Necromancy: Networking with the Dead-Part 3

 

In the previous posts, I talked briefly about the different kinds of shadow spirits and how important it is to maintain a good working relationship with the spirits that you plan to call upon. As an example, let me tell you about a spirit that I’ve been working with for some time now. Someone who is NOT ancestral in the least. I know there’s probably a few people who will snicker or laugh about this. To this end, I assure you I am being most sincere and undoubtedly serious upon the matter.

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I think everyone who knows me is aware of my huge love for horror and the macabre. Hell, I even named my son after one of the masters of horror (Vincent Price)! I don’t know how I really stumbled upon H. P. Lovecraft. My husband was going to college at RISD several years ago. I went to SVA in New York. I used to visit him in Rhode Island when I could afford the time and money. I really enjoyed my time there, except when I was constantly spirit bothered at night.

Seeing me haggard from lack of sleep, Jason nonchalantly told me that Providence, RI happened to be one of the most haunted cities in the USA. I think I wanted to choke him at that point. I remember one night waking up to someone hanging by a noose in the corner of the room staring down at me. Later on I found out the that the dorm we were staying at was once an auction house for slaves. I think by the time we left, the dorm was supposed to be marked condemned due to the foundation sinking into the ground.

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We used to walk (oh so much walking…oh how I loathed it) to the park, mall, and little shops and eateries during our animation thesis breaks. Sometimes when Jason was in an animation groove, I left him behind to go eat, smoke or wander the streets at night taking in the small city of Providence. On one of these late night walks, I remember seeing a man dressed in what looked like work business attire from the 1930’s. He was tall and lanky looking up at the houses and buildings. He saw me passing by and then in a blink he wasn’t there. I dismissed it as insomnia. We had been up for probably a few days working non-stop.

Sometime after graduation I know I must of gotten ahold of Donald Tyson’s biography of H. P. Lovecraft’s life. That was my introduction to Lovecraft and his Cthulhu Mythos. Well, that and Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comics. I was intrigued by his life story, and by the imagination of his horror writing. I went on a reading spree on most of his works. I had heard that his work had racist overtones, but I originally just dismissed it as that was the attitude of the time. It wasn’t until I delved into his personal correspondences that I was really disappointed to find out he was not just a racist, but a RAGING one at that. {Chris, if you are reading this. I am sorry. You were right.} Those particular poems and stories I speak of can be cringe worthy to say the least. Yet he had friends from all walks of life (fetishists to homosexuals) and even married a Jewish woman. In some ways he was a living contradiction.

Maybe it was me pray-crying during the Great Recession looking for work. Maybe it was the constant obsession with painting/drawing of monsters while thinking of him. One day Howie (as I would come to call him) showed up and decided to help me. He never asked for anything in return. He’s kind, generous, picky, very helpful, talkative, and eloquently well spoken (I’m constantly with my nose in a dictionary because of him). He hates my swearing but reminds him of certain friends he used to hung out with. He has a weird stance on things sexual. He leaves me to “do my thing” for the erotic works. He’ll come in for the more gruesome ones.

He would make suggestions, critique works, open doors and introduce me to people I’d never expect to meet in a million years. He would even push me to do things that would scare me to death. I think he got a kick out of that. You know it’s not coincidence anymore when you meet/become friends with the owners of Weird Tales Magazine and they introduce you to the owner of a bar called Lovecraft (which by the way is currently exhibiting my art). Everything would just fall into place organically.

My artwork hanging on the walls of the Lovecraft Bar in NYC.

 

Several years ago, I started an intimate animation salon with a group of professional friends that met monthly at the Productive in NYC to critique one another’s work. We were officially called the “Animation Group Therapy Class”. Yucky name. I know. Unofficially we were “the boys”. As a tradition, we annually made the trek to Sleepy Hollow for our picnic in the cemetery. I only found out recently that Lovecraft did the almost exact same things with his friends (The Kalem Club) and family.

This is Howie’s spirit vessel.

