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Devo Magix: A Sa for Protection

The Sa was a commonly used amulet in the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt and literally represented “protection”. We’re not entirely sure what the Sa was exactly- some people think it was a life-preserver of sorts, others think that it was a rolled up herdsman’s shelter (Wilkinson, Reading Egyptian Art, 197). Regardless of what the Sa actually was, it became a symbol used largely for protective purposes- and that protection could range from childbirth to traveling and was often held by deities such as Tawaret and Bes.

For this project, we’re going to create a Sa out of fabric that you can use to protect yourself, your family, or whatever you want. The supplies you’ll need are:

  • Scissors
  • Fabric (I chose red)
  • Cordage or yarn in whatever color you’d like
  • Markers (I chose black)

Sa supplies

You will want to start by cutting your fabric into a rectangular shape. Make sure that you have enough space to write your petition onto the fabric and keep in mind how tall you’ll want your Sa to be- because you’ll want to cut the fabric to about double that length.

Once the fabric is cut, decide what you’d like protection over or from. The fabric will serve as a vehicle of protection- so you’ll want to imbue it with your needs. You could anoint your fabric with oils, cleanse it with salt or natron, leave it outside to soak up solar or lunar juju, or you could leave it in your shrine case for a predetermined amount of time- whatever will help your situation and needs.

Sa002

For my particular situation, I chose to write a series of sigils onto the fabric. Like with any amuletic practices, I mentally focused while writing and made sure to keep my mind on the task at hand.

The cordage is the next step. You can choose whatever colors or numbers you prefer. I would recommend not making your braids too thick, or it could cause problems with rolling up the Sa later. If braiding isn’t your thing, you could easily take a few cords and tie a series of knots into the threads with numbers that correspond to your needs.

In this case, I chose colors and numbers that corresponded to various members of my family. I braided up the the cords and knotted each end. Like with the fabric, you could choose to anoint each cord with oil or allow them to soak up energies as you see fit. Feel free to get creative with preparing the materials that you’ll be using to make your Sa.

Then, you will want to lay your braid/cordage onto the edge of the fabric like so:

Sa003

And you will slowly wrap the braid up into the fabric like this:

Sa004

Sa005

It can take a few tries to get the fabric tightly wound around the braid inside. Once the fabric is fully wrapped around the braid, I held it like this:

Sa05

You will take another section of cordage and tightly wrap it around the joint of the Sa. You can use whatever colors you like, tie as many knots as you like, or create bows if that works best for you. In the end, I ended up with this:

Sa02

You could also wrap the cordage around the body of the Sa, if you wanted. Many traditional representations do have multiple knots tied around the loop of the amulet. Alternatively, you could tie another loop at the top of your Sa so that you could wear it on a necklace.

Place the Sa wherever you will feel its benefits. If it’s for protection while traveling- place it in the car. If its for your child, perhaps placing it in their pocket or backpack would work well. If its for your house, you could place it on the hearth, or a central location where the family gathers and mingles.

If anyone out there makes their own Sa, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

Other examples of this in action:

Other Devo Magix Posts:

 

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Posted by on January 4, 2014 in Devo Magix Series, Kemeticism

 

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KRT: Execrations, Curses and Ethics

Execrations and Curses: Can you perform them? What are the ethics behind them, if any? How and when can you perform them?

For this round of the Kemetic Round Table, we are discussing the nuances of casting curses and utilizing execrations. Curses are a sticky subject amongst certain groups of the Pagan umbrella due to perceived ethical implications of performing magic with the intent of harming someone, and since execrations are very similar, we lumped them together for this post.

In short, the answer is yes, you can perform curses and execrations (as not to be redundant, I recommend looking at this post for execration basics). It was not uncommon for the ancient Egyptians to perform execrations daily (by priests in temples and by laity) and we’ve got records of curses and other hexes being performed as well.

The ethics doing such is less than clear, and I personally believe that the ethical implications of what you are and are not willing to perform or do in regards to magix is a completely personal thing. Much like morality in general, I don’t think that it is a topic that anyone but yourself can truly dictate for yourself. In antiquity, it seems that many people were okay with doing all sorts of curses and love spells and other “questionable” magical acts in order to get what they wanted. I touched on this briefly in my last KRT post about threatening and bribing gods. The ethics of what was okay magically then doesn’t necessarily reflect how many Kemetics feel about ethics now. You can look to the past as an indication of what is okay and what isn’t, but I think that you have to consider that times change and our ethical systems can change with it.

Basically: You have to sleep with yourself at night. If you’re uncomfortable performing any particular type of magix, you probably shouldn’t perform it until you feel secure in what you are doing. Being unsure about your magical acts will only serve to weaken your magix.

