Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Steam Mop Spiritual Cleansing!

This just tickled me pink, so I thought I would share.

We have mostly hardwood and tile in our home, and so I've been wanting a Steam Mop for awhile since I find that Swiffer WetJet just doesn't get up the ground-in or slightly greasy marks like doggie footprints and such very well. There's nothing more frustrating than vacuuming and then mopping, only to see all the stuff you just tried to clean up still there once it all dries.

So for Christmas I asked for a Steam Mop, and I got one! It worked very well, and I was pleased. Then my husband mentioned to me that you can get some fragrance to put into the water tank so that it will deodorize the place as it cleans. I was very suprised to hear this and got online to confirm. It was true! You could add essential oils to the water.

WELL! This just got me all excited as now I could spiritually cleanse right along as I did my housecleaning. I know that this is what many people do with their mopwater, but I don't use the old fashioned mops and hadn't for a long time, so when I wanted to spiritual cleanse the floor, it was a separate cleansing all together from the regular. The steam mop brings back the old fashioned spiritually cleansing housecleaning!

Today I put about an ounce of Florida Water along with some of my undiluted Van Van mixture (just the essentials, not mixed in with a carrier) into the water tank...and halleluiah!! Now my place smells fantastic, feels so much spiritually lighter and fresh - and it didn't take any extra effort on my part. This would also work with any drawing essential oil mixtures that I may want to use as well.

So, if you have a Steam Mop, go ahead and put some spiritually cleansing essential oils in there and go to town!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

NEW Fixed Money-Drawing Hotei Buddha Statues & How to Work with Fixed Statues


I've been wanting to make some fixed statues for a while now, however I wasn't having the best luck in finding an affordable supply of a statue that I found aesthetically pleasing, and that inspired me enough to want one on my own altar. I certainly don't want to sell something that I myself wouldn't want to use, so I waited until the time was right!

The moment I found these golden Hotei Money Buddha statues, I knew I had to have one for myself...and also grab an armload to take home and fix for my beloved clients!

These statues aren't hollow like many that you find, and were also not made of a material that lent itself to being carved into, so I had to get my hands dirty and get into my clay to fix these statues for money-drawing.


FIXING THE STATUES

I did this work on a Friday, which is ruled by Venus who can grant luxuries as well as romance. Friday is also a traditional day to work money magic in hoodoo, due to its association with pay day! Thursday would be an alternative day for preparing these, as it is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of increase and abundance.

Firstly, the statues were sprayed down with Florida Water to cleanse them. I then prayed initial prayers over them, that they be fit and effective instruments to attract prosperity and financial well-being.

Next I worked some of my Queen of Pentacles Money-Drawing Herb Blend into the clay, while focusing on bringing the energy of abundance into the clay. I thought clay was a great medium for this, as it is nothing but pure Earth, which is the element of manifestation - and the whole idea of this statue is to be an aid to manifesting wealth.

I then spread the impregnated clay over the base of the statue, while visualizing the energy of the herbs and clay becoming one with the statue itself. The bit of glitter and pyrite grit that is in the Money-Drawing Herb Blend looked great, so I added a wee bit more just for the visual effect of it. I know that it will be underneath the statue and rarely seen, but it was important for me to make the whole thing pleasing. I topped off the clay with a sprinkle of Money-Drawing sachet powder just for kicks.




I then dressed the statue in Money and Prosperity oil, spending time running the statue through my hands, rubbing in the oil and feeling the statue grow warm. When that was finished, I just sat with the statue close to my face, and allowed my breath to flow into the clay and the statue as a whole. I began to pray, and allowed the energy and vibration of the prayer to fill me and run into the statue. I then sealed it by making the sign of the cross over it.

As soon as the clay was dry, it was coated with rubber glue, and the statues put through the final stage of fixing - being passed through money-drawing incense, fed with Hoyt's Cologne, and placed in the center of a triangle of 3 dressed money-drawing candles, while prayers for the awakening and strengthening of it's money-drawing ability were offered.

Now they are ready to find their new home on a new prosperity altar, and start drawing prosperity to their new work partner!

I have 3 of these statues made (one is for me, though), and I have supplies to make about 10 more after that. But then they are gone! So if you are interested in purchasing one of these little guys, please visit my Queen of Pentacles Conjure Shop & Village Witchery Etsy Store to secure yours! Each statue will come with instructions for use, a sheet of parchment paper for any petitions that you may wish to place underneath it, and a small bottle of money-drawing condition oil for you to get started with.


HOW TO WORK WITH FIXED STATUES

Well, like anything else that is linked symbolically, and then spiritually prepared to resonate with a particular intent, fixed statues can a permanent altar item that becomes home to a powerful spiritual presence. As with conjure items that are considered "alive", such as mojo bags, and lodestones, fixed statues must be worked with and fed to keep them working strongly for your goals.

Since this statue depicts the joyful Hotei Buddha surrounded by coins, praying for the blessings of Hotei would be ideal. Traditional offerings made to lucky spirits in the Asian traditions include incense and citrus fruits, which are fairly easy for most people to get their hands on. If you have an Asian marketplace near you, you can get large boxes of traditional Buddhist incense (which has a very unique and delicate fragrance) fairly inexpensively. Offering a stick of this each day while you speak your petition to the statue, would be a great way to start building a rapport with it.

