Various people have contacted me over difficult situations with study groups, workshop leaders and teachers. So rather than tie up my time answering the same questions individually, here is a blog of magical warnings, what to spot, what to look out for and what to avoid as you plough your way those the maze of study. Yes, it’s one of those ‘happy’ posts…..
Something that is never talked about and rarely spotted until it is too late is a student being used as a battery, scapegoat or gasoline pump. It happens more than people realise and is a sad indictment of our modern age. It is not that these things never used to happen, but because of the internet more people are reaching out to teachers and more unscrupulous magicians are using that contact with beginners for their own ends. If you know what can happen, what it potentially looks like, and what to do about it, then you can side step these vicious bear traps quite neatly and carry on your merry way. So let’s have a look……
Scapegoats – This is the nastiest type of abuse that tends to happen often without the student realising and it has a lot of difficult short term and long term consequences for the student. The use of students as energetic scapegoats is usually tied in with using students as energetic batteries, and is mostly used to attack a person, a school, lodge or whoever has pissed off an emotionally immature adept. There are many different ways this can happen but I will outline the most common ones that seem to crop up on a regular basis.
Setting the pattern of attack – Sadly there are some skilled magicians who have the emotional maturity of a seven year old and when they are slighted, challenged, rejected or threatened, instead of dealing with it normally and sensibly, they launch an all out attack. The unskilled ones do a simple ritual attack which is a one off energetic bump and tends not to draw too much on students. The dangerous ones however, conduct prolonged sustained nasty attacks that take a lot of energy and have a massive potential kick back – This is the one to watch for.
How it works is like this: the magician ritually constructs a pattern of attack to bind, curse, injure or even kill their ‘enemy’. Once the pattern has been constructed and any beings or thought forms to be used are in place, then it needs fuel. That fuel is the students.
This is most often done using the physical presence of students, as it is the easiest way to proceed. The prime conditions are week long residentials, weekend workshops or regular long term classes where there is going to be a group of more or less the same people turning up. They provide the fuel. An object, drawing, or script is the focus which identifies the victim: it is the aim mechanism. That object is placed in the centre of the space where the group is working, usually hidden on or under a central table or directional altar and can be as unassuming as a ‘medicine bag’, book (with the script hidden inside), piece of paper or a small box. That will contain the focal point of the aim mechanism that often has either something belonging to the victim in it, or a copy of their astrological chart, or paper with their signature on it, etc.
During the group rituals, the students will be constantly encouraged to ‘focus’ upon that altar or area of the room, to direct energy or thought construction at a tool or element on the altar (paper under the candle is a common one, or a bag placed directly under the candle on the floor). Throughout the magical activity, people are encouraged to focus their energy in its direction. The energy is gathered into the object to energise it. A now dead magician who was famous for cursing anyone who crossed him, used to get the signatures of his enemies, and use that signature to bind them. He would place it under the altar cloth or altar to charge it during rituals. Nasty.
Do however bear in mind that many magicians do work with all sorts of things quite innocently, usually for protection of the group. But if challenged, they should have no problem showing you whatever it is they have placed on or under the altar, and explain why. When challenged, their initial first second or two’s reaction, before they can mask themselves, should tell you volumes about their intent. This is one reason why it is good for beginners to work with clear altars that have nothing but a candle on them.
When the aim mechanism is fully charged, it is then released to its victim shortly after the charging. If the magician knows what they are doing, when they design and build the inner magical pattern of the attack, they will also weave into that some scapegoats. An unscrupulous magician will tap into regular attendees, (to keep the scapegoat mechanism ticking along) and will build the pattern via that person’s identity. It is not particularly difficult to do when you know how. The net result is that should the attack be discovered, and the victim or victims helper knows how to trace the identity of the attack, it will track back to the scapegoat. For all intents and purposes it will appear that the attack was sent by a specific person or group of people who happen to be the hapless students. Now this has two consequences, one is obvious and one is not.
The first consequence is that the wrong person/people are identified and should any counter attack or ‘return to sender’ happen, it will go to the clueless students, not the attacker. The second and more dangerous consequence is that the students will bear all of the energetically fall out and whiplash from the attack should it result in death, a serious twist of a fate path or a serious chronic disease, injury, loss, etc
We tend to look at the universe from our modern day morals and not from the reality of energy. The understanding of karma is badly askew in the west and it really does not work quite like that – there is no punishment. But there is a swing of the power scales that can happen. The twists and turns are very complex, too complex to go into depth in a blog, but suffice to say, if you use magic to ‘take someone out’ and that death causes an energetic deficit (it won’t always), that deficit will be carried by the students. This can bring about the death of ones children or loved ones, freak accidents, etc as the scales work to balance themselves. If the death of the victim actually balances the scales, which can happen, then there is no kick back (see how complicated it can get).
