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Shed Snake Skin-Working with Snake energy

One of the most unique products available at Mystic Echoes is our collection of Shed Snake skin.  These shed skin come from our two loved Baal Pythons.  They shed their skins several times a year as part of the natural cycle of life.  So no worries.  These snakes are well loved and cared for.

Animal bodyparts have been used in magic historically.  Shed snake skin is no different.   The snake skin contains the essence of the snake spirit.  It is a vessel for the spirit of the snake and the snakes spiritual energy. These skins allow us to contact and communicate directly with the spirit energy of snakes.  These skins also provide an excellent physical charm to carry with you.  These physical charms allow you to access the energy of the snake spirit at any time.  Some traditions call those items fetishes.

The magic of the snake can be found across cultures.  In some cultures snakes are symbols of evil and darkness for example in Christianity snakes and serpents are associated with the Devil and Hell..  In other cultures serpents are symbols of primal energy and are considered to be highly passionate creatures.  Some cultures associate Snakes with transformation as well as growth and development.  Every culture is different.

You may find over time that you develop your own associations with snakes and serpent energy. As with any magical practices and associations it is up to you to develop your own connections to the magic within the spirit.  The more you work with the spirit the stronger your relationship will become and the more you will learn from them.

So how do you begin to work with the magic of snakes?  First you have to think about the many associations with snake spirits and their energy.   Secondly you have to think about your personal feelings on the snake spirit.  What do snakes mean to you?  What does your spirit say about working with that energy?  Finally you have to think about your magical and spiritual objective.  What do you want to get from the spell or ritual?  How deep do you want this relationship to go?    Once you have answered those questions you can begin to formulate your spell and ritual.

In order to help you start working with snake energy and the snake spirit we are going to fo through the process of developing a ritual and spell to start your relationship with serpent energy.  We will be working with the first associations that my intuition developed when I first held onto snake skin.

So let’s start at the first step.  The first step in the process is understanding several of the magical and spiritual properties associated with the curio.  As shown above there are different properties and works from different cultures.  This list is a collection of properties associated with just the snake skin.

Magical properties of Snake Skin

  • Healing
  • Renewal
  • Protection
  • Rebirth
  • Sex and sexuality
  • Hexing and or cursing
  • Power
  • Change and Transformation
  • Removal

The next step in working with snake skin is deciding what snakes mean to you. What do you think of when you hold the snake skin?  For myself the first thing that comes into my mind is shedding of old so renewal,rebirth,and removal.  The next thing that comes into my mind is Change or transformation as well as healing.

The last step is  what your personal goal is and how deep you want the relationship to go.  Since you are going to be calling on the spirit of the snake it is important to be respectful and acknowledge the power and presence of the spirit.  The magical goal is important, but its important to have the spiritual aspect understood first.

Here I am going to deal with healing depression.  I want to feel connected to myself.  I want to remove ill feelings and I want to feel refreshed and renewed.  So the goals here are healing, renewal, and removal.  Those are the magical goal.  Since the healing is related to a mental health issue this is something that is going to be continual.  So this is a relationship that you may want to develop for an extended period of time.

Let’s start with a ritual to get to know the snake spirit.  From there we can then focus on the magical work.  Its a two part process.  First is the calling on and greeting the spirit.  Second comes the magical work.  For this you will want to have a few pieces of snake skin three for the spell and one for the ritual, or you can use one large one that you break into four smaller components.

Calling the Snake spirit
Materials:
Snake Skin
White Candle
Offering of Water

Ritual:
Set up your altar with a large white candle for your spirit and a glass of water for the snake spirit as an offering

State a prayer to your spirit Guides and ancestors asking to open and connect the way to the animal realms

Place the Snake Skin on the Altar

As you place the Snake Skin on the altar pray to the spirit:
“Serpent spirits hear my prayer
I call to you,
I ask that you hear my plea
Send your blessings to me
A friend to you I will be
In my heart you will stay
open the doors in my way”

Sit there and be in the moment.  Hold the snake skin and see what comes into your mind.  When you feel that your communication has ended snuff out the candle and leave the altar.  Keep the snake skin there.  Over the next month twice a week light the candle and repeat the prayer and meditation.  This will keep the communication open to you and the spirits.

After the month of prayers and developing a relationship with the snake spirit you can start doing your first magical working with the snake.  This is where we will call on the snake energy directly in the spell and ritual.

Healing with Snake Skin
Materials:
3 Pieces of Snake Skin
3 pieces of Paper
Matches
Black Thread
Blue Candle
Healing Oil

Working:
On the candle inscribe it with the words “healing, renewal,removal”

Take the healing oil and dress the candle from the top to the bottom (you are healing and removing things so top to bottom works)

Light the candle and state:
“Candle burning bright
Bring healing with this light”

Pick up the snake skin and call to the spirit of the snake.  A prayer like this would work well:
“I call upon the ancient powers of the snake
May you help weave the web of fate”

On the first piece of paper Write out everything you wish to have removed from your life

As you write out the things you want to have removed see them gone, feel them behaviors and emotional issues removed from your life and you set clear

Once you have poured all that emotion into the paper place one of the snake skins on the paper

Fold the paper in half away from you.  Turn the paper away from you and fold the paper again.  Do this twice more and then tie it with the black thread.

