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Posts Tagged ‘power’


The Big Bang.  Quantum physics. Neutrinos.  The splitting of a proton.  Energy.  Massive Energy.  Fire.  Hurricanes.  Wind.  Waves.  A landslide.  Magick.

All of science has shown that magick doesn’t exist.  On the surface.  The science of the 1700′s, 1800′s, and 1900′s worked to understand the how’s and why’s of the world and to uncover the secret workings of what was considered “magick”.  They did an amazing job and the result is the world we live in.  Computers, cars, planes, and chemistry run our lives and give us the means to live our lives in comfort.  We discovered the atom (which actually is Latin for irreducible) and from there have manipulated them to nearly the maximum extent that they can be manipulated.

We discovered that an atom is not in fact irreducible.  There are two parts of an atom:  the nucleus and the electron cloud that surrounds it.  Imagine that an atom is the size of an orange.  The nucleus is smaller than one of the seeds.  The 1-160 electrons that make up the cloud are each the size of a speck of dust.  The rest is void space.  Okay, that’s kind of crazy but imaginable.  So an atom is 99% void space and 1% mass.

Now we get into the quantum physics part of it.  Through crazy testing that I’m not even going to begin to try to explain they’ve found that the nucleus’s parts (protons and neutrons) can be further broken apart into what are known as quarks.  Come to find out, they too make up only about 1% of the proton and neutron volume.  The rest is void space.  So within an atom, only 1% of 1% (that’d be .01% for the non math majors out there) is actual mass.  That is incredible.  So here’s an example of why that’s so incredible:  Think about an airplane.  It weighs hundreds of thousands of pounds and carries 150 people through the air, defying gravity.  Now think about it in terms of atoms.  For every square foot of metal, cut out all but a single piece of metal about 1/8th of an inch by 1/8th of an inch.  Oh yeah, and as thin as a hair.  That’s how much actual mass is there.  The rest is all just nothing.  It’s kind of mind blowing.

Now let’s look past that to what hasn’t been discovered and make an educated guess.  No one has ever broken apart a quark or atom (that I’ve ever heard of), but my guess is that there’s only about 1% of the quark that’s actually there and the rest is void space.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  Eventually you realize that there really isn’t anything out there.  Nothing takes up any space in actuality because there’s nothing really there.

Except energy.  There is motion and so there must be energy.  Even if an electron cloud is nearly all void space, it acts as an object.  It has force and it has volume.  Energy is the only thing that is real in the world.  Now my question to you is this:  how is the energy that is the world any different from the energy that is pulled through your body to create change in the world?  It isn’t.  It is all the same thing with different vibrational levels and different intention.

The next thing that needs to be thought about is the fact that our bodies are also made of atoms which means that truthfully we are made of nothing but energy.  And something else.   There has to be something else inside of us that allows us to be alive and different from one another.  This is the most logical and perfectly undeniable proof of the soul for lack of a better word.

So we are in essence, a soul that is somehow bound to energy.  This is pretty much exactly what the Eastern philosophies and religions have taught for thousands of years.  Now comes the true question of this blog:  what do we do with this information?

Well, as far as magick is concerned, this logic tells us that if we can control the energy of our body then why would we not be able to control the energy outside of this body?  Also, why would we not be able to transform the energy of a chair into the energy of an ice cube?  And furthermore, why is it that we don’t already know how to do this?

I don’t know.  Possibly it has to do with the fact that we are here for a reason and that reason doesn’t include having everything we want without any effort.  That’s about as far as I can get at 4 am.  I’d love to hear other people’s ideas on this.

The more important question to ask is this:  if we are all made up of energy, and the world is made up of energy, and our souls are simply tied to the energy that we inhabit, then what inhabits everything else?  I’d have to say that the idea of a Mother Earth or a God or the Universe or whatever other name you’d like to give it sure does sound pretty plausible when you put it into those terms.   If you take the first point and put it with this point, then one of the most obvious conclusions for me is this:  there is a reason we are here and there is some sort of design to all of this chaos that is our lives.

Okay, that’s as far as I’m going to get on this topic for now since I’m ridiculously exhausted from a long night of work and I’ve got to get ready to go back for a few more hours.  Let me know what you think.

