A collection of ConjureMan Ali's thoughts about magic, the occult, and spirituality.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

The New Year is a great time to perform some much needed life-changing magics. Take the time to reflect on the past year, cultivate gratefulness for all that you received, clear out the bad, and open the way for new blessings with a new year. I am a firm believer in the idea that what spiritual forces you tap into on this night will set the stage for the rest of the year.

Start 2012 right and rather than simply being drunk, be drunk with passion, love, gratefulness, and joy. Such is the first step towards a fulfilling new year. Light a candle, say a prayer, and start things off right.

Every year I perform a blessing and road opening ritual on behalf of all my clients, blog-subscribers, friends, and those who request me to. At the stroke of midnight the candles will be lit and spirit will be moving.

Thank you to all my readers, to a great community on the blogosphere, old friends, and new friends! Blessings on our New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my wonderful clients, readers, and friends. I wish you a blessed season and many more to come.

For clients and others who have emailed me, I shall be back to work tomorrow and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Spirit-Friendly Approach

It has been a busy couple of months as I've been working on several projects. For those interested you can look for more upcoming texts, a set of email courses, and a hands on workshop.

However, I wanted to take the time to address the trend of the spirit-friendly approach and I call this a "trend" deliberately. Like all things in society, the occult works in trends and waves. Certain approaches, traditions, and modes of thinking become popular then fade away. There was a time when the psychological model was popular, when chaos magic was popular, and now the ATRs are gaining in popularity.

One such trend is the spirit-friendly approach, which some link to the increasing interest in the paradigm and spiritual technology of the ATRs. This approach differs from the purist grimoire approach which can also be said to have gained in popularity almost as a reaction against the increase of the spirit-friendly approach.

As its name suggests, the spirit-friendly methods treat spirits as companions, allies, and beings that should be venerated, given offerings, and worked with in other ways that can be seen as starkly different from the command, threaten, and coerce methods normally associated with the grimoires.

It may surprise many, but I am actually not in the spirit-friendly camp. However, allow me to qualify this statement. My approach to spirits is tempered heavily by the spiritual traditions that I was brought up with, that of Hoodoo-Rootwork and djinn conjuring. Over my extensive career of working from a model that tends towards spirit-centric, I have further confirmed that the perspectives shared by Hoodoo and djinn conjuring is the right method for me.

I prefer to see this approach as spirit-respectful rather than spirit-friendly. While this may seem semantics, it is an important distinction. This is especially the case since, as is common with trends, spirit-friendly has veered into somewhat extreme territories. One finds people who ascribe to these methods in such an extreme manner in that all spirits are seen as potential allies, friend, and pals. To me this is as limiting as the approach where all spirits are classed as either "demonic" or "angelic."

Reality rarely falls into such dualistic camps. There are those that decry all of the goetic spirits as evil and wicked while others have made all of them bedfellows. Both such approaches are based on extremes that are not only potentially limiting, but also based off of limited experiences with such spirits.

It is arrogant to assume that the world of spirit is less complicated than the world of humans, or that spirits are more one-dimensional than us. I have found them to be deeply complex beings with motives, agendas, personalities, and quirks as unique and complicated as our own.

In the traditions I am versed in, the approach to such spirits is no different than approaching a stranger on the street. One is respectful, but cautious. It would be strange if you assumed a level of familiarity with a stranger on the street that simply was not reflective of the fact that you just met. Similarly, it would be strange if you grabbed a stranger (who may turn out to be quite capable of kicking your ass) by the lapel and demanded that they go off and run an errand for you. Why should it be any different with the world of spirit?

There are spirits out there that are quite friendly. These beings are interested in the lives of men, want to be involved in our world, and are very helpful. Some of these beings are serene and others chaotic, but they share the similar motive of wanting to be involved with us. I have met other spirits that are aloof and cold, while not openly hostile they are not easily approachable, either. Furthermore there are those spirits who are openly hostile and virulent. Using one blaket approach to them all is foolish and dangerous.

The approach that I find most helpful is one where caution is taken, but spirits are treated in a respectful and courteous manner. This allows one the opportunity to get to know the spirit and gauge their temperament. This "getting to know" process allows one the versatility to approach working with spirits in a variety of ways and is also more reflective of a real attempt at developing a rapport with spirits and their world. To continue with the analogy above, strangers can become good friends whom you can share a meal with (offerings), who you invite home for dinner (housing a spirit), or in other ways develop a friendship. However there are some strangers that are down right evil and others who are pathological liars. The spirit-respectful approach acknowledges the existence of all of these types of spirits and helps ensure that the magus can tell the difference between them and deal with each situation according to the temperament of the spirit.

An openly hostile approach as some have adopted would alienate potential allies, while a too friendly approach would allow parasites and liars into your home.

In my travels I have met spirits that turned into willing allies and strong teachers and I have met others that required to be exorcised or dealt with sternly. There were yet others that were greatly helpful to me, but due to their temperament needed to be worked with cautiously. To put otherwise, there are some spirits who no matter how friendly, you wouldn't invite into your house for a cup of tea simply due to their nature.

By keeping one's mind open and approaching spirits in a courteous, but respectful manner, the magus is equipped to deal more readily with various spirit temperaments while also grounding his experiences in a more realistic and pragmatic paradigm.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spiritual Hubris

Nothing smells more foul than the hubris that develops in people with a modicum of spiritual knowledge. This is not a new thing, but its prevelance certainly does not make it any less of a cancer. I see so-called spiritual elders and magical folk who are supposedly looked up to filled with such hubris that they look down on any perspective or tradition that is not align with their own. They take on the role of so-called experts and pontifcate with bluster about their extensive experiences while dismissing any point-of-view that is not their own.

"Christianity--you mean that superstitious religion of the xians"

"Wicca--Spirits save us from the McWiccans"

"New Age--Nothing but fluff"

"Islam--backwards and ignorant"

"Afro-Magics--primitive and weak superstitious nonsense"

Such a stance only demonstrates how little they have actually progressed in their supposed spiritual journey and more importantly how insecure they are that they have to deride other people and their beliefs in favor of their own "one true path." Nevermind the irony that they are guilty of a level of close-mindedness that they accuse others of. Of course the dismissing of other spiritual paths as superstitious is often an amusing stance for people partaking in traditions and paths that are viewed as wholly superstitious by society.

It seems fashionable to deride religion, or to dismiss the "lesser" practices of others. The very fact many aspects of the occult are intrinsically tied to religion and culture at their foundation eludes them. Many forget it is due to religion that various magical practices remain available to us today. Look at Rootwork, you cannot divorce it from its Christian roots. Look at Hermeticism; it would not have survived today if not for Muslim sages and Christian scholars.

But honestly, irregardless of the interconnectedness of religion and the occult, to deride whole religions is not only hubris, but idocy. To have such little respect for "Xians" (I hate that term) or any other religious group is reflective of a childish and immature personality. One can disagree with people without derision and ignorant grand-standing.

A person truly involved in a spiritual path, one engaged in the desire for gnosis, and even one who is simply looking pragmatically for raw power is wise enough to not dismiss the rich traditions around them. Instead they learn and find inspiration from them. There is an old Arab proverb that states from filth, the wise could produce milk.

While we are all guilty of being close-minded from time to time, it is those who have consistently demonstrated this state of blind arrogance that are cancerous to true enlightenment and growth. Such individuals are not the product of effective magical practices no matter how much of an "expert" they are or how many times they've conjured this spirit or that. Quite the opposite, they demonstrate how little they truly have progressed in their respective spiritual paths that rather than letting the primordial wisdom of the spirits shape and temper them, they have spent too much time talking and too little time listening and learning.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hoodoo Psychics Now Available

The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers has launched its newest project: HoodooPsychics.com, the first live psychic phone-line run by actual rootworkers and conjure doctors. Each of the affiliates of HoodooPsychics.com are reputable and skilled readers and conjure doctor with several years of experience and have passed intense scrutiny of their practice to ensure they meet the high of ethical standards of AIRR.