When you have tied the knot state:
“I banish that which causes me ill
In their stead blessings fill”

Next write out on the last piece of paper how you want to be healed.   Talk about what you will do when you are healed and feeling a sense of being a new person.   Include things you want to do but haven’t been able to do for a while.  Be as clear as you can.  See yourself outside doing those activities.

Fold the paper in half away from you.  Turn the paper away from you and fold the paper again.  Do this twice more and then tie it with the black thread.

Tie the folded paper with the black thread.  as you tie the knot state:
“Renewal and refreshed I am on this day
Cleansed and blessed will I stay”

On the last paper write that which you want to heal.  Include as many details as you can.  be as emotional as you can.  As you write out these healing requests see yourself healed.  See yourself feeling the way that you want to feel.  Know that you will be healthy.

Once all of that emotion has been placed into the paper place the next piece of snake skin.

Fold the paper in half away from you.  Turn the paper away from you and fold the paper again.  Do this twice more and then tie it with the black thread.

When you have tied the knot state:
” Healing Come to Me
Better health I do see”

Next take the candle and the three packets and go outside.  Place each of the packets in the candle flame.  As they burn state:
“candle burning bright
Giving me your sacred light
Burn all obstacles in my way
Health and wellness stay”

Once the packets have burned and there are ashes sprinkle those ashes at the crossroads, into the wind, and into a stream.  This will send your desire to be healed into all directions.  If there is no stream you can bury the ashes on your property or blow them all into the wind.

The materials for the spells and rituals can be obtained here:
Shed Snake Skin
Health and Healing Oil
Spirituality Candle
Healing Candle

Devil’s Shoestring: Powerful Herb


Devil’s Shoestring:

Powerful Herb, Witches Friend

Devils Shoe String is a remarkable herb.This herbs is not as well known as many others in witchcraft.  With all magical practices there are local and regional variances in practices, these differences include herbs worked with.  This herbs is common in folk magic practice.

Devilsshoestring

Devils Shoesting is one of the first herbs that we started working with from the world of Conjure.    At the time our interest was in hex breaking and curse breaking roots out there.  There are many herbs and roots used for hex breaking and protection work.  What caught our interest was how not just how the herb was used in work, but that it protected and hexed at the same time.  To us this became something to look at in working with the herbs.

There are many different herbs known as Devil’s Shoe string  This is common with folk names.  In order to know what plant you are getting you should always ask for the botanical name.  Most plants have several different folk names along with regional names.  Every plant has one botanical name.

These following plants (common names and botanical names) are known as Devil’s Shoe String:

Hobble Bush (Vibrunum alnifolium)
Cramp Bark (Viburnum Opulus),
Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium),
Witches Hobble (Viburnum trilobum).
Devil’s Thongs (Cracca Virginia),
Cat’s Gut (Cracca virginiana),
Goat’s Rue (Tephrosium Virginiana)

All of the above plants can be used as Devils Shoe String in workings.  Most commonly it is Hobble Bush or Vibrunum alnifolium that is used in work.  These plants are excellent allies to have and work with.  Their messages to us are often subtle, but when these allies have something to tell us they will find a way.

When it comes to magic and witchcraft.  It is important to remember that we do not use plants in the work we do.  We work with them.  They give something to us, we give something back to them.  They are our partners and our allies.  We give them attention, they give us protection etc.  If we grow them we give them life and a home.  They protect us in return.  When we work with plants we are working with their spirits creating spiritual bonds and friendships.

Now that you know what the plant is, you may be wondering what the magical properties are.  There are several.    Many of the properties of the plant are hidden within the names of the plant.  The first hint is in the name Hobble Bush.

The plant is called Hobble Bush.  Why?  The larger branches are very easy to trip over or be “hobbled” by.   The plant Hobbles so it trips up your enemies.  It protects you from them.  The smaller more supple vine like branches bind and twist preventing things from getting close to you as well as from

The other secret to the use in hexes or hex breaking with this plant comes in the folk name itself.  Devil’s Shoestring.  There are two keys in the name of the plant.  The biggest one here is the word Devil.  Any plant or root with the name Devil can be used to protect from hexes, hex people, and break hexes.  The Devil was historically associated with hexes and curses as well as binding and tricking people.  So it is an apt name.

So far we have covered the most common associations of Devil’s Shoe string: Hexes, Hexbreaking, Binding, and protection.   There are many other associations as well.  Luck and money are other properties to this herb.  Depending on how you are using the plant, you are protected from badluck and provided with good luck and customers.    It can be used to drive troublesome customers away or to invite beneficial customers.  There are even uses in gambling to enhance your luck.

So in total the associations we have here are: Hexing, Hex breaking, Binding, Protection, Luck, Money, and Success.

In order to get you started working with this herb here is a simple working you can do to protect yourself and bring luck your way.

