Tag Archives: Magick

My Big Fat Citrine Experiment

If anybody remembers back to the heady days of livejournal you may remember my “big fat citrine experiment” from circa 2005. Guess what it’s come to an end, finally, maybe, or maybe not.

For those who are none the wiser let me set the scene.

It was back in the day when both myself and the husbeast were contracting and consulting a lot and from time to time there would be short lull’s in the work available. We usually embraced this time with joy choosing to do mad things like buying a VW camper van and taking our then ‘not even out of nappies’ daughter touring France for a month. But this particular instance had me on edge, I was nervous. I couldn’t say why, I just wasn’t happy and as one month stretched to two I started fretting about money. I fret a lot about money, I fret when we have it, I fret even more when we don’t.

One evening I was asked if I would like to go to the local moot. Honestly when I heard the subject matter, I wasn’t very keen. Crystals and Feng Shui. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with crystals because I fundamentally disagree with the way the majority of them are mined. And I don’t believe suppliers when they say that what they are selling is ethically ‘sourced’ – the hint is in the word sourced, they rarely use the word ‘mined’; there is a difference and this rings alarm bells for me. I am also extremely sceptical about the actual power of crystals. Like really sceptical.

I get the whole sympathetic magick thing, Ive been using it successfully for years after all; I also cannot deny that you can pick up certain rocks and they have an energy to them. For example I went to a wonderful talk by the amazing Orion Foxwood back in February and he handed around a whole collection of stones he called scrubber stones, basically stones that have the power to cleanse and heal energetically. I am now the proud owner of a largish piece of Sulphur included Quartz which I sit with after particularly horrible days at work. But really, I look at those crystal infused water bottles and folks shoving crystals on their chakras; and if they subscribe to anything ‘Goop’ related, where the sun doesn’t shine; and well as a general rule I am just not buying it.

Anyway back to 2005, along I trotted, with just enough money in my pocket to buy two drinks and get a bus home. I have never worked out what came over me as I listened to the woman giving her talk. When she started discussing citrine, my ears pricked and my heckles bristled. She explained the difference between natural citrine and heat treated (aka Amethyst), how she used it and where in the house was optimal for financial success. She talked about several customers who had followed her instructions to the letter and within days had come into substantial sums of money. That was it, I was sold, I would call it an empirical experiment. Although I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it empirical, but there you go. It sounded plausible.

I bought a palm sized rough citrine cluster and a small tumble stone. I duly followed the instructions which was to place the tumble stone in my purse to ensure it was always full and the cluster was placed in the furthest left hand corner of the house away from the front door. I then blogged at some length and rather satirically about it. But I kid you not within days both the husbeast and myself had landed work with quite eye wateringly good daily rates. It wasn’t the citrine was it? Gah! perhaps it was, and now because I fret about money I was afraid to take the damn things away. And so for the last 15 years I’ve had a rough citrine cluster on my kitchen windowsill and a small piece of citrine in my purse. Until well, sometime in the last 5 days. The purse stone is gone!

I suspect I lost it at the weekend. I ended up with a lot of change in my purse and coins are starting to spill out from those weird little slits at the bottom of the coin pouch. It probably dropped out. And I can’t bear it so I’ve had to order a new one. And there in lies the power of magick, I have invested so much belief into that little bit of rock it now has masses of power, oodles and doodles of it. And I wants it my precious and I will do whatever it takes to get it.

I also hate the idea that I’ve potentially left the house ‘without’ so today I created an extra bit of something for the household. A prosperity/success jar. It is a super easy spell and can often be put together with things you can find in the house. I’ve made a little Youtube video (please be patient I’ve never done a full tutorial before) to get you started. It’s a fab spell and you can add to it over time; a piece of star anise here, a coin there, knotted ribbons and fake gems whatever takes your fancy. Let me know how you get on if you give it a try!

 

Seeing through different eyes.

So I did promise you a post about my recent eye surgery and this morning seems like a good time to write it; I woke early, before it was even daylight and sat on my doorstep drinking a coffee, the moon very low and very golden watching over me. I can see her still even though dawn is now upon me, over my shoulder through my office window.

