May 25, 2011

St. Michael the Archangel

He "Who is like G'd"

Though technically speaking Archangel Michael is not a Saint, sometimes this entity is venerated as one. In Hoodoo, he is petitioned to protect and shield from abusive people, harmful magick and demons, and their snares and trickery. In Santeria and sometimes ( by certain practitioners ) in New Orleans vodoun he is syncretized with Ogun, and sometimes with Legba as well.

The day of the weak associated with St. Michael is Sunday, so it’s clear that his planetary rulership is over the Sun. The Hebrew name translates to “brilliant one” or “one who is brilliant” and the Archangel plays important role in Abrahamic religions and Kabala , otherwise ( in other systems, such as Higher magick ) he is “imported” from those religions. His metals are gold and brass, and herbs and resins associated with this spirit are many, among commonly  mentioned Angelica, include  Orange, Bay laurel, Benzoin, Ambergris, Cinnamon and Frankincense. It is said that the results of working with St. Michael are seen in seven days after the petitioning him.

Iconography and depiction of St. Michael is rather uniform really, he is depicted as mighty warrior with the flaming sword,  as his feature, sometimes also holding the scales to weigh the souls of the deceased. In Catholic and Orthodox Christian Iconography St.Michael is often depicted defeating the Adversary, trampling the Wicked One ( a nice example is “Archangel Michael” by Guido Reni’s ) or slaying the dragon.

Here is St. Michaels signature that can be inscribed on candles or petitioner paper ( candle colors are red or white )

We can find countless invocations, and compelling words of power,  relying on this spirit's power and authority,  in many Western Higher magick text s. 

Generally, in magick ,  this spirit is seen as a “blockbuster spirit” , spirit that clears away evil spirits, demons in particular, and undoes their evil. Therefore, it should not surprise that St.Michael is petitioned in hex removal spells, uncrossing and reversal magickal  work, and here are few examples :

Uncrossing spell

It is believed that if the crossing or hex is very powerful, old or personal concerns had been  used to cast the  negative spell, and/or the originator is not known, or the crossing comes from wicked spirits, and common uncrossing procedures give no satisfactory results, St. Michael is to be called upon

Red candle is lit, in front of the St.Michaels image , dressed with any suitable oil ( Run D Run, St. Michael’s oil, Reversing oil, Uncrossing oil, Jinx killer oil ) and a petitioner paper is placed bellow the candle. The petitioner prays to St, Michael for liberation from evil that has befallen on them ( or their client ) after what a purification bath, with the addition of the same oil ( used in ritual ) is suggested.

Judika Illes suggested blending Frankincense, Myrrh and Salt in Almond oil as base, as suitable oil for such work.

Reversing and protection spells

St.Michael is also called upon, when returning the evil spells to their originator, and a very popular ( and very powerful ) method calls for writing Your enemy ‘s name ( or just "enemy", if  the name is  unknown ) on a piece of papper, placing   the paper in the  glass  , sprinkling it  with sea salt and pouring ( spring or Holy ) water over it. The saucer is than placed over the glass and the glass is swiftly overturned, so that it rests on saucer, without any water  being spilt , I n the process, and should some water escape, the ritual act is repeated. Then, a white candle is turned upside down, so that one could pick out the wick from the bottom of the candle, now becoming the top. Candle is divided into nine partitions ( in some version into nine small candles ) , and burned atop the glass for nine ( in some version seven days ) while praying that the evil spells are returned to the originator. I like to use St. Michael prayer by Pope Leo XIII in any apotropaic or protective magick work with Archangel Michael ( even though I’m an Orthodo x Christian ) , whether in Latin or other language . The English version is this:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

There is a nifty protection spell I was taught to use employing the mentioned prayer,  and the Psalm 91st ;
Light a Novena candle to St. Michael the Archangel or white or red offertory candle fixed with St.Michael’s oil. Read the Psalm 91st and then the prayer given above and it is believed that as long as the candle burns, You will be safe from all ills.

Holy cards or St. Michael medallions are common ingredients in protection mojo’s and New Orleans Home Protection “packets” alongside protective herbs and salt. St. Michales holy card or printed images are often used in creating protective “amparos” a type of amulets used frequently in Latin America or Spain[1]
St. Michael image is believed to be a powerful ward on itself, and is often found on Hoodoo altars dedicated to more "dangerous" spirits, such as Santissima Muerte, to ensure that they "behave". Other than being a block buster spirit, St. Michael is also seen as an psychopomp.

