Archive for Wicca

The Work of Waning: The Road to Surgat

Posted in Occultism, Paganism, The Path of Flames, Wicca with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2018 by Sypheara

Although quiet on the blog, the last few weeks have been anything but inactive on the personal front. I am going through some life stages that have necessitated deeper intrinsic and introverted workings, and I have been concentrating on recent work for the local coven and planning the next stages on the Ivory Path for myself which will involve working with Surgat.

This is a much darker phase of the work that directly contrasts in some ways with that of Lucifers. As part of the work Surgat will need to be contacted, and pact made with subsequent re-earthing of current performed in the wilds. With this, the correct formula will be in place to open one of Lucifers specific stellar gates and thus open the way for the final path of reconstruction. This is something that cannot be rushed but has to naturally come to fruition and I still lack certain key ingredients to perform it properly. Once acquired, I expect to conduct all three necessary rituals in relatively rapid order before completing the relevant write ups for my own records.

A box of mirrors, similar to the one used to house the Chimeric Entity. Photographer unknown.

On top of this I have been making work of the imprisoned chimeric entity. This post will hopefully be the final mentioning of this work, due to its now full and confirmed completion Some incredible misfortune has recently befell several friends in the craft, mostly due to simple ill luck due to the ‘interesting’ planetary alignments we have been having this year, necessitating the balance needing restored.

Part of the contract with the entity is that on a certain night or nights of the month, it is allowed out of confinement to feed on specific lawbreakers of natural order, as well as any malefic energies directed at myself or the local grounds which have been sanctified in Hecates name. This has led to a great improvement in the energetic field of place and myself, and has seen some interesting results communicated by the entity post ‘adventures’. This has been an effective way to vampyrically make use of the malefic currents and thus earth them, empowering the entity which now facilitates cleansing and healing via fighting fire with fire. Such a use of an otherwise dangerous and unsavoury spiritual entity feels a natural readdressing of the harm originally caused by its form when free, on myself and others. Whilst no trust can be placed in such an entity it has thus become a powerful working familiar of the craft and has thus sealed the first half of the Gate of Lucifer work.

Two small jars of enpowered Blessing Polter, Self Taken

Part of the local coven work, as well as my steps towards initiation within that sister tradition, is the creation of magickal polters and general herb work. This has been very important for rounding out my skillset which up to now has been mostly energetic in nature, albeit earthed with the creation of physical talismanic objects.

This first polter is for general blessing and good luck empowerment – my own batch being created on the New Moon in the day of the moon and hour of Jupiter. Whilst the ingredients are secret, I can certainly recommend the reader of this post looking into the creation and use of magickal polters if the information can be found (which can be a bit difficult but there are some good resources out there these days).

The rest of August, September and October are likely going to be devoted to taking the above concepts and work further after a well earned excursion to a warmer climate for a bit of RnR. As such I will hopefully have much more to share with the completion of that work, Gods willing, just everything needs a little longer to ‘cook’.

May via the waxing moon she bless her children,

Giving strength for our works to come,

Carried out in love for our Gods

Ave Hecate,
~S~

Beltane: Blessings and More Work Ahead

Posted in Folk Belief, Paganism, The Path of Flames, Wicca with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2014 by Sypheara

Hello everyone, thought I would post a belated Beltane to you all. I hope that you all enjoyed the Sabbat night to its fullest. It is a reminder that summer has become in earnest, and that we all have things to get on with whilst we have the opportunity and the energy. I have been up to a variety of things recently, which I thought I would share for interests sake.

I got to participate in more group workings, which I have begun to enjoy as a small addition to my own practice. My role was to keep pace and build the energy for ritual with a goatskin drum, and it was a privilege to be able to help out in such a manner in celebration of Hecate and Lucifer in their more subtle guises as the God and Goddess in a Wiccan ritual. I find it refreshing that at Beltane that pagans of differing belief systems can gather and worship in a unified manner, putting aside petty arguments for more important matters: communion with our Gods.

I purchased a simple, and not expensive mask for this ritual, which I thought would help really embody the face of spiritual fire radiated forth in the current season. Whilst a simple masquerade mask, I was actually quite happy with it.

