By Hand, Head & Heart: The Practice, Philosophies and Love of Magick

Come explore the evolution of magickal spirituality. Here modern practitioners with a reverence to the past can seek the future of magick through philosophical understanding, application and personal development.

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Christopher Penczak

Christopher Penczak

Christopher Penczak is the co-founder of the Temple of Witchcraft, a system, tradition and religious nonprofit organization focused on magickal education and building community. He is an award winning author of over twenty books, including The Inner Temple of Witchcraft, The Three Rays of Witchcraft and Ascension Magick and a co-owner of Copper Cauldron Publishing, a company dedicated to producing inspirational products of magick and art for the evolution of consciousness for individuals and the world. Based in New England, he travels internationally to teach magick and healing.

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One of the images I've been working with in the Temple of Witchcraft, though have only recently been teaching as a cohesive element, is the eight faces of the God through the Wheel of the Year. Some of it was underlying my personal shamanic practices during the course of the year, and expanded with a deepening relationship with the Green Man through my plant spirit work. I originally worked in a framework of a two-fold God and a triple Goddess. The Goddess was the familiar maiden, mother, crone who went on to take aspects of the heavens, earth and underworld, and the triple fates. The God was a Neopagan Janus – with one face of life and light heading towards the future, and one of death and darkness facing the past. He is the guardian of the threshold. On the side of the light were the aspects of the Child of Light at Yule, the Green Man of the Spring, and the Corn King of Summer. On the side of the dark were the faces of the Horned God who is both the hunter and the hunted, Lord of the Underworld and subterranean riches and the Trickster. They were my Oak King and Holly King, though they rarely manifested in those symbols, each ruling half of the year in a variety of guises.

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It comes up time and again, and I'm not sure I understand it – Ghost Hunting. I have a love/hate relationship with the practices seeking out the spirits of the afterlife. While I think it can be quite helpful, healing and even practical to have some skills in this area, I see people get caught up to a level that distracts them from their own spiritual evolution.

What I”m specifically talking about are Witches, Magicians, Shamanic Practitioners, Pagans, you name it, going ghost hunting for fun. People without a magickal background, who are looking for “proof” that consciousness can exist after death, I understand their fascination, but I don't understand those in the magickal community who do it.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Johnny Allison
    Johnny Allison says #
    I have to wholeheartedly agree. I have heard people taunt and jeer at these entities in the hopes that it will draw them out. I
  • Christopher Penczak
    Christopher Penczak says #
    Thanks! I think most things people encounter are cast offs and shells when they think they have a trapped soul, and lot of it is j
  • Chas  S. Clifton
    Chas S. Clifton says #
    Good piece. I agree that if you really are dealing with the dead, they are not for entertainment. But there may be "cast-offs" and
  • Christopher Penczak
    Christopher Penczak says #
    Thanks. Sure, feel free to hit me up for it. Just give me enough time as things are crazy busy and I don't want to miss a deadline
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Brilliant. I'm planning a "Psychic Arts" issue of Witches&Pagans for 2014 and now I know who to go to for authoritative, down-to-e

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

You may have heard, as it was not without its own bit of controversy, that the Temple of Witchcraft has bought property in Salem, NH, and is doing a fund drive for our parking lot. Why start with a parking lot? Simple: no parking lot, no temple. To gain the town's approval, a religious organization in a residential zone requires a paved lot with adequate space, lighting, and drainage.

Beyond the parking lot itself, some have asked why do Pagans, Wiccans and Witches need a temple at all? Aren't we meant to practice solitary, or in small groups in people's homes, or outside? And if I'm not in the Salem, NH, area, why should this even matter to me? All important questions and here are some thoughts in response to many of the discussions I've had with people over the last few months:

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  • Stephanie Noble
    Stephanie Noble says #
    Thank you for this article! I have very often thought the same.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

When I first got interested in all the topics that would eventually lead me to my spiritual path, they were neatly shelved under the “Occult” section of the library or local book store at the mall. Thankfully, by the time I really got involved, there were a few more “how to” manuals out there, but talking to people who started not that much earlier than me, they would wax nostalgic about the days when the shelf was ten to twenty books at most, and the Satanic Bible sat next to books such as Isis Unveiled, The Secret Doctrine, The Sea Priestess, Drawing Down the Moon, something related to the Golden Dawn or Aleister Crowley, Mastering Witchcraft, Sybil Leek's Diary of a Witch, Magickal Rites from the Crystal Well, and what we now affectionately call "Uncle Buckie's Big Blue Book." Depending on how they arranged the books, you might even get Seth Speaks by Jane Roberts or one of the many Carlos Castaneda books thrown in there too.

If you were looking for more, you had to go into the mythology section, or look at the ancient philosophers from the Greeks and Romans. You had to look into folk lore, and your local library, in its own occult section, would have out of print books from the sixties and seventies, usually with many photos, detailing the history of occultism and hitting highlights such as tribal witch doctors in Africa, tales of Medea and Circe, a bit about Isis, the persecution of Witches by the Christian Church, some alchemy and Rosicrucians, through the modern revival of the Spiritualist Church, Theosophy, the Golden Dawn, ESP studies, and the rise of Wicca. Somewhere in there would most likely be a scantily clad photo of an Alexandrian circle for the sheer shock value.

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  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    I really resonate with this post. The misgivings you've expressed are similar to ones I've expressed as well. I feel the same conc
Walking with the Mighty Dead......

My latest book is entitled The Mighty Dead: Working with the Ancestors of Witchcraft. It's an usual topic for me, but one that's grown out of a lot of direct experiences, followed up by research both in the Craft and looking at it through the lens of different traditoins. I thought I would give you a brief introduction with some excerpt of it here on my Pagan Square blog.

“There is a part of the Inner Planes, the Other World, which is called Witchdom. There you may learn much, if you can contact it. There are spells and chants, dances and music and such woods and streams as delight the hearts of witches. Witchdom has a temple, in that all sacred places on this earth have their astral counterparts. Nothing is lost, but much is stored deep.” - John Brakespeare

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Here is the transcript of the fourth and final 2012 FREE MP3 Meditation. 

To listen to this lesson and meditation, or any of the previous ones, go to: 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

 

And as requested, here is part three of the free 2012 meditations... the lesson and meditation are both recorded and can be found here, along with the previous two.

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