Please don’t go to the closest cemetery and offer something and then take their home, a magical ingredient needed for so many things.
Truth is, spirits can be mad, just like people, and can be vengeful. They will want justice for taking part of their place of peace. Imagine someone taking from your house. How would you feel about that? Angry? Vulnerable? Vengeful? Well, now imagine if you had the flexibility and fluidity of being spirit.
A student of mine had a recent problem. He did leave offerings both at the gate and at the plot of dirt of a cemetery and everything seemed find. He left whiskey, candy, coins, and tobaccoat a Jewish cemetery. He went home and had been having minor inconveniences left and right even small scratches on his nose.
“Should I give back the dirt or toss it out, I don’t think these people like me cause I’m not one of them,” he said.
I told him to give to back. My thoughts are that he probably left the wrong offerings. Jewish people don’t leave anything that decomposes as grave offerings. So no food, no flowers or other plant matter. Also, the probably would prefer to not be used and then dismissed.
What annoys me is that my student had asked a lot of experienced witches to make sure he did all the right steps, who all told him that if he did not have permission to take the dirt the spirits would have made it abundantly clear to him in that very moment and they didn’t. He even kneeled down and asked. But spirit isn’t a parlor trick. They’re at rest. A relationship must be cultivated and understood between both parties, and patience.
One of my lovely students wrote to him: “I think unfortunately people in a lot of witch groups have an unfortunate tendency to assume that they will be stopped if they did something wrong. But that’s honestly just assuming that there’s far more order in our world than there is. I think it’s another form of the good things happen to good people fallacy. Some people are just jerks. Some spirits are just jerks. You unfortunately got a jerk. I personally would return the grave dirt and take back the offerings the spirit didn’t like, apologize, and not work with that one in particular any further. There’s a Japanese tradition to rub sea salt on your back before leaving an area where there are angry spirits so the spirit doesn’t follow you any further. I would do that as well.”
Here is the reality about life and getting what we need. We shouldn’t just take. And we must be patient when we ask, because the answer can be no, and we must respect that. But we must be patient. Most of all, it is audacious to assume the answer would be yes from a singular chance meeting. Walk up to a stone’s house and ask for a chair in exchange for a gift. This request to take of their land is just as audacious. But if your nice came to your home with a gift in exchange for a chair that she needs, for which will better her life? Well, she will probably get her chair.
Even spirits don’t have to like us, right?
I don’t necessarily like every person I come across.
Think about the living. We have our own prejudices and our own preferences when it comes to people. So… simply go to a different ‘club.’ We don’t belong in every circle and we don’t make friends everywhere we go. This cemetery is just not for you.
Also, the signs from spirit aren’t necessarily shown right away. AND build the relationship with the rested before taking the very first time. In some cases, you may not be allowed to take from a site.
In Hawaii, all of the land is a burial. You can NEVER take lava rock as it is part of Pele’s body, life, and the resting place of her mortal body. Many have taken the land, wanting a token or a souvenir of their vacation, but this little rock is part of her resting place, her home, and her body. Wouldn’t you be upset if someone took one of your knuckles?
The great Goddess Pele will literally kill you slowly with bad luck and misfortune until you’re hit by a bus or something. She is a God, which the spirits at rest are generally, not; however, spirits have the ability to do the some major damage, especially in a group.
Cemeteries are like book clubs… not all of them are welcoming. Find a different cemetery. Maybe one that speaks to you culturally. Maybe one that just feel comforting. One that you can feel the peace. You are taking part of someone’s home, so shouldn’t you feel welcome in their home, too? Trial and error. Return the dirt, leave the gifts as a “thanks for seeing me anyway” and move on to another book club.
There are many reasons why spells don’t work. Let’s look at all of them.
Self-care is bad
If you aren’t taking care of who you are, the energy you put out will be weak. A hammer needs energy to put in a nail. If you are weak, your ability to use the hammer is weak. Same with spells, but regarding energy. If you don’t take care of yourself, you are quite frankly ineffective.
