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Saturday, October 31, 2009

MLAAW: Ghost Stories

Good Day, True Believers!

Today many of us are celebrating Samhain, a time when the barrier that separates the world of men and the realm of the spirits weakens. Traditionally this is a time when the dead can more easily communicate with us, divinations are performed, and spirits are put to task for good or ill.

With this in mind, I'd like to share with you a few of my own true encounters with ghosts. So draw the shades, light a candle, and come a little closer.......



THE HAUNTED CHANDELIER
 

In 1999, I was living in my first home and working in the cotton mill when a friend of mine from work gave me a 'haunted' chandelier. This co-worker had a reputation for telling tall tales, so I took the chandelier thinking that there was nothing to her story.

The chandelier sat in my hallway for a while and I didn't notice anything at first. However after my boyfriend at the time installed the chandelier in my hallway (it had the highest ceiling in the house) I started noticing things would move from where I left them. For example, my glasses wouldn't be on my nightstand in the morning, or my shoes wouldn't be by my chair, etc... In other instances, I made some soup and could find only forks in my house!

One night, I was sleeping in bed when I woke up to see someone standing in my hallway. The figure was dressed in a white robe and pointed-hood that I thought looked very similar to a klansman. He turn to walk away and motioned with his head for me to follow him. I actually got out of bed and walked halfway across the room before I realized what I was doing and went back to bed. Later when telling this story at work a lay-preacher told me that the ghost was leading me to treasure. He told me that the next time I saw the ghost I should ask it "Who is the son of God?" and if the ghost had evil intentions it wouldn't be able to utter the name of Jesus.

I never actually saw the ghost again, but I did start talking to it and even gave him a name. Once I started giving him attention, he settled down and stopped pranking me. Eventually I moved out of that house and left the chandelier. I don't know what became of it.




40 ACRE ROCK
 

After becoming more and more open about my beliefs and practices as a Witch, people I began drawing people to me with similar interest. I met another witch at work who I'll call Samantha and who had been a student of Gavin and Yvonne Frost in the 70's. Although I had no respect for the teachings of the Frosts, I got along well with this woman and we had several adventures. Samantha, her boyfriend Darren and I made several trips to 40 Acre Rock, a nature preserve located in Lancaster South Carolina where many people hike and which is also steeped in superstition and occult lore.

It was on one of these hikes that I found a whole, in tact turtle shell, my totem, at the mouth of a bear-cave and where I left an offering of my own hair in return for the shell. 40 Acre Rock is also home to one of the many 'cry-baby' bridges steeped in legend. It is said that very late at night you can hear the cries of an infant from this bridge and see the ghost of the mother searching for her baby.

I also found a pentagram and some runic symbols spray painted on the bridge just under a tall willow tree. There was also evidence that rituals had been practiced on this bridge. Darren pointed out a tree where the body of a hanged man had been found in the mid 1980's.

The highlight of one of our excursions was a visit to the Devil's Stomping Ground, an area located on 40 acre rock similar to a crop circle about 40 feet across. Although there are plants and insects, outside the circle, there are no signs of life inside this circle of sterile soil. The name of this circle derives from the belief that on this spot is where the devil's contemplates his evil intentions. It should be noted that this is only one of several places known as the Devil's Stomping Ground in the United States.



HAUNTING AT OLD SHELDON CHURCH
 


 

Ruins of Old Sheldon Church- Located between Yemassee and Gardens Corner the historic ruins are all that remain of one of the South's most beautiful churches. Completed in 1748, the church was burned by the British in 1780 and by Sherman's army in 1865. The Episcopal Church of Prince William Parish has an annual service hold amidst the ruins on the second Sunday after Easter. ----From a Postcard in my Personal Collection

In 2004, I was living in historic Beaufort South Carolina and living with room-mates who were very interested in the scientific aspect of ghost-hunting. As a practicing witch and psychic, I often tagged along on their expeditions to various places of note in the Beaufort area. One of our favorite places to visit was the ruins of Old Sheldon Church.

The church was widely know for being haunted. One local legend I collected during my time there concerned an elderly woman who left church one night to walk home by the light of a lantern and who never made it home. Nobody knows what happened to her. On clear nights you can spot the light on her lantern on the road but no matter how fast you drive or for how long, you'll never catch up to that light on the road or find its source. It seems to me that the woman's name was Dot, but I also heard her called the Lantern Lady.

