easter itself is taken from the letters of the Pagan Sabbat Eostre. Besides being at the time of the equinox, Ostara and Easter arrive at a time, on the agricultural calendar of the Wheel of the Year, when the spring grass is greening in the fields. The baby chicks are being born in the barn yards, baby bunnies are being born in the fields and birds are laying eggs in nests in the trees. It is a time of renewal and rebirth. One correlation between the Pagan Sabbat of Ostara  and the Christian Holy Day of Easter is the 'renewal' or rising of Jesus Christ after being entombed for three days. The number three also has many sacred meanings and symbolism for Pagans and Christians alike.

But whether you celebrate one or the other, we each of us find ourselves, celebrating the return of springtime after, this year especially, a long, hard winter. I think we can all agree on this one point.

 I like that the holiday of Easter has kept a lot of it's Pagan symbolism. If you can find yourself coming from a place where being Pagan isn't considered evil, merely different, it allows for a larger, broader, more complete holiday where everyone can gather and come together in celebration. In truth we have all been celebrating this spring holiday together for thousands of years.

I'm glad we still can celebrate it together. It is one holiday that is a beautiful amalgamation of both sides, both beliefs and understandings. So hard boil and color your eggs, decorate your house with images of rabbits, bunnies and chicks and gather together to welcome in the spring, the renewal of Life and enjoy one another.


Peace and Happiness and Happy Ostara, Eostre and Easter to you all! Ms. Faith


 

© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Friday, March 6, 2015

It's Time to Replenish Magickal Supplies, Tools and Ingredients



 Good Afternoon,

While many of us are waiting for the first warm breezes of spring, when we can start doing outdoor rituals there's plenty, magickally, to be done in the ritual room or magickal storage cupboard. That's right, now is the perfect time to take inventory of your magickal supplies, tools and ingredients and to replace old ingredients with new ones and to shine up your tools and get more supplies, for your magickal workings this year.

Here are a few areas to consider when "Spring Cleaning" the witches cupboard.

Dried Herbs: Dried green, herbaceous herbs over a year old will have lost most of their potency and need to be thrown away or burned in a fireplace or fire pit. If they are just a year old or so, you can grind them up into a powder to use for incense, wiggle your fingers in the powder to 'wake up' the energies in the herbs and then burn on charcoal briquettes as an incense.  Herbs older than a year or so are not really magickally potent and will do you little good in your spell casting. Roots and magickal wood last longer and can be used up to two years or more.

Candles:  Candles that have been burned and used in ritual throughout the year that have a little bit left, need to be discarded and replaced with fresh candles. They don't have to be brand new, just unused candles. February 1st, our Imbolc Sabbat, is the time when we typically replace all of our used candles, but if you haven't done so, now is the time. Replace altar candles, watchtower or elemental candles, and any luminary candles used for light during darkened rituals.

Tools: This is also a time when you can polish ritual knives and swords and apply a protective wax to wands and staffs. One ritual tools I never clean is the altar pentacle. I feel the energy it houses is very strong and I hesitate to polish it off. Also when cleaning tools I never use water or soap. I simply take a cloth and gently polish off any residue. This way the energy in the item stays strong. The longer you use a tool in ritual, especially when casting a magick circle, the stronger the energy will be.

Supplies: This is also a good time to make an inventory of magickal supplies. Do you have enough charcoal to burn your ritual incense on? Do you have enough essential oils? Petition paper? Incense and salt? Now as St. Patrick's Day is soon to be here, you can find lovely green and gold platters and saucers for your money magick spells.

Even though a witch is a creature of nature and we can get a bit melancholy and cranky being forced to be indoors, especially during such a harsh winter, we are never without something magickal to do. While cleaning and inventorying your magickal supplies, see what kind of potions, powders and spells you can come up with.  You might surprise yourself!



Peace and Happiness






© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Requiem Rite (Funeral Service) at Enchantments


Good Afternoon,

This morning I had the sad, but important duty of conducting a Requiem Rite at Enchantments. A Requiem Rite is an old way of saying Funeral Service. A lovely lady who is a graduate of Enchantments lost her father recently, and asked me if I would conduct a service.

I chose a beautiful and profound Requiem Rite as written by Ms. Janet Farrar and Mr. Stewart Farrar in "The Witches Bible" which is still in print, and I highly recommend it. It is a beautiful Rite which when conducted uses a golden bowl, a silver cord and a hammer.

Earlier in the week, I  took an earthenware bowl and spray painted it gold, and then spray painted the wooden handle of the hammer gold and the metal top of the hammer silver. Then for the Rite itself,  I had the woman whose father had passed bring a silver cord. The silver cord is an ancient spiritual concept of the spirit or soul of man or woman which is connected to the physical body with a silver cord. We wrapped the silver cord around the golden bowl, which in this ritual represented the physical body. 

