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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Binding Spell

In a previous blog entry, I mentioned binding as one method available to the witch in order to protect himself from harm by another. A binding-spell is a spell cast with the intention of preventing harm to oneself or another. It can also refer to preventing someone from performing a particular act such as murder, rape, or even spreading malicious gossip. 

Wiccan lore is full of stories about witches who have called upon the power of magick to bind rapist, catch criminals and, in perhaps one of the most famous stories, prevent the Nazis from invading England during World War II.  

In 1974, Zsuzsanna Budapest famously gathered her coven to hex, or bind,  the Trailside Killer who was terrorizing Southern California. Laurie Cabot, the Official Witch of Salem, has been interviewed in books, magazines, and on television programs such as Unsolved Mysteries showcasing how she was able to assist the police in capturing criminals by offering psychic insight, or binding the criminal in some way.

Today I'd like to share a simple, but powerful, candle spell designed to bind another from doing you any harm while simultaneously reversing any negative consequences of their actions against you back to them.  

To perform this spell you will need: 

Black Candle
Athame
Mirror
9 Pins

Directions:

Depending on the severity or consistency of the situation you will Cast a Circle, Call the Quarters, and/or Invoke Deity. At the very least, I suggest you cast a circle for this spell.

Flip the black candle and scratch the individual’s name on the it so that the letters appear backwards.If you do not know the name of the individual, simple write my enemy. When you are done, focus on the individual and visualizing them being completely powerless to do you any harm, insert the 9 pins in the candle at equidistant points saying the following with the insertion of each pin.

  • (N) I bind you by thought that you may not think ill of me.
  • (N) I bind you by word that you may not speak ill against me.
  • (N) I bind you by deed that you may not act against me.
  • N) I bind you by thought that you may not think ill of me.
  • (N) I bind you by word that you may not speak ill against me.
  • (N) I bind you by deed that you may not act against me
  • N) I bind you by thought that you may not think ill of me.
  • (N) I bind you by word that you may not speak ill against me.
  • (N) I bind you by deed that you may not act against me

The candle is then placed in a holder, on top of a mirror. If you have a photograph of the person, place it on top of the mirror face down.

Hold your hands over the candle forming the Triangle of Manifestation with your hands. Visualize the individual in the center of the triangle, bound and gagged (or whatever visualization you deem appropriate to the situation) and unable to do you any harm whatsoever. When you are ready, say the following with conviction.

Backwards!
Oh backwards from whence it came, 
reverse the blot upon my name;
and the weapons of (N) disarm,
that he may do me no furthur harm!

If you do not know the name of the individual simple substitute "my enemy". Please note that this incantation may not cover all cases and that you may have to write a different one with your specific situation in mind. 

Finally, light the candle and affirm “(N)  I bind your forever!”  


Carolina Dean 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

MIPC: Blood Magic

“Do you believe in voodoo, Chucky? The power of magic?”

“No.”

“I do. There's an old wives' tale in Sicily that a new bride waits until she menstruates, then she takes the blood and puts it into the first tomato sauce she makes for her husband.”

“What for?”

“If he eats her blood, she can control him forever.”

OZ Season Two
Episode 7, Animal Farm
Original Airdate: August 24, 1998

Commentary: The use of blood, and other personal concerns, has a long history in the practice of magick. Perhaps the earliest example of blood-magick occurred around the Axial Age (but probably even earlier) and involved ritual sacrifice of humans or animals to appease the Gods. These sacrifices were usually considered special in some way (i.e. virgin, the fattest calf, or the firstborn of a generation) as the Gods often demanded the best in return for their favors.

The first account of animal sacrifice in the Holy Bible occurs in the book of Genesis 4:3-5. During the context of the story Cain, a farmer, and his brother Abel, a shepard, both offer sacrifices to God. Cain makes an offering of produce and is rejected, while Abel’s sacrifice of livestock is accepted by God. Later, in the book of Exodus, God instructs Moses to have every house sacrifice an un-blemished male-lamb in its first year. The blood of this lamb is smeared around the doorpost to every Jewish home. When the spirit of death comes through Egypt to kill every first born male child it passes over each dwelling that has done as God commanded, sparing the children within from death.

Perhaps the greatest act of blood-magick occurs later on in the bible, however, when the blood of the sacrificed Jesus is said to have washed away the sins of the world. Even today Catholic Priests perform a ritual in which wine is believed to be transformed into the blood of Jesus whereupon believers drink the wine (and eat his body in the form of a wafer) to receive him wholly. So powerful is his blood that devout Christians often invoke the blood of Jesus as a powerful force of cleansings and protection against evil.

In ancient Rome it is written that Empress Faustina, wife of Marcus Aurelius, once became sexually obsessed with a certain gladiator. When the oracles were queried about her condition she was instructed to bath in the gladiator’s blood and it is said that she was cured of her obsession by doing so. Similarly, legend has it that Countess Elizabeth Bathory bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth and beauty, however evidence of her alleged crimes is few and her guilt is widely debated.

Bloodletting, a form of healing practiced for roughly 2000 years up until the 19th century, involved withdrawing blood from a patient to cure and/or prevent disease. Though not considered “magick” at the time, the idea of bloodletting does show hallmarks of ‘magickal thinking’.

