Friday, July 24, 2009

Enchantment in Zion

Greetings from Enchanting Zion National Park!

I'm taking a short break from blogging to be with family and re-inspire myself in Zion. The nature spirits are strong here, as is the Earth energy. Rest assured, the blog will resume in early August. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying communing with nature, sky beings, earth beings, and the rest of the hierarchy. I'll also be catching up with much of the email that has come in the last few weeks that I have not had time to answer or blog about. See you in August!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why Storm Spirits Dislike People

I'm sitting here enjoying an absolutely lovely flash-bang thunderstorm, and remembering a long-ago conversation I had with a storm spirit. Back in the early days of my studies in magic and shamanism, I was given the assignment to go out and communicate with a nature spirit, be it a spirit of tree, rock, or sky.

Being naturally of an excitable temperament myself (being a triple Fire sign, astrologically), I chose to communicate with a storm spirit. I waited until a particularly heavy storm hit our area, then went out to have my first person-to-storm chat. The results were startling.

The long and short of the conversation was that storm spirits don't much like people, and with good reason. During my chat with the storm spirit, I raised the issue that the spirit seemed quite angry and aggressive. The storm spirit replied that it was a bit angry, especially with people, because most people didn't like storms and didn't want them around.

I replied that this wasn't entirely illogical, since storms could be inconvenient, causing a lot of destruction and wet. The storm spirit huffed about that, I can tell you! He said that storms were a necessary part of the ecosystem, and that people didn't properly appreciate their role. Storms cleanse the air and the land, and distribute water where it is needed. He added that it took a lot of force to do all of this cleansing and moving of water. He, like most storm spirits, was fast-moving and very direct. He didn't have a lot of time to chat.

The biggest reason he disliked people, he said, was because most people talked about him but not to him. He said many people were quite negative about storms, in general, and cursed them. Unlike the people of ancient tribes, who properly appreciated the role storm spirits played in the ecosystem, modern people only see the inconvenience of storms.

The storm spirit and I ended the conversation on good terms (he was in a hurry to move on). I discovered a new appreciation for storms and the spirits who create them. I've since had several more conversations with storm spirits, some of which were even in the process of forming tornados. In my experience, storm spirits start out angry. They like to clobber the landscape and be aggressive, but once you get them talking they tend to lighten up. And you have to talk fast, because storm spirits don't have a lot of patience for idle chatter. They are all about action.

If you want to deepen your connection with the world of spirits, storm spirits can be interesting conversational partners, when you can make yourself heard. If you do decide to try communicating with storm spirits, be sure to hail them out loud and welcome them. Since these spirits are used to be cursed rather than welcomed, don't be surprised if your first greeting is met with a salvo of wind and rain. Just hang in there and keep shouting out your greeting until the spirit hears you. The conversation is sure to be a revelation!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How to Cast Stronger Magic Spells -- Part III

In my previous two articles in this series, I highlighted the importance of writing clear Directors and Limiters for your spell and choosing the right symbols for your spell. Paying attention to both of these will help you cast stronger magic spells. In this article, the third in the series, I cover the basics of cleansing yourself, your tools, and your space when it comes down to casting your spell.

The Importance of Magical Cleansing
Casting a well-written spell in an area filled with junky energy is like dining on a fine meal in the middle of a dog pound. It's totally incongruous and starts the spell off on the wrong foot. Don't do this!

Magical cleansing is important for every aspect of your spell, including yourself, your tools, and your space. Most magical practitioners develop, over time, some kind of cleansing ritual that helps them prepare to launch a spell. The bigger the spell (or the more you want the spell to accomplish) the more important it is to do a cleansing ritual.

Cleansing Yourself Magically
As a being, you are a Spirit with a body and a mind. Before launching a spell it is important that you cleanse all of these three parts of yourself. Personal cleansing is, well, a very personal matter, and you should give some thought to how you want to do this.

