i'm open to encouragement, intelligent discussions and any help that others' may have to offer.
please, if i post anything that is factually incorrect, i would like to know so i can be sure that i am learning the right information.
new blog — this way!
I had some great followers while I was able to run this page and I’d like for us to reconnect.
I had a ginormous hiatus for many personal reasons and finally decided it was time for a new page, a new start, more research and conversations.
I hope some of you come to visit.
How To Make Black Salt.
Black Salt is normally used to banish or drive away negative things. It can be used to protect your home and garden area by sprinkling it around the property line. To protect from things general getting in your house you can put Black Salt in the corners of the room or across the door step. It is also used to remove negative spells that have been cast on a person. In general, Salt itself is a great purifying agent. Black Salt is more about protection and the banishment of all things negative.
Now that we know what is does, let me show you how to make it.
You can use anything dry that has a black tone. Charcoal, Ashes, Scrapings from your cauldron/cast iron bowl or skillet, even Pepper is often used.
I used the charcoal I salvaged from the Litha Bonfire for an extra dose of light in the darkness.
I also used my small little cast iron cauldron as my mortar for the mixing.
The Salt I used was just plain table salt, but if you want to you can get all fancy with the sea salt and what not.
Once you have gathered you ingredients, it is time to grind the ingredient you chose to turn your salt black.
Now this can take a while and you need to make sure to watch out for the dust that comes up from these…It can choke you pretty bad. The Charcoal gave a LOVELY crunching sound and really took the edge off of my frustration with certain people. Then i kept repeating “grind their bones to make my bread”. I had a weird moment.
Once ground to the way you like it you add about double the amount in salt.
Now for the fun part. While thinking about all the ways you need to be protected, mix the ingredients until there is no white left.
TADA! You have made your very own Black Salt. Now…Lets bottle this protective amazingness! Again. At this point the dust that comes off will choke you so fast its not even funny.
Also I need to warn that when putting in places be ready to get your hands dirty.
Once it is bottled and ready you can use it for just about anything you need done in the protective world.
Create and Enjoy!
Spirits and Demons and Where to Start
A few days back I got an ask about how to contact demons or spirits and where to start. This is a slightly annotated version of that ask’s answer.
Just a head’s up, this is long.
Ah… Book-wise you might want to look into the Seals of Solomon. I don’t tend to deal too much with that sort of thing. There is a list of demon summoning sigils you can look at. Try typing in “sigil summonings” and it’s the first image that pops up in google images. That’s more of the Judeo-Christian slant of things. That’s not really my thing.
No, really guys. If you’ve come here looking for Judeo-Christian demons or what people think of when they think “demon!” I’m not your girl. I’m pretty sure you’ll know more than I will. Head on over to blacktieblackmagick.tumblr.com. Last I checked the blog hadn’t updated but go through the archives. It’s fucking amazing.
As for dealing with more spirit-y demons… Best thing to do is start leaving an offering out when when you do so ask to speak with a spirit/demon/genus loci, etc. Eventually one will make contact. Generally speaking offerings of a spoiled pie or cake (one baked with rotting fruit for instance), honey (clove or raw although wildflower honey attract fae and more herbivorous animal spirits/demons), alcohol (natural is better, like mead, fruit wine, gin, etc), milk (whole is better but whatever you have on hand. Cream or half-and-half is good too), meat, or any combination thereof will garner some attention. You’ll get even more attention at a crossroads or a body of moving water (river, creek, etc.)
Spoiled cake/pie thing I learned from Ginandjack. I remember reading about spoiled cake/pie but he’s the one who recommended I try it last summer. Works like a dream if you’re baking and mischief is running about.
Notice how I always recommended honey and alcohol? Yeah. Fucking nom nom nom. I love me some honey. I buy it in bulk.
Also, there is no way to guarantee a demon or spirit will talk to you. They do what they want.
As a side-bar, I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll say it again. I don’t often differentiate between spirit and demon. Shit, I barely differentiate between fae and spirit. These definitions are far too fluid to be of any serious use for me. Check out my answer to this question for my opinions on this.
It’s a good idea to start thinking what or who you want to work with. There are as many types of spirits or demons are there are stars in the sky. (I’ve even had some things I’d consider fae identify as demon). Certain demons may be attracted to things others wouldn’t be. Fox spirits/demons like puzzles, wine, and playing games, cat spirits/demons like doorways, feathers, and bells. Both are notoriously hard to work with because they don’t stay still. Fox spirits/demons may travel in groups so you might get more than one. Cat spirits/demons are terrific at gathering information but aren’t reliable. At all.
