PBN Blues Series: “Death Bell Blues” Tom Dickson

The art of divination is delightful and challenging.  When doing it for clients, it is one of the best ways to determine a course of action and a situational analysis.  Oracular information often leads to a Butterfly Effect of revelation and reflection that is critical to the correct purchase and advisement.

Today, we are going to talk about what happens when Death is in the reading.  It can be a Tarot based reading, or another oracle.  But we are definitely speaking of the BIG D

Now death is not always the end of life.  We know this as experienced practitioners.  Sometimes it simply signifies the end of a situation, venture, or way of being.  But there are other times when it means exactly what it indicates.  It is critical that this is handled with wisdom and insight.

First of all, remember that no future is set in stone.  At any point, the outcomes of our actions can change.  No one person can be the authority and put their fingers on a calendar and say, “This is the date for certain death” (cues the bassoon score).  Not if they are in their right minds, will they do this.
This, of course, does not even address the unethical people who live off of people’s delusions and frighten them into dependency.

So, how does a person handle this?  This is where training and experience come into the picture.  Proceed with caution.

How to definitely not go about this

Xavier Y. has come to you for a reading.  He feels uneasy, like things are not really in a good place for him.  You prepare your space and you set to work consulting the oracle of your choice.  The oracle indicates that death may be in the client’s future.

 Your eyes grow wide, and you whisper to the client that he is going to die, or that he may die soon, for all the omens and signs say this.  Xavier Y. is now clutching his knees and has lost all blood from his complexion.  He leaves your shop, shaken and visibly in distress.  He never darkens your doorway again.  Thus endeth the relationship with your client.

How to not scare the soul from your client, or a better way

 Xavier Y. has come to you for a reading.  He feels uneasy, like things are not really in a good place for him.  You prepare your space and you set to work consulting the oracle of your choice.  The oracle indicates that death may be in the client’s future.

Casket, Museum of Funeral Customs, Springfield, Illinois, 2006 - Robert Lawton
Casket, Museum of Funeral Customs, Springfield, Illinois, 2006 – Robert Lawton

You look at your client and state you are going to need him to listen to you with patience so that he can get the full meaning of what is before you.  You begin to explain that oracles are not set outcomes but indicators of what MAY occur if things keep going the way that they are.  You stress that by our everyday choices, we control our individual courses of our lives, and that every choice can effect change to what comes next.

You then explain what you see, focusing on the fact that this is probably an indication to be more mindful of how he goes about his day and to be more careful in his daily habits.  You also let him know that not only can it mean death, it can mean a prolonged illness OR separation from current circumstances in his life.  

At no time do you pronounce impending sentences and countdown clocks. HOWEVER, you must disclose what you see in a truthful and responsible way.
Xavier Y. may be shaken from this reading.  However, he is also now forewarned to be cautious and mindful in his life, so this may indeed affect a change in his path.  You have been honest, responsible, and have counseled your client calmly and effectively according to the parameters of your profession.  If you are a person who can offer advice and/or sales of tools that will help the situation, you can do so.  But under no circumstances will an ethical person foist charms and such upon a person in order to make a quick dollar.   

 

For seers, this is a bit different, because clairvoyance is something that we are not referring to here.  But even in visions, the future is not always what we believe we see.  We must use our experience and wisdom to interpret our dreams, visions, and prophecies in order to get proper discernment.

In all ways concerning this situation, we must offer hope.  There is always another path.  There is always a chance we have made a mistake in interpretation.  And there is always free will.  Be responsible.  A change of step can be a change of fate.

Fire cannot burn away spirit of Mystical Mae Moon

On June 26th, 2016, fire struck and destroyed Mystical Mae Moon shop in Ontario.  The little shop located at 1666 Tecumseh Road in Windsor, ON served as a local destination for all manner and make of spiritual and Pagan seekers and celebrants.  The realization of a dream, the store’s owners Ron and Melissa spent the time and sweat equity to create a focal point of Canadian Pagan and spiritual communities in the welcoming space.  This week it was condemned, and with it the blood and resources of local Pagans were stirred into action.

Mystical Mae Moon‘s story does not stop here at ruined bricks and mortar.  They plan to build again from the ashes.  Supporters of festivals, meet ups, groups, businesses, artisans and more, they represent a spiritual heartbeat that must not be silenced.  This is their story.

Used with permission
Mystical Mae Moon before fire

Please tell us who you are and what this shop means to the community.

