E is for Elephant Shit

I used to be in a terrible relationship. When it came time to break up with this guy, I shared the following story.

“Life is like a big race. We start at one end of the track when we are born and we eventually cross the finish line into death. Along the way, the Universe has hidden treasure for us to find. This treasure includes friends, family, romantic partners, careers, hobbies, passions….However, the Universe feels that we only appreciate what we work for, so before time began, the Universe allowed a herd of wild elephants to walk our path first. Unfortunately for us, these elephants left steaming piles of excrement in our path.”

“This is really where people are separated into two categories. Some people are side steppers, while others are stick holders. Stick holders, walk along their path and when they come across the elephant poop, they poke and prod at it with their stick. They fret about how hard their life is and waste so much time. These people seldom find any of their treasure.”

“Then we have side steppers. Sometimes, they get distracted by the elephant shit, but will eventually side step around it and move on with their life. These people find all of their treasure.”

“With this in mind, I strive to be a side stepper and you,” I began.

At this point, my then boyfriend interrupted to explain that he knew I was calling him a stick holder.

“No”, I said. “You’re just elephant shit.”

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D is for Drawing Down the Sun

Mighty Ones, allow my words to echo through the planes.

I call to the God in His many aspects.

I open myself as a vessel for my Lord to shine through me.

I am gentle and ferocious.

I am both, for He is both.

I am the sun, the seed, the stag, and the Hunter.

Within my body are the stars in the night sky.

I am Apollo, Herne, Osiris, and Adonis.

I am the God

 

Excerpt from my Book of Shadows

D is for Drawing Down the Moon

Mighty Ones, allow my words to echo through the planes.

I call to the Goddess in Her many aspects.

I open myself as a vessel for my Lady to shine through me.

I am beautiful and terrifying.

I am both, for She is both.

I am the moon, the tree, and the ocean.

Within my body is the Earth itself.

I am Diana, Hecate, Isis, and Tara.

I am the Goddess.

Excerpt from my Book of Shadows.

C is for Curse

“If you cannot hex, you cannot heal.  If you cannot curse, you cannot cure.” – Z. Budapest

This quote has been on my mind lately as I have been reviewing the ethics of my personal practice. As I am not for all intents and purposes a Wiccan, but rather a Witch, the Wiccan Rede, while meaning a lot to me, is rather a helpful suggestion than a strict law.

Live and let live is typically my approach to life. I seek to have a peaceful life, and want others to find that as well. However, others are not so agreeable with this sentiment. I try to look at my magical ethics, as I would my everyday ethics. For example, if someone spread a hurtful rumor about me, I would probably confront them and have a conversation, rather than punching them in the face. Any magic that was worked in this situation should follow suit. On the other hand, if someone broke into my house and threatened violence against me, I would not hesitate to grab my gun, stand my ground, and fire a few rounds into their face if need be. I guess the point I am trying to make is that I won’t do anything on the astral that I wouldn’t be willing to do the equivalent of on the physical.

I think that magic mirrors Nature. Sometimes the rain is gentle and nourishes the land. Other times, it’s a hurricane that destroys everything in its path. With that in mind, I look at hexes to be an ugly, but sometimes necessary part of life. There are times when turning the other cheek doesn’t work. I also think that as magical practitioners, we are kind of disrespecting the power of magic by letting ourselves be victimized. Going back to the gun example, my brother bought me a gun when I moved to a smaller town with a history of religious intolerance. He taught me how to operate the gun safely and how to care for it. If I didn’t use this knowledge if I was put in a position where my life depended on it, it was be a slight towards the care and concern my brother showed when he taught me. I think the Goddess would feel the same.

I am not condoning hexing whenever someone slights you, just to be clear. I just believe that as a magical practitioner, the idea of curses should be one that is considered under extreme circumstances and above all we should use our talents to prevent ourselves from being victimized.

In her blog, Aepril Schaile tackles the concept very eloquently. She says,

“A Witch who is worth her salt must be able to travel into the Underworld and deal with the Shades and Shadows who live there…Part of the job of the Queen of Darkness is the ability to curse. It’s just a part of the deal. We must have the balls to use this power sometimes. Not a lot. Not every time someone gives us a hard time. But when it counts, we need to know what we are doing. And we can’t be guilty or ashamed about it. It needs to be owned.”

You can find her blog post here – http://www.aeprilsastrology.com/2012/04/witch-who-cannot-hex-cannot-heal.html

C is for Cleansing

As a (more than slight) empath, I tend to be (more than) a little OCD about spiritual cleansing. I thought the tricks that I use were commonplace in the Magical community, but after a discussion with a friend, I thought I would share a few of my tricks on here.

Tip #1 – Bath products

I work in customer service and the work environment can often be negative. In addition, negative energies (or sometimes just foreign energies) can be picked up from anywhere. Like most people, when I’ve had a long day, I shower almost immediately upon getting home, especially after a rough day. A way I have found to combine spiritual and physical cleansing is by adding sea salt, grapefruit oil, and tea tree oil to my body wash and shampoo. Sea salt is the quintessential cleansing component in many forms of magic. Grapefruit oil is another cleansing component, plus is can relieve migraines and stress. Finally, tree tree oil is magically aligned with strength. It is also helpful to find bath products that already have a bit of the oils in them or at least the fragrance.  You can even make a ritual of the mixing by lighting a few candles and asking your Patron to bless them.

