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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in pop culture magic

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Using Quotes in Spellwork

I tend to use a fair number of pop culture quotes in my spellwork.  “Make him an offer he can’t refuse,” “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it,” “I swear by my pretty floral bonnet I will end you.”  Why? Because the people whose profession it is to come up with powerful words that stick in your head forever are better at doing so than I am.  Well crafted quotes can trigger deep emotions and connect to deep energies in ways no words I could come up with would ever do.  The story context, emotional cues, and place in popular thought can make the right quote become the best set of “magick words” imaginable.

A spell is, more or less, any deliberate action designed to focus your intent and project it out into the world in order to manifest that intent.  The actions you take in the process of casting your spell are designed to: 1)  focus and energize your intent, 2) direct the intent to your target, and 3) send the intent and energy to the target to manifest.  Arm the missile, target the missile, send the missile.  There are almost limitless forms that spellwork can take and almost all of them use either written or spoken words.

Although words are not a requirement, most spells do involve words in some form or another.  The majority of the world uses words as their primary form of communication; our brains expect words to narrate and explain what we do.  This makes words the natural choice for defining our intent in magickal workings.  In spellwork this is most often done via incantation - the words spoken during a spell; quite literally your “magick words.”  We use words to define and focus our intent, to describe where we want our energies to go, and often as a trigger for sending that energy out into the world.  Quotes can be used in any of these steps if they're appropriate.  For some practitioners, particularly the writers and speakers among us, the incantation can be seen as the magick itself.  Incantations often use archaic language, rhyming, and specific mental imagery to best connect to our core being.  The right quote can do all of those things automatically.  The more points of connection in our minds between the words and actions in the spell and what we want that spell to actually do, the greater the volume of energy we transmit to our working and more easily to boot.  

Using an appropriate pop culture quote can increase the success rate of spellwork without any extra energy from the caster.  A movie quote, song lyric, book passage, etc., can have a lot of power beyond the mere words spoken.  Of course, in terms of using quotes in spellwork, the words are the primary basis of power.  It’s critical that the words of your quote mesh completely with your intent.  It’s better to modify the quote slightly than to use it verbatim and risk it pushing your intent off track.  For example if I wanted to use the quote “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope,” while petitioning a specific deity I might exchange “Obi Wan Kenobi” for the name of the deity in question.  Further, I wouldn’t want to use a quote spoken in a negative context, no matter how beloved or appropriate the mere words seem, in a success spell (i.e. just about any line from season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer).  Be certain the words of your quote totally and completely mean what you intend. 

Beyond the words of the quote is their context and the emotional weight they carry with you.  Movie, television, and video game quotes are particularly potent when it comes to the weight they carry within individuals and in popular consciousness.  When supported by music, imagery, or movement words become even more powerful as we engage with them more fully.  A pivotal line spoken against the backdrop of striking imagery and powerful music becomes iconic and striking (think “‘Till the end of the line”, “As you wish”, or “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you”).  Then one must examine the personal context for the quote.  Did you see the movie once and kinda like it; does the song lyric get stuck in your head; have you recited these lines more times than you can count since childhood; are they so important to you that you’ve literally tattooed them on your body?  While it might not work as well for someone else, as someone with a deep love of the Iron Man movies in general and Phil Coulson in particular I might use the following quote in a binding spell: "If you try to escape, or play any sort of games with me, I will taze you and watch ‘Supernanny’ while you drool into the carpet."  The emotional power of the movie you watched over and over during the best summer of childhood or the album that was the soundtrack for your first love taps deep into our souls and personal power, making their words that much more potent. 

To the immense well of a quote’s personal meaning, you can also add popular weight.  The beauty of pop culture magick is that you can add the power of everyone else who knows and loves your bit of pop culture to its intrinsic power.  How well known are the words of you quote?  Is your quote a bit obscure, but perfect?  Is it from something mildly popular or are the words so ubiquitous that everyone and their grandmothers know them (think “may the force be with you” or “live long and prosper”)?  The qualities of appropriateness, personal weight, and popular weight of a quote can give your incantation a lot more bang for your buck than you might think.

