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Monday, June 25, 2018

The Trouble with Fairies

Everyone loves fairies. The little people. The good neighbors. Connected to nature as guardians and elementals, who doesn't love the fey?

Truthfully, I approach fairies from every culture -- but particularly the fey and sidhe of Celtic culture -- with some caution. Fairies are tricksy. Like most spiritual entities, fairies are looking out for themselves (or for their habitat), and their needs and wants can be very foreign to humans.

Depending on where you live in the world, you probably have some sort of fairy spirit living on or near the property where your home sits. They're the "good neighbors" in Celtic lore ... but only if we are good neighbors to them. It is wise to propitiate the fairies in your area BEFORE there is a problem.

What sorts of problems can fairies cause?

  • tangling the hair of sleepers into "elf locks"
  • stealing small items
  • leading a traveler astray
  • some forms of sudden death (!!!)
  • wasting illnesses
  • paralysis and mysterious illness in animals

You can protect yourself against unwanted fairy encounters, which is the most common type of advice given regarding fairies. If you wish not to be disturbed by fairies, implementing one of these tools/tricks can help you:

  • cold iron
  • wearing clothing inside out
  • running water
  • bells (especially church bells) 
  • St. John's wort
  • four-leaf clovers

However, if you are more interested in developing a respectful relationship with the "good people," you can use one of these sacred and beloved offerings to your benefit:

  • rowan trees (berries, twigs) 
  • bread
  • cream and butter

Common sense is always key, though. Even if you have a good relationship with the fair folk, you should really think twice before:

  • following a will o' the wisp
  • lingering in fairy haunts
  • digging in fairy hills 

Finally, a sure way to have a lasting relationship with one of the little people is to learn the name of a particular fairy. As with most beings, knowing an individual's name gives you a bond.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

But ... That is an EVIL Spirit!!

Imagine with me that you stumble upon a spirit listing on a shop's website. The image you see is dreamy, the description makes your blood hot, and you can't stop thinking about it no matter how you try to distract yourself. You're obviously drawn to the spirit, but let's say that you decide to do an internet search about that spirit type. WHOA! *sound of breaks squealing* Everything you read is bad or worse. This spirit must be wrong for you, right? You're a good person; you don't want an evil spirit in your family. Why would that conjurer even have such a bad spirit available? Why would you be drawn to it?

I will be honest and say that some religions work very hard at keeping the spirits of the older religions in a bad place. They've taken the word "daemon" (which just meant "spirit" in Greek) and made it into a big, awful demon -- who wants to eat your soul and torture you. What we have to do is separate the bad press from the actual spirits. Many types of spirits were given awful reputations as newer religions came into an area. Not all Djinn are bad. Not by a long shot. Are some Djinn evil? Sure, in the same way that some humans are. You don't bring strangers into your home without good references, a mutual friend, a reliable employer or other arrangements that help you trust them. It is the same with spirits. That is the primary role of a conjurer like me. I provide a reference. I don't let anyone come through that I can't trust. Does that make sense?

In every race of spirits, just like with humans or animals, there are good and bad. As humans, we carry prejudices about people who dress a certain way or live in a certain area or practice a certain religion. But not all of those people fit our prejudice. We can find friends and lovers and business partners from those groups, if we are open to it -- and if we are clear in our needs.

My job, as a spirit conjurer, is to find a spirit for you that you can share a bond of affection with -- one whose needs can be met by your own. The relationship is a symbiotic one.

As always, though, I would say to trust your instinct. If you are turned off by a spirit because of its reputation, it might not be a great choice for you. If, however, you remain drawn to a certain type of spirit *despite* their negative press, there is likely one of that type who is a good, healthy, happy match for you.

No race of any spirit or being is a monster. None are purely evil, as a race. To a canary, a house cat is a monster. To a worm, the canary is the monster. Humans are just used to being at the top of the food chain, and the things that could harm us in the course of their natural existence seem "evil" to us. But how many heartwarming stories have we seen about some predator who has become friends with a member of a prey species?  Affection, commonality, and need can  really change the dynamics of an adversarial relationship -- and can go a long way to helping us heal the preconceived prejudices we inherited from the past.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Did You Just Send Me a Servitor?

