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Interview with a Conjure Man

conjure man

 

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“He walked up to the entrance of the graveyard and acknowledged the gates. The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a few coins. Holding the coins in his hand, he displayed them to the directions–East, West, North and South–made a small prayer, and then dropped them at the graveyard gates. Holding his lit cigar and his bottle of whiskey, he entered and made his way to the crossroads within the graveyard. Once there, he began his work.”  —Hoodoo Sen Moise, Working Conjure A Guide to Hoodoo Folk Magic

working conjure book

To understand hoodoo, (not to be mistaken for “Voodoo” or Vodou) conjure and the art of these practices (which are used interchangeably but are essentially the same thing), we’d have to go back to the very beginning: The Transatlantic slave trade.

“Hoodoo is a form of traditional African-American folk magic that developed from a combination of beliefs of a number of separate African cultures after they came to the United States during the slave trade”, Hazzard-Donald explains in her book, Mojo Workin’: The Old African-American Hoodoo System (University of Illinois Press, 2012).

In short, the practice was born of necessity.

Upon arriving in the New World, slaves were forced to abandon their own religion and practices and convert to Christianity….or so the slave masters thought. To be caught practicing any religion other than what you were told you could worship, or participating in Vodou ceremonies meant beatings, starvation and in many cases, death.

And so the mixture of various African religious practices created by the enslaved was practiced and kept secret from white slave owners. Understand that in these times, there were no Occult shops, fancy candles or other magical paraphernalia. They used what was readily available to them, including herbs and spices, roots and barks and even animals. If you wanted to punish a slave owner for beating your son, these items were your go-to. After the Great Migration, the practice of Hoodoo spread throughout the United States and has been adopted and embraced by Caucasian people, giving us the term, Conjure.

To understand Conjure and Hoodoo, you must first understand that Conjure/Hoodooo and Vodou are not the same thing. Conjure comes from the Congo and Vodou comes from the country, Benin. “While there are influences of Vodou in Conjure, Conjure and Hoodoo are not a complete spiritual path”, says Sen Moise. “Conjure and Hoodoo is a practice and there is no worship involved. Work is”.

The practice of Conjure became necessary to overcome oppression and rebel against the slave owners. When slaves were captured and brought to the U.S., all they had with them were the spirits of their ancestors and their roots.  It was a necessary answer to forced oppression.

Sen Moise has been working conjure for over 35 years and is a Hougan Asogwe (High Priest) in Hatian Vodou and a Tata Nganga (High Priest) in Palo Mayombe.

“I am a priest and servant to the spirits first before anything else” he once said to me as we walked down Dumane Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans (also the street where he is the co-owner of the shop, Conjure New Orleans). He is probably the most dedicated priests of his traditions that I have ever known.

Admittedly, he did not choose either of the religions. They, he says, chose him. “I didn’t seek them out. I knew people in the Vodou but then I had spirits coming to me and I’d ask the folks I knew, ‘Who is this?” In those traditions he says, you get chosen, you don’t choose to practice.

In this way, among others, Vodou is different from witchcraft where in witchcraft, someone can just decide one day that they’re going to be a witch and learn everything they can about the practice. This isn’t so with Vodou or Palo, or any ATR traditions, really.

“Those spirits choose you, not the other way around.” He added of Vodou. He said that  when he first started getting involved in the religion, he knew nothing about it and when those spirits started coming to him he began asking questions to those friends who were initiated in it. Since initiating into the religion in Haiti, he has become a respected leader in spiritual community.

hoodoo sen

 

Where conjure and hoodoo are concerned, it was in the mountains of Georgia where as a child, his grandfather first introduced him to the practice, which he talks about in his book. It was these times spent with the elder man that Sen Moise realized that in the realm of spiritual or magical work, hoodoo/conjure “Has a tremendous influence in creating change that may not be so likely to occur otherwise”.

In writing the book he says that despite his own resistance to do so, he was asked by others over the years to put his knowledge on paper. The decision to write Working Conjure, A Guide to Hoodoo Folk Magic was made when he realized how much misinformation was out in the world (and on the web) about the practice. He said, “The only way that can be changed is if you write the narrative”.

People will often turn to a conjure worker in times of need and sometimes, out of desperation after all practical methods have been exhausted. Whether it be for lost love or new love, money, removing curses and hexes, victory in court cases or any number of other things this journey called life throws our way, it is the conjure worker who is sought out.

Unlike the belief in karmic retribution so prevalent in modern witchcraft, (I blame neo-Wicca for this) justice work, as he calls it, is his favorite type of magical work to do. He points out, however, that before he goes into a working, he makes sure that what he is about to do is justified, and that everything is balanced. In other words, you wouldn’t throw at someone who cut you off in traffic (Ok, maybe I would because I’m a complete jerk in the car with my road rage. I’m not sure what happens to me once I get behind that wheel lol).

Conjure is about working with both hands. Balance. Sometimes, you must first do harm to bring about the good. Handling the abuser in a domestic abuse situation would be a good example of this. Having something unfortunate happen to a woman just because you want her man would not be considered justified magic….just so’s you know.

When asked what or who inspires him, Sen Moise says, “My first inspiration was my grandfather. He was the only man I ever loved.”

But his primary source of inspiration, he says, are his own spirits. “Always begin with your ancestors,” he says. “Your ancestors are the foundation of everything else you do. If you don’t have a strong foundation, you’ll never last in this work. The foundation is what makes you strong and enables you to effectively do the work”.

Hoodoo and Conjure is more than just Voodoo dolls and Hot Foot Powder (although, he does have a wicked recipe for his Hot Foot Powder in the book, or, if you’re the lazy type, you can grab some up, here).

hot foot powder

The reviews of his book, Working Conjure, A Guide to Hoodoo Folk Magic have been nothing short of glowing. It was released by Redwheel/Weiser in Sept 2018 and since then, it seems almost daily that someone in my social media feed has discovered his book for the first time.

He skips over much of the esoteric brah–ha you find in other books on not only the subject of witchcraft but on hoodoo and conjure, and gets right to the meaty, how-to’s.

In my years in the magical community, I can confidently say that this is one of the  few books that doesn’t caress the ego of the author. Instead, he focuses on giving the reader and student a solid understanding of what the practice of Conjure is, and, how to do it.

You can find Hoodoo Sen Moise at Conjure New Orleans and his book, Working Conjure A Guide to Hoodoo Folk Magic, here.

 

**The Great Migration, sometimes known as the Great Northward Migration, was the movement of six million African-Americans out of the rural Southern United States to the urban Northeast, Midwest, and West that occurred between 1916 and 1970. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Migration_(African_American)

 

 

 

 

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When a Familiar Dies

black cat 1

Whoooo! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything new in here. Thanks to those of you who reached out via email; your kindness, concern and encouragement to get back to the writing grind has truly been touching. I am humbled by and grateful for each of you ❤ . I’ve been doing great, I’ve just been super busy, but I am happy to be back here and sharing with you again.

sppreciate

It’s really amazing what grief can compel a person to do. Some of us withdraw while others seemingly go off the deep end. I think I’ve teetered between the two in the last two months, finding myself at present time, somewhere in the middle.

I know a ton of other practitioners. Some of these folks are private, affectionately referring to their pet in magical terms, while others are out there in our communities, at some of the most well-know Pagan and Witchcraft events rolling up their sleeves and teaching others about the very subject of this blog post: Familiars.

According to the Witchcraft act of 1604, it was a felony to “consult, covenant with, entertain, employ, feed or reward any evil or wicked spirit to or for any intent or purpose.”

Historically speaking, familiars were believed to be given to witches by the devil….hence the “wicked spirit” the Act referred to.

Go on ahead, chuckle it up…I’ll wait…

Familiars are typically used to assist in divination and for assistance in calling upon spirits.

At least, that’s where many leave off in their articles regarding animal familiars, but it is so much more than that.

