Routine Spells

Every morning, first thing, I go into my office, turn the lamp on and whisper, “Hail Hestia, First and Last,” as she is the first and last light in the home—always. I sit down at my desk and light a stick of incense. As the lighter clicks on, I repeat, “Hail Hestia, First and Last,” as she is the first and last flame in the home. I hold the incense up to the heavens and say my morning prayer to the gods, thanking them for their constant presence in my life. I put the incense in its holder.

I start my morning music.

I pore over my daily planner, writing down the to-dos and appointments of the day, putting in stickers and making little doodles. This makes me smile.

I sit down at my second desk, fire up the computer, and begin to type out a set of affirmations. I type each affirmation seven times, as seven is the number of creation. I speak each affirmation aloud as I type it because it is by the word that all worlds were created. I type them and keep them as I feel it is bad woo to erase a thing you have set the intention to create. I have ten or more affirmations I type every day. It takes about ten minutes to complete the exercise. When I’m done, I move on to my morning writing.

Among the last three affirmations I write are two regarding myself as a witch and my relationship to my religion. Even though I have written many affirmations before them, it is always in writing these two that I receive the best revelations and inspirations. Today I realized that, without my knowing it, I have, over all this time, created a routine spell I perform each morning. Other than the fact that I cast no circle, this routine has every other element of a spell.

I make an offering.

I invoke the gods.

I play music to set the tone.

I set my intention.

I chant.

I act in a way that has proven to move energy in accordance with my will.

I offer a benediction.

I was amazed when I realized this. This is how magical lives are made. I am elated. I am excited.

For example, I read once that refrigerators often become makeshift altars to things that are most important in our lives, such as our children, trips we have taken, our pets, or, in the case of magnetic poetry, our creativity—words themselves.

What do you suppose you do as a daily routine that is really a magical act? What spells have you cast without even realizing it at the time?

Spell Craft: Breaking with the Past

One of the first spells I ever cast was one I found on the Internet about breaking with the past. Leaving all the foo-foo out, you were essentially supposed to tie a knot at each end of a length of string, one representing the past and one the future. You were to burn the string through the middle to break with that part of your history, then dispose of the “past” knot.

When I first started learning about Wicca and witchcraft, I wanted badly to dress the part. I went on eBay and found all these magnificently witchy clothes. I had a black crushed velvet skirt and a purple one. I had the obligatory black top with bell sleeves ripe for catching fire in the candlelight. My favorite article of clothing however, was a black corset top laced up with shining black ribbon.

When the top arrived, I couldn’t figure out why it came with about ten feet more ribbon than was necessary as the laces were purely decorative. I cut the excess ribbon off and put it in my witchy kit because, surely, black ribbon must be mystical somehow.

I ended up using it as the “string” in my breaking with the past spell.

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Is There Wisdom in Carrying Past Life Baggage?

I have been seriously mulling over the concept of reincarnation.

That’s not entirely true.

I came across the concept while re-reading Cunningham’s Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner, then promptly forgot about it. I came across the concept again touched upon very lightly in one of the Esther, Jerry, and Abraham Hicks books, thought it was kind of cool the way they put it, (that we jump in and out of physical lives as leading-edge creators), then forgot about it again.

Left turn:

In my life, I have been through some unholy trauma that lasted many, many years. All is well now. All is safe. PTSD still lingers, but I’m 90% golden these days.

Left turn:

Last night I had a combination flashback/dream of some things that happened to me more than a decade ago when I was in the bad place. Prominently featured was the gold/green carpet of that place.

I woke from that dream. I buried my face in the pillow. I shook it off. I went back to sleep.

This time I dreamed I was a wealthy woman in Enlightenment Era France, (think Marie Antoinette style—lots of decadence—lots of opulence). I sat in the middle of the floor of my drawing room, the walls painted pale yellow, midday sunlight pouring in glinting off the gilt gold frames of the many, many priceless portraits of my ancestors that adorned the walls. My husband, some noble or other, had beaten me. He was still angry and I knew he would come back into the room any minute and wreak more havoc.

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Spells and the Law of Attraction

I asked Hermes once whether I needed this thing or that to get real, tangible results from my spells. He said, “Those things are kind of like marital aids. They’re loads of fun, but not really necessary if the inborn equipment is working.”

I have been reading up lately on the Law of Attraction via the works of Esther and Jerry Hicks. As I have come to understand it, the principles of manifesting through the Law of Attraction and manifesting through spellwork are similar to the point of being interchangeable.

Essentially, the Law of Attraction is, “Like attracts like.” What you think about will attract more of what you are thinking about, for better or worse. If your focus is on prosperity and appreciation, you will attract more prosperity and things to appreciate. If your focus is on poverty and lack, you will attract more poverty and lack.

In spellwork, we often use objects to help us stay focussed on our intentions. The objects we choose share properties with our intended outcome. In the magical world, we call this “sympathetic magic.” We use green candles and coins for prosperity spells so we may manifest more coins and “the long green.” We use patchouli because patchouli is of the element earth and all abundance and prosperity come from the earth. We write in green ink. We create sigils of the dollar sign and our prosperity power words. We add layer upon layer of these things that are like our desired outcome. We attract prosperity by creating a similitude of prosperity. In other words, we invoke the Law of Attraction, (whether we know it or not).

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Mother Goddess, Give Me a Name

The first time I ever yelled at God, I yelled at a goddess.

About ten years ago when I first started on the Wiccan path, I struggled a lot with the concept of a nebulous Mother Goddess who encompassed all goddesses. I struggled so hard with it that I remember tossing and turning in my blue sheets in my blue basement bedroom asking the Mother Goddess to give me a name, give me a persona, give me something I could hold on to.