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In the past, I’ve never really used a book of shadows.  It always seemed as though it were just another journal which could be useful as a self exploratory tool, never really caught my interest.  The further along the path laid before me I get, it keeps becoming more and more apparent that I need to keep one–not for myself, but for my children or any other “students” that come along.  I know that I have had to figure everything out myself from the very beginning, and though this has been a useful exercise in itself, it’s not something that I would wish on anyone else especially my children.  There will always be trials that I never had to go through, entities that I’ve never encountered, and paths I have not traveled, but I wish to have a reference for them so that they can have a place to begin with.

And that brings me to the purpose of this post:  to explain my thoughts on my now current BoS and the future of it.

The purpose of the BoS is not to be a journal.  It is to be a reference book that could never be sold in a store, but can be trusted completely as a reference.  Therefore, it must be clean, easily scanned through, thorough but not to the point of rambling.  All of the information must be completely understandable and not put into metaphysical/New Age confusion which is so prevalent in other references.

It must be a book not a computer file because computers die, flash drives get lost, and every other possibility that can cause things to get lost randomly on a computer.  It is currently in a journal with no lines so that drawings are easy to understand.  It currently is unorganized because organizing in a journal is a task of futility, but once the journal is filled, the information will be recopied into another that is far more organized.  It may even be typed up and printed.

The sections will include the following:  rituals, practices for increasing magickal power, entities and all information on them, special circumstances, information on associations, and a random information part.

Now, other people may have different ideas on what a book of shadows is supposed to be, but this is my view of it.

*Just as an FYI, the image is from Oberon Designs who make the most fantastic leather journal covers I’ve ever found.  Check them out because you won’t find a better journal cover.

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There are very few references to scorpions in mythology or modern symbolism books.  I have no good theories on why this would be the case, but many of my searches for information on the scorpion have been in vain.  In response to this lack of information, I’m going to post my thoughts and personal symbols for the scorpion as well as the little information I’ve found.

In every case that I’ve found, the scorpion has represented the death that comes unsuspecting.  It does not attack with ferociousness like a tiger or bear, but instead dances around its enemy, drawing their attention to its pincers while it slowly draws near enough for the fatal strike from its tail.  This teaches us the value of the never letting your enemy know the true danger until it is too late.

On the other hand, there is no cruelty in the scorpion.  It is simple, emotionless, and deadly at the same time.  Cold-blooded simplicity at its finest.  The scorpion will fight, kill, and then devour any rival scorpions and even their mates.  They teach us that we are alone in the world, and that it is often best to rid the world of competitors.  Unlike people though, this is not done through hate or distrust, simply the cold knowing that all competitors can turn around and destroy you if you do not destroy them first.

Strangely, they are one of the only “bugs” that cares for its young.  As soon as the eggs hatch, the baby scorpions climb up on the mother’s back and completely cover her.  She then protects them until their first molting.  This cold-blooded killer knows that it must protect her young from the world until they are ready to fight their own battles.  She knows that in this world, there is no mercy to be had, even for the young.

The scorpion represents death in its most simple sense.  It represents the world in its harshest most destructive nature, and yet with a very protective nature.  Crowley integrated the scorpion into his Death card in the Thoth Tarot, along with the serpent and eagle, the other two pieces of Scorpio.

In the Ritual of the Portal, an initiatory ritual of the Golden Dawn, it is said that

“The Scorpion is the emblem of ruthless destruction; the Snake is the mixed and deceptive nature, serving alike for good and evil; the Eagle is the higher and Divine Nature, yet to be found herein, the Alchemical Eagle of distillation, the Renewer of life. As it is said:–’Thy youth shall be renewed like the Eagles.’”

There are many parts of the Golden Dawn that I disagree with, but on this series of transformations I agree.  It is necessary to learn the destructive nature of the scorpion before you can learn the trans-formative nature of the snake who can travel between the upper and lower world.

This post is not about this Golden Dawn ritual and so I will not go deeply into it, I was simply showing yet another example of the symbolism of the scorpion.  If there is any interest in this topic, I would have no problem writing about it in more detail.

