April, 2013

Merry Meet and Welcome!

April, 2013

Welcome Readers to the April Issue of PaganPages

 

We have quite a treat for our readers this month! 

Orion Foxwood has blessed us with another FANTASTIC Interview! 

He shares with us his thoughts behind his newest book The Candle and the Crossroads

 

 

Also, in this month’s issue a Book Review on Book Review: Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth by John Michael Greer

 

 

 

Of course we have all your favorite columnists, correspondences, and information! 

 

Don’t forget, you can shop PaganPages Etsy at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/PaganPagesOrg

 

 

We are currently looking for writers for the following columns:

    • Divination

  • Herbs

    Tarot

    • Crafts

  • If you are interested in any of these positions email us at admin@paganpages.org

    *Remember, you do not have to be a professional writer to apply!

    MoonOwl Observations

    April, 2013

    Pauahtun and the Bacabs

    This Mayan god is the cause of many debates, even to this day. This is because of the vast differences between the Classic era and the Postclassic era.In the classic era he is simply Pauahtun. I’m going to touch base on him first.

    Pauahtun is a god of four incarnations called the Bacab. Each stands at one of the four corners of the world, holding up the sky. Even with such an important job he was seen as a drunk and unpredictable. He would also control thunder and wind. He is connected to Mam, who is an ancient highland earth deity.

    He is usually depicted as an old man with a shell on his back and a crocodile headdress on. He is the patron of scribes and of the Uayeb. The Uayeb is from the Haab calendar and is five unlucky days. Pauahtun is also known as Pavahtun or the Skybearer.

    Now, moving into the Postclassic era, Pauahtun’s Bacabs take on individual identities. They are four separate gods that are at each compass point. This was a much more popular belief because it was still believed the earth was flat so each was at the edge of the earth, still holding up the sky. All four of these gods are considered brothers and are the patrons of beekeepers.

    They are also called the four wind gods and are typically shown as four old men with raised arms.  Sometimes they will be four jaguars or turtles though.  The North was help up by a god named Mulac. Cauac was at the south and Kan in the east. In the west stood Ix.

    There are stories with both theories and there are also glyphs depicting both beliefs. They are shrouded in mystery, but so are most gods.

    Musings of a Massachusetts Witch

    April, 2013

    Chance, Work or Choice?

     

    No one falls in love by choice, it is by chance.

    No one stays in love by chance, it is by work.

    And no one falls out of love by chance, it is by choice.

     

    The above was one of those photo statuses on facebook that I encountered recently and while I understand the sentiment is meant to be inspiring I find that it does just the opposite for me. It elicits a feeling of disempowerment within me that I just will not accept. It seems to embrace the idea that there are things in my life experience that I have no control over … that life sometimes is random. And I couldn’t disagree more.

     

    Let me explain my point of view by starting with the idea of choice.

     

    A choice is a selection or a decision. It is the mental or physical act that an individual being does after consideration of the options presented to them. You and I make choices each and every moment of our life. Some of these decisions are obvious such as what clothes to wear in the morning, and others are perhaps so subtle or habitual we don’t even consider them, like what route we take to work, and sometimes we may even feel that our decisions are no longer choices as we have relabel them as ‘responsibilities’ or ‘obligations’. But they are choices. We have the option of not making that decision or fulfilling that expectation. It is our choice.

     

    I realize that many people may perceive falling in love as an involuntary event that it is something they didn’t consider then choose however I believe that we all have the choice to fall in love or not but many of us already made the decision prior to it occurring or manifesting as it does. You see, it is my belief that we attract people into our lives that we resonate with on a spiritual or vibrational level. The individuals we love are those that we attracted. Some of these individuals will be people we love and some of them are people we will be in love with. Yes, I differentiate the two. I will agree that there are times that it may appear that we fall in love with individuals randomly but I believe this is because it is our higher consciousness or our Higher Self that orchestrated the meeting so that the lower self or more denser more physical self or ego might perceive the experience as mysterious or coincidental. This concept also can be applied to synchronicity.

