Sleep Paralysis, Sitting Ghosts, and the Use of Words of Power to Undo Magickal Fetters

“That night the Baron dreamt of many a woe,
       And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form
       Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm,
       Were long be-nightmar’d.”–John Keats, “The Eve of St. Agnes” (1820)
I hadn’t experienced any night terrors in years. Between 12:30 and 4:30 CDT this morning, however, I experienced no less than a trio of related nightmares, all of which included a malevolent, shadowy being crushing my chest so that I was incapable of rising from my bed and helping whoever it was that needed help (my father in the first nightmare and Hela, my one-eyed kitten, in the third) and that horrible inability to scream when you really want to scream. I found myself incapable of articulating any semblance of words, not even “NO!” nor “Help!” nor my father’s nor my kitten’s names. My dreaming self/night-journeying, free-roaming soul/ka–whatever you want to call it–could neither move nor speak. It was truly as though an entity had placed fetters upon me, one of the most dire forms of binding magic that can be placed upon a person.

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The Feast of Nit: Ancient Egypt’s Supreme Being as Divine Androgyne

Nit (pronounced Neet; also known as Net in Egypt and Neith to the Greeks) is among the oldest, most complex of the Neteru (Deities) known to us from ancient Egypt; according to nineteenth-century Egyptologist E.A. Wallis Budge, Her worship was widespread even in predynastic times (The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol. 1, p. 450). She was worshiped as Mut Ur, or “Mother Great,” long before the name of Aset (“Isis”) would fervently issue from the lips of devotees. Likened by the Classical author Plutarch to the Athena of the Greeks, Nit was renowned as a warrior goddess, famed for her death-dealing arrows.

Reverse of a 1994 Egyptian silver five-pound coin depicting Nit as warrior goddess. Her head bears the stylized crown of Lower Egypt.

Reverse of a 1994 Egyptian silver five-pound coin depicting Nit as warrior goddess. Her head bears the stylized crown of Lower Egypt.

Her cult center stood in the ancient Delta city of Saïs (the modern Sa el-Hagar), whose civic emblem bore Nit’s symbols of a pair of crossed arrows over a shield. She was to Saïs what Athena was to Athens: an unassailable Protectress. (Incidentally, the comparisons between the two goddesses don’t stop there; both are of probable Libyan origin.) Like the Roman Minerva, Nit was the seen as the inventor of the human craft of weaving; however, like the Norse Nornir (Goddesses of Fate), it’s clear that the weaving extends into metaphysical territory, indicating Nit’s power over fate or destiny.

Nit with the glyph of the weaver's shuttle atop Her head.

Nit with the glyph of the weaver’s shuttle atop Her head.

But what else would you expect from the Creator? Continue reading

Sekhmet and the Ma’at of Letting Go: Reflections on My Sekhmet Ritual at PSG 2014

Editorial Comment: I am extremely pleased that the essay you’re about to read below has been accepted for publication in Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s forthcoming anthology on the goddess Sekhmet entitled Daughter of the Sun: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet. My essay is being published under my legal name and I will retain all copyrights to it. The book is being released next month; I’m so excited!


“Sekhmet and the Ma’at of Letting Go”

Just prior to leaving for the 2014 Pagan Spirit Gathering, held June 15-22 in Illinois, I had been seeing, due to its popularity among several of my friends, a recurring post on my Facebook News Feed—one that irked me.

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