Love Magic with Venus in Pisces

Venus Aphrodite by Rosetti

Venus Aphrodite by Rosetti

A reminder: tomorrow (March 26th), Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and desire moves into dreamy, mystical Pisces.

Astrologers consider Venus to be "exalted" in Pisces - meaning, Pisces not only supportsVenus' lavish energy (as do Libra and Taurus, the signs she rules), it also lifts her up into a place of power where she's even more exquisite than usual.

This makes sense: isn't all romance sweeter when it leaps out of the daily grind and into the realm of sheer magic?

Pisces affords this elevated atmosphere to Venusian energy because it's a watery abode where nothing is as it seems, where everything undergoes "a sea-change" (to borrow Shakespeare's phrase from The Tempest) and becomes transmuted: strange and new.

Pisces carries with it a notoriously mood-and-mind altering quality - the kind of boundary-dissolving, Christ-like compassion that can melt into a touch of madness and grandiosity.

All the better for glamor and seduction.

Venus dwells in Pisces from tomorrow until May 15th, when Venus moves into her home in Taurus (which is still a very nice vibe).

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, this syncs quite beautifully with the frisky frolicsomeness of Springtime.

So what to do with this Venus in Pisces energy, other than relax and enjoy?

Why, a love spell, of course.

In my INFLUENCE course we work in-depth on natural magic - the Hermetic art of cultivating reciprocal relationships with planetary deities to effect positive change --

... but even if you're not yet well-versed in natural magic, Friday (Venus' day), April 12th (when the moon is waxing towards full) is a perfect time to cast a love spell. 

Here's a quick how-to:

- offer a big beautiful bouquet of flowers, plus some berries and chocolates and wine to Venus

- read aloud her Orphic hymn to honor her (here's a nice version on Youtube)

- light a green candle and some floral incense (green is Venus' color, and flowers her correspondence among plant parts)

- write out a petition to the Goddess, invoking her help in achieving some love-related goal - whether this is the attraction of a new partner, the re-ignition of a long-time relationship, or the healing of one's self-love as represented by some specified, tangible, concrete change in yourself.

- note: a nice tangible self-love aim is "I wake up every day for a month feeling grateful and excited to be me." - it's important to be clear on exactly what form you hope the result will concretely appear, so you can recognize it when it happens! 

- I do recommend choosing just one aim for your petition - it's tempting to ask the Goddess for everything - but precision and simplicity in magic goes a long way

- make this petition as beautiful as possible - this is the grand occasion to break out those calligraphy pens and watercolors - and draw on it the symbols of her intelligence, spirit, and character

- as my wise astrologer friend Aeolian Heart very usefully taught me, it's a great idea to use lines from favorite poems or songs in your petition to specify exactly the kind of love you're seeking to bring in - Venus does adore poetry - and you may find, as I did, that she uses that same poetry - causing it to pop up in unexpected, auspicious contexts -- to speak to you down the line

- anoint the petition and yourself with rose, jasmine, or ylang ylang oil 

- and then put your petition in a green or pink talisman bag, along with some rose quartz, copper, and basil, and 7 more drops of oil on the bag itself

- carry this talisman bag with you in your pocket or purse until your result materializes (usually 3 to 6 months, though you'll often see synchronous signs of imminent success much sooner - and on occasion, results are rather immediate)

- the talisman acts as an on-going attractor for Venusian energy to your person, binding the Goddess' exalted presence to you, as elegantly explained by the Renaissance magician Marsilio Ficino

- after your result turns up (yay! congratulations!), make a date with Venus on a Friday during a waning moon to profusely thank her and to "de-commission" your talisman bag by lighting candles and incense for the Goddess again...

... burning your petition in the flame of her candle and moving your copper and rose quartz through the incense smoke to cleanse them so you can use them again for another ritual

- I know it may sound quite simple (no blood sacrifice required!), but this is the very sort of spell that brought me my wonderful husband, Taia Kepher, so I'm very pleased to share it with you.

Cheers to your Venusian magic!

love and villainy,

Carolyn Elliott

founder of WITCH

P.S. Remember: never be careful what you wish for, just be willing to humbly learn from whatever result you receive - fearful timidity is not a trait of great magicians.

Also note: if it seems your desired aim appears to not come to fruition within 6 months - it's very unwise (and tragically limiting) to see this as a flaw with Venus (she's actually quite responsive, as thousands of witches can attest) or as a sign that "magic doesn't work." 

