I’m still intending to wait until the end of the year to make any Official How-To Posts involving the Outlaw Dead and my work with them; but I just figured out that this part of the ritual is a time-sensitive, and thought hey, the first day of March is a good day to post this; after all, spring is all about getting rid of winter and welcoming new life.
Please read all the way to the end before doing any magic inspired by this post. There’s Symbolism and Myths and shit I wish I had known before I agreed to this…I can’t honestly say it would’ve stopped me, but it might’ve saved me some time and unnecessary pain.
I never expected to actually have any spirit guests for more than a few hours, much less the number I ended up getting, which seems to be easily in the hundreds. It took me several weeks to realize I was haunted at all, and having never done any spirit work on this scale, I didn’t have any idea what to do about it. Back in the day, I always just went around saying cryptic Bible verses and otherwise doing my own vague horror movie/Wikipedia-influenced idea of what an “exorcism” is, as a weird stealth-mode execration of any negative spirits or intent, wherever I lived. It was the only way to get Christians to allow any cleansing, grounding, or sanctification to take place in their homes without suspecting the Devil was really behind it, because something something witchcraft something Catholics are Satan somehow something something, and then I would have to deal with Actual Demons and Actual Satan that they would summon with their goddamn religious paranoia (incidentally requiring a net gain of way more witchcraft from me) in order to keep their little Christian house in order, and well…. it was just a bad time all-around, let’s leave it at that. With the Outlaw Dead, I ended up having to condense them into anchors, and then organize the anchors into factions.
I wasn’t, and am still not, and refuse to attempt to be, prepared to run a hospital or a guidance counselor’s office. I made it clear I was running a hotel, and I was only running it until the Outlaw Dead saw fit to move it. They seemed cool with that; Outlaws like to roam and make their own decisions. Every couple of days they would bother me and instruct me through tarot to give them jobs; too much inert energy built up, it had to be released somehow. I gave them whatever jobs I could think of; some helping the planet, some helping other Outlaws, some helping random people I’d never met, and a hell of a lot helping me.
I got the quickest results I have ever seen, from offering to and petitioning the Outlaw Dead and Set specifically. As I type this, I’m pretty sure I’m still getting results; although I do intend to offer to Wepwawet tonight, in hopes of getting hired at a specific, convenient location. But, the fact remains that staying in a liminal space for as long as I have, is dangerous. I remembered that other people had done this ritual with me, or similar rituals elsewhere similar to this one. I decided that I’ve got to let people know how to shut this shit off, or at least how I did it, ASAP. I refuse to give anyone involved in this ritual free reign to meddle about in other people’s lives without their full, informed consent. Several gods who got involved with this ritual after I did it were not pleased with that decision, but I am going through with it anyways. My priority is still the life and well-being of myself and my human family, not any god or otherworldly spirit. Gods are welcome to help, especially if they’re keeping me from running full speed off a cliff…but it seems that most of the gods involved have been doing a hell of a lot more than innocently “helping” me, so…Cest la vie. This is why you shouldn’t get involved in witchcraft or spirit work if you refuse to accept that gods may not have your best interests in mind, and are prepared to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from their schemes.
I was told to just allow the magic around me to run its due course. I did so, until, around the end of February, when I realized “going with the flow” had become a threat not only to me, but to those around me. It was time to start swimming. And before I could swim, I had to cut ties to my life preserver, or anything around me that made me think, on any level, that I had a life preserver. (In the same way that no one is more tightly bound than those who falsely believe they are free, no one is in more danger than the person who falsely believes that they are safe.) I wouldn’t be able to go in any direction that I actually wanted to go in, if I still believed I could just go limp and arrive somewhere safe; and so, I began execrating anything that looked like a life preserver, or like it might be attached to a life preserver.
I learned as a lifeguard that most people can swim much farther than they think they can, for days at a time, even; the trick is not to panic and to know how to float when you’re tired. And if you’re the type who jumps into the deep end to save other people, the trick is to remember that one victim is better than two victims, and know when it’s time to kick the drowning person off of you and save yourself. So yeah, I knew it would hurt, but I was surprised how much. I knew I would need time to recover, but I was surprised at what I could get done while recovering. And I knew it would be difficult to purge my life of the wolves in shepherd’s clothing, but I was surprised how easy it was during the process itself -after the first blow, almost painless, in fact. The goal at this point is to release all of the built up energy, as painlessly as possible, without causing yourself a bunch of unnecessary grief over the things that deserve to die.