I have fun stories. Also, there are really that many spirits, demons, gods, fae, and other woo~ beings out there. I cannot be convinced otherwise.
There’s a bunch of different techniques I use. Sometimes I use a sword smeared with mugwort oil to see spirits (Agrippa recommends this). Chinese tradition has a bamboo flute carved with the spirit’s name (I personally use a particular tune I wrote to summon certain spirits. My brother had a goblin-esque being come to him when he whistled a particular tune.)
Some of these have been pulled from random knowledge but I remember seeing at least one of them in Judika Illes’ Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells and Scott Cunningham had something similar to the bamboo one in Magical Household. Either way, these ones are really well know which is why I didn’t source them.
I think my brother named the goblin “Blaze” or “Flame”. I don’t remember. Nice little goblin too. Liked to trip folks.
Mirrors are big gateways. Rubbing blood (a droplet from a scab will do) over a mirror may summon any demons. You can tell if they are near if your pupils turn black. Be careful though, if your house or mirrors aren’t protected they can show up in any reflective surface. Lavender and sandalwood together has been known to attract spirits (I can attest to this. I’ve never run across a spirit that hasn’t liked lavender or sandalwood except ghosts.) Willow trees are attractive to spirits and demons. Mastic and Dittany of Crete are fairly renown for their abilities to summon spirits although these plants might summon ghosts.
My brother and I have fun stories of mirrors. And by fun I mean terrifying.
These are just some of the plants that draw spirits. There’s a fuck-ton out there.
Stay away from iron (some find it distasteful), betony wood (cures water elf-sickness and makes a lot of spirits and demons cringe).
Iron’s a hit or miss. Sometimes it pisses demons and spirits off and sometimes it doesn’t.
Betony wood is pretty much a guarantee in my book to piss off demons and spirits.
I’ve noticed most demons and spirits won’t really reveal themselves to know in the way that’s concrete. They won’t stand up and say “I’m a demon!” They will side-step the question every time. There is some hierarchy. Watch for that. If it introduces itself as a lord or king or something similar get away. These are powerful spirits and demons and can brings greats amount of influence into your life - to the point of destroying everything you hold dear. Sometimes these “ranked” demons are just throwing out the title to sound impressive. It’s better safe then sorry.
This is kind of weirdly stated. By this I mean that a lot of spirits won’t tell you shit. Oh, they talk but they don’t say anything meaningful.
Demons (by my definition) have this kinda hierarchy. By hierarchy I mean some demons will introduce themselves as “lord” or “king” but really they just own some territory and will fuck you up if you get in their way. Like a mamma bear or a honey badger. I don’t also think they say “lord” or “king”. I think our brains come up wit those words on their own.
It’s hard to describe. I’ll keep working on making it make sense.
Many demons and spirits have a certain criteria they are looking for when summoned. Each demon and spirit will be different. Bargaining with them is interesting. Be very careful and think of every loophole you can before making any deals (even something like giving your name). Demons have a tendency to find a loophole and slip out of a deal just to be contrary.
Pretend you owe a whole army of lawyers money. And they really want it back. It’s something like that.
And they really do love fucking with you. It’s a game. Check out the movie Lo on Netflix if you want to see how working with spirits and demons is like.
Typically influence will start with just feeling that something’s around and you’re being watched, studied. Then they’ll test the boundaries - what they can get away with before you banish them. Expect things being misplaced, being knocked over, or broken.
Don’t confuse this with the fae. They feel different. It’s a subtle difference but there.
Carry some sea salt around. If you’re feeling pursued like prey, throw some in the direction of your pursuer, tell them to go away, or cast a circle of salt around you. Magic circles work the same way.
Fucking my advice on everything, ever.
Some links for y’all from my blog:
A Meet in the Woods and wandering spirits. Talking about spirits having get-togethers and happening across them. Perhaps related to the Wild Hunt or Gazu Hyakki Yagyō (The Illustrated Night Parade of a Hundred Demons).
There’s more. Check about amongst all the rubbish I post.
Hope this helps. Let me know if anything interesting happens or if nothing happens.
This stands. If anyone has something interesting happens and wants to talk, let me know.
Spell: Mental Clarity
- Lord and Lady
- Athena (wisdom)
- Mnemosyne (memory, mother of the Greek muses)
- Representation for the four quarters
- Pillar candle for Lord and Lady
- Votive candle for Athena
- Olive oil (about a teaspoon or so) and a shallow dish (big enough to set the votive in)
- A candle for Mnemosyne (I used a blue taper)
- Peppermint oil
- Athame (or tool of your choice - I chose my athame for the “sharpness” aspect)
- Blue cord or string (about 12 inches - wisdom)
- White cord or string (about 12 inches - clarity)
- An unfired bullet (best for it to be fairly large so it is easier to handle, but don’t go crazy - shotgun shells have a lot of plastic and are imprecise. Rifle rounds might be good if you have any.)
