Spiritual Cleansing in Ifá: Bribing Away Evil Spirits

Should Oyekun Iwori surface as the main odu (sign) in an Ifá reading, you may want to resort to the spiritual prescription that my oluwo (godfather), who is also a Babalawo, advised for me: bribing away the evil spirit or spirits currently wreaking havoc in your life. Mind you, this odu is a marker of serious negativity, and battling it requires a major cleansing in addition to the magical working I’m about to describe, but this latter activity is a necessary prequel that will hopefully give you a better sense of control as you prep for the major cleansing (rompimiento in Lukumí) that needs to happen immediately afterwards. Continue reading

Some Like It Hot: Grand Trine in Fire Signs

“Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention!”–Shakespeare, “Henry V”
This is quite an eventful week, astrologically speaking. The Sun recently entered into Gemini and as of today it will be joined by Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, which thrives on information overload in this chatty, intellectually stimulating Air Sign. Elementally shifting gears to Earthiness, you can’t get more sensual than when Venus–bestower of blessings in love, finances, and creativity–enters Her home sign of Taurus, which She does today for a transit that lasts until July 4.
But it’s the Fire Signs–Aries, Leo, Sagittarius–that command our attention with their cosmic fireworks display in the form of a Grand Trine that runs from now until June 10, adding extra energy to the Sagittarius Full Moon that takes place the morning of June 9 (8:10 a.m. Central Daylight Time).
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Image courtesy of planetwatcher.com

Feisty Uranus in 27° Aries trines the show-stopping North Node in 27° Leo, which trine karmic task-master Saturn in 25° of Sagittarius. This is an incredibly auspicious time to pursue all matter of endeavors that require courage, a pioneering spirit, out-of-the-box thinking, leadership, playfulness, and judicious planning in the expansion of one’s personal horizons. Creative endeavors are especially heightened, so all artists should hopefully receive momentous downloads from their muses at this time.

The ebullience that naturally flows from the Sun and Mercury in Gemini works well with this Fire Trine energy. The overall mood should thus be one of natural optimism. Be passionate about pursuing your endeavors in your own unique way. Ignite that fire within. Fire those neural synapses and don’t let this creative potential go to waste!

The Sagittarius Full Moon on the 9th will be conjunct Saturn, so note that whatever you apply your energies toward will have long-term ramifications. May all that you do be infused with glory! If you’re curious as to how these planetary transits affect you personally, you can book an astrology consultation with me via Skype. Visit my website for more details. Cheers!

Remembering Morda

Those who are remembered, live.

This morning I prayed with sadness and gratitude at my ancestor altar as I recalled many memories about my first spiritual mentor, the late Donna Cole Schultz of Temple of the Pagan Way and the Gardnerian coven, Temple of the Sacred Stones, here in Chicago. Had cancer not killed her on March 31, 2004, she would have been 80 years old today. Continue reading

I’ll Be Teaching a Workshop on Ancient Egyptian Magic at World Tree Healing in Chicago on March 18!

Mark your calendars, Chi-Town peeps, and anyone who may be visiting the city on Saturday, March 18 who may be interested in learning about ancient Egyptian magic! I’ll be leading a two-hour “Hands-On Heka” workshop at World Tree Healing metaphysical resource center in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood from 5 – 7 o’clock that evening.

Behold, the power of marketing copy:

“Hands-On Heka: Magic in Ancient Egypt”

For centuries, much of the world agreed with Clement of Alexandria (3rd century C.E.), who referred to ancient Egypt as “the mother of magicians.” In this workshop, Rev. Anna Applegate, a legally ordained Priestess in the international Fellowship of Isis, will give an overview of magic, or heka, in ancient Egypt, focusing on the three main divisions of funerary magic, ritual magic (performed in temples), and everyday magic. Participants will get to experience hands-on heka by creating papyri talismans to keep.

Continue reading

Venus Retrograde 2017: Inanna in the Underworld

Every 18 months or so, the planet Venus appears to move backwards from our Earthly perspective for a period of roughly 40 days. This transit, known as a Venus Retrograde, has a deep impact upon us because it’s one of our solar system’s three personal planets (along with Mercury and Mars), so the effects are more greatly felt in our day-to-day emotions and experiences, unlike the effects of the slower-moving outer planets’ Retrograde periods (e.g., Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto). Astronomically and esoterically, Venus will transform during this period from being the Evening Star that’s been seen on the Western Horizon at sunset to the Morning Star in the East. In order to do that, She (I speak of the planet and the goddess with equal reverence, so I capitalize the pronoun) will undergo Her period of retreat, taking us all into a symbolic Underworld journey to reevaluate our relationships and finances; what we value, including our own sense of self-worth; and what we find beautiful/aesthetically pleasing. Continue reading

Magically Charged Water: Clearing Physical Space in Ifá

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring Equinox is a little more than three weeks away. Many of us partake of time-honored rituals this time of year that have to do with purging and purifying our homes, from thorough physical scrubbing and scouring of our living spaces to donating old clothes and housewares that no longer meet our needs. As we discard the old and unwanted, we open our heads, hearts, and homes to receiving the new, as it should be.

As invigorating as a good housecleaning can feel once you’ve finished, I don’t believe in resting on your laurels. Better to follow up work done on the material plane with a thorough spiritual cleansing of your home, which should occur during the day and not at night (morning is ideal, but anytime after the sun has risen). I have a recipe my Oluwo (Godfather) in Ifá recently shared with me in person and which I have permission, in turn, to share with the aleyo (non-initiate) community.  Continue reading

Martinmas: The Curious Lore Surrounding St. Martin’s Day (November 11)

A canonized saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Martin of Tours is revered across large swaths of Europe–including Protestant-majority northern European countries. Celebrations of his Feast Day on November 11 speak to a devotional cult that incorporates many curiously Pagan elements of great antiquity, indelibly ensconcing him in a meta folk consciousness channeled through traditions that aren’t about to die out any time soon. From Sweden to Spain, from England to the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, St. Martin’s Day/Martinmas/Martinstag/Sint-Maarten gives rise to seasonal celebrations that commemorate blood sacrifice and feasting (cattle, pork, and especially geese), the building of sacred fires (both bonfires and more controllable lantern-lit processions led by children), uncorking the season’s first wines, welcoming the start of winter, and singing in the streets for Halloween-like treats. Continue reading