 

Lucky String Packet

Materials:
1 Pieces of Devil’s Shoe String chopped into seven small pieces
Yellow Paper
Green Ribbon
Black Pen

Working:
On the paper write out your petition for luck and what areas you need to increase your luck.
Place the Devils Shoe string in the paper and folk it towards you as you fold it chant

Chant:
“Devil block things sent my way
Tangled in their knots they shall stay
Blocks busted on this day
Lucky blessings flow my way”

Turn the paper towards you and fold it in half towards you again as best you can.  Repeat the chant.  Turn the paper towards you once more and again fold the paper in half.  Repeat the chant

Take the green ribbon and begin to tie the packet together.  As you begin to wrap the paper with your ribbon visualize good luck coming your way.  See yourself being successful and having your needs met.   Continue to recite the chant while you wrap the ribbon around the packet.  When the packet seems to be full your energy tie a knot and seal the package.  Carry it with you until you feel your luck has returned.

When you have well established good luck (I’d say about a month of good things happening after a run of bad luck) burn the packet and spread the ashes at the crossroads near your home.  This will continue to bring good luck your way from all four corners of the world.

You can Buy Devil’s Shoe string Here: Devil’s Shoestring

Come to me Love Spell

With tomorrow being Valentines Day a lot of people are looking for love spells and quick romances.  While these spells can be effective, they can also end up in dangerous and destructive relationships.  To prevent that it is best to work a spell that is about attracting love in general.

If you really desire a relationship than it is important to work towards attracting a specific type of person rather than an individual.  So for example rather than addressing Jill from reception or Phil from across the street your spell would adress the type of person you are attracted to. You would include things like hobbies and interests (example enjoys role playing game or being out doors) as well as quality and personality traits (an example being likes being around children, strong heart, passionate about their interests etc). This allows you to be open to the universe rather than drilled into a specific person who may not be a good fit for you.

This spell here is geared towards attracting the right person to you. The items used in the spell not only attract love but also open and enhance sexual desires and friendship.

 Come to Me Love Spell

Materials:
Red Candle
Red Pen
Paper
Witches Red Salt
Red Rose Petals (Love)
Catnip (happiness and Joy)
Lavender (Peace, love, romance)
Passion Flower (Friendship, Passion)
Cinnamon (sweeten the universe and that type of person to you)
Spice Up Desires Oil (aromatherapy oils or ritual oils work well here)
Censor
Sharp Object to ensrcribe the candle
Charcoal
Censor/incense burner
Red Ribbon, chord or string

Spell:
Take the pen and on the paper write out all the qualities of the type of person that you are attracted to.  Be sure to include things like hobbies and interests you would like to share as well as personality traits (cares for others, emphatic, etc).  These are the things that you are looking for in your partner for your relationship.
Take the knife or sharp object and inscribe love,  relationship, passion, friendship, and joy
Light the charcoal
While the charcoal is starting take the Rose petals, Catnip, Lavender, Cinnamon, and Passion Flower.
Combine them in your mortar and pestle.  Grind them into a fine powder.
As you grind the herbal mixture together visualize yourself surrounded by love.  See yourself in a red and pink light.  See that light extending out to the universe bringing love to yourself and others.
Sprinkle half of the herbal mixture of the censor (this is your incense) this will burn and send the love energy gathered into the universe
Next add a drop of the Spice up desires Oil to the burning incense.
Add three drops of the oil to the candle.  Take the oil and run it on the candle from the bottom to the top.  You want love to grow.
Next take a portion of the remaining herbs and add them to the candle.  Again apply them from the bottom of the candle to the top of the candle.
Now light the Candle
Take the petition paper and sprinkle the Red salt over the petation papewr
Next fold the petition paper towards yourself.  As you fold the petition paper towards you begin to chant:

“Love flowing like a fresh stream
Bring me a partner to be a team
Bring a lover that is new
One who to me will be true
A love that is alive
A love that will thrive”

Turn the paper 180 degrees towards you.   Once again sprinkle the Red salt and recite the above chant. Continue to turn the paper packet and fold it.  Before you fold the paper each time sprinkle the red salt and then fold the paper in half towards you..  Repeat the process until you can no longer fold the petition paper.
Grab the Green ribbon or chord.  Start to wrap the chord around the folded pack towards you.
When you have wrapped the paper five times tie a knot.  As you tie the knot state:

“I seal in love”

After you tie the knot turn the packet 180 degrees towards you and again wrap the chord.  Repeat  with the knot after five wraps.  Continue this process five more times.
Once you have completed the process take packet over to the candle.
Pick up the candle and drip a little bit of wax over the packet.
Bring the packet over to the incense and pass it through the smoke.
When the candle and incense are done burning bury them on your property at the base of a tree.  You can also bury them at a cross roads sending the energy out into the universe.
Carry the packet with you until love manifests in your life.
Once your love has manifested burn the packet outside and sprinkle the ashes into the wind and around the tree or at the cross roads where the candle and incense remains were buried.  This will finish sealing in the magic.

If you are looking for the supplies to perform this spell you can find them:
Mystic Echoes Red Witches Salt
Red Love candle
Spice Up Desires Oil
herbs and curios for spells

 Items used in the spell

love-oilRed love, lust, and passion Red Salt

Book Review: Hoodoo Bible Magic

bible magic front cover - working 032314 v5

This book is an interesting book. It covers a lot of different aspects of working with the bible within the folk magic tradition of Hoodoo. As a witch I am interested in learning more about Hoodoo and working with the bible in their spells and rituals. That is one of the reasons why I bought this book. The other reason was so I could start to add Bible magic to my spell work and my personal practices.

