Tools: Knives, Athames, and Swords; and The Qualities of Different Metals

December 15, 2009

For anyone who doesn’t know, an athame is just another name for a double-edged knife, and in practice a single edged knife can just as easily be used for the same purpose. For the sake of this article I’m making no distinction in use between an athame and a knife. Anything that’s too small to be a sword is a knife, and anything too big to be a knife is a sword.

There are knives made out of glass, ivory, bone, and other materials, but for the scope of this article we’re talking about knives and swords with blades made out of metal, typically steel.

Knives and swords are elemental tools, this time the element of air. Air, like fire (wands and staves), is a masculine element, and our masculine elemental tools are tools of action. Some people are under the mistaken belief that wands and staves represent air and knives and swords represent fire. This is a stupid, idiotic, belief based on the fact that fire, like swords, hurts with no actual understanding of the properties of the various elements. Fire is the element of passion, fury, and pure force, and staves, which are naturally occurring in nature, hurt people through blunt force trauma. The metal in swords and knives is man made and thus evidence of the ingenuity of man. They are weapons of skill and precision, not purely brute force and strength. Air is the element of intelligence, science, imagination, and swiftness. If you swing a sword it moves and cuts through the air as if it were becoming part of it. Wands and staves can be set on fire.

What to look for in a sword or knife.

With knives and swords it’s important to have decent tools. Prices vary widely from store to store, but there’s no need to spend a fortune on these tools for most magical work. However a lot of what’s out there is flimsy and made for decoration, not actual use, and this won’t do at all. For starters, knives and swords are weapons that cut. A lot of their symbolism and use is tied up in this. Any knife or sword used for magical practice should have a sharp point and a sharp edge. You want decent quality metal for the blade (personally the lowest quality I would use would be 440 stainless steel). Lastly you want to make sure that the quality of the hilt is good and that the blade is securely attached to it. The last thing you want is to be waving around your sword or knife in ritual and have the blade suddenly detach and go flying across the room or into you.

For the most part knives and swords serve the same purpose in magical work. However because of mundane reasons knives are usually far more useful. Swords require a lot more space to work with than knives, and so they aren’t suited for small enclosed ritual spaces Knives are also easier to conceal on your person, and in many areas even legal to carry on you, where as swords are more difficult to hide and more commonly illegal to have in public.

Size does matter, a lot. All other things being equal, a larger blade will be able to both hold and work with larger amounts of energy. For most acts a large knife will be good enough. Smaller knives, about the size of your hand, are not as useful in magical work, and should be used for more mundane magical purposes like cutting herbs, drawing blood, or carving symbols into candles. Swords are useful for directing very large amounts of energy. Sometimes a large knife is enough to seal an entity, but with larger entities a sword may be preferable. Due to the large amount of energy they can hold swords are preferable as sentient objects. Very large swords can utilize massive amounts of energy.

Remember swords and knives are airy objects. They’re a representation of intelligence and craftsmanship. Because of this better crafted swords tend to work better. This is true of both the quality of the blade, and of the art that may decorate it (such as symbols on the blade or the beauty of the hilt). A very expensive, well made, hand-crafted sword would be best, but unfortunately most of us are going to find that out of our price range. We can still get good swords and knives at decent prices (expect to pay between $60-300 for a good sword, considerably less for a good knife if you shop intelligently). As a general rule, better technologies used in the bladework, such as with Japanese swords or the smaller, later era European swords, are going to work better. However blades that are made with technologies meant to lower the cost of the blade by sacrificing quality, such as putting a hole through the center, will be detrimental.

The typical use of the type of sword will also lend some bearing to its use in ritual. For this reason dull, purely decorative swords and knives are not very useful in ritual. By their nature they are inactive, and this is even worse with swords which represent the most active element. As another example, the tanto was traditional used to commit ritual suicide, and so tanto knives tend to be more adept at dealing with death energy and people who have been suicidal, especially those who have survived attempts, usually find themselves very compatible with the knife.

As a personal note, I would recommend against buying reproductions of famous swords from movies and video games for ritual use. The swords are generally made for decoration, not for use, and in almost every case I’ve noticed the swords are inferior to other equally priced swords. You’re paying extra for the product branding.

Cool stuff to do with a blade.

Physical Self Defense – Swords and knives were meant to hurt and kill, and so long as they’re sharp they do it well. Killing is also one area where a sword far exceeds the capabilities of a knife, and for this reason, at least traditionally, swords were present at most dangerous ceremonial rituals. On the off chance you manage to physically manifest a hostile creature during a ritual (or one manifests during something like a house cleaning), a sword will be able to hurt and maybe kill anything that has a physicality. A more common use though would be defending yourself against someone who has become possessed and violent during a ritual. Note that I would recommend doing everything possible not to hurt someone during a ritual, and that local laws concerning what constitutes self-defense and justified force vary and you should be familiar with those laws before using a sword or knife in this manner. However I’ve also been shot by a medium who accidentally became possessed during an evocation, so I can understand the need to be able to defend yourself.

Battery – This is probably the first thing most practitioners do when they get their first knife. Metal doesn’t absorb energy as easily as wood, but it does hold on to it much better. Although any energy can be used, typically practitioners will enchant the knife with their own energy when they are in a calm and balanced mood. For many practitioners, the knife they use as their battery is an essential ritual tool. It acts as an emergency failsafe should something go wrong. If a practitioner ends up completely exhausting themselves during a ritual and then finds they need more energy, like if for instance they were attacked in their weakened state, the blade is a reserve of energy they can use. If they are bound by another practitioner, they can use the energy in the blade to cast an unbinding. If they’re psychologically attacked or otherwise become emotionally unstable during ritual, they can use the energy in the blade to balance out their own energy.

The metal will not absorb energy as easily as the wood in a wand will. Because of that it often times isn’t enough just to leave a blade on an altar or to take it with you to rituals in order to make a battery. More often than not a practitioner will have to specifically charge the blade with energy. The first time you charge a blade with energy, it could take hours. However you’ll notice the metal will hold the charge very well and the blade will lose very little energy over time without use. Because of this you only have to replenish the blade after you’ve used it, and not much more than what you’ve taken out of it. After doing this several times you may even find that the blade begins to replenish itself after use.

To charge the blade, first make sure that you are in a calm, balanced, and strong state. Hold the knife or sword by the hilt and move energy through your hand, into the hilt, and then into the blade itself. You may wish to meditate or otherwise achieve trance in order to make this process easier. As I said it could take several hours to do this properly depending on how good you are at it. You can also try singing with the sword in your hand, and pushing the energy out of your mouth with the words to the song and into the blade through your hand. You can also try something similar involving dancing, and these two methods can be combined. I don’t know if this is a better method, but it’s definitely more fun than just sitting there with your sword. You can also try doing other tasks like watching TV while doing this, but the entire process will take longer. Also, if you need to you can split this ritual up over several days.

Energy Manipulation – Blades manipulate energy differently than wooden wands. Where as wands move very large amounts of energy, blades move energy in much smaller amounts. For the trade off though, blades are able to manipulate energy in a much finer manner. For instance the smaller amount of energy used by a sword can form a far more devastating attack than a wand could because the energy can be directed at a small, single, specific point. The sword is also going to be better at directing energy at a specific point rather than just pointing a large amount into a single direction hitting everything. For example if you had a barrier around your working area and someone or something wished to enter, you could use your wand to throw a massive amount of energy at the barrier knocking it down. Or you could use your sword to cut a small and specific place for someone to enter and then repair the damage afterwards.

Sealing Entities – You can seal entities into blades. You might want to do this for a variety of reasons. You may want the entity in the blade so that it would aid you in battle. You may want it in there so you can access its power during magical rituals, or to empower it with a physical form so that it can act in this world and somehow help you, or to keep it in one place so it is there to do what you need when you need it. Or you could just seal an entity in there to get rid of it and then throw the blade into the back of some closet.

Some entities will willingly enter the blade because they want to be inside it. If they cannot do this on their own, you may have to develop a method to help them in. If an entity is unwilling to enter the blade, then you would need to grab it and push it in there, like you would with energy, and then seal the blade so it cannot escape. A basic seal would be a small amount of energy entered into the blade, possibly in the formation of a sigil denoting no entry or exit or a lock or something being closed, empowered with the intent not to let anything escape. A stronger seal would be to charge wax and melt it on top of the sword and sheath in order to seal the two together. Done correctly the entity will only be able to come out and effect the physical world when the wax seal is broken.

Bigger entities are going to require bigger blades. Large knives will usually be big enough to seal most entities you’ll find, but swords are always better for sealings, especially with larger more powerful entities. Some entities, like say gods, are just going to be too big and can’t possibly be sealed into a sword (and they’d probably destroy you if you made a serious attempt at doing this).

Living Blades – Better than sealing in an entity is a living blade. Some blades do become sentient over time because of energy constantly being passed through them, although this doesn’t happen too often accidentally and is much more difficult and rarer than with wood. However, in the instance of a handcrafted blade, if the craftsman puts enough time, devotion, and enough of himself into the blade there is a chance the blade will be born as a sentient and living object. There will happen a lot more often with swords than with knives, mainly because swords take a lot more time to make and require a lot more skill. A living blade will have a personality all its own, and will have some power to act within this world. If the craftsman knows what he’s doing, he can do various things like continually charging the object during creation, casting certain spells while making it, and writing certain symbols and ruins on the sword in order to further empower it.

