Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Protect Yourself from Wicca Dangers

"What is the danger" or "how do you protect yourself" are some questions people who don't know much about Wicca might ask. They think that we have to worry about boogie men like demons, ghosts and all kinds of nasties jumping up at us during ritual or invading our dreams or something.

Sorry to disappoint these people, but in 25+ years of being Wiccan I've never encountered anything along those lines that have to do with Wicca. I don't believe in demons and ghouls and that sort of stuff. I'm not particularly superstitious, so it's not like I go around trying to protect myself from such nonsense. They're just not something I think about or worry about, and certainly nothing I've ever encountered.

Still, there are some things Wiccans do need to protect themselves from. 

I've taken the liberty of identifying the 10 biggest threats to Wiccans and their safety. Please take a minute to read them, note them, write them in your Book of Shadows if you like.

My Tip for You Today: Protect yourself from the following:

1. Never leave candles burning unattended. Be very careful with candles catching fire on long sleeves or robes. 

2. Be especially careful if you're burning papers and such, both indoors or outdoors. Flying ashes can burn homes down or start forest fires.

3. Likewise, use a heat proof censor, and when burning raw incense also use a trivet of some sort under it to protect the surface. Don't leave it burning unattended.

4. Be careful not to burn herbs or substances that might be toxic or irritants. Always keep rooms well ventilated when you're burning incense or other things, and always use incense charcoal for indoors (rather than toxic barbecue charcoal).

5. Dilute essential oils before letting them touch your skin. Many are irritants and allergens. Using them full strength can cause problems from rashes to increasing allergy sensitivities.

6. You may feel compelled to wander away from other people for private spiritual moments or rites; just be careful when you're going off the beaten path. Just don't get lost, or hurt where others can't find you, and of course be careful of wild animals and other humans. Be sensible and keep a phone on you.

7. Don't wander into private property; no matter how much you want to perform a ritual in that public park or nature preserve under the full moon, please respect operational hours, permit requirements and other legal issues. 

8. Nature is beautiful. Nature can also be dangerous. No matter how connected you feel to animals or how much you want to collect natural herbs in the forest for your tea, please use common sense-- educate yourself properly on these things, from reputable expert sources, or don't mess with them. 

9. Remember, Wicca is a religion, not a medical practice. Someone being Wiccan doesn't necessarily qualify them to treat illnesses and injuries with alternative methods like herbs and energy healing. When someone is acting funny, don't diagnose them with negative energy or a hex cast on them. Seek qualified medical advice. 

10. Protect yourself from people who would harass or harm you for being Wiccan. Don't try to engage them in some kind of holy war-- people can be crazy. Your goal should be to keep a respectful distance. If they cross legal boundaries, contact the police, get a restraining order, document their activities and take legal action if necessary. 

With knowledge of what dangers may exist, you can take the necessary precautions and release your fear.

What are your fears?

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