Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Okay, I have had it! I honestly don't want to receive another email requesting to get back someone's ex girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or wife. Also no request to help people have sex with someone that they have no chance of being with. Since this is a blog, I will explain why. First off maybe he/she just not that into you. Yes that sucks and is hard to deal with for sure. That doesn't mean it's worth the time and effort to try and force them to love you. Sometimes you may hit a rough patch and need to sweeten things in a relationship. That is something I can help with. All I ever get is request from people with relationships that are over and the other person is trying to move one. It's been months or years and they are still obsessing. Let it go, it's not healthy. Plus gentlemen as far as sex goes, what makes you think it is acceptable to magically force someone that doesn't want you? You wouldn't physically force yourself on someone (I hope) so don't trying to rationalize doing the metaphysical equivalent.

I am a strong believer that magic needs to come fro a place of power and confidence. Spells like this come from a place of fear and uncertainty. Fear that you can't or won't find someone new. I am more than happy to do spell work to help someone attract someone new for love or just to hook up. 99% of the time when I present that option people aren't interested. They don't want love or satisfaction, just to fulfill an an obsession and ease those fears. It's not how I prefer to work, nor will I waste my time doing so. I charge for workings because my time is valuable, and this isn't worth it. That's another thing, everyone is expecting me to provide them with love struck zombies and have no money to do so! Good luck finding a a worker willing to do what you want basically pro bono. Trust me, this kind of work can be done but it will cost you and more than likely you will be ripped off. One of my things is that I never want to take someone's money just for the sake of making money. I recently refunded someone their money for a reading that wanted to know if I could bring their girlfriend back. I could have just done the reading, gave them a NO and pocketed the money, but that's not how I roll. 

You may have noticed that this post has been generally unsympathetic toward the feelings of the heart broken. That is another reason that I can't do work like this. Sure I have had my heart broken but can not sympathize with thew at all. That keeps me from putting my heart in the work.  In summary the kind of requests that I have been getting lately are fearful, unhealthy, obsessive, and not worth my time. I will however be glad to help anyone that wants to attract something new and progress. That is what I do conjure for and encourage others to use their own for as well. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

You have a Black Cat Bone?

I don't get to rant on this blog often enough, but this one has been on my mind for a while. I see a lot of people online in conjure groups  talking about using black cat bones. They either recommend painting chicken bones, or obtaining ethically harvested bones from a black cat for the work. I think that at least the bones of a black cat are acceptable to work with the spirit of the animal  for luck workings and the like. Brujo Negro has some good information about just that on his website . Of course a chicken bone as a proxy is just plain ridiculous. What most conjure folks are trying to do is create a replacement for the infamous Black Cat Bone charm and avoid the admittedly gruesome ritual involved in obtaining the charm. By all accounts this charm entered Hoodoo practice via the popular grimoire of Saint Cyprian. The ritual is as follows:

"Cook the body of a black cat in boiling water with white seeds and wood from the willow until the meat is loosened from the bones. Strain the bones in a linen cloth and, in front of the mirror, place the bones, one by one in your mouth, until you find that you have the magic to make you become invisible.  Keep the bone with the magic property and, if you want to go somewhere without being seen, place the bone in your mouth."  
I can understand completely not wanting to perform this ritual, and do not personally recommend that anyone do so. That being said, I feel that the rite is an essential part of unlocking the power associated with the charm, and that without carrying out the task one does not have a true black cat bone in the grimoire sense. I draw similarities between this ritual and the equally well known Toad bone rite of Witchcraft tradition. In fact  some hoodooist believed that one method of finding the bone within the ca that contained power was by throwing the bones in a stream and taking the one that floated upstream. This is the method used in the Toad Bone rite. With the Toad Bone, the process of finding the animal, the method of killing it, the harvesting of the bones, the forces called up during the rite, and the obtaining of the bone are essential. In some ways it is a rite of passage and initiatory in some aspects, I would say that the same holds true for the black cat bone spell in a way as well.

This is not just a simple spell, or mindless killing, It is a rite. One can gleam clues of how some workers viewed this process in  the book "Of Mules and Men" where Zora Neale Hurston recounts her own black cat bone ritual, that included a period of fasting before the spiritual undertaking. Periods of fasting usually precede rituals that aim to transform the spirit(s) of those involved in some way. That in my view is part of the aim of the ritual. Lets be honest, this ritual is ghastly and inhumane, which is intended. Mind you it is not as extreme as one of it's predecessors the Taigheirm but I feel it is meant to test the performer on a psychological and thus a spiritual level. Most decent folks would never pointlessly torture an innocent animal, and that is why it tests you. There is a clear line of decency that must be crossed here. Not just one of social convention, or personal moral judgement, but one that you can just recognize on an intuitive level as being "wrong". So then the question that gets asked is, how far are you willing to go for the power that you seek? The process should be hard for you to stomach and get through. If you are a psychopath I just don't think that the rite will have the same deep emotional effect on you.