I personally try not to sling curses left and right, but I’m not above cursing in the least. I tend to execrate and bind things before I curse them. But again, my ethics are not your ethics. I can’t hold you to my ethical standards, nor should I.

The logistics of when and where you should perform such magix is also up to you. I perform execrations regularly because I feel that they help to keep me balanced and remove blockages before they get too large. Much like someone that cleanses regularly- I feel like execrations help to keep the metaphorical “ball” rolling in my life. I do perform larger, more elaborate execrations when I get the feeling that I should. And on occasion, one of the gods will tell me that I need to perform an execration- at which point I normally do.

Curses are less common for me. I usually only curse someone if I am completely and utterly fed up with a person, persons, or a situation. However, I do know of people who curse regularly, or at the drop of a hat. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. There is no right or wrong time to perform these acts. It is a matter of personal preference.

If you wish to get some ideas about what you can do with curses and execrations, here is a list of resources to get you started!

Magix and heka in antiquity:

Resources and examples for modern Execrations and Curses:

To read the other entries for this topic, visit the master list here.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2013 in Kemetic Round Table, Kemeticism

 

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Devo Magix: Desert Magix

In a lot of books on witchcraft and Paganism in general, you’ll see a lot of references to plants and fauna that occur in more temperate parts of the world. You know, places that are north and east of SoCal, AZ and lower NV. Because of this, it can be difficult to know what to do with your magix when you’re stuck in the pits of hell desert.

For this post, I’m going to go over some of the various plant life you can find in the US SW desert, and how you can use the natural surroundings in your magical workings. Although it might look like there is nothing of use around you when you gaze out across the charbroiled landscape- I assure you that there are some great things out here that are very very useful for magix.

Plants and Vegetation:

With all plants, please use your discretion when harvesting parts of the plant. Don’t take so much that the plant will not survive, and please remember that de-barking trees can lead to the death of the tree (if you remove too much bark). With all of the vegetation listed below, remember that there are common parts to all plants that can be harvested- needles/thorns, leaves, bark and seeds- and all of these will have comparable uses regardless of the plant that they are harvested from. Please be aware that all correspondences used in this post are my own.

A general synopsis of plant bit associations that I have:

  • Needles/thorns: Used for curse jars and execrations. I also like to use these in protection spells. Please be careful when harvesting needles. Some types of cactus (and trees) can have poisons or toxins on their needles. Use your discretion when handling.
  • Leaves: I use leaves in protection (in AZ, leaves protect you from the hot hot sun) and growth spells. I also like to use leaves in spells for abundance.
  • Bark: I use bark in a lot of warding. Bark is protection for the tree, and so I utilize it as a means to protect myself. I also like to use bark as a means to write sigils for spells- provided the piece of bark is large enough.
  • Branches: Also used as a protection means. I like to make amulets out of branches.
  • Seeds: Utilized in spells for growth, potential, creativity and abundance.
  • Seed pod: Used to incubate anything that I’m trying to accomplish.

Cactus:

There are many different types of cactus that you can work with, but generally speaking- almost all cactus can be used for the same thing: their needles. These needles can be used in curse jars and execration rites as a means of causing pain to the recipient. You could also easily use cactus needles, or cacti themselves as a means of protection and warding. Energetically, I consider cacti to be very active, forceful and unyielding. You could harness any of these properties by using cactus bits in your magix.

  • Prickly Pear: Prickly Pear comes in a wide variety of types, and each type will likely have its own possible uses and correspondences. But for the sake of length, I’m going to address PP as a whole unit for this post. PP are edible cacti, and you can even buy the paddles in some grocery stores. If you’re brave enough to harvest the paddles, or the flowering fruit- you could use these to represent sustenance during a difficult time. PP are very hardy and are difficult to kill- so any parts or pieces that you harvest from these plants is likely to carry those traits with them.
  • Cholla: Cholla (pronounced “Choy-ah”) are evil. Much like Prickly Pear, there are multiple types of Cholla to pick from, but most of them are very similar. These cacti will drop pods of needles onto the ground. These pods are statically charged, and if you happen to be near them- they will suction to you and hurt really badly. So, just based off of this alone- I think it is a good indication of their use as a means of protection and in curses. You can also utilize their static nature to draw things to your workings- just make sure you’re okay if those things get poked when they show up. Be careful when you harvest these! You are likely to get stuck.
  • Barrel Cactus: These cacti are very unassuming and they personally remind me of Daruma. Their needles are very easy to gather, as they are long and thick (please be careful when harvesting any spines). During certain parts of the year, pods will fall off of the top of these cacti. If you can collect one, they will contain a bunch of small black seeds. These seeds are useful in spells for growth and prosperity. You could even potentially use the pod itself as a rattle (depends on how shriveled up it is from the sun).

