Taroting Depression with The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is a reminder that all life flows in circles. This is a reminder that most of us with Depression need. Badly. And often.

When we’re in the throes of a bout of Depression, it can be easy to think that this is the way that things will always be. The Wheel of Fortune reminds us that it’s not.

Things will get better and things might get worse. That is the nature of life. The one thing you can guarantee is that things will always be changing. 

Yes. Even when you have Depression. 

An episode of Depression may lead you to believe that each day is the same. It seems that way when you’re stuck in the bottom of the abyss. Only things aren’t the same. There are always small shifts, sometimes so small that you don’t recognize them.

It’s not until afterwards that we can look back and see where those shifts occurred.

The Wheel of Fortune isn’t a quick fix. That’s the point. It’s a reminder that “this too shall pass.” A glimmer of hope when it all seems too much. 

It’s also a poignant reminder for those of us who live with Depression but are in a “well” phase. Although you feel good right now, there’s a mighty good chance that tomorrow will be a reminder of just how devastating the demon Depression can be.

So, how do we work with the Wheel of Fortune?

If you’ve been following this series, you’ll be aware that I usually include a guided meditation for you to follow, but I don’t feel that’s appropriate with this card. To me, wheels are for flowing and not structure, so I think it’s a better idea to grab a pen and paper and follow your thoughts.

Place the card in front of you and see what parts of the image capture your attention. It doesn’t really matter which tarot deck you’re using. 

Here are some questions you can use to kick off your journaling.

  • What attracts my attention in this image?
  • What do I dislike in this image? Why?
  • What part of this image makes me feel hopeful?
  • What part of this image makes me feel sad?
  • What does the phrase “wheel of fortune” mean for me?

These are just some points to get you started, make sure you allow your thoughts, and your pen, to wander off wherever they want to go. 

Another tip: sleep with the Wheel of Fortune under your pillow when you need a reminder that things will get better. 

This is only THIS moment. 

Black Orchid Alchemy Logo

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.

Basics of Botanicals: ACORN

Occult:

Associations: lightning, Horned God, Ostara

How to use:

talisman against premature aging

Acorn ink (sigil creations, dye) (Dana & Dana 2020)

Medicinal:

Quercus  (Oak)

(robur {english oak},alba {white oak}, etc.); there are  500 species in the genus Quercus.

Parts used are bark, leaves, acorns

Short-term external use

The acorns of the Quercus brantii Lindl are widely used in alleviating symptoms of diarrhea, laryngopharyngitis diseases, menorrhagia, obesity, and stomach ulcers. (Taib 2020)

May help or improve: bone health, metabolism, energy levels, heart health, diabetes (possibly aid in blood sugar regulation), digestion, skin care. However, the tannins of these can cause great stomach upset, so it is recommend to “boil until the water no longer turns brown.” (WebMD 2022)

Nutritional Facts  (Staughton 2021)

 

 

Citations:

link to photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/branch-acorns-in-the-fall-brown-3682386/

Dana, & Dana. (2020, May 24). What to do with acorns. The Druid’s Garden. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/tag/what-to-do-with-acorns/

Staughton,  John (2021, July 16). 8 amazing benefits of acorns. Organic Facts. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/acorns.html

Taib, M., Rezzak, Y., Bouyazza, L., & Lyoussi, B. (2020, July 31). Medicinal uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of quercus species. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7415107/#:~:text=The%20acorns%20of%20the%20various,ulcers%20%5B8%2C%209%5D

WebMD. (n.d.). Acorns: Are they safe to eat? WebMD. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/are-acorns-safe-to-eat

Further Information:

Pollux, A., & May, A. (2021, February 26). The protective magickal properties of oak and acorns. Welcome To Wicca Now. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://wiccanow.com/magickal-properties-of-oak-and-acorns/

 

DISCLAIMER:

ANY INFORMATION WITHIN BASICS OF BOTANICALS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE

BASICS OF BOTANICALS IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE COMPILATION. It is meant to be a spring-board type guide to getting individuals into searching in-depth further on their own. If any information is incorrect/missing, please email hwsbotanicalsemporium@gmail.com with the following:

  • Citations missing or incomplete
  • Inaccurate information
  • The specific post/article in question

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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

Basics of Botanicals: ACONITE

Aconite

Occult:

Associations: Feminine, Saturn, Water, protection

How to use:

Consecration of tools or spaces

Incense

Invoking Hecate

Amulet “Invisibility” earthwitchery.com states you can, “wrap the seed in a lizard skin and carry to become invisible at will.”

Please use caution handling this plant, wear nonpermeable gloves (Grandmont 2017), make sure you have no open sores/cuts or wounds, and do not submerged yourself or any appendages in its water during consecrations or washes 

Medicinal:

Aconitum napellus

There is a very low margin of safety between therapeutic and toxic doses of aconitine. is considered POISONOUS.