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/start sarcasm

My exaggerated view of a Barnes and Nobles metaphysical bookshelf

Hmmm… this is a pretty big Barnes and Nobles, maybe they’ve got something different than the one from my small town in South Texas. Oh yeah, there’s some Silver RavenWolf, that’s what I’ve been looking for. Sweet! I’ve been needing a sixth book on Magick 101! This one’s got a pretty picture of a flower on the cover and it’s all sparkly! Oh yeah, and there’s the section on Cunningham, definitely haven’t seen those before. I hear they’re good especially if you’ve never heard of primary sources. Oh and here’s the section on meditation. Probably much different from the meditation that’s taught in Asian philosophy and everywhere else. Oh yeah, and there’s the 270 page fairy book that has absolutely no information that can’t be found in a child picture book. Definitely my choice purchase. Oh wait, it costs $31.99? I’m sure it’s worth it. Oh yeah, here’s what I was looking for, the section on altars. So there’s Altars for Different Seasons, Basic Altars, How to Make Your Own Altar, and the ever popular Different Crap You Can Buy to Decor…I Mean Honor Stuff With Your Altar.

/end sarcasm

I wonder why the average Pagan creates an altar. I also wonder why there is such a market for books on the subject. I know that some people need ideas for their first altar, and most books are marketed to the novice in their practice, but the idea of an altar is fairly simple and doesn’t really require buying anything–even books on the subject. An altar’s three-fold purpose is to create a sacred space in a home that is normally filled with non-sacred emotions and actions, to honor spirits, and to use as a magickal tool for filling something with energy and power.

When taking the purpose into account, can you really tell me that you need to buy a bunch of overpriced stuff for an altar? And how can you make an altar out of a book? I know that my altar has a few things that a book would suggest, but I wouldn’t ever go buy the items just to build an altar (which the books seems to suggest that you do). I’ve got a chalice that I used long before I ever had an altar. Yes, I’ve got a few crystals that I had before I was Pagan and was using them for meditation practices. Yes, I’ve also got an incense burner that is actually a mortar filled with salt. I’ve got a few feathers…that I got as a gift my spiritual teacher.

So what is it that I’m trying to say? An altar is supposed to bring you closer to “God” as the Christians say. It’s supposed to open you up and allow you feel safe and calm. It’s no different from the sacred temples of the ancient Greeks or groves of the Druids. Do you really think that the priests of old went to their local Magick-Mart for a bunch of stuff made in China or Korea in sweatshops to put in their brand new temple? We don’t have to hand-make everything like they did, but please remember that the energy in these cheap foreign-made products is likely to be less that awesome. I would rather have an incomplete altar than one filled with items that will bring negative energy into my workings. Magick is a subtle art that is heavily influenced by the nuances of the practice rather than the basics, and so in this case, yes you should sweat the small stuff.

The other thing to think about is that an altar is not so much a tool like a rake or steak knife. It isn’t just something to use in order to get results. It becomes a living extension of yourself. That is one of the primary reasons that taking care of it is such an important task. It needs the love and attention that you give in order to put you into that place of spiritual openness.

How is it so necessary to own 7 books on a subject that is simple. Put pieces of yourself into the altar above all else. Put spiritual pieces that mean something to you next. Yes, it’d be nice to honor the elements and certain gods, but remember that the altar is your gateway to the infinite, and so it should be a part of you rather than some altar template that you found in a book.

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It is not in simplicity and peace that we should look for life; it is in those that are anguished, tormented, and constantly struggle that we should look for life. It is only in the tortured that we find beauty. The greatest artists are full of pain, the strongest warrior has battled his whole life simply for survival, it is in the cactus that daily struggles for its very existence amidst the sweltering heat that constantly strives to destroy it. It is in this constant battle that strength and quality comes forth. Life springs forth easily in peace, but peace only comes after the fires have been quenched, after the battles have ended and the warriors of yesterday stand watch for tomorrow’s struggle.

Life may be overflowing the cup of peace, but it is the one piece of life that survived where others failed that holds this cup of peace. So why do we look to those that have survived peace? Why do we look to the warriors of nothing for knowledge? It is not the sages that I seek. It is the cactus that daily survives torment that I look to for life. Look to the coral reef that daily survives the barrage of waves in order to give peaceful homes to 75% of the life in the sea.

Yes, you may take refuge with those that seek peace. I do not, and never will. Life is about struggle, constant battles, and constant wars, both inside and outside the self; and I welcome them. It is only those that have been hardened by the flame of torment that can hope to quench the fires of the world.

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Ritual garments have been worn in almost all traditions from the beginning of time. We’ve read about this in books, we’ve seen this in movies, and we’ve pictured it when we think about magicians cloaked in blue velvet. The question that I pose is, “What purpose do these ‘magickal’ clothes have?” There are a variety of perspectives to look at the purpose in this common tradition, and from these perspectives we can gain an insight into how we can alter and improve upon our current magickal clothing.

