On Blood Magick

What type of working are you doing during your menses? In the cases where you are NOT one of those women who feel drained, sick, in pain, or any of the other uncomfortable symptoms, menses casting can be EXTREMELY powerful… but once done, they cannot be UNdone.

http://everymagicalday.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/blood-magick-a-blood-spell/

http://www.luckymojo.com/bodyfluids.html

http://wolf.mind.net/womens/menses.htm

http://www.arcane-archive.org/religion/hinduism/yoga/tantra/neo-tantra/the-ritualistic-importance-of-menstruation-and-menstrual-blood-2.php

These should get you going…

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The Unwritten “Laws” Of Magick

So, one of the things that I probably haven’t written about yet here are the so-called unwritten laws of magick.

One of those laws is that your subconscious is the one that takes the energy you give to a spell, and seeds the universe with that. Know Thyself isn’t just pretty words… it’s important to understand your deeper self, and your intimate motivations, because yes, absolutely, they will interfere with a spell’s effects.

For example – when I was younger, I wasn’t financially stable. If I got into a tight spot, I’d cast a spell for money. In return for my energies and hopes, I’d get…

1) A ten dollar note under my foot on my way to work… which was monopoly money
2) A whole ton of pennies showing up everyfreakingwhere.

I did NOT get the amount I needed… or if I did, it ALWAYS cost me later. It was always one step forward, twelve steps back.

Another example – when I was a very young adult, I had the usual illusions about love. I cast a few “my perfect partner” spells… and someone always came along… and it was always awful. The issue was that because I didn’t believe myself worthy of love, I attracted, with my spell, people with similar issues, or issues that would exacerbate my own.

If you do not have a clear, focused, pure intent, then yeah… your spells will go badly. If you find yourself feeling doubts, fears, or having thoughts that are counter to the result you are seeking… STOP CASTING. Deal with the emotional and mental issue you’re having. Take the time to understand who you are, and where your thoughts and feelings are coming from, and take the time to nurture yourself into a healthier state. THEN go back to casting, with better focus.

Casting while fearing bad things will happen, or fearing the worst, will imbue your magick with those fears, and draw their realization into the physical for you to deal with consciously. It is absolutely dangerous if you’re not ready for it – and normally it’s counter to your actual needs of the moment. There ARE times when that should be your intent – when you’re feeling ready to deal with an issue, using magick to force it into a physical shape so that you CAN deal with it, can be very healing…

But doing it accidentally is… highly unpleasant at best.

There is absolutely a difference between “mind” and “astral” but it takes practice to learn the difference. The difference is essentially that one is internal, and the other external. Astral is EVERYWHERE. You’re in it right now. With focused intent, you can use your “mind” to shape the astral. It’s like… the mind is a muscle, and astral is the dough that you are shaping into whatever you want to bake back into reality.

If you picture an object in your mind, it’s a picture in your mind. Someone else with specific psychic skills might be able to see the object in your mind, but if you don’t do more than PICTURE something, it’s not created… YET. The ability to turn something from a picture in your head into an actual astral reality (and eventually a physical effect) requires energy and intent. You can get energy from practice, or you can get it from emotions in the moment. The stronger you feel about the imagery you’re creating, the more likely it will become an astral projection rather than just something in your imagination. Emotions, when you’re just starting, are the easiest source of energy to create a real effect which can be shared with someone else.

With the exercise I wrote, we use physical energy to create the astral imprinted spell, and we shape that energy with visualizations – the whole exercise is set up to avoid emotional overlay because that way lies dragons. Your emotions are not stable – we almost never feel only one emotion, and most of the emotions we’re not aware of in the moment are negative ones… which means that even the happiest moment is tainted by something underneath which we do not voice. Using emotion to power most spells is thus inherently untrustworthy if you want positive results. If you’re specifically raising anger or pain as an energetic bus for your spell, then yeah, emotion will do the trick.

The reason I start out with having people familiarize themselves with their own energy, as opposed to any other form of energy, is because if you know your own energy, when communication happens, if it’s not you, you’ll be able to recognize it because it will not have your own flavor to it. Until you know yourself and your energy well enough, there is absolutely a danger of misinterpreting your own thoughts as those coming from outside you. The longer you’re here on this forum the more you’ll see people who are confused by this. The ego (and I’m not talking about inappropriate confidence, but the psychological concept of an ego) is full of flaws, and when you start working with metaphysical stuff, all those flaws are going to become bigger. If you have a really negative ego, that’s going to end up being interpreted as an attack. There’s this issue with people who come to the metaphysical world seeking a magickal resolution to all their problems… and that is that the metaphysical world is the real world magnified. Whatever your problems are, adding magick to it will magnify them. The “prime directive” of magick is KNOW THYSELF – because if you know yourself, warts and all, then you can control what parts of you get magnified into the physical world, and which parts you keep from becoming monsters under your bed.

Honestly, though, the only way to avoid this particular pitfall is practice… and the willingness to deal with the fallout of being exposed and magnified. If you want to deal with magick, even if it’s only second-hand by having someone else do things for you (cast spells, conjure spirits, whatever), then you HAVE to be willing to face yourself, the worst parts of yourself… you have to be willing to be accountable for where you are in life. Magick does NOT fix problems… it exacerbates them into the physical so that YOU can fix them. It’s all about personal responsibility… and if you don’t want to take responsibility for where you are in life, then it will absolutely blow up in your face.

I see a lot of desperate people come to magick as their last ditch effort. So much in this world is unfair and ugly and overwhelming, and people don’t always have perspective. Many people who come to magick lack maturity in their emotional responses to trouble. While we can’t stop the world from turning, we absolutely do have power over how we respond to downward momentum… and if you’re stuck in a negative spiral of thought, magick is not something you should be touching. It could ALWAYS be worse.

So… the best way to avoid the issue of being bullied by yourself is to stop bullying yourself. And don’t touch magick until you’re done using yourself, or anyone/anything else as a scapegoat.

The second best is to practice with your own energy, over and over, until you know when it’s you, and when it’s not.

If you are working with energy at the time that you have unwanted thoughts coming up, you can absolutely cast those thoughts without meaning to.

One of the first exercises a magician practices is that of mental control, an exercise designed to improve your ability to focus, as well as exclude unnecessary thoughts. It’s a deceptively simple exercise.

Take five minutes and let your mind run rampant. At the end of the five minutes… write down every thought you had during that five minutes. Practice until you have perfect recall.

Take five minutes and hold only one thought. Practice until you can hold one thought, and only one, for the full five minutes.

Take five minutes and have no thoughts. Practice until no intrusions happen for a full five minutes.

Always create a detailed record of your progress. This will show you where your weaknesses are, and help you determine how to fix them.

-Ed Fitch, A Grimoire of Shadows

You can see how simple it sounds… and I’m sure you can figure out how difficult it is to actually do. For me, because I have ADD, it was pretty much impossible. I had to find workarounds for it.

I found that giving my mind something to do allowed me to focus. In the same way that someone with ADD can zone into a book or videogame and have absolutely NO clue what else is going on around them, if I turn on music or if I create a mental journey for myself, I can have that same level of focus. When I’m working magick, I can be so focused that the roof could cave in and I wouldn’t notice – but only because when I’m working magick, I am actively DOING something.

Another way you can work on your focus is meditation. You can use music to give your brain something to chew on while you dig into the trance state, or you can use guided meditations, if focus is a huge issue for you.. but the biggest asset of daily meditation is getting to know yourself, so it’s actually better to pay attention to your thoughts at that time. You have to learn to listen to yourself, if you’re ever going to help fix the issues you have with yourself or the wider reality.

The issue with magick is that people don’t do daily psychological maintenance. They don’t meditate. They don’t journal. They ignore themselves and focus on the external world… and problems build up. Magick is the manipulation of the internal to MAKE it external… which means if you’re not aware of the internal, magick will make you aware…

And in highly creative, but honestly painful ways.

-Raven

On Creating Consequence Free Spells

All magick is the manipulation of energies, the imprinting of those energies with ideas, and then the manifestation of those ideas into reality.

Magick is essentially neutral. Intent CAN be neutral, or not, but magick itself is absolutely neutral, in the same way that light and gravity are absolutely neutral.

However, humans interpret magick as being polarized when the EFFECTS occur. So it’s not a spell that’s white arts or black arts or dark arts or whatever you want to call it… it’s the consequences.

If you want neutral consequences, don’t do magick, because that’s counter to what magick IS… magick is the art of taking energy and making it have consequences, and NO consequence is neutral in the human perspective. You’re ALWAYS going to see magickal effects realized as either positive or negative. Humans think in highly personal ways. “Do I like this effect, or does it feel bad?” If it feels bad to you, even if it doesn’t feel bad to the rest of the world, you label those consequences as dark. If it feels bad to a lot of people, then a lot of people label it as bad. Someone not affected, or affected in a positive way, will label the exact same spell as good.

There’s no such thing as a spell that has an effect in the world that is neutral in execution. Someone, somewhere, is going to have feelings about the results.

Any magickal spell can be used for either white arts or dark arts purposes. It’s the intent that makes that so.

If you cast a spell with the intent to have flexible outcomes that might or might not impact others in a perceived by them negative way, then you’ve intentionally cast a dark arts spell.

If you cast the same spell with the intent to have a static outcome that does not impact anyone in any way that could be perceived as negative, you’ve intentionally cast a white arts spell.

It’s not the spell that changes. Its your intent. If you want to create a spell that can do both, my advice is to give the spell some autonomy, as if you’re taking the first steps towards creating a servitor. Then the spell can choose what’s best in the moment, but you can set it to default as white arts where the situation allows for it.

Chakra Lessons – Cleansing

Close your eyes after reading this, and look for the root chakra. It will probably look a bit fuzzy. You’re looking for a reddish orb of energy that has four petals around it.

Another way to check your chakras is by feel. You have chakras in your palm. You can ask your spirit guides to open them, and rub your hands very briskly together for a few moments. As you pull them apart, you will feel them tingle. You can then wave your hand through your aura over the various locations of the chakras, and sense them with your palms. This will tell you information that drawing can’t… such as WHY a chakra has a certain thing going on inside it.

Now, close your eyes, and picture a ball of white light. Focus on this light as coming from the core of the universe. The intent is that this light is perfect for you – it’s for your highest good, it is unconditionally loving of YOUR energy frequency, and deeply healing.

The sacral plexus is orange, and has six petals. It is located two inches below your belly button and is centered between your back and front. All chakras are considered to be aligned with the spine, but this chakra can sometimes drift to the left a bit.
Locate your sacral plexus in the same way that you did the root chakra – either with activated palm chakras, or with visualization.

Between your root chakra and your sacral plexus, there are three main channels and two minor channels.
The central channel is the widest. It’s called the Sushumni channel. The outside two that wrap AROUND the chakras but do not connect TO the chakras are called Ida (right) and Pingala (leftI) nadir.
The two minor channels that directly connect the root to the sacral plexus on the outside of the sushumni are also called Ida and Pingala nadirs.

Remember to activate your palm chakras and use your visual techniques. Your channels will be white (sushumni) and offwhite or dark (ida/pingala)

On hand Chakras:

Your dominant hand is all about projection and protection. Your receptive hand is all about drawing in, but also taps into self-knowledge. You can use your left hand to check your chakras and your aura to tell you things about what’s going on with you. To activate them, request that your guides activate them, rub your hands briskly, and stretch them apart slowly until you feel the chakras open. Your hands will heat up and tingle.

The reason the Ida and Pingala nadirs are dark is because energy flows DOWN the ida and pingala nadirs, and the Sushumni is bright white because energy flows UPwards there. So check flow. Downwards is much more subtle and gentle. When you connect to the ida and pingala nadirs, you will feel your energy shift downwards, like grounding. When you connect to the sushumni, you will feel your energy rising, like kundalini. The channels take a bit.

So remember the white light I had you connect to and let flow through your root chakra?
I want you do do the same thing through all five channels between your root and your sacral plexus.

The sacral plexus is all about your connections – how you relate to the world around you.
Everything you touch is stored in the sacral plexus… which can make it very crowded. Outmoded ideas, and burnt in, tired patterns, are held here.
I call the sacral plexus the noun chakra. If it’s a person, place, thing, or idea, and you have ever related to it, it’s there.
It’s also a sexual chakra – but rather than your own sexuality… it deals with how you feel sexually about others. It also deals with how you relate to them sexually.
It’s about what you enjoy in life, when it’s healthy – the things that bring you pleasure. It’s also the seat of indulgence and addiction. This is the chakra that your feelings about the world come from.

One of the first self-care things that needs to be done with this chakra is… what are you holding there that is no longer useful, no longer serving your highest good, serving your growth as a person and as a spirit?
Bring in the white light energy… and SAY TO IT – “I release all unnecessary connections back into the universe, with unconditional love.” Know that the energy of those connections that is right now doing nothing but holding you back is going to be repurposed and directed towards someone else’s highest good now. And let go.

When you truly let something go out of your energy field, when you stop sucking it back in all the time, even if you’re surrounded by it, it no longer disturbs you, because it’s not inside you.
So keep weeding until your garden stops being soil that accepts those kinds of seeds. Your energy is programmable. You can teach yourself a new way to be, where things do not grow in you that you do not need.

We’re digging into the sacral plexus chakra. We’ve released the excess connections that are unnecessary and holding up progress. Now it’s time to clean up the mess that came from being stuck.
Again, bring in the light that we talked about, and let it wash through the entire chakra, cleansing, balancing, soothing.
Let it remove any stuck energy, and when you feel it’s a nice, strong, stable orange, we can move on to the channels above it.
It should also get a pulse to it.

Remember to draw that light all the way through, front to back.The opening that draws in, to the opening that pushes out. The front of the chakra – which is actually your back.

So the next step is to connect to the five channels moving to the solar plexus. The two that cross below the sacral and above the sacral (outer ida and pingala) the two that connect from the solar to the sacral (inner ida and pingala) and the central channel that flows up from the root through the sacral and now through the solar plexus (sushumni) all need to be checked and cleaned with the light.

The outer ida and pingala wrap around the chakra system like a DNA helix.

The inner ida and pingala, whose energies ALSO flow downwards, simply leap from chakra to chakra. The Sushumni, whose energies flow upwards is a river bed that gathers chakra energies like tributaries as it heads for the point above the crown where it fountains.

Both ida and both pingala nadirs terminate below your feet. They flow down your legs, and your arms. But that’s really technical and you don’t need to worry about it with a general cleansing.

The solar plexus is your center. It is your essential sense of SELF – just as the root is your sense of your body, the solar plexus is your sense of YOU. It is the seat of your self-confidence, and all your actions. Your belief about what you are capable or not capable of doing in the world comes from here. It’s all about achievable personal power. Willpower.
Having this chakra clear means you are able to be courageous, and take pleasure in your own accomplishments.

If you have issues with this chakra, you will tend to be a wallflower, but not in a positive way. An overactive chakra can make you egotistical and narcisstic. An underactive solar plexus will make you a professional doormat.

The chakra petals are an energetic fibbonaci sequence. 4, 6, 10, 12, 18, 3, 1000. lol
Time to bring on the light.

The difference between the upper and lower chakras which separates them is that the lower chakras all deal with your physical self. The upper chakras all deal with your perceptions and interactions with the outside world. The root is your body, the sacral plexus is sex and relationships. The solar plexus is your views about yourself and your ability to act in the world

The heart is all about how you sense the world. The throat is all about how you communicate with that world. The Third Eye is all about how you see the world, and the crown is how your spirit connects to the spirits of the world. So all the upper chakras are externally focused.

Remember yesterday when I showed you how to open your perceptions, either by touch or by inward sight, to view your chakras?

Connect to your heart chakra. The heart chakra has 12 petals, is green with a rose outline around the outside, and as I said, is the seat of your emotional senses about the world around you.
This is how you interact intuitively with the world. The Third Eye is Sight – but the Heart is FEEL. There’s no point in being able to see the word if you can’t feel what your seeing actually means.
The heart chakra is also about love – but not just self-love, but being able to give and receive love with others, and the wider world.

When you are connected to your heart chakra, remember what I told you about connecting to the light that is the most balanced for you, the most attuned to your own highest good and your best purpose. This isn’t about white light, or anything like that. It’s about aligning yourself with your truest nature, your best balance, your most perfect you. Connect to the light that creates you as you create yourself… the blueprint, I suppose. It’s not going to be the light that anyone else is. It’s your light. Which means that if you work better with shadow – it will have the taste of shadow. It’s your light.

So bring that into you… and let it wash through the chakra. Remember that we’re going from the opening of the chakra in your back, and out the front. Let that energy wash through your chakra, setting everything to rights.
Look at what your heart chakra is right now… and then bring that intent in, and let that intent come through and fix everything up. And keep doing that until you know that your heart chakra is the best color and feel it can be.
You INTEND to connect to the light that is for your own highest vibrational good. The light that is the best light for you, and for your healing. When you put your mind into an intention, the very act of saying, “THIS is what I want,” is enough to call it to you. You are using a function of magickal WILL.

You are WILLING A CHANGE TO OCCUR. You are WILLING A CONNECTION TO A TYPE OF ENERGY.

This is why I suggest that while this kind of basic healing can be done by most people, real healing that can be used for others shouldn’t be done by just anyone, but someone who really knows how to keep their intentions pure.
Your heart chakra is between your nipples on your sternum.
Some people will feel it a bit lower, some a bit higher, but generally, it’s in the middle there. The thing is that the heart chakra isn’t actually a single chakra. It’s actually 7 chakras starting at the base of the sternum and climbing upwards in sequence to the hollow of your throat.

The throat is located just over your adam’s apple. Women and men have them – just feel for it if you’re a chick, because it’s not physically as obvious as in men. The throat chakra is a blue that is very changeable, but is frequently a whiteish blue – a pale blue to sometimes turquiose color. It has 16 petals. The throat rules vocality. It is “I Speak,” so is all about speaking your personal truth. Not THE truth – but your PERSONAL truth. If you’re not into self-expression, you probably have a muddy or even blocked chakra here.

