PBN Blues Series: “Holiday” Madonna

We return with our series to a happy song with a not so happy scenario. Some ideas and holidays naturally lend themselves to be inspiration behind product lines. It has always been this way. People are attracted naturally to ideas that are grand and sweeping. This is a fertile method of catching the eye of a consumer and assuring recognition. Unfortunately, this is also a fertile ground for competition to become such that it leads to accusations of duplication. There may come a time when one of your professional clients comes to you regarding such an instance.

Deja Vu for two

Ariel S. started a product line of ankle chains and charms that she has named after Ukrainian Pagan festivals. They are entirely lovely and charming (no pun intended). She got the idea from a workshop when the last folk festival took place. With determination and care, she developed unique and beautiful creations that each had a tiny flower clasp made of porcelain that corresponded with the season. She enchanted each one and passed it through incense smoke to give a distinct blessing to each.

Ariel S. lived in a very busy area, with local shop keeps vying for new ways to draw business into their stores all the time. This time, she had her own winner. Business was booming and her sales were fantastic. Then she noticed that she began to receive word that another shop on another block has started making bracelets based on the Ukrainian observances as well. She was livid.

Image: pixabay

 

Ariel S. decided to confront the owner. In a whirl of skirts and fury, she swept into the shop and demanded an explanation. The owner, Libby T. met her with a fury of her own. After all, there was no reason that she could not take the same information that the workshop had provided and use it for her own creations. Competition was what makes the lifeblood of small business, after all. She pointed out to Ariel S. that her bracelets were her creation, and that no one had the right to prevent another person from using a common holiday name.

Image: pixabay

Slash and spurn

Ariel S. storms out and heads straight to your botanica. She walks up to you and very clearly demands a court case candle in crisp tones. She is going to sue Libby T. to make her give up any right to name her bracelets the same way she names her anklets. She asks your advice on how best to crush and disgrace her competition. In her eyes, they are copying her idea.

You provide her with a kit to utterly destroy the other store’s reputation. You also arrange for the local cultural club to have you come do a talk about the Ukrainian holidays and market your creation. You include essence of Bend Over mixed with Domination and Follow Me Boy in order to assure her an easier path to swaying the club against Libby T. Their newsletter is known to very well read, and you know this is the best way to achieve her goal.

She finishes her purchases and glides away reassured. You return to your reading of your novel.

Baba would not approve

Ariel S. started a product line of ankle chains and charms that she has named after Ukrainian Pagan festivals. They are entirely lovely and charming (no pun intended). She got the idea from a workshop when the last folk festival took place. With determination and care, she developed unique and beautiful creations that each had a tiny flower charm that corresponded with the season. She enchanted each one and passed it through incense smoke to give a distinct blessing to each.

Ariel S. lived in a very busy area, with local shop keeps vying for new ways to draw business into their stores all the time. This time, she had her own winner. Business was booming and her sales were fantastic. Then she noticed that she began to receive word that another shop on another block has started making bracelets based on the Ukrainian observances as well. She was livid.

Ariel S. decided to confront the owner. In a whirl of skirts and fury, she swept into the shop and demanded an explanation. The owner, Libby T. met her with a fury of her own. After all, there was no reason that she could not take the same information that the workshop had provided and use it for her own creations. Competition was what makes the lifeblood of small business, after all. She pointed out to Ariel S. that her bracelets were her creation, and that no one had the right to prevent another person from using a common holiday name.

Ariel S. storms out and heads straight to your botanica. She walks up to you and very clearly demands a court case candle in crisp tones. She is going to sue Libby T. to make her give up any right to name her bracelets the same way she names her anklets. She asks your advice on how best to crush and disgrace her competition. In her eyes, they are copying her idea.

You stand there for a moment, with your mouth hanging open in sheer confusion. You know both these ladies and cannot understand where this passion is coming from in this matter. You also know that flowers are a common theme in the culture’s jewelry.

Image: pixabay

You ask Ariel S. how she thinks that will fly with the ladies at the cultural center. They have spent several years in their mission of spreading knowledge of the joy of the culture and its preservation, and you fear she will make unnecessary enemies. You understand her anger, but caution her. The same anger she feels could be unfortunately turned against her if folks feel she is unfair. Many local shops use those names in the neighborhood for their other products.

 

Ariel S. reminds you that she did not ask your advice. You fill her order, and include a special gift of a flourite, rose quartz, and green kyanite necklace. She leaves satisfied. You say a prayer for both shop owners.

The lesson

Sometimes our clients are not in a mood to hear our opinions. It is important to know when to step back and simply provide the services requested. It is also important to advise the client of possible repercussions on a magickal and spiritual level when doing business in the realm of the spiritual. It is important to not take sides or become overly involved in disputes, but just as important to give wise counsel to your client.

 

 

 

PBN Blues Series: “I Want a Little Sugar In My Bowl” Nina Simone

As a vendor of various supplies for every sort of human need and condition, Pagan and Spiritualist business folk inevitably meet is the question of sex magick. Yessss, sex, that lovely passion that is shared by the majority of the human population. In all its forms, the desire for that physical form of release merits so many forms of potion and possible working that a shop could specialize, theoretically, on this area exclusively given the right place. In this case, we are discussing the magick for drawing sex.

Image: Christopher Campbell
Image: Christopher Campbell

But knowing what form of work is key. Your client may say they want romance, when in fact they simply want a night of fun. Or the opposite case may occur, and they ask for help in achieving the conditions to be ready for a fling, when what they truly long for is a committed relationship. While it is true that you are a merchant, it is good business to read your customer so that you recommend the right products for the situation.