What stands out about HoodooPsychics.com is that you have access not only to reputable psychics, but these individuals can prescribe traditional spellcasting techniques to ameliorate your situations, or can take on the case themselves to help transform the conditions that you face.

HoodooPsychics.com allows you to have immediate access to your favorite members of AIRR for on demand calls and consultations.

Check us out!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Review: Pomba Gira and the Quimbanda of Mbumba Nzila

Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold is one of my favorite modern authors. His scholarly approach tempered by practical experience makes each of his works throughly engaging and enlightening. His new book, Pomba Gira and the Quimbanda of Mbumba Nzila is no exception.

The book arrived a couple weeks back, a bit later than one would hope for given that it was pre-ordered, but Scarlet Imprint does their best.

I opened my package and was greeted by the luxurious scarlet outer cover and the letter-pressed image of Pomba Gira herself. Scarlet Imprint is to be commended for their beautiful texts and truly they have out-done themselves with the book I hold in my hands. The silken feel of the book, the vibrant color, and the enigmatic images scattered within all bring Pomba Gira to life; as if these mighty Queens themselves have breathed life into the pages and transformed the book into a conduit of their sulfur, blood, and beauty.

My compliments to Scarlet Imprint for capturing the mysterious, erotic, and dangerous element of the Devil's Mistress so elegantly.

Like the spirits themselves, the outershell is but the beginning. Just as the spirits invite you into their mysteries with their volumptous and deadly nature, so too does this book invite you in. The elegance and beauty of the the form compliment the depth of the mysteries convyed by the author.

I found myself unable to put the book down, entranced by the seductive dance of this noble Queen of darkness, magic, and wisdom. Her temptation was strong and her allure, the most powerful of enchantments.

Frisvold delves deep into the mysteries of one of the most misunderstood spirits of the African Diasporic World, Pomba Gira. He reveals that beneath the mistaken title of harlot actually lies the noble spirit of Queens who are cruel in their vengeance and wise in their guidance. Here we find a dark mirror into ourselves where we are dared to have the courage to meet truth. Many have forgetten how awesome and terrible truth can be, but Pomba Gira remains ever tied to the raw power of this force.

The author reveals that these spirits are deeply complex and should be honored and respected, rather than treated as servants or whores. In the process of revealing the complex nature of Pomba Gira, Frisvold illuminates some of the depth and mysteries of the cult of Quimbanda, its necormantic nature and the implications that the relationship between devotee and Pomba Gira hold for Woman.

This book is deep, but engaging. I find that over the coming weeks I shall be turning to this book over and over again, letting each layer of meaning and revelation sink in. One is left feeling a glimpse of the depth of the cult, understanding how much more remains shrouded in the shadows of night, and hoping that more will be revealed soon.

Yet I also add this caution to those who think they can use these spirits without proper guidance and respect. Pomba Gira and her consort and cult are not a fad, they are beings of primal power and amoral natures who do not hesitate to make a toy of those weak of character and constitution. Tread carefully on this razor path.

For all of this, I highly recommend this book to those interested in learning more about Pomba Gira and Quimbanda. You can find it here.

Salve Pomba Gira Rainha! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Join Me On the Radio

The Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour has a new co-host: me. The Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour is the first and longest running radio show dedicated to discussing real conjure and hoodoo. Along with my co-host, the famed catherine yronwode, we take real call-ins to discuss people's situations, perform live readings, and provide authentic conjure remedies and techniques for dealing with situations.

During the show we talk about a variety of conditions, address specific circumstances (love, money, protection, spirits) with traditional conjure remedies, and demonstrate a variety of divination techniques from Tarot cards to scrying, mediumship, bone-reading, and much more.

Join us every Sunday at 3pm Pacific and 6pm Eastern for an hour and a half of magic on blogtalk radio.

You can chat with your hosts and other listeners and callers in our live chat, or you can call in to have a free reading and consulation with me or my esteemed colleague. Instructions to pre-register for a call can be found here.

So log on, tune in, and show your support!

Find out why the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork hour continues to be the the first and best radio show of its kind with thousands of listeners and fans from around the world.

  • When: Sunday 3:00-4:30 PM Pacific Time/ 6:00-7:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
  • Where: Blogtalk radio
  • How to Join: Listen in on your phone (818-394-8535) or online or pre-register to join us on the radio.
  • With Who: catherine yronwode and ConjureMan Ali
Please stop by to say hello. I hope to see you all!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Book-Saint Cyprian: Saint of Necromancers

Hadean Press has today released my work on Saint Cyprian. This great little booklet is called Saint Cyprian: Saint of Necromancers. It was conceived and inspired by my beloved patron as part of an offering to him.

This book is the only one of its kind as it is the first book to address how to establish a working relationship with this powerful spirit and saint. In addition to tips and discussions of how to set up an altar to him and traditional offerings, the booklet also includes rare spells and conjurations that have never before been seen in English. Included are translations of prayers, orisons, and incantations from Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, translated for the first time in English.

You'll find in this booklet:
  • Authentic and rare recipes for making Saint Cyprian oils
  • Instructions on how to create Saint Cyprian's Cauldron; a powerful magical object used for spells and charms.
  • How to set up and consecrate an altar to Saint Cyprian
  • Several unique spells for love, protection, controlling spirits, and destruction
  • Much much more.
This booklet is a great resource for anyone interested in hoodoo, conjure, goetia, curanderismo, Catholic folk-magic, and the synthesis between them. With the aid of this text the reader will be able to call upon one of the most obscure, but powerful saint to guide them through their journey through the realm of spirits and the underworld.

To read more about the booklet you can go here
To order the text you can go here.

Special thanks goes out to Hadean Press for accepting the text and publishing it. It has been a pleasure to work with them. A special thanks goes out to Mister M, for all his help, friendship and inspiration. And of course, my thanks to Saint Cyprian for your patronage, blessing, and guidance.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Services: Demon Bowls and Witch Bottles

Conjure Man's Spiritual Pratice is proud to present two new services available to our clients along with our other highly popular products and services.

Witch Bottles

Witch Bottles, also known as spirit bottles, are a popular magical objects found both in European folk magical practices like cunning-craft as well as the spiritual practices of the rural south.

Comprised of glass bottles filled with potent magical curios, these bottles are often hung near homes as protection against witches, hags, haunts, and other spiritual attacks. They can trap enemy spirits, redirect attacks, and form a powerful protective barrier against malevolent spiritual forces.

In addition to its apotropaic nature, Witch Bottles can also be used to house spirit guardians, or act as charm bottles empowered to carry out specific magical intentions and prayers.

At Conjure Man's Spiritual Practice we create Witch Bottles under the guidance and direction of our spiritual guides in the traditional manner that has been employed by root doctors and conjurers for generations.

You can learn more about this service here.

Witch Bottle created under the auspices of Saint Cyprian and consecrated
to protect a home by trapping evil spirits sent from a rival.

Demon Bowls

Demon bowls were once one of the most powerful and mysterious tools of the Near Eastern mage, but have long since been forgotten by modern practitioners. Found commonly in Mesopotamia and the Levant with similar objects crafted in other parts of the Mediterranean world, these bowls were used by powerful mages for a variety of uses.

Mesopotamian priests would craft these special bowls to trap and tame wandering spirits while their Jewish and Levantine counterparts would use them specifically against the demons of the night and their queen, Lilith.

Today, they are still used by Arabian mages who employ them to summon and restrain the desert spirits, or djinn.

At Conjure Man's Spiritual Practice we craft Demon Bowls using teracotta or clay just as our ancestors did and use the traditional methods passed down for centuries in the Middle East.

Employing intricate and secret magical rites in conjunction with highly specific ritual requirements, we craft Demon Bowls over a course of several days for the purposes of either restraining and trapping spirits, or summoning and controlling djinn; according to the wishes of our clients.