I am Ron Story, and my wife is Melissa ‘Mae’ Story. Our store hasn’t been open one year yet. We are very new. We have only been exposed to a small percentage of the community. I would like to think that we benefit the community with our workshops and classes. Not only do they help educate and spread knowledge, they also help people who are alike find one another.

I know connections have been made through our shops (sic) that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise. We also offer products at an affordable price. We try to keep our markup low. The economy isn’t doing well in this area. We would like to give everyone we can the opportunity to acquire the things they would like to have.

And now, what is the plan to bring it back?

We are waiting on insurance. Once we know where we stand with them, we will start looking for a new place.

How long had you been working towards this shop?

Not sure if I can recall accurately. We opened Sept 23, 2015. The summer prior we vended at various local markets. If I recall, we started planning late 2014.

How did this happen?

I assume you mean the fire. We are in a building that houses 5 commercial units, with 5 apartments on the 2nd floor. The fire started in the Laundromat which is owned and operated by the landlord. From news reports, the fire started at 9:30ish. We received a call from ADT at home (our alarm service) at 10:30 am that both doors sensors had been triggered. This was Sunday evening.

What is the damage to your inventory? How heavy is this loss?

Inventory is 100% loss due to smoke damage. Fixtures and furniture has yet to be determined by insurance. From what I was told, the building will be written off, that damage well exceeds the value of the building. So we are relocating as well. I had put a lot of money and work in renovations, which I will not be compensated for. We also lost our shop pet birds, 2 budgies named ‘Yellow’ and ‘Green’.

Emotionally, where are you right now?

After Fire
After Fire

What is getting you through this?

Emotionally, we are both a wreck. I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night. I didn’t fall asleep until 3pm Monday, for a few hours. We are with very heavy heart. Our friends, that we met through our shop, have been very supportive and encouraging. My wife and I are leaning on each other, and our friends and the community are a great help with moral support. We are overwhelmed by the response.

The support system that you have earned through the esteem and good works you have done are rallying together to make the path back to regular operations faster. How does this make your work flow right now?

It’s to early to say, the work flow hasn’t begun yet in rebuilding. Everyone is volunteering to help when the time comes. I’m sure it will make it a positive experience, and fruitful one.

On a spiritual level, where do you feel the push for coming together to uplift you is coming from right now?

From the Pagan Community.

The Fat Feminist Witch is really sounding the cry to arms. Who is she to you?

The Fat Feminist Witch, also known as Paige, is a part-time employee of ours, who also has her goods at our shop on consignment, and does workshops out of our shop. She is not only an employee to us, she is family.

Yellow and Green at Mystical Mae Moon
Yellow and Green, victims of fire

The staff and families of the store, how are they affected.

Our kids are upset over the loss of the birds. My youngest, who is 7 yrs old, asked us if the birds spirits are free and flying around us.

Paige is our only employee, and she has put our stores revival in front of her own survival. I believe she took it hard initially, but she became very motivated to ensure we rebuild.

Is there a move toward helping right now, other than the gofundme?

I’ve heard there is an online auction in the works. I don’t know the details.

Where can folks send their help?

Go to the page Help Mystical Mae Moon! on gofundme.

How else can people become involved in making this happen?

To be honest, I don’t know. I have never experience community pulling together like this. It’s overwhelming. I’m used to doing things on my own.

Mystic Mae Moon gofundme
Mystic Mae Moon gofundme

Is there anything you would like to say to the people just now hearing about this?

Hmm. Don’t take anything for granted. Things can turn upside down in minutes.

Sorry, struggling to put these emotions into words…

The community spirit that is pulling together to support us is amazing. I thought it was something that was lost. (the tribe spirit) I am so grateful for this support that I can not express it. I am sad and ashamed to say I was losing faith in humanity. It has been restored.

 

PBN Blues Series: “Who do You Love” – George Thorogood

There are times when power plays are important, in life and in the magickal/spiritual world.  There really are enemies out there who come after people.  Yes, sometimes it really is you against the world.

Clients, and even other practitioners, may come to you when they cannot lift the workings cast against them.  They may feel hexed, cursed, crossed, or any number of other colorful terms for feeling that they are being attacked magically and/or spiritually.  Witchcraft of the Mouth is the most common form.  So is candle working.  Once the choice has been made on how to counter these things, and this is of course after ascertaining if they even exist, there should always be a follow-up working.