So let us get to our scenario of the day.

All splash, no substance

Zoe P. comes into your shop in a rush of energy. She enthusiastically floats from candle to candle, shelf to shelf, looking at every item that even remotely seems to be related to love workings. The belly dance scarves and sensual oils join her overflowing basket and she bounces towards your counter. As you ring up her purchases, she starts to bite her lip and places her hand on the next to last item before it can be added to the total.

Being an experienced worker, you know that this is usually when the “extra” items are sought. You patiently wait for her request that you know is coming. She looks you in the eye with a wry smile and asks if you have any items specifically for sex. To be exact, she is looking for a way to get more sex from her partner, who has ceased relations with her for the last three months and counting.

Her façade of cheeriness begins to crack, and her voice drops a bit. Zoe P. tells you that not only has the sex stopped, so has all touching in her relationship. NO physical contact is taking place outside of the occasional hand holding and kissing. Her sex life, actually, is dead.

You look at her and tell her to seek a new partner. Being the all-knowing and benevolent shop-keep you are, you give her an attraction candle and tell her to find the picture of the nearest coworker and have at it. She should be busy in no time.

She hesitates, and buys your suggested item. You bag her purchases, satisfied that you have made a hefty sale for the day. You never see her again.

Tell me what you want, what you really really want

Zoe P. comes into your shop in a rush of energy. She enthusiastically floats from candle to candle, shelf to shelf, looking at every item that even remotely seems to be related to love workings. The belly-dance scarves, Love Drops candles,  and orange blossom oils join her overflowing basket and she bounces towards your counter. As you ring up her purchases, she starts to bite her lip and places her hand on the next to last item before it can be added to the total.

Being an experienced worker, you know that this is usually when the “extra” items are sought. You patiently wait for her request that you know is coming. She looks you in the eye with a wry smile and asks if you have any items specifically for sex. To be exact, she is looking for a way to get more sex from her partner, who has ceased relations with her for the last three months and counting.

Her façade of cheeriness begins to crack, and her voice drops a bit. Zoe P. tells you that not only has the sex stopped, so has all touching in her relationship. NO physical contact is taking place outside of the occasional hand holding and kissing. Her sex life, actually, is dead.

Image: creative photo corner-Unsplash
Image: creative photo corner-Unsplash

 

Zoe P. has really just laid it on the line for you. Because of the level of sharing she has opened between you, you cautiously ask her if anything has changed in the last three months. Was there a new job, possible infidelity, arguments, etc.? She tells you that recently, she lost a lot of weight — 100 lbs. Six months ago underwent a makeover for her 40th birthday. New clothes, wardrobe, hair color and cut, and a membership to a CrossFit training group has completed her transformation. Essentially, she is a new woman.

You ask her if her partner seemed to taper off their activities around the time of her transformations. Has this person begun to pull away?  Zoe P. thinks for a moment, and tells you that yes, they have. She then confides that as she changed, he seemed to become shy about letting her see him unclothed, and stopped taking photos next to her when they went out on the town.

You tell her that, of course, you cannot be sure but you feel that maybe her partner feels “unsexy” next to her new image. You suggest some things for communication and self-esteem be substituted in her order. Gentle reassurance, rather than brash one-off sex-pottery seems to be a wiser course for a long term goal. You also recommend some Aphrodesia oil, to kickstart things. To get things in the mood, you suggest she actually uses lyrics from I Want a Little Sugar In My Bowl by Nina Simone  as an incantation for her working with the Rose Quartz/Pan Incense set she adds to her basket.

Image: Alejandra Quiroz
Image: Alejandra Quiroz

Zoe P. finishes her purchase, now a very different set of items, and thanks you. The bounce has returned to her demeanor a bit, and the quickness of her steps staccato in the store. A very happy customer walks out of your door with a purchase that feels more “right” to her. But she still bought the hip scarf, of  course.

PBN Blues Series: “Stones in My Passway” by Robert Johnson

Ah yes, that good old-fashioned favorite has finally made its way to this series.  In most practitioner’s scope of service, there will inevitably arise the question of foot track magick. The laying of tricks and the fixing of soils is as old as the first time someone drew the image of their enemies on the bottom of their shoes. Salting the earth so nothing grows is the mundane cousin to dusting the ground where folks will walk.

Image: How-Soon Ngu

The foot, and the need to crush those under it, is primal. The use of their footprints to get to the enemy is well-known. There are varied applications of this, and it is up to the parties involved in the situation. Sprinkling powders, driving in objects, or burying fetishes in the ground are in many magickal practices, so be ready for anything no matter where you set up shop.

Quick and sloppy service

SuGhee T. walks into your shop and comes straight to the counter. She smiles at you and asks you how you are faring. She places her purse on the counter and removes a pack of photographs and slides it to you. She asks you to look at it and tell her what it all may mean.

You check the set of pictures and it tells a very revealing story. You ask their origin. SuGhee T. tells you these are prints from her surveillance camera on the side of her house. The photos show a man laying what appears to be a powdered substance on the porch steps of her home, and sprinkling it all the way to her car door. He then dusts the handle and walks backwards away from the yard turning at the last-minute.

Image: Bruce Emmerling
Image: Bruce Emmerling

SuGhee T. tells you that this man in the photographs is her cousin. They have been in dispute over an inheritance from their grandmother. She won the case in probate court, but ever since then, her affairs have been in chaos. Her dog died, she has been in two car accidents, and her house caught on fire. This has all occurred in the course of no more than 30 days since court.

