Why Halloween is Better than Christmas

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It’s that time of year. Temps in the northern hemisphere are dropping. Leaves are burning. JoAnne’s and Michael’s have begun stocking their shelves with skulls, potion bottles, and lovely short top hats decorated with orange and black lace, which I covet deeply. And we are ALL ABOUT IT. We are the heathens (not to be confused with actual Heathens) who start screaming when the skeletons come out.

THIS IS HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY MAKE A SCENE.

At the same time, when Christmas stuff hits the shelves October, we are fucking disgusted. What the FUCK new hell is this anyway? Why do we have to deal with this shit before Thanksgiving has even come?

But why is this? Is it because we hate Christmas? I’m sure some of us do, for reasons I plan to illuminate a little later. But I’m equally sure most of us don’t. I personally LOVE Christmas. After Halloween, it’s my second favorite holiday. There is certainly a little more nostalgia for it, and less cynicism, then, say… Valentine’s Day, which we all agree is nothing more than an exercise in corporate greed fueled by relationship guilt on the part of people who have been phoning it in on their relationships for the rest of the year.

So if the problem isn’t Christmas itself, then why is it acceptable to start Halloween in August and celebrate it the whole month of October, but Christmas needs to calm its tits until at least after Thanksgiving, if not until December itself?

EXPECTATIONS.

This is my argument, and it’s based on observation and my own opinions. I will not be butthurt if anyone disagrees.

Christmas is great. The peaceful majesty of a winter’s morn, scent of pine and cinnamon and sugar cookies, holly berries and mistletoe, songs we memorized when we were four and can, with the right audience, still belt out with just as much enthusiasm. Beautiful lights and displays everywhere, demonstrations of generosity that don’t get nearly as much attention the rest of the year, and that nebulous thing we call ‘Christmas Spirit’. Rankin Bass movies. Delightful. And of course, old legends of Santa Claus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Rudolph, Frosty, Krumpus… you name it, we have a lot of great stories to tell and a lot of fantastic characters to populate them with. Our Christmas Pantheon continues to grow with additions of Jack Frost and Elsa. This is a great time of year to be a kid, and even if you’re an adult, one or two presents might be in store… even if you have to use the season as an excuse to TREAT YO SELF. Point is, this is the TIME.

But Christmas also puts a hell of a lot of stress on people that Halloween really doesn’t. The presents don’t come down the chimney, as much as we wish they could. We have to plan them, spend money on them, wrap them, and sometimes ship them. We have to fill out cards for seasons greetings because if we don’t, some relative will take it into their heads that we need a good scolding to practice the basic courtesy of sending cards at Christmas. After the gifts, there’s the thank-you notes. Not to mention the holiday shopping crush. Family get-togethers fill people with all kinds of dread – even if you and your parents get along, that’s no guarantee Aunt Edith isn’t waiting in the wings to make you miserable. And many people do not get on with their parents, but on Christmas they are expected to forgive and forget, and share holiday cheer with people who may have mistreated, misunderstood, or flat-out abused them. If they try to opt out, extended family will get involved in the guilt trip, but it’s not just that – complete strangers often feel the right to judge other peoples’ holiday practices. “It’s Christmas, the season of giving. Make up with your father!” Well, thanks, but considering the sort of person my father is, maybe I’d rather not. Maybe my Christmas gift is not letting that person have any contact with me whatsoever. Maybe, like Clark Griswold’s scroogely neighbors, you just want to spend Christmas sitting in the dark with a glass of wine. In my humble opinion that’s just fine – you do you – but I’m not the one having opinions all over you. Everybody ELSE has opinions. And those opinions so often seem to center more around ideals of Christmas that many of us have not achieved since we hit 20 than what’s actually best for us as people.

With all this expectation weighing down, it’s really no surprise that we sort of want to CONTAIN Christmas. Like, Christmas is fine. It just needs to stay in December, where it belongs. The significance of gifts to the holiday makes early displays seem greedy. We see them in a way we don’t see Halloween decorations – as corporations who just want to maximize their fourth-quarter sales by profiting off our holiday stress. Fuck them for that, because you know they’ll hold the most popular toys until the height of the frenzy just to jack the prices up and bilk us for more than we can give. Our generosity is their gain, and we spend our hard-earned money, which many of us can ill afford, on presents many of the recipients won’t even be very grateful for. We’re OBLIGATED. We don’t like being reminded of that obligation. Christmas belongs in December.

More and more as I’ve spent time on Tumblr with people who run in the same circles I do, i.e. people who celebrate Christmas as a cultural holiday and not necessarily a religious one, I’ve seen people saying they just don’t FEEL the way they used to do when Christmas season comes around. Posts start circulating that read, “does anybody feel like it isn’t really Christmas?” or “Christmas seems WEIRD to me this year” or “time is passing and Christmas is coming but it just doesn’t seem real for some reason – I can’t get engaged.” Many of these OPs feel like they’ve lost some crucial element of the plot. Christmas used to be special, but now it’s just more weight on already-laden shoulders. You lose the magic when you become an adult. That’s just how it is, right?