Your personal cleansing might include a meditation to settle the mind, an invocation to your personal guides and totems to support your Spirit, and a lovely scented bath to cleanse your body. Some people also like to cleanse themselves with the smoke of burning sage and pine resin, plus consecrated water. Other people like to use essential oils and candles. Once you have cleansed yourself, consider clothing yourself in special ritual garb for launching your spell. Choosing clothing in colors relevant to the purpose of your spell always helps. For instance, if you want a lot of power, choose a Fire color, like sun yellow or bright red.

Cleansing Your Tools Magically
To cast a strong magic spells, your magic tools need to be clean of junky energies. Consider what tools you will need to launch your spell. Will you need a scrying bowl, an Athame, a Wand, a firebowl, or a crystal? Then consider how you will cleanse your tools. For instance, some magicians store their crystals in pewter boxes to keep them clean. Others dunk their crystals in consecrated water or bury them in a garden for a moon cycle to cleanse them. If you are going to use a Wand, decide whether you need to cleanse it by pulling it through the smoke of burning pine resin and sage. However you cleanse your magical tools, make sure they are clean and laid out before casting your spell.

Cleansing Your Space Magically
Creating sacred space is one of the most important factors in casting a strong spell. If you are going to be using one room in your house to launch your spell, such as your altar-room, be sure to four-element cleanse it before launching your spell. This includes smoking it with burning pine resin and sage, as well as flicking consecrated water on the walls. In addition, some practitioners like to cleanse the space energetically with their athame, sweeping the area clean of any junky psychic residue.

As with all magical acts, take your time and be sure to cleanse yourself, your tools, and your space thoroughly and carefully before launching your spell. A spell cast in a clean environment will encounter far less resistance and produce better results.

Want to Know More About Magical Cleansings and Tools?
Learning how to use, cleanse, and maintain magical tools like the Wand, Athame, Chalice, Place, and Firebowl are important to proper spell work. If you want to learn more about these tools and how to use them, check out our ebooks on the subject.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to Cast Stronger Magic Spells - Part II

This is the second in an article series on how to cast stronger magic spells. In Part I of this article series I outlined three principles to help magical practitioners clarify what they want their spells to do and not do, resulting in a stronger spell. In this article, I focus on the importance of gathering the appropriate symbols for the spell.

Choosing the Right Symbols for Your Magic Spell
One of the keys to casting stronger magic spells is choosing and using appropriate symbols. In spell work, symbols are not just for decorative purposes. Symbols are actually like doorways, and they access the power of the thing they represent.

For instance, we often use the symbols for the four elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth in our spell work. Take the Air symbols. Air can be symbolized as clouds, gusts of wind, or a Wand, which is the magical tool for the element Air. The clouds or gusts of wind symbolize Air on the mundane or ordinary level, while the Wand symbolizes Air on the spiritual level. On the ordinary level, the element Air is associated with thinking and communication. On the spiritual level, Air is linked with enlightenment and spiritual understanding. If I want my spell to increase communication between distant family members, I would use the cloud symbol, since the spell is for ordinary world-level communication. If my spell is for increasing opening up my spiritual horizons, I would use the Wand symbol.

And how would I use these magic symbols? That depends on what kind of spell I am casting. For instance, if I am casting a single candle spell, I would carve the symbol on the candle I will use to launch the spell.

Gathering the Symbols for Your Spell
Since symbols access the things they represent, they are really doorways to great power. Knowing this, it becomes obvious that choosing the right symbols for your magic spell has a lot to do with the power of your spell.

A magician preparing a spell is a lot like a mother preparing for the arrival of her baby. Your spell is your baby. When you start gathering the symbols, litanies, and other tools for your spell, it's similar to a mother preparing the nursery for her baby. If you take the same amount of care preparing your spell as a mother does preparing for the arrival of her baby, you will cast a much stronger magic spell. Plus, you'll enjoy the process more!

If you have a long-term spell, consider using a talisman or touchstone as a symbol for your spell. Check out the wide variety of animal, fairy, angel, and tribal symbols in the online store to use as talismans and amulets.