The throat is all about communication, both within and without. If you don’t listen to yourself, or you don’t listen to others, if you don’t speak deeply or honestly, if you avoid confrontation or prevaricate… you have an issue here.
Because the throat is all about speaking your truth, any time where you are deceiving yourself, this chakra is going to take the fall… and because it’s smaller than some of the other chakras, when it falls, your whole outlook on the world falls with it. A recursive chakra here will actually turn you into a mouse just as much as a poorly developed solar plexus. They often feed each other.

Not angry confrontation, but… have you ever felt something deeply, and ignored your feelings because you wanted to keep the peace around you, or didn’t want to deal with confrontations with your friends or family? That’s a throat chakra issue. Speaking your truth is about speaking those feelings – not about shoving them in people’s faces, or about forcing them to your way… the throat is all about letting EVERYONE have their personal truth, as long as they let you have yours.

If you refuse to speak up when there are issues, calmly and clearly, but just clam up instead and put up with things that don’t work for you, you’re going to have all kinds of addictions that are about jamming that chakra up. It’s not about speaking what you think. It’s not about speaking what you’re taught to think. It’s about standing up for what your soul believes to be true. Standing up for your heart.

When you speak from a spiritual place, you speak calmly, and you state your thoughts and feelings, and then you let go. It’s not aggressive, it doesn’t hurt others, or if it does, it’s only because of their attachments to lies, not because you are deliberately hurting them. You speak your truth and let it go. That is how to keep the throat chakra pure.
I tell people in situations where they cannot speak, that they must remain true to themselves, and speak the truth to themselves. They must be as honest as they can be with others, they must be honest in their actions… and whatever they cannot be honest about, they must be honest somewhere else. Tell a tree. Tell a sheet of paper. Whisper it to the wind. Tell the truth to something. It will help.

So now, connect to your throat chakras, and see what they are doing. If you see any blurring or blemishes, any places that are too dark, ask them why, what are they withholding. Listen to your truth. When you are ready… bathe it in that light, and cleanse it.
If your throat chakra is hurting you, ask it why, where the blockage is, or where you are underactive or overactive, and what you need to do to resolve it. That’s one thing that people seldom do that they really should do the most… talk to your chakras. ASK THEM TO TELL YOU WHAT’S GOING ON

Time to work on the third eye. The first thing you all need to know is… it’s not your third eye.
Your third eye is indigo, and has two petals. It rules the unseen world, the inner world, but also the astral world. What you see in your mind and what you see with magickal and psychic senses comes from here… but only what you SEE. Secondly, the third eye is actually the fifth eye. It’s located in the center of your forehead. Below it is your fourth eye, below which is your third eye at the bridge of your nose, and then your second eye is your left eye, and your first eye is your right. Above the fifth eye, you have two more eyes, the last one being at the hairline.

The fifth eye is also vastly different from your other chakras in that it is centered in the middle of your brain, in darkness, and also in that it’s start is on your forehead, and it’s petals bloom out the back of your head… so when working with this charka, instead of going from the back of your body to the front, you go from the front of your face to the back of your skull.

So everyone knows what the “third eye” looks like and what it does and where it’s located? At the curve of the skull as it heads towards the crown. Think… if you put your hair in a ponytail, it would be around that area. Hair is actually the third eye’s antenna

When you feel you have learned about any possible dysfunction, make a note to yourself about what’s going on and a solution… and then bring in the light to cleanse it. Remember that with this chakra, you go from the forehead to the back of the skull and out, not from the back of the skull out the forehead.

The final chakra is the crown chakra. It’s located at the fontinel of your skull. It is VERY large, larger than your hand. It has 1000 petals, and is white and purple. It covers from the hairline at your forehead, a whole cap around the top of your skull. The crown is all about knowledge.

The crown is all about being calm, being strong, knowing your own self and your own way. It’s also about being deeply connected with universal oneness. It’s about being in tune with everything in the world. The crown touches everything, and then the eye and the heart interpret it, and feed that interpretation back into the crown for you to understand.

Everyone, connect to your crown now, and look for any issues, or anything that you’re doing RIGHT… because the crown is all about rightness.
Keep in mind that the crown isn’t about losing sight of yourself, or losing your own boundaries or definitions of self. It’s not about becoming nothing. The crown is the seat of yourself, as you fit in the universe, just as much as it’s the seat of the universe as it fits in yourself.

A lot of people who work the LHP tend to think that the upper chakras will pull them off that path… that isn’t the case. If anything, the upper chakras can refine how they decide to act, by telling them about how they think and feel about the outside world, and how it returns the favor – they reinforce choice, rather than taking it away and forcing universal connections. You can’t force something that is omnipresent. You are in the universe. You can’t get more connected than that.

One last thing… ask your crown how your connections to source and yourself are. Ask to see those connections and make sure they are all in, and functioning correctly.

When you’ve all connected to your crowns, and made sure that everything you need to know is understood, bring in the light, and this time, wash it from your crown, all the way down to the soles of your feet and into the earth. At the SAME time, bring a SECOND light up from the core of the earth… and run it through your root and all the way up, out your crown, and into the center of the universe. When you feel completely refreshed, balanced, poised between heaven and earth… you can relax, center, ground, and call it done.

I told you I was tired and would forget something… If everyone would check their idas and pingalas and sushumni from their sacral up, that would be a good thing. Run the light through all five channels.

If your chakra is blocked or there is a problem with it, when you look at it or feel it, it will feel/look smudged, or you will feel pain associated with the area, or tightness, like a lump in your chest for a blocked heart chakra. Look for dark patches where the glow is diminshed or even extinguished.

If you can visualize your chakras and get nice sensations with those visualizations, chances are that your imagination is not in overdrive, but fairly accurate. If you’re concerned about the health of your chakras, simply do a cleansing and clearing exercise in addition to your usual meditation work, every time you work with them. Cleansing and clearing should be done daily, anyway. Trust me, if your chakras start having issues, you’ll know. It’ll start with emotional and mental issues, and swell into physical issues. There will be emotional swings, negative thoughts associated with the particular chakra, and then physical feelings – first almost like indigestion, slowly swelling to actual physical illness. You can check out google, as many websites mention the side-effects of having an imbalanced chakra and include the physical diseases… for example, if your solar plexus gets blocked enough to become unbalanced, you can end up with not only feelings of codependency and victimhood/powerlessness, but also diabetes and gall stones. See how it works?

I always SUGGEST to my chakras that they close after I’m finished working with them, but as with the elements and deities, it’s always a: close if you will, stay open if you must, kind of thing. They’ll slowly dial back down on thier own when they’re ready. Forcing them open or closed, and I don’t mean the gentle coaxing/asking but actual force, will cause blockages. Most meditations don’t mention closing them because most practitioners know that as you leave meditational space, and your brain ramps back up from theta levels to alpha levels, the chakras tend to close up on their own, because you’re becoming more connected to this here/now reality and less connected to your internal energetic reality. There’s less energy flow – not much, but it does become reduced – so they slowly ramp down. I, personally, prefer to, as a part of the meditation, just because I’m a neat and tidy kind of personality, ask them to close up before I begin to lift myself up out of that space. But that’s just me. It’s not necessary.

The OTHER Chakras

There are bone chakras and joint chakras, chakras for the organs, auric chakras…

There are seven chakras in each heel. Then there is the main foot chakra that’s split in half, one on one arch, the other on the other arch. There are chakras going up the back on either side of the spine. There are seven hearts, there are seven eyes, there are over a thousand crown chakras. There are chakras in your palms and chakras on each fingertip beyond the joint and bone chakras.

There are other extra chakras that relate to your other bodies – and while you have three bodies (physical, astral, and spiritual) there are seven planes each body exists on… so there are seven layers to each body, and each layer has its own chakras.

Then there are soul chakras.

It’s very complicated and we’ve only just begun to plumb the depths of the extremely complicated system of energetic structures that make up our experiences.

The reason I only usually write about the seven major physical chakras is because, before you even think about working with the minor chakras, or even advancing to the bone and joint chakras, before you think about mastering the chakras in the layers of your three bodies, and reach for soul chakras…

A good foundation, a balance and clear Major System, is absolutely necessary.

Without that… the potential for doing more harm than good is… obviously… extensive.

 

Empathic Auras

Here’s the thing about empaths that even most empaths don’t know.

Your auras are HUGE. Like, fill an entire house HUGE. You’ve learned to live inside other people, usually out of sheer defense. Almost all empaths are empaths due to lengthy trauma… so they learn to push their aura out to such a distance that they are ALWAYS PREPARED. It’s a survival mechanism.

I’ve yet to meet an empath who DIDN’T have an aura that invaded everyone else’s space.

So shielding often doesn’t work. If you shield your aura, but your aura is still large enough that other people are still INSIDE it, then you’ve shielded them inside with you.

The solution to empathy being so overwhelming is to work to pull your aura back into your original personal space. Because your aura is so large, you have issues with boundaries. You don’t have them. That allows for you to be constantly overwhelmed psychically, mentally, emotionally.

The first boundary you must set is your own. It’s hard work to reel in your aura, but it’s worth it. Then, when you need to, you can push it out to “taste” people and/or environments, but when you’re done, you can pull back in, cleanse (dump the toxins), and shield… REALLY shield, and just be alone in your head again.

Trust me… Get your aura under control, and being an empath will no longer be a curse.

-Raven

An Interesting Night

Before I went to sleep, I heard my phone’s alarm going off – when it actually wasn’t, because that happens to me sometimes. So, I stopped what I was doing and tried to figure out why I was hearing the sound of my phone’s alarm clock feature – what that might mean. The answer I got was, “Something has ended.”

This wasn’t much to go on, so I decided to do a tarot reading. When I asked what was ending I drew the ten of pentacles, which didn’t make much sense – what was I overburdened with that I viewed as a toil which was ending? So, for clarification, I drew a second card, which was the three of pentacles – meaning that my toil, my burden, of teaching others, is what is ending. I asked what that meant for my future, and I drew the ace of pentacles which means there is a new beginning, one that will bring me material security and success.

The first dream of the night, I remember someone asking me to conjure an Ubi, and I told them I didn’t want to conjure professionally, and they said, why don’t you conjure and send your work to others who can sell them for you? I said, ok, I give – I’ll try it. So, then I actually did a little conjure work for other sellers – using them as third parties so that I don’t get overworked. It was almost like… I couldn’t help but conjure, I loved it the way artists can’t stop painting. And… it seemed to work for me. I was conjuring, which I do love, but the rest of the mess that comes with conjuring for clients, was a non-issue. I conjured when I wanted, what I wanted, and when I wasn’t up to it, I didn’t worry about it.

 

The second dream of the night was more interesting. I woke up dizzy from it, and the house is hazy because of the number of beings now in it, so – this ACTUALLY HAPPENED, in a sense.

I was in a battle camp. We were at war, and my blood had healing properties, so I stayed at the camp (a precious comodity) and donated blood every so often, which they bagged, and when someone was injured, they recieved a bag of my blood to heal them. In the camp, there was a woman, an Ubi who was helping us as a spy – her brother was a prisoner of the other side, being forced to help that side, and so she was helping us with information from him in the hopes that when it was all over, we would help set him free and give them both a home on our side. We were getting ready to leave – it wasn’t clear if the war was over, but the fight was over right now, and my people were refusing to help her, because her brother was a spy for the other side. She was desperate to save him, and I felt that after all she’d done for us, we owed her. I went to my superiors and said I wanted to bind her and her brother, and they said, “Fine, ok, yes,” though they weren’t thrilled – it solved the problem but they really didn’t want the pair with us.

So, I took a knife with me (to cut myself for the blood I would need to bind them to me with), but when I got there, I found out that her entire CLAN was masterless, and without a master over the clan, they weren’t going to survive – and of course, I said “fuck it, I’ll bind them all” to which my superior who was the medic in charge of my blood said, “I knew you’d see it that way. Go ahead, you have my permission but don’t let any of the others know.”

I answered, “well, we’re going to need a lot more blood then,” so I went to where the clan was, and sent someone back to her to get the bags of blood I was going to need to do the bindings. Once the blood arrived, I poured it into a stone bowl, added water, and proceeded to take the stones that they were connected to, and bathe them with my hands in the blood, using my blood to bind them – it was hard, I kept losing focus, forgetting the words, but “I offer myself as a home and master to you should you choose me.” Every one of them said yes, so then I followed with this, for each and every stone: “I bind you to my physical body, my astral body, to my spirit, to my emotions, to my mind, and I bind myself to your physical body, your astral body, your spirit, your emotions, and your mind.”

Once they were bound, we were leaving, and I could only take what I could carry, so – I chose to take stones. At first, it was just stones with spirits or entities bound to them – I started binding angels, and Fu, and a lot of different spirits (so many that I don’t actually remember anymore) and every time I bound someone with that vow and they agreed, I FELT it connect. Once I got all the stones that were spirited or spelled bound, I started binding just… stones to me – I bound an entire bowl full of tiny cut diamonds, a TON of selenite, kyanite, charoite, and the like – I was just binding ALL my favorite gemstones at the end.

I woke up because I was spinning in my sleep, I’d gotten so drained and really, REALLY dizzy – and the whole house is so fuzzy now because of how much energy, beings and the like, are here now. There’s like, nine Ubi, and that’s just the tip of the iceburg.

So, basically, just bound a SHIT TON of entities, spirits, spells and energies in my sleep. And… I’m not sure even WHY.

Gonna class this as a holywhatthefuck dream.

 

Not Broken, Just… Unfinished

I went through life thinking about “wrong.”
I was dark thoughts of a dark world with a dark mind.
I lived divided, my holes made me wholly focused
On filling the emptiness.
But I wasn’t broken… Only unfinished.

There are no answers to all of my questions…
I lack experience. I lack perspective.
I don’t know anything – nothing makes sense –
Because I am a canvas, the brush, and the paint.
I am even the artist, and I’m painting my fate.
I’m not broken, just… unfinished.

I have my shadows, and they make my image.
I don’t need fixing – I’m not wrong for being.
I’m a whole person, a whole painting in motion,
A tapestry growing, a river evolving.
I am not broken, and I’m not finished.

Now say this again, but say that it’s you.
No more cutting yourself up,
Or tearing you down.
Say it again, and think of all others.
Those that you care for,
And those that you don’t.
They don’t need to be fixed –
They’re not wrong for being –
None of them broken – only unfinished.

No matter what judgment you place on another,
No matter their actions,
No matter their trouble…
No one is broken. We’re all just unfinished.

And you’re not my brush, not my artist, nor paint.
And I wouldn’t presume to edit your image,
Because you’re unfinished and not quite like me…
I’m sharing this mainly because I think you can’t see…
No one is broken. We’re all just unfinished.

-Raven

Today At Sunrise

I frequently see the sunrise, but today was special.

It was special because I stopped and took notice. I stopped doing, and just let the scene unfold.

There was a blogpost in my email last night, from Blue Flame Magick’s Kalgini, about Magick Routines – those rituals that you do daily, even in your down time – maybe ESPECIALLY in your down times, because that’s when you need them most.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve developed a magickal routine for the first time in my 39 years of practice. Not that I haven’t had long stretches in my life where every day, I made magick and spirituality to be a part of my day, but – I’ve never had a set routine for it – never had a “This specific thing happens at this time, every day.”

I’ll admit, I’m not hardwired for routine… and I’m not afraid to say no, when there’s something going on that suggests that I should take time off. Last night, and the night before, I did no bonding with my spiritual family – the night before last was a bit rough for me, health-wise – it wasn’t safe for me to walk. If it’s not safe for me to walk, then it’s not safe for me to expend energy in a magickal practice – magickal practice does not only take energy – it lowers blood sugar by sometimes over 30 points, can cause dehydration, can remove vital minerals from the body, and can wreak havoc on a destabilized body or mind. (YES, THERE HAS BEEN RESEARCH. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE. Which is why we eat and drink after any magickal or spiritual practice. Protein and fluids, boys and girls, and a refocusing on this world – that’s how you stay healthy and sane.) I stayed in bed, and gave my apologies to those whom I owed one. Last night, I also stayed in bed, because after I have a bad day, I generally give myself another day off, to make sure I’m ok – to make sure that it’s safe for me to expend the energy. As you get older, you learn these things – to conserve your energy, and to pay attention to your own needs, bodily and mentally, first.

But, the post about magickal ritual reminded me that even if I’m not in a place where I feel I can expend energy doing something spiritual or magickal… there’s spiritual practice in the every day, which costs you nothing.

So today, I watched the sun rise… and this is what I experienced.

 

As the sky slowly turned from black to pale, and the undersides of the strip of clouds to the east began to ripple with umber, the constant susurration of the cars on the highway in the distance almost hid the sound of crows. They flew in packs of five and six – and always, they called out to each other in their little groups. They land as a group in their spot for the morning… but there’s always one that waits. One that is about half a minute behind the rest. After they have flown and landed, one crow follows, calling out – and they answer, so that that single crow can find his pack, and join them. He stays behind, you see, to watch for danger. Birds of prey from above, beasts from below – he watches for trouble while the others seek out resources for the group. Once they are safe in their new location, then they call to him, and he flies off to find them… and halfway there, he calls, to hear from them where to go.

The light on the undersides of the clouds made them look like an upside-down ocean… sun-capped, shining waves, inverted upon the land. When you looked, as the clouds moved, you could feel the whole world moving.

It’s probably leftover vertigo from the night before last, but I’m always awed by those moments when I can feel the sky turning above me.

Well before the sun rose, a single light shone in the dawn sky – Lucifer, Venus, the Morning Star, rising before the sun, cheeky as always, so that before I greeted the sun, I greeted the Favorite… though as things stand, I suppose that’s exactly as it should be. I’ve always preferred the gentle, small, quiet lights over the brashness of day. Well before the fire crested the hills, SHe was gone – hidden by the light SHe heralds.

