31.7.10

The Lenormand Oracle: thoughts and a freebie

After an inspiring conversation with a spiritual worker called Mister M, I recently started studying the Lenormand more deeply. Being a stickler for tradition I decided to sign up for the Treppner course (which Mister M recommended), and it seems it is the most traditional presentation of the Lenormand in the English language (the lenormand has a fairly structured traditional system). This was the first deck of cards that I ever read with simply because these cards were what my mother and grandmother used to read with and I had access to them living at home. When I left home I couldn't take my mother's cards with me so I moved on to tarot, which at that time seemed more occult and serious to me. I also could not track down another Lenormand deck at the sole occult book shop in the Transvaal (pre internet days), so tarot it was for me.

My mother's style of reading them was very intuitive, she would lay them down and just start talking about stuff - sometimes it was unclear how it all related to the cards, and I suspected that she just needed an excuse like cards in front of her to talk. I like structure in any divination system, and found the more structure there is the better. But she never approached the Lenormand in that way.

The Lenormand does not disappoint in that regard, however. The traditional system is exceedingly structured in its own way, with very clear processes and tools for reading the grand spread, combining cards and drawing meaning and narrative from a spread. Cards form constellations, and when read in their entirety create unique meanings based on the card composition of each constellation. Cards are also combined in traditional ways in the grand spread. Much of this you just need to memorise and learn by rote. I like that because out of that structured reading format great accuracy arises and on a macro level truly complex narratives and intuitive insights begin forming. Geomancy or Horary astrology works well for the same reasons, I believe. Whilst the tarot can get pretty deep space with subtle mythic and spiritual layers the Lenormand is a lot more mundane in its scope - if you want to know whether you got the job, he will call you back or if someone will swindle you in a business relationship then this little oracle speaks very plainly to those sorts of things and that is what makes it so great.

It has been really nostalgic flipping through these little blue-backed cards this last while - taking me back to time when I was but a wee occult lad in the 80's!

So... I am practising as much as I can with the deck right now, using the Treppner method, but I won't be practising on paying clients (naturally)! For them I reserve the tools that I feel I am suitably skilled at already.

Freebie Lenormand Readings:

So, feel free to send me a question if you feel like it and I will do a short free reading for you. I will do so with the grand spread, a nine card draw spread or any other of the traditional methods that I am busy practising, or feel is appropriate. I will be reading using the Blue Owl Lenormand, or the Mystical Lenormand based on my fancy.



Conditions:


  1. If it seems interesting I might post the reading on the blog, along with the spread and question. So if your question is intensely private then it probably won't be a good idea to ask it.
  2. The reading is a practice oriented freebie for fun and entertainment, not an intense full reading or consultation. If you need more serious divination, you know where to go.
  3. I will get to it when I get to it. Please don't hassle or nag me if I don't respond immediately with a free reading.


Other than that fire away! :) Send your question to me in an e-mail. Remember when phrasing a query for a reading - clear questions always get clear answers. Names will be changed to protect the innocent ;)

UPDATE:
The freebie offer is closed. No more questions please folks!

28.7.10

Secrets of the Playing Card



An interesting and entertaining documentary related to cartomancy, that I thought y'all might like...

Evangelism: Ordeal rite or Annoyance?

A lot of people have been talking about evangelism this last while - it started with a fairly harmless post by Jason and then it kinda took off from there. Gordon makes an interesting observation too. I got thinking about how I feel about being evangelised at - be it by reborn Christians, Scientologists, Hare Krishnas or any other people who feel they might have some good news they want to blast at me. Something struck me about the evangelising of these people - and it is something that both endears their efforts and annoys the crap out of me.

The more fanatical forms of evangelising are rarely about the soul of the person that the efforts are directed at. The focus, really, is on the one who is doing the evangelising.


And with that remark I mean to say - that people who go and stand on street corners with a megaphone and bible are not there because they care about the souls of the passers-by, or because they think they will catch any that way. No, this kind of evangelism is much closer to a kind of subversive act directed against what they perceived to be a corrupt hegemony. It is part protest, part performative devotion. They know they are pissing off people and making fools of themselves and that is the whole point. It is the very ordeal and the shaming in the eyes of the hegemony that becomes the quintessential expression of faith and commitment to their conception of the divine. It could quite plausibly be compared to a mystical ordeal rite of some sort. And for that I respect these people. They are really going out on a limb and scrambling their own social conditioning, and in that scrambling I think they are trying to find illumination and transcendence. I find that admirable, I really do.

