Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Fairie Widower: A Conjuration

photo by Dennis Monague

Last night, I had a visitation which instructed me to write this blog post.  I am not sure for whom this teaching has come through, but if it is you, please contact me for the redacted name.  I do not think it needs to be understood literally, but perhaps it should be.  In any case, I simply had an overpowering need to share it.

UPDATE: The person has been found, and the situation resolved.  Please enjoy the story.

In my dream, a young witch came to me distraught.  Her father had begun to act confused and violent, some kind of sudden onset dementia, for which the doctors can find no cause.  Eventually, she had out of him that he had gone into the woods behind his home, and there made love to the forest.  And so I gave her this ritual to preform, to free him from fairy enslavement.

You may need:
a trash bag
three iron railroad spikes
a bottle of salt water.  ideally, this should be made with Holy Water (whatever that means to you) and be more than 9% salt by volume.
a large steel knife.  a sword is better.
buttered bread, whole milk, good honey, dark beer
a reliable flashlight, and a backup flashlight, and it wouldn't hurt to have a third one.  expect at least one to fail on the third night.
protection from weather.
a small bag of white pebbles
a toy bulldozer
$23 dollars in gold coins
three nights

The First Conjuration:
Go into the woods at night, when it is very dark and still.  Walk randomly, as if you are lost (but do not become lost).  Drop white pebbles behind you, to show the way back out; you need to leave by the same path you entered.  Gather any trash that you find.  Begin to sing a song about walking through the wood, and a mist rising up, and finding yourself at the center of the woods between the worlds.  The tune and the words will come to you as you walk; I cannot teach them to you, but you knew them as a child, and you need not try to remember.  Just hum and sing a tuneless song, and the song will form itself.

When you have come to the center of the woods, you will know the place when you find it, you must place the bread, milk, honey, beer, and $7 before you.  Begin to call, saying something like this:  "Lovely Lady of these Woods, Mother of the Fair Folk, Elf Queen, I call to you.  I have brought you milk and bread, honey and butter, good ale and friendship.  I come to you by the old path.  The compacts between our people are not forgot.  Come, and eat with me, that we may speak as friends!"

Wait for a sign of presence.  Rustling leaves.  A cold breeze.  An out of place bird song.  An apparition of the Lady of the Wood.  Continue:

"Lady Fair, Radiant One!  Hail to you!  I come to you to beg for justice!  My father has been taken by one of your people.  My father has been enchanted by one of your people.  My father has been bewitched by one of your people.  Release him to me.  Set him free, Lady.  Make him whole.  It is for this reason I have come.  I shall come again tomorrow, for good or for ill.  Set my father free."

Now leave the wood, picking your pebbles up as you go, and go home.  If your father is improved, then go again, and thank the Elf Queen, and admonish your father about the stupidity of making love to the Kindly Ones.  Go again, the next night, to the woods, and there offer the remaining gold coins, elderflower liqueur, a vanilla milkshake, and some sort of very fancy pastry.  Give thanks to the Lady of the Wood for releasing your father.  This is a powerful spirit ally who has done you a great boon, and who favors you.  Be gracious, thankful, and maintain this relationship, but be on your guard.  Never forget that she seduced your father, and then tried enslave him.  She is not your friend; she is the Queen of the Other Wood.  Take her offerings at every full moon.  Bake her a fancy cake, or give her a necklace you have made.  You might paint her a picture or perform for her a song, if you are a good artist.  She would like that.  Do not do this if you have not the skill for it; it will be taken as an insult.  It is NOT the thought that counts; it must be something lovely and well made.  A fancy store bought cake is much better than an ugly painting, but it is best to find something of high quality which you have made with your own hands.

