LESSONS IN MAGICK: The Unethical Practice of Spirit Binding, Part II

Bound

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“Real magic can never be made by offering someone else’s liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back.”

Peter S. Beagle

The Unethical Practice of Spirit Binding is to date one of my most popular pieces; even now, nearly 2 years since writing it, it’s still one of the most weekly visited blogs, and the one I receive the most emails/questions about.

I figured since it would be time consuming as all hell, and repetitive to reply to each email, all of which are essentially asking the same thing, it would be easier to address the concerns and issues in a blog of its own.

Before I get into the gist of this, let me first clarify a few things.

I firmly believe that binding a Spirit to a vessel is right under abusing a child (in general and/or) with Magick; to me, it’s THAT serious.

Our Magick comes from within, most of our knowledge and wisdom, too but a lot of our power, knowledge, wisdom and gifts comes directly from the Spirit world in the form of Ancestors, and the Spirits we work with daily—be they Gods, Goddesses, Daemons, Fae, Elementals, etc: they owe us nothing, yet are often more than willing to come to our aid when called upon.

To disrespect this world, these beings by acting like we are superior is a recipe for disaster.

Not to mention it’s audacious to think that just because we can, we should.

I have been practicing the Craft since I was a kid, and have been surrounded by Witches and Mystics for nearly as long and besides Djinn, none of us can think of a time when you would *need* to bind a Spirit to a vessel.

Note: Djinn truly are genies in many ways, and they must be bound to an object (preferably jewelry) to work with. The word Djinn means both “Demons and Spirits” and has an additional meaning of “hidden from sight”. Their energy is unruly, hence the need to anchor them; they should always be released afterwards as a bored Djinn is a dangerous Djinn.

Binding a Spirit to a vessel is entirely different than enchanting an object; this is important.

For example, evoking Lilith, and asking for Her essence to enchant a piece of jewelry or tool for sexual confidence, power and protection would not be considered binding; you called upon Her, asked Her permission and an exchange was made—what that exchange is, is between you and Her, or whatever deity/Spirit you are working this (in context exchange means offerings).

Binding a Spirit to an object is trapping them.

And, sorry guys, but it’s fucking wrong.

Gold Apple

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I’m not sitting on a high horse, and I really hate to enter territory where it comes off like I am telling other’s how to practice but, we must have basic ground rules when practicing, right?

RIGHT?

Surely, not binding Spirits and not abusing them should be high on our list of basic manners of Practice, right?

A clear majority of those who email me have purchased or acquired a bound vessel without thinking of the Spirit itself; they are quite remorseful in their messages. Often, attributing their change of heart and “aha moment” to reading and/or coming across my blog on the subject; so much gratitude for this because awareness was the sole intent of the original piece.

Then there are those who purchased bound vessels and found they didn’t have use for the Spirit and now they don’t know what to do.

I don’t judge anyone because we have all found ourselves in situations during our Magickal career where we know we fucked up. If you have not had this moment yet you are either doing something wrong, or it’s right around the corner waiting for you.

Fucking up has been my best teacher.

So, what do you do when you find yourself in possession of a Spirit bound object?

Well, first you attempt to contact the Spirit itself.

In many cases the Spirit in question will be volatile (rightfully so); sometimes they will be shy, and/or fearful.

In many ways Spirits could and can squash us like a bug but in many ways, they can be dominated, and it has the same affect on them as it would on us if we were abused, and oppressed.

They become withdrawn and defeated.

Set up your ritual space, place the object in front of you and communicate with the Spirit; sometimes this can be done simply by touching the object, depending on how tuned into your intuition you are.

Other times you will need to choose a form of divination to act as a medium for the message to be received.

Even if it was not you who bound them, apologize for their mistreatment; if you know what type of Spirit you are working with, offer them something you know would appeal to them, if you do not know go with the basics of incense, liquor/wine/beer, sweets, fruit and a candle.

Then, release them.

It can be simple, and sometimes the Spirit will be released by you saying, “you are free to go” but other times it requires more effort in the form of a burial, or burning to break the original spell and allow the Spirit to return to its abode.

On rare occasions there will need to be a full ritual of cord cutting, and banishing (example: The Spirit does not want to go and/or is malicious in nature).

I have come across a few friends who have attempted to release a benevolent Spirit, and the Spirit expressed their desire to stay; if you are okay with this, then you can keep the vessel.

The point is to give the Spirit a choice at freedom, give them the option they were denied in the first place.

Flame

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You do not need a bound vessel to have a connection with a Spirit, or for that Spirit to grant you what you desire.

