Basic Concepts and Ideas
The animal kingdom is very important to those who immerse themselves in natural magick. Sometimes you may want to communicate with animals or simply see the world through their eyes. A simple spell for merging your mind with animals is as follows:
Center yourself by sitting or lying upon the ground, closing your eyes, and imagine a whirlpool of energy surrounding you, travelling in clockwise motion from your head down to your feet, back up to your head, and back down to your feet. Continue this imagery until you feel grounded and centered, oblivious to daily distractions and cares. Once centered, allow your mind to wander to the animal you wish to merge with. Don’t force the imagery, rather allow it to happen.
Picture the animal clearly in your mind. Watch it, empathize with it, feel yourself merging with it. Imagine what it is like to be the animal. Imagine the sights it sees, the smells it senses, the motivations and ways of thinking it may have. Become those thoughts. Merge with the animal by dissolving the distinctions that make it separate.
Once you have fully merged with the animal, you can communicate with it. Ask it what you want to know. Tell it what you want it to know
Throughout the Victorian age, parties that featured a séance were all the rage. Hosts would gather people together to contact the dead. In recent years, there has been increased skepticism towards séances. However, a lot of people continue to believe that making contact with the dead is possible.
Hosting a séance can be an emotional, yet satisfying experience. When hosting your meeting, proceed with caution and patience to get the best results.
If you decide to try to conduct a séance at home, expect some awkwardness, especially on your first try. I’ve always thought that beginner’s séances were like a scene in a movie about teenagers away at summer camp, where the girls and boys from across the lake are thrown together for a one-night dance. In a séance, of course, it’s not about overcoming the gender divide, but the gap between the living and the dead. Like hapless teens, there’s a lot of hesitancy on both sides, and communication doesn’t always come easy—especially considering the dead don’t usually have audible voices!
Supplies and Necessities:
If you’re planning to hold a séance in your own home, you need a few like-minded people and a few vital supplies.
- Choose good company.
A séance generally requires a minimum of three people; one to be the medium, who contacts and channels the spirits, and at least two others to provide supportive energy. Make sure you choose friends who are respectful, comfortable with the supernatural, and focused—your friend who can’t stop fidgeting with his phone in a movie theater is likely to bring that same distracted mood to your séance.
Some say the number of participants must be divisible by three. But this does not seem to be an absolute rule. No fewer than three people should attempt a séance, as it can be emotionally and physically exhausting on a small group.
Séances are tricky business, and you don’t want to invite people who are going to ruin the atmosphere with negative attitudes, or by poo-pooing the entire event. Even if you don’t end up chatting with something from beyond the grave, you still want to have a good time. If you invite skeptical people to the séance, then the positive atmosphere is going to be wrecked and you probably won’t get a chance to communicate with any spirits. When you send out the invites, make sure you tell your cool friends to come, and the more open they are to the idea of a spirit world, the better.
Also, because the experience can be intense, it is usually best to keep young children and pets out of the circle.
- Make a space for spirits.
If you’re hosting your first séance, what should you have available? If you’re using a tarot deck, use your favorite set. If you don’t have a favorite set, just use one that speaks to you. There are a variety of tarot decks, and you’re sure to find something that’s your style.
If you’re certain that you’re going to speak with something from beyond the grave, then bring a voice recorder to pick up the audio from the session – you never know what you’re going to hear.
Although séances in film are usually held in romantic rooms with oaken round tables, you might live in a cramped apartment furnished exclusively by Ikea. That’s okay! A few modifications can make even the grungiest space more inviting to otherworldly visitors.
Some séance instructions ask for a round table. This helps create the symbolic circle believed necessary for the ritual, also a square or rectangular table might make it more difficult to join hands. If a square or rectangular table is all that is available, it will be fine. You can use a table cloth or central altar to create the symbolic circle, and arrange the seating so that it is comfortable for everyone to join hands.
Candles, incense, and burnt sage can all boost the psychic power of your space. Both the candles and food are believed to attract spirits who are looking for warms and sustenance.
In the center of the table, place some simple and naturally aromatic food, such as bread or soup. This is believed to help attract the spirits who still seek physical nourishment. Also in the center of the table, place no fewer than three candles (or a number divisible by three) lit candles; the more candles, the better. Spirits still seek warmth and light.
