The Forgotten Magic

Part Two

Seeing the soul of things

Art by Louise Cox

I had a somewhat paradoxical childhood. Most of the time I did not feel like a child, I knew I was older than my years but in a childs body. If you then speak to the adults most of which I am aware are younger than me, as yourself, they do not like it. So I learnt to act like a child, I don’t think I was very good at this. I decided to keep quiet instead. I quickly learnt that some things you especially keep quiet about.

My mother once asked me what I was looking at one night while sat on the sofa. I was bored with what they were watching on the TV and had become distracted by the coloured orbs dancing about the window.

“I’m watching the coloured lights by the window” I replied “look how beautiful they are”.

“There’s nothing there” she snapped looking at me like I have two heads.

“Maybe we should take you to have your eyes corrected if your seeing things” she warned me.

I wanted to protest and was horrified that my vision could be corrected so I would not be be able to see these things but a voice in my head said keep quiet, I shut up and promised myself to keep quiet in the future.

Art by Louise Cox

I would often unfocus my eyes to see what cannot be seen. I’d practice on inanimate objects. The clock on the mantelpiece was a favourite. It had a rotating pendulum with three balls underneath. The trick is to be in a trance state before you start staring. This was a lot easier as a child as my mind was a lot less cluttered as it is today. Once calm look at your chosen object but don’t focus in on it, take in the whole scene, keeping your attention on the object. Eventually your vision will shift, I feel this in my ears as well, they buzz a little or feel like the pop you get when there is a pressure change. I liked using the clock as it’s moving pendulum gave colourful tracers as they moved plus it was just a clock, it had no energy attached to it so made a good practice object. If I used the same technique on my favourite toys they would be more animated, being imbued with energy from the personality I had given them.

Some things do not like to be seen.

I was staring out of the window of my Nanna’s flat one day. I had a strange fascination with one of the windows in a large house opposite my Nanna’s. Nanna lived on the thirteenth floor of a block of flats. There was a large expanse of grass outside with a big oak tree in the middle and a few smaller trees dotted about. On the other side of this open space was a large manor house. When left alone in the livingroom I would look out of this window, I always had an intense feeling that someone was watching me from one particular window in the manor house. It was so far away you couldn’t see if there was or not, but I had a weird sense like when you feel someones magic and it’s challenging you, ‘I see you I know what you are’.

Back then everything was more feeling and emotion than words and in my mind I knew in the room that window belonged to, there was a little boy. He was trying to get my attention because he knew we were the same so I understood. He was asking for help. But I’m just a little girl on the thirteenth floor of a block of flats looking out of the window back at someone I can’t even see! Is he really there?

This always made me feel really sad. I wanted to go up to the house and ask if there was someone in that room and I could I speak to them and help, obviously this was not possible.

On one particular day as I stared intently towards the window in the manor house, the large oak tree was caught in my gaze. It’s aura started to shimmer, the whole tree shone with a magenta hue so bright, I took my eyes off the window and marvelled at the beautiful glow of the oak tree pulsating with energy. I could see its very essence, it’s soul. The second my full attention was on the tree, it sent a shock wave so strong I felt like I’d been physically pushed backwards. It hit my solar plexus breaking my trance instantly.

Art by Louise Cox

I knew the tree was not happy to be seen and I’d been put in my place. It certainly gave me a greater respect of trees and an awareness that like people some like to be left alone.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been experimenting with ‘unseeing’, I call it ‘unseeing’ because you have to tell your brain to forget it knows what everything is and cultivate a sense that you are trying to see something else. So far I managed to regain the same sense of sight looking at an ornament in my room and I also still have one of my childhood toys which again had more movement than other inanimate objects.

I was a little more apprehensive about try this on any trees. However I plucked up the courage and tried the technique on the palm tree in my garden. It seems friendly enough. This took longer to engage than the inanimate objects I had used. Eventually I managed to get focused, by this point I felt as if I was floating and my sight goes in and out, like you are looking through a camera and zooming in and out, my sight was closer then further away. Then the palm tree was not just a palm tree put a yellow and blue entity with many heads and eyes. I made it clear that I meant no harm and it seemed ok with letting me observe for a while. Then I said thank you for letting me see you and returned to normal sight, although I could still see some of the eyes for a few days every time I looked at the palm tree, this has now faded, unless I consciously look for them.

Image by Louise Cox

As a result of these experiments my hynogogic images have become a lot more vivid especially before sleeping.

As for the boy in the window. I did ask my Nanna about the house and if you could go visit. She told me it was a borstal for boys where all the naughty boys went and that you cannot visit as it’s all locked up.

Whether there was someone in that room looking out the window or not I will never know for certain but this is one memory that has stayed with me throughout my life.

Years later I learnt to use the same technique the oak tree had used on me to defend myself from unwanted attention but that’s another story.

The Forgotten Magic

Art by Louise Cox original photo Sandra Stalker

Intro

I do not practice magic, I am magic I was born this way, it’s enmeshed in the very fabric of my being. In essence we are all magic it’s only a question of whether you remember your inherent nature or get caught up in the conformity of the world at large and become conditioned to that reality. To a certain extent we all have to conform to society to survive, I have pandered to society norms. I rarely speak of my beliefs and over the years have blocked the intrusions of the Other.

This has is consequences. Firstly as a teenager and well into my thirties I was plagued with Sleep Paralysis attacks. Back when these attacks first started there was no label for my experiences and very little written. Before the invention of the Internet it was a lot harder to research anything without access to a good library. And who do you talk to when you are afraid to go to sleep in case the demons try to drag you away and devour your soul.

Secondly, after NOT learning my lesson of neglecting my magic this first time, I once again became entangled in the snare of conformity. This time it has affected me physically and I was diagnosed with CFS ten years ago. I have done all I can medically and had a refresher course via the NHS at the beginning of this year. I know deep in the recesses of my mind that if I want to truly be well again I need to reconnect with the source, field, universe whatever you want to call it.