You tell SuGhee T. that this is a simple fix. You direct her to a set of novena candles and give her instructions on using them. You also sell her a small High John root to carry. You offer to dress the candles and sprinkle a bit of glitter and oil just on the top of the wax. She leaves and you go about your day.

 

Getting down to business for effective service

SuGhee T. walks into your shop and comes straight to the counter. She smiles at you and asks you how you are faring. She places her purse on the counter and removes a pack of photographs and slides it to you. She asks you to look at it and tell her what it all may mean.

You check the set of pictures and it tells a very revealing story. You ask their origin. SuGhee T. tells you these are prints from her surveillance camera on the side of her house. The photos show a man laying what appears to be a powdered substance on the porch steps of her home, and sprinkling it all the way to her car door. He then dusts the handle and walks backwards away from the yard turning at the last-minute.

SuGhee T. tells you that this man in the photographs is her cousin. They have been in dispute over an inheritance from their grandmother. She won the case in probate court, but ever since then, her affairs have been in chaos. Her dog died, she has been in two car accidents, and her house caught on fire. This has all occurred in the course of no more than 30 days since the court case.

After more conversation, you find out that things in her yard and home have gone missing. There was a day not too long ago when her window was open, even though she never leaves it open. Nothing of value was stolen, so she had forgotten about it. Upon reflection, she notes that several personal items have gone missing.

Adding to this disclosure, she tells you that her yard has been slowly dying near her tree. There is a bare spot where rain damaged the ground by flooding it. It is just outside her bedroom window. She remembers strange mounds in the earth and unusual stones. You grab your divination set and get to work.

Image: Joy Stamp
Image: Joy Stamp

You shake your head and take a moment for a deep intake of breath. In this moment, you have deduced that this is going to be an ongoing situation. You also know that it will take some serious work, so you let SuGhee T. know that this is not an overnight fix. Things are going to need she get her hands dirty. You also tell her she is going to have to re-purpose some of her kitchen tools.

The fact that the cousin has become so brazen speaks to his level of malevolence. The unexplained happenings are all tied into the timeline. The images are the final nail in the coffin of proof that buries any doubt about the source of this run of disasters.

Together, you devise a long series of workings to battle back this attack. The cousin has used a combination of magicks, contagion, probably sympathetic (according to your oracle), and conjure. So this will have to be fought on multiple fronts. You warn her not to tip her hand that she knows what he is doing. The soil around her house will have to be handled as well.

An order of spell components is placed for the missing items. Ancestor Work is your main plan of attack, as well as graveyard work. You are going to bring Grandma into this fight. She is also going to have to do some night time work of her own.

A friend of hers of the dangerous sort lies buried not far from her home. She decides to pay him a visit and ask for some assistance. She makes a quick search on her smartphone for the closest store that sells a good grade of rum and adds a few more items to her list.

Image: Todd Quackenbush
Image: Todd Quackenbush

Reversal work can get nasty. You give her a set of instructions for clearing herself, her home, and her property. She buys a railroad spike from you for her car and a few lodestones for her bag. Her kitchen will be her headquarters for the next few months, so she also buys a good mortar and pestle while she is there.

Later

SuGhee T. follows the plan and comes back to your shop within a month’s time. Her spirits are higher, and she has a new dog. The cousin is mysteriously no longer coming around, and actually has fallen quite ill. Such a shame when that happens, you say. You both share a look and your customer buys a few more things. She leaves your shop, satisfied and ready to refer more clients.

PBN Blues Series: “Bitter End” Rag’n’Bone Man

Friendships and relationships make the backbone of common casework for many practitioners. Beside money issues, they reign as the giants of the topics for concern for the professional practitioner. Clients are humans, after all, and they cannot avoid the interactions that come with the human experience. Because of this, relationship issues are bound to come up sooner or later.

As a practitioner, you could very well specialize in this field and make a pretty good income. It can make or break a career if you become known to either be successful, or abysmal, in this field. This is why it should be handled well, if at all. Matters of the heart are always delicate, and a attention to detail is important when deciding how to engage a case.

Cut and dried it would seem

Photo: Tom Butler
Photo: Tom Butler

Penzobia B. is a peer level practitioner. She is up there with the best of them, but for some reason she cannot seem to shake a spell of bad luck that seems to keep cycling. She performs road opener works consistently, yet nothing sticks. Divination is unclear in its results for her, and dream work is not lucid in this matter. She wonders if she has somehow just run into a bad patch, or if something else is going on in her world.

 

After speaking with Penzobia B., you find that she recently ended a friendship of many years. This person is also a magickal and spiritual practitioner. You ask if she ended the friendship in anger, and she states that while there was a anger on one side, she already detached from the relationship due to negativity on the part of the former friend, so she felt nothing insofar as emotional distress. In fact, she felt a bit unburdened by having to keep up her half of the relationship after years of swinging back and forth between betrayal and neediness.

You surmise that her bad luck stems from her own suppressed feelings of guilt. You tell her to forgive herself, and bathe in hyssop. You also tell her to write a letter to the Universe asking for release from her bonds with that person, then burn it. You sell her the bath, and go about your day.

From bitter endings 

Photo: Zack Minor
Photo: Zack Minor

 

Penzobia B. is a peer level practitioner. She is up there with the best of them, but for some reason she cannot seem to shake a spell of bad luck that seems to keep cycling. She performs road opener works consistently, yet nothing sticks. Divination is unclear in its results for her, and dream work is not lucid in this matter. She wonders if she has somehow just run into a bad patch, or if something else is going on in her world.