- Dried sage (I just used a few leaves, but a smudge bundle works too - does not need to burn long)
- Thin wire
- Wire cutters and needle-nosed pliers (or just the pliers if they have a wire cutter as well - many do)
- Cleanse and consecrate your space and materials (here is how I do it)
- Cast your circle, beginning in the east (I walked mine thrice)
- Beginning in the east (air = wisdom), call the quarters (I walked the circle with my elements)
- Invoke Lord and Lady (light their candle)
- Dress Athena’s candle with a few drops of olive oil. Pour a little olive oil into your shallow dish and set the candle directly into the oil.
- Invoke Athena - light her candle.
- Dress Mnemosyne’s candle in peppermint oil for focus and clarity (WARNING: peppermint oil can be irritating to the skin, avoid directly touching it - I used a dropper)
- Invoke Mnemosyne - light her candle.
- Clearly and concisely state your purpose (flowery language is not necessary; I said something to the effect of, “I do this work for my husband who is in need of greater mental focus, clarity, and memory, and an increased ability to access his wisdom.”)
- Ask your Helpers to bless and empower the bullet.
- Snip a length of wire about 8-12 inches long. Hold the wire at roughly the middle and wrap it in the groove just at the base of the bullet casing (the flat end, where the firing pin hits) and twist it to secure it. Pull tight. Wrap the wire down the bullet in a crisscross pattern (like you’re lacing up ballet shoes or lace-up sandals). Pull tight when you get to the rounded end, twist once, and go back up the same way. There should be a small loop where you first twisted the wire - feed one end through, and twist them together all the way, snipping off whatever is uneven. Loop that twisted stem you just made back down to the flat end of the bullet and twist it (may need pliers) so now you have a loop you can put the string through.
- Slide both strings through the loop you just made, tying a knot around the wire loop in the middle of the strings. Tie the ends together at the top and trim the ends.
- Carefully light your safe from any of your candles and let the talisman hang in the smoke like a pendulum. You should still be visualizing your intentions through all of this.
- When the sage burns out (or your arms get tired), set the sage aside in a safe container so you don’t burn the place down. Lay the talisman on your altar and ask again for blessings.
- Thank and release Helpers in the reverse order in which you called them (i.e., Mnemosyne, Athena, Lord and Lady, Earth, Water, Fire, Air).
- Open your circle with your chosen tool, and put the energy you collect into the bullet.
- The talisman should go wherever you feel it will do you the most good - like a study or work area.
Alternatively, if a bullet is just not feasible (not everyone is a gun-nut like me) you could use a sharp stone/crystal or small pocket knife. The item should work for you and make you think of precision and sharpness.
» Eye of the Storm: Lost.
Over the past few months I haven’t had a reliable computer. My phone is helpful but I can’t do too much reading or research on it because the screen just isn’t big enough.
There’s also only so much reading of books I can do because most are in storage - where I can’t get…
Thanks so much for the words of encouragement. When I can get to a library, I definitely will. Not having transportation puts a damper on things too. Boo. =\
Gods are just putting me through hell right now.
Over the past few months I haven’t had a reliable computer. My phone is helpful but I can’t do too much reading or research on it because the screen just isn’t big enough.
There’s also only so much reading of books I can do because most are in storage - where I can’t get to at the moment. And I’m not in a financial position to buy books for my nook.
I don’t know what to do —
mythology series → the bride of death persephone [Περσεφόνη]
i was a heavy heart to carry
my beloved was weighed down
my arms around his neck
my fingers laced to crown
i was a heavy heart to carry
my feet dragged across ground
and he took me to the river
where he slowly let me drown
How to Deal with Dry Spells and Disconnects
This happens to me sometimes, and I know I’m not alone in it. I sometimes fall out of love with my practice. I get disenchanted, or lose my passion, fall into a slump, feel bored, get stuck…call it what you will. And it can happen in like, any and every area of my life, from my witchcraft or spirituality, with my writing, and even with tarot cards.
(Yes, I’ve gotten bored of tarot cards before!)
Dry spells suck. I start feeling mad at myself and questioning my competence at life and everything. And even when it doesn’t get that bad, it’s not fun to be unable to enjoy the things you used to love.
So, here are some things that can help!
• Take an honest look at why you feel disconnected.
I’m putting this one first, because it’s the least fun, but possibly the most important.
