So, my Christmas Eve was fantastically awful. I gestured at the opening of this in my last post, and I had posted that post before Christmas Eve went fully awful. My dad went into the hospital for an infection, and though I had some worry, I didn’t feel his life was in danger, nor did it appear to be as this particular drama unfolded.
The real problem happened as he came up from general anesthesia after a minor procedure, and he had a combination of a psychological response to the medication plus some level of anesthesia awareness. That is, he was paralyzed but aware and could feel during the procedure, and he had further brain fog from the anesthesia itself. He had what seemed to be a PTSD-triggering paranoid reaction as he pulled up emotional trauma of whatever kind from his time in the Army in the ‘60s, plus further, drug-enhanced paranoia. The result was that he behaved in such a way that my mom freaked out and a kind of social panic ensued amongst several folks present.
By fortune—and I recognized at the time that this was going to tie into other ongoing work—I wound up having to be Responsible Magic Daughter. Frankly, even at the time, for a good 90 minutes by myself (aside from the hospital room full of every doctor and nurse on the floor at the time), I was tangentially amazed I was keeping it together as well as I was. Often, I served as the only person Dad trusted to have around—he trusted Mom, but worried she was in danger if she stayed near (paranoia)—while I was also trying to be not only a voice of reason but also someone who recognized he had stumbled into his own profound need for psychological/spiritual healing, even as the body needed tending.
Now, this post isn’t about what came out of that experience for my family. What this post is about is how I found myself glad for the magical tech and kit in my toolbox. Having been in this situation pretty recently, I thought I’d discuss some of that tech and kit.
Listening to Intuition
As I prepared to go up to the hospital before all hell broke loose, I found myself intuiting that I’d be up there for a while, so I packed myself some stuff together. I grabbed a few power objects—a new astro-talisman, an amparo, my usual kit, and some holy water (spray bottle–though I never had the real chance to use it).
I’ve had the experience in the past in hospitals and nursing homes where I’ve seen the “Little Black Doctors”—pale, mostly-sinister men in black suits lurking about or making “rounds” while visiting the sick. I suppose they look a bit more like Evil Undertaker Spirits. Hospitals are places where the sick and scared folks come together, and parasites are naturally drawn to such places.
Of course, many illnesses have spiritual dimensions to them—disease spirits have been a thing for longer than germ theory. What is the spiritual interiority of a bacterial or viral or fungal infection? I imagine it expresses like various classes of disease spirits. I’ve seen too many hag-like disease spirits in the last few months. And just as we have explicitly material techniques for combating infection, humanity has also worked on improving the odds by having spiritual techniques, too. (Usual caveat: I’m not a medical doctor, and I’m not offering medical advice.)
So, I wanted protection for myself so that, if a problem did occur or was going on, I could be better situated to deal with it. I also called in allies, did some preparatory prayers on my behalf, on the family’s behalf, and on my dad’s behalf.
Protecting Your Airspace
At one point, I literally thought to myself, “Oh thank god I meditate.”
If you don’t already have a meditation practice, then I would encourage you to start one. Get the Headspace app, or just use Insight Timer for free, set your duration and meditatey music, and have something like a routine. I meditate in the morning for ten minutes before heading out to work. I wake up half an hour earlier than I would otherwise need to just so I have some time to meditate, stretch, and chill before having to get ready. I also often do some meditation and light journeying in the evenings. I would also encourage investigating some breathing exercises/praxes.
I would also recommend getting some kind of “energy work” going. I have my half-assed chi kung, though I’m trying to incrementally improve that more rigorously now. But, breath work, Reiki, or any of the various energetic practices that are out there.
To be honest, I suspect that this work is about you getting good with the spiritual side of your physical body—along with imaginal you. Or, perhaps more accurately, I would say it’s about bringing imaginal and physical you into better entanglement. I don’t buy into some kind of idea of “charging yourself up,” per se. I think it’s more about getting conscious, embodied you to be clear and bright so that Imaginal—May Have Their Shit More Together—You can actually have an easier time shining through you and helping you get shit done. Let me tell you, I almost always find Imaginal Me is far more composed, confident, comfortable, and more—and, effortlessly powerful. The trick is keeping Embodied Me clear and bright enough that we can get shit done.
However, in regards to “charging up,” for as much as I don’t bother with trying to do the old 1990s neopagan “energetic shields” tech anymore (too shiny and attention-grabbing, too temporary, too costly), I agree there are times to roll that out. If you know you’re going into a situation where you have to keep your cool and knock aside whatever is coming your way long enough to get the job done, then charge up your shields all Star Trek style, like it’s 1996 again.