Please be aware that it is against the law to go out into the desert and remove certain types of cacti from their natural habitat. Please obtain all cacti through legal means. Additionally, in AZ, such cacti as the Saguaro are protected by law. Don’t mess with them ❤

Trees:

  • Mesquite/Acacia– Acacia trees are well known for their very long and sharp needles. As with cacti, the needles are very useful in curse jars and warding techniques. Some needles are big enough to actually be used as needles- which you could do. You can easily use the bark, seeds, and leaves of the Acacia as well. I like to use these parts for resiliency (Acacias are not easily killed. Many can be hit by lightning, or knocked over by monsoon winds and still manage to survive).
  • IronwoodIronwood trees are known for their silver wood and light purple flowers. The wood of the Ironwood tree is a very slow burning wood and is very hard. I like to use branches, needles and bark from this tree regularly. The thorns are much smaller than Acacia trees- so be careful when harvesting them. Due to the slow burning nature of the wood, and the name of the tree itself, I like to use Ironwood in spells where endurance or strength is needed.
  • Palo Verde– I consider Palo Verde to be the Sakura of the desert world. These plants have a very bright and short-lived flowering season in the early spring. If you can collect up any of the flowers that are shed during this season, you could utilize them in magix for enjoying things while they last, accepting transience of a situation, or perhaps utilizing notions of frail beauty. Additionally, this tree is almost always green, so you could collect branches or leaves to attract some “green” into your life, or to represent resilience and steadfastness. Also, sometimes the leaves form on long, thin flexible … branches? leaves? I don’t know what to call them. But these pieces can be used in knot magix as well.

Shrubs and Bushes:

  • Creosote: My family calls these bushes “Greasewood” bushes, and if there is anything AZ is known for, its the smell that these bushes emit once they’ve been rained on. These plants are about as hardy as you can get. They can remain dormant for decades, and can survive without water for years if they have to. Their leaves are very waxy and their branches are very flexible. These bushes can be used for a wide variety of things. All parts of the bush can be utilized for resilience, endurance and flexibility. You can collect the little white “puffs” that form after the flowering season is over- these are the seeds of the bush.
  • Brittlebush: I use Brittlebush leaves the way most people use Sage- I dry and burn them to cleanse my house or workings. I also like to add the leaves and flowers to various working for cleansing and protective purposes.

Other stuff you can pick up off of the ground:

  • Sand: Sand is a great cleanser. I use it as a base for a lot of my magix boxes. I like to use it to ground out spells, to help cleanse items, to lock items up (bury the item in sand to suffocate it). For me, sand is often used as the equivalent of “salt” to a lot of other people. You can buy sand in home improvement stores, or if you’re lucky- you can gather sand from dried up washes.
  • Feathers: Please be aware that it is illegal to have feathers that belong to birds of prey. So collect feathers at your own discretion, as local laws vary regarding this. Feathers can be used to represent agility, speed, or grace (depending on the bird). You can use feathers to help spread messages or ideas to new people and places. You can use feathers to represent wind or air, or to help new ventures “take flight”.
  • Rocks: We’ve got a lot of rocks down here in the desert. Some of the most common rocks you’re going to find are quartz blends such as granite and straight up white quartz (often sold as “clear quartz” in fancy frou frou stores). But all rocks have the potential for good uses, and desert stones are great because they’ve been baking cleansing in the sun for a long time before you decided to pick one up. You can use stones to ground out your house, or to protect a location (place a stone in every corner of your room/house/property for protection, or perhaps one on either side of your door). You can draw sigils on rocks for various needs as well. Rocks have limitless possibility and there are many interesting stones you can find out in the desert. Please be careful when picking up stones, though- often times snakes, lizards and scorpions like to live underneath of them 🙂

Creepies, Crawlies and Dead Stuff

The desert has a lot of critters and neat things that you can find (living and dead). Due to the nature of the dry desert, you can sometimes find remains of animals and other things that can be used in magical workings. As always, please use your discretion when handling potentially venomous or poisonous items such as snake bits, spiders or scorpions.