Life Balance is bad – these need to be close to even:
Spiritual life and relationship
Your authentic relationship to your faith. Witchcraft is use of supernatural and preternatural. You need faith. Authentic faith.
Social and Family relationships
We are social creatures. Build your family and friends strong.
Career & Education aspirations
If you are unhappy with how your aspirations are being met, you need to change. You spend most of your life feeding this energy, make sure you aren’t feeding a ‘lemon.’
Money & Personal Finances
Need money? Change your life. Happy with how things are going? Then you’re all set.
Health, Recreation, and Leisure
Don’t have time to take care of yourself (see #1). Time to make space so you can have your leisure and recreation.
Your home and routines
Are you taking care of your home. Like where and how you live? This is important as it is where your energy ebbs and flows.
Relationship with your community and sense of belonging
Everyone needs to feel accepted and valued. If your community isn’t doing that, go searching for one that will.
Mental & Emotional health
Are you taking care of your mental and emotional health? Are you using creativity? Are you socializing? Are you going to therapy?
The kinds of spells you are doing are not in your talents
Many spell books are written from a practitioner. That practitioner has a specific set of beliefs (and if you don’t have the same, they may not work) and talents (and if you don’t have those talents, they may not work). Check your own talents here.
Copies from a faith of which you do not genuinely believe
Same notes as above. If you are reading from Aleister Crowley, and don’t believe in the Christian or Jewish pantheon, THESE WILL NOT WORK RIGHT!
Intention is not clear or not strong – you’re just playing with ingredients
Without a focus of energy and intention, you are not going to get anything to work. Hammer: If you wave a hammer willy nilly at a nail hoping it will just work, well, it won’t. You have to intend to nail the nail (or hammer the nail?).
Your ingredients are weak
Quality matters. A nail made of tin will do a worse job of holding up a heavy picture than a nail made of iron.
How you put your ingredients together are not skilled
Without practicing, skill does not develop. Don’t be impatient. Be patient and dedicated to practice until you succeed.
There was no actual ‘cast’ to send the spell or finish it
Same spells leave out the part that makes them finish the spell. You need to cast the spell. Just mixing isn’t necessarily enough (depends on the spell). How do you seal the deal?
If it can’t be explained, it can’t happen. But you can explain a lot. You probably can’t turn into a horse through explanation, though.
Asking for too much without the proper exchange
Magic need exchange. Energy, ingredients, devotion… Something. Just be willing to do what you need fully. There is no cheating. Everything comes at a cost.
Not Enough Effort (no follow through, and not energetically helping your spell to continue working)
Lazy begets lazy results. It’s that simple.
Not enough time to manifest
Unless you can bend time (some can), you need to allow for the spell to take place.
Not the way you wanted, but you did get what you asked for.
You probably should have been more specific. Just be careful what you ask for.
You aren’t focused
If you aren’t paying attention to hammering the nail, you could hurt yourself or damage the wall. Focus.
Not devoting to your deity/ not paying spirits/ not recharging the working
If you expect entities of deities to help, you need to cultivate relationships. More than you would with people. Authentic relationships. And if you say you are going to do something, you best do it.
Some people drawn to witchcraft or the hidden faiths are drawn because they want change or control over their life. Some because they feel they have never felt at peace with the faith they were handed when they were impressionable. Some are looking for a way to explain the hideous way the world has treated them. This article is for those last ones.
In almost every faith, there are shamans. Google will tell you that shamans are: “a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of good and evil spirits, especially among some peoples of northern Asia and North America. Typically such people enter a trance state during a ritual, and practice divination and healing.”
However, you’ll find them in Polynesia, in Africa, and in Europe, just under different names. What do they all have in common? They are doctors and nurses, just in the reality of their patient for which is unseen. They heal your soul through various means. Each practitioner will have their own beliefs and techniques to accomplish the same thing, and that is to repair, either through astral projection and soul retrieval, or in narrative repair, or even shadow work.