You will also want to feed your statue once a week - the citrus would be a nice gesture, as would anointing the statue with a money-drawing condition oil, or a few drops of Hoyt's cologne. This will help keep the spirit happy and working strongly for you.

As with other magical items that you work with for specific ends, you can write a petition paper and place it underneath the statue while you pray and perform your other rituals for its manifestation. You can place fixed candles for your petition adjacent to the statue, to bring all the energies into harmony and working towards the same goal.

Once your statue is a well-established working member of your prosperity altar, why not rub Buddha's belly on your way out the door in order to dress your hands with some of his money-drawing power!


This just shows a few ways that you can work with my Fixed Money-Drawing Buddha statues!

All kinds of statues can be fixed to work for your needs - saint statues are very popular for working in this manner. I sometimes create a small herb packet to attach to the back of a framed icon or image, in order to fix the picture. The way in which you relate to each fixed statue or image depends on what it has been fixed for - and is limited only by your imagination.

A great practice is to communicate with the spirit of your fixed item - you can do this through divination with a pendulum or other method you are skilled at. In this way, you can find out exactly what offerings it would like, and how to work with it's unique personality to bring the best results to your conjure!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shoppe Review: NOLA - Voodoo Authentica, 612 Rue Dumaine


Rue Dumaine turned out to be a fantastic street for interesting shops - including a few clothing stores where I spend WAY too much money. But that's really outside the scope of this blog, so we won't get into the amazing cardigan with day of the dead skulls on it that I bought.

We came upon Voodoo Authentica, and hoping that the name would prove to be truthful we ducked inside. This was my favorite Voodoo-centric place that we visited. The front door to the place is charming, with it's 3-and-a-half foot Voodoo dolls which serve as greeters. I wanted to take one home with me, or at least craft some when I got back - alas there isn't much Spanish moss in Canada.



Voodoo Authentica is both a retail store for Voodoo and conjure supplies, but also as an educational center for visitors. Unlike the unfortunate Voodoo Museum, this place was well-kept, and the cultural displays which were placed all around the store so that you came upon the museum-ish bits as you shopped, were accurate and informative, all while being beautiful to look at. The staff were pleasant and unobtrusive, and happy to answer any questions you might have. We got into a somewhat humorous discussion when my husband commented that there were so many mojo-bags, oils, and candles for fertility, what if you really wanted to avoid having children (as we do - I did my very best to not even inhale close to those things). After discussing the pros and cons of magically stopping up someone's womb - which mostly consisted of cons if you're looking for something to do on yourself or someone you even remotely like - the consensus was that the most powerful magic for avoiding fertility is a condom!

I enjoyed looking around the very spacious store, which was well lit, but not overly so. Next to each rack of goods, one could find an altar display and several pages of informative text about a different Lwa. They kept things linear by having the Erzulie display next to the love items, and on like that. The information at the displays included a bit of history of the Lwa, and then talked about the role the Lwa plays in the lives of the Voodooissants, and how that Lwa is typically served. The signs would then describe the various elements on the altar displays and explain why they were there, including the veves. It was very good overall and I was impressed. I hope that tourists also find this store when they are doing their Voodoo-site seeing, as it presents a much more accurate overview of the tradition.




For those that are sensitive to such things, you could definitely feel that there were spirits present, although they seemed sated and happy to stay quiet. It was a comforting presence. The woman behind the counter even said that there is a very powerful working fertility spirit tied to one of the masks, and she refuses to even dust it because she also does not want children. I though that was funny, and agreed that if I worked there I would also delegate the maintenance of that spirit to someone else!

I bought a Protection and Peace combo oil from here, and the feel and scent tells me that it was made from all natural ingredients. The smell was very pleasant - different from most other protection oils I've smelled, but then this one did include peace elements, too. I was glad I had it, as I was feeling kind of spiritually queasy after our visit to the Voodoo Museum, and with some grounding and the application of that oil to my temples and the back of my neck, I felt a lot better.

I would definitely recommend taking the time to visit Voodoo Authentica if you are in New Orleans!


Voodoo Authentica
612 Dumaine Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
504-522-2111


Shoppe Review: NOLA - Esoterica Occult Goods, 541 Rue Dumaine


I have to say that Esoterica Occult Goods on 541 Rue Dumaine in the French Quarter of New Orleans was my favorite store. It's seamless blending of conjure with European witchcraft aesthetics created a really amazing feel that was quite authentic without all the tourist-cheese that haunts many of the other occult and Voodoo stores in New Orleans.

The aesthetic really won me over, as it had that lovely cluttered feel that any good active magical workshop has, with plenty of curios and arcane paraphernalia strewn about, but with a really nice vintage feel. If the village witches of yore could have set up shop in the middle of town, I imagine this is what it would have looked like. The day we were there, an employee sat in the window making mojo-bags, and all his ingredients were quite traditional. His silent, concentrated and industrious presence was very comforting and made me smile.

While the store and its decor was very dark, favorings blacks, forest greens, and ruby reds, the wide open windows let plenty of light in so that the feel was not oppressive at all. Just the kind of feel I enjoy. I don't like when they try to play on your fears by making everything theatrically spooky, and while I appreciate occult stores that go the opposite direction by making everything bright and shiny and non-threatening, I appreciate the more lush and sensuous and mysterious feel of dimmer storefronts. Esoteric really hit the mark!

