Tag Archives: reconciliation

Encounters with AIRR: Deacon Millet

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Deacon Millet is another dear colleague from AIRR. I love Deacon Millet because he is kind and really, really smart. He has genuine compassion for his clients and like me, he really loves a happy ending. This is one of the many reasons why his altars are always loaded with candles from folks looking to find that perfect someone. In addition to his work as a reader and root worker, Deacon Millet also runs Four Altars Gospel Sanctuary-a small church in the California High Desert that is part of the Missionary Independent Spiritual Church denomination. Truth, beauty, and love-you get them all with Deacon Millet!

In his own words: 

Born in Texas, Deacon Millett was raised Catholic before converting to Protestantism in his late teens. In college, he was mentored in the tarot and mediumship, embracing the spiritual gifts he had experienced since childhood. He has served on the boards of both Methodist and Missionary Independent churches and has completed both the Lucky Mojo Internship Training and Catherine Yronwode’s Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course. He is currently the pastor of Four Altars Gospel Sanctuary, a private chapel with a global internet presence.

 

On the web you can find Deacon Millet at:

his official AIRR page

Four Altars Gospel Sanctuary

Facebook

 

1.) What is your philosophy on magic and root work?

My philosophy on magic and root work is pretty simple — “better
to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

We’ve thrown away so much in our rush to embrace modernity,
technology, science. That’s all wonderful, but there is a primal
part of us that goes far deeper, to a place where humans and the
earth were joined. We’ve become far more atomistic, and we long
for that connection to fire, air, earth, water — and to each
other. Facebook is a desperate attempt to reconnect, but in this
logical, surface way. Traditional rootwork harkens back to a time
when our connections were still deep, tied to the air we breathe,
the footsteps we take, the fire we see and feel.

2.) What are your favorite types of cases and why?

My favorite types of cases are love work. I don’t think anything
matters more in the world than having someone to share your life.
And it took me a very long time to find the right person, so I
know how agonizing that process can be. So if I can help bring two
people together, or soothe the pain of an unrequited love, I feel
like I’ve made the world a little bit better. I also know
firsthand the rage of jealousy and the passion for revenge which
overtake us when relationships sour. And I am willing to put that
energy into cursing and break apart work.

3.) If you could give prospective clients one piece of advice, what would it be?

I’ve given one piece of advice so many times that I’ve had to name
it. And here it is. “Deacon Millett’s First Law of Relationships:
Men do NOT want to talk about relationships.” That’s it. Love for
men is in the doing, in the being. If we’re holding your hand,
then that’s all we’ve got to say. And if you refuse to hear that
– if you demand we speak up louder, in endless words and
reassurances — then everything’s over before it began. THAT is
the relationship killer.

Power & Grace-The Difference is in the heart

Anytime you start investigating magic the issue of power comes up. Its a thorny issue because the tendency is to talk about power dynamics or stepping into your power or what have you. For me, power is contrasted by grace and this contrast can be clearly viewed by juxtaposing two popular figures-The Intranquil Spirit and Anima Sola.

The Intranquil Spirit is a figure petitioned in several different systems of folk magic-including African-American based Conjure as well as Mexican folk magic and Catholic Folk traditions. The presence of the Intranquil Spirit is requested, usually by a woman, after a love relationship has ended. She is a coercive spirit and the intention in calling her forth is to torture one’s ex partner to the point that they become so miserable that they are forced to return to you. Although the Intranquil Spirit is usually conceived of as female, some folk magicians have observed that there are actually several different kinds of Intranquil Spirits that will show up for a job some female, some male. Not every spirit worker will work with Intranquil Spirit because the energy invoked is so harsh. Though its understandable to anyone who has been through an especially painful break up how one might be in the position of wanting the return of their lover NO MATTER WHAT-magical workers often find that working with the Intranquil Spirit creates more complications than it solves and that the reconciliations this spirit brings about are often still emotionally fraught. Though the spirit is conceived of as feminine, the main traditional image associated with the spirit shows a white bearded man sitting in judgement over the world.

Intranquil Spirit

One of the traditional images associated with the Intranquil Spirit. Although the spirit is usually conceived of as female in this image the spirit resembles a male God in a position of judgement.

