Communicating with the Blessed Dead

Unknown to me at the time, I first started working with the blessed dead as a young child.  I call them the blessed dead because they have provided me with messages to aid the living, insight or knowledge applicable in life and guided me on my magickal and spiritual path.  The blessed dead is a term I use, as it’s a name used for our ancestors and deceased loved ones in the Kemetic tradition I am a follower of.

It all started in the middle of one night when I was woken up by a loud voice talking to me.  When I opened my eyes I was at first startled when I saw a tall middle aged man standing at the foot of my bed, but as I focused, I realised he was familiar to me and so I wasn’t afraid.  He was talking to me without moving his mouth, was slightly transparent and being so young I didn’t question this aspect.  I just accepted that he was there and didn’t want to hurt me as he just wanted me to pass on a message.

He was telling me that I needed to tell his brother that he was gone and that his brother needed to know he was ok and not to worry.  I got up and ran into my parents bedroom to tell them what this man had told me, but my mother thinking I had a bad dream, put me back into bed after bestowing upon me a blessing and protection prayer.  Some time later, I was woken again by this man who was adamant I pass on a message to his brother and that he wouldn’t leave until I’d done so.  Again I raced into my parents bedroom and this time when my mother tried to explain it was just a nightmare and everything was ok. I started to throw a tantrum because I wanted to be heard.  Whilst my mother was trying to calm me down I practically screamed out the message I had received which was that “John” was in my bedroom and wanted to tell his brother that he was dead but that he was ok and not to get sad.  My mother’s eye’s widened in a quizzical expression and she then asked what he looked like so I carefully described him.  When I was done my mother crossed herself and shot my father a worrying glance.  I started to cry in panic and she soothed me and put me back to bed whilst telling me everything was going to be fine and thanked me for passing on the message from John.

The next morning I found my father crying at the kitchen table and when I asked him why he was sad he told me that his brother John had died.  Uncle John was my father’s favourite brother and best friend who lived interstate and had suffered a stroke and died during the night.  I hugged my father and told him not to cry as Uncle John had visited and told me that he was ok. It did give my father comfort and solace.  Then in the following days when I attended the funeral with my parents I wasn’t shocked to see Uncle John lying in an open casket and was actually wondering why people gathered were upset since he told me himself, he was fine.  When I told this to my mother she explained to me that not everyone talked to people who had passed away and gently warned me not to repeat to anyone what had happened as they wouldn’t understand.  She also explained that some people in our family could talk to the dead in order to help those who were left behind with their grieving.  Since I had this gift she would teach me how to work with the blessed dead in a safe and helpful way.

That was the beginning of when I started working with the blessed dead and to this day I continue to work with them in one way or another.  I predominately work with my own blessed dead as they have guided me on my magical and spiritual path.  When I conduct healings and readings I receive messages for clients from their loved ones which I pass on.  I find that these messages along with descriptions of their loved ones are appreciated by the living as they help them to move on and accept they are no longer in physical form and we don’t need to worry about them.

Having lost both my parents before I turned 30, working with the blessed dead has allowed me to accept and let go of them with love in my heart as I am completely confident they are in a peaceful place.  I had been warned about both my parents passing before it occurred through dreams and other blessed dead who came to me to tell me and in both my parents cases it actually helped them move on.

Over the years I’ve delved deeper into Hellenic and Kemetic magickal and religious practices.  I have found this has added value not only to my personal life but also when dealing with the blessed dead.  My interest in Hellenic and Kemetic traditions stems from my ancestry and I was also drawn to it through the guidance of my spirit guide who happened to be an ancestor well versed in these traditions.

When I was introduced to the concept of Ancestor Veneration in the Kemetic tradition it felt very familiar.  This practice was something which I had always done in some way or another and it was refreshing to see others actively participating in the same practice in this day and age.  I came to learn that “Akhu” also known as the “Shining Ones” or “Blessed Dead” and are the spirits of our ancestors who became a star in the heavens in the body of Nuit.  Nuit is a sky goddess who is depicted as a naked woman covered in stars who arches over the earth.  She is also a goddess of death and swallowed and rebirth the stars and sun. As stars shine their light down upon us, they remind us that they are always with us and watching over us.  This brought me great comfort and resonated within me in a most profound way.

