My Thoughts on Suicide...

So recently in my life suicide has become a huge topic of discussion, both on and off line. Long story short I have an aunt who has drug and alcohol issues, mental, physical and emotional issues and who just lost her teen daughter six months ago, so depression and suicidal thoughts are just the norm...  And with the whole bully thing lately on the news it's been a growing hot topic on most of my mommy boards too... So I felt it was a subject I felt I should address here as well.

PLEASE though, do not assume that my beliefs are blanket beliefs for the Pagan community or that I should be used as an example of what others may or may not believe.

So, I've talked about my beliefs about life, death and fate before. But I'm going to speed through them so that you understand some of why I believe what I do about suicide. I believe that life is a cycle and that each life is "assigned" a purpose before it enters the physical realm. The fates will not allow that life to end prior to that purpose being fulfilled. Once that life is ended in the physical realm we move on to a "Guardian Angel" position in the spirit realm until we are no longer needed here in the physical realm any longer and are able to either move on to the next physical life, with a new purpose, or until we ascend to a higher spiritual realm.

Now, the reason I went through all that is simply because to understand my beliefs about such a touchy subject like suicide, you need to know what I think about death in general. I don't see death as an end or something evil or bad. The physical body dies, the spirit does not, it simply moves on.

To me, for someone to honestly consider suicide, they are in a place of great pain or anger or both. In some cases there is illness, be it mental or physical, involved as well. For others they are simply at a point in their lives where death seems to be the only way to end their pain or at the very least seems better than continuing their life.

Obviously I would like to say that there is help out there and that anyone considering suicide can be saved. However, I don't believe that. I've been through the anti-suicide therapies, on the medications and hospitalized, and I will be the first to tell you that all the "help" in the world doesn't change the situation many of these people are in - especially in cases of illness. Don't get me wrong, there are cases where medical help is an option, but in my opinion, these are the people who weren't completely to the point of suicide in the first place. Many people, including myself, are very serious about their attempt at the time they do it, but they aren't actually 100% sold on the idea. It's a "this is the best of a bad situation" kind of thing. Many times they don't honestly want to die, they just want the pain to stop. For them, therapy, medication, hospitalization are good options and can help. So assume that I'm only speaking about cases where the suicide is successful or attempted by someone who clearly wants to die.

Whenever the subject of suicide comes up online I always see words like "selfish" "sad" or "tragic" used. However, I simply disagree with this idea. Of course it's sad and tragic for those of us who are still here, but does that mean that those who decide to end their pain are selfish because it could hurt us? To me, No. Instead I feel it's selfish of those of us who are here to place negative assumptions on those who we lost simply because of out pain.

I believe each life has a purpose. In some cases that purpose is to teach others a lesson or to aid in someone elses spiritual maturation. I also do not believe the Fates will allow someone who has not fulfilled their purpose to pass on. So, in my mind there are going to be times where the death of one person is in fact their purpose of life. I know it was the loss of a close friend which clearly impressed on me the importance of positivity, friendship and love... So who am I to say that maturation wasn't the goal of their life? Of course I don't know that it was either, but it's a possibility.

So what am I saying? Well, all in all what I'm saying is Suicide is a way for someone who is in extreme pain to end it. Do those of us who are still living miss them? Of course. But is it more important for us to have our loved one or for them to be at peace? And who are we to say at what point someone's life purpose is in fact to aid others through their death? If a fireman dies in order to save a child we call him a hero because without his death that child's life would have ended or he would have stopped "maturing." So how is that different from someone who's purpose was to die in order to help someone else to mature? It's all speculation of course - whether or not suicide is ever someone's life purpose. But who am I to know?

I guess my entire point is this - While it's painful for those of us who remain, those how have died are in a better place. Their pain is over, their purpose (what ever it was) is fulfilled and they are able to move on to the next stage. It's a stage we will all someday enter and ultimately it doesn't matter how we get there, the point is that we do.

I feel for those who lose loved ones, in any way. I have lost a great many loved ones in my life, and that includes a few to suicide. But I do not feel it's my place to decide when someone elses life should end. We can't live forever, and those who choose this path are simply speeding the process...

My Values As A Pagan

  June is Pagan Values Month. So if you do a quick search you can most likely find a great number of blog posts like this one. And no doubt there will be some differences from person to person. Because of that it's hard to make general statements on things like Values, and I think that's the case with any belief system. So rather than creating an over generalized "These are Pagan Values" post which is full of more crap than words, I'm simply going to stick to exploring my own Values, as a Pagan.


