Fae Helper Evocation Spell

January 15, 2011

Initially I was planning to post a glam-break spell I have that, although very powerful, is of very limited use to a magician who is able to cast it. But when Natalie brought up the fact that she wanted to meet fairies it reminded me of my Fae Helper Evocation, which is a fairly useful spell.

Notes On Using Fae and the Limitations of This Spell

Different types of fae have different types of abilities. For instance pixies are very good at casting glamours and trolls tend to be very good at guarding an entry way or portal. With the literally thousands of different types of fae out there, there’s quite a bit that fae are capable of. But fae spirits do have very real limitations. After all they are not magical genies that can grant any wish. They aren’t even relatively powerful spirits when compared to things like arch-angels or the Goetic spirits.

Also keep in mind that fae may not always understand things in the same way you and I do, and they may have trouble comprehending what you tell them to do. For instance if you get a fae to find “treasure” for you, in my experience you usually end up with garbage. It isn’t that the fae is intentionally doing this, it’s just that it may consider things like shiny buttons, cool rocks, and even discarded candy wrappers as treasure. A lot of fae don’t even understand the concept of money, and some of the ones I’ve met that do don’t understand the concept of paper money, and think of money as being something like a coin whose value is derived from the fact that it is made with a precious metal.

Another common problem working with fae is their attention span. Fae are creatures of desire who live in the current moment. Most fae however desire to help people they deem worthy (usually people who are innocent, who are very good natured, who are parent like, or who treat them very well). The problem is they tend to be easily distracted and can quickly forget what they’re doing and go off to do something else that looks like fun. One of the best tricks for working with a fae is to ask it to do a job it would normally find enjoyable instead of something that will bore it. If the fae likes what it’s doing, you have a better chance of success. Unfortunately this isn’t foolproof. A fae creature still might get distracted.

Because of that, this spell works through Venus. Venus is one of the deities that is highly revered by most fae. She is also the goddess of desire, which gives her quite a bit of power over the fae. By casting the spell through Venus you can keep a fae focused on the task at hand so he or she doesn’t get distracted.

But this does mean that you have to work through Venus to do the spell, and so you should ask and receive permission from Venus first. And Venus is a deity who I have found is relatively strict in what she allows you to do with her power, even if you have strong connections to her.

Also the fae summoned through this spell are brought forth under the protection of Venus. To attempt to hurt, kill, capture, punish, or otherwise harm these spirits would be an affront to Venus and she may seek vengeance against you.

This spell doesn’t summon forth a single fae creature. It summons forth a lot of fae, pretty much whatever can be convinced to come, to work within the general area where you cast it. It’s easily modified to only summon forth a specific type of fae, but as it’s normally cast it will bring in all different kinds, and you may find some strange ones that normally would never be found in your area.

The large number of fae creatures work like a dragnet usually covering the city (or general area) where you live. This makes them very good at doing things like finding a place where you can buy something in your town, finding a specific person and bringing them to you, or finding your car keys.

As you can guess, the larger the area you want covered, the less effective the spell will be. However you could conceivably have the spell cover the entire world (though I’ve never tried this).

The spell also lasts for about half a day. So when you’re thinking about what you want to do with this spell, try to figure out something that can be realistically accomplished in half a day. Asking the fae to say, guard your house for the next week, is unrealistic since the spell only lasts for half a day.

On a final note, when you use this spell to summon forth general fae, you may bring forth dark fae who might try to harm or kill you. Usually these are not very powerful spirits, but the situation is made worse by the fact that they are under Venus’ protection and so you can’t really harm them. If this happens, I’d suggest concentrating on purely defensive measures to protect yourself and those in your home. If absolutely necessary, try to work out a non-violent way to remove the fae from the general area or limit their abilities without doing any permanent harm or trauma to them. Once they’re away from you, don’t concern yourself with them anymore. After all it is their right to do as they wish, and from my experiences Venus will look after them and take an interest in what they’re up to.

What You Need:

A Venetian Altar
A Fae Knife
A Candle
A Lighter
A Candle Holder

The Venetian Altar

For more information on how to build an altar, see my FAQ on the subject. You can use a makeshift altar for the spell, but for the best results I suggest having a permanent altar. Fortunately for me, my Venetian altar was one of the very first one I ever built.