Venerating the Ancestors is a practice where you honour (instead of worship) your blessed dead so their Ka (soul) continues to be fed and therefore continuing to exist.  Through remembering and speaking their name and by leaving them offerings such as incense, water or things they enjoyed in life , it allows them to have the ability to intercede on our behalf and assist us in our lives.  Venerating the Ancestors shows how much you care for your blessed dead even though they are no longer in physical form in this earthly plain.  It allows us to thank them for being as our own existence is due to theirs.  When Venerating our Ancestors it allows them to bestow blessings and offer insight into our lives.  This is because it is believed that they stand in the Duat or underworld/land of the dead and can communicate to us or be go betweens to the Gods themselves if necessary.   All that is needed to Venerate the Ancestors is to acknowledge them in the form of prayers or offerings, this includes asking them for assistance and in return thanking them for their assistance when given.   Also it is worthy to note that you don’t have to be blood tied to your blessed dead as they can be a person you cared deeply for in life and want to remember them in death.

People in many cultures including Eastern, Native American, Greek and Egyptian have been known to Venerate their Ancestors for many thousands of years.  Originally it was part of everyday life for the common man to do this and in the modern day these practices have remained in one form or another.  This shows us that many acknowledge that honouring and/or working with the blessed dead gives them comfort or blessings and has a positive impact on us physically and psychologically.

I have an ancestor shrine which I maintain regularly and sits in a part of the house I frequently use to ensure my blessed dead are acknowledged as part of the family.  My shrine is an old desk I have covered with a star studded shrine cloth and I have placed various items on it which represent my ancestors and which symbolically feed their soul.  Some items on my ancestor shrine include personal possessions of my ancestors, photos of my ancestors, a book containing ancestor’s names and their stories, flowers, a libation bowl, a food offering plate, incense holder with incense and candles which are lit during the reciting of prayers.    It is important to note that food offerings are always disposed of in the garbage separately to the household trash and are not to be consumed.  Libations are left to evaporate or poured onto the earth outside.

((C) T. Georgitsis Akhu Shrine 2010)

 

I find an effective way to communicate with my blessed dead other than simply talking to them in shrine is by writing them a letter and reading it to them or leaving it on their shrine.  I have a personally amended a Kemetic prayer (A Hotep Di Nisut Prayer) with my own words at the end which has been framed and placed amongst photos of my blessed dead on my shrine which is recited frequently:

An offering which the King gives to Yinepu-Upon-His-Mountain and to Wesir, Lord of Abydos: a thousand of bread, a thousand of beer, a thousand of oil and alabaster and linen, a thousand of meat and fowl and all things good and pure that heaven gives, the earth produces and the inundation brings; for the ka of _______ ma’a heru.

Your names will live on forever, for you are the stars who watch over me “

If it wasn’t for my ancestors, my blessed dead, I wouldn’t be here and for that I am indebted.  I am a part of them and they will always be a part of me as I remind myself how much I love them through devotional veneration where I bestow offerings and prayers as a symbol of this love and remembrance.  In return they bless, assist me and remind me of where I came from.  Until I see my blessed dead when it is my time to cross over, I will continue to show them respect and be their messenger when needed.

By T. Georgitsis © 2011

This article was the opening piece from the book: Memento Mori – A Collection of Magickal and Mythological Perspectives on Death, Dying, Mortality & Beyond, Edited by Kim Huggens which can be purchased here:

Memento Mori Collection Mythological Perspectives

Basic Hellenic Ritual

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Basic Hellenic Ritual

Set up working shrine with the following: image of God/dess, knife, khernips, khernips bowl, offerings including: barley, flowers, grape juice/wine, blessing cups, libation vessel, olive oil, salt, bread, candle/lamp, incense, charcoal, incense burner, bay leaves and matches.

Purification

Wash your hands in the khernips which is placed in a bowl outside the sacred space.

At this point state, Let all that is profane be gone!

Take barley and throw the offering of cleansing upon the shrine and upon the sacred space and say,
Hekas hekas este o-bebeloi(Afar, Afar, O The/Ye Profane).

Procession

Form a formal procession and walk towards the sacred space carrying the offerings with you.

Present the offerings to the God/desses by holding them up in a gesture of offering and placing them on the shrine before forming a semi-circle around the shrine. You do not need to speak to do this but may say a few words as a statement of purpose if you are inspired.

Sprinkle khernips over offerings to purify them with the words “Xerniptosai (be purified).

Honoring God/s

Read out a hymn to Hestia (the first and foremost) and offer a libation in her name.

Read out hymn to specific God/dess and offer a libation in their name.

Offerings and Blessing Request

Present any offerings.

These can be in the form of items lifted up to the heavens, in the form of hymns or prayers you would like to read out, any petitions of askance, blessings or the like and lastly any jewelry or ritual tools may be consecrated using the khernips.

Pour a libation for God/dess.

Partake of the libations if so inclined.

Closing

Thank God/dess by saying:
“God/dess, in your name we gathered, thank you for your eternal illumination and blessings.”

Ritual is complete.