I’ll be honest here and admit it: I didn’t believe in familiars or in the relationship between a Witch and her familiar or the unexplainable bond they share. Of course, each witch refers to their four legged furry companion as their familiar, but I just figured doing so sort of went with the territory, just as how modern witches, post- Harry Potter, refer to non-magical folk as “Muggles”. After all, I didn’t hear anything about my friend, (we’ll call him “Sam”) Sam’s 3 cats slipping through the spiritual barrier at night whilst he slept to carry out his spell work, to spy on his enemies, or any of the other acts a familiar is said to carry out on behalf of their witch.

Forgive my seeming short-sighted, but I’m one of those literal people. If you were to tell me your cat plays hopscotch or your dog can hula hoop, you can bet your sweet ass I’m bringing a box of chalk and a hoop with me the next time I visit you, and giving that pet of yours the hopeful side eye of anticipation. I prefer to call it healthy skepticism, with a dash of hope that anything is truly possible, so here is a hula hooping dog to make you smile today:

Hula-hoop-dog

One October afternoon in 2012 I stopped by one of the semi-local animal shelters, as I periodically do, to donate blankets, new food bowls, dry dog and cat food and toys. I’m going to point out the obvious: I like animals more than people.

While I’m there, I’ll volunteer my time and walk some of the dogs then go inside and spend some time with each of the cats; petting them, letting the kittens out to play and give mom a break, and I’m pretty successful at leaving the shelter empty handed, but not on this day.

He was in the last kennel. He was a beautiful blond, long-haired bundle of snuggly love, I knew it just by looking at him. He watched me excitedly as I made my way to his kennel. I lifted the latch, opened the door and he came to the edge of the kennel, put one paw on either one of my shoulders and then….he hugged me.

scared emoji

Oh.My.God(s).

I was unable to resist him. I wasn’t gonna let him know it, and try as I might to convince myself that this cat and I didn’t just share something special that I’ve never experienced with a pet before, it was a losing battle for me.  I knew it and so did he.

I pet him and whispered sweet nothings to him, and then I placed him gently back into his kennel, closing the door and the latch.

When I turned around, the staff and president of the shelter (a friend of mine) were standing there, looking at me like this:

aww

I tightened my lips and shook my head, determined that I would not be leaving this place with a new family member. I had too much going on in life, I told myself as I walked over to my friend’s desk.

“I’ll sponsor him”, I offered, sounding semi-defeated, with no prompting from her. She smiled but said nothing as she reached into her desk and handed me the sponsorship form. I started filling it out.

“He came from a really horrible hoarding and inbreeding situation”, she volunteered. “Gosh, he is one of the sweetest cats we’ve ever had come through here, though”.

This is the moment where I made my mistake the best decision of my life. I turned around in my chair and looked at him. There he was, watching my every move, looking at me longingly with his head cocked to one side as if to imply, “When are we going home?”

I turned back around in my seat, facing my friend who was still smiling, to ask her for the adoption form instead, when I realized she had placed it on top of the sponsorship paperwork while I was admiring the beautiful golden eyes that stared back at me from behind a metal kennel door.

“He was watching you with that look from the moment you walked in”, she offered. “He’s meant to go home with you”.

So I’m a sucker.

It is wonderful to bond with an animal in such a way that you could practically read eachother’s thoughts. That’s what I had with my guy. Whenever I blended oils, he was right there beside me. When I was pouring candles, he was right there. If I was sitting in communion with the spirits of my ancestors at their altar, he was right next to me. If I were in deep daily mediation, he found his place on my lap. I knew the true character of a person by just watching how he interacted (or wouldn’t) with them. I knew when trouble was coming because he’d howl at night, I soon realized, to warn me.

On a personal level, he adored my children. Most cats don’t want to be anywhere near groups of people or noise, but he’d be right there with them watching Saturday morning cartoons. I’ve got a photo of my older kids and their friends sitting in a circle on the living room floor playing “Cards Against Humanity” and there he was, sitting in the circle with them.

He comforted me through failed relationships, dating snafu’s; he knew every secret I’d ever kept; he greeted me when I came home and would gently pat my face to wake me up when he was hungry if I’d slept in too late on a Sunday.

He was more than a family pet, more than a best friend. He was my familiar, and of all of the wonderful things I’d read about them, both in books and online, nothing prepared me for what would happen when he passed on. No one ever talked about how painful it is for the witch when their familiar dies.

I’m here to tell  you, it is traumatic. A part of you seemingly dies with them. I’m not here to sugar coat, I’m here to give you unabashed honesty. It’s different than losing a family pet. While losing a pet hurts, this cuts deeper. It reverberates for weeks and months, all day, every day. No matter how emotionally detached you think you are, or how hard you’ve worked for it, that wall is going to crumble and you are going to turn into a sobbing sissy.

And regular people won’t understand it. They’ll be shocked you’re taking it so hard, or concerned that you haven’t recovered in the time frame they think is acceptable to grieve. They’ll say, “So just get another cat (dog, guinea pig–whatever form your familiar decided to take). You’re going to want to sucker punch them for saying it. Don’t/ Try to understand that they don’t get it and it isn’t their fault.

My darling left me on July 22, and there has not been a day gone by that I do not think of him. A photo I’d taken of him two years ago came up in my Facebook memories yesterday and instantly brought me to tears. I keep going back to the afternoon it happened. He was standing next to me one moment, dead the next. It was that fast and that unexpected. He was only 6 years old. Frankly, I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t call 911 because of the screaming that was broadcasting from my house. The house has felt as though all of the joy has been sucked out of it. He, and that Facebook memory–his memory, is what brought me back here to write after a two year hiatus.

Devastation is an understatement. Desperation quickly sets in. Desperation to try to revive them, to see them in spirit, since we now there is an afterlife. Desperation that comes from well meaning friends who say, “They’ll return to you”.

Do they? When? How long does it take? How long will I have to wait, search, for that familiar soul in the eyes of another animal?

Are they fucking with me? Are they just telling me this to ease the pain?

You will ask these things, particularly when you’re staring mortality down through blurry, tear-filled eyes with your beloved familiar in your arms laying there, lifeless.

You’ll also have those well-meaning friends or family who offer you a kitten. gain, don’t get angry with them. They aren’t being insensitive, they’re trying to help ease your pain.

My Advice

(I’m no expert, just a mama to a fur baby and witch to a familiar who has passed on, and still going through the motions) is:

Do something that will bring closure to you, and honor to your familiar. I wrote, “Prayers for a Deceased Pet” a while back. Performing a short yet meaningful funerary service for your familiar to help their spirit cross that Rainbow Bridge and to assist you in setting the stage for closure.

Talk to other witches who have been through this. Swap stories of your familiars. you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and everything in between, and you’ll form a new or deeper friendship.

Keep something that belonged to your familiar. Whether it be their favorite toy, a lock of their fur or a favorite photo. Simply because the physical body has expired, doesn’t mean the connection to your familiar has been lost. You can continue to call on them for guidance in spirit.

Take your time. Some people immediately or almost immediately find another “pet”. I’m of the belief that you cannot replace a life with a life and besides, familiars choose their witch. Not the other way around.

Understand that there is no time frame for grief. Don’t let anyone get away with telling you to “Get over it”, “Move on” or any other such nonsense. I could be wrong, but I’ve never witnessed a successful guilting out of grief session. It doesn’t usually end well for the one who is doing the guilting.

I do hope this helps anyone reading this who has also lost a beloved familiar. Know that i share in the grief of your loss. Sorry to return on such a somber note. I’ve already got the next post in mind, and it sure is sure to be upbeat and of interest.

 

my baby

  Horus April 16, 2012-July 22, 2018

 

 

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When a Witch Is Burned

 

 

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Now that that’s out of the way…

do no harm

 

You see that there? I see this little gem floating around the internet, particularly social media, almost daily. I think it’s bullshit, but I’ll get back to that in a minute or two. (This is going to be a long one).

Brace yourselves for a rant. (Cut me some slack, I haven’t had a good one in a year, I’ve been relatively well behaved in that regard, so I’m over due).

