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Silver Ravenwolf

Posted by Cormac O'Dwyer on 5/24/2015 to Occult Weekly
We often discuss Practitioners and other Occultists who have impacted the Craft throughout history.  We have gone as far back as the Magickal beliefs of early man, and continued to the pagan beliefs in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman Civilizations.  Then we passed into the Common Era and discussed the mythology in the Middle Ages, and carried on with the influence of the great clandestine Occultists during the Renaissance.  We have discussed the modern Occultist view, as popularized by Aleister Crowley, the formation of modern Wicca by Gardner in the mid-20th century, and the impact of Practitioners such as Scott Cunningham and Raymond Buckland since then.
 
Today our focus is on an individual who some consider to be the present spokesperson for the Craft, while others strongly object to this notion.  Her name is Silver Ravenwolf.

Technology and the Craft

Posted by Monique Hargrove on 5/17/2015 to Occult Weekly
There is no denying that we live in a digital age, where technology is changing and improving by the minute. The invention of the motion picture is only a century old, the television a half century, and the personal computer even more recent. Yet look how far most of society has come in such a short time as a result of the great engineering minds who have thought outside of the box and provided the impetus for a more convenient lifestyle and a more connected world. Nearly every person in this modern age carries around some form of personal gadget – whether it is a smart phone, an iPad, or some other new invention that has just been mass produced.
 
These inventions have created a more compressed, globalized world, where we can hear about news from across the globe instantaneously, but it also has drastically changed theories of professions and economics in general. Corporations have grown larger, and seek to utilize this new technology to gain an advantage on their competitors. Certain occupations, such as bank tellers and radio DJs, unfortunately seem on the brink of wholly becoming replaced by machines, and therefore obsolete. The door-to-door milkman became all but extinct years ago.
 
For those of us who have gained expertise in a certain field, it is necessary to adapt our trade so that it will survive this digital age. Some may consider this unfortunate, others may be excited about the future, but either way it seems to be a fact of life that nearly all occupations must change. Even those very old trades that have changed very little in millennia prior to this century must find a way to persist. This includes Practitioners of the Craft.

Music in Rituals

Posted by Lynda Stratton on 5/10/2015 to Occult Weekly
There was once a tale of a mute boy who could not pray with his peers in his place of worship. When they would pray in unison, he felt that God was displeased with him, and therefore prevented him from the ability to speak. At one prayer session, the young boy took out his flute while the others were chanting their words. Displeased with the music, some of the elders became angry and told the boy to stop. Then, another brave boy stood up and told the elders that it was neither the words nor the method of prayer that mattered, but rather that the prayer came from the heart. The Divine would be pleased with the boy’s prayer however he chose to approach it, so long as he was true to himself. From that day forward, that particular place of worship began all their prayer sessions with the young man playing the flute. 

Music has the power to move us. It can change our moods. Whether the tune and beat make you reflect upon the Universe and ponder the natural wonders surrounding us, or simply get up and start dancing, we do not often think of music as such a powerful tool, especially when relating to the Divine. This music can span across all times and cultures: a simple beat from a mamba drum, a fiddler on the roof, pop music from the new age, or a grand symphony orchestra. It does not matter what your preference is as long as the music triggers an emotion inside of you that makes you feel something greater than yourself.

Ouija Boards and Spirits

Posted by Stephenie Crowe on 5/3/2015 to Occult Weekly
Ouija boards (pronounced “Wee-jeh”) have long been shrouded in mystery. While debated by scientists as “mere ideometer functions”, they have yet to prove their claims. Seekers of hidden knowledge and practitioners of the occult know better: The Ouija, while just a board, can be made so much more. 

The origins of the Ouija can be traced back to Song Dynasty China, where mystics and sorcerers would use planchettes (a divination tool in the form of a heart-shaped piece of wood) to commune with the spirits of the dead. That planchette still exists in the modern Ouija board, and the connection between our world and the spirit realm is still very much in place. Despite the fact that Parker Brothers now has the monopoly on this “game”, the idea used to create it comes from centuries of use on similar boards.

Walpurgis Night

Posted by J Roslyn Antle on 4/26/2015 to Occult Weekly
Somebody had recently asked me if I had any plans for the upcoming Walpurgis Night. I needed a moment to gather my thoughts before I could respond. Walpurgis Night is associated with St. Walpurgis who was a fierce opponent of Witchcraft during the European Dark ages.  

What was meant by ‘did I have plans?’ Was I supposed to visit historic sites of Witches past? I was at a loss for the answer as to why I had been asked if my activities were going to be different upon the eve of the Christian celebration of an infamous Witch hunter and adversary. As most cultures have faced persecution in one form or another, this would be similar enough to asking an individual of a given culture if they would be celebrating the birthday of their oppressor, or if they had any other sort of plans for it.