   Now, I have to be honest, while the idea of sitting down and writing up a past about my values seemed very easy at first, it's turned out to be much more complicated than I ever thought it would have been. It's one thing to live by them, and completely different to have to identify them and place a definition on them or explain why they are so important. But, I am going to do my best!
  • Respect - I do my best to have a basic respect for all life forms and treat them accordingly. However beyond that basic respect I have for life, I do believe that respect on a deeper level should be earned, not simply given away. And of course, I believe we should have a great respect for ourselves first and foremost.
  • Honor - Not only to live by what we believe, but to live in a way which shows a reverence for the past, the Gods and our heritage.
  • Honesty & Integrity - Simply put, I see absolutely no excuse for being anything less than 100% honest or doing exactly what you say you will at all times! I don't buy in to the idea of "white lies" or "side stepping the truth" in any way - You may not like what I have to say, but you can always trust if I'm saying it, it's at the very least my honest opinion, if not fact!
  • Self-Reliance - When the chips are down, you will always have you! 
  • Loyalty - Holding fast to the alliances you form - spiritually & personally!
  • Equality - I don't buy in to this idea that any one group is better than any other - We are all a part of the Human Race, so act like it.
  • Education - There is nothing more valuable than a good solid education! Beyond educating yourself, Educating others can change the world!
  • Hard Work - Good old fashioned hard work! I started working full time at 14, and worked for my mother & family friends businesses before that. Hard work is the only way to truly fulfill your desires, goals and faith!
  • Courage - Without the courage to get up and live by your values, you have nothing.
  • Perseverance - Always pushing forward, even against all odds!
  • Charity & Kindness - Giving of yourself to better the world as a whole.
  • Tolerance - Understanding that not everyone is going to hold the same beliefs, values and opinions as you do and being willing accept your differences without reverting to anger or argument.
    Of course, I'm far from perfect, but I strive to live my life every day in accordance with my faith, my values and by always following my heart! And of course, to teach my children to do the same!

    **This has been a post for the Pagan Values Blogject

Going Cruelty Free

Okay, so after posting my Animal Testing post a few days ago I have been flooded with messages, comments and emails from readers. Most of these messages have similar questions, so I am going to do my best to answer them.

But before I do that I feel that I need to make a distinction here. I think many of you read my last post and felt that I was being elitist or saying that you're doing something wrong by using products from companies which do or have done animal testing - and I'm not! What I was, and what I AM, trying to get across is the need to be aware! Obviously in the world we have today, it's nearly impossible to never purchase a product from a company who does, did or works with a company that does animal testing... At some point, we all need to fill the gas tank - at least until we all have solar cars! (lol)

BUT, a part of MY path is striving to be as eco-friendly as possible. And I know that something many of you strive for as well. And it's something we simply can't do if I'm knowingly putting in to products or companies that are torturing innocent animals. But in now way am I telling you to toss your asthma inhaler simply because some poor bunny once had to breath it. What I am saying simply is when you have the option, when you have the opportunity to go cruelty free - try to do so.

In no way am I trying to chastise or lecture, that's never my goal. Instead look at what I'm saying and understand that I'm saying it not to make anyone feel inferior, not to make you feel as if you aren't up to par, but simply to raise awareness about an issue.

We live in a society where everything is ruled by the almighty dollar! So make your money count! One of the questions I got most often was simply "Can I afford to go cruelty free?" And the answer is simply YES! In some cases I say you can not only afford to it, but you can't afford NOT to do it.  Now, why would I say that? Well, because the companies who are most aware of our furry friends are also most aware of US. I found that many of the products I switched to in an effort to go "chemical free" in my home were also companies on the list of those who are Cruelty free! So doing good for the worlds fauna, does good for us as well...

There are a few very small changes you can make which aren't going to cost you any more money and are going to be better for both you and nature as a whole. I've covered some of those in previous posts such as choosing reusable/washable personal items & baby items rather than disposable. Believe it or not but even companies like Always, Tampax and Huggies do animal testing...  Switching to cloth not only saves you hundreds of dollars, saves landfills hundreds of pounds of useless waste, but also sends the message that you will not support the testing of these products on animals!

