Tag Archives: spirituality

Number of Witches in U.S. may surpass 1.5 Million

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“Sword-back” By JH Williams III

That’s a LOT of witches! I’ve encountered a few different articles on this lately, and from my own research, it seems to be true. From an article in Quartz by Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz & Dan Kopf in October this year, “Although Trinity College hasn’t run a survey since 2008, the Pew Research Center picked up the baton in 2014. It found that 0.4% of Americans, or around 1 to 1.5 million people, identify as Wicca or Pagan—which suggests continued robust growth for the communities.”

I often hear, “are there enough healers, witches, magicians and artists on the planet to heal our society? Well it appears the numbers are climbing, and hopefully healing will spread along with it. 🙂

Source: The US witch population has seen an astronomical rise

“Though the data is sparse, what we do know is that the practice of witchcraft has seen major growth in recent decades. As the witch aesthetic has risen, so has the number of people who identify as witches.
The best source of data on the number of witches in the US comes from assessments of the Wicca population. Not all people who practice witchcraft consider themselves Wicca, but the religion makes up a significant subset, as Alden Wicker noted for Quartz in 2016.

Wicca is a largely Western religious movement that dates back to the mid-20th century in the US and UK. According to the site wicca.com, it’s a belief system informed by “pre-Christian traditions originating in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales,” that promotes “free thought and will of the individual, and encourages learning and an understanding of the earth and nature.

From 1990 to 2008, Trinity College in Connecticut ran three large, detailed religion surveys. Those have shown that Wicca grew tremendously over this period. From an estimated 8,000 Wiccans in 1990, they found there were about 340,000 practitioners in 2008. They also estimated there were around 340,000 Pagans in 2008.

Here’s another article I found with good information.

Wayne Shorter & Herbie Hancock Pen an Open Letter to the Next Generation of Artists

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Here’s some inspiration for us all from some truly brilliant musicians. ❤

“To the Next Generation of Artists: we find ourselves in turbulent and unpredictable times.
From the horror at the Bataclan, to the upheaval in Syria and the senseless bloodshed in San Bernardino, we live in a time of great confusion and pain. As an artist, creator and dreamer of this world, we ask you not to be discouraged by what you see but to use your own lives, and by extension your art, as vehicles for the construction of peace.
While it’s true that the issues facing the world are complex, the answer to peace is simple; it begins with you. You don’t have to be living in a third world country or working for an NGO to make a difference. Each of us has a unique mission. We are all pieces in a giant, fluid puzzle, where the smallest of actions by one puzzle piece profoundly affects each of the others. You matter, your actions matter, your art matters.
We’d like to be clear that while this letter is written with an artistic audience in mind, these thoughts transcend professional boundaries and apply to all people, regardless of profession.
FIRST, AWAKEN TO YOUR HUMANITY
We are not alone. We do not exist alone and we cannot create alone. What this world needs is a humanistic awakening of the desire to raise one’s life condition to a place where our actions are rooted in altruism and compassion. You cannot hide behind a profession or instrument; you have to be human. Focus your energy on becoming the best human you can be. Focus on developing empathy and compassion. Through the process you’ll tap into a wealth of inspiration rooted in the complexity and curiosity of what it means to simply exist on this planet. Music is but a drop in the ocean of life.
EMBRACE AND CONQUER THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
The world needs new pathways. Don’t allow yourself to be hijacked by common rhetoric, or false beliefs and illusions about how life should be lived. It’s up to you to be the pioneers. Whether through the exploration of new sounds, rhythms, and harmonies or unexpected collaborations, processes and experiences, we encourage you to dispel repetition in all of its negative forms and consequences. Strive to create new actions both musically and with the pathway of your life. Never conform.
WELCOME THE UNKNOWN
The unknown necessitates a moment-to-moment improvisation or creative process that is unparalleled in potential and fulfillment. There is no dress rehearsal for life because life, itself, is the real rehearsal. Every relationship, obstacle, interaction, etc. is a rehearsal for the next adventure in life. Everything is connected. Everything builds. Nothing is ever wasted. This type of thinking requires courage. Be courageous and do not lose your sense of exhilaration and reverence for this wonderful world around you.
UNDERSTAND THE TRUE NATURE OF OBSTACLES
We have this idea of failure, but it’s not real; it’s an illusion. There is no such thing as failure. What you perceive as failure is really a new opportunity, a new hand of cards, or a new canvas to create upon. In life there are unlimited opportunities. The words, “success” and “failure”, themselves, are nothing more than labels. Every moment is an opportunity. You, as a human being, have no limits; therefore infinite possibilities exist in any circumstance.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO INTERACT WITH THOSE WHO ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU
The world needs more one-on-one interaction among people of diverse origins with a greater emphasis on art, culture and education. Our differences are what we have in common. We can work to create an open and continuous plane where all types of people can exchange ideas, resources, thoughtfulness and kindness. We need to be connecting with one another, learning about one another, and experiencing life with one another. We can never have peace if we cannot understand the pain in each other’s hearts. The more we interact, the more we will come to realize that our humanity transcends all differences.
STRIVE TO CREATE AGENDA-FREE DIALOGUE
Art in any form is a medium for dialogue, which is a powerful tool. It is time for the music world to produce sound stories that ignite dialogue about the mystery of us. When we say the mystery of us, we’re talking about reflecting and challenging the fears, which prevent us from discovering our unlimited access to the courage inherent in us all. Yes, you are enough. Yes, you matter. Yes, you should keep going.
BE WARY OF EGO
Arrogance can develop within artists, either from artists who believe that their status makes them more important, or those whose association with a creative field entitles them to some sort of superiority. Beware of ego; creativity cannot flow when only the ego is served.
WORK TOWARDS A BUSINESS WITHOUT BORDERS
The medical field has an organization called Doctors Without Borders. This lofty effort can serve as a model for transcending the limitations and strategies of old business formulas which are designed to perpetuate old systems in the guise of new ones. We’re speaking directly to a system that’s in place, a system that conditions consumers to purchase only the products that are dictated to be deemed marketable, a system where money is only the means to an end. The music business is a fraction of the business of life. Living with creative integrity can bring forth benefits never imagined.
APPRECIATE THE GENERATION THAT WALKED BEFORE YOU
Your elders can help you. They are a source of wealth in the form of wisdom. They have weathered storms and endured the same heartbreaks; let their struggles be the light that shines the way in the darkness. Don’t waste time repeating their mistakes. Instead, take what they’ve done and catapult you towards building a progressively better world for the progeny to come.
LASTLY, WE HOPE THAT YOU LIVE IN A STATE OF CONSTANT WONDER
As we accumulate years, parts of our imagination tend to dull. Whether from sadness, prolonged struggle, or social conditioning, somewhere along the way people forget how to tap into the inherent magic that exists within our minds. Don’t let that part of your imagination fade away. Look up at the stars and imagine what it would be like to be an astronaut or a pilot. Imagine exploring the pyramids or Machu Picchu. Imagine flying like a bird or crashing through a wall like Superman. Imagine running with dinosaurs or swimming like mer-creatures. All that exists is a product of someone’s imagination; treasure and nurture yours and you’ll always find yourself on the precipice of discovery.
How does any of this lend to the creation of a peaceful society you ask? It begins with a cause. Your causes create the effects that shape your future and the future of all those around you. Be the leaders in the movie of your life. You are the director, producer, and actor. Be bold and tirelessly compassionate as you dance through the voyage that is this lifetime.”