The idea of bloodletting was based on two concepts. First, that blood was produced by the body and did not circulate, thereby becoming stagnate in the body. Second, that the basis for illness or health is based on the balance of humors in the body. There were four humors in all which were based on the four elements. They were

• Blood (air)
• Phlegm (water)
• Black Bile (earth)
• Yellow Bile (fire)

To balance the humors, a doctor would remove the stagnate/excess blood from the extremities by bloodletting, inducing vomiting, or urination.

Just as it is referenced above, in the folk-tradition of Sicilian Witchcraft, as well as African American Hoodoo, women are often instructed to feed their menstrual blood to their husbands or lover to capture their interest and attention and to prevent them from straying. To disguise their blood, it is over served in tomato sauce, or even coffee.

According to Richard Cavendish in his book The Black Arts © 1967 the blood of a healthy man cut down in the prime of his life was once thought to be a powerful protector against disease and misfortune. So much so that when John Dillinger was killed by the FBI in Chicago in 1934 people gathered round to soak their handkerchiefs in his blood and women even dipped the hem of their skirts in his blood to retain some of his power for their own.

Mythological lore states that Vampires drink the blood of the living and that the blood of the dead weakens and, in some cases, kills them. The drinking of a living person’s blood allows the vampire to absorb their victim’s life-force energy thus retaining their immortality.

Witches who made pacts with the Devil were thought to sign contracts in their own blood. Sometimes sigils or other magickal talismans were written in blood. In fact, one’s own blood added to any spell is believed to vastly increase the power of the spell simply because it contains the energy of one’s own life-force. An old folk magick spell for love calls for pricking the third finger of the left hand and using the blood to write your first name on paper and your lover’s last. This is surrounded by a square (also drawn in blood) and then burned in the flame of a red candle as you make your petition for lasting love.

Perhaps the most common use of blood in the practice of magick concerns itself with contagious magick, a belief which holds that “things once in contact with one another continue to exert an influence on one another after they have been separated.” An example of Contagious Magick using blood would be to include a sample of a person’s blood in a doll to represent him or her. Thereafter, whatever is acted upon the doll is also believed to occur to the individual.

As you can see the use of blood in the performance of magick is very old practice that has endured even into the modern age.

Carolina Dean 


Friday, January 21, 2011

Metro-Magick: Navigating a Magickal Life in the Concrete Jungle

A Typical Metropolitan City
As Wiccans our religion revolves around a deep respect for nature and the ancient gods. In our practices we are accustomed to bringing ourselves closer to nature and therefore the divine. Typically, this is done by spending time out of doors in natural settings, communing with plants and animals, working with the four elements and honoring the divine in the form of ancient gods and goddesses.

However, for those living in large, metropolitan areas, it may be more difficult to make that connection. As society has become more industrialized cities have grown, the environment has become polluted, and more and more people are competing for the same limited amount of resources.

As Wiccans/Pagans we recognize that all things (no matter their form) are comprised of energy and although it can change forms, it can never be obliterated. By recognizing this truth, the city-witch can find the sacred in the mundane and connect to the divine in old forms as well as in new ones more relevant to their urban life-styles. For example, all across America urbanites perform a small rite to Squat to secure a good parking spot, and petition Asphalta for safe travel.

The idea of spirits being associated with entire cities isn’t exactly new. Mythology is full of stories of ancient gods founding cities, such as Romulus and Remus, or otherwise being associated with specific city-states as Athena is associated with Athens. Even today many large cities are associated with certain saints, such as St. Nicholas the Patron Saint of New York City. In addition, there are numerous folk-saints associated with their own sacred sites, such as Juan Soldado who is said to aid illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the United States.

Such is true not only in the magickal world of the occult, but also in the mundane world. You need only look to your favorite sports team to see a modern totem. Chicago, for example, has adopted the bear and the bull, symbols of enduring strength; while San Diego adores the chicken as a type of trickster spirit. Seattle venerates the Mariners (a type of fairy), San Francisco the pioneer spirit in the form of Sourdough Sam, and Denver the horse in the form of a bronco.

Owning to the multi-cultural nature of large cities, it is not unusual for many spirits to co-exist in a relatively small area. In a typical day, a person may encounter Buddha in a Chinese restaurant, pass a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, spy a shrine to Ganesha is a small grocery store, or even an altar to Santisima Muerte in an out-of-the-way bookstore.

Similarly, urban-witches are learning to recognize and harness the energies inherent in new forms such as fountains, parks, green-houses, cross-walks, architectural structures, museum exhibits, etc… To them outdoor statues such as the Statue of Liberty or the Temperance Fountain are nothing less than modern shrines. Their sacred symbols originate in graffiti, street signs, fliers, advertising, etc…Their amulets are often found objects such as chunks of asphalt, dried tar, bits of broken glass, or fallen feathers.

Techno-paganism is a concept that was quickly adopted by urban-witches. Taking the concept of animism to the next level, techno-pagans believe that modern technological devices and constructs have their own spirits, guardians, or totemic energies. For this reason, they will often incorporate the use of technological devices into their magickal practices. Creating a sigil using a computer program and uploading it to a cell phone to be carried with them in lieu of drawing the symbol on a slip of paper is a good example of this line of thought. These witches are often more likely to meet their coven through a social network rather than a wooded grotto lit by a bonfire.

