spellwork

Interview with Jason Miller: Author & Strategic Sorcerer, About His Latest Book that offers Keys for Better Spellcrafting

April, 2018

There are a few cows Jason Miller does not consider sacred, including the reverence for the do-it-yourself approach and the notion that magick should only be used in emergencies.

A sorcerer from New Jersey who practices and teaches magick professionally, his latest book, “The Elements of Spellcrafting: 21 Keys to Successful Sorcery,” is a magickal manual to go deeper and get more out of witchcraft.

Miller was given the name Inominandum, which means “he who cannot be named” by a spirit in the 27th Athyr.

It fits my attitude towards magic,” he wrote in his strategicsorcery.blogspot.com, “the moment you and your work can be completely described by an ‘ism’ or a label like ‘Buddhist’ or ‘Chaos’ or ‘Hermetic’ you are setting yourself up for a huge obstacle to hurtle later in your practice. As Krishnamurti wisely said, ‘Truth is a pathless land,’ and the last thing that must be given up before crossing to the other side of the abyss is the very boat that took you across.’”

His interest in the occult was sparked by an incident on the playground when he was 5.

I don’t know what happened beforehand. Maybe I was hit in the head, maybe not, maybe it was just a weird mental shift for no reason, but I looked down at the ground and I remember looking at the sand … and then looking up, but instead of looking up and seeing the playground and everything else, I looked up and all of reality was at my feet. It was as if the world became a two-dimensional painting and I looked away from it. I’ve had this sense ever after that reality was this show and there was stuff going on behind the curtain.”

The memory of that never faded.

In some ways, that moment of looking away felt more real then reality feels. And so I was always left with this nagging little piece of my brain that told me that what we see as firm and concrete is not as firm and concrete as you think, and that there are things going on behind the scenes.”

That led Miller to explore magic and mysticism in his teen years.

I asked my parents to start taking me to church and started exploring magic as it related to Christianity, and the grimoires, and so on, and then I found paganism.”

He took up the practice of both high magick and hoodoo rootworking while still a teenager, learning how ceremonial and folk magick can work together and compliment each other. When he discovered spellwork and spirits, and was able to do invocations with some success, he knew it he wanted to devote his life to it. And he has.

He traveled to New Orleans to study Hoodoo, Europe to study witchcraft and ceremonial magick, and Nepal to study tantra. Miller is an initiated Tantrika in the Nyingma and Bon lineages of Tibet, an ordained Gnostic Bishop, and a member of the Chthonic Ouranian Temple and the Sangreal Sodality.

What I found in Nepal was a practice that embraced both the very complex ceremonial magic and pretty simple hedge magic and folk magic, and blended them seamlessly together. I also found a practice that was rooted in mysticism and direct experience, rather than blind belief. … It forever changed my view of how magic works, of what was important,” he said in an interview last month.

Many of the ideas about magick that have become sacred cows he has found not to be true.

I deal with a lot of these in my book Elements of Spellcrafting,” Miller said. “I have a whole chapter in the book called ‘DYI is Over Rated.’

You see people a lot saying things like, ‘Any spell that you write yourself is going to be more powerful than something you learned’ or ‘Any tool that you make yourself is going to be more powerful than something you purchase. Any oil that you make yourself – whatever it is, there is this do-it-yourself ethos in Western magic, in paganism, especially.”

While it serves its purpose, taken to the extreme it can cut you off, he said.

It’s one thing to say that developing the skills and training necessary to be able to innovate is the best way to do things. That I think is correct. But this idea that right from the start, anything that your brain farts out is going to be better than anything that people have spent enormous time recording, and in some cases hiding at great personal cost, it undercuts the idea that witchcraft is a craft. A craft is something that you learn, that you practice, that you study, that you gain first competency in and then mastery in, and that you stand on the shoulders of giants. You learn what came first and also you recognize the fact that you can’t master everything in life.”

Miller described himself saying, “I am a witch in the sense that I do magic that is rooted in folk magic sometimes. I do magic that is rooted in intuition. I do magic that is rooted in the nocturnal and in the feminine at times. But I’m not only a witch. I’m also a magician. I call myself a sorcerer. We straddle both of those worlds.”

No one has the full picture” and no one “knows all the great secrets of magic or the universe or mysticism. … I personally think that we don’t even have the capacity to hold that information yet as human beings.”

There are master crafters who specialize in their respective fields, making such things as athames, oils, drums and candles.

It depends what you want,” he said.

You can take a weekend course to make an athame. There’s something to be learned from the doing, there’s an alchemy to it that is important,” but I it will not be the same as one made by a master.

I know how to make my own oils but I don’t find them more powerful than oil from Wolf and Goat, just because I made it. There’s a certain reverence for the do it yourself that cuts people off from taking advantage of and also appreciating people that master a craft.”

Different situations call for different things and there is a place for doing things yourself, but “that holding it up as this incredible power in and of itself is false,” Miller said.

Another sacred cow he shuns is that magic should be done in emergencies only, after everything else has failed.

You don’t hear this as much anymore, but when I was coming up, this was a big thing. … You would hear also, ‘People that go for magic for selfish reasons, it’ll blow up on them,’ and none of this, none of this is true. None of this is true. First of all, if you’re doing magic only when urgencies happen, there are two problems. One, you’re already in the emergency, so by definition, you are managing destruction, your plane is crashing, you’re just trying to decide if you can land in the Hudson or crash into a building. It’s too late to save the business, just figure out how to minimize the damage. And here’s one of the great dangers of magic, too. We can prolong things that are better off ending. …

Problem two is because magic is a craft. Witchcraft, as far as spells go, it is a craft. Sorcery is a craft. You have to be good at it in order to make full use of it. … That’s why emergency magic is bad. If that’s the only time you’re using magic, something already went wrong.”

Spells used in emergencies tend to have a higher frequency of success, likely because of the energy, approach, zeal and ardor put into the spell, but not because you are more deserving at that time.

Miller dismisses the idea of selfishness.

There is this idea that if you ask for money, the spirits will be angry with you, the gods will be angry with you. They don’t care. Money is not a bad thing. It’s not unspiritual,” he said, urging, “Go for what you think you don’t deserve. … In this book, I talk about blowing that out of the water entirely, just blasting against the idea that you deserve or don’t deserve anything.

There is this idea that if you don’t deserve something, then your spell work might not grab it as well, but it has nothing to do with whether you deserve it or not, it had to do with what you feel you might deserve.”

Olympians who get the bronze medal didn’t start out shooting for the bronze, he said, urging, “Go for the gold of whatever it is you want.”

Go big.

He noted that “a shocking amount of people” with whom he’s spoken “want to do money magic, they want to improve their financial lives – but not too much” because that would take them out of their comfort zone.

Let go of the idea of need. Let go of the idea of yes or no, black or white.”

If a spell did not work, it’s not because the caster is not deserving, but rather they’re “shooting for something that unenchantable, they’re not approaching it from different angles, or there’s a technical failure like they’re not using a clear link to get what they want to occur or influence the people they want to influence.”

The idea that intention is all that matters is another of the sacred cows Miller dismisses.

Everything matters is the fourth of the 21 keys he offers in “The Elements of Spellcrafting.” The fifth is that not everything is necessary.

