What is the Ophic Strix Tradition?

Temple of Hekate Ritual

Temple of Hekate Ritual

People have often wondered what exactly my temple teaches. Our temple, the Temple of Hekate: Ordo Sacra Strix (Sacred Order of the Owl), is the only existing temple thus far of the Ophic Strix Tradition. In Traditional Initiatory Wicca, the word “Tradition” when pertaining to a specific lineage or group, is only used if that branch survives at least 3 generations. For example, if High Priestess Willowroot founds a coven and it is called “Coven of the Sacred Flame,” and her coven begins to combine aspects of Celtic Reconstructionism with their mother Tradition of Gardnerian Witchcraft, then this is something new. From there, if a daughter coven hives off, and then another hives off from theirs, it can be said by those members that “Coven of the Sacred Flame” is a candidate for a new lineage or even Tradition in its own right. The oral customs and values passed on have a different meaning than the core of Gardnerian Witchcraft. This doesn’t make it greater or worse, it simply is. That is how Traditions work: they evolve and aren’t stiff and stagnant, contrary to popular belief. A NeoWiccan group composed of Intrapersonal Students who weave together a coherent system that works and branches 3 more covens successfully can also use the word “Tradition” in this way.

Our temple uses the term in a slightly different way, since we have only one existing sanctuary. I will add that our temple is not in any way affiliated with Traditional Wicca or Hellenismos. We are an independent entity in our own right. Our students have studied Greek lore and history in-depth, along with Hellenic Reconstructionism. We have also researched the various Mystery Traditions and oracular practices of the ancient Hellenes: Pythagorean, Apollonian, Dionysian, Orphic, Eleusinian, Samothrakian, the neckromanteions, Delphic Oracle, etc. Included in our explorations are ancient Greek folklore, folk magic, goetia, sibyls, ancestral veneration, healers, philosopher prophets, Thessalian strixoi, and the powerful female figures of Myth. But, our emphasis lies not in Classical Athens but in the customs and observances of Southern Italy, Sicily, the Near East and Anatolia (modern day Turkey). While academic in nature, much of our praxis is a careful harmonious dance between these and our own personal experiences. We carefully record and converse on these as a group to discuss whether these encounters are relevant or not (as classical Occultists once taught: approach it like science). By doing so, we have successfully arrived at a pragmatic spiritual juncture where we honor our flesh and spirit ancestors, and we tap into an Occult current known as the Ogdoadic Tradition. The Ogdoadic Tradition is the other half of the Western Mysteries, with roots in the Mediterranean, the Near East, Arabic mysticism, the Italian Renaissance, and from thence to Greece as well as north to England via Spain. The rituals and stories reflect these influences. Our temple found this a perfect complementary fit for the folkish magical practices (thaumaturgy), the lore of the Evil Eye (Gk. “Kako Mati”) and bewitchment (Gk. “Vaskania”).

We are a living Tradition, a child of the Ogdoadic and Hellenic occult currents. We adhere to the philosophies of the pre-Socratics, along with the Underworld, Dionysian and Orphic Mysteries. We practice ancestral veneration and nekromancy traced from the Nekromanteion in Baia, Italy. We dance beneath the full moon pasted in white with our tribal symbols, calling inward the frenzied possessions of Dionysus and the various spirits conjured. We keep the Greater and Minor Festivals to pray, give honor, and worship our Gods and spirits, who keep our system alive. We participate in the 3 Hearth Feasts of the Deipnon, Noumenia and Agathos Daimon. We are the children of Hekate, the cattle of the Raving One, and the progeny of our temple’s pantheon of Gods and spirits. Spirit alliances and contracts are seriously taken, as are initiations. Our ways are both written and oral, and we have an extensive Mythos that pertains to us and us alone.

