Wednesday, May 30, 2012

13 Principles and how it applies to motherhood.

Hey everyone! I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile now, and the house is quiet and my boy is sleeping, so it’s prime time to blog! As I think I’ve told you before I’m not really a flag-waving Wiccan, so I don’t often find myself in actual religious discussions with people in person, but I do often imagine what I would talk about if I did find myself needing to explain my religion, or even defend it. And that got me thinking about how the foundations of my religion apply to motherhood itself. This is going to be a blog mini-series, the 13 principles, and the Wiccan Rede, and how how they apply to motherhood. Since the 13 principles are so long, I’m going to split this post into 3, 1-4, 5-8, and 9-13, then cover the Rede in one or two posts.

1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters. Well, obviously as a Wiccan I was drawn to this particular part of the religion, the deep spiritual connection with the earth, the changing of the seasons, the rhythm of life itself, but it is a big part of being a mother too. The seasons affect the activities you do with your child, how much exposure your child gets to the earth early on in life, and it affects everyone’s moods too, when winter sets in and going out of door isn’t always possible. I also find that it affects my moods too, the moon and my menstrual cycles, my hormones, and whether or not I’ve been able to get out much and recharge my batteries. My son was born in November, and as a result I didn’t get to start taking him outside much for the first time until he was about 6 months old, and we had a very mild summer last year, with a lot of rain, so it affected the amount we got outside too. And this autumn and winter were especially wet. He didn’t get to start going out much until about 2 months ago, and then he hated the feel of grass on his bare feet and hands, and he’s only just started to get comfortable with that feeling now. I think it would have been different if he had been born in the spring or summer, he would have spent more time outside early on, and I think have been more accustomed to all that. It’s been my goal as of late to make sure he gets out much more, and gets comfortable being outside, feeling the wind on his face (that was another thing that kind of freaked him out a bit at first) and being out even in the rain (with a rain coat and boots of course) and the sun, and really *feeling* the wonders of the outdoors.

2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept. This is a big one for me, taking responsibility for our own actions. And I’m going to focus specifically on personal responsibility, though I know it also applies to taking responsibility for our ecological choices too. It frustrates me a lot when I see people do rude, mean, or judgmental things, all in the name of God, but then refuse to take responsibility for the damage those actions can cause other people. And even worse than that, when you watch reality tv, and you see people distraught by the consequences of their own actions, or the actions of others, they say they’re in God hands now, and only He can help them and carry them through, and I think that that is utterly ridiculous. Your actions are YOURS. God gave you a brain so you could USE IT, but he also gave us a brain so that we could LEARN. So, a head’s up: if you say or do something that offends someone, ask for forgiveness from God like you usually do, but you also need to apologize and deal with the real HUMAN consequences of your actions, even if you will no longer have to deal with any cosmic consequences. Pray to God for extra strength when you need it, but know that you already have it within you to start with, and you just need to dig deep enough to draw on it. Wiccans take responsibility for what they say and do, and they know that it’s great when the God and Goddess give you a bit of help, but we never depend on them to carry us through our lives – the power to do that comes from inside us already. That is something I hope to teach my son, not just through “you won’t do that again, will ya?’s” and other similar learning experiences, but also about how to not shy away from telling the truth about what he’s done and said, and owning up to it, and dealing with it once it’s happened.

3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called “supernatural”, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all. Mostly with this one, I just want to teach my son (and heck, even myself too!) to try to open myself up to the feel of the energies and spirits around me, to pay attention to it, and accept it and continue to move through it and in it, especially if those energies are not directed at us. I want to teach him to be accepting of that which can’t be explained, and to see it as just part of this world and how things works, instead of trying to label it, or being afraid of it.

4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity-as masculine and feminine-and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither (gender) above the other, knowing each to be supportive to the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship. This is a HUGE one for me, not valuing one gender over the other, recognizing the differences between the genders, and seeing those as BEAUTIFUL, not stupid, and definitely not placing more importance on some traits over the others. I also want to teach him that sex is a beautiful thing – if done under the right circumstances, and like all wonderful things that it can have the potential to cause harm, both physical and emotional, if done for the wrong reasons. I want to teach him respect for his fellow man and women, and respect for sex as an act to show you really care for someone, and not just because you’re horny. Even if Andrew grows up to not like or feel connected to Wicca or Paganism, I do want him to at least take those two things away from his experience and hold those as values – equality for the sexes, and a respect for the act of sexual intercourse.