Equating spellcrafting to cooking, he said. “I like to make gumbo in my new Instant Pot. Gumbo has a ton of ingredients. The first few times I made it, I followed the recipe that I was given exactly and the third or fourth time I made it, I didn’t have any frozen okra and I had to put a little more celery in and I was also having someone over who doesn’t eat pork, so I left out the andouille sausage and doubled down on the shrimp and the chicken. Did I still make gumbo? Yes, of course I made gumbo, but it was different than the gumbo that I had made previously.

Now let’s say I decided that making a roux is a pain in the butt, you have to sit there, stirring this mixture of butter and flour for 10 or 15 minutes until it becomes the color of peanut butter. If you let it go for even two seconds, the crap will burn. Let’s just say I decide not to do a roux. I’m just going to cook it like a soup. Am I still making gumbo? No, because the essential ingredient that makes it creole cooking with that thickening agent of the roux is gone. I have not made gumbo, and that’s okay. Soup is good, too. Yes, we can take things out of their original context, but we no longer should call it that same thing. We can replace some ingredients and say this is that thing but with this particular spin, and maybe it will make it better. Maybe you will add an element that really amps it up, or maybe not.”

Back to spells, Miller described a time he found himself without a red candle to summon a particular spirit. Instead, he used a red glass lantern and a white tea light candle.

It actually kicked things up a notch because while the wax wasn’t red, there was a glow, so it changed it a little bit because it wasn’t burning off that red as an offering, but giving red light for the spirit to manifest it. The dynamics of the ritual changed, but it was still successful.

So those are the things that people have to remember: everything matters but not everything is necessary. People really need to get out of this yes or no, either I have to do it by the book or just anything goes dichotomy and start looking in the middle of the spectrum.”

Highly eclectic practitioners may know that what they did works, but do not necessarily know how well it worked, or if it could have been done faster or with less discomfort. It’s important to stop asking if it worked and evaluating how it worked.

Now we’re starting to think like spellcrafters and sorcerers,” Miller said.

Cartoons featuring sorcerer and a demon – drawn by Mathew Brownlee, an occultist and tattoo artist, while sitting with Miller in a bar in Philadelphia – introduces each chapter. The one paired with sane eclecticism has the sorcerer holding up a phurba, a Tibetan three-sided dagger, saying, “By this holy phurba of Odin! I call thee Jeeezusss!’ The demon has a hand in front of his eyes and says, “That’s not how any of this works.”

Some people, Miller said, will “grab a phurba at a new age shop and they’ll say, ‘This is my wonderful athame’ and that’s not at all what it’s used for in Tibet. It’s a dagger, a nail. And then sometimes I’ll give a talk and talk about phurba practice and some of my experiences and people will say, ‘Yes, I do phurba practice, too,’ and what happens is that they bought a phurba somewhere and they dance around their living room with it and basically use it in either ceremonial magic or witchcraft and they don’t know anything at all about it from the Tibetan perspective. So this is where eclecticism sort of goes off the rails. It’s fine, just … stop confusing it with the original thing.”

When something is taken out of context, different terminology is appropriate.

This is where I believe in eclecticism – I believe that eclecticism is the gift of the sage – that multiculturalism, the openness and some access to so many different avenues of knowledge and practice – but we have to approach that gift with sincerity and respect and some amount of intelligence and awareness.”

By providing 21 keys to successful sorcery, from ‘Know What Magic Actually Does’ to ‘Maintain Sovereignty,’ Miller hopes readers will optimize the magic they do.

Let’s start turning our attention to deepening our experiences and doing things that change our lives and really matter in the long run,” he said, concluding the interview.

The Elements of Spellcrafting” details 21 keys best practices grouped into three sections: principals and strategies for how best to apply magic before you begin, methods and tactics that will ensure a positive outcome, and how to take spells to the next level.

Miller is the author of “Protection and Reversal Magick: A Witch’s Defense Manual,” “The Sorcerer’s Secrets: Strategies in Practical Magic,” “Financial Sorcery: Magical Strategies to Create Real and Lasting Wealth,” and “Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit: The Secrets of Erotic Magic.” He teaches and blogs about strategic sorcery.

Learn more at http://www.inominandum.com/home.html.

 

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About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Brighid’s Healing Sword: Imbolc

February, 2018

This turn of the Greater Wheel moves us towards a place of newness and the quickening of what was brought to light at Yule, the Winter Solstice. We stand at the mid-mark between the act of revealing (Winter Solstice) the fertility that lay dormant from the triple harvest and the action of sowing and planting (Spring Equinox) what we hope will prove viable and grow to its fullest potential. This is the time of quickening and enlivening the hidden seeds of transition and preparation of what will wither and die and what will germinate a become viable product.

Our coven, Oak and Willow of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition, uses Imbolc to focus on the Celtic Goddess, Brighid. We craft candles, infusing them with her healing properties. We make oath and re-dedicate to our Coven and Tradition that the quickening of our minds and hearts awaken what can blossom in the months ahead. And, we call upon her creativity to inspire us as we move forward towards the next turn of the Wheel. This year we will call forth the Goddess as Warrior and wielder of the healing sword.

For most, the first encounter with this fiery Goddess is one associated with her triune nature. She is Maiden, Mother and Crone holding the keys to creativity, inspiration and deep healing. She is also the Triple Flame, acting as central catalyst of the purpose intended and initiator of those who willingly cross the threshold of transformation. As the patroness of poets, divination and prophecy she is the Fire of Inspiration. In her role of patroness of healers and Goddess of fertility, she is the Fire of the Hearth and childbirth. And, as patroness of smiths, craftsmen and the forge, she is the Fire of the Forge, burning brightly and transforming and transmuting all that enter the heat of the flame.

But, there is also a lesser-known aspect of the Goddess Brighid. Her ancient name of The Fiery Arrow gives some indication of this aspect, although it is usually associated with the Goddess as maintainer of justice and right action; setting the course of action in a balanced way and clearing away all that would interfere or challenge that state. If we take this idea to a deeper place of understanding, Brighid’s energy becomes that of the Warrior who wields the flaming sword that destroys, cauterizes and then heals. It is She, who heals with the precision of the surgeon guiding the scalpel. She, who cuts through the glamour and unyielding ignorance of ego driven will and carves the path of knowledge that becomes true gnosis. And, it is She, who plunges the un-tempered blade of inventive mind into the hellish fires that forge and manifest a blade that is pure, clear and strong in its action and intent.

I have worked with this aspect of Brighid for many years and in many ways, and the mark of its transformation has been lasting and opened the way for growth and a deeper understanding of the process of release and healing. Just as the sword’s blade goes through multiple steps of heating and cooling, resting and shaping to achieve the brilliance and beauty of what will become a finely crafted sword; the process of this healing warrior Goddess tests the metal of your own making. She allows you to see the rough product that is your will and plunges you deep into the flaming desire for what you wish to achieve. If you remain too long from inertia or misguided will, what emerges is misshapen and unusable. It’s brittleness breaks your spirit and the wounds it inflicts are jagged and long to heal. If tempered with enough flexibility to change course as needed, the honing and sharpening of the skills required for successful change are exacted. All is brought to the quickening fires so that what has been reshaped and reformed may become as one and part of the finished product. A time of rest and integration occurs and finally as the blade is brought from its place of synthesis and strengthening, it is plunged once again into the heart of greater Will and the flames of Intentional Desire. The finished product is a work of beauty and a gift from the forge of Brighid.

