Taroting Depression: The Magician

The Magician Tarot Card from the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigal Larsen

The Magician is our first step in the journey of the tarot. He is the all-powerful wizard who understands that nothing can be manifested that doesn’t include all four elements: earth, air, fire, and water.

The Magician speaks of “as above, so below” and we see this represented in the Rider Waite- Colman Smith deck as he stands with his wand pointed to the sky and his other hand pointed down to the earth.

The Magician surrounds himself with the tools of his trade and his table is laid out in preparation for his next ritual. What magic is he about to conjure?’’

At first glance, the Magician may appear to be irrelevant to those of us who live with Depression, but take a closer look and we can see that the Magician has a great lesson to teach us.

The phrase of “as above, so below”, is often followed by “as within, so without.” The lesson of the Magician is simple. To obtain the outer world we want to have, we need to fill our inner world with the things we want.

Let me put it another way. If we want to live a life without the demon Depression on our backs, we have to create an inner life that is in tune with that.

Easier said than done, though, isn’t it?

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 

Now, we can go the affirmations route but personally, I’ve never been a fan of the “fake it until you make it” theory. To me, telling myself something I don’t believe is completely pointless. 

Sometimes, starting the affirmation with “I believe I am becoming…” can work, but only if you believe it’s possible and when you have Depression, it’s very hard to believe that anything rather than despair is possible.

To me, it makes more sense to aim for something that I believe is possible for me to achieve. Once I do that, I can set my next goal, and on it goes. The Magician can help us do that.

The Magician reminds us of what’s possible. And when you’re struggling with Depression, you need to be reminded of what’s possible.

Let’s see what the Magician has to tell us.

Wooden gate in a leafy garden

  • Sit, or lie down comfortably, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. And another. And another one.
  • Imagine yourself standing in front of a wooden gate. You open the gate and walk through
  • Take notice of what’s going on around you as you walk. What can you hear? What can you smell? What can you see? Is it a sunny day? Cloudy? Night or day? 
  • As you continue your walk, you can see a tall, robed, figure standing off in the distance, behind a table set with a tablecloth and a number of items.
  • As you approach the figure, he winks at you and beckons you forward so that you can see what he has on his table. 
  • The Magician asks you to choose an item to take back with you.
  • You take an offering from the table.
  • What is it? What color is it? What shape? What size? What’s it for? How does it make you feel? What’s it’s magick?
  • When you’re ready, you thank the Magician and walk back down the path you came.
  • When you reach the gate, take three deep breaths and then walk through.

Take out your journal and write down all the events of your walk and meeting with the Magician. Be as descriptive and detailed as possible.

Take another look at your gift. What about it reminds you of your Depression? What about it reminds you of something or someone that you love? What about your gift gives you hope?

Try not to give these questions too much thought, just go with the first answer that enters your mind. That’s where you’ll find your “as within.” At the end of this exercise, you’ll have an aspect of Depression that you can work on healing from, and a person, activity, or thing that you can reconnect with to bring you even a tiny amount of pleasure. You’ll also have something to hope for.

Come back to this exercise as many times as you feel the need to and if you’re really struggling with it, leave me a comment and I’ll try to help.

Tarot Deck used is the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen.

Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She helps people with Depression use it as a superpower and turn it into a Creature of Fucking beauty. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks and join the waitlist to hear more about Black Orchid Alchemy: The alternative way to manage Depression.

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

Gnostic Luciferian Witchcraft: A Practical Guide


Introduction

This is a record as much as a guide. It shows how I, and primarily my best friend, have been practicing witchcraft for the past few years now. Like many witches, our Practice is a hybrid, an expression of our influences. It is very animistic, spirit-work centered. Our approach is a blend of Traditional Witchcraft, grimoire tradition, and a bit of ceremonial magick all filtered through a lens of Gnostic Luciferianism that has developed over time by trial and error and with the guidance of the spirits we work with. It is an evolving thing, and it is what works for us. Even if you follow this guide your practice will not end up looking exactly like ours. That’s a feature not a bug.

Preparation
Magick, behind all apparent outward forms is nothing but the enacting of Divine Will upon the substance of Divinity. We, the Divine, worship the Divine, by means of the Divine, on the Divine, from the Divine and for the sake of the Divine alone. This is the mindset we adopt as foundational to our practice. We work for the good of all beings. This is the intent from square one.

Now, speaking of intent, it is said way too often that “intention” is what witchcraft is all about, and while yes intention is especially important, critical I’d say, you can ” intend” all over the place and achieve nothing. Why? Because you sabotage your results by adopting actions that do not fit your intentions.

Do your words and actions in fact align with your intentions? Are you aligning yourself with the laws of nature? Are you working to be aligned with your environment and the spirits around you? Alignment is everything. So, examine yourself! That is the first step.

Before beginning ritual practice, one should obtain and consecrate all relevanttools and garments. Timing ritual practice and tool production considering the movements of the moon and planets, considering days and hours, are highly recommended. Use the Crooked Path by Kelden and the Grimoirium Verum (Peterson and Stratton-Kent versions) for tool production. Do not take lazy shortcuts in this process and do not change the basic underlying structure of these procedures described in the texts. There is a reason for them and if you don’t know what they are you aren’t qualified to change them! You will have no choice but to make smart substitutes for practicality.

For example, in the production of the Scirlin parchment, most do not have access to being able to kill an animal for the materials.

You will also have to alter the wordings to strip Christian baggage out. The key here is changing the aesthetic and language not the principles or structure. Take the time to learn what things are for and why. I am not going to present you with a full breakdown of this because you need to learn how to do it yourself. This material is easily accessible, often for free. The process of tool creation is as much about you and your self-work as it is about making the tools and giving them life. Every tool has its spirit. You are building a living temple. You are learning a Craft, a discipline. Treat it accordingly.

I will give you some tips to go off of what we have been doing to at least give you a direction. We prefer to wear black with red trim rather than white for our ritual wear. Black symbolizing not evil but total acceptance of all that exists as black is the absorption of all light. Red for passion, struggle, and life that we fully embrace. Given the extremely endangered nature of frankincense substituting pine resin is acceptable, nutmeg in place of mace is acceptable. If you have no choice but to buy an item rather than create it, buy it at the appropriate hour and day with zero haggling about it. This can take months, be patient. You might find yourself picking up new skills and crafts in this process. Embrace it.

Example of General Consecration:

“I conjure thee, 0 form of the instrument: by the authority of Lucifer Almighty; by the virtues of
the Stars that rule; by the virtue of the Elements; of stones and herbs; of snowstorms, winds
and thunder; that thou now obtain all the necessary power into thyself for the perfect
achievement of all our desires!”

Example of the Astrachios Prayer, which is an excellent prayer for daily use:

“Astrachios, Asac, Asacra Bedrimulael, Silat, Arabonas, Ieralehm, Ideodoc, Archarzel,
Zophiel, Blautel, Baracata, Emagro, Abrageteh, Samoel, Geburahel, Cadato, Era, Achsah, Ebmisha, Imachadel, Dama, Elamos, Izachel, Bael, Scirlin, Genium Domos!
O Morning Star, Prince of the World, who is seated above all hells and regardeth the Abyss
among them, grant unto us Thy Grace we beseech Thee, so that what we conceive in our
mind we may accomplish in our work: through Thee Sovereign ruler of all, who liveth and reigneth in eternity. Amen”

In the days leading up to a major ritual it is suggested to engage with abstinence, fasting, and prayer to psych oneself up, to purposely withhold and build up energy that is to be directed to the purpose. This isn’t about some idea of moral purity. In our understanding there is no pure or impure to ultimate reality in any moral sense. This ritual framework assumes two people, one acting as summoner, in charge of much of the speaking, and one person acting as medium, who does the actual spirit communication, if you have more people they can act as acolytes, if less than it’s all you.

