Book Review : Mist Over Pendle

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  • Author:  Robert Neill
  • Publisher:  Arrow (Apr 4 2011)
  • Paperback, 416 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0099557037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099557036

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mist Over Pendle was released as The Elegant Witch in the US

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.

 

 

Book Review : The Murder of Moses – How An Egyptian Magician Assassinated Moses, Stole His Identity, And Hijacked The Exodus

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  • Authors:  Rand and Rose Flem-Ath
  • Publisher:  Bear & Co. (a division of Inner Traditions International) 2nd Edition, Revised Edition of Killing Moses (June 4, 2019)
  • Paperback, 256 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1591433363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591433361

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.

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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.

How To Write A Ritual

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.

Example:

  • Opening Ritual
  • Samhain Ritual
  • Closing Ritual

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.

Example:

Pre Ritual

  • Prepare the ritual space – cleaning ritual space, altar set up, set out tools, etc.
  • Purifying bath
  • 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

Opening Ceremony

  • 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.

Ritual

  • 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

Closing Ceremony

  • Cleansing by water and fire
  • Final Blessing
  • 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.

 

Book Review : Egregores – The Occult Entities That Watch Over Human Destiny

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Author:  Mark Stavish                                                                                                                            Publisher: Inner Traditions, July 2018                                                                                                Paperback, 160 pages                                                                                                                   ISBN-10: 1620555778                                                                                                               ISBN-13: 978-1620555774

One of most important but little known concepts of Western occultism is that of the egregore, an autonomous psychic entity created by a collective group mind. An egregore is sustained by belief, ritual, and sacrifice and relies upon the devotion of a group of people, from a small coven to an entire nation, for its existence. An egregore that receives enough sustenance can take on a life of its own, becoming an independent deity with powers its believers can use to further their own spiritual advancement and material desires.

Presenting the first book devoted to the study of egregores, Mark Stavish examines the history of egregores from ancient times to present day, with detailed and documented examples, and explores how they are created, sustained, directed, and destroyed. He explains how egregores were well known in the classical period of ancient Greece and Rome, when they were consciously called into being to watch over city states. He explores the egregore concept as it was understood in various Western Mystery traditions, including the Corpus Hermeticum, and offers further examples from Tibetan Buddhism, Islam, modern esoteric orders such as the Order of the Golden Dawn and Rosicrucianism, the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Grant, and the followers of Julius Evola and Aleister Crowley. The author discusses how, even as the fundamental principles of the egregore were forgotten, egregores continue to be formed, sometimes by accident.

Stavish provides instructions on how to identify egregores, free yourself from a parasitic and destructive collective entity, and destroy an egregore, should the need arise. Revealing how egregores form the foundation of nearly all human interactions, the author shows how egregores have moved into popular culture and media–underscoring the importance of intense selectivity in the information we accept and the ways we perceive the world and our place in it.

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I loved this well-written book by Mark Stavish, and can’t recommend it enough.  My library is quickly filling up with titles by Inner Traditions and Bear & Co. (a division of Inner Traditions International), and will probably soon overtake the amount of Weiser titles I own.  The high calibre of their offerings is irresisteble.

While I’ve always preferred to keep the word egregore for the intentional act of building up a psychic entity through ritual, Mark gives a detailed explanation of the building up of egregores through group consciousness in the mundane world.  Think of the fan base of a sports team, or the fan base of a movie franchise.  Anyone who has been in a sports stadium has experienced that egregore, and even contributed to it.  The Harry Potter franchise is another good example of group consciousness at work.  Go on social media nowadays, and it’s not uncommon to see people with their Hogwarts House listed in their profiles.

What I especially appreciate about this book is Mark’s example of the Golden Dawn egregore, which can give some people a better understanding of why so many of us go to such great lengths to take care of our words, actions, and magical associations in our ritual work, instead of just ‘going with our gut’ and ‘winging it’.

