Friday, 15 December 2017

Donating to Charity

Most of us like to donate something to Charities where we can and when we can.  With Christmas fast approaching it's something that's very much talked about.

This week, a Maori Women's Refuge Charity - The Aunties - spoke out asking that people don't give them tinned tomatoes, chickpeas or lentils.

In an article on Stuff, they explained that they have pantries filled with tinned tomatoes and nothing else and that is not useful to a woman with young children who have just arrived, ripped out of their home, traumatised and grieving.

They point out how much better it is to find out what a charity actually needs and that most publish wish lists that are easily found.

This has led to a sadly predictable uproar.  Many people are offended at their pickiness, saying things like "beggars can't be choosers" and "I can make a decent meal out of tinned tomatoes along with x, y and z, why can't you?" and "If you can be picky you're not that needy".  Many commenters have sworn off ever donating to Women's Refuge ever again.

I believe this is missing the point.  Actually, it's missing several.

Yes, tinned tomatoes are useful and many people (myself included) would go through at least a tin a week.  But not on their own.  They need meat and onions and herbs to make a bolognese, they need other veges to make a curry, they need bread to go on toast.  The article said the pantries were filled with tinned tomatoes and nothing else.  The problem is that they have plenty and need the other stuff to make the meals with.  Giving them recipes and teaching them how to cook with tinned tomatoes isn't going to make the other necessary ingredients magically appear.

Donating to charities, giving to those in need is supposed to be about what they need not about what you think they should have.  It's also supposed to be about compassion for their circumstances not about judging them for not needing what you think they should have.

Donating to charities isn't about you.  Feeling good about having helped is supposed to be a side effect.  Having your feelings hurt because a charity has asked you not to give something says more about you than it does about that charity.  And it says nothing good.

Have a little empathy.  This is a Women's Refuge.  This is a place where women arrive in the middle of the night with usually small children in tow.  They've often just had the crap beaten out of them, they're emotionally drained, they're in shock with a side order of terror because they've finally done something to get them out of that position and they're afraid it won't last or things will get worse because of it and they're trying to keep themselves together for the equally traumatised children.  Try putting yourself into that place, try imagining the complete shock and trauma they are going through.  Now imagine trying to function well enough to whip up a delicious middle class healthy meal.  If you tell me you could do it, I'm going to call you a liar.

It's not as though it's a family at home who are having some rough times and need a food parcel to help them out this week because money's tight and they can't afford to feed their children.  This is a totally different situation and unless you've actually been there, you are in no position to judge what they need.

I think everyone's first reaction was to be a little offended.  "What do you mean my donation isn't good enough?"  In most of my friends, I'm glad to say, they took a step back and examined why they were offended and were good enough people to own it and accept that they were wrong.  It's a shame that more people aren't like them.



What Makes An Elder?

Elder is a term that gets thrown around a lot.  I believe it's a misunderstood and misused word probably 90% of the time.  Or perhaps it has too many meanings.


adjective, a compar. of old with eldest as superl.

1.  of greater age; older.
2. of higher rank; senior: an elder officer.
3.  of or relating to former times; earlier:
 Much that was forbidden by elder custom is accepted today. 


4.  a person who is older or higher in rank than oneself.
5.  an aged person.
6.  an influential member of a tribe or community, often a chief or ruler; a superior.
7.  a presbyter.
8.  (in certain Protestant churches) a lay member who is a governing officer, often assisting the pastor in services.
9. Mormon Church. A member of the Melchizedek priesthood.

Okay, so perhaps there are too many meanings for it to be used in a meaningful way.  Maybe if we look at it in context.

In the case of the Pagan Community, an elder usually fits meaning number 6 best.  An influential member of a tribe or community, often a chief or ruler; a superior.  It can fit the 'higher in rank' definition too.  Personally, I think it is a combination of these definitions.

An Elder is an older, wiser, experienced member of the community.  Someone who can guide and advise.  It is a position of respect not one of power, although it is a powerful position in a different sense - influence rather than authority.

Simply being older means next to nothing.  Plenty of people come to Paganism later in their lives.  Age does not equal experience, knowledge or wisdom.  Quite frankly, in our modern times, it doesn't take any great skill to live a reasonably long and healthy life.  It's what you've done with that life that counts.

