Come and sit a spell. Let’s reminisce over those old days on the porch with mamaw talking about the highest mountain in the Carolinas, and that one grandfather who stay the night with the witchy woman down in the holler. Don’t forget about those days in the garden, surrounded by lettuce and sunflowers, as the bottle tree shakes in the mountain breeze and the willow by the pond whispers.
Most importantly let’s remember the spirit of those mother-mountains, where people waved as they drove by and if ever you was out of something, someone down the mountain would kindly help provide or help you make due.
Remember those honeysuckle bushes? And those apple trees? Oh those fresh red apples.
All of this applied to daily life for my great grandmother’s, whose home in the mountains was like honey dew at the Throne.
More importantly, you best remember those pearls of wisdom. Them ol’ wives tales. I often ponder on it being the wives who told them stories; threads of the storytelling past leading back to the Cherokee camps and those cliffs off the Old World.
“Never throw money away, it’s bad luck”
“Sweep under their feet, they’ll never marry; on they feet, they’ll go to jail.”
“If ‘dem leaves show they back, storms a comin”
“Piss in ‘is cup and he’ll be head over heels for ya.”
“Money by the door, ya never be broke.”
So listen through and let’s remember them conjurin days.
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Not one piece in this anthology was what I was expecting. I opened the covers of this book thinking to find a simplified way of seeing Medusa as Goddess instead of Monster. I originally thought this to be a children’s book based on the Girl God’s previous publishing. Far from it.
From the depths of mythology and the subconscious, the writings of these authors and contributors reach their hands deep down and pull forth snakes that wreath with unsterile wisdom and potent humanity, staring with eyes of stones that seem to mirror ones own story. And that seems to be the main tenant of Medusa’s cult. Read your own story, own it, and stop building walls.
Coming from many different backgrounds filled with triumph and trials, trauma and transformation, the authors guide us through Her myths and magics, while occasionally singing the musing songs of Medusa through the many poems scattered between the covers. The musings and hearts of these authors slither through the pages of this book, much like the beautiful artwork entrances one into the contemplation of healing and power.
Medusa shows in many myths through out Greek mythology. The one in particular that stood out for me was the story of Her being raped in the temple of Athena by Poseidon, which shows a couple of times throughout the book. Having been offended, Athena transformed Medusa’s hair into serpents and her face because horrible to look at, so much so that all onlookers were turned to stone.
I feel this myth is the one that shows Medusa’s authentic beauty and power. Athena (Wisdom) in reaction to the action of rape, turns Medusa into everything womanly that is feared by man and those that see through the glass ceiling of Patriarchy. Her face becomes hideous as to show the true pain and power that dance within her, the inner force that can cut nations off at the knees. Her serpent hair whispers of strength and sexuality and trauma in the town square of misogyny. Her gaze sends patriarchy and men running, fumbling to keep their stance amid the falling towers of sexism and expectation.
It is here that Medusa’s own stone walls fell. It is there that Medusa was re-modeled in the divine furnance into a guardian of deep, authentic transformation and magic. Here is how Medusa teaches us to build mirrors instead of walls. If everyone could face their own pain, stand proudly among their own fears, and swim through their past traumas then no one would feel the need to lash out against those of others.
Some folks may talk a big talk, but at the end of the day they’re far worse then they seem. At night they tuck themselves into bed amongst the nightmares and thorns of their past. They keep behind their walls so as not to be blinded by the power of Medusa. Their own darkness and weakness is all they’ve ever known.
This book has done more for me than just showing Medusa as Goddess instead of Monster. It offers to break down walls, evaporate the chains of traumatic pasts, and strikes blade into the hearts of our demons and pains. I highly recommend this for those who come from a not-so-sunny background and are seeking transformation or healing. This book has offered me more than just a different view of Medusa; it has introduced me to a part of myself I never knew. This book was Medusa knocking on my hearts door and I’m glad I answered it.
While we use to be cut off from the world by these hills and ridges, we’ve always done things by the sun and moon. With the advancement of technology, more of us have become more knowledgeable about the celestial bodies and how they affect human life.
In case you live under a rock, a solar eclipse will happen in the next three days on August 21st. I’ve seen many people of various traditions scurrying across the interwebs trying to sort through the good and bad of this eclipse so they can get their hands on that one magical moment of doing ritual during a “night within a day”.
However, every eclipse has other proponents involved beyond the simple symbolism attributed to the alignment of the sun and moon by pagans. I’ve never witnessed a Solar Eclipse, but so far I have mixed feelings regarding the energy of this one. It feels awe-inspiring, energetic, and foreboding. The last Solar eclipse to graze across the plains and hills of North America was in 1979, long before my generation.
So with a bit of prodding and chatting with friends from around the globe, this is my take on this Solar Eclipse and how you can best utilize it based on the celestial status of various planets and the past advice of others.
First and foremost, a lot of planets are currently in retrograde. As strong as they have been, we’ll most likely continue experiencing the negative effects until after the eclipse when most of them go direct. The planets currently in retrograde are Mercury, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, Pluto, and Chiron. Personally, I had no fucking clue what Chiron was, but apparently it is a “minor planet” orbiting the sun between Saturn and Uranus. It’s also called a comet. Go figure.
In the last few weeks, we’ve seen the effects that these retrogrades have had, paired with the past lunar eclipse and the upcoming solar eclipse. Not too pretty. Based on information that I’ve gathered from various friends who have attempted to work during a solar eclipse before, it is very tough and draining on all levels of the body and can be chaotic for magic. I also heard from a few folks who reported flu-like symptoms for a day or two afterwards, a constant dream-like mentality, trouble focusing for days afterwards, and vomiting shortly after the ritual and quite a bit more later on.
Our human bodies are capable of creating magic and manipulating energies during a couple of retrogrades, but with the whole sky pinned against you, the odd activity of energy during this time, and the behavior of earth’s gravity, it seems to have an effect on our bodies and energy quite like a car getting a blown engine. Our systems can get over powered quick with the free flowing energy.
Most of them said it was extremely hard to ground, most likely due to the pull of the three celestial bodies during a solar eclipse. As gravity feels different and the magnetism of the earth, moon, and sun are in alignment, one would think this would create a balanced magical working. Nope. Magical energies apparently go rouge and can’t really be directed, being overpowered by the magnetic force of the solar eclipse and thrown off course by the whole sky sitting in retrograde. Therefore, spells cast during this particular eclipse are likely to either fail, become misdirected, or manifest in vastly unexpected ways. This is mostly due to mercury being retrograde as Mercury governs communication. Your words need to match your intentions to the T in your castings right now.
A solar eclipse (without all of these retrogrades and the sun conjuncting with Eta Leonis in Leo’s constellation) is said to be a very auspicious time for magic, that is if your able to properly ground and direct energies during this time. It seems like the retrogrades are acting like magnets placed on an old television screen. Shity. However, the best way to do a work during a normal eclipse may be to simply bring yourself in alignment with the celestial occurrence and literally ride the energy out, from incline and climax to the finish line. Wax and wane with the eclipse. This may help with the grounding issue as well.
Due to the nature of these retrogrades, I’d say it’s best to do some personal work instead of external, high magic. Speak with your spirits, honor your ancestors, do some inner healing, and sit with your Divines instead of doing magic. However, if you’ve reached this far and you’re steadfast in casting that new badass working you just made, go for it. Better yet, call upon your divines, spirits, and ancestors for aid in the work and ask them to lend energy to the working to safe you the trouble of getting a lacco over a roadrunners head by using your own energy.