I am not saying in any way that people should go out and kill a cat if they want an authentic black cat bone charm. I am just saying that we in the conjure community should acknowledge that the ritual served a purpose in empowering the charm, that can't be replaced by any acceptable proxy. One can work black cat magic any way that they see fit, but be honest and know that what you are wielding in no way resembles the legendary charm in my opinion.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ask Brother Ash

I am going to try out a new segment here for the blog. I love answering questions about sorcery, and in some cases about myself. So every Monday I will answer a question submitted by one of my blog followers. If you have a question  feel free to contact me or shoot me a message on Facebook or Twitter.

My First question comes from SilverShadow of the Pagan Rapport (@CriticalFault)

"I wondered about geometric placements of candles, incenses, etc. Often you
see people post images of their ritual workings and their materials are
setup in circles, triangles, squares etc. I wondered if you had some insight
on how to use these shapes within a ritual context and what those shapes
meant when they are applied!"
 Like many things with workings I believe that this is a matter of personal preference and based on your own accepted symbolism. I personally tend to use equal arm crosses or "crossroads" quite often, and triangles both in candle configurations, and when laying out certain materials. I use the cross because it symbolizes a metaphysical space and point where all possibilities can be achieved. I use he triangle as a space where spirit can manifest. So my two main go to configurations are a mix of  hoodoo lore, and ceremonial magic thought. Occasionally I will use circles of candles to represent protection as well. If you have a fondness for ceremonial magic or Kabbalistic thought, that can certainly be incorporated into candle workings especially if you are utilizing planetary energies. I would recommend the "Golden Dawn Lecture on Polygrams and Polygons" for reference. In regards to Hoodoo a lot of the candle configurations that you will see are influenced by or come directly from books such as the "Master Book of Candle Burning" by Henry Gamache. In my opinion there are no set rules on this. If it feels right, then do it. If it gets results, do it again. If not, then back to the drawing board.

"Act of Faith" by Alan Moore & Mitch Jenkins

Via Lex Records by way of Dangerous Minds

"It’s raining in Northampton and Faith Harrington has Friday evening ahead of her, her favourite outfit and her favourite face, her top tunes shimmering on the CD player: “When the lamp burns low on the bureau, even though I’m far from you…”
In a curtain-raiser prelude to their forthcoming short film Jimmy’s End, Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins, with Siobhan Hewlett, introduce us to a world of unfamiliar atmospheres, precarious entertainments, and insidious detail.
Act of Faith unveils an isolated corner of the modern night, where carrion crows become the only comforters and it’s a quarter to eternity…"
(c) Alan Moore 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Spirit Offerings

Offerings to Erzulie Dantor 
Anyone that works with spirits knows that presenting offerings to them is a good way to establish or maintain working a relationship.  Everyone gets caught up in knowing which spirits prefer what offerings, or trying to buy the most expensive things that they can.  It is all fine and well to purchase expensive items for your spirit allies that have helped you to attain the means to do so.  It is important to remember the nature of what offerings are and why they are given to get the most out of the act of giving.  To me the act of ritual offering at its core is an energy exchange. Be it food, alcohol, blood, incense, or candles, all offerings are consumed by a spirit on the subtle level. Some workings will even call for giving a direct offering of spiritual energy by way rubbing your hands together until they are hot and then directing energy to flow at the working altar. With this being the case, one of the most important things to consider during the act of presenting offerings is your sincerity.

Why sincerity? Let me offer a somewhat morbid analogy. Consider for a moment flowers left at a grave. Usually a loved one will stand there and have a mix of emotions and feelings going through them at that time. Some of what they are feeling will be expressed vocally in an attempt to reach out and connect to the spirit that is being remembered and honored. Their feelings in that moment are genuine and this act facilitates a flow of energy toward where they are focusing it. The flowers only serve as a token to symbolize what they are feeling and wanting to express. That’s essentially what a spirit offering amounts to in ritual, a symbolic representation of what you want to express rather it’s gratitude or a desire to have them work on your behalf. Even if you view your transactions with spirits to be purely business, sincerity should be considered. If you were to invite a potential client or partner to lunch and simply went through the motions it would be plainly obvious. There is a good chance that you would lose that business. But if during the meeting you were able to show a sincere desire to obtain their business and show how it would benefit them you would have a better chance. In that scenario lunch is the offering, just a token.

So just remember that in the process of giving offerings that your own mindset is just as important to the process as what you give. You can’t bullshit a spirit.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Announcing "High John the Conqueror" and a Twitter Contest!