You can read more about Demon Bowls at Conjure Man's Spiritual Practice here.

Demon Bowl with spiraling Arabic Words of Power consecrated to summon djinn.
The spiritual potency of the rite can be seen as power rushes to fill the bowl with life.

The Demon Bowls and Witch bottles of Conjure Man's Spiritual Practice cannot be found anywhere else as both revolve around magical objects of ancient power. The rites and creation of each of these objects were inherited from powerful workers of old and it is with a sense of great honor that we now make these objects available to our clients.

To learn more about all the products and services we offer at Conjure Man's Spiritual Practice, including mojo bags and talismans, check out our website here.


"When I moved into my new home I was not told that it was haunted. After the first few weeks, I knew something was wrong. We had poltergeist activity, we had weird voices speaking at night, unusual fluctuations in temperature and so many other crazy things. I found out from a neighbor that the house used be home to a man they all believed to be a witch. After trying for months with other practitioners to get my house cleansed, one of the psychics recommended that I to talk to ConjureMan Ali. After a consultation, he made a demon bowl and told me how to use it. I am happy to report that my house has been quite ever since. After months of being tormented i can finally have peace!" -L.D.

"I remember visiting my Nana when I was young in Alabama and she'd have these pretty blue bottles hanging from her tree. When I asked her what they were she told me that they were to protect the house. One night years later I woke up to feeling a great weight on my chest. I tried moving but I couldnt. Through my panic I could hear laughter that made my skin crawl but no matter what I did I couldnt move or breathe. It let up after feeling a sharp pain on my neck. I ran to the bathroom when I finally could and found it had scratched my neck. After my heart calmed down I thought that maybe I was imagining things or it was a nightmare. But the episode happened every night after then. For months I dreaded going to sleep. I tried to look up all sorts of remedies and talked to a bunch of people until I found ConjureMan Ali. He diagnosed my problem and made me a Witch Bottle. To my surprise it was exactly like the bottles of my childhood! Since then Ive finally been able to sleep. God Bless you ConjureMan Ali! If I could I'd kiss you!" -M.A.S.

"ConjureMan Ali first made me a djinn/demon bowl when i was his student in the arts of djinn conjuring. I still remember the first time I used the bowl: it had a power like nothing i'd ever seen. I was so impressed with his work and knew I was in the right hands. Using his teachings i've used the djinn bowl ever since and it has remained one of my favorite ritual tools." -AK

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Conjuring for Art

I consider myself a great lover of art and beauty and it is my hope that everyday we grow towards a more beautiful world.

As an academic and historian, I have been a big proponent of a new cultural renaissance for years now. I believe that as a society, despite the unprecedented availability of information, we demonstrate all the trappings of a "dark age." While it is true that the "dark ages" were far more transformative than many think, it still is an age we should try avoid returning to.

In addition to my efforts at the university level I have taken to conjure to tackle this situation. For years, I have performed a yearly blessing rite for clients, readers, friends, but also for aspiring artists, scholars, and those called to transform this world into a more beautiful place.

I keep the heat of this work going all year long by performing a simple candle rite every Sunday or Thursday depending on the inclination of Spirit.

For those who are interested in making this world a better place then you might want to add your own light.

Here's a simple rite you can do:

What you'll need:

Some beautiful music (Please choose a musician of real talent, not these pop singers)
1 white candle
A plate
Rose Petals
Holy Oil (711 Holy Oil is great)
Map of the world
Blessing Incense
Thurible to burn the incense (thuribles usually have a chain to be hung from)

Put your music on and set the map of the world on your altar and on top of this set up your plate. Dress your candle with Holy Oil while reciting Psalm 23 and set this on the plate. Light your candle and take a few minutes to enjoy the beauty of the flame and relish in the sound of the music.

Now light your incense in your thurible and say, "I light this incense in honor of the spirit of Beauty, Truth, and Knowledge."

As the incense is wafting up, take your Holy Oil and pour it out gently all around the plate in a ring, praying from your heart that beauty, goodness, and enlightenment grow in our world. Now sprinkle your Rose Petals on the oil so they are floating around the candle.

Now take up your thurible and slowly swing it in a clockwise circle around your candle and map saying, "Spirit of Beauty, Truth, and Knowledge shine your light in our dark world, rise us up from ignorance and barbarism into enlightenment. Usher us into an age of where true talent, art, and knowledge is cultivated and cherished. In the name of Jesus, amen."

Spend a few moments listening to the music, basking in the glow of the candle, and letting your prayers and thoughts reach the farthest reachest of our world.

Remember that a simple candle can light up a dark room and if enough candles are lit a sea of light will blaze up and make this world just that much more beautiful.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Honoring Saint Cyprian and Improving Magical Practice

In honor of Saint Cyprian's upcoming feast day, here is a little working that one can do to help improve magical power and talent. This work calls upon the aid of Saint Cyprian to open the roads to help the aspiring magician find the right teachers and resources on their quest and people who have done this work often report a heightened intuition that guide them in their magical work and find themselves coming across allies that aid them in their search for magical knowledge.

What you'll need:
Purple candle
Frankincense incense w/ charcoal and brazier to burn it on
Glass of water
Image of Saint Cyprian
Purple altar cloth
Florida Water
711 Holy Oil
Wooden Cross

On a Saturday night set up your altar with your purple altar cloth and an image of Saint Cyprian. On the left of the image set up your cup, but don't pour the water yet. On the right set up your candle. Right before the image set up your brazier and charcoal. You can place the oil and the Florida water nearby on the altar as well.

Knock on the table nine times, saying Saint Cyprian's name each time. Call out both vocally and with your heart, on the ninth time light your candle and pour your water into the cup and place the crucifix ontop of the glass. Light your charcoal from the flame of the candle and set your Frankincense into the charcoal.

As you do this say, "Saint Cyprian, I give gifts in honor of you. Come swiftly, Saint Cyprian and look favorably upon the request of this seeker."

Spend a few moments letting the incense waft up and watching the flame of the candle as your recite the Lord's Prayer softly over and over again. Repeat the prayer slowly nine times. This is best done while kneeling in front of the altar.

Once you've said your prayers and you feel that Saint Cyprian has come to you, take up your Florida Water and say:

"Saint Cyprian as in life you were a master of the Hidden Arts,
So too do you now hold the Keys of Knowledge.
Today, I am a humble seeker as you once were,
Today, I thirst for knowledge as you once did.
I ask that you favor me and quest my thirst;
Grant me the Keys of Knowledge,
Open before me the Book,
Guide me in my journey, great Saint Cyprian.
In your great mercy and in the love you hold for
people like me, I ask that you grant my request.
Aid me, help me, guide me.
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost."

As you say your prayers pour a little bit of the Florida Water into your hands and rub yourself from head to feet with it. Repeat this prayer nine times as you rub Florida Water onto yourself from head to feet. Commune from the heart with the saint, then thank him and snuff out the candle, do not blow it out.

Go to bed facing the east.

In the morning wake up and take three sips from the water then pour it on your front porch or lawn. Dab some 711 Holy Oil on your finger and anoint yourself by making the sign of the cross upon your forehead then go about your daily business.

At night repeat the entire rite with prayers, lighting the candle, incense, pouring fresh water, and rubbing with Florida Water. Repeat the entire thing for nine days with the Florida Water and prayers at night and the anoininting with oil and drinking water in the day.

If done with a sincere heart, Saint Cyprian will open the doors that will lead you to the right places in your magical and spiritual journey. This is a powerful work, so be sure you are ready to receive the guidance it can provide. Sometimes the paths we are lead down are not the ones we expected.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Holy Guardian Angel(s)?

One of the central aspects of western occultism is the idea of the Holy Guardian Angel. This concept is alternately referred to as one's higher self, or as a spirit guide of sorts with whom conversation and communion is considered of great importance. For the longest time people mistook attaining conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel (from here on referred to as HGA) as the epitome and even end-result of magical practice. This stance has been shifted to where conversation with the HGA is but one rung on the ladder of spiritual progress and magical practice. Yet, the nature of this being remains highly controversal.