This book is a very short read but packed full of information. It is very concise but covers many topics from how the bible entered the practice of Hoodoo to if working magic is even compatible with reading the bible and understanding its work. There are also several different examples of practical magic and ways to work with the bible in day to day life.

The book starts with covering how the bible enters Hoodoo. The authors made it clear that the use of the Bible in Hoodoo is directly tied into some of the hardest times for the Slaves and the African American’s in the south. It is also made clear that now today these practices are inseparable from Hoodoo in any real sense of the work.

Next they cover if magic is compatible with the Bible. Here we are given examples of scripture and texts from within the Bible that illustrate magical practices and that you can work magic from the Bible. In this section the authors cover a selection of different “Heroes” within the Bible that worked magic in some way shape or form.

Finally in the section of begining to understand the Bible and Hoodoo the authors cover Root Doctors and Rootworkers as spiritual leaders and leaders of the church. Several examples are given for how these workers were community leaders not only in magical work but spiritual needs as well.

The section section of this book is probably the largest and most important section. This is the section that teaches working with the Bible in magical works. This section is titled “Forget Not it’s benefits”. This gives the idea of just how important the Bible is as a text to Hoodoo workings.

The first section is about how the Bible itself is a magical text. Here we are showm just how much power is within the Bible. We are taught about making prayer papers and how each verse of the Bible has its own power. The most important lesson here I found was that of the respect for the Bible.

Some spells and workings in Hoodoo call for tearing out passages from the Bible. Here the authors make it clear that by writing the passages down on paper and tearing that paper you have the connection to the verse without needing to deface a Bible. The power for them is in the verse itself so simply writing the verse has power.

Other topics include a folk story about how in battle a Bible stopped a bullet from reaching a Solider, the Jewish Mizpah and the Jewish Protective Mezuzah, and several other small biblical charms.

The next part of this section was on scriptural uses of magic. Here the author goes into discussions about how there are other verses and books of the Bible that can be worked with for magic as well as the Psalms. The author included a lists of various Bible verses and how they could potentially be used in magic. The author also included a list of verses that explain that God does in fact listen to people. This part of the Scripture ends with a description of “pleading the blood pf Jesus” with scriptures giving examples to the practice and how it is used.

The largest section of the “Forget not it’s benefits” is a section on working with the Psalms. Here the authors do include a list of uses for every Psalm in the Book of Psalms. The author includes a passage on the “secrets of the Psalms” as well as how to find the sacred names within the Psalms. The most useful section of this chapter is the two lists of uses for the Psalms. One is a quick list by type of working listing the Psalms in order by number and the other is listing each Psalm individually with the uses next to them.

The 23rd Psalm is one of the most well known Psalms out there. After providing us with a list of Pslams and their uses the authors provide us with several different uses for the 23rd Psalm. There are examples of blessings, protection spells, and a succsess spell as well. The 23rd Psalm is one of the most versitile Psalms in the book of Psalms which is why these suggestions are great for getting to know and work with that Psalm.

This section ends with a list of Pslams for fighting your enemies and sending back or reversing evil sent to you. Both of those sets used together could create powerful spells for protection. These lists give you some ideas on working with the Psalms so you can then start to create your own spells and rituals with the Psalms.

The next section was on using the Bible for Divination. In essence this practice involves flipping through the Bible with your eyes closed. When you stop flipping through pages you read the verse that you fingers land on and contemplate it’s meaning. The other topic covered is the use of dream interpretation and dreams in the Bible as a source of oracles and divination practices.

The final section covering the uses of the Bible in magical practice is a section on Devotional Prayer. The authors cover how we should Pray and what prayer is. The author covers types of prayer and how you can use prayer to preach. This section ends with a sermon that was essentially a prayed Curse regarding Hitler.

Bible Spells Old and New comes after reminding us of the uses of the Bible. Here the authors provided several different types of spells and workings that use the Bible. The authors start with steady work and succsess, which is followed by returning people and lost goods, Love is next (covering love, family, and reconciling with loved ones). After love we get into Helping and blessing, Harming and Cursing, and we end with protection and Jinx breaking. These spells cover basically every need that comes up in most day to day lives.

The Book ends with a selection of Frequently asked questions regarding Hoodoo, the Bible and the many practices associated. These questions include how to choose prayers for specific works, asking about psalms or scripture verses for quick financial windfalls, and even making a payment to Jesus. These are questions that are found on my Hoodoo and Conjure forums so having a list and answers is a great way to get answers for questions you have that may have already been asked.

This book gets 5/5 stars as it covers so many different ways to work with the Bible. The authors provide several resources, contextual examples, and workings that we can use right away to get started. They cover most magical and spiritual needs within the book so it is an excellent resource for beginners.

Witchdo Money Jar Spell

Materials:
Small Glass Jar
(Money draw powder)
Green Witches Salt
Coins/small loose change picked up over the course of day to day life
Money Bath and Soak
Fast Cash Oil
Optional:
Succsess Aromatherapy candle

Spell:
Wash the jar seeing it filled with money and succsess. Add 1 tbs of the Money Bath to the wash.
Walk around your home picking up any loose change. As you see the change if it is heads up state “Hi Hunting money you found me” and put it in your pocket. If it is tails flip the coin thrice stating “hunting money ,hunting money, you found me hunting money” Pick it up and kiss it before putting it in your pocket.
Once you have the money gathered put it in your jar.
Cover the jar with the lid
Shake the jar chanting:
“Prosperity flowing free Money and wealth come to me”
See yourself with all your financial needs met and having money to spare for entertainment etc. Shake until you feel it full of that energy.
Uncover the lid. Sprinkle the money powder and the salt over the cash. Add three drops of the Money oil.
Cover and repeat the shaking and chant.

