Monday, October 29, 2012

St. Expedite

Although I am not a christian or a practicioner who subscribes to any Judeo Christian beliefs, I do venerate and call upon some Saints, both Catholic and Folk.  One of the reasons is because these saints were people, just like you and me.  They are people who now reside in the spirit world and have had (in most cases) massive amounts of human attention and energy directed toward them through veneration and prayers.  This seems to have kept many of them interested and active in human affairs long past the time that most spirits seem to move on.

St. Expedite is not recognized by the Catholic church, in fact there have been campaigns by bishops to stop the 'cult' following of St. Expedite.  By most accounts he was a Roman Soldier who converted to Christianity and was martyred.  He is known for accomplishing what's needed quickly. 

Generally when calling upon St. Expedite I've used Starr Casas' method for petitioning him, which is wonderful.  I've added additional things, such as prayer beads from Turkey (rumored to be the place of St. Expedite's death), military medals, etc. that St. Expedite likes. 

I'm posting this in honor of the wonderful St. Expedite, and to encourage anyone who needs a good and quick solution to call on this amazing Saint!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Drums of War

I've been feeling a stirring in the ether for quite some time.  A preparation, an anxious expectation, a sharpening of senses in anticipation of what is coming.  I hear the faint drumbeat of war growing steadily louder as the ancestors of our land urge those of us with the power to affect change through our will and actions to do so. 

This has happened many times throughout recorded history and it seems that it must happen again now.  As the Sorceress Cagliastro said in Al Vostro Servizo Due:

"There is an issue to address. America is on its way to becoming a place where it is reasonable to hunt and persecute or kill (covering both private and public sector) those of us who do not prescribe to a Christian religion.  Observe the media.... Never before have I heard the term evangelicals and 'the Christian right' used so often in a presidential election. This is NOT a comment about who is running, it IS a comment about who is ELECTING.  What have you done openly today to state that you have your rights to believe or NOT believe anything you choose? It used to not matter - you could be silent and ignore the head shaking and side comments - but when I hear CNN (for example) talking heads spend time analyzing who will win by discussing who can and cannot court evangelicals.... I urge you to - WAKE UP."

I completely agree with her on this.  I don't like it, I am comfortable in the shadows, but I cannot ignore what I'm seeing happening in our society.  I see that humankind has raped the planet and penetrated the domain of the stars, but the masses are not satisfied and an old cancer is coming to a head again.  A fundamentalism that breeds contempt of everything that doesn't bow to their god and acquiesce to their codes of conduct.  I feel in my blood and bones that the land spirits who've gone feral from neglect are rising up to reclaim their domain.

What should we do?  What action should be taken?  I do not know the answers, I only have ideas, mostly gleaned from those with more knowledge than me.  Peter Gray and Alkistis Dimech have published books about this such as XVI and The Blood of The Earth.  I have The Blood of The Earth and John Michael Greer does some very knowledgable teaching of strategies to handle the crisis of the planet, but I admit that (rightly or wrongly) I'm more concerned with social changes.  I've been told that XVI focuses more on the social aspect but I've not purchased that book yet so I don't know, it's on my 'must have' list though. 

There have been some positive changes recently.  Quite small but positive nonetheless, which I think is good to focus on since the outlook of our humanity in America is otherwise quite gloomy.  The repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell was progress, it's good that you can't get kicked out of the military for being gay now, but for fucks sake its still infuriating that this went on for so damn long.  The Christian right is still trying to restrict women's access to birth control in spite of the overpopulation of the planet and the massive number of children in foster care, but so far have failed to get legal grounds through our court system to exclude birth control from insurance plans of corporations with a religious affiliation. Another good thing.  

Some small things I'm doing that you can too - work your magic for the changes you wish to see.  When there's a vote coming up on a social issue you feel strongly about, print off a google map of that city, circle the voting locations, and in whatever way your tradition supports flood them with energy programmed to sway the voters.  Anything from hoodoo candle magic to an Uncle Chuckie radionic box can be used and everything in between, dont limit yourself.  The same methods can be used to bind or disband churches in the news that are doing ridiculous things like burning books and other nonsense.  Or raping children, which is an all too common problem among 'youth pastors' or 'music ministers' or whatever the hel they want to call themselves. 