  • Spiders: You’ll find a lot of different spiders out here in the desert. The most common ones that I see are the standard Daddy Long Legs. However, it’s not unheard of to find Black Widows, Tarantulas and Wolf Spiders. Sometimes, you will find dried up versions of Daddy Long Legs or Black Widows which you can use for your magix. A common myth around here is that Daddy Long Legs bring rain- so you could use them in weather spells. You could easily use Black Widows in curses or protective spells. Just be careful when handling them. Additionally, you could try to collect some of the webbing from these spiders and use them in your workings. Webs are good for entangling people and making situations sticky- for better or worse. You could also use webs in protective workings- making it so that your enemies get caught up in the web.
  • Coyotes: Coyotes are common around the more rural areas of the desert, and can be seen regularly- depending on where you live. While I wouldn’t recommend trying to hunt down a coyote for its bits, you can sometimes find dried out skeletons, knucklebones, skulls, and bits of fur along the side of the road or out in the deserts. Knuckle bones could be used in spells regarding chance and luck. Any of the bits could be used in spells for resourcefulness, being clever, ability to get out of bad situations, or elusiveness.
  • Scorpions: Sometimes you will find these guys all dried out as well. I have found them in my shed before, and sometimes in places like garages and storage closets. You can use the stingers the same way that you would needles or nails- in curse jars and the like. The pincers can be used for protective workings, spells where you need to “get a grip” or potentially lock something down (think of anything that my require a firm grip or a vice grip). You could use scorpion bits for laying low and being undetected (these guys are good at that- trust me), or you can use them as a ‘hardening’ or protective agent (their “skin” is like armor, so utilize that aspect of their makeup).
  • Lizards: Sometimes you will find dead lizards. More commonly, though, you will find lizard tails (many lizards can drop their tails when they feel threatened). So you could use said tail in magix where you are trying to get out of a bad situation or are trying to escape. You could also use the tail in magix that is diversionary in nature (since the tail flops around on the ground and distracts the predator while they run away). If you find a whole lizard- many of the lizards here are capable of scaling multi-storie buildings, and are also masters of blending into their surroundings. You could easily use both of these aspects when using lizard pieces in your magix.
  • Horses: It probably sounds really bad- but sometimes you do find horse carcasses out in the desert. We do have wild horses in the desert out here, and sometimes people will drop dead, domesticated horses out in the desert because they can’t afford to have them properly disposed of. Additionally, many people out here in the desert have horses on their property- so you could ask them for some stuff, if they are okay with it. Horse hair is very very strong. You can braid it and use it in knot magix. You can also use it in bindings. You can get horse hoof shavings (a normal part of keeping horse’s feet properly trimmed) which can be used for travel or getting rid of the old and bringing in the new. Sometimes, with a carcass, you can find dried out bones and teeth on a horse which you can use as well.

Make the weather work for you

I know that many people think that the desert only comes in one form: hot and sunny. And while this is normally true, there are still aspects of the weather which can be used in your workings. The sunlight that shines down every day here makes a great incubator for cleansing items and for helping to melt wax or seal workings (as an idea, you can take a bunch of broken crayons, put them in a wax paper cup, leave it in the sun and let it all melt. Take it inside to cool. Remove the cup- now you’ve got multi-colored magix crayon to write with. You can include other things like salt if you wanted, too). The sun here is very scalding and burning- so you can utilize the sunlight to strip away old, unnecessary things so that new stuff can come through. I often like to leave workings in my car to cleanse and gather up a ton of solar energy. Or, you could leave a curse in the car to bake the recipient’s brains out (metaphorically, hopefully).

I also find that the monsoon storms in the summer allow for great energy that can be harnessed and directed into spell work. You can also gather monsoon rainwater to utilize in later spells. Water is very precious out here- so any amount of natural water that you can gather up is very potent and useful stuff. I find that monsoon weather creates a very charged atmosphere that reads to me as being borderline chaotic. So these types of energies could transfer into any workings you do with the monsoon.

And don’t forget that the clear desert skies can make for great moonlight and starlight workings as well! You can use cool desert nights to help charge up items in a way that won’t cause them to melt.

________

Hopefully this have given you some ideas on things you can use in the desert for your magical workings. This list is by no means complete- there are tons of other plants and possibilities out there that I probably haven’t even considered. If you’ve got any questions or need any other suggestions, let me know in the comments section below! 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Devo Magix Series

 

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Devo Magix: Recent Shenans

I’ve written guides on how to do various magix, but I wanted to show some of the various magix bits I’ve been up to lately. Hopefully some of these can be used to give you ideas on some of the things that you could do for your own magix! Spoon Magix I talk a lot about spoons. How to keep them, how to spend them better, how to work with the amount that you have. And recently, I decided that I would magix some spoons for some of my friends in an attempt to help them keep their spoons or gain more spoons. Enter spoon magix! I searched around at local thrift stores for spoons. I didn’t want to buy a whole silverware kit, only to utilize the spoons, and our local Savers has bags of various silverware bits and pieces. And it just so happens that sometimes, they have bags that are nothing but spoons. I hunted around for a nicer quality of silverware- and managed to find some that are actually silver plated. I took them home and washed them the old fashioned way with soap and water. I polished them to the best of my ability with a silver cleaning cloth. I then put some of my special oils on them and put then into a grid setup to soak up juju.