It's much wiser and vastly more accurate to take a disappointment in spellwork as a sign of an unconscious block in your own receiving capacity.

We delve extensively into how to dissolve such unconscious blocks in INFLUENCE


Posted on March 25, 2019 .

the 3 most painful struggles of magical people + what to do about them

When in doubt, use crystals

When in doubt, use crystals

In my several years of working with magical people ... I've noticed we tend to wrestle with similar problems. 

I figured I'd take some time to speak to those today, in case any of you regular readers could use a pep talk.


1. Getting obsessed with unrequited love

Magical folk generally dig embracing elaborate mythologies, interpreting obscure symbols, performing divinations, and dwelling on past-life memories stirred up in dreams. 

Is healthy, requited love especially inviting to such occupations?

No, not really. It's far too crowded with normal gross human stuff like actual relating and intimacy. 

But being obsessed with an unrequited love... now that provides ample opportunities for all such favorite activities

I've spent plenty of hours fantasizing about people who wanted nothing to do with me, meditating on our synastry charts, pulling Tarot cards and pondering the hidden meaning of something that they said to me that one time. 

And I’ve known dozens of other magical people who’ve done the same.

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If you've ever uttered the words "Twin Flame," you've likely swum in these murky waters.

(Fun yet unpopular fact: the whole notion of "Twin Flames" comes out of a part of Plato's Symposium that's narrated by Aristophanes, a comedian famous for his plays that involved people fucking donkeys…

… in other words, Twin Flames, in their original context, were seen as a bit of a crude joke). 

So, if this is something you struggle with - know that it's a natural side-effect of being an intuitive and imaginative person.

You're not alone, or especially unique in doing this. 

In fact, as a hobby it's very absorbing and pretty much top-notch. 

Downside is: it tends to keep you from being open to gross human stuff like actual relating and intimacy. 

The only remedy I know for this affliction when it's acute is to go full-throttle in one's pursuit of the unrequited love object. 

In other words, don't be quiet, don't be shy - sing it from the roof-tops. Take out advertisements in the newspapers. 

The resultant cold sting of humiliation is likely to wake you up out of your trance. 

With this cold sting is likely to come a greater willingness to open oneself...

.... to the hard work of being in real, reciprocal relationships with people who are notidealized fantasies.

2. Creating identities around victimhood 


The seams of history do burst with foul injustices of all sorts, and injustices against magic people and witches abound.

Even aside from historical travesties, plenty of magical people experienced abuse in their childhoods.

I certainly did, and pretty much every magical person I know (except a lucky handful) also did. 

It's very important to recognize, grieve, get angry about, and seek healing for one's hurts. And to know that the healing process can be long. 

That's one thing. 

It's a whole other thing to dwell on one's hurts constantly, to feel perpetually resentful towards the world, to feel owed, to see betrayers everywhere, and to cling to a whole identity built around being-more-oppressed-or-abused-than-thou.

Simply put, the first mode is magically efficacious and the second is not. I know this from first-hand experience. 

In other words, the first route will lead to things in your life getting way better while the second will just perpetuate the same stinky state of affairs, while also managing to attract around you a whole set of friends and lovers who also see themselves as victims....

... and alas, people who see themselves primarily as victims tend to feel totally justified in harming others, sooooo, there's that.

In other words, there's a certain kind of exultant righteousness in identifying as a victim, tenderly caressing one's proud list of wounds.

You get to rail against all the perpetrators out there indefinitely, and there sure are millions of them to rail against.

But. 

That exultant righteousness is then all you get. 

It's maybe not fair... but it is just true that you get happenings that mean more of the same meaning that you ascribe to your life's events. 

Why? because magic and synchronicity work on an engine of meaning. 

This is why forgiveness is such a magically powerful practice:

... it changes the whole context of meaning in which you see yourself and your life's events - and when your context of meaning changes, the kind of synchronicities that show up for you change.


3. Getting hung up on cultural purity

I'm just gonna say it: magic, ritual, plant medicines - are the heritage of all humans, not just those who happen to be genetically connected to a surviving lineage of teachers.

The term "cultural appropriation" came into being to describe the very rude practice of places like the British Museum who hauled off sacred, rare artifacts of other cultures in order to put them on display in London as trophies.

... in other words, the term "cultural appropriation" originally described literal acts of appropriation, as in - the actual stealing of physical stuff, such that it could no longer be used by the cultural that created it. 

No question - that kind of stealing is unacceptable.

But now people use "cultural appropriation" rather loosely to brand anyone who borrows spiritual inspiration from another cultural as an evil racist appropriator....