I offer to you a pathworking, inviting you to invoke the energy of Brighid’s Healing Sword and the opportunity to stand in Her radiance of remaking. May your journey be powerful and may the Goddess bless you with the crafting of your own healing blade.

The Smith’s Blade

Take a few deep breaths and allow your consciousness to settle at the space of the third eye. Turn your attention within and see on this inner landscape a blank screen and allow yourself to be drawn towards it. As you focus on this space you become aware of a small mist of indigo blue energy forming in front and around you. The particles are very small and the energy is both uplifting and relaxing as it encircles you. Take a few deep breaths and step through this veil.

As you emerge, you find yourself standing outside what appears to be a blacksmith’s shoppe. You can hear the rhythmic clanging of a hammer and smell the fires from the forge. It is evening and all is dark around you save for the light glowing from within and shimmering through slats of a wooden building. You step forward towards the open entryway and stand quietly observing a wiry built man bent over and working deftly as the glimmer of unpolished metal flashes.

Repetitively and with great precision, he places the unshaped metal into the forge, heating it and then pulling it out to the edge of the table, gently hammering it into the desired shape or at times simply allowing the red glow to cool before it is placed once again in the hot flames. This occurs for several times and with each heating and hammering, the metal takes on more of the shape of the blade.

He looks carefully at what has been crafted and satisfied that this process is finished, he gently wraps the blade and places it aside allowing it to cool completely. He pulls from the space in which he placed the cooling blade another wrapped item and as he unwraps it you see that this is a blade that had been crafted a day earlier.

He steps over to the grinder and begins to sharpen and finely hone the edges and point of the blade. You notice that this blade seems to glow and has a certain shine to it already, although it is not polished. You feel drawn to it, but remain standing in the doorway, hoping that you will remain unnoticed. He looks carefully at the edges and then plunges the sword into the heat of the flaming forge. Quickly the glowing red blade is retrieved and plunged into a water bath to speed the cooling and hardening process. Again the blade is tempered by heat and water and you think on the process of emotion and will and the need for the correct balance of each to be in place to make for supple yet strong action and purposeful will.

You see the Smith smiling as he lifts the blade upwards, knowingly and assured that it will have a certain amount of flexibility yet still retain its sharp edge. Now the sword is ready for completion. He selects the necessary parts of pommel, guard and hilt and with skill assembles all precisely and artistically. The sword is now complete and he lifts his gaze, staring directly at you, beckoning you to come towards him.

You are ready to speak, but he lifts a finger to his lips indicating for you to be silent and to follow behind him as he brushes past you. He steps outside and you turn towards him, both of you facing a sky that is now colored with the rising of the morning sun. He lifts the blade upward and it shines brightly as the first fiery rays of sunlight stream across it. The brilliance of its reflection expands and for a moment you close your eyes, the intensity is so great. You open them and see that the blacksmith is gone and hovering mid-air the sword glows red and pulses with heat that seems to course through you. The flaming glow fills the space and from its center the blade elongates and transforms into a woman of great beauty and flaming red hair. Her eyes glow like sunlit embers of flame and you bow in homage to the Goddess, Brighid. As she approaches you feel the power and strength of Her presence. You see that she carries the sword that you witnessed being crafted and you feel a gentleness about Her that offers you comfort as to how this Divine sword might be used. She has come as the healing sword to offer her many gifts if you ready for her transformative energy.

You approach and kneeling before her you speak of what needs healing and transformation. Each word spiraling up and out like wisps of smoke heated and released by her power. You surrender to her all your doubts and fears and one by one each is dissected and removed from your being leaving you feeling light and unencumbered. When you have finished offering all that has troubled you, she bids you to look upwards and as she lifts her fiery blade warm droplets of healing water shower down about you. Compassion and warmth envelope you and you are held in the embrace of the Goddess as she quickens and enlivens you. Rest in this state for as long as is needed.

When you have received all that is needed at this time, you gently rise and offer up gratitude to the Goddess for the blessings she has given. As these thankful thoughts quicken in your mind and move easily from your lips, you begin to step backwards, as flames begin to rise where Brighid was standing. They reach upwards like strands of red hair caught in a breeze and give the appearance of flickering with shades of emerald green and flashes of silvery metal. You stand taking in the beauty of the sight and the warmth of its heat and the knowledge that you have been transformed by the Goddess, Herself.

The flames gently dwindle and fade and in their place is the smith holding the sword of the Goddess. He walks towards you and gently places it in your hand, softly telling you that it had been crafted for you. He tells you that the gift of the healing sword is given to those who will use it wisely and courageously. And, that the Goddess who offers this gift is always near at hand, ready to inspire and offer her healing so that you may thrive and grow as Her Divine Child.

You take a deep breath in and close your eyes, holding the sword tightly to your breast and as you exhale and open your eyes, you see that your awareness has returned to that of observing the blank inner screen of your consciousness. You take a few deep breaths in and with each exhalation your awareness settles back into the space of your physical being and space surrounding you. You gently flutter your eyes open and look around at your surroundings with keener sight and the knowledge that you carry the healing blade within.

So Mote It Be!

 

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author. She is the author of:

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. One

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

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The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the spheres

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen, Volume One

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

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The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF


The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Facebook and on Instagram 

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

July, 2017

July 2017 Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

It is the day before Summer Solstice, and I’m writing July’s article.

Next month will bring Lammas! The year is going by so fast!

This month’s topic will be a very important one we talk about, but seldom sit in silence and meditate on. How Pagans get on with those who they cannot stand.

It all depends on both your tradition, and your personality.

My own, personal knee jerk reaction is to tell people off very harshly, and write them off for good if I really cannot endure them. This is because, like many, it takes a lot for me to get to that point. I have gotten a lot better at resisting doing this as I am middle aged, and have mellowed quite a bit. However, I still don’t judge, or criticize other people who still write people off when they feel they need to, and I understand there are times when this is absolutely the only option.

I will focus on the Wiccan Tenet of Tolerance for combatting this, and share some suggested spellwork when you have tried all you can, and the offending parties just have got to go!.

The Seven Tenets of Wicca

Different traditions will have different beliefs of what is right conduct. Some value the Rule of Three. Some don’t. Some have Thirteen Laws of the Witch. Others have a simple Seven Tenets.

These are:

  1. The Tenet of Balance
  2. The Tenet of Learning
  3. The Tenet of Harmony
  4. The Tenet of Humility
  5. The Tenet of Tolerance
  6. The Tenet of Trust
  7. The Tenet of Reincarnation

More than one Wiccan Tradition focuses on these. These are things that govern how one lives life, and how one interacts with others, as well as oneself.

While each Tenet can figure in to how we put up with other people we’d rather strangle, I will focus on The Tenet of Tolerance for today.

First and foremost, let me say that Tolerance is not necessarily acceptance. It can simply mean biting your tongue to put up with somebody. Notice acceptance is not a Tenet? We don’t have to agree with other people, or understand them to tolerate them. We just have to understand there are times we cannot control a situation, and we put up with it to get by.