Dim the lights and eliminate any distractions. Turn off all music and the television. Do make sure you’ve turned off alarm clocks, phones, and any other distracting electronics—some mediums even find that electronic devices interfere with their psychic senses.
- Trim Your Expectations
It’s best if you don’t expect anything. Even highly experienced mediums, who use familiar spirit guides to contact new spirits, run into unexpected setbacks—the dead person they’re trying to reach isn’t answering, or they’re only interested in chatting about their favorite mug (yes, this happens) and don’t respond to the important questions about the afterlife.
Sometimes, an attention-seeking spirit can even intrude on a private conversation. If the world’s most talented mediums experience some unpredictable hi-jinks and complications, you’d better bet you will, too. So, as much as you can, roll with the flow of your séance, and try not to form any expectations before you start.
- The Medium.
Mediums are, in effect, translators between the spirit and earthly realms, and they can dramatically ease the process of getting in touch with a disembodied presence. You might want to choose a medium among the participants. This could be a person who has had experience with séances or someone who has displayed that they’ve got psychic abilities.
Although it’s strange to think of spiritual affairs as a skill, mediumship is not that much different from any other talent. Your first (or second or third) attempt might feel awkward or even disastrous as you learn how to hold a séance, but you shouldn’t give up.
Many mediums claim to have felt a calling from a young age, or a natural attunement to supernatural forces, but even individuals who have not previously experienced a brush with the world beyond the grave can begin to develop their skills. Persistence, patience, and a willingness to discover whatever the spirit world has to share with you—from the serious to the kooky—are the foundations of every great medium.
- Clearing The Energy
Methods of clearing the energy could include smudging with sage, scattering salt, or using the sound of bells to lighten and brighten the energy. It is also helpful to use a prayer or invocation to set the intention of positive vibes and invite only good spirits.
Here are a couple of invocations that can be used for clearing the energy in the room and creating a sacred and safe space. Feel free to change the wording to make them your own and to fit your personal spiritual beliefs:
To The Spirit World and the Powers That Be
As I light these candles, bless this sacred place.
Let the light of their flames radiate love and protection to all four corners of this room.
I ask at this time that any negative energies be released from this space.
With a bath of white light, I ask that it be cleansed and neutralized.
Invocation for Protection:
Spirit Guides and Angels,
As I sit with you now, I open my heart.
I surround myself with the love and light of your protection.
I release any negativity that I have picked up throughout the day.
I ask that any energy (information, communication) be given for my absolute good.
Dismiss now all energies that are not of the Highest and Greatest source.
As I bathe in your grace, I will listen to your resounding voice within me.
I will be true to my heart and your gentle guidance.
(you can follow this with a moment of appreciation for the universe…)
- Determine the mode of communication.
As mentioned, you shouldn’t expect spirits to speak like the living. If you’re the medium, you might hear their voice inside your head clearly, but it isn’t the same as a human voice that travels by vibrations in the air. Some mediums prefer to use a ouija board or pendulumto convert the energy of a spirit to words. It’s best to have a few methods available before you start, and don’t get discouraged if your first or second attempts don’t work out.
A very popular method is using an Ouija board, which is a flat board engraved with several English alphabets, numericals, messages like “hello”, “goodbye”, “yes” and “no”. A heart shaped movable indicator called a planchette is rotated with fingers to point at letters and spell words on the board. The board also contains some images and symbols. The ghost, once conjured, uses telekinesis to rotate the pointer and answer your questions.
A simple pendulum can be used for divination too. The medium holds the pendulum in hand and asks questions to the spirit. If the pendulum swings sideways, the spirit is saying no, while a back and forth swing on the pendulum indicates a yes, and swinging round and round means the spirit is uncertain. Alternatively, the pendulum might be held above a circle of letters, or a paper marked with yes and no on opposing sides.
Spirit rapping is a very old and efficient way where the medium asks the ghost a question, and then instructs it to answer by making rapping noises by tilting the table to a side. For instance, a single rap means yes. Similarly, complex raps can be used to spell out words and complete sentences.
- Summoning the Spirits
All the people must sit around the table, hold each other’s hand making a circle and close their eyes. It is good to begin by saying a prayer, which helps cleanse the environment and emanate positivity.
