Monday Make A-Interrupted Mercury going retro Again Soon!!!!

May 4, 2009 at 2:35 pm (Banish, Computer, Magic, Monday, pagan, Possession, Protection, Spells, Technological Protection?, Wisdom, Witch)

Since Mercury is fixin’ to go retro again (May 7 – Friday – fasten your seatbelts), and I have already encountered several people with computer issues – myself included : (  instead of doing the usual Monday Make A – today I am going to post some computer protection type spells today, and post Monday’s craft on Thursday This Is Your Spell –


Spell to Keep Computer Working
By Mary H

Cut out 7 stars from colored paper. Monday – white; Tuesday – red; Wednesday – green; Thursday – Purple; Friday – pink; Saturday – black; and Sunday – Orange. Chant over the stars:

"Magic stars so bright and true,
Protect my monitor and CPU
May my keyboard and mouse always work for me
By the Techno-Goddess…. so mote it be."

Place all the stars in a bag or box with sage, thyme, or rosemary. Each day of the week place the star on top of your monitor or computer that is the right color for the day. If after a week your computer still has problems, you can continue the spell for another week or two. In desperate situations, pick up the phone book and call your local computer wizard… LOL

* Computer Blessing *
by Zhahai Stewart

"Blessings on this fine machine,
May its data all be clean.
Let the files stay where they’re put,
Away from disk drives keep all soot.
From its screen shall come no whines,
Let in no spikes on power lines.
As oaks were sacred to the Druids,
Let not the keyboard suffer fluids.
Disk Full shall be nor more than rarity,
The memory shall not miss its parity.
From the modem shall come wonders,
Without line noise making blunders.
May it never catch a virus,
And all its software stay desirous.
Oh let the printer never jam,
And turn my output into spam.
I ask of Eris, noble queen,
Keep Murphy far from this machine. "

Computer Possession?
Unknown author

Computer acting up and your virus scanner says your bug-free? Consider that you may have an infestation of another kind. I had this very same problem and couldn’t figure out why installs were going bad with random errors and the top-of-the-line equipment was glitching as if it were 20 year old scrap. No viruses and everything hooked up properly, too. I was stumped until I came into my office in the dark one night to get something. I saw this large, amorphous black thing zoom past my face and vanish into the area surrounding the computer. It was then that I realized that we had a ghost in the machine so to speak. I thought about that with some skepticism at first. A few days later, a friend of mine mentioned the fact that the Internet, to which I am connected on a daily basis, is a very powerful source of innovative, diverse energies. Therefore, it makes the perfect feeding ground for discriminating negative spirit and curious positive spirit alike. So in order to solve all of our magazine’s computer problems, my Assistant Editor and I decided to perform a banishing/protection ritual before attempting to set the system straight for the 5th time. We mixed every oil we had with protection, cleansing and/or banishing powers into one rather potent batch of blended oil (with jojoba as a base). We smudged the machine and all of its accessories and asked the Lord and Lady to aid us in clearing all negative forces from the tools we use to spread their wisdom. We also invoked the spirit of Armadillo (Protection) to guard the equipment and offered some tobacco. We used the oil to inscribe a pentacle on each component of the setup (careful to keep it away from the open vents and crevices). Next, we taped two pieces of parchment with warding sigils and a brief written spell to each side of the computer’s tower (the parchment and sides of the tower were also anointed with oil pentacles). We offered some sandalwood incense for all other spirits who wished to aid us in our task. As a final precaution, we sealed all entries to the room and the machine (including the plate where the phone lines come in and the air conditioner) with a pentacle inscribed with the oil. So far, the plague of problems seems to have ceased and all systems are operational. Sure, it looks a little odd to visitors to have the runes and sigils hanging on the tower, but I think it adds a unique flair to our office.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from `this blog.


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Thursday This Is Your Spell – Witches’ Bottles

April 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm (altar, Associations, Banish, Bottles, Charging, Children, Cleansing, Crystal, Flowers, Folklore, Fun, Healing, Herbs, Kids, Magic, Magic Powders, Magical Stones, pagan, prosperity, Protection, Spells, Thursday, Tools, Witch, Witch Bottle, Witches Bottle, Witchlets)

Witches’ Bottles

There are many legends connected with what are called ‘Witches’ Bottles’….basically a Witches’ Bottle is a jar or bottle that is filled with something while being charged by a spell, and then sealed. They are often used to protect a  house or home, since evil spirits are said to have to stop and count every item in the bottle before they can enter a home. Many things can be used in a bottle of protection … you can use earth, sand, small pebbles, buttons, pins, crushed glass, threads, acorns, etc etc etc (in fact in one X-files episode the writer obviously used this when Agent Fox Mulder was saved from a vampire when the vampire had to stop and count all Fox’s spilled sunflower seeds <LOL>!)

Making A Witches’ Bottle

First select the bottle you want to use. Your bottle maybe clear or tinted. If you’re working with a colored bottle, choose a color that suits what you are doing. Tinted bottles are great for spells that use color correspondences. Once you have a bottle, wash it with warm soapy water, or cleanse it in the ocean. After you have washed it, magically cleanse it and bathe it in the light of the full moon. When the bottle is clean it is time to fill it. There are a lot of options when it comes to contents, such as very sharp objects like nails, pins, safety pins, needles, or sand, for protection from unfriendly forces. Filling a bottle with collected  herbs, resins, leaves, roots, and spices can assist you in creating any number of wards, spells, or talismans. Add a base oil or cider vinegar and you have wonderful gifts for your friends, that will not only enhance their magical life but also their cooking! Another option is filling the bottle with a variety of flower petals selected for their healing properties, attributes, or correspondences to planetary or other forces. (You may want to include a bit of alcohol, vinegar, or olive oil to preserve the flowers.)

As you can see, witches’ bottles have unlimited possibilities, are easy to make, and can be adapted to whatever need you may be trying to fill. Protection, love, health, or even just decoration, this is one of the most versatile tools in a witches’ possession. I am including several different possible creations today. Always remember though, make anything you do yours. No spell or recipe is set in stone, nor should it be. The powers in the world are mutable and adaptable as is any good witch, using what’s at hand to work her magic. These are guidelines. That being said, here are a few examples of possible witches’ bottles you can create : )



* Kid’s Button Bottle *

This is a good craft/spell project for pagan kids. Take an unbreakable jar with a screw on cap – or use a Rubbermaid type container. Have the child place pretty buttons in the bottle all the while saying:

“Button, Button,
Nine times nine,
Protect this house
And room of mine.”

When the jar is full it can then be placed near the door to the house, or better yet under the child’s bed! (You all know a child or two (or an adult <eg>) that is afraid that eviiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllll clowns live under the bed!)

Earth Witches’ Bottle

Using your projective hand as a funnel, pour fresh, clean soil into a long, small, clean, sterile bottle or spice jar. While doing so, charge the earth with protection, while chanting the appropriate rhyme of your own creation. Fill to the top. Cap the bottle. Place this near an entrance such as a door or window.

Red Wine Witches’ Bottle


  • rosemary
  • needles & pins
  • small glass jar with tight fitting lid or cork stopper
  • red wine
  • black or red candle (for wax to seal the jar)

Fill the the jar using the rosemary, needles and pins. As you’re filling the jar, say these words…

“Pins, needles, rosemary, wine,
In this witch’s bottle of mine;
Guard against harm and enmity;
This is my will; so Mote it Be!”

When as full of those items as possible, pour in red wine and shake. Seal with black or red wax. If you own your own house, bury this at the furthest most corner of your property. If you rent, place it in an inconspicuous place.

Herbal Witches’ Cleansing Bottle


  • large clear bottle
  • sand
  • dried rosemary
  • dried lemon peel
  • dried sage
  • dry cedar
  • black peppercorns
  • dried lavender
  • dried dill
  • dried bay leaves
  • dried rowan
  • white candle (for wax to seal the jar)

Pour a layer of sand into the bottle, then add the herbs in layers. When the bottle is full, focus cleansing protective energy into the herbs and sand, and see a golden light radiating from the bottle. Visualize the herbs driving away negative influences. Cork and seal the bottle with white wax. Using a permanent marker, draw the Algiz rune


Image from Techno Feng Shui

on one side of the bottle, and on the other side draw a pentagram.


Set the bottle near your front or back door, and every six months, uncap, Pour the herbs out into the woods or your compost heap, and thoroughly wash and dry the bottle before filling it with a new round of herbs.

Binding Spell

This spell is for binding a violent or dangerous person from doing harm. Caution: do not bind someone without very good reason. It doesn’t matter if you believe in Karma or Universal Balance or not. Belief doesn’t change reality. Also when considering a spell like this, remember magic isn’t always clean, pretty or nice…


  • photo of person to be bound


  • a piece of white parchment paper with their whole name written on it in black ink or dove’s blood ink.
  • 18 inches or so of black silken cord or black thick string, like embroidery floss.
  • A small glass jar w/cork lid.
  • A small white candle
  • A small black candle

Light both your candles. Write the name on the paper or take the photograph in hand. Fold the paper or photo into as small of a rectangle as possible. Take the cord in hand and begin to wind it around the rectangle, for a total of nine loops, saying aloud in a clear, strong voice:

I (your name ), bind thee (name of offending person )
from causing harm to (name of victim here),
from exerting control over this person,
from influencing this person.
I bind you from making further plans with this person.
I call upon the angels, Auriel, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael
(or any other guides or deities you prefer.)
to assist me in this righteous cause!
As I will,
So mote it be.

