Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Magic of the Long Moment

Time travel, or the manipulation of time, has long been a shaman's tool for healing or research. For instance, a shaman might take a person back into a past life event so that person can understand what happened, or a shaman might travel into the future to explore possible what-ifs. For shamans and magicians time is elastic: it can be stretched like taffy, compressed like cotton, or frozen like ice.

One of the simplest ways to begin playing with time magically is to practice the art of the long moment. The art of the long moment is simply the ability to slow our perception of certain events so that we can really see what is happening in present time. It's also called the Cortothalamic Pause. Why do we need such a pause? Because we normally rush headlong through life events at the speed of sound, which doesn't give us optimum time to respond appropriately.

3 Steps to Instant Reaction
Here's the 3 step process that normally happens in any life event:
  1. We receive an incoming perception: A person speaks loudly to us
  2. The perception is immediately routed by our flow of associations to a certain place in our memory: In this or a past life, we have memories of loud voices and anger.
  3. The perception is assigned a meaning: The person is angry with us.
These three steps happen in less than a second. Less than one second after we receive an incoming impression, we have assigned a meaning to the perception and are already beginning to react. We will assume that the person is angry with us regardless of what the person is actually feeling.

In the regular course of things, our time is compressed in this way. There's no time to really evaluate the incoming perception and respond appropriately. Do you ever overreact in the heat of the moment and wonder why? It's because you had no Cortothalamic Pause. You reacted based on memory. In other words, most of us are interacting with life using mechanical reactions from memory -- we are hardly ever in the "now."

The Magic of the Long Moment
This is where the long moment comes in. If you can slow yourself at the moment you receive an incoming piece of data then you can stretch time. In this long moment you give yourself the power to evaluate the information you have received and give a true response.

How can you practice the art of the long moment? It's not hard. Twice a day practice the Cortothalamic Pause. When someone asks you a question or asks you to do something, stop everything inside yourself for 2 seconds. Stop all thought and consideration. Get quiet. Then respond to the person. For a long time you won't actually be able to stop your internal thoughts, but you will be able to see all the mechanical reactions and thoughts that immediately spring up. You'll be truly surprised at the massive and often chaotic activity that happens inside yourself. It will give you true insight into the way you interact with life.

Flower Essences for the Long Moment
To enhance the probability of having a long moment, you can include these flower essences as part of your daily regimen:

- Lavender and Chamomile for calming
- White Chestnut for reducing repetitive thoughts
- Thyme for helping to manipulate Time

Explore the Long Moment and More
Want to explore more flower essence remedies and other techniques for self-healing and self-exploration? Check this out:

Energy Healing for Self and Others (ebook)

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Magic Rituals: This One is Very Cool

Here's the magic question of the day for you:

What's the difference between a ceremony and a ritual?

The answer may vary according to the tradition in which you study, but based on my review of multiple tribal traditions (along with my own observations and experiences), a ceremony is a reenactment of some past event and is meant to bring that event (and its meaning) into present time. For instance, certain dervish sacred dances are ceremonies that reenact past events. A ritual, on the other hand, is a magical act that has an intended magical effect, and therefore must be suitable to the here and now, even if that means adapting it for modern times.

Just a little magical tidbit to think about.

And while you are pondering the possible implications of that, here's something else to play with. Recently we had some of the more advanced students in our school design their own magic rituals as part of their original research. One student came up with what I thought was a fabulously fitting ritual, very in keeping not only with the here and now, but also with the effect that he wished to create.

The Very Cool Magical Ritual
So here was his situation: he had just moved into a new neighborhood and had had some less-than-positive encounters with his new neighbors. Wishing to restore harmony, both within himself and in his relations with his neighbors, he used an ordinary landscaping task to create a powerful ritual.

He needed to trim an olive tree that day. As he approached the tree, he realized that olive branches are the traditional symbols of extending peace to another party. Perfect. As he trimmed the olive tree, he used the Navajo Beauty Way Walking Litany to create a sacred space around himself, the tree, and the entire area surrounding the tree.

Then, to expand the circle of sacred space and restore harmony, he carried an olive branch to each border of his property, saying the Walking Litany as he went. Those of you who have used the Walking Litany know that this form of the Beauty Way is actually a spell in motion. By saying the Walking Litany as he carried and placed each of the olive branches, he was in effect putting up a magical spell matrix around his property and in contact with his neighbors.

He reported that he felt appreciative of his neighbors' efforts to beautify their yards after performing his self-created ritual to extend peace to his neighbors. Prior to the ritual, his emotions ranged between anger and scorn toward those neighbors, especially when the neighbor's yard improvement projects overlapped with his own.

The external results have yet to be fully played out, but without a doubt the ritual created an internal effect. Because an internal change in us always leads to an external change in the world, this student is bound to soon see the positive physical effects of his personal ritual.

Pretty cool, huh? I think so.

Daily Magic Rituals for You
You can learn more about daily magic rituals in our "Daily Rituals for Attracting What You Want in Life Ebook" ebook. This ebook features numerous magical rituals that you can easily incorporate as a part of your everyday life, plus teaches you the process of creating your own magic rituals.

Check out the ebook here:

Daily Rituals for Attracting What You Want Ebook

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Magical Self-Defense: When to Use It

When to Use Magical Self-Defense

As magicians, it's important to study the area of self-defense carefully since we have considerable power and force. The inappropriate use of that power and force can cause Universal backlash. We must be especially careful to control our tempers and not use our abilities reactively.

According to Western magical practice, "You have a right to be here and follow your own path so long as you hinder no one else in doing likewise." This foundational principle asserts our right to exist and follow our own path and by extension, our right to defend ourselves against those who might seek to prevent us from walking our path.

As you grow in magical ability, you will inevitably attract beings on different levels that seek to interfere with your path in some way. Writer Clarissa Estes, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, so accurately states, "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."

Here's a good rule of thumb to use when it comes to self-defense:

"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."

