Nightside's Views on...

Over the years, I’ve been asked some questions repeatedly. While I cover most of them generally in my rantings, I thought I might put together a sort of FAQ covering my views about the specific questions.

... ‘God’

One of the most prolific questions I get asked is, “What God do you worship?” The simple answer is that I worship the same God that everyone else does, I just do it differently. In my way of thinking, there is only one Divine, one Supreme Being, one ‘intelligence greater than our own.’ The fact that every culture throughout human history has different names and faces, and in most cases several, is a reflection of that culture.

It is a fairly excepted opinion that the human mind is incapable of conceiving everything that is the Divine. It is like trying to understand the entirety of the Earth from the perspective of a grain of sand. I can almost see the dazed and confused looks that comment produces, so let me explain. Imagine that you are a grain of sand. Now, from that perspective, imagine what it would be like to be a grain of sand in a bucket full of sand. Anyone who lives in a big city can relate to that. Now, imagine being that same grain of sand on a section of beach. That’s where most people lose it. While some very intelligent or imaginative people can accomplish it, most people simply cannot stretch that far. I see the Divine as being a solar system as seen from the perspective of a grain of sand. I know that It’s there, I just cannot understand all of It. So, I relate to the parts I can understand.

I think that humankind did the same throughout time. The first challenge humans had to face Nature. Storms came and went, it got cold, then hot, the Sun went down and darkness set in. Today, we look at these events with a measure of understanding, but these were miraculous events to primitive man. The Sun coming up was a celebratory event. The light returned and you didn’t die. Rains came to help water the plants. The sky stopped its angry flashing and booming. The snows went away and warmth returned. Early man did not know why these things happened. One of the greatest gifts humans were given, regardless of your Origin view, was the ability, the need to understand. As such, these miracles had to be the work of some greater being. The Earth became a nurturing mother, who gave birth to man, nourished him, sheltered him. The sky became the father, who rained down his waters onto the fertile mother to help create life, who shined above and warmed the mother and her children, and who became angry when the children were bad. Mother Earth and the Sky Father were enough to explain how things worked for a while.

As man matured, so did his understanding of the world around him. He saw how the animals interacted, predator and prey, always in balance. He saw the place each had in the world. He assigned attributes to each animal, giving it a spirit. Man saw the wise old owl, the loyal and cunning wolf, the powerful and protective bear, the eagle with its knowledge and vision, the crow with its tricks and guile. These were the first children of the Mother and Father, and they had lessens to teach Man. And so Man set out to learn and to understand.

Eventually, Man began to see that a still greater pattern was beginning to emerge. There were many animals, but they all acted the same. Who taught the animals spirits? It was here when the first of the true Gods made their presence known. Fertility, the hunt, the crops, the weather, the seasons, each had a God or Goddess which had a sphere of influence to control and maintain. Each being had its work to do. Britain, Scandinavia, Africa, Asia, Australia- everywhere there was Man, he named Gods and Goddesses who controlled life around him.

Then, someone got the idea that maybe there was something bigger, something that controlled and created everything, and that the ones that Man thought were gods were only helpers. The idea caught on, because it made sense. Everything worked together too well for so many minds to be controlling little pieces of the whole. Hence, the first monotheists stepped forward.

And history has written much of the rest.

Now that you’ve sat through my version of human theological history, I’ll get to the point. There is only one Divine. It has presented itself to each person, each culture, each civilization in a way that the person, culture, or civilization can understand. The people of northern Africa had no concept of cold or snow, so the idea of the Ice Giants of the Norse would never had occurred to them. What the Africans saw were the need for speed and cunning, the medicines and poisons of the jungle, the danger and delight in everything around them. As mankind grew and matured, he became better able to understand the Divine, and so the Divine presented Itself in a more and more complex way.

The example I use the most is a twenty-sided die, or a faceted gem. If you look through the facets at an object on the other side, the view is distorted. You get a different view depending on which facets you look through. The same is true about human perspective. We each see the same object differently, because each of our life experiences is different. We relate to things differently.

So, what ‘God’ do I worship? The same one everyone else does, because there is only one Divine. I just worship differently than you do.


“Do you believe in magick?” “Can you cast spells?” Blah blah-blah blah-blah… Anyone who follows Wicca, witchcraft, paganism, etc., has been asked some variation of this question. And we’ve all gotten the weird looks and recriminations when we say, “Yes, I cast spells. I believe in magick.”

I normally answer the looks with the question, “Do you believe in electricity?” To which they always answer, “Yes, I do.”

“Why?” I ask.

“Well, because I can see it. I flip a switch and the light comes on.”

“Okay, you see the effects, but have you ever seen electricity.”

“Um… no, I guess not,” they eventually admit.

“Then how do you know it exists?” I ask.

The conversation generally goes on from there, but this little snippet makes my point. I believe in Magick, because I have seen the effects of it. I see it every day, everywhere I look. Magick, to me, is Life. It is belief in a cause-and-effect principle that goes beyond understanding. My view of Magick encompasses principles that range from quantum physics to spirituality. Why do I believe? Because my belief works… for me.

Probably my most dramatic and successful example is likely the simplest. Rub your hands together. You feel heat, caused by friction. Physics says that your hands are not actually touching, that there is always a space between them. The friction is caused by the interaction of the molecules that make up your hands, by the way the energies react to each other. Once you understand this principle, you can begin to grasp the concept of Magick. Magick is the manipulation of energy that is already present to accomplish a task. The fact that you can’t see that energy doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Take a flashlight back to the middle ages, and you would be seen as a sorcerer. They did not understand electricity, or batteries. It wasn’t that it didn’t exist- they still had thunderstorms and magnets- the people just did not understand how they worked. Magick is just something that today’s science can not explain yet, so most people don’t understand it.

A ‘spell’ is just a way to help the human mind understand the manipulation of the energies. Whether the spell is a two day event with candles and bells and chanting or just a quiet prayer in the dark, it has the same effect as long as those ‘casting’ it believe.

Yes. I equate ‘prayer’ to a ‘spell.’ In both, you are asking the Divine to do something that you cannot do yourself. You can’t reach into your Aunt Ethel and cure her cancer, but you can send energy her way to help make it go away. You can’t make the money to pay the rent, doctor bills, etc. suddenly appear in your mailbox, but you can ask that ‘coincidence’ lines up in such a way that you get the money you need to get by. It is all the same. Only the props are different.

Now, how do ‘spells’ relate to ‘magick’? Magick is like moving your fingers. It’s flexing your muscles. You are the controlling factor in manipulating the energies. In a spell, you are giving it to the Divine to take care of. Spells are for things that are too much for you to do yourself. Getting a stoplight to change for you is magick, world peace would be a spell.

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