 

This year since Howie has done so much and asked so little in return, I wanted to create a spirit vessel for him to help deepen the connection. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner (fear most likely). In the past, I just offered the usual coffee and cigar to the empty Chet Zar bottle I had and that was that. The cigar, even cigarettes, felt wrong to give him. I never gave him any alcohol. I recently discovered why I probably felt these things. In one of his letters to a friend, he tells him how he never touches alcohol since it takes memory and wit away. Cigars were a nasty habit as he saw it. He did enjoy coffee and sweets.

I consulted my friend Fiona Benjamin about her relationship with Poe. With her help, I managed to acquire Lovecraft’s graveyard dirt and talismanic oil from Marcus McCoy of House of Orpheus. I was quite pleased and ecstatic upon receiving it. I set to work on his personal altar on the bookcase immediately. At a later date, I plan to do the Agrippa summoning rite to manifest his ghost and bind him to his vessel to set and firmly establish the connection already created.

And if you’re wondering…Yes, he thinks it’s quite comical for an atheist like him to be a communicating shade.

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This is Fiona’s set up for Poe. Photo courtesy of F. Benjamin

 

Fiona suggested one night to “throw a dead cat at him”. I laughed and replied, “I guess I have to if both of us thought the same thing!” One of the things I found most amazing was what happened next. I mentioned to Fiona I would be happy to get him a cat statue but couldn’t afford it just right now. Within the hour, I got a notification that I had sold a print, booked two Skype tarot readings and an art commission! It was like Howie’s ears had perked up and said, “Did you say I can get a cat? Sure, here’s some money. Now go get it!”

It would be nice it this was a common occurrence, Howie.

Hint. Hint. Say no more.

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I asked Howie, “Why?”

He replied, “Why not? We’re artists. We’re writers. That’s all there’s to it.”

 

I asked Fiona, “Why would someone like him help someone like me knowing my family history?”

She replied, “Even racists make exceptions.”

 

My brain is still trying to process that.

 

May 27, 2016   No Comments


 

Necromancy: Talking to Shades – Part 2

 

The first thing about working with the dead that you’ll notice is that you’re working with the shade or shadow part of the deceased. Most shades are unintelligent and more like impressions that are unable to grow or move past the point in which they died. It is still them but more like a recording or hologram, with all the energetic imprints and memories interacting in a certain space-time continuum slightly offset from our own. This is probably why the ancients held the belief that the dead could divine the future, since time is continuos and not linear. The dead could see clearer than we ever could because they had a higher vantage point to look from.

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Shades are still limited, however. They know no more than they did in life. Depending on how the person died, their experience may color necromantic communications or summons. For example if they were a horrible person in life, death will not have changed their ideas, views, or temperament. There may be the color of regret and a yearning or desire of a goal unachieved, but that’s as far as it goes.

Those shades that do exhibit intelligence (the part we speak to on this plane of existence) have a greater degree of progression and connection to their Akh (reunited Ba and Ka that reanimates the spiritual body). “Akh-hood” is only attainable if burial rites are performed properly and ritual offerings are given. That’s why the ATR’s ancestors are given prayers, light, offerings and love to deepen spiritual connection. When ancestors progress or elevate, so too their descendants. Ancestors (Akh) are then in a better position to help and guide loved ones left behind.

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Elevated ancestors are usually able to easily speak to descendants through thoughts or dreams. Ancient Egyptians believed the Akh could influence events and people. They could cause both harm and good effects such as disease, nightmares, feelings of guilt, love or hate, or even insanity. The Akh could be evoked and petitioned with prayers or letters (usually at the tomb or gravesite where the body is held). With certain rituals and prayers, one could also separate the Akh from the Ba and Ka causing a “second death” or as we know it today, reincarnation. The ancient Egyptian view was that you wanted to be in Duat (the underworld) with Ra the sun god and be able to stay. It was beautiful and happy. There was no reason to return back to earth.

So when you are summoning or evoking a particular deceased individual, understand you are communicating with the shade and not the person directly. It’s probably why you hear stories about how gruesome, unpleasant or even dangerous it can be concerning such rituals. Would you like to be awoken by someone you don’t know for some BS you could care less about? That is why it is important to follow certain protocols when dealing with these kinds of spirits. You need to build up a relationship with the dead and with the gatekeepers. I will go into more depth on how to build these relationships in the next blog post. See you there!

