“Take me! I am of great power”, The Illusive Hag Stone

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In my twenty plus years of being a Witch I have never found a hag stone. However, my roommate who is also a practicing Witch has found more than she can count. What makes these stones show up more for one person and not another? To find out I started looking more into what they are and their history.

A Hag Stone is a stone with a natural hole through it and are believed to be magickal. These stones are believed to ward against spirits, bad luck, “Witchcraft”, sickness, and nightmares. They are also known to be windows or doorways to see “otherworlds”, such as the fairy realm. These magickal stones have as many names as they do powers and seem to have originated by their folk-lore and use in a particular region. Sometimes referred to as hex stones, serpent’s eggs, snake’s eggs, and Druids’ glass. However, the more common names other than hag stones are Witch stones, (holy) holey stones, and adder stones.

Two origin stories of adder stones say that the stones are the hardened saliva of many serpents together in one area and the hole is caused by their tongues. The second claims that an adder stone is made by the sting of an adder. Some sources say that these stories hail from the Druids of Ancient Wales and Britain, while others say they are European. As these are just folk stories and superstitions, I then turned to their numerous uses in cultures and traditions.

It seems that in certain parts of Europe, this stone kept the “hag” spirit away in order to prevent her from stealing horses and children. While in others It was also used as a talisman to dispel the evil eye and many people still hang this stone in bedrooms. In the UK, both fishermen and farmers also adopted this holey stone as protective charm against unwanted forces and storms and still use it today.

Peculiarly, out of all the information I found, I saw no mention of the Blackfoot custom of the “Buffalo Stone”. Although, these stones do not usually have a hole, some of the “magickal” ideals behind them are the same. Now of these stones, I have many, some have been in my family for years, but none have a hole or resemble the traditional hag stone.

The Buffalo Stone, or Iniskim, is a sacred medicine stone, typically a fossil of some sort, that can be in the shape of an animal, mainly that of a buffalo. Although, they can be any stone that seems to be out-of-place of its surroundings or contain natural anomalies, such as a hole. Similar to some of the hag stone’s uses, Iniskim medicine helps have a successful life and grants luck and prosperity to its owner. However, the origin behind them is of a completely different nature.

A summarized popular version of this legend is that long ago, the buffalo suddenly disappeared and the people began to starve. Among them was a woman, who one day while gathering wood for the fire, she thought she heard someone singing a song. The song seemed quite close, but when she looked around, she saw no one. Following the sound and looking closely, she found a small rock that was singing, “Take me! I am of great power. Take me! I am of great power.” When the woman picked up the rock, it told her what to do and taught her a special song. She told her husband her experience and then said, “Call all the men together and ask them to sing this song that will call the buffalo back. Ever since then, the people took good care of a buffalo stone and prayed to it, for they knew that it had much power.

Whether you call them hag stones, adder stones or buffalo stones, they all hold a story behind the magick of what they can do or how they are found. I may not have ever found a traditional holey stone of my own, but I have found the magick in knowing that these illusive stones find you, rather than you finding them.

 

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The Art of Living a Magickal Life

(c) The New Art Gallery Walsall; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Recently, I was asked to be the keynote speaker at Iron Garden. For those who don’t know who or what the Iron Garden is, it is an eclectic night-kind community found in NJ. I highly recommend checking out their website. This blog post is based of the speech I wrote for their event.

At first, I was a little reluctant about being a keynote speaker, not because of the atmosphere that Iron Garden employs, but because I had no idea what I was going to talk about. Of course, talking about the typical Witchcraft and Magickal topics would have been easy, but after looking at Iron Garden’s past events, I knew It had to be something special and different. it turned out that the very thing that brought me to this point, would also bring me to my topic. I like to consider myself a Witch, and an Artist by choice and intention, and an Author by divine persuasion and to my own astonishment. I’ve studied and worked hard in becoming a Witch and an Artist because this was the path I chose to follow. it’s what I wanted to do. Of course, I have had my teachers and guidance along the way, but It was all due to my intention.

