Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wanna Do Real Magic? Why You Need a Book of Shadows

One very important tool magical practitioners use is a Book of Shadows. The definition of a Book of Shadows varies among magical and shamanic practitioners depending on which tradition they practice. Some practitioners regard it as a book as used in the TV series, Charmed, where the Halliwell sisters have a big book of spells written by their ancestors which they call a Book of Shadows. Others regard it as a personal journal for Wiccans as described by Gerald Gardner in "Witchcraft Today". Although the definition of a Book of Shadows can vary, there are 3 common usages and purposes that most practitioners can agree on.

#1 Record Spell Details
A Book of Shadows is used to record all the details of spells cast. This includes any divinations prior to the spell, the directors and limiters, methods used, results of divinations to check spell progress, and any results of the spell. Having all these details recorded is especially important if you need to take a spell down because of something going wrong. The way a spell is taken down depends on the way it was cast. For example, if the spell was cast using a carved candle then to take it down the practitioner could break the candle used in the spell and bury the pieces in a garden for a moon cycle.

#2 Track Magical and Shamanic Research
Magical and shamanic practitioners often engage in research such as discovering facts about past lives, divining future events, trying out new techniques or traveling to different planes. In the traditions of the Esoteric School of Shamanism and Magic, we record the results of walks in the black mirror, a portal to other planes of existence or half-worlds. When we do these walks we use a litany or chant to direct the walk and keep from getting lost. Recording details about the walk upon returning adds to our body of magical knowledge and also records the effectiveness of the chant so it can be used again or fine tuned for future use.

#3 Preserve Magic and Shamanism for the Future
Preserving magical and shamanic knowledge for future practitioners is one of the most important purposes of a Book of Shadows. Most traditions recognize the importance of information and practices passed on from past practitioners. A real Book of Shadows can contain the research and results of multiple generations of practitioners handed down through the years. Each generation of practitioners, not necessarily related, adds their experience to the book.

A real Book of Shadows is a record of magical and shamanic experience that is preserved either for a practitioner's own use or for future use. Some keep individual books and never hand them down because they either have no one to pass them down to or because they are secretive. Whatever your reason, if you are practicing magical arts, you should definitely start a Book of Shadows of your own. It will help you remember what you have done, track your magical experiments and possibly be an asset for the future.

Many traditions use symbols on the front and back of the Book of Shadows either for decoration or more likely for its protection. These can range from very simple to very intricate. If you have a Book of Shadows, we'd love you to share a picture of your cover with our magical communities (Facebook or blog) or to know how you use your book. If you don't have a Book of Shadows already, check out some of the ones we have in our school store. To learn more about magical techniques to include in your Book of Shadows, check out our How to Do Voodoo or Psychic Development ebooks.


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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Are Your Divinations Being Sabotaged? How to Protect Your Readings

Ever notice sometimes when meditating, doing divination, readings or other particular magical procedures, that you realize your mind is interfering with the process? It is not unusual when you have an interest in an outcome to find that your own opinions and beliefs or sometimes outside influences are entering into the equation and skewing your results. There is a very simple solution to this that will help keep your readings, divinations and other magical procedures objective and keep outside influences at bay when meditating. Using a Wisdom and a Protection candle when doing a card reading, divination technique or meditating will accomplish this.

Picking a Candle Color
These candles can be white, powder blue or sun yellow in color. It is usually best to use the same color for both, but there may be circumstances when you would want a different elemental color for one. Grass green is a color that can be used to ward off earthy influences. Water color candles do not usually work well as they tend to stifle the air energies you need for wisdom and understanding in interpreting results.

Placement of Candles
The Wisdom candle goes on the right of the reading, firebowl, plate, pendulum or other divination tool setup. It prevents you from controlling, coercing or tampering with the reading. It also keeps your self importance, beliefs or opinions out. The Protection candle goes to the left and keeps the person being read or anyone else from tampering with the reading or divination or from hitting you energetically while you are performing the reading, divination technique or meditation.

How the Candles Work
The principle behind using these candles is that any two candles in the same area will trade energies. Lighting both candles from the same match creates a fire loop. To do this, light a match from your charged sun candle. First light the Wisdom candle to the right. Then move the match over to light the Protection candle on the left and loop over the reading or divination space to touch the match flame to the Wisdom candle flame again. You may notice the whole area in and around the reading or divination space is brighter once you create this fire loop. This is not something you will notice if you light the candles with separate matches.

Before proceeding with your magical procedure, watch the candles and wait for them both to get a tall working flame. Relax and breathe and don't focus on the outcome of your procedure. If either of the candles (especially the Protection candle) are dampened or flickering, that can mean someone else is energetically pushing on it or trying to influence it. If this happens, take one candle in each hand
and at the same time draw a lemniscate (infinity symbol that looks like a figure 8 laying on its side) with each candle one in front of the other and put the candles back in place. The flames should then return to normal.