I have a list of items that if you meet, you should consider looking into shamanism, as it is practiced within your faith. In my faith, we are commonly called witchdoctors. We are doctors of a spiritual and emotional operation. We heal through song, dance, motivating, planning, talking, magical rituals, and trance. What the world could use right now, is more of us. So, let’s see if you’re a good fit.
You might want to consider being a shaman/witchdoctor if:
You have a family of ‘gifted’ people, and feel you can connect to others deeply and even connect to spirit
Were you born with a physical abnormality?
They say that people of African decent or red hair have the ability to contact the dead more than other races and genes, but I don’t have any evidence to back this up.
Were you struck by lighting?
Surviving a life-threatening experience
Have an illness with unrecognizable symptoms, which doctors can’t comprehend – its a strong sign of spiritual illness and a calling to shamanism
Coming back from an apparent death
Suffering from chronic or incurable pain
An uncanny closeness to nature
Disliking large gatherings because you’re introverted, and really enjoy spending time with yourself (not alone), despite having a social life. Shamans are travelers to other dimensions, even traveling to the dimension of the person you are talking to by relating and feeling what their experience is, takes much study alone first
Seeing in people what they don’t see in themselves, or ways to heal people or situations
Are you part of the LGBTQ+ community? Those who are connected to both genders are seen as having a higher connection to humanity and its spirit.
Seeing the same animal or teacher in your drams
Having vivid dreams
Feeling shifts when large people change in our world, either for good or for bad
Having feelings of a spiritual calling, but not feeling that the church is the way for you
Going through many traumatic experiences prepares you to help others with theirs.
If you have quite a few of these, it may be time to seek a teacher and start your training to becoming a Shaman.
Is there stigma? Sure. I’ve only recently gone public with my practice, but know this deep down: you are helping people. You are meeting your destiny.
You are helping people.
you are helping people
You are helping people.
Remember that you can always start your training with me at http://www.alycardinalli.com. I, like many other shamans, am very introverted, so I do all of my work remotely, working with students and clients through video chat.
And I always recommend that you read read read. Some of my favorite books are: “Animal Speak”, “Shamanic Journeying”, “Soul Retrieval”, “The Way of the Shaman”, and of course I have more if you exhaust this. Feel free to reach out if you would like to being your own healer journey. Let’s make more healers accessible to the world.
Want to know where to start as a witch? Maybe you are working in witchcraft or a folk religion and you don’t know why your magic isn’t working. Take this quiz! and if you want to be linked to other articles once you’ve found out your base element, check them out:
Something that no one ever thinks about when it comes to the struggles of being a psychic is the need for body work.
Having a massuer to clean up the scar tissue you’ve developed or to work out an injury, or just to break down that knot that you’ve been developing from the tension of your day job, is vital to anyone’s physical health. And I’m going to tell you that physical health is imperative to sensitives. If you don’t take care of the body that feels everything (and I mean everything), then you can overload your nervous system, creating somatic disorders like fibromyalgia, chronic pain disorders, and ibs, or you can create anxiety or mood disorders.
In other words, I’m constantly preaching about taking care of your body. But what if… what if you require the help from someone else? Like a massuer.
I’m the kind of sensitive that people feel that I am connecting to them, and they hand me their darkness to hold for them. Usually verbally. They will explain something dark (like holding onto hair clippings and ashes from their late husband and stroking them good night before bed) or an internal battle that they can’t seem to manage with everything else. Like going to a therapist, the act of talking to a stranger feel cathartic and like they don’t have to hold it.
BUT that’s not my job when you are supposed to be doing yours! Ok, so I have struggled with finding massuer for three reasons:
1) If they internalize what they work on, I don’t want them. I have the experience and tools to handle the kinds of things that hit my nervous system and consciousness. Someone who does not to pull that stuff out and experience would be traumatic to their system. I’m coming to get my body worked on, not to dump on someone else. That’s irresponsible.