There are a variety of opinions on what the HGA is in nature; from being one's higher self to being an Angel of the Lord assigned to guide the aspiring magus. In my opinion, Frater RO said it best, "it's complicated" (in fact I am of the opinion that Frater RO is one of the few people online who truly exhibits having acheived conversation and communion with the HGA and his discussion of his Supernal Assistant/HGA accurately portrays the relationship).

I propose to present a perspective on the HGA that is not commonly heard online, but one that is in line with Near Eastern spiritual practices and what may have been the source from which later magi drew inspiriation for their concepts of the HGA.

In Near Eastern magical practice (which includes the Semetic religions and cultures) each individual is assigned a group of spirits which act as the guiding influences in their life. Depending on the sources, the number vary from 2 to 4 to much more. However what is consistent is the varying natures of the spirits attached to the individual and how relationship between the spirits and the person contributes to magical work.

The first spirit is what has come to be commonly called the Holy Guardian Angel. This entity is viewed as separate from the magician and not their "higher self." However the Holy Guardian Angel acts as a recepticle for the divine power that is man's birthright. As man descended through the spheres he forgot his link with the divine and so the Holy Guardian Angel holds in trust the true powers of man until he once more is ready to take them up. In this paradgim the conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel is but the first step. The HGA acts as a guide and comforter for the mage helping him or her once more rise up through the spheres and finally absorb their birthright from the HGA. In this way this spirit is intimately connected to the individual, yet also remains "other."

Because the HGA, which has also been alternatively called the Genius Spirit in this tradition, holds in trust the true power of man, it is through the HGA that authority to work with the angels and the divine sphere is acheived. The HGA can act as a guide, a comforter, and an emissary to the divine realm. 

The balance to the HGA is the second genius spirit which comes from the ranks of the chthonic. Just as each individual is assigned a Holy Guardian Angel so too do they have a djinn. This is the spirit that is used as an emissary to the sublunar and chthonic realms. We find evidence of this type of working in the Greek Magical Papyri, the familiar spirit of the Witch of Endor, and it is carried on in works like The Grimorium Verum where Scirilin acts as the primary intermediary spirit.

In the spiritual practices of the Near East, the mage is recognized as having the ability to cultivate both of these relationships: one with the Holy Guardian Angel and the other with their djinn spirit. Each represents a side of the coin that contributes to all around wholeness. However, what is lacking in this system is the idea that one power needs to restrain the other. While the Holy Guardian Angel provides the mage with authority until he or she is able to reclaim their own innate authority, the Holy Guardian Angel, or any angel for that matter, is not used to restrain the powers of the chthonic. Instead if one were to work with the dead, or djinn, then the mage would turn to their personal djinn or genius to act as intermediary--a practice that is illuminated in the manuscript of Charles Wycliff Goodwin called Fragment of a Graceo-Egyptian Work upon Magic where the Egyptian mage uses his two genius spirits, or djinn to help him contact other spirits in an armadel operation. In this working the authority to work with such spirits comes directly from the intermediary spirit who is able to traverse the underworld and call other spirits forth.

While the concept of the personal deity of the Near East, more commonly known to today's mages as the Holy Guardian Angel has become one of the more distinguishable aspects of western occultism, the familiar spirit, on the other hand has not received the same attention. It is my opinion that a more hollistic approach to magical practices would be to get back to this older and more complete paradigm where both spiritual guides are cultivated, one to restore man's innate connection with the divine, and the other to restore man's innate connection to the underworld--it is the connection to both that distinguishes the mage from the mystic and priest.

This concept of multiple guiding spirits is one that also makes an apperances in the African Diasporic Traditions with the ATR's often alluding to each person having a "head" which can be equated to the Holy Guardian Angel and each also having a series of other guiding spirits often in the form of spirits of the dead. Similarly in ancient Rome, each person was guided by a holy ancestor while having the personal lares who carried out the function of a familiar spirit. 

My experiences with both my Holy Guardian Angel and my person djinn have led me to believe that the incomplete approach that has been become popularized by Abramelin may indeed actually contribute to the disparity in results acheived by those traditions still connected to their folk roots versus those that have lost that connection. This can be seen in the results acheived by Arabian mages and people in the ATRs versus the less than spectacular results acheived by western occultism. It comes down to the approach.

If our focus is entirely on the Holy Guardian Angel then our magic by very nature will take a more mystical aspect. The Holy Guarian Angel is beyond a doubt a powerful force in our lives, but the results often alluded to in the grimoires are a result not of Angels who focus on more cosmic matters, but the sublunar or chthonic spirits who hold a strong connection to our natural world. For the magus to acheive the level of success that is often fantasized he or she must also cultivate the power of the chthonic and this is done through the intermediary spirit of old.

In my opinion it is time for this old familiar spirit to once more be recognized as a valid source for the power for the mage and take its place in the western world along with its counterparts in the ATRs.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Questions You've Asked Me

Clients and readers often send me the most interesting questions. Due to the volume of emails I get daily, I don't always get a chance to respond back, after all questions from clients pertaining to actual work is my first priority. Yet, know that such questions are not ignored. What I've done is taken the questions that are the most popular along with some of the more interesting ones and compiled them here. This may be a one-time thing, or I may get a chance to have more of these posts. Many of these questions are about me, my practice, or seeking advice.

1. Where did you learn hoodoo from?

I was raised by a conjure worman in this hoodoo tradition named Mama Jay. This was not an appellation, as many people seem to take the names of "Miss" "Mama" etc these days, but rather a commonplace cultural thing. In Southern African American culture, everyone is called "Miss, Mama, Papa, Uncle, Mr." etc. Mama Jay was simply the mother of Jay and so we all called her Mama Jay. Secretly people called her "Tree" cause she was tall as heck and would wear a hair band with a giant flower on it.

Our meeting was rather interesting. I was very young at the time and lived in an apartment complex with an astrologer, a conjure woman, a tarot reader, and other interesting people. After coming home from school I was sitting outside with a book on magical symbols and was tracing these symbols in chalk on the sidewalk when a giant shadow was cast over my work. I looked up a pair of neverending legs to see a tall African American woman looking down at me. She said, "You're a strange boy. How'd you like me to show you some more of this stuff" and she pointed at the book. From there the rest is history.

What was your first spell you cast?

The first spiritual work I did was a foot washing under the supervision of Mama Jay. It was a deeply moving experience. My first active conjure was a hot foot with handmade hot foot powder that was used against a neighborhood villain. It worked within so fast I was stunned; one day he was there, the next he abandoned all his things and his apartment and ran. 

Before this I had done some work with the runes, weather, and Arabian theurgy. 

Is it true you work with djinn? How do I learn how to work with them? 

Yes. I work extensively with them and have a them as allies. 

Learning this work is not easy. Unlike other magical traditions, texts on this subject have been slow in coming to the "western" world. Even those treatise written in Arabic and Farsi aren't always clear. Seeking out books is a great way to start, but the best method is to learn from actual Middle Eastern mages. 

For those that are interested in this type of work, I will be releasing an email course on the topic which will act as both an introduction to the work and help people start the practice. As far as I know, I am the only traditionally trained djinn conjurer who is offering this information.

Your AIRR page says you come from a line of spiritual people? Were your ancestors mages too?

I come from one of the oldest family lines in the Middle East and North Africa who have always been associated with the royal court by either being rulers themselves, or the sages to the rulers. My ancestors have been religious scholars who have been mystics, sages, and mages. My direct ancestors are folk saints who are petitioned to this day in the Middle East for favors with several shrines dedicated to them. I have worked deeply with my ancestors who act as my guides and are a source of great wisdom and power for me. 

I was named the heir of my family's spiritual tradition by its patriarch, my great grandfather who was a blind hafiz (a person who had memorized the Quran from beginning to end). His fame as an exorcist and mystic was legendary. 