I. Rite of Opening

The Opening Rite is used both on its own and as an opening for other rituals.

The structure is flexible and should be tweaked based on need. When performed as a solo rite, the first part of Laying the Compass can be omitted, and the third part Treading the Mill is replaced with a reiteration of the Invocation of the Infernal divine. This standalone version is recommended to be practiced daily. It serves several purposes: it affirms and reinforces the identification of the divine nature of the Self, it reinforces the aura, wards off parasitic spirits, it strengthens the skills of visualization and connecting intention, energy, sound, and movement, and finally it grounds and centers the practitioner preparing them for both their day and magickal work.

 

Laying the Compass

The ground is marked off as desired in line with magnetic lines of the earth.

Then the Stang is raised at the cardinal direction appropriate for the season and blessed as representation of the Witchlord. Finally, three circles are made around the perimeter, the first with incense to symbolize the all-encompassing presence of spirit, then water to represent the water of the abyss from which all things sprang, and finally ash to represent the impermanence of all life.

Invocation of the Infernal Divine

1.Face east in front of the altar. Form the left hand into the sign of benediction and trace an equilateral cross before you at forehead height imagining it formed of radiant darkness. Confidently affirm: “ In nomine Luciferi, et Lilith, et filius eorum Cain.”

2. Imagine a powerful dark light, or fiercely burning black flame, above your head. Using your left hand put your thumb, index, and middle finger together representing the union of the alchemical elements of sulfur, salt and mercury. Reach up and pull that burning light down to your third eye. Feel the heat of it. Confidently say “Ego”

3. Bring your hand down to the level of your groin pulling the flame down with it. Imagine the dark light penetrating down to beneath your feet into the earth. Say “Regnum.”

4. Bring your hand to your right shoulder while imagining the same light extending out form that shoulder to infinity. Say “Et Potestas.”

5. Bring your hand to your left shoulder. As you perform this motion, imagine the dark light extending from there as well. Say “Et Gloria.”

6. Put your palms together at the level of your forehead and say “In Aeternum, Amen! “ as you bring them toward the level of your solar plexus. As you perform this motion, imagine the cross of light you have formed burning brightly and solidly.

Calling of the 4 Kings

1. Extend your hands in the shape of a cross. Affirm: “As a Divine being I call out to the kings and form the pentagrams:”

2. Take a deep breath and say the following to each respective direction: To the East: Imagine a fire elemental forming before you. Point your first two fingers of the left hand outward and trace the inverted pentagram of Earth. Then punch the pentagram in the center with your fingers while strongly exhaling. “Hail Oriens, Spirit of Fire, join me here, charge my words and burn my fear .”

3. Toward the North: Trace the first line of the circle, terminating in the North. Imagine a water elemental forming before you. Using the same method as before, trace the inverted pentagram and say:” Hail Egyn, Spirit of Water, cleanse me now, carry me through and hear my vow .”

4.Toward the West: Trace the next line of the circle, terminating in the East. Imagine an air elemental forming before you. Using the same method as before, trace the inverted pentagram and say: “Hail Paymon, Spirit of Air, come to me, lift my words and hear my plea.”

5. To the South: Holding your fingers pointing outward, trace the third line of the circle, terminating in the South. Imagine an earth elemental forming before you. Next, using the same method as before, trace the inverted pentagram and say: “Hail Amaymon, Spirit of Earth, I call to thee, ground my work and make it be.”

6. Next, draw the fourth line of the circle back to east, then bring your palms back together at the level of your forehead and say “Before me Oriens, behind me Paymon, to my right hand Amaymon, to my left hand Egyn. “ as you bring them toward the level of your solar plexus. Then, visualize the four figures bearing weapons standing guard at each cardinal point: “For about me doth the pentagrams flame, and within me fire from whence it came! Amen”

Treading the Mill

1. Raise hands in the sign of Baphomet. Say:

“Old goat god of the Wise, Initiator, and first born, Of Serpent fire, awake, arise! By blade, by bone, by horn! “*

2. Begin circling the compass widdershins, maintaining focus at the center of the circle, chanting:

“O Bearer of the mystic light, Come ye as the fire burns By the secret ways of Night The witches’ mill about thee turns!”*

Repeat until trance ensues then begin work.

*Quoted from “The Devil’s Dozen” by Gemma Gary

II. Rite of Confession

Confession isn’t a ritual step to skip. It has very ancient roots, long before Christianity got ahold of it. It’s an emotional release. It’s a proverbial wiping of one’s karmic slate. It’s a tool that protects the witch from malicious spirits who may attempt to use prior acts against them. Add an appropriate visualization here, this one, inspired by a Tantric meditation, is useful. Visualize a cleansing fire that starts at one’s feet and gradually consumes you and everything around you, every narrative you attach to yourself in every timeline should be consumed, leaving nothing but pure stillness, a layer of ash on the ground that blows away in the breeze.

“O Witch Lord and Lady, before Thee do we confess our failings and take ownership of them in Thy presence. For we have acted countless times from ignorance in this and every realm. We have failed many times to be fully present, we have not treated all of creation, every spirit and person with due reverence in every moment. We have committed every act before Thee by pride and avarice, wrath and idleness, by gluttony and debauchery. We have cast suspicions and judgments unto our selves and others. We have let ourselves be prisoner to our own fears and wallowed in loathing. We come before Thee now, stripped naked to publish our sins, so that none may have advantage over us, none may accuse us, for we are laid bare for all to see.

Yet we call to the Highest, and speak of our successes as we step into our power. For we have been a light to those around us. We have lived in the moment and seen Divinity in all things. We have given reverence to all that exists. We have acted with humility and charity, kindness and diligence, shown strength and temperance. We have shown compassion and been a refuge for others even as we strive to live without shame or regret. Yes, we come before Thee that none may accuse us, like Thee O Mother we are full to overflowing with potency. We stand naked and shining, radiant and defiant like Thee O Morning Star… and like Thee… again we rise!”

III. Rite of Ablution

This is a ritual wash, the intent is again not about moral purity but about cleansing oneself of ignorance. We see ignorance, the illusion of separation from the Divine, as the root of much of human suffering, when ignorance is stripped away, we are open and seeing reality nakedly, we are aligned to the Divine Will to the utmost. The water is given a dash of consecrated salt, the words are said, then we wash face and hands three times.

“O Morning Star, among the highest Aeons, bless and sanctify this water, fill it with your light that it may be healthy for both body and soul and align its spirit with our intent. Accord us so that we may be purified of all error and stand cleansed before thee! Amen”

IV. Evocation of Scirlin

Scirlin acts as a messenger spirit, an intercessor, an opener of doors. Very useful when calling spirits. You should have done the work of making and consecrating the pact with Scirlin if you are going to call on him. Make a point of welcoming any spirit successfully summoned and offer incense accordingly.

