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Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Daughters of Witching Hill

  • Author: Mary Sharratt
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (January 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547422296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547422299

Daughters of Witching Hill is a fictionalized account of the Pendle Witch Trials that took place in  17th century England. The author drew upon actual court records to flesh out the story of Elizabeth Bess (aka Mother Demdike), her daughter Liza, and her grand-daughter Alizon Device. 

It seems that it was the lot of these women to live in poverty, that is, until the appearance of "Tibb" to Mother Demdike who acted as her familiar spirit and taught her her craft. She used this knowledge to heal the sick and bless the unfortunate and in return she and her family were well fed when many others went hungry. Her new found powers engendered respect from some who regarded her as a healer and blesser, but others feared her a witch.

In time, both Mother Demdike's daughter and granddaughter learned that they too had the gift of magic. While Liza initially used her powers to help others, she gradually began to use them less and less; and Alizon always resisted the path of power even as it grew within her. Alizon had an older brother, James, who appeared to have the gift as well; however, due to him being born developmentally challenged he did not fully understand his abilities nor did he always use them ethically. 

In time, it became neccessary for Mother Demdike to teach her best friend, Anne Whittle, the magical arts so that she may use them to protect her daughter from being raped by their landlord. However, it appears that having tasted true power, Anne takes it to a dark place and gains a reputation for being a petty witch rather than the healer that is Mother Demdike.  Eventually, Mother Demdike comes to believe that Annie has targeted her family for ruin by using her dark arts and out of love for her own family she must make some difficult choices.

While some would say that Ann Whittle is the chief antagonist of this story, I believe the true villain here is ignorance and fear. These events took place in a time when people believed that devils lurked around every corner to steal your soul and drag you down to hell. King James made Catholicism essentially illegal and spread the idea that Satan had an army of witches ready to topple his kingdom and bring his subjects to ruin. People were starving and would do anything or say anything to survive; and those who lacked it are faced with difficult decisions when they come into possession of true-power.

Daughters of Witching Hill was a quick read and I liked the description of the Catholic Folk Magic practices that the author included in the book, which actually reflects genuine practices at the time and place in question. I especially liked the scene in which Mother Demdike and her daughter, Liza, cast the spell of the sieve and the shear to learn the identity of a thief. Those are are interested in the Salem Witch trials, historical fiction, or magical fiction will thoroughly enjoy this book. However, this being a ficitonalized account of real event in history, don't expect a happy ending for all.


Click here to purchase Daughter of Witching Hill today.
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Friday, September 27, 2013

Negative Thinking: Uncrossing the Mind

In a previous entry, I wrote about spells and how they (sometimes) work. In that entry, I talked a great deal about the power of the mind and the importance of belief in rootwork. Of particular importance is the ability to control one's thoughts for within them lie the seed of creation.

Simply stated, what you dwell on inwardly you will manifest outwardly. This is probably the number one reason that most spells fail and many beginning magicians do not meet with success. If you believe that you are sick, you will never be healed; if you believe that you are unworthy of love, then you will never find it; if you believe that you''ll never pay off your debt, you will always be poor; if you see an enemy lurking behind every corner to destroy you, then you will always be crossed up. It is often been said that "perception is reality" and as you can see our thoughts are important because they shape our our reality.

Some of the ways in which we can uncross our minds on a subject is to consciously re-train our brains. Each time you find yourself  thinking negatively immediately begin to think positively about our situation or issue. So instead of thinking I'm always broke, staring thinking I always have enough money to meet my needs and more.
Other methods of uncrossing the mind include spiritual cleansing of the head itself. This can be done by making a tea of rue, which is said to clear the mind and improve mental processes,  and washing one's head each night while focusing the mind on only positive thoughts and outcomes.

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. 

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. 

Spell to Reverse Negative Thinking 

Items needed:   
  • Silver Candle
  • Van Van Oil 
  • Pen and Paper 

Working the Root:  When the moon is waning on a Monday flip a silver candle and write the negative thought on it backwards (a style of writing also known as mirror writing). Anoint the candle with Van Van Oil, which is known to change bad luck to good, and say:

"With God's blessings, just as Jesus turned the water into wine do now do I change my bad thoughts to good. Amen"

Set the candle in a holder and put it aside. Write your negative thought on a piece of paper nine times. Anoint the four corners and center with Van Van Oil. Fold the paper away from yourself three times saying:

"With God's blessings, just as I fold this paper away from me these negative thoughts now turn from me and are replaces with only good thoughts. In Jesus' name. Amen.".

