31 January 2013

Spell for Courage and Protection

Things have been a little funtastic in my life of late - and by funtastic I mean fucking stressful.  There comes a time for everyone when you just can't accept any more crap and you finally stand up for what you know is right.  Sometimes it's saying what other people can't or pointing out painful flaws in a plan someone is really attached to.  Other times it's calling out a bully or manipulator for what they're doing and making them look in a mirror.  Whatever the situation is, it's damned uncomfortable.  It's necessary, there can be no growth without discomfort, but it's not much fun.  It's been one of those weeks.

One of the big problems with really, deeply pissing someone off is that, whether they realize it or not, they will start throwing negative energy at you.  Most of the time this isn't a conscious thing, but it's happens anyway.  It can act a lot like a hex if you don't do something about it.  Some people might mirror it back to the sender, but in my experience that just makes things worse. 

Sometimes that negative energy can hit so strong you start to doubt the courage of your convictions.  You might know that everything you've said is true and needed to be brought out into the open, but it might get so hard that you start to wuss out.  Of course it's hard, doing the right thing is never easy.  Fighting for what you believe is hard, but it's necessary and worth it. However, when you're neck deep in psychic bullshit it's hard to remember that.

Here's a little spell to help you keep the courage of your convictions and to help you persevere in the face of adversity.

Spell for Courage and Protection

Firey Wall of Protection Oil
red candle
purple candle
small carnelian bead
devil's shoestring
cinnamon chips
tonka bean
high john the conqueror root
King Solomon incense powder
cotton bag

 Assemble all the components of the spell on your altar.  Call in any dieties you normally work with, or any protective forces you're friendly with. Explain your situation and why you need courage and protection.  Don't blame the other people, it just sours the spell.  Keep your intent positive and focus on what you need to accomplish that requires courage.  Explain this goal fully.  Focus on that goal and channel that energy into your spell components.

Put the herbs, carnelian, and incense powder into the cotton bag.  Tie the bag shut using a triple knot and then tie the strings around the bag to create a little package.

Then anoint the candles with the firey wall oil.  Put the red candle in its holder.  Light the purple candle from a tea light and then light the red candle with the purple candle.  Then set the purple candle in its holder.
Let the candles burn all the way down until they burn out (I set them in an iron cauldron filled with salt so they can do so safely).  Thank any deities or spirits you called on earlier and bid them farewell.  Now carry the bag with you until the situation resolves.

24 January 2013

Lakeview in the Fog

If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know I spend a fair amount of time up in Lakeview Cemetery.    It's old, beautiful, and haunted by only the best people ;)  Last week Seattle got hit with some fairly epic fog and I managed to get up to Lakeview for a little photography.  Here are some of my best shots.  Enjoy :)

23 January 2013

Shadow Magick for Imbolc

 Imbolc is coming up in just a few weeks.  It seems to have come up out of nowhere this year.  Maybe it's just getting older, but the last twelve months have flown by faster than any other time in my life. I kind of feel like I'm caught up in a great wind that's flying past me that I can't quite grab hold of.  Rather appropriate for this time of year.

One of the old Scottish tales of this time of year tells about the Callieach fighting tooth and nail to retain her power and to continue the rule of winter.  Of course, time turns on and winter must eventually fade and yield its power to the coming spring.  Seasons must change in their never ending cycle and so must we.  Imbolc is the perfect time to do a working to help yourself see what you are desperately hanging onto, what things whose time has come you cling to.  We've all had times when we've held onto an idea that's died - the ideal that can never be achieved, the job that wouldn't really make you happy, the untenable relationship, etc.  It's hard to let go of something you've made precious, sometimes its so hard you can't even see it.

Spell To See

Find a private place where you won't be disturbed.  Bring a small black candle, some incense (I prefer dragon's blood or copal), and a small bowl of water (the bowl should be reflective - either silver or black, and should have only a cup or so of water in it).

Begin by turning of the lights in the room.  Cast a circle if you wish (lately I've been doing most of my work without one) and light your incense.  If you have a particular deity or powers that you work with, ask it/them to help.

Sit down in front of your altar.  Make yourself comfortable enough that you can sit for a while, but not so comfortable that you'll get drowsy (I find it helpful to keep the room just a bit colder than normal).  Think for a few minutes about what you really want to accomplish.  Think about what you're actively doing to make that happen.  Out loud, say exactly what you're trying to do and state that you want to see the situation clearly and want to really SEE the effects of your actions and whether or not they're actually doing what you want them to.  Speak from the heart.  The most important thing is that you say what you really mean and that there's some emotional weight behind it.

Light your candle and place it somewhere where it will indirectly light your bowl of water (you shouldn't be able to see the candle flame when you look in the bowl).  Hold your hands over the bowl of water and concentrate on your goal.

Say, "Dark waters help me to see.  Show me the things that are hidden from me."

Open your mind and spend 5-10 minutes gazing into the water.  Pay attention to any shapes you see in the water and any ideas that come into your mind.  I find it helpful to cup my hands around, but not quite touching, the bowl.

After a few minutes you should get the sense of completion, that you've gotten all that you're going to get from the experience.  Then drink the water.