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Interesting mask, a pity about the decor..

A rather large piece of news is that I have also been invited on request to submit an essay for a work entitled Finding the Masculine in the Goddess Anthology.

From the editors own description, ‘This anthology will explore men and their relationship with the Goddess and the overarching Pagan community. We’re looking for essays and articles that detail personal experiences with the Goddess, How as men we come to know the Goddess, and ways you have worked through challenges and obstacles being a man within the Pagan movement.’ If anyone who may be reading this believes they could also contribute, he can be contacted at his site at http://www.erickdupree.com.

For my own contribution I hope to concentrate on producing a personal essay on how Lucifer as consort to Hecate led me onto my spiritual path, and assisted me in getting to know Hecate as a distinct all powerful entity. I hope to produce an essay which conveys my experience of how all encompassing the Witch Gods really are, transcending gender, race, and even species and how I embraced them full heartedly.

Hopefully it will be accepted, and it will be where the majority of my energy and time is going to be directed for now. It would be interesting indeed to be able to add my own thoughts and views into a properly published piece of work.

Thanks again for reading,

~S~

 

The Pitfalls of Syncretism

Posted in Necromancy, Occultism, Paganism, Wicca with tags , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2014 by Sypheara

It was some months ago now, almost a year, when I first began writing posts for the blog. One of my first posts was on Syncretism, the practice of incorporating elements from different, sometimes vastly different culturally beliefs, into your own. I went into describing how I believe this can be highly beneficial, but it must be done in a considered way, to avoid insensitive cultural appropriation and combining elements that do not, fundamentally, belong together.

I was recently doing some reading on several blogs I and a few readers here frequent, when I came across a post by a writer on Mixed Family altars. This intrigued me, so I thought I would give it a read through. Needless to say, what I read gave me some cause to concern due to in my eyes, its inaccuracy and bad advice.

What follows is therefore my own take on it. I have copied the original text below – I felt like reblogging it, or otherwise identifying the original poster would have made it more of a clash of personalities / conflict rather than about any discussion over content. I have no desire to spoil someones day, but merely highlight something I feel is important.

+++++++Original Post+++++++

Mixed Family Altars

Not all pagan keep permanent altars in their homes, and sometimes its because not everyone follows the same path. You can, however, provide a mixed family altar where everyone can combine their beliefs in one place.

You will need;

Mutual respect. Even if someone is Christian, you should respect that path and if they wish to set up a cross or similar religious symbol. Sharing respect strengthens family bonds, and helps encourage one another in their spiritual path.

Candles. If you worry about fire, you can also use the flameless candles. Its for the mood, to symbolize enlightening and energy.

Offering plate (or bowl, basket or other container). Here is where family can put prayers, promises, offerings, and other items in a single space for the Divine. I would suggest including a small pad of paper with pencil so members can jot down words when the need arises.

Offerings can often take many forms such as food, drink, incense, prayers, promises, shiny things, and intentions. You could even put money, and then the family can vote on where to send and which charity.

 

Season and holiday symbols. For instance, a spring altar might include eggs, flowers, but also crosses, and symbols of Christ’s resurrection.  A winter solstice them can include symbols of the god, but also a nativity scene.

The family altars becomes a special place where members can individually or as a group, gather together for prayer and spiritual expression.’

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‘Pillar’ by Johfra Bosschart

There are numerous problems with the above approach, which I believe presents incorrect information. Firstly, it presumes that every belief within the household can be combined, despite the different cultural, theological, and philosophical teachings that may run through the different currents presented upon such an altar.

For example, lets consider that in one household, one partner is a follower/dedicated to Hecate, and another is a Catholic Christian. A combined altar, as above would combine statues of the Goddess, alongside images of of Christ on the cross. We can ask a simple question, and say that, if we look at the teachings of both, would this be a logical altar to work with?

With some thought, the obvious answer one would arrive to would be no. Hecate, as Supreme Goddess, would not want to share her altar (her altar it being, as it is dedicated to her in some manner) with an icon of the solar cults which have seen her own and her followers suppressed for the past two thousand years and longer. On the opposite, why would the solar eternal God of the Bible, which specifically forbids witchcraft and worshiping idols, want any kind of altar, specifically where one would be placing such an idol on it specifically breaking his own teachings?

