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Monday, May 30, 2011

A Cure for Crusty Cauldrons

Its happened to all of us at one time or another. Either you danced with your coven around a roaring fire as incense smoke rose from your cauldron and a gentle mist filled the night air, or your latest potion seems more fit for unclogging your toilet than making the cute box boy down at the grocery store fall in love with you, so you wash it out and leave it in the sink to drip dry.

No matter how it happened the end result is the same. You have [dum, Dum, DUMMMM] ....crusty cauldron...and now all the other witches down at the covenstead are going to make fun of you. Who does Barbie Witch think she is anyway with her perfect hair and flawless skin? Who died and made her the High Priestess of your Easy-Bake Coven? You've had it up to your pointy little hat with her. You'll show her, you'll show her good! Right? But how?

Well don't fret Wicca Babies, your Uncle Dino has the cure for what ails ya! Take your cauldron outside to a sandy area of your yard. DO NOT do this near any dry grass or leaves. Go to the beach if you have to.  Lay the cauldron on the ground and pour some lighter fluid or a bit of rubbing alcohol over it. Strike a match and set the cauldron to burning. Let it burn for a few moments and then gather up some dirt or sand in your hands and toss it on the cauldron extinguishing the flame. Make sure the cauldron isn't hot to the touch and rub the sand all over it.

Don't forget to cackle and mumble to yourself a lot while doing this because you want to be sure to give that nosy old Mrs. Kravitz something to tell her husband about cause, you know, he lives for that shit. When you are done take the cauldron inside and wipe it out with a clean, dry cloth making sure all the dirt/sand is out of it. Pour a little vegetable oil in the cauldron and then rub the entire thing down with it and put the cauldron away to cure. Finally, when Mrs. Kravitz comes over to borrow a cup of sugar and casually ask what you were doing out there just smile and say "oh I've been inside with Tabitha all day, you must have seen my crazy cousin Serena!"

Carolina Dean 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tools of Conjure

Unlike Wicca or Ceremonial-Magick practices, Hoodoo does not require the practitioner to acquire exotic tools and implements, or to cleanse them with complex rituals at magickally auspicious times.

Hoodoo was born out of the magickal practices of a people who were often denied personal possession beyond what was absolutely needed and so magic was often conjured with what was on hand. For this reason the tools of conjure are, more often than not, common every-day items that can be found in the average household or readily available in nature.

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.
  • 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. I've found that a metal spoon can be used just like a candle-snuffer as well.
  • Wine-Glasses: Wine glasses that have a flat base can be turned upside down and used like a candle-holder. Other items such as personal concerns, curios, seals, etc..., can be placed under the wine glass as the candle burns down.
  • 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 often 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.
  • Dolls: Action figures and store-bought dolls can be used to house spirits, or named after an individual and used just like a poppet or voodoo doll.
  • 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.

Other items you'll find in a conjure worker's cabinet include candles, lead-pencils, brown-paper grocery sacks for writing petitions, chamois/flannel cloth for sewing mojo bags, playing cards for performing readings, dirt from various locations, personal-concerns, doll-babies, condition oils, herbs and roots to name a few.

As you can see, the practice of conjure need not be an expensive endeavor and most items needed to cast spells and make charms are either readily available to the average person or otherwise easily obtainable.  

Carolina Dean 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In Search of God....

As a spiritually-minded person, I have had many labels in my life. At one point or another I have identified as a Wiccan, Pagan, Rootworker, Two-Headed Doctor, or some variant. Some of the most common questions I often get include:
  • What do you believe?
  • Who do you worship?
When I was a child, I believed that God was an old man with white hair and a long beard who lived in the sky and saw everything that everyone did. We were told that his grace fell upon a virgin who gave birth to Jesus, his "only begotten son" who was also God himself. I was taught that he loved us, but only if we were afraid of him and obeyed his commandments. 

When my spiritual journey took me away from Christianity and I found Wicca I was taught that "god" was our Mother AND our Father. Through the cycle of the seasons the Goddess gives birth to the God who grows, matures and becomes her lover; that he impregnates her and dies only to be reborn again. We did not worship them inasmuch as we honored them, and we were empowered to take total responsibility for our thoughts, words, and our deeds. 

When I rediscovered the folk-magic practices of the South and began learning more about Hoodoo and Conjure, Jesus re-entered and I had to reevaluate my view and perception of him. Whereas I some magickal practitioners seemed to treat Jesus as some kind of genie, or viewed him as a mythological figure,  I see Jesus as the ultimate example of what man's relationship with God can be.

