I started doing a daily ritual on January 2nd to bring rain to Australia, and thought I would share it here. If you care to do it as well, here is what I’m using:
satellite image of Australia
glass of ice
Place the glass of ice on top of the image of Australia, with the candles on either side. Light both candles while saying:
May the air bring the winds
May the winds bring the storms
May the storms bring the rains
May the rains bring relief
Spend some time visualizing rain covering the entire country (I’ve been doing 10 – 20 minute sessions). I recommend you see Australia completely free of the fires, as opposed to visualizing the rains putting out the fires. Focus your meditation on the goal, not the process.
I’ve been keeping the candles lit for the entire time it takes for the ice to melt, but you can extinguish your candles after your visualization if you prefer.
Note: rain is the domain of air, not water, so one could say that the water candle is unnecessary, and therefore I would say it’s optional for this working.
Many of us are inspired by the ‘new year, new you’ mindset, so for those of you wanting to get a head-start on your spring cleaning and want to remove someone from your life, here is a handy little tarot spell that will do just that.
In this layout, the 2 of Swords bars access to you. The Ace of Swords represents the forces you summon to drive the person away, and the 8 of Cups represents the person giving up and forced to head off in another direction.
For this post I decided to use the Landon Connors Occult Detective Tarot by author and paranormal investigator Bob Freeman because all three cards depict people, and this spell is all about individuals (you and the person). The imagery in the first two cards is more than appropriate for the task at hand, guns instead of swords. The third card may not be as perfect at first look, but here we have a shaman with arms raised, which you can see as barring the way. Using the Rider-Waite Tarot, the 8 of Cups shows an individual with his back turned, walking off into a barren landscape. With that imagery, you are depicting the individual you want to remove from your life doing exactly that, giving up and walking away.
Typically, with tarot spells not much else is needed. I find the allegories contained in the images to be powerful motivators and focal points. However, banishing candles in black, incense, anointing oils, black cloth, etc. can be used to give this spell a boost. Using your athame during the visualization, using it to make an X over the image of the person instead of using your finger, is an example of how you can build on this spell.
Once candles/incense is in place, and everything is ready to go, spend some time visualizing the person you want to remove from your life. Once this image is firmly in place, set down the 2 of Swords and visualize them where you are most likely to come into contact with them. Once that picture is set, using your finger/athame, trace an X in front of you and see it over the image in your mind. Now visualize this person coming towards you, but become blocked by an invisible barrier. See them trying their hardest to get around this barrier, but to no avail.
Next, lay down the Ace of Swords and visualize yourself pointing a sword at the individual. See them still unable to pass the barrier and grow uncomfortable.
Lastly, set down the 8 of Cups as you visualize the person turning away from you, losing all interest in you, their focus on a new interest, a new place, a new activity. See them with their back to you, heading off away from you.
(It’s important that at no point during the visualization you focus on the negative things they do to you, negative feelings they bring up in you)
Note: I’ve never been a big fan of rhyming chants, and typically don’t do them (you’ll see why in a minute). This is one of the rare instances that I attempted a rhyme.
After you have completed the visualization, say this chant as many times as you feel necessary:
Here me, this I say
It’s time for you to go away
Time for you to leave for good
Leave me in peace, as you should
By card and sword, by fire and will
I am now free, life is calm and still
Yep, it’s not a great chant, haha! I was going to change it for this blog post, but decided against it. I don’t mind laughing at myself a bit.
Descendant is a supernatural thriller filled with daring action, adventure, and artifice set against the backdrop of a very familiar world – but it is a world in which preternatural entities, clandestine magical orders, ancient bloodlines, and unholy alliances converge within the shadowed recesses of our darkest imaginings.
Federal Agents Selina Wolfe and Martin Crowe are called in to investigate a series of bizarre deaths in a small rural community. What first seems to be a misadventure involving black magic and satanic ritual soon takes on even more deleterious overtones, as the agents become embroiled in a plot by a sinister cabal intent on unleashing Hell on Earth.
