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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in practical magic
Do you Hoodoo? or, Rootwork Amongst the Edamame

I returned from the West Kentucky Hoodoo Rootworker Heritage Festival last evening. The festival site was set in farm country in western Kentucky and vast fields of soybeans formed a crescent around the encampment.  A rooster crowed up the Sun each morning and coyotes yipped through the long, cool nights. We had one wet night and one cold night and days filled with one of the most diverse groups I've seen in my (admittedly limited) Pagan festival experience.

There were workshops, rituals, classes and plenty of networking with colleagues from as far away as Toronto. The food was good, the company cheerful and remarkably even-tempered. Lots of nice vendors tempted us all with their pretty wares and I can't even complain about the late-night karaoke simply because the folks doing it were having so much fun.

I presented three workshops--one of them was "Willful Bane," a workshop I've been giving for a number of years on the ethics, history and techniques of hexes and cursing. It's got some surprising ideas contained in it, ideas that are sometimes difficult for modern Pagans to swallow.  It was fun to present it to a group who didn't feel particularly challenged by the idea of hexing as an extreme healing modality and understood the concept of justice that permeates some aspects of this work.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Celeste Jackson
    Celeste Jackson says #
    Absolutely! Bryan, Jack and I would be delighted to assist you. I would also LOVE to introduce you to Dr. Erika Brady. Dr Montell
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Too funny. Yes, it was nice meeting you, too, at long last and nice to meet Bryan. I am considering a limited tour of Kentucky and
  • Celeste Jackson
    Celeste Jackson says #
    I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and reading your book(yes, I did finish it- I could not put it down) and had one heck of a time e
God Is Self and Self is God: Musings on Godself and Living a Magical Life

Who is this flower above me,
And what is the work of this god?
I would know myself in all my parts.
~ Feri Flower Prayer

My work of late has been focused around surrender, specifically, surrendering to the moment and surrendering to the Gods. And first and foremost, I have to surrender to my Self, specifically, to my Godself.*

Danielle LaPorte recently wrote about asking for and receiving cosmic guidance. Her second suggestion really resonated with me:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

So, let's start with the very basics, beginning with how to sense spirits. After all, if I'm going to be helping my readership work with spirits and totems and the like, I should make sure that you have a way of doing so. You might already have figured out a good option for yourself, but keep reading anyway if you like--maybe there's something in here you haven't considered yet.

I'm going to sidestep the issue of the exact nature of spirits, whether they're independent beings in a nonphysical reality that parallels our own, or unseen denizens of our world, or elements of our psyche that we project outward. Not that it isn't important, but I'll leave it up to you to decide exactly what they are; the how-tos I'm going to put in this blog should work regardless of your answer.

Sensing Spirits

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Simple Samhain Rites

I love this time of year. Where I live, here in upstate New York, the summer’s heat has given way to autumn’s chill, the leaves are shifting into colorful hues of yellow, orange, and red, and the farmer’s markets are filled with pumpkins ready to be carved.

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  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    Thanks! It's a great idea...and then you get to eat it, too!
  • Hunter Liguore
    Hunter Liguore says #
    Insightful... love cooking those ancestor dishes!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

It's been a while, but I'm back again, lovely readers! I'm currently hard at work on my second book (amongst other projects, as you'll see below), but I will certainly continue to post here as and when I can. Comments and topic requests always welcome.


At this time of year, it's easy to understand why our ancestors (both actual and spiritual), those wise women and cunning men, were considered remote, unusual, untouchable, even fearsome.

As Autumn moves into Winter here in the UK, we feel our natural, animal pull to dig in, hibernate, take time within the darkness to assess the previous year and anticipate the time to come - but I doubt any busy society has ever really allowed that to happen, except when they have no choice. Stoke up the fire, head to the pub or communal house, light and laughter against the outside world.

(Photo - 'Autumn in the New Forest', from Glastonbury Goddess Temple)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I talked in my first post about the importance of integrating our spiritual beliefs as Pagans with our everyday mundane lives. Most of the Witches and Pagans I know strive to do just that. I also think most of us struggle to find the time and energy to do so, when we are already overwhelmed by our busy, hectic existence and our obligations to others. Certainly I wrestle with this dilemma: how do I find the space and time to practice my Craft when I barely have time to eat and sleep? (And forget having a social life or taking a vacation. Vaca-what?)

 

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  • Theresa Wymer
    Theresa Wymer says #
    That's what I do on a daily basis, and it works really well. I think it's not a bad idea, whatever your spiritual beliefs.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

After I'd been practicing The Craft for a while, I noticed that there were a few folks who stood out from the others, people that seemed to me to epitomize the essence of what it meant to be a Witch. The why of this puzzled me for a long time; they weren't necessarily the most successful, the most famous, or the most powerful. So what was it about these few individuals that made me look at them and think, "That's the kind of Witch I wish I could be"?

Eventually it came to me: these Witches, who all seemed somehow more centered, more in touch with spirit, more present in their own lives (which is not to be confused with being happy all the time, by any means)—they all walked their talk. Whether they were famous authors or the hypnotherapist who taught me tarot reading, they all walked their talk, all day, every day.

What I mean by this is that they had found ways to integrate their spiritual beliefs as Wiccans/Witches/Pagans with their everyday mundane lives. Once I'd figured it out, I began to try to do the same. Over the years, I'd like to think I have made a fair amount of progress along this path, although as with everything else, there is always room for improvement.

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  • karen bowman
    karen bowman says #
    thanks so much so glad u are on kindle!can't wait for new book blessed be
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    All five of my books are out on Kindle, and the new one coming in October will be too. In fact, we have a mini-ebook coming this m
  • karen bowman
    karen bowman says #
    deb can't wait hope u do the 5 min rituals in the next couple of blogs. on the subject of embraceing my crone does one of your b

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