Sword Memory –
Living swords will naturally remember the people who have wielded them, their fighting techniques, the battles they’ve fought in and the rituals they’ve been used in. They can then, to some extent, impart this past knowledge and these abilities to whoever is currently wielding them, and even use these abilities themselves in some instances. A non-living blade can also be made to hold a memory (and by non-living I also mean nothing is sealed in it). This isn’t usually an effortless process though, and the practitioner needs to make a special effort to place the image and memory of what has occurred into the blade.

Soul Holding –
This is far more effective when done with a living sword. In that instance you would merge your soul together with that of the sword, each taking a piece of the others soul, and this would create a closer bond between you and the sword and also allow you to act at times like you were a single entity. You can also do this with a non-living blade, and the purpose in this instance is to leave a small part of your soul behind with the intent that, after death, most or all of your remaining soul will seek that piece out and also enter into the blade. From there you can continue to live on and affect the world as a blade, but the typical intent is to find a suitable host and draw them to the sword, and then over time to work your way either into possessing them or being a true walk-in, effectively achieving immortality.

Astral attacks –
Finally any of the above blade can be used for an astral type attack, so long as it has some sort of energy charge to it. In this instance you would literally attack a non-corporeal entity with the sword or knife and the blade would cut through them hurting and possibly even killing them. Living swords and swords with sealed entities will do this of their own volition. You might need to tell the sword that you need it to attack astrally, or the sword may be able to figure it out on its own. A sword which is holding a piece of your soul may be strong enough to attack astrally just because you want it to, but you might also need to treat it as if it were a battery. With a battery, the energy is already in the blade and will go through what you are hitting, but it won’t actually hurt your victim. You need to access the energy in the blade and attune it with aggression, or possibly pain, and give it an intent to hurt. So long as you’ve attuned the energy correctly and keep it that way, once you move the sword through the area where the entity is it will hit it the same as if you were cutting through a physical person. This would also hurt a physical person if you were moving the blade through them, but then so would the blade.

Sheaths

For the most part, the sheath is going to be the least important part of the sword. To cut costs, many swords out there come with very cheap sheaths. If you want to do something special with the sheath, you can always buy a better one to fit over the sword. If you just want it for a utilitarian purpose, you’re probably fine with the one you got with the sword.

If you’re planning to seal something with wax, ideally you’d want a metal sheath and a metal hilt on the blade. You’re going to want to buy this with the blade because metal sheaths have to be kind of exact. A wooden sheath would be the second best choice, especially if it had a coat of pain or some fabric covering it. Plastic sheaths are going to be useless for this. In fact, plastic sheaths are completely useless for any magical work.

If you want to put an enchantment of some sort on the sheath, a wooden sheath is the best choice. You’d ideally want a wooden sheath that looked nice, that was a work of art in its own right. You might also want to put gemstones on the sheath.

The Qualities of Some Common Metals

Steel – Steel is a masculine metal, representing air. Steel is the crystal of the metal world. It doesn’t amplify, but the metal is largely blank and can be given a wide variety of different enchantments. The only actual attributes found in steel are its strength and durability, and maybe to some extent beauty (but in a very specific way). Considering what we usually use metal for in ritual, it’s unlikely any of these attributes would run counter to our goals. It’s also purity, but only to the extent that it is pure and anything can be written on to it. Most swords and knives are going to be some kind of steel. Steel rings are also very affordable and are suitable for general enchantments and magical experiments (although if you want a very powerful ring, you may want to spring for a more expensive metal with a gemstone attached).

Silver –
Silver represents the feminine aspect of metal specifically water. Silver is a purifier. This is why, in folklore, silver weapons are ideal for fighting things which are an abomination to nature, such as vampires and werewolves. Silver is also very good at hiding things. It would be typical for a silver tool to not seem like much but actually hold a great deal of power. Something sealed into silver could also be very difficult to detect or hard to quantify. Silver is also useful with spells concerning invisibility. As for our tools, we usually see silver in jewelry (such as rings and necklaces). Some people do have silver chalices (and due to its feminine aspect silver is ideal), silver framed mirrors, and silver candle holders, but more often than not these items aren’t sterling silver but just have a coat of silver on top (be very careful, a lot of manufacturers list items with a topcoat of sterling silver as being sterling silver. Large sterling silver items are rather expensive. If you paid $20 or $40 for it, it isn’t completely silver). Due to its high cost, they don’t make silver swords, and its very rare to see a good sized silver knife (although they do exist, but they are pretty pricey). A large silver knife is a very cool tool to have though, especially if you want something for general metaphysical combat or cleaning houses.

Gold – Gold represents the masculine aspect of metal, specifically fire. Gold is good at amplifying things, and because of this it is most often used in spells to amplify wealth. It also tends to draw attention to itself, which makes it ideal for glamours and other spells which are meant to get you noticed. Whatever kind of energy, or entity, is sealed into a gold item tends to be amplified outward and is easily detectable. Because of its high cost, gold tools are usually limited to small jewelry. Smaller gold-alloy cooking knives do exist, although they are still fairly expensive. Gold is generally used sparingly for decoration on hilts and sheaths. Solid gold knives do exist, but you need to be rich (not just well-off and not Pagan rich, like Forbes rich) to afford these.

Platinum – Platinum is a feminine metal which represents the element of Earth. It’s generally associated with stability, resistance, and endurance. It’s also good for spellwork which is meant to attract physical pleasures such as sex and sexual contact, wealth, and food. Because of its high price, the fact that it is not as vibrant as gold (which is cheaper), and that it actually resembles silver (which is way cheaper), you’re not really going to see any tools made out of platinum except for jewelry.

Lead – Lead also has an Earth association. It represents stability, durability, and resistance. It’s also considered an ancient metal and represents age. Out of all metals, lead is the most protective and also is the best at keeping things sealed inside. Due to the fact that it is poisonous, you don’t typically see magical tools made out of lead.

Tin – Tin is masculine and represents strength, particularly increasing strength.

Copper – Copper is a feminine metal and is associated with love, beauty, desire, sex, fragility, and impermanence. It is ideal for casting glamours and love spells. It can also be used to cast spells meant to end things, promote decay, or for spells concerning general destruction.

Bronze – Bronze is associated with love, beauty and desire, strength, and permanence. Used as an enchanted weapon, it can attack with the destructive powers of beauty and love (properly channeled love energy is very destructive). Bronze weapons are sometimes seen as the weapons of the righteous warrior in battle. Bronze jewelry still exists today and is not very expensive. For centuries now steel has been universally used for weapons instead of bronze because it is both cheaper and makes a better blade. However prior to the discovery of steel, bronze was a common metal used in blades and recreations of copper knives and swords are still on the market, although they tend to cost a bit more than their steel counterparts (but not by much).

Planetary Associations of Metals

Sun –> Gold
Moon –> Silver
Mercury –> Mercury
Mars –> Iron (Steel)
Venus –> Copper (Brass, Bronze)
Jupiter –> Tin (Bronze)
Saturn –> Lead


Tools: Wooden Wands, Staves, and the Qualities of Different Woods

November 9, 2009

harry-potter

Section 1: Deals with how to use wands and staves in magical practices, and is meant to aid those who don’t know what a wand does or how to use it.
Section 2: Deals with the different qualities of various common woods, and is meant to aid those who want the correspondences of different woods.

Types of Wands

There are basically three types of wands that are of use to us as magicians. The first type, and the most important, are wooden wands, which will be dealt with in this article. There is a second type which is a piece of crystal in the shape of a wand, known as a crystal wand or energy wand. These are generally associated with the new age movement and are very useful. Lastly there’s a type of wand that is hand made by putting gemstones and herbs inside of a hollow pipe. I’ll discuss these types of wands in future articles. There are other types of wands, most notably a metal wand, which some stores are now selling. These things are next to useless and a waste of money. You’re better off with either a wooden wand or a knife.

How to Use a Wand

Wands are one of the magician’s five elemental tools and are fire associative. Wood is great at quickly absorbing and easily working with large amounts of energy, and so wands are used to manipulate large amounts of energy easily. Note the following exercises assume at least a passing understanding of how to manipulate energy. Without this understanding your results will not be as impressive.

Soak and Radiate:
This is not really an exercise. Just a comment about the nature of a wand. If you watch a wand you’ll notice that, all on its own, it will very easily soak up some of the energy around it. You’ll also notice that the wood will radiate this energy from it, as if it is slowly leaking out. This is the nature of wood and how it reacts with energy and why it is so good at manipulating energy as it does.

Moving Energy: Moving energy is easy enough. If you can find it in the room you can easily wave your hand to move it, or swirl it around, or whatever (you don’t even need a hand, but these things are always easier with physical aids). Now try these same exercises with your wand. You’ll notice you’re moving a much larger amount of energy around, and you’ll be doing it a lot easier than if you just used your hand.