For a more in-depth look at when to use magic for self-defense and some techniques to use for magical self-defense, take a look at these articles:
Magical Aikido for Self Defense: What to Do if Someone Grabs You
What You Probably Don't Know About Magical Self-Defense
Learn Magical Self Defense at home with our online course.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Don't Fix Your Life! Live a Magical Life Instead

We get a lot of emails each week from people asking for techniques, spells and advice to fix their lives. We always we respond, but for the most part we aren't able to send the "magical cure" over email.

Why is this? Because even if we were to fix the current "problem" in a person's life, another problem would soon appear. That person's consciousness created the first problem, and will create another and another and another.

So what does this tell us? It tells us that there's a big difference between trying to fix your life and learning to live a magical life. The first is a temporary solution at best, while the second produces a permanent, positive transformation in your life.

The bottom line is that you can't fix your life. You cannot successfully and permanently apply magical principles to temporary life situations. Those situations exist simply to tell you that something is awry in your life, and that you need to pay attention. What you can do is change your consciousness and your intention with magic.

How Magic Works to Improve Your Life

Magic is the study of fundamental Universal laws and principles. When you don't understand these laws, life appears chaotic, whimsical, without reason and often perverse. The same was true in earlier times, when people did not understand the basics of weather and thought that willful deities were punishing them with drought or famine.

When you begin to understand the basic laws of the Universe (and of this Earth school), you begin to see the rhyme and reason that moves through your life and everyone else's life. Magic gives you levers with which to leverage the forces in your life toward your goals and aims. With these levers you will have greater control over you attention, your behaviors, your compulsions and your desires. You'll understand the roots of all these facets of yourself, and know how to direct them in your favor.

Learning spells and exercises without understanding the basic principles behind them can get you only so far. Why? Because when you don't understand the reasons behind those exercises, you don't get much use out of them. The study of basic magical principles teaches you the skills to design your own spells, exercises and techniques that work in YOUR life - because you designed them! Using spells and exercises that work in someone else's life rarely creates permanent change in yours.

So roll your sleeves up, really get down and dirty - and personal - in your study of magic. Your life is not like your car - you cannot take your life to a shaman and have them fix it in 3 days. You can, however, learn the art of magic and your life will fix itself (magically). Got it? Good!

If you want to know more about the art and study of magic or learn basic Universal principles, check out these courses:

Home Study Courses

Magic Ebooks

Magic Email Course

Magic Kindle Books

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cloud Magic in 4 Simple Steps

If you are interested in becoming a magical weather worker, then cloud magic is a great place to start. Magical weather workers can do truly incredible things, including altering the direction of storms, calling in moisture during droughts, and even influencing temperatures on a local or global level. In terms of daily use, knowing how to work with weather can help you clear up an impending storm on the day of a big outdoor concert, alter the course of a snowstorm so you don't have to drive through icy roads, or bring in some local cloud cover so your plants don't wilt from the heat during a sizzling summer. But before you can do all of these incredible things with weather, you'll need to start on a smaller scale, with cloud magic.

Cloud magic is simply the art of moving clouds around in the sky. You can reshape clouds, move them from left to right, or even drill a hole in an overcast sky to let some sunshine through. Cloud magic teaches you to extend and use your energies, which you can later develop when working with the winds of the four directions and larger weather systems. Below are 4 simple steps you can use to begin practicing cloud magic.

1. Choose a day that has scattered, puffy clouds for this exercise. Get into a comfortable position (either sitting or laying down) where you can easily see the clouds.

2. Choose a particular cloud to work with. Decide what you will do with your cloud. You can split the cloud in half, shape it to look like an animal, extend one end of the cloud or make the cloud taller. Whatever you choose, keep it simple. For instance, you may choose a cloud that already looks like a duck, but a duck with a short tail. Choose to extend the duck's tail until it looks proportional to the rest of the body.

3. Shape the cloud using your thoughts and intention. See the cloud as you want it to be. Now super-impose that image over the actual cloud. You can also talk to the cloud or use your hands to shape the cloud. While you obviously can't touch the cloud with your hands, clouds are sensitive to force of movement in your hands as well as the energy your hands project.

4. Clouds are very reactive and easy to shape, but sometimes slow to move. If you work with your cloud for 1-2 minutes but very little seems to be happening, take a break for a few minutes then look at your cloud again. You'll probably see that the cloud has moved in the direction you pushed it. The cloud just took a while to get there.

As with all of these types of exercises, don't judge the result. Just keep practicing. Before long you'll be delighted with what you can do with cloud magic and you'll be ready to move on to more complex weather working techniques.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Put Your Engrams (En-what?) On a Diet!

Most of us already know the Law of Attraction - that what we put our attention on is what we attract. So it almost goes without saying that we shouldn't talk or think about what we don't want to create. But have you ever noticed how difficult it is? Once we get going on a rant or chronic complaint, it can be really hard to stop.

Here's a little known fact that might help you stop the next time you feel like talking about something negative. Every time you "tell your story" or talk about something that you don't want, you add a little more emotion, a little more negative energy and a little more charge to the topic in your mind.

That means the next time you talk about it, it will be even harder to stop. You see, what causes us to "tell our story" all the time is a structure called an engram - an energetic program that exists in both body and mind.

What's an Engram?
Engrams are like energy vacuums and they want your energy. Every time you talk about something negative, the engram related to that topic literally vacuums up the energy you expend, so you now have that much less energy in your total system. The more energy you put out, the more the engram gets. If you feel run down, tired or unmotivated, it could be that you've been over-feeding your engrams by thinking and talking about negative subjects. It might be time to put them on a diet.

So how can you put your engrams on a diet? By leaving them alone. Don't touch those topics with your mind or your speech. If you leave engrams alone for a while, they tend to slowly begin releasing the energy they've stolen from you. Also, if you catch yourself talking about some negative topic, stop yourself and say, "Cancel that!" This statement prevents the engram from sucking any more of your energy.