Shake the jar two to three times daily with the chant as above.
At the end of each day put any and all spare/loose change in the jar. Repeat the edition of the oil and powders. Shake here again.

Important note:
Every time you pick up spare change use the “hunting money chant” and that will help bring you wealth and succsess in general.

When the jar is full take the money out and buy yourself something. You can use the same jar over and over again.

Optional:
If you decide to use the candle dress the candle with Fast money oil, Luck gain oil, and The Green salt as well as Money draw powder. Burn it near the jar but not on top of the jar unless you plan on burying the jar to create a permanent charm.

Book Review: Candle and the Crossroads by Orion Foxwood

The Candle and the Crossroads:

A book of Appalachian Conjure And Southern Rootwork

Candle and the Crossroads

This is one of the most powerful books I have read in recent history on spirituality in general.  While yes the book focuses on Rootwork and Conjure as the author knows them, the book is highly spiritually focused.  For me even if I don’t put all of the information into practice, the components of the book that made me question spirituality and what it means were well worth the investment.

So to begin my review I have to say that even if you don’t follow any magical spiritual path as a guide for spirituality any one of any path can get something out of it.  I would even recommend this book to Christians who are looking to deepen their personal spirituality and connection to their religion.  Everyone on any path in life can get something out of this book.  The connection to your own spirit that this book teaches us to develop is important for everyone and everything.

If you are looking for a book on spells you wont find them in this book.  There are several workings discussed but actual spell work for money, wealth, love, etc are not really seen in this book.  There are magical techniques for baths and creating mojos as well as connecting to spirits in this book.    So there is magic with in the book but not necessarily spells for luck, love or mney drawing as most people are familiar with.

The focus on this book is the spiritual component of Hoodoo and Conjure rather than the spells.  Too often people want to jump into the spells and workings of magic without the spirit component and thus they miss a huge part of the Southern Conjure traditions.  This book provides that spiritual information.  It is that focus which sets this book aside from others.

This is one book I am going to be referencing again and again.  There are several exercises, meditations, and self questions that I am going to be looking at periodically.  There are many things in this book that made me think and start to evaluate my personal path and practices.  For this reason I am going to be using this as a reference and guide to develop my own connection to my spirituality and my own personal spirit.

The first chapter in the book is all about the foundation of this practice.  Here we learn the authors experiences and his history with the practice as he knows it.  This is where we see how his experiences and lessons in life and explains the reasons why he wrote this book.  He mentions what the foundations of his personal magical practice are.  By knowing this information you can better understand the worldview and practices presented in the rest of the book.

The second chapter is about the starting of finding your paths to the spirit that is you.  The core teaching of this book is that humans are spirits as well.  We are spirits having a physical existence as humans.  In the teachings of this book and worldview if you start to realize this you will not only come into your own power but also start be be more whole yourself.    This chapter starts a basic discussion on types of spirits that walk with us as well as types of spiritual paths.  After talking about the paths there are also descriptions on how we are called to find our paths including symptoms of the different calls.

The third chapter is short but very important.  Here is where we get into the history of the actual practices that formed Southern Conjure as the author knows it.  The author mentions slavery and African traditions and their importance in the tradition.  Here we see what Conjure really is about and how it survives over the years.  There are warnings in this chapter about working with the spirits of Conjure and how powerful they are.  There is a quote that illustrates the power and spirirt of Conjure work very well that I am going to share with you here.:

“If you are not willing to cry for, be angry for, pray for, and ask help of its spirits, then stay away from this work.  These spirits went through hell when they first came to America in boats of flesh.  No one can change this root, and why would we want to?

If you want to find the root that cannot be bound, then then root spirit of conjure is for you.  If you want to grow your spirit from a place of truth and spirit power then conjure is for you.  If you want to reach deep and pray high, then welcome to this deep well of spirit and spiritual nuturance.

But come through the door blessing and praying for the ancestors that suffered.  This builds a bridge of grace to the spirit world and begins to establish the essence and flavor of the spirits that come when you conjure.”-Orion Foxwood Conjure and the Crossroads

The rest of the chapter focused on what the Root of conjure and the cultural mixtures that made up his conjure.  The author mentions honoring his own Roots and how he works with them.  After mentioning the spirits of African, Native American, and European folk practices who settled in that area he goes into the roles that Conjure played in that culture and still continues to play to this day.

The fourth chapter is about the Nature and Power of conjure.  Here the author gets into the fact that Conjure does have ties to Christian spirituality and Christian religions.  He addresses that many conjures use words like God and Creator and occasionally Maker.  Here we see the power in conjure comes from the source of creation and the power to create which resides in our own personal spirit.  The author gets into a few types of spirits that are connected to this power.  One of them being the God of Christianity and divine beings.  The author is specific in that for the reader and seeker that it doesn’t have to be the God of Christianity but it is the Source of all creation and all essence which is a spirit of sorts.

