Oct 27, 2017

St. Paraskevi; The Parthenomartyr, The New, of Iconium, and a folk saint

     On the 27th of the October, according to mundane/secular calendar ( in the old Gregorian Calendar that the Church uses for the official service; the corresponding date is October 14th  ) a feast day of the Saint known as St. Paraskevi the New ( or also “the younger” ) is commemorated where I live. Among the regional Christians, it’s a well-known, and respected “red letter” * in the calendar. It’s among the 6 most celebrated “feasts”** ( in Serbian “slava” literally translating as “feast” ) in Balkan areas where the custom persists.
St. Paraskevi the Parthenomartyr
traditional depiction

     However, despite the enormous popularity, and even the cult respect and devotion this wonderful saint enjoys, she is oftentimes confused with at very least two other canonical saints, and a folk saint, which in fact might be a pagan Slavic deity in guise of a saint. Hence why I thought it might be a fine idea to write a little something about both the hagiographies of these saints, as well as share a few ideas on how could one work with them in terms of spiritual work. So let’s begging by comparing the history and the legends about their lives.

     St. Paraskevi the Parthenomartyr

     Also known colloquially as St. Paraskevi the Greek, and St. Paraskevi of Rome, this glorious virgin and martyr has lived and died in the 2nd century. She was a child of two pious Christians Agathonikos and Politea, and was born during the reign of Emperor Hadrian nearside the Rome. She was named “Paraskevi”, which in Greek literally translates to “preparation” ***, although it’s most often simply understood and translated as “Friday”.

     After receiving a rich education from both secular and theological sources, she grew up into a beautiful, knowledgeable and reportedly eloquent and inspiring young women. Losing parents when she was 20 years old, she sells all the fortune she inherits from her parents as a sole successor, and devotes herself to religious work and spreading the Word of G’d.

    Her work on converting people to Christianity, and her inspirational preaching have gained certain fame, so much so that they reached the Antoninus Pius ( ruled from 138 – 161 ) who was himself intrigued by her, and attracted to her wisdom and beauty. While he did not persecute Christians on the sole base of their religious choices, citizens could file a complaint against them, and in such case the given Christians would be put to trial. Which is what happened in the case of the St. Paraskevi. Refusing to offer sacrifices to pagan idols, she angered Antoninus Pius, and he puts her through several torturing episodes which she miraculously and stoically endures. These culminate in him ordering for her to be put in a cauldron filled with boiling oil and tar, and upon seeing her standing in the cauldron completely unharmed, he concludes she’s using witchcraft to cool down its contents. Reaching towards the cauldrons the hot fumes sear and blind him, causing him to cry out to the Saint asking for the help. The Saint promptly restores him to full health, returning his vision but only after stating, that it’s the Christian G’d who was healing him from the blindness received as a punishment.

    The Emperor releases St. Paraskevi, allows her to continue her missionary work and ends all prosecution against Christians throughout the Roman Empire.

    However after Anoninus’ death, Marco Aurelius replaces him, and he enforces laws which were much like the older ones, basically allowing merciless persecution of Christians and “non-believers”.

    Due to this St. Paraskevi ends up being arrested by a provincial eparch called Asclepius and thrown into a snake pit. Making a sing of Cross, she remains unharmed, in some version the snake is cut in half, in other it disappears into the thin air, while in another version it simply refuses to harm the Saint in any way. This leads Asclepius and his whole court to convert to Christianity.

    She is subsequently captured and convicted by another provincial eparch called Taracius, which after fruitlessly attempting to cook her in the cauldron of tar and oil (much like the Antoninus tried before), he orders a large stone to be put on her chest which she endures. In the following morning she’s taken willingly to the temple of Apollo to great joy of the pagan population, but upon entering the temple she raises her hand makes the sign of Cross, which results in loud noise and destruction of idols. Beaten, she’s expelled from the temple and Tarasius orders her beheading. Taken outside the town, as a last wish St. Paraskevi request a few moments for her prayers after which the solider execute her. [1]
     She’s commemorated on the 26th of July among the Orthodox Christians, and is considered a patron saint of the blind and those with eye afflictions and diseases. On some of the Icons, she’s depicted holding a vessel with water into which a reflection of two eyes is evident.
     According to the Orthodox Wiki;

     “Many healing miracles occurred as a result of St Paraskevi’s divine intervention. It is said that that merely coming in contact with (t)he dirt of her grave faithful, crippled could walk, demonized would return to health and that the infertile would bear children. Most importantly St Paraskevi healed the blindness of the roman emperor Antoninus Pius while she was in a heated cauldron. Her merciful disposition to her tormentor has made her an intercessor Saint for the healing of eye ailments” [2]

     One of the Holy places of pilgrimage is her tomb in Pounta in Greece, where, according to the local tradition ( near the river Acheron ) is the place she was actually beheaded. The legend speaks of her holding a large stone pillar when she was being beheaded, miraculously leaving a handprint in it.
     The pilgrims would reportedly cut off a piece of this stone pillar upon visiting the monastery, for talismanic purposes, which over the time caused the pillar to become half of its original size. [3]

     The miraculous skull of the Saint is kept in a monastery in Montastery Petraki in Athens, and is said to exude a myrrh-like substance even in modern days.
     St. Paraskevi the New

     St. Paraskevi the New, also known as; St. Paraskeve,  St. Paraskevi the Younger, and St. Paraskevi of the Balkans/Serbia/Romania/Bulgaria etc., is a Saint enjoying a cult devotion in Serbia, Romania, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro and some other places on the Balkan. The respect and veneration that this Saint, her holy relics, pilgrimage sites, and churches and monasteries receive comes not only from the Christians, but also from the Muslim population and the Hebrews, which makes the cult of St. Paraskevi ( “Sv. Petka” in Serbian, Bulgarian and Macedonian; from “Petak” which means “Friday” in the Serbian ) quite a cultural phenomenon too.
St. Paraskevi of Serbia
a common Serbian Icon depiction

     Parts of her life, personality and lore, are despite her enormous popularity still often confused with that of the St. Paraskevi the Parthenomartyr. Which is only understandable considering they do share many traits in common.