However, if your father is not better, you must go once again into the Wood Between the Worlds, and continue to fight for his soul.  Enter the wood as before, picking up trash along the way, and when you come to the place where you offered last night, make no offering.  Begin to call, saying something like: "Lady Fair, Shining One, I have come again as I said I would.  I have followed the twisted path, I have set bread and milk and honey and beer for you.  And yet you have been false!  Release my father, and let him be troubled no more!  I came to you honoring the ancient ways, but you have returned my courtesy with spite.  I am no mere mortal peasant, that you can treat me thus.  I am witch of the highest order!  I am NAME, MORE NAMES, MAGICAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS (example: "who has bound the four Kings of the Compass to my service", "who rides on the Other Wind", "who journeys between the Worlds", "who counts Buddhas, and Saints, and Demons among my friends".  Be elaborate, and spin a good tale, but do not flat out lie).  I stand before you, but I am not alone.  My ancestors stand behind me.  The angels attend to me.  I know the names of the gods of all nations, and I have allies in every corner of the Heavens, and every grotto Below.  NAME SOME ALLIES.  Yesterday I asked, but today I insist.  Return my father to me, and trouble him no more!  It is for this reason I have come!  I will come again tomorrow night, for good or for ill.  Set my father free."  Now leave the wood, following the same path you entered by.  If your father is improved, thank the Queen as before, but if he is not, then gather all your courage and all your allies to you, gird yourself in your best magical armor, and head again into the wood.  It wouldn't hurt to wear a crown.  Fill your bag with inorganic trash; beer cans, plastic bags, six-pack holders, that sort of thing.

Enter the forest again, as you have twice already.  Keep your wits about you, and expect resistance.  Make your way to the sacred grove, and begin to call.  "Wood Woman!  Fairy Frau!  Goblin Maid!  You soot-face imp!  I am NAME, the Witch of these Woods, and you have done me wrong.  Release my father, and trouble him no more.  This is your final warning.  I brought you bread and milk, honey and butter, and fine beer.  I called on you in the ancient ways, but you have ignored me and returned my courtesy with spite.  You are rude and inhospitable, a disgrace to your people.  You bring shame upon yourself and on your mother.  I have come again, but this time I am not asking.  I bring the power of my people, the power of my office.  I am a child of the Iron God, the child of Pavement and Flame.  I ride the Bulldozer of Your Destruction.  You are weak in this land, and I am Strong.  Your kind is failing, buy my kind Rules over  the whole Earth.  I have set before you cakes, and treated you as a friend, but you have scorned me.  Remember, it is you who have brought your own destruction, you who would doom your wood.  I would have brought you cakes and liquor, but now I set before you this!"  Drive an iron spike into the ground.   "Return my father to me, set him free, and trouble him no more!"  Drive a second spike, about a foot away from the first.  Cry out: "Return my father to me, set him free, and trouble him no more!  Drive the third spike, forming an equilateral triangle about a foot on each side.  Goblin!  Thief!  Mannerless One!  You are powerless against me!  I have at my call the Bulldozer, I have at my call the Concrete!  If you do not release my father, I will bring blight and trash and poison into the heart of your wood; I know the ancient way here, and you cannot keep me out.  If you do not give my father back, your sacred grove will become a midden [shake the trash bag out in a pile, in the center of the triangle].  I will not bring you beer, but only the cans.  I will not bring you cakes, but only the plastic forks!  Your sacred grove will be my dumping place, and burning tires will be your only libation.  Return my father, and trouble him no more, or I will level this forest and turn it into a parking lot.  I know the powers of Walmart and Highway!  I ride the Bulldozer and the Backhoe!  I carry the machete and the flame!"  [put the bulldozer on top of the pile of trash]  "Return my father, and all will be well between us, but if you do not, my wrath will be upon you!  I, who am NAME, TITLES, am the Witch of the Woods, and I know your secret name!  REDACTED, I compel you to release my father."

Leave the wood.  Be careful as you do.  This wood is now your enemy.  You will prevail, but you are at war.

When your father improves, take cakes and liquor and gold coins.  Act just as through she had delivered him on the first night.  Remove the trash; yours and whoever else's you have found.  Thank the Lady for her Courtesy and Hospitality.  But do not linger too long in that wood.