Elder is a term of respect and like respect it is earned.  

In some traditions there are criteria to be met before the title of Elder can be conferred.  Make no mistake, it is a title and not just a description.  It is also a title that is given by the community served by that person and not something you can claim for yourself.

Common requirements are things like having had a leadership role in your community for a reasonable period of time.  A Wiccan Elder, as an example, must have attained third degree and led their coven for several years.  However, alone, this is not enough in most cases.

Coven experience needs to be balanced with life experience.  Someone young, while they might be already wise or an 'old soul' is not going to have the range of experience to provide useful advice or guidance.  They haven't had the opportunity to see the long term effects of simple actions.

Some traditions have Eldering ceremonies - Croning and Saging.  Usually your second Saturn return is the first criteria for these titles - which puts you roughly mid to late 50s.  Although I have heard of events where anyone who had been part of the community for more than 5 years was declared an Elder and given an Eldering ceremony, such ceremonies and claims seem to be treated mostly with the contempt they deserve.

In other traditions, anyone who wants the title is deemed to be unworthy of it.  True Elders fight against the title as long and as hard as they are able.  They don't want to be put on a pedestal and treated like some precious object, they still want to be in the thick of things, doing important work and creating change.

Degrees and ordinations do not necessarily make an Elder.  I know of one lady who claims she has a Masters degree in Wicca.  She clearly knows very little about actual Wicca and is a fount of eclectic neo-Wicca cliches and misrepresentations.  I found where she got her 'Masters' from - The Universal Life Church - for $32.99 you get sent a copy of Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, a certificate, a bumper sticker and a clergy badge.  Or for $13.99 you can buy the certificate alone.  There is no study, no tests, no standards to meet and nothing to prove you've done anything more than click a link and enter your credit card details.  

Founding a group, on it's own, does not make an Elder.  I've personally experienced several groups and organisations (even charitable ones) that have been founded by people hoping to be called Elders, if not now then some day soon.  Some may have been created to provide a service to the community, intentions may have been good, but personalities, ego and self-importance make it clear that the good of the community is not the first priority, or that the service being provided is not necessarily needed or wanted by the community. 

This becomes worse when the group's name states or implies some sort of overseeing council that speaks for all.  American Council of Witches leaps to mind.  There have been several attempts to relaunch the 1973 Council whose only achievement was to publish The 13 Principles of Belief before disbanding.  Most of these attempts appear to be people who are hoping for their 15 minutes of glory or to impose their own narrow worldview on everyone else.  The Council gets filled with people no one has ever heard of, adding their cronies and sycophants.  A few years ago, someone named a couple of genuine American Elders as Council members, but without their knowledge or consent and those Elders publicly distanced themselves from it.

There are some wonderful groups out there, doing some wonderful work for the wider community and they do contain some genuine Elders.  However, the obvious difference is that those groups work to support and help their communities, quietly in the background. They don't try to speak for them, or force them into a cubbyhole of their own values or throw public tantrums when questioned or challenged in any way.  The organisations have had changes of leadership and continued going strong.  Their purpose is to serve the community, not their leaders.

Like other titles, Elder has little to no meaning outside of the community being served.  In a recent storm in a teacup, a local chap who is largely unheard of even in our tiny community, claimed to be a Pagan Elder and made a statement to the press that upset and offended many in the local community.  Five minutes research showed that he might be perhaps a Heathen Elder, although given his age and time in the community, I question that too - however, that's not my community so my opinion rightfully means nothing.  Given that most Heathens distance themselves from Pagans and vice versa, how is a Heathen Elder able to claim Pagan Eldership?  He founded a group which does provide service to their community.  Great work.  I'm all for that kind of thing.  But as explained above, that alone does not make an Elder and neither does his claiming of the title.  Then I noticed in his online group, anyone he promotes to an admin he also grants the title of Elder.  Given that one of his groups "Elders" was openly brand new and asking for advice on Beginner's books only two or three years ago, I am horrified. 

Being famous or a Big Name Pagan does not automatically make one an Elder, although this is probably the most common way Elders do get named.  Some deserve it and their on-going service to the wider community is how they became famous.  Others are narcissistic drama queens who seem to believe that any publicity is good publicity when in reality they are harming their wider community more than helping it.  There are also demagogues who seem to believe that likes and followers equal proof of how right they are.  BNPs can become a cult of personality rather than a positive resource for their community.

