26.8.10

The birth of the Unmanifest Fact




OK brace yourself, we are going for a little trip to into the strange land that is my personal mysticism...

For me, the key part of all magical success involves getting into the paradoxical place where I know the spell has worked, before it has. This is a rather peculiar emotional state because it requires knowing/feeling with certainty that something has happened when, apparently, it hasn't happened yet. Some call it faith, and that is one way of talking about it but what I don't like about the word 'faith' is that it implies the work is going to happen still - it rests all its hope on some future event. No, what I am talking about here should rather be described as an unmanifest fact. What exactly, I hear you ask, is an unmanifest fact? Well, very simply put  - it is the unwavering knowledge inside, an indisputable fact - that states something has already happened but the outer stuff, you know what some folks call 'reality' is still, shall we say, catching up. And it catches up quickly too - sometimes so quickly that the gap is nearly unnoticeable.

Now, what's important about this is that once spawned an unmanifest fact invariably becomes a manifest fact. You see, they are both the same fact already - and the latter must necessarily proceed from the former just as the sun must rise in the east and set in the west. The question then becomes how to spawn an unmanifest fact in ones internal experiencewhich to say - the condition of knowing with absolute certainty something is true without having any evidence yet? What I am suggesting here is a kind of gravity defying mental/emotional contortion; a fabulously sparkly yet affordable form of non-dual awareness; a kind of inverse magical perception of reality; a radical point of view that sees things the way they are before they are the way they are.


A few important characteristics I've noticed about the Unmanifest Fact:
  1. The unmanifest fact is outside of time - it knows no future, or present - it just is.
  2. The unmanifest fact is real, perhaps more real than real stuff.
  3. The unmanifest fact is a feeling, a knowledge, an internal experience but its also the result of that feeling/knowledge/experience.
  4. The unmanifest fact is a fact just like all other facts except it appears to precede them. I say 'appears' here because something cannot precede something if it is that thing already, but we are using dualistic language here and I am doing my best to talk about something that annihilates all efforts to describe it.
One way of describing the mechanism for creating these kinds of facts would be to say that the most fertile ground for the spawning of an unmanifest fact is a state of consciousness that one could describe as the 'miracle-mind'. The miracle-mind is an infinitely available, fabulously wide open, mental-emotional continuum that entertains any possibility - even if only for a single moment. It's not an altered state of consciousness, however (although it can happen during those). I blogged about this idea once before and people thought I was being euphemistic at best or perhaps a little odd - even for a conjurer. Nonetheless,  detractors aside - I was being quite serious. If you want a miracle to happen then you should be able to entertain the possibility of a miracle even if it's just for one second. And whilst this sounds either obvious or crazy (or both) I would like to offer that at any moment of miracle-mind, which is that that impossibly wide open space of anything-is-possible, an unmanifest fact can be born. And you know what I am going to say comes after those don't you?

That's right, true magic.

I know, I know - it sounds like I am teaching a kind of Neo-Advaitan New Thought seminar on acid.

Nonetheless. Perhaps you recognise what I am talking about, perhaps you think it's just some kind of pseudo magical babble I've made up - but in upcoming posts I will try to elaborate more on how this entirely paradoxical  approach works for me.

25.8.10

Smart Magic

Wow, I love hearing about smart magic, even better is hearing about smart magic that worked well because of one my products! What a buzz!


Gordon describes the technique along with the underlying principles that he used to get his partner hired on the spot. It's an excellent post  - and besides the groovy plug, in his ever insightful way, Gordon manages to get me to think a little differently about magic. You should check it out. This isn't chaos magic anymore people it something much smarter. And it works.

18.8.10

The Lenormand Quickies: a reading

So, I have been working my way through, like, a zillion Lenormand readings - OK, OK I exaggerate it's more like thirty-five... ;)

Anyway, I would like to thank the folks who sent in their questions; there were some very interesting questions and then some pretty heavy ones too! Sheesh, put pressure on a guy why don't you!  So, with some of the heavier questions I couldn't in good conscience read using my practice Lenormand quickies alone so I have in some cases cast an extra free geomantic chart to confirm and elaborate on the cards - especially if the question seemed to be heavy or one that carried some special charge. So if I haven't got back to you yet it is because my 'quickies' sometimes turn out to be not so quick after I read and write up the cards and a chart. And in some cases I did extra geomantic readings just because they were so darn interesting I couldn't resist. My mother always says to me "Seuntjie jy weet hoe om a lat vir jou gat te pluk" - which translates as "boy, you sure know how to cut a switch for your own ass!" :)

I especially want to thank the querents who responded with feedback on the Lenormand quickies - the feedback is valuable and helps sharpen up my Lenormand mojo.

Anyway, as promised here is a Lenormand quickie reading for your interest and perusal...

