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Business Solutions & Shamanism

14 Aug
6 of Cups

The 6 of Cups card in the Tarot often indicates something from the past returning in an attempt to be resolved.

To me, shamanism is about finding solutions we would probably not find anywhere else. One of my favorite stories from the past few months is of a consultation that I had with a client at the Hoodoo Heritage Festival at Lucky Mojo Curio Co. in Forestville, CA . The client was a young woman who runs her own intuitive consulting practice focused especially on work with the tarot as a tool of divination.

After sorting through the more mundane details of what she could expect this summer, we arrived at this season’s primary lesson for her – structure. Though passionate and creative, like many spiritually-inclined folks, she not only lacked grounding but subconsciously resisted it. I could relate to the experience that being human can sometimes feel dense, heavy, and restricting. Gratefully, there are innumerable tools to remedy such feelings and bring greater grace to physical embodiment.

The lessons around grounding and structure were not new to her; the 6 of Cups card indicated that this season would not only provide a new glimpse of an old pattern, but that it would be experienced within her family dynamic. And this was accurate, she said, as she’d be helping her practical, grounded father manage his business temporarily over the upcoming months. The anxiety she felt about their incompatibility was palpable, borne from a childhood spent under his constricting glare.

Since she was able to locate a felt sense of that anxiety in her body, we moved right into an emotional clearing session, bringing back a lost childhood part of herself that felt more animal than human, more wild than civil, letting that part know that it was loved and could come along and enjoy the ride. An expanded sense of being instantly came over her as she experienced greater safety in her body and her True Nature. The seeming insurmountability of the lesson eased.

(The link above is to Langston Kahn’s emotional clearing practice, my own mentor in that modality.)

SpiderTransforming rigid internal patterns can seem daunting, if not impossible, and many folks don’t know where to start aside from obsessively thinking about ways to avoid or transform them. This is one of many places where allies in the plant and animal worlds can be extremely supportive as they lend us their perspectives – their medicine – to help us make the changes on an energetic level.

Though I’m used to retrieving plant and animal allies on behalf of clients, divination indicated that my client should go to Spirit herself and ask for one of the latter to help her find a new way of not only looking at structure, grounding, and organization, but experiencing it.

She came back to me about two hours later excited as hell.

“I found it! I found my animal ally.”

“Who?” I asked, curious that enough time had passed for a suitable ally to have made itself known.

“I went wandering in the labyrinth and asked for my ally and immediately saw a spider weaving its web in the trees. Spider creates a structure so it can capture the resources it needs to survive and, when its done, can pack it up and go.”

It was so jaw-droppingly appropriate. It comes to mind that spiders can also create multiple structures in different locations to capture those resources and return to them later to retrieve what they’ve caught. Little tending is needed after the initial structure has been built.

This ally was perfect for a woman-on-the-go who wanted to enjoy the openness, creativity, and freedom her chosen career afforded her, but needed to ensure that she wasn’t sabotaging her own interests by a) re-living old childhood traumas and b) not having her basics covered.

Anyone who knows me knows that I talk about plant spirits A LOT, but Animal Helping Spirits are a close second in my life. One of the most exciting times in my work is when I’m in journey for a client and one makes its aid known.

The question most folks ask is: What do I do when I get an Animal Helping Spirit?

The following two episodes of my podcast, On Sacred Ground, address that very question through anecdotes from both my personal life and my practice:

On Sacred Ground with Khi Armand (Ep. 8): Animal Helping Spirits, Part I

On Sacred Ground with Khi Armand (Ep. 9): Animal Helping Spirits, Part II

There are more ways of engagement than even these two episodes suggest, so you can be sure it’s a topic I’ll be returning to here.

Shamanic solutions for our lives and businesses abound and simply require that we that we receive and engage the answers we are given.

Khi Armand is an NYC-based intuitive consultant and shamanic healer who provides transformative solutions for life and business. He is the proprietor of Conjure in the City and author of Deliverance! Hoodoo Spells of Uncrossing, Healing, & Protection.

How to Spice Up Parties & Events with Plant Spirits & Conjure

31 May
nightlife party conjure hoodoo dance event promoter

Heat up parties and events with conjure and let the good times roll.

In light of my conjure sister Madame Nadia‘s recent blog post on working with Licorice for beauty and domination, I’ve decided it’s time for me to come out

— as a Party Animal.

Yes, it’s true. Don’t judge me. I have an affliction known as Venus in Gemini that makes me yearn for more stimuli than an electrical socket, and various other — ahem — occult and diabolic resonances also speak to my penchant for nightlife, soirees, and social events of all types. Few things grab my attention like a rooftop party on a summer night and all of the serendipitous fun that can occur when people drop their baggage, pick up a libation, and drop it like it’s hot till the early hours of the coming day.

