Disclaimer: The Moth Mage is not responsible for the effects that may occur when such practices are utilized. By reading this post, you hereby agree to this.
It has come to our attention recently that some individuals have a hard time understanding the function of these tools, and often confuse them for secret, initiation-barred practices. The reality of it, is that the funerary service often given to the departed in the Western world is actually a potent magical tool- from the funeral itself down to the most iconic symbols of death, magic can be found in every aspect of life- even its end.
It is these objects which I will clarify.
We will “work our way up” in this post, quite literally- from the coffin, to the gravestone, to the funeral itself.
As most of you are likely aware, coffins function as final resting places for the departed. Their color, size, and shape is less important than this function for magical purposes, although the aforementioned qualities do effect the magic one can work with it. Coffins have three primary magical functions-
- Attracting Spirits
- Paying Spirits
Now, let’s work our way down. “Cages” sounds simplistic, and depending on the complexity of the task, it can be. In order to cage an entity in a coffin, first, the outer parts must be appealing for the entity. Usually, this is determined by the esoteric resonance of the entity (i.e. orange for mercurial entities, gray for brain-parasites, etc.), often combined with sigils of the entity’s superior, depictions of its favorite offerings or pleasures, and so on. This is the “bait” portion of the cage. The key here is that the entity must feel like they must come closer. Play the outer portion to the specific entity’s quirks.
From here, you will want to play the insides again to the specifics of the entity in question. For example, if dealing with a malevolent fire entity that hates dogs, you will want to attempt to bring in Anubis or a similarly opposite-poled entity. If you have a wild marid on your hands, you will want to charge the insides with sigils and depictions of pig-headed, or close to that, entities. If you’re finding a connection, this is because the inside of the coffin should be designed to run exactly counter to the entity itself- it works by making all of the energy of the being, and the inside of the coffin, “neutral”. Note that this is not what always happens, and if including spirits in the place of energies, be sure they understand that you are attempting to bind, suppress, or otherwise remove the spirit. It is suggested that, if possible, all potential targets of the hostile intelligence be removed from the location you intend to set a Coffin up in. It is additionally suggested that you leave a manifestation base, if the spirit is conducive to such (with no attachments to you or the victims), in order to send it a stronger signal. Should the method of neutralizing the energies prove ineffective, or inadvisable, attempt to confuse them by creating mazes all over the inside of the coffin- unsolvable, connecting ones.
Remember: for this, keep the coffin closed.
Moving on, the coffins we sell here at The Moth Mage, are a mixture of types two and three- attracting and paying spirits. We’ll go over both now.
The outer portion of the coffin should follow a similar design process as in part one- the coffin should be appetizing or otherwise appealing to the entity or entities. This includes their sigils, and the sigils of their familial entities or their superiors.
The inner portion, however, should be designed to condense and intensify the energy of what is contained inside. This can be done by applying concentric circular sigils charged with intent to those ends, on the entire interior, or by charging the very coffin as an offering, from which you can dispose of it as the creature desires. Additionally, offerings you know the entity likes, or “general” offerings such as rum, sweet tobacco, chilled water, and so on. Leave the coffin closed if possible, but if signs say to leave it open, that is a possibility.
The key difference between attracting and paying entities is in why the offerings are out.
When attracting spirits, you “stand guard”- not in a hostile way, but in a ritualistic one. What matters isn’t protecting the coffin, it is using these offerings in order to draw entities. Usually, this means you should include manifestation bases as or along with your offerings- and even a petition for what you want the entities to do in exchange for these gifts. Be careful with this, when not targeting a specific entity or breed of such, as tricksters are very real and could easily appear and rob you of your offerings, without performing the desired task. The reason you offer to the intelligences before, and even after, the exchange is commenced is to get their attention- do you think a god will look at a pauper, first, or someone who shows them that they have what the deity wants? Spirits of compassion and charity aside, incentives are key to getting willing workers. Pacts work in place of petitions, as well. The point is that they take the offerings in return for a service.
Whereas, with just paying them, you can leave the coffin open, with the offerings, make an invocation to the proper entities and leave it running for 24 hours, before disposing of the offerings.
However, these only apply to one kind of work.
The coffins provided by we here at The Moth Mage are specific to the departed, whether they be human, animal, or otherwise. These can be reused to many ends, assuming that they are not required to function as a cage. Our coffins are worked in additional, deeper ways that will not be elaborated upon here.
Gravestones are magically very interesting tools, as they function similarly to death certificates in the spiritual realms, but contain stronger magic. This may be attributed to the frequent use of such in the past few hundred years, and its symbolic properties. The gravestone has two primary ways it can be used- focused on a specific individual, or acting in place of the force of death itself.
