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spectropoetics last won the day on February 20

spectropoetics had the most liked content!

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About spectropoetics

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    Advanced Member


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  • How familiar are you with witchcraft?
    Adequate at a few forms of divination; holding on to scraps of folk practices passed down in my family, from which I'm trying to extrapolate and revivify
  • Have you explored other paths?
  • Have you ever worked with Traditional Witchcraft?
    A few folk practices hanging around in my family that we've sadly lost much context for.
  • What does Traditional Witchcraft mean to you?
    Tapping into land and ancestral spiritual currents to work towards personal gnosis, power and attendant responsibility.
  • How long have you worked with witchcraft in general?
    A decade or so with Tarot and a few other forms of divination, without spellcraft or much spiritual connection.
  • What brought you to our site?
    Looking up online resources and communities on traditional witchcraft.
  • What do you expect to get from this site, and what do you expect to contribute to this forum?
    I expect to get interested conversations and ideas that keep me inspired and challenged. I hope to contribute the same.
  • Do you belong to any other online witchcraft sites?
  • What are your strongest points in witchcraft?
    Tarot and traditional astrology.
  • What are your weakest points in witchcraft?
    Spirit contact.

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  1. Love this. Big fan of the weaving analogy. tbh I think I have energy fatigue (😎👉) I'm guilty of using it because it's so damn convenient but that's precisely the issue: it's a little too convenient a term, it's incredibly vague, it lumps things that definitely feel and act differently together (or makes them up wholesale - is my suspicion sometimes), it's weirdly unagentive for a word that describes literal power... So it makes for lazy conceptualization and half the time I have no idea what the people telling me about it are on about. Another issue I have with the term is that it's oddly mechanical. A huge pet peeve of mine (and like, actual philosophical issue lol) in witchy circles is the use of mechanical (especially computing) metaphors to describe the fucking numinous. Like reducing spirit communication to "downloads". Like the witch or medium cultivating conversations with spirits is actually the passive recipient of a few megabytes of binary. Like tending to your body-mind to develop sensitivity and receptivity is the same thing as plugging yourself into the right socket. I consider it my duty as a witch to eradicate these lines of thoughts, to restore the vocabulary (and thus the cosmology, I'd go as far as to say the ecology) of crafting. Hence my soft spot for the weaving analogy (which, funnily enough, computing is based on as well - and oh the irony, since the term deprogramming would be apt to describe what I'm trying to do). I was curious to see when that word, energy, entered the English language, where it came from and what it meant if anything outside of engineering before the industrial revolution. Apparently it came into English via French (from Greek via Latin) in the 1590s with a mistake: "Used by Aristotle with a sense of "actuality, reality, existence" (opposed to "potential") but this was misunderstood in Late Latin and afterward as "force of expression," as the power which calls up realistic mental pictures." I really like this meaning. It's actually apt for what we seem to be talking about when we talk about energy in the metaphysical sense. But there's no denying that it has been entirely polluted by its scientific meaning and it's impossible to change the set of associations we Moderns have with it. So I'm just really fascinated by the paradox that started the thread:
  2. Oh yeah in my earlier post I sort of glossed over the key word "compass" haha. Good... point that above and below are also points. I definitely believe that magic circles in general are designed to bring one in alignment with the cosmos to tell it into being (more as in telling a story than in telling it what to do haha). The "sun's path" rationale is the only one I find convincing personally - it's also the most ancient and explains how few divergences there are in directional associations (with elements, themes, types of magic), and why they're so comparatively modern.
  3. Ancestor veneration seems to be making a big comeback in the wider "alternative spiritualities" world and most altars or recommendations for altars I see floating around seem to be boveda inspired. I have no experience with this but I find it interesting that it's in the air at the moment. Watching this topic.
  4. Damn I'm really impressed by people with good enough memories that they can retrace their own steps like that. When I was at uni I used to work myself up into a panic (barely exaggerating lol) thinking of past students who didn't have searchable archives, books, notes... I would be a very different person without search algorithms lol
  5. @Michele, precisely, it's all these nuances and different conceptualizations that I find so enriching. Thank you for sharing!
  6. Here my beliefs align with yours. But I believe the energy of the plant (I would go farther and term it its personhood, or simply being - to me that it is an important distinction that breaks the Idealistic model and restores agency to whatever it is one is working with, which all too often is absent from the equation) is inextricable from its specific embodiment. Simply put, that the plant is not an expression of some purely immaterial principle but that the plant, like every thing, exists as a physical thing with a spirtual - or energetic, I suppose - dimension. I also agree that these associations build up and strengthen over time. This is why it's so comparatively easy to work with vervain, to take this example again: my specific plant and I are building on covenants dating back millenia; the plant is used to all sorts of magicians and vice versa. I may have misread your first post and this may appear as nitpicking over semantics but to me they're defining elements of a craft, and that's why I'm so interested in comparing my understanding with that of other practitioners.
  7. I keep having clearer ideas of how to express my thoughts right after I post smh... Michele, it's probably not how you intended it, but do you see how in your theory the plant is a sort of passive portal to something other (implicitly greater)? I believe the plant has just as much of an agenda as the witch and that often, the craft is about negotiating and harmonizing these agendas to bring about an outcome desirable to both parties. In short, I believe in a world of material and metaphysical relations, not of (philosophical) Idealism.