But it’s not, and Halloween proves it. Halloween carries minimal expectations. You don’t even have to participate if you don’t want to, and if you don’t, NO ONE WILL JUDGE YOU. There are entire religious movements-worth of people who boycott Halloween, so being willing to sit quietly and let it pass you by will not draw any judgement from family or friends (unless your friends, like me, are Halloween fanatics, but even I try to be gentle). You don’t HAVE to dress up. You don’t HAVE to hit the haunted attractions. You don’t HAVE to pass out candy, decorate your house, or wear cobwebs and cauldron earrings when late August comes around. You can, but you don’t have to. It’s entirely your choice.

Halloween isn’t weighty, it’s whimsical. You can spend just as much money on Halloween as you do on Christmas – believe me, I’ve accomplished this. Yet, for some reason, it doesn’t feel like being bilked. Halloween displays set out in craft stores have the same whimsical feel as the holiday, sharing space with thanksgiving and generic autumn decor. Aside from trick-or-treat, Halloween traditions are your own to make. My family watches Rocky Horror Picture Show on Halloween night, and fills the months leading up to it with Scary Godmother, The Worst Witch, Halloweentown, and all the old horror movie marathons they run on TV networks. Your community will offer events, like potlocks, autumn carnivals with apple-bobbing and witch-darts, and you may have pumpkin farms around for visiting. Hot apple cider with cloves and caramel warms you inside just like hot chocolate does. The food is amazing – candied apples, pumpkin pie, reeses pumpkins, candy corn, popcorn balls, kettle corn, and of course, all the candy you can eat. Every year there are lists of Halloween treats circulating that expand our repertoire – butterbeer, cauldron cakes, devil’s food cookies, and green slime popcorn balls to name a few. We make acid pops and bubbling brews in noxious colors that are really just punch and soda served in bottles labeled “arsenic” and “witch’s brew”. Drop some plastic eyeballs in the punch bowl, put spiders on your cookies. Go wild. But none of this has the hefty weight of family tradition following it around. No one’s going to be disappointed if your ‘feast’ doesn’t include caramel apples, or if you don’t have a feast at all. In effect, anything you do is not an obligation, and because it is not an obligation, it is still SPECIAL. It is DELIGHTFUL. It is an expression of holiday joy that didn’t have to be dragged out of you – you did it willingly.

You don’t have to visit family on Halloween. You might choose to, certainly – we used to bring Grandma along on trick-or-treat night, Boo at the Zoo, and community center events. But if you don’t, if you keep to yourself all Halloween season, you’re not ‘ungrateful’ or ‘unsociable’ or a family black sheep. If you want to decorate the inside of your house and not the outside, keep all the treats in your own kitchen, buy your own discount candy, and quietly sip wine and eat licorice at midnight while watching a Friday the 13th marathon in your Jack Skellington pajamas… no one will contest your absolute right to spend Halloween in this way. Just keep your porch light off so we don’t think you’re involved, and you can have the night to yourself and whatever spooky delights actually delight YOU. And if the stress gets to you and you miss Halloween… it’s not the tragedy that missing Christmas can be. You haven’t failed anyone, except maybe yourself if you were really looking forward to it. And plenty of communities, here and elsewhere, will help you get your fill of spooky all year round.

These are some of the reasons I think we respond to Halloween with joy, and to Christmas with cynicism. I have my own thoughts on reclaiming Christmas, which I’ll share later in the year when they become more relevant. But Halloween doesn’t need reclaiming – it’s always been ours and no one forced us into it.

Thoughts? Comments? Personal stories and experiences? I’m dying to hear them all.
samhaineveningpost, evilsupplyco

Hekate’s Deipnon and Black Dog Expiation Ritual

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The Deipnon is the time when offerings are made to Hekate and her procession of the restless dead, who emerge from the Underworld on the nights of the new moon.  This is a time of cleansing for the household, and traditionally involves cleaning the altar or ritual space, clearing out old unused food from the cupboards, and sweeping up the leavings of any offerings such as incense and ashes.  Traditionally, these leavings would be offered to Hekate at her roadside shrine along with eggs, leeks, garlic, and sometimes cakes.  Though these foods were intended to placate ghosts, they were often eaten by the very poor, a phenomenon so ubiquitous that the Aristophanes famously said, “Ask Hekate whether it is better to be rich or starving; she will tell you that the rich send her a meal every month and that the poor make it disappear before it is even served.”