After speaking with Penzobia B., you find that she recently ended a friendship of many years. This person is also a magickal and spiritual practitioner. You ask if she ended the friendship in anger, and she states that while there was an anger on one side, she already detached from the relationship due to negativity on the part of the former friend, so she felt nothing insofar as emotional distress. In fact, she felt a bit unburdened by having to keep up her half of the relationship after years of swinging back and forth between betrayal and neediness.

Normally, you might suggest a simple purification, however you also know that when practitioners are involved, things get deep sometimes. Upon doing a reading, you at first have the same issues. Disjointed information and nonsensical lines. But you are not new at this. You know “work” when you see it.

Photo: Simon Wijers
Photo: Simon Wijers

You cleanse the area, and client and self, with a blend containing eyebright and some other herbs, and try again. That is when it becomes clear. There is definitely work, and it is, indeed, the former friend. She, and an accomplice, are using a grey candle trap to avoid detection, and adding lavender to the works in order to lull the target into a calm state. This is an insidious form of magick, as it has a veil on it that make Penzobia B. feel nothing is really wrong, as she is always being soothed no matter how badly events occur.

Also, the spells have been formed in such a way as to reattach after being dismissed. They are feeding upon the continuous loop of doubt and fire magick. This is a tricky one, you will give her that much credit. Walnut shells are not the simple fix here.

You and Penzobia B. review the results of the divination and devise a case plan to dismantle, counter, and destroy the attacks. Because she was attacked, she decides that the “gloves are off” and buys spell components designed to twist a sufficient amount of curse work back to the assailant. She make her purchases, and you strengthen our professional networking relationship with her. You also do an additional cleansing and some grey work to deter mischief.

PBN Blues Series: – “Tramp” by Otis Redding & Carla Thomas

Respect is a fickle emotion, it rivals its cousin, Reputation, insofar that it is enduring or fleeting based on the subjective opinion of others. Social mores are tricky at times, especially when doing business in a neighborhood that has a socioeconomic demographic that is more affluent than the business owner’s beginnings. It is not uncommon to find oneself navigating the derision and contempt of the more affluent clientage and peer when moving to a new place.

The way that we handle the discourses in which we engage with those who may find us lesser is a crucial skill to develop. As a client, when we encounter poor treatment, we can easily take our custom elsewhere. However, as a business, the ever-present need for business can sometimes lead to decisions choices about how much is really acceptable to tolerate from a client. From peers, this has the potential to become exceedingly unpleasant, and damaging to our brand.

Image: Abigail Keenan
Image: Abigail Keenan

 

Anneliese V. has been a practitioner for over 15 years in various parts of the state in which she lives. First, as an independent reader, then later as a staff person in an obscure metaphysical business. She has painstakingly made small steps toward becoming an independent business brand of her own, and now opens a business in a middle class part of town. It is a step up from the lower end stores in which she cut her teeth. A gleaming window sign, a clingfilm sticker from the Pagan Business Network, new fixtures, and a well stocked shelf are physical manifestations of her pouring a lifetime of savings, hopes, and dreams into her shop.

Within a month, Anneliese V. develops a respectable base of clientage.  Her Romany inspired broom straw skirts and her passion for streaming Sacred Grove Radio instead of local contemporary music has given her clients a taste of her own unique style. Return customers bring referrals and all is well. However, shortly after the midpoint of the second month, her clients have begun to drop. The cheery little shop has begun to feel a down, and she does not understand what is going on.

That is, she doesn’t until the local blogger grapevine bearer drops into her ear the local news. It seems that a long-established store nearby has begun to disparage her name and business. A whisper campaign seeking to discredit her experience and product quality, by this competitor, has led to a loss of public confidence. She confronts the owner, and to her shock, he doesn’t deny her accusations. In fact he actually gives her a tongue lashing publicly at the local metaphysical fair and tells her that she is fit for nothing better than “garbage candle store magick, and everyone knows it”. He then attacks her style of dress as a costume fit for only a tramp from the poor side of the tracks.

Bending and bowing without a fight

Taken by complete surprise, Annaliese V. walks out of the fair. The local gossips feast upon the rumors and whispers that follow, adding to them. Emboldened, the shop owner publicly shreds her reputation at every gathering. Each time, she walks away. Finally, dejected, she comes to you to get a reading, as she has lost faith in her own abilities to read clearly.

You throw the coins and employ complementary techniques. All indications are that it will be difficult to undo the damage, as the juggernaut of misrule in the local metaphysical community seems to be falling in step behind the rival shop owner. You advise her to take a spiritual bath in hyssop and lavender, and tell her she has no hope of prevailing. You tell her that she should accept defeat and return to the neighborhood she started in before, and to not attempt to rise above her social and professional station. Success lies in being small and keeping quiet.

She leaves, intent on shutting down her business. Annaliese V. resigns herself to giving up her dream and you never see her again. A month later, her shop is shuttered.

Some things are worth fighting for

Taken by complete surprise, Annaliese V. walks out of the fair. The local gossips feast upon the rumors and whispers that follow, adding to them. Emboldened, the shop owner publicly shreds her reputation at every gathering. Each time, she walks away. Finally, dejected, she comes to you to get a reading, as she has lost faith in her own abilities to read clearly.

You throw the coins and employ complementary techniques. All indications are that it will be difficult to undo the damage, as the juggernaut of misrule in the local metaphysical community seems to be falling in step behind the rival shop owner. Still, people are not programs on software, and the future is not cemented.

