Mage in Miami

Recently we’ve had some wonderful comments on the blog from Miami Magus, who has shared considerable insights into traditions I know little or …

Mage in Miami

My friend Nimue Brown of Druid Life made this amazing compilation post of my blogs. Wanted to share it with all of you! I am so happy and blessed that she did this. She’s one of the great bloggers and writers on here. And she took the time out of her busy schedule to share my blogs with her readers. Please subscribe to her blog as well! 😃

A Basic House Blessing

Olokun, one of the Orishas of the Ocean. His Sopon or vessel contains actual water blessed for him, my Godmother in Santeria once cleansed me with water she personally blessed in Olokun’s name.

Tonight is Hekate’s Deipnon, and I figured I would write this. I was also asked to write this by a client who needed her home and personal space cleared of negative energies. After I took a heavy curse off of her. The following is a ritual I came up with from various practices. But I made this ritual neutral so that it can be used by any religion and any God.

The following is what you need.

Ingredients :

1) Holy Water

Image via Busted Halo

2) Aspersorium

A homemade herb Aspersorium image via Howard Scroggins

3) Vessel to contain negative energy (an idol or sacrificial representation, even a bag filled with garbage or a bag of food will do)

Replica of a Sumerian artifact, this would be perfect to trap the bad energy.

4) Offerings for whatever spirit or God will get rid of the negativity.

Offerings for Elegua, image from Josan Caballero

Instructions :

Part 1 : Pharmakos

Idols come in both genders or can appear genderless

In Ancient Greece they used sacrificial animals, people, food, or even idols called Pharmakoi. The idea was that they were vessels that retained the bad energy. And that when you sacrificed them, you were killing the bad energy. So the first part of this is a Pharmakos cleansing. You’re trapping the bad energy into a vessel.

You have to map out where you are going to go. For instance you need to know every nook and cranny in your house. Every corner. If you have an attic, start there. And make sure you go to every spot in your property and home. 

Ending in the basement as well as outside your prosperity. You have to pray, or chant, or do a spell. And you command all negative energy and bad spirits to be bound to the vessel. You do this while you are walking around. The vessel is a sacrifice that soaks up all of the bad energy around. 

You also rub yourself, all members of the house (including pets) with the vessel. This is done so that any attachments or bad vibrations can be drained into the vessel. You’ll know it’s done because you will feel the property be instantly lighter. And you and those around you will feel lighter as well. If this was a bag of garbage, toss it into a public dumpster or community dumpster ASAP. 

And say that no one will be harmed by this bag. That you consign the dark energy to its own dark world never to return. To be bound to chaos forever. Chaos meaning the primordial void. Then turn around and walk away without looking back. 

If it was food, you need to go to a crossroads, railroad, or body of water, even a pond will do. And call upon the spirits of those places (in the name of your God/Goddess) to remove the bad spirits and energies. And that as the animals eat the food, they will not be in danger. That they will destroy the negativity. Again turn around and walk away.

Position your car so that you don’t have to turn around to face the spot when getting inside. You don’t want to look at the area even by accident. Make sure you can leave and leave fast without turning around. The reason for this is that all the negativity will go to you worse than before if you do. Or worse, you might see the spirits that are going to take away the bad energy.

Which can be dangerous by itself. Another possibility is you will see the bad spirits that you bound and they will be freed instantly to haunt you. Make sure you leave the proper offerings at the site for the spirits or God you called upon. Go home. 

Part 2 : Casting Aspersions

An Asperger also known as an Aspersorium or Aspergillum, a device used to cast aspersions of holy water. This Aspersorium comes from Rowan Morrigan

The term “casting aspersions” comes from this. It’s a form of cleansing with holy water. You basically flick holy water on the walls. On the ground. On anything and on everyone even pets.

That’s what casting aspersions actually means. This is to bless everyone and everything the water touches. So with the water you blessed with your own prayers, bless the home. You will need an Aspersorium which is a fancy word for an object that you can use to flick the holy water with. The church uses fancy metal devices or even brushes or small buckets to do this.

But any object will do. You cast the aspersions from the outside in. From the front and back yard. Call on your God or Goddess and their spirits to protect and bless the property and dedicate it to them. Say,

“I dedicate this home to be your divine temple. This I holy ground and only that which you allow can enter,”

Bless the outside in. And enter the front door and bless the house from the basement all the way to every nook and cranny up into the attic. You should feel another wave of relief come upon you. Make sure you flick the water or asperse it everywhere.

Sometimes I even use the cap from the plastic bottle I keep my holy water to asperse everything. If all else fails just use your hand. You will feel the wave of relief hit and once that happens you will know the dedication ritual is done. Granted some people don’t choose to dedicate their houses to their Gods. Instead they just do normal blessings. 

I’m just not one of those people. My house is a temple to the Gods. I want them to live there. Sure the upkeep is a little more stressful but ultimately it’s better.

Part 3 : Reclaim your Authority

Think of your Will as a personal forcefield. And as a reality altering force. Your enemies, including evil spirits, have no power over you.

With this part, walk around with a holy item that represents your faith after the cleansing.

Used Horse Shoes are powerful talismans and can represent many religions and folk practices, from El Tarot De Yemaya (the tarot of Yemaya occult store)

And command that any unwelcome or negative spirits need to go. Command them to leave in the name of your God/Goddess/Gods. And say that only the Gods and their divine spirits can be in your home. Do this to reinforce and reassert your control over the home and property. It restored the natural barriers that exist to keep bad spirits out.

And it also re-empowers them to keep things out you don’t want.

Part 4 : Warding

From the Sacred Signs Archive drawing sacred symbols or hanging up magical charms is a common method of protection

This part is a long term project and it’s not something you can do in one day or night. You go through the process of learning special prayers. Or getting or making amulets to ward off negative energy. Or talismans to bring protective energy. Also drawing symbols or writing special words or letters of power is important.

You have to research your own religion. Or your culture and heritage. And find out what is useful in keeping bad influences away. This will increase the power of the dedication and/or blessing.

I hope this helps,

– M

Random Links of the Day : Friday the 13th Edition!

The Magus, Dr. John Dee

Welcome to the first Random Links of the New Year! Today is the birthday of the Magician John Dee. The Founder of Enochian Magic. The personal occult advisor of Queen Elizabeth. And a powerful Divine Magician, a Mage who gains powers from holy beings such as the Angels. And his birthday coincides with Friday the 13th this year.

I had written a blog about that a few years ago but I can’t remember exactly when that happened. So to start off, here is an amazing article by Icy Sedgwick on John Dee. It includes an image of the varying crystal that supposedly was granted to him by the Archangel Uriel. By the way Icy is an amazing author who has written the Necromancer book series. A really dark version of Harry Potter.

I freaking love it! So please check out Icy’s books!

John Dee and his friend and colleague Edward Kelly, the Angelmancer and Scryer who would receive visions from Uriel via a crystal ball. Behind John Dee you can see the spirit of a woman. Most likely a shade of the dead conjured by them both from a cemetery. To read more on that and also on Edward Kelly’s necromancy for here

Friday the 13th and the Divine Feminine

Omens & Symbols : Friday the 13th

The History of Friday the 13th

Haunted Houses are nothing compared to Haunted Lighthouses

The Glowing Orbs of Route 66

The Ancient Tale Of Gello, The Supernatural Baby-Snatcher by the Historian’s Hut

9 Foot Skeleton Found in the 1900’s

Nian : The Monster Behind Chinese New Year & Firecrackers by Hatty Liu

These passages are from Dee’s Monas Hieroglyphica (1563), a work in which Dee provides an explanation for his famous Monad symbol. In Latin he’s showing the Monad Sigil is actually the combination of the signs for the moon, sun, elements (+) and finally fire. Which would explain why it has its own magical powers. It’s because of all the power is already contained within the sigil itself.
The Rune Soup interview on “John Dee and the Empire of Angels”

Whom do Banshees’ visit? The Visitation Rites of Banshees

The Wisdom of Cherokee Billie E-Book

A Story of Loss, Meaning, and Mutual Aid (Funeral Rites for a Neigboor’s Pet)

Monkey’s made stone tools in the Americas, not humans Scientists say

The Lost City of Zezuria, the City of Little Birds

Tending the Hearth Fire Modernly

Schedule a reading with Psychic Cherokee Billie

Friday and Thirteen: A Brief History by Christine Valentor

The New Version of Magical Prayers (From a Catholic Occultist, fascinating blog)

In Ghana, the New Year Starts With a Fancy Dress Masquerade

The Story of how an Heiress who lived to be 104 saved the Ossabaw Hogs in a Heist for Conservation. An eccentric heiress, a daring mission, and the fight for North America’s most unusual pig.

How do you get rid of Demons? You challenge the Fuckers to an ultimate Dance Off! At a Festival in Bhutan, Some Dancers Bare All to Ward Off Evil Spirits

The Ghost House and House of Witches : Villa de Vechhi

12 Famous Graves

Hawaiian Adventure Shamanism

Add DE to Your Protective Circle – a Hearth Witch Tip

The Serpent King and the Prince (Another blogger worth reading on here, amazing post!)

The Witch’s Rest from New World Witchery

Happy Friday the 13th!

– M

The Spirit of Death is loose in the year 2023 : Otura Niko

Yes this is a year ruled by Obatala and Oshun (or by Exu and Oxum if you practice Quimbanda). But the sign of the year is what seems to truly be reigning this year. Already, it seems that the Ajogún are on the move bringing with them misfortune and death. Yesterday, my friend got into a car accident. A little while later, I learned that my great uncle had died suddenly. 

Between yesterday and today, some of my magical charms for protection against death, started to become overwhelmed. I had to call on the spirits to reverse whatever it was that was sending death this way. And I had to cleanse, re-bless, and recharge all of my charms. And right now as I am writing this, I found out that my neighbor whom I always talked with, died from a heart attack recently. Either just before or after New Years.

From Fine Art America

 I didn’t want to ask the date because that’s disrespectful and insensitive to his poor wife. But it was recent. So either just before or just after New Years. This year is not a good year. It’s not a year that we should all be cheering for. 

It is the year of Otura Niko, the Foreman of the Dead. 

Friends, things are only going to get worse from here. Before in 2020, COVID was the force used by the Ajogún to spread terror and disharmony. But this year they are mixing the tactics up. Now it’s more like a mix of 2020 with 2019. In 2019 it was more personalized attacks sent to different people. 

Personal problems. And 2020 was a massive problem that struck us all. This seems to be a hybrid of both those years. It has all the force if not more, of 2020. But disseminated in ways that will effect us directly. 

A friend of mine who has mixed white and native ancestry told me something recently. Now his magic is strong. He works with indigenous spirits. And when my ass has been in danger, he’s protected me. But he has this thing. 

He says odd numbered years are bad luck.

Plague of Flies

And he had the feeling before I even knew it, that this year would be bad. And now here we are. But it gets worse. Last month a fellow blogger named Librarian of the Multiverse had also had a conversation with me. That she sensed that death would be coming this year as well. 

In my head I was like, fuck because that’s really what we need now. Maybe it is. Because clearly humanity refuses to awaken from this walking coma we’re all in. I wonder if we have fallen so deeply asleep that the Ajogún have seen us as easy prey. That we’re being targeted now because they see us as dumb sheep that are easy to take out. But now I want to move on to something else.

The Divination (letter of the year) says to stay away from lakes and rivers and even rain water. A friend of mine who is a seer told me something that spooked me. You see, she had no idea what the letter of the year had said. I didn’t have the time to tell her. But she said that something is in the water.

