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Thursday, August 29, 2013

MIPC: Banishing Spell (Witches of Eastwick)

Magic in Popular Culture 

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts, so for my new readers let me explain that MIPC stands for Magic in Popular Culture; and it is the name of a series of blog posts in which I take a spell, ritual, or belief from a fictional source and analyze it against real world magical theory and practice. 
The Witches of Eastwick 

Today, I will be discussing the Banishing Spell as seen in the 1987 film Witches of Eastwick which is based on the book of the same name. The story revolves around three bored housewives who also happen to be witches, who out of their own need for love, affection, and  companionship summon a lover over cocktails one night. The following day a mysterious man, Daryl Van Horn,  appears in town having bought up a local landmark and proceeds to seduce the witches one by one without the others knowledge. 

Once they get over their initial jealousy of one another, the witches settle into their four-way relationship with  Daryl. Under his influence the witches allow their appetite for sex and power to get out of control, which they quickly regret when one of their spells results in the death of an enemy. When the witches try to break ties with Daryl he turns on them bringing their worst fears to life. It is then that the witches use all the tricks he has taught them to attempt to banish, or send him away. 

The Spell 

The spell begins as the women gather Daryl's personal concerns together and reduce them to ashes with a fire kindled in a copper pot. The ashes are incorporated into a wax doll made in Daryl's image. Though it is not explicitly stated in the movie, the witches aren't even sure that Daryl is his real name so it appears that instead of naming the doll they repeat the words they used to summon him in the first place. 

The doll is then stuck with several pins causing Daryl a great deal of physical pain. Next, the doll is covered with feathers from a down pillow and the three witches blow on the feathers resulting in a violent wind that hurls Daryl into a church. The witches then consume cherries and spit the pits out on the doll and again this results in Daryl violently regurgitating the cherry pits and juice on the parishioners, who presumably, thought him possessed.  Finally, Daryl  appears to confront the witches who toss the doll into a fire and is destroyed after which Daryl disappears in a puff of smoke. 

The Analysis 

When I first sat down to analyze this spell, I thought that some elements to it were quiet good and in line with real world theory and practice, such as incorporating Daryl's concerns into a doll; other aspects seemed sloppy and unnecessary. For instance, if the goal of these witches is to simply send Daryl away what was the point of the pins and cherries? Why not simply burn the doll up and get rid of him?

The answer is rather simple. As we discover Daryl isn't just a mere man but rather the Devil himself (or at least a powerful spirit claiming to be the devil) in human form. The witches inflicted physical pain and suffering on Daryl in order to weaken him, the wind forced Daryl into a Holy place, thus possibly weakening him even more. These acts of violence served to break Daryl down to a point that they could ultimately destroy his human form by melting the waxen image in fire. However his destruction is not complete and he still exists as a spirit, as we saw at the close of the film when he visits his children through the television screen.

I would say that with a few tweaks here and there, this spell absolutely has the potential to work as intended when performed by a competent magical practitioner. For example, one might melt the doll slowly over 7 days as the moon wanes. Your mileage, however, may vary.


See Also

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Art and Science of Spiritual Bathing in the Southern Folk Magic Tradition

What is Spiritual Bathing?

Spiritual Bathing is a hallmark of the Hoodoo Tradition, a term denoting African American folk magick which incorporates elements from both African and European religions in terms of its core beliefs.  In many magickal traditions, including Hoodoo, bathing is often done prior to performing a magickal operation to ensure that one is both physically and spiritually clean. However, in Hoodoo, a spiritual bath is often a magickal operation in and of itself. Baths are prescribed for a myriad of conditions, for example love, protection, cleansing, uncrossing, etc…

Origin and Development

Spiritual Baths were born out of a need for individuals to feel and be spiritually clean, as well as the draw those influences needed or wanted to address a specific issue in our lives.  In earlier times, people traveled over long distances to be treated by a Rootworker, often staying overnight.  The Rootworker would rise up before day break and prepare a bath for the client.  A bath was prepared in a wash tub, and when all was ready, the client was brought into the room.  After instructing the client on how to bathe, the Rootworker would leave the room.