Place the paper into the jar. Urinate into the jar & cork. Seal all around the cork with the black candle wax. Let the candles burn themselves out safely. Place this jar in a place where no one will disturb it. Bury it if you must. Some prefer to keep it on their altar and send energy to it regularly.

House Protection Jar


  • 1 glass jar
  • 1/2 to 1 cup salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 9 bay leaves
  • 7 tsp. dried Basil
  • 4 tsp. dill seeds
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp anise
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1 bowl

In the morning, ideally on a bright sunny day, assemble the items. Place all in the bowl and say:

“Salt that protects, protect my home and all within.”

Add the cloves of garlic:

“Garlic that protects, protect my home and all within.”

Crumble the Bay leaves and place in the bowl:

“Bay that protects, protect my home and all within.”

Add the basil and say:

“Basil that protects, protect my home and all within.”

Add the dill and say:

“Dill that protects, protect my home and all within.”

Add the sage and say:

“Sage that protects, protect my home and all within.”

Add the anise and say:

“Anise that protects, protect my home and all within.”

Add the fennel and say:

“Fennel that protects, protect my home and all within.”

Mix together the salt and the herbs with your hands, throughout the movement of your hands and fingers lend energy to the potent protective items, visualize your home safe and as a shining secure place. Pour the mixture in the jar and cap tightly, Place it in your home with these words:

“Salt and herbs, nine times nine
Guard now this home of mine”

Inspiration Jar

Purpose: To bring on inspiration. For creativity.

  • Mason jar
  • Small crystal
  • Dried orange peels (two-thirds)
  • Dried mint (one-third)
  • 2 drops orange essential oil
  • 1 drop mint essential oil
  • Square piece of black cotton fabric
  • Rubber band
  • Orange fabric paint or orange acrylic
  • Orange ribbon

**Note: The color orange is the color of creative energies. The shading (how dark or light the orange is) that you use will denote the level of creative energies you wish to channel. A dark orange will take you deep into the creative energies while a light orange is less intense.
Moon cycle: No moon cycle is selected for this spell because all phases of the moon hold different levels of creative energies, including the dark moon. If you follow moon phases, choose the cycle that fits your purpose best.

Gather ingredients. With a clean and dry jar before you, place the mint first and then the orange peels inside, filling it up about two-thirds of the way. Add two drops of orange essential oil and one drop mint essential oil. More if you are using a large mason jar. Stir ingredients together. Take the small crystal in your hand and say something such as:

“Creativity come to me
In whispers and dreams
And visions that gleam.”

Place the crystal inside the jar with the potpourri. For the lid, cover the opening of the jar with black fabric so that the side of the fabric hangs down over the edges about 2 inches. With a pencil, mark the center top of the fabric. Take the fabric off the jar, lie it flat on a hard surface. Using orange paint, acrylic or fabric paint, paint on a spiral. (for those of you who are like me – can trip over a breeze…while the paint is drying, cover the jar temporarily with a lid so that it doesn’t get spilled. )


  • Spiral: The spiral is a symbol of the dance of life. It shows the continuous cycle of ourselves going inward (within ourselves/our psyche) and then going outward (expressing ourselves).
  • Black: The black fabric in this spell is used as an absorption color. Black absorbs all colors, all energies. By placing the orange spiral on this we are signifying just what those energies are that the black is absorbing, all creative energies.

Once the paint is dry, place the fabric on the jar once again. The spiral should now be on the centered top of the jar’s mouth. Holding the fabric in place, wrap the rubber band around the sides to hold it in place. Next, tie the orange ribbon overtop of the rubber band. Keep this inspiration jar in your work area, where you can smell it’s inspiring scents – where you do your writing, painting, drawing, or keep it by your bed to bring on inspiring dreams.

Money Jar


  • paper & pen
  • seven dimes
  • quart jar with screw-on lid
  • bay leaf

Write your need on the paper and drop it into the jar. Take 7 dimes in your dominate hand and place them one by one into the jar. As each one drops, visualize it multiplying into huge amounts and say:

“Toward this wish, the money grows
by leaps and bounds – it overflows.
Coins that jingle, coins that shine
come to me now – you are mine.”

Write your name on the bay leaf and drop it into the jar. Screw on the lid and place the jar where you can see it everyday, but where it is not visible to everyone who enters your home. Add a coin or two to the jar each day, and watch as money flows to you from unexpected sources. After you obtain the money you need, remove the paper and bury it outside.

Sacred Salt Jar

This is not only great to have for oneself, but it makes a nice gift to someone special if you happen to know what scents they like or stones they like. Since what you put into it is “yours”, it is like giving a part of yourself, too. This mixture is excellent to charge stones in and to “simmer energies”. Once it has blended for a few months, a pinch can be added to rituals, etc., bathwater or as a gift to Mother Earth. You can also make a “starter salt” as a gift for a friend. You can also give of your own sacred salt mixture to a special friend to help blend powers and energies when they make their own  sacred salt mixture : )  The mixture should be made and kept in a covered stone or Earthen jar, but can be made and kept in a covered glass jar until you find one that is suitable. There are different schools of thought on what kind of salt to use. Some use rock salt, some Earth salt and some sea salt, some even use normal table salt. Whatever salt you use, make sure that it is “natural” and not iodized.

Blend the salt with chopped or ground herbs, tiny crystals, small stones, nuts seeds,  jewelry, locks of hair, ground incense and a few drops of your favorite oils, anything that you wish. Even rose petals and other flowers. When you have cleansed and charged stones and crystals by sun and Moon, place them in this mixture to store until you wish to use them or give them as gifts.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions / recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog

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Thursday This Is You Spell – To Welcome The New Year

January 1, 2009 at 3:50 pm (Blessing, Broom, Cleansing, Magic, pagan, Peace, Protection, Ritual, Spells, Thursday, Witch)

Happy New Year! Since many people are known to make ‘New Year Resolutions,’ and those resolutions generally revolve around breaking some kind of habit, today’s “Thursday This Is Your Spell…” will include some spells designed to help you break a habit, along with a House Blessing spell, a House Cleansing Spell, (to start the new year with a cleansed, blessed home)  and a ritual for Peace (don’t we all – or almost all, anyways – want peace..?)

Self-Improvement Spell

Items needed:

  • wooden clothespin
  • black felt-tipped marker
  • small piece or pieces of paper on which you have written the bad habit (s) or trait (s) you wish to dispel
  • some black thread
  • a pin
  • black pepper

Shield, ground and center, cast circle, charge of the Goddess. Sit quietly and meditate on changes you wish to occur. Raise power by chanting the following:

"This spell I do, within my rights to be free
Darken my house no more! Begone! Begone from me!"

Color clothespin with black pen and tie pieces of paper (mentioned above) around the clothespin and secure with black thread. Sprinkle clothespin with pepper, and then stick pin into clothespin while repeating the same chant. Raise energy with chant and send off. Ground, cakes and wine, thank the Goddess, open the circle. Bury the clothespin near your front door.

To Cleanse A Home of Negative Energy 

These are especially good measures to take when moving into a new place, beginning ritual activities in a new space, or to release bad feelings when an inhabitant has been sick or has died.
To cleanse a single room


  • newspaper
  • a blue candle
  • salt
  • sage

On top of newspaper, set a blue candle. Surround with a circle of salt. Burn a little sage in the room. Light the candle, making sure it won’t tip over. Close the door and let the candle burn down. When finished, take newspaper, salt, and candle leaving and bury far from your home.
To cleanse a house


  • four candles –black, white, purple or dark red, and blue
  • salt
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • basil
  • lavender
  • other fragrant herbs you find appealing
  • broom

Select four corners. Set the four candles one in each corner: north – black, east – white, south – purple or dark red, west – blue. Sprinkle a little salt at each doorway and window. Burn sage in each room, paying special attention to windows and doors. Strew the herbs then sweep them up with the salt. Cast the swept herbs out your front door. *You may want to sweep them off your porch so they aren’t on your property anymore.

House Blessing


  • red wine
  • chalice or cup

Find the center point of the house. If there is more than one  level, then use the stairs as the center. Take a sip of wine at each turn. Face the East saying:

Lady of Love and power and all blessings,
Breathe Love into this house.
Fill the air with good.
Through you and in you, I bless this house.

Face the South saying:

Lady of Love and living and all blessings,
Warm this house with comfort.
Make whole its hearth.
Through you and in you, I bless this house.

Face the West saying:

Lady of tide and time and all blessings,
Let every hour flow sweetly in this house.
Make pure its tides.
Through you and in you, I bless this house.

