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
Succsess Aromatherapy candle
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Types there are and How to work with them
What is Ancestral Veneration
Ancestral Veneration is one of the most ancient religious and spiritual practices. The respect and belief in an afterlife as well as honoring ancestors can be traced back to paleolithic mankind. It is believed that honoring our ancestors was the first religious and spiritual form of ritual work. From ways the dead were buried to views of the afterlife ancestors and the dead were never far from the mind of our paleolithic ancestors, and for some this truth remains today.
Ancestral veneration is not worshiping our ancestors, at least not in the common sense of worship. Ancestral veneration is more like honoring the dead in a respectful way. Its a belief that they are still with us in a spirit form. That they can hear us and can effect our lives from the other side. Its a belief that our ancestors like other spirits can help us become the best person we can be and to live the life that we really want and desire.
There are exchanges of offerings and gifts. This isn’t worship. In some ways I think of it like when I put a flower on my ancestors grave. Its giving something to them to signify that you remember them and care for them. These gifts can be basically anything. Though some cultures do have rules against some items being given to different spirits.
In some cultures flowers are only for the dead and it’s ok to leave offerings to the dead till they rot as this signifies they have taken everything. In other cultures and practices only water is offered to the dead. Even Christianity has mention of the value of prayer for the dead. Working with and honoring our ancestors is a powerful spiritual path and there are many ways to go about it.
The act of the gift and the offering is the important thing though. Its through these exchanges that relationships with our ancestors can develop and grow. Its believed that a gift will ensure a gift. Its also believed that because the dead and our ancestors are beyond the veil they have access to energy and powers of the universe that we don’t so by asking them to help us in our work and our lives they can tap into those energies for us. Granted they dont help us unless we help ourselves. So the gifts symbolize our part to do our work.
Many religions and traditions have celebrations and days of the dead. Halloween, All saints and All Souls day, Samhain, Dia de los Muertos(Mexican Day of the dead), The Bon Festival (Japan), and Pitru Paksha (Fortnight of the Ancestors-Hindu) are different festivals in different cultures. They have one thing in common. They are all festivals to honor the dead and the ancestors. These are only a handful of celebrations that exist to celebrate ancestors and the dead. The point is that the concept of honoring the dead is still alive and well in this world today.
The practice of honoring the dead is starting to become more common in Pagan practices today as well. Part of that is that many of us are reclaiming this practice. It was a part of ancient pagan traditions, so the practice was largely destroyed in the west. For many reclaiming ancestral veneration as a part of our practice not only connects us to our more recent ancestors and keeps our passed loved ones in our lives, but it also allows us to reach the deepest ancestors we have which can be powerful guides for those starting down pagan paths.
Personal Development of Ancestor work
One of the reasons I am writing this post today is in honor of a new ancestor. A loved one of mine has just crossed the veil. It is this passing that has once again made me think about working with my ancestors and how is really always been a central part of my practice. I haven’t always considered the contact with my ancestors and the shrines to my past loved ones ancestral veneration. I thought it was simply remembering them and keeping them alive.
Ancestor veneration is a large part of my practice and spiritual work. My ancestors have a lot to teach me. I have an ancestor altar that I pray at everyday. While it is a strong part of my practice these days, ancestral veneration and honoring has not always been a large part of my path. In fact it was at one point something I really only did on the festival of the dead (Samhain) as that was the focus. I thought that was really all that was needed, and at the time maybe that was for my best.
When I started to practice witchcraft I had recently lost my Grandmother. Many of the psychics and readings I had done at the time confirmed that she was staying close to me as a spirit guide (I was having dreams of her). So I started working with my ancestors through a single ancestor as a spirit guide. That was 17 years ago. Now I have an altar to all my ancestors as I have learned that any of our ancestors can be our guides and guardians.
Originally I didn’t offer any prayers, or much to my ancestors. I would simply say hello to them when I needed to feel their presence. I had a place of memory for them where I could see them and keep them in my life. Then when I started to explore traditional witchcraft as a religious and spiritual practice I heard of the concept of giving them offerings and having shrines and altars to them. So I created one and started an ancestral prayer working.
The practice with ancestral veneration got even deeper when I started to explore Germanic paganism and found I had Germanic ancestry. When I read how they honored their ancestors and the powers of wyrd and Oorlog I decided that I had to develop my relationship even further. So I started to work them into Germanic rites and rituals through the phrases “The Alfar and the Disir”
There was a time when I stopped practicing basically everything. Then I started to explore Hoodoo. My interest and desires to understand magic and witchcraft returned. Through this I found more focus on ancestors and honoring your culture. I found that ancestors will be powerful allies in spells as well as in meditations and trance work. So through Hoodoo my work with my ancestors started to develop further and I learned new prayers to use for my ancestors.
Now today I have a prayer I say to them every morning and I have a prayer I say every evening to my ancestors. I give them offerings when I perform rituals and I invite them into my ritual circles. They have a part of my day to day life and my spiritual life. I couldn’t imagine my spiritual work without my ancestors at all. They are always there for me and they always will be. I may not be able to physically hold them and see them, but when I need them I can feel them and I know they are always there for me.
The types of ancestors:
Being adopted my ancestors actually come in different forms and types. Not all of my ancestors are of the blood. Some are of the spirit and some are of the heart. I have legal blood ancestors and blood ancestors. I have ancestors in all of my families that I don’t know but are my allies through the bonds of the heart and the spirit. I even have ancestors that are not really in my family at all but are in my spiritual family. All of these ancestors have roles to play in my life and I honor them all.
I dont consider ancestors limited to just the blood and the heart though.This post is going to discuss the different ancestors I have through my adoption and my spiritual practices and how I can honor and work with each of them. For the longest time I didn’t engage in ancestral veneration because of my adoption. I wasn’t sure if I should honor my ancestors of my adoption, my foster family, or my biological family. Thinking about this also was painful so while I wanted to honor my ancestors I didn’t go about it until I had answered my confusion.