Occasionally, a lone sparrow would speed through the air, cheeping in hope of finding the flock. I found four of them huddled together on a power line, fluffed up in the cool morning air… but they did not reply to the lone ones at all. Now that the sun is fully up, they shriek to each other, unafraid… but in those long minutes when the sky was lit with molten gold, but the day had not truly crested the horizon, they silently faced the west, into the dark, and waited.

Every now and then, the scent of baking sugars wafted towards me on the cool morning air, as the three restaurants not even a block away woke up and began to prepare for the daily commuters, come to get their coffee and sweet breakfast treats. It reminded me of my own baking projects, and the urge to bake cookies so I could lick the smell right out of the air.

Behind me, occasionally, my three cats would twitch as they watched the world wake up – ears perking, tail tips swishing, eyes taking in everything they could. Every eye, ear, and tail flick was a subtle suggestion for the observation of a morning in motion.

As the sun crested, I finished my tea, shifted my weight on my cold, aching bare feet, and turned to go back inside. The sky was nearly white – all the darkness above the clouds gone, all the golds, fuschias, and steel blues washed out by the rising of the day star. It didn’t take long for the warmth to begin to soak back into the world.

The cats began to beg for attention, breakfast, morning treats… and the drowsiness that always comes on me after daybreak began to seep into my head like wool, clouding the memories, wiping them away again with shadow.

I brewed another cup of tea… offered this small rose of experience to those who wish… and now I can sleep.

Dream deep,
-Raven

Uncontrolled Psychic Vampires

Raven’s Notes:

There are plenty of psychic vampires out there who know that they are psychic vampires, and do not just go around attacking people. They control their abilities, and they don’t exhibit symptoms of emotional vampirism, unlike the uncontrolled psychic vampires described above. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ACCIDENTAL EMOTIONAL FEEDER AND A CONTROLLED PSYCHIC VAMPIRE.

Also understand that EVERY human can, and will, accidentally vamp someone else at some time in their lives. When you go visit a friend or relative who is ill, and afterwards you feel extremely drained, it’s because they have taken some of your energy to help them get better faster. When people are feeling emotionally injured, or are dealing with mental illness, when people are attempting to dominate others, or when people are enraged, they will vamp. It’s what humans DO.

Please understand that this post was in no way a jab at psychic vampirism at all. Or at you. As a feeder myself, I understand that when you don’t feed, physical illness follows… and there is nothing wrong with feeders of any sort.

The point of this post was not to point at controlled, healthy psychic vampires, but to explore the fact that EVERYONE is a feeder every once in awhile, AND that there are uncontrolled, unknowing psychic vampires out there. I have met a few. I knew a girl who could drain an entire room of 20 people in under five minutes…. and had no clue she was doing it.

I don’t believe that taking a WILLING person’s energies is evil, or wrong. That would be silly – they’re willing, and we need to feed. And we don’t harm our donors. In fact, the relationship is, as you have said, quite symbiotic. We help, we heal. And there are the rare few out there who are so charged with energy that if we do not find them and help them, they die. They FRY. It’s a horrible way to go. We are a necessary part of human ecology.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a predator. Without lions to kill the sick and the wounded, the whole herd dies. Without psychic vampires to feed on the malaise of the world, humans would do far more festering and rotting than they already do.
However, there are feeders out there who do not know they are feeders. While no one here, I feel, would be an enemy to someone like that, knowing the signs of a feeder in distress, knowing how to protect yourself, and knowing where to send them (House Kheperu is where I usually refer them, because I have no patience with teaching), is important.

Someone who is a willing donor doesn’t need this information… but people who are unwilling donors to the sick, the ignorant, the out of control, DO need this information.
If you suspect that you are a true psychic vampire (someone who needs to feed all the time or your health begins to fail), rather than a short term stress feeder like most humans, please seek out resources to learn to control your abilities, and learn the rules of your people.

The best website that I know of as a resource for psychic vampires is http://kheperu.org/

 

https://www.thoughtco.com/how-a-psychic-vampire-attack-happens-1724677

What is a Psychic Vampire?

A psychic vampire (psy vamp) is a term used to describe a living person who “drains” others emotionally. They do this either empathically (draining the auric life force) or metaphorically (someone who takes emotionally without giving anything back; a “user”). These so-called “vampires” are not to be confused with the blood-sucking vampires of folklore and movieland.

Every person has unknowingly drained someone else’s energy at one time or another.

Chronic psychic vampires generally are not aware that they are stealing energy from others. Fair and balanced energy exchanges take place between people who are in healthier relationships.

Individuals who are psychic vampires are also referred to as psi vamps, energy drains, or energy suckers.

How a Psychic Attack Happens

When a psychic attack takes place, the psychic vampire receives an energy surge while the victim experiences fatigue.

People who suck the energy of others normally do so unwittingly. This sucking takes place when one’s energy is depleted and needs to be replenished, and as a result, sucks the energy of another person. It is not unusual for a person who is ill or feeling inadequate emotionally to draw upon or deplete energized individuals of their life force. These so-called suckers are not bad people, most of them are not aware on a conscious level that they are doing what they are doing.

Still, their unknowing actions can play havoc with anyone who leaves an energetic opening for this type of thievery. It is important for us to be aware that we may be susceptible to having our energies stolen from us and learn ways to protect ourselves.

Where is the Harm?

The harm in a psychic attack is that there is no fair exchange of energy and therefore one feels depleted while the other becomes energized.

Traits of a Psychic Vampire

experiences feelings of abandonment or rejection
needs constant reassurance
never feels satisfied
seeks nurturing
low energy – fatigue

Each of us has psychic-vampire tendencies that sometimes needs to be put into check.

Symptoms of Psychic Attack

leaky or diminishing aura
dizziness
loss of energy
muscle tension
mental confusion
headaches
chronic fatigue
sleep disturbances
irritability
depressed mood
physical illness

Protection Against Psychic Attack

Awareness: Become aware of which individuals deplete your energy and limit your contact with them.

Invoke the White Light: Visualize a bubble of white light surrounding your auric field.

Energy Shields: Carry protective amulets.

Note: Highly Sensitive Persons are especially at risk to being harmed by energy drains.

 

 

Now – if you suspect you are the victim of an uncontrolled (or unethical) psychic vampire, here is a list of protective and healing amulets that you can carry or keep in your environment to protect yourself.

https://www.thoughtco.com/healing-amulets-talismans-and-fetishes-1728673

01 Healing Objects – Amulets, Talismans, and Fetishes

You may not realize it but it is likely you have objects in your home that have a history as healing amulets, protective guards or good luck charms.

Lucky pennies, four-leaf clovers, and a rabbit’s foot are all examples of good luck charms. Aside from these commonly-known good luck amulets, there are many other objects that can be used as intentional tools to attract good luck, happiness, or prosperity. These include the Beckoning Cat, horseshoes, wishbones, Buddha statues, Saint Christopher pendants, bamboo plants, wishing wells, witch balls, worry dolls, hand symbols, and heart charms.

Sacred items such as crystals and gemstones, dried herbs, feathers, ancient symbols, etc. are often used during healing rituals and ceremonies and by holistic healing practitioners.

These healing items can be found tucked inside medicine pouches, crafted in jewelry to be worn as body guards, their use incorporated into healing sessions, or displayed in sacred spaces and home altars

02 Turkish Evil Eye Charms

Evil eyes are protective charms designed to protect the wearer from distrustful or menacing persons with “evil eyes.” The charms also guard individuals against any unseen negative forces that may come looking for them. The idea of some people possessing “evil eyes” originated from instinctual feelings or “hunches” assumed whenever a person’s eyes did not appear trustworthy (shifty or mean). Unfortunately, this means that people with squinted or crossed eyes have been unfairly scapegoated throughout history.

An evil eye charm works by deflecting harmful intent whenever evil looks in your face. Possessing or wearing the evil eye charm as a protective amulet is based on the belief that evil can only harm you if it peers at you directly into your eyes. The evil forces are tricked by the evil eye charm. Rather than evil looking at you eye-to-eye it directs its focus on the evil eye charm where it can do no harm.

Protective evil eye charms are typically worn, carried, or placed in homes. They are also used to guard individuals and corporations against financial losses or poor business dealings.

03 Eye of Horus

The Egyptian Eye of Horus, also called the all-seeing eye, is a protective amulet that keeps guard with an open eye to evil, blocking its menacing ways. It is likened to the falcon god (son Geb and Nut). Potential evils include ill health, thievery, ignorance, and poverty.

Some new agers believe the Eye of Horus symbol serves as a gateway between the third and fourth (astral plane) dimensions. Pairs of eye of horas images are representative of the sun and moon.

04 Zuni Fetishes

Zuni fetishes are Native American objects used as a meditation tool to assist inner reflection and enhance personal insight. Zuni refers to a specific tribe originating in the southwestern region of North America (New Mexico, west of Albuquerque). The animal-shaped carvings were initially made to help the hunter communicate with the game being sought after. For example, a hunter would focus on the animal spirit asking for the animals to honor him by sacrificing its own life so that his tribe could survive.

Other Zuni fetishes were used to learn the lessons various animals could teach mankind. They were also used as gateway tools for communication with the spirit world.

05 Beckoning Cat / Maneki Neko

Japanese in origin, the Beckoning Cat or maneki neko, is a protective and good luck talisman. This cat figurine with its raised paw brings success, prosperity, good health, and happiness.

Beckoning cats come in different colors. Each color offers a different focus in as to what it invites into your life. A gold cat beckons prosperity, black cats beckon good health, white cats beckon happiness.

A Beckoning Cat with its left raised paw is commonly placed in the entry way of a business or near the cash register inviting sales and successes. In the home, a right pawed Beckoning Cat will typically be placed near the entrance of the home or sits on a window sill to attract happiness and good luck.

Smaller likenesses of the Beckoning Cat are worn on the body to ward off illness and protect the wearer from pain and suffering.

06 Egyptian Scarabs

The Egyptian scarab amulet represents immortality and the belief in reincarnation. Egyptians wore scarab amulets to protect them from death. Scarabs were also included in their burials to insure a safe journey into the afterlife.

The Egyptian scarab symbolizes the dung-beetle. The dung-beetle was revered in by the Egyptians for its actions rolling dung balls across the earth. Egyptians believed the beetle’s laborious activity emulated the rotation of the sun, thus awarding the scarab “God Status.”

07 Rosary Beads

The Rosary or prayer beads are used by many different religions and cultures. Beads, gemstones, seeds, or knots are strung together in a continuous loop or on a singular strand. They are also used as a counting tool for reciting prayers.

Although the utilitarian purpose of the rosary is to track prayerful recitations it is also used as a protective amulet against evil forces and all as well as to help its owner to stay on a moral path.

Over the years, beads have been considered to be protective amulets when worn around the neck or hung up somewhere long before they were ever crafted in rosaries. The hole in the center has also been interpreted as a watchful eye to ward off evil and illness. For this reason, beads were a perfect choice for counting prayers.

Catholic Rosary Beads have 150 beads strung in a circular fashion. The beads are divided up in five sets of ten beads each. A larger bead is placed between the sets. A crucifix is typically used as the beginning/ending of the prayer session.

Greek Orthodox Rosary, called kombologion, consists of 103 knots. These are separated in fourths, twenty-five smaller knots each. Three large beads and a pendant are used as markers between the sets.

Russian Orthodox Rosary, called vervista, has 103 knots or beads as well. The beads are placed in groupings of 17, 40, 12, and 33.

Buddhist and Hindu Rosaries (Mala Beads) consist of 108 beads. The mala bracelet typically has 21 beads.

Moslem Rosary, called tasbih, consist of 99 beads. There is also a lesser rosary of only 33 beads. Both of these rosaries have a tassel on the end of the string.

08 The Hagoday Door-Knocker

The Hagoday is a door-knocker fashioned after a fierce looking beast holding a ring inside its mouth. The Hagoday is commonly found on the entryway of safe haven locations such as churches, monasteries, cathedrals, etc. Legend has it that a fugitive could seek refuge and protection inside buildings with the Hagoday adorning its front door.

09 Shiva Lingam Stones

The Shiva Lingam is also known as a “love” stone and is often paired with the Yoni. The Shiva Lingam symbolizes the male genitals and the yoni symbolizes the female genitals. However, the Shiva Lingam is also representative of both the male and female energies because of its egg shape. Egg-shaped gemstones and amulets are used in rebirthing and creation rituals.

Remedy Benefits of Shiva Lingam Stones:

  • Activates Kundalini
  • Energy Booster/Balancer
  • Enhances Fertility
  • Treats Impotence
  • Manifestation Power
  • Resonates with the Heart Chakra
  • Balances Yin and Yang Energies

10 Feathers

Feathers are our connection to the “air” forces. A healer can incorporate the use of feathers in different ways.  The healer may breathe through a feather during a toning session. Chanting sounds through a feather on client’s body can elicit a powerful healing.

The feather can also be useful in cleaning auras. An individual feather can be used or several can be tied together to be used as a fan or whisk for sweeping away stagnant or negative energies. This sweeping technique is called feathering.

11 Mandalas

Mandala is a sanskrit word meaning “circle” or “encircle.” The mandala, and circles in general, symbolize the cycle of life. Although not all mandalas are circular, they are traditionally symmetrical, tapping into the wisdom behind sacred geometry. Mandalas themselves, as well as depictions of mandalas, can be used for transformational or meditative purposes.

Mandalas can be displayed as beautiful pieces of art in your home for delight you visually. But, they serve a larger purpose. Location of a mandala is important. Place them in sacred spaces as a shield to keep negative energies from infiltrating the area, or anywhere where you sense an air of vulnerability. This could be in an entryway, a hallway, bedroom, even inside a closet or bathroom.

Mandalas can be made using a variety of different art mediums including paint, glass, fabric, macrame, sand paintings, computer graphics, and more. I imagine macaroni glued to a paper plate could be considered a mandala if that was your intent. Consider how a chef artfully prepares a nutritious and colorful menu. He serves the meal it to his patron on a dinner plate. That plate represents a “whole universe” filled with his culinary creation… a mandala to be blessed and consumed.

Creating your own mandala can be healing in of itself, it is truly an introspection process. Simply allow yourself to discover those creative juices within that have been waiting for an opportunity to ooze or splat out.  If you are having difficulty getting started, begin my doodling a few circles or spirals onto a notepad. Later on, you can move to a larger canvas.

12 Cowrie Shells

Cowrie shells were worn as amulets in several ancient cultures so they have varied meanings and purposes.

Eye Amulets placed in the eye-sockets of corpses to give sight and new perspective in the afterlife.
Protective Evil Eye Guards for beasts of burden.
Necklaces were made from cowrie shells were placed on elephants, horses, and camels to protect them from attacks.
Ceremonial Headdresses adorned with cowrie shells were common in Nigeria.
Fertility Symbol due to the cowrie’s appearance similar to the female genitalia.
Used as a protector against infertility and to ensure an easy childbirth delivery. Also worn in the girdles of young women who desire pregnancy.

13 Ganesha

Ganesha (also called Ganesh or Elephant God ) is a prominent god in the Hindu religion. In appearance it has an elephant head, its human-like body has multiple arms/hands. Ganesha is depicted in various poses, both sitting, standing, or dancing. Original figurines were carved out of jade, ivory, onyx, and ebony. Today you can find inexpensive Ganesha statues made of molded resin materials. There are also figurines made from metal such as copper. Silver and gold charms are also crafted.

Ganesha’s power is that of good luck in general. But it’s primary talent is to crush ills with its formidable trunk. Thus it dubbed “Remover of Obstacles.” It keeps trouble and difficulties at bay. It makes an excellent guardian of the home, protecting the dwelling itself as a bonus bringing fortune to the inhabitants.

14 Shamocks

The shamrock, a three-leaf clover, is well known globally as a lucky charm. The shamrock originates from Ireland where it was first used as a protective amulet. A shamrock was carried whenever a person may be in situation that could possibly bring harm such as battle or traveling far from home.

The shamrock emblem was adorned on garments as protective symbols that were worn both in India and Arabia.

The Celts were attracted to the shamrock because of its heart-shaped leaves, and viewed it as a magical totem.

The Christians adopted the pagan shamrock, attributing its three leaves as representative of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost). St. Patrick is recognized in the Christian faith to have given the shamrock symbol its sacred status.

15 Armadillo Amulet

The armadillo is used as a shielding amulet. This is due to the armor it wears. Unlike us humans with our soft flesh, the armadillo has a hardshell defensive body that protects it from its natural predators. A small carved amulet can be carried in your pocket, a one depicted in jewelry could be worm on the body. A larger one can be placed in a retail business to guard against break-ins. Or place an armadillo in your car to keep you safe from car accidents and fender benders. A  more modern day shielding amulet could be a knight in armor figurine.

16 Witch Balls

Glass orbs called “witch balls” are hung in the window to protect homes from evil spirits. The witch ball attracts any evil spirits that may be lurking about. Once lured to its beauty, negative energies are trapped inside the witch ball where they can do no harm.

Other names for the witch ball include fairy orbs, spirit balls, and gazing balls. An outdoor version is the reflective garden globe found in gardens that sit upon pedestals amidst the flowers.

17 Wishbones

The wishbone of a chicken or turkey is broken as a ritual for wish fulfillment. Breaking the wishbone is a traditional good-luck ritual often used after a family holiday dinner, usually Christmas or Thanksgiving.

To follow the full ritual the wishbone is set aside for 3 days, allowing it to dry and become brittle. The wishbone is named “merrythought” and is handed over to two individuals to pull apart.

Each person wraps their little finger around one side of the wishbone and tugs at it when a signal is given. Prior to tugging a secret wish is formed in the mind. When the wishbone snaps the person holding the piece with the center section still attached will supposedly get his wish fulfilled.

As an amulet the wishbone represents wish fulfillment and is sometimes artistically represented in gold or silver pendants or brooches.

