The Times, They Are A Changin’


Things are…quite different for me now than they were about a month ago.

To put it in simple terms: Odin broke Frith with me. I’m not going to go into details of how though I might go into some details of why and the repercussions for me later on, once I’ve made some decisions and settled some things inside myself.

But yeah. Odin, who was my Divine Father, intentionally broke our relationship. This was not random cruelty. With Odin there is always a plan. Nor is it out of character for the God of both outlaws and kings. I did my due diligence, I was as discerning as I could be.

To say this is painful for me is…beyond an understatement. Words are poor containers for emotion and cannot begin to express how that I wish things could be different; though I know that they are not.

But the fact is that life moves on. Odin is no longer a part of my practice or my life outside of how he interacts with the people I care for.

Now for clarity: Odin is not evil. Odin is not antagonistic. I will not deny that I am upset with him, but I do not hold it against him. This is not an impious “the gods have wronged me!!!” This is not misotheism.

This is “Odin, who’s Divine Character includes aspects of Outlawery and Frithbreaking, has chosen to express those faces to me in a way that I cannot abide. This seems to have been his intention. Therefore he is no longer a part of my life.” Odin is still a god, still worthy of worship, he’s just chosen not to receive mine.

Now I move on to other things. Life goes on. This too shall pass. Do what you must. It is enough. Words given to me by Ancestors to get me through troubled times. I don’t remember them often enough.

Prayer for Angrboða

Hail Angrboða! Beautiful one, Mighty Chieftain of the Iron Wood. Wolf Witch and sorceress.

Seiðworker who knows hidden things.

Oh Beautiful One! Oh Wolf Mother!

How mighty are your ways! How wicked and beautiful your smile!

Oh Mother of Monsters, oh Queen of the Outsiders. Who holds close the outcast and comforts the oppressed.

Most beautiful, who’s love is bottomless as the seas, who’s rage shakes the mountains to their roots.

You who keeps the hearthfire, who spins the fate of men and giants the same.

You carry prophecy in your heart, and vengeance borne of love on your tongue.

Ruthless and kind. Mother and destroyer. Wise seeress and beautiful Keeper of hearth and home.

May your praises always be sung.

Thank you for all that you do.

Patreon Rant: Philosophy of Pack Magic

Edited: So WordPress freaked out and unpublished this post and deleted a ton of the stuff I’d had written. So I did my best to reproduce what I had written to the best of my ability. Apologies y’all.

Edited Again: Sarenth was able to send me a copy of the original post! So I’ve re-updated with that! Which is good because my rewrite was genuinely not as good as the original.

If you’d like to request for me to rant on a topic, write prayers for an ancestor, spirit, or deity, or any of the other Work that I offer, please check out my Patreon, found here.

So Sarenth requested that I rant on: “What are emerging philosophies of Pack Magic? If there is an ontology, a cosmology, and cosmogeny emerging from the process of Pack Magic, what does it look like at this stage? What *is* a human in Pack Magic?”

Because of course he did. “Hey Maleck, just cover all of theology in Pack Magic real quick, shouldn’t be too hard, right? That’s not the kind of thing that gets volumes and volumes written about it, and is debated for thousands of years, right?”
Regardless, it’s a great topic and I’m actually really excited to talk about this stuff.
This may turn into a series. We’ll see how that goes.

Now, to start we’re gonna have to alter the question a bit, for a couple reasons. The main one being that the first question: What are emerging philosophies of Pack Magic? Is kinda too broad for me to rightly tackle. Rather I’d like to address some of the philosphical questions that Pack Magic is working to answer (which to some degree start with ontology and then lead to cosmology and cosmogeny etc).

So let’s take a look at the base assumptions of Pack Magic. First, we start out at a place of Animism and Polytheism. The universe is full of spirits, from the smallest grain of sand to humans to the stars and planets themselves. And the world is full of gods, each as distinct and real as the next, from Odin to Genesha and beyond. Second, we start from a place assuming the possibility of a soul and a soul of multiple parts. If the gods are multifaceted and numerous, it stands to reason that we might be as well (further, we see multi-part souls in so many cultures across the globe, but that’s a touch beside the point). Third, interaction with the divine is possible, and Good.

