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Yex last won the day on November 11 2019

Yex had the most liked content!

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About Yex

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 04/15/1990


  • Gender
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  • Interests
    history, anarchism/communism, shamanism, general geek culture, ethnomusicology, folklore
  • How familiar are you with witchcraft?
    I'm relatively new to studying witchcraft. I'm currently a coupe months into a class that's a year-long intensive on what might be called "hedgecraft" - that is, traditional witchcraft with an emphasis on spirit communication through trancework, and study of plants, etc. Prior to this class I have not practiced witchcraft, but I do have a long relationship with magic and shamanism (see next question).
  • Have you explored other paths?
    Some experience with ceremonial magic - though it hardly amounts to more than dabbling, really, it is long-standing and I've revisited it a few times.

    Longstanding interest in shamanism - for a long time this was mostly of an intellectual/academic nature, plus doing tons of psychedelics in my late teens. In the last year though, I've been taught the practice of "shamanic journeying" (that is, entering trance via percussion in order to achieve spirit communication), and have put this to a lot of practice. I also have an ever deepening relationship with ancestor veneration, which also relies heavily on "shamanic" trancework.

    Druidry - I'm currently a member of both ADF and OBOD, and a student of the bardic grade in the latter.

    Christo-Pagan - is a word that describes me I guess? My cosmology is basically panentheistic and animist.
  • Have you ever worked with Traditional Witchcraft?
    As mentioned above, I'm currently involved in a program that works heavily with traditional magic.
  • What does Traditional Witchcraft mean to you?
    To me "Traditional Witchcraft" refers to spiritual and magical practices that existed under the surface in cultures historically dominated by Christian churches, to continuations of those traditions, and in attempts to reconstruct them with attention to and value placed on period folklore and primary sources.

    I don't know how satisfied I am with the answer I just wrote, but I'll leave it be, and you can ask me more if you need to. I will add, though, that I understand that Wicca is not Traditional Witchcraft, in that it is an initiatory religion created by Gardner in the 50s, which drew on several sources in its conception, of which genuine living traditions of Traditional Witchcraft may or may not have been one, depending on how much we want to trust Gardner at a given moment. But again, I have no background in Wicca.
  • How long have you worked with witchcraft in general?
    As I said above, not very long. If we want to rephrase the question to read "magic in general", the answer would be starting my late teens, intensifying around the age of 23 to current.
  • What brought you to our site?
    I did a google search for "traditional witchcraft forum", because it's something I'm currently studying, and I like forums.
  • What do you expect to get from this site, and what do you expect to contribute to this forum?
    I mean the short answer is that I just want to absorb any bit of information that will be useful to me, whatever that may be. I could also say that doing so on this site would serve as a good supplement to the class I'm currently taking. As for what I can give in return, at this point I don't really know, as I'm still fairly early on the path, but I don't think that that precludes me from giving insight based on my experience as I'm having them.
  • Do you belong to any other online witchcraft sites?
    Yes. I have an account on Everything Under the Moon, although I post infrequently. They're a little too Wiccan-based for my tastes, and there's a tendency to general new age nuttiness. I also have an account on occult forum, but I don't really use it.
  • What are your strongest points in witchcraft?
    I seem to achieve trance pretty easily, but as to what I achieve when I'm there, all the credit has to go to the spirits I work with. (Well, maybe not *all*)
  • What are your weakest points in witchcraft?
    Lack of discipline, hesitancy to self-defense