The term “getting a lucky break” originated from the wishbone ritual, referring to having received abundance or winning a prize.

The wishbone has also been used as a fertility charm. Maidens would hang wishbones over the doorway in their homes to attract a suitor to their hearth.

18 Mistletoe

Historically, sprigs of mistletoe were hung above the entryways of homes as a protective amulet to keep demonic forces such as witches and devils from entering. Mistletoe was also hung inside barns as a defensive measure.

The Christmas tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is thought to have happened as result of the season when mistletoe is abundant and because of the entrance of the home being where greetings and welcome kisses were commonly exchanged.

19 Pi Disc

Simplistic good luck charm originating in China is the pi disc (aka pi stone). It is to be worn or carried in the pocket to be used as a type of worry stone. Whenever you are facing difficulty the person is to hold it between finger and thumb and rub it until danger or struggle has ebbed.

The hole in the middle represents passageway to the afterlife and was used as protective amulets for the dead in their burial rituals.

20 Worry Dolls

Worry dolls, sometimes called trouble dolls, are miniature dolls made from scraps of colorful woven cloth, yarn, and wee sticks. The dolls generally measure one to two inches from head-to-toe and are used as protective amulets or healing talismans. They originate from Guatemala and are widely available in world markets and on the internet. You will often find them packaged with four to six worry dolls tucked inside a cloth drawstring bag or small box along with a slip of paper detailing the folklore story about how the dolls got their name.

The dolls are not meant to be played with as toys, but worry dolls can be given to children to teach them how to express worries and handle anxieties. They can also be used as a fashion statement—I’ve seen a row of these tiny colorful dolls attached to girls’ barrettes and headbands. You can purchase worry dolls in bulk for your art projects or craft your own worry dolls using a variety of different materials such as glue, dental floss, yarn, embroidery floss, toothpicks, beads, pipe cleaners, and fabric swatches.

How to Free Yourself from Worries

At bedtime you tell your dolls what your worries are, assigning one worry per doll. Your dolls are then placed underneath your pillow. The dolls are now in possession of your worries, leaving you free to sleep peacefully. In the morning, all your worries are gone, having been processed and scooted away by the dolls.

 

-Raven

The Inner Landscape Part 2

MagickFromtheMysts wrote:

The second will be a meeting space of some kind, where guidance can be sought – no guidance should ever be deliberately brought in – that is, you should never summon a spirit, ancestor, god, guide, or other metaphysical entity into your soul’s home. If they have permission to be there, they will be able to arrive at the meeting place set aside for such things. If they do not have permission to be there, there are reasons and unless you are very skilled and very comfortable with your ownership of your garden, you should not invite them.

darkwing wrote:

This is interesting : )
Can you explain more about the risks and maybe examples of the negative effects of inviting entities to the garden? And what to do to remedy those effects?

 

OK… I want to start out by saying, I’m sorry.

I have been practicing magick my entire life. Magick is so second-nature to me that sometimes, I fail to recognize what actually constitutes advanced practice, and what is safe for general consumption.

When I first read your comments, I had a strong emotional reaction, because to me, the risks are self-evident, and the remedies also. As an author, I have failed my audience and I deeply regret that.

However, having opened this can of worms, I think it’s best that I participate in the damage control, simply because this post is already out here, and people have already read it.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to grow.

That being said, on to the meat of your questions.

THE RISKS –

I’m not sure what you know about Possession. The image that you are exploring in this concept isn’t just your imagination. It is literally an image of your soul which you can interact with. Those interactions have consequences. Your Inner Landscape IS YOUR SOUL. If you invite something into your soul that does not already have an invitation, it’s possession.

Possession can ONLY occur when you agree to it, BECAUSE it happens to your body and your soul. I know that sounds like blaming the victim, but it really isn’t. Just because you’re tricked into saying yes, didn’t know what you were doing, does not make you less a victim. Also, most beings are not interested in possessions because bodies are freaking messy. When I say that possession requires permission, I mean that absolutely, because this is your body, your soul, your spirit, you… you have complete control over permissions about what happens. You own yourself – no one else does.

Exorcisms, believe it or not, are actually mostly theatrical, to convince the person under the influence that they actually do have control and that they have permission to say NO. The moment the victim says no, the possession ends. Needing to believe that a god is on your side and supporting you saying no is sometimes an essential part of taking back control. The fight over control can be dramatic, because the person possessed isn’t just fighting the entity, but also themselves. In the most damaging cases of possession, the victim is almost always a deeply spiritual person who has been convinced by years of training that they are a victim to the spiritual forces in the world, that they do not have control over their souls or their bodies or their fate. These people need theatrics to convince them that they have a power on their side which gives them permission to fight back.

This is also why many exorcisms are unsuccessful. If you already believe you have no power over what happens to you, if you already believe that only external beings have the right to say what happens to you, then it becomes a question of who you believe is stronger. If you do not feel enough support from your faith, the exorcism will fail because you believe that the entity possessing you is stronger than you and your support.

There are sacred experiences of possession – by Loa, gods, etc. These experiences are based on very specific general terms for the practitioner undergoing such possessions, and if you choose to allow something like this, setting healthy boundaries are very important. As a person who has been Morrigan’s Horse a time or two without understanding that I needed to set boundaries, I can attest to the fact that if you are not careful to talk with the possessing being, and set those boundaries, the experience is decidedly uncomfortable, as are the results.

As a person who has been possessed by a being that was NOT a deity, I can also say that the experience is uncomfortable for everyone involved. Long term possession ends in the destruction of the body simply because the possessing being wants OUT. It’s as much a trap for them as it is for you.

 

Everyone that enjoys a human experience has a spiritual crew that works with and for them. This crew includes ancestors, guides, and deities. It includes messengers and teachers, both of the temporary and long term varieties. Your crew and your own soul, who both know most about your journey through this lifetime, know what you need most to experience and learn, and what you do not. Access directly into your soul image is strictly limited by both your crew and your soul to keep you safe, and prevent you from being drawn out of your journey. I’m not saying that possession isn’t part of the journey for some people, but I am saying that it can be a distraction, and possession by some beings, especially long term possession, can be destructive enough that you end up having to start all over again. Sometimes, that’s what people choose – the movie about Emily Rose expresses that quite clearly. She chose to die possessed because she believed that being possessed and losing her life would strengthen the faith of other Catholics. Again, you see CHOICE.

 

When you are in your Soul Garden and you are interacting with the deepest essence of yourself, with what is really true about you, when you meet a guide there, whatever that guide appears to be, it is something that your soul and your spiritual Crew have decided is safe for you to have in your garden. The invitations are temporary, and job specific. Sometimes, the guides are actually aspects of your own self. Sometimes the experiences and lessons of the guides allowed into your Soul’s Home are difficult, even painful, but they will always be absolutely necessary to your growth as a person, and to your healing.

Shamans and healing practitioners can gain access to your Inner Landscape. Again, it’s with permission. They cannot enter without it – even if they mean well. This protects you from beings and people that will alter your core self against your purposes. MANIPULATION OF THE SOUL IMAGE CHANGES WHO YOU ARE.

Just think about that for a moment. I’m sure you will understand how dangerous inviting something in that did not already have permission can be. Inviting something into your soul image is literally giving permission for things to change, even corrupt, the essential you.

 

As to how you remedy the effects of a corrupted soul garden – that’s simple, and at the same time, so complicated I’m really not sure how to explain it. The concept of absolute control is difficult for most people to comprehend, but in your Soul Image, you have that. Unequivocally, you own yourself. This means that if the soul image is corrupted, while others who have permission can enter your soul garden and help you fight back, ultimately, it’s you that must do the fighting, and you that must clean up your house… and because soul images are so deeply personal, how you do that will also be specific to you.

If someone or something entered my soul garden and the consequences were not acceptable to me, my entire garden would rise up and fight back. The very roots, the weather, my whole being would fight to remain whole and uncorrupted. Whether the source of that corruption would survive to be evicted or not, whether I would survive or not, the very landscape of my soul would fight. But, I’m familiar with my landscape. I know how to make it fight. I’ve worked with it long enough, it’s instinctive. So are my boundaries, my protections.

If your image of your soul is a car, and something breaks, you have to think like a mechanic to fix it. If your image of your soul is a cave and something enters that does not belong, how would that cave, or anything in it, fight to evict that thing? If your image of your soul is that of a planet, would you use the lessons from the movie Avatar to fight? You use what you know.

The issue here is that imagery of the soul, and reactions of the soul, are so terribly personal and based on your experiences and understanding of yourself and your universe. It’s YOUR language that you’re speaking there.

To explain how personal, I’m going to use an example from a book on dreams I read so long ago I cannot quote the source. The example goes like this:

You have a dream where the color blue is a major figure. Blue, for most people, has a standard meaning of healing or tranquility. However, in your past, you experienced a tragic car accident. The car that destroyed your life at that time was blue. In your dreams now, the color blue always has that attached emotional burden – blue means tragedy and trauma to you. This is how your language forms.

When I say you have to do research, I don’t just mean that when you see a bee hive in your soul home that you look up the meaning of bees in dream symbology and what a bee totem symbolizes, what that guidance might suggest to you… I also mean that you should look to yourself. If you’re highly allergic to bees, then bee means something different to you than it does to most of rest of the collective unconscious. If you saw someone die, or saw someone seriously hurt because of bees, that meaning will carry over.

In psychology, the term is Media. All words, all images have media attached. I’ve used this example before, but it fits here, too. When I say Knife, and say Kitchen – immediately the image of knife has a load of media attached which is very specific. Knife on its own can have a multitude of images, feelings, baggage, but the moment you add a secondary media to it, the meaning codifies into something recognizable and solid. When I say Knife and Alley, the meaning changes. When I say Knife and Table, the meaning changes again. When I say Knife and Artist, without a third word, there is a load of possibilities. I could say Knife, Artist, and Wood, and you immediately get meaning from that which is specific again. If I say Knife, Artist, and Movie, then again, another host of possibilities occur.

All of these meanings are attached to the word Knife, to the image of a knife. All these possibilities. Which means that Knife means all these concepts. That’s media. And every word, every concept, every symbol – colors, stones, plants, objects, people, deities, EVERYTHING, is laden with its own media. The trick when working with dreams, and with your soul image, is to understand your own personal world of media, and how it is similar to the collective understanding of media, and how it is individual to your own experiences – where it differs.

Once you are able to understand your own personal language, you are capable of doing anything you wish in your Soul Home. If you have a phobia of bees, you know when bees appear that you are confronting that phobia, the roots of it – where the phobia began – you are being confronted with that media, for a very specific reason. The eviction of those bees from your landscape will involve you using your ability to manipulate your inner landscape and the media involved. If you feel the color blue expresses trauma, when you see something in your soul garden that is blue, it is an invitation to work with that trauma. Say your image is that of a sunlit forest, and as you’re walking, you come across a swath of blue material caught on the undergrowth. Are there more patches and do you follow that path? Do you unravel it? Do you take it and dye it? What do you do? Why? What does that swath of blue material mean? Why is it there?

You see, now, why defense of the garden is SO individual that I cannot explain it beyond these general terms, I’m sure. However, the more you work within your Soul Home, the easier such things will become.

Every step is the beginning of another journey. Walk brightly and with beauty.
-Raven

The Inner Landscape

It has been referred to as the Soul’s Garden, the Soul Home, the Inner Temple, the Inner Landscape, and many other ways. It is, in essence, our internal record of our deepest selves made manifest by imagery.

There are many ways to reach the Inner Landscape, and many layers to the landscape itself. There are also some commonalities among all landscapes.

The usual approach to entering the inner landscape uses a visual access point, such as a cave, tree knot, tunnel, doorway, or other symbolic entrance, with the express intent of entering the Self. In varying terms, this is called Entering the Dreaming Way, Journeying, The Journey to the Underworld, The Journey through the Tree of Life, etc. Always it is referred to with the idea of gateways leading to a myriad of realms, our current state of awareness being only one of an infinite multitude. Your entrance into your inner landscape must be of your own devising, because it is YOUR landscape, so individual to yourself that only you can find your own gateway to it, though if you are used to a journeying process, while the doorway will be unique, the mechanics will be the same. For the sake of those new to the process, journeying is the act of using the mind to travel. It is not a difficult process – as long as you have daydreamed, you have traveled. Controlling how you travel, when, and where you go is the challenging aspect to begin with. Intent must always be the guide.

It is simplest to visualize a doorway – any door image will do, though I personally prefer to make my doorways unique and appealing to my aesthetics – that either symbolizes your travel intentions, or bears symbology upon it. For instance, a door with a window, whose view looks out into the place you wish to travel to; a door with a tarot card upon it that symbolizes the aspects you wish to face; a door with the appropriate symbols for the realm – sephiroth, elemental, runic, etc. The realms and your own grasp of cosmology and symbolism are all you need. The chakras, energy centers throughout the body centered around nerve clusters, have also been used as symbolic gateways, with the two most often used being the heart nadir over the thymus glad, and the mental eye, centered over the pineal gland. A visualization of a spiral staircase, or even an elevator, with floor numbers which represent layers of the self, or layers of reality as understood by the traveler, will also work. The shamanic version is even simpler – any dark opening into the earth such as a cave, into the depths of a tree through a hollow, even a tunnel that you dig for yourself, will do – as long as your intent for where the opening will lead you is clear before you begin your travel.

Once you have your doorway and you have set your destination clearly in your mind, simply enter. You may have to go a distance, or you may simply arrive immediately at your chosen destination. You may need to wait for the door’s permission to cross – there are realms that require specific rituals, there are guardians to be appeased, challenges to be met, but for the Inner Landscape, travel and arrival should be fairly simple. If you are unused to journeying, moving beyond this step in the beginning is not recommended.

Your Inner Landscape is a reflection of yourself. It should be instantly recognizable. It is also malleable to an extent. Your psychological and spiritual challenges, perspectives, and behavior will be described through the imagery you find there. For instance, a person who is closed off, highly protective of themselves, may find themselves in a small, defined and confined space, such as a closed cave. The structures do not have to be natural. I met someone who’s soul garden began as a metallic half-domed structure, including the floor, which was all of one piece. The internal space (there was no exterior) was completely empty. It took this person a lot of emotional work to change this image into something more open and workable. I have read descriptions of other Inner Landscapes which included barren moons, deserts, English gardens, rainforests, ocean reefs, and even once an exotic nebula.

For most people, the area will also include several structures. The most obvious of these structures will be some form of protective barrier, which keeps the soul’s home from being interfered with by others who do not have your best interests in mind. The second will be a meeting space of some kind, where guidance can be sought – no guidance should ever be deliberately brought in – that is, you should never summon a spirit, ancestor, god, guide, or other metaphysical entity into your soul’s home. If they have permission to be there, they will be able to arrive at the meeting place set aside for such things. If they do not have permission to be there, there are reasons and unless you are very skilled and very comfortable with your ownership of your garden, you should not invite them. The third aspect will be a place of travel to other realms. This place may not be immediately obvious if you are not yet familiar with other realms or with journeying.

There are several things to be noted about the soul’s home aside from its general appearance, which will indicate where you are on your spiritual journey, and what work you should be focused on at this time. Firstly – this is YOUR space. It is absolutely malleable to your will. If ever you find something in your inner landscape that you do not feel comfortable with, you hold absolute control, and can effectively evict such problems. You are absolutely defensible there, simply because your own consciousness holds such sway. Secondly, this is a place for deep reflection and healing. Any changes you feel need to be made, as you make them, will change yourself – likewise, what occurs in your own life will be reflected in your self-image here. If you do find something which you evict, be prepared for the experience in your waking life.

It is important to pay attention to correspondences here. Because the language of the unconscious is so symbolic, anything and EVERYTHING in your Inner Landscape is a message. Animals, plants, stones, metals, constellations, weather – whatever you discover in your Soul’s Home, whatever draws your focus, it will have meaning for you. Even size and location have meaning here, so pay close attention and take the time to discover yourself, and your own language. Research what you find draws your attention most, and you will find that it has a unique bearing on your current psychological, emotional, and even practical life.

It is NOT advisable that  you begin to make changes when you enter your Inner Landscape for the first time. It is best that you explore and research what you find as much as possible before beginning to make changes, if you feel so moved. Do not be surprised if, as you begin to work with your Soul Image, drastic emotional shifts occur. Be prepared for them. As you come to recognize your true self, and whatever issues you have that are preventing your growth, as you begin to address these, rapid – sometimes even violent – shifts can occur. Be gentle with yourself when these moments happen. Acknowledge them, process them, and do not resist them. The more you work with your Soul Image, the more it will change, becoming richer as your understanding of yourself and your own language grows, and as you deliberately begin to make changes.

Journeying into your Soul’s Home is deeply meaningful, and working within it is extremely enriching to your spiritual and emotional life. The Inner Landscape is a place to meditate and commune with yourself and your deepest needs, desires, and experiences. It is a place for you to come to an understanding of who you are, where you are in your life, and where you are going – and it is a place to heal your deepest hurts from. It is a place of strength and growth, a place to honor yourself and your journey, a place where your true self is expressed and where you can begin to control, eventually, how you interact with both yourself and the wider world, spiritually, emotionally, and literally.

Welcome Home.

-Raven

The Prometheus

A Prometheus (so named because Mary Shelly described one so accurately, and Frankenstein’s Monster was named Prometheus) is a dead person who has had their soul forced back into their body.

It’s not pretty, and you shouldn’t do it. Not for any moral reason, but sheer practicality says it’s not a good idea.

Firstly, the Prometheus will KNOW what’s been done to them. Secondly, because they are supposed to be dead, and their souls are bound to their bodies by a necromancer’s brand, they grow to hate the necromancer. They become unstable and dangerous, and eventually, they will destroy their necromancer to gain their freedom. There is not a single case of Prometheus branding that has not ended in the destruction of the necromancer involved.