Who do I think this book is for?  Anyone who practices magic, really, but I think that it has particular value to beginners for two reasons.  Firstly, the subject of group consciousness is something that beginners need to understand to assistant them in avoiding personality cults within the magical community (and believe me, they are in abundance).  Secondly, understanding the forces one can tap into is invaluable in any magical working.

One quick note about the foreward by James Wasserman.  If you really find Tumpian talking points distasteful and sets you to raging, I suggest you skip the foreward.  As a foreward, it expertly sets up the book for the reader, but it’s one-sided viewpoint may not be for everyone.  I find non-pundit parroting talking points from politicians of any stripe laughable at best, so if you’re like me, you’ll just roll your eyes and continue reading.  It doesn’t detract from the book, because like I said, you can just skip it.  This book is worth it.

 

 

 

Blessed Lughnasadh

And Blessed Imbolc for all of those in the southern hemisphere.  How did you spend your Lughnasadh/Imbolc day?

I did what I always do on each Sabbat; I made a large batch of Lughnasadh Loose Incense and Lughnasadh Anointing Oil.  These I make for the Sabbat Altar Sets available on my website here.  I also spent time working on something new, but I can’t reveal that yet.  Soon, though…

The group that I do rituals with gets together on weekends close to the Sabbats to celebrate, so no group ritual for me tonight.  I will confess, in my shame, that I’ve been so busy I actually forgot about Lughnasadh, so I don’t actually have anything planned with my group this weekend.  I will, however, do something small and private by myself later tonight.

Lughnasadh makes me a bit sad.  I love summer, and I love the heat, so celebrating the first harvest reminds me that summer is coming to an end, even though where I live in Canada, some of our hottest days are still to come in August.  At the beginning of July, we were told that June was the hottest month on record, worldwide.  Today while watching the news, I learned that July was now the hottest month on record.  What will August bring?  It’s scary to think what we’re doing to our planet, and it’s scarier to think that politicians have made this a partisan issue, the end result being that certain segments of the population are against green technologies for no other reason than that they hang on every word of their favoured politicians.  It’s so short-sighted, and quite frankly, so pathetic.  It never fails to amaze me that some people so easily parrot politicians talking-points, and believe whatever it is they say.

OK, back to the topic!

I have a secret.  For all of my love of the sun and heat, autumn is my favourite time of the year.  I feel the most connected to the earth from around September to November.  I really try to take advantage of the harvest season to reap the rewards of a year of hard work.  Being self-employed, I’m always going fullsteam ahead, so it’s around the fall when I can sit back and enjoy my achievements.  Plus, knitwear!!!

Take this Lughnasadh season to look back at the hard work you’ve put into the year, and then look forward to see how you can begin to reap the rewards.

So, You Want Change. What Are You Waiting For? Part 3

The magical battle of Britain is often invoked around the topic of magical activism, specifically the New Forest witches who raised a cone of power to prevent Hitler from invading Britain, and the work of Dion Fortune and her Fraternity of the Inner Light.  The first is an example of offensive magic, a working directed towards a person.  The former is an example of defensive magic.  Dion Fortune and the FIL invoked angels to patrol the shores of Britain, while conducting workings to strengthen and heal the group consciousness of the nation (this has also been referred variously as the group mind, group consciousness, egregore, etc.).  This is different from the group soul.

I won’t focus on the offensive magic in this post, as there are plenty of books and internet resources available that cover this topic, not to mention as I explained in Part 1, I don’t think it’s the best use of time and energy.

Politicians, and would-be politicians, that focus on hate, discrimination, misogyny, etc., are not the problem, they are the symptom.  They are the physical representation of the hate that some of us in our society holds in their hearts.  That hate resides in the group consciousness of a nation, and affects us all in negative ways.  If there is an upside to this, it is that we who desire to eliminate such hate, have access to the damaged parts of the national consciousness which we are a part of, enabling us to contribute to the healing and elimination of that blackness.