     She was a Christian martyr and ascetic nun, who was born and lived in the XI century Epivato, a village situated between Sillistra and Constantinople. She was born from pious, wealthy parents and would habitually go to church with her mother as a child. On one such occasions, it is said that the words of the Gospel;

     “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  ( Mark 8:34 ESV ) [4]

had such a strong impact on her, that she gave away all of her clothes to the poor and decided to seek out the ascetic, pious life. Upon the death of her parents she goes to the Constantinople and remains for 5 years in the church of the Most Holy Theotokos, in strict fast and praying. After that she goes to the Holy Land, wishing to experience and venerate the places where our Lord had walked and lived. After this she decides to spend some time in the desert across the river Jordan, where she has reportedly experienced apparitions of the Most Holy Virgin Mary and eventually an Angel who told her to go back to her birthplace, which she did. According to some hagiographies I’ve read, this happens when the St. Paraskevi was at the age of 25, and then she died two years after her return to the Epivato, which she had spent in strict and constant fast and prayer. According to other sources, she was “very old” when she left the desert, though she also lived for two years upon her return to the village where she was born, just like in the version which says she was 25 at that point. This is a rather peculiar discrepancy, and I personally have no idea as to why are there two versions about her life which seem to differ only in her age after her time in the desert.

     She was given a proper Christian burial, although not on the local graveyard, as it was a custom to separate the ascetics and theocracy from the common people in such cases. Many years afterward, according to lore, a sea washes out a pirate’s corpse ( in some version a local sailor dies, instead of a pirate being washed out by the sea ), and the people unknowingly bury him above the St. Paraskevi’s resting place, to which she protests by appearing in dreams of either a monk, or two different local people simultaneously, according to two different versions of hagiography. In the dream in which she appeared to a local men ( called George, and the women from the same place shares the same vision ) she’s seen as a beautifully embellished, enthroned Empress, followed by an army; she explains that she can’t stand the noxious scent of the body or a sinner rotting above her earthly remains, and explains who she is, and where exactly to look for her body. In the morning, the villagers, taught by this dream guidance, unearth her relics, find that they are incorruptible.
     Her miraculous relics have been moved a lot since then;

In 1238, the relics were transferred from Kallikrateia to Veliko Tarnovo, capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire.[9]
In 1393, they were transferred to Belgrade,[9] specifically the Ružica Church. When Belgrade fell to Ottoman forces in 1521, the relics were transferred to Constantinople. In 1641, the relics were transferred to Trei Ierarhi Monastery, in IaşiMoldavia (nowadays, eastern part of Romania). In 1888, they were transferred to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Iaşi. “ [5]

     The relics remain in the Romanian town of Iasi to this day and are probably the most visited Holy Site of her devotees. Countless miraculous healings occur to the pious that come to pay respect to the Saint’s relics and pray for help.
     Probably the second most visited place is the small church/chapel dedicated to her in the Belgrade, Serbia ( being a part of “Kalemegdan” fortress ), which also holds two fingers of the Saint as a relic and a wellspring containing water believed to provide miraculous healing even of the fatal diseases if collected with faith and respect.  The wellspring is Sacred to the Saint Paraskevi, and the water from it is often referred to locals and devotees as “agiasma”, and is believed to be particularly healing to any sort of eye condition or disease, including blindness.

The Church of St. Paraskevi in Belgrade, situated on the
"Kalemegdan" fortress

     St. Paraskevi of Iconium

     There is another St. Paraskevi, St. Paraskevi of Iconium who was martyred during the reign of Diocletian ( III century ) . Much like the previously described saints she was born to wealthy pious parents, and she was a martyr, and also a virgin. She was baptized on Friday, hence her name, but also because her parents were pious and named her that in the reverence of the day of Christ’s suffer. 

     In Russia, she’s a Patron saint of traders, fairs and of marriage, she’s depicted in red ( symbol of martyrdom ) on the icons, holding a Cross, scroll ( professing her faith ), and a perfume, sometimes she accompanies other saints ( like Saint Barbara, or Saint Anastasia for example ) , and is often referred to as “Pyatnica”. [6]

     “Petka” the folk saint

     In the rural areas of the Balkans there’s also a folk saint called Holy Friday ( in Serbian, Macedonian and Bulgarian called “Petka” ), although reportedly she’s also “venerated” in Russia. The Orthodox Church does not condone the reverence and rituals associated with this “saint”, and some councils have outright banned it ( the Sixteenth Stoglav council of Russia for example ), although it’s hard to reach the people in rural areas who take part in these rituals.

     The traits of this folk saint are rather similar to those of several Slavic deities, as are the ritual offerings and lore associated with it. Judika Illes hypothesized, it might actually be Slavic deity mokosh in a guise of Christian “saint”, which does make sense considering this spirit tabooed touching ground on her holidays, which are 12 Fridays throughout the year.  Also celebrations include a sort of frenetic behaviour, which include reckless singing, dancing and even intercourse. Not very “saintly” we can agree. Judika Illes describes this peculiar Friday observance in the following way:

Saint Paraskeva literally means Saint Friday and Friday is her holy day. Twelve Fridays spread    throughout the year are designated feast days when her devotees are forbidden to work. Each Friday spent not working provides protection from specific danger --- fire, floods and other hazards. Those honoring her twelve-day fast from work are allegedly guaranteed happiness, prosperity, and abundance” [7]

     She does share some traits in common with other St. Paraskevi, particularly the St. Paraskevi the New, and that’s her respect and love for cannon and rules, as one example. Also her signature all black clothes. However it’s possible that these are later additions by the Christian folk. Also her sacred sites are said to be wells and crossroads, and her feast days are on different dates in different areas ( sometimes coinciding with the 26th July, that is the feast day of the St. Paraskevi the Parthenomartyr ), although the “real” feast days are clearly these twelve Fridays. This could be further indicative that it’s a folk saint whose lore is a mixture of paganism and Christianity.

     Similarities, lore, folklore and spiritual work

     As you could probably notice, the tree Saints named Paraskevi ( minus the fourth, folk saint ) share certain common traits:
·         All three are virgins
·         Two of them are martyrs
·         All three had Christian parents
·         All three are named after a day of the week
·         At least two of them are invoked/prayed to for diseases of the eyes, frequently
·         All there have denied and/or sold worldly goods and pursued spiritual life
·         At least two of them are frequently petitioned for marriage

     Taking this in consideration it’s not hard to see why some facts about their lives frequently get confused. Or why people not particularly familiar with these Saint may think they are all one and the same.
     Further confusion may arise from the folk saint lore; as in Balkans the line between St. Paraskevi the New’s folklore and legend and that of this folk saint are oftentimes blurred. So one may hear how Paraskevi appeared in dreams of women to “initiate” them into magick, or has even repeatedly appeared in dreams to give “lessons” to women in magick, usually every now and then over a year period. These testimonies are oddly common in Southern Serbia ( particularly in the areas around the Timok river ), where St. Paraskevi is also seen ( unofficially ) as a patron Saint of female witchcraft. [8]
     In fact, if a women or girl, wanted to “study” witchcraft in Southern Serbia, it’s often advised she starts on the St. Paraskevi’s feast day ( 27th of October ) and pursues her skills and knowledge for a full year, that is until the next year’s St. Paraskevi’s feast day, when she “graduates” as it were. Needless to say, of course, such practices aren’t supported by the Orthodox Christian Church, and are seen as heretic or misguiding.

