Archive for the ‘spells’ Tag

Sorcerer Seuss   2 comments

I was just thinking recently about when this whole Witch thing began for me.   I so much wanted to do it “right” and read a boat load of 101 books, most of which agreed on stuff that I didn’t need to know that much, and disagreed on the things I really wanted help on.  Ahh, books.

Anyway, to this day, I don’t read a lot of spell books for my magic.  Or, to clarify, I like to scan through them sometimes for inspiration and to see if I can find anything at all with some history behind it, something old, something passed on for longer than the last 20 years, something really arcane and wicked cool.  Usually, I am looking for anything at all that was NOT written by the most famous of the pagan authors because I’ve read them.  Anyway, I like to read or at least scan a few books and then jump from there but I find I can almost never use people’s words that they want recited.  First of all, I don’t like to read from a paper when doing serious magical work.  Second of all, if there is a lot of memorization involved, I will be wrecking my trance by utilizing my rational mind to try to remember what the frick came next in the incantation.  Some of these things are 8 stanzas long.  What are we going for here, the next Witchy Laureate award?  I can’t handle that.  Not to mention, I tend to work silent and repeat certain phrases over and over in my head, or I let myself just feel with no words at all.  I hardly ever say them out loud.  I sometimes find myself whispering something urgently.

Anyway, back to being a newbie witch.  (Oh and back then I was resistant to the title “witch”.  So much has changed!) Anyway, I read in the book (doesn’t matter which one, they’re all the same) that using rhyming spells helps you to remember them. Okie dokie then.  My first spell type was candle magic and to this day, I happen to use candles often in one way or another.  The book says to use this rhyme:

“Candle of power, candle of might

create my desires here on this night.

Power stream from this candle’s fire

Bring to me my heart’s desire: (name desire here)”

I can do this, I figure.  I can remember something so short.  So then I tried doing it  the first several times because the book said I should and I was new and I certainly didn’t have any better ideas anyway.  Then I found out that a four line rhyme if you are doing it automatically and not concentrating, can still get screwed up.  I would get it out of order or repeat things by accident.  Plus, I started to feel a little silly.  I felt like at any moment, it was going to turn out like:

“Candle of power, candle of might

create my desires here on this night

I do not like green eggs and ham

I do not like them, Sam I Am.”

I just don’t do rhyming spells.  I hate to even verbalize while I work, so when I am with my women’s group it almost kills me to invoke deities with these big formal recitations that I know they all think should be said for it to be a REAL ritual  (they have read the books……) so I do the best I can.

I just try hard not to slip into

“We call to our Goddess, from whom we are sent

for whom all the flowers give forth their scent

I meant what I said and I said what I meant;

an Elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.”

Posted May 26, 2011 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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Magic, ethics, common sense and all that jazz   7 comments

I was really struck by something I heard on a pagan podcast the other day.  It’s a good podcast, actually.  I haven’t listened to it exhaustively but I find the hosts to be generally reasonable.  However, the discussion of magic and ethics came up and it got me thinking (and muttering a little to myself) about how magic and ethics go together and how this subject  is being taught to new people.  I was further stunned by how readily people just believe in certain “rules” because someone told them they were “the rules.”

I have never yet read a 101 book from any pagan author that doesn’t address ethics and magic and they almost all say the same thing, which is that your work will return to you threefold (for good or ill), and that you can’t do this and you can’t do that, to the point where I have met some witches who are just about paralyzed to do anything magical at all for fear that their world will implode.  There’s also a big thing about never doing anything magical for another person that might take away their free will. (And if anyone is really powerful enough to truly dominate someone’s free will with a spell, I will be deeply surprised….)  This includes not even doing any “nice” magic for someone without their permission. Really?

Then I started exploring older folk traditions like Hoodoo and old world European magic, and I am not finding anything at all about spells “rebounding” on people, or the law of three or any of that stuff.  For that matter, Hoodoo root workers even prescribe actual domination spells and don’t seem to lose a lot of sleep over it.  So what’s up with that?  As a new person, I  originally bought into the whole “it will return to you threefold” until I had been doing this long enough to say, “who says so?” and “why?” and “explain, please.”  The only answers I get are “because so and so author says  and so do all of the other authors…..so it must be true.”    If I wanted answers like “because it says so in the book,” I could just go back to Christianity, couldn’t I?

Now back to the podcast and two very good hosts who I find to be generally reasonable people.  The male is talking about ethics , but that he would see nothing wrong with it if a group of magical people got together to send love and light and healing energy to someone in need.  The female host says she disagrees and would find it to be “presumptuous”.  Really?  She says, but what if the person doesn’t want to be loved or healed?  I hung my head with a deep sigh. 

