Proving Grounds

August 1st, 2011

pentacle17 Proving Grounds

Well, hello. Nice to see you here.

What I hope to accomplish with this blog: passing on about forty years’ worth of practice in the Craft of the Wise, AKA being a witch.

Like most people, I’ve learned a few things, and messed up a few others before I finally Got It. I hope to share with you the ups, the downs, the occasional cosmic misfires, and the equally occasional cosmic successes, past, present, and future.

Spellcraft, writing a novel, that wicked slavemaster called “personal evolution,” doing the dishes, and cleaning out the litter box: it’s all fair game.

Along the way, I’ll tell you a few stories.

I’ll see you here every other month. Wanna come along for the ride?

To begin with, here’s the little jobbie I use to get all the details into place before I stand in front of my altar and get to The Work. (And then, yes, I copy it into my BoS, by hand.)

Clean copy first, detailed copy second.

Since it’s not fair to throw people off the pier without teaching them to swim, feel free to delete any references to astrology that you are not familiar with, and don’t care to learn. (It’s a math-heavy subject.) The really necessary questions are in bold. The incidental stuff’s in plain text.  And if you feel swamped just looking at it, go to the bottom, and read the disclaimer.

Then breathe.  See you here in a minute.

Goal of the Work

Detailed description of goal:

Why do I want this?

What purpose will it serve in my life?

How will it change my life?

Simplified description of goal, taking into account above two answers:

Chant derived from goal:

One-word description of goal:

Goal

    • Correspondences

  • Phase of Moon:

    Deity:

    Method of raising energy:

    Magical action:

    Color:

    Herb/Incense/Essential oil:

    Planet:

    Day of week most favorable for Work:

    Planetary hour most favorable for Work:

    Astrological Conditions at the Time of the Work

    Is the Moon visible? If not, the Work must delayed until it is again seen as a slender crescent.

    Will the Moon be or become void-of-course during the Work? If it is or will be, the Work must be rescheduled to fall outside a VOC period.

    Will any planet be stationary direct or stationary retrograde over a planet or point in my natal chart? If so, how can I incorporate the energies of both into the Work?

    Will Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto contact any planet or point in my natal chart? If so, how can I incorporate the energies of both into the Work?

    Will the Moon transiting be through a sign (or house in my natal chart) which rules the goal?

    Personal Considerations

    Is any element represented in my chart by 4 or more occupied signs, or signs on the Ascendant or MC?

    Can I use herbs, colors, or magical actions from this element?

    Is any element represented by no or one occupied signs, or signs on the Ascendant or MC?

    Can I use herbs, colors, or magical actions from this element?

    Results

    Worked immediately:

    Didn’t work within 14 days:

    Worked after _____________ days

    TEMPLATE WITH DETAILS:

    Goal of the Work

    Detailed description of goal: I need a job. (Sometimes, it’s this simple.)

    Why do I want this? What purpose will it serve in my life? I need the income. I don’t want to live on the street. Plus, I love what I do for a living, just not the people I currently do it with. (Note that there are two streams here: the person loves what s/he does for a living, AND s/he needs money to live. Both are equally important to hir, but the need for money can be said to be critical for most of us.)

    Simplified description of goal, taking into account above two answers: I need an income-producing situation doing what I love.

    Chant derived from goal: (The quality of your poetry isn’t all that important, but do try for rhythm. Just shut that inner critic up, and go for it. What I’ve produced below certainly isn’t, oh, Wordsworth, or even T.S. Eliot.)

    What I love and money too

    Comes when I have work to do!

    One-phrase description of goal: Work I love for money.

    Goal

    • Correspondences

  • (My choice of author for correspondence lists is always Scott Cunningham. Scott’s been gone a while now, but his friends keep his lists up-to-date. Do be aware that his work is largely Egypto-Graeco-Roman derived.)

    Phase of Moon: Waning to banish unemployment or waxing to draw a job. (Every magical goal can be stated in two ways: to draw the desired outcome, which can be worked during the waxing Moon, or to banish its opposite, which can be worked during the waning Moon. I have done Work at the wrong phase of the Moon when I was in grave need of help, and I did get results, although I had to wait until the phase changed to get them.)

    Is the Moon visible? If not, the Work must delayed until it is again seen as a slender crescent. (In the Dark of the Moon period, those three days while She is not visible, there are simply not enough lunar energies to fuel any kind of Work. No work-around exists for this. Work done during this period will not be effective, your time, energy, and supplies wasted.)

    Deity: (It’s best, if possible, to work with Someone Who has already come into your life. If that’s not possible, ask for help this time, but be prepared to give back the energy you asked for in devotion and sacrifice. As for sacrifice, virgins are a Christian fixation and dead animals cruel and unnecessary; wine or tobacco [though Venus doesn't like it, as it's an herb of Mars] work well for almost every deity, as does a candle in Their color, perhaps rolled in herbs sacred to Them.)

    Magical action: (In our example, employment spells are usually seen as workings of the element Earth. The witch might use magnets, an Earth device if ever there was one, to pull a sigil scribed with hir name toward one bearing the symbol for the new job; once they are bound together with the magnets, s/he might lay them on a copy of hir resume. S/he could also bury them. If your goal is fiery, burn something, you pyromaniac [light a paper, or a second candle, scribed with your goal, from a candle scribed with your name; use one candle to partially melt the side of the other, fuse them, and allow them to burn together]; if it’s watery, consider drinking water imbued with your goal’s energy; if it’s airy, blow the symbols of goal and self together, or scribe a fan with your goal and use it to blow incense smoke over yourself. The possibilities are limited only by your own creativity; have fun!