     

    So this brings us to the idea of coincidence or chance. Personally, I do not believe in chance, coincidence, randomness, accidents, luck or mistakes. I believe we create what we experience. Just as we attract into our life the people we meet I also believe that we attract the events we experience. Sometimes this is done by deliberately focusing on what we desire or want and sometimes it is done by focusing on that which we de not desire or want this is because as we focus on this particular thing, person or situation we add our emotional energy or Will into it. It is as we do this that we will begin to witness the manifestation of that which we are focusing on. That is how events occur. And again I stress that it is possible that this happen unintentionally … we may open ourselves up to other individual’s desires and not be consciously aware of this which then can appear to be a coincidence or an accident. I believe if we are aware of our True Will we would be able to avoid manifesting things we truly do not desire to experience. This is the power of magick.

     

    So what about work? Work is defined as an activity in which one exerts effort or strength to overcome obstacles and achieve a result. I believe it is possible to achieve a result without exerting strength or overcoming difficulties that impede the forward progress. Any circumstance that an individual may perceive as an obstacle I perceive as an opportunity and in relationships whether they are romantic or platonic present many opportunities for our individual growth as well as growth within the relationship. When two beings meet on the physical plane and meld their personal energy signatures they give birth to a new vibration which can aid in the expansion of each individual if they allow it to occur. This is manifested through compromise. There need not be resistance.

     

    Let’s talk about love. What is this feeling or vibration that we perceive as love? If we look up the definition we find that love is described as an intense or strong feeling of deep affection, tenderness and devotion originating from emotional, spiritual or energetic bonds. It can sometimes include sexual desire, being ‘in love’ but isn’t always determined by this as we can have these same feelings without that ‘loving’. Our natural state of being as non-physical vibrational or spiritual beings is love. It is the highest vibrational frequency there is. It is pure. It is unconditional. It is divine. It is only in taking on a physical form as we did when we chose to manifest on this physical plane of existence that we call Earth are we then able to experience the contrast between love and fear. These experiences in turn expand the Universe. This is our purpose for living.

     

    So instead of saying:

     

    No one falls in love by choice, it is by chance.

    No one stays in love by chance, it is by work.

    And no one falls out of love by chance, it is by choice.

     

    I would counter:

     

    Everyone one falls in love, stays in love and falls out of love by choice; it is not by chance or work.

    Across the Great Divide

    April, 2013

    “Some Debts are Hard to Pay”

    Many of us have visited a casino at least once for a number of reasons- perhaps some time in the limelight with friends at the slots amid conversation and drinks or walking in the shadows feeding the crave of a gambling addiction. Gambling conjures up some rather strong images and opinions on all sides; this is neither the time nor place to debate those points- I only mention this because there arise, from time to time, some bizarre events that are connected with this highly-charged activity. On these rare occasions, such events can leave a chill running up your spine and a lingering wonder in the back of your perplexed mind as your psyche tries to make sense out of what just happened.

    For two Metro Detroit girls a seemingly amusing time at the Motor City Casino was about to become a convergence of these possibilities as they unwittingly walked across the great divide into the world of the paranormal.

    I am often presented with pictures and stories that set my mind reeling with questions and answers related to paranormal research- but mostly questions. A coworker relayed a story that had made national news back in 2000 when an off-duty police officer from the Detroit suburb of Oak Park had visited the Motor City Casino and quickly ran up a $15,000 to $20,000 debt at the blackjack tables. Perhaps from the weight of such an overwhelming loss (we’ll never really know), the decorated officer stood up from the table, cried out “Noooooo!,” drew his gun and put a bullet in his head while others ran for safety.  The death, believed to be the first suicide inside a U.S. gambling establishment, highlighted concerns about casino gambling. The debates consumed the nation, as tragedies are so often prone to do. Time passed. The cards kept coming and the slots kept dinging. The horror of that day was all but forgotten- at least until a few weeks ago.

    She pulled up a news archive photo of Sergeant Solomon Bell.

    A happy and decorated officer- or so it would seem.

    My coworker then proceeded to pull up a photo on her smartphone, taken by her cousins in one of the restrooms of the casino. What they saw in the image would shock them to say the least:

     

     

    Having been to the Motor City Casino, myself, I am familiar with how the restrooms are laid out. There is a large retaining wall that blocks and seperates the entrances to the rooms- Men’s to the left and Women’s to the right. Once inside there is a short L-shaped entryway before actually reaching the sinks and stalls.