Photographs taken at the church always yielded multiple orb, shadows, and evidence of other spectral beings. After having seen the movie White Noise, the group wanted to experiment with the EVP (electronic voice phenomenon), a process by which disembodied voices are captured on tape. These voices are believed to be the spirits of the dead, who are attempting to communicate with the living.

We arrived at the church around midnight and gathered in the section of the churchyard where there are several graves. Everyone followed me as I intuitively chose a grave on which to set the recorder. I began the device and asked that if there were any spirits that were about to please make their presence known to us. The remainder of the group began taking photographs on their digital cameras as I followed keeping my senses open and directing them where to take photographs.

After about 45 minutes we returned to the unattended recorder stopped the tape and returned to the car. Inside the car, the tape was rewound and then played. We listened to the portion of the tape where I invoked the spirits to make their presence known and immediately after I finished the invocation, we could hear very heavy breathing. The breaths sounded to me like an asthmatic person trying to catch their breath. Then we could clearly hear the phrase.....GEEEET OUUUUUUTTTT! before the voice went silent again.

Happy Halloween True Believers!

Carolina Dean

LINKS

Ghosts of America
South Carolina Ghost Stories
40 Acre Rock

Monday, October 26, 2009

How to Make a Quick and Easy No-Sew Doll-Baby for Magick

Below you will learn how to make a easy no-sew doll baby in under 15 minutes. This procedure will surely be recognized as an updated version of the New Orleans Style Voodoo Doll so I'll admit that before someone else points this out. To begin you will need:


Copy/Construction Paper
Scissors
Strip of Cloth
String


In addition to the above listed items, you will also need some personal concerns of the person your doll is to represent to be incorporated into the doll as well as any herbs that correspond to your goal. For example, if your doll was to be used in a love spell, you would want love herbs; money drawing herbs for a money doll; etc..



STEP ONE: Begin with your two sheets of paper. In the example above, I am using two sheets of standard 8.5 X 11 " copy paper. Set one sheet of paper aside for now and fold the other sheet of copy paper in half lengthwise and tear it in half.





STEP TWO: Place your personal concerns in the center of one of the halved pieces of paper and then ball up the piece of paper. This ball will serve as the 'head' of your doll. The other half of the paper will be rolled up in a tight tube to make the arms for your baby doll. If you wish you can incorporate your herbs, a written petition, etc.. into the charm as well.




STEP THREE: Place the balled up piece of paper in the center of the second whole sheet of copy paper. Hold the ball in the center of the whole sheet of paper and fold around the piece of paper to form the body of your doll baby.





STEP FIVE: Due to the shape of the paper, the bottom portion (or feet) of your doll will be uneven. Using your scissors, even off this portion of your doll. Next, measure the tube you made for the doll's arms against the length of the doll's body and cut it (if necessary) so that they are equal length.




STEP SIX: Using the sharp point of your scissors, cut a small hole through the doll baby's body just under the head. Then insert the tube through the hole to form the arms of your doll baby. To make this step easier, I have learned to drill the hole through the doll from both sides and then slide a thick BIC pen through the hole to make it a bit larger and circular. You now have your basic doll.



STEP SEVEN: Now using a long strip of cloth roughly one inch by 15 inches long, wrap up the doll as pictured. If you wish to incorporate herbs into your doll they will be secured between the doll and this strip of cloth. In the beginning this may be difficult if you are using fine powders and such, however you will get the hang of it. There have been times that I put a small layer of glue on the side of the cloth that will touch the doll and sprinkled my herbs in their dried form on the glue.

 I usually begin wrapping the cloth at the left arm, wrapping the cloth across the chest, right arm, and then down the body. Finally, secure the feet, waist, and wrists with string. For the purpose of this tutorial I used black tape.





STEP EIGHT: Finally, personalize your doll by giving it facial features and hair. I accomplish this by using a hole puncher to punch out small circles from colored construction paper and gluing them to the doll. If known to me I match the color of the doll's eyes and hair to the person it is intended to represent. I don't normally give the doll a nose. Others may wish to use the googly eyes that can be found at craft and dollar type stores.

The hair depends on the person's hairstyle and I normally try to get this as close to the actual person as well. For long hair, I use one big piece of paper which I glue to the doll and then cut and pinch the hair into shape. For shorter hair, such as in our example here, I tear several small pieces of paper and glue them to to doll. I begin at the front of the head forming the hair line. I then pinch the paper into the general shape of the hair and then work backwards to the nape of the neck.



Your doll is then completed. As you can see this is a very simple process which gets easier each time you make a doll.