Cool, so those are like. Bare bones base assumptions, right? I’m sure that I’m missing some (and I’d be genuinely delighted to have some pointed out to me to be discussed further), but these provide a fairly workable base. Because from there we extrapolate out more things. (Also, let’s be clear, these are base assumptions I had before Pack Magic came into being, this tradition is be forged through experience, not through mental exercise).

So those bare bones out of the way, let’s move on to some more interesting extrapolations. If our souls can be more than one part, can be multifaceted, and people are having experiences saying it’s so, then it stands to reason that not all of us are entirely human. This is one of the starting points of Pack Magic. That some or all of a given person’s soul can be wolf (or coyote or dog or what have you). That if you’re called to this particular interaction with the divine that you have at least enough of that in you to engage with these spirits, with this system.

Cool, so that’s a LOT of words to set up a base, since we haven’t even asked any questions yet.

So what kinds of questions is Pack Magic (and I think this is true of most, if not all, religious systems) trying to answer? Simple ones really: What is the nature of the Divine? What is the Divine nature of the world and universe around us? How can we best interact with the Divine? How does this interaction and knowledge help us to know about ourselves? How does this interaction and knowledge help us to improve our lives and the lives of those around us? How does this inform our ethics? How do we make meaning of ourselves and our lives in light of the Divine? What does it mean to be human, to be close-to-human, to be ourselves?

Now, I don’t expect to have actual answers to these questions. Humans have been going round and round with these questions and find a multiplicity of answers for millenia. But asking these questions and seeking the answers to them is important.

Now, a lot of these questions, I just don’t have any kind of answers to right now. I just don’t. What *is* a human in Pack Magic? Fuck if I know. I aim to find out some day, but as of the writing of this, I don’t know. I don’t know what the soul matrix looks like in Pack Magic yet. I’ve got a few bits and pieces, but not enough to say much, and half of it is Mysteries that are not for public consumption. There’s a cosmology (which helps to answer questions about the nature of the Divine) and a Cosmogeny (which tells us a lot about the nature of the world), but I don’t quite see them yet. I see their outlines, their edges, but I don’t know what they look like just yet.

But (and thanks Sarenth for making me do this work you lovely bastard), in the writing of this blog post I think I stumbled on one of the more important bits of Pack Magic theology. There are parts and pieces that I can’t say, such is the nature of Mysteries, but what I can say is this: A major theme of Pack Magic theology is the Divine spark in all of us. This tells us something about a lot of these questions. The nature of the Divine, the nature of ourselves, how we interact with the Divine, the implications are massive in recognizing and emphasizing the Divine in each of us.

And further it speaks to our ethics, how we improve our own lives and the lives of those around us, and how we make meaning in our own lives.

Part of what we do, what the Divine in us and around us calls on us to do is to recognize and uplift the Divine in those we see around us. To be our best selves, and help others to recognize the best within themselves. A rising tide lifts all ships, and by being all that we can be, by striving to embody the Divine within ourselves we challenge everyone around us, everyone who sees us, to do the same in their own way. The strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. We lift others as we are lifted, and we are lifted as we lift others.

If this sounds as though it has drifted away from theology, it has not. How we relate to the Divine and to each other in light of the Divine is one of the primary questions of theology. Describing ethical relationships is not just a part of theology, but vital to it. Especially for Pack Magic, who’s central spirit is a god of living connection.

Patreon Rant: Forms of Pack Magic

If you’d like to request for me to rant on a topic, write prayers for an ancestor, spirit, or deity, or any of the other Work that I offer, please check out my Patreon, found here.

Sarenth requested that I rant on: “What are the most common forms of Pack Magic? Has that changed since Pack Magic’s inception, and if so, how? What forms of Pack Magic would you like to develop further?”

And as per usual, Sarenth throws me a fucking doozy of a question and then walks away grinning. At this point I might be better off just writing the damn book he’s basically pushing me towards and handing him an advanced copy.

There’s frankly a lot of ways I could handle this question. Unfortunately a lot of those would involve diving into topics that are mysteries. And we saw in my last post how I feel about that (hint: fucking don’t).

So I’m going to address a thing I don’t think I have in public yet:

Pack Magic isn’t just about wolves.

Yes, I was introduced to this whole thing through wolves. But it’s not just about wolves.

So, to address the question directly: Wolf is still the most common form of Pack Magic.

That hasn’t changed. But it is changing, at least to some degree.