I was recently reminded by a friend that no matter how spiritual you are, people will still question your beliefs. I was somewhat shocked to discover that someone rather close to me, sincerely believed that I was a devil-worshiper. And so it seems, that for several people, the question remains......

  • What do you believe?
  • Who do you worship?

And this was my response. 

"That which has been called God and will herein be referred to as Spirit is neither male nor female, but rather is both androgynous and asexual, and which exist as pure love.  Because we as humans find it difficult to identify with someone or something that is simultaneously male, female, and neuter we attempt to understand Spirit by associating it as one or more of many archetypes, including male, female, and even sometimes animal forms as in Ancient Egyptian and Native American belief systems. 

For example, a woman who has been abused by men may find strength and comfort in a divine being who is a Warrior-Goddess; or a gay man wishing to draw closer to God may see him as a beautiful man who loves and accepts him.  

Many individuals find it extremely difficult to accept forgiveness and unconditional love, as represented by Spirit. Therefore, rather than take responsibility for our own failings, humans have often painted their concept of God as having traits which we find undesirable within our selves resulting in mythologies that portray God as jealous, petty, and cruel, as well as loving, kind, and generous.  Those who are in pain, who blame 'god' for their lot in life or who feel disenfranchised or cast out by society may need to see 'god' as the Satan because they have never experienced true love, or friendship.

All living things from humans to animals, and plants, all the way down to the “lowest” forms of life carries within their self the divine spark which is that part of themselves that is Spirit and which is connected to all living things and seeks to reunite with the original source of this light (the cosmic consciousness).

Spirit experiences what it means to be alive through the divine spark within all life. Spirit shares the full range of human and non-human experience, such as falling in love, being scared, being lonely, being hungry, being happy, being healthy, etc….Through the divine spark in the plants and animals, Spirit knows what it means to be sacrificed as food in order for other life to continue, what it means to be planted in the Earth as a seed, to grow and sprout and join the natural order. 

Therefore, Spirit has the highest compassion for every living thing and the desire for all living things to reach their highest potential and to be in harmony with one another." 



Carolina Dean

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Remedy for Retrograde Planets

Each of the seven classical planets (associated with the 7 days of the week) have both a Seal and a Kamea, or Magic Square. Whereas the Kamea sets forces in motion, the seal brings them to a halt. 

During periods of retrograde, when a planet appears to move backwards from its normal trek around the sun, those area of life governed by the planet tend to suffer setbacks and breakdowns. For example, Mercury is believed to rule communication and travel and so during a Mercury-Retrograde it is common for breakdowns in communication and interruption of travel plans to occur.

A simple ritual to shield yourself from these negative disruptions is as follows. To perform it you will need the following items:

  • Square of Planet
  • Seal of Planet 
  • Pin
  • Candle of a color associated with the planet 
  • Sharp Knife 
Perform the ritual shortly before the retrograde begins. Take a knife and cut the tip off of the candle, then dig a new wick out of what was its original bottom. Draw the planetary symbol on the candle, set it in a holder and light the candle, saying:

"I now sever the ties that bind,
the energies of (planet) to that of mine;
& until s/he resumes his/her normal course
our energies shall remain divorced!"


Next, place the Planetary Seal over the Kamea and secure it with a pin, saying:

 
"As (Planet) stumbles over
 his/her own footprints
I shield my self 
from all consequence;
no worries, no troubles,
nor any grief
from these concerns, 
I now have relief!"


Place this under the candle and let it remain. When the candle burns out wrap the talisman in a clean, white cloth and carry it with you for protection. When the retrograde end, ritually removed the pin and burn both the Seal and the Kamea


It is very important that you remove the seal from the square when the retrograde ends, because the seal not only blocks all negative effects of the planet but the positive ones as well; and you will not be able to reap the positive benefits of the planet so long as the spell is in effect.

Carolina Dean





Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Video: Meet Carolina Dean




Don't forget to subscribe to my channel to enjoy more videos or to share with your friends.

Carolina Dean

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mailbag Monday: Meeting Your Familiar/Totem Animal

Today's question comes from not one but two different readers, but I'll only be sharing one email submission. He writes:

"Merry meet, my name is Quentin. I've been studying Wicca for almost a year now. I was trying to find out what my power animal was, but I couldn't really find anything I thought fit me. I was hoping you could help me find out what my power animal is."

Kowabunga Dude!

At first I was simply going to refer you to the appropriate section of my website  but when I checked I realized  that I hadn't written it yet. So this blog entry will serve as a crash course on the subject until I can do so. 