How I came to see the types of Ancestors
That was how I came to see the different ancestral lines. One year I went to the local Pagan Pride day. I typically attend a few of the workshops that go on. This year there was one about ancestral work and contacting your ancestors. The key component of that workshop was a meditation on ancestral lines. During this meditation I saw three lines of ancestral blood flowing from my body. There was a fourth that was some what gray at the time and today its now clear.
It was then I knew that I was to honor all of my ancestors. Those of my foster family, my blood or biological family, and my adoptive family. It was through this work that I came to see that there are many different types of ancestors and that not everyone will have access to blood ancestors. Through these meditations and concepts I came to see that there are
four primary types of ancestral allies: You have your ancestors of the Blood, your ancestors of the heart, and the ancestors of the spirit. Adoptive ancestors are actually a mixture of two types which I will get into in the next sections as well as being their own type of ancestor.
Ancestors of The Blood
Every one is familiar with the concept of blood ancestors. These are those of your family or blood line that goes back generations. These are the strongest allies that one can have. These are the ancestors that everyone thinks about when they think of ancestors. Ancestors of the blood also include ancestors gained through marriage and long term committed relationships. When I got engaged to my fiance his ancestors joined mine and mine his. We are a family unit. These ancestors go back generations on each side. So the lines of blood ancestors are very long.
These are the strongest allies that you can have as a spirit. They are the ones that have your best interest at heart. Through the strands of Fate, and the workings of Wyrd we are always directly connected to our ancestors. Our actions reflect them as much as their actions reflect on us. So we need to honor them in our lives and we need to keep them close to us. Before any other spirit is petitioned the ancestors will work stronger for you and faster for you. There is little that is stronger than the power of the blood.
For me I also have my adoptive ancestors, These are the ancestors of my adoptive family. They are the family that raised me and that belongs to me. In ancient cultures at times the roles of the blood ancestors would be replaced by the foster and or adoptive family. In my case I never considered them to replace the blood ancestors at all. I considered them additional ancestors that I was blessed to have.
We have no physical blood that ties us. However to all of the world and all legal meanings they are my flesh and blood. That is how I feel about them as well. In all honesty at times they are more my family than my blood and biological family simply because I have minimal contact and my relationship with that family is in its infancy (until recently was non existent). Which is why they are both ancestors of the blood and of the heart. The time that they spent raising me and being involved in my life can not be undone.
They gave their blood, sweat, and tears to me. They are for my my most powerful allies. They have been there for me more than the blood ancestors. They were the first ancestors I have contacted and they were the first ones to make themselves known to me. This is the ancestral line that has been the strongest for me. My blood ancestral work is focused on more ancient pagan ancestor while my adoptive ancestral work is more with Saint and angel work (Hoodoo influences as well).
It is because my adoptive Ancestors gave so much of their blood, sweat, and tears into my life and that they took me in they are also ancestors of the heart. They are of the blood because of the family ties and concepts but of the heart because there is no physical blood. Its a spiritual and memory based blood love. The bond of the heart here shows how even just being in a family for a short while can create strong family bonds.
Ancestors of the Heart
Those of the heart are the family that has passed that are not connected through marriage or blood or even legal adoption. In my case this is where my foster family lies. They did not adopt me but are still my family. I have lost several members of that family and they were all close to me. They are now my ancestors and they watch over me. Our bond is somewhat stronger than blood or law.
These ancestors are some of my more recent ancestors. It was my Uncle Cleve’s passing which made me think about ancestors. He was my foster uncle and is an ancestor of my heart. His two brothers are also my ancestors here. I have a Grandfather here as well. To them and to me the fact that I did not live with them, and was not legally a part of the family after my adoption never mattered. I never stopped being their family. That is what the ancestors of the heart are all about.
The ancestors of the heart are those that have passed on we considered family even if there was no blood between you. These can be friends you thought of as brothers and sisters, close friends and even those who you would consider “father”or “mother” figures. If you feel that they were and are apart of your family in your heart than they are your family and are your ancestors. Never let anyone else tell you any different.
Ancestors of the Spirit:
Finally there are ancestors of the spirit. For me I consider any Occultist, Witch, and Magician who worked hard to preserve the magical and spiritual arts are my spiritual ancestors. Even though I dont agree with all of their teachings and philosophies people like Gerald Gardner, Aliester Crowley, Doreen Valiente, Scott Cunningham, and many others put a lot of work into making magical spirituality acceptable and part of our day to day lives again. Those are a few of my spiritual ancestors as a witch based on the practices I have taken into my practice.
As I explore Hoodoo and other magical systems other spiritual ancestors will come into my practice. For example Marie Laveau is a famous Hoodoo worker in New Orleans. In some respects I could consider her a spiritual ancestor. Other ancestors in the case of Hoodoo would in general be any one who struggled to keep African American spiritual heritage alive through Hoodoo and Rootwork. When a teacher passes I would add them to the spiritual ancestors as well.
You can also have ancestors of the spirit when you are spiritually adopted into a tradition. There are many religions and paths where they are only open to people of a specific culture. Occasionally through the practice of spiritual adoption outsiders are initiated and welcome into that spiritual family. The ancestors of your initiator in these situations become your ancestors and guides as well. It is a spiritual family you have entered into and like all families they will help you and work with you if you honor them as taught.
Working with your ancestors
Now that we have covered the types of ancestors out there and I have mentioned the importance of working with your ancestors its time to actually start thinking about how we can work with them. Why do we work with them, and what the best ways of working with them are.
There are two primary ways aside from meditation and spirit travel work that a person can work with their ancestors. These two forms are the altar and prayers. They work well together and serve as a starting point for building power with your ancestral allies. Unless one is experienced in astral travel and spirit communication using those tools right away to work with your ancestors is not the best of ideas. Prayers and altar work are all you really need.