The bright side of this shitfest is that a solar eclipse is the most powerful dark moon, and on the 21st it will be in cancer. This makes it a perfect time for new beginnings in domestic life, and to get rid of the old baggage clogging your daily and home goals. Be very specific with your words and intentions. Start grounding now and see if that may help as well. From now until the eclipse, ground and center yourself every hour. Narrow it down to about every 30 minutes by Monday.
Personally, I will be conversing with the many spirits I work with: the Nunnehi, my Ancestors, and my Divines. As I haven’t heard anything in regards to divination during this event, I will be testing it first hand. I will also be setting out some oils and washes in the early morning on Monday to charge them and capture the faintest energies of the approaching solar eclipse. They may be faint, but they are powerful. I also cannot wait to see the shadows dance with crescent moons like I’ve heard happens.
To be fair, I am in no way an expert in Astrology, Lord knows I don’t have the time for it. But based on my own feelings, the recounted tales of others, and the many retrogrades occurring now I advise against doing a lot of work during the eclipse. I feel it would be better to do so the night before or the early morning on Monday so your work doesn’t get caught in the totality of it.
If you do perform anything during the totality, please comment or message the Facebook page and let me know how it went. I would love to hear of your tales!
I have followed Byron Ballard in her teachings on Appalachia and folk magic for years now. I was joyful that our culture and ways were being kept alive; I was also surprised mine wasn’t the only family to do these odd things. As others stated in regards to her first book, Staubs and Ditchwater, it was a great introduction. Some stated that it was dry, which I could agree with. But if you’re from the south, you’d understand that it was a great introduction to the spirit of these folk ways. It may not have had recipes and such that you greedy folk wanted to get your hands on, but it was still filled with the wit and wisdom of these hills, which is needed for this work. In it, I was reminded of my own folks who held the same wit and wisdom and continuously thought back to my days on Mitchel mountain with my great grandmother.
In Asfidity and Mad-Stones, Byron continues the conversation we started in the previous title. She leads us through the Laurel hells of omens and wisdom, as if looming ourselves into the seems of Mamaw’s long abandoned apron. She reminds us of the earth and soil beneath our feet and, as always, to ground and shield ourselves. She brings us into relationship with the critters and plants around us, so often ignored and pushed aside by our small, modern minds. She minds us of the times before clocks: of following the year through the seasons, the growth of the land, and timing the morning call of rooster.
Bryon again charms us further in the book with the wit and wisdom she uses in her dealings with clients. She shows us the categories in which she works with clients and their desires. In this way, she knows what is best for the client and the situation at hand; Where the root is and how to pull it or nourish it. There’s information of wild roots and buds to be collected at certain times, old customs from the yander lands of our Ancestors, and of working with the Good Folk, whom Byron tenderly calls the Gentry.
Byron shows us the inventory of a working basket, what you need and why you need it. You’ll learn to grow your own herbs, what sign to plant them, and many other ways you can come into a symbiotic relationship with the land.
There’s ramblings of dealing with the spirits, working the roots and charms, and the importance of morals in this work. She proposes her uses of worts and banes, including a bit of her own devices and workings for different scenarios along the way. Once I reached the end of the book, I was disappointed as the conversation seems to have ended. Oh, but I know Byron. She loves to ramble. I hear she’s putting together another rambling as I write this. A few actually. These titles will remain on my shelves for years to come; Their innards opened to be reseen and to remember my own grandmothers and the many roots we share here.
With this second book, Byron has pieced together and finished a night’s long talk on the front porch swing and successfully fit it in to two titles. Throughout both titles she’s kept her wit and helped others to do the same. We reminisced over old days, old times, and we often wondered on the tidbits and nickknats the grannies said and kept. Byron has done well for the people of Appalachia with this second book and has proved herself fit to continue in these folkways, firmly standing at the forefront of the revisioning of Appalachian folk magic and customs. I pray that I do as well as she in my work to continue these ways. Well done, Byron! Much love!
Mountain folks have always been close to the dirt beneath their feet. The myriad of soils and clays provided the Cherokee with cooling summer huts and warm winter homes, the mountaineers with fertile beds to grow their food, and it gave the children an occupied activity while the grown folks talked.
Growing up, when I’d stay with my grandmother on Mitchell mountain in North Carolina most of my time was spent rummaging through the toiled garden dirt, the dirt in the barn, and even playing with the mud by the creek. That creek was also a good spot for copperheads and cottonmouths. You’d think being two hours from the nearest hospital would’ve had the grown folk keening to get me outta there, but there was no need. If you didn’t bother them, they won’t bother you.
Most of my childhood was spent in the forests and fields while playing. The most fertile dirt is from the densest part of the forest, compared to the dry red clay found under the top soil in the fields. It seems many families here retained the Celtic knowledge that rocks carry memory, which is thought to be the origin behind placing headstones at graves in remembrance of the dead.
Below is a list of dirts and their uses in my practice. Some are borrowed from our cousin tradition down south, while others are of my own devices that I’ve found to be affective. I’m a mountain witch in a modern time. That should be expected.
Railroad dirt is used to get a working going. It’s also used in banishing something or bringing something in from far away, such as calling a lover home.
Gravel dust from the driveway can be used for protection from unwanted visitors and those who mean harm. I was introduced to this by Byron Ballard in one of her books and have added it to my own arsenal with my own . She suggests a working to get rid of excessive worrying by placing gravel into a bowl of water each day and after a certain period throwing it out.
Church dirt is used in love work, especially for married couples, and protection. The traditional method is to collect dirt from 4-7 churches in order for it to be effective. Dirt from 4 churches is primarily used for cleansing; from 7 churches for protection. I’ve also heard of some people collecting the dirt from 77 churches!
Dirt from a snake’s den can be used in works of healing, divination, and sex. I usually collect this in the winter when they are asleep. Just gather the dirt from around the opening. DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY FILL THE HOLE WITH LOOSE DIRT. That’s just rude and could suffocate the animal!!! Dirt from a bear’s den, if you’re brave enough, is used for strength and protection. Even better if you can get it from where the bear hibernated. This is of my own creation as the thought came once when one of my uncles spoke of a den he found and I asked for some dirt from there. I also use it in divination with the assistance of a bear spirit I’ve worked with for years. The spirit is of a bear that was hit by a truck. I harvested the claws with offerings. I now honor and work with this spirit. The Cherokee saw Yona the bear as the wisest and said he was the chief of the animals. The bear is a great council when it comes to plant medicine.
Grave dirt is soil from the actual grave of an ancestor or known spirit. Before gathering this or Graveyard dirt, please read my post on its use and proper gathering. Click Here. This is used primarily for protection and to ask a spirits aid in other works based on the owner of the grave, I.e. A soldier would be helpful in dealing with enemies and general protection, while a doctor could assist in healing work. Graveyard dirt is only different in it is from the yard and not gathered from a grave. The general guide I use when gathering is: dirt from the west quarter would in useful in ending and sending away, the south would help in love works and to add power to a work, from the east to bring something and for healing, and from the north for binding and crossing and hiding. Again read the post through the link above first before gathering either.
Bank dirt is used in works of money, prosperity and abundance.
Dirt from a mine is helpful in job, money and prosperity works. This is understandable as the mines were a big employer in those days and usually brought a surplus into the economy. Better if the mine is still active, but it also depends on what is being mined.
River bank dirt, or from any bank where the soil is eroding, makes itself useful in eating away at something. In works to end addictions and codependency, I’ve found that this helps 98% of the time. It can also be used to rid oneself of anything harmful or negative. And if you’re into it, erode your enemies strength and protection.