Also known as Wolfsbane (Aconitum napellus) & Monkshood (Aconitum japonicum) (Britannica 2022); over 200 species within the Ranunculaceae (Britannica 2021). Please do not eat any part of these plants. Introductory; will not be listing the homeopathic uses here despite their existence.

Aconitum napellus (A. napellus, also known as monkshood or wolfsbane) is a perennial herb often grown as an ornamental plant due to its attractive blue to dark purple flowers. All parts of the plant, especially the roots, contain toxins. Aconitine is the most dangerous of these toxins. It is most noted as a heart poison but is also a potent nerve poison. Raw aconite plants are very poisonous. (Poison Control)

Example of attempting homeopathic remedy that went negatively and caused a young adult to be sent to the ER for self-treating anxiety. More is not typically better, unfortunately, the individual thought increasing his dose would serve him quicker effects. He took 3 capsules, as opposed to his single capsule dose, of his homemade blend of dried up root matter. Went to bed, but awoken to symptoms of:

. . . generalized numbness, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and defective color vision (he was seeing purple).

He spent 48 days in the hospital.  (Poison Control n.d.)

 

Citations:

Link to photo source:

https://pixabay.com/photos/monkshood-toxic-poisonous-plant-5449413/

 

Poison Control (n.d.). aconitum napellus (monkshood): A purple poison. Poison Control. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.poison.org/articles/why-is-monkshood-considered-a-poison–174

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2021, September 22). aconite. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/plant/aconite

Britannica. T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2022). Monkshood. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/plant/monkshood

Jean-Pol Grandmont ( Jan. 31, 2017). Plant profiles in Chemical Ecology. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://sites.evergreen.edu/plantchemeco/wolfsbane-fictious-plant-contains-very-real-dangers/

Witchery, E. (n.d.). Monkshood aka Wolfsbane. Monkshood. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from http://www.earthwitchery.com/monkshood.html

 

DISCLAIMER:

ANY INFORMATION WITHIN BASICS OF BOTANICALS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE

BASICS OF BOTANICALS IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE COMPILATION. It is meant to be a spring-board type guide to getting individuals into searching in-depth further on their own. If any information is incorrect/missing, please email hwsbotanicalsemporium@gmail.com with the following:

  • Citations missing or incomplete
  • Inaccurate information
  • The specific post/article in question

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Written by H3rAwesomeness  

Manifestation Tactics on the Back End

Holding hands open with glowing lights on dark background

TUE 2/22/22 Intention setting time, various cosmic energies at work to ensure their manifestation. But even on the most mundane of days, successful manifestation hinges on our ability to direct these energies with a clear mind and focus as well as believe these things we desire are actually possible and that we deserve to experience them,  to not conflate desire with alignment. Because it’s all about alignment!

People can get lost in the idea that we need to stay positive at all times even if it’s completely fabricated in order to maintain this alignment, but ultimately this is a trap. Not meaning one should wallow in it for any extended amount of time, but if you keep telling the universe that you are great even though you are dying inside will have a tendency to signal the universe that “hey, this person is great, let’s leave them right there.” Being uncomfortable and recognizing that discomfort, addressing it, and not ignoring the signs or pasting over it with “everything is fine” is one of the most direct ways of clearing that path.

Some situations are much more difficult to wiggle our way out of than others but with the desire to change and the willingness to believe it’s possible, most situations can be made more positive and in alignment with our desires for them.   In order to have something different, a different space must be made for it, otherwise, the blessings will be more difficult if not impossible to maintain or even be recognized. An open mind is quite helpful in this process but even attempting that can carry inherent discomfort. But if looked at properly this discomfort signals areas that need attention in order to get into the energetic alignment we desire.

woman was meditating in sunrise and rays of light on park and nature, soft focus

Alignment calls for these energies we are directing and following through to have a clear pathway. Do we believe we deserve the things we desire? Do we believe these things are even possible? Are we working from a feeling of lack? Is the energy and inspiration to change being followed or fought against? Are we adding a lot of emotional weight to the request, or letting it flow freely to where it needs to go?

Time to check our feelings surrounding the things and outcomes we desire. By addressing these feelings and underlying emotions we clear the path for this light, these energies, to work through us thus we become clear conduits. Now deep breaths, relax the jaw and unclench the stomach and buttocks… Find that flow, release judgment of ourselves and these desires, and try and work from there. Light on our feet, the cosmic dance.

Lessons in Magick: Witch, Remember Yourself!

This came from a deep place inside me. They are words I wish someone had spoken to me when I needed it. I bring them to you, to light your way and lessen your pain.

We have all done it. Stepped out of the current, the flow with the Other. We have tried to forget what makes us “US” and thought if we hide our particular truth, we’ll be safe; if we conform, we will become a part of a different whole that didn’t seek us out and that probably doesn’t really want us.

