Monday, April 25, 2022

Occult Film to Watch

 


Are you like me, a fan of occult horror films? If so I discovered a new one on Netflix entitled “Dabbe 5: Curse of the Djinn”. It is subtitled in English because unless you speak Arabic, subtitles are required. However the story is allegedly based on real events in Istanbul and Bursa, Turkey.

The story begins with a ritual of a woman giving birth then having her baby is taken from her only to have it given to the djinns. Then we are shown a pair of late 20's modern Yuppie couple who begin to have strange things happen in their home.

Of course the same old horror tropes are involved, primarily the husband who is uber-rational refuses to believe his housewife is experiencing anything metaphysical yet he and she are devoted to “Allah” - which being religious one would presume he would take such things more seriously yet in almost every film on hauntings or possessions, it always seems someone in the film has to portray the skeptic to the bitter end regardless of what they encountered along the way. (Hollywood/Writers, this is getting stale/old!)

A witch-woman aka exorcist gets involved and you hear folklore, minor rites, a magic circle, djinn lore (which may or may not be accurate), a séance, astral travel to the realm of the djinns, and some other fun stuff. The cool thing about this film is you find out at the end, it is based on real events which happened and left the Police dumbfounded as to why some of the people involved were dead and why some were alive.

If you get a chance to view it and can deal with subtitles, I highly recommend it because it IS entertaining. I watched it on my laptop so that I could slow down the playback speed by 1/4 on Netflix and read the subtitles much easier otherwise at normal speed, I found the subtitles moving too quickly to catch everything. Plenty of scary elements in it and lots of interesting tidbits along the way for a fun scare-fest.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Book Burnings Should Be Punishable


This redneck is Greg Locke, yet another right-of-the-far-right ultraconservative "Independent Baptist" preacher whose Alma Maters are considered "KJV-only, complementarian, dispensationalist, science-denying, and affirming of eternal conscious torment" schools. In other words, an under educated hellfire and brimstone moron preaching Independent Baptist of the ilk I was forced to deal with in my own xian school environment.

It is a small, frightening world if you & your faith believe things such as Harry Potter, anime/manga, video games as well as  Dungeon & Dragons are going to harm children. I almost pity these self-righteous morons because our educational system has failed them and now they desire to bestow the same for all else by reverting back to the historical Dark Age period of blatant ignorance and uber-stupidity.

Personally speaking, I believe book burnings should be both banned and outlawed in our country and if caught, it should be a federal crime punishable by forced readings of the burnt texts! Sadly it is not only books these fools burn but also records as well including rock, jazz, blues, C&W, R&B, soul, even some classical - anything which does not fit into their limited world view.

If given the opportunity, this branch of Baptists would tear down our government, destroy libraries, subjugate women for breeding stock, kill off Liberals, and do away with handicapped people not unlike you see in the "The Handmaid's Tale" TV series. Think I am overreacting? Think again, I was raised in this faith for 5 long years and know whereof I speak. I repeatedly heard their propaganda and rhetoric on a near daily basis.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Pedestals


Recently, I had a Novice ask me for advice on beginner Witch books. I’m not up on the modern authors so I made some suggestions for authors I am familiar with, as I typically do. One author I mentioned, Ray Buckland, sent shock waves through the group causing many to freak out over my suggestion. By the reaction to his book suggestion you would have thought I suggested one of Hitler’s personal memoirs or some other equally horrid notion.

Throwing Out Baby With Bath Water

Okay, yes I do get the Cancel Culture idea especially if the person was a “known racist” or someone equally loathsome, and yet today I am seeing far greater reach for this concept of canceling out someone’s body of work especially if they wrote a book or two for the money and not for the sake of the art. In the case of Ray Buckland, his Romany book was such a book which seems to be the stake in his heart for some odd reason.

