Category Archives: folklore

Attention “trad craft”

You’re “trad” isn’t any older then Wicca. “Trad Craft” is not ancient. It is as much an invention of the early 20th century as Gardnerian Wicca.
Only the Golden Dawn, and the OTO and related traditions are relatively new, although, they are older then Gardnerian and “Trad Craft” having started in the late 19th century.
The Grimoires, the 3 books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa, The books of Astrological magic and thought written by various authors, the Picatrix, and other classics of Hermetic Philosophy, are older then “Trad Craft” The PGM is older then “Trad Craft.” The roots of Hermeticism in Mediterranean Antiquity are older then “Trad Craft.” The Vedas, various Sutras, Mahabharata is older then “Trad Craft.” The Chaldean Oracles are older the “Trad Craft.” Actual Folk Magic of actual specific cultures from around Europe, and in the United States is older then “Trad Craft” and some of them are living traditions that are practiced to this day.

But, None of this matters, In my day to day life, and interactions with spiritual workers of all types, I rarely if ever need to mention it, because I don’t need the the claims of “antiquity” or “Tradition” or “Old” to feel good about my spiritual practice. I’m fine with it being modern, because it works for me. But I also like to be informed about whatever everyone else is doing, has done, and is thinking about doing, because it keeps me from thinking I’ve invented the wheel, when everyone around me is already driving cars.

Stop thinking you’ve invented the wheel “trad craft.” We’re all driving in cars, while you’re excited that you can roll something along.

5 reasons not work with local spirits

Recently I came across this post

My post is not a rebuttal, but an ad joiner to the possible undesired experience that come from seeking connection with local spirits.

5) Just because a spirit is there, doesn’t mean it wants to “work” with you.

For one thing, let me clarify a term. In conversations I have had with other spiritualist minded folks and people who get into trying to chat up spirits, there is a difference between veneration and “working”. Veneration can be very simple, is pretty much devotional, and doesn’t expect much between the two parties except for a simple exchange of “pleasantries” and expressions of good will. Of course, if you get a negative feedback, it maybe because you have offended said local spirit, but we’ll get to that later. Generally veneration is just a way to say “hi” and “thanks for all that you do” and “lets be friendly and polite with each other”. Venerating ancestors, venerating local spirits, venerating Gods, and heroes and every thing else. It’s all just a way of making nice. This niceness can lead to “working” and help build relationships that can be quite beneficial in the future, and possibly even buy you a Free pass when you make a mistake, but don’t always count on it.

“Working” indicates that there is a request being made of a specific variety and purpose to a specific end for your benefit. Whether it is protection, wealth, love, knowledge etc…, what makes it different is the specificness and that you are making a specific request for something you want accomplished. Often it will entail behavior on your part that reciprocates to the spirit that you are willing to work for them. A number of spiritual beings are known to be workers, who are quite open to requests for things. Gods, Saints, Angels, Demons etc… and there are books quite busting at the seems with them. But local spirits, you’ll notice, don’t seem to function that way universally, for everyone in the same way that say, St. Expedite can for so many people. One person can have a great relationship with a local spirit, and another person may get bubkis. That’s just the way it seems to go. Just because you are aware of spirit that is tied to a certain local, doesn’t mean it wants to work with you, and it will often make that perfectly clear as soon as you attempt to connect with it.

4) Just because a spirit is there, doesn’t mean it’s going to know a lot of about anything in the area.

Or for that matter, be able to communicate it in a useful or intelligible way. A spirit of the tree is mostly going to know about Tree things, and if it notices if someone stole your bike or not, will have more to do with if that bike thief happened to interact with the tree shortly before or after. If you happened to have your bike chained to the tree, it’s only thought maybe “heavy earth thing was leaning against me and now it’s not” and that’s about it. Of course a larger local spirit (say of the park) might notice, but unless your bike was important to it for some reason, why should it even care. Unless you interact with a local spirit that has vested interest in human affairs and a reasonably intelligible way to understand and communicate it, you’re really not going to get much. It is for this reason that you’ll notice a lot of cultures often have a greater spirit of a particular thing (plants, animals minerals etc…) that is often more understanding of humanity and better able to connect with it. Most people, in my experience, are usually connecting with the larger overarching spirit then the much more limited spirit of the specific object, plant, mineral, animal or place and those spirits are not “local” per se.