Sometimes, we need to bite our tongues instead of expressing our true feelings, because either 1) nobody will listen, and it will be a waste of breath, or 2) there will be negative consequences. It is these times when I ask myself if the consequences will be worse for me than keeping my mouth shut. Most of the time, I find it is not worth it to even say anything, and just go do something that actually matters.

Coming from a family of women who ALWAYS spoke their mind, oftentimes without thinking before they spoke, it is easy for me to understand that sometimes less is more in regards to communicating. ?

Tolerance of that fact is the very most difficult part sometimes.

Also, it just doesn’t feel fair that sometimes other people who we feel are 100% wrong, are allowed to get by with something we feel unjust. Many magical practitioners will struggle more with these situations, because we know how to move energy, and believe we can influence everything. In these situations, my priest quotes the film, Little Big Man, and says “Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes, it doesn’t.” and life goes on.

We can either tolerate that the fact things are the way they are, or we can pull our hair out trying to influence things we are powerless to change.

The trick is knowing what we can change and what we can’t. The Xtians Serenity prayer comes in handy here.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. “

It’s short, sweet, and very wise.

Idle No More is a Native American organization , and one of their members coined a saying. “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”

This is equally wise.

WC Fields had another take on this topic. He said “If at first you don’t succeed, try , try again. Then quit. There’s no point being a damn fool about it.”

This statement contains great wisdom as well.

The trick is to know which applies to the scenario.

When it comes to tolerance of other people, you have to take your own personal capabilities into consideration. We all have a breaking point of what we can endure and what we cannot. Some people are not worth the air they breathe in regards to the contribution they make to our lives, while others are hurting nobody, they are jjust slightly annoying, and we can live with it.

Now, in public places, and at work, we really don’t have that big a choice. You bite your tongue, and get through the day until quitting time somedays. Just because you have bills to pay. You may work with somebody you just dislike on a personal level, but they do a good job, and your supervisor won’t give a crap if you dislike them. You keep your mouth shut, and your head down because you like the job, and you know your nemesis is not going anyplace either, unfortunately.

Or are they?

How much power, do you, as a witch have, to get rid of somebody your life would be more pleasant without?

Say Suzy Snotrag works in the next cubicle. She refuses to take a day off work, and drags upper resp, which she is constantly contracting from one of her half dozen crotch dumplings into work every two or three months. She has PERFECT attendance, which the boss loves, and you have a depressed immune system from a lifelong chronic condition. Upper resp hits you twice as hard as it does other people.

Suzy is the only person in the company who does this. She does an exemplary job save for being a disease factory, and you can’t get her fired because the boss thinks she is the second coming.

Time to get rid of Suzy using a little witchcraft.

Maybe you are not like me, and you don’t want to curse her away. Maybe you are all love and light, (yuck), and it would kill you if you ever hurt a fly. Maybe you don’t believe in influencing other people’s lives, because you feel it is against the natural order of things, and you are afraid you will rack up bad karma if you do anyways.

I say you need to witch up, and discard the combination Xtian /Hindu afterlife fears. Accept that good things happen for bad people, bad things happen to good people, and Suzy Snotrag has to go. Like, yesterday.

But I can’t dictate beliefs!

So, you tolerate Suzy’s constant “giving” of her personal bacteria that is delivered through the air you are forced to share with her.

Then comes the day you have used all your sick and vacation time, and you have none left. You have a few months until you will have accumulated more, and your best friend wins an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii for next month, where you have ALWAYS wanted to go. Since you have no vacation time left, you can’t go, and your best friend’s pinch faced sister -in -law goes along instead. ?

Suzy, on the other hand, has just gotten a perfect performance eval for her amazing attendance record, and you finally get good and mad, and decide it’s no more Miss Nice Witch. You pull out the black hat to show that germy bitch who she is dealing with!

The Working

Getting rid of people can be simple, or complicated, and can take longer, or a shorter period of time. It entails spellwork, and then waiting. Once you send the energy out to the Universe, it is in the hands of the powers that be. Sometimes, no matter how specific you are as to details, including timeframe, the gods work in their own ways, and on their own timeline.

Don’t let that deter you. Get started.

Here are a few different things you can try.

  1. Hotfoot powder– Your local metaphysical store likely has this, and if not, you can order it online. It is sprinkled either in the shoes of the person you want to get rid of, or where they will walk. You don’t have to say any special words, because the powder is specially charged with the intent that they leave. For good. If you decide to make your own, mix black pepper, salt, and red pepper, saturating it with your intent the whole time. Be careful to put it where only they will step. I was told by a very wise witch the rest can be vacuumed up. This has always worked for me. Just don’t let anybody see you doing so, and try to make sure the powder is not visable to them in any way, or else they might clean out their shoes or clean up the floor, thus spoiling the spell.
  2. Send them to Texas– Or wherever you like. This is done with a map, and a piece of paper with their name on it, and a pin. Start out by pinning them at their current location. Gradually move it, over the course of days, or weeks, to the place you want them to be instead. Talk to whatever is representing them each time you move it, telling them how much they want to move, and how much happier they will be at their new place. The best bet for a move location will be a location that you are aware will be very beneficial to them, but is far far away from where you are. Pick Suzy Snotrag’s hometown where all her family is. Convince her that she just can’t handle all those little hellions on her own, and they would all be better off in town with grandma and grandpa and all the uncles, aunties, nieces, and nephews. Or say she is not family oriented, but has her eye on a move up the corporate ladder at a location in a different state. “Bless “ her by wishing her the promotion. The buy her a nice big going away gift, charged with your energy that she STAY gone for good.
  3. Mail them away– Similar to sending them to Texas- only this time, you actually mail them to where you’d like them to go. Make a poppet of them. It can even be a copy of a photograph of them- or in Suzy Snotrag’s case, dig a snotty Kleenex out of her trash when nobody notices, and mail that away. Wear gloves if you are concerned about fingerprints- as a witch always covers his or her tracks, and type the address out so your handwriting cannot in any way be traced. Do not have a return address on the envelope, under any circumstances, because what you want is a magical one way ticket away. You do not want to create access to a path for them to come back. Mail the representation of Suzy to her mom’s house. Okay, maybe it is mean and gross to mail a snotty, used Kleenex to Suzy’s mom. Then mail a nice, neatly folded, clean kleenx, or if you like, a nice pretty handkerchief.

 

This is just three ways to get rid of somebody you have tolerated all you can, and you are “changing the things you cannot accept” and showing them the door out of your life.

Just remember not to “spell and tell”. If people get the gist you are doing magic on them, they will know the source of what is causing the change, and know who to focus on to dispel the magic. The more people you tell, the more chance it has of coming back to them. So don’t risk it.

Unfortunately, maybe Suzy Snotrag belongs right where she is, and your attempts at magic did not get her moved. Get yourself moved.

Go and talk to the boss and say how much you love your job, but your immune system is bad, and you need more vitamin D. Is there any way she can give you a cubicle nearer the sunlight when one opens up? No cubicles are near a window? Maybe you see a position open up in the department you are qualified for, where people are a long ways away from one another, and even farther from Suzy. Apply for a transfer there.