A gravestone- or even a mock variant- can be used in healing and destruction rituals alike. When focusing the powers of death onto a specific individual, you will either want to draw them a magically-charged gravestone, should they be alive, or have a photograph of their gravestone, or the place which it used to occupy (so long as the body remains underneath).
On living targets, the depiction of the gravestone should contain a link to the target. If they already have a gravestone, attach a picture of it to their link and proceed with the following methods. Whether this means you etch it onto a photograph of them or roll a lock of their hair into the drawing (as one would roll up a newspaper), a link- in addition to their full name on the top of the stone itself- is virtually necessary in order to make this method work. When the image is successfully drawn and rolled, you will want to tie it with a string that corresponds to the color of the work you are performing- green for healing, black for bane, etc.
The type of magical work you are attempting will determine the next step in the process. For restorative work, you should proceed by bringing in whichever healing spirits you desire, and write the disease, habit, or other impurity you are attempting to cure, over the name of the individual. From here, you will want to write both the name and the targeted facet twice more, stacked beneath the first crossed-names. Do this so that the impurity is written on top of the name of the person. Invoke the spirits you have selected, and destroy the image of the gravestone so that the image is broken and ripped. This is very important- do not burn it. Whereas destroying the image, if created as described, will target the issue within the certain person, burning it will transmit the issue.
Which is exactly what is to be done for baneful work, without the flaw of the individual (unless you are attempting to transmit anything except bane to them). The ritual should be structured similarly, merely with the correct corresponding entities and energies, evoked and invoked. The primary method of delivery in this case is the ritual burning of, and visualization of the subsequent funeral (energetic and physical) of, the target.
When working with the dead, you may substitute their individual sigils for images of their gravestones. If possible, working with their physical gravestone, such as leaving the appropriate offerings and petitions, should be substituted for a photograph of it. You get out what you put in. For the departed, these are often the strongest links outside of a piece of the cadaver itself (which is not advised, legality of such aside, some don’t like their bodies disturbed). This area of work has received much attention from other sources, however, so this is the extent of which we will cover the dead and their graves.
The symbolic resonance of the gravestone is easy enough to spot, so we will give a brief examination of the topic. Whereas a skeleton is an individual, a coffin a bed or chest, and a reaper the process of dying, gravestones stand as testaments of death. What we mean by this, is that a gravestone is connected to elemental earth (which death is connected to) through the use of stone- it’s in the name, after all. As they are placed above the resting place of the corpse, they mark to the world where this individual has died, as it is a long-standing beacon that informs the world “this one died”. Oftentimes this includes their life span, cause of death, and sometimes a message from the departed’s family. All of these factors anchor into the spirit realms, especially with the consistent use of such by our species, and are magically workable even without a charge. This resonance has not reached a deep enough level for even images of gravestones to possess links to death, which is why we have advised to charge the images for living targets.
And, speaking of a deeper level of resonance…
Funerary services have been a part of mankind’s relationship with death since the beginning of civilization. Even chimps have funerals for their dead. The outer style of the funeral, while tangentially related to the act itself, holds little power in and of itself. What makes funerals so ritually potent is the attention of the participants- paying respects, crying, focusing on the deeds of the departed- funerals bring through power by making people see death for a time.
Physical differences aside, the primary mechanic of gravestones in comparison to funerals is who’s attention is being grabbed. In the case of gravestones, it is elementally resonant and can attract other shades of the departed, should they be present in the area. Often, this layer of power is enough to get most jobs esoterically relevant done.
But, sometimes, there are hard targets.
Putting on a funeral for a living person, even without magical intent behind it, is often enough to cause some sort of damage in their life. The action itself resonates in the patterns of our species, as it has been ingrained in us for some time, and can affect a properly identified individual even when the opposite intent is magnified. Such is the strength of funerals.
A magical funeral is even more potent.
In order to properly identify the target, one must possess links to them. A fragment of their soul in an object, works as well as some of their bodily fluids. This can be placed in a coffin or even an urn. From there, the ritual consecration of the “remains” and subsequent surrender to the powers of death completes the act in a magically resonant way, which increases the strength of the spell.
Unopposed, performed correctly, results will manifest.
There are always individuals which tend to confuse sorcery for tradition, and spilled secrets for similar machines. The truth of the matter is that both directions of misunderstanding happen, and while the tools we have finished describing do have their own properties, there exist other legitimate ways to utilize them as well. With experimentation and innovation, one can find a myriad of other uses for these machines, either traditional in scope or completely new.
The only boundary, is your imagination.