Wiccan/Shaman mash up: inching toward my own path

I mentioned in a post a while back that I traced a shaman’s diagnosis of a problem in my maternal line going back seven generations to a witch burned at the stake and her daughter. We are all part of a long line of seers but the daughter shut down “the sight” for herself and future generations. At the time I found this interesting because Wicca was one of the only traditions I’d not explored at all—and fairly assiduously avoided though I’d not been conscious of doing it until this revelation. I also had to admit that I’d mostly avoided classes or work that had to do with developing psychic powers or seeing auras, etc. as well.

You’d think that I’d have started exploring then and there but even though I felt intrigued and knew that there was something to consider about the avoidance, I didn’t buy a book on Wicca or sign up for a class on developing the sixth sense. I did do a lot of work on sending healing back to the ancestor who shut down our line and on healing my issues around these things.

A few years later I realized that my love of mystery novels had led me to a group of women writers whose main characters were witches and/or psychics and most of whom (the writers) are practitioners or psychics themselves and that I was loving them and feeling magnetized to the world they described. So I finally did a bunch of research and picked out a couple of books on Wicca to buy and a couple more to take out from the library.

I found that I liked what I was reading and felt drawn to it but I really still didn’t feel a big pull to jump in. One of the things I quickly noticed was that getting into “the craft” seemed to involve buying a lot of stuff at a time when funds for purchasing a long list of props were not available and I didn’t have much of any place to store it all if I could buy it. However, one of the books I read mentioned the similarity of a lot of Wiccan practice to a lot of shamanic practice.

As I contemplated the suggestions for what to use in casting a circle and the objects placed in the circle I started picturing things I already had from my days of studying with a Hopi elder and some of the Hindu and Buddhist statues I’d collected. Eventually I tried making a circle using the stones I’d gathered for my medicine wheel and using objects collected for the Hopi path as well as some crystals and statues.

It seemed to me that the real point of it all is that a circle creates a power place in which you build energy and/or invite energies and that the suggested objects are really there to focus your attention on spiritual archetypes or spiritual qualities. I concluded that it doesn’t really matter exactly what you use to create the circle or what the objects are as long as you are using it all as part of your intention to create a sacred space in which to meditate and build a big energy to support it.

I started off just making the circle, smudging the room and myself, using my prayer stick to invoke the four directions and elements, and then sitting in the circle to do my lovingkindness chant and to meditate. Immediately I realized how incredibly powerful those things became when sitting in my sacred space and letting the circle contain the energy. It was a little bit of a pain to move furniture around to make room for it and to set the whole thing up so me being me, I didn’t do it often and soon drifted away from doing it at all.

I did keep reading the spells and marking things I’d like to try (most of which again required buying stuff) and feeling drawn to it. Recently I’ve felt really pulled to work with the circle again. And I suddenly found myself writing a little spell of my own (I have an uneasy feeling the first part of it came from a spell I heard at some point on Charmed…); one that doesn’t require buying anything. When I repeated the spell while in the circle I could feel entities around me and powerful energy flowing through me.

I’m still just feeling my way here but the point is that if you’re on an eclectic path like mine I think there’s lots of room to be inventive about combining the things you know to create a new set of rituals and ways to do things that are just your own. I don’t know whether I’ll one day join a coven or find someone to teach me or decide to study herbs, etc. For right now casting my circles and combining my shaman training with what I’m learning about Wicca feels just right to me.

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7 thoughts on “Wiccan/Shaman mash up: inching toward my own path

  1. As with Shamanism, when doing magical work through Wicca or witchcraft or Pagan magical traditions, it all starts within the mind. I teach my students that they don’t need fancy equipment, and to ignore all the messages that they need expensive or difficult to locate tools. Everything needed to create a magical space is contained within. One of my requirements in teaching is that the student be able to create an entire circle using only their mind. Tools are nice, and I have my share which have come to me over the years. But if they can’t create a magic circle without the tools, they’re not going to be able to do it fully with all the tools.

  2. Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing this. I’m not as knowledgeable about Wicca as I’d like to be. But I follow Shamanism more and have had Shamanic healing sessions on my ancestral lines so a lot of this resonated with me.

    Michael

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