Saturday, January 29, 2011

SPECTACLED CAIMAN: Be Comfortable with Your Own Company

Found throughout Central and South America, Spectacled Caiman receives his name from the bony ridges about his eyes.  These ridges resemble a pair of glasses.  Named in Spanish for “alligator”, “Caimans” are relatives of Alligators.  In fact, the baby “Alligators” often sold to tourists are Spectacled Caimans.
            Since He is so adaptable, Spectacled Caiman is the most wildly distributed member of the Alligator Family.  Although He prefers living near ponds and lakes, Spectacled Caiman will live near streams and rivers when necessary.  During dry times, this surprising unaggressive Reptile will even tolerate other Caimans in his territory.
            Although baby Spectacled Caimans are sold as pets, They do not make good ones.  Like so many other Crocodilians, They grow quickly to be a large size (about 6 feet (1.8 meters)). Although not as boisterous as the others, Spectacled Caimans can be aggressive towards people.
            Unlike the more social Crocodilians, Spectacled Caiman usually spends his life alone.  However during mating season, He will seek out a mate.  After meeting Female Spectacled Caiman, He will swim with Her.  Later, They will touch snouts and rub each other’s backs.  Then, the two will engage in mutual bubble blowing.  After mating, Spectacled Caiman will stay to help with their young.
            Spectacled Caiman teaches how to be comfortable with yourself.  After achieving that, you can live by yourself and yet be a good companion to others.  Spectacled Caiman will tolerate strangers but prefers to be by Himself.  He does not need to be a hermit or a party reptile.  Spectacled Caiman can choose what He wishes to be since He is at ease with Himself.
Caimans are more agile than Alligators.  In addition, they have longer and sharper teeth.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


            The most fearsome of Crocodiles is the Australian Saltwater Crocodile who lives in the brackish estuaries and coastal regions from the Indian to the Pacific Oceans.  Since He can tolerate saltwater, this Crocodile can swim for miles from the mainland to small islands in the ocean.  (A few of these Crocodiles were found with Barnacles living on their hides.)
            As a top predator, “Saltie” can detect the slightest movement in the water.  He does this by the  sensory pores on the scales of his lower jaw.  Hiding the water with only his nose showing, Australian Saltwater Crocodile quietly lurks waiting for his prey.  A Fruit Bat alighting on the water for a drink becomes a tasty meal. 
            This opportunistic predator will cooperate with other Crocodiles to hunt his prey.  With skill and intelligence, “Saltie” patrols his territory.  He knows when various animals will be feeding or drinking.  No one is safe from Him, since He attacks and kills about a thousand people a year.
The lesson Australian Saltwater Crocodile teaches is listen to your fears.  Respect them and heed what they tell you, especially when they warn you of a lurking crocodile.  Your fears can keep you alive and safe.  Just do not become imprisoned by them.

Monday, January 17, 2011

NILE CROCODILE: Primal Strength

            The Crocodile Family consists of fourteen species, some of which are the largest Reptiles in the world.  Unlike Alligators, Crocodiles have salt glands, and can swim in salt water.  In fact, these aquatic Reptiles hunt Sharks.
NILE CROCODILE:  Primal Strength
One of the most well known of Crocodiles is the Nile Crocodile of Africa, who is a fearsome predator of animals and people.  A rapid and agile hunter, She preys on animals coming to the river to drink – Lions, Buffaloes, Gazelles.  She grabs the animal with her strong jaws and teeth, drags the prey underwater until the animal drowns.  As the apex predator, Nile Crocodile is unpredictable in and out of her natural hunting range.
Like American Alligators, Nile Crocodiles are excellent parents.  The Mother-to-be is very choosy in placing her nest – close enough to the Nile River that She can keep watch but far away from floods.  Mother Crocodile remains close to the young until they reach adulthood.  Even during periods of drought, She will not leave her young.  Meanwhile, Father Crocodile watches their nest while She goes into the water to cool off.
Ancient Egyptians saw Nile Crocodile as their fearsome God Sobek. An aggressive God, Sobek represented the power of the Pharaoh.  However, He was also their God of fertility and protection.
A link to the deep past, Nile Crocodile is respected and feared.  As Sobek, Nile Crocodile is a part of the primal strength of nature.  One aspect of this is as a mother, She fearlessly protects her children.  Another aspect is Nile Crocodile as the apex predator, hunting anything that suits her.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sacredness of Writing: Petition Magic (3)