Face the North saying:

Lady of earth and stability and all blessings,
Plant security within this boundary.
Make strong its defenses.
Through you and in you, I bless this house.

Drain the cup at the end. Turn to all four points twice more and repeat each time: You are blessed

Peace Ritual

Design this ritual to suit your needs. Choose candle colors that represent the things you seek peace for (e.g., maybe green and brown for peace on earth).

"From out of the dark and into the light
A circular mark, a candle burns bright.
I look towards the sky. . . my song do I sing.
Spirits soar high and gifts do I bring.
I offer my all! My mind, I then clear
Hearken my call! I feel you are near!
Candle burns higher; my spirits set free!
Hotter than fire, this magic will be!
Let magic come ’round, from under the ground,
To form with my sound and then, to be bound!
Around me I feel the magic so real,
Before you I kneel.. The spell I now seal!
Let all hatred cease And let there be peace!
These words that I say, with magic away!
This spell that I send is now at an end.
Let the magic I’ve laid, go forth and not fade!
So mote it be!!!

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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Thursday This Is Your Spell – Russian Divinations for the Solstice

November 13, 2008 at 3:59 pm (Christmas, Divination, Love, Magic, pagan, Spells, Thursday, Witch, Yule)

* Russian Divinations for the Solstice *
1001 Christmas Facts and Fancies, by Alfred Carl Hottes

Five piles of grain are placed on the kitchen floor. Each pile is given a name, such as Hope, Ring, Money, Charcoal, and Thread. We girls went to the henhouse and roused a drowsy hen. She is allowed to walk around the kitchen and choose a pile of grain. If she chooses Hope it means a long journey or the fulfillment of a great wish. The Ring, of course, means marriage; Money is wealth; Charcoal portends death in the family; and Thread means a life of toil. How the conversation flows when these divinations are made. Old songs were sung, and the old women and country girls could devise entire stories from the action of the hen.

Sooner or later one of the girls would slip outdoors, and standing just inside the gate, but with her back to it, she would kick her slipper high over her head into the road behind her. Then she would run to see in which direction it pointed, for that is the way from which a lover will come or the way she will go to be married. And, alas, if the slipper points toward the gate she will not be married this year. [Note from Honor: this is not necessarily a bad thing…]

Some girls sit in a room alone with the doors closed. Two candles are lighted and two mirrors are used so that one reflects the candlelight into the other. The point is to find the seventh reflection and look until one’s future is seen.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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Bonus Post – Oils, Powders, Inks & Wanderings

October 12, 2008 at 6:13 pm (Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, Elements, Inks, Magic, Magic Powders, Oils, Spells, Witch)

Magic spells, the tool of the witch. The way to harness energies, shape them, and direct them to "do our bidding". The words "Magic Spell" conjure up images of a crone, dressed all in black complete with pointy hat, stirring a large cauldron over an open fire (or hearth fire) while mumbling to herself and adding any number of archaic, scary sounding ingredients to the boiling pot…

OK, how many witches do you think can actually afford that big wonderful cauldron, to start with..? Have you priced those things lately..? A not-so-big one is being sold on Ebay – 17" tall, 26" diameter for $150. Or you can go here and purchase a 45 gallon capacity one for $850 – plus "special truck shipping". That size is a bit closer to the cauldron usually depicted as being used by witches to brew up their potions and create the necessary ingredients for their spells. Did you read that..?


Now maybe you can afford to spend $850 on a tool (and if you can, are you in need of someone to adopt..?) but I think it’s a safe assumption, that based on just that information, you aren’t going to find many witches standing around one of these in today’s world.

Much like the above mentioned cauldron, many of the ingredients called for in spells seem (to the beginner or uninitiated) to also be out of reach. But this isn’t so. Yes, they have scary or creepy or unusual names, seeming to be stuff out a fairy tale, but these ingredients are usually listed using their "folk name". Names like "Devil’s Dung" (asafetida), "Witches’ Herb" (basil), and "Little Dragon" (Tarragon) can be a bit intimidating when reading a spell you wish to adapt to your use. Where in the world would one find "Tree of Enchantment"  (Willow) if it wasn’t known as willow?

There’s actually an awesome website called Herbal Cross Reference where you can go for many interpretations.

Ok, so, on to my point (yes, I actually have one here somewhere…) A lot of spells also call for ingredients like Four Thieves Oil or Graveyard Dirt. Or require the intent be written in a special ink, like Dragon’s Blood Ink, or Dove’s Blood Ink. Much like herbs, the names for these "concoctions" can be a bit misleading – you don’t (usually) need dirt from a graveyard when "Graveyard Dirt" is called for, nor do you need an oil made by melting down four thieves (although….) when "Four Thieves Oil" is called for.  Also, if you do happen to find yourself in the company of a dragon, I wouldn’t recommend causing him or her to bleed just so you have a liquid to use as ink – that might be a bit detrimental to one’s health…

"A long history exists of using animal names as a code for various plant substances. Among the reasons for this practice was the desire to maintain secret formulas. Unfortunately, when the formulas are obtained without understanding or even knowing of the existence of the code, all sorts of misunderstandings and tragedy may follow…"
The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Magic Spells

What I am going to do here today is give a few recipes for the most frequently called for ingredients that you could probably buy somewhere, but you really should make yourself if you intend to use them. I know there are many legitimate retailers of magical items available, but how do you know which is witch (I made a funny…)? Because the website is pretty? Oh it has a pentacle on it so it must be legit. Did you go in that store..? The smell was wonderful, and all those magic books – they must be legit! Even if it is, what do you know about the witch that prepared these items? What kind of energy did they infuse them with? Were they fighting with the hubby so full of simmering resentment when they made that love oil..? What kind of love relationship will you find when you use it in your spell..? How about that Uncrossing Oil? Will you find that it has been infused with energies that may cause your result to be far different from your intent..? It is ALWAYS the better option to delay a bit (if you haven’t planned ahead) and make your own, charging them with YOUR energy and YOUR intent than it is to just go buy the stuff and hope that a) it really is what it claims to be, not just scented/colored water/oil, and b) it has the correct energies & intents to accomplish what YOU are wanting do, as opposed to what the person who made it thinks it should do…

Keep in mind these are NOT the only possible recipes for these oils/powders, just the ones that I have…


Banishing Oil

Black Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt

Grind all ingredients to a fine powder using a pestle & mortar. Be sure to cleanse your tools between uses. Much like you don’t want last night’s dinner still in the pan when you cook tonight’s, you don’t want the last spell’s energy to infuse the current working…

To make a banishing oil, cover the powder with castor oil and shake vigorously. (If the castor oil is too thick to "flow" well, add some Jojoba oil to thin it to the desired consistency)

Uncrossing Oil

Essential Oil of hyssop
Essential Oil of angelica
Essential Oil of frankincense
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Sprig of rue
Sliver of fresh garlic
A section of broken chain (from a key chain or necklace)

Add the ingredients to a jar filled with a castor oil and jojoba oil mixture (virgin olive oil also works as the base for a magical oil) The crucial ingredients are the hyssop and the chain. Add the other ingredients as desired (if you apply this mixture to yourself as part of your working, avoid exposure to excessive sunlight or tanning beds as the angelica oil will make you sensitive and likely to burn)

Magnet (or Lodestone) Oil

Place either seven or nine lodestones in a mason jar. Sprinkle them with magnetic sand. Cover the lodestones with a blend of sweet almond and jojoba oils. Close the jar and let the lodestones rest for seven days, exposed to sunlight & moonlight. Swirl the contents once a day. After seven days, strain the oil and it is ready for use (place in smaller jars for storage) 
**Feed the lodestones with magnetic sand, and they can be used to make more oil.

Courage Oil

Cinquefoil (Five-finger grass)
Gardenia Petals
Rosemary leaves

Grind together into a fine powder using pestle & mortar. Add to a blend of sunflower & jojoba oils. (You may also add High John the Conqueror root to the powder mix, or a piece of root to the oil)

Confusion Oil

Black poppy seeds
Black pepper
Sulfur (this can be obtained by buying wooden kitchen matches, breaking the heads off, and grinding, them removing the wood)

Grind the above into a fine powder and add to a blend of castor & jojoba oil. For malevolent spells (undertaken at your own risk and hopefully after much consideration) use baby oil or mineral oil

Attraction Oil

Grated lemon zest
Essential oil of lemon petigrain, melissa, may chang, or lemon verbena
Rose attar

Grind the first three ingredients using your mortar & pestle, then place them in a bottle with a lodestone chip. Cover this with sweet almond oil, the ass the essential oils drop by drop until you achieve a scent that pleases you.

Commanding Oil

For a powerful formula, combine sweet flag (calamus) and licorice to form a powder to be added to a blend of castor oil and jojoba oil. Other ingredient  combinations can be used as well… Vetiver & essential oil of bergamot. for a situation involving finances. (Oil of bergamot can cause serious pigmentation issues if applied to the skin then exposed to the sun or a tanning bed) 


Banishing Powder

Black Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt

Sprinkle the powder on clothing, especially shoes of anyone you want "gone", it can also be sprinkled on the ground where your target will be forced to step in or over it. You would also sprinkle this in your working area and over the candles when performing a banishing spell.