It’s no surprise that I spent my college years studying ritual as some of my favorite memories are of parties I’ve thrown and DJ sets I’ve played where everything was just right. The right beats dropped at the exact perfect moment and the collective vibe was synchronized in such a way that the event was more than the sum of its parts. The magic was palpable because of a keen attention to atmosphere and detail.

It feels like a strange thing to be committed to – a Nirvana of luminous social ecstasy that might seem impossible to achieve at every gala and gathering. I guess that’s why I spend a lot of time imagining the application of conjure to nightlife for both producers and consumers thereof.

(I mean, who cares about working with plant spirits for healing if we’re not celebrating at the club afterwards, am I right?)

55912530-1

Fuck healing. Let’s dance.

Plants, minerals, and animalia can definitely be worked with to create and enhance atmosphere. They are perfect allies for those of us who are engaged in event planning and promotion and, frankly, the idea isn’t entirely new. Business owners in cultures all over the world have used folk magic to ensure that their spaces remained filled and their patrons were happy. In Black-American conjure, the Hyatt texts provide more than a few accounts of the use of plant spirit magic to get the party started, with this one filed in catherine yronwode’s Hoodoo Herb & Root Magic under Ginger:

Ginger is a beloved spice for inducing passion between people and can be called upon to bring the

Ginger is a beloved spice for inducing passion between people and can be called upon to bring the “wild” to an event.

To Get a New Club, Restaurant, Dance Hall, or House of Prostitution Off to a Good Start: After cleansing the premises, but before decorating, mix equal parts of Sulphur powder and powdered Ginger and burn them on charcoal in the center of the hall. Go outdoors while this burns (it is not safe to breathe Sulphur fumes), and nail a used horseshoe over the front door. The Sulphur will purify the place and the Ginger will liven it up.

Hot and invigorating, Ginger is often added to love spells in hoodoo rootwork and Brazilian macumba for heating up a love affair, ensuring that passionate lust is a driving motivation in the union (or re-union) of partners.

Likewise, it’s an excellent ally for heating up the dancefloor, helping to ensure that a party vibe stays upbeat and exciting.

Cinnamon, a premiere plant in many Attraction formulas, can be used to ensure a heightened energy of friendship and connection ring through the space. No one need dance alone at your event.

And if your party is the type of party where folks are hoping they’ll meet someone in the lobby, Cubeb and Cardamom are spices that can help, with the former setting an R. Kelly tone and the latter being beloved for its help in attracting new love. Nothing ensures repeat partygoers like making them confident they’ll find the connections they’re looking for.

Make it a night to remember for your guests by charging the atmosphere with plant spirits that encourage meeting someone new.

Make it a night to remember for your guests by charging the atmosphere with plant spirits that encourage meeting someone new.

These spices, barks, and roots can be burned on charcoal and used to smoke the space prior to everyone’s arrival, or added in essential oil form to a spray bottle with a bit of water and spritzed in the air. If the actual scents are conducive to your event, consider aromatherapy diffusers – both the candlelit kind and the electric ones for larger spaces.

Of course, not every party aims to look like an LMFAO music video. For a more chill, lounge-y vibe leave out the Ginger and go for sultry Damiana – not only an aphrodisiac, but an incredible plant for creating euphoria, helping ensure that stimulating conversations and interactions reach peak levels and that even the shyest of guests feels sexy and included.

A well-cleansed space provides the perfect blank canvas for creating the atmosphere you want, but if there’s a chance that things could get rowdy, Licorice Root is known for granting its wielder commanding power and such power can be wielded over a room when a bit of it is placed in the four corners and center (traditionally, with Commanding Powder, but I’ve had excellent results controlling a room of people working with just the root). Depending on how rowdy things might get – and how legal your shindig is to begin with – it could be wise to employ Law Keep Away products and associated curios to keep your party shielded from the prying eyes of the law and those that would alert them.

Additional precautions can be taken with the help of the Boldo plant whose leaves can be sprinkled across a threshold to bar undesirable patrons and customers from entering. Oregano, a staple in Law Keep Away products, can also aid in protecting your space and guests by keeping out meddlers who totes would dull the vibe if not poop the party altogether.

The right atmosphere and a good soundsystem alone can go a LONG way toward creating an inviting scene that people want to stay at and invite their friends to. A houseparty I threw in Brooklyn a few summers ago, having prepped the space well with conjure enhancements, resulted in my phone ringing off the hook late into the night with calls from unknown party-seekers in Manhattan who wanted to know if our party was still happening. If you’re from NYC, you know that such reverse-transit nightlife is rare (unless we’re talking spots along the L line — and we’re not).