Are you unable to enjoy something because it just doesn’t work for you anymore? Maybe you’ve changed. Maybe you’ve outgrown it. Sometimes you reach a point where you honestly need to leave something behind. And it doesn’t mean that you’ve wasted your time up until now, or that what you did was useless. It just means that it’s time to let it go.
Another thing to consider is depression. If you think that depression may be the cause of your problems, then this list is probably not going to be enough to help. You need to deal with the depression itself and not just the symptoms it causes.
Consider your cycles. Some people naturally are just into things more at some periods than others. Maybe you feel more connected to certain deities in the winter, and during the summer they’re just not there. When you’re busy with school, you might not have the energy to devote to your usual rituals. I don’t write as much when I’m happy. I think certain things on this list can still help, but understanding where you’re coming from will make it easier for you to see how to fix it.
• Get back to basics.
This doesn’t have to mean “go back to the beginning” although it can. I like to go back to my old favourite books — the ones I started on, the ones that hold some kind of magic for me. I reread the books that made me want to be a writer or that gave me good advice in the past. I use a familiar tarot deck. I revisit guided meditations and exercises from the past (lots of energy balls being formed and stuff like that).
My altar gets down to bare necessities. I pick up lapsed practices like regular prayers or doing a daily draw with my cards. I do all of the exercises in a book. I write stream of conscious journal entries every morning.
I suppose that it’s like rebuilding your foundation. And listen, if you’re re-reading your old favourite book and you realize you don’t like it anymore, don’t be discouraged! Take note of your growth and progress!
• Try something different.
If you do guided meditations and you aren’t feeling it anymore, try a different script. If you memorize them, try following along with a recording (youtube is good for this!). Maybe try a different method — focus on your breath for counts of ten?
When I felt lazy in both my tarot reading and my writing, I started doing tarot stories. It made me excited about both of them again, and I got better at both too.
Try different ingredients in your spells, or switch up the time or place that you work them. Rearrange your altar. Switch from your favourite tarot deck to one you don’t use as much, or try a different style (from Thoth to Marseilles, for example). Many of the items on my 19 Ways to Connect With Your Deck could be helpful here.
• Try something new.
So, similar idea to the last one, but a bit more extreme. If you really aren’t feeling it with your tarot decks, switch to an oracle deck for awhile. Hey, take it even further and try a new system of divination completely, like a pendulum or dice. Maybe you could create your own system!
I spent most of the 7th grade writing poetry and fanfiction, because I just wasn’t happy writing novels. (It wasn’t necessarily good poetry or fic, but I enjoyed writing again, at least!)
Branch out, basically. Try some kitchen witchery if you normally stick to candles and incense at your altar. Try going out and exploring urban witchcraft or sea magic or whatever, if you prefer to normally stay at home.
If you can’t get your deity connection to work for you, then maybe you could work more with your ancestors. Switch genres for awhile.
• Teach someone else.
You don’t have to be a master at something to pass along the knowledge you have. Just be upfront about your experience and your skill level.
Tumblr is a great place to put this one into practice, especially there isn’t any one person in particular for you to help. Write a post on the way you conduct a reading or construct a spell. Post a video explaining a ritual or create a step-by-step guide on how to create a magical ink. (And then submit the link to supwitches so I can reblog it!)
In my experience, detaching can offer a buff to your own skills. There are lots of things I didn’t actually understand until I explained it to someone else. And often I will think of a way to get an idea across to someone unfamiliar with the work, and actually make it more understandable to myself in the process.
• Create something.
So I mentioned the idea of creating your own divination system and the last point was about creating something out of your knowledge to give back. Those are both helpful and fall under this as well, but there’s more.
Make your own tarot deck. Create ritual jewelry. Bake a cake. Print your poems and handbind them into a book. Weave an altar mat. Draw your main character. Cosplay your main character! Maybe you are a master at what you do and you can write a whole book on it.
Make something new and try to enjoy the process. And this isn’t about it actually being useful or anything — although those are benefits that can help! It’s about being able to appreciate something in a different way and having fun with it.
• Find an idol.
Do you have someone to look up to? Someone who inspires you and serves as living proof that It Can Be Done? I have a lot of them.
Ms. Graveyard Dirt was my witchy idol when I decided to put my own practice together (which I’ve mentioned before on my tumblr). It isn’t that we do the same things — we really don’t — but I was fascinated and inspired by her anyhow.
Holly Lisle is my writing idol. I don’t necessarily want to write in her style, but I love her books and I’ve learned a lot from her. She has a way of saying things that I just get, like she’s talking just for me.
