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[Witch Way] Volume #4 Issue #9 -- Spiritual Lessons In Everyday Life
February 13, 2012

Ken's Korner

As you read this on Monday, I should be (Finally!) closing on my new house. It has been a long, hard and frustrating journey. I have talked about how everything you do has spiritual significance, and this is no exception.

The journey started the weekend of Thanksgiving here in the States, the last week of November. My brother told me about a house in the neighborhood where he lives, that had a sign in the front yard. It read, “For $1000 down and $900 a month you can own this house!”

I thought that was worth looking into, but I didn’t do anything about it. Again at Christmas, he told me the sign was still there, so I drove by and got the phone number. I know the neighborhood very well, it’s about four blocks from the house I grew up in. My brother lives two blocks the other side of our childhood home.

I called the number, and made arrangements to look at the house. My brother met me there, and we spent about an hour looking around. Honestly, since I had just started my new job in August, I didn’t think I could qualify for a loan, but I figured that at least it would show me what I needed to do, to buy a house when I could get a loan.

In your spiritual journey, you sometimes find that opportunities get put before you. If you ignore them, they may go away, or they may smack you upside the head. Even if you don’t believe that you deserve, or could obtain the opportunity presented, it’s always worth looking into. Even if you don’t actually attain the goal, you are very likely to learn something helpful in the process.

After looking at the house, and my brother and I agreeing that there really wasn’t anything obviously wrong with it, he suggested I get a real estate agent. He works with a guy whose wife is a Realtor, so I called her up. I also went online to apply for a loan from a local company that the seller’s agent had suggested.

I had already agreed to offer the asking price for the house. My agent and I arranged to do all the things you have to do when you buy a house, an appraisal, an inspection, and a couple of other things, all of which I had to pay for. My agent suggested an inspector, and we met him at the house. The seller was always at the house whenever we showed up. Her agent didn’t seem to keep her informed of what was going on.

The inspection took a couple of hours, and I was very impressed with how thorough the inspector was. He found several issues, some of which would be considered major. He found things like the breaker box needed to be replaced, some leaky pipes in the basement, and an utter lack of insulation in the attic.

Armed with this information, I started renegotiating. The seller’s agent was furious, she was already upset that I’d brought my own Realtor in. She wasn’t going to get the whole commission to herself. After some back and forth, I offered to fix all the problems with the house if the seller would drop the price by 10K.

My agent didn’t think the seller would accept that, and tried to talk me out of it, fearing that the seller would pull out of the deal. I told her to make the offer, and see what happened. I heard the seller’s agent was actually insulted at the offer. About 30 minutes later, my agent called to tell me the seller had accepted the offer of $10,000 less.

There were several reasons I felt I could do this. The seller, who went to high school with my brother, had told me that she had inherited the house from her mother. She also told me that she was wanting to move to Vegas. I knew she didn’t have a mortgage to pay off, and that she was in a hurry to sell. I also knew that no one is buying houses right now, so I was probably the only serious offer she’d had. I might have been the only one who even looked at the house. I had an advantage, and I used it.

A lot of people feel like they are taking advantage of others, if they try to use leverage they know they have. They will also listen to others who tell them they can’t, when they start to fight for something they know is right. There is nothing wrong with using the advantages you have, to get what you need.

Magick is an example of an advantage. If you understand how it works, why wouldn’t you use it? It’s a tool that you can use. Stop listening to what others tell you, and follow your own Path. You know what is right, and what is wrong. Don’t listen to those who tell you it will never work. Maybe it won’t, but you don’t know unless you try!

Did I take advantage of the situation? Absolutely! Did I take advantage of the seller? Not at all. She won’t get as much money as she had hoped for, but she’ll still end up with over $100,000 that she can spend any way she wants. I didn’t even have to use magick.

As for the problems with the house, most of them I know how to fix. The ones I can’t, I know people who can. It’s a win-win situation, and I feel good about the amount I’m paying for the house. Honestly, I think she’d have accepted if I’d offered 20K less. When the appraisal came back, I found that I’m walking into $11,000 of equity.

