Witchery: Azrael Thinks He is Funny

You know how losing a loved one is a tragic affair and you miss them constantly? You cannot speak to them anymore, you cannot ask their input in decisions and talk about concerns you have? Well, with Azrael, it is not exactly like that. He is gone, but does not like the fact that he cannot have input, so he finds a work around. With me, it has been the dream state. In the beginning for the first few years, especially, it was a few dreams a week, then once a week at least.

He is not around as frequently as he was in the first decade after he crossed over. Perhaps that is because I keep telling him to butt out of one specific decision in my life he keeps harping on. His monthly opinion, since a couple of years after his crossing, is that I am supposed to move on with my life and become romantically involved with someone else. As such, I tell him to butt the hell out of that decision. When you have had the best, you do not need the rest. Period!

Other times, I have heeded his advice as passed on in dreams. When the dotcom I was working for started dotbombing, I left the company while I still had savings and the paychecks were arriving sporadically at best. Where did he suggest I go? Why, to the huge international telecom corporation he had worked at before his passing, of course. I followed his advice and had almost a decade of great fun, getting to know the wonderful people he worked with and meeting new ones as they arrived. My Facebook friends list is probably a quarter or more made up of the wonderful friends I made while working there.

He helped me decide stocks to choose, when I researched them and chose from research alone, they were passably helpful and had slow growth, when I listened to the dreams and saw his opinion on which ones to choose, I have had growth percentages from the high thirties to mid eighties.

He helped me decide to leave the area I moved us into just after he crossed over and move into this new home. Turned out to be a great boon as we ended up paying 7K less for a house with an additional 688 square feet of space, than there was in our old house. Which is helpful now that I have added a brother, pregnant niece, great nephew, and great niece to the household, not to mention the two dogs.

We have a certain friend, Lotus Butterfly, who said she tends to channel him during card readings. She has always had talent with tarot, but swears that her accuracy has improved when he is with her. All I know is that the last reading she did for me, he used her to slap me in the face with some uncomfortable truths that I have been acting on ever since.

Another friend kept being awakened at night, the first year in particular, as he would kick her bed and his voice would sound in her ear, telling her tasks she needed to perform for her health. She had been diagnosed just before Az passed with a serious long-term health issue. Her husband said he felt the bed being kicked but did not hear Az as Veiled Lady did, but he knew they had a strong bond of friendship, so as he put it, “Better Az chewing her out than me. She can still punch me in the arm, she can’t get to him.”

Az may be physically gone, but there is no way we will ever forget him because he still pops into dreams here and there to nag us when we need to do something. He puts his nose into tarot readings and numerological readings to lead when he wants us to go. He always worried about his loved ones. He always will. That is just how Azrael is, here or gone, does not seem to matter. Almost sixteen years later, he still chews on me at least once a month.

Witchery: Azrael Soothes Our Feelings of Loss

Irish The first night was hard. I sat on the couch numb, with tears pouring down my face, after the one they assigned to be on suicide watch left. There was nothing else to do, so I sat and cried my heart out. I cried silently. The families had gone home, so had the friends, and the neighbors. When his dog, Irish, began to keen and howl, so did I. I could not think, I could not move, all I could do was sit and hold her, so I did. I sat with Irish and keened for the loss of him.

Our sons went to my middle sister’s house, the one in which I Had grown up. My parents lived in the converted garage apartment, so the extra people would keep the boys busy and focused on something other than the question: “Mommy, where is daddy?” I could not take that question one more time without screaming and tearing out all my hair. I never understood that phrase before. What good would tearing hair do? It turns out that pain is quite distracting, which helps.

The next day, my eldest sister and my youngest brother went with me to find a funeral home. We looked all day. I answered questions. I cried very little because we do not cry in public. It is not seemly. I held in as much as I could while strangers prodded and pried, seeking knowledge about my beloved. Several funeral homes later, I had enough. They all wanted to know what cemetery he would rest in after the services. I had no idea. I had not thought that far.

I stayed at my middle sister’s house that night. Even I knew that a second might alone was a bad idea. Her teenage son had given us his room, aseldest it was the only bedroom besides the master. I lay on the twin-sized bed as our three sons lay beside me on the floor, resting together on a pallet of several blankets. I could not sleep. I could not stop thinking. I sat on the side of the bed and could feel the horrid emotions coming again. I had to get out, if I started keening again, I would wake the household, and the boys did not need exposure to such raw emotions they were too young to understand.

I left the house quietly. I walked up the street I had walked so often as a child. I reminisced about my childhood and wondered about his. Had he ever walked to the store to fetch something for dinner? Had he ridden a bike  hell for leather up the road dodging his friends? Had he stayed gone from home so long that his parents got in the car to look for him?

I walked up and up the road, heading for the highway, ignoring the serious and thinking the frivolous. I pondered the silly and wandered the past.

Overhead, I heard the squeaking of bats. It was an odd sound, never heard in my hometown before that night, but I often heard after marriage. The first few years we had lived beside a lake and the prodigious number of mosquitoes brought bats by the score. This night, they flew overhead and down the street that lead to the elementary school I attended as a child. I turned to followed. I walked down the street, following the sound. Each time I would lose the sound, it would start again seconds later, as if they waited in trees overhead for me, or circled back to lead me intentionally.