While I had, sadly, already blown my budget for magical purchases by the time I happened upon this store, I was enthralled by the large selection of items that were obviously hand-made using authentic methods, and from what I could tell, authentic ingredients. They had the obligatory mini-mojo bags - very tiny like a marble wrapped in flannel - that were present at all the stores we went into. But they had a nice selection of oils, powders, dressed candles, and more. They carried a decent selection of good occult books, that - impressively - did not pander to the masses. Also lots of jewelry and curios that swayed tantalizingly from neat displays.

They were not catering to the Voodoo-tourist crowd, even though they certainly had some items that would have appealed to them, but to working occultists from many traditions. The store had a very fun vibe, and a great selection of products. When I get to NOLA again, I will make sure to purchase some of the oils and powders and give them a try.

Definitely find this little gem of a store if you're in the area!



Esoterica Occult Goods
541 Dumaine Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
504-581-7711

http://www.onewitch.com/

Friday, January 15, 2010

Prayer to Papa Legba for Haiti


"Papa Legba, Antibon, Father of a Nacion du 'Ayti
The roads are covered Papa, the paths a blocked
Only you, Papa can clear the road. Lend your hand Papa,
Lend your hand to those whose hands toil for the preservation of your land
Lend your hand to those who are desolate and are lost
Lend your hand to those who are far from their Spiritual home
Lend your hand to 'Ayiti, and to all those who are of 'Ayiti that the roads and paths may be soon cleared
That a new day may come in 'Ayiti
Let it be known that it comes from God, through your hand Papa
Hear the cry of the children of Ginen and Lend your hand
Nou tout sen yo - we are all one
Ayibobo! Ayibobo! Papa Legba Antibon, Legba vye, Ayibobo!"

Courtesy of H'ougan Liam

Please spend a few moments praying over a candle for comfort and aid to all those who are suffering in Haiti.

Asking for Papa Legba to open the way would also be powerful, especially due to the strong presence of the Lwa in Haiti. Anyone can petition Papa Legba, you do not need to be a Vodouissant. The prayer above is a beautiful one to use. Just make a cross (+) in water on the ground, put a candle in the center, and then light it with prayer. Atibon Legba will hear you.

If you are Catholic, pray to St. Peter for him to open the way for aid to make it to those who need it - Haiti is primarily a Catholic nation, and so the intercession of a saint would be very appropraite. St. Peter is also syncretized with Papa Legba in Haitian Vodou, so the prayer would touch both spiritual currents.

Of course
any prayers and healing energy that one can comfortably provide are all desperately needed there right now - so take a few moments to lend a spiritual hand to the crisis.

If you are able, consider making a financial donation to any one of the charitable organizations that are contributing to the relief efforts there.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Working with St. Expedite


St. Expedite is used in Catholic folk-magic and conjure when someone needs something in a hurry, and they don't know how they would otherwise get the result they are needing. He is known as a saint for procrastinators, because he helps them get things done without delay. He is used very often to get money quick, used when luck is needed in a hurry, and pretty much in any case where haste is necessary. Many among the modern technical computing industry have also adopted him due to his ability to provide quick solutions, and some have referred to him as the "real-time saint".

While he is a fully canonized saint recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, there are very few churches where one can find his image, especially in North America. New Orleans has been one of the few American cities where St. Expedite has enjoyed wide-spread recognition, and a large statue of him can be found in the Our Lady Of Guadalupe Church in New Orleans. He has had a more consistent following in Mexico and areas of Europe for a longer time than he has in the United States, though with the increasing popularity of folk magic coupled with the internet's ability to spread information rapidly among millions of people, more and more people are turning to St. Expedite when things get tight.



The actual St. Expedite was a Roman soldier, which means he got paid well to unquestioningly follow orders. In his work as a saint, he is known for not judging the requests are made, and granting most any petition that is within his power to influence - as long as he is properly paid promptly once the petition is granted. Because of this, he is one spirit that you really must give his due when he comes through for you. If he does not get paid, he is known to quickly take back what he gave...and then some.

Luckily his payment is easily provided, as he usually expects nothing more than a pound cake, some red or yellow flowers (which exact color he wants varies from source to source), and public acknowledgement of his good work.

Because generally magic takes time to manifest, having a good working relationship with St. Expedite can be extremely beneficial to one's practice. It would seem that most people have good results when working with St. Expedite, but he does seem to be somewhat picky as there are certainly those who he simply will not work for for whatever reason. If you wish to attempt to work with St. Expedite, I strongly suggest doing a divination to see what will be the results of petitioning his aid. Really, divination before action should be routine for magical practitioners, but sometimes we all grow lazy and forget. But seeing as how one is usually petitioning St. Expedite when there is some pressing need, it would be best to check with your cards, runes, pendulum, or whatever manner of divination you practice, to ensure that he seems willing to work for your cause. If the results look negative, then you really are best finding another way to get what you need.

I also recommend that those who wish to work with him take some time to become familiar with his history, and with the different ways in which people work and pray with him for their needs. You can find an excellent page on St. Expedite on the Lucky Mojo site, and also find a good deal of information about him at StExpedite.org. There are also numerous other blogs and articles written by practitioners of many different magical paths, describing their work with him - just do a Google search on him and they will pop up. This way you can get acquainted with this saint, and know the kind of rituals and prayers that people use to get him to aid them effectively. I find that taking some time to learn about a spirit before working with them, really helps facilitate success, and also shows respect to the being that you are asking to work on your behalf.