I received an interesting question a while ago from a potential client.

The question is: how can I recognize/differentiate a real actual entity/spirit bound to me or a vessel, an entity which is not a human creation, from a thought form or entity created by a human (servitors, egregores, etc.). I am a spirit keeper and want to be able to understand if a seller has sold me something which is not a real spirit, but his own creation.

If you are  unfamiliar with the concept of servitors, a quick Google search for "what is a servitor" will turn up several very helpful answers. The short version is that they are a thoughtform that has been created to serve a particular purpose. Yep, that's right! You can create a spirit to accomplish the goals you desire. Magicians do it all the time. All. The. Time. So, how do you know if the spirit you received from a conjurer is an older entity or one of these newly created servitors?

It can actually be quite difficult to tell whether the spirit you have been put in touch with is a new creation or an older, existing being. I think that's because ALL spirits start somewhere, and many of them begin as servitors/egregores. Now, for a great many of the ones whose names we have recorded in old grimoires and such, they were created centuries or even millennia ago. Some were deities of conquered people whose Gods were demonized and brought low by the conquerors. Following this line of thinking brings a philosophical person back to the old question -- did the Gods/God create us, or do we create them/him?

Generally, though, a newly created servitor isn't going to have the oomph behind it. Not enough people have put their faith into that being, communicated with that being, etc. It hasn't done enough work to be as strong or as solid or as "weighty" as a spirit that has been around longer.

This comes down to intuition and trusting your senses (including the psychic ones) to be able to feel. But if you can feel that spirit, try to get a sense of age, of gravitas (if that makes sense), of experience.

I would also suggest being open to working with newly "created" spirits. If they're getting the job done, and you enjoy them, then they can be every bit as effective and wonderful a companion as an older being. Thought creates reality, after all, which means that these beings are very "real."

And by the way, I do understand if your concern is less about the spirit's ability and more about the conjurer's ethics. If you've been told you are receiving an old spirit, that's who you should receive. A servitor can be exceptionally helpful, but you shouldn't be given one thing and told it is something else.

I hope that helps. I know it doesn't give a concrete answer to "how" -- although maybe my "soft" answer about feeling the age and weight and experience of the spirit will be a useful tool for you.

In another blog entry, we'll explore how you can create a servitor, if you are interested in doing such a thing. Certainly, if you are wishing to train as a conjurer, servitor creation should be a solid entry in your curriculum vitae.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Our Spirit Conjuration Process

I've been involved with several different types of Witches, spirit-conjurers, and magicians. Each individual works a little differently, and each method or genre of conjuring has its own set of rules. Ceremonial mages are different from witches who are different from rootworkers. I have been trained in these three systems and also in Druidry, and I have studied other systems as well. I hope I will be able to explain my process clearly for you. I have done this so long that I find I work on a highly intuitive level, with only a little ritual mechanics. That can make it hard to explain, I think.

1. When you purchase a conjure with us, you can include some details in the NOTES box at check out. Your name, birthdate, and any specifics about the type of spirit or sort of relationship you want are very helpful. If you have a preferred vessel type, you can note it here, as well. We will do our best to accommodate your vessel needs, according to what we have available.

2. We'll contact you to clarify anything we need to know. We want you to be satisfied with your spirit relationship, and communication is key.

3. When we have the needed details, we will do the conjuration work to bring the spirit you desire into your life, connecting him/her with the vessel. Depending on your needs, we may take up to 7 days in order to find the right planetary hour and day for your spirit's conjuration.

4. We will contact you within 24 hours (via email) with the details of your spirit companion -- name, type of spirit, appearance (although this is often changeable, as nearly all spirits are willing to assume a shape you find pleasing), and any other details that are conveyed to us. This is a good time to ask any questions that have come up for you since your order was placed.

5. We will ship your vessel, a printed report of the information in step 4, and two free booklets via USPS Priority Mail.

After that, if you have more questions or need further instruction, we are happy to connect with you via a SKYPE consultation (see our listing).

SPIRIT VESSEL

Each spirit will be delivered to you within a traditional talisman vessel. You can offer the spirit any vessel that you choose after you have received it from us. (Indeed, you can offer it any vessel you choose, as soon as we've introduced you.)

