bless the deities

Reasons why some may not like "Blessed Be"

1,) It’s history:

Wicca is a fertility religion. The fact that “Blessed Be” stems from a ritual referencing sex and fertility should not be surprising. But for those who do not know where the phrase stems from, it comes from this ritual called The Five-fold Kiss:


“FIVE FOLD KISS FEMALE

The High Priest kneels before the High Priestess and gives her the Five Fold Kiss; that is, he kisses her on both feet, both knees, womb, both breasts, and the lips, starting with the right of each pair. He says, as he does this:

"Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways.
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar.
Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be.
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty.
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names.”

For the kiss on the lips, they embrace, length-to-length, with their feet, touching each others. When he reaches the womb, she spreads her arms wide, and the same after the kiss on the lips.

FIVE FOLD KISS MALE

The High Priestess kneels before the High Priest and gives him the
Five Fold Kiss; that is, she kisses him on both feet, both knees, phallus, both breasts, and the lips, starting with the right of each pair. she says, as she does this:

“Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways.
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar.
Blessed be thy phallus, without which we would not be.
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in strength.
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names.”

For the kiss on the lips, they embrace, length-to-length, with their feet touching each others. When she reaches the phallus, he spreads his arms wide, and the same after the kiss on the lips.“

Even if you don’t realize you’re referencing this, people can be reminded of it simply by you saying "Blessed Be”, and it can make them uncomfortable. In this case, listen to them and don’t fucking say it.

2.) They are uncomfortable with unsolicited religious blessings

Undoubtedly, Blessed Be is a blessing tied with religion. People who are not part of that religion, or are without religion completely, may not want to receive any sort of blessing from a religion that is not theirs. Same goes for people who say “God bless” to those who are not of an Abrahamic religion (since God inevitably is tied to YHWH in the west). This is just rude to do

3.) Its ties to the Wiccan God and Goddess

Like the “God bless” example listed above, many people associate “Blessed Be” with a blessing from the Wiccan Lord and Lady.

If someone is dedicated to a deity, and only wants interactions and blessings from that specific deity, then the blessing of deities from another pantheon would be unwanted and intrusive. This can be supremely annoying when one wants NOTHING to do with the Wiccan Lord and Lady.

So if someone says they would prefer you not say “Blessed Be” to them: listen to them. They’re not being “Wiccan-phobes”. They likely have a valid reason to request you refrain from blessing them. Just fucking listen to them

And remember, a secular blessing like “have a nice day” works just fine.

4

Aphrodite’s chosen altar and her offerings. I made my first offering to her here and apparently she liked it so much, she refuses any other place! She even made the plant on the left bloom. That one normally blooms only once or twice a year and only for a couple of days, but since she blessed it as her altar it’s stayed beautiful and vibrant!

more oumaede

The thing about sleeping under sheets is that every movement produces a loud rustle, and Ouma happens to be an expert at shifting around all curled up.

And he insists Kaede must hug him, or he’ll have nightmares about her dying.

“Ouma-kun, stop moving,” Kaede bites out, and Ouma makes his best effort to wiggle around again. “I said don’t do that.”

It’s dark, and Kaede can’t really see. (She’s not sure about Ouma, since she’s convinced he has night vision like a cat’s.) She can see Ouma fluttering his eyes open, mocking a wake-up from a deep sleep, then snuggling closer and burying his face against the soft skin of her neck, tangling her cold legs with his. Kaede can feel his warm breath, and the heat is pleasant and familiar.

Ouma looks up at Kaede with a sugar-sweet smile. “Goodnight kiss?”

Sighing, Kaede brushes his messy bangs away and indulgently wraps her arms around his small frame before tilting her head downwards and gently pressing her lips against his forehead.

“Goodnight.”

Cleansing

About This Masterpost
Thicket’s Magical Masterpost

I would consider cleansing to be the first magical education someone should receive. Yes, there are other basics like grounding that are important to learn early on. But as far as first magical actions, cleansing should be among them. Understanding cleansing can also go a long way towards understanding some basic magical theory.

Cleaning is a part of life. Cleaning the house, cleaning the car, cleaning yourself – it’s part of being a human being. So is magical cleansing.

Energy flows outwards endlessly like a fractal. There is no beginning and there is no end. Humans are made out of energy. We’re just kind of crystallized. So it’s not like there is us, humans, and then later on at another point there is flowing energy and that energy touches us. There is no gap. There is no separation. We are energy, the world is energy, the universe is energy. The only thing is, we are a particular kind of energy. We are human energy! And human energy likes to feel a certain way. The energies we clean off of ourselves are the same kinds of energies that other spirits love and feed off of. So right away it is important to abandon a notion of “good” and “bad” energies. We are just lil human beans, loving certain kinds of energy. That doesn’t make our energies better. It just is what it is.

While energy is flowing endlessly, it endlessly interacts with our human spiritual body. This spiritual body is closely tied with our physical body. When you wear certain shields or protections, only certain energies can reach your body. Isn’t that rad?! We literally have the power to separate ourselves from the universe. That blows my mind.

If you live in a bright, airy home, if you have wonderful relationships, if you have a good job and hobbies you love, then you may accumulate way less negative energies (again, negative from our human perspective) than someone who has a rough life. So we do not all accumulate negative energies at the same pace. In addition, it is possible to sweat out negative energies and generate them yourself.

When these negative and unwanted energies interact with our spiritual bodies, it can clog things up. You can develop blockages in your body that represent as physical pain. Most people with knots in their back can experience a miraculous recovery with a little energy work and sweeping the bad energy away. In fact I recently did this for a friend! I released the knots in his upper back and swept the energy to his lower back. He immediately, within seconds, complained of pain in his lower back where five minutes previous he said that was never a problem spot. So just make sure you scoot energies all the way off of people – but more about that when we get to healing in another part of the master post.

Blockages! They can be physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Ever been just totally unable to come up with concepts for art or writing? That could be an actual energetic blockage. Ever had a weird pain in your back or body for no reason? Headaches, stomach pain? A feeling of disconnection from the universe? Each of these things has one thing in common: they can be caused by energetic blockages (although this does not mean they are).

At this point a question naturally arises: how often do we need to cleanse? Is it daily like a shower, or weekly like changing the sheets? I believe like most things, an intuitive and varied approach is best. The good thing is that cleansing is incredibly easy and can easily be done daily in your morning shower. I will include cleansing rituals at the end of this post.

I recommend a simple daily cleansing with your shower, or however often you shower. It is simple, requires no tools, and is an excellent way to practice energy work.

I also recommend a deeper cleansing once a week. There are a lot of magical practices I believe are best done once a week, so if possible it’s always nice to have one day a week to focus a few hours on magical upkeep if this is possible. A deeper cleanse can easily be done with a sea salt scrub. What is the difference between a basic cleanse and a deep cleanse? A deep cleanse uses allies such as plants, spirits, and crystals to aid in your work.

It’s time to change directions for a moment and talk about the importance of physical cleanliness when it comes to magical cleanliness.

There is a reason humans prefer clean spaces. It lets the energy breathe. It lets us relax. Clutter is bad for happy and healthy energy flow. Grime is bad for keeping your magical spaces free of parasites and icky things. If you want something to be magically cleansed, first you need to physically clean it. This includes yourself, your items, and your spaces. Taking out the literal trash can go a long way towards taking out the metaphysical trash. If you have a metaphysically dirty amulet, you will notice that gently and lovingly cleaning it will actually really go a long way towards metaphysically cleaning it.

