Category Archives: Witchcraft & Magic

Consecration and Desecration

By | Folk Magic, Witchcraft & Magic | 3 Comments

I am very much a “consecrate all the things” type of magician. I consecrate altars, ritual tools, divinatory tools, fetiches, talismans, charms, idols, candles, holy water, and even herbal preparations. To consecrate simply means “to hallow or to make sacred.” To me, it means to cleanse and bless something and charge it with a purpose. A skull is just a skull, but when consecrated it becomes a spirit house. A statue of Odin is just a statue until you consecrate it to be a vessel for deity. A candle is just a candle until it is anointed with oil and its purpose for a spell stated aloud. A stick is just a stick, but if you carve it, sand it, oil it, sprinkle holy water on it, smudge it with smoke, name it’s purpose as your wand of art, and imbue it with the desired powers of blasting, protection, and blessing then it becomes a potent tool of magic. To further the process of consecration, the more the object is actively used for its named purpose, the more power it will wield and the more it will simply “be” that sacred tool. There are as many ways to consecrate as there…

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Open Source Magic

By | Witchcraft & Magic | 31 Comments

“I do not want to father a flock, to be the fetish of fools and fanatics, or the founder of a faith whose followers are content to echo my opinions. I want each man to cut his own way through the jungle.” ~ Aleister Crowley I am about to get heretical here. I’m going to admit to you why I do not take on students. It’s because I do not believe in gurus. I’m not talking about the original meaning of guru as counselor or mentor within Hinduism. I’m speaking of our tendency to seek out “perfect” teachers who we perceive as enlightened, above us, all-knowing, wise, infallible –all the things we believe when we put someone on a pedestal and give them complete power over our spiritual path. When we do this within modern magical systems we create cult leaders. I have no desire to become a cult leader and I have even less desire for the asshat I’d become because of it (I’m a Leo, I would so end up wearing my ass as a hat). If you already think I am an asshat, you may be confusing it with situational bitchiness. “Mess with the bull, you get the…

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Breaking Tradition Or, How the Death of Modern Witchcraft is a Myth

By | Witchcraft & Magic | 14 Comments

“Witchcraft is already dead as a hag, as barren as the moon, as contaminated as the tar sands. Yet Witchcraft is born again in this sacred despoiled landscape, and will be despised as an abomination by those who cannot navigate by the candlelight of guttering stars. Those who seek to escape the fates and furies will learn that they are inexorable.” ~ Peter Grey, Apocalyptic Witchcraft odern witchcraft is changing its stripes. I need only to talk to elders and attend long-standing events to see this clearly. The young people are upsetting and delighting the older generations with their newly evolved beliefs and practices. One old-timer is horrified by an ecstatic ritual at a festival full of nudity, body paint, drumming, trance, possession, and ecstatic dance. They complain loudly to everyone and try to get nudity banned at an event that’s been clothing optional for twenty years because they don’t know how else to deal with their extremely uncomfortable reaction to the ritual itself. Another elder’s eyes shine with joy to see young people hosting a ritual the likes of which they haven’t participated in since they were taking amanita caps in the woods with their friends from college in the…

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Catching and Binding Spirits

By | Spirit Work, Witchcraft & Magic | 14 Comments

“Black spirits and white, red spirits and grey, come ye and come ye, come ye that may! Around and around, throughout and about, the good come in and the ill keep out.” ~ Doreen Valiente (based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth) here are many ways to catch a spirit and many different styles of traps to do it with. What is a spirit trap? It is a device used to trick a spirit into ensnaring itself much like a mouse trap baited with cheese or peanut butter. The idea behind a basic spirit trap is fascination. The trap is meant to distract the spirit from its mischievous or malevolent purpose by tempting them with something they cannot resist. In the folklore of many cultures, it is believed spirits cannot resist or are compelled to follow a thread from one end to the other with some believing that spirits have to travel in a straight line. This belief results in spirit traps intricately woven with colourful thread such as the ojos de dios or “God’s eyes” of Central America, the elaborate ghost and demon traps of Tibet incorporating ram skulls, the cross charms of Rowan and red thread from Scotland, the spirit traps mimicking spider webs used by…

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Banishing, Depossessing, and Devouring

By | Spirit Work, Witchcraft & Magic | 16 Comments

“Raise no more devils than you can lay down.” – German Proverb Let us be honest. There are endless ways, spells, and rituals to summon spirits, gods, and demons but when it comes to safeguards or banishing one when things go sour, our collective knowledge as modern witches and pagans is quite lacking. What do you do when a haunting, an escaped spirit, or a possession is out of your ability to handle? When so many of us barely believe any of this is real, it leaves us poorly equipped to help ourselves let alone other people when something wicked this way comes. Let’s get serious. Let’s assume the supernatural is natural, real, palpable. Let’s admit to ourselves that most spirits, aside from our familiars, do not have our best interest in mind and the intent of most is to deceive or harm us. You’d better believe I’m including deities in there too. “Yes puny human, give me all the offerings and do my bidding without question.” Not such a good idea. You read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, didn’t you? No? Time to head to the library. Pick up some Russian and German fairy tales while you’re there too –…

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