2) They don’t do self care enough. They end up telling me their life story or their darkness, adding to my need to someone in the first place.
3) They just aren’t good? I don’t go for a relaxing massage. When I get body work done, I need them to really beat out the garbage in my body.
So here is the problem. How do you find a body worker that you don’t read when they start touching you?
Oof! Ugh! I don’t know, but when you do, hang on tight. I’ve had two amazing ones over the years. One in Tahoe (yeah, I’d fly to Lake Tahoe just to get my body fixed). And I have one here in Maryland. Unfortunately, my worker in Maryland just left the practice and I have no idea what his last name is to try to find him, again.
Once the pandemic is over, I start the hunt for a body worker all over again. A healthy, non-sensitive body worker.
I can’t tell you how many people will read this wanting to take a short cut into the world of witchcraft. I’m going to tell you that there isn’t one. But I will tell you this:
There is a basic formula to making spells work.
First, you’ll read over and over again that your intent needs to be clean and clear. Yes, this is very true. Imagine that your first ingredient to your spell is water (the water represents your overall health). If you are murky in any parts of your life, your spell work will also be murky. Here is why:
The energy we give off is the first catalyst to making anything we want happen.
Give that a thought.
I mean, that makes sense, right? Even just in how you talk. If you are in pain, or hungry (upsetting a ease in your existence), then how you behave is affected by how you feel. And if your tone isn’t a clear intention to what you want, then your intent is murky.
In other words, your WHOLE self needs to be intact and healthy before even attempting spell work.
I tell all of my students this: End your toxic relationships, fill you time back up with giving ones. If you are toxic, start new habits and stop taking from other people because even you wont function requiring people to “need” you. Go to therapy. Learn something every day.
Get off of social media so much! Comparing yourself to the world online is bad for your mental health. You wont ever make it to the facade that is social media. Be living in the life you have and make it the life you want. Focus on that, not others’ posts.
Get creative. Take a dance class. Sing. Paint. Cross-stitch. However you do it, creativity helps fight depression.
Guys, exercise! It doesn’t mean you have to climb a mountain. In America, it’s always a “all or nothing” mentality. You don’t have to join CrossFit in order to check this box. Just move! Learn what your limits are, and give them a nudge. There are so many things you could do to fulfill this requirement. Just move.
Eat more vegetables. You need vitamins. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan. I very much believe in the power of meat. But your body is a temple, and you get to decide what goes in it. Again, there are so many options out there. It should make you feel good and fulfill the proteins, carbs, and fats (and vitamins) needed for your diet. Also, if the only way you are feeling good is to over-indulge in food, go back to mind health.
You should not be over-indulging in anything for your body to ‘feel’ good, or to prevent it from feeling. Stop destroying your ride.
Get enough sleep, and make it good sleep.
Drink more water
Become or reconnect with something greater than yourself. Yes, it’s that simple. Being the end all of your reality can be overwhelming. Reaching out to a mother or father on a spiritual plane helps build your self-worth.
Socialization is an important part of keeping yourself healthy. It can be with one person, on a facetime date, or you can do a watch party. Either way, no man is an island. Islands are islands. People are social. Find someone to be social with in a healthy and consent-full way. Build up your tribe and your support system.
Are all the boxes checked?
Then your water should be clear and its time to get down to spell casting!
For too long people of an ostracized faith, or people of folk religions and rituals, feel isolated, lost, and in need of support and guidance.
I’m so happy you have a community. I’m seeing more and more access to groups and communities for those who believe in more than one deity, or for those who want to thank their land, can meet and connect. But within every community there needs to be teachers.
But I want to teach. I want to help guide and counsel. I want that feeling of loneliness for the sensitives and those faithful to the mystical land to flow away. I’ve always been a teacher of the performing arts, and the culture that goes with it. What I’ve collected, and kept to myself, is the culture and arts that stem from dancing and singing. The old faith. People call this the ‘occult,’ but I don’t believe in the devil, personally. I do believe in evil, and I believe in good. I believe in balance. And I believe in giving to my community by reminding them of their humanity. This includes faith.