Reaching back into my earliest memories I was living a magical life, only, I had to start hiding it, as I realised not everyone was interacting with the world as I did. Now I wish to rekindle the connection I’ve lost and reconstruct the things I did intuitively as a small child, when there where no boundaries between magic and reality. I need to remember the Forgotten Magic.

Part 1 – Black Horizons

My earliest magical memories from childhood started young, around the ages of three to eight. Once I was put to bed at night, I would make contact with the ‘beings’ (for want of another word). Inducing a trance state to communicate with them. This was not a dream, all the time I was conversing with these other beings, I was fully aware that I was a child in a bed at night and after our meetings were over, I would settle down and go to sleep.

Drawing on these memories what were the mechanics of the trance inducement. I would sit calm and still, feel the energy which flows through all of us. This energy always concentrates in the palm of my hands. When the energy felt strong enough, I would place my hands over my eyes so that the base of my palm was covering the socket of my eyes. Eyes closed I would look into the darkness and wait. At some point there would be a shift and my ears would feel like there had been a change in pressure. In the vast darkness there is an horizon. The beings would come towards me from this horizon. Sometimes one or two, sometimes up to five of them. They appeared to me as coloured luminous energy. The conversations happened telepathically, more emotion than words. Some were more friendly than others, some in different towards me and one seemed to dislike me and the feeling was mutual.

I was very fond of one of the beings in particular, he is the one who visited the most. I painted a picture of him at Sunday School (this would be the one and only time I went to Sunday School). I wasn’t very old, pre-school days. Easels where arranged in a circle and we were painting. The lady looking after us asked me what I was painting. I felt panic, I know I can’t tell her who this is.

“It’s a Horse”, I tell her.

“That’s a funny looking Horse”, she declares, “where’s his eyes”?

“I’ve been making the colour for his eyes”, showing her my paint brush which has a lovely shade of pale blue. I’d spent a long time trying to get the right shade of luminous blue, which was highly frustrating with the low grade poster paints at my disposal.

She promptly snatched the paint brush out of my hand and blobbled a dot, where she thought the ‘Horse’ should have an eye.

“There that’s much better” she declares and walks off. I was furious, how dare she, she has no idea about how the world works and she’s supposed to be teaching me about spirituality! That was not where his eye was supposed to be! I refused to go to Sunday School ever again.

Art work by Louise Cox

When I was much older I read ‘The Tibetan book of the Dead’ and felt a connection to the descriptions of experiences you are to encounter when you die, with the visits of the beings I encountered as a small child. Was this some kind of cross over stage? I was alive but interestingly in the memories I have of conversations with these beings are mostly about the fact that I was not happy to be here. Why was I here? I didn’t want to be here, I wanted to go back home. The people I was with, my family had no understanding of what I was.

They were adamant I had to stay. Am I supposed to be here for a reason. Why now in this place with these people. I do remember in one of the last conversations, one of the beings saying I was here because I ‘meddled’. With what or whom, in my last incarnation here or in the Other place, where I longed to back to. I have no idea and if I am to learn a lesson then it would help it I had some inkling to what it was.

Then one night I was told that they would not be visiting me again, I was to have no further contact. I was devastated, lonely and abandoned in a place I felt I did not belong. I was probably about six or seven. I have tried many times over the years to get back to the Black Horizon where the beings can be contacted. Sometimes I can see it but don’t quite make that final shift. I suppose it’s like phone call but the line at the other end is dead or is blocking my calls.

I experimented again over the last month or so at one point I saw something like a door open on the Horizon but it was abruptly closed. I guess I have to wait until I cross over to the Other side again.

 

A-dress me, Witches

Freepik

As some of you may or may not know, my favourite gothic dress recently disappeared from the shared accommodation in which I live.
And many of you might be asking, why should we care about that?
Well, spiritual seekers, let me spin you a tale of Witchcraft and empowerment, the infusion of heart and soul into fabric, and the absolute violation when something is just… gone.

Before we begin, let us acknowledge that the world of fast fashion is a blight on our world.
In a world which excuses the horrendous actions of companies because they get cheap bargains, we, as those who understand the impact of energetic vibration (and hopefully care about other people in the world), must open our awareness to the suffering selfishness can create. We can shop smarter, locally, from small independent sellers with higher ethical standards.

All that being said… it began with a dress.

A long black gothic maxi dress with white occult symbols all over it, slit up one side, with a caduceus painted up the front.
The caduceus was very special to me – I was born under the month, day, and hour of Mercury, so my attachment to that symbol as a part of my identity was profound – it became one of my Priestess dresses that symbolized healing and divine messages. I wore it to several important events in my priestess training at Glastonbury, and in Goddess circles. I, like one of the snakes on the chest, became intertwined with it, for as with many magical items – the specialness to their owner creates a magical imprint, and that belonging weaves magic into the fabric.

Growing up I had never rebelled, because it was not safe to do so. I grew up in an environment of abuse, and though I adored the gothic styles, I never quite dared to step outside of the box of safety I had created.
Inviting my mother’s attention for any reason was a bad plan.
So later in life, I experimented with the more gothic styles available – anything that I felt celebrated my Witchy self. It was part of the process of undoing the conditioning that had destroyed me with fear as a young woman. I stepped into my power – mine.
Constantly copied by my youngest sister (the golden child to the narcissist,) anything that used to be mine was taken. Given away or stolen. My boundaries were constantly violated.

Moreover, my Priestess dress became a kind of armour.
Later I had gotten myself into a toxic relationship where my looks and weight were under constant attack. The male in question tried to tell me that ‘bad things happened’ whenever I wore my dress.
He knew it was my favourite, and he knew I looked (and felt) good in that fabric – its unusual cut flattering my natural hourglass figure, and he sought to ruin that for me.
But it didn’t work.
My dress helped me rally that ember of resistance, that steely grit that I had forgotten how to access, and inwardly begin to whisper, ‘fuck off.’
My dress was no longer just a part of my spiritual expression, it had become armour.
The occult symbols were no longer just marks on fabric; they were alive, thrumming with purpose and magick – when I wore it, I was protected. I was totally and completely myself like a second skin.