Thinking about it from a psychological viewpoint, it is clear that these ritual garments are like any other ritual tool in that they bring about a shift in perception of the world. When you don your magickal cloak, you are the magician, the witch, the walker between the realms; you are not the accountant that shows up to work every day to do tedious mathematics at a job you hate, you are not the father or mother that has to worry about three children, you do not have bills to pay, you do not have any worries. As far as this perspective is concerned, the more ‘magickal’ the clothing’s appearance, the better it is at altering the mind state to that of a magickal nature. This shift in perspectives is key to any magickal working, and if for no other reason, is a valid reason for ritual garb.
Though the previous reasoning seems sufficient, let us delve a little deeper. Let us again take the ritual garments as yet another tool to the magician, and ask ourselves a few questions about tools in general. Does a tool you bought yesterday work the same as the tool that you’ve had for 20 years? Why is it different? How does it feel when you pick up your trusty athame or wand that you’ve worked with for years and years? It feels as though it is a part of you, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. Think about energy as being similar to electricity. When you turn off your television, the screen goes black, but is all of the electricity gone from it? No, there is still residual electricity in the wires and capacitors. Once something holds energy, it is very difficult to completely rid it of residual energy, and in our case, that energy is our personal energy. That athame that you’ve had for 20 years is holding residual energy from that entire time, and it resonates with you because of that. It is not simply a tool that you use, you are a part of it, and it is a part of you because you have drawn energy from it. For this reason, it is greatly advantageous to use the same tools (including ritual clothes) in all relevant rituals rather than change for new ones on a regular basis. For this reason, a single set of clothes should be set aside for ritual use only, hence the need for ritual wear.

When looking from these perspectives, I see very little reason to use clothing other than as just another tool, as the purpose behind using ritual clothes is no different than that of any other tool. Well, let’s delve even deeper. What do clothes do? They warm the body. They protect the body. And they hide the body. In essence, they are the body’s defense against the world. So how does this translate into magickal operation? They are the shield, the light against the demons of the dark, and the protector of our souls. How do we make these flimsy cotton and velvet layers into an adequate armor against those that would do us harm? The same way we would protect our house or turn our athame into more than a pretty steak knife. Adorn them with runes and glyphs of protective nature, spend time and energy crafting complex (not simple candle magick) spells of protection, but most of all, put your desire, no, put your need for protection and shielding into them. Remember, they are not separate from yourself in energetic terms. They are more than simple cotton and velvet layers, they are another extension of yourself, of your soul, in a way that nothing else truly can.

Now let us think about yet another angle on this inadequately discussed topic. Clothing is not only for the individual, it is a society’s means of identifying individuals. All people wear different clothes; the clothes represent a person’s personality, their values, and their status. In the same instance, many people wear uniforms to display that they are a part of something else. Their personal identity is lost when they wear the uniform; they are simply a piece of the company or business that they work for. It is almost always in occupations that value company loyalty and hard work over individuality and creativity that a uniform is imposed on the employee. It is strange in my mind that there is no true representation of this in the magickal community. In magick, as in everyday life, the design and type of clothing is important mainly for the purpose of a creative outlet for the individual. The only true exception would be in the community example that simply does not exist currently.

The last piece of this puzzle is centered on the effect other magicians’ and witches’ clothing has on you. In order to understand this, we must take the previously described perspectives and thoughts and apply them to you, a fellow practitioner, and see what the results are. What happens when you see other people in cloaks, skyclad, or in that really cool ‘magickal’ tie-dyed t-shirt? When working in a group atmosphere, it is important, if not necessary for your clothing to have a positive effect on your group. Do your ritual garments help them to shift into an altered state? Is your cloak adding energy or taking away energy from the group? Is it helping to shield you so that the guardian of your group does not have to focus so heavily on protecting you? Does it help you to share your energy with the group, or does it hinder this? And most of all, do your ritual garments help to achieve the required group goal?

