Ravemore's Notes

A little meandering… Pagan reflections on a left hand path.

Month: December, 2012

The Power of Charms..

It is very unfortunate that the power of charms and other similar incantations fell out of favor with modern man in recent centuries, and equally interesting to see the slow revival in the last few decades. The medical establishment lost a valuable tool when the age of reason and the development of the scientific method supplanted the influence of hedge witches, the cunning woman and man, and other practitioners of the medieval healing professions. The church did an excellent job in suppressing the pagan religions that were at the forefront of those arts, but early renaissance men saw their value, even if they discounted their arcane worth and attributed success to divine intervention.

Lea Olsan eloquently put a finger on the proverbial pulse when she stated “This belief in the power of the words to change the circumstances or reality lies at the basis of the use of a charm. The words might be spoken in a patient’s ear, written on bread or hosts and ingested, or carried on the person as a preventative. The directions for performance of the charm not seldom include specific accompanying acts, which in late medieval manuscripts are often simple tasks of caretakers, on the one hand, or acts intended to strengthen the sufferer mentally by means of evocation of deeply felt religious symbols.” (13)

Early attempts at melding charms into modern medicine was attempted by the church, without the success they saw in absorbing and assimilating the ontology of pagan life. When they stamped out their accepted use in healing, I believe they doomed many innocent people. Prayers and charms should have gone hand in hand with new and innovative treatments, but this was incompatible with doctrine.

We now know of the incredible power of the “Placebo Effect”, and as practitioners of witchcraft we also know it is even more profound than that. Effect can indeed be shaped by Will alone… the essence of magic. Neither way is more beneficial or powerful without the other. 1+0=1… 1+1=2. Basic mathematics are applicable.

Latin Charms and Oral Tradition

Understanding..

“To understand the living, you got to commune with the dead.”

– Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil  (1997)

The “real you”…

“You can’t study the darkness by flooding it with light.”

– Edward Abbey

Self examination and introspection can reveal surprising insights into who, or what, we are. Mainstream religion over the centuries has conditioned mankind to repress, to avoid, and to fear our true nature. Pope Gregory was foolish, yet apparently effective. In an attempt to control the masses he whittled and shaped his “deadly sins”, yet was  unable to tear away from the influence of Pythagoras. Very hypocritical. A “perfect number” manifest in all of its glory. Remember though, we must not confuse sin with human nature. We should embrace all parts of who we are, without letting them consume us. They are foundations for true understanding. Abstinence is the only true sin… (12)

 

 

 

Ties Between Witchcraft and Mental Illness

I’m still chuckling. In fact my stomach hurts a little now. I heard someone recently state that anyone claiming to be a witch is crazy. This prompted me to find a few on-line mental health exams, and I have to note the third one seemed pretty respectable. Anyway… surprise, surprise.

Mental Health Quiz = Bipolar disorder 35% depressed.

Sociopath Survey = You are a high functioning sociopath.

The Great American Psychopath Survey (11) = Your psychopathy score is somewhat high: 133 out of 224

Of Savage Lust, and a Pact with the Goat God of the Witches

Éabhla scurried through the dense brush, mud and tears staining her cheeks. The gurgle of the nearby river Shannon could be heard rolling against it banks. Her body shook with fear, which slowly began to turn to rage. Her sister had been burned at the stake not more than two hours prior, and she was still in a deep state of shock. Times had been rough since their parents had walked the Low Road, and she and her sister had been forced to rely on prostitution to afford food. Connaught was not an easy place to make a living, as most others were also poor. They did what they had to do to survive though. Their luck took an even worse turn when a jealous wife accused them of witchcraft. The arrests and trials had been swift. There had really been no hope of true justice. She could still hear in her own mind the screams of her sister from her dank cell as the flames had consumed her flesh. She had prayed to the old gods, begging for help, crumpling into a sobbing heap on the pile of filthy hay on the dirt floor while she waited for them to load fresh faggots of kindling and wood around the stake.

She did not know who the cloaked and hooded woman was that unlocked her cell, and in fact she did not even see her enter the stone walled hut serving as her place of detention. She had entered the torch lit room quiet as a wraith. All three guards had fallen fast asleep, but only seconds earlier had been boasting and laughing about the executions in progress. It was surreal. As the door swung open the woman reached in and lifted her up gently by the arm and whispered in her ear, “Child, I have come to free you from your bonds and give you choices. Your sister now walks the Low Road, but it is not yet your time. Morrigan is not yet ready to cut your thread and call you home. If you wish security make your way to Kildare, the sisterhood will take you in and you will be safe. They will indoctrinate you and you will become a keeper of the flame. If you seek vengeance though, head to the river with all due haste. The choice is yours… make it wisely.”

Éabhla had no doubt where she would go. After exiting the doorway she sprinted to the nearby tree line, her tattered skirts flying about her. When she glanced back there was no sign of her savior. She headed toward the river, branches scratching her skin in her rush to get there.