I am pleased to announce the upcoming release of my booklet, "High John the Conqueror".

Many have heard of High John the Conqueror root, but did you know that High John is also a spirit that you can petition directly? In this pamphlet I lay out my methods for working with this powerful spirit. You will learn:

How to petition High John the Conqueror with a simple ritual.
Traditional offerings given to His spirit
How to make High John Oil
Easy Mojo Hands and Spells
Includes the full tutorial for Brother Ash's Jack Ball.

This 19 page booklet will be available the second week of November in both eBook and print format.

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!


Follow me on Twitter for a chance to win a free copy of "High John the Conqueror" and be entered into a drawing for the Grand Prize! Here is how:

Every Friday afternoon between October 12th and November 2nd I will be tweeting a link to this blog post. If you are the first to re-tweet it that day you will automatically win a free copy of the booklet and be entered into the drawing for the grand prize. Everyone that re-tweets it will be entered into the drawing for the grand prize as well. Every re-tweet is an entry into drawing, so the more times that you re-tweet, the better your chances of winning!. What is the grand prize you ask?
  • A copy of the booklet
  • Red yarn and wax to make  Jack Ball
  • A red flannel pouch for a mojo
  • And of course some High John Roots!
Good Luck and thank you for reading Crossroads of Sorcery!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book Review: "Financial Sorcery" by Jason Miller

The title of this post is a bit misleading. This is not a book review. This is a strong recommendation that you pick up "Financial Sorcery: Magical Strategies to Create Real and Lasting Wealth" by Jason Miller, as soon as possible if you have any interest in the subject. There are plenty of books on money magic, and spell casting systems promising to change your life with one ritual. This is not that book. Miller sets out to answer the question that most practitioners will face in their lifetime. "If magic is real and you can cast sells, why aren't you rich"? For many sorcerers including myself the answer is quite simple. lack of strategy. If you want to talk magical strategy Miller is the man to talk to having already written a book on the subject, and maintaining a blog dedicated to the subject. While this is more than a mere spell book. there is plenty of spiritual and magical information for you to employ in wealth building sorcery. This runs the gamut from meditation and planetary energies, to saints, spirits, and deities to be called upon. There is also plenty here of interest to conjure folk. You will find baths, mojo hands, washes, road opener, and sweetening spells to name a few. The lightening glyphs pf Jupiter are an original and welcome addition to the realm of financial sorcery that I personally plan on employing.

Viral Marketing Glyph
Where the book really shines is in the practical advise in the areas of fiscal planning, entrepreneurial techniques, and job searching. Essentially it reads like a lifestyle design book balanced well with sorcery.If you are a fan of the likes of Tim Ferris or Ramit Sethi you will probably dig this. The book has info on things such as getting out debt, testing business ideas, managing money, interviewing for jobs, and getting promotions. Successful magic hinges on being able to take practical steps toward a goal and backing that up with magic. Financial sorcery has been the hardest nut to crack for many magicians and this is the book to pick up to stat formulating your plan to change all of that, I really can't recommend it enough. In summary,,,,Go cop that s**t son!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thank You Santa Muerte!

Thank you Most Holy Death for your assistance and patronage! For anyone interested in working with her, here is a short essay by Sin Jones that I dig.
Mictecacihuatl, Santa Muerte

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Funny Mutha...

  Shut Yo Mouth!

Last night I accomplished something that I have only talked about doing for years. I tried my hand at stand up comedy in a competition called "Clash of the Comics". It is actually geared toward aspiring professional comics that are already in the scene. I wanted to throw myself in the deep end and either sink or swim. I am happy to report that I "swam" quite nicely. As I mentioned before I have been in a couple of bands so I am not a stranger to performing for crowds, particularly ones lubricated with alcohol. Being a sorcerer though, there was no way I wasn't going to do a little work to add to my chances of success.

I started out the day by feeding my High John Jack Ball (see I am not only the president, I'm also a client). While doing so I also set out a shot of whiskey for Ol' High John, and lit a purple candle in his honor. I thanked him for the help he has given me, and asked him to help me conquer the crowd later that night. While driving around that afternoon, I found myself behind a car with a license plate that read "BRE RABBIT". For those that don't know Brer Rabbit is also trickster character and some of his tales and traits share a similar African lineage with High John. When working with spirits, it's always good to keep an eye out for little signs such as this. It's also best to research that spirit as much as possible to make sure that you would know what kind of symbols and signs they may use to communicate with you.