This brings to mind the stories of Selkie Women and something I wrote about them for one of my Songs of Shades books:

Selkie

“I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

I have learnt

From my mistakes,

It took a life time or two,

I swam to shore,

Gave it my all,

The reason being you.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

I was burnt

My actions blurred

Naked and alone

I gave up to much

Against the rocks

My nimble body thrown.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

The tears I wept

The blood I spilt

My essence rough and dry

I longed for love,

And scaled the depths

Reaching for the sky.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

Now I steal away

In the dead of night

My skin clasped, oh so tight,

I leap the cliff

Into my waves, knowing,

I will be alright.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.”

Much like the tales of the Selkie women, my second skin was suddenly gone. Missing. I knew it had not left the house by my hand, and I rummaged through my wardrobe, under the bed, anywhere and everywhere for days and days on end.
It was nowhere. It was just… gone.

Freepik

The emotions that I cycled through because of this (and continue to do so) are very real. That dress was a part of me. My life. I had earnt the money to buy it, I had worked magic in it. I had honoured the Goddesses of my spiral walking in it. I had stood discussing sisterhood and what it meant. It was a part of my magical self. Infused down to the stitch. The violation in it being simply gone (without rhyme or reason,) was a cold stab in the heart.
At the time I had also thought it irreplaceable because this dress was a few years old and no longer sold – but the universe sent me a beautiful soul who found a second hand one online, and I cried as I purchased it.
Many other beautiful shining examples of sisterhood rallied around me and told me that they understood why I felt such pain.
This touched my heart, and opened up further understanding.

Throughout history, the creation of clothes has, historically, fallen to the women. Our ancestors weaved and dyed and created magic into their clothing, sewing protective symbols and chanting songs into their stitches. The skill and the witchcraft there was profound – and that memory still reverberates within us through the spiritual ecosystem.
We are connected to that practice. It is a part of sisterhood throughout history, and so when something we value so deeply is gone, it betrays what sisterhood stands for in our hearts, or our connection to the matriarchal spirits who watch over us.
Something precious that mattered to us is simply absent – and the heartbreak that follows is very real.
When people copy or steal from us, they are infringing on our personal sovereignty, our essence, our expression of self.
This is not the same by the way as taking elements of inspiration and weaving it into our stories – for that is a thread, not a garment.
Weaving together is respectful, the energy has a reverence instead of blatant disregard and self-centred violation.

And so we weave a spell, Starlets.
We remind that which was our second skin of our love for it, and how it belongs to us, a beautiful rose with which we adorned our body, and how too it may have thorns should such a violation of its purpose have taken place.

Travel well through the Otherworlds, Starlets

Joey Morris

Musings of a Modern Mystic: Quiet Observations

I’ve never considered myself a torchbearer or of anyone with great importance.

I’m more like a wallflower, hiding behind the vines so I’m not seen. I’ve spent a lifetime living in the shadows, diagnosed young with ADHD, diagnosed in my early 30s as being on the autistic spectrum. And all together struggling to be understood and to communicate in a way that makes sense to the outside world. My thoughts are often jumbled and my words are a storm of confusion to the uninitiated.

I’ve always seen the world differently, heard the wind through the trees differently, the harsh notes of the world always ring strangely to me. But I suppose that is neither here nor there. There is nothing particularly special about me. I’ve never been good with divination. Because of my trauma, my intuition really doesn’t work all that well, but to be a witch, you’ve got to be good at those two things. I’m not and I don’t feel like I need to be in order to follow the path set before me.

I think my gift is seeing what no one else wants to speak about and I’ve spent a long time being afraid of speaking that. What I see is communities in trouble, what I see is safe spaces being turned into boxes to be checked. If you don’t feel or think the same way about blank, then you do not belong. Art that is supposed to be subjective is no longer subjective.

You’ve got to think and feel the same way about it. And before you say that isn’t true… I’m here to tell you it is because it’s happened to me. I was told I was wrong for not feeling the same way about a movie. What’s the big deal you may ask? The big deal is we can’t discuss things anymore without being told we’re toxic and wrong for having different thoughts about things. I’m not even talking about the big things like transphobia, sexism, racism, bigotry… we can’t even feel differently about small things without someone being offended.

The very people who told us we could be individuals are the same people gatekeeping what is allowed and what isn’t. I’m part of many different communities and this problem is in all of them. No one is talking about how unbelievably toxic these spaces are becoming. You are free to be who you wish as long as you fit into certain boxes and you check off certain tallies. No one is talking about how dystopian we are becoming as a society. How can no one be alarmed about this? How can no one see the storm coming beyond the horizon? If we can’t even discuss the little things, how can we discuss the big things?

I’ve seen all sides dehumanize one another, insult each other like children, and overall just be completely hateful and none of it changes anything. You cannot educate through hate. I don’t think a single person gives much thought to someone’s point if it’s filled with any of those things. So if it doesn’t work on you… why would it work on them?

If everyone is unwilling to budge, then how does anything change? All sides trying to silence each other by being louder don’t seem to be working and I feel like we’re running out of time. I don’t know the answers, but I know if we don’t figure out what the answers are together.

We will all fall together.

Babalon Temple Meditation Vision

vision submerged

I entered the temple quietly and slowly. Each step with purpose. Slow as to feel each step with my feet,  cold stone and dirt ground,  and watch the quality of light change as I entered. I hear the water in the pool and give offerings.

A large statue of her stands erect in the middle arms up and open. I sit and empty myself as usual. I ask why I have been feeling so off. I’ve never felt shame in her presence but I have felt inadequate in some way.

