Omens and Auguries

“Sometimes an Omen is an Omen, and sometimes its just random stuff that happened…”

If you are new to the occult and dealing with Hekate or other Spirits, then one big problem you have is telling when those Spirits are trying to tell you something. Unless you have a close relationship with Hekate, and even then, She won’t normally just come out and say what She want you to know. Often, I would say more than often, the communication will be subtle and confusing. One of the skills you need to learn then, is how to interpret the signs She send us.

There is a name for this, Augury.

This is the type of divination where you look for signs and messages from the Natural World. This could take place in the animal or plant world, with the appearance of unusual types or numbers of either, or signs can be of unexpected weather or natural occurrences. Earthquakes or eclipses were seen as messages from the Gods in ancient times. We know more about science and how the Earth behaves now but still, while the Gods and Spirits have the power to cause things to happen that scientists would attribute to natural occurrences, a skilled occultist knows they have a deeper meaning.

The problem for us is that neither we, nor the Gods like Hekate necessarily see the World in the same way. How then can we help cut down on the confusion?

We need to establish a common language between us.

“Sailing Ships and Messages at Sea”:

Humans have sailed the oceans and seas of the World for thousands of years, and yet radio has only been available for a little over a hundred years. Before that we were left with primitive methods like lamps, torches or shouts across the waves. As ships got bigger and nations developed navies, the need to be able to send complicated messages and commands between ships became very important. What developed was a system of brightly colored flags, each of which meant something specific, which were displayed among the rigging of a ship and could be seen from far off through a telescope, or just by a sharp eyed lookout.

What we need to do, is come up with our own “colored flags” which both the Gods and we can use to make our communications clearer.

Consider the Tarot Cards. If you are like most of us, you have a set of cards which you use to do divinations and figure out what influences are going to affect you and your future. Depending on which cards you turn over, will have different meanings and foretell different situations.

You can’t just pick up a deck right out of the box and expect to get good results, can you? It takes time and practice. One of the important things I suggest to new occultists, is be sure to read the book of card meanings you get with your cards. In fact read it several times, and let the meanings soak into your unconscious, or if you are good at memorizing, your conscious mind.

Why?

You want to do this because having a common understanding of the meaning of each card, allows the Spirits to pick what they want to tell you. And more importantly, allows you to understand what they mean. Just like the signal flags of old navies, both of you then have a common language, even if you must do some personal interpretation. Reading up on the original creator’s choice of meanings for each card is especially important if the deck is a non-standard one.

“First Step, Get In Touch With What Is Normal”:

Now the Natural World around us doesn’t come with a simple instruction manual. What you will need to do is write your own.

Consider this, if you stepped out of your door tomorrow morning, and found two crows watching you, what would this mean? What if one flew away, and one stayed?

Would this be unusual?

The animal world, especially of birds, offers a good way for Spirits to communicate with us, through a wide variety of messages. Whether you are in a city, in the suburbs or out in the country, birds are all around us. Bird augury is one of the easiest to start with. Once you learn how to see signs and omens via birds, you can adapt the methods for other animals, or plants, or weather and other things around you.

How do you start then?

Well the only way to tell what is unusual in the environment around you, is to know what is not unusual. That means getting out there and studying Nature around you.

Finding out what birds are native to your area. Finding out what their habits are. Do they show up first thing in the morning, or do they favor the afternoon or evening? Do they come in groups, or are they solitary? Try and identify the birds who are in your neighborhood. Take a few pictures. Sometimes you can identify individuals who come back on a regular basis. Read up on the Internet. These will be your messengers from the Spirits.

Remember those two crows I mentioned earlier? Supposed my neighbor came out of his house one morning and saw them, what would he think? Crow is associated with magic, and with warning. The number Two, can signify harmony and balance. With one crow leaving, and one staying, perhaps the message is a warning that your balance is out of wack, or faces problems soon.

Or it might just mean that I had changed the time in the morning when I feed the birds in front of my house. Which I recently did. I found that I was staying up until 2 or 3am, and then waking late in the morning. I began to intentionally turn in around 11pm, and rise at 6am. While I’m having my first cups of coffee in the morning, I put out a variety of bird seed and nuts on my driveway. My cats and I then get to watch which birds show up. I get to see black birds, doves, finches and sparrows, along with those crows on a daily basis.

I also occasionally see a pair of cardinals, the male bright red mostly and the female less so. And once a hawk decided that all those other birds might make a good snack, though she didn’t get one. In the evening its not uncommon to hear owls, and in the Summer, hummingbirds in the garden.

Along with the many birds, I also have squirrels, a woodchuck who sometimes sleeps under the neighbor across the street’s side porch, very early morning possums, nighttime raccoons, and the occasional deer at sunrise. Knowing how and when the wild life in my neighborhood come by, lets me know when something is out of place and deserves my attention. Then I can see if they have a message for me.

BTW, feed your local wildlife. Not only does it encourage them to come by and visit, but its polite and shows respect for Hekate as well as for Nature and the Spirits who are using those animals to communicate. Start doing it, please.

“You Knew There Would Be A Journal, Didn’t You?”:

Seems like every time a beginning magician takes up a new skill, someone is telling them to start writing things down. Learning to read omens and signs is no different. As I opened this post sometimes and omen isn’t an omen. It may be days or even weeks before you understand what a message sent to you by Hekate means or understand the situation you’ve been informed of. She doesn’t have the same sense of Time as we do.