Even if we follow the mantra that all Godforms are just that, forms that are veils over the actual, real spirits and gods, then it follows that we would choose veils which can be combined, can merge, can empower the altar and through it, our connection through the harmonious symbolism to the actual spiritual forms of the Gods and Spirits themselves. Creating a confused, non workable amalgamation works for neither party, and does not have any real power behind it.

Even within seemingly harmonious combinations, trouble can arise. I discussed this with a friend, asking  him for his advice to clarify whether it was possible to practice and to some extent combine the practices of the teachings of a particular cult of Death alongside that of the Primal Craft. He was in agreement with my hunch that it could, but even so there was room for error. He has since discussed how others, coming to the same conclusion, tried to combine these beliefs and create a shared altar for both Saint Death alongside Hecate, and that those people received an astral backlash for attempting to combine not the work, but the dedication together in one amalgamation.

When we realise that the Gods are not there solely for us, solely to supply human needs and wants and neither created up  by our own minds and fantasies alone, it becomes easier to see how these issues could be serious and could cause very real problematic situations. The Gods and Spirits must be respected, each one worked appropriately with as little assumptions made about them as possible.

To return to the post, mutual respect within shared households for other peoples spiritual paths, unless they are overly extreme, dangerous or invasive, is vital to maintaining good and open relationships between people. There is no reason why, in the above example, a space could not be set aside in the house and two smaller, separate altars constructed. If the Christian wanted to work with Hecate or leave offerings to her, he could at her altar, and vice versa, without creating the conflicting space. This would allow both people to partake and interact with the others path, to some extent, and learn about how it is important to the others persons life and would still allow the same, shared practice sought after in the initial idea.

In addition, this would, in my eyes, garner more respect than the combined altar method. Approaching someone else spirit or ruling god, outside of your own comfort zone, shows respect to them and their beliefs rather than insisting upon your space necessarily encroaching upon theirs. It also enables both people to walk their own paths as well, utilising the altars for the personal dedications to their ruling gods and spirits without the confusing influence being enforced upon them by a shared altar projecting a mixed current.

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Candle, photographer unknown

A lesser problem in the post is also the mention of the candles. Here we see a demonstration of the modern belief that a symbol can replace an actual object in worth. This is not correct, and is not fair advice without clarifying what is lost by this replacement. Actual candles are made of a variety of substances, all of them organic in some manner. When burned, these act as an actual, energetic offering outside of just being simply to set a mood for a human participant. This is a thoroughly necromantic practice – the energy of the animal product is being released as consumable energy, as a real, powerful flame that radiates a strong heat.

Conversely, electric candles are at best, a very poor substitute, the energy being used for them being generated by some chemical reaction (zinc and manganese dioxide reacting with each other in the case of alkaline batteries). These do not have the same effect as actual candles burning a wax that has been produced from or by an animal. For safety they are, of course, preferred, but this comes at a large cost in their worth as an offering, and I would not recommend them unless they were the only choice due to some kind of regulation. If housed in proper holders, the chance of fire is exceedingly small, with a bit of care.

This assumption is typical of some neopagan practices, which do not respect folk belief and instead concentrate on intention alone. Intention is a very powerful tool, but when combined with actual, physical objects that contain magical properties, the results of any operation will be heightened exponentially. It is also to be said that some operations are impossible without being grounded with corresponding physical materials as without them the correct gates / avenues for the spiritual power to egress will not be opened.

Many people that work with the plant spirits for example, would be able to tell you that much if not all of their current relies on personal experience with not just the plants spirit, but also its physical form.

With the above said, it comes back to the point that we must realise our magickal practices and beliefs should not be an escape into a solipsistic fantasy. Instead, they should be grounded in real contact, utilising whatever methods work for the practitioner.

I’d be interested to see what other people think on this subject, so feel free to fire up the comments section.