Unlike other shops who have "bound" the spirit to a vessel (or claim to have done so), we acknowledge that even though a spirit may be bound to you (through ties of love, commitment, and choice), no spirit can truly be confined to a physical object. (I know this is a popular conception of how spirit keeping happens, but this isn't how "spirit" works. Your own spirit isn't forced to stay within your body -- as we know from lucid dreaming, astral travel, and spirit flight. The same is true for your spirit companions.)

It's perhaps inaccurate, though, to say that the spirits aren't "bound." Different conjurers use this terms a little differently. What we mean is that they are not held in place. They are not forced. They are not imprisoned. Some conjurers use the term "bound" to mean those things. Others, like me, use the term "bound" simply to mean linked. The vessel is offered as a house, a dwelling, a physical place. The keeper and spirit develop a bond, a link, a relationship. They work together as friends, companions, teachers, lovers, partners, etc. The understanding is made first in my communication with the spirit when I prepare for the conjure. I only "call" for spirits who are willing and interested in working with a keeper as s/he needs. I am very clear in that call, and I am very firm in my willingness and ability to banish any spirit who comes with less-than-cooperative intentions. It's based on energetic compatibility and also contractual agreement. I tell the spirit what is needed, and they tell me what they need in return.


FINDING THE RIGHT "FIT"

Over time a person's energy can shift and change. We see this with human-to-human relationships very clearly. And sometimes that means that a spirit is only in your life for a period of months or years, while you work through something together. Other spirits, like certain friends and lovers, are in it for the long haul. You can change, they can change, and you still love and enjoy and need each other. I would advise my clients not to be rigid in their relationships with spirits (or with humans). Holding on tightly to a relationship whose time has ended can only cause heartache for everyone involved. But at the same time, don't assume all spirit relationships are transient and temporary. Certain types of spirits will be with you until you die, whether you acknowledge them or not.

So, how do I ensure the spirit will be a right fit for the person he/she is going to?

I ask. I listen. I watch. I feel. I hear. I ask my own spirit companions to advise me. This is perhaps one of the more intuitive aspects of this work, and I apologize if my answer is unsatisfying or unclear.

I find, very often, that when a client comes to me asking for a certain type of conjuration, the spirit they are requesting is already quite close at hand. That spirit has often been talking to them for weeks, months, sometimes years. "Hey! I'm here. I can help. Notice me." My work isn't usually so much about going into the astral planes and searching for the best match, but about bringing the spirit into the keeper's awareness. Of course, sometimes I am playing matchmaker, comparing lists of energetic and astrological compatibilities. =)

OUR TALENTS
We are very gifted and powerful spirit-conjurers, -communicators, -and keepers. These skills are obviously useful in terms of bringing the right spirits into your life. But they are also helpful for psychic readings, teaching, and magical life coaching -- all of which are offered in the shop.

WHO ARE "WE"?
Laurelei is our spokesperson and sorceress. She is 42 years old and has spent over half her life studying and practicing Witchcraft and the occult.

Laurelei works with several spirits to do the work that is listed in this shop -- including a Solomonic demon (who prefers not to have her name shared publicly), a Marid Djinn named Lef'rah, the Father of Witchcraft, the Queen of Heaven, a lorelei-siren, and assorted other spirits.

Even though Laurelei does the typing and talking, one or more spirits are usually speaking with/through her. Hence, the "we" when talking about certain types of magic. It's a group effort.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Spirit Conjuration Philosophy


Spirits are sentient beings with individual wills, desires, abilities, and "lives." We mortals (if indeed we ARE mortal) are spiritual beings having a human experience. We are astral and eternal beings who have chosen to incarnate as physical beings. The spirits we draw into our lives are not unlike us, except that they have chosen (or can't for some reason) take an incarnate form.

We don't believe that spirit torture or spirit slavery are ethical practices, and we are dismayed at the number of spirits being conjured and kept in unethical ways by otherwise good and ethical people. We are here to show another way. (And we are willing to teach you, if you want to learn to do this for yourself.)

There are hundreds of SPIRITS WHO ACTIVELY DESIRE TO WORK WITH YOU!! We know how to bring you into a close bond with these spirits without sacrificing your integrity, or theirs. We never force a spirit to serve a keeper, as we have seen done in many magical traditions.