Second, you’ll want to see how accurate your interpretations are. Different messengers can have different meanings. Crow is thought of as an indication of magic in your life, but it can also give warning. Most of the omens you receive will only be understood in hindsight. Its only as you gain experience that you will start trusting your intuition as to what a sign is, and make the correct interpretation. Its going to take some time and a lot of writing things down before then though.

Third, a dedicated journal for your work with omens, will save you time. If you come across a messenger today, which you remember encountering 6 months ago, you can go back to that entry and see what possible meanings it had for you then. Even see if your interpretations came true. Remember we are coming up with a shared language between Hekate and ourselves. Some signs will be reused and you want this.

Pick up one of those blank books from the occult or specialty goods store. There are dozens and dozens of nice ones out there. I prefer one that is pre-lined but get what works for you.

You’ll want to have some space for general notes and comments, so thumb back 20-30 pages to start your recording of omens and signs. We’ll talk more about just what notes in a moment.

Begin writing down the signs you see today. You don’t have to wait until you have a better handle on the process, in fact, starting when you are still unclear is better. You approach it with less preconceptions. I typically date the entries, then first list the omens I see, followed by any thoughts I was on how I felt at the time. Then later I look up online or in books, what meanings others have found correspond to those signs.

One of the better books I’ve found in understanding what signs mean, is Ted Andrews’ “Animal Speak”. I’ve taken much of the techniques I’ve described here from that book and use it as one of my first references when trying to figure out the messages Hekate is trying to send me.

“Understanding the Messages”:

There is more to a message than just what species of the messenger. An unusual animal or situation in itself is important, but more than that, how the sign appeared, its actions and the environment are just as significant.
Here are some of the ones I note.

1) Number: Magicians have long thought that numbers hold a special magical meaning and the number of messengers can hint at the correct interpretation of what Hekate is trying to communicate to you. I normally only count up to 9. If its more than that, or I’m unsure of the number in total, or it varies as I watch, say its a flock of birds in the sky, or on the ground, then I consider the message is in flux. I often go on to seek more clarification with a divination.
That is always an option. If the message you receive in an omen is unclear to you, consider doing a reading afterwards and ask for more information from Hekate.

2) Sex and Age: In some animals it is easy to see whether the messenger is male or female. Deer are a good example. A large buck, with antlers has a different meaning, from that of a doe and perhaps young. Birds or small animals can be harder to identify the gender but with study you can. Same with the age.

3) Color: Bright colors can reveal the intensity of the situation, though many animals have a subdued color so they can blend into the environment. A brightly coated animal, or one that stands out from its background can signify to you how important the message is.

4) The Landscape: Where did you see the omen? A large deer at the edge of a stand of trees is a different message, than one casually walking across a parking lot. So too are the plants and features of the place the messenger appears. Is it standing on a prominent stone or is it in the branches of a distinctive tree? A squirrel on a statue might mean something different than if its watching you from the branch of an oak.

Also, is this a natural environment for the messenger? Urban landscapes by their nature are limited, but then omens can come on you while you journey through your day.

5) Direction and Distance: Each of the major directions, East, West, North and South, have traditional spiritual meaning but beyond that, did the messenger appear from the right or the left of you? That can change its meaning. So too if the messenger appears in front of you, or approaches from behind. So too in how far away the messenger is when you notice it. Did it appear at your feet as you exited your home in the morning, or was it far off but noticeable?

6) The Activity: Whether the messenger is standing still, or is in motion is also important and can tell you things about the message. Unusual activities especially.

Recently on one of my morning walks, I came across a English Bulldog. My neighborhood is suburban and of houses, duplexes and apartments so pets are a common occurrence. I often have dogs bark at me as I walk, which I take as a sign from Hekate that she is watching me. In this case though, the bulldog was in the front yard, and was sitting in a chair. It watched me as I walked past without barking, then watched me as I walked past again on my return. This was out of the ordinary. The next day, the bulldog was again outside, but this time it was standing on the driveway. It watched me pass, but was gone when I returned.

Each of these clues will have a positive aspect and a negative aspect. You may not be able to tell which applies at first but you should consider as you ponder the message, is Hekate offering me a suggestion or is She giving me a warning? Sometimes it can be both.

I have written small tables of each of these in those first 20-30 pages in my journal. Not huge entries but shorthand notes to remind me of their meanings. Field notes if you want. Later as you become more experienced with the occult, there may be times you have your journal with you, and come upon a suspected message you want to interpret at that moment. These field notes can help you do that.

Remember, the journal is for you and you can put what ever helps you in there. If you run out of room in front, then don’t hesitate to add sections elsewhere in the journal.

“The Most Important Thing”:

All of these points won’t make you the next Oracle of Delphi unless you make a conscious effort to invite Hekate and Nature into your life. Just as a deck of Tarot cards are meaningless in the hands of someone mundane, but a precise tool in the hands of a skilled magician, the signs and omens that She puts before you will fall on deaf ears and blind eyes unless you want them to have meaning.

No amount of book learning is going to do you as much good as getting out of that house and into the natural world outside. Take walks and see what you come across. Visit parks and just sit. Keep a cunning eye out for the ways Nature interacts with the creatures in it, and how it interacts with YOU.

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FOOTNOTE: One thing about opening your eyes to the signs around you, and developing your skill at reading the omens that Hekate sends you, is that this communication is not just one way. A skilled magician can use the language they develop to not just passively listen but to also actively ask.

Ted Andrews, the author of “Animal Speak” gives the example of his relationship with his Totem Hawk. That when he drives he can sometimes gain information about road conditions and situations like where the police are waiting, by sending out a mental message and asking for a sign. A hawk on the side of the road, which flies off to the left, may warn Andrews of a situation ahead, where one that flies off to the right may tell him that the road is clear.

This is a bit out of my level of skill right now, but it certainly makes me want to work at developing it.

As always, opinions or comments are encouraged. Thanks.

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The “Law of Three” Is Wrong

If you are interested in studying the occult and magic, you will quickly run across the “Law of Three”.

Summed up, this rule says that what ever you put out into the World using magic, will be returned to you three times over. Put out good vibes and spells of helpfulness, and you will receive back three times the joy and happiness. Put out curses and ill will, and you will receive back three times the hurt and misfortune. Its repeated some much so in the occult community, especially from supposed wise elders to the beginners you’d almost think it came down from the mountain with Moses.

Its wrong though.

That rule grew out of the 60’s resurgence of paganism and Wicca, as a rather good little bit of public relationship. Remember Christianity burned witches not too long ago, and even in the 60s, if you were living in a small town and got the reputation as one of “those” people you could count on being shunned, if not ruined before being run out of town.

The Counter Culture embraced many things the Establishment disapproved of, including occult practices, astrology and Eastern mysticism as a way to rebel but then not rebel too much that it got them burnt at the stake. True, the push back from the “good” people against those long hair, freaky hippy types was still pretty intense but it wasn’t long before such interests were tolerated. Housewives lighting candles and saying love spells seeped into suburbia.

The “Law of Three” then became a way to differ the good witches from the few that were “bad”. If the Stevie Nicks looking flower child at the corner book store said that if SHE did a curse, it would come back three fold onto her, then obviously she was a good witch. And wouldn’t be corrupting the young people who were patronizing her shop.

The problem is there isn’t any indication in history that is is the case In fact just the opposite. Many of the wizards and sorcerers advising kings were using their magic to bring ruin on that king’s enemies with no sort of consequences. Not only no consequences but actually they were being rewarded. Movies and television only re-enforced this fact.

And yet, there are examples, more than a few, where magical practitioners of recent history have experienced blow back for obviously harmful spells against others.

Where does that leave the occult beginner?


A bit of background for a moment,

Recently I read a discussion on the morality of intent and the raising of power with magic that I think better explains the dangers for a beginner in using magic to affect their reality.

I am in the process of paring down the collection of science fiction and fantasy art which I have acquired over many years of going to conventions. I plan on moving into a much smaller residence by next Spring, and just won’t have the wall space to display my collection.

Many of the pieces I’m selling but a few are ones which have an occult significance. One of these is this piece by the artist Mitch Foust.

The title of the piece is “Morgan LeFey”. She is known from book and film as a powerful sorceress and sister to the legendary king Arthur. She is also a spirit you might as a shaman work with, though in Celtic lore there is some argument whether she is a separate spirit or merely a facet of the larger spirit “The Morrigan”.

For some time, I had been thinking perhaps that the Morrigan was connected with the goddess I worship, Hekate, as a reimage of Hekate in a far off land from her birthplace, Asia Minor. Both goddesses are triplicate goddesses, having three faces and aspects. Both goddesses are considered to be Queens and powerful.

I wondered if this print could then be used in my devotionals with Hekate?

In researching this relationship I picked up Courtney Weber’s book “The Morrigan, Celtic Goddess of Magik and Might”. It didn’t take me much reading to see that the two are separate, unique and the print would be better passed on to another person. If the Celtic deities are of interest to you, and if the Morrigan calls, Weber’s book is a good place to start.

That said, Weber has a chapter which discusses working with spells and magic (she uses a K, to differ the spiritual side from the sleight of hand variety) and its from that chapter that I want to reference about why the “Law of Three” is wrong.

Celtic history is one of great passion, especially on the battle field. It was a place that not only did the warriors fight but also the magic users. Druids and shamans are often seen there, adding their spells and magic in an attempt to sway the tide in their tribe’s favor. The gods too took an active part.

And yet there is very little mention that when a shaman cursed a foe, or made magic to affect the battle against their foes, that their magic rebounded back on them. Especially not in a three times way. If they were not affected, then why would a shaman of today be faced with such a restriction?

There are clear times when people try to do you wrong, and just as skill at arms or intellectual prowess is useful to protect yourself, so too is any magical knowledge you might have. I doubt a war goddess like the Morrigan would look kindly on you for neglecting a sword in your belt just to appear virtuous.

Not that there are not spirits out there who wouldn’t want you to only do pacifistic good.

Weber makes the distinction that it is not the intent of the magic working which causes problems but the underlying issues that the magical practitioner has and has not worked to address.

She likens your mental state to a large concrete room.

In that room are the issues and problems you still have. Are you taking care of your body and mind? Plenty of rest and healthy food? Are you being a good friend to your companions and family? Do you address wrongs you have committed in the past and try to not do harm in the present? Any and all of these can leave clutter in the room of your mind.

And as a magic user, even more importantly, how is your spiritual center?

Are you right by the patrons and allies you work with, or do you neglect or even abuse those relationships? How heavy is your walk on the natural world and your conduct towards the animal, plant and earth realms?

All of this kind of mental and physic clutter will affect the way the forces of magic and the actions of the Spirits have in your life. A life that is balanced and in harmony, is like a concrete room that is bare, well sweep and clean. An unbalanced life though, fills that concrete room with distractions and misdirections.

Magic and the power that Spirits have is like Fire.

Fire is a tool.

It can be a warm fireplace on a Winter night or it can be a hot raging bonfire. Fire can be the gentle flame of a candle, or the spark which burns down your home.

Fire has no morals. When properly handled it can do useful work. When treated without respect, it can do great damage and harm.

Magic is like fire in that concrete room of your mind.

In an uncluttered room, it can be managed well. Magic like a fire tends to throw off sparks at times. In a clean room, those sparks tend to quickly go out and do no harm. The fire in a clean room is there to be put to useful work and purpose.

In a cluttered room, those scattered sparks have a chance to catch and find fuel. Quickly they can grow and spread, and soon they can overwhelm the useful work you are trying to do. The magic goes off track, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

Even well intentioned spells can misfire when you have an unbalanced life. Intent, a magic user’s most important tool, can go off course and cause results you don’t expect or don’t want.

Add to that is the fact that Spirits, especially the more powerful ones like those we would call deities, sometimes have real difficulty understanding humans. Even the ones that love humans. They hear what we say we want, but under that intent are distractions. If you have issues yet unresolved, I can see how perhaps a spirit would wonder if what we say isn’t exactly what we want.

What many have seen then as a response the “Law of Three”, is then not a wrong response to a selfish or evil purpose but a proper response to a desire we didn’t realize we had.

Those of you who decide to walk the dark path of the occult realms, need first to know yourself well and work to make yourself better.

That is the Law you should obey.

Your Mileage May Vary

If you spend any amount of time reading blogs and sites which discuss the occult, you will probably be struck, like I am, on just how wrong everyone is. Well wrong if you go by the comments of a few people.

The Wiccan’s claim the Druids are tree hugging idiots with no respect for the Goddess and are clearly chanting up the wrong tree. The Luciferians think the Christian magicians are heretics and don’t know what side of a stone tablet to wipe their butts with. Pagan Reconstructionist think Modern Pagans can’t tell the time of day, yet alone the time of the century.

Cthulhuans wonder if you have hugged your Shoggoth today?

Now you have Alt-Right sorcerers invoking Pepe the Frog on their rival Antifa wizards, and both of them think the other are totally wrong. The Frog has not given his opinion yet though his PR secretary says a press release is forthcoming.

That’s kind of why I like being a shaman, we gleefully admit we are wrong and state with much enthusiasm to all the other occult practitioners we don’t know which side of a broomstick to ride. We just put our heads down and get shit done.

Let me be plain and honest with you, almost everything I will teach you here on this site, the total of the explanations, instructions and suppositions I ask you to ponder, are probably more wrong than right in the grander scheme of things.

When it comes to the occult worlds, we are all blind people fondling elephants. Most people won’t admit that fact that they are blind to themselves, let alone to any others.

(Careful which “tail” you put your hand on.)

And here is an even scarier thought, even the Spirits we learn from are sometimes wrong too. Spirits, especially the old and wise ones, aren’t omniscience. They don’t know everything.


Every see the movie “Groundhog Day”?

Unless you were born and lived your life under a rock, I sure you have. I like the scene where Bill Murray admits to Andy MacDowell that he has been and is living the day over and over again. Refresh your memory with this clip if you like.

Spirits are kind of like Bill Murray, they’ve been around so long that they know a heck of a lot but there are things they don’t. Spirits can make mistakes, and the people writing down what the Spirit teaches them can make mistakes as well.

So why should we follow or believe anything the various occult practices teach us?


Ever studied a martial art?

I really haven’t except some basic lessons in several different styles. A class in Tai Chi for old people, some karate when I was young and some Japanese kendo here in St Louis a few years back because I really like Japanese swords (and a good friend was teaching the class so I got to do it for free).

The thing that most people who have any experience with martial arts will admit if you press them on it, is that each style has a weakness. They do really well at handling 95% of all combat but there is a small set of encounters where their skill set isn’t right to react to the situation.

“Damned, you brought a sword to a gun fight!” (cue evil laugh) BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!


Ok, if everything I learn might be wrong, the how can I be sure its right?

Simple answer: Does It Work For You?


One of the big reasons I recommend anyone thinking of studying occult practices goes ahead and buys Serge Kahili King’s book “Urban Shamanism”, even if they plan on exploring more focused occult variations, is that King lays out a wonderfully simple and yet comprehensive World View that you can incorporate into your Life.

The Seven Shaman Principles and their fourteen corollaries also form a very sound and solid foundation on which to proceed from with your occult studies.


For the subject of this post, I want to discuss two of the principle he lays down, and their corollaries.

The First Principle is: “The World Is What You Think It Is”.

Depending on how you view the World, a glass is half full or half empty. If I go about my daily actions looking for the positive experience in Life, then I will think the World is good. If I go about it looking for negative experience, then I will think it sucks. Your attitude shapes your World.

The First Corollary states: “Everything Is A Dream”.

Along with recognizing the importance of your attitude, Hawaiian shamans hold the subtle idea that we “dream” our reality into existence.

That doesn’t mean that Life and Reality is an illusion. Instead it recognizes that our day to day Life and our night to night dreams coexist and have equal reality.

Think for a moment about some film or book you experienced, to a particularly emotional scene. Did it affect you when you first saw it so intensely that you cried or raised a fist in “Hell Yeah!”? Now rethink upon that memory. If it was very strong, you may find yourself in the grip of strong emotion again.

In Hawaiian shamanism, the Heart Aspect called “Ku” is responsible for memory and has no sense of Time. Memories laid down years ago, with strong enough emotion, when remembered today will be just as emotional.

Dreams are similar. To the Heart Aspect Ku finds a vivid dream as real as a memory from a long ago film.

Extend this further.

How do you know that the reality you experience is shared by me?

The screen you are “seeing” right now, and reading my words, is going through some organic filters. First off the light from the screen is hitting your eyes, and registering in the cones and rods in the back of your eyes. They in turn give off electrical impulses, which travel up your optic nerve to your brain. Then the brain, based on past experiences interrupts what the cones and rod’s electrical signals into a world view.

Now our brain interrupts those signals in a way that its been taught since birth. What is to say that is right, except the peer pressure we experienced growing up?

Every have an imaginary friend as a child? Grown-ups tell us those friends don’t exist and after enough times of being told that, our brains decide to ignore the sight of those friends. They disappear and we can no longer hear them.

What if they were real all along?

As you get deeper and deeper into your occult studies you will find your horizons will expand. You will learn again to dream while you are awake.

The Second Corollary explains: All Systems Are Arbitrary.

To go back to the martial arts. Karate is very much a “offensive” discipline. It responds to attacks by attacking back. Ju Jitsu on the other hand is very much a “defensive” discipline. It responds to attacks by deflecting the energy harmlessly away.

Which better defines the World and its Reality?

Neither and both.

If you accept that the World is what you think it is, and that everything is a dream, then all options are correct, and the ultimate truth is what ever you decide it is. All systems are based then on a limited experience of a few people, whose experiences may or may not be able to be replicated and experienced by each of us.

Then if you can’t be sure of any experience or system based on those experiences, just how do you judge reality.

Simple, does it work for you?

Accepting this World view is very helpful to a shaman because you don’t view alternative systems as true or false, merely as simply different points of view. It allows you to use methods from other occult disciplines freely and incorporate them as needed.


The second of the Hawaiian Shamanism Principles I want to talk about is in fact the last of the seven and is probably the most important.

The Seventh Principle observes: Effectiveness Is The Measure of Truth.

Some may read this as what works is true or the end justifies the means. Actually it says the complete opposite, the means justifies the end.

Violent means produce violent ends. Peaceful means produce peaceful ends. If you act ruthless to others, others will act ruthless to you. Helping others while accomplishing your goal and others will help you.

This also means, use the method that gets the best result.

“To a man holding only a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

A competent shaman never stops learning different ways to do things. Feel free to hop between disciplines looking for the best results. If a teaching says “You can’t do that because it is (insert scary word here)” then question the basic premise.

Maybe the teaching is right, maybe its not.

First Corollary: There Is Always Another Way To Do Something.

Every problem has more than one solution. We live in an infinite universe, so every problem has an infinite amount of solution. And yet, seeking the “perfect” solution means we often overlook a simple solution that is just good enough.

When it is time for it, make a decision and go with it. If it isn’t working out, then change it.

Though remember, not all problems are occult problems. Sometimes, no more times, a problem has real world solutions.


Next week we will do some more energy work. For now, every time you have a problem, stop, think and figure out what other solutions are available to you.

Sometimes a shaman says “Make offering to this spirit to be rid of the problem.”

Sometimes a shaman says “Stop smoking so much and call your mother more often.”

Energy Work: Creating A Psi Ball

Before You Start: You will need a small ball, something golf ball size or slightly larger. I live with cats and find one of their soft foam toys ideal. You’ll need it as we work through this section.


Hopefully by now, after a couple of weeks practice, you have discovered your energy center and have successfully compressed your energy into it several times.

We want to put that knowledge to a bit of practical use.

Depending on how you are reading this post, either via computer or phone, you want to to take a comfortable seated position. Sit up straight, posture is important. When you slouch you put tension on your muscles. You want to be relaxed but alert.

Hawaiian shamanism, as taught by Serge Kahili King, believes that learned memory is stored in the muscle group which is active or energized during the learning. Good for athletes, because the actions they want to learn use the same muscles over and over again. Genetic memory on the other hand, like speech, is stored across the entire body. That is why someone who experiences a huge trauma and develops amnesia will still be able to talk, and not know their own name.

Less traumatic, when using a learned skill if the muscle group where the learned memory is stored is under stress or tension, it can inhibit the memory. You can literally forget what you learned until the stress is released.

By maintaining a relaxed state during your training, the shaman skills you are going to learn on this blog should then be stored in many places around your body. Making their access later easier and lessen the chance that under stress you won’t be able to remember them.

King, in his book “Urban Shaman”, relates a story of attending a high profile party in Africa that during his introduction to the ambassador, King literally forgot his wife’s name because of the stress he was feeling. It was only when his wife said her name, did the muscles where the information was stored were able to relax and release the knowledge.

Take a few moments to relax then. Close your eyes, breath slowly in and out. Wiggle your body and stretch. Wave your arms and work out any tension you are feeling.

Now pick up the ball you have with one hand (either one to start is fine). As you read the rest of this post, I want you to roll it slowly around in your palm. Each time you change its position, give it a small squeeze. Feel it press into your flesh.

After a few minutes of holding it in one hand, bring your two hands together. Cup the ball between them and slowly roll it around between your palms. Feel the way it presses into them. After a few moments, hand the ball off into the new hand and roll it in that one.

Continue to work the ball with each hand, transferring it back and forth between them after a few minutes. Slowly decrease the time you hold it in one hand and increase the time you hold it with two.


What we are doing is teaching our muscles and brain the sensations of holding a ball in our hands, so that when we don’t have it physically present, your mind has the memory of the sensations.

Its a strange concept, sensation without physical stimulus, for some people to get the hands around it (pun intended). And yet your body doesn’t difference between the actual and the remembered.

Think for a moment on a movie you have seen in the Past, which made you cry. Or perhaps a favorite book. The emotions you felt then were real. As you remember them now, in the Present you may find yourself again crying. Memory has no sense of time.