When working with items and areas, they do seem to need cleansing less often with a few exceptions. If a tool of yours has heavy everyday use, such as my conjure crystal Arro, then it likely needs a cleansing every time you use it. You may find this to be true of your tarot cards, wand, pendulums, or other items that receive heavy use and get tangled up in lots of energies. Other tools that are used less often can receive a basic weekly or even monthly cleansing. Tools rarely used can receive a quick cleansing every time you use them but do not need to be cleansed on a schedule.

You can also just tell if an object needs cleansing. It will appear less aesthetically pleasing. Crystals will look dull and not as colorful. If you feel like avoiding an object, like, “ehh… I wear this necklace every day but today, ick,” it needs a cleansing. I have a ring my father gave me that absorbs ALL negative energies and it needs heavy regular cleansings because – it gets lost! If you lose a magical item, it has likely absorbed a lot of negative energies and can’t function any more. Once you find it, give it a big cleansing. And sometimes, objects just plain feel icky. Ever been thrift shopping, picked up a cool looking item, and immediately put it down because you suddenly got a big “nope” feeling?

Rooms where you are most active will require the most cleansing (including your car). My bedroom requires cleansing 3-4 times a week due to the heavy amount of magical, spirit, and life energies that accumulate in there. My kitchen on the other hand never needs a cleansing because the cleaning energies put in to it daily clear it out wonderfully.

Cleanse and clean a room when you feel uncomfortable being in it. When I start to avoid my bedroom I know it is time for a clean n’ cleanse. Especially cleanse after a big argument, if things are feeling stale, if the room doesn’t seem pretty, or you just feel it needs to be done. In general, do a full home cleansing once a month if you are able – this means your room and public/common spaces. You do not need to cleanse the bedrooms of others. While it is easy to do self cleansing and item cleansing with energy work, clearing out entire houses takes a little extra work. If you are a master energy worker like one of my friends you can just whisk all that negative energy out. If you are terrible at energy work like me, you need to enlist allies – again, that is plants, spirits, and crystals or minerals to help you.

Before we get to the actual cleansing rituals, there is one more thing to talk about. There is a difference between banishing and cleansing. They are not the same things and a cleansing is not the same as performing a banishment. If you cleanse a room and half an hour later it’s funky again, there is something in there that needs to be removed. Banishing will come in its own post later on. Banishing is asking a guest to leave – cleansing is picking up all their beer bottles and cigarette butts afterwords. You can pick up all the beer cans you want but as long as that guest is there, trash will keep accumulating.

Cleansing rituals

Self cleansing in the shower is easy. Imagine the water is active and living. Imagine spiritual gunk is sitting on your skin just like physical grime. The water washes away all the spiritual gunk and takes it down the drain. Wash yourself from head to foot (this dispels, as opposed to foot to head, which attracts) using normal shampoos and soaps. Be sure to scrub the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands.

If for any reason you can’t imagine that spiritual gunk leaving, or you feel it hasn’t left, you need a deeper cleanse. This is also the cleanse to use once weekly.

Take some table salt and olive oil. Mix them together in a thick scrub – you don’t need a lot, a quarter cup of salt will do. If you don’t have olive oil choose any skin safe oil you have at home. Hold the little container of salt scrub and bless it with this blessing, or your own:

By earth, the body of the gods

By water, their rushing blood

By air, the breath of the gods

By fire, their burning soul

May this scrub be made blessed and made pure

(Credit to Jason Miller for this charm – read his books, you won’t regret it).

I imagine the soul of nature itself doing this blessing, not any individual god. If you prefer, dedicate this blessing to your patron deity. Speak to the mixture and ask the blessed salt and oil to totally cleanse you of any negative or unwanted energies attached to you. If you like, throw in one of the herbs listed below.

In the shower, scrub your whole body – including your scalp – from head to toe with this mix. Imagine the salt just chomps away at that negative energy, like white blood cell soldiers swarming in and destroying the negative energies on you. If you include a plant, watch their powerful energies do the same thing. Once your entire body is scrubbed up, take a normal shower and again visualize the water taking everything away and down the drain.

You can also cleanse with crystals, incense, and energies.

Try sitting in the sun for 5 minutes and imagining the powerful divine fire burning away all negative energies on you. The moon can perform the same service, especially in her waning phase.

Take a powerful cleansing crystal and hold it to each of your chakra points. Ask the crystal to take away all negative and unwanted energies. Then, cleanse the crystal.

Burn a plant that cleanses (a list is below). Engulf yourself in the smoke. And I mean really get in there. If possible, hotbox yourself in the bathroom or in your car and get covered in smoke. A stick of sage is helpful because it’s easily mobile and does a good job cleansing.

Lastly, every personal cleansing is well rounded off by drinking a cleansing tea made out of an appetizing herb listed below, stirred clockwise three times, with a blessing to bring back beautiful and positive energies to your spiritual body.

Cleanse items in the same way that you cleanse yourself. Gently wash them with water and if the material allows, apply salt scrubs, bury in salt, bury in the earth, leave in the sunlight or moonlight (with instructions given to the item about what is going to happen), fumigate it, or pull the negative energies in to yourself or a crystal to be cleansed at a later time.

Cleanse a room first by cleaning it as best you can. Add some salt to your rinse water and wipe down most major surfaces with this gentle cleanser. Pay special attention to all corners and thresholds (doorways and windows, even an interior doorway like to a closet) and sweep them out very well, then apply the rinse water to that area. If you want to get fancy, research your own favorite general purpose home cleaning sprays. Keep main ingredients like vinegar and vodka, and substitute cleansing plants and add a little salt. Test spray on fabrics to make sure there is no stain. After a cleansing, spritz this around surfaces you can’t wipe down with salt water. I also find plain air fresheners like Febreze do an excellent job to really “complete” any room cleansing. Incense should work great, too. Lastly there are some passive cleansers that do a great job. Cut an onion in to quarters and place one quarter in each corner of a room. Or place a dish of water, an egg, a dish of vinegar, or a salt lamp in to a room to passively cleanse it. Also charge a candle with cleansing energies and burn it; include another candle with negativity banishing energies for an extra powerful punch.

If you want some rad energy work practice, pull fresh and powerful energies from deep in the earth and release them in to a room with instructions to clear out negative energies.

Cleansing Allies

I do not work heavily with crystals so I’m not going to make a list of them – this is a plant ally list! I will list only what I have worked with so I can give personal feedback.