One of the most famous stories involve helping a man get his kidnapped wife back. A man came to my great grandfather imploring his help. His wife had been kidnapped by brigands and the local authorities were of no help. My great grandfather took his hand, told him the exact location of where he could find his wife. He then took a piece of paper, scribbled something on there, folded it up and placed it into a locket to give to the man. He said it would keep the distraught man safe by tying up the brigands.

The man found his wife exactly where my great grandfather said she'd be and found that all the brigands had fallen into a deep stupor from which they could not wake; he saved his wife with no trouble, hog-tied the brigands and dragged them into town for the authorities to deal with.

There are many other stories like that regarding him with things like being at two places at once, psychokinesis etc.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to learn hoodoo and doesn't have a teacher nearby?

Get off your butt. While I was fortunate to have been raised in the tradition, I never stopped learning even after my teacher passed and I took over her practice. I met other workers, I traveled, I went to shops and more importantly I talked to *people*. 

Secondly, the internet is a great resource. I think it is amazing the information that is available at the tip of our fignertips. However, don't let the internet make you lazy. While the internet is a great resource, you shouldn't depend solely on it. Magical traditions that are still living are so because there are people who still live it; find those people. It isn't that hard.
Third, I do believe Miss cat's correspondence course is a great resource. While some have felt some controversy regarding the idea of "certified hoodoo" people are not grasping the point of the course. It is a survey of hoodoo, not a standard of "orthodoxy." The certification only says you completed her course, not that you know some hoodoo Truth. That said it is a great course. I also recommend checking my blog on getting started on this work (here and here).  

I heard that you were hired to exorcise and be a spiritual advisor for officials in the Middle East. Can you tell me more about this.

I have worked as a professional exorcist and hired magician designing and working the magical defense of a certain Middle Eastern nation's defenses and have worked for various prominant officials as their magical advisor and protector.

I have been working on a reconciliation case for months but I haven't gotten the results I want. What am I doing wrong?

You will hear many say that reconciliation cases are some of the hardest cases to work on. This isn't because of the nature of the work itself, but rather due to the emotional investment of the people involved. More than any other situation, people are deeply invested in their reconciliation case. As such they rarely have the ability to examine things objectively, nor work from a calm position of power. Instead, I find that desperation and anxiety characterizes the work.

For people having such difficulty I always suggest taking a break away from the work and focusing specifically on *you.* Not only will this help calm you down, but by taking a break you get a fresh perspective to the situation and are able to put yourself in a position where you can work from confidence and focus.

Remember desperation is not attractive.

What's the story behind your name? Are you Dr. Raven and ConjureMan Ali?

Dr. Raven is a name that people started calling me. It was very unofficial and was due to the fact that I had a strong affinity for graveyard work and a gift for working with the dead. I fufilled the role of a psychopomp for my community; I helped restless spirits settle, I communed with the departed, and as such people started calling me that. My teacher was the first to call me raven.

I actually haven't had a professional name, until recently. I went by Ali though unofficially people called me Dr. Raven, Raven, or Uncle Ali.

I took the name ConjureMan Ali when I joined AIRR as a means of unifying my identity as a rootworker. While my old clients still call me Dr. Raven, I go by ConjureMan Ali.

Do you only do root doctoring for a profession or do you have a day job?

I am one of the fortunate few who makes a good living as a root docot and does not need to have a day job. That said, I am post-graduate student working on his Ph.D in History and am paid to be a university lecturer, researcher, and author.

I specialize in history of the ancient world with special attention to the intellectual, religious, and social trends of the ancient near east and Mediterranean.

How was it you were able to start magical work so early?

A few reasons. The first is simply fate. I was fortunate enough to have the teachers I did at the exact moments that I did. Our meetings were very fortuitous and helped me greatly.

Secondly, my great grandfather named me his heir so it was accepted that my interests would swing to the spiritual.

Third, I was a precocious child. I was very bright and advanced for my age; I had finished the complete works of Shakespear in the 4th grade, read through most of the scriptures of the major religions by 5th grade and had writtten commentaries on them and so my family gave me free reign. They recognized my potential for success and wanted to encourage my intellectual pursuits so gave me the freedom to do so.

Your profile says you are familiar with hermeticism, to what degree?

To a great degreee. I am a practicing hermetic mage. I tend to follow a slightly older mode of thinking than that which developed in the Renaissance by turning to the Greco-Egyptian purview.

I am also a student of Franz Bardon. I have followed and actively practiced his system since I was in high school and though, like many, came across difficulties following his regiment--even setting it down at times--I eventually was able to make steady progress through the steps. To this day Bardon's regiments are part of my daily spiritual exercices.

Do you consider Goetia dangerous? Is it worth looking into?

I consider goetia to be the hoodoo of the Mediterranean and European world. I trace it back to the Greek Magical Papyri and older necromantic practices of the ancient world and have found that recent attempts at revitalizing the tradition by looking at pre-Medieval roots to be both fruitful and highly successful.

I approach the goetia from a near eastern perspective, viewing most of the entities as types of djinn and have successful evoked and worked with several of them. I am also a big proponent of the methodology outlined by the likes of Jake Stratton Kent.

That said working with spirits of a chthonic nature is always dangerous and not for the faint of heart. However if approached with respect and skill, it is a powerful tradition.

What are your favorite Goetic texts or girmoires?

While the Lesser Key of Solomon is very popular, my work has drawn me to the Heptammeron, the Grimorium Verum, the Arabatel, and the Grimoire of Armadel.

I am very fond of Jake Stratton Kent's True Grimoire, Cecchetelli's Crossed Keys, the Black Pullet, the 6th and 7th Books of Moses, and though not technically grimoires I work with Ghayat Al Hakim, The Secrets of Albertus Magnus, The Books of Saint Cyprian, Shams Al-Maarif al Kubra, The Long Lost Friend, and the Greek Magical Paypri.

In fact one can say that my practices are heavily informed by these texts.

Do you take on students?

I do take on students, but rarely. I have taken on apprentices in the past and prefer face-to-face students, though a few have been long-distance. As of late I find myself simply too busy. I am remedying this by developing and will soon be releasing a serires of email courses that will cover topics that I am versed in and that cannot be found elsewhere.

Any advice for an aspiring magus?

Caution and respect is one of the best things you can cultivate for this line of work. Respect for those more knowledgable than you and respect for the spirits you wish to evoke.

That said, get off your butt and actually do something. You'll never become a magus if you sit around thinking about it. Magic has an active practice to it, get going.

Are you religious? If so what religion to ascribe to?

Hermetic, Sufi, Sabian, Follower of Christ (in the historical sense)

Have you been involved in witch wars?

A few, though never of my own making. One of my specialities is dealing with other spiritual workers.

Any advice for people who want to become professional practitioners?

Make sure you are ready. Not only will you save yourself a great deal of trouble, but it is the responsible thing to do. You are about to shoulder the burden of others and you owe it to yourself and them to ensure that you've got what it takes for this work.

Thats all for now, folks.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Year of the Rootworker

In a recent radio show, Miss cat made mention of "the year of the rootworker." This was based on a conversation Miss cat and I had in which we made some observations about the sudden springing up of dozen and dozensof people either claiming to be rootworkers or trying to become professional rootworkers. It is a phenomenon that needs addressing and one that is certainly interesting. 

In the past two years there has been a surge of people attempting to get into the field of rootwork. These individuals generally are very new to the tradition, having taken a year or two of courses in it, and do some work here or there for friends and family. Generally, they do have some skill in the field and have success in what they do and from this success they feel confident enough to go on to being a professional rootworker. In my opinion this can be troublesome.

While these individuals have some skill, they are no where near to being an effective professional rootworker. Whether their intent is to make money (stupid reason, rootwork isn't that lucrative), or to help people they lack that essential element that makes a person a real professional rootworker: a calling from Spirit. I am not talking about feeling like you should get into this field or thinking that you'd be a great rootworker, I am talking about a powerful compulsion from Spirit itself, one that can be objectively confirmed by a neutral third party reader.