To be chanted:

“HELOY + TAU + VARAF + PANTHON + HOMINORCUM + ELEMIATH + SERUGEATH +.
ON + CASILY”

V. a. General Evocation

 

Evocations often need to be repeated, take your time with this, give it some breathing space. It becomes a chant slowly building in intensity. Typically, I am repeating this evocation up to seven times, while my ritual partner chants enns if available for the spirit. Enns are a modern invention which we affectionately refer to as a demon’s phone number.

They are a string of syllables that like any words of power are excellent for trance induction. Some people like them, others hate them. Use what works.

At the very least you want the spirits name and sigil present when summoning. Make the environment conducive and welcoming for its presence with things that correspond to it. Do your homework here. We typically do use a bit of blood via diabetic kit, anointing the sigil as a means of charging and activation, visualizing the life force of the blood moving into the sigil. Offerings to spirits should be appropriate to the spirit and given in exchange for service. Treat spirits from a standpoint of love and respect and drop any baggage or preconceptions you have regarding them. Like receiving an honored guest. You’ll get way better results that way. However, spirits are not your best friends. They are teachers and guides. They can challenge you. Some spirits are dangerous. Know how to banish and cleanse. They are not Pokemon to collect. You are far better off focusing on building connections with a few spirits than trying to summon them all.

The blanks here are to be filled with the spirit’s name obviously but feel free to describe the spirit and its attributes as well to better align with it.

To be chanted:

“By the names of Lucifer, the morning star, Lilith, the lunar fire, and Cain, first of Witch-blood, we call, evoke, and conjure thee, _____. In the name of he whose name is rebellion, whose cause is liberation, come forth! In the name of she who knew and spoke the Ineffable Name, at which being heard the elements are overthrown, the air is shaken, the sea runneth back, the fire is quenched, the earth trembleth, and all the hosts of the celestials, terrestrials, and infernals are confounded, come forth. By the name of he who first transgressed in the flesh and carved the Crooked Path of the Witch, come forth. Come thou, O ______, forthwith, from any parts of the world. Come thou in peace and joy here to this circle!”

V. b. General Spellwork

Any general spellwork such as rites of release, manifestation, holiday specific rituals, curses and hexes, etc are done here, enlisting the spirits present.

VI. The Housel

 

We perform the Housel at full moons and holidays, it is a rite of communion with each other and the spirits we work with. When the Housel is performed a much less targeted version of the general evocation is used, one where all the spirits we work with are called upon to be honored.

For the rite itself we currently favor a nice blackberry wine and I make the Sabbat bread from “The Crooked Path”, an excellent honey oat bread. The wording is quoted from “Besom, Stang and Sword” by Chris Orapello and Tara Love Maguire. One blesses the bread and wine, each participant breaks their piece in half and offers half to the spirits and consumes the other. After the initial bread and wine, the wine is refilled, and a toast is made.

Communion

“This bread forged from the earth, a sacrifice of the land itself. May it fill us with life and sustenance. Eat of it, eat of the land and be as one. I sacrifice this life to the Witch Father, the Witch Lord. I dedicate this death to his name, so we may walk within his wild power. This wine, forged from the earth, A sacrifice by the land itself. May it fill us with life and sustenance. Drink of it, drink of the land, and be as one. I sacrifice this life to the Dark Mother, the Witch Queen. I dedicate this death to her name, so we may know her unending Mystery.”

The Toast

“A drink for the Witch King and Queen of the Sabbat!
A drink for the mighty dead and those who have gone before.
A drink for the blessings we have received and for those yet to come.
A drink for friendship and a drink for life.
A drink for love and a drink for joy.
And finally a drink for you and a drink for me.”

VII. Revelry

I was uncertain what to call this step or even whether it should be considered an actual ritual step but it always occurs in our rites. It developed spontaneously during our practice and I wouldn’t feel right without giving it formal recognition. We affectionately call it “vibing.” What it is is space, a place without firm structure for release, meditation, prayer, dance, co-regulatory exercises, whatever feels intuitively right in the moment. A moment of unity and a space to reground and allow energies to dissipate naturally before formally closing the rite.

VIII. License to Depart

Do not omit this step. Whether one still feels the presence of spirits or not, always thank them for their aid.

Say:

“Ite in pace ad loca vestra et pax sit inter vos redituri ad mecum vos invocavero, in nomine
Luciferi, et Lilith, et filius eorum Cain. Amen”

Devotional Prayers

As supplemental material I will add some example prayers to be used with offerings in regular devotional practice.

“O Lucifer, Divine Flame, we give thanks for Thy blessings.
By the light of Thy glory we rejoice that Thou hast shown us our wholeness.
We pray to Thee to keep pouring for us from the cup of knowledge, wisdom and compassion.
We ask of Thee to protect us from stumbling into Error and help us work to the good of all
beings.
We invoke Thee Lord, that as expressions of Divine Nature, we may wield the sword of
discernment, let us cut down illusion and see clearly.
Prince of the World, thou who hast shown us where we are from, who we are, and where we
are to return, we Know, we are the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, in eternity.
Amen”

“Ama Lilith, blessed Wisdom
In Thy compassion I take refuge
In Thine arms my pain is healed
In Thy passion my heart is set afire
In Thy strength my strength is revealed.
Amen”

ALL PATHS LEAD TO HERE: A Lesson From a Bodhisattva

jeff-padgett

Image: Jeffrey Padgett

 

“With me, illusions are bound to be shattered. I am here to shatter all illusions. Yes, it will irritate you, it will annoy you – that’s my way of functioning and working. I will sabotage you from your very roots! Unless you are totally destroyed as a mind, there is no hope for you.”

Osho

I have always battled with the idea of pre-destiny because this concept then leads to a bunch of questions that I simply cannot answer and for my Luciferian mind, I need answers.

Who is behind predestination? Is it an Omniscient power, if so, I do not subscribe to that idea; where, then, am I to be? Where is my place?

Why do I feel such deep resonation in the core of my being when I hear certain Sacred Chants, practice particular Mudras and hold trinkets in my hands that tell me stories which only further deepen my feelings of déjà vu?

There have been and continues to be moments in my life that are filled with so much synchronicity that it is hard to deny that I am exactly where I need to be.

The Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse is going to be potent tonight because it is the Harvest Moon, in the middle of Eclipse Season in the sign of Pisces, during Mercury Retrograde when the wheel is turning during a year that has proven to be full of change; both positive and negative. I guess the number 9 is really living up to its reputation.

This year (2+0+1+6 = 9) is a number of completion and with all the deaths that completion has a feeling of sorrow, and finality with it but as we approached this Moon I could feel a sense of hope beginning to blossom; a feeling that I have not felt in a very long time.

I have been feeling this change for several years now but it was chaotic in origin and I thought it had peaked last year.

As a matter of fact, it was the SUPER POWERFUL Blood Moon/Eclipse around this time last year that I had a really good session of Magick. I came out of that casting feeling prepared for the new chapter, and ready to let go of so much—of so many.

But, we weren’t ready, yet. And so this year began with a bang both literal and metaphorical and it has been bang after bang, blow after blow ever since.

This year has been full of ups and downs, trials and tribulations; actual blood, sweat and tears.

For me personally, I lost my Grandmother in April, a death that hit and continues to hit hard. I mended the relationship with most of my family, shockingly, that includes my Father.

I saw him briefly last weekend when I went away; I initially went in to babysit my niece but then my Father called and wanted to take me out to lunch. Instant panic. I listened to my gut and I went, and that was one of the realist conversations I have ever in my 32 years of life had with him.  I was able to say things that I needed to say for YEARS; I was able to be as frank, sassy and witty as I am with everyone else and he took it in stride with a smirk on his face and actually listened.