She spoke to me and showed me that it’s not a deity I’ve ever felt shame in or inadequacy. It’s amongst other humans Don’t you recognize how at ease you are in meditation and spellwork? That this work and other work I’m doing although it seems separate will come together and make sense in the end…

She was a vision as always, tonight her body was marble white immersed in black liquid.

‘My joy is in your joy’… So simple, it seems. But what for the girl who has forgotten how? Who’s joy gets trampled by the eyes sick souls of others that cannot see the inherent beauty or is made meaningless by feelings of her own inadequacy.

What for the girl who haunts her own space?

Yet you call and beckon and writhe so she will remember. My joy is in your joy, my joy is in your joy, my joy is in your joy…

 

Nova

Musings of a Modern Mystic: Witchcraft is Political

 

It has been one year, two months and 20 days since I have sat down to write a blog.

I have not stopped writing; I write posts on my personal page, and the NR fb page. I have also worked on some writing projects.

The blog felt like it needed to rest.

Like it needed to be in chrysalis as badly as I did.

Emerging is scary, emerging in a new form, scarier still.

But here I am with my first blog in an awfully long time to talk about a topic that is much overdue.

A topic I have discussed many times in comments, or a few sentences here and there on the page.

As I move and shift this space to a Collective of writers, instead of just myself, I am inspired more than ever to push the limits. I am inspired to talk about what nobody wants to talk about, or topics that will surely get me trolled.

Bring it on, I say.

I am not here to make you comfortable, and I am done trying to have comfortable conversations.

Comfort gets us nowhere; it will only bring stagnation.

So, what is it exactly that I have to say that is going to get everyone in a tizzy?

I don’t often make generalized or absolute statements, there are simply too many variables and moving parts to any equation in this vast universe that I am careful what I say and how I say it.

This, however, needs to be spoken as an absolute.

Here it goes:

Witchcraft is political.

Witchcraft. Is. Political.

WITCHCRAFT IS POLITICAL.

I can hear it now, the cries and whimpers like, and I am using direct past quotes that have been said to me:

“Don’t bring politics into my Craft!”

“I don’t read your work to read about politics and social issues. Please don’t become *that*.”

“Witchcraft is not political, humans are. We don’t need politics here.”

Privilege.

P R I V I L E G E.

It’s privilege to be a Witch and say that you are not political, to ignore injustices because they “don’t affect you”.

Witchcraft is now and will always be political.

When I use the word political, I am not talking about democracy, per se. Nor am I talking about the United States’ 2 party system that has f*cked us all. This is not Democrat and Republican.

I am talking about what being a Witch, calling oneself a Witch means.

It is truly Revolutionary to call yourself a Witch.

We stand for the marginalized, the outcasts, the downtrodden, the misfits, and the weirdos.

AND WE ALWAYS HAVE!

Activism, Social Issues, Human & Civil Rights, Allyship, Anti-racism, Anti-ableism (and more!) are all pre-requisites to being a Witch.

“You are gatekeeping! How dare you tell me how to be a Witch!”

Is asking you, or telling you, rather, to be a decent human being gatekeeping?

Is it REALLY?!

 

I want you to think about that long and hard if your immediate reaction was/is that I am gatekeeping.

Ask yourself why you feel the way you do?

Is requesting human decency gatekeeping?

If you answer yes, then your issue is far deeper and greater than I can address here.

So, as they say, “not my circus, not my monkeys”.

Witches may have been hidden in history—even hid ourselves and moved in silence, but we got sh*t done.

We weren’t afraid to get our hands dirty.

Some of us still aren’t.

It was the Wise Woman, Man and Person who lived on the edge of the forest communing with nature and plant Spirits, carrying deep rooted herbal and plant knowledge that were Healers in days past.

It was the Healer who was shunned for knowing too much about plants that would help a Woman/Femme deal with unwanted pregnancy in a safer manner than some of her/their other options. Or help heal a Soldier’s war wounds, or gout.

It was the unsuspecting Granny who went to Church every Sunday, who knew Psalms like the back of her hand and whipped up the most glorious Kitchen Magick you ever had seen. Her prayers worked like she had a direct line to God.

To deny the power and role of the Witch is to douse our history in toxic positivity.

Many of us found our way to the Craft because we were met with injustice and/or adversity of some kind, and we needed to take our power back.

To be a Witch is to be Sovereign, without a doubt.

Then I think about this Tweet (one that I have shared on the page before) and I am left wondering:

Are we meant to be Sovereign AND in Service (to Magick)  at the same time?

Why else would we have or collect all this knowledge, and even though I hate the word power?

Why not use it for the greater good?

It is time we decolonized the Craft.

There are too many people who call themselves Witch and turn the other cheek when they see oppression and continue to benefit from systems put in place long ago instead of smashing said system.

We first need equality, then we need equity and finally we will find liberation.

We have a silent oath to uphold when walking this path.

We have an obligation to fight deep in the trenches so that the systems harming us can be destroyed.

If you are not willing to pushback against the status quo, what are you even doing here?

Are you even a Witch, or are you a WINO (Witch In Name Only)?

Witchcraft requires action, to be a Witch requires action; just like the Magick we cast.

Your intentions may be well and good, but unless you act on them, they mean nothing.

Silence is compliance.

Nobody said this would be easy, but it is worth it.

The freedom, strength and courage I have found through Witchcraft and living my life as a Witch cannot be put into words for, they do it no justice.

Blessed Are the Witches, the Oathkeepers, the Torchbearers and the Balancers of Scales.

Lux in Tenebris Lucet

REVIEW: The Power of Hex: Spells, Incantations and Rituals

 

Pexels

It has been a long time since I sat down to write.

There is an odd comfort, like a warm embrace from a past lover, laced with a foreign feeling of no longer knowing who they are as intimately as you once did. The passion? Oh, the fierce passion is still there though.

My fire, my torch, my words are all still here, right where I set them down.