My grandmother taught me the old faith, quietly, for several years when my dad and stepmother dropped us off at her house when they both had to work. Her blend was with Christianity, which mien wasn’t. She still guides me today. Telling me that it’s ok to share our ways, to teach more people, to open up the doors of a beautiful world of our faith and to encourage others to believe and heal as well.
Along my path of signing and dancing, and acting, I’ve hidden the part of spirit that connected so deeply with me. The part where I just know about my students, what an audience needs in that moment, and the whispers of the dead backstage and the comfort of my own home. With the support of my family, I’m able to take off the costumes of being only a performer, and show my real skin to the world around me. Offering me a life where I can help people. And this life has been overwhelmingly welcoming.
There is no need to feel lost or without someone to help guide, anymore. No need to hide. We can be secret without being shamed or afraid. My job is to teach and counsel, reminding us of the culture, history, and paths we are all to build around us.
Just think of me as the schoolhouse teacher of the occult for all ages and levels, managing the education as best as I can for those who want it.
I currently teach at http://www.zinzeudo.com. I am able to teach to people all over the world, now, with this pandemic. This is a time to self-heal. To spiritual rediscover and actualize yourself. And to have access to spiritual teachers who are there to help you, not take advantage of the broken.
I’m currently teaching three regular classes with them, and I hope to have offerings for children and teens of the ‘old faith’ community as well. They may need it the most.
And with that, I ask for this in return. Some of us are different. We are sensitive in ways we can hardly explain. I wish I had had the help to understand the clair-sensitive world around me, but I was lost and alone in this discovery. Without stigma, I offer guidance for those in the way I wish I had.
We all want to be understood. We all need spiritual healing. We all need to be told “it’s going to be ok.”
CARTOMANCY is fortune telling using cards such as the Tarot.
DOWSING or DIVINING RODS are methods of divination where a forked stick is used to locate water or precious minerals.
SCRYING is a general term for divination using a crystal, mirrors, bowls of water, ink, or flames to induce visions.
ANTHROPOMANCY is the long-outlawed means of divination by human sacrifice.
Uni-Elemental Divination Types
ALOMANCY is divination by table salt.
CRYSTALLOMANCY is divination through crystal gazing.
CLEROMANCY is divination by “casting lots”, similar to dice but with objects such as pebbles or sea shells, runes.
CYCLOMANCY is the practice of divination from a turning wheel.
GEOMANCY is the study of figures on the ground and the influence of the Earth’s “currents”.
GYROMANCY is a divination procedure where a person walks in a circle marked with letters until they become dizzy and stumble at different points, thus spelling out a prophesy.
HALOLMANCY see ALOMANCY
LITHOMANCY is divination using precious stones of various colors.
SORTILEGE is the casting of lots and the assessment of omens indicated (See CLEROMANCY)
RUNE CASTING is the throwing of various materials, but are most commonly made of stone, and feature a symbol from the runic alphabet on them (CLEROMANCY).
SPODOMANCY is divination using cinders or soot.
TEPHRAMANCY is divination by ashes obtained from the burning of tree bark.
AEROMANCY divination from the air and sky, particularly concentrating on cloud shapes, comets, and other phenomena not normally visible in the heavens.
AUSTROMANCY is divination by the study of the winds.
BELOMANCY is an ancient form of divination performed by tossing or balancing arrows.
BIBLIOMANCY involves divination by books.
CAPNOMANCY is the study of smoke rising from a fire.
GASTROMANCY is an ancient form of ventriloquism whereby the voice is lowered to a sepulchral tone and prophetic utterances are delivered in a trance state.
GELOSCOPY is the divination from the tone of someone’s laughter.