Recently, the beloved author, Raymond Buckland stirred up some controversy on his Facebook wall when he responded to the article that had gone viral about hundreds of witches publicly hexing the now convicted Stamford rapist, Brock Turner. He said:

“So very sorry to see so many people who call themselves ‘witches’ talking about hexing people. Just undoing all the work that we pioneers worked so hard to do.WITCHES DO NOT HEX PEOPLE; DO NOT DO NEGATIVE MAGIC – period! Send out love. Find a POSITIVE way to change someone, if you really feel that necessary. (I wouldn’t mind betting that these people haven’t got the power to hex the skin off a rice-pudding anyway!) In love and light — Ray Buckland.”

People

Went

Ape shit.

I’m not kidding. If you saw it, you know what I’m talking about. There were outward verbal attacks, harsh criticisms, pot shots, peace makers, haters, and those who tried (and failed) to be the voice of reason (I was one of them, surprise, surprise!) It was bloodier than the Game of Thrones “Battle of the Bastards” episode. I swear. It caused such a stir that The Wild Hunt picked up the story. It was brutal.

But I’ll tell you why.

Many (not all, and I can’t even confidently say most) of us witches today will absolutely, unequivocally give you a good return for your actions if you wrong us. It may not happen right away, and may not even happen in a year, but it will happen.

I’ve written about this before.

That being said, I applaud those who stood up and said, “Yes, we do!”… it was just the delivery of their responses that made me cringe (and I’m not much of a cringer). In all honestly, I sort of felt bad for the way he’d been verbally accosted, but I also understand the anger and frustration from the feeling that our own kind has been burying us for decades, sweeping us “Hexers” under the rug, shaming us, and hiding us in broom closets to attain mass public acceptance. Don’t get what I mean? Buckland followed up with this:

“We all walk on different paths and must all be accountable for ourselves. I can only speak for what I have learned and what I teach. In the early days of the Craft in the U.S. a number of us worked long and hard to try to get rid of the misconceptions of witchcraft; the belief that witches worked evil magic and cast curses/hexes on others. To me it is a shame to see all that work being undermined in many ways. But I have spoken my piece. Perhaps it’s good that it has started a discussion?”

Please don’t misunderstand me. I have a massive amount of respect for the man, his books taught me how to make talismans from stones when I was 19, and in one passage he is right. It was a “Hand full” of them (he, among them) who brought modern witchcraft out into the forefront of society. Prior to this, most people were either scared to death of us or scoffed at the mere suggestion that we even existed. We had our children taken, we were mocked, outcast and punished in many ways. Most of us would still be in hiding had it not been for these pioneers. But if you’ve been reading my blogs for a while now, you’ll know how I generally feel about the sort of nearly Jehovah way many (ahem, “Neo-Wiccans”) have jammed that Three-Fold down our throats. I thought it was the Christians who banged the “It’s the only way” drum.

Anyway, I’m going to stop with that before I go offending someone else… I’ve picked on the Wiccans enough over the years. Moving along…

Getting back to the “Do no harm, but take no shit” meme. I notice that at least 98% of the people I have seen posting it on social media think that turning the other cheek when someone hauls off and smacks you in the face is “Taking no shit”.

I’m just over here all

are you kidding me

One sniff of a witch war, trouble among members of a coven or any other type of situation that may or may not find them in the thick of actually having to defend themselves or someone they call a friend, aka “Drama” and these same people are like

run forest

Seriously, wtf? Are we witches, or wimps?

Yeah, I know, fighting words.

Whatever.

C’mon people! Reach into your handbags and pull your balls back out!

Getting yourself dragged into someone else’s drama is something no one wants, I get it. I learned that lesson the hard way this past year when I tried to be the peace maker between three people, wound up with the name “Switzerland”, when what I didn’t realize, was that I was dealing with a lying, manipulative and destructive North Korea. Lesson learned. I’m I’m not advocating that we toss a magickal banana peel in someone’s path for looking at us sideways or criticizing us either (it would be wrong—– FUNNY, but wrong). Not even if they call us horrible, mean things (sticks and stones ya’ll). If someone is criticizing you, that means you are relevant and they are keeping you relevant. It’s not always a bad thing. They’re clearly thinking about you more than you’re thinking about them, right? 😉 It also makes them look like a hopeless, hung-up tool if they’re carrying on and on and on about you. Fact is, if someone’s got that kind of time to watch your every move and have something to say about it, it tells me their life really isn’t going as well as they’d have people believe. No one has that kind of time, and most people move on from it.

What I’m talking about is dealing with what inevitably ends up in your own back yard or even being dropped right on your lap.

I’m talking about someone really coming after you, trying to cause damage, trying to hurt you or hurting those you care for and really, reaaaalllllyyyy asking for it.

What does everyone do when this happens to them? They turn the other cheek. They stick their heads in the sand, or they suddenly become like Jon Snow and “Know nothing” either. Yep. They ignore the wrong-doer and keep it all hush-hush as to not draw attention to the matter and hope it just quietly goes away. Often times, it does. But what do you do when it doesn’t?

Let me give you an example of someone who was really asking for it. I know a woman (We’ll call her Linda) who runs a moderately successful business. One of her own people (We’ll call her Mary) royally screwed her. Mary nearly drove Linda’s business into the ground by having her bank and online financial accounts locked up. She nearly destroyed Linda’s reputation by ordering wholesale from companies under Linda’s business name who Linda had an established relationship with and not paying the COD bill. We’re talking thousands of dollars, folks. Things were so bad, friends held fund raisers for Linda to help her pay the business bills, including its rent, until Linda could get the banking issues cleared up, and her accounts unlocked. Let me also add that this happened quiet some time ago, and Linda is still experiencing the financial repercussions of what Mary did.

When I heard Mary’s name, it sounded familiar, and I looked throughout my own social media accounts to see if she was on any of them. Sure enough, she was. She was immediately removed and blocked. Why? Because I don’t want someone like that around me (would you?) and because, even though Linda and I don’t particularly see eye-to-eye on many things, I am of the belief and practice that you support and protect those in your tribe. Period. I don’t have to agree with or even like someone to know that what was done to them was wrong.

Two weeks after I’d removed Mary, she showed up at an event I was present for, and I watched how many of Linda’s own people greeted Mary when she showed up, (she avoided me like the plague) and then individually exhaling what seemed to be held and heated breath, rolled their eyes and murmured something inaudible the moment Mary turned her back and walked away. Everyone would rather internalize their disdain for the woman and act as though she were still good in their books, and then shit talk her the moment she was out of ear-shot, with another round of gossip that will carry on for months.  This sort of behavior has become an art form within the pagan/witch community. “She should be ashamed to show her face here”. Well, TELL HER!!! At the very least, stand there stoic as she parlays and makes an ass out of herself when she realizes you know what she did, and you aren’t pleased by her presence. You don’t even have to say anything unkind. But the kiss-kiss on the cheek and hugs and how are you’s and then the “Blah, blah, blah’s” after…It makes me insane. There are people I’ve known that could be on fire in front of me and I wouldn’t pee on them to put it out.

And they know it.

It’s passive-aggressive bullshit. Why not just let a person know exactly where they stand? They won’t bother with you anymore. They won’t waste their time and you won’t be wasting yours either working so hard to pull off fake. This behavior from the pagan/witch community reminded me of this, in regard to the entire topic at hand:

passive agressive witch

Don’t look shocked or act like you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about. You all know who you are. I want to know where the rest of these witches are:

ill knock your crown chakra off

We are not victims, people. Karma will not “get” them. That’s another common phrase used that really frosts my ass. Karma doesn’t work that way. The Universe, and its law of balance does, but Karma does not. If you want to sit around waiting, hoping, that “Karma” will get someone, have at it. You won’t know about it until your next life and theirs, and that’s if you’re even a part of it or will even remember how they wronged you in this one. I’ve gotten more emails from people expressing frustration for how Karma hasn’t worked for them, and their wrong-doer has gone on to live a happy, full and successful life, than I have from people who have had success with it.

