Category Archives: Prayer as magic
Review: Ancient Spellcraft by Laura Perry
There are many books on spells and rituals on the market. There are some books that deal with magic without deities and some that deal with deities and spirits. Most of the spells you will find in those books that deal with the ancient deities are modern in origin. This book is a unique treasure among spell books. This book actually goes to the source for information on the spells and magical rituals of our ancient fore bearers.
There are nine sections in this book. There is the introduction and 8 chapters in the book itself. This book is well organized, though there is one chapter I may have placed in a different location because of a quote mentioned in that chapter. The rest of the book I feel is in perfect order. The first chapter is about spell casting the hows and whys and includes a little information about the deities involved. The second chapter covers the context of the cultures in the book. The next six chapters are full of spells and rituals that are simple, practical, and easy to perform.
The first chapter is one that should not be skipped. I know its easy when you are researching spells and rituals to jump right to the spells and rituals, which is fine once you know a bit about how magic work and the deities and spirits that are involved. If you are a beginner or just curious about spell crafting you really need to read this chapter. It covers the meaning of the word spell, the methods. getting into a magical mindset, and setting up your workspace. All of those items are important for effective spell casting techniques.
The second chapter like the first one should not be skipped. This section is all about the region and the cultures that the spells in this book come from. When you are working with deities and spirits it is important to understand them. This section talks to you about the different cultures, where they were, when they were in power, and a bit about their history. This information gives you a basic idea about the types of people that worked with the deities and forces mentioned in the book. This allows you to approach the powers within as respectfully as you can.
The third Chapter is where we finally start get into the meat of the book. This is where we start getting into spells and rituals for different needs. For me this is where the chapter on protection spells should be. The author states at the beginning of the chapter of protection: “There are more spells in this section of the book than in any other section of this book because protection is of paramount importance. If we are not protected, we will have no chance to enjoy prosperity, fertility, and all the rest” (Ancient Spell Craft pg 136 by Laura Perry) Instead the author start out with spells for prosperity.
At the start of each of the chapters on spells there is information on the different types of spells. There is prosperity of the fields, the business, and other aspects. The first few pages in the chapter on prosperity and money magic covers the different types. The author then provides several different spells on field prosperity and on money spells.
The fourth chapter is about Romance spells. Here the author discusses how while the concept of romantic marriages is new the practice of performing love magic has always been around. In the past they have been more about lovers outside of marriage or in the form of sacred lovers at the temples. There are several different spells in this portion, none of them based on targetting someone already in a relationship but in your own words one who will be right for you.
The fifth chapter is about spells for Fertility. Here the spells are as much about getting pregnant and having children as it is about the fertility of the land. Without fertile farmlands crops etc we can not have food to live on. In the ancient world crops were the way of life. Today those spells and rituals are still effective for personal home gardens and for larger farmers. The pregnancy spells also provide several different ways of asking for aid in that area of your life.
The sixth chapter is all about protection. The spells in this section cover protection of the home, your business, from theft, and several other things. As I said earlier because of the emphasis the author places on protection (in the beginning and at the end of the chapter) I feel that this should have been the first chapter on practical magic. The chapter ends with a discussion about spiritual protection which is necessary when one begins to work magic and perform rituals. It is for this reason I believe the chapter should be the first one. Other than that it has every sort of protection that you could ever need to use based on day to day life.
The seventh chapter in the book is my favorite section. I am a fond of healing spells and healing based magic. That is the focus of this chapter. This spell has a road opener spell (for those unable to move forward based on illnesses or issues) and spells about removing your illnesses. There are spells for emotional healing as well as physical healing. This chapter covers everything you would ever need to know for any sort of healing.
The last chapter is on divination. Reading oracles and divining the future has always been a part of religious and magical workings. There are many different traditions of divination from tarot cards to I-ching coins, to reading stones tossed in a blanket. This chapter provides several different spells and divination rituals of sorts. These simple to perform spells often allow for easy to read signs and omens to see if your works are going to come through and to see what needs to be done in a situation.
I want to compliment the author on their diligent research on the topic of ancient magic and the cultures. They have a substantial bibliography for such a small and informative book. The only other suggestion I would have to make this book better would be to have an appendix in new editions listing the deities mentioned and their associations so people have references for the deities when they decide to start making their own spells.
The process of forming new Products
Today I am going to discuss the process that goes into developing each and every herbal product that we sell. I handcraft each tincture and each incense blend and over the next few weeks will be crafting oils and candles. The process that goes into crafting each of these items is the same regardless of what form the product takes. It is a mixture of intuition, research, and hearing experiences from others in crafting similar items or when working with similar oils and products. The process is intense and it does take a lot of time but I as a witch and magician learn a lot about herbs and oils through this research and am able to grow my craft so I can best benefit you my customers.