GRAPHOLOGY is the analysis of character through handwriting.
LIBANOMANCY is the study of incense and its smoke.
ONOMANCY is the study of the meaning of names.
ONOMANTICS is the application of ONOMANCY applied to personal names, particularly in the sense of occult interpretation.
PSYCHOGRAPHY is a form of mysterious writing having a divinatory nature.
RHAPSODOMANCY is a means of divination using a book of poetry whereby the book is opened at random and a passage read.
STICHOMANCY is another form of throwing open a book and selecting a random passage for the purpose of divination.
CEROSCOPY, CEROMANCY is a form of fortune telling in which melted wax was is poured into cold water.
HARUSPICATION is fortune-telling by means of inspecting the entrails of animals, as practiced by priests in ancient Rome.
HIEROMANCY or HIERSCOPY is divination by observing entrails of sacrifice.
HYDROMANCY is divination by water including the color, ebb and flow, or ripples produced by pebbles dropped in a pool.
LECANOMANCY uses a basin of water for divination.
MARGARITOMANCY is the procedure of using bouncing pearls.
OMPHALOMANCY IS counting the number of knots in the umbilical cord to predict how many more children the mother will have
OOMANTIA and OOSCOPY is the method of divination by eggs.
OVOMANCY is another type of egg divination.
PEGOMANCY concerns itself with spring water and bubbling fountains and the omens contained therein.
SCRYING is a general term for divination using a crystal, mirrors, bowls of water, ink, or flames to induce visions.
APANTOMANCY is divination through chance meetings with animals (e.g., a black cat), birds, and other creatures. Mexico City is said to have been founded where Aztec soothsayers saw an eagle flying from a cactus carrying a live snake.
AUGURY is the general term for the art of divination and is chiefly applied to interpretations of signs and omens.
CROMNIOMANCY is divination using onion sprouts.
DENDROMANCY is divination with either oak or mistletoe.
HIPPOMANCY is a form of divination from the stamping and neighing of horses.
MOLEOSOPHY is the study of moles and indicators of a person’s character and future indications.
MYOMANCY is the study of the prophetic meaning of behavior of rats and mice.
OCULOMANCY is divination from a person’s eye.
ORNISCOPY and ORINITHOMANCY is the study of omens associated with birds, particularly birds in flight. see APANTOMANCY
PHYSIOGNOMY is the study of character analysis through physical features.
ALEUROMANCY is divination using “fortune cookies”; answers to questions are rolled into balls of dough and once baked are chosen at random.
ALPHITOMANCY uses special cakes that are digestible by persons with a clear conscience but are unpleasant to others.
AXIOMANCY is divination through the observation of how an ax or hatchet quivers or points when driven into post.
CAUSIMOMANCY is divination from behavior of objects placed in a fire.
COSCINOMANCY is divination using a hanging sieve It is clear that the sieve was suspended from the shears in such a way that the cutting edges of the blades made tangents to the outer rim of the sieve. Thus suspended the sieve is capable of some sideways movement, or even of dropping.
CRITOMANCY is the study of barley cakes.
DAPHNOMANCY requires one to listen to laurel branches crackling in an open fire.
LAMPADOMANCY is divination using lights or torches.
METOPOSCOPY is the reading of character using the lines if the forehead.
MOLYBDOMANCY draws mystic inferences from the hissing of molten lead.
PYROMANCY and PYROSCOPY are forms of divination by fire or flame, often assisted by substances thrown onto the flames.
SIDEROMANCY is the burning of straws with a hot iron, the resulting figures having divinatory properties.
STOLISOMANCY draws omens from the way people dress.
XYLOMANCY is divination from pieces of wood, either from their shape when collected or their appearance while burning.
ASTROLOGY is divination using celestial bodies: the sun, moon, planets, and stars.
ARITHMANCY or ARITHMOMANCY is an earlier form of NUMEROLOGY where divination is made through numbers and the number value of letters.