When it came time to determine what order everyone would perform, we all had to draw cards. I pulled a 9 of spades. If had been thinking strictly in terms of divination and the Tarot, I would have seen this as a bad sign. Seeing as I am a conjurer I know better. The number 9  is a lucky and powerful number in conjure work that often appears in spells for mastery, domination, and commanding. Something you will observe often in conjure work is that what others may consider negative or unlucky, is quite the opposite. Conjure is very antinomian at its core. I  also interpreted he spades or swords to mean that I was going to "kill it", which I did.   Going with your gut when deciphering omens and signs can serve you better then going by the book. As long as you can do it and be honest with yourself as well.

While I waited to take the stage, I took the time to do some energy work and a quick spell of sorts. I was doing some breathing to relax, of course the double of Jack Daniel's was helping with that as well. After a few cycles of breathing I started to tune into the overall vibe and energy of the room and bring it into my center. The vibe of the room was pretty good, It was a small crowd that was relaxed and there to be entertained. Not a single heckler in the bunch. I then directed this energy from my center and into the palm of my right hand forming it into a sphere. Once I could feel this as a strong and real connection to the crowd in the palm of my hand, I thrust my hand into my pocket and put the energy there with the rest of my charms. From then on out as far I was concerned the crowed was in my pocket, I owned that room. There was a brief moment in my 5 minute set that I felt as if I lost them for a bit. With a little bit of NLP style anchoring I put my hand in my pocket for a brief second to remind myself, and I got them right back. With a little tweaking this technique can be applied to any setting where you have to address a group.

Most importantly with any magical act, and performance I made sure to just relax, have fun, and let things flow. I have been invited to come out to some open mics, so I am going to play it by ear, and see where this goes. Remember that "all the world is a stage" blah blah blah. Kick ass, take names, and rock out with your...

"You must have the Devil in you to succeed in the arts." Voltaire
"Don't quote me boy cuz I ain't said shit." Eazy-E  

Monday, July 30, 2012

I am not a psychic

I had a customer ask me a very interesting question recently and it's something that I want to address here. The person wanted to know if I was psychic since I do readings and require a reading before I will take on client for involved spell work. I want to address the easy part of that question first. Why do I require a reading before I will take on a client? Simply put because I am a sorcerer, not a mercenary. People seem to think that simply offering of money should be enough to secure my services no matter what the scenario is, no questions asked. The main reason that I charge for what I do is because my time and skills are both worth money and I am not a fan of wasting either one. Before I can do any spell work I need as much information about the situation as possible, rather I am working for myself or others. Sometimes people will selectively leave out information when they give the initial explanation of their case. It could be that they didn’t think it was pertinent, It slipped their mind, or they are intentionally trying to mislead me. So the only way for me to get to the bottom of the situation is to do some divination to make sure that I am not wasting my time and thus money, or the client’s. I know there are some workers that operate differently and that’s fine but I like my method and madness.

Now, am I psychic? Nope. There are some workers and readers that are truly psychic and some that pose as if they are. Some people even get the impression that any practicing magician should also be psychic and if they aren’t then there is a hole in their game. I am not sure where this idea came from, but is certainly not true. I have even talked to budding sorcerers that beat themselves up for not being psychic enough because they feel that it is expected of them. Does anyone consider John Dee any less of a magician because he needed the help of Edward Kelley as a scryer and medium for his Enochian experiments? They most certainly don’t. I will say that prolonged spiritual practice of just about any sort will result in a higher level of intuitive function but may not always result in what can be considered psychic ability or visions. Intuition certainly plays a role in my readings, but by no means makes it a psychic reading in the traditional sense. 

That main point that I would like to make here is that one does not have to be psychic to utilize divination as a tool. I suppose it all depends on how a person views and approaches a divination technique. For me when I use my cards and dice, I am not utilizing them as a link to my own hidden psychic abilities. For me divination is a way for the spirit world, and specifically the spirits around me to communicate and convey messages or answer questions. Once the cards are laid down I do get impressions from them and use my own intuitive powers as well, but at the core it’s the spirits around me giving me insight into the hidden aspects of a situation. So that’s my approach and why I work the way I do. Some people are naturally more psychically in tuned, and others aren’t. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t. Trusting your gut feelings in the end is just as good as being able to have psychic visions in my opinion.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Brother Ash's Jack Ball

The Jack Ball or Luck Ball is a traditional conjure charm made to enhance luck, and can also be used as a pendulum to answer yes and no questions. It is sometimes called a Jack ball because of the resemblance to the children's toy of the same name. It also has been called a Jack because some are made with a High John the Conqueror root at the core. At times in High John lore Jack and John are used interchangeably. For example in Zora Neale Hurston's  "Mules and Men" there is a tale of "How Jack Beat the Devil". That story which includes Jack besting the Devil and marrying his Daughter is one usually attributed to the legend of High John. For a good example of how some Luck balls were once made check out "Hoodoo Luck Balls (Jack Balls) By Mary Alicia Owens. In the piece she recounts when she had a luck ball made a conjure man named King Alex  to give as a gift to Charles Godfrey Leland author of "Aradia: Gospel of the Witches". What follows is my version of a Jack ball which does consist of a High John root at it's core. I consider High John to be the primary spirit that empowers my version of this charm.

