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Karmically-speaking, I expect most of you will believe I shall be struck down by lightning before I finish this post. I don’t “do” karma… I’m a realist.
Karma – noun – is defined by the folks at Merriam-Webster as,
‘: the force created by a person’s actions that is believed in Hinduism and Buddhism to determine what the person’s next life will be like
: the force created by a person’s actions that some people believe causes good or bad things to happen to that person.’ (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/karma, 2015)
So, basically, this means that every time something negative happens in my life, it is a direct response to something that I have done – of comparable negativity, at the very least.
Well, if this is the case, then I could spend the rest of my days worrying about all that I have done that may be considered negative to, well, anyone. Oh my! I think I foresee an ulcer somewhere in my future.
Now, let’s throw in the belief of the Three-Fold Law, which is basic to any Wiccan belief system. This “law” – often called The Rule of Three, essentially states that what you put out into the world is returned to you, magnified by three. It’s karma…for pagans, period. This goes hand in hand with the Wiccan Rede. The Rede is stated in a variety of forms, but the gist is ‘an it harm none, do what ye will.’ So, in non-pagan, muggles, what-have-you’s terms – if it won’t in any way, shape, or form harm anyone or anything else, then by all means, put it out there.
But see, therein lies the rub – for me, anyway.
I am what you would call pagan – I follow a polytheistic belief, based on ancient matriarchal and Earth based views, and I have been spiritually “religious” all of my life – which is over 4 decades at the time of this writing. And throughout this life, I have tried to be “good” – at least in my eyes.
Now, this is where my confusion comes in. If, as Pagans, (and yes, many have told me they don’t like organized religion) we don’t “do” organized religion and we don’t like being told what to think and who to follow and where to worship – then why must someone else deem what is “good”… or what is bad. Or maybe it should be stated, positive and negative. Until someone has walked a mile, in my shoes, they better not be trying to tell me that what I do is good or bad…or anything, for that matter.
Now, before jumping all over me – I do understand about the notion of changing free will. I have been told that true Witch’s will not put anything out there that changes someone’s free will. Now wait a minute . . . isn’t casting a spell to bring you true love – isn’t that changing someone’s free will, somewhere? Isn’t wishing and hoping for a change in someone’s nature, or an outcome – isn’t that a change – brought about by other than the normal flow? In essence, yes. We could argue back and forth about it all day – but the truth of the matter is … both sides would be correct. At the end of the day – it’s about what YOU… yourself… and no one else, believes. Am I right?
Well, if that’s the case – then what I see as good and positive, someone else in the world could easily view as negative. And vice versa. What is dark to some, is simply the way it is to others. Who are we to judge the thoughts, intentions, or actions of others? Shouldn’t we govern ourselves, first and foremost? People in glass houses…
It’s the same thing as trying to justify why you did something that others question. It’s your personal opinion on the matter. To some ancient, or otherwise, cultures – harming others is way of life. Sacrifice, destruction, degradation, plunder and pillage … its Mother Nature at her finest!
She creates, she condemns, and she destroys – is she wrong?
Okay, so you follow an Earth-based religion. Our glorious animal kingdom is about as Earth-based as it gets. They create, they judge, they condemn and they destroy. This is all instinctual, it’s their nature.
Are they wrong? Certainly not!
So, with all that being said. Who the hell are we to decide what is right and what is wrong?
I suppose one could split hairs and say well, it’s only really wrong if you are harming another, intentionally. Again, following the Rule and the Rede – whether it be intentional or unintentional – this is a no-no.
What about if someone harms someone you love and cherish – do you draw a line there?
Say, if your 14 year old daughter is raped and the perpetrator was never caught, or was caught, but then released due to lack of evidence. What do you do then?
You can’t honestly tell me – with a clean conscience anyway – that not a single ill thought would run through your mind.
Okay, let’s lie to ourselves some more. We, as humans, even in the reflection of the divine, are simply not built that way. We are vengeful – we are angry – we do feel emotions, to extremes sometimes… just like those we emulate. Gods and Goddesses, in every pantheon, are often swift with justice. And remember folks, there are ALWAYS two sides to EVERY story!
