Interview with local High Priest

Merry Meet!

I finally got to meet Drake Atlas from Get Out of the Broom Closet and he agreed to be interviewed by me for my second degree homework assignment. He is a very intelligent and knowledgeable High Priest! It was a pleasure getting to meet with him and do the interview. I learned a lot from him and he had some great advice for me as well. Below is the interview…I hope you enjoy it!

Blessings,

Hoi Sum

1. What is the role of a HP/S in the greater community and within their group.

A High Priest’s role is to lead by example both in the community and within their group. A HP should be a support system within their group and be there for all of their students!

2. What is the most affective way of resolving conflict in a group?

The best way to resolve conflict is to be proactive when you see a conflict starting. That way the issue can be solved before it gets out of hand. Also it is important to see conflict as a positive thing and as a learning tool. One way to approach conflict is to have peer mediation within your coven. Have whomever is the conflict is between discuss the issue in the presence of their HP’s. The HP’s can let their students resolve their own conflicts while still being there to interfere if necessary and to be a support system.

3. How many years have they been a 3rd?

Nine Years

4. What makes them a 3rd?

While experience is important when considering someone a third, it is also just as important to see anyone with confidence and the eagerness to lead and learn as potential HP’s as well.

5. Do they have a group and if so, how many years have they had a group?

Drake Atlas is the HP of his own coven and they have been a coven for 2 1/2 years.

6. How is their group structure?

They are a pantheistic group that work a lot with a Greek pantheon. They also have a pretty traditional chain of command with a High Priest and Priestess, Maidens, Inner and Outer court members (seekers).

7. How many people have completed their degree program within their group?

Two people have completed their first degrees under Drake and two more are working on their second degrees.

8. How many people have NOT completed their degree program and why did they discontinue their students within the group?

One

9. What do they feel is the most important thing about being a witch, Wiccan or pagan?

Just plain spirituality-people really need it in their lives!

10. What is your opinion about those who do not do the degree programs and how does that compare to how they behave do you think?

There is a small difference with people who have not been through a traditional degree program. The difference is usually seen with their circle and ritual etiquette.

11.  What is your protocol? How do you think other teachers in the area should treat your students?

Other teachers should feel free to treat his students like his students treat them-respect is earned. If another teacher does something inappropriate to his student he will step in on their behalf as their HP.

12. How is the Great Rite utilized in their group, if they are permitted to say?

The Great Rite is taught, but is not really practiced. It is seen as a somewhat outdated practice.

13. What are the ethics do they follow as a Third degree?

To always lead by example and follow through and most importantly to be a person of your word.

14. What do they feel is the most important role of a mentor or Wiccan teacher?

Support-going through a degree is a very difficult time for all students because they will be tested spiritually and emotionally. It is important to give them room to make their own mistakes, but to be there to help them up.

15. What steps do you think are necessary for starting a coven-what advice can you give for someone starting their own coven?

To make sure and have a game plan. Don’t wing it, because you will forget something important! Don’t be afraid, just make decision and step up and lead.

16. What do you do to help yourself continue your own learning and growth?

Drake goes back to his original hive coven and talks to his High Priest. He also has redone his degrees and certificates to stay fresh and update on the skills and knowledge needed in the Craft.

Questions for me the interviewer after the interview….

17.Write down your impressions about what you learned and what you felt energetically.

I learned a lot about having confidence and just trusting yourself and the Divine. It is a lot of work to run a coven, but it is also rewarding. Drake had very strong energy and I could easily read it and feel it. He is a Leo and we discussed how many people in leadership roles are astrologically stronger signs like Leo, Scorpios etc. Any signs that correlate with a type A personality and strong leadership abilities seem to move into the clergy within Wicca.

18. DO THEY FEEL LIKE A THIRD? WHY?

Drake definitely feels like a third. He seems young to be a third for nine years, but once he starts talking you realize how knowledgeable and mature he really is. He knows his stuff and he is a strong leader within his coven! He has a very strong presence-not necessarily in looks or personality, but more with his energy and aura. I haven’t felt that much energy since meeting with a shaman at the Pantheacon.

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Full Moon Ritual

December 2009 Full Moon Ritual

Cold Moon-Releasing


Notes: This is just an outline of the ritual I will be doing this week for the full moon. All of the specific words and chants are written down separately. Feel free to use any ideas here! Blessings!

