30 October 2014

Shadow Magick I - What is Shadow Magick?

I am pleased to announce my latest class, Shadow Magick I, which is available for enrollment today!  Head on over to Shadowkrafting.com to enroll :)

Shadow Magick I - What is Shadow Magick?

Class Description:  The purpose of this course is to answer common questions about what shadow magick is and what it isn’t, as well as giving students enough information to decide whether they want to pursue shadow magick as a discipline.  We will look at the fundamentals of shadow work and shadow magick as well as common misconceptions of both.  We will take a more in-depth look at what the shadow is and how to deal with it.  The course ends with a look forward into the next course, Shadow Magick II - The Work, and what to expect if you decide to move forward.  

Cost: $10 payable via paypal to signup@shadowkrafting.com

What you need to know beforehand:  This course is designed to be accessible by anyone who is willing to do a bit of introspection.  However, students with some magickal experience, preferably more than six (6) months, will get the most benefit.  Shadow magick as a whole is best when added to an existing set of magickal skills and practices.    

You will have no trouble with the course if you know the following (though it is not 100% necessary):
  • Visualization - You should be able to visualize the movement of energy in your mind.  If you have an imagination and can daydream then chances are you can do this without difficulty.
  • Basic energy manipulation - You should have a basic understanding of what energy is and be comfortable moving it, e.g. pulling energy and moving it into a candle to charge it.  If you are not comfortable charging an object you will have difficulty with some of the material in this class.
  • Basic spellcrafting - You do not have to be proficient in spellcasting, but you should understand the basic principles (such as like attracts like, contagion, etc.) and be able to perform simple spells.

Recommended resources if you’re not already there (note these are all from very different traditions):
Bird, Stephanie Rose. Sticks, Stones, Roots & Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo & Conjuring with Herbs. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 2004.
Bonewits, Isaac. Real Magic: An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic. York Beach, ME: Weiser, 1989.
Cunningham, Scott. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 1989.
Kraig, Donald Michael. Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts. Rev. and Expanded. ed. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 2010.
Miller, Jason. The Sorcerer's Secrets: Strategies to Practical Magick. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page, 2009.

  • This course is for students 18+ years of age.  There will be no exceptions under any circumstances.  
  • This course must be paid via paypal.  
  • This course is taught exclusively in English.  You must be able to read/write comfortably in English to participate.
  • All lessons are delivered as pdf files via email.  
    • You must have a functioning email address that you check regularly in order to receive your class materials.
    • You will need a pdf reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.  You can download it for free at http://get.adobe.com/reader/

Strongly Recommended (you will need in order to get the full value of your course)
  • Some lessons may include links to videos, so access to high speed internet will improve your experience.
  • This course includes one (1) one-on-one Skype or Google Hangout session with me.  You will need either a Skype or Google+ account (both free), along with a functioning webcam and microphone in order to have a one-on-one.

Lessons and Homework

All lessons will be delivered weekly via email as pdf files.  

This class does not include formal homework.  Instead it includes a series of suggested exercises and practices that are clearly labelled within the lessons.  You are encouraged to do all of the exercises and recommended practices, and to discuss your results with me, in order to get the maximum value out of this course.  

This course includes one (1) thirty minute one-on-one session with me via Skype or Google Hangout.  One-on-one sessions must be completed within three (3) months of enrollment.

Course Completion

Completion of this course is required before applying for Shadow Magick II - The Work.

23 October 2014

9 Day Santa Muerte Hex Breaking

I'm normally a very calm, collected person.  Years of shadow work and mediation have given me an incredibly even keel.  Thus, as you might imagine, it takes rather a lot to get me worked up about something.  There's a bit of an unseen consequence to just how difficult it is to make me angry - once I am angry, really and truly angry, I am implacable.  I become the unstoppable force and woe to anyone who gets in my way.  So when someone had the gall to hex someone I care about (it was bad enough that I actually felt the effects) and decided to take drastic measures.

The following hex breaking ritual isn't exactly white magick, so if you're uncomfortable with doing harm it is just not for you. 

9 Day Santa Muerte Hex Breaking

Each day for nine days (ending on the new moon) light a black candle and copal incense.  Draw a drop of your own blood onto a piece of paper.  Burn the paper and say:

Bendita Santa Muerte,
Fortaleza contra mis enemigos conocida o desconocida.
Hoy te pido que alejes de mi toda maldad.
Que todos los deseos negativos de los que me rodean ser neutralizado y terminado.

