It’s been weird lately. It’s not just you.

The 6th of March arrived like a fire tornado, burning the underbrush everywhere it touched. My life was turned inside out in a matter of hours. Things that had been hidden were now, painful, revelled. And I, I suspect like a lot of us, were sitting down wondering what the heck just happened.

Mercury, that fancy shoed smooth talker of a planet, enter the House of Aries-right after leaving the House of Pisces. Communication moved from emotions to self with all the power of an advancing army. We got water burning! Boy, does it feel weird!

This isn’t a retrograde. I suspect that the Jupiter retrograde on the 8th gave this whole thing a kick in the pants. This is a giant recipe for change and there is plenty of energy to do it. So, what are we waiting for?

Do we sail these winds or what?

The Proper way to Curse

After all these years, it still cracks me up. Some of my best-crafted curses have a way of boomeranging back on my ass in some spectacular ways. All I can do is sit back and laugh, laugh at myself for it.

I have a tendency of crafting these energy balls in such a way that it’s more of a sword of truth rather than the intent to harm. Even if harm was the impulse and energy and intent that started the process, I always have managed to turn into something quite different. I’ve often let the Universe take the energy I’m tossing and decide how to use it.

I’ve managed to get quite a few of these zingers walloping back on my tail for it too.

You see, I don’t see much difference between a curse and a blessing. Whoever is doing either has no real idea if their desires are good or bad in the long run. I’ve had way too many blessings sent my way that caused unbelievable hardships and harm. And I’ve had a few curses flung my way that had amazing hidden gold.

It’s one of those things, you just never know how it’s going to be. Somehow, you hope for the best and let it fly and accept the consequences whatever they are. When you set out to change the Universe, and you’re not sure if you are doing the right thing, then you got to make it right before you do even if that means that curse you thought was so witty turns into a blessing in disguise.

I recall Lord Shiva to mind. The dance of destruction is the dance of creation. It is one and the same. Curses and blessings are identical.

That Old Black Magic

What is “black magic”? Is there even such a thing?
How do you feel about using it?

Inspired by: Black Magic @ Pagan Blogging Prompts & Pagan Blog Project 2013

When I saw the name of the prompt my first thought was; yes, of course there is black magic, just as there is yellow magic, red magic, green magic, brown magic and even white magic. I’m convinced that Isaac Bonewits was right when he wrote Real Magic. Then my eyes drifted down to see the picture that I recognized from Uncle Bucky’s Big Blue Book; aka Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft.  Then I wondered if what was meant by “black magic” was as if from the book The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish. It’s a very good book by the way. Don’t let the title scare you. *wink* Just pay attention to which world view it presents.

At this point I’m at a lost to where to point as what black magic is. Do I delve into the historical references to black magic, The Malleus Maleficarum, the Inquisition and the witchcraft trials? Do I point at other unfamiliar religions as black magic practitioners? Do I proclaim that any and all religions not my own as being a part of black magic?

I’m not going to answer those questions; purely rhetorical.

I’m going to break this down a bit. I do believe in magic. I believe magic is a tool, that it can be used by anyone and for any reason and purpose. As a tool I believe that magic is without morality.

Because magic can be used for any reason, what is it that is labeled “black magic”? By labeling it “black” are we talking about curses? Yes, I think curses are real but what are curses? Binding and preventing someone from doing harm? Or are curses causing harm due to previous actions? How is that any different from cause and effect? Just what makes a curse a curse? It’s something to think deeply on.

Are we talking about magic that deals with death? Yes, I think death magic is real. But what would death magic be? Preventing death? Causing death? Healing the grief over death? Severing an addiction? Consecrating a graveyard? Blessing a person about to cross over? Talking to spirits of the deceased? Keeping an ancestors altar? I believe all that is considered ‘death magic.’

Just what is meant by “black”? There is one axiom in healing; you cannot heal without harm. You cannot handle safe herbs without knowing which herbs cause harm. You can not handle “safe” herbs without knowing at what level or circumstances they do cause harm.  A surgeon has to ‘kill’ the cancer to ‘save’ the patient. A broken bone cannot be set without causing some pain.