When people migrated to the cities early in the 20th century, the Rootworkers adapted due to the fact that overnight stays were no longer necessary. Clients who were prescribed baths now given either a prepared bath in a gallon jug, or a packet of dried herbs with complete instructions on how and when to prepare and perform the bath as well as how to dispose of the water. 

Composition of Baths

If you perform a search for spiritual bath recipes online you will find a plethora of examples. However, most if not all, baths will be comprised of a variation of a Mineral (bath salts, saltpeter, bluestone, etc...), a Chemical (Ammonia, Pine-Sol, Condition Oils etc…), or an Herb (Lavender, Mint, Hyssop, etc...).

The ingredients used in a spiritual bath will correspond to one’s intention or goal. For example, if you wish to draw money you will use those minerals, chemicals, and/or herbs which are traditionally believed to draw money. The same goes with other types of goals as well.

When to Engage in a Spiritual Bath

As stated earlier, spiritual bathing is often done prior to performing a spell or working. In some cases, however, such as cursing--- a spiritual bath may be performed after a working for the purpose of removing one’s sin. In accordance with the tradition of observing times, there are three main factors to consider when deciding the time to perform a spiritual bath. They are:

  1. Moon Phase- To draw something to you, bathe when the moon is waxing, to draw something away from you, bathe at the waning moon.

  1. Day of the Week- To be successful in attaining one’s goal, it is believed that you should begin your work on the day that is traditionally associated with your goal. They are:

·        Sunday- Success and Wealth
·        Monday- Psychicism, spiritualism.
·        Tuesday- Lust and passion.
·        Wednesday- Heath and vitality.
·        Thursday- Gambling and luck.
·        Friday- Love and friendship.
·        Saturday- Protection and uncrossing. 

  1. Hour of the Day- To draw or attract, perform the bath when both clock hands are rising; to repel, bath when both hands are falling, and avoid those times when one hand is rising while the other is falling.  However, it should also be noted that the most traditional time of the day to perform a spiritual bath is early in the morning near sunrise.

In addition, there are other times when a spiritual bath may be called for such as after an illness (especially a prolonged one), at the start of the New Year, when the moon is New, on one’s birthday, etc…Women who still menstruate may or may not perform a spiritual bath after their cycle is completed each month as well.

The Mechanics of Bathing

A basic “Standing Up” bath consists of preparing your bath by steeping your recipe in water on the stove and then allowing it to cool to a tolerable level. The pot is then taken to the bathroom where you have stopped your drain and placed two white-candles either on the rim of your tub or on the floor outside your tub far enough apart for you to step in between. Remove your clothes, light the candles, and step inside your tub. The bath is poured over your head and allowed to run down your body as you make your prayer or petition (usually in the form of a Psalm).

The body is then rubbed down and away from ones self to drive out evil, negativity, crossed conditions, etc… It should be noted that if your goal is to draw something towards yourself, such as love, money or health, then you would rub upwards and toward yourself for attracting your wish to you.

Finally, step out of the tub backwards passing through the two white-candles and dressed in clean, white clothing. Capture some of your used bath water before un-plugging the drain and dispose of it at a crossroads by throwing it over your left shoulder towards the East and walk away without looking back.

Alternately, you may wish to take a “Soaking Bath”, which consist of filling your tub with water adding your bath, and placing your white-candles on the floor as before.  Sitting in the tub, pour the water over your head, however, you can do this several times if you like and recite your prayer or petition repeating as necessary. When you are done, you may simply soak in the water and meditate on your goal. When you are done, step out of the bath between the two white-candles and capture your bath water to be disposed of later before unplugging the drain.

