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Category Archives: Paranormal

Spell 1a

The air was strangely warm all day and into the night. Odd for such a cold October, even more so on Hallows’ Eve. I have many memories as a child retreating into the warmth of a running vehicle after braving the dark streets which seemed to teem with a chilly energy. A few days ago it felt like early winter, and now it feels like early spring.

As is my custom, I conduct the ancient rite of starting something new while ignoring the project I’m supposed to be working on. I didn’t expect to cast a spell tonight. I only realized today that I finally had everything I needed, more or less. Some substitutions had to be made for lack of proper tools.

The idea was to use new one-dollar bills for this money spell, but those are harder to find than I thought. Completely by coincidence, however, I came into possession of five pennies minted in this year. A certain bestselling author might raise an eyebrow in disfavor, but I’d like to think that he would be proud of me for giving some value to this useless and outmoded currency.

I wanted to use new ones that hadn’t been handled very much, so as to cut down on ambient residual energy. You may prefer a different approach in using much older currency that has built up a history, and therefore an energy, of its own. There are benefits and drawbacks to either approach that really comes down to your own style and aptitude. As a beginner, I thought it best to not muddy the proverbial waters.

As far as casting spells goes, few dates are as auspicious. Perhaps it was providence, or fate, but I felt compelled. This was a long time coming. I’ve been planning for it almost as long as I’ve been learning tarot. Preparation took longer than I thought, pushing the actual casting well past midnight; the tablecloth had to be washed, incense had to be burned, candles had to be cut down. Finally, though, everything was ready.

Spell 1bThe Tools

As a money spell, the most obvious component is, well, money. Specifically, in this case, pennies minted in 2013. I also used five tumbled gemstones and a rough crystal point as a makeshift athame. I purified all of them in salt water, within my “chalice,” for around thirty minutes.

Spell 1cThe Setup

In the very center I laid a pentagram using the copper coins. Lacking a proper altar cloth, my imagination had to suffice. Atop each coin I placed a gem; champaign-aura quartz for Fire, aqua-aura quartz for Water, angel-aura quartz for Air, prasiolite for Earth, and a celestite chip for Spirit.

Outside the pentagram, four colored candles stand sentinel. Their fire alone lights the dark room in this dark house. Beyond them lie the other symbolic instruments; a chalice sits half filled with pure water. A broken amethyst pendulum is encircled by its metal chain. Sandalwood incense burns within its ornate black soapstone holder.

The stage at last set, there is one last step before the casting begins. I meditate. I visualize the energy flowing into me, the energy of the elements, and the pale strand that connects me to the Divine and the Earth. All are made one in my mind. Taking up the crystal point, I go through the motions of the spell, solidifying it in my mind. I don’t count the minutes, I simply know when I’m ready.

Standing, I trace the pentagram with my crystal athame, starting and ending with the top of the star, the celestite piece. I hold it there for many moments, building up the energy inside of me. The words press against my lips like a river pressing against a newly formed dam; it is this hesitance to speak them that makes me know they will have significance. I feel the vulnerability that comes from knowing you’re being listened to. It is familiar. And so, crystal pointed unto Spirit, I begin the incantation.

Let prosperity cover me
Let my efforts not be in vain
Let this money return to me multiplied
And it harm none

Thus spoken, I thrust the athame toward the heart of the pentagram, binding the energy to the coins and sealing the spell. It is done. I lay the crystal point down. The hours of preparation culminated in a simple gesture, now over. Finished, I blow out the candles, one by one.

I sit in darkness. It seems too simple, I reflect. Only time will tell if it even worked. I don’t go down that road though; no use doubting myself. All the minor aches of my body that had been pushed out of my consciousness during the ritual begin returning, slowly, like strays tentatively and pitifully begging for attention and food, nosing their way into the house as you try to slip through the door.

I become acutely aware of the leaves being rustled by the wind outside, reminded of my vulnerability as I let the darkness envelop me. I do not fear the dark, but I know that stranger things lurk there. Especially on this night. Most assuredly on this night.

I will spend these pennies. I will release them into the world, bound with my intent, over the course of the next month. In doing so I make a tangible gesture, no longer a thought or a wish, that pushes my will into the world. As they trace paths unknown to me they will pass on the energy once imbued, and that energy will in turn open doors for me that I could not have anticipated. Everything must return from whence it came. The circle will close; only to begin again.

This was my first spell, but it will not be my last.

Spell 1d icon

A while ago I decided I wanted to take a closer look at astrology. For those of you who have been living in a cave in the Arctic tundra, astrology is the attempt to determine the influence of the heavenly bodies on our lives. This is not to be confused with astronomy, which is the study of the content of outer space itself.