Suzy will be hacking, snotting, and salivating after the coveted position you transfer to, and there won’t be a thing she can do about it, no matter how many tissues she sneezes into. You will breathe easier, and be proud of yourself for either sending Suzy on her way, or making a way for you to hit the road, yourself, and without her, you live happily ever after!

The End!

Celebrating The Old Ways In New Times

February, 2015

Bright Blessings!

Imbolc in upon us. One of my favorite Sabbats.

It originated in Pre Christian times when there was milk because lambs had babies and it was time for a feast!!!!!!!!!!!

And believe it or not, in that hard frozen ground…first signs of Spring appear. A few birds return, buds appear on the trees, and for many of us, cabin fever creates an eagerness for warm weather.  Seed companies in modern times anticipate this, and send out their catalogues, and stores begin stocking up on gardening supplies. If you are like me, you buy everything you can! As a matter of fact, a seed catalogue came in the mail for me yesterday, and I simply cannot put it down!

At Imbolc, life in brewing within the earth, and will burst forth in a matter of weeks after MONTHS of cold and fallowness. It is a good time to plan for the return of the growing season and an even better time to enjoy the last month or two of winter and the deep introspection it brings.

Like the earth, we hold many ingredients for newness and change and growth.  If you are earth based and you cycle with the seasons, you already slowed down after Samhain. Perhaps you wander the stretches of nature year round, and observe how active the critters still are in wintertime. You see the plants die back, but their dried branches, berries, and leaves are still eaten by deer and birds even as the ice storms ravage the land.  The odd squirrel can be sighted and geese pop out from time to time en route to elsewhere. The earth too is moving, rustling in the wind. Ponds and creeks freeze and unfreeze. Streams creep along or stop. Once the trees lose leaves, you see father into the forest to where ravines you were unaware of lie and sometimes, when you are walking a trail, you can HEAR, absolutely HEAR a hissing from the snow as it compresses upon itself.

Nothing smells quite like the air does in wintertime. Sweet, crisp, and smoky. Not like the smokiness of falltime, or the summertime campfire smoke. But winters sweet smokiness is the smell of fallen leaves after all the life has shrank out of them and their spent bodies lie on the ground, protecting the earth and tender new life within it. It is out of all this nothingness and decay that everything will come.

While you wait for Spring, why not take advantage of the powerful energy from this nothingness, which is the source of all life to focus on your own growth?

Or those things within you brewing , that have yet to take shape and become form, and that are waiting to come out and be? Some folks spend more time at home in wintertime, and have had time to think about things they want to do when weather warms up.

If there is one thing I have learned about human beings, it is that we are always changing. Even people who consider themselves creatures of habit. Our bodies and the things we do change even if we don’t realize it. If there is something else I have learned about us humans, it is that we want things. We want new experiences and to enjoy them. For some, it is improving their favorite things, or finding better ways to continue experiencing them, and for others, it is going on new adventures.

Whatever it is you have brewing inside you, Imbolc is a good time to pull the ingredients together and start the “activation” process.

First, a little history of what the Sabbat was in past times, and then suggested ritual!

The goddess Brigid, later Christianized into Saint Brigid has long been the deity of this Sabbat. Not being a devotee of Brigid, myself, I however have been in her presence. It was about four or five years ago when a woman who is a devotee of Brigid did a healing well ritual invoking the goddess. Brigid was THERE, and touched us all even though the officiant was the only devotee of hers. There was not a dry eye in the house that day.

Brigid, from what I experienced is a goddess of mercy and healing. She is one of the high matrons who was mother not only to entire peoples , but to other gods.  Different forms of her name were used by different cultures of peoples and worship of her lasted for centuries. So great and important was she, that I believe many of her merciful, and compassionate traits were absorbed into Catholicism not only as making the goddess into a Saint, but her characteristics went into veneration of Mary, mother of Christ. Catholics cannot do without their great mother.

Some say  all the gods and goddesses are reflection of one true god and one true goddess that exists that people view in different ways. One need only talk to Kali Ma as opposed to Minerva to see they are not one and the same.  Rather, in seeing how many forms of the same name exist, views of goddesses like Brigid may have evolved as cultures changed and people were influenced by neighboring religions. Same goddess, different cultural characteristics, and different spelling and pronunciation of her name.

Different names for Brigid are  found in different Celtic regions. To be lazy, I found an excellent list in the Wikipedia article about her name variants…’

Brighde/Bride is Scottish

Fraid is Welsh

Brigindu is Gaullish

Brigantia and Brigantis  is from Great Britain

Brigantia is also Gallician and Gallicia has another spelling of her name, which is Braga

Braganca is Northern Portugese

Bregenz is Austrian

Sacred wells and eternal flames were tended by her devotees, and Catholic Nuns continued this practice.

One of the most famous sites is the Cathedral to Saint Brigid in Kildare, Ireland. The Cathedral began near 480 a.d. with the settling of nuns and construction of a humble building. Brigid was the head nun who was so highly regarded, after her death, a shrine and new building went up. It was destroyed many times, and by the late 1600’s, the building was redone almost 20 times.

It was officially consecrated in the 1200’s, and up until the 16th century, a “firehouse” temple that originated in pre Christian days was maintained.  It was ruined after the Protestant Reformation and Irish Confederate Wars of the 1600’s. There was much breaking away from Catholic influence after this time, and reconstruction, without the firehouse was completed from 1875 to 1896.

Interestingly, this illustrious num, Saint Brigid of Kildare patronized the same things as the goddess Brigid. Some  of the things St. Brigid patronized included milk, poetry, and blacksmiths. As St. Brigid was also seen to be merciful, she patronized some of the people who were looked down upon and who suffered greatly including abused children, and the poor. More similarity to the goddess- St. Brigid of Kildare’s feast day is Feburary 1, Imbolc.

The Saint became Abbess and Abbesses preceding her from her order for many years were regarded at superior generals of monastaries in Ireland. Even the Episcopals recognized them.

Many miracles of healing, charity, and defending the defenseless against cruelty have been attributed to this Saint.

Naming Christian children after Pagan gods and attribution of the gods characteristics to Saints is just one way Christianity helped unknowingly keep Pagan traditions alive.

Backing up for centuries before Christianization, the beloved, and well-used Mound of Hostages provides evidence of the sacredness of this time. The inner chamber aligns with the sunrise both Imbolc and Samhain. Long believed to be then markers for beginning of winter (Samhain) and beginning of Spring (Imbolc). Imbolc was about the fires of new life and fertility.

The fires in the home were extinguished and the ashes were consulted for signs that the goddess had visited in the night. An image of the goddess was taken from house to house the next day to bless the homes, and inhabitants. Like St. Brigid, who watched over children, the goddess tended an eternal flame that protected herds and people. Healthy herds meant food for the folk. Healthy folk meant more babies. More babies meant the folk endured.Brigid, keeper of the sacred flame was the protector, and giver of life.

In my research for this, I discovered that although it was deemed too Pagan, and the flame was extinguished in the 1600’s, it was relit in 1993 by the Brigidine Sisters.

It still burns.