Usually these people make medicore rootworkers at best and even business-wise they'll find themselves starting out extremely sluggish. In my opinion this is a sign from Spirit. Rootworkers that are called to this work start right off the bat with secure practices, not necessarily a huge client base, but one that starts smoothly as an indication that they are anointed for this work with those they are suppose to help finding them. 

While the intentions of these individuals are relatively well-meaning as they simply want to be able to help people with rootwork and make a living at it, their presence is nothing short of irresponsible. Their grasp of rootwork is rarely hands on and usually limited to online learning here or there. They lack the indepth experience that an authentic rootworker has gained by studying with real professionals. As a result, they lack the experience and insight to really help clients. This is evidenced by the fact that they generally know work that they picked up from a book or online. They may for example find themselves using one or two conjures for a variety situations, lacking the true knowledge necessary to apply the right technique to the right situation.

This is further complicated because clients will leave without having their situation resolved, without feeling like they were truly helped, and worse they allow for an influx of scammers. With the rise of the wannabe rootworker there is a rise of the scammer. The sheer number of these individuals allows for scammers to take root amongst the community and prey on those in desperation.

In my humble opinion, the number of *real* rootworkers are far more limited than people think. The community of real practitioners who are truly anointed for this type of work don't get into this because it is the latest fad, or because it is "cool" to be a professional "spell-caster", but are deeply spiritual individuals who were raised in this tradition, called to it, and  fulfill a specific societal and communal function as spiritual counselor and link to the spirit world.

For those seeking true spiritual and magical aid, I suggest you seriously examine who you hire to be your rootworker and limit yourself to those individuals who are established rootworkers with a strong reputation, demonstrate deep knowledge and skill, and who connect to this community more than simply going to a botanica here or there or being online.

For the rootworker wannabes, I suggest you seriously consider whether you are gifted for this type of work, set your own desires and ego aside, for you are taking on the responsbility of another person's life. There is nothing wrong with practing for yourself and family, not everyone is a professional rootworker. Should you jump the gun and try your hand at professional work without having that spiritual calling, you'll find quickly that not only will your spiritual practice suffer, but that the spirits of rootworker's past may not be so gentle in their judgement of your skill.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Book Review: Crossed Keys

As a scholar I have a natural love of books; one might even call me a bibliophile. However, like most practicing magi who are also scholars there are a few books that I keep close to me at all times and refer back to regularly. These select and cherished few are what I consider the peak of occult scholarship and the most lucid and thorough exploration of magical practice. The works of Nicholaj Frisvold and Jake Stratton-Kent are among some of whom I have placed this category. Michael Cecchetelli’s Crossed Keys has quickly ascended to these ranks.

I have spent the past several days absorbing the book from cover to cover and am delighted to find that in an era of shoddy scholarship and a plethora of armchair occultists, Michael Cecchetelli has broken away from the dross to enter the sphere of occult gold.

Like the works of the authors above, Crossed Keys is a text written by someone with solid scholarly sensibilities, but written by and for the practicing magus.

Crossed Keys combines two rather disparate texts in a manner that is seamless, yet also spiritually impactful. The book begins with the notorious Black Dragon, reputed to hold the keys of the infernal realms. The rendition of the Black Dragon is amazing in its depth, yet remains highly accessible. Here, the aspiring magus can find a thorough account of undergoing spiritual initiation with the infernal powers and gaining mighty allies. The Black Dragon includes within its ranks familiar spirits from the Grimorium Verum and other grimoires of the same vein. Not only is the text written in a clear and articulate manner, but what allows it to stand apart is the inclusion of notes and experiments directly from the journal of a magician who has successfully undertaken the rites within: the author himself. While the inclusion of the author’s magical journal seems to be a logical choice, it is one that is entirely revolutionary in the world of evocation and grimoire magicks.

Crossed Keys does away with the typical impression of incomplete grimoires and near-impossible requirements to undertake the rewarding and dangerous endeavor of spirit evocations by presenting a grimoire that offers a straight-forward and highly practical system whose potential truly seems to hold the keys to the underworld.

Michael Cecchetelli takes the study of evocation through the girmoires and returns the Art back into the hands of the magus and out of the hands of the theorist.

After presenting a high quality rending of the Black Dragon and sections from its own working journal, the author goes on to include The Enchiridion of Pope Leo III, a text revolving around the folk magic of European Catholicism touching upon the mysteries of the Psalms. Channeling the spirit of Albertus Magnus and The Book of Gold, The Enchiridion of Pope Leo, seems at first to be in opposition to the infernal powers of the Black Dragon. Yet upon closer speculation the logic of including these two texts together is stunning in its insight.

I was pleasantly surprised to see in The Enchiridion not only a large compilation of highly pragmatic folk magic formulae, but also a spell referring back to that most obscure of saints—and my favorite—Saint Cyprian.

Crossed Keys is bound together beautifully in another flawless edition from Scarlet Imprint and as the name suggests is a powerful cross between precise scholarship and practical experience and a cross between the power of the infernal and the might of heaven. Truly, Crossed Keys offers to the magus the keys to the kingdom of power.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Goetic Hoodoo

With the increasing popularity of the African Diasporic Traditions there has been an impulse to discover points of synthesis between them and the European-derived Goetia. While many view such attempts as revolutionary and ground-breaking, the roots of such endeavors are actually quite grounded in historical reality as synthesis has both been attempted before and is the means by which great occult revival is possible.

Synthesis between the Goetia and Hoodoo has its roots in the late 19th and early 20th Century with the experimentation of the urban root doctors of Chicago and similar areas. With the rise of spiritual supply shops, these root doctors gained access to various European grimoires like the Keys of Solomon, the 6th and 7th Books of Moses, the Black Pullet, and many others. With the availability of these texts, root doctors found themselves experimenting with various methods of working with the spirits listed within, but in a different manner then had become common place amongst ceremonial magicians.

While many of these urban root doctors were also experienced and talented ceremonial magicians, their methods of working with the grimoires in a fashion more akin to the natural magic of hoodoo opened many doors, but also unwittingly revealed a mostly unknown aspect of the Goetia—its roots with folk magic and natural magic.

I was fortunate enough to learn and experience this type of working with the Goetia from various famous root doctors in the US and using the knowledge they taught me as a springboard have taken my experiments to new levels.

Using simple rites that did not call for large ceremonies or elaborate magical accruements, hoodoo workers were able to work with goetic spirits in an effective manner the produced staggering results. These results further demonstrated the mostly unknown, but inherent side of goetia that involved working with spirits on a less formal level than full evocation.

Evidence of this natural side (pardon the pun) of the Goetia is found in the Greek Magical Papyri where elaborate ceremonies are found side by side with simple instructions of folk magic, or in texts like the Grimorium Verum where the Natural and Supernatural Secrets details various magical spells that bear striking resemblance to the methodology of the African Diasporic Traditions.

While it is not necessary to practice any of the African Diasporic Traditions to explore the potency of the Goetia, the potential for synthesis between the two bears exploring and is something close to my heart and I find myself engrossed in many experiments regarding such an aim.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tips for Working with a Rootworker and Reader

People who come from a culture where spiritual practitioners are common often are well aware of protocol and customs regarding working with such individuals. For example, people who were raised with conjure in their family generally know how the relationship between client and rootworker is meant to be and so have no difficulty. However, in our internet age, there has been an influx of people who were raised in cultural backgrounds vastly different than those that accept professional spiritual practitioners and these people often have a hard time understanding how the unique relationship between client and spiritual counsellor works.

Generally, myself and my colleagues find that people who are new to this dynamic have a hard time understanding what to expect, how to behave, and the norms of social interaction. It isn't their fault, they simply come from a cultural background that is very different from those that still hold to their spiritual roots. I find that generally such clients are from a Western European and US background and view the relationship between spiritual counsellor and client through the filter of their experience with customer-oriented retailers.