So when trying to define an Elder, I find myself thinking of the older folk who have been in the community for a long time.  They have seen groups and individuals rise and fall.  They have seen the community go through many changes and shifts.  Their work may not be obvious or well-known but their experience shines through.  They will be the ones who challenge you and sometimes make you uncomfortable or hurt your feelings when they do, but when asked the right way will offer up useful advice - even if it's not what you want to hear at the time.  They demand that you own your shit and you can see that they do the same.  They will judge, be brutally blunt and direct and sometimes give you more chances than you deserve.  They make mistakes and they own them.  They don't need anyone else to apologise for them and they won't apologise for anyone else.  They accept, even invite, being questioned and challenged because they understand that you never stop learning and at no point does anyone know it all.  They don't expect you to follow their advice as gospel, they are not offended if you choose a different option and they won't get pissy and refuse advice next time.  They expect you to take it all on board and think for yourself.

I do have a group of wonderful people like this.  If I told them I was talking about them as Elders, I dare say I'd be slapped into next week.  But they are who I go to for advice.  I respect their experience and honour the hard roads most have walked to where they are now.

In doing some research for this blog, I found that I'm not alone in questioning this.  The Wild Hunt asked several well-known people in the wider Pagan community the same question.  The comments page also raised some valid thoughts and experiences.  Some of which I have used in this blog.

Interestingly, I also found this piece by Shauna Aura Knight which goes into the next step of Pagan Elders.  Accepted Elders who have become abusive and what can we do about them.



Saturday, 25 March 2017

Taking Credit Where It's Not Warranted

I've found within the Pagan and Magical community a tendency for self-aggrandisement. This isn't a new thing, not by any stretch.  There have always been the people who are so uber powerful and so much more special than everyone else.

But the one I've noticed the most lately is taking credit for other people's misfortune, or taking credit for surprise or miraculous major events.

As examples, one chap took credit for a storm changing it's predicted path and turning away from a major city, another claimed they'd caused a huge cluster of destructive earthquakes.  Another has taken credit for one man's death and another's misfortune.

There was a guy a few years ago (I think I mentioned him in another blog) who rang me to tell me he'd changed the weather so that I had sunshine for a party and was seriously expecting me to thank him.  Even though the weather was completely seasonal and fit what had been forecast.

There is also the mass curse of Daesh a year or so ago, it was a public event and because Russia did a bombing run a week or two after the curse, success was claimed.

I've recently had a bad run. I know the causes, they were rooted in choices made years ago and actions taken or not taken way back then.  It's not my personal misfortune, it's extremely bad health in someone very dear to me and while it's partially their own fault and partially genetics, it's still very distressing for me.

I find myself reluctant to talk about it though.  In many of the places where I would normally be asking for support and would normally get it, I find it difficult to raise.  This has hit me on a personal level and I realise that my struggle to ask for support is rooted in fear.  I don't want to have it come back to me that anyone I might have upset or offended over the past few years is taking credit for this.  And word of that will come back to me, it always does - just because I don't react publicly or obviously doesn't mean I don't know.

I think if I was to hear of someone bragging about how they caused this to happen, I would lose my shit on a spectacular scale.  All of the rages and tantrums I've ever had combined could not equal the reaction I would expect to have.  I would, in the end, be most likely facing some serious jail time and the loss of everything I hold dear.  And I would feel my wrath was justified.

So I don't talk about it with anyone outside of my close inner circle.  And it sucks.

I also find myself angry that my fear of other people's narcissistic behaviour and my potential reaction to it holds me back and prevents me from asking for what I need.  I am angry mostly at myself for buying into this shit, for letting it get to me before it happens and for overthinking myself into expecting it to happen.  It might not, although there are people in my wider circle who have done this sort of thing repeatedly so not being prepared for it would be equally foolish.  So I am also pre-emptively angry at the people who have done this in the past who may or may not try it with me this time.  Even though right now, I haven't given them the opportunity to be good people to me, I feel as though I'm punishing them (to some extent) because of what they might do.

And that sucks.