  • Clean your home, with a special focus on the pantry, the fridge, and shrines or altars.
  • If you have non-perishable food, or other goods you aren’t using, donate them to an organization that serves the poor in Hekate’s name.  A reminder: socks, menstrual products, and toiletries are among the most-needed items at food banks and homeless shelters.  Also consider donating a treat, like candy, a cake mix, or boxed cookies – for the very poor, small pleasures are a big deal!
  • Collect the ashes of incense and offerings, old salt used for cleansings, burnt-down candle stubs, and any crumbs you swept out of the pantry or refrigerator.  Offer these to Hekate at the crossroads around sunset.  Remember, once you set the offerings down, you have summoned the procession – leave, and don’t look back!
  • The Deipnon is the last month of the Athenian calendar, and as such, debts and obligations were due to be repaid.  If you have any outstanding obligations, make sure you either fulfill them or take significant steps toward fulfilling them.  This includes debts to the gods.
  • If you choose to pour libations and offer prayers, remember that water was a standard libation to the Kthonioi!  Here is one translation of the Orphic Hymn to Hekate – you may choose to use a different translation if you prefer it:

Hekate Einodia, Trioditis, lovely dame, of earthly, watery, and celestial frame, sepulchral, in a saffron veil arrayed, pleased with dark ghosts that wander through the shade; Perseis, solitary goddess, hail! The world’s key-bearer, never doomed to fail; in stags rejoicing, huntress, nightly seen, and drawn by bulls, unconquerable queen; Leader, Nymphe, nurse, on mountains wandering, hear the suppliants who with holy rites thy power revere, and to the herdsman with a favouring mind draw near.

The Black Dog – An Expiation and Divination Ritual for Hekate’s Deipnon

In Ancient Greece, when an individual or their household felt they may have given offense to Hekate, it was traditional to offer her an animal sacrifice in the form of a black dog.  Remember that black animals were especially associated with chthonic deities.  After the dog had been sacrificed, its entrails/organs were read (this practice was referred to as haruspicina, extispicium, or hepatoscopy – today we call it haruspicy) in order to determine whether the sacrifice had been accepted and the sins of the family forgiven.  Hellenic Practitioners today are unlikely to want to sacrifice a live animal, so this rite involves the creation of a non-living ‘scapegoat’ to be sacrificed in its stead.

This can be done in a number of ways.  You may make a clay model of a black dog, or you may stitch a poppet (since this is meant to be left outside on the ground, try to use biodegradable materials such as natural cotton).  If you’re not very crafty, use a black sharpie to draw and fill in a black dog on a piece of (preferably red) construction paper.  If you choose to draw the dog on paper or cloth, that paper or cloth can be the surface you use for the subsequent divination.

Once you have made  your scapegoat, carry it to each member of your household (if they are open to participating).  Have them touch or rub their hands on the scapegoat as if they are trying to rub dirt off their hands – this process transfers the guilt of the household, or ‘miasma’, onto the scapegoat.

Once the scapegoat has had an opportunity to absorb the miasma of the household, you may offer it to Hekate in order to purge the ill from your home.  Such offerings are traditionally made at three-way crossroads, but you may also make them on any spot of natural earth, as is traditional for chthonic deities.  If you, specifically, have done wrong or failed Hekate in some way, consider confessing to the scapegoat before sacrificing it.

The actual sacrifice will depend on the material used for your scapegoat.  If you made it out of clay, you could smash it.  A poppet or paper/cloth drawing could be stabbed with a ritual knife.  Consider pouring a libation of water sweetened with honey or, if you can get it, waste blood from a butcher (because a little bribery never hurts).  You may then perform whatever divination you prefer, or engage in meditation to receive messages and, hopefully, forgiveness from Hekate.  Remember, once you get up to leave your offerings, don’t look back – it’s considered unlucky and a severe breach of etiquette when dealing with Hekate and the dead.

*A personal note: If you are both crafty and not easily squicked, the most potent form of scapegoat I have made was an (admittedly crude) model of a dog made from simple mud mixed with ground charcoal or black salt, wetted with butcher’s blood.  These are easy to make, cost almost nothing, and have a lot of oomph where offerings are concerned.  You can bake it on low heat on a piece of waxed paper in the oven to harden it so it can be broken properly during the sacrifice or leave it soft and stab it with a knife; whatever suits you.  Just be sure to thoroughly wash the blood off your hands before the rite – though you should cleanse before a ritual anyway (see posts on khernips, or lustral water).

A Bindrune for Chronic Pain

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A bindrune to alleviate chronic pain and a little chant to go with it: Laguz, sained with blood thou be,  loosen now the flow in me Jera turn the wheel my body bring to heel Eihwaz straighten at the bend power to this bindrune lend Wunjo set the pain to flight Naudhiz bind it out of site. Yes, I meant ‘site’, not 'sight’, as in 'off-site’, as in, 'away from me’.  I like my plays on words.

A bindrune to alleviate chronic pain and a little chant to go with it.  For best results, trace the shape of each rune as you speak its verse:

Laguz, sained with blood thou be, 

loosen now the flow in me

Jera turn the wheel

my body bring to heel

Eihwaz straighten at the bend

power to this bindrune lend

Wunjo set the pain to flight

Naudhiz bind it out of site.

Yes, I meant ‘site’, not ‘sight’, as in ‘off-site’, as in, ‘away from me’.  I like my plays on words.

