We need to learn to love the flawed, imperfect things that we create and to forgive ourselves for creating them. Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly. It reminds us that we know we can do better.

Kathryn Schulz
Don’t regret regret

contemporary poetry

June 17, 2017

In an Isis interview that marked the end of his tenure as Professor of Poetry at Oxford, Sir Geoffrey Hill was asked what he wanted from contemporary poetry. He began – and ended – with a negative. ‘I don’t want it to be a sort of simpering drizzle. I really do want there to be some sense of order battling anarchy within the very structure of a poem. I think one of the most dreadful sounds in all of modern culture is what I will call the poetry recital chortle, and most contemporary poems seem to me to be written in order to arouse the desire of the listener to chuckle appreciatively.’

Michael Schmidt
Order Battling Anarchy

SIMPLE SELF-CLEANSING

June 16, 2017

The ritual can be broken down into three simple parts: Cleanse, Consume, and Cease.

To Cleanse:

✨A shower is ideal.

✨Turn off the lights and open the window.

✨If it’s night time a few candles (in containers is safer but I’ve used tealights without issue)

✨A body scrub (exfoliating is good DO NOT USE MICROBEADS THEY ARE TERRIBLE FOR THE ENVORINMENT.)

✨Typical shower items

✨Freshly washed towel

✨Moody Music (I listened to Eivør and Faun and Omnia for this myself)

✨Red Yarn

✨While in the shower imagine your body is coated in a thick, black tar. Starting from your head peel (yes physically) the tar from the top of your head down.

✨The more you “struggle” the better I feel the results tend to be. Really tear at the stuff and work your way all the way down to your feet. Once the last bit is torn off and down the drain wash up really well. Pay attention to lather in especially sore or achey areas.

✨I focus in grounding and even on light trance work in the shower. If you are uncomfortable by this you can avoid it. I clear my mind and sit in the floor eventually working into a position where my forehead touches the floor (child’s pose).

✨After this it is important to get up slowly, I’ve gotten really dizzy from standing up too quickly in the shower before.

✨While I towel dry I dance around the bathroom, snuffing candles out until I’m left in silence and darkness.

✨At this point I do daily grooming things but pay attention to how. Lotion and toner is applied with thought and consideration. Slowly building up these methods of care as a means of replacing what was lost and washed away. Though, care, and energy is important when repairing after cleansing. If you like you can encorperate sigil work (amulet work/ talisman work to some) into this aspect of the ritual.

To Consume

✨Cook yourself some simple and yummy food. Don’t make anything too heavy but indulge in foods rich in color and that make you feel better.

✨Often I cook eggs, jams and breads, and honey covered cakes and things of that nature. Meat is also a good choice.

✨ Season with strong protection or warding foods such as garlic, honey, rosemary, thyme, salt, lemon and so on.

✨Settle down with something stimulating but also that you enjoy like a favorite song or book. Nourishing yourself is more than simply eating food.

✨If you fancy it a nice walk or a quick trip out is also a good method of clearing your mind.

To Cease:

✨Make up your bed and make sure you sleep with iron under or above the bed (I sleep with a throwing axe).

✨Before you go to sleep tie a red yarn around your neck (loose enough to not harm you but tight enough not to snag while you sleep).

✨Wear the yarn for the duration of the next day and at nightfall cut it off and burn it. Dispose of the ashes in running water or at a crossroads.

These steps have never failed me so I offer them to do with as you will. The thing with rituals is you must repeat them so this is something that requires monthly maintenance at the very least in order to remain effective.

Source here

It’s the last stanza, though, that makes Frost into a genius, both poetically but also in his insight into human character, storytelling and literature. The stanza is retrospective as the traveller/poet looks back on his decision – “ages and ages hence” – and comments how we create a life through the poetic fictions that we create about it to give it, and ourselves, meaning. The story that the poet will tell is that:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Notice the stuttering, repetitive “I” that Frost uses both to maintain the rhyme scheme (“I/by”) but also to suggest the traveller/poet’s uncertainty about who made the choice. The narrative drive is re-established with the penultimate line “I took the one less travelled by,” to conclude with a satisfying resolution that ties everything in a neat biographical lesson “And that has made all the difference.” But it has made no difference at all. The difference, the life, is created in the telling, something that Frost does, of course, masterfully.

David C. Ward
What Gives Robert Frost’s ”The Road Not Taken” Its Power?
Originally published on Smithsonian.com 10 August 2015

Language used in spells is meant to express an emotional intent. It does not matter what words are actually used, provided that they express a high emotional level and a carefully defined intent. Do not be surprised if your Guide gets involved, showing or telling you a better way to do something. Some groups favour the use of old languages and archaic terminology. When they understand the emotion behind the words, that will work well for them, for they have put a great deal of effort into research and understanding of the words. But when participants just parrot incomprehensible phrases or read from a script to live out some fantasy, the spell fails.

When Solomon called down power, he used Hebrew names that we now regard as archaic; when he wrote on his pentacles, he used Hebrew letters. Solomon was a Hebrew. When Hebrew was replaced by Latin as the language of scholars, Solomon’s words were translated into Latin because that’s what learned people could read and write. The translation made Solomon’s work effective for those who could read and understand Latin. Today we use plain English if that is our native language.

