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travsha last won the day on February 14

travsha had the most liked content!

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About travsha

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 12/23/1985

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  • Interests
    Hiking, camping, music, art, magic, massage, reading, traveling, crafting, fire dancing.....
  • How familiar are you with witchcraft?
    Decently familiar. I have been studying magic, healing, shamanism ect since 2006 when I had a near death experience.
  • Have you explored other paths?
    Yes. My practice is very eclectic - partly because I have many interests, but also because most of my learning and guidance comes from Spirits, and they dont confine themselves to one tradition. I am especially experienced in Amazonian and Andean shamanism, Kabbalah, Gnosis, and chaos magic.
  • Have you ever worked with Traditional Witchcraft?
    I spend a few months each year in Peru studying with the shamans and witches there and learning their medicines.
  • What does Traditional Witchcraft mean to you?
    Kind of a loaded term..... Traditional seems to mean everyone doing the same thing in the same tradition, but the most traditional practice to me is one guided by the spirits.
  • How long have you worked with witchcraft in general?
    Since 2006.
  • What brought you to our site?
    Came up in discussion at another forum
  • What do you expect to get from this site, and what do you expect to contribute to this forum?
    Community and good research source, and I love sharing info too.
  • Do you belong to any other online witchcraft sites?
    Not witchcraft specifically - but I do belong to a occult based forum as well as an Ayahuasca based forum.
  • What are your strongest points in witchcraft?
    I mostly focus on healing and guidance from the spirit world.
  • What are your weakest points in witchcraft?
    Hmm.... Not sure if this is exactly what you mean, but right now I think what would boost my practice the most is moving out of the city into some more nature; I'm kinda a jack of all trades, so that leaves me with not any glaring weaknesses, but also less mastery compared to specialists (so maybe that could be a sort of weakness depending how you look at it).