Carolina Dean

LINKS:


Sunday, October 25, 2009

MIPC: To Create a Pox of Redness Raw and Blisters Bubbling





Gather a smoky quartz gemstone, bowl of water, three pinches of sea salt.
Gather a silver or white candle
Gather a healing oil
Gather the healing herb of carnation, sandalwood and violet
The down feather of a live goose
Let the salt trickle through your fingers into the bowl
Add each herb into the bowl
then the feather
Carve the name of the person into the candle

Chant the invocation....

[indiscernible]

Anoint the candle with the material from the bowl. Light the candle, repeat the name which.....


Eastwick, “Fleas and Casserole”
Original Air Date: October 14th 2009


Commentary: Here we have a spell that illustrates the concept that anything that can be used to bless may also be used to curse, and the opposite is true as well. Each of the elements in this spell has traditionally been used for the purposes of healing and protection.

However, there are a number of substances which are thought to be inherently good but which have been used to curse and to hex. According to Judika Illes in The Elemental Book of 5000 Spells “Peppermint oil, a benevolent component of romantic and healing spells, is also used as a hexing agent in candle spells to bring harm and unhappiness to one's enemy." In addition, she also cites the herbs safflower and wormwood as being effective for delivering curses.

This concept extends to curios as well. Eggs have long been used for fertility, cleansing, and protection and yet they can be used to deliver curses as well. At least three curses using a Black Hen’s Egg can be found in Cat Yronwode’s Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic. Feathers from a Black Hen have been used for the purpose of protection and uncrossing, however, European witches have inserted feathers in their witch’s ladders for centuries to bring down curses upon the head of their enemies.

Even something as innocuous as water can be used to deliver a curse in the case of such recipes as War Water, Damnation Water, etc…This concept is not only true in the magical sense but in a mundane one as well. We are told that in order to maintain good health we should drink 8 glasses of water a day. However, ingest too much water and you could die from Water Intoxication.

That being said I do not believe the writers/producers of this show was aware of this concept and decided to use components in their spell which are thought to be benevolent in the case that someone did attempt to duplicate this spell. Another screen shot of the book from which this spell was lifted states….

"The legendary spells in this book are compiled from ancient folklore, various occult writings, regional superstitions, and other mystical sources. It is given as curiosa only and no claim of supernatural power are made for any ritual or materials. And no guarantee are offered or implied. Neither the author or publisher assume any responsibility for the outcome from the use of any...."

I honestly believe that this paragraph was inserted into the witch’s book of shadows as a disclaimer for the magic displayed on the show as such a statement as this would never be found in a real witch’s personal book of shadows.

With this in mind, I sincerely believe that in the hands of the right practitioner with the right intent this spell could work as stated. However, if I wish to give someone a pox of redness raw I believe that I would use a red candle rather than a white or silver one. I think I would also use a chicken feather in place of a goose feather for its associate with chicken pox. I would also anoint the candle with the bowl’s material before I lit and then chant the invocation.

Carolina Dean

Sources

The Elemental Book of 5000 Spells © 2004 Judika Illes (pages 584, 585, 586, 587, 589)
Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic © 2002, Cat Yronwode (pages 51, 52, 173) Hardcover Ed.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mojo to Assuage Grief and Draw in Money



While on the surface this may seem like an odd combination, it was created for a friend who came home from work one day only to find that her girlfriend had packed all her belonging and left her. In addition to being upset over the loss of the relationship, this woman was also concerned about the income she lost when her partner left her and was afraid she was going to lose her home.

In addition to the items contained in the mojo bag described below, it was anointed with High John the Conqueror Root for personal power and money.

You will need:

1. Thyme for peace of mind

2. Marjoram to assuage grief

3. Bay for success & victory

4. Allspice to draw money

5. Cinnamon to draw money

6. Irish Moss to draw money

7. Drawing Powder for added power

8. Silver Dime to draw in money & confer protection

9. Second Pentacle of Jupiter to attain honor, riches, & tranquility. This was printed out on my computer and the person's name wrote on the back three times in black ink.


Note: This was my final homework assignment for the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Correspondence Course which I graduation from in April 2009.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

MIPC: To Raise & Control the Dead

Conspire to obtain an object which belonged to the deceased in life. Secret the object away to a private place where you have erected an altar lit by seven candles and on which rest a large flat stone. Draw a pentagram on the flat-stone in gun powder and lay the object upon it.

When all is ready say these words:

“Spirits of darkness, spirits of pestilence and pain. Hear me now.”