So. WTF does that mean? Well. Simply put, wolves are not the only creatures that form packs, or that are part of The Pack as a spirit. That isn’t to say that every creature that operates in groups are part of this. I can say with some confidence that insect colonies, pods of whales, and hyena clans are not a part of Pack Magic or the spirit of The Pack. Now, this does not devalue them, make them less important, etc. An orca is no less beautiful for the fact it isn’t a wolf.

Now, I’d be lying if I understood how this works. Why are some beings a part of this, but others aren’t? It’s not something I can quantify. I can’t give you a flow chart. But here we are.

I can say with a great deal of confidence that wolves, dire wolves, coyotes, dingos, jackals, dogs, humans, and african wild dogs are all a part of this. Now, one of these things is not like the others, right.

Humans aren’t canine. But the history of human, wolves, and dogs goes back a long way. And I’m damn happy it does. If humans weren’t a part of the Pack, I wouldn’t get to be a part of Pack Magic.

Now, wtf does this have to do with forms of Pack Magic? Well. Each of these groups approaches things in a different way. A wolf and a dog necessarily approach life very differently. And what we’re beginning to see is that this isn’t just a perspective thing, but has potential cosmological implications. Pack Magic is about relationships, and Dog holds different relationships than Wolf does. Which means coming at this from the perspective of Dog means that the cosmology is just a bit different than it is for Wolf.
Same tradition, different form. And neither invalidates the other.

Getting back to the question at hand though, Wolf was the start of this thing. But others are being explored. I’ve been doing a lot of work on the interplay of Human, Dog, and Wolf lately (which will eventually turn into a myth or mythic cycle I think). And there’s work being done with Coyote and a bit with Jackal.

There’s of course other ways to look at this. Different practioners will have different focuses. A lot of my Work, especially lately, focuses on Hunt, Prey, and Silence. Hunt and Prey in the cycles of life, and Silence as Initiator. But…I wouldn’t call this a form of Pack Magic. Merely a a focus.

So. Onto the final part of the question. What forms would I like to see develop further?

All of them.

That’s true, but also a cop out answer.

I’d like to see the forms that I don’t do develop further. I want to see what Jackal and Dingo and Dire Wolf Pack Magic look like. I want someone to come at this tradition from an (almost) entirely Human perspective. I want to see the forms that won’t come through me, but that others will bring forward. I’m so excited for it.
I love this tradition. I love it with my whole being. And I’m so excited and proud to see where it is, and where it might go and what I know it can become.

Initiated Traditions, Closed Practices, and Keeping Your Fool Hands Off Shit That Isn’t Yours

So. Closed Practices, and initiatory only practices have come up a few times recently in ways that made me think I wanted to throw a blog post together. So here I am.

While a friend of mine was doing divination for me, it came out that a particular group of Ancestors from Pack Magic were the ones delivering this particular message. And when I went to explain a bit about who They were for context (this particular group is a bit off from Heathen Cosmology) and he stopped me. “These are mysteries. I don’t need to know.” And he was right. There are mysteries in this tradition. Things that outsiders are not permitted to do or even to know.

And some days later I was chatting with some other friends, one of whom is initiated into a different closed folk tradition. And he was talking about how he often has people trying to claim parts of that practice, and when he tells them “please don’t, these spirits will hurt you” that they get mad and call him a gatekeeper.

And you know what? Gates are there for a fucking reason. Gatekeepers are fucking important.

Cause guess what? Those spirits may well fuck your shit up entirely if you go poking your nose in places it doesn’t belong.

Let me elaborate. Let’s say that you walk into Pack Magic and aren’t initiated and try to just start doing the thing. You may end up effectively walking into a wolf den smelling like food. That’s a good way to get eaten.

But let’s say you walk in and you don’t smell like food. Let’s say you manage to somehow fake your way into it and not get eaten. Let’s say that all of these spirits allow you to practice a thing you don’t know how to do. You might get saddled with responsibilities. Responsibilities you don’t have the ability and support to actually shoulder. And you might drown under that weight with nothing and no one to save you.

Does this post sound dark? Does it sound bad and not fun?

Good. It should.

Don’t fucking touch things that aren’t yours. This is for your own safety.

I once saw a child, literally 15, go on reddit claiming to be a Seer after having been practicing paganism for less than 2 months. And the issue at hand isn’t really if people don’t believe them and mock them or attack them for it.