Full Moon in Cancer

Full Moon in Cancer – exact Saturday morning at 9:50 am Pacific.

This full moon occurred at the first degree of Cancer, which is the most powerful degree of any sign.

Whatever the last two weeks have been about, their key lessons are becoming real the next seven days. Try to keep things light over the holidays 🙂

Week of November 19th

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–  “Dance in the country” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Nov. 15th: Mars in Pisces.
Nov. 16th: Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, and Venus Direct in Libra.

Monday, Nov. 19th: Moon in Aries, Sun in Scorpio. There’s potential for headstrong behavior today. If it’s hard to gain traction on a project, focus instead on clarifying your vision. Moon/Sun are in Mars-ruled signs, but Mars itself is in Pisces. Mars doesn’t like slogging around in Pisces. Avoid being passive-aggressive when you don’t get your way. Notice if you’re lost in fantasies, guilt trips, gossiping or grudges, and try to be present with unconscious motivations. The desire to escape your life through drinking, drugs, sugar or shopping is a common theme this week.

Tuesday, Nov. 20th: Moon into Taurus at 3:43pm Pacific, Sun in Scorpio. Moon in Taurus (exalted) helps everybody calm down. Enjoy nature and sensual delights today, but avoid intensity in relationships.

Wednesday, Nov. 21st: Moon in Taurus, Sun in Scorpio. Another nature/food day! Excellent date night, or to do anything creative and artistic. Mars and Jupiter will both be amplifying the Full Moon in Gemini tomorrow, but you can feel it now.

Thursday, Nov. 22nd: Moon void all day in Taurus (8:10pm into Gemini).
FULL MOON at 9:39pm. Sun into Sagittarius. THANKSGIVING.
With the Full Moon today and Neptune stationing Direct Saturday, try not to drink too much. Watch a movie or play board games to cool down family tensions. Also, follow traditions today – don’t do anything risky or spontaneous.

Friday, Nov. 23rd: Full Moon in Gemini, Sun in Sagittarius. Should be a chatty and sociable day.

Saturday, Nov. 24th: Moon in Gemini; Neptune Direct in Pisces 5:08pm. When Neptune is stationing Direct, things are not what they appear to be. Try to keep your feet on the ground today. Huge spiritual breakthroughs and revelations are possible.

The thing to remember with Mercury Retrograde is to slow down a little bit. It’s never a good idea to lie or be covert in your actions, but it’s really something to avoid right now.  Don’t conceal anything.

Early/middle November is a powerful time. When the Sun is in Scorpio we are in the Underworld, the spirit world is close and the invisibles are active. The Scorpio Sun is sacred to the dark goddess Hecate, who stands at the crossroads with her torches, scissors and three black hounds; she helps you release your old life. She is the Goddess of Witchcraft, Night, Magick, Dogs and herbalism. She protects people on the fringes – those who rebel against societies norms and follow their own drum beat. She will help you see the truth, which can be jarring but liberating. She is known as Phosphorus, the Torch Bearer and Venus as the Morning Star. Inner seeing is key. Your inner navigation system is more accurate than what’s on the screen.

Wearing Black

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My EP from 2005. This picture is from our photo shoot in the Castro in 2002. Chuck Butter and Liz Rose

Black is almost all I wear, honestly. I’ve often wondered why this is the case. Most of my friends wear nothing but black. What’s going on? I like what this article has to say:

“Colors excite our minds in various ways, and how we react to some of them can tell a lot regarding our personalities.

One study states that black is seen as ‘serious’ and ‘reliable,’ which means confident:

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The study states: “Black is Best Most of the Time.”
“Throughout all our survey, black came first or second in most “good” traits (for example confidence, intelligence and sexiness) and barely figured in the “bad” traits (arrogance). It wasn’t a particularly good performer in the “generosity” scale, however, coming second to last after brown, but it’s hard to imagine is being any other way. Try getting your kid to sit on the knee of a black-clad Santa.

Benevolent nocturnal visitations aside, black is the colour to wear when you’re trying to impress, reassure or woo. There’s a certain trustworthiness about it on a person that would make you hand over your life savings and thank them for the privilege.”

More from Maria Hakki:

“Black is generally an indication of “seriousness” and reliability”, so it stands at the top of the list of colors that both sexes find beautiful.

Why?

The answer is simple. Confidence. Almost half of the women and 64% of the men participating in the study think that black emits self-sufficiency. It is the most beautiful, bold, confidence-boosting and calming color that exists.

Those who wear all black are also usually very sensitive, a bit unstable, and want to draw attention on who they are and what they are trying to achieve in life, rather than on their appearance. Another study stemming from color psychology, says that people who love black often have a desire to reclaim their power.

Johnny Cash said: “I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion – against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas.”

 

 

Alchemy

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A red-faced sun rises above a city; stunted trees stand in the foreground; representing either the culmination of the alchemical Great Work or the star of hope that inspires the alchemist through his tribulation.

 

Release any thought, behavior or idea that you’ve picked up on your journey, so you can uncover the pure gold of the spirit within you.

“THE FOUR ALCHEMICAL RULES.
1. Follow (your) Nature.
It is useless to seek for the sun by the light of a candle.
2. First know; then act.
Real knowledge exists in the triangle composed of seeing, feeling, and understanding.
3. Use no vulgar processes.
Use only one vessel, one fire, one instrument.
The door to success lies in the unity of will and purpose and the proper adaptation of the means to the end. There are many roads leading to the celestial center. He who follows the chosen path may succeed, while he who attempts to walk on many paths will be delayed.
4. Keep the fire constantly burning.
If the molten metals are allowed to cool off before they are transformed into higher ones, they will become hard again, and the whole process will have to be recommenced from the beginning. Use the inextinguishable lamp. Its light will not go out unless it is driven away by force.

THE FIVE THINGS NECESSARY TO OBSERVE IN THE PRACTICE OF ALCHEMY.
1. To recognize the true PRIMA MATERIA.
It is to be found everywhere; but if you do not find it in your own house, you will find it nowhere. It is a living substance that can be discovered only in places inhabited by man. It is the only substance from which the Philosopher’s Stone can be prepared, and without that substance no genuine silver or gold can be made. In thirty pounds of ordinary mercury, there is usually not more than one pound of the true substance; and a hundred pounds of ordinary sulphur usually contain not more than one pound of that which is useful. It can only be found above the earth, but not below it. It is before everybody’s eyes; no one can live without it; everybody uses it; the poor usually possess more of it than the rich; the ignorant esteem it highly, but the learned ones often throw it away. The children play with it in the street, and yet it is invisible. It can be perceived by the sense of feeling, but it cannot be seen with the material eye.
2. Use for the preparation of the PRIMA MATERIA only the rose-colored blood of the Red Lion and the pure white gluten of the Eagle.
Let your Will be strong, but without anger, and your Thoughts be pure from that which infects the lower strata of the earth’s atmosphere. Let the fire of the divine Will penetrate deeply within your soul, and elevate your mind to the highest regions of thought.
3. Obtain the sacred Fire.
It is not of man’s making; it cannot be bought, but it is given for nothing to those who deserve it.
4. Then follow Multiplication and Increase, for which purpose weight and measure are necessary. Weigh all things with the scales of justice, and measure them by the rule of reason.
5. The fifth is the Application, that is to say the Projection upon the metals.
This will be accomplished by nature without artificial aid.”

In the “Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom” by Franz Hartmann