     Sometimes, in Serbia and Macedonia St. Paraskevi is considered a patron Saint against wolves and snakebites, while also said to sometimes punishes people by inflicting them with snakebites. Ironically she’s also invoked to heal snakebites. While some have speculated that this is the pre-Christian lore rubbing off on the Christian saint, it’s more likely that it’s actually result of confusion of St. Paraskevi the New with St. Paraskevi the Parthenomartyr, who was tossed in the snake pit but miraculously remained unharmed.

     St. Paraskevi the New is widely believed to rather frequently appear both in wake-time and in dreams to people, especially if they are about to, or have just committed a sin. She warns them, and teaches them how to mend their errs and helps them return to the right path. Testimonies of such are numerous among her devotes. She’s almost unanimously described as a women in black appearing and disappearing suddenly, infrequently to save a life. She appears to be very dogmatic, and in many of these testimonies warns people not to work on Holy days, be it a specific Christian Holiday or Sunday. The water associated with her, from a wellspring by the small Church dedicated to her in Belgrade, is widely hailed among Christians ( from various parts of the globe ) as a miraculous healing water, as long as it’s collected with respect and faith, particularly beneficial for eye-related conditions.

     To enlist the help of St. Paraskevi the New, people have:
·         prayed to the Saint in front of her relics asking for help
·         read the Akhatist of the saint in front of her relics
·         reading the Akhatist and the Paraclete in front of the Holy relics
·         left a diptych to be commemorated at Holy Liturgy
·         gave a diptych to the Church that has the Holy relics through another person visiting the Church
·         prayed to the saint at home [9]

     If you’d like to petition St. Paraskevi the New, and you can’t get to her relics, it’s fine. You can do so at home, or in a church dedicated to her. You can light a black ( like her clothes ) candle for her, if you’re praying at home, or a common, beeswax, church blessed candle. Particularly suited is a nice hymn composed by Nikolai Velimirovich, which can be used also as a means of thanking the Saint for help, which sometimes takes a form of straight out miracle!

 “The Lord desires a pure heart
Thus says the Gospel.
A pure virgin you remained,
And you gave your pure heart to God-
O most wonderful saint,
Saint Parasceva, our ideal!
The Lord seeks a most pure mind,
Without fancy and without falsehood;
And you presented Him your most pure mind,
Like that of an angel, of the same kind.
O most wonderful saint,
O Saint Parasceva, hearken to our petitions!
The Lord seeks a pure soul,
As a heavenly shrine;
You perfected such a soul,
And now shine in heaven.
O most wonderful saint,
Parasceva, help us!
By your prayers, help us
In the misfortunes of life.
Through the clouds of earthly sorrow
Bring us light, like a rainbow-
O chaste virgin, most wonderful,
Holy Mother Parasceva!
” [10]

     She’s petitioned for more than just eyes healing, she petitioned for finding lost items, finding a spouse, healing any persistent or seemingly hopeless condition, getting good grades and passing exams; to name a few common reasons to petition her.  I think it’d be very suited to petition her for guidance in your dreams.

     To petition St. Paraskevi the Parthenomartyr, you can add these Orthodox songs to her prior and/or after the heartfelt prayer:

Appropriate to your calling, O Champion Paraskevi, you worshipped with the readiness your name bears. For an abode you obtained faith, which is your namesake. Wherefore, you pour forth healing and intercede for our souls.  &
O most majestic One, we have discovered your temple to be a spiritual clinic wherein all the faithful resoundingly honor you, O famed and venerable martyr Paraskevi” [11] 

     To ask her to heal your or someone else’s eyes, you can try having some spring water in a vessel in front of her Icon, on an altar, so that it reflects her image, particularly her eyes. Light a blue, purple or olive green candle next to the vessel with water, and say your prayers and songs over it, then dip your fingers and dress your eyelids. As a sign of gratitude, you can donate to Christian Church, and you can help spread the faith to those interested in hearing about it. 

*"red letter" is a colloquial term for important Christian holidays, feast days and Sundays in the Christian church calendar around here. This comes from the fact that the most important Christian Holidays ( on which people usually fast, abstaining not just from food but oftentimes work ) are marked with red colour in calendars
** Slava is a custom of celebrating the feast day of the saint designated as a family Saint Protector/Patron in Serbia and Montenegro ( also some parts of Macedonia and Croatia though less frequently )
*** As the Friday is "preparation" for the Sabbath ( Saturday ) 

NOTE: This article was written and composed by myself, so if you wish to use any part of it elswhere online, feel free but add credits; Shadow of the Shadows magick place, Shadow-333@hotmail.com or a direct link to this post

[3] Acc. to Spyros Mouselimis, article "The Monastery of Pountas and the Feast of Saint Paraskevi" 
[7] From: “The encyclopedia of mystics, saints and sages. A guide book to Asking for Protection, Wealth, Happiness, and Everything Else !” ( pg. 557th ) HarperCollins 2011th, first edition
[8] Several cases are described in the book “Cuda Vlaske magije” by Jasna Jojic Pavlovski
[9] As stated on ( and quoted here from ) : https://orthodoxwiki.org/Paraskeve_the_New
[10] Quoted from: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/print87153.htm ( access date October 2017th ), for educational purposes here, without any ill will.
[11] Quoted from the source listed under [2]


All used for illustrative and explanatory purposes without any ill will

Sep 28, 2017

The magick of influence, persuasion and swaying

     “If you call upon another to ask for a favor, take care to carry a little of the five-finger grass with you,

and you shall certainly obtain that you desired”

"Pow Wows or a Long Lost friend"
J.G. Hohman

     Every now and then, we are faced with a complex situation, which could be resolved in our favour, if only some kind of authority would sympathize with us, or be more prone to overlook our shortcomings. Maybe the stars have aligned in some messy constellation, intent on messing up our chances to accomplish something that depends partially on the will of other people. So we’re faced
with a sharp, resolute “no” even if we really deserve a chance. Maybe you have, like I occasionally have, went the wrong way, and annoyed or disappointed some people and you need something to smooth the situation out and just slightly push them in the direction of forgiveness and understanding.

     That’s where the magick of influence comes in. And when I say “Influence” I’m referring to the Hoodoo style magick of influence. Because; technically speaking, domination, love domination, controlling, boss fix(ing), all of those are influencing. But in the Hoodoo magick, influencing implies subtlety, and gentleness, a quality that the aforementioned lack. It’s also more clandestine, for if you try to magickaly manipulate or force someone into doing something, or behaving in a specific way, sooner or later they will become aware of it, or at the very least they’ll became aware of the extraneous and alien nature of their urges. For a person with a strong will power, composure, stability and mental integrity, this is the key to break the spell you have over them. When you use the Influence magick, almost every single time, the person won’t be aware of it, because it’s temporary, subtle and feels natural. So the influence is like a gentle push in a certain direction.