The Fae Knife

In theory you don’t need to have a special fae knife for this ritual. If you have a normal magic knife you use, it could theoretically be used and work just fine. But I also find that fae really like having their own knife, and it shows a good deal of respect on your part (which wins you some favor with them) when you actually buy a knife especially for them. Knives aren’t that expensive, so I really suggest getting one. I also suggest getting one that is, for one reason or another, fae like. I keep mine on my Venetian altar to help empower it.

Once you get a fae knife, I suggest blessing it under the fae. If you have fae in your home, you can always ask them to do it. Or you can have Venus bless it as a knife dedicated to the fae. You can also use this spell to summon forth fae to bless your knife.

The Candle

A plain white unscented candle will work fine for this spell. I suggest finding a candle that will take 8-12 hours to burn, since the spell lasts for as long as the candle is burning. If the candle doesn’t burn at least eight hours, you may find that the fae didn’t have enough time to do what you wanted them to. Meanwhile if it lasts for more than twelve hours it usually becomes a pain to have to watch over the candle for that long and at the same time you’re going to have lots of fae coming and going through your house while the spell is active.

As you can guess, the lighter and candle holder are just things that you need in order to use a candle.

A Summary of the Spell

Basically the spell uses the power of your fae knife to cut open a portal and then uses the power of Venus to summon fae through it to complete a task for you.

The Ritual

1. To begin, ask Venus for permission for what you are about to do. If you want more information on communing with the gods, see this post. You may wish to spend some time allowing Venus’ energy to flow through you.

2. Next the candle needs to be blessed under Venus. It’s recommended that the magician be in communion with Venus for the blessing.

3. Hold the candle up to the Venetian alter. Say, “Venus bless this candle so that while it burns it will bring forth fae to this place and that by your will they will be directed to [and say what it is you want the fae to do].

4. Allow the Venetian energy to flow through you and into the candle. Afterwards place the candle on top of the candle holder on the Venetian alter.

5. Take the Fae knife and say, “With this knife I will cut a portal in this room through which all fae may pass.”

6. To do this slice the sword vertically in the air near the Venetian altar. While doing this, visualize the blade slicing through reality as if it were a paper wall and revealing what lies behind it. You need to be able to imagine that it isn’t just air you’re slicing through, but that this paper wall exists where you are cutting, and this wall is what separates reality from everything else, this world from all other worlds, and where we are from every other point in this world. The veil is being pierced here, is being broken here, cut through, and a portal is being created.

7. Light the candle while saying, “By Venus’s power, as this candle burns let fae be drawn to this place, through my portal and by any other means, to complete my task as per Venus’s will and under her protection.” Alternatively you may also, if you wish, repeat the task which the fae are to complete in the above statement, although this isn’t necessary.

8. The spell will last so long as the candle burns. I suggest allowing the candle to burn itself out even if you have already seen results. Fae will still be coming and going during this period as a result of the spell. After the spell is finished be sure to thank Venus and show her your gratitude.

Some Notes

-The spell is easy to modify in order to bring forth only a specific type of fae, although in my experience you usually get less fae this way. If you are familiar with the type of fae and their energy you just have to align the portal with that energy so it only draws fae from a specific world or place largely populated by that type.

-You can also modify the way in which the portal is created. In particular, if a strong portal already exists where you are casting the spell you may wish to just modify that portal to suit your needs rather than create a new one.

-The spell can also be modified to be cast without Venus’s aid, and doing so will give you a lot more leeway in what you can do. However doing so will also net you fewer fae, and you won’t have the benefit of Venus directing their desires so they will complete your task.

-The fae who respond to your request have all volunteered to help you for their own reasons. Don’t worry about immorally controlling the fae or taking advantage of them since each has come of their own free will.

-As stated earlier, any of the fae that come are under the protection of Venus as the candle burns. To harm them in any way or have any sort of malice towards them is an affront to Venus.

-Likewise Venus will protect the fae in her own way while they are working on the mission you gave them.

Some Things I’ve Done With This Spell

Here are just a few examples of things I’ve done with this spell to give you an idea of what you can do:

-A friend of mine called me upset because a friend of hers had called her while he was driving and after taking a large amount of pills in a suicide attempt. After convincing him to get out of the car he passed out while still on the phone. Afterwards she heard several people discussing robbing him while he was unconscious before someone hung up the phone. No one knew where he was and several friends and family members had tried calling him with no response. First I got his number and tried calling it, but it went to voicemail. Afterwards I cast this spell with the instruction that the fae were to find him and then get him to return my call.