Never mind that Buckland’s big blue book on Witchcraft is an ideal intro to the subject, which is the same book that got me started way back in 1987. Or the fact numerous Hoodoo folks I know and respect, use Ray’s “Chant-O-Matics” book on a regular basis in their spiritual work. Yes his chants actually work as I have used many of them myself.

So Ray wrote a book or two for money? Big deal. The rest of his work is substantial and worthwhile. I had one Crowleyite picking apart Ray’s works and I had to remind this guy he shouldn’t throw stones while visiting a glass home since his own hero hardly had any sort of a spotless reputation. Furthermore I told this guy Hoodoo folks don’t seem to be into Crowley because they look for magic that works here and now.

Ray Buckland Is Only A Symptom of the Bigger Issue

It seems the youth of today with their Tick-Tock videos are being led by people who have no cred other than they can show an altar set up and just find information for free on the Net. How that makes one an expert is beyond me.

The other side of the coin is many youth seem to be judging others based on hearsay, rumor and hyperbole without facts or proof. It seems they hunt for blogs where some self-righteous asshat has an issue with a practitioner or author and yet this blogger has nothing other than some shady evidence (or just more hearsay) and this is how the cycle of deceit begins.

It’s like as adults, we are all back in grade school and dealing with the whole “popularity” problem all over again. Silly yes, however it is real and the real detriment of social media. It becomes a “he said, she said” sort of thing which is no good. 

Look, if all you are going to do is follow and adopt the practices of people who only share your views, your politics or your opinions, then you are not going to find many to follow. Why? Because as a former Skip Tracer, I can assure you, if you dig deep enough on ANYONE, you will find dirt on them and most likely something which will oppose some belief, moral or truth you hold dear.

So what then?

Do you stay solitary and not bother with commercial, mainstream or Internet info from occult authors who have dirt in their past? There are authors out there whom I know personally who have just done a reasonably good job of keeping their own dirt out of the mainstream and strictly private. They’re not nice people yet their fans are enamored with them. However this begs the question: if their fans discover some sort of dirt on them, will the fans abandon these authors?

Pedestals Are For Statues

We live in a culture where people today seem to worship celebrities and everyone apparently wants to be a celebrity in the spotlight. This is not a bad thing mind you however it seems fans want to place their heroes on pedestals instead of just admiring their body of work and leaving it at that. Pedestals are for statues not people because eventually people will say or do something to cause themselves to fall from their pedestal. Most average people say they understand this concept yet they continually engage in mounting those they admire onto pedestals just the same.

Today, even rumor and hearsay ruins a person’s reputation regardless of whether there are any truths to the allegations. Why? People are cynical and almost all of them believe everything they are told via hearsay, newsprint, or on video again regardless of whether what they’re told is fact based or an outright fabrication. You are guilty until proven innocent. 

Because People WANT to Believe Bullshit

It ought to tell quite a lot about a person when they say they listen to someone like Fox News whose owner specifically stated in a Tampa district court that he was not obligated to tell the truth and yet millions still listen to what this network’s “news” function pretends to be. This has zero to do with political parties or sides because I am merely going on the auspices of what Fox Broadcasting’s owner stated under oath in Tampa’s court of law.

And because Fox News has kept its share of viewers even though everyone knows they fabricate a goodly portion of their so-called “news”, other news agencies began to follow suit and disseminate fiction as fact. And people eat that shit up too. This is why I am skeptical of any news source and its so-called news. 

I have a friend of mine who is a ham radio operator who gets his news directly from people living in foreign lands who tell him what is really going on and not what some news agency first sanitizes before they disseminate to the public. No I’m not going to invest in a ham radio license and equipment just to get news because I have my own life, clients, students and so forth to deal with at the moment. If you desire un-sanitized news, then you will have to opt for something like becoming a ham radio operator.

Summary

So you will have to make a solid decision on occult authors at some point because the modern authors you love now are doing and saying things which later when they come to light, will repulse and abhor you. Why? They are people and people have a tendency to stumble and fall... a lot. If you are going to hold author A responsible for something said in a private discussion several decades ago, then you need to ask yourself about your own path, how you think, speak and act every moment of each day and if you say or do something which later you regret, are you not then as bad as those you finger point to?

