The Forgotten Magic

Part 4

Hunting Shadows

Image by Louise Cox

Staring into the gaps in-between,

We find the things that cannot be seen.

Hiding in the bushes in the garden

and the hedgerows in the fields.

The Shadows

am I watching them

or are they watching me.

Darker than the blackest night

With sparkling eyes

that twinkle with the light

of stars burning bright.

There is a darkness that lurks in the shadows. I actually don’t know what it is but in my childhood, like some earlier explorer discovering a new species of creature for the first time, I was fascinated with observing the Shadow entities. Looking back at this as an adult, I have no idea what this was about, I actually have more questions than answers. Strange how as a child you don’t question what you do, instinctively you just do it, maybe that’s something as adults we should remember how to cultivate.

The natural world captivated my young mind and I would spend hours reading about and drawing my favourite animals. To me the Shadows are just another part of that, another creature to be studied, only it wasn’t in any book I knew, maybe I could be the first person to document it and become the David Attenborough of the unseen world.

As my curiosity grew I became bolder and rather than watching things in the garden through the window, I decided one day it would be fun to go on an expedition into the fields. The fields are literally across the road from my family home, you can see them from the living room window.
I roped my friend in and briefed her on the plan of action, to hunt down and observe the Shadow creatures.


We set off in full stealth mode across the field, treading softly as possible through the tall grass, towards a large over grown boundary hedge. The fields had long been abandoned and everything had gone feral. Once neat hawthorn hedges had become gnarled trees over long dried out ditches, where imaginations roamed free with trolls and fairies, but today we hunt Shadows.
I’m not sure I was prepared for what we encountered that day, in all honesty.

Image by Louise Cox

We stopped half way across the field as I could sense something moving just beyond the hedge. Don’t move or it will see us. Adrenaline kicked in as this Shadow was immense, watching Shadows in the garden through the safety of the window was one thing and they had been small no bigger than a man but this creature before was as big as an elephant and growing larger as it came towards us. It didn’t see us at first and I was telling my friend where it was and describing what it looked like. I don’t know if she saw what I could see that day (maybe I should ask her, we are still friends after 45 years) anyway she either did or she was playing along. The feelings of awe and panic got the better of us as the creature sensed we were watching seemed to grow denser and blacker and larger and started to move a bit quicker in our direction. We both bolted back across the field as fast as our legs would carry us.

Writing this down, it would be easy to dismiss it as my wild imagination but I know it was not. Then as now, although I have a vivid imagination I know the difference between what I project in my imagination and what is out in the world. At least, I think I do, we can all be fooled.

Image by Louise Cox

I wonder where I could walk to hunt Shadows close to where I live today, the fields near my parents house are still there but that’s 300 miles away from where I now live. There is a piece of common land not far from my house so I set off on a new expedition, along the rows of little terraced houses, through the grave yard, across the meadow that’s filled with blue flowers in spring. Till I reach the edge of the where the wilder places begin.

Ivy plays sentinel to the gateway of paths, tangled tree roots make steps down through the trees where Jackdaws chastise and Crows answer in low melodious caws. Out into the open space of common land, at least what is left of it.
I find myself on the edge of construction site, what happens to the Shadows when the wild spaces are gone.
Enticed by a circle of bright green ferns under the dark leafless branches of sleeping trees, a fallen tree lay, I sat and looked down over the view of our small sprawling town, how much bigger will it get.

Image by Louise Cox

There are tracks up behind where I sit, I decide to follow them.
Something caught my eye, shiny white and sparkling in the light breaking through the trees. Three little jewels attached to a dead tree stem. My instinct said that’s where to find what your looking for, my brain said its just some plastic caught or put by someone. It looked like the stem had been decorated for Christmas in the winter light. As I got closer it was three ivy leaves still wet with the morning rain glittering in the sunlight. I smiled to myself but beyond this illuminated signpost was the kind of gnarled old hedgerow I would expect to find Shadows dwelling. In the darkness between the leaves my mind saw the face of the Green Man sleeping but it was just an impression and although I waited and watched a while I neither felt nor saw any entities.