 

The Intranquil Spirit is a spirit that I do not work with-so I do not want this post to be taken as authoritative on her/it, but I do want to share my own impressions of her energy and contrast them with that of another spirit who in some ways is very similar but in other ways is very different-Anima Sola. The Intranquil Spirit’s name gives away its story-it is a spirit who has departed from the physical world-perhaps in a violent or unjust manner-and as a result it continues to cling to the earthly plane looking for peace, closure, and a final resting place but never finding them-thus the Intranquility. The motivation of calling forth such an energy in magic is to make the target of the Intranquil Spirit equally unhappy, restless, and confused until they commit a certain set of specific actions (usually having to do with returning to their lovers). Putting aside the moral issues of compelling someone to do anything by wishing misery and unhappiness upon them, it is obvious that the Intranquil Spirit works through compulsion and power-specifically overpowering someone so that they act in such a manner that goes against their stated will. The spirit (and magician) who calls upon her expects to win the situation by overpowering the opponent. But there is another way…in magic, in life, and certainly in matters of the heart-and that is the way of Grace.

The image of Anima Sola is a well known image, especially where I live in the Southwest. We see a lovely dark haired and dark eyed beauty whose wrists are chained and who is being licked at by some vicious looking flames. For a non Catholic the assumption would be that the poor girl has landed herself in hell, but she is actually in Purgatory-the intermediary realm between heaven and hell that a soul achieves when it dies with sins left uncleansed but in a state of grace nonetheless. This state of grace that Anima Sola possessed upon her death is the first clue that she works through grace as opposed to power. In both Catholic and folk magic practices framed by Catholicism, Anima Sola is petitioned by people on behalf of their beloved and departed ones whose souls are believed to be in Purgatory-she is petitioned for deliverance, aid and succor to those who have passed beyond the veil. Her veneration is especially strong in Mexico, South and Central American and Italy, especially Naples and Florence. Because her veneration in Italy is well documented and seems to have started around the same time that Dante Aligheri published the Divine Comedy and the concept of Purgatory became widely accepted by the Catholic church I have a personal pet theory that Anima Sola may be based on one of the characters that Dante placed either in Purgatory or in the lowest (least painful) level of the Inferno.

animasola

One of the traditional images depicting Anima Sola, a young woman who is shackled in Purgatory but focused on the grace of heaven.

 

Anima Sola is not simply a spirit prayed to on behalf of those caught in the in-between realm of Purgatory-she is believed to have landed in Purgatory herself due to misplaced romantic affections-she fell in love with the wrong man. We are not sure if he was the wrong man because he did not reciprocate, was already married, or did reciprocate and the relationship was inappropriate-but illicit romance is often given as the reason why she is in Purgatory. For this reason she is petitioned in some magical traditions such as Voudo and Santeria and Lukumi as a lonely spirit (the name anima sola is latin for Lonely Soul) and often worked with in the same way that the Intranquil Spirit is.

However, what I have found in working with Anima Sola is that she does not work at like the Intranquil Spirit at all-Anima Sola’s magic lies in her state of grace-even as she carries sin upon her, even as she suffers, she is open to grace and her eyes are fixed on transcendence. For those of us who are not Catholic or have a hard time identifying with concepts like sin, heave, and hell, Anima Sola can still be a wonderful spiritual helper.

Her presence reminds us to be open to grace at all times-and it also reminds us that opening to grace is really all we can do-we cannot make someone love us, bend to our will, or go our way-we can only open ourselves to the grace that lies in all things all around us at all times. In cases unrequited love and/or painful break ups Anima Sola can be a great helper because she understands loneliness-the way it is all consuming much like the flames she is immersed in. Because she understands loneliness, pain, suffering and redemption she also knows (and reminds us) that there is always tomorrow-that even though we may feel in the lowest pit of hell today, tomorrow offers new light, new life, and new hope. In cases where a loving relationship has ended due to a lack of understanding, courage, or care Anima Sola can be petitioned to bring loneliness to the forefront of someone’s mind-not to punish but to remind that the whole is greater than the parts and that turning our back on true love is perhaps the greatest error of all.