When you are angry, arguing with another, and get to the point where you both begin to say evil things to one another, ask yourself if what you are saying, if immediately broadcast, would cause you to lose friends and supporters. Most likely, it would. Occult authors are like you, once something is said or done, it can never be taken back thus remember your own regrets when looking down on an occult author because she or he is just a person, like yourself, who can easily stumble and fall off the pedestal.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Occult: Not Depraved But Mildly Erotic

 




Is it still 1921 or 2021? I ask because it seems those who deem themselves authorities on the occult to the Police and the media are wont to paint the lot of us as depraved individuals. Excuse me to all of you "alleged experts" on the occult, but I am an occultist and I am not depraved. I may be mildly erotic at best but hardly depraved.

Really, just who are you so-called experts anyway? And where do you get off demeaning an entire sub-genre of people? And please, what makes you experts on the occult? And furthermore, who made you experts? Because I guarantee you this: myself and many other occultists have forgotten far more than you will ever know about the occult!

And the fact that you label all Witchcraft & Wicca, OTO, Golden Dawn, Vodu/Voodoo or Hoodoo as "Satanism" just proves how much of an occult expert YOU ARE NOT! Because a real expert would know the differences between each and be able to explain them which most informed occultists can do and yet no alleged Police occult expert is able too.

It is also telling of just how little you know when you automatically label finding a black candle stub, a crudely drawn pentagram and a Motley Crue CD at a cemetery as a "Satanic Ritual" when you have never seen nor studied what a real Satanic rite looks like. Such a finding may simply be a graveside ceremony for a deceased friend who liked Motley Crue and had a thing for black candles and pentagrams. Just because you might find a Star of David graffitied on a cement wall, does that indicate Jews are invading too??

The sad part is people like you are only interested in sensationalizing minor details to inflate and conflate them into whatever bullshit you want the public to believe them to be. You Police Occult experts remind me traveling evangelists because you have the same mentality, the same penchant for lying, omitting the truth, stretching details to fit your beliefs and conflating facts instead of attesting them for their veracity.

Can I say that all occult practitioners are like me? No. However I can say that out of the thousands of practitioners I've known in my near 34 years of involvement and practice in Witchcraft, Sorcery, Haitian Vodu and the Occult, I have yet to meet anyone who I would deem depraved. I have met a few who were a bit off in the head but lunatic fringe in groups is nothing new as the three Abrahamic religions all have their fair share of fruits, nuts and flakes among their ranks and they do nothing to rid themselves of these sickos!

Thus, before you go labeling our beliefs as depraved, look into your own family's religion's history and just see how sick, twisted and bloody your faith has been before you go pointing fingers. We are just tired of the Abrahamic cults and their intolerances towards others.

Friday, June 18, 2021

I'm Still Here



Greetings. I am alive and well even though it has been well over a year since I last updated my blog. Well I never followed a regular posting schedule anyway, only as the mood struck me. This pandemic just takes the stuffing out of one, eh? I’ve more or less stayed cooped up home like most Americans and only lately have I been foraging out and about.

So what have you been up to during this pandemic? I have been refining my practices, reading some new material, watching a few horror TV shows (sadly most of which suck!), occasionally playing my new Xbox One my daughter & son-in-law got for me last Yule, dealing with clients, dealing with a lot of family members going in and out of the hospital (non-Covid related) for one thing or another, and trying to keep my head under the radar is about all.

By the way, if you run into any spiritual trouble or need a spiritual boost in any way, give me a shout. My rates are reasonable and while I am often booked in advance for work, many cases get resolved quickly.