We can literally conjure any type of spirit you desire, and we can bring you into a deep, intense personal relationship with those spirits.

 It is my hope to diminsh fear on behalf of those new or unsure about spirit conjuring and keeping. I have seen a great many people who are tentative in their efforts and pay truly outrageous amounts of money to sorcerers who promote a message of fear (ie "you are not strong enough to keep this spirit" or "only I can do this work for you" and even "you will be unhappy/unsafe/unstable without this spell or charm or spirit"). A very subversive message, truly. I want people to know that they have the ability themselves, with study and fortitude, to be a conjurer themselves.

Sadly, I  see a lot of spirit enslavement within the conjure community, within the sales copy promoted by many other shops. Certainly, this is not true of ALL shops. But my dismay at seeing encouragement of keeping unwilling spirits in a collection, spirits that require a binding (in the sense of chains) -- as opposed to a bond of of love, friendship, or employment. This is actually what compelled me to open Etsy shop called "Ethical Sorcery" -- a shop that was closed with all other metaphysical shops of its sort in the summer of 2015 per some policies at that marketplace.

I've been doing this work for a very long time, and I am an adept in both Traditional Witchcraft and Ceremonial Magick. I have studied the medieval grimoires, and I have talked with sorcerers of many different lineages. The spirit slavery and torture that I am railing against is present and common, even today -- and it stems from medieval magical practices. A magician stood inside a circle and conjured a spirit within the triangle. He conjured whatever spirit he wanted, regardless of that spirit's willingness to participate in the magical operation. The magician then gave the spirit a task. If the spirit was unwilling, the magician threatened the spirit, growing increasingly more violent until eventually the magician was holding the spirit's sigil over fire to torture that spirit into compliance. I find it gruesome. Sadly, I also still find it very, very common. You'd be truly shocked, I think, to know how many good people see no problem with essentially ensnaring a passing spirit and coercing them into cooperation. (Some magicians approach this work from what is called the "Psychological Model of Magic" -- the conviction that all magic, all reality, all spirits are in your head and are therefore yours to manipulate and control.)

And certainly, I don't mean to cause anyone additional fear or worry. It is my intention to shed light on a practice I personally find abhorrent -- and prevalent. Furthermore, I wish to declare Blade & Broom and myself as separate from those practices, an ethical alternative to what I see as an unethical (and very common) modus operandi.

Working for the Magic

Like many Witches, I have been asked to perform alignments and attunements for many clients who want to gain more power or ability in one area or another. When (if) I do this work, I like to counsel my clients on the piece of the puzzle that is in their hands. Not every magician will tell you this, but I want to give you the tools to be successful with your goals. (These principles apply to every aspect of magic, including spirit conjuring and other types of spells, too.)

The big secret of sorcery is that in order for the power to truly be yours, you have to work for it yourself. I know how unpopular an idea that is. Magic is supposed to be easy, right? It's supposed to be instantaneous. Isn't it?

Honestly, if you look at all the legends and tales of sorcery from all over the world, one of the most common threads is the idea that the person who does the work (stirs the cauldron for a year, risks his life to enter the magical cave,  learns the secret languages, studies, practices) is the person who receives the power. So what is happening when you pay a conjurer to increase your power or bring you into alignment with an energy or ability? The conjurer is increasing their own power and sending a portion of energy to you. It may be a big portion, but it just sits there for you. YOU haven't learned how to pick it up, to wear it, to use it. The conjurer has.

Why don't other sorcerers tell you this? Why do they offer increasing abilities for increasing costs without mentioning the work the client needs to do? There are two reasons. The first is obvious (and cynical). Clients are less likely to pay for a service that they still have to work for. The second is deeper, though. The client who does the work becomes a Mage and no longer *needs* the conjurer.

So why am I telling you this? Don't I risk losing clients, too?

Yeah, I do. That's okay, though. I can't bring myself to lie to my clients to make more money. I am disturbed by the number of magicians who are willing to do so. I opened my practice to a wider clientele  because I wanted to make an impact and educate people. Maybe I will turn people off because I don't offer easy solutions to difficult problems. At least I will have taught those who want to learn to make real change in their lives.