Supplies:

Athame, wand, elemental candles, family coven candle, goddess candle, god candle, offering/offering bowl, ritual clothes and jewelry, runes, crystals (to correspond to the elements and spell), book of shadows and pen. (all other supplies are already on my altar)

Ritual Outline:

1. Cleanse altar space and altar tools

2. Get all tools and supplies ready and set up

3. Take ritual bath

4. Ground and center my energy

5. Draw up my circle

6. Invoke the elements

7. Invoke the Goddess

8. Meditate and go to my sacred space-(meet and converse with the Goddess there)-honor the moon

9. Perform a knot spell for releasing negative things that are affecting my life and energy currently (nine different things I need to get rid of)…example words below…

By knot of ONE, the spell’s begun
By knot of TWO, it cometh true
By knot of THREE, so mote it be
By knot of FOUR, this power I store
By knot of FIVE, the spell’s alive
By knot of SIX, this spell I fix
By knot of SEVEN, events I’ll leaven
By knot of EIGHT, it will be Fate
By knot of NINE, what’s done is mine

10. Do a rune reading (draw three runes for past, present, future-still focusing on things I need to work on in my life)

11. Thank the Goddess

12. Thank the elements

13. Dismiss the elements

14. Dismiss the Goddess

15. Take down my circle

16. Ground my energy

The Goddess knows…

…I will admit I have been a little down lately after a negative experience at a local Pagan meetup. I have done pretty good getting back on the horse so to speak and not getting bogged down in the negativity! I have to thank people like Fire Lyte for my quick come back though-Fire Lyte sent me great words of encouragement that really helped me! I have also started my own meetup group and have already made some good contacts-I am looking forward to putting some energy into networking with local Pagans/Wiccans. Anywho on to the great news…I ordered a couple more of the books off of my required reading list (for my second degree) with my birthday Li Cee (“lucky” money from my in-laws). They arrived at my house yesterday and so I started the first book last night…I am reading “The Circle Within: Creating a Wiccan Spiritual Tradition” by Dianne Sylvan. I am so excited about this book! I have only read the Preface and a little bit of the first chapter and I am already in love with the book. This the exact book I needed to read right now! I needed a book that doesn’t discuss spells or Wicca 101 facts, but rather a book that discusses how to connect to the Divine and how to grow in your spiritual journey! It made me feel so good to realize what this book is about-it made me feel like the Divine knew I was discouraged and knew exactly what I needed to read! The Goddess and God know what we need and they are here to take care of us…here to help us grow in our spiritual journeys!

Blessings,

Hoi Sum

Lone Moon Ritual (New Moon)

Tonight I will be doing my first lone moon ritual for my second degree. It is a new moon tonight, and while many believe this is not a good time for magick, it is still a great time for reflection and devotion. Below is the ritual I will be doing. I will journal about the ritual, but I will be doing so in my Book of Shadows. I like to keep some of my intimate moments with the Divine private-I hope you don’t mind :-). Please feel free to use any of the ritual below. It is a mix from my usual Sunday night ritual, my initation ritual (my mentor Angie wrote), and a website (that I reference in the ritual below).

Blessings,

Hoi Sum

 

Lone Moon Ritual

Monday November 16, 2009

 

1. Ritual Bath

2. Get all ritual supplies on altar ready and light candles

3. Ground and Center my Energy

4. Draw up a circle with my athame.  I chant three times, “I am protected by your might oh gracious Goddess day and night. Thrice around the circle’s bound. Sink all evil into the ground.”

“My circle is cast. So mote it be.”

5. I use my wand to draw “pentacle” portals for the elements and spirits to enter-5 total for all the elements including spirit. (This is a new technique I have been trying and I really like it-good practice for visualization)

6. Call the quarters

Watchtower of the East, Brother of Wisdom and Knowledge!

I invite thee to join me in my sacred circle.  Hail and welcome!

Watchtower of the South, Father of Love and Passion!

I invite thee to join me in my sacred circle.  Hail and welcome!

Watchtower of the West, Sister of Empathy and Emotion!

I invite thee to join me in my sacred circle.  Hail and welcome!

Watchtower of the North, Mother of Fertility and Plenty!

I invite thee to join me in my sacred circle.  Hail and welcome!

7. Invite the Goddess and God to join.

“I call to the God. Spark of the Spirit Eternal,
Lord of the Wild Hunt, Judge of Gods and Men.
Shining God of the Sun’s rays, Who walks with me through all my days,
Into my circle, I invoke you, To bless and guide all that I do.
Hail and welcome.”