 

May 7, 2016   No Comments


 

Necromancy: Shadows Talking – Part 1a

 

Did you ever read stories like J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan or Hans Christian Anderson’s The Shadow as a child? Do you know what they have in common? They both told of shadows who seemed to have a mind of their own. They left their owners at night to scout and do all sorts of amazing things. Why would I bring up children’s tales in reference to necromancy?

I was recently playing with my son when it dawned on me. I’ve been noticing lately that he’s been crying a few times while fearfully staring at the wall or certain points on the ceiling. I was trying to figure out what could be wrong when it hit me: He was scared of his shadow! If you think about it, at one point or another we all were afraid of our own shadow. It is the darkness that always follows us. It mimics us, but often in strange or distorted ways. It can stretch, grow or shrink; changing its form as the mood takes it. This fear of our other, dark self-has existed since the dawn of humanity. Even now the concept still holds a strong fascination.

*Note: I’m going to be paraphrasing from Wiki, Book of the Dead and PGM here, so please forgive me. I wanted to get the idea across and straight to the point.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the soul of a person was composed of five elements: the Ren (name), the Ba (the soul), the Ka (life force), the Sheut (shadow), and the Ib (heart). The Ba (soul) was everything that made a person unique. It was the personality that passed on along with the Ka (life spark) into the afterlife. You know how certain people have out-of-body-experiences? This is your Ba astrally traveling while your body dreams.

The ancient Egyptians believed the Ka (soul double) could only be sustained with food and drink. For this reason, food and drink were presented to the dead. Although the dead could no longer consume the physical aspect, the Ka of the offerings could be. The heart was believed to be the most vital since it was the key to the afterlife. They believed the heart survived after death and gave testimony at the Weighing of the Hearts Ceremony.

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Anubis (a death god) would be the examiner of the heart and place it on the scales. If the heart was heavier than the feather of Maat (truth), it would be devoured by the monster Ammit (soul-eater). Your name (Ren), it was believed to live as long as it is remembered. The ancient Egyptians, therefore, made it their business to put their ancestors on prayers to inscriptions with lists of their achievements.

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And finally the Sheut, or a person’s shadow. The shadow is always present. It is impossible to exist without one and vice-versa. The ancients surmised that it, therefore, contained a bit of that person and contributed to their being. A person’s shadow could be detached and captured. Shadow boxes with magical inscriptions were created for the Pharaohs to help protect their shadows from harm at night for just this purpose. A person’s shadow could travel at great distances very fast and had protective powers. It could haunt an enemy, give them nightmares, cause insanity or worse. Statues of gods and humans were sometimes referred to as their shadows.

In the Book of the Dead, spells #91,#92, and #188 were used to preserve the Sheut:

THE CHAPTER OF NOT LETTING THE SOUL OF A MAN BE HELD CAPTIVE IN KHERT- NETER. The Osiris Ani saith:- Hail, thou who art exalted! Hail, thou who art adored! Hail, Mighty One of Souls, thou divine Soul who inspirest great dread, who dost set the fear of thyself in the gods, who are enthroned upon thy mighty seat. Make thou a path for the Spirit-soul and the Ba-soul of the Osiris Ani. I am equipped with [words of power]. I am a Spirit-soul equipped with [words of power]. I have made my way to the place where are Ra and Hathor.

RUBRIC: If this Chapter be known by the deceased he shall be able to transform himself into a Spirit-soul who shall be equipped with [his soul and his shadow] in Khert-Neter, and he shall not be shut up inside any door in Amentet, when he is coming forth upon the Earth, or when he is going back into [Khert-Neter.]