In order to answer these questions, it is necessary to take the individual garment choices and analyze their effect on the group. The most commonly referenced ritual garments are in fact none at all. Being skyclad is the only regularly referenced magickal uniform, but does this truly make sense or was it simply instated due to Gerald Gardner’s perverted desires? The reasoning given in most circles is so that there are no barriers between the members of the coven, but is it truly beneficial to throw away what appears to be a very helpful tool? Obviously, this does not matter to the individual. For solitary practitioners, there are no other coven members to reveal yourself to, as well as no other individuals to share energy with, so let us simply say that it is more advantageous to use some sort of ritual clothing when working alone because there’s no good reason not to. In a group atmosphere, the first problem with being skyclad is its effect on the mind; the initial fear and uncomfortable feelings that come from being nude around others tend to make it difficult to alter the mental state to that of the magician. While this can be overcome by exposure, it adds a barrier from the very beginning. The other problem is that when you work all rituals skyclad, it makes it difficult to shift to an altered state while wearing clothing. We should be working to remove the barriers between our everyday lives and our magickal lives, and this provides yet another one. Being skyclad also means that you do not have a protective layer between yourself and those energies that are called during ritual. It could be reasoned that this also means that there is no filter between yourself and your coven-mates, but that seems to point to a lack of creativity and dedication. It would not be all that difficult to set up a binding among the ritual clothes themselves to allow them to share energy direction amongst themselves. This would take some out of the box thinking, but would not be an impossible notion. Remember again, these garments are not simple cloth, and must be treated as magickal entities in their own right.
The last issue that I have with being skyclad is the individuality that it provides. In a group ritual, there should be a lack of individuality and a focus on group mentality. When working as a part of a magickal group, the mental shift should not be the same as when working as a magickal individual. Being skyclad instantly makes you aware of the differences in the individuals. You know High Priestess RandomColorAndAnimal and every flaw; you can see if she is faltering. The High Priestess is a physical piece of the group entity known as a coven. She is not High Priestess, she is Random Coven; you are not a 2nd Degree witch with experiences in the OTO, you are Random Coven; everyone in attendance is the same being, they do not make up the coven, they simply are Random Coven. It is this loss of self that is necessary for optimal group magick, and it is in this respect that being skyclad seems to be the most inferior ritual garment choice.
It should be noted that being skyclad has its uses. It is the optimal choice for magickal practice. Being skyclad is a way to strip away even the most basic of tools for the magician or witch, and this is a key part of practice. Athletes train with as many difficulties as possible so that they are as prepared as possible, and it should be the same with magick. If you only practice with your trusty athame, you will be at a loss should that athame be taken, lost, or Goddess forbid, destroyed. This should always be remembered, tools should be used to put you at your best, but tools should never become a crutch. The magick is in the magician, not the tool.

Because skyclad is the most commonly referenced choice for ritual wear, I described it and its problems in greatest detail. This is not the only choice though, so let us take the next most common (or at least most commonly marketed) choice—the cloak. The cloak adequately protects the magician, it can be charged with energy, and it can hide the individual if needed (as long as it is a hooded cloak). It seems as though this would be the optimal choice, but there are subtle problems with it. The cloak is still an expression of individuality as stated earlier, and though this can be disregarded for the individual practitioner, it should be remembered for group rituals. This problem could easily be removed by having a standard cloak for the group, but then again, the energetic bonding would not occur as well with having a separate cloak for group rituals. This could be dealt with by using the group cloak for personal rituals as well as group rituals.
Because there are so many types of cloaks available, it is important to discuss the various types. First and foremost, if you are going to be using the cloak in a group setting, it would be very useful for it to have a hood so that your identity could be hidden for the reasons stated previously. It should be warm enough for you to not need any other clothing even on cold winter nights. It should also be light enough so that you do not feel the weight of it. The decoration of the cloak should optimally be your own, with your personal glyphs and symbols covering it. It should be a general use cloak so that your energetic bond is stronger. Also, the type of cloth’s magickal attributes should be considered. All of these variables play into the versatility and effectiveness of the cloak.
There are other types of ritual wear that are available to the witch, but they are too numerous to consider individually. There are considerations to take into account for these as well. Most of them correspond to the previous considerations for choosing a cloak. Warmth, weight, decoration, and general usability are all very important. It is also important to remember that the clothing type should help you, as well as your coven-mates, to enter a magickal state, so it might be best if you didn’t choose your Lynard Skynard t-shirt as your magickal garb (unless you are part of a coven based on Lynard Skynard’s magickal theories of course). It is also important to remember that you should have clothing that will stand the test of time. Remember, you don’t want to throw these clothes away next year; you want them to stay with you for the next 20-30 years or more. So don’t get that super skin-tight outfit just because you’re 19 and haven’t had children yet. People put on weight, they have children, and their bodies mature. Also, the more pieces of clothing that you have, the more pieces that you will need to bond with, so less is more in this case.