     This of course, does not mean that the Influence magick is something completely innocuous. It does affect the personal will of the object of the spell, but it doesn’t force them to do what they wouldn’t be able to do, at some point anyway. It simply makes your target more susceptible to suggestion, agreement with you, and more soft and sympathetic towards you. Although, if we look at it from another perspective, magickally convincing someone to stop being evil or annoying to you or someone innocent is a rather pacifist and harmless way to deal with a nasty person if you ask me. So maybe the morality of influencing depends a lot on the situation and reasoning behind each particular case. One thing is for sure, it’s far more ethical than its coercive counterparts (Domination, commanding and compelling etc.) even if that limits the scope of the use.

     Another important thing about the influence magick, it can be more “diffuse” as it were. The target of an influence spell does not have to be a specific person, it can be several, a whole group of people. As the practical examples given here later will illustrate, you can make yourself eradiate the aura or influence so you can simply target anyone in your proximity. Kind of like glamour, except less illusory and more persuasive. 

     In Hoodoo influence products, like the oil, incense, powder and so forth, are used to sway, and persuade, or inspire people to agree with you, and do you favours. The oil is often used in conjunction with the skull candles, and can be used to dress oneself so as to radiate the influence too. Many practitioners use it in rituals to send dreams to people, and inspire ideas. This is particularly good for sending messages to people you don’t wish to harm, or whose free will you don’t wish to violate, but rather just open for a new perspective. Sometimes they cross lines with “Look me over” type of spells, influencing someone to notice you or thing of you in  a fond or romantic way. Honey jar spells are the perfect example. Also drawing customers, for example by pouring some Yellow dock ( Rumex crispus, R. obtsuifolius ) root infusion on the doorknob of the front door of your business place, can be seen as influencing too.

Timing and materia magicka

     These are the kind of spells that are really done when the time arises, in a nick of time. However, if possible prepare the paraphernalia, potions, or charms you’re going to use during Mercurial times ( Wednesday or in hour of Mercury ) or on Sunday or during to Sun hours to receive admiration, favours and to be perceived as coveted. Otherwise think of the way you want to influence your target or a situation, and chose appropriate day and hour, for example to make someone more kind, friendly you can try the Venus day and hours. If you wish to confuse someone, or make them oblivious to some flaw of yours, you’d do well by aligning your work with the illusory energies of Monday and hours dominated by the Moon.

     Mercurial herbs, and Venus herbs are often used for influencing someone, and so are the Lunar herbs. But some plants are particularly renowned for sweetening people towards you and making them drop their defenses. Such is the Five finger’s grass for example, widely believed to make people do you favours and agree to help you. Vanilla makes people friendlier to you, and can turn them from enemies into friends. I don’t know if you have it where you are, but we have the “Vanilla sugar” readily available in the grocery stores, which is common sugar scented with the Vanilla extract. This on itself makes an extremely good influence powder to make someone prone to help. Lovage, as the name implies, will make people more loving towards you. Romantically and philanthropically. Balm of Gilead buds will make people more forgiving towards you.

     Red brick dust is sometimes added to the Hoodoo “Influence oil” formulas, in which case it’s sort of an “euphemism” for the menstrual blood [1], much like Ammonia is for urine, which in turn is also an influencing agent, making feisty people more submissive to your will. Same goes of course, for the menstrual blood and the red brick dust.

     Bergamot essential oil has the similar effect. It greatly enhances your personal power and magnetism and makes people see you more worthy. It’s used in the “Essence of Bend over” Hoodoo formula, though when used for influence it will enhance your personal magnetism as opposed to outright compelling people. Hoyt’s cologne can be used to make people “have eyes only for you” [2] and one of the main ingredients is the Bergamot essential oil. Same goes for the Florida water, which can be used to create this likeable-person aura, and make people sweeter towards you.

     Honey, sugar and vanilla beans should be staples of these spells, rosemary herb will empower women and help them exert their influence and power and so will the Angelica, without being crudely compelling. 

     Similarly to Vanilla ( hence why they’re suggested as substitutes for one another in magick, by some authors ) a Deerstongue entices communication and convinces people [3]
     Some minerals can be used to soften people up or calm the situation. Blue Chalcedony can inspire brotherhood and good will [4], rose quartz will soften people’s hearts and make them more forgiving, while Howlite will calm temperamental individuals, hostile and hot-heads.
     Now let’s get into a few practical suggestions and examples.

Aura of influence wash

     Combining the laundrybluing dissolved in water, with some Coriander, Licorice and Sweetflag, letting it sit, and washing your clothes with the resulting ( strained obviously ) liquid will get people to respect you and agree with you. As the clothes washed with this will radiate, what can be called an aura of influence. [5]

Magnetism charm

     To make people drawn to you, use a magnet/lodestone. Couple it with the First pentacle of Mercury from the “Clavicula Solomonis”, which : “conveys personal magnetism upon the owner” [6] and you’ll have a powerful charm to inspire respect and admiration. Fumigate both the Lodestone and the Pentacle drawn or copied on a piece of nice paper with the Vanilla and Frankincense incense; as you pray that they bring you more personal power, magnetism, attraction and that je-ne-se-qua charm. Then wrap the pentacle around the lodestone and secure it with a piece of yellow thread, and as you tie it, speak affirmations, aloud or in your mind, that as you tie the thread, you also secure the power of the charm. You can then put it in a small vial or a jar, or a mojo bag, for the sake of convenience, and wear on yourself when you need to draw others to you, and impress them.  The Third pentacle of the Venus, can be used in a similar way.

Influence talisman

     Prepare the Fifth Seal from the Sixth book of Moses**, and a piece of Master Root. Wrap the Seal
around the piece of root and place it in a small vial ( glass vial pendants make it that much more pragmatic to be worn on one’s behalf ), or charm bag, and optionally add some lodestone grit as well. Pray over it and consecrate it like the previous one, and use in a similar fashion. This serves to influence those you meet and interact with towards you.