Don’t feel bad about using an advantage you have, especially when the other person, or people, are getting something they want out of it. I’m not talking about being cutthroat, I’m talking about looking out for yourself, and your needs above those you are dealing with. If you push too hard, they will back away. Find the middle point where you feel good about the deal.

I see far too many Witches who are obsessed with how other people will feel about their interactions. When the deal is said and done, it’s these Witches who feel bad, because they didn’t stand up for what they really wanted. They end up with less than they had wanted, because they are too afraid of how others will look at them.

The last month has been extremely frustrating. The Loan Processor is completely incompetent, she has the attitude that she is doing me a favor by processing the loan, when in reality, by getting this loan, I am paying her paycheck, and she has asked me to resend paperwork that I’d already sent her several times. The Closing has been extended four times now, only once because I needed to get paperwork completed, the other three times have been due to the lender doing everything at the last second.

This entire time, I have had the attitude that if I am supposed to get the house, I will. As I write this on Saturday, there’s a part of me that wonders what they will come up with, to cancel the closing for a third time on the date I’m supposed to close. Yet I just went out to buy new locks and a thermostat for the house. I have already planned many changes I will make over the coming years. I have a ritual room. It’s tiny, but big enough for a few people to circle. I have a large backyard, so we can do ritual outside. I plan to create a ritual space there too.

I don’t tolerate stupid, and I have lost my temper a couple of times because of the Loan Processors incompetence. The last one happened yesterday. The Lender wanted me to have two month’s mortgage in the bank. The Verification of Deposit they got yesterday, for whatever reason, didn’t include the paycheck that was deposited that day. I also got a tax refund check that I deposited yesterday. Based on the figures the Loan Processor sent, I now have nearly seven months mortgage in the bank, yet we couldn’t close yesterday, for lack of funds.

Anyone who has been through the process of buying a house understands the frustration you go through. Sometimes the goal is worth whatever price you have to pay. The goal can be physical, like a house, or spiritual, like growth and understanding, a type of enlightenment, if you will.

Growth is never easy, and rarely painless. When you look at the things you are going through in your life, and see them as extensions of your spiritual life, you are living your Craft. Everything has a lesson to teach. The lessons to take away from this are;

  • Don’t listen to “experts” who tell you it won’t work, if you think it will. It may not work, but there’s a lesson in it for you if it doesn’t. If it does work, you have the satisfaction of knowing you were right.
  • Trust yourself, more than you trust anyone else.
  • Take advantage of situations, not people. Taking advantage of a situation is about knowing the facts, and making educated guesses to get everything you can. Taking advantage of people, is tricking them into doing something that isn’t in their best interest. Understand the difference.
  • Worry about what you need, more than you worry about what others need. You place others needs above your own, only when they are very close to you, not when you may never see them again. They need to learn their own lessons too.
  • Sometimes the only way to the beach, is to swim through the sewer. (You’re ok as long as you keep your mouth closed.)

It wasn’t planned, but Marcus Leader’s article is very timely, since I will be Cleansing & smudging my new house very soon.

Blessed Be,

Ken Biles

The Witching Hour

by Marcus Leader

The Secrets of Smudging

The technique of smudging is as ancient as memory. It is found in every culture and religion of the world. From ancient indigenous people of shamanic cultures, to Christians, Buddhists, Pagans, and many others. Smudging is the art of cleansing and changing the energetic vibrations of a person, place, or thing with the use of intent charged smoke from a sacred herb or wood.

However, the art of smudging seems to have been lost in obscurity. There is a lot more to it than just lighting herbs and wafting the smoke around. In smudging, an herb, wood or resin is burned in a sacred manner, with the intent of driving away negative or stale vibrational energies from a person, place or thing. The smoke has been thought for centuries to merge with these energies and repel them or carry them away from the target being cleansed. Although this is a true description of smudging, I would like to offer MY perspectives as a Toltec shaman on the subject as I try to illuminate this art and provide an in-depth understanding of the principals involved.