Astrology holds that the stars and planets in our sky exert a certain spiritual pressure on our planet that causes us, as individuals and as a people, to behave in certain ways and develop certain characteristics. Now, I have always been skeptical that constellations millions of lightyears away have any bearing on our growth and development. That isn’t to say that the idea behind astrology doesn’t have something to it. It’s entirely possible that the practice of astrology does measure something that has some type of influence on us.

So to take a deeper look at this somewhat controversial practice, I decided to go to a website and get an astrology chart done. Since it’s all done by math, this should be accurate whether or not an actual person does it. However, I am aware that since the interpretations are pre-scripted and heavily generalized, an automatically generated chart will necessarily return more contradictions than one done personally; but since I can’t do it myself and I’m not going to pay someone to, here we are.

What I’ve done here is posted the results of the astrology chart, with my thoughts interjected here and there. It may seem a bit lazy, but it seemed like a good idea at the time, so I’m gonna roll with it. This way you can see for yourself what it looks like, and what I was thinking when I read through it. My thoughts are in italics.

LivingNexus astrology chart

 

Rising Sign is in 14 Degrees Aquarius

You like new ideas and concepts, but you prefer to discover them by yourself — it is not easy for others to convert you to anything. You form your own opinions, but once you do form them, you then want to convince everyone else that they are correct.  Except this always turns out to be a waste of time.  Try to be more tolerant of the opinions of others. You have a deep and abiding interest in science, mathematics, and the great social problems of the day. Very sympathetic toward the downtrodden, equality is your battle cry! You demand that those in authority be fair to all. You are an intellectual — emotions and emotional people are difficult for you to understand.  Very true.  You are known for being calm, cool, detached and objective.

Sun is in 20 Degrees Cancer.

Very emotional and sensitive, you have an intuitive understanding of the “vibes” around you. You tend to be quite generous, giving, loving and caring, but only when your own needs for emotional support, love and security have been met. If they are not met, you tend to withdraw into yourself and become very insecure and selfish. Your home and family (especially your mother or the person who played that role for you early on) represent security for you and thus assume a larger-than-life importance.  Not really.  Very sentimental, you have vivid and long- enduring memories of the past.  True, although I detest nostalgia, or being ruled by the past.  No matter how well adjusted you are, you will always need a secret quiet place of your own in order to feel at peace. Feeding others can give you great pleasure  Yep.  you would enjoy being part of a large family.  Nope.

Moon is in 11 Degrees Cancer.

For the most part, you are very strong and secure emotionally. You intuitively know what to do to make others feel comfortable, loved, accepted and needed. Not really.  Doesn’t this contradict me being unable to understand people?  You naturally enjoy feeding and taking care of others. Be careful that your mothering does not turn into smothering. At times, you tend to feel that those to whom you are attached can never do anything without your assistance and support.  Moreso in the past.  Extremely sensitive by nature, it hurts you deeply whenever anyone criticizes you.  Maybe if it’s someone I really care about.  You have an almost desperate need to be loved and wanted and needed by everyone with whom you come into contact  Not really,  and you go out of your way to be accommodating to them.  I do try to be accommodating, as a rule.

Mercury is in 01 Degrees Cancer.

Your emotions tend to rule your thought processes.  Not any moreso than any other human being.  You have difficulty seeing life objectively.  Actually I spend a great deal of time trying to be objective. Didn’t you say that’s what I was known for?  You have an excellent memory, especially about things to which you have formed an emotional bond.  Emotion and memory are well known to be linked, so yes.  You prefer ideas and thoughts that are known and familiar, and therefore tend to dislike fads or radical ideas.  I dislike fads as a rule, but I also love trying new things, even if for no other reason than to prove myself right by writing it off.  The beliefs and traditions of your family and culture are very important to you.  Not any more.  Your thinking becomes quite unclear when you are emotionally shaken — try not to make major decisions when you are upset. Let things calm down first.  This is just general advice applicable to anyone.

Venus is in 15 Degrees Gemini.

You are friendly, warm, open and tolerant toward others. You love variety in relationships, indeed you may even prefer to maintain more than one relationship at a time!  Um? Maybe if I’d had more than one.  Very witty and humorous, you have the ability to amuse and please others. This makes you quite popular. You love to play the field and thus find it difficult to settle down and make any deep emotional commitments.  Not sure what this means. I tend to only have one or two close friends at a time, but not for some desire to “play the field.”  Your innate charm and vivacity makes you welcome most everywhere you go. It’s sweet of you to say so.

