ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
[personal profile] ecosophia
Florence FarrIt's getting on for midnight, so here we go with a new Magic Monday. The picture is of Florence Farr, a famous actress of the late 19th century British stage and a leading initiate of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The instrument is a psaltery tuned in quarter tones, built by musicologist Arnold Dolmetsch, with which she used to accompany poetry readings by fellow GD adept William Butler Yeats. (Yeats' essay on the subject can be read online here.)

Ask me anything about occultism and I'll do my best to answer it. Any question received by midnight Monday Eastern time will get an answer, though it may be Tuesday sometime before I get to them all. If you're in a hurry, or suspect you may be the 128,715th person to ask a question, please check out the very rough version 1.0 of The Magic Monday FAQ here.

I've had several people ask about tipping me for answers here, and though I certainly don't require that I won't turn it down. You can use the button below to access my online tip jar.

With that said, have at it! 

***This Magic Monday is now closed to new questions. See you next week!***
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(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-04 05:01 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Do you think that demonic forces are actively engaged in Trump Derangement syndrome? The lack of proportion; check. The muddled, contradictory emotions; check. People becoming utterly possessed by something creepy and alien; check. Demented thoughtlessness; check. Certainly I've lost a lot of friends for merely not bowing to the orthodoxy and hating the right people enough. Do you think that there is something feeding on all of these intense emotions? Is this a mass release of kegare, a mass creation of miasma? This is one of the most baffling experiences of my life and any illumination is very much appreciated!

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Date: 2019-02-04 05:11 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I went today to a talismanic magic workshop given by a local OTO group in my city. They made some rings consecrated to saturn and jupiter, using lapislazuli and obsidian. I am getting myself a Saturn one (i'll get it later due to logistical problema), because I want to gain more discipline in my life. Yesterday, i did an invocation of Saturn using the ritual of the hexagram, and i have to say I felt intimidated, to say the least. It felt like standing next to a rock so big it can squash you without even noticing. I felt so minuscule and worthless that after banishing, when i was writing down the experience in my journal, i honestly felt like crying.

My question is: what can I do to make this relationship less unpleasant?

As always, thank you very much!


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(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-04 05:13 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I’m not an archdruid (“Paging Mr. Druid! Mr. Arch Druid! Question in aisle 3!”) but I think this is just another nasty religious war brewing. To the worshippers of the goddess Hillary, politics is their religion.

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Magic in Cark Age Christendom

Date: 2019-02-04 05:23 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
My understanding is that (and I realize there are other issues involved in this question) St. Patrick permitted the use of some forms of divination and/or magic from Christian converts (eg, Ogham divination). This impression is born out by the survival, in the Stowe missal, of at least three magical charms (one against "thorns"). From other sources and research, I gather that the Christian Dark Ages were fairly tolerant towards magic, particularly of the benefic kind, provided they did not involve concourse with demons (eg., evocation, etc.). The date(s) I have worked out are around the turn of the millennia, and then through to the Inquisitorial times, for the real crackdown on "magic". I wondered if this squared with what you know on the subject?

Child's perception of people and color

Date: 2019-02-04 05:26 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
My daughter is 2 years old. She has been assigning colors to people to the point that I wonder if it's possible she is really seeing these colors.

I first noticed that, if she has colorful objects (ex: blocks), she says that the blue is for Mommy, purple is for daddy, and pink is for herself. When those three colors are present, it will always be "assigned" by her in this way.

Next was her art. She draws mom with a blue crayon, dad with a purple, and herself with a pink. But instead of saying "Blue is for mommy" she says "Mommy is blue."

Then once when dad watched her drawing, he asked to be blue. Our daughter recoiled and was quite insistant that, "No. MOMMY is blue. Daddy IS NOT blue. Daddy is PURPLE. Her tone and manner got my attention. It was the first time I noticed how real this color thing was to her. It's the sort of tone she might have used if you tried calling a rabbit a duck.