Now everyone must concentrate on the spirit they wish to summon and then slowly ask the spirit to join the group, This must be done calmly and welcomingly. This is most effective when done as a chant.
The participants must speak the words together. Here is a sampling of different ways to summon the spirits:
“Our beloved [name of spirit], we bring you gifts from life into death. Commune with us, (name of spirit), and move among us.”
“Spirits of the past, move among us. Be guided by the light of this world and visit upon us.” If you are wishing to contact a relative or friend, you may chant something like this: “Beloved (name), we bring you gifts from life into death. Be guided by the light of this world and visit upon us.”
Now wait a bit.
Then ask the spirit to provide a sign of its presence. Don’t ask for a specific sign, just be open to receive any signal. When you know that the spirit is present, try to communicate.
- Communicating With Spirits
When you finally get a ghost on the line, what should you do? Basically, treat any spirit that you find during a séance like you would Deborah Harry, don’t leave it hanging on the telephone. Treat the entire thing like it’s totally natural that you’re speaking to ghost through a spirit board, glass of water, or a series of wraps on a table. Don’t worry about being too formal with what you’re going to call the spirit, it should let you know its name soon enough.
As long as you start things off pleasantly, the conversation should end up flowing naturally and nothing spooky will happen (except for the whole talking to a ghost thing). Remember throughout the conversation that if the ghost isn’t answering in a straightforward manner, you shouldn’t be weird about it. Spirits don’t communicate the way that people do, and as long as you treat the entire exchange like a David Lynch movie, you should be fine.
Begin by asking questions. Yes or no questions work best. You might ask things like, “Is there anyone here who wishes to speak with us?” Tell the spirits how you’d like them to respond (knock, move the planchette, cause the pendulum to circle for yes or swing for no, speak into the red light on the recorders, etc.)
If a spirit chooses to speak through the medium, you may ask any kind of question.
Everyone needs to try to be as still as possible. If someone makes a noise (such as a stomach growl or an accidental knock), they will need to identify that they were the one that made that noise.
Continue asking questions and make notes of any responses you get.
Always be calm and respecting. However, be warned, at the very first sign of any rudeness from the spirit’s side politely ask it to leave, if it doesn’t abide, forcefully end the session by blowing off the candles and switching the lights on.
So what happens when a ghost appears and things start getting spooky? Act natural. If you’re sitting, stay there. Don’t jump up or anything or you might break the spell and scare away the spirit (it could happen). The most important thing to do here is to be yourself and treat the spirit with respect. As long as it’s answering your questions and being helpful, there’s no reason that you should act like a freak show and scare off whatever it is that you reached out to from across the grave.
- If Things Get Weird
Here’s a séance tip: things are going to get weird. When you go to a séance, you have to have an open mind to whatever message ends up coming through. If you don’t allow yourself to enjoy whatever happens during the magical moment, then you’re either going to block anything from happening, or your negative energy is going to affect whatever you end up reaching through the board.
Remember, if things begin to go wrong mid-séance, you have the power to keep things from tipping over into being a straight-up horror movie. As long as you stay positive everything should be fine.
- Ending The Séance
When you’re done with your line of questioning, thank the spirit for joining you and tell them to go in peace. Break the circle of hands and extinguish the candles.
Close the séance by saying something such as, “Our communication here is finished now.”
If the séance seems to be getting out of hand, end the séance by breaking the circle of hands, extinguishing the candles and turning on the lights. Have one person remove the offerings, turn on the lights and open a door or a window. Join hands until the spirit leaves, then either replace the offerings, dim the lights and prepare for a fight, or blow out the candles and end the session for the night.
After the seance, it is also important to clear the room and close the connection. Here is an invocations that can be used:
Thank you for sharing this sacred time with me.
I appreciate the flow of energy I have just experienced.
I will use it for my highest good.
As I blow out these candles, I close this sacred space, and ask that your protection surround me wherever I go today.
Another really nice way to close out the seance is with the following chant:
Return Return Return
Although you can go free-form, most successful séances have something of a formula: opening with a declared intention to commune with spirits, followed by an invitation or call (either to a specific spirit or a general audience), and closing with gratitude and peace to your visitors.