Sonne’s Bad Penny/GTFO Spell

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Once upon a time I was at a spirituality group, which was led by a NeoWiccan woman I’ll call J for now.  While we were sharing the events of our week J confessed she has a relative who is involved in an online relationship.  This relationship was throwing up all kinds of red flags and the person in question kept changing their story – age, hometown, occupation – in ways that made J question whether this person really exists, or whether there’s some sort of scam, monetary or emotional, taking place.  I listened sympathetically and when she’d finished, I asked, “So are you going to do anything about it?”

She blinked at me.  “Well, I can’t.  He’s a legal adult.”

I stared at her for a long moment and just barely refrained from saying, “Woman, are you a witch or aren’t you?!”

Sonne’s Bad Penny GTFO Spell
You will need:

  • One bad penny.  Filthy, oxidized, green, cut up in a garbage disposal.  Don’t have one?  Make one. (or go to the local bank and ask the teller to trade for their nastiest penny – I guarantee you they have one)
  • About 5-6 inches square black construction paper or fabric if it suits you
  • About 24 inches black or white thread, twine, yarn, whatever you’ve got
  • Scissors
  • Glue, possibly craft glue
  • A bowl of salted water

For the purposes of this walk-through, let’s name our bad penny Scrappy because I doubt anyone anywhere will object.  First, we want to take our black fabric or paper and cut out a human shape.  It doesn’t need to be perfect, just needs to have arms, legs, and a head.  Next, name your penny.  Note: I’ve included rhyming chants because I like them.  If you don’t like them, feel free not to use them.  If you’re a better poet than I am (which is very likely) feel free to come up with better ones as long as you share them with the class.

Scrappy I name thee
As Scrappy is, so shall you be
To Scrappy comes what comes to thee
Scrappy be bound by what binds thee
Power over Scrappy I give to thee
To heal or harm by my decree

While you name the penny, turn it over and over in your palm and focus on the face of the person you want to GTFO of your life (or your naive relative’s life).  Say their name as if you’re calling them.  Don’t worry about touching and handling the penny, we’ll take care of that later.

Now glue your bad penny to the head of the human shape you cut out.  Let it dry if it needs to.  Then wrap some thread around the head, binding it around the middle.

Bad Penny be bound
Don’t come back around
Now up is down
around and around
your thoughts confound

Fold the head down onto the chest so the top line of the arms is straight across.  Fold each arm behind the back, as if you’re tying their arm behind them, and wrap any excess length around the torso to create a tight packet and wrap the thread around the upper torso to tie the arms down.

Bad Penny confound
Your hands are bound
I tie you down
Don’t come back around!

Next, if your figure is big enough, fold it back across the torso, like a contortionist bending backward (this is supposed to be uncomfortable for the person you’re hexing).  Wrap your thread a couple more times.

I bind your back
your spine to crack
your center to throw
away you go!

Now fold up the legs of the figure and wrap them around.  You should now have a tight packet of paper or cloth wrapped around the bad penny at the center.  Continue wrapping your thread around it, in a cross pattern if you can, until you’ve used up the rest and tie it off.

Bad Penny confound
your legs are bound
I tie you down
Don’t come back around!

Now the Scrappy poppet is helpless.  Take the poppet and the bowl of water and go outside to the edge of your property, or the property of the person you want Scrappy to leave alone.  This next part doesn’t rhyme because I’m about at the limit of my cleverness in that department and also, it’s better if you chose your own epithets, so the following is just an example.

Scrappy you lying, manipulative bitch, get the fuck out!  Never come back!  Stay the fuck away from me, stay the fuck away from my naive lovestruck relative, stay the fuck out of our lives!  OUT OUT OUT!

Whatever you say, say it with feeling, and invest it with every bit of ‘go the fuck away’ emotion you have.  Create a powerful repulsion.  Then chuck that thing as far away as you physically can.  Drop-kick it if you want to… just get it the hell off your property.  Then hold out your hands in the ‘You Shall Not Pass’ gesture, because remember… the thing about bad pennies and bad people is that they always turn up.  Our binding was to STOP that from happening.

Bad Penny be bound
Don’t come back around
Your welcome is gone,
It’s time to move on!
By my power I adjure you
never to set your foot
never to cast your shadow
never to darken the door
I cast you out

Now it’s time to wash your hands of this person, literally.  Stay at the edge of your property and give your hands a good scrubbing with the salt water.  Scrub up your forearms like doctors do.  Get between your fingers.  Get under your nails.  Get all the residue of that bad penny off of you.  Then shake the water off your hands and throw the water in the bowl over the property line.  As nastily as you can, say, “Bitch, I wash my hands of you.”  Then turn around, kick some dust behind you like an offended Scotty dog, stick up your nose, and walk away.

ETA: Someone brought it to my attention that in this modern world, a person doesn’t have to come to your house to harass you.  In that case, try this for the last verse:

Bad Penny be bound
Don’t come back around
Your welcome is gone,
It’s time to move on!
By my power I adjure you
never will your voice be heard
never will your touch be felt
never your likeness seen
nor any reminder
You are cast out!

Should cover text messages and harassing phone calls well enough.