Have you ever wished for your ex to get their heart broken after they broke yours? Did it happen? I bet it felt good. That wasn’t Karma. That was your thought and desire for this to be so that was sent out into the Universe to be manifested. That was witchcraft.

Have you ever had someone try to destroy you financially, or steal from you, to then find months later they lost their job, couldn’t pay their own bills and had their electric shut off? Did you hope what they did to you returned to them? That wasn’t Karma. Again, you put it out there to be manifested.

Witchcraft.

See how this works?

I am certainly no authority on the matter of cursing or hexing, but what I, and many others believe, is that as a witch, you have a specific set of skills and tools at your disposal that the mundane do not, in which you have every right to protect yourself with. If a witch knows how to heal, trust me, she/he also knows how to harm. If they tell you they don’t it is simply because they choose not to, not because they don’t know how to, and if they have ever done it, you will never, ever know.

Aside from our own will for it to be so, factored in with the ability to concentrate acutely, witches have an amazing variety of tools at their disposal when dealing with an untoward individual. If there is anything I have learned in the past six months, it is patience. Patience is key when giving someone their comeuppance. So is silence. When I grow quiet about something, you can bet that nine times out of ten, it is because I am up to something someone isn’t going to like the end result of. When you tell others what you have done, it lessens the power of your spell. Patience is needed to see the spell through, because if you are casting one spell after the other on the same person, you negate it all together, and you also run the risk of it back firing on you. A good rule of thumb is to wait three months, If your spell has not taken affect at the end of 90 days, you then try something else. I recently used a spell where I enlisted the help of the spirits around me. I simply asked that they silence someone I was to contend with the following day. I’d grown tired of listening to them flap their lips, and everything that came out of their mouth was either a blatant lie, or some skewed version of their truth. The next day, they were not permitted to speak. They were left feeling frustrated, and I giggled like a school girl all the way home.

I get that some of you reading this will still be on the fence or down-right hesitant to take any of my advice to practice. Maybe you’ve always wanted to and just don’t know where to start. If I can’t lead a witch to the cauldron, I can at least hand her a map showing her how to get there. I’ve clearly got the stomach for this sort of thing, but know that sometimes, by you not responding to someone’s actions against you is the best revenge. If it’s someone who is obviously begging for your attention, not giving it to them is torture. Sometimes, their life is so shot you think to yourself, “What more could I possibly do to this person that they haven’t already done to themselves?” But if you are turning away to simply avoid the conflict or confrontation, you are setting the stage to be a victim. That person’s victim, and someone else’s victim in the future.

Some of the tools witches have at our disposal range from books on how-to, candles and oils, as well as powders and rituals. Naturally, anything I am going to suggest here would not be suitable for the faint of heart, or those concerned with “Karma” or a three-fold boomerang affect gracing their lives with retribution in the future 😉

I’ll leave you with these four pearls of wisdom: Take back your control.

Poppets & Voodoo Dolls

Although most people think of a “Voodoo doll” when they think of poppets, there are many different ways to create one. These dolls are used in sympathetic magick and have been used for millennia, even as far back as Ancient Egypt. With sympathetic magick, you are literally creating a miniature version of the person you are casting on, tag-locking the doll with an item or photograph belonging to the individual, and “breathing life” into the doll, essentially creating a living, breathing essence of the person. Sometimes, these dolls are made of nothing more than wax and a strand or two of the person’s hair.

#1

Denise Alverado’s book, The Voodoo Doll Spellbook: A Compendium of Ancient and Contemporary Spells and Rituals …..

voodoo doll spell book

This book is off the hook when it comes to poppets and voodoo dolls. Within it contains dozens of ways and situations in which you would use these dolls, including how to make specific dolls for specific results and situations. Complete awesomeness, and one of my favorite books.

#2

My Reversing Candles

reversing candle

Ok, so I’m going to give myself a little plug here. Reversing candles. These are magnificent for when you literally want to give someone a dose of their own medicine, without having to spare the energy it takes for casting and sending something their way. Just give them a “Return to Sender”. A reversing candle will literally reverse back what they’ve dished out to you, courtesy of them. That’s right, their own juju that they sent you makes a full stop, a three-point turn, and goes back to them. These candles are typically found in the tapered variety, but I like to make them in votives. Although you should always take the necessary precautions when burning candles, a votive won’t give you the same need to watch it the way a taper would, with its wax dripping down, and flame out in the open. These candles are two-colored, (red and black) are hand-poured with the appropriate oils inside, and pre-dressed in the associated herbs for sending someone’s crap back to them.

#3

Azure Green’s Hot Foot Powder

hot foot

Have a pesky neighbor? Does your daughter have a boyfriend who is bad news? If you don’t want to be bothered with a ritual, or if you worry about “Karmic retribution”, but you need this person gone… hot foot ’em. Hot Foot is an old hoodoo formula that is used to rid yourself or your home of an unwanted person. Hot foot powder will send them packing, and will keep your home and life free of the trouble maker. The scent is hot and spicey and not at all pleasant to the senses, as it should be.

But here’s the trick: they have to actually step in the powder for it to work. Hot Foot powder, as its name suggests, is an old form of Foot Track Magick, where its intended has to make contact with it by stepping on, over or through it. In the case of Hot Foot powder, they have to physically step on the powder for it to work, which makes this manner of magick ideal for those cauldron stirrers you physically come into contact with, or have access to their walking path.

#4

Human Figure Candles

blk human figure candle female

Another one of my favorite types of candles. They can be used singularly to represent a person, or you can use them in sets of two, one representing you and the other person, or the other person and someone else. I’ve actually used these candles to end relationships, when they guy wasn’t getting the picture, no matter how I spelled it out to him. They come in a variety of colors specific to the the outcome you desire, and come in male and female forms as well as in certain…shall I say, “Body Parts”. They would be used much in the same manner as any other candle, except that the figure candles clearly represent a specific sex, and you may enhance your spell by linking it to the person you are performing the spell on, by placing a lock of their hair under it, burning it within the flame of the candle, and so on. You may also carve the intended’s name into the candle, personalizing it even farther. I lust love these, and have used them for years for various situations.

While I watered it down a bit for the sake of this article, my methods of dealing with annoyances may not be for everyone. I would strongly advise doing your research on a spell before performing it yourself, and it is always wise to follow your gut. If you’re angry but your intuition is telling you not to act on it, always trust your intuition. You never know, the Universe may have already decided it is going to deal with the other person for you, and it’s your intuition’s way of saying “Spare your energy, the Universe has this”. Also, I would advise against searching Google or anywhere else on tbe Internet for spells. Talk with your Elders, seek their wisdom. Talk with others in the community and find out what has worked for them, or look to authors who have tried and tested the spells they are recommending in their books. It isn’t always true, just because it’s on the internet.

“Bonjour!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Crone: More Than Age and Wisdom

crone

It’s an inevitable phase of our life: we grow old. Many have tried and failed to find the fountain of youth, while others have accepted, embraced even, our mortality; growing older is a part of living.

Aging is more than wrinkles and aches. Pagans and Witches alike look to the Crone for wisdom and guidance because the fact is, She has experienced more than we have. She’s been there, she’s done that and probably even has the t-shirt.

When I was a girl, my mother played bingo twice a week and often took me with her. My siblings were much older, with lives of their own and my father worked late into the night and so more often than not, on a Wednesday of Friday evening, I’d be dotting my single bingo card with a marker next to my mother, who’d have the table in front of her filled with the same cards full of numbers.

I imagine some kids would have been thrilled just to have been out of the house on a school night. But my thrill came from the women around her. In one way I suppose you could say I had a dozen or more grandmothers, as my mother was much younger than the group of ladies she had befriended. They’d often gather at the hall hours before bingo would start and play cards for pennies. Others would arrive just as early to get a good seat. I’d often occupy myself by playing outside, or sitting with one of the older women and listening intently as they regaled stories of times past. A ham sandwich cost a nickel, a movie was ten cents. Sometimes, if the music came on, the older gentlemen who were there would say, “Hey, kid! Come over here, I’m going to teach you the box step!”