Using the Wisdom and Protection candles in this way can help keep your magical procedures of all kinds objective and giving accurate results and interpretations. To share this and other magical tips be sure to sign up for our free twice monthly email newsletter and pass it on to others. You can also find a variety of magical articles on our blog that you can subscribe to by email and find a variety of candles and other magical items in our school store.


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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Need Magical Self-Defense? Be Sure You're in the Clear First ...

People ask us all the time how to protect themselves magically using self defense magic. Magical self-defense isn't difficult, but the procedures could boomerang if you are not sure you are in the clear according to self-defense laws. Magicians, having considerable power and force, need to carefully study self defense laws. Using our powers inappropriately can cause severe Universal backlash. We must be sure that we keep our tempers in check and not use our abilities in a reactive manner. Western magical practice states that "You have a right to be here and follow your own path so long as you hinder no one else in doing likewise." This principle asserts our right to exist and follow our own path and thus our right to defend ourselves against those who would seek to prevent us from walking our path.

As we increase our magical abilities, we will attract the attention of beings of different levels and some of these will try to interfere with our path in one way or another. Clarissa Estes, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, states this as, "If you have beauty in your life, know that it will attract the dark as well as the light. Don't be surprised. Be prepared."

In our Magical Self Defense Homestudy Course here are some of the magical self defense laws that students learn:
"In cases of direct and violent personal harm you are entitled to defend yourself by any means available provided you did nothing to encourage or provoke the attack." Here's some definitions in the magical sense of this rule to make it more clear.

Direct – Means upon body, mind or spirit. A direct threat in spiritual, magical and shamanic definitions includes attempts by any outside force or influence to drain your energy or impose their will upon you.

Violent – Means anything that is damaging to your physical, mental, emotional or spiritual well being. Doesn't matter what the attacker's intentions are, only what he/she does.

Encourage – Means creating or permitting unnecessary opportunities for a know hostile being to attack you.

Provoke – Means being overly pushy when you know someone has a particularly sensitive area or is under a lot of stress whether it be internal or external.

By Any Means Available – Means using any means that you choose to defend yourself when attacked. As long as all the other conditions of this rule are met the Universe does not judge whether your response is excessive.

In some spiritual systems, it is considered a crime not to defend yourself because in so doing you are enabling the attacker to not learn appropriate spiritual behavior and impeding their spiritual growth. Any infringement on your sacred space gives you the right to defend yourself according to magical self defense laws.

Self defense tactics can come in very useful in a variety of situations and even be life saving, just remember to think them through and make sure you are on the right side of the self defense laws. Don't over-react, keep your cool, and make sure you are within your magical rights to use whatever technique you are considering. This will keep you in alignment with the Universe and prevent any backlash coming back at you. If you want to learn more about the magical rules of self defense, protection magic, and magical self defense tactics, check out our Magical Self Defense Homestudy course.


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Got Questions for the Universe? With Real Magic It's Just as Easy to Ask Yourself

"Look inside yourself for the answers - you're the only one who knows what's best for you. Everybody else is only guessing."    -Charles de Lint

According to the esoteric perspective, we have created all the problems we experience so that we can discover the answers. Through the process of daily life we discover ourselves. Our interactions and experiences on a mundane level give us opportunities to self observe and to find those things that we are resistant to or themes of problems that hold life lessons for us. We each have the answers we need inside ourselves. The trick is to access that information. If you find yourself hitting the same roadblocks or having the same problems arise with different people and different situations then it is time to ask yourself what the lesson is you need to learn and what information are you missing. In learning magic, we study many ways of accessing information from higher powers and from the knowledge we have stored within ourselves. Here is one real magic technique you can try out.

Ask yourself one or more questions with your dominant hand and answer them with your other hand. For example, if you are seeking knowledge about what the lesson to learn is from a particular situation, write the question "What lesson am I to learn from [state situation]?" on a piece of paper using your dominant hand. Then switch to your other hand to write the answer. The important thing in this ritual is not to think about the answer. Just write. Whatever your hand feels moved to write, write it. You may be surprised at the answer.

At first your answer may not make sense to you and that is OK. Don't force trying to make sense of it. Just hold what you wrote in your consciousness for a few days and see what happens. Sometimes answers will come in pieces so that they are easier to comprehend. The answer you wrote may be only part of the picture and other events in your life may fill in the missing pieces.

Be patient and enjoy the process of watching the knowledge and understanding unfold. With this ritual we can demonstrate to ourselves the true pleasure in waiting for the knowledge we seek. In esoteric work, the key is to enjoy the journey, not necessarily arriving at the destination. We will always receive in accordance with our ability to process and use the information.

You can learn more rituals to help you achieve your magical goals in our Daily Rituals for Attracting What You Want in Life ebook.


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