The Fire Temple was also rebuilt on the grounds in Kildare. It was constructed where it is believed the original stood, and while that flame is not kept burning at all times, fires are lit there for special occasions. You can read more about this wonderful group and the fire sites at www.brigidine.org

 

On doing ritual for this Sabbat.

Many of us do not leave candles or hearth flames burning 24/7 in our homes because we have central heating and air conditioning and we don’t want a house fire!  Many neo-Pagans do not follow the goddess Brigid either. So the tradition of extinguishing a hearth fire and looking for signs of the goddess and then inviting her into the home may be a fitting rite for some Pagans, but not for everybody.

But the powerful energies of life brewing is what can be harnessed by everybody. I do not recommend an exciting, cool, very ethereal working for this. But a plain old, bland, boring list making session you light one candle for and a bit of journaling, and a lot of footwork.

Why?

Because I believe magic is not just spell slinging. I believe it entails active work on our part. I have seen people say a prayer or “put it out there to the universe” when they wanted something to manifest, and that worked. I am of the mind, however, that the times that all is required is making a wish to get results are few and far between, and I think it is up to us to try and be proactive in bringing about manifestation of what we want.

The operations for simply putting a request out to the universe are as simple as writing the desired outcome on paper and burning it and releasing the ashes to the wind or leaving libation to a god or goddess and asking them for help. If you want to preface my suggested ritual for Imbolc with this, go right ahead. I think everybody has to do what works for them, but I suggest also following up with action.

Ready?

Get paper, plenty of it, and pencil with eraser. Get a candle you can light multiple times over the course of a week or two if needs be. You may well be sitting down with your list more than once while you are deciding what you want and just how to go about getting it. Shut off your cell phone and music and tv, and sit comfortably in solitude someplace where you will be undisturbed.

Light your candle and take a moment to gather your thoughts before you begin.

Then start writing about what change you want to manifest in your life. Be as specific as possible, keeping in mind that you can be as lofty with this initial writing session as you please.Take as long as you need, and when you have finished, extinguish the candle and go do something else. Wait a good twenty-four hours before revisiting this list.

Sit down undisturbed and light that candle again. Repeating use of the same candle for this consecrates it and links it to this working. Use of a single notebook or a stack of papers kept in the same folder can establish this link , too. These are your ritual tools for this. As you write on the papers, save them. Number the pages or put the date you began on each page so you can refer back to your progress.

Now is time to revise. Maybe you put a complete overhaul changing every aspect of your life and you are just not looking to tackle that much at once. Maybe you want something that is just not going to happen. I am sorry to say, but sometimes, we have to accept that we just cannot have everything we want. Try to whittle it down to a single thing you want to focus on and that you feel is attainable.

Get a new piece of paper, and do a mission statement of sorts starting with “I want…”

For example, “I want to eat healthier this year because I want my overall health to improve.” Or even , “I want a higher paying job.” Or even, “I want to break off/ start a new romantic relationship. “ Short and sweet, and not too much to focus on. The more simplified and specific, the more time and energy you can effectively focus on that and the faster you can be successful.

Extinguish the candle and wait another twenty-four hours. If you have to work on this mission statement over more than one session, that is okay. Once you have your mission statement, start again in a quiet place where you can be undisturbed and light that candle and take out that notebook or folder of papers.

Next you are going to examine that goal and think of three things you can do to accomplish it. By now, you might have found yourself thinking about your goal outside the quiet time you spent writing. You may be driving home from work, or at your workout, pondering things.

Your list may be something like this.

“I want to eat healthier this year for my overall health to improve.

Three things I can do to work towards this are:

Give up eating dessert and stop putting sugar in my coffee and tea.

Take a multivitamin every day to get more nutrients in me.

Give up soda for good, and instead drink at least eight glasses of water a day.”

Extinguish the candle. Put your mission statement and three goals someplace where you can see it.

Twice a week, light your candle and write at least a paragraph about your progress. In a month evaluate your success. Revise and redo as necessary. Some goals are long term, and some practically instantly accomplished.

What I just listed about eating healthier is actually my list. I started doing these things a month-and-a half ago and I am proud to say, I have not faltered. BUT, this is a long term project. If I drink ONE soda, it does not mean I have failed, but if I do one every day, I need to try harder. And I am not assuming I will never have a dessert again for as long as I live. I am just one of those people who “can’t eat just one” and I have seconds and thirds and I like sweets all day long every day. Going on a sugar fast to get the cravings under control was literally, a gods-send. But I know myself well enough to know that if I am not vigilant, I will fall back into the habit of being ruled by sugar addiction, and I will never be healthy that way. So this list is one I will have to adhere to for my whole life.

We all want better things in life and positive changes, but as Pagans and witches in general, we sometimes forget to add mundane action to our quest for improvement or acquiring what we want. I am not suggesting an end to spellwork. Goodness, no! I am simply suggesting that in addition to spellwork, we do footwork. As a matter of fact, I suggest footwork and spellwork always be combined.

Have a blessed Imbolc and may you bless yourself with accomplishing new goals. And wish me luck, my dears…because I had a dream last night I was eating a candy bar. (Don’t tell my husband on me!)

Blessed Be.

Spellwork Through Poetry, Lesson 11

July, 2011

Metaphors

Our lessons have been geared toward putting our thoughts into a poetry form. Most of the writing has been straight forward about the topic. This month will be more of a challenge; I would like for us to explore metaphors.

Quick review:
~Similies are comparisons of unlike concepts using like/as.
I was as hungry as a lion.
~Metaphors are comparisons of unlike concepts without using like/as.
I was a lion ripping through the kitchen hunting for something to eat.

Similes are ultimately easier than metaphors because the comparison is more direct; you are able to clearly state the two things you are comparing, and why you are comparing them, in the sentence and you use like/as to connect the two ideas. (I was as hungry as a lion).

Metaphors are more difficult because the comparison is indirect. You briefly state the main item and elaborate on the compared item. Why you are comparing the items is also vaguely stated. In my experience, it is easier to write a simile and change it into a metaphor than it is to just write a metaphor cold. However, once you have the basic comparison, you can extend your metaphor for pages and pages.

The full moon is like a white frisbee

Mother Earth hurls the disc in the sky,
Canis Major chases it down through the dark
With Canis Minor on his heels.
It soars higher and higher all night,
Passing The Hunter poised to strike.
The pups are later joined by Sirius
In their quest to catch their toy.
Soon the disc begins to descend,
Caught again by Mother Earth.
The pups have had their fun,
They now wait for night fall again to play.
The three cuddle together and doze away
With the dawn.

I would like you to try to write a metaphor for a spellcast. This will be in the style of free writing, in poetic stanzas or not.

Spellwork through Poetry, Lesson 7

February, 2011

Limerick

The limerick is a five line poem that has a very distinctive rhythm. It follows a rhyme scheme: AABBA, with the first, second, and fifth rhyming lines being longer than the third and fourth. Limericks are often humorous (and the best ones are dirty).

This one, from Wikipedia, is an excellent example:

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
In space that is quite economical,
But the good ones I’ve seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical

Using limericks in spellcasting can be very fun. In my personal experience, the topic of which I was casting was never serious, an in I need this to happen pronto, nor was it serious, as in this subject is important and should not be goofed with. My favorite limerick that I have written involves the birds and the bees:

A The flutter of the birds and the bees

A All over the grass and the trees…

B The maiden will blush,

B The man will rush,

A And both will go weak in the knees.