I've been wanting to try my hand at working with St. Expedite for quite some time, however I never had a situation in which I felt it was appropriate to ask for his aid. I rarely needed things in a hurry, and was used to planning my magical workings out and sitting back and waiting a few weeks or months for things to manifest. But I was provided with a situation that was perfectly suited to his talents, and so I threw a tarot spread to see if working with St. Expedite would bring about the results that I needed. The outcome card was the Queen of Pentacles - which as you can probably guess is a power card for me, in addition to being a very good card in general.

My husband had been diagnosed with gallstones back in September after many months of annoying abdominal pain. It was a large and dramatic gallstone attack that caused a trip to the ER, and resulted in the sonogram that confirmed the stones. He met with a surgeon and because his case was not considered life-threatening was put on the waiting list for a surgery date, which he told could be anywhere from 3-12 months.

Despite our best efforts at controlling his symptoms until he would be provided with a date - and that included weekly visits to the TCM, a low-fat diet, all the Reiki he could handle, and not a few Healing candles set for him - he still ended back in the ER a total of 4 more times over the next 3 months. Each attack was getting worse (he needed to be put on a morphine drip one visit, and given IV demerol on another), and his system was getting more and more inflammed, and his stomach less tolerant of food in general.

A petition to
Dr. Jose Gregorio Hernandez, a folk saint from Venezuela (who is well on his way to being formally canonized) known for his healing miracles, and ability to guide people to the best doctors and treatments for their ailments, led us to a new family doctor that blessedly became a real advocate for my husband. However, repeated calls to the surgeon by both my husband and his doctor had so far not yielded any fruit. It was extremely frustrating.

When my husband starting having difficulty working, and began looking into taking disability leave due to his constant fatigue and discomfort, I thought that I needed to take further action. After throwing the cards and seeing a positive result would likely come about from a petition to St. Expedite, I prepared to call upon him.

My petition was that my husband would be granted surgery within 6 weeks time. I figured that was a realistic number that could actually happen under the right circumstances. I set up my simple altar with my St. Expedite picture and a glass of water, lit some Fast Luck incense, and dressed a red 7-day vigil candle for the cause dressing it with Fast Luck oil and some Queen of Pentacles Luck-Drawing Herbs to which I added a pinch of ginger powder to help speed things up. Then I prayed one of the traditional St. Expedite prayers several times, building up the energy of the intent.

I wanted to KNOW that St. Expedite had heard my petition, and so I wanted to use my gift of spirit communication to have a conversation with him. I wanted to make sure that he heard my request, and also that we had strongly negotiated terms of payment - as I realize in spirit work, some jobs require more (or sometimes less) compensation than one had originally planned. I called on St. Michael the Archangel, as he is one of my strongest and most reliable guides. I've had luck in the past asking for him to fetch a saint for me, and this time it was also effective. I felt St. Expedite's presence enter the room, and so we had a conversation. He did want a couple of extra things that I hadn't been planning on - such as me building some shrines for him to sell through my Etsy store, and also to actually spend money purchasing an ad thanking him in the classifieds of a large local paper (I had just been planning to spread the word through my various internet channels if he came through for me). With all that written out and agreed upon on both sides he departed.

3 times a day I would approach the altar and repeat my prayers. On the 4th day I had the strong feeling that St. Expedite wished for me to add a bit of Florida Water to his glass of water, and so I added 2 drops. Just enough to lightly scent the water, but without making it cloudy. I also felt that I needed to do some Road Opening work, as well as Commanding work on the surgeon to get the results that I needed. I trust these little feelings/communications that I get from Spirit, and so I got right to work on it.

I prepared a yellow 7-day vigil candle with Road Opener oil, and set it working next to the red Fast Luck petition candle.

I then got online and found a picture of the surgeon, along with his full name. I baptized the picture in the surgeon's name, and then wrote my command "schedule ____ for surgery before Feb. 17" across the picture 9 times. I dressed it in Commanding Oil, Fast Luck oil, and Look Me Over oil - which I used to get him to notice and favor my husband's case. (Love oils can be used in many different non-romantic situations to great effect. I'll do a post on this at a later date.)



I prepared a small glass bottle with liquorice and calamus which are both commanding/compelling herbs, brown sugar to sweeten the doctor to his case, lemongrass to open the way, and then dressed those herbs with my condition oil mixture. I then placed a pinch of that herb and oil mixture into the center of the doctor's photo, folded it into a packet, and then pushed that down into the bottle. I shook the bottle the make sure the petition paper was well surrounded by the herbs. I then spoke and prayed my command into the bottle, making sure my breath warmed up the contents. It was then sealed, and I dressed a purple 4" candle with Commanding oil and burned it on top of this jar.

For the next 3 days, everytime I passed the altar, I would take the jar and warm it over the flame of the Road Opener candle. I would also shake it while speaking and praying my command over it. I would visualize the doctor standing in front of me, and me giving him those orders directly and him acquiescing to my demands. Each day I would also dress another purple 4" candle in Commanding Oil and burn it on top of the jar. I still prayed to St. Expedite for my petition 3 times a day (usually when I was at the altar shaking the bottle).

This morning - 8 days after starting my petition - the surgeon's office called and the receptionist said, "Dr. ____ has decided to expedite your husband's surgery" and gave me the date which is 2 and half weeks from now! This was well within the time frame that I had asked St. Expedite to work within, and my husband and I couldn't be more thrilled. This was a better result that I could have dreamed of.