Do Christians stop and say “I forgot to ask Millie if I can pray for her gall bladder problem…so I better not pray for her.”  Not any Christian I ever met.  I am also Reiki instructed and they do discuss such issues.  Even the seriously white light-ish new agey Reiki folks will say that if you send healing energy to someone and it’s “not in the interest of the person’s highest good” that the healing energy will just go somewhere else that it is needed. They’re not really worried about it.  So why are the 20th- century-founded neopagans (read:Wiccans) so worried?

I think that common sense ought to come into play and that this is the mark of a mature witch.  Discernment.  I should not be willing to do anything with magic that I don’t feel  justified to do by other means and be accountable for.  I am responsible for all of my actions in the entire world, so why not the spiritual world as well?  I am an adult.  Would I do something nice in the “mundane world”  for someone without asking?  Yes, within the boundaries of common sense.  I see no difference between this and magical common sense.  Would I be willing to physically  harm someone if they tried to hurt my children?  Yes.  Then why, therefore, would I be unwilling to act against someone spiritually for a similar  reason?   I find it laughable that some people think  I will have less backlash from punching someone in the face than I would from a spell.

I hear from people now and then who are blaming “backlash” from a spell for the problems of their lives when the truth is that they are making very poor decisions in life.  When you make poor decisions, have terrible boundaries and don’t do what you’ve got to do, things aren’t going to go well.   This is not the backlash of magic.  Blaming some kind of mystical punishment for one’s own life errors (and we all make them) is just a continued failure to take responsibility for one’s life. ….which will probably lead to even more misery.  It’s also a little delusional.  Or so says I.  But then again, I haven’t written a book!

I found a quote that is attributed to the Buddha (and sounds like something he would have said) so hopefully it is his.  Regardless, it is good, and speaks right to such topics:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.  Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.  Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.  But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it, and live up to it.”

Posted May 3, 2011 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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Protective charm….of doom!

This isn't it, but I liked the picture and it captures the mood!

Some things in this witchy life are too fun not to share but they can’t be shared with the average populace.  So I’ll share it here.

Recently I decided, “Jessica, you really need to be a little more serious about protecting your home from negative people and energy.”  Good deal.  I did a lot of reading on it.  I have often done cleansing and some intense energy barriers but I thought perhaps some more permanent talismans might be in order as well.  Being a witch with a certain amount of interest in old-world magic, I decided that iron is a good foundation for some protective charms, with iron being so well known for dispelling dangerous spirits, etc.  Then, just add an herb pouch, stones or whatever.  I made a couple of really nifty things over Easter weekend and put them at the front and back doors of the house.  One was based on a set of large iron skeleton keys.  The other was made with a cross made of long iron nails.  Neat-o.

During my research phase I had also found something on ebay I decided to buy.  It was from a guy’s collection of oddities and assorted occult gear.  The guy’s wife was selling off all of these items now that the gentleman has passed and she has just way too much stuff in her basement.  The item was a pentacle star made from iron four-sided nails.  I think those technically count as coffin nails.  Coffin nails are extremely common in American folk magic for protective work (and to do bad things to enemies too but that’s not what I intended to do with it.)  So I ordered it.  It was coming from Canada so it took its sweet time getting to me.

While it was on its way, I was thinking more about the story of this item.  As I said, it was in some guy’s personal collection.  The wife reports that this item was placed in a small “coffin-like box” full of mullein.  (Mullein being often substituted for graveyard dust.)  Then this mullein filled box of iron pentacle was buried in the earth for one full moon cycle and then dug up.  That’s quite a lot of preparation, I would say.  According to the wife, it was created for spiritual protection.    Originally I thought, “oh sweet!” because it’s a really colorful story.  As I waited for this thing to arrive, however, I started to stew about it.  It started sounding creepier and creepier.

So it arrived finally, yesterday.  I took it out of the package and held it in my hand.  It’s pretty neat looking, about the size of my palm.  I also noticed that it had a very aggressive energy to it.   It was like a wild dog that might attack my enemies but might attack me too.  Like a dog that’s going to remove my face from my head.   Whether there is a real energetic issue going on or I just have myself convinced there is, I don’t even know.  Regardless, I didn’t even put it down.  I took it right upstairs to my collection of stuff, stuck it in a jar and covered it in salt and a blend of particularly chosen herbs.  I bound that mixture together with water from a natural spring I collected last summer.  It is now sitting on a shelf, in the glass jar, until I am darn well good and ready to take it out and see how it feels.

Only I, it seems, would manage to acquire something for protection that entirely freaks me right out.