Really when it comes to working with your ancestors the only real must do I have found is having an altar of some sort where you can offer prayers and other items to them as you get to know them. These altars can evolve and change over time. The point of the altar is to serve as a focal point in your work. The altar is a place for you to offer your prayers and your gifts to them.
Your altar doesn’t need to be fancy. Many people start off not knowing any of their ancestors. In which case a candle, a cup for water, and a plate for offerings is all you would need to contact them. If you know your passed on loved ones and you have photos of them you can and should add those photos to the altar.
The altar also serves as a place of remembrance of the dead. So its a place to put items that make you think of your ancestors as well as their photos. You want it to look nice and appealing. This is going to be their home for you in your house and their place in your life. So its also important to keep the altar neat looking.
Here are some examples of my own ancestral altars and how its changed over time:
First ancestral altar
First ancestral altar
Second Ancestral Altar
Second Ancestral Altar
Ancestor Altar 3
As you can see by looking at these altars they have changed over time. As they have changed so has my relationship with my ancestors evolved. The reason I wanted to show you the evolution of the altar is that I want you all to know that you can let your altar change over time. Its not meant to be a static thing! Its meant to be something that evolves with you and with your relationship with the spirits!
There are no limits on your ancestral altar. Let their spirits come through. There are reasons for the symbols I have placed on my altars. They grew as my focus and my relationships grew. One thing has always been common though-the focus has been on remembering them and keeping their memories alive in my life.
The best way to work with your ancestors even before starting an altar is simply to pray to them. Prayers to your ancestors aren’t really any different than prayers for gods and spirit guides. You are simply having a conversation with your ancestors. Prayers are how we can communicate with them directly and its our best way to communicate with them. They can communicate with us in different ways (dreams, scents, meditations, sudden insights etc) but we can really only speak to them through prayers.
The easiest prayer is simply:
“Blessed Ancestors I welcome you into my life. May you bless and guide me and may you teach me what you yourself can”
That’s all your prayers to your ancestors need to be. You dont need to praise them. You don’t need to have a fancy invocation. You simply can address them as your ancestors and they will listen to you. You dont even really need to ask for a blessing. You could simply say something along the lines of:
“Good Morning Ancestors. I welcome you this day”.
All you are doing with your prayers is acknowledging that they exist and that they are apart of your world. By giving them a simple welcome everyday you will start to feel their presence build up. You will begin to know them and feel them like you do can with other spirits and beings that you work with. The more attention you give them the more you will notice them.
Prayers can be more complex and verbose. My personal prayers evolved from a simple Hello and welcome to a full blessing and daily petition for them to be here. There is a bit of praise and there is a bit of thanks. These prayers are offered twice daily. I feel that they flowed from me into the written form when I was channeling spirits and writing prayers for them. My ancestors let me know what they wanted.
Offerings and Gifts
The final way that we can work with our ancestors is in offerings and gifts. These gifts are ways that we say thank you and show our appreciation to them. There are many ways types of gifts that can be given to our ancestors. You can give your ancestor basically anything you would give yourself or a person. They are still family and they are still people.
For myself I consider flowers on graves a gift to them. I also place flowers on the altars every so often as remembrances of them. I try and give them their favorite flowers. I also try and give them their favorite things. For my grandmother I will think of her when I go bowling and send her some of that energy as play and a memory of our times together.
On holidays I will set aside a portion of the food on my plate for my ancestors. I will let it sit till the end and eat that last. They eat the essence of that portion while I eat my meal. When I have finished the portion for me they will have had their fill and I can take nourishment from the food. Other cultures burn food offerings to ancestors and spirits. Some burry the food in the yard. Other throw it into the woods for animals to eat.
There are some taboos in various cultures about what can and can’t be given to ancestors and the dead. If you belong to a specific culture, religion, and or tradition I suggest that you look into ways that they honor the dead. By honoring the traditions of your culture, your religion and your tradition you are honoring your ancestors in that way as well. These traditions after all were ancestral in many cases.
This post has covered my own discovery into the importance of ancestral veneration. It has covered the types of ancestors and a few of the ways that we can work with our ancestors. Your ancestors are part of who you are. They are powerful allies that can teach you things you wouldn’t imagine and who can be there for you in ways none else can. Your ancestors are still here in this life and in this world just in a different form.
There are many ways to work with them. Once you start working with them you will find that there are many more ways and reasons to work with them. I’ve been working with my ancestors actively for several years and my relationships with them continue to grow and develop. I am constantly learning new reasons to honor them and new ways of working with them. The more I learn the more I realize there is to learn.
These allies seem to be the ones that develop the most as I develop spiritually. The more I understand spiritual and magical practices the stronger they seem to become and the more things we seem to be able to so together. Its my hope that any one who has read this will start to develop their own relationships with their ancestors and start to find the power and comfort in ancestral grace and guidance.
As many of you may or may nor know I don’t consider myself a strict traditional witch, though I do have a lot of traditional leanings. I feel that I needed more direct experiences and practices within Traditional witchcraft to consider myself a traditional witch. Training in the Feri tradition is a part of that.
The other reason I didn’t consider myself really a traditional witch is that I didn’t work really directly with local land spirits and forces. I worked more with my personal energetic forces rather than spirits. That has been changing recently with my studies in the Feri tradition and in Hoodoo/Conjure.
So recently I did a prayer and asked if there were any fairy spirit in the area to make themselves known. A few days later a mushroom ring appears in my backyard. For the first time in my life a fairy ring appeared in my home. It made me feel like the local fairies and spirits did take the first offering I gave at my home/house spirit shrine.
Its just something I thought I would share. I have never experienced a fairy ring in my yard before. So for me its a special gift of the fairies. To me its a signal that my connections with the local forces and spirits is growing and they are listening to me.