I’m going to let most of the leftover energy get consumed by the Outlaw Dead and channeled into jobs for me and the living Outlaws. I’ll let some of it slowly exhale into the world around me (through Set, Artemis, Pan, and the Outlaw Dead) as I go about my daily, mundane, human routine. I’ve designed my wards in such a way that they are fed by the natural energy around me, from solar power to electric power to magical power. I change the particulars of them every couple of months, as soon as I start to get uncertain feelings that things are eerie for no good reason. I’ve assigned a few of the OD to keep track of my wards for me; to rebuild, clean, and occasionally scramble the magical “codes” being used to perform certain functions. Only Set and the Outlaw Dead have my permission to pass through them, and I’ve done my best to make it very unpleasant to try to do anything in my home without my permission.
I’m making this post as a kind of “Cover Your Ass” statement; anyone who needs to, will know how to actually get rid of anything trying to hijack this (for me, apparently, still ongoing) ritual with their own agendas. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to think of something else to try and keep me and other Outlaws safe; but for now, I’m gonna try to give it a month or so, and see how my current methods are doing before I try and incorporate any more “friendly advice” into…uh, whatever this actually is.
If you’re doing anything similar to what I’m doing, I highly recommend you come up with at least four or five magical “jobs” to assign any ghosts who consent to work with you, to do…until they get bored, and feel like leaving, at which time you ought to do your best to help them get to whatever afterlife they will consent to go to. Try to craft your spells in such a way that when they leave, there will still be some sort of magical device (think a lever or pulley) or code (like a computer) to continue to perform the function. That ought to work (as wards) for a matter of months; someone will eventually figure out how to pull the spirits off of their jobs and siphon the energy away until they can break the small machine or code you’ve made, but that takes time and energy. Most entities would rather just kiss your guardians’ asses until they’re allowed in; and if you’ve made “No one may contact me without my consent” one of the Outlaw Dead’s rules, and got Set to sign off on it, unwanted visitors will be fucked unless they can convince your friends that they ought to get an audience with you.
It won’t make you 100% safe, but it’ll sure as shit make you safer. It’ll give you a slightly better chance, in the grand scheme of things, of keeping unwanted guests the absolute fuck away from you. Some would say that a slightly better chance isn’t worth all of this trouble. I would say that it’s better to be paranoid than busted, or dead. When the game you’re playing is for your own survival, a 1% better chance is worth goddamn everything. ‘Cause in the end, there is only one thing we say to the God of Death: Not today.
So remember, Outlaws: read up on local laws. Try to keep all your shit on a misdemeanor level, or make sure you keep your shit put up, hidden, and locked away in such a way that requires a difficult, inconvenient warrant to get into without lawsuits. Don’t believe what you see on Brooklyn Nine-Nine or any other pro-cop propaganda show; most cops would rather just issue a warning, or put you in jail for a few days, than go through the trouble of dealing with a criminal who both knows the laws they’re tasked to enforce better than they do, and is 100% willing to sit in jail and wait for a lawyer for a few days. Pretend you’re playing poker and you have the ultimate ace in the hole: the knowledge that everything they say is just a way to get you to say something they can use against you. First, ask them “Am I being detained?” Then, if you must, ask “Am I being arrested?” Then, if you must say, “I do not consent to search and seizure”. Then, if you must, say “I want to excercize my right to remain silent and not to be interrogated without a lawyer present”. Then, don’t say a word until they either lock you up, or give you the damn lawyer.
This applies to Astral Cops as well; for what it’s worth Djehuty is a fantastic lawyer who is almost always good for some advice, and incidentally, makes a really good Phone-A-Friend for these sorts of situations. I’ve never heard of him turning down a job opportunity just because it comes from outside his pantheon, either.
