Category — Having Tea with Spirits

 

Being Female in the Occult – Periods, Pregnancy & Sex

My mind lately has been all over the place. I am trying to prepare for an upcoming class called “Erotic Symbolism in Tarot”. It will be held at the Tarot Society in Brooklyn this May 14th, 2016. I am freaking out – silently screaming in my head, thinking of all the things that could go wrong.

Will I remember this or that bit of academia?
Will I forget anything?
Will the baby be okay with the grandparents?
Will everyone love it?
Do my students know what they are getting into?

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I’ve also been thinking a lot about necromancy and the lack of modern female occult writers. I recently had an interview with Spiritual Alchemy Show. I spoke with Astrid on the subject of women in the occult and how male dominated it is. I am slowly watching the dialogue unfold on social media. It’s interesting to point out the majority are white males claiming “that’s just not true.” That’s like claiming there’s no racism or sexism because you just don’t see it or it isn’t happening to you.

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I don’t want a fight or a debate. Don’t want/need/have time for the drama. We need an ongoing solution to the problem. So I’m thinking, what better way then to get the best female occultists/writers to come together? Have them create an anthology that other women in the practice can read, enjoy and be proud of. Hopefully, that will get the ball rolling for other projects. Maybe open the door for women who were too fearful to do it or didn’t even think could be accomplished.

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Seriously! Pick up any book from either Scarlet Imprint to Aeon.
All the writers are predominately male. Maybe one or two females sprinkled here and there.

 

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Why should we even care about something like this in occult practice?

Here’s an example why I think it’s important as a female practitioner:

The Ambramelin speaks a few times of how you must be a male or a virgin to complete the operation for the HGA. If you’re a woman, married and with children, well…sucks to be you. I discovered during these ceremonial magical operations/experiments with my girlfriends that angelic being don’t care about all that since they see us as one and the same. They see us as “the divine light of the Creator made in his image.” It is one of the main reasons why the beings request we cover our heads during ritual. They cannot look upon us! Specifically, that divine light the emanates from the top of our heads. They didn’t even care if we were female or showing our hair.

The angelic beings also spoke how they rest above the heads since coming down to the material plane is “base” and “unclean”. I didn’t get a sense that they meant we were dirty but that the lower planes were heavy compared to the higher vibrational frequency they were coming from. And none of the angelic beings seem to complain or bring attention to the fact that all of us were at the end of our menstrual cycle (This was not planned for. It just sorta happened. We were worried maybe we would have to reschedule because of this fact). I’m assuming they didn’t since we all were constantly spiritually bathing and doing the accompanying prayers.

During pregnancy, I found certain spirits will still speak to you. If you’re still able to do certain things like healing, divination and the like, this could hint that your child might also have these abilities. Otherwise, the majority of the pregnancy is spiritually uneventful for a reason. You are spiritually protected and closed until after delivery. Again, has to do with being “unclean”.

We happened to also discover why being sexually clean was important. To the angelic beings if you have intercourse with someone, you’re energies become enmeshed causing confusion to them as to who you are and where one person begins and the other ends. That is what they see as “unclean.” They only see us as energy. I suspect this is probably why the enochian entities ordered John Dee and Edward Kelly to wife swap. I think a few occasions, the angels even told them they saw John and Edward as one and the same person and wanted to complete/confirm this union.

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Would a male practitioner be able to answer these gender sensitive questions? I highly doubt it. Most of the works out there are made to be abhorrent (if not punishable) to the female gaze so they wouldn’t practice it. There needs to be a new and fresh perspective to the way things are done in magick.

May 6, 2016   No Comments

 

Tarot Jam Blog Hop: Using Tarot for Relationship Readings

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This blog post is brought to you by the Tarosophy Tarot Association

My membership number is #1273

My mother in her infinite wisdom and curiosity asked about my blog recently, especially on the subject of tarot. She knows I use my blog as a tool in my business to communicate and reach out to my fans. She finds this “new platform” (really any form of social media) interesting yet alien, and has asked me what this month’s topic was. I told her since we’re entering into the month of February with its season of love, relationships and sex (Valentine’s Day/Lupercalia); anything pertaining to that and tarot would be up for grabs.

My mother wanted me to tell you guys that when it comes to reading the Baraja Española for love and relationships, use the entire deck straight through. Don’t use the three to five card spreads or any short layouts, but the “gypsy spread”. You need to get a nice general feel of the person and their situation in order to understand the root of the problem. That is why the client came to see you. They have a problem or situation they need clarification on. Don’t feel like you are prying or digging too deep. Sometimes the client needs to hear something they won’t like. Despite this, you need to be faithful first and foremost to the cards, and repeat their messages. It is your job to relay the information accurately, not just to tell the client what they want to hear. Remember this saying: “The cards will never lie.” This is not to be confused with releasing the need to be “right.” There is a difference. Don’t feel bad if the cards go “dead” or you seem to blank out. These cards have a tendency to pause and start up again. My mother likes to joke saying, “that’s when you grab a cigarette, a cup of coffee or a bag of popcorn because now it’s about to get really good.” SC

“Okay, but what about the cards themselves?” I hear you ask, “How can I be sure they are talking about sex, affairs, the nitty gritty of the relationship? What symbols do I look for? I’m so confused!”