That’s it for part 1 of 3 with the 13 Principles. Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions, I’m always game! Blessed be!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Help! Crystal identification!

So, this afternoon all I had for crystals were these three:


An amethyst, a natural calcite, and a green calcite. But then as I was cleaning and rearranging my bedroom I came across a stash of crystals and stones from my Wiccan days with my ex. I had no idea that these were even still around! It was a total surprise. I know what several of them are, but I need a little help with the rest. If you know what some of them are can you tell me?






Email me at if you think you know what the crystals are. Blessed be!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wiccan mum has a YouTube channel!

So my alternate name is CanadianWitchEh, and I decided that I wanted to post videos about things, as well as blog about them. The written word has a lot of power for me, but so does the sense of sight, and I love to watch YouTube videos by other Wiccans and Pagans and I’ve been considering putting my own videos up for awhile now.

I don’t intend on providing classes on Wicca and Paganism, but I do intend to provide my own perspective of things, and bring an awareness of my own path to the forefront. So…I hope to see some of you there, add comments whenever you want!

And if you want to contact me, my email address is

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In, or out?

Of the “broom closet,” that is. This is a question hotly debated on Youtube and Pagan forums everywhere, and what Wiccan blog would be complete without the author’s own take on it? So, I give you my two cents.

Honestly, I don’t care if a person decides to be open or discreet about their religious and beliefs, and I feel that there are often times and places when religious topics should be absent. Like at work. I know a lot of people feel that since their Christian counterparts can are usually are so open about their beliefs that they too should be open about theirs, and honestly, if that’s what you want to do, that’s fine, but I also think it’s asking for it in a way. I myself work with several people at work who are openly Catholic (and some of them actually know my Catholic relatives quite well), and it doesn’t bother me at all, since I don’t feel that work is the most appropriate place to have discussions about the following subjects: religion, politics, sex, money, or child rearing techniques. I have found that any and all of those topics can lead to uncomfortable silences, hurt feelings, and even outright anger.

In my particular profession though, there is one topic that often cannot be avoided, and that’s religion, at least when it comes to religions that do or do not believe in the use of birth control or products like Plan B (aka the morning after pill). Because my pharmacy manager and 2 of the other assistants are Catholic, I am one of the few people at my work who feels comfortable enough to sell Plan B, as long as it’s not a guy picking it up (you never know if they’re going to slip it into the girl’s food or drinks or something). So naturally, there are times when knowing a person’s religious beliefs is necessary, but the rest of the time, I think it’s a topic that’s better left for non-office situations.

Some of my family knows about my religion, my partner, my mother, possibly my father, and my brothers know, and I think a cousin and an aunt. But I don’t feel the need to tell people what I believe. When it comes to religion I am not a flag waver. Sure, if you walked into my room you’d be able to figure it out pretty quickly between the cauldron, stack of incense and the books lying around all over the place, but I don’t believe in wearing a large pentacle, or dressing in hippy clothes (unless you like that sort of thing) because I feel that perhaps part of the bad rap that Wiccans get is for being “freaky” and “obnoxious.” I can’t tell you how many time I’ve been ticked off at my own “kind” for being in-your-face about the Path to people who were not followers, and really, if you’re walking around in a cloak on Main Street, can you really blame people for being a tad concerned?

When it comes to adults I think it’s great to be open about your religions – when it’s welcome. If people want to ask you questions, or if the topic comes up in a social setting and you want to share your beliefs, that’s great, but do it responsibly, and if it looks like it’s going to start a large argument, stay calm and state what you believe, but also know when to back off. There are always going to be people who believe we worship the Devil, and you are not going to change their mind, so don’t even try.

As for teenagers I think it’s very important to be open and honest with your parents, but to also respect their wishes. If you have been raised in a very Christian home and they are not comfortable with you practicing, then wait. Honestly, you’ll be in their house for a short time compared to the amount of time you’ll be on your own, so I feel it’s best to just wait it out. And they can’t change what you believe, only whether your shelves are filled with Wiccan books, or if you burn candles or incense, or if you practice ritual, etc. When you live under your parent’s roof, it really is under their rules too. You don’t need to be outside burning candles at every quarter and consecrating your stones with smoke from your incense and water from the sea, the God and Goddess will see what you feel in your heart, will feel your devotion to them regardless of whether or not you do ritual. There is plenty of time for all that once you have a place of your own, and it’s NOT worth it to start an argument about religion when you have to live in close quarters with someone else like that (just ask me how I know).