Drawing Powder

(LOL) Confectioner’s Sugar

Graveyard Dust

Sometimes a rose is a rose, and Graveyard Dust is just what is says – dust (or dirt) from a graveyard. More often though, when Graveyard Dust is referred to as an ingredient in a spell, the following powder is what is being called for. For which spells do you use one and not the other? Well quite frankly, if you can’t make that determination based on other spell requirements and the intention of the spell, it’s time to put up the cauldron and candles and either seek out a LEGITIMATE mentor, go back to the books, or just give it up as you are going to hurt yourself or someone else if you continue trying to perform magic and harness energies without the proper knowledge…


Grind all ingredients together to form a fine powder, and use this mixture when Graveyard Dust (or Dirt) is called for.


I am including here recipes to create your own ink base, found at Make Stuff. Again, as with anything else magic related, what you put in has a big effect on what you get out. You can buy ink at most craft or hobby stores – probably even at Wal-mart or K-Mart in the office supply section, but you won’t know what energies you’ll be bringing to bear on you workings. No one ever said working magic was the easy way. In fact, if you want to do it "right" and be in full control of what you’re doing, there is actually a lot of work involved, and you may find the more mundane options to be much easier…

Basic Permanent Black Ink:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp gum arabic
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp lamp black (buy in a tube or make by holding a plate over a lit candle)

Mix egg yolk, gum arabic and honey in a small bowl. Add lamp black to make a thick paste. Store in a jar. To use, mix a little paste with a little water to make a fluid.

Prussian Blue Ink:

Dissolve Prussian Blue (available as laundry bluing) in water. Makes a rich blue ink.

Brown Ink:

  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4-5 teabags (or 4 tsp of loose tea)
  • 1 tsp gum arabic

Pour boiling water over the tea bags in a large bowl, add gum arabic. Steep for 15 minutes. Squeeze tea bags to extract as much tannic acid as possible. Strain and allow to cool before bottling. Use with a paintbrush or quill pen, etc.

Magic inks are created by adding certain ingredients to ink. I will list here the necessary ingredients, and if relevant quantities.

Raven’s Feather Ink

Burn one black feather, freely given (by a bird, not your buddy who went and plucked it), and add the ashes to ink.

Dragon’s Blood Ink

Dragon’s Blood (Dragon’s blood, obviously, is not the actual blood of a dragon…rather, is is a plant resin and can be purchased any number of places both online & in magic stores. Mind you, for this, and most magical purposes, you want the RESIN, not an incense or other already processed form of the product.)
Alcohol (to dissolve the resin, it is not water soluble)

Essential Oil of Cinnamon

Bat’s Blood Ink

Dragon’s Blood
Essential Oil of Cinnamon
Essential Oil of Myrrh

Dove’s Blood Ink

Dragon’s Blood
Essential Oil of Bay Laurel
Essential Oil of Cinnamon
Essential Oil of Rose

Ok, I hope that cleared things up a bit for you. Being a witch and performing magic, REAL magic, not rabbit-out-of-a-hat magic is a way of life. It can be a very rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle if you have chosen to follow this path, but as I said earlier, it’s not easy. There are a plethora of books, websites, groups & people that can offer you information on this subject, and very few of them agree. That doesn’t mean any or all of them are wrong, just different from each other.

To follow a magical path requires effort, dedication, and a willingness to be open to all (in my opinion, anyways) in an effort to find what is right for YOU. What works for one, or even several, may not work for you. Nothing magical is set in stone. Associations vary  with situations, and what you associate with a particular thing – color, herb, stone – may be very different from what is generally accepted. That, again, doesn’t make it wrong (and don’t let anyone tell you it does). If you associate the color orange with peacefulness & serenity, then use of the generally accepted pink in a working you perform will not be as effective as it would if you used orange. Many people associate green with healing, but for me personally, when I envision healing energy, it is oftentimes more blue than green. That’s what works for me. One of the major differences in MY workings involves the directional associations. The generally accepted associations are:

North – Earth
East – Air
South – Fire
West – Water

That makes your "set-up" look something like this:


In my head that makes no sense. With this "layout" you have elements counteracting each other rather than complimenting each other. When you are camping, and taking down your site for the last time, in an effort to make sure you leave no sparks of FIRE unattended, you bury your ashes with EARTH. Because EARTH smothers FIRE. When you are doing laundry, and your dryer is broken, you hang your wet clothes outside on a clothesline so the wind will hasten drying. Because AIR evaporates WATER.

In my head (which can actually be a bit of a scary place sometimes…) it makes much more logical sense to switch the locations of Earth and Air. Then you have a "set -up" like this:


Looking at this in a logical manner, we now make sense – back at your campsite, when you were first building your campfire, you piled a bunch of kindling into a pile, applied a spark, then gently blew on it (unless you are my hunny, then you just lit the portable torch, and held to a pile of wood until it caught…). Because AIR feeds FIRE. Without air, there is no fire. When Spring rolls around and it’s time to plant the garden, you hoe the earth to soften it, place your seeds in the locations you’ve chosen, then water it. Because WATER feeds EARTH. Without water, the earth is barren and sere.

It seems to me that if you work your magic following the generally accepted principles in this area, you are causing friction amongst the very elements you are requesting assistance from. My magic has been much more effective since I have started using the associations that work for me which puts the elements into an arrangement where they are complimenting one another rather than working against each other…

Oh my, I do ramble on…and tend to take twists and turns I had no idea were even options when I started out…LOL. But, I’ll be done for now. I hope this has helped more than hindered. I apologize for the rambling, but the elemental associations are a subject near & dear to me, and once I start, I tend to just keep going….

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.



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Thursday This Is Your Spell – More Money Spells

September 25, 2008 at 10:06 am (Magic, Money, Spells, Thursday, Witch)

* Money Spell *

unknown source

Things you will need:

  • Silver Dime
  • Any money drawing herb (mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, Etc.)
  • A money drawing oil (Mint, Patchouli, Bay, Virgin Olive oil, Etc.)
  • Waxing Moon (From seven to fourteen days after the new moon).

Outdoors in a quiet spot (late eve works best). Hold the dime in your left hand (your left hand or your receptive one ). Anoint the dime with oil. Place herb on top of the dime (dime should be face up). Now charge the dime by holding your right hand over your Left (making a cup ) Visualize a green light filling your cupped hands until they fill full of this light. The Chant must be repeated nine times:

Silver Dime
Waxing Moon
Fill my cup with prosperity soon

Bury the dime and herbs face up in the earth. This symbolizes planting a seed of prosperity into your life. In the days following of this spell:
If you see a penny pick it up and give thanks that prosperity is coming soon.

* Voodoo money spell *

unknown source

To Bring Money You Need:

  • 4 Quarters
  • 1 green candle
  • Sugar

Draw a cross on the floor with the sugar. Place a quarter at each point on the compass:
orth, South, East and West. Place the green candle in the middle of the cross. Light the candle and say:

Money, money come to me
Be it by land or
Be it by sea
Money, money come to me

Let the candle burn out.

* New Moon Abundance Check *

author unknown

The time of the New Moon is a good time to affirm prosperity. This is called the New Moon Abundance Check, or the Law of Abundance check, this can be an actual check from your check book or a drawing of a check.

  • Date the check.
  • Where it says "Pay To The Order Of", write in your name.
  • Fill in the amount you wish to manifest.
  • In the Memo section you may want to note "Over and above expected income."
  • Sign the check The Law of Abundance (or The Universe).

Tape the check somewhere you will see it often over the next 28 days…I tape mine near my computer. The first time I tried this I got $500 unexpected dollars. Last month no extra money came, but two potential new income sources presented themselves. It is best to write this check within 24 hours of the new moon. Some people put the check in their checkbook along with a deposit slip they have filled out. I do better when I actually see the check, it reminds me to affirm prosperity several times throughout the month.

* Money Spell for Quick Gain *

unknown author

This is a spell to gain money quickly. It should be used only when you absolutely need it and never for greed.

You need:

  • 10 Dimes
  • A Cup
  • Blessed Water
  • 2 Green Candles

To start this spell, cast a circle. Light the green candles and place the cup between them. Now, fill the glass with the blessed water and say:

Fill my pockets
ill them fast
Fill them like I fill this glass

Next, take the ten dimes in your hand. Drop them into the glass one by one saying this as you drop each coin it:

I wish for wealth
I wish for success
I wish for happiness
I wish for gold
I wish for silver
I wish for riches
I wish for health
I wish for help
I wish for money to come my way
I wish for all this so mote it be

When you have finished this, place the glass on your altar and let the candles burn down. This should bring money your way in the next few days.

