Why spiritual advisors require a consultation

Mosesand Ciprion

A lot of people like to come to me for readings as, here in the northeast, you don’t see a lot of people using bone oracles. If all you’re interested in is a reading, you can just contact me to schedule one and there doesn’t need to be a lot of discussion about it.

But if you’re interested in any other sort of work be it healing/cleansing, altar work, ceremony, etc., then a CONSULTATION is a must and is simply a slightly more elaborate version of a reading.

There are a variety of reasons why a consultation is necessary and I will outline a few of those here:

Is your issue addressable with this work? We should not approach prayer or magic as if we are little children who should get everything we want because we’ve been good. What you want or the outcome that you are trying to achieve may not be in your best interest (in ways that you cannot see right now). Your goal may not be achievable or it may not be achievable through working with me— which brings me to the next point.

I may not be the right spirit worker for you! This is a heart-centered path that is dependent on faith and partnership. The strength of the spirit worker’s relationship with the Divine and with their saints and spirit guides will affect the outcome of your work with them, but so will your ability to petition your own ancestors and to try and work in partnership with all involved— whether living or in spirit.

You and the spirit worker and each of your ancestors and spirit helpers must all work in partnership with the Divine and with the powers of heaven and earth to support your path and accomplish your goals. That’s a lot of interconnecting pathways that can lead to actual miracles when things are right but be frustrating and disappointing if the rapport and the potential for trust are not there.

I’m not the grand poobah of spiritual work. I‘m not going to be right for everyone. Exploring the connections between us and the spirits we each work with is part of the consultation and is not a process that we can skip.

Humility and gratitude: I petition the spirits and humbly ask for their intercession, I do not make demands. This is a path of “empowerment” through reciprocal relationships and partnerships, not a contest of wills.

If you are awed and humbled each time spirit reaches out to you or grants you a blessing then we have a chance at being able to work together.

Areas of focus: My areas of focus are work for our ancestral dead and healing work for both the living and the dead; also prosperity work. I have successfully done altar work and petitions for other issues and will certainly do so again, but healing and support for the living and the dead is really where my heart is.

Relationship issues can frustrate people to the extreme and tempt them to put their ethics and common sense on the back burner. Please note that I usually will NOT take on a relationship issue as my first effort for a new client.

Ethical spiritual advisors won’t accept work without doing a consultation first to make sure that their spirits would be supportive of the work and to address the issues I’ve listed here. You can see why old school advisors won’t get involved with internet and phone work.

This pretty much sums up why a consultation is necessary for any service other than a reading. Thanks for reading this! Many blessings to you.

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• How a good little Celtic Pagan girl got caught up in Hoodoo

I’ve been saying the same thing for years about my Irish Catholic ancestors and about American folk magic–it’s worth preserving!

Parting the Mists

I have a secret. I enjoy learning about Hoodoo.

Despite being what I consider a Celtic Eclectic Pagan, with a strong interest in the Avalonian path and in gleaning what I can about the ancient Celts, I’ve developed a fascination with American folk magic.

At first, I thought I should keep it to myself. Surely some of my peers would look askance as it didn’t seem to fit well with my primary path. After all, folk magic is often called low magic – and what did it have to do with connecting to my Celtic ancestry?

Well, I’ve realized it has a lot to do with it.

Horseshoe Horse shoes have been used for luck and protection for centuries.

Frankly, it was my Celtic path that brought me to American folk magic in its varied forms. One of the things my Hearth group does at Samhain is to ask the ancestors…

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Friends in Heaven

Note Statue of Mary on the top

Nana’s Rock Garden
Circa 1962

 

There are a variety of magical traditions, such as Hoodoo, Appalachian Folk Magic and Pennsylvania Dutch Hexcraft  that are uniquely American.   These beliefs and practices evolved in particular areas of the country when people of various ethnic backgrounds shared their folklore and magical traditions.

Traditional practitioners of these magical systems get fewer and fewer with each generation.  Most mainstream people want no part of what they view as superstitious beliefs from another time— beliefs that, in their opinion, are as obsolete as horse-drawn plows and rotary dial telephones.  Others feel the need to be more orthodox in their Christianity and avoid magic for that reason.

When a contemporary person DOES want more magic in their lives, they tend to walk away from Christianity altogether and therefore have no interest in the American systems of folk magic which incorporate the Christian pantheon and utilize the Bible and Christian religious symbols in the work.

I never gave any of this much thought until I became interested in not only honoring my ancestors and praying for their continued spiritual progress, but to do so in a way that showed respect for their beliefs and traditions.  Ancestors on my mother’s side were working class Irish Catholics as far back as I can trace.  My efforts to honor them made me aware of just how quickly culture, be it Irish Catholic or otherwise, can disappear into a world of cell phones, Mc Mansions and conspicuous consumption.

My grandmother’s Catholicism had a focus which was praying for the dead.  She constantly prayed the rosary for deceased relatives and friends, but also for complete strangers.  She did this as if it was her job, but she enjoyed it and it occupied a lot of her time.

When I was young, I left Catholicism to explore Wicca, Paganism and other paths.   At that time, I fell in love with the idea of distant, Irish ancestors who lived close to nature and practiced forms of magic and medicine that were “untainted” by Christianity.  I suppose that, at the time, these faceless, fantasy ancestors seemed more interesting than the immigrant factory workers whose photographs adorned the walls of my Nana’s simple home.