That something is in the water that’s going to kill people this year. No, she’s not a nut job. No, she doesn’t normally say stuff like that. For the very first time in my life, I understood the true meaning of the term “my blood ran cold”. Because I felt ice in my veins hearing her say that.

I feel a rising death wave like in 2020. But this one is worse. Part of me feels like I’m on a roller coaster. I want off of and I am screaming my head off into the void. But no matter what no one is going to save me.

So with that said, I think I am going to give you all a simplified version of the Ebbos or karmic cleansings for this year. Along with some additional advice that may come in handy. 

The Ebbos given for this year include animal sacrifices. Which I am against. But I also understand traditions and what not. 

I am no one to judge my people and how they follow the ways of the ancestors. I just don’t like or agree with all the ways of our ancestors. I don’t always follow those ways. I actually considered saying nothing for fear of being rebuked by other Santeros saying I am “exploiting our religion”. 

Or some other horseshit that the zealots in my faith come up with to silence dissent. 

My spirits and my Orisha do not care about whether or not I kill an animal. They accept fruits and vegetable offerings. But they also accept cooked animals. In other words, instead of giving them an animal that is being sacrificed and discarded I give them food. If the Ebbo asks for a roaster, I go out and find a cooked roaster. 

It’s not impossible to find. There are some animals that are sacrificed in Africa that don’t exist here. So with divination and research I find what they would accept and grant them that dinner. In places that are sacred to them. I also add the fruits and vegetables anyway as an added offering.

If blood is what they want that isn’t a problem either. There are butcher shops that are willing to grant the meat and the blood. As long as they get paid they don’t care. Again, this is how I do it because my Gods and spirits allow me to. Because my Orisha allows me to. 

Do a divination, meditate, and find what works for you. And if any Santeros out there have an issue with how I approach our faith, I don’t care. It has served me well up until now. And until they (the Orishas) or my spirits tell me otherwise I will continue. I am accountable to them, not to you. 

Now the offerings in IFA, you can skip because that’s for the order of IFA. The practitioners of IFA divination and magic under Orula. I am going to give you a simplified version of the regular Santero offering. A medium rooster and seven colored strips. 

The seven colored strips symbolize the Seven African powers. The other ingredients are only for Santeros. So this simplified version is to ask the Seven African Powers for help. Tie them into different parts of the house. Such as door knobs and in windows to ward off death.

In fact consider making a bracelet of these seven strips for yourself. As an amulet. The cooked roaster is the sacrifice that will empower the charms. They will work against death. Which will be very important because there is an article I wrote which is about charms against death. 

In addition to that :

– Honey for Oshun, Brandy for Eshu, Incense or anything holy for Obatala because he’s the King of Heaven. And because Santeria is mixed with Catholicism, Christian things like blessed white candles or incense for him will do.

– And you could get another roasted chicken for Orula, his wife Odu, and the spirits of IFA and ask for their blessings and protections. If you approach them with respect, they won’t care what faith you belong to. 

Leave these offerings at a crossroads with three pennies for Elegua so that he will send the offerings to the Orishas. Also this is very important, to a point even more important than the offerings mentioned before.

Offerings for the dead

Praying before the tile of the dead in Santeria

You need to use any form of protection the dead can give you. Sacrifice to your ancestors. Light candles and incense to them, give them Hades Money, etc… don’t be stingy. And if you don’t already have an ancestor shrine to them, now is the time to make it happen. Because our primary protection comes from the dead.

And also our non human spiritual guides such as Angels, Nature Spirits, etc..we need all of their protections. So when you have a chance give offerings at a cemetery to Oya. 

– Nine Purple Grapes

– 9 Red Roses

– Nine Pennies

– A Bottle of Red Wine

For her and for all the dead. You don’t have to enter the cemetery. Oya brings the dead to the front gates. Leave the offerings there and she will share it with the dead. Ask them and her for protection and blessing. 

And for mass purification in all its forms. And dedicate that entire cemetery to her and the Gods of the Dead. You should feel different. As if something negative left your body when you pray to her. When you are done, leave a candy offering to Elegua in his Eshu form. 

And ask him to send these offerings to Oya and the dead. And then leave without looking back. 

Now it’s important to also work within your own religion. If you don’t believe in Santeria but want protection, research these Deities and find someone in your own religion who matches them. For instance, if you’re Christian, the Archangel Gabriel is the Messenger of God (Elegua is the Messenger of the Gods) and he’s one of the Angels of Death. 

So he’s perfect for this. And instead of a crossroads or all these offerings, you make a massive donation to your church for him in Jesus name. And Jesus died and rose again. So any offering to him works. And he’s the intercessor between humanity and God which makes him a messenger as well. 

Any offering you give to him, give with an open heart and perfect love. If you’re Hindu, do this with Ganesha. And look up who the God of the Dead is. One you are comfortable with and work with them instead. If you are Celtic, work with Morrigan. 

She hangs out at the crossroads and she’s associated with the dead. There’s so many options out there. Protect yourself well. But most importantly of all is this.

– Personal offerings to your spirit guides

Whoever your guide is. A God. An Angel. A Faerie. A Ghost. As well as all of your ancestors.

Whoever it is, divine with them and ask what they want and keep giving it to them all year long. By feeding your spirit guide, you are keeping yourself safe. And sacrifice to your loved ones Spirit guides as well. Even do it for your pets. I am.

Finally, I leave you with this. These were special warding rituals I did when the pandemic hit. They kept me and my family safe at the height of the pandemic. We survived 2020 without getting the disease. Even though my Mom is a healthcare worker and she had to enter places that weren’t safe. 

Meanwhile people around us were dropping dead. Even those who were supposed to be safe. This protected us. So please, read this old blog carefully. And adapt the rituals for what’s happening now.

Angry with the Gods – My Blog during the 2020 Pandemic

Just like on that blog I will keep you updated on events with updates here. Do offerings to all those spirits and Gods. And make the same kinds of charms. Do the same things I did back then. Just adapt them to whatever fresh hell we are going to suffer this year.

– M

New Years Report 2023

Christmas Sunday

Happy Late Christmas Sunday everyone! Originally this post was made yesterday. But WordPress is being an ass. And it posted my report as if it was an article from last year. So I had to duplicate it for today. My apologies!

That’s the first Sunday after Christmas. So New Year’s specifically finishes with a tone of ending things that need to be ended. Or endings as new beginnings. Which is the same thing we have experienced for the last few years. It seems the Gods and the spirit folk are tired of telling us to do things more than once.

Before going forward, if you haven’t read my New Years Rituals blog you should now. To get on the right path. To clear away all unwanted things. To bring good luck. And to be blessed for the new year.

So they’re going to keep pushing this until we get all our shit together. To emphasize this, our New Year’s Day is a Sunday. The last day of the last week of the old year. And it’s a Christmas Sunday. Now technically we are still in Yuletide.

There are several Christmas in January traditions. Even ranging to the Three Kings Parade we have here in Miami. Which celebrates the Pagan Magi who visited Jesus as a child. And no, they never converted to Christianity. They remained faithful Pagans to the end.

Although the Bible doesn’t say how many Pagan Magicians visited Jesus, there are three who are specifically called Kings. Many thought this meant they were actual Kings. But in reality they were great Mages so wise and so powerful that they were considered witch kings of a sort. Mages who were on another level of magic and thus royalty amongst their brethren.

But getting back to the point, Christmas Sunday isn’t normally a Christmas in January sort of thing. It normally happens while the old year is still in progress. This adds once again, to that tone that this is a year for ending things. And I keep thinking,

“How much more shit do we need to end? Gods, can’t you bring something else to fill the void from all of this loss and reaping of the old?”

And they keep responding the same way,

“We have, you just don’t see it yet,”

To make it stranger, I noticed that barely half an hour after midnight had passed. And everyone went to bed. I can usually tell if a year will be shitty or…..extra shitty based on how long the celebrations are. Everyone went to bed early. Just like in 2019’s New Year.

You remember that year right? It was fucked up and a prelude to 2020. Again I say, how much more shit needs to be “ended”. Unfortunately, I got my answer : People need to get off their asses to change things. That means

* Militant political action, not just voting for the same assholes in both parties who change nothing. Actually stand up and protest and demand fucking change. Until then, we’ll have more years like this.

* Stop dreaming so much and wishing and hoping and praying and go do something. Actually change your life.

* Step out of your comfort zone and grow

* Try new things

* Go on Adventures

* Organize, Unite, and share information and resources

* Reject the model of materialism and self enrichment, and focus on enriching the community and the people as a whole.

I know American Capitalism teaches people the BS about the “American Dream”. And how it’s supposed to be a utopia based on all of us making money and being rich. It’s pretty obvious by now that’s bullshit. If it was true, we’d all be rich by now.

Especially those of us who actually work. Wealth comes from stealing from others and stepping atop their corpses in this country. So we need to remove ourselves from that self destructive tendency. Here we have our current New Year’s Report with all the Gods and spirits I can find. I separated them based on culture and religions.

First, we explore the Chinese pantheon and astrology. We are entering the year of the Water Rabbit. Click on the article to find your Chinese zodiac animal and see the forecast for your year.

Now we explore the Tai Sui for the year 2023. A Tai Sui or Grand Duke of Jupiter is one of 60 Divine Generals under the Jade Emperor. Once a year, one of these Gods will become the Grand Duke in charge of the planet Jupiter. The Ruling planet. What this means is that, the chosen God is the ruler of that year.

In fact, the Grand Duke of Jupiter is so important that whatever direction in Feng Shui is sacred to him needs to be appeased. If you do anything to offend the Tai Sui, it can screw up your year. Even indirectly.

Quote from the article on General Pi Shi at wofs.com

Such as by having your Zodiac animal be in contradiction to him. Or accidentally making too much noise in the direction sacred to the Tai Sui. The Ruling Grand Duke of Jupiter for the year 2023 is General Pi Shi.

General Pi Shi

The year 2023 doesn’t really sound like it’s going to be a peach. But General Pi Shi was a skilled leader in life. Both militarily and politically. And he was able to find solutions to problems very easily. Because of this, the year 2023 will have the right leaders to aid with problems.

Just don’t expect those leaders to always be political. Search for the leader inside yourself. And keep your eyes open for other leaders to work with. In life, this General had military and political commendations since he was very young. He quelled both rebellions and invasions.

And was given key appointments by the Emperor. So appealing to him for improvement and advancements are very good. Especially in making yourself better.

Numerology of the number 4

Why some cultures view number four as unlucky from How Things Work.com

In many cultures, number four has a negative aspect numerologicaly speaking. Even in Santeria we are told to never light four candles in a house. Because it symbolizes death and the dead. This is from the time before electricity was being used in Cuba. When funeral parlors were using candle sticks.

Two at the head of the casket and two at the foot of the casket. However, as in many things, four has positive aspects as well. In Chinese beliefs the number rules over relationships. Whether it’s romance or friendship. Or business partnerships.

The effects will really be felt on the 4th of February. That’s when the number 4 star becomes the dominant force for 2023. This brings both blessings but also curses for the year. Besides symbolizing death, the negative number four also symbolizes betrayal of a relationship. Married couples are in danger the most this year.

The full article is here.

If you are in a relationship, you need to proactively resist temptation in all of it’s forms. Arguments. And all other things. This may also mean divisions and betrayals even in political and business alliances. The thing to remember about the negative of any number is look at the positive.

Use the positive force of that number to cancel out the negative. It can’t fight itself. But you can resist and shield yourself with the positive attributes of that number.

Focus on its energy

Focus on it’s powers and energies. And allow it to protect you. Call for it to immunize you against its own negative aspects. Call it’s good energy into every part of your being. You can burn a golden candle with a number 4 you etch into it.