Here are a basic step by step plan for the ritual:
- Discuss the ritual in advance so that everyone is clear on the protocol
- Clear the energy in the room
- Light the candles and the incense
- Dim the lights and get quiet
- Everyone gets seated
- All participants must join hands
- Summon the Spirit
- Wait for a response
- Repeat the summoning until the spirit responds or something happens
- Communicate and ask questions
- Maintain control
- Thank the spirits
- End the séance
- Clear the energy
- Talk about what just happened, even if it didn’t seem like anything at all
How Will You Know When You’ve Made Contact?
There is no certain way to know whether or not you’ve made contact. Often, the things that happen during a séance are subtle – a slight knock, for instance. This could be attributed to a spirit, or it could be someone else in the room making a noise. Keep an open mind and first seek to disprove anything that you see or hear. If you can’t find a logical, real-world explanation, you may have made contact.
For myself, I set the intention that anything unexpected that happens is definitely a form of contact. I try really hard not to have any expectations, and then when something does happen that feels or seems meaningful, I simply accept that it is.
Things to Consider When Deciding to Hold a Séance
Before you perform your séance, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your goals for the séance? What is your purpose for holding one?
- Is there a particular person you’d like to contact during the séance?
- Where will you have your séance?
- Who would you like to participate?
- Which equipment will you use?
You can use virtually anything; a Ouija board (seance board) or a pendulum, for example. If you are into a more technical approach, you might consider using a piece of paranormal investigative equipment such as an EMF (electromagnetic frequency) meter, or a ghost box.
- Will you record your session?
Will it be video or voice recording? Often, video cameras and digital voice recorders can pick up EVP (electric voice phenomenon) that can’t be heard at the time of the séance, but can be heard on replay.
Attitude Is Everything
When you’re dealing with creatures from the spirit realm, you probably don’t want to be in a bad place. If you go into a séance with any worries about the situation then something is probably going to go wrong. Negative energy draws out negative energy, and if you start to reaching into the nether-realm with your bad mumbo jumbo, you’re bound to pull out something that’s extra creepy. .
Egyptian deities did not require human sacrifice or annihilation of people with their religious beliefs. Temples were not considered a place of communal worship. They were looked upon as houses for the deities; there, statues were kept and attended by priests and priestesses. The priesthood was not celibate. The pharaoh was considered an incarnated god upon Earth.
The life of the average Egyptian was a blend of religion and the use of magick. Magick was a vital part of every day life. The people believed that worship was basically a private, personal concern and duty. After all, the ancient Egyptians said, when you stood in the Hall of Judgment after death, no one could tamper with the scales that weighed your heart for truth and goodness. Your soul was laid bare; everything was revealed.
Individual worship was performed at home altars and certain shrines, with the populace as a whole participating in in the great seasonal festivals. The common people were not admitted to the great temples, but they made pilgrimages to certain shrines.
Since worship was considered a private concern, the ordinary person visited the temple of his choice for healing or to present petitions when he needed something. Even then, he entered only the outer courts of the temples. The inner sanctuary of the deity was entered only by the highest priests, priestesses, or the pharaoh.
Originally, the priests and priestesses did not believe in polytheism or animal worship. They believed that the god-forms each represented a principle or aspect of the Supreme Creator. They believed that as long as the spiritual needs of humans were met, it did not matter how the Ultimate Spirit was pictured. These priests / priestesses used a sacred language known only to them for all rituals and worship, probably the remnant of a very ancient language.
Some temples were centers of healing, “sleep houses,” where dream therapy and hypnosis were used to cure the sick. In these places, quiet music of special sounds and rhythms were employed for healing the whole person – body, emotions, mind, and spirit.
Egyptian worship was intertwined with music and dancing. The Singers could be either male or female, depending upon the deity they served. The Temple Dancers were most often female, spending their early years actively participating in the sacred dances, and their later years instructing the new Dancers.
Dancing and chanting made it necessary to have musicians. These were attached to the temples, as were the Dancers and Singers, and were usually female. Sometimes there were dramatic performances for very special religious rites.
The ancient Egyptians were well aware that humans had more than just a physical body. They said that humankind had seven souls. Much of the esoteric meaning of these forms has been lost. What we now know of these “souls” is limited.
Here is a simplified explanation of the seven souls:
- Khat – the physical body
- Ka – the body – soul. It came into existence when the body was born, lived in the body, but was distinct from it. I could assume any form, travel wherever it pleased in the realms of the gods. Did not die at the death of the body but continued to live in the tomb of the deceased.