Alternatives to Bathing

While spiritual bathing as described above is the most traditional form of cleansing and there are a few alternatives which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Foot Washing- Washing of the Feet is an ancient practice found in the bible when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as a sign of his humility as well as his respect and love for his fellow man.  It is a ritual that deeply resonates with the African American community, owning to the belief in foot-track magic, and is a common practice in the Hoodoo tradition.  Unlike a spiritual bath, which is a private rite; a foot washing is performed by a rootworker for a client. When performed properly the ritual has a profound affect on the rootworker as well as the client.
  2. Head Washing- Similar to a foot-washing, a head washing entails washing one’s head (and hair) with a tea or infusion of herbs for the purpose of cleanings one’s mind of evil, negative thought patterns, and by extension bad habits and other unwanted behaviors.
  3. Egg Cleansing- The egg-cleanings or “egg roll” is a ritual for cleansing oneself of evil which entails taking a fresh, raw egg and rolling over the body in a downwards motion and out a the extremities. This ritual is often performed with the recital of a prayer or Psalm (such as Psalm 51). When done, the egg is often cracked into a glass of water and the remains red for signs before being disposed of at either a crossroads or at the base of a strong tree. The Egg Cleansing can be performed alone or on your behalf by another individual who rubs the egg over your body.  
  4. Smoking With Incense- Similar to an egg cleansing, the person’s body is smoked with incense or a smudge stick (traditionally sage) to for spiritual cleansing and to drive out evil. In my personal practices I have burned sage in a fire safe bowl which I placed on the floor as I stood over it between my legs allowing the smoke to rise over my body. If you desire, you may place a white sheet over your body to hold the smoke it for a more comprehensive smoking of the body.
  5. Cleansing By Proxy- Sometimes a person my feel the need for a cleansing and may not be able to physically see a rootworker in person to have a cleansing performed such as the egg roll or being smoked with incense. In some cases a person may be able to perform a spiritual bath for themselves but would like a spiritual practitioner to back up their work by performing a cleansing by proxy. This is often done by making a doll baby of the individual which includes their personal concerns and performing a cleansing on the doll in the form of a spiritual bath, smoking in incense, or performing the egg roll. 
In Conclusion 

Spiritual Bathing is a very old practice that entails washing the body with a combination of minerals, chemicals, and / or herbs at specific times for specific purposes. The most common considerations for choosing your timing are the moon phase, day of the week, and hour of the day (traditionally near sunrise); although there are other times to consider as well. Spiritual Bathing may be performed to draw things towards yourself or to remove unwanted conditions and influences. Alternatives to spiritual bathing include washing of the feet, head-washing, cleansing with an egg, or smoke or cleansing by proxy. 


Friday, August 23, 2013

Modern Magic: Manipulating Signatures

The modern era has given witches, rootworkers, and other magical practitioners tools to which our ancestors did not have access. Examples of such tools include cell phone with powerful cameras, and the personal computer. I have touched on the subject of using software to alter photographs before, however, today I would like to show you how to use those same programs to manipulate hand-written signatures to create customs name-papers and petitions. 

Written Petitions: A Review 

A written petition is, very basically, one's wish or desire in written form. Folks typically write their goal on a piece of paper in the form of a key word or phrase a certain number of times---usually  1,3,7,9, or 13. For example if you wish to get a job you may wish to write the words "Good Paying Job" on a piece of paper 9 times. Alternately, you may write a description of the type of job you wish to manifest instead. Sometimes this key word or phrase may take the form of a person's name, this is usually the person one's spell or working is to affect. 

In some cases the the paper may be turned 90 degrees and a second key word or phrase may be written over the first. This is called "crossing and covering". For example, lets say you want John Smith to love you then you might write John Smith's name on a piece of paper 7 times and then cross and cover this with yoru own name also 7 times. Alternately, you may write your with in the form of a command such as "Love Me".

Written petition are placed under burning candles, tucked in mojo bags, bottle spells, doll babies, etc...