Cheers for reading,

~S~

Recommended Reading: Modern Whitewashing

Posted in Other, Paganism, Traditional Witchcraft with tags , , , , , on November 12, 2013 by Sypheara

The watering down, the ‘cleansing’ from Modern Paganism of it’s more ‘unsavory’qualities  has always bothered me. When I began my path, it was an arduous journey to find information which seemed concrete, amidst the apologetic titles which were aimed at ‘white witches’.

These information sources never seemed to relate to my personal path at all – nothing I read in them, when compared to the dreamspaces I had traveled to and the spirits I had talked to seemed to ‘fit’ in any sense. Their  portrayal of a nature or reality without its savage, dark and cruel side seemed to me to be more than simply misrepresentation.  A lie perhaps,  meant to make the content more palatable to sell more books. I feel that these false divisions, which exist purely to satisfy ourselves and our egos, do not help a modern witchcraft in any form. Denying any side(‘light’/’dark’, ‘good’/’evil’ or life and death) is simply self limitation and promotes a dangerous withholding and disarming orthodoxy.

Thankfully, it seems many others share this viewpoint, especially with publications such as Apocalyptic Witchcraft finally being produced. I was recently linked a blog post by a good friend of mine which goes into this on a much deeper level, and I share many sentiments with the person who posted it.

Despite being overly busy, I thought it was far too good to not share.  As such I will post it as it is and let it speak for itself.

http://www.blyssfulwitch.com/the-whitewashing-of-witchery-in-american-neo-paganism-the-taming-of-the-witch/

I hope you all enjoy it, discussion welcomed as always.

~S~

A Small Ritual for Connecting with the Gods

Posted in Occultism, Paganism, The Path of Flames with tags , , , , , , , on August 11, 2013 by Sypheara

So it’s been awhile since the last post, and the book review for Apocalyptic Witchcraft still isn’t ready to go. As such, I’ve decided to post a small ritual write up in the meantime, that some may find useful or insightful. For those of you who are sorely tempted, I can say its definetly worth picking up, so don’t wait around and grab it whilst you can. On to the topic at hand however.

Recently, it was the time of of Lammas/Lughnasadh, an important Sabbat in the Wheel of the Year adopted by several neopagan groups.  For the non-witches, it is the  first of the Autumnal Sabbats which revolve around the Harvest. As someone who mostly observes the cross quarter days rather than the equinoxes, being away from home, and being the poor individual that I am, meant that I had to celebrate it in a relatively low key way using a ritual I’ve come to incorporate into my regular practice after utilising it on several occasions.

For me the Sabbats, regardless of their seasonal component, the most important part for them to me, is communing with the Gods. This small ritual is designed to allow that, and is one that can be varied to what works for the practioner. It is a ritual that facilitates a growing connection with the God or Spirit in question, and can also be used as a tool for both communication and the giving of offering.  It can be relatively extravegant, or startlingly simple. I will include the more complicated and simple variants together.  Note that, the optional parts, although optional, will greatly assist in obtaining concrete results.  It is best done on a night, so the method will assume this is the case.

It is to be noted the following is  what works for me, from personal experience.Although it contains elements from Path of Flames teaching, it also incorporates elements from other sources, and of my own creation. As such, it contains my own experiences and inferences, which will contain some non-objective observations although I’ve tried to keep them at a minimum. Feel free to experiment and modify it to something which gives you the most consistent results, but please do so with caution and within reason.

NOTE: The following does use blood. Its not massively vital, but I highly recommend it as it will help empower the work and act as a potent offering.

Materials

You will need only the basics for this ritual, but the more you add to it, the more you will get out of it. The following are the basics.

– Paper or equivalent for drawing on. Should be burnable.

– Ink suitable for use on the Paper/Parchment.

– Drawing implement or small paintbrush (for drawing with the ink).

– Pen/Pencil (if above two not used, otherwise not needed).

– Glass of Water (if using blood).

– Salt (if using blood).

– Relatively Sharp Knife (if using blood). This does not have to be dedicated in anyway to this purpose, as long as its cleaned. If you are of Wiccan background or otherwise use an Athame or anything of the sort , it is probably not good to use it for multiple practical and occult reasons to draw blood. Use a seperate blade instead.