  • Angelica This is a strong banishment/exorcising herb. Use it when you suspect you have very bad attachments. Combined with hyssop, no enemy can stay attached to you.
  • Anise I have worked with this plant before. It is a solid cleanser, if a bit blunt.
  • Basil Is more of a protector than a cleanser, but it works in a pinch. Add to a more cleansing plant or ally such as salt or bay leaf for a good protecting, cleansing spell. Use in conjunction with rosemary for a powerful shield.
  • Bay Leaf/Laurel The most RADICAL cleansing plant ever. Where bay lives, no evil can exist. Put bay everywhere. Hang it up in your room. Make a human stew by throwing bay leaf in to your bath. Liberally add it to cleansing scrubs and sprays. Keep bay with your tarot decks and other tools to keep them highly protected and cleansed. Bay leaf is the salt of plants.
  • Chamomile This is a solar plant and as such brings the power of divine fire to a cleansing. It is bright, cheerful, and happy. And it makes a delicious tea. Buy bulk chamomile from the ethnic spice section of your local grocery store. Burn it as an incense and drink it as a tea for a wonderful warmth and a solid cleansing and protective qualities.
  • Cinnamon This bark is a very strong cleanser and raises vibrations. Use it when you feel down in the dumps and need a good cleansing with a protective edge to it. Add liberally to tea.
  • Cloves A protective plant with a bit of cleanse to it. Use when you can’t get angelica or another powerful banisher. Make in to a strong tea and add that tea to your bath water or wash yourself down with it. Do not use clove as its own for a purifier.
  • Eucalyptus This can be bought in the ethnic section of your grocery store. A very powerful healer. In case of emergency, use liberal eucalyptus oil or leaf combined with rosemary for a full cleansing, healing, and protective spell.
  • Frankincense Again you are unlikely to find this item in the grocery store! Like angelica, hyssop, and mullein, collect when you are ready. It powerfully raises vibrations and is a wonderful cleanser. Especially burn as an incense.
  • Hyssop I have experience with hyssop as a cleanser, but not a protector. However it is a powerful cleanser and can break the strongest chains.
  • Lavender Very strong, yet gentle, cleanser. Use when you, a room, or an item is “tired” and can’t handle a radical cleansing such as what bay leaf provides. It also smells wonderful for room cleansings and makes an excellent tea.
  • Lemon An acidic spiritual cleaner that will eat through any grime. Use with care – it can also eat through you! Don’t add great quantities to a bath unless you know your skin can handle it.
  • Mint Any mints, especially peppermint, make good cleansers and leave you with that minty-fresh feeling. Brew in a strong tea with a touch of sugar for freshness and sweetness within.
  • Mugwort A strong cleanser that improves third eye powers. No complaints.
  • Mullien I LOVE mullein. It is a kickass cleanser and it’s fun to smoke. I have massive (like, a shoe box full) supply of mullein in my home because it is such a good ally. You are unlikely to find it in the grocery store; save this one for when you are ready to collect ‘witchy’ herbs.
  • Peppers Black pepper isn’t quite what I mean and it doesn’t have the same properties. I mean spicy red hot peppers! Obviously DO NOT scrub yourself down with this or drink it as a tea. Hot peppers are powerful banishers. Make an oil with a carrier oil and hot peppers. Dress candles with this oil to banish all negativity from a place.
  • Pine A pine tree has strong cleansing properties. Add needles or branches to a bath. Soak in vodka for a cleansing tonic you can use on objects. Hang around a pine tree and ask it to take negative energies away from you. Burn pine incense.
  • Rosemary My oldest plant ally, rosemary functions dually as a strong cleanser and a strong protector. Use rosemary when your shields have been cracked or when something needs extra protection.
  • Rue This is a very powerful hex breaker. Take a bath in rue and ask it to break any negativity upon you. This herb is not for use for any pregnant or nursing people.
  • Sage Sage works. It’s not over-rated.
  • Valerian It smells terrible, but it is a guard dog of cleansers. DON’T burn it or drink it, but if you need a hardy cleansing and it’s all you have, add it to a nice scrub or bath and it will work wonders.
  • Yarrow A gentle but strong cleanser. Use it when there are a lot of tangled up energies that need to be cleaned out.
Simple Circle Casting & Closing

Circle casting can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Feel free to tweak this method of circle casting if you feel the need to. It might seem complicated at first, but once you try it out and get the hang of it, it’s pretty simple.

Things you will need:

  • 4 white candles (if you don’t have and can’t get this many candles, the elemental representations work just fine by themselves). 5-6 if you’re incorporating your deity(ies)
  • Something to represent each of the elements (Salt or Dirt-Earth, Ash or Candle-Fire, Water-Water, Feather, Fan or-Air). If you work with deity(ies) you can have something that represents them as well. 
  • Lighter 
  • Cup of Holy Water
  • Salt (preferably sea salt)
    Protective incense and feather (dragon’s blood is the most common one I find)
  • Offerings. When in doubt, bread bun and some pure fruit juice in a small cup.
  • Compass (smartphones have a built in compass app)
  • Journal and pen
  • The other ingredients for the spell/ritual you are about to cast. (Including your BOS)
  • Yourself

Prep Steps:

  1. Take a shower and clean physical dirt off. Then take a cleansing bath; sprinkle some sea salt (and other cleansing herbs if you’d like) into the bath to cleanse yourself before the casting.

  2. Once you’re out and dressed, go to your working room (room where you’re going to cast the circle). Take deep breaths, calm/ground yourself. Put on some calming music that isn’t too distracting for you if you’d like.

  3. Establish where you want your circle, if you’re going to use an altar or not and where the 4 cardinal directions are with the compass.

  4. Place a candle/elemental representation at each direction. North-Earth, South-Fire,West-Water, East-Air. If you are using your altar as part of the circle, make sure it’s at the North and that you place a candle/representation for that direction on the altar. Or instead you can either have your altar in the middle of the circle or not use the altar at all.

  5. Double check that you have everything you need.

  6. If you are incorporating your deity(ies) into your circle, you can add their representation (it can be figurines and/or candles).

  7. Triple check that you have everything you need in the circle.

  8. Set up all your ingredients for the spell/ritual and circle casting at the North point however you’d like. 

Casting Steps:

Work clock-wise.

  1. Start at the North. Light the candles one by one clockwise. When you light each one say/chant: “I call upon the Guardians of the (insert Cardinal Point), Powers of (insert Element). Come join my circle to protect all inside.”

  2. If you are invoking your deity, light their candles and say/chant “I invoke the God/Goddess (insert Deity’s name), I invite you to my circle and ask that you protect all inside”

  3. For this step you can use a wand or an athame, but for those that don’t have that, your index finger or hand(s) will work just fine. Take you finger or hand(s) and begin “drawing” your circle clockwise. As you do this, envision a protective light coming from above, through you and making the circle on the floor. If you’re working in the middle, be careful not to step on your stuff! 

  4. Once you have completed drawing the circle, take your incense and light it. In a clockwise direction starting at the North, start passing around the incense while gently fanning the smoke with the feather (starting at the direction you’ve been starting at) along the inside perimeter. Chant: “By the powers of Fire and Air, I cast this circle. May no negative or unwanted entities trespass.”

  5. Take the sea salt and sprinkle 3 pinches into the cup of Holy Water. (If you make your own Holy Water with salt, you don’t need to add more salt.) Stir it a little in clockwise circles with your index finger. Then, starting from the North, dip your fingers into the cup and begin spraying it a long the inside perimeter of the circle, clockwise. Chant: ”By the powers of Earth and Water, I cast this circle. May no negativity or unwanted entities trespass.”

  6. Take a moment to sit down and envision yourself in a protective circle guarded by the elements and deity(ies) if you invoked them.

Once you are done envisioning, you can begin your spell/ritual. At the end (unless the spell/ritual says to do this at a different time), take a bite and sip of the offerings then offer them to your deity(ies), the elements and/or whatever other entities you have asked to join you.

Closing Steps:

Now you start working counter clockwise. 

  1. Start with your deity(ies) and say: “Thank you God/Goddess (insert name here) for joining me in my circle. May peace and love be forever between us. Merry meet, Merry part and Merry meet again.” If you are working with more than one deity, repeat this for the other deity. 

