Monthly Archives: March 2022

Alignment and Beginning the Spiritual Path

A hand holding a sphere of light

Spiritual alignment is a big thing in today’s practices. Many books will give instructions in various systems that are about aligning your metaphysical anatomy. Alignment with certain spirits is also pointed to a desirable state, such as certain guides or the Holy Guardian angel, or spirits of various traditions that “rule” over the practitioner. One could embrace one practice, or embrace multiple practices. Very seasoned and experienced practitioners will often have regular practices that help to keep them aligned, from meditation, visualization, energy work, etc…Many authors, practitioners etc will report that oftentimes just doing the work of alignment will produce many desirable effects.
For the beginner however, looking to start on their path, often the process of moving into alignment is a difficult process. Looking for a new way to satisfy the spiritual longing that they feel, which is no longer being supplied by previous experiences or practices. How does one find alignment and their way to move forward?
My experience was primarily through self taught and practice through reading, and putting what I read into practice, in order to have those experiences. Reading a lot of books can be useful for those that enjoy reading, but not everyone likes that, or may find it challenging.There are other sources of information, this is the Age of Information after all, and being able to turn to multiple sources or finding sources that will support your best learning style. Books are just one source, and just like any other source, problematic or questionable information can be promoted through books. This also applies to blogs (such as yours truly) but youtube videos, tiktoks, twitter, podcasts, websites and more. You can find quality information and you can also find problematic information. The process of searching, and experimenting with practices from these sources in and of themselves can be a process of alignment. You may jump around a lot, trying out new and different practices that appeal to you in the moment. You may find one practice that appeals to you, and dedicate yourself to doing it regularly. I honestly recommend most people to try out as many things as possible, especially if they are just curious or starting out. Some people may recommend only to read certain books or only to listen to certain podcasts, etc, but I find that personal experience is the best teacher. Even if at the beginning you get involved in questionable stuff, you can learn from that experience and recognize the problems, and see them in other material before. You can develop discernment and critical thinking and analysis to separate out the garbage from the gold, or the material that aligns with you from the material that doesn’t align.
If you’re lost or wandering, and you’re looking for a spiritual path, here is a ritual to help you find your path. The ritual is done during the full moon. The reason for using the moon in this spell is because the part of the symbolism of the moon in astrology is helping travelers, which in a metaphorical way applies to opening roads and helping people on their path, whether it is a literal path, or a spiritual path.

For this ritual you’ll need 

  • Water
  • Wine
  • Bread (rolls are easiest to use)
  • Incense (any kind, sticks or cones included)
  • White candle (tealights, a short taper, a votive or a large vigil candle)
  • Olive oil (or any oil in a pinch)
  • Bowl (optional)

At night, under the full moon, when the moon is rising in the sky, or at its zenith, stand in the moon’s light. You can do this outside on the ground, or inside by a window, under a skylight, or if you have some kind of atrium. If you’re outside, dig a shallow hole. Look at the moon and praise it, for its light, its fullness, how it governs the tides etc… Pour out some of the water, and some of the wine. Take the bread and tear it in half and offer up both halves. Light the incense and wave it attractively around for a bit.. Anoint the candle with oil. Place the candle in a holder and light the candle. Make a gesture that indicates you’re offering this to the moon. Visualize the offering growing and multiplying until it covers the earth. Tell the moon thank you for its presence, and for its blessings, and ask it to open and guide you to the spiritual path that is right for you. Drink some of the water, some of the wine, and eat some bread. Relax under the moon’s light and visualize its light filling your body, from your head to your toes, and aligning you with the spiritual currents that are right for you. Perhaps visualize yourself floating gently on a calm river, the current taking you towards your spiritual destination. Do this as long as you feel you want to. When you feel finished just refill the hole, clean up, and go home. If you did it at home, clean up, and take the contents of the bowl outside and dispose of it at the base of a large and healthy tree.

After this you may receive dreams, or signs, or just find things falling into place for your spiritual path, etc.… This may take many forms, but the strongest indicator is when you feel a clear and strong sense that an event that occurs is a sign, and that the information is very clear, and doesn’t require a lot of intense questioning to make sense of.  If a dream isn’t clear, just document it, and go on. Many small events may also occur which will slowly shift you towards your path.

March 18 – Feast of Archangel Gabriel

March 18 is the Feast day of the Gabriel the Archangel in the old calendar. Currently, all the angels are observed on Michaelmass which is now known as the Feast of All Angels, but original the archangels had their own separate feast days.
Gabriel is my favorite angel, who I often feel is overlooked and underappreciated. I felt drawn to pray to them and make devotion many years ago, which prompted my research into his feast days (The Orthodox church has several feast days for them on different days, the Ethiopian church also has a separate feast day) but also various prayers address to them.
the name Gabriel means “Strength of God” and some prayers that address Gabriel call upon their divine strength for help and support. They are also identified as the Holy Messenger, especially in Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, as they is identified as the archangel who appears before St Joseph, Virgin Mary, and others announcing the conception of the Christ Child. In Islam, They are also a messenger, who gave the Koran to Mohammed. In certain esoteric practices Gabriel is also the messenger who inspired other works, most famous they taught the art of Geomancy to Idris, a prophet who is also identified with Hermes Trimestigus.
If you feel so inclined, make a prayer, light a candle to Archangel Gabriel today, and ask for their strength and to receive divine messages of guidance. Gabriel’s intercessions can bring many blessings.

a glass bowl holding a small amount of cayenne powderBy Alabama Extension -, CC0,

Monthly Magic – Cayenne Pepper

a glass bowl holding a small amount of cayenne powderBy Alabama Extension -, CC0,
a glass bowl holding a small amount of cayenne powder