Mars is in 29 Degrees Pisces.

Very sensitive and vulnerable, it is difficult for you to assert yourself.  Definitely.  At times, you feel quite tired and you will require a lot of sleep in order to maintain your health and your strength.  God, I’d sleep 12 hours a day if I could.  You are at your best when you act without your ego being important. You can be very unselfish and considerate of the needs of others. You get the most satisfaction by giving to others when you expect nothing in return. Beware of a tendency to want always to work behind the scenes or to become overly deceptive by doing things behind others’ backs.

Jupiter is in 28 Degrees Taurus.

Growth only occurs for you after you have found a stable lifestyle and a dependable, protective and secure environment. You are at your best when those around you provide you with a great deal of affection and support. When you feel insecure or threatened, you tend to become possessive and grasping and self- indulgent.  Not so much on the grasping, definite check on the self-indulgent.  You are an inveterate collector with an expensive preference for all the good things that life has to offer.  I guess you can say I do have expensive taste, and I do have a tendency to collect things I wouldn’t call it “inveterate.” I don’t collect compulsively just for the sake of collecting.

Saturn is in 27 Degrees Sagittarius.

Basically quite conservative, you respect traditional authority figures and are very thankful and supportive of the laws and institutions which govern your life.  Depends on the context, but not really. I have little faith in our government and there’s never any guarantee that the police aren’t corrupt. I’m glad that we have laws, but I don’t necessarily trust in our laws when the ones making them and enforcing them are so untrustworthy.  You learn and accept new ideas only after having very thoroughly examined them. Ideals and abstract concepts are important to you only if they can be used in some practical fashion.  I prefer practical theology, yes.  You are so practical and so orderly that you have natural skills in planning, administrating and organizing.  Why, thank you for noticing.

Uranus is in 28 Degrees Sagittarius.

You, and most of your peers, have the tendency to think that all ideas, customs and traditions from the past are outmoded and irrelevant.  Doesn’t this go directly against respecting laws and tradition mentioned earlier?  You are attracted to radically new ideas, philosophies and religions that will, hopefully, cause sweeping changes throughout the world.  Basically true, although I prefer to think of it as illuminating our past rather than burning it down. It’s plain that we need a change.

Neptune is in 08 Degrees Capricorn.

You, and your entire generation, will idealize work, practicality and the ability to attain reasonable goals. But, because you will also stress the need to be selfless and giving, you may find it difficult to attain your goals unless you have lowered your expectations on all fronts.  I don’t know about my generation, but I’ve never idealized work, or felt the need to derive my identity from what kind of job I had.

Pluto is in 09 Degrees Scorpio.

For your entire generation, this is a period of intense research and discovery in areas that were heretofore considered mysterious, remote or taboo. The root causes for many complex occurrences will be unearthed due to the intensity and thoroughness of the search.  Well that’s encouraging at least.

N. Node is in 15 Degrees Pisces.

You’re attracted to others who need your assistance. You seem to go out of your way to form relationships with those who are weak, sick, injured, addicted or troubled in some way or other. At your best you can indeed provide the relief that others need. But at times you can be victimized by those who would prey on your good nature and take advantage of you. This can lead to all sorts of negative situations — make sure that those you assist are truly worthy of your time, energy and commitment. A little enlightened self-protectiveness on your part can make your life work much, much smoother!  This is true, I’ve learned the hard way that I need to be careful about who I help.

 

Messing with the formatting on this post was a nightmare, so I’m calling it a day here. I hope that this post illustrated that individual experiences always trump cosmic forces. As you can probably tell, I don’t necessarily believe in the Law of Beginnings as such. Some time soon I might make another post looking into the nature of astrology and how people use it. Feel free to comment with your own astrology experiences, or any thoughts you had while reading this post.

I made a post a few weeks ago about how my psychic journey started, and the effect it has had on my life. I figure it’s about time I talked about how I got into tarot.

The story of how I got into tarot closely mirrors how I got into psionics, in that it started with a book; specifically, a book series called the Dresden Files. Some of you may be familiar with this series, or the TV show that spawned it. Coincidentally, I started watching the show long before I knew it was a book, courtesy of the person I mentioned in my previous post who got me back into psi. However, when she went out of my life, I stopped practicing and ignored the paranormal for a few years.