A goddess stepped forward wearing a simple white, flowing garment. She was almost as fair as her dress. Her lips were conspicuously pink. Her eyes were a deep, golden brown. She had hair the color of flax. She wore a crown of stargazer lilies. As much like Spring as she looked, as fresh as new blossoms as she was, her presence was heavy and close, like the embrace of a worldly adult to a sheltered child.

She said, “Call me Demeter.”

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The Universe Said, “LOL.”

I have been in a lovely spiritual groove lately and have been working on manifesting all kinds of good stuff in my life. Yesterday I says to the Universe I says, “Manifest me a group of spirituality nerds to talk this stuff over with.”

This very afternoon I received a notice from Meetup that a new group is forming to do just that. So I says to myself I says, “Damn girl, you manifested the hell out of that!”

I joined the group only to find out their meetings are an hour away. An hour away for heaven’s sake! Being as I have bad eyeballs and am not legal to drive, it might as well have been on the moon. So I says to the Universe I says, “S’up with that Universe?”

And the Universe said, “LOL.”

Nest time I need to manifest myself a chauffeur.


Meeting the Mother Goddess Within (Day 23: Wicca, A Year and a Day)

Today we are asked to list both positive and negative aspects of the Mother Goddess archetype in ourselves. Let’s see how I roll:

Positive Mother Goddess Qualities:

Caring; generosity; genuine concern for loved ones; caring for those who are broken and/or in need; ferocity when defending those I love; an attitude of tough love when necessary; the wisdom born of youth experiences; a willingness to share this wisdom; doing things for those I love when they are unable to do for themselves.

Negative Qualities:

Occasional jealousy of a loved one receiving their love and nurturing from others; a tendency toward possessiveness of those I love; a ferocity when defending loved ones that may go over the line sometimes, tough love that can be a bit too tough; resentment that builds sometimes when I feel someone is being too needy.

In my defense:

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The Maiden Invocation Prayer (Day 22: Wicca, A Year and a Day)

Today’s task was to light an orange candle, stand facing northeast, do the Maiden Goddess magical pass (hands and fingers forming a V over the groin), and recite the following prayer to invoke the Maiden Goddess:

“By Persephone and Pandora
By Ariadne and Athena
By Brigid and Branwen
And the countless names of power
By crescent moon and horn
Come ye Maiden Goddess
Thy holy rites reborn!”
-Timothy Roderick, Wicca: A Year and a Day

I performed the task but added to it an offering of incense as my Hellenistic training is such that I never approach any god empty-handed. I stood facing northeast and chanted the prayer three times. I then sat facing northeast and chanted the last three lines of the prayer over and over until I felt a quiet come over me.

In the background, the music I use to put me in a spiritual mindset was playing. When my chanting subsided, the song was an instrumental version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” In my mind’s eye I saw the Maiden Goddess and the young God dancing in an ethereal meadow that was before any other thing. I saw their relationship as complex, perhaps even uneasy at first, yet with deep, abiding love. I thought of Hera and Zeus and how, despite popular conception, and despite their enduring rows, they were deeply in love and whose love-making shook all the stars and all the heavens.

The song changed and I saw the Maiden Goddess building the universe star by star. All that is was once thought and each star she brought forth in the palm of her hand was her thought, manifested. She let the star spin there, gathering its own light, then blew softly upon it to send it out into the ether the way one would blow upon a dandelion head to scatter the seeds.

I saw her look at me and wink.

Creation is not reserved only for motherhood.


The Great Hermes Car Death Adventure

The degree to which I’ve gotten my straight-laced Mormon mother to accept my Paganism is that whenever anything mechanical in her house breaks or goes haywire, she blames Hermes.

Yesterday, my mom and I set off for a doctor’s appointment, (I’m legally blind and can’t drive, so I’m lucky enough to always be chauffeured by family and friends). When she went to start the car… nothing. No engine roar. No ticking, No thudding. No last gasp. Nothing.

No big deal.

We went back in the house and called AAA. While waiting for AAA however, she said something akin to, “Why is Hermes messing with us? Get the hell out of our lives Hermes.”

It tickled me, but I warned her anyway, “Now you’ve done it. Now you’ve really done it.”

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Wicca, A Year and a Day: Day 20, Intoning the Maiden

This morning the task was to wake up before dawn, face northeast, light an orange candle, call upon the maiden aspect of the Great Goddess, and intone the sound “you” twice before meditating on the maiden for fifteen to twenty minutes.

I did all of that. I can’t tell you what’s gotten into me of late. It’s probably the fact that I can feel Autumn coming in the chilly mornings that began just after Lammas. That always gets my magical juices flowing. I want to feel joy in my religion again and, for me, that means going back to Wicca, where my wonder with, and joy in, Paganism started. It means chucking all the “Silly Rabbit, Wicca is for kids,” internal chatter with which every Pagan gets inundated. There is that crowd, you know, that sucks the joy out of everything. There is that crowd that knows better. There is that crowd that points out all the flaws and peccadillos of everyone else’s religion while touting their own as the A#1 most authentic.

Nertz to them. I dig Wicca, witchy toad warts and all. It tickles me. It makes me feel that little thrill I first felt when I came to Paganism. It forces my intellect to give it a rest already and teaches me to go with the flow. My long-held philosophy is that, in the end, none of us will have it right and we’ll all be surprised, so why not go with what feels good?

All of this to explain why I’m back in the Wicca: A Year and a Day book.

I’ve tried many, many times to work with this book and have never made it past the Maiden intonation. I did it today and am very proud of myself. It wasn’t too hard. I woke up at around 11:00pm and couldn’t sleep at all thereafter so, at 5:19am, an hour before sunrise, there was me and the Maiden and the orange candle and a big “Why not?”

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