23 September 2013


Sometimes life is a grand panoply of joy and all the world is your friend.  Sometimes life kicks you in the face.  Ah well.  Into every life a little rain must fall and into the lives of witches so must the need to bind. 

Binding, of course, is the magickal act of restraining someone or something against a particular kind of behavior.  It can be used to good effect to bind oneself against bad habits.  However, most of the time binding is used to restrain someone (an enemy) or something (usually a harmful spirit) from messing with you or your loved ones. 

Binding is one of those ethical grey areas that people often fight about.  Some say it's unethical to bind anything against exercising its own free will in any way.  Others blithely cast bindings any time someone annoys them.  I take the middle course.  My guideline is to never bind someone or something in a way in which I would not be willing to be bound.  For example, I have no problem binding someone against maliciously telling lies because I wouldn't mind having that ability taken from me.  Once I've cast a binding I always try to act as if I am also bound, because it gives me a good idea what I've done to the other person.  If it's awful I can remove the binding and my own pain/discomfort would be the price I paid for my error in judgment.  It's not a perfect system, but it's worked for me so far.

When I do a binding I like to physically bind a poppet that represents whatever I'm binding.  If it's a person I like to put a picture of that person in the poppet if I have one, or just load it with representations of that person if I don't have a picture.  Then I'll put in herbs appropriate to the sentiment of the spell.  I typically make the poppet out of felt squares (they're easy to come by in any craft store and are inexpensive). 

I'll usually bind the poppet with yarn, but recently I've discovered marine rope.  Yarn is relatively weak and has a fair amount of give in it, making for a rather flexible binding.  It's great for restraining yourself from bad habits or for when you want the binding to sit lightly.  However, sometimes the situation you're dealing with is particularly heinous and you need a stronger, less flexible binding.  Enter marine rope.  Marine rope (available in any boating/fishing supply store) is incredibly strong and has varying amounts of stretch to it.  I recently found Dyneema STS 12 Single Braid Line
This is now my super-binding cord of choice.  It's stronger than steel, thin as para-cord, and has absolutely no give whatsoever.  When you need to binding something and give it no chance of wriggling out of that binding, this is the way to go.  Overkill? For most things yes, but sometimes you just need to go whole hog. 

18 September 2013

A Reading for the Weekend

Tomorrow afternoon I leave for my annual pilgrimage to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  It's a joy that I look forward to all year and I am delighted to have found the best possible conspirator for my cultural adventures, Rae du Soleil. 

This year we're going to see Cymbeline and an adaptation of Robin Hood.  I've not seen either, so it's very exciting.  I figured it's a big enough undertaking to warrant a reading.  I pulled out my favorite deck and this is what I got:
It wasn't quite what I was expecting.  There’s the ace of wands and the six of wands, anchored by the ten of cups reversed.  The ace of wands generally represents the spark of creativity and new intellectual adventures.  The six of wands generally means triumph and success after conflict.  The ten of wands reversed is fundamental unhappiness.  So I’m going to start something important, triumph, and be a sad bastard about it.  Lovely.  

09 September 2013

Conflict Resolution for Magickal Community - The Important Bits

A few weeks ago I posted my introduction to Conflict Resolution for Magickal Community video.  Thanks to everyone who took a look :)

Without further ado, here are the three substantive videos I've made:

Positions vs. Interests

 Checking Your Understanding

Validating Emotions Without Buyin

Sometime in the next month or so I'll make a few follow up videos on dealing with some common conflicts the magickal community tends to face.  If you have any scenarios you'd like me to look into just let me know in the comments and I'll add them to my list.