The whole process surrounding engrams is one of the key reasons that we age and die. We are so accustomed to negative speech that we literally start feeding those engrams from day one. At the same time, we reduce our energy and life force, little by little and day by day, slowing down all the time until we reach the stillness of death. In fact, if we grew up learning how not to speak or think negatively, we could potentially live forever. So if you want to prolong your life and your available energy, stop feeding those engrams. It will save your life!

Need Magical Help? Get it Here!
Need help putting your engrams on a diet? Check out the e-book, "Ten Magical Quick Fixes for Your Life!" It details 10 (with a bonus 11th) ways to stop feeding your engrams and start feeling positive in any moment. This ebook is designed to be a quick-reference guide to help you moment by moment, day by day, become more positive, healthy and joyful. Techniques include working with Owl, hiring angels, washing away pain, rapid recovery from trauma and more.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Training Your Mind to Help You

Our friend, singer and songwriter Chuck Pyle, likes to say, "The mind is like a bad neighborhood--you should never go there by yourself." If you're mind hasn't been trained to help you, via methods like meditation, shamanism or NLP, it might really be a bad neighborhood. Our minds constantly absorb thoughts, behaviors, and responses from our environment. These various thought patterns and responses may or may not be in alignment with our goals. So, unless we actively train our minds to be responsive to our needs, we may be in for a wild chariot ride (and 6 out of control horses)!

The Magical Tools We All Have
From a shamanic point of view, we say that each person is a spirit with a mind and body. In other words, we are spirit; and mind and body are tools that we, spirit, can use. However, just because we have mind as a tool doesn't mean that mind, in its current form, is a good tool for us. The untrained mind is a lot like an untrained animal--be prepared for the unexpected!
Have you ever sworn to yourself (say on New Year's Day?) that you're never going to fall for the wrong kind of mate again? Or you're going to lose 10 pounds this year? Or you're going to … the list is endless. Then what happens? We forget what we've promised ourselves, or we find other priorities that are more important. That forgetfulness is a sign that mind isn't trained to help us with our aims. Mind is doing its own thing.

Segment Intending to Train Your Mind
So what can we do to train mind? Segment intending, one of our favorite exercises from Abraham-Hicks, is a simple way to train your mind to help you while also accomplishing a lot each day. Here's how you do it:

1) Pick the length of time for your "segment." It can be any length of time, but no more than an hour. Thirty minutes or an hour works well. Decide exactly what time the segment will start and end.

2) Decide on your aim for that segment. It could be a list of tasks, a state of being, or both. For instance, you might decide that you will strive to remain light hearted while you return phone calls for 30 minutes.

3) When the segment start time arrives, start your segment with no second thoughts. Put your attention solely on the tasks for that segment and nothing else.

4) If you get interrupted during your segment, you need to decide whether the interruption is important enough for you to stop your segment (for instance, if your boss stops by your office for a chat). If the interruption is not important enough, keep going on your segment. If the interruption is important, make a conscious decision to stop your current segment and start a new one (one centered around the interruption).

Practice doing these segments throughout the day. Each segment is a training period for your mind, and will teach your mind to assist you in whatever you are doing. Segment intending works even better with a buddy who can help you stay on track and stay focused. Whether you segment intend by yourself or with a friend, you'll find your mind becoming much more responsive to your needs as a spirit.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thwack! The Magic of a Rubberband Around Your Wrist

"How do I stay present to the here and now during the day?"

This is the question a client recently asked me. She asked because she works a high-pressure job yet is a trained magical practitioner, and she has trouble bringing the two worlds together. She has difficulty bringing the quiet of her morning meditation and magic rituals into the high-stress environs of her work.

Walking both the magical and mundane paths at the same time is a difficulty many magical practitioners have. It can seem impossible to keep one foot in each world.

A Simple Magical Solution to Stay Present
One of the simplest solutions to this problem combines modern technology with an everyday object. All you need is a cell phone or pager and a rubber band. Set your cell phone or pager to buzz you at preset times during the day, perhaps every couple of hours, and wear the rubber band around your wrist. When your alarm goes off, simply snap the rubber band around your wrist.

As silly as this seems, it works to bring your attention back to the "here and now." This is because physical sensation always exists in the present, never the past or future. The rubber band snapping against your wrist gives you a physical sensation, and to experience that sensation you have to come back to present time.

Putting a Little More Magic Into the Ritual
When I suggested this simple solution to my client, she found it interesting but she wanted a ritual with a little more pizzazz to it, a little more magic. I understand that. I asked her if she had a specific spiritual guide or angel to whom she felt a specific attachment. She favored the angel Gabriel, so I suggested she create a ritual that included him.

She found a charming but subtle pendant representing the angel Gabriel, and she wears it on a necklace. When her phone buzzes her, instead of snapping a rubber band around her wrist, she reaches up and fingers the pendant, a gesture which looks natural and doesn't seem out of place, even in a boardroom. Lots of people fidget or have nervous habits, and when she reaches up to hold her pendant, it looks just like any other subconscious fidget. The ritual has worked, literally "like a charm," and brings her back to the here and now several times a day. She reports feeling more relaxed and at ease during the work day, and less tired at the end of the day.

What "Rubber Band" Works for You?
If you're a "down to basics" kind of person, using a rubber band will probably work really well for you. On the other, if you want something a little more special, a little more magical, consider choosing an animal totem or angel symbol to bring you back to the present.

Animal Totem Pendants
Angel and Animal Totem Figures

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Big Nasty Problems: What Do You Do Magically?

Picture this ordinary scenario: you're cruising merrily through your day when all of sudden a big unexpected problem pops up on your radar screen. What do you do?

