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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tradition vs. Eclecticism

Since Wicca came out of the broom-closet in the 1950's with Gardner, it has been the subject of controversy by outsiders and even others who identify as Wiccans/witches.

The witches of yesteryear put a great deal of emphasis on Tradition. It seemed that you weren't a "real" witch unless you belonged to a tradition or coven. Today's witches have moved away from that belief and have moved toward more eclecticism, picking and choosing their beliefs and practices from various traditions AND even other religions.

In many ways, I think that the eclecticism was a product of the late 80's early 90's with the whole ME generation and the emergence of solitaries. And let's face it, the solitary movement was also fueled by those who felt disenfranchised by the covens. Even during the 80's and 90's there were plenty of circles that did not want to accept members that were gay, non-European (white), etc....and these people had no other choice but to become solitaries to find fulfillment on their spiritual path. 

Personally, I think that the eclectic approach did help to keep Wicca/Witchcraft somewhat fresh and helped the new generation of seekers break away from the previous generation and establish their own identity. This king of growth was a natural progression.  I don't think there is anything wrong with eclecticism as long as the person has a strong foundation and understanding of basic principles. Without this strong foundation, new seekers can get in over their head. I also think that it is important to be respectful of other religions and cultures from which concepts and practices are borrowed. I compare it to Christians who pick and choose what verses they choose to believe in the bible and ignore those that are contradictory.

How do you all think this has helped or harmed the practice of the craft? And what is the next stage of evolution for the Craft? Use the comment section to share your thoughts and ideas.

Carolina Dean

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wiccan Spell to Relieve Writer's Block

"Writer's block is a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand. At the other extreme, some "blocked" writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers. It can manifest as the affected writer viewing their work as inferior or unsuitable, when in fact it could be the opposite."
--------------- Wikipedia Entry on Writer's Block 


Moon Phase: Full to Waning
Day: Wednesday
Hour: Mercury

To cast this spell you will need:


Directions: In your sacred space, ground and center. When you are ready, cast a circle and then light a yellow candle before you. Hold the Chinese Writing Stone in your hands and meditate on it a few minutes.  When you are ready, dab a little bit of Road Opener Oil on your finger and anoint the stone by rubbing your finger over it in a counter-clockwise circle. Chant:

"The page is blank, creativity stalls, 
the words refuse to heed my calls;
remove all blocks, the way make free, 
as I will so mote it be!"

If you are a professional writer, you may also wish to rub the stone with a bit of Steady Work Oil as well. Place the stone next to the candle and let it remain there until the candle is spent. Thereafter, keep the stone near you when you do your writing.

Carolina Dean 


Thursday, June 23, 2011

MIPC: Yarrow Love Potion

"The party broke up, and the basketball playing boyfriend was leaving just as Ruth reached the door. They stood in the hall and chatted a few minutes, and then Ruth suggested in a friendly way that they go back to her own room where she had a hot plate and could make some coffee. So they did, and she brewed the coffee and put something in it--I think she referred to the ingredient as 'milfoil,' but I believe it was actually a part of a plant called Achille millefolium. From that night on, as far as I know, Ruth and the basketball player were a steady twosome, and he never looked at the poor little cheerleader again."

Summer of Fear (1977)
Lois Duncan

Commentary: More commonly known as Yarrow, Achille millefolium, has a long history in medicine as well as magick. Herbalist have used yarrow to promote bleeding as well as to stop the flow of blood from wounds, heal bruises, to bring up phlegm, and treat skin disorders to name a few. It should be noted that contact with Yarrow can cause allergic skin rashes. 

In magick, Yarrow has several uses most of which center around drawing love, and fostering psychic abilities.  According to Scott Cunningham, Yarrow attracts "love, friendship, and distant relations."   He also states that a tea made of yarrow flowers will improve a person's psychic abilities. 

In his book, Ozark Magic and Folklore, Vance Randolph states that yarrow is used by women in the Ozarks to make love-potions, however he fails to provide a recipe. The stalks of Yarrow have been used to cast the I-Ching and the flowers have been placed under the pillow to help you dream of your future spouse. 

I, personally, would not recommend anyone slip Yarrow into another person's food or drink for this purpose unless they are 1) absolutely sure that the herb is Yarrow 2) that the herb was thoroughly cleaned of any possible pesticides 3) that the Yarrow was properly dried and 4) that they were absolutely sure that they wanted this person to be devoted to them. 

