FOI: Isis Seshat, Summer 2018

The Fellowship of Isis quarterly journal, Isis Seshat Summer issue has just been released and contains contributions from members all around the world.

I have contributed an article on The Cat in Magick and for your copy for $5 follow this link:

Summer 2018 Isis Seshat Magazine

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Hekate for Halloween

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Halloween is also celebrated as the witches new year and is the time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest and therefore perfect for divination or contacting the dead.  Hekate’s connection to witches can be traced back to classical Greece where they worked with her for various incantations, spells and called upon her for assistance and blessings.

Hekate, the virgin titaness who prefers solitude, goddess of the sea, earth and sky, light bearer and revealer to those who seek, keeper of the crossroads who roams the cemeteries for lost souls, queen of magic and the night, key bearer who has access to the otherworld and can commune with those who have passed between the veils, goddess of ghosts and necromancy, patron of travellers who guides them to their destination.

Goddess of witchcraft, magic and ghosts – Hekate in my opinion exudes the energy of Halloween. During Halloween Hekate, the embodiment of death roams the earth and is therefore one of the most suitable gods to honour during this time.  Since Hekate is known as goddess of the dead, mistress of souls who can accompany the departed between the realm of the living and that of the dead, witches have naturally been drawn to call upon her during the festival of the dead: Halloween also known as Samhain.  Hekate can be called upon as an intermediary to connect you to your ancestors especially since our dearly departed tend to visit us during Halloween.  Also communing with the ancestors during this time can reveal future fate and Hekate can also be of assistance when divining.

Venerating the ancestors and Hekate during this time which also celebrates the last harvest ensures blessings and that fertility to the land is returned in spring.  The ancient Greeks would often leave offerings to Hekate in order for their crops not to fail and for her storm aspect to be pacified.  Considering winter is a time of storms and the earth lays dormant, getting Hekate on your good side with respects to these aspects is forward thinking.

I personally see that during Mabon (Autumn Equinox) is when Hekate, torches in hand, guides and protects Persephone as she descends into the underworld.  At Halloween, Hekate has returned from the Underworld with news from the dead, as she is one of the few gods who can traverse between all the worlds.

Constructing a dumb supper for Hekate and your ancestors is a wonderful way to honour them both by placing a plate of food that Hekate and your ancestors would appreciate then leaving it on a Hekate or ancestor altar, on a crossroads or on your doorsteps ensures they will take on the essence of the food offered.

Offerings to your ancestors can include food they enjoyed during life and offerings to Hekate that compliments Halloween includes apples, pomegranates, garlic, onion, wine, mead and mugwort tea.

Here is a simple ritual for Hekate, Halloween and your ancestors I have composed and used successfully in the past:

Prepare a dumb supper and place in the NW of your circle or on the left of your altar.

Create sacred space.

Light some incense preferably dragons blood, frankincense or livani (which is found at Greek continental shops and I prefer the rose scented type).

Have a candle placed in the middle of your altar before an image of Hekate in red or black so your deceased loved ones can make their way to you whilst invoking a hymn to Hekate (I prefer the Orphic Hymn to Hekate).

Have a key (I prefer skeleton keys) and an image of a skull (I prefer to use crystal) on the left side of your alter.

Any forms of divination should be placed on your shrine which include, tarot cards, scrying bowl or mirror.

Begin the rite by lighting the spirit candle and evoke Hekate with the following Orphic hymn:

“Hekate Einodia, Trioditis, lovely dame, of earthly, watery, and celestial frame, sepulchral, in a saffron veil arrayed, pleased with dark ghosts that wander through the shade; Perseis, solitary goddess, hail! The world’s key-bearer, never doomed to fail; in stags rejoicing, huntress, nightly seen, and drawn by bulls, unconquerable queen; Leader, Nymphe, nurse, on mountains wandering, hear the suppliants who with holy rites thy power revere, and to the herdsman with a favouring mind draw near.”

 

Take the key and tap the top of the skull three times and repeat the following chant:

“Hekate we ask that you open the gates of Hades and allow our ancestors to traverse to us this night

Guide our loved ones who have passed over, to us with your wisdom and might

Bring our ancestors of old and new with you to share with us their gift of foresight

Great Goddess we seek to commune with them in the name of all that is light

Bless us for we pay homage to you and our departed ones in this very rite”

 

Commune with your ancestors and use your divination tools to see what the year has in store for you or ask any specific questions that you have.