And ask the good spirit of the four to protect you. For more on this including the orientation of the Feng Shui for the year 2023 click here. For all comprehensive guides for protection in the year 2023 from bad Feng Shui and negative influences go to the Feng Shui Guide here. A short history of General Pi Shi is here. And here, how to pray to the Tai Sui (a beginners guide).

Prosperity Spell for New Years

In Santeria, the Ruling Gods are Obatala and Oshun for the year 2023

From Ashe Pa mi Cuba

Obatala, the King of the Yoruba Gods or Orishas. And his daughter Oshun. The Goddess of love, lust, prosperity, nature, rivers, and witchcraft among other things. The King of the Gods and the Goddess of love magnify and bless every single one of us. Normally I translate the entire letter of the year but I found out Ashe Pa mi Cuba does it themselves.

The letter of the year is the results of divination for the new year. It’s done by the Babalawos or high priests of Orula. The Orisha of Divination and Magic. They call upon him to see into the future of the year. Then they give all of their predictions on the coming year.

And prescribe rituals for it to get better. The Divination of the year can be found here. Now as beautiful as it is to have Obatala and Oshun rule this year, the predictions are not beautiful at all. Remember what I said about this year being used to finish more shit? Yeah it’s about that. The reigning text or sign of IFA used in this divination is Otura Niko (The Foreman of the Dead). There’s a whole story about how Orula defeated death himself.

And shape shifts into Otura Niko the Foreman of the Dead. In the next few days I will write about that story. But for now let’s get to the Ebbo.

The sacrifices asked for protection and blessing over the New Year

Curujey is a name for the twisted air plant. Usually found in Cuba. In addition to this, Oya in the early hours of midnight asked me for something. I performed a Spanish tradition of putting 12 grapes in my mouth to ask for good luck. I had both green and purple grapes.

I ate the green grapes. But there were 9 purple grapes left. Nine is Oya’s number. And darker colors like purple are usually for her as well. I had no idea this sign was going to come up.

I just did as she asked. I took the purple grapes to a shrine for the dead I have outside. And I found a half empty bottle of Merlot on the way. She likes red wine. So I gave her the grapes and the wine.

Then asked for her and the dead to intercede on my behalf against any dangers in the new year. And to bring many blessings. When I actually took the time to read what the sign was about it left me stunned. That actually speaks to another theme of this sign : listening to your spirit guides and also following instructions. You will find many blessings that way.

There is another Ebbo for protection during this sign that I found during the study of the Oddun. It’s as follows. Warning this is only for Santeros. Don’t try this one if you aren’t, or don’t have sufficient training yet. I added this portion for purely scholarly reasons.

Ebbo (Cleansing) of Otura Niko

So that good comes. (I’ll go Umbo

Ingredients :

1) Three bottles of brandy

2) A white plate

3) Cascarilla or blessed eggshell powder

4) Otura Niko is tied and prayed

Instructions :

This Cascarilla is poured into one of the bottles of brandy, and given to the dead, the others without the powder, one for Orunmila and the other for Eshu (Elegba). And this is the cleansing offering to ensure protection. And then of course you despose of them in accordance to divination. I have shrines for the dead and the Orishas so I know what to do with them.

It has a mix of good and bad omens for us all. This one I had to translate into English for everyone here. Or rather translate the aspects of it. Not the word for word text.

Otura Niko

The Tile of the Dead

This sign is the foreman of the Eggun (dead). For which it is written on the tile when sacrifice is going to be made. Wisdom is the most refined beauty of the Babalawo.

* The agitation of the sea

* Corn

* The nervous system in the body

* That death is frightened and respects the living.

* And the Oparaldó

* The disfigurement of the human being at death.

* Eggún’s communication with Olófin

* Good and evil threaten the awó

* Send to prepare things on time

* Speak: kutone

* The country or land of Eggun where Otura Niko is the foreman

* It is an extension ifá

What does this mean?

* Orunmila lived in the Iyesá land

* In Otura Niko you do not eat caimito, zapote, octopus, or squid

* No ants or insects are killed

* It speaks of the human races

* It is an ifá of weariness and loneliness

* The son cried in the mother’s womb

* It was where Orunmila’s jars were hit

It symbolizes

* Oshun hid the money under the caimito bush and Shango his treasure

* Shango stole a thing from Olofin and hid it

* It is forbidden to go to the river

* Elegbá is for good and for bad

* There is a tendency to vices

* The most important thing is the spirit of the father

(This last one is interesting because the Letter of the Year mentions that Godsons and Godfathers should be closer to each other this year)

* It was where the king threw the raffle and Otura Niko took it out

Recommendations of the sign Otura Niko:

The children of this Oddun must be generous, because in this way they will be enriched. They will have to comply with everything, so as not to be accused of being irresponsible. For three days, bring a bottle of brandy and money to your Godfather’s Ifá. The secret of this Oddun is to feed his father’s spirit or his spiritual guide. He is given a white rooster.

The pregnant woman must make sacrifices to ensure a healthy child. Place food with syrup in the corners of the house so that the ants come and with them luck. Bathe with canutillo and other times with French macaw, red fig, and Iworiyeyé.

(Remember these are the rituals of the Yoruba people. No one is actually telling you to do this. The prescribed rituals are the ones in the screen shots I took. This is all part of the Oddun).

Another interesting thing is we are told to not kill ants. Ants are the lucky animal this year. They must be treated well. I will give an offering to the ants where I live for good luck. Also, Ants are an animal associated with Elegua.

Which I found curious. But that curiosity was later answered when looking up the Orixa Regente of 2023.

Sayings of Otura Niko

The iron wanted to fight with the candle. The Sun rises for everyone but you. He who does good in droves, will receive it in droves. The broken jar will never be filled. The broken jar will never be called justice.

The father says: If you are not happy in your house, you better come with me. Good and evil threatened the Babalawo. In the land of the dead, I am foreman. He who wept in the womb is blessed.

Prohibitions of the sign of Ifa Otura Niko

It is forbidden to eat pork. For this is offered to Eggun. No ants or insects are killed. It is forbidden to go to the river.

Ifa Otura Niko says:

“You will do a favor that you will not appreciate. In her house there is a person who has a cast womb, there is also another who is pregnant, and the child who is going to give birth is a boy and will be called a Know-it-all, because that child is going to be a Babalawo. They will send you to find a place forever, take care of your child. Where they live they have had money and today they have nothing to eat. Thank you Shangó. Feed your father’s spirit so that luck comes. If you don’t feed him, he will go where he is,”

It has a bit of Mayombe, be careful, because that slows it down. Don’t put pins in your mouth. Be careful where you eat, don’t get sick. Don’t ask for so much money, as it can be used for your burial. He cannot be stubborn and beware of treason where he can be poisoned.

Be obedient to your elders so that you can live happily. You can’t bathe in the river. You have to beg for your head. In his house there was a brunette woman with a red blanket, if he returns, he immediately gives Shango a ram and two roosters, which will then come with three very large lots.

She left her house in search of money and was introduced by three lovers, clinging to her guardian angel. In order for him to get such money, he must have an apron and buy lottery tickets, which others despised. The day you feed the saints, don’t work. He doesn’t have a son because God is angry with his behavior. Thank you, Oshun and Orunmila You can not get wet in rainwater, let alone bathe in a downpour.

(Lottery Tickets have been around since Ancient Times).

While all three batches don’t arrive, be satisfied with what you have, you have to cover the holes of the mice, for your ashe,”

Characteristics of the sign Otura Niko (Ogbe)

This sign speaks of the person’s lack of awareness because he or she has suffered loss. This is where corn came down into the world, it was born. In this Ifá was born the communication of the Eggún (dead) with Olófin (God) through Oniko, who is the messenger. So Otura Niko represents the messenger of the dead or the foreman of the Eggun. This Oddun marks, the power of evil in the people of lights.

It is an Ifá of evolution for the Awó. They speak:

“The journeys of dualities to ask Ifá for recourse. Evolution to spirits, and evil threatens the Awó. This Oddun says to prepare things with time, because it is an Ifá that does not allow delay. The children of this Oddun must be generous, because in this way they will be enriched, they will have to comply with everything, so as not to be accused of being irresponsible,”

The turmoil of the sea was born. Speak: Kutoné.

The country of the land of the dead (Eggun). This is an Oddun of life and death. Here was born the Oparaldó, which means (kill behind the body),”

This ceremony called the Oparaldó is used to cast out or remove a particular dead person from “behind a person”. It’s a ritual for removing an attachment by a spirit in other words. Especially a dark ghost (eggun buruku). This may also be a sign that we need to protect ourselves from darker energies more so than usual this year. As we may see more attachments than normal.

Diseases that afflict this Oddun (sign/text) but also remedies we may be seeing this in 2023

* Diseases of the throat (tonsdolopathy), spine, nervous system, blood pressure.

* It speaks of the human race. The person lives with the opposite race (racial unity as a cure). This Oddun must receive Odduduwa, for a health problem.

Odduduwa one of the Primordial Creator Gods, one of the sons of GOD.

There is someone in the family who hanged himself, just as there is someone who was educated in a convent or boarding school for nuns.

Otura NIko is an Odu from Ifá who speaks of boredom. The person gets tired of living. This Oddun is where the child cried in the womb. Bring a gift from nature.

This Ifá sends to bathe with canutillo and other times with French macaw, red fig and Iworiyeyé. This is the Ifá of the schoolchildren, the person grew up together with other children or lived near a school.

Ifá says:

That wisdom is the most refined beauty that Babalawo has. This is where Orunmila’s jars were actually beaten,”

As you can see, the text speaks of a great many things. There’s a mishmash of good and bad things. It feels like it’s saying this year will be a conflict between the positive and the negative.

“This Oddun is where the child cried in the womb. Bring a gift from nature. This Ifá sends to bathe with canutillo and other times with French macaw, red fig and Iworiyeyé. This is the Ifá of the schoolchildren, the person grew up together with other children or lived near a school.

Ifá says:

That wisdom is the most refined beauty that Babalawo has. This is where Orunmila’s jars were actually beaten. Here he was born: He who sometimes dies (Iku) is frightened and respects the living. The Great Power of the Awó. Here death is transformed into bone and shadow that nobody knows, and that is why the human being is disfigured when he dies and transforms,”

So we see another dynamic here : Iku and possibly the Eggun fear the living under this sign. Which means we have some power in our corner after all.

Secrets of Otura Niko

“This was where Oshún hid her money under the caimito bush and Shango hid his treasure that was: ero, obbi, kolá and ozún naború, under the canutillo. That is why the Awó Otura Niko should not miss a caimito branch behind the door and put Shangó erú, obbi, kolá, ozún naború, and cover it with canutillo. Here Shango stole a thing from Olofin from (our) religion and hid it,”

It goes on to mention again that you need to give honor to your religious Masters. With emphasis to a male religious figure. And the importance of a connection between the Godson and Godfather. And giving offerings to The Godfather’s house. The text in relation to love is very bad.

It says that finding love is a pain in the ass under this sign. Because betrayal is right around every corner. You are not to go near rivers. Or get wet by rain. And dogs are seen as special protectors.

But they should also be protected.

Many offerings should be made to your spirit guides for protection. Especially your Guardian Deities and any Eggun you have like the ancestors (thanks for watching out for me Oya). The importance of Ebbos and other special offerings and rituals for protection and blessing.

There’s another missed up story about a farmer, who gave his guardian spirit an offering so that he could gain blessings. But at the end of the story, even though he got his blessings, a sack of money fell from the air on top of him and he died.