One I have used with spells related to the blooms in my garden:

A The spring bud turn to summer bloom

A Gentle flowers I come out here to prune

B Pull out some weeds

B Plant some more seeds

A Arranged so as to leave room

Assignment: Try your hand at at least one limerick

Spellwork Through Poetry, Lesson 5

November, 2010

Lesson 5: Writing Free Verse

Free verse is non-rhyming poetry. It is not necessarily easier or better than rhyming poetry, just different. It is just one of the types of poetry under the blanket of non-rhyming poetry and is basically a no-rules free-for-all. We will be looking at one of my favorite examples of free-verse by one of my hands-down favorite poets.
Earth, My Likeness
by Walt Whitman

EARTH, my likeness,
Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there,
I now suspect that is not all;
I now suspect there is something fierce in you eligible to burst forth,
For an athlete is enamour’d of me, and I of him,
But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me eligible to burst forth,
I dare not tell it in words, not even in these songs.

Whitman has no meter, no rhyme, no pattern. Yet, he is so emotionally deep with strong sentiment. He states a clear message with the language he uses; he does not worry himself with fancy language, though he does have a strong metaphor throughout the poe.

Assignment: For this month’s assignment, you will write at least two free verse poems. My suggestion for one of them would be to use the detailed prose you have already written, and just re-arrange your thoughts into poetry lines. Another hint: most free-verse poems tell a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It is a good idea to keep these in mind while you prepare to write.

Spellwork Through Poetry, Lesson 4

October, 2010

Lesson 4: What is poetry

Objective: to define poetry as an art form and a tool; to become familiar with the kinds of poetry we will be working with for the remainder of the class.

What is poetry? “poetry is literature in metrical form” is what you will find in the dictionary. That barely scratches the surface of what poetry is. poetry really is something that is almost impossible to define, it is so varied from form to form, author to author, that it if definition-less. While we can’t make a nice definition wrapped in a little bow, we can discuss what poetry is. poetry is, in many critics’ opinions, the ultimate linguistic art form. It is to writing what splatter paintings are to art; specs laid in the most precise ways to show the world another view. poetry is saying the unsayable, bringing the intangible to life. poetry is discovery of the human spirit, to be heard and understood. While prose is made to be logical, poetry is not. poetry is not illogical, but rather the escape of logic. poetry is evocative. poetry is the ultimate use of language.

In the end, we can say one thing for sure about poetry: it is “doesn’t like your definitions and will shirk them at every turn. If you really want to know what poetry is, read it. Read it carefully. Pay attention. Read it out loud. Now read it again. There’s your definition of poetry. Because defining poetry is like grasping at the wind – once you catch it, it’s no longer wind” (Flanagan).

Assignment:

The four poetry forms we will be focusing on are: sonnet, limerick, villanelle, and haiku. Use the internet or your local library. Find at least one example of each to become familiar with the forms. Submit to me the title and author of each poem you read. What did you like about each form? What do you think will be a challenge to you?


Spellwork Through Poetry, Lesson 2

August, 2010

What is intent?

Objective: define intent; why is intent important

The definition of intent- and all variations of the word: intend, intention, etc- are “state of mind when something is done, purpose, the end or object; goal”. Our intent is the most important thing we have when we go into spellwork. It not only is the most important, but the most basic; the most primal. What do YOU want? Put aside all of the fancy forms that we will learn later in this class. Put aside all of the words that you are bringing together. Put aside all of the props we commonly use in ritual: candles, incense, wand, chalice… Forget about the importance of moon cycle, colors, stones, oils. Wipe the slate clean. Build from the bottom up.

What do you want? Why do you want it? How will this result affect your life? Truthfully answering these questions, then decide if the result is worth the change. You must be 100% involved in your intent to see any result.

Some people will try and tell you what is right or wrong with spellcasting. They will tell you that you *have to* follow certain rules. This is not true. Some people believe it is perfectly acceptable to cast on other’s behalf, others believe this is fine but dilutes their magick, and still others find this practice unacceptable. Some believe it if ok to cast a spell on someone (fall in love with me, move away from me, etc). Others feel it’s ok as long as it doesn’t cause harm to the person. Others feel it may not show in personal harm, but it will be other kinds of harm because it messes with their own free will.

The only specific rules with magick are the ones which you personally make; the boundaries you set for yourself and what you find acceptable and deplorable. Because intent is so personal, this lesson is quite short. It requires a lot of personal thought and contemplation. There are no right or wrong answers.

Now that you have read this lesson, please write a reflection about your intent. List 3-5 (or how many you have/can think of) intentions you have and answer the questions posted above and decide if ends justify the means.

Example: My intent is to get a new job

What do I want– I want a job that challenges me and is something I enjoy, I want a job that has a higher salary. I want a job that involves animals. I want to work outside with dogs.

Why do you want it– I want a job that is fun because I do not find my job fun right now. I want a job with a higher salary because I need more money for my growing family. I want a job that involves animals because I bond with animals much more quickly that I do with people; I feel animals very relaxing and I feel I am more myself when they are around. I want to work outside with dogs because I love being outside in nature and connecting with the spirits; my spirit animal is a wolf so I have always been drawn to his descendants.

How will this result affect your life– This result will make my life intriguing because I will be starting something new. It will make my life more hectic because I will be starting a new routine which will negatively impact my family until we get used to the new flow of things.

Having an imbalance in my home life is not worth a new job. I will not be casting this spell.

Spell Craft

April, 2009

Felix the Cat had his bag-of-tricks, Batman had his utility belt, and witches have spells.

Hollywood tells us that all a witch really needs is a good book of spells and they’re in business.  Hot, diggity-dang!  I’ll run right out and get me one of those.  Except, aren’t there any useful modern books of spells?  The ones that I can find are kind of out of date and a lot of those spells aren’t of much use any more.  I mean, who needs a spell to keep your yams from wandering over the fence into your neighbor’s yam patch at night?  Or one to get rid of boils on your bum?  (My health plan covers that, unless it’s a pre-existing condition.)

Of course, there are modern spells for love charms and making money.  In fact, that seems to be the main focus of most of the spell books on the shelves these days.  I guess if you want to have a spell for some other purpose, you’ll just have to work it out yourself.  If you’re not an old hand at crafting spells, that might seem an intimidating task.  But, trust me; it’s as easy as pie.

First off, let’s be clear what we’re talking about.  A spell is actually nothing more than a plan that involves magic to get something done.  Most spells are subtle ways of injecting magic into a process so as to make it more successful.  And magic, as we all know, comes in a wide variety of forms.  Most magic workers find they are more adept at one or two forms and tend to stick with them for most of their spells.  This isn’t surprising since specialization happens in every art form.  Magic works in direct proportion to the amount of will power put into it, so most magic requires a good deal of mind work and motivation.  Spells commonly use what most would consider to be psychological tricks.