The issue is that some people believed them. And they spoke to these people as if speaking for the gods. And these people took what they said and believed it was actually a message from the divine and not a 15 year old kid with delusions of grandeur.

I don’t know how to put into words the potential cosmological feedback that is possible from these choices. I don’t rightly know how to explain the weight of responsibility that actions like these can place upon you.

It is liable to go badly if you try to enter a closed practice without permission and the spirits choose to fuck you up instead. If no one believes you and you get attacked and or ridiculed for it. But.

It may be far, FAR worse if that doesn’t happen. If people believe you and you start taking actions and shouldering responsibility for those actions when you don’t know what that responsibility is or what the consequences could be.

Patreon Rant: Pack Magic The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Part 3

If you’d like to request for me to rant on a topic, write prayers for an ancestor, spirit, or deity, or any of the other Work that I offer, please check out my Patreon, found here.

Sarenth requested that I rant on: “What are the limits to Pack Magic? What are the things it does really well? What are the things it does really poorly? Feel free to rant on this all at once, or you can split each question up into its own rant for the next few months if you feel that’s the way to go.”

This is part 3 of this Rant. For part 1 please go here.  For part 2 please go here.

So. This part of the Rant is about things that I see coming down the line for Pack Magic.  Obviously, or maybe not obviously but obvious to me, this is the hardest piece to write, because 1. I can’t tell the future and 2. I’m very often surprised by the turns this path takes. So what I see coming may be here tomorrow, may be here in a decade, or may never come.

Anyway, getting into it.

Divination: I got into this a bit in the last post in the series. Divination is important. It opens a clear (ideally) line of communication between us and the Holy Powers. Done well it removes confusion,  gives direction and comfort and advice on how to best proceed. There’s 1001 ways to do Divination, but none of them are specific and native to Pack Magic.

Of all the things on this list, I am most sure of this one. I don’t yet know exactly the form it might take, but I’m quite sure this hole will get filled sooner than later, and possibly in several ways (for example there may be both a sortilage and oracular version of divination in Pack Magic).

Mythology and Cosmology: These two go hand in hand really. I talked about this in the last post too.

In a lot of ways this is the biggest thing coming down the line. As more Cosmology is explored, as mythology is received and discovered and written, the tradition slowly moves into its own, and our relationship with these gods and spirits strengthens, deepens, and grows.

There are absolutely traditions that exist with little or no extant mythology. Some of these traditions will choose to write new myths and some will not. I make no judgements either way. But for Pack Magic,  exploring the Cosmology and writing myth to explore and share some of these stories is part of the process.

From there things get a lot less categorical. As we gain more experience,  as more initiations are completed, as rituals are done, and Cosmology is explored, who knows what we’ll learn?

Part of it is literally just us growing and learning and hitting new problems and dealing with them in real time.

Anyway, despite the relatively short rant this go round, that’s the main things I see coming down the line for Pack Magic at the moment. I mean, that might change by next week, but thats the nature of this particular beast. It’s a wild ride, and I couldn’t be happier to be part of it.

I Miss You Desperately

I miss you.

Half remembered stories and fleeting images tease my mind and pull my heartstrings.
I smell you though you’re not around.

Memories of days spent running and nights spent fucking. Hunts and laughter and fights that shook mountains with our rage.

I remember you such that you filled my stories long before I recalled your name, I sought you in my sleep.

You are joy and passion and bitter sorrow on my tongue at our parting and fiercest love when we meet again.

I miss you desperately in ways this mortal flesh warps itself trying to contain.

More Than Human? Or Different Than Human? A Probably Pointless, Rambling Response

So Snow posted a great piece about relationships with the divine, and especially with wights, or non-god spirits. I’m not explaining this super well so just read their post here.

A point they made several times was that Wights are “more than human”.

And I have… Thoughts on this.

Because while I definitely agree with the sentiment that trying to categorize the divine is often a pointless and futile effort, the dual points that “if it can noun, it can wight” and “wights are more than human” don’t line up.

The baseline assumption of animism is that everything is at least potentially ensouled. That a fruit fly and a grain of sand and a human and a dog and an Ancestor and a god all share at least this much in common.

Which is why I don’t think that “wights are greater than human” works.

For one thing, humans are wights. But beyond that, and more accurately as I know Snow was talking mostly about non-human wights, that would be saying a fruit fly is greater than human. And while I don’t necessarily think a fruit fly is less than human, I certainly can’t get behind the idea that they are greater than human.