How to work with Anima Sola

If the themes around Anima Sola resonate with you on any level you will of course want to know how you can best go about working with her. My experience with Anima Sola is that she likes her image to be placed on your working space-and if you can create a shrine around her all the better. She loves red sequins, flowers, a glass of water, and cinnamon. I burn cinnamon chips on charcoal disks when I am working with her and I also offer her hard cinnamon candies. She is a spirit who works on our hearts and heart-based knowing (as well as heart-based fears) so incorporating herbs and roots that altar the heart’s rhythms and physiology can be appropriate-mandrake and belladonna are two plants that I use for this-externally only of course, do not ingest either plant and in fact be careful when handling them as they really can alter your heart’s physiology! Petitioning her on a Saturday is a good way to begin and as I recommend for most spirit work-simply speak or pray from your heart and pay attention to the ways in which she might answer you.

There is the way of power and there is the way of grace. One relies on our own strength of will while the other relies on our trust that being open and honest is enough…because we are enough-blessed, whole, and holy already just as we are.

 

 

Stepping Into Divinity-Reconciliation in love & life

In one of the traditions that forms my personal practice reconciliation refers to a wide body of ritual lore and magical formulas aimed at reconciling lovers who have parted ways. Reconciliation work is the most commonly requested service, period. More than general love drawing, more than sex & romance, more than the blessing of children & families, and more than any kind of money drawing work you can think of, folks look to magic & ritual when their heart’s are broken and hurting.

Any professional cunning man or woman worth their salt is upfront & honest with potential clients-reconciliation work is difficult, usually long term, and even in the best of circumstances faces more challenges that other types of magical ritual work. In other words, these are difficult cases. Yet clients still seek it out, pay for it, and when things work out everyone feels like something major has been accomplished.

There are some excellent places on the web where you can learn about the traditions surrounding romantic reconciliation as well as the herbs, roots, and curios used in ritual work that has reconciliation as its goal. But today I want to talk about the spiritual component of reconciliation.

Theologically reconciliation deals with one aspect of salvation-the re-uniting of the soul with the Divine, the Source of All. In the Catholic church the act of Confession is sometimes called the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Now some people see God/Goddess/Spirit in Christ on the cross, or in Our Lady of Guadalupe, or in Cerridwen, or in the Green Man, or in Yaweh, or in Yemayah, or Buddha, or Krishna, or in the stones, plants, animals, and living soil on which they live. Most religious traditions agree that as it is above, so it is below-that we, each of us, have a share in the divine, in the Godhead, in the Source of All. That means that when we seek to reconcile with our own sense of the Divine we must first reconcile with ourselves. I don’t think its an accident that many mystical traditions the Gnostic Christianity and Sufism to name a couple, view God as the ultimate lover & beloved-when we seek out the Divine we do so from an impulse to know and love more deeply and truly.

This is why spiritually speaking romantic reconciliation work is so difficult to achieve-not because people fuss & fight or because broken up relationships are beyond repair, but because, as Confucius says-we must look within first and address our shortcomings before commenting on someone else’s. We must look within and see clearly-warts and all our own illusions, shortcomings, fears, mis-placed prides–we have to deal with our crap. Once we see it clearly we can acknowledge and address the scars, the blocks, and illusions. We can apply a healing balm to those parts of ourselves that have been wounded, cut up, and isolated, we can summon a bit of breath and brightness to our hidden places,–we can reconcile in, of, and with ourselves and in so doing acknowledge our own blessed divinity.

Reconciliation is not for all times and places. It is specific work applied at particular moments in a day, a week, a month, a life. But if you are feeling the “fracking F’s” as I call them: fragmented, fractured, fearful, and frazzled-then it might be time to consider reconciling with the greatest lover of all-yourself.

 

*The above image was snapped while I was on vacation in Santa Fe. These rough, hand made wooden crosses are arrayed around Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Sanctuary on, appropriately enough, Guadalupe street. Each cross has been embellished with prayers and petitions-usually humble requests dealing with the business of daily life–needs of health, finances, family peace, and success. Once the petition is written down the crossed are hung around Our Lady for her blessing.

