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Renewing the Craft of Magic

Posted on:  Oct 15, 2020 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Goddess

A fire burns at the center of our large, ritual circle, its saffron flames and feral sparks spiraling into the night sky. One of the teaching priestesses at Reclaiming witchcamp stands in the center, speaking of our ancestor witches, the powerful ones who practiced the Craft in the distant past. She tells us that their magical words and practices were lost from us; our lineages were destroyed through centuries of repression, persecution and the atrocities of the Burning Times. But the world has changed, and we are awakening and once more practicing the Craft of our ancestors, renewing what  was lost and creating new traditions that can be passed on to future generations.

We’re the waking witches. The powers of the ancients still sleep in our cells and our souls. It’s time to return to our sacred heritage of the Craft of magic.

Then she spoke the words we use to cast our circle, “By the Earth that is Her body. By the Air that is Her sweet breath. By the Fire of Her bright spirit. By the Waters of Her living womb. By all that is Above, and All that is Below, our circle is cast. We are between the worlds. What changes our world, changes all worlds.”     

Her words cut through me, with a mixture of pain and pride, for what has been lost and what we were collective rebirthing. We were now the voices of the ancestors, renewing the Craft and reweaving its mysteries for these times. I felt the power of our casting in the rippling outwards of the resonant power of the spoken words. There was a reverence in the air, as if the Universe itself, and all those that had practiced witchcraft before us, were sacred witnesses to our stepping into the empty space left behind by the ancient ones.

We are the waking witches. The magic of the ancients still sleeps in our cells and in our souls. Mother Earth is hungry for those who know how to dance Her mysteries. Our ancestor witches cannot go to their rest until we, their descendents, return to our sacred heritage. We are saplings once more reaching for the sunlit world, stretching our limbs, anchoring our roots and flexing our powers.

May we trust ourselves to renew and rebirth the Craft for the dire needs of the precarious edge our humanity and Earth home rides. May we hone our mastery in service of our souls and the world soul. May we serve the powers of life with presence, grace and humility. And may we grow strong and cast our circles wide and deep so what was lost can flourish once more in waking world.

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Artist: Melanie Delon (


What’s In a Name: Good Girl – Feminist – Witch – Woman

Posted on:  Jan 7, 2019 @ 16:15 Posted in:  Goddess

Words are a fundamental part of our humanity. The physiology of our brains is designed to make sense of ourselves and our world through language. We name things with words, and then load value and meaning onto these names. Every aspect of our shared society, interpersonal relationships and inner self-talk are dictated by these word-names.

How we name ourselves and each other matters deeply. These names can either trap and diminish us, or heal and free us to become more fully, deeply our Selves.

There’s immense power in names. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the names people give to us, and the ones we give to ourselves. This naming can either narrow or expand who we are, and how we engage others and our greater environment.

Oppressors, those who conquer, dominate and control others, have used this power in names throughout history. Take away the names people give to themselves —  taint and distort them, make these names a weapon — replace them with other, socially acceptable, domesticating names — and you’ve set up a system of control that becomes a normal, entrenched part of our social fabric. And not just names are taken away, but also language, story, dance, art, and other forms of culture, self-identity and expression.

All marginalized groups — on the outside of the white, male, heteronormative, Judeo-Christian ethos that dominates our Western society — have been impacted by this system of control through names.

My Story of Names

I’m a white woman of British descent, born into a working class family of moderate means, and raised in a middle-of-the-road city in the eastern part of Canada.  My upbringing was mainstream, banal and seemingly innocuous. And this is my story of names.

If I had the conscious awareness to name myself in my youth, I would have called myself a good girl.

I was a domesticated creature — nice, sweet, pretty, and well behaved.  I did what I was supposed to do: work hard at school, follow the rules, hang out with other nice girls, date boys that my parents approved of, and keep a smile on my face, even when boys and men said and did not nice things to me.

No one in particular, and everything around me, gave me this name and the very narrow band of personhood that went with it.

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