The fact that Wicca is a religion that the individual can tailor to suit their spiritual needs has allowed it to grow at a rapid rate. Even as Wiccans and Pagans have moved passed the rural/agricultural lifestyle that served as the foundation of the religion Wicca continues to grow and change into new forms of expression. The challenge of today urban-witch is to reconcile the ancient realm of spirit with the modern world of technology.

Carolina Dean 

References 



    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Review: The Love Spell


    An Erotic Memoir of Spiritual Awakening 

    by Phyllis Currott

    ·  Paperback: 368 pages
    ·  Publisher: Unknown (January 5, 2006)
    ·  ISBN-10: 1615514864
    ·  ISBN-13: 978-1615514861


    Synopsis

    In her third book High Priestess Curott recounts her spiritual journey as she searches for true love guided by her daemon, a being described as her own inner divine masculine self. The story begins with the author’s yearning for love. In a moment of deep longing she makes a wish upon a star and shortly thereafter, she begins hearing and seeing the voice and image of James Dean--the form her daemon has chosen to interact with her. This causes her to research the concept of synchronicity and ultimately she is introduced to a Wiccan eventually becoming a practicing witch herself.

    The advice and friendship of Nonna, a wise and revered craft-elder, guides Curott on her magickal quest for enduring love as she also struggles to establish her law-practice, and explore a career in filmmaking.  Curott casts a powerful spell for love and soon discovers that finding true-love is about more than finding a lover. As the spell unfolds she meets and eventually marries Derek, a part-time musician, and finds that she still longs for something that Derek is unable to give her.  She eventually learns that the path to true-love begins within rather than without.  

    The Good

    The book presents some very interesting concepts such as one’s daemon acting as a guide in the individual’s quest for love. The story itself is loaded with simple rituals, and insights into relationships, history and psychology--- presenting these concepts and ideas without being preachy. At the end of the book, Curott has included an appendix which includes a collection of simple love spells, potion, and a list of Love God/dess, flowers and herbs that will assist you in writing your own love spell. There is a great deal of wisdom in this book and each reader will take from it what they will.

    The Bad

    Whereas the title suggests that this is a memoir, the story seems to be a fictionalized version of somewhat-true events. The story was, at time, slow and the time between foreshadowed events and the point at which they transpired was too long.  The characters did not seem fleshed out enough and I often found myself confusing one character with another. Other characters, such as Nonna, seemed too perfect. Though Nonna is presented as a wise and learned elder of the craft, her conversations with Curott felt too unrealistic and contrived. For his part, Derek comes off as a weak, ineffectual man completely responsible for the author’s dissatisfaction in their marriage. Curott, by contrast, seems incapable of taking responsibility for her part in the demise of her relationship, instead painting herself as the long, suffering wife.  

     The Verdict

    Though the story was slow at times and the characters a bit unrealistic, there is wisdom in this book. The ideas and practical exercises in The Love Spell are well presented and can help others in their own search for love.  

    For this reason I give it 3 out of 5 pentacles.

    Links



    Carolina Dean

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    MIPC: Witch's Flying Ointment

    Jane had gone up the little half-flight of stairs to where the bedrooms were in this split-level, and now returned with a linen hand-towel folded to hold some delicate treasures. Her aura was the incandescent purple of Siberian iris, and pulsed in excitement.  “Last night,” she said, “I was so upset and angry about all this I couldn’t sleep and finally got up and rubbed myself all over with aconite and Noxema hand cream, with just a little bit of that find gray ash [soot] you get after you put the oven on automatic cleaner, and flew to the Lenox Place.”

    Jane, this is so thrilling!” Sukie cried. “Suppose [the cat] had smelled you?” “A dab of Ivory detergent in the ointment quite kills the scent, I find,” Jane said, displeased by the interruption.

    © 1984,  pages 239-240

    A Scene from Witches of Eastwick (1987)
    Commentary:  The Witch’s Flying Ointment, as it has been called, is a mysterious substance that witches were believed to smear themselves with in order to achieve the ability to fly. According to legend, the witch would smear herself with the ointment and then fly up the chimney to the Sabbat where she would meet her coven and/or The Devil.  There are varying opinions on whether the ointment was applied to the entire body or to certain parts such as the head, armpits, and genitals. In some cases, it was believed that witches even smear the handles of their brooms with the substance. The naked witch would then straddle her broom and fly off to the Sabbat.

    Some sources claim that simply smearing one’s self with the ointment isn’t enough to achieve the power to fly, but that the witch had to utter a magickal incantation to initiate their journey. A common incantation, which originates in Scottish folklore, and given by Isobel Gowdie during her trial goes:

    Horse and haddock, horse and go,
    horse and pellattis, ho! ho!”

    Recipes for the ointment, which has been described as dark or black and foul smelling, often included dangerous herbs such as belladonna, aconite, mandrake, hemlocke, and hellebore. Today, we know these herbs to be psychoactive or cardio-active. Belladonna is known to cause delirium, aconite can produce an irregular heartbeat, and mandrake can cause the sensation of falling. In addition, some recipes also call for the blood of certain animals such as bats, as well as the fat of an un-baptized child. The latter was a crucial ingredient used in the recipe by the Warlock in the 1989 movie of the same name.