* Prosperity Pouch *

unknown source


  • Green or gold cloth and bag
  • Cinnamon
  • Patchouli
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Money oil, cinnamon oil, or heliotrope oil
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • Malachite
  • Pyrite
  • 1 Gold Candle
  • 1 Green candle
  • Prosperity incense

Directions: Empower all objects. Carve a prosperity rune or symbol on the candles and dress them with any of the above oils. Visualize your goal as you dress them. Add a chant if you like.

"Wealth and money, come to me
I deserve prosperity."

Light the candles on your altar or place of magic. Place the empowered herbs in the bag and ask for the blessings of Earth. Wave the bag through the incense smoke and ask for the blessings of Air. Pass the bag through the flame of each candle and ask for the blessings of Fire. Anoint the bag with any of the money drawing oils and ask for the blessings of Water.
Hold the stones and tell them what they are to do. Explain their
magical purpose.
Add them to your pouch.
Take the cinnamon stick and drip some green wax on one end and gold wax on the other. These are 2 traditional money drawing colors but can also be viewed as colors for the Goddess (Green) and the God (Gold). Ask for their blessing on your spell. Say:

"For the good of all
and with harm to none
this is my will
And so it is done!"

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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Thursday This Is Your Spell – Binding/protection

September 18, 2008 at 12:48 pm (Magic, Protection, Spells, Thursday, Witch)

The general consensus is "Don’t interfere with another’s free will." However sometimes we can find ourselves in a situation where that just isn’t practical…For such an occasion, I give you a few binding/protection type spells. Please consider carefully before using any of these magics, and be sure you are prepared to accept any "universal" retribution that may come your way as a result. The energies that be do have a way a returning to one what they send out. Not believing such doesn’t make it less real….


This one is a good substitute for a hex, When your fear or anger tempts you in that direction. This spell works more on you than it does the other person. It allows you to take charge of the situation, calms you down so you can find a solution.

Blood turn black and flesh turn blue

I will curse you if you force me to

By the left hand and the unclean food

I’ll curse your eyes, I’ll curse your lies

I’ll call down a plague of flies

Blood go black and flesh go blue

Evil from me and back to you

My soul clean and yours on fire

You fuck with a witch you get burned, liar

To Stop A Person Causing Harm To You Binding (Freezeing) Instructions

Light a white candle and your favorite incense. Meditate a short while on the problem. Invoke the Spirits of Protection for you and yours. Then take a piece of brown paper, like from a grocery bag. On it use a lead pencil to print the name of the offending person or people. If unknown people are involved, also print and write, "and all persons unknown that are causing harm to me!" Cross off each line forcefully and say, forcefully,

" I freeze name(s) to be bound by this spell,

unable to cause any more harm to (name(s)!

As I will, so mote it be! "

Then put a spoonful of used coffee grounds on the brown paper, fold it small, and place it in the freezer. Leave it until the problem is completely resolved. I wrap a rubber band, string, twist tie, or what have you, to keep the coffee grounds from falling out of the paper. You can also use a zip loc bag. Be sure and burn the candle completely up. Don’t use that candle for a different purpose.

This spell is for binding a violent or dangerous person from doing

You’ll need:

  • Photo of person to be bound OR a piece of white parchment paper with their whole name written on it in black ink or dove’s blood ink.
  • 18 inches or so of black silken cord or black thick string, like embroidery floss.
  • A small glass jar with a cork lid
  • A small white candle
  • A small black candle

Light both your candles. Write the name on the paper or take the photograph in hand. Fold the paper or photo into as small a rectangle as possible. Take the cord in hand and begin to wind it around the rectangle, for a total of nine loops, saying aloud in a clear, strong voice:

I (insert your name here), bind thee (insert name of offending person here) from causing harm to (insert name of victim here),

from exerting control over this person,

from influencing this person.

I bind you from making further plans with this person.

I call upon the angels, Auriel, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael (or any other guides or deities you prefer.) to assist me in this righteous cause!

As I will,

so mote it be.

Place the paper into the jar. Urinate into the jar & cork. Seal all around the cork with the black candle wax. Let the candles burn themselves out safely. Place this jar in a place where no one will disturb it. Bury it if you must.
(Sorry.. Dont know where this originated but I do know it works quite nicely.)


This spell is for dealing with someone who is more of an annoyance than a threat, someone who really gets on your nerves or stresses you out by intruding in your life or violating your space. It is for someone you have already asked to stop but who persists in bothering you. It is not a spell to use on someone whose actions you object to within their own life or space.

You need:

  • A box
  • Two heads of garlic (or more, if you are using a big box or dealing with a group of people)
  • Herbs of protection
  • A photograph of the person, or their name written on a piece of paper

Put everything in the box. Cover the box and give it a good hard shake, mentally yelling at the person to modify the behavior that annoys you. Put the box away, in a drawer or up on a shelf. Take it out and give it a hard shake, yelling at them, every time they annoy you. After the first week or so you should seldom need to shake the box. Throw the box away in a few months, when the garlic begins to spoil.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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Sunday Surprise – Where Do Magic Spells Come From?

August 31, 2008 at 11:16 am (Book of Shadows, Books, Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, History, Lore, Magic, Mysteries, pagan, Spell, Spells, Sunday, Wisdom, Witch)

This post is taken in entirety from The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells by Judika Illes

According to the author, folklorist and scholar of magic, Zora Neale Hurston, "magic is older than writing. So nobody knows how it started." Very true, but what we do know is that magic comes from all over the globe. There is not a people or culture on Earth that did not at one time possess a magical tradition, whether they recall it today or whether or not they still use it. Some cultures and religions revel in their magical traditions. Others are ashamed of them or deny that the traditions ever existed. Some ethnic groups like to point the finger and suggest that magic comes from other people, not them, oh no, never – any practices of their own are only isolated bad habits picked up from disreputable magical wanderers or neighbors.

When a large cache of papyri from Alexandria in Egypt was found to be largely devoted to magic, scholars exulted. Not because they were neces-sarily so interested in magic, although some were, but because magic spells reveal a tremendous amount about a culture and its circumstances. Read between the lines of a spell and you will discover important details about people’s expectations of life and death, their daily problems, the materials that they cherish, their spiritual outlook. For example, recently published books intended for the urban magical practitioner attempt to minimize or even eliminate the need for botanicals. Beyond their value to their intended audience, these books also transmit a crucial message to all of us regarding the state of our environment. As another example, only cultures that possess a belief in the possibility of legal justice, however remote, produce court case spells. Love spells reveal cultural sexual dynamics. So you see, magic spells have tremendous value as history, anthropology, and sociology way beyond their practical value to the spell- caster.

Translations of the Alexandrian papyri, now known as the Magical Papyri, were eagerly awaited. Stemming mainly from the second century BCE to the fifth century CE, they span a crucial, fascinating period of history: the times of Cleopatra, Jesus, the rise of Rome, the fall of Jerusalem, and the emergence of Christianity as a cohesive faith and world power.

Alexandria, although it became Egypt’s capital, is not an ancient pharaonic city. It was founded by the Macedonian conqueror, Alexander the Great, one of several cities he named in his own honor. Its orientation is the Mediter-ranean, not the Nile, Like other older Egyptian cities. At various periods, indigenous Egyptians were not even permitted to live within Alexandria’s boundaries. It was a Greek outpost in Egypt, with Greeks as the elite citi-zenry. Cleopatra, descendant of one of Alexander the Great’s generals and the last of her dynasty, was the only one of her lineage who troubled to learn the Egyptian language.

The city achieved a reputation as a world-capital of magic. Alexandria supported a sizeable population of magic practitioners of all kinds – di-viners, dream interpreters, professional spell-casters – all presumably serving the needs of their specific communities rather than Alexandria as a whole, because Alexandria was a rigidly divided city. Although Alex-andria, like many cities of its time, was divided into quarters, true div-isions, like many a modern city, were cast along ethnic lines. Two of Alex-andria’s quarters were Greek; one was Egyptian (the only area in which they were permitted to reside), and the fourth housed a sizeable Jewish community.

Divisions between the quarters were distinct, reflecting hostility between these communities, which periodically bubbled over into rioting and vio-lence. It was a turbulent, volatile city, demonstrating ethnic tensions only too familiar today. This may be ancient history but it’s a familiar land-scape to many contemporary urban dwellers or anyone who reads a cur-rent newspaper. It was precisely the cities divisions and its multi-ethnic population and varied religious and spiritual traditions (Alexandria was also the birthplace of Gnosticism) that so excited the archeologists and scholars – it provided the potential for something like historical "control groups."

Expectation was that the orientation of the papyri would be largely Greek. In Athens, there was a tendency to associate magic with out-of-towners – Thracians or Thessalians. Would this practice continue? Would there be completely Greek magic, or would the Alexandrians transfer the outsider role to the native Egyptians? Would the Greeks, traditionally impressed by Egyptian mysticism (Pythagoras studied in Egypt) adopt some of their host country’s practices? Would it be possible to clearly trace the emergence of Gnosticism as well as Pagan reactions to Christianity? Answers to these crucial questions were anticipated with baited breath as translation of the papyri progressed.

