I want to share a story with you....
In mid 2004 I lost my job when the cotton mills shut down and eventually lost my home as well. I moved to Beaufort South Carolina to live with an old friend from High School and her husband who was stationed at the Naval Base. Beaufort is famous in the history of Hoodoo for being associated with Dr. Buzzard and High Sheriff J.E. McTeer. It is also very close to Daufuskie Island, the home of the Gullah People.
Within a week I was hired as the In-Store-Coordinator at the Winn Dixie up on Robert Smalls Parkway. What this means is when you came into the store to purchase lottery tickets, cigarettes, or wire money I was the person who handled your transaction. Every day, these little old ladies would come in to buy their lottery tickets with their little dream books in tow. They'd all crowd around the machine and listen intently as each others conversation. They would share their dreams and compare numbers. After they got to know me a little bit (they had to know who I was and who my people were and were very interested in the fact that I am part Jewish by heritage) they starting asking me about my dreams.
Well, at the time I was seeing raccoons everywhere. I went to the hospital for my drug test, there was a picture of a raccoon behind the desk, I dreamed about raccoons, driving home from work late one night I saw a few raccoons in people's trash, I'd turn on the television and there was a raccoon on a commercial. So I told this one woman about how I was seeing raccoons everywhere. She looked up raccoon in her little dream book and starting filling out her card. While she was doing that she asked me why I thought I was seeing raccoons everyone.
I then told her how before I moved to Beaufort I had been friends with a woman (who is a witch) who owned a pet raccoon. That raccoon would snap at my feet, and jump on my head in her car and bit my scalp and make me bleed. I hated that raccoon and she knew it. This customer told me if I gave her a good number, I won't see no more 'coons. She meant it too, and we shook hands on it. Well, I'll be damned if her number didn't come up and I've never seen another raccoon again!
So after this exchange, she kinda warmed up to me and starting sharing things with me. I didn't want to explain to her that I was Wiccan, I just told her I was interested in magic and such. So I asked her how she usually got her numbers and this is what she told me...
Write the name of someone you know nine times on a piece of paper. Place the paper upside down in a glass of water and place it under your bed. The person will give you a number. Another woman with her at the time then spoke up and told me that whenever somebody gives you a number you are supposed to play that same number every day for 7 days. Even if you win on the first day, play that same number for six more days cause if that lucky number comes up once, it's bound to come up again.
On my lunch break I wrote down what they told me on a napkin and later transferred this information to my journal. It was here that I learned to pay attention to people when the took their money out out of their pockets. I can't tell you how many times a customer pulled a handful of change out of their pocket along with a buckeye, or kissed their money before giving it to me. The Winn-Dixie closed in August 2005 when they filed for bankruptcy, and I've since moved the Pacific Northwest.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I want to share a story with you....
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I hope you all had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day. The members of my Wiccan Study Group, the
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Since I mentioned in one of my previous blog entries and my email blast to members of my website that I was finishing up a correspondence course in the Hoodoo Tradition which I began in 2003, I've recieved several emails inquiring about this course.
First let me say that it is a year long course and that the reason it has taken me so long to complete it is that right after I began receiving the weekly lessons, I lost my job, and later my home, and finally I moved a few times. My computer was put in storage and later found to be broken due to water damage. I moved on with my life and forgot all about the course.
About a month ago, Cat Yronwode (owner and proprieter of the Lucky Mojo Curio Company and author of Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic) somehow found her way to my website and contacted me to encourage me to finish what I started; which is why I'm finishing the homework after six years.
When Cat first offerd the course, it was open to everyone. However since that time she has now placed certain restrictions on who can and can not take the course, due to the fact that so many people signed up for the course and failed to do the required homework.
As she states, in part, on her website
"I want to teach people who are stable, mature, patient, intelligent, and qualified to learn. The only way i can decide who has what it takes to study with me is to become familiar with them, understand where they're coming from, see if they like our kind of spiritual goods, help them do some work on their own, and then, if they still want to take the course, i will gladly accept them as students, and i will be pretty sure that my teaching efforts will be directed toward folks who will really benefit from the effort i put into the course, the Yahoo group, and the grading of homework."
So if you really want to take the course you are going to have to take the time to shop at Lucky Mojo, perhaps join her forum, and show her that you are are acceptable student. In addition, Cat has established a yahoo group for past and present students to commiserate share ideas, and ask questions.
In the mean time, I'd suggest that you review the homework page to get an idea of the assignments that you will be expected to complete in order to graduate. In addition I'd also suggest that you purchase her book Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic. Even if you don't take the course, but are still interested in the practice of Hoodoo, this tome will prove an invaluable resource.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Often as a magickal practitioner, I've found myself in need of a tool which I don't presently have or am unable to purchase. For this reason, I've had to be creative and use a common everyday object in a magickal way.