How you respond to a problem situation has a lot to do with the outcome that you get. In problem panic situations most of us don't have enough presence of mind to be "able to respond" appropriately--in other words, we can't be responsible. Here are three typical (but not effective!) ways that we respond to problem situations and their natural outcomes:

Take Action!
For those of us who don't feel comfortable unless we're doing something, the natural response is to dive in and do something! Unfortunately this doesn't give us much time think through the situation and plan a response. We end up "doing" as fast as we can--often in completely the wrong direction! Result? Lots of action and not much positive achievement.

Obsess and Complain
The obsessive-compulsive ones among us will start running on the hamster-wheel of worry, complaining all the while. The problem will be on our minds while we work, eat, sleep and have sex (what a time to worry!). And not only will we worry obsessively, we'll talk compulsively about it too. But we won't take any action--we'd rather talk and fret. Result? Smoke pouring out of our ears and hot air coming out of our mouths. Not much else!

Ignore It
Finally, there's the classic ostrich response of ignoring the problem altogether. We think that if we don't look at the problem it will eventually go away on its own. In fact, we might even try to keep ourselves otherwise occupied with slightly obsessive eating, drinking, or playing. The problem with this response is that we keep peeking at the problem subconsciously so we're continually aware of it anyway. Result? Possibly some weight gain or hangovers but no progress in solving the problem.

These three responses all share the common characteristic of avoidance. All three responses take us out of the present moment and into action, obsession, or ignorance. The truly odd part is that if we can manage to stay in the present and really look at the problem, we're liable to find that the problem isn't as big or nasty as we originally thought.

From a shaman's perspective, the appropriate response to a potential problem would be:

1. Stop Everything
To prevent initial reactions from blowing the problem out of proportion, the shaman practices what's called the "cortothalamic pause," in which she stops all internal thoughts, feelings, and associations so she can take in the present situation without any prior ideas or emotions.

2. Research
Before taking action the shaman uses various tools of divination, such as pendulums or tarot cards, and consults with her guides to research the situation. Although she may be very thorough, this step often takes no more than a few hours.

3. Plan and Take Action
Based on the information she's gathered, the shaman then makes a plan and takes action. At this point there is no hesitation or doubt. The course has been plotted, contingency plans have been made, and it's all about moving forward with strength.

While the shaman has many tools and guides available to her, the most important step in the above process is the first one--the Stop. What gets most of us in trouble in that we dive headlong into our usual reaction to any problem situation without taking the time to stop and clear our minds. If we can train ourselves to take a cortothalamic pause when a problem rears its ugly head, we'll find that solutions are much easier to find and implement. It's such a simple step and so very effective!

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Want Some Magic Tomorrow? Imagine it Today!

Imagination Today = Magic Tomorrow

Most of us know that creative visualization is an important magical tool for attracting what we want in life. When I teach seminars on meditation and creative visualization, many attendees nod their heads and say, "Oh yes, I know about creative visualization and meditation."

But if you want some magic in your life, the question isn't whether or not you know about creative visualization. The question is, "Do you practice creative visualization?" If not, here's a quote that might help you realize the importance of practicing visualization as a magical tool on a daily basis. This quote is from one of our favorite teachers, Abraham-Hicks:

"Everything that you will some day live, in terms of life experience -- and by some day, we mean as soon as right now, tomorrow, the next day, or some day -- anything that you will some day live, you have first imagined. Because nothing will manifest in your experience without the imagination process happening first."

Did you get that? Nothing will ever manifest in your life unless you imagine it first. Think about that. Hasn't your life so far been the translation of your imagination and beliefs into reality?

If so, then wouldn't it be worth your time to really spend time on creative visualization? Magic, like any other area of expertise, is a matter of practice. In magical circles, we say, "If you pay into your practice, it will pay you back!"

How much have you paid into your magical practice? How much do you pay into it daily? How much do you expect it pay you back? To get some magic into your life tomorrow, what might you be willing to do today?

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Power of the Faery Star

The seven pointed star, also known as the Faery or Elven Star in Wiccan traditions, is a septagram-a religious symbol that is sacred to certain pagan or Wiccan traditions. Much less common than the pentagram in magical practice, the seven pointed star has one major advantage over the pentagram as a shield or protective symbol (many magical traditions advocate using the pentagram on the front and back of magical books, such as a Book of Shadows, for protection).

The seven pointed star is created by combining a four pointed square with a three pointed triangle in such a way as to create a continuously circulating figure. This is also the "Seven Arrows" design. To create this star, you have to circulate twice around your starting point, and this creates the continuous circling energy in this figure.

Once set into motion, the seven pointed star continues to circulate forever, making it an eternally spinning shield or protector (start the star in motion by "keying it" with electric blue energy from your finger or Athame). The pentagram, on the other hand, always requires an outside "push" from the base to the tip of any point, and stops transmitting energy once that outer force stops. If you're looking for a protective shield or symbol, the Faery star is a good one to consider.

The number seven is very sacred to many traditions. In some traditions, the four points unite the four magical elements on the planet (Air, Fire, Water, and Earth) with the three points that represent the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). Other traditions consider the seven points to represent the seven directions (North, South, East, West, above, below, and within), the seven colors of the rainbow, the seven planets, the seven alchemical metals, the seven tones of the diatonic scale, or the seven days of the week. This star is also known to some as the Star of the Seven Sisters.

In the Esoteric School, we follow the tradition of the Church of Seven Arrows, and use the seven pointed star on our protective Psychic Shields that we offer to students and the public. These shields have been shown to protect from psychic attack in all directions, deflecting unwanted energies and blackening when attacked. A very, very effective symbol for magical use!

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What Is Shamanic Smudging?

Shamanic smudging--or just smudging--is an age-old tribal tradition which has been used for centuries to create harmony and peace. There are many different shamanic smudging ceremonies, and different tribes use a variety of herbs for smudging.