Tip 1.5 – This is also great for showering in the morning to get rid of any astral gunk you pick up while dreaming.

Tip #2 – Carpet Powder

There are a lot of commercial powders that you can sprinkle on your carpet, then when you vacuum it up, it makes your house smell fresh. As a pet owner, I purchase these a lot….since my animal can be gross sometimes (but those stories are for a different post). When I buy the powder, I dump into into an old coffee canister. Into the canister, I also mix seal salt, dried sage, dried rosemary, and dried thyme. I close the canister and give it a good shake. Now when I sprinkle this on the carpet, I am purifying the room as well.

Tip #2.5 I also mix sea salt with my laundry detergent.

Tip #3- Sage in the Garage

I have an attached garage that I park in every night. If I have an intense day, I smudge myself with some sage that I keep readily available in the garage before I enter my home.

Tip #4 – Crystal Trap

I love clear quartz crystals since they are a magical catchall. I have several medium sized pieces that I purchased from a local pagan shop that I keep in different places. One rests on my nightstand, another in my car, and yet another on my desk at work. I also have one that stays in my suitcase when I travel. I bless the crystals with the intent of being a negative energy trap. Usually, just being in the vicinity of the crystal does the trick. When the energy is a little too much for that, holding the crystal and mentally pushing the energy into it does the trick. Once a month or so, I gather up all the crystals and soak them in (you guessed it!) salt water to empty them out so to speak…

So these are my tips. I hope you find them useful.

B is for Bitch Greyhound

“Cunning and art he did not lack
But Aye, her whistle would fetch him back…”

“O, I shall go into a hare
With sorrow and sighing and mickle care
And I shall go in the Horned One’s name
Aye, till I be fetched’ hame.”

“-Hare, take heed of a bitch greyhound
Will harry thee all these fells around,
For here come I in our Lady’s name
All but for to fetch thee hame”

-Excerpt from Midsummer’s Day Ritual found in Creating Circles and Ceremonies: Rituals for All Reasons and Seasons by Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart.

The ritual that the above quote is taken from consists of men and women chanting alternating verses of the chant. It details the the transformation of the participants into animals trying to escape/overtake the other. It it taken from the myth of Ceridwen and Gwion Bach.

In the myth, Gwion was forced by the Goddess to stir her potion. The potion was intended to make her ugly son Morfran wise (in order to make up for his appearance). According to the myth, the first three drops of the potion would confer this wisdom. The rest of the potion would prove fatal. While stirring, three drops of the potion splashed onto Gwion’s thumb. Of course, he immediately put his thumb in his mouth and received the power of the potion (Of course, he did, otherwise there would be no myth…).  Knowing that the Goddess would be angry, Gwion fled. It didn’t take long for Cerridwen to realize what happened and in turn she chased after Gwion. To escape, Gwion used his newly received wisdom of magic to turn himself into a hare. In turn, Ceridwen turned herself into a greyhound. Gwion transformed himself into an fish, so Ceridwen followed suit by making herself an otter. This continued for a bit…until Gwion made himself a grain of corn and Ceridwen in the form of a hawk ate him up and became pregnant with Gwion…The story goes on, but I will let you research that yourself.

For me, this story explains one of the greatest power a Witch can master; the power of shapeshifting. Now, I don’t mean literal shapeshifting, I mean the ability to merge with the inner power of something. For example, when we say that we “shall go into a hare,” what we are saying is that we are attuning ourselves with the energies of the hare. The same thing happens with a Witch aspects a archetype of the God or Goddess. When we do this, we are merging ourselves with another power and allowing ourselves to make use of the attributes that other power has.

This myth also speaks of transformation, another great power of a Witch. When we work magic, we are transforming our world in accordance with our will. In many ways, the practice of magic, transforms that Witch.

B is for Brooms and Brickdust

    The candles are creating little pools of black wax on my table as I gather my supplies. Three yucca brooms, dust made of five red bricks, iron filings, dragon’s blood resin, and a vial of sunflower oil.

    I feel the Circle spin around me as I place the iron filings and dragon’s blood into the vial of oil. With a quick shake, I mix the oil and bless it the name of Ares, God of War. With my hand over the dish of dust, I invoke the names of Deimos and Phobos, the son’s of Ares, who represented Fear and Panic.

   The Circle spins faster as I push it’s boundaries to surround my house. I anoint the brooms with the oil. As I hang them over the entrances to my home, I ask that Ares declares war on anyone who walks beneath the broom who would cause me harm. I sprinkle the dust over the thresholds of the door way and every window and ask the son’s of Ares to cause fear and panic in the minds of anyone who crossed into my home uninvited.

With a clap of my hands the Circle is released  and my spell is cast.

– Joe (spell date 8/23/13)