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  1. ....... Yep! It can really be a way of life - sometimes the hardest part is learning how to integrate your practice into your lifestyle so that the two are no longer separate.... Gets a little easier once you are in the groove.
  2. I used to love hookahs but stopped using them because I didnt like the shisha.... Making your own sounds like a good idea.
  3. ..... Mapacho is a wonderful plant. Every tradition I have heard of that had access to tobacco considered tobacco the most sacred of plants, and I can see why. There is only one mapacho, so if you find mapacho online (nicotiana rustica is the scientific name) it is the right stuff. I have never ordered any before - I just buy a big amount whenever I visit Peru (I go every year) and bring that home. Only mapacho I have ever bought online was in the form of a powdered snuff called rapé. I got rapé from a store called shamanicsnuff.com (it is good quality). Tobacco is very easy to program with intentions. More so then most plants. So you can have an intention when you use it - either just think about the intention, or sing, whistle, blow or whisper the intention into the tobacco. For cleansing or protection you can blow the smoke on yourself or onto others or around a space you want to smudge. You can also use tobacco as an offering - either leave some or blow some as an offering. It is very helpful for healing, protection, magic, cleansing, heart opening, offerings and connecting with other plants or spirits. When ingested it is also helpful for clearing your thoughts and focusing your mind - helps keep you awake in late night ceremonies. Besides smoking and offerings you can make prayer type tobacco pouches, you can use it as a snuff, or you can make tobacco purges. For snuffing you can do the powdered version called rapé or you can soak the leaves in water and snuff the juice which is called rapote'. For a tobacco purge you make a water infusion like you would for the rapote' but a little more watery, then you drink it, and after a few minutes you then chug 2 liters of water to induce purging - you can expel bad energies, demons ect this way (as well as physical toxins ect). To connect with its spirit you can just work with it and pray with it - it will start connecting with you. To get a deeper connection you can do a tobacco dieta which would involve doing a daily tobacco purge for a week or longer while only eating a few very plain foods in isolation.....
  4. My favorite smoking herbs are mapacho and cannabis. Mapacho is a type of tobacco from the Amazon that grows in the wild without all the addicitives and stuff other tobacco has... Also a different species of tobacco that is about 10-20 times stronger. Very powerful in ritual and ceremony. When I want to add other herbs to either of those two I have a mix I get at a local herb shop which has damiana, mullien, cat nip, colts foot, sage and lavender. Mixes well with my base herbs. I have also used rose and mint with my base herbs - they add a nice flavor together.... The rose is flowery and sweet and the mint is cooling and kinda icey....
  5. I'm a musician. Been playing music for 16 years now.... Mostly singing and guitar, but also bass, drums, flutes, harmonica.... This goes well with my practice since I mostly use songs in my healing practice, but I also play lots of other music. If I wasnt focused on being a healer, the only other job I would probably be very interested in is musician. Also really into nature.... Just got back from 4 days backpacking. I love being out in the forest or in the mountains.... Having everything I need in my backpack. It's a good feeling.
  6. Best protection is good connection to protective spirit guides. So you are on the right path already, but you may want to be asking your guides about protection, or seeking out more protective spirits to start forming relationships with. I can also tell you a few things that I do personally.... They may or may not fit into your practice but they should inspire some ideas. I have a protection altar. Lots of things on it which symbolize protection, and also it is dedicated to some protective spirits. You can add a spirit house or a fetish to this if your spirit guides want either. I also make offerings at this altar with incense, and I also keep some herbs I use for smudging here to "charge" on the altar. I diet protective plants. This is one of the main ways I seek more protection. As your practice grows I find you need more and more protection and it never hurts to have too much. One of the most effective ways I know to connect with new spirit allies is through dieta - of course this is mostly geared to plant and sometimes stone spirits, but I work mostly with plant spirits so this makes sense in my practice. If I want more protection then I diet protective plants - generally plants with spikes or thorns is a good place to start, powerful tress, or just other plants known for protection. Tobacco is the most powerful plant for protection, but you can also try blackberry, ajo sacha, mucura, nettle, rose, pine, ayahuma ect.... I wrote an article about dieta here: http://www.soulremedy.org/dieta/4591702819 Once you have a connection to some protective spirits a few things that can help with protection or cleansing include: smudging with things like sage, juniper, copal, palo santo, cedar ect, using floral waters or scented waters and perfumes, ritual baths, floor washes, sing protective songs, do protective prayers, use protective amulets/talismans, wear protective jewelry, channel a spirit guide for protection in the moment ect....
  7. ......... I found the teachers different ways... Found my main teacher after reading a book about her, and found other teachers through word of mouth from other people. I know a lot of good teachers now though - too many for me to study with all of them.... I even found one good teacher close to where I live now, though I still work with the teachers in Peru as well. I also agree with the above post to look deeper into everything.... Everything in your life becomes a teacher and everything in your life reflects your spiritual practice. Relationships will teach you about magic, cooking will teach you about magic, walking in the trees will teach you about magic, your car breaking down will teach you about magic.... Really - if you stay very conscious and aware, then everything becomes an opportunity for learning and it all starts to reflect back to your spiritual practice if you pay attention. Training never starts and it never ends.
  8. For me what helped most was when I stopped trying to read so many books... They mostly either all say the same thing, or they all just sell you a story.... And I dont want to take someone elses word on their story - I want to experience things for myself without starting from a place of dogma. I'd rather live my own story then buy someone elses story.... (at least in the case of spirituality - I love a good fiction!) What helped me the most was trusting my own intuition and doing ceremonies in the way that came naturally to me, and also finding good teachers I could watch and learn from. To find teachers who taught what I wanted to learn I had to travel to South America for months at a time. When I tried to make do with teachers where I live I never got what I really wanted because for whatever reason I was called to a very specific tradition.... But traveling was totally worth the effort to improve my personal practice - it was actually one of the best decisions I ever made (I had to quit my job, sell my car, live in a 2 bedrooms apartment with 3 people ect to afford it - not easy, but worth it). Most useful skills to learn are trusting your own intuition and communicating with a spirit guide of some kind. If you figure out these two things then you can learn everything else from your intuition and spirit guide.