All ethics aside, love is a fickle thing. Many a witch has cast a spell to gain the love and affections of someone only to find that once they got their wo/man they no longer wanted him or her. Not to mention how easily love can turn deadly. In addition, once you have your wo/man, you may find it hard to rid yourself of him or her as the grimoires and receipt books provide no antidote to the potion.

However, if you find yourself burdened with an ensorceled-lover and wish to be rid of him or her, Cunningham tells us that pistachio nuts are used in Arabic countries to counter-act love spells. In the Voodoo tradition, one of my teachers shared a powerful spell which calls for the dried remains of a black-widow spider. Still, I would not draw from this well too many times or else you may find that it has run dry and you are forever bound to a wo/man you despise.

Carolina Dean

Sources:

Summer of Fear
Lois Duncan, © 1977

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
Scott Cunningham, ©1998

Ozark Magic and Folklore 
Vance Randolph, © 1947




Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fun with Telepathy

I have a very good friend, whom I'll call Jean Grey and whom I've known for about three years. Jean and I worked together for he who shall not be named and, knowing that I am single with no family here in Washington, she always invited me to her home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

After we both left this employer, we continued to socialize together often as well as to talk on the phone at least once a day. It was only within the last year that we each began to notice how in synch we are.

There have been many times when we have been together when we knew what the other was thinking, could finish each other sentences, etc...At other times I would think about her, only to have her call me shortly thereafter. We have never had an argument of fight and often tease each other and bicker like an old married couple. We often joke that if she was a gay man or I was a straight one that we would make a great couple.

Today, while driving to her house for a visit, I began thinking about our connection and wanted to do a little experiment. I wanted to see if I could project a thought to her and have her know what I was thinking. About 15 minutes away from her house, I began visualizing her and projecting the thought "triangle" over and over to her. 

When I got to her house, I asked her what she had been doing in the last 15 minutes and she said that she had been on facebook looking at someone's profile. I told her that on my drive over I wanted to see if I could project my thoughts to her and had been projecting the thought of a certain shape to her for the past 15 minutes. She immediately spoke up and said that it was triangle! 

However, remember I said that she had been looking at someone's profile on facebook? Well, just before I arrived she was looking at tattoo one of her friends had gotten which took the form of a Eye Within a Triangle! So, that begs the question...was I reading her mind at the time or did I successfully project the thought to her??? Perhaps the world will never know.....

Carolina Dean

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Thoroughly Modern Medium

In my last entry, I shared a very basic non-comprehensive overview of some of the many different ways in which the living has communicated with the dead. Today I would like to share with you how I discovered this ability as well as the process with which I communicate with the dead.

When I was a small child, I recall having episodes of precognition in which I knew who was calling before answering the phone, or knowing that granpa was being cheated by the butcher. I have a vivid memory of waking up in bed one night and being covered in snakes. I could look off to my left and see my mother sitting on the floor watching tv and eating popcorn but being unable to call out to her. I also recall walking home from school and seeing winged-men flying through the air. I can only imagine what the passing car thought of this small boy standing on the side of the road staring up at the sky.

As I got older and learned not to talk about these things, they stopped happening with any consistency. Despite this, I retained my interest in magick and the supernatural. As a teenager I would lie in bed late and night and listen to the semi-trucks downshifting on Hwy 20 in the distance. I would wonder who they were and where they were going and suddenly I would find myself flying along side them! That was my first experience with astral projection. 

When I was 18 I had developed an interest in reading Tarot Cards and tried to create my own deck by using a deck of playing cards and 21 cards from a second deck with the names of the Major Arcana written on them. After I graduated high school, my Aunt E. bought me my first deck (the Rider-Waite) from a Waldenbooks at Myrtle Beach. I spent the whole summer learning the meanings of the cards and doing readings for myself. I vividly recall predicting that Bill Clinton would be our next president (the King of Cups). 

In the beginning I took a literalistic approach to reading the cards, because I wanted to do it just right. So whenever I threw the cards I would think, ok the book says this is what the card means and so this is what the card means and nothing else....even though this strict interpretation doesn't seem to fit. Only when I learned to relax and take a more intuitive approach to reading the cards did my own readings improve and my sporadic visions returned. 

For example, a girl came to my home one evening for a reading and as soon as I began turning over the card I saw the face of a man in my mind's eye and knew that she was interested in him. Without even thinking or second-guessing myself I called the man's name and she was shocked. Now I must admit that the only reason I knew the man's name was because I was working for the public at the time and this man was one of my customer's otherwise I would have just had to describe who I saw in my mind's eye for the girl.