Vampire Spells

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So I spotted some requests going around for vampire-summoning spells and I thought my time has come because vampire lore has been my jam since I was a little baby witchling. Some of you are going to be pretty disappointed because I’m not going to tell you how to summon Edward Sparkletoes or Damon Seduce-ator. Which is probably a good thing for you, in all honesty. You don’t need that in your life. You don’t need any of these types of vampires in your life either though, which is why this is the time when I post a disclaimer that these spells are for entertainment purposes only, and you SHOULD NOT attempt any of them. Some of them are illegal. If you do, you deserve whatever answers your call, whether it’s a dangerous predatory spirit or the police.

In the absence of Edward Sparkletoes, what exactly are we summoning?
1: Psychic Vampires
2: Incorporeal Vampires
3: Thought-Form Vampires

1: To Summon a Psychic Vampire
You Will Need:

  • Yourself,
  • one culturally appropriative New Age Chakra guided meditation

To Do: This is the easiest of all the spells we’re gonna do. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because it’s easy, it’s not dangerous. Psychic Vampires are nothing to mess with, as even the ones who don’t know what they are and don’t prey on others deliberately can still cling like leeches, forcing you to abandon common meeting places and go dark on social media just to get some space. The worst of them are abusers and stalkers. Go out dangling bait for them and you can very well get yourself into a heap of trouble… not the magical kind, but the purely banal life-wrecking kind. Witches walk around with shielding up because of these folks. Having said that…

Listen to the guided chakra meditation. Get used to thinking of centers of energy in your body as nodes that can be opened and closed with concentration. Most guided meditations use visualizations of ‘glowing’, ‘spinning’ and ‘mixing colors’ to teach you to open and close and diffuse the energy from these centers. Notice how, in each meditation, they guide you through first opening the energy nodes and then closing them.

Once you’ve got sufficient practice, open your nodes. Don’t close them. Go out in public. Sooner or later, you’ll attract a psychic vampire. Ta-daa.  Now the challenge is getting rid of them.

2: To Summon an Incorporeal Vampire
Here’s where we go back in folklore because vampires were a little different pre-Stoker. Old folklore vampires were ambulatory mist that crept across the countryside in search of victims and drained blood through the skin. As legends evolved, they became actual walking corpses who consumed flesh along with blood… which is more like the modern zombie, and I’m assuming if you wanted a zombie you’d go get pufferfish venom. Only after that did they evolve into pale and suave monsters with pedigrees and neat little fangs.
You Will Need:

  • A recent grave (less than three months) of an unbaptised person buried on unconsecrated ground, somewhere no church bells can be heard overnight;
  • a sun-proof box with a lid that latches or locks;
  • enough blood for a decent offering (human works best obviously),
  • a silver knife or letter opener or a consecrated athame;
  • holy water (you can make it yourself, it doesn’t have to be the Christian kind),
  • enough garlic cloves, wild rose, or hawthorn branches to make a circle around the grave, including the headstone;
  • paint

To Do: First, prepare your box. On the outside of the box, on every side including the bottom, paint an equal-armed cross. DO NOT place them on the inside unless you want to needlessly torment your captive vampire. Bathe yourself in holy water, covering every inch of your skin and all your extremities – incorporeal vampires aren’t very smart, but they’re instinctively cunning and can find any crack you leave them.

Go to the grave at night and lay your garlic, hawthorn, or wild rose in a complete, unbroken circle around the grave, surrounding both the headstone and yourself. Make sure the circle is unbroken. Using the knife or any other appropriate tool, dig under the turf covering the grave and get a few clods of good grave earth. Place them inside the box, sprinkle some blood over the dirt, and set it with the lid open inside the circle.

Pour the blood out onto the grave as an offering. You can perform an invocation if you want. Personally I think it’s not necessary – something will either answer your call or it won’t. If it answers, you should feel it come. It may poke at you looking for prey, but if you washed yourself thoroughly you should be all right. If it gets too handsy, wave the knife at it. Give it time to realize it can’t escape the circle you made, and to enter the box. Once it does, close the box, latch it, anoint the latch with holy water. Then drag the silver knife or athame across the name on the gravestone and say, “I sever you from your name and from your grave. From now on, you serve only me.”

Take your new vampire-in-a-box home. If you want to unleash the vampire, you’ll need to wash in holy water again, carry it to a spot near the person you want it to prey on, and open the box to let it free. Since your box, with its grave earth, is closer than its actual grave it will return there before dawn when it’s fed. Exposing your vampire to sunlight will destroy it very handily. Always anoint the latch with holy water when closing it back up, and always wash yourself thoroughly in holy water before letting it free. Seriously, these things are basically pure malice and hunger. They’re like nuclear waste. They require hazmat handling. That’s why I don’t recommend trying to summon one.

This spell is the least likely to work of the three I’m providing; not every grave can yield up a vampire. Sometimes you have no reliable way of telling if someone’s been baptized in their life, or whether they have other spiritual protections against becoming a blood-sucking shade. IMHO it’s not worth the trouble, but I guess that’s your choice.