Though ritual garments are often not discussed when talking about ritual tools, they are a very important piece of the magickal toolbox and should not be disregarded. They are the primary visual focus for your fellow witches as well as the only tool that covers the entire body. It is imperative that your ritual wear be given as much attention as an athame or wand would be given, so make your choices wisely.

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The logical question after yesterday’s blog would be the question, “What’s is the difference between a successful spell and an unsuccessful spell?”  To this, my best answer would be that one of the four elements is missing or wrong.

Power

My best explanation for power would have to do with energy manipulation.  It is simply the strength of your focus combined with the intensity of your desire and the efficiency with which you manipulate energy. 

I believe that a large amount of power will almost always get something to happen.  Maybe instead of bringing you a big paycheck in the mail you’ll get a big bill in the mail, but something will have happened if you push that energy out into the world.  I also believe that this has to do with how quickly the form manifests from spell.

This seems to be the simplest and most common aspect of magick to train regularly.  Every book you’ll ever read about magick expounds on the necessity of learning to focus the mind through meditation and energy work.  I would probably say that this is one of our strongest skills as a magickal community.  Of course, there’s always more work to be done on it and more exercises to learn/create.  This very possibly is the difference between the people in the psychiatric hospitals and us (though I’ve never met many people who have serious mental illnesses so I’m actually quite ignorant on this topic).

Technique

Technique would be the part of magick that separates all of the branches of magick.  Sigil magick, high magick, making charms, energy healing, etc. are all forms of technique.

Technique would probably play the biggest part in focusing the power to do a certain thing.  Good technique probably will get you the results you want, but they may not be quite as extravagant as you wanted them to be.  Maybe you did a spell for rain.  You may not get that rain for 6 months or it might just be a bit of a drizzle or fog if there’s not enough power.

I really think that we have explored a large number of techniques, but this is a place to make improvements.  We have all witnessed getting what we wanted, but very few of us have gotten what we wanted in a manner that was exactly how we wanted.  You may have brought love into your life, but you didn’t say, “I want a friend to call me with a blind date scheduled with the perfect person for me” and get it.  This may fit into this category or not.  That’s absolutely up for discussion.

Belief

Belief is what we’ve been talking about in conjunction with what exactly magick can do.  Belief is probably best described by having the conscious desire coincide perfectly with the unconscious ideas about the world.

Belief, in my mind is simply a filter.  So, if you want to conjure up a fireball to shoot from your fingertips, and you absolutely don’t believe it, nothing will happen no matter how perfect everything else is.  Now, on the other hand, if you can believe that something may happen, maybe when you turn around the flower that happened to be hanging above your candle might have caught on fire.  And with 100% belief, you’d actually conjure a fireball (if you had enough focus or power and the technique was good enough to focus the energy towards that one goal).  This seems to be a huge flaw in our current community.  It seems only the delusional actually can believe that they could do anything of this nature…or even of being able to do a spell to bring a large sum of money into their lives somehow.  Belief, I believe (haha), will be one of the biggest obstacles in any furtherment of magick, and I really don’t know how to change what I believe.

Other

Well, this would be a large number of other factors that not all belief systems agree on.  Maybe this could be spiritual help, destiny to do this one act, you’re an Aries and so you can throw fireballs easier than you can make it rain, etc.  This is probably not all that easily talked about because it’s such a large category for catch all stuff.

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I would suggest reading the first post in this two part series first in order to follow my train of thoughts as well as to not misunderstand what I’m saying.

I had a request as to what kind of work I’ve done with blood and any suggestions I had, so I’d like to attempt to answer this.  For the most part, I do personal sacrifices with blood because I feel as though my own personal energy is one of the few things that you can offer up as a sacrifice and blood seems to be the best medium to physically offer up energy.  Other ways I’ve come up with are to sacrifice something that I’ve spent a lot of time developing a relationship with or that I’ve had to physically put a lot a of effort to create.

Another good reason to use blood is when you are doing something that you aren’t actually tying yourself to, such as doing any type of minor healing.  The thing to remember is that you are connecting yourself with whatever you do.  I believe that this connection is the real power of blood.  It lets the charm/spell/healing draw on your own energy whenever necessary to do the work you want it to do.  In a healing instance, I wouldn’t really want to let this happen because if it’s a serious illness the blood might draw a bit too much energy from yourself.  I hate to sound like a silly kid who reads too many fantasy books, but that just seems like a reasonable expectation when working with a medium that I’ve found to connect you energetically to whatever you use it for.  So I’d limit the use of blood in healing to the less serious stuff.