This afternoon I went out and bought St. Expedite his traditional offering of Sarah Lee pound cake and red flowers, and I've posted to all my internet groups about his granting this important petition, and am posting here about how one can work with him! If you happen to read the Toronto Star classifieds on Wednesday (his day)January 20th, you will also see a thank you printed in there. I will also soon begin working on several shrine nichos, one which I will keep - as I plan on working with him more often - and others which I will make available to others through my Queen of Pentacles Etsy Conjure Shop once they are ready.

So, if you situation calls for it, and your divinations have said that it's probably going to result in a positive outcome for your case, how can YOU petition the aid of St. Expedite?? The following outlines one way that you can do it. You can find other methods online, so if this one doesn't appeal to you, you should be able to find one that does.


TO PETITION ST. EXPEDITE

When working with St. Expedite you will need:

* an image of him
* red candle(s) - one for each day of your petition
* Fast Luck or St. Expedite oil
* a glass of water
* small square of paper to write your petition on
* a copy of the St. Expedite prayer you've chosen - there are different ones for different needs, so choose one that suits your case. You can find a list of prayers at StExpedite.org

Optionally, you may also wish to gather:

* Fast Luck incense
* Florida Water
* Queen of Pentacles' Luck-Drawing Herb Blend - which can be used as incense, and as a candle dressing


Due to his quicksilver nature, petitions to him can be made on a Wednesday - ruled by Mercury - during Mercury hour for those who wish to utilize a large boost of Mercurial energy provided by working with planetary timing. However, in crisis situations, you can petition him at any day or time.

(Luckily for those of us who don't enjoy using almanacs and math to figure out the planetary hours, there are several online calculators that will do the work for you - all you need to provide is your location. If you use gadgets/widgets on various homepages, Lunarium has a planetary hour app you can add to your page, as well as moon phase and moon sign apps that are also really useful for magical timing.)

1) Prepare your altar by putting the image of St. Expedite on one side, and a glass of water on the other. If you wish, you can put a drop or two of Florida Water into the glass of water.

If you wish, light some Fast Luck incense, or place some of the Queen of Pentacles Luck-Drawing Herbs on a charcoal.

2) Write out a simple petition paper by writing what you need and when you need it by. The more specific you can be, the better. Rather than "I need money fast", write "I need $550 for rent by Tuesday the 18th".

3) Dress a red candle with Fast Luck oil, inscribing your name (or the name of who the petition is for), and a symbol or word representing your petition. As you rub the oil into the candle, pray your petition fervently over it, while visualizing it coming to pass. You can use small red candles if you wish, or a red glass-encased 7-day vigil candle. I usually use vigil candles for work with saints, but if you cannot or do not wish to leave a candle burning continuously you can work with smaller candles that burn out faster and just repeat the dressing of the candle each day you work your petition.

4) Knock 3 times in front of the image of St. Expedite to call his attention.

5) While holding the candle close to your mouth so that your breath can warm it, pray the St. Expedite prayer, and then proceed to pray/speak your petition to him in your own words. If you wish, you can repeat the St. Expedite prayer several times while you work up energy to put towards your petition.

6) When you are finished praying, blow onto the candle while visualizing all of your mental and emotional energy that you've generated during the prayers going into the candle.

7) Place the candle behind and centered between the St. Expedite image and the glass of water. This will make a little triangle formation.

8) Light the candle to set it working, and let it remain lit until it burns itself out.

9) 3 times each day return to your altar, knock 3 times, and pray your petition to St. Expedite. Do this daily until your petition is granted.

10) If you petition is granted get a pound cake and some red or yellow flowers, and put them on the altar by the image of St. Expedite. Make sure to spread the word that St. Expedite granted your request.

Make sure to pay him promptly upon having your petition granted, as St. Expedite will take back what he gave you, and stir up extra trouble to boot!

I hope that this has helped you to become more familiar with this unique and hard-working saint, and that you'll consider enlisting his aid one day when you are in need.

If you would like personalized advice on if St. Expedite is the right saint for your case, or if he is likely to work for you - or if you are looking for spiritual advice and magical prescriptions in general, please consider booking a magical consultation or a tarot reading with us here at Queen of Pentacles Conjure Shop & Village Witchery.



Thursday, January 7, 2010

Love Magic - An Introduction to my Perspective


This article begins my series on Love Magic. It’s by far the most popular kind of magic (always has been, always will be), some of the most complex, and also in modernity some of the most controversial. This series will explore many different aspects of Love Magic, from my own eclectic perspectives on the matter, using hoodoo to achieve various love goals, exploring why Return and Reconciliation magic can be some of the most difficult, and learning how to draw a suitable long-term partner. Along the way issues of ethics and morality, basic human psychological and behavioral nature, and discussions of various specific spells will be touched upon. As a disclaimer I want to note that the opinions expressed in this series are my own, and are not meant to be representative of any tradition as a whole, or a majority viewpoint of any body of practitioners.