This approach is the wrong way to go about things. The relationship between a rootworker, reader, and other practitioner and client should be more akin to how one would treat a spiritual guide, counsellor, or priest.

Here are some tips for people who would like to know the proper behaviors and attitudes to have when entering into such a relationship:

1. Respect your spiritual worker- Understand that your spiritual worker is not some bloke at a call center, they are a respected member of their community with vast expertise in their field. Approach them with respect and be courteous to them as they are the doctors of their field. Their job is not to fulfill your every request or to be at your beck and call, but to be the guide that helps you through your life, overcome the rough patches, and to help you grow as an individual. Your interaction with your spiritual worker should be respectful. As one example, don't call your reader or rootworker by their first name. They are not your drinking buddy. They are a spiritual worker with power and authority granted directly from the spirit world; call them by their professional name. If they are Dr. Matt, call them Dr. Matt, not Matt. This usually quickly points out how new you are to this situation. Even root doctors who didn't have appellations or professional names were always addressed with an honorific by clients (who did it out of their sense of respect), with names like Mamma, Papa, Uncle, Auntie, Reverend, Doctor etc.

Also respect, that your spiritual worker, for all their power and authority, are indeed human.

2. Don't argue with your spiritual worker- Following on the heels of respect, do not argue with your spiritual worker. People sometimes go into readings with the expectation to hear what they want to hear. Ethical readers and workers will tell them the truth which causes defensiveness in such clients. It is perfectly fine to share your concerns, your feelings, and ask questions, but do not argue with your spiritual worker. Just because you disagree with what they say doesn't give you the right to be argumentative or defensive. You came to them, you sought them out, and frankly if you had any maturity you'd get over your ego and actually listen to someone who may know a thing or two about situations like yours.

3. Let the spiritual worker do their job- When you seek out a spiritual worker to read and do magical work for you, there is an implied trust there. If you are new to this type of work it is fine to ask for guidance and illumination about different aspects of the work that will be undertaken, but don't pressume to tell your spiritual worker what to do. This means that you shouldn't try to micromanage the work. This isn't a fast-food drive through where you order from a menu, it is rather more akin to diagnosis and treatment. If the rootworker reads the situation and says the work should take a gentle and sweet approach don't insist on a coercive and binding approach. They are the expert, not you. You don't tell your doctor that you disagree with their diagnosis and insist on your own. Spiritual workers are the experts of their field, let them do their job.

4. Be honest and transparent- Do not withhold information from your spiritual worker. People who do this are often trying to manipulate the situation or the rootworker. It only hurts your case. If the reader is skilled they'll pick up on it and will most likely drop your case. Secondly, if you withhold information no matter your justification, you run the risk of seriously impeding your own success. That piece of information may have been necessary for the worker to adjust their approach or the magical work being done on your behalf, but keeping it from them, you'll run the risk of your work not producing the success you desire. For example if you got in a fight with your intended during a reconciliation case, tell the rootworker so they can adjust to the situation rather than let things get worse.

Honesty and transparency should be your general approach to the relationship. Be honest about working with other spiritual workers in the past, be transparent if you want to seek a second opinion or if you've had a development. For example, many readers and rootworkers are comfortable with you seeking a second opinion, but you should be honest and trasparent with both individuals, if you fail to do so you'll come off as sneaky and deceptive and will quickly find yourself without the aid of either spiritual worker.

5. You are not the only client- Remember that you are not dealing with a retail store dynamic. Instead you are like a patient with a therapist. Your worker is concerned for your situation and they sincerely want to help you, but they also have other clients. Remember this in your interaction with your spiritual worker. Don't flood their mailboxes with emails and voicemails, don't nag, and don't rush the work that they do for your.

6. Read their policies and follow their procedures- Many spiritual workers have their own set of policies and procedures. If they have a website, this will be posted up for you to read. To ensure a smooth interaction, follow these procedure. For example, if they require a reading before they take on a client, then schedule a reading. Sending "please help" messages without bothering to follow through their procedure isn't going to get the best response. If they state that as a policy they don't take on certain types of cases, then don't contact them about that type of case. If they require you to provide certain information for them to read or do work for you, then do so. If they have certain regulations about communication with them follow them.

7. Follow their advice- If a spiritual worker gives you advice or a set of instructions to follow, make sure to follow through. You need to do your part in order for you to be successful. Your spiritual workers will do whatever they can to help you succeed, but they need you to do your part. If there are baths you need to take, rites they want you to do on your end, or even behaviors they want you to avoid then do them. If you fail to do your part then you have no right to complain when things don't turn away the way you want them to. For example, if you were told to avoid fighting during a reconciliation case, but then go and get in a fight with your intended; you're basically working against your own success.  There is nothing more frustrating to a spiritual worker then putting in all the work and effort and finding out the client didn't even do their part; it shows that you aren't serious.

8. Have patience and a little faith- Patience is an important factor in the relationship between spiritual work and client. If your case is taken on by a spiritual worker, they will perform your work usually at magically significant times to best help your case out. This means that you might have to wait for your work to be performed. If you are taken on, it does not mean that the magical work will be performed on you behalf immediately. Have patience during this process. Similarly magical work doesn't always produce immediate results. When your work is complete, depending on the policy of the spiritual worker, you'll either get a confirmation of some type at which point you it you might ask what to expect and when to expect it. Then sit back and have some faith. One of key signs of impatience and doubt is running from rootworker to rootwoker. If you've just finished work with one and run off to another, you aren't helping your case out. Remember that more doesn't equal better in spiritual work and too many chefs in the kitchen doesn't always lead to the best dishes.

9. Treat your spiritual worker as you would a priest, or a spiritual counsellor, don't treat them like a mojo assassin- Your spiritual worker aims to improve your life. However, they are not your personal assassin. Don't expect them to burn down the house of someone who cut you off while driving. While some of us do engage in justified work, it is always done with the aim of improving the lives of their clients while maintaining a sense of justice and balance. This also means that you don't "order" magical work from your spiritual worker, *they* determine what needs doing and when it needs doing.

That said, treat them as you would with a counsellor or priest, be straightforward in your communication. Keep open and healthy communication with your spiritual worker to ensure that you get all yours questions answered and the help you need.

10. Magical work is not an exact science- There are no guarentees in the work that we do and rarely is spiritual work an exact science. Keep this in mind with your expectations and you'll find yourself having a far better quality experience. This isn't to say you should have low expectations--magick can indeed be miraculous, simply keep your mind open and be flexible in your attitude.

All of these points are given with the understanding that you are working with a reputable and skilled spiritual worker, they do not stand for fakes and scammers, of course.

For those who are my clients or wish to be my clients  here are some aspects about working with me along with things to avoid:

1. I require a reading/consultation before any rootwork- Before I take on any case, I need to perform a reading and/or consultation. This means that if you want me to help you in a situation then you'll need to first select the option for getting a reading. I get dozens of emails a day from people who cannot follow instructions and send me emails asking for my help and detailing their woes and they haven't purchased a reading/consultation. It is unfair to my paying clients who have waited patiently and followed my procedures faithfully to take time away from them in order to answer you. I am courteous enough to direct you towards the right procedure if you send such an email, but it would help the proccess out a great deal if you simply read instructions. 

If however you've been referred to me by a colleague, I will perform a reading for free, but will need to get in touch with that colleague first.

2. I don't do emergency readings- Along the same lines as above, I don't do emergency readings. All my readings and consultations are booked in advanced. Demands like, "I need to talk to you today" simply won't work. I am one of the most sought-out readers and rootworkers with usually the minimum of 100 requests for client work a day. Given this, my readings and rootwork are scheduled in advanced. My phone readings are generally booked anywhere from 4-5 weeks in advanced. On the other hand my email readings have a turnaround of 2 days to 1 week, depending on the schedule. I am able to do email readings frequently as I am able to work through them throughout the day.