 Place the petition paper under the candle. Light the candle and say:

"With God's blessings, just as Jesus turned the water into wine do now do I change my bad thoughts to good. Amen"

This should then by followed by praying Psalm 51: 7-10 and then by reciting a positive though to counter your negative one. This positive thought should become your mantra on which your thoughts should dwell eat waking moment.

When the candle is almost spent, remove the petition paper and burn it in the flame of the candle. When the candle burns out dispose of any remaining wax and the ashes of your paper at a crossroads.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: The Art of Hoodoo Candle Magic

In Rootwork, Conjure, & Spiritual Church Services

  • Author: Catherine Yronwode
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Missionary Independent Spiritual Church (April 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983648360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983648369
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.3 inches 

I would like to preface this review by saying that I am a graduate of the author's Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course (student # 56G) and, as such, I count Cat Yronwode as a mentor and teacher. That being said, what will follow is an honest and fair review of her work.

At the outset, I just have to comment on the beautiful artwork that adorns the cover. As I mentioned in a previous review of a similar title, you can tell that a great deal of thought and planning went into the cover design. Everything from the color-scheme, font-choices, and the artwork really catches one's attention and really make you want to pick up this book and take it home! 

The contents of the book are no less satisfying. Cat draws on her years of working candle-magic in the Hoodoo Tradition and shares her wealth of knowledge with her readers in this step by step guide that begins with a history of candle-magic and then transitions into more practical matters such as assembling the tools you need to burn your own candles. The next portion of the book covers everything from choosing the right candle for you, the symbolism of colors, marking candles with your petition, dressing them with condition oils, and even various methods of burning them (all at once vs a little each day, moving candle spells, etc..). From here, Cat offers several examples of proven candle spells from her repertoire before finally delving into the area of divination by candles and wax remains. Finally, the book ends with a how-to manual for conducting your own Candle-Light service. 

As you can see Cat has packed a great deal of information in the 96 page tome that makes up The Art of Hoodoo Candle Magic. This is a great reference book for beginners just starting out with their own magical endeavors. I personally don't know of any spiritualist, rootworker, magician, etc... that does not strive to expand their knowledge of their art and improve their skills and so this grimoire would make an excellent guide for the seasoned practitioner to review his or her own ideas, beliefs, and practices regarding candle-magic as well.

Some reviewers have complained that a portion of the information found in The Art of Hoodoo Candle Magic can be found online at lucky mojo or even on sites which have pilfered the author's original works. However, what these folks don't understand is that there is a certain segment of the population who actually loves books (not thin electronic tablets and readers), who appreciate and respect the efforts of our elders to pass on their knowledge and wisdom of these arts to us, and who will actually show that respect by purchasing something that yes we can probably get somewhere else (in whole or in part) for free.

Click here to purchase your copy of The Art of Hoodoo Candle Magic by Catherine Yronwode today.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Seal of Soothing: A Charm for Healing What Ails You

I have been sick for a little more than a week after having caught a head cold from my office mate. The first few days were horrible,  and then I recalled that the last time I was sick I had made use of the Abracadabra-Charm to help me get better with fantastic results.

While today when many folks hear the word abracadabra, they think it is a non-nonsensical word used by cartoon magicians that produces any number of effects. However, the use of the word abracadabra in real-time magic has a long history which centers around the healing on the physical body and protecting one from diseases.

The word itself has been dissected over and over again and several folks have attempted to ascribe meaning to it. Some believe that it means "I create as I speak" while other believe it means something along the lines of "disappear like this word". Traditionally, the word abracadabra is written on a piece of paper several times in such as way that it forms a triangle with one or more letters being dropped each time it is written.  It is then worn on a string about the neck or tucked in one's pillow to gradually draw out any dis-ease and bring about healing. 

I created the image above which I call the Seal of Soothing and which incorporates the abracadabra-charm along with the Wand of Mercury (itself associated with the medical profession and therefore healing). Such a seal may be printed on paper and one's petition written on the reverse. It can then be glued to a vigil light loaded with healing herbs and curios, placed under a free-standing candle, tucked in a mojo-bag, or even a doll baby designed for healing.

Alternately, it may be worn on a piece of string against the body or placed under your pillow at night to draw out disease after which it is burned in fire and its ashes scattered to the wind or a nearby crossroads. 


Monday, September 9, 2013

Mailbag Monday: Fortune Hunter

Dear Carolina Dean, 

I have some dried semen of a multi-millionaire who happens to own several car dealerships and major real estate holdings in Texas. How would I use his dried semen in magic to benefit me financially? I don't want to do love magic on him because I'm not interested in a sexual or romantic relationship with him.


