A Banishment Working (I)

candle-in-the-wind

In the dark, I take my rest
I exorcise my ghosts.
Go far from me, all you who dwell
Among the broken stones.
Be gone from here, all you whose hell
Have swallowed up my own.

In the dark, I make my peace
With hearts long since gone cold.
Go far from me, those who abide
Among cords frayed and old.
Be gone from here, all those who hide
In all the lies you’ve told.

In the dark, I hold my own
With strength forged from my pain.
Go far from me, all you who steal
And reassign the blame.
Be gone from here, all you who kneel
At shrines to your own name.

What’s done in dark will show in light
May the dawn seal the work of night.
So it is, so shall it be,
What I have willed, my eyes will see.


Copyright Info: written by me, free to distribute and adapt as you see fit. Link back would be nice if you are posting to a blog, but not required.

Suggested Correspondences:
Candle: black
Moon phase: waning or dark
Moon sign: Scorpio
Herbs/resins: agrimony, slippery elm, cloves. I prefer to use banishing herbs in conjunction with a protective one, like dragon’s blood resin (which will also add extra oomph to your working, if you are so inclined).

Another Odds & Ends Post: Divination, Book Update, and More

I wanted to do this in bullet points so badly, but it got too long. (This pretty much sums me up).

Divination: Help me help, please 🙂 

I enjoy making fun of myself, so this might actually be a surprise to those who have been following this blog for awhile, but I have seriously been studying tarot under my Lady’s guidance for about a year now, maybe a little more. I’ve reached the point where I feel like I’ve gotten as far as I can just reading for myself. I would love to find people who are not me to read for, to help me hone my skills.

I think I’ve been pretty clear in the past that I don’t think I’m called to be a full-time professional diviner or anything, but I would like at some point to be available as my health, time, and Work permits for those who are in need of guidance and can’t afford paid services.

Obviously, at my present level of skill, I’m still a long way from being qualified for this, but that is my end goal if all goes well, and the reason I’m now asking for your help, O Pagan Blog Community. 🙂 I would deeply appreciate any recommendations for Facebook groups, forums, whatever that may help me toward this goal (my own searches haven’t turned up anything promising so far, alas), as well as any willing guinea pigs who are okay with having a student read their cards and/or cast runes for them. I’m also happy to swap readings with other students. Please comment below with your suggestions or interest (I moderate my comments & will not post yours if you ask me not to), or you can email me directly at lucywriteson at gmail dot com. Signal boosts are also appreciated on this one ❤ Thank you!

Book stuff (don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a regular feature)

At last, I completed the final update to my wee booklet. The new version should be up for download in the next couple of days at Amazon, B&N, and iBooks. The PDF at my Dropbox is already updated. There was no new material added. I corrected some minor typos and updated the resource page to reflect its new location as a page on this blog. Hopefully it will be much easier to keep the links current this way!

Book stuff, Part 2: Just a quick note for Kindle readers

I expect Amazon to punt the price back to 99 cents (or the equivalent for other currency) as a result of the above-mentioned update. I can’t ask them to price match with my other vendors until the update goes through, so there will be a window of time (hopefully brief) where it won’t be listed there at the correct price (which is, now and always, free).

My apologies for the inconvenience. Amazon doesn’t allow authors to set their own price lower than 99 cents, except for limited time promotions if you agree to keep your book exclusive to Amazon. Which ain’t gonna happen in this case. So here we are. Sorry guys. 😦

Other Stuff

I know the world is a scary place right now. I just want to put it out there, for those who need to hear it, that this is a safe space and you are welcome here. I don’t care who you are, how you identify, what color you are, who or how many you’re banging, what your religion is, or anything else. Don’t be a bigger asshole than I am, and we’re cool. (If you are wondering whether you have crossed that line, it’s safe to say you haven’t.)

Promises like Pie Crusts

Once upon a time, I knew a lot of people. I made friends pretty easily during prayer retreats and the like. It can be a little hard to tell online, but in person, I’m easy to get along with. Of course, I’m also not much of a talker around people I don’t know very well, which I’m sure doesn’t hurt 😉

Anyway, because of the circumstances, the friends I made in this way were often scattered all over the country, so we’d keep in touch between retreats, usually through email. We might only see each other off-line once every two or three years. Such is life. But, if I mentioned having any difficulties, or confided any problems, very often I would receive the response: If only you lived closer, I would help you out!

Well, not once but twice, thanks to the needs of Uncle Sam, I actually ended up moving closer to some of the people who had frequently used that refrain. And not once but twice, when I actually did need help, with an inevitably deployed husband and no family anywhere nearby and insufficient time to have made new friends, the people who would have gladly helped me out “if only I lived closer” were too busy, or didn’t hear the phone ring, or had an appointment that day, or gosh, if only I had moved there a few months later, they could have been much more helpful then!