About a year after I had begun studying and reading the Tarot, I began to feel the presence of spirits when I read for others. I notice that I began to associate their presence with the appearance of certain cards or certain combinations of cards (The World and Judgment together, for example). Once I acknowledged these spirits I was able to begin discerning them and communicate with them. Sometimes the spirit was an ancestor, at other times it was the person's spirit guide/guardian angel. These spirits would then begin to communicate with me by showing me images in my mind and, very rarely, I would hear short words and sentences. At other times I would just know, without knowing. The only way I could describe it is as being similar to when you are working on a problem and then you suddenly get an inspiration and the answer is clear! 
I don't consider myself a medium, per se, I am uncomfortable with the idea of allowing a spirit to use my body and am not particularly interested in that type of work. When I do readings and the messages come through from spirits I will deliver the message and leave it up to the client what to do with the information. Occasionally, however, I have been requested to attempt to contact the dead for individuals and I always say that I will try but that I cannot guarantee that I will be successful. 

In the beginning I tried working with a Ouija-Board, but for whatever reason I was never able to operate it to my satisfaction. I believe the reason for this is because I have heard all my life about how dangerous Ouija-Boards are and some small part of my subconsciousness will not allow me to operate one. Also, as I said earlier, I am uncomfortable with the idea of allowing some outside force to have use of my body. I have been successful communicating with spirits using the tarot, pendulums, or dowsing rods, but knowing that I have had successful communications with the dead without the use of tools I decided to develop that ability. 

Through a process of trial and error, I discovered that the best way for me to communicate with the dead was simply to talk to them. Whenever I get a request to speak with the dead, I usually ask for their name, and/or a photograph. I attempt to put myself on the spirit's wavelength by mentally focusing on the person and repeating their name over and over in my mind as well as visualizing their face. I  put out a mental call letting the spirit know that if they are around and wish to communicate, that I am available. There is nothing fancy about it. I don't burn special candles, I don't cast a circle, I don't pray at the altar, etc... I've done this while cooking supper, driving to work, or just laying in bed about to go to sleep. If the person is around and both willing AND able to communicate I usually begin to get mental impressions within 24 ours or so.  Once I receive the information I try to write it down so that I can be as exact as possible and relay the information to the client. 

For example, I was recently asked to attempt to contact the spirit of a girl who died un-expectantly in a car accident. All I knew was her first name and that she had been on life-support even though she was brain dead and that her family recently made the decision to end life support. I went through my process and about a day later I was driving to visit a friend and began seeing images in my head of colored pencils, blank paper, rainbows, stars, and horses. These images were accompanied by that feeling that I associate with spirit contact and so paid attention to what I was feeling and sensing. 

I was able to get a feel for the girl's personality and disposition and when I relayed this information to the individual they confirmed that the girl loved to draw and loved horses and that I accurately described her personality. Later, the spirit of the girl gave me a message to relay to the client that although seemed rather generic, had a  personal meaning to her. Though I am leaving out some information out of respect for the family I will share part of the message here. 

"Whether you die at 9 or 90 you'll be surprised how fast life passes. Don't waste it living in the shadows and darkness but rather seek out the light and beauty of the world. Enjoy every moment."

That being said, this aspect of spirit-work is not one that I seek out or aspire to do regularly. While some people can be thankful for the message and move on, others desire to maintain contact with the deceased has the potential to interrupt their grieving process and the transitory process of the spirit in question. For this reason I am very selective about who and under what circumstances I perform this service. 

Carolina Dean

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Communicating with Spirits


A Basic Guide 


a spirit pot
 As long as there has been religion, there has been a belief in the existence of life after death. However, exactly what the afterlife entails has differed among various religions. Early man envisioned an afterlife similar to the present one.  In order to provide for them, the dead would be buried with those items which it was believed they would need in the next life. 

Later, the belief developed that the dead could watch over the living and influence their lives. This line of thinking possibly lead to the practice of Ancestor Worship. There are many reasons that one would wish to contact the dead. For some it gives them a sense of closure after the death of a loved one to know that their spirit lives on after death and that the departed is at peace. For some unscrupulous individuals the practice of contacting the dead has become a very profitable business.

Other reasons some may wish to contact the dead is to obtain undeniable proof for their selves that there is life after death. For some this may bring relief, for others it may bring a sense of dread. For if there is life after death, then surely they would have to atone for misdeeds in this life. 