  2. Begin dismissing the elements by saying: “Thank you Guardians of the (insert Cardinal Direction), Powers of (insert Element) for join me in my circle. May peace and love be forever between us. Merry meet, Merry part and Merry meet again.” Remember to start from the North then go to West, then South, then East.

  3. Stand at the North, point yout finger/hand(s) where you began drawing your circle and envision the energy/light that you used to draw the circle coming back into you. Move counter clockwise as you take in all the energy back.

  4. Once you reach the North again, sit in the middle of the circle, point your finger/hand(s) up into the sky/ceiling and chant: “As above, so below. The circle is now open, but never broken.” As you chant this, envision the power going back up to where it came from.

  5. Now that your circle is opened, you can leave the offerings on your altar for however long you feel the need (I’d keep it under a day) then either throw it away or (if it’s safe for native wild life) leave it outside for the Earth to take in.

Hope this helps! Blessings!

Crystals tip #2

Hello dearies! 💎🔮🌙
In this post I wanted to write down some ideas for using crystals and stones in magic and spellcasting. I’ve been using them a lot lately but a bit randomly and without really paying attention to the details, so I think I need to write down a little guide and try to stick to it in the future. I hope this will help other new witches!

So you got some beautiful crystals. Now what?

💎  Why crystals? 💎
Crystals are one of the most spectacular phenomena in the universe. They come from the dark, incandescent earth; some of them formed millions of years ago. They took all that time to grow in their beautiful, symmetrical shapes fighting against entropy, showing us that, even if only in a small fraction of spacetime, chaos can be defeated. In this sense crystals are very similar to us; they are inorganic organisms, but like living beings they have their own individuality and their own desire of survival in a blind and chaotic universe.  
Some stones like obsidian aren’t actually crystals: they form when lava solidifies quickly after a volcanic eruption. These stones retain the chaotic power of the universe and are perfect companions for those of you that like to work with deities of chaos and death. But please be careful when approaching this kind of chaotic entities, as they will try to push you towards annihilation and self-destruction. 

💎  Cleansing 💎
After you get a crystal, unless you found it in nature or extracted it yourself from the earth, it will have been through a lot of stressful experiences. Traveling on planes and ships and being touched by countless people, the crystal will have accumulated a lot of energies that could (and will) interfere with your work. For example, if you want to use a crystal like agate to help you dealing with anxiety but you don’t cleanse it first, you may end up getting a lot of anxiety from it because of the energies and memories it has accumulated before getting to you.
The only way to get rid of these energies is to cleanse your crystal. There are countless ways to do this, but keep in mind that lots of crystals can be damaged by water or sunlight, and, if you live in a city, exposing a crystal to the moonlight means exposing it to a lot of electromagnetic pollution. 
The best way to cleanse a crystal from my perspective is to bury it in the ground. If you don’t have access to a garden you can simply put it in a vase and cover it with dirt (you can also place sigils on the vase to help the process). Leave the crystal buried for at least one night before using it.

💎  Charging 💎
Crystals are not like sponges; they can’t be charged with intentions that are in contrast with their properties. Each crystal is an individual with its own attitudes and characteristics. Some of them are given by the kind of stone you’re dealing with, but each piece will have its own power and its own story. Instead of trying to “program” your crystals to do what you want, take your time to get to know them individually and you’ll find that each piece will speak to you in a different way and will help you in different things.

💎  Possible uses 💎
Here are some ways you can use crystals in practical magic. Of course you can just carry them around with you and use them as talismans, or use them for mental and physical healing, but crystals can also be used actively in witchcraft.

  • 💧 Water-friendly crystals like quartz stones and agates can be used to create magical water to use in spells and blessings. Putting them in a jar for at least one night will charge the water with the properties of the crystals. A nice idea would be to keep a bowl of water full of stones that inspire peace and purity to you, maybe add a few drops of your favorite essential oils and use the water as your own blessing/holy water. 
  •   Summoning deities and spirits can be done with the help of specific crystals and stones. Get to know the deity you want to work with and find out what are the colours associated to them and what kind of emotions they are linked with. Pick a crystal or stone that reminds you of that deity and place it on your altar. If the deity you’re working with has a specific symbol, sigil or representation, draw it on a piece of paper and place the crystal upon it. If you can (it’s a bit messy but very effective) trace the sigil on your altar or on the ground using salt.
  • 🔮  Crystal grids are a very effective way to cast spells, especially if you want to protect, cleanse or enchant a room or a specific environment. Crystal grids don’t have to be huge or super expensive; you can use crystal chips or small tumbled stones if you don’t want to buy quartz points. You can also use coarse salt crystals! Prepare your grid following your intuition and take your time to focus on your intention. Maybe light some incense around it and say a prayer. You can also incorporate herbs and fresh flowers if you want. 

Have fun!
Astrea 💎🔮🌙

Faeries - writing research help

Hey guys! Grim here. 

This post will be on the Aes Sidhe (sidhe is pronounced like shee), fairies or fae. Every writer writes the fae their own way, but some research and background information never hurt anyone. Remember that research is your bread and butter, folks.  

Again, i would like to apologies for typos that will undoubtedly slip past me - the post is likely to be filled with red lines because of the faerie names and Irish words and my keyboard is obstinate on the best of days. (Seriously, if MS word can recognize some of the idiosyncrasies of the Hiberno-dialect, why can’t chrome? It has declared war on the letter s and made me doubt my spelling.)

(Also I am not going to rant about how a certain suethor made blood drinking creatures who more resemble the fae folk than actual vampires, but i will say for you to do your research and change the name of your supernatural creature if they match another creature more than the one you have named them after.)

oOo

What is a faerie?

Fairy, or faerie, is the term for a group of supernatural creatures who are said to be “neither in God’s nor the devil’s service” - that is, neither good nor evil. They are completely outside of religion - it does not interest them, and in certain cases the fae will leave someone alone if they ask for blessings from whatever deity or deities they worship.

Some say that faeries are the children of angels and demons, or that they are fallen angels who were indecisive during the fall and as such, were shown mercy. Before Christianity came to Ireland it was said that the fae were the Tuatha Dé Danann who had been driven underground by the Milesians - those who the Irish are now descended from. Still yet others claim that faeries escort the souls of the dead to heaven, while themselves being barred from it, or that they are themselves dead souls undergoing penance for past actions before they may be admitted to heaven.

Whatever the truth, the fae now live underground in a land where time does not pass as it does on the surface - three short days underground could equal three centuries above, a few hours could be a century. (It does seem to fluctuate a bit) 

The faerie court

Each faerie household contains a king, a queen and a fool. King Fionvarra rules over all western faeries alongside his queen, Oonagh (I suspect this may be an Anglicization as Úna is far more common/correct in Irish, much like how the second “n” got added to Conor when it started being used outside of Ireland. Yes google, I am sure that Conor is the correct spelling, you’re the one in the wrong here so stop bloody highlighting it!!!! My apologies for that rant, I am bad with computers. Now let us return to our scheduled posting.)

The fool, or amadan (fool, male only, there’s a separate word for female fool, Oisean. An “i” gets added before the “n” in both cases to make a plural. the spelling amadawn is another Anglicization.) stays within the faerie borders except for June. for that month, he wanders about in mortal lands wild and half naked, dashing mortal wits out. Yes, you read that correctly, he essentially goes about hitting people with whatever is on hand and in the process reduces their IQ by a considerable amount. Worse still, there is no cure. 