Thank and farewell your ancestors and Hekate.

Close sacred space.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2010

Hekate Self Initiation

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One of the simplest rituals I have created and completed is a self-initiation and dedication to a deity.  Here is a ritual I wrote many moons ago for Hekate which you might find useful and which you can use as a guideline when writing your own ritual:

Hekate Self Initiation

Performed on Sunset/Sunrise in a liminal place.

Items Needed:

  • 1 black candle
  • 2 white candles
  • 1 lighter/matches
  • 2 coins
  • 2 keys
  • 1 glass of wine or grape juice
  • Moon cakes
  • 1 glass of water
  • Salt
  • Hekate incense or similar
  • Charcoal
  • Incense burner
  • Hekate oil or similar
  • Pad and pen

Preparation:

Clean the working space and neutralize energies.  This can be done by completing the LBRP, sweeping the space with a broom, clearing the temple with incense and khernips etc.

Ensure alter is set up with items needed.

Anoint the black candle with the Hekate oil.

Anoint self with Hekate oil between the brow.

Create Sacred Space

In any manner you are accustomed to.

Magickal Working

As a sign of devotion offer Hekate a coin, a white candle and a key.

(The coin can be given to a charity or left at a crossroads after the ritual, the white candle can be used when invoking Hekate and the key can be used when working with Hekate to unlock mysteries or connect to her).

Light the black candle and Invoke Hekate by reciting a prayer written in her name.

Make an offering to Hekate consisting of wine and moon cakes.

Speak to Hekate in your own words.  Tell Hekate that you are dedicating yourself to her service and let her know what you can offer her as her devotee.  Share with her where you are at in your life and what you feel is holding you back and what you want to achieve.  Ask Hekate for her blessings, guidance and help.  Remember to be clear and concise with your words.

After you have done this visualise Hekate unlocking a door and opening it before you, she hands you a key as you pass through the door and there you find a crossroad before you.  Hekate holds her arms up before her in witch pose and lights the appropriate path before you with her blazing torches.  Hekate hands you a torch and beckons you to walk along beside her as she guides you down the illuminated path.  Follow the illuminated path until you find the answer you seek. After you have found the answer you seek thank Hekate for her assistance and farewell her.  Record any insights or advice given.

Close Sacred Space

In any manner you are accustomed to similar to creating sacred space.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2010

 

Ritual and why do it?

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Ritual And Why Do It?

What is Ritual?

A ritual is a ceremony in which a number of actions are enacted in a set of ordered steps which may be religious or ceremonial.

 

Why do Ritual?

Rituals have benefits as they are extremely effective when you engage in an act which will bring you benefits (psychologically or physically) whether they be religious or secular in nature.

 

Steps in Ritual

A ritual can be broken down into the following:

Intent

You have to know and have a clear vision of what your ritual is going to be about and therefore what your intent is (ie what you want the outcome to be).

Place

You need to hold your ritual somewhere eg. temple room, backyard, park etc as you need a place to work.

Banish

Banish all previous energies to make the area neutral.  You also need to banish all the negative energies within yourself to properly prepare you for ritual. If this isn’t done the energies can affect you in a negative way.  After you clear the space its ready to be used for ritual purposes.

Sacred Space

Make the space sacred.  This can be done by jumping the hedge, circle casting or opening the temple room in a ritualistic fashion.    Summon the energies which are appropriate, center it and call in assistance and blessings.

Magic

Create magic, however it might look – spells, heka, chanting as its asking for something from someone or something.

Offerings

In order for the creation of magic to manifest we need to either offer (given freely and without hurt) something up to the someone or something or you sacrifice (something tangible and painful to let go of/give up ie blood) to the “someone”

Ending

Close the sacred space.

This can be done by winding up the circle (close), rejumping the hedge, closing the temple room and farewelling and banishing energies summoned.

Outcome

You need to wait for it to manifest but its best not to talk about it (takes the power away from the ritual).