It was for a querent whom we shall call W. - her question:

My boyfriend & I have been seeing each other for a bit longer than 2 years. We're both in our 40s and have had previous not so great marriages. Our relationship is wonderful. We have a lot of fun, delicious sex, enough common/different interests to keep things balanced. However, the dude just won't commit. Never mind that he doesn't really have time to see anyone else, he doesn't want to lose the possibility. So, my question is, should I continue with C. as stated above, or begin seeing other people?







lady+fox+sun+ring+clouds+ship+rider
tree+letter+gentleman+cross+anchor

Interpretation:


The poor man seems stressed out about his work - it weighs on him heavily and is impacting on his inclination to commit. I think he sees problems ahead with his career, or worries about it a lot.
The cards suggest that you were perhaps a little devious in the past and tried to conceal it by pretending everything is rosy - you might find he is aware of this and it made him a little cautious. The good news is this period of non-commitment looks temporary and it seems like it might well come to an end - probably after he resolves an important business matter that he has been working on, or feels his career is in a stable place he is satisfied with. It seems his past has influenced him in a such a way that expressing himself takes time, possibly he even communicated to you that it would take time - so he might think that you are willing to wait.


I would say yes that he will commit, you just have be a little patient, it seems he is preoccupied with his work and until he feels secure about that he might not be ready to take that leap.


W. responds:

Yep, that rings pretty true. He is starting a business, just sold his family home, is seeking funding for the business...I think some patience is in order. 
I read my Tarot using court cards for C. & me, and the first major arcana for what action to take, and I got Death reversed...so that sounds like "just hang in there" too.  
Thank you! It definitely makes things more clear.


More on the Lenormand technique used above:

One of the cool features of the system is that it works by using key cards and one of the ways a reading can be done, is by searching through the deck (keeping it in order) for the key cards related to a question, and then reading cards that precede or follow the key cards in the deck. So to clarify: you might ask the question, shuffle, and the go through the deck until you get to the key card appropriate for the topic and the draw out the cards, in sequence the precede and follow the key card. In this case above I use two key cards; the ring (for commitment) and the gentleman (for her boyfriend). These cards are then are all combined with each other and the key card to generate meanings. It's a kind of divinatory filtering system, that ensures you get to the information you want and is relevant to the topic, making sure that the spread is talking about what you need to know. I think that's pretty neat! What is interesting is that you will notice that the tone or 'energy' of the deck is rather worldly, or I suppose you could even say mundane - dealing with day to day events and symbolic language. A helpful thing when dealing with such things, if you ask me.

17.8.10

Geomancy, Fractals, Africa


A reader tipped me off about this fantastic TED talk by Ron Eglash, entitled; African Fractals, buildings and braids (thanks George!). As a geomancer and someone involved in african and african descended traditions this talk excites me. If you are interested in geomancy, math, divination and the complex relationship these topics have with African spirituality, village building and even weaving (!) - this talk will be of interest.

Most interesting is that in fairly scientific terms Eglash manages to highlight the incredible legacy of geomancy - both in the spiritual and mathematical sense. Looked at in the light of the information presented here it gives one an inkling as to why it might be that the system is such a blisteringly accurate divination tool. What's more, as far as I can tell it represents a lasting and profound link between the European and African traditions - going way back.

16.8.10

The Traditional Folk Magic Festival

How cool is this! The Traditional Folk Magic Festival, in New Orleans.
From the festival website's blurb:
Some of the highlights of this one-of-a-kind festival:
THE MANY STREAMS OF CONJURE: AN AMERICAN MAGICAL TREE OF KNOWLEDGE WORKSHOP with Orion Foxwood
LEARNING AND UNDERSTANDING THE GREEN: The Language of Plants
VOODOO CEMETERY TOUR with Bloody Mary
TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES FOR SPIRITUAL MAINTENANCE with DARA ANZLOWAR
Knot Work: Weaving the Magic of Spirit with Rev. Mother SUSAN ASSELIN
Love Magic: Calling in the Love You Desire (New Love, Self Love, Enhancing Existing Relationships) with SUSAN DIAMOND
THE VOODOO/HOODOO DOLL MAKING WORKSHOP with BLOODY MARY Milan
The MAKE YOUR MONEY/GAMBLING LUCK MOJO! Workshop with Auntie SINDY TODO
Ancestral Guidance: Working with the Spirits of our Kin with Rev. Mother SUSAN ASSELIN
Candle Preparation and Healing with Archangel Michael and Eggs with Auntie Sindy Todo and Susan Diamond.
The Black Hawk Workshop - with Author and Traditional Root-worker STARR CASAS
MEETING THE DARK RIDER AT THE CROSSROADS with Author ORION FOXWOOD

15.8.10

Neo-Hoodoo and the dilution of the tradition

With hoodoo's recent surge of popularity across a broad spectrum of the online occult audience some complex, perhaps thorny issues have been brought into the dialogue. A lot of traditional workers - people who grew up in the communities who passed on and evolved this tradition over many, many generations feel that there is a genuine risk of true conjure becoming lost, diluted or bastardised. The influence of new age concepts, wicca and other modern western systems - and even that of its fellow afro-diasporic traditions, such as santeria and vodou can have an unwelcome and destructive influence.