“I call to the Goddess. Beauty of the Green Earth,
White Moon among the Stars, Mysteries of the Waters.
Shimmering Goddess of the Moon’s light, Who guides me through the dark of night,
Into my circle, I invoke you. To bless and guide all that I do.
Hail and welcome.” (Retrieved November 16, 2009 from http://blessedbe.sugarbane.com/fullmoons.htm)

My patron Goddess Aeracura and her consort Pan (the great Horned God)

Isis and Horis (as well-I usually work with a couple of deities and yes I mix pantheons)

8. Meditate on the Goddess and God

9. Meditate on myself

10. Scry using a bowl of water-try to see “my true self” and where my life is going

11. Thank the Divine and dismiss the Goddess and God

12. Thank and dismiss the quarters

13. Close the circle-chant three times “I am protected by your might oh gracious Goddess day and night. Thrice around the circle’s bound. Sink all evil into the ground.”

The circle is open, but is not broken.  May the peace of the God and Goddess go with me from this place.  Merry meet, merry part and merry meet again.  Blessed be!

14. Ground my energy.

Daily Activities and Schedule of a High Priestess

One of the assignments for my second degree is to interview a high priest or priestess. The point of the interview is to get a feel for what it is really like to be a high priestess. What kind of commitment is involved etc. While I have not done my interview yet, I did find a great article today on Witchvox that relates to this. A high priestess wrote out a diary of what her week looks like and what activities she had to do. It is a very enlightening article. I would say that one of the key components of being a high priestess is that you have to have the time to spend helping your coven. You are almost like a mom, in the sense that your Wiccan children come first. You will be in charge of being a teacher, a mentor, and an emotional and spiritual support system for your “children.” It takes a lot of time, commitment, and love to be a high priestess.

Blessings,

Hoi Sum

Here is the the link to the article: http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=ustx&c=words&id=13420.

Find Your Goddess

For the month of November I have been meditating on the Goddess and who she is to me. This is also a second degree requirement. This has been an awesome requirement. It feels amazing to get to know the Goddess better! This is what I discovered about her-at least how she appears to me…

polarity: negative- because she represents the feminine elements of earth and water.

colors: white, green, purple, pink, blue, gray, and black

totems: butterfly, spider, wolf, snake, gorilla, tiger, cat

tools: chalice, cauldron, salt, pentacle, water

magic: healing, love, encouragement, wisdom, sex, growth, teaching, banishing

emotional attributes: love, protection, encouragement, sadness, anger

Who: my patron Goddess is Aeracura. She has been my patron Goddess since I converted to Wicca. I love her! She is the opposite of my personality and I need that. She is gentle, quiet, loving, and patient. She teaches me to slow down and to stop stressing. Her main message is to enjoy the learning process and to not be so focused on the end product. The journey is more important.

Her pantheon: Nordic, Greek, and Egyptian. I work with all three (Isis and Artemis are my other two main Goddesses I work with).

Her consort: Pan (the Greek earth God, protector of nature and all animals-especially goats). Although he is Greek and Aeracura is a nordic/celtic Goddess, I think the pairing fits. Pan is one of the few gentle Gods of mythology. He is kind and cares about nature and animals. Aeracura loves flowers and caring about people’s growth. She is an encourager and healer, which can also be said about Pan.

What is she the Goddess of: spiritual and emotional growth. She is the Goddess of learners.

Chant:

Aeracura is kind and sweet

She encourages my growth

Aeracura is wise and virtuous

She encourages my learning

Aeracura is loving and caring

She blesses me on my journey

Numerology-Star Signs

I am currently reading Star Signs by Linda Goodman for my second degree. I read the Numerology chapter this weekend and it had some interesting information in it. I have worked with numerology before in a tarot class. It was similar to Goodman’s ideas. You still add up the letters, but we added up the letters in our birth month, day, and year, not our names. Then if the number was less then 22 you kept it (Otherwise you can add the double digits to reduce the number down to a single digit). This first number is your personality number, then you add the number and reduce it to a single digit number to find your soul number. The numbers you get correspond to the numbers of the tarot deck. My personality number is 11, which is the Justice card and my soul number is 2, which is the High Priestess card.

In Goodman’s book she has you find your double digit and your single digit numbers for your name. The double digit number is how others see your personality, while the single digit number is more your true inner personality. The thing about names is they change, so I think it is important to look at all your numbers. For example my birth name was changed when I was ten, because my parents discovered it was illegal. One of my dad’s stepfathers never actually adopted him, so my dad was illegally using his stepdad’s last name without knowing it. Then my name changed again when I got married. I was also given a Chinese name when I got married and I use that name as my magickal name as well. I chose to find my personality numbers  for all of my names.