Most clients don't WANT to do the work themselves, and that's okay, too, in many ways. The sacrifice that you make for having someone else do it for you is that you don't have as much power and skill as someone who has trained themselves. If you're okay with that, I'm okay with that. I make my living by helping people who don't want to spend their lives becoming Mages. It takes dedication, practice, discipline. All of that is work. It is do-able work, but still work.

So what can a Witch-for-hire REALLY do for a client? We can conjure and/or petition Spirits for you and help you communicate with them by telling you what the spirit wants from you. If we can't put you in direct communication, we can often act as mediums for you by sharing their messages through psychic readings. We can generate large amounts of power to send your way for help with a specific problem or need. We can can build energetic constructs and portals for you that will give power of different types a place to work near you. We can activate powers that are are already present within you and lying dormant. All of these things are more efficient and effective if the client knows how to handle them, of course.  But they are all still very real, even if you don't.

What CAN'T we really do? We can't force people to act against their own Will, and we can't do all the work for you.

So, why do some people report amazing contact with spirits or spells that have been conjured for them? They didn't "work" for it. Why do they get that benefit, but others don't? We all have talents. We come with inherent abilities. Some rare people can just pick up an instrument and play it without lessons or study. Some are naturally athletic and have great coordination. We can all play an instrument or a game, but some of us have to practice more than others to be able to make a simple melody or score a goal. It's the same with magic and psychic work. I'm lucky. I was born with natural talent for magic. And then I studied and practiced. I still do. My coven and the magical orders to which I belong are always giving me a place to practice and to learn. Likewise, some of my clients are naturally talented. Many are. Others need more practice and training.

To this end, I consider myself a "magical life coach." (It's cheesy sounding, I know. It's also accurate.) If you want to learn, if you want to take the steps to improve your skills, increase your power, and change your life, I'm here for you.

If you want me to do the work for you (that can be done), I will. I can do the work, and then you can get the benefit that is available to you based on your natural abilities. Those benefits are often quite impressive. I'm good at what I do.

If you want me to do all the work for you, and then be frustrated because you can't levitate, see your spirit companions in a solid and touchable physical form, make a specific person leap into your bed tomorrow night, etc .... Well, what can I say? You will likely be disappointed with all sorcery done for you. The difference between me and the people offering you such claims is that I'm being honest from the start. (Don't believe me? Pay the hundreds or thousands of dollars they are asking for and see how it goes.) I won't lie to make a sale.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Seeking a Magical Education

If you are interested in learning how to do this work for yourself, you can either study independently or with a teacher. I am an excellent teacher — having been a professional educator (high school English and theatre teacher and a public speaker within the witchcraft community) for many years. But I am not the only teacher available to you, and I think all prospective students ought to know what to look for.

Wherever you study, your education should include:

1. Grounding and Centering — The magician is the center of her own Universe, and from a place of balance she can control the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit.

2. Sensing, Raising, and Moving Energy — The magician should be able to sense, generate, and control the flow of the energies listed above.

3. Shielding — You don’t want to be bombarded or bothered by these energies, so you must know how to shield from them.

4. Invoking and Evoking — All effective magicians must know how to call energy and spirits into their presence and into their bodies to accomplish their work.

5. Banishing — If you call it, you need to know how to get rid of it. Whether you prefer sage smudge or the Star Ruby (a ceremonial banishing using ancient Greek language), you must be able to rid yourself of unwanted Spirits.

6. Laws of Magic — A sorceress can’t function properly without a basic understanding of the way magic works.

7. Psychism, Divination, and Spirit Communication — This will give you some tools to communicate with the Unseen World of Spirits.

8. Ethics — You must know where your ethical boundaries are.

I think it's worth noting that the above list is only aimed at the "science" of magick/Craft. I've left religion and faith out of this particular list, but that might not be the way you prefer to learn your magick. You might want the rich symbolic heritage and potent mysticism of a particular religious tradition to inform your magick. If you study with me, we can work that in. (It's how I work best, too.)

I recommend the following texts for close study as you begin:
Modern Magick by Donald Michael Kraig
The Essential Guide to Possession, Depossession, and Divine Relationships by Diana Paxson
The Witches' Key to the Legion: A Guide to Solomonic Sorcery by Laurelei Black

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