Three hours later (now the middle of the night) he was woken up, very hung-over, took out is phone and called back only me without knowing who I was. I explained who I was and after talking to him verified that he was okay and in a safe place and then let him go so he could pass back out.

I actually originally created the spell for this purpose.

-I once used a modified version of this spell to summon gnomes into a local business in order to take out their computer system, which they did. After doing that they got into the AC system and tore that up as well (that was a bonus as I never intended it to happen).

-I’ve used this spell to have the fae help me find a place that has a video game I wanted on release day because I didn’t preorder it.

-I’ve also used this spell to find lost car keys.

-If you’re looking for a relationship and going out to a place where you expect to meet other single people, you can give the fae a description of what you’re looking for and then have them draw those people to where you’ll be so you’ll have a chance to meet them. Be very specific about the physical traits you want though and don’t rely on general terms like attractive or pretty. Even a word like thin is open to too much interpretation for me to recommend using it here without further clarification.

Final Thoughts on Working with the Fae

I’ve worked with fae a lot in the past and over the years I’ve had many living in my home with me for periods of time, and that’s because I’m very compatible with them and I like them a lot, they amuse me to no end. I’ve had a lot of success working with fae too, and a lot of that has to do with the way I treat them. You’ll find you’ll have much more success working with fae if you give them the respect they deserve and are due.

Most magician’s fall into one of two categories in how they view fae. The first kind reveres and even worships them as if they were gods, some even believing they are gods. These people have usually been tricked by fae. We aren’t even going to deal with these people.

The second type of magician tends to think of fae as silly, weak, possibly annoying, and largely useless spirits. They tend to show fae very little respect and believe they deserve even less. The fae often times have special fun with these types of magicians and attempts to use the fae often times end disastrously.

In truth fae deserve a lot of respect. Yes they are fun loving and can be silly or slaves to their desires, and many are prone to causing mischief. But most types of fae would be considered higher realm spirits. Most embody positive emotions like joy and love and happiness. And many can be valiant and fiercely loyal.

Many fae find themselves trying to protect or avenge the innocent when they have been wronged. They end up doing whatever they can to protect an abused child from their parent or an abused animal from their owner. I’m personally far from innocent, but I’ve had a pixie come to my aid in a spiritual fight before. The fact that pixies are not particularly strong spirits doesn’t make the act any less valiant, in my opinion it makes it more so.

Fae, for the most part, are noble and good creatures. They are capable and have a good deal of potential, and they do a lot of good in this world. I’m not saying we should worship them, or serve them, or put them on a pedestal and make them out to be something far greater than what they truly are. But they shouldn’t be looked down upon and they should be given the respect they are due.

From my experiences, fae are generally very appreciative of this, especially since many magicians and spirits don’t give them this sort of respect. Magicians who treat fae in this manner have much better relationships with them and have much greater success working with them.

Be sure to let me know if you have any problems with performing any of the steps in the ritual so I can go back and clarify or rewrite it. I’m particularly concerned about step 6 and may go back and elaborate on this some more, break more of it down into actual ritual, and maybe expand it into several stepts.


REVIEW: The Faeries’ Guide to Green Magick from the Garden

October 18, 2010

I recieved a free copy of this book, unsolicited, for review purposes. This is the first time I’ve been given a free thing to review on my blog! I’m doing a fairly detailed review, if you just want to see what I thought of the book then scroll down to the section marked conclusions and read that.

Going into the book I know quite a bit about Fae, next to nothing about gardening, and a little bit about magical herbalism and herbal remedies.

As far as herbalism goes, I consider the best modern books on the subject to be Cunningham’s two works (Magical Herbalism and the Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs). However even Cunningham’s two books tend to be far from complete and at times are even incorrect. I’ve yet to find any herbalism book on the market that I would consider a complete source, or one I would consider an infallible source.

Because of this, herbal research tends to be a process of cross-referencing as many works as possible, considering the validity of each source, and finally applying practical research to the gathered information to come to some conclusions about the magical properties of an herb. So I was a little excited to have a new book to use as a reference in my own herbal research.

By the book’s title I was a little worried that it might focus either on Faerie Wicca (which I know little about) or the Fae Otherkin Movement (which I know too much about). Luckily the book doesn’t seem to be directly connected to either of these movements, although it is very faerie centric.