Oil of influence

     Judika Illes in her “Element Encyclopedia of 5000 spells” suggests mixing some powdered Red Brick dust and  powdered Deerstongue, covering that with oil, adding a lodestone to it and, optionally, a few drops of Patchouli essential oil (providing that your target doesn’t hate the aroma), shaking it well and leaving it to sit overnight. Then one needs to rub that on their hands before shaking with the person you’re meant to persuade.[7] 

Direction spell

     Here’s a ridiculously simple, but nonetheless very effective method (at least it was for me), to give someone a little push (or pull lol) in a specific direction. It’s from one of the very first books on magick I’ve ever bought in my life.
     To draw someone towards you, or to draw them away from some dangerous situations; drip a few drops of perfume on a matchstick. When it dries out, light the match and blow the smoke in the direction of your target while envisioning what you wish them to do. [8] You can use some Vanilla fragrance oil or Vanilla extract for the cakes, or Bergamot essential oil instead of the perfume to supercharge spell a bit further.

The Open Palm Charm

    “To ask for a favor, take care to carry a little of the five-finger grass with you…” [9]

     This inspired me to compose the following charm; combine some Five fingers grass* (Potentilla reptans!), Vanilla scented sugar, and a lodestone in a charmbag. Place it in a center of a triangle marked by three white candles, and read the Hebrews 4:12-13 over it, and then follow with a heartfelt prayer that it brings you favours, kindness and open hearts, minds and hands of people you interact with. If you really find it hard to put this to words, read Psalm 32nd over the charm instead. In fact if you feel so inclined, you can also read this Psalm after your personal prayer. When done simply carry the charm on your behalf.

To sweeten up a situation  

     “To sweeten a situation, write your petition, place on a plate and dust with powdered sugar. Set a piece of Sara Lee poundcake on top the petition. Place a pink candle into the cake. Drizzle the sugar cane syrup over the poundcake and light the candle. Things should start going your way.” [10]

For women to have more influence in the house 

      If a woman wished to have more influence in the home, she should grow Rosemary in small pots (even a single plant will do) and arrange them throughout the home, and take care to have a piece of Angelica root, or some Angelica root threads on herself when in home, wrapped in some purple fabric. When she speaks the housemates will listen. Her presence will be felt all through the home.  

*For this particular use, I’ll usually press a whole leaf ( which has 5 leaflets or lobes ) of the plant and add it with the other ingredients in a soft, thick fabric, rather than a mojo bag. What I’ve also done to make sure the dried leaf remained “whole” was to make a small hard paper envelope that it fits nicely and then place it in the envelope, seal that and add that to a sachet with the other ingredients. The charm will work even if the leaf gets crushed and crumbled, but I have OCD and sometimes like to complicate my life unnecessarily lol. Also it’s important to use Potentila reptans, as other species of Potentilla that are mistakenly used interchangeably with this one in magick ( most notably in the US ) seldom have five lobed leafs ( the five fingers symbolism is important here ) and are actually used for different things in  magick.
**While these talismanic  seals from both the Clavicula Solomonis and 6th and 7th Book of Moses have their respective guidelines regarding creation and consecration in the Grimoiric/Solomonic tradition, when used in Hoodoo, it’s most of time sufficient to just add them to the mojo bags, preferably though, the versions you’ve copied/drawn yourself on parchment paper, with a magickal ink. In a pinch of course the printed copy will do, but that to me, and most traditional practitioners is not really an option. In any case, for this type of work the consecration of the talismans or seals is also simplified, and most people simply hold them between the palms as they speak prayers for empowerment and consecration.

NOTE: This article was written and composed by myself, so If you wish to use any part of it elsewhere online, feel free as long as you add the credits; “Shadow of the Shadows magick place” , Shadow-333@hotmail.com or a direct link to this post.

[1] According to Judika Illes ( “Encyclopedia of 5000 spells” )
[2] Read more about the Hoyt’s cologne as well as this fantastic and fun spell here: http://www.luckymojo.com/hoyts.html
[4] Judy Hall; “Encyclopedia of Crystals” ( also in the “Crystal Bible” )
[5] Judika Illes; “ The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 spells” Harper’s Element, 2004th London, pg 337th
[6] Acc. to “Secrets of magical seals” by Anna Riva pg. 19th
[7] As under the [5] pg. 339th
[8] Elizabeth Swift “White magick for everyone” 
[9] Johan George Hohman; “The Pow Wows or a long lost friend”
[10] By Miss Denise Alvarado, from www.creolemoon.com


The hand image ( the first image in the post ) was taken and edited by myself

The seal image ( the second image in the post )  is retrieved from here http://www.esotericarchives.com/moses/67moses.htm  edited by myself, and is used here for illustrative and explanatory purposes without any ill will. 

Mar 31, 2017

The magick of the Willow tree

"Culpeper says in his Complete Herbal "The moon owns the willow" and it was known as the witches' tree and the tree of enchantment. Robert Graves suggests that witch, wicker and wicked are all derived from willow."

By Glennie Kindred ( www.whitedragon.org.uk ) 

     Willows are trees and shrubs from the genus Salix, found in cold to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Almost exclusively they’re all (around 400 species) hygrophytic to hydrophytic, which means they’ll be found growing on damp soil, in moist areas or straight out of the water.

     The leaves are typically narrow or lanceolate, though they can sometimes be oval as well, and occasionally with serrated edges. They have very strong roots, sometimes stoloniferous, very resistant, creeping, and even forming on the aerial parts of the plant. The Willows are dioecious, which means they have separate units bearing only male, and separate units bearing only female
White Willow ( Salix alba )
inflorescence known as catkins. Both type of flowers have reduced calyx and corolla, male flowers having typically 10 stamens, while the female ones having a single ovary, with a single seed. Another interesting taxonomic marker are the conspicuous paired stipules, which may or may not remain for a while during the late spring and early summer. Many willows also blossom before they form leaves. The catkins are tinted orange or purple once they fully form, and are usually well known even among the laypeople, as the Willow’s inflorescence type, being pretty and distinguishable that they are.

     People love to plant willows on “troublesome” grounds prone to forming pools, or puddles and retaining surface water for prolonged periods, as they will ameliorate this problem. They are in general very decorative so that helps too. They’ve proven themselves as an invaluable source to the natural versions of analgesic medicine and plant’s growth hormone.

     The analgesic compounds are salicylates, namely salicilin and salicylic acid found in the bark and leaves of the Willow (and also Poplar) trees. [1] Salicylic acid is a metabolite of Aspirin. Hippocrates suggested chewing on the bark to reduce fever and inflammation. The analgesic from the Willow seem to work slower than the Aspirin, but also seem to have a more lasting effect, particularly in treating headaches, lower back pain, osteoarthritis etc. [2] Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) which is abundant in new branches, and stems is a powerful growth hormone of the plants [3] and can be used for propagation of cuttings of willows and pretty much any other plant equally well. People make the so called; “Willow water” to use it as a natural plant growth hormone. The Salicylic acid present in the willow water has an additional benefit, or fighting the bacterial and also some fungal infection to which the cutting are very prone to become victims.