How can you contribute to that healing?

Create a sigil – Create a sigil that for you, represents the healing of the group consciousness.  Keep it fairly simple, as you will need to visualize the sigil in meditation.

Pick a day and time – Ideally, you will do this working on the same day and at the same time each week, so you need to pick a time that works best for you.  Moon phases, planetary day/hour, etc. will not factor into this work* (more about moon phases below), however ideal days for this would be Sunday (Sun) and Wednesday (Mercury).  Optimal times would be during the day as opposed to the evening.  You will only need to devote 10 – 20 minutes on each meditation, although if you wish to spend more time, that is entirely up to you.  Keep in mind, sometimes workings are complete in less time than we plan for, in which case it’s always best to finish up instead of forcing things.

Pick a physical location that you will replicate as your astral temple – This can be a natural landmark, a monument, or place of importance in your city/state.  If you’re working on the municipal level, this can be city hall.  If you’re working on the provincial/state level, this can be the parliament/capitol building.  Study it in pictures or in person well, as you will need to be able to visualize it in meditation.

On your chosen day, prepare yourself and your ritual space.  At the time you chose, enter your working space, and begin with whatever relaxation exercises you are accustomed to.  When you are ready, visualize the physical location that you will be using for your astral temple.  Spend as much time as you need creating this space.  Once you feel comfortable with your results, visualize yourself entering the space.  Become aware of your comfort level in this temple.  It will have an energetic link with its physical counterpart, so there is a possibility that even though it is of your creation,  it may still be energetically incompatible with you.  If it turns out that you don’t feel comfortable, the best course of action would be to dissolve the image and come out of the meditation.  You will then need to pick a new location, and repeat the above step the following week.

Depending upon how much time you spent creating the astral space will determine your next step.  You may leave it for the following week, or you may continue on.

Visualize the sigil you created.  See it clearly in the centre of your astral temple, flaming white, blue-white, or violet.  Don’t force a colour change if it appears in a colour other than the three I just mentioned.  Once you can see the flaming sigil effortlessly, spend time meditating on it and your intention of healing the group consciousness.  Be aware of feelings, thoughts, and/or any images that come to you, as these can contribute to the direction your working takes.  When you are ready, come out of your meditation and take notes.

The next week you will repeat your ritual preparations and relaxation techniques, just as you will every week before each meditation.  Once ready, visualize yourself in your astral temple standing before your flaming sigil.  It is now time to connect to the group consciousness/egregore.  Visualize a white light coming from above and connecting with your sigil.  Again, if it appears in a different colour, don’t fight it.  It may be the natural colour of the egregore, or you may be visualizing the taint of the group consciousness that your healing work will be addressing.  If that turns out to be the case, over time you will see a colour change as your healing work comes into effect.  In any case, once the connection has been established, you may end the meditation, or may feel compelled, or simply just have the time to move on to the next step.  Be aware of feelings, thoughts, and/or any images that come to you, as these can contribute to the direction your working takes.  Take notes.

This step is the last that I will recommend.  After this point, your meditation will take you where it wants to go** (more about that below).  This week, once your in your astral temple standing before your sigil bathed in the light of the group consciousness, spend time sending healing energy up that ray of light. Be aware of feelings, thoughts, and/or any images that come to you, as these can contribute to the direction your working takes.  When you are ready, come out of your meditation, and take notes.

Sounds simple, perhaps a little too simple, but it’s not.  Just like when reading a ritual.  It may appear simple and short and ho hum on paper, but it’s another thing entirely when performed.  You won’t know where you’ll be lead with this long-term meditation.  You will undoubtedly have some profound experiences some weeks, some set-backs other weeks, and there will be times when the meditation lacks lustre.  But stick with it, persevere, and you will contribute to the betterment of society, in addition to all the good works you do already on the mundane level.