To define it more clearly, shamanic smudging is the burning of herbs or incense for cleansing, purification, protection of physical and spiritual bodies, banishment of negative energies and creation of sacred space. You can use smudge sticks (herbs that are tied into a bundle for easier handling), braided herbs and botanicals (like sweetgrass) or loose herbs (burned on charcoal or mugwort, or in a firepit). Shamanic smudging releases the energy and fragrance of the herbs and botanicals so they can heal, cleanse and purify.

In many traditions, shamanic smudging involves a four directions ceremony or prayer, which sends specific kinds of smoke or prayers into the four directions. Different tribes have different smudging prayers that "program" the smoke to do a specific action, such as cleansing or aiding in divination.

In general, shamanic smudging can be used in daily life for practical purposes--to restore physical, mental and emotional balance; to shield against negative energies; to cleanse yourself, your magickal tools and your space; and to restore you sacred space.

Although different tribes and traditions use different herbs for shamanic smudging, some of the most popular herbs include desert sage, white broadleaf sage, juniper, pinon (sometimes in resin form), sweetgrass, copal (in resin form), mugwort, lavender and sacred tobacco. Here are some general uses for the different herbs often used for smudging:

Primarily fire element though can also be used for four-element general purposes. Has a pleasant and meditative fragrance. Is cleansing, strengthening, warming, and used by Native American cultures for its spiritual and healing properties. Produces a thick stream of smoke, and is excellent for refreshing the senses and reviving a tired soul.

Primarily fire and water elements though can also be used for four-element general purposes. When burned, the scent is sweet, resinous, slightly woody, mildly earthy and spicy. Was a holy incense used by the peoples of Mesoamerica. Traditionally used as incense in divinatory and cleansing ceremonies. The resin contains aromatic chemicals called terpenes, which make it volatile and flammable. Used by Mayan shamans prior to ingesting mushrooms.

Primarily earth element though can also be used for four-element general purposes. Produces a lot of smoke when burned, very earthy, piney scent. Gathered from an almost leafless Middle Eastern shrub called the Commiphora Molmol. It was used by the ancient Egyptians in rituals of Healing and Passing. It is one of the ingredients used by the Egyptians to embalm bodies. Useful for spirituality, meditation, happiness, release, transformation, strength, confidence and stability.

Primarily fire element though can also be used for four-element general purposes. Is the resin of an African tree and produces a rich, dense smoke when burned. Used extensively in meditation and healing. In numerous religious traditions, frankincense's spiritual scent was believed to confer divine blessing. Pliny the Elder mentioned it as an antidote to hemlock poisoning.

Primarily air element though can also be used as for four-element general purposes. Has a somewhat sharp, light and refreshing scent. One of the most sacred herbs among Native Americans. Used to purify the mind, body and spirit before prayer, meditation, ritual or ceremony. Also used to purify sacred items such as pipes, magical tools, tarot decks and eagle feathers. Can be used for area, house and personal cleansings. Some people carry a small amount of Sage in a pocket or medicine pouch to insure personal and spiritual safety.

Primarily fire element though can also be used for four-element general purposes. Has a sharp, piney scent. Excellent to stimulate and revive when tired in body, mind or Spirit. Used in ancient times for ritual purification of temples. Smoke believed to aid clairvoyance. Also useful for purification and to stimulate contact with other worlds. Burned during the Plague to resist disease.

Primarily air element. Has a light, aromatic and refreshing scent. Useful for attracting peace, happiness and restful sleep. Also reduces depression, grief and sorrow. Aids in meditation and divination, and often said to aid in manifestation. Known as Elf Leaf, Nard, Nardus, Spike and Lavandar. Traditionally associated with fairies and elves

Primarily air element though can also be used for four-element general purposes. This is a broad leaf sage that is highly prized for its strong aromatic properties (strongest of the different types of sage). Considered the king if all sages. Excellent for meditation, divination, smudging, cleansing and purification.

Traditionally used for enhancing psychic abilities, magical protection, healing and spiritual strength. Excellent for meditation and divination. Said to be ruled by the moon. One Native American tribe rolled the leaves into balls, dried it in the sun and chewed it for a natural mouthwash.

Primarily fire and water elements. Produces a sharp, invigorating scent that lasts for a long time after burning. Often used in divination and psychic communication. Excellent for rejuvenating the senses and restoring life force.

Primarily water element. Produces a heavy, warm, aromatic scent with just a hint of sharpness – scent lasts a long time after burning. Excellent for meditation, divination, increasing psychic abilities, contacting powers and beings in other dimensions and psychic communication. Also traditionally associated with attracting love, conferring peace, stimulating sexual appetites and enhancing beauty.

Primarily air element. As its name suggests, sweetgrass produces a sweet and light fragrance that does not last for long. Excellent for cleansing sacred space. Sweetgrass is a rare grass which is found growing wild in very few places. Traditionally, sweetgrass is believed to invite the good spirits.

You can burn these herbs singly or in combination with each other. One good combination that covers all four magical elements of air, fire, water and earth is pine resin and sage (either desert sage or white broadleaf sage). This combination is appropriate for general use, cleansing, ceremony and ritual.

Smudging yourself on a daily basis can be very helpful in keeping yourself balanced and maintaining a peaceful state of being. However, you should definitely use shamanic smudging techniques when you've been around people who are ill, depressed, fearful, angry or generally emotionally unbalanced; before meditating to create a calm state of being; when you're feeling blue or depressed; or when you've been under a lot of stress.

Smudging yourself is easy. If you're using a smudge stick, light the smudge stick on a candle flame. Hold the stick in the flame until there is a lot of smoke and the stick is burning well (that's why a candle is better than a match--it can take a while to get the stick really smoking). Using a feather (or feather fan) or your hand, gently fan the smoke onto your body, starting at the top of the body and moving downward. Get the back of your body as best you can (it's often easier to use a smudge pot and loose herbs for this). When you're done, inhale a little of the smoke (just a little!) to purify your insides.