Protection through Power Objects
Find and/or make yourself some power objects. You can find all kinds of protective charms out there. Don’t feel like you have to wear the whole kit constantly—if you’re afraid to leave the house without draped in protective jewelry, then you may have other problems to worry about. I have a few phylacteries and charms I made via the PGM, I have the odd (third class) relic, the odd talisman for adding more Jupiter in Sagittarius to my life, and so on.
If all else fails, don’t underestimate a consecrated pouch full of herbs and the odd crystal. I mean, you can find examples all over the internet if you want to put one together for yourself. I have my own little bag full of Magical Stuff, including some consecrated herbs—some High John Root, some Queen Elizabeth Root, some smaller engraved and consecrated stones.
I like to pass for mostly normal, avoiding explicit magic and woo accoutrements. I live in Texas. I’ve got a pendant, the pouch, a bunch of paper charms in my billfold, a Three Kings SATOR square in my phone case, and more. I pointed to a lot of this previously on the site.
When you’re in the lurch, it’s probably better to lean on others. Have some go-to prayers or spells (if you want to split them) on hand. I have a pile of such downloaded to my phone via Send to Kindle, organized and pretty (with a table of contents). I have a couple of super-emergency spells directly in the Notes app on the phone, too, just in case my Kindle app decides to fail or decides to send-to-cloud again my little on-the-fly spellbook.
To be honest, my go-to folks tend to be longstanding allies who’ve popped up over the years, but I also do a lot with saints these days, especially the older, more mythical saints, who’ve very much had my back.
If nothing else, you probably want, over time, to consider a repertoire of folks you can ask for help and feel sure they’ll do what they can—in terms of healing mind and body, of watching over folks, of shifting probabilities in your favor, and so on.
I would also recommend finding who your personal “protector spirit” is—who you can call on, visualize viscerally as being with you, and whose presence empowers and protects you. I have the feeling that many of those spirits tend to be animal-related or perhaps animal-presenting spirits. However, you either want to consult with an experienced practitioner who can help you identify your allies, or spend the time looking for them yourself.
Have some kind of exorcism tech at hand. If you’re Christian or willing to go Christian-adjacent, then there’s a lot that’s very effective. I ducked down to the chapel at two points during my long Christmas Eve to find it empty and nicely private, so I recuperated some, meditated and did some basic energy work to help myself, called in my helping spirits again, and launched into a Cyprianic banishment that has always worked very well for me and others who’ve worked with St. Cyprian, and I actually felt like the whole hospital was amply covered—for the time being, at least.
If you want to avoid the Christian tech for whatever reasons, hopefully you’ve developed relationships with folks who’re adept at kicking unclean spirits out of the vicinity. For me, the first beings who come to mind are beings like Durga and Sekhmet: demon-killing warrior goddesses. I’ve had good luck with Hekate myself, as well. Hell, if nothing else, copy an appropriate-seeming exorcism from the Simonomicon.
Were it me, calling Hekate or Durga into a hospital to cast out the unclean spirits, I would—if the following didn’t happen on its own—give myself a bit of time to pray/invoke said being and see/visualize them before they rush off on their own to do their deeds, out of my sight while I continue my mantra, prayers, or invocation.
From there, you want to do some kind of warding magic—at least a warding prayer/invocation. Again, I tend to go with Cyprian for these, but you can do all kinds of variations on this tech. (See also my post on this topic, though adapted for the home.) Using Durga again as an example, once she has exorcised the site, see her again and ask her to raise whatever wards or set whatever guardians might make sense. For example, with Durga (or even Saint Thecla or other female beings associated with mastery over beasts: it’s a nice archetype), I might invoke her to have her lions or other guardians protect and prowl the site to keep the unclean or demonic spirits at bay.
I was doing all this kind of thing even as I also spent most of my time either talking my dad down or into cooperating with the hospital staff and talking with my mom to keep her calm and in good spirits. Believe me, I was certainly letting the doctors and nurses do their jobs. I wanted to get Dad to the point where he could sleep and rest some, and I wasn’t going to manage to get Mom home so she could rest herself until Dad came down off the figurative ceiling. Both of them have chronic back and other arthritic problems, and I wanted to avoid Mom throwing her back out from sitting in hospital chairs and not sleeping.
Otherwise, I was also trying to do what I could on the spiritual end of things. I had the strong intuitive sense that Dad was looking into other places, and even if his access to those places came from trauma and chemical cocktails, they still had reality. They were certainly causing real effects. I found my dad’s comments about his time in the Army very curious—he never talks about anything substantive from that time—and it seemed to point to longer-term issues that had festered for decades. Just as he had an infection in his body the nurses were treating, he also had plenty in his heart that needed addressing.