3: To Summon a Thought-Form Vampire
So you’ve read all of this, including my disclaimers, and you’re holding out hope that at some point I’m going to go back on my word and tell you how to summon Damon Seduce-ator? … Okay, you got me, after a fashion. But this one’s a cheat since a thought form isn’t really a vampire any more than Tom Hiddleston is really Loki. There may be an awful lot of overlap, but in the end Tom is the reality and Loki is the role (in their particular dynamic, I’m not arguing against the existence of Loki the Jotunn so, Heathens, feel free NOT to jump down my throat). Similarly, in the end, ‘vampire’ is the role and ‘thought form’ is the reality. Thought forms are easy stuff for some people (like me) who create and maintain them as easily as breathing. For other people they’re tougher. I’m going to assume you’re not a deft hand since you’re reading this spell, so I’m going to tell you the tough-and-ugly way to form and maintain one.

You Will Need:

  • A good idea about your vampire. This can be an already-established character or a new one. So yeah, if you really want to, you can have Edward… I just hope you don’t get creeped out by people policing your activities, or staring at you while you sleep, or telling you what friends you can have, etc. etc. Seriously, please pick someone less abusive;
  • cloth or paper;
  • pens, markers, or fabric paint;
  • filling for your poppet (see below);
  • thread or glue;

To Do: Collect stuff that has to do with your chosen vampire. This can be pictures, artwork, pages from the books they feature in, magazine clippings, tokens of things that represent them, etc. For instance, if I wanted to summon a copy of Damon Salvatore, I’d cut out some pictures of Ian Somerhalder, a few reviews of The Vampire Diaries from TV Guide describing Damon, add some fake black feathers (some real bird feathers are illegal to own, but if you don’t care, go for a crow – that’s his preferred animal form), a piece of lapis lazuli for his ring, a scrap of black leather for the ubiquitous jacket, some musk essential oil or Italian cologne, and I’d grab a cheap used copy of the first Vampire Diaries book and cut out some of his major appearances. Fanfic that characterizes him well (or fanfic that alters his character if you want fanon!Damon instead of canon!Damon) would also serve. Regardless, all this needs to be small enough to fit inside your poppet (or your poppet needs to be large enough to contain all this stuff).

Draw an outline of your vampire twice on paper or cloth. This can be as simple or as complicated as you like. If you have access to printed fabric or paper dolls, feel free to use them. Sew or glue the two halves together around the very edges to form an empty doll, then stuff the doll with everything you collected. You can decorate the doll however you want, but the more you invest, the more successful your thought-form will be. Whatever you do, make sure you write the doll’s name on it prominently, or a sigil created especially for that thought-form. As a bonus, around Halloween craft stores will have little paper mache or wooden coffins so you can make him a nice place to sleep. 😉

Once you’ve put your poppet together, it’s time to use your imagination. You need to build Damon Salvatore (or whoever you want) in your head. Make them a person who lives in your imagination. Give them the poppet as an anchor. Open yourself to having a head-mate who’s going to follow you around making snarky commentary and suggesting you add more garlic to your recipes. The key to a thought-form is ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION. Talk to him, do things with him, carry the poppet with you so he’s not far from your thoughts. Eventually he’ll start to detach himself from your supervision and grow a little more independent, but regardless, thought-forms can be fun companions if they don’t get out of hand. The deeper and more complex his life, the more ‘real’ he’ll become. Let him out to play with RP when you can, or if you have friends who want to try having an invisible pet, loan out the poppet and see how much stronger they get when multiple people are focused on them.

Sorry if that’s not satisfactory to you, but it’s the closest you’re going to get to having one of them in your life.  Trust me, it’s better that way.

BONUS: Vampire Dreams
To spice up your dream life, you can make a dream satchel with similar ingredients to the poppet above. Smell is especially important, since it triggers the subconscious, so find a perfume or essential oil that really epitomizes the vampire you have in mind. Stuff the satchel with stuff that references them, and drift into dreamland thinking sexy thoughts of your fictional flame. It may take some practice getting your dreaming mind into line, but if you can’t have them in real life, you can almost assuredly have them in your dreams… or your nightmares.

Bon Appetite.

To Rid Yourself of Intrusive Thoughts and Bad Dreams

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This is a spell I whipped up for a friend based on local folkloric healing.  Many of us struggle with intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and other psychological stressors that can lead to bad dreams and restless sleep.  Being unable to sleep peacefully just exacerbates the problem.  This is a simple, affordable solution that is not time intensive.  And a bonus – a similar method can help get rid of warts, according to the old lore.

You will need:

  • 1 Long piece of black thread

Placing the middle of the piece of thread against your forehead, wrap it around your head, cross the strands in back, and bring the ends back around to the front.  The thread should now form a double loop around your entire head just above your nose.  Think about the nightmares, and the fears that are causing them, while you slowly pull one end of the black thread so the loop spins around your head.  Then pull the other.  See-saw the ends back and forth so the thread circles your head and drags away those bad thoughts and fears.