 spoons2

This grid is multiple layers. There are two levels of magixed doilies and in btwn them is a sigil that I created to help bring more go juice to the grid.

spoons3

I let the spoons sit there for about a week. In the meantime, I created pouches for each spoon to go into. The pouch is a two fold method going on- it can be used for other magix, or it can be used to help recharge the spoon. Each pouch was hand made (via sewing machine) with fabrics that I hoped would suit each person. In btwn each layer of fabric is another sigil hand tailored for the person or persons each spoon would be going to. I then finished up each spoon by wrapping it with various ribbon. Another form of knot magix at work.

Spoons

Windchime Magix Wind chime magix is actually something that my non-pagan grandmother taught me about. She told me once that when she was a child in Japan, the locals would hang various things on their furin chimes- which would help to spread word of whatever it was they desired by whomever could hear the chime. Now, I have no clue if this is true- but the idea of using wind chimes as a means of magix is something I’ve grown up with. There was a time when my grandmother was trying to make it selling particular products to people (think Avon or Tupperware)- and in order to get more people interested, she put a piece of paper with the logo of the item she was trying to sell on her wind chime weight. To this day she will also write the names of pets that have passed onto some of the weights of her wind chimes. That way, she will see the names as she walks by every day, and she also feels that their spirit and remembrance of them is kept alive whenever the chime rings. So there is a lot of possibility for magix here. Here is how I went about it recently. I found a furin chime at a local thrift store, but the paper weight at the bottom was missing and the cordage that you hang the wind chime by was completely filled with dry rot from the AZ sun. No worries! I can combine sigil magix and knot/thread magix and create something that is even better! Here are the supplies needed:

string, paper, furin and tape

string, paper, furin and tape

I selected a piece of paper that I wanted to use for the weight. I folded it into a narrower shape, which is typical for furin, and on the inside I wrote my sigil. You could just as easily write in plain English whatever it is you’d like to attract to you, or you could draw a picture- any and all work. I used to write out different stuff a couple times a year and switch out what was hanging as the weight.

The inside of the weight.

The inside of the weight.

Because the weight is folded and taped together, you could even stick herbs or coins or whatever else you wanted inside. But I fold up the paper, tape it closed and cut a small hole for the string to go through. I then take my string (I use multiple strands because AZ is violent towards threads and dry rot is a pain) and braid it up. While braiding, I focus on what I want to achieve. I then attach it to the clapper inside of the bell. And because this chime’s hanging string was all messed up, I do a braid for that as well.

Finished Wind chime

Finished Wind chime

Finished Wind Chime

Finished!

And once its all said and done, I hang it outside so that it can ring and attract what I want to me!

Red Rose Magix The Red Rose Curse is something that I swiped from someone else, actually. I saw it posted on Tumblr and I decided I had to give it a go. I already had someone in mind, so I figured it’d be an awesome experiment. To read the original Red Rose Curse, go here. I recommend you take a look at it before continuing on, otherwise this might not make any sense. So the main ingredients are as follows:

Rose Curse Ingredients

a white rose, jar and red paint

The original curse calls for a white rose, a jar and red paint. However, you could easily spice this jar up with other things- herbs or nails or what have you- to make the jar more inhospitable to the person its aimed towards. For my own jar, I ended up painting the tip of the stem black, which has had an effect on the curse’s progression. In the original curse, its said that you could remove the curse by breaking the jar. So initially, I had considered putting things in the jar that I might remove or reuse later- because I thought the rose would dry up and die. Oh no. Do not put anything in this jar that you want to use later. Just trust me on this. You likely won’t want to re-open this jar later, either. It gets nasty. The rose painted and in its jar- the very first night.

Red Rose Curse Painted

I was sure to cover every surface possible of the rose, even pushing my paintbrush down into the petals. It took a bit, and the rose got a little beat up for it- but I think it was worth it.

And here is a few days later:

And another week later:

Three weeks in:

Current (as of publishing this post) condition:

As you can see, it gets very very nasty looking, and the black sharpie on the stem has created a nice black liquid for the rose to fester in. So the idea of reusing something from this jar is probably not advised.

I suppose the main question you want answered is: “Is this working?” It appears to be. I did a version of this curse on the astral as well, as it is against an astral entity that I’ve placed it against, and it has seemed to make him even more batshit than he was before.

So in short? Yes.

