A Spirit Walker’s Guide to Shamanic Tools: How to Make and Use Drums, Masks, Rattles, and Other Sacred Implements, by Evelyn C. Rysdyk
Weiser Books, 9781578635573, 258 pp. (incl. glossary, resource list, and bibliography), 2014
Forming your own relationship with your helping spirits, teachers and power animals is essential in shamanic work. Shamanism is a highly individualistic practice in which your skill and effectiveness largely depends on your ability to communicate and work well with them. Anything you can do to make your connection stronger is welcome — especially by the spirits, and author Evelyn C. Rysdyk believes there’s no better way than by crafting your own “power tools.”
Rysdyk assumes you are already an experienced shamanic journeyer and you know your spirit community. Continue reading
It’s not necessarily the tradition that makes the magician.
Feel like your magick runs in cycles? Here are some suggestions for how best manage your time.
Do you have to make your own ritual tools? (Bonus: Read our review of Aaron Leitch’s latest book, The Essential Enochian Grimoire.)
The ins and outs of word magick.
On community and mentoring Pagan youth. Continue reading
What comes to mind when you hear the word necromancy? Do you think of ghoulishly gruesome grave robbing under the light of the full moon? Do you picture only sinister sorts enslaving the deceased and making them do their bidding? Well if so, then you only know of the sordid past of the ancient practice known as necromancy. But what of this arcane art in these modern times? Do people still revere and utilize the death current in occult operations? They most certainly do. While necromancy does indeed have roots in many ancient cultures, this sector of the occult sciences is far from dead. Continue reading
I have had some interesting conversations with some insightful magicians, discussing the phenomenon of the dark night of the soul, and the feelings of desolation, despair and deep depression which can occur to anyone who is following the initiatory path of magick. There seems to be consensus that all magicians at some point retire from the world (and, in a sense, renounce it) to undergo the mystical rigors of the dark night of the soul while seeking union with the One.
Strangely, I seem to be one of the few who takes issue with this. I think that it has more to do with a mystical approach to the godhead than a magical approach, and there are also the issues of chronic or situational depression, isolation and despair that have really nothing to do with spiritual ascension. In clinical depression, removing oneself from the world is a common symptom, and strong feelings are often replaced with a feeling of numbness, stasis or apathy.
The real question then, is whether or not mystics and magicians experience the iconic dark night of the soul in the same way. Continue reading
This question also came in via our newsletter, where we ask, what’s the one thing you’re struggling with in your practice?
If I have to list one thing that I was struggling with, I would probably have to list discipline (or focus). Life is hectic and there is tremendous amount of info coming down the pike to sort through every day.
This is something I can definitely relate to — I’m sure most of us can! Life gets busy, whether with school, work, kids, personal projects or all of the above — it can be difficult to carve out time to practice.
But it’s simple really, all you have to do is, you know, do it.
Easy peasy, right? You get excited, pumped, start getting really into it. You do all the things. You’re great! Centred, perfect, at the top of the world!
Until…you slip. And feel crappy because you feel like you can’t cut it, and beat yourself up over it. Which leads to avoidance. Which leads to more failure.
Aleister Crowley said that 90% of Thelema is self-discipline, and that applies to magical practice too. Here are a few things to think about to help you maintain momentum: