Entheogens, psychedelics, hallucinogens, and other intoxicants are connected with witchcraft because they help us to escape the trappings of the mind and aide in spirit flight. Witches have been working with herbs to alter consciousness for thousands of years and the story is no different today. What is different however is the availability of these substances. The legal drinking age in the United States is twenty-one, younger in most others. Medical marijuana is currently legal in several states and without question will become legal recreationally soon. Herbs like Salvia are also available in the large majority of locations as well as Ayahuasca in South America and abroad. Even mugwort and Mexican tarragon when prepared the right way can induce intense dream states. Modern witches have all of these herbs at our disposal with just a few clicks on the Internet so I thought I would share with you some safe and effective ways to work with the most popular of psychoactive herbs available, Cannabis.
One of the reasons I apply process to my magical work is because with good processes in place, it makes easier to innovate and experiment with magic. I learned that in the business world and I've applied to my spiritual practices over the years to great success. You can actually learn a lot by taking the practice of one discipline and applying it to another discipline. In business, processes are used to solve problems, design and implement solutions, and to encourage creativity. Process encourages creativity by cutting out extraneous busy work, to focus on what really works, but in order to discover what works you necessarily need to work the process.
A lot of times creativity is treated as a chaotic experience, which occurs when a person is inspired. But in my experience, creativity is quite structured. Process provides the necessary structure for creativity to flourish in. Whether I'm writing, painting, or practicing magic, having a process in place allows me to work with my creativity as a resource. I'm not just waiting for inspiration to hit me...I'm actively cultivating it as part of my process.
Although I’ve been trying to lighten up the bookshelves in my home by donating some books to Pagan libraries, loaning out many (which seldom seem to return home), and simply putting some books I’ve read “in circulation,” such as leaving them at my gym or giving them to someone else to read with no expectation of getting them back.However, that doesn’t mean a bibliophile such as me has ceased buying books altogether.In spite of limited funds for non-essentials, I do consider books to be essential to my life, so I still buy them, albeit much more selectively than I’ve done in the past.I especially tend to purchase books of poetry, even more especially if I know the poet, and/or anthologies in which their work is published.I feel strongly about supporting the arts as much as we can; this is one of my ways of supporting the arts.
I returned home from PantheaCon with only two new books; I restrained myself.
Halloween is the first cosplay convention that ever was, and the longest running one, but Halloween is more than just that. It's a time for people to connect with the pop culture they love and embody that pop culture. For example, the recent Verizon commercial shows a family dressed up as characters (and more) from Star Wars. What strikes me about that commercial is that for that family Star Wars is real that night and in a way they get to become those characters while they trick and treat (though they do seem more obsessed with Candy than anything else).
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and it's also one of the inspirations for my approach to pop culture magic. This isn't surprising because its during Halloween that pop culture comes out in force. People dress up as the characters they love and for an evening embody those characters in one form or another. This occurs across ages, with little children dressing up to go trick and treat, while adults dress up to have fun at a costume party. Now not all of these people intentionally set out to work magic, but Halloween is a night of masks, and as such it can be useful for magical work to explore the idea of taking on a mask.
One of the most powerful aspects of ritual work is invocation. To invoke an element, a spirit or a deity is to bring their energy to your circle, and to bring their healing magickal power to yourself.
Many Pagans use statues, images and altar tools to help with the process of invocation. To have the image of a deity on your altar not only honors the deity, it assists in invoking the energy of that deity.