In addition to going cloth/washable you can also simply change companies. Rather than choosing Colgate, why not choose Toms Of Maine toothpaste? Instead of Chapstick, try Burts Bees! Ditch the Tide and switch to Seventh Generation or Method! And stay far away from Ivory or Johnson & Johnson and try some Dr. Bronner's or Pure & Gentle. It's about simple swap outs, not about changing how you live.

But aren't those "simply swaps" going to cost more? No, not usually. In fact, as I started switched from the name brand stuff to the healthier, family & eco-friendly, "chemical free" (or at least chemical limited) options I started to notice I'm spending LESS than every before!

So, lets talk specifics...

What companies should you choose? Well, here are some suggestions, BUT, feel free to check out the list of Cruelty Free Companies on LeapingBunny.org

Oral Care -
Tom's Of Maine*/** 
Burt's Bees 

You can also use baking soda instead of toothpaste.

Hair Care -
Burt's Bees 
Pureology

You can also use baking soda & a cider vinegar rinse instead of shampoo.

Cosmetics & Skin Care -
Everyday Minerals **
Afterglow
Burt's Bees**
 
Soaps, Deodorant & Other Personal Products -
Tom's Of Maine*/**
Burt's Bees  Dr Broner's Soaps*/**
Earth's Best*
Glad Rags*/**

Laundry -
Earth Friendly Products*/**
Method*/**
Martha Stewart Clean

OR Make your own.

General Housekeeping -
Earth Friendly Products*/**
Earth's Best*
Martha Stewart Clean
Method*/**
Seventh Generation*

* This Company Available on MotherNature.com
** This Company Used by My Family

And of course you can always search the list on Leaping Bunny for more!

Now, what about saving money?
First, I want to talk about shopping. Most of the products I am going to talk about are available in the larger grocery and supermarkets. If your local Supermarket doesn't have them, Target, KMart and Walmart usually do...

But if you prefer to save some money over regular retail prices you can shop online. Personally I shop on MotherNature.com a good bit, I've found the prices to be better than just about anywhere else and if you spend more than $50 you get free shipping... Usually I place an order about every 4 months and get all the stuff my family will need for the next 4-5 months or more... And when I say their prices are awesome, I mean it. Just as an example - If you were to buy EcoMe Laundry Soap direct from the company website, you'll pay $12.99 for 32oz (64ish loads) if you buy if on the Mother Nature site you'll pay just $9.74, in a store you'll pay about $14.

You should also do yourself a favor and join BigCrumbs if you haven't already. BigCrumbs not only lets you access member only discounts and coupons BUT, you can earn cash back from your purchases from sites like Soap.com, Diapers.com, Drugstore.com and more! So, you can get items at a discount AND then get cash back... 

Then there are sites like Ebay and Amazon... You can't always get what you want there for low prices, but they are always worth a look!

Now, once you find the products you're looking for, here are a few more tricks and tips to help with the cost... BTW, most of these tips will work for your regular brands too!
  • Dr Bronner's and other Liquid Castile Soaps are concentrated! Purchase yourself foamer pumps and cut it with water. I like a 3 to 1 mix. 
  • If you're purchasing soaps or detergents that you want to smell good, do yourself a favor and buy the unscented! Scented versions contain more chemicals, damage your clothing, and your body and most scent components have a history of animal testing. Purchasing unscented also allows you to dilute more than usual because you can simply add a few drops of essential oils and make it smell the way YOU choose.
  • When using detergents with a "fill cup" use less than recommended. They work just as well without the full amount and last longer - thus saving you money!
  • Start using Washing Soda! Most dollar stores have washing soda for $1-$2 for a big tub that lasts 50 or so loads. It will allow you to cut down greatly on your detergent and give you brighter whites.
  • Look up your favorite companies on Facebook and sign up for your any and all newsletters and updates. If you don't want the extra email in your regular account, start a new one just for them. Newsletters and Facebook pages are the first place companies post deals, sales & coupons.
  • Visit company websites and make a point to send feedback - good and/or bad. Many companies give free items or special coupons to anyone who contacts them. 
  • Buy in bulk. I know it costs more up front and it's hard to see the savings right away. BUT, you'll pay less per ounce the larger your quantity! 
  • Contact companies for samples!
I know it looks like more work, but to be honest, I spend an extra 3 minutes every 4 months to fill all our soap bottles and pumps and that's it. I buy bulk & unscented everything and add oils for fragrance.  And for things like toothpaste I look for buy one get one or bulk package sales! And to be honest, I spend LESS of this stuff than I did when I was using companies like Almay, Tide, Colgate and Dawn! Plus, I'm helping those cute little animals, and my family stay healthy...  For me, it's just one or two small changes to my day to day life. But it helps me to live my spiritual life with more confidence and purity!

