Tis' the season for ghost stories, so I thought I would go ahead and share one of mine. As someone who has lived in a haunted house (near the infamous Bridgewater Triangle!) and who works with spirits frequently, I have a fair share of spooky stories, but this one... well, this one is the scariest. Its also the one that taught me to be the humblest when dealing with those who often cannot be seen.
About 20 years ago, when I was about a naïve 18 years old, I was visiting my parents very haunted house in Brockton, MA. I could go on and tell you about the haunts, but those stories are for another time. It was October and fall in New England reeks eerie and strange. Their neighbors were over and well, we decided, why not have a séance…. with you guessed it…. a Ouija board.
Now let me explain to you my mindset at the time. I was naïve 18-year-old who had been studying the occult for about 5 years at that point. I am a fourth-generation witch so I already could sense when spirits were around, nothing new there. I had just joined The Temple of the Seekers, the Ceremonial Magick group that I would later in the future be initiated into and gain formal training in the occult. But, again as naïve 18-year-old, I had everything in control. For fucks sake, I even had my robe from Temple with me. I could conjure shit and hold the fort down.
I cast the circle (oh yes…I was a bad ass witch) to protect us from the uglies, we lite the candles and six of us sat around the table in the circle with the Board in the center. Myself and our neighbor Bob had our hands on the planchette asking the usual stupid questions everyone asks when trying to get in contact with the other side. After 15 minutes of questioning, we got nothing.
We took our pee breaks and started gabbing. Telling ghost stories of our own. My dad always had the best, growing up on an old farm in upstate New York. The candles were still flickering in the darkness and then….
I knew something was in the room. The tingling feeling, I knew so well crawled up the back of my neck and my left arm went cold and completely numb. That is how they let me know they are there. That is how the spirits tell me they are ready to speak. Without any hesitation I just said, “It wants to speak to us now….”
No sooner had I uttered those words than Bob and I placed our hands on the planchette….and no sooner than it came…….
Within a matter of milliseconds, it was like a gust of wind came in: the bird cage holding my mother’s cockatoo suddenly fell knocking the candles over and igniting the curtains on fire, plunging the room in darkness. A lot of screaming ensued followed by a lot of people jumping on one another in fear (including yours truly).
WHAT THE LIVING FUCK JUST HAPPENED.
I literally wanted to pee from fright. I had to pee, but hell was I going by myself. I grabbed my sister, and we went to the bathroom together. That night, after we all regained our ego’s and after the neighbors left, my sister and I slept in my parents’ room, huddled on the floor in fear something would get us. I mainly slept in their room because my old bedroom was full of nasty Shadow people that were relentless energy manipulators and also my room was next to the room that was aptly called “Grandpa’s Room, “ and no…he wasn’t our Grandpa.
I learned three lessons that night:
Since then, I have learned a lot more from working with spirits. Now, I am not afraid of those tingles up my neck or the feelings of something wanting to talk now. I also know the correct ways of using the Ouija board and, most importantly, how to set up boundaries and protect myself and others from negative influences. I am also bad ass at cleansings. That night changed me a lot. I am not scared of things like that anymore. I am a bad ass witch now, with a little more control. But I also know when I need to be humble. As always, the dead teach the living.
**I should note, to add to this... the cockatoo died the next day, headless. I swear to you it is the truth.**
Have we forgotten the basic foundations of magick?
Aleister Crowley defines magick as “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” While there are many definitions of magick, this is my favorite. Basically, it says that you can use magick to will what you want into existence. But how? Why does magick work? And what type of magick should you use to obtain your desire.
There are eight basic principals of magick and each principle describes how and why magick works.
.I. PRINCIPLE OF KNOWLEDGE
This is one of the most basic of all the laws and probably the easiest to understand. The more understanding you have of a subject the more in control of it you are. The more power you possess over it. This includes self-knowledge. One must know themselves (Gnothi Se Auton=Know Thyself), know your own powers, abilities, and limitations. This law is especially important because the more you understand and know your subject the more you can control and change the situation around you. This is the whole point of magick: the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity of will. You can not cause change within something you have no knowledge of.
.II. PRINCIPLE OF ASSOCIATION: This law is rarely used in its pure form; however, we want to cover all the bases. The principle of association means, if two things have something in common- anything in common-that thing can be used to control both. This will have a mutual effect on each, depending upon the size of the thing shared. An example of this could be the hunter. He runs down the lion and kills him, he will then eat the lion’s liver thinking that this will give him strength.
.III. PRINCIPLE OF SIMILARITY/CONTAGION: The principle of similarity/contagion tells us that things once in contact with each other will continue to interact on each other after separation. The emphasis here is the object has been in physical contact with the entity you want to affect. Essentially this is the definition of sympathetic magick. A perfect example of this is taking hair from your lovers’ hairbrush to use in a love spell or taking fingernail clippings from an enemy for a hot foot spell.
.IV. PRINCIPLE OF BALANCE: This one is simple and states that if you wish to survive and become powerful you must keep your life in balance. By balance we mean you must avoid the extreme. You must be flexible and adaptable to change. You must take care yourself, mind, body, and spirit. Eating healthy, exercising, and meditating to keep you magically aligned.
.V. PRINCIPLE OF THE INFINITE UNIVERSE: There is different way to view the universe. Everyone is different and they see things in many ways. Every being that can perceive sees the universe in a unique way. Your universe depends on how you perceive things. The key is here is that if it works for you, keep it. This is the truth to you. If it hinders you then reject it for this is false to you and your progress.
.VI. PRINCIPLE OF LIMITATION: This is important when it comes to any magickal workings. Any operation must have a limit. Any magickal spell or working must have a limit. An extent of what you want to accomplish must have an end date. Once you start set an end date. Typically, 3-9 months is a good time frame. If your workings fail within that time frame, then end it. Revise it, make changes, wait a month, or so and then try again, with a new end date.
.VII. PRINCIPLE OF EMOTION: Everyone of us has emotions and strong emotion is deeply connected to you. An example of this is if you have a strong emotion that is repellent to you for some reason and you reject it, split if off from your personality. You have a reason to reject it, deep in your subconscious. The idea of doing magickal work is to clear up or resolve rejected parts of your personality (Shadow Work) and get them back into yourself. “Whatever things you want, believe that you have them already and you will have them.” When it comes to working magick emotion can be compared with desire. You have the proper amount of emotion or desire to attain the proper result.
.VIII. PRINCIPAL OF BINDING: This principle states that forces of magick have two sides, therefore, double acting and dual in nature. There is nothing in the physical universe that does not have two sides to it. However, in our physical lives, we use both sides of things so much we do not stop to think about it. The key here is to remember that a force can bring something to us, and the same force can take it away. It would follow naturally that if we want a certain thing then the side or aspect of the force, we want is the side of aspect of that force that will bring the desired result. Do you want to use the side of light or dark? What we want to remember is to bind up the force or aspect that we do not want to use.