Changelings

It is a mostly forgotten fact that only male children are stolen from the cradle. Females are stolen closer to adulthood, essentially being chosen to become a faerie chief’s lover for seven years, at which point they will be returned as a withered hag. Sometimes the fae will take an adult of either gender, usually to perform some task for them or to marry a chief or queen. In the former case, if they complete the task, the fae will allow them to return, rich and successful beyond their dreams. A human taken to nurse a sick faerie might return as a world renowned doctor, for example. 

In any case, the fae leave behind a substitute encased in a glamour charm. this could be anything from a log to a dying faerie child to a human who was stolen and has now grown old (the fae like humans to die among their own when the time comes), who will soon grow ill and die.

A number of brutal “cures” were used to force the fae to return the original child, including using foxglove to “burn the entrails out of the faerie”. Of course, in all cases, this was just an innocent child being tortured to death - do not try this at home, or any other such “cure”. if you really feel the need to test someone for faerieness, WAIT UNTIL THEY CAN EAT PROPERLY and give them some jam and bread. When they eat it you will know that your fears are completely unfounded. The fae cannot stomach human food of any description. There is no reason to hurt an innocent child.

I do not think anyone would actually do such a thing, but one must cover their own back, yes? 

It was also believed possible for one to enter the faerie fort and take back the child, provided they had not drank three times of the er, enchanted milk. Yes, i just balked at putting the word starting with b in there, purely because of the whole enchanted milk thing. Yeesh. Excuse me… I need the brain bleach.

Much better. Where was I? Ah, yes.

In the case of a stolen wife her husband could attack the faeries when they are abroad and rescue her that way, or by taking the impostor’s girdle, burning it and burying the pin from it.

The Leprechaun and the Cluricaun

Leprechauns make shoes. They are not caricatures of the Irish. please stop using them as such. They wear grey coats, a leather apron, and a red hat for a bit of colour. They are foul-mouthed and generally disagreeable. They guard faerie treasure, and each leprechaun’s entrusted horde is marked by a rainbow. if found and caught, a leprechaun will tell a mortal where the treasure is, but as soon as they get a chance they will thwart the would be thief. In one case a man marked the tree one such rove was buried under with a red cloth. He made the leprechaun swear not to touch the cloth or the treasure while he left to get a shovel, and when he returned every tree in the forest had a red cloth tied ‘round it.

Clurichauns are either close cousins of the leprechauns or simply extremely drunken leprechauns on a spree. either way, the leprechauns deny any association to the cluricauns. cluricauns look exactly like leprechauns save a reddish nose - potentially the result of too much alcohol - and clothing.

The Fear Dearg

A near relation to the leprechaun who enjoys mischief making. Nothing amuses him more than mortal terror. One should say “Ná déan magadh fúm” or “Do not mock me” when encountering a fear dearg to prevent oneself becoming part of some cruel trick or game. strangely enough, the fear dearg show not malice, but favour through their tricks - if thy trick you, you have something they want to see. They might terrorize a modest musician into giving them a performance, for example. 

They will attach themselves to certain houses and will expect a certain treatment, such as food and drink being left out when the household goes to bed.

The fear dearg is good natured and will bring good luck to his targets. (How is natured not a word asdfghjkl!)

Merrows and Silkies

Male merrows will sit by the sea in any weather, scanning for brandy that has been lost with a wrecked ship. Female merrows find them repulsive and instead seek to tease mortal men. Both genders wear a cap and have webbed fingers.

If a fisherman manages to take a female merrow’s cap, she will forget her life in the sea. The fishermen inevitable fail to destroy or adequately hide the cap, and once found, the female merrow will try it on and remember her life in the sea.

Silkies are seals by day and humans by night. They will obey anyone who holds their seal skin, which they shed every evening and leave on the sand. If they marry a human who then becomes lost at sea, they will sing from the cliffs to guide their spouse home.

Banshees

Banshees are not the causes of death, merely a harbinger. Banshees will attach themselves to an old family (descended from the Milesians) ans will wail upon the death of a family member. They are exclusively female and can be found washing the shirts of those not long for this world. Banshees love their families and will exult at their great deeds and good fortunes, following them to distant lands and attending their funerals unseen.

The Dullahan

Sometimes seen in the company of the banshee, the dullahan appears where a mortal dies. He drives a black carriage with six headless horses and gathers the souls of the dead. He strikes any living being to see him blind.

The Lianhan Shee

The Lianhan Shee, or love faerie, seeks the love and dominion over mortal men. There is only one Lianhan Shee, and she is more a force than anything, for all faeries who love are said to become one with her and to the mortal man who longs for her she is the only one. No one has ever described the Lianhan Shee. She insists upon her lovers entering Tír na nÓg (land of the young).

oOo

There are many other types of faerie, but this post is getting long, so i’m going to stop here.

I hope this post helps with writing inspiration/research!

Deities: Beltane

There are many Gods/Goddesses/Deities here are a few that represent the Sabbat Beltane.

Artemis (Greek)


Bes (Egyptian) 


Bacchus (Roman)


Hera (Greek)


Kokopelli (Hopi)


Pan (Greek)


Xochiquetzal (Aztec)



Most of the Gods/Goddesses/Deities that are associated with Beltane are associated with fertility, love, harvest and whatnot. There are Gods/Goddesses/Deities such as the Celtic Goddess Sheela-na-Gig or the Greek God Priapus that can also be honored/worshiped around this time as well. 


Blessed Be!

)o(

Cowardice

Taylor Leong, 2014. Watercolor and India Ink.

He never wanted to be a soldier. Oh, it had been fun to fantasize about it, back when he was young, listening to his Grandfather’s fanciful tales of conquest and battle. This war was different than the beautiful and grand scenes Grandfather would describe to him–here there were no heroes, no colorful flags with the sigils of kings flowing from the staves of noble cavalrymen. This war was full of nothing but smoke, dust, gas and ugliness. He was an artist at heart, and wanted nothing more to do than be back home, sketching at the museums and drawing portraits of all the beautiful young ladies who would pass by. He used to view the grand oil paintings showing the muscular heroes of Greco-Roman mythology brandishing weapons blessed by the gods. Today the weapons were supernatural too, in a way–blessed by the new deities of the age, scientists and inventors racing each other to see who could pry the newest deadly element out of the earth.

He was standing in the middle of a rural town where boxes, suitcases, clothes could be seen flung to the side of the road, covered with dust. The few residents that had lived here had fled a long time ago, and now he was here, alone, and couldn’t remember how he had ended up so far away from the rest of his troop. The setting was beautiful in its solitude and stillness, and he wished he could make a watercolor to capture the pale colors of field, dust, and sky. But even if he had his materials with him, who would he show it to? He would have been happy to see anyone, from either side of the war, who he could ask: Am I in my own country? But of course, there was no one left answer in whatever language they had.

He thought he would rest a while. Play that game children’s game, where you close your eyes and pretend that you have become invisible to everyone around you. If he closed his eyes here, where there was no one to look for him, would he truly disappear? For a moment he hesitated, wondering if he was maybe too old to be thinking such childish ideas, but he quickly dismissed the thought. If his adulthood was meant to be spent trudging in some army across unknown lands for the sake of some high and distant political troubles, he would very well afford to indulge in some harmless childish play.