If the victim has strong guardians or their own defensive magical patterns, and they are set in motion from the attack, the students will be on the receiving end of that, not the attacker. More often than not, the effects of being scapegoated are a slow but steady decline in energy, nightmares, and a strong sense that ‘something is just not right’ – some people report feeling very guilty for no reason, or feeling dirty and nasty for no reason. Often the students become chronically drained, depressed and isolated. Anyone with psychic sensitivity around them will pick up the vibes of the scapegoated action, and will feel that the student is ‘evil’, or has done something terrible. The emotional hatred that drives the crime will be imprinted all around their energy sphere.
So you can see how complicated it can get, and how nasty it can get. And it happens often enough to cause me concern for the amount of victims of this type of action that find their way to my door (or email account). They are often alerted via a tarot reader, or dreams, or psychically sensitive friends that something is serious wrong.
So how do you spot this and how do you watch for this? Firstly, if you attend a regular class, a workshop series or a residential, keep a close eye on what is in the room where you work. Magical groups will have implements, candles, incense, cloths etc. But look for little bags or small boxes, pouches, a folded sheet of paper tied up, or a small book ‘left’ on the altar or in a corner of the room. If you see something like that, do not feel that it is rude to ask the teacher what it is and why it is there. As I said earlier, the first second of reaction will tell you all you need to know.
And a good teacher should never be unwilling to show you what is in a pouch, bag or box – it is an opportunity for learning and it is an opportunity for teaching. If you see something that is obviously not theirs, then you may have a problem (a man having a woman’s trinket, or a lock of hair, or a chart, or paper with a signature on, etc). If the teacher uses tribal magic as part of their teaching, they may have a small bag with a bit of bone, beads, roots, etc in it, and if that is the case, just ask them politely to explain it.
If you find that during the period of time that you are attending classes, you are increasingly feeling fatigued, sleeping badly, and have a deep sense that something is wrong, chances are it is. Usually a good tarot reader will spot it for you if you are not yet able to read for yourself.
Some teachers use this method not to attack, but to gain power and energy in order to be stronger, richer, whatever. Same dynamics apply, just without the attack element. If you and your fellow students are getting weaker, chances are you are being ‘vampired’ for your energy. Again there will most likely be something that is used to collect the energy and it will be at every teaching session, so watch out.
This method of sucking on people’s energies can also be done from a distance, which can be a problem for internet students. It is not as powerful as a scapegoated attack, but it can be enough to drain away the life force of a student. A student can also be scapegoated from a distance, but it tends to be more focussed upon one particular student as opposed to a class simply because it is more time consuming to tie in each individual: having a room full is a banquet for an unscrupulous teacher.
Sometimes a teacher will gather signatures from students through ‘contracts’ which effectively binds you to them. If you are learning the basics of magic, there is no reason on earth why you should sign anything – you are not buying a house, you are not applying for credit and you are not being revealed state secrets. You are learning beginner magic. Would you hand over your bank account details with online banking passwords to someone at a flower arranging course? No. Signing anything, particularly ‘contracts’ when beginning to study magic is highly suspect in all cases. There will be times when, as an initiate of a ritual lodge, you may have to swear secrecy to a particular grade, done verbally, but that is something very different.
Students can find themselves, used, drained, bound, scapegoated and that’s before we get to the sexual and financial manipulations and abuse.
The way to spot the potential for this is to observe carefully what the teacher asks of you. Most internet teachers need your email address, sometimes a postal address and that is about it. If you are asked to sign something and send it back, or even sign and keep it, or asked for a drop of blood, a lock of hair, a picture of you, your astrology chart when you are not studying something directly related to astrology, any of these things should set your alarm bells ringing: look for something that doesn’t fit and is not relevant.
As an end note, do also be aware that there are some great teachers out there who give their all for their students. They work hard, often for little payback, and take students under their wing as if they were family. Not all teachers are bad, but not all teachers are good either.
Tread carefully, be respectful of yourself and others, and use your common sense.
(c) Josephine McCarthy 2014