You knew this was coming. Perhaps you knew because I'm uncreative, and I tend to enjoy these types of posts, or perhaps you know it was coming because you reading right now personally asked me so many questions last week in an email (that I've not replied to,) that you KNEW I'd have to post all about it. ;)
Either way, let's get crackin'! The first one IS a repeat, but a useful repeat. ;)
Q: I can't stop thinking my work to death - I've tried everything! How do you stop yourself?
A: I don't always stop myself. ;) I'm big enough to admit it - I can totally think something down to nothing. Sometimes it's because I'm SO EXCITED to get something I want, and other times it's about money...which, it's like I've told some of you, if I have a big bill and I'm just SURE I won't be able to cover it, I get increasingly aggravated, and then my money spell won't manifest until after the bill is due...even though I KNOW I'm the one making that so, I can't seem to move myself around it. :P
HOWEVER, I do have a few tricks I use for avoiding lust for results/thinking the work to death...
1. I avoid my own triggers. For example if it's a personal relationship I'm doing spellwork on (not necessarily romantic in nature, but any personal relationship,) I will often stop listening to music, because I tend to think of my personal relationships when I listen to music. Some people find watching TV to be a trigger. Others feel long car rides are difficult (I suggest a book on tape - er or I should say on your device/cd player, lol, whatever is read aloud, - when driving as it will engage your mind.) Whatever your trigger/s is/are, look for a solution to avoid those triggers.
2. I keep my mind engaged in "thinking" tasks, and avoid "mindless" tasks as much as possible. For example, working for a client involves using my whole brain to focus on their problem. Sweeping my floor is a mindless task - I use hardly any brain...and if I were to engage in sweeping the house for a half hour, I could totally see my mind wandering to whatever I'm spellworking on (if I feel attracted to analyzing it.) Of course we can't totally avoid "mindless tasks" (as a pet owner, there would be pet-hair tumbleweeds in my house if I did not sweep at least daily,) but we CAN try to stay on top of those we need to do (like simple house cleaning) to avoid these tasks building into requiring a few hours at a time to accomplish them. ;)
3. I throw myself wholeheartedly at someone else's problems. You know who has problems? Everyone you know. Find someone who needs your help, and go out of your way to be helpful (without being creepy.) ;) If a friend is getting divorced or maybe another friend is uncertain about their job, I go out of my way to listen to their problems and try to help them solve said issue (in a non-magical fashion.)
4. I think it to death before I work on it. If I really believe if I don't get a chance to over-analyze the situation, that I'll keep coming back to it in my own mind, I'll spend the next 48-72 hours doing nothing but thinking about it. By the time I start my spellwork, I've so thoroughly exhausted the topic to myself in my own mind, I'm really not so eager to over think it.
5. I tell myself to "knock it off" when I find myself engaging in lust for results/thinking the work to death (and surprisingly "knock it off, Cat," actually works.
6. If I'm really married to the idea that I must, must, must, must think the problem/spell/situation to death, I will give myself 15 minutes every other night to think as much as I want about it.
7. I practice what I call "Stillness," which is basically quieting the mind. First I find a focal point, usually outside (looking out a window,) and then I tell myself nothing from the future can effect me at that moment, nothing from the past can effect me, and nothing presently will interrupt or disturb me, clearing my mind as I say these things. It brings a complete sense of peace. The longer I can stay in this state, the less wound up I am about anything whatsoever.
Q: I am worried about fire safety - can I use battery-operated lights in my spellcasting?
A: This was recently on a forum I was reading, and I don't agree that this is an effective method. If you want to use fake candles, they are certainly nice for mood-lighting, but they are not representative of fire, nor do they function in the same manner a candle does -at least how I work.
Before anyone groans and said "So-and-so says it's OK!" I assure you that I tried this out this summer with an LED fake candle. It did not show any impact. The argument I hear for this is that it's "the light" which is the gift, but in the traditions I work in, that's not entirely accurate. If you want to leave a little blinky light out as an offering and it works for you, go ahead and try.