I did not find any Shadows that day, only hedges where they might dwell.


On my way back I followed a badger track clambering over and under the trees and came across a swing tied in the branches of a tall tree and sat again, deciding to head into town.
I found the route I would normally take blocked by the construction of new houses, another path lost. I had to follow the line of the high security fence back, and lost my bearings. Heading back onto another badger track and not knowing which way to go, sudden movement caught my eye, as a dear jumped along another path ahead of me. I followed and found my way back to the path I came in on.

Contemplating my little adventure I mused.


As the wild things are chased away by the ongoing urbanisation, the Forgotten Magic of our childhood is chased away by the trappings of our society. There are little pockets of wildlife left hemmed in, the badgers and foxes and dear surviving in an ever decreasing spaces. Our Magic is there part of us always, it just get hemmed in by life but we can make new pathways, opened up and rewild ourselves.

BOOK REVIEW: Spirit Work Primer

I receive a lot of messages, comments and the like asking all kinds of questions, but mostly they’re from folks seeking advice.

By far, the number one question I receive is: Where do I start on my journey to Spirit Working?

I find that people are confused about how to find a Deity.

Let’s pause and address THIS.

-You do not need a Deity

-In my humble opinion, They find and choose you

-Your journey will lead you to them (Examples: S*xual A*sault, death and pain led me to Hekate; Asanas and practicing the 6 Branches of Yoga fully committed as a Hindu led Kali to me who paved the way for Shiva through Her dance of destruction)

Carrying on..

Folks don’t know how to Evoke or Invoke and when to do which; I personally do not engage in the latter because of a pact I made with another Spirit.

We each have our own paths to walk and Practices to well, practice.

Spirit Work itself is a broad term, but it means working with Spirits.

This could be anything from a God, Goddess, to a Daemon, or an Angel.

There are many classes of Spirits and different definitions depending on Tradition, individual opinion and personal, lived experiences.

So where do you begin? How do you start?

It’s really overwhelming and not something that can be summed up in a blog or fb post.

Jason Miller recently put out an excellent book called, Consorting with Spirits: Your Guide to Working with Invisible Allies. I will be reviewing it in the future.

The thing I must say about Miller’s book (he’s one of my favorites and most influential Authors) is that he wrote it for people that already have a Magickal foundation established and honestly?

I really appreciate that.

I think it’s incredible to have books that appeal to novices and adepts alike; I like that there are books for novices only; I like that there are books for adepts only.

They can all exist, and they are all (mostly) worthy.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with writing to experienced Practitioners. I started reading it and was like, “Oh, oh, thank f*ck”.

That said, there is a book that has kind of slipped through the cracks and I believe it’s noteworthy.

I had not heard of it before, and when I did and I started reading, even though it is specifically for NEW PRACTITIONERS, I found it exceedingly interesting, and it helped refresh some things for me. Not in a redundant way, either.

I never felt like I was being spoken to like a child, and I found the entire thing educational and that, my friends, is why I am here.

The Spirit Work Primer: A Beginner’s Guide to Streamlined Spirit Work by Naag Loki Shivanath, published by Crossed Crow Books. This is a revamped, second edition from the original 2017 publication.

Image Source: Crossed Crow Books/fb

I highly recommend it if you are interested in working with Spirits but have no clue where to begin.

Covered topics are:

The Basics of Spirit Work, The Nature of Offerings, Spirit Senses, Magickal Invocation, Magickal Evocation, The Nature of Spiritual Pacts, Spirit Possession, Familiar Spirits, Spirit Keeping, Isolated Spirits, Created Spirits, Spirit Houses, Spiritual Self-Defense and Cleanup, Grimoire of the Thorn.

