The Magical Artisan: Exploring the Art of Magic
A journey through the hands of a maker of magical items, discovering not only the secrets of Sacred art, but also the history and preservation of disappearing forms of Artisan work.
It's Not The Ritual
A few weeks ago, in a conversation on Facebook with several of my customers about negative Spirit activity, one of them asked me which process I used for cleansing and protecting my own home. Since I am a professional Spiritist (professional as in making my living out of it), I get this kind of question almost very day – and I think my answer always disappoints them.
I spiritually cleanse my house weekly, using seasonal but simple elements like Salt, Sage, Resin Incense and Blessed Water, always caring that they are of the best quality possible. I go from the front of the house to the back, and then from the back to the front, saying a simple prayer that banishes negativity and encourages peace, protection and abundance – not more than two or three lines, that I can learn by memory quickly. If I feel a particularly negative energy I will choose a prayer from any of the prayer books I use, but that is very rare.
Why do I say that I think they are disappointed by my answer? Because it's too simple for them to believe that it works, and they always think that I am hiding some kind of secret or magical formula from them that makes my work more effective.
I have said it many times in my articles and I will say it again – such things do not exist; and even if they existed, I wouldn't use them. The type of work I do does not work because of complex ritual procedures, or because of words in magical languages, or because my spells rhyme perfectly (actually they don't, at all) – what I do works because of excellence in the materials chosen, and most important, because I have walked the path for more than two decades.
People always expect the power to lie in the ritual, when it's exactly the opposite – the power is in the practitioner AND in the practise. The fact that my cleansing works is not the elements I use, or the specific words I say – the power lies in almost a quarter of a century of doing this, completely devoted to the work with Spirits. The power lies in the many trials I have been put through by those Spirits that guide me, and in the price I have paid to overcome those trials. The power lies in not giving up and finding a “normal” job, even when faced with hunger and homelessness. The power lies in facing rejection, ridicule and pain coming from friends and family members about what I do. The power lies in not giving up in my faith, when it would be so easy to do so and follow the mass. You can call those my medals, and as it happens with a member of the military, those medals represent my experience, the things I have been through, and my rank as a worker. The only difference is that only Spirits see my medals – but that is all I need to make my rituals work.
So, if you want your rituals to work, do not focus on complex rituals and secret formulas – focus on simple but quality materials, and just DO the work. One million times, do the work – each time you do it, you get a little better; and, above all, focus on using the strength of your faith as the support you need to improve yourself and your life slowly but without stop. The best advice I can give after almost a quarter of a century doing this is – if you want to become a Witch, if you want personal power to help yourself and others, do as much good as you can. Choose the right path, not the easiest, not the smoothest, not the straightest, but the right one. There lies all the Magic and all the Power you will ever need.
And, while you grow, let a professional do the work that you can't handle yourself – because that's why they are there. I cannot tell you how many times I have to “fix” the effects of poorly made spells – actually, I do it so often that my husband calls it cleaning the blood. I believe this is the worst consequence of a culture of books and fake spiritual teachers that trick beginners into thinking that they sell those secret formulas I spoke about at the beginning of this article, so they can take more profit from people who have had no access to any kind of true spiritual upbringing.
Using a very simple example – if you have a headache for one day, you take an aspirin; if you have a headache for a week, you go to the doctor. The same applies to your Spiritual life – if you have a negative feeling for a day, try to solve it yourself; if it doesn't go away, look for someone to perform spiritual work for you, as soon as you can.
Although I consider myself a Pagan, and I always will, where I live (Canary Islands, northwest coast of Africa) there are no Pagans. I come from a background of Santiguado (Canarian Curanderismo, mostly Catholic) and Afro-Latin traditions, and on both it is completely normal to go to a Spiritual Healer regularly. Since these traditions are embedded in our culture since childhood, everyone knows a bit of everyday magic, but as soon as that magic is not enough, they visit the Healer immediately. For example, my father knows how to make the traditional Santiguado ritual to remove sunstroke, a very common ailment on subtropical desert areas like the Canary Islands, but when I got seriously ill with erysipelas at 11 years old, and of course after taking me to the doctor, he contacted the local Healer, who practised her rite on me – three days after, I was completely healed.
I have to say that, when I started working for the international market*, and started meeting Pagans of European and North American traditions, I was very surprised at the omnipresence of the “everyone can do it” concept. Six years later, I can say I have cleaned a lot of blood caused by such wrong concept. Please don't get me wrong – absolutely everyone without exception can have a Spiritual Life, and a Spiritual Path, and I encourage my customers all the time to work on it every single day, and even create and sell tools to make their work easier and better – but those of us who are completely devoted to the Spirit Work are here to handle what you can't handle, and that you should not be handling until you have earned a good amount of medals.
* I would like to add a small edit to this article – when I first published it on my newsletter a few days ago, a reader (mis)understood that I was speaking about individual Pagans, and told me how her lack of cultural/family traditions led her to make up her own as she learnt. I want to make very clear that here, I am criticizing publishing houses and businesses, NOT individual Pagans. I'm criticizing those who offer fake answers, taking advantage of the exact problem my reader was telling me, the lack of inherited cultural traditions of many, many Pagans. So, if you are one of those Pagans, please understand that I am not talking about you – I am talking about those who want to steal from you, use you and abuse you for their own profit. Despite the fact that I do have an inherited magical background, I have never had a teacher and I have had to craft my way myself – and I would NEVER, ever criticize anyone for that.
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As with every post I publish, all the pictures are from my own work.
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