The Heart of the Initiate is a wonderful book. This book was created by Victor and Cora Anderson for their students and those interested in the Feri tradition of witchcraft. The forward states:
“THIS BOOK IS A VALENTINE from Victor and Cora Anderson to you. For those of us who are their initiates, the Andersons live on through the many personal recordings and letters we held close and treasure. We’re grateful for this great opportunity to share rare insights into the Anderson’s teachings, and offer you an imitation of what it was like to be their student.”
It is clear that the Andersons wanted their teachings to be preserved and shared. That they wanted more people to understand and know what their tradition was and is all about. The proof is in the quote mentioned above. For this reason the book was created which allows seekers like me and students of Feri to see what the actual founders and high masters said about the tradition and their teachings.
Due to the nature of this book there are not chapters. The book reads like correspondences which is what they are. There are a few sections in which various teachings are written about in letter or essay form, but not your traditional chapters and sections style.
The first section of the book is called Some Pictish views on the old religion. Here we learn about some origins of the practices and how the religion is different from others. It talks about the origins and how sex is sacred. There is a little bit on basically all aspects of the Craft in this section written by Victor.
The second section of the book is called Commentaries. In this section there are a few specific articles on points important to the specific Feri tradition of witchcraft as they teach it. Topics include Raising power to divinity, Sexual Initiation, Sexual ethics, Training and Initiation, The Consort, The Guardians, The morning prayer, Possession, and Salvation. All of these concepts are teachings important in the Feri tradition to some extent and these basic articles express how they work and what they mean.
The third section of the book is the most informative section of the book. Here there are glimpses at some of the rites and materials actually presented to their students. There are exercises and explanations given. The letters are written by Victor and Cora presented to us as they responded to their students. The only thing missing in this section would be the letters from the students to their teachers so the context makes more sense.
The very last section of the book is important for seekers like myself. In many books on traditional witchcraft there is an exercise to switch from a Christian path to a Traditional witchcraft path which involves the reciting of the Lord Prayer backwards. Here Victor describes yet another prayer that can be used which is essentially a modified version of the Lords prayer for seekers trying to be open to new paths and teachings.
Ancestral Work and Practices
Last year my post in the Pagan blog project on ancestors (Ancestors and why Ancestral Veneration exists)was at the start of my exploration of ancestral worship and working with the powers and spirits of our ancestors. Most of what I was doing there really had no meaning to me. It was a basic understanding of concepts. Yes I had an ancestral altar that was set up but there really wasn’t any meaning to my work. I prayed to my ancestors because I thought I should. The altar was set up because I thought I needed one. There was no reason behind any of it.
I did believe that our ancestors had power. I just wasn’t sure how to work with them. I knew that as I had said in ancient cultures it was a common practice. I also knew that there were a few modern pagan religions that had continued the practice of ancestral veneration. I saw that it was a part of many forms of traditional witchcraft and as well as part of Asatru. So I wanted to make it a part of my path. I wasn’t sure how.
For me part of it was the process of how complex my ancestry is. I consider the fact that I have spiritual ancestors. Those are the people who were the first authors in bringing witchcraft to the world today. In that group is Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valienete, Sybil Leek, and several others. I also have my ancestors of the heart. This is where my Foster and Adoptive ancestors lie. They are not connected to me by blood but by the bonds of love through my adoption and family ties. Then I have my ancestors of blood. These would be the ancestors tied to my biological family. These multiple ancestral lines were some of the reasons I wasn’t sure how I could work with my ancestors. Which type did I honor and work with?
I recently started to realize that I can work with all of my ancestors in different ways. I just needed to think about applying ancestral veneration in different ways that did not just relate to prayers and offerings at the altar. I found that because I had the different lines I could find three different ways that I can honor my ancestors and so far this revelation has been working for me.
My witchcraft ancestors (Gardner, and the like) I work with and honor simply by continuing to practice witchcraft and keep it alive. They feared that witchcraft would die out. Instead it has grown beyond what they imagined. So for me to practice, study, and explore as many venues of witchcraft as I can is a way of honoring the witches who have walked the paths before me. This was one of the first ways I actually started to work with my spiritual ancestors.
My ancestors of the blood were a bit different. I did some traces of where the various ancestral lines my biological family came from. In this practice I have found that my ancestry is Germanic in nature. Around the same time I had a dream where several of the Germanic/Norse Gods appeared calling for me and for one of them. I concluded that by studying and by working with the Gods of my blood ancestral tribes I could honor them as well. So that was another way I could honor my ancestors. It has worked well for me.
Its been my adoptive ancestral lines that I have really had some issues working in. While I prayed to my Grandmother for advice (she had made herself known to me early on as a spirit guide for me) I had no real way to integrate the rest of that ancestral line into my life and I honestly didn’t think that they would approve of the work I was doing. So it was something I didn’t quite understand.
Even in my studies of Traditional witchcraft while I would acknowledge the power of the ancestors in the land I wasn’t I was sure I actually believed in. I also never actually called my ancestral powers into ritual before. I would call on the spirits of the land and the God and Goddess but not my ancestor when I was doing that work.
Now things have actually changed. I am actively working with my ancestors. I pray daily and I actively maintain an altar to them. On this altar I regular light a candle to them as an offering. I also give them fresh and clean water on a regular basis so that when they visit they always have a clean drink. In rituals I have an item I use to give them a manifestation in the room that sits on the altar the rest of the time.
Yes. I never actually worked with my ancestors in magic or in rituals before. Now things have started to change. I actually call them into my rituals. They have a place that they can manifest in ritual and in magical work. Like the God and Goddess can manifest in my statues and in me, my ancestors have a vessel with which they can manifest in this world during ritual. I am actively forming relationships with them like I would any other spirits, through now working with them in formal rituals.
Recently I have started to study a new magical tradition. I have started to study Hoodoo. Now I am not African American nor do I belong to the culture that Hoodoo was created in and for. That being said I do respect the origins and I know that today Hoodoo is not practiced by just those of African American descent or in that culture. There are Caucasian Americans who practice this art. They all however pay respects to the origin of the path and understand where the roots of Hoodoo come from.