      The wood is used in the furniture industry, and branches are sometimes used as wicker for the baskets.
       Willow can act as hyper-accumulators on certain types of soil, and are therefore used for phytoremediation of the soil.

     Willows in magick and spirituality
     Many species, or even varieties are used in magickal workings. This is probably due to the fact that the most of the Willows are rather similar, and share the traits which are observed in the “Doctrine of Signatures” so people naturally tent to use whatever species was available in their part of the world. In the Europe, the Willow used in magick has been the “White” willow or Salix alba, but also Salix babyloniaca or the Weeping willow. The latter, due to its availability pretty much worldwide, is often being used nowadays in magick. It’s a popular horticultural tree, that’s quite tolerant to the differences in soil types and composition, so it’s grown profusely across the northern Hemisphere.

     The Weeping willow is though, sometimes seen as unlucky due to its use prominently as a symbol of sorrow or death in art. In Shakespeare’s “Othello” we have a “Willow song” sang by Desdemona
From the Monet's Water Lilies series,
notice the branches of  Weeping Willow arching
over the water and the Lilies
in an act of despair. Claude Monet painted ten Weeping Willow paintings in 1919. apparently as a mournfull response to the tragedies of the World War I. [4] It’s perhaps this, paired with the feminine and Lunar nature of the plant, that lends to its occasional use in magick to “make someone weep” or cry. A Hoodoo friend of mine, tells me she’ll use the powdered or crushed leaves on a skull candle to either make someone cry, or help someone morn over some loss and consequently heal and move on.

     Willow and the unconscious

     Willow, is the bridge to unconscious and understanding our own emotions. Ruled by Moon and water, it makes perfect sense for it to be an agent per excellence for such. The Latin verb “salire” which means “to leap”, and is one of the possible sources of the Latin name for the genus, illustrates the spiritual power of the Willow to help one leap the gap between emotion and understanding. Or emotions and cognitive processes. It brings clarity when the confusion is caused by imagery, emotional outburst, and helps us go through emotional turmoil in a natural and healthy way, keeping us balanced should we start to waver, hesitate or “run amok” the path we need to take in any given time.
     Many consider it extremely beneficial when facing a sensitive dilemma of any kind, or struggling with emotions, to sit under a willow tree, or to hug it. Especially during the nights of the Full Moon, ideally near the body of the water so you can watch its reflection. This is said to intuitively bring solution to the mind. From personal experience, I can testify that this is indeed of great help.
     Willow can also help us understand the abstract imagery, dreams, visions, and makes an excellent divining rods.
     In Slavic, and particularly Balkan Slavic witchery it’s used to heal and soothe a child which is overly emotional, usually the children that cry hysterically, and sometimes also those that suffer from night terrors.
     For this purposes one needs to find a branch of Willow that touches the water surface, dips it into a vessel with water*, and give some of this water to the child to drink. [5]

     Willow and the feminine

     Willow is deeply connected to the feminine and the female energies. It’s associated with the various female pagan deities like the; Artemis, Ceres, Hecate, Persephone, Hera, Belili and others [6] It’s seen symbolic and sacred to the Brigid during the Imboloc by some.
     Sallow, as also sometimes referred to (some species more than others, in Europe Salix carpea for example) appears also as a symbol of female sexuality, fertility and female power to fascinate, charm and bind;

     “Willow is used for charms of fascination and binding, and during the spring moon we have the power of the Spring Maiden who fascinates and binds the power of the young King. Aphrodite is associated with the spring and the bright half of the moon, courtship and the union which blesses the land with fertility. British and Irish mythology is also rich with legends of the beguiling, Willowy Spring Maiden who is called Olwen, Niwalen, Gwenhyver, Cordelia, Blodeuwedd and many others, who initiate the young King into a deeply sexual experience.” [7]

     In the Balkans, Willow is used profusely in folk healing rituals, but some of them are reserved only from the women, and are therefore tabooed for men.  The example is the ritual that women, especially maidens and young girls do on the feast day of the St. George. They make a “belt” using a willow branch and tie it around their waist to be “as slim and fair as willow”, which is also an example of sympathetic magick.

     For the Slavic people Willow is a place that the water fairies love to frequent and dwell around, so they can be contacted there, or an offering for them could be made there. Caution was needed, as in the Slavic folklore, most of the water fairies are very malevolent and cruel, and should only be contacted in some dire need. It was usually only the desperate or those extremely skilled in magick who’d work with the water fae.
     Willow as a healer and “axis mundi” for the Slavic folk

     Among most Slavic people, the Willow enjoys the reputation of a sacred tree, which is a bit like the Ygdrassil or the Tree of life of Kabala, for it’s transcendental and connects various planes of existence. It is therefore considered the embodiment of the archetypical “axis mundi”, much like the Oak tree that only gained such reputation later in the Slavic culture and myth, mostly due to the patriarchal ways of community, making it a “male” counterpart to the willow. [8]

     Because of this transcendental, and bridging (like mentioned before the word Salix, is derived from the terms reffering to leaping) power, the willow was used to banish diseases to the “Netherland”, or other specific place, where from they could no longer return to ail the one performing the ritual.

     An example is a ritual where a person afflicted with the fever, particularly a persistent one, must roast a whole garlic bud, early in the morning before the first roosters sound themselves. Then he or she, takes it to the willow, shakes it three times vigorously apologizing for it and saying:

It is not the morning dew that I shake off from you,
But the fever that I shake off from myself” 

     A person then leaves the roasted garlic on the willow, and swiftly abandons the place, taking care not to turn back** and look at the spot, for any reason. [9]

     It’s still customary to hit children (mildly and affectionately, for it’s a symbolic gesture) in Serbia, Bulgaria, parts of Montenegro and Croatia on the Lazarus’ Saturday with willow twigs to ensure they remain healthy throughout the year. The willow branches are also commonly blessed in the Orthodox Christian churches on this day, to be used on the Palm Sunday, due to them being more readily available than the palm trees. [10] Young men and women will also customary hit each other with the willow twigs saying: “May you grow fair as willow”, in a belief that this will bring them vitality and fair appearance.

     Since this is meant to be a practical blog, here are a few ideas, that I’ve came up myself, on how to implement the power of willow in magick;

     The dream decoder spell

     Respectfully gather a small piece of willow bark, or a piece of Willow wood. You can use some branch and cut a small slice of it. Thank the tree and water it or leave it some kind of offering. This would ideally be done on a night of the full moon, or otherwise some Monday.

