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."