Keep in mind that there can be too much of a good thing.  Using one or two mindful quotes will serve as powerful exclamation points in your spell.  Using too many quotes may have the effects of either diluting their power or muddling your intent as you get wrapped up in your own cleverness.  Better to use just a few quotes as attention grabbing flourishes.  Is it possible to do a potent and effective spell with a ton of quotes?  Of course it is, but it would have to be extremely carefully crafted and probably wouldn’t end up being any more effective than a spell consisting mainly of original language with one carefully curated quote.  Then again, a spell or ritual made up of tons and tons of quotes and references could be a fun experiment if you’re willing to do the work to get it right.  My personal preference is for just one or two quotes because I want my spells to feel like they’re mine: my words, my emotions, my energies.  Using too many words written by others makes me feel like my energy gets diluted.  Be mindful of quote density and be sure that your intent is being expressed as fully and powerfully as it needs to be.

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Say your right words and you can enhance the power of your spellwork with the weight of popular stories, their emotional cues, and their place in the popular mind.  The right quote has built-in connections to immense reserves of power both through individual significance and their place in the greater currents.  Used mindfully, pop culture quotes can give your spells an instant and effortless boost in potency and joyfully take your magick to the next level.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    That line "I swear by my pretty floral bonnet I will end you" sounds wonderful. What movie is that from? I think it would be eve
  • Emily Carlin
    Emily Carlin says #
    That is from the TV show Firefly, the episode was "Our Mrs. Reynolds."

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A New Hope: Star Wars Magick

Like most anyone under the age of 50, I grew up with Star Wars As an integral part of my childhood.  Through movies, video games, pen and paper RPGs, cartoons, books, toys, and more, tales of Jedi, rebels, rogues, and the empire have permeated almost every level pop culture.  One of the most powerful and enduring themes in all Star Wars stories is the promise of hope in the darkest of places.  As the new year dawns that message of hope is needed more than ever.  In this post I will explore some of the many ways we can use Star Wars to bring hope and light to dark times.

***Note - This post will be discussing the use of Star Wars in generic pop culture magick.  While I am aware of the Jedi religion, I don’t really know any of the details.  If you’re looking for information on the Jedi religion or Jedism in Paganism you’ll need to look elsewhere.***

The music of the Star Wars universe is some of the most evocative and easily recognizable in the public consciousness.  I think I first heard the opening fanfare of John William’s Star Wars Theme when I was about four years old and from that first time I have always known that hearing that music meant I was about to embark on a journey of hope, heroism, and adventure.  Magickally, the song has a powerful energizing effect.  It can be used as a catalyst for taking action, inspiration, or charging objects with energy for hope and rebellion against tyranny.  On par with the opening theme, for its place is the public mind, is the Imperial March.  If you want to charge a spell or object with the power of intimidation or an ability to exert control then this is the piece of music for you.  It can also be used to powerfully identify “the enemy.”  There’s so much music to choose from across the (currently) eight films and numerous cartoons and video games, there’s a perfect piece of Star Wars music to enhance or empower just about any magickal act.

Star Wars has also provided us with many classic lines and catchphrases that can be used as incantations or mantras.  Some of the classic lines that can be used in magick for hope and making a difference include: “Do or do not, there is no try”, “May the force be with you”, “Never tell me the odds”, and “I am one with the force and the force is with me.”  These are all phrases that are deep in the currents of pop culture and draw on tremendous power.  “May the force be with you” is as powerful as any traditional blessing and resonates across cultural lines without engaging the triggers of potentially antagonistic religions.  Using any of these lines in magick immediately taps into the emotion and resonance of the scenes in which they were uttered, giving them the potential to tap into far more power than something more traditional. 

The characters of the Star Wars franchise include some of the most easily recognizable and iconic in existence; I challenge you to find anyone who does not immediately recognize Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, or Han Solo - to name a very few.  If you need to work with a character to help you with believing in yourself, taking action in the face of overwhelming odds, doing the right thing in spite of immediate self interest, or to feel connected with others in similar situations then there is a Star Wars character just waiting to help you.  For example, you could invoke Yoda to gain the wisdom to determine the correct actions to take in a given situations or call on Princess Leia to help you bring people together in a common cause.  In the Star Wars universe everyone from smugglers, farm boys, and urchins to engineers, soldiers, and politicians have something they can do to help make their worlds better.  They show us that there is always something we can do, no matter our circumstances, and they give us courage to do it. 