Other details that may or may not matter:
1. My daughter's verbal development has always been very rapid. She has a decent grasp of grammar and is quite capable of expressing "X is for Y" and/or "X is Y" as she pleases. She also started verbally identifying her own emotions and expressing empathy quite early.
2. She says her great-aunt is green, with the same certainty as the previously mentioned colors.
3. BUT she is not always so sure. She'll say grandma is yellow, but usually hesitates/thinks about it before saying so. I've seen her use orange crayon for grandma, but mostly it's yellow.
4. Last week, out of curiousity, I asked my daughter what color is her babysitter. She thought about it a bit, "She issss....she isss...." before finally telling me "I don't know what color [babysitter] is." Then immediately followed up with "Mommy, ask me what color [babysitter's sister] is!"
"Okay," I said, "What color is she?"
"[Babysitter's sister] is BLUE!"
This exchange really got my attention. She was very against letting dad be blue, but totally fine saying this other person is blue. Then she followed up a minute later by saying her babysitter "likes pink." (Not "is" pink, like everyone else "is" their color.)
5. These colors have stayed consistent. She is always sure of the ones she's sure of. She always looks thoughtful before saying grandma is yellow. And she has yet to say that her babysitter IS any particular color, but has mentioned twice more the color her babysitter LIKES.
I have not asked her about other people's colors, and she has not brought up anyone else.
6. In case it's relevant, we do not practice magic, though my husband and I are very devoted in spiritual/religious areas.(Our extended families less so. I come from a mixed background, both in terms of ethnicity and religion. Husband has a protestant background.) I am only superficially familiar with things related to the occult. I came across something of yours describing the raspberry jam principle, which explained so much of what I've witnessed with people I've known to be involved with magic, and have since been reading your blog and learning a little more.

In closing, I realize that this color business can be explained as a child's imagination and quirkiness. Nevertheless I wonder, is there a more spiritual/magical explanation that seems to fit? If so:
1. What are the colors she sees? Energy?
2. Is this thought to be reasonably common for toddlers?
3. Does this give me any particular insight about my child?
4. Is there insight to be gleaned from the colors themselves? [Herself=pink, mom=blue, dad=purple, great-aunt=green, grandma=yellow(ish?), sitter's sister=blue]
5. Why might she be less clear on some people than others? Is there potential cause for concern that the sitter's color is not identifiable by my child? I have known the sitter and her family for over a decade and the relationship between our families is very good.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I appreciate your opening up this forum for (potentially quite silly) questions like mine.

Re: Child's perception of people and color

Date: 2019-02-04 05:43 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Synesthesia ( is definitely a thing.

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Natural Magic and Dream Recall

Date: 2019-02-04 05:34 am (UTC)
packshaud: Photography of my cat. (Default)
From: [personal profile] packshaud
Other than writing down your dreams as soon as you wake up and doing the routine of saying silently "I remember my dreams" nine times before going to sleep, I am interested in natural magic methods that would improve dream recall. What can I use for this? I would like something that doesn't throw a wrench into Celtic Golden Dawn practice.

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Ancestor Question

Date: 2019-02-04 05:48 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Got a bit of a surprise on results from a dna sample I sent off to get a better sense my ancestry: a whiff of Spanish and Balkans from around 1700. How unexpected!

Then it dawned on me that the Spanish, and likely mercenaries from all over Europe, were pretty busy during this time in the Netherlands and Germany, where most of my “official” family originated.

Which sparked a question: are children resulting from rape in times of war (or any time) claimed in any way by the ancestors of the rapist?

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Re: Ancestor Question

From: [personal profile] isabelcooper - Date: 2019-02-04 07:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
From: (Anonymous)

It's me, J again, the Inari guy from the last Magic Monday.
I prayed before going to bed, asking Inari Okami if it was indeed the case that they were saying they were available to have a relationship as a kami. I woke up the next morning and found:
1) An email from Katsura Sunshine, a Western rakugo performer I have watched, about a preview show he will be doing. I took as "Westerner who has applied himself rigorously to an art/discipline" in his case, rakugo storytelling.
2) Someone on facebook (a person, rather than a served ad) posting a picture of an amusing glass that said "For [picture of fox] sake"
3) Weiser Book's Tarot Tuesday, a card from the "The Druid Animal Oracle Deck" by Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm. Of course it was The Fox.

I decided I'd see where this goes, and learned about praying toward Kyoto (home of Fushimi Inari shrine, the central Inari shrine) from one of the admins, and tried doing that morning and night. I ordered a book of norito (Shinto prayers) with the original Classical Japanese, romaji transcription, and English translation, which includes an Inari prayer. Not long after, I got it, and started practicing it, which was pretty humbling. So much stumbling on the words. I had wanted to study and learn some Japanese years ago, but never did and I seriously regret that now. But I still did it and do it. Thursday morning, I did the bowing and the clapping and read the norito as best as I could and got hit with this sense of awe and reverence and peace that I hadn't felt in years that just silenced my mental and emotional noise.

So it has been an emotionally dizzying time, with feelings bubbling up that I been avoiding engaging the language and spirituality due to fear of difficulty as well as a degree of self-consciousness I though I had banished long ago. The causes:

1)Fear of the toxic and historically illiterate quasi-racism that attempts to police cultural exchange and religious calling. Someone close to me has faced the prospect of that possibility in Orisha worship where they live.

2)Fear of difficulty in proper practice (and in the case of language, learning even a little Japanese)

3)Happening to like anime and manga and feeling like that somehow automatically makes engagement with Inari or any other kami superficial.

The Inari Faith group on Facebook has helped me a lot with that simply by existing. Thank you so much for this.

This has also made me decide to apply myself to my previous commitments as well, by going back to the basics with the Egyptian goddess Hathor, Netjeru willing.

Sacred Languages: What gives a language spiritual power when spoken or chanted in the original rather than in translation? The norito book mentions this with respect to the Classical Japanese norito (so I read them aloud in my stumbling Classical Japanese). I have read the same about Sanskrit, about the Egyptian language (which makes the lack of written vowels frustrating), and Hebrew.

"I Want to Believe": I spoke about my Inari stuff to a close friend who is not religious, but is intellectually open to the spiritual. He said he wished he could experience something like what I've experienced. He said he (metaphorically) has Fox Mulder's "I Want To Believe" poster on his wall, as in he wants to, but can't make the jump.

I told him that he needs to do stuff to have more opportunities for something to happen. Just as if you want to see more foxes, you need to go outside more. And I suggested he pray to the deity he had an interest in and seeing what happens. Do you have anything additional, anything that might help my friend?


From: (Anonymous)
The son of a friend of mine was recently born and diagnosed with a chromosomal disorder that affects cognitive and physical functions (down syndrome). As you can imagine,it's been a tough time and everyone is still trying to make sense of it. What do you believe is the karmic reason for such afflictions?

Is there anything you can suggest magically to, if not effect a complete cure, to minimise the impact of the condition on his son? My background is the usual Golden Dawn/WMT type of magic.


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Down syndrome

From: [personal profile] ritaer - Date: 2019-02-04 11:15 pm (UTC) - Expand

Protection from Confrontation?

Date: 2019-02-04 08:20 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Are there any protective measures one can take in a confrontational situation which has the potential to turn violent?

Would the Druids Egg be suitable or are there better alternatives?


Date: 2019-02-04 08:48 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Is there a role for faith in the practice of occultism? Is in an interchanging term with intention?

Sense of lack

Date: 2019-02-04 08:55 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I recently realised, not entirely without help, that one of my defining personality traits is a sense of always lacking something. No matter how much I achieve, It is never enough. Not in a greed sense, more in the sense that everything I achieve becomes meaningless. This has led me to self sabotage in my career, relationships and my general well-being.

So my question is, instead of summoning abundance, success, which would consist of asking for something, is there a way to banish this sense of ‘lacking’ or discontent?

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Color breathing

Date: 2019-02-04 09:29 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Good day JMG,

I would like to know:
Have you tried with complementary colors?

What is the effect of inhaling green exhaling red or inhaling blue exhaling orange and so on?

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-04 10:11 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Dear JMG, I was re-reading parts of a book you recommended on the old ADR blog about the Daodejing (Roger Ames' Daodejing: A Philosophical Translation), and I was curious about the similarities and differences between Daoism and Druidry. It would seem that a major difference between the two philosophically speaking is that Daoism does not acknowledge the existence of eternal forms beyond our reality whereas, if I've understand your writings correctly, that would differ from the Neoplatonic basis in Druidry.

But the ideas of Daoism which pertain to cultivating within oneself a sense of balance between processes which are constantly changing, and a recognition that one is a small element within the much larger myriad of natural things seem to connect to some of the ideas in Druidry. I also wasn't aware that Daoism seems to have its own magical system. I know you don't have the time or space to go into any great detail, but could I trouble you to say a few words about the similarities and differences between the Daoist system of magic and that of Druidry? Are Daoism and the philosophy behind Druidry totally incompatible?