3. Rootwork is scheduled according to magically significant times- If I've agreed to take on your case, then the rootwork will be done according to magically significant times. This means that I am not going to immediately start your case, but will begin the work at a time that will be potent for the situation. I do my work according to the phases of the moon, the days of the week, the hours of the clock, and also astrological timing. Depending on the guidance of my spirits, I will select the best option for your case. Frequent questions of if I've started your work yet, are pointless. Sit back, relax, and know your work will start when it is best for the situation. Magick should never be rushed.

4. All rootwork includes photo proof and a check reading- At the conclusion of the rootwork and conjure that I've performed on your behalf you will be provided with photo proof of the work that was done as well as a check reading. The check reading will divine the effect of the magical work and give us an idea of what to expect in the coming days. Both of these services are provided for all rootwork clients, so clients do not need to constantly ask how things are going, I won't give progress reports of the work as it is ongoing. Simply wait and you'll get a progress report when all is done.

5. Patience is a the key- Impatience will get you no where. For example, it roughly takes me 2-3 days to respond to emails, sending me an email a day until I respond to you is not making a good impression. If you need to get a hold of me, send your communication then wait patiently, I will get to you. Simiarly if work is being done on your behalf, try to remain calm and relaxed it will help your case out a great deal.

These little pointers and facts can help you avoid a great deal of issues and will make the interaction smooth and pleasant for all.

If you take nothing away from this post, take away one thing: treat your spiritual worker as the spiritual person that they are; treat them with respect and honesty and you'll find the relationship with them more fulfilling.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Evocation for the Purpose of Evocation

The concept of evoking a spirit into manfestation in all its varied forms is one that has sparked the fantasy of many a young mage. The idea of standing around with magical regalia, intoning exotic words from a mystical language, and having a disincarnate entity repond by showing up in your living room, is as close as some mages think they can get to Hollywood magic.

I know that with the evocations that I have performed that there have been some amazing effects. I've had spirits manifest to appearance beyond doubt in my mind, I've had the entirety of my garage (where I do evocation work) shake as if hit by a truck, I've had multi-color flashes spin around the room, and other wonderous things happen. Yet, I've also had evocations where such phenomenon did not take place and was forced to rely on more subtle senses.

Both of these evocation types were successes. Why? Because I did not measure their success according to fantastic, albeit cool, occurrances that took place during the ritual, but rather the result that manifested after the ritual--the result that I was seeking when I did the evocation.

People who attempt evocation seem entirely focused on what happens during the ritual; as if they were doing evocations solely for the purpose of doing them and seeing magical effects, not for a specific goal. In my opinion that is not the goal of magic, nor evocations.

When we call upon spirits it is to form partnerships for a specific goal. Would you contact a lawyer, or a doctor just to see if you can? Would you call a doctor's office and see if someone picks up? Or do you get in contact with such individuals so they can help you with a court case or to set up consultations about your health? Do you measure your success according to whether a mechanic responds to your telephone call, or according to your car being fixed?

The same logic should be applied to evocation. People have created this silly division between evocation and practical magick that is entirely at odds with the purpose of evocational magics in the first place. Look through the characteristics of the spirits in the grimoires and you'll see that each has a purpose. They can teach you things, help you accomplish objectives, and otherwise help you along towards your goals--tangible goals at that. In fact, it is oft-remarked that there are more spirits whose purpose is to find treasure, or to bring you the love a young lady than any other single goal. This is because the impetus for working with these spirits is one that is tied specifically to acheiving what the magus wants.

Now, I am not saying that all magical work should be about gettting money or find love. I am saying that magical practice, like evocation, should not be pursued as an end to itself, but rather it should be done with a goal in mind.

There is currently a group of mages in the blogsophere who have joined together to perform experiments and work with Jupiteran spirits. Why? For a specific goal of elevation career-wise, financial growth, and other benefits related to Jupiter. In my opinion, this exemplifies the natural impetus of how these spirits are meant to be worked with: a collaborative effort of spirit and man, experimental and experiential, aimed towards acheiving success, both materially, and spiritually.

It is time for evocation magics to take its place as a means of practical magic as it was always was meant to be.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Catching a Criminal

A little while ago there was a tragic story all over the news where a young paramedic and Giants fan was beaten down and assaulted after a Dodgers game. His attackers jumped him and left him brain-damaged and in critical condition. The vehemence of the attack and the utter travesty that such an event could take place after a sports competition in the "civilized" world left a lot of people reeling. The victim was an upstanding paramedic and single father whose story really touched people.

What made matters worse was that the bastard assailants had gotten away. There were no leads and almost no witnesses to the crime. They had rough descriptions of the attackers, no means of identification, no license plates, nothing.

For a while the case seemed to have gone nowhere and the leads were non-existent. It made the situation all the more frustrating.

Some of the members of AIRR were friends with the friends of the victim or had strong ties the communities impacted and so undertook works of healing and recovery for the poor guy. I, on the otherhand, decided that catching the bastards would be my task. I've been called upon to help local police departments before and felt that this was the way to go.

I undertook a special conjure that involved the intervention of some chthonic allies and a secret technique that is particularly effacious at catching bad guys. Here's what it looks like:

The work was a success. After one month of no leads or progress in the case that left the young father and paramedic in a coma, I performed this conjure. Within three weeks we got results. It was a colleague of mine who actually sent me the update on the case. I hope that the other suspects will shortly be caught as well.

The great thing was that the tip came from the parole officer of one of the guys who thought his parolee looked similar to one of the sketches and got suspicious when the parolee got new tattoos in an attempt at obfuscation.

For those that are interested here is how to do this spell:

What you'll need:
Description of Criminal (sketch, or describe what type of criminal they are)
Black Devil Candle
Black Arts Oil
Red Pepper
Devil's Shoe String
Black Thread
Vandal Root
Graveyard dirt (Properly purchased from a cop or soldier)
Heat proof dish with aluminum foil, or a pie dish.

Take the paper description, or sketh and cover and cross it with the command "Unable to Escape." Take your Black Arts oil and five spot the paper and set it on your dish.

Take your graveyard dirt and mix it with Sulfur, Red Pepper, and Vandal root and sprinkle that all over the paper while you call out to the spirit to go forth and find the criminal and bring him to justice. Take up your Devil's Shoe String and pray that it tie up the devils and trip up the criminals so that they get caught and place this atop the dirt in the dish.

Get your Black Devil Candle and carve on one side the description of the criminal (e.g. "Assailant in _ Case, Theif of _) and on the other side inscribe, "Bound, Restrained, and Caught."

Now dress the candle with your oil while praying that the spirits rise up and track the person down. Sprinkle the candle with Knotweed while praying to tie them down, then take your black thread and tie up the candle's eyes, arms, and legs, but leaving a good portion of the string as a tail. As you do this pray with a vengeful heart for justice.

Take the tail that you've left and hang the candle upside down over the pan or plate with your dirt mixture and papers. Light the candle and as you do so call out,

"You who hide from the law, I call upon Justice and Vengeance;
May you have not a second of peace, or respite,
May your every attempt to escape be hampered and tripped up,
May you feel the hot breath of the Law on your neck as they bear down on you,
May you fail and fall. There is no escape for you now.
May the Devil himself take you and hold you.
May God smite you,
And may the dead haunt you.
You will be caught. You will be caught.
There is no escape.
A cell awaits you!
By God and the Devil may the Hounds of Hell track you down and bring you to justice.

Pray with a wrathful heart and let the candle drip onto the papers and dirt. Monitor this candle closely for it bruns in a fantastic show of light and flames as the strings catch fire and the candle drops to the plate. Make sure to place it in a safe spot.

Now there is a secret trick called "lettin' loose the hounds" that is part of this spell, but that's a secret. The above should be enough for most things.

I pray the work continues to bring the victim justice.