Jonathan Hardesty and his amazing progress in skill has been the ultimate inspiration in art and just general wanting to improve at anything for me. And again — I don’t want to create exactly what he creates (although I certainly wouldn’t complain…)
It isn’t about copying anyone, trying to steal their work and pass it off as your own. I’m not trying to say that at all. Rather, it’s about being inspired and touched by what someone else does, in a way that makes you want to do better for yourself.
• Find a community.
One person may not be enough, especially if you don’t actually know them. A group of people that you can relate to, get ideas from, and communicate with (if you’ve got the nerve for it — I often tend not to) can help.
There is a huge difference between struggling with something that you love alone, and struggling with other people, who have been there and gotten through it. Or might even be there now, as well!
You can reach out to people offline or online, and you can join mailing lists, facebook groups, and forums for just about anything. I prefer tumblr, because I have more control over who and what I allow onto my radar. Between blocking tags and words I don’t want to see and following only quality people, I’m usually pretty happy with my dashboard.
But there are drawbacks to this one, you guys. Other people can pretty terrible. Communities have drama. And cliques. Bad, Wrong ideas will perpetuate because all the cool kids keep echoing/reblogging each other, and all the people who want to be the cool kids will jump on the bandwagon. And when the circle jerks start happening, you can feel even more isolated than you were before. (And woe betide you if you get on the wrong side of the wrong person…)
When it works, it works. And when it doesn’t, learn when you need to step back from it.
• Take a break.
Speaking of! Maybe you just need to cool it for a bit. I’m really bad about burning out on something and needing to have a rest for awhile.
I like to take a pre-planned break. Like, “Okay, I’m not going to touch my tarot cards for two weeks.” or “I’ll leave this deity alone until the Summer.” You can do what feels right for you though, of course. For me, being open ended about something means that I’ll just get comfortable not doing it and never go back, haha.
Seriously, ask dumbledoreisdead, she’ll tell you all about Absence and the Heart.
• Plan something big.
This is usually my follow up to the last one. Before I take my break, I’ll arrange to have some big deal to come back to, because it works for me. But you can set yours up however you like.
It can be a ritual or a giant meal. Maybe you may plan to offer tarot readings to the public, when you’ve never done that before. I used Nanowrimo for this once. Anything you can make a big deal out of and go a bit over the top with what you normally do!
• Make it complicated.
This is basically the opposite of the first suggestion. I like the book end feel of it!
If you’re in a situation where you’re really comfortable and familiar with your surroundings, then make yourself uncomfortable. Stretch a little. Move into something more advanced.
Read some heavy books. Take a difficult class. Find some way to challenge yourself.
Maybe it’s time to forge a deeper connection than the one you had before. And I can’t tell you how to do that, it’s going to look different for everybody. At the very least, it would be its own post!
SO YEAH. 10 or 11 (depending on if you count the first piece of advice or not) ways to deal. There are more out there, but these are some that I have personal experience with so I vouch for them. If you’re interested in more, try looking for methods to recover/rediscover lost passion. It’s something that happens to everyone and there’s definitely more out there written about it! Hopefully at least some of this will help.
Stove Top method Herb Infused honey
- 1 pint of Honey
- 1/8 C dried herbs
- Warm honey over lowest possible heat setting (use a double boiler or bain marie if possible)
- When honey is warmed through add herbs and stir
- Continue to heat on lowest setting for 20 minutes stirring occasionally
- You can either leave the herbs in the honey until you are ready to use it for a stronger infusion or you can strain right away (Much easier to strain warm).
- Store in a sterile jar and seal. Label, date, and store in a cool dry place.
- Honey should keep for up to 18 months.
Solar Method Herb Infused honey
- 1 Pint of honey
- 1/8 C dried herbs
- Place herbs in jar
- Pour honey over top
- Place in a sunny window for 2 weeks
- Gently turn jar daily to stir up the herbs as they will float up in the thick honey
- At the end of two weeks strain and seal in a sterile jar.
- You can allow herbs to continue to steep until you are ready to use them. Remember though that honey is much easier to strain when it is warm (even then it’s no fun job).
Note: Some recipes instruct you to use reusable tea bags for your herbs in this process. My kitchen is never that fancy. Although, I have pondered it just about every time that I have had to strain the stuff. So, it is something for you to think about, it may be worth acquiring. If you already have these then you are in business.
Note: You can adjust herbal amounts depending on what herb that you are using. A strong herb like thyme you may want to use less of, but something light like violets you may want to use a little more. Use your best judgement. These amounts are just a basic guideline.
The Gayer-Anderson Cat is an Ancient Egyptian statue made out of bronze, f664-332 BC, kept at the British Museum. The statue is a representation of the cat-goddess Bastet.