Walking along the road, he found a good-sized box that looked like it had been a sort of fruit crate–for tomatoes, perhaps– and hid inside it. It was smelly and he realized his uniform would probably gain some unsightly stains, but he didn’t care. Sitting squarely in the middle of the road, someone was bound to find him at some point, trudging along like he had originally. Until then, he would wait. He closed his eyes, and disappeared.

(Companion piece: Valor )

anonymous asked:

I'm interested in Irish polytheism; specifically, I want to begin worshiping Manannán mac Lir. I can't easily have a shrine or give offerings because I currently live in a dorm room with a roommate, so I don't have a lot of privacy. Is it okay for me to just pray to him silently? Also, is there a specific way that I should end prayers, like how Christians end prayers with "amen"? Thank you.

I don’t know of any prescribed prayer endings in Irish polytheism, though many of us have our own, sometimes in English and sometimes in Irish.  I usually stick with a simple, “Blessings and hail, [deity name/epithet/title].”  

If praying silently is effective for you, Anon, then go ahead, and all the more power to you.  I don’t know of any deities who require a shrine, but my UPG perceives that some deities do seem to prefer it while others are more flexible. 

Consider what the purpose of having one is: this can change between people and gods, but I see shrines as a space specifically set aside for the god’s hospitality, rest, and devotion.  Shrines can be temporary if necessary, being set up and then boxed away again when needed, or they can be outdoor spaces you visit when you need to go that extra length for communication.  (Our “broom cupboard” tag should have ideas for shrines that are disguised as curio shelves or designed to be temporary set-ups.)  I have a shrine to Manannán mac Lir, but the nature of my relationship with him makes it feel…heavy and pinned down, so I’m planning to replace it with something I can hang from my car’s rearview mirror to see if having a point of devotion in a moving vehicle works better.  Edit: the thing is made of shells and other bits from the sea and, quite honestly, just looks like an extremely hippie accessory rather than an obvious point of devotion.  If you decide you do want a focal point for him but can’t do a formal shrine, you can hang a necklace or other dangly thing that makes you think of him from a mirror or on the wall, or hang a themed suncatcher in the window, or anything else that facilitates what you need.  Don’t be afraid to experiment!  SPG suggests that he has a unique sense of humor about lots of things.  :)

Ultimately I’d recommend poking around the community to see what people with stronger relationships with him, like @nicstoirm​, have to say about it.  Does anyone with a relationship with Manannán mac Lir have anything to add or correct?

- mountain hound

I watched the moon set into the mountains, and the sun rise over the cliffs.

“Great goddess of the moon, 

The huntress in the night, 

Steady be my heart, and grant me might. 

My queen of the moon, 

She who gives me light, 

Bring into my eyes a gift of foresight.

Lady of the moon, 

As day comes over night, 

I give you my all, my strength, my fight.”

Despite her ferocious appearance, the Plaguebringer is considered a benevolent mother to those in her flight. It is a high honor to serve her. The entire Plague flight has a fearsome reputation, but also a close bond- outsiders are only shown ferocity, but when alone, they are actually quite gentle with one another. Being plague-touched, any contact with dragons outside their flight can result in the other dragon falling ill. This only makes them closer with each other.

sometimes i wonder,
how you came to be, 
how lucky i was to meet you, 
that out of all of time and space, 
we stand here together. 
me - a lost soul, 
finding its way. 
and you - a star on earth, 
lighting the sky like the dawn, 
and a hope of a better tomorrow.
—  the blood in your veins is made of stardust and your heart will shine for a million years // e.q.

witchy bottle for self-confidence and a “better me”

it will help you be more confident around other people and also a motivation to change yourself into a better person! ^^ also helps you aid for your talents, hobbies, and dreams. you can put any thing that will help you or resemble emotional healing and stuff but here’s what i put:

- rose buds/petals: self-love and spreading love to other people

- jasmine buds: attachment and grace. connecting with other people and showing your grace and beauty to others. this flower is also associated with hecate. 

- pink hibiscus (or any other colour): emotional healing and beauty.

- sea salt: purification and cleansing

- black salt: i made the black salt by combining the ashes from burning confident sigils with sea salt and some black pepper. used for removing negativity and deflecting negative opinions about you.

- sugar - show sweetness to others.

- cinnamon sticks (or powder) - happiness, love and protection.

- dandelion - aid in psychic abilities and making my intents come true. 

- small feathers (real) - revealing truths and a blessing from deities associated with air. 

- 3 leaf clover (if you found a 4 leaf one thats awesome!): good luck and prosperity

inspired by feather-set’s witch bottle! c: 

Altars & Sacred Tools [1]

First of all, it is important to remember that tools, herbs, candles, crystals and so on are not actually necessary to work magick. Your own energy and the power of your mind, as well as the blessings of the deities and spirits, are the important things.

However, these extra ingredients do make it easier to work spells – and are undoubtedly nice to have.

BASIC TOOLS

Athame: a ritual knife used to direct magickal energy, this is usually a black-handled, two-edged knife, meaning the blade is sharp on both sides, but it may be dull rather than sharp as this is not a cutting tool. This knife may be made of wood, stone, horn, or metal, and could be a regular knife if visualised as the ritual tool (as with Kitchen Witch tools being taken from those used in daily work around the house). An athame may be a letter opener, pocketknife etc as long as it is seen as a ritual tool. The handle colour may also vary, but black is traditional.

Bell: may be a tiny bell with a delicate chime, or a larger bell, used during ritual and to call upon the Faerie Folk (if delicate in tone); may be of brass, ceramic, crystal, silver etc

Bolline: a cutting tool used in magickal work to inscribe candles, cut herbs, cut thread, or any other such use. Traditionally a two edged blade, with a white handle, but any tool designated as the working tool may be used.

Bowls: one for salt, one for water, and one for the libation.

Broom/Besom: a ritual broom not used for housework, but for clearing the ritual space during circle casting and for spell work.

Candle Holder: can be individual, candelabra, votive holders etc but there should be one for the Goddess and one for the God, and one for magickal work.

Cauldron: metal pot for magickal work; when burning a candle inside it, you might want to put a layer of clean sand on the bottom of the pot. Must be large enough to hold melted wax and to burn twigs or incense inside without creating a hazard. Lidded is best, but if not possible, get a separate lid for covering when ready to put out any fire within.

Censer: container for incense that can be carried around the Circle or set on the Altar. May be of brass, a shell, wood, or any other suitable material and as a container should be partially filled with clean sand to hold the incense and prevent burns.

Cingulum: a nine-foot-long cord of red silk, wool, or cotton that is knotted at Initiation and worn with the Robe, kept on the Altar, or wrapped around a the top of a Staff.

Crystal Ball: a smooth sphere without facets, but may contain bubbles and other markings within; clear ones of natural quartz are very expensive, but manufactured lead crystal also works.

Chalice: used for the beverage of Cakes and wine, Esbats, Rituals etc. May be of pottery, silver, brass, crystal, wood, etc.

Incense Burner: suitable to hold the type of burning incense used; may be a stick holder, corn holder, or resin holder and made of wood, earthenware, ceramic, glass, brass, shell etc

Pentacle: a flat disk with the five pointed star in a circle engraved or painted on it. May be of wood, ceramic, clay, wax, brass, silver, gold, or simply drawn on a piece of paper.

Plate: one to hold the bread or other such food blessed in the Cakes and Wine Ritual.