- Ab – the heart. Seat of the life-force and home of the emotions and passions. Formed from the mother’s heart blood.
- Khu or Aakhu – the spirit-soul. Resided in the blood as a primordial life force. It was eternal and could not be injured or killed.
- Kkaibit – shadow. If the shadow was lost or stolen while the person was alive, it was believed that the physical body would exist in a diseased or dying state. To steal someone’s shadow was to steal their magickal power and their life and was considered a crime.
- Sah or Sahu – spiritual body. the eternal dwelling place of the soul. The khu lived within it.
- Sekkem – power. We might call it willpower or purpose. It animated the sah.
The soul name, ren, was believed to be a vital part of every person. It as given to each person at birth by the goddess Renenet. The Egyptians believed that only by knowing the correct soul name of a person, animal, or object could you have power over it.
Egyptian magick was primarily of two kinds:
- Magick to benefit the living or the dead
- Magick used to harm people
At the beginning of each ritual, four lighted lamps were set at the four quarters or directions. They represented the four sons of Horus. Symbols were also set at these quarters. At the east was placed a tat (pole or pillar) and in the south a model of a palm tree. At the west was set a figure of Anubis, in the north a figure of a mummy, sometimes lying in a coffin.
The power of any spell, incantation, or any word of power was considered greatly increased by the use of magickal pictures and amulets. The ankh was a favorite symbol, along with the tat of Osiris (also called a tet or djed), the solar disk, the scarab, the lotus, the buckle of Isis, and the Eye of Horus.
Wax images were used in certain rituals, primarily for gaining someone’s love or harassing enemies. The name of the individual was cut or written on the image. After spells were recited over the figure, it was stabbed, destroyed, of (for love) carried next to the heart. The priests of Amen-Ra at Thebes regularly burned a wax image of the evil god Apep. These wax serpent forms were subjected to all kinds of abuse before they were destroyed in a fire.
Gods of the Four Elements:
- Air (east): Tuamutef – with a jackal head
- Fire (south): Akeset – with a human head
- Water (west): Qebhsennuf – with a hawk head
- Earth (north): Mestha – with an ape head
Gods of the Four Directions:
- East: Bast, Min, Osiris, Ra
- South: Nekhebet, Sekhmet
- West: Ament, Hathor, Neith, Anubis, Temu, Sebek, Nephthys
- North: Buto, Shu, Mehueret, Isis
Source: Magick of the Gods and Goddesses
Here, one member of the group makes up a sound, call or statement and shouts it out, and the rest of the group shout it back at them. This can be especially effective as a kind of freeform invocation, for example, if everyone is familiar with the qualities, attributes and features of a particular God or Goddess. It can also be used as light-hearted introduction to designing invocations.
This form of repetition is commonly used in tantrik ritual, as salutations given to the god who is the object of the ritual. The example below is just a few of the 108 ritual salutations to the god Ganesha:
Salutations to him who has an elephant’s face
Salutations to him who wields the mace
Salutations to the son of Gauri
Salutations to the lord of planets
Salutations to him who transcends all qualities
Salutations to him who is lion-like
Continue until you have shouted out all the attributes you can think of. Follow the shout out with a humming meditation:
Each member of the group sets up a humming note, which can change in tone and power at will. The seed sound for the Ganesh Mantra could also be used: Gum gum gum gum… etc .The Humming should be kept up for at least 20 minutes for people to feel the effects of it.
Alternatively, it could be a shout out to the Goddess. Hecate for example:
All Hail the Queen of the Crossroads
All Hail the Mistress of the Underworld
All Hail Holder of the Keys
All Hail She Who Serves
Continue until you have shouted out all the attributes you can think of. This could be followed with a humming meditation as above, or a group chant to the specific deity. Here’s a chant to Hecate:
Hecate, Dark Mother, take us in
Hecate, Dark Mother, let us be reborn!
How do you get God’s attention?
Try sweet talking his girlfriend!
An amazing prayer by Rob Breznsy:
This is a perfect moment. It’s a perfect moment because I have been inspired to say a gigantic prayer. I’ve been roused to unleash a divinely greedy, apocalyptically healing prayer for each and every one of you, even those of you who don’t believe in the power of prayer.