Friday, April 15, 2016

How To: Spirit Communication

A friend asked: "I'm curious in what ways you communicate with deities, intelligences, and misc you actually hear a voice in your head.? How does one strengthen their psychic ability to communicate with these beings.? I've been on a spiritual path for a long time communing with different spirits and deities, practicing meditation and visualization but I've never come close to piercing the Veil and hearing the distinct communication of a separate intelligence..."

For many, many years, I never got clear distinct communication either.  Here's a "streamlined with 20/20 hindsight" version of how I learned to do it.

For me, the most effective technique for a long time was automatic writing.  I wrote a brief intro for a student about that technique several years ago, so you might want to read that first, if you haven't.

It was many, many years of practice before I got from there to a voice in my head, and even then, I can get that only sporadically, and only with some spirits.  (Update from Jan 2021: I now have reliable and clear knowlege and conversation from a wide variety of spirits, as well as fuzzier, but still reliable, communication even with brand new spirits, on the first call). Here's how I got from there to here:

  1. REGULAR practice with automatic writing.  At least once a week.
  2. MUCH deeper trance.  If you can safely drive, you're not nearly deep enough.  If you can safely walk in a city, you're not deep enough.  However, over time, you'll learn to do it in less deep trance.
  3. Training in "shamanism" aka trance journey.  This is my teacher, whom I love enough to drive 4 hours (each way) for each lesson, but you should probably try to find a teacher local to you.
  4. However, what really helped me was working with spirits to get better at working with spirits, which is what I'm going to teach below.  This method is just how I do it; it's intended to inspire you to create your own method, but you could probably just follow it like a recipe if you wanted.
  5. Reframing the problem from being able to perceive spirits as being able to remember the perceptions once I'm up out of trance.
Choose a spirit associated with revelation.  I worked with the angel Arbatel, with whom I already had a close connection, but Gabriel, Helios, Apollo, Phoebe (the Titaness, not the Moon), and Hermes all spring immediately to my mind as excellent choices, but I get on really well with all of them (except Apollo, who is not really my cup of tea).  Anyone Mercurial or Solar will probably work. Someone with whom you already have a connection is better than someone new.

Next, choose a color you associate with them.  I would think white, gold, yellow, and silver are the colors I mostly associate with that sort of creature, but YMMV.  Get a candle that color, and on it write their name with a sharpie marker.  Choose an incense you like; I use Mastros & Zealot's "Dream and Journey" incense for this, but plain frankincense would also be nice.  Resin on coal is way better than sticks or cones, because we want smoke.  (pro tip: adding a very small amount of honey to loose incense will produce huge, thick, heavy, sweet clouds of incense) . Fill a pretty glass with water.  Make an opening oration to the spirit, something like this:

"Golden Crowned Phoebe, Brilliant Grandmother, Shining One, goddess of prophecy, goddess of intellect. Holy Mind, Beloved Queen of Thought, Oracular Intellect, Shining Eye That Pierces Every Veil, bring me Clarity. Lend me the strength to see what lies ahead, lend me the strength to face it. Beloved Phoebe, Shining One, lend me your eyes to see and your ears to hear.  Lend me your wisdom and your clarity, your foresight and your brilliance. Help me shine, shine, shine!!"

[in my magical circle "shiny" is slang for "charismatic", "inspired" and "overtly supernatural"]

"Phoebe, Shining One, eldest of your name, mother of Asteria, mother of Leto, grandmother of Apollo, grandmother of Artemis, grandmother of Hekate, wellspring of prophecy, wellspring of mediumship, bless me now!  Come to me, work with me, empower me.  Open my eyes that I might see your Brilliance and open my ears that I might hear your Ringing Voice.  Help me to perceive, and help me to remember all that I perceive.  I kindle flame for you, Shining One!  I burn frankincense for you!  I have poured water for you, but I want to do more!  I want to pour out libations in your name!  I want to bake you cakes and sing hymns to you, and make grand and public gestures in your name, but I cannot without your word.  Speak to me now!  Appear to me now! Whatever reasonable thing you ask of me in the next five minutes, if I hear your request, I will honor it as well as I am able."

Wait five minutes.  No more.  If you hear something, then it worked!  Give everything that was asked and more!  If not, then proceed like this....