I learned how to jitterbug, too.

One woman, Loretta was her name, who I had gotten somewhat attached to, brought in a small musical keyboard. She’d looked at my hands once when she was teaching me to play blackjack, and said, “You’ve got piano fingers”. And so, the following week she came in with this keyboard, and my “formal” piano lessons began.

… I can play Over the Rainbow like no one’s business 😉

My point is, I learned a lot from these women. Some of the life lessons didn’t catch on back then, but as I got older, I’d had more, “AHA!” moments than I could count.

The Triple Goddess (Maiden, Mother and Crone) denotes the cycle of life; specifically, a woman’s life.

In today’s society, it is youth and beauty that is worshiped, while age is ignored or even in some ways, shunned. With things such as Botox and plastic surgery, anti-aging creams and mocridermabrasion, let’s face iit (no pun intended) no one wants to accept that some day, we will be old, and the cycle of our own life will expire.

I get it, it’s scary. this fact of life. I’d by lying if I said I, myself completely embraced it because frankly, it scares the hell out of me.

This is why the Crone Goddess, or Dark Mother, is the most frightening aspect of the Goddess. She reminds us of our own mortality and brings with her destruction, decay and death, even though many traditional societies regard death simply as a natural cycle of life. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. As the tree’s leaves are reborn in the spring, bloom and blossom gloriously throughout the summer, they also dry, age and die, falling off the branches of the trees, returning to the ground from which the tree itself began as a seed. We are reminded that the death of  Winter is followed by the promise of rebirth in the Spring. The Crone Goddess’ color association is black and she is also associated with the waning or new moon as with the seasons, Autumn and Winter.

When we think of her though, it isn’t all just doom and gloom. She is most often depicted as a Grandmotherly type or a wise woman.. The word Crone derives from the old word for crown, suggesting the wisdom that emanates from the head like a halo.  However, the word’s origins go back to Old  Northern French, Middle Dutch and late Middle English, meaning, in short, “An old woman”.

What it means to be a Crone is that your own child baring days have past; you are the wisdom keeper, seer, healer and perhaps even the midwife, whose knowledge is sought out to guide others during life’s hardships and transitions. Why?

Because you’ve been there, done that and you have the shirt. 😉

It seems that more is expected of a Crone. If you were to find, say, a 75 year old woman picking fights with others and carrying on in such a way that a spectacle was made of everything, I’d be inclined to believe that most intelligent people would stay away. But a 82 year old woman who conducts herself with grace and fairness, who doesn’t cause controversy and disdain among her peers would be most beloved and sought after for wisdom, insight and guidance, right? It is said that we all must grow up sometime, and the true Crone has not only embraced this, but has willing passed on her lessons of hardship, love, betrayal and wisdom in life onto others without judgement of others for the faults of human nature.

Her wild days are over 😉

So if you are approaching your Crone years, look back upon your life and its lessons, and think about the wisdom you could impart on those who come to you for help based on this…. It is what I too, will be working on in the years to come…

For a Croning Ritual, visit my website at: http://www.krystalmadison.com/resources1.html

Photo Credit: Lunaesque Website: http://www.lunaesque.com

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Prayers for a Deceased Pet

deceased pet
This is something I shared a few years ago on another one of my networks, but I thought I’d also share it here for the readers. I’ve gotten tons of requests over the years from people who have lost their beloved pets.
We’ve all been through it. In fact, I myself suffered two losses just last year. Our four-legged friends are loved just as much–sometimes more than people. Sometimes, they are our only companion or best friend when everything else is going wrong in our world. They love us unconditionally, whether we are in a crappy mood, happy, having a bad hair day or a day we wished we hadn’t gotten out of bed, and because of this, their death can be devastating.
Pets aren’t just domestic dogs or cats, either. I’ve known people who have rescued wildlife, only to find that when the animal was rehabilitated, it did not want to return out into the wild, instead, they’d want to stay with their new human companion. I myself have had the pleasure of the companionship of the wild.

As Pagans and Witches, we believe that all things—even inanimate objects have a life and spirit equal to our own. Our pets–particularly our familiars– are sometimes closer to us than our families and friends. Christian beliefs are that pets do not go to heaven and animals are secondary to humans in the eyes of the Christian god. Pagans don’t believe in heaven and we believe that not just pets,but  all animals, are to be honored and remembered the same as we would honor and remember a person who has passed from this world.

If you wish to hold a ceremony or funeral for your beloved pet, there is no right or wrong way to do this, as the ceremony is unique and personal to you, and you alone. Below are some simple prayers you can recite for your beloved friend:

Prayers for a Pet Cat

1. You have crossed over now,
into the spirit realm.
May you walk with Bast,
and I will see you again some day.

2. Mother Earth, we return to you
the body of one of your children.
Her spirit will return to her ancestors,
and she will continue to live in our memories.
We are thankful that we were able
to share our lives with her,
and give her to your loving arms.

3. Bast, Sekhmet, we give you back your child.
Noble, regal, honorable cat.
Watch over her, and guide her on her way
to the spirit world.
May she be blessed in your names,
and hunt ever after beside you.

Prayers for a Pet Dog

1. Faithful friend, loyal companion,
we say farewell to you now.
You have kept us warm at night,
protected our home
and offered us unconditional love.
For this we are thankful,
and we will remember you forever.

2. In days gone by, the dog ran wild, untamed and free.
Although man may have tamed your bodies,
we have never tamed your spirit.
You are free now.
Go and run with your pack,
with your wild ancestors, racing by the midnight moon.
Go and hunt for your prey,
taking what is your birthright.
Join the wolf, the jackal, the wild dogs,
and run with your kin on the wild hunt.
Run, and guide your spirit home.

Prayer for a Euthanized Pet

I have loved you from the day you came into my life,
and now it is time for me to let you go.
I could not watch you suffer,
I could not see you in pain.
Now you are free.
Your body is no longer sick,
or weak, or hurting.
Now you can run with the others,
playing and hunting as wild things do.
Because I loved you,
I had to let you go.
You will live forever in my heart.

Resources:
http://paganwiccan.about.com/


http://www.triplemoonceremonies.ca/

 

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Go Smudge Yourself! How to Protect Yourself from Psychic Vampires

go smudge yourself

Ok, so we’ve all had that friend or that person in our lives that, whenever they’re in our presence, they seem to suck us dry of our physical energy.

Sometimes they’re not even aware of it. Others are not only aware they do it, but they’ve learned to master it. If you are psychically sensitive, especially if you are an Empath, you will want to learn how to protect yourself from energy vampires.

Your energy is precious and having  an energy balance in your body is essential for your health. When you have a certain level of energy imbalance, you can become sick or perhaps don’t feel 100% when your energy flows are disturbed or blocked. It’s even happened to me.

I have this one friend– and though I love her dearly– she used to suck me dry of energy within just mere minutes of being around her. Other friends used to think I was being mean when I’d say that I could only take her in small doses– that is, until they got around her.

For someone who is highly psychic or empathic, this type of person can be dangerous.

Imagine being around someone who is always really happy and fun to be around. Their energy is good, it feels safe, their joy is infectious, you could easily spend hours in their company. Their presence energizes you.

Now imagine someone that complains a lot, is a drama queen, is unhappy or constantly moaning. It doesn’t feel so great to be around them. You will very likely  feel tired, miserable, exhausted and even sometimes, uncomfortable. Maybe there’s times you have to go and take a nap after spending any amount of time with them, whether it be on the phone or physically hanging out.

This still happens to me at family gatherings… but we’ll refrain from going there…for now 😉

There’s a very good chance that the person who is making you feel this way is an  ‘energy vampire’ or also often referred to as a “psychic vampire”. They are literally stealing your energy, happiness and joy.

An energy vampire is someone who cannot sustain their own energy or life force so they feed off others who are at a higher energetic level. They are unhappy and struggle to find the joy within so they seek it outside of themselves.