Ruff dirt is soil from the place where two dogs fought. Most call it “dirt from where two dogs fought”, but damn that’s a mouth full. So I call it “Ruff dirt”. Ya know…. like a dog’s ruff. This is used to cause fighting and hostility between two or more parties. This is used mostly with male targets, while for female targets people use dirt from the place where two cats fought. I need a better name for that one too… Do not get this from a dog fighting ring. That’s just plain wrong.
Dirt from a fox’s den was taught to me by my great uncle. Well, he didn’t tell me directly, I over heard him talking to someone who just had something stolen. I was about ten years old, couple years before I got into paganism and witchcraft, but I knew it was another odd thing the elders did. He told ’em to get a bowl of water from the lake and sprinkle this dust in it while saying a verse, which sadly I don’t remember. He said the dirt would make the letter of the thief’s name. I remembered this a couple months ago when a friend told me about sprinkling a man’s pubic hair in a bowl of water to see if he’d been cheating. The bowl and the act of sprinkling is what helped me remember this. I gather this dirt during the winter as well. This also helps in works for self-esteem when one doesn’t want to be noticed as much as they think.
Construction site dirt is one I’ve found most helpful in building something between two people and building power on long term works. I gather this throughout the construction process, from the start to the completion, no matter what they’re building.
Dirt collected at Noon is used for protection. The protection depends on where it is gathered. If taken from a hospital right at noon, then it can be used to protect from disease. Taken from a jail, courthouse or police station then it can be used to protect one from the law and from going to jail.
Courthouse dirt is used in justice and law work to help one either get charges taken off or to bring justice to the plaintiff or defendant.
Dirt from a police station or jail is used to ward off law enforcement or to bring the law down on someone, especially in justice work when the target is on the wrong side of the law.
Dirt from a Hospital is employed primarily in works of healing, but can also be used to “send someone to the hospital” if you catch my drift. When using this keep in mind that healing and surviving are different, so be specific. The healing in some situations may mean the patient needs to cross over so they no longer suffer.
Dirt from a corn field is used for wealth and prosperity. I also add this charming soil to my garden for fertility. Which may explain why my Iris flowers love to bloom in the winter. Weirdo plants… too much fertility.
Dirt from a tobacco field is used for protection from evil spirits and to bring in blessings. (Don’t go trampling onto other folk’s property without permission. It’s rude and illegal.)
Barren field dirt can be used to kill a man or woman’s sex drive or cause them to become infertile. Cast it against someone’s door to make them loose all their money. This one I learned from a friend up in West Virginia.
Abundant field dirt is only taken after the 7th bountiful harvest in a row. This is employed to bring fertility and wealth. Also learned this from that friend in WV.
You’ve heard of our deep connection to trees right? If not, click here. The dirt from beneath trees, right from the side of the root, can also be used in workings. I’ll end this post with a few of these. I harvest this dirt during the waning or dark of the moon.
Oak dirt can be used for strength, healing, leadership, and to keep one sturdy amidst life’s hurdles.
Holly dirt is used for protection from the restless dead and from tricks placed on your yard. It’s one of the only trees to retain its life in the middle of winter, so I add some to works for clients dealing with depression or anxiety. It seems to help bring some peace to them.
Walnut is useful in works of justice, binding, and protection. For his leaves and stuff he only asks for a small offering. However, he holds his soil bed with care and requires an offering of self. This means of blood, hair, etc. Spit does not suffice. This is all in his own deeper teachings.
Mimosa dirt is used in love works: to bring two people to common ground, reignite passion, and sooth emotional pains. I add this to clients sachets to help deal with breakups and aid in reconciliation. This is especially helpful with those who are grieving over a lovers passing.
Maple’s dirt can be used to sweeten situations, draw money and wealth. I also use it in love works when the client is a male wishes to attract a female lover.
*Remember to collect responsibility and leave offerings in return. The amount you take should be returned with an equal offering. Don’t trespass or commit other illegal acts while trying to get dirts.*
Most folks are forget what Hoodoo is: folk magic. It’s about making do in magick to make ends meet. It’s wrapping finished work in newspaper before disposal, forgetting the moon phase when a job needs done, and putting your country wit to use in your craft. It’s using Madder Root to make a red dye because you have no red twine. And if you ain’t got that, God won’t mind what color string it is.
Hoodoo is taking simple items and unthought-of plants and applying prayer and work to them to make the world work in your favor. Hoodoo is laying on of hands with a prayer to God. It’s stopping a flow of blood with a bible verse and leaving cornbread out for the Good Folk to keep on good terms. It’s getting up at the ass-crack of dawn for a bath, and then waiting for the roosters to call before throwing the bath water towards the rising sun. It’s helping folk who need it, and assisting those with their wants. Appalachian Hoodoo is witchcraft wrapped with southern hospitality and seasoned with common sense. It’s the poor man’s work and mamaw’s blackberry jam. It’s more than just a way of life or how things are: it’s our blood and bones and the mud beneath our feet.
We seem to have forgotten this, the roots of the work we do. The hoodoo I practice has been growing and mixing for hundreds of years, putting roots into the sticky clay of poverty, sprouting through hardships and wars, and is sustained on the sunlight of common sense and hope in these hills. We gonna get y’all back to those roots.
While our days are far different from mamaw’s, we still got the same wit and sense about things. Long since those days on the mountains, the fire has been replaced by the electric stoves, gardens replaced by super markets, and groves replaced by suburbs in the valleys. But the meanings still there. Those imprints remain. Mountain folk always take pride in their ways. Some say it’s to make up for the stresses of poverty and life in these hills. I say it’s the spirit of the mountains, the war cries of the Cherokee, and the mountain songs of freed slaves reverberating in our bones and the ground under us. Our bones are filled with the strength of the Cherokee and our blood runs deep with the Irish temperament.
It is my personal opinion that using what’s around the home and searching the cabinets for items to employ for a specific purpose adds power to your work. As you’re searching, you’re constantly focused on the job at hand. This energy is then used to set the work off right when you begin working.