What was uncovered is a mess. The spells, on the whole, are neither clear-ly nor even mostly Greek, or Egyptian, or that third ethnic group, Judaic, but a scrambled jumble of all three, with a healthy dose of Pagan and Christian Gnosticism, together with a sprinkling of influences from other parts of the Greek and Roman empires. Any individual spell may incorp-orate the God of Israel, assorted angels, Egyptian gods, Mesopotamian gods, Greek gods, Nubian gods, Jesus Christ and Christian spirituality, bo-tanical magic, divination, names of mysterious things we have no way of presently identifying, some or all of the above, and definitely not neces-sarily in that order.

What was a poor scholar to do? How to interpret and sort this material, determine who wrote it, and to whom it truly belongs and applies?

None of the information in the papyri is mundane everyday material that you might say any individual on the street was bound to know. The spells and incantations are the height of occult knowledge. The Magical Papyri are the descendants of highly guarded spiritual secrets, the ancestors of high ritual magic. Alexandria was an intensely urban community. These spells don’t reflect the knowledge common to any village wise-woman or cunning man but are highly detailed and specialized, occult in every sense, the stuff of initiates and adepts. Who wrote them? The information con-tained in them defies all attempts to pigeonhole these spells.

They derive from over centuries and so can’t be attributed to one person, not even the legendary Hermes Trismegistus. Nothing in Alexandria’s his-tory indicates a mingling of cultures that would provide a general inter-cultural exchange like this – quite the opposite. Furthermore, although Greek was Alexandria’s lingua franca and many Jews, for instance, spoke that language rather than their own, spiritual secrets were still recorded in each community’s distinct tongue. Sacred, secret spiritual texts in each possible tradition were maintained in the most obscure version possible specifically so that profane eyes could not access them. Egyptian, Greek, and Hebrew aren’t even written with the same alphabets. Who had access to all this vast information? How was it transmitted?

Intense debate ensued regarding who compiled these spells and who act-ually cast them. Were they Greeks, as had originally been anticipated, or were they Egyptians? Were they Greeks gone native? Controlled attempts had been made to combine aspects of Greek and Egyptian religion, culmin-ating in the cult of Serapis. But then, why the Jewish reference? Were they Egyptians striving to Hellenize? But then why the Christian refer-ences? Maybe the spells were compiled by unemployed wizard-priests trying to find a new professional niche market, but then why don’t they hew more faithfully to centuries of conservative Egyptian tradition? They couldn’t be Jews, because, of course, Jews are monotheistic and don’t participate in this kind of thing, but then, if not, how did the spell-casters learn all those obscure Hebrew names of power, names extremely difficult to access even within the Jewish community? But if they were Jews. what were they doing invoking Hecate, Hathor and Hermes? They couldn’t be Christians because Christians forbade magic in general, because Alexandria was home to a particularly militant branch of Christianity and because the rift be-tween Christians and Pagans was especially violent and bitter in Alex-andria. But if they were not Christians, why all the references to Jesus Christ? These mysteries were not the ones that scholars had so eagerly anticipated investigating and debating.

Translation of the Magical Papyri occurred only recently. Perhaps more information will be uncovered. Volume one of The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation Including the Demotic Spells was first published in 1986. Egyptologists, anthropologists, historians, linguists, and other schol-ars continue to discuss their origin and broad scope. The only experts, I suspect, who have not been consulted are contemporary urban magical practitioners, for whom the entangled ethnic and spiritual roots of the Magical Papyri’s spells would come as no surprise.

When historians counted Alexandria’s four quarters, they neglected a fifth community, who quite obviously rejected, transcended, and ignored those boundaries: Alexandria’s vast community of magical practitioners, a quar-ter unto themselves. Where other residents of Alexandria found divisions, these magical practitioners discovered a crossroads. Magic thrives where roads meet. What the Magical Papyri manifests is the birth of modern magic.

If you were an up-and-coming metaphysical seeker or magical practitioner back then, Alexandria was the place to go. Why? Not just to make money; you’d retain more of a monopoly by staying home as a big fish in small pond. No, you’d go to Alexandria to meet other practitioners, learn what they had to teach and share some secrets of your own. The spells of the Magical Papyri demonstrate what happens at those crossroads.

Where others obeyed the rules and kept to their own kind, magical practi-tioners went wandering, with magic as the lingua franca, the common tongue, exploring each other’s secrets, deconstructing them and putting them back together in whole new confabulations. This mixing is not neces-sarily about improvement; spells that hew faithfully to one tradition work just as powerfully as blended spells. Instead it’s about experimentation and the desire (common to all practitioners), to adapt something of power to one’s own needs. (This process is not always a happy one. One person’s sharing is another person’s appropriation. The Egyptians, for example, were appalled when they learned that Greeks had discovered aphrodisiac properties in their sacred temple incense, kyphi.)

Alexandria presaged the modern city, filled with immigrants from Earth’s different coroners. Previously, opportunities to meet other practitioners probably came from your own family; everyone shared the same knowledge and repertoire of tools and materials. Sure, there was the occasional wan-dering stranger, but nothing like the vast landscape of Alexandria, where practitioners from so many traditions could sit and share secrets. Magic, back then as it does today, transcends and defies boundaries of language, ethnicity, race, gender or religion to form its own community.

When I first read the Magical Papyri my immediate reaction was recog-nition: all those mixed-up, boundary-jumping spells resembled, in nature if not in specific detail, the culturally diverse magic that I learned in my own hometown, that crossroads of the modern world, New York City. New York, like Alexandria, has had its moments of tense ethnic division, but you wouldn’t know it from the metaphysical community. Fearing the law, fearing ridicule, people may hold themselves aloof, at least until genuine magical credentials, knowledge, respect and curiosity are demonstrated, but then the walls come down.

One thing magical practitioners have in common all around the world is curiosity, the quest for knowledge. We are the original enquiring minds who wish to know. Obstacles to knowledge are bitterly resented and are persistently undermined. Magicians always wish to expand their power and increase their knowledge and repertoire. There is a reason that so many of the earliest books printed were grimoires, or books of magic – the same reason that Lord Thoth is patron both of scribes and magicians. Providing that a society is at all literate, magical practitioners, on the whole, are great readers, from ancient Egypt’s Houses of Life to the Voodoo queens of New Orleans.

There is only one thing better than learning from a book and that’s learn-ing from each other. Magical practitioners are, in general, an open-minded bunch. Put a few in a room together and fairly quickly tools will be com-pared, secrets shared, and demands for knowledge made.

Spells are constantly evolving to suit changing needs. This is particularly true where cultures live closely alongside each other. Nothing crosses bor-ders faster than a magic spell. For instance it can be almost impossible to separate totally the intermingled strands of various European magical traditions. Because certain methods, materials and styles are more popular and prevalent in one area than another doesn’t necessarily mean that they originated there or, at least, not in isolation. Even the most sedentary, isolated communities received periodic magical cross-pollination from Jews, Romany, tinkers, and assorted wanderers.

These entwined traditions become even more complex in the magical and spiritual traditions of America and the Western Hemisphere.

During the height of the slave trade, people were kidnapped from, all over Africa. What were originally distinct cultures, each with specific spiritual and magical traditions, found themselves thrown together in dire circum-stances, the type of circumstances in which many reach for magic. In Haiti, the traditions of the Fon people of Dahomey were dominant and evolved into Vodoun, although not in isolation. These traditions evolved, adding components of indigenous Taino magic, diverse other African tra-ditions, French, and Spanish magic, thus also transmitting Basque, Jewish, Moorish, and Romany influences and last but not least, Freemasonry. You think this is beginning to make Alexandria look simple? Just wait.

Following later political turbulence, many Haitian refugees fled to New Orleans, where Vodoun evolved once more, retaining its frame but picking up new influences, this time from the local black population, whose own magic derived from Congolese sources rather than Fon, and also British, Italian and Native American magical traditions. New Orleans, the Crescent City, became known as the capital of American magic. Its traditions would soon be incorporated into what might be called mainstream magic, that magic most accessible to the population at large. This magic would eventu-ally be transmitted to Europe where, who knows? Maybe it’s now been picked up by African emigrants to evolve and transform once more.

After extended contact, New Orleans Voodoo can be hard to distinguish from Hoodoo. Hoodoo’s basic framework also derives from Africa, mainly from Congolese traditions, but again not in isolation. Deprived of the botanicals with which they had been familiar in Africa, their materia magica, enslaved African magical practitioners consulted with Native American and acquired a whole new botanical tradition, sharing magical and spiritual secrets as well. These Hoodoo doctors typify the proverbial questing, intellectually curious magicians. In addition to Native American, West and Central African roots, their tradition soon incorporated European folk magic, the Egyptian mysteries, Freemasonry and Kabbalah. The great grimoires became available to all. Transmission was cross-cultural. With the exception of a very few isolated mountain pockets, American magic in general demonstrates tremendous African influence.