Ancient sacrifices were made in honor of them, in the hopes to bring prosperity, bountiful harvests, blessings and immeasurable other ways.
In my first, ever, blog – entitled ‘A Witch’s Voice’, I wrote about following my own personal path. I refer to myself as eclectic – but many philosophies use the word eclectic to describe views or heritage. I use the term eclectic to describe ME. My philosophies are not the only thing that are pulled from different sources and elements – but my entire makeup is of such. I am from a long line of cattle ranchers and rodeo cowboys, and yet while I love this lifestyle and my upbringing, I ride an iron horse. I was raised on country music and deep moral values, and yet I am covered with tattoos and love the darker things in life. I am an anomaly – in many, many ways – but in the words of Popeye the Sailor – “I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam.”
What I do is often viewed as “dark” – simply because it’s not the right-handed path that many follow. I prefer the darkness – so, sure, I will identify as “dark” –
Does that make it wrong? No.
My ancestors and Deities were there long before I came along – and the darker things in life must be dealt with. They cannot be swept under the proverbial rug and forgotten about until a later date. Some of the darker natures deal with things like rage, jealousy, curses, even death. These are natural reactions – instinctual, if you will – and so, they are very valid. We cannot simply pretend that they do not exist.
Please understand, I am not poking fun at those that follow such Rules, Redes, and Laws – I am simply stating that there are other ways of thinking and living. That this is not the ONLY way and therefore, those of us that do not follow such, should not be judged by those that do. And, I have known many a Witch and Pagan that adamantly follow such rules and laws, but cannot explain to me why or show any proof of it actually happening.
So, I want those of you that wish to invalidate my claim to contact me.
Either post a response here.
Email me at inexplicablethings@yahoo.
Convo me on my website www.inexplicablethings.com
Hell, send me a smoke signal or carrier pigeon if you need to – but tell me your direct experience that will invalidate my way of thinking.
Seriously – this is somewhat of a research project for me – I have yet to actually meet a single individual that can directly correlate a cause and effect based upon the Karmic Law – or the Wiccan Rede, for that matter. If this is you – please, please, tell me your experience. I will include any portion of said experience in a future posting, with your approval, of course, and it will make for future discussions.
Please – prove me wrong! Tell your friends! Tell your coven mates – give me your experiences!
I look forward to the feedback!
Just a quick little explanation of what an Orisha is.
Orishas (also known as Loas, Lwas, Mysteries or The Invisible) are basically the Gods – or the ruling forces of nature, and all serve different areas of human needs. They embody the traits of those areas in nature that they rule over. It is important to note that there are, literally, hundreds of Orishas – and based upon the type of tradition (Yoruba, West African, Haitian, Louisiana, etc) one follows will determine what you call them. They are divided into roughly 20 or 21 nations, which include Rada, Petro, Nago and Congo. With that being said, there are several that are commonly called upon, offerings made to, etc., and they correspond with Catholic Saints. To further complicate matters, the Lwa also fall into families with surnames: Ezili, Ghede, Ogou, etc.
Family traits are often seen as follows:
Ezili hold sway over the feminine aspects of life
Ghede hold sway over death, but also fertility, which are led by the Barons
Ogou are the soldiers/warriors
Azaka are the farmers/agriculturists
Some of the more common Lwas are:
Damballa-Wedo: very powerful sky serpent in Haitian Voudou. Symbolizes peace and harmony, also known as Papa Damballa and is associated with Saint Patrick. Offerings for Papa Damballa are eggs on a mound of flour, corn syrup, chicken. His color is white. Older, wiser and full of wisdom.
Ayida Wedo: wife of Damballa. Is the rainbow in Haitian Voudou. Symbolizes trees, springs, pools, rivers. Colors are white and blue. She shares her husbands responsibilities in the Sky.