In this post I am going to discuss the importance of each part in crafting the items I sell for you here. Without any one of the aspects of this process I would not be able to ensure the quality of the products I have to my customers. These parts are also essential to how I approach my spiritual crafts and practices in general so the crossover is essential. As I grow in my craft and practice so do my skills and my abilities to provide products that serve the needs of my customers.
When it comes time to develop a new product I think about what I want to make. For example when I think of oils I make a list of oils I have thought about working with and or have worked with. I also think about spells and what sort of magical oils would best work with those spells I want to help my customers cast. With the list of the oils I want to craft based on needs created I turn to books and websites. This is where the research portion really begins.
There are three Primary books I work with on my general witchcraft and magical oils, incenses, tinctures, and brews. Those books are Magical Aroma Therapy, & The complete book of Incense, Oils, and Brews both by Scott Cunningham. The last physical book I work with is the book Kitchen Witchery by Marilyn Daniels. These three books form the basis of my general occult, witchcraft, and magical herbal products.. I also have an e-book by Lady Gianne called The Magical Oil Recipe Book.
A few of my new Oils, Tinctures, and Powders have a Hoodoo Inspiration to them. This is true. I am starting to as I have mentioned on the Facebook page, this blog and our other outlets that I am starting to study and explore the practice of Hoodoo. These products that are inspired by Hoodoo have been deeply researched. I have books and websites I have looked into for herbal associations, recipes, and spells from the Hoodoo perspective.
These Hoodoo inspired products have additional prayers and charging aspects done with them. They are also prepared in a slightly different mentality as the ethics within Hoodoo vastly differs from the ethics found within most modern witchcraft traditions. So I make it my own by adding my witchy inspiration to the mix. Its the addition of herbs from a witches cabinet as well as those from Hoodoo/Rootwork/Southern Conjure that makes the products Hoodoo inspired rather than being strictly traditional Hoodoo.
After I use my book resources I start to look into the second phase of developing my products. The second phase of product development really doesn’t make any sense without the research first. The research prepares you for what you might encounter in this next phase. For me this helps temper my overwhelming inspiration and intuition at times with the research.
This second phase is one of the main reasons I have joined so many different forums and social media exchanges related to witchcraft over the years. The sharing of personal experiences for me is one of the best ways to explore experiences both that you have had and that you have and those you have read about. The sharing of personal experiences by others is also a way to prepare oneself for doing new work. Its a way of gathering insight and may provide ways of looking at things that you would not otherwise consider.
Personal experiences with herbs can also help a person develop a wider understanding of herbal spirits and practices. While there are some spiritual and magical aspects that seem to cross cultures with various herbs, other experiences are based in culture or tradition specific practices. By combing the traditional lore shared in books with personal experiences deeper relationships with herbs can develop.
At the same time new herbs and new ways of performing magic and working with herbs based on the needs can also be learned through discussions of personal experience. Through these discussions healing charms that can be carried in the pocket and may be a single herb can be learned about and simplicity can be embraced. Other applications could be learning edible and medicinal aspects to herbs as well as folk medicine and remedies that one may not have considered before.
One personal experience notes have been taken down and added to the notes from book research the final stage of the actual preparation begins. This is the stage where my witch hat gets applied and my spirit speaks through me. This is where the actual crafting of the spell and magical actions beginnings before the physical development starts. here is the mental preparation and focus.
During the research portion I write down copies of the recipes that spark my intuition and make me think “yes this is what I want”. When I am done with the personal experience notes I gather the recipes and I put them into piles based on need and topic (all money oils together, all healing oils together etc). After a while I look at the piles. I will then take all the recipes of that need (lets work with money for example here) and compare the components in each recipe.
I’ve noticed that it is very common to have multiple recipes in a book related to needs. There are several different types of money oils I have found in each of my resources. In noticing this factor I also made a note of the exact nature of the money oil (wealth, employment, fast cash, etc). This helped me further refine my own product decisions and allowed me to start refining magical and spiritual practices to more specific needs and desires.
I make a list of the herbs and oils I find in each recipe. From there I look at my herbal correspondence lists from earlier research. These lists provide excellent resources for future development as associations are already listed and correspondences have started to become known. Through using the herbs in multiple ways I start to know them very well. After working with them in a time the knowledge becomes second nature and I just know what herbs to add to a spell or ritual.
Its at this point that I start to write down what oils and herbs are going to be used in what new product. I often look at what I already have in stock so I can continue to develop working relationships with those herbs. However I am also always looking for new herbs and minerals to add to my practice. In each new product release I am working with a new herb or mineral. The last batch added sea salt to my practice. This new batch is adding several new herbs and essential oils.
Once I have the herbs and oils decided I can start the actual blending. After making decisions based on the research and personal experience my intuition decided in the end which herbs and oils to be used for each blend. Aside from choosing the herbs and oils there is one other essential aspect to the product development with the use of my intuition. That is the actual ratios of the herbs.