    Animal Testing...

     For those of you who read my blog regularly you know my feelings on cosmetics and why they need to be healthy and safe. That isn't something I simply state online and forget, it's something I do my best to live by. The products I purchase and use on my family need be safe, chemical free, eco-friendly and ANIMAL TEST FREE! Until yesterday I honestly thought that was something which simply went without saying. Boy did I learn differently!!

    So, long story short, I use Aveeno SunScreen for my family on the rare occasions when I put sunscreen on them at all. I chose this brand & style for two reasons - 1. It rates just a 3 on the "danger scale" by Skin Deep's Cosmetics Database (1-10, 10 being worst) and 2. I'm able to actually find it locally. Most of the "natural" products aren't available around here - this one is.

    Yesterday I was doing some checking, just to make sure there are no changes, when I noticed this "According to PETA, this company conducts animal tests." And I have to say, I was saddened. As I stated it's hard for me to find sunscreens which are safe for humans around here, and now I have to stop using the one I am because they do animal testing... 

    So anyways, I go on to my Facebook and simply vented a little about the fact that I was going to have to find a new sunblock. And out of all the friends that commented only ONE agreed with me that animal testing is NOT a good thing. There were comments like "Lather it on" and "Who cares." And I was SHOCKED!!!!  I honestly just always assumed that the majority of people out there did NOT support animal testing. So many companies are using that in their ads that I assumed there were lots of people worried about it. So to make myself feel better I log on to Cafemom and posted the Question "Do you willingly by products from a company that tests on animals?"  And I have to say the amount of people arguing FOR animal testing sickened me!

    To me it's one thing to unknowingly support companies which test on animals, or even to use products from those companies even though you don't necessarily support the animal testing... But to argue FOR animal testing turns my stomach! I'll admit, not EVERYTHING in my house is animal test free - there is a can of Pringles in the cupboard right now. BUT, I do my best to make sure the products in my home are eco-friendly, and that includes not testing on innocent animals!

    I really wonder how many people know what is happening to these animals? I mean, we live in a world where (and for good reason) people rally for the ethical treatment of farm, zoo, circus and carnival animals on a regular basis. Yet the idea of testing Botox on mice is seen as a good thing? How the hell did that happen?

    And the sad part is, it's nearly impossible to NOT use products which are tested on animals. HUGE companies with HUGE brand names like Always, Pringles, Dreft, Zest, J&J and way to many more to list them all here... And many of the products which are listed as "Cruelty free" on the label aren't in reality cruelty free since the companies where they get the components for their products DO in fact do animal testing.
     
    But there are ways around it. For one, do your research! There are more and more companies being added to the list of truly Cruelty Free companies. Now, what does it mean to be Truly Cruelty Free? Simple, it means that there is NO animal testing in ANY STAGE of the process... These products and companies are nearly always registered with the "Leaping Bunny Org." You can also search for products and companies on the PETA website as well...  Although you may still be purchasing products you don't KNOW are tested on animals, small changes, like buying different sunscreen, can and do make a big difference!

    But wait, doesn't out government require animal testing? NO! While this myth has been perpetuated by the testing industry it's simply not true! Neither the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission require animal testing for cosmetics or household products. There are sufficient existing safety data as well as alternatives to make animal testing for these products obsolete. And there is no reason to think that testing on animals make things any more safe for humans! There are many reliable alternatives to using animals available, including cell and tissue cultures and sophisticated computer and mathematical models. Companies can also formulate products using ingredients already determined to be safe.

    It's unfortunate that we can't go back and stop companies from ever testing on animals, but we can't. But what we can do is stop them from continuing the process! Animals are a blessing to us and to nature. Animal testing is dangerous, violent, deadly and downright torturous for these poor creatures! How anyone can claim to live an "eco-friendly" life and then support or defend the practice of animal testing is beyond me.

    Every major city in the country has companies which preform clinical trials for cosmetics, medications and "foods" on and with human participants! Not only are these trials MORE ACCURATE than animal trials, but they are being done on willing participants. To me, it only makes sense that HUMAN products be tested on HUMANS!

    What is the point of worrying about things like how landfills may affect the animals of tomorrow if you're going to support the torture of animals in the name of good looks? It simply doesn't seem right!