This is where we first start to actually get introduced into some of the techniques in this practice.  The author goes into several different ways that conjure works with spirit.  These include prayer, baths, blessings, healing, and cleansing.  After starting the basics on techniques we are introduced to a few of the different types of spirits that are worked with in conjure.

Chapter five was probably my favorite chapter in the book.  Its for me really the most important chapter in the book.  This is the chapter that focuses on growing our spirit.  The author had previously mentioned that working with ones own spirit and knowing ones own spirit was the most important thing in conjure.  Here we finally learn to address the spirit and work with our spirit.

The best part of this chapter was the checklist on the attumement to our spirit.   Not only does the author give a list of questions and symptoms of disconnect with our spirit but he provides remedies to help fix the situation.   For me this was really the way for me to start to see how connected I am to my own spirit and what I can do to fix it.  The author does mention that some of those ailments are actual symptoms of health issues (depression, anxiety and other mental health issues) and if you answered yes to many of them that you should seek professional help.  For me that disclaimer and statement shows the connection between the mind, the body, and the spirit and how mental health can effect spiritual health.

This section provided me with the most enlightenment.  It gave me tools to adjust and start working on my own personal spiritual path and development. One of the reasons I had started to explore Conjure and Rootwork was for a spiritual connection and a way to deepen and develop my spirituality beyond the basic 101 books.  Here I have tools to find what I was missing and develop my path.  The chapter ends with providing you with the steps to growing in your spirit which is what you need to do after you start the work of attuning to your own spirit.

Chapter six is about maintain spiritual health.  The main focus on this chapter is spiritual cleansing and cleaning.  The author explains how important is is to cleanse ourselves from the different forces in our lives that can cause spiritual clutter.  He told a story of a client that his mother had to illustrate the issue.  The author ends with a working for spiritual cleansing.   This provides the start of our practical conjure spirit workings.

Chapter seven is about fixing or attracting good spirits to you.  Here we learn how actions we take and the way we live our life sends signals to spirit.  One of the first lessons in this chapter is that often we focus on our lack of something when we want something then more often than not we are going to be stuck with more of what we do not have.  The author then begins to go into how we send images and messages to spirit so we can attract what we actually want.

The author then starts getting information on working on attracting the right spirits.  The first real focus is on a prosperity spirit.  The author provides a recipe or a ritual working outline to attract a prosperous spirit.  One thing this working outlines is that in Conjure everything is spirit and everything has spirit.  If you can accept that view and work with it then you are going to work conjure.

After the pot the author talks about maintain the spirit and provides steps and techniques to keep spirit alive.  The first part of this practice is the establishment of an altar.  The author continues with a ritual working for the altar set up and the consecration of the altar, yourself, and your home.  While the workings are not exact they provide you an outline to make the conjure your own.  In the end you must be the one to do the work.

Chapter eight was probably my second favorite chapter in the book.  One thing I have personally been interested in for years has been working with graveyards and various forms of graveyard magic.  This book is the first book I have seen that addresses this practice.  Its considered Taboo in many modern magical traditions yet many acknowledge that there is strong power in the graveyard.  Finding this chapter thrilled me to the core.  It started to lift the veil on these workings.

There is so much in this chapter that covering the techniques and information would be a review in itself.  I will say the author provides information on the power of the graveyard works and why we should work with graveyards.  He provides information on working with graveyard spirits as well as how to gather graveyard dirt and work with graveyard dirt.  The author spends the other half of the chapter talking about working with our ancestors and providing ways to honor them and work with them in our home and life.

Chapter nine is an interesting chapter.  It covers ways to enter into the spirit world as well as working with a spirit unique to his tradition and practice.  The technique discussed I found most interesting and will most likely try myself was the concept of tapping or knocking.  Its essentially like you are knocking on the door to the spirit world like you would a regular door.    After tapping and knocking he covers river magic as well as fire and candle access to the spirit world.  Here there is a working for river magic specifically outlined.

The last part of the chapter includes a ritual and a poem I am likely to work into ritual work.  Here is where the author teaches us about the Dark Ridder and gives us a way to introduce ourselves to him and work with him.  The spirit known as the dark rider had been mentioned earlier in the book as a traditional spirit but not much was told about him until now.  The author does make it clear that what he shows us is not the full formula for encountering this spirit.  The working he provides is an introduction to the spirit and nothing more.

Chapter ten is the final chapter in the book.  In some ways it works very much like a conclusion focusing on working the Root or working the spirit which is the force of Conjure and Root work. This is how the chapter starts anyway.  It is here we see the final outline of the techniques and practices covered in the book to develop and connect with our spirit.  The chapter ends with talking about a few specific plant spirits and with a formula for making a spirit bag.

This book provides several powerful tools for any spiritual tradition.  In the end this book illustrates not only the power of Conjure and Southern Rootwork but also the power of working from your own spirit.  The author provides an excellent introduction to the spiritual components of Rootwork and Conjure while also providing a few practical workings in the magical sense.

