Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sweetness and Light

image via internet search
Life is not all sweetness and light, bad things happen to good people, and sometimes life really does suck and then you die. ( I think I've exhausted all the sarcastically corny sayings about the conditions of life-let's move on.)

The phrase sweetness and light is often used to describe an irony or something saccharine and superficial. The Victorian poet Matthew Arnold used it to describe beauty and intelligence in the broader Greek sense of classical culture in reference to the effect and benefits of positivism in society and self.

In a more magical, occult sense it means favorable outcome and wisdom associated with a situation or influencing another person to have those qualities in regard to your relationship to them. A common way to achieve this is by the use of a honey jar (aka a sweetening jar) to "sweeten" the circumstances. This comes from the Hoodoo Tradition, a form of folk magic. The following instructions are for a very basic jar and a simple way to use it. I encourage you to personalize the spell for your own use and specific situation.

Use a clean jar with a tight fitting lid ( so the sweetening agent won't leak out or draw insects). Some practitioners use locally sourced honey because they believe it is more potent than store bought, but to be quite honest, as with all magick, I personally believe that that the outcome depends more on your intention than the tools. While honey is the traditional medium, golden syrup, maple syrup, corn syrup- in short, any type of syrup-can and has been used as well as brown sugar or regular table sugar. The sweetening agent is a matter of personal preference and what you have available to you. The same goes for the candle you will place on top of the jar to 'heat' it: white candles work just fine, but if you'd like to use a candle in a color corresponding to your intention, that's fine, too.( Dress the candle appropriately before using it, or simply hold it in your hands and dedicate it to the task at hand) Fill the jar with the sweetening agent part of the way and add any corresponding herbs you choose to raise the vibration of the tool. Instead of adding these things to the jar, you may wish to place them beneath the jar if using a photo or paper, and draw a ring around the jar with the herbs. In some cases you may want to also add a photograph, or a slip of paper with the subject's name written out in full. Do the best you can to narrow the focus of the intention in as few words as possible.  When you have placed any additional objects in the jar, fill it up and attach the lid tightly. Shake the jar three times while reciting an incantation or prayer suitable to your need ( one you have composed will most certainly be more effective, in my opinion, because you have imbued it with your personal power and vibration). The wording need only describe your need or desire, but some practitioners like to write their wording to rhyme because they believe that rhyming is more magically effective. After shaking the jar, place the prepared candle on top to activate it, light the candle, and meditate on your target. As always, be sure to place your jar and candle in a safe place away from potential fire hazards, have plenty of clearance around it, and never leave it unattended when the candle is lit. Use the jar once a day, repeating your need-but don't be needy. The point is to petition but not beg. While deities  and spirits do respond to desperate situations, they don't respect groveling and whining!

Sweetening jars are used to "sweeten" a situation, to make a person nicer to you ( such as that nasty boss or teacher) or situation ( a court case, that test you're dreading, or to get a new job).

Another way to 'sweeten' your life is to simply change the energy around you. What is required from you is a combination of mind and magick. First the mind: let go of as much negative thinking as you can through self examination and meditation. Why do you feel the way you do? What is influencing your thinking? Once you have the reason narrowed down you can take steps to deal with it more effectively. It may require a change of attitude on your part, meaning you refocus your thoughts in a more positive manner. You can still be annoyed, angry or afraid of something, but you cannot think things through if your thoughts are not focused. Write things down to help sort them out, so you can see the situation more clearly. Keeping writing and condensing until you have it down to it's basic elements and thoughts are concrete. Then write out what you have in a statement, further condensing if necessary to keep it sharp. When you feel you are ready, take a ritual bath using Epsom salts  (Substitute: sea salt ) to draw the negative vibration from your energy field, then rinse off. Follow by a second a soak in a tub of water containing a bit of Florida Water, or lavender or rose. If using the herbs, steep them into a tea before hand and use the tea only in the bath. A quarter cup of tea should do it; if you're using essential oil, use only a few drops. ( Beware of allergic reactions and test anything you bathe in before hand to be sure you won't have a reaction to it. If you develop redness or a rash or other symptoms, don't use the herbals or solution. Commercially purchased Florida Water is usually in cologne form and is safe for most people to use, just don't over do it.) Allow the bath water to dry on your skin. You may wish to do this several days in a row until you feel better.

A third way to 'sweeten' to improve or change a situation is to dedicate a basic quartz crystal to the work needed and place it on your personal altar or carry it with you. Cleanse a crystal by any means you like, hold it in your hands and "tell" it your need. If you think that's simple, it is. Sometimes simple is best. We don't a lot of tools-remember that words have a power all their own. The crystal does have a particular energy that can be programmed, and it's a great reminder, but it's your heartful, thoughtful words that are the true magick.

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