If there is a reason you really want to bind yourself to something, then this would be the best method I could think of.  Historically it’s been used in the “blood brother” ritual where two people would cut themselves and then bleed into each other’s cuts.  This, of course, is now recognized as a very bad idea now that AIDS is rampant and we understand the whole idea of blood born pathogens.  The idea of it though could be very useful.  I can’t really think of an example right now but I’m sure there could be reasons.  Maybe to do a ritual in which you use blood and wedding rings (mind you, this will bind you but won’t necessarily make you happy) or something of this sort.

The most useful idea I can think of is with protection spells.  I have no problem giving up some energy to protect myself, my family or my possessions, and adding a bit of blood to your protection sachets or on top of the sage you’re burning would be an excellent use.  The previous example of the protection charm for a child is a good idea.  The key on this one is intent though.  I did the protection spell on the necklace for my girlfriend at the time and imagined my energy protecting her and that kept me around so that my energy could continue to protect her.  Because there was a chance we were going to break up, that was a bad idea and I will refuse to give someone a protection charm with blood on it unless they are family or there is a time when they will give it back for me to destroy it/keep it safe. 

Again, I’d like to stress the fact that blood shouldn’t be used in every ceremony/spell/charm you do and it definitely should be used cautiously but I’d suggest that everyone keep it in their possible spellkit.

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Blood has always had a great power over man.  To see it meant that something was wrong, you were hurt or someone was hurt.  It’s been the sign of war, of pain, of death.  It’s also a sign of birth and the successful hunt.  Blood is the symbol for life.  There really is very little in the world that can hold as much sway over a person as the sight of blood.  The symbols are everywhere and there have been blood rituals since (wo)man walked the earth. 

The strange thing is that it is taboo in most Magickal circles to deal with blood because it is so powerful.  It is also almost always seen as dark and terrible.  Maybe it’s that people are scared of power and scared of bindings that are extremely difficult to break.  The problem with this is that power is something to be cautious about, but I truly think that if one does not embraces power, then they are simply saying that they are okay with their Magickal efforts never being effective.  This seems counter-intuitive because they are practicing Magick in order to get results, but they are afraid that the results will be too good and that they won’t know how to change them if they decide later that they were mistakes.

I am going to go into a digression about what exactly I’m talking about when I talk about Blood Magick so that there isn’t any confusion as to what I’m really talking about.  In my Magickal practices, there are occasionally results that I feel the need to bind myself to extremely strongly or to put my full energy into and in order to do this, I use a bit of my own blood as the final step normally.  For example, say I needed to make an extremely effective protection charm for a child that has been having horrible night terrors, I would create the talisman/charm and at the peak of Magickal power, I would prick my finger and dot the charm with a drop or two of my blood.  This allows my energy to easily flow into the item and energize it with my pure energy.  After this, I’d use the item as was normally planned.  I never do any ritual killing or cutting of another person or creature (though this is another topic which I’ll talk about at a different time).

Now, in my past I have most definitely made some mistakes about the proper times to use Blood Magick and have had to deal with the repercussions.  I once made a necklace into a protection charm for a serious girlfriend and I basically bound myself to her in order to protect her.  This became a very unhealthy relationship and I simply couldn’t let myself leave her and she couldn’t leave me either, and one night she finally broke the necklace and the spell was shattered and we broke up for several days.  After we got back together we fought and tried to work things out, sadly without avail, but there was never that fear of leaving though.  We are still friends and have talked about it at great length and can see no other reason as to why we couldn’t break up before.  This is definitely a time when I made a mistake with a powerful Magick and had to learn from it as well as find a way to break the spell.  I would not recommend using Blood Magick when binding yourself to anyone (even those getting married because people change and you do not want to be bound completely to another person if they change and you don’t), and I would definitely use an item rather than a completely charmless spell because it is much easier to break an item than it is to break a Magickal bond.

In truth, Blood Magick is a Magick that I’m always hesitant to use, but the power of it must be accepted and there are times when it is the right course of action.  Much like a tattoo is not something everyone should jump into on a whim because it’s permanent, Blood Magick has its place in Magickal circles and should be thought of as a very useful tool in somewhat rare occasions.

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