I find it a challenging and painful thing to talk about anyway.  I often cry when I am talking about it with the few I do trust enough to talk to.  I hate showing any weakness, I hate not being strong enough to cope with this.  I'm everyone's rock, I'm always okay, I'm not okay with not being okay.  I don't do vulnerability when anyone else can see, it's a secret and private thing that I am always a little ashamed of and embarrassed about.  Yes I've been lectured about it and I know that's not healthy and I am working on it.

And that sucks some more.

I sometimes wonder if this is part of the Keep Silent part of the pyramid/cornerstones/all sorts of different names depending on who you're talking to.  Even if you believe your magic caused this result, claiming it publicly makes you a wanker.  Save yourself the ridicule.  Especially if it's equally likely that it was nothing at all to do with you.



Monday, 20 March 2017

Hexing, Jinxing, Cursing and Binding

The Mass Binding of Donald Trump came up on a local group that I'm in.

As you can probably imagine, all the usual pearl-clutching and wailing about the consequences of taking part followed.  I patiently tried to explain the origins of threefold law, that it's not that simple and that it's a belief you need to buy into to have an effect.  I received a terribly funny condescending response from a girl younger than my oldest daughter telling me that it didn't matter what I believed, it was a law and would happen whether I believed it or not.

Such things continued rather predictably, apparently they're entitled to their beliefs and I'm not entitled to mine if they're different and so on.  Then one absolute gem of a respondent piped up.  I should trust him, my soul is in danger and I need to do some serious cleansing, my soul will thank me for it.  Blah blah blah.

Then I got a rather arrogant and terribly funny private message demanding I explain myself (because Hexing is Baaaaaaad) or he'd be forced to name and shame me and ban me from anything to do with their society.

It was the best belly laugh I've had in about a year.  I am open that I will hex and curse and bind where I see it's needed.  I have never had a backlash or bad consequences follow.  I am also smart enough not to blame the slightest little bit of bad luck or misfortune on anything than what actually caused it.  I don't see a hoofprint and expect to see a unicorn.  So, since I am so open about it, just who is he planning to name and shame me to?  What is this society that I'll be banned from?  Who is this guy anyway and why should I change or edit myself to suit him?

I've been active in our local community for most of the last 15 years.  I ran coffee meets for about 10 years, I've run several Pagan Festivals and I've had the only Pagan and Witchcraft stall at the Body Mind Spirit Festival for 12 years - although to be fair, there was a new one at the last festival.  I was part of a group that ran open sabbats and esbats in Christchurch.

As such, I know most of the people worth knowing in our local community.  Before his arrogant assumption of group conscience, I had never heard of him.

I have met busybodies of his sort before, they believe they have some sort of responsibility for the "spiritual wellbeing" of a group, they are self-appointed in this role and are usually overbearing, filled with expectations of gratitude for providing a service that is neither needed or wanted.  I have never seen it end well for the person concerned.

Anyway, because it was so politely requested (*eyeroll*) I have decided to "explain myself", just so that we're completely clear on my views.

I will hex, curse and bind where I see a need.  However, that need must be genuine and not something I do lightly.  A decent curse or binding takes planning and work, it takes my time and energy and for me to bother with one requires more than boredom and feeling a little offended.  I am not going to throw down because someone insulted me on the internet or hurt my feelings in some way.  I'm a big girl, I can cope without resorting to petty revenge.

I am specific in my curses and bindings. I make it clear exactly what outcome I am working for.  Whether that is the target suddenly starts to take responsibility for their past deeds, or they are unable to speak falsehood or gossip regarding specific people or that they get horribly sick from their continued alcohol abuse or they see people they've been favouring for who they really are.

While I have worked on behalf of others and will continue to do so, that also requires an explanation of why it's needed and for me to believe that it's necessary.  I don't do it for just anyone either, only people who are important to me in some way.

The only way a curse ever backfires or has a backlash is when you believe it will and you build it into your magic unconsciously.  Or when you plan and craft your spell badly without proper attention to detail.  There may be unintended consequences that come from poor planning and a lack of attention to detail, as with any spell crafting.  

A well-planned and crafted spell cast with no guilt or expectations of backlash should cause no issues to anyone except the intended target.  You have to mean it, you have to know (not just believe) you're doing it for reasons that are right to you and you need to be certain that you know what you're doing.

