Book Review: Egyptian Revenge Spells

Book Review: Egyptian Revenge Spells

Egyptian Revenge Spells
Claudia R. Dillaire
Crossing Press (June 23, 2009)
ISBN: 978-1580911900
192 pages
Reviewer: Lupa
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It’s no secret that the original pagans were no stranger to curses. From tribal shamans to priests to everyday people utilizing folk magic, part of most magic-workers’ arsenal was curses and other maleficio. The Egyptians weren’t an exception to this, and contemporary examples of magic that would make white lighters’ toes curl can still be found today. Of course, “black magic” being antithetical to the Wiccan Rede and many other neopagan ethical guidelines (or, at least many neopagans’ interpretations of said ethical guidelines), curses can sometimes be a subject that gets skirted around — or subjected to flame wars.

Kudos, then, to Claudia Dillaire, for writing a book on something new for a change! In this case, it’s revenge that’s the topic of the day, whether dealing with a jilted lover (including those with stalker-like tendencies), ruining someone financially, or simply messing with someone who has already messed with you. There are dozens of incantations, spells and rituals for multiple uses — and while some of them are most definitely for revenge, there are also some for more benign forms of protection, reflection spells, etc.

This isn’t a book of old Egyptian spells, but is instead a collection of modern Wicca-flavored spellcraft with some Egyptian influence. There’s a decidedly Wiccan feel to them, with the common inclusion of candles, crystals, common “witchy” herbs, and incense, and the fairly standard spoken portions. While they do incorporate calling on Egyptian deities, in some ways this could be any of a number of spell books.

I’m not entirely sure how the author interprets Egyptian neopaganism in the first few chapters, where she’s establishing some context for the spells. Sometimes it seems like she’s comparing “Egyptian magic” to Wicca (in particular, as opposed to general neopaganism); other times, it’s as though she’s trying to differentiate between them. Given that the spells themselves are pretty heavily Wicca (or at least witchcraft) flavored, I would have hoped she’d be a little clearer about how much Wicca and witchcraft influenced the unique brand of Egyptian magic she compiled from research and practice. In fact, if there’s anything seriously missing here, it’s a better explanation of where, exactly, she’s coming from. I was left a little unsure as to where the connection is between ancient Egyptian religious practices that spanned several millennia, and her personal practices today.

I’m also not a Kemetic pagan, and Egyptian religion and culture aren’t things I know a whole lot about, so I can’t speak too much to the quality of research. There was nothing glaringly wrong, and the bibliography had a mix of scholarly and practical source material. I could have hoped for in-text or other citations, especially for the historical information, but it’s a bit late for that now!

If you’re looking for some inspiration to unleash some wicked magic — or at least vent some frustration creatively — this is a good book. Don’t pick it up as an example of historically-based Kemetic paganism, however; it’s rather too eclectic for that. It’s a unique creation of the author, and gripes aside, I think it’s a nice change from the usual strict adherence to “Harm none.”

Four pawprints out of five.

Review ©2009 by Lupa
Edited by Sheta Kaey

Lupa is the author of Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic, A Field Guide to Otherkin, and co-author of Kink Magic, among other works. You can read her blog at http://therioshamanism.com and see her website at http://www.thegreenwolf.com.

The Web of Time

March 21, 2007 by  
Filed under experimental, magick, spellcasting

The Web of Time

I recently created a new tool for some of my space/time experiments, a tool which is basically a box of memories. The function of it is similar to that of the pensieve in the Harry Potter books. The Pensieve is a cauldron that holds the memories of a person. Each day memories can be added to the cauldron and if the person wishes, s/he can actually go into the pensieve and re-experience the memories (but not alter them). I thought this idea in the Harry Potter books was pretty intriguing and wanted to develop a similar tool, but one that could actually aid in changing the experiences of the past. What you see below is a small chest I remade into the tool.

Memory Box 1

This chest used to hold a lot of letters from different people I wrote to, so it already had a lot of memories associated with it. The little lock on the door was something I felt appropriate for guarding those memories. It added to the nostalgia of the box and its innate charm of being a box of memories. Each day when I’d come home from work, I’d open the box, put my fingertips to my temple and then imagine silvery liquid pouring into the box from my fingertips. I’d usually come home overloaded from everything I learned, but as soon as I put those memories into the box the overloaded feeling went away. Also, just as with the pensieve, the idea was that I could access any memory I put in the box with exact detail. This was useful, I felt, for retaining skills I’d learned for when I needed to have access to them again. Still, I felt as if something was missing from the box — it seemed limited to use for memory work.