So here’s a list of reminders of how to use household items and extremely common plants in your rootwork. Plantain – known by the Cherokee as White Man’s Foot, plantain has been used as a medicine and a tool by mountain folks. Make a poultice to help sooty big bites, bee stings and other skin irritations. Place a bundle above the door to deter thiefs and unwanted guests. Soak in water with dandelion root and a dollar bill to make a prosperity wash. Dandelion – the young leaves are great as a spring tonic and in salads. The older leaves are bitter. The flowers are employed in love work and cleansing. The root is used for prosperity. Moss – use this to stuff your dollies and make witch balls. It can also be used to cross someone, aid in protection, and to draw money and paying customers. To cross someone, grind it to a powder and mix with cornmeal and black pepper. Sprinkle on their property and if you can water it right away. The moss spores will then begin growing on their lawn. To draw money, do the same process, but replace the black pepper with ground dandelion leaf. Black pepper and salt – this is the simplest mixture known as black salt in European witchcraft. This mixture can be used for protection from unwanted spirits and to keep people from returning; toss it behind them as they leave. As it protects, so too can it harm. Cornmeal – cornmeal acts like salt: it does what you tell it to. Sprinkle it across the front porch while reciting Psalms 23, taking an odd number of steps backward as you do so. This is the oldest way of laying powders. Tomatoes – the seeds are carried in sachets to help with a woman’s menses and to help her conceive. The leaves are used in workings to air out a person’s secrets. Potatoes – potatoes are used for prosperity, healing, and crossing work, specifically to give illness. All parts of the plant are used. Slice a potato in half and fill it with the target’s concerns, bindweed, and Virginia snake root. Close it up with twine and stick 9 pins in it. Hide this somewhere the target will walk across, like under their porch. This will give them a suffering illness but won’t make them perish. For prosperity, fill it with a dollar bill, dandelion root, and honeysuckle root. Bury this in the front yard or under the porch. Corn – dollies are made from the husks and the cob for prosperity and healing, especially for pregnant women. Place an old cob over the door or bury beneath the doorstep for protection and luck. Corn silk is used in love work. Stuff dollies with it when working for love. Grapevine – not sure how it got it, but it seems to be everywhere here. Most older folks use the vines to make wreaths and baskets. It can be used for love, bindings, protection, and to paralyze enemies. Sometimes literally. Bottle caps – these nifty little things can be used for so much! Nail a hole in the upper part and run a string through it. You can load these little fellers with herbs and some drops of oil for just about anything. Seal it in there with wax and wear it about. I have a white pillar candle used just for sealing things. Twigs – if you live near trees, you got twigs available. These can be used to stir oils, make seed holes when planting, make dollies from them. There’s a whole mess of things. We usually go by the type of tree when using twigs in work. For more information on trees in Appalachian Hoodoo, click Here. Old knives – growing up a man in these hills, you’ll acquire a shitload of pocket knives, given by fathers and uncles and that man from the family reunion. I’m not going to explain what knives are used for, obviously, but pocket knives and kitchen knives are used magically for protection. Stick a knife handle in the dirt on the south side on the house to avert a bad storm. Place a knife under the bed of a woman in labor and it’s said it’ll cut the pain down. If someone gives you a knife, you have to give them a penny or dime bad, otherwise it’s bad luck and the relationship will be cut in half. Yarrow stalks – while not a household item or grocery store product, this “weed” grows every where. I use them to make corks for bottles. You get enough of them, about two inches long. Measure them to the mouth of the bottle to make sure it will fit tight. Wrap it well with sewing twine in the center of the bundle. This wrapping should be about 3/4 an inch wide over the bundle. Tie it off and pour some hot wax over the place you wrapped. Before it cools, jam it in the bottle to cork it and let the wax cool. If done right, your seal should be water resistant. That don’t mean leave the bottle upside down though. Shoe sole – we all got old shoes and the grannies put good use to papaw’s old shoes, ’cause we don’t waste. The left sole of a shoe (of a man) is cut up and put in a fire. The ashes are then carried in sachets or used in work to bring good luck, money, or paying customers to the store front. Driftwood – playing by the lake as a child, I always found pieces of driftwood. Remember when I said we don’t waste? Driftwood is nailed into the ground for protection from bad spirits and poverty. As the lake is always full, so may your pockets be as well. Haint-blue string can also be tied around them to further mark the property. Baking soda – I use this in my baths and washes for cleansing and removing bad stuff from you. For a cleansing and protection bath mix 2 tbs with 1 cup of salt and 1 cap of Ammonia in a bath tub. Gravel – before paved roads we had gravel and dirt. Some places are still like that here. Gravel from your driveway is used for protection and grounding, keep you sane where ever you must be. Lift the sole of your shoe and sprinkle the dust in there while saying Psalms 23 for protection. Put gravel at the bottom of your coin jug to keep the house prosperous. Not sure if any of you grew up with one, but a coin jug was a ten gallon jug that we’d put our loose change in. Got one stuck on my head once when I was little. That was traumatic. Broken glass – we all break stuff. Shit, it’s a good day if I don’t end up breaking something. Keep those shards for good use when neededinstead of tossing them in the garbage. Use it for protection or baneful work. Get creative. Sugar and sugar bags/boxes – sugar is used to sweeten things up, either situations or people. The bags of sugar, once empty, are ripped up and saved to be used as name papers and petitions. Dirty Dishwater – while it ain’t really dirty, just a grey color, use this for baneful work, getting rid of old habits, banishing, etc. This one I learned from Byron Ballard. Soap – in a pinch, mix some liquid soap and salt while saying your prayers. Wash with this mixture to cleanse you. Bars of soap can also be carved into poppets to use in your works. Red clay – these mountains are full of it. After a rain, it’ll stick to your shoes and weigh you down. It’s a pain in the ass to walk through and dig in. However, it’s usefulness resides in rootwork. Dry it and powder it, sprinkle across the doorstep for protection and prosperity. It can also be added to sachets for fertility and stability. Eggs – they are used for cleansings, divination, banishings, and bindings. However, the egg of a black hen can be employed best in bane work. Newspaper – we use this, and any other kind of found paper, to wrap old works up in before their disposal. I’ve heard that I keeps other energies from touching the work, but I haven’t looked further into it. Silk – this isn’t traditional, but this is used just like newspaper. I’ve experimented with it and it will not accept any kind of charge. Nor does it seem it lets anything pass through it. I wrap my sachets in this when I mail them to clients, to protect the bag from foreign energies. Aluminum foil – I’ve always had an odd fetish for this stuff. Never really use it for keeping food well, just mostly in my works. As a kid I would shape it into animals like ducks and cats. When you don’t have one of those “mirror boxes” everyone yaps about, wrap the person up in this stuff to keep em firing at themselves with their bullshit. Works just the same. Aluminum is also non-conductive and contains heat, so the longer they try, the more they suffer their own words and works. It is also silver, which we relate to the moon. Tiny pieces can be added to sachets after sitting under the full moon for healing and protection. I just self-induced an image of tin-foil hats…. Flowers – I remember when one of my grandmothers had a flower shop run out of the basement. Flowers were everywhere. We go by a distinct flower language with our works, decorations and events. For a funeral there is often lillies and yarrow – purity and everlasting love. In some rural parts, rosemary is still included as to mean “I will remember”. Roses of red and white are used in weddings for purity and love. Yellow roses are given to friends and the sick for friendship, healing, and devotion. Mimosas are for charity, apple blossoms say “I adore you and prefer you”, and Belladonna means “silence”. Flowers can be dried and added to store bought wreaths for luck, protection, and good health. Or make your own wreath from grapevine. To keep the color of the flower, spray it with a mixture of water and limon juice, dry it in a dark place, and maybe give it a spray or two to hair spray to keep its form. Alcohol – from beer to vodka, alcohol is used based on the drink. Beer and wine are sometimes given as offerings to the land spirits and Ancestors. Liquor is mostly used to preserve things and situations. It can also cool them down or water down their behavior. Grease – we all had grannies who saved old grease to reuse. While I never saw them use all of it before using newly bought grease, I suspect they used it in other things. I personally use it in my works. Hot grease is good for “getting the root cooking” and heating the work up. Cooled grease is used for baneful work and to make your enemies sluggish in their endeavors. I only use this in bottles and jar works. DO NOT GET IT NEAR A FLAME. Cough syrup – regardless of flavor, add this to workings to get the sluggishness out, especially with works that are acting slow. Toothpaste – I have personally used this like honey, to get things to stick. I’ve also used it as a substitute for mint to draw money and health. Water – it’s use is based on when and where it’s collected. During a thunderstorm, it adds power to the work and can be used for protection. If it rains while the sun is still shining or