“There was a farmer almost ruined because of the great drought that hit the region in which he lived. The plants and their animals were dying. But his guardian angel offered him a chance and said:

‘Give me a goat, but do not work or get wet with rainwater that day,’

The day that the farmer, gave the guardian angel what he asked, soon it began to rain. And the farmer forgot the warning of his guardian angel and left happy to stir the earth, (that is, he worked) at that moment came the luck of Heaven, that is, sacks of money, which fell on him and killed him,”

The Ajogun or Osogbos

I’m going to say something that isn’t in that text. Okay? Don’t crucify me now. It’s an observation. He challenged the Osogbos and his own arrogance felled him. An Osogbo isn’t just bad luck.

It’s bad energy. Specifically it’s an Ajogun or demonic spirit. So it’s believed when you are resisting bad luck, you’re literally resisting an evil spirit who embodies that bad luck. So when your patron or matron Deity (guardian angel) is giving you a specific instruction to follow, do not deviate from that instruction. All this man had to do was not work for one day and stay dry.

Easiest thing in the world to do. And by the next day his crops would have been full and his Osogbos gone. What was so hard about following these instructions? Again, obey your spirit guides and Gods. That’s why death comes from disobedience this year. So there’s three things to take from that story :

1) The importance of Apotropaic Magic

Protection from evil spirits. As well as well as properly following rituals and instructions. Don’t fuck around. Follow what you are told. And do not deviate from instructions.

2) The importance of giving offerings to your spiritual guides. Following their instructions to the letter.

3) Be wary of the Osogbos

Just because you are doing a ritual to protect yourself, doesn’t mean it can’t backfire on you. And that the negative forces out there can’t hurt you.

When Orunmila went to see Olordumare

On this road, Orunmila needed to see Olordumare to resolve the situation that existed on Earth. But he could not get to where he was. Because he did not know the way or the enchantment. Faced with this situation, Orunmila divined seeing this Oddun (text, the one for this year), which Ebbó (offering cleansing) marked him with:

A rooster, needles, colored threads, fabrics, a basket, colored ribbons, eggs, little balls of faces etc. and that after he did the Ebbó he went for a walk. Shortly after walking, he met Eshu, who was disguised in torn clothes, Orunmila gave him fabrics, needles and threads to sew his clothes. Then Eshu directed him to a place where they met an old woman, who was Orishanla (Obatala in his Goddess aspect).

Orunmila, seeing her, gave her ten chicken eggs and the old woman was very happy. Because the hens had not laid there for a long time. After this, Orishanla showed him the way that would lead him to Olordumare’s house. When Orunmila arrived at the door of Olordumare’s house, he found it closed and through the bars of a window, he saw some boys, called them and fed them the buns he was carrying. Then he said to the boys,

‘Open the door for me, so you can distribute all the little balls I have in this basket.’

The boys opened the door and Orunmila was able to enter Olordumare’s house and managed to see him and ask for advice to solve the problems on Earth,”

This aspect of the text shows us that by acting honestly and in good faith, no task is impossible. Because the Gods and ultimately fate itself will help us. It again highlights the importance of doing proper magical rituals and making sure we do things correctly.

Who are the Ruling Orixas of 2023?

Oxum and Exu

This information comes from Astro Center .com I just wrote the cliff notes version in English. Umbanda and Quimbanda are both religions based on Yoruba religion. Just like Santeria. They also have Orishas (Portuguese Orixa). But their divinations and some of their rituals are different.

Mostly because Santeria and Umbanda and Quimbanda where influenced by different European cultures. So what the Yoruba practitioners lost or gained during slavery in ritual and culture depended mostly on that. It’s fascinating to see how similar they both are and yet different. That’s why I always pay attention to what all these groups say. I usually find a common theme in both divinations.

According to Umbanda and Quimbanda the Orixa Regente (Ruling Orisha) of the year 2023 are : Exu (Elegua or Eshu). Exu or Eshu is the God of the Crossroads. A messenger of the Gods, and a master of business and negotiation. A bringer of good commerce. Very similar to Hermes in the Greek pantheon.

And the other Orixa in power is, you guessed it Oxum or Oshun. Who is also one of the rulers of the year according to Santeria. As a Goddess of Prosperity as well as love, fertility, and also of good commerce, she adds to this influence. However, here’s the rub : I doubt sincerely that means you and I are going to benefit from all this prosperity. I don’t mean to be so cynical.

I believe the Gods want what is best for us. But prosperity for them and prosperity for us could have totally different definitions. That’s one, two I also sense that most of the prosperity is going to be sucked up by businesses. Not the common person. That’s what I feel.

Not because I believe the Gods favor them more than us. But because blessings are easier to get when you are already blessed. I believe that for the rest of us, we are going to have to fight like hell for those blessings. It’s not impossible. We can do it.

But be prepared to work your ass off.

From a Yoruba Priestess in the Article,

“What you can do to align with the energy of Exu, the lord of the order, is to organize yourself. The organization, discipline and good character will be necessary for you to attract the energy of the movement”, says the expert.

“Now to connect to Oxum’s energy she explains that you need to be kind to people, connect with your emotions and the emotions others, have the patience to understand the life of other people as much as yours,”

The expert adds that

“this will make all the difference in the final result so that you can connect and have a better year”.

In other words, the same thing mentioned above. If you are honest and generous you will ultimately thrive this year. The priestess also adds special baths and magic to achieve this end.

“For Exu, if you want to connect and get closer, the tip is to take prosperity baths. Try plants like Road Opener, leaf of fortune, and pitanga“, says the expert. “If you want to attract defense, take a bath of aroeira to be able to get closer to Exu’s energy and let this movement manifest itself into your life.”

“For Oxum, if you wish to manifest her sweetness and bring kindness to yourself, make a bath of fresh basil. This is a bath in which you will macerate herbs, prepare them, and wash from head to toe with them whenever you want to connect to Oxum’s energy, preferably on Saturdays”, concludes Priestess Iyá Tolomi.

Greek Gods and Hero of the Year

The Artist is here.

Now, every Greek Temple has their own way of doing things. Our religion is not centralized like Yoruba practice. But I thought I would share what my temple believes are the Ruling Gods and Hero of the year. The two ruling Gods are Hephaestus the Black Smith and builder of the Gods. And his wife Aphrodite, a Goddess of love, wealth, fertility, bringer of good fortunes and things.

You can see some of the similarities. A Goddess of love is the common factor in the Yoruba and Greek Divinations. And the presence of Obatala, Eshu, General Pi Shi, and now Hephaestus all speak to the need for hard work for prosperity to truly come. None of us are getting shit on a silver plate. I think that’s been fairly established by now.

Atlas and Herakles, The 12 Labors

And Herakles was the performer of the 12 Labors. And a master of solving problems using his intellect as well as his strength. Someone similar General Pi Shi. Ultimately those are the themes of this year. I hope this will aid you in going forward this year.

– M

PS : As of 6:30pm EST my friend got into a car accident. So far they don’t know what happened to the breaks. But he crashed with a stop sign and a wall. So………the Babalawos were right as usual

Yule & How to Celebrate it: A Pagan History of Christmas

The God Odin, appears as a Tomte in his incarnation of Oski, the wish fulfiller and giver of gifts. One of many ancient origins for the modern day Santa Klaus.

Santa Klaus is a mystical figure in every way, shape, and form. Like the Grim Reaper, he’s an amalgamation of various spirits and Gods. While the reaper represents death, Santa Klaus represents unbound life even in darkness. But who or what is Santa Klaus? This is a subject that will take many blog posts across many years. But I can start that process now.

Today we are going to explore at least three major influences of Christmas. Namely Odin in his two incarnations as Oski the giver of gifts and leader of the Wild Hunt. The Spirits, and Yule.

Yule is Nordic, not Celtic

Mjölnir, the Hammer of Thor, surrounded by the Jul or Yule Goat on both sides. By Fereshdhe Sehhati

Now I am going to say something that has confused a lot of people. Yule is not and I repeat, not a Celtic holiday. It is purely Norse. The Druids observed four Sabbats. And Yule wasn’t one of them.

Yule is a completely Norse holiday. So why do so many people think it has to do with Celtic culture? Well there’s three reasons for that. One is that there is a celebration of Winter Solstice done by the Druids every year at Stonehenge. And many conflate winter solstice with Yule. Then we have Wicca which is a very new tradition.

Wheel of the Year

Created by Gerald Gardener, Wicca was originally a mix of Brythonic traditions. Then other European traditions were added including those of the Norse. So the four festivals of the Druids, plus Yule was used to create the wheel of the year. That’s where the confusion comes in. I have zero problems with Wicca.

So don’t get it twisted.

The last reason, is that the Norse migrated to other parts of Europe. Many of their mixed descendants practice a hybrid version of their culture. One with the original cultures their indigenous ancestors had, and the Nordic culture of their Nordic ancestors. So there’s a sub group of Nordic Celts. Even in America, a man in a Wiccan coven I was once in, spoke to me of this.

He said that Nords and Celts are like family.

The Shetlands in Scotland, celebrating a Nordic-Celtic holiday called Up Hella Aa or Up Helly Aa in 2001.

The meaning of Yule

Yule shrine showing an image of Yggdrasil the Universal Tree of Life

Now the word Yule has different definitions according to different sources. What keeps getting repeated is that it means “wheel”. And it’s related to the wheel of the year. Others claim that Yule is based on one of Odin’s names. Jólnir, meaning “the Yule one” or “Yuler”.

But that’s a title for him that seems to come from the word Yule. It doesn’t explain what the word actually means. I had to consult a few language dictionaries before I could answer that. The best source I found says it’s a proto Germanic word meaning “joke” or “play”. And that the word jolly comes from this.

So Yule is a time for merriment and play. Which explains why the word Jolly is used so much in Christmas. So if this is true that would more or less mean that his name Jólnir more or less means “the merry one” or “the playful one”. This is just me theorizing. I don’t speak the old Norse language.

Ancient Yule Decorations and what they mean

So I have no idea if what I believe is true. It just seems like logic to me. If you believe that his name comes from wheel, then it would mean the wheeled one. Which doesn’t make much sense. Of course it’s also a strange name for the leader of the Wild Hunt but oh well.

He’s a warrior God. Maybe hunting evil spirits is fun for him.

Yule Spirits

For people in Norway and Sweden, Yule is a time of the Faeries. Mischievous Faeries like the Yule Lads who go around stealing things. Destroying property. And in some cases eating the flesh of humans. The Yule Lads are said to be the children of the Demon Witch, Gryla.

The Yule Lads from the article by The First Gates

They go around eating your food. Or stealing your money. And generally causing discord because they have nothing better to do. However, it also had more familial connections. Yule was the time when Norse worshippers believed their dead returned to Earth.

“Viking Ghost” by the Artist Andrew Howat

Which is why many people believe winter is the time when the dead return. In fact there is a fascinating tradition in England since the Victorian era where people tell Ghost Stories in Christmas time. A tradition I continue because I love a little Halloween in my Christmas. I believe the dead return in Winter time also. Here’s a great article by Cryptoville on that called The Ghosts of Christmas Past.

Wraiths of the dead returned to Earth

What’s interesting here, is that in modern times the Celtic Samhain is seen as a feast of the dead. And many people who practice Brythonic traditions have incorporated that belief into theirs. Maybe that’s also from Nordic influence. Among the most famous Yule spirits are…….

Santa’s Elves

Oski, the God who grants wishes and gives gifts, an incarnation of Odin, in the form of an Elf or Tomte

The most well known of the Yule Spirits are the Swedish Tomte or “homestead man”. Also called the Nisse in Norway. These are Elves associated with the winter time. Nisse is believed to come from the name of St. Nicholas. But others say it comes from the word niðsi (“dear little relative”).