They are not our play toys; they do not exist to be at our beck and call; they are allies, sources of knowledge for Seekers; they are keepers of the Old Ways.

Magick and the Craft should never involve abuse; I don’t consider baneful Magick abuse because when I practice it, it’s justified. But, that’s been covered in my Justified Hexing blog.

Nothing about this path, this life or this Craft is cut and dry, nothing is black and white, each situation presented to us requires a new set of eyes; we must drop all that we think we know and assess the situation while keeping our wisdom in tact—it’s a Jedi level balancing act.

LESSONS IN MAGICK: The Strength of Sisterhood

 

Fire 2

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“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

Madeleine K. Albright

This month marks 3 years since I started the NR Facebook page, and 2 years since starting this blog and my Shop; to say it’s been a whirlwind would be an absolute understatement.

I started this venture with no goal in mind, no real intention either; I wanted to create a sanctuary for myself, a place that was my own where I could express my opinions and experiences how I saw fit.

At the time, I didn’t know what that looked like, I didn’t know how I was to navigate this new world I found myself in; a world I had created both by choice and circumstance.

It was hard.

It was devastatingly fucking hard.

Still is, most days.

I have no problem being challenged, or having opposing opinions voiced (others would debate this fact); I do have a problem being attacked though.

I have a problem with people who only read and see what THEY want to read and see, and cannot look at anything objectively; furthermore, they cannot admit when they are wrong.

So, instead of admitting they don’t know, or that they are, in fact, incorrect, they lash out.

Their weapon? Vitriol.

Even when I know the person spewing the words is just a troll who’s merely projecting their insecurities onto me, or simpler yet, they are just trying to get a reaction because it gets them off, it still hurts my feelings.

Most people don’t understand how truly sensitive I am—I feel everything, which is why I burn out so frequently.

This brand was birthed into creation by myself; it’s literally like my baby, and when my baby is attacked, it *feels* personal.

Often, I react as such: an angry, volatile, deadly mama bear.

I know and say all the time that my way is not the only way, that my views are not the only ones.

I don’t want followers, I don’t want a herd of people who think like me; I simply want to spark something inside the minds of other’s by showing them what it looks like to burn in the fire of your truth.

I lead by example.

I light myself on fire every day and show my flames and scars to the world.

Fire 1

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I didn’t realize that my flames would act as a calling card of sorts beckoning like-minded individuals to seek me out, and thus, the page grew rapidly.

I also didn’t realize that in showing my scars, pains, and brutal truths to the world, it granted others permission to do the same.

In the beginning I talked mostly about topics of the Occult, demonolatry and such.

As my journey began to change, as I began to change, so did the content, which I believe is genuinely authentic; the page should reflect what I am going through and who I am.

To my surprise my page base became predominantly Women.

Now THIS was unfamiliar territory for me.

Not only did I not have friends growing up because I was so painfully different, bullied at times, accepted at other’s, choosing to keep to myself most often—I didn’t get along with other girls.

I have always known who I was, and at an early age that is threatening to other girls who are still trying to figure themselves out; it’s threatening to some Women even now as an adult.

In a world full of societal dictations about who and what we are all supposed to be, knowing who you are and living that truth are rebellious acts.

I found my inbox filled with messages from Women thanking me for sharing my experiences and telling me theirs; like soldiers comparing war stories, we shared pain, trauma, oppression, abuse, awakenings, metaphorical death and finally, rejoiced in our rebirth.

It was in these intimate moments that a silent Sisterhood was formed and has been forming ever since.

In my blog, The Rise of the Rebellious Woman I credit the Dark Goddesses with the considerable number of Women joining the Revolution, reclaiming their power, truth, and stepping onto the Left-Hand Path to take back individual sovereignty stolen from them and the Women who stood here in times past.

What I failed to see then is that the Dark Goddess works through Women like myself—Torchbearers who in these times of darkness are lighting the world on fire with their words of wisdom, and war cries for rebellion.

 

 

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I stand arm in arm with my Sisters as we begin to understand and accept that we are so much more similar than we are different.

And through sharing our stories we can heal each other, which in turn heals the wounds of the Divine Feminine; for She can only be healed when Women come to know that each other is an ally, not enemy.

When you tear down your Sister, you tear down yourself.

Thank you to all the Women who have reached out to me and continue to do so; in your words I find so much strength, motivation and inspiration.

Thank you for supporting me, for walking this journey with me, for having my back when the world gets me down.

Most importantly, thank you for teaching me the Sacred, Ancient power of Sisterhood.

Together we can conquer Empires.

Together we will dismantle the Patriarchy.

