Upcoming Event: The Faces of Gods and Goddesses with E. Massey at NJ’s Soul Journey

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Join E. Massey at the amazing Soul Journey and explore how the Gods and Goddesses of the world’s traditions are more than the faces and names we give them. Go beyond the myths and find the inter-contentedness of various pantheons through energies and not images. Learn how understanding their essence can break down the confines of how we view our own spirituality. Through a group meditation, attendees will tap into the primal energy of a choice Deity to guide the direction of the class. E. Massey Discusses how to build a stronger relationship with your Deities through energy and ritual. Acquire new practices by building upon your own teachings and views of the Gods and Goddesses. Discover how indigenous teachings and the Hermetic philosophies can reshape the modern spiritual concepts of Deities.
Time Duration: 2 hrs.
$30.00 p/p

Reserve your spot today by calling or stopping by Soul Journey in Butler NJ

Soul Journey

194 Main St, Butler, New Jersey 07405
(973) 838-6564

Who Wants Ice Cream? Teaching Children about Pagan Traditions and Pantheons

It has been a while since I have posted on my blog, much of my time lately has been focused on classes, promotion, and private facilitated ceremonies. After being asked to join the staff of The Witches Daily Cauldron as writer for parenting articles, I thought I should get back to writing. So, I thought it would be a perfect time to post another “Little Witch” article.

During my own “Little Witch” years, I was not given the choice in my spiritual beliefs or information of the other traditions that were out there. Consequentially, this type of uninformative spiritual education had left me with unanswered questions and a lack of commitment to my spirituality.

I was first introduced to Wicca by a family member around the age of eleven, a year later I started training in the Gardnerian tradition. Although, I am grateful for what I did learn, this experience also hindered my path and spiritual growth. Most of my teachings were mainly coven based, and I had only learned what the tradition of the coven held in its practice. There was no room for alternatives or personal study of my own heritage and spirituality. This left me with a feeling of disappointment and indifference to the Wiccan traditions. It was not until many years later that I was shown that there was other ways and other beliefs then what I had been taught.

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Who Wants Ice Cream?

One of things I regularly come across in the Witch and Pagan community is the constant bickering of which and what is the best way to belief in something. Just as it is with ice cream, beliefs and traditions come in many flavors, but in the end, it is all just ice cream. Whereas, some people prefer chocolate while others enjoy strawberry, and yet others savor the taste of exotic flavors, such as turmeric. What it comes down to is personal choice and exploration in both ice cream flavors and in our spirituality. This is what creates our own unique path in Witchcraft as adults and also for our children. When we allow children to explore the various traditions of Witchcraft and magick, we open the doors to the true essence of spirituality.

Traditional Flavors

Many of the traditions found in modern Witchcraft that are based on historical evidence and from archaeological and anthropological discoveries throughout the world. Some have also been passed down through cultural practices, ceremonies and word of mouth. One of the more commonly known traditions of today is Wicca. There are as many Wiccan traditions as there are Alexandrian, Dianic, Gardnerian, and Seax Wicca are the most commonly practiced today.

Specialty/House Flavors

Witches like Raymond Buckland opened the doors for not only someone who did not have the means to work with a coven, but also for others to create and expand on their own traditions. Over the years, more and more Witches started to combine their own personal family heritage and folk medicine/lore with Wicca, thus creating new traditions focusing on specific ancestral cultures and practices. Eventually these Witches began teaching and sharing their traditions with the world. Vanilla is not just vanilla anymore. Some of the Wiccan and Wiccan-based traditions found in modern Witchcraft are Cabot, Celtic Wicca, Christian Wicca (Still a very controversial tradition, though the practice of combing Wiccan and Christian beliefs is growing amongst the Pagan community. Such combined practices have been done for generations in many other Witchcraft traditions, so why not Wicca.) Eclectic (I highly recommend starting with eclectic Witchcraft practices for children because of its freedom and non-traditional system. As long as they are given their own choice of pantheons.) Green/Kitchen, and Stregheria.

Exotic Flavors

Not all Pagan and Witchcraft traditions are Wiccan based, in fact many are either older or are reconstructed through ancient texts and anthropological studies. Although, others can be and are sometimes associated with the practice of Wicca and Witchcraft. When it comes to children I do not recommend introducing children to these practices until they ready and have an understanding of true spirituality and magick. These traditions and practices include: Asatru, Brujeria, Druidism, Kemetic, Santeria, Shamanism, and Voodoo/Hoodoo.

Adding Sprinkles, Whipped Cream and a Cherry

When you are at an ice cream parlor, choosing a flavor can sometimes be less overwhelming than the choosing of toppings. It’s this essential choice that creates a perfect sundae. The mixing of flavors of ice cream with the flavors of toppings is of a personal taste. What seems unconventional to some may work well for others. The same can be said with the choice of Deity we choose or in some cases has chosen us.