Pulling Energy into the Wand: Put each hand on opposite ends of the wand and hold it horizontally at chest level. Now concentrate on pulling nearby energy towards yourself and into the wand. You should notice the wand works kind of like a magnet pulling in whatever stray energy may be around.

Raising Energy (Method One):
This is the same as the previous method, except this time try to pull energy from more than just the surrounding area. You can also try pulling energy from out of the ground. You’ll notice you’ll pull a lot of energy into the area very quickly.

Raising Energy (Method Two):
Pretty much the same as the last method, except instead you hold the wand in one hand and move the wand in an upward motion. This is typically the preferred method for raising energy from the ground. You can also prance around the room doing this because, um, some people like that sort of stuff. Not me! But some people.

Energizing (Screw Method): Swirl the wand over an object or person in a clockwise motion to push the nearby energy into it. Swirl counterclockwise to drain.

Directing energy: This is pretty much the same as moving energy. Hold the wand vertically and move your arm down until it is at a ninety degree angle with your body. All free energy should now rush towards whatever is being pointed at. Unless the energy is specifically charged for an act, this is generally an attack. You throw enough energy at a barrier and it will break. You throw enough energy at something living and you will kill it. It helps if the energy is aggressive and malicious, but an aggressive and malicious intent is usually enough to do it.

All of these methods are more dependent on will and intent than anything else. The motions are only meant to help focus the mind and one’s intent through physical action.


Staves

Staves work much the same as wands. They’re pretty much just really big wands. Anything you can do with a wand, you can do with a staff. The advantage of having a wand is that it is easier to carry around to rituals, it’s easier to store several of them, they’re easier to charge on an alter, they are cheaper and easier to make, and some woods can not be made into staves.

Staves have several advantages. For starters, they’re more inconspicuous, if you have a small, modest staff. If you have a ten foot tall staff with feathers and bells hanging off it, no it’s not inconspicuous. If you have a cane-like walking stick, you just use a cane to walk.

Staves are also bigger. Technically this means, all things being equal in regards to wood types and enchantments, they should be able to move larger amounts of energy. It’d be very rare though, with a properly enchanted wand, to hit a point where you felt you needed more and a staff would make much of a difference.

Also, being bigger, staves can hold larger charge for longer. This is actually the biggest advantage the staff has. Wood radiates energy, and so the charge is always disappearing. The more energy that enters a piece of wood, the quicker it will radiate out. A staff can hold a lot more energy though, so a staff will keep its charge much longer.

Because of this, and the ease of carrying it around as a walking stick, many people like to take staves to places with large amounts or unique energy in order to charge them. Properly done, this can result in a very powerful and highly charged tool when used in ritual.

Adding Gemstones to Your Wand

A lot of people like to attach gemstones to a wooden wand. Whether or not to do this is up to the practitioner and largely a matter of preference. A gemstone will hold a charge much better than wood, and so it can be used as a battery for the wand. Gemstones also amplify energy (meaning the energy coming off the wand will be increased). A gemstone may make it easier to manipulate and shape energy in a finer, less broad, way. And finally a gemstone will taint the wands energy to that of the gemstone. The exact taint is dependent on the type of gemstone used, and is beyond the scope of this article.

On the downside the gemstone will have its own personality (which you much be compatible with, in addition to that of the wood), and a gemstone will have a particular taint on the wand’s energy (which the wand ideally should be compatible with).

The Personality of Wood

Remember that wood was once a living thing, and as such each plant had its own personality, and that personality is going to carry on to the wood itself. That’s why it’s important to be sure that you are compatible with a particular wand or staff.

The Qualities of Wood

Broadly speaking, different types of wood have certain inherent qualities, and these will effect how any wooden magical tools made from them operate. Listed below are some of the most common, and also some of the most useful, types of wood you’ll find in magical tools and their general qualities:

Apple – Apple is associated with love and fertility, and is good for utilizing love and sexual energies. It works well with all sorts of love spells, lust spells, marriage spells, and fertility spells. Apple is compatible with deities of love, sex, desire, and courtship.

Ash – Ash is fire associative. All wands are fire associative, but ash is doubly so. Ash makes a very good battle wand. Its best use is for direct attacks against people and entities. It also does pretty well with death curses and with destroying crops (not really that useful in this day and age though). Because of its combative nature, it’s also good at most kinds of protection magick, like casting wards and barriers. Properly enchanted, ash can also do well in aiding all kinds of creativity. Ash is compatible to deities who are fire associative and deities of warriors and battle (Mars, Aries, Athena, Tyr).

Bay Laurel – The bay laurel is sacred to Apollo and is generally associated with immortality, eternal youth, the regeneration of youth, and healing.

Elder – Elder wood is very good at finding and absorbing negative energies. For this reason most people will find Elder, at best, difficult to work with in any kind of magick that doesn’t involve harm, vengeance, or cursing. Elder is also a very alive and vengeful type of tree, and Elder wood should never be taken off of a tree without permission from the tree, otherwise you may have to deal with the wrath of the tree. Elder wood will often work as a ward by itself, either because entities fear the elder wood, or because they fear that which is powerful enough to control the elder wood.

Elm
– Earth associative, Elm is the opposite of Ash.

Hawthorn – A fae associative wood (and surprise, you can make alcohol from it). Like oak, this is an otherworldly wood, which makes it somewhat useful for evocations, but keep in mind that it comes from fae realms and generally connects to fae realms. Hawthorn is best for magick dealing directly with fae. Fae-kin may also find the wand very compatible. The wood’s nature may also make it a good choice for fae-like endeavours. Cutting down or otherwise destroying a Hawthorn tree that fae have laid claim to will often times make them angry and vengeful.

Hazel
– Air associative. Hazel is a wood of wisdom and intelligence. Because of this, in spiritual work, many see hazel wands as a general good all-purpose wand.

Holly – Holly is associated with order and is sacred to Saturn. Generally holly won’t make a very good wand or staff. It tends to work against most magick since it is geared for balancing things, setting things right, and putting things in the boundaries that they are meant to be in. People who have strong ties to Saturn and are used to utilizing order magick might be able to find some value in a holly wand, but most people won’t get much use out of it. It would do very well for binding spells, closing portals, de-enchanting an area, and cleaning up magical messes. Items made out of holly can be very useful, especially when properly enchanted. They can help with achieving balance and order. If you find your life is in disarray, if you’re emotionally unhinged, or if you have major metaphysical issues in your home, holly can help to fix this. It can also help protect against certain kinds of spells and supernatural threats. Fae also don’t like holly and sometimes they can be driven away by it. Generally holly will try to push things out of an atypical, metaphysical, imbalanced or chaotic situation and move it towards a typical, mundane, balanced, and ordered situation. It promotes calm and peace.

Maple – Generally a wood of protection.

Oak
– Oak is an ancient tree, the species is older than this world. Oak does not originate here, it originates in other worlds, and as such it acts as a sort of anchor to these worlds and their magicks. Because of this oak is a very powerful magical wood. Groves of oak trees are a preferred place for ritual because the area is anchored into other worlds. Oak also works very well when used to move through worlds (either going out via astral projection, shadowwalking, or dreaming) or bringing things in through evocation. Oak is also associated with lightning and is sacred to all lightning associated gods (Zeus, Thor).

Pine
– A good wood for spells involving youth, the slowing of age and decay, immortality, and strength (when defined as resistance). Also a good all purpose wand for spells involving practical matters.

Poplar – Some confusingly think that poplar is good for protection spells, when in fact it’s that items made from the wood make excellent guardians. Your poplar wand isn’t so much going to be good at casting protection spells as it is going to be good at protecting you from attacks while you carry it.

Rowan
– Rowan is an excellent absorber of energy. This makes the wood superior in all kinds of protection spells. In fact just having Rowan wood on your person may be enough to completely absorb all of the energy from a hostile spell. Likewise Rowan can absorb the radiant energy from the area and from dead spirits and stray entities, rendering them harmless and invisible. Properly enchanting and using Rowan wood will magnify (and if done right filter) its absorption abilities making it more effective in these endeavors. Also due to its very high sensitivity in regards to absorbing energy they make superior dowsing rods.

Sandalwood – Sandalwood is a divine wood. It is associated with divinity, the gods, and all matters of a higher spiritual nature. Sandalwood is also an endangered and protected species, and there is a much greater demand for the wood than supply. Because of this most sandalwood is not true sandalwood, but of a related species.

Walnut – Walnut is another fire associative wood. It’s a strong wood and it’s associated with destruction. Because of this it makes a good battle wand. It differs a bit from ash though. Ash is actually associated with the battle and is good for fighting, preferable to walnut in that regard. Walnut just destroys things really well, which is always good in a fight. If you just want to destroy your enemies and leave a path of massive destruction in your wake, go with walnut. It would also work well with spells of mass destruction and death. I believe walnut may also be useful with glamour spells, and a wand used for that would be very interesting.

Willow – Willow is water associative. It’s good for both healing spells and cleansing spells. It’s also good for exorcising spirits (which is technically a cleansing spell). This makes Willow an excellent choice for besoms and brooms. In actuality what Willow is good at is washing away that which is bad, improper, or old and bringing forth that which is new or a renewal. It is because of this that willow is sometimes associated with bringing the dead to their final resting place, however willow’s association is with exercising the dead and the resulting renewal, not with the land of the dead or with death energy. Willow can also work well with death spells under very limited circumstances. Due to willow’s nature of getting rid of that which is bad, improper, or old there are some legends that the tree will uproot itself and seek out and kill travelers.