Here we are, forty years later, and it’s only been the last ten years or so that I am able to acknowledge and feel remorse for how I disrespected those ancestors who, generationally, are closer to me.  I particularly feel bad about not seeing the beauty and selflessness of my grandmother’s practices.

When visiting the graves of her relatives to offer prayers and flowers, she would often walk up to a random grave, generally with a very old headstone, and offer prayers and flowers for that spirit.  She used to say that someone who has been dead a long time likely has no one alive who feels connected enough to pray for them, so they appreciate the gesture.

Grandma believed that her practices and devotions earned her many “friends in heaven” with whom she had reciprocal relationships.  She believed the spirits of the dead whom she had prayed for would intercede on her behalf during times of trouble.  This is not to say that she gave only in hopes of receiving something in return.  She was not like that. But she believed in the power of partnerships and reciprocal relationships at a time when most people didn’t articulate concepts like that.

When I decided to honor her by adopting her spiritual practices I realized that I could not remember how to pray the rosary or perform a Novena.  I have friends who identify as Catholics and former Catholics but none of them could help me either.  They had either forgotten these practices or were raised by secular Catholics and never taught these things.

It took some doing to find someone who’d accept my pantheistic tendencies and be willing to help me relearn Catholic devotional practices.   It was then that I realized how different contemporary Catholic culture is from the community that I grew up in.

I’m not even 60-years old yet and already one is hard-pressed to find someone of Catholic origins who appreciates the spiritual and devotional traditions of their grandparents, who avails themselves of the beauty and efficacy of those traditions and who intends to pass these practices down to their own grandchildren.

I hope that five hundred years from now people won’t be writing books and articles about a once-upon-a-time-America, when Catholic grannies prayed for the dead and practiced Catholic folk magic, and where southern Protestants passed their Hoodoo traditions on to the next generation.

So much spiritual history and magical traditions have already been lost over the centuries. It saddens me to think that folk magic beliefs that are unique to our country or to our particular ancestors may also be lost.

That is why over the Easter weekend, I took my 9-year old granddaughter to visit the graves of my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. While we were there, we randomly visited some very old graves, where we offered prayers and flowers, and I taught my granddaughter how to make friends in heaven.

The Doctrine of Signatures — for everyone

sarahsaltar
I have Christian friends who are more orthodox and think it’s wacky for new age people to wear crystals around their necks or offer incense to their ancestors. I also have plenty of friends on earth-centered paths who view Christianity as a tradition that doesn’t acknowledge the magic that is all around us. Surely, somewhere in the middle are truths that almost everyone could agree on?

I see all creations of the Divine as having a soul or as containing the essence of the Divine within them. I also view every creation as having a divine purpose, although it may be one that we never understand in this lifetime.

I view the Doctrine of Signatures as applying to rocks, as well as to plants and animals. Christian friends may want to read the Books of Moses with a hi-liter and note every time the Lord commanded that a particular plant be used in an anointing oil or a particular spice be used as incense or that particular wood and stones be used in the creation of altars and ritual objects.

If trees, stones and plants had no particular spiritual attributes and no properties of unseen significance there would be no reason for the Lord to be so specific in his instructions on the building of altars, the burning of incense, the making of anointing oils, etc.

Christian friends may find it illuminating to read the Bible with the goal of looking for clues as to the spiritual attributes of everything around us. Some of those on earth-centered paths have never considered that new age concepts aren’t so new after all. At least as far back as the time that the books of Moses were written there was an awareness of the spiritual properties of plants and stones. Whether this awareness comes from the divine revelation of Prophets or was obtained by some other means by those who wrote the books is a matter of opinion and of faith.

Either way, it gives everyone something to think about. At least, I hope it does,

Spirits can have a sense of humor

wayne

My older brother, Wayne, died of liver cancer almost one year ago. He lived a biker lifestyle and although he had a good job, he was a big time partier for most of his life! The partying, alcohol abuse and chain smoking no doubt contributed to the cancer.

wayne memorial card

I dreamt of him a few weeks ago and believe that he has helped me recently, so I thought it time to add his photo to my ancestor/relative altar. I have both photographs and mass cards for most of my other ancestors. But when I dug out the card that was handed out at his memorial service I realized that it was a photograph of him on his Harley, giving the middle finger.

That’s SO HIM, but not really appropriate for an altar. When I was looking at the card I could almost hear him laughing about it. I said out loud, “You probably think it’s funny that I won’t use that card. Please show me a sign that you can hear me.”

I logged onto Facebook and noticed that my deceased brother’s daughter-in-law, with whom I remain in contact, posted the joke below just moments before I logged on. So right around the time I asked him to show me a sign, this was sent to her and she posted it.

capri'sangel

Honestly, if you had ever known him, you’d know how very Wayne-ish this is. There’s no doubt in my mind that he had something to do with this. It really made me laugh and reassured me that he’s around and looking out for me!

He was not at all religious and was known for his irreverent jokes and behaviors–so this is just the sort of thing he’d do. I acknowledge and thank spirit for the contact–no matter what form it takes.