Anyway, I returned from talking to Dad at one point to see how Mom was doing, and she was sketching. She was doing some art therapy for herself. I was very glad for this. Also, already in a very practical, intuitive, and magical headspace—this was a night for magic even as I had plenty of skin in the game—her choice of art struck me as entirely synchronistic and synching for me. She got my attention with her art.
So, I paid attention when, later, she produced more art—a sketch of a countryside scene with birds flying. I asked her what birds they were, and she said hawks.
Now, earlier that day, I had several friends and colleagues who organized an emergency McTaggart Power of Eight-style intention for “full healing” for Dad, and my friend DB had seen hawks both while driving and then again during the intention itself. (NB: The intention did coincide with Dad avoiding surgery.) Given my own recent work with body protector spirits—those animal-presenting spirits I mentioned earlier—well, I thought, This is pertinent.
It wasn’t until I was trying to doze very early on Christmas Day—hoping Dad would settle down enough to sleep perhaps—that, instead of dozing, I was firstly trying to meditate and soon found myself journeying down the hall with my ally to my dad’s room. And while in that journeying headspace and moment, I found St. Cyprian at hand, but I also realized that the sketch my mom had done was true: the hawks were coming. I just knew it was the case.
So I called in the hawks. My dad couldn’t do it, and I had the sure feeling at this point that these Hawks were his allies. So I called them in. They perched at the head of the bed and around him. They seemed to say, “We’ve got this.”
I was still in that place when I came out to find the duty nurse telling me that Dad wanted to see both of us. Within the hour, Dad had finally admitted he had pain and needed pain meds, and he was getting to where he could finally sleep. The paranoia had diminished to more manageable levels, and there was something of a family heart-to-heart. Within that next hour, quite a lot of family and other healing was done, and Dad was falling asleep, and I was calling a 3 AM Lyft to get Mom and then myself home.
I mean, the next day, I followed through with what I told the Hawks I’d do: three candles, some incense, and some meat (thankfully, they were okay with chicken strips), and I used Mom’s sketch as the image for them. I also followed up with further petitions and some related candle magic for both Mom and Dad’s sake.
Pulling It Together
Now, all this work—and it was work on my part—came off because I managed to keep my head and my awareness. Protecting your headspace matters. I also juggled attending to the spiritual even as the visible, human hospital stuff and interpersonal relationships also required careful attention.
In short, I managed to maintain my personal coherence as a human and as a magical practitioner.
That coherence didn’t mean closing myself off, though I did notice I had strong boundaries as shit occurred. Those boundaries didn’t get in the way of my intuition. There were several points where Dad did things. He slumped to the side at one point and stopped moving and responding for a while—while I noted initial, and quite understandable, fears, I paid attention, and my senses and gut told me, “No, he’s alive. He’s physically fine. The nurses and doctor aren’t freaking out. Hell, I can see his vitals are stable.”
I think I even thought, “The socially acceptable thing would be to freak out, I suppose.” But, well, I didn’t care to do so after noting that thought/feeling.
Everything beyond that I consider very helpful supplements to the fundamental task of being there and being coherent. The intercession and exorcism tech helped stop and prevent any opportunistic feeding or mischief on the part of unwanted spirits. That presumably made my other tasks easier. The intercession and imaginal work, meanwhile, seems to have turned an all-nighter in the hospital on Christmas Eve-into-Christmas Day into a situation where Dad could rest and recover and I could get Mom home for the time being. Hell, I could get home to rest and recover.
I would also say that I very much had to step away on a few occasions to recover myself some. I would’ve gone for walks outside if it hadn’t been after visiting hours and Christmas Eve, but I managed to get away to be by myself some, and I totally took advantage of the chapel to meditate, vent, and get my self-care woo going. I’m glad I did. As the final conversation of the night with Dad was going on, Mom in the room, too, I could feel that I was approaching my limit—I felt my jaw wanting to spasm from stress and maintaining all that coherence. Basically, I recognized I was running out of spoons…
As we leave Christmastide, I will say that Dad has finally returned home, though he has more healing to do. I would also say that I don’t think my readers should feel obligated to do all the things. I’m not telling you what to do; I’m telling you what I did. However, I do think that if you’re a practitioner, then you should get your kit and skillset together. If nothing else, take command of your personal coherence.
Featured Image: Foundry | Pixabay
 You can find several Cyprianic prayers online and in volumes like Jose Leitão’s The Book of St. Cyprian. However, there are many Cyprianic books available these days in English.