Hoodoo places importance on the type of ink, pen, and paper used as well as how the writing is configured on the page, and also the shape of the paper.  For many spells, brown paper made from grocery bags is used.  For healings or blessings, square sheets are best.  People’s names and commands of intent are written on the page.  Then the petition is placed in “mojo hands” (a root bag).
For writing, quills are preferred.  The colour of the quill is important – white for blessing, green for money, red for love, and black for revenge.  Inks used are made from dragon’s blood resin.  Various formulae of inks made from this resin are Dragon’s Blood, Dove’s Blood, and Bat’s Blood.  The most powerful of the inks is Dragon’s Blood.  Bat’s Blood ink is used for cursing, and Dove’s Blood for love.
Eclectic Neo-Pagans usually do the following.  First, they set up their sacred space by clearing it with sage, and setting out lighted candles.  After centering themselves, the petitioner ponders their request.  Then they write the petition on plain unlined paper in the horizontal (landscape) position.  (Unlined paper extends an open invitation to release their personal magic.  The horizontal position frees the spell, since it runs counter to the ordinary vertical position.)  When they are done, the petitioner thanks the powers that be.  After burning the petition, they either bury the ashes or consign them to be carried by the breeze to the Universe.
Adkins Lesley and Roy, Dictionary of Roman Religion, Oxford University Press, New York, 1996
Burris, Eli Edward, “Taboo, Magic, Spirits: A Study of Primitive Elements in Roman Religion”, Macmillian Company, New York, 1931, on-line at
Dean, Carolina, “A Modern Witch’s Book of Shadows”,, 2010,
Dollinger, Andre, Ancient Egypt: an introduction to its history and culture, 2010,
Satanas, Venus, “Ancient Greek and Roman Curse Magic”, Spiritual Satanist, 2009,
Strudwick, Nigel, Hieroglyph Detective, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2010
Warrior, Valerie, Roman Religion: A Sourcebook, Focus Publishing, Newburyport (MA), 2002
Yronwode, Catherine, “Hodoo in Theory and Practice”, on-line book, Luckymojo, , 2009,
Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon, Grimore for the Apprentice Wizard, New Page Books, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, 2004.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sacredness of Writing: Petition Magic (2)

Modern Hoodoo practitioners use petition magick as well.  (Hoodoo is American Southern folk magic which has elements of European and African folk magic.)  They use different inks and papers for different spells.  For example, for financial prosperity, black ink on the back of bank statements is used.  To enhance the petition, herbs or candles are often included.
Petition magick usually works for a variety of reasons.  First, there is magick in writing.  Many cultures tell how their Gods have given them the gift of writing.  The Ancient Egyptians tell of Thoth, who not only created writing, but also speech.  According to the Hindus, Sanskrit was handed to the humans by the God Shiv.  Ts’ang Chieh, the divine Sage of the Chinese, communicated between the heavens and the earth with the writing that he had invented.  Therefore writing itself is a divine act.
Second, petitioning beings with powers greater than humans is a form of prayer.  Asking the Gods, Angels, or Saints for help is an ancient form of receiving supernatural help.  Putting the plea into writing makes it real.
Third is the element of manifestation.  By writing a petition, a person puts their energy and intent to it.  The idea of attraction means that “like attracts like”.  By desiring something, a person’s energy is sent out in a focused manner into the Universe.  By creating a ritual around it with the selection of words, pen, ink, and paper, the intention becomes even stronger.  The Law of Positive Attraction states in part “that which is sent, returns”.
Various magickal traditions employ different methods in performing petition magick.  Modern Roman and Greek Neo-Pagans use plain unlined paper and “lead” pencils.  (Lined paper is for ordinary use such as writing book reports, and therefore not used.)  “Lead” pencils (modern graphite pencils) connect the petitioner to the Chthonic Gods.  Written in command form, the petition includes the proper titles for each God.  The petition is, also, repeated three, four, or nine times.  The paper is then rolled and buried or nailed to a plank of wood.