... as if respectfully burning some sage ranked at the same level of wrongness as stealing someone's marble sarcophagus. 

Yet... it just - doesn't. 

I once had someone angrily accuse me of "cultural appropriation" because I recommend Buddhist practices like Metta Meditation in my courses, and I'm not Asian.

Here's the thing though: I did take formal Bodhisattva vows, and the Lama who gave them to me didn't seem to give a hoot about my non-Asianness, as I'm pretty sure Gautama Buddha wouldn't either.


I understand the romantic longing for ancient traditions to remain intact and untouched by "outsiders"... but here's the thing... 

... in this age of the internet and globalization, that longing is massively, preposterously impossible.

Also, there's tons of people of many kinds of heritage - including European heritage - who have no access to "authentic" indigenous traditions that they're genetically connected to...

... because those traditions were wholly wiped out millennia ago by the Roman invasions and Christian crusades. 

As far as I can tell, that makes these magical people (including those of European descent) just as much the survivors of imperialism and colonialism as anyone else. 

Simply because the colonizing massacre your tribe suffered happened in 300 C.E. in Gaul instead of 1600 in North America doesn't mean it didn't happen and that the reverberations of that painful interruption aren't still active. 

Those folks whose ancestral magical lineages were wholly wiped out by Roman and Christian invasions, myself included, are essentially spiritual refugees - which means since we don't have access to a lineage...

... we have to humbly borrow inspiration and seek teaching from other, more in-tact traditions and historical sources.

And that's okay. It's really, really okay. 

Also, news flash: magic didn't end in the past. 

It's flowing and evolving and making itself known imaginatively in fully fresh ways, in new revelations - right here, right now, always. 

All of which is to say: embracing the cosmopolitan flux of ideas and methods from around the world as they percolate on the internet and provoke a fresh Renaissance in magic is a beautiful thing...

... and as long as that embracing of ideas is done with gratitude and respect, there's no need to get uptight about it. 

So take a deep breath and relax. 

Magic is for humans. 


Posted on March 13, 2019 .

The Shocking Jolts of Uranus in Taurus

From Zoo Portraits by  Yago Partal

From Zoo Portraits by Yago Partal

So I dunno about you, but I'm feeling the shock waves of Uranus (the planet of sudden change & innovation)...

... moving into Taurus (the fixed earth sign that represents wealth, value, and the land itself) ...

... rather heavily this week.

I have a Taurus ascendant so I suspect I'm feeling it especially strongly...

... but Uranus changing signs (only happens every 7 years) is a BIG DEAL that affects everyone.

Here's what it's like:

- jolts of creative inspiration

- feeling restless at night, legs twitching, trouble going to sleep (time to get into Magnesium, Passionflower, Chamomile and Valerian!)

- sudden urges to garden or to go make herbal medicine even if you've never been into these things previously

- the odd feeling that rooms in your house look somehow "different" even if you changed nothing about them

- sensational, stomach-turning fluctuations in your financial situation -- either big windfalls $$$ of cash, or everything drying up + big unexpected bills

- a strange attraction to certain specific plants that never caught your eye before

- rather shocking, bizarre dreams and an easier time getting lucid in dreams (this is amplified by the current Mercury retrograde in Pisces)

- decisions to take concrete action on ideas that seemed like sheer fantasies just a few months ago

For the past 7 years (other than when Uranus made a brief foray into Taurus last spring and then retrograded out again) we've had Uranus in Aries (the fiery sign of self-assertion)...

... if you think back on the past 7 years of Uranus in Aries, it's been a time of immense individuation (following your path no matter what) and "coming into your own," no? 

... so I'm sensing that this next 7 year cycle of Uranus into Taurus will be a time where we have the rubber-meeting-the-road challenge of taking these shiny new selves that we forged during the Uranus in Aries era...

... and using them to do the tough work of growing (Taurus = heavy associations with agriculture) the new world we want to see around us, by upleveling our relationship to both Mama Earth and to money (Taurean cattle were literally one of the first forms of currency - portable, exchangeable wealth....

The Fehu rune

The Fehu rune

... so much so that the ancient Norse rune that represents wealth and luck, Fehu, also literally means "cattle"). 