Then, we are lost and only when we hit the bottom of that well do we feel the desire to jump into the flow and pull ourselves back to remember who we were and who we are to become. Who the multiverse needs us to become.

I’ve done it myself. More than once and found a way to get back to myself. Slogging through the world’s density, to break into the Light. But it doesn’t make others comfortable and it isn’t always safe and sweet, but it is necessary. And in the end, restarts work. You haven’t really lost ground, only some time.

You’ve come a long way and you are not a beginner. The flick of the lighter is like the click of a key in a door to a room you have known and decorated for years. It’s your space and it is available to you at a moment’s notice. And all you need is a moment.



For years, you have made this path. Your breath has cleared the air, each step marks the way. The fire in your heart shines the light to guide your way. The incense fills the air, drawing to you the allies to guide you and dispelling all those that would trip you up. You write the map as you dream. Your words inspire the long-sleeping spirits, who also dream as we incarnated do, to awake.

But sometimes the world of our bodies makes us distracted and forget who we are. Lesser minds and souls get in your way because they want you small and wounded. Just getting by makes us even smaller.

But you are not small. You are as wide as the universe, bright as a star. And your light, your fire sparks the same in your own kind. And that fire is needed to drag the rest of the world out of its darkness. And that is needed more than ever.

If you need to, start small – a candle, one stick of incense, a few lines of chanting, or just once, speaking a true statement instead of dancing around the subject.

If only in the shower to yourself, at first. Be true to yourself. Speak it out loud. They will hear you. The ripple of the truth, of one person being honest with themselves, will eventually build to a tsunami that will wipe out the darkness of lies.

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”

Of Garbage and Rebirth

All my life I’ve known some form of magick. Even though I had no idea what that meant. Things I overheard while at the kitchen table helping the adults make Puerto Rican dishes every weekend. From family involved in Santeria; a Shaman maternal great grandfather, a powerful paternal grandmother (who tried to kill me at the age of 5), my Mami who read people from toe-to-head, never the other way around. My childhood was filled with magick. And yet I struggled from early on for the recognition of Elders in Santeria. I wanted that moment of acknowledgement to confirm for myself and others that I was indeed, gifted in ways I couldn’t even begin to explain. There are memories that live inside me that are such a mystery, I’ve given up trying to figure them out and simply accepted them.

I was never initiated into anything my family was a part of. Mami wouldn’t allow it, telling me I had plenty of time to decide my path. So it was to her that I would tell my prophetic dreams to, but not the endless nightmares. It was her that I would tell who would be dying soon when the acrid smell and taste of death permeated the air and my food. It was her that I would tell the secrets the Orisha statues would tell me. But I would also listen to the advice she would tell those who came to her and kept a mental Book of Shadows written in my Mami’s voice, which I still hear even now, five years after her passing.

I would write things down in pencil on small pieces of brown paper torn from the bodega paper bags and stuff them in my shoes. Forgetting about them for as long as I had the shoes. I played with candles, I created spells, I played with fire – a lot of fire; called to the wind and the birds. I watched my Mami do workings for others, always listening intently to her warnings and instructions. I read all of my Papi’s books on symbolism and numbers in dreams, my Mami’s books on numerology, palmistry, even her book on Nostradamus. She taught me to read the Spanish tarot cards. And yet, I still longed for what would make me different but mostly, accepted. Truthfully and perhaps selfishly, I wanted to be honored, heard, and loved.

I often look back on my life, especially after learning about past lives and how they can affect our current life, and I’ve seen some patterns repeat over and over but none so much as suffering and loneliness. I’ve searched for the remedy to both to no avail. It was only after meeting the man I decided would become my Godfather in Santeria, that I learned of my path; I’m a daughter of Oshun, which surprised me, and one of the avatars of her path is called, Oshun Ibu Kole. He told me it was the path of the vulture goddess and to research it. He explained how this particular avatar was one of a beautiful Oshun who had the ear of Olodumare and other Orishas and yet fell so far down that she was often seen rolling around in the mud; dirty and in misery. She sacrificed herself for humanity and was left to pick up what she could to survive. He compared it to what I’d been through in life; I gave and gave and was always the one left behind to suffer and pick from what was leftover. This Oshun was powerful and honored because of her sacrifice. The vultures were her messengers. There’s also a story I’ve heard since finding out about this path, that says if one is ever out and gets lost in the wilderness or the desert and sees vultures looming and gathering overhead ready to pick at the carcass, they are to shake their arms or dance so that the vultures know they aren’t dead yet.

No one wants suffering and loneliness.

No one wants to struggle and feel as though they are alone in this world and on this path.

And yet I see the path of where I’ve been so clearly now.

The cycle of garbage and rebirth.

And maybe that’s why I’ve always danced.

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

 

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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.

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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.

 

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.

Light 4

 

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.

Light 3

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.

lIGHT 7

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.