What's most confusing about this is that because of the of the way hoodoo evolved it's already comprised of a broad range of magical influences ranging from its roots in the kongo traditions, to European witchcraft and Native American herbal lore. People take that to mean that it's a free-for-all and that it can be mixed with anything from wicca to chaos magic. Most destructive is the fact that the people being drawn to this new glamourous sparkle that the tradition is receiving forget that it in fact is the heritage of a group of people. It isn't simply magical system - it's a folk tradition. Which means that it is deeply intertwined with a group of peoples cultural experience and identity. It isn't this free floating thing that can be claimed by whoever pleases because it already belongs to someone.

Whenever this argument gets put forth it's usually round about now that people start getting uncomfortable. A slippery sense of entitlement rears its head - one which will have you believe we are free to do as we please and take what we want from whomever we want, because we are special. We are spiritual. What harm can we do?

So I will offer an example of the damage that can be done by the New Age machine.

One word: Reiki.

Most people don't know this because I am worried it might damage by bad-ass image ;-) but I have been trained and attuned up the Master-teacher level of Usui Reiki. In fact I went through the whole cycle of training from Reiki I to Master level a total of three times. Each time with different teacher. Why three times? Because I was determined to find an authentic transmission of the original system created in Japan. You know what I discovered? You pretty much can't. The reiki healing system was raped and pillaged so many times by so many greedy self-entitled westerners that the original form, whatever it was, is basically gone. Now you have Crystal Rainbow Dolphin Reiki, and Fairy Pumpkin Kundalini Reiki and Lumerian Varja Monkey Reiki. I personally was considering starting my own school of reiki - called Michael Jackson Moonbeam Reiki after I got a tingly sensation in my palms while watching Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk on TV the other day, just after he passed over to the other side. I swear, I laid my hands on someone and they said they could kinda sorta hear the baseline of Thriller pulsing in their crown chakra.

I am being silly, I know.

I don't mean to bash reiki people, because I have spent a lot of time with them and they are a lovely bunch to be sure. Some of my dearest friends are reiki teachers and I have tremendous respect for them. And I am quite certain that Lumerian Vajra Monkey Reiki really does make people feel a lot better and happier - but what what grinds me is that the Usui system, even the forms which claim to be traditional are simply remnants of whatever Dr. Usui received during his enlightening experience on the mountain. Interestingly, the founder of Aikido received his system in a rather similar fashion (a flash of golden light coming down through his crown) and roughly at the same time as Usui - supposedly they even knew each other. Now, compare Reiki today with Aikido.

Anyone for some Fairy Dolphin Kundalini Rainbow Aikido? Why not? I bet Aikido could be vastly improved by crystals and new age music, personally.

I am being silly again, I am sorry.

But my silliness aims to illustrate how destructive and demeaning sloppy New Age appropriation along with greedy self-entitlement can be. Just because you think it's spiritual and makes you feel good doesn't mean its right. Reiki got eaten up alive by the New Age monster and spat out as a pale spectre of its original form. Word is there is a clutch of original Usui Reiki practitioners somewhere in Japan, in hiding. I really don't blame them, honestly I don't.

Getting back to hoodoo for a moment - we find there is this problem that comes with being an outsider participant to any living tradition that you weren't born into, which is that you are inevitably going to bring your own world view and existing beliefs and practices to it. It cannot be helped. It's a human response to learning - you want to synthesise, blend and find commonalities that overlap so you can integrate what you know already. You are trying to make sense of it all, and this is sane and natural. The goal then should be to study the tradition in its purist form, with greatest respect that you can. To work with it as it stands before you begin chopping and changing the parts which don't fit your cosy expectations or the blinkered ideas you are bringing to the table. In all likelihood you are actually changing the parts that you need most of all, and in fact the part that makes it, you know, work. Before you know it what you have left is this watered down grey goo (or worse, fairy rainbow goo) which you will eventually abandon for next months new magical flavour because surprise, surprise it doesn't actually deliver anymore.

14.8.10

In the hoodoosphere this week



There is so much hoodoo goodness on the interwebs right now I decided to do a little round-up of all the stuff you shouldn't be missing out on :


Firstly, I have been so wrapped up with rootwork clients and readings I cannot believe that I totally missed the advent of the 5 Star Spells radio show! If you like the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork hour then you will love this! It boasts a fabulous panel of speakers including my all-time favourite conjure worker, Miss Dara Anzlowar.  From the blogtalkradio blurb:
Experienced Spellwork Professionals Dara Anzlowar, Susan Diamond, Orion Foxwood, Sindy Todo and Rev. Mother Susan talk about the many types and flavors of magic including hoodoo, conjure, rootwork and witchcraft.