Taoist Magic

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(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-04 10:58 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
One of the most intriguing possibilities of occultism is that of contacting a deity or other non-corporeal entity to be instructed in some subject such as mathematics or astrology. I wonder if you could say something about that or point me in the direction of a good book on this?

BTW I don’t have the naïve expectation that having made contact all I have to do is sit there and have my mind filled with knowledge, I do recognize that I will still have to study, but this process will flow more easily and be more profound.

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Date: 2019-02-04 11:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
How does relocational astrology work?

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Date: 2019-02-04 11:52 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

I am currently up to chapter 12 of Learning Ritual Magic. One of the things I have noticed about myself so far in the work is that I seem to be quite good at the will exercises. Focusing or not focusing on something comes very easy to me. And framing activities eg. meditation, as an act of will seems to help me focus even more.

With chapter 12's exercise of doing something you don't like in order to differentiate between will and emotion, I found a strange thing. I don't seem to feel the negative emotion if I am doing something wilfully. This makes some sense to me given that I have many years of practice doing things I didn't particularly like, starting with when my father used to drag me to work with him during school holidays as a teenager. At some point I stopped thinking about such activities in terms of whether I "liked" them or not and focused more on what I could learn from them.

But now I wonder whether this means I have repressed my emotions. What would be your take on this? What is the proper place of the emotions? Should emotions be subservient to will? How could one know whether one has bottled up the emotions too much?


(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-04 12:33 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi, JMG. This is Jess. I've been beginning to read books on alternate ways of knowing, that address reincarnation, etc. I'm trying to look at life from a different perspective.

1. I feel restless ... like in physical place. I move somewhere, am unable to find a job/ community/ landscape where I feel at home. I wonder if I should learn something from this but I'm not sure what. I wonder if my soul is looking for something. What do you think?

2. Is there an occult avenue that would help me find clarification on what my vocational purpose in life is?

(no subject)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-02-04 10:26 pm (UTC) - Expand

Geomantic chart

Date: 2019-02-04 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi JMG, I was hoping you could help me intepret a geomantic reading I cast recently. Some background: I'm currently working through Experience of the Inner Worlds but considering shifting my practice to the Golden Dawn system you teach in Learning Ritual Magic, partly because the symbolism and ritual style appeals to me but(and to myself bsense of what feels better"magical") and partly because I'm getting the impression that in Knight's system the techniques of practical magic and advanced theurgy are only taught in the coursework of the SOL rather than his published works. Since I haven't been able to find any USA-based chapters of the SOL, the Golden Dawn system seems to offer a clearer path to the advanced theory and techniques of the system as well as more potential teachers available to me. Not to mention the value of having you to ask directly when questions arise!).

So, I cast a geomantic chart asking "shoud I pursue the course of study from Learning Ritual Magic?"

The results:

1st: Carcer
2nd: Puer
3rd: Tristitia
4th: Amissio
5th: Puer
6th: Rubeus
7th: Tristitia
8th: Cauda Draconis
9th: Rubeus
10th: Puella
11th: Carcer
12th: Via

I'm thinking this is a 9th house question, giving Carcer and Rubeus for querent and quesited. Not traditionally very pleasant signs, but the chart does perfect by aspect: Carcer moves to the 11th, in sextile with the 9th - a mildly positive aspect, strengthened somewhat by the fact that it's dexter. Amissio in the 4th as the end of the matter is a bit troubling, though, as it seems to suggest that this change won't benefit me in the long run.
My tentative interpretation is that this is an answer in the affirmative, based on the perfection by aspect. I've an unfortunate tendency to dabble in magic, researching lots of different systems without getting past the beginner stages, and the postitive read of the significators would be that the Golden Dawn system is one that would engage my passion and let me throw myself into it fully. Amissio might then be a positive reinforcement of this message, indicating that utlimately I'll fall in love with GD-style magic and let go of my past hesitance toward committing to magical practice. Carcer as my significator, and the one that moves toward the quesited, could be a reminder that acheiving this result will require a good deal of disciplined work from me.

I'm wondering if you think this is a sensible interpretation of this chart, or if I'm reading it too favorably because of my current misgivings about continuing with Knight's system.

Re: Geomantic chart

Date: 2019-02-04 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Carcer the querent perfects with Rubeus in 6th (disease?)

Rubeus in 9th perfects with Rubeus in 6th. Could this mean conflict between the two systems that could lead to stress or some sort of health problem?