I learned the hard way that “if only you lived closer!” was in fact just another one of those pretty fictions we tell when we want to look and feel like we’re good people. It costs us nothing and requires nothing and, if you’re not talking to a military spouse at the time, there is very little risk of ever actually being asked to do a damn thing. Even if you are, what are the odds that they’ll actually move near enough to you to call you on it? Pretty damn low, but it still happened twice!

It’s one of those phrases that makes the person telling it feel good about themselves, but it’s also useless to the person it’s being used on, because let me tell you, other people’s good intentions are cold comfort when you’re in labor and can’t reach the person who promised to watch your other kids while you’re in the hospital. (Been there, done that).

I’ve been thinking about that today. Last night, it came up in a different context, and it brought back a lot of unpleasant memories. That particular episode was one of the rock bottom lows in my adult life so far. I was scared to death I’d be giving birth alone on my bathroom floor, and if something went wrong, my other kids would be traumatized for life to find their Mom and newborn sibling dead. (My labors were very, very short). I worried about what would happen to them, about how long they’d be alone before help came. My oldest at the time was only 10, and is mentally younger than her age.

The person who had promised to help me knew about my fears, knew I was due any day, knew I had an OB appointment that same day, and was, in fact, the wife of my OB. I was very careful to not ask for too much or call her too often, for fear of losing the only help I had when I needed it most. But she still turned off her phone that morning.

It all turned out okay in the end, obviously, because here I am. There have been times since then that I have thought to myself, in response to others’ needs: If I could, I would help you.

And I would, for real, but I can’t say those words without choking on them, so deeply runs my revulsion. I want to cry when I hear them, see them, think them. I may have managed the feat once or twice, in spite of all that, but it was a hard, miserable thing. It’s no good, because I can’t help. I want to, but I can’t. I would, but I can’t. It doesn’t help you at all to hear it, because I can’t, but I would. I want to. I don’t expect you to believe me. I, for one, will never believe anyone who says “they would help, if only” ever again.

But I really would, if I could. Not that it changes anything. Not that it actually helps. My good intentions can’t help you, though, so I will keep them to myself, because the only person they comfort is me. You still need help, and I still can’t give it.

I’ve been thinking recently on guiding principles—you know, those things like the ten commandments and the nine noble virtues and so on. I’ve been wondering about mine, since I’m not presently part of any tradition. I don’t have anyone telling me what I ought to do or how I should act. What do I believe? What do I choose to guide my conduct, my choices, my relationships with others, and why is it important to me?

Well, it is important to me that my word means something, and experiences like the one I just described is the reason why. I’ve experienced firsthand the consequences of words lightly given and easily taken back. I’ve lived it. If I say I’ll do a thing, then it will be done. Empty platitudes and canned phrases are anathema to me. I don’t need to make promises or swear oaths or take vows for my word to be honored and binding on me. My offers are made with intent, or not at all.

This is not me placing myself on a pedestal about this, by the way. I’m as guilty as anyone of being a flake on occasion. I have my own regrets. I’m sure I’ve let people down before. Sometimes things do come up unexpectedly and timelines get disrupted, plans are forced to change…I understand that, and to me, that’s not the same thing as saying you’ll do something and then changing your mind because it’s now too inconvenient, or excusing it with words along the lines of “I never made any promises.” Promises aren’t necessary if you can be trusted to mean what you say in the first place. If you don’t mean it, why say it? Stroke your own ego in private, not in front of the people who actually need help they aren’t getting.

I’ve realized, thinking back, that this has been one of my guiding principles all along. One of the things that attracted me to St Francis was that he discouraged the swearing of oaths, in imitation of the Gospel; his little brothers (and sisters) ought to “let their yes be yes, and their no be no.”

If you’ll indulge me in a little UPG moment here, it is also something that attracted me to Odin. He does not hand out His oaths like cookies, and He has never promised me anything He hasn’t made good on. (I’m aware that some use certain stories in “the lore” to suggest that He can’t be trusted to keep His word even when He does give it…but I do not interpret those same stories the same way, and do not consider any of the lore to be “Gospel” about any of the entities named in them. So if you are in that particular camp, we will have to agree to disagree—I’m not Odin’s apologist or PR person, and I’m not going to argue about it.)

That is not to say I’ve forsworn all oath taking and vow making, for I am oathed to my God, I’m married, etc. I believe oaths, vows, and so on all have their place. They’re not inherently bad things. I just never want it to be necessary for me to swear to a thing (or on a thing) for my word to truly mean something. It should never be necessary to extract an oath or vow from me to get me to keep my own word or take it seriously. That is what I am striving to be…imperfectly at times, to be sure, but I believe I am bettered for the trying, and closer to who I am meant to be in the achieving.

Do you have certain principles that guide you? Did you come to them through a particular tradition, on your own, or both? I’d love to hear about it if anyone wants to chat 🙂