Memory Box 2

I developed a concept based off the Flower of Kairos design developed by Brian Shaughnessy. I’d originally called it the “flower of potentiality,” but then realized it wasn’t really a flower, but more like a web, constantly changing, flowing, and involved with interconnection. It’s different from the Flower of Kairos because it isn’t a container unit or outside space/time, but instead flows within time1. I’ll admit as well that a lot of my space/time work has shifted more toward time and less toward space, with the thought being that space is an identifier and limiter of reality, whereas time is fluid, always in motion, unlimited potential and possibility in the quantum sea. I felt as well that the web represented my connection to not just other people, but to all possible moments of existence that included me, a connection to every possible version of me. This design influenced the shaping of the tool, which I see as an extension of the multiple versions concept.

Memory Box 3

As you’ll note, the interior is silver. The color scheme is partially based on the silver strands in the pensieve, and partially representing silver strands of possibility in the quantum matrix. That latter idea originates in an article by Andrieh Vitimus, where he discusses being able to use the quantum matrix as a means of finding alternate versions of the self2. Each strand on the silver web leads to an alternate reality. The strands are infinite and the paths they provide are in themselves valuable for learning the secrets of reality and unwinding the DNA of space/time. By using the memory box, a magician can travel the web of time to the past, future, or an alternate potentiality.

When I meditate with the chest, I place my hands on each side. It feels as if each hand is encased in a glove of static electricity. I get a very intriguing feeling of being out of synch with the space my body is in, and I’m aware that I can access all potential points of time. The feeling is similar to some very deep altered states of consciousness, but with less work needed to get there, because the box acts an aid. It’s possible to surf the past, present, and future possibilities, as well as change them as needed. I’ve used this tool to connect with versions of myself that are more financially successful, so that they can direct me to resources that will help me in that regard. In return, I gave them information about magic.

One of my recent experiments has been to meditate with the box open and in my hands, focusing on a specific desired probability, imagining it in extreme detail, feeling, tasting, smelling, hearing, etc the desired probability. When I’m finished, I close the box, storing that experience inside to let the imagined probability soak into the web. A few hours later, perhaps a day, I’ll open the box to release the energy, and then move on to the next desired probability. I’ve also put fetish objects, sigils, etc. into the box to let the box absorb and then release the energy into the web of probabilities, and manifest that reality into place. This technique has proven useful, particularly with removing obstacles for long term goals, such as moving to another city. The web of time device can be used for more than just these purposes. I’m still exploring the full potential of this tool and will provide reports in the future of what I’ve been up to with it.

Footnotes

  • Shaughnessy 2004
  • Vitimus 2007

©2007 Taylor Ellwood. Edited by Sheta Kaey

Taylor Ellwood is the author of Space/Time Magic, Inner Alchemy: Energy Work and the Magic of the Body, and Pop Culture Magick, among other works. You can visit his blog at http://magicalexperiments.com/.

Magical Aftercare

Magical Aftercare

Okay, you prepared your space. You sat and raised the Circle. You called your allies and astral entities to help. You have called the Quarters, done the Middle Pillar, communed with the Spirits, traveled to the Akashic Record.

You cut the Circle and dismissed the elements. You sent the energy off to do whatever that Power does to cause your spell to work.

Now what?

What happens next? Most individuals will start putting away the trappings of their ritual and get on with their life, but I think there is a time here that is more important to the magician than simply cleaning up.

This is the time of magical aftercare.

In most sexual practices and relationships, there is a time when after the deed is done and you and your partner are lying together, when you simply exist in each other’s arms for a while. You lay with each other, commune with each other and just be. There is no pressure to do anything, no real discussion of anything; you simply exist in the after glow of an incredible experience, mutually shared.

Why can’t we do that with our spells? Why can’t we use that time to commune with the Gods and to exist with Them? Taking time to revel in the energies raised and to exist for a little while in that sacred space that you spent so much time creating and getting into — why must you destroy it by immediately starting the cleanup?