Maybe he sees the error of his ways now that the wisdom of old age seems to be setting in. Maybe the loss of his Mother made him see life for what it is. Maybe his own mortality and fragile body have awakened him; whatever the reason, healing the Father Wound has been one of the most profound things to happen to me. Especially for it to come just one week after being published, and before this Moon.

It’s times like these that I know the Universe has my back, that the Universe hears me and that I am really not alone.

There are few things in life more satisfying that being able to fully write and close a chapter and move on and/or forward. So satisfying that I cannot find anything to compare it to.

I can see the proverbial door that I am supposed to walk through; we are all going to walk through it.

This Moon is a portal– a new chapter for us. It is very important to be mindful of our words and thoughts today because what we manifest during this time will foretell our upcoming year….years.

I have been getting a lot of number sequences lately; the ones hitting hardest are 10, 111, 444, and 555.

I have also been getting hit with a lot of visions. There have been messages via various Spirit Animals as well, including Crows, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Dragonflies, Snakes and of course, the Dreamweaver: Grandmother Spider.

There have been many strange occurrences happening in my life and all I can say about those is they have been out of this world fucking weird; I don’t want to go into detail because some of this is for me to keep close to my heart.

I will tell you about the statue, though.

As many of you know, I love Eastern Traditions and mythology; I am very much influenced by the Hindu Pantheon, have been drawn specifically to the area of Tibet, and have collected Buddha and Elephant statues (very specific ones) for years.

It seems that I find Buddha when I am happy, or content—when serendipity and synchronicity dance arm in arm.

It’s no surprise then that I have not stumbled across him in many years.

The usual version I find is the chubby, laughing Buddha, though I do have young Buddha as well. My rule is that I do not want him as a gift, only if I come across him and he calls to me.

A few weeks ago while out shopping one weekend with my Mom I stopped at a local Antique shop we frequent and found some really good items. I came home with a set of old, iron candlestick holders, a set of shelves that are from early 19th century that were actually made in my hometown (I live about 2 hours away now), a very old sun wheel type of statue, and the Bronze statue pictured below. (I know, he has to be cleaned, and polished.)

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I didn’t know who the statue was, and I didn’t know it was a Buddha; I actually thought it was from the Hindu Pantheon. And so I put him on my altar with the other Hindu and Egyptian deities where he seemed to just fit right in.

The rest of the day was filled with weird moments, including a ghost at another Antique Shop we went in and running into some strong Witches at my local Witch Shop. The owner, a wonderful Crone, playfully tested me and my knowledge. It was a way for us to say “I see you”.

I didn’t figure out who this statue was until last week, and didn’t put the pieces together until this morning.

“Mañjuśrī, Manjushri is the oldest and most significant bodhisattva in Mahāyāna literature. Manjushri is a Bodhisattva who represents wisdom, and his mantra also symbolizes that quality. He holds a sword in his right hand — symbolizing his ability to cut through delusion/illusion. In his left hand, by his heart, he holds the stem of a lotus flower, which bears a book — the Perfection of Wisdom teaching, or Prajnaparamita.

“Also depicted displaying the Jnana Mudra or Gyan Mudra. This is the most common yogic mudra used in meditation. In Sanskrit, the word ‘Jnana’ means knowledge or wisdom and ‘mudra’ means sign or gesture. It literally means the psychic gesture of Knowledge or wisdom.

“Manjushri is the embodiment of all the Buddha’ wisdom. The word manju means “charming, beautiful, pleasing” and Shri means “glory, brilliance”. The Bodhisattva is regarded as the crown prince of Buddhist teachings, or the one who can best explain the Buddhist wisdom, that is able to extinguish afflictions and bring about enlightenment. Manjushri has this title because eons ago, he was the instructor for seven different Buddha’, the last being Sakyamuni Buddha.”

One of the reasons alarm bells (in a good sense) went off when I read this was because he taught 7 other Buddha’– 7 is not only my Life Path number but it has been significant in my life. Another reason that I smiled at the Universe and its message via this statue was because it says he was the “one who could best explain the teachings”.

I cannot tell you how many times people have told me that they love my writings because I say and explain what they can’t seem to do, and I say it in a way that it makes sense to everyone.

I think I am just rambling.

Other points I noticed: I have been drawn to the lotus flower since I was a child, even getting matching lotus tattoos with my Mom to symbolize our rise from the mud of our past. The Lion is one my Totem Animals. And, I am a writer which seems to by default put me in a position of also being an educator.

The point I am getting at is that I am beginning to believe we really do have an end destination and it seems to be pre-destined, and that no matter which way we go along the way, all paths will lead to it.

The signs are all around us.

Catholicism led to me seek out all religions, which is how Hinduism found me, which led me to the Left Hand Path, which then led me to Luciferianism, which has now led me to Buddhism.

And it seems that with each new path the lesson for me remains the same: stay true to yourself, teach and learn as you go, seek yourself by going within when you are lost, and be a beacon for those who have yet to find the light.

Be a beacon for those who have yet to discover that they are the light.

Enlightenment through the service of others; liberation in the acknowledgement of it all.

I am a child of the stars and the lessons in this life are just as endless…

Lessons in Magick: Astral Projection

Astral

Image: Sergey Kharlamov

“A good traveler is one who knows how to travel with the mind.”

Michael Bassey Johnson

I have wanted to write about Astral Projection for a while now but I kept getting sidetracked with other post ideas. I think that the time is right for me to finally discuss the topic because the last week or so I have been getting question after question about Projecting and how it is done.

First let us define what Astral projection is: “Astral Projection (or Astral Travel) is an interpretation of out-of-body experience (OBE) that assumes the existence of an “astral body” separate from the physical body and capable of travelling outside it. Astral Projection or travel denotes the astral body leaving the physical body to travel in an Astral Plane. The idea of astral travel is rooted in common worldwide religious accounts of the afterlife in which the consciousness or soul’s journey or “ascent” is described in such terms as “an out-of body experience, wherein the spiritual traveler leaves the physical body and travels in his/her subtle body (or dream-body or astral body) into ‘higher’ realms.” It is frequently reported in association with dreams, and forms of meditation.”

“Patients have reported feelings similar to the descriptions of Astral Projection induced through various hallucinogenic and hypnotic (including self-hypnotic) means. There is no scientific evidence that there is any measurable manifestation of a consciousness or soul which is separate from neural activity, and there is no scientific evidence for the contention that one can consciously leave the body and make observations. Attempts to verify that such has occurred have consistently failed in spite of the variety of pseudoscientific claims to the contrary”. (Wikipedia)

Science or no Science, I have been traveling to the Astral Plane since I was a child but it took me until my mid-twenties to really get a hold on how to travel safely, how to remember my travels, and how not to bring anything back with me; among other things.

I think it is really important to keep a sleep/dream journal and I believe that a healthy sleep schedule is necessary for a successful Astral trip. You may use an Herbal Smoke Blend like the one in my Shop or you can purchase flying ointments from Sarah Anne Lawless; I highly, highly recommend all of her products. I have Belladonna, Mandrake, Datura, and Henbane Flying Ointments from her shop. If you are interested, click here.

I have found a really good article from The Mind Unleashed, and I will use that for my Source and reference point in this piece.