The follow-up is like tying up loose ends.  It sweeps away the debris, and clears the road for progress.  It also facilitates and environment for healing of the client.  After battle, the medics always come in to patch, but long-term care is important for a proper recovery.

When working with your client, you may be tempted to do success work right away.  While this is not necessarily wrong, it can be incomplete.  If they are still emotionally and mentally compromised from the attacks against them they will be hindered.  Experience advises you to suggest clearing work, path opening work, and the critical task of building up their defenses and confidence.  Why help them fight if you do not provide the tools needed to mount a good strong level of protection and defense?  When a person neutralizes malevolent spells and workings, without sending a strong message, it sometimes becomes more dangerous and emboldens the adversaries to up the stakes.  In these cases, it is important to advise the client of ALL options.

Let’s look at a case where this comes into play.

Mattsson_Interrogation_of_the_sorceress.jpg
Mattsson_Interrogation_of_the_sorceress.jpg

Timone V. has been beaten down for a long time.  She has always managed to make things work, no matter how unhappy she may have been with her current project by constantly bending and doing the work that other don’t do.  She even has not made an issue when others came in at the last-minute to do a minor touch on the finished project in order to take credit for the work.

But recently, she hit the wall and reached her limit and spoke up.  Within record time, forces and working were cast against her in an attempt to compel her into submission.  Quietly,  detractors organized and set about a whisper chain to destroy her.  Being a practitioner herself, she was hesitant about acting rashly, so decided to seek an objective opinion.

Timone V. came to your shop and gave you a breakdown of her situation.   You joined together in deciding the best course of action.  You consulted with her in choosing work to stop gossip, to break any compulsions, and to clear her roads.  She did not wish to attack anyone, just to defend.  This was successful, however the attacks resumed and she found herself right back in the same dire straits of being assailed from all sides.  In fact, it became worse, as her enemies doubled down and increased their workings against her.  Now you find yourself in a quandary of what the correct action will be.

Quick and easy, and a little cheesy

You decide to use the honey jar method, as that is the new “go-to” panacea in folk magick popularity.  Using what you have prepackaged on the shelf, you quickly assure her that this is all she needs to fix her situation.   You see no need to explain the principles behind what you are doing, and assure her that her situation will be fixed with this easy remedy.  You see no need for subsequent work.  After all, if she is a practitioner, she should know all the forms of spells anyway.  She leaves your shop, unsure as to why this will work.

Tombstone hand time, or empowering the unsure practitioner/client

Timone V. has been beaten down for a long time.  She has always managed to make things work, no matter how unhappy she may have been with her current project by constantly bending and doing the work that other don’t do.  She even has not made an issue when others came in at the last-minute to do a minor touch on the finished project in order to take credit for the work.

But recently, she hit the wall and reached her limit and spoke up.  Within record time, forces and working were cast against her in an attempt to compel her into submission.  Quietly,  detractors organized and set about a whisper chain to destroy her.  Being a practitioner herself, she was hesitant about acting rashly, so decided to seek an objective opinion.

Antonio de Pereda [Public domain]
Antonio de Pereda [Public domain]
Timone V. came to your shop and gave you a breakdown of her situation.   You joined together in deciding the best course of action.  You consulted with her in choosing herbs to make a powder to stop gossip, to break any compulsions, and to clear her roads.  She did not wish to attack anyone, just to defend.  This was successful, however the attacks resumed and she found herself right back in the same dire straits of being assailed from all sides.  In fact, it became worse, as her enemies doubled down and increased their workings against her.  Now you find yourself in a quandary of what the correct action will be.

You explain that it is like going into a boxing ring and just holding up the gloves to trying to block punches.  Eventually, that person will get worn down, be slow to move,  and be pummeled.  This makes no sense.  The fact that the person does not want to fight does not matter, the opponent will keep swinging until they take them down.  In order to survive the fight, the proper course of action is to block AND strike.  This way, you defend, counter, and have a chance to make it to the end without being on your back and at your opponent’s mercy. If you knock them out, all the better.

Self preservation must be the first law.

Timone V. sees the wisdom of this and decides that it is time to end this cycle of conflict.  She decides to defend herself and also send a clear message of strong defense.  She designs a working that allows her to control the measure of retaliation and attack so that it stays within what she deems the limits of fairness according to her belief system.