Right from the first page, I was drawn into this book, completely hooked by page six. As usual, Bob Freeman throws us head first into the world of the occult with his compelling, faced-paced storytelling, hardly giving his readers time to breathe.
At first, I was a bit thrown with how the book is separated into three parts, but knowing Bob’s work, I knew by the end of the book we would come full-circle in a pleasantly unexpected way. The result was a sense of urgency and expectation that stayed with me throughout the book, and made the ending all the more satisfying.
I love how Bob paints a scene. He gives just the right amount of descriptives to fire the imagination and make his world come alive, without affecting the pacing of the story with overly long descriptions of every scene.
I decided to reread First Born, the first book of the Liber Monstrorum series, while I was awaiting the arrival of Descendant, so refamiliarise myself with Bob’s world and his characters. I had forgotten that I was only introduced to the characters Selina Wolfe and Martin Crowe in that book, and not in Bob’s first series, The Cairnwood Manor series. A testament to Bob’s ability to bring his characters to life in a way that makes them familiar and loved. I didn’t get a chance to finish First Born before Descandant arrived, so after finishing the book, I went back to First Born, and that’s when the stories within really came alive for me moreso than the did on my first reading. It was such a satisfying sense of completion.
I think it’s obvious that I’m recommending Descendant. I also recommend reading First Born, as well as the two books in the Cairnwood Manor series. All four books have some tie-ins with each other with the characters you’ll meet, but with Bob Freeman’s excellent storytelling, the books can be read independently without feeling like your missing out on vital information needed to truly immerse yourself in whichever book you have in your hands.
With three days left to 2019, many of us have turned our thoughts to the things we would like to achieve in 2020. As with many things, our desire to do these things can often outweigh our motivation to get started with them, much less achieve our goals. So, for those who need a bit of a kick in the pants, here is a quick and simple tarot spell for motivation.
In this layout, the Ace of Wands is for energy. The Magician represents you focusing your attention and using your energy to achieve your goal. The 8 of Pentacles represents work.
This layout is fairly generic in it’s application, however, you can switch out the 8 of Pentacles for another card that better represents your intention. Use the Strength card if your intention is to start exercising, or Temperance to break a bad habit, as examples.
I don’t incorporate any other items into this spell (candles, charms, crystals, etc.) because it is meant to be done on a needs basis, when you need that ‘kick in the pants’, that infusion of energy, motivation, and strength of will.
As such, I’ve also kept the chant very simple and basic:
I focus my mind, I focus my body
I summon energy, I summon will
I am strong in thought, and strong in action
I immerse myself in my work
I accomplish my goals
While performing the chant, visualize yourself becoming more focused, more energetic, and strong in mind and body. When it feels right, switch to visualizing yourself accomplishing your goals while you continue the chant. Again, when it feels right, stop chanting and spend a few more moments visualizing your completed goal.
The classic tale of witchcraft. Reissued for the first time in 14 years. Seventeenth century England is a place of superstition and fear. Deep in the Forest of Pendle, people have been dying in mysterious circumstances. The locals whisper of witchcraft, but Squire Roger Nowell, in charge of investigating the deaths, dismisses the claims as ridiculous. Until a series of hideous desecrations forces Roger and his cousin Margery to look further into the rumours. And what they discover brings them face to face with the horrifying possibility that a coven of witches is assembling, preparing to unleash a campaign of evil and destruction.
Robert Neill’s novel is a classic tale of witchcraft set in a wild inaccessible corner of Lancashire and in a time when the ancient fear of demons and witches was still a part of life… and death.
Since I recently started doing book reviews, I thought it would be great to review my absolute favourite work of fiction. Mist Over Pendle was first published in 1951, and is the first published work of author Robert Neill. He went on to write a total of 16 books between 1951 and 1979, with Mist Over Pendle arguably being his greatest work. It was an immediate world-wide success, enabling Neill to become a full-time writer.