As a professional practitioner, you know that spiritual counseling is a major component in your field. To counsel Annalise V. properly, you give her all sides of what is facing her. This involves you doing a more in-depth continuation of the reading so that she can get a balanced view of her choices. The fight will be long, but it is winnable. The decision is hers.

Annaliese V. sits quietly for a few minutes, the rascette lines on her wrists barely touching the cloth on your table. She seems to gather herself and rises. She decides to fight for her shop, and to combat this attempt at the destruction of her reputation by this rival. She purchases a small set of ceramic baking molds from you in order to begin a campaign of poppet workings.

Image: Alice Achterhof
Image: Alice Achterhof

As she is completing her purchase, you exchange mutual respect and banter casually about how good in this world always faces negativity with courage. You decide to gift her with a bottle of Confidence Nature’s Essence to help her along. She decides to set a return appointment date to check her progress in case she needs to change course. In a whishing of paisley glory she walks out of your parlor with a renewed sense of optimism, and you have just formed a professional association of mutual respect with her.

 

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.

PBN Blues Series: “Detroit Moan” – Victoria Spivey

Hello PBN Blues Series readers, today we return with another segment in our series. Brick and mortar businesses become a stable part of the business landscape in any area. The family grocery store, the local dry cleaners, the deli,  the corner ice cream stand, a Pagan or Holistic shop, and the church,  many of these serve as the favorite go to places for townies. So when it is time to leave, it can present special challenges.

People become accustomed to seeing your storefront as part of their neighborhood pillars. Whether they patronize your establishment or not, they still begin to use it as a landmark. In the mind of the masses, you have become a touchstone for their travels and how they describe where they live. The days pass, and you become part of the cyclic flow of commerce. People begin to count you as fictive kin.

Given this much momentum of group energy, it works to the advantage of an established business to capitalize on it. However, when the owner decides to move the business, they may run into an unexplained set of barriers. Deals fall through, calamities befall finances needed for the move, and other issues arise that become a pattern.  That momentum of acceptance now takes a form of anchorage that seeks to compel one to stay put despite the need for progress.

At Mercado dos Lavradores, Funchal
At Mercado dos Lavradores, Funchal

When the keys to the future don’t fit the locks

Zenobia S. has a small herb and spice market in a local farmer’s market. She maintains a booth that she opened 3 years ago. Success has blossomed for her to the degree that she tries to move into a brick and mortar of her own. The shop she wants is on the other side of town. It is precisely the right size, a better neighborhood, and great location for foot traffic.

Zenobia S. let her regular clients know that she intends to move by the end of the year. Most of them do not have transportation to the area where she plans to relocate. They have grown accustomed to purchasing her unusual herbs and spices at her reasonable prices. The only other shop carries poorer quality wares at double the prices. Also, the customer service is very poor, especially when compared to the wit and sparkle of Zenobia S. and her employees.

All was proceeding normally, until recently. For the last three weeks, a string of issues visited upon her plans. First, all records of the proposed contract with the new location were mysteriously deleted and paper copies lost. Second, a larger vendor at the farmer’s market has made an offer on the same property, 2 days after the loss of the paperwork. Third, her bank account was frozen by error, and the institution has her funds on hold until a full investigation concludes. This is anticipated to take 30 days, just after the offer for the property will expire. Lastly, her shipments  held up in customs due to bill of lading and letter of credit problems plaguing her wholesaler.

She comes to you for help. You decide, upon hearing the situation, that the vendor in the market is to blame. You sell her a I Can You Can’t candle and have her set up an altar. Together, you gather components for a trick and advise her to lay it under the west corner of that vendor’s booth. She leaves determined to avenge this wrong doing.

perhaps - lian xiaoxiao
perhaps
lian xiaoxiao

A week later, things have gotten worse for her when she returns to you. She suffered being caught red-handed laying the trick, and now the market has the two vendors in mediation. She stands accused of sabotaging the other business by trying to place a foul odor there (the bag contained asafoetida) to take over her spot. She has to pay restitution to the building association to show good faith, again impairing her ability to move. What now?

Shaking the dust off the traveling shoes

Zenobia S. has a small herb and spice market in a local farmer’s market. She maintains a booth that she opened 3 years ago. Success has blossomed for her to the degree that she tries to move into a brick and mortar of her own. The shop she wants is on the other side of town. It is precisely the right size, a better neighborhood, and great location for foot traffic.

Zenobia S. let her regular clients know that she intends to move by the end of the year. Most of them do not have transportation to the area where she plans to relocate. They have grown accustomed to purchasing her unusual herbs and spices at her reasonable prices. The only other shop carries poorer quality wares at double the prices. Also, the customer service is very poor, especially when compared to the wit and sparkle of Zenobia S. and her employees.

All was proceeding normally, until recently. For the last three weeks, a string of issues visited upon her plans. First, all records of the proposed contract with the new location were mysteriously deleted and paper copies lost. Second, a larger vendor at the farmer’s market has made an offer on the same property, 2 days after the loss of the paperwork. Third, her bank account was frozen by error, and the institution has her funds on hold until a full investigation concludes. This is anticipated to take 30 days, just after the offer for the property will expire. Lastly, her shipments  held up in customs due to bill of lading and letter of credit problems plaguing her wholesaler.

She comes to you for help. You do a reading before proceeding with any work here. After delving into the situation, you realize that what is actually happening is surprising. A group of has decided that they cannot afford to have Zenobia S. move away from the area. The strength of their conviction is such that they are doing active work to prevent her from relocating. The string of events is not about competition, but a result of self-interest and selfishness.