Everything in the Multiverse is made of the same material…. A vibrating primal energy from which all other energies are born. The only thing that really varies in the energetics of the Multiverse is the frequency at which each object, be it physical matter or energy, vibrates. Negative thought forms or negative emotions, such as fear, hate, anger , and jealousy just to name a few, tend to vibrate at the lower end of the emotional spectrum and if they become too dominate around a person place or thing, then they start to cause a frequency following response, (FFR), in the energy of people or objects. The result is that your basic life force is lowered to a range that is detrimental to positive moods and the overall state of health of an individual.

The only recourse that can be taken to rectify this situation is a cleansing where all these negative frequencies are driven out or transformed into a higher vibrational state by a process like smudging. In smudging a substance is burned alchemically changing it into another state thereby changing its vibrational signature. Depending on the smudging mixture being used, this energy laced smoke will rise and encircle a person or location causing a frequency following response of its own which will then interact with the energy fields that it encounters. If this energy field is permeated with lower frequency negative vibrations it will start repelling them or transmuting the lower, negative energies until the person or place resonates with the more positive energies. The smudging smoke, if properly charged will drive away most types of negative vibrations or entities. This principle is seen in use in all religions and magickal practices. If you have ever been to a Catholic mass then you will have seen this method in use.

However, it takes more than just higher vibrational smoke to completely clean and protect. As you burn the smudging mixture you must visualize what you want to happen and the purpose of the smudging. Hold this image in your mind and then send it out into the smoke, filling the smoke with your intent of purpose. Some people find it easier to create a mantra for this purpose and repeat it out loud as they charge the smoke while others write rhyming verses or spells to help focus and project intent into the smoke. The important thing to keep in mind is that as you project your intention into the smoke your thoughts and desires are programing the energy of the smoke in a very specific manner that will help manifest the desired results.

The beginning of a new lunar cycle or new year or really the beginning of anything new in your life is a great time to do a total self and home smudging to cleanse out the old stale energies and open the door for fresh productive energies as the new phase begins. Of course, should anything of a negative nature raise its ugly head then that too is a mandatory time to smudge. The best smudging mixture to use for this is sage or my favorite, sweet grass. Your visualization would be that of fresh bright light filled with the sweetness of life and love. See in your mind positive opportunities and emotional harmony as you project into the smoke with your intention driven thoughts. Do this around you and your loved ones and then proceed to every room of your home. Once done extinguish the mixture and bury it outside the main entrance to your home.

There are many smudging mixtures for various purposes including mixtures to heal relationships, to find new opportunities, to find new love, and the classics to cleanse and drive away negativity. There are also smudging mixtures formulated to call forth energies and entities , but it is unlikely you will read of these in books or find them in your local magickal supply store. These concoctions, if used in the wrong manner can be extremely dangerous and caution is recommend in using a summoning smudge because while you can call forth Deity, guides or teachers, angelic beings, elementals, spiritual animals, (including crossed over pets), you can also call negative energies and spirits of the dead, and those of a demonic nature. Clarity of thought and purpose must be impeccably controlled when using this kind of power smudge. I intend to experiment with this smudge in the near future while exploring paranormal locations such as haunted houses and sacred sites. I will keep my readers posted as my experiments unfold. I may also make some of these techniques and mixtures available in the near future.

I would strongly recommend that everyone, regardless of your religious beliefs, smudge themselves and loved ones as well as their homes on a regular basis. This is even more important if you feel that life is draining you, if you get the feeling as though you are tired all the time or depressed or you find disharmony within your home or relationship, and most importantly if you are in poor health or are experiencing a serious illness. Often the underlying causes of such things can be negative energy attachments which can be effectively dealt with through the practice of smudging.

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Until next month, may you be blessed in all that you do, or as we usually say,

Blessed Be,
Graphic Signature

Ken Biles

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