Yes, I have made progress on my new sorcery book. The book is going to be more of a primer so no big secrets to speak of however I think I may create further material later on for future books which will be more in-depth. I’ve thought about doing an omnibus type of book where I include an overview but since I already did that, I think this time it would serve the student better if I help them with digestive bites of information instead of trying to just dump a ton of info on their lap and let them sift through it to see if the student can make sense of it.

While I have kicked the idea around about a Sorcerer’s course, I’m not certain what platform to use to launch it from. I have an inordinate amount of material I’ve accumulated over the decades and I’d like to pass all of this knowledge and wisdom on to someone who is interested in learning well as doing. My course would end with students getting initiated in person.

~o0o~

Pro Tip: I was kvetching to an ethnic friend of mine who is also a sorcerer, about how old candles of mine which may not get used right away are a real pain to get the dust off of. She said to use a used woman’s knee high stocking and it will clean the dust off without harming the candle. So, I tried her tip and it worked.  Made the wax look practically new again. Then it was quite easy apply oils - should I want to do so.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Sorcerous Thoughts: Relationships & Solitude





We are a communal species much like the insect world of the ant or bee where we dwell among others of a like mind. While we may not all have queens to serve, most of us reside in communities of close proximity to one another with a tiered governmental system to guide our conduct.

Our modern mainstream religions evolved from ancient cults which were communal as well because people of a like mind who believed in the same deity, spirit or philosophy gathered to commune together using the same rites and observances. Some of these cults and religions grew out of a desperate need for identity while others grew from a base of the lust for power and dominance.

Today even the non-mainstream belief systems seek members whom seek to assemble themselves together for numerous reasons from learning more about what it is they believe in to security and safety in numbers. It is safe to say that all of the African systems are community based belief organizations and many of the western European ones such as lodges and Witch covens are growing of their own accord as well.

So with the notion that it is better to be part of a group than alone, why would anyone decide to go off on their own in the first place? There are reasons and they are not all occult nor metaphysically oriented. Sometimes the reasons are just plain as day.

Many may think the idea of being alone is antithetical to being a human however it is not.. History shows numerous great minds and thinkers spent a great deal of their lives alone contemplating and working alone often so that they could get more of their work accomplished. Mathematicians, alchemists, astrologers, artists such as painters & sculptors, musicians, composers, engineers and inventors, scientists, poets and many others all left the hubbub of the world at large and sought refuge from the noise to be alone with their thoughts, ideas, beliefs and work.

It seems to be only within the world of religion where you are expected to conform and become like everyone else: docile, respectful, accepting, obliging, giving, and of course, obedient. You’re not expected to question the status quo let alone the religion’s philosophy else you run the risk of expulsion from the community sometimes called ‘excommunication’ - which often meant death for an individual since no one else in the community was allowed to do business with them by religious decree.

The few who chose to resign themselves to either lead a dual life of a self-centric spiritual believer who chose to question the community’s dominant paradigm or the rare individual who left the community all together and wandered off to find their own plot of home for themselves out in the wilds had a tough time of it to be certain. We do know there were Sorcerers in France operating as alchemists who often sold poisons to nobles and aristocracy while they plied their work seeking to both illuminate their souls and obtain the Philosopher’s Stone which was believed could turn base metals into gold.

There are tales of Cunningmen and wise women who eschewed many towns preferring to live by themselves while they worked their Sorceries for clients and performed whatever magics they did for themselves. This may seem a stretch to some however is it really? We can look to the Old West in the US where Mountain Men got tired of so-called civilized life and went into the mountains to live many years alone with a few being outlaws but numerous ones being scarred by their time serving in the American Civil War. If these men would just up and leave civilization all together especially with numerous angry Native American tribes disliking any white settlers on their lands, it’s not a stretch to imagine how Cunningmen & Wise Women of old could easily do the same for various and sundry reasons of their own free choice.

Here are some of my reasons as to why a serious practitioner would want to disconnect from the world today and venture off into parts unknown by themselves. You may judge for yourself yet understand these are simply my thoughts on the subject and are not definitive by any means.