Note: Please ensure that you also help yourself in any way you can which is in a proactive and unharmful manner ie if you have conducted a ritual on attaining a new job you need to help yourself by applying for jobs etc.

 

(c) T. Georgitsis 2016

Purification in Kemet

Purification was an important aspect of the daily life of the Ancient Egyptians. It kept Isfet (evil) away which took the form of demons, pestilence and disease – which would run rife without adequate purification practices.   Purification was seen as a way to strengthen the power of protection as well as provide insight through making the way clear and clean.

The Ancient Egyptians would use fumigation as part of the purification process which involved incense made from resins and herbs which would be lit and wafted through temple, royal and residential homes alike.  The Ancient Egyptian clergy and aristocracy would shave their bodies as a way to keep themselves pure and free from pollutants.  The Priests would also keep themselves pure by avoiding dressing in garments made from animals such as wool or leather and only wear natural materials like linen. Another method the priests had for remaining pure was to abstain from specific foods, depending on which God they served.

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Priests had to abstain from any sexual intercourse before rituals as a form of purification even though they normally lived like the rest of the population and married and had children.  The only difference is that they dedicated some time out of the year to honor their gods in their part time vocations as priests of the temple.  Therefore before they re-entered the temple they would abstain from intimate relations to be pure for their gods.

The priests and royalty had lakes they had deemed for divine purification.  There they would ritually bathe themselves with natron, a salt like substance collected from the banks of the Nile river, before entering their temples to perform their religious rites.  Natron was used by the Ancient Egyptians for mummification but the priests also used it for personal purification in which they would wash their mouth out, hands and feet when it was dissolved in water.

Purification of the temple shrine and the associated tools was completed using natron so it was a cleaning agent which was pretty much used for everything.    Natron infused water was used to wash the temple walls and floors and implements as well as the images of the gods.  Images of the gods within the temple sanctuary were sprinkled with water and grains of natron during various times of the day and night when opening, maintaining and closing the shrine occurred.  Any remaining natron water was used to wash the surrounding streets and buildings.

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For practicing Kemetics using abstinence, fumigation, cleaning and bathing still occurs as part of the purification practice today. Since natron was a natural occurrence found on the banks of the Nile and we don’t have the luxury of being able to collect it this way I would like to share with you how to make your own natron.

Two methods I have found to make natron successfully :

  1. Simply mix some baking soda and kosher salt in the blender or in a mortar with a pestle – ¼ part baking soda to ¾ part salt. 
  2. Bake method outlined below which I prefer due to the consistency and its potency:

a. Mix one cup kosher salt and one cup baking soda and place in a cooking pot (shouldn’t be more than ¼ of the depth of the pot).

b. Add water until it covers the mixture and heat on low whilst constantly stirring.

c. Once it reaches boiling point ensure all the ingredients blend smoothly and take off heat.

d. Mixture should be slime like substance which you can now pour and spread over a baking paper lined oven tray.

e. You can put it in direct sunlight to dry out covered by netting so it isn’t polluted by grit or bugs (this can take a month or so) or alternatively place in a very low oven for several hours until the mixture dries out ensuring the mixture doesn’t turn brown as it must remain white in color.

f. Once dry, break apart the sheets of natron into smaller barley sized pieces and store in air tight container so it doesn’t get damp and clump up.

(c) T. Georgitsis 2014

Dumb Supper

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Although Samhain is celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere on the 1st of May, in the Northern Hemisphere its celebrated on the 31st of October, and some here chose to connect to those energies.  Therefore, I thought I would post something I wrote a few years back on Samhain and the practice of the Dumb Supper .

Samhain is also known as the last harvest.  It’s the time of year when the land’s fertility withdraws in preparation for the dormancy of winter.  Since Samhain is when the veil between the living world and that of the spirit world is the thinnest, I use this occasion to make offerings in the form of a Dumb Supper to my ancestors in thanks for the connections to my blood history.  Samhain is also a time of endings and beginnings for the witch, as its the start of the witch’s new year.   Along with ancestor veneration, acknowledging and honoring the Gods of this time – the turning of the seasonal wheel is also of importance.