While some people seek to contact the dead to  strengthen and build ties, others seek to contact the dead to severe them. Many people who feel that their homes are haunted by ghosts often seek to peacefully send the ghost into the afterlife by communicating with the ghost and convincing it to move on. In addition, rituals and practices were developed to honor the dead and request their assistance, or to protect oneself, home, and family from any evil influences associated with the dead. 

Spirit communication falls into three main categories, they are:

  1. Divination 
  2. Mediumship  
  3. Necromancy 

Divination 

A Seance in Session

Though most people think of divination as fortune-telling, various divination tools can and have been used to communicate with the dead. Some of these tools include, but are not limited to the following. 

  • Spirit House- A spirit house (see photo above) can take the form of a pot, a wooden-box, a jar, or even a doll. The house serves as a dwelling place for a familiar spirit and a means through which the magician can communicate with disincarnate entities. The house usually contains an assortment of items such as graveyard dirt, photograph of the spirit when it was a living person, their death announcement or personal possessions. In other cases the pot may contain a magickal seal associated with the spirit, as well as other items such as herbs, gemstones, and offerings that the spirit is known to favor as well as dirt from a graveyard and/or other locations such as your home, a bank, court-house, etc... These items serve to attract a spirit which is in alignment with your desire and allow it to operate on the physical plane.


Ouija Board
  • Ouija Boards- Also known as Talking-Boards, Ouija Boards are flat boards marked with all the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0-9 and the words "Yes", "No", and "Goodbye". In fact, the word ouija comes from combining the French word for yes (oui) and the German word for no (ja).  To operate the board, it is placed on a flat surface and one or more people place their hands on the accompanying planchette (a small flat wooden or plastic device used as a pointer when operating the board.) Spirits are addressed and it is believed that they spell out words and phrases by moving the planchette through the individuals. Others posit that the channeled information comes from the combined subconscious of those present. 

  • Pendulums- A pendulum is a divinatory tool used to answer subjective questions. It takes the form of a weighted object, called a bob, suspended from a chain, cord, or string. To operate a pendulum it is suspended over a flat surface and a yes/no type question is asked. The direction of the pendulum's swing is then interpreted as yes, no, or I don't know as determined by calibrating the pendulum beforehand. Similar to the Ouija-Board, the pendulum can be used to address a spirit who answers your question though the swinging of the pendulum. 
Dowsing Rods

  • Dowsing Rods- Dowsing Rods usually take the form of a Y-shaped branch of wood, usually willow, or two L-shaped metal rods. While dowsing-rods have been used to find people, places and things (most commonly they are used to find running water for the purpose of building a well) more and more spiritualist are using them to find and communicate with spirits. Typically, the user takes the rods to a place where the most spirit activity is thought to take place. The operator holds the rods up so that they are parallel to one another as they address the spirit. When the rods cross, contact is believed to be made. Once contact has been made, the operator straightens out the rods and then questions the spirit. The spirit is believed to make the rods cross whenever the answer is yes.


Mediumship


A medium is defined as "an individual held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits". A medium typically offers up themselves to disincarnate spirits so that the spirits can communicate with the living using the body and voice of the medium. Although the basic process is the same, there are many different ways in which this occurs. They include, but are not limted to, the following:


  • Seance- A séance is an attempt to communicate with the dead. The word séance comes from the French word for 'seat', 'session', from Old French seoir, 'to sit.' In English, the word came to be used specifically for a meeting of people to receive spiritualistic messages. The séance, or sitting, is led by a medium who will usually go into a trance that allows the dead to communicate through him or her.


  • Automatic Writing- Automatic, or Spirit Writing, has been defined as a method of obtaining information from disembodied spirits in which the spirit takes control over the medium causing them to translate unconscious information on paper without being aware of the contents. Automatic Writing is thought to be only used by mediums, however, anyone can learn to use it with practice. The writer is often unaware of what is being written and often even scrawls out text in handwriting that is markedly different than his own. Others believe that perhaps the spirits may also communicate by forming messages in the mind of the medium, which reproduce on the page

  •  Hynopsis- Hypnosis is a mental state in which a person becomes highly responsive to outside directions and/or suggestions. A person may be inducted into a hypnotic state by another individual or they may induct themselves (called self-hypnosis). Under hypnosis a person is often able to perform feats that they are not able to do in their normal conscious states. Persons under hypnosis have been able to recover lost memories, endure pain, remember past lives, as well as to see and communicate with spirits. 