Hoodoo in some forms was heavily influenced by forms of Catholicism. My adoptive ancestry on my mother’s side is all Catholic. I have felt that by practicing and studying Hoodoo I could connect with that part of my ancestry. In Hoodoo a lot of time is spent focused on working with ones ancestors. So for me Hoodoo provides a way for me to connect with my Catholic ancestors while still remaining the witch that I am and that forms the base of the tradition I am developing.
I feel that my connection with my ancestors has started to grow because I have started to work with them in ritual and pray to them daily. I invite them into my life on a regular basis. I know they are around me now. I know that they are there. I just needed to find a way to interact with them all and I have found a way to work with them. Now I just need to make sure I maintain the practice.
The divine in Ominitheism
I live a constantly evolving paradox in some ways. I am an omnitheist. Its an all encompassing view of the divine. I say all encompassing because depending on what sort of ritual I am working my view on the divine will change or be modified. I make room for experiences of the divine in basically any and all formats as I believe the overall Divine to be something that humans can not fully understand in our form. This also means I will and have experienced the divine in many different forms.
Basically I am a Hard Polytheist in that I believe in all individual Gods in pantheons and religions. I may not have encountered them all like I’ve never met to my knowledge any of the Gods associated with Chinese religions or Hinduism or even Native American traditions, but I still believe those Gods are individual beings. This also means that I Do believe in Yaweh/Allah/Jehovah or the God of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. I can’t emphasis this enough. I just believe that they are an individual God among many.
This also means that when I work a ritual from the context of a soft polytheistic view where they believe all the Gods are one God and all the Goddesses are one Goddess I believe the God and Goddess of that religion are a unique God and Goddess whose impressions are a combination of the psychological archetypes of the many Gods and Goddesses in literature. So I believe that there is a God and Goddess out there who through modern Wicca and Modern religious witchcraft movements who is a manifested form and force of All Gods and all Goddesses, though each person in this religious form focuses on specific names to them it doesn’t matter and to this divine duo the names do not matter. They are nameless and yet have many names.
Like wise my belief in the God of the three big religions allows me to attend church services with family members and treat it as I would the worship of any other God within their specific religious constraints. Yaweh and I have an understanding of sorts in that I believe in him and have accepted that he is the supreme God in those religions. However I never in the Christian tradition I was a heretic of sorts believing that the trinity was a set of three divine beings. So like I said we’ve reached an understanding of sorts that is uncomfortable at best for the both of us. I maintain my belief that he is one of many thousands of Gods and I treat the church services as that Gods particular style of worship.
In this way it is not any different than how I outlined I have approached the worship of Greek Gods and Norse Gods. I approach their worship from a recon style and perspective. I find that recons so long as the worship of the different pantheons or cultures is separate then you can follow more than one path. Its about respecting the Gods and making sure that you worship them in a way that would have been appropriate in that particular culture.
In this way I treat Christianity as a culture which it really is. The Christian worldview has impacted the world culture in many ways, so when I go to church I feel that I am engaging in that aspect of the culture I live in, as well as the culture where this God (Yaweh) is worshiped.
I believe that all the Gods of the Greek pantheon are individuals. I believe that all the Gods of the Norse pantheon are individuals (to the point where even the tribal differences in views and concepts may actually be different divine forces) an so forth for each pantheon. I even believe that the 12 big Gods of the Greek pantheon and the 12 great Gods of the Roman pantheon who are often said to be the same beings are separate beings (Zeus and Jupiter are different Gods in my view and not the same as in other views of the two pantheons).
I have experienced too many different types of divine individuals to not believe that in some way all views of the divine are true. This is why I consider myself to be an omnitheist. While I believe that there are individual Gods and Goddesses (Athena, Frigga, Isis, Ceriweden, etc to name a few and only a few) as individual people (like I am different from you) I also believe that there may be an overruling God of each force like there may be a generic Goddess of Love and God of war that are essentially made up of all the other Gods of each force).
I have experienced individual divine forces and I have experienced overarching all encompassing divine forces. I believe all paths hold truths. This is why I believe that by studying all religions and philosophies I can gain even more insight into the divine and the mysteries of the universe. In this way I may also be a chaos magician where I change paradigms as needed for ritual and spiritual work, if so than I am a chaos witch. I’ve experienced too many different styles of the divine manifesting to not believe that all versions of the divine are true
Suffice to say this basically outlines most of my concept of the divine. My views of the divine are constantly evolving and changing. I’ve had too many different experiences to not be willing to be open to every possible avenue for the divine to manifest. Though because I also believe in the power of the mind I also think that we can create divine forces or manifestations of the divine energy through names and other experiences.
In essence this is where part of my experience of the five Gods and Goddesses that are the divine beings in Pentalism comes from my experience with the various Unnamed Gods and Goddesses of Eclectic Wiccan and Eclectic Neo-pagan witchcraft traditions. Each tradition had some very similar concepts of the God and Goddess but there were enough differences that I started to feel that perhaps there was actually more then one God and Goddess involved in the myths and lore of Modern witchcraft.
Those divine beings are basically a separation and division of the five different types of Gods and Goddesses I have experienced through different versions of modern Eclectic Wiccan lore. I thought that because there were essentially five different ways I saw the Gods manifested that there were five distinct Gods and Goddesses worshiped in Wiccan traditions. The more I study and think about the different God forms and Goddess forms and associations I see the more those five Gods make sense.
So I figure I’m developing a tradition that treats the seasonal versions of the Gods as individuals and the Moon Goddess and Sun God as separate beings. I’m still developing experiential lore in meditations to support this particular divine setting but so far it seems to make sense. The season energies are very different so the Gods involved in each season would be different. There will be more information on those Gods in the next post, outlining the Gods and Goddess of Pentalism.