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A Dumb Supper is a meal, which can include drink created in honor of the dead.  This supper cannot only be for your ancestors but also for friends who have passed or those whom you have a connection to and are no longer in the realm of the living.  Dumb Suppers are a time of silent remembrance so when offering a meal to them, it is traditional to commune with them silently or you can write a note to them and leave it with the meal.  Dumb Suppers can be offered in sacred space, like part of a Samhain ritual or they can be offered at a place at the set table of your Samhain meal you prepare (usually at the head of the table and served first).  Dumb Suppers can be covered in a shroud to symbolize its for the blessed dead, have a candle lit before it so its easy for them to find it on the astral, as well as saying a silent prayer in honor of them.

I like to create a Dumb Supper with things my blessed dead liked to eat in life. I personally include my supper as part of my Samhain ritual, which I use to communicate with them and thank them for their blessings of giving me life. Since candles were used to help spirits find their way home, I place a candle with images of my ancestors, a personal item of theirs and a plate consisting of their food in the North West of my cast circle.  I place a note I have written to them underneath the offering plate ensuring this plate is never used by the living (lest death take those who partake of it).  During my Samhain ritual I also burn the note of correspondence I wrote for them in a cauldron or fire pit so its released to the ether of spirit.

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Whatever you decide to create for your Dumb Supper, ensure you use what’s in season, and connect to the energies of Samhain.  Foodstuff in season can consisting of apples, pumpkins, corn, mushrooms, turnips, pomegranates, garlic, onions, potatoes, wine/mead, meat, nuts, within your meal offering for the ancestors.  Herbs which can be infused in your food and drink which resonate with the energies of Samhain are rosemary, mugwort, rue, tarragon, sage, wormwood, bay, nettle, mandrake, nutmeg, fennel (please note some of these herbs can be toxic with overuse or be incompatible with pregnant women so please refer to a material medica for further detailed information on the herbs you use).

If you would like some recipes check out my food blog:

https://madammagick.wordpress.com/recipes/

(c) T. Georgitsis 2014

Blending and Baking for Beltaine

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Beltane is a fertility festival where the union of the God and Goddess is honored.   Its a time of plentiful abundance and as such we can celebrate it as a feasting holiday.  A way to honor the earth’s blooming richness during Beltane is to hold a ritual with symbols of male and female fertility to signify the fruitfulness of the land and in turn us. It is also customary to hold a meal after the ceremony in celebration, which is called Agape in the Wiccan tradition I am initiated in.  Agape is a ritualistic meal after the customary rite has ended and circle is closed and the attendees are gathered around a hearth table or fireplace to eat and drink in merriment and the word itself means love in Greek.

One of the things which stands out for me during Wiccan ritual is the cakes and wine sharing within the coven which is similar to the catholic church sacrament but predates it.  Its where after our magickal working within the cast circle, cakes and wine is passed around by the coven members, which the Priestess and Priest initiate before the altar.  The cake and wine is shared among those gathered to ground and give thanks in honor of the God and Goddess for the blessings they have bestowed upon us.  When the goblet of wine is passed around the words “May you never thirst” are spoken before being handed to the next participant and when the cakes plate (sometimes the earth pentacle is used) is passed around the words “May you never hunger” are spoken before they are handed to the next person.  I find this form of blessing quite beneficial as not only does it bless us with the prosperity and bounty of the God and Goddess but it connects the coven in an act of love through the sharing of food in the name of deity.

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During Beltane my preferred preference for cake and wine is oat cakes and may wine. The magickal properties of wine are fertility, abundance and dreams and connect to the element of water and the moon.  The magickal properties of oats are fertility, wealth and prosperity and connect to the element of earth and the planet Venus.

May Wine Recipe

Wine is used in many a Wiccan celebration and as such perfect to use at Beltane. May wine also known as Maibowle (May bowl) can connect us to the nature of Beltane since its at the heart of spring and we have the ingredients at hand to be able to make this refreshing alcoholic punch. May wine/Maibowle gets its name due to Beltane falling on May 1st in the northern hemisphere where Beltane also known as May Day has its origins.  It is this time of year where this type of wine is enjoyed in celebration of the fertility festival, most notably in Germany.

