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Shifting Consciousness At Will, and, Made-Up Religion?
December 01, 2011

Silver Chalice Wicca 'Zine #27

Shifting Consciousness At Will
Made-Up Religion?

December 2011 / January 2012

Editor's Note

Merry Meet! Welcome to the Silver Chalice Wicca 'Zine!

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If your life is anything like mine, it's insanity-time! Mercury Retrograde seemed to start a month before it really did, and bodes to keep messing with us for another couple months.

Okay, I could just be catastrophising. wicca-spirituality-winking_witch

But it's true enough that things are going crazy these days. In good directions, mostly, but it's a bit frantic and hair-raising at times.

The good news is -- it's all part of the 2012 Shift, or Dawning of the Age of Aquarius, or ending of the Kali Yuga, or whatever you want to call this long-overdue transition into a better world...

  • Relationships are overcoming seemingly hopeless blocks

  • People are demonstrating surprising awareness

  • Opportunities are opening up for greater success and happiness

If you've been diligently working on your personal issues, I'm sure you're seeing these changes in your own life. If you haven't been, you are probably feeling like things are getting rapidly more vexing and impossible.

I hope you're seeing the light break through the clouds in your life, even if the light can seem overwhelming at times.

This is happening in my life, with some side effects I'd prefer to do without. If you've been expecting my new book to come out this month (as I was), I regret to say that the release date has been pushed back a month, at least. While things are really opening up in my day job (good thing), they've absolutely eclipsed any time to devote to writing (not so good thing).

Sometimes it seems I'll never get this book completed! But on the plus side, that means you get another free installment. wicca-spirituality-winking_witch

This month's excerpt gives you some easy ways to play with shifting consciousness -- the one critical element in making magick. Perhaps this will help you to shift your life experiences even more to the positive, successful, and joyful track.

I hope you enjoy it, and use it to serve you well.

With Brightest Blessings,

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Table of Contents

What's New on the Site -- The Wiccan Way
Book In Progress -- Shifting Consciousness At Will
Ask The Priestess -- Made-Up Religion?
Fave Quotes -- Consciousness Quotations
Word on the Street -- From Scooby-Do To Wicca
Silver Chalice Details

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What's New On The Site

One new, but very exciting addition to the site is the long-awaited final edition of...

The Wiccan Way.

" I keep this wisdom as I may
To follow in the Wiccan Way..."

I wrote this because there were a lot of things I felt were missing from the Wiccan Rede -- specifically, the more spiritual aspects of Wicca. I wanted to expand the Rede, sort of, to include these since in my opinion the spirituality is the most important part!

I think of it as the Wicca Spirituality Rede.

You may have seen some of it posted on Facebook or Twitter as it was in progress, or even received the free sneak-preview version that went out as a gift to fans on FB and Twitter.

Well, check out the finished product! ; ) I hope it will be a wonderful addition to basic Wiccan texts.

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A Natural Connection:
Discover Your Animal Spirit Guides
and How They Can Help You

-- Book In Progress

(Please Note:
This material is protected by legal copyright)

Shifting Consciousness At Will

We tend to divide life between mind and matter

and to assume that we must be in one or the other or both.

But religion and folklore tell of another place

that is often found by accident,

where strange events take place, and where we learn things

that can't be discovered in any other way.

-- Thomas Moore

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You know how there are times when you feel wide awake, sharp, and alert? A midmorning-at-work sort of feeling, when you're hard at it and sharply focused? Or when you've had 3 coffees and are raring to go?

And you know how other times you feel foggy, diffuse, softer somehow? A first-thing-after-waking-up kind of feeling? Or a mid-afternoon-after-gorging-on-turkey kind of feeling?

These are examples of two different states of consciousness.

The Different States of Consciousness

Everyone shifts consciousness, and many times a day. If you are attentive, you can notice the cycle of consciousness, which shifts from sharp to diffuse at roughly two hour intervals.

There are more than two states of consciousness, of course. The main divisions of consciousness can be seen as corresponding to brain wave frequencies...

  • Delta (unconsciousness, hypnosis)

  • Theta (dreaming, hypnagogic state)

  • Alpha (relaxation)

  • Beta (active, ordinary, daily consciousness)

  • Gamma (consciousness, transcendence)

These are rough divisions, and don't represent all possible states of consciousness, but these five brain rhythms are a fine starting point.

What Are Altered States of Consciousness?

When you are working with Animal Spirit Guides, or for any other spiritual or magickal purpose, you need to be able to shift consciousness by choice.

It's actually quite easy. Here's one way you can immediately control and shift your state of consciousness.

Exercise: Altering Vision

  • For a sharp, alert state of consciousness, simply scrutinise something with an intense, penetring stare, like a cat or a hawk focuses on its prey.

  • For a more receptive, open state of consciousness, allow your gaze to soften, becoming aware of the periphery of your vision as well.