If you're using a smudge pot or Firebowl and loose herbs, light the herbs (using self-lighting charcoal --not the barbeque kind!) until it is smoking well. Then, put the Firebowl on the ground and stand over it with your legs spread and feet on either side. Weave back and forth in the smoke until you have been thoroughly cleansed. Clothing is optional for this approach, and smudging in the nude is recommended for a more thorough cleansing. Again, when you're done, inhale a little of the smoke to purify your insides. People often feel more relaxed, lighter and brighter after smudging.

If you're going to use the smudge smoke during meditation, use a charcoal burner or Firebowl, light the herbs and enjoy the scent and smoke as you meditate. Meditating with these herbs often produces a deeper and longer-lasting state of relaxation and contemplation.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Tribe of You

When you think about yourself, you think "I" right? You think of yourself as a singular, whole being. One person. One unit. One entity.

That's how most of us think about ourselves. In truth, though, each of us is not a single "I" but a whole tribe of archetypes that use the same body to express ourselves. You are not actually you. You are the Tribe of You. There are many of you.

Interesting to think about, isn't it? You can verify this in your own experience by thinking about a New Year's resolution. Suppose one of "you" made the resolution to lose weight. All is well and good until you encounter fresh hot donuts at work. Then another of "you" takes control of your body, smells that fresh donut scent, and without another thought eats one! Whoa! What just happened to your resolution?

Fifteen minutes later, the "you" that made the resolution bubbles to the surface and notices that you've eaten a donut. Then the "guilt and shame you" comes in and starts with the guilt trip. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Each "you" in the Tribe of You has a different agenda, and you will act according to many agendas during your day, depending on which "you" has control at the moment.

How can you get a grip on yourself so you can achieve your chosen goals without causing tribal warfare? The first step is to realize that most of the time you are not yourself. Here's a simple way to clarify this:

1. Choose a goal that one of "you" has set. It should be one that lasts for at least two weeks (and maybe one that you've had trouble achieving).

2. Observe your thoughts and actions very carefully during those two weeks. Every time one of "you" has thoughts or proposes actions that are contrary to that goal, say to yourself, "This is not I."

3. Briefly jot down the situation and thought or action.

4. At the end of two weeks, review your list. Notice how many different versions of "you" there are related to your goal.

You might be surprised how many of you are part of the Tribe of You. Does this shed light on why achieving certain goals is so difficult?

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

LATER GATOR... Avoiding The Blues

Have you got the blues? Feel like this week will never be over and the weekend or your vacation will never return? If so, take heart! This too shall pass, and with a few simple tricks you can make the blues go away even faster!

1. "This is Not I": If you're at work and you feel the blues closing in on you, what should you do? First, remember that "the blues" is just part of the Tribe of You, it's not you. Say to yourself, "This is not I." Say it to yourself as many times as you need to remind yourself that this is just a temporary state, not a permanent way of being.

2. "In 5 Minutes": When you feel like you just can't go on and but you have to complete certain tasks, tell yourself, "I'll take a break in 5 minutes." Then put your attention on what you're doing. In 5 minutes, if you still feel tired and blue, say "Yes, in just 5 minutes." Do three rounds of 5 minutes and see if the "blue you" has faded by then. Often by the time 15 minutes has passed, so have the blues.

3. "First Things First": If you're already stuck in the blues and your task list seems too overwhelming, just do first things first. Pick the three tiniest tasks on your list that can be done in 10 minutes or less (break down larger items if you have to). It doesn't matter how trivial these tasks are, just pick 3. Now set a target. Say, "I'll do this, this, and this." Don't focus on anything else. Just do those three things. Then do the next three tiny tasks, then the next three. Before you know it, you're in full swing!

4. "Get Moving": Mental and emotional stagnation is often the result of physical stagnation. If you just can't get going on what you have to do, get out and move briskly for 3 minutes. Talk a walk, do jumping jacks, or yoga. Just get going. Then come back to your list and do "First Things First."

Once you have a little practice at saying "Later gator" to the blues, you'll understand that negative emotions are more habit than anything else. Shaking up your routine and shifting your perspective even a little can get you off that well-worn path and moving in a new direction. Enjoy the insights along the way!

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How to Work with Power Plants

The plant world, as a facet of "All That Is" is central to many shamanic, magical and tribal traditions. Plants were placed on Earth to be our companions and healers, and when we take the time to honor that sacred role, we heal both ourselves and our planet. Whether you are working with plants to create herbs, flower essences, essential oils or incense, you must first and foremost be in communication with those plants. While plants, in and of themselves, have a great deal of healing and spiritual power, when we take the time to honor and communicate with the plants we want to partake of, those plants grow exponentially in power and force.

Communicating With Power Plants
So how do you honor and communicate with power plants? It's not difficult. As Devta Khalsa, healer of many traditions, describes in her ebook, communicating with plants is really no different than communicating with another person--just more tender. Before you harvest any plant, take some time to sit quietly by the plant. Breathe deeply and center yourself. Then ask the plant for permission to use some of its body. Tell the plant what you would like to use it for. Wait for permission. Whether or not you hear a response, know that the plant's devas always hear and respond to you. Ask the plant to infuse its body with healing and harmonious power suitable for your purpose.

If you wait silently enough, quieting your mind, you'll most likely hear a response. Even if you don't, though, just taking the time to honor and communicate with the plant will make your gathering more powerful and effective. No matter what you hear, thank the plant for its role in your healing and life.

It's also customary to leave an offering at the base of the plant, so that there is an equal exchange of energy. Sacred tobacco and cornmeal are perfect for this, but you can also use a hair from your head if you didn't bring any other offering.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

An Easy Way to Develop Your Psychic Abilities

Before you waste any time wondering if you have any psychic abilities or whether you can actually develop them, let me clear up the issue by saying that you do have psychic abilities and you can easily develop them. Everyone has psychic abilities! The question is how you develop them.