This will take more than simple uncrossing work. Blockbuster work, combined with road opener will follow a directed and focused addressing of the group’s workings. The group will be nullified.

Altar work, incorporating candles, oils, and incenses,  are in order. You also tell her to add boneset herb to her working, just to add some boost. This is mixed equally with benzoin.

You also recommend your client to keep her further plans for progress to herself. Loose tongues often serve as the rods for our backs. She is to discuss her business plans with no one. You then give sell her a floor wash to clean out her booth area.

 Image by 2015 Nathan Miller

Image by
2015 Nathan Miller

 

After two weeks, Zenobia S. returns to report her situation improved. Coincidentally, several of her regular customers reduced their number of visits. As an aside, she mentions they all go bowling together and often bring her donuts. This cements her confidence that they are “in cahoots” on this. She has known them all her life, even been taught by one of them in Sunday School.

She has no true ill will, however, and laughs. She takes it as a complement that a group of older men in their 60’s, think so highly of her. They often dote on her and swear that no one takes as much care of their special orders as she does.

A month later, she returns to your shop with news of a successful move to her now store. She buys a blend of pine/basil/cedar floor wash from you for good business for her opening month. Your client is happy and you look forward to increased commerce from her in the future.

 

PBN Blues Series: Bring Me My Shotgun Lightnin’ Hopkins

As a practitioner and shop owner, times will come when your client will be in the wrong and in real danger.  Rational people take steps and remove themselves from harm as best they can.  But the anger that accompanies infidelity is a special threat and peril.  When partners live together, the flight from the situation is fraught with difficulties.

Being caught in the act leads to a phenomena called a “crime of passion”.  This can ranges from open murder to  any degree of attack leading up to it.  The threat of harm is imminent.  Caught between running and staying, they may come to you in the midst of their flight.

We will look at a particular scenario like this as we continue our series today.

Not a miracle worker, but someone forgot that

Angela M. is in a polyamorous relationship with her primary partner, Lukas H.,  and three metamours.  Everyone was happy with this arrangement until Phyllis T. came into the picture. Angela M. met Phyllis T. at an out-of-town business conference.  Sitting at the cocktail bar, she became swept away by Phyllis T.‘s wit and charm.  This developed into a relationship that would continue after she came home, since both live in the same state.  Eventually, this bloomed into a full on affair that led to a weekend getaway at an upper Michigan Bed and Breakfast.

By Victor Olson - Beacon Signal Books, Public Domain
By Victor Olson – Beacon Signal Books, Public Domain

 

According to the relationship agreements that Angela M. has with Lukas H., she is allowed no partners who do not also partner with Lukas H.. Also, all her partners must be bisexual men, as all of her metamours are male.  Lastly, she was not to enter into any relationship without permission of Lukas H..  She has violated all the terms and followed her heart.

This would be an emotional only matter, except for the fact that Lukas H. is a possessive and violent man.  He is also in law enforcement and uses his connections to ruin people, and menace them. He has been known to beat his earlier partners, each time the connections to the “higher-ups” covering up the incidents.

Angela M. comes to you after driving for 6 hours on the road from upstate.  She and Phyllis T. were caught at the Bed and Breakfast by Lukas H. and two of her metamours.  They read Angela M.’s emails and decided to face them.  Violence erupted, as Lukas H.  pounded on the door to the room and then forced his way in past Phyllis T..  After being forcibly restrained from continuing his rain of blows on Angela M., Lukas H. told her that he will shoot her the next time he sees her.  She fled in terror back to her home.

She comes to you for protection work.

You decide to sell her a hellfire protection candle, tell her to create a servitor with your kit, and throw in a protection oil.  You send her out of your store, in the hopes that she does not bring the wrath of Lukas H. to your shop.  You return to your bookkeeping and listening to the latest soap opera in the background.  You never see her again. And no one you know does either.

 

By Gabriel S. Delgado C. from Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela (Envidia / Envy: Eyes don't lie Uploaded by Fæ) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Envidia Envy Eyes dont lie – Fae
Escape and execution of a safer plan

 

Angela M. is in a polyamorous relationship with her primary partner, Lukas H.,  and three metamours.  Everyone was happy with this arrangement until Phyllis T. came into the picture. Angela M. met Phyllis T. at an out-of-town business conference.  Sitting at the cocktail bar, she became swept away by Phyllis T.‘s wit and charm.  This developed into a relationship that would continue after she came home, since both live in the same state.  Eventually, this bloomed into a full on affair that led to a weekend getaway at an upper Michigan Bed and Breakfast.

According to the relationship agreements that Angela M. has with Lukas H., she is allowed no partners who do not also partner with Lukas H.. Also, all her partners must be  bisexual men, as all of her metamours are male.  Lastly, she was not to enter into any relationship without the permission of Lukas H..  She has violated all the terms and followed her heart.

This would be an emotional only matter, except for the fact that Lukas H. is a possessive and violent man.  He is also in law enforcement and uses his connections to ruin people, and menace them. He has been known to beat his earlier partners, each time the connections to the “higher-ups” covering up the incidents.

Angela M. comes to you after driving for 6 hours on the road from upstate.  She and Phyllis T. were caught at the Bed and Breakfast by Lukas H. and two of her metamours.  They read Angela M.’s emails and decided to face them.  Violence erupted, as Lukas H.  pounded on the door to the room and then forced his way in past Phyllis T..  After being forcibly restrained from continuing his rain of blows on Angela M., Lukas H. told her that he will shoot her the next time he sees her.  She fled in terror back to her home.