(European) Yew – First off, make sure you get European Yew and not Pacific Yew (which is more common in North America). Yew is associated with the dead and the land of the dead. Yew is very good at utilizing death energy (this is the energy of the dead, not energy that kills). It’s also good for bringing forth and controlling the dead. Yew is compatible with most Chthonic deities.


Contacting the Divine

October 24, 2009

This is basically a rehash of the information I supplied in my earlier post, summoning Baal quick and dirty like. The reason for this is to eliminate some confusion. This is not an evocation method. It doesn’t really evoke. It’s meant for communion. In fact, it’s generally used for divine communion, and that’s how I was originally taught it, although you could do it with anything. Anyways here’s the method, as taught to me, with some paraphrasing and minor tweaking.

1. Figure out which deity you would like to contact. Remember not everything that’s ever been listed as a god or deity or whatever really is one. When first starting, it’s better to pick a big name that is tried and true. It’s also best to pick a god or goddess you feel a personal connection to or compelled to contact. I’d recommend against using this method with the Judeo-Christian god (yes he exists, however there’s a reason why I recommend this and it deals with the nature of what he is, and I’m not opening that can of worms here). I’d also recommend against trying to contact a supposedly all encompassing deity (I’m talking about the Wiccan Goddess). Also remember that sometimes deities are incorrectly associated as the same deity, and other times they have multiple names. Figuring out exactly who you want to talk to may require some research. For instance, Venus is not Aphrodite and Jupiter is not Zues, Pluto is the same as Hades and Dionysus, Bacchus, and Iacchus are all the same deity.

2. Do some additional research on the deity to get an idea of who you’re trying to contact. Read the mythologies concerning them. Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Mythica are good places to start. The information may not be the best there, but at the same time remember that a lot of the myths out there are long bastardized and misunderstood, to the point that you usually can’t decide anything for certain about a deity until you’ve met them.

3. Next you need an altar. You can build a very nice permanent altar, but for now we’ll just use a makeshift altar. I have a whole FAQ on altars. Basically it’s just a space we set aside for an entity, in this case a deity. All we need for an altar is a representation. We can easily go online and find a picture and turn our computer monitor and surrounding area into a temporary altar. The altar is not essential, this can be done entirely mentally, but it’s easier with an altar early on.

4. Next we want to prepare ourselves for divine communion. What different gods will find acceptable and offensive varies. In emergencies, this step can be skipped, and most deities will understand. It’s best to take a shower or bath beforehand, especially if it’s needed, and a short cleansing ritual while you’re in there won’t hurt. Clothing will vary considerably based on personal taste and deity. At the very least you’ll want to have descent, clean clothes. Formal is more respectable, but black tie is usually going way too far. Naked is actually sacred and as formal as you can get (plus it will help with the later steps). When in doubt, wear nothing. Also make sure the area around the makeshift altar is clean and dusted and free of garbage or crap to show proper respect.

5. To begin the communion meditate in front of the altar, hopefully reaching a state of trance (although this isn’t mandatory). I’ve also written an FAQ on this. Once you’re relaxed, you need to direct energy towards the representation. This is simple energy manipulation. If you can’t do this, you can try directing thoughts or focusing on the representation, although this won’t be as successful. Direct the energy at the representation with the intent of it reaching the deity (this is important. Ultimately the representation doesn’t really matter, it’s the intent of where the energy is sent).  Also try to keep your shields, filters, wards, and barriers as low as possible and be open to receiving foreign energy.

6. After a time you should hopefully feel divine energy sent back at you. If you’ve never felt divine energy before, don’t worry, you’ll know it when you feel it. The first time it is thousands of times stronger than what you’re used to and literally rips right through you. Once you get used to dealing with divine energy this will ease up a bit. You shouldn’t do this around bedtime, at least at first, because you’ll be wired for a long time.

7. Once you feel the energy coming back at you, you’ve successfully achieved communion. You can now direct the energy coming into you back to the deity, creating a cycle. You can also bury thoughts into the energy to communicate, and stuff will come back in the energy sent to you. Sometimes this might be a direct worded answer. Other times it may be more detailed and beyond words, and it may be buried in the energy and not fully manifest for hours. Divine energy also tends to try to create a purity, although the definition of what constitutes a purity varies between gods. Jupiter, for instance, defines purity as being larger and stronger, and Jupiterian energy tends to make people stronger and helps them to build muscle.

8. After ending the communion it’s important to keep the divine energy and not cleanse or ground until it’s worked its way out of you, unless it’s a dire emergency. Divine energy is a divine gift, and intentionally expelling it is disrespectful. Also information may be buried in the energy to answer your questions and offer guidance.

9. Not everything that can be contacted with this method, and not everything listed as a god, is a god. From my experiences no real god will get upset if they are asked to prove that they are in fact a god (at least by their own methods, in other words don’t try asking gods to prove themselves by winning you the lottery. That actually can get you in trouble if you ask the wrong one). Anything that says its a god and wants to treated as such will see nothing wrong with proving this unless it isn’t a god. I’ve also found that deities don’t mind being questioned about their advice or about their nature. There usually isn’t anything wrong with asking why.

10. Objects can also be blessed by a deity while doing this through various methods. If you have something you want blessed, have it ready and ask the deity if they’ll do it during the communion. Usually, if they’re willing, they’ll give instructions of what needs to be done.

11. One of the worst things you can do is utilize a deity’s energy for a purpose that you don’t have permission to utilize it for (especially if it’s something the deity wouldn’t give you permission to do). It’s always best to ask first and to respect their wishes.

12. The gods understand that we are only human. They also understand our nature and all our emotions. They do forgive honest mistakes and know that we’re all far from perfect. They also are there to guide us and help us with our lives and our spiritual paths.


Magick of Perception: Part 3: Lures and Thought Suggestions

August 3, 2009

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What Are Lures?

Okay, we’ve talked about glamours and projections, now the next step up is a lure. Lures are an invasive form of magick which attempts to twist the thoughts and desires of its victims, named such because lures are mostly used to convince a person to become somehow romantically involved with a practitioner. As a comparison, a glamour is like wearing nice clothes to make yourself appear more attractive to a girl. A projection is like putting a love song on the radio to put her into a favorable mood. A lure is like slipping pills into her drink so you can rape her. There’s also one more step in perception magick between projections and lures, and that’s thought suggestions, so we’ll have to talk about that before we get into lures.

What are thought suggestions?

A thought suggestion is when we pop into someone’s head and place a thought in there. Generally the person will believe they’re thinking it, and act upon it accordingly. Some thought suggestions are very blunt and to the point, and simply hope the person will act accordingly. Others are intricately woven and designed in such a way that they are more like a seed that will, given some time, grow and completely change the way a person thinks about something. Still others are given an intensity and urgency that seems to force action.

There are some very complicated spells out there that try to basically create thought suggestions, for the most part though these things are generally done psionically. And a lot of things out there are partial to thought suggestions too. It is a favored form of manipulation. Both Pixies and Vampires, for instance, are known for utilizing thought suggestions.

The best thought suggestions are done via energy transfers. All people shed energy all the time. It comes out of us, forms around us in an aura, and eventually leaves us completely. People also absorb energy around them barring some sort of defense, like a shield, to prevent this. With practitioners, this absorption is usually like a sponge, it goes in and stays there for a while with energy accumulating over time. With non-practitioners the energy tends to just pass through them, but at the same time taints them. This whole energy transfer is how projections work. But we can also manipulate this energy on a much finer scale. We can take a very small amount, charge it only with a specific energy, and throw it at a person. That’s not a huge step up from what we talked about in the section on projections. We can do this with emotion. We can utilize emotion to create an emotional energy and throw that at a person to manipulate them emotionally. We can also bury words and thoughts, and even ideas (but that’s more complicated and generally less successful assuming the target speaks the same language), into energy.

If you can manipulate energy, it isn’t hard to bury words into it, it just takes some practice (BTW, this is also the method through which telepathic communication between practitioner’s works). For the best success though, especially early on, use the KISS model (keep it simple stupid). Simple and to the point phrases like “Leave a big tip”, “Isn’t She Hot”, and “Get out” will garner a lot more success than overly complicated thoughts that seek the same basic end result.

If you can’t manipulate energy that well yet, you may want to try thinking the thought as loud and intensely as you can and at the same time concentrating on the person. The success rate will be a lot lower, but it’s good exercise.

It is also possible, albeit a bit harder, to create a thought suggestion field, or in other words to put out a thought suggestion that acts like a projection effecting people in the general area instead of a specific target. To do this we would simply take the thought and bury it in energy (like a normal thought suggestion) but instead of a fine small ball we throw at someone we would project the energy around us (like a projection).