The Spell Part
Burn Set’s candle or incense. Mark something green as Osiris. Thank him for the life he brought you, and for leading by example in his death. Tell him that he may not take any of the Outlaw Dead with him who do not consent to be taken to the Duat for judgement. Remove his anchors from your property, no matter what he or anyone else says, and either give them to a friend or bury them. Osiris is now in the Duat; your home is the domain of the living.
Mark something as Ra’s icon, thank him for keeping the planets in orbit and the plants growing; then either turn the icon around, or put it away. Close all the curtains and doors, turn off the lights except for the candles. Declare your space the domain of vampires, werewolves, and outlaws.
Declare the rules that all who share your space with you must follow if they are to be allowed to stay, and explain why the rules are that way. Allow Set to get rid of whoever refuses to either leave or consent to follow to your rules. (I made a point of summoning many different traditions’ psychopomps every time I set rules like this. This makes it more complicated, and means I have to deal with way more bullshit paperwork and politics, but also means that the Dead get several choices other than my rules or Set’s rules. I highly recommend anyone working with the Outlaw Dead do this whenever possible; you don’t want to work with a bunch of ghosts that are bound to you by threat of Set, or give Set a bunch of pissed off Outlaw Dead who’ll remember your name when they get to the other side. It causes more long-term problems than it solves, trust me on this one.)
Execrate Osiris’s link to Set, to the Outlaw Dead, and to you. Name the link whatever is holding you back from the mundane life that you need. Burn the execration and let the smoke fill this dark space.
You will need to be careful about falling into other myth cycles. You are working with the Outlaw Dead, under the supervision of the god of foreigners; that doesn’t preclude you from every pantheon’s gods, entities, or myth cycles. Following the story of Egypt into Greece or Rome or Mesopotamia or all the way to Northern Europe can be very dangerous. They all have good reason to fear and hate any descendant of Egypt, just as Egyptians are wary of the god of foreigners. Keep your eyes peeled, and be clear who you’re willing to work with at all times. Don’t be afraid to ask Set or the Dead to help you tell unwanted guests to fuck right off.
Burn incense to the Outlaw Dead and Set for as long as possible. Declare that the space is their domain, and you give them your permission for them to protect you from anything that tries to hurt you or your goals while you are within it. Keep the Outlaw Dead happy. Music, food, games, drinking, other mind altering activities of various types and sometimes ambiguous legality (the U.S. is a big place with many different state laws regarding many things), throwing a party, watching TV, writing stories; all are acceptable forms of entertainment.
Pile everything you own that is in any way enchanted onto the altars, either Set’s or the Outlaw Dead’s. Many other entities may show up and demand to be represented, either as one of the Outlaw Dead or as a deity next to Set (and whoever else is on your altar; I ended up with many of the NTRW, Isis, Athena, and One-Eye, who was hiding behind Batman. I’m pretty sure One-Eye only came because I specifically told him not to, and kingly types tend to go out of their way to do things I ask them not to do, just to prove that they can. Again, cest la vie). Be prepared for arguing and politics, but somehow get everybody represented, fed, and negotiated with until everyone agrees to either stay and obey either to you, or the Dead, or Set; or leave you and the Outlaw Dead in peace. (I have several other representatives from various pantheons and traditions here, including the Ghost of Tom Joad and probably Jesus Malverde, once I get the appropriate materials to officially, respectfully summon him and ask him for some favors. I’m not sure if I can safely do this because of my role as a boundary-crosser, or because of Set’s, so uh, bear that in mind.)
Check for spies by execrating your enemies, burning the execration, and smoking up the space. I used Set’s ritual cup, but you can use any container you please. Tell your guests that you will execrate all spies and that no spies may remain. Once you believe it, once again get everyone present to agree to a contract/spell regarding how you would like them to behave in your space, in your service, and in the service of Set. Make it clear that if any of them start to make problems for you and your mundane life, you will begin execrating “problems”; but make sure that everyone has their choice of psychopomps to leave with anytime they please. Anubis, Hermes, and Jesus should be enough to get most of them, if you don’t have any specific requests yet.