So here are some trends I'm sniffing on the next 7-year horizon as Uranus settles its weirdness into Taurus:

- disruptions in conventional fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar leading to renewed interest (and rising value) for cryptocurrency

- increasing scary weather events (hurricanes, polar vortexes, tornados) related to ever-more-dramatic climate change

- some massive earth quakes / tsunamis (with Taurus representing the land, the Earth itself and Uranus being sudden movement)

- more & more people getting into re-skilling (gardening; canning; hunting; starting fires from scratch; making herbal medicines) to learn how to live without modern conveniences 

- more & more people called to work in ceremonies with powerful Master Teacher Plants like Ayahuasca, Huachuma, and Psilocibin

- widespread legalization of Marijuana (for recreational, not just medical, use) and growing recognition of its entheogenic qualities 

- people in "masculine" professions that involve a lot of rule-following and logic - even fancy ones like medicine and law - being replaced by "deep-learning" A.I. like IBM's Watson

- ever-greater awareness surrounding the need for clean water and land 

- ever-greater interest in animism, and a dawning recognition that we can't keep treating the physical world like it's full of "mute, dumb" objects-to-be-used... but rather that we have to start relating to everything - plants, money, animals, soil, water, stars - as "people" - subjectivities that deserve gratitude and respect

So - can you feel it?

Posted on March 7, 2019 .

Dark Moon Death Vibe

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During dark moons (the days leading up to the New Moon), I often find myself thinking of some of my favorite (spooky, hot, oppressive) lines in English literature:


“I ran into pagodas, and was fixed for centuries at the summit or in secret rooms: I was the idol; I was the priest; I the worshipped; I the sacrificed. I fled from the wrath of Brama through all the forests of Asia: Vishnu hated me: Seeva laid wait for me. I came suddenly upon Isis and Osiris: I had done a deed, they said, which the ibis and the crocodile trembled at.

"I was buried for a thousand years in stone coffins, with mummies and sphinxes, in narrow chambers at the heart of eternal pyramids. I was kissed, with cancerous kisses, by crocodiles; and laid, confounded with all unutterable slimy things, amongst reeds and Nilotic mud.”

- from Confessions of an English Opium Eater, by Thomas de Quincey


Of course de Quincey is describing the feverish madness of his opium-induced visions in those lines above...

.... but there's something in his words that I think is common to much visionary experience:

a degree of shock and horror in encountering the vast topsy-turvy impersonal sweep of divine life as it relentlessly mutates into all things. 

Have you, for example, in this life or another, done a deed at which the ibis and the crocodile trembled? 

I'll wager we all have.

I propose using this ominous energy to send a tendril of love to the unspeakable undulating horror that animates the universe. 

Also, go ahead and make a "Ta-Da!" list to celebrate things you've accomplished recently. 

Because undulating horror & self-care go hand in hand, don't they?

Posted on March 1, 2019 .

How to Open up to the Absolute Future

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So much of magic involves opening up to the future unconditioned by the past - what the philosopher Jacques Derrida called the absolute future. 

The thing about the absolute future is it's so weird most people can't even begin to imagine it.

Indeed, they just don't even try.

Most of us humans, when revving up to envision "the future" - conjure an image that's quite similar to what we've previously experienced in life, but maybe with a few tweaks. 

Which is okay, if you totally love what you've previously experienced in life.

It's much less okay if you're tired of the same old, same old and interested in creating profound positive change in your life - as most of us magicians tend to be. 

In order to work effective magic, you have to learn how to expand beyond the bounds of the previously-known.

So to begin opening up to the absolute future, take a moment to consider your relationship to the unknown.

What's your "default setting" for dealing with uncertainty? 

How do you handle uncertainty about what tomorrow will bring, or uncertainty about what the past has meant, or about even uncertainty about what you mean in relation to the world and other people?

This is an important question worth asking, because in truth all of these things are always uncertain. 

There's no "conclusive, objective answer" that can determine once and for all what your future will be like, what the past has meant, or what you mean in the social universe. 

As a magician, all of these are unknowns that have to be subjectively felt and subjectively decided - by you, and you alone. 

(If you want to hear way more about this, you can go read the collected works of Kierkegaard on subjectivity.) 

The tragedy is that many people never even try to decide these important matters for themselves.

They let their interpretations of their futures, of their pasts, and their relationships be decided for them, by whatever prevailing mores float into their heads via media or other people's opinions.

Sadly, the "default setting" that's often imbibed through media and through other people's opinions is a really lame, shitty one.

Women, especially, are conditioned by society to interpret all the unknowns and uncertainties of their lives to just mean "bad, wrong, and not good enough."