Publisher describes it as follows:

“Invocation, Evocation, Possession

These words conjure forth feelings of unease and confusion for many magical practitioners, even today. This book, however, is a fantastic guide intended to shed some much needed light on these often misunderstood subjects. Within these pages, spirit worker and necromancer Naag Loki Shivanath serves as guide and teacher, taking all readers through a sophisticated yet highly practical system of spirit conjuration. If you’ve been interested in learning how to sharpen your spirit senses, safely practice spirit possession, work through spirit invocation and evocation, then this tome is the book you’ve been waiting for.

Whether you are a follower of the more ritualized manifestations of the magical arts or a Witch looking to deepen your practice with the spirit world, A Spirit Work Primer will prove to be a valuable resource that is referenced time and time again.”

This is a book that is not specific to any one Tradition or path, and the Author never shames the Practitioner for the path they walk.

This is an informational guide on Spirit Work.

I will say, and this may be my only critique, the Author brings up Gender in Practice, and the way it’s worded could’ve been better. I don’t know if I agree with associating give and take (in pact work) with the masculine and feminine manifesting.

I know a lot of folks will not align with or resonate with this excerpt and I owe it to those folks, those readers to add this disclaimer.

As a Queer person myself, I will say this should not deter you from the book, but for non-binary folks who completely reject this dichotomy in practice I feel it’s fair to mention. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t.

“The Principle of Gender

At last, we reach the final law, stating: “Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles: gender manifests on all planes.” This law speaks to more than just your anatomy, however. This law speaks to the fact that nothing is without balance, and that everything that is generated or regenerated consists of both masculine and feminine energies: light and dark, fire and water, air and earth, and so on. To see how this principle applies to pact working, consider that for every desire you create a pact for, you have to give something up. You have to balance the scales, or else Spirit will not deliver on their end. This forms the circle of give and take, the manifestation of male and female.”

I agree the scales must be balanced. I agree that in pact working for it to be successful you must sacrifice something; as mentioned above, I don’t agree that it is masculine and feminine manifesting.

All in all, this is an excellent book and should be talked about more.

Most importantly, it should be read.

Lessons in Magick: The Dangers of Shadow Work

 

I have been wanting to write this as a blog or Facebook post for a long, long time; the urge has increased over the last few months, and finally I am sitting down to write after a long hiatus.

I feel like people don’t read blogs anymore. They want bite sized information, they want quick read memes with cute font, they want 30 second Reels and TikToks.

People don’t want to take the time to read anymore, or so it seems.

The thing is, that’s the only way you will learn anything, from me at least.

I am a writer. I bleed on the screen for the world to see and that will never change; I bleed on pages, too.

My pen is my sword, my words are my fire.

Back to the topic at hand, and I am just going to get right to it:

Shadow Work is dangerous, and I wish more people would talk about this.

Don’t take that statement and think I am suggesting avoiding it, no, no.

NO SPIRITUAL BYPASSING ON MY WATCH.

Shadow Work is 100% necessary. The integration of Shadow is 100% necessary.

Did you know that I consulted a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist when creating my Shadow Work Course for The House of Twigs? For reasons I learned from them I didn’t dive too deep when giving assignments because I do not know where someone is on their journey and real, irreparable damage can be done.

I had to be sure that I was not leading folks to danger, or worse to the or a space where they re-traumatize themselves.

I see the term Shadow Work thrown around like it means not a goddamn thing, and I am perplexed because it is NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY.

If you want me to be honest, like really honest: Shadow Work is more dangerous than Evoking Spirits.

Why is this conversation not being had more?!

First, let us define Shadow Work for folks who may not be familiar.

Shadow Work is a Jungian (Carl Jung) Psychological concept that our Persona is who we strive to be and show to the world, but our Shadow is who we are, or at least what makes up most of who we are.

Like the moon has a hidden side so do we.

That is the Shadow.

The hidden aspects of ourselves.