  • Ritual Possession- Spirits are thought to take possession of a person during certain rites. In  Wiccan Rituals, the High Priestess often Draws Down the Moon, that is, invoke the Goddess into their bodies so that she can communicate with the coven. During Vodoun ceremonies, the Loa are said to ride, or possess, participants. While possessed by a Loa, the person is able to do things that they are unable to do in their conscious state such as walk on fire without being burned, or pierce their bodies with large needles without drawing blood, etc... In some Christian churches, worshipers often work themselves into an ecstatic state during which they see visions and speak-in-tongues

  • Through Dreams- Dreaming, like hypnosis, is another state of mind in which the living and the dead can communicate. Simply dreaming of the dead does not necessarily make a person a medium, and there is a difference between dreaming of the dead and communicating with the dead through ones dreams. Southern lore states that dreaming of a death is a sign or an impending birth, and people have been known to dream of loved ones long after they have died. The dead will often visit the living through dreams to deliver a final message and this typically occurs soon after the person dies. These dream visitations can happen either once or a handful of times before they stop altogether. However, a person with a talent for contacting spirits through dreams will experience these types of visitations more often.

Necromancy


Necromancy is a form of magick which deals with the ritual raising of the dead in either spirit or physical form. While the use of Ouija Boards, Spirit-Pots, and the performing of a Seance can be considered a form of necromancy, this section will deal with more magico-religious methods of necromancy. Some of these methods include:
  • High Magick- Also known as Ceremonial Magick, High-Magick represents a complicated set of ideas involving ritual fasting and abstinence as well as preparing ones tools and workspace in strict accordance with proper purification rituals performed at specific times. Typically, the magician will stand within a protective circle and invoke the spirit into a nearby triangle marked on the ground by uttering long incantations calling upon various names of God. Typically the spirit is summoned to answer questions or to lead the magician to buried treasure. The spirit is often tested to determine whether or not it is speaking the truth and threaten with horrors worse than death when it does not. 

    • Low Magick- Whereas High Magick is believed to require a great deal of precision with regard to timing, procedure, and even pronunciation of names; Low-Magick is much more practical in nature and often concerns itself with every-day type goals such as love or money. However, that is not to say that low-magick doesn't offer a few methods of calling forth spirits and communicating with them. A person practicing low-magick may make use of a a tool such as a Ouija Board or Pendulum. Their rituals will tend to be more simple than that of a Ceremonial Magician and may involve something as simple as burning a mixture of Star Anise, Althea leaves, and Acacia leaves to facilitate contact with the dead through their dreams. However, they are just as likely to travel to a graveyard and speak directly with the spirit and negotiate a pact such as an offering of three silver dimes in exchange for the spirits dirt and assistance in a practical matter.


    As you can see, there are a plethora of theories concerning and methods involving contact with spirits as well as how to communicate with them. I hope that this brief article has given you something to think about as you seek to communicate with the dead yourself. Tomorrow I will share my experiences contacting spirits and communicate with them in my personal practices. 

    Carolina Dean 

     

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Court Case Spell

    I have not had a great deal of experience with court-case spells but recently had to do some work on my own behalf in this area.  Without going into too great a detail, I created this spell out of my own need to win a hearing against a former employer that would determine whether or not I would be able to continue to provide for myself and maintain my present lifestyle. Had I lost this hearing, I surely would have been homeless. 

    I approached my problem from three angels. They were:
    1. A Honey Jar on the Judge
    2. Curse of Confusion
    3. Freezing My opponents

    Honey Jar on the Judge

    Please refer to this link for more information about Honey Jars. For this part of the ritual I will add that I was able to google the judge's name and find a photograph of him from the archives of his old law firm, which I included in the honey jar along with calendula flowers and dill seeds.

    Since they are notoriously slow-acting, I built my honey jar the same day I learned the name of the judge that would be presiding over my case. I place the honey-jar in front of an image of St. Expedite  (thank you Dr. E, for that tip) and petitioned him to speed up the effects of the jar. Each morning, I would burn a newly prepared candle dressed with Fast Luck Oil on the jar and read Psalm 5 while focusing on my desire.