Thought Suggestion Fields and Time

A thought suggestion is instantaneous. We do it, it’s done, it’s over with, we don’t have to upkeep it, it isn’t meant to last. A thought suggestion field, on the other hand, is like a projection, we want it to last. With a projection, it will fortunately work to upkeep itself, this being largely do to the fact that emotion manipulates and changes energy accordingly, and as such the energy will manipulate us and those around us creating a cycle of energy to feed the projection as it is shed. Unfortunately thoughts and ideas do not modify energy, so thought suggestion fields do not feed themselves. In order to sustain the field the practitioner needs to constantly bury the thought suggestion into energy being let out into the field, or a way needs to be developed to sustain the field from the outside. Because of this thought suggestion fields are almost never used among experienced practitioners. In most instances, some better method that requires less energy is available.

Lures

Now a lure is going to combine all the elements of all of the things we’ve talked about thus far. We’re also going to have a higher degree of invasiveness than what we’ve already seen, and we’re going to have a better degree of sustainability, which is vital, and which will be achieved via an outside source. A strong lure, properly cast, is nearly invincible and can only be combatted by practitioners and those possessing either a very acute self-awareness or a very strong self-discipline. We’ll talk about combatting all of these things in the next section, and there we’ll discover just how vital things like self-awareness and emotional discipline are to an adept.

Making a Lure, an Example

The most common type of lures out there are the ones designed to make other people want to have sex with the practitioner, followed by lures that make people fall in love with the practitioner. These are not the only uses of lures, but the most common, and some of the easiest to cast. As an example, we’re going to look at a lure to get people to sleep with you.

Also unlike glamours and projections which are more often than not done psionically, lures are more often than not done via spellwork, especially among beginning practitioner. This is because lures are far more complicated and have far more parts. However we’re going to look at casting a lure psionically and then look at how to build that into a spell (perhaps one day actually, but I’ve spent too much time on this article and am loathing the idea of writing the spell right now).

Starting the Lure – Making a Projection…And Then Some

To start our lure we’re going to start with a projection. We want a projection that says fuck me. Projections of desire, horniness, and passion are all good ideas and will work okay in a lure. There is however a better projection, but it’s not one that is usually naturally occurring. Unless you’re having sex with someone, you won’t see this projection outside of a practitioner.

We’re going to start with a simple idea. We’re going to project the release of an orgasm. Men and women orgasm different. It’ll be easiest to project this as per your gender, at least to start. It doesn’t matter that you’re going to be targeting the opposite gender, it’ll still turn them on. Once you become more experienced and have actually experienced the orgasm of the opposite gender projecting that becomes easier.

Doing this is no different than projecting anything else. Simply imagine yourself having an orgasm and how it feels, and if you need to play with yourself and bring yourself to orgasm, then project that exact feeling outward into the energy. It’ll latch into it just like an emotion will, and if strong enough everyone around you will feel like they’re having orgasms.

Now projecting orgasms is great. It’s a wonderful tool and will serve you well in your sex life even outside this experiment. However we’re going to take this one step further. We’re going to back it up a bit. Imagine how you feel just a little bit before you have an orgasm. That wonderful joyful feeling of having sex, where you feel like you’re going to orgasm at any moment and any second now it’s going to start. That is the feeling we want to project out.

Now when people come around us they’ll feel like they’re about to orgasm, that they desperately want to, even need to, orgasm, but they won’t. Instead of orgasming they’ll just get that feeling again and again, but each time getting stronger and stronger. This type of projection will not just make people horny, but super horny and super desperate for sexual release.

Adding Thought Suggestions

The next step is to add thought suggestions to the projection, creating a thought suggestion field. As we talked about earlier, if we put a thought suggestion in, it’ll go away almost as quick. We need a way to sustain the suggestion. We’ll talk about that later. For now we just need to worry about the thought suggestions themselves.

Lures are very complicated with many parts. When you’re first starting out, it’s best to keep this part simple to make things easier, and we never want a lot of different thought suggestions in there. Too many suggestions just make the spell more complicated and open up more opportunities to failure. We want, at most, two to three suggestions. Following the KISS model, good, easy suggestions would be “isn’t he hot” and “I need to fuck him”. These will work pretty good.

We can do better though. Let’s start with “isn’t he hot”. That’s a question and just draws attention to you. Change it to “he’s so hot” and it’s better. Let’s change it to something more specific though and point out an attractive quality instead. “His blue eyes are so gorgeous”, “his chest is so toned”. Also, a very good one, which shouldn’t be underestimated, is “every one else thinks he’s so hot”. The psychology of people, both men and women, you’ll do better, more than half the time, convincing them that everyone else thinks you’re desirable rather than convincing them they think you’re desirable. Part of it is, too, that the person may be embarrassed to have sex with a fat person, or an old person, or a scrawny person and have people know about it. This helps with that problem. Finally, some really good ones, especially if you aren’t all that attractive, is “I can’t do better than this”, “this is the most attractive person I’m going to find to screw tonight”, or “Hey at least she’s easy”. A lot of lures and love spells utilize ideas like this because they are very powerful.

Now “I need to fuck him” is a bit blunt. Expect about a 50% or less success rate with that one. “I need to get laid tonight” is a little bit more general, but it doesn’t focus on you so it won’t help as much. Lowering their self-esteem with thoughts like “No one would want to have sex with someone as ugly/cheap/skanky/fat as me” is probably a better idea. It doesn’t focus on you, but when you offer sex, they’ll jump. You might want to try something more subtle though, like “he’d probably have sex with me”.

What we’re doing here is putting in seeds of ideas that will germinate and sprout forth with our thought suggestions. Thought suggestions like these are generally more effective than simple blunt suggestions. They’re far more manipulative and far more difficult to identify. They also allow the mind to branch off and create a whole series of thoughts naturally that lead the person in our desired direction. Ultimately we’re able to give the person a very complicated idea while still just implanting a single, simple thought.

Making the Glamour

Remember how we said the projection won’t work if the person thinks you’re an unattractive loser? Lures are quite a bit more powerful, but difficult to pull off if the person thinks you’re an unattractive loser. So we need to glam up. Make ourselves all attractive and hot. See section one. We don’t need to add anything special here.

Adding Invasiveness

Adding invasiveness to a lure isn’t difficult. Remember our energy is connected to us, like a limb, and will do what we want it to. For instance if we want our energy to target people, to try to bypass shields, to go after people who may have some protection it will. All we have to do is want it to do it.

Adding sustainability

There are many different ways to go about this. We can use runes, talismans, jewelry, and a million more ways on top of that. For this experiment though we’re going to use a very simple method and sustain the spell through a stone we’ll carry in our pocket.

First we need to pick out a stone. We’re going to want a stone that seems compatible with us. We also want one that is naturally attuned to desire and lust. Emerald is a good stone for this. However it can be very hard to get a specific stone, and most times we have to go with whatever selection is available, and unless you’ve memorized a lot of facts about stones and their correspondences it can be hard to get just the right one in the store. A good solution to any problem like this is to go with a compatible quartz crystal. It’s a clean stone that we can manipulate however we want, and it’ll be superior to just about anything else in the amount of energy we can push out of it.

Now there are other rituals to be done like cleansing and empowering the stone, but once that is taken care of we can begin the ritual for making the stone sustain our lure. Specifically, at least to start, we want to sustain the thought field that is projected out.

The way to do this is to project the thought buried in energy into the stone the same as we would a person. However when we do that we want the energy to go through the stone and then come out around it. Visualize the stone almost as a prism and the thought suggestion as light. It comes into the stone as a single beam, and immediately leaves as a cone. We can put the projection into the stone too at the same time, and in this way we can sustain both the thought field and the projection indefinitely with the stone.

Now a stone, especially one like crystal, will amplify the energy alot. It’ll also more than likely have a lot of latent energy in it. And then theres the energy you pumped into it putting the thought suggestion there. All in all it’ll last for a little bit before it runs out of juice. But what if you need something that’ll last all night?

What we need is a source of power for the stone. There are a few good ways to go about this. An obvious method is to just put the thought field into the stone and then have it feed off of the projection. It’ll work, but unfortunately it requires the practitioner to sustain the projection themselves instead of having the stone do the work. We could also have the stone feed off of the free energy in the surrounding area, like a projection would. This works great so long as there is enough energy around, but as soon as there isn’t the spell will break. Ideally we’d want to tie the stone to an infinite or near-infinite source of power that it could draw from. Many practitioners will use the earth for this. You could also draw off the power of one of the four elements. You could draw off of a deity, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that for a spell like this. And finally you can draw off of yourself and have the stone feed off of you.

And that’s pretty much it. From here it’s just a matter of carrying the stone, which will house both the thought field and the projection. You can also have the stone house the glamour too, which will put all aspects of the spell into the stone. Do remember to give the stone the intent to be invasive. The energy coming out of the stone is no longer yours, and it won’t naturally follow your wants and intents. The stone itself may go to sleep, especially if it hasn’t been used in a while, so prior to use it’s a good idea to push a lot of energy into it in order to wake it up. How long the stone will last and be able to cast the spell is dependent upon your psionic ability, but it’s a good idea, especially when starting out, not to expect it to last more than half a day or so.

Part 1: Glamours
Part 2: Projections
Part 3: Lures and Thought Suggestions
Part 4: Ethics and Defense


Magick of Perception Pt 2 – Projections

June 25, 2009

What is a Projection?