    That being said, there is no way- in my mind- that a patron coincidentally passing by the bathrooms could possibly be reflected in the mirrors unless they were inside and standing directly behind the ladies pictured above.

    It would seem, judging by the facial features in the image, that Sergeant Bell remains at Motor City, walking among us and searching for a way to settle a debt that can never be repaid.

     

     

    Sources: Associated Press, LA Times,

    © 2013 R. Wolf Baldassarro/Deep Forest Productions

    Simple Spells and Rituals

    April, 2013

    Sometimes I check out some of the Wiccan chat rooms, and I have done my fair share of taking a new Witch or two under my wing and I have noticed that a lot of novice Witches get really nervous when it comes to writing their own circle casts and Quarter-calls.  More often than not the reason seems to be that they are afraid it “won’t be good enough”, or “respectful enough.”

    I think of Wicca as a joyful religion, and have always felt that if it is truly heartfelt, and done with respect, there’s no such thing as “good enough”.  I also believe that in the event we should misspeak some words or become tongue tied that our deities and elementals are just as likely to be amused at our human imperfections as we are.  I also feel that when we use our own words there is nothing that shows more respect.

    I use 3 different circle cast’s for spell work in general, the first one I picked up somewhere along the way and don’t remember where, but since it spoke to me I use it, the other 2, I wrote myself.  They are as follows:

    I cast this circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out

    This is a sacred temple now for me

    As is my will so mote it be!

    This space is a magick circle

    Protected by sacred flame

    Nothing shall enter in here

    Lest I call it in by name!

    I cast my circle Widdershins

    For the waning stage the Moon is in

    It’s my intent to remove, or send things away

    So my sacred circle is cast this way!

    As you can see they are all simple enough to memorize easily which allows you to raise energy much better that if you are trying to read something.  They are not elaborate but can be done with love and reverence.

    I have only one quarter call that I have written and use, as follows:

    Sacred Element of Earth you have sustained me since my birth

    Help speed along this spell for me

    I ask of you so mote it be!

    Sacred Element of Air, please grace me with your presence fair

    Help speed along this spell for me

    I ask of you so mote it be!

    Sacred Element of Fire please take my soul and spirit higher

    Help speed along this spell for me

    I ask of you so mote it be!

    Sacred Element of water please heed the word of your Wiccan daughter

    Help speed along this spell for me

    I ask of you so mote it be!

    If you are male and want to use this quarter call you could try something for the water element like, I ask you to my circle run, to hear the words of your Wiccan son, or anything that works for you.

    Release the circle and elements in your usual fashion.  So rather than thinking of the quality of what you write, think of it as a personal message to the divine that only you can write for yourself. I am certain that they’ll love you for it!

    Mugwort Chronicles

    April, 2013

    Dry, Draw and Shrink-The Magic of Astringents

    Recently during a hike to check out the awakening green of Oak Bottom Wildlife Refuge with a few like-minded plant-lovers, our discussion turned to the subject of astringents. Stopping at a young Oak (Quercus garryana), our leader shared how a decoction of Oak bark could be used as an oral rinse for treating mouth infections and bleeding gums. He then asked if anyone could describe how astringents worked. Although I was able to give an adequate explanation of what astringents do, our leader summed up their actions quite succinctly: “dry, draw and shrink”.

    The word astringent is derived from the Latin word, adstringere which means “to bind fast”. Foods which are astringent cause your mouth to pucker. Imagine how your mouth feels when eating a really tart apple. So, why are astringent herbs beneficial to use? Well, the same action which causes your mouth to pucker and feel dry when eating a tart apple also helps to decrease excess secretions, control bleeding, draw out toxins, shrink and tone swollen body tissues. More simply stated, astringents absorb excess fluid, contract and constrict tissue- dry, draw and shrink.

    Plant-based astringents contain tannins-substances found in larger quantities in the bark but also in the leaves, buds, fruit, fruitpods and roots of most plants.  Tannins help to protect plants from micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi as well as from predators. The word tannin is derived from the old German word for oak tree-a reference to the use of tannins made from oak to process hides into leather (“tan” hides). Tannins are present in many foods including teas, coffee, wine, and most berries. Tannins help bind proteins on wounds, forming a protective coating helping the skin to heal.

    One of my favorite astringent plant allies is Oregon Grape (Mahonia spp). Oregon Grape contains berberine, a constituent also found in Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis) and Goldenthread (Coptis chinensis) which gives the stems, bark and roots of these plants their yellow colour. Oregon Grape’s astringent properties make it a powerful anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory when used both topically for skin and eye conditions as well as internally for treating conditions such as acute diarrhea. It grows quite well here in the Pacific Northwest, making it a great substitute for formulas which use endangered Goldenseal.

    Since ancient times, Rose (Rosa spp) has been valued not only for its incredible fragrance but for its culinary and medicinal properties, as well. Yes, those wonderfully fragrant roses are also astringent.  Rosewater makes a great facial toner and can help to stop superficial bleeding from cuts and scrapes.  A rose petal infusion can be helpful for acute diarrhea, sore throats and symptoms of colds and flu. Rose hips, the seed pod which appears after the rose has finished blooming and the petals have dropped off, are rich in Vitamin C and can be made into a decoction, a jam or added to soups.

    A word of caution here about using modern roses- almost all rose bushes sold today have been treated with fungicides which remain within the plant throughout much of its lifetime. If you want to grow roses to use in cooking or for making medicine, it may be prudent to find a nursery which sells organically-grown rose bushes. Look for heirloom varieties, avoiding some of the more fancy cultivars as these often lack fragrance. Of course, wild roses will not have these concerns, but if you wildcraft, please do so responsibly.

    The more I learn about herbal medicine the more respect I have for Yarrow (Achillea milleifolium). Yarrow is anti-inflammatory and anodyne (relieves pain). Topically, it disinfects superficial wounds and staunches bleeding.  A hot Yarrow infusion taken for symptoms of cold or flu helps induce sweating and eliminate toxins. My mentor shared his experience with Yarrow when he had a nosebleed start while out on a hike in the woods. He wadded up a small amount of Yarrow leaf and inserted into his nostril which successfully stopped the bleeding. Please be very careful should you decide to try this. Care must be taken to avoid pushing the plant matter too far up into your nostril which could compromise your breathing.

    Blackberries are produced by many plants of the Rubus genus in the Rosaceae (Rose) family. Considered an invasive, thorny nuisance by some, Blackberries are high in anti-oxidants, fiber, and yes, tannins. The root has been long used in tea or tincture form to treat diarrhea, hemorrhoids and other intestinal disorders and as a gargle to relieve sore throat, inflamed gums and thrush. The berries are also astringent (and delicious!) Although blackberries seem to grow everywhere, remember to use good harvesting practices and avoid picking berries growing near roads, highways, railroad tracks or areas which have been obviously treated with herbicides (dead giveaway: a strip of  bright orange foliage).

    Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is a deciduous shrub found in the northeastern portion of North America. The leaves and bark were used by indigenous people to treat a variety of conditions, including external use for bruising, sore muscles, inflammation and swelling. Witch Hazel’s cooling, astringent and antiseptic properties are excellent for treating rashes, sunburn, acne, insect bites and hemorrhoids; Witch Hazel compresses can help ease the pain and congestion of varicose veins.  Although some sources suggest that an infusion of the leaves is helpful for internal gastrointestinal bleeding, other sources advise against internal use due to Witch Hazel’s high tannin content. If you should decide to use Witch Hazel internally, I strongly urge you to do some research and consult an experienced herbalist first. NEVER consume commercially prepared Witch Hazel products made with isopropyl alcohol! These are for external use only and are toxic if taken internally.

    So, the next time you are struggling to remember the properties of your favorite astringent herbs, just remember, “dry, draw and shrink”.

    This information is offered for educational purposes and is not intended to take the place of personalized medical care from a trained healthcare professional. The reader assumes all risk when utilizing the above information.