barely any clouds present in the sky, this is used for great healing. We call that sun water. During a dark or waning moon, use this in banework (especially if it’s from a ditch) or for planting long term seeds. On a full moon, use this for fertility and to help with a woman’s menses. Water from a well is good for prosperity and healing. Willow water is made by soaking Willow leaves and fronds (harvested in the Spring) in water for a period of time as it sits in the sun. This is rubbed on the temples to aid headaches and other pains. Willow water can also be used for healing and removing warts. Snowmelt is water from melted snow. Use this to cool down situations or people, or to calm yourself when you need more clarity. Colored glass – while it’s more common than it was then, colored glass shards can be placed in the garden, between plants. Or they can be hung from trees. This is done for protection and to cut misfortune as it approaches the door. Stones – these can be stones found by the river or the lake, or in your driveway. Stones remember and hold things, you’ve heard of a worry stone right? Rub the stone while thinking about all your worries and stresses. Say a prayer for them to go into the stone and throw it in the water. River stones are usually for much longer works, like quitting drinking. The same is done with one stone for a number of months. The process may need to be repeated. Stones are also good for casting things out. Get some pokeberries and mash them up. Using that paste, write on the stone the thing you wish to be rid of. Take it far from the home and cast it to the west. Best done on the dark or waning moon. Bottles and jars – these are pretty self explanatory. Reuse old jelly jars, peanut butter jars… mayonnaise jars are my favorite. I use old two-liter soda bottles for big batches of oils. When my husband goes to get beer at One Stop, the container is an amber glass jug. I have about five of those now that I make my batches of oils and washes in. Leaves – if the leaf is big enough, it can be used as a petition. Fold it up with some herbs and stones, and bind it with twine to make a sachet packet. Again it is based on the plant it’s from and the work at hand. Plants – whether house plants or garden plants, if they are old and tough then they can take the negativity you collect and transform it. Set out glasses of water with prayers to drain the house of negative energy. This water can then be used to nourish the plants. There are many uses of the plants themselves of course, but they also make a goood ally in other ways in folk magic. Old shoe laces and strings – use these in your binding works and knot magics. Always keep a ball of hemp in the house. It’s uses are numerous. Old fabric – many of us have fabric scrapings left behind after crafts. Save them and later sew them together to make a unique sachet bag. It’ll also save on buying more fabric. Strips can also be tied to trees with wishes. Take a strip of fabric and soak it in warm holy water. Hold this over a wound or where the pain is. Once the water cools, take it out far from the house and tie it to a fence or tree. As the fabric dries the pain or illness will subside. Some also take the fabric out and beat it on a large stone to beat the disease out. Milk – today milk can be expensive, depending on your location in the country. Back in the day, it was still expensive for the mountain folk, who couldn’t get it fresh. Others used the milk straight from their cows and goats. I add milk to my jars to keep others from peeping in on it. It also makes a great offering to the land spirits. Use it in works for fertility and cleansing. Milk from a solid black cow is also great for uncrossing work.
While this is not a complete list of the household things I use, it should be good enough to get you started and get those creative gears moving. Use your wits and common sense, but stay safe.
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Candle reading is the practice of noticing signs and omens in the candle’s behavior and how the signs pertain to the work at hand. The mountain witch is always conscious of behavior, natural and unnatural, while also utilizing common sense first. If the candle is burning slow or the candle flickers profusely, we first wonder what the humidity or weather is and if a window is open. I suggest you practice putting the same sense first.
Many people, sadly even those who do work for others, have asked me to “read the wax”. This is far from all that should be done. The flame’s behavior, how the candle deconstructs, and how it extinguishes must be noted frequently first and foremost. This will show more than the cooled wax will, which is often just plain wax.
Things to take into account when reading the flame: is there a draft? If it is humid the candle will take longer to burn (at which point you shouldn’t count the hours). Take into account how loaded the candle is and the quality of the candle (especially the wax). Many people have posted on social media showing their candles with the entire top on fire. They think this is good. Sadly, they are bullshitting themselves. If I can see more herb than wax on that candle, it’s over loaded.
Also take into account how close the surrounding herbs are to the base of the candle or how “loaded” the plate beneath the candle is. This will not only raise the chance of the herbs catching fire but could also have a hand in the wax formations at the base. If the candle is glass encased, see if you can tell how it was fixed. Too much oil and herbs may affect the flame, especially if they were loaded right beneath the wic.
A general way to read the candle’s wax formations is simple: anything in the front represents the physical world, the back is the spiritual. The left is the past, the right is the future. The upper left would mean past emotions or things of a spiritual nature, the upper right is the same except it’s for the future or progression of the work. The bottom left is physical things in the past, the bottom right is the same but in the future. Place your petition or a rock in front so you can remember which direction is which.
For example, a mountain forms on the upper right side of the candle. This would mean there are spiritual forces blocking the work. If a mountain forms on the bottom left, this could mean that past occurrences on the physical level could be hindering the work; maybe you need a raise, but you’ve been late to work three times this week. These are then paired with other signs throughout the burn to put together a complete “report”. You get the idea.
Timing a candle is done in hoodoo to get an idea of how long the work will take. If the candle burns for a total of ten hours, then it may manifest in 10 hours, days, weeks etc. or it may show on the 10th of the month or during the 10th month.
So here are possible signs and what they mean pertaining to the flame, the wax, and the work at hand.
*Before doing any kind of candle work, make sure to divine first to make sure that your chance for success is high. Otherwise, you may be wasting your time and the things you’ll see in the candle may be pointless. I don’t always divine, but once you’ve been doing this for a while, you’ll be able to see what the chances are just from experience*
Reading the Flame
A “Clean burn” – This is when the candle burns clean; meaning no soot is left behind, no black smoke during the burn, and no “tears” or other “odd” wax formations while the candle burns. A clean burn is when the candle burns straight down from top to bottom with little to no wax left. This shows that everything will go well with the working.
Soot or Black smoke – soot occurs more with glass encased candles than free standing ones, but black smoke can happen with any candle. If the soot does not reach the bottom of the glass and is only at the top, this entails that the negative influences or obstacles have been removed. If the soot does reach down to the bottom, it means the working was blocked and there are forces working against you. This doesn’t mean someone working against you; more often than not, it’s yourself.
If you did a work to have your lover return and you’re still sleeping with other men, well… if you can’t see the problem then put the candles and roots down. If the soot is only at the bottom of the glass, this shows that there are negative forces being sent your way, there is a rough road ahead, or someone may be working against you. Divination will further narrow this down for you. Black smoke shows possible forces opposing your work or an obstacle that the candle is trying to burn through. If it doesn’t last long and only happens once, the force or obstacle was removed.
However, if it occurs throughout the burn or lasts for long periods, someone may be blocking the work or there are forces present that the candle work can’t get rid of. Finish it, do some uncrossing and protection work; then try again. While free standing candles don’t really have a place for black soot to form, it happens most with pillar candles.
White or Gray soot – this is totally different from black soot. This sign can indicate that the spirits have heard your petition and have removed the negative or opposing forces from its path. This is a great sign in uncrossing work. If the soot barely makes it to the middle, the cleanse was successful. If it goes the full length of the candle, you may need to run the candle. If there’s only white soot at the bottom, this tells of external aid with the work, either physically or spiritually. You mostly see this when you have someone else backing up your work.
If the soot turns another color during the burn, then one aspect is overriding the other. Whichever color is on top is the one that was undone. If the black is on top, the spirits have cleared the negative forces; If the white is on top, then the spirits of the target have blocked your attempt. If the soot (white) is only on one side, then the work isn’t correct; either it’s the wrong method, the candle wasn’t fixed properly, or the spirits are simply not happy with the working. This usually happens when you try to half-ass the work without proper preparation or divination.
Fast burn – this occurs when the spirits are fast at work and there’s no opposition. An “8 hour” candle could burn completely in 40 minutes.
Slow burn – this fortells there are many opposing forces present. More divination or another method may be needed.