Don’t worry. Here are some combinations or significators we look out for in a reading:

Page of Clubs and Swords, King of Cups and Ace, Two or Three of Cups: I saw this combination recently with a client. Immediately, I saw a young couple in front a priest getting married. There was a catch though. The cups spoke of vows, promises and even a verbal contract between the couples but one of the lovers was followed by the three of swords and six of clubs. This told me that one of the lovers would habitually profess “love until the end of time” then get cold feet and leave the other at the altar confused. I saw this combination over three times in the reading! This meant this person was likely a con artist / big time player. Children from previous relationships are also indicated by the ace and three of cups together.

One of Clubs and Two of Coins or Three of Cups: Depending on the surrounding cards of course, it’s indicative that someone in the client’s life or they themselves are pregnant. If followed by the five or nine of swords, it indicates a sudden miscarriage or abortion. *Be aware some decks do or don’t have certain cards such as the 8’s and 9’s.

Two cups and Five of Clubs: When I see this followed by a page or feminine looking court card, it is most indicative of what we call in our family “Brujeria”. It means someone, usually a female, did a love spell or infatuation curse on the person, which is probably why the client is being mentally tormented. When followed by sword cards, it is most definite that the person meant to be malicious or even hurt the person.

Two of Cups, Six or Seven of Coins, Ace of Wands or Swords: This combination is just screaming passion and hot kinky sex. Any court cards that follow will tell you who is involved and the motives or intentions behind each person. Watch out for seven, eight or nine of swords following these cards. It’s usually indicative of an affair or someone lying and being deceitful. Five of coin following speaks of either a huge building, hotel, meeting place, hospital, or work place where the lovers meet up.

This is but a few of the possible outcomes to be on the lookout for. It would take a book to list out all the possible combinations and what they mean. You’ll know you’re on target when the client starts bursting out crying or has to have a few moments to collect themselves. Seriously though, there will be times when you know you’ve hit it and times when the client will leave you guessing. I have had clients lie to my face and contradict me during readings. I just cross my arms and nod my head while they finish rambling an excuse. All I can tell you is to follow the cards and your instincts. They know the story they’re telling.

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February 3, 2016   No Comments

 

How to use the power of Saturn to eliminate debts…

So besides using practical methods and making smart choices, what else can we do to eliminate debt not just on the physical/material level but a spiritual one? If you haven’t given Jason Miller’s book “Financial Sorcery” a look yet, I highly suggest you do. I am in the school of thought that spirit will not help you unless you help yourself first. If you do the work and then give yourself a magical push, wonderful things happen. I also find being specific with spirits increases your chances and likelihood of getting what it is you want.

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During the holidays, I did a series of planetary offerings  to Saturn. Putting aside knowing that the astrological weather for the most part this and last year has been abysmal at best, I wanted to focus on this planet that I’m exalted in my natal but never really worked with. I wanted 2016 to be the year of “peace of mind” and focusing on eliminating debits that have accrued over the years; mainly due to either ill advisement on student loans, necessities, work equipment, poor choices, etc.

Me and my husband never really made budgets since we as freelancers lived paycheck to paycheck with an erratic economy, paying off bills monthly while continually pumping the well of clients just to survive. One of the scariest things I did was sit down and write what the actual income was. I made a list of total debts and then the monthly expenses. Seeing things clearly in numbers was not only shocking, depressing or jarring but in the end gave a sense of purpose, a goal to achieve and eventually hope and excitement.

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Once I had a physical idea of the debt we had, I drew Saturn’s sigil on the print outs and Jupiter’s on the printed resumes. I bought 3 of the 7 day black candles for the next three Saturdays starting the beginning of December. I always clean my candles from any store with soap and water then with florida water. Afterwards, I dress my candles with the appropriate oils and herbs. For this, I used pine oil and hyssop flowers. Honey is also a good Saturnian offering. It represents the Golden Age when Saturn ruled before Jupiter; the lands flowed with milk and honey and everyone trusted one another. I also found tobacco and coffee were acceptable offerings.

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The prayers I used were from the Orphic Hymns and Picatrix’s planetary evocations, in conjunction with christian prayers. I set up the sacred space in a corner of my apartment so it wouldn’t be disturbed and easily accessible during the weeks ahead. I cleared the space with a quick LBRP and proceeded with the prayers and petitions. On the print out of the debt, I wrote on the back my goals and petition to Saturn. During this time, I should mention, I used one of the Saturn talismans purchased through Christopher Warnock’s site to consecrate and carry on my person. When not in use, I put them on the magus next to the boveda.

Once I was finished, I cleared again and closed the space. I found myself feeling so relaxed after each evocation I fell into a deep sleep that I couldn’t explain other than, “hey, I’m pregnant. It happens.”  After completing all three of the rituals, I did my normal routine of calling companies. I make sure we are always up to date and never delinquent with bills. I then update the calendar with all the info at my finger tips for the next month.