She comes to you for protection work.

This is a dangerous situation.  Not only do you have a person in your presence who may, or may not, be truthful about being in immediate danger, you also have the threat of their death.  The stability and honesty of your client and the urgency of this situation can lead some to falter and seek the quickest way to be rid of her. It is at this moment that you have to decide what you reasonably are able to carry out in the face of the facts.  A quick use of evening primrose oil in the reading room will aid this goal.

A divination is the first order of business.  Not only will it give insight into the situation, it will also help you find out the honesty of the client.  Once this is completed, a course of action waits to be considered for advisement.

While she waits for you to ready the reading room, you notice her rub her fingers under her eye.  A landscape of bruises is just visible from the edge of her sunglasses.  Taking a sachet of mugwort from your supplies, you ready a poultice for her and have her apply it to help with the bruising.

After the reading, you and Angela M. have put together some advanced spell work components.  You have also referred her to a clergy person who has contacts in the legal profession that can help her file a restraining order.  Next, they will spirit her away to a women’s shelter.

The nature of this particular case is one that is beyond your capacity to handle because it is an ongoing case work style of situation.  In this case, it is critical to know when to refer your client to professionals in the mundane world.  It is also just as important to have heavy hitters in the magickal world who can stir the forces of the unseen to offer the size of spiritual force needed to keep your client safe.

KNOW WHEN IT IS TIME TO REFER YOUR CLIENT TO A SPECIALIST

You refer Angela M. to a priestess who deals with certain cases like this one.  A phone call determines that “intelligences” and discarnate spirits are in order in this matter to create a shield around Angela M.. Actions must occur that require offerings, possibly sacrifices, in a belief system that Angela M. has never been a part of before now.  She agrees and leaves to meet the lawyer, the clergy person, and the Priestess.

© Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar, via Wikimedia Commons
© Jorge Royan

Your only monetary transactions have been the fee for the divination, and the cost of the protective talisman that Angela M. purchased on the way out of your store.  The priestess you referred her to will do the heavy work needed here.  By knowing that you were not the one to handle this situation, you avoided doing a disservice to you both.

What about Phyllis T. you ask?  She is not your client.  You must choose whether you feel a responsibility and a right to intervene to protect her.  This is a personal decision.  As for me, I choose protection. But again, it is a personal choice.

PBN Blues Series: “Friend of Mine” – Kelly Price, featuring Ronald Isley

Today we will look at one of the encounters where the client is doing work a family, or friendship, in a crisis situation.  Special handling comes into the fray when doing this work.  Especially challenging are the times when betrayal has occurred and the client is conflicted about what they really want to happen.

As a professional, you have probably encountered the very real situation of a client breaking down into a sobbing wreck in front of your counter.  The grief and misery so pervasive in their aura spread through the atmosphere like oil atop water.  Being the stone in storm at this moment will give your client a clear sounding board that will allow them to make focused decisions in their purchases and intentions.

Grab von Machbuba - Frank Vincentz
Grab von Machbuba – Frank Vincentz

Tears clouding the vision

Pasha A. comes to your shop looking for a way to get over a betrayal of her wife and her best friend.  They caught completely by surprise that morning with a earth shattering set of announcements.  Firstly, that they are in love.  Secondly, that her wife, Florise A., is divorcing her.  Finally, she was then informed that since the house is in Florise A.‘s name, she must be out within 48 hours.  If she does not comply, they will destroy all of her property and set the ruins outside while she is at work.

Pasha A. is in emotional trauma mode.  She still loves her wife, and is awash in turbulent emotions she has toward her former friend.  She wants to make it all go away.  Anger, hurt, and panic are all swirling in her life right now.  She has come here for some emergency magickal measures.

You look at Pasha A. and tell her that if she buys a reconciliation kit that all will be well.  There is nothing else you could recommend.  You also remind her to hurry up and make her purchase, since she has to start packing.  Transaction completed, you go back to your day as she walks slowly out of your shop.  After all, not your problem, right?

Facing the storm with empathy for the client

Pasha A. comes to your shop looking for a way to get over a betrayal of her wife and her best friend.  They caught completely by surprise that morning with a earth shattering set of announcements.  Firstly, that they are in love.  Secondly, that her wife, Florise A., is divorcing her.  Finally, she was then informed that since the house is in Florise A.‘s name, she must be out within 48 hours.  If she does not comply, they will destroy all of her property and set the ruins outside while she is at work.

Pasha A. is in emotional trauma mode.  She still loves her wife, and awash in turbulent emotions she has toward her former friend.  She wants to make it all go away.  Anger, hurt, and panic are all swirling in her life right now.  She has come here for some emergency magickal measures.

 Pasha A. is in a compromised mental and emotional state, thus is not thinking clearly.  What you sell her now may line your till, but ethics here should come into play before you just foist any thing at hand on her without thinking.

ENGAGE THE CLIENT WITH PROFESSIONALISM TEMPERED WITH EMPATHY

Miedo-ajeno
Miedo-ajeno

You take both of her hands into yours and flood her with calming energy.  You need her to be able to focus on the here and now.  Magick is not instantaneous when it comes to major workings, and you explain this to her.  It can help, but like anything else, it can only do what it can do with time.  Something that she has very little to spare.

You begin to ask her questions about her situation.  Is she safe right now?  Has she contacted the police about her rights as a spouse and resident of the home?  You tell her to do this after immediately after she leaves the store, because the sphere of opportunity is a major part of magick.  If she wants the spiritual to work, she has to do the mundane work as well.