Further north, Pow-Wow is the magic of German immigrants to Pennsyl-vania, the Pennsylvania Dutch (a corruption of Deutsch.) The basic frame-work is, of course, the German magic the migrants carried with them, both high ritual and folk magic, which incorporated a healthy dose of Jewish and Romany influence as well as those of neighboring European people. In America, strong further influence (and the tradition’s name) came from Native Americans, especially the Iroquois, and from the Chikkeners, the so-called Black Dutch: Romany (Zigeuners) forcibly de-ported from Europe who, separated from clan and family, found discreet safety among the Pow-Wow artists.

In 1819 or 1820, dates vary, Pow-Wow artist and hexenmeister, John George Hohman compiled a canon of Pow-Wow wisdom and published it under the title The Book of Pow-Wows: The Long Lost Friend. This book, still in print, traveled to the cities of the South, carried largely by Jewish merchants, who sold it to Voodoo and Hoodoo practitioners, who incorporated it into their already multi-cultural blend of magic and, no doubt, sent some equally valuable information up North with the returning merchant, who were learning from everybody and spreading the news.

There is an important exception to this magic melting pot, of course. Very isolated areas, places where people have historically had little or no con-tact with others, maintain extremely pristine, ancient magical traditions. Like the unique creatures of the Galapagos Islands, their traditions devel-oped in isolation and thus may have very unique, easily identifiable char-acteristics. It’s much easier to clearly identify a spell from Papua New Guinea, for instance, than it is to distinguish between French, German, or Swiss spells. Because these traditions are so unique and because one can identify the spells origins, it’s very tempting to constantly point out which spell came from which isolated culture. The danger is that this creates a lopsided effect, akin to those old-school anthropologists who were so quick to note the curious habits of the "Natives" while failing to remark on sim-ilar practices, parallels and traditions back home.

I can’t emphasize more that every distinct people, every culture, every na-tion, every religion and spiritual tradition has, at one time or another, incorporated, developed, and created magic spells. Each one of us has a ma-gical history somewhere along the line. Loss and abandonment of these traditions tends to accompany loss of cultural or religious autonomy. These spells, therefore, are our shared human heritage, not isolated odd things engaged in only by strange other people, very different from us.

In some cases, in this book, I have pointed out where spells come from and which traditions they represent, especially if there’s some interesting factoid associated with it or if that knowledge may help you cast the spell, or sometimes just to give credit where credit is due for a partic-ularly beautiful spell. However, I have not done so in every case. Some-times I did not wish to keep emphasizing one culture, as if they were Earth’s only magical ones, especially those cultures whose vast magical repertoire has stimulated others to vilify, stereotype and persecute them. In other cases, the roots were too tangled to identify their origins honestly.

Although many of the spells in this book are meant for use, others are included purely for historic value and perspective, so that we may remember and learn from them.

Taken in entirety from The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells by Judika Illes

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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Sunday Surprise – Is Magic Evil? A (Very Abridged) Secret History of Magic

August 24, 2008 at 7:51 pm (Books, Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, Evil, History, Lore, Magic, pagan, Path, Spells, Sunday, Witch)

You think you’d like to cast a spell, but you’re afraid . . . Is practicing magic evil?

According to general worldwide metaphysical wisdom, magic is a source of power. Power may be used benevolently or selfishly, with varying degrees of mal intent. Thus it isn’t the abstract practice of magic that is either good or bad; it’s what each practitioner chooses to do with it. Responsibility for one’s actions and the consequences that stem from them rest securely on the individual practitioner’s shoulders. Have evil people ever abused magic power? Sure. Just take a look at some of the hexes in this book, Is magic the only power capable of being a-bused? Of course not. How about financial power, political power, brute strength, nuclear power, and so on and so forth?

There is a general rule, accepted across the board, that magicians reap what they sow. Cast an evil spell – ultimately receive evil back. Negative efforts attract neg-ative returns, at a return rate of three-, seven-, or nine-fold. The standard rule of witchcraft is do what thou will, but harm none. Many modern witches are abso-lutely terrified of transgressing that rule.

So then, why magic’s bad reputation?

Yes, there are legends of wicked sorcerers using their skills to hold others in thrall. However, if one examines these legends closely, it’s usually revealed that the ma-gical aspect is but a smoke screen for more reliable, conventional methods of co-ercion, like brute force and access to greater wealth, although I suppose one could argue that magical prowess enabled their acquisition. Suffice to say that any po-sition of power in any profession, is vulnerable to corruption and temptation. Let’s talk about the average working magical practitioner.

Magic is concerned with the immediate needs and desires of the practitioner in the here and now, or at least in the immediately foreseeable future. It is not about "pie in the sky." The average magician doesn’t want to wait for the possible rewards of the sweet hereafter. Magic is not for the passive; if you’re willing to passively ac-cede to your fate, the destiny others decide for you, whatever it is, why waste time, effort or money casting a spell?

Magic recognizes that Earth is full of gifts and the practitioner wants his or her share now. Magic is not the same as religion, although many religions have histor-ically incorporated magic into their practice, and still do. To put it mildly, magic is mot an inherently reverential system. Magic demands that my will be done, not  necessarily thine – or at least, let’s find a compromise. It is not a humble art. Ma-gic possesses an intensely powerful independent, egalitarian streak.

An infinite quantity of magic power exists in the world, enough for everyone, It’s not like a scarce commodity, where if I have it, you don’t. Magic power is con-stantly being generated, although various modern practices, especially those that affect the natural environment, have diminished present quantities drastically. Similar to Pullman’s His Dark Materials dust, the energy that each individual gen-erates enters the universe where it affects, and may be drawn upon by, others. It is to everyone’s benefit (except perhaps for that elite few already achieving their heaven on Earth at the expense of others) that every individual, creature or thing, maximizes its potential for power.

Furthermore, not all powers on Earth are positive: intense extended misery, suf-fering and oppression generate a negative energy that ultimately affects everyone badly, diminishes baraka, obstructs magic power and limits everyone’s access to it. In addition, the extinction of Earth’s life forms – the loss of plant and animal spe-cies – eliminates every practitioner’s potential access to their unique powers. Thus general oppression and certain policies affecting the environment, beyond any  ethical considerations of right or wrong, hamper the magician’s ability to maximize personal power and the power of their spells.

There is an inherent tension between the individual practitioner seeking power, and authority of all kinds, most especially religious authority, which seeks to maintain its authority by retaining and controlling access to the divine, as well as to tools, theology and ritual. Religion frequently seeks to establish rules and boundaries about who has direct access to the divine, and who bestows that access and the proper channels. Correct methods of worship and spiritual communication are prescribed, including what is permitted and what is not.

If something has power, magicians usually want to try it out, regardless of whose tradition or faith it comes from, regardless of whether some authority says use is forbidden. Although magic is a conservative force in ways, harking back to hu-manity’s most primal arts, it also evolves endlessly, adapting new material, new traditions and new methods as they appear. It is fluid and defiant and resists control.

Fundamentalists of all kinds are inevitably opposed to magic, but this tension exists even among liberal faiths that prize their magical traditions – so-called magical religions. Here, inevitably, religious tradition stipulates a right way to practice magic. Knowledge may be reserved for the few, with methods reserved for those going through the proper, authorized channels. Tension will exist between the officially initiated and independent practitioners.

That tension between authority and magical practitioner is, I suspect, the real reason why secular rulers and religious authorities (frequently in conjunction with each other) attempt to brand magic and its practitioners as evil influences, a cancer among the submissive. Lack of obedience rather than lack of morality is what really draws down the wrath of authority.

It is no accident that the Bible records that Israel’s diviners, shamans and necro-mancers were "put away" during the reign of its very first king, Saul. When the prophet Samuel warned the children of Israel that choosing a king would mean losing sons, daughters, land and livestock, he neglected to mention that they would also lose their previous access to professional magical advice. Or perhaps he didn’t bother to mention it because he was aware, as apparently was the king, that those magical services are so crucial that they are never entirely suppressed. In fact, King Saul himself is very soon shown, in his hour of need, searching out one of those prescribed, forbidden bone-conjurers for a private consultation.

Because the Bible has so often been used as an excuse to persecute and extermin-ate witches, it’s significant to note how the Bible depicts the Witch of Endor act-ually accomplishing her task. She’s not painted as a stranger with strange talents, or as a foreigner, but as a member of the community. Neither is she shown to be a fraud; she capably fulfills her royal client’s request. Nor is she depicted as ma-levolent or evil, but as a good-hearted woman: having accomplished the unhappy task that every fortune teller dreads, of delivering really bad news, she comforts and feeds the distraught king, providing his last meal on Earth, at personal sac-rifice (she kills a calf to feed him) considering that he is responsible for her loss of profession and presumably income.

Fortune-tellers, readers and diviners hold an especially tense relationship with po-litical authority. Historically, rulers, particularly the all-powerful, very much like to have the future revealed. They also typically wish to retain exclusive control over this information. Because others may use a diviners skill to plot rebellion, histor-ically diviners have been imprisoned, or one is imprisoned for the ruler’s private use, while others are killed. To make matters worse, rulers usually desire to hear only the future as they envision it; a diviner can only read what entrails, shoulder blades, or other tools reveal. You see the need sometimes to keep one’s power secret. Although it frustrates us today, there’s a very good reason Nostradamus recorded his prophesies in code.

