Day 266: Practice, Your First Spell

Today’s working kind of reminds me of a magical episode of “Chopped.” In that show, professional chefs are given a basket of four or five ingredients, access to the most tricked-out kitchen imaginable, and a fully (and exotically) stocked pantry. Then they’re given 30 minutes or so to create a dish that uses all of the challenge ingredients. It’s a pretty refreshing way to think about dish creation, since you can rarely go into that challenging thinking “no matter what’s in that basket, Imma gonna make me a lasagna.

Roderick definitely sets us up today for a magical “Chopped.” We’re given the ingredients of today’s inherent powers and “full access” to a magical pantry of whatever oils, herbs, and stones we like–not to mention power-raising techniques. Though the idea of today is that we actually perform the spell we create, I’m not going to ‘hinder’ my creative process by limiting myself to the actual symbols I have in my real magical “pantry”–which, with the exception of oils, is very bare at the moment. Therefore, I will not actually be casting the spell I create.

Today’s working is a bit unusual since you will be starting without an intent or magical goal.  Instead, you will first consider the following:

  • Today’s moon phase
  • The magical day of the week, the planetary associations and corresponding glyph
  • The current planetary hour and glyph

Now consider what magical working you might be able to do at this time.  Make a list of potential ideas and then consider what additional magical aids you might need, including:

  • The candles of a color that would suit your magical goal
  • The magical stones that would suit your magical goal
  • The herbs that would suit your magical goal
  • The way you could raise and direct power that might be best suited for this goal

Once you gather the appropriate magical correspondences/symbols, decide which techniques you might use with each magical object (based upon what you have learned in previous lessons).  Once you have your plan in place, cast a magic circle, raise the cone of power, and then direct your power through the symbols you have collected.  Close your circle as usual and keep any symbols that you can (such as herbal sachets or stones) with you until you have attained your goal.

Today is Thursday, May 2, 2013.  In Olympia, Washington, the sun rose at 5:55 this morning and it is currently 4:58 in the afternoon.  Thursday is a Jupiter day, which means it’s energies are best used for issues pertaining to luck, expansion, growth, worldly power, fulfillment, etc.  According to the hour’s chart, we’ve just entered  Thursday’s 12th hour, which is ruled by mercury and so pertains to communication and knowledge issues, as well as those of magic.  The moon entered its third quarter today at 4:15 am, and the new moon falls on the ninth, which means it’s time for strong banishing magic between now and the end of May 7th.  If I wanted to really push an ending, inhibit, interrupt, block, dwindle, or diminish something, now would be a good time for that.  It’s also a good time for internalizing work, and coping with loss or failures.

With the major emphasis of today being on banishment/failure coping, worldly power/fulfillment, and communication, I think this would be an excellent time to do a working that would help me come to terms with what I perceive to be my failure at graduate school.  I do need to work through my issues around this ‘failure’, and it was what felt to me as the main crop of my life–the thing that was growing the most and what gave me my power in the world.  And, of course, that entire experience was all about communication.

I entered that program with the goal of earning my doctorate in English, but I stopped everything in a weird limbo state.  I’d passed my written breadth and was working on my orals project, but then I tanked the oral part of my breadth exam (NOT my orals project, though the name is confusingly similar).  Though I can still re-do that part, things fell apart for me quickly in terms of my mental state.  I really didn’t have that much confidence going into my oral breadth exam, partly because I already wasn’t feeling confident that my coursework had been all that effective and partly because I’d had to do more of a quick read on my breadth materials so that I could delve into my oral materials.  All the insecurities I had about what I’d been doing over the past 3.33 years came to a head, and I realized I just could not continue with the work.  It would drive me insane.  While I loved teaching, I definitely needed a break from academia.  My time at the UO hasn’t been a total loss–as it happened, I was able to obtain a master’s degree out of everything–but I still feel like a total failure because I didn’t achieve my real objective.  Not only that, but I feel that I became farther out of touch with my field (transatlantic Romanticism) than I was when I entered the program, and THAT is DEFINITELY not supposed to happen!  It’s been an incredibly depressing realization for me, and I am having a hard time seeing that I’ve gotten anything out of my grad school experience, and that I can do great things despite aborting my doctoral pursuit.

Some symbol items I might be able to use in this spell might be candles in black for binding, loss, and transforming, yellow for communication and the arts, and orange for happiness, resilience, and tolerance.  Some of the more attractive stones for this working I think might be pearl for its listed properties of “peace, wisdom, and acquired knowledge”–I think it might definitely help me come to terms with this specific problem–and maybe jet to help banish my internal “evil forces”.  In herbs, I might choose some benzoin as it helps develop inner strength and a strong mind and maybe cinnamon for its qualities of “purification, energy, strength, and awareness”.  I definitely need to promote these qualities in this working!  Horehound might also be good for opening me up to new life paths and inspirations.  Rue might help me “break the dark spell” my feelings about this time have cast on my emotions and confidence.  I could bring some bay oil to the party, too, for its purification and protection qualities, as well as clove–which is also protective but encourages strength, courage, and memory, too.  Orange oil might be nice for a boost of energy and joy.

I think what I would do is make an anointing oil from a few drops of bay, clove, and orange essential oils in dram of grapeseed oil (which helps bring renewal, insight, and rebirth) and use it to dress my candles and anoint myself.  I’d whir together some benzoin with powdered cinnamon and horehound and use it as my incense for this working, maybe adding a drop or so of my anointing oil to the mix, too.  I think I might carve my candles with the watchwords of “graduate school” on the yellow candle, “banish failure” on the black, and “renewed joy” on the orange candle.  I might also carve the planetary glyphs of Mercury, the moon, Saturn, and Jupiter on each one, or maybe runes corresponding to the qualities I want to promote.  Or I could make a bindrune from those runes and carve that, too.  I would also “charge” a pearl necklace I have as part of this working and wear it either every day of this waning moon cycle (and perhaps future ones, too) until I felt better.  To raise energy, I think I might actually do a dual-method.  I think I’d probably chant while I was preparing the candles and such, but switch to a dance to charge the necklace.

This sounds like a pretty kick-ass spell to me!  I think I might actually put it on the docket for next month!

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