I have recently discovered that I can Astral Project while in an awakened state, not just during sleep or meditation. This is something that takes practice, determination and lots of concentration. This new found gift allows me to heal long distance because I am projecting a piece of myself to another; allowing them to work with my energy as if I were there with them.

Most people will start out experiencing sleep paralysis, followed by Lucid Dreaming and then work their way up to Astral Projection, though everyone is different and for some this talent may come more easily than others. I have always been able to Project, but I have struggled with sleep because of it. I find myself often waking up with hangovers the next morning because during my “sleeping” hours, I was really traveling.

Sleep has never come easy for me, and for a long time I thought that the vision or scenario playing out in my head before falling asleep was a metaphor for something I was feeling, or something I had to let go of. This “vision” has been happening for years but over the last nine months I have finally started to put the pieces together.

It starts out the same; I am being dragged from Earth up through the clouds, then the atmosphere, and finally I end up in space. I float among the stars for a while, then I am suddenly shot out into oblivion as if I were a pebble in the Universe’s proverbial sling shot.

I can stop the projection from happening only if I envision my feet being anchored to Earth but it has to be the perfect timing or I will be dragged away no matter what my will may be. I still have yet to figure out who or what it is that’s pulling me but every time I try to figure it out I am being told, and I see in my mind’s eye that it’s multiple entities; all of whom feel like Kin.

I believe our Astral Travels are as individualized as our path’s and I don’t think that we all experience the Astral Plane in the same manner. Just like our Magick, we should never compare our travels or our skill level when it comes to Astral because there simply is no comparison.

Let’s move on to different methods of how to achieve Astral Projection. I am just going to give the methods themselves, if you wish to read more in-depth about each I will give you the link at the bottom to the full article.

I hope this helps those who seem to be stuck, I believe that much of my personal truth has been found while traveling, and visiting the Akashic records.

Here are methods to become a seasoned traveler:

  1. The Rope Technique: This technique has been formulated by Robert Bruce and is one of the most effective techniques around. A key ingredient to this projection technique is an invisible, imaginary ROPE hanging from your ceiling. This ROPE will be used to exert dynamic pressure at a single point on your astral body to force its separation from the physical.
  1. Watch yourself going to sleep: Lie down comfortably on your back, facing the ceiling. Relax your body and clear your mind of unwanted thoughts. Relax even more. Tell yourself that you are going to watch yourself in the act of going to sleep. You must be very clear about your intent. You’re going to let your body sleep while your mind will remain alert throughout the entire process. Tell yourself you will retain consciousness even while your body is going to be in complete “trance”.
  1. The Monroe Technique: Dr Robert Monroe, one of the foremost authorities on Astral Projection devised this method. You have to first relax your body. This is a very important step. Then try to go to sleep, but don’t fall asleep. Maintain your awareness between sleep and wakefulness. This is known as the hypnagogic state. Then deepen this hypnagogic state and start to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts. Simply look through your closed eyelids at the blackness in front of you.
  1. OBE From lucid dreams: Lucid dreams are dreams in which the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming. In a Lucid Dream a person is already “out” of his body. In order to achieve Astral Projection from Lucid Dreams, you have to first become obsessed with OBEs and you must really DESIRE it. You must read everything you can about it. You must think about it every free moment that you have.
  1. Displaced-awareness technique: Close your eyes and get into your usual trance-state. Try to sense the entire room, at once. Feel yourself just above your shoulders and seeing all around. Be very passive about what is going on. Then imagine that your Astral Body is slowly rotating by 180 degrees. Once you finish your mental rotation, your astral head should be where your physical feet are, and your astral feet would be where your physical head is! With this firmly in your mind, try visualizing the room from this new direction.
  1. The Jump Technique: The Jump Technique, when done well, can wake up anyone in their dreams and make them Lucid. However, it does need to be done well. This is how the technique works: We repeatedly need to ask ourselves during the day whether we are in a dream or not. It is important that we do this not just for the sake of asking ourselves the question, but because we really want to know where we are. We should really doubt that we are in the Physical. So in order to prove where we are, we jump as if we were going to fly. If we are in the Physical, we will land back on the ground. But during a dream, when we jump, we will defy gravity and float.
  1. Muldoon’s Thirst Technique: This is not one of the most pleasant or effective methods designed by Sylvan Muldoon. In order to use this technique, you must refrain from drinking for some hours before going to bed. Throughout the day increase your thirst by every means you can. Keep a glass of water in front of you and stare into it, imagining drinking, but not allowing yourself to do so! Then before you sleep, eat a pinch or two of salt. Place the glass of water at some convenient place away from your bed and rehearse in your mind all the actions necessary to getting it: getting up, crossing the room, reaching out for the glass, and so on. You must then go to bed, still thinking about your thirst and the means of quenching it. At night, you might awaken in your dream and you will find yourself walking towards the glass of water. With any luck the suggestions you have made to yourself will bring about the desired OBE.
  1. The Stretch Out Technique: Lie down, shut your eyes and relax your body. Imagine your feet stretching out and becoming longer by just an inch or so. Once you have this picture in your mind, let your feet go back to normal. Do the same with his head, stretching it out an inch beyond its normal position. Then, get it back to normal. Then alternate all between head and feet, gradually increasing the distance until you can stretch out both your feet and head to about two feet or more. At this stage imagine stretching out both at once. This exercise will make you feel dizzy and often start the vibrations. After some practice, you will experience floating sensations and you can then tell yourself to rise up towards the ceiling. You are out!
  1. The Hammock Technique: Visualize yourself lying in a bright white hammock, stationed between two palm trees on a secluded beach. Imagine the feeling of swaying in the wind, and recreate that feeling now as you visualize yourself swaying from side to side in the hammock. Repeat this visualization for as long as it takes to bring forth the vibrations, and when you feel the vibrations, just “roll-out” of your body.
  1. Do the relaxing thing. Get to where you can’t feel your body. Repeat this saying in your head, and focus on it as much as possible. Don’t get discouraged! Say it slow if you have to…

“I am going to have an out of body experience.

I am going to let myself go to sleep, but I am going

to bring this waking consciousness with me wherever

I go. I am going to leave my body with full awareness.”

Keep saying the phrase even when you feel tired and you feel like rolling over….

Roll over if you have to in order to stay comfortable, and keep doing it. If you feel any tingles or see any lights that seem to flash, don’t let them throw you off. They are perfectly natural. If when you’re tired you struggle to remember the words, just recite something shorter like ‘Mind awake, body asleep’, and do it until you lose consciousness.

Happy Travels.

If you would like to read more about each of the techniques, here is the link I promised you, and the Source for this piece:

http://themindunleashed.org/2013/06/10-effective-techniques-to-experiencing.html

Lessons in Magick: Evocation

Michael Pisano

Image Source: Poision Apple Printshop

“Tis the witching hour of night,

Orbed is the moon and bright,

And the stars they glisten, glisten,

Seeming with bright eyes to listen

For what they listen?”

John Keats

It has been over one month since I have sat down to write a blog, usually by this point I would be going mad because of the built up creative energy, this time was a bit different; a lot can change in a month.

The death of my Grandmother has hit me pretty hard, and I am dealing with the waves of emotions that come with grief. I have also developed Carpal Tunnel in my left wrist due to the excessive amount of writing, and strain from the intricate beading and jewelry that I have been doing. Ah, the Universe sure does have a sense of humor.