This month I feel driven to talk about Cayenne pepper. I have been seeing it pop up recently in some online recipes and I think some people may be confused about this ingredient.
First, some science. Cayenne is a cultivar of Capsicum Annuum, the family of fruits that make up what many people refer to as chili’s or chili peppers. This genus belongs to the nightshade family aka Solanaceae. Other cultivars include peppers such as the jalapeno, but also the bell pepper. One specific trait of the cayenne pepper, like other relatives, is that the fruit hangs down from the plant, instead of growing up from the plant. This pepper is the familiar bright red color, although other varieties of this pepper can come in other colors. Another chili with a similar appearance is the bird’s eye chili. The main difference between these two peppers is that cayenne is relatively mild in terms of spicy heat, as it is usually marked at 30-50 thousand Scoville units, while Bird’s eye will have 50-100 thousand Scoville units.
More people will be more familiar with the seasoning cayenne powder or crushed red pepper. Interestingly both of these seasonings are more often a blend of red colored chilis, and not any one type of chili, often being a mix of cayenne and bird’s eye etc…. Thus depending upon the mix, or the season, the same cayenne powder or crushed red pepper can be hotter or milder.
And by hotter, I am referring to capsaicin, the chemical naturally produced by many cultivars of Capsicum Annuum which attach to and react to sensors in the human mouth, and other sensitive membranes, causing a burning sensation that many people find uncomfortable and undesirable. However many other people find it enjoyable and like adding chilis and sauces made from chilis to their food. There are other foods that have different naturally produced chemicals that produce a burning sensation, such as horseradish or mustard, but also ginger, garlic and onions. These other plants don’t use capsaicin however, and their chemical heat functions differently, and can be dealt with differently. The spicy heat of various Capsicums is generally measured by Scoville units, a measure that indicates a greater burning sensation on sensitive tissue. So a chili with only a few 100 Scoville units may not produce much of an impact, but something with 100k or more may produce a dish that not many people may be able to eat unless they are experienced chili eaters. A low number may also indicate something that won’t irritate skin or sensitive membranes as much, while a much higher number may need to be handled with gloves and eye protection to prevent accidental spreading of the active chemical to sensitive membranes such as the eyes, nose, or private regions.
It is this burning sensation and the bright red color that has made cayenne and chilis popular to use in folk magic and magic in general in the USA and possibly the world. I am more familiar with its uses in the USA in African American folk magic, so I will stick with that topic.
The hot, burning sensation of cayenne and other red chilis is one of the main reasons behind its use in folk magic. That burning to the unfamiliar can be very unpleasant, and if very intense, can actually have health complications for people who aren’t experienced with it. It’s painful. Very painful. This painful burning sensation is why cayenne figures often into various formulas for Hot Foot Powder. It is also why it may appear in cursing formulas for all sorts of things. If you want to curse an unfaithful sexual partners private parts with a burning STD, use cayenne in your spell. If you want to curse a local gossip who is slandering you to have their mouth burn when they speak ill, use cayenne. Cayenne is principally a cursing herb. While sometimes you may have to protect yourself and fight cursing with cursing, or if you want to drive off an enemy who is causing your problems, even if you’re justified in doing it, it’s still a curse that you are using to achieve your goal.
Some people get the heat of cayenne confused with other hot herbs whose heat can be more pleasant, such as ginger or cinnamon. Cinnamon often figures in various spells for luck, either in drawing hot passionate love, or getting money quickly, perhaps through gambling but also just by lucky windfalls that come your way. Ginger can also show up in love spells for passion, but may also be used as the hot herb in protection spells. This is different from cayenne. Ginger and cinnamon are more sweet and hot. Think of ginger candy or cinnamon candy. Yes they can be hot, but the heat is much more pleasant and pairs well with sugar and sweets. This is the reason why in beneficial spells cayenne is not a traditional or common ingredient. The heat of cayenne is painful, not pleasant. It’s meant to cause harm, not to bring soothing or pleasant warmth. If you see a recipe online for something like Fast Money or Fast Luck, and it features cayenne, steer clear. That cayenne is going to cause you to lose things quickly, or have fast bad luck instead of good luck. Substitute it with cinnamon powder or ginger powder instead, and you will probably see much better results.

Here is a ritual based along more traditional folk magic lines for using cayenne.
To inflame an enemy with rage and confusion.

For this spell you will need:
A jar

9 pins

9 needles

9 nails

Cayenne pepper

Poppy seeds

Putrid water (This could be any water from a foul source. Polluted water, still water from a bog or swamp, gutter water, or even war water purchased from a retailer. Even gray waste water will do.)
An item to represent the target. (At the minimum you want a piece of paper with their name written on it, even if you did it by hand. Better items would be their own personal signature (even if it’s a photocopy) or hair, nail clippings, or worn unwashed underwear, or bodily fluids)

Take the jar and place the personal item into the jar. Add the cayenne and poppy seeds, and then the needles, pins, and nails. Cover it with the putrid water, and then seal the jar tight. For nine days take the jar out and shake it violently, swearing and cursing at the person, inviting wrathful spirits to turn this person into a rageaholic entitled Karen (or Chad) who alienates and drives everyone away from them etc… On the ninth day go and bury the jar where the target will pass over it or by it on their normal routine. If it is possible to safely plant it in front of their house, you should definitely do that, otherwise nearby is sufficient.

Part of the success in the spell is the placement of the jar where the target will have an interaction with it. Do not keep it at home. It needs to be deployed to be successful.

You can also take some additional considerations for this spell, which are not required to be successful. You should start the spell on a Tuesday, and/or during a planetary hour of Mars. Night hours are preferred over day time hours. Doing it under a waning moon is also preferable. Visualizing chaotically rushing red  flames flowing into the target’s eyes, ears, nostrils, and mouth and seeing them engaging in self destructive behavior can also help. These are only suggestions and not requirements.