Ten years ago, I never would have thought I would be or even wanted to be an author, let alone being asked to be a keynote speaker. The idea of writing books was never a life goal for me, it was my guides who thought otherwise. I truly thought they were out of their Divine minds, me, writing books. I was an artist not an author. Fast forward 3 years later, I have written three books, magazine articles, and maintain a blog. All while still creating art, although that has also taking a surprising spiritual turn as well.

I have a very busy and magickal life. There is not a second that goes by that doesn’t have a magickal component to my life. Even in my classroom when I am wiping snotty noses, I am connected to the magick of the universe. Maintaining this magickal life has become an art all its own. I can attribute everything I am and do to being aware and listening to my intuition, my deities, my ancestors, and who and whatever else decides to throw their mystical two cents in.

What does it mean to live a magickal life?

Living a magickal life means being constantly in tune with the spiritual world around you, it’s about listening and being open to your intuition and to the messages from your spiritual guides. It happens twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year. Does this mean you need to run around shouting “Love and Light to all” of course not, that’s crazy. So instead I talk to the dead and spirits of animals.

The image most people have of those living a magical life is often of a robed priest or priestess, dancing around a bonfire, under the full moon, or mixing exotic herbs in a mortar and pestle. While this can seem very exciting and theatrical, alas we are not Laurie Cabot.

Actually, most of the time life can seem pretty daunting and un-magickal, between caring for our families, going to work, going to school, cleaning the house, running around stubbing our toe on that box we have meaning to put away since January. However, all it takes is a shift in perspective to see how the mundane can become magickal. Magick can be incorporated into your daily life simply just by being mindful and putting a little extra effort into your everyday life. You don’t have to perform an elaborate ritual every day to be connected. It’s about being aware of the simple things around you.

One way is by paying attention to the natural world, the seasons, the phases of the moon and how the world around you affect the way you feel or how it may correspond to aspects of your life. By doing this you are actually tuning in to the energies of the universe, which can give insight to how life will be during those times.

Secondly, Take the time to get in touch with nature and the land you live on. Even if you live in a big city, there is nature all around you. Just take a second and connect with that weed growing in a crack of the sidewalk. He may feel just as lonely as you do or he may have advice on how to deal with that loneliness.

Another way is to listen to your gut, your intuition. This takes a little practice but once you understand the feelings, life changes for the better. In most cases your intuition is your first thought or feeling, the first thing that pops into your mind and trust me it’s usually not the most logical of thoughts.

Lastly, when you are doing something mundane, think about how you can use it in a magickal application. For example, when you’re baking cookies, consider what sort of magickal working you can incorporate into the recipe. There is nothing wrong with adding a little passion magick to a meal you make for a lover.

Another way I found that helps is to keep a sort of magickal schedule and routine. It’s about dedicating yourself to doing one magickal act every day of the week. I believe so much in this practice that I created an entire curriculum around its use. In my second book, A Modern Witch’s curriculum, which will be released in June that is based on a weekly schedule, whereas each day, week, and month has a theme.

Of course, as with anything, this schedule can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it and not only will it keep you connected but can open the doors to learning about your path and yourself as well.

There are also a few other practices that you can incorporate into your daily magickal life, such as regularly openly communicating with your deities and spiritual guides. Through daily meditation and devotions with your deities and guides you keep the lines of communication open. This is by far is more complex of the methods of spiritual guidance there is. It doesn’t happen overnight.

One practice that I find the most rewarding is working with your ancestors. By building a relationship with your ancestors you can inherit valuable information about almost anything. Who better to get advice from then someone who has lived through it.

There are many ways we can reconnect with our ancestors, some of which you probably already do.

Some of the most common ways to connect with them is with use of:

Relics: these are personal belongings of the deceased, photos, written items by that person, even the cremated remains of loved ones.

Altars and shrines: Altars are a place to hold your collection of relics and to give offerings and whereas shrines are usually dedicated to one person and temporary at the time of death until they are moved to your altar. However, both are a place to honor and communicate with them.

Offerings: are how we feed the dead, we are not physically feeding them, we are feeding the link between us and the physical world and the spirit world.

