Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Out of the Shadows and Into the Light: Modern Day Book of Shadows

Out of the Shadows and Into the Light--Magical Wisdom for the Modern World

Out of the Shadows and Into the Light. It is a 105-page ebook containing Wiccan wisdom and rituals for the beginner as well as the advanced practitioner. It contains rituals for the individual as well as for groups.

Although Wicca is a modern term, it is based on traditions that reach back to when humans toiled the soil and hunted the forests for food. It is a wisdom, which helps Wiccan and Pagans work in harmony with the rhythms of nature to provide and protect the family or tribe. Most of us today do not grow our own food or hunt in the forest; instead, we work jobs and forage in supermarkets. This doesn't change the essential nature of our goals, which is to provide for our families and ourselves. By working in harmony with the nature's energy, which surrounds us, we can bring balance, peace and prosperity into our lives. This doesn't mean our lives will be without challenges, but it does mean with faith in ourselves and the Divine we can weather our challenges to reach our best and highest good.

Wiccans also respect other religions. We do not alter their rituals or prayers as an anti-religion. I have heard of covens, which as part of their initiation require the initiate to say the Lord's Prayer backward. Wicca is based on spiritual traditions, which began long before Christ walked upon the Earth. We are a positive, loving force in the universe. Only by respecting all paths can we honor ourselves, each other and the Divine life force, no matter what is called, which is in all of us.

In my Book of Shadows called, Out of the Shadows and Into the Light, I share some of what I have learned. It is a positive healing magic, meant to help you on your path. If you are looking for rituals to control or harm another, you are looking in the wrong book. Anytime you try to control another's destiny, it is black magic. Which brings me to the Wiccan Creed "do what ye will, but harm none." and the "rule of three". The only exception to these rules is in self-defense. Once you are no longer being attacked, you must stop; otherwise, you become the attacker and the rules apply to you. Both the creed and the rule of three have been hotly debated. Whether you call it the rule of three, karma, or what goes around comes around, your actions do have consequences for good or evil. Harm or manipulate another, no matter what your intentions, and you open yourself to the same at another's hand. However, random acts of kindness bring help and healing back to you when you need it. It is your choice.

There are two categories of protection. The first is a response to an attack that has already begun. Rituals, which reflect back or bind the other's negative energy, fall into this section. The second set of rituals are preventative measures, which include cleansing, shields, and reinforcing your own energy. Protection rituals or spells, which reflect back or bind, are specifically for self-defense on a spiritual level. Once you are in a safe spot, you can then turn your attention to preventing further aggression. These protection rituals are solely for self-defense. To follow the attacker and to continue, reverse the roles and you become the attacker. These rituals are specifically designed for self-defense, nothing more.

More than protection, justice rituals are for situations, which are bigger than the individual is, when you want to clear your karma, or break karmic ties with another. They are the best way to release the situation to the wisdom of a higher power. However by doing so you also forfeit your control over the end results. By letting go, you allow the best and highest good to determine the outcome. There are many situations both on the personal level and on the grand scale that would benefit from setting aside the ego and allowing Goddess/God to deal with the challenge.

What would a book of Shadows be without prosperity rituals--a book of other wisdom. But if you are looking for rituals to help you win the lottery or to steal others' belongings, you need to look elsewhere. There aren't many rich witches out there who didn't become so without hard work. That doesn't mean it can't or won't happen, only that is unlikely that you will win millions. Prosperity is more than the sum total of what is in you bank account, but of who you are and what you have accomplished. That doesn't mean you can set aside the mundane needs of life and go meditate on a hill--even then you have to eat. What it does mean that you need to take responsibility for your decisions and your life. Casting spells and doing rituals can help, but I have yet to meet a rich witch. The best way to insure a successful, prosperous life is to remain in school and get a good education. In doing so, you'll find a source of satisfaction as well as being able to live comfortably.

Most love rituals are in fact black magic. If you try to influence another against their will to love you, even for good reason, it is black magic and eventually you will pay. In the movie, The Craft, the one witch discovered how dangerous it can be. She forced a classmate to love her, but instead of a lover, she created a dangerous stalker. Besides wouldn't you prefer to have a love match where you were loved you for yourself instead of forcing someone to love you. How could you ever trust the love between you? Created in trickery and deceit, it could never be a strong bond. Also in doing so, you would create very bad karma and destroy any chance you and any of your true soul mates would have of connecting.

As with the protection rituals, the following are not meant to be the only path to take. If you are physically ill or injured for goodness sake, seek medical help. I am not a doctor or a medical professional. Healing rituals are designed to heal from the spiritual down to the physical. Many illnesses, both on the physical and emotional level have their sources in the spiritual. By healing etheric body or the soul, the physical body is restored. There isn't a simple explanation of why illness happens--nor are there any cure all. Frequently illnesses are learning experiences, karmic balancing or the result of emotional trauma. The only way to deal with them is to find the root cause. In doing so, the lesson is learn or the trauma is understood so trapped emotions can be released. This is no guarantee that the physical ailment will just disappear, but it will aid with the healing process.

Wiccan and Paganism are multi-dimensional paths whose main purpose is to be able both live well and in harmony with the universe. You won't find them on street corners trying to convert others, nor do they actively attack others; it would be against their belief system. Instead, they chose a life's path in the pursuit of wisdom, honor and harmony. They work their jobs, care for their families, and pay their bills, while trying to make this world a little better for everyone.

"When I use the term "awesome" in reference to Theresa Chaze's new book, Out of the Shadows and Into the Light, it is such an understatement that I really feel ashamed I cannot come up with a better term. Out of the Shadows and Into the Light is an excellent reference guide for anyone who really wants to know what Wicca is really all about. Theresa, an Ordained Minister of the Universal Life Church and Wiccan Priestess, guides us through rituals, alter-building and dragon magic with such a gentle and easy tone that even those of us who don't practice Wicca can understand that it's not about evil, but about finding good in the world. It has totally changed my way of thinking. I believe that if more people would realize that Wicca is not about burning animals at the alter or casting evil spells, but concentrate on Theresa's principles that "...Wicca is a wisdom...based on living in harmony with the rhythms of nature to provide and protect the family...," you will see the full impact that those who practice Wicca are trying to portray. I highly recommend Out of the Shadows and Into the Light...a must read for anyone who wants to know the REAL world of Wicca." --

Dorothy Thompson, editor, The Writer's Life (www.thewriterslife.net) and editor/contributing author of Romancing the Soul (Zumaya Publications 2004)

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