HOWEVER, your best bet for fire safety (and not pissing off entities/ancestors/beings/the Universe who want fire, and not a low level LED glow,) is to stop worrying so much about FORM (that is, appearance) and worry more about function. Your best friend is sand. Go purchase several pounds of sand in burn your candles in a sheetcake tin or pie plate full of sand. Have a seven day, glass-encased candle? Put 2 inches of sand in a metal bucket, then place the name paper and then the candle into the bucket. Fill with sand until it reaches about the brim of the bucket. I've had these candles explode and continue to burn safely even after explosion, with no noticable heat coming off of them.
If you're more worried about something being pretty rather than it working well, I'm not the right person to learn from. ;) Also, those crappy LED fake candles are plastic and spending another 4 million years not decomposing whereas the candles you use are not going to create their own landfill. If you're earth friendly at all, you want to avoid using LED candles as an "offering" or in place of a candle.
Q: Why are so many practitioners/blog-writers/writers/occultists such a bag of dicks when I ask them questions? (Implied: These people should be so grateful for anyone's attention as to be ready to answer 5 hours worth of questions, not limited to going over the most elementary facets of spellcasting, merely for being asked to.)
A: Believe it or not, 99% (MAYBE 98%) of all people on this planet, including magic dabblers, are incredibly ignorant when it comes to the occult to such a level that it would be like me asking you over and over and over again why food rots when left out of a refrigerator and/or without being sealed, and then being dumbfounded by mold and maggots and bugs and etc, as if decay, and flora and fauna that loves old food never existed. Or...perhaps even like me being horrified that ice can melt when put into a drink...just literally shrieking as it disappears in my drink, and asking you HOW CAN THIS BE?!
And see, we, the authors and experts of the occult, know this is so. This means if you ask me a "simple question," then...well, it's not. Imagine, right now, that a two-year old asks you, "Can you explain to me the meaning of romantic love, and why it isn't always returned?" And then explain that to a child of those years in terms that they clearly understand - be sure to be deep, cover all psychological, spiritual, emotional, behavioral, and biological reasons in most currently held cultures. Or, perhaps something you're more familiar with - ever been to the doctor or the dentist, and they start speaking doctor or dentist to each other, and you're not really sure what they are saying? That's how occultists speak to each other.
And the truth is, I have cohorts even I don't bother debating with when I have an opposing view. I have peers (who I love and adore who are amazing and intelligent) who I avoid debate with not out of ANY LACK OF EXPERIENCE, but because they will come back with references, ten Google links, a college thesis paper they wrote, words from a long-dead guru, a note from their doctor, fifteen passages in ancient Hebrew, twelve in Coptic, and 2 books that are so rare, only three copies exist, and they are one of the people who helped translate that text in a museum. They do that to newbs, too...if they were patient enough to reply. ;) I'm happy with experience being the teacher, lol, so after I get a reading list (should I want to refute their opinion, I must first read this whole reading list,) I generally think "Hmm, I work 14 hours a day. This one book looks interesting but it will take me four months to read it, so I'll just go back to debating them in four months when I have." ;)
HOWEVER, the thing is, none of you get that it's not a quick answer. For it to be a quick answer, I should not have to tell you how to anoint a candle. I shouldn't have to tell you what colors correspond to Thursday or which planet rules Wednesday. I shouldn't have to tell you how to work around lunar correspondences, I shouldn't have to tell you why Return To Me is different than Reconciliation...this is all super basic shit. You should know what day, you should know what time is best. You shouldn't have to ask dumb questions like that unless you're such a neophyte that you don't know.
So, you're a neophyte...nothing wrong with that at all! We all were at one point. The difference is, the people you're talking to right now? The "modern experts?" We all were neophytes in a time where we had to put our own experience and study (of these inanimate objects called books, more often than not,) in, our own work - we didn't have anyone at your disposal to help us, really. We earned where we are. There were teachers, but they had to be sought out, and then, if we were lucky, if we'd earned it, they'd teach us. By the time we could ask others, we were far enough along that no one would even expect us to ask "What day do I start this? Like a Saturday or some shit?"