Would you believe that you can radically increase your psychic abilities by practicing for 5-10 minutes a day? All you need is pen and paper. Don't think about your psychic abilities as something "special" or "difficult to learn. Learning to use your psychic abilities is no more difficult than learning to bake a cake - you're just using different ingredients!

Before we dive into instructions about how to increase your abilities, let's define what we mean by psychic abilities. In shamanic terms, we call these abilities "Spirit perceptics" or "Spirit abilities." In other words, these are abilities beyond your five senses that are part of your Spirit. You can use these abilities to access information way beyond what you can see, hear, touch, taste or smell. With these abilities you can access almost any kind of information, talk to spirits or beings who have died and much more.

Psychic Development Exercise
Here's a simple exercise that will help you develop your psychic abilities. With this exercise your goal is to practice using your Spirit abilities to access information that you can't access with your five senses. Here's how you do it:

1. Bring pen, paper and a watch or timer to a very public location that has lots of people. Fast food restaurants, airports or malls are good places to start.

2. Seat yourself in a comfortable location where you can easily write, observe people and see your timer or clock.

3. Pick a person to observe (you will need to observe him or her for 30 seconds). Set your timer for 30 seconds and start writing.

4. Write anything and everything that comes up about that person, whether you can directly observe it or not. It's easier to start by writing what you can observe about the person (such as hair color, clothing, activities and so forth). Don't think about what you are writing and don't allow yourself to pause. Don't worry about whether your observations are correct or not. Write as much as you can and as fast as you can.

5. Once the 30 seconds is up, pick another person to observe, set your timer and start writing.

6. Observe 10 people during a span of 5 minutes.

To give you an example of what you might write, look at the paragraph below:

Man, blond hair, jeans, has kids, mustache, kind, loves sports, likes water, has a brother, works outdoors, in tune with Nature, born in the West or has a connection to the West, nice tan, sneakers, talking with someone, talks with hand gestures, works well with hands, sensitive hands, sensitive nature, enjoys people, likes the color red, wears red a lot, brown eyes, around 40, jazz music, smiles a lot.

You'll notice in the short description above that there are many descriptions that can be seen with the five senses - the color of his hair, the way he talks with his hands, the color of his eyes and his tan. In between, though, are descriptors that can't be seen with the five senses - that he has a brother, he is in tune with Nature, likes the color red and jazz music. Notice that I didn't write that he likes jazz music, plays jazz music or listens to jazz music. I just wrote "jazz music." There may be someone around him who plays jazz music or he may like to listen to jazz music. Those details didn't come up so I just wrote jazz music. Be sure to write whatever comes up - no editing!!

It doesn't matter if any of your descriptions, especially those that are done with Spirit abilities, are actually correct. The goal is to practice accessing information with these abilities. The correctness of your observation will improve with time. Practice this exercise as often as you can - any time you are waiting for a bus, sitting at a restaurant or resting in a public setting. If you don't get out much, you can do the same exercise by turning the volume off your TV and observing the people on TV.

You'll find that with practice you will develop the ability to simply look at people and know what they are like, what's going on in their lives and what is important to them. The more you practice, the better you'll get. The key is not to get attached to the correctness of what you write. The less you judge yourself the more correct your observations will become. Now if you are ready to get more help with tuning into your psychic abilities, take a look at our Psychic Development eBook.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Plan For Abundance

How do you feel in the morning compared to the middle of your day or the end of your day? Do you wake up full of optimism in the morning, only to find yourself stressed out by lunch and exhausted by dinner?

If we stop and really assess how we feel at the beginning of our day as compared to the end of our day, it's no surprise that we get off track when it comes to our goals. Most of us know that "energy attracts." In other words, when we feel optimistic and happy we tend to attract positive experiences and people into our lives. When we feel down and out, all kinds of unhappy accidents cross our paths.

So if we feel happy and upbeat early in the day, then get dragged down as the day progresses, we're attracting abundance and positive events early in the day and accidents and negativity later on. For most of us, that averages out into a neutral score so that we stay exactly where we are in life-stuck!

What can we do to get moving and attract the abundance we really want in our lives? We can plan for it. For instance, if you know that you tend be stressed by lunchtime, plan to take some time at lunch to restore your energies. Or, if you realize that you feel tired by 3 o'clock in the afternoon, plan to take a 5 minute break to revitalize yourself and remember your aims.

Your energy boosting break doesn't have to be a big production, just a short period of time dedicated to feeling good again. The key is to plan ahead for those times when you know you tend to feel tired or stressed, and to take breaks when you plan to, whether or not you feel tired at that moment.

In certain esoteric traditions, these pre-planned "stops" in the day are called moments of "remembering ourselves." When we get wrapped up in work, expectations, fears, and stress, we tend to forget all of our aims. When we take the time to remember ourselves, we get back on track and every event takes on a new meaning and new light. The key is to stop yourself before you get too far off track. Plan to stop, and stop when you've planned it!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Magical Element Water: The Passion and Flow of Manifestation

The Water element is the element where manifestations really pick up speed and flow. Water is the element of emotion, passion, empathy, flow and feelings. To truly manifest anything, or if you want to speed up your manifestation, you have to get into the Water element.

About the Magical Element Water
Water is associated with the direction West, the direction of emotions and Spirit (since emotions are the "language of Spirit").  Water elementals are called undines or ondines, and like to play in the ponds, springs and pools. Like sylphs, which are the air elementals, undines are playful creatures who enjoy brushing up against you in the water.

The element Water corresponds specifically to:

...emotions, feelings, intuition, compassion, empathy, sympathy, knowing, devotion, quest, aspiration, intention, appreciation, integrity, harmony, beauty, balance, serenity, fluidity, grief, apathy, joy, love...

If you are facing any sort of life problem in any of these areas, you need to work with the magical element Water. The Water element has three major colors, of which only one (Water Blue) is safe for everyone to work with:

     Water Blue: Physical water, hydration, used for healing
     Deep Blue: Mental or emotional water
     Blue Black: Spiritual water, usually associated with "buried unconscious" issues

Do not use Deep Blue or Blue Black unless you are a trained magician--otherwise you might create endless depression or regression to past life events!