THE CHAPTER OF OPENING THE TOMB TO THE BA-SOUL AND THE SHADOW, AND OF COMING FORTH BY DAY, AND OF HAVING MASTERY OVER THE TWO LEGS. The Osiris the scribe Ani, whose word is truth, saith:- The place which is closed is opened, the place which is shut (or sealed) is sealed. That which lieth down in the closed place is opened by the Ba-soul which is in it. By the Eye of Horus I am delivered. Ornaments are established on the brow of Ra. My stride is made long. I lift up my two thighs [in walking]. I have journeyed over a long road. My limbs are in a flourishing condition. I am Horus, the Avenger of his Father, and I bring the Urrt Crown [and set it on] its standard. The road of souls is opened. My twin soul seeth the Great God in the Boat of Ra, on the day of souls. My soul is in the front thereof with the counter of the years. Come, the Eye of Horus hath delivered for me my soul, my ornaments are established on the brow of Ra. Light is on the faces of those who are in the members of Osiris. Ye shall not hold captive my soul. Ye shall not keep in durance my shadow. The way is open to my soul and to my shadow. It seeth the Great God in the shrine on the day of counting souls. It repeateth the words of Osiris. Those whose seats are invisible, who fetter the members of Osiris, who fetter Heart-souls and Spirit-souls, who set a seal upon the dead, and who would do evil to me, shall do no evil to me. Haste on the way to me. Thy heart is with thee. My Heart-soul and my Spirit-soul are equipped; they guide thee. I sit down at the head of the great ones who are chiefs of their abodes. The wardens of the members of Osiris shall not hold thee captive, though they keep ward over souls, and set a seal on the shadow which is dead. Heaven shall not shut thee in.

RUBRIC: If this Chapter is known by the deceased he shall come forth by day, and his soul shall not be kept captive.

APPENDIX (From the Papryus of Nebseni, Sheet 6)

That which was shut hath been opened [that is] the dead. That which was shut fast hath been opened by the command of the Eye of Horus, which hath delivered me. Established are the beauties on the forehead of Ra. My steps are long. My legs are lifted up. I have performed the journey, my members are mighty and are sound. I am Horus, the Avenger of his Father. I am he who bringeth along his father, and his mother, by means of his staff. The way shall be opened to him that hath power over his feet, and he shall see the Great God in the Boat of Ra, when souls are counted therein at the bows, and when the years also are counted up. Grant that the Eye of Horus, which maketh the adornments of splendor to be firm on the forehead of Ra, may deliver

my soul for me, and let the darkness cover your faces, O ye who would imprison Osiris. O keep not captive my soul. O keep not ward over my shadow, but let a way be opened for my soul and my shadow, and let them see the Great God in the shrine on the day of the counting of souls, and let them hold converse with Osiris, whose habitations are hidden, and those who guard the members of Osiris, and who keep ward over the Spirit-souls, and who hold captive the shadows of the dead, and who would work evil against me, so that they shall [not] work evil against me. A way shall be for KA with thee, and thy soul shall be prepared by those who keep ward over the members of Osiris, and who hold captive the shadows of the dead. Heaven shall not keep thee fast, the earth shall not hold thee captive. Thou shalt not live with the beings who slay, but thou shalt be master of thy legs, and thou shalt advance to thy body straightway in the earth, [and to] those who belong to the shrine of Osiris and guard his members.

THE CHAPTER OF NOT LETTING THE SOUL OF A MAN BE HELD CAPTIVE IN KHERT- NETER. The Osiris Ani saith:- Hail, thou who art exalted! Hail, thou who art adored! Hail, Mighty One of Souls, thou divine Soul who inspirest great dread, who dost set the fear of thyself in the gods, who are enthroned upon thy mighty seat. Make thou a path for the Spirit-soul and the Ba-soul of the Osiris Ani. I am equipped with [words of power]. I am a Spirit-soul equipped with [words of power]. I have made my way to the place where are Ra and Hathor.

RUBRIC: If this Chapter be known by the deceased he shall be able to transform himself into a Spirit-soul who shall be equipped with [his soul and his shadow] in Khert-Neter, and he shall not be shut up inside any door in Amentet, when he is coming forth upon the Earth, or when he is going back into [Khert-Neter.]