    Curse of Confusion

    Before I begin to describe my curse, let me explain that these people were bearing false witness against me and I confirmed through divination that my cause was righteous and that it was all right for me to proceed. To perform this spell you will need:

    • Black Candle 
    • Small Deep Dish
    • 7 Pins 
    • Vinegar
    • Black Pepper
    • Red Pepper
    • Poppy Seeds
    • Paper and Pencil 
    • Bible
    This spell was begun 7 days prior to my hearing date. I begun by writing the names of my opponents and opposing witnesses on individual slips of paper. I placed this paper in the dish and poured vinegar over the names. I sprinkled in the black-pepper, red-pepper, and poppy seeds. Next, I wrote the same names on the black candle and pierced the candle with 7 pins dividing the candle in 7 equal sections (the 7th pin goes through the wick). 

    I lit the candle and made my petition to the Lord to deliver me from my enemies and then prayed Psalms 35 a total of three times. I let the candle burn down to the top-most pin, snuffed out the flame and then dropped the pin into the vinegar. The following day and each day thereafter I lit the candle and made my petition followed by reading Psalm 35 three times. 

    The honey-jar and the confusion candle were on my altar at the same time. I placed the Honey Jar on the right and the Confusion Candle on the left side of the altar with a ritual knife in between them with the sharp end of the blade facing the confusion candle.This was done to keep the energies I called forth from contaminating one another and to prevent my opponent from unduly influencing the judge in any way. 

    On the final day, I lit the honey jar candle AND the last bit of the confusion-candle shortly before my hearing was to take place (over the phone). In addition, after I had read Psalm 35 over the confusion candle for the last time, I took my bible and placed it on a table between myself and the direction of my enemies for good measure. 

    Freezing the Witnesses

    This part of my work was also begun on the same day that I got my discovery package in the mail containing the names of my judge, the people representing my former employer, and the witnesses as well as all the witness statements and evidence. 

    Again I wrote the names of my opponents and their witnesses on individual slips of paper and attached them to a black cloth doll. I placed the doll on a piece of tin-foil and sprinkled it with a few drops of War Water, a pinch of red-pepper, and some crab-shell powder. I wrapped the tin-foil around the doll (shiny side inward) so that every lie or evil deed my opponents would throw at me would reflect back on them. Finally, I placed the doll in a zip lock bag and placed it in my freeze upside down in a corner. 

    Divination(s)

    Long before I was able to begin my spell-work (I was waiting on paper-work) I received two readings from two other practitioners. Each of them told me that things seemed bleak but that everything would eventually turn out in my favor. I, myself, wasn't so sure and wasn't about to leave anything up to chance and began planning my work. 

    At one point, I was really scared and looked for comfort from the Holy Bible. I asked my question and opened the bible at random and put my finger down on Acts 24:13 which reads:

    "Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me."

    It was then that I knew everything WAS going to be ok. 

    The Results

    My hearing lasting about an hour and though I was nervous at first I answered all the questions put to me truthfully. I was able to get some of my opponents evidence thrown out but they were not able to get any of my evidence thrown out. 

    I knew that my spell was working when not one but two of the witnesses slipped up and basically said that they were lying about their accusations and agreed with my own testimony; in addition the individual who was representing my ex-employer showed that she had no clue what she was doing. The hearing ended and two days later, I received the determination of my case in the mail. I won!

    Other

    I received my determination over a month ago but am only writing about my experience now because my former employer had until June 16th to appeal the court's decision and they did not do so. I must also point out that I reluctantly confided in some of my magickal friends who did some pro-bono work on my behalf as well. If you are interested in using their services click on the links below to be taken to their respective websites. 

    And finally, I'd just like to say a big THANK YOU to them as well as my other magickal friends who do not have their own businesses but who lit candles and sent up prayers on my behalf! Thank You All!

    Carolina Dean


    Links 
     

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Good Reads

    Last week I was notified by one of my fans that some of my work had been stolen and used on a website without my permission. I don't usually make a habit of it, but afterward I googled myself and found that I had been listed at Good Reads as an author for my contributions with Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly. 

    For those of you who don't know, Good Reads is a website dedicated to books and the people who love them. Here you can maintain a list of books you are reading, want to read, or have read. In addition, you can write your own book reviews and discuss your favorite books with others who have read them. There are book clubs and a book swap for people who are willing to trade books. 

    So if you are a book lover and haven't joined yet, then please considering joining goodreads. If you are already a member, feel free to friend me AND become my fan. 