Self-Made Manon

Hi Manon,

Thanks for your question. This may be a little outside the [magic] box but here is my suggestion. Make a little doll of this man and include his personal concerns. Likewise make a doll of yourself as well. You will also stuff them with money drawing herbs (cinnamon, irish moss, chamomile, etc...) and anoint them with money drawing oil

Ritually "marry" the dolls and bind them together. I am not saying marry them in the romantic sense but rather in the "partnership" or "business sense". You know how Royal families used to marry one another to consolidate their power?

You may even dress the two dolls up like royalty with a little crown on each of their heads (for success) and include King Solomon Root in his doll and Jezebel Root in yours (folks forget she was a Queen too). As you bind the dolls together you may say something like:

"With God's blessings, all the good luck and money drawing power that (N) has is now mine! As fortune smiles on him, so now does it smile on me; as money flows to him, so now does it flow to me. As all his endeavors prospers, so now will all my works be crowned with success. In Jesus name, amen."

Then wrap the dolls up in a nice cloth and hide them away somewhere safe.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ancient Milkshake Love Spell (Humor)

Behold the Milkshake
This ancient love spell harkens all the way back to 2003 when young girls (and fabulous boys) every where summoned the boys to their yard though the magic power of the milkshake

To perform this spell you will need:

  • Vanilla Milkshake- To attract a white boy.
  • Chocolate Milkshake- To attract a black boy.
  • Strawberry Milkshake- To attract a ginger boy. 

Working the Root: Obtain your milkshake, with mandatory cherry on top,  and go to the nearest mall water fountain.  Holding your milkshake before you, walk around the water fountain backwards 7 times saying over and over: "Here's the milkshake, where's the boy?"

When you are done toss your cherry into the water-fountain making your wish and then carry the milkshake directly to your home without stopping or shopping for anything or even saying hello to any of your friends or acquaintances you may encounter.  Once home, leave the milkshake by your front door and go inside to wait. Your boy should appear in your yard by sundown. 

There is a more powerful version of this spell I could teach you, but I'd have to charge. 


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Spells & How they (Sometimes) Work

What is a Spell?

Spells. Workings. Jobs. These are terms used in Hoodoo to describe acts of magic which are performed out of one's own needs in order to achieve a goals. They are performed for virtually any conceivable purpose including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Prosperity
  • Health
  • Protection 
  • Love
  • Controlling Another
  • Sexual Desire
  • Justice 
  • Banishing Evil
  • Enhancing Fertility
  • Employment & Steady Work
  • Cursing 
  • Success
  • Domination 
  • Blessing 
  • Death 
  • Cleansing
  • Confusion
  • Obtaining Justice
  • Gambling Luck
  • Reconciliation
Essentials for Successful Magic

There are certain basics to learning to practice magic that must be understood and mastered as far as possible in order to practice successful magic. While there is something to be said about choosing a mode of magic, obtaining the correct materia magica, and observing times------there are also four basic essentials that will serve your greatly in your magical endeavors. They are:

1) Knowledge is Power. It is important that you know yourself and your own limitations; however, it is equally important to continue to advance ourselves in order to continue growing and evolving as spiritual beings in a physical existence. While Hoodoo is a very practical form of folk-magic, it is continually evolving and changing and so for this reason it you can study for a lifetime and never learn all there is to know about Hoodoo.

Nonetheless, knowledge in and of itself is not enough. Knowledge must work in conjunction with belief. Belief is the absence of doubt---an unwavering faith in the knowledge that you will have that which you desire. Without such belief, your spell may fail.

2) What You Dwell on Inwardly, You Manifest Outwardly. The mind is a fountainhead of untold power which we are only beginning to understand. It has the ability to manifest anything that you desire, and it will manifest that which your thoughts dwell on. If you tell yourself that you are sick, then you will not be healed. If you believe that you are not worthy of love, then you will never find love. This is why we, as folk-magicians, speak so often of cleansing ourselves of evil in thought, word, and deed. It is so that we can learn to think and act positively so that we can manifest the positive things in life for which we yearn.

3) What Goes Around, Comes Around.  This is both a spiritual axiom and a scientific law. Most folks are familiar with the basic concept of Karma from Eastern Esoteric Teachings which basically states that the law of cause and effect plays a central role in determining how one's life should be lived. Most folks interpret this as what you do (for good or ill) to another person will be done to you as well. Examples of the concept of karma can be found in the Christian Bible such as Proverbs 26:27 ; Galatians 6:7 ; Matthew 26:52. You may have heard it before in school only it went "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." As we have seen, this is not only true for our actions but our thought as well.