In many Wiccan and modern Witchcraft traditions the use of a specific pantheons is sometimes chosen based on either coven, heritage or regional influences. Many Witches who are eclectic or solitary may use a combination of pantheons chosen by personal interest, ethnicity or a calling.

This choice may be taken because of the attributes of a specific Deity within a pantheon or a personal connection to one Deity. Most modern Witches also have what’s known as a matron or patron, which is the Deities they work with on a regular basis. There is also, myself included, Witches whom do not hold to the idea of pantheons and the conventional concept of Deity. Whereas they see things having a polarity of male and female energies and others may use the titles of Goddess and God as distinction between them. For many this may also include aspects of the natural world such the sun, moon, sky and earth with their male/female connections. The most common pantheons are Celtic, Christian, Egyptian, Greek/Roman, Hindu, and Norse. By no means are these the only pantheons there are to choose from, however they are the most common and easiest to research.

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When it comes to children and spirituality there is no need to teach them about the all the different traditions and pantheons, just allow them to explore them. This will ensure that it will be less frustrating to both you and most importantly your child. Also remember that a child’s interest can change from week to week and from day-to-day. It takes time for them to find their path. Even as adults our paths are not set in stone, we grow, and sometimes even change directions.

And of course, if your tradition is based on an ancestral or hereditary or cultural tradition you may want to start with that and then move on the others. However, keep the information very basic as not to persuade your child’s true path. This can be very discouraging for some parents because they want to continue their teachings of a particular tradition. Keep in mind that just because they are choosing a different path that the knowledge is not absent from their minds.

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Guided Meditation: Visiting the Gods of Egypt

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Although, I do not follow the pantheon of Egyptian antiquity, I have a love for the history, myths and the deities found in ancient Egyptian culture. I wrote this about five years ago for my monthly meditation group.
This guided meditation takes you to Ancient Egypt, where you meet with the Gods and Goddess of your mind. Pay close attention to who they are, there is a reason why your mind has chosen these particular deities. You will also experience a moment of seeing parts of your higher and shadow self. The information you receive may also be valuable.

Visiting the Gods of Egypt Guided Meditation

Begin by lighting a candle and some incense. 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 scent of incense.
As you breath in, begin to visualize the smoke of the incense circling you, surrounding you.
It begins to lift you off the ground.
Now floating with every breath, allow your energy to form a bubble around your floating body.
Visualize yourself and the bubble rising higher and higher. As you climb higher you can see the earth below. Take a moment and look at the earth moving below you.
Looking closer you notice that it is turning counter clockwise, and that it seems to be spinning faster and faster, and faster.
In an instant it suddenly stops and reverses to its normal clockwise spin.

You and the bubble begin to slowly sink back to the earth. From the darkness of space to a sunlit sky.
As you pass through the clouds like a feather, the bubble begins to fog up so that you can no longer see.
After a few seconds, you can feel that your bubble has stopped falling and gradually, the fog dissipates.
As the fog clears, a scene is revealed before you of a desert landscape of reddish sand. Nearby, you can see the mighty walls of four temples standing face to face, creating a square courtyard between them.
Your bubble begins to disappear, allowing you to Stand and walk freely.
Begin to head towards the courtyard.
You can feel the heat of the sand beneath your feet, and the hot sun on your body.
Looking down, you notice you are wearing a white linen robe, that blows in the occasional warm breeze.
As you reach the center of the courtyard you can see that there is an obelisk. It is made of your favorite stone, take a few moments to examine it.
Rearing above you, you see that it is covered with hieroglyphs, some seem familiar to you and others are strange and foreign. However, take note of them because they may hold a message for you.

Take a deep breath through your nose and smell the air. There is a light sent a musky wood burning.
Looking for its source, you notice that there is smoke drifting out of one of the temples.
Walking toward the temple; its heady aroma fills your nose. It is the same smell as the one you were burning when you started your journey.

As you approach the entrance of the temple, you can hear the faint humming of what seems like monks praying from inside.

Slowly you enter the temple, the floor beneath you is smooth and polished.
Out of the hot sun you find yourself in a vast chamber with stone columns.
It is quite dark, but along the walls there is bowls of burning oil that emits a flickering light. Here, the air is cool and refreshing, and the smell of incense is complemented by a strong fragrance of flowers.
Spend a few moments exploring the temple chamber.
As you look round, you can see at the far end of the chamber someone kneeling, as if in prayer.

You decide to walk across the hall of columns toward the kneeling person.
Upon approaching the person, you find you have entered a small shrine. Against the back wall is a large statue with its head covered with a black cloth. The statue seems to have a masculine body. Bowls of incense smolder before it and it is flanked by flickering flames.
As if feeling your presence, the kneeling person stands and turns toward you with one hand raised as if to say welcome.
This person appears to be a priest of some sort and you return the gesture out of respect.
He steps forward and says “welcome to the temple of the God”, you look up at the statue and notice that the black cloth is no longer there revealing one of the gods of ancient Egypt.
He has chosen to reveal himself to you.
Take a moment and think about why this particular God has come to you.