1. Peace & Quiet. Above all, removing oneself from being tapped into “The Grid” s many are wont to say is to forsake the typical noise of the idiot box (i.e. television) and the communication devices such as the modern telephone. After a while the peace and calm one’s mind obtains is wonderful and very stilling. It allows for your mind to have its own thoughts rather than to be bombarded with the miasma of trauma by so-called news reporters, pundits whose opinions mean nothing and slick advertising conditioning you to believe you are not cool/hip/pro/chic/etc IF you do not purchase their products. All of this can be lived without.

2. Difficult Family Members. Nothing is more aggravating to me than a bunch of ungrateful family members whom you’ve done work for or helped previously and when you need them, they’re nowhere to be found. Family is supposed to stick together however this often is not the case. In most families, there’s one members who is the dominant one who tries to bully you into submitting to their whims & desires. This is not a good family setting rather it is a bully situation and regardless of the fact they are blood relations, when they have consistently demonstrated unable or the unwillingness to help you when you need it then why bother to worry about them any longer?

3. Friends, Acquaintances & Who are you again? After Family come those who toss around that dreaded word willy-nilly “friend” especially when they desire for you to help them with the heavy lifting, the ride, or the money loan. I dislike the word “friend” because I tell folks I have 2 real friends and everyone else I know is an acquaintance of one degree or another - usually to the lesser degree. Once I had someone ask me, “So how do you define a ‘friend’?” and I stated “a friend is someone whom you can get a substantial amount of money from without ever fear of having to repay it as well as someone who will immediately get up in the wee hours of the morning during a blizzard to come and rescue you; that is a friend.” In reality a friend is someone you can impose upon if need be and they will have your back without question. Know anyone who loves or cares about you enough to take a bullet for you? THAT is a friend. Everyone else is just an acquaintance.

Occasionally I run into this third type who I label, “Who are you again?” because these are people I seriously do NOT remember ever meeting let alone ever knowing and usually they are trying to wheedle something out of me whether it’s $$$, something free or just my time for them to tell me about their interests. You may even know the type yourself and they are severely aggravating.

4. Political Rhetoric. Ugh. “Vote for so-&-so because they’re gonna fix everything!” Really? Then why didn’t they fix everything when they held a lower public office? Why are their state’s finances in a shambles now and how many unwed mothers have been kicked off any sort of financial assistance while they served as their state’s Governor? Yet this all knowing candidate is going to fix everything if s/he becomes Senator or (worse) POTUS? Really? Then my friend you’ve been drinking too much Kool Aid but if you add a little strychnine to it, you won’t have these silly beliefs any longer.

People want to believe in politicians more then they want to believe in Jesus, Allah or UFO’s and it’s really scary. Oh certainly every politician starts out “honest” (cough, cough) which is utter nonsense because no one in their right mind leaves their multi-million dollar a year corporate job to take a political position that pays just over $100K/yr?!?! I call BULLSHIT! They are in it for the financial gains they can get from the power structure which will be at their beck and call. Yet simpletons believe in the errant stupidity of what some candidates spew their sewers with promises of reforms - all of which only ever help the top one percent of the wage earners. Trickle-Down Economics is idiotic, it does not work and Ronald Reagan sold us that No-Sale nonsense 40 years ago.

5. The Lunatic Fringe. Here I dump the religious lunatics who run around trying to save us all from ourselves. The one who refuse to pay attention to their own kids, what they are doing, where they are, who they are with and so on yet these religious knights want everyone else to suffer by instigating harsh community rules of conduct and decorum for anything and everything which they believe flies against their faith. This did not work in the Cromwellian era of Britain and it is not working in the Muslim world today. When force is applied it eventually it encounters resistance and if the force is increased then the resistance will also increase and the result will become catastrophic. Such is inevitable.