Thusly in our own right we are a Tradition. Nyx is the Mother of All, the androgyne Star Goddess. Her firstborn are the sacred twins of Eros and Thanatos, Desire and Death. They were born in sexual embrace, becoming the First Order of the Cosmos, which is the very flesh of Nyx. Evolution is the great love story of Nyx as She attempts to reach Attainment within Hirself by continuously evolving, changing, bringing chaos and order within Hirself. We exist, and one day we will collectively return to the flesh of Nyx, our atoms and dispersed, our energies taking root elsewhere. Our hope lies in the life we fully live here and now. We are the people of the Serpent and the Owl. We are Strixoi, and we praise the Gods!

Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
~Oracle~

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Sexual Abuse, Healing, and Survival

The Abduction of Persephone

The Abduction of Persephone

In light of recent current events, I’d like to expose people to my first two posts published by the Witches’ Voice.

The first one is From Victim to Survivor: How the Craft Taught Me to Overcome Sexual Trauma (Part I).

The second is From Victim to Survivor: How the Craft Taught Me to Overcome Sexual Trauma (Part 2).

Since then I have learned a great deal more in my walk and Work with the Theoi. So I might do an update. In the meantime, I hope these essays help fill people with hope.

Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
~Oracle~

 

Exploring Modern Pagan Ethics III: Witchcraft, Hexes and Cursing

cursetablet2

Phyrgian Curse Tablets (1st-3rd Century CE)

This is the final of my three-part series on modern Pagan Ethics, and I am seriously wondering if I should do any type of series in the future. I may, but right now I need to give a rant about some thing. But I’ll save that for my next blog entry. While I have discussed some of the misnomers about the Law of Three and the Wiccan Rede, it seems that many in the Neo-Wiccan camp insist on interpreting both principles as inviolate laws. They refuse to mingle with Witches (even those who are Traditional Wiccans) that profess they have zero issues with cursing and hexing, like we somehow have a disease that affects us. Or, worse, yet, that we carry “negative energy.”

You know what? Nature is positive and negative. We are fucking human, and we experience the range of emotions going from anger, to happiness, to sad, to bored, to extreme pissiness, to horny, to whatever else we have. Our sex tastes feature from gentle to rock-your-ass-clawing-biting-spit-blood-cum-in-your-face deal. We love our neighbors, and hate our neighbors. We love our families, and we hate our families. We feel love and betrayal. We feel injustice and the venom that can come from traumatic pasts or unsavory characters.

And yes, we carry negativity, because it’s called LIFE!

I have zero conflict about lending healing energy when someone needs it, and I have absolutely no conflict within me when I am betrayed, hurt or attacked to attack back. When someone does their absolute best to ruin my life or my reputation, I will pull out my arsenal, dig a pit to the Underworld, offer some blood, bury a tablet, and resort to eviscerating them in writing. That’s witchcraft; that’s magic.

I am a Witch, and a Wiccan. I honor the Dead and the Old Ones. I know how to channel and call up spirits for harm and healing. One of my Gods, Apollon, is the God whose arrows inflict both plague and healing. Hekate is my Goddess who rules the heavenly skies and the dread denizens at the crossroads. Dionysus calls down madness upon those who reject Him or offend His people. Whatever consequences I face from my actions, it’s upon my head. I know what the fuck I am doing, and the last thing I need is some wannabe witch telling me, “Oh but you’re going to surround yourself with negativity and don’t forget the Law of Three and Harm None!” Honestly, those words (or something similar) are all I need to figure out what kind of person I am dealing with. They have told me more than I ever need to know. And I pity the person who thinks that because I am Wiccan, I won’t resort to magic to get even.

Here’s the reality of the situation:

We all have ways we deal with conflict, betrayal, hurt and bad people. Sometimes the ways in which we are dealt are not fair. I don’t have a lot of money. I can’t afford lawyers. I struggle. My witchcraft is born because of the suffering I live. I think many American Neo-Wiccans are spoiled. While I think that there are many ways to deal with certain conflicts in a healthy manner, some things cannot. Bad employers discriminating against you? Someone suing you? Someone accusing you of something that you’re innocent of? Someone is threatening to take away your kids and leave you with nothing? Trust me, when your back is against the wall and you can’t think of a way out: magic. Hexing. Cursing.

I am a Witch, and I have no shame.

Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
~Oracle~