Therefore, before performing a spell or working it is very important that a divination be observed in order to determine the probability of success or failure, to avoid any unforeseen negative consequences, and to make any necessary changes to one's plans. This is, however, not to say that in certain circumstances that negative spells such as curses cannot be performed at all. Instead this means that you must determine if the curse in question is justified (again via divination), or else it may return to you. In any cases, most folks often perform an act of cleansing, such as a hyssop bath) after having delivered a curse via magic in order to remove their sin.

4) The Magic is Inside You
. Herbs. Roots. Candles. Flannel Bags. Dirt. Silver Dimes. These are just a few of the items that can be found in a spiritual practitioner's magical collection. However, it is very important to understand that these items are simply tools. The power does not come from them, but rather it is channeled from the connection between your spirit and the Spirit of the Divine as found in all things. Without a connection to Spirit, you are simply going through the motions.

Why Spells Fail

Anyone who practices magic will tell you that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, magic works. We know it works because if it didn't work those who practice it would not continue to do so. The problem is that it doesn't always work or at least not in the way one originally intended; which begs the question why do spells fail? In my experience, spells fail for one or more of fourreasons. They are:

1) Human Error. This is a common reason among beginners. It usually occurs when the wrong correspondences were utilized, there was a lack of focus and / or conviction during the spell, an inability to make a spiritual connection with the Divine,  or health reasons such as physical illness, depression, or the use of alcohol or drugs which impairs the individual.

If your spell fails due to human error, then the answer is to go back and repeat your spell using the correct correspondences, maintaining better focus, etc....

2) Disregard for Tradition.  While not a religion in and of itself, Hoodoo incorporates aspects of religion and has over time developed certain rules which one is expected to follow in order to practice magic successfully. Beginners often come to Hoodoo with preconceived notions, based on incorrect information or their experiences with other magical traditions, about how Hoodoo should and should not be practiced.  Failure often results when folks try to change the rules to suit them rather than change their behavior to suit established practices. Examples of disregard for tradition may include failure to properly pay a spirit in exchange for its grave dirt, allowing another person to see or touch your mojo-bag, etc...

Blatant disregard for traditional rules is not only disrespectful but also intolerable and to continue to do so may have dire spiritual consequences for the offender. If you have angered a spirit by not properly paying for its goods or services then that spirit must be appeased with offers and sincere prayers for forgiveness. If your mojo bag was seen or touch by another then it should be refreshed or re-made as need dictates.

3) Not Meant to Be. A spell may fail when we petition Spirit for something that either a) we are not meant to have  b)  what we ask for somehow interferes with our spiritual plan, or c) is not justified (in the case of a hex or curse thrown at an enemy). 

If a spell is not meant to be then there would be definite signs along with way before you even cast the spell, that is, if you have performed a divination beforehand. If not, signs may come in the form or dreams or omens. Such signs should not be ignored because Spirit is trying to tell you that you are treading down the wrong path and divination can help steer you in the right direction. For example, you may be trying to cast a love spell on a certain person but, for whatever reasons, the signs say that your spell will fail and that you will not have him or her. Instead your signs may advise you to cast a spell to attract someone with the qualities that you admire in this person instead.

4) Direct Opposition. Though it is rare it does occasionally happen that another practitioner is working against you for any number of reasons. They may have a grudge against you, they may have the same goal as you (i.e. working to attract the same job or love interest, etc..) or they may be working on behalf of a client who has paid them to bind and / or cross you for these or other reasons.

As in the last example, if you are regularly performing your divination or seeking signs then direct opposition will be revealed to you in some manner. If it occurs that another practitioner is working against you then a series of cleansing and reversing work will be in order to avail yourself of their spells and bindings. If the work against you is especially powerful then you may have to fight back with even stronger spells in the form of your own curses directed at your opponent.
In Conclusion

Spells are ritual acts of magic performed out of one's need in order to achieve a specific goal such as obtaining love, health, money, or conferring protection. In order to perform successful magic, you must have foster a connection to Spirit, firmly believe in yourself and that you can have that which you desire, support this with positive thoughts, words, and deeds and hold firm to the knowledge that what you send forth will come back to you.  
Spells often fail for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons may include human error, disregard for tradition, what you ask for is not meant to be, or due to direct opposition by another spiritual force.