A projection is an intense field of emotional energy which we project around ourselves, usually several feet outward, causing those that come into close contact with us to be affected by the energy, typically resulting in mood swings and, sometimes, the mistaken belief that the mood swing is the result of the practitioner. Projections are a naturally occurring phenomena, however they can be controlled and manipulated by a practitioner both in their creation and potency.

The horny projection

Most people who are naturally gifted with energy manipulation, even long before they realize their gifts and learn how to control them, often start by creating this projection, so I’m using it as a basic example. Usually they do it through out their mid to late teens. It’s caused by their bodies’ strong urges for sexual intercourse coupled with their inability to get it with any regularity. The repressed sexual energy, which is very strong and intense, wells up inside them, bursting out, and surrounding their aura. With most folks this projection is very light, almost unnoticeable. With a gifted person though, even at this early of a stage, all emotions and associated energies are far more intense, and they also accumulate where as they would dissipate in a normal person.

Now when this gifted person, we’ll call him Guy A, comes into contact with another person, we’ll call her Girl X, the horny energy surrounding Guy A will make Girl X horny. Girl X will now be much more open to sex, and she may also come to the conclusion that Guy A is turning her on, and she may in turn become sexually infatuated with him. If Guy A is also gifted with empathy, which wouldn’t be that rare, then Girl X’s horny feelings directed specifically at Guy A will work to increase the sexual energy he’s producing, thus making the projection even stronger, and in turn making Girl X hornier, leading into a cycle of rising sexual energy that will eventually position Guy A to get laid.

Now although Guy A will make Girl X horny, he still might not get laid, even if he doesn’t completely screw up the situation. Projections are not mind control. If Girl X is a lesbian that isn’t attracted to men, if she’s faithful and in a committed relationship, if she’s celibate, or if she outright finds Guy A to be an unattractive loser, Guy A probably isn’t getting laid. In the same way Guy A’s projection will attract gay men to him, but not straight men. In other words this projection is only going to give people a little push onto a desirable path, it won’t cause them to do anything completely out of bounds of what they would typically do. Plus if Girl X happens to be completely vapid, she may not be able to connect the horniness she feels with her proximity to Guy A, and although someone will be getting laid tonight thanks to the projection, it won’t be Guy A.

Making a projection sans teenage hormones (the sympathetic method)

Making a projection isn’t all that difficult. The energy of the projection can be pushed out at any point, but it’s best to push the energy out from where the corresponding emotion is coming from. For most emotions this is going to be at the solar plexus. For sexual lust and similar emotions it’s easiest from the pelvic area.

To start, we need to fill ourselves up with the emotion we want to project. Being able to change your emotions to reflect your will takes emotional control and practice. Any adept should be able to do this without any problems, but there is no way around putting in the time and effort to learn the skill. If you aren’t far enough along in your emotional control to change your emotions at will then your projections are going to be limited to the emotions you are currently experiencing and what you can easily manifest. Even with these limitations though projections can still be a very powerful tool.

Now as we’re filling ourselves with that emotion, we also want to be raising energy within ourselves. The energy we raise within ourselves will merge with the emotion and become an emotional energy. We can now push this energy outside of ourselves (at the solar plexus or pelvis) and let it extend for a foot or two (or more if we can manage) past our body.

Both the intensity of the emotion and the amount of energy we’re able to manifest will effect the power and effectiveness of our projection. As a general rule we want as much energy as possible poured into the projection. We can accumulate the energy over time. An investment of an hour or two raising energy, for instance, can result in very powerful projections.

We can also take the projection energy and throw it on to a person or area. This can help us effect people who may be far away from us and can also be used to target a projection’s energy on specific people.

Making a projection (the detached method)

When we’re working with energies like love, lust, bliss, ect the above method works fine. However when we start working with negative energies like fear and disgust we don’t want to have to fill ourselves up with the emotion.

This type of projection is a bit more difficult. How we work this is first we raise normal energy within ourselves. Then we push the energy outside of ourselves. Once the energy is outside, then we twist and warp it so that it corresponds to the emotion we want. After a point we can just feed more energy into the energy that already surrounds us and it will warp it itself.

In the sympathetic method the energy flows straight out of us and the energy that surrounds us is both attached to and is the same as the energy within us. In this method though the energy around us is separate and different from the energy inside us. In order for us to do this we need to create a small energy shield to act as a barrier between us and the negative emotional energy. The negative energy will of course feed on and eat the shield, at which time the shield will have to be renewed, but at the same time the energy devoted to the shield isn’t wasted as it eventually becomes part of the projection.

I know this all sounds very complicated but I assure you it isn’t. It’s very difficult to describe the process simply, but once you get it down you realize most of it comes naturally.

Length of a projection

Projections need to be upkept, and typically last until a practitioner stops upkeeping them. A projection needs constant feeding. This isn’t very difficult to do, especially with the sympathetic method. The projection itself will effect the practitioner and cause them to naturally feel the emotions of the projection, which will feed the projection. Projections are dependent on emotional control, and shifts in ones emotions, mood, or energy can end a projection or warp it into some other type. In some instances projections can last for quite some time after a practitioner has stopped actively feeding them (feeding largely on the continued emotions of the practitioner, and sometimes on those around him and magical objects too), sometimes without the practitioner’s knowledge.

Projections from fed stones

I learned this trick on accident. I noticed that cleansing stones can sometimes cause projections to pop up accidently.

To cleanse a stone, or any object, you need to first push out any energy that is in it. Secondly you need to push a ‘clean’ (in other words a preferable) energy into them (if you don’t the stone will just regenerate the original energy).

Often times with cleansing you’ll go through the process of pushing energy out and replacing it over and over again. This helps in getting rid of all the energy and is also a good exercise to learn energy manipulation.

This cleansing process tends to waste a lot of energy, especially with inexperienced practitioners, and so you end up with a huge build up of energy around the practitioner which matches the energy within them, thus creating a projection. Among those who aren’t well practiced at projections, projections of this type can be more powerful than what they can achieve without using the stones.

Expanding upon projections

Once you start to learn projections it isn’t very hard to modify them into other things. For starters, projections aren’t just limited to emotions, they can also hold feelings. Things like pain, nausea, electrocution, ect. Once you can project a feeling it’s very easy to turn the projection into an attack, either as an offensive shield that protects you, or throwing it at a specific person as a direct attack. Next time we’ll talk about lures which is another extension of projections.

Final Thoughts

The instruction in this section is very vague and assumes the practitioner has some knowledge of energy manipulation. I may change this later, but I doubt I will. If you don’t feel you can do this with the above instruction, go back to the previous section on glamours and work with those. Once you’ve mastered glamours and start to understand how energy works in regards to them, this section should come much easier.

Part 1: Glamours
Part 2: Projections
Part 3: Lures
Part 4: Ethics and Defense


Magick of Perception – Pt 1. Glamours

May 16, 2009

Intro

Often times it’s most difficult for us to teach what comes to us most easily. A natural talent is not something that’s worked for and earned, but something that just is, and it can take a lot of introspection to discover exactly how it is we do it, and a lot of time to figure out how we can teach it to someone else who has to actually learn it. I’ve had that difficulty with a lot of things that I know how to do, and this thing in particular I’ve shied away from until now, even though it’s one of the first things I learned and something I’ve always been very good at, without even trying.

What’s a Glamour?

A glamour, also glamor and glam, is a magickal act, spell or more likely psionic ability, which changes the way in which the practitioner or another is perceived, most often, but not exclusively, done to make the subject of the magick appear more attractive, thus the name.

Tools for casting glamours

You don’t need any tools to cast a glamour. If need be, you can do it entirely with the power of your mind, and it’s not even overly difficult to do it that way. But as far as casting glamours on yourself, there is one tool, and only one tool, that you’ll want, not because you need it, but because it will make casting your glamours a hundred times easier and will make them far more effective. If you don’t have one, buy a mirror. The best mirror to get is a large one that will allow you to stand next to it and see your whole body at once. Barring that, one that will let you see yourself from at least the waist up. Even a mirror that will let you see your whole face, like a compact, is helpful if it’s all that’s available (plus you can carry it around). If you can’t see your whole face in it, it’s going to be useless though.

How to cast a glamour

We’ll start by talking about making ourselves more attractive, because it’s both the easiest type of glamour to do and the one most people want. And if you want to be good at this, you’re going to have to become a bit of a narcissist. Remember, the mirror is your friend, and learn to enjoy looking at how beautiful you are in the mirror.

A glamour is an outward projection of ourselves. What we’re going to be doing is taking the energy around ourselves and reforming it to create a false perception of ourselves. We’re not working on changing ourselves, but rather what’s directly above us. It’s sort of like people will be looking through a fog to see us, and so their perception will be skewed.

One mistake people make is they try to change specific things about themselves. They’ll try to make their tits bigger or their stomachs smaller or their faces less wrinkled, because this is what they perceive to be beautiful, and this is how they would like to look. This never works. A glamour is not about changing the specifics of an appearance. Rather, a glamour gives off the perception of an ideal. You shouldn’t try to make yourself beautiful, instead you should find the essence of beauty, and surround yourself with it. Okay, that’s a new agey cop-out thought, so let’s explore it.