Put all of the icons up. First the Dead’s (I had to organize them into six different factions, and each have to be put up in a certain way to remain “appeased” and not pick fights with each other over goddamn nonsense), and then the gods’. Leave Set’s up until you’ve cleared up everything else, including whatever organizing and cleaning you need to do to turn the space back into a mundane one –your mundane living space. Ask Set to clear out any remaining entities, thoughtforms, or other traces of magic. Anything left in your space that has not been either cleansed and reprogrammed with your intent, covered up, put away, or binded either by you or Set can be used as a way to spy on or manipulate you without you realizing it. Protect yourself first, and then the Outlaw Dead, and then ask Set nicely to deal with anything else that’s bothering you.
I’m confident he’ll be up to the job.
The thing is, part of being an “outlaw” of any kind (even the kind that doesn’t actually break the law, but rather, is just socially assumed to be “a criminal/outcast” of some sort) is that you almost always have what I like to call “Automatic Enemies”. They’re not necessarily people you’ve done anything to harm, or who have done anything to you (although obviously you need to not be a dick to avoid having extra enemies; hopefully that goes without saying, but this is the internet, so…). Most of them are actually genuinely nice and decent people; some of them might even be your friends, or believe themselves to be your ally. The thing is, at the end of the day, some part of their psyche believes that you are inherently inferior, or inherently dangerous, to them and their “way of life”. No matter what their conscious mind believes about you, their subconscious believes you are an enemy; and consequentially, they will treat you accordingly. This is because, throughout history, the most dangerous thing on the planet Earth is a bunch of nice and decent human beings who believe that they must harm other human beings (usually of lower status, usually “outlaws” of some kind) in order to remain “nice and decent” themselves.
You know the types. Cops, security guards, authority figures of all kinds. White allies. Straight people who have tons of gay friends. People who’ve never been to prison, never known anybody who went to prison. People who’ve never been homeless, never known anybody who’s been homeless. People who offer endless words of affirmation to the neuro-divergent and different, but balk at the idea that they might be seen publicly supporting someone “crazy” or “weird” or “mean”. People who cite Martin Luther King Jr’s speech about having a dream and tweet about how #LoveWins and make goddamn plastic straws of all things a part of the public #discourse on climate change, but who spit on the legacy of Angela Davis, Maya Angelou, the Black Panthers; Marsha P. Johnson, Act Up New York, Oscar Wilde, Emma Goldman; and the people in the United States who have served time or are currently serving time for “environmental terrorism”, the U.S.’s favorite turn of phrase for “people imprisoned for fighting environmental injustice”. In a word: privileged. I’m starting to believe that this social privilege (in the sense that activists talk about as a way of clarifying the social power dynamics of race, class, gender, sex, etc) is a greater spiritual threat to “Nice and Decent Human Beings” than any variety of outlaw, no matter how vile, could ever be.
I’ve been told numerous times that “subtlety is not my strong suit” and been unfavorably compared to a “bull in a China shop” on multiple occasions. I’ve also been told numerous times that I’m OMGZSOGIFTED!! and “in touch with the spirits” and an “old soul” and all kinds of other woo hippie crap that I can still only 50% believe in at any given time (scientific materialism/secular humanism is a hell of a drug, to be completely honest; my head still hurts when I look at the pictures I have on my phone and try to figure out some possible way that magic isn’t real after all, other than everybody’s current favorite “Smarmy (And Any Other Witch Who Claims To Get Results) Is Just A Crazy Person” theory). Right now, I think what’s actually going on here is that most people speak way more “social languages” than they realize, and are caught off guard when they’re faced with someone who speaks some languages they don’t, or who speak very little of the one they speak. Sometimes your inability to speak the languages they do, or your ability to speak languages that they associate with past enemies, makes you an Automatic Enemy of people around you, whether they like or not, and especially whether you like it or not. All you can do then is cut your losses and protect yourself however you see fit, and using any means necessary.
Sucks, huh? Well, I don’t think that should really come as a surprise to anyone. “Outlaws” (whether actual enemies of the state, or queers, or crazy people, or “difficult” women, or “sissy” men, or people practicing a non-Christian faith in a nation being slowly consumed by Christo-American 21st century fascism, or anyone else who’s ever been stuck as an outsider due to forces outside of their control) know exactly who they are and where they stand most of the time. It’s a gut feeling. If your gut is telling you that the tide is turning and people you thought were friends have become Automatic Enemies, listen to your gut before your “enemies” (even the ones who act friendly to your face) decide how they want to let you know. Their first priority will be their ego, convenience, and reputation; no matter what they say, you as an outlaw need to understand this and act accordingly, in order to protect yourself from harm.