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Recently, I had two credit card companies do something really weird. They didn’t do the standard monthly interest. What they did was charge you after a certain time with promotions and fees (then hit you with at collections before it’s processed the next month before you even know anything was up), or charge an entire year interest if you didn’t pay the entire amount in X amount of time.

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I shut both card accounts down disgusted at the new scam tactics credit card companies are now doing to make people in further debt. I’m told  by the way, that this is bad since it ruins your credit score but honestly I find it helps to break the endless cycle. Credit card companies do this in the hopes you don’t catch them until it’s too late. With credit card A, we were lucky to not only show proof that we were in the right and they in the wrong, but we were easily able to pay off the remainder in the next check. So that item got crossed off the list.

Credit card B’s story I couldn’t believe. During one of the phone conversations, one of the representatives explained to me that I was for this card, enrolled on an “unemployment protection plan”. She sent me the paperwork, I filled it out and showed the necessary documents of proof. I am excited to say that not only it was approved but the entire debt is written off. I am awaiting my documents of approval from the company to file away in my records for safe keeping (incase in the future should they turn around and say otherwise). So item two was crossed off the list.

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This week, I received news from one of my student loans it has been paid in full. Item three has now been crossed off the list. Only two weeks into the new year and already I am seeing the results. In two months time, I can already see another two debts being crossed off. I plan sometime later this month to renew the Saturn ritual to help keep the momentum going. I’m finding picking off the smaller debts help at first and the rest fall in place like dominos. I plan to sit down during tax time with my accountant and figure out other strategies that could finally help me get into the mindset of actually saving!

January 14, 2016   No Comments

 

The Art of Crystal Ball Gazing: Part 1 – Starting Out

How did I get into crystal ball gazing? Well, I sorta fell into it. One thing leading to the next. I knew about scrying from my mother and was practicing it with her for years. She taught me the black ink in water method at first. It’s just how it sounds: You pour ink into a basin of water, turn the lights off, and light a candle and some incense. You then peer into the shapes caused by the smoke and ink and allow your subconscious to derive meaning from them. It’s the same method of divination that Nostradamus used (minus the hallucinogens, of course). This method is less about seeing specific shapes, and more about the mental images that come to you through the smoke and the shadows. It is slightly similar to mirror scrying that way.

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I received my first crystal when I was about 11 or 12 years old. It was a simple crystal quartz point the size of a fist.  I was taught that my crystal quartz helped strengthen communication with spirits, and that I should leave it on the boveda or bring it along for certain tarot card readings. Back then in the 80s/90s, you could get something like that really cheap like $5 or $10. Thanks to the recent crystal healing craze that’s been going on the past 5-7 years now, something like that would be $30-60 or more today. In years past, crystals were mainly thought of as little more than pretty rocks, but since then more and more books on the subject of crystal metaphysics have become available. A decent crystal ball (4-6 inches in diameter) will set you back a good amount nowadays.

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I slowly became interested in working with other crystals. This was how I met “Lover,” my favorite go-to smokey quartz crystal. I’ve been told by many who meet Lover, if you look into it a certain way, you could see a skull-like face or a well dressed man from the 1920’s peering back at you. I went to every metaphysics store in NYC hoping to find something that suited my needs, but at the same time didn’t “cost an arm and a leg” to get.

As I was about to put down this small smokey quartz ball back on its pedestal, I saw a flash of light coming from within the crystal. Like a black and white TV turning on, it started to play images across its tiny surface. It showed me what certain people I knew were doing right then at that moment. I became fascinated. As fast as it came, it flashed off.

*Disclaimer: I know a lot of books on the subject say this cannot happen and not to expect this. Well, I never expected the Wicked Witch of the West treatment but lo and behold it happened. It’s different with everyone. All I can say is, I guess it just takes practice?

 

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I haggled with the store owner and was allowed to do layaway for the piece at a discounted price in cash. I was overjoyed. I had never experienced something quite like that. Usually it was shadows, silhouettes, flashes of images in your head…not a full on physical vision! When the piece was finally paid off, I took it home and cleaned it physically with soap and water, taking all the dust and dirt of the store off. Then I saged and consecrated it. Like any spiritual tool we get, me and my mother will brake it in doing real readings with it.

We started off the usual way we do our tarot readings. We then meditated and focused on the crystal. At first it was silhouette images that you had to put together to understand the meaning, sorta like playing charades. On the rare occasions when I was able to tap into the “movie-film state”, the events unfolded clearly before me with no hesitation. I was really happy being able to enhance my tarot readings using this tool. To me, it really added depth and cleared a lot of mental blockages and hang-ups. It boosted confidence in my tarot reading abilities.

Side Note: Latin card readers will use the glass of water and candle next to them in the tarot session same way as a crystal ball. It helps to focus and recenter when a reading goes dead, blank or there’s been an interruption. Be aware though that the candle and water are still spiritual offerings in which spirit is able to communicate clearly and disperse negativity.