    The question remains, did the ointment physically transport the witch off to the Sabbat or was the experience a journey of the mind? Given the toxic nature of the ingredients, it is likely that that ointment made the user delirious enough to believe that they were flying. Some occultists believe that the ointment made the user susceptible to auto-suggestion and freed the spirit for astral-projection, a state in which the astral body temporarily leaves the physical body.

    Today, modern witches generally concede that these formulas were dangerous and did not and will not grant witches the ability to fly around like Peter Pan. Instead, today’s modern witches often use meditation, lucid-dreaming, visualization techniques, astral-projection and self-hypnosis to duplicate the shamanic journeys of their ancestor witches. 

    Carolina Dean 

    Sources

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    My Solar Return Chart 2010-2011

    A Solar Return Chart is a type of chart used in predictive astrology in which an astrological map of the heavens in charted for the exact time the Sun returns to the degree that it held in the zodiac at the precise moment of your birth. This usually occurs within 2 days of your birthday.

    A Solar Return Chart can be analyzed much in the same way as a Natal, or Birth Chart to determine those themes and influences that will color your personal solar-year (which runs roughly from your birthday in one year to your birthday in the following year). Similarly a Lunar Return Chart focuses on the moon's position and runs on a roughly 30 day cycle.


    The process of analyzing a Solar Return Chart is somewhat tedious and involves 

    • Comparing the position of the planets in one's Natal chart to their position in the Solar Return. 
    • Comparing the aspects, or relationships, between the planets in one's Natal Chart and Solar Chart relevant to their respective positions. For example Natal Sun in the 3rd House Trine Solar Moon in the 8th House.
    • Analyzing the position of the planets in both the sign and the houses in the Solar Return Chart alone. 
    • Analyzing the aspects, or relationships, between the planets in the Solar Return Chart alone. 
    I am somewhat late in erecting my solar-return as my birthday was back in mid-September. Given that this is now mid-January my solar-year is 1/4 over! In reading over the highlights of my chart you'll notice that some of these predictions have already come true such as my change in careers (although I am still currently unemployed) and the fact that I changed residences.

    Highlights of My Solar-Return Chart 2010-2011


    You personal identity revolves around your contribution to the world through your work and your interest (possibly communication, writing, or commerce). The better you feel about yourself, the more you will be able to adapt to the changes around you. You’ll find that you will be able to adapt to new situations quickly once you get over your initial fears. You have a strong desire to express yourself, either verbally or through the written word. You are enthusiastic, animated and intellectually stimulated by the sharing of concepts and ideas. However, when emotions enter into the equation you’ll notice that you tend to say things that you don’t mean and appear to be standoffish.

    You have a passionate drive to gain and maintain love. Past hurts and jealousies haunt you preventing you from taking the lead of faith into the unknown. Similarly, you yearn to throw yourself wholly into creative endeavors and though you have some success in this area, fear of failure holds you back from going further. A lack of potential suitors is inclines you towards periods of withdrawal. Though one-on-one relationships seem foreign to you, cultivating close, rewarding partnerships is important to you. However, you feel a certain amount of responsibility in your relationships. There is also a desire to maintain your personal freedom with a partner who also enjoys his freedom and who has a certain amount of aloofness. You seek a relationship in which you are your partner are equals and any man who becomes too close too fast will be rebuffed. Passions runs deep, but sex without love holds little meaning for you. As your inner masculine and feminine energies come into balance, you desire a lover with who you can explore darker, more primal, fantasies.

    A change of residence is indicated, as well as a desire to change the home from within (rearranging furniture, painting, redecorating, etc…). However, it is important to understand whether you are making these changes because you want to, or because you are restless and longing for perfection and a place to belong.  With all the changes around you, look to your past attachments (traditions, family, etc...) for strength. Frustration over one’s lack of gaining material possessions is indicated as finances sour and you are forced to tighten your belt. Though things won’t be as bad as you think they are, it is wise to look at the big picture. Circumstances compel a change in careers.  You’ll shine in a position in which you are being a service to others. However, your success will depend on self-discipline as well as positive feelings about your work.  Your financial outlook improves over time.

    Restlessness is indicated as well as a desire for things far away. You are interested in traveling and learning more about different cultures, philosophies, etc… Emotions are erratic as well as you search for inner-meaning and spiritual fulfillment.  You seek personal freedom in a way that will uplift not only those around you but the world as a whole. You find comfort in surrounding yourself with creative people whose ideals mirror your own. Exposing yourself to the creative endeavors of others will often assist you in rejuvenating your own energies. You attract and become associated with unusual and off-beat personality. You have a strong desire for true-friendship and a deep connection with your friends but find that your reality rarely lives up to your ideals. You are very open and giving and must be on guard not to let yourself be taken advantage of.  Therefore you must be clear with others so as to avoid confusion and misunderstandings. 

    Carolina Dean

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    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Catch and Release


    A Cautionary Tale of Hexes and Hormones

    In my last blog entry, I described how I was lead by a dream to forgive those who had wronged me. However, it dawned on me that for true balance to be obtained, I must also seek forgiveness from those whom I have wronged. 