The book is pretty much split into two parts. The first part is a short thirty three pages covering various aspects of magick, faeries, environmentalism, gardening, and herbal remedies. The second section, the bulk of the book, is a description of thirty three different herbs.

The First Section

The majority of this section deals with various ideas about fae. I was a little worried that this, like most fae-centric books, would portray fae as something far beyond their station; as great, powerful and beneficial spirits worthy of exaltation and worship. Although the book is pro-fae (which I have nothing against, I think they are mostly wonderful, amusing, and at times helpful spirits) and casts fae in the best possible light, it never tries to elevate them beyond what they really are, and at times it honestly deals with the negative side of working with fae and fae energy (like having your keys stolen). My one main gripe with the portrayal of fae is that the book seems to confuse them with the individual spirits of plants. But fae isn’t just the name used for the spirits of plants by this particular author, at times what is described is clearly a fae spirit. Fae tend to be drawn towards beautiful areas of nature, like forests and gardens (and some specific types are drawn to less beautiful places like swamps), and they tend to like and even protect these places, but I don’t subscribe to the belief that they are plant spirits.

One of my major gripes of this section is its views on enviormentalism. This is a common gripe I have about authors who infuse their spiritual books with their political beliefs. I’m not really interested in politics, and as I’ve said before my personal political beliefs tend to be in opposition to most pagans on most subjects. I didn’t find any of the environmentalism to be enlightening or insightful, it was just something I had to put up with. I suppose if I was into that I might have found it more enjoyable, but it still would have just been preaching to the choir.

The worst part is when this environmentalism starts to tread upon the spiritual beliefs being expounded on in the book. For instance the author repeats a common yet naive spiritual belief that in ancient times people were more closer and friendly towards nature, and as such were more spiritual. This goes against the historical record and it’s continued accounts of man trying to control, civilize, and adapt nature to his needs through out history and across nearly every culture. It also dismisses out of hand many theories concerning urban spirituality, and that urban life, although different, is as spiritual and natural as anything inside so-called “nature”. Later it talks about how fae dislike urban life and what we’ve done with the planet. Yes fae like natural places like forests and tend to protect them, but they also like certain urban environments too. They love theme parks and are frequently found in them for instance, and they even tend to be particularly drawn towards certain malls.

Knowing nothing about gardening, I actually found a lot of the gardening information to be interesting. There is a rather long explanation on how to make compost I found particularly enlightening. But most of it I found too short to be truly useful, rather it just opened my eyes to the fact it existed if I wanted to do further research. For instance there’s a paragraph explaining companion planting, but the book only gives one example of this (garlic and roses). I suppose if I wanted to plant roses this would be useful information, but otherwise I’m not going to be able to use companion planting in my garden unless I research it more with other books.

Probably one of the most interesting sections though is the chapter which goes over the various systems that use herbs medicinally. Not only do I think that the information is a good introduction to the different systems, but this section cites the different books and authors which these systems are based on making it very easy for someone to do additional research on these subjects.

The first section actually has some really good and interesting parts concerning practical magic. There are some cool ideas and some cool new things to try hidden in the text. My only real gripe is that there is some boring and useless stuff (like the enviornmentalist issues) that you have to trudge through to get there. I’d rather these parts were replaced with more useful information, or even cut out completely so I can get right to what I really want.

The Second Section

Here’s the best part of the book, and what I think most people are buying the book for. I think the author and publisher agree because it makes up about four fifths of the book. It contains entries for thirty three different plants. The entries are limited to things you’d realistically grow in your garden (so commonly used herbs like dragon’s blood are missing) and, as far as my understanding of various herbs go, the section seems to have omitted any potentially toxic or dangerous herbs. Even Nutmeg, a common cooking spice which is actually toxic in small quantities, is missing.

The section consists of a short description of the plant starting with a general description and then going off into other topics which usually goes on for about a page and a half. Then we usually get one or two recipes that use that plant. Most of these are cooking recipes, but there are also recipes for things like floor cleaner, deodarent, and skin lotion.

Each entry starts out with the most common name of the plant, followed by its latin name, followed by other names, and finally which parts of the plant are used. The best part is that the book lists the Latin name. This is so important in these types of books because often times plants go by so many different names that it can be impossible to cross-reference one work with another or find the plant in stores unless you know the latin name. Also sometimes more than one plant shares the same name, and the only way to get the exact plant described is to check its latin name.