With practice the memory and physical sensations of rolling that ball in your hand, will be as accessible when ever you need it.

Try this, roll the ball under your bare foot, while picturing in your mind the ball being in your hand. At first there will be a strange out of placeness but soon the ball in your hand will be as real as the one under your foot.


Practical Exercise #2:

For the next week, carry the ball you have been using with you. Every chance you get, roll it in your hand. Build up the memories until you can close your eyes and see it and feel it in your hand, even when its not.


Muscle Memory

In practical terms what we are doing is developing a “muscle memory”.

Athletes of many kinds have discovered recently, which the ancient world long knew, that practicing a physical action in your head can be as effective as practicing it with your body.

The US Army actually did a study on whether mentally simulating a skill, could help you improve it.

They used the marksmanship training on the venerable US Army 1911, 45 caliber pistol. This can be a hard pistol for many people to learn to shoot well, since it is a large and heavy gun. The ammo is also costly, so anything that could cut down on actual shooting AND produce qualified shooter was something they were very interested in. The US Army took two groups, the first who learned the standard marksmanship training, involving a battery of live firing on the range.

The second group, instead of just firing the weapon, would also spend time just sitting quietly while picturing in their minds the action of raising the pistol and firing. At the end of their respective training, each group was tested for their competency with a live fire session for score.

Not surprising to those of us who have long read Greer, one group did much better. Care to guess which one?


Ok, now that you’ve spent a week building up your muscle memory, lets do a little energy work with that memory.


Creating A Psi Ball

You can form your energy into many different forms, and we discuss some of them later, for now lets learn how to create one of the most basic forms, the Psi Ball.

(“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” © 2010 Disney Inc.)

Psi Balls, also known as Chi Balls, are small sphere of energy, usually formed between the palms of your hand. Typically they are between baseball and softball size, though for this exercise we will make it a bit smaller.

(About the size of a certain ball we have been working with, lol.)

They can though be made much bigger, large enough to contain our body or a space within which to work. The energy then forming a protective barrier and shield. They can be used to do many things.


Practical Exercise 3:

Back to the chair you were using earlier.

Before you do, limber up, do some stretching and wiggling your body to remove any tension in your muscles. Sit down, and pick up the ball you practiced with. Roll it between your palms to re-familiarize you mind with the sensations of doing that.

Once you feel ready, set the ball down.

Close your eyes and image the ball still in between your palms. Let your hands and finger lightly touch. Slowly roll your hands together, imagining the ball between them.

Begin compressing your body’s energy at its center in your stomach. Once you feel it there, let the energy move up to your shoulders and then down into your arms, and then into your hands. Let it slowly fill the space between your palms.

As it collects, imagine it taking the shape of a small sphere. Slowly continue to fill it with your energy. You may begin to feel a bit of warmth (or cold) in you palms. If not don’t worry. We each find our path.

Now slowly spread your palms apart. Imagine the small energy sphere floating between them. Imagine little streams of your energy coming out of your palms and going into the sphere.

When you are ready, open your eyes.

Now only the most gifted of people are going to see a visible psi ball floating between their hands. Especially on the first try. If it were easy, then everyone would be doing it. You may though catch a flicker of something there, perhaps a sense of some movement. Allow yourself to just sit silently, mentally feeling your own energy and the energy of the sphere.

When you are ready, open your hands wider and picture the sphere rise. As it does, imagine it expand and then slowly dissipate.

Take a few minutes and quietly just sit, collecting your thoughts. When you are ready stand up and take a break. Go sit in the garden looking at your plants. Go play with your pet. Recharge.

You may find you are a bit tired. That’s natural. Unlike most people, who will teach you to utilize one of the outside your body sources of energy, like the Earth, through a grounding technique, I prefer to teach you to know the limit of your personal energy first.

For now, practice this once a day.


One Last Thing – Start A Journal:

If you don’t regularly write, begin now. Go buy one of those empty books, that people use as diaries or journals.

Your mind can play tricks on you. Especially when working with something like shaman practices which don’t conform to what regular society has taught us all of our earlier life. Things that are crystal clear in the moment, can fade and become unsure with time. You can start disbelieving you had the experience and feelings you did. Going back and re-reading your observations documented at the time, can reassure you that what you remember was real.

I actually do a couple journals related to my shaman work.

I have one smaller one which I keep with me as much as possible. Its for the day to day, and is filled with a variety of things. Nature observations from my garden, bits of dreams that stand out (jotted down in bed), signs and omens that come to me during my travels, thoughts on techniques or ideas for future blog posts.

I have a second one, which is actually a school notebook. One of those with the binder rings. The paper in it is the traditional lined paper we all used in school. It is the beginning of my Grimoire.

A Grimoire, or Spell Book, is the place you put what you learned, but in a way you can find it if you need to. Mine has some of those dividers with plastic tabs. Each section then is one related subject. As I learn, I write down my experiences and sometimes some things should go together. I put those in the appropriate section.

Also there are tens of thousands of other people who are on similar journeys, many of them who blog or write about it. Its ok when you find a good protection spell, or some background knowledge about a certain spirit which you are interested in, on another person’s blog or book, that you write it down in yours. You won’t always have the Internet.

Having the base material is also helpful. When you do a spell or ritual, what you experience will probably be different from the original writer. That’s to be expected. Write down your observations of what happens when you try it, especially any differences.


We will revisit your energy training in two weeks, when we discuss “Intention and Breathing”. Next week we will look more at Spirits.