    One of my greatest sins, if you want to call it that, occurred more than 12 years ago. I fell in love with a man who was as ugly on the inside as he was beautiful on the outside.  Johnny Jump-Up (not his real name) was a liar and a thief who I later discovered had a criminal history as long as my arm. Although there were warnings, I could not see past his beauty and so I sought to use magick to make him mine. Out of a desire to punish me or teach me a lesson, the Gods granted me my desire. Within two weeks of meeting him, he moved in with me and that night we became lovers. 

    Johnny was not my first lover, but he was the first lover with whom I felt that I had an emotional connection. Whether that connection was a product of my own hormones or my love spell is another matter entirely.  Suffice it to say that I would have done anything for that man, and actually went quite far out of my comfort zone to make him happy. Johnny was very charming manipulator. He lied to me. He used me for his own pleasure. He stole from me and ultimately left me broke and broken. 

    Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Johnny Jump-Up set the standard by which I would measure every man that would come into my life thereafter. I found myself attracted to aloof men, often straight, who used me for their own pleasure, treat me badly, and who abandoned me once I got attached. Either consciously or subconsciously, he became what I wanted even though I didn't want Johnny anymore.

    Now this may seem like a very simply psychology, however, according to endocrinological researcher Bradley T. Smith, MD. Ph.D. there is a physical basis for emotional bonding. "Oxytocin, a chemical produced in the hypothalamus region of the brain during love-making, is sometimes called the 'attachment chemical' because it generates feelings of closeness."  Ocytocin and other pleasure-inducing chemicals are most abundant in men in their 20's and early 30's, which is why intimate connections forged in those years remain so intense in the male memory. Because of this physiological phenomenon, says Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D., author of The New Male Sexuality, "an early love may set the standard for women [or men] to come."

    In the ensuing years, I often thought about Johnny, what happened to him, and what could have been had things not gone wrong. This is not unusual according to Marty Klein, therapist, author, and expert on male sexuality. One's early lovers are often "associated with a time when [a man] felt positive about the future, before he'd experienced real disappointments", says Klein.  When a man thinks about his old lover, he "feels good about himself again. The old [relationship] may also represent the 'road not taken'. If he is not in a good relationship, he may fantasize about what might have been" says Herb Goldberg Pd.D., therapist and author of The New Male and other books on male psychology. A man may also revisit the past more often if the relationship ended with unresolved issues.

    Through the magic of the internet, I have been able to discover that since parting ways with Johnny Jump-Up he has been in and out of prison for several convictions including possession of drugs, drunk-driving, stealing electricity, and evading the police to name a few. In fact, as of this writing Johnny Jump-Up is serving time for a felony in North Carolina. Looking at his intake picture on the NCDOC site, Johnny is not the beautiful man that I once knew. His hairline has receded and is thinning, his face is asymmetrical, he nose appears to have been broken at some point, and he looks much older than the 33 year old man that he is. However, some part of me still wants to reach out to him and make everything ok.

    You may be wondering, if this man was so awful and did all these things to me then why do I need to seek forgiveness from him? Because it started with me. It started with me. I saw him. I wanted him and I sought to use magick to make him mine without ever truly knowing him. Granted he was a criminal before I met him and undoubtedly he would have still been a criminal had I not known him. Yes, he used me and he lied to me; but I made the choice to let him use me. I let him lie to me. I let myself believe that he loved me as much I loved him and if I didn't do what he wanted that he would take that love away. For 12 years I've blamed Johnny for everything that has gone wrong in my life, especially in the way of relationships with men when I failed to take responsibility myself. 

    Obviously, I am not going to contact him because even though he's in a prison across the country I don't want him to know where I now live. Nonetheless, that does not prevent me from writing him a letter acknowledging that he was not totally at fault for what occurred between us, asking his forgiveness and then burning it in my cauldron as before. Though it may not improve his life, it sure makes me feel better. However, I think its time to unbind this magickal bond between us.

    How to Unbind a Magickal Bond

    After Johnny Jump-Up and I ended our relationship (he went to jail) I had bags and bags of his clothing and personal items. Over the years I slowly got rid of all his belongings until today all I have is a photograph of him and a "love-letter" he sent me from prison. 

    To unbind this bond, I took these things out on my patio along with my cauldron. I read the letter backwards and placed it in the cauldron along with dried Rue, Vetiver, and Witch Hazel. I poured a few drops of rubbing alcohol over them, struck a match and tossed it in the cauldron setting it all on fire. I took the photograph of Johnny in my hands, looked in his eyes and chanted:

    This bond formed by witch's spell, 
    can be undone just as well;
    so that both parties can move on, 
    reverse the magick, break the bond!

    I told him goodbye and dropped the photograph in the fire. When cooled, the ashes was scattered into a wind moving away from me. 

    Carolina Dean


    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Burn, Witch, Burn!

    A few nights ago I had a series of very vivid dreams, which is unusual for me. I don't put too much stock in my dreams because I rarely remember them and they are so hard to figure out. However, occasionally I will have a dream so vivid that I cannot ignore it. 

    Upon awakening, I came straight to my computer and this is what I wrote about my dream. 

    "I was at a dinner table with an old African American woman. She had white-hair, glasses,  and wore a black dress with a white collar. We seemed to be eating a Sunday dinner or a thanksgiving type dinner. There was ham, mashed potatoes, and other delicious foods. She told me if I wrote my wish on paper 82 times it would happen. Then she started giving me a spell to bring 11 men “low”. It involved Mark Chapter 11."

