QUESTION - I have had a hard time of it over the last few years. I got involved with prescription medication that ruined my life. It damaged my brain and my body. If I had one wish it would be to go back to a time when I was happier and healthier or to change the past so that it does not affect my present. I don't want to pay someone lot of money that I don't know. I really need help. Your help or advice would be much appreciated.
ANSWER - Sometimes we have to accept that our actions have consequences and as a result what we have to work with has changed. There is no quick fix to get your body and mind to the place they were in before your experience with prescription drugs and you are quite right to resist anybody willing to take your money and make you such a promise.
However the very fact that you are taking the positive step of writing for advice to get your life back on track shows that you have already turned the corner from the damage you have done to yourself in the past. You may not be able to undo the past but you can take control of your future and stop any more damage to your mind and body and in seeking help, this is what you are doing - you are taking the control back.
You say you need help and yes if you feel you need support at this difficult time then you should certainly reach out for it. But reach out to the right people and for the right help. I'm taking your comment about the "wish" as a figure of speech but in all honesty looking for a quick fix magical solution won't give you the answers you seek. It took a long time to weaken your mind and body and it will take a long time to build them back up again. Avoid the promise of the quick fix and look toward establishing long term goals you can aim for as you recover. Talk to your doctor or a counsellor who can offer professional support and care. There will be charletans on the web who'll offer you everything at the expense of your wallet but this will achieve little other than boosting their ego. The only person who can make the change and turn this around is yourself and as I said it looks to me like you have already started.
Above all, accept what you can't change. It sounds harsh but you have done this damage to yourself and you have to accept the responsibility for what you have done and acknowledge that you might be stuck with at least some of the consequences for the rest of your life. The sooner you accept this and start looking for positive ways forward the less unhappy you will make yourself dwelling on the past and how you used to be. Forget the past, forgive yourself for what you have done, take the future into your own hands and make it one worth living.
QUESTION - I love and am happy being a Witch and blessed with those close to me accepting it, especially hubby. But I do find that I struggle at times, mainly with focus and concentration. The reason for this is my disability which is both physical and cognitive. The cognitive being the issue. My brain will randomly just float off while I'm trying to focus. I think the Goddess is fine with it but it's getting in the way at the moment. I really need to write/work a spell for a change of luck as ours seems to be in the negative lately but my mind just won't work. Do you have any suggestions for this limited Witch?
ANSWER - I'm not so sure that what you are describing is a limitation. I usually find that people with a mind that tends to wander have a higher level of imagination than others and imagination and creativity go hand in hand as being very key ingredients in effective spell work. Don't get me wrong, maintaining a certain level of focus is important but I think there is also a lot to be said for letting the mind to sit back, reflect and allow random ideas and concepts to float in at their will.
The easiest way to maintain concentration is to keep your mind interested in the task at hand and you can tailor your spells to make this your preferred way of working. The first thing I would suggest is that you use a very tight structure for your workings. If you know your mind is prone to wandering write your spells out beforehand so you are not relying on your memory. Same with every step of the working itself - create yourself a step by step guide to each stage of what you want to do so you can follow it as you go. Holding a single thought in your mind can be tricky for even the most accomplished of witches but having a definite idea written down on a piece of paper will help your keep your mind on the task at hand.
Now this idea might sound a bit magically unconventional but I think you could enhance your concentration still further by incorporating a puzzle element of into your spell work. If you can keep the forefront of your mind stimulated into solving a puzzle then it will allow your subconscious mind to relax and focus on the intent of the spell. Strange as it may sound I'm going to suggest you buy a simple jigsaw (nothing too complex you don't want to be at it all night - say 50-100 pieces) and you complete the jigsaw while focusing on the spell. You could easily visualise this as part of your spell work - particularly for a luck spell. As you fit the pieces together you can visualise all the things that you want to work for you coming together and joining together to form the new situation your working is intended to achieve. The combination of the mental power involved in completing the jigsaw and the visualisation of each jigsaw piece as a symbolic part of the overall working should allow you to focus efficiently on the outcome you want your working to achieve.
Give it a go and let me know how it works. I think for you it's just a case of distracting that very overactive conscious mind of yours!
QUESTION - How do I exactly project intent? I've done basic energy work such as constructing psi (I hate that term) balls but I've never been able to "fill" it with what I want it to do.
ANSWER - This is one of those things that is a lot easier to do than to explain. Writing down the techniques I use seem to rather over simplify the matter and don't seem to create a very satisfactory how to guide as to how the procedure actually works. But I suspect that is because focusing intention is actually more of an intuitive process than it is a step by step procedure and it is very tricky to put an intuitive reflex into words.
But I'll have a go... The direction of intent can, broadly speaking, be achieved in two separate ways. The first is by projecting the thought and intent from the mind and the second is to use some sort of tangible process to carry your intent forward.
The first is the hardest to get your head around but as it requires no tools it is probably the most commonly used. I always think that where people go wrong when trying to project their intent is that they focus too much on the outcome and don't spend enough time formulating the actual intent in their own mind. The power of your intent is determined by the clarity of the thought in your mind and this is where most of the work takes place. You need to focus your mind on what it is you want to achieve and hold on to that thought, letting it fill your mind and grow in power and strength as you focus your attentions onto it. When the idea is sufficiently powerful you can change the direction of your focus from what you want to achieve to the outcome you expect to result from your spell and then you can direct the energies you have worked on in your mind toward that targeted outcome.
I'll give you an example to make it simpler. My intent may be to get my husband a new job. The first part of the spell (the intent) is me building the energy as I imagine the impact on him, on our home, on his happiness levels... I let these positives grow and grow and then I throw that energy at the tangibles (the how will it happen). I'll direct the energy toward manipulating the individuals who may get him the new job, toward drawing him toward the geography of a particular location of work and I'll visualise him doing the job I want him to do.
So it's a two stage process - building the intention energies and then mentally throwing that energy at the effects you wish your spell to make.
The second method is a lot simpler. You infuse a carrier with your intent. The most common way of doing this is to speak your will into a candle (again making sure to build that focus at the start of the spell) but other methods might involve thread magic - sealing your intent into a string of cotton and letting the wind carry it away or infusing your energies into a pebble and tossing into a river or stream. Sometimes these methods can be a little more user friendly if you are struggling to get your head round actually projecting the mental energies of your thoughts toward your desired outcome
And of course - every witch will probably have a different take on this so the best advice is to experiment with different ways until you find a method that suits you the best.
QUESTION - I went on one of the witch chat sites that I found on the internet and I asked a question about something in my personal life and the thing is that it wasn’t a stupid question it was just that I didn’t know the answer and all the other witches jumped on me and started making fun of my ignorance. Is it always like this with other witches? Are they never willing to help?
ANSWER - I don't think it makes much difference as to what the subject matter at question is. The issue here is the expected etiquette of using a forum, not necessarily using a forum in regard to witchcraft.
So you've gone on a forum, asked a question and got flamed for your ignorance. I'm not going to deny this ever happens but in my experience it happens very rarely for no good reason. Have you perhaps asked a question that has been asked over and over again on the forum and you haven't bothered to do a bit of reading first? Have you ignored forum instructions that the admin has taken the time to post in a "sticky" at the top? Have you made any effort at all to get to know people on the forum before leaping in to use them as a free alternative to buying some beginner books on the craft? Have you in fact jumped in feet first with a long post about your life history before you've even posted a single getting to know you post...?
The behaviours expected in using internet forums are the same as in joining any community. People are willing to help and support one another but it isn't a one way street. You have to make the effort to get to know people and earn their trust. Witchcraft forums in particular (and especially in October, lol) are very accustomed to flash in the pan flavour of the moment people who join, post voraciously for a few days and then disappear into the night. If you want people to take the time to offer you constructive suggestions then give them a reason to think you are worth the time you want them to spend on you. Give before you take so to speak.