I have been forced into silence, hibernation, reflection.

Many of us have.

Admittedly, on my part, some of it is pure escapism.

Some of it is the sheer surrealism of our current reality.

This year, oy, this year! 2020 has seriously been a year for the record books.

Between everything that has been happening on the world stage; political, social, and economical and with how that has affected each of us individually

ALONG WITH

Everything that has happened to each of us individually in our personal lives/worlds (I do not know a single person having a “great” year),

we are burnt tf out.

It is like the collective is holding their breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

As an individual with CPTSD, this is such a familiar space and feeling for me; not that it makes it any better or easier for myself, or the rest of the world.

We are held up in our homes, and even though we may be understanding, it does not change how we may feel.

Like many of my readership I did not have to make many drastic life changes when the pandemic started because, well, introvert for life!

I was, however, infected with CoViD in March (as was my Mother) and have since been through the ringer regarding my health.

Currently, I have Lyme disease and a broken foot and toe from an accident at home.

The message from the universe has been clear—slow down, work smarter not harder, make your work work for you, and most importantly, turn to Witchcraft and your Spiritual practices NOW more than EVER.

Pexels

With all that said, here is the reason I am sitting down to write today:

I figured it is the perfect time to introduce a new feature to my blog: book reviews.

For transparency, some of the books on the roster to be reviewed have been because I was approached by Publicists.

I *do not get paid* to promote books, nor do I personally get anything out of it besides a copy of a book here or there.

The opinions expressed are my own.

If you have any books that you would like to be featured, please send me a message.

One of the main reasons that people reach out to me and seek advice is to ask for book recommendations.

I love to read, and I have been diving back into study since the Universe wants me to rest.

So, this is a happy medium, for me. I am still a Creative, after all, and create I must.

Today’s book is ‘The Power of Hex: Spells, Incantations and Rituals’ by Shawn Engel

You can find her on IG here 

You can find her Publisher here

You can purchase her book here

If you know my work, you know that I am not against Hexing, or any kinds of Baneful Magick.

I believe it should be done ethically (I know, this can be debated as being subjective but, I digress..)

I also know, you’re probably thinking, “what the fuck, Jac? You’re literally hexing someone. How can that be ethical?”

Well, my reply would be, we have all met “hex happy” Witches who think that every little thing requires some jinx, cross, curse, or hex and I am just like…

So, before I get into my review of content let me say that aesthetically, this book is otherworldly! It is hardcover, easy to read, with beautiful illustrations and text throughout.

I admit at first, I thought this book was going to be a hot mess; not because of Shawn personally, whom I have been following on IG for a while, but because of the topic.

How could this topic be approached from a non-colonial perspective, as so many Witchcraft topics often are laced with undertones of Patriarchy, Capitalism, Misogyny and White Supremacy? How could ALL forms of this Magick (hexing) be covered, or attempt to be covered? How could this Author ARM WITCHES with knowledge and practical methods without giving *too much*?

Yes, there is such a thing as too much, and that line must be crossed by the individual Practitioner through their practice, not through a book. The journey into the Void is the most personal journey we take as Occult Practitioners.

However, this book can, and will, aid you in knowing what to do when that leap into the Void happens and/or you are faced with adversity.

This is a book that should be in all Witches’ libraries

Shawn has covered every single base in these 128 pages.

She goes over history, from many traditions.

She covers ETHICAL HEXING; when, how, why.

She talks about HEXING AS ACTIVISM: fuck yes.

This book is rich with information, spells, and it is one of those that you can grab, and because it is written like a Grimoire, you can just open to the page you want, and your spell is right there.

I do not want to give away too much because, duh, I want to support Authors and I want you to go buy this!

But all of the boxes have been checked in this book.

I have read it three times through so that my review could be honest, and I mean *really honest* even if vague.

Image: Jaclyn Cherie

Here is an excerpt courtesy of Shawn Engel and Chicago Review Press, copyright 2020.

‘To Hex or Not?’

“Whether a hex is necessary is something that you will feel in your gut, but there should always be a cooling off period before you perform the hex. Taking an example from everyday life to illustrate this, consider some of the gun laws in the USA: a seven-day waiting period is imposed between the time you buy the gun and when you actually own it. This is intended to curb the potential for crimes of passion. Hexing calls for a similar self-imposed waiting period. I know it may seem dramatic to compare hexing to gun ownership, but I can’t stress enough how powerful the act of focused intention can be when it is backed up by rage. So, if you’re a lover scorned who was just cheated on by her ex, take a break before you hex.

To make issue as clear as possible: when you are deciding whether or not to hex, consider the environment in which a hex may be appropriate. The approach should help you distinguish between actual oppression and merely something bad that has happened to you. It will take some dedication and forethought, but this approach should help clear away any confusion around whether the subject of your hex deserves to be locked away or is just a human being who acted unfavorably.

When deciding to hex, it can be helpful to ask yourself some basic questions. Did this person hurt you or others? And, if so, did they do so with malicious intent? Did this person continuously harm you or others? And, if so, did they do so with malicious intent? The key here is to define intention and willingness to change, and then you should be able to decide if it is worth hexing that person.”

Image: Jaclyn Cherie

Within the pages of this book, Shawn empowers her readers to safely hex, and to use this taboo form of Magick as both defensive and offensive Magick which is an imperative lesson.

This is the perfect book for personal and collective change in these tumultuous times.

Magick is activism.

Hexing is activism.

Witchcraft is activism.

I’m here for it.

Go support a fellow Witch and buy this book.

You will not be disappointed.

Blessed Are The Witches.

 

RANTINGS OF A MAD WITCH: TikTok Witches & Gatekeeping

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I have not written in a while. I guess, like the rest of the world I am observing, and trying to figure out what is happening, what is being revealed, what is falling away, what is resisting imminent death.

Systems are crumbling, rebellions are rising, and a virus has held us hostage for months now.