The Love Magic Series
Part 1 - An Introduction to My Perspective

As you can well imagine requests for love work and love spells are pretty much on the top of the list to professional magical practitioners. There’s nothing quite like love and lust to make people completely go out of their heads crazy, and throw all semblance of rational thought and behavior out the window. The very fact that there are spells such as “Love Me or Die” (and it means that quite literally) is a graphic testament to this fact.
Within the mainstream NeoPagan world there is this ideal that no magic should ever be done to influence the will of another and one of the biggest taboos is doing love magic in order to win a specific person. Going into a comparative diatribe of varying magical ethical systems is a huge topic unto itself that will probably get some blog time here eventually. Today is not the time or place for that discussion. However I will speak briefly the ideas of influencing a person magically in order to receive romantic attention from them.
For one thing, magic cannot create something out of nothing. It works by manipulating possibilities. If no such possibility exists, then no amount of magic can birth it into existence. If we look at magic as a manipulator of chance, then we need to look at manipulators of chance in general in order to gain a realistic perspective of how “ethical” the application of magic to romantic situations is or is not. Let’s start small and with an example that applies directly to our topic – with the hypothetical situation that you are a woman going out on the town with the intent of hopefully finding a new lover.
Chances are pretty good that you do not go out hair all a-tangle, in your sweat pants and t-shirt, and your face au natural. You know that, generally speaking, presenting yourself in such a way does nothing to increase the probability of attracting a mate. So to work probability in your favor you shower, spend time getting your hair looking lovely, put on some make-up to flatter your features and downplay any perceived faults, put on a push-up bra, maybe pull on a pair of Spanx, slip into a dress that shows a little cleavage and maybe some leg, don some heels to accentuate your legs and add some feminine mystique, apply a little alluring perfume, and then set out. You have just been working to manipulate the perceptions of any men who may see you that night.
If any conversations do strike up with potential lovers that night, I bet that you also do not conduct yourself in the same manner as you do with your best friend of 20 years. It’s much more likely that you do your very best to put forth a very idealized and sanitized version of yourself. Again, you are working to manipulate the perception of yourself by these men. If you do end up seeing one of these suitors again, I would bet that for at least the first couple of dates, if not weeks and months thereafter, you do your best to maintain this façade of the “best you”, only letting it drop a little at a time. By continuing to put forth this “best you” you perpetuate the manipulation of his perceptions of you, with the hopes that this will keep his attentions. Most will make an effort to learn the likes and dislikes of the new partner, in order to play to these in an attempt to gain further favor over the coming weeks, despite whether or not they actually like or dislike those things themselves. Some very ambitious individuals even take this whole process of possibility manipulation up a notch and study body language and subtle verbal communication. This works to influence their dates more subconsciously, by working on their more instinctual impulses and judgments. It’s all part of the established game.
This is the typical set of behaviors that probably 95% of all people demonstrate when they are looking for, and beginning a relationship. Is all this dishonest and unethical? It certainly contains a great deal of manipulation. However, no amount of make-up, water bras, or personality polish can make someone fall for you if there is no chemistry whatsoever. So really all of that just helps you reel in appropriate candidates, correct? To push things around into your favor a bit more, and in help increase your chances that you will be successful in your “hunt”.
Using magic is not much different. It is simply working to manipulate things on a more subtle level, rather than relying on visual clues, foundation garments, or canned conversation. Each situation that we enter into has a set of possible outcomes, each with their own statistical probability of coming to pass. Each word, action, and reaction alters the statistics until one wins the majority and comes to pass. Magic can help tilt the odds to the favor of one particular outcome. So, in my opinion, making a broad-sweeping statement that “using love magic to try and win a particular target is always unethical and a form of ‘black magic’” is pretty naïve and short-sided. If you think that’s the case, then I dare you to go out to a club bare-faced in your pyjamas and making sure to inform each person that may approach you of all your neurosis in the first sentence that you speak to them.
That being said, I understand why such statements have been made. As I said in the opening paragraph of this article nothing will turn people into irrational nut cases more quickly than love and lust. Far too many people get caught up in using love magic obsessively on a desired target – even when all signs, results, and divinations have shown that it is simply not going to work out, and even after professional workers have strongly advised them to cut that person out of their life and instead work on drawing a suitable partner. They will spend months working one spell after another, and spend hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars on spell kits, magic supplies, getting readings, and in some unfortunate cases in employing the services of scam artists who prey on the hopes of the love-lorn by promising results at a very high price. But the old saying is true that says “the heart wants what it wants”.
Sadly, in many cases, the heart is plainly idiodic. Using a scare-tactic, such as saying that it’s evil and will rebound in untold horrible way upon if you do so, is a great way to attempt to keep people in line. Just look at the threat of the brimstone and demon-infested fiery Hell that has been such a popular socio-political and morality control mechanism for the past thousand or so years. (It may also be valuable to note the overall success rate of this tactic. You end up with a lot of very frightened and repressed people who still behave badly, but feel just awful about it - once they get caught.)
My personal philosophy on love work goes thusly – go ahead and try for the person you desire. We all know that you’re going to do it anyway, so we might as well be honest about it. There are plenty of gentle and non-coercive love spells that will greatly enhance your chances or winning the affection of said person if there is a real possibility for you to be with them. This can help skew the odds in your favor and give you a chance to try your hand at a relationship with the person, or get you some hot and heavy lovin’ with that sexpot. Of course, said spells do not guarantee that the relationship will actually work, or that your fling will last. That is the responsibility of the two people in the relationship to navigate. If the personalities simply clash there’s really nothing to be done about it. Magic cannot change a person’s basic nature.
If after trying for a while for a specific person – and I really don’t recommend spending more than 3 or 4 months trying for a target – you are not getting the results that you had hoped for, it’s in your best interest to admit defeat, do your best to cut your ties with that person, take a bit to heal, and then move on. In my opinion, if nice tricks like honey jars or a Come to Me spell kit do not turn the tide, then you are MUCH better off turning your attention to attracting a suitable partner. Escalating work into the more coercive, controlling, binding, or torturous routes is just wasting your time and energy on what is obviously a lost cause. You may keep drawing them back, but chances are whatever keeps breaking things up, will continue to break things up. You’re playing a losing game, and all the time and money and magic is not going to change that. Cut ties – move on. Everyone will be happier for it.
In my practice as a magical practitioner, I will not help people pursue love cases that are not right for them. I know that some workers, even if they have told the client outright that there isn’t any hope for the case, will still agree to help the person continue to try as long as the situation is not abusive or dangerous. I make no judgments on that, because we all know what it’s like to feel desperate for someone and be willing to try to make it work long after the ship has actually sailed. For most people, that experience is instructive. We learn that it just doesn’t do any good to keep trying when all signs point to “MOVE ON, LADY – HE’S NO GOOD FOR YOU!!!” Aiding people through that process is neither good nor bad. It just is. I choose not to participate in it, and that’s just as valid a choice as being a willing part of the process.
While I am happy to consult on love cases when my divinations show that there is a good probability that things can work out in a way that would be beneficial, and to provide instructions and in some cases supplies for working prescribed love magic, I have also chosen to not do any love work on behalf of any clients, except for crafting custom bottle spells, or mojo bags. I feel that one should win their love – or not - through their own power. I’ll be happy to back-up and lend loving support to their efforts through crafting an item they can work, and I have no issue with any practitioner who takes a more ongoing hands-on approach to helping clients in love situations - but ultimately relationships are something that I feel one really needs to learn to manage on their own. We all need outside advice from time to time, and readings and consultations with reliable practitioners can help provide that. I certainly don’t pull any punches when I give them – in many cases tough love is the best love! But the heavy lifting is something that you have to do yourself. No one can fix a relationship for you.
Sometimes targeted love magic works out to that happy ending that everyone dreams about. But in the majority of cases, it does not. That’s life. Most sexual encounters do not end up as long-term relationship, and even most long-term relationships peter out. Hence why the pursuit of romance is so frustrating! You have to kiss so many frogs before finding that Princ/ess. It would be my hope that eventually people will get to a point where instead of working to draw who they think is the best person for them, they switch to working to draw the person who is actually best for them. Period. And THAT is some very powerful magic that works extremely well. But to work best, it requires that the person doing the work has spent some time really getting to know themselves, and what things they actually need from a partner, rather than just wanting.
Love magic, in and of itself is not evil or bad or immoral. It’s human nature. Can some people get carried away and take things way too far? To quote an unfortunate political figure, “You betcha.” That’s pretty much true of anything. The most powerful love magic is the love magic we can do to benefit ourselves at a deep and honest level. To attract a partner that embodies all the things that we know we need, has qualities that we simply enjoy, they will compliments our personality type and lifestyle, and they will bend over backwards to make us feel amazing and appreciated for being exactly who we are. A perfect partner will receive those same benefits from you, as well! I found my husband through such a spell, and I know others who also found their life-mate through magical work. Love magic can be some of the most meaningful and healing magic that we can perform – we just need to gain a modicum of self-knowledge and emotional sophistication to reap the benefits of it.
I hope that this, and the related articles that will follow it, will be not only entertaining and educational, but thought-provoking as well. Please feel free to subscribe to this blog so that you won’t miss anything in the coming weeks!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cleanliness is Next to Luckiness



