Monday, 19 February 2018

New book part 2: The night journey

The night journey: witchcraft as transformation

by Yvonne Aburrow
Paperback, 364 Pages
The night journey: witchcraft as transformation
Price: £15.99

This book is aimed at witches who want to deepen their engagement with their Craft. It explores modes and types of ritual; how rituals work; the uses of sound and silence in ritual; the witch’s journey through life; the stages and pitfalls of the inner work. It shows how Queer Witchcraft is an inherent aspect of the archetype of the witch; how witchcraft relates to the land; witchcraft as resistance to oppression; working with ancestors; the witch’s pact with spiritual powers; the relationship between madness, shamanism, and witchcraft; and the concept of the night journey, another very old image from the history of witchcraft; how to use insights gained from the practice of witchcraft in everyday life; group dynamics; being a coven leader; teaching and learning in a coven; egregore, lineage, upline, and downline; power and authority; the process of challenging oppression; how to evaluate your Craft; the meaning and purpose of ‘spirituality’, religion, and magic; the archetype of the witch and what it means.

When I was writing Dark Mirror, I didn’t realise until I stitched all the files together that I had written 150,000 words. So I thought the best thing to do would be to split it into two books, and this is the second of the two. Its focus is more on traditional witchcraft, the land, and resistance to oppression. I chose the title partly because a friend commented that she really liked the phrase, partly because the concept was so central to ideas of witchcraft in past centuries, and partly because of its resonance with other esoteric traditions.

Each book is readable as a separate volume. 

Thursday, 8 February 2018

New book: Dark Mirror

Dark Mirror: the inner work of witchcraft

Dark Mirror: the inner work of witchcraft
Inner work is a name commonly given to the inner processes that happen in ritual. It can also mean the transformation of the psyche that comes about through engaging in religious ritual. However, the best kind of inner work also has an effect outside the individual and outside the circle. When rituals are focused only on self-development, they tend to be a bit too introspective. Ritual is about creating and maintaining relationships and connections - between body, mind, and spirit; with the Earth, Nature, the land, the spirit world, the community, and friends. It is about making meaning, weaving a web of symbolism, story, mythology, meaning, community, and love. Creating a community that welcomes and celebrates diversity. Creating strong and authentic identity to resist the pressures of consumerism and commercialism and capitalism. Weaving relationship with other beings: humans, animals, birds, spirits, deities.
Buy now | Price: £15.99  | Paperback, 365 pages

Saturday, 20 January 2018

An inclusive wheel of the year

Some versions of the Wheel of the Year (the eight festivals of Wicca and Druidry) can feel excluding, particularly those that focus on the God and the Goddess interacting through the cycle of the seasons. This mythological construct excludes both polytheists and LGBTQIA people. Some versions of the story are uncomfortable for feminists, as they don't exactly promote consent culture.

For all sorts of reasons, then, I prefer to go back to the original mythology and symbolism associated with the festivals.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Keeping our community safe from sexual abuse

The best way to keep our community safe from sexual abuse is to make sure all our events and organisations have a code of conduct and a safeguarding policy.

We the undersigned pledge:

  • not to attend, or give talks or workshops at, events for adults unless they have a publicly available code of conduct with a means of enforcing it;
  • not to attend or give talks or workshops at events where children may be present unless they have a safeguarding policy and a means of enforcing it;
  • to resign from membership in, or not to join, Pagan organisations that don't have a safeguarding policy or a code of conduct.

And we call upon all Pagan organisations, groups, and event organisers:

  • to develop a code of conduct and a safeguarding policy;
  • to publish these on their websites;
  • and to enforce them at all events.

Petition / pledge: A code of conduct for all Pagan events and organisations
Please sign and share.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Creating inclusive rituals

It is a useful magical and intellectual exercise to examine each segment of your ritual structure, and ask yourself why you do it in the particular way that you do. Why do we sweep the circle, consecrate it with water, salt, and incense, cast it with a sword, and so on? What is the function and symbolism of each of these actions? Can they be improved - either in the sense of making them more magically effective, more reflective of reality, or more inclusive?

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Blogging challenge

Since I have started a new series of blogposts on inclusive Wicca, I issued a challenge to the inclusive Wicca discussion group on Facebook:
Inclusive Wicca blogging challenge! 
If you have a blog, how about writing a post on how you make your rituals more inclusive, or why you think being inclusive is important, what being inclusive means to you? 
If you don't have a blog, send your post to me and I'll put it on the inclusive Wicca website.
So far this has resulted in one excellent blogpost by Khrist├│phoros Hairetik├│s, Open your hearts and circles. He writes:
A big part of being inclusive is knowing who you are dealing with. We are the officiating priesthood within our circles. Let us adjust them to be accepting of all those that are being welcomed into them. Know your participants, know their needs. Find working alternatives and be ready to adjust. Nobody should ever have to say “I am sorry, I can't do that” in the middle of your rites.
And in answer to the question of why being inclusive is important:
Feeling “left out” is a hurtful experience. Sometimes we can brush it off easily. Other times the pain can reach our cores. Sometimes it lingers deep within us whispering lies to us. Sometimes we start believing those lies. We start believing that we are not “worth enough” or that we are “damaged goods”.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Polarity, gender, and fertility

Wiccan ritual often uses the concepts of polarity and fertility to make magic and symbolism. These can be viewed in an exclusively heterocentric way, or in a more inclusive and diverse way. The reality of gender, sexuality, and magic suggests that the inclusive way is more reflective of the true complexity of human nature.