Cut your palm with an athame until you draw blood and let this fall upon the object. Say:

“Hear me….Grant me a soul from the distant shores. My warm blood for the blood frozen forever in his veins. Bring him back to me from the darkness Hear me! Rise up and do my bidding! Rise up and do my bidding!”

Using a match, light the gunpowder.

Dark Shadows
Episode 8 , 1991

Commentary: The use of personal objects, in this case a man's handkerchief, in the practice of magic should not have to be explained here. Suffice it to say that the use of such an object represents one's connection to the individual who owned that object and can be used to influence him or her. The flat stone represents the grave marker and the pentagram draw upon it is symbolic of the human body.

The drawing of blood no doubt gains the attention of the spirits called forth and served to forge the bond between magician and victim. Lighting the pentagram on fire can be seen as giving the body that it represents the 'spark' of life needed for the corresponding corpse's re-animation.

All in all I feel that the symbolism behind this ritual to be sound, however I believe that for it to truly work it would have to be fueled by not only a great deal of power but also a potent will.


Links

Dark Shadows (Wikipedia Entry)
See the Scene (Youtube Video)
Dark Shadows Complete Season One (1991 Revival)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

MLAAW: Bad Reputation

For those of you new to MHS, or my blog, MLAAW stands for My Life as a Witch and is a sporadic series of blog entries about my life, adventures, and experiences as a witch.

In the mid 90’s I was working in one of the many cotton mills owned by Springs Industries as an overhead-cleaner. What this basically means is that I used an air-gun to remove cotton and cotton dust from the ceiling, sprinkler system, and various machines on a daily basis. If you’ve ever seen the movie Norma Rae you have a good idea of what the inside of a cotton mill is like.

Let me clarify that I did not work for Springs Industries myself, but rather was part of the sub-contracted ‘clean-up crew’ whom the Springs Employees often looked down on.

Since I was the only person who did my job, I was one of the few fortunate workers who was paid for 40 hours and also got an entire hour for lunch. Since I was a student of the occult, I could often been seen in the canteen with my nose in a book (usually about witchcraft), which did not escape the attention of my co-workers. Gossip being what it was in places such as these people began to believe I worshiped the devil, but for the most part they didn't ask me about my beliefs and I didn't offer to tell them.

I will also admit that I was going through a phase at that time where my hair was way down past my shoulders, everyone was wearing those large ball chains, and I often had black fingernails and wore dark clothing.

One day I was cleaning off an overhead blower in the spinning room and when I started the machine back up some of the cotton and dust that I blew off the machine drifted under the plastic curtain into the carding room and into the work area of one of the Springs Employees.

I moved on to the next machine and by the time I returned from locking out and tagging out the next blower a Spring associate was waiting for me. Levi, a black man in his early 60’s, confronted me about the cotton that blew into his area and demanded that I sweep it up. Now, if he would have asked me I would have been more than happy to sweep up the cotton; however the minute he began yelling at me and demanding I sweep up the cotton I knew I wasn’t about to do what he asked.

We got into an argument and I was fed up with the way the Springs employees treated my crew and I may have said something to the effect that if he didn’t treat me with respect that he would come to regret it. Everyone saw our argument and it got around what was said between me and Levi.

Later that day I got off work at 4 pm, however the Springs associates where on 12 hour shifts and so they didn’t get off for another 4 hours. The next day none of the Springs associates would even look at me. When I went to the break room, they got up and left. When I walked down the hall they crossed to the other side or turned around and walked away. I didn’t understand what was going on.

Finally, another employee told me that about an hour after we got off work the previous day Levi got a message that his son had been in a car accident and although he wasn’t killed he totaled his car and broke his neck.

After that every time something bad happened to anyone in that mill, it was because I put the whammy on them. If a machine broke down, I had bedeviled it. If someone fell on the stairs, or took ill and work I had hexed them, etc…And that’s how I got a bad reputation.

I ultimately got my revenge on the people of Springs Industries. When many of the mills were being shut down and people were losing their jobs, nobody thought our mill would be shut down because Springs had just paid a great deal of money to renovate the building and upgrade the machines. I divined that our mill would be closing and was able to broker a deal with my manager to basically lay me off so I could draw unemployment right away. I had been with my company for 8 years at this time and basically knew where all the bodies were buried, so my boss agreed to approve my unemployment.

A month later when everyone received word that they would be shutting down the mill I had moved in with a friend in a new town and was able to transfer my unemployment benefits so that I had an income until I found a new job.

Carolina Dean

Links

Inside a Textile Mill (Youtube Video)