ASTRAGLOMANCY or ASTRAGYROMANCY is a form of divination by dice where the faces of the dice bear numbers and letters.
BUMPOLOGY strictly a modern term, a popular nickname for PHRENOLOGY
CHIROMANCY is divination from the lines on people’s hands.
CHIROGNOMY is the study of the general hand formation.
CLIDOMANCY or CLEIDOMANCY is divination using a dangling keys.
GENETHLIALOGY is divination by the influence of the stars at birth.
HOROSCOPY is the practice of casting of astrological horoscopes.
NUMEROLOGY is the numerical interpretation of numbers, dates, and the number value of letters.
ONEIROMANCY is the interpretation of dreams and their prophetic nature.
ONYCHOMANCY is the study of fingernails.
PALMISTRY is the broad field of divination and interpretation of the lines and structure of the hand.
PHRENOLOGY is the long practiced study of head formations.
TIROMANCY is a type of divination using cheese.
arachnomancy by spiders web and behavior
nggàm theriomancy by spider or crab behavior
CLAIRAUDIENCE is “clear hearing” of divinatory information. Parapsychologist generally regard as a form of extrasensory perception.
CLAIRVOYANCE is “clear seeing” of divinatory information. Parapsychologist generally regard as a form of extrasensory perception.
CEPHALOMANCY refers to divination with the skull or head of a donkey or goat.
DEMONOMANCY is divination with the aid of demons.
METAGNOMY is the divination using “visions” received in a trance state.
PSYCHOMETRY is the faculty of gaining impressions from a physical object and its history.
SCIOMANCY is divination using a spirit guide, a method generally employed by chanelers.
Combination Elemental Divination
RADIESTHESIA is the general term for divination using a device such as a divining rod or pendulum. by rods, pendulums, or other cylindrical tools
PHYLLORHODOMANCY is a means of divination whereby one slaps a rose petal against the hand and judges the favorability of the omen by the loudness of the sound.
DACTYLOMANCY is an early form of RADIESTHESIA using a dangling ring.
METEOROMANCY is divination from meteors.
CERAUNOSCOPY seeks to draw omens from the study of thunder and lightning.
ALECTRYOMANCY is divination whereby a bird is allowed to pick corn grains from a circle of letters. A variation is to recite letters of the alphabet noting those at which a cock crows.
Psychography is a form of writing that’s defined as automatic writing, writing produced by a spiritual, occultic, or subconscious agency rather than by the conscious intention of the writer.
CATOPTROMANCY is an early form of crystal gazing that utilizes a mirror turned to the moon to catch moonbeams.
ICHTHYOMANCY is divination using fish.
RHABDOMANCY is divination using a stick or wand. These methods were forerunners of the divining rod.
SYCOMANCY is performed by writing messages on tree leaves; the slower they dry, the more favorable the omen. A modern variation is to write on slips of paper (always including one blank) and rolling them up. They are then held in a strainer over a boiling pot; the first to unroll will be answered.
TASSEOGRAPHY is the reading of tea leaves that remain in a tea cup once the beverage has been drunk.
BOTANOMANCY is divination from burning tree branches and leaves.
OPHIOMANCY is divination from serpents.
PRECOGNITION in an inner knowledge or sense of future events.
I’m teaching a class on basic witchcraft, and I like to start with honing your innate skills. I’ve created this basic chart of elemental categories in order to figure out what you gravitate to first. Sort of like a “sorting hat.”
I’ve included the chart below:
Highlight all of the items that strongly resonate with you. All of them! Even if your judgement says that something is/are negative.
At that point, I assign basic spells in each category but encourage you to start with the category that resonates with you first. In theory, this should be your base element. In order to strengthen yourself magically, you should start in your base element to get the connection you have to nature stronger. As you connect, you’ll find that other elements become easier, but you’re probably going to want to go back to your base element/s.
As someone who works in witchcraft, you should have a comprehensive knowledge of and ability in every area, even if you don’t necessarily excel.