While I have a list of topics to write about, political, mundane, and obviously Magickal, this is the one that seems most pressing today.

First let me say, loudly:
BLACK LIVES MATTER
ARREST BREONNA TAYLOR’S MURDERERS
AND
WEAR A MASK
If you have a problem with these messages, unfollow the blog because I have news for you:
WITCRAFT IS POLITICAL
Now, carrying on…

I really tried to stay out of this TikTok/Witchtok bullshit, but it’s literally everywhere, and people are asking my opinion; instead of replying to 50 messages, and risk getting myself wrapped up in a conversation *nervous introvert laugh*—I decided writing a blog was the best way to address my opinion, and hit on some points I don’t think folks are understanding or willing to see.

I have watched many videos, read article after article, consulted with folks on all sides and here are the facts as we know them.

A few days ago, a group of “baby Witches” on TikTok decided that they were going to “hex the Fae”.

Yes, you read that correctly.

SJP

Okay, sidebar before we get into the juicy parts of this I gotta say:

Can we stop using the term Baby Witch? I know that it seems innocent enough, but not only is it patronizing as fuck, it’s being used as an insult and a way to further close off our community to new blood.

Why do new Witches bother established, practicing Witches so much?

You were not new before?

How about you just stay in your lane, and let the new Witches create theirs.

What is the issue?

Personally? I like waves being created, I mean, HELLO, have you read my work?

Also, we are not giving these young Adults and Adults enough credit.

These are not children we are speaking of, and in the case of children and Witchcraft, that is an entirely different topic.

“Baby Witches” are often given a free pass, and nah.

Nah.

Nope.

Not happening.

Discernment is key when dealing with all Magickal and Occult Traditions.

Whether you are 18, or 42, in most cases you are of sound mind and able to make educated decisions for yourself.

If you, as an adult, choose to make a poor decision, that is on you.

Those consequences are yours, and nobody else’s.

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Is it someone’s job to step in and say, “you might not want to do that?”

Nope.

  1. That’s gatekeeping.
  2. My number one rule in life: you can’t tell people about themselves.
  3. These are Adults.

Back to my point:

Obviously, hexing the Fae is ridiculous to even think about.

Why would you attack a group of Spirits for no reason? It doesn’t affect me, and so I am able to shrug it off, roll my eyes, and keep it moving.

But, seriously, do you not know who the Fae are and what they are capable of? Seelie, Unseelie or otherwise? Like….why?

We, as experienced Witches, must allow the new ones to fuck up and make mistakes.

We all have made mistakes, we still (hopefully) make mistakes because that is how we LEARN; that is how we continue to evolve on our path and as people.

Getting mad and making fun of these “TikTok Witches” is yet another form of gatekeeping.

I want to give Jason Miller a shoutout for his initial post that inspired me and gave me the courage to write this. His post stated:

“Dear TikTok Witches: Hex, the moon, the fae, or whatever the hell you want. Don’t let anyone police your practice. However it shakes out, and make no mistake some of it will end badly: learn from it.

I have no idea what you are doing or even trying to do, but am excited that young people are doing stuff that makes us roll our eyes. I think its dumb as heck, but that’s half that fun.”

There were rumors that these same Witches were going to hex the Moon and Sun as well.

I have since learned that it was initially started by a TikTok troll, see video below:

You hexed the Fae, the Moon, the Sun and angered Ancient Ones?

Weird flex, but okay.

I am not here to tell anyone how to practice, unless they are coming to me directly for advice and even then, there are so many variables that determine the kind of help they receive.

Here are two key points in all of my rambling that I really want to get out into the world:

Everyone and anyone CAN practice Magick, but often SHOULD is overlooked.

There is no wrong way to do a hex, but there is a right way.

Allow me to elaborate, as I can hear the collective gasp even before this is published.

I don’t care what kind of Witch you are, your initiations or titles (though I will always congratulate and applaud)—the fact remains, everyone and anyone CAN practice Magick.

I said what I said.

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There are a lot of Witches who do not agree with this statement, “Well I am a third generation Witch, High Priestess, Initiate and I am telling you that real Witches….”

Everyone gets tuned out as soon as they say, “real Witch”.

Nobody speaks for all Witches because WITCHES ARE SOVEREIGN BEINGS.

And all Witches are real Witches.

So, miss me with that bullshit.

What is this should I refer to, you ask?

Well folks, should is discernment.

Just because you can do something does not mean you should, or even have to.

There is no manual or advice that can truly be given regarding “should they practice” because that is a decision only the Practitioner can make, and if they hurt themselves then that is on them.

We cannot be both savior and gatekeeper.

Read it again, put it on a t-shirt, write it on your mirror.

We can’t be both.

My second point, you are probably thinking I am off my rocker, but I assure I am not.

There is no wrong way to hex.

I have seen some of the most non-Magickal folks EVERRR throw the nastiest Evil Eye.

I have seen non-Magick folk channel their emotion with enough power and intent that they threw Malefica towards another.

Hexes do not all look like ceremonial glitz, candle Magick, or blood and bone in the woods.

Hexes can be as simple as a look, a whisper in the wind, or a thought.

In fact, that’s often-what hexes were throughout history.

But you are not ready for that conversation.

Now, there is a right way to do a hex, and what I mean by this is: there is a formula for all Magickal workings to allow their outcomes to serve us best.

It is for this reason that many of us pay attention to not only the Moon but Astrological forecasts, days of the week and correspondences and the potential kick back of the Magick we are about to throw; a well thought out hex can produce little kick back if done properly. I am being vague on purpose as I believe Malefica to be a topic that deserves respect and can’t be summarized in a paragraph, or two.

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Allow new Witches to make mistakes, allow them to make us uncomfortable.

Roll your eyes and laugh it off!

We were young and dumb once too, and I know this may hit some of you hard but, we might be able to learn a thing or two from fresh eyes.