And these creatures are the reason Santa Klaus looks the way he does. The way he is portrayed in blue, red, or green clothing as well as the cap he wears, is due to Oski’s appearance as an Elf. The Homestead Man or Dear Little Relative is akin to a house elf. Only these faeries only live on farms. Like all household fae, they protect and bless the home owners.

They range from half the size of a man to the size of a child. They have super strength surpassed only by other supernatural creatures. If a farmer treated the Tomte living in their home well, they would be blessed for life. And anyone fool enough to harass or injure a farmer who had a guardian Tomte or Nisse, was in for a surprise. The homestead fae would stop a thief with their superior strength.

Or perhaps hex a nasty neighbor. Or go over to that neigboor’s house and start a haunting.

Don’t fuck with Faeries

The Tomte could become a powerful spirit guide. Even talisman to the person who knew how to work with them. You had to give them proper offerings of porridge with butter, milk, cream, or honey. Or any sweet and sugary substance you could find. And then make your request of them.

They would often sleep with the farm animals to protect them.

But also out of love for them. They would assist the farmer in the chores. And make the crops abundant. Some of the Tomte may be the dead reincarnated as nature entities. This seems to be a trend in a lot of cultures.

Jólnir in the form of a Tomte. This Tomte doll even has one eye just like the All Father himself. From Grimfrost

Eventually, the Tomte were paired with the Yule Goat. This may even have been an animal that was sacrificed in ancient times. But eventually, the Yule Goat was a goat made of straw that was ritually burned at Yule. The origin is that Thor had a chariot pulled by Goats. And Thor is also one of the origins of Santa Klaus.

But we’re focusing on just one origin at a time every year. Later the Tomte became Santa’s helpers. In fact, some traditions have them going from house to house with the Yule Goat. Giving gifts to children instead of Santa himself.

Santa’s helpers

There are also stories of Odin riding his eight legged horse Sleipnir to watch over his people.

The many faces of Odin. Of course we also have Krampus up there

Yule Month

Yule Being

So I’m going to say something that will throw people into confusion. But it’s the truth. The month for Yule is actually two months long give or take. It starts in mid November. But doesn’t end until the first weeks of January.

If you notice, this is why the Orthodox and a few other people celebrate Christmas in January. That’s why I have “Christmas in January” as the tags in some New Years articles. Some people have a mini Christmas. My own people, Cubans, have the Three Kings Parade in January. It’s a mini Christmas or after Christmas that takes place in the new year.

Los Tres Reyes Mages (The Three Magi Kings) Parade in Miami, Fl. On Calle Ocho (8th Street).

And children believe the Three Pagan Kings will come to their houses baring them gifts.

Three Kings Parade Ends the Holiday Season in Miami

Later it was changed to December and early January. But if you want to be traditional, the mid week of November is the first week of Yule. At least according to the ancient Germans. And then more or less a week or two weeks into January is Yule Month’s end. That’s what the Venerable Bede, a Saint, English Monk, and Historian said.

He witnessed the rituals himself allegedly. And he wrote about the Matronae on Modrenecht as well. Which lends credence to him being a good source.

Yule Blót

Enter the Hall and Hail the Gods! Yule as it was celebrated in the ancient times

This is a Midwinter festival. Which means people are starving. And they need to keep warm. Many animals including boars and livestock were killed. Their blood was poured into vessels called Hlautbolli or Blótbolli.

With twigs, they would sprinkle the blood all over the temple. On the idols of the Gods. And on the pedestals. Even themselves. This is a form of purification known as aspersion.

The story of Yule

Then a fire was started in the middle of the temple. And the flames would be used to cook the sacrificed animals and begin the feast. But there were also sacred kettles with the ale being placed over the fires. Then came the toasting. This blót was performed by offering up drinks in the honor of spirits or Gods.

Or even living people. The first toast is for the God Odin so that the King would have victory and great power. The second toast is to the Sea God Njörðr and his son Freyr the God of the weather, fertility, peace, kingship, and pleasure. This is for good harvests and for peace. The next toast is for the King himself, and finally the minni or memorial toast for departed family and friends.

The minimum that Yule lasted was for three nights. However, the holiday would not end until all the food and drink was finished. Which means it could span several nights.

Heitstrenging

Swearing an Oath on a holy pig, from a German article on Yule

Other rituals were followed on Yule. Such as Heitstrenging (oath swearing). This was a social-political and religious practice. Basically, you take a sacrificed animal, or a drink. And you swear on that drink or animal that you will do something. 

And it becomes a binding social contract on your honor. If you don’t fulfill it then you had no honor. 

Good luck trying to form any alliances in the future. On Yule it was usually done on a Sonargöltr, or “holy pig”. Freyr is known to have had a divine animal known as the sun boar.

From a Spanish blog article on Freyr

So this was done in his honor. Later the animal was sacrificed and eaten.

Up Hella Aa or Up Helly Aa : The end of Yule in the Scottish Shetlands

From “A Complete Guide To Attending Up Hella Aa in Shetland”

As mentioned before, the Shetlands in Scotland have a Nordic-Celtic heritage. They don’t end Yule until the Up Helly Aa festival. It means “Up Holy Day All”. There’s actually many of these festivals happening in different parts of the Shetland’s. But they mostly follow this formula.

Here come the Guizers!

Many people carry lit torches. The people known as Guizers are dressed as Vikings. There’s an honorary “Jarl” or Earl who is leader of the event. The group sings the Up Hella Aa song till they get to the place where the replica Norse longship is.

Look at that beauty!

This ends with the ceremonial burning of the Viking Galley. Thus marking the end of Yule for the Shetlands in Scotland. This new year it’s Tuesday, the 31st of January. The lyrics to the Up Hella Aa song are as follows.

Up-Helly-A’ Song

Words by J. J. Haldane Burgess,
M.A. Music by Thomas Manson

“From grand old Viking centuries Up-Helly-A’ has come,
Then light the torch and form the march, and sound the rolling drum:
And wake the mighty memories of heroes that are dumb;
The waves are rolling on.

Chorus –

Grand old Vikings ruled upon the ocean vast,
Their brave battle-songs still thunder on the blast;
Their wild war-cry comes a-ringing from the past;
We answer it “A-oi”!
Roll their glory down the ages,
Sons of warriors and sages,
When the fight for Freedom rages,
Be bold and strong as they!

Of yore, our firey fathers sped upon the Viking Path;
Of yore, their dreaded dragons braved the ocean in its wrath;
And we, their sons, are reaping now their glory’s aftermath;
The waves are rolling on.

In distant lands, their raven-flag flew like a blazing star;
And foreign foemen, trembling, heard their battle-cry afar;
And they thundered o’er the quaking earth, those mighty men of war;
The waves are rolling on.

On distant seas, their dragon-prows went gleaming outward bound,
The storm-clouds were their banners, and their music ocean’s sound;
And we, their sons, go sailing still the wide earth round and round;
The waves are rolliing on.

No more Thor’s lurid Hammer flames against the northern sky;
No more from Odin’s shining halls the dark valkyrior fly;
Before the Light the heathen Night went slowly rolling by;
The waves are rolling on.

We are the sons of mightly sires, whose souls were staunch and strong;
We sweep upon our serried foes, the hosts of Hate and Wrong;
The glory of a grander Age has fired our battle-song;
The waves are rolling on.

Our galley is the People’s Right, the dragon of the free;
The Right that rising in its might, brings tyrants to their knee;
The flag that flies above us is the Love of Liberty;
The waves are rolling on,”

I personally celebrate Up Hella Aa as the end of Yule. So by now you must be wondering : How the hell am I supposed to incorporate all of this into my practice? I know what you mean. Seriously, should I sacrifice the animals myself or go to the butcher? Can I swear oaths over a holy vegan hamburger instead of a holy pig? And can I burn my ex’s car as a bonfire instead of going to a holy temple? 

Well! These questions and more are about to be answered!

How I celebrate Yule

What I do is come as close to the original rituals as possible. But simplified. And in a way that is adapted to urban life. As well as not making a hole in your pocket. Part of magic is symbolism.

Symbols hold great power. We begin with the temple. That’s any sacred space you have. It can be your home. A sacred place in nature. 

Or any place you can use. The most important thing here is to have idols of the Gods. If you can’t afford them, then print a massive picture out with the Gods in it. Seriously, you don’t need a wooden or stone idol. All you need is a representation. 

Before I could afford actual idols, I used pebbles and other stones that I blessed for the Gods or spirits I worked with. They were easy to carry around. And unless someone knew what they were looking at, no one would have any idea that these were idols. So no insane anti Pagan relatives. No nosy neighbors.

And no enemy practitioners who would curse them or stain them with bad energy against you. That’s why I am against taking pictures of my real idols and places of magic I go to. Instead of a sacrificed animal, I offer up food as a sacrifice. Meat is what the Norse Gods typically like. And they do like blood. 

So that I leave to you. You can ask for meat from a butcher and ask for the blood as well. Kept in a bottle which will act as your Hlautbolli or Blótbolli. Then pour libations of blood all over the idols. Or if you are outside, everywhere with a stick and the idols.

 I wouldn’t recommend it on yourself though. Blood borne diseases and all. Or, you can do what I do. Use holy water. They drink too, not just eat. 

So bless water in their name and asperse with that instead. The type of food you eat is optional. You can try to eat a Norse diet of meat. But if you’re vegan I think it’s more important to dedicate the feast to the Gods. The point here is faith and intention. 

The Gods will see if you have good intentions or not. Don’t just offer to them like it’s nothing. Sometimes a simple tea light burned with faith, is more important to the Gods than a thousand fancy Viking feasts done by a wealthy person. 

And if you are some asshole trying to gain their favor for money and power and not their love, good luck achieving anything. They will find you unworthy. 

And the only things attracted to those feasts will be negative spirits. False beings pretending to be the Gods. Just like when Christian extremists do worship to their Deity. But end up attracting the same demonic entities that they seek to drive away. You can do bonfires, hearth fires, or chimneys, or light many candles.

Beeswax candles. As pure as possible. You can even order special candles dedicated to Norse Gods. You can buy more than one or just light a really big candle. Even a plain candle will do.

A candle from Etsy dedicated to Odin, I can’t find the link now

It doesn’t have to be a fancy one like I mentioned. You can also burn incense to them. Now you can drink Ale or really any kind of alcohol. They love alcoholic drinks in general. But if you don’t like alcohol then use a drink you do like. 

I use water and sometimes mead if I can find it. 

The important thing here is to dedicate it to them. And to do the special toastings. Now as a left leaning person, I am against the idea of human monarchies. So I don’t toast asking for “victory and power” to any King. Unless it’s one of the divine or semi divine kings of old. 

Like Arthur, Solomon, etc..I do toast instead to political leaders I support. I toast to leaders of Black Lives Matter chapters. I toast to Antifa as a whole. I also toast to activists. I do on occasion toast to the power and victory of certain heads of state in countries I support.

Right now I toasted to Odin to give “power and victory” to the President of Peru against the coup regime. I do the second toast exactly as described. Asking for peace and good harvests. When I mention harvests, what I’m really saying is prosperity as a whole. For all. 

Well, except my enemies. 

The next toast goes to the political leaders I like and support. And the final toasts are the minni or memorial toasts to loved ones lost. Then I also make nightly offerings in the evening to the Nisse or Tomte. I call for their help in daily matters. I use Yule as my “wishing season”.