You make a mojo hand for her containing High John, and other items, for her to carry during this situation to remove anything standing against her.  You also sell her some Low John to influence the police, courts, and everyone else that in this matter.  A bag of magnetic sand goes into the order as well as a single dram of rose geranium oil.

 

Petition work ranks up to the front of your mind. You also give Pasha A. some emergency numbers on a small card to call.  Having these resources on hand is a good practice.  Part of being a member of the neighborhood community is being part of the village.

In regard to the two women causing affliction for Pasha A., choices loom.  They can not be made in this moment, or they might be rash.  How to handle them will come up in this scenario, and their logical consequences, bear weight.

Depending on the beliefs of the client and the worker, you have some options.  She may decide to banish them from her life.  She may bind the other woman and try to reconcile the marriage.  She may decide to punish one or both of them with enemy work.   Or she may just leave it in her deity’s hands.  But if it is a magickal working, you must decide if you can accommodate her desired resources in accord with your own practices and mores.

Pasha A. decides that dealing with her present situation is more pressing and decides to put off dealing with their punishments later.  And yes, she has decided to punish them, at least for now she has.  She leaves your shop with her purchases, instructions, phone numbers, and some breathing room.  And you have just correctly assisted your client with excellent customer service.

 

PBN Blues Series: Willie Dixon – If The Sea Was Whiskey

Today we are going to talk about the addiction of loved ones. As practitioners, we will often be approached in our business life with the requests of a person who has friend, or family member who has a substance abuse problem. The most common situation is alcoholism in this region because of the legality and ease of purchase of liquor and beer.

Because this is a life issue, it is a matter of a controlling magick. For some this might be outside of their regular scope of practical wares. But in this case we are going to be in a setting where controlling work is allowable to the worker’s moral matrix.

The ability to discern the correct products and methodologies regarding each client’s situation is important. It is equally important to address the fact that the issue may be a symptom of something greater going on, or may not be. That is where consultation and divination comes into play.

Yourmanstan
Yourmanstan

A little too quick to call it

Johnny W. has come to you regarding his wife Edith W., the love of his life. They have been married over 20 years. Recently they traveled to Georgia, and once they returned Edith W. began to drink. Not really alarmed at first, Johnny W. began to notice that instead of going out occasionally to drink with friends, she started purchasing liquor.

Johnny W. explains that in the last month Edith W. has purchased liquor by the gallon twice. She drinks on a daily basis, where before now she only would imbibe once every few months. Their relationship is now strained. She is belligerent and hateful in her intoxicated state and seeks out reasons to argue. He is at a loss of what to do.

You decide that what he needs is to sweeten her up with a honey jar to make her listen to him. You have always wanted to try this kind of thing, so you want to experiment.  You add to this a bit of domination oil, and a bit of poppy seeds. You do not pursue the cause of the issue, only focus on his immediate goal of trying to stop the fighting. He purchases your creation and leaves.

A couple of weeks later Johnny W. returns to you. He is heartbroken and angry. His wife’s behavior has gotten worse, and often she is confused about simple things. Though they do not fight as much, the drinking is getting worse. You stand now wondering what to do.

A little closer look

Johnny W. has come to you regarding his wife Edith W., the love of his life. They have been married over 20 years. Recently they traveled to Georgia, and once they returned Edith W. began to drink. Not really alarmed at first, Johnny W. began to notice that instead of going out occasionally to drink with friends, she started purchasing liquor.

Johnny W. explains that in the last month Edith W. has purchased liquor by the gallon twice. She drinks on a daily basis, where before now she only would imbibe once every few months. Their relationship is now strained. She is belligerent and hateful in her intoxicated state and seeks out reasons to argue. He is at a loss of what to do.

You are an experienced worker, so immediately something in this story struck you as significant. This behavior change began after the trip to Georgia. You know that there had to be a catalyst.

Voodoo_doll_Louvre_E27145b
Nude female voodoo doll in kneeling position, bound and pierced with thirteen pins. Found in a terracotta vase with a lead tablet bearing a binding spell (katadesmos). – Marie-Lan Nguyen

You ask Johnny W. why they were in Georgia. He tells you it was a high school reunion. You ask him if he met anyone there that did anything he would find unusual. He tells you that his old sweetheart was there and that she took he and his wife home for a nightcap that evening to catch up on old times. They were offered the hospitality to spend the evening before driving back to their hotel.

You ask if Edith W. is missing any items. He finds this strange, but as a matter of fact she was missing her makeup bag and hairbrush. His old sweetheart had even called him recently to reassure him that it was not at her home. She calls a lot lately. It was at this moment the realization comes across Johnny W. that this is more than carelessness.

You recommend a divination. This allows you and Johnny W. to confirm the suspicion of enemy work. The fact that Edith W.‘s personal concerns are missing is a red flag.

Your reader is able to determine the working and the solutions needed. You assemble the necessary components and consult with Johnny W. about what can realistically happen at this point to reverse the condition.

Because this is a serious situation, you give him a multilevel approach. First cut the work. Then bind the worker next. Simultaneously, he will work to heal his wife and their relationship. Because you feel it is necessary, you give Johnny W. some acacia oil and recommend the “To Quit Drinking” ancestor working found here at mojomoon.net.

Magick without works is hamstrung. You advise him to seek counseling for his wife and himself in order to repair some of the damage.

 

Resources:

Alcohol Abuse and Crisis Intervention: 800-234-0246

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Helpline and Treatment: 800-234-0420

Alcohol Hotline Support & Information: 800-331-2900