Perhaps you’re thinking that the difference is whether or not the wight in question has a body? After all, Ancestors are rightly worshipped and they’re humans with no body.

And I might grant you this, except *gestures at the sun and moon and earth*. We worship corporeal or embodied gods all the time.

So what’s the difference?

Fuck if I know. I’m just some jerk with a keyboard.

Do I think it’s possible to worship a fruit fly? Idk. Maybe. I think you’d have better luck with Fruit Fly the big, grandparent spirit. And I’m not sure why you’d want to. But I’m not you and I’m not going to say you’re wrong for doing so.

If it can noun it can wight. And not all wights are equal.

But I don’t like the idea that humans are inherently inferior to everything else. That just strikes me as Original Sin with extra steps, and I find the theology of Original Sin to be… problematic at best.

Obviously I don’t have to enjoy a fact for it to be true, but I don’t think this one holds up well.

So. Where does that leave us? I’m not sure. Worshipping our gods and spirits is a good start. And defining things as we go is kind of how humans have always worked and I’m cool with that.

Patreon Rant: Pack Magic, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Part 2

If you’d like to request for me to rant on a topic, write prayers for an ancestor, spirit, or deity, or any of the other Work that I offer, please check out my Patreon, found here.

Sarenth requested that I rant on: “What are the limits to Pack Magic? What are the things it does really well? What are the things it does really poorly? Feel free to rant on this all at once, or you can split each question up into its own rant for the next few months if you feel that’s the way to go.”

This is part 2 of this Rant. Part 1 covered what Pack Magic is good at. Part 2 will be about what Pack Magic isn’t so good at yet, what it’s limitations and weaknesses are.

This is a hard topic for me to write on. I’m bad at doing things I’m not immediately good at, and I’m often really bad at seeing my own weaknesses and blindspots.

That said, there’s stuff Pack Magic isn’t good at or is just flat out missing at the moment.

Starting off small: Pack Magic isn’t particularly good at showmanship. Some traditions are great at this. Ceremonial Magic is basically built around being fancy and extra as fuck. Pack Magic just…isn’t. If you don’t get it, or if you’re used to traditions with a lot of ceremony and showmanship, Pack Magic might be really hard for you. Pack Magic is also a mostly empty-handed tradition. There’s not a lot in the way of physical stuff to the tradition. Pack Magic is really straight forward. Do the thing. Get it done. Need help? Bring friends. A lot of Pack Magic is about being which makes it not great at getting folks who need help getting into the right mindset into the right mindset. Showmanship is sometimes a bad thing, and I personally really appreciate how direct this tradition is. But genuinely this is a thing that Pack Magic doesn’t do well.

Next up, Divination: This is one of the most glaring weaknesses/holes in Pack Magic at the moment. Pack Magic doesn’t have an inherent divination system. Not every tradition will necessarily have one, and there are plenty of divination systems that work in the meantime (I have a relationship with the Runevaettir for example). But all the same, this is a hole in the tradition, a weakness, something Pack Magic can’t yet do.

Now. I’m not being entirely fair here. There is a budding oracular practice in Pack Magic, but 1. It involves possession work and therefore I’m not comfortable going into it in detail publicly and 2. It’s not really developed and is highly specialized so it doesn’t fill the broadly accessible role that divination does in my mind.

The next and last one is kind of nebulous by it’s nature. And it stems from the fact that Pack Magic is still so NEW. For the sake of clarity I’m going to break it down into two things that strike me as issues.

1. Inexperience. Kids aren’t dumb. I mean, they kind of are but that’s a physiology thing with brain development. But that aside, kids aren’t dumb. At least not any dumber than adults. Despite the failings of Orson Scott Card as a person, Ender’s Game displayed this really well. Kids aren’t dumb, they’re inexperienced. There’s a difference. And that is very much the case with Pack Magic. It’s not that Pack Magic can’t do X or Y things, it’s that we haven’t run into that yet so we don’t know how to handle it. And it might not work the first or second times we do. It takes time and experience to learn. We don’t yet know all the ways this system is powerful, or how it might be applied. And the only fix for this is time, trial, and error.