Working With the Magical Element Water
Water can be a highly useful element to work with in solving everyday problems. For instance, if you've had a highly stressful day or you have pain in your body, you can use the Water element to literally wash your pain away. Just stand in the shower and push all your pain, tension, anxiety and strain to the outside of your body and see the water carrying it all down the drain. Adjust the water temperature so it's fairly neutral, not to hot and not too cold. Water carries Fire energy, and since most forms of pain and tension are of the Fire element, the shower is a perfect place to get rid of it. This exercise uses Water's natural flow. It may take 2-5 minutes to fully dissipate all the excess Fire energy, so be patient. If you use this exercise on a regular basis, you'll notice that you stop manifesting the same levels of pain and tension in your life. The shower exercise can literally readjust what is "normal" in your life in terms of excess Fire energy.

On a more spiritual level, you can use Water to increase the flow of your manifestations. If you want to manifest something and it's not happening (or not happening fast enough), spend a few minutes each day feeling as if the manifestation has already occurred. How would you feel if what you wanted were to show up right now? If you can spend some quality time in that positive, delighted feeling of already having what you want, your manifestation will come to you faster than you can imagine.

To learn more about the Magical Element Water check out this course and all the other online courses of magical elements. Learning about the 4 elements is the foundation on which your journey into a magical life is built making it the perfect place to start your magical studies.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Moving from Scared to Sacred?

When something scary or fearful comes up in your life, what do you do? Do you go on feeling scared or do you starting digging through your toolbox for tools to create some sacred space around you? Notice that the two words have all the same letters, just in a different order? Before you start worrying that you can't possibly do anything "sacred" in the middle of your office or in public, let's take a minute to examine the word sacred.

The word sacred originally comes from the very sacren, which means "to consecrate". Consecrate, aside from the religious overtones, also means "To dedicate solemnly to a service or goal." So if you find yourself "scared" and you'd rather be in the "sacred", all you have to do is rededicate yourself to your own aims and goals. Simple, right?

Picking an Aim
Rededicating yourself to your aims is really simple. First, though, you have to have an aim to rededicate yourself to. If you've already got one, that's great. If you don't, take some time to decide what aim and goal is most important to you at this time in your life. It can be a physical goal, such as completing a college degree or achieving some level in your career. It can also be a state of being, such as joy or peace of mind. Whatever your goal, just make sure you have one. If you're not sure how to choose an aim, use tools like the Runes, Medicine Cards, Sacred Path Cards, or Angel Cards to help you choose an aim for each day (choose one rune or card as the theme for your day).

Rededicating to Your Aim
Once you've got your aim, here are some simple ways to rededicate yourself when you find yourself off track and need to return to the sacred:

Look in the Mirror: Go to the restroom, look at yourself in the mirror and say in a forceful voice, "Come to present time!" Anytime we are fearful, worried, or stressed, we are either in the past or the future. Coming back to present time will remind you of your aim.

Physical Sensation: Wear your ring on an unfamiliar finger, put a rubberband around your wrist, or carry a heavy coin or small rock in your pocket-anything that will bring an unfamiliar physical awareness to you. Each time you feel the ring, rubberband, coin or rock, remember your aim. Physical sensations keep us in present time.

Return to Nature: If possible, go outside and make physical contact with a tree. Close your eyes, breathe, and ask the tree to help you reconnect with your aim. Trees have deep roots and long memories, and are able to help us remember in the present moment what is most important.

Connect with Animals: Animals spend almost all their time in the present. To get back in touch with yourself and your aim, pet the cat, cuddle the dog, watch your fish, or listen to your bird sing. Animals will bring you back into the now.

Get Moving: If your mind is stuck in "scared," move your body to move your mind! By the law of "as above, so below," when you move body, spirit and mind will also move. Taking a brisk 5 minute walk will often move your mind out of park and reconnect you with your aim.

By being proactive, you can move out of your scared place and into your sacred place easily. Let magic take you there!

Looking for more magic you can bring to your life? Our Witchcraft Spell Books series on Amazon is a great way to get started.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How To Blow Off Steam Magically

Do you ever have days where you're so charged up with anger, frustration, pain or plain irritation that you feel like you could shoot a bolt of lightning out your fingertips? Well, before you fry your computer or stereo with all that excess fire energy (because you literally can transmit bolts of fire energy from your hands), slow down and try one of these methods or getting rid of that energy:

Use Apache Tears: Apache Tears (also known as Grandmother's tears) are a special form of obsidian composed of feldspar, hornblend, biotite and quartz. In shamanic circles, Apache tears are commonly used to safely transfer negative or unwanted energies into the half worlds. If you have access to an Apache tear, just hold it in your dominant hand and flow all that excess energy into the stone. The stone acts as a portal to the half worlds and none of that energy will come back to you!

Hug Your Refrigerator: Because refrigerators and other large appliances act as electrical grounds, they can also handle psychic fire energy. If you feel a need to blast out excess energy, just put both hands (or both feet) on your refrigerator and blast away. It can handle all your energies, and then some.

Specular Hematite: This is another stone that can absorb lots of energy very easily. Just hold the stone in your dominant hand (hand you would naturally point with) and flow energy into it. Unlike the Apache tear, specular hematite isn't a portal to the half-worlds, so you'll have to cleanse it regularly with smudging or other techniques.

Rooting: Mother Earth can also handle excess fire energy. Just extend your psychic roots deep into the bedrock and exchange energies with the earth. You can see complete directions on how to do this technique in our blog article "Need a Quick Magical Fix? Gotcha Covered!".

Want to learn more about dealing with Fire Energy? Then our Magical Element Fire course will be of interest to you. Even better, learn about all 4 of the magical elements with our free course offer. Just email info@shamanschool and ask for details on the Free course offer.

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