    I wonder how many people honestly know what is going on? I mean, in the movies all we see are happy lab rats eating brownies or running on a wheel. What we don't see are that drug addicted monkeys, the tiny mice with HUGE cancer tumors or the sheep and pigs whose skin has been burned off, or the rats whose spinal cords have been crushed...  The kittens who were purposely blinded of bunnies forced to suffer seizures...  These animals did NOT volunteer for this! And there is really no need for it to ever happen! Many of the experiments done are simply needless and the majority of those which are necessary can easily be done on willing participants!

    Now please don't get me wrong, I'm not the kind of person who thinks animals are completely off limits. Unlike the PETA org, I see no issues with using animals for food or clothing - BUT, as I stated in my "Vegan Pagan" post, I see no reason for animals to be mistreated simply because we are going to use them. Wild caught, Free Range and Cruelty Free animal products ARE AVAILABLE! Lets face it, a sheep doesn't want to wear a sweater in the summer either, so why would we throw the wool away rather than use it? But there isn't any good reason for the animals to be used and abused in the process. Animals are a beneficial part of our world, but that doesn't mean we need to be cruel.

    So I live by these simple rules - if it's living treat it as you would a child. Animals are innocent and pure, just as children are. If you're going to kill it, do it quickly and kindly, there is no reason for them to suffer. And if you do kill it, use it all, there is no reason for anything to go to waste! I have a big issue with sport hunting and fishing where people simply kill for fun, but I understand that animals can and will overpopulate areas putting people as well as each other in danger and hunting/fishing helps that. Not to mention a Venison burger is just awesome!

    So okay, I'm ending the rant, but I would love to hear from all of you... What are your views on Animal Testing? Do you ever even think about it?



    Links Needing Mentioned
    These sites contain information on animal testing as well as lists (and links to) companies which DO NOT support it!

    Strong Sun Moon

    In June, the sun has taken over and the fields are growing. Flowers have bloomed, we're beginning to see some early summer fruits and vegetables (a great time for strawberry crops!), and the days are getting longer and longer. It's a far cry from the darkness of winter, and we typically try to spend as much time outside as possible. It's a time for bonding with friends and family, and forging what connections we can. Nurture your relationships, your garden, your career, and your soul this month.

    Correspondences:

    Colors: Sun colors -- gold, yellow, orange
    Gemstones: Topaz, agate
    Trees: Oak, maple
    Gods: Isis, Cerridwen, Persephone
    Herbs: Parsley, mosses, skullcap, mugwort
    Element: Earth

    This is the month where magical workings are well suited to maintaining and enhancing things you already have. Weed your garden, prune the bushes, give your lawn all the tender loving care it needs. Take time to let your personal life blossom as well -- focus on things that improve your job or education, as well as your relationships with family and friends.
    Also Known As: Lover's Moon

    Official Statement from Patrick McCollum

    Many of you now know the result of the Patrick McCollum case. For those that don't, it's fairly simply. Patrick McCollum filled a lawsuit against the California prison system in hopes of gaining equal rights for Pagan Chaplains. Right now, California has a "five faiths" system. Those who are Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or Native American can hold a staff position of chaplain for their faith, those who are not, are simply out of luck. As a Pagan Chaplain, McCollum saw this injustice as unconstitutional and as a result a legal battle ensued. In response, an amicus brief was filed by a group called Wallbuilders, which is asking the court to say that McCollum's suit has no merit at all, because the First Amendment applies only to monotheistic religions like Christianity, so a suit filed by Pagans should have no standing.

    Now, rather than face the constitutional questions which this suit brings up, the courts simply stated that McCollum had no right to file simply because he was NOT a prisoner and prisoners have the right to file their own suits...

    Anyways, that's how things stand right now. But I am sure the fight isn't over! I know it's not as far as I am concerned, and I know there are quite a few groups that agree with me...

    So, today, he's released an official statement, and although it's nine pages long, you really should go read it (get the pdf download here). I urge you to take the time! This is not just a court case by a man who want's a job. This is an infringement on the proposed religious freedoms and equality that we are said to have in this country, and it can not me allowed to stand!