     When dry, some Monday, place this piece of this wood in a small blue, or a purple bag or sachet, preferably made of linen, along with a piece of Ulexite, Clear Calcite or Quartz. Light a blue candle and enchant the charm by holding it in the hands, breathing upon it and chanting;

     Nightly scenes that perish with light
       Confusing, forgotten or out of sight
       I understand now your omens and sign,
       For Willow and crystal conjure you fine” 

     Place under pillow to overcome confusing, irrational dreams, and to understand dream omens and the symbols of the subconscious mind in them, helping this insight heal the mental struggles which caused them.

     The New chance spell

     When experiencing a failure of some kind, and wanting to turn it around by finding another way to do it, a new perspective, or simply new hope and willpower, go to where willows grow. Respectfully cut a small, healthy branch from the tree, preferably the new, green ones. This should be done in spring, during the waxing moon, ideal time being Ostara.

     Plant it in the wet soil. You may dip it in the growing hormone to ensure it sprouts new roots swiftly and safely. Envision the solution you need, or simply wish for it strongly, water the cutting and chant:

           “Cut away yet, far from dead,
              Even when stricken with the strife,
              I embrace the new chance instead,
              Growing towards better life.” 

     As the little cutting grows, so will you find the solution and a way to turn your failure into success.

     Hoodoo spell to make someone weep or heal them
     To make someone mentally unstable and make them weep and cry. Inscribe a skull candle with the name of the person you wish to affect. It should be a black skull candle. Dress it with some condition oil appropriate to your need. Then sprinkle the candle or entwine it with some Couchgrass ( or Witchgrass ) and sprinkle with some crumbled leaves of the Weeping Willow. You can arrange these just below the eye sockets of the skull candle so it appears as if the skull is crying. Burn and speak appropriate words or power.

     To help someone heal from grieving too much, dress a white skull candle with some Healing or Tranquility oil. Sprinkle it with crumbled or powdered Weeping willow leaves and Balm of Gilead. If it’s a broken heart they suffer from add some Violet leaf or Heartease leaf too. Burn during the hours of the Sun and read the following Bible verse:

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” ( Revelations 21:4 )

     Spirituality talisman

     It’s customary in some parts of Europe to collect some Willow tree juice on a piece of Linen fabric the day after Ostara , and then carry that a spirituality talisman. Here is what I think is an equally good alternative method.

     Cut a piece of willow branch, so you have a nice, small rounded slice. Gather respectfully on a night of the full moon, or some Monday while the moon is in the waxing phase. Inscribe one side of this talisman with the spiral. On the other you can inscribe an open eye, and your initials, or something of a sort. Let it dry, and when well dry, dress it lightly with some Master key oil, or other kind of appropriate spiritual oil. When the oil dries out, it’s ready. You can make it into a pendant or place in a small charm vial and use that as a pendant, and carry it on your behalf to raise your spiritual awareness, and help you connect to the spirit world more easily and swiftly. It will also help grow your natural spiritual talents. You can also put this in a charm or mojo bag with things like the Witches Burr, and Galangal root for example, for increase in spiritual power.

NOTE: This article was written and composed by myself. If you wish to use  any part of it  elsewhere online feel free but add credits: Shadow of the Shadows magick place, or "Shadow-333@hotmail.com , or a direct link to this page

CREDITS AND REFERENCES: * In traditional Balkan witchcraft this type of plant remedy is usually made by soaking the plant material, usually a whole plant if herbaceous, or a bark, root etc., in a vessel with water; most commonly a pan, or a bowl, and leaving it outside or a window sill over night to catch the “brightness”, that is the spiritual energy radiated by Moon and stars. The Willow remedy was probably also made this way.
** This is a frequent taboo in some Slavic magick rituals and spells, particularly the healing ones. It’s firmly believed that if the practitioner turned around, they could catch a glimpse of the forces or spirits which are making sure the ritual comes to fruition, and could go mad or die because of it.

[5] Veselin Cajkanovic “Recnik Srpskih narodnih verovanja o biljkama” (lit. Veselin Cajkanovic “Dictionary of Serbian folk beliefs about plants”) Beograd 1994
[6] Cunningham, Scott “Cunningham’s encyclopedia of magic herbs”
[7] Retrieved from; https://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/willow.htm for explanatory, educational and illustrative purposes, without any ill will
[9] Acc. to the  same source listed under [8]
[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarus_Saturday


The first image, the botanical illustration is from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/02/2b/a8/022ba89dd0769cadb7f92a95953ff24b.jpg 

The second one, which is the Claude Monet's image is from: https://d1inegp6v2yuxm.cloudfront.net/royal-academy/image/upload/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,w_950/joumqzbympg7vmxsqe4j.jpg 
both used here for illustrative purposes  without any ill intention

Apr 29, 2016

Wards and barriers

     "You shall not pass!!!"  
     That’s what Gandalf said, then he drove the bottom end of his staff into the narrow rock bridge in the cave, and prevented some kind of ancient, fire demon from following and killing the members of the fellowship of the ring, in the Lord of the Rings movie.

     He literarily prevented that demon from proceeding, he blocked his path. He cast what we would describe as a ward, in magick. He broke off the rock bridge and plummeted alongside the demon in the precipice too, but that’s beside the point lol.

     So can one magicakally prevent one from entering a specific place, most notably and most often this place being one’s home? The answer is absolutely. All sort of traditions and magickal paths have their ways of doing this and we shall discuss a few in today’s post.
A Witch's knot charm/symbol/ward

     A very informative and trustworthy site on Wiccan and Celtic magick defines ward as a shield anchored to a physical place.  [1] Furthermore, it’s stated that unlike the shield, the ward is powered by the Earth, and its energy rises from it, as it were, and I find all that to be pretty illustrative of a typical ward. A different article, though describes it as a “psychokinetic shield” that deflects energy. [2] I have two issues with that; if it was psychokinetic it would deflect more than just energy, it’d deflect matter as well, and a ward does not just deflect energy anyway. It can turn away people, or animals, or spirits too.

     A protective magick circle, as used in Ceremonial magick is yet another example of a magickal ward. So it’s indeed a form of shield “anchored” to earth, or even emanating from the Earth, and a magickal boundary set to keep something out. Behind the yellow line, sort of say.

     Clearly, the best time for setting up magickal wards are days and hours of Saturn, a planet ruling boundaries (setting or breaking and transcending the same)  and mystery, or wondrous works, among other. Materia magicka correspondent to the planet is thus also used commonly for setting up the magickal wards.

      It’s also important to notice the selective nature of the wards; they are set up with an intention to keep something specific out, not just pretty much anything, which means, if you cast a protection spell to keep people with specific type of intentions or aims outside of your home, such will be repelled, but it won’t stop other people from coming around. This is quite useful, and is sometimes even cunningly used to test someone’s true intentions and to tell apart friendly people from the “snakes in the grass”. Now let’s proceed with few examples, meant to keep evil people, spirits and similar out of someone’s home.