I will continue to post updates about this curse on my Tumblr, which you can see here.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Devo Magix Series

 

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Formal Execration: The Learning Curve

While trying to decipher the meaning of a vision that I received while working with O, it was suggested that perhaps I do an execration. I considered this, and sat down with Set to get his thoughts on it, and he agreed it would be a good idea. For whatever reason, I decided I would try a formal execration. I chose the first execration rite listed in Eternal Egypt. This is my first time of doing an execration from a book, and I wanted to document some of it for others to see and consider.

The purpose of this execration was to “clear the board” (Set’s words). He had told me that I had enemies I could see, and enemies I couldn’t see. Things I was considering, and things that I wasn’t considering. So I chose the first rite in an attempt to keep the ‘enemies’ specific (for the ones I could list), but yet still cast a wide enough net to knock out things that I couldn’t see or consider in my current position.

Execration Altar Setup

Execration Altar Setup

So let’s go over what is needed for a formal execration. Reidy has the following “ingredients” for an execration:

  • Candle or oil lamp
  • An image of the serpent-enemy made of beeswax
  • New sheet of papyrus with enemies names listed in green ink
  • Copper brazier or pan
  • Herbs to replace bryony
  • Iron knife or nail
  • Black thread
  • Blade of flint
  • Red clay pot, sand, and a lid or means to seal the pot

Because of limitations, I made a few changes to the above ingredients list. I used regular paper, instead of papyrus. My beeswax image was made from a candle. Instead of a copper pan, I used a brass bowl. And for herbs, I used a lemon. Reidy states in his book that bryony would have been acidic, and I felt that a lemon would be one of the most acidic things I could find. Instead of an iron knife, I used Set’s knife (stainless steel). I chose to use his knife because he is part of the reason I’m doing this at all. And, his connotations of smiting a/pep daily anyways. For my red pot, I chose an old pill bottle that I had. I cleaned it and painted it red.

Once I had all of my stuff together, I set it up all nicely in one spot so that I could do all of my work in one area and not have to leave to go get stuff. The execration was going along alright. Nothing major or exciting, though it was odd to actually speak words during my rite (I am a silent ritualist, usually). And everyting was pretty ho hum until I set stuff on fire.

 

Yes. Set stuff on fire. And holy crap. Did it burn. It burned for a long long time. In fact, I had to bring in a pot lid to smother the flames so that it would stop burning. It got so hot that the wax started to sizzle in the base of the pot. It was seriously like standing in front of the stove while cooking.

Damn.

That’s crazy.

And after it was done, it looked a lot like this:

Execration Remains

And it was at least 20 minutes before the brass was cool enough to touch.

Afterwards, I took the remains and poured them into my bottle. I added the lemon juice (as well as the lemon as a whole) and poured sand on top. I then took my red candle and melted hot wax over the lid and let it drip down (It didn’t quite pan out as I had hoped it would, but ohwell). Since I didn’t have the means to bury it somewhere, I placed it in a dumpster on the other side of my apartment complex where it will eventually be taken to the landfill and ‘buried’ there.

execration bottle

Now it’s time for the learning curve!

As mentioned in the title, there is a bit of a learning curve to this whole ‘formal execration’ thing. It’s really easy to take a piece of paper, write on it, scream at it, tear it up, burn it and pitch it (and call it good). But when you get into the more formal style of things, there are a lot more problems that can crop up during the ritual. There are also more considerations that need to be made while doing the formal style, and I wanted to go over some of my findings, pitfalls, and areas of suggestion so that your formal execration can go smoother.

  • Make sure your execration pot (the thing you burn stuff in) is sturdy. You saw how hot my stuff got. If I had gone with a lesser bowl, its entirely possible that I could have run into serious problems. The bowl could have broken (or shattered) and I would have had hot molten wax all over my table, my person, and possibly my hands as well. Be considerate of the materials you’re using. Make sure that your execration brazier/pot can really withstand high heat.
  • Be considerate of your surroundings. In conjunction with above- make sure you’re performing your execration in a place that can handle high heat. Despite using a brass bowl, I ended up with a black circle on my silverware box. I also ended up with tons of tiny wax droplets all over my box, table, and person. Make sure that you do your rites in an area that can handle high heat, messes, and potentially escaping fire or wax.
  • Be considerate of your clay pot. My jar was extremely hot after placing that wax in there. I wanted to drip the wax down the side of my jar, so that it would actually seal the jar up. However, the wax was still so hot inside, I couldn’t pick up the jar for fear of breaking the glass, or burning my hands. Be sure that wherever you’re filling the jar at can also handle high heat, or potential jar breakage.
  • Don’t make a huge a/pep effigy. My a/pep was made out of a large taper candle. That was dumb. It should have been a lot smaller. I think a lot of my fire issues stemmed from the sheer volume of wax that was in the pot. Be considerate of the size of your burning pot, and the size of the problems you are execrating when you create your a/pep figure. Next time, I think I will make something smaller in size.
  • If you’re going to have a large a/pep figure, make sure you burn your paper before adding the wax. There was so much wax in my bowl, the paper never entirely burned. If I had burned the paper first, that wouldn’t have been a huge problem.
  • Have water, oven mitts, perhaps a large pot lid (for snuffing out fire), and something like sand or baking soda on hand. This is in case fire spreads.
  • Make sure your knives are sharp and can handle some pressure. I had a lot of problem with my knife not wanting to cut this massive wax figure. I ended up doing divots in the wax, and snapping the snake apart… which was quite gratifying. But at least be aware that it can be an issue.