Give thanks to anything you've called on and make some small offering to the powers that be (I like to reserve just a bit of the scrying water with a drop or two of essential oil added for this). 

You might not get a clear answer right during the spell itself, but fragments should float to the top of your mind over the next few days.

Memories of Imbolcs past.

09 January 2013

The Phoenix Theater

Last Friday I had the opportunity to explore the haunted Phoenix Theater in Edmonds.  A friend of mine emailed me saying that she'd met some people who were part of the theater and they were interested in getting my take on what was going on metaphysically.  I love exploring haunted spaces of every ilk, but this one was rather special to me because of my history with the space.

The Phoenix Theater is in Firdale Village in Edmonds, not five minutes from the house where I grew up and where my parents still live.  In fact, the space that is now the theater used to be the Pioneer School, where I went to first grade.  After that it became a dance studio - where I took ballet for about a year.  Firdale Village is where I would walk as a child to spend my allowance.  I wish I could say the place was creepy even then, but it really wasn't.  However, I was quite intrigued to be able to find out what happened to the space I spent so much time in as a kid.

We got into the theater around 7:30pm and warmed frozen fingers in the lobby.  My friends wanted to get my take on the space before they told me anything about what folks had been experiencing, so we went straight back into the theater area to see what I would find. 

As soon as I walked in I felt an entity up in the light booth come out an hover in the upper seats.  I asked if people generally felt like there was somebody following them or watching them from the area just below the light booth.  Apparently this is the primary claim in the theater. 

 It seems there's a ghost that likes to watch what people are doing in that upper area.  He seemed harmless enough and I said so.  I got the impression this was a ghost who simply enjoyed the energy that buzzes around in an artistic environment.

 The next thing I felt was an oddity just off the stage.  I kept getting an image in my head of people tripping in a certain spot.  I went over to check it out an asked if people tripped or felt vertigo in the area.  According to the folks we were with, this is the only area in the entire theater where people tend to trip.  Score 2 for the witch ;)
I got the impression that this was an area where energy had a tendency to pool, rather than flowing naturally.  While not inherently a bad thing, stagnant energy is a lot like standing water - it has a tendency to rot the things around it and can attract nastiness.  I told them they needed to either find a way to improve the energy flow or to start grounding it on a regular basis.  I suggested setting a bowl of salt there every once in a while to help clean things out.

That was really all that was going on in there, but for such a small space it was enough to give the place interesting energy.  We spent the rest of the evening talking about ghosts, energy, and reading tarot.  It's quite nice to go blind into a space, say what you feel, and have it match what other people experience - quite validating.  As a bonus I got to show off my tarot skills ;) All in all a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  I can't wait to see a production there and get to know the ghost a little better.

06 January 2013

House Cleansing and Protection for Special Events

I love having people over for food, stories, and maybe a little magick ;)  I love it when my home is filled with laughter and smiling faces.  I don't love it when a guest tracks metaphysical muck all throughout my house.  A few years ago I had a Samhain party and someone I knew brought someone I didn't know into my home - someone with an attachment.  Well, surrounded by a bunch of tasty magickians that attachment decided to wait until one of my guests was vulnerable and try to attack her.  It waited until everyone else had gone (this friend was spending the night) and it tried to attack her in her sleep.  The standard protections I had up kept it from doing her any real harm but it scared the living daylights out of her.  When I found out the next day I felt awful that my protections hadn't prevented it and kicked myself for not acting on my instincts and booting the SOB that brought it when I first felt something was wrong.

As you may imagine, I've changed up the protections on my home since that event.  Now I have a much stricter protection ritual that I use before people come over.

House Cleansing and Protection for Special Events

Begin with a thorough mundane cleaning of the house and a good smudging.

Set the energy in your home to the energy you want at your festivities by playing appropriate music (the vibrations of the right music can do amazing things!), decorating, etc.

Create and energetic "shower" that people must pass through in order to enter your home.  You can do this by decorating your door frame with cleansing herbs, charged streamers, etc.  Charge the area to cleanse all guests as they come into your space and to bind them to keep their crap to themselves and not leave it - if they bring something negative they've got to take it home.  You can also do this by handing guests charged party favors as they enter.  For example, you can hand each guest a small bag with a sprig of rosemary, a small onyx, and piece of rose quartz "for luck." 

Before your guests are set to arrive, but after you've set up, go to your altar and make declaration of intent for your party.  Verbally affirm your intent for the gathering, what you hope to accomplish, and how.  Speak any rules for your guests behavior, and exactly how you want your wards to function during the event.  Be sure to include a statement of what happens when someone violates your rules - e.g., "If anyone coming to this event intends harm to me, mine, or any of my guests they shall not gain entrance here.  Anyone bringing harm into my home shall be blocked and forbidden."  Then set out an offering of the very best of your food and drinks on your altar to ensure a fun and festive event with as little drama as possible.

Enjoy your gathering and be a good host.

Do a thorough cleansing of your home as soon afterwards as possible.  You may need to pass out on the couch immediately after the party wraps up, but do this as soon as you are able.  I like to go through with smudge and my tsingshas.

Make an offering of thanks at your altar.