Totem vs. Familiar 

While these two terms are used interchangeably, I was taught that there is a difference between a totem and a familiar. To begin, a totem is an idea...the essence of a thing with which you or a group of people have an affinity or close connection.  They are often represented by some time of physical object such as a doll, a statue, carving, etc...  

A familiar, on the other hand, is the physical embodiment of an attendant spirit. For example, my totem is the Turtle (see below) and for this reason I keep a turtle shell on my altar to represent that connection. However I do not have a familiar, that is, a live turtle which keep in my home.

Meeting Your Totem

Rather than tell you how to meet your totem, I'll tell you how I found my own in the Summer of 2002. At my altar, I cast a circle and opened only the Western Gate (the gate of spirit). I invoked the Horned God as Lord of the Animals and petitioned him to help me find my totem. 

I then sat before my altar and went into a meditative state. My mind took me to June Creek (a place we went swimming at as a child). I vividly recalls walking along the shore, listening to the sound of the wind through the trees, feeling the sunshine on my skin, etc...I came to a fallen tree and sat down. After a few moments, a giant turtle emerged out of the water and had me crawl on his back. 

The turtle took me to an island where he said that he lived. We had a long and deep conversation the details of which I am not permitted to reveal. However, I can say that part of the conversation consisted of him explaining his personal philosophy to me, instructed me how to work with him, and told me his name which I am never to reveal. Finally, he told me that I would receive confirmation of my experience within three days. When we were done, the turtle returned me to the creek and I came out of my meditation. 

A few days later, I was going to my mailbox. It had been raining for over a week and my grass had gotten very high. I could not get it cut until it dried out. As I was walking to the mailbox, I noticed a large stone in my yard and went over to pick it up. When I got to the stone, I realized that it was actually a turtle that was seeking higher ground. I gently picked up the turtle and put him down in a safe place.
And that is how I discovered my totem. I have to admit that when I discovered my totem was the Turtle, I was somewhat disappointed. Of course I wanted to have something 'cool' like a wolf, raven, snake, etc...but anyone who has ever been on the wrong side of a snapping turtle's jaws will tell you...don't mess with turtle! I researched the totemic meaning and energies of the turtle and found that it really did seem to fit me.

That same summer I was hiking at 40 Acre Rock when I found a whole, intact turtle shell at the mouth of a bear cave. I took the shell, leaving an offering in its place, which rests on my altar to this day. Since that time I have collected or been gifted with many images of turtles. Whenever I see a turtle or even hear the word turtle, I know that my totem is with me. 

Care and Feeding of Your Totem 

Having a totem is a large responsibility and like sharing your life and space with any living creature there are certain rules for their care and feeding. They are:

  1. Never get them wet. 
  2. Never expose them to sunlight. 
  3. Never feed them after midnight. 
No wait. Sorry, those are the rules for keeping a Mogwai.  It is important to remember that you do not own your totem or familiar. As such, you do not command or abuse your totem; but rather you work with your totem to achieve various goals.

Some of the ways in which you can work with your totem include:

  • Sending it out to retrieve information for you. 
  • Delivering healing energy to a person in need. 
  • Sending an important message to another. 
  • Charging it to protect your home or possessions while away. 
  • Guiding you on the astral plane.
  • Warning you of danger. 
  • Borrowing its animal instincts. 
  • Moving negative people or energy away from you. 
  • Finding lost objects or people. 
  • Adding its energy to your own to empower spells. 
These are just a few ways in which I have worked with my own totem. As you work with your totem it will communicate with you the best way to call upon and work with it for various goals. It is important to always thank your totem for its hard work and reward it with offerings such as food, candles, etc... 

I hope this information has been helpful to you in your own spiritual search. 

Until next time, TURTLE POWER, dude!

Carolina Dean

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cross and Candle Spell for Money

Arrange seven nickles in the form of a cross. Place one white candle dressed with Money Drawing Oil on each of the four outer-most coins. Light the candles and Pray the 23rd Psalm (The Lord is my Shepard...) while focusing on your desire for more money. 

When you are done, make your petition saying:

"Just as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes so that all were fed, so may my fortune increase so that all my needs are met. I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Allow the coins to remain undisturbed until the candles burn out and then spend the coins as a "sacrifice" knowing that  they will return to you in the form of more money.

Some sources say that white candles are used for a general increase in money, red candles bring money through marriage, and black candles for an inheritance.

Carolina Dean