All in all, I’m glad I tried a formal execration out. I think that each format of execration is useful, and really serves different purposes all in all. I love basic execrations where all I’m doing is focusing on smashing the crap out of something. I don’t need to worry about words or structure, it’s all about the emotional release. However, the formal style is pretty cool too, because you seriously feel like you’re beating something much larger up. Especially when the wax started to really go off- I was like “Damn, this is crazy. What the hell did I just unleash?” The styles and feelings are different, and that each format is better for certain situations over others.

It is my opinion that Formal Execrations are good for large scale, long term goals. For example, let’s take losing weight. You’d start with a Formal Execration to get you started. And then you’d do lots of smaller execrations along the way to keep you going. The best way to find out which is best for you is to try one of each version and compare and contrast their results.

I urge you to try a formal execration and see how it feels!

Other posts on Execration:

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Devo Magix Series, Kemeticism

 

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Devo Magix: Know Your Basics

This is an argument in favor of making up your own stuff.

When you surf around on the Internet, there are a lot of questions about spells. There are also a lot of prefab spells out there as well. And for a large portion of the pagan/witchy community, there are a lot of people who use pre-made spells as the bread and butter of their practice.

I think that this is okay for the beginner (possibly), but that at some point or another, you have to really break free from prefab stuff. At some point or another, you need to look at prefab spells, or any magix work you’ve done, and really figure out what is going on, what is making the magix tick.

Let me use an example.

Let’s say that learning magix is like learning a new language (which, it sorta is). There are many ways to learn a new language, and one of the most popular methods is the phrase book. You know- the books that are nothing more than “Hi, my name is ___.” “How are you?” “May I please have that?” “Where is the bathroom?” It has lots of phrases that you can memorize- but it doesn’t discuss grammar, tense, or any of the parts of the creation of the sentence.

So let’s say you use this book to learn these phrases- what is going to happen when you interact with your first local? Yes, you might get past the “Hello my name is”, but what if they say something that wasn’t in your phrase book?

You’re going to bomb.

And that’s how it goes with magix. You only use pre-made spells, you only learn magix via a “phrasebook”, and that works for a while… But what happens the one time that something goes wrong (let’s say you have some weird hobgoblins knocking on your door). What then? If you’re just using a magical “phrasebook”- how will you know what words, spices, etc. to put in where to create what you need? And what if your “phrasebook” is unavailable? How will you keep yourself protected?

Or what happens if you’ve got a prefab spell that you wish to use. Let’s say it involves a river, and a strict timeline, and you go to the one place you can think of with a river- except the road is closed, barring your path.

What now?

You can’t get to the river. Time is running out, and your phrasebook doesn’t give you any other options for when the road to the river is closed. What do you do?

And this, my friends, is why we need to know our building blocks.

In order to really be successful with magix, we need to try and move beyond the basics of prefab cookbook styled spell workings. We need to be unafraid and jump into the hot mess that is magix and not be concerned with our hands getting dirty. This is why we should try new things, write stuff down, experiment, fail, succeed. Because only through trial and error will you really figure out what works for you. Only through working with each magical concept and ingredient will you really understand how the spells come together to create the magix. This is also why you will not see many (if any) pre-fab magix on here- because I believe in giving you the building blocks, so that you can make your own awesome magix.

Because only by knowing your building blocks would you being to decide that if the road to the river is closed, you find another source of moving water, such as a large fountain.

Only by knowing your building blocks will your magix become unstoppable.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Devo Magix Series, Rambles

 

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Working with the Fae

Mandatory disclaimer: These are the methods that have worked for me. As with all things, my methods are not the only way to do things, nor can I promise that they are fool proof. As with all things, please use your discretion.