I come from a long line of vigilantes, and I feel my ancestors calling me to meet the challenge with action, not endless philosophizing of how things got to be this way.  There may, or may not, be time for that later.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summoning and Blood Paint

I called a certain daemon that I've been working with on a project, and he seems to want me to share some things that I'd previously been keeping to myself - like the recipe for my blood paint.  Not that its some sooper-sekret special thing, but it's mine that I came up with myself and I'd intended to keep it that way.  But, I want to keep this relationship going strong, so I will do as he asked.

I make the paint by collecting menstrual blood first.  Fresh, and undiluted.  I then grind some myrrh to a fine powder and add it.  I make an opium tincture with Wild Lettuce (legal plant that contains small amounts of opium or something like that - not a scientist, I don't know the name of the chemical properties lol), and add a few droppers of the tincture to the mixture and let this sit for awhile.  Then add some vodka and red wine.  Once that's done, I wait for the poke berries to ripen and add poke berry juice.  Depending on what time of year this is started you may have to wait for quite some time (assuming you live in a part of the country where poke berries grow) but I feel its important to use wild ones, naturally harvested on your own.  The myrrh powder thickens this to a paint, or less can be put in to keep it at an ink consistancy. I don't measure any of these ingredients, I put in what feels right, and adjust the myrrh powder to get the consistancy I need, be it paint or ink.  For sigils such as below, I use a blackthorn to apply.  The lines are imprecise, but precision isn't the point.

Thats all I've got to say on that, it is done.  I've shared, as requested from the other side.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thoughts on Horseshoes

Horseshoes are one of the most well known good luck charms that exists in this age.  Most every culture considers them lucky.  In this post I wanted to share my thoughts on horseshoes, what I've been taught about them and why I hang them. Horse lore really cannot be seperated from horseshoe lore IMO, but I'm not going to go into horse lore in this post.

Who nailed the first shoe to the hoof of a domesticated horse is a piece of information lost in history, but most sources agree that it started sometime around 1000AD in Europe.  In Catholic tradition, St. Eligius is credited with performing a miracle related to getting a horse shod. For those of us whose ancestors were pioneers in America, horses were important to their survival in the culture and time they were born into.  The horse's ability to work and cover distances had to be protected at whatever cost.  Horseshoes protected the foundation of the horse, the horse provided the family with the ability to travel, grow more food (by pulling a plow), and hunt a larger area.  If the family's horses weren't properly shod, the survival of a pioneer family could be in jepardy.  The horseshoe protected the foundation of the horse, and in doing so protected the basis for the survival of the family.  This connection with protection and provision is the link that crosses over into sympathetic magic regarding 'good luck' in my opinion.

You may have heard elders say that the luckiest horseshoes are those that fall off on their own.  My understanding of this has always been that the shoe and hoof released each other, the horse having worn the shoe well and being in need of a new one, the shoe having completed it's purpose and accepting transition.  I've never saw any of my grandparents just throw away or toss aside horseshoes that were found in the fields after falling off the horses.  They were always picked up and hung up over a doorway or window.  At my Grandpa's place, the house has one horseshoe over each door and window.  The barns, smokehouse, henhouse, etc. all have a large number of shoes over each one, since worn out shoes are always hung.  Good luck in the barns = prosperity for the family.

My Grandpa always hung horseshoes over the door with the opening downward "to allow the luck to run out over the family when they enter the house".  My Grandma always attached a ribbon to them and hung them with the opening facing up "so we keep our luck and don't let it all run out".  I believe this is one of those instances where "whatever feels right" is the best method.  By all means if you've been taught a specific way to hang horseshoes then honor your tradition, but if not, go with whatever method feels most powerful. 

Over at catherine yronwode has written that there may be reason to believe that the crescent shape of the horshoe is related to symbolism for pagan moon Goddesses.  I like that idea and it figures in to the symbolism I personally see in my own horseshoes that are hanging in my home.  It's not something I gleaned from my elders when I was taught why we hang horseshoes, but it's one of those wonderful additions I've made due to our ability to share ideas on the 'net in this time.  Lore regarding horses and iron can also come into play, and add more levels to the magic surrounding the use of horseshoes as charms or talismans.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ritual Graveyard in the Poison Garden

My poison patch of castor beans is coming up beautifully.  There are around 40-50 castor plants in it and their leaves have already darkened to that dusky purple sheen.  I've begun using this patch as a graveyard for my ritual remains.  One of the most recent things to be buried there was the remains of a Sara Lee pound cake that had been given in offering to St. Expedite after he (with amazing effeciency) helped me out.