In The Undervalued Self, the perceptive psychologist Elaine Aron goes into detail exploring all the ways that sensitive, intelligent people tend to undervalue themselves.

To get extra-weird for a moment: If you think about it, it's possible that "self" is just another world for "the unknown" ...

.... as Buddhism has long demonstrated, what we feel to be our "selves" is just an ever-changing, totally fluid stream of thoughts and feelings. "You" today has not much in common with "you" at age 2.

I'd offer that when we habitually devalue ourselves, what we habitually devalue is the unknown that pervades all experience.

We do this in order to lower our anxiety and feel like we "know" the unknown ... we "know" that it sucks. 

This feels miserable, and it's not the most magically efficacious solution.

So, try this: 

For the next week (or however long you like), practice noticing whenever you go into a default interpretation of the unknown (past, present, future) as being somehow bad or scary, or as meaning that you're "not good enough"...

... when you catch yourself doing this, give a wry smile and decide that actually, according to you, the whole vast unknown - of your future, past, and present ...

.... is utterly good, deeply magnificent, and full of wild revelation. 

Make notes in your magical diary as to what happens. I think you'll find it quite intriguing. 

Posted on February 27, 2019 .

Recognizing the Inner Other

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There's a valuable notion in Jungian psychology that I resisted for a long time - it's the idea that within each of us there's a fully autonomous Other, with its own awareness and its own agenda (Jung variously called it the anima / animus / Shadow - but in practice they all blend together)...

.... an inner Other with its own agenda that can subtly take possession of our ego without us being fully aware of it, and stir up all kinds of trouble.

While I've worked with integrative processes for a long time, I was so resistant to this idea of relating to a fully autonomous, inner Other. 

Why? I guess because it was scary to admit that it's not just emotions and desires that my ego tries to repress, but a whole Other inner person

The most common way people tend to experience the possessing inner Other (especially the masculine animus in women and feminine people) is through an intrusive critical voice that has "sacred convictions" about "the way things should be."

This is so much the case that this inner Other often gets referred to in pop psychology just as "the inner Critic" or "the inner Tyrant." 

As in, we may have the best intentions of being kind to ourselves- but we notice our inner monologue gets downright mean at times, especially when we're extending ourselves creatively or in intimate relationship.

The inner Tyrant's voice is compelling because it always seems to be warning us that our survival or our success is on the line, and only it knows the way to keep us safe by reminding us how we should be in order to be loveable, enough, safe, etc., and how much we are dangerously falling short of being how we should be. 

The fascinating thing about this tyrannical inner Other though - is that it transforms into a helpful magical inner Companion (known as the Self by Jungians, and as the Agatho Daimon, or Holy Guardian Angel, in the Western Esoteric Tradition) when the way our ego relates to it dramatically changes.

So how to dramatically change the way our ego relates to the inner Other?

Through the basic process of alchemy of course - solve et coagula (dissolving and bringing together). 

The solve consists in doing exactly what I resisted doing for so long:

-- Recognizing the Other as a fully autonomous being, and speaking back to it.

So when your inner Tyrant crops up, try saying this to it: 

"Thank you, I know you're criticizing me to keep me safe - and also I would honestly much rather die, suffer, and fail tremendously than listen to this criticism any more, so you can shut it." 

The trick here is that you have to mean it - as in you have to get to a courageous, "not gonna take it anymore" place within yourself wherein calling for (invoking) the transformation of that inner Voice is way more important to you than even surviving or looking good to others or avoiding catastrophe.

Because anything less than that leaves room for the inner Other to continue to harass you with its "shoulds" - which are all about making sure you survive, get approval, and avoid catastrophe. 

The coagula part is quite a bit stranger. The opportunity for it only arises after you've made some genuine progress with the solve

The coagula entails allowing for the dawning realization that your ego itself and all its good intentions is also part of the inner Other - like the tyrannical voice, it's also something autonomous that you didn't personally create, but rather that you simply inherited from biology and culture.

As in - your sense of having free will - your ability to think, to decide, to pray, to be courageous, to take a stand - where does that come from? 

Did you wholly manufacture it in your own laboratory? Put it together with some scissors and crayons and airplane glue? Whip it up in your oven?

Of course not - our egos, our thoughts, our desires themselves are all spontaneous gifts given at every moment by the divine - the great Author, Artist, Inventor - the great Poet of us all, the Dreamer who dreams the dream that we are, the Anima Mundi, the soul of the world. 

With this recognition comes the hilarious insight that all along the inner Other only seemed tyrannical because it was mirroring our ego's tyrannical belief in its separation from the Whole. 