    Method of raising energy: (Usually, this involves repetitive movement or activity of some kind. Dance, do a simple sidestep around or in front of your altar; bust your favorite yoga moves; clap; play your Tibetan singing bowl; play a single short phrase over and over on a flute, guitar, rattle, or other musical instrument; chant; sing; dig in the garden. Almost anything will work, and work pretty well. Of course, it’s also possible to do this entirely in your mind, which, while quite difficult, is also ferociously good training in concentration.)

    Color: (Very briefly: red for passion, pink for friendship, orange for attraction, black for repulsion, gray for dissipation [of energy], yellow for intellectual endeavor, green for growth of any kind, purple for horses, law, or publication, blue for honor, brown for practicality, and white for purity. White is also the go-to color when you don’t have the color you need. Looking to minimize? Orange, green, gray, black, and white cover all the possibilities.  Colors of what, you ask?  Candles, altar cloths, clothing … I suppose you could also, at need, paint yourself the necessary color.  Up to you.)

    Herb/Incense/Essential oil: (Essential oils are wonderful for those among us who can’t tolerate incense smoke, or share a home with someone who dislikes the smell of burning herbs. They can be dripped into the pool of melted wax at the base of a candle flame, rubbed onto the candle itself, diluted with a little olive and dabbed on the pulse points, or used in a diffuser. Do be aware that they always carry the elemental signature of Fire; if you are working to put out a forest fire, for instance, they are not a good choice!)

    Planet: (Very briefly: Sun for masculinity, Moon for femininity, Mercury for trade/writing/intellectual pursuits, Venus for affairs of the heart, Mars for war and affairs of the sex organs, Jupiter for expansion of any kind [including necessary weight gain], Saturn for contraction/discipline, Uranus for new ideas/astrology/TV/new technology, Neptune for film/poetry/dance/inspiration/drugs, and Pluto for the kind of can’t-go-back change embodied by nuclear power. Caution: it is incredibly difficult to work successfully with the outermost three planets. Don’t try this at home unless you are very sure you know what you are doing.)

    Day of week most favorable for Work: (Very briefly: Monday corresponds to the Moon, Tuesday to Mars, Wednesday to Mercury, Thursday to Jupiter, Friday to Venus, Saturday to Saturn, and Sunday to, ta-da!, the Sun.)

    Planetary hour most favorable for Work: (There is no “very briefly” for the subject of Planetary Hours. I have downloaded and use a free program called “Chronos XP’ which pops up the planetary hour on my desktop every time it changes, and allows me to look at days in the future to see when the hours fall. However: look up the sunrise and sunset times, subtract sunrise time from sunset time, and that is the length of the day. Divide that amount of time by twelve, and add the increment thus derived to the time of sunrise. That’s the hour of the Sun. Do it again for the hour of the Moon, and so on. When you get to sunset, find the amount of time between sunset and the following sunrise, divide by twelve, and repeat. The first hour after sunrise is always that of the planet the day corresponds to; see para above.  Told you it wasn’t brief.)

    Astrological Conditions at the Time of the Work

    Will the Moon be or become void-of-course during the Work? If yes, the Work must be rescheduled to fall after the VOC period. (Very briefly: period. During this time there is insufficient lunar energy to power the Work. There is no work-around. Work done during this time is energy, time, and supplies wasted.  Seventy-two hours after the moment the Moon becomes New, which is why New Moons are listed as “New Moon, Thursday, 2:27 PM EDT”), She is again a visible crescent.  It doesn’t matter if She is or is not above the horizon when this happens; it’s when She again has sufficient power to fuel a spell.)

    Will any planet be stationary direct or stationary retrograde over a planet or point in my natal chart? If so, how can I incorporate the energies of both into the Work? (Planets’ stations generate an enormous amount of energy. If I wanted to make a change of career, for instance, I’d hope for Jupiter SD on my Midheaven – money and progress in one swell foop.)

    Will Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto be contacting any planet or point in my natal chart? If so, how can I incorporate the energies of both into the Work? (These outer planets present rare opportunities. Their energies are quite powerful.)

    Will the Moon transiting be through a sign (or house in my natal chart) which rules the goal? (Think of the Moon as a match: in terms of power, it hasn’t much, but it’s just what you need for setting things alight.)

    Personal Considerations

    Is any element represented in my chart by 4 or more occupied signs, or signs on the Ascendant or MC?

    Can I use herbs, colors, or magical actions from this element? (Your personal power is concentrated here; this is the easiest path for you.)

    Is any element represented by no or one occupied signs, or signs on the Ascendant or MC?

    Can I use herbs, colors, or magical actions from this element? (Lack of representation often gives a clue as to what you will work quite hard at unconsciously.)

    Results

    Worked immediately: (Yay you)

    Didn’t work within 14 days: (Something probably went wrong; can you isolate what it was?)

    Worked after _____________ days (Note any changes in Astrological Conditions which occurred, particularly changes of the Moon’s phase.)


    So. Now that you know all of this, please don’t freak out and decide that it’s far too complicated, too freakin’ much work, ever to cast a spell. It isn’t. If you can’t deal with the above plethora of information, concentrate on choosing the correct wording for the phase of the Moon, a scent, and a color. Those last two work below the level of the conscious mind, and therefore have quite a lot of power; the first one is what is, and your magic won’t work if you ignore it.  Those three will give you maximum reward for minimal effort.

    Do choose, down the road if not right this minute, to make a special friend of a particular deity: and don’t worry if one Chooses you, rather than you Him or Her.

    May you find wisdom in the crafting of your goals, and happy casting.


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