Monday, August 29, 2011

Yes, please include the cigar.

I remember hearing something from an old school crafter that during the Civil War some of the men were given pierced coins to protect them from harm and grant them luck. This seems to be consistent with all the other information that I dig up about hole coin talismans as they were a large part of Hoodoo practices and that would have been one of the traditions well and alive in the American magical current along side of Pow Wow at the time. Holed coins were worn on strings around the ankle or neck not just for luck and protection but for the curing of maladies.

So how is this something we can use today in our modern industrial age?  I found one of the reasons the West Memphis 3 spent so much of their lives in a cell is because of the lack of resources. They simply did not have the funds at the time they were originally charged to hire good lawyers who were willing and able to go to bat for them. I have been giving thought to how I would handle a legal magic case. There is a wealth of resources out there in varying books and old manuscripts on the "proper" tools, incantations and herbs, However, I think one thing is lacking.

I think that part of the magic being put out should include prosperity so that not only will the resources be available for a good legal team, but this event will not put the whole family into financial ruin. I decided to go digging back into my collection of copper pennies ( those that predate 1981) as they are created of 95 percent copper and are perfect for prosperity spells. I also kept going back to the old Hoodoo practice of piercing coins and wearing them. So I scrounged around found a good stout nail and a board, went out back to see how difficult it would be to pierce a coin. Turns out, it's pretty easy to accomplish, which is perfect because I know someone who is in need of said kind of magic right now.

My mind has been turning over on this subject mostly because I got one of those calls. It usually comes out of the blue and starts with We need your sort of help. While I have been digging through my own book of shadows and through other resources to come up with an action plan, I keep not finding exactly what I need. I am at the point where I am putting together my own action plan. Yes there are fragments of old lore in there but because this is important and must work, the whole thing must make sense to me. My way of working with the lore that has been passed to me is the only way to ensure a good flow toward success ( for me). This is not something where close but no cigar flies.

Learning the craft is a bit of a paradox. In the beginning you are guided through the basic precepts, given the book of golden rules then sent off to go do things the traditional way. Later when you have hiked down the crooked path for a good distance, you are finding that there are things that don't really work for you with the formula you were handed so you tweek it until it's right for you. Then you go back to your mentor and ask, what am I doing wrong that this won't work for me??? The answer is invariably: you are expected to make it your own. If it isn't your own and it makes no sense to your filters, it is useless to you.

Of course, there are basic concepts that are tried and true, but each witch takes those things and applies them differently. Which is why the craft, even in the same tradition, varies so wildly from witch to witch. The craft's power comes from within, not a book or a mentor, not even solely from the current you reside within. So if you find something that is close but no cigar, feel free to do what you need to do to include the cigar.


  1. LOVED this post! I've always said you could train the witch right out of a person if you tried. You've said it so well here. The magic comes from within. Time to roll our own cigars now :) Thanks Nalaya!

  2. Sooo right! The magick and the power come from within you. It's so important that you make your work your own. I found when i first started practicing witchcraft I was using other peoples spells from book...guess what?...they didn't work. I thought it was me, but it wasn't. When i started making them my own, then my success rate went way up. And now after all these years I write most of them myself, but when i'm at a loss, I may use an idea from someone else but I always make it my own then. Very good post, as always my friend. And did you really use a hammer and a nail to make a hole in the penny?? I'm going outside to try it now...i love the lore of wearing it around your ankle. :)