*** Here be Rogue One spoilers ***

Sometimes one must be willing to put oneself in danger and make sacrifices to stand up for what one believes in.  Something as simple as standing up against cyberbullying can put one in danger of being doxxed, harassed, or assaulted.  In dangerous political climates doing the right thing can get you arrested or worse.  In Rogue One we see a small group of courageous people make the ultimate sacrifice in a stand against tyranny in order to give hope to the rebellion.  Each individual makes small but irreplaceable actions that, in the end, make ultimate victory possible.  Call upon these heroes when you need the courage and strength to put yourself at risk for what you believe in or to shine light on how the smallest act can make all the difference.

*** End Rogue One spoilers ***

As the first movie franchise to truly embrace merchandising, Star Wars presents the pop culture practitioner with a near endless array of options for tools, talismans, and enchanting.  You can get action figure or bobble heads of pretty much every character in the Star Wars universe, making creating a spirit house for a character you want to work with absolutely effortless.  You can get everything from t-shirts to underwear with symbols of the rebel alliance as camouflaged talismans.  You can even get fine watches and jewelry of lightsabers, droids, or emblems to enchant and wear in even the most formal of situations.  Further, the amount of fan made art and crafts available are staggering.  (As of 12/26/2016 an etsy search of “Star Wars” yields almost 100,000 items including everything from sculptures to knitting patterns.)  Any object you could possibly want to enhance your magick is available to you. 

In its many forms, the Star Wars universe gives us all the opportunity to embrace our own inner hero and stand up in the face of evil.  It brings us a message of hope and resistance that we all need to endure and overcome dark times.  Further, it gives us such a diverse number of heroes, great and small, that each one of us can find someone who seems just like us doing something incredible.  Remember, rebellions are built on hope.  May the force be with you.

---

Shortly after beginning to write this post I heard that Carrie Fisher had been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack.  As of publishing she is in stable condition, but still in intensive care.  May the gods watch over her. Update 12/27/2016 - RIP Carrie Fisher.  I have no words.

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Trusting Intuition

Learning how to follow your intuition is one of magick’s most fundamental skills.  For many practitioners messages from spirits, allies, and deities are often delivered through gut feelings and intuitions.  In a perfect world it would be easy to discern whether an intuition is a genuine message from the powers that be, a reasoned deduction, or a flight of fancy; making it easy to decide whether to follow it.  Of course things are rarely so simple.  Even if you can tell that an intuition is a message from your guides it doesn’t guarantee that you can fully grasp their meaning.  It can often be excruciatingly difficult to figure out whether an intuition is worth following.  This last week my powers of discernment were put to the test.  A friend and I made our annual pilgrimage to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival down in Ashland.  Grab a cup of tea, sit down, and let me tell you a story about travel, allies, intuition, and magick. 

For me, our trip began when I left the house for work at 5am Tuesday morning.  As I packed my last minute gear I took a moment to stop at my altar and ask if any of my usual allies wanted to be specially present on the trip or if there were any last messages I needed to hear.  I did not expect the resounding “You need to be careful and take me with you!” from my favorite pop culture protector - the Winter Soldier.  While I had intended to bring him along, I had imagined him riding in the back of the car and napping rather than riding on top of the car braced for action at any given moment.  It’s always a little unsettling when my protectors tell me I’m not being cautious enough because I’m a *wee* bit insane when it comes to protections.  I decided I would spend the day on full alert.

About an hour before I was set to meet up with my travel companion she sent me a text saying that our plan to hit Crater Lake on our way south might need to change.  Overnight the forecast for that area changed from 50 degrees and damp (totally acceptable to a Seattlite) to freezing and snowing (significantly less acceptable).  I figured that this was the subject of the warning I’d gotten that morning, but when I checked in with my allies I got a resounding, “Oh no, there’s more.”  At that point I couldn’t decide if I was more trepidatious or curious to find out what had me allies so on edge.

That afternoon we headed to Portland to spend the evening with a good friend who lives there.  We asked our Oregonian friend what she recommended travel wise so that we could get to our hotel in Klamath Falls Wednesday night without getting stuck in scary weather.  We decided to head all the way down to Ashland and then head East to avoid any elevations high enough for snow.   Once again I figured this change to ensure a safer drive would address the problem.  Nope.  That night before I fell asleep the Winter Soldier visited my in full “asset” mode to warn me that I needed to be even more cautious.  I went from curious to concerned.  The next morning I did a quick divination to get more information about what was going on and all I got was that I need to be extremely careful on the road.  There were no huge warning bells; no Tower, Devil, or Death cards; just an emphasized “be careful.”