    Having read up on numerology recently for a blog entry, I recalled that 11 is a master number associated with psychicism, and intuition. According to one source it " acts as a channel for information between the higher and the lower."  It is interesting that the person in my dream began telling me how to bring 11 men low. She also mention Mark Chapter 11, or Mark 11:11, which states

    "And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide (afternoon) was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve."

    Furthermore, there is a great deal of lore surrounded the appearance of the numbers 11:11 in one's daily life and dreams which suggest that the regular appearance of the number 11 is a sign of synchronicity and the opening of spiritual doorways.

    I went back and read the full scripture and verses 23-26 really resonated with me. It occurs just after the disciples notice that a fig tree which Jesus had cursed the previous day has dried up. When questioned about this he replies 

    "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

    So when you throw all this into the cauldron, what bubbles up? Well, its really hard for me to explain my logic behind what all this means, but suffice it to say that I have gone through several life-changing experiences the past year which have left me drained, apathetic, and fearful of my own future. I have been attempting to redisover the sacred in my own life and open doors for myself both spiritually and in the mundane.

    I feel that the dream is telling me that I can open those door for myself, but before I can I must forgive the ones who have wronged me. To that end, I sat down last night and wrote letters to the ones who I feel have wrong me. I didn't worry about grammar, or punctuation I just said what was on my mind and poured out all my frustrations and anger on the page and finally forgave them for what they had done.

    This morning I took those letters out on my patio and burned them in a pot to release them  to the universe and to be sure my message of forgiveness reached their intended target I chanted the following spell:

    Mercury, ye messenger divine;
    pray transmit these messages of mine;
    see them safely to their destination, 
    and rid me of my frustrations!

    I have to admit that the ritual made me feel much better. Afterward, I did write my wish on paper 82 times (by hand with no word processor and not copy, cut, and paste) and laid it on my altar as a sign of my faith. I encourage you all to do the same, and if you do, let me know what comes to pass!

    BB, 

    Carolina Dean

    Saturday, January 8, 2011

    Idol Chat: Part Two

    A few days ago, I shared a blog entry describing my role models from the period of time in which I was a teenager to a young adult. Now as I find myself at a point in my life where the future is a blank page before me waiting to be written I look to new personalities and characters after which to model myself. 

    It is my goal that as I forge ahead to learn from my own history and avoid the mistakes of the past (mine and others) while seeking to re-discover myself and my place in the world. I have taken the advice of a friend and rather than choose one person to emulate, I have decided to seek out traits that I admire from several different people and characters. They are:

    • Kathy Griffin- Though most people know Kathy Griffin as a controversial comedienne, I feel that there is much more to her than what we see on the surface. In her book, Official Book Club Selection, Kathy describes a childhood in which she grew up feeling different from those around her. She had issues with her self-image, feeling that she was "fat" and often used sex as a coping mechanism to find love and acceptance from the men in her life. These are issues with which I can definitely identify. She openly admits that she has been fired from several jobs in the past, and has gone through a very public divorce after discovering that her husband had stolen several thousand dollars from her. Despite this Kathy has gone on to become a very successful comedienne, actor, and LGBT rights advocate.  I admire the fact that she acknowledges her failures but refuses to allow them to hold her back from being a success. 
    • Ricky Martin-  I actually know very little about Ricky, other than he is a solo-singer who was once a member of the 80's boy-band Menudo. I first became aware of him when his song Living La Vida Loca became a hit in 1999 after which the rumors of his homosexuality began. It wasn't until 2010 that Martin publicly acknowledged his homosexuality. I like the fact that Ricky refused to allow himself to come out before he was ready and did so on his own terms. To the best of my knowledge he has not been a part of any scandal and seems to be a loving father. Ellen Degeneres and Neil Patrick Harris fall into the category as well.
    • Supergirl- In this instance I am referring to Supergirl as portrayed by Helen Slater in the 1984 film of the same name.  What I really like about Slater's portrayal in this film was her delicate balance between being an innocent, naive girl and a confident, and powerful young-woman. There were several instances in the film in which Supergirl could have held back and not taken an active role in what was happening around her. I admire the fact that she took responsibility for her mistakes, sought to correct them, and always maintained a positive attitude. Lindsay Wagner as the Bionic Woman is another good example of the strong heroine with a positive attitude.
    • Buffy and Willow-  Portrayed by Sarah Michelle Geller and Allyson Hannigan respectively, these were two powerful women who showed incredible strength as they faced challenging issues such as betrayal, addiction, loss, death, personal-accountability, and destiny. These characters taught us that our heroes aren't perfect. They have their own vulnerabilities and weaknesses but they can still make difficult choices and do the right thing. 
    • Sonny- Potrayed by Robert Duvall in the 1997 motion picture The Apostle. Sonny is a complicated character, on one hand he is a passionate, charismatic evangelist while on the other that passion turns to lustfulness, womanizing, and eventually murder. Though Sonny initially runs from the consequences of his crime he is eventually forced to take responsibility for what he has done. Throughout the film, however, it is clear that this man has an undeniable relationship with God from which he gains incredible strength of character and is able to accomplish many good things. 
    • Aang-  A young boy with the power to manipulate the four elements chosen by destiny to bring peace to the world. Aang is known as The Avatar in the series of the same name. Aang is the reluctant hero who can be sensitive and physically dynamic. As the Avatar, Aang would rather solve problems with words or by outsmarting his enemies rather than by physical-force. He loves nature and animals and has a free spirit. Though he initially rejects his destiny, he ultimately embraces his spiritual mission and does it in a conscientious manner.  

