Category: Craft/Pagan Basics

  • High Emotion Magic: Bonus or Bad News?

    High Emotion Magic: Bonus or Bad News?

    Emotion is what fuels magical practice because spell work begins with what you want to have happen. If you cannot feel, then you cannot want and feeling is emotion. All intense emotion is high energy and you can, with rational thought and careful planning, direct all the intensity of that energy toward your goal. Passion will spike energy right off the meter, whether that passion comes from lust, anger, fear, or exultation. High emotion of all kinds: love, fear, sadness, anger, frustration, etc, can fuel your magical energy like a stoked furnace. But should you? (more…)

  • The Third Eye: Gateway to the Divine

    The Third Eye: Gateway to the Divine

    The “third eye” is a concept embraced by many cultures. This uniquely empowered area of the physical body is associated with the brow chakra and with the color purple. Friar Richard Rohr speculates that “First Eye” is what we perceive with the five physical senses. The “Second Eye” is our reasoning and reflection. The “Third Eye” goes further still and is, as Rohr puts it, “Having the mind of Christ.” It is a coming together of sacredness that puts one in a very holy and receptive state of mind. Many paths of yogic study use the third eye for inner focus.

    The Hindu people honor the inner guru by placing a dot of red sandalwood on the brow or Ajna (Aadnyaa) chakra. Their interpretation of this chakra means “command center.” When a person closes their eyes and the distraction of visual stimulation is removed, often their eyes automatically shift upward with their “vision” directed toward the area of the third eye. Relax, close your eyes and see if they naturally drift upward to this sacred area.


    The Ajna chakra is said to be the exit point for the kundalini, which is the coiled life force of energy that resides in the first and second chakras. It is traditionally called the “sleeping serpent” or the dormant sacred power because it is the life force that awakens during times of great enlightenment and spiritual bliss. At those times, it begins to uncurl and ascend upward through the other chakra points, lighting them up as it goes. Many say this accounts for the tingling feeling of true magic’s activation and movement through the body to exit out toward its intended purpose. When raising magical energy to direct toward a specific purpose, notice the increase in power that comes from starting the process in the lower two chakras and sending it upward to the third eye area to direct it toward its goal.

    Some cultures cover the area in front of the third eye, both to protect the gateway to the kundalini from outside contamination and to contain the energy within the person. The most common form of third eye or Ajna protection is the “bindi” or “bindu,” which is the “dot” that you see sometimes see between the eyebrows worn on the practitioners of the yogic traditions. This may be accomplished by paint or gluing on a jewel or other decoration.

    The Pineal Gland Theory

    The third eye is thought to refer to the pineal gland, a tiny part of our endocrine system embedded deeply between the two hemispheres of the brain, surrounded by a web of carotid arteries. Its location tracks directly back into the brain from the center of the forehead, generally considered to be the “third eye” point. Philosopher René Descartes studied the pineal gland with great interest and referred to it as “the principal seat of the soul.”

    The 19th century Christian mystic, Max Heindel theorized that the human pituitary and pineal gland were much more active in the past and has said “when man was in touch with the inner worlds, these organs were his means of ingress thereto.” Other theorists have joined with his notions that these essential glands are very dormant versions of how they operated in our ancestors.


    Certainly, the pineal gland controls some of our most important functions. It is responsible for releasing melatonin and therefore, governing our circadian rhythms. This is accomplished through the pineal gland’s interpretation of light and darkness, which itself is a concept with mystical overtones. A disruption in the health of the pineal gland can result in sleep disorders and bipolar-type imbalances. A minor example of disrupted circadian rhythms is the effect of jet lag.

    If you think about it, the pineal gland is the “Guardian at the Gate” of sleep and really, what could be more magical than that? Sleep is the time when we dream, so the pineal gland is the gateway into our most free and sacred self. Dream time is where many of our divinely inspired messages reside and is a line of direct access to the Divine where our own reserves and boundaries are non-existent and our Higher Self roams free.