Find a hobby, they said, it will be good for you, they said. This is further proof that I am the epitome of Murphy’s Law, and that if something will happen, it will happen to me. No victimizing myself, just speaking truth. I have learned to dance in the rain, and most importantly I have learned that the show, eventually, must go on.

So, here we are.

This particular blog post was supposed to be written in conjuction with my last piece about the unethical practice of Spirit Binding. It has been on my mind for over 4 weeks, and I have been debating with myself if I want to open this can of worms, or leave it shut. I even consulted with my Sister to get a muggle’s perspective; I refer to non-Witches as muggles from a place of endearment.

Needless to say, even with her lack of understanding of what exactly I was asking her, her response was, “well someone has to talk about it, right?”

I am going to discuss Evocation Magick.

When I started to learn of the existence of people selling Bound Vessels I posted a little rant on my personal Fb page and one of my very own friends said she owned a Bound Vessel. It was only through a discussion with her, and another Witch friend on the thread that I learned they both had their reservations about the topic; one not knowing where to begin, and the other not wanting the responsibility of teaching such Practical techniques.

I am not suggesting that my techniques given here are guarantees, or even the best way to go about Evoking a Spirit, or your own personal power; I am only giving my opinion based on my experience. I think it is important for my personal journey that I continue to push the boundaries of what is accepted and what is taboo to talk about within our community.

I could make a total ass of myself, but at least I started the discussion.

Here’s the deal before we get started, I am writing this under the impression that you know how to cast a Circle of Protection, I am also under the impression that Evocation is not the first form of Magick you are trying.

Circles of Protection can be formal, or something as simple as a word or gesture, it is completely up to the Witch to decide what is most effective for her or his self. I believe we should have multiple methods or ways to cast a Circle because some occasions call for formalities whereas others do not allow for such intricacies. Ie. You are under attack and physical harm is eminent.

Personally, I use the Latin command “Ignis Draconis, Redimio” to protect myself during ritual or I will call upon Spirits to watch the corners; the latter obviously being something that took practice, and lots of trial and error. I believe that how we protect ourselves should be just as personal as our Magick itself.

Before venturing into Evocation you should be proficient in casting a circle, if you aren’t you will quickly learn where the gaps in your shielding are.

I think when Evocation Magick is brought up there is first and foremost confusion on what it is exactly, and then there is fear, which comes from the confusion. Evocation Magick is the act of bringing forth Spirits, Daemons, Entities, Gods, etc. or an aspect of yourself.

This can be for the sole purpose of communicating with them, or asking their assistance in your personal practice or casting.

Another reason people are scared of Evocation Magick is because they psych themselves out into thinking it is way harder than it actually is.

Drop the fear, there is no place for it when dealing with Spirits and there is no place for it on the Magickal path because it will be used against you. Magick itself is scary, that is half the reason why most of us are drawn to the Craft to begin with.

In most cases the only items you need to Evoke a Spirit or bring forth your own Power are a Sigil or other item personal to the Spirit you wish you work with and your intentions.

Yes, it really is that simple.

If it is an aspect of yourself that you wish to call upon, say you want to bring forth your Shadow, you could use blood, semen or vaginal secretions. Obviously I would not suggest using bodily fluids when working with Spirits until you are well seasoned and have established a relationship with the Spirit(s).

My preference is to use Sigils. I have had two boards made for me; one for healing, one for charging. I have learned the charging board is good for Evocation, this board has 2 Lucifer Sigils and 2 Lilith Sigils etched into it.

By meditating over the board and using it as a conduit I am able to communicate with ease. I add in my preferred form of divination, and it pretty much is as simple as that. You can use Tarot cards, pendulum, tea leaves, water, fire, automatic writing or any other form of scrying. I suggest learning more than one method.

I have 2 mirrors that I use for Evocation as well: one a regular mirror, and one a black mirror. The regular mirror is used when calling upon what I refer to as “higher vibrational beings” such as Archangels, certain Gods and/or Goddesses. The black mirror is used for human Spirits (both unknown and Ancestral) and “lower vibrational beings” such as Daemons, or Trickster God Archetypes; Gods, and Goddesses of Sex, and Death, too.

You can use Doves Blood Ink, Dragons Blood Ink, Bats Blood Ink, actual blood, or chalk (on the black mirror) to write the Sigil of your choosing, or creation.

After drawing the Sigils on the mirror or board you encircle it with 4 candles; 1 black at the top (North), and 3 white surrounding it. You can switch up the candle color to make it more Spirit specific: Black and Red for Papa Legba or Lilith, and Blue for Lucifer are just a few examples. Your Spirits will let you know if they have a preference.

You also should have a place for an offering of some sort. This is where I get into arguments with my fellow Left Hand Pathers because they confuse offering with worship. Just because I am offering something as a thank you does mean that suddenly I worship whatever Deity or Spirit I am working with.

In fact, there have been many occasions where I have worked with a Spirit only one time and even a few occasions where I didn’t get along with the Spirit I called upon. Respect and offerings were still given though.

So, you have your circle of protection, you have your medium (mirror or board) and you have your Spirit of choice.

Now, it is time for your incantation. This is a chant, or Spell that is spoken to bring forth the Spirit, it can be in your native tongue, or in Latin, Hebrew or if you’re feeling frisky Sumerian ; goes back to personal preference.

The incantation is where you set your intentions for why you are calling forth the Spirits, what you are offering them, and what exactly you would like them to do. The more detailed and personal the wording, the better the result.

Then, you wait—sometimes you are waiting much longer than others so make sure you have your Scrying method ready to go. The Spirits will let you know when they are present usually by knocking, producing strange smells or temperature changes. Once you know you are in the presence of Spirit you light an incense, and begin your session. This is the part where anything goes and it is you and the Spirit(s). You can read all the books in the world but nothing will prepare you for the first (deliberate) contact with the other side.

When the communication has ended, and you wish to part ways with the Spirit you simply release them by saying, “Honored Guests of my Temple the window to our communion is now closing, go forth onto your habitations and abodes in peace. Forever acting as friends and helpers. My words are firm so it shall be, this is my will, so mote it be.” I have loosely based this portion off of Jason Miller’s book Protection and Reversal Magick. I highly recommend it, link at the bottom.

You close your circle, and cleanse your space. I personally always set intentions of gratitude at this point as well because these Spirits didn’t have to work with me but they chose to.

Evocation Magick is an essential part of the Craft and it is essential for personal growth as a Witch to know how to work with Spirits without fear.

It is only when we release the fear that we can unlock the full potential of Magick that is hidden deep within ourselves.

Resources:

Jason Miller: Protection and Reversal Magick

Lessons in Magick: The Art of Grounding

Roots

Image: Ingrid Endel

“No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”

C.G. Jung

Making sure that you are grounded is probably the most important aspect of the Craft, for several reasons actually. Our Power and the control of it depends on how grounded we are to this natural plain; if we are chaotic with our heads in the clouds, our Magick will not be proficient, our intentions will not be clear and we could potentially harm ourselves. If we are focused, calm, and grounded we can then channel the pent up emotions, and energy in times of need. When we do this we are the most dangerous weapon ever created.

I prefer to store my rage–although I cannot control it entirely, grounding only does so much and my Beast does make an appearance; for me storing my justified rage (as The Scarlet Shakti calls it) and then channeling it when needed for my casting has been most beneficial.

There are a few tricks to help ground oneself, and this is something that you should incorporate into your daily routine. When we are not grounded we are more prone to attacks: psychic, Magickal or otherwise.