For example, I recently ate at a Chik-Fil-A with another LGBT+ friend of mine who is also visibly queer. There was what appeared to be a high school sports team of some kind already sitting there when we sat down. They laughed and jeered at us; one of them did this (very unoriginal, in my own dramatic gay opinion) kind of “gay” voice and made the “f*ggot” sign language at me as they asked their teammate for a napkin. I laughed in his face, went and sat down, and ate my food as I smirked and waved at them, making eye contact whenever possible, making sure they knew I was watching them be homophobic and that I wasn’t embarrassed or afraid of the homophobic shit they had, or might, say. One by one, they all sat down, nervously ate their food, and left without a word to me or my friend. It worked because they looked at me and saw a girl, and the last thing any homophobic high school kid wants is for their homophobic high school friends to see him get punked by a girl. The trick is: even when you’re outnumbered 20 to 1, you can still win; you just have to know the right pressure points to aim for. For homophobic idiots, you push on homophobia; they will fold in order to save face with other homophobes, whether you can actually take them or not. It worked in West Texas, and it works here in The Big City, too.
The gods wanted me to let them stay and influence me in my home for as long as possible. I threw them out as quickly and painlessly as I could, all but the one who had actually agreed to help keep me safe: Set. Heru is only allowed in my space with bindings (which he agreed to long before we ever talked about it; more on that whole situation later). I’m happy to help the gods with whatever their bottom line is, but mine is the same as it always has been: Stay alive. For me, right now, that means way less magic; and even then, only the magic that I need.
This applies to mundane actions as well: cut loose the dead weight. Sometimes the dead weight is something you love. Sometimes it’s relationships. Sometimes it’s ideas about yourself or your life.
Sometimes it’s literally taking a knife out and cutting your medications in half so you can get the right dose while you wait and see if you’ve gone through the right processes to get your goddamn American publicly-funded healthcare, only to find out that just as you suspected, they were intentionally wasting your time until it was almost too late to do anything to actually help you. Also, sometimes, you forgot to call one of the 20 healthcare-related phone numbers you’ve been assigned to keep track of by the people who run the phone service you have to go through in order to access said healthcare; so you’ll likely have to go and look through a bunch of paperwork in order to get the number you need to call to see if you have to go through the process of getting a prescription again. This process involves going somewhere where you have to put all your possessions in a bag, take off your shoes and socks to let these strangers put them up so that you can’t run away, and piss in a cup to prove you’re not on any unapproved drugs. You have to tell insensitive strangers things about your personal life that you wouldn’t tell a significant other until you’d been in a relationship for months at the very least. You have to allow doctors to talk down to you and generally treat you like you’re an idiot while you try to communicate your symptoms and needs, because they’ve read a book or two on your condition, and they believe that since you’re crazy, you can’t speak for yourself. So they’ll assign you whatever diagnosis is most convenient for them and whatever mood stabilizers and anti-anxiety pills their insurance will cover. Then you’ll have to deal with the pharmacies and whatever ridiculous prices they want to assign to medications that everyone knows are not worth even a fraction of the cost.
And then, your friends and family will roll their eyes at you when you don’t have your shit together or when you express any kind of frustration with your situation and the shitty, intentionally-broken system you have no choice but to deal with in order to stay alive. People who’ve never had to go through this process themselves, or haven’t had to in decades, or have a friend or two who’ve gone through it and so they think they know how difficult it is, will look down on you as you’re dealing with this process, regardless of what part of it you’re currently dealing with, or what you’ve done to get through the process so far, or what obstacles you are actually dealing with in order to deal with this flaming fucking garbage pile of a healthcare system.