Someone asked me to write about how I began to work with the fae- so here I am 😛

My story isn’t that exciting. Everything I have done in regards to the fae was taught to me by someone else who had been working with them for years, and happens to have an extremely close tie to the fae. I don’t happen to have a lot of book knowledge on this area. At the end of this post, I will list books that were recommended to me to read in order to learn more about the fae (I haven’t gotten to them yet- I have quite the long book list!). So please keep in mind when reading this post.

I feel that the the fae are as diverse and different as all of us. My experiences with the fae could be different from your own, and that is important to keep in mind. What is also important to keep in mind is that, unlike with a lot of free form, free loving pagans who say that “what feels good” trumps what is in the “rule book”, I highly highly highly recommend that you actually follow the rules when working with the fae. They have rules, and if you don’t want to piss anyone off, it’s definitely a good idea to follow the rules.

So what are the rules? Well here is what I was taught:

  • No iron on the offering plate, shrine or anything you leave out for them. Ever. Period. No exceptions to this rule. It is toxic on a good day, horribly fatal on a bad (as I understand it).
  • Do not eat anything you leave out for them. Ever.
  • If you ever find yourself face to face with a fae, mind your manners. This doesn’t mean you have to be a stick in the mud, but mind your words and actions. Be a good host.
  • Don’t follow any fae into their realms, if possible. It’s possible to get stuck there.
  • In my personal experience, don’t be flaky with the fae. If you’re going to forge a relationship with them, be serious about it. Be punctual with any schedules you have with them. They seem to appreciate follow through.
  • Do not break any promises you make with them. They don’t seem to like that.
  • Speaking of promises, be very selective in any deals you cut with them.

When I first wanted to start working with the fae, I simply started to leave offerings out for them. Fae tend to be big into the outdoors. So when you’re first starting, I recommend that you leave your offerings outside for them (I left my on my balcony/patio). I chose to leave my offerings for them on the full moon and the new moon. Twice a month, without fail. When I started, I was told that I would need to be consistent. You don’t start offering to them twice a month, and then decide two months in that you’re too busy all of a sudden, or that you no longer care. Many fae are mistrustful of humans and once they’ve decided to give you a chance, don’t appreciate you dropping the ball. Let’s just say that gods have more patience than most fae.

Offerings for the fae are pretty straight forward. Make sure that there is nothing iron involved. Honestly, to keep it simple for myself, I don’t include anything metal (as a general rule). They are big into natural areas, so I tend to stick with more natural things- ceramic, pottery, wood. Here is a general list of what I’ve found them to like:

  • Alcohol (who doesn’t?)
  • Sweets- baked goods specifically (seriously, the more sugar, the better)
  • Juices
  • Fruit
  • Milk
  • Honey
  • Plants or living things (don’t let these plants die. omg don’t)
  • Fluorite
  • Rosemary

You are welcome to try just about anything that you’d eat, though. I’ve given them breads, cheeses, and other stuff laying around my house without any adverse reactions. However, sweets is by far the most popular request I’ve received. I typically set my offerings out in the evening, or after the sun has set. I was also taught that once you put something out for them, don’t touch it- leave it be. I then come out the next morning/day and take them in. I don’t typically let them sit out for more than 24 hours. Once you’re done with them, you can leave them outside (“give them to nature”) or throw them away. As stated above do. not. eat. them. This is one tradition where you don’t want to be eating anything you offer. You can have a permanent offering place or ‘shrine’ to them. Or you can just set things in the same location every month. Up until recently, I had no set place for them- I’d just put the offerings in the same place every time. How hardcore you want to get with your area is up to you.

After I began to set out offerings regularly, I started to notice dots of light. I know, that sounds like I’m on crack, but it’s what happened. And after I quit working with them for a while, the dots went away (and now that I’ve recently got back into working with them- lo, the dots have returned). You may or may not see dots or anything- it really does depend. I don’t typically ask the fae for anything in particular. I set out the offerings because I want them to flourish, I don’t expect anything in return. I have heard of people being able to ask favors from the fae, but I recommend that you work for a good while to establish a good relationship with them before doing anything of the sort.

It’s said that fae will often steal stuff or move stuff around your house. I suppose if you’ve lost something, you could leave out some goodies for them, and maybe it’ll re-appear. Sometimes mischief in your house can be abated by pleasing the local fae/fauna/spirits/etc. And sometimes making a big pile of shinies for them works just as well. It really depends on where you’re living and the condition of the land around you. Down here in the desert, it’s very quiet and I don’t usually have any problems.

As simple and short as it sounds, this is seriously what I do currently for the fae. Hopefully this is of some help to those who are interested. If you have any questions, you can ask in the comments section. I’ll do my best to answer what I can, though keep in mind that I am no guru 🙂 Below is the list of books I was recommended, if you’d like to read up on them!

Recommended Reading:

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in Rambles

 

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