THE CHAPTER OF OPENING THE TOMB TO THE BA-SOUL AND THE SHADOW, AND OF COMING FORTH BY DAY, AND OF HAVING MASTERY OVER THE TWO LEGS. The Osiris the scribe Ani, whose word is truth, saith:- The place which is closed is opened, the place which is shut (or sealed) is sealed. That which lieth down in the closed place is opened by the Ba-soul which is in it. By the Eye of Horus I am delivered. Ornaments are established on the brow of Ra. My stride is made long. I lift up my two thighs [in walking]. I have journeyed over a long road. My limbs are in a flourishing condition. I am Horus, the Avenger of his Father, and I bring the Urrt Crown [and set it on] its standard. The road of souls is opened. My twin soul seeth the Great God in the Boat of Ra, on the day of souls. My soul is in the front thereof with the counter of the years. Come, the Eye of Horus hath delivered for me my soul, my ornaments are established on the brow of Ra. Light is on the faces of those who are in the members of Osiris. Ye shall not hold captive my soul. Ye shall not keep in durance my shadow. The way is open to my soul and to my shadow. It seeth the Great God in the shrine on the day of counting souls. It repeateth the words of Osiris. Those whose seats are invisible, who fetter the members of Osiris, who fetter Heart-souls and Spirit-souls, who set a seal upon the dead, and who would do evil to me, shall do no evil to me. Haste on the way to me. Thy heart is with thee. My Heart-soul and my Spirit-soul are equipped; they guide thee. I sit down at the head of the great ones who are chiefs of their abodes. The wardens of the members of Osiris shall not hold thee captive, though they keep ward over souls, and set a seal on the shadow which is dead. Heaven shall not shut thee in.

RUBRIC: If this Chapter is known by the deceased he shall come forth by day, and his soul shall not be kept captive.

APPENDIX (From the Papryus of Nebseni, Sheet 6)

That which was shut hath been opened [that is] the dead. That which was shut fast hath been opened by the command of the Eye of Horus, which hath delivered me. Established are the beauties on the forehead of Ra. My steps are long. My legs are lifted up. I have performed the journey, my members are mighty and are sound. I am Horus, the Avenger of his Father. I am he who bringeth along his father, and his mother, by means of his staff. The way shall be opened to him that hath power over his feet, and he shall see the Great God in the Boat of Ra, when souls are counted therein at the bows, and when the years also are counted up. Grant that the Eye of Horus, which maketh the adornments of splendor to be firm on the forehead of Ra, may deliver

my soul for me, and let the darkness cover your faces, O ye who would imprison Osiris. O keep not captive my soul. O keep not ward over my shadow, but let a way be opened for my soul and my shadow, and let them see the Great God in the shrine on the day of the counting of souls, and let them hold converse with Osiris, whose habitations are hidden, and those who guard the members of Osiris, and who keep ward over the Spirit-souls, and who hold captive the shadows of the dead, and who would work evil against me, so that they shall [not] work evil against me. A way shall be for KA with thee, and thy soul shall be prepared by those who keep ward over the members of Osiris, and who hold captive the shadows of the dead. Heaven shall not keep thee fast, the earth shall not hold thee captive. Thou shalt not live with the beings who slay, but thou shalt be master of thy legs, and thou shalt advance to thy body straightway in the earth, [and to] those who belong to the shrine of Osiris and guard his members.

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If a person managed to preserve all five elements, he would become an Akh – spirit with special magical abilities and allowed to live with the gods. Ancient Egyptians would write letters to the dead (specifically the enlightened ancestors who reached Akh status) for divine intervention in their lives. They would leave the letters at ancestral burial sites since they were considered direct spiritual portals to the underworld. These necromantic portals were accessible both ways. The dead could travel to the living and the living vice-versa.

Since the shadow is part of the soul of a person or thing, any magics that involved manipulating said shadows were considered unnatural and part of the necromantic arts. Since shadows were not bound to the grave, they could go anywhere. Shadows all belong to Anubis though. They must return to the afterlife to serve him. Those that do not, wander the earth. This myth is probably the earliest explanation for Shadow People/Folk/Men sightings.

Here we have an excerpt from the Greek Magical Papyri giving us instruction how to awaken, summon and feed your shadowy servitor.

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Basically, if you go to the middle of a field at 6:00 AM to make a specific offering to your shadow, you can supposedly contact your shadow spirit self and bind it to do your will. It doesn’t specify what astrological day/timing to perform the ritual, but personally, I would do it on a Sunday (given the connection to the sun) and dedicate it to Ra. As for getting up at the crack of dawn, my inner “La Madama” is yelling “Ain’t no one got time for that!” But maybe that’s just me.

Would you want to be like Peter Pan, sending your shadow ahead to work for you?

Comment and let me know what you think!

May 7, 2016   No Comments


 

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