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  1. ____________________________________________________________ I don't know if I'd say that they go into the decision making process per se, but they talk at length about the connection between The Magician and Yarrow. Also, it's interesting that that deck uses Yarrow as the Ace of Wands, as the symbolism of the wand is touched upon heavily in the book. ___________________________________________________________________ There is some practical stuff in the book, but not involving wand-work. Most of the book is theoretical, though.
  2. I just finished Numen Naturae: The Magician's Wand, a collection of essays edited by Casandra Johns and put out last year through House of Hands, which is a collection of essays on the seemingly idiosyncratically specific, but very illuminating topic of the the archetype of the Magician in the tarot, the plant spirit of Yarrow, and the overlap between the two. I've always been fascinated by the Magician, and I have been working a lot with Yarrow lately, so naturally I found the book quite enlightening. A great deal of the book deals only with examinations of the Magus (within and outside of the tarot), but it does come around in the end and return to the topic of yarrow, and makes a strong case for the connection between the two. It was really a lovely read, delving as deeply as it did, and from so many perspectives, into a topic that was at once ultra-specific and totally universal in its scope. There's Jungian perspectives, animist meditations, and more, and even some practical magic that can be followed contained herein. Reading it was really an initiatory experience for me, and I can't recommend this book highly enough to anyone who wants to better understand what it is to work magic, or who works with the tarot, and especially to anyone who works with yarrow or regards Yarrow as a teacher plant. 10/10 PS: I guess this is supposed to be the first installment in a series that will pair each trump in the major arcana with a plant teacher; I think there's already another one out that pairs the Tower with Devil's Club.
  3. I don't think that I necessarily thought that I would become a magical practitioner as such... but, on the other hand, I think I took the existence of magic as being real more or less for granted. This was despite not really being surrounded by anyone that, to my awareness, had a magical practice. I was surrounded, though, by people who were really connected to plants, and I had no doubt that plants were alive and conscious and had spirits. My grandmother in particular, after rejecting the Catholicism of her upbringing early and life, and following an atheist path for most of her adulthood, found, at the end of her life, spirituality in nature and in gardening, and while this probably wasn't even something that I was conscious of, it probably rubbed off on me a good deal. I remember that as a very small child I talked to trees, and they talked back to me, though I can't remember what we talked about. I remember early childhood as being sort of like a waking dream, where reality was poorly defined and everything was enchanted. I did have "imaginary" friends, and talked to them often. I remember we had Brian Froud's Faeries, and I loved it - I took it 100% as a work of non-fiction; I had no doubt in my mind as to the existence of fae. I was also nourished spiritually through Russian Fairy Tales, Greek myths, and the Bible. I particularly liked the Russian stories. I still have those copies of Faeries and Russian Fairy Tales in my house, by the by, and I read them to my own daughter now. Finally, I'll add that the practice of Ancestor veneration has been intuitive since childhood. In particular, my great-grandfather (the person on the lefthand side of my avatar), a man who died 44 years before I was born, always utterly fascinated me. He seemed to reach out to me from old photographs. I had the overwhelming sense that I knew him, that we were intimately connected to each other. I would stare at photographs of him for hours, and interrogate anyone who had any information on him to mine anecdotes and anything that gave me insight into his life. Now, I work with his spirit quite a bit, and he is one of my primary guides in the spirit realm.
  4. Yex


    Thanks! Glad to oblige! :-]
  5. Yex


    Preliminary Invocation of Spider-Wasp Spider-Wasp, Child of Mars born under Sothis-Star There's no peace when danger roams Take up arms, protect your home Sky is White with smoke and ash White as war, White as Death Spider-Wasp, Child of Mars pierce your prey with poison barbs Earth screams out in desperate pain lashes out with fire and rain Invoking hatred's evil names wicked men stoke the flame Spider-Wasp, deliver me Adonai, part the sea Grandmothers' ancient wombs weave upon a nobler loom Seeds eternal ever bloom Hope persists beyond the tomb But lest the darkness make me lost Thee I invoke, Spider-Wasp
  6. I have some lunisolar water that I steeped with silver and gold, and then charged recently during the recent total eclipse of the sun. I'm really sure what I'll use it for yet, but possibly either some sort of visionary work, or some sort of healing work. I have an Eastern Orthodox icon of Our Lady of Bethlehem (I'll attach an image I found online that's pretty close to what it looks like). I that I charged on the Stone of Anointing (a stone traditionally thought to be in the spot where Jesus' body was prepared for burial by Joseph of Arimathea) in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. When you go there, there are all sorts of pilgrims laying various items on the stone and praying over them to bless them. I use mine as a general protective amulet on my altar. I think I'm going back to Israel and Palestine this fall, and I plan to gather some grave dirt from my great-grandfather's grave on Mount of Olives (thought to be the oldest continuously used cemetery in the world, with the oldest graves dating back 3000 years to the First Temple period). I'll put this on my ancestor altar, and may also use some for necromantic spellwork of some sort. I also have a piece of a meteoroid and an ammonite fossil, both purchased in a shop. They've been hanging out on my altar for some time, but I haven't really felt called to use them for anything yet. They both feel so "out there" that I'm kind of at a loss for how to work with them, and I feel like I should wait until just the circumstances present themselves.
  7. I should note that since writing the last post, I've found conflicting things online. Some say that it's deadly poisonous, and others say that that's a misconception based on confusing it with true Aconite. *shrug*
  8. So, a good friend of mine was recently in the UK for her honeymoon, and brought me back a present that she picked up in Glastonbury, namely a tincture of Eranthis hyemalis, which wikipedia tells me is commonly known as Winter Aconite (the bottle is merely labeled "Aconite", but then in the ingredients it says Eranthis hyemalis). I searched the forum, but only found information on true Aconite (aka Monkshood, Wolf's Bane, et al), (which, by the way, despite being mentioned a bit in passing, didn't seem to have any in-depth discussions on the topic, nor a thread devoted to it). I couldn't find *any* information on Eranthis on the forum. If I've overlooked something, forgive me, and please do point me in the right direction. I should note that I also searched Sarah Ann Lawless' blog and found no information on this plant there either, and that I also searched for information on Adonis vernalis (pheasant's eye, false hellebore), which has similar chemical compounds as Winter Aconite, and found no information on it on either this forum or Sarah Ann Lawless' blog. (Also, I wasn't sure if this was the right subforum for this topic or not, so feel free to move it if need be). Wikipedia makes the poisoning from this stuff sound pretty scary: "All parts of the plant are poisonous when consumed by humans and other mammals, because it contains cardiac glycosides similar to those present in Adonis vernalis. Glycosides of this type stimulate the heart when administered in small doses, but in very large doses may cause serious, often irreparable heart damage. Symptoms of poisoning include colicky abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, disturbed vision, dyspnea, bradycardia and, in severe cases, cardiac arrest. Specific cardiac glycosides present in E.hyemalis include Eranthin A and B, belonging to the bufadienolide group,[ found also in (and named for) toad venom." Of course, if you look up poisoning symptoms for, say, Datura or something, those sound pretty scary, too, but that doesn't stop people who know what's what from using them, internally and otherwise. However with no information at hand regarding how this is used, nor any way to really find out how it was prepared, I'd be pretty hesitant to ingest it. My friend said she was pretty sure that it was watered down to a point that it's probably safe to take internally, but, uhhhhhh, that's not really reassuring. The bottle itself says lists as ingredients: Eranthis hyemalis, brandy 50%, and water from Chalice Well and White Spring. It also recommends 7 drops on the tongue as needed, and says that it "supports fearlessness". So that's about all I've got. I'd love to hear what other people have to say about this plant. Experiences with taking it internally? Topically? What are the effects like? What is the spirit of the plant like? Magical uses? And how do all of these compare with other poison plants? I should note that my poison plant experience is pretty minimal; I've worked a tiny bit with mandrake, henbane, and amanita muscaria, and have a fair amount of experience with thujone-containing plants (mostly mugwort, but some others, too). (Also I have extensive experience with psychedelics, but that's a horse of a different color). PS: I guess delving into this topic would be a pretty good reason to go out and get some of the books on this list that I've been meaning to get.
  9. _________________________ No, sorry, I'm in the US, and I couldn't give you any recommendations on online sellers, as I get mine from a local apothecary.
  10. Every day, I wear one of two fetish necklaces that are charged with Crow's spirit. The one I prefer to wear is just a crow's foot tied into a necklace with a piece of grey yarn (it's actually getting pretty raggedy, I should probably re-string it). The other one is one that I made before I found the dead crow whose feet I harvested, and it's basically the same, but instead of a crow foot it's a plastic shrinky dink in the shape of a crow (lol) that was originally colored black, though the coloring has since faded, so it's just kind of clear plastic now. I prefer to wear the crow foot, but it freaks out my wife and daughter, so I wear the other one when I'm around them. I wear a wedding ring daily as well, which was charged with a visionary psychedelic substance's energy a while before my wedding (long story). I have a blue and silver cloak that I was wearing to public Druid rituals for a while, but the button came off, and I haven't fixed it yet. I also had a piece of red tiger iron wrapped in wire and made into a necklace which I wore in connection with another Druidic group, but the wire came undone, and I sent it to someone in Portland who was going to fix it, and sadly it was lost in the mail. As others have said, I'm sometimes naked for more involved rituals, or rituals with certain spirits (in my own home). Sometimes I'll wear t-shirts with certain images on them for magical purposes. I also wear a variety of perfumes for magical purposes; common ones are florida water, lavender essential oil, palo santo cologne, rose cologne or essential oil, et al. I like to do purification and centering work when I apply these, and tend to use a lot of them, especially on my heart chakra, my hair, and my beard, with crosses of them made on my forehead and wrists, and sometimes elsewhere. I also use the commercial perfume Opium Pour Homme to work with a specific ancestor spirit, usually just spritzed on my wrists. Lately I've been carrying a stone I found in a lake on me as an amulet to keep one foot in the spirit world in day-to-day life. At various other times in my life I've carried various other stones and crystals around in day to day life. I usually just put these in my pocket as I go about my day. I smoke cigarettes heavily, and I feel very aware when I'm carrying around a pack in my pocket that I'm bearing a sacred plant medicine. I also sometimes carry specific lighters in a semi-magical way (different colors for correspondences, etc). I also wear my hair and beard long, but that's something for another thread, I suppose.
  11. Whew! It wasn't easy doing it this late in the game, but I was able to find a hotel room in Newport, Oregon for the night before the eclipse. I'm going to go down with my wife and daughter to watch the eclipse on the beach, and I'm planning on charging some lunisolar water that I've been steeping with gold and silver.
  12. _____________________________________ I definitely had a lot of dreams that night, but what was more profound - and I find is a common effect of mugwort - was that as I was drifting off, my hypnagogic imagery was so vivid, and stunningly psychedelic, and I was able to remember a lot of it the next day. Edit: I also just drank a lot of it over the course of that day, and I should note that there was a familiar mugworty stoned feeling.
  13. Just a quick update: The mugwort soda came out really well. It's pretty sweet, but you can definitely taste the mugwort. I'll try drinking a glass of it before bed to-night to see if it has any effect on dreams. I've attached a picture with the jar of the syrup on the right, and a glass of the syrup added to carbonated water to make soda on the left.
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