What You Will Need

1 High John The Conqueror Root
Herbs and Roots of your Choosing
Personal Concerns(hair, nails, etc)
High John Oil (optional)
1 Purple Taper candle
Large Eyed Needle
Beeswax Granules 
1 Bottle of whiskey
Shot glass
Purple Cloth
Red Yarn

First we start off by preparing a place on the altar for Ol' High John. Lay out a piece of Purple cloth (Purple is  a color associated with High John). On that cloth set up your purple candle, shot of whiskey and cigar. These are all offerings to High John for his assistance. On the candle carve in the name HIGH JOHN and anoint with  the oil if you have it. Van Van oil also works fine, or just leave it as is.

Once that is all set up, light the candle and as you do so say something to the effect of, " I light this candle in name of, and in honor of High John the Conqueror". Present him with the offerings, and then in your own words ask him for assistance for empowering the charm and ask him to let his spirit come to dwell in the root that bares his name. Now you are ready to " feed" and wake up his root. To do this, take the root and dip it into the shot of whiskey. This feeds and empowers the root. Next it times to  really wake up the root by knocking on it. We do that by tapping the root in the altar with the rhythm of two quick taps and then one slow. Tap,tap---tap. Do this sequence 3 times for a total of 9 taps. As you do so talk to the root and High John and let him know exactly what you need him to do for you. In this case bringing luck in all aspects of your life, attract money, conquering obstacles, increased sexual power, etc. Now let the root set while we prepare the rest of the charm.

Next make sure you have your herbs, and personal concerns ready to go. I chose things that I associate with attraction, luck, commanding and power.My Jack balls always include a Devil's shoe string (broken into an odd number of pieces), Licorice root powder, Dragon's blood resin, Patchouli, Lodestone Grit, and Periwinkle. This one I also included Frankincense and Myrrh, as the person I was making it for also needs help conquering spiritual and health obstacles. You use whatever herbs and items seem correct to you.

Next you are going to want to heat up your wax granules. I use an oil burner and tea light. You don't want to melt them just heat them up a bit.  Usually only takes about 30 seconds or so. This makes them more malleable sort of like clay. Sprinkle your herbs and roots (leave the personal concerns aside for now) over the wax and then scoop them up. Use a spoon if you like. I actually just remove the glass from the heat and scoop it right up with my hand. I am no stranger to having hot wax on me. Take that last comment however you want.....

You should end up with a lump that looks similar to this. Work quickly before the wax cools, make a divot in the lump using your thumb and add the High John root and personal concerns. Then form the wax around these into the shape of a ball. 

You should end up with something that looks like this. 

Now you start to wrap this ball with your red yarn. Starting with a pattern similar to the one above and continue the process until the entire thing is tightly wrapped. I wrap the ball pulling the yarn directly from the spool instead of trying to cut a set length just yet. 

It should look like this when you are done. Now we are ready to start making the "tail" of the charm which allows it to be used as a pendulum. 

Pull about an additional foot and a 1/2 length of yarn from the spool where you finished wrapping the ball. This will become the first part of the tail. You will want to push the needle under the yarn at the top of the ball and out the other side. Use that to Pull the yarn all the way through which creates what will be the first part of a three strand tail. 

Once you have your single strand on yarn pulled through. Tie that off in a know like so..

I apologize for the fuzziness of this pic. Sometime's my phone just sucks.

Now you will want to cut another long piece of yarn double the length of your current tail and thread it through the top of the ball in the same manner. Pull one end all of the way through.

This should leave you with three tails coming from Jack Ball. Make sure that you square them up to an even length. Now Some people braid the three together. I am not a fan of braiding but if you are then feel free to braid them together. What I do is tie all 9 knots into the tail about as equal lengths apart as I can get them.

What I do to measure is tie the first knot right at the base. From there I use three fingers to measure the distance from that knot and wrap the yarn around the third finger and knot it there. Continue this process until you have all 9 knots. "By knot of nine, what's done is mine". I don't actually say the traditional witches chant as I tie the knots, but it is hard not to have it at the back of my mind during the process.

Now all that is left is to feed and bring life to this charm. This is where your cigar comes into play. Light your cigar and blow some of the smoke at High Johns candle as an offering to his spirit. Usually give it a good three solid puffs. Then I will hold up the Jack Ball and blow smoke directly into the ball itself and focus on breathing energy and life into it. I will then blow smoke up the length of the tail. Leave the cigar still smoking in an ashtray or something fire proof in front of or near the candle. Now it is time to feed it some whiskey. I lay it down on the purple cloth in front of the candle and take a swig from the bottle and pray it onto the ball from my mouth. I then repeat that process for each knot in the tail. Talk to the spirit that now dwells within the Luck Ball and remind it of it's task. Thank High John for his assistance and leave the offerings for him over night while the candle burns and the charm dries.