We do not yet understand well the mechanics of communication, but records show many examples of (for instance) people under hypnosis being controlled by instructions in languages they had no knowledge of. In other words, somehow the mind translates messages into actions even though the words “ought” to be meaningless. In the same way, animals will respond to commands in many different languages even when the words sound different.

We believe this happens because commands, especially psychic commands, are expressed not in actual words, but in emotionally coded signals that trigger reactions in the deepest recesses of our minds. Thus, in doing magical work, you must transmit the emotionally coded signal, not some words that have little or no meaning in your reality. If you transmit gibberish, gibberish is what the receiver gets. When a person who speaks only English attempts to transmit thoughts in ancient Hebrew, he lowers his chances of establishing contact for two reasons:

1. He doesn’t key his mind correctly.
2. The receiver is unable to understand the transmission.

Contrast that with the example above where the words spoken to someone under hypnosis were in a language strange to that person, but where the thought transmitted was in English – the individual’s native language. It is also obvious that the repetition of a meaningless magical name is useless:

Stand. Face east In a loud voice repeat sixteen times, an ancient Hebrew word.

Instructions like this are common in magical texts. The pronunciation of the word is lost; the nearest we can come is “JHVH” or, in chanting, “Elelu.” Similarly you might find instructions like,

Kneel in a perfect circle. With the blade of your athome between your teeth, your wand in your right hand, and your white-handled sword in the left, think: “Tetragrammaton.”

Tetragrammaton literally means four-letter word. In occult circles it is taken to cover all the spellings of the names of God. Unfortunately, in the world at large a four-letter word has a somewhat different connotation. Witches prefer to think of the word God or Goddess, believing this thought results in better two-way understanding. It is easy to change the language of an incantation to your local language, though you need to retain the significance and the emotion of the original words.

Ancient ways are often useful guides, but in psychic work it has been our experience that we don’t know enough about them to make them fully effective.

Gavin & Yvonne Frost
The Witch’s Magical Handbook

• Cut an onion in half and set both halves on the windowsill in the kitchen. Empower to suck up negativity. Change when onion sprouts.
• Hang a pair of open scissors over the front door to cut off negativity from entering the house ( make sure the scissors are safely hung!)
• Put garlic under the bed to warn off nightmares.
• Scent your pillow with lavender to bring sweet dreams ( i do this daily and it works! it also makes me fall asleep faster.)
• Place holy water by the left side ( as you face it ) of the front door.
• Make a prayer monument built of small, round, white stones in one corner of your property. A small pile will do. Leave milk and honey for the spirits of the property and entreat their protection.
• Place a small bag of angelica, rosemary, and mint under the four eaves of the attic ( or on the four corners of your property.)
• To stave off a coming storm, stick a knife in the ground, blade pointing in the direction of the oncoming nasty weather to split the wind. Scream” I am the presence!” at the top of your lungs ,directed at the oncoming storm.
• Hang a cluster of acorns on the front door to protect the residence and those who live there.
• Place a full glass of water by your bed every night to collect any negativity in the room.          ( don’t drink it)

Source here

Magic & Belief

June 9, 2017

It may be said that ritual is the very heart of magick. For it is through ritual that we achieve our magical results. Ritual is a magical procedure or ceremony we perform in order to change the environment. Usually we think of ritual as bearing on active magick, although certainly, it can also affect passive magick. Most often the change achieved is subjective and in the physical world. Outsiders may put them down to coincidence, but the effects are very real. Magical goals for a ritual should not be taken lightly. The successful practice of magick depends upon strong belief. The simplest ritual of them all must be belief itself. If you can believe in your desired results strongly enough, that act is a magical ritual which will achieve your results. Even a very complex ritual is no more effective than strong belief. There are aids to concentration which may help. Thus in “creative visualization”, imagination and controlled breathing are brought into play.

K Amber
The Basics of Magick

bliss and suffering

June 9, 2017

Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toe nails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own.

Dylan Thomas
A few words of a kind

A Witch is a person who has mastered the ways of magick, and performs magick spells and rituals. They are usually very knowledgeable about herbs, gardening, gemstones, moon phases and divination. The word Witch means “wise woman”, but it should be noted that males are also referred as Witches too. Witches are usually very adept at various forms of divination, and know a great deal about the powers of herbs and gemstones. Witches are usually very good healers as well. It is said that Wiccan and Pagans can be Witches, but witches are not always Wiccans or Pagans. The first thing you have to understand that Witchcraft “is” a craft, and like any craft, it takes a lot of study, and practice before you can become proficient at it. In any Coven, it is traditional that a person must do extensive study, and practice, for a year and a day, before they can even refer to themselves as a Witch. It’s a good idea for the countless number of solitary ‘would be’ Witches, to follow this rule as well. On the day you finish your year & a half of study is when you choose whether whatever path you’re on is right for you. If it is, a ritual called “The Initiation” is done in which you pledge yourself to follow that path, after which you can refer to yourself as a Witch or Wiccan, Celtic etc. A solitary Witch in training can easily design their own ritual, when the time comes, as they have studied and practiced enough to know how to properly perform spells and rituals.

Anon
The path of the Witch