Notes from a talk by Moira Hodgkinson
Tuesday May 5th, Mansfield Pagan Moot
Jazz witchcraft and how magic really works!
Etiquette and basic explanation of witchcraft
Blessed be explanation – MH: often used as a farewell or blessing, it confers good wishes of the Old Ones.
So mote it be explanation – MH: to end a prayer or spell or ritual invocation.
Hale and welcome/Hale and farewell – MH: used at the end of invocations during ritual.
Sacred sites respect, honouring, explanation.
Mention of issues between groups using same sacred space, be courteous etc. MH: if site already in use, wait nearby for others to finish, don’t stand around waiting for them to leave, it’s off-putting and rude – alternatively ask if you can join in with them or invite them to join in your ritual.
Photos and facebook and people not being out publicly about being pagan, making sure you protect others. MH: Even a face in the background of your selfie can be recognised on fb/Instagram – don’t ‘out’ others without their permission.
Not touching others sacred items! Ask. Also, let people see your items, you can cleanse it for goodness sake, start again. MH: If you don’t know how to cleanse it ask someone!
Power and witchcraft. Self-empowerment, not power over others.
Personal journey to be ‘the jazz witch’ started with dream of white horses. Life totem animal. Grew up in rural Lincolnshire, spent lots of time wandering around countryside all day. Dad was a gamekeeper. Lots of pets. Natural lifestyle, so deep connection to the natural environment.
Used to do the daisy divination and looking for four leaf clover etc. Mum had Dennis Wheatley books, has healing ability.
Used to visit Lincoln Cathedral Lady chapel. Peace, honesty, caring. Always respected quiet places, woodland, lighting candles etc.
Cast first spell at 12/13 years old and started to develop own style of witchcraft. Started calling herself a witch around 16, always been pagan.
Pagan community in Nottingham. Very small at the time. Nottingham goddess camp. Did her first workshop, ended up leading rituals. Often involved in running and planning public ‘open’ rituals and runs workshops/rituals/labyrinth walks etc.
At Super Spirit Camp one year, asked the fire dancer lot to make a pentagram in flame and light it at end of ceremony.
Path developed very eclectically. Egyptian, Gardenerian, Dorothy Morrison, Rae Beth etc. Lots of sources (MH: If you’re not reading varied texts, your witchy path won’t go very far past candle magic that teenagers do). Reading tarot since 16, learning the ogham.
Ran the Linden Wood Coven for about seven years in Nottingham and always ended up voted in as the priestess. Had to do a lot of rituals and guiding others in the group. Lots of workshops at the same time.
Doesn’t follow books, although more uk Celtic nowadays rather than eclectic. But still pretty much makes it up as she goes along.
Balloon…air magic. Focus on something small you want to have. Blow up slowly with intention. Really precise. Tight it off. Add channelled energy to it, keeping the focus on the good version of what you want. Then pop it with intention and focus. And then forget about it. Quick and easy magic.
Bubbles…air magic. All the colours of the rainbow. Small wish, focus on it. Blow your intention into the bubbles.
Water magic…shot glass of water. Draw Reiki symbol on it and a love heart. Sacred special water. Peace wellness and love. Tastes different. Crystals in a bottle of water to give it healing magic.
Now runs the Sherwood Oak Circle. Once using fire magic with good effects with a member who had never done this before, during lots of lightening, in a ritual with lots of candles lit, massive flames, lightening started. Lots of beautiful magical effects MH: And the spell worked too 😉
Mini candle for chakra clearing – MH: Birthday cake candles are great! Takes just a few minutes and you all of the candle’s magic, give it a go!
Jazz is improvisation and syncopation. So jazz witchcraft is improvised magic that is also syncopated. Syncopation is the offbeat moment between beats. MH: It’s the flow between the regulations, it’s going with what you feel inside your heart, using things that are already round you in your home, using your natural instincts… going with your inner rhythms.
How does magic work?
1) You must be really clear, concise goal, lots of exact details. MH: Write it down.
2) Believe it, know it, in the way you know the earth is below you and sky above, or that there are trees, then it has to work. MH: Turn your belief into knowledge that it WILL work.