Wherever efforts have been made either to subjugate or convert another country or people, among the first acts traditionally taken is the attempted subversion or elimination of native shamans and traditional magical practices and practitioners. This is inevitably perceived as necessity for the pacification of the masses. This is not purely paranoia on the part of those seeking to assert and retain authority.

Traditional shamans and magical practitioners are consistently in the forefront of resistance to oppressive authority. (Because winners write history, the con-ventional historical explanation for this phenomenon is that shamans attempt to impede the "path of progress." ) In the British West Indies, historical records show that Obeah men and women (the local shamans) led slave revolts or attempted to do so. The Haitian revolution, which ended slavery in that French colony and estab-lished the first independent black republic in the Western Hemisphere, was inaug-urated at a Vodoun ceremony dedicated to the Spirit of Iron, the material, with the sole exception of menstrual blood, singularly most charged with magical power – although as soon as native dictators proceeded to seize and consolidate power, not surprisingly, they too attempted to restrict or eliminate Vodoun.

This, not evil, power-hungry sorcerers is the hidden history of magic. In the United States, the prominent Voodooists Marie Laveau and Mary Ellen Pleasant rescued and redeemed slaves, with Pleasant providing funding for John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry. (Their male counterpart, Dr John Montanet, was himself a freed slave, as was Pleasant.) Lest you think this association between magic and social justice is limited to African influence, Native American shamans were (and remain) in the forefront of resistance to white encroachment, and traditional practitioners led desperate resistance to Christian domination of Europe. Who knows what at-tempts to defy limitations on women’s magical and spiritual traditions were de-stroyed in the flames of the craze of medieval witch-burning? Virtually all the re-cords that remain are filtered through the eyes of the torturers.

Although men suffer too, societies that suppress the magical arts will, as a rule, also limit women’s voices and power, often with terrible brutality. Significantly, King Saul, in need of a necromancer, requested that his minions find him a conjuring woman. Although it’s since taken many twists and turns, magic ultimately derives from women’s mysteries and the mysteries of creation, and the history of magic’s suppression cannot be separated from the history of women’s oppression.

Is magic evil? Well, if your perception is that sex is inherently evil, Creation inher-ently tainted with sin, and that women constitute Earth’s weakest link. then I  guess you’d better lump magic in there with the rest of these moral dilemmas.

If magic cannot be entirely divorced from religion, even less can it be separated from herbalism, the root of all traditional medicinal systems, systems that for mil-lennia have investigated botanical impact on health and (above all) on repro-duction. Magic is the primordial human art and science. It stems from awe inspired by all Earthly creation, but especially the mysteries of human creation. Every new human life is the ultimate act of magic. Conscious attempts at conception pro-bably constitute the first magic spells, especially if you consider that our remote ancestors didn’t understand pregnancy in the detached, technical manner that we do today. Primordial religions venerated the divine in the form of human genitalia with joy, awe and respect, not prurience, recognizing their capacity for sacred generation and creation.

Although these symbols still survive in isolated pockets of official religion, magic remains suffused with sexual imagery, in ways that may surprise us today, in ef-forts to maximize the blessings inherent in the powers of anatomy, both male and female. However, magic stems from fascination, on the parts of both women and men, with women’s mysteries : the capacity to produce life where it didn’t exist before, magic blood that flows on schedule from no wound and then is myster-iously retained, the links between that blood, fertility, women, the moon and the sea. These were and remain conduits to the sacred for primordial magic and spirituality alike.


Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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Sunday Surprise – What Is A Book Of Shadows

June 29, 2008 at 3:15 pm (Book of Shadows, Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Elements, History, Lore, Ritual, Spells, Sunday)

I could use this day and space to do a general Lammas/Lughnassadh overview, but that wouldn’t really be a surprise, would it? And today’s theme is “Sunday Surprise”. So I decided to deviate from the expected, and do an overview of Books of Shadows .

According to it’s most basic definition, a Book of Shadows is a book of spells or rituals copied by hand. That’s crucial; by definition, a Book of Shadows is a personalized, hand-written book, No two are identical, if only because the handwriting is different. Although various authors have published their personal Book of Shadows, these are usually intended as guidelines or methods of preserving traditions. If you use a printed, published Book of Shadows for spellcasting, which many do, then by definition it is being used in the manner of a grimoire. In order to possess an authentic Book of Shadows it must be hand-written even if all you do is copy it word for word. A not insubstantial portion of the tradition’s power and beauty derives from the magical art of putting pen to paper.

Books of Shadows derive from the notion that because magical practices and/or pagan religion were persecuted with total eradication as the goal, witches (variously defined) kept secret books. Secrecy was crucial because possession of a magical or pagan text (and that’s a distinction the Inquisition would nor have made) was grounds for arrest and conviction for witchcraft. The title of the genre, which may or may not have been coined by Gerald Gardner, father of modern Wicca, refers to the necessity of keeping these books hidden or in the shadows.”

If one uses the purest, narrowest definition of a Book of Shadows as a hand-written, personalized book of rituals and magic, then in essence, all magical manuscripts created prior to the invention of the printing press, not least the medieval grimoires, are Books of Shadows. They were, by necessity, hand-copied. There was no other way to make a book.

However, that pure, narrow definition of Book of Shadows is rarely used, and the equation of then with medieval grimoires would horrify, appall and anger many Wiccans, because a Book of Shadows is more than just a handwritten ritual guide.

Many would object to considering medieval grimoires as Books of Shadows because these grimoires are virtually all associated with a type of selfish, frequently malevolent, male-orientated sorcery, heavily steeped in Christianity (many who used and perhaps wrote then were theologians) and with a type of magic that is diametrically opposed to traditional Earth-centered witchcraft,

Historic Books of Shadows, as opposed to those created in the wake of Gerald Gardner, are understood to have been books written by individual female witches or by covens in a desperate attempt to keep traditions alive. They are shadowy because normally this material would never have been written down but transmitted orally-but desperate times required desperate action.

This is the definition of Book of Shadows as taught by Gerald Gardner, who claimed to have learned of the tradition when he was initiated into a long- secret coven. Gardner wrote his own Book of Shadows together with Doreen Valiente and Aliester Crowley, and this book is among the bedrock on which Gardnerian Wicca is formed.

Since Gardner, Books of Shadows are an integral part of Wiccan religion, manifesting in various ways.

  • Solitary witches may create their own book to suit personal needs

  • Some traditions maintain one copy, entrusted to the High Priest or High Priestess; initiated individuals may copy from the book as needed

  • In some traditions, initiation involves copying and understanding the Book of Shadows over an extended period of time

  • Not all traditions create Books of Shadows; some prefer not to put everything in writing.

In this sense Books of Shadows transcends spells. They are books of ritual. If one belongs to a specific spiritual or witchcraft tradition, this sacred book is where the laws, rituals, spells, and crucial information of that tradition are written.

This notion of the historical Book of Shadows grounded in the witch hunts is controversial. Academics specializing in witchcraft often object to it, convinced it didn’t exist. Many believe Gerald Gardner created the concept himself and only claimed that the tradition was old, similar in fashion to the way grimoires authored in the eighteenth century claim to be based on ancient manuscripts, Because so few ancient magical or pagan texts survived, it’s impossible to verify – or disprove – these claims.

Scholarly objection stems mainly from the fact that the type of witch Gardner describes tends to be female and is generally believed to be at best functionally illiterate. However, this is assumption and incredibly difficult to prove, one way or anther.

Witch-trial records do show that when witches were burned, books were burned with them, However, because the books were burned there is little if any evidence of what was burned. It’s an old political trick; first burn the evidence, then say the evidence didn’t exist. And maybe it didn’t. Maybe the scholars are right. But maybe they’re wrong – at least some of the time, Secrets have a way of emerging from the shadows: one historical reference survives. According to seventeenth-century Venetian Inquisition records, charges of witchcraft were levied against a woman names Laura Malipero. When the agents of the inquisition searched her home the discovered a copy of the banned grimoire The Key of Solomon, together with a private, hand written book of spells and rituals into which Laura had copied portions of that classical grimoire. Laura Malipero was obviously not illiterate. Her handwritten book fulfills Gerald Gardner’s concept of the individual witch’s Book of Shadows and straddles the fine line between them and medieval grimoires.

And whether Gerald Gardner or someone else made up the notion of Books of Shadows may be irrelevant; it is a beautiful tradition.The completed books (and some are never complete, perpetual works in progress) are beautifully embellished works of art, power, magic, and spirituality, Some are written in magical scripts, some are illustrated. No two are exactly alike,

Wiccan Books of Shadows are traditionally kept secret, Many covens administer an oath of secrecy to initiates, You have to enter and commit yourself to that twilight world of shadows to gain access.

Source: The Element Encyclopedia Of Witchcraft:

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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