Posted April 27, 2011 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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Oh me of little faith….   Leave a comment

Okay, I saw something yesterday that strains my credulity quite a bit.  I am the first to admit that I tend to be a skeptic at heart when it comes to certain spiritual matters and this can be a real pain because I’m also a witch and that requires a lot of “leap of faith” moments.  I will have those moments of doubt during some ritual work or even meditative work or just communing with nature and deity when I think “Is this stuff even real?  You are just convincing yourself it’s real.  It’s the power of suggestion”  I get through it.  I try to keep a balance of modern scientific understanding and understanding of human psychology with ancient wisdom and take that leap of faith that says “even if you don’t understand WHY it works, this is real.  This is real.”  It’s like a little mantra I have to pull out now and then.

However, yesterday I thought perhaps someone has gone a bit too far over to the etheric and is ignoring the scientific a little too much.  I saw a spell called “Spell to kill germs.”  Really?  To kill germs?

Perhaps I am lacking in belief but I will put that woman’s spell up against my clorox any day.  In the midst of the winter of plague that my household just went through, I wouldn’t trade my one bottle of disinfectant for an entire fleet of the best witches on the planet. 

You see, the spell called for positively visualizing the germs being destroyed.  But why visualize when I can kill those little sons of guns with my cleaning supplies?

I think what people might be missing is the following:

Yes, witches were often called upon for healing and health related issues throughout all of history.  The reason for this is that they knew the plant wisdom that would heal and clean things.  Perhaps they didn’t know what a “germ” was, but they knew that when they ground up this certain green plant and made a paste out of it and put it on someone’s cut, the cut didn’t ‘fester’ and the arm didn’t end up needing amputation.  I don’t think the village wise woman would sit around visualizing their cut being healed- not without doing something medicinal too.

I do understand mind-body medicine and energy healing and I have some training in Reiki myself, which can do some really amazing things with the body and health.  However, bacteria and viruses just seem like such a physical thing to me and physical problems just seem to go so nicely with physical solutions.  So I’ll stick with my herbs and my clorox as a first line of defense.

Posted April 18, 2011 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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New thoughts on old spells   Leave a comment

Graveyard dirt!!

Now and then I have ideas and I just feel the need to share them so here it is.  There are so many old folk magic spells that call for graveyard dirt.  I have read all the modern neopagan articles saying “they didn’t really mean graveyard dirt.”  Well, yes they did.  Read up.   Any resource on Hoodoo will have more than enough American folk magic references to make sure you are aware that they really…did…mean graveyard dirt.  The modern neopagan articles suggest powdered mullein or mugwort as a substitute and these are fine if they work for you.

However, I have been exploring the ideas and symbolism behind the use of soil from the graveyard before.  Conventional wisdom is to use soil from a specific grave chosen for a particular reason.  Soil from a soldier’s grave for protection, soil from a loved one, for love spells…you get the idea.

This wasn’t part of my training and in truth, it goes a bit against my grain to go digging around on an actual person’s grave.  Maybe it’s my very white-girlness.  I’m probably just too European for my own good and our people are not known for going mucking around in graves.  Who knows?  But I have used soil from a cemetary for my own purposes, in a different way that I wanted to share.  It’s my “modern take,”  we will call it, on the graveyard dirt.


First, I like to select soil from a consecrated cemetary so any religious cemetary will do.  Secondly, I do not choose soil from an actual grave.  I will select it from an area around a tree or near a shrub or whatever.  Someplace that does not cover a body.  What I am looking for is the restful, finality, “putting it to rest” sort of energy found in the cemetary.  I’m not looking for a spirit’s input or assistance, I am looking for the energy, or “vibe”, if you will, that is found in that soil.

Having said that, I still bring a gift or two for the spirits of the cemetary.  I may not be taking soil from their individual graves but I am taking something from their backyard and I like to be grateful.  Chocolate, brandy, coins, pretty beads, or whatever I think they may want, I bring along and place in the area from which I took soil.

I then use the soil for anything I want to halt, settle, put to rest or terminate….permanently.  I recently made a protective “witch bottle” to attract any bad energy being sent my way, and put graveyard soil inside it, to put that damaging energy to rest permanently.  It seems to blend energetically well with sea salt (to neutralize), and I like to use it along with fumitory, wormwood and yes, even mugwort for banishing, binding or creative protection work.  I haven’t tried mullein so I can’t speak to its effectiveness.

Try this blend for a powder to sprinkle around your property for protection:

-Graveyard dirt (any consecrated soil, no specific grave)

-Sea salt (or even kosher salt, which is already blessed!)

-Wormwood, fumitory, yarrow or a combination

-A blessing herb like lavender, rose, jasmine, blessed thistle….whatever you like

Mix these in proportions that seem best to you.  Create an incantation or choose one that you like from written literature.  Pass around your property in a circle (clockwise!) three times if you can, but at least one full time.  Pour out any remaining powder on your threshold with thanks.

Posted February 1, 2011 by Jessica in Uncategorized

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