Robes: may want a variety of coloured robes depending on the type of ritual or spell work involved, or a basic white or black robe. The cingulum (cord) may be used with the robe to tie it around the waist.

Staff: used as a long wand, may be decorated and carried as an indication of Craft association, or simply for walking in the woods.

Tarot Cards: choose a deck that draws you, and use for divination; you may acquire a variety of decks over time.

Wand: should be the length of the forearm to the fingertip, about 12 to 16 inches, may be of oak, willow, hazel, apple, elder for the influence of those woods; select one from nature, or buy one, but choose one that appeals to you; the tool most associated with witchcraft is the wand.

what do I do if I can't visualize???!!

fuckin fake it. 

No, don’t do that, lol.

I’m a person that cannot “visualize” things for the life of me holy shit.  It’s just not something I am capable of, no matter how witchy or how in the mood I am.

If you’re like me and you absolutely cannot visualize no matter how hard you try, there are a number of things you can do.  The energy you need is already inherent within you - you don’t need fancy visualization of brilliant white lights surrounding you and enveloping you oh my god amazing!!!!

ONE:  get high.  I am absolutely condoning drug use, but more specifically the use of marijuana.  I smoke weed for medicinal purposes but have found that when I use it for in craft, it makes everything go from like a 2.9 to a 7000 real quick.  I can feel the vibrations of the universe on every level.  When I meditate or cast spells high I can FEEL the energy.  It’s incredible.  If you can (safely), try marijuana, but be careful.  Too much can make you ill.  If you want to try marijuana but don’t have a safe person to ask questions to, my askbox is open.

TWO:  find some music that makes you feel like you are one with the universe.  For some cheesy reason, I really resonate with Indian Sitar music.  I need music that has no words.  Your music might be different than mine.  Just explore!

THREE:  Don’t visualize, DO.  If you need to visualize raising your shields, RAISE THEM.  Use your hands to physically do something.  If I need to raise my shields, I use my hands and literally raise a shield.  If I need to cast a circle by “visualizing,” I fuck that and use some salt and my wand.

FOUR:  If you need to charge or consecrate something, tell it what to do.  The energies are already inherent within you, you just have to tell them what to do.  A nice charm I like to use when I’m charging is, “I charge this (object) for the purpose of (purpose), in the name of (your deity).”  For consecrating, “Blessed (deity), with salt and smoke, I consecrate this tool in your name.  Let it serve me well.”  You can use charms for any kind of visualization replacement.

YOU ARE NO LESS OF A WITCH JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN’T VISUALIZE.

Oral Instructions on the Practice of Guru Yoga (Part 2)

by Chogye Trichen Rinpoche

GURU DEVOTION

The ceremonies of empowerment are an elaborate way to receive the blessings of the Gurus and the spiritual lineages. Whether our particular Guru Yoga practice is elaborate or not, Guru Yoga is still a brief, less elaborate way to receive the blessings of the Guru, masters, deities, and so on. In comparison with Guru Yoga, this process of calling forth blessings through the descent of primordial wisdom (yeshe bab) during empowerment is done with a much more elaborate ritual, although the meaning is exactly the same. When we practice Guru Yoga well, the experience of blessings should be the same as when we receive empowerment.

When we ourselves are benefited by the Guru’s introduction to the nature of mind, by his blessings and teachings, this will strengthen our sense of gratitude and affection toward the Guru, and Guru devotion (lama mogu) will flower. We will know for ourselves the benefits of the Guru’s blessings.

Whether or not we receive blessings depends on devotion (mogu) and faith (depa). When we begin to receive blessings, we will feel something unique that we have not known before; a new kind of feeling or emotion will arise in our hearts. One of the meanings of blessings (jin lab) is to feel inspiration (trowa; spro ba), to be filled with joy and inspiration (tro ga; spro dga’).

The word for devotion, “mogu” (mos gus) is made of two words: “mopa” (mos pa), which means “to feel devoted to”; and “gupa” (gus pa), which means “respectful reverence”. Thus the word for devotion, mogu, means “to feel reverent devotion”. Guru Devotion

The ceremonies of empowerment are an elaborate way to receive the blessings of the Gurus and the spiritual lineages. Whether our particular Guru Yoga practice is elaborate or not, Guru Yoga is still a brief, less elaborate way to receive the blessings of the Guru, masters, deities, and so on. In comparison with Guru Yoga, this process of calling forth blessings through the descent of primordial wisdom (yeshe bab) during empowerment is done with a much more elaborate ritual, although the meaning is exactly the same. When we practice Guru Yoga well, the experience of blessings should be the same as when we receive empowerment.

When we ourselves are benefited by the Guru’s introduction to the nature of mind, by his blessings and teachings, this will strengthen our sense of gratitude and affection toward the Guru, and Guru devotion (lama mogu) will flower. We will know for ourselves the benefits of the Guru’s blessings.

Whether or not we receive blessings depends on devotion (mogu) and faith (depa). When we begin to receive blessings, we will feel something unique that we have not known before; a new kind of feeling or emotion will arise in our hearts. One of the meanings of blessings (jin lab) is to feel inspiration (trowa; spro ba), to be filled with joy and inspiration (tro ga; spro dga’).

The word for devotion, “mogu” (mos gus) is made of two words: “mopa” (mos pa), which means “to feel devoted to”; and “gupa” (gus pa), which means “respectful reverence”. Thus the word for devotion, mogu, means “to feel reverent devotion”. The biographies of the great masters always speak of the fervent devotion of these masters toward their Gurus. Milarepa’s songs are filled with yearning prayers sung to his Guru Marpa. In their biographies, the yogis speak of their eyes being flooded with tears and the hairs of their body standing on end, of chills sweeping through them, and so on, during the descent of the Guru’s blessings.

It is not enough just to pray with one’s mouth. When chanting verses of supplication, it is very beneficial to give rise to fervent devotion (mogu dragpo; mos gus drag po), as a means of increasing our faith, in order to receive blessings. It is helpful to remember that it is through the blessing lineage (jinlab kyi gyupa; byin rlabs kyi brgyud pa) that one gains realization. If there is no experience of the stream of blessings (jinlab kyi gyupa), one will not experience the true benefits of practice.

Once we begin to receive these blessings during empowerment or during our practice, we should call to mind our Guru’s introduction to the nature of mind.

During our practice, once we have prayed to the Guru with fervent devotion (mogu dragpo), then as we receive the empowerments and dissolve the Guru into ourselves, we can experience this same feeling, the quality of blessing.

Even if one sees oneself as just an ordinary being, if one is able to receive the introduction (ngotro) to the true nature of mind (sem nyid) from a realised master who is able to truly introduce the enlightened essence (sugatagarbha; desheg nyingpo), a significant realisation will be experienced.

Having been truly introduced to one’s own awareness wisdom (rang rigpa'i yeshe), the yogi may gain a great enthusiasm for practice and a new confidence in the meaning and intent of the teachings. As a result of such an experience, we will know for ourselves something of the Guru’s qualities and will feel deep gratitude for the Guru’s incredible kindness in revealing to us our Buddha nature (sugatagarbha; desheg nyingpo).