 

Step One: Where to look and what to look for…

Find the Crystal ball that’s right for you. It can have inclusions or blemishes such as clouds or rainbows, as long as it resonates for you. Some recommend that you get a perfectly clear one, but that will cost you more money. Perfectly clear crystals can range anywhere from $300 and up. Don’t purchase it online like eBay or secondhand like at a pawn shop. You will never know what you really getting. It could be cracked, damaged or worse. If none of the pieces at a store speak to you, then keep searching. You don’t have to get a giant ball like in the movies. Anything that’s 3-4 inches in diameter is perfectly fine. If all you can afford is a glass ball that’s fine but it won’t be the same as a real crystal. You’ll know the huge difference when working with both.

Don’t settle. Remember, this is not just a tool. It will eventually grow a personality and become a companion over time. Also know that just like friends in our lives, don’t get upset if they walk out one day and leave. Their work with you is done. If you want a crystal ball for visions, a plain clear white crystal quartz as your starter will be right for you. For intermediate readers, honey calcite and obsidian are amazing.

You will also need a black or red bag to carry or store your crystal ball in and a pedestal that won’t scratch the surface of the crystal over time as your turn or rotate it during readings. Keep out of direct sunlight. Besides the obvious magnifying glass effect, sunlight will destroy your crystal over time and change its color. Do not have anyone else besides yourself handle your crystal ball.

Step Two: Clear and Consecrate it.

Cleanse and clear any unwanted vibrations or attachments from the crystal. I physically clean mine with soap and water at first to remove the dirt of the store. Be careful though with other crystal types. Some are either toxic or water soluble. You can use sage, tobacco, lavender or frankincense and myrrh to clear and consecrate your crystal. If you are a Reiki healer, feel free to use your clearing techniques as well. Crystals seem to really love it.

Step Three: Program it.

There’s a reason why we use quartz crystal in most of our technology today. Quartz is a great memory and time keeper. Quartz crystals have been used in everything from watches to computer chips. They are used in transmitting instruments like radios, lasers, ultrasounds and more. Once you are ready to relax and meditate, hold your crystal in your hands with your eyes close in a yogic position. Make sure you are in a sacred space where you won’t be disturbed. Visualize and focus on nothing at first. I suggest doing the breathe of fire technique for general body release and focusing. Then slowly start to mentally speak to your crystal. Ask it questions. Tell it what you are looking for or expecting. Wait to hear a response. Sometimes it takes a while but don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t happen at first. When you are done, thank the crystal and put it back in its bag/pedestal that’s on your altar.

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So that’s how you find and prep your crystal ball. Stay tuned for part 2, where I will explain how to do the actual readings.

 

 

 

January 12, 2016   No Comments

 

Tarot Jam Blog Hop: New Deck Ritual

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A new year means a lot of new things here over at HQ. For starters, I recently joined a new community called “The Tarosophy Tarot Association”. A tribe of professional bloggers dedicated to the art of tarot reading, with Fiona Benjamin as the leader and organizer. Their intention is to host a monthly blog hop that is an exclusive forum for their members to share their tarot and cartomantic blogs and build community through writing on a common theme or prompt. So this month’s theme was “New Year: New Decks”. So…

Hello, my lovelies (both new and old)!

Get comfy! It’s story time with yours truly. We’re gonna talk about how I came across my first deck and what we do in my family when it comes to doing readings. Just so you know, I come from a Latin and Celtic background. Two entirely different worlds that somehow crashed together to create moi. When I was a little girl, my mother and my grandmother used to have women come over to the house all the time to do readings. The women used to tell them their problems.

“Is he playing me dirty?” one would ask or, “How do I ‘fix’ my boss at work?” another would say.

The two matriarchs would use the La Baraja Española or the Spanish playing cards as their main tarot cards of choice. These cards would be dedicated to a personal ancestor spirit (usually a gypsy) along with other tools the spirit may need. When not in use, they rest near the Eggun or boveda. The cards are covered in either a black or red cloth bag, ribbons or wooden box. They usually said their own prayers, often in Spanish, to call the spirits within and ask permission to speak to the client’s guides.

I was taught tarot cards can never be purchased. They must be given to you as a gift by either family, godparents, or passed on from generation to generation. (Things have changed over the years, I know. Each house practices their own rules. These were the ones dealt to me in mine. So you are free to take it or leave it.) Once you receive them, you must clean them with tobacco. The tobacco must come from a nicely sized cigar with no additives.

You could also use rum, rose oil, holy water or Florida Water cologne, especially after each reading, to cleanse the deck and yourself. The tobacco smoke is often used as an offering to spirits for healing and cleansing. We always had a huge glass of water on the table, an empty chair and a white candle lit before any session started to allow better communication with spirit and to absorb any negativity the client might bring in. The table was either dressed white to represent spiritual purity of God and red for La Gitana. According to my mother, it was just a clean wooden table at first (which was sufficient) many years ago.