Communication: conversations are a form of offering. At first this may seem a little strange, but once you do it after a few times it becomes easier. When starting out openly speaking to the dead I recommend you do this just before bed. You may find that you may receive answers to your conversations in your dreams

By connecting or reconnecting with our ancestors we bring the past and present together and bridge the gap between generations. They are and will become a foundation to your magickal life.

One of the most asked about of my practices is with working with animal spirits. Of course, this could be an entire blog post on its on as there is so much information. But what I will say is, if an animal spirit has something to say it will show up over and over again until it is heard. One rule of thumb that I follow is, if it shows up three times consecutively it has something to say.

Another question I am often asked is, how do you know if it’s a message or if it’s your imagination? There is two ways to answer this question.

1. Ask for validation. It’s ok to ask the spirits to validate your thoughts and questionings.

2. Be aware of possible causes. If you are constantly seeing a deer on your way home from work, is it because it’s in the evening when they come down out of the mountains to graze, or maybe it is hunting season when deer seem to be running amok?

I know of an acquaintance that swore up and down, backwards and sideways that her spirit animal was the red tail hawk and that they follow her everywhere and even circle her home. Ok, yes, she lives off a mountain where red tails frequent, however, they do not regularly circle, especially in multiples. Although, I had a feeling I knew what these birds were, I just left it alone. Until, one day we were together at an event, and she pointed out “her” hawks. I looked up and what do you think I saw circling above…. Yep, turkey vultures! Nope not a sign, just normal animal behavior.

Whether you are working with deities, the dead or animal spirits, the simplest way to connect to them is sending out your intentions to make contact.

And Although, these practices can take a little more work than the previous, they can be very helpful in making your life magickal.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try. If you open yourself up to the endless possibilities, the possibilities for yourself could be endless.

Living a magickal life really is an art, it’s about being able to balance the mundane and the magickal. it’s living consciously and subconsciously, in harmony with the worlds around us and to the best of your ability. It’s about acquiring knowledge, not only about magickal practices, but about yourself and your own life.

 

 

The Modern Witch’s Curriculum will be available for pre-order in late May.

Nominate Author, E. Massey for a Witch Way Magazine Award

 

 

 

 

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: Teaching Children About Cause and Effect in Magick

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In the popular children’s book, “If you give a mouse a cookie” by Laura Numeroff, a little boy’s pet mouse asks for a cookie which starts a chain reaction of wanting more and more, until returning back to the start which suggests that it will begin over again from the cookie.

I use this book in one of my “Little Witch” workshops to highlight the principle of cause and effect in magickal practices.

For those who remember taking physics in High School you will probably remember this: “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. This idea of cause and effect in physics can also be seen in Magick as well. What is thought or done could possibly create a chain of events for yourself or someone else you have no connection too. This is completely different from the wiccan ideal of the three-fold law.

The BIG question is how do you teach this to children?

As an early childhood educator, teaching the laws of physics can be challenging and the thought of quantum physics is just asking for trouble. There are many things that have perplexed and prevented me from teaching it regularly. From the obvious complexity of the subject to religious and/or cautious parents that have kept me to just keep it to the basic fundamentals. Over the years, I have found that the best way to incorporate quantum physics was with experiments and teachable moments in everyday play. There is no mandate or standard that states that we need or must teach the subject, but I feel it is my duty as an educator to lay the ground work for our future possible mad scientists.

When it comes to Pagan education I feel there is more of an open mind in the teaching of this subject to children and how it could contribute to their spirituality. There are many sources of information in the pagan community that mention and focus on the science of magick and how it pertains to the laws of physics and quantum physics. However, many of them are too complex for a new Witch to understand.

Teaching children about cause and effect is actually easier than you think. Young children are already experimenting with cause and effect on a regular basis. They can cause a ball to roll by placing it on a slanted surface. Whereas, Infants learn that when they shake a rattle, they hear a sound. Children learn that they can “test” toys and people to see what reactions they can create. Through their exploration play, children learn that they can cause things to change or happen in their environment. This is no different on a magickal and spiritual level. However, as magickal teachers we just need to tweak the material to include more than just the five senses.

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Simple Domino Exercise

By using dominos, we can teach children about cause and effect through play. Line up the dominos either in a straight line or in a specific magickal pattern such as a crescent moon. The bigger the better.