2. This is kind of an expansion on 1, but cosmology. Cosmology in Pack Magic is still being actively discovered. Myths are being written, understanding of World and relationships is slow and oftentimes difficult work. And that presents a lot of challenges. Everything from making offerings to negotiating with spirits to spirit identification gets much harder when most of your cosmology is still being discovered. It’s not that these things are impossible. Just harder. And discernment and caution become all the more important because we’re swimming these murky waters.

Now I’m certain there’s things I’m missing, see my comments about blind spots.

An argument could be made that the small size of Pack Magic right now is a weakness, less members meaning a smaller support network, though I tend to not think of it that way.

Regardless these are the weaknesses of Pack Magic as I see them. Lots for me to think about.

Patreon Rant: Pack Magic. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Part 1

If you’d like to request for me to rant on a topic, write prayers for an ancestor, spirit, or deity, or any of the other Work that I offer, please check out my Patreon, found here.

Sarenth requested that I rant on: “What are the limits to Pack Magic? What are the things it does really well? What are the things it does really poorly? Feel free to rant on this all at once, or you can split each question up into its own rant for the next few months if you feel that’s the way to go.”

Soooo….this is gonna be a big topic. I’m gonna break this up into at least 2, probably 3 posts. It might be one per month, it might all be this month. I’m not sure yet. Such is the nature of the rant.

Also. Sarenth. You’re a bastard like your Father and I love you. Thank you for this question. Also you really like making me work.

So. This question covers…a lot. And I think it’s best to cover like so: What Pack Magic is good at now, what Pack Magic is bad at or missing right now, and what I think will be coming down the line that might affect that.

As of the writing of this, there are 2 people who are initiated into this system. There’s several others who are in process, but have not finished the process yet. So, in a very real way the answer to this question is going to be colored by the skill sets and affinities of the people who have and are initiating. It’s a system that is still in its infancy. There’s power here, and depths yet to plumb, but there’s so much yet to explore. I want to come back to this topic in a year, in 5 years, in 10 years. Because change will have come by then, and I have little idea what that might look like yet.

So preamble done, let’s jump into what Pack Magic does really well:

As the name might suggest, Pack Magic does magic pretty well. Now, for a good breakdown of various kinds of spiritual specialty, please check out Sarenth’s post here. Now, I might have a quibble or six over some stuff in that post (though I think that’s largely because it’s an overview and there’s always issues with an overview), I think it’s quite good. And one of the specialities Sarenth defines is Operant, a person who does magic or fucks with reality to accomplish various goals. And this is a thing Pack Magic does pretty damn well. Now, I’ll grant you that a lot of this still needs to be explored and is definitely still being actively worked on, but I’m pretty confident in saying that as a magic system, Pack Magic works pretty damn well.

Breaking this down a bit further, Magic is often broken down into several categories. The basics categories as I see them are blessing, healing and prosperity magic, aggressive and defensive magic, and information gathering. Now, arguably that last one doesn’t fit the definition that well, but I’m gonna run with it for now.

Now I cannot go into full details about everything, for a number of reasons, but I’ve been exploring most of these areas using Pack Magic, and this is what I’ve found so far:

Aggressive and defensive magic come pretty naturally and easily in this system. This should not be very surprising. Wolves are predators and are territorial to boot. I will say though, that the defnsive magic tends to not be like “walls” or passive defenses and more what I would term active defenses. Though, that’s not entirely accurate. There’s plenty of more passive defenses, but they don’t tend to be what my human brain thinks of as defenses, and I don’t think about them actively, so they sometimes slip my mind. Things like territory markers, warning signs, etc. Things that say to unwelcome guests “come uninvited and you’re liable to get eaten.” And then there’s the active defenses, which are myself and spirit allies backing up those claims by eating intruders. Of course, no defense is perfect, and sometimes shit goes wrong. But overall, for keeping a space safe and clear of intruders and unwanted influence, when used appropriately Pack Magic does a damn good job. As for aggressive magic…that’s not getting described in any detail on the internet. You’ll have to deal.