I originally wrote this article as a guest sermon for The Church of Good Luck.
Feel free to surf over to their site which is filled with fantastic luck-lore
and fascinating info on the art of good fortune!

In a previous entry on Good Luck, I mentioned briefly the notion of one’s “sphere” and “energetic atmosphere” in relation to luck. I’d like to expand on these notions and talk about why the old saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is pretty darn true. For our purposes you could re-translate it “Cleanliness is next to Luckiness” and not have it lose any the original meaning at all.

Some people would refer to the sphere as an “aura”, which is the field of energy that is produced by and surrounds your body (and truth be told is really is more egg-like than perfectly spherical – but that’s really here nor there). It acts as an import/export center for all manner of other influential forces around you – planetary, chthonic, holy, or just plain icky and negative.

You might call an energetic atmosphere one’s home, dwelling, or habitat. These are the places where you live. While you are physically incarnate you’re pretty much stuck living in your body, and your body needs a home-base to nest in when it’s not out hunting or gathering. It is within these two places that luck’s presence can be welcomed or impeded. So knowing how to keep the welcome mat out is very important for staying on a first name basis with good fortune.

Let’s start with your personal sphere. This is a pretty permanent fixture as long as you have your body, so it’s very important to have a good grasp on the basic feeding and maintenance for this companion. It’s sort of like a subtle version of your skin – it absorbs a great deal, is sensitive to stimulation, and is the first line of defense against infection. You don’t HAVE to clean it everyday, but you do have to clean it pretty often or else it gets dingy and stinky and no one will want to be anywhere near you!

When you’re clean and well put-together people naturally approve of you more easily, and it encourages positive and regular interaction. Your sphere is pretty much the same. If you keep it clean and strong, it will be very difficult for anything energetically or subtly unpleasant to affect you very significantly. When good things come your way, they are not met with all kinds of garbage and rusted out old junkers on the front lawn - but instead they’ll find the porch light on and a fresh apple-pie cooling tantalizingly on the window-sill. It invites those good things to sit and stay a spell. What that porch light also does is deter intruders, who much prefer to skulk around where there are deep shadows that they can hide within to do their nefarious deeds. Bad luck is totally wearing the gang colors of those would-be intruders.

So how does one’s sphere get dirty? Well, really anything can contribute to the sullying of your sphere. It can get dusty just from interacting with so many people during a normal workday. Some people that you come in contact with are like Pig Pen from Peanuts, they just get dirt all over everything just by passing through – and that includes your pristine sphere. If you get into a confrontation, or are nearby when one occurs, that angry and irritable vibration can taint your aura. People dealing with illness, sadness, frustrated by the traffic, and even those that have to keep up a manic-pace to get everything done by 5pm, can also kick some sand into your sphere-eyes.

These same factors are at play in the environments in which we spent time. The energetic atmosphere of places becomes impregnated with the qualities of the vibrations that are present within them. The longer an area is exposed to one type of vibration, the more that area reflects back that same vibration and can impose that vibration upon us. It’s all rather viral. Most people have had the experience of walking into a home where things just felt “heavy” or “thick”, only to find out that a great deal of fighting goes on, or that there has recently been a severe illness within the home. This leaves an impression on the place. Many “hauntings” are actually what has been termed residuals, meaning that there is no actual spirit present, but that the energy of a particularly strong event has etched itself so deeply into the place, that it gets re-played and experienced by those who come across it.

All of our interactions have the ability to contribute to the sullying of our personal energetic virtue, or that of the building that those interactions are occurring within. As the air-quality inside our sphere and within our larger atmosphere goes down, it makes it harder for the fresh breezes of good luck to hit our lungs, and it becomes easier for us to start being noticeably negatively effected by the negativity. Lack of spiritual cleanliness over the long-term results in imbalances in our lives, and can even cause physical illnesses.

As a Reiki Master and intuitive energetic healer I see this everyday, and along with performing healings and balancing sessions, part of my job is educating people on spiritual hygiene so they can truly recover from their malady, and not just rely on symptom management. As a conjurewoman and village witch, I see how spiritual cleansing plays a huge role in the amount of luck and good fortune that a person will experience. A big part of my job in that context is also educating people on spiritual cleansing so they can be pro-active about transforming their lives, and not have to rely on the seemingly “random” winds of fate.

Now that you know you’re likely a bit messy, how do you clean up the giant invisible egg that you’re living inside, and the actual roof under which that egg is residing? It’s not quite so straight-forward as taking a washcloth and scrubbing vigorously behind your ears, but it’s also not very different. Bathing is one of the easiest ways to spiritually cleanse yourself, and since you do that pretty often anyway (I hope), it will be very simple to integrate some methods of spiritual cleansing into your already established routine.

Salt is a powerful purifying agent. It also makes for a great exfoliating scrub! Mix some lemongrass essential oil into a jar of sea salt with some table or Epsom salts thrown in for good measure and you’ve got yourself a fantastic spiritually cleansing body scrub (that will also keep your skin feeling smooth and youthful). Add a handful of the same mixture to a tub full of hot water, and you’ve got a lovely spiritual cleansing bath. There are also lots of soaps available out there that have spiritual cleansing qualities if you prefer a good lather from a bar. Florida Water soap is one. And your local health food store just may have some all-natural handcrafted made with essential oils and herbs – if you have a wee bit of knowledge on the magical uses of herbs, it will be simple to pick a bar that has real cleansing OR real luck-drawing power. Voila! Your mundane shower has taken on new dimensions that will prime your sphere for fortune and - with a bit of luck - fame! (You can also find an excellent daily cleansing ritual in the Rituals section at The Church of Good Luck that you can easily integrate into your day at ANY time you feel you need it. No shower or bathtub required.) Keeping up this routine will strengthen your sphere and almost act like esoteric Teflon – with negative stuff just beading up and rolling right off of you.

This same idea is extended to one’s environment. Bad luck is like dust bunnies – it likes to accumulate in places that don’t often get tended. So turn your regular housekeeping into an act that invokes good luck and banishes the bad. Remember that salt & lemongrass mixture you made? Put some into that bucket of water before you mop, or dampen your dust rag with some of the mixture dissolved in water. Put that into a spritzer bottle and spray your upholstery, carpets, or curtains (you may want to patch test this just in case). Add some to the rinse cycle of your laundry. Many botanicas and candle shops, such as Lucky Mojo Curio Co, carry spiritual baths and floor washes for all kinds of different conditions. Pop on over to their online catalog and start washing all kinds of good luck and fortune into all the various areas of your life!

When you and the atmosphere around you are clean and full of light, it is so much easier for positivity and luck to find you and make your good acquaintance. Also, when you become accustomed to the light, you get much more sensitive to the dark – even a little shadow will catch your attention, and can quickly escort it firmly away before it can cause a ruckus in the disco of your life!

Luck, light, positivity - all different ways of speaking about the Divine. Since keeping clean allows more luck to come our way, it really is another way of staying just a bit closer to the Source of All Good Things. Cleanliness really IS next to Luckiness.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::




If you are interested in receiving more personalized instructions for spiritual cleansing to aid with your individual circumstances and needs, please consider booked a Magical Consultation through Queen of Pentacles Conjure Shop & Village Witchery.

We also carry a line of Magical Bath crystals which can also be used as floor washes when cleansing your home.