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Trolldom: Spells and Methods of the Norse Folk Magic Tradition by Johannes Björn Gårdbäck

Trolldom

Over the last year and a half my magical practices have started to take a change towards more folk magic systems.  To me the lack of formalized ritual for spells is much more appealing than the need to invoke deities for every spell or magical action I perform.  In many ways folk magic traditions relate to me more than most of the modern witchcraft practices as they do not make magic separate from day to day life.  Magic in this instance was a tool for life nothing more or less.  Folk magic simply was and is The Magic of the people.

I’ve been focusing on Hoodoo which is an American system of folk magic created during the slave era and deeply tied into African American culture and Southern Culture in general.  I figured as an American I might as well look into a system of magic that was born here in this country.  Often times I get mixed views on my interest in Hoodoo as I am not Black nor am I from the south. I am a Northerner.  I am from Maine and I have never lived outside of Maine.  So for some of them I was participating in cultural appropriation.  Not being from the South or Black how could I understand all the intracices of the culture?  How could I honor those ancestors?

One common theme of advice I was given was to look into my own personal heritage and see what sort of folk magic traditions I could explore.  I’d be honoring my ancestors and I would be staying within specific cultural guidelines.  For this reason I looked up and did some searching on Germanic or Norse style of Folk Magic.  Trolldom was the topic that came up.  So when I was given an opportunity to read a book on my own ancestral practices and traditions I was all over it.  It felt right to be reading that book and to start looking at adding some of the workings into my own practice.

If you are expecting spells and forumulas that deal with the Norse Gods you wont find a lot in this tome.  Most of the spells either deal with a land spirit or they call on Jesus, God,Mary,The Holy Spirit, or the Devil.  Like most folk traditions alot of the pagan elements are still there but you will have a hard time to find specific workings with the Norse Gods.  There are plenty of books on the market for Nordic witchcraft and magic that deals with those deities.

This is the magic of the people.  We are lead to believe that all the magic died out when the Norse Culture became Christianized.  That is simply not the case.  In fact many of the old workings which dealt with the old gods were simply modified to deal with the spirits and the religion of Christianity.  Knowing this now I am still quite happy with the material in this book as I feel it still connects me to those ancestors.  Afterall my most recent ancestors would have been Christian.  So if they practiced this craft or if they  had a family style of Trolldom it is the Christian spells and spirits they would have worked with.

For the reasons above I have read and enjoyed reading Trolldom.  It took a long time to read.  This book is intense and full of information.  I spent a lot of my early days with the book just going back and forth with the glossary at the beginning of the book.  There were so many new terms and phrases to learn and understand.  The language component in this book is one of the most important elements but it is also one of the most difficult components to deal with.

The language barrier involved in this project is the reason there are two sections based on language.  You have a glossary (which is right after the dedication) and then you have a section on different terms for different practices within this particular set of workings and systems.  Trolldom encompass more than just Norway and Icelandic magic which is why the language issue is present.  This book actually ecompases quite a few different “Nordic” cultures.  It covers Norway, Iceland, Sweeden, and Finland as well as having a bit of Anglo-Saxon and some Lore preserved in Powwow or the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions.  For this reason the section for the glossary and on the terms is not only important to mark and return to throughout the book, but is an essential part of understanding this practice.

This book is broken into a few different sections.  First is the glossary which was the most difficult to get through.  The second section is about the History. Here the author showed how and where Trolldom survived.  I find it interesting to note one of the places visited and mentioned in the book is in my Home state of Maine.  Its not a town I have been to or near but it in some ways brings this book and its workings closer to home.  I feel better knowing that there are places in my home region where this practice was passed on in some manner.

After history you had the terms.  This section was about how different regions had different names for the practice of Trolldom and the practitioners of Trolldom.  Here we also got into the discussion about how one learned Trolldom and how you could become a professional in the art of Trolldom.  In this culture Trolldom was not just a practice it was an honored profession that many people would take advantage of.  You had your specialists and a few generalists each with unique skills and practices as well as a unique term for their practice.

The next section was on divination on the two different terms and styles mentioned.  For me the importance divination plays in Trolldom shows me a relationship with Hoodoo.  Trolldom has infact been called the Norse Hoodoo, so I would say that the use of divination in magical practices and how they dictate the works to be done is a key component in folk magic.  It seems today more and more people are just doing what ever type of working seems to be the best for them and their situation without taking the time to check the source of the problem or situation.

Finally we get into the workings or the methods.  These spells are called Formulas.  The book has many different sections from Health and healing, to hunting, protection, curses, and even a group of miscellaneous spells.  What I liked best about this section of the book was the fact that there was the English spoken components translated but you could also see the original language as well.  For me this shows just the amount of work that went into this tome.

I will say there are several spells and workings that are basically included only for historical accuracy.  Some items listed in spells like animal parts or human bones are not as easy to get a hold of as they may have been at one point in time.   There are some spells that mention digging up and harvesting things like bones of dead men or going to hanging sites.  Many of these practices are not readily acceptable in the world we live in today.  However if you wish to understand a tradition that has been around for centuries you really need to understand these historical spells.  There is enough material that you can find spells and formulas that are suitable for today’s society.

I hope that the author will continue the work and write a book just on the herbal charms and herbal uses in this book.  While you can find several herbs mentioned in the folk name as well as botanical and a common name, only a small selection of the possible herbal charms are even shown in this work.  For many people who practice folk magic Herbal magic is a huge part of the practice.  So I would encourage the author to work on an herbal trolldom book.