    I urge you to make your opinion on this matter heard! We can not allow our freedom and our equal rights to be removed or ignored. To do so is not only a great disrespect to those who fought and continue to fight for them, but a disrespect for ourselves and a statement that our rights are not worth fighting for... Even if all you do is voice your opinion on Facebook, don't ignore this issue! I for one, have written my state officials and asked them to make sure this does not happen in my state as well. I have asked them to please uphold the right of religious freedom for ALL not just some... While I haven't heard back as of yet, and I doubt I will, the point is to make sure those in power know their citizens will NOT stand for this type of prejudicial action against a religious belief!

    Vegan Pagan?

    Over the years I've heard (and seen) others say that if you're going to be a "good Pagan" you need to be vegan or vegetarian at least. Many believe the "harm none" requires one to not harm animals either... Which I completely agree with - to a point. I would never condone animal abuse, dog or cock fights or locking a dog in the car or anything like that BUT, at the same time, I love burgers! So, how is it that I can say I'm Pagan, I love nature, I see the Gods in everything and then turn around and eat an animal...  Well, to me it's simple - Humans, are in fact animals.

    Now, before you get upset, think back to fourth grade science. Remember how everything on earth was classified as plant, animal or mineral? Well, guess what, we aren't minerals!

    So, since we are animals, we are spiritually equal to them... We are no better or worse, no higher or lower... We are animals. And like animals our bodies are made a certain way, and that way includes eating meat. Think again, fifth grade this time - back to when you learned about carnivores and herbivores...  Well, if you remember there was a third classification as well - Omnivore! You and I, we're omnivores!

    At this point many will say, we CHOOSE what we eat, and we don't have to be omnivorous... We can choose to be herbivores if we want to... But in reality, we can't. We can choose not to eat meat, but biologically, we are in fact still omnivores. We are still made to eat both flora and fauna...  The proof is in the teeth!

    What do I mean the proof is in the teeth? Do you remember nothing of elementary school? Animals are classified as herbivore, carnivore or omnivore by their teeth. Those who have teeth meant solely for eating plants have flat "grinders," think cow teeth, while those meant to eat meat have sharp "cutters" think wolf... We have BOTH!

    So what the hell am I going on about... Well, what it all boils down to is this... I love and respect nature. And nature made me the way I am. So I feel to not use my body the way it's meant to be used is in fact going against my own beliefs and dishonoring nature.

    Of course I think we can still make smart choices about how and what we eat. Just because I believe in eating meat doesn't mean we need to eat hormonally altered, force-fed, abused cows when we want a burger. And in fact I don't believe we EVER should! I'm all for free range, hormone & antibiotic free farms. If it were up to me we would get some wild game every year and stop eating beef altogether in this house - but my extremely picky husband hates the smell of it and won't let me cook it at all...

    Anyways, here's my final thought on the subject... Don't let anyone tell you that you're not a "good Pagan" because you enjoy a burger. If you want to eat meat, eat meat! And finally, support farms and groups who treat their animals properly - it's better for you and for them!

    The 13 Principals of The Witch

    The following set of thirteen principles was adopted by the Council of American Witches, in April, 1974.

    1: We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.

    2: We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

    3: We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called supernatural, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

    4: We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity ~as masculine and feminine~ and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive to each other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.

    5: We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological, worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, Inner Planes, etc. ~and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

    6: We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

    7: We see religion, magick, and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it ~a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft~ The Wiccan Way.

    8: Calling oneself "Witch" does not make a Witch, but neither does heredity itself, not the collecting of titles, degrees, and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with Nature.

    9: We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.

    10: Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be "the only way", and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

    11: As British {Or World-Wide!} Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.

    12: We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as Satan or the Devil, as defined by the Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the sufferings of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.

    13: We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.

    Thanks to you all!

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all the time and effort you all put in to voting my blog to the top! I finished the Top 25 Faith Blogs competition at number 12! I couldn't be happier!

    For those of you who haven't had the chance to check out all the Pagan Blogs on the list here they are... Make a point to follow them and support my sisters of the craft!

    Make sure to check them out... There are a few that never made it to the please vote list, so even if you went through that one, make sure you saw them all!

    Thanks again for number 12!

    Under Construction

    Hey all... I'll be changing some things on here over the next few weeks. Hopefully it will make some of the older posts more easily findable. So you will be seeing new and half finished pages coming and going, and I won't be posting anything new for this week - unless something happens and I just can't help but voice on it.

    These changes are meant to help everyone, so while I'm sorry they will take some time to make and things could be a bit bumpy while the process takes place, I know it's for the best in the long run!

    Thanks for your patience.
    Blessed Be!

    Check out what else I'm writing!