Below is just a list of a a few such items and a brief description of how I've used them magickally.
Screwdriver: I have a Phillips head screw driver that I've used now for a couple of years for the express purpose of carving words and symbols on candles. The thickness is about the same as that of a pencil and the pointed tip is excellent for writing on wax. In addition, I use this candle to drive holes in glass encased candles for the purpose of putting herbs and oil in those holes. The screwdriver I have is a 'stanley' name brand, and I call him Stan the Man.
Brass Candle Holder: I have a long brass candle holder the type of which I can unscrew from it's base. You'd probably think that I burn candles in this holder, but you'd be wrong. In fact, I use this candle holder like a candle-snuffer to 'snuff' out candles.
Wine-Glasses: Wine glasses that have a flat base can be turned upside down and used like a candle-holder. I have a silver chalice with a concave base which presently holds an onyx sphere about the size of a soft ball.
Tin Cans: Tin cans can be used for many purposes. I've burned tea lights/votive candles in tuna cans; I've burned petitions and dropped them in tin cans to burn; I've used an engraving tool to engrave magickal symbols on the lids of tin cans that have been removed from the can and carried them as symbols; I've melted wax in tin cans, I've used tin cans as candle molds, etc...
Shoe Strings: I think I've mentioned this in a previous blog, but whenever I purchase a new pair of shoes, I save the old shoestrings and use them to do cord magick spells for myself.
Saucers: Pillar candles can be burned on top of saucers. In the Hoodoo tradition, saucers are turned upside down and petitions, taglocks, etc... are placed under the saucer while candles burn on top of the saucer.
Stencils: Those plastic stencils that you can get from Walmart, Craft Stores, etc... that have the entire alphabet on them can be used in conjunction with a pendulum for a makeshift Ouija board. Alternately, the alphabet stencil can be placed in a picture frame and a coin or over turned shot glass can be used as a pointer.
Magnets: Some magickal practitioners may not agree with me on this one, but I've often used magnets in place of lodestones in some spells.
Coin Purses: Coin purses can substitute for mojo bags in a pinch.
Coaster: The cork board can be removed from wooden coaster and magickal symbols can be burned into the wood to make a talisman.
Cutting Board: I have a dedicated cutting board that I use as a candle board. I often spread out powders and herbs on this board in which to roll candles in after anointing them with oil.
Ash Trays: Metallic ash trays can be used as braziers for burning incense, or paper petitions.
Picture Frames: I've placed a black piece of construction paper in picture frames and then used the the frame as a magick mirror; in addition I have a paper talisman in a picture frame hanging over the inside of my front door to protect my home and goods from intruders.
Action Figures: Action figures can be used as deity images on one's altar. For example, Catwoman to represent Bast; The Hulk of Swamp Thing to represent the Green Man. In addition, by altering action figures and dolls they can be used like poppets to represent individuals.
Board Game Tokens: I've often used game tokens such as those used to play monopoly (the shoe, money sack, etc..) or clue (lead pipe, knife, rope) as charms in mojo bags.
Arcade Tokens: The token are often circular and engraved with symbols, that can be magickal with the right imagination. The oldest charm in my medecine bag is an arcade token depicting a wizard throwing off his hat and kicking up his heels in joy and is a reminder to myself to maintain a sense of humor.
Coins: Coins often depict symbols such as animals, luminaries such as the sun or moon, and/or vegetation. These coins can be blessed and carried as talismans. For example I've heard of woman using the Sacajawea coins as talismans to conceive a child, since it shows a woman carrying a child on her back.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Last night I was entertaining a Wiccan friend and was explaining to her how I was completeing a correspondence course in Hoodoo and therefore I'm totally immersing myself in that tradition for the time being. I was showing her my Hoodoo altar and explaining various symbolism and we began talking about ethics and I explained that in Hoodoo, there is no moral law against doing any type of negative working. For this reason, a good number of specific-person love spells, curses, hexes, and what-not can be found in the tradition.
My Wiccan friend reinterated that Wiccan's don't believe in black magick and the Devil. However, I pointed out that some traditions, such as Stregheria, practice cursing when they feel that it is justified.
I also pointed out that as Wiccans, we have been told that all Gods are one God. I find it hard to understand that Wiccans can believe that the Greek Gods, the Celtic Gods, the Hindu Gods, the Chinese Gods, and all the other gods can exists alongside one another and yet cannot believe that the Christian God doesn't exists.