It was a gorgeous day yesterday, balmy, the blossom is out on my Damson tree in the garden its delicate white petals literally just sprang forth over night and the birds have all gone twitter-pated as my dad used to call it. Spring has definitely sprung. But the spirits of winter cling albeit deperately on for a few more weeks and beautiful clear days are followed by bitterly cold nights and last night was one of those nights, the grass is covered in a freezing glistening coating of very heavy dew, almost frost.

On a morning such as this I would normally have stepped out from my cozy kitchen and instantly steamed up; it would have taken much polishing of glasses to afford me a clear view of the moon above me, removing them would have been pointless for I would not have even been able to make out the step at my feet let alone a solitary satellite orbiting above. But this morning there I sat shivering just a little in my dressing gown and pyjamas staring in wonder. Even now nearly two months after my surgery little things such as this, something many take for granted, delight me.

It not all a bed of roses though, one eye didn’t take the surgery as well as the other and as a result I have some ghosting/double vision in that eye, but combined my binocular vision is 20:20 so my jury is still out as to whether I will take the surgeon up on the offer to have a 2nd surgery to try and correct it. Life after all is not perfect, its all about tolerances. Look at any machine or gadget in your home, it functions, serves it purpose, as a complete unit you could say it is an item of perfection, yet its component parts may be far from perfect, all manfactured to a specification plus or minus a certain degree of tolerance. The natural world operates in the same manner, the seasons, the weather, when the flowers bloom and when the animals breed happen to a timetable but that timetable again has more than a little bit of flexibility in it and it happens in its own sweet time and its own sweet way, but it does happen, it works, a perfect item.

I’ve pondered long and hard as to why so many people purporting to lead magickal or spiritual lives seem so dissatisfied with thier lives, their constant striving for perfection (however they define it) leads to naught. And I think the problem comes down to understanding the tolerances involved, the balance that is required to take these imperfect things we are given and make them a working whole. We are all given a bunch of pegs and a board full of holes, and if peg A is just a little too large to fit in hole A, we shouldn’t sit down and moan that we have no sandpaper to make it fit, first we should try and see if peg A fits in holes B, C, D or E first, we may find that all the pegs fit in a hole somewhere even if it isn’t in the order we imagined and no sandpaper is required.

Somebody asked me about spellwork and Hekate the other day, and seemed quite disgusted when I suggested that Hekate was not generally the Goddess to approach for everyday spells. “Why is she known as the Witches Goddess then?” I was asked. And it is an interesting question. And I think it comes down to perception of what a witch is and what a witch does. And in my opinion a witch does what works! Let me explain; I was for over a decade an Engineer and a large part of that time I worked in Quality Assurance, I could look at a circuit board under a microscope and tell within a thousanth of an inch if the tracks printed on it were too close together, too thin, too thick, too raised or any number of other criteria given by the designers. If you place tracks too close together wierd stuff happens, odd harmonics can be created by the signals running down these little strips of metal affecting the operation of the device, shorts can happen, tracks that heat up can buckle causing catastrophic failure, those boards are rejected, or sometimes sent back for rework; the witch does the same, s/he takes what they are given they inspect it and accept or reject it, and unlike the clear cut function of a circuit board which is either fit for purpose or it isn’t, a witch can take what they are given and find a purpose for it. They have to look at things with different eyes, Witches are in short the Quality Assurance of the natural world.

And Hekate is the Project Manager, you can tell her you need more pegs, (or boards to inspect – pick your metaphor), but she rules the work flow. She knows what needs doing and when, she will present you with something, but it might not be the something you were expecting, or even specifically asking for, but it will be a something you can use. After all what is it Hesiod said?

By Whomever she chooses, she comes and stands in full presence and helps him.


 

The True meaning of Human Sacrifice

If you haven’t already read my post on Devotion, you might like to read it before continuing on DEVOTION.