Ask the child what will happen if you push the first domino. At this point you can explain that this is called “cause and effect” and it is what happens when we work with magick. How our intention is the first domino and our magick is the pushing of that domino, which can cause all the other dominos to change how they stand. Explain how everything in the universe as well as all magick works under this principle. You can give age appropriate examples to help further the understanding of the principle, for example: When you eat too much candy (cause) you will get a tummy ache(effect). For those in the wiccan traditions, I would consider using a circle pattern and at the point of return express the three-fold law. You and your child can experiment with different shapes and patterns.

You Want a Time Out! Meditation and Children

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 A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be part of a social-emotional program designed for early education. Its main focus was to help children to be mindful of their own and others emotions through teacher guided activities and meditation. The children were encouraged to practice meditations of body awareness, patience, and relaxation. As teachers, we ourselves were taught not only how to meditate (I was one up on the others there) but also how to encourage children to want to meditate. By using modeling instead of actual lessons, the children were not forced into learning meditation techniques all at once. This method of “teaching” through example provides a stress free and positive outcome for the child and laid the groundwork for later incorporating actual meditation techniques into the classroom.

There are many benefits from meditation for children, not only in the magickal world, but in everyday living as well. Meditation helps reduce stress, anxiety, and aggression. It improves concentration, memory, and creativity. Children who meditate show a better sense of awareness, relaxation, and an overall healthier mind and body. It’s also been thought to strengthen the immune system and can lower the risk of future health problems. As an early childhood educator, I have seen these benefits manifest first hand.

When given the opportunity to observe the meditative practices of an adult, children will most likely want to sit alongside you and imitate what you are doing. By giving your little Witch this opportunity to sit with you during your own meditation practices, they will begin to learn themselves. If you do not have a regular meditation practice, this is a great way to grow and experience mindfulness together.

Below is a technique that I have used in the classroom and in my Little Witches workshops.

A Basic Relaxation Technique for Children

I recommend beginning on your own in a quiet setting, choose a time before a meal or before bed, soon after your child will follow. For older children you can explain to them why you are sitting in silence.

Begin by asking your child if they would like to play a relaxing game with you. Continue only if they show interest. If they show no interest one day they may the following day. I recommend doing the technique yourself, the child will become interested after some time.

Sitting in a chair, ask your child to sit with his or her feet flat on the floor and hands on his/her knees. Using a gentle, slow voice, saying or something similar:

“Look for a spot on the wall that you would like to look at.”

This can be any spot the child chooses. Explain to your child to keep their feet flat on the floor and their hands on your knees.

“Breathe in nice and slow and let it out nice and slow. When you feel your body wants to get wiggly, just say in your head, it’s okay that you’re feeling wiggly.”

“Try to keep your eyes on the spot as long as you can.”

Do this for only a minute or two the first time, and expand by one to two minutes each session. A good practice to maintain is to not exceed your child’s age in the number of minutes you spend in a session.

FYI: Having a good meditation practice can help encourage children with self-awareness, to be themselves, and have a greater belief in their own potential.

Guided Meditation for the New Year: The Waning Moon

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I realized this morning that I have been so busy with “Casting Creative Magickal Circles” and prepping for the release of my upcoming book, “A Modern Witch’s Curriculum” that I have not paid much attention to my blog, other than event sharing and promotion. There has been so much other stuff going on as well, besides the holiday craziness. Sadly, I recently had to conduct a memorial service for first teacher and Aunt who had passed in December.

Although, the new year has started off with sadness, I still feel confident that this year will hold some amazing possibilities. My usual practice of a tarot reading for the year to come has also revealed the same.

With the new year just starting out many of us have planned out our resolutions and spiritual goals for the year ahead. If you are one like me, allowing my guides to lead me in a direction that is right for me and my path. I find it hard to commit to set goals for the year, as I know they will change as I grow. I do however, continue with my commitment to myself as a Witch, such as gaining knowledge, doing something magickal every day, and continuing a regular meditation practice.

The guided meditation that follows is taken from my upcoming book, “A Modern Witch’s Curriculum”. It utilizes the waning moons energy of removal by visualizing the release of things we no longer want in our life. January’s waning moon is the perfect time for this type of release, as we want to focus on bring in something new for the year to come.