Introduction To Energy Work – Centering

The World around us is old, dark and ancient. We have forgotten that.

The false veneer of our new mundane Industrial and Scientific Age has made it seem to most of us that humans are the masters of all we see. That things our ancestors knew as truth for thousands of years are but childish tales.

That’s not true.

See I know that there are monsters in our World and we sometimes we are but prey to them. As much as we might pretend, tell me if at midnight on a cold full moon, do you not shiver when you see a shadow move.

Maybe its just a cat on a nocturnal hunt. Or maybe its something more dangerous.

If you want to explore that old occult and ancient world our Ancestors knew then the first thing you must learn is how to protect yourself.


Humans have powerful personal energy that for most of us goes untapped and ignored. For those who want to develop their occult abilities, like shamans, you must learn how to tap into that power. To harness it to your will and to your purpose.

Our bodies are a collections of shells. Mind, Body, Soul, Arua, even your own Magnetic Field, which yes you generate. What you think of as a distinctive and solid body with limits is anything but. Those shells extends deep into the physical body and extend out beyond it as well.

Energy flows through those shells as currents and patterns that are difficult to describe to someone who has never experienced them. Yet as you work with your own, and learn to harness them you will see.

Its a unfortunate fact that our mundane language does poorly in giving us the ways to describe what it happening in the occult, so bear with me. Up may seem like down, sideways may seem round. Square may seem linear. Its an imperfect process. Just go with it for now (grins). I’d like to say it gets better but it doesn’t.

Occult lore and practices are as diverse and varied as there are cultures in the World. Wiccans and magicians, dervishes and wizards, they all arose when humans had settled in towns and villages. When religion got organized and built churches.

Shamans though, are of the most ancient school of the occult. We practiced our trade in caves where our fellow tribe wore furs from cave bear and saber tooth lion, and our members painted the images of deer, antelope and oxen on the cave walls to bring our hunters luck.

They worshiped the most oldest of Patrons then. Sun, Moon and the Stars.

We’ll talk more about the Realm of the Spirits in a later blog post, for now lets discuss working with Energy.


Before we start, a explanation and a brief disclaimer: The order I’m going to teach you to work with energy will be a bit different from the traditional. Its not the order I learned, but I’ve come to realize some techniques work better if you have a working knowledge of another technique first.

The order I will use is:

  • Centering Your Energy
  • Working with Psi Balls and Energy Shapes
  • Breathing
  • Sensing Other Energy Fields
  • Grounding and Channeling
  • Personal Shielding

I’ll explain more on why I use this order as we go along in this series of posts.


FINDING YOUR CENTER:

The first technique in working with energy is “centering”.

When we speak of “centering” we mean the technique where you collect the flow of energy inside yourself, and collect it into a spot, typically its a point around your navel for men or just a few inches below that for a women.

One way to visualize this skill is to image your energy as the air in a room, centering it compresses that air into a balloon.

I wasn’t taught centering as an occult skill. I learned as a technique in a class on Drama and Acting when I was much younger to help you get a better feel for your body. As an actor that is important.

When I was in my early teens, I joined a amateur theater troop. I didn’t have the guts to be an actor, but I was happy to be one of the backstage crew that helped put on the play. As I remember it, I ended up doing sound effects, like door bells and telephone rings.

Our troop leader was big on team building exercises. You know, like the “close your eyes and fall backwards, your team mate will catch you” kind of things.

One Saturday, he brought in a woman who had us all lay on our backs on the floor of the theater. She had us close our eyes, then begin to imagine our bodies in our minds. To imagine the energy within each of us, as a swirling flight of luminescent light racing around inside of us.

Perhaps she was an occult practitioner, perhaps she just learned this technique as a way to get in touch with your body.

She said then, “Imagine then taking the energy running around in one finger, and slowly pull it back, letting that energy add itself to the small spot in your stomach. Imagine then the energy in each finger and each toe, making its way to that same spot in your stomach. Once that energy has settled into the spot, do the same with your hands and your feet.”

Slowly she walked us through taking all the swirling energy of our bodies and collecting it into a small glowing spot in our stomachs.

(I think she had soft music playing but don’t remember.)

Its hard to describe the sensations you have when you do this. There is a floating feeling like you aren’t really on the floor anymore. A limpness yet serious silence to your being. And yet your senses seem to slowly seep out past the boundaries of your body.

After a few minutes, the guest speaker had us slowly allow that energy to return. First in the center, then slowly to the extremities of the arms and legs, until our bodies were full again of our energy.

Truthfully, I can remember being a bit groggy after it. I can remember having a feeling of beyondness to my body, like the energy inside it extended outward past the boundaries of my physical body.

I was a member of that theater troop for about a year, before my family moved to California, and I meet my witch. That’s a story for another day.


PRACTICAL EXERCISE #1:

I’ve done the previous exercise many times since I learned it then.

Now over the course of my life, and after much reading I think what this exercise is best for, is to find the “energy center” of your body. Traditionally for women, this has been the point just above their sex. For larger women, and most men, it is a point around their navel.

For beginners do the following exercise over a course of several weeks, and pick a mental point upper or lower of that traditional point, and seeing how your body feels as you collect your energy into that point, and how it makes you feel after the exercise. Do you feel centered afterwards or off centered? Once you have found your personal spot, you can move forward with your training.

I like to do this exercise during the late morning or early afternoon. If you are tired, this exercise can put you into a light sleep sometimes. You should be rested and if you have eaten, be sure its light or just a snack. Hold off on a lot of fluids too. Take a shower or short bath and don clean comfortable clothing. I tend to be barefoot because I like to wiggle my toes and fingers as I begin to reconnect with my edges.