St. Michael the Archangel’s oil

This is my personal formula I’d like to share with my readers, based upon cross-reference on various herbal correspondences given for this Archangel, as well as resin, and essential oil’s correspondences and my personal inclination towards certain of the ingredients

This oil formula ( among many others ) will be available in my upcoming document that I will post on my Scribd page, so check often ; )

· Frankincense resin

· Dragon’s blood resin

· Myrrh resin

· Angelica root

· Bay Laurel leafs or essential oil

· Cinnamon powder or essential oil

· Salt

Mind that cinnamon essential oil can act as skin irritant , so if using use a in a pinch, sort of say. All in base of either Almond or Ambergris oil.

Expressing gratitude

Though in Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, there are no suggestions for a tribute, in Hoodoo it’s customary to “pay” a spirit after they have helped, and I myself find such practice reasonable, very respectful and very beneficial. A candle lit, or a contribution to loccal police or comunity watch shall do, among other. It does seem like least we could do, right :D

NOTES: This article was composed and written by myself, so If You wish to use any part of it, elsewhere provide credits Shadow of Shadows magick place, or a direct link to this post. [1] to learn how to make St. Michaels amparo visit this brilliant video by Devi sprig The first image show Catholic holy card depiction of St.Michael and is from , page/entry about St. Michael ( lucky mojo amulet’s archive, St.Michael Archangel ) respectfully. The second image is edited by myself and shows Michael's Angelic signature
Have a brilliant day and may the Lord bless You !
Shade :)

May 17, 2011

Hoodoo Herbalism Wood Betony

Wood Betony or Bishopwort is a common, yet neglected magickal plant. While “imported” in Hoodoo Herbalism from European, American people did use plant Pedicularis canadiensis as Wood Betony, prior to the introduction of the aforementioned. In this article I will be speaking of Stachys officinalis, and while some authorities will claim they are used interchangeably, and that such practice is justified I beg the difference, well regarding the justification of equal use of plant. They are not even botanically related, let alone magickaly, well according to my knowledge that is, and I will elaborate on that later in the article.

Bishopwort or Lousewort is very common in Europe, where it’s native ( occurs naturally in some parts of Asia and in Northern Africas ) and it’s easy to distinguish, even to those without proper botanical taxonomy, morphology and systematic knowledge.

It can grow up to , about 60cm ( sometimes slightly more ) , and it can be recognized by purple inflorescence ( S. officinalis and S. betionica ) . Flowers have 5 teeth calyx and a corolla with anthers that stick straight out, making a positive taxonomic marker for Lamiace family. Being a skyophyte, it like’s grasslands and open wood, or meadows. In magick we use the two mentioned species S. officinalis and S.betonica. A species S.subernata is quite resembling, but yellow color of the flowers helps differentiate it, as they tend to occur together sometimes.

Use in European based magick

Old Roman entries are consistent with later European ( mostly British, Wells and German sources ) that prescribe the plant against sorcery and ghosts. It’s a typical plant to be used in Beltaine and Midsummer bonfires, and is found in various purification and protection mixtures. It’s often grown or sprinkled nearside homes to provide a sort of “protective barrier through which no evil can enter” [1] as a late occult herbalist stated. My experience taught me that it has brilliant evil repelling, banishing and vanquishing properties, hence it’s a ingredient in a potion recipe against evil spirits that I composed, and that calls for combining :

• St John’s wort
• Wood Betony
• Blackberry leaves
• Garlic cloves
• Basil
• Salt and
• Pepper

Europeans make similar mixtures with Wood Betony to treat notorious “Elf’s shoot” a mysterious condition belived to be caused by Elven arrows. Depending on sources recipes differ, some containing only the key ingredient, being Lousewort, while other common ingredients include Garlic, St John’s wort and Nettle.
It’s still common to found in some churchyards, to calm or banish the angry ghosts.
Anglo Saxon works on Herbalism suggest placing it bellow pillow, around neck or the juice of the plant ingested prior to going to bed to “prevent dreaming” and “nightly visions” and some modern authors assure us that it protects body and soul during astral journeys.

