Secret life of modern-day witches By Lynette Horsburgh

 

Kathy Rowan-Drewitt
Kathy Rowan-Drewitt concealed her fascination with witchcraft

It is 400 years since the Pendle witch trials led to 10 people being hanged for witchcraft. But do modern witches still suffer prejudice?

He has carved out a successful career as an employment lawyer.

But the 38-year-old, who is sometimes known as Myrddin, also takes part in activities which he prefers to keep secret.

For Myrddin is the head of a witches’ coven in Lancashire.

He said: “We don’t do anything sinister like Devil worship and we don’t make human or animal sacrifices.

“We honour, revere and give thanks to nature. We celebrate the seasons. It’s not all blood and gore. In spring, we celebrate life and rebirth then in the winter, decay and death to make way for new life.”

His coven in Chorley is little more than 30 miles from Pendle, where in 1612, 10 people were seized amid claims of being involved in witchcraft.

But, 400 years later, prejudice against witches stills exists, according to Myrddin.

He said: “It comes from ignorance and fear of the unknown and it is the reason why rituals and celebrations are held in secret.”

Witch school

In his spare time, he wears a cloak “or something warm for the great outdoors” and heads up a magical working group practising traditional witchcraft which includes druidry, shamanism and wicca.

He said there is no conflict between his day job and his spiritualism. “My philosophy is to live in honour and honour every living thing, our landscape and the world we live in.”

Since he was a young child, Myrddin has had an affinity with the countryside.

He said: “I could feel the magic of nature. I was brought up a staunch Christian but it wasn’t enough and I realised there was label for what I felt – paganism.”

The coven celebrates eight Celtic festivals across the year and the moon cycles in the Lancashire countryside centred around a campfire where the motto is “eat, drink and be merry”.

Hazel Woods, of the Pagan Federation, said there are witches of all social classes and occupations but prejudice means many are still reticent about declaring their beliefs.

Kathy Rowan-Drewitt, 51, from Blackpool, runs her own witch school and has taught more than 60 witches.

She said: “Many still keep being a witch secret from their family, friends and work for fear of being treated unfairly or thought of as weird.

“Times have changed but calling someone a witch is

READ MORE HERE: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-19211852

Time to get the tea on your prosperity!

Quarter Days and Pagan Fire Festivals

In some modern Pagan traditions, including some forms of NeoWicca, the eight sabbats or holidays are divided into two groups: the fire festivals, or cross quarter days, and the quarter festivals. Some belief systems celebrate only one group — either the quarter or cross quarter days — and others mark all eight each year. Which ones you observe will depend on your own magical tradition, as well as which of these sabbats is most meaningful to you.

Did You Know?

  • The term “quarter days” is derived from a system in the British Isles in which four specific days each year were marked as a time to collect rents, hire new servants, and resolve legal matters.
  • Some traditions of Wicca and NeoPaganism celebrate only the quarter days, while others observe only the cross-quarter festivals.
  • In some belief systems, all eight days are celebrated annually, forming the system we call the Wheel of the Year.

Quarter Days

Pagan altar and spiral works outside next to a tree. Wicca and witchcraft.
Sven Jakubith / Getty Images

The quarter festivals, or lesser sabbats, include the solstices

READ MORE HERE:

https://www.learnreligions.com/quarter-days-and-cross-quarter-days-2562061

10 Things You Absolutely Must Know Before Getting A Puppy By LARA RUTHERFORD-MORRISON

One of the awesome things about being an adult is that we no longer have to beg our parents to let us get puppies. You’re a grown up—you do what you damn well please! And, of course, what you “damn well please” is to get a puppy—your very own snuggly, furry, happy canine friend—RIGHT NOW. Believe me, I know where you’re coming from. I got my pup last summer, and in the days leading up to finally taking her home, I could barely contain my excitement. (Seriously, I was bouncing off the walls with glee.) And you know what? Having a dog is awesome. Getting to raise a puppy, seeing how she’s grown and learned in the months I’ve had her, has been amazing. It has also been crazy. I thought I was prepared for how much work it was going to be, but I was still completely shocked by how much a three-pound creature was able to turn my life upside down.

As much as we want to take home every puppy we encounter, there are a lot of things you have to think about before taking the plunge into puppy ownership. I may sound like a stick in the mud, but it’s true: Having a dog is a huge responsibility, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. When you get a dog, you get her unconditional love and snuggles, but you’re also making a commitment to your pet that she will be well cared for—that she will never end up on the streets, in a shelter, or with people who can’t care for her. If you’re considering getting a dog, ask yourself these ten questions first:

1. Does your lease allow you to have a pet?

First thing’s first: Does your lease allow you to have an animal? If not, talk to your landlord about changing the lease. If he or she won’t budge on the pet issue, then either put off getting a pet or move to a place that will allow you to have one. This is really important. Some people think that they can sneak a pet into their apartments and that their landlords won’t notice, but this is really not OK—because if your landlord does notice and does evict you, it’s not just you who is suddenly homeless—it’s your dog, too.

2. Can you afford to have a dog?

Take some time to consider the financial costs of dog-ownership: vet bills, food, and a pet deposit on your lease, as well as, potentially, professional training and a dog walker. These things add up. Call a local vet and find out the average costs of routine care: vaccines, check ups, heartworm pills, and spaying or neutering. Be sure to think about emergencies, too—do you have a financial cushion that would allow you to pay for unexpected veterinary expenses? Puppies get sick and accidents happen that you can’t predict. You don’t want to end up in a situation in which you have to choose between caring for your dog and paying your rent.

3. Do you really want a puppy?

Puppies are super adorable, but they are also little monsters that require a ton of work and attention. If you don’t have the time or energy to deal with housetraining or the natural hyperness of puppies, consider getting an

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.bustle.com/articles/70287-10-things-you-absolutely-must-know-before-getting-a-puppy

Am I Ready For A Dog? By Dogtime

(Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

If you’ve told yourself, “I need a dog,” or “I want a puppy,” and think you’re ready to adopt, take a moment to fill out this quiz. It will reveal the ideal animal choice for you and your family.

The Quiz

TAKE THE QUIZ & READ MORE HERE: https://dogtime.com/quiz/am-i-ready-for-a-dog#orbZTRsrGLJdKWS4.99

 

 

Introduction to Familiar Spirits BY KELDEN

In today’s modern Witchcraft, Familiars are often times thought of as being animal companions or pets. When asked if they have a Familiar, many Witches will often refer to their cat, dog, or other animal. Usually these pets have a predisposition towards Witchcraft, whether they’re always showing up at ritual time or just can’t seem to keep out of the Witchy supply cabinet. Yet, this seems to be a more modern conceptualization and I find that it presents a rather incomplete picture of Familiars.

I believe that there are, in actuality, really two types of Familiars. The first, is that which I have just described, an actual material creature. The second type, and that which will be the focus of this article, is the Familiar Spirit. As the name suggests, this type does not take an actual physical body but instead appears in spectral form. The form which the spirit takes is typically that of an animal (such as a cat, toad, rat, or crow) but it may also take human form as they did for Witches Alice Kyteler and Bessie Dunlop. There are many interpretations or theories as to what the Familiar spirit is exactly and Emma Wilby notes that traditionally Familiar Spirits were variously thought of as being imps, demons, fairies, angels, or even the Devil himself.*

(From WikiMedia)

According to folklore, there are a number of ways a Witch could obtain a Familiar. Probably the most prevalent method was the Witch being gifted a Familiar, usually by the Devil and typically after undergoing an initiatory experience. Other cases include Witches inheriting their Familiar from another individual, such as a family member. Elizabeth Francis, a Witch from Chelmsford, supposedly received a Familiar named Sathan from her grandmother and she in turn passed onto another Witch named Agnes Waterhouse.* In fact, according to some stories, a Witch had to successfully pass her Familiar on before she could die in peace. If the Familiar could not be given away properly, they supposedly hid in hedgerows waiting for a passing Witch to hopefully adopt them.* Additionally, there are cases of Familiars appearing of their own accord, such as the case of Essex Witch Joan Prentice who claimed that she was simply preparing herself for bed when her Familiar spontaneously appeared.* Regardless of the specific method, it is typically the Familiar that finds the Witch, not the other way around. That being said, I do believe there are certain ways to be proactive if one wishes to find a Familiar to work with.

The first step is to consider why you want a Familiar, what type of qualities would you like them to have, and what type of relationship do you want with them. For example, do you want a Familiar to act as a mentor or do you want them to be a servant to do your bidding? Once you have a clear idea, put your intentions out there and let it be known what you’re specifically looking for. One suggestion would be to petition your deity and ask them for help. The next step would be to spend time out in nature, dreaming, or journeying to the Otherworld. Keep your senses open as these are places where you will likely have your first communication with a Familiar Spirit. Once you are approached by a Spirit and begin conversing, it’s important to inform them what exactly you’re looking for in terms

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.patheos.com/blogs/byathameandstang/2016/11/introduction-to-familiar-spirits/