  8. Oh that's interesting. Personally I don't believe that's what's happening at all. For instance, I don't think that "inspiration" somehow exists somewhere and that vervain is just an interface for me to access this energy. I believe these things work by the laws of sympathy, not ontology: that things are defined by their relative closeness and distance, not by their own separate existence (with possible links between them). So, in my example, I believe that vervain, because it has such a pleasant, fresh smell, gently stimulates the mind and the imagination; that its purplish flowers resonate with Venus, meaning it is invested in harmony: works of beauty that bring people together. So it follows that vervain would help one compose works of art, music in particular (the plant's freshness evokes the air element, and of course: harmony), especially ones that are well-balanced and classically beautiful. So, in my view, vervain is inspiring; it's not a gateway to an energy we have come to understood as inspiration.
  9. I have two nice hardcover books with sturdy paper (nothing extravagant, just above average quality so ink doesn't bleed through and I'm semi-confident the paper and binding will stand the test of time) where I record rituals I've performed, tools and various blends etc I've made and information about ingredients I've acquired. One is for general magic and one is for the astrological variety in particular, as that's a big chunk of what I do. I'm very bad at keeping them updated but my process is flexible enough that I can do it in big batches when motivation strikes: it's where I consolidate the various scraps about the Goings-On. (I used to be very self-conscious because my penmanship is horrid and I can't draw or make anything pretty to save my life but I've gotten over that, thankfully. Any full book looks awesome whatever way it was filled anyway.) I have a trusty, thicker Rhodia book that is sturdy enough to travel around: it's where I record every tarot reading. Feedback is absolutely essential to developing your skill, I learned that all too late in my relatively long journey with divination. This one I maintain dutifully. I peruse it at regular intervals and add new insights that have emerged or correct what was confirmed to be erroneous interpreations. Then I have a random notebook that I use to write a few lines after meditation (how long I meditated, a few words about how I feel afterwards). I try to go back periodically and see if anything that happened matches weird things that may have emerged during meditation to learn to acknowledge premonitions as what they are. I use the back of the book for occasional 'brain dumps'. I have another whatever book where I try to collect all the random notes I take when I'm working on things etc. I think of it as an exercise book but I'm bad at using it when there's always some barely usable scrap of paper lying around... Oh, and I have a Honeycomb personal almanach - it's a planner with all the astrological information you could dream of needing, with mundane transits customized for your location as well as transits to your own natal chart. An absolute godsend. I use it as the resource it is for pretty much everything and I write a brief paragraph about each day to track transits and see how they affect me/my life. Incredibly useful. I'm going through some major life transits so I think its usefulness will only increase with time, as I look back. As for readings notes etc it's all digital. I use the free open-source software Obsidian to collect highlights and notes on everything I read and to break them down into concepts I can relate to other things I've learned and experienced. I'm always raving about this small but oh so mighty piece of software. It's like a commonplace book of yore except it's hyperlinked, which makes it dizzyingly powerful. I use MyMind (paid subscription unfortunately - I'm on the student plan which is fairly affordable for what you get) to collect bits and bobs of inspiration. That's how I used tumblr back in the day, although this is much more efficient (and stable, and confidential). It keeps me creative and engaged to have a place where I can explore things that caught my eye in a serendipitous manner. Learning and creating is all about making links, for me, so I'm glad tools like this one are appearing - a really beautiful use of AI, I wish all were as benevolent... I think of myself as terminally disorganized and forgetful but I've managed to write a horribly long post about what appears to be a pretty functional system! That's actually heartening! Always curious to hear about others' systems, so I'm bumping.
  10. Fascinating practice and thread. Interesting bit of synchronicity too as I was reading a discussion about children and necromancy elsewhere earlier (notably, the traditional role of children as scryers), which led to someone sharing this captivating extract from an essay in Howlings, a Scarlet Imprint anthology about Goetia that's long out of print ("Sex in the Circle" by Thea Faye). Oh, it appears I can't attach the screenshot however much I downsize the picture... The author touches on the taboo of practicing magic (especially any type of evocation) while pregnant and explains how it actually was the period of her life where she made the greatest magical progress.
  11. Mind slightly blown that I never thought of smoking the herbs I spend time with... even though I inhale their smoke when I burn them and I do smoke tobacco! This sounds much better than inahling the smoke of the charcoal disk with everything else. Thanks for the great blend ideas everyone, I love finding these little nuggets of insight and inspiration through random searches.
  12. Death and the Maiden is sooooo 1500, how about Death and the Crone?
  13. I believe you can buy all of Sacred Texts' archive on a thumb drive or CD. A nice way to support the outstanding work they're doing with this archive. Books sold this way are precisely that: archives (or encyclopedies). It's a huge amount of raw material, perfect for research but you have to know what you're getting yourself into - it won't be a nicely compiled volume on a clearly defined topic. Otherwise format doesn't determine quality obviously. So it really depends on what your purpose is acquiring the material.
  14. Yes, most locate Brocéliande (where many of the legends related to Merlin, Morgan le Fay and Viviane take place) in the Paimpont forest in Brittany, France. It is where 19th century arthurianist start to locate Merlin's tomb. Today it's a tourist attraction. The forest is lovely and captures the imagination, all of Brittany is saturated with lore... but personally I haven't felt anything special at the supposed site - I doubt there's anything to it.
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