21 January 2009

Banishing Update

After much thought and consideration I have decided not to employ the use of graveyard dirt, and its accompanying spirit, in a banishing spell. There's just too many aspects about it that make me uncomfortable. Surprisingly, the bit I have the least problem with is the idea of using actual soil from a dead person's grave. That didn't make me squeamish or give me the willies or anything. I was much more worried about the living seeing me buying the dirt and raising a ruckus. In fact, you would be justified in calling me chickenshit in that respect. I was really, really worried about being arrested. I could just see myself on the front page of our little local paper "Local Woman Disturbs Grave" followed by an spine tingling article on the evils of modern witchcraft.

More importantly, I've never worked directly with any kind of spirit and I felt that the spirit of a dead stranger was probably not the best way to begin using that kind of magic. In fact, I'm not sure how I feel about employing any kind of spirit for any kind of magic. Don't get me wrong, I fully support anyone who wishes to employ a spirit. But, for me personally I think I prefer using rocks and stones and altogether material, earthbound things. I'm a watery, earthy person with very earthy magical tastes. I'd much rather take a walk in the woods and use what I find on the ground in a magical working. I'd much rather invoke the strength of the deer whose antler I've found than call on someone I've read about in a book or found in a graveyard. I've always been that way and I guess I always will.

I was also uncomfortable with my attempts to tweak the traditional hoodoo usages of graveyard dirt to assuage my fears. I had considered using the dirt from the grave of my grandmother or a lost pet for a banishing spell but that doesn't really fit the bill according to the history of hoodoo. Graveyard dirt from a particularly feisty person, like a soldier or policeman, would have suited that kind of magic best. And I just wasn't comfortable with the idea of employing a stranger.

With one thing and the other, I've decided not to use graveyard dirt. The only way I could make myself feel at ease about it was to adulterate the tradition somewhat and that just isn't cool. As I said in my previous post about graveyard dirt: "It is what it is and if you can't handle that you've got no business dealing with it." So, I've decided to take my own advice.

Rather, I'm going to stick with what I know best, that is, the mojo bag. I've been making these for ages, since long before I ever read about hoodoo and knew they had a name. I use little bags of all sorts though as I've never had any flannel handy for cutting up. I fill them with various herbs, stones and minerals, charms pertinent to my intention and seal them with wax and breathe life into them. I used to breathe cannabis smoke on them but since I can't do that anymore I'll feed them with incense smoke. After the initial spell working I keep them around my person for a while before entrusting them to the soil of the Earth Mother. They've always worked for me and I figure there's no sense trying out an entirely new form of magic just because I've got a different sort of intention. So, I'll stick with what I feel most comfortable and let you know the results.

P.S. For those of you who may be wondering, my hand is a lot better. It still gets sore but there's been vast improvement. FYI: in a battle between human hand and basset hound jaws and teeth, the basset hound wins. That big, long snout is powerful!

18 comments:

Moonroot said...

Makes sense to me to stick with tried and trusted methods - I think you've made a wise choice.

Glad the hand is feeling better!

Livia Indica said...

Hey Moonroot! Thanks for the input, it's appreciated.

Greg Fletcher-Marzullo said...

I agree about using some stranger's dirt. I think that would be banging on some stranger's door and expecting dinner. Relationships are important on all sides of the veils, so I think I would only use the dirt from someone I knew - although, honestly, I've had amazing ancestor magick success just by having everyone over for dinner and chatting with them about what I needed.

Work those bags, Livia!

Livia Indica said...

Hey Greg. I like your analogy. Even with a payment of money or booze or whatever it would still be presuming a lot that a stranger would be willing to work for me.

Rose Weaver said...

FWIW, I agree with your perspective on this one. Work with what you know best and with what you feel most comfortable. As for smoke, with the way you work, it seems to me that tobacco smoke (organic) may be well used for your mojo bags. Have you considered this option? I use organic tobacco for all sorts of things in my work precisely because I cannot use cannabis.

Sobeit said...

I agree with Moonroot - you have made perfect sense in why you decided not to graveyard dirt. And I like the style you use for your magickal workings... using what is around you is the most powerful magick correspondences we can employ.

Love reading your blog...

Sobeit

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Good call, Lady. Tried and true... confidence is power.
Would you mind helping me make one, say for my Land Blessing on 20/21 March? Walk the land, use what calls out to be used... no incense smoke this time...

Glad your hand is healing good. Bassets... didn't think them aggressive, but then I don't know the whole story...ha!
See ya soon...

Livia Indica said...

Rose Weaver, to tell you the truth I never even considered tobacco. I guess it would be easy enough as I live with smokers who roll their own ciggys. I dunno though, it's such nasty stuff. I'll have to think about it, and thanks very much for the suggestion!

Sobeit, hi there! I agree, using what is natural to one's environment can be much more useful and powerful than, say, something expensive from the store. I'm glad you like my blog, that's always good incentive to keep on writing!

Cygnus, March 20 or 21st? Spring Equinox? I'm there dude!! I'd love to help bless your land, that would be very cool.

Well, the basset in question has food and other issues. She's the biggest, by far, of our six dogs but also the youngest. So, she wants to be top dog and her way of expressing that is to eat up all the food to the point where she makes herself sick and the other dogs don't get anything. She bit me when I was trying to get her to stop wolfing down the food without chewing. But I think I've straightened her out now.

Curious Curandera said...

I don't really like to employ dirt from someones grave, let em rest

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Spring Equinox, indeed! and not arbitrarily chosen; just glad you don't have prior plans.
I'll get you heap plenty directions, too; more on that in my (blog's)comment section.
And glad to hear your opinion on tobacco-- never used it myself (well, an occasional cigar). Icky!:)

More soon...

Sloth Womyn said...

I love how you make your mojo bags! I empower mine with moonlight. I hear ya on the graveyard dirt thing. I don't really like the idea of "employing" which sounds more to me like "enslaving" spirits. If I need help from the spirit world, I invoke my ancestors. If I am meaning to go to war, or take vengeance on someone, I invoke Morrighan or Lilith.

Livia Indica said...

Curious Curandera, I agree, to let them rest is a good reason to refrain from using graveyard dirt. I kinda figure they might very well have moved on to other worlds anyway. Thanks for your input.

Cygnus, nope, no plans for this solitary witch. Actually, I'm a solitary at everything so I rarely have plans of any kind. Yep, tobacco is pretty high up on my gross-out-o-meter.

Sloth Womyn, Hey that's a good idea to charge a mojo bag in the moonlight. For some reason that never occurred to me before. Yeah, I like the idea of requesting help from ancestors as opposed to some stranger. Thanks for your input!

Marion said...

I'm so glad you decided not to use graveyard dirt. Using the rocks and stones and herbs...things you know...seems a much better idea.

I ask for help from those who have gone before me...they always hear!

I'm glad your hand is better!

Leon Basin said...

You have an awesome blog! Thank you for sharing.

Princess Haiku said...

If you aren't comfortable with something it's best to use your intuition. Greetings from Northern Cal.
Princess Haiku

Livia Indica said...

Hey thanks Leon! I'm glad you like it!

Princess Haiku, Yep, absolutely right.

genexs said...

Well thought out. It's kind of difficult to get consent from a dead person. :) Also, the bit about you dreading the prospect of winding up on some local news show, labeled a kook, sounds like a premonition to me.

Livia Indica said...

Hi Gene. The idea is that the spirit will somehow give consent. But I wasn't too sure about it; that's another reason I ditched the idea.

Yeah, I could just see myself hounded by our local fundies.