I followed them to the school. Yet, just beyond the school, I saw the tiny city cemetery. It was the size of a couple of home lots and had sported a “No Plots Available” sign for as long as I could remember. I saw a white sign in the distance, but at 2:00 am, it was too dimly lit to see from a distance. I kept walking and decided I would just make a circle around the school and head back to the house. The nearer I came to the cemetery, the brighter the sign became, until I was finally able to read it. “Plots Available” followed by a phone number.

Always adventuringI was in shock. I had lived in the town from 2 months old past turning 18 years, and then moved back into it for a time into an apartment for another year or two before giving up and moving for good. Never had the sign said anything other than “No Plots Available” in my lifetime. I thought about it, remembering Az always said, “This is a great little town, we should try to find a house here like your middle brother’s house,” or “I love this little town.” It was perfect timing. I knew Az would love it.

I memorized the number on the walk back, repeating it to myself over and over, until it was locked into my brain. I snuck back into the house and sat on the bed, repeating the number, hardly daring to believe the walk had been real. As I sat there watching our sons sleep, I felt the weight of Azrael’s chin on top of my head. Since he was a full foot taller than I was, it was his favorite place to rest his head when around me. He would hug me and rest his chin on top of my head at least two or three times a day, usually a lot more often. I recognized the weight; I recognized the placement of his chin. I was finally tired and ready to sleep. As I lay down, I relaxed into the mattress and sighed.

I was almost asleep when I heard our youngest giggle. His was a distinctive giggle, unmistakable. I opened my eyes, turned my head, and he was youngest twinsquirming in his sleep and batting at an unseen tickler. “’top is daddeee!” (He had not mastered his “s” sound yet.) He finally relaxed, just as our eldest twin began the giggle and squirm, his “Daddeeeee” clear and a bell. As I watched, he stilled and our eldest giggled and slapped at unseen hands, while rolling around on the blanket.

I closed my eyes facing our boys and feel into a peaceful and much needed sleep. I knew Azrael was with us and all was right with the world for the time being.


Recipes: Teas, Simples, Washes and Philters for Witches

There are many different sources for divination teas, philters, simples, and washes. These are added to magickal workings in some instances and actually are the magickal workings at other times. Any time you combine two or more types of magick into one ritual you are building that much more power to be able to send out with the spell.

The following is a list of tried and true recipes that we have enjoyed in the past.

Clairvoyance Philter
Source: Scott Cunningham

3 parts rose petals
1 part cinnamon
1 part nutmeg
1 part bay
1 part mugwort

Put these in a cauldron or pot and pour boiling water over them. Allow them to steep for several minutes, use the scent of the brew to improve your psychic awareness by inhaling the scented steam; you may even drink a bit of the brew to assist you in this. Then lie down and allow the visions to wash over you. Allowing the steam to continue rising and continue to help with the visions.

Psychic Tea
Source: Cunningham

3 part rose petals
2 parts yarrow
1 part cinnamon

Put these in a cauldron pot and pour boiling water over them. Allow them to steep for several minutes, then strain and drink it to assist you with divination and scrying.

Here are a few other recipes, which we have picked up over the years, which have proved helpful. They require 8 ounces of boiling water and the following herbs depending upon the result you are seeking. First, add the chosen herb to your cup or mug, bring the water to a boil on the stove top, then, and add it to your cup or mug. Let it steep for ten minutes and strain out the herbs. You may chose to sweeten teas with the old standard sweeteners of brown sugar, clover honey, orange honey, or you may use ordinary honey if you wish.

(For washes used externally, you may store the concoction in a glass jar in your refrigerator for a few days up to a week. Experiment and see, which works best for you.)

Agrimony: Brew and use as a wash for areas of the body which need healing as it is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Used in conjunction with healing spells work wonders.
Chamomile: Brew and use as a wash to draw good luck.
Cinquefoil: Brew and use as a wash to clear away hexes and curses of all kinds.
Eyebright: Brew and anoint eyelids and temples to enhance clairvoyant visions.
Hibiscus Flowers: Brew and drink to improve divination.
High John the Conqueror: Brew and use as a wash before gambling to increase luck.
Horehound: Brew and drink to increase mental acuity and processing speed. (Author’s Note: Do not use this if you are already physically tired and have to drive after your mental tasks are completed. This tea will make your mind race and allow you to achieve success over complex mental problems, but it causes a side effect of extreme exhaustion and can be unsafe to drive after using.)
Jasmine Flowers: Brew as a tea and drink to draw prosperity. Drinking also assists with bringing psychic dreams.
Kava Kava: Brew and drink as an aid for astral travel and psychic visions.
Mugwort: Brew and drink for clairvoyance.
Passion Flower: Brew and use as a wash to draw in peace and to erase stress.
Peppermint: Brew and drink as an aid to peaceful sleep and divinatory dreams.
Rosemary: Brew and mix with two tablespoons of baking soda and applied it to the scalp as a baldness preventative. (Spiritwind reported that after using this mixture for a few weeks he began to see new growth on the top of his head where he had been losing hair for years.) Leave on overnight and then rinse the next morning. Brew as a wash to cleanse your hands before spell work.
Skullcap: Brew and drink as a cure for insomnia and to bring peaceful sleep.
Vervain: Brew and drink to increase creativity.
Yarrow: Brew as a tea and drink to improve psychic powers.