     Traditional Balkan witchery spell for keeping evil people away
     Get a new, unused knife, preferably one with the black handle. During the waning phase of the Moon, bring some water to the boil and add some red chili peppers, and salt in it. Dip the knife in it three times, saying something along these lines:

As the Moon wanes, and as this blade cuts,
So will you N.N. stay away, and be cut away
From this home, and this place
And will not enter this dwelling. Amen

     Place it on a napkin or a paper towel and allow it to air dry. When it does, find a way to hide it somewhere around your front door doorstep ( or if it’s a specific room, in front of these room’s doors ), pointing outwards and normal ( under 90’ angle ) to the door’s plane. You can for example place it under the rug or doormat etc. Next to it, or somewhere on the doorframe also place a sprig of Basil, wrapped around the base with a red yarn or thread. Most people like to hang this little sprig just above the doors.
     The person who you don’t wish to enter your home, should not be able to, after you’ve done this.

Herbal wards

     Many herbs, when placed in jars, vials, or hung about the place are effective wards against bad people and evil spirits.

     Dill for example, when hung above the doors, with the clear intention to do so, is said to keep both bad people and evil spirits away from your premises.

     Similarly, St. John’s wort, picked on Midsummer, is widely believed to bar the entrance to a home, or a room, to even powerful evil spirits and demons.

     Fennel, a “cousin” to the Dill, was once placed in keyholes to keep the Ghosts out, and nowadays an infusion or a floorwash is used to keep the intruders out. [3]

     Hawthorn branches in front of doors and windows of the home, were used in Balkans to prevent a vampire from entering given home. [4]

     Major Celandine keeps the law away from your property, and when used properly will make police evade your place in a wide circle. Elderberry flowers and boughs can also do the same.

     A friend of mine told me that If I want to stop someone from coming around, or entering my home all I need to do is place a personal concern of theirs, or a name paper lacking the previous, in a small vial along with Black seeds, Red Onion peels and Rose thorns, and fix this to my front doors. She said: “Even if they come around, they won’t go pass the doors, in fact they’ll soon leave, probably complaining about some feeling of unease”. I tried this one, and it worked wonders when I did.

Hoodoo’s Red Brick

     One of the most powerful wards against  bad people, or people who wish you ill is the Hoodoo trick with the red brick dust,  popularly referred to as the “reddening” . It’s tad more elaborate then what you’ll commonly be advised; which is to just sprinkle the dust in front of your doors, but when done properly it works wonders.

     The place that one intends to protect should be thoroughly cleansed spiritually beforehand, and in Hoodoo this is usually done with a floorwash containing powerful cleansing and protective ingredients. This part of the ritual is according the tradition done a little before sunrise, and without uttering a single word.

     A good, traditional floorwash that can be used here is made by combining:  Household Ammonia, Saltpeter, and Epsom salts in a wash, but the most traditional wash used is actually one’s own first morning urine, dissolved in some water. [5] This makes sense being that the Household Ammonia is often used as the replacement for the urine in Hoodoo formulas and tricks.

     Some Hoodoo authorities suggest this should be done on specific days; namely: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. [6]

     Having done that, one proceeds to lay a line in front of their doors, with the red brick dust powder. You can conceal the line later with, let’s say a doormat, but this is not necessary and  more often than not, not done.

Icelandic “Hurðstoðva” ward, to prevent a specific person from entering your home
     The following spell makes use of a specific “galdrastafir” , an Icelandic written charm/sigil, which is etched into Rowan wood, or wand, and then one is to walk thrice around their home with it clockwise, and three more times in the opposite direction, wraps the wand with some thistle leaves, and then places it above the doors. This is said to prevent the person from entering your home. I know very little of trolldom, but during the walking part I’d use some words of power which mention the name of person in question to focus the spell/ward, and attune it to their energy. Or place it alongside their name paper, photo, or some bodily concern.

      The original instructions are as follow:

     “Hurðstoðva - Doorstopper. A galdrastafir to hinder someone from entering your house. If there's a person you do not want to enter your home, edge this stafir into a rowan-wand. Do this as the sun is on her highest, and proceed to walk sunward around your house tree times, followed by tree times withershins, while holding the wand in which you are laying the spell. To prime the spell, bind the wand in thistle leaves, and place it above your door.” [7]

     Some wards to keep the evil spirits outside

     Some evil spirits more than others, are bent on gaining entrance to your home and wreaking havoc in it. The wards used to keep them out may vary slightly depending on a specific spirit, but are often in form of charms, herbs or written inscriptions. Following are some examples of such:

·         St John’s wort, particularly that plucked on the Midsummer, in noon, placed in a jar and then hung by the door or windows will ward off evil spirits. I usually read the Psalm 90th over such charm.
·         Two Hawthorn branches, placed and tied one over another so that they form a Cross, and secured with a piece of natural, red yarn which was soaked in Holy water from the church, shall prevent all sort of malignant spirits gaining entrance to a dwelling, if it’s hung by the door lintel, or secured above the doors. It can similarly be placed above one’s bed, besides it or carried on person ( a small charm ) to protect from all sort of disembodied spirits and even the malevolent fairies.
·         Alder is said to ward the “unseen” threats, including evil spirits. A piece of wood can be carried in a charm bag for example
·         A witches knot charm, carved into doors, windows, or written on paper, preferably in Dragon’s blood magickal ink, will keep the evil spirits, hags and curses at bay ( see the image at the beginning of the post )
·         Charms carved from the Jasper stones are hung by the door to repel ghosts and evil spirits, particularly the evil trickster sprits. In China, these charms often take  the form of a dragon
·         Bloodstone is carried as a pendant, or in a charm bag to keep away evil spirits and demons and prevent them from affecting on
·         Salt is a powerful ward for all sort of ills, including the evil spirits, and salt circle is a brilliant example of such. Read Psalms 29th, 40th and 90th over some salt and then sprinkle it around your home, or object or person you wish to protect in a clockwise circle. Similarly, praying the 18th Psalm over salt makes it a good ward against the robbers and thieves.

NOTE: This article was written and composed by myself, hence If you wish to use any parts of elsewhere online, add the credits; Shadow of the Shadows magick place, Shadow-333@hotmail.com or a direct link to this post


[4] Jasna Jojic Pavlovski “Magija Biljaka”
[6] Acc. to; same as under [5]
[7] Retrieved from:  http://seidr.hekse.dk/#post6   and used here for explanatory and  educational purposes without ill will

IMAGE CREDITS: The Witch’s knot picture  is from http://www.examiner.com/article/the-witch-s-knot and digitally edited by myself,  used here for illustrative and explanatory purpose without any ill
The “Hurðstoðva”  galdristafir image was drawn and edited by myself