Once you feel like you’re done (you can chant if you want, whatever works for you) hook your fingers through the thread next to your temples and remove while pulling the looped part out toward the ends.  Don’t let the loop break or un-loop!  This should give you the thread folded in four strands.  Tie seven knots, knotting all four strands at once, to make sure the bad thoughts and dreams don’t escape.  Then bury the strands somewhere off your property.  The thread will dissolve with the knots still tied, keeping them bound up forever.

Sometimes persistent anxieties or traumatic fears are stubborn, but the spell doesn’t hurt anything, so if they start to fester again feel free to pull them out again.  Think of this one like a pensieve… unspooling your bad memories and storing them somewhere else.  If you’re feeling sadistic you can actually tie the knotted threads around something that carries a sympathetic connection to someone else and let THEM deal with your nightmares.

Advice from other witches on this topic:

I’d start out with a cleansing bath or shower; employ Rosemary, frankincense and myrrh, hyssop, etc. Soaps with said ingredients will work; as will oils with them. So can just scrubbing yourself with the plants – although hyssop tends to be turned into a tea and sprinkled over the head by some witches. (You could also make lustral water and khernips and sprinkle yourself.)

I’d then sprinkle cool water – applied to vervain bound together – over my altar. Burn some vervain (or frankincense and myrrh, or even storax) over the altar to fumigate it.

If you want to use the GD system, proceed to an LBRP (microcosmic/personal banishing) and then proceed with the Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram (macrocosmic banishing).

OTHERWISE, I’d read three key Orphic hymns: Hermes Chthonios [work; with Mercury retrograde, the ‘Chthonic’ Hermes is easier and more preferable to reach], Zeus [Growth], and Luna [Dreams].

I’d burn their fumigations while I did it, and substitute the final lines – typically asking for health and wealth – with a request for calm dreams, understanding what to do next, and instructions on WHAT TO DO rather than what you fear in your dreams.

Finally, make a lodestone, carve some sigils on it, fumigate it with more purification materia (see above), consecrate it to one of the three, and wear/carry it around (in a pouch, or just in a pocket) as a goddamn talisman.

The Headless Hashasheen

well I always go wth sigils,( if you dont know how to make one tell me)

first I’d make one with the name of your boss or your job wichever you think is creating the nightmares, or instead of a sigil you could just write up the whole situation. and if your city is windy enough go outside or atop a really high place and let the wind take the paper away , or throw it in a river if there is one near by. you could just write it with charcoal and rub it away until it can’t be read.

then I’d make a sigil for restful sleep and put it under my pillow, if you have herbs that you think could help this problem you could brew a really concentrated tea and use that as ink to draw it,  take your time and have fun with it , make it when you feel at ease so you’re in the right mind set. I believe just making the spell, drawing  the sigil, should be part of the healing process.

Chaosmancer

[…] put the 9 of swords [tarot] card under your pillow for good sleep 🙂

– nefretkabast

Lavender is a solid sleep aide, so if you can get the scent into you[r] space that’s good. Sweep the bedroom before sleep each night

– 3countylaugh

The Noumenia

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Sorry y’all, I was supposed to post this yesterday but I forgot.  This post is in collaboration with Daio.

Noumenia

Celebrated as the first day of the lunar month, Noumenia is a day to honor Selene, Apollo, Hestia, and other household gods (Hestia, Zeus, Hermes, Hekate, Apollo and your family’s Agathos Daimon) and ask for blessings for the home. Offering incense, wine (mixed with water for the Theoi, three drops unmixed for the Agathos Daimon), barley, or honey cakes (you can find recipes for these at the bottom of this post) is traditional, as is burning frankincense.

The Noumenia is considered the holiest of days in the monthly cycle.  As such, no other religious festivals were allowed to take place during Noumenia.  Traditional ways to celebrate the Noumenia include:

  • Decorating the home with flower garlands, particularly the altars and household shrines
  • Feasting together as a family
  • Creating a list of family goals and new projects to work on in the new lunar month
  • This is also the day to replace the ingredients in your kathiskos.
  • In some city-states, such as Sparta, meals were distributed by the kings to the populace.  Consider volunteering to serve meals to the homeless, or donating to a food bank.

Appropriate readings include:

Orphic Hymn to Selene

Hear, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light, bull-horn’d and wand’ring thro’ the gloom of Night.

With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide Night’s torch extending, thro’ the heav’ns you ride:

Female and Male with borrow’d rays you shine, and now full-orb’d, now tending to decline.

Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon [Mene], whose amber orb makes Night’s reflected noon:

Lover of horses, splendid, queen of Night, all-seeing pow’r bedeck’d with starry light.

Lover of vigilance, the foe of strife, in peace rejoicing, and a prudent life:

Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend, who giv’st to Nature’s works their destin’d end.

Queen of the stars, all-wife Diana hail! Deck’d with a graceful robe and shining veil;

Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright, come moony-lamp with chaste and splendid light,

Shine on these sacred rites with prosp’rous rays, and pleas’d accept thy suppliant’s mystic praise.

