Soul Alignment

My alarm goes off much too early. I hit snooze a few more times than necessary. When I finally have the fortitude to get out of bed, I’m frantic. I rush to bathroom to shower, shave, brush my teeth, and dress for work. The strength of my footsteps causes the bell on my altar to brush against the tiny cauldron. Though soft, the ringing makes me pause.

“You’re running late” the Talker says to me. I nod, knowing He’s right.

C’mon, we have a little bit of time” Fetch argues. Conflicted, I pause.

It’s important, I know, but so is work” Talker reasons. I stay, firmly planted, in front of my altar.

“Look, no one gets to work before you anyway. If you are ten minutes later than normal, no one will care” Fetch counters. I smile a bit, knowing Fetch is right.

“You’re the one who wanted more sleep. This is your fault” Talker lectures.

“We wouldn’t have needed more sleep if you didn’t keep us up worrying about hiring the next round of new hires” Fetch antagonizes.

I stand, unable to move, as two parts of me bicker back and forth. Then, I hear a small whisper that breaks the silence.

“Back to your corners children” says the blue rose above me.

At once, I stand before the altar. I close my eyes and I feel the blue and red roots sprout from my feet. With my first breath, the roots break through the floor beneath me. With the second, they break through the concrete foundation of my house. The third, they are digging through the earth. The fourth, deeper now, into the semi-liquid rock of the earth. The fifth, deeper still. Finally, at breath six, my roots have reached the core of liquid metal.

I pull up the energy of the rocks through my roots. I am filled with the strength of the earth. I am grounded; supported.

Still breathing, I fill my lungs with the energy around me. Talker tells Fetch to cultivate this energy in order to bring us into alignment. Fetch listens. Fetch creates a well. I breathe and breathe until this well begins to spill over.

When I can hold no more, I drop my hands to my side and tilt my head back. I exhale, hard, sending a whirlwind of energy to the flower above me; my God Soul. The flower blooms and sends a rain of energy over me. At once, I feel Talker, Fetch, and God Soul come together in unison.

“We are three, who speak as one”[i]

[i] I learned of this practice from Betwixt and Between: Exploring the Faery Tradition of Witchcraft by Storm Faerywolf. You can find him online at http://faerywolf.com/

 

Resource – Self Sabotage to Self Love

Self improvement and self love goes hand in hand with magical practice, so I wanted to share something. I’ve mentioned my bestie Jamie in other posts and I wanted to share something she is hosting. Jamie is an amazing coach and wants to offer her services with a free webinar on overcoming self sabotage.  

Things to Expect When You Dedicate Yourself to Magickal Training

At its basic level, magick is based on the principle of cause and effect. Although most practitioners of magick understand this basic concept, some overlook the effect magickal training will have in other aspects of their lives. In my personal experience, there are several things you can expect when you begin to study magick.

  1. Relationships may change or dissolve

The goal of any magickal tradition is to help the adherent discover their true will. The practice of magick will lead the practitioner to self-possession, the state of knowing and accepting exactly who you are with the strength to follow your true will. When this happens, the relationships you have with people whose intentions may be crossed with your own, will naturally change or fall away.

The same is true for toxic relationships. Once you begin to see that the relationship is holding you back from achieving your highest good, you will be more than happy to part ways with toxic people.

The reverse is also true. You will begin to notice traits in others that resonate with your most authentic self and these relationships will flourish.

 

  1. Your emotions might be all over the place

Magickal practice, spiritual development, and psychic expansion will open up your chakras and other energy centers in ways you may not have experienced before. This may result in some mood swings at first.

For example, one moment someone may disrespect you, and the fight or flight instinct of your root chakra coupled with the communication center in your throat may cause you to defend yourself vehemently. The next moment you may happen by the final moments of  Undercover Boss where the CEO of a company gives an employee a scholarship, and you’ll burst into tears. (Hypothetically of course – Okay, yeah this happened me).

To counteract this, try chakra balancing techniques and breathing through any knee-jerk emotional reactions.

  1. Your intuition will be on point 

The more you practice magick, the better your sense of intuition will become. That small voice inside your head gets a bit louder, and that gut feeling gets a bit stronger. There have been times since I’ve rededicated myself to spiritual practice that I’ve wanted to consult my Tarot cards or doing some scrying, but found that my inner voice would lead me down the right path.

This can be a double-edged sword though. For me, my intuition has become a precise bullshit detector. Any time someone lies to me or omits information, I get a little tap on my psychic shoulder. Sometimes it has led to me getting into an argument with a friend, but overall it has allowed me to open the door to and long overdue conversation with a loved one.

  1. Your magickal proficiency will increase

You know what they say, practice makes perfect. The same goes for magick. As cited by my few “No Frills-Magick” posts, I’ve lost the need to full blown magickal practice. In fact, I have found that when I step to my altar for ritual, I can ground and center, cast a circle, and align my energies with a few breaths, rather than with the intense visualization, words of power, or ritual actions.