Waning Moon Guided Meditation

Begin by lighting a candle and incense of your choice. Turn off the lights. Close your eyes, make yourself comfortable and relax. Next begin to prepare for the meditation by breathing in deeply through your nose, filling your belly, hold for a count of three and exhale through your mouth. Do this three times, or until you feel relaxed, centered and open.

Feel the room around you; acknowledge the glow of the candle and the scent of incense.

As you breathe in, begin to visualize the light of the candle growing and surrounding you and begin to create a bubble of light around you. This bubble will protect you on your journey.

The light now begins to enter your body through your skin.

Where the light enters you begin to feel a tingling sensation and it starts to encompass your whole body.

In your mind, begin to stand up and walk toward the door that leaves your home.

As you open the door, you can see that the world outside has changed.

As you walk through the threshold, you notice that it is dark outside.

As you take your first step, you realize there is an endless field of grass.

The air is cool, but still.

Above you, see a sky full of stars with a small sliver of the moon that just gives off enough light to see.

In the far distance, you can see the flickering of what could be a candle on a tree stump.

The light creates a faint outline of a large metal pot. That resembles a cauldron, sitting next to the tree stump.

There is no one around but you feel that you are being called to this place.

As you begin to walk and investigate, there seems to be no sound. Everything is quiet.

As you approach the tree stump, you can see that the light comes from a single lone black candle in a silver holder.

You can see that there is a piece of old parchment and a black feather quill sitting next to it.

You move closer to look into the cauldron, and see that it is filled with water.

All the stars are reflected on the surface, making it look as if the sky had fallen into the cauldron.

Enticed by its endless darkness you move in closer.

You can see your own reflection in its surface now, in an instant it begins to move involuntary of yourself.

You are not taking back by this vision, you strangely feel safe and comfortable.

Your reflection begins to explain that you are to write down all things that you wish to remove, overcome, and let go of and then burn the parchment. Which will allow these things to burn away.

As you turn back to the tree stump and reach for the paper and pen you can already feel lighter and freer than before.

Begin writing down all that you wish…

Once you have finished fold the paper three times and set it on fire with the flame of the candle.

Watch it burn. As the flame burns you can feel all that you wish to be removed has been burned away, these things will no longer return with you to your physical body.

As the paper burns drop the last few remaining pieces into the cauldron.

As the burning paper hits the water’s surface the air around you begins to fill with a vapor mist, that becomes thicker like fog.

It surrounds and engulfs you.

After a few moments the fog lifts.

You notice you are back in the room with your physical self, sitting in a protective bubble, sit down into yourself and allow your consciousness to return to your physical body.

Once you feel you are completely back and ready, open your eyes.

Pop Culture Paganism pt 3- using it’s ideals for teaching children Pagan Spirituality

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When I came across the Facebook post that asked‭ “‬Can you worship the Justice League as gods‭?” ‬I immediately started following it.‭ ‬I wanted to see how others in the community saw this,‭ ‬mainly because it would give me a little insight to how the concept would hold up with the adults who might have children.‭ ‬It turned out that I ended up learning a lot more than just what I wanted.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬the information I did obtained helped to expand on the concepts I had already written about.‭
When I started writing my first book‭; ‬which is now in the works for publication,‭ ‬although its technically my second book,‭ ‬I didn’t think I would end up writing another book side by side.‭ ‬Then low and behold I began writing‭ “‬The Little Witches Curriculum:‭ ‬A parent’s guide to teaching Witchcraft,‭ ‬magick,‭ ‬and Pagan spirituality‭”‬.‭ ‬The idea of the book was sparked from two major aspects of my life,‭ ‬being an early childhood educator and a practicing Witch.‭ ‬Writing something that combined the two areas where I have knowledge and years of experience in was an amazing accomplishment.‭ ‬Although,‭ ‬I am working on it regularly,‭ ‬it still has ways to go before‭ ‬publishing,‭ ‬which is why I do not want to put out‭ ‬too much of its contents.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬because of the‭ “‬Pop Culture Paganism‭” ‬blog series I will provide some concepts I discuss in the book on creating personal space and altars when teaching children Pagan spirituality,‭ ‬at which some of the ideals can also be found in Pop Culture Paganism.