This same friend I spoke of above, later admitted to me that she knew what she was, and she “fed” off certain people to keep her own energy levels up.

meh

 

Suffice it to say, we don’t spend very much time together anymore.

According to trueshiningself.com, there are many personalities of energy vampires.

  • The Victim – feels the world is against them, they’re constantly moaning or sobbing, trying to feed off other people’s attention.
  • The Blamer – always blaming others and not taking responsibility for their own actions. They put the onus on someone else, they hand out guilt, dumping all their crap onto others and dampening down their energy.
  • The Drama Queen – looking for attention, acting up. Everything is enhanced to an enormous scale of negative energy thus stealing the energy of others.
  • The Charmer – the joker, talker, wanting to be the centre of attention, wanting other people’s energy directed at them.
  • The Green Eyed Monster – jealous. Wanting what others have, not happy with what they’ve got, trying to take what’s not theirs.
  • The Guilt Tripper – using shame to get what they want from other people.
  • The Gossiper – not happy with their own life so looking for drama I other people’s lives.
  • The Insecure – pulls others down to their level of low self esteem.
  • The Paranoid Android – highly anxious and fearful. Chaotic energy surrounds them causing imbalances in those around them.

Sound like anyone you know?

When we hear the word, “Vampire” we think of movies like. “Twilight” or shows like, “Buffy” and “Vampire Diaries” or “True Blood”.  The worst part about this, is that these beings we envision aren’t what we are actually dealing with. The vampires I’m talking about don’t have fangs, aren’t immortal and ageless or sleep by day and roam by night. Often times, we go on completely oblivious that they’re even be in our presence! They could be your friends, family members, co-workers.

When we talk about energy, we often times get images of electricity or nature. Energy; the Earth’s energy, our energy, the energy of the things around us, is constantly transforming, opening and widening, adjusting, flowing and renewing. Most of the time, energy feels wonderful. But when we are  unanchored and begin to knowingly or (more often than not) unknowingly tap into the denser energies around us, it can be like opening Pandora’s box. Some of us have been able to keep our ability to absorb or release certain energies “under wraps” all this time, now only finding that we are being triggered by things we thought we’ve been able to hide or suppress before.

No bueno.

We can’t hide under a rock, and for those of us who have been successful in the past at hiding beneath one are finding that the rock is no longer there. It is a dangerous world we live in, with technology (energy) right at our fingertips. Humankind has evolved (energy) and become smarter (energy). We have ways of attacking one another, or simply reaching out to one another that we didn’t have 50, 60 or one hundred years ago. Doesn’t this frighten you?

How does any of this relate to psychic/energy vampires? That’s easy. They no longer have to be in your presence to affect you. We have social media, and all kinds of other platforms to reach out and connect with one another.

Back in the early 2000’s someone approached me about a totally out-of-the-box concept for the future of the internet, (which was only really made available to the public around 1997) and how people communicated with each other.

Video email.

I thought the idea was nuts and I didn’t sign on to it (kicking myself now, of course). I was still just getting used to and loving the idea of regular email, and the ability to connect with and communicate with people from all over the world through it. But now we have Skype, Face Time, Snap Chat and others.

Who knew?

With sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it’s easier now than ever to connect with people from all around the world.

Sometimes the experience is great, and sometimes, you run into someone you wish you’d never given the time of day to.

Ask yourself, after having had any dealings or interactions with someone, if you have felt any of these symptoms:

  • Feeling utterly exhausted after speaking with someone, when you weren’t exhausted before?
  • Feeling suddenly insecure or unwell after interacting with someone, maybe even repeatedly, to the point of experiencing chronic physical pain?
  • Feeling dizzy, losing sleep, having trouble concentrating, or feeling just plain irritable after an encounter with someone (outside of the fact that you may not get along well with the person in general?)

Yeah, you just got sucked dry of your energy.

Scifi bullshit? Absolutely not! It isn’t just holistic practitioners and New Age guru’s (or even us witches) who are noticing (or even if we’ve always know) the way energy flows, and how some people can either be the takers of it, or be the victims of it having been taken from them.

Both scientists and physicians are beginning to realize there’s something going on (a bit late to the party, thanks for finally catching up!)

Psychology Today: Feel Free to Live: The Secret Life of An Empath

Spirit Science and Metaphysics: New Study Links Social Anxiety to Being An Empath

Also have a look at: Scientists Confront “Energy Vampires”–A New Name for An Old Phenomenon 

And lastly, have a peek at what Dr. Judith Orloff Has to Say about it, in This Article

So… what do you do when you’ve been “bitten?”

The moment you realize it and are out of their periphery, clear your energy.

Smudge. Meditate. Light some incense. Get rid of as much of their physical (or virtual) presence that remains. Anoint your Third Eye Chakra with some essential oils. Some oils that are handy to have around for this type of cleansing are cedarwood, cypress, geranium, juniper, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, mugwort, orange, peppermint, pine and rosewood.

In the future:

Know Your Boundaries.

What are your limits?  Become aware of certain situations where you feel more empowered and secure, and those situations where you don’t.  Listen to your body and act on it. Your instincts will never steer you wrong. I attended a a friend’s party a few years ago around Samhain, with over 300 people in attendance. After about an hour, I left. It was a lovely party, but my instincts were screaming and I could feel my energy levels being drained. I went back to my hotel and slept until 3:30 in the afternoon the next day.

Practice Psychic Self Protection and Defense.

There are tons techniques for psychic self protection and defense. I’ll give a few examples here, but use whatever works for you. Just be sure to make it a daily habit while getting ready for the day.

Shielding.

Shielding involves you having to go into a meditative state when first starting out. After some time of practicing, you will have mastered it and can put up shields at the drop of a hat.

Find a comfortable place to sit. Close your eyes and let your body relax. Slow your breathing. Be aware of your breaths; slow, methodical, breathing in slowly, holding that breath for a moment, and then releasing it slowly.

Imagine a white light opening up over you. Slowly, this light makes its way down to the top of your head. Feel its warmth. Imagine this light beginning to expand around you, moving down over your body and forming a bubble. It begins to drown out sounds from the outside. You can feel the warmth of the light on your skin, making it tingle.

Hold this bubble for as long as you are able. When you release it, the bubble begins to move back upward, over your head and back to its starting point just above you, until it finally closes and disappears.

You have just created a shield. I have found this practice very helpful not only for shielding out the energy of certain people, for protecting myself, but also when entering a property that has a restless or aggressive spirit.

Crossing Your Arms.  

Your Solar Plexus Chakra ( located 2 inches above your navel) is where your personal power lies.  If you are put in the situation of having to interact with a psychic vampire, cross your arms in front of your Solar Plexus Chakra.  This will prevent their immediate access to your power center.

Call Upon Your Guides.

Whether you identify with them as Spirit Guides, Guardian Angels or Ancestors, call upon them.  We all have a team of light we are surrounded by, even if we don’t physically see them.  Call on them to protect you, and know they will show up.

Carry Black Tourmaline or Hematite.

Black tourmaline as well as Hematite  are probably two of the most (if not the most) protective stones there are.  Wearing it in pendant or bracelet deflects all negative energies coming your way.  Always remember to sage (smudge) it first before wearing it, and clear it often if you’re using it in an area of high psychic vampire traffic. I own a ton of Hematite. I wear a Hematite ring regularly, and I’ve had both bracelets and necklaces made with Hematite literally snap off me and break after absorbing a psychic attack or while interacting with someone who was a psychic vampire. Why? The stone takes the energy hit instead of you.

Rest.

If you have been in contact with someone who is a psychic vampire, and they have drawn energy from you, the next best thing to do after clearing the energy around you is to rest and build your energy back up.