So, to me, in or out of the “broom closet” it’s really a personal choice, and it changes with every person and place. One day I’m sure our religion will be as accepted as others, but until then, let’s try to not piss off as many people as we can at a time, okay? We can only gain respect by being respectful of others and their beliefs, but we stand to lose everything if we put up a fight and get in people’s faces about it. Educate when it’s welcome, and tip your hat and wish them a blessed be when it’s not. Just saying.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Raising a mindful child.

If it’s one thing that I have an issue with, it’s parents who are oblivious to the world around them as their children are. And now that I’ve probably offended a few people, let me explain. I work in a retail environment, I have since I started working, and if it’s one thing I’ve had a lot of time to do it’s observe humanity and come to some conclusions that more than 10 years worth of retail experience have backed up and cemented. And oblivious parents drive me nuts.

Children are children, they are still not in full command of their brains, and therefore their awareness and attention span is fleeting at best. I do not expect a child to be able to stay on task, be very observant of the world around them, or to be able to draw detailed conclusions about the world around them based on small details, body language or environment. But I do expect fully grown and mature adults to be able to. What I see instead though are parents who are too busy looking at their cell phones to notice their child is pulling half the contents from the bottom shelf onto the floor, or parents who will do anything to shut their child up so they hand them distraction after distraction so that they can wander the aisles aimlessly shopping for nothing in particular. You name it, I’ve seen it. From parents who walk around the store talking on their cell phone with their very quiet child trailing a few feet behind, always keeping mum or dad in sight, to parents who act like their child is like a lost little puppy, and resent having them with them, and go out of their way to ignore them. I’ve seen parents pop soothers into mouths of children who just wanted to say something to them, and parents who growl something about children needing to be seen and not heard because they said hi to me while I was cashing their purchases out.

And quite frankly, it disgusts me. As a mother myself, and I think especially as a Wiccan mum, I feel like it’s my responsibility to teach my child about being aware of the world around them. I point little things out to my son all the time, things you wouldn’t think a toddler should or would notice, like small birds in the trees, or on the feeder, airplane lights in the night sky flashing and blinking, and the sound of rain on the roof of the car. And I know he notices, because he’s started to point those things out to me voluntarily and without me prompting him, and he even tries to imitate the sounds of the world around him, from the cat meowing to the dog next door barking, Andrew is an observant little guy.

He especially responds to music, sounds, and bright colors. It’s hard to take him shopping right now because he doesn’t want to just walk beside me holding my hand anymore, he wants to explore the world around him, mostly by touching and tasting. He “smells” flowers by sticking his tongue out and getting a good lick of them, and he loves to pull packages off the bottom shelves and look at them and turn them over. And he especially loves picking blades of grass or fluffy dandelion heads when we go for nature walks. He’s found feathers, picked up pretty stones, and pointed out birds flying overhead because he noticed their shadows moving across the ground. So when I see parents go out of their way to ignore their children in public, I know that they probably go very much out of their way to ignore them in their own home, and it pains me.

Children are naturally curious and at the toddler and young child age especially they explore their world very instinctually, which basically means touch, and sometimes taste. I believe that if children are that desperate to touch things in a store, that it means they don’t get to get outside or into other environments where they can freely touch and explore often enough. Nature walks, parks, and easy hiking trails and beaches or river banks are great places to let children utilize their natural curiosity, and as a bonus you can also use the opportunity to try to teach them about connecting to Mother Nature too. As Wiccans, I think it’s very important that we carry that mindfulness over into the rest of our children’s world too, teaching them to try to be aware of where other people are, for instance, so they don’t get in their way in the aisles of grocery stores, or teaching them what certain body language signals mean, and teaching them good shopping etiquette. But you can’t expect your kids to be well behaved unless they have an outlet for their curious nature. People wonder sometimes why they can’t get their kids to settle down, yet they don’t let them just be kids at any time either. I knew one girl who would literally lock her kids in their bedroom so she could get some “peace and quiet” and rarely took her boys outside. She hated the area she lived in, and she decided to take them out into as little as she could get away with it. Is it any wonder then that they were bursting at the seams to expend their excess energy and were practically climbing the walls they were so hyper?

So, take a few minutes and just let your kids explore each day. Rain, shine, unless the weather is torrential, it’s not going to hurt them. If anything it’ll teach them proper respect for the earth and how it works, and it will get their brains going and help them to learn. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What Wicca is to me.