Omnitheism I feel is important as a view and philosophy of the divine as it allows for extreme personal experiences. It allows people to experience the divine as individual beings while also accessing the divine forces behind say healing with out specific names. This allows people to have both experiences with the individual divine beings in the various pantheons and the overall divine forces that are out there in life.
The book The Way of Wyrd is a fictional story of a Christian Monk who is sent to learn the ways of the Anglo-Saxon pagans. The story is rich and entertaining. The author worked hard to research and present the information in a way that was informative and entertaining. By working the true beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon sorcerers into this work of fiction the author has brought back the use of stories to transmit knowledge and information.
The book is actually in two parts. The first part focuses on the early aspects of the Monk’s training. Here the monk is very skeptical of all the powers the sorcerer claims to work with and hold. While he works hard to learn all he can learn, Brand (the name of the monk) never really believes the ways of the people or that the powers are real.
In this part of the book the author introduces the basic beliefs of the people. The story actually opens with Brand working with Wulf (the sorcerer) at a healing ceremony banishing an evil spirit. This powerful start to the book illustrates a few of the key practices and beliefs that Brand is exposed to as he begins the training. This ceremony is set after he has completed his journey so we see here that Brand has much to learn and yet he was open to them.
In this first part of the book Brand is highly skeptical of the beliefs and practices. There are some that even scare him. Though he is fascinated with the tales of the Gods and of the spirits he does not appreciate their real value aside from primitive beliefs and practices.
The first powerful ritual that Brand is exposed to is an example of his difficulty in attempting to switch worldviews to learn the beliefs and practices. Here Brand is taught about gathering power from plants and how to properly gather the plant and give it an offering.
Other powerful rituals are experienced in this section. Here the author also goes into reading the omens of nature such as the flight pattern of birds and the way fish swim. The largest concept of Germanic paganism introduced here is the concept of Wyrd and knowing how to read and work with Wyrd.
The final experience in this section of the book Brand has is watching Wulf heal an elf shot horse. When Brand declares the process a fraud Wulf knows then that he must make Brand experience these forces or the mission to learn their ways will be a failure. The experience at the farm and Brand’s declaration of being a fraud.
In the second part of the book Brand is forced to encounter the shamanic aspects of Germanic paganism. Here we learn about spirit flight, how our spirits can be stolen, and how to work a soul retrieval in the practices of the Anglo-Saxon sorcerers.
The authors use of the narrative story teaches several elements of Germanic paganism. There are tales of the Gods taught, beliefs about plant lore explored, beliefs of the soul, and much more. The book provides through the story a basic concept and outline of many main beliefs found in Germanic Paganism as well as in Traditional Witchcraft, Anglo-Saxon shamanism, and much more. This book was well researched and written allowing a student to learn concepts in a way that non-fiction books may not be able to portray them.
After writing my blog post for last weeks entry in the Pagan Blog project I have spent some time going over the first instructional Hoodoo book I read. I actually wrote a review of the book and posted it several places online. I’m realizing now just how much correspondence information was in this book to start with. Now I am adding the information to a notebook. I’m writing down the recipes and the associations.
What I have just finished reading was a section on candle lore. There is still more to this section for me to learn and write down. I have candle colors and candle movements written down from this book. The next section I’m taking notes on is interpreting candle wax. It’s going to be a busy evening of writing down associations, recipes, and notes. However writing it in the notebook, then in my records and in an online types form will help me process the information better than I do anything else.
I’ve found the behavior of candle flames section of the lore and practice to be rather interesting. Its not something I had ever considered before in my workings with various types of fire. I may just start to be more mindful when I do more candle work. This section of the book has also made me realize that I definitely need to increase my stock of candles. I don’t have nearly as many non scented small working candles as I would like.
Well that basically consists of what I have done today for an exercise. I am going to do a bit more later on. There is still time in the day. It may be 5 in the evening but that still gives me plenty of time to do more studying, do a ritual or a working. It even gives me time to do other things as well.
As I work through the chapter in the Hoodoo book on elemental magic I realize I have a lot of new ideas to work with in connection to my work with elemental forces and magic. I have always loves working with elemental magic. All of the spells I write are typically based on working magic based on a single element or maybe more based on the context. Now I have several new ideas to consider when working elemental magic.
I know that the incense list, the water list, and even some of the color symbol lists in this book is not complete. I also know that it does not represent all of Hoodoo. I do know that these specific items I have found have given me many different concepts and ideas to work with. I for example never considered looking at the behavior of candles when I work magic with them as a part of understanding if the spell is going to work or not. I also have never really considered the practice of working with dirt or earth from various locations until now.
I am grateful that I have all of these opportunities to develop my own magical theories and practices through the exploration of several different systems. I had been using some concepts found in Cunningham’s two elemental magic books for my spell work as well as the idea of ribbons and tying knots for magic. Now I am exploring other traditions and styles of working magic.
I know with Hoodoo that I have a lot to learn. I also know I should look at my own motives for wanting to learn and practice this style of magic. I have some ideas for why I might be interested but I am not sure if they are enough at times to be honest. I’m also not sure entirely if I as a white female have a right to practice an African American folk magic tradition that was developed because of slavery. There are some ethical considerations here that I am working through.
I need to in the next few days also submit my application for training in different traditions and styles of witchcraft. I am going to do my best to establish daily exercises and training practices for psychic development skills as well as magical skills in the mean time till the training starts. I know for myself that having a structure to my training imposed by a teacher has in the past always helped me maintain focus and be able to establish a daily spiritual practice.
So there is a lot brewing for me spiritually and magically right now. This is a dramatic change from a few weeks ago when I wanted to reconnect spiritually but had no motivation to do so. Now I have a lot of options and opportunities for me to study and grow. I’m trying to make decisions on where to go and what to do. Oddly enough that was my blog post today for the pagan blog project.