Witchcraft is a tradition, a path that has been walked by the marginalized, the downtrodden, the misfits, the outcasts since the beginning of time and we have the audacity to continue gatekeeping?

Witchcraft is also a tradition, a path of powerful individuals who are living and seeking their truth in a world who tells them not to and we have the audacity to box them in and kill their fire?

We are healers. We are teachers. We are students. We are Keepers of the Old Ways.

It is okay to spice Sacred up with a little modern fun, I promise.

Witchcraft can evolve, and should, as all things from nature must grow.

Blessed Are The Witches.

 

 

 

 

 

SERPENTINE WISDOM: Kundalini Awakening & Rising

***NOTE: This photo series is by Monika Ottehenning and I do not own the rights. This imagery fits beautifully.***


“When you succeed in awakening the Kundalini, so that it starts to move out of its mere potentiality, you necessarily start a world which is totally different from our world. It is the world of eternity.”

Carl Jung


A Kundalini Awakening happens to about 24% of the population and most of the time it is written off as a physical condition, instead of a spiritual condition that is manifesting in the physical.

The word Kundalini (Sanskrit) means ‘coiled like a snake’ which seems appropriate since it is the life force energy that sits at the base of the spine, bound, and awaits for the awakening.

Kundalini, being feminine itself, is often associated with Shakti, the feminine life force, or sexual energy.

An awakening can happen intentionally through Kundalini Yoga, or other various Yoga poses, but it can also be unintentional, say a back injury, a fall or extreme emotional distress. Some experts say that child birth, meditative practices, and celibacy may also contribute to the awakening. In my case it was a mixture of celibacy and yoga practices; when I had my spiritual awakening, I knew I needed to focus on myself and that meant I had to cut off sexual encounters; the best decision I have ever made.

Before my awakening I would not have shown such restraint.

Celibacy is a personal choice, and one that not many understand. I consider myself to be an extremely sexual, and sensual being and am often told it oozes from my Soul, but I don’t need to be actively engaging in sexual encounters with no depth to be considered sexual; just one of the many lessons my awakening has shown me.

In the past, I didn’t know my worth and I would freely give my sexual energy away.

When your Kundalini energy decides to awaken, it is a sudden pulsating surge that moves up the spine like a serpent and as it moves it blasts open your chakras, one by one.

Most people stay at one level of consciousness for long periods of time, what the Kundalini does is it rips open your third eye, and brings to light any emotions, or wounds you are hiding in the depths of your chakras.

Here is an excerpt from a great book on the topic called Psychotherapy and Spirit:

“As each chakra opens, new levels of consciousness are revealed. Since the consciousness of most people is fairly restricted, the opening of the chakras is accompanied by consciousness expansion and purification of the limitations or impurities that correspond to each chakra.” -Brant Cortright, Ph.D.

I can attest that it is probably the most painful experience one can have, because you are being attacked, for lack of a better word, on a spiritual, physical and emotional level but it is yourself who is the attacker.

Often times Spiritual folk want to make this awakening out to be a beautiful experience, and for some it might be, but the Serpent is notorious for it’s powerful and unforgiving transformative powers.

How do you know if you are experiencing an awakening?

You will usually feel a tingly, pressure from your tailbone up your spine and through the crown chakra; I am known to have blockages in between my shoulder blades, that is where my emotionally chaotic energy is stored when I have not meditated in a while.

Some of the physical symptoms of this awakening are: sensations of heat, tremors, involuntary laughing or crying, talking in tongues, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, rigidity or limpness, animal-like movements and sounds.

The Kundalini energy is a yogi philosophic form of Shatki. If you are not familiar with the term Shatki, it is the female principle of Divine energy, especially when personified as the supreme deity, Durga.

Since the Kundalini energy is feminine, even though both sexes carry it, it makes sense to refer to Kundalini as a form of Shatki.

A side effect that I have heard many women experiencing during this specific awakening is they become prone to yeast infections. The vagina, Sacral and Root Chakras are considered the Feminine Shatki centers in our body; when that is out of whack, it triggers all types of physical manifestations, even though it is a spiritual issue.

So, please listen to your body and treat it accordingly.

I am going to give some tips that have helped me get through this process, one that I still have good days and bad days with.

The number one thing that has helped me is my piece of Jet. There is a property within this specific crystal that when it is worn between the breasts (on a male or female) it takes the Kundalini energy and allows it to be released through the crown chakra. This can cause a slight light headed feeling, a flood of memories, or even tired feeling, but you must release the energy if you do not have time to sit and meditate to get control of it.

Secondly, meditation is paramount. While in your meditative state you must find your snake, in most cases you will see a field of snakes, but you must single yours out; allow the snake to come to you then you must take control of her, and allow her to coil her energy around your left hand. Let her know that you are in control, but pay respect to this Divine feminine energy while doing so.

Also, yoga or some kind of stretching is essential to the Kundalini process. As a beginner yogi I realize that Yoga is hard for many, but there are some poses that everyone can do to some degree that will benefit the release of built up energy in your spine. Such as, child’s pose, downward dog, and Kundalini Yoga itself (which is fairly simple as it focuses on stretch more so than strength, and resistance).

The next tip I suggest is to find a creative outlet, for me it’s my writing, and divination. I fell in love hard with divining because I had to focus my thoughts on something, anything, to get my mind off the pain.

Find something that challenges your mind so that you are not continuously checking back in on the pain.

The last tip I suggest is eating a healthy diet, and stay hydrated! I am all for water and tea; I keep it simple. Try to be aware of the processed foods you are eating, stay away from foods that are too fatty, try to eat as natural, and organic as you can.

Try adding in spices, too because your taste buds will change during this awakening.

Stay away from harmful substances during your awakening such as hard drugs and alcohol in large amounts.

Alcohol intake can increase the pain and makes you dehydrated, which makes the spinal pain worse. When the body is dehydrated the discs that connect your vertebrae become less flexible, and “dry”.