Más alta santa muerte,
Rompe todas las maldiciones que se han puesto sobre mí o mis intereses.
Por el poder de tu guadaña santo, me libre de los lazos de mis enemigos y destruir a todos sea grande o pequeño.
Que sus huesos se convirtieron en polvo y dejar sus restos esparcidos sobre los cuatro vientos que ni ellos, ni sus aliados ni descendientes serán nunca más levantarse contra mí o mio.

Bendita Santa Muerte,
Fortaleza contra mis enemigos,
En tus manos me encomiendo.  
Mi agradecimiento dama oscura.
Por tu voluntad así debe ser.

Let the candle burn for at least an hour (no more than three).

* I should note that during the course of this hex breaking I suffered a higher than normal amount of bad luck.  Between hellish commutes, some utter nonsense at work, an unusual bout of depression, and some really weird behavior from my house I'm pretty sure that the power of the curse I was lifting was fighting back.  Only use this if you really need to because drawing out a hex breaking just isn't a great idea.

Also, when I finished reciting the incantation on the last day I was...instructed (commanded?) by Santa Muerte to not speak for the rest of the day as a further price for her intervention.  It's a bit odd, but not an unheard of price.

19 October 2014

Shadow Magick and the Ooky Spooky

I love October.  I love Halloween.  I love Samhain.  I love Dia de los Muertos.  I love autumn and all its glorious accoutrement.  But you know what I don’t love?  I don’t love when people come up to me and say, “Oh, you do shadow magick?  I’m not really into all the spooky stuff.”  That’s when I facepalm so hard that my hand goes through my forehead and comes out the back of my brain stem.  *sigh*  So let me tell you a little bit about shadow magick and the “spooky stuff.”

Yes, I personally like the spooky stuff.  No, that has nothing whatsoever to do with my shadow magick.  In fact, my shadow working are probably the least “ooky spooky” of any workings I do.  Shadow magick, in its many forms, is about the process of magickally integrating the shadow or using that integrated shadow as a mechanism in other magickal workings.  It is serious work either way.  If a particular practitioner happens to like using spooky regalia in their shadow magick that’s their business, but it’s just not the way I do things.  

So let me be very clear about this: shadow magick does not equal gothcraft.  Gothcraft is just regular witchcraft with skull covered drapes done while listening to dark music. (There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact I rather enjoy it.)  Shadow magick is magick specifically involving the psychological shadow - the aspects of our personality that aren’t considered viable for public presentation.  They are totally different things.

Also, shadow magick is not evil or unethical.  A lot of people hear the word “shadow” and immediately associated it with “the darkness,” “evil,” or other things they consider unsavory.  The shadow is not evil.  Yes, our shadow contains bits of ourselves that we don’t like very much and yes those bits can be dangerous, but that doesn’t make them evil.  A huge part of shadow work is learning how to look at those oh so unsavory parts of ourselves and not see them as “evil” or “bad.”  The shadow is not evil, it’s just different and a little intimidating.  

Shadow magick is a discipline like any other, it can be wielded ethically or unethically by its practitioners as they see fit.  However, by its very nature it is more difficult to use shadow magick balefully than other forms of magick for two reasons.  One, you have to be extremely proficient in order to use shadow magick for anything other than the integration of the shadow (never really a bad thing).  Two, once you’ve reached the level of proficiency where you could use shadow magick to do harm you’ll be so integrated and balanced that you will rarely want to.  Shadow work makes people healthier psychologically and generally more stable and self-aware, this does not generally incline people to violence or harm towards others.  I’d be much more concerned about the holier than thou types than shadow workers any day.

Further, shadow magick does not equal the left hand path.  I don’t happen to practice the left hand path so I can’t really say much about it.  As I understand it, the left hand path is the practice of magick with a more personal approach to morality and ethics, often less strict than other forms of magick, and with greater emphasis on serving the self rather than the community at large.  While this is a rather interesting path, it really has nothing to do with shadow magick.  As I said earlier, shadow magick is a tool that can be wielded by practitioners of any path, it is not a path in and of itself.  

So yeah, shadow magick is not “ooky spooky.”  Don’t get me wrong, I have a deep and unabated love for the ooky spooky going back to my embarrassing teenage goth years.  It’s just that the ooky spooky has absolutely nothing to do with shadow magick.  So please, for the sake of my poor head, when someone makes a flippant comment about shadow magick being evil, set that person straight.