Neill had always had an interest in historical fiction, which he described as arising from his liking for historical buildings and for Lancashire history and legend. He was a critical reader, alive to errors in detail and accuracy, and began, with his aunt’s encouragement, to consider that he could do better himself.
His work was based upon extensive research into original sources, such as Parish Registers, and contemporary documents, using textbooks only as a means of identifying such sources. He would visit the scenes of intended novels, going over the ground personally, to ensure that his books would be completely authentic. Neill told a tale of one Lancashire bookseller who, before putting Mist over Pendle on display, checked all places and distances in the book, stating that if there were any inaccuracies, his customers would bring the books back.
Mist Over Pendle is based upon events in 1611-1612, leading up to the real-life witch trial of a group of supposed witches in the Pendle Hill area of Lancashire, England. From Wikipedia:
The trials of the Pendle witches in 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history, and some of the best recorded of the 17th century. The twelve accused lived in the area surrounding Pendle Hill in Lancashire, and were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft. All but two were tried at Lancaster Assizes on 18–19 August 1612, along with the Salmesbury witches and others, in a series of trials that have become known as the Lancashire witch trials. One was tried at York Assizes on 27 July 1612, and another died in prison. Of the eleven who went to trial – nine women and two men – ten were found guilty and executed by hanging; one was found not guilty.
The official publication of the proceedings by the clerk to the court, Thomas Potts, in his The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster, and the number of witches hanged together – nine at Lancaster and one at York – make the trials unusual for England at that time. It has been estimated that all the English witch trials between the early 15th and early 18th centuries resulted in fewer than 500 executions; this series of trials accounts for more than two per cent of that total.
Six of the Pendle witches came from one of two families, each at the time headed by a woman in her eighties: Elizabeth Southerns (a.k.a. Demdike), her daughter Elizabeth Device, and her grandchildren James and Alizon Device; Anne Whittle (a.k.a. Chattox), and her daughter Anne Redferne. The others accused were Jane Bulcock and her son John Bulcock, Alice Nutter, Katherine Hewitt, Alice Grey, and Jennet Preston. The outbreaks of witchcraft in and around Pendle may demonstrate the extent to which people could make a living by posing as witches. Many of the allegations resulted from accusations that members of the Demdike and Chattox families made against each other, perhaps because they were in competition, both trying to make a living from healing, begging, and extortion.
The fiction in Mist Over Pendle comes in the form of Margery, the 16 year old protagonist of this story and cousin to Squire Roger Nowell, newly arrived in Pendle from London. Her quick wits and curiosity in the people and area of Pendle makes her an invaluable asset to Roger Nowell and his seemingly hopeless quest in bringing the two witch families to justice. It is through her investigations and ability to piece things together that by the end of the book, the Pendle witches are rounded up and the proof of their guilt established. All seemingly live happily ever after (except for the witches, of course).
Why do I love this book? It all comes down to Robert Neill’s attention to detail. Neill is a great storyteller, but this book is made all the more greater because of the detail he adds to the story, as well as historical and geographic accuracy.
I have an active imagination and can easily visualize what I’m reading in a book. Neill takes it to a whole new level with the detail he gives on everything. Nothing is neglected in this book. The clothing people are wearing, the description of houses, the geographic details, even how it feels in each building/house (cold, warm, light, etc.). Neill take such great pains to make you feel like you’re there, almost letting you believe you’re a character in the story instead of the usual invisible observer.
Because he traveled to Pendle District for research while writing this book, he is able to describe the locations in such great detail, that you can go on Google Maps while reading this book, and very easily locate not only the major landmarks of the area, but the locations given in the book, as well as the old tracks Margery travels throughout Pendle Wood, now paved roads.
The pacing of the book is excellent. There are no parts that feel draggy and irrelevant to the story. Some readers may find Roger and Margery’s trip north during Christmas irrelevant and a bit boring because it doesn’t directly relate to the main story, but I don’t. Again, because Robert Neill put so much detail into every page, I find reading about these old Christmas traditions fascinating. Plus, I see it as a turning point for Margery, the point when she truly comes into her own as a woman, which I think is reflected in her actions throughout the rest of the book.