My birth name: Rebecca Golin = 4

My birth day: November 15th = 15 or 6

My maiden name: Rebecca Beaudette = 12 or 3

My current married name: Rebecca Chow = 6

My Chinese/magickal name: Hoi Sum = 8

I discovered that realistically I am a little bit of all of these numbers. I have such a naturally mixed personality-part of being  a Scorpio I suppose.

6=feminine, devoted, sentimental-but try to hide it, love art and music, and are stubborn.

8=ambitious, good teachers and politicians, sense of duty and responsibility, shy, reliable, great inner strength, cozy.

3=fiercely independent, seek truth, have ideals, seek total freedom, represents the holy trinity.

4=genius, unconventional, make their own rules, go against society.

15=”The Magician”, deep esoteric significance and alchemy vibration through magic, good talkers, have gifts of art-music-drama, strong personalities, rule lower levels of occultism-being tempted to use “dark” magic on others.

Invoking the God or Goddess

Invocation: In Wicca the concept of invocation is used in what is called “invoking” the God or Goddess. Invoking the Goddess means, that during ritual the high priestess will “draw down the moon” or invoke the literal spirit of the Goddess (similar to the idea of possession, but not with the negative connotation).  She will become the Goddess for the ritual. This is done to become closer to the Goddess and to hear her words directly during a ritual. God can also be invoked, but he is associated with the sun and day time rituals usually (also the role is reversed and it is the HP that does the invoking). While many Wiccan traditions and covens teach that only the high priestess can invoke the Goddess, there is no reason that a solitary witch cannot if he/she wants to. It is a personal choice. You should perform ritual and worship the Divine however you see fit.


When is this a good idea?

I would say it is a “good” idea to invocate when: 1. your are ready to and are properly trained 2. the Divine puts the desire and need on your heart to do so 3. it is a special occasion/ritual 4. there is a need for the Divine’s specific guidance and words.


What do you feel are the potential ramifications of invocation?

I do not think there are any serious ramifications-at least not in the sense of extreme harm i.e. you are not going to be physically harmed or “cursed” for trying invocation. I do think if you are not properly trained and your intentions are not in the right place, there is potential for the person doing the invoking to use it wrongly. You do not want to use invocation for power or to give bad advice and guidance. Witches should always be careful when using magick of any kind. Our intentions are to bring good and positive changes into our own lives and the lives of others. Our intentions should never be to harm anyone with magick or to abuse the use of the Divine and other spirits!

Evocation: Evocation is often times confused with invocation. Evocation is more of an inviting of the spirits to join your circle and ritual, not a literal possession by them. You can evoke the God, Goddess, elements, or other spirits and energy for your rituals. Having the Goddess and elements join your ritual is not only important as a way to honor and worship them, but as a way to borrow their energy for the ritual.

When is this a good idea?

I think witches can evoke pretty much all the time. Of course just like invocation or magick of any kind you should make sure your heart and intentions are in the right place first. I am not a believer that you have to be in circle, properly bathed and dressed etc. to envoke the elements or other spirits. I think the idea of limiting our access to the Divine is dogmatic. For example I have a morning devotional time in my car on the way to work every morning-I envoke the elements, the Goddess, and the God for my devotional time. Obviously since I am driving I do not have a circle pulled up or candles lit etc. I still find it important to envoke the elements and the Divine in order for me to proper thank and worship them during my devotional time-also they bring in extra energy. This is just my personal preference. I am sure there are witches out there who would make the argument that you need to be more formal when envoking and I certainly understand that concept. It is similar to the idea of whether or not Christians should dress up to go to church on Sundays. I was raised wearing jeans and tee-shirts to church, however, I had many Christian friends at the time who found that derespectful to God. I believe what is on the inside of your heart and soul is much more important then your outward appearance and ritual tools and actions. On a side note I do envoke the elements, the Goddess, and the God more formally when I am in ritual and circle. I think it is respectful to be a little more formal when performing a ritual-it is also part of learning your practice and customizing it to your style and beliefs.


What are the potential ramifications of evocation?

Wicca does teach that there are different types of spirits and entities to envoke, and with these different types comes a heirarchy so to speak. That is when using different techniques such as calling, stiring, and summoning come into play. My natural personality is to once again envoke most spirits the same way, but I understand the concept of being more careful and respectful with a “higher” level spirit. One of my struggles with this concept is that not everyone agrees on the spirits. Some see the elements as literal spirits, while some see them as types of energies. Some witches see the elements and the watchtowers as the same spirits, while some view the watchtowers as a higher level spirit then the elements. In the end I think it is important to do what feels right to you! We are not all the same in how we approach the spirit world. It is a good idea to be careful and a little cautious because you do not want to have any spiritual encounters that could be too much for your to handle, or that could lead to any negative energy or experiences (this again also depends on whether or not you believe there are “bad” spirits who could potentially harm you)-regardless it is better to error on the side of caution.