(Use the restroom too, nothing kills the mood of a exercise like the need to pee in the middle of it, lol.)

I do this exercise on my bed, but you can do it on the floor, or outside on a blanket on the ground. The inner world is more important than the outer in this.

You should have some music available, something soft and without distracting vocals. Even environmental sounds like ocean waves or a rain storm work (but not alot of lightning). I find that this helps quiet my inner voices and I can focus more on the exercise than last weeks arguments at work or bills needed to be paid.

(I actually have a set of Viking ambiance tracks I found off of Youtube that I use when I need to reconnect with my center which I play. The deep base track seems to help center my attentions.)

Before you begin, do some stretching and then say a short prayer out loud asking for guidance and protection. As a beginning shaman you won’t have established relationships with spiritual allies yet, so I recommend you make your prayers to your ancestors. Family is important in working as a shaman. Even if you haven’t begun to honor them, your Ancestors are still watching over you.

Some incenses or light smudging is ok, but stay away from lighting candles or other sources of energy (salt lamps). This can distract your sensitivity to your energy.

Start the music and lay down on your back. A small pillow to rest your head is fine. Put your arms at your sides and spread your legs slightly. Just relax at first and breath slowly in and out.

Wiggle your toes and fingers if you want. Try to feel any stress or tension you have and let it slowly seep out of you, sinking into the ground. As you do, begin to feel the energy within you. How it slowly spins in rivers and flows, from the tips of your fingers into the heart of your chest and head. To some it appears as golden and glowing, but I’ve had people tell me to them it was like deep water, dark blue with deep currents. Don’t make judgement calls about how you see it.

For some, you may not even “see” the flows, but instead sense it as waves of sound, or even smell. Much is made over the skill of “visualization” but not all of us relate to the World though sight, and that is ok too.

For a few minutes just watch the flow of energy, how it moves through your body and how it feels. You might even see places in your body which are like rocks in a river, where the energy ripples and goes around. Make note of where this is but don’t dwell on it at this time. (we’ll get to blockages later.)

Once you are comfortable with the flow of energy within you, begin by seeing in your mind the fingers on your hands. Slowly wiggle them and see how the energy changes and moves. As you do, imagine the energy leaving them. Like the tide, gently lapping away bit by bit.

Then imagine the energy leaving your hands. Toes too. Begin to pull the flow of your energy from the extremities and into your body.

You may find that the cloud of energy inside yourself grows brighter (or darker for those who saw it in opposite) as you collect your energy. That’s good. At some point, you may begin to see a focus develop, usually around your stomach. Let it progress naturally. Often your body will find its center for you.

If not, use the point you had decided on at the start of this exercise. Don’t worry, if you are off, you’ll learn and correct it. Continue to pull back your body’s energy until its in your stomach, chest and head.

Begin then to let the energy in your head drain into your core. If you’ve had a center point develop, see your consciousness descend from your forehead to your stomach. This can be dis-conjoining, or even a little frightening. Or it can be peaceful. Or beautiful.

Don’t force it, in these first few tries. If you are feeling uncomfortable, then stop. If you can, note where your center sits. Is it above your sex, in your navel, perhaps above that.

Let the energy in your body settle into that one small spot, your energy center. Try and see how that feels. Let yourself experience it for a few minutes, then slowly step back.

Begin to take your energy and expand it. Let the tide return to wet the sands of your body. Feel it radiate out slowly, filling first your arms and legs and then the fingers and toes. When you have filled your body with your energy again, open your eyes slowly.

Be warned, the first few times you do this exercise, the moment you open your eyes can have all sorts of strange impacts on you. From a room filled with glowing balls, to reality vibrating to an unheard song, to even being temporarily blind. Don’t fear, it will pass. Take your time and just breath.

Once you are ready, sit up. Try to stand if you can. You’ll be wobblie I can guarantee you. Thank your ancestors for their protection. If you can, write down what you experienced while its fresh in your mind.

I often take a long shower afterwards, something about the feel of the water on my skin seems to bring the various parts of me, physical, astral, and soul back into sinc.


FURTHER WORK:

Now if during this exercise you didn’t see a clear “center”, then here is a work around.

Find yourself a fist size rock, something with a bit of weight but not overly heavy. Find a rock that speaks to you because this rock will be important to you. If you are having trouble, make a prayer to the Earth, asking its guidance and help in your quest. I’ve found that the spirits of stone look kindly on humans.

In a big city this can be hard. Try the river or streams near you. Water and stones together are ideal for energy work.

Do the exercise again, but place the stone on your stomach at your navel (or for women about half way from the navel to your sex). As you collect your energy, you should feel the dent in your body from the stone. This will usually help your body’s energy find a center. Now it may want to coalesce above or below the point you have placed the stone on your body. That’s ok. Take a few days off, return and do the exercise again placing the stone at the new location. See if the weight of the stone settles at the point of your body’s energy center. If it does, then you’ve found it.

Once this is done, don’t just toss the stone into your garden. It is your first “Ally” and deserves your respect. It will be there for you if you want.

I find that a small offering, perhaps of rum or other spicy alcohol is appropriate. Pour a small bit for you and pour some over the stone. Drink the alcohol yourself, while offering the taste of it through your mouth to the stone. Put it in a place of respect in your home and don’t be surprised if the spirit of the stone visits you in your dreams.

For those of you who found their center easily and don’t need a stone ally, don’t fret, there will be plenty of chances to acquire other allies going forward when we discuss “Allies and Patrons”.