Write it Down, Dress it Up

Whenever I talk to a prospective reconciliation client I always begin by asking if they have sent a “dressed letter” to their ex. A dressed letter is a hand written letter or card. The “dressed” part refers to the age old practice of dusting the letter with a magical, ritually appropriate sachet powder. Sachet powders are used in old fashioned Conjure & cunning work, but magical powders are prevalent around the world. A magical powder can be as simple as finely ground herbs & roots chosen for their specific properties. They can also be elaborately crafted powders combining raw herbal material with essential or ritual oils blended into a base of talc or arrowroot powder, or they can be mass produced cheap powders that are basically baby powder with some added scent and red dye #4. Obviously when I tell people to dress a letter I want them to use the good stuff-either high quality sachet powders or finely ground herbs. And in my last Q n Action video (which are sent out in the monthly newsletters, hint, hint!) I show you how to dress a letter with sachet powder. But today I want to focus on why I recommend that you write, in hand, a letter to your ex. The big question is often: why write a letter at all? The answers deal with the intersection between ritual magic and practical good sense.

Writing makes us honest

In her bestselling book Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg writes about why writing with a pen and paper makes us more honest. There is a heart to hand connection and you can allow your thoughts to spill across the page. It is a physical exercise that involves your whole body as well as your mind. You can feel it and you can see it when people are really writing-there is a relaxation, a hanging loose that comes over their entire body. If there is ever a time to be honest it is when we are on a relationship threshold-unsure of what our next move will be-but sure that it will be big and life changing.

 

Writing makes us clear:

In emotionally hot situations it is hard to speak clearly, its hard to listen with an open heart-writing allows you to take time to think about what you want to say *and* how to best say it. One of the most common mistakes people make when disagreeing or arguing is that they feel determined to have *their* say and not listen to the other person. There are many conflict resolution tips that can be helpful when you are trying to craft your letter-those that I recommend you at least pay attention to are:

Don’t Assume-that he doesn’t care about you as much as his last girlfriend, that she thinks she could do better, that he doesn’t like to talk to you, that she’s bored with the sex. Assumptions are death blows in conversations-they piss the person off you are making assumptions about (even if you are right), and more importantly they send out a signal that you have already “figured” it out, made up your mind, and know what your partner is thinking-so why should they talk to you anyway? Ask questions. Do you feel this way? Use “I” statements- I sometimes think that when we talk about this you get upset because…Explain that what you see is your perception and that therefore you know its only one way of looking at the situation and that you might be wrong.

Listen-to what your beloved says. If they tell you that they don’t love you as much as you love them, take a breath, maybe walk away for a moment, but don’t assume (see above) that they are lying, scared, or afraid of commitment. They are speaking their truth. It may not be the whole truth, but its powerful enough that they are saying it to you so pay attention.

Avoid dissecting past events/mistakes- For my clients, this is the 4 of Cups card in the Tarot that I sometimes talk about, let it go and put it away. If he cheated on you 3 years ago and you forgave him then NOW is not the time to throw that back into his face. If you realize that you never really did forgive him then that is a different story-write about it. If she broke up with you 6 months ago and then y’all got back together don’t rake her over the coals about it-deal with the issue that is causing a problem right now.

Remember- why you love him. Remember why you want it to work out with her. Ask yourself, do you really? Are you coming from a place of love & devotion or from a place of fear of flying solo? Fear-based romantic relationships are not lasting or fulfilling in my experience.

Get English 101- you may have to pre-write, you may have to collage, you may have to write several drafts before you have the one you are ready to send. Dust off that composition notebook, sharpen those pencils and go!

Factor these suggestions into your writing-it will help you get clearer on what you need to say and it will help you get listened to.

 

Writing is a sacrifice

Sometimes I mention writing a letter and immediately get a flat “no, I would never do that.” I politely tell the client that if they are not willing to hear me out on why writing a letter might be a good idea then I am not going to work with them on a reconciliation. If you aren’t willing to sacrifice some time, effort, maybe pride, energy, and truth on the altar of love and reconciliation-then ritual work will not help you. The point of a real letter for reconciliation is that you tell your beloved how you feel-this is the moment where you are most vulnerable, most honest, most raw. Its not a “comfortable” place nor should it be. A stiff upper lip and biting pride will not get you there. Humility and devotion will. With that said, it also does not need to be tear soaked and blood stained (although your letter might end up looking that way)-it just needs to be real and to reflect as clearly as possible what you really think and feel.

 

So go on, write your heart out. And for those lovers who are happy in their relationship-Valentine’s day is a great day to write a love letter to you honey!