For instance:  A few years back, a fellow came to me and said he was suffering from writer’s block.  He just couldn’t seem to write anything useful and he was getting frustrated over how long it had been going on.  By the way, this guy was a die-hard typewriter user.  Why, I’ll never know.  But I made use of the fact in my spell.  After a little questioning, I created a spell that got rid of his writer’s block in one week.  Here were my instructions to him:

1. On day #1, sit down at your typewriter.  Clear everything off the desk with the exception of the typewriter and a stack of blank paper.
2. Insert a sheet of blank paper into the roller and put your fingers on the keyboard.  But do not type anything.
3. Sit like this for precisely one minute.
4. Take out the paper and burn it.
5. On day #2, sit down and repeat steps #2 through 4.
6. On day #3, put the paper in the typewriter and sit for two minutes without typing anything on it.
7. Then, type one key, any key.
8. Take out the paper and burn it.
9. On day #4, repeat #6.
10. Then, type a complete sentence… anything.
11. Remove the paper and burn it.
12. On day #5, repeat #6.
13. Type the same sentence that you typed for step #10.
14. Then type, “I am a GOOD writer.”
15. Remove the paper and burn it.
16. On day #6, roll in the paper but don’t type anything.
17. Look at it for ten minutes.
18. Leave the paper in the roller and exit the room.
19. Do not return to that room until the next day.
20. On day #7, type anything you want.

I had no assurance that this spell would work but I thought it would because of what I knew about the man and his habits.  He was what I would call a compulsive writer.  By forcing him to go ‘cold turkey’ about his writing but giving him a specific ‘cure’ for his writer’s block so he’d be motivated to follow my instructions, I felt he would bottle up so much writing energy that it would nearly explode from him on the seventh day.  And it did… right on cue.  He called me up that night and told me he’d written twenty-two pages and wanted to do more but was too tired.  He thanked me profusely and then hung up.  I learned the next day that he’d gone back to finish a paragraph and ended up writing another five pages.

The magic in this spell is obvious.  I relied upon the person’s own compulsions to break the barriers down that his mind had put in place.  I knew that most so-called writer’s block was because the unconscious was telling the writer that they had to change something in their lives and/or story before the creative juices would flow again.  I just gave him the time necessary to make those changes while providing something that he believed would make that change for him.  The spell didn’t actually make those changes; he did.  But while he was doing that, I gave him a reason to accept a change in his normal routine.  I gave him a distraction as well as making him hopeful that the change he wanted, the breaking of his writer’s block, would happen and happen at a specific point.  Just an old Jedi mind trick.

A lot of spells are like that.  They use the predictable changes and energies around a situation and give them purpose and direction.  How was I able to come up with this particular spell?  Well, the formula is actually something I learned years ago when reading The of War.  The solution to a problem usually lies within the proper description of the problem.  Remember that the so-called ‘writer’s block’ was something that the man was producing himself.  And I knew that most of the time, a ‘writer’s block’ is nothing more than the unconscious trying to adjust things so the natural creativity of the person can work better.  All I did was use that knowledge and make up a spell that gave his unconscious enough time to do its thing without the guy feeling frustrated all the time (which undoubtedly would have hampered his unconscious from doing what it was supposed to do).  In other words, I used what I knew about his condition and provided a reason for him to allow the problem to take care of itself.  And it worked.  I found out later that he’d taken the time he would have normally used for writing and spent a good deal of it with a lady he’d met a few weeks before his ‘writer’s block’ had appeared.  Their relationship blossomed and actually turned into an intense romance that lasted well after he was done with the book.  He told me that one of his female characters had to be rewritten so she acted more like his girl friend and that had been what the story really needed.

A good part of most spells relies on psychology.  Understanding how people think and what kinds of things motivate them is a key factor.  But also knowing how other things function is necessary in making successful spells.  Much of the time, spells appear not to have anything that connects them to the purpose or goal of the spell.  How would burning a candle help find a lost pet?  Why would white rose petals worn in your right shoe help you find a lover?

As magic users, one of the first things we learn is that everything is connected.  Simply because something appears not to be connected doesn’t mean that it won’t make a difference in how things work down the line.  Just as every parent knows, what is done with a child at the age of two has a great deal to do with how they behave at the age of twenty-two.  Knowing how a small change here can make a big change there is the kind of thing needed to craft a good spell.  Of course, such knowledge requires a good deal of education.  Witches (and, for that matter, all magic workers) are always curious… about everything.  But I believe the biggest thing that sets magic users apart from others is that one concept, everything’s connected.  Anyone who works magic believes that concept is true.  And because of it, we see the world differently from how much of the population sees it.  For us, thinking that there is a connection between the rose petals and finding a lover is not outrageous.  We can’t always justify or explain how something is connected or how it influences things, but there is no doubt in our minds that it is so.  For us, this is not bad science or crazy thinking; we like to think of it as ‘wisdom’.  Whether it is wisdom or just a different way of viewing the world, it works for us.

Hollywood and the entertainment media in general tend to portray spell crafting as some super mysterious way of causing fantastic events.  While that might sell movie tickets or books, the truth is that most spells are rather bland.  No big flashes, no swirling smoke, no freezing time… sorry.  Just getting stuff done.  But I don’t discount the importance of mystery.  Sometimes it’s necessary for things to work properly.  Take the spell mentioned above about getting rid of the writer’s block for instance.  If I’d told the guy, “Hey, give it a rest for a while; get out a little more and have some fun,” he probably wouldn’t have taken the advice and certainly wouldn’t have found some needed distraction so his unconscious could work out the kink in the story.  I purposely camouflaged what I was doing so it would work better.  Like I said: old Jedi mind trick.

Remember that many people ascribe powers and attributes to us that are absolutely untrue.  They may think we’re strange (well, that might be a little true), some think we’re even evil.  They might believe we can fly on broomsticks.  Then again, they might think we’re totally bonkers.  But they also believe… or at least want to believe… that we can twitch our nose and make things happen.  (I’ve tried for years to learn how to twitch my nose that way, but so far…)

Anyway, a bit of drama or skillful misdirection can be useful sometimes, especially with non-magic workers.  It could be argued that this doesn’t help dispel (Get it…dis + spell?  Ha, ha.  Well, anyway…) the idea that we are aligned with ‘evil forces’ but I think that is another whole subject.  It’s a way of using the person’s own energies for empowering the spell.  They can’t expect us to do everything.  Besides, many who come to us for spells are frustrated and don’t know or believe that they have the power to make the desired changes in their own lives.  Having them be the source of the spell’s power is one way to give them a sense of ‘ownership’ that will help them in more than just that one instance.

Crafting spells is an art, and a very useful one at that.  Learning how to do it for others is part of our bag-of-tricks.  But remember that whatever you create, you are responsible for.  Whether you work magic for yourself or for others, the rules are the same:

1. Be careful what you invoke.  (You just might get it!)
2. Don’t make something you can’t un-make.  (If you made that mess, you might have to clean it up!)
3. What you do will always come back to you.  (If you’re lucky, it will only be threefold!)
4. Do good.  (Don’t be mean, nasty, ugly,… or stupid!  See #3!)

Finally, just a word about doing spell work for others:  Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  You are under no obligation to do something just because somebody asked you to.  In fact, the only obligation you have is to be a responsible magic worker (see the above rules).  Always, always be mindful of what your own spirituality tells you and be true to it.  The best spell is the one that you do on yourself to make you into a better child of the gods.  Blessed be.