I’ve owned this book for five or six years now. I’ve read it maybe 10 times or so, and have never been bored with it yet. As a matter of fact, during my third or fourth reading of it, once I got to the last page, I immediately turned to page one and began to read it over again. This book has put a spell on me, and I urge anyone interested in stories of witches, real or fictional, to pick this book up and give it a read. You won’t be disappointed.
Publisher: Bear & Co. (a division of Inner Traditions International) 2nd Edition, Revised Edition of Killing Moses (June 4, 2019)
Paperback, 256 pages
The life of Moses, the greatest prophet of the Old Testament, has always been shrouded in mystery. The Bible mentions no witnesses to Moses’ death, no funeral, and no indication of his burial place, and the story of Exodus paints a very contradictory picture of this man so important to both Judaism and Christianity. At times, he is depicted as a meek, stuttering figure and at others his tyrannical commands and fits of rage terrorize the children of Israel. And, for the last years of his life, he chose to hide behind a veil. What is the explanation for these extreme shifts in character? Was Moses mentally ill? As Rand and Rose Flem-Ath reveal, the evidence points to something much more sinister: Moses was murdered and replaced by an impostor.
The result of a decade-long investigation, this book continues and builds upon the research of Goethe, Christopher Marlowe, and Sigmund Freud–who spent the last 40 years of his life obsessed with solving Moses’ murder–and reaches a startling but well-evidenced conclusion that Moses was deceived and murdered by his father-in-law, Reuel. The authors show how Reuel was a skilled magician trained at Egypt’s prestigious House of Life and they reveal his motive: He was the son of Esau, from whom Jacob stole his birthright, the leadership of the Hebrew people, a role that Moses was now assuming.
The authors explain how the magician Reuel used his sophisticated skills of manipulation and illusion to fake the Burning Bush that spoke to Moses as well as conceal his assumption of Moses’ identity after the murder. They reveal how the early scribes of the Old Testament inserted lags of time into the Exodus story to cover Moses’ assassination and replacement, fabricated Moses’ origin story, and changed the location of the “Mountain of God” from Edom, where Reuel was a prince, to Sinai.
Unveiling the enigma of Moses’ real story–and his murder and replacement–the Flem-Aths dramatically challenge the time line and details of biblical history, exposing a cover-up at the very origins of Western religion.
Another excellent offering from Bear & Co. (a division of Inner Traditions International), I can’t recommend this book enough! I think this ‘review’ is going to be less of a review, and more gushing praise.
This book contains years of research, and gives convincing evidence of one of the greatest murder conspiracies and cover ups the world has ever seen. I’m not going to go into detail, because it’s so well written, and the pacing is excellent, almost giving this book the feel of a great murder mystery you’d pick up in the fiction section of your local bookstore. And like a good book of fiction, I can see myself reading this again for its entertainment value. So I’m not going to spoil it by giving anything away.
Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that this is a book of fiction, born from the wild imaginations of the authors. I’m comparing the enjoyment I got from the unraveling of this mystery to the enjoyment I get from a fictional tale. That in itself makes this book worth buying.
I can see how some people would think this conspiracy too complex to pull off without an understanding of Egyptian ‘magic’ and how adept they were at what we today would call stage illusion, and that these events take place over decades. That fact can be easy to forget when such a long timeline is condensed into one book.
The only criticism I have with this book is that I find the ending (the time between when the Israelites leave the area around Petra, and when they find the promised land) to be a bit rushed. But perhaps this is only because I don’t have enough familiarity with the Bible. I would have liked a better understanding of the route the Israelites took, and related events, even though at this point of the exodus story, the main events the book set out to explain (I don’t want to say prove) have played themselves out, and everything that comes after really doesn’t have an impact on the murder of Moses theory. It just would have wrapped things up nicely for me.