Basically what we want to put out is the idea that we’re beautiful, not the image of a clear complexion or a nice rack. Beauty is subjective anyways, and every person sees beauty differently, so if we put out an imprint of beauty, when a person looks at us they’ll assume we’re beautiful, and then they’ll fill out the blanks in what they see to make it so. This is how an effective glamour works.

Meanwhile if you try to change something specifically you’ll probably just draw attention to that body part. When I tried to make my chest look better for instance all I did was get a lot of compliments on my eight dollar walmart t-shirt.

So how do we find this essence of beauty and imbue it onto ourselves? Looking at ourselves in the mirror helps a lot. Here’s one of the big secrets though. When we look in the mirror, we have to see ourselves as attractive. We can know we’re not super-models and that our bodies are flawed, but we have to be able to see ourselves as attractive, as something someone else would find appealing and want to see naked. If you can’t look in the mirror without thinking your hideous and horrid you’ll never be able to cast an attractive glamour on yourself. If you can’t perceive yourself as beautiful, no one else ever will. More feel-good new agey zen crap, but it’s true, and this time easy enough to understand.

Now as you’re looking in the mirror at yourself and thinking about how fucking hot you are, find the energy that surrounds you, your aura and shield and whatever, and take those thoughts and images you have in your head about yourself and layer it on top of that energy. Once you’re able to do that, the next step is to try to not just plop it on top of the energy, but to mold and shape the energy into the form, to intertwine the two. This isn’t an exact method. It requires some very basic energy manipulation. If you’re not at a level where you knew exactly how to do what I was talking about the second you read it, there’s not much I can do to explain it to you better. But still attempt to do what I talked about and practice. If you can’t find the energy around you that’s okay. Instead put the mental image in your head and concentrate on projecting it over yourself on top of your skin.

The second big mistake people make when they’re making glamours is they try to hide the negative aspects of themselves that work against the glamour. They try to draw people away from their large nose or the pimple in the middle of their forehead. Never, ever, ever try to hide something negative in a glamour. When we make glamours, we need to be positive about ourselves and our self image. The moment you try to hide something that is less than desirable you’re looking at yourself as something less than absolutely fucking gorgeous, and your entire glamour will fail.

But we will hide the negatives with what we’re going to do as the next part of our glamour. Instead of going after the negatives we’re going to accentuate the positives. Sure, maybe we have a hideously deformed nose, but we might also have beautiful blue eyes. When we accentuate a positive part of ourselves, like our eyes, people will naturally be drawn towards them and will grant them more merit in judging our bodies than other parts, like say our hideously deformed nose.

How do we accentuate the positive? Well first we have to look at ourselves and determine what the positive is. Then we’re going to look at it some more in the mirror and be even more narcissistic than we’ve been thus far. We want to spend some time looking at what we have, thinking about it, appreciating it, being entranced by the beauty of it, even lusting after it. This will create a positive beacon of energy that will draw other people to it, and also make these qualities seem even more attractive than they may be.

And in the end, it has a lot more to do with our view of it being a desirable quality than anything else. If we look a little thinner or a bit more toned than we did last week, that can translate into a huge gain in our glamour once it’s filtered through our self-perception.

Clothing and Glamours

If we’re going to the beach we’ll be showing a lot more skin than if we’re going skiing. When we put a glamour on ourselves, we want to do it dressed as we expect to be when we want to use it. If you’re going to the beach you want to put your glamour on while wearing your swimsuit, not while covered in clothes. If it’s the middle of winter, you’re not going to do to well with a glamour you put on while naked.

One thing that does help though is a double glamour. Put the first glamour on naked, and then put a second glamour on while wearing your clothes. This is easy to do while changing or after a shower, and can become part of your morning routine before going out. The naked glamour will help us to accentuate and glam our individual body parts and muscles and other things that may not be overly noticeable while clothed, and then the second glamour, once clothed, will help complete the process. Doing this right after taking a shower, when the mirror’s still steamed, can help with blurring out the negative for us when we put on the first glamour.

Other types of glamours

So far we’ve talked about making ourselves pretty. But there are other things we can make ourselves. We can make ourselves look smart or learned or even like an elder in the community (these glamours are common among practitioners), we can make ourselves look like a warrior or thug to intimidate others, and we can make ourselves look dignified or formal, to name a few ideas. What we have to do in these instances is, instead of looking at ourselves as being pretty, we have to see ourselves as being smart or violent or whatever. It’s the same process, just what we see ourselves as changes, and we accentuate different parts. Where as we wouldn’t want to even think about some grey hairs with an attractive glamour, with an elder glamour we would want to make people focus on them.


Costumes and glamours

When doing a glamour, it helps to dress like what you want to be seen as. Sexy clothes will make attractive glamours work better, and if you want to look smart a pair of glasses probably won’t hurt.


Glamour length and maintenance

Depending on how good you are, all things being equal, glamours will usually last anywhere from a couple of hours to an entire day (until you go to sleep) with no maintenance and will require a very small amount of energy. It’s always best to cast a glamour as close to when you’re going to need it as possible. This lessens the chance that it will run out before you need it.

If you want to pump a little more juice into the glamour, you may want to stop somewhere and spend some time looking at yourself in the mirror. You don’t need to do this though. All you need to do is just think about how sexy/smart/intimidating/whatever you’re going for you look like right now.

However, the moment you think something contrary to the glamour, it dies. As soon as you think about how ugly you are, or even just doubt that you’re really fucking hot, the glamour dies. The energy around you will shift with your thoughts and emotions, and the glamour will be gone.

Photographing glamours

Unfortunately glamours don’t photograph well. In fact they don’t photograph at all, or work on film. The same goes for projections and lures, which I’ll get to later. Glamours are good for face to face situations. They’re not good for getting a good photo for your online dating profile, and it’s best not to develop any illusions about becoming a professional model through the power of glam magick. With photos you have to get by on just your good looks and photoshop skills.

Reverse glamour

The reverse glamour is a curse, and where we usually cast glamours on ourselves, we usually cast reverse glamours on other people. The most common type of reverse glamour makes someone look ugly or repellent. It can be done to make someone look stupid or weak or anything else though. The same method can also be used to cast a positive glamour on another.

Basically with a reverse glamour we’re going to find the energy that surrounds the subject, and then we’re going to twist and mold it into the image of the glamour in the exact same way we do it to ourselves, only we don’t need a mirror for this.

You might be thinking that the moment they don’t believe the reverse glamour themselves, it’ll disappear. That’s true, unless it has some tie to sustain it (no I’m not teaching how to do that, figure it out if you want to know). However that moment of doubt isn’t so easy. You’ll notice that when you successfully put on a strong attractive glamour, you actually start to feel really attractive, and it isn’t that difficult to not see yourself as unattractive. Two things are at work here. First of all, you’re surrounding yourself with energy that actively thinks you’re sexy, and on certain levels you’re being constantly bombarded with energy and thoughts that you’re attractive. Secondly everyone around you sees you as attractive, and they’re psychically pushing that idea on to you, even weakly. The moment of doubt isn’t all that easy to manifest, and the same thing is going to happen with a reverse glamour. They might manage to break it in a few minutes, but it could very well last all day.

Final words

This article was supposed to cover a lot more, but I didn’t realize the amount of detail I’d be going into. What I’m going to do is split this into four parts. Next up, projections.

Part 1: Glamours
Part 2: Projections
Part 3: Lures
Part 4: Ethics and Defense


Magick Au Natural (or Skyclad), A Primer

March 16, 2009

What is Skyclad Magick

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Skyclad Magick is any working which is done nude (in other words clad only by the sky, although the term also encompasses indoor workings, which semantically should be called tracklightclad), whether these workings are done as a group or as solitary workings.

Skyclad also encompasses several different definitions. Some define Skyclad, most basically, as being without any kind of clothing. Others define it as also being without make-up, perfumes, deodorant, or shampoo. And others include those clothed in body paint as being skyclad.

The History of Skycladskyclad

It’d be nice if there was a long and revered history of ritual nudity to point to in arguing for skyclad practices, but none really exists. Although we see nudity practiced in some obscure forms of Eastern religions, we don’t see it in any of the ones that have had a major influence on the west. In the western world we can suppose that there has, in the past, been ritual nudity. Humans were most likely practicing some sort of ritual prior to the invention of clothing. We do know some of the Greeks and Romans were rather decadent and liked there orgies, and that there were probably some spiritual undertones in some of there orgy havings. But whatever was done then is largely lost, and we don’t see any clear lineage from those earlier rituals (which were small and minority rituals) up to the modern day.

Until the middle of the 20th century, Western occultism was practiced clothed. There is no evidence that traditional witches ever practiced in the nude. Ceremonial magicians have always practiced clothed. Even Allister Crowley, known for combining his sexual wants with his ritual practices, never managed to get into nude rituals, more than likely because he was too busy trying to convince male friends to have anal intercourse with him for reasons that meant he was still entirely heterosexual. There are some spells in the old grimoires that were meant to make groups of women or groups of people dance around in the nude, but that was not a part of the ritual, but rather the end result of it, after which the practitioner could then watch them dancing in the nude.