This is now when the “feasting” part of the ritual takes place ensuring that afterwards the shrine is disassembled and cleaned up.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2012

 

2017 Moon Phases: Melbourne, Australia

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Specific magickal workings need to be conducted on specific moon phases.  Here are the  New and Full Moon Phases for Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 2017:

 

New Moon

Full Moon
    12 Jan 10:33 pm
28 Jan 11:07 am 11 Feb 11:32 am
27 Feb 1:58 am 13 Mar 1:53 am
28 Mar 1:57 pm 11 Apr 4:08 pm
26 Apr 10:16 pm 11 May 7:42 am
26 May 5:44 am 9 Jun 11:09 pm
24 Jun 12:30 pm 9 Jul 2:06 pm
23 Jul 7:45 pm 8 Aug 4:10 am
22 Aug 4:30 am 6 Sep 5:02 pm
20 Sep 3:29 pm 6 Oct 5:40 am
20 Oct 6:12 am 4 Nov 4:22 pm
18 Nov 10:42 pm 4 Dec 2:46 am

18 Dec

5:30 pm

 

Hekate Self Initiation

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One of the simplest rituals I have created and completed is a self-initiation and dedication to a deity.  Here is a ritual I wrote many moons ago for Hekate which you might find useful and which you can use as a guideline when writing your own ritual:

Hekate Self Initiation

Performed on Sunset/Sunrise in a liminal place.

Items Needed:

  • 1 black candle
  • 2 white candles
  • 1 lighter/matches
  • 2 coins
  • 2 keys
  • 1 glass of wine or grape juice
  • Moon cakes
  • 1 glass of water
  • Salt
  • Hekate incense or similar
  • Charcoal
  • Incense burner
  • Hekate oil or similar
  • Pad and pen

Preparation:

Clean the working space and neutralize energies.  This can be done by completing the LBRP, sweeping the space with a broom, clearing the temple with incense and khernips etc.

Ensure alter is set up with items needed.

Anoint the black candle with the Hekate oil.

Anoint self with Hekate oil between the brow.

Create Sacred Space

In any manner you are accustomed to.

Magickal Working

As a sign of devotion offer Hekate a coin, a white candle and a key.

(The coin can be given to a charity or left at a crossroads after the ritual, the white candle can be used when invoking Hekate and the key can be used when working with Hekate to unlock mysteries or connect to her).

Light the black candle and Invoke Hekate by reciting a prayer written in her name.

Make an offering to Hekate consisting of wine and moon cakes.

Speak to Hekate in your own words.  Tell Hekate that you are dedicating yourself to her service and let her know what you can offer her as her devotee.  Share with her where you are at in your life and what you feel is holding you back and what you want to achieve.  Ask Hekate for her blessings, guidance and help.  Remember to be clear and concise with your words.

After you have done this visualise Hekate unlocking a door and opening it before you, she hands you a key as you pass through the door and there you find a crossroad before you.  Hekate holds her arms up before her in witch pose and lights the appropriate path before you with her blazing torches.  Hekate hands you a torch and beckons you to walk along beside her as she guides you down the illuminated path.  Follow the illuminated path until you find the answer you seek. After you have found the answer you seek thank Hekate for her assistance and farewell her.  Record any insights or advice given.

Close Sacred Space

In any manner you are accustomed to similar to creating sacred space.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2010

 

Black Moon

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A Black Moon occurs when there are two New Moons in a month.

In the Northern Hemisphere there is a Black Moon on the 30th of September 2016.

In the Southern Hemisphere there is a Black Moon on the 31st of October 2016 which also happens to fall on Beltane.

This kind of event happens every few years and the type of magick performed is New Moon magick which is more potent during this time.

Focus on renewals, beginnings, manifestation of desires and foundation of intent for future endeavors, which first must come through letting go and clearing/cleansing during the Dark Moon, 2-3 days prior to the New Moon.

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These are the following steps I would suggest you do when working with the Black Moon coming up:

  1. Remove – obstacles, both mental and physical which have been hindering you.
  2. Cleanse – energy by completely neutralising/clearing your space and yourself.
  3. Project – intentions of what you want to bring into your life. 
  4. Create – possibilities for manifestation of desire which can be done through ritualised action such as a spell, meditation etc.

(c) T. Georgitsis 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Coven Cup & Blade: Cakes and Wine

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Within the Wiccan coven ritual structure, cakes and ale (sometimes called bread and wine or cakes and mead) are an important aspect of the magickal working.  Its symbolism is of the union of male and female polarity and brings the focus of the coven together to celebrate the bounties of the God and Goddess brought by their union. Like communion in church where the partaking of wine is to symbolize the blood of deity, in the Wiccan tradition when the ale is blessed using the cup and blade its charged, blending the feminine and masculine forces which are found within Deity.  The athame upon the altar represents the God and the chalice the Goddess: therefore when the blessing of the ale occurs as part of the consecration of food and drink, it’s a representation of the sacred marriage.  God and Goddess become one – light and dark, magnetic and electric, positive and negative.  This act celebrates life as a balancing of opposites which is needed for creation in the natural world.