    Carolina Dean 


    Other Places You'll Find Me on the Web


    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Review: Summer of Fear (1977)

    • Author: Lois Duncan
    • Paperback: 219 pages
    • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (October 15, 1977)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 9780440983248
    • ISBN-13: 978-0440983248
    Summer of Fear is one of several stories written by noted author Lois Duncan (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Hotel for Dogs) famous for her young adult novels. It is told in the first-person from the perspective of Rachael, a teenage girl living an idyllic life in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the late 1970's.  

    Rachael enjoys a loving, close-knit family (including two brothers), a best friend, and a dog named Trickle. Despite her hangups about her curly red hair, Rachael also has a cute boyfriend named Mike, who is literally the-boy-next-door.  

    Things begin to change for Rachael when her older cousin Julie comes to live with her family after Julie's parents are killed in a car accident in the Ozarks where they had been living.  Whereas before Rachael enjoyed being the only young female in the household, she now has to learn to share everything with her cousin, including her clothes, her bedroom, and her friends. At first, Rachael and Julie get along well but Rachael slowly begins to notice strange things about her cousin. First, her southern accent inexplicably comes and goes and then Trickle, who had always been a gentle dog, takes a strong dislike to Julie to the point of biting her which results in his banishment from the house.

    As Julie becomes more outgoing, Rachael draws into herself straining her relationships with her family, her best friend, and even her boyfriend Mike, who takes more than a liking to Julie. When it seems that Julie is going to take everything away from her, Rachael investigates her cousin further and finds some surprising inconsistencies as well as evidence that Julie may be practicing black-magic on her, her family, and her loved ones. As the mystery unfolds, Rachel discovers Julie's horrific plan for her and her family. 

    There really isn't a lot to not like about this book. The characters were all believable and I really felt that the author captured the feel of the late 1970's (which was actually the present when Summer of Fear was written.) The plot was mysterious enough to hold one's interest, although the observant reader will figure out the twist way ahead of Rachael. I liked that the mythology of the story drew upon real-life beliefs and practices found along the Appalachian Trial and that Rachael alluded to the works of Vance Randolph in her research, although it is not explicitly stated. At just over 200 pages, Summer of Fear is a quick read perfect for whiling away a lazy summer day.

    Like some of Duncan's other novels before, Summer of Fear was renamed Stranger In Our House and made into a film in 1978 directed by Wes Craven and starring Linda Blair as Rachael and, a then unknown, Fran Drescher as Rachael's best friend. Stranger in Our House first aired on Halloween night in 1978 and later aired regularly on TBS along with other 70's occult movies such as The Spell (1977).  In 2003, it was made available on both VHS and DVD.


    Carolina Dean


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      Monday, June 6, 2011

      Luna Strikes

      A few days ago, I posted a letter from one of my site visitors (darkladyinthemoon@gmail.com) who felt that I was misinforming my readers. Today, I received the following reply. Please note that the email was sent to me as one long paragraph and so I broke it up into several paragraphs for easier reading, however I left all grammatical errors and misspellings in place.

      If u thought THAT was bitchy I wonder how you will take my next questions. 1 how can you call yourself a follower of harm ye NONE if you have spells for children and a section on curses? Did you not study ethics and what it entails? Did your teacher NOT teach you that you are responsible for the reactions to your actions? did you not know that if someone uses your info wrong, or takes it as wicca and someone gets HURT of DIES because a majority of ppl only use ONE site, then YOU are responsible. they are also responsible as it is their choice, but your incomplete info can cause harm in someones reaction. 

      That symbol ISN'T the "most commonly used". in fact I went searching for it (after I emailed you) as I am well aware of all the "new age" versions of things (and how a lot of ppl who only THINK a wiccan in merely a "good" witch exist). not a single reference to the symbol was found. Not to say their isn't one, just that I don't think you are truly doing your research. If you are so easily offended by a nice way of putting things, I wonder how you will take my lack of sugar. Hears one praise for you though. Your symbol for Uranus was pretty good. I found your site while doing some research of my own (which I usually avoid doing on the internet due to all the fakes and ppl who give "bad" advice and 'facts' that are not facts) on the symbol of Uranus (I actually never use the internet to look up Wicca due to nut jobs and such but I actually didn't notice until your site was on until after clicking... wasn't paying attention. 

      I admit it, I was irritated after two hours of research and so much BS it wasn't funny, so I didn't even look). Once at the site though I looked through it a little. I did not notice certain things until after the email otherwise it really WOULD have been "bitchy". Just to clear something up. A wiccan in lamens terms in a HEALER and a protector (shield spells and protection spells). If in your options all cause harm, you must look for the least harm in the big picture. cursing is a no no as it is HARM and giving an innocent that kind of responsibility is close to the crime of just destroying them, in fact that is exactly what it is in some cases. Magik is a wonderful thing but in the hands of someone who does not understand what they are doing of the weight of it... 