– Three candles (optional, again as an offering and practically so if done in a dark, quiet room you can see without bright distracting artificial light)

– Relevent incense blend (optional) . Can substitute with tobacco or similar.

– Relevent libation (optional).

Preparation

Optional prestep: If you wish, you can consecrate the inks / use magickal inks of your own formula and also consecrate / prepare the parchment if you so choose. I mostly just use a consecrated standard ink, although I wish to make my own in the future that should be much more potent. I usually use paper that has been coated with coffee as a form of  ‘pre’ libation . If you can’t do these steps, again it should be ok, just the link will be weaker.

Not-so-optional pre-step: Wash the knife, preferably with something antibiotic. If you are really paranoid, or your immune system is weak and you are prone to infections, boil it in a pan for five minutes before draining and retrieving the knife. Dry with paper towels.

+ Prepare the area in which you work to be a space in which you feel comfortable, and relaxed. Set all the tools out somewhere easily reachable, in front of the three candles. If you have any other suitable images or icons / fetishes of the spirit/god/goddess in question, these may also be laid out in a manner you deem fit.

+ Draw the sigil of the God / Spirit you wish to contact upon the paper, using the brush/pen/pencil you are using. Once done, light the candles in the name of the God/Spirit you wish to contact and turn off any sources of artificial light.

+ Add the salt to the water, and stir. Place the knife into the water. This will have the affect of helping to purify the blade of any residual spiritual energies within it. This can also be dedicated if you wish, but it is really not essential in my experience and just adds additional complexity.

Optional Step: Clearing the mind utilising meditation upon the breath

Before you begin, you may wish to attempt to clear the mind of the daily background noise and thoughts which could cause distraction going into the working. This doesn’t have to be a prolonged or powerful meditative stage / phase, and is not a strictly necessary component. However I found it can help.

To perform it, in its basic fashion, is simple.  Sit in a comfortable manner, in a position where you can maintain your balance without issue.  You don’t need to unnecessarily force yourself into a straight uncomfortable position, but you should avoid leaning forward, back, left or right. Close your eyes, and visualise the thoughts slowly dissipating. There are numerous visualisations you can do to achieve this – one is to concentrate on the darkness, and imagine the thoughts melting into it and disappearing. Another, is to see a white light filling up your vision and pushing them from your mind. Experiment with what works for youself, as this is highly individual.

Once you have cleared your head of the majority of thoughts and feel relaxed, bring your attention away from this visualisation and to the sensation of your breathing. Don’t try and force the breath in an unnatural manner, but instead just concentrate on the feeling. Focus on a spot in the body where the breathing is easy to notice and fixate on the sensation.

Note its natural for the mind to wander. If it wanders off the sensation of the breath simply bring it back. Let your sensations such as thoughts, emotions and physical feelings all flow over you in the background of concentrating on the breath. When ready, you can move onto the next phase with a clearer mind.

Step One: Preparation for Visualisation and Charging the Sigil

+ Make your intent known. This is simply using your voice to call to the spirit. This should first address it by name, followed by giving praise to it, and then asking for its assistance in the visualisation/opening the veils between you and its nature.  It is important it is actually spoken however, and not just thought.

+ Optional:  If you have incense, burn it, and pass the paper over and through it several times (a number associated with the spirit in question in some manner can assist).

+ Optional: If you have a libation, this should be added to the sigil. It can be added in several ways. One, several drops can be spattered onto the sigil, again respecting a number associated with said spirit or god/goddess, if it is applicable.  Second, an equidistant cross can be drawn across the it, in a top to bottom, right to left manner. This further represents charging and unlocking the non mundane within the Sigil. 

+ Optional: If you are using blood, it can now be drawn. It is drawn by cutting open or pinpricking the Index, Middle, or Ring finger of the non dominant hand (the left is prefered). THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A DEEP CUT.  Several drops of blood is all that is required, take great care in this. The blood is smeared onto the sigil. As with the libation, depending on the amount, this can be set amount of drops/smears, or done in a equidistant cross fashion.