She crouched near an old gnarled Oak Tree, her ears straining for any sign that she had been pursued. She expected to hear the sharp cries of villagers and see wan halos of torchlight in the mists, but there was nothing. She could feel a presence though, but her determination to avenge her sister squashed any fear trying to creep into her heart. After a long period of time a low guttural voice from the darkness startled her. “Child, you walk in darkness and you have called upon the old gods in your despair… what is it you seek?” She replied softly, her eyes straining to see who spoke to her. “I was told to come to the river if I wished vengeance.” After a few short moments the voice again carried through the darkness. “The Mother always offers choices child. You chose to come to the river. Do you forgo your other choice?” Éabhla straightened her back and stated simply “I do.” There was a chuckle that sounded reminiscent of rolling thunder many miles away. “Are you willing to make sacrifice for the vengeance you are seeking?” She bit her lip and said flatly “I am.”

A very large shadow drifted from the lee side of a nearby boulder where the speaker had been concealed. Éabhla’s heart skipped a beat in her chest when she realized the huge man had the head of a massive goat. He was no man at all. He was Cernunnos, God of Witches. As he approached she could smell the acrid odor of his skin and see the feral glow of eyes reflecting weak moonlight making its way through thin wisps of fog. Her legs became weak. She was enamored with his overwhelming physical presence, with the way he moved, the sound of his voice. Before she knew what she was doing she was casting her skirts aside and guiding his gigantic phallus to her entry. They rutted, oblivious to the world, and he whispered secrets to her. Secrets of poppets and curses, mysteries concerning herbs, bindings for demons and other Lesser Powers, and lore of all kinds. She was unmindful of the world, lost in pleasure and pain… and the secrets kept coming. In between grunts and squeals she offered herself, body and soul, into his service for the rest of her life. After what seemed to be ages he grunted and filled her with his seed, a flow her small body could not contain, and her cup did run over. The Goat God of the Witches rolled her over, gently patted her belly, and softly said in his throaty voice, “New life has been created to replace one that has been lost, and you now have the knowledge and power to avenge a wrong if you choose to do so. You are now truly that which you and your sister were accused of and punished for.”

Less than a month later the judges presiding over the trial of Éabhla and her sister had taken their own lives… all of them. Some experienced sudden and strange illness, some had lost their minds degenerating into incoherent babbling of witches and demons, and a few just ended their existence with no apparent reason at all.

Carnal Reflections

Sex, beautiful sex. The foreplay, the build-up, the climax, the tingling all over. The energy released can be awe-inspiring… or not. I suppose it can vary greatly depending on the mood and the partner. As I get older I have found the importance placed on the act itself can be over-rated, but it is undeniable that when things “click” and when used in conjunction with a magical working, things can literally grow wings and fly at the speed of light. Many societies, including our own, are still mired in the prudish and puritanical chains of the past. The Left Hand Path frees us from these restraints. We do what feels right, and step outside the grasping claws of the mainstream religious right who preach social and political conservatism, but who in reality are promoting nothing more than spiritual slavery.

The embracing of the taboo can be exhilarating in itself. I remember over ten years ago when my wife and I began to swing and enjoy the debauchery life has to offer in its fullest, the idea was even more intoxicating than the acts. We have slowed down over the years though. I think that just comes with age… and perhaps too much of a good thing? Who knows… If you find our profile on swinglifestyle I guess I can give you a cookie, or a brownie point. *Grins* My advice though is to embrace what feels right. Don’t worry about who is touching who, don’t fret over who’s watching, and don’t deprive yourself of the experience. One, two, three, four… the more the merrier. When the church bell tolls for you my brothers and sisters, flip it the middle finger and walk into the shadows. The Goat God of the Witches will be there to embrace you.

Evoking and Summoning

Evoking and Summoning are very dangerous arts, but a source of considerable power. The Will must be strong, and the Focus sharp when working these types of magic. Many traditions frown upon these types of craftwork, but as a practitioner of a Left Hand Path, this does not concern me. Some will point out that Evoking and Summoning are the same art, but this could not be further from the truth. Evoking is the practice of dealing with, commanding, and binding of spirits and Lesser Powers that have been summoned, usually through processes such as pacts or exorcism. Summoning is attributed to the process of calling a spirit or Lesser Power. The Goat God of the Witches has given us the knowledge necessary to accomplish these things, and as such we should explore this darker side of our craft.

The purposes of evoking and summoning are many, but the most common are for guardians, protection, assistance with tasks or desired outcomes, knowledge, and as weapons. The same principles here apply to both evoking and summoning of Lesser Powers, and the spirits of the dead who have been bound and linger. The ideal time for evoking and summoning are “the witching hours”, 12:00 a.m. until the break of dawn.

A summoning will require the casting of a proper ritual circle for protection, and construction of a thaumaturgic triangle outside of the perimeter of the ritual circle, in the northern quarter. A thaumaturgic triangle is simply an equilateral triangle drawn within a circle, all three sides of the triangle touching the edges of the circle. Inscribed in the enclosed points outside the triangle, inside the circle, but not touching any of the lines of the triangle or circle, will be custom incantations tailored to the type of summoning that will be conducted. There are many other valid types of containment, but this is the one I choose. Charge the thaumaturgic triangle similar to the ritual circle with your athame.