Case Study:

Caitlynn. Yeah, we’re going back to her. She’s a disaster. A long series of bad things have happened to this poor girl, but after dying because of a magickal attack, becoming a Prometheus did not help.

Caitlynn, having been absolutely destroyed by a series of curses laid by five other practitioners, as you know from my post on psychic attack, sat on her couch, unable to speak, react, anything – barely ate, barely drank enough to keep her body alive – she was, for all intents and purposes, a corpse that just refused to lie down.

As she slowly climbed out of the psychic hole she’d been buried in, she realized that she needed help. She wanted to live again, reclaim her body. She knew where her soul was buried – she could feel the shroud. She believed that the shroud should be treated like a chrysalis – she needed to be freed from it, so that her soul could be reborn into her body, and she could start over. She believed this would not result in the death of her current body, but a spiritual regeneration. That’s actually how it would have gone, had she asked the right person for help.

She made the mistake of asking a necromancer. Now, either the necromancer knew what he was doing, and it was deliberate, or he didn’t, and it was accidental, but what happened next was disastrous. The necromancer, instead of freeing Caitlynn’s soul from the prison it was in, and allowing her to be reborn, left the soul imprisoned and forced it back into her body. The branding that bound her to the necromancer, combined with the brutal “rebirth” left her writhing in pain, vomiting, on the floor. The brand in her shoulder burned through every layer of her, even as she screamed “Get it OUT!”

She did not understand what had happened to her, but she knew something wasn’t right.

She began to dream, over and over, the same dream. In it, she saw five people violently murder a woman, cutting her to pieces. She saw herself as a necromancer, standing over the woman’s grave, hearing the soul cry out for vengeance. She saw the necromancer make a bargain with the soul, to return the soul to its body, so that the woman could hunt down her attackers without harm to herself, and stop them from ever harming another person as they had harmed her. She saw the necromancer raise the body, and force the soul back into the corpse.

The dream repeated over and over, until finally, she called the necromancer and asked what the dream meant. The necromancer had a predictably bad reaction to essentially being caught with his pants down, and lied to her, telling her that she had raised a Prometheus, and put him at risk, rather than telling her that she was the Prometheus.

Eventually, however, she did come to understand that she was the Prometheus. She could feel the bindings wrapped around her. They were suffocating. The brand burned constantly. There was no way she could NOT understand, eventually, what had happened.

So – she went after the necromancer, for the lies he had told, and for her freedom… and she broke him. She destroyed his power sources, and eventually, managed to even change his line of fate. The necromancer went mad, and has remained in a delusional state since.

Caitlynn did eventually find a healer who could remove the bindings and a deity to free her from the brand. She did eventually have her rebirth. She is doing fairly well, though she’s predictably dealing with the trauma. She has PTSD and can’t exactly explain to a therapist all that has happened to her, but slowly, she’s working through it with her healer.

So. Now you know what a Prometheus is. You know what the Prometheus will know when they are raised, and what they will eventually discover about themselves, and you know the inevitable result of creating one.

I think it’s important to discuss the darker aspects of Necromancy, and the complications that arise from practicing them. Necromancy is not evil – working with the dead is a sacred act. Had Caitlynn really been given the opportunity to freely go after her original attackers, she probably wouldn’t have gone after the necromancer – but the issue with a Prometheus is that they are bound to their corpse by the necromancer, and thus bound to the necromancer. They can’t be harmed by any magickal means – they’re essentially immortal, and being dead is an awesome shield against almost everything. However, the branding and the binding causes them never-ending pain, and they cannot act freely because they are bound up in the necromancer’s power… which is why they eventually go after their creators.

Whether her raising was a sacred act, designed to give her the retribution she craved, or not… the fact remains that because she was raised as a Prometheus, she could not act of her own free will. She could not go after her attackers, and she was still a corpse. What matters most in magick is not the original intent, but the inevitable result – magickal intent can be shaded by so many things, and we are so seldom PURE in our intents. Know Thyself is the core tenet of most magickal practice for this very reason – what you know of your subconscious can clarify your magick and prevent impurities from creeping in.

My suspicion in this case is that the necromancer, who had some psychological issues to begin with, had a deep seated need to control his friend. He had abandonment issues, and jealousy issues, and while Caitlynn was only a friend, and he did not want more than friendship with her, he still wanted to own her, deep in his subconscious, because if he owned her, she could never abandon him or hurt him the way others had. Unfortunately, creating a Prometheus pretty much guarantees that will happen – he caused the very thing he feared.

So… if you work with the dead, be aware of your own psychology. Be aware that creating a Prometheus is possible. Be aware that it will go badly. Be aware that, as a necromancer, you have a sacred duty to the dead, and please, protect them from this fate.

-Raven

More Historical Info about Demons and Hell

Re: What Do You Mean, “Demon”?

darkwing wrote:
However, there are several problems, e.g.:
MagickFromtheMysts wrote:
For example – prior to about the 16th century, the words “demon” and “angel” actually referred to the same thing.

Can you provide reference for this? And from which language and what the word is?Because there were already words distinguishing those two in other languages prior to 16th century AD. For example, Arabian Islamic tradition distinguished “malaikah” vs “jinn” and “shaitan” since the 6th century AD.And I don’t think the Jewish tradition’s “malakh” is equated with “shedim” since about 2nd century AD.

 

Ok so the etymology for the word Demon is actually the answer.

demon (n.)
c. 1200, from Latin daemon “spirit,” from Greek daimon “deity, divine power; lesser god; guiding spirit, tutelary deity” (sometimes including souls of the dead); “one’s genius, lot, or fortune;” from PIE *dai-mon- “divider, provider” (of fortunes or destinies), from root *da- “to divide.”

Used (with daimonion) in Christian Greek translations and Vulgate for “god of the heathen” and “unclean spirit.” Jewish authors earlier had employed the Greek word in this sense, using it to render shedim “lords, idols” in the Septuagint, and Matthew viii.31 has daimones, translated as deofol in Old English, feend or deuil in Middle English. Another Old English word for this was hellcniht, literally “hell-knight.”

The original mythological sense is sometimes written daemon for purposes of distinction. The Demon of Socrates was a daimonion, a “divine principle or inward oracle.” His accusers, and later the Church Fathers, however, represented this otherwise. The Demon Star (1895) is Algol.

 

So essentially, demons were once neither positive nor negative. They were bringers of fate – the reference to them as being both the divider and provider of destiny or fortunate events, means that they were regarded as both positive and negative in aspect, depending on how they rolled the dice for you. The other phrases: tutelary deity, divine power – shows that people regarded daemons as personal. They are what our modern day guardian angel concept comes from. When you see how the word changes from a provider of provenance to a “hell knight”, it becomes even more clear – over time, especially with Christianity gaining a stronger foothold, the attitude changed. Anything other than the Hebrew God that meddled with a person’s fate, for good OR for ill, was not of God. I said that demons and angels were once considered the same thing, with their actions from a personal perspective defining them as acting for the good, or for the ill of the person receiving the results, and you can see the literal truth of that through the etymological record.

darkwing wrote:
MagickFromtheMysts wrote:
For further clarification of language, over the last 700 years, the word “devil” has become a colloquialism that can encompass anything. The word is derived from the Sanskrit word “Devi,” meaning Goddess.

Can you also provide reference for this?Because it is not correct. The word “devil” came from the Greek “diabolos”, which became Old English “deoful”, which became Middle English “devel”. This can also be seen from German “teufel” and Dutch “duivel”. Moreover, the “diabolos” is still seen in French “diable”, Spanish “diablo”, and Italian “diavolo”. None of these is related to the Sanskrit “devi”.

 

So here, you are correct in the etymology of the word. When I was doing my research for this article, I came across several references to Devil having Devi, Devala, Devata, and Deva, as a root word. Upon further investigation, at your suggestion, I note two things. Those sites are slanted to the extremes of “new age” thinking, and where there was comment, the original posters said they came to the conclusion that Devi and Devil were cognates because “it sounds the same,” which shows a clear lack of understanding of the nature of lingual shifts and etymology.

I apologize for that small bit of shoddy research on my part. Though, if it will get me back a brownie point, it WAS 3am.

darkwing wrote:
MagickFromtheMysts wrote:
What fascinates me about this is that in the bible, Satan is an angel of light.

If you’re talking about 2 Corinthians 11:14, the verses said: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV). This is generally accepted that Paul facing against with false preachers, as can be seen from the verses before that: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4 KJV).

 

I was not actually speaking of any New Testament scriptures. Given the origins of the belief in Satan, I felt it was important to stick to the root, and not discuss the resultant tangled overgrowth.

The original Hebrew term Satan literally means “to obstruct, to oppose.” Ha-Satan literally means The Accuser, or The Adversary. The addition of the definitive article HA denotes a title bestowed upon a being, rather than the name of that being. Thus, Ha-Satan means THE Satan. In Judaism, a satan is always referred to with a human component. In other words, someone inspired by God to stand against something – an action, a group of people, a leader, and put stumbling blocks in their way – but THE Satan is always an angel, bound by God to obstruct humans to force them to prove their faith or lack of to their Judge, Yahweh. Ha-Satan was always referred to as an Angel of the Lord.

Numbers 22:22,32 “and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him.”
32 “behold, I went out to withstand thee,”

2 Samuel 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
1 Chronicles 21:21 Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to count the people of Israel.

Zechariah’s vision of recently deceased Joshua the High Priest depicts a dispute in the heavenly throne room between Satan and the Angel of the Lord (Zechariah 3:1–2).

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Ephesians 5:5

Thus, in both the Hebrew bible, and in the Christian bible, there is agreement in the texts. Satan is man’s adversary, not God’s, and He stands in God’s Throne room – where no “unclean” (evil) being can reside.

In Isaiah 45:7, we see that Hashem is the creator of everything, as the text says, “bringing forth light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil, I am G-d who does all these things.” In the Jewish bible, everything is under the jurisdiction of G-d and under His power – all forces, even evil forces. Everything comes from G-d, He created everything, good and evil. That being the case, Satan is not a rival of G-d, he is a messenger of G-d and unable to do anything outside of G-d’s will.

Hebrews do not perceive Satan to be evil at all. They perceive him to be NECESSARY. Without friction, without challenges, without obstacles, we would not grow, we would not achieve all that we have the potential to do. Trials develop us, they develop our minds, our emotions, and our personalities, but most of all, they develop us spiritually. This is a vital thing. Satan creates circumstances in which free will arises and must be addressed through decision making – and then learning from the consequences of those choices.

For more on this concept, I highly recommend this Rabbinical writing about the subject: http://www.jewishanswers.org/ask-the-rabbi-2566/the-jewish-view-of-satan/?p=2566

darkwing wrote:
MagickFromtheMysts wrote:
Around the 1300’s, people realized that some of the things Jesus said in the bible were about organized religion – specifically that it wasn’t the way to God… So… they rewrote the bible (again), and created the ideas of hell and the devil to scare people back into the pews. Hell isn’t even in the bible at all.

Can you also provide reference for this especially the 1300’s?Since the ideas of eternal punishment and hell was already existed since before the Crusade (11th century), e.g. from writing of Clement of Rome and Apocalypse of Peter, which was one of the reasons people went on Crusade (forgiven from sins and saved from punishment).

 

Ok, so this answer requires a journey, so it’s gonna go long. Bear with me. In some respects, especially about the beliefs about Hell, you are essentially correct, so this is going to be mostly confirming your statements, but it’s to show my thought processes about my comments regarding the Gnostic revival in the 1300s causing papal decrees which made changes to religious law, taking advantage of things that the Church had already added to their mythos (through the twisting of the meaning of the texts). The issue is that the Cathars figured out that hell wasn’t in the bible… and they started teaching that. It went downhill from there for them.

So, to start.

The concept of a hell of torment, and the complexities of purgatory, limbo, and the inferno, isn’t in the New Testament prior to 110CE.

The myth of hell that we know today had its start in the early years of the Church. Back then, only Jews were members. The issue arose that Jewish people believed that Yeshua was the Messiah, in the traditional sense of that word. He arose to free them from Rome’s oppression. A messiah is anointed by God to rout an occupying army, and establish and earthly Kingdom of God – the Kingdom of Israel, as a Theocracy.

“Salvation” then meant being saved from the Roman army and being part of the kingdom of God, and that salvation was for Jews ONLY. From the religious texts, it’s clearly evident that Yeshua was thoroughly Jewish, bringing a message to Jews exclusively, had Jewish disciples. He never thought to start a new religion, and never considered converting non-Jews to become Jews.

After his death, his followers were deeply wounded. They had truly believed that he was the Messiah, that he would return to rout the Romans, and redeem Israel. Salvation, in this context, has nothing to do with a place of torment. You’re either Jewish or you’re not. You are either saved, or your not. You either get to live in the Kingdom of God, because you’re Jewish and thus saved, or you live outside the kingdom, and when you die, nothing horrible happens, you just… cease to exist, while the redeemed Jews get eternal life.

The problem arose because Yeshua’s disciples didn’t understand his teachings. His message for the 12 Tribes of Israel was that the kingdom of god is INSIDE YOU. For the Jews to be “born again/born from above,” that is, receive salvation, Yeshua was VERY clear. You must grow to be compassionate, loving, non-judgmental, peaceful and forgiving. The person who grew to spiritual maturity would display these qualities, and would thus live in the kingdom of god that was within. THIS was salvation, for Yeshua.

The disciples misunderstanding his message and continuing to believe that he would return to drive the romans out of Israel to establish a kingdom there is how belief in hell began. The gentiles who were converting to this spiritual path couldn’t relate to the Kingdom of Israel at all. They weren’t interested in converting to Judaism, did not wish to follow Mosaic law, and much of the history, such as Yeshua being a descendent of David, meant nothing to them.

Salvation began to have a different connotation, one which gentiles could understand and accept. Anyone who believed that Yeshua was the anointed one would be regarded as part of the Kingdom of God Yeshua was going to return and establish, and would have everlasting life. Through Yeshua’s death and resurrection, death had been defeated, and believers would live eternally.

There was STILL no concept of Hell. People who weren’t saved simply died and were no more. However, by the second century, the church, in their zeal to convert followers, began cherry picking passages in the old testament that referred to fire and judgment, and began telling people that if they didn’t convert to Yeshua’s theology, that they would not simply die, but would be thrown into a fire to burn for eternity. They based this belief partially on pagan ideas about hell at the time. In fact, the ideas about both heaven and hell came primarily from descriptions made by Homer, Virgil, Plato, and Orphic and Pythagorean traditions.

In New Testament cannon, Yeshua does refer to Gehenna, the valley of Himnom, where people threw their garbage to be burned, corpses were sometimes deposited, and in earlier times, where human sacrifice had occurred. He brought it up to show how his people had evolved spiritually – and to show that the body is basically meaningless, and will be thrown on a garbage dump… it’s the spirit that is the important factor.

He NEVER referred to an everlasting torment for the people who chose not to follow him. However, by the time the bible was translated into English, the idea of hell was so entrenched in Christian theosophy, when people read the word Gehenna, they translated it as Hell and moved on. I, and most religious scholars, feel that if Yeshua does see what has been done to his message, he’s probably rather distressed about it, being as mythos now has him front and center throwing babies into hell.

Now… from that bit of evolution, how did we get to the 1300s? Well, between the 8th century and the 14th century, biblical scholars began speaking out about the fact that bibles were only written in Latin. The intention behind this was that ordinary Christians of the Roman Empire should be able to read the word of God. “Ignorance of the Scriptures is Ignorance of Christ.” During this period, the bible is understood only by the learned, most of whom are priests. They prefer to corner the source of Christian truth, keeping for themselves the privilege of interpreting it for the people. Translation into vulgar tongues is discouraged.

The strongest medieval demand for vernacular texts comes in France from a heretical sect, the Cathars. The suppression of the Cathars is complete by the mid-13th century. But in the following century the same demand surfaces within mainstream western Christianity, and eventually the demand for vernacular bibles led to the reformation of the church, and the schism that created the Protestant branch of Christianity.

Why do I choose the 1300s and the massacre of the Cathars specifically? Because the Cathars were gnostic. They believed that the kingdom of God IS inside you, just as Yeshua taught. They let women give the only sacrament that Cathars believed in: Consolamentum – a practice that only occurred once in a lifetime – as that life was ending. When someone performed the ritual of liberation, the receiver had a heavy, though obviously short, obligation for purity. Many would, afterwards, forgo food and water as their penance, hastening their death. Women were also teachers. Cathars believed that reincarnation existed, and that your goal through reincarnation was to eventually reach an angelic state by becoming like Christ. Cathars strongly opposed the Catholic church, seeing it as corrupt. They believed that Yeshua was an angel of light, and that Yahweh was actually Satan, and as Yahweh created physicality, including mankind, bodies and all worldly things were unclean, tainted, evil… and the Church embracing monarchies, meddling in politics, converting people through fear, and making money hand over fist, really sat wrong with them… and unfortunately, they were extremely vocal about it. Last, but definitely not least – The Cathars created their own bible. It began as a vernacular bible, but they sought out gnostic gospels, apocryphal texts, and pseudopigrapha which had, through previous Church counsels, been removed and declared heresy – and they added translations of these texts into their vernacular text.

The Catholic Church, obviously, took issue with this much “heresy.” At first, they sent legates to “gently” steer the Cathars back to the way things were done. They were rebuffed – not only by the Cathars themselves, but also by many bishops of the region, the nobles who protected them, and the common people who respected them.

The next step was to start excommunicating the nobles. This didn’t go well… the man they sent to do the dirty deed was found dead very shortly after. That caused the Pope to call for a crusade. The Avignon Crusade lasted 20 years.