    Copyright© 2013 Louise Harmon

    All Rights Reserved

     

    References:

    -Astringents. Bear Medicine herbal: http://bearmedicineherbals.com/terms-of-the-trade-3-astringent.html

    -Astringent. Henriette’s herbal: http://www.henriettesherbal.com/archives/best/1996/astringents.html

    -Medicinal Uses for Blackberries. Living Strong: http://www.livestrong.com/article/article/96500-medicinal-uses-blackberries/#ixzz2Noabge8L

    -Rose; Yarrow. Annie’s Remedy: http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb

    -Rosewater. Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_water

    -Tannins. Cornell University: http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/tannin.html

    -Tannins. Herbs 2000: http://www.herbs2000.com/h_menu/tannins.htm

    -Witch Hazel. Medicinal Herb Info:http://medicinalherbinfo.org/herbs/WitchHazel.html

    Deeply Converse

    April, 2013

    I’m on the edge
    I’ve been here before,
    luckily for me
    I have a door
    to open and walk
    through where I can find
    a way to bring order
    back into my mind.
    For pages I’ll write
    rhyming verse
    with my inner
    self deeply converse,
    ‘till we work out
    what to do.
    poetry always
    gets me through.

    Astro Report for April 2013

    April, 2013

    April Fools Day – Sun in Aries – 11 degrees

    Monday, April 1, 2013Midnight

    April Fool’s Day or All Fool’s Day is accepted worldwide on or about April 1st as part of the old Roman holiday celebrating the Goddess, Hilaria. It is a joke of fun and joking around. Folks pull pranks and practical jokes upon each other. From the old days, a paper fish would be smacked upon your back and the utterance “April Fish!” would be chimed by all. Today, there are many practical jokes played upon the computer. Stick a piece of tape under the mouse and watch what happens to the next person trying to navigate the computer.

     

     

    New Moon in Aries – 20 degrees

    Wednesday, April 10, 20135:35 am EDT

    The New Moon in Aries brings about new changes to our personal mindset and how we approach things emotionally. There is new internal growth – the ability to “rise above”. When you are met with an emotional Challenge, you will have the ability to see it from a different aspect and deal with the situation better.

     

     

    Pluto goes Retrograde in Capricorn – 11 degrees

    Saturday, April 13, 20131:03 am EDT

    Pluto resonates with mystery and transformation. As it begins to station, those traits tend to exceed its boundaries and Pluto can be desecrating, annihilating and obsessive. After it goes Retrograde, the energies become more stagnating, unchanging and powerless. When Pluto is Retrograde, mysteries and secrets are difficult to keep and sometimes are leaked to the world.

     

     

    Mercury enters Aries

    Saturday, April 13, 201310:25 pm EDT

    Bring on your new voice of reason. Mercury, as a Planet of Communication, shows off its new attitude. In keeping up with the Jones’, Mercury follows the New Moon into Aries with a spring in its step. Where emotions are better handled by the New Moon, Mercury allows us to communicate those emotions better. There is no telling how far these Planets will take you – the energy of the two will be quite assertive.

     

     

    Venus enters Taurus

    Monday, April 15, 20133:06 am EDT

    Venus is coming home. The love and adoration that has seemed to be distant lately is finally entering its Rulership. Take your time to make amends and fit into your comfort levels. Find your groove and jump right in.

     

     

    Sun conjuncts Mars in Aries – 28 degrees

    Wednesday, April 17, 20138:00 pm EDT

    Headbutt City!! Personalities could be butting heads when the Sun conjuncts Mars in Aries. Be mindful of ego trips and personal differences. Our goal is to elevate ourselves, not diminish others along the way. To be the better person, help others “save face”.

     

     

    Sun enters Taurus

    Friday, April 19, 20135:51 pm EDT

    As the Sun enters Taurus, an overwhelming energy of comfort and tranquility surrounds us. Find your niche and settle in. Take time to smell the flowers. Find time to organize your thoughts and energy.

     

     

    Mars enters Taurus

    Saturday, April 20, 20137:13 am EDT

    After Mars enters Taurus, life slows down almost to a halt. The activity of Mars finds it difficult to move forward. The rush-rush of life slows down and hums with the hush-hush of simple pleasures. Enjoy the placid movements.

     

     

    Eclipsed Full Moon in Scorpio – 5 degrees

    Thursday, April 25, 20133:57 pm EDT

    Eclipsed energies tend to shadow our personalities. A Full Moon embellishes our emotions and brings to fruition our sense of creativity. If you have a project to work on, now is simply not the time to finish it with other shadows looming over you.

     

     

    Native Lore

    The Full Moons of April are called the Grass Moon, The Egg Moon and the Fish Moon. April is a month of spring, obviously. The Earth begins to fully awaken and the grass begins to grow stronger. Woodland animals creep and crawl out of their holes to begin munching on the fresh fronds of Spring. It is a month when birds begin to lay eggs in abundance. The Fish begin to swim upstream to maintain their species. For natives, food would become more abundant in April during the Egg and Fish Moon.