If the candle breaks or cracks – this goes for candles in glass and out because I’ve had freestanding candles split open. If the glass or wax only cracks, but doesn’t break then the opposing force was broken. If the glass or wax does break into pieces, it means you’re up against something stronger. This could be the spirits that are protecting your target, someone who is working against you, or that some other force is interfering. If it doesn’t break or crack, then all is well. Also take into account: what you’re burning it on, any possible drafts, and how loaded it is.
Flower – if the candles seems to unfold at the end like a flower, with circular ridges of wax around the center, the wish will be granted and the results will show.
Drowning flame – this seems to happen when the flame burns more wax than it can handle; the wax starts to pool around the flame until it drowns it and the flame goes out. This shows that the work is not balanced right with the goal or that the work will not be successful.
If the candle smokes a lot at the beginning but ends with a clean burn, then there will be difficulties at first, but with repeated work, you will have success.
If the flame splits into two or more, this shows others getting involved into the work. Watch the rest of the signs to interpret of this is good or bad.
If the candle doesn’t light at first, then this working will not work for the job to be done.
Cracking or popping sounds coming from the flame fortell that the spirits are speaking or the target is talking about you. If the candle cracks and smokes, it is the target. If it cracks and flickers, it is the spirits conversing over the work. To determine the type of conversing, good or bad, continue to interpret other signs. It can also mean a force is pushing the working back; usually the target’s defenses. Cracking flames also fortell that a storm is coming.
Flickering flame shows spirits are present. If it is a devotional burn, you’re in contact with the spirit or deity. If it is a working on a target, this is a good sign as long as there’s no smoke.
Flame won’t go out when blown – if you attempt to blow the candle out, but it won’t extinguish this suggests that the spirits do not want you to do so. This is the same if you blow it out, but the flame comes back. Something important may be in the works, so don’t interrupt. If need be, ask permission and try again.
High, Calm flame with no soot – this tells that you’re in the presence of larger spirits, usually benevolent, based on the type of work. The same is said for large flames that are aggressive and make long strokes. Most of the time, the darker spirits do this to the flame.
High flame – means there’s a lot of power behind the work and little resistance.
Low flame – means there’s a strong opposing force. May require a cleansing, uncrossing etc., and a run of the work. For example, say I’m doing a work for me and my partner to get closer together, but the flame remains extremely low: this tells me there are either other physical factors at play (the other person would be the main factor and suspect of opposition), or it may mean someone has crossed your love life. Flame goes out before the work is done. This happens for two reasons: the work has made results before the work was finished, or the spirits cannot help you and the outcome for the situation is already determined. I have this happen a lot when clients work against the working after I’ve explained not to hundreds of times. For example: they want their lover to return, but they’re still seeing other guys. That relationship is already determined to fail again and again. Or if the working is to make someone dream of you, this may happen while the work is being done. (I love daytime naps.) This can also occur when the reason for the work is “fixed”. Meaning it’s supposed to occur and no amount of magic will change the outcome. Bulb or flower on wick – This shows opposition or that a third party’s actions go against the work. This is why as Rootworkers we need the whole story of the client. Some people are shy about saying certain things, but trust me when I say that we’ve heard worse.
Reading the wax
Left over wax – Let’s be honest. Almost every candle will leave wax behind. This doesn’t always mean the job won’t work. If it’s a normal pool of wax left, interpret anything “odd” about it. Rule of thumb: if there’s any part of the candle left, such as the pillar base, then the working may need to be done again.
Swirled wax – this a the textured pattern left in the wax, as if someone stirred the wax while it was cooling. This tells that the work will reveal strong emotions or traumas and that healing is needed before further progression can occur. This may be the emotional state of someone else who may have an impact on the work. The meaning differs depending on the work: in money work, this may mean past obligations that you need to deal with first and foremost. In love work, this may mean past pains or trauma, etc.
Petals of wax represent actions and events. If the petals seem to swirl in a clockwise direction then the events will be beneficial in manifesting the results. Counterclockwise shows opposition. If the petals go to the left and right, overlapping each other, this may mean that past and future events may not happen for this work in the best way. This may also mean people are working at crossing purposes; not necessarily to sabotage you, but maybe their judgement and actions aren’t the best to rely on.
Trail of tears – these are trails formed by droplets of wax as they run down the side of the candle. These mean that someone will cry or be pained in regards to the work before the work is complete. If it occurs in the upper left and the working is negative on the target, this shows the work will root in past pains and depression. If the work is positive, this shows that the client needs to move past the events that have occurred. If the tears show at the front, this shows physical crying. Pair this with a good flame, it’s most likely honest crying. Paired with a flickering flame and black soot, watch out for a sob story.
Fallouts – this is when the candle burns lopsided or only one side of the candle burns down, leaving half the candle untouched by the flame. The indicates that the work isn’t fully anchored in the physical or there’s little possibility of it manifesting. Physical actions will need to be taken to further create a potential environment for the working to manifest. (Working to win at gambling when you don’t know how to gambling is a prime example). Prepare for its manifestation.
Flows of wax show a dramatic rushing of energy and change. Flows on the right, dramatic change of future events, mostly for the success of the work. To the left, changes in relations to past events. Top: change and movement in the spiritual world (great indicator if the work is to affect dreams). Bottom: major physical change. This could be property, health, money etc. Clockwise flows bring something to the client, while counter-clockwise is taking something away. Counter-clockwise would be a good sign in break up work or cleansings, while a clockwise flow is great for prosperity or love workings.
Mountains or towers are spikes of wax left over. These show obstacles that need to be over-come.
Hooks are mountains that look down towards the plate. While mountains represent obstacles that need to be overcome, hooks represent deep issues pertaining to the work. These could be old wounds or other things lodged into the client’s psyche. In love work, this means past abuse getting in the way of the goal of the job. In money work, this shows deep debt or financial wounds such as bankruptcy. In baneful work on a target, this is good. It gives a place for the work to lodge onto.
Cliffs are formations of wax gathered on the outer rim of the candle that stick outward like a cliff. This means there is a factor that hasn’t been brought to your attention or you forgot about. For example, say you’re working to get more hours at work. The factor you forgot about was the new department change of no overtime until the holiday season, or that you’ve been late to work and your work progress is shit.
Back flows form when wax pools but instead of leaving a petal, it leaves indentations, like empty pools. This shows a backing out or reversal. If the work is to aid in a business, and it forms on the lower right, it may mean someone will back out or make a reverse financially. You get the point by now.
Reading the smoke
After the candle extinguishes naturally, reading the smoke signals the work gives off can also give signs of the progression or blocking of the work.
If the smoke blows towards you, the prayer will most likely be answered.
If it blows away from you, you need more perseverance and strength to get the job done.
To the left, it means you’re too emotional and are likely to subconsciously sabotage the work and it won’t be answered.
To the right, it means use your head and not your emotions to pursue the situation.
If the smoke rises and falls, results will be seen but won’t last. If the smoke rises, the chances for lasting results are good; If the smoke simply falls down-ward, the working wasn’t successful.
If the smoke rises straight up and doesn’t twirl, you may need to rethink the work or the plan. If it does twirl, the work is in the Spirits’ hands. Divination will give further input.
All of the above signs are by far only some of the signs and omens watched for in candle work. You’ll need to pair them all together in order to create a cohesive report of the work. Take notes on the signs, count the hours of the burn, what number hour the signs occurred in, etc. from start to finish.
Here’s an example to end the post with:
Money working ****
1st hour: good start, strong flame
2nd hour: tears formed on lower right. Candle gave black smoke for a bit. Possible crying or financial pain to come, may have been removed by the black smoke.
3rd hour: strong flame, more tears on the lower right. Financial pain may still be there.
4th hour: low flame. Strong opposing forces at play.