In which I conjure the Tomte in the name of Oski to appear to grant my wishes. I have a whole ritual personal to me. Which I can’t disclose for the same reason I don’t disclose images of my idols or magic places. Then I continue until Up Hella Aa where I burn an effigy of some sort. If you can you can order an effigy to burn online, do it. 

Even something made to look like a Viking ship. Or even a regular boat to burn. Be creative. You can adapt these to be either solitary, or to add friends to come over and have feasts with you. And to work the rituals with you as well. 

After all, these were originally celebrations with many people. And of course burning protective candles to keep yourself safe during the Wild Hunt. Which for me in my personal opinion, lasts longer than just the Winter Solstice. I personally believe that in November, Odin and the other Yule Beings are doing the job of keeping us all safe. In fact, keep burning the candles until Up Hella Aa at least.

And use the protective candles to ask Jólnir for his protection. On Up Hella Aa I do one more fire night with candles and a final feast for the Tomte in Odin’s name. And ask Odin as Oski for a great New Year. I try to go all out and give the Norse Gods the largest meaty dinner I can give. I have a stone shrine outside that no one knows is a Pagan shrine.

And I leave all their food there. When people see me they think I am feeding the cats. Which I am doing that also but that’s besides the point. Again, you can make this into a friend or family gathering. You don’t have to do it alone.

But you can if you want to.

Worship of Oski, Oski’s Day

A shrine dedicated to Oski

Before Yule, is Oski’s Day. Most people celebrate December 6th as St. Nicholas Day. But worshippers of the Norse Gods have begun to reclaim it for Odin. In this form, Oski listens to the petitions of people. And grants their wishes either directly or indirectly.

As part of the celebration, people exchange gifts. They also light candles and bake traditional baked goods associated with Yule. In fact there’s a whole array of foods just for Yule called the Julbord. Which is a bunch of Christmas foods and sweets for this time of year. Ale poured in libations to Oski.

And of course prayers, and songs.

The Dark Side of Yule

The Wild Hunt

But not everything during Yule is merry. As mentioned before, winter is a time of the dead and of the Fae. According to A Dictionary of Northern Mythology by Rudolf Simek, this was the time when all manner of spirits were said to be loosed upon the world. This unfortunately also means evil spirits are out and about. Jólnir and his forces would hunt them down in what is popularly known as the Wild Hunt.

And drive them back into the other world. But at least these were just spirits being driven away. The worst supernatural creatures, were the ones who had physical bodies. It was said that during this time, several physical revenants returned as well. And the worst of them was the Draugr.

Draugr

Meaning “again walker.” These entities are members of the dark dead. They can be aggressive if they aren’t resting well. It was said if a person died on certain days like Yule, they would not rest well in the grave. But other reasons a person became a Draugr was if they were murdered or committed suicide.

Or were not given a proper burial. Such as not being buried on holy ground. The worst of them were evil witches and wizards in life. Evil magic users normally come back as something worse in death. And they would arise as these corporeal revenants.

Basically, these are Norse zombies. That’s an over simplification but it’s the easiest way to explain it. They are one of the most powerful revenants though. They are all said to be sorcerers who can control the weather. These are just some of their powers.

They can do a great many things. And they have the power to curse. But despite this, not all Draugr are the same. Not all Draugr are the people who died. Sometimes they’re evil spirits possessing the corpses of the dead.

Other times they really are the person who passed away. But are angry for some reason, leading to their aggression.

Now, the first legends I heard claimed that the Draugr could not be killed by weapons formed by men. That only a hero who was strong enough could wrestle them to the ground and kill them. However, the video above mentions plenty of times when weapons did kill them. When heroes killed them by decapitating them with swords. Then burned the body to ashes.

And separated the ashes into different bodies of water. So either they can be killed by weapons. Or the hero’s can make weapons kill the Draugr. These were the creatures said to be out tonight. And Jólnir was hunting them.

So tonight while you’re out feasting, raise a toast to the All Father and the Norse Gods. And remember to leave offerings for Oski and his Tomte. And ask for many blessings in this new year.

Merry Yule,

– M

The Noumenia : Day 1 Hekate’s Deipnon

I have been meaning to write about the ancient monthly lunar festival of the Noumenia for a few years now. But I have never really had the time to talk about it. Today I am taking time out to write an article on how I do it. I will mark the areas that are my own inventions to my personal ritual. That way you know what’s real and what isn’t.

I’m warning you now. This is going to be one of those long, drawn out articles. And my opinion is in it. And you may not agree with everything I say. If you’re one of those people who get butt hurt, slowly walk away now.

If you find long drawn out articles boring now is your time to go. If you have no patience for them, now is your chance to go. If you triggered by anything involving necromancy, souls of the dead, or really creepy pictures, now is your time to go. Okay? We good? I hope so. If you have any questions regarding any of this you can always comment below.

Today is the first day of the three day festival of the new moon of the ancient Greeks. The first day being Hekate’s Deipnon or “feast”. It’s done once every month near the end of the full moon. Now, the Greeks calculated New Moons very differently than we do. In my case, Hekate showed me via divination when to do it.

How I calculate the New Moon

I go online and I find when it’s the fourth or last quarter of the moon. She told me that was the new moon. So the festival starts the day before at sunset. Why? Because for the ancients of several cultures, the day ended and began at sunset. Sunset was their version of midnight.

So the day of the new moon technically starts at sunset the day before.

House Cleansing (Traditional Deipnon Ritual)

Before the Deipnon even starts, Hekate does a cosmic cleansing. She takes all the negative or dirty energy everywhere to the crossroads to be destroyed. A cleansing for all of creation. So likewise we must do the same. You have to clean your home as thoroughly as possible.

Remove every speck of dust that you can. And throw all the garbage out early. In the old days, you would put all the dust and dirt into a cloth sack. Then go to a cemetery and dump all the dust there. So that Hekate could remove the negative energy in your home and send it to die at a cemetery.

But the cleansing isn’t just a physical one. You should always do a spiritual cleansing as well. Cleansings in general actually. On every energetic level. Even cleanse the physical energies themselves.

I also recommend doing the laundry.

Folk Magus and Spiritual Worker Matthew Venus and his friends doing a cleansing

Finally cleanse yourself and your pets. Make sure that all the negative energy stays out of all of you.

Avoid going out like the plague if you can help it. Imagine the pandemic lockdown and do that again, but for just one night. Try not even to order out. Whatever you have to do, get it done before sunset. Now I know that not everyone can do that.

But if you plan ahead and do activities around the Deipnon, you can do things that work for you. I take up to a week of preparation for it. Instead of doing it all the same day as tradition dictates, I break up into days. One day is for the laundry. The next is the house cleansing.

And if I want I can take another day for the spiritual and magical cleansings. I do this all before the actual day so that when the day comes I am not overwhelmed. Another part of the tradition that you may or may not want to follow is : paying all your debts. Debt is considered a sign of negativity. It’s almost like a vacuum of sorts.

So the ancient Greeks choose this time to make sure whatever money they owed was paid back. As an offering to Hekate. Paying your landlord, roommate back, anyone you have a financial debt to. By paying it back you were cleansing yourself. It was a form of expiation.

Expiation

The Rites of the Priestess for Hekate. Notice it’s actually a modern room. But just because we live in modern times, doesn’t mean our Gods can’t appear to us in our modern houses as they did their own temples thousands of years ago. For a God worshipper of any tradition, the home is the first and central temple.

This is also a time for an expiation of negative energy. Forgiveness of sins is one of them. I personally pray to Hekate before the Deipnon and ask for forgiveness of things I have done wrong. I also ask her to guide me. Even if it was by mistake.

This again has to do with the spiritual side of the holiday. The cleansing of the home. And of the self. The removal of all bad or sinful energy. Although Hellenic practitioners don’t call it “sin”.

We focus on all bad energy, not just things that we believe our against our own morality or that of our Gods. A lot of bad energy you may have in your house probably isn’t even yours. You’re exposed to it every day. Dirty energy on the streets. Stressful energy at work.

People throwing the evil eye at you or even the evil tongue by speaking against you. Or other forms of curses. Or maybe you visited a place that was unclean in the energetic sense. A cemetery, a crossroads, a haunted house. Sometimes even a neighborhood full of nasty people is enough to contaminate your own energy.

And negative energy attracts negative beings. Like the dead who would normally be gathered on Hekate’s Deipnon.

Emptying the Kadiskos

A Kadiskos

Zeus Ktesios is an avatar of Zeus. One of two of his household aspects. In this form he is the bringer of plenty. He is the “Zeus of the Pantry” and keeps the kitchen well stocked. The image above is an example of his idol, the Kadiskos (small bucket) and how to make one for yourself.

Essentially, every Hekate’s Deipnon, the jar is emptied. You toss the food and what’s inside into the earth. Specifically a place close to your home. Because this is a way to “seed the earth” with prosperity. Good luck to come to you.

You wash it out and clean it nice and good. Then the next day at Sunset at the Noumenia, you refill it again. Until the next Noumenia festival. When you refill it you do prayers to Zeus Ktesios asking for prosperity and abundance to grow in your home. Then you place his idol in the pantry, sealed.

It’s a living good luck charm. Because Zeus is inhabiting that vessel and bringing the luck to you. Meanwhile your prosperity grows as “spiritual crops” everytime you empty it into the Earth near your home.

The Feast on the Crossroads

Don’t get caught on a crossroads after dark

Hekate doesn’t normally call forth just any ghosts on the crossroads in her Deipnon. Hekate specifically brings with her all the ghosts of murder victims and suicides. And I can tell you personally that isn’t all. Even regular people who died regular deaths but were nasty in life come back as dark, nasty, ghosts.

The type of Ghost that could easily be confused with Demons sometimes.

The Feast of Hekate on the Crossroads is meant to pacify the spirits. They eat a nice hearty meal and as a result they feel satisfied and don’t bother humans. But you see, I live on a crossroads already. One that is mystically charged because of all the people who come here to my neighborhood to leave offerings for the Orishas. Or to leave behind completed spells.

It’s why I don’t pick up the trash where I live. Any brown paper bag could have who knows what inside of it. I have seen large bags of used jar candles left on the sides. Sacrificed animals. And even broken Saint statues that were left as offerings to the crossroads.

So having a dark ghost come once a month to eat is not a good idea. We already have lots of nasty residual energy left behind from all this stuff. So as a fellow Santero and magic user, I do mass rituals to clean this stuff up spiritually. It occurred to me that now I had to do something about this as well. So I made a slight alteration to the ritual.

Timing and Crossing over the Dead

Leaving the shadows to enter the light

First you need to check your phone for sunset in your time zone. About an hour or so before sunset try to go there to leave the offerings. Tradition states you go at Sunset to leave the offerings. I say, I am not going to a spiritually changed place full of dark miasmic spirits to get ganged up on just to feed them. I do what I call a timer spell or timer prayer.

This part is very important : You have to wash your hands with Lustral water before giving the offerings. The Greek Gods will not accept offerings unless you are clean spiritually. Normally we take a bottle and draw a letter “A” on it. And offer it to Apollon Noumenia. Apollo of the Noumenia festival who acts as a cleanser.

The holy water is blessed in his name with a single bay leaf. You burn the bay leaf to bless the water. Be careful because the bay leaf turns into a mini fire cracker when set a blaze. You toss it into the water as it burns and say,

“Ekas, ekas, ostis alitros,”

(All things wicked out of the water!)

Then let the half burnt bay leaf stew in the water. Releasing it’s essence into the water. Leave it there maybe for four minutes. Then take it out. You have yourself some Lustral waters.

Tip : Keep the half burned bay leaf. It’s blessed and you can use it for anything now. From protection amulets to good luck talismans. You can even use it as a seal of protection you tape behind a door.