Hoodoo uses of Wood Betony

As I stated before, Hoodoo people use also “another” Wood Betony ( Pendicularia canadiensis ) but they use it interchangevly with Wood betony ( S. officinalis ) mostly to shield from spirits and diseases, and can be found in some “Reversing” incense recipe alongside Agrimony. Here is my personal formula of such incense “genre” :

• Wood Betony
• Agrimony
• Hyssop
• Patchouli Leaves ( optional )

It’s used in a bath to undo witches curses and to protect from same, along with 8 other herb , according to Miss Catherine Yronwode ( among other ingredients Wood Betony, Whitw clover, Nettles etc )[2]

I myself find it useful in countering unnatural diseases ( brought by magickal work ) and in a form of oil such as my formula I like to call “Vigoro oil
• Wood Betony
• Self Heal
• Boneset
• Samson snake root
• Camphor essential oil
All to base oil or Almond or Olive, with a vit E capsule.

NOTES: This article was composed and writteb by me, therfore should YOu desire to use it elswhere, feel free, just add the credits Shadow of Shadows magick place, or or give a direct link to this post
CREDITS: While no consulted literature or sources were quoted, I do want to note sources ofr specific information, as indexed in the text
Cunnungham Scott, "Encyclopedia of magick herbs", entry on "Betony, Wood"
[2] "Hoodoo herb and root magick" Catherine Yronwode

May 11, 2011

Clairvoyance and seeing spirits

Please, take my sincere appologies for the delay in posting this very post, it was due for 25th or 26th of april. Due to technical troubles I was unable to publish it on time. I hope You will still find the text useful, particularly for Middsummer. Thank You for the understanding, cordially Shadow.

As the Beltaine approaches, and we feel the spirits around us , be them fae, or the souls of dear deceased person, we might wonder how can we see them ? For people with mediumship abilities, it’s easy, they just roam the space with their eyes. Intuitive and open-minded people may also get a glimpse of the spirits, in their peripheral sight, or may dream of them, or even see them when astral projecting.

I wrote on significance and folklore Bletaine and Fairy magick before ( LINK ) and being that on this day the veil between the worlds is thin ( just like on Samhain ) it’s ideal time to converse with spirits or attempt to see them.

Is this advisable to try ? Honestly, it seems mostly subjective. If one feels ready to see specters of Fae ( and / or other nearby lingering spirits ) they should try, well in my humble opinion anyhow. If their aim is right and heart’s are without ill will they might get a glimpse of that often , in jargon, described as “more than meets the eye” , physical one at least  On the other hand, seeing spirits may be a highly traumatic experience, even
If one does not perceive it as such, even remotely, so to sum it up, both the choice and the responsibility are Yours alone

For Your convenience I collected, edited, wrote and presented some formulas to help You in becoming able to see spirits and here I will be discussing them

Folklore belifs and secrets of the cunning folk

According to some occult experts, on Samhaine and Beltane, all You need is to be on a place where spirit/s might appear and to be of an open heart.
You would be surprised how many different kind of spirits may appear near gravesites , especially old ones, and I do not refer only to ghosts of the dead, although on such places they might be most inclusive. Or an isolated clearance in the woods, mushroom rings, or fields with Daffodils or Digitalis flowers, all those are places, upon which not only possibility of encountering fae or ghosts increases, but so does our innate spiritual averseness and even clairvoyance.

Furthermore, time of the day when the spirits become easily visible are “threshold times” such as Twilight ( and no I do not mean the obnoxious and tacky movie trilogy >_< ) and Midnight. Circling three times around a graveyard, according to cunning folk, will significantly increase Your chances of seeing spirits. Should You, carry some Lavender and inhale it’s scent while at it, You are more than likely to see them. There is an interesting claim by famous deceased author Scot Cunningham : “In a wild and lonely place, preferablyby moonlight, hold a holey stone up to one eye. Close the other one and peer through the stone. You may see visions, ghosts, or nonphysical entities” , found in his book about gemstones [1] According to certain Scottish priest, Robert Kirk ( author of the significant and influential text on fae , from 1815th year ) , You need to procure a rope that had been tied around a coffin, and, tie it around Your waist, bend over and look, in-between, or “through” Your legs ( like kids often do ) some funeral procession, and You will ( according to author ) see the fairies. [2]

Herbs, herbalism and potions of spirits

There are many herbs that increase clairvoyance, reveal what is hidden or invisible or attract spirits.