You can almost feel your eyeballs changing shape, can't you? In the first, it's like they're trying to leap out of your head, and focused in a point. In the second, they're relaxed and round and resting comfortably in their sockets… feeling no need to be anywhere else.

Exercise: Single-Nostril Breathing

Or try this method:
  • Holding your left nostril gently closed, for a while breathe normally through your right nostril only. Notice the state of consciousness it induces: more focused, waking consciousness — left-brain activation.

  • Holding your right nostril gently closed, breathe normally through your left nostril only. Notice the state of consciousness it induces: more intuitive, open consciousness — right-brain activation.

  • Imagine breathing through both nostrils simultaneously — whole-brain activation.

    (You actually do this naturally, many times a day.) Notice your state of consciousness now.

    Dual-nostril breathing is the perfect state of mind for working with other realms: unified consciousness, with both the intuitive and rational states of mind in balance.

In fact, you can shift consciousness somewhat merely by closing your eyes or taking a deep breath! Or by looking at a sunset, petting a cat, or reading poetry....

There are dozens of ways we shift consciousness naturally throughout the day.

Using The Ability To Shift Consciousness

You can imagine how handy an ability to control your state of consciousness might be, when needing to be more alert, or more restful, even though your body's rhythm puts you in a different phase of consciousness.

When you communicate with your Animal Spirit Guides, you will be in these altered states of consciousness.

It may seem odd that you can't just hear your Animal Spirit Guides while wide awake and focused on work, say. But think about it. On the one hand, how well do you hear anything when you're actively concentrating on a task? Do you even hear your body, telling you it needs to move or rest or eat?

On the other hand, it goes beyond being distracted. It's a problem of language.

Spirits of any sort don't speak in the language a Beta (ordinary waking) consciousness can understand. It's as if they're speaking ancient Swahili, and you demand they speak in your native tongue.

Sorry; not gonna happen.

You need to be able to speak the language that the spirits speak. And that language is deep in non-ordinary consciousness.

It does take practice to be able to access a really deep state of consciousness at will, and stay there for as long as you need to.

Eventually, you will be able to shift consciousness with a breath or a thought. Then communication with your Animal Spirit Guides and other non-corporeal beings becomes effortless.

What Do You Think So Far?

I'd love to hear from you… Please write and let me know!

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Ask The Priestess

Made-Up Religion?

Dear Priestess,

I am deeply hurt and upset!

I have spent countless hours researching wicca and thought I'd found the realm of spirituality I've been searching for, well, forever. When I finally researched the 'origins' of wicca my heart just broke! To find out that 'wicca' has only been around since the '50's'!?! OMG!!! And some guy named Gardner came up with this?!...

I feel like SUCH a dupe! I really thought this was something that had been around since before Christ! OMG!! I was truely falling for it! No wonder people are laughing at me, and worse, showing a great deal of pity for me! I truely am a sad-sack to have fallen for this. "Wicca" was INVENTED by Gardner and although it sounds like a great thing, he made it up.

I realize now that I need to make up my own 'religion'. I don't need to research, buy or otherwise spend time on anything but my own soul.

I'm just very thankful that I had the forsight to research this before I lost myself and my soul to something I thought was genuine! The fact that Mr. Gardener made this up should be the VERY first thing mentioned about wicca. Shame on you.

T.G. in USA

Dear T.G.,

I suspect that this letter is not genuine, but one of those blasts from Christians I sometimes get disguised as a genuine issue. But just in case you really mean it, I want to take the time to answer your concerns, because you seem distressed, and because you raise a very important issue.

There is a misunderstanding here. Wicca was not entirely "invented" by Gardner, or any modern person. It has its foundations in the ancient religion that PREDATED Christ by many thousands of years... even predated Moses.

But much of the form was lost during the persecutions of the Middle Ages (particularly). It has been practiced in some form by some groups of people all along, but along the way, much had to be lost because of the secrecy that was required.

And of course the religion has evolved as societies evolved, just as Christianity and every other surviving religion has evolved.

Gardner is responsible for reviving Wicca as a religion that could now come out of the shadows, where it had been forced to hide for centuries. What Gardner did was...

  1. Codify the bits of The Old Religion that could be found or reasonably assumed,
  2. Bring it out into the open, in public consciousness,
  3. Update it to something that would relate to modern, nonagricultural, more consciously aware mindsets, and

  4. Start the popular movement to reclaiming this ancient religion.

He also put in some bits that fit into the societal mindset he'd learnt as a child, and some bits that appealed to himself personally, as every religious leader does to some degree.

These are the reasons why I refer to Wicca as a sort of reincarnation of the Old Religion. We couldn't possibly relate to the Wiccan religion as our ancestors practiced it -- we don't have the connection to the land and the seasons, for one thing. Wicca is the updated form, enabling modern people to regain some of that lost connection. So it's different on the surface, but it's the same in the ways that really count.

The Evolution Of Religions

If this disturbs you, and makes it seem less real than Christianity, for example... you might remember that at the time of Christ -- and for many centuries afterward! -- Christianity was entirely new, entirely made up as it went along.