The words are spoken " Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain or the wheel be broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the ground it came from and the spirit returns to Goddess who gave it .  .  .  "

Then I handed the silver and gold hammer to the daughter and untied the silver cord from the bowl. We covered the bowl with a black cloth and the daughter took the hammer and broke the bowl, symbolically releasing her father's spirit from this Earthly plane of existence to allow him to travel unencumbered to the Summerland, the Pagan version of Heaven. 

We then had a Priestess who acted as the Maiden for this ceremony gather up the silver cord and walk to the Watchtowers of the West, the Gates of Death and Initiation, and offer the cord up to them. Then the Maiden walked the silver cord to the Watchtowers of the East, the Gates of Renewal and Rebirth and offer up the cord to them. The silver cord was then lain at the foot of the Eastern Realms until after the ceremony when I gathered the silver cord up and presented it to the daughter for her to keep.

After the Requiem Rite was concluded we held a Love Feast in the honor of the deceased and everyone socialized, ate, visited and remembered the one in whose memory we gathered. It was a beautiful, sad yet joyous gathering and I feel everyone took away from the experience something special for them.


It's not everyday we get together to conduct a Requiem Rite but just as a Christian funerary service is, for Pagans, it is about remembering and honoring the one who has passed. And being there to comfort and support those left behind.


Peace and Happiness



 © 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Friday, February 20, 2015

What a Wicked, Wet and Haunted Week at Enchantments!



 Good Afternoon,

Well, this has certainly been a crazy week at Enchantments! I started my week, on Monday, by coming up to the store (which is closed on Sundays and Mondays) to feed the cats of Enchantments. I let myself into the store and as I turn on the lights I heard what can only be described as a waterfall in the tarot room! A large, gushing, torrential waterfall!

I looked in the tarot room and saw that the ceiling had fallen down and water was just gushing from the ceiling! I quickly went downstairs and shut off the main water shut off. Then I called 911. The place quickly filled up with firemen and the building inspector promptly shut us down. They turned off the electricity and I soon found myself with a lot of work to do.

I called a plumber and he was there in a half an hour. The electrician was there in a couple of hours. In the meantime I noticed, we had been very lucky. No merchandise was affected and the offices, upstairs classroom and ritual room were bone dry. The only room affected was my tarot card reading room.
Even the basement drained the water and dried up within a few hours! We didn't even need to suck up the water, lucky that!

Well, we hired a contractor, did the insurance thing and started to clean up and put things back together. Then I noticed something two days ago. I was upstairs feeding the cats and thinking about the damage to the building and all that it was taking to put things back in order. The light above my head flicked off.  The other lights stayed on, but that one light went out and I thought it odd because it's a multiple light florescent fixture. But I continued doing what I was doing. Then I went into the office and the television where I watch my video surveillance of the store downstairs, which had been turned off, turned itself on. I found myself watching the downstairs cameras of every room. I could feel I was not alone. Someone else was there with me watching. I felt a feeling of concern and anxiety (when I had been feeling better myself because everything was being taken care of, and all my subcontractors were lined up and getting the work done.)

I started to talk out loud, saying that everything was going to be O.K. That work was being done and we would all be fine. I felt as if someone was listening intently to my words. Then today, the ceiling has been replaced and we were able to open for business after having been closed most of the week. There were no customers. I could feel that sense of anxiety again. I checked with myself and I'm feeling fine, I could sense it around me. I started talking out loud again, saying "We're back in business and things are going to be O.K. We just need a first customer to make the energy flow, and we'll be fine."

Well, I no sooner said that then within 5 minutes the bells on the front door rang and in walked our first customer, needing magickal advice and magickal supplies.  The energy feels just fine now. I will wait for the contractors to finish the job tomorrow, just some baseboard trim needing to be put in place, and when they're gone I will smudge with a nice, new smudge stick! That should settle the energy and make things happy again! I already feel the Spirits of Enchantments feeling better and less anxious.

It will take a day or two to put my tarot room back together with all the cool, magickal, some say spooky decor and paraphernalia I use to decorate it. But we are sooooooo close. But tonight is supposed to be 5 degrees below zero again, so I will keep the heat up and allow a trickle of water to flow in every sink. Just to keep the water elements happy! 

If you're able, do stop by Enchantments to see the new tarot room and to say hi! We're open tomorrow, Saturday the 21st of February, but for students of Enchantments we will resume magickal studies classes next Saturday, February 28th.


Wishing you all Warmth, Sunshine, Peace and Happiness!




© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 


If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.