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A Fortress of Solitude

If you child has shown an interest in meditation practice or wanting to have their own altar,‭ ‬it may be time to encourage them to allow them to create their own space.‭ ‬In my child meditation classes I relate this space to Superman’s‭ “‬Fortress of Solitude‭”‬.‭ ‬Which is a place of solace and refuge filled with personal items that Superman has collected or obtained from all over the universe.‭ ‬Just as Superman has his home away from home to recoup after the stresses of saving the world your child should have one as well.‭
Creating a personal space for your child to meditate,‭ ‬reflect,‭ ‬escape and connect is the first step of giving them the opportunity to start down their own spiritual path.‭ ‬The space should be in a place that is away from distractions,‭ ‬other family members,‭ ‬and separate from your own space.‭ ‬If you are sharing a room for meditation and magickal workings,‭ ‬let them choose an area of their own within that room.‭ ‬Allow your child to be a part of the‭ ‬decision-making through guidance,‭ ‬not dominance.‭ ‬After a place has been agreed upon I recommend allowing the child to build his or her own space.‭ ‬Adding their choice of pillows,‭ ‬decorations,‭ ‬even books and toys.‭ ‬Adding anything that makes the child feel comfortable and relaxed.‭ ‬The space may change as your child’s interests change,‭ ‬even if this happens on a day-to-day basis.‭ ‬Let it be.‭ ‬This is their space.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬if it starts to become more important than actually meditating,‭ ‬I would address it.‭ ‬As long as the space is being used regularly,‭ ‬let your child’s imagination run wild.‭
Although,‭ ‬many traditions have certain‭ “‬recommended‭” ‬ways that altars are set up,‭ ‬there is no need for this when it comes to a child’s altar.‭ ‬Children learn more when they are given the freedom to discover on their own.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬during the process of setting it up,‭ ‬you can use the opportunity as a‭ “‬teachable moment‭” ‬in that you can explain how your tradition may do things or what some other traditions may do.‭

 

Hail,‭ ‬Wonder Woman and Mighty Thor
Although,‭ ‬I would probably cringe at this statement,‭ ‬but not for the reasons most Pagans would.‭ ‬How can you mix the Marvel universe with D.C.‭?‬ that shouldn’t be allowed.‭ ‬When it comes to children and choosing what to put on their altars as a representation of Gods and Goddesses,‭ ‬our adult prejudices of what is right or wrong have no validity in a child’s mind.‭ ‬So if they feel that Wonder Woman can stand side by side with Thor,‭ ‬then so be it.‭ ‬Representations can also be other things besides comic book super‭ ‬heroes‭;‬ I have seen children choose Sleeping beauty and a Ken doll.‭ ‬When it comes to children the possibilities are endless.‭ ‬What they choose shouldn’t matter what does,‭ ‬is the reasons why.‭ ‬Are they choosing‭ ‬sleeping beauty because she is the cool toy at the moment or because this is how the child sees‭ ‬femininity‭?‬ This is where Pagan parenting comes into play.‭ ‬As adults,‭ ‬we should guide the children in their choices.‭ ‬By asking‭ ‬open-ended questions we foster them to think about their answers.‭ ‬We can also give them a background context of our own tradition and ideals to help them along if needed.‭ ‬Whereas,‭ ‬they may not know that you work with a god/male energy or a Goddess/female energy,‭ ‬and why.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬this is not to instill your beliefs into the child,‭ ‬but to allow them to chose their own path and spiritual ideals.‭

Children may also want to add other personal items and toys that make them feel comfortable,‭ ‬safe,‭ ‬and protected within their space.‭
One of my favorite comparison stories to tell in my workshop on this topic is actually from Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.‭ ‬Where you see the child,‭ ‬Dylan‭ ‬uses his dinosaur at the foot of his bed to protect him Freddy.‭ ‬It was his belief or‭ “‬intention‭” ‬that this dinosaur would scare Freddy off and protect him while he sleeps.‭ ‬Sound sort of familiar‭? ‬I would hope so.‭ ‬That dinosaur was his magickal protector.‭ ‬Children create magickal items out of anything and they all have their place on their altar and within their spirituality.‭