Just as you are about to turn and talk to the priest, he vanishes and you are left alone before the statue.
Return your gaze to the God before you.

Looking upon its stone face, it seems as though it is a living entity.
As if its eyes were becoming living eyes.
Gradually, the statue seems to come alive. Slowly, the stone turns to flesh.
Standing in awe, the statue of the god begins to descend toward you, his eyes now full of calmness and peace.

This is now a time to have your questions answered.
Spend some time speaking with the god. He may show you things, give you a symbolic gift or simply offer affection. He may have words of advice for your work to come, or ask you to do something for him in the real world. Let your mind wander freely….

When he has finished, thank him for this time in a way you see fit.
As you are about to say farewell, he touches your shoulder and you find yourself back outside in the courtyard. Now facing one of the other temples.
A slight breeze blows from inside, on the wind you hear your name, as if beckoning you to come inside.

As you approach the threshold of the temple, you can hear faint music coming from deep within.
Upon entering the corridor ahead, you can hear the ringing of strings and the low beat of drums in the air.
Unlike the last temple the wall here is painted and again, it is quite dark, but you can see where you are going by the dim lamplight glimmering on the floor. The entering corridor opens out into a vast room, lined by columns. Ahead of you, at the other end of the chamber, you see a flight of golden steps that lead up to a life-size golden statue of a female.
With anticipation you walk toward the staircase, noticing again that the statue’s face covered with a cloth. She wears a long sheath dress and you can make out the hint of a necklace around her neck, but her feet are bare. Just next to the statue you can see a small group of priestesses playing various instruments. The music is soft, but lively music. Another priestess begins to dance sensuously to the music around the base of the statue. The floor is covered in petals and she dances, they release their rich fragrance.
As you approach the foot of the stairs, you are overcome by the music and begin to dance.
As you dance, cast your inner eye back to your room where your candle stands, imagine that the light of this candle shines onto the statue. Through the light of this candle, you can feel your inner self become one with the statue.
Through the eyes of the statue, you can see yourself dancing through the cloth that covers your head. Reach up to remove it, as you pull it off, you find yourself back in your body looking up at a Goddess.
Seeing now, who this Goddess is, you open yourself up to her energy.
She is a friend to you. Let your mind wander to connect with her. You may have words or questions for her. Take a few moments and spend some time with this Goddess…

After a few minutes, thank her for this audience, and say farewell.

Now, walk back through the temple, bidding farewell to the priestesses. Go out into the courtyard.
This time you are not alone, there is a shrouded figured dressed in black standing before the obelisk. The figure beckons you closer. Feeling a little unsure, but not afraid, you begin to walk toward him. He reaches out holding a papyrus scroll in each hand. His hands are old and writhed with time. Knowing you need to make a choice between the two scrolls, you reach for one.
As you touch the scroll of your choice, the other bursts into blue flames, and the figure disappears. Holding the scroll, you begin to unroll it. Slowly it reveals a painted image of a boat with its bow facing the same direction of the hand you choose. Be it left or right. You know that is the direction of the next temple you are to go to.

In excitement to see what happens next, you walk closer to the directed temple. Upon approach you notice that there are stairs leading down.
A cool breeze rushes up the stone stairs as you begin to descend. The further you go the darker it gets. At the moment you think that it is just to dark too go on, you see a faint light ahead of you and push on. The air is musty and damp.
As you reach the source of light, the stairway opens to a fire light room. Walking through the entrance you can see, you are not alone. Before you, are five figures and they all turn and face you as if they have been waiting for you. They walk toward you and without a word take hold of you and guide you into an adjacent room. Entering the room you can see another figure standing on a platform before an over sized golden scale. You recognize the figure to be as Anubis, the lord of the underworld. Although, you know he is usually associated with death you feel at peace. His dark jackal face is just slightly lit by two tall candles. The five ushers leave you standing before the platform. You recall this scene from before. It is the judgment of your soul, the weighing of your heart.

Anubis turns toward you and you can see his ruby red eyes glow like fire. He steps off the platform, places his hand on your heart and instantly everything turns white.
As if playing on a movie screen you begin to see pictures of your life, he is showing you all the good you have done thus far.

Just as a feeling of pride washes over you, everything turns black and you begin to hear your heart beating slow and steady. Again, images begin to appear this time in the darkness, you are now being shown all that you hide and the bad you have done.

After a few moments the images and the darkness fades back into the room with the scales and you are alone once more.

Looking around in confusion, you can see a white feather floating down as you reach for the feather, a flash of light returns you to the courtyard.
The sun now is setting and you can feel that the temperature has dropped. Knowing now you are to visit all four temples, you proceed to the last.
As you reach the doorway the entrance fills with a thick fog.
With confidence you begin to walk into the fog. Gradually the fog turns into a black void.
After a moment, the darkness begins to clear and once more and you are back in your own reality. Open your eyes when you are ready.