You may experience times in which the very act of planning a magickal working will be enough to manifest your goal.

  1. You’ll experience a mind-body-spirit alignment

The more time you dedicate to spirituality, the lines between your different parts will blur. You’ll start to understand how your mind and body are as magickal as your spirit.

For me, this manifested in a few ways. First, I’ve become more regimented in taking care of my body. I’ve been better about eating clean food, spending more time being active, and have started the process to quit smoking. In regards to strengthening my mind, I’ve started spending more time painting and reading than I have in the past.

By honoring all parts of my being, I am becoming more connected with life as a whole.

  1. Those in need will seek you out

I believe that as you grow spiritually, you become a beacon. People will recognize your connectedness and come to you for help. These may be people you know or even complete strangers. They may need advice or simply need someone to listen. The important thing here is to listen to your intuition and allow yourself to be open to their needs.

  1. You’ll require more alone time

Until recently, I’ve needed to be surrounded by people constantly. There were times I would go out every night. Sometimes, I’d even invite friends out to the bar, but not really talk to them. I just needed someone there.

Alone time has become a huge priority for me. I attribute this to self-discovery that comes with magickal practice. The more time you spend growing spiritually, the more you understand yourself. This understanding ultimately leads to you enjoying your own company. This alone time lets you recharge and take care of yourself. It reminds me of an old Wiccan adage I read (I think in Marion Weinstein’s Earth Magick), “You cannot draw from an empty well.”

  1. Your priorities will change

 

This is related to #7. As you get closer to understanding your true will, you will start to prioritize things differently. You’ll begin to see what’s truly important and arrange your life around these things.

For me, this presented itself as a need to say no to things that I hated. It seems simple enough, but I felt that there were things that I had to do. By looking at what I really wanted from life, I could see that some of these things could be easily overlooked. For example, if a friend is having a party, I don’t feel obligated to go. If I’d rather stay home and veg out on the couch, I simply say no. No guilt. No regrets. Just focusing on what I need and want to do.

  1. You might experience a dark night of the soul

A great philosopher (okay, a video game Kingdom Hearts) once said: “the closer you get to the light, the bigger your shadow becomes.” This is totally true. When you look at your life through the lens of spiritual development, you shine the proverbial light on the things you usually hide from everyone (yourself included).

Once these things come to light, you might experience some hardships. You may even feel disconnected from your deities. This is normal. Keep the faith and keep up with your daily practice. The purpose of spiritual practice is to become a more complete person, and these hardships are part of that process.

  1. You will understand that this is just the first step of your journey

Spiritual development and magickal practice are  lifelong commitments. When you begin your practice, you want to learn it all at once. You want to become Dumbledore, but that’s not how it works. You have to start slow and build upon your practice slowly. In fact, you might get far along your path, but realize that the path doesn’t suit you. Even if you start and restart several times throughout your life, you will get closer to your destination each time.

Remember, it’s okay to be Ron Weasley.

No-Frills Magick – Banishing

Since my last post was super sad, I thought I’d go back to the No Frills Magick topic. This one has more “frills” than the previous post, but not by much.

I previously posted about the Kala rite as a way to remove a self-inflicted barrier. This spell is something that can be done to remove either a self-inflicted or outside influence, although I tend to use it for the latter.

First, identify what influence you want to remove. Then create a symbol for this influence. You may choose to create a sigil. To do this, write out the influence you want to remove in as much detail as possible. Then remove any repeating letters. Next, remove the vowels. Finally, take the remaining letters and arrange them into a witchy-looking symbol.

Next, ground and center. When you feel connected to the Universe/Deity/Higher Self/Whatever, take a deep breath. Using a skin-safe marker or pen, draw the symbol on the bottom of your foot. Then, go about your day.

As you continue through your mundane life, your subconscious will know that you are literally walking on the issue. By keeping the issue “under foot,” you will lessen its influence.

Repeat as needed.

Honoring my Beloved Dead – Charles

Tomorrow marks 12 years since I arguably the worst news of my life. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was just after dark and I had just gotten back from having a few drinks with my friends to celebrate the 4th. I had only been home long enough to take a quick shower and relax on the couch. I heard someone pull into my driveway and I got up to answer the door. It was my Aunt Diane and my Uncle Carl. I’ve never been close to my mother’s side of the family, which made it super weird that they would show up unexpectedly.

I answered the door and they came inside without saying anything. We sat on the couch and they informed me that my older brother Charles had committed suicide. The world stopped. I understood what they had said, but it didn’t feel real. I reached for my phone to call my family, but my aunt told me that they already knew. Apparently, my parents sent them over to tell me since they didn’t want me to hear the news over the phone. I made the call anyway and my parents were too distraught to talk. I hung up and said goodbye to my aunt and uncle.