And so I am starting to pray right now to the God of Gods, the God beyond all Gods, the Girlfriend of God, the Teacher of God, the Goddess who invented God.
Dear Goddess, you who never kill but only change: I pray that my exuberant, suave, and accidental words will move you to shower ferocious blessings down on everyone who reads this benediction. I pray that you will give them what they don’t even know they need, not just the boons they think they want but everything they’ve always been afraid to even imagine or ask for.
Dear Goddess, you wealthy anarchist burning heaven to the ground: Many of the divine chameleons out there don’t even know that their souls will live forever. So please use your brash magic to help them see that they are all wildly creative geniuses too big for their own personalities. Guide them to realize that they are all completely different from what they’ve been led to believe about themselves, and more exciting than they can possibly imagine. Make it illegal, immoral, irrelevant, unpatriotic, and totally tasteless for them to be in love with anyone or anything that’s no good for them.
O Goddess, you who give us so much love and pain mixed together that our morality is always on the verge of collapsing: I beg you to cast a boisterous love spell that will nullify all the dumb ideas, bad decisions, and nasty conditioning that have ever cursed the wise and sexy virtuoso out there. Remove, banish, annihilate, and laugh into oblivion any jinx that has clung to them, no matter how long they’ve suffered from it, and even if they’ve become accustomed or addicted to its ugly companionship. Please conjure an aura of protection around them so that they will receive an early warning if they are ever about to act in such a way as to bring another hex or plague into their lives in the future.
Dear Goddess, sweet Goddess, you sly universal virus with no fucking opinion: Please help all the personal growth addicts out there to become disciplined enough to go crazy in the name of creation, not destruction. Teach them the difference between oppressive self-control and liberating self-control. Awaken in them the power to do the half-right thing when it is impossible to do the totally right thing. Arouse the Wild Woman within them, even if they’re men.
Dear Goddess, you pregnant slut who scorns all mediocre longing: I pray that you will inspire all the compassionate rascals communing with this prayer to kick their own asses and wash their own brains. Provoke them to throw away or give away all the things they own that encourage them to believe that they are better than anyone else. Show them how much fun it is to brag about what they cannot do and do not have. Give them bigger, better, more original sins and wilder, wetter, more interesting problems. Most of all, Goddess, brainwash them with your freedom so that they never love their own pain more than anyone else’s pain.
Oh Goddess, you wildly disciplined, radically curious, shockingly friendly, fanatically balanced, mysteriously truthful, teasingly healing, lyrically logical master of rowdy bliss: I ask you to give your unconventionally unconditional love to all the budding messiahs who read this prayer; love them with all of your ocean and sky and fire and earth. Cultivate in yourself a fervent yearning for their companionship. Play with them every day. Answer their questions. Listen to their stories. Inspire them not just to nag you for what they want, but also to thank you for the uncanny gifts you flood them with. And if there are any pockets of ignorance or hatred these insanely poised creators might be harboring, any inadvertent idiocies that keep them blind to your blessings, please flush them out as soon as possible.
Dear Goddess, You psychedelic mushroom cloud at the center of all our brains: Bless all the inscrutable creators out there with lucid dreams while they are wide awake, and their very own spin doctors, and solar-powered sex toys that work even in the dark, and vacuum cleaners for their magic carpets, and a knack for avoiding other people’s hells, and a thousand masks that all represent their true feelings, and secret admirers who are not psychotic stalkers. Arrange for a racehorse to be named after them, or an underground river, or a boulevard in an exotic vacationland, or a thousand-year-old storm on Saturn or Jupiter. Teach them to push their own buttons and unbreak their own hearts and right their own wrongs and sing their own songs and be their own wives and save their own lives.
Dear Goddess, You fiercely tender, hauntingly reassuring, orgiastically sacred feeling that is even now running through all of our soft, warm animal bodies: I pray that you provide all the original sinners out there with a license to bend and even break all rules, laws, and traditions that keep them apart from the things they love. Show them how to purge the wishy-washy wishes that distract them from their daring, dramatic, divine desires. And teach them that they can have anything they want if they’ll only ask for it in an unselfish way.
And now dear God of Gods, God beyond all Gods, Girlfriend of God, Teacher of God, Goddess who invented God, I bring this prayer to a close, trusting that in these mysterious moments you have begun to change everyone out there in the exact way they’ve needed to change in order to become the gorgeous geniuses they were born to be.