See you on the dancefloor.

Khi Armand is an NYC-based Intuitive Consultant and Shamanic Healer who provides transformative solutions for life and business. He is the proprietor of Conjure in the City and author of Deliverance! Hoodoo Spells of Uncrossing, Healing, & Protection.

Debt, Shamanism, & Issues in Reciprocity

22 Feb

Six of PentaclesI recently had a dear client ask me if I knew of any rituals that would help him to sell his soul to (insert various possible entities) for fame and fortune. Such requests pop up in the boxes of professional conjurers all the time, but I saw it as an opportunity to explain some of the work I do in my practice, why I do it, and some of the larger ramifications in this type of work.

This particular client found me when he was pretty down and out, unknowingly having been tricked and subdued by a sneakily practicing partner into being super-submissive with everything from his own life plans to his wallet. Old-time hoodoos would say he was a bit “confused in his mind” in his displaying a lack of ambition and a blindness to his circumstances. The condition of being “confused in one’s mind” is often, though not always, an outcome of having strong love and domination work performed on you, if not due to an outright jinx with effects on one’s mental health. Gratefully, this client was in his right mind and sense of will enough to seek help and my reading was clear in exposing the spell he’d been under and the type of work that would be most efficacious in releasing him from it, as well as helping him regain a sense of sovereignty about the goals and ambitions he had put aside.

Within a few weeks after performing a spiritual cleansing routine, he moved out-of-state, started a new enterprise, and sent me a great testimonial about the 180 degree change in his life. Still, a bit unsure of his ability to get what he wanted through hard work and a good magical strategy and having heard from dubious sources about the efficacy of attaining instant life success through means of spirit trafficking (well, slavery, really), he wanted my take on things as an honest and ethical practitioner.

You can surmise my response to him (a definite “do not go forth in to that terrible night”), but I accompanied it with why:

  1. There’s an unfortunate amount of hell playing out in our world right now resulting from unpaid debts to spirits.
  2. Most folk magicians know the importance of paying what is promised to a spirit as not doing so can often lead to misfortune not too far down the road. A discerning practitioner should be able to realize what’s going on and right the wrong before things get worse. (Keeping a log / journal of notes in one’s practice is essential.)
  3. Serious spirit debts, if left unpaid, can even carry over into someone’s next lifetime, causing varying amounts of pain and misfortune, even as far as addiction, obsession, infertility, and mental illness, without someone having an inkling why.
  4. Debts to spirits can sometimes have ancestral components to them. In other words, an ancestor’s unpaid debt to a spirit (whether through irresponsible or forgetful spirit trafficking, or circumstances specific to a traditional and otherwise sustainable spiritual / tribal lineage) can be passed on to a descendant.
  5. Regarding the former possibility in #3, it’s important to consider that in many traditional cosmologies, souls are reborn again and again within the same ancestral line, meaning that we are literally our own ancestors and ancestors-yet-to-come.
  6. The latter of #3 can happen especially if a descendant is gifted for the work (spiritually gifted) and the recently broken familial / tribal spiritual pact with a spirit has been forgotten due to issues of migration and Christianization, or simply forgetting to pass on the tradition in a globalizing world. Despite the Western world’s colonization machine telling us otherwise, we’ve been quite silly in thinking that animism is just a toy that our ancestors played with that can be put aside for more serious and modern adult games (like corporate ladders, Candy Crush, and cultural amnesia).
  7. There’s no amount of spiritual cleansing, uncrossing, or protection work that can fix a spiritual debt. Ward it off a little? Maybe. But definitely not fix it. Some spirit traps might, which is the route I’m sure many very good non-traditional contemporary practitioners might take (making them very good solely by virtue of their being able to see such a condition being played out, especially if past life or ancestral contexts are at play). But it probably won’t solve the problem as a debt being left unpaid might just leave a void within which something else, possibly even a related entity, can come in and stake claim. Spirit traps as worked within folk magic also might not be big enough to trap something playing out in the latter category of #3 as such a spirit probably not only has the backing of god-knows-how-many-millenia of being honored behind it, but natural laws of reciprocity as well. The game really is in their court.

And that’s the thing – there are natural laws of reciprocity and we live in a closed energetic system in a beautiful cycle of give-and-take. As a folk magick, hoodoo doesn’t give much attention to the larger ramifications within the whole cycle-of-reciprocity-thing as its focus is on fixing things and getting results, but the laws of reciprocity are evident in the care a worker takes to ensure that a spirit is paid for their efforts.