In our ritual joining of these energies through this act, is a powerful way to release and merge these polarities which are ultimately consumed by the practitioner.  It’s also way to become close to the Goddess and God and thank them for aiding us in our boons which were asked for in the working aspect of the ritual. It shows that we can take Piety within us, which in turn bestows us with their amalgamated felicitations.  This union of divergences manifests as power within, which are then consumed by the coven members who do this one by one, thus deepening the connection to one another. The aspect of consuming the ale, grounds the energy raised in the circle during ritual and assists it in manifesting in the physical sphere from the etheric. Whatever remains in the cup are libations scattered within the coven’s cast circle further promoting focus and abundance within the group.

Another point to take note of is that when you share food and drink it allows you to build stronger connections and bonds.  Within the coven environment this is true of not only the feasting aspect after ritual but the cake and ale aspect within ritual.  In the coven we give and receive shared knowledge and experiences.  Therefore sharing the cake and ale is a practice of goodwill with one another, as well as a partaking of the God and Goddess’s bounty together.  The sharing of food is a communal activity which emphasises familial connections and what is a coven after all but a spiritual family joined in religious celebration.

Here is a simple drink blessing I would like to share with you which I created for use in wiccan rituals and can be done in a coven or solitary environment:

Libation Blessing

 Making your own cake and ale imbues your magickal intent and shows you have sacrificed and offered your time and resources for the Goddess, Gods and fellow coven members.  Mead which has been made for coven rituals has been a staple in wiccan communities for decades.  Known as one of the world’s oldest drinks which predates wine making, this fermented drink in its simplicity yet complexity enables the maker to create various flavors than simply the traditional blend of honey and water.  Mead throughout various cultures has been thought to bestow magickal healing as well as fertility and as such a perfect representation for the joining of the God and Goddess.  Here is a mead recipe you can make yourself for your rites and rituals:

Honey Mead Recipe

(c) T. Georgitsis 2014

Libation Blessing – Wiccan Style

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Take the cup and hold it up to the moon and say:

“This is a symbol of the Goddess and the Feminine”

 Take the athame and hold it up to the moon and say:

“This is a symbol of the God and the Masculine”

Plunge the athame into the cup and say:

“Together united as one – may they manifest fruition,

Light & dark, magnetic & electric, positive & negative

All come from the same source which brings us our boons!”

© T. Georgitsis 2004

Book Inspired Incense: Fire of Azrael

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Re-read Dion Fortune’s “Sea Priestess” and was inspired to create an incense blend.

In the book a fire is built containing the wood of Juniper, Cedar and Sandalwood and as the fire tempers, the lit up ashes are used to bring on visions.

This fire is called the Fire of Azrael and is used for scrying.

You can do the same with ground up equal parts of juniper, cedar and sandlewood and use it as incense.  Inhale the fumes when you throw a pinch or two onto a burning chacoal block and utilize the smoke to scry.

(c) T. Georgitsis 2015 – image used with permission

 

Spell-craft Correspondences

 

Days of the Week Colours Herbs Stones Planet Element
Monday Silver Lotus

Jasmine

Vervain

Moonstone

Amethyst

Clear Quartz

Moon Water
Tuesday Red Dragons Blood

Ginger

Pine

Garnet

Red Jasper

Bloodstone

Mars Fire
Wednesday Orange Lavender

Dill

Peppermint

Onyx

Fluoride

Aventurine

Mercury Air
Thursday Green Mint

Sage

Sedar

Lapis Lazuli

Sodalite

Turquiose

Jupiter Air/Fire
Friday Pink Rose

Sandalwood

Lilac

Rose Quartz

Emerald

Jade

Venus Water
Saturday Grey Mandrake

Comfrey

Violet

Jet

Onyx

Lodestone

Saturn Earth/Water
Sunday Gold Clove

Rue

Cinnamon

Citrine

Carnelian

Tigers Eye

Sun Fire

13 Goals of a Witch

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(http://www.freeimages.co.uk/
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1. Know yourself.

2. Know your Craft (Wicca).

3. Learn.

4. Apply knowledge with wisdom.

5. Achieve balance.

6. Keep your words in good order.

7. Keep your thoughts in good order.

8. Celebrate life.

9. Attune with the cycles of the Earth.

10. Breathe and eat correctly.

11. Exercise the body.

12. Meditate.

13. Honor the Goddess and God.

 by Scott Cunningham