These are just a few of the limitless benefits that come from being genuinely introduced to the true nature of mind (sem nyi). Once we know something of the qualities of the Guru from our own experience, we will feel great devotion for him or her. When I hear the name of my root Guru Dampa Rinpoche Zhenpen Nyingpo, immediately tears come to my eyes and I am filled with devotion. I have seen his qualities for myself, and I have experienced his kindness, because I have practiced his teachings and received his blessings. The gratitude I feel toward my Gurus is something that has remained with me and has continued to increase throughout my whole life.

BLESSING: THE DESCENT OF PRIMORDIAL WISDOM

There are different ways in which the nature of mind is explained. In the Sakyapa school, we speak of the Indivisibility of Samsara and Nirvana. The Kagyupa speak of Mahamudra and the Nyingmapa teach Dzogpa Chenpo, but all of these refer to exactly the same essence.

Sakya Pandita did explain that the Sakya tradition uses the term Mahamudra to refer to what is experienced due to the descent of wisdom (yeshe bab) at the time of empowerment, when the empowerment is given by a fully qualified master. This is the source of our tradition of Mahamudra, the initiation of a great master.

In the case of my root Guru Dampa Rinpoche, Zhenpen Nyingpo, there were often signs of the transmission of blessing when he bestowed empowerment. When a great master like Dampa Rinpoche would give empowerment, during the descent of primordial wisdom (yeshe bab), many people would shake or jump or cry. Some people would move or utter something, and many special signs would occur during the empowerment.

When a disciple would experience such signs, Dampa Rinpoche would instruct them to recognise the nature of mind. This was the way Dampa Rinpoche liked to give the pointing-out instructions (ngotro; ngo sprod pa), the introduction to the true nature of mind. Introducing through the descent of primordial wisdom is actually one of the greatest methods of introducing one’s innate awareness wisdom (rang rigpai yeshe). As Sakya Pandita said, “My Mahamudra is that which is experienced during the descent of wisdom at the time of empowerment.”

Much is possible when a great master gives initiation, as I so often saw when Dampa Rinpoche offered empowerments. Many experienced immense blessings, the great descent of blessings (byin rlabs bab chen po). When receiving empowerment, some people would cry, some would chant, some would shake or even dance; each had their own unique expression. Since there were so many different types of people, and they may have been following various methods of practice, each disciple would experience blessings in a different manner.

However their experience would be expressed, Dampa Rinpoche then gave the introduction to the nature of mind. At these moments, Dampa Rinpoche would very often say, “Rigpa rang ngo toh! (rigpa rang ngo Itos)”, meaning “Look and recognise the essence of awareness!” He might then continue, “Now, remain in this state.”

Lama Gephel and his nephew were together with us receiving the Gyude Kuntu from Dampa Rinpoche. Lama Gephel’s nephew was a khenpo of the Ngor school. Whenever Dampa Rinpoche would bestow empowerment, and the time for the descent of primordial wisdom (yeshe bab; ye shes dbab pa) came, Lama Gephel’s nephew would cry or shake, showing many different signs of blessings.

Lama Gephel would inevitably scold him, and poke him or give him a whack, telling him to stop acting in front of everyone. Lama Gephel would reproach his nephew and start shaking him, but Dampa Rinpoche would always say, “Don’t say that.” Dampa Rinpoche would correct Lama Gephel, saying “Don’t scold him. Don’t beat him. He is not acting. He is being introduced to the true nature of mind, receiving the blessing of the initiation.”

Dampa Rinpoche would continue, “Leave him alone. He is receiving the blessings of primordial wisdom. We must tell him now to recognise awareness wisdom (rigpai yeshe). Or he might say, “He is experiencing primordial wisdom (yeshe). Let him sustain the experience of awareness wisdom (rigpai yeshe).”

During Dampa Rinpoche’s empowerments, a lot of disciples would definitely receive blessings in many special ways. Some would shake; others would float into the air above their seat. There was one monk, an attendant of Dampa Rinpoche with only one good eye, who would float up off the ground during every empowerment. Someone would always slide his cushion back and forth to show he had lifted off the ground. Many others would likewise ascend into the air, at different times, during different empowerments.

Some disciples would rise up into the space a cubit (bskums khru; about eighteen inches) or higher during the descent of blessings (jin bab). Those with greater realisation would rise as high as two cubits (three feet) or more. I had these experiences as well, although I have no idea how high I rose above the ground. For me, all ordinary perception ceased (tha mal gyi snang ba ‘gags). At these moments, I experienced the Guru’s introduction, and many results of the blessings. As soon as signs such as these would occur to anyone, immediately.

Dampa Rinpoche would say, “Now you look into the essence of your experience. This is your own awareness wisdom (rang rigpai yeshe). Recognise it.” At the moment the disciple received blessings, Dampa Rinpoche was truly able to properly introduce the nature of mind.

If one would ask if the same things occurred when Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgon Kongtrul, or Jamgon Loter Wangpo, gave empowerment, the answer would of course be yes. Where else would the lineage have come from?

One may also ask, what is the nature of blessing (jinlab; sbyin rlabs), which is transmitted at the time of empowerment? During the empowerment ceremony there is the descent of blessing (jin bab), or the descent of primordial wisdom (yeshe bab). At this moment, one’s ordinary thinking processes are stopped, suspended, and one has the definite feeling that one has received blessings. It is at this moment that the primordial wisdom (yeshe) is revealed, and through the Guru’s pointing-out instruction (ngo tro; ngo sprod), one is able to recognise it. Then the Guru will explain that this is the state we should continue in from now on.

When people would receive the blessings of the descent of primordial wisdom from Dampa Rinpoche, he would always say “Look to your essence!” (rang ngo toh; rang ngo ltos). He was saying “Do not look outward, but look to the source of your mind.” The blessings had been received and the experience of primordial wisdom (yeshe) was manifest for the disciple. But, unless instructed to look toward his own mind, the disciple might not recognise it. Hence it is not enough for the wisdom to manifest, it must be recognised. For this, we rely on the Guru’s introduction.

Sometimes Dampa Rinpoche would introduce the View through the power of his gestures or of his gaze. As Dampa Rinpoche brought about the descent of primordial wisdom (yeshe bab) during empowerment, some people would cry uncontrollably. This is a sign of the descent of wisdom, a sign that they were flooded with blessings.

During the descent of primordial wisdom, ordinary perception is stopped (nangwa gag), one’s conceptual thinking is suspended (namtog gag). At these moments, Dampa Rinpoche would often give introduction to the nature of mind again and again, repeating a few simple words such as “Sustain the recognition of the essence!” (rang ngo kyong; rang ngo skyong).

I often experienced this for myself, and after each such experience an even deeper feeling of devotion (mogu) would arise. It is true that even deeper faith and devotion can arise from within the sustaining of the View. The experience of blessings does not obstruct the recognition of the View, and the recognition of the View does not obstruct the experience of blessings; each benefits the other.

Such things can happen when great masters like Dampa Rinpoche and Zimog Rinpoche give empowerment. I witnessed these things when those lamas gave empowerment. Although I am not that well qualified, we do have the lineage; it is present, and there are blessings that are sure to be very effective for each of us.

During the experience of receiving blessings, feelings may arise such as great faith and devotion toward our teacher, and tears may come by themselves. Or some may have an experience of clarity and happiness, and remain with the empty essence (ngowo tongpa) of that state. Even in our times, experiences of blessings definitely occur. One who is able to receive blessings should, at that moment, recognise the nature of mind and remain in that state. I have received many teachings from great and holy masters. But even if one receives such blessings and transmissions, one must still unite them within oneself, within one’s own practice.