I do pray daily. I am currently consecrating and building power at my ancestral altar. I do need to do something about the candle I have there for them. The wick is basically unexposed and the wax walls are too high where even if it does burn the liquid wax will extinguish it instantly. I think I am going to try and soften the wax and melt is down on one side of the candle so that new wax will have a place to drip and fall while the wick can still be exposed and be lit for veneration purposes. Until I work with that I do offer them water daily and pray in the morning and at night a prayer I wrote. I also pray a slightly modified version of a prayer written by a Hoodoo author. That prayer resonated with me which is why I used it.
Right now the use of daily prayer has been the biggest way I have worked on developing a daily spiritual practice. Prayer I believe is a good first step. It offers communication and practice of talking to the spirits. It also offers time to connect mentally and spiritually with the sacred each day. So by doing so in the morning and in the evening I am effectively starting aspects of a daily practice where my spirituality and religion become part of my actual life.
The section of my book on Hoodoo I am working through taking notes and correspondences on is now focused on talismans and charms. This current section mentions several different animal parts that are traditionally used in Hoodoo work. Reading these ingredients and their uses as charms both intrigues me beyond belief and gives me the creeps at the same time. Some of the items I can sort of see getting easy of you for example raise chicken for meat or for eggs. You then would have access to chicken feet. Other things I’m not so sure about.
I do know that some of the items can also be bought frozen at regional specialty markets. I’ve gone through the local oriental markets and I have seen chicken feet in their frozen food section. So there are ways to get some of the animal part items listed with out having to kill them or physically obtain the items myself. Still its not always a comfortable thought for me. Its something that I actively struggle with in my Hoodoo studies.
This is one aspect of Hoodoo that I am still struggling with dealing with. The magical traditions and paradigms I have worked with up till now have all been very adamant about not using animal parts in their workings. When I started to look into traditional witchcraft though that aspect started to change. I started to become more aware of deeper traditions and the use of items like bones and blood of animals in rituals and spells to gain and consecrate their powers. Still because I had been raised against animal sacrifice and against the use of animal parts in spells and rituals for years the adjustment to this worldview change has been difficult.
I started to lift my ban on animal part works when I used snake skin successfully in several healing and rebirth spells. I realized then that if I was using snake skin what then would be so different about using a feather, or claws and whiskers of other animals that I could come across? Animals shed their fur. I know that house cats can and do on occasions shed their claws. If you come across these items in the wild and in nature while walking then they are gifts and I see no reason not to work with them.
To me that counts as finding the gift in nature or around you (road kill). Having your pet bring you the items also counts as finding them in nature. Here the idea is that the animal died natural causes, was killed by something else and you are taking advantage of it (like many animals and creatures in nature) or a combination of these. You didn’t kill it. You found it and used what you could for it. Bones are a good one to find and use this way.
I know some wolf refugee centers or rehab centers will gather the fur and package them for people to use in spells and rituals and other things. I have seen a few of these packaged. I may if I get a chance to visit the local wild animal shelter/rehab this spring/summer bring a bag with me specifically to look at the feathers of the birds in the area and see if I can get some to bring home.
In both of the above situations the items you find that belong to these animals are gifts from nature for you and you alone. They are to be respected and thanked. Like all gifts in nature something should be left as a token of your thanks as payment for the animals death (if they are dead) or for their shedding if they are alive. Though I dont know what I would give at the local rehab farm (set up to rehab the animals and also teach the children and adults in the state about the different wildlife we have and how to help them).
I could kill an animal to eat it. That i have no problem with. Its part of life. I personally believe in not killing an animal unless I intend to eat it. This is how I was raised. Even with eating it I would still try to find as many uses as I could for as much of the animal as possible. The skin would probably become leather for leather work.
I could also kill an animal if my survival depended on it (rabid animal attacking, bear/mountain lion attacks, etc). That though is self defense. Even if I killed an animal in self defense I would still eat it. They are meat after all. Why waste it? Though most of this sort of kill would probably get sacrificed to my Guides and Guardians that protect me in thanks for their protection.
So last night I finished the section in the book I am working through about using human parts in the spells and rituals. Once again like I felt with the animal parts I have some mixed feelings about this practice. Its something I have always had mixed feelings about. I’ve had major warnings early in my career and studies that witches don’t use those things and that doing so even with the best intentions can be incredibly dangerous.
There are somethings I have worked with already like hair and fingernails which I have no issue with. Hair is cut and can be kept and fingernails are trimmed regularly. I used hair in a mojo bag type of spell to personalize it and connect it to my fiance’. I have my own hair to be used in spells and rituals for the same reason. I don’t have any fingernail clippings but I may start keeping them.
I have thought about working with blood. Blood magic is something I have considered doing and I know that power that it would have. I just have not done it yet. Though there are a few spells and rituals I am working soon that I think a finger pricking for blood will be needed to boost the power and effectiveness of the spell. I also know that using your blood is a very traditional practice in many styles of magic. So it obviously has power and effectiveness otherwise it wouldn’t be found in so many different cultures.
Blood was mentioned in the Hoodoo book but it was not normal blood. The blood mentioned specifically in this book was menstrual blood. This is something that I have never been comfortable with. I have heard of many traditional styled female witches using their own menstrual blood in a spell and or a ritual. For them it is the ultimate power and ultimate essence of who they are. For me its just not something I would consider. Some of the traditions given even gave examples or ways that men could work magic using their mates menstrual blood. Most of it involved food of some sort. Sorry that just makes me sick to my stomach.
Semen was another item that was discussed being used in rootwork in a few different ways. I like some of the ideas and I can sort of see how one or two of them might work. Still for me its a discomforting issue. Its not something I like to think about or deal with. Now I again can see how for men or women it would be an effective and powerful way to work your will on them but still. I don’t think I could do it myself.