     

     

    Earth Day in Taurus – 2 degrees

    Monday, April 22, 2013 – midnight EDT

    Earth Day (aka International Mother Earth Day) is celebrated by a multitude of countries world-wide. It was initiated by John McConnell in 1969 for the first day of Spring. Its popularity encouraged a US Senator to host another Earth Day in America on April 22nd in 1970, where it has grown exponentially. The day was created to promote an environmental teach-in to expose people to the devastation of the on oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969. The day is meant to demonstrate political support for an environmental agenda. This year, Earth Day will expose us to be conservative and passive. The question, “What is your Carbon Footprint?” will sound very odd, but it means to gauge how much you do on a normal day and how does it affect the environment at large

    Interview with Orion Foxwood

    April, 2013

    Recently, we at PaganPages, have had the honor to review and interview one of our favorite authors again, Orion Foxwood.

     

    In February, I did a book review for his newest book The Candle and the Crossroads: A Book of Appalachian Conjure and Southern Root-Work.  Orion Foxwood took some time out from his busy schedule to chat with us about his newest work and just what Appalachian Conjure and Southern Root-Work is.

     

     

    PaganPages (PP):  What is American Southern conjure? 

     

    Orion Foxwood (OF):  American Conjure is a generalized term for a syncretic American folk spiritual and magical practice(s) that incorporates African (through the slave trade of the 17 and 1800s), Native American (specific to the geographic region), European (depending on the colony and variant of catholic or protestant tradition), and other localized or migratory practices that are primarily of colonial origins. These practices are known by many names including conjure, root-work, hoodoo, blue-roots, spirit-doctoring, etc. and represent a traditional role of magic in the American rural and urban culture. As a general description, they include (but are not limited to) healing, magic, prophesy, spiritual-cleansing, and defense practices.

     

     

    PP:  How did you learn these practices? Were they handed down in your family?

     

    OF:   I learned some of these practices and philosophies from my mother, neighbors, and friends while growing up; and other’s from workers throughout the American south. They were not transmitted in a formal setting but in response to needs as they arose. For instance, if there was a drought, I learned how to conjure rain. MY mother learned some of these practices from her mid-wife, who was a freed-slave. Other practices I learned while watching people come to workers of spirit-doctoring, who needed help for specific maladies… physical and otherwise. 

     

     

     

    PP:  What is the difference between southern conjure and other types of folk magic?

     

    OF:  The primary difference is that the work I describe in my book grew in the cultural and social environment of the American South. I think that the defining attribute(s) is the influence of African cultures and the nuances of the civil war and its impact on the internal conflict of “freedom versus enslavement” and “inalienable rights of humanity.” This sculpted my unwavering commitment to equity of rights and resources and adoration of the contributions of the tapestry of ethnicity and culture that makes up America. Specifically, I am in deep love with and reverent of the contributing African cultures, though I am in reverence of cultural diversity in general. By the way, I am not saying this to be politically correct… this is how I am at my core. 

     

     

    PP:  How has conjure influenced your life?

     

    OF:  I believe it has formed me at the very foundations of my self-hood. Through Conjure I know that there is a force at the center of our being that cannot be influenced or diminished by ANY external force, however oppressive or influential. There is a force, that we can call “our spirit” that is the most important and powerful force in our lives and it must be attended to. Conjure (or “spirit-doctoring”) has guided me in knowing the forces that enslave or liberate our spirits. Through Conjure, we exert ownership over our internal/eternal essence and how it blossoms into our world.   

     

     

    PP:   You use a very soulful tone in this book, why?

     

    OF:  Thank you for asking this question. True Conjure, as I know it and in living culture, is a way of liberating ourselves from domination and bringing forth the qualities of a fulfilling and good life. There are many very fine books, correspondence courses, and web-sites that provide information, formulas, history and historical foundations. I did not see any that gave the gut-and-soul of a form of magical/spiritual practice (conjure) that could not be diminished or destroyed by the most brutal forces of humanity including slavery and other forms of oppression. Bottom line… I wanted my contribution to the corpus of conjure information to be a guide back to the heart and core of conjure, hoodoo, etc.