If you’ve come across this book and have wondered if it’s worth reading, I highly highly suggest you do so. I don’t think you’d regret it.
A few weeks ago someone asked me how to create a good structure for ritual, so I thought it would make a good blog post.
Any ritual has three basic parts – beginning, middle, and end, or opening, the ritual proper, and closing.
Simple enough. However, within each of these three parts are subsections, and these subsections will depend largely upon your style, tradition, purpose, etc. If you’re somewhat experienced doing ritual or casting spells, these sub parts will be familiar and you may do them as a matter of course, but when it comes to writing a ritual, it can be easy enough to unintentionally skip a subpart. To prevent this, I always recommend an individual write down on three separate pieces of paper each part (opening, middle, closing), and then list in order each subpart. Then, as you’re writing the ritual, you can ‘check off’ each sub part once it’s been incorporated into your ritual.
Another benefit I find with this process is you develop a better understanding of each part of the ritual, instead of taking certain steps for granted.
Prepare the ritual space – cleaning ritual space, altar set up, set out tools, etc.
Meditation – this can be relatively brief. In a group setting, this is also an oppourtunity to explain the purpose of the ritual. In my grove, we do a pre ritual for the Sabbats where we meditate lightly while one member gives a reading about the particular Sabbat we’re about to celebrate
Statement of intent (ex. by earth, air, fire, and water, we are (I am) here for the rite of Samhain)
Ground and centre
Blessing (ex. with the blessing of earth, sea, and sky, may our (my) ceremony begin)
Call to spirit (or to god, god and goddess, etc.)
Casting the circle
Cleansing by water and fire
Calling the quarters
Repeated statement of intent (optional)
This is where it gets tricky. Rituals can come in many forms and styles, so it can be difficult to create a generic list of subparts. Because I’m not writing this with any one tradition in mind, I’ll include more parts rather than less, then you can add or take away as necessary. Writing ritual is my favourite creative pursuit. As such, I can often go over-the-top with all the pomp and circumstance, which allows me to experiment with different elements of the ritual. Sometimes the results are amazing, sometimes not so much. A ritual, working, or spell that fails isn’t necessarily a failure as such. Experimenting is about finding out what works and what doesn’t, so when you discover what works by what doesn’t, that is a success. Remember that, and use this as a guide, not as a rule book.
Drawing down the moon
Drawing down the sun
The great rite
Alternatively – invocation to the Goddess, invocation to the God, no great rite. This can be generic, or can be to a specific goddess and god
Offering to the Goddess
Offering to the God
Alternatively – invocation to Spirit, no great rite
Alternatively – offering to Spirit
Announcement of beginning
Ritual or working
Sacrifice – this can be anything appropriate to the ritual or working
Sacred Circle dance
Cakes and Wine
Creative pursuit – in my grove, we would all share some sort of creative work. This could be playing an instrument, singing, reading a poem, sharing a painting, etc.
Announcement of ending
Cleansing by water and fire
Thanking the powers – if you invoked a goddess and god, it is at this point they depart
Closing the quarters
Uncast the circle
Announcement of ending and departure
Within the subpart ‘Ritual or Working’ (tenth bullet point under Ritual), you can add sub-subparts, such as energy raising, gifts from spirit, multiple sacred circle dances, multiple sacrifices, multiple blessings, etc. It really all depends upon the purpose of the ritual, your intention, and your style and/or tradition.
Keep in mind, this is more for a Neo-Pagan ritual, not so much for a ritual magic working, although many of the elements are similar.
Regardless of whether you’re working within a specific tradition or are more eclectic, the best rituals (especially for new ritual writers) are those that come from the heart not the head. In my experience, rituals from the heart are simpler and more to the point (and not in a bad way). There will be plenty of time to learn and grow to the point where you can utilize heart, head, and creative (divine) inspiration to include allegory and complex myth and magical associations into your writing.