Daily Practice – Altar Maintenance

018Maintaining your altar(s) is another great way to incorporate spiritual activities into your daily life.  A quick wipe down, watering (or replacing flowers), topping up the water in your water bowl or chalice, are simple things that reinforce your commitment to your practice (as well as keeping your altar looking fantastic).

Doing these activities (I don’t want to call them chores or jobs) gives me the perfect excuse to then light my altar candles and some incense, and give myself the opportunity to ground and centre, breathe deeply, and recharge with a few minutes spent in quiet meditation.

If you have an altar to a patron deity, this daily ritual maintenance shows your respect and dedication to them, and again, after you’ve completed that task is an ideal time to light some incense and perform whatever small ritual you do in honour to them.

I keep a very simple altar at the moment, so it’s very easy for me to remove what’s on it for a daily wipe down.  Some people have altars that are overflowing with items important to them and their practice, making the task of daily cleaning a real chore.  That’s OK!  Instead of removing everything off the altar every day, pick one or two items to dust each day, and save the deep clean for a monthly task.

Will you miss a day?  Of course.  Does that make you a bad pagan?  Absolutely not!  Life happens, despite our best intentions.  Don’t beat yourself up over it, but also don’t let it throw you off and mess with your dedication and commitment to daily spiritual practice, because you know that’s the first thing to fall by the wayside when life gets too messy.

 

Daily Practice – Tarot Meditation

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The Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot by Chic & Tabitha Cicero

Mediation is a great addition to your daily practice, one that has measurable and proven positive effects on the health and well being of an individual.  It’s not a difficult thing to do, nor does it have to been a time consuming activity.  Even just 10 or 15 minutes a day can make a world of difference.

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The Hermetic Tarot by Godfrey Dowson

Meditation can be done is a variety of ways and for a variety of purposes.  Sometimes we meditate to clear the mind and relax.  Sometimes we do pathworking, or guided meditations.  Sometimes we meditate on an idea or concept in search of enlightenment.

The tarot is a great meditative tool, a story that depicts an individuals spiritual journey, the gaining of experience through the various life-lessons one is presented with, undergoing a transformation and perfecting of the soul.

Each card is a world in miniature,  each as rich in symbolism and allegory as when all the cards are laid out together.  Alone, they lose none of their mystery or power.  Each have their story to tell, lessons to convey, and answers to impart.

We can use the tarot in meditation to gain a better understanding of the images and meanings each card holds.  Imagine each card as a gate, one that once opened, gives you access to a realm of experience unique to that card and it’s symbolism.

You don’t need any prior experience with tarot to do this meditation, although having a book on tarot that explores it’s symbolism and meanings will be helpful, as you will see.

We’re going to start with The Fool, card 0, and work our way through the major arcana to The World, card 21, meditating on one card each day.  You can spend as much or as little time as you wish, but do try to set aside 10 – 15 minutes each day for this.  If you can meditate at the same time each day, so much the better.

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The Fool, from left to right: The Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot, The Hermetic Tarot, The Rider-Waite Tarot, and The Thoth Deck

Hold the card and look at the image as a whole.  Spend a minute on this, then focus on the colours, then after another minute of this, focus on the symbols.  Once you’ve done this, look at the whole image once again.

Close your eyes.  Visualize the card in your hand – the figure(s), the colours, the symbols.  Once you’ve got this image as firm in your mind as you think you can, open your eyes and again look at the card.  Is there anything you missed in your visualization?  If so, focus on those features in the image, then close you eyes and see the card once again.  Repeat this until you have the best visualization of the card as you feel you’re going to get.

Spend a few minutes on the image in your mind.  If you catch your thoughts wandering, acknowledge it, then return your focus back to the image and forget about your ‘screw up’.

When ready, imagine yourself moving towards the image of the card in your mind.  See it getting bigger and bigger until it appears to be life-sized.  Now, step into the image and see it come to life.  Don’t force anything, just experience it.  What you will see/experience will be unique to you as this isn’t a pathworking/guided meditation.  Spend as much time in this world as you wish as long as you remain comfortable in the experience.

Once you’re ready to end the meditation, image yourself stepping out of your experience, seeing the life-sized image of the card once again.  See if shrink as you move away from it.  When ready, open your eyes.

Record your experience.  Once you’ve done that, open up your tarot book and read the meaning of the card.  Does your experience of the card correlate with its meaning?  If it doesn’t don’t worry, you didn’t make an error somewhere in your meditation.  This is an experience that is unique to you, and can inform your future use and interpretations of the tarot.

Repeat this meditation with each successive card in the major arcana.  If you feel the need to repeat the meditation with the same card a second or third time before moving on to the next, it’s OK to do so.

And I repeat…record your experience!!!

 

Daily Practice – Daily Devotions

WU68074_1Daily devotions are a great way to maintain a spiritual practice even on the busiest, most hectic days.  It’s a brief moment of peace, a quiet moment of centering and focusing.

I perform four devotions each day – sunrise (actually when I wake up), noontime, sunset, and midnight.  Prior to me working from home, the noontime, and sometimes the sunset, devotions had to be done wherever I could manage.  This often meant reciting the devotion in my head in a public bathroom stall.

A commuter on public transit may have to do likewise on a packed bus or train.  It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing, and the dedication to your daily practice whenever and wherever you happen to be ensures that you maintain that practice, that you don’t slip back into the habit of not having a regular spiritual routine.

Your devotions can be the same memorized chant each day, or can be impromptu.  You can do two, or three, or like myself, four.  That is all dependent upon you, although I would recommend doing the same number of devotions each day.