I am a Cannabis Advocate, btw.

I know from personal experience that this can truly be a devastating awakening, but the reward is like nothing else in this world.

My advice is to take care of self, listen to self, love self, honor self and the rest will work itself out.

You must be patient, do not rush the process.

Please do not go out of your way bending, and contorting to awaken this energy, either; if it is meant to happen to you, it will.

If you wake her up and she is not ready to be awakened, prepare for a wrath like no other.

The Kundalini rising is just another way that the Serpent gives us knowledge.

Embrace it.


Further study:

http://yogananda.com.au/pyr/pyr_kundalini1.html

LESSONS IN MAGICK: INITIATIONS & WITCH BLOOD

Light

“We take spiritual initiation when we become conscious of the Divine within us, and thereby contact the Divine without us.”

Dion Fortune


This topic has been on my mind for a super long time, but I was taking a hiatus from writing and I wasn’t sure how to appropriately discuss this.

Here goes nothing.

I do not want to come off pretentious, elitist, or as a gatekeeper; I want to smash those ideologies, in fact.

I DO want to speak some personal truths and share observations in hopes that we as a community can grow, discussions can start, and we can change some of our negative patterns (both action and thought).

So, I might say things in here that are going to offend you, or annoy you, and make you roll your eyes, depending on your journey and path—I implore you to please read my points, and this piece in its entirety before forming an opinion.

There’s this large group within the greater Witch community who wants to see the Craft become accepted, mainstream (as far as not being considered completely taboo and Satanic) and open.

Then there is another group who wants the Craft to stay underground, to remain Occult (hidden) and let the muggles think what they want about us.

There is a final group forming of people who fall somewhere in between.

I have always been the latter.

The fear a lot of folks have with the Craft becoming mainstream is that it will lose its Mysticism, it will lose its Saredness, it will lose all that it means to be a Witch; to walk among the unseen and exist in Liminal Spaces.

What these folks fail to realize is that no matter how mainstream we become, there WILL ALWAYS be secrets to the Craft, there will always be things that can only be understood if they are truly experienced.

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The Witch must experience their Craft subjectively and, on their terms, in their time.

The Craft is a consciousness of its own, dare I say Spirit—far beyond an Egregore at this point.

The Craft will weed out those who are not worthy of all it has to teach, if they prove their Will is not true.

That is not for any person to judge; that is for the Craft, the Spirits, and the Ancestors to judge.

We are not gatekeepers, and I appreciate some of the sentiment behind this; the Craft is Sacred to me, too.

But it is not our job to be Keepers of this Gate.

The Craft keeps and tends to its own Gate.

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We each hold keys that we earned to access the Spirit World; my experience will be vastly different from yours, as will all the newer Witches coming up. We must make space for them, and allow them to earn their keys, too.

With all of this said, I want to discuss two specific aspects of gatekeeping that have become huge pet peeves of mine.

 

Myth: You must be initiated to be a Witch.
Fact: No, the fuck you do not.

The other day I was reading a thread of comments and it was kinda heated, and as I read one person was being ganged up on, so of course I clicked to read more and see what all the fuss was about.

The topic doesn’t matter, but what really bothered me was that people (more than 10) were hounding this person:

“Are you initiated? What titles do you hold? What Coven do you belong to? None? That’s what I thought.”

“You are not a real Witch if you have not been initiated, therefore your opinion doesn’t matter.”

And so on, and so on.

I was dumbfounded.

When did this become who we are?

I am not initiated by any group or person: THE GODS INITIATED ME.

Covens, Temples, Sects and Organizations have their place and for so many people they are a cornerstone of their practice.

But, for a lot of Witches, Solitary Practice is the only way, and, of course, there are a plethora of reasons as to why this might be.

Maybe they can’t practice in the open; maybe they live in a highly religious area; maybe they don’t play well with others; maybe they just prefer to Practice alone.

I think we should all read the works of those who came before us, listen when our Elders speak (that DOES NOT MEAN blindly follow, it just means listen as a form of respect) and accept Mentors if they cross our path or the opportunity presents itself and feels right.

However, I do not think initiation is the end goal, or at least, it doesn’t have to be.

Personally, your titles don’t mean shit to me or my Gods; we only care if your heart and your Will are true, and that you are living your authentic truth.

I am proud of every single friend of mine who has been initiated and holds titles, and props to building some amazing communities but please for the love of all that is holy and unholy, stop telling people that they must be initiated to be a Witch.

It simply isn’t true.

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Myth: Witch Blood makes you more powerful.
Fact: No. Just no.

When titles and initiations don’t make someone feel special enough, they must pull the Witch Blood card, and it makes me fucking cringe.

C R I N G E

If you don’t know what Witch Blood is, it means just what you think: a Hereditary Witch, or someone who was born and raised in the Craft or a specific Tradition.

I come from a line of Witches, Eastern Stars & Masons, and was raised by a Pagan Mother and Aunts in the Granny Tradition. My other Grandparents taught me Slavic Traditions.

None of that makes me any better than anyone else.

None of it.

We all have access to the same Power Source.

Read that again, let it burn, let it sink in, let it burn some more and accept it.

Your titles, secret books, pacts and oral traditions do not divide off a part of the Universal Source of Magick.

WE ALL HAVE ACCESS BECAUSE WE ARE ALL THE SOURCE.

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After all, we are what we come from.

I certainly believe that some folks are predisposed to excel in certain areas of the Craft, and there are *soooo* many factors that play a role in that.

I equally believe that we are all Magickal beings trying to remember who we are in a world that is forcing us into cages and prisons of definitions and divisions.

The Witch and Pagan communities are supposed to be the one place where the weirdos, the outcasts, the shunned, the misfits are welcome and are free to be whomever they want to be.

Let’s not take that from them because the Egos of a few have poisoned minds.

Be the cure.

Be the balm that combats the poison.

Be the voice that raises other voices.

Blessed Are The Witches.