The dark powers emanate from the dark aspects of the Goddess and the God. This is the power of the Crone and the Lord of the Shadows; the Hag and the Hunter. The dark powers are more than just a personification of the negative influences in life, however, and the energy raised through the dark imagery of the Divine is very potent. As such, be careful what you do.
The Dark Goddess is manifested in mythology as various kinds of death crones, wise hags, devastation, war, disease and barrenness of the land. She is the Bone Mother who collects the skulls of the dead for the ossuary. In Irish mythology, Morrigan and Nemain would be considered Dark Goddesses in that they are associated with War and Death.
The Dark God is seen in mythology as the silent host to the dead in his underground realm of gray shadows and deep sleep, knowing of secrets and wise of the universe, death, war, destruction, gatherer of souls and harbinger of chaos. He is the Hunter, whose wild hunt, or raid, ingathers the energies of the soul.
There is sense to this ancient cosmology. Cults of ancient times focused on the dark aspects of the Divine so that their followers would move past their fear of mortality to seize upon the recognition of their eternal immortality.
In Irish mythology, Crom Cruach, and Donn would be considered “Dark Gods” or “Dark Powers” because Donn was the god of the dead Milsians. At death, Mannannan Mac Lyr carried the soul to Tech Dunn or the House of Donn. In texts like the Dinsenchus there is references to Crom being considered to be a dark god, contrasting a light god, in a way that is very similar to the Slavic god Czernobog.
As a power, the Dark Lord is the Chaos from which Order must evolve. Yet there is no ending to this cycle, Order resolves again as Chaos to be reborn as New Order. The Lord of Shadows as Death becomes the process of new life by gathering the energy of dying life, and the Passage into a new material form is through the Crone.
In the aspect of light, the god dies willingly by entering the ground to bring his vitality to crops that will be harvested to feed humanity. Through this selfless act, he revitalises the earth. He does this through the Crone. The marriage of Lugh in August, celebrated as Lughnasadh, is the start of the descent into Mother Earth. Once there, he is transformed into the son within the goddess. Hence, the pagan god is both Father and Son, which is yet another concept that Christianity absorbed from the pagans. The harvest comes, the seasons change, and the Mother becomes the Crone of Autumn and Winter, only to be transformed into Mother again at Winter Solstice with the rebirth of the Sun (her son, the god). See Also: Cernunnos, Green Man and Herne.
The womb-tomb is the domain of the Crone and is a place of great power. This is where the transformation takes place, with energies of death given repose and returned to form as the energies of life. When this power is confronted and recognised, there comes a freedom from fear, a new sense of independence and a recognition of personal responsibility. We are not judged in Death by the Lady and the Lord, but we are Self-judged. From the quietude of the realm, we move through her into new life. That is the balanced, pagan theme of the cauldron, the god of self-sacrifice and the resurrecting goddess. It is this power of the goddess that significantly differentiates the old and new religions.
Thus, in an historical sense, while the Dark Lord guides the chaos of social and cultural changes through the Crone into a new life, the Crone becomes not the terror of death, but the joyful passage to new vibrant societies through the death of the outmoded and stagnant ones. She is Fata Morgana, the Huntress Diana, Minerva, Cerridwen, Sati and Kali. He is Pluto, Hades, Cerunnos, Herne the Hunter, Set and Shiva. But the names may not convey the image needed by the practitioner unless you are able to move beyond the modern association of darkness as evil.
By accepting that the dark powers are in balance with the light powers, you are able to utilise the wholeness of the Power. The dichotomy of good and evil do not apply to what simply is. Energy can be drawn to the light or to the dark; thus death provides the soul’s passage to whichever realm the soul-energy has been drawn. Energy is always in motion, and flows back and forth between light and dark. What at one time is light energy turns and becomes dark energy. Through the practice of the Craft, the witch directs this energy for beneficial purpose. To do otherwise, is to inflict Self-harm.
To face the Underworld and the power of the dark aspect of the Divine is to understand that dark is part of the necessary blend of light and not something to fear. The unifying of the dark and the light within the individual offers wholeness and peace, which may then be transferred to external contacts.
From: Green Witchcraft II