You may notice that defense and protection aren’t really on here. The reason why is this: if you are protecting your home, it should incorporate all of the elements to ensure attack will be prevented.
Here is my disclaimer: I am aware that in many northern European faiths, elements are broken down into Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Spirit. Great! I don’t use Earth because everything is our Earth. The air is part of Earth and water and fire and our spirit always connects us to the energy of which our ‘aina gives us. But I think you understand what I mean in the area above. Also, you’ll see that Earth is basically separated in two areas. One of which is stabilizing and one of which is growing. I do strongly believe that they are different areas of interest and intent, as I believe so does our environment. You’ll probably also notice that time is an element in and of itself. We only are a part of our reality because we experience, recall, and recite it. Without the concept of time and how it affects us, we are not.
I’m also aware that some simplify it down further: below, here, above. I think for beginners, this concept over simplifies because this structure naturally combines many elements in the craft. If a new student fails at one area within a spell, they may wrongly determine that they are unable or that the spell itself doesn’t work. It’s probably one of two things: 1) the ingredients are incorrect or weak, or 2) the practitioner is not connected to one of the aspects of our world. The Below/Here/Above is a fantastic simplification for craft workers who are more able or more naturally connected, and for those who are more acquainted or (dare I say) advanced.
Either way, I find that knowing who you are and your natural strengths, then nurturing those first, will incur stronger results and a stronger faith.
Finally, this may clarify pantheon, patron saints/deities, and a belief structure. This is what is lovely about Benedicaria, if I may? Instead of being boxed into worship of the Norse pantheon, or the Cult of Diana, this allows for you to really connect to a deity worship that matches your connection from your heart to your environment. From your mana to your ‘aina. From you soul to the land.
“Benedicaria, which means “Way of Blessing,” is a relatively new term for a number of loosely related family-based folk traditions found throughout Italy, most notably in southern Italy and Sicily. Though referred to by some as “Folk Magic” or even as “Witchcraft,” the various Benedicaria Traditions are concerned almost exclusively with healing, cleansing, spirituality, and religious devotion.”
Yeah. Ok. That’s pretty close! And the reason this is the definition was simply survival. Catholicism was the main religion throughout Europe for quite some time, and in order not to be killed for following the old faith, a combination of the faiths emerged.
When people ask me to describe my faith or name it, I’ve always had a hard time answering the question because it isn’t as simple as a straight forward dogma. It’s “the things we do and have always done.” Now that I am out and about in the pagan community, the witchcraft community, and the community of the occult and spiritualism, I just didn’t find that any of their definitions and boundaries fit. I don’t like the word spiritualism or mysticism because they bring about a vagueness of not wanting to commit from your soul to who you are and what you believe. They’re like that boy-toy you had that just wouldn’t commit to you and yet you kept him around because he made you feel good about yourself. I don’t like the blanket term pagan because of the connotation it brings with it. It also just sounds like I believe in mythology (which we all do to an extent, right?). I’m not just a Stregha because I don’t follow all their holidays, rights, and systems. My grandmother was from Sicily, and we just didn’t name it. We didn’t talk about it. She was Catholic, yes, but what I learned wasn’t Catholic. My mother believed in the Earth and what it gives you. But my spiritual awakening came when I went into my African roots and let them rush over me like a violent river whose damn had held back the fresh water and the murk from thousands of generations. What do we call this?
Benedicaria. It’s a folk religion (specific doctrines and practices that are not recognized by formalized religion… I always tell people, like the Native Americans), that is comprised of cultures that influence/d the practitioner.
Now, I have dedicated myself as a cultural teacher, which means that I teach the performing arts, so to pass down experiences and to remind us of our humanity and how to treat one another. I teach the faith. I teach responsible use of witchcraft. I also heal and curse and talk to the dead. I also banish what should not be there and invite what could. My job as a spiritual teacher is not to judge the world around me, but to help it to continue.