In just about every other organized religion there are organized sects of that religion, like Catholicism, or Baptists, different types of Islam, different branches of Buddhism and Hinduism. But in Wicca, it’s harder to say what “type” you practice, because even though there are lots of different specific forms of Wicca, Gardenarian for instance, or Dianic, there are more people out there who just simply pull whatever speaks to them from various types of Wiccan and Paganism and slap their own personal stamp on everything. Even “Eclectic” Wiccans are completely different from each other.

So its easy to understand the confusion that a lot of people have when they first learn about our religion. With no pre-set guidelines of what Wiccans and Pagans believe or even how they practice, who can really blame them? Yes, we have the Wiccan Rede, but if you check out YouTube anytime soon, you’ll notice that a lot of people say they don’t follow the Rede, or they only believe a part of it, and some follow it to the letter.

Recently I have begun to talk with a local Ecletic Wiccan whose attitude I greatly admire. We share the same opinion about a lot of things – and not just about our religion. But recently we have talked about 2 very important topics – how to interact with people of other religions and how to be a Wicca in society. Normally, I wouldn’t group those topics into a post about what my religion is to me, but after talking to her about them, I realized this is exactly where these topics belong, because they are just as much a part of how I practice as which God and Goddess I pray to, etc.

Now, like many Wiccans I was raised Catholic and did not connect with it at all. Some people really love the service, and how there is structure to it, how consistent the teachings of the church are, but for myself I found them rigid, closed and unperceptive, and I found that most people within the church did not leave the judgements up to God, but took them into their own hands, and if you fell outside of what the church believed and taught you were hounded for it. I disliked the attitude towards people of other religion especially, and I hated that the attitude was “let’s change them, since they’re heathens!” instead of “let’s try to understand their religion and beliefs and work with them!” I will  never be the person to say that I think Wicca is for everyone. I don’t believe it is. So don’t do it to me. I have just as much right to practice my religion as you do, but you will never see us going door to door or handing out flyers or preaching the teachings of Wicca to people on street corners. You will never see us on the news because we attacked a gay person, and if anything we’ll be on the news because we were the ones attacked. For myself, I am not a “flag-waver”  Wiccan. At the moment, I don’t own a pentacle, and even if I did, you would find mine tastefully small, and possibly hidden. I abhor hanging out with people who as my friend Birch says, wear “dinner-plate sized” pentacles and speak far too loudly, and get in other’s faces about it, and intimidate them. Since when was that kind of attitude a Wiccan thing? It’s not. If we want politeness and respect from other religions, we need to model it. It is a very Wiccan thing to put out the energy you are trying to get back, so I think we should do well to remember that before we walk out the door ready to throw the first punch if we feel even a tiny bit attacked.

Birch and I also discussed whether or not having Wiccan “churches” and being so open to the public was such a good idea, and whether or not our own community was taking on the proper role of a church and clergy in society. I am of the opinion that it’s a good thing to be open to teaching the Craft to new people, and the best way to ensure we have responsible people practicing is to try to teach them how to be responsible, teach them values and ethics of Wiccans, and again, model the behavior we want to see. But far too often we forget what the real purpose of our religion is in between reading the stacks of Pagan books one can find and doing ritual in the moonlight and collecting our herbs. Our religion is about being a better person, being a good citizen, and trying to help make our world a better place. It’s all fine to set up a Wiccan church, but there needs to be community support in place too, donations to charity, or volunteering time if money is not to be had to help out some kind of cause. There needs to be giving back. It’s so easy to remember the divine is in everything when we’re out in the quiet of the woods or by the ocean, when we’re feeling Mother Nature’s sizzling energy through everything, and it’s just as easy to forget it when you’re back in the city sharing that energy with thousands of maybe not-so-nice people around you. But the divine is in them too, and it’s just as important to send that good energy out to them as it is to send a prayer of thanks to earth, the trees, or the sun or moon.

I myself was bad this, we all have been guilty I’m sure, of putting our faith ahead of our fellow man, and there is certainly a time and a place where taking time for ourselves to connect with the divine is appropriate. But to absolve yourself of all responsibility to being a good citizen? Certainly not. At the moment I have not been blessed with an over-abundance of income. I have enough to pay my bills, pay down my debts, a bit for pleasure, and the rest goes into savings for the new future I am trying to build for myself and my son. But I do have time, and I do have energy. My job is working in a pharmacy, and I come across people everyday who need a little time, a little energy sent their way. Some are just dealing with everyday illnesses such as strep throat or other infections, others are dealing with cancer, or addictions. My way of giving back is everytime one of our patients comes in who looks like they could use a little moral support, I try to give them a few extra smiles, and I take a moment and silently pour a little of my own strength, a little of my own energy into them. Perhaps if I do it enough it really will help them. One patient in particular is a methadone patient, and we suspect that he has recently begun using heroin again. I know he has a wife and children, and that his job could be at stake. Whenever he comes in I send some strength to him, and I hope that it helps him to overcome his troubles, and make a good life for himself and his family. I used to avoid people like that, but then I realized that avoiding them will not help the situation, but I perhaps can with that simple little act.