I also pointed out that we as Wiccans have been taught the power of belief. We must believe in magick for it to work, we must believe in ourselves, etc... We have been taught that if enough people believe in a thing, that their collective belief can manifest that thing. They why with the millions of people on this planet who believe in the devil, then why can't we admit that he actually exists on some level--even if it's just a manifestation of the beliefs of a great number of people.
Just something to think about....
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Most magickal people are familiar with the concept of blessing people, places, and things. As witches we often bless ourselves on a regular basis either before Esbats/Sabbats, as part of cleansing rituals (auras, chakras, healing rites), and after periods of extreme stress and/or upheaval in our lives such as after a period of illness, after the end of a relationship, etc... These self-blessings are often cathartic and fall under the category of removing negative energy.
Witches often bless their homes to be a place of solace and security for themselves. These blessings are often performed to rid the home of negative energy (dis -ncarnate spirits, negative thought-forms, etc..) and confer protection against physical, mental, and spiritual intruders.
Finally, witches often bless objects such as their working tools, amulets, talismans, the food and drink we consume, etc.... These objects are often blessed to bring their energy in harmony with ourselves and our goals. As human beings living in a physical world, there are many, many objects that we come into contact with every day that help us perform various functions and which would benefit from a form of blessing. Below are a few examples:
Prescription Glasses: Many of us, myself included, simply cannot properly function in our world without our glasses. They enable us to clearly see the world in which we live. However, when properly blessed (with intention) our glasses can enable us to see things that once escaped our attention such as lost objects, missing people; or abstract things such as the future, a person's true motivations, etc....
Medicine: Medicine, like food, is a form or sustenance. We put these substances into our bodies to bring a release from pain and dis-ease. Medicine is often made from natural substances such as herbs, and therefore was once a living being. Before ingesting these substances it would not be uncalled for to thank the spirit of the plant that was sacrificed in order to bring about a healthier quality of life for ourselves. Perhaps when honored, our medicine would work faster for us and be even more effective. Vitamins fall under this category as well.
Credit/Debit Cards/Personal Checks: Credit/Debit cards have all but replaced coins and paper currency in the modern world. As such they have become powerful symbols of wealth and prosperity. When ritually blessed they can draw in prosperity and magnify our wealth. In this blog, I've shared a ritual to bless a new debit card, but I also smoke it in incense once a month as well. Personal checks, the precursor to debit cards, can also be ritually blessed for the purpose of drawing in wealth and prosperity. Though I rarely use my checkbook anymore, I still keep a special prosperity talisman tucked behind the check register and I often smoke certain checks in incense smoke to ensure the money will come back to me.
Work Tools: The tools with which we make our living are powerful instruments of prosperity, self-esteem, and satisfaction in our lives. There are many people who hate their jobs, but for those of us who enjoy our work and what we do, what better way to ensure we're doing our best work than to bless the tools with which we work. A carpenter may bless his hammer; a plumber his monkey wrench; a chef her cutting knives, pots, pans, etc.. an artist his or her brushes, paper, etc..
Hobby Tools: Perhaps you are a writer, maybe you sew, draw, sculpt, work with wood. Whatever you do as a hobby there is sure to be some form of tool that is associated with that hobby. Why not bless that tool to nurture your own creativity and help you produce the best results you are capable of.
Personal Vehicles: For many of us our cars are our second home. We spend a great deal of time in our personal vehicles. You wouldn't think about not blessing your house, then why wouldn't you bless you car?
Cell Phones: For some cell phones are a nuisance, still others couldn't live without them. Once a status symbol for yuppies, I think it's safe to say that cell phones have become a part of daily life (whether you want to or not). Why not bless your cell phone to improve and/or enhance the areas of communication and knowledge in your own life. In my personal experience I've created sigils which I've forwarded to my cell phone and used as my wall paper. Each time I open my cell phone to make a call, send an email, or text message I see that magickal symbol and am reminded of my goal. The symbol can be charged to bring about your goal and since many people carry their cell phones on them often, you cell phone has now become a talisman!
Grooming Tools: We (hopefully) use many tools every day to maintain our health and enhance our beauty such as razors, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, women (and some men) wear make-up. In addition, we often utilize tools such as shaving cream, perfume/cologne, shampoo, hairspray, etc...Just like medicine and vitamins, some of these products contain herbs and chemicals which have their origin in living organism. It would not be inappropriate to show our appreciation to the plant or animal that gave of itself (often unwillingly) to enhance our own lives.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of mundane objects that can be used in magickal ways. When you use your imagination, you'll find that the world you live in is always speaking to you on some level and sometimes the objects we take for granted are just waiting for us to make the most use of them in every dimension.