Carcer is also the Judge and I think it means: finish what you've started before moving on.

Via Puncti leads to Amissio, favorable only when you want to lose something.

The Reconciler is Populus and here it takes the qualities of Carcer

Re: Geomantic chart

From: [personal profile] barefootwisdom - Date: 2019-02-05 03:07 am (UTC) - Expand

TV and sharp objects

Date: 2019-02-04 02:04 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've tried various versions of the sharp iron to dispel the faerie glamor of the internet for the past few weeks without very compelling results. First I put an open pocket knife under the router. The point is somewhat chippped however, so after a week I switched it for a taped-on xacto knife blade. After a week of that I moved it to the back of the computer monitor. There have been no results that I can see.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-04 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
You've written before on the structure, function and blowback consequences of curses - I was wondering if you could take apart a case study of a famous curse - the dying curse of Jacques de Molay. Summary for other readers here:

How did he pull that off, and what were the raspberry jam implications?

(no subject)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-02-05 04:21 am (UTC) - Expand

Geomancy regarding moving across town

Date: 2019-02-04 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hello Mr. Greer, and thank you again for hosting these Magic Mondays - I learn so much from them every week!

My question today again concerns the use of Geomancy, which I’m starting to come to grips with thanks to your excellent book, and my need to determine if I should look for a new apartment this year or not. There are some changes ahead for my current situation and I need to make a decision well in advance of knowing all the relevant factors. However, moving comes with it’s own set of costs and risks - not least of which that I may find myself in a less desirable situation than I would have left! So, I wish to determine whether or not I should move via divination - preferably geomancy, as I have cast a few charts and am starting to feel like the answers make sense for me.

I always have difficulty framing my questions appropriately to the style, however, and I was hoping you could guide me towards both a well-formulated question and how to interpret some possible “tricky” answers I may receive.

I have thought about the question a bit now, and the main formulation for it that I have come up with is:

"What will be the outcome of deciding to stay in my current apartment for another year, compared to moving?"

A. Would this question appropriately cover both whether or not I’d be happy if I stayed as well as a good determination of whether or not the cost and effort of moving will really result in the changes I need (and avoiding any unforeseen negative consequences)? Or should I ask two questions, one covering each concern?

B. I would assume this question belongs to the fourth house of the answer. How would I read the answer if the fourth house has for some reason a negative figure despite a positive judge/witnesses? Or vice versa?

C. Last but not least, you mention asking via divination whether or not divination is appropriate for a given question - is this typically done with a single character, read as traditionally positive/negative, or does one typically cast a full chart for this question too? And is this a situation in which I’d be wise to check before posing my main question?

Thank you so much, again, and happy belated Imbolc!

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-04 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
As the love and money spells are both done on Friday, what kind of jar and/or candle spells can be done on the other days?

Find a job spell

Date: 2019-02-04 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Thanks so much for MM!

Apologies to the OP, I think my question is also related to this!

I have done the honey jar spell for being more likeable when networking an such. So far I've noticed that it has been working, as people have been more receptive and open. My question is now how to add on to this, as my job search is becoming more serious now (financial year in April normally brings new job openings).
Should I add a money spell with a green candle at a certain timeon Fridays, on top of my honey jar?

I have taken a part-time job (just a 20 hours/month as TA) in order to restart the 'job energies' and get in my head the idea that yes, I can get a job, already managed to get one...The next job would be better...that's kind of what I thought

What do you think? Any other recommendations?

Many thanks!

(no subject)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-02-05 04:52 am (UTC) - Expand

Tai Chi and Western Magic

Date: 2019-02-04 02:58 pm (UTC)
filthywaffle: Freepik Creative Commons (Default)
From: [personal profile] filthywaffle
Happy Lunar New Year, JMG!

You've mentioned the challenges you've had with Tai Chi not working well with Western occult practices. Does this apply to daily ritual practices like the Sphere of Protection? Or is this more a problem with the advanced ritual work as described in the Druid Magic Handbook or the Celtic Golden Dawn?

Thanks and wishing you a great Year of the Pig (or Boar if you prefer).

Curriculum for natural magic

Date: 2019-02-04 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Do you have a curriculum, or just some favorite reads, for natural magic? I know you wrote a book on the subject but you also said you wrote it before you got into hoodoo. Yronwode has written many books on hoodoo, is there one that’s good to start with? Thanks.
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ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)John Michael Greer

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