I'd also look at the type of forum you are joining. Forums on the internet are often intended for a specific type of person. If you've joined a forum for experienced witches they may well get a bit annoyed at newbie level questions. If you've joined a very established community to ask a question that has been asked every month since they started they may be a bit disgruntled that you haven't flicked through the archives before asking the same question yet again. It might be worth joining a couple of forums as a reader rather than a poster until you can be sure you are a good fit for the community and that it is a community intended for your own level of interest and experience.
Contrary to what a lot of people think internet forums are not always the best place to ask questions. There are teaching sites around but most forums are a place for social interaction and sharing ideas rather than doling out advice and information. There are exceptions and the more you explore the more likely you are to find forums that do welcome new people with questions. But I'll be honest, any forum that is happy to spoon feed you information probably doesn't have that much value. A good forum will encourage you to think and research for yourself and come with thoughts and suggestions rather than just allowing you to join with the sole intention of asking questions.
There are a wealth of places where you can ask questions - some great Facebook pages for example (just stick the word "witch" into FB search). Starting conversations and threads on forum topics will also inspire debate and discussion. But don't go wading in with a mile long post expecting other people to sort your life out. It isn't a reasonable expectation and I can tell you now that witch or no witch, nobody is going to do that for you.
QUESTION - Being a Witch, and learning the old ways has always appealed to me. What are some books I can learn from?
ANSWER - There are more books written on witchcraft than you could read in twenty lifetimes. These range from obscure classical texts to modern 101 type everything under one cover books. Very few books have nothing to offer and very few books will give you anything close to a comprehensive understanding as an isolated read.
Here are some good basic beginner books that will get you started. (Links to Amazon). I've chosen these because they are all very easy to get hold of and cover a broad range of different topics and ideas under one cover.
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft Raymond Buckland
Mastering Witchcraft Paul Huson
Hereditary Witchcraft Raven Grimassi
A Witch Alone Marian Green (More Wicca focused)
Witchcraft Theory and Practise Ly de Angelas (Very Wiccan though she thinks she isn't)
A lot of witchcraft and occult books are in the public domain and can be downloaded for free.
Try these sites for a wide range of free books.
Hermetics Witchcraft and Wicca Library
QUESTION - I am not really new to witchcraft, I used to study about 10 years ago but I am finding some similarities between quantum physics and the law of attraction. I am thinking very seriously about doing a binding spell on my 17yr daughter who recently tried to kill herself. I am afraid for her. I have been working with the material world for a year, and it doesn't seem to be working. I am thinking about doing a binding spell and then try to do some crystal healing.
ANSWER - When you say you have been working with the material world for a year - are you referring to the fact that you have taken tangible and practical steps to help her? I am going to presume that the steps you have taken so far include seeking medical and psychiatric help, talking to her and offering her both emotional and practical support. I'm assuming you have listened as well as talked and that you have done your best to understand her and the reasons why she believes her life has gone so wrong that she believes suicide to be a viable option. If you haven't done these things then you need to and you shouldn't even think about turning to a magical solution until you have. I get the impression from your question that you genuinely believe you have done all you can but to anybody else reading this answer and looking for help the answer must be to take those practical steps first.
I am glad you are taking your daughter's suicide attempt seriously. I hear far too many people spouting that those who try to commit suicide are just doing it as a cry for help. I consider this to be insulting to the people who must be in a very difficult place in their lives and also wholly inaccurate. I'd say trying to kill yourself is a pretty good indication that you want to kill yourself. When somebody does attempt suicide this should be taken seriously - the worst thing you can do to a person surviving a suicide attempt is to belittle it, doing so will only give them even less reason for wanting to live.
So, assuming that all the practical steps have already been taken and with the proviso that magic should be used not to replace conventional medical help but to complement it - do I think that binding will help in this situation? Yes, I do, I think binding could be used to bring about some very positive results here. Although binding is more commonly associated with defensive magic it can be used to equal effect in protection magic and protection is essentially what is needed here.
The key is to be clear about what you are binding. This is partly why I am suggesting that you open the channels of communication between the two of you first so you know what the problem is. I can see a binding spell here working in one of two ways. If your daughter is feeling suicidal because of influences in the outside world then the spell would take the form of binding her into a protective cocoon to shield and shelter her from the things that are driving her to suicide. This could be achieved quite easily with a poppet - and I'd suggest using a bandage for the binding to symbolise the healing connection. You could further place the bound poppet into a sealed glass jar to create a barrier between your daughter and the influences from which you are protecting her. Protective herbs can be added to the jar and you can re-energise the spell by keeping it in a salt circle for additional protection.