I thought I might expand a little bit on the subject today as recently I’ve seen a lot of “want it quick, want it easy, want it now” attitude happening. I’d been advised that putting anything on my blog from my book before it was published was probably a little unwise, but I felt it necessary to make an exception in this case, here is a little of what I write about sacrifice in the ancient world.

in general it appears that even in ancient society there was worth in expensive or difficult to obtain items, a value that perhaps has been forgotten, sacrifice as a ritual device was not and should not necessarily be all about blood offerings and immolation, but about providing the Gods with items worthy of their notice and devotion over and above everyday religious activity. – From the forthcoming book Liber Hekate by Tara Sanchez

Devotion and sacrifice to what ever deity you venerate is not just about lighting candles, burning incense, doing ritual, reading holy books, even going to church or other sacred sanctuary; it is about sacrifice, real human sacrifice; and in our modern world where everything IS bigger, better, faster, more, what is more precious than our time and our effort.

My daily devotion currently consists of sitting at this computer, sometimes upwards of twelve hours a day, I write, I write about Hekate, agonising over the content and the details, hoping that what I provide is worthy of notice. And its not the first time my devotional work has been, to the outsider, apparently entirely mundane and time consuming, I’ve spent whole weekends up to my elbows in clay creating images, hours with superglue and hundreds of glass beads, creating, when I would rather have been out with my friends or family instead. And I’ve smashed those lovingly, hard worked for items, into a million smithereens, burnt them on open fires, gifted them to others, thrown things in running water, launched them into the sea. I think you get the idea, I made a sacrifce, just as I sacrificed my time, I sacrificed the item itself.

Oh I could have bought many of the items I have created from the shops or other artisans. Got them quick, got them easy; but that isn’t the point. I had to put the effort and energy and intent into it, if I hadn’t, then the sacrifice would have meant nothing to me, or her for that matter!

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone”

The title of this post is an excerpt from a direct quote made by Mother Theresa of Calcutta, a Nobel Peace prize winner and all around inspirational and beautiful woman. These words are actually something I feel quite strongly about. I’ve been trying to write this post for a very long time, in fact it has sat in my draft box of this site for nearly a year; I come back to it, tinker with it, I review my own personal thoughts and feelings by re-reading it from time to time, but now I think it is time to post it, but please excuse me if it is a rambling post as this is the culmination of a train of thought going over many months, Ive tried to edit it into a readable format, but just shout if it doesn’t make sense I will try and clarify.

Hekate and Hermes have some fairly undeniable links, both on occasion are messenger to the gods and both perform the role of psychopomp, guide to the dead; now that of course can be taken literally and they can be called to aid the passing of souls but it can also mean that they can take away from you, especially in the case of Hekate the ghosts of things that have gone before, things that are unhealthy, habits, emotions and memories long past that tie you, that prevent you from progressing forward; after all she is the Goddess of the restless dead and what can be more restless than those nasty annoying little things from the past that you hang on to for no good readon but bring up time and again and allow to fester in your heart and mind.

For years I hankered after a mentor, somebody who would hold my hand, who would be there for me when rather than if, I envitiably screwed up, I suppose I wanted a parent, somebody to wipe my magickal arse and dispose of the dirty nappies. I got my mentor and surprise, surprise, I still had to wipe up my own dirty messes. A good teacher actually doesn’t stop you cocking up, they just teach you how to deal with it. One of the things my mentor and me talked about over the years was the concept of fear, and how it can stop you from “becoming”. Possibly one of the wisest things they ever told me was that fear and being wary produce similar chemical responses in the body, of course the hard part is working out which is which, for the aim of course should be that you are aware but not living in fear.