There were a few other items listed in the book but I’m not going to really go over all of them. They did make me think. Again I had heard of the use and working with those items but I had never considered it myself until now. One of the items mentioned I know is a major component in witches bottles for protection. That is a spell I actually considered doing in my new home and I may still make one in the spring. Its sort of hard to bury and hide the jar from site in the middle of the winter.
Its interesting how I feel I can accept certain practices and uses of body its yet others I am utterly disturbed at working with. I think part of it may also be a cultural thing. That I was taught certain things are not to be touched and thought of. They are to be done and lived with and basically ignored. I may be able to overcome some of the views and issues I have with working with human body parts or excretions but for now I think I will stick to hair, spit, and fingernails.
Its interesting just how different traditions and styles of Hoodoo can be like any other magical tradition. I have one book that is full of prayers and invocations to spirits and gods as part of their conjure practice. I loves seeing those prayers and petitions to the saints and the angels. That is what I associate with Hoodoo-prayers and petition to spirits along with magical acts.
The book I am currently working though says that its almost never used. That would be a contradiction to most people. I see it as different views. One view is much more animistic and believing in the inherent spirit of the items used in the work being the power behind the working while another works more strongly with angelic forces or other spirits for assistance. It all goes with just where in the cultural view of things you go.
I for one thing I am going to go back and forth between calling on spirits and between working with the spirit force in the herbs, stones, and other items used in the spells. I do like the idea of building working relationships with deities and with spirits through magic work and ritual work. I just don’t think that all the spells or rituals I do should revolve around that practice. Being able to work spells on my own with the nature spirits and my own spirit force is important to me.
Plus by working with the spirits of the plants or crystals or other nature based objects in the spell work I also gain even more spirit allies. So in some ways no matter how I perform my Hoodoo work I am going to be working with a spirit of some sort. This I guess just plays into one of the definitions I have come across for Hoodoo which is that is is a form of African American shamanism that survives today through folk magic.
I just finished a section on how to dispose of the tricks or working done in Rootwork best. This is the practice many people refer to as laying the tricks. I guess in some ways it could be considered how the spells are actually sent out into the world. The theories and practices in Hoodoo are definitely different from most of the European styles of magic I have studied and explored. This is actually a good thing as it expands my magical theories and philosophies.
It also gave some good reasons for why tricks would be placed where they should be. Now I knew the first time I read this book and when I wrote the review for it that there was a lot of lore in it. Now that I actually transcribe it I’m amazed at just how much lore and information there is out there for Rootwork. I haven’t even gotten to the spells section of the book. This is all a magical theory section of the book. I’m sure there is going to be even more when I actually look into some of the spells provided in this book.
I know one thing. I will have a whole lot of new correspondences to add to my BOS’s when I am finished transcribing theory notes, belief notes, and the like from my notebook to my actual BOS. I may even create a BOS just for my work and studies with Hoodoo as well as including it in my personal spell book/magical studies book and my philosophy/journey BOS book. For now I will continue to absorb as much of the information as I can through transcribing notes in my notebook.
The idea of disposing of magical supplies and spell tools after a spell has been cast is something that has always been bugging me at the back of my head. With my packet spells I have either burned them or tossed them into the trash. I know some people would shudder at the idea of simply tossing them in the trash but when you think about it the energy has been placed elsewhere. What else are you going to do with that paper? Still the idea of how to lay a trick or spell to get maximum effect as outlined in this section of theory did get me thinking.
Some of the ideas even made sense to me. The ideas between crossroads and running water seemed to fit along with other folklore beliefs I have heard about as well. In most of the religious and spiritual traditions I have studied the crossroad especially form powerful places for working magic and for spiritual practices. This is a power I have always wanted to explore.
There is a rite I read about in traditional witchcraft that seemed like it might be cool to do. Unfortunately it required a crossroads which was something I had but it wasn’t really “secluded” the roads were major roads. Here they aren’t really major roads though there are a lot of houses around the area. So I may have to be very creative as to when I find time to work the rite.
It says to do it at night when no one is around but I wonder if it could be as powerful done during the day. There is also the logistics of transporting and carrying my stang down stairs and outside without drawing the attention of or waking up my fiance’. In either case I still have to find a way to not draw attention to myself when performing the rite outside. Thankfully this is a pretty private area and a pretty quiet one. I’m sure if I were to be out with it I could make it look like a night time stroll or something.
Any way if I am meant to do that rite I will find something to make it work. Thats really how I look at it. I will know when it is right to perform that specific rite. Just like I knew it was time to start working the LBRP for myself again and that it was also time to start doing daily and nightly prayers again. I will feel a drive and a desire to perform the work so strongly that really nothing will stop me from doing that work.
For now my inspiration seems to come from mainly Hoodoo. Though I am also having an urge to go deeper into my herbal magic studies. Right now in regards to herbal magic I mostly work it in the form of incense or tinctures. I haven’t done much kitchen magic or herbal charm practices. I also haven’t done much work with herbs in potions either. I think part of the desire to learn more about herbal magic and herbal work is that I just got a long list of herbs used as charms in Hoodoo lore that makes me wonder a bit more about the lore of plants in European Folk Magic.
Hoodoo is a system of folk magic and folk wisdom that does rely heavily on herbal associations. I mean I believe that is in part where the name RootWoork for Hoodoo comes from as well. So it would make sense that as I learn about new herbs I haven’t heard of before I would also want to look at and explore the talisman or charm properties of some of the plants I have worked with before. There is some wisdom and lore out there concerning European Folk Magic and Folk Lore. I just need to find it.
I’m no longer fighting my desire to learn and practice what I read about in Hoodoo. While I am going to continue to read and research and develop my knowledge base in a text and note format I am also going to try and get some practical experience as well. I’ve found that in the past I let my fears of not doing something right or of not having enough information on a topic get the best of me and never really did the practical work. Now that needs to change. Now I just need to gather a few materials and start crafting one of my tools for Hoodoo.