    A Perfect System

    When the third eye, the aura, the chakras, the meridians, and the lymphatic system are considered as a system of energy management, it is easy to see how intricately our bodies and spirits are wired to function as fully magical beings. The individual chakras act as hearts pumping energy into vital areas of our lives. The meridians work as blood vessels, transporting the energy throughout our bodies. The lymphatic system cleanses out impure energy and discharges it from the body. The aura readily identifies the health of the entire system, identifying problem areas of blockages and dis-ease while the third eye is the gateway for our energy exchange with the Divine, much as our lungs oxygenate and empower our bloodstream. We are not only a sophisticated biological entity but also a meticulously crafted energy circuit board that comes to life when the console knows how to light up properly. The energy network that runs through your body is every bit as important as the system that sustains your biological life. They are, in fact, perfectly interwoven and when both systems are healthy and working in harmony, you have achieved true spiritual balance.

    Katrina Rasbold writes books that are available at and runs a magical shop full of cool, needful things in Roseville, CA (also with online sales) called Botánica de La Reina.

  • Moon Magic: The Ultimate Versatility

    Moon Magic: The Ultimate Versatility

    Slowly, silently, now the moon
    Walks the night in her silver shoon;
    This way, and that, she peers, and sees
    Silver fruit upon silver trees.

    – Walter de la Mare

    From the first moment that humans looked up into the sky, they felt an intense draw to the ever-changing moon.  While the sun offers us assurance and reliability, easing up into the sky each day and dipping behind the horizon every evening, lengthening and shortening the days as the earth moves around it in orbit, the moon reminds us that all things are transient.  The moon rides her month long cycle, showing her bright, full face and then gradually turning away again to leave us in the darkness. (more…)

  • Ceremonial Interruptus: When Rituals Fail

    Ceremonial Interruptus: When Rituals Fail

    It can happen to all of us, although thankfully, not usually to the degree we see in the graphic above. Rituals fail. It is easy to raise one knowing eyebrow and say that it failed because it was intended to fail and all things are exactly as they should be and blah, blah, blah, but there is a huge difference in knowing that rituals sometimes do not go as planned versus understanding why rituals sometimes go in the ditch and how to manage that inevitability. (more…)

  • Ritual Crafting: Creating Rituals That Work (Part 2)

    Ritual Crafting: Creating Rituals That Work (Part 2)

    In certain rites of passage, in high energy, advanced magical work, and in rituals such as sweat lodge ceremonies that demand endurance and stamina to maximize the spiritual benefits gained, we expect to be tested up to or sometimes past our own limits. In most rituals, however, we seek out personal fulfillment that comes at an easier price. I have found that the enjoyment a person derives from ritual comes from the blending of the personal meaningfulness and relatability of the content with the overall comfort level, spiritually and physically, within the circle area. These sustain the interest and focus required for a strong, impacting ceremony. In this post, we explore some of the components that make a ritual enjoyable and worthwhile to the participants. (more…)

  • Ritual Crafting: Creating Rituals That Work (Part 1)

    Ritual Crafting: Creating Rituals That Work (Part 1)

    A ritual is a specific set of actions, performed for their symbolic value. The words “ritual” and “tradition” are tied tightly together and are often deeply embedded in culture and family life. The usual purpose of ritual is to focus our intent and to connect to our Higher Self and Deity, as well as one another.  In ritual, every act is deliberate and meaningful, always leaving room for The Divine to move through the ritual spaces and bring Its own influence. In this two-part series, we explore fundamental structure of ritual and considerations that help create a ritual that is moving and effective. (more…)

  • It’s Knot Magic (Yes, It Is)

    It’s Knot Magic (Yes, It Is)

    In my experience, one of the greatest magical focus tools of all time is the rosary. The intense concentration one can generate by praying the rosary is very nearly unparalleled across spiritual dividing lines. In Paganism, we have our own form of praying the rosary that is slightly different, but accomplishes the same goal. “Knot Magic” is a very effective form of focused magic similar to praying the rosary, except that one instills their own intent into each “bead,” which is actually a knot. Here is how to do it: (more…)

  • Breath of the Dragon

    Breath of the Dragon

    An up and coming, fast-track, newbie Pagan I know recently referred to feng shui as “fluffy bunny magic.” I stared in amazement because, gentle reader, if taking the energy movement in your home seriously is fluffy bunny magic, then it is the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. Little is more vital to your day-to-day magic than the energy flow you cultivate in your own spiritual sanctuary. (more…)

  • A Different Kind of Spring Cleaning

    A Different Kind of Spring Cleaning

    During this time of Spring Cleaning and the purging, it is important not to overlook home cleaning of a different kind. Just as we track in dirt on our shoes and hands, so do we bring in psychic debris from our ventures into the outside world. “Smudging” is the act of using the smoke from an herb to cleanse away negativity and is an important part of self-care. (more…)

  • Managing Psychic Attack

    Managing Psychic Attack

    In Monday’s blog, we talked about symptoms of psychic attack and these may come from intentional malice or inadvertent ill will (like pouting and wallowing in anger). In this post, we discuss how to work with psychic attack without incurring karmic backlash. (more…)

  • Identifying Psychic Attack

    Identifying Psychic Attack

    In Monday’s blog, we talked about the feasibility of working magic toward  a positive outcome using the food we prepare. In this posting, we will discuss the nuts and bolts of how to do it. When working magic through food, there are two categorizations to consider. (more…)

  • Food and Energy – Part 1

    Food and Energy – Part 1

    Creating a particular outcome through the use of food is a practice as old as eating itself. It is less about ideas such as “Apricots will make you flirty” and “Eating bananas will draw in a lover” and more about the way energy operates in the world around us. Where there is energy, there is magic. (more…)

  • On the CUSP

    On the CUSP

    Eighteen years ago, my priest/husband/co-author and I outlined a spiritual path that got to the bare bones of the agricultural sabbat cycle and created a plan for positive life change through magical manifestation. What was born of those long nights of drinking, writing, drinking, researching, drinking, and plotting was CUSP (Climbing Up the Spiral Pathway). Little did we realize that it would turn into a practice used worldwide and by practitioners of many faiths. It influences our lives daily. (more…)

  • The Power of Words

    The Power of Words

    Humans often consider the power of speech and written word to be the defining quality that sets us apart from the rest of the animal world. With the exception of some animals specially trained to communicate, Koko the Gorilla, for instance, humans alone possess the demonstrated ability for the ongoing use of language. There is little denying the power of words. We all have memories of times when words cut us to the bone and left us to bleed. Theory says it takes 100 positive words to make up for one negative word. Sometimes, words imprint on our psyches and become the filter through which we experience our lives. Words can damage us forever and often the person doing the wounding has no idea they have hurt us or changed us in some significant way. (more…)

  • Of Gods and Goddesses and Tenets (Oh My!)

    Of Gods and Goddesses and Tenets (Oh My!)

    In 2012, I wrote and published a book called Energy Magic that was many years in development. In it, I explore a practice that is as old as humankind itself: the use of magical energy to achieve positive manifestation for life change. As I began to work with the spiritual energy and “buzz” that exists above and beyond whatever path we take to reach it, I came under fire from all sides. The Christians felt I was too Pagan. The Pagans felt I was too Christian. The hardcore Pagans thought I was too vanilla and New Agey. I was called “pedestrian,” and had to sit and think for a while on all of the connotations of that grand slam.


  • Simplifying Magical Ethics (Part 2)

    Simplifying Magical Ethics (Part 2)

    Thursday’s blog post discussed ethical considerations such as the power of intent and working for others without their permission. Today, we move further into the subject, beginning with Karma and Three-Fold Law…


  • Simplifying Magical Ethics (Part 1)

    Simplifying Magical Ethics (Part 1)


    There is much to say about magical ethics, especially when you consider the variances from tradition to tradition and spiritual path to spiritual path. A person’s head could explode trying to keep track of what candle to put out first or which way to walk in circle without courting disaster. (more…)