Now to the offerings.

I ask a God or spirit to “activate” the offering at a specific time even though it’s already at the area. They seal its energy so that until that time, it can’t become an offering. I have watched and noticed that in most cases before the appointed times, the food isn’t even touched. And in rare times when it is, it doesn’t effect the ritual. Being eaten by an animal ahead of time just means that part of the ritual was done.

The physical part. But the spiritual version of the food remains at the offering place. And the animal or animals often act as an intercessor for the dead to cross over. The offerings for Hekate are as follows : Cheese, Bread, and Raw Garlic as well as red wine if you can. If not grapes will do.

A Necromancer in black robes using a candle to give light to the dead

So one of the things I agree with Christianity on, is the use of funerary rituals. Ensuring that the dead are properly protected and kept safe in the afterlife. People are under the mistaken assumption that once you’re dead, that’s the worst thing that can happen to you. No, it isn’t. There’s a lot worse things that can happen.

The wrong religious ritual could trap you in a time-space limbo of sorts. The lack of any ritual could mean you wander the world aimlessly. Hungry and alone. Cold and without rest. There’s a reason a lot of hauntings by ghosts are violent.

Imagine the torment of being hungry, without being able to die of hunger. It just keeps getting worse and worse and worse without the sweet release of death. Because you’ve already died remember? And imagine that as a spirit you literally have no rest. If funerary rituals are done right, even if the spirit is conscious of all things, they are still in a resting state. But if nothing is done for you, you wander the spirit world sleep deprived for eternity.

Until you lose your mind and become a violent animal. One that attacks living humans without reason or remorse in order to lash out. A spiritual madness brought on by the lack of true rest. There’s a reason a lot of ghosts become angry when they’re awakened from deathly sleep. And usually by some idiot doing a ritual the wrong way or trying to control forces that can’t or shouldn’t be controlled.

Or by someone who has no scruples and is using magic to control a spirit and force it from its rest. But I digress. In my necromancy I actually do something different. I don’t summon the dead. I have my own Ancestors and non human spirit guides to aid me.

No, what I use my necromancy for is the opposite. I cross the dead over. I use my shrine at the crossroads for the roaming, unnamed, and forgotten dead. My offerings there constantly cross them over. But on certain holy days it’s stronger.

When I do my offerings to Elegua, Hekate, and other Crossroads Gods, I ask them to share them with the dead and help them. So I do a kind of Pagan mass for the dead. Sometimes I use Orphic hymns in my work. I believe it’s a necromancer’s job to aid the dead. Not manipulate them.

Not enslave them. But to serve and protect them. I have been told by friends that this is extremely naive. And yes it’s true that most modern necromancers seem intent on using ghosts like toys. Forgetting or ignoring that these are still human beings.

Some even abuse the spirits of dead animals. Which disgusts me to no end. So I do a Hellenic version of the Catholic Masses and the Hungry Ghost Festival of Buddhism. I bless food before I offer it up.

Mass at the Crossroads

Attendant Spirits or Spiritual Guides in nature

All Gods have attendant spirits. Specifically they all have Priests in the spirit world. Some are dead people. Others are non human priests who lead their worship services on the other side. I like to work with them.

Take the food and do an incantation over it. Ask the prayer spirits or priestly spirits to bless the food with all the prayers of all creatures who need their help. That way, the food can be charged as a proper offerings to the Gods. They get something out of it besides just the physical offerings. I also infuse my own prayers into the food.

And sometimes I place them in plastic containers on my shrines to absorb the prayers I send. And the prayers of my guides. This has a double purpose. It’s not just sending worship to the Gods. It’s also connecting to them so they can help us. Because they will hear the prayers when taking the food.

And will reply with help. Then I perform a shorter ritual the next day over the food. And I wave my left hand (receiving energy) over it and pray,

“My Gods, please bless this food with your own power. So that as the spirits feast upon it, they will feast upon the food and drink of the Gods. Let them become enlightened by the food and cross over to where they must go,

Yammas,”

Normally I perceive the food as becoming heavier. Charged with divinity. Like a Pagan version of the Christian Eucharist. The food becomes the body of the Gods. And when the spirits possess or influences an animal to eat, they are eating divinity.

Not only does this cross them over immediately, but it also creates what I call a Prayer Bridge. A bridge between the Gods and their creations. The Gods eat by also influencing the animals. But they absorb the prayers. When the spirits eat, they absorb the divine power of the Gods.

So both work together. When you are charging the food on your shrine, this can also act as a cleansing. Ask your guides to take everything bad out of your home and into the food. Bad luck, curses, bad relationships, anything you want or need to get rid of. Even diseases.

Now go to the crossroads like I said, an hour or so before sunset. Just to be on the safe side. Take a portion of the food and separate it for Hestia. Drop one portion for her and say,

“Hestia, Goddess who is first and last and gatekeeper of all Gods, intercessor, intercede on our behalf with Hekate the Queen of the Crossroads and Goddess of Magic and All the Dead. I leave this offering to you and to all the Priestly Spirits that they may come here with you and attend to this ritual with Hekate,”

Drop Hestia’s offering near where Hekate’s will be. She will appear with her own priestly spirits. Then, before you take Hekate’s food, right before you leave the food at the crossroads say,

“Queen Hekate, may you bless this food and make it your Divine Ambrosia for all the dead. May the dead go wherever they are supposed to go. And to whatever religion, God, or land, or wherever else. And may all of their uncrossed relatives no matter who or where, be invited to cross over and enjoy this feast as well.

Yammas,”

Now drop Hekate’s food in the crossroads. Then drop the final portion for Hestia and the Priestly Spirits and say,

“Hestia, intercessor of humanity before the Gods. Goddess of home and hearth and bringer of fire, ever virgin, I call to you to prepare this ritual to be activated at the very moment of sunset. Please ensure that the spirits of the dead go here and no where else. That they may only enter the crossroads of all countries and the cemeteries and any liminal spaces you deign fit for use. Watch over us and protect us and guide these souls to Hekate along with all the Priestly Spirits,

Yammas,”

Yammas for those wondering is the Greek word for cheers. It’s how you end a prayer. Our version of “Amen” in Greek practice. Now you turn around and do not whatever you do, turn back for any reason. If you do, the negative energy you left behind will come back at you.

Or a negative spirit may follow you back home.

Final Cleansing

Lustral Waters

This is also very important : you have to ground and cleanse after going to the crossroads. Because those are naturally dark and unclean places. And you don’t want that energy following you home. So before you get home, you need to be cleansed. For this we go back to the Lustral Waters we talked about before.

You keep the water you dedicated to Apollon Noumenios (the bay leaf water) inside a container called the Khǽrnips. This can be any kind of water bottle or pitcher. Make sure it’s something that’s easy to carry. Now you take it to the crossroads with you and you pour it over your head and face. And wash your hands with it too.

You can pray out loud or in your head saying,

“Water of the Gods, keep all that is impure out and away from me,”

When you feel lighter that means you are or have been cleansed and blessed. Now you can go home. Do this whenever you are praying to ancestors or doing any kind of cultus to a God or spirit of the dead.

Honoring the Ancestors

Ancestor shrine

Deipnon also means you celebrate the spirits of your own ancestors. This part of the celebration is in doors. At your own personal ancestor shrine. You give them their usual offerings and you pay them your respects. While also asking them to protect your home from evil spirits. You can charge their offerings with a blessing of the Gods as mentioned before.

This will feed them and make them stronger. And they can use the offering to pray to the Gods and connect to them. They will guard and ward your home while you feed and honor them. But it’s also a nice time to spend at night at home with your people. Maybe read to them, dedicate a poem to them.

Tell them about your month. And ask for their guidance. This is also a good time for meditation and divination. Planning projects and other things with the ancestors. And remember, when you’re done praying, cleanse with the water.

With the dead we typically don’t cleanse before offering to them. But we always cleanse afterwards. I do it before and after in the case of my ancestors. You can also do protective prayers before and after to be on the safe side. Also, I don’t know if this applies to farm stores in other places.

But farm stores in Miami have Cheese bread. Cubans love it. Take some heated cheese bread. Then add garlic seasoning to it. And you got yourself a creative and tasty offering for Hekate.

She loves it. Before that I also used to make her grilled cheese sandwiches cut into triangles. Upside down triangles are sacred to her. I added the garlic seasoning and again she loved it. You can make your offerings modern and creative.

And if you don’t have those three basic ingredients offer to her whatever you do have. Regular bread, crackers, etc..sometimes I have given her fruit and or cake. I gave her an all chocolate offering once and she had a field day with it. Remember this isn’t some stale old idea. Gods are living sentient entities.

Sometimes you have to introduce them to new stuff.

Sometimes instead of food what I offer up is money. Quarters usually. They aren’t exactly like Ancient Greek coins but they are close enough that she’s willing to take them. And the dead can use money to buy things in the afterlife as well. There’s a whole tradition called burning Hell Money for the dead to help them.

So that’s it! That’s how you celebrate the first day of the Noumenia festival. Tomorow I will write about the actual Noumenia day.

– M

Happy Hallowe’en Everybody! Special Random Links of the Day!

“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe

Hello everyone! Celebrating the Catholic Feast of All Hallows’ Eve as we approach All Hallowsmastide. November is the time of the holy souls in Purgatory. Remember that the Real Samhain isn’t until two weeks from now in November (you can thank the Gregorian calendar for that). So this is a Catholicised version of the holiday. So we are in the Catholic feast.

Not Samhain. I made a special post for links to everything from articles to Creepy pastas on YouTube and more! Enjoy!

The Demon Cat of Washington DC

Today’s Cars for Halloween : Light a Lamp in Remembrance

The Fear Lab

6 Cursed Objects (One of them is from here in Florida)

Cemeteries for the Stars

The Strange Tale of a Mother’s Love : The Grave with a Staircase (Grave of Florence Irene Ford)

Llyn Barfog and the tale of King Arthur killing the monster Afanc

Conjuring Kesha : The Ghost Tv series starring Kesha

The Hardy Tree of St. Pancras Old Church, London

Atlas Obscura Halloween!

Piglet & the Bacon Ghost! A Winnie the Pooh Halloween Story

The Devil’s Bridge in Spooky Lane, Hertfordshire

LA’s Horror Car Wash (Video)

Creepy Halloween Background sounds
Creepy Halloween Stories
Celtic Pagan Origin of Halloween
The Walt Disney Skeleton Dance
Strangeness in the Countryside
Horror Stories in the Snow

– M

Burnt Offerings : A Dark Cleansing Fire of Scorpio

The Ancient Hebrews performing a sacrifice. Burning a goat or ram (can’t tell from this image) to Adonai. You see Adonai depicted as Zeus at the very top riding the smoke. It’s said the smell of his animal sacrifices when burned attracts him. The fire is how he eats. Burnt offerings are done for a variety of reasons. Including expiation of sins.

For those who don’t know, we had a combination of a New Moon, with a solar eclipse in Scorpio last Sunday. It lasted until Wednesday. Wednesday was when the solar eclipse happened. New Moons naturally belong to the dead and to dark spirits. And so are Solar Eclipses.

The Sun Gods enter their chthonic aspecks as Gods of the dead. This is the perfect time for the removal of negative energy. Or sending it out. I call these dark cleansings because we are working with dark energy to take the bad energy away. Like the Bloodmoon, a Scorpio based Eclipse (and really eclipses in general) force you to face that which you fear the most.

They force you to confront problems and burdens you’ve been holding onto for a long time. They also end a chapter of your life to start another. In my case, I had a very personal journey to make.