Remember that anything with a “hollow” or open space can be used to house or contain a spirit or Lesser Power; therefore you do not ever want to perform a summoning in your home, or within a permanently inscribed thaumaturgic triangle. Allowing the possibility of an entity taking up residence where you live can be a bad idea. I strongly recommend against binding spirits into portable items with the intent of keeping them indefinitely. They will rebel and seek your undoing. If you ever come across one of these items, I recommend not touching them and leaving the area immediately. Often times these entities or spirits have been tortured, abused, and forced into compliance by strong willed practitioners and they are not going to be friendly. You have been fairly warned…

You may hear from other sources about thought form construction in relation to summoning. This is not truly evoking or summoning and a separate art entirely. At some point I will post concerning that type of working. I would just like to comment that if the purpose of your evoking and summoning is to be offensive in nature, thought form construction is a much safer route for you as the practitioner… and it can be much more effective, reliable, and devastating.

After the ritual circle and thaumaturgic triangle are constructed, you must prepare a written pact. This is the bargain you intend to strike with the spirit or Lesser Power you will summon. Some research may be required to discover what payment or exchange the intended entity may be inclined to accept. Often they will desire a small portion of your life energy, which I deem acceptable. Sometimes something of value must be given before one can take something of value. All commerce with spirits is founded upon a law of exchange. Have caution that you do not bargain your soul though, for any pact using that as currency will be binding, and will be to your greatest ruin. Also, if you feel like your soul, or your entire life essence is the only thing of value you have to offer, the Left Hand Path may not be the road you are intended to walk anyway. After you have successfully summoned a willing spirit or Lesser Power you may have to negotiate changes, so have writing implements on hand. Some practitioners forgo negotiating and simply bind the entity through force of will to accept the pact. This is dangerous, but very possible. The first part of any pact should address the requirement that no harm to you, or yours be perpetrated or aided by the spirit or Lesser Power. The pact shall spell out what is required of both parties, the terms of the agreement, and the termination of the contract after both parties have fulfilled their obligations. The writing of the contract is a form of binding, and the written words are sigils imbued with the magic of your craftwork. Do not be afraid to walk away without coming to an agreement and entering into a pact if the price asked is too high. Be cautious if a spirit or entity asks for your blood, hair, or a personal item as part of your pact, as this can give it power over you. As Arthur Edward Waite has said “Against these you must be on your guard, because the guileful friend becometh an open enemy.” (11.) It is advised that no spirit or entity be detained beyond the time of one hour.

Light several incense sources near the thaumaturgic triangle, and ensure there is a copious amount of candlelight around both diagrams. Often times a summoned entity will manifest in the smoke and shadows. Sometimes they will speak audibly, sometimes only in your mind. Also, have a bowl of salt available in your protective ritual circle in case the need to exorcise a difficult or aggressive entity arises. Be aware, this is always a possibility. Also be aware that you may not be successful in a summoning as there may be no answering entity

Stand within your ritual circle facing the godstang, with an appropriate wand in hand, and an athame laying near your feet. Hazel is an ideal type of wand wood for a working such as this.

Raise your protective wards.

Cernunnos, Goat God of the Witches, I beseech thee to bless this rite,

watch and protect me in this endeavor, light the darkness with the cunning light between thy horns.

From a bowl you have within your ritual circle, grab a handful of dry earth with your left hand and let it slowly trickle through your fingers onto the ground, using caution not to allow it to fall onto the lines comprising your ritual circle. If you are summoning a spirit, grave soil is most appropriate.

I cast forth earth, symbolic of the surface world, Domain of the Third Children of Danu.

By wand I implore a willing entity, (A specific name if known)

come forth and heed my call, manifest that we may parley.

By wand I implore a willing entity,  (A specific name if known)

come forth and heed my call, manifest that we may parley.

By wand I implore a willing entity,  (A specific name if known)

come forth and heed my call, manifest that we may parley.

Three times the call goes forth, do any (You) answer?

If there is no answer, the above can be incanted two more times before the rite should be abandoned until another night.

If a spirit or entity makes an appearance, negotiate your pact. Once an agreement has been reached, or one has not been reached and the space of an hour has elapsed, the spirit or entity can be released from the triangle by grounding the diagram with your athame. Grounding merely consists of a minor working that involves pointing your athame at your thaumaturgic triangle and willing the barrier to discharge its energy into the earth. It is a similar task to raising and lowering your protective wards.

Cernunnos, Goat God of the Witches, I thank thee for watching over my rite,

I walk in shadows and seek the light,

My face looks to the heavens for the morning star, and as always I will find thee burning bright.

Once the terms of the pact are discharged it should be burned and the ash buried in the earth.

If the pact is not honored by the entity or spirit, it can be forced into compliance through other means using the pact, or released if you are of kinder disposition.

If the pact is not honored by you, woe may come knocking upon your door.

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