3) Solitude: Prevents doubt, uncertainty, prevents slight differences of picture in the spell intention, no distraction, better focus,
4) Energy raising: Cone of power, see connections between yourself and all else, big amount of energy…move, songs, drumming, dancing, release with a shout then ground again. (explanation of cone of power and peak of it.) MH: You must raise a lot of energy, if you’re not knackered afterwards you haven’t done enough.
5) Be working in harmony with spell…if your spell is for a job, then make sure you are looking for a job and not expecting the spell to work if you’re going to be lazy.
6) Key word that finishes it off. No need to remember loads.
7) Joyful, have fun with it (mirth and reverence in equal measure)
8) Clear and concise visualisation throughout entire process. Every little thing tied in, so colour, herbs, goddess/god, use of elements etc all relevant.
9) It must be – MH: remember, if you know you’re getting your goals, it’s knowledge, that means there is no alternative – it must be!
10) to know, to will, to dare, to keep silent. No need to tell everyone, because they might bring in doubt, diminish the spell, or accidentally work against you, also bragging/ego issues impact spell work.
11) Write it down in your Book of Shadows, along with all relevant details (date, time, location, state of mind, cycle of the moon, weather, candle colours, your menstrual cycle etc)
Q: How do you let it go when it’s really important?
(MH: This lady was referring to me saying that you should let a spell go when you’ve done it i.e., forget it, if you focus on the spell you’ll come up with hundreds of things you should have done differently which introduces doubt).
A: Don’t focus on the spell itself, focus on the practical things you can do. But don’t dwell in the actual spellwork. Focus on other things, occupy yourself (hobbies, relax, unwind), ritual releasing, gardening, get hands on the earth or in the earth etc. MH: And make yourself also work towards you goal (apply for jobs etc.).
Q: If it hasn’t worked can you re-do it?
A: Yes, because you have missed something either magical or practical. Also some things are big so will take longer than smaller spells. Repetition is okay. Change how you think about it. Expect it to happen.
Q: Do you find a particular time has an effect? Better time or worse time?
A: Best time for her, after people are in bed so it’s quiet. Personal. Also sun or moon. You can use opposites gain the positive or release negative. Also use the sun. Sunrise, noon, set and dusk. Waxing, full, waning, dark moons. Same correspondences. Planetary relevance to our own star sign is useful.
Q: As a witch do you work with guides?
A: Communicate with goddess, elemental beings, higher power, essences. Ask for their guidance. Sometimes through divination. But listen to gut feeling and instincts because it’s a message or synchronicity.
Feel free to contact on facebook, but be patient as incredibly busy.
MH: I hardly ever spend more than a minute or two on facebook perhaps two or three times a week although my settings are weird and people sometimes see me as ‘on’ when I’m not! (more if we have an archery competition and I need to take bookings). And remember that after every event like this talk I get at least ten to twenty (sometimes more) people in touch over the next couple of weeks, all of you wanting a ‘quick’ word that turns into three or four emails back and forthIt’s because I work full-time 9-5 Mondays to Friday, I run our archery club competitions, go to competitions, Tuesday night is practice night, I am a writer with an entire book to finish in the next couple of months and constantly writing articles. I run the Sherwood Oak Circle meetings that I have to plan for, I run workshops, talks and rituals which I have to write, plan and prepare for in advance. On top of that I have pets to look after, a family and my lovely daughter I need to spend time with and I have friends and social life too. Sometimes I manage to watch a movie with my husband and daughter!
As a result of all this – I’m having to say a firm ‘NO’ to these requests now as my free time is very precious so please don’t be offended if you get a standard copy/pasted reply with sources of further information or a link to my website where I’m building a FAQ section.
I would like to say a big thank you to Pippa Bramley for taking these notes at the talk, it’s the sort of thing I do myself and she has really, I think, taken the key elements of jazz magic and picked out what was important and worth keeping for future reference.
All of these notes are credited to Pippa Bramley with my approval – apart from a little work on the grammar, the only additions I have made to this are defined as such (MH:)
This document is for personal use only and may not reproduced, copied, reprinted or distributed without prior permission. © Pippa Bramley and Moira Hodgkinson.
With thanks, blessed be.