You can see this in any study of the origins of Christianity. There was at first just an idea, and one teacher, and it evolved into many different groups with different ways of understanding the message of Jesus, and so on. It was the same with Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Taoism... every single religion was new, at one time, with one main leader or idea.

How else could new understandings of Divinity possibly expand?

And Christianity as it was practiced in the Middle Ages would seem very foreign indeed to modern people. If people from 1000 years ago saw Christianity today, they would very likely say it's not real Christianity at all.

Over time, religions gain credibility because they've been around a while... which suggests there is something real to them, if so many people follow them for so long. In which case, Paganism might be seen to be the most credible religion ever, because it was the first and most enduring religion -- only partially extinguished even with the concerted effort of a centuries-long reign of terror, torture, and murder.

But the credibility of any religion is not really how long it lasts but how true it is. There are many ways to Truth, and as humanity evolves, different ways are perceived.

The truth in Wicca is not based on its age, but on its correlation with Divine reality ... just as Jesus' original message was. This is all that can be true of any religion.

You Can't Lose A Soul

This may or may not affect how you see Wicca, but the one thing I really want to reassure you about is that a soul can not be lost. You are not a human with a soul... you ARE a soul, with a temporary human body to play in. Your soul is eternal and indivisible from the real you.

A soul can be harmed by the malicious ways that you might behave, or sometimes extreme maliciousness that the you might experience. But it can always be healed, and can never be lost.

I hope this, at least, reassures you somewhat.

Spirituality Is Making Up Your Own Religion

As for making up your own religion, I think you're right.

That's the essence of spirituality -- finding your own truth, your own way to touch the Divine. Wicca supports and encourages this process, rather than requiring blind adherence to dogmatic rules and rites.

This makes it one of the best "religions" for people who want to make up their own religion. Maybe that's a sign that Wicca really is right for you, after all. wicca-spirituality-winking_witch

Wishing you all the best, with whatever spiritual awakening path works for you!



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Do you have a question you'd like answered? Email the Priestess and your question could be answered in a future issue.

(Note: questions may be edited for brevity or clarity. No real names will be disclosed. For reasons of legality, all questions become the property of

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Fave Quotes

Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will.

~ Dion Fortune

Hell is a place, a time, a consciousness,… in which there is no love.

~ Richard Bach, Bridge Across Forever

It’s the vanity of the ego that claims thoughts as “mine.” Genius, on the other hand, commonly attributes the source of creative leaps of awareness to that basis of all consciousness—which has traditionally been called divinity.

~ David R. Hawkins, MD, Power vs Force

Consciousness [is] a global phenomenon that occurred everywhere in the body, and not simply in our brains.

~ Lynne McTaggart, The Field: the Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe

First, there must be order and harmony within your own mind. Then this order will spread to your family, then to the community, and finally to your entire kingdom. Only then can you have peace and harmony.

~ Confucious

To “make sense” has ordinarily meant to be definable in terms that are linear--logical and rational. But the process, and therefore the experience, of life itself, is organic--that is to say, nonlinear by definition. This is the source of man’s inescapable intellectual frustration.

~ David R. Hawkins, MD, Power vs Force

… the brain acts as a receiving set for energy patterns residing in the mind itself, which exist as consciousness expressed in the form of thought.

~ David R. Hawkins, MD, Power vs Force

For a person has not only perceptions but a will to perceive, not only a capacity to observe the world but a capacity to alter his or her observation of it--which, in the end, is the capacity to alter the world itself.

~ Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All

Those people who recognize that imagination is reality's master, we call sages, and those who act upon it, we call artists.

~ Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All

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Word on the Street

What People Are Saying About

I have to let you know how much I truly appreciate your site! About 2 months ago I was nearing my breaking point, I NEEDED a spiritual path, I craved it even! But I'd been raised Greek Orthodox and Prodistant...neither of which gave me what I needed spiritually. I'd basically given up on Christian belifs, but could not accept my life without a spiritual path. I'd dabbled in Buddhism(my father is buddhist). It wasn't right either, something was calling to me and I didn't know what it was!

Finally, about 2 months ago, my oldest daughter was watching a scooby doo episode that talked of Wicca. After she asked what it was (and I had no clue) I googled it...and up popped your site.

I. Was. Amazed!

THIS is what called to me! THIS is what I need! I spent the next week exploring your site. Soaking it all in.

I've known this before--all of this information, I've been a part of wicca in past lives. I had to. It's so easy for me. I already know it, it's just like I needed a refresher. :)

Now I'm well acquainted with my Goddess (I feel so connected to her it's unreal) and I'm brushing up step by step. I've dabbled in energy work (me and earth energy are pretty good at raising). Meditation, ritual, folk magick and elemental magick.

I'm finally home. I'm in love with my faith-- and your site was a huge stepping stone for me!

So thank you! What you do truly does mean a lot. Blessed Be.

-- J. McC. in USA

Thanks for writing!! I appreciate hearing from you! : )

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