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*Note about moon phases – For Wiccans and some witches, the moon is the most important heavenly body for their magic.  You may wish to experiment a bit with the moon phases.  You can try sending out healing to the group consciousness, give empowerment, strength to a politician, positivity for legislation, etc. for the two meditations during the waxing moon, and then focus directly on removing the hate in the group consciousness, the opposition to legislation, etc. for the two meditations during the waning moon.  As always, keep notes so you can gauge effectiveness.

**Let your weekly meditations grow and transform organically.  The above intentions are all noble pursuits, but each take time to implement, so you want to be sure that you are giving enough focus on each, keeping in mind that the healing of the group consciousness is your main goal.

The group consciousness is a living entity.  You may become aware of this entity as a formed person/being within your astral temple during your meditations.  They may or may not interact with you, provide guidance, direction etc.

Intentions to consider/incorporate into your meditation:

Empowering, giving strength, uplifting your preferred politician

Healing the land.  If your working locally, limit this to your local area.  If you are working provincially/statewide, limit this to your province/state.

Work on the success or failure of pieces of legislation, bylaws, etc.

Intentions to avoid:

Working against a specific person, group, political party, etc.

So, You Want Change. What Are You Waiting For? Part 2

The day after I posted So, You Want Change, Part 1, Boris Johnson was made Prime Minister of the UK.  I can imagine there are more than a few people in the magical community over there taking ideas from the Bind Donald Trump Movement.  Ever the optimist, I’m thinking perhaps he won’t be as bad as people fear.  Only time will tell.

So, I’ve given my opinion on why I don’t think the Bind Donald Trump Movement will have any real impact.  Does that mean I think using magic to affect politics is a waste of time?  Not at all.  I do, however, believe that we should be using our magic closer to home to have a better chance of achieving the outcomes we desire.

Local politics are within your sphere of influence.  This includes municipal as well as your local riding/district.  People don’t realize exactly how influential municipal policies can be on their province/state.  One only needs to look at sanctuary cities and municipalities stepping up when Trump pulled the US from the Paris Climate Agreement to observe how local politics can shape provincial/state and federal policy.

This is important for people like me in Canada.  We don’t actually vote for our Prime Minister.  We vote for our MP (Minister of Parliament).  The party with the majority of votes forms a majority government, and the leader becomes the next Prime Minister.  Because of this, I am much more likely to see results I am happy with if I work my magic locally, instead of on the leaders of our political parties.

I’m still not necessarily advocating binding politicians, or at least, not advocating for it as your only magical method of creating change.  If your representative is attempting to enact policy you don’t agree with, bind away.  Will it work?  That depends on many factors, but you won’t know until you try.  If your current representative is the person you voted for, and you’re happy with their work, then does that mean you have no magical work to take on?  Not at all.  Chances are, they’re going to be challenged by someone you wouldn’t support, and would hate to see as your representative.  That means, whether or not you support your local politicians, there is work to be done.  And that work is largely the same in either scenario:  possibly bind the politician(s) you don’t agree with, strengthen the politician(s) you do support, alter the collective consciousness of your locality.

This is where the time factor comes in.  You want change, then you need to act now.  Your magic needs time to build and grow on the inner planes before it can manifest on the outer.  And let’s be honest, this is big work, and big work takes time and dedication.  I always equate my magical work to mundane work to gauge possible results.  Does sharing one or a few posts from my preferred candidate guarantee their success?  Does putting up a yard sign guarantee their success?  Does voicing my support for them guarantee their success?  No.  Certainly not individually.  Put all together, in addition to other actions in a consistent manner will.  Well, not guarantee, but helps their chances.  So I need to approach my magical work in the same manner.  One little working won’t do much, and will certainly have little to no effect if I put if off until the night before an election.  Instead, I know that my magical work needs to start months away from a primary/election, and needs to be done consistently, and that I need to be adaptable to changing circumstances, and work my magic accordingly.

Part 3 will actually look at practical magic we can use to influence politics and create change.