Being alone for most is a huge fear, we sit online or turn the TV on rather than sit in visual and/or auditory silence, we strive for somebody to tell us what to do so we don’t have to be alone with our own thoughts and actions. Approaching deities such as Hekate also seem to elicit similar responses, although I am pretty sure that is the result of media hype, but of course your mileage may vary. Being alone with Hekate to my knowledge has never killed anybody or driven anybody insane, unless possibly they were predisposed to insanity anyway. And approaching her alone or within group seems to elicit similar responses, yes you might find out things about yourself you don’t like, and yes you might be tempted to hide behind your ego and blame somebody else for what you see, but you will reap the consequences of that; yes you might get a bitch slap, normally from hiding from the former example; but seriously we all read the news headlines, when was the last time you read a headline entitled “Witch found dead in satanic circle attacked by her own demons”?

Most of the serious practitioners I know are in pretty rude health both mentally and physically and going strong even if they are a little bit beautifully wrecked. Somedays you just have to realise that you have to grab the bull by the proverbial horns (an there is a whole Hekate related post I could write about that) and do it; if you think you are being called then why are you scared? That being said of course anything you try is of your own volition and for legal purposes I cannot sanction 😉 Seriously though ask yourself what you are scared of, you might be surprised by the answer; in a group ritual recently I was asked to “give” something to Hekate, to my surprise right at the last minute, I asked her to take my fear, in return she asked my to agree to five more years of service; I didn’t even know I had something to fear, took me a week or two but now I do, but it isn’t fear it is being aware of a whole new aspect of serving and being proud to call myself a priestess of Hekate.

Apparently its all about the journey.

I was awake this morning at an even more obscene time than usual. I lay there in bed at 4am knowing full well that I wasn’t going back to sleep, but I thought I woud give it a bloody good go anyway. I failed.

The dream that had woken me was spinning around my head and it wasn’t going to let go even though conciousness had reclaimed my tentative grip on reality. Ive had a lot of odd dreams lately; Ive been informed that it is most likely to do with the current Mercury Retrograde and the article under the link might seem to indicate that this is true.

The dreams have all been very “Froud”, if you are not familiar with this name, that may not be surprising, yet I am convinced you will have seen his work, especially if you grew up in the ’80s, for Brian and Wendy Froud were the puppet designers and conceptual artists behind the fantastical and wonderful Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. I have always from the moment I saw these films, loved them deeply with a passion, a passion I was very quick to pass on to my daughter as soon as she was old enough to share. And yet even until 5 years ago I did not know the name Froud; it was only when I was deeply embedded in Mythology and Folklore and was, at that point, particularly interested in the human interaction between the Fae and Humanity, that the name arose. I can’t remember who it was, but somebody said to me, if you want to know what the fairies look like, go no further than Froud, because if anybody can see them, then its him.

My dream tonight was all about the Labyrinth, I suppose you could say it was a semi lucid dream for I was stood outside the walls of the Labyrinth and thought, Oh I’m dreaming, and this is the Labyrinth, I know exactly what I have to do. And with that I stepped straight through into the Labyrinth, by-passing the worm in the wall and headed straight for the Castle of the Goblin king. But when I reached the Castle it has turned into a huge shopping mall selling everykind of Labyrinth memorabilia you could imagine, cups, keyrings, mousmats, plushie toys, you name it, they had it. And the arcade was full of people frantically buying up everything in sight. Like the gift shop in a theme park, people buying tat, any tat, material things to create memories they never had. And it occurred to me, if I spent my dream here, I would be no better, grasping for things and never truly experiencing anything. I had to go back to the beginning, I had to do it “right”.

If you view Magick as not so much spells and witchery but more inline with Crowley’s definition in Book 4:

Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one’s conditions. It is the Art of applying that understanding in action

Then like Sarah, you must from time to time wander the wrong road that the singularly unhelpful Worm sends you on, meet the selfish yet essentially good hearted Hoggle, experience the simple nature of friendship with Ludo, understand the frenetic nature of the Fire Gang, the fierce honor of Sir Didymus, listen to the foolish Wiseman and his internal (or in the case of the film – external) ramblings, and be tempted by the glamour of the essentially powerless Jareth. Sarah’s journey is not about finding her little brother, it is about finding herself. And if we wish to do the same it is a journey we all must take.

Or to put it another way, don’t head for the souvenir shop, head for the rollercoaster instead.