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Photo credit: Fairy Child ~ Amy Brown Inspiration ~ Explore

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to Cast Stronger Magic Spells - Part I

I get asked all the time by magical practitioners how they can cast stronger magic spells. Is there a secret ingredient that makes one spell stronger than another? Is there some secret to choosing the right spell for the right occasion? Or is it something else altogether?

The question of casting stronger spells can be a tough one to answer because, like other disciplines in life, casting spells is a cross between science and art. There isn't one single answer that is going to make the difference for every magician or every spell. But if you want to cast stronger spells, what you can do is walk through every step of the process and see how you can improve each step. This article covers the first step in casting a spell: defining what you want. We also call this step Directors and Limiters.

What Do You Want Your Spell to Do?
I know that there are a lot of magical practitioners out there who use pre-written spells authored by someone else. This is perfectly acceptable, especially if the spell doesn't have a huge scope. For instance, we frequently teach people how to use the Sun Candle for basic mood-lifting spells or how to use the Bathtub Litany for reducing stress. Using pre-written spells for this purpose is convenient and effective.

But if you want a spell to do something more than relieve stress or fluff your aura, you might want to create one from scratch. Launching a spell that you've created yourself, for your own purposes, is kind of like the difference between eating homemade biscuits and store-bought biscuits. There's a world of difference in the quality.

If you choose to create your own spell, then the first step is to define what you want your spell to do (and not do). These are the Directors and Limiters for your spell. If you want to cast stronger magic spells, then it's important to be very clear when you write your Directors and Limiters.

Be Clear About Your Directors and Limiters
How can you be clear in writing your Directors and Limiters for your spell? I've come to rely on a few principles when I write mine:

1. Take Your Time
Don't get in a hurry when you write your Directors and Limiters. According to the magic principles I was taught by Reverend George Dew, when it comes to doing magic, "Take your time, think it through, and do it right." Your Directors and Limiters form the foundation of your spell. Get those wrong and the whole spell will go awry. A lot of people launch spells because they "need" something to happen right away, which causes them to hurry when creating their spell. Don't do that. Resist the temptation.

2. Create Freely
If you're going to go to the trouble to write a spell and launch it, make sure your spell has a wide scope. It can take a lot of work to launch a homemade spell, so make sure your spell is really going to do something for you. When I consider what I want my spell to do, I sometimes take flights of fancy. I ask myself, "If time and money were no object, what would I really want?" This question unfetters my mind and allows me to think big. I may later have to downsize some of these flights of fancy so as not to overburden my spell, but starting with a strong vision is crucial. After all, if your spell isn't big enough to excite you, why bother?

3. Consider Worst-Case Scenarios
As always, when writing spells you need Directors (what you want your spell to do) as well as Limiters (what you don't want your spell to do). When it comes to writing Limiters, consider the worst-case scenarios and limit them with your Limiters. For instance, you don't want your spell to cause anyone to die. You probably don't want the spell to result in loss of property or income for yourself or your family or your dog, etc. You don't want your spell to cause you do to anything illegal. Be sure to write your Limiters to include these scenarios. One magical practitioner wrote a "get a job" spell and forgot to exclude jobs that required illegal activity. The spell brought her the most fantastic job with great pay and fabulous working hours. The only catch was that she ended up working for the mob. Bummer!

Clarity Leads to Stronger Spells
I hope these principles help you reach clarity as you write your Directors and Limiters for your spell. Taking your time in this step can mean the difference between a splendid outcome and a total flop. Casting stronger spells is all about being more methodical, consistent, and careful in your approach to creating spells. Being clear in defining the do's and don'ts for your spell is a great place to start.

Did You Know?

Did you know that magic spells actually begin to work the moment you begin creating Directors and Limiters? Spells are nothing more than formalized intentions, and writing Directors and Limiters is nothing more than setting your intentions on paper. Want to know more? Learn all about spells -- designing them, writing them, casting them -- and much more in our comprehensive Basic Magic Course.

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