Agwe: Married to Erzulie and La Sirene. Patron to seas, rivers, fishermen, sea captains, pirates. Thursday is his day. He is the Lwa of direction, inspiration and guidance during times of loss.
Yemaya: Mother of life on Earth. She is the guardian of the Sea. Her sacred number is 7. Her colors are aqua blue, white, translucent colors. Her symbols are anchors, mermaids, fish, anything associated with the sea.
Baron Samedi: Haitian Voudou Lwa of the Dead. He is one of my personal favorite! When you watch TV or movies and you see the man with the skeleton face and top hat, usually smoking a cigar – this is who they are attempting to depict. He is loud, rude and full of debauchery – but he is never insulting or disrespectful. He is suave and an extreme expression of individuality, and always fun. His colors are red and purple. He loves Rum and hot peppers.
Maman Brigitte: The good Baron’s wife! The equivalent of the Irish pantheons Brigitte. She is the Voudou Lwa of comfort and protection during death – letting go. She loves black roosters.
Obatala: The Supreme God Olodumare – the closest that humankind can imagine… the hand of God. Sky father and the creator of human bodies. The Father of all Orishas! He is often offered snails, as a traditional offering.
Erzulie: Haitian Voudou Orisha of love – protector of women. She takes on many forms from prostitute to fierce warrior to red-eyed weeping crone. She manifests deep passion and seduction. She is the equivalent of a Triple Goddess and she has three husbands (Damballah, Agwe, Ogoun. She loves sweet things – so for her altar, sweet foods, bananas, perfumes, anything fried with sugar.
Ogun: Lwa of iron, war and labor. Almost always used first for war. Ogun clears roads with his machete. Number 7 is his number and his colors are green and black.
Shango: Ruler of lightning, thunder, fire, drums and dance. He is a warrior with exceptionally quick wits and an even quicker temper. He is virility embodied. Extremely hot-blooded, strong willed. His colors are red and white, his numbers are four and six. He is often represented by a double headed ax.
And the last I will mention this evening, my dearest Papa Legba. Also known as Elegbara, Elegua, Eleggua. He is the gatekeeper, the guardian of the cross roads and all doorways. He is the first Orisha approached when you wish to speak or work with any of the others – he holds the keys. Not uncommon – keys in sets of three are his symbol. His colors are red and black and his numbers are 3 and 21. He is a trickster – you had better know what you want, or he will take the long way around helping to get you where you want to be. Believe me… I am speaking from experience. The outcome was rough…but it’s essentially what I asked for. … I just didn’t realize it would come at the expense of other things. Lesson learned and since – he has been my favorite to work with. But then, the crossroads is where I choose to dwell and practice my brand of darker magic and voudou.
These are just a few of the more common Lwa. Again, there are hundreds. And this, in no way, is in order of importance, etc. I use them for nearly everything – and they are most gracious… when they choose to be. They do require a great deal of energy and admiration. But it is well worth it in the long run. If you want to learn more about this – let me know, I can gladly give you some websites or reading lists.
Please do not confuse Voudou (Voodoo) with Hoodoo – as they are two separate and very different things. I, personally, practice both – but it has taken me many years to get to where I am.
If you have any questions about what I practice, please do not hesitate to ask. Nothing is taboo with me or my family. (My husband is a demonologist and takes it to a whole new level.) We are open books. We, most assuredly, do not profess to know everything – we are seekers of knowledge.
In my life, I have studied Stregheria, Celtic paths, Dianic, Shamanism, Druids, and many others, but when I embraced my dark side – this is where I became most powerful.
I shy away from nothing –
I fear no karma…
I take full responsibility for what I do.
And I do the things that many other practitioners do not.
There is a time and place for it.
I have cursed –
I have hexed –
I have done what my clients wanted but were afraid to do on their own.
I am a spiritual guide and confidant. I have been on my own personal path for over 40 years – loving every minute of it. So, again, feel free to ask me anything at all.
If you require any of my services – or a special candle or gris gris made for you – please check out my new website at: http://www.inexplicablethings.com