5th hour: flame went out, took three tries to light again. May be the wrong working for the situation.
6th hour: steady flame
7th hour: wax burning slow and cliff formed on left side. Unseen forces blocking work.
8th hour: candle gave more black smoke. More obstacles to overcome.
9th hour: flame held low for a few minutes before going out. Smoke rose to the right and fell. Small chance of lasting results, that may not even show. Further divination needed.
The cooled wax showed mountains on the left and right, numerous petals at the bottom and right. There’s blockages stemming from the past into the future that need dealt with. Results may show after continued effort and action.
Practice reading this example.
Remember to bring in other factors. The guy doing the money work above has called into work three days this week, didn’t pay his credit card bill, etc. If you’re a client, please listen when I tell you that we Rootworkers need the full story! Otherwise me and you both will be working in the dark and will be blind to what the spirits are trying to show.
Until next time, be kind to one another. Resources and further reading
A lot of folk have many interpretations of what exactly an Empath is. Most of these people aren’t Empaths. As an Empath I will tell you exactly what it is: absolute fucking hell. Recently there’s been a trend (I shouldn’t even have to call it that) where everybody has depression, anxiety, panic attacks etc. and say it’s because they are an empath. No. While everyone will experience these at some point, most of these people simply blame their symptoms on being an Empath. After that, the anxiety and depression go away and they just think they got a handle of it. Well I’m bout to help y’all get grip.
Being an Empath is not shits and giggles. It is sleepless nights crying so hard without reason. Sometimes crying so hard your nose starts bleeding. It’s trying to physically throw up other people’s garbage, but you can’t so the crying gets worse and the bleeding continues. Being an Empath means feeling scratches on your skin that aren’t there as you pass someone mowing their lawn. It’s having your heart ripped out by words that weren’t said, pierced by the pains of the world, while your mind is flooded by a sea of emotions.
It is a curse. To feel so deeply for everything that the emotions overload your brain and your just left sitting there like an empty shell, a hollow of someone you’re not sure you ever were. The first time I remember feeling another’s pain was when my father was beating my mother and smashed her head into a fuse box. I felt the cuts and heat on my head and began crying. I think that is what sent it into overdrive for most of my childhood.
Many think that Empathy only involves the feeling of other people’s feelings and pain, but it goes much further than that. It includes many other “abilities” besides basic Clairsentience. Empaths are extremely sensitive to the worlds around them. I say worlds because Empathy doesn’t stop at one dimension. I’m not an Empath guru or nothing, I can only speak from experience and with the techniques that I’ve developed.
I’ve experienced the following in connection to my own Empathic abilities: accessing the memory of objects and place, speaking and communing with animals and the Wee Folk, seeing behind the pains of strangers, diagnosing illness before physical symptoms appear and sensing the origin of pain in the body. The list goes on.
Empaths aren’t just sponges as people think we are. When we have control over this “gift”, we gain access to the memories, vibrations and energies of this and other dimensions.
Empathy works (in scientific terms) in a simple manner. Everything has an energetic vibration that Empaths are able to pick up on. Most people can feel the tension in a room or when someone is sad, but with Empaths it is mostly in overdrive. I’ve heard other people’s thoughts while walking through the mall!
Empaths are able to pick up the presence of animals, people, spirits, changes in temperature and weather, the activity in natural environments, and even the “memory of a place” or item. I remember finding a bunch of multi-colored stones at rock creek in Erwin and the first things I felt when I picked some up was 1) they weren’t natural to this area and 2) someone dumped them there. As to why they were dumped and left I never got that answer.
There are different levels of empathy that I have found. Some people are exhibit all levels at once, while others only show some or none at all. Yes, there are some people who are so closed off, most wouldn’t even put them under the label of Empath, but they are what I call “shelled emapths”. We’ll get to that later.
While each of the following levels are gifts by themselves and can be developed by non-Empaths, they seem to be exhibited in the Empath by a sort of psychic DNA. Every empath will show more than three of these, based on how finely tuned their gifts are.
Here are the 10 levels of empathy:
Claircognizance – this is the ability to know what needs to be done. It’s like the emotional sensors take over for a bit and act in accordance with this knowing. When in full power and under control, Empaths seemingly react with no reaction; they simply do what needs done. The absence of this shows in those who basically cry over spilt milk.
Clairsentience – this is the Empaths ability to feel the emotions and energies of another. This also includes being able to read the emotions regarding the past, as it leaves an energetic record on the person; and the ability to predict emotional reactions like a weather man. This also includes being able to read the energies of places and things.
Psychometry – this one is paired with the previous as it is reading the energies of places and things, which includes photographs and personal items.
Precognition – this is the Empaths ability to feel when something bad or important is about to happen. I usually experience this by knots in the pit of my stomache, feeling wads of cotton in my throat, and a huge weight on my chest, but under my ribs? It’s hard to explain how it feels, but it’s hard to breath and it can be scary. It’s basically a panic attack brought by strong energetic currents that ripple between time and space. That’s the best I can explain it.
Healing hands – this shows in only about half of empaths, again depending on their development. They can feel people’s physical symptoms in their own body. Now, when this is fine tuned and controlled, the Empath no longer needs to feel it in their own body. Pain and sickness have a very unique energy signature which is easy for the Empath to spot. In hand with this, Empaths can also tell a persons medical history by the energy they sense or see. This is the reason Empaths can make great masseuses, they can sense the pain or tense beneath their hands, like gliding your hand over a piece of glass and feeling bumps, needles, or gravel under your hand. From hear they know where that “energy” needs to go and how to get it there.
Telepathy – this is one of the least shown traits, as being bombarded with emotions and energies and feelings usually clouds other abilities from showing up. I’ve only experienced this a few times, involuntarily. I’ve been doing the exercises I found since I was about 11, which is when my empathy came through full force and put me in hell. If I can remember right, it usually occurs when I’m almost asleep and my brain is exhibiting “beta” waves. I think that’s what they call it. You’ll be able to tell if it’s your thoughts or not because when it happened to me, it wasn’t my voice. She said, “I think they have them at Petsmart.” Sounded clear as day and like there was someone next to me. This one I have not developed anything to further develop it, cause hell, we Empaths have enough to deal with already.
The next levels have more to do with the Empath’s environment. Empaths are manifestations of the emotional flight or fight response so they must always be aware of their environment. Our guards are always up, always watching people, watching the weather; everything to be aware of possible dangers, physical and spiritual.
Animal communication – Now this isn’t like movies where animals pipe up and start talking English. This is where a bit of telepathy, clairsentience, and claircognizance merge together. When speaking to the animal, it’s more than a “knowing” as modern pagans describe it. The Empath feels a rush of emotion, distinctly not human. With this rush comes feelings of the bodies that aren’t our species and an understanding of the animals character. Empaths will not kill an animal or living thing. It took me forever to be able to weed my garden without feeling guilt, by turning some “stations” off to not receive those signals.
Florapathy – as I call it, is the ability to read and communicate with plants, which is far different than speaking with animals. I speak to the herbs that I grow. The signals I get aren’t rushes of energies; more like spikes that rise and fall on charts. The energies I receive when doing so tell me the mood of the plant and what it needs right now i.e water, less sun, etc. This can also include being able to share the memory of a plant. Science now knows they are capable of memory with a “consciousness” that we can perfectly define yet. When my plants’ leaves start dying, I check in to see how much energy they are trying to give to that leaf. If they are putting a lot of energy into the dying leaves to try and fix them, there’s not a lot of energy going in order to help the plant bloom and mature. When finely tuned, the communication is a bit more personal and unlike an energy radio station; this is when the priority “gender” of the plant is determined and you can speak with the actual spirit of the plant rather than just the physical and emotional byways of the organism.