Like the sign in the picture? It can be found at: https://www.etsy.com/listing/189973069/go-smudge-yourself-hand-painted-sign

Resources: http://trueshiningself.com/

http://alcantaraacupuncture.com/

http://www.suzannebovenizer.com/

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Santa Muerte…. the Virgin Mother’s Kick-Ass Sister and Beloved Goddess of Death

santa muerte

Before you all get your britches in a twist… I was kidding… sort of… but I’ll get to that…

Santa Muerte (also known as Santisima Muerte) is the beloved goddess of death. Her origins date back to the pre-hispanic period of Mexico, and was believed to be a protector of souls who resided in the dark underworld. There are a great many theories and beliefs about her origin, from being the revival of the pre-Hispanic Mexican goddess of death, Mitchecacihuatl, a re-invention of the female Grim Reaper from Spain, La Parca, or that she was once a Mexican Catholic nun, coming from Italian roots going way back to the Fates of ancient Greece.

Either way, in short, she scares the hell out of the Vatican.

thumbs up

According to professor R. Andrew Chesnut of Virginia Commonwealth University, who has studied the rise of Santa Muerte, “Santa Muerte is particularly appealing to people on the margins of Mexican and U.S. society because she’s seen as the saint who embraces everyone regardless of race, sex, age or gender orientation”.

Something the Catholic church certainly doesn’t do.

Oh, and she’s got familia, too! Her cousin, San La Muerte, is the second of three skeletal folk saints who command widespread devotion in the Americas. Interestingly enough, San La Muerte’s main myth of origin portrays him (he’s a male figure) as a Jesuit priest….. let the knees in the pulpit start a’ knockin’!

But who is she?

Santa Muerte is the Lady of Holy Death, with an estimated 10 to 12 million devotees, and she’s only been public for 12 years…. that’s enough to make any long-standing, long-ruling organized religion crap themselves.

scaredBefore 2001, Santa Muerte was clandestine, with devotees building personal shrines hidden in their closets. But after a woman named Enriqueta Romero unveiled the first public shrine to the saint in the Mexico City barrio of Tepito, it has spread fiercely throughout Mexico, Central America, and Latino-heavy US cities like Los Angeles and Houston. The “cult’s” growth has even been tracked to Japan, Australia, and the Philippines.

Better break out that Frankincense and Myrrh….

I’ll tell you what… this is my kind of chick! I had family members in Puerto Rico that would dedicate an entire room of their home to her… life-size statue and all, and she used to scare the holy grail out of me! But recently, when I visited with Rev. High Priestess Lori Bruno in Salem, Mass., she had a statue of Santisma Muerte standing gloriously atop an alter piled with offerings, and I found nothing but beauty and solace in it.

Just this past weekend, I visited an indoor flea market in Dutchess County, New York and was utterly delighted when I found a vendor who sold primarily Santeria items (stocked up on my sulfur while I was there 😉 ) and the vendor nearly shit when I asked him for a specific Santa Muerte statue. The guy was so excited that I actually knew who she was that he even let me behind the counter and peruse all the statuary encased in the glass display by myself.

The only thing that disappointed me was that every single statue of her that he had was faced AWAY from the public. In other words, if you were standing in front of his glass counter, the only thing you’d see is the vail, giving you the impression it was the Virgin Mary (You see how easily confused the two can be?) No need to scare off the gringos, I guess.

But back to scaring the daylights out of the Vatican (Because that’s always just soooo much fun–tee hee!!) The Catholic Church has certainly taken notice. In May 2013, Cardinal Ravasi, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, made Santa Muerte an official point of condemnation, calling her, “a  ​blasphemy against religion.”.. sounds more like bull shit propaganda and a herding of the sheep if you ask me.

Think about this for a second.

think

The Roman Catholic Church claims to have started in Matthew 16:18 when Christ supposedly appointed Peter as the first Pope. However, the honest and objective student of the Scriptures and those who don’t just believe any bullshit they’re fed and history soon discovers that the foundation of the Roman church is none other than the pagan mystery religion of ancient Babylon.

jesus face palm

Another hornet nest poking for another time….

So you have the Catholic church who has been around for oodles, who sends Saint Patrick to finally beat the pagans into submission get the Pagans to convert… conversions are happening, everyone is praying to one God and following the rules of the church….happy, happy….

All of a sudden, here comes this bad-ass Diety, who not only says, “Hey, you can worship me and whoever the hell else you want, I don’t mind!” And a Deity whose stance is sort of like, “You did what?!? Pffftt… you’re still OK in my book. Hey, you’re human, you’re gonna make human mistakes, let me help you out with some of them”….and suddenly…people, Catholics among them, start flocking. Never mind that she is a scary as all get-out looking Diety. Why? Because you don’t have to attend mass to get her to listen, you don’t have to say 5 “Our Father’s” and 10 “Hail Mary’s” to be forgiven, and she never suckers you into volunteering at a function.

…..Oh, and she gets shit done.

Now you’ve got the Catholic church all like:

hell no

Why?

Well…. I could give you my opinion (which I personally think would be far more entertaining and a thousand percent less politically correct) but….

Eh, what the hell?

They’re feeling threatened. More and more people are leaving the church with each passing day and turning to alternative religions and belief systems…. with Pagan-based religions being the fastest growing. Why? Well….. I think that’s a whole other blog post. But when it comes to religion, the church just doesn’t have the kind of control over folks it once used to. Back in the day, you could be sentenced to death just for thinking anything other than Christ. Back then, the church had the authority to take your home, sell off your family and just about anything else they wanted to do. Back then, death scared people.

As far as Santa Muerte is concerned, the church feels that the depiction of her (skeletal) is evil, and in some cases, a darker counter part of their blessed Virgin Mary (told you I’d get around to it). Santa Muerte is everything the church teaches you not to follow… specifically, death, because in the eyes of Christians, Jesus defeated death and so to worship the very thing that stands between life and Satan is sacrilege. To them, death does not exist because Jesus defeated it when he was resurrected….. end of story…. (even though between my own research and practicing Catholic days, I can find a few holes in that theory).

The fact of the matter is, that death is present the world over.

If you are to call upon La Santisima Muerte, it is suggested to be done through Catholic prayers, always first asking God’s permission to invoke Her. It is in this way She works best and responds quickly to prayers. I wouldn’t chance removing her from this paradigm even if you are uncomfortable with the Catholic aspects of this Diety. You certainly wouldn’t petition an Egyptian God in the French language, would you? You don’t have to be Catholic  to pray to or work with Her… she’s cool like that, but a level of respect and reverence is required, and that is by petitioning her in her language: Catholic.

a 9-Day rayer to Santa Muerte can be forund here >>>> http://www.subrujeria.com/english/ENGLISHBOOK.html

Resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/r-andrew-chesnut/vatican-official-denounces-santa-muerte-as-sinister-and-infernal_b_3128619.html?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/07/santa-muerte-saint-death_n_6108198.html

http://www.brujonegrobrujeria.com/page/page/2215114.htm

http://www.biblebelievers.com/jmelton/Catholic.html

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Sense and Sensitivity…. the Fluffy Bunny Way… (A Follow-Up To Shove Your Three-Fold)

bunny

I’ve been silent for a few months with my writing and contributing to this blog, which honestly, should scare the hell out of everyone, as silence with me can only mean one thing…. more cauldron stirring.

My lack of contributions simply meant that I was occupied with other things, not that the mouthy witch waved the white flag and gave up… oh, cont-rare!  I have a TON of new material to work with! (It’s just a matter of finding the time). So.. Grab a bottle of Meade, pop some popcorn, sit back and watch the fur fly…

…Again.

poke

Exactly a year and three months after I took to the keyboard and vented my feelings and disdain about having a law of ethics I do not follow shoved in my face, my article, Shove Your Three-Fold Somewhere Else seems to still be getting knickers in a twist

In the past week alone, since it’s second round of going viral, I’ve received probably over a hundred emails and messages either cheering me on for it, or scolding me some more.

I appreciate the sentiments on both sides (lol) but I didn’t write that piece for validation, approval, to make friends or to be told to apologize…

Because I won’t.