Think of it like this; we are part of Earth, our Magick comes from Her, the further we are from Her, the further we are from ourselves.

The first technique to grounding is what is known as Earthing; this is when you walk barefoot on the Earth itself. The Earth will ground any excess energy, remove toxins, negative energy, and replace those with loving, healing Mother energy. I think this method is pretty self-explanatory but yes it really is as simple as walking outside and putting your feet in the dirt, or grass.

For those who are unable to walk outside due to weather, or maybe you live in an area where walking around barefoot would be seen as weird, you have another option. A trick I have learned is to fill a good ol’ fashion pot with some planting soil, sand, or actual dirt you have collected from Gaia and stick the soles of your feet on top. This is ideal for the winter months, and to add more oomph I suggest putting crystals in the pot. I personally like Quartz Points (points up), Black Tourmaline, Amethyst, Citrine, any kind of Jasper and Moss Agate—this is just a great combination that I have found to work. Follow your intuition when choosing crystals, or doing any form of casting. What works for one, may not work for another and it’s okay to tweak things.

The second technique is something that I figured on accident one day, and many will probably think I have lost my mind but whatever, I never claimed to be sane.

Playing with wood.

Yup, playing with wood. There is a grounding effect in wood, so much so that the term “knock on wood” literally meant that the wood would absorb the “jinx” or bad energy. For that reason alone, not to mention I can be superstitious, I knock on wood.

I just so happened to take the concept a step further and began to use it for Magick. This technique is similar to Earthing in the sense that we are tapping into the Earth’s energy. So, what exactly do I mean? Well, I mean you meditate, hold, or actually play with wood in your hands. This works not only when your intentions are set to ground and remove energy, but it also works when you are just actively playing with the wood. I believe certain items or objects, even symbols inherently hold a specific power before we begin to put our own influence over it; wood is one of those things.

For me personally I use Sandalwood Malas, they feel and smell amazing. If you are going to get Sandalwood make sure it is good quality. A sure sign of good quality Sandalwood is that it will have a very potent scent; a great portion of its power comes from the scent alone. I have been known to use Palo Santo sticks, then will burn them after to purify the air, myself and also rid the negativity that I just put into the wood. It works with sticks you may find in the woods, too. Again, it’s what works for you.

The next technique is kind of two fold, essential oils and Lava beads. Now, essential oils are amazing on their own, and the benefits to using them are endless, however, the good oil diffusers are pricey, and if you wear the oil in replacement of perfume, it can sometimes lose the scent during a long work day. And, unless you want to carry your vial around with you, I suggest you find another way to bring the scent along for the ride. The healing properties for most oils are in the scent; yes, the oils themselves can work on joints, skin ailments and things of that nature, it is in the scent that we find the most benefit.

Scent triggers specific receptors in your brain, such as raising dopamine and serotonin levels; scent is also strongly connected to memory. Your brain will begin to understand “lavender calms me, my anxiety is gone” or “Eucalyptus is fresh, aromatic, I feel awake, alive, my headache is gone, I am reinvigorated”. Just to name two of the thousands of combinations out there.

Where do the Lava beads come into play, you ask? Well, you can place a few drops of your favorite oil(s) on the beads in the morning, and then wear the jewelry. You can then take a sniff whenever you feel that work, family, or just life in general has become too much for you.

I was worried to get Lava beads at first, I had heard they sometimes have an angry energy from Pele, though I found the energy to be quite calming and soothing; the grounding effect was immediate, too. I not only felt Earth but I felt Fire, and being that I am forged from Fire, I found it to be an amazing stone.

You can obviously use them separately; I just happen to like the combination.

My next suggestion is a cleansing shower, and this can be done a couple ways.

You get in the shower as you would any other day except this time you are setting intentions. After setting your intentions, open yourself up (Allow healing energy in) and pour the Moon Water over the top of your head (Crown Chakra) as it trickles down your body it will cleanse, realign and balance your Chakras while cleaning your Aura.

Moon Water itself is made differently by each practitioner, or at least I have found that to be true. For mine, I use filtered water, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and sometimes I will add Clear Quartz; just know the salt will affect the Quartz, and begin to erode it, so make sure to use, or get a piece that you do not need. Some people add rose petals, or other herbs but I have found that the water doesn’t keep well, and I don’t feel the Moon as strongly. So, I keep it simple. Note: I charge most of my Moon Water underneath the Dark Moon, as I draw from the Crone’s power. I will only use the Full Moon if it’s a special one. It all depends on your personal preference.

A cleansing bath is the same idea but with the bath you add Epsom Salts to the water, and I personally add Amethyst, Rose Quartz and Black Tourmaline; if you want to use crystals just double check that they can be submerged in water. Example: You would not want to bathe with Malachite in the water with you as it is toxic (it’s the raw form that is toxic but I wouldn’t trust it in water in the tumbled form, either. Another example would be Desert Rose, that cannot be put in Water, ever.) You may choose to add herbs to your bath, I do not because my skin is too sensitive.

After you are comfortable, you set your intentions and go into a meditative state, imagine all the water of the entire world taking your toxic energy, everything that no longer serves a positive purpose in your life, and then imagine all of that bullshit (as I call it) to be swept away with the Ocean tides; after all, even the smallest drop of water is connected to all water.

When you are done, drain the tub and then stand in your shower and pour the Moon Water over your head. You will feel significantly different, and completely recharged.

A few other ways I have found that are good for grounding are Mudras, Yoga, Burning Resins, and Masturbation. People giggle with the last one, but the theory is that it opens up your Root and Sacral Chakra, allowing them to spin with strength and vigor.

How we ground, and what works for us will be different because we are all individuals; the how doesn’t matter, you just have to do it, you have to ground. The adverse effects of not grounding are not just to your Magick, but potentially your physical health. When your emotions and energy are too high, too toxic—too much of anything, you are off balance, and your body will start to show the signs. It is usually in the form of Chronic Pain Syndrome, emotional outbursts, and pain in the spine or back; this is primarily associated with the Kundalini.

We must take care of ourselves to be the best versions of ourselves, and taking time out of our day to ground is the most luxurious thing we can do to pamper our temple, and Soul at the same time.

So do it.

Lessons in Magick: Protection

Shelby Robinson

Image: Shelby Robinson

“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I started a FB group I was given the opportunity to interact one on one with many practitioners of all paths, and all skill levels; this is not something that I am afforded in my everyday life, as most of my readership and group members have been quick to agree on. I have trust issues when it comes to friendships, but I also find it hard to connect with practitioners anywhere locally.

I am grateful to have an online community, one that has not only taught me much about myself but also has become a place where much knowledge is shared and exchanged.

It took some time to work the kinks out but since I started finding my personal flow, the page has become a tight knit community where I go to seek refuge when the outside world becomes too much.

It’s like a whole new world has opened up for me since starting NR, and I feel I am more equipped to give my readership what they want because I am interacting with so many people, and forming friendships/connections in the process.

A discussion in the group I used to run initially sparked the idea for this blog; the debate was about protection, and methods of protecting one self.

It seems that people don’t know how to protect themselves, and I have to sit back and scratch my head trying to figure out why.

This isn’t new, though, it has been coming up for a very long time, a common trend I have observed.

I am not formally trained, and I have not had longtime mentors guiding me; I find and have found inspiration among everyone I cross paths with.

