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Before getting to the practicals, an explanation — and a disclaimer: There are any number of people in the occult, magical, spiritual, New Age, and New Thought economy of today claiming instant or at least easy relief from anxiety, depression, and other characteristic mental, emotional, and neurological maladies of our age. This is not that. I have my own hypotheses about what these things are and how they interact — how the mental, emotional, and neurological arise from, descend into, and mutually support one another. This is not the place to discuss that in any depth, but it bears mentioning that while I am far from being a materialist, I am also not an idealist: mental and physical states are both real on their own terms, and not only can but perpetually do cause and change one another. To put that into usable terms for present purposes, the mind can change the brain at least as well as the brain can change the mind.

The claim I make for the magical material which follows is this: it worked for me. Like, a lot. It isn’t the only thing I did, but I did it during a very deep depression and it brought me out of it with some significant insights into the nature of my own depressive experiences. For relevant history, I have been diagnosed with depression but have never been medicated for it and have preferred to find ways to avoid medication. I hold no judgment for or against those who are or have been so medicated, and the following is not intended to be a direct alternative to any sort of treatment as much as it is another tool to have in the utility belt. Depression, after all, is rarely one thing or even one kind of thing; it is a host of events in and out of the brain which roil together to form a set of subjective experiences which we categorize with the word “depression”. The usual legal boilerplate of “talk to your doctor, counselor, etc., etc.” applies here.

While a large discussion, it is also worth mentioning here that sadness and even depression are natural; there is nothing inherently “wrong” with either of them. From the perspective of Yoga, they are just more vrttis, mere perturbations in the substance of the mind, and are not essential to our being. The purpose of the below practices is not to flatten out experience, but to expand it. Depression is itself a flattening-out of experience; it is well, then, if we learn to consider happiness not as an unchanging state to which we aspire nor as a delusional or unrealistic view of life’s ups and downs, but as a broadening, deepening, and all-round expanding of experience and of healthy activity in the mind in the midst of those very ups and downs. It is for this reason that we invoke Jupiter in the work below; astrologically, Jupiter rules all sweet things as well as expansion and lightening.

I call these simple spells a “layered” approach because while each one may be of help separately (and they may be used separately as “maintenance”), they have a cumulative impact when used one after the other, either all at once or spread out over a week or so. I will place them below in the order in which I suggest using them as a total protocol; they build best this way, moving from “first aid” to long-term impact.

Again, this is how I have used these spells and made notes on their short- and long-term effects. If you choose to experiment with them, I welcome field notes.

Daily Habits: If you do not already have a regular program of moderate physical exercise, time spent out of doors in natural environs, and both mental and physical relaxation, I suggest incorporating such habits as soon as possible. The key, though, is to ensure that these do not become further sources of stress; don’t try to add them all at once, but incorporate one or another of them as you can, establishing it as your new “normal” before concerning yourself with the rest.

Jupiter Oil: There are a variety of possible recipes for many purposes related to the planet Jupiter. If you prefer, purchase Jupiter or Prosperity Oil from a trusted producer of magical wares. If you wish to make your own for present purposes, a simple recipe is benzoin and allspice steeped in sesame oil, adding all ingredients together in a canning jar in the day and hour of Jupiter or during a good Jupiter election, then “birthed” on such a time at least 1 week later (ideally at least 40 days later).

Purification Baths: Whether as a soaking bath or a standing bath, use some sort of purifying bath at least three days in a row. A simple mixture of salt, Epsom salt, and baking soda makes a good choice. Any simple prayer or mantra of purification, healing, and alignment is good for activating the bath; sincerity is more important than fancy words. My prayer for this and everything following was something like, “I am drained of sadness and despair, filled with happiness and purpose, with the wisdom to see missteps before they arise, and with prosperity within and without.”

Ganapati Candle: Draw the yantra pictured below on a fireproof surface, etch it onto copper plate, or draw it on paper to be placed below a fireproof surface. Dress a white 7-day candle with Jupiter Oil, frankincense, marjoram, cinnamon, and allspice. Place the candle over the yantra (on a fireproof surface as appropriate to your set-up). Activate the dressed candle with the mantra Om Gam Ganapataye Namah, then light it and pray for relief and lightening in your body and mind. Allow the candle to burn down (safely!).2019-11_Ganapati_Yantra_1-18.eps

Lightening Bath: Make a very strong tea of bay leaf, marjoram, and frankincense. Once steeped, add a drop or two of Florida Water (or a favorite cologne or perfume with good associations for you). Allow this to cool to a safe temperature. Stand in your shower or bathtub and massage your body, from the crown of your head down with especial attention paid to the back of the neck, the middle of the chest, the solar plexus, and the lower back, with wildflower or orange flower honey. Take a warm shower to rinse the honey from your hair and skin. Turn the water off and pour the now-cool tea over your head, neck, and shoulders, allowing it to flow over as much of your body as possible. As you conduct all of the above, from brewing the tea to pouring it over yourself, pray to be lightened in body and mind and relieved of your depression. Allow yourself to air dry before getting dressed. Do not towel off! If you must, you may wear a bathrobe or the like, but try to allow the tea to dry on your skin as much as you can. This is best done in the evening so that you can sleep with the dried tea on you, showering if necessary the following morning.

Jupiter Offerings: Make offerings to Lord Brhaspati (Jupiter). Sweet foods may be offered to food banks, or money donated to them, in the name of Brhaspati. Frankincense and/or sandalwood and candles dressed in Jupiter Oil may be burned as offerings in the home. The Jupiter mantra Om Brm Brhaspataye Namah may be chanted when making these offerings, ideally on a Thursday in the hour of Jupiter though this is not essential. Consider making such offerings a weekly or monthly habit.

Tea: Periodically enjoy a cup of marjoram and frankincense tea sweetened with wildflower or orange blossom tea. (If the flavors of marjoram and/or frankincense are too strong for you, consider using less of them in a mix with your favorite tea, especially a masala chai blend or chamomile.

Much of the preceding can be expanded upon and deepened in a variety of ways. Those with a deep knowledge of astrology, for instance, may take advantage of Jovian astrological elections, while an herbalist can produce yet more nuanced teas and baths. These methods are intended as suggestions and an overall guide to applying such nested magical technologies. As I said before, field notes are appreciated as they may be of aid to someone else.