The layout was done as a storybook style. Read from left to right horizontally (sometimes vertically and diagonally), one card after the other but seven at a time in 3-4 rows representing the past, present, future and possible paths the client could take. Just like a storybook, your job was to literally read it out loud as you see it unfold (Being an animator, I always saw it as a storyboard I had to pitch!). This is called “the gypsy spread”.

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Clubs meant positive thinking or planning to put your ideas into action. Swords meant obstacles, problems or negative thoughts; or sometimes just the reverse (conquering addiction or problem solving)! Coins were obviously about money, work or pregnancy. Cups spoke of messages, hidden meanings or feelings. The court cards represented the people in the client’s life. Unlike the Rider-Waite styled tarot cards, these are a bit more tricky and take lots of practice to master.

I was told I was lucky since tarot cards can now be printed out. It was not unheard of that you had to make your own deck to work with from scratch! Thievery was very prevalent in “ye olden days.” Imagine stealing a gypsy reader’s cards that they made themselves. The very representation of their psychic abilities taken away. Powerful stuff to say the least! Hence one of many possible reasons for the superstitious tradition of tarot cards being gifted. That and to keep the family secret alive, protected and well…a secret. Remember, not a lot of people took kindly to divination not that long ago. 

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Mom’s Side Note: Seriously, woe to the person that did that.
They would have nothing but misery.
The cards didn’t even belong to the living owner but the spirit it was dedicated to.
But the cards would end up coming back to the original owner.
That’s why we never give away our cards outside family.

 

With other decks I’ve collected over the years, I will just cleanse them the same way I do the Spanish cards. When those decks are not in use, they go with my la gitana or los arabes near my boveda for safe keeping. When we do get a new deck, me and my mother sit down to “bloody” it. In other words, it’s time to try it out in a real reading! You never know just how strong or well suited a deck can be until you start working with it.

 

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January 7, 2016   14 Comments

 

Art as a ritual offering: Yes or No?

Illustrations of spirits have been greatly represented throughout time in grimoires of antiquity. Manuscripts illustrated with fantastical elements such as the infamous Codex Gigas were, according to legend, authored or created by the spirits themselves. It was said they would create in a single day a book that would take a man his entire life to write. Ancient tribal shamans in deep spiritual possession were believed to be the cause of the beautifully animated cave paintings in Chaevet Cave and Lascaux. The images would come alive by campfire, calling to the spirits for successful hunts and to bring their men back alive.

Shamans performed initiations this way and were inspired to create star maps, the stirrings of early astronomy/astrology. Today most conjurers; from ceremonial magicians to wiccans; will use a Book of Shadows or Liber Spiritual as a personal journal to jot down drawings, sigils, all their spiritual workings, prayers, results and responses from spirits including visions or dreams. A link to the divine, as it were. I purchased a book last year called “Ritual Offerings: Feeding Your Spirits, Empowering Your Magic” by Aaron Leitch (plus other various western based magicians).

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Side Note: My heart sank upon noticing most of the authors were all well…male.
Not one female writer/practicing magician.
I am hoping this will change over time.

 

Update: Aaron Leitch has just informed me –
“There are in fact some ladies in there.
Tabatha Cicero co-wrote the Ma’at Ritual
& there is a chapter in there by Denise Alvarado too.”

 

Coming from a Luccumi faith background, most of the information was a no-brainer. When it comes to most ritual offerings to spirits, they are usually in the form of some type of energy exchange; i.e. food and beverage, incense, candles, prayers, or a sacrifice (usually blood or life of an animal) to name a few. It was interesting to hear about other cultural background practices (but again through the lens of male western ceremonials). The offerings are meant to give light and progress to your spirits, to call them forward and give them sustenance. It allows them to have the energy to do the work and to anchor themselves close to you.

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There are a few authors who have touched upon the subject of art as a spiritual offering. For example, Alex Grey has authored such works as “Art Psalms” and “The Mission of Art” explaining how profound a spiritual impact art has had over the ages on mankind’s consciousness and awakening his spirit within. There was also a recent news article on “How Art Changes Consciousness” discussing the science and psychology behind art . You can find the article here.

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So what about the spirits themselves? How do they view it?

Supposedly, it’s rare to hear of “image making” or incorporating the use of art as part of a spiritual offering practice. Picatrix gives us one reason why. Usually when creating artwork or images of the spirit like a sigil, it traps or bonds the spirit to that item, allowing it to be manipulated or controlled. I have one possible side theory : since Picatrix is an Arabic text, it probably reveals the true reason why the Arabian peoples traditionally view art or “image making” as dangerous (especially when depicting God, prophets or spirits)…it’s pure sorcery. Meaning, if just by making the image of (let’s say) an angel, you would have full command over them. I found certain celestial spirits such as fixed stars or planets, tend to already have a deep connection with humanity and so are not opposed to their image or sigils being used. In fact, like with any spirit, the art serves to give them a foothold, a chance to be re-rembered, a continued legacy and growing fame for an exchange of services.