The next day you will want to cover your Jack Ball.  Some people put there's in a red flannel pouch like a mojo hand. I like to wrap mine in purple cloth and tie it up like so.
I assure you that is purple. Again stupid phone!

If possible take the offerings to High John and leave them at a crossroads. If that's not possible Pour the whiskey on the ground outside and dispose of the cigar. Your luck ball is now ready to use. For men it should be kept in your right pocket, for women if possible keep it in your bra or just carry in your purse. You need to feed your Jack ball whiskey regularly, preferably once a week to keep the spirit strong. 

A quick note. Some might ask what to do if they avoid alcohol and don't smoke tobacco. Well Goody two shoes if "ya don't drink, don't smoke",(Kidding of course. Perfectly reasonable and healthy lifestyle choices) there are alternatives. If you don't mind using whiskey, but don't prefer to drink it, then just sprinkle the whiskey where it calls to be sprayed from the mouth. If you choose to avoid alcohol completely use Hoyt's cologne to feed the charm. That is a perfectly acceptable substitute. As far as the cigar goes again if you don't mind tobacco but don't want to smoke it, then burn some on a charcoal block and pass the charm through the smoke, You may omit the tobacco if you like and just have the whiskey be the only offering and method of feeding. While emitting the blowing of the smoke is fine, it is still important that you breath onto the jack ball and infuse it with life. That is essential to it's creation. 

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you make one of your own I would love to see pics of them. Feel free to post them on my wall on Facebook, or just shoot me an email. If you don't care to make your own but would like to experience the power of this awesome charm then head on over to my shop page and pick one today. Here is what one client had to say about my Jack Ball:

"Wtf! I've never been a lucky man, never had much of a chance with the ladies one little ball and holy shit! Rock nd roll all night and party everyday! This guys knows is stuff!  D.K."

Friday, May 4, 2012

Clothes Make the Mage

Virginia Postrel: On Glamour

I want to talk about a tool with the potential for influence that is often overlooked in conversation on sorcery, that being personal style and presentation. I recently discovered an older lecture on "Ted Talks" by Virginia Postrel about Glamour. I would like to touch upon a few of the points that she made and expand upon them here. First let’s look at her definition of glamour:

"Any calculated, carefully polished imaged designed to impress and persuade."
Many magical operations are designed to impress and persuade. I some cases the spell has been directed at an individual that the worker is attempting to persuade or influence in some way. Attention given to personal glamour can be a deciding factor in the outcome of that working. Studies have shown that most people make a decision about a new acquaintance within the first thirty second to two minutes of interaction. It is within your power to influence that decision not only with magical action, but with a carefully crafted image, as well as communication skills.  This naturally applies to interactions of both a personal and professional nature.

When I was in New Orleans this past fall at the Folk Magic Festival, one of female attendees of the festival approached me and commented on how I was "The most elegantly dressed man there". I don't say this to brag, because trust me when I say that I won't be featured in a Calvin Klein ad anytime soon. After she made the comment I began to try and explain to her that I consider personal image another tool of sorcery. She nodded her head in agreement, but it seemed clear that it had never occurred to her to utilize it as such. Some magicians will dismiss the notion of mastering glamour as an art. They feel that if a working is powerful enough than that is all that matters. More experienced workers know that magic works better on a path of least resistance. Proper glamour application can provide just that. No point in creating a mojo hand to command respect and power, when your entire wardrobe comes from Hot Topic. I was once guilty of that myself. Unless of course the circle that you are attempting to influence and image you are attempting to project is of a gothic nature. 

What many tend to forget in regards to glamour, which Postrel pointed out in her presentation is that glamour was once thought of as being rooted in magical practice and witchcraft. Consider the etymology of the word itself:

Glamour (n.) Look up glamour at Dictionary.com1720, Scottish, "magic, enchantment" (especially in phrase to cast the glamor), a variant of Scottish gramarye "magic, enchantment, spell," alteration of English grammar (q.v.) with a medieval sense of "any sort of scholarship, especially occult learning." Popularized by the writings of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). Sense of "magical beauty, alluring charm" first recorded 1840. As a verb, by 1830s, from the noun. Via. Etymonline.com
The way that is applied may have been changed, but the intent has not. Your chosen look can project an air of enchantment, magical beauty, or alluring charm if you craft if that way. As Postrel states, "Glamour is all about transcending the everyday". People are rarely drawn in, attracted to, or impressed by the average or every day. Be it mystery, beauty, power, success, or sex, people are attracted to and long for the things that they do not encounter on a usual basis. If you can successfully embody and project one or a combination of these things, than you can influence and persuade a great many of people. 