3) Most local spirits could give about two cents to you and your issues

this of course, ties in nicely with my last point. While the various local spirits might be quite appreciate of offerings, veneration and devotions done to them, and thus you might get them to be more favorable inclined to you, which could generally make your going about in the locale easier over all, when it comes to specifics (theft, health, wealth, love, etc..) you know, all those things that humans value in interacting with other humans, local spirits quite literally don’t understand, or for some of the larger ones, don’t care. If there is some kind of human pandemic experience going around, it might peak some of the larger more understandings ones interests (like high murder or suicide rate, or a larger number of clinically depressed) because being that we are part of their environment that they govern that might be somewhat invested in it being harmonious for everyone, but the local tree spirit, rock spirit, spirit in the park, is going to be completely uncaring to your issues, if they understand them at all. If they are even open to working with you, they might still not understand something, unless you explain it in as naturalistic terms as possible (literally think birds and bees and pollen and trees people) otherwise, you’re going to get a kind of shoulder shrug, if anything at all.

2) They have needs that you can never provide for.

Do you know how to pollinate a flower? Probably not. Even if you do know, do you have the time and patience to do it for every flower during a 3 month period? I’m guessing not. What about trees? Or, the local watering hole? Maybe you could organize a community event to help clean it up if it was dirty or only barely polluted with trash, but if the spirit is telling you it wants to flow over there, and not there, I think you’re going to have a problem convincing those people in their nice homes to make way for the creek you feel ought to build. Generally, if you’re getting a quite possibly impossible request from a local spirit, it’s politely telling you to Go away! Because it doesn’t have time for your nonsense, human.

1) Just because a spirit is tied to specific locale doesn’t mean it’s smaller.

There is such a thing as Local Gods. These being are Gods, Divine beings in their own right, who don’t need to be worshiped or venerated because their divinity comes from their locale. Perhaps a shrine might exist to them (like in Japan, or China or places that have long standing animistic spiritualist traditions) but generally there won’t be one, and they don’t really need it. You might be able to identify it with some dowsing, but it could very well be very hard to reach, and the local god may not want you to reach it in the first place. So, they being a local God can really make things miserable for you if you offend them, much like any god, and more then likely, they will be much more easier to offend and will stay offended longer then a more transcendent Divine being that is not tied to specific location. The Spirit of the The City you live in, the spirit of your neighborhood, even the spirit of your building (which in very large apartment buildings can be quite powerful) and of course, there could be more natural spirits of ecosystems and environments that are quite mighty and powerful. If you ever notice that when you enter into some areas that you get lost easier, seem to have ongoing problems with minor nuisances (insects, muddy puddles, bumps in the road, tripping over roots) is probably because the local spirits find something about you vaguely offensive. You could try to clear it up, make an offering and appease them, and can work, but some people just don’t like some people no matter what. You just plain smell bad to them, and they will never like you and they have no compunctions about making their dislike and displeasure known. You may not experience this if you only visit, especially to a major city or tourist area, but if you try to stay and settle in, is when the problems start to occur.

Of course, there are other smaller beings, but they are often in league with the larger beings of the area, and will tend to take directions from the “top” on down. They might be willing to work with at first, but after some time, will be less friendly and sociable if your general essence is just not compatible with the local area. If that is the case, you’re probably better off moving, then trying to make a go at it. Good luck explaining that to your friends and family who moved with you, or the cost of the move in the first place.