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Oats are used in several Beltane-centric Celtic cakes and breads, my favourite being Bannocks which are native to Scotland.  Bannocks can have charms placed upon them and therefore the person consuming them also consumes the symbolic meaning that the charm represents.

Bannocks Recipe

(c) T. Georgitsis 2012

Heka (Ancient Egyptian Magick)

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Heka is a system of magick within the Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) tradition and the word itself means magickal and meaningful speech.  It is also the name of a netjer (God) within Kemeticism who is considered a patron of magick. The glyph of heka is depicted as a pair of raised arms and a twist of flax, which is thought to symbolise two interwoven serpents and which the netjer heka was able to hold power over and control. Heka manifested before duality had come into existence therefore its not a feminine or masculine force.  There are several patrons of heka within the Egyptian pantheon like A’set and Sekhmet but all netjers contain and can create heka.

Heka is employed through using, activating and projecting the ka, which is the part of the soul that contains the individual’s personality. In kemeticism – religion, heka and medicine are not separate states but are part of the same powerful energy. Heka is used to assist in accomplishing various tasks and warding off isfet (the concept of evil).  Heka can also be used by the common man and in Ancient Egypt the people of the day used heka for things from purifying their home to keeping vermin away.

Heka is always employed for a reason.  You would never go through the motions unless you want to work the energies to accomplish a goal you wish to see come to fruition. It is the magician who brings about the force of heka from their ka.  They do this through understanding and undertaking it via various acts which include: incantation, recitation, devotions, offerings, creating wax figures, amulets and various concoctions like poultices and potions just to name a few. Since words, actions and thoughts are magickal in themselves they have power and are essential in the working of heka.

Therefore, there are several steps needed to work heka – the thoughts which must be pure and focused, words which must be spoken and include intonations in a certain way, actions which must be enacted and often worked through in ritual formation and visual tools and ingredients used for focus and which primarily follow the like attracts like adage.  So in essence heka is written, spoken and enacted with ritualised gestures/motions and the use of sympathetic tools. Some forms of heka include effigies, charms, talismans, potions, incense blends, dream incubation, incantations, rituals, medicine and healing.  Heka can bring about prophecy, direction, health, prosperity, love, protection and fertility – pretty much anything you want or need.  When working heka one must purify themselves and remain that way throughout the working, make offerings and libations to the netjers (if they are asking for assistance from them), create and maintain focus of objective and have properly prepared tools and props at hand to assist with the desired result.

Heka was part of everyday life for the Ancient Egyptians and was employed in every stage of life from creation to death and the afterlife.  Similarly modern practitioners of the kemetic religion and other closely aligned magickal and theosophical systems ie Hermetisim view it the same way, to this day.

There are two types of magicians who use heka – trained priest-magicians part of the kemetic faith and dedicated to specific netjers or lay magicians who have no affiliations and are self trained or learn through other magicians. When a priest prays to a netjer for something it is the netjer who brings about the force of heka into the desire of the supplicant, as they are the agent of netjer. The lay magician however, holds and projects the magick into manifestation of desire and is usually employed for the services from others as well as for themselves.

 

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My personal path is a mix of the two types of sau heka (magician) and I employ various forms of heka in my daily life.  These can range from enacting various rituals in honour of my patrons to divining the future and creating protection amulets for others.  Here is some simple heka I would like to share with you, which you can use for yourself and your loved ones:

 

Heka to Protect the Home

In your active/dominant hand hold a stick of wood with meaning to you and walk around your home whilst reciting the following incantation:

“Withdraw disease demons!

The wind will not reach me,

And those who pass by,

may pass by to work disaster against me!

I am Horus who passes by the diseased ones of Sekhmet!

Horus – healthy despite Sekhmet!

I am the unique one,

Son of Bastest,

I die not through you!”

 

So as you can see from the above magickal working its very similar to some magickal practitioners of today – using a wand and casting a circle to protect one’s home from malevolent forces whilst reciting a spell to project the magick outwards and manifest it.

Like all forms of magick, heka can be dangerous to the uneducated and polluted heart.   So I implore that if heka is something you would like to learn more about and use – tread cautiously after much purification, divining of desire, introspection of reasoning, research, study and proper preparation.