CALLING THE DARK GODDESS: The Rise of the Rebellious Woman

Laura Sheridan

 

Image: Laura Sheridan

“What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now. You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank. Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term “mangina.” Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.”

Jessica Valenti

I don’t know if I have been thinking a lot about the Dark Goddess because that is what our third book focuses on and so my creative mind is kind of already there; I don’t know if it’s because I honor the Dark Goddess in all Her forms and walk Her path; I don’t know if it’s because there really is a trend happening.

Maybe it’s all three, and more.

But, the Dark Goddess is EVERYWHERE.

Kali. Lilith. Hekate. Baba Yaga.

Just to name a few.

What is it about these Archetypes that is calling out to Women (and Men) of all walks of life?

Why are these deities resonating with us on a Soul level?

Because we are in great need of their lessons.

Let’s face it, the world is full of angry Women.

I know, I know, lots of people are angry but I am focusing on the Women because this part is important.

For centuries upon centuries Women have been oppressed, our place in recent history always dictated by Men.

Our worth, our body image, our sensuality, our sexuality, our intelligence, our independence and then some have all been stolen, watered down, demonized, stigmatized, and dictated by a Patriarchal structure that was put in place to serve Men; giving them power to decide what we can and cannot do with our own bodies, for example.

Funny how Erectile Dysfunction drugs are (usually) always covered under insurance plans but birth control, annual exams, abortion, and all issues related to the Vagina and Women’s overall health becomes a political debate.

Our issues often having to go through every branch of Government multiple times to deem what is constitutional and what is not. Our Sisters in countries with no Constitution have it much worse.

That speaks volumes.

The fact that this even happens is proof that Women are NOT treated as equals; we are in some cases not even treated as human beings.

This is NOT some woes me post.

This is NOT a man hating post, either.

If you are not one of the Men I refer to; the kind who oppress, abuse and inflict some ridiculous double standard on Women then none of my words should affect or offend you. If they do, maybe you should evaluate those parts of yourself.

Men face their own set of challenges. Just one example: ridiculous standards of what Masculinity is, and if they do not meet those standards and/or criteria they are called “gay”.

Which our society has somehow twisted it into being an insult.

Being a Woman, and/or a homosexual is an insult.

What have we become?

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way and we make sure there are no misunderstandings, let me carry on with the article.

What do these Goddesses teach us?

What do they all have in common?

Let’s go over that a bit.

Kali teaches us the power of justified rage, and wrath that knows no bounds. She teaches us to be unapologetic with our less than savory emotions and feelings. She teaches us the power of destruction, and the necessity of “killing off all that is old” in order to rise anew.

Lilith teaches us that sexuality, sensuality, lust, individuality and power are not to be feared in a Woman; they are to be honored. She teaches us not to be shamed, or ashamed of what we are and the Serpent and Fruit we carry with us.

Hekate teaches us that life is neither black nor white but it’s full of gray areas; just like Magick. She teaches us how to hunt; in this modern-day context that means she teaches us when to fight, and when to save our energy. She illuminates truth and calls for justice; she is a voice for the forgotten Woman, child and every underdog of society. She teaches us that death is not to be feared but respected. Our journeys into the Underworld of our Soul are essential to the ascension process.

Baba Yaga teaches us the power of our anger and nastiness; she teaches us that we do not need to conform to what society wants us to be, or thinks we should be. Baba teaches us the wisdom of the Crone, the liberation of being self-reliant and the strength that comes from being forced to survive “a night in the woods alone”. (Only a few will understand that last reference.)

These Goddesses would be considered Rebellious Women.

Women who are too opinionated, too wild and completely unable to be tamed. They would be shunned—labeled as outcasts, misfits.

As we face an uncertain future we need angry, loud, unafraid, non-conforming, NASTY WOMEN more than ever.

I know the future is never clear but with the current political firestorms erupting, times are even more uncertain.

These Goddesses are not coming to us, calling out to those who will listen for no reason, they know they are needed. More and more Women are starting to find their voice, and are willing to speak up and speak out about what they are willing, and not willing to put up with.

In laymen’s terms:

I will not be silenced; we will not be silenced.

This is my body and I will do with it what I see fit—it should not be a Government issue.

My body should not be regulated because I was born with a Vagina.

My body was not created for the pleasure of a Man, or any other human being.

I was not created to be ruled over.

There is only so long you can beat down a group of people before they awaken to the truth, and begin to RISE in protest.

We have seen it coming for years with many marginalized groups—Feminists/Women, LGBTQ and People of Color leading the way.

We are reclaiming our power.

Caged birds don’t remain caged forever; they will always find freedom and their voice to sing.

The Dark Goddesses teach us just that.