So, that's what I learned in eclipse season, and I hope it tickles you as much as it tickles me.

Posted on February 20, 2019 .

How to House-Witch Your Way to Evil Bliss

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I know I talk a lot about high-falutin' psychological stuff.

So I figured today I'd just share with you some of my fundamental house-witching tips. 

The material, after all, is the spiritual. Nirvana is samsara, the jewel is in the lotus; the Morningstar is both Christ and Lucifer, so on, etc., paradox gloriously abounds. 

Many of these practices you may already do yourself, and maybe you could just use a little kick of an inspiring reminder in this tiring retrograde season.


1. Make tinctures and other herbal medicines from your environs.

I learned from my herbalist best friends (shout out to Annie Derek & Crystal Woodling) that lots of us have wild medicinal plants growing somewhere nearby - including precious "weeds" like dandelion and nettle and mugwort. 

A potent way to connect to the spirits of the land you live on is to harvest that medicine and make into into teas or tinctures.

I have an elder tree in my yard. 

I put my daily offering to the spirits at the base of the tree each morning.

This spring I harvested the elder flowers and made a tincture out of them, which I now take everyday.

I find it not only helps me with the medicinal property that elder flowers are good for (bronchial system clearing) but it also strengthens my gratitude for and connection to the land I live on.

Here's some good basic instructions on making tinctures. 


2. Hide sigils under your bed, behind the family photos on the mantle; and just everywhere, basically.

Material symbols, like sigils that you've charged with your intent (here's my fav Grant Morrison video explaining sigils in case you don't know of which I speak or you want a refresher), gain power when they are hidden...

...which is to say, when they are occulted.

Why? 

Because things in the psyche gain power when occulted into the unconscious - and "As above, so below; as within, so without." 

When you hide a sigil under your bed, it's like hiding that symbol deep within your unconscious.

A hidden sigil acts more powerfully because it is unseen. When you think about it, all the most powerful forces are unseen - gravity, for example. You can see its effects but not the force itself.

So if you really want a sigil to act powerfully on your life, hide it like the divine hides gravity.



3. Burn cedar for clearing

Sage is usually the "go to" clearing herb in many New Age circles - but somewhere along the line I learned from a Lakota water-pourer that cedar is best for clearing out "yucky" energies, while sage is best for drawing good spirits in.

So that's what I do. 

At least weekly (I usually get around to it on Saturday or Sunday, while I'm tidying the house) I burn cedar in all the rooms (cedar smudge sticks are sold, but it works best to burn the cedar on hot coals) to clear.

Then I burn sage to invite in the good spirits.


4. Spray Agua de Florida

Agua de Florida is a strong citrus-y cologne traditionally used both by ayahuasca shamans in the Amazon and also by HooDoo practitioners and practitioners of African Diasporic Traditions of magic. 

It's also used for clearing and freshening spiritual energies.

I keep a little spray bottle that's mostly spring water inside with a dash of Agua de Florida (the stuff is STRONG), and spray it all around the house everyday to "clear the air."

It's quicker and easier than burning the cedar, and the scent is delightful.


5. Charge your crystals in the light of the full moon

The main reason to do this is so you can dodge unwanted evening conversations in a way that makes you sound like Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books:

"Oh I'm so sorry, but I just have to get home right away so I can charge my crystals in the moonlight!"

You may think it makes you sound weird, but really it makes you sound fascinating. It's the urgency, the urgency is the fascinating part. 

But seriously, charging crystals in the light of the full moon helps to sync them with the current astral energies, and it's just plain fun. 

I'm not gonna lie: it took me a long time to get really down with crystals - I always loved them, used them in spells, but felt uneasy about vague metaphysical claims made about rocks.

Until my husband bought me a rainbow quartz, and I felt it vibrate in my hand. 

That combined with some pithy lines in The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge about how quarts amplifies the same kind of electro-magnetic energy that our DNA emits - and, lo, my heart felt free to embrace the crystal woo. 


6. See cleaning as a magical act and not just a chore

Books like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up have brought popular attention to the emotional and spiritual value of cleaning.

And just because it's popular doesn't mean it's any less esoterically true. ;)

Cleaning was always something I hated and avoided - until I began to see it as a means of simultaneously cleaning my inner landscape.

I like to set aside a day around the New Moon and get real deep into it - put on music, clean, and as I clean imagine that I'm opening space for receiving new surprises - and of course, do the cedar and sage and Agua de Florida. 