So to be clear, I do not and will not recommend firing off a curse whenever you feel a bit pissy, someone disagrees with you or for any real or imagined slight you suffer.  Raping my daughter and claiming it was consensual - that will get you bound and cursed.  Continuously attempting to sabotage my place of employment - that will get a lesser curse.  Repeated stalking and harrassment of people who matter to me - that curse is ongoing and cumulative.



Friday, 25 November 2016

Euphemism and The Naming of Things

I've been working away on my next book.  It's a book about ritual.  Included in this is a chapter about the journey from cradle to grave that goes into all the well-known and commonly celebrated milestones and a few suggestions for others that aren't necessarily recognised as often.  Most of it has been fairly easy to write, but I found myself stopping at one and writing other parts of the book.  Over and over again.  I kept finding excuses and reasons to avoid writing about this bit.  Death.

I have been rather erratic in writing the last few parts of this book.  I think I've done most of the bits I'm passionate about and I'm working on the parts that I feel are important to include to make it a well-rounded book.  I value the information, but I'm less excited about it. Except for writing about death, I am passionate about that, but for some reason I just kept shying away from it.

Over the last few months, I've been getting nudged from all directions about finishing and publishing this book.  I've been told off for self-doubt, I've been nagged by admirers, I've had friends build me up and give me a well-deserved bollocking.  I've also had nudges from other powers.  Some I've made promises of writing for when this is finished.

So I sat down and started writing.  I came round to the Death part again.  I chose not to tackle it head on, but start by discussing superstitions, beliefs and expectations surrounding death.  So rather quickly it came to all the euphemisms commonly used around mortality.

I hate euphemisms. I'm a big fan of saying what you mean and meaning what you say.  To say things like "left us" and "passed over" instead of "died" has always struck me as pussyfooting around the subject and trying to pretend that they're just sleeping and will wake up soon.  I put it out there to my facebook friends, trying to understand why using the actual words is considered tasteless, impolite and rude.

Most of the answers began along the lines of softening the blow and that death and dying are harsh words.  There were some about respect for the families and sensitivity for how they're feeling. There were the times when "karked it", "kicked the bucket" or "croaked" were considered appropriate.  Then there were the answers that made me sit up and pay attention.  They were answers that made sense of it all for me.  They fit neatly amongst beliefs I already held without realising that there'd been a part of the puzzle missing.

Naming is powerful magic.

This is a feature of many a fantasy story and folklore.  Magic users who know the true names of things gain power over those things.  Speaking an evil one's name is to attract their attention and can turn their gaze toward you.  Never name the well from which you will not drink.

Variations of this are obvious or sometimes hidden in common superstitions.  My Granny wouldn't have Arum lilies in the house unless there had been a death in the family.  They were a funeral flower and to bring them inside without an accompanying funeral was to invite Death in to take someone.
Touch (or knock on) wood when discussing the expected misfortune that passed you by. Don't bring particular baby gear into the house before the baby is born.

While someone dying or being pregnant seem to be fairly mundane evils, if evil they are, they can still be things that people fear, things that people don't want to attract more of and things that sometimes get anthropomorphic personifications.  The Grim Reaper and the Stork.  One brings life and the other takes it away.

In the answers to my question was a response from a very wise woman who has spent time on the Isle of Man.  She says that no Manx would say "rabbits" or "rats" for fear of the island being over run by them.  They call them "short-tailed fellows" and "long-tailed fellows" instead.  This one makes me smile rather than annoy me, it's less like the He Who Shall Not Be Named that gives what you fear power over you and more like the Gentry, Shining Ones and Good Neighbours.

Saying Their names aloud is an invitation.  If you're in a group, crowd or at a party and you hear your name spoken, you pay attention.  Sometimes you might go over to see if whoever said your name was calling you or talking behind your back.  This is no different.  They might come if you call and most sensible people really don't want Them to come visiting.  If They don't actually turn up, They may still turn Their attention towards you.  They may be listening.

A Fijian Indian told me that suicides are contagious.  There is a demon that hangs around a suicide and takes other young folk to keep their friend company.  I don't know if this is a Fijian belief or an Indian belief or specifically her belief - we were dealing with the suicide of a friend so the sources were unimportant at the time.  Looking back now, I see a similarity and a connection.  In my experience, there are no gentle euphemisms to explain suicide.  When someone has been informed that they've lost a loved one, a friend or a workmate, especially if it's sudden and unexpected, one of the first questions is "how?".  Usually the answer details the how, as in what method was used.  I can't think of a single time that has been softened with euphemism, although that may also possibly be because the friends I've lost to suicide were all boys and men.  Statistically, they tend to prefer more violent means.