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“By sages, magical images are called talismans, which may be translated “violators,” because whoever makes an image does so by violence, and makes it by conquering the substance of which it is made. To work victoriously he makes it with mathematical proportions and in uences, and uses celestial writing. These images are made from their proper substances in order that they might receive the aforementioned in uence, and this is done at appropriate times. By suffumigation they are strengthened, and spirits are drawn into these images.

Know, then, that this is similar to the elixir, which conquers bodies and by transmutation changes them to other, purer bodies. Magical images similarly work in such a way that they accomplish all things through violence. Poisons work in a similar way, when they course through a body and change it, reducing it to its nature, because one body is changed into another by the power of the compositions that exist in it.” 

-Translated by Warnock, Christopher and John Greer (2012-03-11). Picatrix: Liber Atratus Edition: Book 1 Chapter 2

Some spirits have been lost or forgotten to time. These sprits lay in dormancy, slowly starving.  If given the opportunity to serve and help, they often respond in an immediate and positive way…although the opposite can also hold true. Years back when doing a ritual with the Roman goddess Carna/Cardea, me and a girlfriend of mine noticed the energy and slowness of time in the room. We received a mental vision of what felt like a crypt from which this goddess was emerging from. Her movements were slow. In the vision, you could see offerings of the past were huge and vast, displayed everywhere in this temple, but you could also see the rotting and decay. The response we got from Carna after honoring her?

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“Leave me alone to my rest. I have no desire at this time to return to the world of men.”

 

You get the idea.

Recently, I was cleaning out my inventory, taking stock of supplies and putting my own artwork into storage. I wanted to get as much work done for the new year before the baby arrives, as I keep hearing from other veteran parents that getting work done will be pretty much impossible. I have a closet in my room with nothing but wood panels. A few days ago, my closet door started knocking making noise. I took it as something had fallen over, etc. but it kept up and was constant.

I’m like my mother though. I will curse at whatever it is and say, “Fuck off. I’m busy. I got no time for you.” When I finally opened  it, a large panel fell over onto its back at my feet. It was a previously abandoned project I had done with another magician last year in Atlanta. The person was gone but the spirit wasn’t. It was linked. I became angry at first but the urge to finish it was stronger. So I took it out and hung it with the rest of the other “work in progress” pieces in the studio.

This is what I have thus far…

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It is a depiction of King Hiram I of Tyre, as a familiar spirit. I’m not sure why exactly the spirit is bothering me now and insisting I finish him; but I get the sense that, like a king, he can be very demanding and is all about business. “I can help you, but you have to do something for me.” Once again, the image of a spirit seems to be serving as a link to them. I guess sometimes you just have to finish it.

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January 6, 2016   2 Comments

 

End of the Year Recap: Things I learned as a Professional Artist in 2015

I know we are still in the year of the goat, but this one was just as fast as horse year 2014! It just galloped by. As we kiss 2015 goodbye, let’s take a moment to reflect on some of the lessons I came away with this year working as a professional artist.

 

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Silence and Meditation-

Silence and meditation in a stress free environment helped greatly during my time in Atlanta. I was more productive, made huge strides and accomplishments. I felt extremely open spiritually and emotionally. I was overwhelmed with inner gratitude at this opportunity to have a studio space away from home. I always dress up in my lingerie while I’m painting but this time it was in my sexiest outfits and stockings. My health improved so greatly that I lost weight, gained self confidence, my blood pressure dropped and I finally was able to conceive!

 

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Business Expenses-

Take certain business expenses into consideration when making your long term plans. For me it was shipping this year. Shipping has been a real pain in the butt. I think my New Year’s Resolution is making galleries pay for shipping from this point on and going directly to the shippers who will package everything for you (cheaper than doing it yourself). I spent over $1k just on shipping alone this year only to break even. I know most galleries won’t pay for shipping because they don’t make that much money, but now I’m really feeling the burn and that doesn’t gel well with me.

 

 

Business First, Friend Last-

You cannot fully trust anyone when it comes to business. Even if you think you know a business partner, a friend or client really well. Even if you think you can depend on them to be professional, always have a Plan B and C in case they fall through. I was met with lots of disappointment this year from those I have trusted and known for many years. Always have a contract for every little thing and be a hard-ass business person. Sentimentality doesn’t pay your bills. I learned this the hard way…with a hole in my wallet.

 

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Know Your Worth-

Don’t give advice (or anything really) away for free. It’s draining and can be a waste of your valuable time. People always want something for nothing or the latest, biggest deal. Don’t give it to them. You are only letting people take advantage of you.

 

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Network Always-

Network. Network. Network. I find at this point I can simply go into a store and I am able to make small talk easily. One thing will lead to another (organically) and I will end up making a sale or have the shop owner make a deal with me to have my paintings in their store available for purchase (most of the time with no commission fee!). I think people are so into their smart phones or computers they lose touch with reality. Those who are not, tend to be starving for a real conversation with someone real and down to earth. I think that’s why it’s easier for me now than it has been in the past.