7. Talk and sing to your food while you're making it

Talking and singing to plants is something folks do - have you thought about talking and singing to your skillet of carmelizing onions or your pot of pasta?

You can tell it exactly how you want people to feel as they eat it, how much you love it (the food), and exactly how you want it to nourish you.

A pervasive sad thing in modern culture is the notion that only people or pets or deities are worth communicating with.

I think it's wonderful to give thanks to your deity for your food, and also delightful to talk directly to the food.

Food is people too :)


After all your charging and spraying and clearing and carmelizing and sigilizing, kick up your feet and wickedly revel in your plans for world domination, whilst enjoying the elevated domestic atmosphere. 

Posted on February 20, 2019 .

How to Dread the Wonderful for Fun and Profit

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So pretty much any instructions on practical magic you'll find will encourage you to have "faith" or "trust" in the results of your efforts...

... but what if, like me, you suck at feeling joyful faith in positive outcomes? 

What if your brain is tuned to cynicism and dread? Maybe you've just had a lot of hard-knocks in your life and it's tough to trust that everything will suddenly get all rosy for no reason? 

Well, there's a way to leverage that.

See, faith in an outcome is just a sensation of certainty. 

So you can take the very same well-developed brain muscles that you use to get a sensation of certainty about the negative stuff you dread, and turn that around into certainty about positive outcomes.

Here's how:

Dread the wonderful.

Let's say your magical aim is to have a delightful new romantic partner for the New Year. 

Now ordinarily most manifestation teachers would tell you to say stuff to yourself like: 

"I now affirm that I am receiving my soul's true partner for the highest good of all. I happily look forward to sharing love with this amazing person. I now allow myself to receive new love."

Mmm. Yeah, and has that worked?

I'm gonna go ahead and guess: probably not.

You see, as long as we have an inner conflict about / unconscious resistance to such positive affirmation (which you're pretty much guaranteed to have, or else you would have already manifested the precise result you're interested in)....

... we'll automatically unconsciously negate such happy stuff. We'll mark it as "nonsense" and not really believe it, even if we're visualizing and affirming it.

You see, faithful positivity as it's usually taught often has an element of weird denial in it.

I find that honesty is the always the best policy, and by Dreading the Wonderful, you bring in the honest previously-unconscious part of you that despises the happy result you claim to want. 

Here's how it works. Try leveraging your dread by saying this kind of thing to yourself:

"Oh no, if only there was something I could do to stop the inevitable arrival of this magnificent new partner in my life. This is so awful. Now I have someone sane and healthy and hot who adores me. It's utterly disgusting. I'm really grieving that my singlehood is coming to this tragic and decisive end. It's just that I'm powerless over this new romance thing, I just know it's unavoidably going to happen, - ugh. I really wish it was possible for me to escape this relentless, terrifying fate of being completely fulfilled in love."

Ahhhhh, can you feel the honesty there?

Refreshing, isn't it? 

Because there is some shadowy part of you that's disgusted and miserable at the idea of fresh new love, isn't there? Otherwise you'd be such a radiant beacon of romance that you'd get swept off the scene in a hot minute.

Well, you can become exactly that radiant beacon of romance by being willing to own and embrace all parts of yourself, including the part that fucking hates the idea of a new gooey looooooooooove :::shudder::::. 

Of course you can apply the Dreading the Wonderful principle to anything. You can start dreading the inevitable vast improvement of your health, blast-off in creativity, and surge in career & business power.

Posted on February 20, 2019 .

What Getting Secretly Dosed with LSD and Money Have in Common

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Lately I’ve been enjoying teaching MONEY: the course on wealth magic as an initiatory path with my friend Dave Burns.

We’re exploring working with the Spirit of Money, as a poison-medicine. 

Today I wanted to take a moment to make explicit the kind of transformation that working wealth magic with the spirit of Money can induce. 

First of all, there's a paradigm shift - you move from being stuck in the dominant materialist & moralistic stories about money...

... into a vivid perception of the way that money acts on you as a consciousness-altering pharmakon (drug, medicine, poison - by the way, pharmakon was also the term that Plato's Socrates used to describe written language - this is something we'll be exploring during the MONEY course).

From inhabiting this awareness of money-as-pharmakon, you can gain quite a bit more control over how your financial "trip" goes.

Consider this: with all psychedelics, set and setting (short for "mindset and environmental setting") make a huge difference in how much you enjoy or benefit from your trip.