In Jungian Psychology it is our Persona first, our Ego is center, Anima/Animus and Shadow last.

The Spiritual World, not just the Witchcraft Community, have taken this concept and morphed it into their own thing.

Therein lies one of the main problems.

You can’t tweak the concept of Shadow Work.

Regardless of your opinions of Jung himself as a person, his work remains a masterpiece and masterpieces are not altered. They are especially not to be altered to fit some narrative the creator had no intention of it being used for.

Jung was a Psychoanalyst and he did nothing, NOTHING in the shallows; this is deep, deep, heavy work.

Then there is the whole issue that Shadow Work itself is an Egregore and taps into a Collective Unconscious that cannot be altered. There is also the Personal Unconscious.

Archetypes exist in the Shadow and they are: Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Ruler, Creator, Caregiver, Magician, Hero, Rebel, Lover, Jester and the Orphan.

Intense, right?

Shadow Work is alive, it’s constant motion.

Ever changing and evolving as we add more experiences and information to the Collective Unconscious.

It’s not just your Shadows, it’s not just your work.

You are tapping into immense power, and immense emotion.

Then there is the end goal which is the integration process and that is a whirlwind.

Do not diminish these dangers.

Working with Shadow is extremely beneficial, but it brings up a lot of shit that you have buried, things you might not even be aware of (there’s that Unconscious part); it can bring up and stir up Collective emotions that are not even yours to unpack.

There are so many variables, so many potential outcomes.

Be mindful when suggesting Shadow Work as if it’s a walk in the park.

It is not.

Be mindful when venturing down the path to Shadow Work.

It is full of perils.

Know your limitations, find a support system of some kind, and do not push yourself.

Your psyche is powerful and it’s strong, but it is not unbreakable.

Be gentle and fierce. Be aware and alive.

And don’t take yourself too seriously, or your Shadows.

You can laugh, you can love, you can ease your way into the Work and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Lux in Tenebris Lucet

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Adam crafted the Mojo Hands and Protection Salve.

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Road Opener Spell Bottles:

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I chose herbs that are traditionally used in Folk Magick allowing my intentions to come to life.

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Spell Bottles were Ritually consecrated on Tuesday thru Saturday to invoke the powers of Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.

Comes with a 30 inch chain.


Four Thieves Ritual Spray:

This spray was created using traditional ingredients that are used in Four Thieves Vinegar; a concoction around since the 13th century and continued to be documented through the 17th and 19th centuries up until today. Originally it was thought to keep away the Black Death (Bubonic Plague).

Magically this mixture is used to break up negativity, Protection, banishing and heal sickness*. What I love most about this is that it’s used in both Southern Conjure and European Folk Magick.

*Disclaimer: Statements made are not backed by FDA.

I decided to use high quality, organic Essential Oils. As an Herbalist, I sparingly use EOs and understand it’s a personal preference for everyone.

Moon Water base was charged during the Harvest Moon on September 10th charged at peak illumination at 5:58am EST.

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The Mastery Mojo Hand is a “trick of the trade” the Devil shared with me years back. A mojo hand bearing the potency of the Devil, of his own fortune and boon, of protection, and mastery on the road ahead. The Mastery Mojo Hand is a mighty, fast-working mojo hand consecrated with roots of fortune, road opening & haste including Five Finger, Alfalfa, Devil’s Shoestrings, Patchouli, Tobacco, and High John, created and designed to aid you to master yourself & life, surrounding you in formidable protection, aiding you to overcome every obstacle in your path!

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The Book of Radiant Darkness: Part 1

Alice Pike Barney’s “Lucifer”

Preface

What follows is a statement of belief. A mythology. A theology. And a bit of how I got here.