Flash forward to a couple of months ago when I decided it had been far too long since I’d been part of a roleplaying group (think D&D, not kink), and after being in a few games I discovered, much to my amazement, that there was a whole RPG system based on the Dresden Files books. This rekindled my interest in the series, and since I desperately wanted to get into a Dresden game, I decided to buckle down and read all the books. So I downloaded the pdfs to my phone and spent most of my time over the next two or three weeks laying in bed reading (it’s a long series).

Somewhere along the line, a thought started formulating in my brain-space. See, I have a fairly religious background, but prayer never really seemed to work for me. Like, I would pray for peace, but receive no peace. I would pray for sleep, but receive no sleep. I knew better than to ask for a Brand New Car! and trivial material things to that effect, but there are only a handful of events that I can point to in my life that I can say for sure were a result of my prayer.

Spellcraft, on the other hand, is a much more direct and tangible way of touching the Universe. While they are both driven by intent, I find spellcraft to be a much more focused practice. In a sense, spellcraft is a kind of prayer.

However, the version of spellcasting presented in the Dresden Files universe was a hard, gritty, scientific practice (it being an urban fantasy series after all). None of this woo-woo bullshit. Taking control of the primal forces of reality was a matter of determination, focus, and applying the correct knowledge. Press button, receive fireball.

Now, I have yet to actually cast a spell. But it was around this time period that someone I had already known and been friends with, but had taken a long hiatus from the internet, came back from her sabbatical and into my life; and it was in the course of talking about Dresden Files that I discovered that we both shared certain paranormal leanings and experiences. We talked about dreams and crystals and deja-vu.

As I neared the end of the Dresden series, my focus started shifting. I started looking up information about spellcraft. I started meditating again, with my crystal pendulums. I started writing down my dreams again. I started thinking about trying to train my intuition. And it was this line of thinking that eventually lead me to start looking at tarot decks. None of them impressed me.

That was, until I found the Shadowscapes deck. This was the one deck out of all the dozens I had looked at that made me say “Yes, I want to own this.” And from there I launched myself into articles and youtube videos about tarot reading and card meanings. I took notes on my laptop about meanings and spreads and elemental dignities; and it was in the midst of this process that I had the idea for my project, Tarot Every Day.

Now, I sat on this idea for about two weeks before I said anything about it to my friend. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fleeting interest that I had temporarily become obsessed with, so I waited for the idea to settle. After a while, I told her. She was ecstatic. It was then she revealed to me that she had been taught to read tarot and playing cards as a little girl by her mother. Although she has never taken it quite as seriously as I do, she told me she still does readings on occasion, most recently about her boyfriend.

I can honestly say that if not for her continued interest and enthusiasm, I would not have been as confident as I was walking into this project; in fact, I may not have started it at all. I am usually not one to be swayed by the opinions of others, but her support meant a lot to me, and she remains the only person in my personal life that I’ve told about my decision to start reading tarot cards. Of the people currently in my life, there isn’t anyone else whom I know would approve, and there still isn’t really anyone else I can talk to about all my thoughts, experiences, feelings, and the spiritual growth I’ve felt as a result of reading the cards.

So my deck finally arrived. And I did nothing. I didn’t have a reading cloth. I had a long list of possible questions, but no direction. I wanted to start off the project on an auspicious date, but I didn’t know what. Maybe the next full moon? I talked to her about it. I mentioned Halloween; she suggested the autumn equinox. This just so happened to fall on a Sunday, which by the rules of my project meant I would have to do a “more complicated” spread. I had just finished watching a series of youtube videos on the Opening of the Key. So that decided that.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

My psychic journey began with a little book called Psychic Warrior by David Morehouse. I was either in middle school or early high school when I found it. It was in the fiction section. I’ll never forget getting to the end of that book and finding the author’s footnote explaining that even though the story was marketed as fiction, it was in fact the author’s true first hand account of events as he experienced them.

While the veracity of that claim has since been called into question, and anyone who’s done even a little research on psi knows about the Stargate project, I was young and impressionable, and this was the first time I had ever seen anyone “adult” taking psi seriously. It forced me to re-examine my priorities as an adolescent. Not only that, but it was extremely affirming to me as someone who had collected a few extra-normal experiences that I really had no one to talk to about.

So I did what any enterprising youth of my generation would do. I put it to Google.

If you’re new to the game I’m not sure you realize how good you have it. The search results you would get back then are almost incomparable to what you’d find now. In more concrete terms, it’s like comparing Pokemon Red to Pokemon Black. Still basically the same, but wholly different. So it was with trepidation that I stumbled into a little back corner of the internet called PsiPog.net (Which has recently been revamped into Psionics Online).