Your daughter's suicidal thoughts however may stem more from her own psyche than they do from external influence - this is just as plausible - suicidal thoughts can stem from internal depressive illnesses as easily as they can from external causes. I would caution from seeing these causes as being less debilitating. Our minds can often be our own greatest adversary. If you believe the cause to be related more to herself than her circumstances then you need to bind her from harming herself. I would work a spell where there is a strong emphasis on preventing her ability to act to harm herself. This could be making a wire poppet and tying her hands behind her back, making a clay poppet and removing the hands to store them safely separately from her body or even sewing little protective mittens to slip over the hands of the poppet. The style of spell you use doesn't really matter, what matters in this kind of working is the strength of the association between the person and the poppet.
You mention crystal healing - yes it does have some merits though I see the benefits of crystals here as being more of an icing on the cake for when the problems are solved. Crystals won't stop your daughter being suicidal but when she is back to a stable emotional equilibrium they may help her to retain a more peaceful state of mind. Think crystals more as a maintenance of wellbeing rather than a path to wellbeing in itself.
I honestly believe the key to effective spell work here is having that upfront frank discussion with your daughter and taking her concerns seriously. If you can identify why she feels this way then you can direct your energies more readily to the root of the problem. You may also find that the skills of the listener can sometimes be even more powerful than the skills of the witch...
QUESTION - A few years ago after stumbling upon some new-agey wiccan sites I read about animal communication. From what I remember, I had some success with this, however recently when trying to tap into this skill once more I had some trouble. Do you have any tips for this particular craft? I also have trouble "hearing" things respond to me, and wouldn't mind some tips on that.
ANSWER - Animal communication can be a term to mean communicating with living creatures - like pets and wild animals or it can be used to mean communicating with creatures who have passed over- the deceased. We'll have a look at both.
Communicating with deceased pets in my experience is driven more by the pet than the witch. Many encounters of pets making contact with the living after their death are experienced by those not practising magic and would not consider themselves to follow a craft path. Those who speak of encounters with their pets who have crossed over occur usually say they occur randomly with no effort or deliberate intention to invoke on the part of the owner. However for somebody who intended to establish a connection simple techniques could be employed to make you more receptive to the pet. Putting yourself into a simple meditative calm frame of mind would give you the best chance of becoming aware of any attempt the pet is making to contact you. It is interesting to note that unlike contacting the spirits of the human departed there seems to be only a short window in which animals contact the living. Usually the connection is made within a matter of weeks and then disappears. We could speculate this is something pertaining to the nature of the soul of an animal - I'm not sure - but the pattern of contact very soon after death and then ceasing within a few weeks seems pretty established.
In terms of communicating with living pets - this article - sums up the basics on how to do it nicely. However it doesn't address the communication from a craft position so I would add a couple of points. I'd suggest it might be worth establishing a magical bond between you and the animal in question. This could be achieved with very simple spell work - perhaps plaiting your hairs together and sealing the ends with wax - the focus being that your essences are woven together. It is also worth trying to get into the headspace of what it is to be that animal. Silly as it may sound if I was going to try and build a spiritual connection between me and an animal I would also spend some time using mime, dance and visualisation to get an understanding in my head as to how that animal moves, thinks and behaves. Emulating the movement and behaviour of the animal will help you to start viewing the world from its perspective which will make it easier to tune into the animal's thoughts.
You ask about how to ensure you hear things that respond to you, I think the key to this is simply making the effort to being receptive. It is taking time on a regular basis to "tune out" of the mundane world and sitting quietly to reflect on whatever messages are coming your way. I always think a witch should also be alert to the signs that come her way. Sometimes an overheard phrase at the bus stop or a billboard you drive by can spark the thought that brings with it enlightenment. View the world in terms of looking for the lessons it has to teach.
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