Below are two great examples of chants/prayers you can say to invoke the God and Goddess

Invocation of the Crone

Behold the Crone…
Dancer of Time
Completion of the Sacred Cycle

She Who is Wisdom
Beloved, respected and feared
Honored as Grandmother, Ancestress and Hag

In the end ~ there is beginning,
Death brings Birth, Life renews through Her

Behold the Crone, Dancer of Time
Mother of worlds, Maiden of re-birth,
Child of the next generation

Dancing through Time
She Who cuts the cords…Of life and death,
Grandmother of all

The Crone comes……..
Silently, powerfully, relentlessly
Crossing space and time,
Holding the threads of life and death,
Mistress of endings and beginnings

Speaking through elders
I am the Crone….
The Grandmothers….The Wisdom of Age….

I am Hecate, I am Kali, I am the Eternal One

I cross space and time,
Holding the threads of life and death,
Mistress of endings and beginnings

I am completion of the Cycle
Maiden….. Mother….. Crone…..
I have come as the Goddess,
And in me… all life renews
All things are possible

The Crone comes dancing
Silently, powerfully, relentlessly,
To all

~ Abby Willowroot © 2000

Retrieved November 05, 2009 from http://www.spiralgoddess.com/Homage.html

Invocation of the Horned God.

By the flame that burneth bright

O Horned One!

We call thy name into the night

O Horned One!

Thee we invoke by the moon led sea

By the standing stone and the twisted tree

Thee we invoke where gather thine own

By the nameless shrine forgotten and lone

Come where the round of the dance is trod

Horn and hoof of the goat-foot God

By moonlit meadow on dusky hill

When the haunted wood is hushed and still

Come to the charm of the chanted prayer

As the moon bewitches the midnight air

Evoke thy powers, that potent bide

In shining stream and secret tide

In fiery flame by starlight pale

In shadowy host that ride the gale

And by the fern-brakes fairy-haunted

Of forests wild and wood enchanted

Come! O Come!

To the heartbeats drum!

Come to us who gather below

When the broad white moon is climbing slow

Through the stars to the heavens height

We hear thy hoofs on the wind of night

As black tree branches shake and sigh

By joy and terror we know thee nigh

We speak the spell thy power unlocks

At Solstice, Sabbat, and Equinox

Word of virtue the veil to rend

From primal dawn to the wide world’s end

Since time began—

The blessing of Pan!

Blessed be all in hearth and hold

Blessed in all worth more than gold

Blessed be in strength and love

Blessed be wher’er we rove

Vision fade not from our eyes

Of the pagan paradise

Past the gates of death and birth

Our inheritance of the earth

From our soul the song of spring

Fade not in our wandering

Our life with all life is one,

By blackest night or noonday sun

Eldest of gods, on thee we call

Blessing be on thy creatures all

by Doreen Valiente

Retrieved November 5, 2009 from http://www.controverscial.com/Invocation%20of%20the%20Horned%20God.htm

Daily Morning Ritual

Today while listening to the Spirits Cast-101 November podcast, Feithline mentioned that this month’s focus is on taking the time to have a spiritual ritual everyday. We shouldn’t just be spending time with the Divine on sabbats or full moons. Below is my daily devotional ritual that I do in my car while I drive to work. I try to do it everyday, but often times I get distracted by my music and don’t do it. I am making a new commitment to try to have my morning ritual everyday. What do you do everyday to connect to the Divine?


Morning Ritual

  • Center and ground my energy
  • Ask the element of Earth to ground me and lend me energy
  • Release all negative energy from my body
  • Raise up a protective shield to keep negative energy out for the day
  • Invite the Goddess and God to join my devotional time
  • Send positive and healing energy to my FWTI friends-pray that they will have a good and productive day.
  • Focus on the FWTI symbol and ask that it be a shining sign of hope, encouragement, love, safety, acceptance, and growth.
  • Visualize more people coming to FWTI
  • Visualize and pray for good, positive, and productive communication between all board members.
  • See the FWTI Board’s pentacle of service shining bright and healthy. Pray for each of the 5 points of service within that pentacle
  • List all of the things I am thankful for today
  • Ask the God and Goddess to help all of my request during this ritual to come into fruition.
  • Dismiss the God and Goddess
  • Send the element of Air away to carrying on my energy and prayers from the ritual to those I love
  • This is my will so mote it be