Next, Dr. E shares an extremely potent working for taking a spirit off of someone, and folks, this is solid gold stuff. Seriously, this could be my all time favourite post from Dr.E.


Then, my online friend and fellow Lucky Mojo grad Dr. Raven has entered the blogosphere. Check out his blog - he is a sharp guy and has some good tricks and tips up there already.


Finally, after a brief hiatus due to internet connectivity issues my friend and colleague Devi, over at Queen of Pentacles Conjure, gets back to it with a whopper of a post outlining setting up your magical apothecary at home. Excellent stuff.



12.8.10

Angels Charge Over Thee


I recently was inspired to create a condition oil formula that embodied the feeling and power of psalm 91, my favourite psalm of protection.

Angels Charge Over Thee oil: 
Calamus root
Frankincense resin
Myrrh resin
Angelica root chips
Peppermint EO
Eucalyptus EO
Ginger EO
Rosemary EO
A Secret ingredient
Psalm 91 printed tiny and rolled around a sprig of rosemary, placed inside the bottle.
Olive oil base

First, I take the roots and resins and macerate them till fine in the olive oil base. I then place this mixture in a jar and I leave it for a week or more, shaking it all up daily with prayer. The oil is ready when it turns a yummy golden colour from the myrrh resin - then it is poured through a muslin cloth and squeezed to get the oil out of the pulp. It smells spicy and golden - with the sweet myrrh odour subtle but unmistakable.

To this oil added then are the essential oils balancing them very carefully and only putting one or two drops or ginger or it will overwhelm everything. Next I print psalm 91 in tiny letters and roll this around a sprig of rosemary whilst reciting psalm itself with energy and conviction.

Psalm 91
 1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
 3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
 4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
 5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
 6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
 7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
 8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
 9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
 10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
 11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
 12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
 14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
 15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
 16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.


I place this then in the bottle with the oil. I also put some of the roots and resins in the bottle, because, well, I think it looks pretty :)

Next, I hold the bottle in my hands and pray the psalm over and over (I like the number 7 for this) until my hands begin heating up as the Spirit passes into the bottle - awakening the power of the roots and oils. I then place the bottle on top of my bible, on my altar and come to it daily in the morning to pray over it.

The rosemary is significant here because not only is it a protective herb in its own right, but biblical scholars argue that the plant that is referred to as 'hyssop' in the bible might in fact actually be rosemary. As you might notice the starting point for this blend is the biblical high altar oil of the old testament, to which then ingredients are added that bring forth angelic, cleansing and protective qualities.  Additionally it employs the use of rolled up scriptures and the dissolution of prayers in fluid as sometimes is found in Christian, Jewish and even ancient Egyptian magic.



6.8.10

Pride


It's pride weekend here in Amsterdam which means the city fills up with revellers and the entire place turns into a party. The waterways get filled with brightly coloured boats, there is music everywhere and the city teems with happy people having a good time. It's a really good feeling. Already there is festive buzz humming in the air.

I don't think I ever mentioned this on the blog but - I am gay.

My husband and I are planning on wandering around the city soaking up the sun (please let there be sun), music and DANCING. I love dancing :)

A quick cruisy hoodoo tip for my queer readers (and the ladies):

A cotton wad with a few drops Fast-luck + Essence of Bend Over in the back pocket of your designer denims, along with a prayer - will have the boys buying you drinks all night long, girl. If you see a boy you want - slip your hand into your back pocket, squeeze the wad of cotton so you get a tiny bit of oil on your hands and then when you talk to him put your hand on his shoulder, arm, or back with some intention - along with a sexy smile of course. Then, hold onto your hat.

Not that I would know, mind you. I am married ;)

5.8.10

Quote of the Day:



"sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology." 
- Vodouisant on the Old Style Conjure Network


Very witty dude!
*applause*


Update: Argent informs, that this clever twist on the famous Arthur C. Clark comment - is in fact attributable to Larry Niven. Quote Nazism aside, it's still a good one!

1.8.10

Lenormand Freebie Readings: Update

Thanks for the great response for those freebie practice Lenormand readings! I am closing down the offer as of this post,  since I have more than enough to practice with for some time. Some really interesting questions were received and I will start doing the readings and sending them to the participants when they are done, and posting a few of the interesting readings to the blog for you all to check out.

Thanks again,
St.B

UPDATE to the update:
I just noticed Gordon posted about the freebie on Rune Soup - so to be a good sport, I will accept freebie reading submissions till August 2nd, then the offer closes up for real. Boy oh boy - I think I'll be wearing out my deck at this rate! ;)