After a lot of thought and consideration I have felt called to address a lack in the Luciferian community, to provide an alternative voice to what often passes for Luciferianism, Satanism, and so called “Left Hand Path” spirituality in the wider occult movement. Over many years of study and practice in which I engaged with many of these types of western “Left Hand” practice and its “scene” I became disillusioned. I walked away in disgust. Yet life has a way of calling us back, of forcing us to rethink. Fires get rekindled. I was called back with renewed vigor, and a deep feeling that what was often being taught was off base. So, I threw myself into study, dug deep into how this kind of spirituality developed, the sources of its language. I have learned much since regarding the roots of Luciferian ideas and the tangled pathways of witchcraft. I have tapped deep into veins of heresy and mysticism. Here I am certainly indebted to some amazing scholars and those who have come before me and presented their own forms and systems of Luciferian ideology, some of whom I agree with and some I most definitely do not! There are many Luciferianisms to be honest.

It is not a dogmatic spirituality.

What I intend to present here is the center of my contribution to an ongoing evolution, to present the core of Luciferianism as I teach it. It is what I refer to, to distinguish it from others and to emphasize its roots and mindset, as Gnostic Luciferianism.

To be sure, the kind of Gnosticism in question here is not the hard dualistic and anti-cosmic sort from which some others draw inspiration but closer in themes to that of the monist Valentinus.  This is a Luciferianism that weaves this together in its web with Hermetic Qabalah and expresses it in the practice of Traditional Witchcraft. I seek to transcend simple reversals of Christian worldviews and approaches that seem to lead only to bloated egos, dark fetishism, and the valorization of trauma and personal toxicity. This is a mature Luciferianism focused on spiritual wholeness and embodied liberation.

What I feel called to do in this text is retell and then interpret Gnostic mythology in a Luciferian manner. But why would I do that?

Firstly, Luciferianism has a long history of incorporating Gnostic ideas, it is easily argued that the practice of witchcraft and the occult in general owes much to Gnostic derived ideas in the Middle Ages.

This is discussed by Jefferey Burton Russell in “Witchcraft in the Middle Ages” and by Richard Cavendish in the later chapters of “The Black Arts. ”

The basic scenario is that the sects and the associated systems used by the Gnostics were largely crushed by the Orthodox Church, however the ideas of these sects survived and filtered into medieval Europe over the centuries in a constant stream of heresy, from the Gnostics and Marcionites to the Paulicians, then Bogomils, then Cathars in southern France, Amalricians, Brethren of the Free Spirit, etc. Everything medieval witches would be accused of is that which all of these heresies were accused of as well. Early witch trials? Many spring up dead in the middle of Cathar country. At some point it is suggested that a reversal occurred, heretics adopting and owning the accusations against them. As Cavendish suggests in regard to the Cathars:

“ It is possible that some of them concluded that if the Catholic God was really the Devil, then the Catholic Devil might be the true God.”
– “The Black Arts”

Did such witches actually exist? It has been suggested that no one was practicing the worship of Lucifer historically, that all those accused were innocent of any sort of occult practice. But this appears overly skeptical. Certainly, if anyone was practicing such things they were not practicing any sort of survival of pagan religion. Murrayism has been debunked since the mid-20th century. So if anyone was practicing such things, what they were worshiping could only be the devil due to sheer process of elimination and the fact that confessions openly and consistently state such. But are any confessions believable? They were extracted often under torture or more often the threat of it. Well, what do we actually know about magic and witchcraft in this period?

We do know that the practice of magic was widespread among the populace. A whole host of charms and spells, herbalism, astrology and other systems of divination that any modern person would now call witchcraft was popular at the time.

Most of this was undoubtedly heretical but still very much Christian.

At every point in history there has been resistance movements to the dominant narratives.

We do know from some of the most credible confessions, especially those extracted without torture, that much of what is accused of occurring are things that could easily be stage managed with things like masks and costumes.

We know that the concoctions known as ‘flying ointments’ in trial records are functional and reproduce the very effects associated with “midnight rides to the Sabbat.” If there were no witches practicing these things, why are there functional ointments that induce these very experiences?

As there are people today and in recorded history who are attracted to such things, based on what we know it seems reasonable to conclude that there were at least a few scattered individuals and groups practicing the worship of Lucifer. We will never know for sure of course as illiterate peasants did not leave us with any records.

Regardless, that folklore and mythology, those ideas, persisted. But put yourself in the shoes for a moment of an LGBTQ person in the Renaissance. You have been raised from birth to believe you are hopelessly damned.

An abomination.

The god of the church does not accept you. Your community would hate you if they knew.

But there is one who will, one who offers power, and a place where you will be accepted. Celebrated.

So, do we really think no one had a good reason to seek out the Devil?

People openly claiming and praising Lucifer start showing up in the 19th century where he is embraced as a figure of rebellion and revolution by poets, artists, occultists, and anarchists.

Gnostic and Luciferian ideas and mythology show up extensively as well in modern Traditional Witchcraft with the prominence given to the folkloric Devil. So retelling Gnostic myth in a Luciferian way both honors the roots of the religion while also appreciating and considering its development in history.

The use of transgression of social norms is a defining feature of this type of spirituality. This is because to experience ultimate reality one must be able to move past one’s social condition. Mind you this is not merely a pursuit of shock value, nor is it any sort of excuse to hate the practitioners of the many diverse Abrahamic faiths, nor is it a vehicle for base hedonism. People whose interest is of this nature should be discouraged. But so long as the Christian faith remains the dominant one even to the point of shaping our very language, Luciferian spirituality will remain relevant. Heresy is always relevant, and if the things said in this text are heresies even to other Luciferians, so much the better!

 

Introduction: The Gnostic Luciferian View

I would like to begin by presenting in a brief point by point manner the basic principles of Gnostic Luciferianism, I will flesh these out over the course of these articles but for now just give them some consideration and invite yourself to consider how your life might be different if they were true.

1. All of reality is One Divine Essence manifesting as particular diverse forms in a massive web of dynamic interdependency. All that manifests may be understood as patterns of energetic vibration, from common objects to spiritual beings.

2. This Divine Essence is experienced as pure consciousness as consciousness pervades all experiential existence.

3. There is no separation between the spiritual and the physical. This Divine unity in diversity is embodied beautifully in Levi’s art depicting Baphomet and in the Hermetic maxim of “That which is above is like that which is below to achieve the wonder of the One thing.”

4. As there is no separation between material and spiritual, scientifically verifiable natural laws are Divine Laws part of the Divine Will, and science a tool for us to better know and refine spiritual knowledge and destroy illusions.

5. The diverse forms the Divine energy manifests as includes ourselves and the beings we variously call specific deities, demons, spirits, etc. The difference between humans and such beings is that deities and other spirits simply exist in other dimensions relative to our own perception.

6. Myths regarding such beings should not be seen as literal truths regarding historical events but as sacred allegories teaching mystical truths.

7. The central beings worshiped in Gnostic Luciferianism are Lucifer and Lilith as complementary manifestations of the Divine, along with various demons, and other spirits who act as spiritual guides and teachers to humanity.

8. Lucifer is the bearer of the Divine Light of Knowledge to mankind. He embodies destruction of illusion, he ignites the Black flame of Wisdom within the Self that burns away our falsehoods, that liberates us from the bonds of our social conditioning and our narratives, allowing us to see reality as it is. He is the dark and radiant Gnostic Christ. He is One with Divine Transcendence.

9. Lilith is the initiator into sensual grounded being, she is defiant sensuality, the dark womb from which all things spring, the embodiment of feminine equality and justice in a world that seeks to enslave, she is emotion and passion, the celebration of the totality of existence. She is the dark and defiant Sophia. She is One with Divine Immanence.