Often times in practice the actual plans end up needing to be changed to an extent. The ground herbs can take up more or less space than originally planned and envisioned. In this case slight changes need to be made based on how much of an individual herb I have left as well as for occasionally looking at substitutions.
This is where the intuition and personal knowledge and experience with the herbs comes into play. The more I know an herb through experience the better I can decide what to substitute and what to add. This also for me is where being crafty can come into play as I have to let the spirits of the plants and my spirit speak to me much as artists must let their muse speak to them. The blending of herbs is an art form in its own right. Its a spiritual art that often goes unappreciated.
Once these are all placed into balance the product has been developed. I test its use myself and keep some of each batch for my own personal use. This ensures to me that the quality of the product I send out is the same quality I would use myself. If I wouldn’t use it I wont sell it. This philosophy is also why the development of herbal products is tied directly into my own personal spiritual development and magical studies. The more I study and experience the more I can provide here.
The book The Magical Power of the Saints: Evocation and Candle books was an interesting read. It was just what it states its about. The book focuses on Saints and candle magic and nothing else. THis book never claims to be Hoodoo or anything than working with saints which is excellent. Its a great introduction guide for working with saints and gaining spiritual knowledge from the practice of working with saints.
Before I read this book I knew about maybe two or three saints. I knew of Saint Joan of Arc, Saint Jude, and Saint Paul. This book while not providing detailed information about the saints provides information on 74 different saints that can be worked with for spiritual and practical gains in our lives. The information provided is direct and to the point.
This book contains 11 different chapters. Each of the chapters focuses on a different aspect of what the author calls “popular religiosity” or the working of religio magic or magic with the saints. The topics of the chapters are varied but provide a cohesive system for working with saints.
The book gets started right away in the first chapter by talking about working with saints and deities. The author begins by telling you a bit about how ancient pagans gave offerings to deities and spirits when asking for something. The author then goes on in to how the saints started to have the same roles and practices used with them. This is popular religiosity. From there he gives a list of saints some with images and some without with their associations, colors, and what they are patrons of. You can start formulating your work right away.
The second chapter deals with the practice of divination before doing any sort of working. Now this is not just about telling things based on as they appear with the cards or tool used. This discussion of divination includes finding out what sort of offerings to give, blocks in the way of the working, and the proper saints and spirits to work with. This chapter also discusses the importance of the diviner priest to know magic and divination.
The third chapter focuses on ancestors and the dead. The author explains how prayers to the ancestors can work with a biblical verse. The author then talks about a concept called the “Mighty dead” which is found in various traditions of witchcraft. He relates this concept to working with saints and ends the chapter with a prayer you can offer to your ancestor for working with them.
The fourth chapter is all about working the candles. Here we get our first taste of the type of work that is ahead of us. The author goes into the history of candles in magic and prayer. The majority of the chapter focuses on several different types of candles and their uses for work. The chapter ends with a “ritual of transformation”
The fifth chapter is really three chapters together. This chapter focuses on reading the signs in the candles as they burn, several different candle spells, and oils for working the candles. This is the spell and correspondence section of the book and provides different spells and rituals for basically every need.
The sixth chapter focuses on the use of the psalms in the bible. The author doesn’t go into a discussion about the use of the psalms merely states that they are a historical magical use. The author then provides a list of the different psalms that can be used in spells and candle work for various needs. They are grouped by need or use in numerical order.
The seventh chapter focuses on aspects of ritual. Here the author talks about incenses, baths, and washes. These are components of different magical practices that can be obtained and add benefit to the other workings. Here the author introduces the concept and how to be ware the costs of those selling washes, baths, and the like.
The eighth chapter is all about putting the practices together. Here the author talks about working with planetary hours on the days. The author also includes arch angels and the hours and items they can be petitioned for. The author also includes ideas on how to make prayer beads and work effective magic that way.
The ninth chapter is about becoming a diviner priest or priestess. Here the author goes into the training that is required to become a diviner priest or priestess. the author also provides a simple but also diverse divination style that a diviner priest or priestess may need to be familiar with in order to complete their training.
The tenth chapter of the book is all about the church that the author is a reverend of. The author includes photo copied images of his certifications to prove he can teach what he teaches and is what and who he says he is.
The last chapter in the book is a final set of advice. Here the author gives a final bit of advice for when seeking the help of a professional root worker, witch, or what ever. Not everyone who offers these services is what they say they are.
All in all the author provided a good basis to start delving into your own work with saints and angelic spirits. While there could have been more lore provided for the various saints and more information about the herbs and incenses and oils, the book will get you started on the path of working with saints and angelic forces. When you combine this work with the recommended reading list the author provides more then enough sources and information to begin feeling comfortable in these practices.