This war pitted the nobles of the north of France against those of the south. The widespread northern enthusiasm for the Crusade was partially inspired by a papal decree permitting the confiscation of lands owned by Cathars and their supporters. This not only angered the lords of the south but also the French King, who was at least nominally the suzerain of the lords whose lands were now open to despoliation and seizure. Philip Augustus wrote to Pope Innocent in strong terms to point this out—but the Pope did not change his policy. As the Languedoc was supposedly teeming with Cathars and Cathar sympathizers, this made the region a target for northern French noblemen looking to acquire new fiefs. The barons of the north headed south to do battle.

The Cathars spent much of 1209 fending off the crusaders. The Béziers army attempted a sortie but was quickly defeated, then pursued by the crusaders back through the gates and into the city. Arnaud-Amaury, the Cistercian abbot-commander, is supposed to have been asked how to tell Cathars from Catholics. His reply, recalled by Caesarius of Heisterbach, a fellow Cistercian, thirty years later was “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius”—”Kill them all, the Lord will recognise His own”. The doors of the church of St Mary Magdalene were broken down and the refugees dragged out and slaughtered. Reportedly at least 7,000 innocent men, women and children were killed there by Catholic forces.

Elsewhere in the town, many more thousands were mutilated and killed. Prisoners were blinded, dragged behind horses, and used for target practice. What remained of the city was razed by fire. Arnaud-Amaury wrote to Pope Innocent III, “Today your Holiness, twenty thousand heretics were put to the sword, regardless of rank, age, or sex.” “The permanent population of Béziers at that time was then probably no more than 5,000, but local refugees seeking shelter within the city walls could conceivably have increased the number to 20,000.”

Ultimately, it was this act of… essentially Genocide, followed by the creation of the Inquisition, all over the rights of people to read their holy books in their own tongues, that ended with the schism in the Church, the reformation, and the creation of the Protestant path. People who were doing research in secret, and the knowledge that the Cathars managed to smuggle out to the world, brought about a rebirth of Gnostic thought, and began to build the idea into Christianity that the Pope, the Church, was corrupted. By the early 1500’s, the reformation was in full swing, and due to the advent of the printing press, dozens of new bibles, from all the little sects that began popping up during the reformation, were produced and distributed.

As I said – Religion be crazy… and sometimes just devastating.
-Raven

Godspousery: The Mystery of the Hieros Gamos

I will start this by stating – I am NOT a godspouse. This article is actually in response to something I read in a casual forum mostly dedicated to helping beginners who are almost entirely monotheistic navigate the world of buying metaphysical items and solutions.

One of the services I discovered being sold was a ritual done by a practitioner other than the purchaser, which would essentially marry the client to an immortal/deity of their choice. Though I am not a godspouse, I know several people who are, and I feel that a frank discussion about the pros and cons of Godspousery is important, especially given the treatment that Spouses experience in the wider pagan community.

I understand that it is not a generally accepted practice. Most pagans do not believe in divine marriage, or if they do, they do not approve of it. That doesn’t mean that if you’re not a pagan, you get a pass on treating something so sacred so cavalierly.

So. Let’s discuss terminology to start off with, shall we?

Marriage: 1. the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman). 2. a combination or mixture of two or more elements.

Wikipedia defines marriage as:

“a socially or ritually recognized union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between the spouses married to each other, between the spouses and any resulting biological or adopted children of theirs, and between spouses and their affinity (in-laws and other family through marriage). The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal.”

In other words, Marriage is a Social Contract.

So what is Hieros Gamos? Well, it’s literally Spiritual Marriage.

Hieros gamos or Hierogamy (Greek ἱερὸς γάμος, ἱερογαμία “holy marriage”) is a sexual ritual that plays out a marriage between a god and a goddess, especially when enacted in a symbolic ritual where human participants represent the deities.
The notion of hieros gamos does not presuppose actual performance in ritual, but is also used in purely symbolic or mythological context, notably in alchemy and hence in Jungian psychology.

And what about the word Hermaphrodite?

Hermaphroditus, the two-sexed child of Aphrodite and Hermes (Venus and Mercury) had long been a symbol of androgyny or effeminacy, and was portrayed in Greco-Roman art as a female figure with male genitals.

Theophrastus’s account also suggests a link between Hermaphroditus and the institution of marriage. The reference to the fourth day of the month is telling: this is the luckiest day to have a wedding. Hermaphroditus’s association with marriage seems to have been that, by embodying both masculine and feminine qualities, he symbolized the coming together of men and women in sacred union. Another factor linking Hermaphroditus to weddings was his parents’ role in protecting and blessing brides.

Hermaphroditus’s name is derived from those of his parents Hermes and Aphrodite. All three of these gods figure largely among erotic and fertility figures, and all possess distinctly sexual overtones. Sometimes, Hermaphroditus is referred to as Aphroditus. The phallic god Priapus was the son of Hermes by some accounts and the youthful god of desire Eros of Ares and Aphrodite.

OK. Now that you have the basic definitions, let’s talk details.

First of all, you need to understand that Godspousery is a pact, a contract, with a divine immortal, and no one should make such promises lightly. Case in point – the reason I’m writing this article in the first place: the person discussing their purchase of a marriage to their chosen divinity was not prepared for the fallout that occurred when they didn’t behave as a husband ought to behave towards a goddess.

Divine Marriage, the formal commitment to a deity to have a relationship with that deity that is as deeply intimate as a couple’s relationship would be, is not a new concept. As you’ve seen by the definitions, it’s at least as old as ancient Greco-Roman culture, and probably quite a bit older. There is mention in the bible of Solomon’s marriage to God, and the famous Persion poet Rumi was also married to God. Several well-known Catholic saints are acknowledge Godspouses. Krishna married 16,000 wives. Even to this day in western culture, women marry their god, wear wedding rings, and seclude their bodies from human men for the rest of their lives – though we don’t talk about it, because most people think Catholic nuns are a little odd in our modern world.

Marriages to divine beings can be sexual marriages or chaste marriages. There are people who have both a human husband or wife, and a divine one, and there are people who are required to be monogamous with their God. They can be plural marriages – it is possible (though probably not recommended) to be married to more than one deity. Gods also don’t seem to be particular about the sex or sexual orientation of their human spouses, despite the mythological evidence of their specific sexuality and relationships with other deities of their pantheon. These marriages can be for a set length of time, or they can be for the life of the human involved.

The deity who is part of the marriage is usually the one that proposes the union. This is generally because they wish to formalize a relationship with their chosen priest or priestess – and while being a Spouse is NOT the same as being a Priest/ess, it has a lot of the same requirements for dedication, time, energy and resources.

It is VERY important, when entering into such a pact, that you know your Intended’s mythos, and that you also are aware of Their expectations about your conduct. Negotiation is very important – you need to know what you are required to give, and you need to say what you are WILLING to give. You also need to express what you wish to receive, beyond the spiritual benefits of a union with a divine expression of archetypal power. When you enter into a contract with a deity, whether it is one of godspouse, patronage, or even a simple bargain for a one-time need, it is important to remember that you are not a slave, not a servant. You are requesting or responding to a request for partnership – it’s not meant to be one-sided, so it’s vital that you be willing to express your needs being met as a part of the contract. If your experience DOES end up being one-sided, understand that your deity is giving you an object lesson on the consequences of not speaking up for yourself.

Why would a deity wish to enter into a contract with a human being? Well, it’s simple – Gods have no physicality. They are capable of seeing the whole of potentiality laid out, and yet, without you, they cannot act as they see fit to mold the world into a better image. You have one power that they do not, nor will ever have. YOU ARE THEIR HANDS. Do not forget how vital you are, and that you have power that they need – the power to act in the physical world.

A Sacred Marriage ALWAYS has rules attached – this is a contract, remember – and the deity will wish for specific behaviors attached to the title of Spouse. Some of these demands could be considered quite harsh – and there are consequences for breaking your word in a contract. Here are some possible questions you will need to have answered – every contract, every relationship is different, but I offer these generalities as a starting point. Are there specific times you are required to contact them and make yourself available? If there are requirements for set times of contact, what happens if you are ill, or if some life circumstance requires you to be away from your god? Is there a requirement for either spiritual or physical distance from others? Can you marry or have sex with other humans? Are there dress requirements? (Seriously, I know some Wives who are asked to cover their hair for their Gods – this is an important question to ask.) Are you required to make a pilgrimage to Their sacred sites? Are you required to live a certain way, or in a certain place? Are you required to take a vow of silence? When you contact them or they contact you, what types of jobs might you be required to do for them and for yourself? What will you receive in return for this work? What will the deity share with you, teach you, as you move forward in your relationship with them? What will the consequences of failing to meet your obligations in this relationship be?

Marriage with a deity, like marriage with a physical partner, is an agreement to go on a journey with each other, to share experiences, to act for the benefit of each other. If you decide to marry an immortal, whether it is for a set period of time, or for life, remember that you are agreeing to the journey, and to the sharing and blending. You are agreeing to becoming One with a God/dess – They the head, and you the hands. This is a sacred honor, and an important one. Do not take it lightly.

Step gloriously down the path, loves, in beautiful light and shadows.

-Raven

What Do You Mean, “DEMON?”

I find this topic interesting, and I have a few things I’d like to offer – these are my PERSONAL perspectives, and may not agree with yours. Again – this is a long read… But I think you’ll find it worth it. 🙂

I feel that there are huge issues with the label “Demon” in general metaphysical society. Some of it is because of religious obfuscation, cultural belief. Some of it is due to a complete lack of experience. What you do not know, you fear. What you are taught to fear, you do not learn about, which increases the fear.

Let’s rip that blindfold off, shall we?

I think it is necessary to explain, to start off, how I personally define “demon,” as well as WHY I use this definition, as that will save a lot of misunderstandings throughout this post. Again, these are my thoughts, my experiences, and you may disagree.

There are many realms, and many dimensions within these realms. If you picture a spiral that goes up and down, ever broadening in both directions like two cones set together at their narrowest in the middle, and consider that on those spirals are many planes of existence, each with doorways into yet other planes along the same line sideways as well as upwards and downwards, then you begin to approach an understanding of how complex our reality truly is. There is a reason that most civilizations eventually describe the multiverse as a gigantic tree, roots and all.

Our world, our dimension, is inside a hell realm. We’re actually the highest of the hell-realms. By high, I mean that our vibration is the mildest. The lower you go, the deeper the vibration, the heavier the energy.

Our world used to be a kind of… cross-over point. The lowest “heavenly” realm, which we call by many names, but to simplify I’m going to call Faerie, and our realm, used to coincide as one single realm. We were neither heavenly nor hellish, we were the fulcrum, the meeting point. However, over time, the energies here became polarized, and the two planes drifted apart.

Because we live in a hell-realm, albeit the highest possible one, that would mean that WE are demons, because by most definitions, a demon is simply that which resides in a hell realm.

When you consider things from that perspective, it’s clear that location and vibration are what determines an entity’s classification for most people who are well-versed in the metaphysical arts.

With regards to the difference between black arts and dark arts – YES, there are hell realms of such a dark vibration that everything there is innately inimical to us – there’s no “choice” to this… they are what they are. Like a lion eats gazelles, like bunnies burrow, they will do what they do, wherever they find themselves. There are also heavenly realms where the vibrations are so high, the same is true – they are equally as dangerous to us, simply because they are what they are, and what they are is just that alien to our realm, and to our energies. The issue with labeling something Black Arts is one of perception. If it does harm to humans, if it ONLY does harm, and you cannot see any benefits coming from that, then it is black arts.

You can see how narrow this definition is. It is absolutely a human-centric perspective. There is nothing in the multiverse that exists only to do harm. There is nothing in the multiverse that exists only to do “good.” Everything that exists in the multiversal ecosystem has its place and purpose.

Lions are dangerous. We have learned from experience that taking them out of their natural environment does damage to their habitat, to them, and also to us. They have a place. They have a purpose. Take that away, and destruction follows.

In New Zealand, the importation of rabbits caused such a problem for the South Island that the EARTH WAS LITERALLY MOVING. New Zealand has no natural predators. NONE. Because of this, the release of rabbits by colonials who wanted to hunt them but didn’t want to raise them eventually led to disaster. Our solution was to release a tailored virus that killed every rabbit on the South Island within two weeks. The clean up was… indescribable.

When you introduce something not native to an environment, whether it is predator or prey, plant or entity, trouble ALWAYS FOLLOWS. Are rabbits black arts? Is Kudzu? Of course not. They are simply out of place.

The easiest way to deal with something that behaves in a Black Arts way is to contain it, find where it came from, and send it back home to its natural environment, where it actually belongs, and where it does no harm by existing, but benefits its place. Rather like Kudzu, if you remove it from its own ecosystem, damage will occur. That does not make it innately evil. It simply means it does not belong where you have found it.

This is my perspective, and ymmv – but my beliefs about these things are based on personal experience and the use of analytical thought, serious research, and the scientific method, to determine those beliefs. This does not mean I’m an expert, by any means, but I feel that I can offer a unique perspective in this discussion about what evil truly is, what good truly is, what qualifies as a demon, and what qualifies as black arts.

We have many myths about immortals, and very few about demons. We have many myths about beings we now call demonic who are immortals whose societies fell to religious fanatics. Monotheism has labeled more immortals “demon” than any other religious path. But LABELING something “demon” does not make it so. For example – prior to about the 16th century, the words “demon” and “angel” actually referred to the same thing. People believed that angels and demons were not separate, but actually that a being who helped you, and harmed your enemy, was your angel, but your enemy’s demon. A being that harmed you, but helped your enemy, was your demon, and their angel.

We, as a society, have this group perception that demons are evil, that they are capricious, that they lie with the truth, that they set traps. The issue I have with this is that these aren’t the qualities of demons, so much as they are the qualities we ourselves hold… People lie all the time. They cheat, they steal, they cause harm, both emotionally and physically, and sometimes they do all these things deliberately. These are also, not to put to fine a point on it, the qualities of most fae. If you want to point out a vessel of true evil, I invite you to meet a faerie of the court of light and illusion. They look damned pretty, and they are vicious hunters, and you are their food. They also reside in the lowest realm of heaven… which is why I bring them up – just because you express a higher vibration does not make you “good.” Good and evil are subjective terms.

I have had many experiences with those beings that we collectively assume are demons over the years. The one thing I can say with absolute surety is that demons TEACH. They have the ability to choose. They are absolutely NOT black arts beings. The things we label as being black arts are things that are inimical to us as a species. Very few beings that people come across, even in hell realms, are black arts.

With demons, you get what you give. If you are dealing with them for power, for the aggrandizement of your own ego, it is not going to be a fun ride. Just as, with tigers, if you do not respect their power, if you are egotistical enough to think that by working with them, that makes you powerful and special, then when the tiger eats your face, you probably deserve it.

I have had experiences with angels, and also with immortals. Immortals sometimes teach, but more often they have an agenda, and though they may trade something of value, the trade off is seldom equal. Immortals USE.

Angels, in my experience, neither teach nor use. They also do not protect. They give information or assistance, but ONLY what you ask for, and EXACTLY what you ask for… and they do not warn you of consequences. Angels DO NOT CARE for anything beyond their own purpose. With the angels that are typically conjured for workings, from the Key of Solomon, and from Enochian, they tend to be… forces of nature. Rather LARGE forces. They are the physical representation of the underpinning metaphysical laws of the multiverse… and as such, they are… rather narrow in their focus, can sometimes appear to lack autonomy and self-determination, and they are mostly disinclined to actively teach. They are far more… GIGO than I could have ever suspected. My first experience with working with them was… a bit of a shock, because at the time, I was still thoroughly embedded in the social constructs of what an angel is. It was… educational.

I can quite honestly say that working with angels is actually even more dangerous than working with demons is supposed to be. Because of the social stigma that humans hold about demons, we tend to treat them, at least to start, the same way we would treat a sharp knife, or a loaded weapon. Angels, again because of the social constructs surrounding them, do not get that level of respect, and because they are not even as human as demons are, this can cause huge difficulties for the practitioner by way of consequences.

We’ve all heard of those people who get involved with demons and the dark arts, for reasons of ego, self-aggrandizement, the shoring up of imagined flaws, the search for revenge against slights. We’ve seen what happens to such weak people. They flail around, they spread hysteria and drama, and eventually, they run back to their gods, screaming for someone else to be in charge. They then proceed to tell everyone how horrible demons are, how dangerous – even though everyone knows the old adage that the craftsman never blames the tools.

What we seldom hear is those who step afoul of angels. Because people have such set ideas about what angels are, when there are unintended consequences to working with them, people don’t say that angels are the issue. They blame life, they blame themselves, they blame other people… they may even blame “negative” spiritual forces… but they NEVER think that it might possibly be because they screwed up while working with an ANGEL.

This bias is quite odd. Especially when you look at biblical records and see how truly frightening and destructive angels can be. In biblical records, demons were mostly pests. Angels were the things to be feared.

For further clarification of language, over the last 700 years, the word “devil” has become a colloquialism that can encompass anything. The word is derived from the Sanskrit word “Devi,” meaning Goddess. When westerners got ahold of it, because anything other than the Christian god was seen as evil, they changed the definition of the word to suit their religious and cultural perspectives. When bad luck falls repeatedly, one is said to be “bedeviled.” The word can mean anything that we perceive, however temporarily, as a negative experience. The quote investigators use, “The Devil’s in the Details,” literally refers to the idea that if you dig deep enough into a situation, you will find the culprit, because no one can truly cover all contingencies. The details will catch the troublemaker. So Devil can refer to a person, an event or series of events, a being, a multitude of beings, nature and natural spirits and/or happenings… devil is a catchall word with only slightly different connotations to the word demon.

As to my experiences with demons, allow me to share. I’m sure you’ve read this elsewhere, but I think it’s worth putting down in this post as well.

My first experience with a demon was an imp. I have no idea how it got into the house, but in the middle of the night, it launched itself at my back, and tried to rip off my psychic wings. It said, in a truly theatrical, dark and gravely voice, “He didn’t die for you.” It’s a strange thing to say to me, because I am in NO way a Christian, but… what was remarkable was what happened next. My SOUL rose up through my body in a HUGE wave of light, tossed him off and through a window, with the words, “OF COURSE HE DID.”