Some activities to think about in this period after the spell and ritual for you and your group include:

  • Divination — Do some tarot readings for everyone, for yourself, and to see how successful the spell is going to be. After all, you spent all that time and energy getting into the mood and working to get into an alternate state of mind to do the magick, so why not use the time while you are in that state to do some related workings that aren’t as labor intensive?
     
  • Reinforcing the Wards on your place of worship — It has always confused me: you spend all that time raising power, getting it to do what you want, making it move in certain specific ways, just to send it all into the Earth when you are done. Why? I understand that loose energy is a danger to the practitioners and to those in the immediate area, but why waste it? Spend a few minutes pulling that Power together and using it to shore up your personal defenses or your group Wards. The Power won’t show up anywhere except in your protections and it won’t be attracting things that should not be there. It will be helping you keep safe and it’s not just sitting there like a patch of tar on a white carpet.
     
  • Grounding — Instead of grounding the energies into the actual ground, why not ground the energy into a “power sink,” i.e. a metaphysical battery? By doing this, you recharge the battery from what bleeds off and you put that grounded energy to a good use. You can do this with any enchanted object you possess and it thereby becomes another source of Power for you to draw upon next time you do a ritual or spell.
     
  • Partying — Here you are, you invited all these spirits to you — your ancestors, your allies, your Gods, possibly even some angels. And once you are done you just dismiss them and move on with your life? How crass can you be? Calling them out of their warm homes to give you some power and then you say “KTHXBY!” Oh, you may tell them thank you, you can even say “stay if you will,” but what about saying, instead, “okay, go if you have to, but we are going to have a party and you are invited to participate!” Then commune with them. Allow them to be part of your life, and be part of theirs. I know your ancestors will be interested in finding out what has been going on, how you and your children are doing, and even finding out how your parents are. Most ancestors are gossipy old things, and they need news, so share it with them. Talk about your family to them, tell funny stories, and make it an event.
     
  • Creation — Once again, you are in a ritual mindset. What’s wrong with using that mindset to create something? You already started with the ritual and the spell, because isn’t that just creation of a set of circumstances you desire? So why not go the next step and actually use that mindset to create amulets, talismans, sacred art, ritual tools, or just to write in your ritual book (whether you call it your grimoire or your Book of Shadows)? How about taking that mindset and using it to write down your impressions of the ritual, so that the event is preserved for future magicians? It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it just needs to be what you saw and felt. If everyone in the ritual does this, think of the group mind that can be built from that spiritual consensus.
     
  • Gardening — I know it sounds nuts, but why can’t you spend a few minutes hugging a tree and letting that tree absorb some of the extra energies, or planting a seed that has to be planted at night? Some plants do better if planted in the light of the Full Moon, and the Gods know there are enough potions and spells that call for components from plants harvested at night. So mark those plants while you are out one day with some nice wide colorful ribbon and go out looking for them after your ritual. You won’t have to get into a sacred space again to harvest the herbs, since you already are there.
     
  • Reinforcement — I know that once you have cast your spell you aren’t supposed to think about it anymore, but there occasionally comes a time when you have to do reinforcement of a spell you already cast. It can be as simple as giving it extra energy or as complex as re-targeting it to another changed goal. But those spells usually have to be helped along by the caster’s active participation.
     

As with any exercise or activity, use your head. It will be massively counterproductive if you do a ritual to create a servitor for your group and then do another major ritual which involves the creation of Wards after everything is pulled down, dismissed and put up.

Maintenance is the key word here. If you would normally do a small ritual to maintain a spell or process that already exists, this time after another ritual would be perfect to maintain and repair it. It’s a small use of power that pays out immensely when you have the time, and you can avoid doing a whole new ritual for the purpose (which is what most people do).

Once you feel tired and like you are coming down from the high that the ritual has put you into, simply stop and move on with your life. But you have to do something to dismiss those extra energies or they can stay and pull in even more energy to it, and those new energies aren’t always the nicest of effects. Frequently, they cause far more problems than they solve.

Eating food, drinking a sports drink, grounding the energy into the Earth — all these are the classic ways of getting rid of excess energy after a ritual. Try to see if you can’t come up with other means of using that extra energy and focus the next time you do a major ritual. If you can, then that’s one more rite you won’t have to do later.

And Time is always at a premium.

©2007 Eric “Daven” Landrum. Edited by Sheta Kaey

Eric “Daven” Landrum is a Seax Wiccan and the author of Daven’s Journal.

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