Password Protect Your Perils

This is hardly the first time this will be mentioned, nor will it be the last. I’m hardheaded and stubborn, so naturally I didn’t really take the advice seriously to use passwords in my practice. I didn’t think I would need one. Little me doing spirit work or flouncing around on the astral? No chance.

Oh naïve me, you’re a dumbass.

I’ve seen a bunch of great posts on passwords in a practice, but something bothered me. There didn’t seem to be anything reminding people that they don’t have to be actual words.

Maybe I’m just blind and forgetful. What I mean is, it can be several words, it can be a phrase, it can be a sound, sight, smell, touch. A memory. It can be an idea or subject, it can be a specific use of magic or illusion, or manifesting a particular thing in a particular way. A literal secret handshake even.

All these thoughts came to me while trying to make up my own password. I don’t know what other beings see when they look at me, so I had to be cautious not to pick anything too obvious or that could be easily guessed just by looking at my energy or companions. I worship a Jackal and I bangs with wolves Over There (for those of you unfamiliar with AAVE, “bangs with” means friends with, chills with, greatly enjoys, has great affection for, hangs out with, etc). At this point I’m practically part of a pack. However, because of how brains work I now could only think of pretty straightforward stuff, like wolves or jackals, and I even tossed out anything that had to do with kids or healing. Can’t do water or scorpions, snakes or anything like that either.

Since I didn’t want it to be too difficult or too much effort, I left it off for a moment and one of my songs started playing on my phone and I had my answer. I have several favorite songs, but I don’t sing in the astral (would be interesting though). My “password” is to sing a favorite song. Since I sing those songs IRL for fun, as offerings, to power my wards, to entertain, and to soothe myself, Z and Dapper, it seems like a good deal. They know at least three each, so there isn’t a reason they can’t sing one. Since there’s more than one, if I’m still suspicious I can just ask for another.

All in all, don’t be a stubborn dummy like me. Passwords don’t have to be actual words, and they can be helpful even in the event of shenanigans on this plane. Use your imagination, play on your strengths as well, keep your practice safe.

Magic Considerations

So, I’ve been thinking extensively about magic recently. I’ve always been interested in magic and witchcraft, but so far I haven’t really found a system that works for me. Some of it is laziness. I don’t want to remember all these words, or gather all these materials, and perform all this ritual (don’t get me wrong, I love ritual, but I’m not inclined to do it for spellwork). It’s also expensive (and yes, I know there are plenty of inexpensive substitutes for things, but it still costs me money and pulls from household resources that have to be replaced). All the pomp and prettiness is actually fairly distracting, and it often puts me off wanting to do it at all. Questions of effectiveness pop up as well. Further, I have a cat and boyfriend to worry about, and nothing is more distracting than other creatures wondering what you’re doing and is it possible for you to make a snack. (I kid, Z is actually really good about that stuff, especially if I warn him beforehand. Though, he has been known to be mega distracting if he’s very bored and/or hungry.) So, doing more “traditional” spellwork is difficult, because getting the stuff and doing the ritual is tricky. Not to mention, keeping all of that stuff out of the way where my stupid kitten can’t hurt herself on it or injure it. I had to move my feather representing ma’at because she played with it when I wasn’t in the room.

This complicated relationship with more traditional, physical magic has made me consider how to make my own shit up. I was pretty successful with the last couple batches of heka, but I still feel like doing more. I’m still working on heka usage and how to make it work even better, especially because I do still need some physical component. I know, I’m difficult. The other thing is I’m still not really sure what will actually be useful to me. For example, the popular visualization of connecting with roots to the earth and drawing up earth energy, as well as popular grounding techniques, don’t work for me. Earth energy leaves me feeling wired and sick and I can’t get rid of it, no matter what I do to ground. I simply have to wait for it to dissipate, which can take a couple of days. This is also my problem with heka, I somehow manage to draw up too much energy and then can’t get rid of it all. Maybe that’s more about the common heka practice of identifying oneself with a god and commanding from their authority, but it’s still an issue. Another issue is that, since my hospitalization last year, my body has a lower tolerance for anything woo or magical. Most magical systems don’t/can’t take this into account, and often don’t have suggestions for those who find themselves incompatible with the energy used or getting sick from trying to use it.

And now I realize that I’m complaining about ableism in magic and paganism. Hmm. So, I’ve been trying to think of ways to overcome these obstacles and figure out magic that will work for me. I’m very much a physical and intuitive touch person. Especially in the astral, I will know you more by your energy and other incorporeal sensation than by your face or voice. I have excellent visualization skills, but even that ties into my sense of touch (feeling my visualizations gives more clarity). I also know that this quirk does mean I need something physical to help focus and such, but I don’t know what to use yet. Also still puzzling that out, but it does make crochet magic fairly viable. There’s limitations even to that though, because not all crochet projects can be done in one sitting, and it’s tough to maintain focus for extended lengths, especially if you’re using words. On top, distraction also plays a role here, because cats and yarn, and because humans need/want stuff and crochet can be put down mid-stitch. This can all serve to derail crochet magic in progress, especially if it’s a larger or more complex project.

I was thinking of doing more research into elemental magic (it works well for me, but earth magic isn’t compatible with me), especially because plants are very helpful beings and I have plants. However, finding info is hard and it often still requires more physical objects and ingredients than I might like. I also want to learn more about healing, on this plane and in the astral. Recently though, someone brought up some different ideas. False doors (a common thing in ancient egypt) and mirrors. Now, I don’t know much about mirror magic but it’s an interesting thought. I do know a little about false doors. Mirrors so far seem to be excellent for traveling and trancing, protection (mentioned specifically for warding a false door) as are knives. I don’t know how to safely do anything much with knives, it was just a thought that came in handy during an astral trip and I stabbed the shit out of a vampire. Obviously knives are also excellent for protection.

The other thing is I was thinking of poppets more. I mentioned a little while ago, probably on my tumblr, that I really liked someone’s suggestion of using stuffed animals as guardians and familiars. I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while, mainly about what I’d want the animal to be and what I’d want them to do. I also recently thought of using poppets and sympathetic magic more. Something I definitely need to learn more about, but it’s a start.

The problem, as I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, is finding something I can do with low energy and difficulty concentrating. The fact that my body does not react favorably to magic (or at least what I’ve been trying) and astral traveling or such while awake is a major roadblock. I can’t get through as much of a book or focus on research in one sitting as I used to. Having the eternal struggle of rpg, video games and fiction coming up in search results makes it even harder to effectively utilize when I do have energy and focus. The fact that the vast majority of magic information resources don’t consider those who are chronically ill, fatigued or otherwise lacking in mental or physical stability and ability, if they don’t outright tell us to go away until we get better. Yeah, yeah, I’m not mentally stable, my low energy and asthma and pain and whatever causes this twitching and shaking makes me mildly disabled, but I’m not going to not do magic. It’s seriously ableist and a major dick move to tell sick people they can’t do cool, interesting, and fun things simply because they aren’t healthy. To tell someone who is chronically ill and will probably never 100% recover, if they ever started in “optimal” health to begin with, that they aren’t allowed to do something and will be refused knowledge, is an asshole thing to do. Give us warnings, teach us how to be safe and utilize our limits, don’t just shun us. Unfortunately, even in magic and paganism, neurodivergence, chronic illness and disability is still shunned and ignored. Hence my problem.

So, what say any of you? Any ideas for me to try? Books or other resources to recommend?