 

Happy-new-year

2015 has definitely been a year of ups and downs. Now that we are entering the year of the fire monkey, hopefully we have a lot more ups than downs awaiting us. I’m certainly looking forward to bringing you more paintings of sexy girls, monsters, and sexy monsters; as well as finally getting to know baby Vincent! What are you looking forward to this year? I hope it’s a good one! Happy New Year Everybody!!

 

January 1, 2016   No Comments

 

Early workings with my boveda/ancestor altar…

The last year or two, I have finally found real guidance in my family religion (Luccumi). My relatives on my mother’s side have been so super secretive that they themselves have “forgotten” most of the traditions (which boggles my mind). The religion has had such a reputation with scammers and the like, it took me a long time to find the right godparent that can be a great addition to my ever growing family that I could love and trust. I already had an altar but we never called it a boveda in our family. It was just the “white table” with the saints/dead family.

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Original Photo #1

 

So after an initial reading, my godparent told me that my boveda would be a 7 self staircase to represent the 7 continents/seas of the world my ancestors came from and for my patron Yemaya. After doing ancestory.com earlier this year, I found out that my DNA is EVERYWHERE. I have no huge % of anything. They are pretty much equal on all fronts. This blew my mind. I thought for sure I was either huge % my father’s (Irish/Scottish) or my mother’s (Puerto Rican) DNA. Nope.

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Close up of Photo #1 – Ancient East Asian Ancestor?

 

Anyway, as I was working re-setting my boveda up, saying my new (correct) prayers, giving proper offerings to my Congos, Eggun, etc. I notice like smoke or images in the glass catching the corner of my eyes. I took pictures and found that my ancestors were kind enough to physically show themselves. My Eggun continue to surprise me and I’m super grateful for all the love and help.

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Original Photo #2 – Second glass in the right side you can see a boar. On the flipped version you can see the boar turns into a shield and a man with a bear and helmet smiling next to a Taino warrior.

 

None of these photos are doctored. I’m way too busy as an artist, occultist (and new mom) to be bothered. I am also aware of the psychological phenomenon called pareidolla. So, let’s not go there.

I showed them to my godparent of course for feedback. My godparent expressed surprise that the Eggun would allow me to capture them like this. I can only assume they were just really happy to finally be acknowledge and remembered after so long.

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Close up of Photo #2 – I found out that through my mother’s side, she has Orcadian and (Native American) Taino ancestry. I swear he looks like he’s posing for a family portrait!

 

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Photo #3 – Mummified corpse with death mask.

 

If you have something similar, please feel free to share. Could be photos or experiences. I like to know that this isn’t just an isolated incident.

November 13, 2015   No Comments

 

My 1st Goetia Spirit Summoning (Paimon)

Sometime in 2013, after careful studying and gathering as many materials for the ritual as I could possibly get without breaking the bank…I finally got to work on my first goetic summoning. Most of the items can be obtained easily or even made. Things like swords, knives, white clothes with red sigils sowed by virgins, etc. had to be substituted as best as possible. The circle was drawn on canvas and painted with black paint.

Before going directly into the Lesser Key of Solomon, I decided to work exclusively for a few years with the angels and djinn in the Greater Key of Solomon. I am pretty pleased to report that doing so has greatly enriched my occult studies, experience and personal life (and those of the other participants in the rituals). I highly recommend starting here especially if working with Picatrix’s astrological based spirits.

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For this particular ritual, it had to be done alone of course. I have scried alone before but never something like this. I was scared that if I botched it, I would invite chaos or worse into my life. I practiced and banished often. Finally with husband off to Atlanta and all alone in our apartment, I began cleaning and preparing the living room to accommodate the ritual space. I think it took all day and I ended up doing the ritual at night (which I didn’t want to do since Paimon is a solar entity but I was working with a limited time). I did the banishings, the initial callings, then the summoning.

When this is properly done, you enter a certain kind of space. You’ll know because everything becomes darker, the air feels thick and heavy and it feels like there’s a shift in the atmosphere. When I opened my eyes from the prayers, I look out the windows and could no longer see the city lights or buildings. Windows were pitch black. The only light I had was the candles that surrounded me. I felt the rug I was on was floating in a sea of darkness. The walls of my apartment had fallen away. This is exactly where you want to be.

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I continued the summoning calls and waited in-between to be answered. I looked into my crystal ball periodically as well. I expected loud noises or bangs, phone or radio going off, etc. Nothing. I did get a voice. It started off strong  but then as the ritual progressed it became weak until finally it was gone. I assumed it was Paimon. I welcomed him and gave offerings of alcohol. I expected him to be accompanied with 3 other spirits or a retinue but none of that happened. I did see him clearly in the crystal as a feminine-faced youth. I felt he already seemed annoyed, rushed and wanted to quickly leave. I recall that I felt a few times I wanted to pass out or fall asleep in the circle.

Paimon

 

Paimon: I am here. What do you wish?

Me: I have a list of things I would like to cover with you.

Paimon: I already read your petition. It will take a year.

Me: I require results in a month or less. In exchange I will honor your name through my art.

Paimon: I require time in which to work within your space.

Me: I need results now not later. You can accomplish this with ease.

Paimon: What else do you wish of me?