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Primary Sigil of Hecate, given to her practioners for those who walk the Path of Flames

Step Two: Visualisation

Sit comfortably in a similar position as the one you held for the breathing meditation.  Focus your attention entirely upon the sigil, and the marks of the libations and blood if you have used them.  Watch as the lines of the sigil become charged by not only the material elements, but also your concious will. Visualise the sigil glowing and flashing with light.

This light will often appear in a colour unique to the spirit and God/Goddess you are working with, and will not necessarily remain fixed. This can be due to the entity itself, or you mind settling in to the process before the primary type is fixated upom. For example. Hecates energy usually manifests as an emerald colour, but others can arise, such as a golden white light or a combination of both.  Keep gazing at the sigil until the shape seems burned into your eyes and mind.

Once you have reached this stage, close your eyes and fix your mind onto the shape. Watch as the colours of the lines of the sigil flow like it is alive in front of your eyes.  Meditate upon the sigil in a similar way to the breathing exercise, but instead with the sigil as a point of focus. Let the sigil change, take on new forms, and bring up images and memories rather than attempt to fight the process.

It is this process through which the gates and veils between yourself and the spirit in question will to some extent be opened. This in turn will allow messages to filter through to you and vice versa. It is both an active, and passive process, and one that has to be understood through practice. It is possible to experience dreamlike, lucid and visionary experiences from this alone.

If you feel yourself becoming less alert, bring your mind back to the sigillic shape. In case you lose the clear shape of the sigil, slowly open your eyes, reconcentrate on the sigil, and repeat the process.

Continue this cyclical process until it is time to stop. That will be an individual signal or feeling to the practioner. This could be a sign to stop entirely, or an invitation to continue, depending on the images/messages recieved. Again, this is down to your own experience.

BrightFullMoon

Step Three: Invocation

This next step is Optional, due to the inherent risks which can be associated with Invocation. Unlike evocation, with invocation the practioner becomes a medium for the spirit/god/goddess. This force will enter your body, and mind from within, and become one with you. For numerous reasons, this should be only attempted with spirits/gods/goddesses you have already had contact with and ascertained are suitable for working with in this manner. I have found this step will greatly enhance anything felt / encountered in the first section, and serves to turn the small dedicatory contact ritual into something quite powerful.  I present it here as a step to be done after the previous one, but it can actually be done at any point after the initial sigil work, and a connection made, even as its own seperate ritual. However, using it together with step two immediately after or on the following night has led to create good results for me.

I personally would only currently conduct this with the known spiritual teachers of the Path of Flames, and only generally after contact has been made through a successful evocation. I primarily show it here for those people who may have contacted a spirit/god/goddess they are comfortable with, and with to attempt it. I would only recommend it be done with Hecate to start with, but that is my own biases showing through.

The methodolgy listed is not entirely complete or comprehensive, but is still effective. To begin with, ensure a relaxed position. When ready, begin by stating outloud a prayer of Invocation. Usually this begins by calling to the spirit/god/goddess, giving it respect / praise, and then inviting it into ones body to energise and communicate with you. This call is not listed, as it will be specific to each individual spirit you wish to Invoke. This can be an individual one written, which is what I would recommend, unless you are following a particular current or tradition. In this case, it would be acceptable and appropriate to use that traditions formula of calling. Do not use a formula of calling of a tradition you do not belong to – usually these having specific uses, and can cause issues if you do use them.

Once the invocation has been made, close your eyes and visualise the spirit/god/goddess or its primary sigil/specific sigil. At this point, begin vibrating the name of the spirit/god/goddess you are invoking. To vibrate a word is something that has to be practiced and ‘felt’ to be effective. The basic method is to take a deep, prolonged breath, and then on exhalation, perform a prolonged chant of each syllable. Each syllable should have upwards of  several seconds devoted to stressig it. This is repeated alongside the visualisation. Ideally, for me, I find producing the chant from the abdomen and lower throat seems more effective, as I concentrate on building up each inhale to forcibly build the vibration on the exhale. The ideal, most resonant tone will be unique to the individual practitioner, and can also be different depending on the spirit/god/goddess you are working with. Slowly you should be able to feel the spirits presence growing.