Two things to remember when crafting your image which Postrel also points out are that glamour is an illusion and should appear effortless. This is the balance that has to be understood and mastered. As an illusion it is essentially a deception, or misdirection, like a stage magician performing a sleight of hand. Also much like a sleight of hand maneuver it should be practiced and honed until it seems as if no effort is needed to pull it off, until appears to the target to be magic. Practice in front of a mirror, work on your mannerisms, walk, body language, posture, etc. Do t his so that nothing about you ever comes off as unauthentic, forced, or awkward. Glamour is enchanting and elegant; you should strive to be as well. People will often ask, "why not just be yourself"? You are being yourself, just cultivating, practicing, and projected a beneficial aspect of yourself that few take the time to do. There is a part of everyone that is sexy, mysterious, powerful, and so on. You are merely tapping into that with your image ad when done successfully those that are attracted to such things will respond. Look around you, glamour is used all around you to influence and persuade, and marketing, and the like. Shouldn't you tap into that power?

I have never seen glamour mentioned in connection with conjure practice. However if you look into the old lore, and descriptions of many conjure men and woman, you will see that they created images for themselves that projected power and mystery to attract and persuade clients. Actually being able to project that onto a client is one of the secrets to being able to help them. I will let you all ponder that for a while. I know that I learned to importance and of image presentation early on from my mother before I ever learned any conjure. I remember asking her once, why she was going through the trouble of doing her hair, makeup, and the rest just to run to the store. She replied with the old phrase, “you never get another chance to make a first impression". I have heard people exclaim, "I ain't trying to impress anybody". Well the fact is no matter what,   you are leaving an impression, as a sorcerer you should be in control of that that impression is at all times. 

Also we all know that feeling that washes over us we know that we look good. Look good and you feel good. Feel good and you begin to attract good, in whatever way you perceive it. Looking good effects us and thus those around us on a metaphysical level. 

"You will like the way you look. I guarantee it." 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Voodoo Chile

Marie Laveau
Back in November I mentioned that I got a reading from Mama Lola in New Orleans. I have been hesitant to discuss the subject of that reading, as usually that sort of thing should be kept private. Since it concerns my spirituality which I explore in this blog, and will alter the way I practice my sorcery I will disclose a bit. When I touched down on NOLA my first order of business after checking into my hotel was to visit the tomb of Marie Laveau to ask a favor of her. I had been exploring my draw to Vodou and the Loa privately for a while, which included a successful petition of Baron Samedi . I asked the Voodoo Queen to guide me a teacher or some way to know if I am really meant to serve the loa. Later that day I found myself at Voodoo Authentica in the French Quarter. This was actually not my original destination, but my got told me to turn right on Dumaine instead of left and there was the shop so I ventured inside.

I walked around for a bit, and while the shop has some great items, nothing really spoke to me. Then I noticed someone giving readings in a side room. Since there Voodoo Fest had already past Halloween weekend, at first I thought "It can't be". But sure enough after talking with the clerk I confirmed that it was indeed Mama Lola doing readings. Having read her book "Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn", I couldn't pass uo the opportunity to meet her. So I made an appointment, went to my original destination which was the Voodoo Museum, and then returned to the shop not knowing what to expect. I expected her to ask me what my question was or something to that effect. This wasn't the case at all. After shuffling the cards, and having me cut them, she laid them out, took one look at me and with a smile on her face said "You are a Vodou Priest". We then had a long conversation about initiation, and serving the spirits. It was also great to hear many of the stories from her book in person.

Papa Legba Veve
Now, Mama Lola being Haitian, her assertion is that at some point I would have to take the Asson (become and initiated priest), that is what's customary for someone with the spirits that walk with the way I have them. Believe me this is something that I am certainly considering, and have told Papa Legba that is this is what the loa want, then make the way open for that to happen. That being said, I have always been drawn to Voodoo as it is practiced in New Orleans, which to my knowledge does not have an initiatory structure and is not very big on orthodoxy. Also I have ancestors that have loved in both Louisiana and Mississippi, but as far as I know there is no connection to Haiti in my line. So for the time being I am doing my best to serve the spirits in my own personal and respectful way. I wouldn't call myself a Voodoo worker just yet, let alone a "Priest". To me that title carries quite a bit of significance and responsibility which will take me some time to understand rather I take the Asson, or learn to serve the spirits the way they do in NOLA.