We set off from Portland early Wednesday morning and headed south with protections on full and
my allies on full alert.  We drove south for hours through some incredible rain, wind, and squalls.  While they were challenging driving conditions, nothing felt unsafe.  Eventually we got all the way to Ashland and got off I5 to head East.  My gut tugged at me to just stay in Ashland, but there was no logical reason to do so - only my intuition - and my allies hadn’t told me to stop driving, just that I need to exercise extreme caution.  We headed East and turned onto Dead Indian Monument Road.  About 10 minutes onto the road I turned right around.  I had the overwhelming feeling that I did not belong on that road.  We the tried to head East on Hwy 66.  No luck.  About 10 minutes onto that road I had a genuine panic attack.  I don’t get panic attacks. 

At this point I figured, between my heart beating out of my chest and my allies screaming in my ear, that I was just not meant to go to Klamath Falls that day and headed back to Ashland.  As I turned around, I kid you not, the clouds parted and huge shafts of sunlight fell on Ashland, like some holy destination in a Renaissance painting.  My heart rate and breathing calmed down and I felt my allies sigh in relief.  It may not have been my most rational moment, but I cannot describe how right the decision to turn around felt.  That our AirBnB was available a day early (the only unbooked night they had all month) just reinforced the feeling. 

That evening I did a series of divinations and chats with allies to try and figure out what was going on.  The divinations were fairly vague and most alluded to incompatibles energies and the likelihood of misfortune had we continued with our original plans.  That night I had a dream of coming around one of those steep curves at speed to find a disabled vehicle in the middle of the road and smashing right into it.  I firmly believe that if I’d continued to Klamath Falls we would have wrecked.  Do I know that in any way I could concretely demonstrate to someone else? Nope. 

The thing about intuition and premonitions is that they are never clear.  Sadly for my logical Virgo brain, when the powers that be want to give you a message the don’t do it with clear obvious signs.  I didn't see visions of car accidents or get clear “do not go there” messages.  I got a nervous protector and a feeling of unease.  Such vague intuitions make it very difficult to know when you’re getting an important message or if you’re just projections your own stresses outward.  I know that my spiritual allies, particularly my protectors, are very in tune with my energies and it’s not impossible for them to be on edge just because I am.  In the end I needed multiple messages in multiple formats before I was willing to throw out the “you’re being irrational” judgment and just trust my allies and intuition.  Perhaps if I had taken more time on Tuesday morning to clarify the message I was getting I could have saved myself a panic attack and a quarter tank of gas.  In the end I did what I needed to do to feel safe and I’m glad that I trusted the feelings I was given, even though it felt a bit foolish at the time.  Trusting our allies and ourselves isn’t always logical, but magick hardly ever is. 


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Pop Culture Protectors

It’s a big scary world out there that isn’t always kind.  Sometimes you’re strong and fortified and ready to face whatever life can dish out, and sometimes you’re not.  Sometimes you feel damaged and vulnerable, too vulnerable to deal with the world at large alone.  Thankfully, as a magickal practitioner you never have to.  When I’m feeling a little too raw to deal with the slings and arrows of the world at large I turn to my pop culture protectors for aid. 

There are as many forms of pop culture protection magick as there are practitioners times the amount of pop culture available to them - so rather a lot, to put it mildly.  As my pop culture magick tends to be character driven, my favorite thing to do when I need some extra protection is select a character that I have a good working relationship with and ask them to accompany through my day.  You can think of a pop culture protector as a metaphysical bodyguard.  Their job is to watch over you, protect you from incoming threats, and help you deal with negative energies that you encounter. 