It is also my experience that smaller spirits are far more dramatic and showy then the non-time space fixed transcendent beings. Most hauntings are caused by smaller spirits, not by gods and actual major demons (despite the name they toss around). To make a ready and known comparison, think of a Midsummer’s night dream. Oberon doesn’t do the dirty work himself, he sends Puck, a servant, to do it for him. A similar situation will apply in naturalistic settings. Most major local spirits won’t do something directly if they can avoid it. They will send a representative to do it for them. Of course, if you enter into an actual working relationship with one, you may very well end up being that representative from time to time as part of your deal in desire fulfillment.

Finally, for some people, in some situations, none of this, both helpful or harmful will hold true. Some people are, as I like to call it, Unicorns. Gifted mediums who are favorably received by all spirits. People gifted with spiritual authority, that allows them to work better with spirits, and perhaps from time to time, command them when needed. Others are favored by the land, or the Gods, or a God and in certain situations that favor will manifest things for that that others will never receive within the Land, or Gods, or God. Your mileage may vary.

Black Salt

Black salt is a mixed preparation of salt and a few choice items that turn that salt from its usual white color to a black color. You can Google recipes for it, and there are also people who manufacture it, usually by somehow adding a pigment to the salt that turns it black. Some other names for Black salt is also Sal Negro (Spanish for Black salt) and Witches’ Salt. In this case the witches being referred to are not the contemporary followers of a neopagan religion, but rather the historical and folkloric “witch” a figure, sometimes supernatural in nature, who use supernatural powers to do harm to people and places in various ways.

As the names suggest, the primary use and purpose of black salt is to curse or perform harmful magic. A common secondary purpose is used to drive away people from your home. This is also a form of a curse, although a curse done to protect oneself and property from the person who is already causing harm. It is similar to hot foot powder in that sense, as hot footing someone is also a type of curse meant to drive someone away, whether that person is vexing neighbor, a bothersome coworker, or a conniving love rival. Ultimately both are curses, are not in anyway beneficial, benevolent, or really kind acts to be engaging in, however necessary they may be for one’s personal health, wealth and well being. Remember that the color most often used for cursing is Black. And the historical and folkloric image of witch (whose salt this is) is a supernatural agent of harm and evil. Black salt is used to curse, and sometimes that curse is used to drive away other evil beings, but the essence behind it is cursing and doing harm.

There seems to be a new fad of promoting black salt as something not as bad. I have read online various indications of use black salt for protection, by laying a circle of black salt around your home. This is a technique one might do with regular salt, as salt is protective, and purifying. Black salt, however, is the opposite of that. Laying a circle of black salt around your home would probably only curse you and start ruining any peace or prosperity in your home, instead of protecting you from harm.

Elsewhere I have read suggestions to use black salt with the dead and with ancestors. That concept is also ignorant usage of black salt. For one, a great number of methods and styles of venerating ones ancestors and conjuring up the dead indicate not to use salt. This applies to any kind of salt, not just regular salt. While the various metaphysical explanations behind this are multitude, it still comes down to one thing. Don’t do it. The ancestors and the dead don’t like salt. For the few methods that do use salt, one should keep in mind that it is unique to that culture and tradition, and the salt they use is going to be regular salt, not black salt.

I have also read suggestions of using black salt with gods, usually gods of war, death, the underworld. Again, I find this to be incorrect, although there could be an exception. The exception would be calling upon that specific god to bless the black salt, before you go out and use it to drive away evil or to curse. That is not the same as using blacks salt in devotion and veneration of the god or gods in mind

It is possible that in your personal work, you might find a spirit that wants to have black salt in it’s presence. If that is the case, then do so, but remember that it is unique to you, and unique to your practice, and in no way reflects traditional uses and folklore behind black salt and if you do write about it, you should make that clear to your readers.

I have even read people suggesting to bathe in black salt, although I suspect this might be a recommendation for a special kind of salt that is mined from the ground, which has a dark gray to black color to it. That would function as normal salt, not as the special mixture known as “black salt” which is salt mixed with things