Asafoetida: Love and Femininity #Domagick Day 27

As the month comes to a close, it’s time to reflect back on my work with the daemoness Asafoetida. I found it challenging in a couple of ways, and not because she has a “dubious” historical background.

At first I found the concept of self-love difficult, and had to concentrate on sending loving kindness out towards others more than I did on sending it towards myself. However, as the month progressed, I became more comfortable with the time spent on the self-care routine of the daily chakra maintenance. I already participate in this sort of psychic hygiene, but I know now that I need to engage in at least a like cleansing every day since my surgery.

Secondly, I second-guessed everything that I sensed about Asafoetida, worrying it was too stereotypical feminine. From the first, the color that I sensed for her was light pink. I smelled rose petals whenever I meditated on her for any length of time. Was this how she manifested for me legitimately, or was I dredging up Barbie-like brain chatter simply because she is the daemon of feminine attributes? I still sensed what I sensed, but I doubted it, and that doubt got in the way of our communication. I will have to approach her again at another time and re-assess.

Nonetheless, the practice of chanting the warrior syllables or moving through the Salutations of Ptah everyday has made me feel better, mentally and physically. I “sense” my chakras run better afterwards too, which is the point, of course. On the other hand, being able to improve my mood when I start feeling the afternoon blues has helped my self-esteem, even if I am not always 100% successful. Today I ran through both the warrior syllables and the salutations, and my mind feels like I have taken a refreshing nap.

My card of the day was the 2 of cups, which I read as starting a new relationship. I believe that I am starting a new relationship with how I will be handling my psychic hygiene from here on out.

Demons and Gender: Asafoetida #domagick day 22

I played with watercolors yesterday to burn off some stress. I considered painting something for Asafoetida, but became hung up on how I would capture her presence. It is difficult to picture her, as I would say that my strongest impression of her has been scent. I tend to smell flowers for a short time after working with her no matter what incense I use. I often “see” impressions of the color pink, but in both cases those could be my interpretation of what a daemoness of feminine attributes should be like. Gender isn’t as easily put in a box than that, and I didn’t want to box in Asafoetida in either.  I don’t want to make assumptions. Perhaps I will grow to know her better over time. Today’s Lenormand cards (BIRDS + STORK = Improving communication) imply that I will.

I certainly haven’t connected with her as well as some other daemons, but I haven’t connected with this Domagick challenge as well as others either. The daily blogging feels like a grind, like collecting 30 of the same thing in Warcraft. But I continued my pursuit of “leveling up” and worked the breathing / meditation positions of Ptah today. Again, it evened out my mood and my energy until my full cleansing on the weekend.)


The Role of Politeness in Pagan Debate

Over the last week, I’ve been asked my opinion a good deal about Richard Dukanté, his hierarchy, and the daemons it contains. I think it’s time that I finally set the record straight, though what I have to say focuses more on politeness in the overall Pagan community in general.

Above all things, I believe in polite discussion is the best mode of debate. Two (or more) people with vastly different opinions should be able to come together and talk about their topic in a straight forward fashion, sticking to the facts of the matter as they see them. These facts will, of course, be warped by their own perceptions, biases, and experiences. They should still remain the facts as each party sees them, unhindered by irrelevant personal insults, name calling, political backstabbing, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Not everyone agrees with me. On the internet in particular, many people seem to prefer discussion with just these kinds of personal touches. It ranges from leaving homophobic, one-word slurs underneath YouTube videos to passive aggressive wishes of good will at the end of novel-length posts of hate. I’ve seen both and everything in-between. Perhaps this is all these people have ever seen to duplicate, but it is just as likely that the anonymity of the internet makes it far easier for them to be a jerk.

Be that as it may, Dukanté is a polarizing figure. People either feel his work is useful to them or utterly fake. There seems to be little in-between. He brings about passionate responses. And, unfortunately, far too many people cannot talk about their differing passions politely. In my opinion, when a debate becomes cyclical—essentially getting nowhere—it’s time to move on. Otherwise, it has trapped you.

I don’t mean this about just Richard Dukanté, but about all breakdowns in communication. Come back to the topic later if it is absolutely necessary for your development and the development of the others involved, but if not… Isn’t the discussion just a waste of time? Yes, discussion can exist for its own sake, and for pleasure alone. I host coffee cauldrons myself, and I like to get together with my friends and gab too. Yet, as a magician, I don’t believe my main focus should be flapping my gums, whether that’s face-to-face or on the internet. It should be on doing and creating, on manifesting my will in the universe—on enacting change some how.

I just don’t see this happening now or in the future with the discussions on Dukanté. In my opinion, they’ve stalled. I’ve been clear I support the statement S. Connolly made here, and that I work with the Dukanté hierarchy as part of my Daemonolatry practice. I also work with the daemons of the Ars Goetia, as well as many others. A daemon (in my opinion) is “a divine intelligence replete with wisdom.” That is a pretty wide definition.

For the record, I will say that I have also spent the month of February 2018 working with one of Dukanté’s most contested daemons, Asafoetida. I knew from the beginning that the information Dukanté had gained from Ascension about her was likely influenced by the plant of the same name. I was and am all right with that. I wanted to see what this daemonic energy would be like to work with specifically because she was so contested. Would my experiences be colored by Dukanté’s scant commentary, or what I knew of the plant? I believe personal experimentation and experience is the best way for me to make sense of Dukanté’s work for myself, as each individual must. I will keep what works and throw out what doesn’t. That is all I am going to advise individuals to do in the future.

I believe people should be allowed to make their own decision, based on the material. Also, as a teacher, I have come to realize that I cannot to do the work for my students. I cannot be with them every step of the way when they are learning a skill. Worse yet, the more hand-holding some get, the more they want. Every magician needs to learn to read over the information in front of them and decide whether or not we need to do more research. They need to be able to determine validity for themselves. It is part of developing discernment.


Heart Chakra: Love, Compassion, Connect #Domagick 13

Since I’m moving on to the heart chakra today, I gave myself a complete tune-up by chanting the seed syllable for each chakra numerous times. I’ve had problems with the heart chakra earlier in this challenge, so it seemed like a good idea. The heart chakra is also known as the Anahata chakra. It helps us generate compassion and love for ourselves and others. It deals with connection and bringing wholeness to our beings. As such, it is often considered our emotional healing centre. Its sound is YAM in the seven chakra system.

I felt like something shifted mentally during today’s Loving Kindness meditation that may help my heart chakra. My free-form mediation always has four parts: extending kindness to myself, to those aI love, to someone I feel ambivalent about, and to someone I find difficult. Whenever I have followed a guided version, the leaders have gone out of their way to never say anyone you hate. They encourage us to share kindness with this difficult person only to the degree we are able. Perhaps that is due to fear of triggering someone, or maybe the leaders worry that confronting hatred head on will completely destroy the feeling of Loving Kindness we have already generated. Either way, I can see their point. Hating someone requires energy. Depending on how big the hate is, it can eat up a lot of our thoughts, our lives—even make us too tired to handle our daily routine. I realized today that’s why forgiveness is for us, not for the person we hate. It frees us of those commitments so we can use our energy for other things.

On the other hand, today’s divination prompt aimed at strengthening my heart chakra leaves me a tad perplexed. Yesterday, I asked a career-related question of my cards and turned up the Knight of Wands. It came up again this morning when I asked the cards how I could be more loving to myself and others. (Right in Asafoetida’s domain!) The Knight of Wands indicates that it is time to put a project into action and explore it with enthusiasm. Am I so bored right now creatively that I am being cranky to those I love? Something to consider. That or I just have to keep my head down and keep doing the work.

knight of swords tarot heart chakra meditation divination domagick

Energy Through Relaxation #Domagick 12

I won’t be a “winner” of this Domagick challenge. Even though I completed the actual work, I skipped the blogging. I needed some time away from the computer after a week of editing and email. Honestly, I still need more weekend relaxation. I knew my chakras were spinning too slowly today before I even checked. I’ve been dragging my ass since I woke up. Every single part of me wants to go back to bed, and no energy attunement will fix that. The day is just too gray. Though I chanted the appropriate seed syllable and put in my “time on the cushion,” I still feel like I need to hibernate with a good book.

And what book? The a big fat grimoire. I started reading one last night, and it has been on my mind ever since. My thoughts even strayed to it when I was shuffling the cards for today’s daily prompt, and I think that may have influenced my draw. I asked what can I do to nourish / strength my solar chakra and pulled the Page of Swords. (I went back to using Tarot for a bit. I’m a wandering oracle.) To me, this means I should be open to and let myself be excited by new ideas and messages. That’s interesting synchronicity, but I hesitate to start anything new. I fell like I already have too many commitments as it is.

Maybe that’s it. Every time I start something new, I see it a commitment, a project, something I must do. I’m always focused on production and putting my energy out into the world rather than bringing bring energy back to myself. I rarely focus on hobbies as opposed to work. My meditation with Asafoetida reminds me that I have to balance in my life. It’s okay to seek relaxation.

An Off Day #Domagick 08

Mundane work won out over magickal work today. I woke up, got dressed, and went straight to my desk this morning without stopping for my Loving Kindness meditation, et cetera, first. That was a mistake. By the time I finished my work day, I was tired enough that I didn’t want to meditate for even a half an hour.  I had to argue with myself to get down on the cushion.

While it was easy enough to extend kindness—and forgiveness—to myself for feeling tired, my chakras had already paid the price. All of them moved sluggishly after a day in my desk chair, especially when all I wanted to do was nap. In fact, that’s exactly what happened when I tried to finish my body scan: I felt asleep. Today, my body simply new best. I didn’t need to reattune my chakras. I just needed to sleep.

It was so late when I woke up that I decided against pulling a daily card. Besides, my body knew best exactly how to nourish my sacral chakra without divination. This chakra the one tied sensuality and pleasure, and it was incredibly pleasing just to sleep for a few hours. Afterwards, I concentrated on basking in Asafoetida’s energy and on connecting with her. It remains soft, subtle, like the smell of rose petals.

Mindfulness: Just One Breath #domagick day 04

I’ve struggled with my Loving Kindness meditations over the last couple days. Today, I took previous card readings to heart and concentrated on staying in the present moment. Regardless of how my day had went up until then, I could concentrate on loving kindness for just one breath. And another. And another. Eventually my mindfulness training took over, and the meditation became easier.

domagick meditation chakras mindfulness divination tarot demons asafeotida
Incense offering left in a new brass burner for Asafoetida today.

After my body scan, I went straight into a set of breathing postures meant to open each of the chakras in succession. I found them incredibly effective when combined with visualization. They were all spinning and flowing well, right down to my root chakra. When I am home alone this week, I will use sound as well. There are sounds associated with all the chakras. For example, the sound associated with the root chakra is LAM.

When I asked the cards what I could do to strengthen or nourish my root chakra, I turned over the GOSSIP card in the Chakra Wisdom Oracle. I wish this card had been labeled UNIQUE instead, because that is what it is truly about. We can lose out when we judge rather than value people based on their differences. This card cautions against this. Other key concepts are lack of appreciation, support for my vision, and refocusing my life. This might seem only tangentially related to concepts like safety and security, but realistically my entire last  My entire last week at work has been about setting the stage for future community growth. It’s a balance.



Patience and Forgiveness #domagick day 03

I shouldn’t have known better. Today I attempted my Loving Kindness meditation today after writing a business letter rather than doing it as soon as I got up. Getting into a compassionate mindset felt hypocritical after having spent nearly an hour setting boundaries on paper. This probably says more about my experiences with authority figures than anything else. According to yesterday’s divination, I need to let these kinds of hang-ups go to grow as a person and as a magician.