There are several traits that make characters more or less suitable for work as protectors.  First and foremost is your relationship with that character.  A character you have a strong and healthy relationship with will always be better for protective work than one you don’t know well, even if your character isn’t, at first glance, intrinsically protective.  Obvious protectors are warrior characters - think superheroes, soldiers, most video game protagonists, and the like - for whom defense is integral to the character.  Sorcerers, witches, and other magickal fighters are also fairly obvious protectors - think Merlin, Gandalf, Glenda, etc - as they have the power to go up against almost any foe.  However, a character doesn’t need to wield fireballs, swords, or guns to be an effective protector.  Just like regular people, pop culture characters will perform astonishing feats of strength to protect those they care for.  Further, the support of a friend is often more effective against negativity than any barrier.  I’d rather have Molly Weasley as a protector than Conan the Barbarian (even though Conan could toss most threats out a window) because Molly and I have a relationship whereas Conan and I do not (the fact that Molly is a total badass is just a plus).

The second trait to look at is a character’s resilience and adaptability.  Unless your chosen character is a fighter who’s used to navigating the mundane world (think Jessica Jones or James Bond), your character will need to adapt to the role of protector and withstand anything you come up against.  Some characters, while brilliant in their own environment, either aren’t terribly suited for navigating the mundane or just aren’t strong enough to deal with the energies most people deal with day to day.  While a delicate flower fairy can be a lovely and supportive companion, they aren’t exactly going to take down a hellhound.  A protector needs to inspire confidence and a feeling of safety, whatever that looks like for you.

Another important factor is the situation you find yourself in.  If you know ahead of time what type of antagonists you’re likely to deal with you can choose your protectors accordingly.  If you need help dealing with a work or school environment you can choose a character that does particularly well there, Hermione or Tony Stark for example.  If you know you’ll need to deal with family difficulties you can choose the character best suited for that, perhaps Aunt May or Wilfred Mott (Donna’s grandfather from Doctor Who).  Of course, me being me, I tend to opt for “my monster is scarier than your monster” type protection regardless of the situation - I scoff at the term “overkill.”

Once you’ve chosen a character that you’d like as a protector you have to ask them how they feel about it.  More than any other type of working, a protector must choose you as much as you choose them; a reluctant or coerced protector is ineffective at best and obstructive at worst.  Yet another reason I recommend choosing a character you have an established relationship with as a protector.  Set out the reasons you’d like the character to be your protector and for how long.  You can do this by having a conversation with the character, through a divination tool, through ritual, etc. - whatever method you find most effective.  Depending on the character, you may be asked to give a specific offering or perform an act of gratitude in exchange for their help.  If the character agrees freely, then you’re good to go.  Don’t force things if they’re unwilling.  Really.

After the agreed time frame of protection has finished (or periodically if it’s ongoing) it is important to properly thank your protector.  If you work with the character regularly it may be as simple as just saying “thanks.”  Just as mundane friends don’t often require elaborate thanks due to the constant exchange of gratitude and affection, neither do many pop culture entity friends.  The less well you know the entity the more thanks are required, as they’ve come and done you a favor either in exchange for a promise of some sort or on faith that you’d be gracious about it.  Once thanks are given and any promises made are fulfilled you may dismiss the entity however you usually do so. 

While I have several characters that I work with as protectors, most commonly it’s the Winter Soldier.  We have a long and regular working history; I probably do something with him weekly at the least.  I have him accompany me as a protector whenever I’m feeling particularly threatened or vulnerable - particularly when I’m riding transit alone or crossing dark parking lots.  He’s functions a lot like a combination of bodyguard and security blanket and it’s such a relief to have him around.  I highly recommend cultivating a good relationship with at least one solid protector. 
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Pop Culture Spell for Happiness

Into every life a little rain must fall.  Unfortunately, sometimes that little bit of rain becomes a deluge or tsunami.  Some of us aren’t exactly chipper little rays of sunshine to begin with, so life’s little stumbles can make things more challenging than they really need to be.  I’ve battled functional depression for as long as I can remember and there are few things that I take more refuge and comfort in than my pop culture fandoms.  For people like me fandom is a lot more than a fun way to spend your time; it’s an escape from the pressures of the mundane and a protected retreat.  It’s the ultimate safe space where you are free to let all your weirdness hang out and just enjoy yourself.  The power of pop culture magick is to allow us to literally bottle a bit of that joy and take it with us.