I walked out onto my back porch and lit up a cigarette. My mind raced with speculations about what happened. You see, my brother was a toxic person. He had been in and out of jail my entire life. He struggled with addiction, had severe mental health issues, and was barely able to hold on any semblance of structure or balance.

Towards the end of his life, my brother had made steps to better his life. He was attending college, had a steady job, and was about to propose to his girlfriend. When his girlfriend broke up with him, he lost his grip on his sanity.

I remember receiving a call about a month before his death from Charles. He didn’t have a particular reason for the call, he just wanted to catch up. I was 19 at the time, not that this matters, but I was extremely selfish during this period of my life. I didn’t have time to talk to him. I don’t remember what I was doing or where I was going, but to me, it was more important than talking to my brother. I promised that I would come visit him soon, but made my definite plans. I hung up and never talked to him again.

For several years, the 4th of July has always been a terrible day. I vacillated between staying home looking through pictures of my brother and mourning my loss or surrounding myself with friends and drinking myself numb. The sound of fireworks still ignite a level of anxiety matched by nothing. Over time, I’ve gotten better about this day. This time of year is still emotional and I sometimes snap at people around me, but I have a better outlook.

So today, I honor my brother Charles. On my altar, I place his picture, a fishing lure, and a can of Budweiser. I pray that he has finally found rest.

Charles, my brother. Thank you for your guidance, protection, and friendship.

Blessed may you be in this world and all others.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, every day. You can call them at 1-800-273-8255 or chat with someone online by going here.

No Frills Magick – Finding Lost Items

In my last post, I spoke about the practical, no-frills way I approach magick. This week presented me with the opportunity to “practice what I preach.” My friend Jamie has an amazing job that affords her the opportunity to work remotely. She has taken full advantage of this by spending the last several months travelling to the Czech Republic and South Africa. Jamie was home for three months, but left to continue her adventures on Sunday.  Sadly, Jamie posted that her luggage, pretty much everything she owns in the world, was lost during her flight to Prague. Nothing a little magick can’t handle.

I asked Jamie to describe something that was in her suitcase and she mentioned her travel altar, a small box carved with the image of Nuit on the front. She posted a picture of it in our study group when we were discussing altar creation. I studied the picture until I could visualize the box easily.

I sat at my altar, lit a single black candle, and asked the Goddess to guide me on my journey. I visualized the box in my hands. I felt the smoothness of the wood, the rough edges of the etching, and the power of her ritual items pulsating through the wood like a heartbeat. Once I knew I had the visualization “solid,” I looked around me and saw that I was standing in an airport in a small office just a few feet away from a row of luggage carousels.

I allowed the visualization of the airport to fade away, but kept my mental grip on the box firm. I then visualized my friend Jamie. I saw her standing before me. The relief of getting her belongings back washing over here. I handed her the box and allowed the vision of her and the box to fade from my mind.

I brought my awareness back to my room. I grounded the excess energy into a piece of hematite, thanked the Goddess for her help, and extinguished the candle.

Yesterday, Jamie posted that her suitcase was found and would be delivered to her. Sure, it’s extremely plausible that this would have happened without magickal intervention, but I’d like to think I helped clear the path for it to happen.

Magick is Seldom Spectacular Because It Seldom Needs to Be

This quote from Donald Tyson has been the tagline for my blog since I first started it several years ago. It perfectly summed up my view of magick. I repeated it this past week when talking to a friend about magick. My friend asked about my magickal technique and was surprised to see that it wasn’t as theatrical as he expected them to be.

To be fair, I’ve done my fair share of theatrical magick. Once, the coven I used to work with mixed sulfur with incense and pushed our fears into the mixture. When we “sacrificed our fears to the cauldron of the Goddess (a cauldron of hot charcoal)” the blast from the sulfur lit up the night. It was amazing! Another time, I littered my backyard hundreds of tea lights and bowls of dry ice for a full moon ritual. It was awful to clean up, but it created a magickal ritual space.

As I have gotten more comfortable with my practice, my reliance on the proverbial bells and whistles of magick has decreased. That doesn’t mean that I don’t use them, but most of my magick is based in simple breathing exercises and visualization.

This works for me specifically because the magick I use most often is for practical purposes. Since most of these things happen when I’m away from my altar, I have to rely on the most important magickal tool, my mind. When I need to avoid traffic, I imagine that everyone else on the road take an alternate path. When I’m having an issue with a coworker, I charge a packet of sugar with loving thoughts and add it to my coffee. When I need the weather to cooperate with my plans, I simply pray for it to change.

For more on how to use magick on the fly, you can check out Instant Magick by Christopher Penczak.