Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul: Magic Practitioners Living with Disabilities, Addiction, and Illness: An excerpt from “Tangible Magick” by Lady Cedar Nightsong. I’ll be posting an interview with her on Wednesday, July 24.
Handicraft magick is not always so complicated. Simple spells can be done with nothing more than a piece of thread or cord. Since I have trouble with tangling thread, and cannot always see how to get the knots out, I prefer thicker satin cord, which is easier to work with. Cord spells contain nine knots. One knot is placed in the center of the thread. Then a knot at the left end, then at the right. Your cord should start out about the length of your forearm, from wrist to elbow. Then fold the cord to find the halfway point between left and center knots, and add your fourth knot. Do the same on the right for your fifth. For the sixth, find the place between your first two knots on the left and find the halfway point, and tie that knot. You should have three remaining spaces. Follow these from left to right, placing seventh, eighth, and ninth knots halfway along each open stretch. Find a cord magick poem to say each line as you go. The last line is usually “—is mine,” in which you fill in your purpose. Visualize charging your cord with every knot, and you can even use your saliva or a corresponding essential oil to bless each one. If trying to draw something to you, keep it with you; if you are ridding yourself of something, burn or bury the cord. If it is a spell to draw something in, cut the cord to disenchant when the spell has manifested.
I want to pause for a moment to suggest that you find a group. The cord magick technique I discussed above would have been impossible without face-to-face instruction. I credit a lot of what I know to the Circle of the Spirit Tree. It may be hard to swallow, if you feel your path is a solitary one. However, things like traditional uses for the athame and cauldron, or techniques for meditation, are easier to learn when they are explained and modified for your own personal understanding…
I have four final suggestions, for the safe and accessible practice of magick for anyone with vision loss. These are less my personal practices and more about easier ways of getting things done. The first concerns incense. I use a miniature cauldron with a bed of sand in the bottom as a charcoal burner. It is harder to target cones and sticks with a Bick lighter, and not as safe. So I suggest charcoal and incense powder. I put the charcoal in the cauldron on top of the sand, and make sure the sharp edge that lights well is nearest to me. I line up the lighter, point down the near side of the cauldron, roughly approximating the edge of the charcoal, and ignite the lighter. Zippo flames have a longer reach and will not burn the sand or iron of the cauldron, and it should light the charcoal. Then using a regular kitchen spoon (preferably one you do not mind scorching, one that can be set aside) I add herbs or incense. You can also buy charcoal tongs, and place your charcoal in them edge facing out of the end. Follow the side of the lighter up to the flame, then carefully place in cauldron. If you have no vision, I would recommend doing this on a fireproof surface with a wet towel under the cauldron. KNOW WHERE THE CAULDRON IS! Once it is in the cauldron, if the charcoal flips over, you can use the tongs to turn it face-up again. Have cold water and towels on hand in case of an accident.
About Lady Cedar Nightsong
I am 23 years old, a senior journalism major at Illinois State University. I am also with the Circle of Spirit Tree. Bloomington, Illinois branch. I give crystal workshops at Central Illinois Pagan Pride and possibly at Chicago Pagan Pride in the future. I’ve been a magick practitioner for a little over six years, but it’s a natural ability as well. My faith continues to evolve from Wiccan to eclectic Pagan. I hope to create my own tradition.