I think most of us like to believe (even if we don't admit it) that we're immortal.  We say silly things that suggest we have some sort of control over the timing of our eventual demise, "I'm not getting life insurance at this stage, it's okay, I don't have any plans to die any time soon" or a favourite from an ex-boyfriend "I don't need to wear my safety gear on my motorbike, I'm not going to have an accident".  Facing our impending death usually scares us and generally speaking it's something we can't avoid thinking about when we've just lost someone.

All the euphemisms for Death have probably sprung from similar beliefs.  Death, the Grim Reaper, the Dark Angel, Mighty Thanatos has already come calling once, He might still be nearby.  Calling to Him might make Him take closer notice of you and yours, He could see something He overlooked the first time.  He might decide to take you or your partner or your child.

Best not to call.  Let Him carry on His way and pass the rest of us by.



Thursday, 18 August 2016

If You Don't Like It, Don't Do It

I know this isn't a new thing, but it's really getting on my nerves lately.

I'm talking about people trying to tell other people how to live.  This leaks over into every part of life - there are things like gay marriage, interracial relationships, dietary choices or lack thereof, medical choices or lack thereof and most recently, Pokemon Go.

I don't understand this need to regulate other people's lives or even to concern yourself with choices that really have no impact whatsoever on you - except perhaps that it might make you a little uncomfortable.

Who someone is in love with (and what bits they have), what tv shows they like to watch, whether or not they eat wheat or meat, what car they drive, what they wear or what Gods they worship is none of your business.  In no way does it have any effect on your life or your ability to enjoy your life.  What seriously is the purpose in trying to dictate to others that they have to be like you?  Do you get a kick out of making someone miserable just so you can feel more comfortable around them?

Objections on Religious Grounds

If you feel that someone else's life is offensive to your religious beliefs, then why not leave those judgments and punishments in the hands of the Gods?  I'm pretty sure They're more than capable of taking care of things Themselves if something should offend Them.

Personally, I'm not aware of any religion that requires it's followers to make others outside of the religion miserable just to please themselves.  Similarly, I'm also not aware of any religion that asks it's followers to be the most obnoxious, self-important prats who constantly try to make the world over in their own image.

If something is against your religion, then don't do it.  You don't get to tell others that they have to conform to the ideals of your religion.

Objections to Food Choices

If you are vegan or vegetarian (for whatever reason) good for you.  Unfortunately, there's a trend amongst vegans particularly to try and push their lifestyle choices onto everyone else as though it's the only healthy option.  This is usually supported by cherry-picked bad science that also assumes that everyone's physiology is identical and the dietary needs of one person are identical to the next.

If you don't like eating (or wearing) animal products, then don't.  But you don't get to dictate that others have to follow your way.  For many people this will make them very sick.

Since I discovered that I was Gluten Intolerant, I've found it truly bizarre not just how many people have an opinion about it but the range of opinions and suggestions I've had.  I've heard everything from "this gluten-free stuff is all bullshit" to "it's not the gluten, it's the preservatives they put in white bread (which I didn't eat anyway), you need to make your own bread and you'll be fine" to "You're just being a drama queen".

I don't understand how becoming violently ill if I eat gluten affects you enough for your opinion to be something I should take under serious or any consideration.  Unless you're holding my hair for me, I'm going to file you under "dick" in my head.

Objections on Aesthetic Grounds

Unless it's a school which has a dress code or uniform rules or you are employing someone for a job with a dress code or uniform rules, then how someone else dresses, what piercings or tattoos they may have is none of your business.

This whole "dress for the body you have, not the body you want" thing leaves me flabbergasted.  All the social media memes about how low-riding or sagging started in prison to show you were "available" or all the blog posts about "what women over 30 should never wear" are all part of the same thing.  Why does a complete stranger require your approval?  If someone is comfortable and feeling confident and happy in their clothes, then that should be celebrated not condemned.