10. In union Lucifer and Lilith embody the goal of genuine Gnosis: Immanent Transcendence. Fully Embodied Liberation.

11. In Gnostic Luciferianism the Demiurge taught by the Church is nothing but the Divine embodiment of ego, the lower self, here defined as that aspect of Self that produces a sense of separate, disconnected identity. In so doing it creates a “world” of illusions that keep us enslaved to it.

12. Lucifer, in relation to the Christian Demiurge, IS Satan in this tradition. He is the preeminent accuser or adversary of that being. The form of the Divine known as the Devil or Satan is nothing more than a particular dark form Lucifer takes in relation to the Demiurge. This is a title he has earned, and that history has associated with him for over one thousand years. And it is purely via that association and identification that no one even knows the name Lucifer.

13. The practice of Gnostic Luciferianism is embodied in the mysteries of Traditional Witchcraft. It embraces Magick as the practice by which the Divine Self enacts its will upon the Divine substance of reality. These practices of witchcraft include spellwork, work with spirits, divination, dreamwork, and herbalism.

14. The practice of Gnostic Luciferianism embraces the use of acts that transgress, or break accepted social rules regarding spirituality. This is done for a few reasons:

a) coming from a nondual perspective where all things are considered Divine, even that which disgusts, the liberated individual is free to spontaneously engage in actions without socially constructed shame.

b) such acts are ritually engaged to intentionally break social conditioning and identification of self with socially conditioned narratives.

c) engaging in acts that “blaspheme” the practice of a dominant spiritual institution allows the initiate to tap into the reservoirs of power those institutions contain and transmute them to their purpose.

15. The morality of Gnostic Luciferianism flows directly from its nondual understanding of the world. Since all beings are Divine whether they recognize it or not, and all are enacting the unfolding of an interdependent process, one who recognizes their own Divine nature acts accordingly. One does not act according topredetermined “thou shalt nots” or under threat of eternal punishment, nor does one act from a place of egoistic reaction, but freely responding, judging the rightness of action in specific context from a place of fullness and security that is the only place from which genuine compassion, love, and kindness can flow.

When it comes down to it, stripped to its most basic essence, Luciferianism is an invitation to experience the fullness of your being, of the overwhelming beauty and terror of existence. It says, “You are and always have been utterly Divine, whole, and perfect right from the start, you need only taste and see.”

Accordingly, it is and must be an an unflinching confrontation with all that dares
blind you to that truth, to all that conceals, so that our fullness can show itself in its
glory.

To eat the fruit of the serpent is to tangibly “bite into” reality, to fully engage
and savor, to fully see and say yes to who you are. It’s not a one-time thing either, after
all how many times do we lose sight of ourselves and our path and must choose to taste
again?

What is it in your life that is preventing you from tasting that fruit every day?

What if you just stop for a moment, every so often, and listen to that invitation?

 

 

Meanwhile, what, on the other hand, is NOT Gnostic Luciferianism? We totally reject:

…vulgar or “hyper-” individualism. That is any sort of individualism that places the individual separate from or above their social context, that rejects any sense of social obligation to other Divine beings.

… long debunked “Might makes Right” and “social Darwinist” philosophies. Such are not scientific and are simply a defense of unjust status quos and thus hold no liberatory power.

… any form of bigotry. A religion of liberation is utterly incompatible with any sort ideology that rationalizes the oppression of entire groups of people, it always stands with the oppressed.

Next, we will dig deeper and present a Gnostic Luciferian mythology and its implications.

Stay tuned….

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:

I AM NOT A DOCTOR

I AM NOT A PHARMACIST

Please seek the appropriate healthcare professionals to answer medical/drug-related questions. This information is for knowledge purposes only and not meant to replace any advice or care provided to you by your Health Care Team Providers. ANY INFORMATION WITHIN ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ LITERARY WORKS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE NOR SHOULD IT REPLACE ANY MEDICAL SERVICES. ‘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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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.

Musings of a Modern Mystic: Quiet Observations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will all fall together.