Me: Who were you before? Were you a deity in a previous time?

Paimon: Yes, I was many things. I changed to fit with the times and the people (even the job description). To be remembered. Not forgotten.

Me: Dude, that sucks. (I burst out saying.)

Paimon: Indeed.

Me: In previous incarnations were you Al Kutbay/Aglibol/Azizos/Arsu (other names I mentioned).

Paimon: Yes. No. No. Yes. Is this all you require of me?

 

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The Palmyrene god Arsu originated in Arabia as Ruda, the protector of caravans. His worship at Dura-Europos was probably introduced from Palmyra during the Parthian era. In the relief, Arsu rides a camel toward an altar. The crescent may symbolize his association with the evening star and nighttime navigation through the desert.

 

I continued asking questions but by then he had already departed. I was kind of pissed that he didn’t appear and leave as directed. I wondered what had I overlooked or done wrong for that to happen. Wrong circle perhaps? Triangle needed to be wooden? Obsidian vs crystal? I heard later on that this is actually common from other summoners (that goetia demons do this).

I proceeded to properly pronounce the departure calls and banishings. I then cleared and dismantled the circle. I felt relieved I had performed a “successful” ritual at the time. Looking back almost three years later, none of my requests have been performed thus far. I am unsure if I should proceed with a “redo” of sorts, continue with the spirits I have already working with me thus far, or just drop it entirely.

November 10, 2015   8 Comments

 

Fear and creativity…

There has been a lot going on my mind lately. Mostly the fear, stress, anxiety, and the financial repercussions that any pregnancy will bring about. I wonder if I will be a good mom. Will my son hate me? I worry that my new “mom status” will deter my fan base in someway as though my sexually charge iconic images / social equity is somehow tarnished because I decided to procreate. That somehow I will become less edgy or myself after childbirth. I already see my friends disappearing and I hope it’s just in my head. I feel like I’m somehow no longer fun to be around with anymore or that I’m a liability.

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I’ve already heard about the huge fan backlash towards Amanda Palmer on her Patreon page months back after her announcement that she was preggers. That somehow fans would be force to pay child support and not her creative work. She’ll be so busy with her son, she won’t ever have time to be a singer or go on tour again. Seriously? Shit like this makes women want to take a bullet to the head. Why can’t we do both? No one ever says to a man, “so after the birth of your child, how did it effect you being an artist/your creativity?”

I always wanted to be able to travel to my shows (since most of them are in California at this point) and see the rest of the world. It was already a hardship finically for us but now I fear that dream has sailed. I hear my mother gloating over things like, “Now you will know what I went through with all of you” to “I can’t wait to hear you scream in (childbirth) pain”. How does this endear me to want to be a mom? Hello! I’m not a pregnant teenager but you sure making me feel like it. I know she’s super happy to be a grandmother though and waiting with a catcher’s mitten in hand.

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I still have student loans but the good news is I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. I keep hearing how difficult it is to do anything with a baby in tow especially how the media depicts pregnant women and mothers in general. I’m worried that I am making the biggest mistake of my life. Am I committing career suicide? I’m hoping like this year and the last, I will be proven wrong and get to do all the things I ever wanted.

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I know this is something me and my husband wanted for ages. We thought it would never happen without medical help at this point. This baby is a miracle. My husband is extremely happy. We already have a name. No doctor can explain to us why the previous miscarriages happened or why this pregnancy is going strong. Vincent (baby’s name) was gloriously unplanned and ninja-ed his way into the world. He kicks at all the doctors and techs when we go for the monthly sonograms (he seems to really hate it). He already seems to have an attitude (he gives his butt during sonograms). For the longest time, (this includes blood work by the way) Vincent wouldn’t let anyone know his gender.

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See that arrow? That’s the baby’s penis.

 

I feel achy all the time like I have the flu. My breasts were on fire for most of the first trimester. Not eating made me nauseous! Fruit helped keep me hydrated and get rid of the queazy feeling. I sometimes get sudden cramps like I’m getting my period. I am always feeling tired. Some days I get burst of energy then pass out like a narcoleptic. On those days, I force myself to work on paintings and sculpture or else I won’t get any work done. Most of my time has been spent at the doctor appointments especially now that I’m ruled as high risk. Afterwards, I am exhausted. My clothes I feel like are my enemy and won’t fit me. I prefer to walk around in a robe or naked at night. I get bizarre cravings and I feel disgusting in my skin. I’m always hot and sweaty so come winter, I am burying myself in the snow.

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So as a Halloween treat to myself, I went to the salon and got EVERYTHING done. Where is this glow everyone speaks of? I feel anything but sexy which is weird for me because I always make it my business to be “seductively present”. Libido increased slightly and has now dropped back down to normal. I searched on the internet for other female artists going through what I am but the closest are celebrities and that’s not really comforting. I kinda see what Amanda Palmer means now from what she said in her book, “The Art of Asking”. Maybe this post will be a comfort for other female artists/creatives. Who knows? Onwards and upwards.

November 6, 2015   No Comments