Diferent cultures may have some of the plants related to spirit different, unique to the specific culture and geo-ecological areal.
Anthurimum ( Obake anthurium ) is for example a very strong spirit beacon and is indigenous to Hawaii areas , then there are Indian pipes ( I think they are pretty common in Arizona , USA ), with their perky yellow, slightly eerie flowers, or even the European Datura also known as Angelic Trumpet ( Datura stratimonium ) strongly associated with ghost and even evil spirits, and also very toxic to human and most of animals.

There are also those, cosmopolite or widely available plants, well famed for their powers to connect us to kingdoms of intangible , mystic and realms of mists and shadows.

Carrying a ring made of Rowan branches or Hawtorn ( Cartaegus monogyna, C.officinalis ) twigs, and looking through it on Bletaine ( or Samhain aswell ) should according to herbalists enable one to see fairies and spirits of nature through this unique “looking loop” . If You try this under Moonlight, You have certainly increased Your chances of seeing, what’s hidden from eye.

Cowslip ( Primulla verris ) or as also called Calver’s key reveals that what is hidden and invisible , and is often carried for such purposes.

Eyebright ( Euphrasia officinalis ) and Poppy ( Pappaver communis, P. somniferum ) petals can strongly increase one’s clairvoyance and spirit sight or faery sight as some phrase specific aspects of the same ( clairvoyance ), and are often applied as “eye baths”

There are potions drunk, eye infusions, and special incense/s called suffumigations, that are designed to aid us in seeing spirits or help them materialize. Following are two examples of such, written by myself

Potion of sight

• One part of Lunar slime ( or Lunar water )
• One part of Moonstone essence
• 1/15 – 1/20 part of Dried Mugwort
• Tincture of Opium*

Make strong infusion of Mugwort using, mixture of Moonstone essence and Lunar slime, as a base for decoction ( You can add a Moonstone to a lunar slime when making it and spare Yourself of excess work ). In strained and
Cooled infusion add up to 5 drops ( on a cup ) of Opium tincture. Drink and wash Your eyelids, and brow chakra with potion.
* If You do not know how to create the Tincture of Opium, get if from some occult shop, or learn how to make ( so it’s safe to use , as long as proper dosage is respected ) from a trusted source. If You feel uncomfortable or scared, using the Opium tincture, simply use Poppy petals instead

“Corpora spiriti” incense

This is my personal formula for suffumigation incense, that will act as medium for materialization of the spirit. I chose the seven ingredients ( seven being the number of the spirit ) that are reputed to invoke spirits and help them become visible, perhaps even tangible up to a point.


• Woods aloe *
• Acacia
• Dittany of Crete
• Small amount ( pinch ) of Saffron
• Some Myrrh resin
• Amaranth flowers or dried Amaranth
• Lavender flowers or few drops of essential oil

*Should You lack Wood’s aloe ( or feel more incliened to ) use Dragon’s blood resin in it’s place
Mix well and create incense, either with saltpeter ( self ignitable ) or as dry mixture . Light, or burn on charcoal to make spirits materialize.

Incense to see spirits of the dead in our dreams

Combine Acacia, Althaea and Star Anise, and burn before going to bed, on altar or besides candle dedicated to the dead, and they should appear in Your dream.

NOTES: This article was written and compounded by myself, therefore should You desire to use it or any part of it elsewhere, You may, as long as You provide the credits, Shadow of Shadows magick place, or , or of course a direct link to this post.
CREDITS: [1] ( Cunningham’s encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem and Metal Magick. Llwellyn Publications, USA , entry on Holey stones,102nd page )
[2] The information came from Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s “Fairy Magick” 2008th edition book, but the original source is a 1815th year occult work called “Holly community” by Robert Kirk, entry here is paraphrased/edited by myself
The potion and incense recipes are written by myself, and If You want to use it in any media other than online ( and If You do use it online You must give credits ) such as magazine articles or book, e-mail me for approval using above given address.The image shows holey stone and is from, used for illustrative and explanatory purposes here, all credits to the author