A prime example is the popular offering of poundcake and a public display of affection given to the magnificent St. Expedite when he’s come through on someone’s behalf, or a glass of wine and a milagro (a recent payment in my own practice) given to St. Cyprian for aiding a person in their pursuit of justice. When you take from the pot, you have to put something back in, and some of the most effective spiritual practitioners I know spend a decent amount of time ensuring that their spirits are well cared for with regular offerings given out of love for their presence in their lives.

Offerings given to St. Expedite in thanks for his aiding a client.

Offerings given to St. Expedite in thanks for his help on a client’s case.

Of course, I’m not saying that working with spirits is bad, though it certainly isn’t as safe as some might make it seem.

What I am saying that choosing your words and actions carefully is of tremendous importance. Try keeping your promises to a minimum.

I’m also suggesting meticulous record-keeping because “Oops, I forgot” doesn’t fix things after the shit hits the fan (though “I’m sorry, please forgive me” can go a long way toward righting wrongs and mending relationships).

I’m suggesting that you discern your helping spirits from the spirits you simply have an affinity for and work well with from the spirits you’re just working with for the time being or toward a specific goal. These differences matter and may keep you from asking for help from spirits who have less loyalty toward you and might be less likely (or even able) to help while you have spirits close by who are just waiting for you to call upon their aid (and will probably be more forgiving if you mess up, which happens from time to time – we’re human).

I’m also suggesting that you give offerings. Give offerings plentifully to your helping spirits and those spirits that you have an affinity for and work well with. Give bountiful offerings and simple offerings. Regular offerings mean so much more than once-in-a-blue-moon offerings, much like how that friend that you call weekly will be closer to you than the one you send a big present to once a year. And consider giving offerings to the spirit of your home, to the spirits of the land, and the spirits of natural forces in your environment. Or just do it, really, because this is the necessary work.

Gratefully, the work of resolving a serious spirit debt in a good way is often entirely possible – the scales want to be balanced in our world. The greatest hindrance lies in the lack of diagnosis, or our culture simply not seeing this as an issue or possible condition. If a situation is really out of hand, energetic static or even spiritual influence may get in the way of divination and diagnosis, so ensuring that one has guardians or sorcery specifically focused on their work of divination and seership can help one see through thicker patches of an issue and get to the underlying reason behind an unfortunate condition.

My own initiatory helping spirit caused me a few headaches until a wise colleague and mentor pointed out that this very issue was probably what I was facing. Not only was I able to resolve it so that our relationship could move forward in a good way, but in the work of resolution I was shown many of the pitfalls that others before me had gotten lost in when hearing Her call, ultimately missing out on what are arguably the most beneficial parts of Her medicine in the grander scope of things.

And speaking of the grander scope of things, the imperative toward ayni (a term roughly translated as “right relationship” from the Quechua language) is a constant; it always has been and always will be. This is the reason that so many of our ancestors had songs for the elements and forces of nature – we are supported by so many allies, both seen and unseen. As a society, we need to get back into the flow and remember, because –

We are profoundly out of balance with land and nature spirits.

We are profoundly out of balance with the helping spirits that aided our ancestors through famine and storm.

We are profoundly out of balance as a society in our denial and denigration of the medicine brought by certain communities and demographics toward gender, sex, ability, and collective ancestral human wholeness.

And, in our denial of our own gifts and in our confusion around our individual life purposes, we are profoundly out of balance within ourselves.

But ayni? Ayni is beautiful. Ayni is glorious. Maintaining right relationship is what makes my work so successful, especially the stickiest, most knotted parts that simply cannot be undone without the aid of the spirits that walk with me. We can accomplish so much more as individuals and as a community when we are in right relationship with the world around us than when we are not. As humans, it is up to us to re-member and tilt the scales back to a state of balance.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” – Psalm 133:1-3, KJV

Khi Armand is an NYC-based psychic intuitive, shamanic healer, and folk magician. He is the proprietor of Conjure in the City and author of Deliverance! Hoodoo Spells of Uncrossing, Healing, & Protection.

Testimonial: Kiss Me Now! & Road Opener Lights

11 Aug

“Kiss Me Now!” candles are great for attracting attention!

I’m happy to post one of our newest testimonials that reveal a lot about the efficacy of Conjure on both ourselves and the world around us.

G.A. from Greece writes:

I was in an emotional plateau and he performed a Setting of Lights for me about ten days ago; a Road Opener and a Kiss Me Now and at the second day after the candle burning was completed; I was at my work (I work as a cashier in a beach bar) and three different girls at different times of the day (all happened at the same day) just walked and sat by me and started chit chatting. They were very friendly and affectionate and all gave me their phone numbers. It has never happened to me before. Also from the Road Opener, I have started seeing great results; like making new friends and feeling a special type of charisma.

Much success to G.A. as he makes exciting strides towards his goals!