Dealing with the Sins of the Past

Lost in the darkness, seeking the light

I got into an argument with someone from my past. And this person reminded me of a time when I wasn’t so spiritual. And in fact I didn’t care who I hurt as long as I got mine. Even people who loved me. And who I should have loved back.

When I was younger, and far more foolish, I was a misogynist. I didn’t think I was a misogynist back then. In fact I thought I was a feminist. What I was, was one of those wanna be “woke” assholes thinking I believed in equality. It wasn’t all fake.

I truly believed I was a feminist. Part of the reason I turned against Christianity was due to the way most churches treat women. Especially my church. I was raised to believe that men are above women by divine right. Or some other horseshit like that.

Because Adam was born before Eve etc.. even though the original Hebrew Bible says that Lilith was created at the same time as Adam. And she was his equal in all respects. I was a womanizer. A compulsive liar. I constantly cheated, and I didn’t fully understand that I was controlling.

I learned this abusive behavior mostly from my dad. But also from the church, and the culture of toxic masculinity that pervades the West. And even when the person I was with was a genuinely good person, I couldn’t be faithful. Sometimes when I cheated I convinced myself that I was “loyal” and that this other person was just a side person. Someone to satisfy me when my regular partner wasn’t around.

I look back on that now and feel disgusted with myself. I wasn’t the best big brother growing up either. I was a teenager and I was so caught up in my own bullshit that I didn’t see that my sister needed me. And my Mother and Paternal grandmother were at odds with me as well. For different reasons.

How could this have ever been me? I’m 36 years old now. Not some young, cocky, asshole. After opening my eyes to several truths, I began to change. To remold myself and cast aside the bad things in my heart and mind. To become a better person.

After becoming a Pagan and a Magician that quest took off to even greater levels. I learned about the Mother Goddesses. I formed an especially close link to Hera, Nemesis, Demeter, and Gaia to name just a few. To Inle and Oshun, and to Chang’e and Kwan Yin. I learned I had a lot of work to do.

And they had no issue kicking my ass from left to right in my mid 20’s to get me to learn. My relationship with my mother and grandmother was better. I made amends with my sister eventually. And I am still changing. Still learning.

But I no longer cheat, no longer lie, no longer think I am some big “woke” feminist ally. I pursue the goal of just being a good and decent person. When I can achieve that, truly achieve it, then maybe I can be called a feminist. Until then I feel that it’s an empty title. The Cuban Exiles tend to be homophobic.

Tend to be womanizers and liars. This isn’t me hating my own culture. I’m just being honest. For years I had decided to turn my back on all religion and spirituality. I went headlong into hedonism.

And I stopped caring about people. Which led to a lot of heart ache both for myself and the girls I dated in my youth. After the nasty experience I had last Saturday, I realized I was deluding myself. I had a reading done by a friend of mine in Utah. And she told me that until I apologize to the women I have hurt, I haven’t made any amends.

Little did I know, that all of this was playing out for a reason. Because Scorpio’s influence on the New Moon and the Solar Eclipse was moving karma around. This has been a burden on my soul for a very long time. And I had kept it deep within myself. I buried this part of my past because I didn’t want to admit I had ever been this ignorant.

I began calling up women from my past and apologizing. I sent more than a dozen emails. I even wrote letters by snail mail. Some didn’t care anymore. Others forgave me.

Some said they don’t know if they can forgive me, but my apologies gave them closure. And others I am still waiting to hear from via the letters. I had begone to make amends. I was ready to begin the dark cleansing with Scorpio.

Priest burning the body of a sacrificed animal to Adonai

I had to draw on my training to figure out how to perform this cleansing. A cleansing that would be strong enough to do this. To channel the power of the Scorpio fueled new moon and solar eclipse. I decided to do a burnt offering. Thing is, I have no intentions of ever hurting an animal.

An artistic representation of the Pharmakos

The Pharmakos is the human version of a scapegoat. Humans would be chosen (or sometimes volunteer) to represent all the bad energy in a town or city. And then they would be thrown off a cliff after having weights of some sort attached. I know this is just an over simplification. So I linked an article from Harvard on this practice.

With the death of the Pharmakos, the bad energy was killed as well. In modern times, we use dolls or some other idol to be our Pharmakos in Greek expiation rituals. So I decided to incorporate the burnt offering practice with a Pharmakos.

My Pharmakos paper at the Hearth

My spirits reminded me of the power of burning magical papers and petitions to get things done. So I took a piece of Bible paper from my old catechism Bible. I collect Bible paper. It’s an old Bible so the pages started falling apart little by little. I mostly use them as paper talismans.

I drew the Triangle of Solomon on it. Now this is normally used for conjuring, trapping, and controlling a demon. The triangle protects the conjuring sorcerer. And the circle forces the entity inside and binds them. I summoned the sinful and bad parts of my soul into the circle.

And the triangle was keeping me safe so that as it burned, the bad energy couldn’t return or spread to anyone. I didn’t film it or take a picture. The last thing I needed was an image captured of negative energy burning. The paper was only beginning to be blessed by the Hearth in those images. So those images are safe.

I performed a technique in Yoruba religion called Sarayeye. This means you ceremonially use a spiritually charged item like an idol, herbs or flowers, food offering, stones or sticks, etc.. to absorb all the bad energy from your body. You take the chosen object and rub it from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. And you say words of power calling upon all bad things to leave your body. This can be anything, including bad luck and disease.

“May any harm or thing that causes harm, be displaced from my body and soul and bound into this offering,”

– Simple charm taught to me by an Elder in Santeria

In this case I did an hour long prayer. I poured my heart and soul into it. I even started shaking and crying at some point. Broke out into a cold sweat as if I had a fever. I felt nauseous.

The Gods spoke in divination later and told me I had “shed my sinful soul,”. As if I had separated from an evil twin. When the last of my wicked soul had left my body (well, as much as a normal human can shed) my body slowly went back to normal. I finished 10 mins before sunset. And I took the paper and burned it outside on a crossroads.

The smell of Bible paper was sweet. It almost smelled like Palo Santo to me. When the paper burned I felt a strange sort of relief. And the feeling of something that broke in me. And I felt what can only be described as spiritual pus leave my body.

The next day, I felt like shit. I was sore all over my body as if I had lifted a thousand pound truck. The holy fire of the hearth match and the paper’s own inherent holiness channeling the celestial fire. It felt as if the holy flames had burned what was evil inside me. This isn’t a magic bullet that makes my old selfish ways okay.

But it’s a starting point towards the path of redemption I hope. I also prayed to Zeus Meilichios for purification. Confessing my sins before his idol, and allowing him to take as much miasma away as possible. It’s a harder process than I thought. Each time it’s harder to talk to someone I hurt.

I wish the universe could have given me a warning ahead of time.

Karmic Structures and their destruction

My Buddhist Shrine

After I had performed the ritual, I prayed to the Laughing Buddha. He’s always been a Buddha who has walked with me. A Patron and protector. I asked forgiveness for what I had done years before. And to find a way to be redeemed. I spoke to him out loud about everything.

An then I stopped suddenly. Suddenly I felt this disturbance. Like a rock thrown into water. And I felt him in my heart. Almost like having a conversation but without words.

He told me that my rituals and my attempt at amends weren’t enough. I needed more.

The Journey of Jetsun Milarepa

Milarepa’s Cave where he lived surrounded by his animals and nature.

The story of Milarepa is a really messed up one. It starts like this. He came from a wealthy family. But when his father died, his aunt and uncle who were very greedy, stole all the property. As well as the money and left him and his mother nothing.

So his mother sent him away to learn the black arts.

Not Tibet, this is a depiction of Black Magic in China, but for the purpose of the story I thought I would use it. From this article

When he returned as a powerful dark magus, his aunt and uncle were throwing a party. Their son was about to get married. And many people had come to attend to feast. He used his power to summon a giant Scorpion monster to raise the house. And 35 people died.

The aunt and uncle lived however. When the villagers came to kill him, he summoned a hailstorm that destroyed their crops. Which forced them all to back down. After years of wandering the land as a black magician, his heart grew heavy. He began to hate himself.

And to regret his past sins. He decided to learn new ways. And he found a Lama or “chief”. This is the Buddhist version of a Guru in Hinduism. It’s a teacher of the Dharma.

Marpa the Translator

His Master would be Marpa the Translator. One of the greatest Buddhist masters of all time. Marpa was a hard Master to serve. The guy made him go through hell in order to prove himself worthy. I’ll spare you the long history lesson.

But he ordered Milarepa to build three towers and then destroy them. He later told Milarepa the reason for this. Each tower represented all of the bad karma and suffering he sent out into the world. The task had to be difficult because it was a sort of penance. Each time a tower was constructed, it was instantly imbued with all the bad spiritual energy.

And when it was destroyed, the karma was destroyed. That’s what the laughing Buddha told me to do. I have to create a karmic structure to destroy. In penance for my old ways. It was revealed to me by him what I had to do.

And how many times I had to do it. That part of my ceremony I won’t talk about. It’s just for me to know. I started on that already. And hopefully I can continue to make amends.

What I can say however is that it’s not a large structure. And it isn’t as many times as Milarepa. While my past self may not have been too enlightened, I never summoned a giant scorpion to kill people. Here’s hoping I can continue my path towards making amends.

A Sad Day in Florida : Nikolas Cruz the Parkland Shooter beats the Death Penalty

Portrait of a Terrorist

For those of you who don’t know, Nikolas Cruz escaped the death penalty. Cruz, far right wing terrorist from Florida who walked into a high school and shot 17 people dead. Almost all of them school kids. Three of them teachers who sacrificed their lives to save children. And he’s about to breath another day.

Terrorist training

Besides being in ROTC, it was later discovered that he was being trained by a group called the Republic of Florida. An ultra-right militia that has Neo Nazis and Klansman as well as other extremists as members. Cruz, a Trumper, was incredibly racist against Muslims and non white people. All this despite the fact that his foster brother is a person of color as well. Of course white supremacy is a practice.

A person can be dark skinned or of a non Caucasian ethnicity and still believe in it. Many detractors claimed this wasn’t the truth. But the ROF Leader openly said that he was. He only changed his tune after the group received pressure after he admitted that they trained him. And he used his terrorist training on children he perceived as inferior to him.

His MAGA ideology was a driving force for him to do the shooting. Students even said that was always rude and bigoted with everyone that he met.

Now this is what pisses me off : How many people of color get the death penalty in Florida alone. But this son of a bitch escapes it? So then why is there a death penalty then? And does that mean that the same courtesy will be afforded to people of color from now on?

They kept finding every excuse in the book : His mom drank when she was pregnant, he had mental problems Blah blah blah blah. Go get fucked. I have mental problems. I never killed anybody. And my Dad was ten times more abusive than whatever he went through.

Don’t talk to us about how he was a victim. He’s the abuser not the victim. And the sick bastard had a smirk on his face in the courtroom today. There’s really nothing I can say to show the outrage Florida feels right now. So here I am going to show you what the families themselves said.

I am very angry with Court Tv because they purposefully cut off Helena Ramsay’s family when they openly criticized the American government for an increase in gun violence and nothing to stop it. She and her family also spoke out against racism and even talked about how her daughter though a gifted student, was blocked by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school from joining the gifted program. This is what America looks like. In fact I am going to post what she said here in full.

Florida……I love you. But I really hate your government and those in power here. The idea that one day flooding from Global Warming will engulf Florida and all its people and wildlife kills me. But lately I keep thinking that maybe having all the human life extinguished might not be such a bad thing after all. Sorry if that’s too dark for all of you. But it’s true.

– M