Now, go back to "Why are you all such a bag of dicks about questions?" Well, I don't think any of us would be that at all if you paid us for our time like we used to pay (and still pay) for our research materials, or if you tried to learn for yourself instead of trying to use us as free encyclopedias. Put in your work, pay others for theirs. You'll find people are a lot nicer. ;) The benefit you have IS that you can get stuff I NEVER could have gotten my hands on in my neophyte days. Don't abuse the help of others, and WE WILL HELP, and GLADLY SO. But come in with a list of 200 questions, expecting all the answers for free (or that we will write spells out for free,) and you might make someone act like a bag of dicks. :/
Aaron Leitch (who is actually a super nice guy) says it pretty well right here. ;)
Q: I'm confused - why is real spellcasting nothing like what I've seen in the movies/on television?
A: You're probably under the age of 15 (in which case, you might need parental permission to read my blog,) or suffering from impaired intelligence if you actually think most things on television or the movies are true-to-life. Lawyers laugh at lawyer shows (as a lawyer's kid, I also laugh at how inaccurate these are,) cops laugh at cop shows (wholly inaccurate again,) doctors laugh at doctor shows (stupidly inaccurate,) and occultists laugh at shows with magicians/witches/spells in them... It's not that I don't find entertainment with magic as part of the plot ENTERTAINING sometimes, but I know that it's entertainment. If you're familiar with Indiana Jones movies, that's about as accurate of a portrayal of archaeology (which it's hugely inaccurate of a portrayal of archaeology,) as movies and dramas and comedies and tv shows are accurate to the occult.
Some shows are a bit closer than others, but they are all part of a fantasy concocted for your entertainment...just like in most romance movies, the characters would be creepy and obsessed assclowns - not objects of desire; or "poor" people live in these luxury houses and apartments that most of us couldn't afford, etc., etc., etc. If you think Hollywood depicts real life very often, you're very young, and/or very naive, and/or not too bright. Even the "based on a true" story stuff is usually so far off from the true story that it's arguable that it's based on anything true. :/
Q: You give pretty good love advice - what's the best you got?
A: If you really ever loved that person and they loved you, they are almost guaranteed to come back at some point, regardless of spellwork. I've had people I never cast a spell on come back to me 5-10 years later. Obviously, death and disaster might prevent that, but the good ones come and go a few times, in my experience. I wish someone told me this when I was a younger woman, as it would have saved me staying up late torturing a few people til they came back (with spells! mwhahahahaha,) but I see now that the ones I just let go even came back. There is a beautiful passage in Corinthians, and it's very true: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." Also, the Beatles said it well with "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Basically, even though it seems like things are irrepairably lost to you, wait awhile. It might be a very long while. You might forget how much you cared. It often comes to you at some point anyhow, if you earned it, and if you loved it enough (again, barring death or disaster.) So...it's okay to let someone go. Maybe the time is wrong for you to be together right now. Don't fear you won't see them again. You often will, and they will love you and miss you when you do.
People have come back to me and said surprisingly loving and beautiful things to me when I'd written them out of my life. They've proven to me that love is a pretty unshakable bond.
Or maybe that's just a load of sugary horseshit for everyone but me. Can't say. If that sounds like a load of platitudes, then the second best advice is "For fuck's sake, stop calling your ex, stop texting them, and fucking calm down. Desperation is the world's worst cologne and your actions and behavior stink of it. Until you stop reeking of desperation, don't expect anyone to come back - just expect everyone to be repelled." :)
Alrighty, kiddos - that's it for this edition of QUESTIONS YOU'VE ASKED ME. New article shortly (seeing as I have 16 days to finish 13 more articles, I definitely can't wait too long.) ;)