Warnings for aspiring and early magicians – unscrupulous vampires and scapegoats

Some interesting ideas from magician, Josephine McCarthy over on here blog. I would counsel that energy drain can happen after an active session of listening to one’s teacher not inherently of wrong-doing. But if you are curious or concerned do ask. Ideally a “clean work station” policy should be in place for students of beginner magic.

Josephine McCarthy

Various people have contacted me over difficult situations with study groups, workshop leaders and teachers. So rather than tie up my time answering the same questions individually, here is a blog of magical warnings, what to spot, what to look out for and what to avoid as you plough your way those the maze of study. Yes, it’s one of those ‘happy’ posts…..

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oath breakers and spirit singers

Very interesting ideas around the counter-cultural notions which influenced the term Witch to begin with. Reclaiming of terms is a potent force for any ideological movement and I think modern Witchcraft is just as much a part of that as any other.

Edit Postscript: 02/04/2014

The link below is the original post from Summer Thunder, which spurred on the discussion of the use of Warlock. After leaving it for some time and returning to it I find myself captivated by ways in which bloggers have taken to re-exploring and even redefining this term. Uncle Herschel, from Star and System added to the discussion by examining the term “waer” as possibly meaning ‘truth’ rather than ‘oath’, thus making the term warlock referring to “truth-breaker”. Uncle Herschel is asking us to consider the more metaphysical implications when he says the following:

We can imagine something of the Old Norse world from whence truth arises from oaths or promises. Recall, for example, the spear of Odin on which was engraved every promise and oath he had made. These oaths provided not just the foundation of his rule, and that of the gods, but the very foundation for what was to count as truth and reality for the rest of the cosmos. The oaths of the gods are the metaphysical truths of humanity.

Taken in this sense, the Warlock need not be some dishonest lier. Rather, he might be the person who can make the gods break their previous oaths, calling them to new ones. In doing so, the Warlock breaks truth in the sense of recrafting the very structure of reality. To play on my previous interpretations of magic as making the impossible actual, the Truth-Breaker makes what was previously impossible based on the seemingly stable truths of reality suddenly possible and actual. Breaking truth means rewriting reality.

I’m reminded of so many of the tellings of Merlin as an warlock and sorcerer who is caught in the remaking of the oaths and rule of law in the land. But the thing is that this requires a strong sense of conviction because even other magicians or witches are not necessarily by one’s side if one pays attention to some of the stories and myths.


Summer Thunder

If you look around the Pagan internet you will find more people calling themselves Warlocks nowadays, a word which has a definite ring to it. This is in sharp contrast to 30 years ago, when (as is still quite commonly stated) you would be told in no uncertain terms that “Warlock” was a term of insult meaning “oath breaker”, and that a male Witch was still a Witch. Pretty much the only people who were publicly identifying with the term were Satanists, and well, you know how Pagans are about Satanism (usually in some form of denial).

Nowadays there are quite a lot more people picking up the term and identifying with it, eg the Feri initiate Storm Faerywolf, and he’s not alone.

The Online Etymology Dictionary says the following of the word:

“Old English wærloga ‘traitor, liar, enemy,’ from wær ‘faith, a compact’ (cf. Old High German wara ‘truth,’…

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The Battle of Moytura 5: Inna Cethóir Cerdi – The Four Craftsmen

Within modern magical approaches in Ireland a lot of people have focused in on the Four Craftsmen and why not? It fits with ideas of magical compasses and the Craft in the name alone. A passing interest in Irish Mythology will inform you of the Five Provinces of Ireland (we have four now get that straight in yer noggin’!) and then we get notions of kingship being reliant on mysticism and superstition.

Well thats all terribly fascinating but scaling back a moment I would invite you to download Episode 5 of The Battle of Moytura: Inna Cethóir Cerdi – The Four Craftsmen to learn a little more. I’ll be listening today.

Story Archaeology

The technology of Dían Cécht, Goibniu, Luchta and Creidne Cerd is pivotal in the Battle of Moytura.  As People of Craft, the Túatha Dé Danann treasure the skills of their makers and shapers.

The Story Archaeologists find evidence of their crafting on every stratum of the Battle of Moytura and far beyond.



Don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest posts!  Related Articles will be posted in the days to come…

Old episodes now available on archive.org.

by The Story Archaeologists

Music: “Tam Lin” by Gian Castello

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The Battle of Moytura 3: Techt Lugo – The Coming of Lug

Story Archaeology

"Lugh, lord of all crafts" - a ceramic sculpture by Daniel Cullen

“Lugh, lord of all crafts”

a ceramic sculpture by Daniel Cullen

Lug Lámfhada has a Long Arm indeed, stretching all the way from Continental Celts to the Insular Isles.  His role is central to Cath Maige Tuired, but how does he relate to the other dramatis personae of the tale?

Join the Story Archaeologists as we dust off this iconic hero.

Don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest posts!  Related Articles will be posted in the days to come…

Old episodes now available on archive.org.

by The Story Archaeologists

Music: “Tam Lin” by Gian Castello

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Story Archaeology – Acallam na-nÉces

Chris Thompson and Isolde Carmody are launching "Story Archaeology", a new approach to Irish mythology combining scholarship with storytelling.  There is a website, http://www.storyarchaeology.com, which will host regular fortnightly podcasts, starting on 21st June with "The Story of Sinann".Each podcast is accompanied by a series of related stories and articles to enrich the discussions started …