Manipulating Signatures 

One of the means by which folks successfully work magic is through a process called Sympathetic Magic ( a belief that 'invisible bonds connect all things") and the use of Personal Concerns.  Personal Concerns is a term used to include anything that is associated with a person’s physical body either having once been a part of it or having intimate contact to the body. They represent a practitioner's connection to another individual and are used to cast spells for good or evil which are to have an affect on the person to whom they are linked.

One of the most often used forms of a personal concern is a person's handwritten signature. Handwriting is believed to be as unique to a person as their fingerprint or DNA and therefore is a powerful tool with which to work. There are also a number of ways to get a person's signature. Some of the ways I have captured a person's signature include:

  1. As a tarot-reader I used to ask people to sign their name on a piece of paper which I would place over their signifier card in the tarot-spread. I told my clients that it helped me to connect with them psychically, but what I really did was keep their signature so that I can work magic for them. I even incorporated this into one of my short stories.
  2. When I was studying graphology, I would ask folks for handwriting samples to study.
  3. You can scan or cut out a person's signature from any written correspondence they send you (cards, letters, etc...) 
  4. As a rootworker I have asked clients to send me color copies of their driver's license or i.d. card. These treasures usually include a person's photograph, birthday, and signature and I often include them in a person's mojo-bag, doll-baby, etc...where appropriate (but who is to say I don't keep a copy).
  5. In social situations, people often ask me about my goods and services so I often ask them to write down their name and email address for me to get back to them.
  6. If, like me, you work in an office environment with a lot of paperwork it is easy to capture a person's signature off of forms, notes, etc.. and use them in your spells and workings.
  7. Finally, I have noticed a trend in which some folks include their actual handwritten signature as part of their email signature for a more personal approach in business. These can be captured and used as well.
These are just a few, but not all, of the ways in which I have obtained a person's signature to be used in magic. If you're clever enough, I am sure that you will think of some of your own.  With advancements in technology such as camera-phones and scanners it is remarkably easy to take a person's signature and manipulate it into a written petition. 

 For example, here is the autograph of author Kay Gibbons which I found on the inside cover of her book "Charms for an Easy Life" which I found in a thrift store.

This photo was taken with my cell phone and then uploaded to my computer. Using a program such as I was able to remove everything except Kay's signature producing the following image. 

To create a petition, I then simply copied the signature 7 times in a row, increased the contrast and then resized the image and the following image indicated my result.

I now have Kay's signature on a piece of paper written 7 times in a row. Now, let's say I wanted to cross and cover her name with my goal. Let's say I wanted to attract her to me. I might turn the paper 90 degrees and write "Come to Me" across her name, thus:

Finally, you have your petition ready to tear out and be put to use.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Living the Dream: How to Dream Bigger and Have More!

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” 
                                                                                                                    Fin ~ Hafiz of Persia

"God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can dream for yourself"
                                                                                 ~ Oprah Winfrey

I had a reading with a client tonight that indicated that she  is seeking the love of her life but keeps getting hurt and disappointed because she pursues unrealistic relationships with incompatible men. She runs whenever a potential mate does not conform to her ideals and the cards suggest being open to more realistic possibilities. 

By starting fresh and embracing possibilities she hadn't considered before the cards indicate that a secure and stable relationship is in the offing.

That got me to thinking what is it that you think you want or need to be happy? To be whole? To be satisfied in life? Is it money? a new car? A fulfilling job? or a Spouse? Whatever this thing is that you think you need, I would like you to go to a quiet place and light a white candle. Take out a piece of paper and write down whatever it is that you think you need to be happy and fulfilled.  

Next, take that piece of paper and fold it away from yourself three times. When you are done, I want you to burn that paper in the light of the white candle and say:

"With God's blessings, I release this desire in form and essence that I may embrace a bigger and better dream that I know is in store for me. In Jesus name Amen!" 