      I must wonder for how many innocents (children) you are responsible for the actions of. curses I see too much. a common misconception of ppl who have the "good witch" theology. thing is. you use them? you are NOT wiccan. pure and simple. The only exception to the rule with children is if they are of the stage in life (usually varying from ages 8-12, and never without parental knowledge and consent) where they are prepared in their own mind to decide what they wish to believe and have decided they wish to believe in this path. I chose my path rather young and my brother chose a different one years later. did that make it easy? no. Did my teacher teach me spells right off? HELL no. I was taught ethics first and then asked if I wished to continue. then I was taught healing remedies. THEN I was taught the bare minimum about spells and set unto it with her watching over me and letting me form my own comfortable style. Please note. this teaching style was used due to the highborn natural thing, so I am unsure of how it would work on someone who isn't one. I am not even NOW ready to take on an apprentice. Why? mostly personal reasons. I enjoy learning from others. My lady elder (respectable term for a dear one to me who is a crone as well as a high priestess and a shaman) also looked at your page. In fact I double check with her to see if, in all her years along the path, she had seen the symbol you used for Pluto. nope. that was before I e mailed you.

      The next and final thing you need to understand for the total weight of understanding? People DIE. Not just in high magik (usually of the more powerful varieties than what you wrote about... and that isn't something I use anyway), but they die because they are KILLED. Their are still those today who die because someone does LIKE the fact that they are (what is actually only the term since burning times) a "witch" (before the burning times wicca were "village healer"-more common term, "priestess"-less common term unless you were one talking to others, but always respected in those things.) and guess what they do little one? they kill them. do you know why this continues beside some very corrupt ppl in a church somewhere? 

      site like yours with incomplete or wrong information. every death your site could prevent or has helped cause is also your responsibility. for your sake, I sincerely hope the death I witnessed as a child is not one of them (though I already know it is not). I have studied for years. You have been studying how long young one? I am not meaning to pull the seniority thing (which is annoying in of its own) merely referencing experience level. Still. There are those who have studied longer and know more than me. be more careful with what you put out, and please, either remove your status as "wiccan" or change your site. otherwise I will be informing others and spreading the word because your site is part of the problem. This is not a threat. again. nobody would hurt you.... just make sure others knew your site was not credible as a wiccan site. If you need a reference book for your own studies, a good one author is silver raven-wolf of Scott Cunningham... although before anything else I recommend "Wiccan beliefs and practices" by Gary Cantrell (you need it little one)... and a book about the knights code (this is how one thinks as a healer... minus the fighting... though their is a path today that uses that code in full.. just not Wicca).

      Now obviously, this person has not thoroughly read my site because the section on curses contains philosophical information and notes hot to take them off. It DOES NOT contain curses that you can cast on others. The section on spells for children are spells designed to help and to heal them. But don't believe me, click the links and see for yourself.

      As I states in my earlier response, I used the symbol for Pluto which I feel is most commonly used today. In fact, the original symbol for Pluto which combines the letter P and L is actually to honor Percival Lowell who is credited with discovering the planet (and yes, I know scientist no longer consider Pluto a planet).  Again, I did not forget to include any information at my site (although I know there are places I wish to go back and add information and update old information). I purposefully left out some information, as many writers do, to encourage the seeker to do their own work.

      I don't believe Luna's statement that most people use only one site for their information. The current trend in metaphysical circles (which is in itself a controvertible subject) is eclecticism. Today's seeker isn't as interested in adhering to tradition as earlier ones were, but rather pick and choose their beliefs and practices a la carte so to speak.

      Out of curiosity, I used the email "Luna" used to contact me to find her on facebook in order to learn a little bit more about this person who keeps referring to me as 'young one'. I won't give her real name, but according to her facebook page Luna graduated from high school in 2007 which would make her about 22 years old.  

      So, Luna, as YOUR ELDER, I would advise you to tuck your pointy little hat back between your legs and head back to Hogwarts to get your facts straight. Better still, try practicing what you preach. Think about the harm YOU are creating with your negative attitude. YOUR thoughts, WORDS, and deeds come back to you for good or ill, isn't that the Threefold Law? 

      Carolina Dean