Geomancy – this is the ability to read the land. This also includes feeling ley lines, underground springs, etc. Empaths also get extremely unhinged before natural disasters.
Along with these levels, the Empath’s physical senses are also very sensitive. They read body language and facial expressions like reading a book and can hear and comprehend emotions that spill from another’s tongue like it’s a song they’ve been listening over and over for years. This is why you can’t lie to an Empath. I mean you can, cause we won’t always call you out on it, but be wary.
The main issue with Empaths is we are basically a break in worlds. We are points were the spiritual and physical realms gravitate and meet. Empaths are constantly acting as a storage for energies. Because of this Empaths are get sick very easily and always have a childhood filled with sickness. My first birthday I had a double earache. When I was 8 I had the flu, pneumonia, a cold, and more earaches all in one summer. I’ve had pneumonia and bronchitis more times than I can count. For this reason, we must constantly guard and ground, sometimes every hour.
Empaths receive energy constantly, but with training we can preform the purpose of these gifts: send energy. We can receive the emotions of another, and project emotions as well. This is why Empaths make such great healers. We receive knowledge of pain because we can do something about it. Doing this, we become true alchemist of energy and emotions. We can turn pain into comfort, stress into peace, etc.
From birth, Empaths are constantly conscious of others. While we may not understand the nature of what we do, we move our energy (tendrils, as I call them) around the energy fields of other people. We usually do so instinctively and unconsciously in order to understand what is around us, make sure we are safe, see all sides of an event, etc. Those who are not trained past just feeling and grounding are nothing but sponges for energies; we often don’t know where we stop and another person begins. While this is great is relationships sometimes, it’s absolute hell in a grocery store or mall. You’re basically carrying the whole damn town around with you when doing errands. Most can’t be in public for more than an hour, if that much. But with control, the Empath can learn to deflect and redirect energies, can consciously choose to open up to only one person at a time, and know when they can safely let their guard down.
While most Empaths exhibit these behaviors, some don’t at all. I mean at all. These are people who basically seem numb to everything, they barely show facial expression, freely open up, and have a high tolerance for pain. This is the Disassociated Empath. Instead of feeling, they don’t. Instead of receiving or projecting, their emotional and spiritual systems are literally shut down or clogged. Most of the time, this results from some traumatic experience that was too hard on the empathic nature so it “left”. To this day, I have not found how to reverse this.
The following will be the end of this post, but hopefully the exercises to come will assist you in developing your natures and will hopefully help in cleaning up this mess of a world some. I’m not going to include “traits” of an Empath as those are exhibited by almost every human being. If you’re a true Empath then you’ve dealt with the same shit I have. You’ll know.
Exercises for the troubled and developing Empath
This is the most essential technique every person should learn, especially the Empath. Every fathers energy as they go about life. Empaths collect 5x the amount of energy other people do. Remember, we are a brink in the gravity between realms, so we’re basically sitting in the middle of the energetic drain, catching a bunch of stuff that doesn’t go down.
Close your eyes and, with your physical senses, feel the earth beneath you. Geomancy is used here to feel the earth. Go as deep into the earth as you can, feeling the worms and stones beneath your feet. Now extend the energy of your body down, originating from the tips of your toes. These are your “roots”. I also push energy from the dole of my feet down to become a tap root of sorts. When your roots are deep enough, name there purpose to drain any energy that isn’t your own so you’re not holding onto it. You’ll see the color of enenrgy that leaves. This will be the color of foreign energy for you. Do this every morning and night. Some will need to do this on a hourly basis.
This is the next technique I found to be helpful to my empathy. Close your eyes and imagine a shield of white energy around you. See the texture of this shield. Energy isn’t static so you’ll see the energy swirling and turning. Focus on this shield for as long as you can, filling it with enough energy to last. Name it’s purpose: to only allow healthy energy from the environment in and to burn off all foreign energy. Do this until your able to handle positive energy from others safely. Snap your fingers three times to “seal the deal”. This will need to be done through the day as you feel it wear off. And you’ll know; my mood changes, I get sluggish, etc. Its like being hit with a drug you’re trying to abstain from.
Aura of the Empath is probably the hardest place to get energies that don’t need to be there out. It’s like digging around for something in a gallon jar of honey. Tears can be made in the aura by traumatic experiences, drug and alcohol use, and bad physical health choices. These holes need repairing by applying continuous flows of energy to the place until it “settles” or “catches” into the pull of your aura. There are different levels which I won’t speak of here but people say there’s generally 5-7 layers. But that doesn’t matter to the Empath; what matters is we get most or all of the junk out.
Hold your hand out from you, palms facing you. Slowing being your palms inward. Stop when you feel a tingling or “push” on your palm. This denotes when you’ve hit one of the layers. Gently push through and allow your hands to go where they need to, acting as a magnet in collecting all the negative energy that didn’t go during the grounding process. When you feel that you’ve gotten as much as you could by yourself, slowly run your hands in cold water to wash the energies off. Some also like to jab their hands down into the dirt to ground the energies out and then wash their hands with only water. Next, you will need to wipe the “dust” off your aura by feeling for the first layer as before and gently wiping the energy field of anything clinging to it. End the same way: dirt or water, or both.
Regular meditation practices are essential in balancing the nature of the Empath. Chakra exercises are great here as well.
Turning it down
Imagine your empathy as an energetic radio. The volume is the brightness of your outer energy field which draws other energies to you. Inside you, see a dial in the core of your chest. Turn this dial in order to dim the lights and turn the volume down, therefore turning your sensitivity down with it. You’ll gain better control with practice. When you do this, notice your current feelings for the next hour and see if they are your own or someone else’s. Turn it up and notice the changes. This will lead you to distinguishing your own energy and that of others.
I like this one best, as I use it when in public. It’s the same as shielding, except it’s the shield is named in order to push all foreign energies away once they get so close (about 5 feet). Basically, as you walk in public, you’ll be walking in a bubble that seems to be in a swamp of energy, just pushing everything out of the way as you go. Which is why I call this “Nope”. Not today.
Water is the biggest ally of the Empath, with stone coming second. When the Empath is hyper-sensitive, getting into a hot bath will ground you back into your physical senses and balance out your energies, even the foreign ones, so they are easier to handle. Empaths are sensitive to energy like skin is to fire: water soothes the burns and cools you down. Energy is vibration, and with enough it becomes heat. Water cools down the energies by slowing there vibrations, therefore slowing down the process and their impact on the Empath’s system.
Get to know you
Empaths are constantly connecting with things and people, so much so, they loose light of themselves. Practice techniques of feeling the way your feet and hands curl, feeling your chest rise and fall with breath, feel the pain you experience when stepping on hot concrete. Ground yourself into you. This will help in feeling the pain of others, so you do not become fully enmeshed into there systems. With practice, this will give you the control over your own senses to “step out” when you choose and how far you wish to go.
Sit alone somewhere and simply become aware of your surroundings, physically and energetically. Feel the people outside, in other places in the house, the trees outside, etc. This will grow the Empathic consciousness so you are more aware of the things impacting you, the energies in your environment, the safety of the place, etc. This will also highten the other gifts naturally, such as geomancy, mediumship, etc. After years of practice, these exercises will become second nature. You’ll have to actually turn up you sensitivity and awareness in order to use your empathy.
You now have what you need to finally get your shit, and the shit of others, together. You’re not crazy; just blessedly fucked. Take care of yourself, know yourself, and be safe.
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