In this case, ritual tools are incorporated into the sale.  These include a huge bag of Devil’s Shoe String that will be added to the anointing oil for cord working – turns out she is a textile worker, and some Witch’s Grass.  Items she usually had no call to utilize are now a part of her stratagems.  You have a variety of wares and this enables you to meet her needs.  You also supply her the chance to order additional items from your catalogs.  This extra mile will assure repeated visits and an opportunity to build her magickal toolbox.

You assemble the components and she makes sure she has the tools she needs to empower her working before she leaves.  You client is satisfied and confident, her faith in her own right to defend herself restored.  She also has a new level of faith in her Pagan business owner as well.  You watch her leave, and hear the Thunder in her steps.

 

The most important detail overlooked by pagan online businesses when building a brand

Building your brand is the most important thing to any business. Your brand is your opportunity to show transparency and offer a welcome mat. It is the hospitality of your business. Consumers want to feel like you know exactly what they’re looking for; they want to trust you. The most overlooked detail when building a brand is that the brand is commonly focused on the owner or operator’s vision. When you only focus on the vision of the owner or operator there is little room to grow your target audience and increase sales.

See most of us were taught that we need to focus on The 4P’s of Marketing which are:

Product or Service: What does the customer want from the product or service? What needs does it satisfy?

Place: Where do customers look for your product or service? If they look in a store, what kind? A specialist boutique or in a supermarket, or both? Or online?

Price: What is the value of the product or service to the customer?

Promotion: Where and when can you get across your marketing messages to your target market? How will you reach your audience will it be by advertising online, in the press, or on TV, or radio ads, or on billboards?

"Drink Coca-Cola 5¢", an 1890s advertising poster showing a woman in fancy clothes
“Drink Coca-Cola 5¢”, an 1890s advertising poster showing a woman in fancy clothes

It’s different now! now we must implement The 4 C’s of Marketing which are:

Customer: Product or service worth, competitive advantage and market positioning.

In order to use the 4Cs marketing concept, you must clearly identify your target audience/customer and keep in mind that you may be targeting more than one group.

Cost: Affordability, satisfaction and value using the 4 C’s you must look at cost from the consumer’s point of view, they are looking for a deal.

Communication: Customer Engagement “What’s in it for them? Social Media Engagement.

Convenience: Purchasing barriers and online sales. In the world of technology, convenience is valuable.

Now that we have a clear understanding of the 4 P’s and the 4 C’s of Marketing.

Now we can see that when selling our products and services we must keep the consumer in mind. In this day in age we have more competitors than ever and our brand must be universal. By Universal I mean expanding your target audience with emotional marketing. Emotional Marketing is when the consumer feels empowered by the message that you are sending through your Advertisements, Logo, Website and ALL of your Social Media Channels.

Let’s take Nike for instance. They truly do have a universal feel and it’s because the focus on the evolution of one’s personal growth and development. Now ask yourself how can you make your product or service have that same effect? It’s quite simply actually…..Implement emotional marketing in the core of your branding.

Image of marketing for Charissa's Cauldron
Image of marketing for Charissa’s Cauldron

You must paint the picture of what it could look or feel like to the consumer. The consumer must have a mental or visual experience that triggers emotions that prompts them to buy and encourage others to have this fabulous experience or product. Your brand must create a moment of magic for each potential customer.

Now that we have all of that out of the way, here comes the fun part. I want you to take time to re-evaluate your brand and make sure your core values still show. Then I want you to ask yourself what will it take to prompt your targeted customer purchase? Really think about it, what would be the best way to experience for you to experience your own product or service? And build from there.

Short Bio

Shalena is hands on with her Family, Friends and her Community, because they are what’s most important to her. She believes in helping other reach their full potential. Raised in the Christian faith as a child she always felt like something was missing, that there was more to life. As life went on she realized that she has a deep connection with nature and began to research religions that were nature based. It was then she found Wicca and now she has Pagan/Christian Roots and Beliefs.

She is the founder of SWINC Corporation, SWINC Marketing and The People’s Tax Company. She created SWINC Marketing in 2014 because she has a passion for help small businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations. She has been a freelance Marketer over the past 7 years. She has helped local schools, small businesses and entrepreneurs on paid and unpaid projects. She understands the need for affordable marketing solutions and genuinely wants to help the small business community.

 

Shalena Ward

Marketing Expert

Multi Business Owner

Pagan/Christian Roots and Beliefs

Wife and Mother

Nature Witch

Luna Dragonfly

www.swincmarketing.com

sward@swincmarketing.com

(248) 733-3792