What then irritates me is that this is all about them. And while they are screaming about my soul and damnation and whatnot they don't care all that much about my soul - it is their soul that is seeking salvation through what they believe is this act of radical, if irritating, devotion. And this is all happening at another's expense in some sense. People at the receiving end of this are props in their self-orchestrated psycho-spiritual drama.

Naturally this is talking about the more radical and annoying forms of evangelising and not the more subtle forms that we all engage in with our own blogs, words and actions on a daily basis.

25.7.10

Cleanse early, cleanse often

I was going through a patch of bad luck this week. It started rather mildly with an odd feeling that something was a little off, but then it soon developed as I lost a transport card loaded with quite a bit of money, next I ended up late for an appointment because some clocks were mysteriously set back an hour, along with a series of rather annoying accidents and inconveniences which accrued over two days, giving me the distinct impression that something was working against me. Finally, when my irritable mood indicated that I could ignore it no longer I sat down for a reading to investigate what was wrong. Experience has shown me that these small streaks of bad luck can precede something a lot worse, as a kind of early warning - and if you ignore the small indicators then that bigger nasty thing catches up with you. If you work a lot with spirits; in graveyards or with graveyard dirt; or are casting spells of some sort then you are open to picking up stuff - either while you are doing the magical work, or from the people and places in your life. Worse, someone might actually be throwing for you or you may have inadvertently offended a spirit that you worked with.

Anyway, I was glad when the reading revealed nobody was burning candles on my name, nor were any spirits pissed at me. It turns out I had picked something up in a bar where I met a friend for a drink, some of the spiritual grime that collects in those sorts of places. I remember walking out of there relieved to be out of murky and oppressive atmosphere, but it seems the murky, oppressive atmosphere followed me out! I set a light on my Santa Muerte altar and resolved to get up first thing before dawn to get the gunk off under her aegis (she is an exceedingly powerful saint to call on for spiritual cleansing). Shortly thereafter I retired for the evening and later that night had a vivid dream of her standing over me dressed in grey looking down - her steady gaze becoming a cool, very sweet wave slowly sweeping through my body. I woke up feeling incredible - squeaky clean. It appears La Muerte decided to do an impromptu cleansing on me during my sleep!

After this, it occurred to me to post about the importance of cleansing, and the importance of regular cleansing habit. Especially for magical practitioners who work with spiritual entities or read for others - regular cleansing is as important as brushing your teeth everyday. People sometimes have the impression that you should only cleanse when there is a problem but in fact you can and should do many small, quick cleansings as frequently as is practical. Had I done a two minute 'quickie' after leaving that bar with the icky feeling it might not have escalated to full blown streak of bad luck. A little bit of spiritual gunk soon begins attracting more gunk and then soon enough spirits that resonate with that vibration will begin taking their chances with you too. Now, I don't want to encourage OCD thinking with anxieties about pervasive spiritual contaminants lurking around every corner - so if you suffer from mental illness please skip this post. However, like with any other type of infection a bit of caution and some healthy personal hygiene, be it spiritual or physical, can serve to be an effective preventative.

You might be asking what 'quickie' cleansings I recommend? Here are a couple:


  1. My favourite simple and pleasant quickie cleanse is to splash some florida water on my hands and then sweep my hands over my limbs brushing the mess away. You can do each arm, over your head, down the front and back of your torso and down your legs - very briskly and with conviction. Remember to firmly brush the mess away from you. Some people clap behind each leg and the back to finish it off. You can do this before and after reading, spiritual work or whenever you feel it is called for.
  2. Take some small change rub it all over your body and throw it in the street, or crossroads. People will pick it up and the mess gets dispersed.
  3. The Lords Prayer and light. Recite Our Father and let light stream into your crown and down out of your feet. It takes about a minute and does the trick when you have nothing else at hand. Alternatively, praying a rosary along with light does an amazing clearing out job - albeit taking a bit longer.
  4. A white egg rolled over your body very effectively absorbs spiritual grime. You can do an egg cleansing for yourself in about five or ten minutes with a bit of practice - and it works brilliantly. The egg should be disposed of by throwing it in a crossroads, or in a pinch I break and flush the egg down the toilet.
These quicker cleansing techniques should ideally be supplemented with a full regular spiritual bath. I try to fit in at least one spiritual bath a week just to stay on top of things. Here is the recipe that is currently my personal favourite:

Three Ingredient Cleansing Bath:
Half a cup of Holy Water (proper Holy Water from a Church)
Tablespoon of Ammonia
Half a Cup of Salt

Add this to a jug of hot water (unless you want a cold shock). I like to take a tea-light, dress it with some uncrossing condition oil, light it and float it on the surface with a prayer (usually Our Father). I leave it to cool for a while and when it's the right temperature for bathing, I take the tea-light and put it on my boveda; and then I take the spiritual bath pouring the solution over me praying that all negative influences be removed washing down and away as I do. This usually leaves me feeling radiant and psychically minty fresh! :)

This sort of regime can work wonders because we all have a core of well-being and luck that is intrinsic. That is my belief.  When we are returned to our natural clear state things just flow better, coincidences are in our favour, we meet the right people and learn the right things. A good cleansing routine is central to staying in that healthy place and makes it possible for all the good things life and the universe has to offer us to be magnetised to us. It ensures our spirits and guides come through clearly and strongly. It ensures that our spell-work's results don't get warped unintentionally. It helps clear the connection points to your personal destiny and good fortune - ensuring that the earth is always solid beneath you and your feet are walking in the right direction.

15.7.10

The Gnostic Conjure Shop



You may have noticed that I have been a little quiet this last while. That's because I have been busily finishing up my new online shop. I now offer my services online; altar work, custom mojo bags, custom rootwork, speciality oils, readings and advice.

For my readers I have a special opening offer which is available till the end of July: buy any two readings or altar workings and get a third of the same value as either purchased item - for free!

http://www.conjure.nl/

4.7.10

The Genie Syndrome

When we approach spirit work in its varied forms we do so from the valid position of wanting practical favours and constructive influence in our lives from the spirits. Certainly when working with spirits, magically, we are coming to the work with this as our primary aim. What sometimes gets missed however is that a spirit doesn't have to give you what you want every time. As in any other relationship there are times when you can count on a person and times when you can't. Nobody will do as we please every time we ask. Sometimes they will say no. Sometimes they might misunderstand us and do something else entirely. Sometimes they don't have time or they don't agree with what we want. Perhaps they are annoyed with us regarding an infraction of some sort - or perhaps we are only nice to them when we need a favour.

In an effort to simplify things with the spirit world during practical magical work, spirit relationships are often treated like working relationships. We might ask for something but we pay the spirit in return for doing that favour. This keeps things as equitable and fair in the spiritual world as it does in the physical. Similarly, there are working relationships that are based on mutual respect and admiration, and there are working relationships in which a task is performed strictly as a duty, or for reward. Both are 'professional' relationships of a sort but the former often is more pleasant and productive and the latter more coldly economic. Naturally, we want to cultivate the former style as it will be most rewarding and sustainable.

The biggest challenge in doing so is avoiding what one might call the Genie Syndrome. When caught up in the Genie Syndrome our understanding of the spirits is as two dimensional as the chromolitho print or sigil that depicts them. They become wish granting machines that we 'use' instead of petition. If you watch the language you slip into when discussing your spirit workings you might be surprised that you yourself slip into Genie Syndrome talk. They have no personalities, or even any input to offer from the perspective of the person caught up in the Genie Syndrome - what they are to us is defined, very simply, by what they can get for us. "X spirit is great for money magic" you might say, further flattening out any subtlety or identity from these living non-corporeal beings.

Treating spirits like Genies naturally then leads to Genie-like behaviour from them. When they are robbed of voices and reduced to the role of spiritual prostitutes, they begin teaching the way the Genie teaches in the stories - by tricking the owner of the lamp, by imbedding lessons in outcomes of wishes that were never what he wanted but exactly what he asked for. They teach by trial. Eventually the owner of the lamp grows up - and either gets rid of the lamp claiming it is cursed and should be buried deep under the desert sands, in a vault, or frees the Genie making a friend that might not grant his wishes all the time but no longer intentionally torments him to teach him.

At the heart of Genie Syndrome lays the implicit suggestion that the Genie does not really exist as a separate living thing at all. 'It' is just a means to an end, a tool, a device to be used at the whim of the mighty magician. And imbedded beneath this conceit lays the inflated importance of the role it is imagined the magician has in the world of the spirits - a role which somewhat mistakenly conceives of the magician being at the top of the hierarchy blasting out commands, instead of something akin to a small squirrel running headlong into eight lanes of oncoming traffic.

Free the Genie - you need all the friends that you can get.