 

Orphic Hymn to Zeus

O Jove much-honor’d, Jove [Zeus] supremely great, to thee our holy rites we consecrate,

Our pray’rs and expiations, king divine, for all things round thy head exalted shine.

The earth is thine, and mountains swelling high, the sea profound, and all within the sky.

Saturnian [Kronion] king, descending from above, magnanimous, commanding, sceptred Jove [Zeus];

All-parent, principle and end of all, whose pow’r almighty, shakes this earthly ball;

Ev’n Nature trembles at thy mighty nod, loud-sounding, arm’d with light’ning, thund’ring God.

Source of abundance, purifying king, O various-form’d from whom all natures spring;

Propitious hear my pray’r, give blameless health, with peace divine, and necessary wealth.

 

Orphic Hymn to Hermes

Hermes, draw near, and to my pray’r incline, angel of Jove [Zeus], and Maia’s son divine;

Studious of contests, ruler of mankind, with heart almighty, and a prudent mind.

Celestial messenger, of various skill, whose pow’rful arts could watchful Argus kill:

With winged feet, ’tis thine thro’ air to course, O friend of man, and prophet of discourse:

Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine, in arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine:

With pow’r endu’d all language to explain, of care the loos’ner, and the source of gain.

Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod, Corucian, blessed, profitable God;

Of various speech, whose aid in works we find, and in necessities to mortals kind:

Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere, be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear;

Assist my works, conclude my life with peace, give graceful speech, and me memory’s increase.

 

Orphic Hymn to Apollo

Blest Pæan, come, propitious to my pray’r, illustrious pow’r, whom Memphian tribes revere,

Slayer of Tityus, and the God of health, Lycorian Phœbus, fruitful source of wealth .

Spermatic, golden-lyr’d, the field from thee receives it’s constant, rich fertility.

Titanic, Grunian, Smynthian, thee I sing, Python-destroying, hallow’d, Delphian king:

Rural, light-bearer, and the Muse’s head, noble and lovely, arm’d with arrows dread:

Far-darting, Bacchian, two-fold, and divine, pow’r far diffused, and course oblique is thine.

O, Delian king, whose light-producing eye views all within, and all beneath the sky:

Whose locks are gold, whose oracles are sure, who, omens good reveal’st, and precepts pure:

Hear me entreating for the human kind, hear, and be present with benignant mind;

For thou survey’st this boundless æther all, and ev’ry part of this terrestrial ball

Abundant, blessed; and thy piercing sight, extends beneath the gloomy, silent night;

Beyond the darkness, starry-ey’d, profound, the stable roots, deep fix’d by thee are found.

The world’s wide bounds, all-flourishing are thine, thyself all the source and end divine:

‘Tis thine all Nature’s music to inspire, with various-sounding, harmonising lyre;

Now the last string thou tun’ft to sweet accord, divinely warbling now the highest chord;

Th’ immortal golden lyre, now touch’d by thee, responsive yields a Dorian melody.

All Nature’s tribes to thee their diff’rence owe, and changing seasons from thy music flow

Hence, mix’d by thee in equal parts, advance Summer and Winter in alternate dance;

This claims the highest, that the lowest string, the Dorian measure tunes the lovely spring .

Hence by mankind, Pan-royal, two-horn’d nam’d, emitting whistling winds thro’ Syrinx fam’d;

Since to thy care, the figur’d seal’s consign’d, which stamps the world with forms of ev’ry kind.

Hear me, blest pow’r, and in these rites rejoice, and save thy mystics with a suppliant voice.

 

Orphic Hymn to Hekate

Hekate Einodia, Trioditis [Trivia], lovely dame, of earthly, watery, and celestial frame, sepulchral, in a saffron veil arrayed, pleased with dark ghosts that wander through the shade; Perseis, solitary goddess, hail! The world’s key-bearer, never doomed to fail; in stags rejoicing, huntress, nightly seen, and drawn by bulls, unconquerable queen; Leader, Nymphe, nurse, on mountains wandering, hear the suppliants who with holy rites thy power revere, and to the herdsman with a favouring mind draw near.

 

Orphic Hymn to the Daimon

Thee, mighty-ruling, Dæmon dread, I call, mild Jove [Zeus], life-giving, and the source of all:

Great Jove [Zeus], much-wand’ring, terrible and strong, to whom revenge and tortures dire belong.

Mankind from thee, in plenteous wealth abound, when in their dwellings joyful thou art found;

Or pass thro’ life afflicted and distress’d, the needful means of bliss by thee supprest.

‘Tis thine alone endu’d with boundless might, to keep the keys of sorrow and delight.

O holy, blessed father, hear my pray’r, disperse the seeds of life-consuming care;

With fav’ring mind the sacred rites attend, and grant my days a glorious, blessed end.

 

Honey cake recipe:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and orange rind. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  6. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.
  7. Stir in the walnuts.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into diamond shapes.
  11. Pour honey syrup over the cake.
  12. For the Honey Syrup: In a saucepan, combine honey, 1 cup sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes . Stir in lemon juice, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.