    These are just a few of the people and characters who possess traits that I admire and would like to incorporate into my own personality. As you can see there are a few traits which these individuals have in common including 1) A positive attitude 2) the will to succeed despite setbacks/obstacles 3) and a strong desire to make a difference in the world for the better. 


    Carolina Dean 

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Idol Chat: Part One

    Earlier this week in my first blog entry of the new year, I peeked into my future through the eyes of numerology. I learned that everyone goes through a nine year cycle of numbers, based on a numerological formula, each number painting a theme for that year that will set the tone for the next 9/10th of a decade.  

    I learned that 2011 is a "1" year for me and will be marked by the  releasing of old disappointments and failures, as well as nurturing new beginnings, adopting new priorities, making new goals, and finding a new vitality. In effect, I am hitting the reset button on my life. I am a blank slate and can make of myself anything that I desire. This is the perfect time to correct the mistakes of the past and position myself so as not to repeat them. 

    I think that the first step, for me, is to find a role-model...someone who I feel serves as a good example and whose behavior I would like to emulate. I gave this subject a great deal of thought before sitting down to write this entry. I thought back to my childhood and young adulthood to determine who were my role-models during that period in my life. 

    As a young gay man, I really can't think of who my role-models were in that respect. I turned 13 years old in 1986, and at that time society was still a long way from tolerance, especially in my small, Southern hometown. There was still a great deal that we didn't know about AIDS and many people thought it was a "gay-disease". There were rumors about such famous people as Rock Hudson, Martina Navratilova, but they were just rumors and as they were not a part of my own generation I didn't feel any connection to them or my life. 

    On television, we had Jodie Dallas (Billy Crystal's characters on SOAP), and the sexually ambiguous characters such as Uncle Arthur, Mr. Humphries, and any character played by Charles Nelson Reilly! I had not yet discovered The Rocky Horror Picture Show and it would be years before gay celebrities such as Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen Degeneres, and Ricki Martin came out. 

    My earliest memory of a positive gay character that I could identify with was Billy Douglas (played by Ryan Phillipe) on One Life to Live. I never really watched soap operas, but I happened to be baby-sitting for a family member one day. I was flipping through the television looking for something good to watch when something made me stop on ABC. It was the scene were Billy comes out to Reverend Carpenter. Here was a character a bit younger than me, but who was going through the same thing that I was. I began watching OLTL every day just to see how Billy's story played out. 

    I was also very shy as well as self-conscious, and absolutely hated going out in public. If someone looked at my wrong I would feel that they were judging me; if I I heard someone laugh, I would assume they were laughing at me. It wasn't until I got my first job working as a courtesy clerk for the local Piggly Wiggly that I began to come out of my shell. I felt that I had a lot in common with women in general,so I began looking to strong women as role models. 

    One of these women was Glorificus (not her real name), who was my boss when I worked in the textile industry. She was a woman working in a male-dominated environment and had to straddle the line between being assertive and strong as well as feminine. It also helped that she had a gay son herself and understood about a lot that I was going through. Glorificus helped me find myself as a leader, by making me her assistant manager. She also helped me become more self-sufficient by co-signing my first car loan and helping me get a suitable vehicle. 

    There were other women along my life's journey that taught me a lot about myself and the world in which I live Julie, Vivian, Michelle, Debbie, Becky...these are just a few of the women who helped me to find myself and become stronger than I was and yet allowed me to be vulnerable when I needed to be. 

    Times change, but good-values never do. However, it is always a good idea to reevaluate long-held thoughts, beliefs, and values from time to time and tomorrow I will share my choices for my role-model(s) for the next part of my life. Feel free to share your own role models (past and present) in the comments section below. 

    Carolina Dean 


    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    A Chant to Conquer Fear

    I was looking through my journals tonight for ideas, inspiration, etc.. to write a new blog for , my readers, today and I came across the following entry:

    Tuesday 1/3/06- Today I met [name withheld] on I-26 and we began our journey across America leaving South Carolina and heading towards Washington State. We went through North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and stopped in Illinois for the night. 

    Wednesday 1/4/06- Most of our day was taken up moving across Missouri. Traffic was horrible in St. Louis and Kansas City but I did see that big arch thing. We go a room in Iowa, an I didn't sleep too well.

    Thursday 1/5/06- Today we moved across Iowa, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The traffic was light throughout but we had to make several stops due to sickness. 

    Friday 1/6/06- Montana, Idaho, and Washington--- We arrived around 10 p.m. and checked into a hotel.

    So I realize that tomorrow is my five year anniversary of arriving in Oak Harbor. I look back and remember how scared I was. I was scared because I had to drive here following another person who was pulling a large boat. I was scared because I hate driving somewhere I've never been before. I was scared because I hate driving on the interstate. My mind was filled with all the things that could go wrong on our trip. 