Money is a very powerful psychedelic substance (i.e. it amplifies the psyche, especially contents that are usually unconscious), and almost no one in our cultural acknowledges this or works seriously with this fact.

But acknowledging the psychedelic power of money and working deliberately with it can make a crucial difference in how much fulfillment and wealth you experience in your life. 

Imagine if you'd never before heard of LSD or anything like it, but one day the wicked barista at your local coffee shop drops 3 tabs into your mocha.



Suddenly you're tripping your face off, and you have no fucking idea what's happening, and what's more, you're in the middle of a busy downtown sidewalk. 

It's really understandable if at this point you would start to freak out, get really paranoid, and experience a tremendously terrifying trip as your "I don't know what's happening, am I going crazy?" fear would dramatically color your whole experience of the world for about 6 - 7 hours. 

You might get arrested, or end up in a psych ward. 

After such an awful experience, if you came to your normal sober senses and figured out what happened - you might consider LSD to be "evil" and you would probably never want to think about it again.

Of course - LSD isn't evil. It's a very powerful substance that with the right set & setting can be tremendously empowering, revelatory, fulfilling. 

Now think: the attitude of "I got secretly dosed with LSD and now I hate and fear the stuff" is very like most people's attitude towards money: they regard it as evil, suspect, dirty, burdensome, scary - and they don't really want to have to think about it, ever. 

Either folks want to get rich so they never have to think about money, or they just try to think of money as little as possible, so they don't bother with trying to get rich. 

This aversive attitude is very understandable, of course we feel generally yucky about money - and of course we don't really want to think about it - it's a very powerful psychedelic that we've been secretly dosed with throughout our lives!

We've all been stumbling around, tripping our faces off on the money-pharmakon, not even knowing that we've been dosed, with zero control over our set and setting, generally terrified. 

It's no wonder that most of us have been having bad, bad trips with money and that we would much rather be finished with having to deal with it altogether.

Now imagine: what if you knew exactly how to gorgeously manage the set & setting of your life-long money trip, with shaman-level skill? 

What if instead of cluelessly stumbling about, wracked with anxiety, you had a way of working beautifully and subtly with the money-pharmakon

That's what we're be learning to do in the MONEY course.

It's a massive transformation, and it makes whole new giant vistas of experience possible. Like these ones that my co-teacher Dave and his clients have experienced:

- going from money being a constant source of worry to being a constant source of delight, insight and power

- transitioning from selling coaching or service packages for $100 or $1000 to $1 million or more

- moving from feeling trapped in cycles of spending everything you make into living with a beautiful balance of spending, saving, and investing

- discovering your unique personal brilliance with money magic, and escaping the paralyzing half-truths of "abundance manifestation" principles

- a pervasive sense of unworthiness melting into a deep knowing of personal worth and value 

Posted on February 20, 2019 .

The Humiliation of Desire

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I've been noticing something lately - which is that often we humans go numb to our deepest desires....

....and instead we settle for satisfying shallow wants.

This makes sense: our real desires are vulnerable, tender, electric. Just feeling them can be almost painful. Plus, going after the fulfillment of such desires usually involves stretching out of our arena of comfort, taking big risks, enjoying some brushes with failure and shame.

So it's much, much easier to ignore these big electric desires and to instead settle for substitutes, distractions, addictions. 

For example, in my relationship with my husband - it's fairly easy for me to go into "sibling" mode with him and get overly interested in brownies and Pinterest boards...

... because opening up my heart and my body to feel the razor-sharp burn of my actual desire for him is humiliating

It cuts into my ego's pride, it puts to death the walled-off notion "I don't need anything or anyone!" and it brings me into the present moment. 

Interestingly, the word "humiliate" means "to bring down to earth" - it comes from the Latin noun "hummus" - meaning soil. 

The force that brings us down to earth is gravity, and as my coven-mate Crystal Woodling reminded me recently - the force of gravity is an oft-used metaphor for the force of love, desire, Eros.

In our modern culture, we delight in resisting gravity, the Eros that connects us to the earth.

We sleep on beds in houses lifted up from the ground; we drive cars that let us move much faster than gravity would let our legs carry us; we travel on airplanes.

All of which is cool, but it can have the strange effect of making us settle for distractions and abstractions rather than the actual disturbing heat & magnetism of our raw desire.

So I'm curious - what gravitational pull are you resisting right now? 

What deep, electric, humiliating desires are you covering up with easier, ego-friendly substitutes like social media and sugary treats?

Posted on February 20, 2019 .