Now, you have to support your words with positive deeds so now you must open your eyes to new possibilities, actively seek them out, pursue them and follow through with them. 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Come to Me Candle Spell

At one point in my life I was friend's with a prostitute who also happened to be a witch. She taught me a great deal about sex-magic including a number of spells and rites to call a lover to you, to seduce a man, and to drive away a love. Today, I would like to share one of my favorite spells for calling your lover to you. 

Since this spell was given to me by a straight-female and I am a gay-male it is designed to call a male-love to you; however, with a few adjustments it can be tailored to draw a female lover. 

To cast this spell you will need:

  • Penis Candle (Substitute a Red Candle, if needed) 
  • Seal of Venus
  • Haitian Love Oil 
  • Mirror 
  • Red Pen 

Working the Root: Create a blank Square of Venus beforehand by drawing a large square divided into 7 columns and 7 rows for a total of 49 squares(see image above). Lightly draw the numbers in each square using a pencil. Begin the working by taking a red pen and drawing the numbers in the Square of Venus. As you do this focus on your desire to have your lover come to you. When you are done, anoint the four-corners and center of the square with Haitian Love Oil. Fold the paper towards you three times, rotating it clockwise between each fold saying:

"With God's blessings, as I fold this paper towards me so may (name) come to me now. In Jesus name. Amen."

Mark the red candle with the the name of your lover. Place some Haitian Lover oil on your fingertip and holding the candle in the palm of one hand stroke the candle towards yourself with the oil saying:

"With God's blessings, as I stroke this candle towards myself so may (name) come to me now. In Jesus name. Amen."

Set the candle in a holder with your petition underneath. Place the candle in front of a mirror and then sexually stimulate yourself by masturbating to orgasm thinking of your lover and calling him to you. When you have reached orgasm, go to your front door and anoint your outside doorknob with your sexual fluids by marking it with an "X" and saying: 

"(Name), in the name of Jesus, I command you to come to me at once!". 

Next, go to your bed and anoint your four bedposts with your sexual fluids by marking them with an "X" and saying at each one: 

"(Name), in the name of Jesus, I command you to come to me at once!".

Let the candle burn down to nothing and inspect the remains for signs of success or failure of your work.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Herb Magic: High John the Conqueror Root

 Ipomoea jalapa

John the Conqueror Root, aka High John the Conqueror, gets its name from an African-American folk-hero of the same name. There are many tales concerning John the Conqueror but most agree that he was an African Prince who was brought to the Americans by the slave trade. He is known as a type of trickster-spirit due to his ability to always outwit his master. 

It is said that John the Conqueror returned to Africa but left a portion of his power and spirit in the John the Conqueror Root which can be carried to summon his power and spirit by the faithful in their time of need. 

The root itself has a pleasant aroma and, when dried, resembles the testicles of an adult male.  For this reason it is associated with abundance, especially in the realm of personal power, sexual nature, and finances; however its uses are not limited to these areas. Large roots are carried as pocket pieces along with one's change to attract money or increase one's nature. Smaller roots may be carried in mojo-bags or jack-balls, while the chips and powdered form of the root may be used in the production of High John the Conqueror Root Oil. 

As part of my Yearly / Monthly road opening ritual (performed at the New Year and at each New Moon) I take a road-opening bath that included a large High John the Conqueror Root that has been placed in a white muslin bag along with five finger grass. The root is saved and allowed to dry again in a special box. I periodically carry the root in my pocket and/or rub it on my body (similiar to an egg cleansing rite) towards myself calling upon the strength of High John to empower me. I also place a tiny pinch of five-finger grass in my each of my shoes to lead me to success on my journey. 

Prayer to High John the Conqueror 

To be said while holding a whole High John the Conqueror Root.

"Spirit of High John I draw upon your strength and make it my own. Fortify me in mind body and spirit so that I may conquer that which seeks to conquer me. In Jesus name amen."