Unlike now, PsiPog was pretty spartan as far as websites went. The only images were the websote logo and whatever the article writers managed to spew onto MS Paint. Think a GameFAQs walkthrough with maps drawn is ASCII. Guys, I can’t even find what the old website looked like on the wayback machine. I’m surprised it still exists.

However, it was here that my understanding of psi was nurtured, developed, and gained traction. Through the articles hosted on PsiPog I discovered many of the techniques that I still use today. I learned about grounding, shielding, energy manipulation, OBEs, remote viewing, constructs, etc. If you are just now starting to research psi and spirituality, and are looking for a place to get started, you could do worse.

I think what most attracted me to PsiPog was that their approach was so scientific; none of this woo-woo mystical bullshit (if I may borrow from and twist into a more condescending phrase by Adana Wtn). They took metaphysical abilities as a given, and wasted no time trying to convince or cajole anyone to come around to their way of thinking. All their articles were available for free, and they frequently did web seminars and classes through IRC, which they then posted the logs of on their site. They provided real, simple, straightforward instruction on how to train your own psi ability — and that was it.

Now, none of this would have taken root if I hadn’t had the foundation already laid, which I already talked about in a previous post. If I had been a different type of person than the one that I was or hadn’t had the experiences that I did, I probably would have written the footnote in Psychic Warrior off as an exercise in metanarrative fiction, which some authors indulge in these days. But I wasn’t, and I didn’t. So here we are.

 

I’ve always felt more drawn to sci-fi as a genre than fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, I am an avid fantasy fan. However, these days it takes a lot more to get me interested in a fantasy setting. The typical swords-and-spells save-the-princess story doesn’t really do it for me any more. Maybe it was the Legend of Zelda series, which I played from a very young age, that spoiled the “standard” fantasy world for me. It basically set the bar so high that a fantasy story has to really pull out all the stops to get my attention.

I’m not writing about fantasy today, though. At heart, my allegiance belongs to science fiction. Granted, most of the credit for this belongs to Star Wars, which is more accurately described as science-fantasy, but come on. Laser swords. It’s really hard to top that, you guys. Coupled with mystical psychic powers guarded by a fallen monastic order, I was hooked.

I wasn’t the only one. The Star Wars series spawned a literal legion of followers who are deeply loyal to the series, whose numbers are only rivaled by similar fandoms such as Star Trek and Harry Potter. What it did for popular culture can’t properly be measured, but it did so by playing on the twin fetishes that would be characteristic of our generation: technology and the paranormal.

Now I’ve read enough Asimov to know that Star Wars is not even close to being hard sci-fi, and the psychic powers featured get the same surface-level treatment. In fact, not much about Star Wars is deeper than surface-level; but then, it really didn’t have to be. Like most good stories, it was driven by its characters and their relationships and struggles within a world that relied on our fascination of the unexplained to give it substance.

That fascination persists. This is due in part, I think, because of the mounting (albeit mostly anecdotal) evidence for paranormal phenomena in the real world. Since the dawn of time there have been stories of spirits and ghosts and monsters, but as our society has turned ever more toward the importance of the mind, so too have our ways of explaining the unexplainable. The mind has become our temple, and on our shrines to it burn the incense of learning. It’s no wonder that our methods of dealing with the more mystical aspects of the universe have become so mind-focused.

Just take a look at the past ten years of media. Movies such as Next, Chronicle, and Push. Television shows like Firefly, The Dead Zone, and even Doctor Who. The many incarnations of the X-Men. Psychic powers draw a lot of attention in the realm of fiction. Isn’t it curious, then, that they are so often scoffed at when people are asked to take them seriously? Well, not really.

Because we live in an age that worships the mind, people are quick to dismiss anything that cannot be understood by the mind. We even do this in our daily lives. There are still people alive today in the United States who do not know how to use a computer, and will never learn how to use a computer, some of which who actually hate computers, not for any rational reason like a computer killed their mother or something, but simply because they don’t understand.

Now, though, we’ve reached the point where things like lucid dreaming have been scientifically proven, and scientists draw ever closer to being able to successfully map and navigate a human brain. It may very well be that we are on the precipice of understanding the true nature and power hidden within our minds, truths that would vindicate the scores and scores of people who have had experiences that simply can’t be explained (myself included).

I think our culture is fascinated by the unreal for a reason. I also think that our exploration of such concepts in fiction has served to prepare us as a culture for an inevitable awakening of sorts. I’ve heard it said that “Man brings forth what he sees.” I think the closest interpretation of that thought would be “If it can be imagined, then it is possible.” For now, I am patiently awaiting the day when the supernatural becomes the supernormal.