That’s what religion, my religion, is to me. Seeing the divine in everything, not just nature, and giving back when and where I can, as well as taking time for myself and for my family. The God and Goddess don’t just want us to honor them, they also want us to honor each other, and to try to strive towards that world peace that we all hope for. Well, world peace starts with you, in your own backyard, in your own neighborhood, and it moves out from there. Imagine how much of an impact we can have if we, who are spread all over the world, start in our own neighborhood, and it moves out. Well, we really could cover the whole globe with peace, happiness, and religious tolerance and understanding.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It’s time to introduce myself.

For all of you reading this who don’t know who I am, a quick introductory post is in order. My name is Jessica and I live in the Fraser Valley of beautiful British Columbia (it really easy, our license plates even say so!) and I have one gorgeous son, Andrew who is at the time of this post just about 18 months old. I work in the medical industry, as a pharmacy assistant, and I love my job. I discovered Wicca when I was 12, and practiced faithfully but secretly until I was about 21. The reason I stopped was because I was living with my husband at the time, and he did not support me in my religious choices. I still studied it here and there, but only when he wasn’t around.

When I left him and started my life over in 2008, I decided to leave my religion behind me. I felt the divorce very keenly, I was embarrassed that my relationship had failed, even though I knew it was mostly his fault – he had been abusive and controlling. I didn’t want to bring any more reason for scrutiny to myself, and so, because a lot of my family is Catholic, I put my religious beliefs aside and carried on. Until recently, when my life took a rather interesting turn, and I began to really get straight about ME. I decided that it was no longer time to stuff certain parts of me down and bury them with “normal” things. And so, out from the broom closet I came to my mother, and to Andrew’s dad, both of whom have been very supportive.

I would classify myself as an eclectic Wiccan, but mostly I follow the simple and earthy rules of Celtic Wicca, with a healthy dose of kitchen witchery thrown into it. Most of my family background is from the Celtic regions, Scottish, Irish, Welsch, Britannia, so the Celtic traditions just kind of sing to me. I feel like I’m connecting with my ancestors and my past. And in my opinion, it’s what makes you feel best that IS the best for you when it comes to Wicca.

When it comes to my religious beliefs, I’m not exactly a flag-waver. I don’t feel the need to hang a dinner-plate sized pentacle from my neck and dress in billowy skirts all the time, though don’t get me wrong, sometimes I do want to wear them. I don’t have long flowing mermaid hair, and I don’t have a familiar. I don’t even have a cat! What I am is finding a healthy balance, a nice comfortable middle ground in which to practice. I am not afraid to talk about my religion to other people, but I’m not about to launch into an hour-long discussion with random strangers about why Wicca is the best religion in the world. If it’s one thing I learned from growing up Catholic its that there is no “one way” religiously. I don’t believe that Wicca is the best for everyone. What I believe is best for everyone is religious tolerance, and I don’t mean “tolerance” in the way that you’ll impolitely suffer me to have my beliefs, I mean a genuine happiness for someone to have found the faith they love outside of what you believe. I am, for instance, quite thrilled that Catholicism is what makes my Grandma and my aunt feel a thrill of faith and love. i merely ask that they have the same respect in return.

So, with a nod to all of you people who will surely wish to proclaim that I worship Satan, and the ones that think I turn green at night time and ride a broomstick off into the moonlight, I shake my head with a pitying nod, and I recommend that you spend some time at your local library finding out about what Wicca really is. Don’t bother emailing me or sending me messages that you wish you help me convert or find Jesus. I already walked in his house, and I don’t feel comfortable there. My church is outside, among the grass and trees, sunshine and rain, the flowers, the birds, the insects, the animals, the wind and the mountains. I need no stringent rules or 10 commandments, for I have the Wiccan Rede, and the line that means the most to me: “An it harm none, do as ye will.” That is how I choose to live my life. Not necessarily out loud, but proud.

Blessed be.