     

     

    PP:  You do professional conjure work with clients. What does that entail?

     

    OF:  I do readings to look at the client’s spiritual attributes and influences as well as their relationship to the roads of luck, love, life and death. This assessment, in addition to the client’s report of their needs and their life-scape, gives me information on the relationship between their visible and invisible life-patterns. From this, I can work with clients on a strategy to cleanse ill-influences and develop relationships with spirits and forces that support the “blessing-roads” of their lives. Professional root-work and conjure focuses on “the invisible relationships between visible things.”

     

     

    PP:  You are adamant about respecting the people, such as the African slaves, who suffered to preserve this work. Why?

     

    OF:  I am unwavering about this because the powerful foundational influences of American Southern Conjure (as I understand it) was African through the American Colonial Slave-trade. Therefore, the very “soil” of this practice, for me, was built by the slave spirits. In my view, you CANNOT grow the branches of a tree without nourishing its roots. African slave influences are the roots of the tree of my conjure. Therefore  I honor my roots. I am grateful that these spirits found a way for these practices to find the way to my spirit.  

     

     

    PP:  Why do you spend so much time in the book focused on “sovereignty of the spirit”?

     

    OF:  As my mother and Godmother said (please excuse my language) ‘if you ain’t got your spirit, you ain’t got shit.’ When you claim your spirit and know it… grow it, heal it and reveal it… you have the very kingdom of spirit. Sovereignty of the spirit is about claiming the piece of the eternal that you are… and growing your life from that perspective.

     

      

    PP:  What is your primary message in this book? 

     

    OF:  Overcome spiritual domination and seek the freedom to become what inspired God to create you. 

     

     

    PP:  What other conjure-related projects are you working on?

     

    OF:  I intend to use my new book as a manual and develop classes with CDs and DVDs to help interested students develop their spiritual sovereignty. I also intend to make guest appearances on TV and other shows. Over the next 2 years, I will provide an online store for the purchase of products and teachings on Conjure with ALL work in honor to the spirits!

     

     

    We will keep our readers updated on Orion Foxwood’s classes, as well as, his online shop in order for us to honor the Spirits, as well.

     

    We would like to thank Orion Foxwood for taking this time with us and our readers to explain his amazing book and thoughts on Conjuring and Southern Root-Work.

    Book Review: Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth by John Michael Greer

    April, 2013

    Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth

    By John Michael Greer

    © 2012 by John Michael Greer

    ISBN: 978-1-57863-489-7

    140 pages

    Paperback $16.95 (U.S.)

    Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth was both informative and thought provoking. The author starts with a brief discussion of the difference between a real and false Mystery School. Like most Mystery Schools this book is mostly a discussion of Seven Laws of Ecology. 

    The Seven Laws covered are The Law of Wholeness, The Law of Flow, The Law of Balance, The Law of Limits, The Law of Cause and Effect, The Law of the Planes, and The Law of Evolution. Each of these laws is explained in terms of a meadow and how that law affects the meadow. This is then expanded on how that same law works in our lives. The author sums up with a meditation and affirmation.

    Some of the laws seem simple and easy to understand; others require more thought, especially when applied to one’s own life. When so much popular press is pushing ideas like there are no limits to what you can do with magic, it can be difficult to accept that everyone has limits and how those limits fit in with the other laws. I found it easy to grasp each law as presented, but more difficult meshing them all together. I can see where I will be spending more time thinking and meditation over the information in the seven laws.

    The book goes on to cover the Ecology of Magic, The Ecology of Initiation and the Spiritual Ecology of History. The Ecology of Magic deals with “making sense of the limits and possibilities facing humanity” and exploring the powers each of us has to use. The author discusses the popular notions concerning these limits and possibilities and the actual truth of the matter.

    The Ecology of Initiation, an area where there is the biggest gap between truth and popular mass-marketed spirituality.  The author explains how short cuts rarely work, again reinforcing the Seven Laws. This is followed by a chapter on The Ecology of History. In a world where we expect quick fixes this chapter showed how slowly change actually happens.

    This book is both informative and thought provoking. The Seven Laws are well presented and reinforced with meditations and affirmations. It may challenge some beliefs but is well worth reading.

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