"Blessed Grandmother, I am sorry, Shining One, I cannot yet hear you.  I beg you to empower me to continue improving in my mediumship, so that soon I will hear your voice, and be able to honor you with offerings.  I will call again tomorrow.  Thank you for your help.  If there is more you would like to communicate to me, please visit me tonight in my dreams."

Now, this is important: DO NOT make ANY offerings other than fire, water, and incense until you hear a sufficiently clear communication that you are convinced it was genuine.  Instead, make very elaborate offerings to other spirits within sight of the candle for your mediumship teacher.  Look over at her candle and say aloud "I'm sorry I can't give you offerings like this, but I can't hear what you want."

Most people should get results in their dreams in a few weeks.  Once you have, keep going and build on that success!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Potato Chip Cookies

Dianne's Potato Chip Cookies  (Dianne is my later father's oldest sister)
(2-3 dozen cookies)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350' F.
Sift together flour and soda.
Creme butter and sugar.
Mix all ingredients well.
Shape into small acorn-sized balls.
Flatten and place on cookie sheet.  Leave lots of room; they spread quite a lot.
Bake 12-18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow to cool before handling, or they will deform.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Strategic Sorcery Blog Hop: Magical Links

As many of you know, I'm an alumna of Jason Miller's Strategic Sorcery class, which I very, very highly recommend.  Even if the classes weren't amazing (which they were!) the alumni community would be worth the cost of the class.  Sometimes we do community blog hops.  Many of us are all writing about the same topic; this month, I'm hosting and we're writing about "Magical Links".  All the posts are listed below.  You can choose which to read, or travel through them in order.  Each post will link you to the next one.
  • Scarlet Magdalene at Alchemical Musings on the importance of establishing magical links as a means of connecting and communicating with the forces you are calling.
  • Scarlet Grace at Unseen Seraph tells us about the importance of magical links, their place in spirit work, and how to go about collecting personal concerns.
  • Sfinga at Summoned Sphinx writes about how to acquire links for magical work.
  • John Umbras on how to make physical links stronger.
  • Kat Caric at on the power of physically linking up moments of our life, to magnify their power and to multiply their frequency and effects.
  • Caduceus Wild writes about her evolution as a dirt collector.
  • Holiest Percher tells us all about Fingernails & Foot Trails
  • Sara Mastros, here at Traif Banquet, writes about using relics from sacred places as gateways to those astral temples.
  • Jason Miller at talks about how missing links can explain a lot of spell failures.
We hope you enjoy!  Feel free to leave comments below to request topics for future blog hops!

Places of Power: Strategic Sorcery Blog Hop

As many of you know, I'm an alumna of Jason Miller's Strategic Sorcery class, which I very, very highly recommend.  Even if the classes weren't amazing (which they were!) the alumni community would be worth the cost of the class.  Sometimes we do community blog hops.  Many of us are all writing about the same topic; this month, I'm hosting and we're writing about "Magical Links".

Previous    |    Master    |    Next

As some of you know, I've been doing quite a bit of traveling to places of power over the last few years; both "big name" sacred places (like Eleusis) and personal sacred places (like The Gateway to Arcadia).  I always come home with a bag full of rocks and dirt.  My most precious is probably a small stone which fell from the cave wall of the Plutonion, the great Entry into the Underworld at Eleusis.  I use them in a lot of different ways, including some of the ways the other bloggers have spoken about.  However, today I want to talk about one very specific way I use them, as keys to open astral temples.

There is some debate, among magicians I know, about just how places of power become so.  Some believe that it is human agency that empowers them, the legacy of centuries of magic and worship.  While I think that can have some effect, that is not my belief.  I believe that power arises from and abides in the land, and we humans, when we build our most sacred temples, are really only acknowledging the indwelling power of the place.  No matter how they get that way, Places of Power are powerful links, powerful gateways between our World and the Other Place.