 

(c) T. Georgitsis 2015

Pagan Blog Project: Z is for Zaghareet

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Zaghareet (pronounced “zah guh REET”.) also known as a ululation is a long, high-pitched, wavering yet sharp trilling howl created with the fast movement of the tongue to show heightened emotion.  On the most part its a celebrational  sound used to give praise and express joy within several contexts: ritual, singing, celebrations/events but it can be also be used as a sound of deep mourning depending on the culture using it.

In the context of bellydancing at haflas, weddings and other parties.  The dancer herself can use the zaghareet to show how much fun they are having otherwise it can be directed towards the dancer to show appreciation for their dancing.  It’s a great honour to receive a zaghareet.

This is what its supposed to sound like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaz82eJTkK4&index=2&list=PLCZAeT3QsYc60xQ8s8tETcjr3Uipl3t2y

© T. Georgitsis 2015

Pagan Blog Project: Y is Yes I’m Coming Out

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When I was 21, I chose to share with my sister that I had joined a Wiccan coven.  My relatives were well aware of my magical and spiritual practices due to the familial connections but that was done with one’s own family and without outside participation.  I was worried with how they were going to handle the news of me practising witchcraft with a bunch of Australians who I wasn’t related to, so I thought I’d test the waters with my sister.

To say it was a complete shemozzle was an understatement…..

I spent most weekends at my sister’s place for years helping her out due to a horrid divorce as she had heavily relied on me as confidant, supporter and helper so I thought it would be a good time to share my news with her.  I felt she would be open if I was just honest with her in a clear, concise way.  I was informative and positive about it all, as I really wanted her to understand where I was coming from.  She spoke little and only mentioned to be careful and seemed to be accepting of my choice.

Consequently I was extremely annoyed and frustrated when I left her that afternoon and drove the 20 mins home, where my father was waiting for me in a heightened state of anxiety and apprehension.  My sister had called him as soon as I had left her place to tell him I had joined a cult and that I needed a good talking to as I was going to be brain washed and used.

I felt so betrayed.

I was genuinely surprised as truth of the matter is I had been so careful with the way I approached my sister about it all and was very selective with the language I used.  I even gave her a copy of Scott Cunningham’s “Witchcraft Today” to read and she showed some interest.  My sister knew how I privately studied the occult, how my interest was deepening as I got older, how I wanted to learn more and network with others who were likeminded – she knew these were the reasons why I had joined the coven  This is why I was so horrified at how she twisted my words in her mind and didn’t have the decency to speak to me about it further.  It pained me that my sister had backstabbed me this way and over time I noticed her pulling away from me.

Thing is I accepted my sister for all her insecurities, selfishness, ego, greed and bitchiness but I always protected her and defended her and thought that as a big sister she would also do the same to me – no matter what.  That wasn’t the case and what she ended up showing me was how much contempt and hate she had for our mother and the magickal tradition we are part of and how all magicians/witches are against God/Jesus.  I had NO idea she felt this way until I confronted her about her behaviour.  I knew she never practiced herself unless it was to remove a hex or evil eye (the same is with most of my family) but the absolute revulsion she had for practitioners of the craft really shocked me. Although we moved past it for a while she would always make passive aggressive digs about it.  In the end it wasn’t my coming out that destroyed our relationship but it was the beginning of me opening my eyes and taking in what a spiteful, bigoted and angry individual she was…she chose to severe the ties between us due to my personal choices of how to live my life years later and hand to god/dess my life hasn’t been dimmed without her – in fact its made me realise that I don’t NEED to have assholes in my life who put me down due to their issues with something that doesn’t affect them.

With that said, my father was more open.  He married a magician/witch after all and had witnessed my mother practice on occasion and was impressed and amused by her talent.  I was truly my mother’s daughter and as long as I was in a safe environment he supported me fully…plus he knew I wasn’t an idiot and could think for myself.  In fact my father met my fellow conveners and he opened up his home to them and many rituals as well as dinner gatherings were held there.  He got to know my fellow coven and got to see firsthand what lovely people they were.

In the end I realised that coming out even though you might think you are out is harsher and I get why so many people stay in the closet.

Would love to hear other people’s stories on what happened with them when they came out of the broom closed to family…

© T. Georgitsis 2015