Other things that make their way there are wilted flowers that are removed from the ancestral altar, water offered to spirits that has been out for a day or two and needs to be replaced with fresh, and any other biodegradable ritual item that has fulfilled it's purpose and is ready to move on. 

Another thing I use my ritual graveyard for is burying items that need to spend some time entombed as a part of their consecration.  For some things I will bury them in an actual graveyard, where a close proximity to literal human death is needed for the work. But if the purpose for the entombment is just related to a period of darkness in a sacred space, my ritual graveyard works perfectly.  The buildup of energy created from giving back ritual remains to the earth can become quite potent.  This can be accessed through the plants that grow there, and also by taking a bit of the soil to add to workings.

The ritual graveyard is also an excellent place for monuments.  A statue dedicated to a nature or underworld spirit are appropriate here, because the graveyard is outdoors and the remains are being buried underground which brings in the underworld connections.  A tribute to moon goddess works also, and each night it's there soaking up the rays of the moon.  Statues or monuments dedicated to meeting of an entity that helped you on your path, or that you had a memorable meeting with also work well in the ritual graveyard.  The possibilities are endless. :)

There is a lot of lore about Witch Gardens, disposing of ritual remains, etc. in books and traditions around the world.  Nothing I do with this is new and my own invention, I'm sure I probably read of the idea several times before I started working with my version in the way I've described here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Lovely Castor (Ricinus Communis)

I first made the acquaintance of the castor plant a few years ago when an older couple I know showed me the castor's they'd planted near their garden.  They said the roots were poisonous so they'd planted them there to control moles.  Whether that works or not appears to be a matter of debate, but I barely heard that assertion anyway because I was so taken in with the beauty of the plants!  They were all over 5 feet tall with glossy dark leaves, and rubbery pink seed pods.  I immediately asked if I could have some seeds from the plants when they were ready, and they agreed.  The next year was my first year of castor gardening.

                                                        My first castor plant. 

First off, I need to say that castor beans are poisonous.  Not slightly poisonous either, deadly. Don't mess around with them uncautiously.  That being said, the plant is a beautiful specimen.  The variety I grow has dusky purple leaves with a rubbery texture.  The pink of the seed pods is a beautiful brilliant contrast with the darkness of the rest of the plant.  It's beauty is so sensual, it whispers of guarding the darkened untrod sections of Eden.

The deadliness of this plant makes it highly useful in baneful work of course, but I've also found it to be a plant with a very protective quality once a relationship is established with it.  I have a rather large patch of it growing at one of the borders of my property, and I keep it's seeds in protective ritual containers throughout my home.  I only use it's seeds that I've harvested from the castor plants I've grown, I don't buy them. This isn't something I practice with all plants, but it's part of my relationship with the castor. 

Interestingly, I was born a few weeks overdue and my mother's doctor had her drink castor oil to move me along.  I understand that this practice is no longer recommended in the medical community, but I do enjoy knowing that this plant that I now work with so well was connected to my birth.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Prosperity Blend

This is a work I devised to keep prosperity flowing in my home, and to honor the forces that bring it to me. 

Put these ingredients in your mortar (or bowl).  Amounts are open to your own interpretation. 

Yellow Dock
Allspice (whole, I used 4)
Cinnamon Stick (I used an inch)
Dogwood Petals
Brown Rice
1 dried Four Leaf Clover  (I find these all the time and press them to keep and use)

Grind this mixture with your pestle (or a rock or whatever) while meditating on the prosperity that's currently in your life and the additional prosperity you'd like to see.  When you're satisfied with it, put it in a plate or large pillar candle stand.  Start adding coins that you find when you're out to the plate, to represent prosperity that comes freely to you.  Dollar Bills could be put in the bottom of the plate under the spices if you like.  I don't usually use tea lights, as I prefer larger candles that can be carved, but for things like this I do use tea lights because they heat up the herbs and cause them to put off more of their lovely scent.  I put the tea light in the middle of the blend.  I also added a hagstone to my plate that I found in my front flower garden.