    • What if my car breaks down?
    • What if I have an accident?
    • What if we run out of money?
    • What if I get lost?
    Also, I was scared because I didn't know what I would find waiting for me here. Would I be able to find a job? Would I make enough money to support myself?

    I look back on that journey as a very fearful time for me. But I also think about all the good things that have occurred to me here. I've made some wonderful friends, I've seen some beautiful places,  I've had some  amazing experiences, and I've become a much more independent person.

    Its true that I am a cautious person and my fear has often allowed me to prepare for the bad things that actually have happened in my life. I still find myself fearful of things that might happen, but I've learned to recognize my fear for what it is and how to cope with it.

    Fear is a basic survival mechanism which takes the form of an emotional response to a perceived threat such as pain or the threat of danger. Fear often triggers a release of chemicals in the brain that cause an accelerated heart beat and shallow breathing also known as the fight or flight response.

    A Chant to Conquer Fear 

    “Locked in place, frozen in fear,
    my heart is pounding in my ears;
    with every single breath I make
    and every single step I take
    I shall my deepest fear now face
    till it cannot dwell within this place
    and my fear shall pass me by
    in the blinking of an eye!”


    Carolina Dean 

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    2011: The Year in Numbers

    Numerology is the art and science of divination by numbers. According to the science of numerology, everything in the universe can be reduced to a numerical equivalent. Using various calculations, we can determine various key numbers which will tell us a great deal about ourselves and the world around us.

    My Numerological Profile

    Name:  Paul Dean Harris Jr.
     DOB:  September 15th, 1973



    The Birth Number 
     
    Your Birth Number is the sum of all the digits that comprise your date of birth, and it represents your self identity.

    09+01+05+1+9+7+3= 35

    3+5= 8

    My Self Identity- (8) Creative. Determined. Energetic. Need Order, are often activist. Persistent needs to be in control of all situations, domineering to a fault. 
     
    The Name Number

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    A B C D E F G H I
    J K L M N O P Q R
    S T U V W X Y Z

    The Name Number is the sum of all the digits that comprise your name, and it represents the role you were assigned by your family.

    PAUL DEAN HARRIS JR
    7133 4515 819991 19= 76

    7+6= 13
    1+3= 4

    Role Assigned by My Family (4)  Grounded and stable. Enjoys their comfort zone. Errs on the side of caution. Very dependable, shy, quiet, meek, intelligent, but has at times difficulty applying it.

    In addition, the sum of all the consonants in your name represents how you deal with the outside world.

    P L D N H R R S J R
    7 3 4 5 8 9 9 1 1 = 56

    5 + 6 = 11

    1+1= 2

    How I Deal with the Outside World (2) Balanced, emotional, think with their hearts. Can be sensitive. Artistic. Dependent. Social and have a fear of being alone.

    The sum of all the vowels in your name represents your sense of security.

    A U E A A I
    1 3 5 1 1 9 = 20

    2 + 0 = 2

    My Sense of Security (2) Balanced, emotional, think with their hearts. Can be sensitive. Artistic. Dependent. Social and have a fear of being alone.

    The Destiny Number

    Your Destiny Number is the sum of your Name Number and your Birth Number and gives an indication of your true will

    8 + 4 = 12

    1 + 2 =  3

    My True Will (3) Very outgoing, creative, they think outside the norms of society, do not accept criticism well, enjoy pushing the boundaries of society and experimental in all aspects of their life.

    The Personal Year Number 

    Your Personal Year Number is the sum of your Month and Date of Birth plus the year in question and gives an indication of your position in a 9 year cycle of personal growth. The Personal Year Number provides you with a avenue for personal focus and gives you an idea of your personal theme for any given year.

    9 + 15 + 2011= 2035

    2+ 0 + 3 + 5 = 10

    1 + 0 = 1

    According to this website "This is the beginning of a new nine year cycle. Things that have concerned you for the past decade no longer matter at all, in fact you may find your priorities have changed altogether. Disappointments from the past simply don’t matter anymore. Any work that you do during this year sets the tone and foundation for the next nine. This is the time to decide what your goals are and act on them. A personal year 1 also often brings new vitality and physical strength."

    Interestingly, my personal year number for 2010 was 9 which indicates a "year of completion and marks the beginning of the ending of everything you have managed to accomplish during the last decade. This is an uncomfortable year for many individuals, especially if they are unable to embrace change. You may feel restless and things that used to interest you may be replaced by new desires. If you are not able to let go of the past willingly, a situation may manifest that forces you to change. This is the year you reap what you sow."

    In early 2009, I lost my job of two years and as of this writing I am still unemployed. I also moved into a new apartment. I ended some long-standing relationships, and current relationships became strained.

    This being a 1 Personal Year Number for is much like hitting the reset button on my life. I am a blank slate and can make of myself anything that I desire. This will be a very important year for me which will shape the tone of the next nine years. It seems that I am in perfect position to correct the mistakes of the past and position myself so as not to repeat them. 

    Carolina Dean 

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    In the Cards: 2011






    Deck: The Rider Waite

    Q: "What does the new year hold for me?"

    A: The cards indicate that I feel cheated in the past (4 of Swords) and am juggling my finances in order to get by (2 of Pentacles). This will be a year of hard work and growth (7 of Pentacles) leading towards financial success as well as material comfort (9 of Pentacles) !

    Carolina Dean