In part one of this series,‭ ‬I discussed how Pop Culture Paganism is a unique and modern way of looking at the traditional Gods and how pop culture characters and stories are used as an approachable face for the deities of tradition.‭ ‬This is exactly how I approach teaching Pagan spirituality to children.‭ ‬Children often show more of an interest in what they see on T.V.‭ ‬or what their friends may be into,‭ ‬than learning about the old myths.‭ ‬Why not use this modern view of the Gods and Goddess to spark their spiritual growth.‭ ‬It is no consequence to anyone what a person,‭ ‬adult or child believes is the face of the Divine.‭

 

Pop Culture Paganism Pt 1 – Can you worship the Justice League as Gods?

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Once again,‭ ‬Facebook has provided me with a topic for a blog post.‭ ‬A few months ago,‭ ‬I came across a rather interesting post in a Wiccan group.‭ ‬Someone had asked the question,‭ “‬Can you worship the Justice League as gods‭?” ‬and if anyone had any experience in doing so.‭ ‬As a D.C.‭ ‬fan,‭ ‬I was interested in the comments and how people responded to this.‭ ‬Which at first the comments were supportive,‭ ‬then turned to‭ “‬trolling‭” ‬doubt,‭ ‬and then they became down right rude.‭ ‬Another reason I paid close attention to the question,‭ ‬is that this very idea is something I am currently writing about in the manuscript for‭ “‬The Little Witches‭”‬.‭ ‬Whereas,‭ ‬I discuss children and the use of fictional characters and toys,‭ ‬such as superhero and dinosaurs on their altars.‭ ‬Although,‭ ‬in the book there are multiple reasons for them to do so,‭ ‬using them as a representation of a deity is also discussed.‭ ‬What made the Facebook post even more intriguing,‭ ‬was that this was coming from an adult.‭ ‬I was not in any way questioning the posters sanity,‭ ‬as some in the feed might have suggested,‭ ‬but rather the ideals of someone who had posted for an intellectual discussion of spiritual beliefs.‭ ‬It was one passive aggressive comment that held my interest.‭ ‬On one hand it gave opposition and yet provided good information on the other.‭ ‬It was this added link that really sparked my desire to write about the topic of‭ “‬Pop Culture Paganism‭”‬.‭
I had actually started writing this at the time the question was posted on Facebook,‭ ‬but never got around to finishing it,‭ ‬until now.‭ ‬It popped back in mind after watching the new Justice League trailer‭ (‬squeeee‭!!) ‬and thought it would be a perfect time to finish and post it.‭ ‬What started,‭ ‬as a one-time post has now become a three part series of posts.‭ ‬Part one will consist of an introduction to Pop Culture Paganism,‭ ‬part two will host an interview with the author of Pop Culture Magick,‭ ‬Taylor Ellwood,‭ ‬and part three will discuss using Pop Culture Paganism concepts with children.‭

What is Pop Culture Paganism‭?

Simply,‭ ‬Pop Culture Paganism is a unique and modern way of looking at the traditional gods and beliefs.‭ ‬It is the use of pop culture characters and stories as either an approachable face for traditional Pagan deities and/or as a substitute for their traditional mythologies.‭ ‬For an easy understandable example,‭ ‬if you work with the Goddess,‭ ‬Athena you may want to use the image of Wonder Woman,‭ ‬rather than the traditional image.‭ ‬Pop Culture Paganism is all about working with the attributes of fictional characters that are relatable to traditional pantheon archetypes.‭ ‬One common example of the use of Pop Culture in modern paganism is the use of the Arthurian legends,‭ ‬whereas many people connect with the myth of Merlin and Excalibur.‭ ‬We can also see another use of Pop Culture in the various tools used in the magickal community.‭ ‬From the images found on tarot cards to movie replicas of wands,‭ ‬these have seemed to be more widely accepted than the idea of using comic book heroes in place of deities.‭
Pop Culture Paganism may also be reflected in ritual practices‭ (‬such as using Hogwarts Houses or the Voltron lions in calling the quarters‭)‬.‭ ‬Many Pop Culture Pagans also practice what is known as Pop Culture Magick‭ (‬discussed later in this post‭)‬.‭ ‬Although,‭ ‬just as with Wicca,‭ ‬not all Pop Culture Pagans practice this or any form of Magick or vise versa.‭ ‬As you can see Pop Culture Paganism is rather diverse and even already apparent in modern Paganism.‭

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Why Pop Culture Paganism‭?