Proceed reading this blog with caution, because there’s a

reality check

I also won’t change or alter the article in any way, as was (albeit politely) suggested by a Wiccan I have come to know and respect. Why? Because I don’t back peddle. I’m also not easily strong-armed. And by the way…. the only person I am oath-bound to is myself… that is the tradition (If we’re going to throw traditions around) I was born into, initiated into and live by, which makes me the kind of witch who is a nightmare for those who don’t want a mirror held up to them. If I’m going to lay a verbal smack-down or talk shit, well, then I’m also going to own it. Many people write and post things in a fit of emotion, click, “Post” and then once they’ve calmed down a bit, or are “persuaded” otherwise, panic and delete it, only to realize that someone, somewhere has already screen captured it to haunt the author with it for years to come.

Guess what? I’m not one of those people. RARELY will I write and publish or post something I will later remove (and when I do, it’s usually because I accidentally posted it twice, or found some serious typos all because I type too damned fast.. in one instance, I did it to call someone out and get their attention..and when I did, and we talked, I removed it because it then became between me and them and not me, them and everyone else  on the planet whose eyes happened to be prying that day). I think long and hard before I post something… that article alone went through 18 edits and took 3 hours to write, because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t pure, raw emotion when I finally committed to putting it out there into the world. It may have been personal for some who read it, but rest assure, it wasn’t personal for me (which I’m sure will make some feel all warm and tingly inside knowing this)… In other words, you might consider me a premeditated kind of person. I know exactly what I am doing when I do it.

I also wouldn’t hold out for an apology from me either, because it’s not coming. If someone was offended by what I wrote, or their feelings were hurt, well, I’m not responsible for anyone else’s feelings or emotions. It was suggested I amend the original article to say “Some Wiccans” … that’s not going to happen either. Those Wiccans who are “Old school” as they call themselves, or who simply don’t partake in the fluffy ridiculousness out there  I called out in that article really have no need to be offended at all, if you don’t do it, then why take it personally? It doesn’t apply to you, right?

And if you don’t do it, it should bother the hell out of you that there are those out there who call themselves Wicca and make a fairy tale circus out of the tradition you take so seriously. “Some Wiccans”… hmmmm…  well, I hate to be the one to tell you, (actually, I’m sorta gloating about it) that THOSE are the people who are representing the rest of you. Anyone can be as upset, uptight or angry as they want, but I am simply one voice of many who felt the way I did when I wrote that piece, the only difference, was that I went out on a limb, grew a set of crystal balls and said something on a platform that can’t or won’t be later hidden. Why?

Accountability.

Someone said to me, after reading the article, “You’re obviously not BTW” (British Traditional)… well, no shit Sherlock! That just shows how incredibly narrow-minded many of us have become, when they hear “Traditional witch” they automatically think BTW. To think that anything or anyone outside of Wicca isn’t a witch at all!

In the words of the great Malficent:

well well

make-me-laugh

………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………..

……………………sorry………

giggles….still laughing…..

Getting back to accountability…

I own what I do and I own what I say. I will never, ever tell a person what I think they want to hear, or to appeal to the masses.  When approached by someone looking for a mentor in the Craft, the very first thing I tell them is that I am NOT Wiccan, should they be expecting to learn or be initiated Wicca. That’s the first half of accountability, responsibility. What the Wiccans have going on out there are these people who go to their local Barns N Noble New Age and Spirituality section, pick up a nifty “Love and Light” book from Llewellyn , read it, self initiate, and then call themselves High Priest or Priestess and run around handing out glittery butterflies and finger shakings, hide behind Karma (which is an Eastern philosophy, by the way) and identifying with the lot of initiates who took the time and effort to actually learn, earn and carry their titles with grace. They’re like the Witches version of a Jehovah, knocking on everyone’s front door whose practices and ethics differ, and cramming that three-fold pamphlet down our throats… That “Pamphlet” is like a train wreck… you don’t want to look but the curiosity is irresistible, and so we do, just so that we know exactly what level of delusional we’re dealing with– and wish we hadn’t.

It’s ok… if we just say 10 “Hail Mary’s” and two “Our Father’s” and a “Blessed Be” or two… we’re all good…

jesus

Ummm… yeah….

grumpty no

They can best be compared to someone picking up the King Solomon version of the Bible, reading it from cover to cover, then going over to Costume Express and buying a white collar and calling themselves ordained and holding confession for the public on Sundays.  If any of the Wiccans who had the “Hmph!” waving their pearly white athame’s and shaking their wands in the air reaction to that article because everything I said is “Simply not true!” all I have to say is,

cmon

What do you suppose would happen to a Private First-Class in the military who was caught telling others he was a Sargent Colonel? Whoa…. would there be a shit pie dinner served! I make this comparison because many initiates consider themselves to be among the “Elite” (cough, cough) yet do absolutely, positively nothing, nada, zip, zilch ZERO about the misinformation out there freely dished out by those who call themselves Wiccan and, in the eyes of an initiate, are NOT. (Go ahead if you don’t want to believe me, ask an initiate if a non-initiate calling themselves Wiccan are truly considered Wiccan).

There are countless threads and discussions via social media that talk about this author or that one who is “Very Fluffy” in the work they produce, or call it outright hogwash… but it doesn’t go any farther than that discussion…..

Accountability.

Writing an educated and informative rebuttal, write that author, write the publisher, or getting your asses out there in the public on a public platform and educating others on what it is and what it is not….

Accountability.

Not leaving the rest of us, who don’t follow a tradition that has made it into the hands, eyes and ears of the masses, to deal with these people who besmirch it, give the rest of us indigestion and migraines and clean up the messes THEY made… it’s not our monkey, and it’s not our circus, yet when the dust settles after a go around with one of them, scarcely is there an initiate anywhere to be found to set those people straight.

pulling hair

Accountability.

Writing an article addressing someone who disagrees with you and signing it with your name and not “Anonymous”…

Accountability.

The truth is that THIS is how the rest of us view your traditions. Step outside of your tight-knit circles and open your eyes. Go ahead… dip your little toe into the water, it’s ok, most of the rest of us don’t bite….

….much.

But you’ll start seeing exactly what the rest of us are seeing and having to deal with.

I’m sure there are more, but I personally know of two witches (One Gardnerian, one Alexandrian–both HP/HPS) who do a remarkable job with educating and mentoring. Both are high-profile, but I won’t mention their names here because I didn’t ask their permission to do so prior to writing this. Suffice it to say, I wish they could be cloned, because they do what they do well, and because the rest of us wouldn’t be getting so damned frustrated.

These are two individuals who understand accountability and responsibility in the Craft.

Here are just EIGHT of the many comments received in support of the article, and what is being done out there to others… if this doesn’t open up even the staunchest initiate’s eyes, then absolutely nothing will:

I loved the article I shared it …. If they don’t like it they need to get off their fluffy asses and change it

Thank you for saying what the rest of us are thinking!

I get so tired of myself and others being berated when someone asks for magickal help on these so-called witch pages.

I agree that we don’t appreciate being spoken to as if we’re a naughty child who has no idea the consequences of our actions. If you don’t know that, you have no reason being a witch. It’s such a bunch of bull to be looked down on by what I’ve considered to be “my kind”. Anyway, thank you for putting it out there for those that wish to judge.

I liked the article and I believe it needed to be said.

see I agree completely with you, I have never followed the three fold law, it is in my opinion nothing more than the hell christians use. It is is a way of maintaining conformity and obedience. Does anyone with real research knowledge actually think the ancient practitioners sat around worrying about some cosmic revenge??

I read your article and found it enlightening for someone like me who is consciously new to the craft. Everywhere I looked and read there was the rule of three, fill your enemy with love and light and similar tripe….this is not me as a person and I genuinely struggled with this rede..

Love it. Needed to be said.

Call me what you like, at the end of the day, I can still lay my head down at night and sleep well because, **shrugs** it was honest. #Sorrynotsorry

witchy bitch

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How to Spot Psychic Scams & Spellcaster Frauds

A MUST read!

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