I learned something beautiful in that moment. Not just that “HE” died for everyone, no matter your faith (no, this is not a conversion story), but also that my own soul is made of light. I felt that light. I felt that SURETY. I discovered that at the core of me is something powerfully beautiful, glorious.

This is what I mean when I say demons teach. I’m not saying they aren’t unpleasant in their lessons, but what they teach is absolutely NECESSARY.

My second experience with a demon was a demon named Molov. He had golden skin, and orange eyes. When he showed up, I was still of the opinion that if it was a demon, it was evil and I should attack it and drive it out. I would like to say, he offered no violence until I did. Then he wiped the floor with me. The thing is, I did learn from that experience (and not just that attacking a demon is not a fun experience). I learned that demons are not evil. I learned that they show up when there’s reason – because they are teachers, they go where the lesson is needed. And they will do WHATEVER IS NECESSARY to teach that lesson. They are unafraid of our labels. If we call them evil, that’s fine – as long as we learn the lesson.

I also learned that it doesn’t have to be ugly. You get what you expect. If you hold a belief, even if a subconscious one, that all demons are evil, that the Immortals labeled as demonic are evil, if you believe they mean to cause you harm… they’re perfectly willing to give you the experience you are expecting. They have no time for games. They’re here to teach. Sometimes, the lesson is that you need to change your expectations.

The next experience I had with a demon, Asmodeus came to me in a dream. He came like a heavy weight on me, an aura of menace. He came as a nightmare, a thing of terror. I woke myself up and said to him, “There’s no need for us to be rude. That’s not who you really are, and it’s not what you’re here for. Show me your true face, your true energy, and let’s talk.”

And so He did. I learned a lot from him, simply because I put aside my cultural beliefs, and simply allowed Him to BE.

Yes, I understand that Asmodeus is an immortal. But he is an immortal which has, by culture and myth, for the past at least 600 years, been considered a demon… and like anyone who bears that label, he likes to play up to the part.

When I work with demons in circle – when I evoke them – I am cautious. I am respectful. I am OPEN. I treat them the way I would treat any deity or higher power than myself that I might evoke. The courtesy and the dialogue with demons is quite different to that of angels. My experience with angels is that you call them, you say what you need, they do what you ask, and they leave. They usually do not offer any advice.

If you call a demon, and you’re open with them, they’re likely to say what they’re thinking about doing for you, and why… and how that might turn out. Demons enjoy teaching, and so discussing consequences is part of the experience. There have been times when a demon has NOT discussed consequences – but that was because it was part of the lesson. Sometimes we learn best when faced with the consequences – and demons, above all else, require you to be responsible for your actions, your choices, and your emotional approach to all things.

I continue to learn about myself, and develop spiritually and magically, thanks to the assistance of all my spiritual helpers, those of lower vibration and those of higher vibration. Of course, I’m not working with them because of ego, or a desire for power. I’m not interested in silly things like secret names or their favorite color. This isn’t a gossip session – I conjure with purpose. I conjure to learn and to grow. I’m not interested in any personal knowledge of the beings I summon unless they are sharing such information as it relates to the lesson I’m learning. As you’ve seen from my other posts, sometimes, the information isn’t helpful until you put it into perspective within a larger framework of actual experience. So if a demon or angel or immortal wants to tell me something about themselves that’s personal, they’re telling me as a way of explaining a life lesson.

Also, sometimes being deceived is the lesson. Sometimes, the only way you learn something is by being lied to, because you cannot accept the truth before you experience the lie. This is just human nature.

A note about immortals who are considered to be “demonic.”

Historically speaking, Lucifer is the Roman god most often referred to as “Son of the Dawn” or “Morning Star,” and is associated with the star that rises right before the sun comes up. It was considered presumptuous of him. His Greek counterpart is Phospheros. Lucifer/Phospheros has a twin brother, called Vesper/Hesperos, the Evening Star. They are all personifications of the planet Venus.

There is a tendency to equate the mythos of the Fall of Heaven with the stories of Enki and Enlil – to equate Lucifer with Enki, and Yahweh with Enlil, but there was never a Lucifer in the Hebrew pantheon – this is a new addition to the monotheistic mythos. There ARE some similarities between Yahweh and Enlil, and if there were any mythological records left behind by the very thorough Hebrews as they swarmed through Canaan, during the period where they were still polytheists, I believe that they would have had an Enki, as well. When we look at Roman/Greek mythology, we see an almost one-for-one religious context occurring, simply because of the amount of sharing of goods, services, and culture happening in that part of the world at that time. As Romans conquered the world, they found other gods which they either added to their pantheon, or accepted as being like one of their own gods already – which is why Zeus, Jupiter, Odin, and Yahweh, are all considered from a Roman perspective to be the same deity. The Hebrews, while they were still polytheistic, often co-opted the gods of other cultures in the same way.

Yahweh had a wife until his people went to Babylon. Her name was Shekinah and she was honored in his temples. Shekinah was likened to both Astarte/Ashtoreth and the Roman goddess Sophia. Her name means “Presence/Peace of God.” She is both the Bride of God, and His dwelling place. When the Hebrews were taken by the Babylonian king, and their temples destroyed, they went through a religious revival. Many things were changed. Books were removed from their bible. They became monotheists, and they became extremely patriarchal. They went to war with each other to stamp out the worship of any god other than the god of Abraham, a warrior sky god that most likely began as a tutelary deity within one specific tribe. It is worth noting the damage that this rabid slide into patriarchy for the sake of the preservation of the people did to that people – damage that continues to be spread throughout time and humanity. While you can still only be Jewish if your mother is Jewish, Jewish men now pray every morning, thanking their God they were not born a woman, and in Orthodox practices, women are not allowed to be Rabbis, nor are they permitted to study the Kabbalah. The feminine has been removed utterly from their religious experience, except through oblique references in mystical texts not included in the Jewish bible.

Lilith is a Sumerian/Babylonian being associated with owls and night terrors. There is debate as to whether she was considered a demon, but she was associated with the Tree of Life in the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh, which describes her origin story. She and an Anzu (a protective being having the qualities of both snakes and lions) were the spiritual manifestation of Inanna’s fears, and until Gilgamesh came to battle them both and drive them out of the tree, Inanna could not rest. Most historians believe that she is a dark goddess, associated with Sumerian witchcraft, and the darker aspects of sexuality. As further proof of the mixing of gods and cultures, some Hebrew mystical texts include stories about Lilith, listing her as Adam’s first wife. These stories suggest that she was disobedient to Adam’s sexual wishes, believing that she was his equal and demanding she have a say in their lovemaking. Lilith was apparently so dissatisfied with Adam as a lover that she eventually abandoned him to become a spirit of wind. This eventually evolved into a description of her encouraging “night emissions” in young men, and sucking souls out of newborn babies. She is now considered by most of society to be a succubus and demon.

When we look at the Immortals whom modern monotheism, and ancient monotheism, have labeled demonic, we see, again and again, the cycle of one group of people taking over another group of people, and destroying their articles of faith, salting their spiritual ground. Over time, people stop questioning the definition of “demon.” The myth of the Garden, when really examined, is quite obviously a Goddess myth. The snake is a symbol of pretty much every Earth Mother goddess in that region of the world. The apple has always been considered to be a goddess fruit – cut it in half, and the star of knowledge, symbol of the Goddess, is right there staring back at you. So, we have a Goddess, sharing magick, wisdom and knowledge with mankind – things that their creator deity had SPECIFICALLY LEFT OUT OF REACH. There’s even more evidence that the story of Cain and Abel is actually an allegory for the rise of farming and herding, and the demise of the hunter-gatherer way of life. As farming and herding became more and more the norm, people settled into their stability, and they wanted gods with more boundaries, more rules. Having religious rules enabled such civilizations to work together – if everyone agreed on the rules of behavior, and the punishments for breaking those rules, society could continue to grow and develop, nurturing everyone within it. Ultimately, this lead to the death of the Goddess in monotheistic faiths, as she was seen as an image of a constantly shifting earth, often fearsome, dangerous, treacherous, and unwelcoming.

There is a biblical Satan, in case you’re wondering – but Satan was the title of an angel, unnamed. The reason we do not know the name of the angel is simple – Satan could be any angel, and when that angel was being Satan, to maintain their impartiality, they had to be anonymous. Satan literally translates as “Accuser.” In other words, Satan is a prosecuting attorney with Yahweh as judge. If you read the Book of Job, it’s clear that Satan is MAN’S adversary, and not Yahweh’s – the job of a Satan is to test mankind to make sure their faith makes them worthy of returning to the presence of God.

There is also another angel, Samael, whose only job in life is to tempt mankind into sin. The descendants of Abraham have the job of resisting his suggestions. This proves their worthiness and faith to Yahweh. Gotta say, that’s some system – one angel to cause people to fall, another to accuse them of falling, just so the God that didn’t want His people to have knowledge of good and evil can show them all why apples are bad.

I find it fascinating, given the mythology and the history of the angels, that people now pretty much worship them – in the case of the title Satan, there’s an actual religion dedicated to a being that is essentially a bastardized blend of Pan, Dionysus, satyrs, and Pluto, with bits from the medieval bestiary thrown in for good measure. The color scheme is meant to be deliberately threatening. God is gold, the devil is black and red.

What fascinates me about this is that in the bible, Satan is an angel of light. The Sanskrit word Devi means goddess. The modern western concept of Satan/the Devil actually only exists because of Jesus. Yeah, not joking. Around the 1300’s, people realized that some of the things Jesus said in the bible were about organized religion – specifically that it wasn’t the way to God. Jesus said that personal gnosis, good works, and love were the only ways forward. The church was faced with a conundrum – people were no longer attending services and funds were drying up. So… they rewrote the bible (again), and created the ideas of hell and the devil to scare people back into the pews. Hell isn’t even in the bible at all. Sheol is – and it’s literally the hole in the ground you are buried in, where your body and spirit wait for God to raise you like some freaky necromancer for the battle at the end of the world. Because hordes of undead aren’t at all scary, as long as it’s God holding their leashes… The whole concept we now know of as hell actually comes from an operatic poem: The Divine Comedy, by Dante. Specifically, the section titled “Inferno.” So… here we have a male “anti-divinity” who symbolizes lust, frenzy, alcoholism, shamanism, death and the underworld, and, hey, bats too, because all those things should scare you into being religious, living in an underground fiery cavern, eating naughty people for eternity. Religion – it be crazy.

Soul Retrieval

Throughout life, we all go through things that affect us at a deep level. Some events affect us more than others. Sometimes, something happens that causes a shift in our perception of reality, and changes our personality, even if just in a small way. When this happens, if the event is traumatic, in essence, a piece of the Self has been lost during that experience.

Soul Retrieval is a Shamanic practice that allows a person, when they are ready, to go back to the moment of loss, and recollect themselves. Because in Shamanism, healing is always two-fold – spiritual AND physical, Shamans recognize that there are times when a loss is so great, the physical body can become weaker, allowing dis-ease in. While it is always important to treat the physical issues one might have, it is also important to repair the spiritual health of a person so that they can better recover from their illnesses of mind or body.

Soul Retrieval can be done for you by anyone who has been trained. It requires Shamans to walk in the Other World, through time and space. They must go to the place and time where the original soul injury occurred, and they must collect that piece of you, bring it back into the physical world, and place it back into your body, your energy. However, they do not work alone. Not only are their spirit guides a part of this process, but YOU are the most important part.

During a Soul Retrieval, you are drawn back into the memory of the moment, with the Shaman. You may not actually see the Shaman working, because your focus is on yourself during the process. You may watch the events that caused the fracture, or you may arrive to deal with the aftermath. You must approach your old self, the piece of you that was lost, and you must convince it to come home to you.

Case Study:

Justin has difficulty asking for help. He cannot believe that other people are reliable. As a result, he often takes on too much in his life, and cannot admit when he has difficulty coping. He decides to seek a shaman. He tells the shaman when the problem first started. Ten years before, he was dealing with health problems. He had a bad reaction to a medication he was on – it made him extremely dizzy, and he kept losing his breath and falling. His boyfriend at the time was also going through some troubles, and was self-medicating in order to cope. One night, after Justin had taken his medicine, he collapsed in the kitchen while getting a cup of tea. The tea fell on him, and he was badly burned. He called out to his boyfriend, who was in the bedroom asleep. His boyfriend did not wake, because of his self-medicating. Justin was forced to crawl to his bathroom to treat his burns, and then crawl back to the kitchen to clean up the broken glass and spilled tea. His feeling of helplessness, coupled with his realization that he was on his own and had no one he could truly depend on, wounded him deeply.

He and his shaman discussed the event. In preparation for the Soul Retrieval, the room that they would use was cleansed, blessed, and sacred space was erected. Justin was smudged by the Shaman, and then he, in turn, smudged the Shaman. Justin was instructed to lie down on the floor on his back, in as comfortable a position as possible. A crystal was placed on his sacral plexus, the chakra where we connect to all people, places, things, ideas, and events. The shaman keeps a second crystal in their hands. Both the Shaman and Justin lay down on the floor, side by side.

The shaman did not bring a drummer to this event, so instead, they used a drumming CD, which had both single and double drumming, as well as a call-back drumming ending. As they lay side by side, the Shaman instructed Justin to listen to the drums, and to breathe to the rhythm. Justin entered a trance state with the Shaman, and their breathing began to sync up as the Shaman and Justin, on their separate journeys, came to the event that caused the fracture in Justin’s soul.

Justin arrived in the kitchen. He saw himself sitting against one wall of the kitchen, feeling lost. He sat down, and began to talk to his old self about his life in the here-and-now. Justin is married now. The man he is married to is very caring. He looks after Justin. Justin knows that whatever happens, his husband will be there, helping him. Justin mentions several experiences where this has proved true. He and his old self comfort each other with the understanding that things are better now, and the soul piece agrees to come home. They merge.

At this moment, the Shaman collects the soul piece in the crystal they have had with them on the journey. The shaman returns to their own body in the here-and-now. The shaman stands up, and walks to Justin’s head. He takes the crystal with Justin’s soul piece, and places it above Justin’s head. He then blows the soul piece out of the crystal, and into Justin’s body through his crown chakra.

Justin slowly comes out of trance with the sound of the call-back signal on the drumming CD. He has a very emotional moment. He is warned that he must nurture himself carefully over the next few days, while the soul piece reintegrates. There are times when a soul retrieval is successful, but a lack of self-awareness and self-care can cause the piece to be lost again, because integration takes time.

Over the next few days, Justin’s outlook changes. He feels more trusting of his husband, and is more willing to ask for help. After some time, it is as if he never had troubles with these aspects of life.

Soul Retrieval can also be done through journeying without a shamanic practitioner acting as a guide, though it is considered an advanced practice, and is not recommended for beginners. Traveling to a lost soul piece has its own trials, ones that the shamanic practitioner has been trained to deal with. Sometimes, there are tests and challenges in the journey, because the spirit and the subconscious throw up blocks. Soul Retrieval is not an easy, or smooth process. It can leave you feeling extremely emotionally fragile  and off-balance afterwards. This is why it is normally better to have a shamanic practitioner trained in soul retrieval and the necessary after-care to do this for you.

That being said, if you are comfortable Journeying on your own, and if you truly feel ready, and are being drawn towards a soul retrieval, it is important that you honor that recovery.

Case Study:

Jillian is having troubles with her heart. She has developed pulmonary hypertension – her anxiety causes difficulty breathing, and syncopated heart rhythms. She has trouble connecting with others.

Jillian is on the autistic spectrum, and it went undiagnosed for most of her life. She has trouble recognizing social signals, and does not cope with her emotions. She has extreme dissociative events. Because of the circumstances of her experiences as an undiagnosed child, she grew to believe that she was unlikeable. her extremely low self-confidence led to a series of relationships that only deepend her beliefs.

Eighteen years ago, Jillian had a child. Her autism made it difficult to care for the child – she was constantly loud, and always needed to be held. Because of Jillian’s autism, so much loud noise and so much touching was physically and emotionally draining. She was extremely stressed, and found it difficult to bond with her new baby.

However, it wasn’t the baby’s fault, so Jillian did her best to look after her child, and give what she could of the child’s needs, willingly experiencing the discomfort, despite the struggle waging inside herself. One day, while she was taking care of her child, Jillian looked into her eyes, and saw the child looking back at her. It was such a knowing look… as if she could see all the way through Jillian. Her child saw all the bad, and the good, and loved it all. She loved her mother.

Jillian had never felt such unconditional emotion from anyone. It changed her mind about herself. It changed her life. In that moment, she found herself beautiful.

Several years later, Jillian was dealing with extreme financial difficulties. She asked her family to take care of her little girl, and the family agreed. However, soon after, they received a job offer out of state. Jillian couldn’t afford to move, and she still couldn’t afford to provide a stable home for her daughter. Her family moved, and her daughter went with them.

This event was extremely traumatic. It resulted in an extreme unwillingness in Jillian to connect in a meaningful way to anyone else, ever again. Even people she knew loved her deeply, who gave all of themselves to her, only received the surface of her. She was unable to give, unable to love deeply, unable to share herself.

As she began to realize how damaging this was to her sense of self, she realized that she wanted to open up. She began working, through a series of meditations, to open her heart. Eventually, she had a breakthrough.

During a meditation, she found herself back at the moment she learned that her family was going to take her daughter out of the state, and that she would not see her daughter for a long time. She met herself at that moment. Her old self appeared to be burned, all over, skin, hair, teeth, eyes, her whole self blackened by the fires of loss. She huddled in the corner of her world, and keened. Jillian knelt down by her old self, her burned self. She began talking about her daughter, who is now nearly an adult. She talked about the times they spent together now, playing video games, sharing their favorite books with each other. It wasn’t enough. Jillian realized that her old self was holding onto the idea that only her daughter could love her, and only her daughter made her loveable, and that was why she couldn’t recover.