Next comes a general description of the plant, and sometimes (but not always) there is some gardening information included, like what tempetures and climates the plant grows best in. What you get from there is really a potluck. It almost seems like the author is just throwing in random information about the plant in a stream of concious way. This can be folklore about the plant, mythological information, magical uses, or medicinal information. Sometimes there is information on how to make teas or baths from the herbs, and there are actually a few rituals hidden in the text (which are really cool). In fact in the Dandelion section there is a page long meditation ritual described. Sometimes the sections just go completely off on a tangent, such as the section with Basil in which several paragraphs are spent describing the goddess Bridget.

There really is no consistancy of what you will or will not get with any particular plant. Sometimes it might mention the Greek mythology of the plant. This isn’t always the case though, even in instances where I know the plant was mentioned in Greek mythology. In the entry on Fennel, some time is spent talking about its Kabbalistic association. But no other plant has a Kabbalistic association mentioned, and in fact Kabbalism isn’t mentioned in any other part of the book. With Damania for instance (a shrub native to Central and South America) there is a short descriptive paragraph and then a short paragraph talking about its traditional use as an aphrodesiac, and then the rest of the entry discusses the Norse goddess Freya.

You never really know what you’re going to get out of any of these entries. It makes reading the entries fun, like searching for hidden treasure, but it also makes them all seem incomplete, like there was so much more the author could’ve gone into but didn’t. With each entry I felt like there was at least a page or page and a half of more of information that could’ve been included. How come only certain entries list the magical uses of the plant, or the mythology, or the historical uses?

The recipes are actually one of the coolest parts of this book. It’s another thing that gives the book value after you’ve finished reading it. There are dozens of different recipes to try. Most entries have either one or two recipes following it, but a few don’t have any recipes, and if you read the entry sometimes you can find a recipe in there. I can sum this entire book up in a sentence, “What it has in variety it lacks in consistancy.”

My biggest problem with the book though is that there are no citations and no bibliography. A lot of the information comes from folklore, mythology, and herbal medicine. I know this sort of information was not independently developed by the author, they had to of gotten it from a source and put it in the book. This sort of information is the stuff that is most valuable to me. But in order to know how valid that information might be, I need to know where it came from. Also if I knew where it came from, I could easily do more research on my own by reading the original text and intepreting it for myself. Ideally in a book like this every bit of unoriginal information would have a notation that would point me to its source. I really can’t stress how important citations are in a work like this, or how they make the work infinitely more valuable.

There are also the pretty pictures accomponying the entries by Lisa Steinke. Normally I would ignore this part of the book, but these pictures seem to be an important selling point in the press release.

These pictures have no practical value (like drawings of the plants would, for instance). They’re pictures of faeries. Not real faeries though. Essentially they’re drawings of pretty women in gowns with wings, each one supposedly related to the plant. I found these pictures to be typical of the faerie genre of drawings in popular culture (not something I’m at all into), and as paintings to be rather timid and boring. Even the women depicted, although pretty, were boring.

Conclusions

I’m actually surprised by how much I liked the book. My initial thought was that I would consider it to either be a good reference book on herbalism to use as a supplement with better books, or it would be completely useless. I thought it might be a useful gardening guide, but I found it rather lacking in that regard.

As an herbal reference book, it’s an okay supplemental reference. It has enough little details that I’ll probably look through it in the future when I’m researching different herbs. However it’s so varied and eclectic and at times limited that I’d hardly say it was a must buy. In fact I’d have trouble recommending the book solely on its merits as an herbal reference.

Where the book really shines though is with its practical information. There are cooking recipes, tea recipes, how to use plants medicinally, how to make wine, how to make floor cleaner and how to make skin lotion. There are also quite a few magical rituals you can practice hidden through out this book which I really didn’t expect to see and which is so totally awesome.  These are the things you can come back to and use again and again after you’ve already read the book. And this is really where you get back your investment in a book, both the money you spent to buy it and the time you spent to read it.

Overall I wouldn’t rate it as a title you have to own, but still the book would make a positive addition to anyone’s magical library. There’s more than enough good stuff in the book to warrent spending the money on it. More importantly though there’s a lot of fun stuff in this book. There’s a recipe for making lavender chocolate truffles. How is that not totally awesome?