Destruction and creation are intertwined; a perpetual cosmic dance.

My biggest problem with the idea of ‘black magic’ is the world view in which it often resides; the black and white duality, the endless battle of good versus evil, the us versus them and the all or nothing mindset. I find that assigning morality to magic and viewing the world in a dualistic mindset dangerous no matter which side; black or white is claimed.

The automatic setup of an adversary invites warfare and infighting, always trying to determine who has it ‘right’ and who is ‘with us’ and who is ‘against us.’ It is this black and white world view that I walked away from when I walked away from the religion of my birth. I feel that the draw of this dualistic world view is fear. Fear permeates it, creates it and fear it feeds on. This is a very primal fear, stoked unchecked can grow to a level that nothing is safe and everything must be guarded against or ‘else’ untold horror, pain and terror will happen.

I feel it is this very fear that most talk of ‘black magic” refers to. This very fear evokes images deep in the primal subconscious according the culture of person. But closer examination reveals that what is feared, is.. that which is foreign, different, and unknown.

Altars

I’ve had different altar setups over the year. The impulse started as an artful arrangement of rocks that evolved to finding and placing meaningful objects (more rocks) in pleasing arrangements. I feel altars are a visual reminder of ideas through the symbolic objects placed on it. Everything on it is meaningful to me or has a specific ritual purpose.

On my altar in the center I have a small garden statue of a Chinese Buddha that’s flanked by candles and sea shells. I have a statuette of two figures intertwined that’s called “The Lovers” on the left. I have a blessing bowl set in the back right corner. There is a crochet bowl in the left corner that holds my stones. I have a pair of sun shaped glass containers behind Buddha. One contains sea salt and the other is used for Holy Water and is kept empty until needed. Directly in front of Buddha is my little cast iron cauldron. Normally it’s not kept on the altar but it’s being used in a working.

Eventually I hope to have icons of my personal Deity’s to display. I’m working on drawing a few of them. They’re just not quite right yet. I’m not willing to place just any ole symbol on it. It has to be the right one. I’m willing to wait.

Witches Weekly-Weather Manipulation

From Witches Weekly
Weather Manipulation -August 10th 2007

I recently ran across a situation in my Grove that I thought might make a decent discussion related to paganism in general. In Maryland we are in somewhat of a severe drought (though this week we’ve been blessed with a decent sprinkle of rain, after I don’t know how many months). For Lughnasadh last weekend, I had suggested our prayer for ritual be towards a balance in the weather. I never mentioned asking for rain, but many of my Grove mates were very paranoid and jumped in saying that we should never do rain “magic” and other such arguments.

We finally did settle for balance and harmony in all things, but what are your thoughts on even mentioning weather in your ritual/magical workings? I’ve always been under the opinion that you have to be careful what you ask for, but if you are very specific and keep in mind the Law of Balance, that you’d be fine.

My thoughts: I have no problems working weather magic. I don’t have a problem trying to obtain something that I need, as in this case some rain. Working it from the perspective of weather balance is a noble endeavor but what are the consequences to that? Will the magic interpret it to balance the whole world so you can have a balance in the weather were you are at? Besides do you really want a balance to the weather across the whole world? Rain forest and deserts exist because there is an imbalance.

My rule of thumb is if I’d pray for it, then I’d do a ritual for it. Some magic is created by us and there is magic that is created by the “greater whole.” what ever you may call it. Weather magic is a bit of both with a dash of chaos.

Even with the best protective clause, the letter of the workings just may not even match the intent of it. On top of it all, I don’t think you can rule out all possible miss-renderings of your intentions. So, I focus on my intent and the let the consequences occur.

Does this mean that I don’t think about how my actions may effect others? Not at all. What it means is that “as above, as below” has more meaning for me. The magical and the mundane is the same. How I act in the mundane world is the same way I act in the magical world. I would do the working for rain, if that is what I need. It surely doesn’t mean that I’d get what I want.