Not only must we deal with the lunatic religious maniacs in our society but also we have to deal with aggressive sales people fostered by corporations whose desires are to expand, increase and surpass previous records in their gluttonous rage to corner the market so they get all of the $$$. Sadly this leads to unethical sales tactics, outright cons and often lies about their competitor’s reputations.

We are even seeing these old straw hat tactics being used today by door-to-door knockers representing so-called utility companies such as electric and/or gas utilities in the hopes of switching you over to their (surprise!) lower rates offered by the firm they represent. However once you show them your utility bills, they now have the info off of it so they can sign you up without your consent and you are in one helluva mess to get the issue resolved.

Getting just as bad are the aggressive kids selling scout cookies or church youth groups preying on the adult for sympathy to buy their wares yet when you spend the $ on the items, no one ever shows up with your merchandise.

And of course we have the local political parties who reach out by going door-to-door which in itself is not normally bad IF the door knocker is a rational individual and can keep their cool but many of them are hyper religious kooks and get offended easily if you refuse to pray with them or tell them you don’t like their candidate because he’s a born-again fundamentalist.

6. The Ever Growing Police State. I have known more than a few who have left the comforts of civilization seeking solace out in the wilds after they purchased land and had a cabin or ranch steading built. Why? Because these folks were afraid of the ever growing Police State being weaponized, trained and fueled by the Military Industrial Complex.

Today we have a Police State who take in trainees, give them a few weeks of training then send them out with loaded weapons on patrol. Yet a hairdresser must go through a full year’s worth of training before s/he is allowed to cut hair! I may overlook some of this IF these new Police recruits were former Military Police but often these men and women are just average high school grads who have had very little training when compared with our European brethren’s Police forces.

Do not get me wrong, I respect our police because I come from a family with former police members, my late best friend was a 20 yr retired sheriff’s deputy and I got to know a number of officers, highway patrolmen and deputies when I was a firefighter. Even many of my old retired officer friends are astounded at how our modern society has shifted towards police because of all the hard work they did in their day to make things better between police nd citizens yet today young hot-shot officers pull their guns and kill the tiny yappy dogs of homeowners or baby kittens in front of young children who wre tending to them - and sadly this behavior is ALWAYS justified by their respective police departments.

~ ~ ~

So is it really that difficult to want to pack up and leave town? Or just remove yourself from society’s grasp? Yet we hear religions claim you need “community”. Yet if you’re a practitioner who can raise a few livestock animals, tend to a small garden, know how to smelt metals in a forge, have your own solar &/or wind power to suit your needs, then you should be able to get along fine all by  yourself.

Sadly though people who are self-sufficient like this are often labeled by the establishment as kooks, odd, strange, weirdos, coots, or worse, “anti-establishment”. For what? Just because you want to be alone with your thoughts? Tell that to DaVinci, Emerson, Tesla and many others who enjoyed their time alone so they could think, create and invent.

I also find it amusing how many so-called occultists today pay lip service to wanting to perform the Abramelin ritual yet none of them want to leave society to actually go and do it properly. Everyone wants to do this ritual while still living and working in our modern society. And still that’s NOT how Abramelin the Mage laid it down to his son. Imagine if you had a steading or cabin where you could be self-sufficient and be alone? Think how much and how far your magical abilities would go.

Even if you didn’t want to perform the Abramelin rite, you could still do your Liber Samekh for an extended period of time thus allowing you the golden opportunity to see within and to meet your higher self. Or perhaps you cared to spend time simply working the Uncrossing Ritual for an extended period of time? Removing all of that crap you were embedded with from your past childhood upbringing with limiting beliefs, doubts, fears and worries which you could resurrect each one, examine it carefully then expel it and replace it with something better.

THIS is why unplugging from The Grid is an ideal thing for the Sorcerer who does not wish to remain handcuffed to societal norms. With services like Amazon you can order virtually anything online at a local library and have any book sent to you for your studies. Your magical work would increase by leaps and bounds. I know this because years ago when I was still in college in Florida, I used to take sabbaticals from work and just read/study and practice Sorcery & Magic - when not in school and finished with my class studies. It was fantastic! I’ve been thinking about doing this again except I am considering investing in some private property out in the country somewhere and setting up shop.

Something to chew on.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Do I Need Spiritual Degrees To Be A Witch?




Recently someone asked if they needed a degree from a Gardnerian coven to become a Witch or rather what would be involved to become a First Degree in a Gardnerian coven? My reply is following...

Do you feel you need degrees or do you want to be an actual Witch?? Because rather than focus on a ton of books to read, it would be far more prudent as a student for you to get outside and get into the woods where you can set up a shrine to the old Green Man and ask Him to help you begin to learn about His children: herbs, plants, trees, bushes and how to use their roots, stems, leaves, berries, bark, and so forth to first learn from then later in your spiritual work. Ask the Green Man to also introduce you to His forest children, the Nymphs, who can teach you all manner of woodland lore and plant magics. Pay attention to any dreams you have as He & His children will most likely come to you in your dreams to teach you things so have a pen & paper by your bedside ready to write when you immediately awaken from slumber.

What Then?

* Learn the delicate arts of relaxation until you can fully relax your body from head to toes. Do not rush this! Take your time to progressively develop this skill. It will serve you well over the years as you practice it.  Note: if you have trouble falling asleep after you begin, then go to bed an hour earlier than normal and wake up an hour earlier than you need to and practice your progressive relaxation then because you won't be as easily to fall asleep after you have had a full night's rest. If you still find yourself falling asleep, try sitting up with legs criss-crossed & with your back against a wall.

* Learn to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth using only your belly’s diaphragm. It is not as easy as it seems but it can be done. Begin to breathe in using a rhythm of 4-2-4-2 which is thus: breathe in for a count of 4... hold for a count of 2... exhale for a count of 4... hold for a count of 2... keep this rhythm going while you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth and always exhale the exact amount of air you inhaled. This breathing exercise should be performed regularly, daily, while you relax then later prior to meditation.

* Next learn to both passively & actively meditate until you can achieve a solid 20 minutes of inner mediation. Start off with setting a timer and trying to simply focus your mind on your breathing for 3 minutes then in a few days increase the time to 5 minutes then a week later make it 10 minutes then the following week increase another 5 minutes and by the end of the month, you should be at 20 minutes of quiet, relaxed meditation.

* Get dirty and feel what the earth and its various dirt's are like in different locations which can tell you a lot of about an area itself. Get down and grab some dirt from the ground, roll it in your hands while you close your eyes. Feel the dirt in your hands. Is it top soil? Sandy? Loam? Clay? What? Notice the properties of each. Let the dirt speak to you. If nothing comes immediately give it time and practice. You will begin to unlock the secrets of dirts & soil of the earth and the plant kingdom.

* Let the Gnomes of the earth speak to you telling you what the history of the area is and other secrets it contains. The Gnomes are the easiest of the Elementals to make contact with. They can also make you a green thumb if you so desire it. Make offerings to Them and you will be rewarded not only with a green thumb but also with spiritual knowledge and They can also help introduce you to the other Elementals such as Water who are the next ones you should make contact with after you have made contact with the Gnomes.

* Get outside during a thunderstorm and sit on a porch watching the lightning display. If you're afraid of lightning storms, work to overcome that fear and realize it is only a force of nature, of the earth mother Herself and nothing to be afraid of. When the storm is over, feel the ozone in the air and notice how it energizes you! Deep breathe in the ozone into your lungs and feel the power the lightning left behind. Of course make notes in your journal.

* Construct a Power Bag in which to store your excess power so that you can draw on it later so that when you are feeling low, you can draw on the power of your bag to uplift, heal or protect you. Realize it has many uses in your Craft and can be worn when you go out and wish to ward off any potential harm from others such as at a gathering or crowd.

* Instead of worrying about a ritual dagger or athame, make a staff or walking stick instead which you can walk down the street with. You can draw a circle with your staff, draw pentagrams, ward off evil with it, and make it a living tool by regular use and the spirits will respect it far more than a mere sword because you use it more often than any sword. You can still use an athame if you choose but when I was practicing Wicca, I rarely used my athame because I chose instead to use my power staff. Decorate it however you wish as it is your representation of Sorcery.

* Erect a shrine to make contact with your Ancestors and offer Them a single glass of water & a plain white unscented tea light candle every day for 30 days then you can switch once every Saturday. Salute them and thank Them for any help They can give. After the initial 30 days are up you can switch to saluting Them on Saturn's day, Saturday. You only need a glass of water and a plain white unscented tea light candle. Remember this is a shrine only, not a working altar. You interact with your Ancestors here not perform regular JuJu here.

* Next, find a Patron spirit with whom you get along with and more importantly who wishes to work with you. This is often a god, goddess, a hero, a saint - in other words, a spirit of some type whose ideas, customs & concepts you really admire. Read up on that spirit's history, Their mythology, who worshiped them in the past, where were They worshiped and why, what cultures took part, what geographies Their influence reached, and so on. Learn as much as you can - just please do not be a McWiccan where you study so little unless it's only from some sheeple publisher (ll-ewe-llyn) books. Try to study the locale where the Patron was originally worshiped so you can get an idea of the flora & fauna that grew there and study up on the land's native plants which will be important to the Patron spirit and which you can include in your workings with the Patron spirit. A great resource to begin with at this stage is the Larousse Mythology books as they are fantastic and well researched. "If" you are leaning towards the Hellenic Gods, then you will want to get a copy of the Homeric Hymns to add to your repertoire to honor your Patron. If you're leaning towards a Norse deity, then the there are the Eddas & various Sagas to get material from. IF you're unsure of WHOM to work with as a Patron, light a white candle and call out to the Universe using the four cardinal directions and say that you want a Patron spirit who will be there for you, work hard for you and give you solid advice when needed. Then be patient until your call is heard.

* Finally if you feel you still need books to read then avoid Pagan books as much as possible and opt for books written by scholars or professors who have no bias whatsoever. There are numerous universities from around the world whose scholars are well respected researchers in their fields on everything from the occult to trees & plants to earth sciences. Your Witchcraft library should include material on things like Earth Science, geology (rocks & crystals), plants (flowers/weeds), trees/shrubs, basic biology & Grey's Anatomy (because if you plan on doing any healing you need to know something about the human body), metallurgy, basic chemistry (you want to make your own potions later on? This is a good way to learn some simple fundamentals - you can learn quite a bit s from manuals out of kid's chemistry sets if you can locate them). If you feel you need actual "pagan" books, then try author's like Paul Huson, Tarostar, Lady Sara, Charmaigne Dey, and if I must, I will plug my own Free Basic Witchcraft Lessons here -> http://www.molochsorcery.com/witchlessons.html from my own site which still rock because they are bite sized, simple and non-confusing for the beginner.

* It would also not hurt for you to study any sort of scholarly Native lore from wherever you live to simply learn about the folklore, stories and legends of that area as these may help you with any hauntings, ghosts and spirits should they make themselves known to you somehow. Why reinvent the wheel if it has already been documented before? You may discover the folks who documented the visitation found a way to get rid of any  offending entites so study up like a real wizard.

So in summary, you can see where I suggest a plan of action for the would-be Witch instead of just plopping their bum down reading they should get busy with learning how to be an actual Witch not someone who simply gets involved for political reasons these days. Not to say that some Gardnerians aren’t the read deal but these days so many are just fake.

Besides with most Gardnerian covens are very insular and resistant to bringing in just anyone and unless you have someone on the inside vouching for you, it’s not likely you’re going to get initiated into their coven any time soon so you may as well begin studying on your own outside and learn all you can about nature, its denizens and how to be a real Witch!