Skyclad magick and ritual nudity was pretty much spearheaded by Gerald Gardener, the founder of Wicca. The theological basis for Gardener’s skyclad rituals were based in negative Christian folklore about witches which supposed them to do secret nude rituals, and also in a mistranslation of a line in the Aradia of the Witches. It should be noted though that Gardener had a host of sexual fetishes, and that he used his spiritual position as a founder of a religion in order to recruit willing partners to participate in his fantasies which also included female domination and sado-machosism, and that he would grasp at spiritual straws to justify these acts.

After Gardener had come along, a lot of other folks started incorporating skyclad rituals into their own religions. Skyclad rituals meshed very well with the hippie movement that eventually invaded and took over most of the neopagan religions and also liked running around naked.

In recent years skyclad practices have largely fallen out of vogue. Even many Gardnerian Wiccans, who claim to practice the original form of Wicca created by Gardener, don’t practice skyclad, and they don’t follow a lot of Gardener’s more sexualized practices either. Most of the rituals that were originally meant to be done in the nude are now done clothed.

The Magick of Equality: Does Nudity Make Us Equals

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A point generally brought up by pro-skyclad Wiccans is that nudity makes us equals. We no longer have the class system attached to us. We aren’t separated between those who can afford nice clothes and those who can’t. This lack of separation would also happen if we replaced naked with modest robes.

Unfortunately beyond flashy clothes, skyclad doesn’t do much to make us equals. Some people are still pretty, and some are fat, and no amount of clothing, or lack thereof, is going to help the situation. Some of us are going to be more powerful than others. The regular religious hierarchies that exist tend to exist while naked the same as when clothed.

Cloth & Color: A Minor Variable Sidestepped

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It should be noted that the most magickal possessions most people possess (other than their bed), are their clothes. Experienced practitioners are more likely than most to have an object which puts their clothes to shame, but at the same time their clothes are going to be even more magickal than what is typical among non-practitioners. Our emotion and our energy, through out the day, taints our clothes. Washing our clothes helps, although it doesn’t nearly do enough insofar as cleansing them. The longer the clothes have been worn, the more powerful they may be. And our clothes, in turn, may taint or otherwise affect both ourselves or the ritual. When we enter a ritual clothed, we’re never entering a ritual clean. Many books recommend not only preritual baths and cleansings, but also special clean garments only adorned during ritual for this very reason.

Secondly, color is another variable. Some practitioners discard color altogether because it is not as strong a symbolism as some would like. Color does however have an, albeit minor, effect on magick workings. Some books and practitioners swear by being draped in the proper colors for the spell at hand.

However clothing and color are both minor variables in determining the success and power of ones magick. Neither is so great a factor that it can’t be overcome, or can only be over come with great effort. There are of course exceptions. Sometimes an article of clothing can become so energized that it will have a very serious effect on the ritual. However this problem can be solved simply by wearing something else.

Still, it should be noted that these things can affect ritual, and that by practicing skyclad these variables no longer need to be considered.

Simplicity, Primality, Transformation, and Butt-Nakedness

Nakedness is our most natural state of dress. It’s how we come into this world. It’s how we survived as a species prior to the advent of clothing. Our clothing ads another layer to ourselves, another level of complexity. Typically within magick and ritual one moves towards simplicity rather than complexity, one tries to remove as many layers from the problem as possible. Simplicity is seen as the better and more powerful state, the natural state of things within the universe, and it’s easiest to work ones will when that will is worked in the natural directions of the universe, not against it.

Naked, being both our natural state and primary state, allows us to become more primal in our being. For some being naked means tapping into a more primary, animalistic state. For others it is just being more free, less inhibited, and a closer approximation to their true self. In any case, in this state a practitioner’s energy is more raw, less encumbered and tainted, and the practitioner experiences a greater degree of focus and their will and desires are better focused, all of this making spellwork easier and more successful.

Finally some practitioners may use nudity as a trigger to transform them from one state to another. To move from their normal selves to their more magickal selves. To help them cast away, temporarily, their anchors and ties into the real and solid world and move into a less solid more magickal state where more things are possible. Conditioned properly, a practitioner can see a dramatic transformation between a clothed and naked state, and can amass this power with less work than what would typically be required. However one should be careful utilizing this method. There are definite drawbacks to not being able to tap most of your power unless you’re naked.

Intimacy, Nudity, and Bonding

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Most people see nudity as an intimate act. For most of us, the first people of an opposite gender who saw us naked after puberty started was a person who we engaged in some intimate carnal act with. For most of us, most of the people of the opposite gender who see us naked are people we are intimately involved with. For a lot of people, nudity is directly tied to sex. For a lot of people, casual and non-utilitarian nudity is only something that occurs between two people who are sexually involved with each other.

The point being, for a large part nudity and intimacy are one in the same. Therefor when a ritual is performed skyclad there is an added degree of intimacy between the participants, even if they don’t know each other very well. With a regular group, this intimacy helps with group bonding. But even with strangers who will never meet again, nudity will help them connect together, become one, and work the ritual as a single whole rather than a group of individuals. The individual members will also find it easier to connect to one and another, and psychic links will more easily form between them, once again making it easier for the individuals to work as a group.

Symbolism of Nudity and Opening the 3rd Eye

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When we’re naked, we’re exposed. We’ve completely opened ourselves up and exposed ourselves to everything in the nearby area. This is a literal truth on the physical level. But is also symbolic of opening ourselves up and exposing ourselves emotionally (thus intimacy, as explained above), and also opening ourselves up spiritually. Being naked is symbolic of letting down a shield, and both exposing ourselves and opening ourselves up to our surrounding environment. Especially when the symbolism of the event is acknowledged, this will make it easier for the practitioner to experience the metaphysical. For lack of a better way to describe it, it will make them more psychic and more empathic.

Sacred Nudity and Reverence

Most of us, when we present ourselves to a god, we want to present ourselves in an acceptable way. The situation may not always allow this. We might need to contact a deity right now, and we can’t wait to take a shower or dress ourselves properly. The gods understand this. But a lot for the time we do have time. And then there’s the question of how should we present ourselves. Likewise even when we don’t use a god, when we do magick most of us would like to present ourselves in a way that is becoming of the sacredness of the event.

If we have sacred clothes, like ceremonial robes, this might do. If not, we’d usually lean towards nice, clean clothes. What nice means though would be very subjective. Some might define that as expensive suits and dresses. Others as unfaded jeans and a favorite t-shirt. Some will argue that you should always address the gods in Renfair costumes, regardless of the fact that almost every god predates the renaissance style of dress, the style was only in vogue in certain regions of Western Europe and is thus regionally inappropriate for most gods, and that Renfair costumes typically lack accuracy.

Nudity is, however, always appropriate for presentation to a deity or a sacred event. Nudity is a sacred state of being. As already mentioned it’s how we come into this world. When we disrobe we’re also gracing those around us with the beauty of our physical form. We are making a sacrifice of our modesty so that others may take pleasure in our natural form. We are showing reverence to and making a gift to those around us, be they other humans, entities, or gods. When we are naked, we’re always in a sacred state. The sacredness of that state is only lost when we attempt to hide or cover ourselves, or when we try to stop or otherwise punish others for looking at us or particular body parts, staring at us, or having impure thoughts about us. When we disrobe and present ourselves as such it is a sacred gift given onto the recipient, to be used as they please and not to be taken back.

Nudity and Sexual Energy

Nudity can be utilized within ritual in order to raise sexual energy. When you get a bunch of people together, running around naked, they start getting horny, and before long you get a bunch of sexual energy that can be used and manipulated in the spellwork. For best results you want as many pretty people, both men and women, in the group as possible. Pretty people turn other people on. Ugly people may turn other people on, but not as much. Youth is also good, young people tend to have much stronger sex drives and more sexually repressed energy. You may also have much better results if participants agree to refrain from sexual acts or masturbation for a period preceding the ritual. Three days is a good amount of time. Likewise you’ll get better results if flirting and some petting is allowed during the time of the ritual, of course you don’t want anyone having orgasms during the ritual, since that would be counterproductive, you just want them getting about as close as you can get them.

In a setting like this, energy can easily be raised, even among those who are not very good at energy manipulation, by normally mundane acts like dancing around each other and various games and activities that involve touching and caressing each other.

Orgies

Generally, if you want to raise sexual energy, don’t have sex. There is a point within an orgasm when the energy will hit peak and will be at its strongest for the individual. This only lasts for a moment though, and grasping and manipulating this energy is a difficult feat. It can be done, but it is typically beyond the ability of most practitioners and beyond the scope of most rituals. But there are other things that can be done with ritual orgies, everything from connecting the group as one to amassing the energies to some ends to simply reveling in a state of primal and uncompromising sexual ecstasy and desire. I do think that this is, however, far to vast an area to go into detail in the scope of this essay.

Being Naked — Just Because

Of course there is something to be said for being naked just because. It is a sacred state of being, and so being naked is sacred. It can be its own ends, rather than a means to something else. It can be a spiritual experience in and of itself. Or possibly just something one enjoys doing. To be exposed, open, uninhibited, intimate, free, primal, and sacred all at once.