Today’s body scan went better than yesterday’s, though. I asked my partner to work on my heart chakra last night, and I began to sneeze and cough wildly this morning when I ran energy through the same area. It could be a coincidence, or it could also be what my Reiki teacher calls a “release.” I’ll keep watch on that chakra.

patience and forgiveness domagick meditation chakras mindfulness divination tarot demonsWhen I looked at today’s divination prompt, I realized I mixed up the prompts’ order yesterday. Therefore, yesterday’s prompt was: “Improve physical health by…” When I shuffled by Chakra Wisdom Oracle, two cards fell out: IMPATIENCE and FORGIVENESS.

Looked at separately, Impatience suggests that reacting from a place of scarcity thinking is exhausting my efforts. Forgiveness says I should let go of grudges against myself. Together the cards indicate I need patient self-love. In other words, I should keep going forward with this month’s work—but that I also need to look at my attitude towards work in general. I may be running on the hamster wheel for nothing. I coworker kicked me in the ass about that before my surgery, and I don’t want to fall back into my old habit of overworking myself, especially when it isn’t necessary.

So far the divination prompts have looked at being grounded, physically healthy, and financial secure—all qualities that can be linked to the root chakra. Tomorrow the prompt will deal with that chakra directly. I am starting to think that this deck may very well be Asafoetida’s. I rather like that.

Let go #domagick day 02

I struggled with today’s Loving Kindness meditation. After a week of saying “no” more often than usual, I had trouble understanding how I was extending kindness to all beings. Supposedly it can be a kindness to be cruel—but I’m also Canadian. We pop out of the womb saying “I’m sorry.” It was hard to let go of my guilt.

My body scan pointed out that my posture was all out of whack during meditation too. I was hunching my shoulders: curling in on myself as if to protect my chest. Sure enough, my green chakra was out of whack too. After sitting with this and trying to simply accept the situation as is for a bit, I work the tension out of my back and tried to work “the gunk” out of my chakra. It was stubborn, so it is time for a full elemental / chakra balancing.

I read four cards today, relating to what the prompt: Become more financially secure by…. In order, I pulled Renewal, Release, Self-Worth, and Service from my Chakra Wisdom Oracle. I interpreted this to mean that the time for change is here. I must let the past go, aim higher, and just do the work.

Today’s prompt was aimed at strengthening and nourishing my red or root chakra, which has to do with safety, security, and the physical world.

(Asafoetida remains a gentle but subtle presence, contacted at the beginning of each session and thanked at the end. I will check in with her in a greater way on a weekly basis.)


Asafoetida, pleased to meet you!

Happy Eclipse! Are you enjoying the super blue blood moon? I got up early enough to sneak a peak at it this morning and then went straight into my work with the daemoness Asafoetida.

creation card tartot oracle chakra candle asafoetida love divinationInvoking and drawing down her energy went as planned, though it felt lighter in nature than I expected. Perhaps my experience with the spice Asafoetida colored my expectations, but I thought I would run into a heavy, strongly sensual energy—one that could best be described as forward or brash. What I encountered instead what quite subtle in comparison, like a waft of perfume or roses after a rainfall. In some ways, that is more like the taste of the spice, which I find a mild onion note. It isn’t overpowering at all and can actually be lost among other more powerful flavors. I admit, I was surprised! I wonder how this first impression will mature over time…

When I pulled a card today, I specifically asked what the month ahead would bring. Using my Chakra Wisdom Oracle, I turned over the Creation card. The key phrases associated with it are “creativity, muse, and magick.” That bodes well. In addition to the chakra work I would like to do this month, I’d also like to finish the revision of my upcoming book, Daemonic Dreams.

Wish me luck when this work merges with the February Domagick challenge tomorrow!