The following effects can vary dramatically, and it must be remembered that we are not working within a circle to ensure reliable ensorcell/mediate but are instead working in direct contact. The possession can therefore range from mild to total. The beginning physical effects, for me when working with Hecate, is I feel a definite presence move from the top of the head along the spine, resulting in a pleasant, energising, and tingling sensation of the spinal nerves. This can get to the level of causing the spine to contract powerfully. This is accompanied with visions of Hecate, often to the point of near waking dreams. Communication can then be commenced, in multiple fashion, based on the intensity of the possession. Often this takes place within the vision, and is usually conducted in an externally or internally spoken manner. This is difficult to relate, and will only be really understood upon attemping it. At this point, if an additional offering is wanted to be made, or communion with the spirit/god/goddess driven to higher levels, sexual magickal union with the spirit can be attempted.

Eventually, after a period of time, the possessing force should of its own violition leave your body. If you wish to end the possesion early, the possessing force can be thanked for its presence and asked to leave. Once it has departed, the actual associated physical effects can take several hours to dissipate. In my case, the sensation of the spine being energised can be highly distracting, due to being on the border of both pleasurable and uncomfortable.  When this physical effect occurs in myself, it can take up to 6 hours to disperse and to return to pre invocation levels.

hecatedoll

Final Stage: Closing the Work

There is no need to officially close the work, as no circle or other working was performed that really needs to be closed, considering that the spirit/god/goddess in possession of your body will most likely have ‘left’ at the end of the preceeding phase. In addition, many of the spirits/gods/goddesses are invoked specifically to allow parts of themselves to remain within ourselves, increasing our connection to them and strengthening our subtle bodies.

This however, is the reason I warned against invoking potentially harmful spirits, as I have yet to come across any surefire way to remove this influence in my practices that would work for others. The best I could suggest were such a case was to arise, would  be to do a full invocation of Hecate asking for its removal combined with some other folk magickal techniques.

It is important to ground yourself afterwards, in order to bring your mind back to Earth and ensure that everything settles. I find this is best performed by eating and / or drinking something, which has the additional benefit of helping top up physical energy reserves which can be depleted during any work with the spirits/gods/goddesses which you could contact.

The candles themselves are offerings, so should be left to burn down entirely, and should not be extinguished early and/or removed.

The final step is to dispose of the sigil. This should be done with care and respect, as it is technically still activated and will possess an actual power until it is uncreated, despite weakening over time if not repeatedly strengthend. This can cause it to have continuing effects, until the work is fully complete.

To this end, the sigil is offered to the spirit, god, or goddess you are working with by name, whereupon it is set alight. This is ideally done sometime before the following sunrise.  I personally do this in front of a Holly Bush, and use the ashes to help fertilise the tree.

burning-paper

Conclusion

I hope this is a good introduction to some of the methodology I use within work. It’s what i’ve tried, and adapted, that seems to work for me, and with luck maybe someone else will be able to take something away from it and add it to their own practice.

If you have any questions, don’t hesistate to comment and I’ll try and answer to the best of my ability.

-S-

The Witchmark and Blood Offering

Posted in Paganism, The Path of Flames with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2013 by Sypheara

This entry is going to be more personal than the previous, and due to it’s nature I can’t possibly put everything into this post in an objective manner.

Yesterday was a very special day for me, as it was the day that finally, after several years of research and practice I went ahead with a very important work, one which seals all my initiatory work up to this point and marks the beginning of a whole new phase for me.

This work I speak of was planned awhile ago, with not a small amount of trepidation involved. For three years up until that fateful point several months ago, I had approached the Gods and conducted several works with them, mini initiations which  brought me closer to identifying their energies, and aligning myself to them as someone who felt called to interact with them.

As these initiations guided me to my current path, I slowly began to learn that a true sacrifice was necessary outside of these small dedicatory rituals. True initiation, one would say, into the path I was being called upon to practice.

It was then I came across the notion of the Witchmark within my own tradition. Whilst a quick google would probably indicate to the reader this ideacame from the idea of the ‘Devils Mark’, this is not the case. This ‘mark’ is a physical mark on the body which is believed causes a corresponding mark on the soul of the person who receives it, serving as a first true initiation. The mark itself takes the form of a sigil of some kind, usually a primary one, and it is usually tattooed or scarified into the skin. This is more akin to the beliefs held by many pagan people in the past, where marking the skin for similar purpose is  shown to exist across many different cultures.