For this spell you will need to choose a favorite fandom or two.  There are an amazing number of pop culture fandoms out there, so choosing just one or two to work with can be a bit daunting.  Think about what is resonating with you right now.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a favorite fandom for the past decade - what book, movie, music, tv show, series, comic, manga, etc., really resonates with you right now.  What bit of pop culture brings you joy today

Think of a character, scenario, episode, song, etc., from your chosen fandom that really makes you happy.  For example, I’m doing my version of this spell using Firefly, particularly the character of Kaylee.  In a cast of misfits and anti-heroes Kaylee stands out as being not only a kick-ass mechanic, but as being genuinely sweet and happy more often than not.  I greatly admire her ability to look on the bright side of things and enjoy what she has while she has it - something I’m not great at. 

Ingredients:

  • One candle (in your favorite color) - pure beeswax is best, as the honey in the wax adds a bit of sweetening to the spell.  If you choose a large candle you should repeat the incantation each time you burn it.  If you cannot burn a candle for whatever reason, choose a tealight or small chime candle that you can carry with you.
  • One wearable/carryable object representing your bit of pop culture - if you have something overt like a fandom t-shirt great, if not something as simple as a sigil drawn on a piece of paper will do.
  • One small bottle of drinkable liquid - This can be tap water or anything else, just be sure the bottle seals well enough for you to carry it in a pocket without worrying about leakage.

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Ground, center, and set your sacred space however you usually do.  (If you don’t usually do those things that’s ok too!)

Set your candle on your altar or whatever prepared space you have.  Set your wearable object (a leather bracelet for me) and your bottle of liquid next to the candle.  If your bit of pop culture has a video or audio form, play it in the background.  Meditate for a few minutes on your bit of fandom and what about it brings you joy. 

Light your candle (or not) and speak an incantation like the following, with the specifics changed for your fandom and your personal needs:

Light of flame bring me joy, allow me the happiness and good nature of Kaylee.
I will overcome my obstacles with a smile, as she does.
I will enjoy the good that flows into my life, as she does.
I will find solace and comfort in hard times and emerge the stronger for it.
I will shed bitterness and resentment, as she does.
I release negativity and depression.
I find joy in everyday life and dance with joy.

Let the essence of happiness flow into my bracelet and my tonic. 
In times of sorrow, stress, anxiety, or fear I will wear my bracelet, sip my tonic, and find happiness. 
I embrace joy.
So must it be.

Let the candle burn down, then close your sacred space as you usually do.  Carry/wear your charged object and sip your charged liquid when you need a boost.  Feel free to repeat the spell as often as necessary. 

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  • Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker
    Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker says #
    Terrific spell! My mind is considering options.

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Ghostbusters Magick

A few weeks ago I, and a lot of other people, saw the new Ghostbusters movie.  As a child of the 80s I was a wee bit skeptical at first but ended up loving it.  To quote one of my dearest friends, “I didn’t know women wielding proton packs was what was missing from my life.”  Of course me being me, my first thought coming out of the movie was that I just have to work with these characters in my magick - they’re just too awesome not to.  Let’s take a look at the four main characters and explore some of the many ways they can be worked with in pop culture magick.

***spoiler alert - this post will contain spoilers for the new Ghostbusters movie***

Erin Gilbert

Erin is a mainstream academic with a thirst to prove herself, to gain acceptance, and have her work and value acknowledged by those around her.  As a professor, Erin would be an excellent ally to call on for matters of scholarship (study, exams, learning, etc.) as well as navigating bureaucracy (there are few establishments as political and overwrought as higher education) .  Her struggle for recognition also makes her an excellent ally in workings designed to help one gain legitimacy, to be valued for your work, and to overcome obstacles.  I would argue that Erin would also be extremely helpful in workings of self-acceptance and self-esteem.  Throughout the movie Erin struggles with the conflict between being what’s expected of her and what she truly is.  She progresses from hiding her thoughts and values in order to be accepted by the establishment to expressing her true beliefs and taking the risk of really standing up for herself.  Though she can be a little timid at times, Erin is an excellent ally for anyone who has to work in mainstream culture.

Abby Yates

Abby is a significantly less mainstream academic who is willing to take risks and buck authority in order to achieve her goals.  She is bold, passionate, and unapologetic in her approach to life while also being a fiercely loyal friend.  Abby is a fantastic ally for any work that involves going around authority or otherwise subverting the establishment.  She can also be called upon for help standing up for oneself and holding onto the courage of your convictions in the face of adversity.  An unapologetic approach and unhesitant embracing of her own weirdness also make her a good ally in workings of self-esteem and empowerment.  The strong commitment she shows both in pursuit of following her dreams and in support of her friends makes her an asset for workings of endurance, loyalty, and determination.  Abby isn’t afraid to take risks, which can cause problems when caution is needed.  Call on her wisely.