  9. Importance of visuals depends on the type of meditation and your intention going into meditation. If you are practicing buddhist or Hindu type meditation then any visuals are considered distractions. Just signs that you are going in the right direction, but also something that will slow you down and hold you back if you give your attention to them. If you are meditating to get insight or answers or meditating to facilitate spirit communication (like in shamanic journey), then the visuals might be more important.
  10. When i was learning tarot I used to do daily meditations and readings with the cards, but now I only use them when I want specific guidance.... I dont have a "every single day" divination I do, as I dont need that much divination, but I often work with mapcho (tobacco) smoke for divination or rape' snuff for insight. Ask a question, smoke or snuff, and then see where my intuition leads me...
  11. Cultural appropriation is based on the idea that someone can own a culture.... Which has never been the case in all of human history. No one can own a tradition or practice or style. Humans have always learned from each other and influenced each other and whenever we meet we rub off on one another. Now saying you practice a specific tradition when you really know nothing of the tradition will make you look like an asshole for sure. Trying to pretend to be something you are not will make you look silly too. But learning from another culture or adopting practices you learned from them is pretty normal. For a while I tried to learn the practices of my ancestors only.... It felt incredibly forced and fake, and also pretty impossible since I have ancestry from 10+ different countries and who knows where all those ancestors originally came from. I dont live anywhere close to those places my family used to live either. Go far enough back and chances are we are all related in some way right? People dont generally stay put in one piece of land but borders change and people intermingle and their are migrations and such. How is someone with ancestors from 10 countries supposed to follow where the people of all those countries came from before that, and who intermarried who? And what would be the point? Eventually I decided to just follow my heart... Led me somewhere I wouldnt have expected and which has little to do with my DNA... But it feels so much more natural and so much more "me." And in the end, I still dont practice any one cultures tradition - I have let my own tradition develop and evolve naturally the same way I develop myself. I'd rather just be one with myself and one with the Earth then focus too much on limiting myself to just one culture, or trying to relive the past...
  12. I never said that brujos and curanderos were the same, though I see how you could mistake that.... I said they are both types of witches. One focuses on healing (curandero) and one might heal but also harms (brujo). Just like some witches focus on service to community or helping their family and some other witches will also do hexes and curses or harm others somehow. Different types of witches. Whether healing or harming though the methods are the same - healing takes more expertise in my experience though (its easier to cut someone then it is to stitch them up!). Some places in Mexico and South America brujo doesnt have a negative connotation but where I study in Peru it usually does (similar to how you seem to know it).
  13. I dont think witchcraft started anywhere or spread anywhere.... I think that many different places had similar practices with different names since everywhere had its own language. I study traditions from South America which existed there before European settlers yet would still be considered witchcraft by most (they call witches brujos and curanderos there usually). I think every continent on the earth has people practicing some form of witchcraft. Solutreans were supposedly the first people to make it to America - ancient French people who settled the east coast before Siberians made it across from Russia to Alaska. Supposedly DNA testing of Native Americans shows them to have close to a quarter European blood, so maybe part of the reason was the mixing of these two groups.... One way the Solutreans were documented though was by finding large ceremonial spearheads they buried as offerings - the same spearheads were only found in France at that time period and are a totally different technology then other parts of the world used. So one similarity would be offerings obviously - many people from all traditions do different types of offerings.
  14. My main altar is my Q'ero mesa. It is a hand woven cloth using patterns more ancient then the Inca - the Q'ero are the only people with these patterns and skills still since they avoided the Spanish invasion. Weaving is considered to mirror the act of creation as the Q'ero consider God/Wiricocha to be the greatest weaver of all (weaving creation). On my altar I have a bunch of rocks/crystals mostly and also a few plants and keep-sakes that are meaningful to me. Usually these are all tied in a bundle inside the cloth - so instead of having my altar laid out like most altars mine is usually in a bundle all wrapped up with the crystals inside and the cloth on the outside. Like a giant medicine bundle I carry around. I often work with it closed unless I want to do very specific work - then I will open it up and set it out. I carry my altar everywhere with me usually - I take it backpacking in the mountains, on airplanes when I travel ect.... It is pretty rare for me to leave it behind for more then a few hours.
  15. I never look up spirits in books and then try to find them.... Mostly I work with either ancestors, personal guides, and plant spirits. Sometimes other spirits will be involved, but not as often as those 3 groups. Sometimes they just start talking to me, and other times I reach out to them. Sometimes it is during meditation, or during journey work, or while sitting in nature - and sometimes it is just randomly when I dont expect it (like when reading a book or something). I also often work with altered states and psychoactive plants, so a lot of communication happens that way as well (though certainly not the only way I connect with plants). Easiest ways I work with spirits which I could teach others would be through use of plant medicines, or maybe trying different styles of what some people call "shamanic journey" (similar to astral travel, but different cultural starting point and focus). I usually prefer teaching the plant way because there is less room to make things up or day-dream, especially if they consume them in the right manner (random psychedelic play would be totally different then ceremonial usage).
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