Magical Powder Recipe: Bring Me Love or Love Draw

This powder recipe here is one of the two powders that we made at Pagan Unity day in myIntroduction to working with Incenses and Powders. All of the ingredients will have links to where you can buy them in the amounts given.

Materials

Materials:
1/2 ounce Rose Petals
1 ounce Dragons Blood
Half ounce cinnamon
half ounce Catnip
One ounce Nutmeg
Mixing Bowl
Wand

How to

Step 1: Gather your materials in your work space

Step 2: Ask the herbs to bless your work and guide you in your work

Step 3: Take the Dragons blood and pour it into the mixing bowl

Step 4: Place your wand over the Dragons blood and ask them plant for its blessings of lust and desire as well as to protect your love and your passion that no harm may come to you and them in the relationship

Step 5: Add the Rose petals

Step 6: As before ask the Rose petals to grant you romantic love but also that the thorns harm any who would come between the two of you

Step 7: Take your wand and direct those emotions into the blend as you stir it with your wand.

Step 8: Add the Nutmeg to the blend

Step 9: As you blend the Nutmeg into the blend ask the spirits for a healthy relationship and to be in a relationship where fidelity is honored

Step 10: Finally add the Cinnamon

Step 11: As you mix the cinnamon into the mixture ask for there to be lust and desire in the relationship and that you have the power within to protect them and yourself if needed.

Step 12: Add the Catnip

Step 13: As you add the catnip ask the spirit for loyalty, friendship and love. Relationships need to have a strong base of friendship and love before romantic lust and desire can really be the focus

Step 14: With you hands mix the mixture longer focusing on blending the energetic forces of the plants. Repeat the need for protection,romance,strength,courage,power and lust over and over. Once you have felt the power build up and the chant is running rather fast force the energy raised through your hands into the mixture

Step 15: Hold the bowl to the heavens and thank the spirits of the plants. Place a small sprinkle of the mixture on the earth and thank the earth mother, and the green realms for helping you in the ritual.

Step 16: Place mixture in a storage container until ready to be used.

Uses

This is a powder. It can be used as a spell by itself, in spells, and as an incense. Let your magical imagination guide you on working with this powder.

Magical Powder Recipe: Protect My love

Protect My love

This powder recipe here is one of the two powders that we made at Pagan Unity day in myIntroduction to working with Incenses and Powders. All of the ingredients will have links to where you can buy them in the amounts given.

Materials

Materials:
1/2 ounce Rose Petals
1 ounce Dragons Blood
Half ounce cinnamon
1 oz Plantain
Mixing Bowl
Wand

How to

Step 1: Gather your materials in your work space

Step 2: Ask the herbs to bless your work and guide you in your work

Step 3: Take the Dragons blood and pour it into the mixing bowl

Step 4: Place your wand over the Dragons blood and ask them plant for its blessings of lust and desire as well as to protect your love and your passion that no harm may come to you and them in the relationship

Step 5: Add the Rose petals

Step 6: As before ask the Rose petals to grant you romantic love but also that the thorns harm any who would come between the two of you

Step 7: Take your wand and direct those emotions into the blend as you stir it with your wand.

Step 8: Add the Plantain to the blend.

Step 9: As you blend the Plantain into the mix as for courage to protect your loved ones and strength to do what must be done

Step 10: Finally add the Cinnamon

Step 11: As you mix the cinnamon into the mixture ask for there to be lust and desire in the relationship and that you have the power within to protect them and yourself if needed.

Step 12: With you hands mix the mixture longer focusing on blending the energetic forces of the plants. Repeat the need for protection,romance,strength,courage,power and lust over and over. Once you have felt the power build up and the chant is running rather fast force the energy raised through your hands into the mixture

Step 13: Hold the bowl to the heavens and thank the spirits of the plants. Place a small sprinkle of the mixture on the earth and thank the earth mother, and the green realms for helping you in the ritual.

Step 14: Place mixture in a storage container until ready to be used.

Uses

This mixture can be used in any form of love spell or protection spell. Its actually best in a spell where you are protecting a loved one a friend, a family member, romantic partner, etc. All of these are ways you can work with this blend.

Realizing teachings from spirits

So here is something interesting I thought of recently. I started making my own incense for different workings 10 years ago. At the time I had no recipes. I had no books to guide me other than Cunningham’s herbal encyclopedia and magical herbalism.

I had a mortar and pestal and I had some herbs on hand for different workings (but I was mostly clueless at the time). I realize now that really the ones who taught me how to make incense were not the books. They were in fact the spirits of the plants. Which is why my recipes and practices are as effective and as powerful as they are.

I mention this now because there have been times I have mentioned that the spirits really haven’t taught me all that much. I look back and realize now that the lessons were much more subtle. They actually were more my partners than anything else.

Just like how I’ve always listened to the spirits of the land when it comes to my practice on the sabbats. I’ve always worked and done them really when it felt more energetically appropriate for me and the land that I live on.

The apartment I currently live in was gifted by the spirits of this land. After we left our viewing I said a simple prayer to those spirits asking them that the apartment go to the ones who need it the most, and the right people for the land. The next morning I get a call saying we have the apartment. If that is not spirits working for me and with me, guiding me I dont know what is.

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