Since starting to walk my Spiritual path I have drifted further away from people, descending deeper into the rabbit hole while learning to become sturdy on my feet; I am still training, practicing, learning, and seeking.

The first thing I learned, and I believe all people should learn first is Protection Magick.

There is a difference between Defensive Magick and Protective Magick.

A Witch should be proficient in both areas in order to be her/his best Self, but one needs to Master protective Magick if any other form is going to work properly.

I don’t like the term Master because I think that if we claim that title then we limit ourselves by telling our mind we have reached our peak; if we reach our peak there is nothing left to chase, but in reality there is always something to chase. So I will never be a Master, but protection Magick? That I have mastered.

I am useless to myself, my kin, and my mission here if I cannot protect the physical, and psychic body.

Protection Magick is personal, and it’s something that we each have to practice in order to find a rhythm that works well with our own. I am going to give some tips, and practices that have worked for me personally, nothing is written in stone, and you can tweak it if necessary.

I am going to focus on protecting your space, this can be done on a small scale with your altar or bedroom, or on a larger scale say your apartment building, or house.

The most effective tool in Magick is ourselves, but physical tools play an important role, too. To protect a home, or space some tools are Black Salt, Pink Himalayan Salt, Course Sea Salt, Brick Dust, Crystals, Feathers, Brooms, Bones, Sacred Geometry, and Sigils.

Black Salt, Pink Himalayan Salt, and/or Course Sea Salt should be placed in thresholds (doorways), and windowsills primarily. You can also place some in a bowl beneath your bed, and change it every other day, this works well for children because the salt grounds the energy, and the negative thoughts (nightmares). I think Himalayan Crystal lamps are great for absorbing negative energy in the air, too.

Brick dust can be sprinkled anywhere, it can be used around your house, or a specific room within the home, and it can even be used to consecrate sacred places in the woods, or cemeteries, if you are into outdoor ritual.

I make my own banishing salt which is one of the most effective tools I have. It’s a mixture of Course Sea Salt and dried Sage leaves.

A good tool for protecting your property is urine; think of a dog marking their territory, obviously I am not suggesting urinating in your home, this is for the yard, or exterior perimeter.

Blood sigils, and blood in general, can be another really effective tool for protecting your space. I personally love sigils, but I also love things personal to me so I find sticks, and tie them together with hemp, binding them with blood  and I hang them from the ceiling by small hooks, and that is my way of marking territory, or saying this space belongs to this bad ass Witch, and enter at your own risk.

I suggest crystals all the time, and I feel like I have even suggested many of the methods mentioned above before but here I am again writing about this.

The best crystals for protection of property are Black Tourmaline, or Jet placed near the doorway; other good crystals to use, that should be placed in the corner of each room are, Selenite, Amethyst, Citrine and Labradorite. If you throw in Moss Agate, and Rose Quartz it will bring abundance, and love into your home.

Feathers are a tool I have primarily seen people use for traces of death in particular casting but feathers are a great protection object. Whatever species the bird, that is what the properties of the feather will hold: Hawk feathers are for guardianship, connection to the spirit world, and the gift of sight. Crow or Raven feathers are protective, especially through Norse and Celtic traditions, but also are messengers, and will reveal a friend or foe to you. Owl feathers will add protection via Darker energy; they add wisdom and the ability to “see in the dark” (see yourself through the storm, or rough patch).

Brooms, or Besoms, are amazing tools for protection of home/space. They were used primarily to “Sweep away spirits” and for “flying”. Flying was achieved by applying psychotropic herbs, or plants that were made into a balm to the base of the broom and inserting vaginally, once absorbed through the thin mucus membranes of the vagina the Witch will begin to hallucinate, or “fly”. Nowadays this is not common practice, but the Besom is still symbolic for Witches, and it not only sweeps, or cleans away negative energy, it marks our territory.

Bones are used in a similar way as feathers, but the vibrations are much heavier because bones represent death, whereas the feather could be from a still living bird.

For example, frog bones are used for transformation, and spiritual cleansing, but they are also good for hexing (depending on the frog). If you use bones from a snake it represents life/death/rebirth, and if from a venomous snake can be used to “bite” whomever wishes your home, or its inhabitants harm.

Sacred Geometry and Sigils fall under the same category, and this is pretty self-explanatory; you simply take whatever symbol you’re drawn to (Pentagram, Helm of Awe, Merkaba, Platonic Solids, Leviathan’s Cross, Archangel Sigils, Runes, or even a personal symbol that you created) set your intentions and you draw it either on paper, or the walls of your home in ritual oil (they will dry clear).

I think tools, and objects are helpful and have worked for me many times, but I primarily like to use fire and water energy to protect my home, and myself.

My logic behind this is that fire is a purifier, and water is an equalizer.

I use Draconian Fire, but I know some people who use the fire of Pele, or Hestia.

You can create your own fire source, this takes much more out of the practitioner, and my personal preference is the ferocity of Draconian fire.

To tap into this source, you need a black candle, an incense, a needle, a bowl of water and you must draw Lucifer’s Sigil in your blood, you can use Leviathan’s Cross, but I have found Lucifer’s Sigil to be the most potent. Cast your circle, or do whatever it is you do to prepare for ritual or divination, place the black candle above the bowl of water, prick your finger and draw out Lucifer’s Sigil, then put it on the right side of your water, light your incense, and your candle, drop some blood into the water and begin to focus on the candle light, and say:

“Oh, Black Dragon I call to thee, may the powers beyond hear my plea, Great Leviathan! Tiamat! The Great, and mighty sea Beast! Serpent of the Void, who winds through eternity! I take your mighty flame into me.” Then begin to chant, “Veniat ad me Draco, Veniat ad me Draco, Veniat ad me Draco…”

You will begin to feel the heat coursing through you, once you have enough control of it, you must enter a meditative state, and while looking at the same black candle begin to picture in your mind’s eye what (or who) it is that you wish to protect then say, “Ignis Draconis, Redimio”. (Fire of the Dragon, encircle me)

The water protection grid is much easier, probably because I am a triple Cancer, but this requires only a meditation, a bowl of water (a blue, or clear glass bowl) and a blue candle (dark blue, preferred). You do your usual circle, and imagine the area you wish to protect, or person(s) and you say, “Aqua et creatio, redimio.” (Waters of creation, encircle me)

I usually use an interlocking grid of fire and water, with a few surprises in there just in case. I have a Witch ball, and Witch Bells for anything more on the physical that has gotten through. I keep herbs on hand, and war water, too (it can be great for casting out energy, not just for hexing).

Protecting your physical, or “vessel” is just as important as protecting your property; physical protection is one of the most personal, and subjective forms of Magick, there is no right or wrong way to do it, and what works for me, may not work for you.

Some of the suggestions given here can be tweaked to protect your person. To add an extra barrier between me and the outside world I personally like to use enchanted jewelry, and some of my tattoos were done using ink I had personally enchanted beforehand.

A Witch should be able to protect her/his self at all costs, at the drop of a dime, and no one should be walking around paranoid of an attack. If you are constantly worried about attacks it usually means your subconscious is telling you that your shields are weak, or that you are vulnerable.

True Magickal attacks are rare, and in most cases they are petty in nature, but in the off chance that you or someone you love falls victim, you need to be able to do what is necessary to eliminate the threat, and that is where defensive Magick comes into play, but that is an entirely different ball game.

Protect thyself, as you Love thyself–until death, and beyond.

Blessed are the Witches.