As I said, with time this will impact and change the way I practice sorcery. However I am not looking to Voodoo as just another form of magic, or the Loa as just another set of spirits to call upon to do work. I am talking about  embracing a religion that happens to have a magico-religious aspect. First and foremost it is a religion with healing as it's primary function. I actually have not called upon the Loa for my own gain at all since I started exploring this relationship. The only ritual I have done was for a loved one to aid in healing. Seemed fitting to me. I have been getting frustrated lately when I see people online talking about getting initiated as if it is a way to just ramp their magic and that is all. One gentlemen that I spoke with online called it "the big leagues" in regards to sorcery. When I asked him if he also planned on embracing this  as his religion after being initiated his response was, "I suppose so". You suppose so? You never hear of someone becoming Catholic clergy simply so their prayers will have more power, but they have no plans on serving the church in any way. I could rant about this all day, and originally planned on making this blog a rant about just that. But honestly to each their own. The Loa will sort those kind of people out in the end. I will continue to explore this path, and see where it takes me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Necromancy Oil Part 3: The Altar

This update is a bit delayed since I have been busy with client work and other projects. I exhumed the oil and the skull from the mock grave that I made for after making weekly prayers and offerings of whiskey and tobacco. Once I cleaned everything off I went about setting up a working altar. I decided to place the altar between my ancestral and Santisima Muerte altars. 

I am usually very minimalist when it comes to altars and this one was no exception. Besides the skull and oil, I have two white candles (dressed with van van oil), a water cup, incense burner, flower vase, cauldron, two crow wings,small white cross, and a sickle tool that I made from an antique blade and two found bones I received from a friend. 

After making my weekly offerings and prayers to my ancestors and Her most Holy Death, I conducted a simple rite to call upon the spirits of the unnamed dead. I feel very confident about this work and am happy with the way it turned out. I will be doing some experimenting with the workings for myself before involving the dead with my clients. I look forward to learning more about this form of working, but from research and the spirits. 


Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: In the Drip of an Eave

(Photo Courtesy of " The Wood Witch")
"In the Drip if an Eave" is the latest project from my friend and colleague Modred of The Wood Witch Blog. I was privileged enough to preview and test this prior to release and I honestly can't say enough good things about it. What Modred manages to do here is not just present you with a book on traditional craft, but immerse you in an adventure that leads to a better understanding of the subject by way of a character named Hope. Through the exploring the different written pieces and puzzles the reader is prepared for the revelations of the "Black Book of Hope". I have never experienced or seen anything like this as far as esoteric works go and highly recommend it for both scholars interested in traditional witchcraft as well as occult practitioners of other paths looking for a unique experience. This is being produced in a limited edition of 20 handmade  sets to begin with so get yours now while they last!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Necromancy Oil Pt. 2 :"A funeral for a friend"

New year, lets get right into it! I would wish you a happy new year, but ultimately that's up you isn't it?

After sitting for a week, with me shaking it on a daily basis the oil smells amazing. The tobacco really made a difference in the aroma. I strained it through some cheesecloth into another bottle, added some yew and cypress wood to finish it off, corked and sealed it with black wax.

I would prefer to bury this in a cemetery, but that was not at all practical at this time. So once again I took part of Moloch's suggestion and buried the oil on my property and created a "grave" for it. I placed the oil bottle in a coffin box that I had, and surrounded it with purple fabric for cushioning. Purple is also a color significant the work as well. Doesn't look purple in the pic, but trust me it is. I also nailed the coffin shut with 9 nails. These will come in handy later as "coffin nails" for spell workings.

I also acquired this ceramic skull that I plan on utilizing with my necromantic altar, and will be burying this in the grave as well.

On Sunday morning before sunrise I set out to start this work. I first lit lights on my ancestral altar and asked for their protection, and did the same thing with Santisima Muerte. Then set off to work armed with a bottle of whiskey, a cigar, a rose, some Florida water, a cross made of cypress twigs, a book of catholic prayers (seen on the altar in the first pic) and a tea light. The grave was already dug, so  first I cleansed it with the Florida water. I laid the skull in the ground first and bathed it with three good sprays of whiskey from my mouth, and three puffs of smoke from the cigar. Next I repeated the process with the coffin. Let me just say, if you start your New Years day off smelling of whiskey and cigars and it has nothing to do with a party the night before, you just might be a conjurer. I put the still lit cigar in the grave as an offering to the spirits of the dead. I then laid the rose in the ground as well and said a few words in honor of the spirits that I was calling upon. I ended by burying the contents, adding the cross, doing the three more sprays of whiskey, and lighting the candle. While the candle burned I recited the following prayer:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.


I originally started this working on a new moon, and plan to work it until the next full moon. So the items will remain interred until then, and I will be making offerings of whiskey, tobacco, and flowers at the grave each Friday until then. Once the skull and oil are exhumed I have one last ritual planned to finish the process. Stay tuned until then.