Despite the conventional Pagans eye rolling at its practice,‭ ‬there are many reasons one may choose this path.‭ ‬Taylor Ellwood,‭ ‬author of Pop Culture Magick states in his video‭ “‬I resonate more with pop culture than I do with some of the older cultures‭”‬.‭ ‬After reading many personal blogs and articles on Pop Culture Paganism,‭ ‬it seems to me that this is one of the main factors in its draw.‭ ‬Although,‭ ‬I do not incorporate these ideals into my personal practice,‭ ‬I can completely understand the connections one can find in its systems of belief and how they resonate with some.‭ ‬For many there is an emotional attachment to certain characters.‭ ‬How many times a day do you think of a certain fictional character‭? ‬A lot of times characters from books or films leave a lasting impression and we connect to them emotionally and sometimes even morally.
When you think about it everyone already kind of does a form of it anyway.‭ ‬When you put up a poster or speak to a favorite toy as if they were living or try to be like a favorite character or celebrity,‭ ‬such as in Cosplay.‭

Another thought that I found interesting was the idea that the‭ “‬old gods‭” ‬are just connecting with us through our modern culture.‭ ‬What if this is true‭? ‬What if this is their way of communicating with people on a large scale‭? ‬Throughout the years,‭ ‬I have seen the re-emergence of mythologies within our Pop Culture over and over again.‭ ‬From Marvel’s Thor to the new release of Assassins Creed Origins,‭ ‬the ancient myths always seem to be a focus and find their way into our modern times.‭ ‬Although,‭ ‬many of the stories surrounding the characters are new or reinvented,‭ ‬they can act as a gateway to the original myths to those who connect with them.‭ ‬Just recently I was asked to fill out a questionnaire for the Covenant of Hekate and one of the questions was‭ “‬When did you first hear about Hekate‭?” ‬After some thought,‭ ‬I realized that I had first heard her name in the opening scene of‭ “ ‬Midnight Offerings‭” ‬a movie back in the early eighty’s.‭ ‬This second of a mention caused me to pull out the good old family encyclopedia set‭ (‬just dated myself‭) ‬to investigate who this person was.‭ ‬Could that have been her leading me to her all those years ago‭?
Why question how the Gods manifest in our lives or in others lives or if the stories are old or modern,‭ ‬just accept that they are there.
Yet another interesting thought is that these characters,‭ ‬images,‭ ‬and‭ ‬personas were created and manifested in their constructs mind through the deities to reach the masses.‭ ‬Do I think Bob Cane channeled Anubis when‭ ‬first creating‭ ‬Batman‭?‬ Sure why not,‭ ‬anything is possible,‭ ‬plus that would be awesome.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬it could also be that I see aspects of Anubis in the character of Batman.‭ ‬Either way it’s not about how we personally connect to the Gods,‭ ‬it’s what we do with that connection and the relationship we have with them.‭ ‬No matter the personified embodiment we use as an image.‭

Now that I have learned more about Pop Culture Paganism,‭ ‬I could answer the Facebook posted question,‭ “‬Can you worship the Justice League as gods‭?” ‬Sure,‭ ‬why not.‭ ‬They are just modern images and concepts of the older gods.‭ ‬Whereas,‭ ‬Wonder Women can be seen as the Greek Goddess,‭ ‬Athena,‭ ‬Flash as the Roman God,‭ ‬Mercury,‭ ‬and Aquaman as Poseidon or Neptune.‭

If you are interested in learning more about Pop Culture Paganism and Magick I recommend checking these out for more information:

‬Taylor Ellwood’s Blog on Witchesandpagans.com‭

Books by Taylor Ellwood

Taylor Ellwood’s YouTube channel