Below are four Egyptian devotions I like to perform.

sunrise

noon

sunset

midnight

 

 

If You’re Posting This On Social Media, You’re a Dick

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And following it up with a disclaimer that you’re not making like of the situation, and that you’re sympathetic to the loved ones of those who have died, is not a get out of jail free card.  You’re a dick.

I know thinking before you post isn’t a thing, but if you did, maybe you would have realized that this is the pagan version of Pat Robertson claiming that Hurricane Katrina was gods punishment on the US for homosexuality.  If this post is OK, then it’s OK for the Westboro Baptist Church to claim that US service members dying in the line of duty is gods punishment on the US for homosexuality.

If you’ve shared this on social media and are reading this, you’re thinking to yourself right now, ‘no, this is different’.  I hate to break it to you, but it’s not.

But OK then, how about this.  Would you sit at the bedside of an 80 year old grandmother who is slowly dying of the coronavirus and tell her this?  After she passes, would you give your sympathies to her family, but then tell them that it’s OK because it’s the earth’s way of healing herself?

No, you wouldn’t, so why would you post it?

Don’t be a dick, it shouldn’t be that hard to accomplish.

 

 

Spring Equinox – Balance, Renewal & Change in an Uncertain Time

Beltane Grove 2006

You wouldn’t know it with all the snow that fell here yesterday, but we have left the dark nights of winter behind us and have entered into the sunny days of spring.

Starting around the Autumn Equinox, I begin to shift my focus to inner work, past life and ancestor work, and will do a deep dive into learning something new since I will be spending more time indoors throughout the cold winter season.  The universe isn’t always force and action, so I’m OK with slowing things down a bit and being more of an armchair occultist, provided I take what I learn during this time and put it into action when the energies shift, as they do at this time.

Winter can be a hard time for some people.  The lack of sunlight, the inaction and reduced sociability can affect people in negative ways.  It’s easy to go stir crazy when you’re stuck indoors for days on end because of inclement weather, and you feel like you’ve run out of things to do.  That’s why, in my opinion, it’s so important to work on the self and to learn something new.

Firstly, it gives you something to do.  The newness of the thing helps to keep you engaged, and the inner work allows you to check in with yourself on a regular basis.  By paying attention to you helps to avoid falling into a midwinter funk.

Now is the time of balance between light and dark, with light on the increase.  This is the time when we normally begin to come out of hibernation, and take what we have gained over the course of the winter and put it into action.  However, with the current pandemic and related response (social distancing, self-isolation, etc.), the natural balance within our ourselves will be impacted.

Your well being is top priority right now.  It’s one thing to hibernate and slow down as a natural response to seasonal change, it’s quite another when it’s being imposed upon you, especially during a season of action after such a long winter.

Keep up with that inner work, keep learning something new.  If you’ve lamented that you’ve never been able to stick to a daily spiritual practice, now is the time.  Willpower to do a thing doesn’t manifest first.  It comes from the act of doing.  So start that daily practice, and you will quickly discover not only how easy it is to keep up, but how much you want to keep it up.  Eventually when life returns to normal, you will find that you are in fact able to keep it up in a busy world.

Check in with friends and family via the telephone, skype, social media.  Get creative on these platforms with how you interact with others.  Game night can easily be done online.  Binge your favourite shows while skyping with others doing the same.

These engaging activities will assist in your mental well being.

I know that now is a time of selflessness and sacrifice, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your mental health.  It’s OK to say ‘I need’.  We all need something to help keep us sane, and as long as it can be done under our current social restrictions, and doesn’t pose a threat to the health of others, these needs should be explored.

Oh, and one more thing…it’s totally OK to lock yourself in the bathroom and sit on the toilet and just breathe!

 

A Week in the Life Of

Ever curious about what my week is like?  No?  Great!  I’ll fill you in.  🙂

Sunday

  • made 60 Clearing Beeswax Spell Candles
  • made 40 Sun Anointing Oils
  • made 30 Clearing Loose Incense

Monday

  • made 60 Purification Beeswax Spell Candles
  • made 40 Moon and 40 Purification, and 20 Gabriel Archangel Anointing Oils

Tuesday

  • made 80 Protection and 20 Sexuality Beeswax Spell Candles
  • made 40 Protection Anointing Oils
  • made 30 Protection Loose Incense

Wednesday

  • made 40 Wealth and 40 Success & Prosperity Beeswax Spell Candles
  • made 20 Wealth Loose Incense
  • made 40 Wealth Anointing Oils

Thursday

  • made 120 Legal Matters Beeswax Spell Candles
  • made 40 Fast Money Anointing Oils

Friday

  • made 80 Love Beeswax Spell Candles
  • made 40 Love and 20 Uriel Archangel Anointing Oils
  • made 30 Love Loose Incense

Saturday

  • a rare day off

Now granted this was a busier week than normal, having just packed up and shipped out 1800 items in two weeks (I normally do that amount in 6-7 weeks), but it gives you an idea of how busy I can get at times.  By the look of this schedule, I’m fully stocked, so head on over to my website and shop your heart out!  Check out my new and relaunched Scented Spell Candles while you’re there!

Australia Rain Working

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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
  • air candle
  • water candle

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.

Blessings, Lailoken /|\

Tarot Spell for Removing a Person from Your Life

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.

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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.

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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.

Good luck taking out the trash!

Blessings, Lailoken /|\

 

 

 

 

Book Review : Descendant – A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum

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  • Author:  Bob Freeman
  • Publisher:  Seventh Star Press (October 2019)
  • Paperback, 294 pages
  • ISBN-10:  1948042878
  • ISBN-13:  978-1948042871

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.

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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.

Happy Reading!

Blessings, Lailoken /|\

Tarot Spell For Motivation

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.

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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.

Happy and successful 2020!

Blessings, Lailoken /|\