I’ll briefly divert to explain an important concept to be able to understand the importance of this as far as my own tradition goes, and it touches a subject again many don’t like to talk too openly about.

This subject is using blood offerings. It’s important to note that my own tradition sees the bodily fluids of the practitioner as being vessels for not only ones own essence, will and spirit but also that of any entities which are working through that person in possession at the time they are extracted. When coupled with my belief in the importance of personal sacrifice in works with the Gods and the concept of ‘you don’t get something for nothing’,  i’ts easy to see why the necessity of using my own blood in ritual became obvious to me.

By using  blood as both tool and offering,  we give actual power through it into our workings. This is where my (albeit limited) knowledge and respect of folk magical traditions come to the fore and what it has to say on this matter; I do not believe that, as many modern day pagans and occultists do, that such components only have psychological value. I contend they have a very spiritual and physical effect from the workings I have done that makes it a vital component in the majority of workings.  This view is relatively unpopular in many circles today (pardon the pun), but is one that makes any discussion on the Witchmark vital to understand from my own perspective, and thus unavoidable in this post.

Despite this, the the leap between using drops of my own blood in ritual up to this point and actually going as far as to take the plunge and have my own Witchmark, the primary sigil of Hecate, tattooed onto my body was a large one. With the sigil in place, it would be impossible to remove it – or at least physically difficult and spiritually permanently scarring. As such, I deliberated for awhile before deciding to ask Hecate directly for a response. The response to that half thought of a question that night was immediate, as I was surrounded and penetrated by a powerful, overwhelming force that seemed to permeate my entire body. Taking it as a sign, I finally came to my mind. I’d take the plunge and go through with it.

Using my intuition to guide me, I decided that the Witchmark would be placed over the sternum enabling two things. Firstly, that the Witchmark was placed as close to the centre of the chest as possible, over the region of the heart, seen in many cultures as a powerful energy centre of the body in some manner. Secondly, that the Witchmark would be out of sight, preserving it as a esoteric tool and mark in respect, not ‘displaying’ it in a show off my ego to the world.

every once in a while in your life you reach a decision point. a crossroad leading left or right. you can not look far enough to make the perfect step, but you have to decide anyways. is it left or right? or even turning back?

So yesterday I found myself on ‘the day’ of getting it tattooed onto my body. At this point, before hand, I was glad I was fully prepared, mentally at least, to receive it. The actual process was more painful than initially expected due its location (I was actually encouraged to get it placed elsewhere first!), but in the end it was strangely enjoyable in its own fashion. I tried visualisation several times, with only a small amount of success due to the environment coupled with the distracting pain. I saw flashes of images and sigils, but nothing concrete that I could work with or record for long in memory during the procedure. I eventually gave up and just began repeating a small mantra to Hecate in my head whilst the ink was applied.

After it was successfully applied I got up legs shaking, feeling born anew. Although physically exhausted, both mentally and spiritually I felt indescribably  heightened and sharpened. My body, mind and soul felt like they were screaming with vibrancy. A day later the effect still hasn’t worn off, and I still feel ecstatic, and have dreamed vividly.

I feel honoured to be able to receive this mark as a gift, and make that blood sacrifice in return as a sacred offering to Hecate which is the first step in a new direction on my journey. I hope to explore the paths unlocked by this sacred key, and share what I am able to.

With this being new territory to me, I thought it was more than worthy of a mention on the blog. I hope this post has been interesting and potentially shed some light on why it is seen as a necessary to my own path. I wish I could post more concretely about my own experience with it , but with it being such a new development I cannot really say much more as it would be a fabrication.

As a parting note, I’d like to say that I found an excellent post by another guy on his own similar experience which can be found at the following link, that shows anothers point of view on the subject. Whilst I don’t usually relate to many of the posts that go up on this site, this one definitely caught my eye.

http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usla&c=words&id=15349

Thank you as always for reading.