Now as for blessing, healing, and prospertity magic. This is an area I’ve explored less, but what has been explored has been, I think, rather effective. A lot of this magic tends to focus on helping to give a person the tools they need to do the things they want, or about healing spiritual wounds that prevent them from achieving their goals. One example has been a Senses Opening Blessing. Basically opening up a person’s senses one at a time, clearing out blockages, opening their eyes, clearing out their nose and ears and mouth. This contains elements of both cleansing and blessing, giving people back their powers of perception that might have been lost or clouded for various reasons. I’ve had people report that their physical senses were temporarily heightened afterwards, especially their sense of smell, after this. As with all magic, this isn’t likely to perform miracles or completely change your life overnight. You still have to do the work. Again, blessings like this are about giving you the tools to get things done, not doing them for you. I’ve made some experiments of bringing prosperity directly to people, but that has been less successful it seems. Perhaps a matter of chance, perhaps a matter of my own lack of skill or experience, and perhaps just a weakness of the system, time will tell.

Then you’ve got information gathering. I’m going to save a lot of this for the second and third posts in this series, because divination is an area being actively worked on, and not something I would call a strength of this system yet. Though I will say that journey work seems to be a strength of this system. It may be a matter of sample bias, but then, it might not be. Canids in general are pursuit hunters, built by evolution to travel long distances at speed. It’s not very surprising to me that Pack Magic as a system might be a system that features a lot of journey work. But I do want to save most of the breakdown of this for the next 2 posts, where I think this mostly belongs.

In a way you might accurately describe a lot of the magic of this system as personal metaphysical empowerment of various kinds. And I think that’s genuinely one of the great strengths of this system, empowering people to be who they are and who they want to be. But the key strength of the system, the place where it shines brightest and the source of that strength and power, is in community. In Pack.

This also shouldn’t be surprising. It’s called Pack Magic after all. Not Wolf Magic, not Hunt Magic. Pack Magic (I do think it might be time for the name of this tradition to change to more accurately describe it, but that’s a topic for later).

Most of the strength of this system lies not in what I would call magic, but rather in what I would term spirit work.

I had a discussion at one point with a practitioner of more “traditional” type witchcraft, and while it was a wonderful discussion one of the points of contention was that there’s no real point in Pack Magic in casting a circle. Casting a circle is a perfectly valid thing, and a major part, even a necessary step, for many traditions, but it just doesn’t make a lot of sense in Pack Magic. Because Pack Magic is pretty much always relational. To my understanding casting a circle serves 2 purposes, to serve as a boundary and ward, and to act as a container for the power being used before it can be released to purpose. Which all makes perfect sense in a human-centric system. And you could probably make a case for casting a circle in Pack Magic. Hell, thinking about it now, I could probably make it work. But there’s little point. When Pack comes together, we are the boundary. We keep ourselves and each other safe. We are the ward and the enforcement of it. I’ve seen what happens to things that decide to stick their noses into Pack rituals. It doesn’t tend to be a thing they enjoy. And in the same vein, we are the container, we are the drive and purpose of the power being raised. Say for example that the power of a ritual is too much for a mortal body to comfortably hold; this what Pack is for, to help you carry that weight. Wolves don’t hunt alone (this isn’t strictly true, there are examples of wolves hunting alone but those are pretty much always matters of necessity and not by choice).

This…relational quality of Pack Magic is also apparent in the number of gods and spirits that started coming out of the woodwork immediately. Including gods without an apparent wolf or canine association. Freyja and Freyr are prime examples of this in my practice. In my final initiation into Pack Magic, Freyja and Freyr, two gods with no extant wolf associations in the lore (to my knowledge), played integral roles in initiating me. Despite not being an apparent part of the system, both of them undoubtedly ARE (there’s reasons for that, and those will also possibly get explored in a later post). And it’s these kinds of connections that are truly the strength of this system. Indeed, this is integral to the nature of Pack itself, in many ways Pack is the spirit of these connections.

And much of the healing and empowerment, personal emotional and metaphysical, of this system comes from the renewal, reforging, and beginning of these connections. What is more healing than coming home, and finding that there is family, Pack, waiting there to welcome you? Of course, it’s not always that easy. There are complications, trials and tribulations. But when aren’t there with people we love?

This is of course not to say that connectivity is unique to Pack Magic. That would be ludicrous. Merely to say that connectivity is Pack Magic’s strong suite.

Part of this is the fact that Pack Magic is not founded in any established tradition. It’s not directly beholden to any particular human culture, and intentionally so (I’m going to elaborate on this more in the next two posts. This is both strenghth, weakness, and a point of active work and expansion.) Part of this is because of the nature of the Pack as a being. For what is Pack but the spirit of the bonds in, among, and between?

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