Several years before her soul retrieval, Jillian had been in a relationship with a man who was using her. She loved him, and didn’t really believe she was being used. However, as with all relationships, eventually, an event occurred that proved to her that her boyfriend did not respect her and did not care for her thoughts or opinions. She realized in that moment that SHE DID care. That she respected herself, enough that his treatment of her was no longer acceptable. She realized she no longer loved her boyfriend, but she also discovered that she did love herself, and she left him.

During her soul retrieval, Jillian realized that in order to recover this piece of herself and continue to heal, she needed to be honest. She explained to her past self what she had learned from her ex-boyfriend. She shared that sense of self-worth, love, and respect with her old self. Slowly, her old self uncurled from her huddled position. They embraced, and they merged, the soul fragment grateful to return to loving home.

As you can see, Soul Retrieval requires total honesty. If you are truly not ready for it, even with the help of a shamanic practitioner, it may not happen – or if the retrieval is successful, it may not last. Also, the work is not done, once you have recovered the fragment of yourself. You must nurture it, and care for the discoveries you make about yourself during the experience. You must honor the lessons.

Jillian, prior to her soul retrieval, had done considerable, intensive work on her soulscape. She had been working inside the soul home of her heart chakra, breaking down the walls, digging up the soil, preparing her soulscape for the garden to come. After her retrieval, she continued this work. She was finally able to take down most of the walls around her heart’s home, and slowly, those spiritual tasks began to change her in emotional and physical ways. She had less anxiety, her heart troubles and breathing issues slowly faded, and she began to work on her relationships with her friends and family.

Justin, on the other hand, did no real work before his soul retrieval, and after his soul fragment was returned, he continued to retreat from others. He became more determined that he could not depend on anyone other than himself, and as a result, suffered a breakdown due to stress.

These results are not due to the process – they are not due to whether or not you have an experienced practitioner helping you. Soul Retrieval, whether you are helped by someone trained, or you do it yourself, requires you to be responsible afterwards for the pieces of you that you bring back. It requires you to truly honor and care for those pieces, and to include them into your life in the here-and-now. If you do not, the problem will remain, and may worsen.

If you decide that you need a soul retrieval, it is your choice whether you learn to do it for yourself, or you contact someone with training. Before the actual retrieval occurs, however, it is recommended that you do some serious ground-work. This may require therapy, and a lot of personal spiritual work. Ultimately, your dedication to yourself will make the experience worth it.

Deepest blessings –

-Raven

 

World of Warcraft and Mental Health

About four or five years ago, I went through something that turned my life, and my head, completely upside down.

It started with, of all things, a migraine.

I was used to them. I got them all the time. I had them for days at a time. I pushed through. I got things done. I ignored the pain, and mostly, that worked. Admittedly, as things progressed, the amount of days I spent enduring migraines lengthened, until I quite possibly had less than a week out of every month where I wasn’t in pain… but it happened so slowly that by that time, I had adjusted. I persevered.

Until one day, my body decided enough was enough.

I had a migraine so severe I was screaming in pain. We rushed to the hospital, where they struggled to help. Eventually, the pain faded, and we went home… where I couldn’t forget what had happened.

The anxiety and fear of both the pain, and not knowing what had happened to me, or why, eventually led to another screaming migraine.

And another.

Finally, I was in such a state of constant vigilance, I couldn’t cope with even my normal migraines. I started having dreams of dying.

I had a dream of walking out into traffic… and I woke up completely numb – I felt nothing about it. I understood, my subconscious was speaking about my desperation. I wasn’t suicidal, but when you’re experiencing trauma coupled with pain, your brain does a funny thing. It grabs onto any idea for relief.

When I was a child, I was hit by a car, and I died. While I was dead, I experienced not light, but darkness. Pure, empty darkness. There was no pain, there was no fear, there was no hate, there was NOTHING… and it was the most beautiful, quiet experience of my life. When they brought me back, I cried for days, because I didn’t want to leave that peace for a life that was nothing but horror.

So of course, when I was again experiencing something I couldn’t cope well with, my brain remembered what it was like to be dead… and suggested, through dreams, that solution.

This is actually quite common in trauma patients. This does NOT mean they are suicidal. It means that their subconscious is reaching for a way out. That doesn’t mean they have any intention of acting on it… it just means they’re nearing the end of their endurance.

Realizing what my dream signified, I knew I needed medical assistance to get my pain under control. I had my mother take me to the hospital, where I TRIED to explain to multiple medical professionals about my pain, and the dream, and what I needed.

THEY decided I was suicidal, and stopped listening to me. They sent me to an inpatient psychiatric facility for a week, where I experienced even more psychological trauma. The only person I met during that week who DID understand was a paramedic who was an Iraki war veteran. He had shrapnel in his head. He lived with pain daily. He understood the difference between wanting to die, and your brain trying to find solutions to situations.

The end result of these experiences was an anxiety disorder, severe depression, and PTSD.

I sat on the couch for two years. I barely spoke. I wasn’t really aware. People spoke to me, and I honestly felt everything they said meant nothing. Their questions were all obvious, and clearly rhetorical. I stared at the world, and felt nothing, thought nothing. I was empty, at the bottom of a deep well. The world was very dark, and I didn’t care. The only time I experienced any emotions, I would be having a panic attack.

Eventually, we realized that the hospital’s solution of drowning me in medication I didn’t need had exacerbated my situation. My doctor took me off every medication she could.

I was unmedicated for a little over a year…. and slowly, I started to live again. I wasn’t my old self, by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t think I’ll ever get that person back. She died – that’s how I look at it. We found out that I have a sensitivity to sugar. I’m not diabetic – it’s a different issue. If I have too much sugar, I get migraines. We also found out I needed glasses, which clearly contributed to my issues. Dehydration and forgetting to eat definitely contribute, but the main cause is sugar. I stopped drinking gatorade, which I had been drinking because of chronic electrolyte deficiencies, and got an app for my phone that reminded me to drink, and to eat. My migraines and my anxiety both cause me to become very scattered and forgetful. I needed those apps.

Because I was home, and unwell, I had a lot of spare time. I read a lot, but even someone for whom reading is a passion can become tired of reading when that’s ALL you do… so I started playing games from Google Play. I played mystery games – games with a story line, where you would have to find objects, and use them to complete tasks to get to the next section of the game.

I bought a LOT of games. It was becoming expensive.

My husband suggested I try creating a character on WoW. When we first met six years ago, I had tried to play, but I had this tiny Vista hybrid laptop. It had a flip around touch screen, and the latency on the thing was so bad, I couldn’t see what had killed me… It was so bad, that I got very frustrated and just decided that I wasn’t a gamer. I didn’t blame my tech… I blamed myself. After all… I’d played console games with friends. I knew I was bad at games. Shoot – I died during RPG’s.

However, he convinced me to give it another go. I had a newer computer, and he’d played on it. It wasn’t awful, so he thought I would be able to play. He was right, for the most part.

Because I have a lot of social anxiety, I didn’t run any dungeons. I just quested. Despite that, I leveled a toon to 100 in under four months. For a new player, that’s pretty good. He bought me Legion as a present, for making it that far.

The thing about Warcraft is that it gives me goals. Small, achievable tasks, for which I gain rewards. Slowly, my mental health improved, because my confidence in my own ability to solve problems grew. I started running dungeons with my husband and his best friend. I joined a guild and ran some content with them.

My new laptop couldn’t handle Legion. I had latency issues. I had lag issues. Loading into dungeons and scenarios took too long, and I frequently dc’d and spent a lot of time catching up to groups… and dying.

We started saving for a computer that could handle Legion. I got The Beast as a Valentine’s Day present this year. I LOVE my Beast.

After I got The Beast, and realized that a large part of my problems WERE in fact technological, I started feeling confident enough to pug dungeons. We moved to a higher population server (we’d been on Moonguard, which is an RP server, and not really our style) which was progression based, because I finally felt ready to move forward. To challenge myself.

I found a WONDERFUL guild. I can’t even begin to express how helpful and understanding they’ve been. I was clear from the start about my issues, and the reason we click so well is that they are a group designed to support people with my health issues.

Because of Warcraft, and a strong support system, I’ve begun to enjoy being challenged. I still get frustrated if I die a lot. I feel like I’ve failed my team. It just pushes me to learn more.

I’m working, right now, to gear a new character, because I want to get into the higher level dungeons, the mythic plusses, and into the Nighthold Raid. I want to run the heroic Guldan battle, and get my Ahead of the Curve achievement.

I want to be ready for when Tomb of Sargeras comes out. I want to be in the front lines. I want to be part of the team of guildies who run mythic challenges for the guild weekly.

A friend dragged me into battle ground scenarios last weekend. It was the first time I’ve done real PVP stuff. I didn’t die as often as I expected. It was chaotic, and confusing… but I learned a lot. I think I’d like to do more, because I know things about my toon I didn’t know before.

 

I have gone from someone who, when I couldn’t log into my bank account, ended up curled in a ball under a coffee table, completely hysterical, to someone who is actively looking to challenge herself. To push. To grow.

World of Warcraft saved me. I am reborn, and I am ready to face the World… and the world.

Thank you, Warcraft, for teaching me that I Can. And thank you, my husband, for insisting I try it. You’re right… it’s cheaper… and a lot more fun.

 

An Ending

For years, I believed that you did things because it was all you knew. I thought you showed me how much you cared when you sent me food, cat toys, clothes, books, blankets weighted specifically to help with me with my autistic anxiety attacks, because you didn’t know any other way to show me – and I excused that because of how far away from each other we were… Even stranger, in the beginning when I kept telling you not to do these things, because I felt I would owe you something in return (because everyone always wants something in return for their charity), and because I felt that anyone who buys me things was attempting to buy my love (because it’s happened so many times before) – you told me not to worry about it. None of that was true about US. WE were DIFFERENT.

When my illness became so bad I couldn’t communicate anymore, you waited for me to answer your texts – even when it took months, even when my answers simply never came. Of course, you took me to task for my negligence of you, but you were always been the first to admit you are needy and greedy – and I always assured you that wasn’t the case. I agreed that I was the negligent one.

When I was so sick, I simply wanted to die, and you would tell me I wasn’t allowed to die until you were ready to go, yourself, I told myself that you were being loving… the truth is, telling someone they can only die on your schedule is cruel, and grasping. It is not caring when they’re experiencing what I went through. It’s just more emotional torture added to the experience.

In exchange for all of this perceived care, you received from me acceptance, and excuses for all that you were. I accepted the things in your life, and the things about yourself, that were out of your control, beyond your power to change. I accepted those things about you over which you DID have control, and yet still would not change. I occasionally discussed with you what I thought about how your choices, and lack of choices, were affecting your health – spiritually, physically, and mentally… but I never thought of it as judgment, or a request for you to change… I accepted you, wholly. You were who you were, and that was more than ok… it was wonderful.

While you were going through your separation and eventual divorce, I dealt with your constant  criticism of my relationship with my husband, and your frequent oblique references to your ex, as if my husband was cut from the same cloth. I always told myself that your negativity towards R was because you were so hurt… I realize now that there were other issues you had with my happy relationship – one was jealousy… our relationship is significantly healthier than yours was, and I am happy with my husband. The other issue was one of ownership. Every time I mentioned a problem I had, your immediate response was to tell me to run to you, come live with you and be your only person… you never included my husband in your offers unless I brought him up. In your mind, I belong to you, and with you, and shouldn’t be happy anywhere else, with anyone else. When I look back on conversations where you talked about my husband, I feel very manipulated, emotionally. That is not something a friend would do. 

When you expressed an interest in my husband, I was open about it. I know what happens around you when you want things and have to be sneaky, and that is not what I wanted for any of us. When, to protect myself and my relationship with my husband, I laid your desires on the table, you were angry. Part of it is that you enjoy sneaky theft, but a larger part of it was your deep, abiding fear of rejection. Seduction works for you. Bluntness leaves you too open, too revealed. It terrifies you. 

Of course, you and your therapist decided I was a raping raper who pushed you towards things you swore afterwards that you didn’t ever say you wanted. You looked good from that angle… and I took the fall like a good dog. 

When I agreed to take a stronger roll in my own life and power, and in yours, I asked for one thing from both you and the Universe. I asked that I no longer carry the blame for those things that are beyond my control… and you failed to keep your oath.

I experienced something I did not understand, and I came to you for help. You laughed at me, and then you told me that what I’d done (even though it was something beyond my control) was stupid, and that it was going to cause you harm, and that maybe next time I found myself in such a predicament, I should take a moment to think about the larger picture, and all the facts, before I do something like that again.

In other words… you blamed me, and you chastised me. 

You seem to think you gave me information I was unhappy to learn. I was glad to learn what my power had done. I was happy to understand. What pissed me off was your attack of things I had no control over, your blame of me. It’s like yelling at cats for having hairballs or shedding. They have fur – to expect them not to have trouble with their fur from time to time is irrational, and to hold them accountable for their troubles is unreasonable and cruel. 

When I found myself in a situation where I was doing things, but didn’t know what was happening, or even WHY, and I came to you for help – you lorded your superiority over me, and told me, once again, that I think I’m just SO smart that I can do anything I want, because I’ll always find a way out of it. Except that you know that’s not true, and that’s not how I think. This is not the first time we’ve had this EXACT discussion… or even the 90th.

The truth is there are moments in my life where I am fully aware of everything going on around me, yet I am not the one in the driver seat… It appears to everyone else that I am in complete control of what is happening, and yet THAT’S NOT ACTUALLY ME. I move, speak, change the world, and everyone sees my face, my mind, my hands; everyone hears my voice. It’s still not me. I do agree that I’m fully conscious in those moments, where time and the multiverse seem to take a breath, before a sudden wave of power and will changes everything completely… and the epicenter is absolutely me, but I am still not the architect – and saying that I am is like saying I’m to blame for the sun rising.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I say this to you – you refuse to understand it. No matter how many times I tell you, “I wasn’t thinking anything at all – there wasn’t an opportunity for me to think, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do this,’ or ‘Wow, the ramifications of this action make it inadvisable…'” – you STILL insist that because I was there, and the action happened through me, that somehow I could have stopped it, could have changed it… and that next time this happens, I should take control and make it NOT happen.

All this, while also telling me that one of my biggest issues is that I try to control everything (though of course anyone who consistently has their life turned upside down by a puppet master universe would OF COURSE have control issues) and that I should stop “insisting that the system behave the way I want it to,” WHILE you’re simultaneously telling me I should have more control over myself.

The final straw, I think, was that when I asked, you, no… BEGGED YOU to PLEASE attempt to see what was happening to me from my perspective so that you would understand why blaming me for this type of shit is so hurtful, ESPECIALLY COMING FROM SOMEONE LIKE YOU WHO HAS BEEN THERE, TOO… 

When I said to you that you do not seem to understand when I tell you with words, or when I write it down, or when you see it happen to me, but that you seem to ONLY learn by doing, so would you please ALLOW a flow of information to SHOW YOU, BY YOU DOING IT YOURSELF, and you told me I was asking you to be raped – more than that, you told the world that I WANTED you to be raped, that I insisted on it… despite the fact that both of us have been in situations where we were not in control of what happened to our bodies, and neither of us would EVER wish that on ANYONE, EVER… that accusation was just it for me. 

The moment you said that you were not interested in experiencing my world for yourself, I said, OK. I stopped asking you for what I needed, and tried, ONCE AGAIN, to explain IN WORDS what I go through, and you called it a lecture, and then you threatened me – and then you followed that with some incredibly passive-aggressive bullshit.

That was the moment I realized how toxic you are.

I find it interesting that when I won’t do my job, I’m a horrible person, and when I do my job, I’m to blame for the things that happen through me. You call what I asked you to try and experience “Rape.” This essentially means, when you asked me to take back my power, you were asking me to accept rape… and now you’re blaming me for the results… and telling me I’m a rapist because I asked you to attempt to view things from my perspective. What I hear you saying is that it’s ok for me to be raped, and for you to blame me, but it’s not ok for you to emotionally, spiritually, or mentally support me while I endure what you have asked me to endure.

All the gifts in the world don’t make up for you calling me a rapist because I asked you for understanding – asked you for something EVERYONE NEEDS. All the food in the world would not make up for you being ok with me experiencing what you consider to be rape, and also being ok with blaming me for the results. All the pretty dresses, all the plush toys, all the blankets in the world, don’t make up for you greedily telling me that I don’t get to die on my own schedule, but yours. All the visits to organize my medical care, all the offers to pay for various therapies, don’t make up for you lying to me about so many things, and then blaming me for not knowing anything. 22 years of friendship doesn’t make up for you continuing to blame me for shit I cannot help, while doing your damnedest to remain as pure as the driven snow.

That’s about as pure as the shoveled shit. You have betrayed me, abandoned me – every time I have become homeless it has been because of you and your choices. Every time I’ve moved across country, except for the very last, it has been to suit your desires – to either have me, or to throw me away because you found something better for a little while – and the one time I have moved by choice, and for my own reasons – the one time I’ve managed to maintain a stable life for an extended period – when you finally realized what you had chosen over me wasn’t going to work for you anymore, you began trying to emotionally blackmail me into changing my decision.

Do not reply to this post. Do not call me. Do not email me. Do not send me another single thing in an attempt to make yourself feel less guilty for who and what you are, and all the betrayals you have heaped on me over the years. I do not want you – in my life, in my power, in my future – we are not family, we are not friends… and I don’t care enough to even want to be enemies – because you’re not even worth THAT kind of energy.

I have forgiven you, accepted you, loved you… and you have lied to me, accused me, blamed me, betrayed me… and all of this, for the last time. I’m done with you.

 I’ve blocked your phone number and your emails. We’re done. I got help and removed my power from your family line, untwisted our fate, and separated our godhead. We are now two, on two separate paths. I have paid you what I owe, and washed my hands of all of it. 

Thank the gods we’re over. That was the silliest 20,000 years of my life.