If you don't like those clothes, those piercings or those tattoos, then don't wear them.   You might not like to see their stretch marks or their ribs, they may be bigger or smaller than you feel comfortable seeing, but you don't know their story, you don't get to tell them what they can and can't wear or what they should be doing about their body type.

Objections because Science

If someone wants to do a detox diet or use homeopathy or restructure their home for good Feng Shui how is this your problem?  Aside from people dangerously neglecting children and pets by failing to seek appropriate medical attention when it's needed or trying to make a cat vegan, anything else is not your problem, it affects you in no possible way and there is nothing useful to be gained by being offended by someone else's choices in these things.

I'm sure you're seeing the theme here.  Decide for yourself what you do, let other people do the same.  Try to understand why you think that others require your approval and why you think your opinion of their choices or lack of choices should matter to them - would their approval or opinion matter to you?

Voicing your opinions about things like this says more bad things about you than it does about them.



Monday, 15 August 2016

Magic With Jars

I've always been a big proponent of use what you have and find what works.  It never ceases to amaze me how often people feel hamstrung by not having the "right" things for the spell they want to perform.

Let me introduce the humble jar.  It might be a preserving jar, a plastic peanut butter jar or a large fancy decorative jar.  The uses for it are limited only by your imagination.  Below I've provided a few ideas to stir up that imagination.

As with any spell, it's important to be clear and specific about what you want.  Vague spells get vague (or no) results.  Charging, empowering, energising (however you look at it or whatever you call it) is also absolutely essential.  Otherwise, it's no different to the jar on the windowsill that all the little stuff (buttons, pins, paperclips) that might be useful one day gets stored in.

Any of these could be stand alone work or used in conjunction with any other type of spell.

Honey Jar

Honey and Sugar Jars (or bowls or saucers) for sweetening people are common in Hoodoo, Rootwork and American Folk Magic.

Write the name of the person needing sweetening and place it in the jar.  Alternatively, you can combine petition magic with this and write a letter or explanation of the situation that needs sweetening.  Fill the jar with sugar, honey, molasses, syrups, jams - anything that is sweet can work.

Some dress a candle and burn that on top or beside the jar, some do this repeatedly until they get their results.

This can be used for a job spell to make the potential employer favour you, to attract someone to you, to resolve conflict in your favour, in court cases, to soothe someone who is upset at you or to stop or prevent abuse of any sort against you.  Any situation where someone needs a little sweetening up.

Protection Jar (also known as a Witches Bottle or Bellarmine Jar)

This is a well-known and common jar spell used for personal (and family) protection.

Fill a jar with nails, broken glass, sharp and nasty stuff.  Fill it with your own urine, add some blood or hair or other bodily fluids.  Seal it and tuck it away hidden somewhere on your property.  Under the floor, inside a wall or buried in the garden are popular places.

The personal links act as a decoy for you.  Anything sent your way goes to the jar instead of you, then the sharp nasties trap it there and tear it apart.

Money Jar

Any money spell can work in a jar.  Fill it with money drawing components, add a magnet and some coins.  Be specific about how you want money to come to you.  You could add your spare change to this when you think of it and have a magnifying component.  You could write yourself fake cheques from the "Bank of Life".  You could add a money powder or bank statements or something to represent goals that you need money for.

It might help to decorate the jar and leave it somewhere you can see it often.

Binding Jar

A jar can work in place of both poppet and thing to contain or bind the poppet.  Put the person inside the jar (photo, personal links, names or a poppet), you could bind the jar, or bind the links inside the jar.

This can also be used to calm someone down when they're a bit over the top in any fashion. I know a lady who "bottles" her husband when his exuberance gets to be too much.

Curse Jar

A curse jar can be a specific one curse only item or for repeated usage.

The jar could be filled with sharp nasties as in the Protection Jar, poisonous or thorny plant matter, animal faeces, toxic or unpleasant insects or their houses (ant hills, wasp nests, spider webs) or any other unpleasant items you can think of.  Add the person's name, photo, a personal link or sample of their handwriting.  You could also add water collected during a thunderstorm or black water from a septic tank.

I'm sure by now, you can see a pattern.  Put your spell components or sympathetic components into the jar, add your target or purpose, charge it up and seal.  This list is only a few ideas that I see or use most commonly, use your imagination for any other uses.