Patty Tolan

Patty is a municipal historian, blue collar worker, and possibly the human embodiment of common sense.  Where many of the other ghostbusters live in a world of theory and academics, Patty’s feet are firmly grounded in the practicalities of everyday life.  Patty is an ideal ally in matters of practical problem solving, creative resource acquisition, and working with people.  Her practicality and resourcefulness also make her an excellent ally in matters of project planning, divining hidden difficulties, and general preparedness.  Her grounding and connections to place also make her helpful as an intermediary in workings to bond with the spirit of place for a given locale.  Her courage and willingness to try new things are well tempered by common sense, making her a very wise helper in determining whether to take a given risk.  Patty may not be as flash as some of the others, but she is the rock that can help you with everyday life.

Jillian Holtzmann

Jillian is the mad scientist of this bunch.  She’s a brilliant combination of Marie Curie, Tony Stark, and Victor Frankenstein; a fearless scientist,  a brilliant engineer, and a mad genius with little respect for safety or the laws of nature.  Jillian is an excellent ally in workings for inspiration, creation, anything involving the manipulation of science or technology, as well as workings to bend the laws of physics.  Where Abby is unafraid to go around authority or bend the rules, Jillian acts as if authority and rules are utterly meaningless and simply does as her brilliant mind tells her.  Call on her when there are no f**ks to be given.  Keep in mind that, while totally awesome, this blindness to caution or safety does make her a bit dangerous and more than bit reckless.

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Spell Against Indifference

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller 1946

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for a while now you’ve probably noticed that the world doesn’t seem so friendly these days.  Honestly, it kinda seems like the nice, comfortable world I’ve always known has caught fire.  Between shootings, bombings, hate, fear, greed fueled politicians, and absurd (to me) infighting in my local communities I’m pretty much overwhelmed with just how insane things have gotten.  At this point I’m virtually paralyzed by just how far down the path to hell our collective handbasket has gotten. 

Right now I’m angry about a lot of things, but the thing that bothers me the most is the complacency and indifference of many of those around me.  If I’m really honest I’m also utterly ashamed of my own complacency.  While magick is no substitute for actually standing up and taking action, it can help by making it a little easier and perhaps a little safer to do so.  Pop culture magick is for a lot more than just fun and games. I decided to take my cue from The Boondock Saints, one of my favorite movies, and create the following spell for ending indifference. 

Boondock Saints Spell Against Indifference

This spell can be done anywhere, at any time. In a pinch just recite the incantation without any of the other trappings.

If the purpose of the spell is to motivate yourself, change all of the “you”s in the incantation to “me”s.  If you want to target a particular person, change the “you”s to that person’s name (take care because there’s some ethical ambiguity as this could be considered coercive - be sure you’re willing to accept the consequences of your actions).

If you can, first take a minute or two to reflect on the state of the world and allow yourself to get angry.  If you don’t have a minute to spare, then chances are you’re already good and mad.  Allow your anger and outrage to fuel this spell.  If you need some help getting angry I suggest spending about 30 seconds on any mainstream news site, listening to some Rage Against the Machine, and/or watching the following clip from The Boondock Saints: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to5eOs8VRuY

If you can have some properly anti-establishment music or The Boondock Saints running in the background do so. 

If you can, burn a red candle and dragon’s blood incense.

Recite the following incantation:

Open your eyes to the state of your world.  See the hate, the fear, the injustice.  See the open violations of self perpetrated on those around you.  See the insidious, doubtful, aggressions that are written off again and again. See and know the truth.

It is time to stand up.  No more shall this rampant fear and hate be allowed to rule our lives.  Have courage.  Take heart.  Allow the fire of outrage to fuel right action.

Let the burning heart of truth incinerate those that would impede right action.  Let the power of justice protect those that stand up for those that cannot.  The strong arm of righteousness will strengthen and protect you.

We must all fear evil men.  But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men. 

By my will that indifference is cracked, broken, and ground to dust.  What has been seen can never be unseen.  What has been seen must be acted upon.  Destroy that which is evil so that which is good may flourish.  As I do will, so must it be.

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