Category Archives: Spirit Work

The Witch’s Wolf Moon

By | Animism, Spirit Work, Witchcraft & Magic | 12 Comments

Moonlight streams through my windows onto the floor. Old Man and Old Woman are calling. I smudge myself with lavender and wing and walk sunwise around my home with the burning wand to cleanse and bless for another cycle of the moon’s renewal. I go to my altar of bone, horn, fur, wing, and wood and light the candles for the Old Ones.  I drop my silver ring into the dish of water from seven springs with the holed stone and anoint myself, washing my face, hands, and feet.   I burn sweet spicy sandalwood and pour the mead into the goblets – one for them and one for me. I say the words, I drink, I wait, and I listen. Oh, yes I see, that’s what that dream meant. I was taking it too literally. The bottle of mead with the masking tape labels on it saying henbane, mugwort, and sandalwood wasn’t a recipe – it was saying those are my intoxicants. Mead brings me dreams and prophecies dripping from my tongue like honey. Henbane is my dark ally – its seeds found among the charms and talismans of buried völvas and in ancient recipes of ritual beers. Mugwort…

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Why Spirit Workers Are Like Zombies

By | Seership, Spirit Work, Witchcraft & Magic | 45 Comments

If you want to be a spirit worker, you must die. Just like the child you were must die to become the adult, your human self must die to become a spirit worker. The initiated are half alive, half dead. We are souls stuck in between – not quite spirits and not quite human. We shapeshift between forms – now human, now animal, now spirit, now elemental force, now otherwordly being. We drift between past, present, and future knowing that time is a non-linear illusion and all is accessible.  We are possessed by spirits and the ones who possess others with our spirits. We are the dream-walkers, shape-shifters, psychopomps, seers, mediums, mystics, visionaries, and miraculous healers. We see the unseen, hear the unheard, and experience the impossible. We dwell in paradoxes within the suspension of disbelief. We dance on the dagger’s edge between life and death, magic and insanity. We are unnatural. Supernatural. It all sounds rather romantic until someone loses an eye, or a soul, or their life. That is why we are so few – we have to die. Some don’t make it back from initiatory death, some don’t make it back in one piece, but most will never go because…

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Let’s Talk About Necromancy

By | Bones & Blood, Necromancy, Spirit Work, Witchcraft & Magic | 34 Comments

Defining Necromancy Necro just means death (necropolis, necrosis, necronomicon… you get it) and has two meanings: the first is a form of divination/mediumship/spiritwork involving the summoning of the dead in the form of spirits and communicating with them to gain knowledge and foreknowledge and the second is witchcraft and sorcery in general usually practiced specifically by a witch. Not really so scary, right? More like ancestor worship and witchcraft than all the horrible things you were thinking. As for reanimation of corpses, well you’ll need to read The Serpent and the Rainbow to learn about real zombies. The second definition gives away that witchcraft and sorcery have some inherent association with death and with the history of witches being moon worshippers and gathering at night, it doesn’t surprise me. Witches work with spirits, spirits come from death. Think about it, we don’t just work with dead people; those herbs you used in your incense are dead parts of plants, and that skull on your altar is from a dead animal. Even those witch gods you invoke may just be the first ancestors or ancient ancestors who practiced as you do. To be a necromancer one needs to accept death and…

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Altars to the Beloved and Mighty Dead

By | Bones & Blood, Festivals & Sabbats, Necromancy, Spirit Work, Witchcraft & Magic | 21 Comments

The Sidhe told me blue was for my blood ancestors and in the tradition I was trained in we light blue candles for the dead.  I brought home white roses and white stars of Mary; beautiful flowers the colour of bones bleached by the sun. After sunset I lit the candles and beat my blue drum to welcome the dead. I prepared a feast of fresh-baked buttered bread, ribs and chicken wings (for the bones) and a plate of sweets with a bowl of chocolate covered pomegranate. In my best crystal I left libations of mead, milk, and water. On the blue altar I left offerings of honey and tobacco. The candles burned down and they feasted well. The food will be taken to the graveyard, some buried and some left at the base of the trees that grow there. I didn’t set up the altar to the Mighty Dead until it was almost midnight and the crackle and squeal of fireworks had died down in the neighbourhood. I sanded, stained, and rubbed the wood with beeswax and blessing oil. I stayed up late screwing the small wooden shrines into the walls and filling them with their magical contents. I…

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The Three Messengers and the Council of Owls

By | Animism, Seership, Spirit Work, Storytelling | No Comments

The three messengers came to me together and each gave of me their feathers; the softess silence of owl feathers, the jeweled blackness of crow feathers, and the camouflage cloak of hawk feathers. “Take them, take them.” “Use them, use them.” Western Screech Owl, American Crow, and Red-Tailed Hawk, despite being natural enemies, approached me at the same time and offered their services to me (they must’ve seen me leave the entrails and fat offerings for the others on the roof, the gluttons). All three can be found on and around the mountain. It seems I am always collecting feathers; feathers from all the three worlds; feathers of light, feathers of dark, and feathers of song. Feathers to carry prayers, feathers to banish, feathers to bless and heal, feathers to fly… I had received feathers from crow and hawk before in the eldritch world, but never had I been gifted one by an owl before. Owl left its feathers on the stone wall of a cave for me. Owl is the messenger of the underworld. Owl belongs to the White Bone Mother, guardian of the gate and crossroads of the underworld. Owl serves her as messenger of death and psychopomp…

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