One of the oddest Jewish names for G-d is המקום, HaMakom. Although it's sometimes translated as "The Omnipresent", it literally means "The Place" or "Space".  Let's not sugar-coat it; that's a real weird thing to call your god, and it raises a lot of questions.  It has a lot of strange connotations; G-d is, we know, non-physical and transcendent.  Isn't "The Place" the most physically instantiated, most locale-specific thing we could call a deity?  It hints at the great mystery of spiritual ascent, which St. Augustine perhaps sums up best: Intus Deu altus est, the highest God is deep inside, and we find it by journeying to that Other Place.

It's not at all clear, from the way the word is used in Torah, that's it's even intended as a name. However, by the time of Talmud, it was certainly understood that way (at least sometimes).  For example, Genesis 28:11-16 has Jacob stopping in Bethel en route to Haran, fleeing from Esau, and soon to meet Rachel and Leah.

When he came to haMakom, he stopped for the night because Shemesh [the sun] had gone down." He lays down, and dreams a famous dream, called Jacob's Ladder. "Then Jacob woke up from his sleep and exclaimed, “Certainly, HaShem is in this place, and I didn't know it!” Filled with awe, he said, “How awe-inspiring haMakom is! Certainly, this is the house of Elohim and the gateway to heaven!

In a classic commentary on Genesis, we read: "Rebi Huna in the name of Rebi Eliezer said, “Why is The Holy One, Blessed is He, called ‘Makom’? Because He is the place of the world, but the world is not His place." Whatever the fuck that means.

The place most (Jewish) people know the name from is the prayer of comfort for mourners, "המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים" "HaMakom yenachem et'chem b'toch shar avay'lay Tzion vee'Yerushalayim." "May The Place comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem."  It seems odd, doesn't it, that the name we'd choose to use when we pray to console the grieving is HaMakom. Wouldn't HaRachamim (The Compassionate) or even Shaddai (the Nurturing Breast) be more intuitive a choice?

And yet, each of us has been to a place, somewhere, sometime, where we felt ensconced in safety and love.  The prayer brings us back to that place, to the Place of Power and the indwelling god thereof.  And so, where we make pilgrimage to a sacred place, either in the body or in the spirit, we commune deeply with HaMakom.

What does any of that have to do with magical links?  I'm glad you asked!  For many of us, traveling the Other Place is a hard-won skill, and it can be difficult to navigate, even with a guide.  But by using a rock (or other physical talisman) as a "key" we can enter directly into the astral temple associated with the place, and commune directly with the spirits that abide there.

How?  Well, for me, I like to like down, and place the stone on my forehead.  I feel the weight of it, and slowly, as I enter into trance, I feel myself merge into the stone.  I sing the stone's song, know the stone's place, return to the stone's home.  And then, just like that, I am there, just where I took the stone from, where the coin I payed for it landed.  Once there, I can draw on the power of the place to energize my work, or consult with the spirits of the place.  I can collaborate with the millennia of other seekers and priests and magicians who have worked there, learning from them.  I can travel from there to other places under its auspices.

And so, that's why I bring home a bag full of rocks and dirt, no matter where I go.

Easy Passover Lamb Recipe

I love to make lamb for passover.  This recipe produces a thick stew which is excellent over mashed potatoes or with matzoh.  If it's not Passover, or you're not Jewish, it's traditional (in a Greek sense) over rice or pasta.  It also freezes very well, so I often make a double batch.  It's good made in a cast iron dutch over but you can also brown the lamb and onions in a pan, and then transfer everything to a crock pot.

  • 3 pounds lamb, cubed
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes. I am especially fond of this kind --> 
  • 1 16 oz jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed.
  • oregano, basil, salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 10 oz package frozen spinach, defrosted
  • olive oil

  1. Over high heat, saute the onions in olive oil, until they are soft and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, and continue cooking until the onions are golden.  Do not let the garlic burn.
  3. Remove the onions & garlic.  Brown the meat, until it is well caramelized on every side.  Add more oil if needed.
  4. Remove the meat, and deglaze the pan with the wine. 
  5. Add all ingredients to the pot you'll cook in.
  6. Cook on low heat for about 1 hour.  (6 hours in a crock pot)
  7. Yum!