They do this because, in their mind, you still haven’t figured out how to do what their families required everyone to know how to do by late childhood (in order to save the adults involved time and money, of course). In objective reality, nobody alive is good at dealing with this system, because the system was designed to be difficult enough that most people will, somehow, fail -either because they get frustrated and give up, or because they get a new job and it’s easier to just pay for the overpriced insurance, or because they allow themselves to be convinced that using public healthcare makes you a lower class of person than people who are in some insurance company’s pocket.
People older than you will assume it has something to do with your smartphone, or social media, or how “entitled” every young person today automatically is, regardless of your actual material conditions. Doesn’t matter whether technology or the way you use it has actually prevented you from getting healthcare or not; old people have been encouraged, their entire lives, to blame every young person’s problems on new technology. Consequentially, there is very, very little that any human person, even someone their same age, can do to convince an old person that a young person’s problems cannot be erased by just selling their smartphone and using the, like, $150 from the sale to buy “healthcare”.
People your age -the ones with parents and families who are making sure they have health insurance, anyways- will talk shit about your “work ethic”, or your parents, or otherwise find a way to imply that the situation is 100% your fault because you aren’t working hard enough. When you talk about what you’re going through publicly, people will assign you the role of “victim” and insist to each other and to you that you want that role. People do this because enemies of outlaws know damn well that one of the best ways to shut someone up about the shit that life is dumping on them, is to convince them that speaking frankly about the shit the world dumps on them constantly means that they, somehow, wanted it to happen. It’s victim-blaming 101, and if someone’s doing it to you, it usually means that they’re desperate to shut you up or discredit you somehow…because they fear the things that you might say about them, their actions, and the system that they are invested in protecting.
What can I say? Capitalist authoritarian groupthink is one hell of a drug, and at the end of the day, life just sucks sometimes. And it’s not the “universe” or the gods getting back at you for a mistake or an insult, and it’s not just a “hard lesson” that you have to learn in order to grow up, and it’s not just “the way of the world” and you have to accept it in order to be a better person. As someone whose life has sucked for like, 95% of its duration, I’ll let you in on a secret: to get through a shitty life where you’re constantly on trial for things you didn’t do or things you never had control over, you need to lower your standards and allow yourself to enjoy whatever shitty last meal the warden decides to give you, and hope that someone out there is still trying to get a judge to reconsider the evidence and postpone your sentence.
And you might as well make the guards’ lives hell while you can, right? It’s not like being polite is gonna save you, no matter what shit they talk or how hard they kick you when they know they can get away with it.
(By the way, I’ve noticed that no one seems to like the “write a letter to a prisoner” option I keep recommending as a part of the rituals I’ve been doing. You’re missing out; writing to political prisoners and donating to their commissary is a valuable act of friendship and camaraderie with someone who has very, very little access to true friends or comrades. It takes maybe an hour of your time and can function to make some of the worst times of someone’s life a little bit brighter. And if you choose to write a letter to an ally of Set or the Outlaw Dead in their name, I’m sure that they’ll find some way to repay you for the favor.)
It’s only after you go through this entire process that Heru can be summoned and sit on equal footing with Set in the ritual space. Even then, to share this space with Set and the Outlaw Dead, he must be given some entities to agree to work under him; these people must be bound by either you or Set not to spy for Heru or anyone else in Heru’s pantheon. They must be given a list of things they are not allowed to do, by threat of Set, even if they are ordered to do so by others. They must be given plenty of breaks from Heru and plenty of opportunities to safely leave Heru’s domain and return to yours, to be put back with the rest of the Outlaw Dead and assigned new, different, jobs. Heru’s opinion on this part of the process is almost completely irrelevant; your priority is to make sure the Outlaw Dead are not bound anywhere against their consent.
I will be spending the next Osirian Mysteries with Dionysus and the Greek pantheon, to see if they can get the job done with less extraneous bullshit politics that I’ve never cared about (and still don’t). The NTRW have until September to change my mind (I strongly suspect that Set picked Dionysus for this purpose when I was 16, and it just took me until now to catch up. I would like to take this opportunity to point out that lies of omission are still lies, and anyone who wants me on their side needs to decide real quick whether they want to lie to me or not; I tend to assume anyone with a long answer to a short question is just stalling for time before they give the wrong answer -and I tend to act accordingly). I suggest anyone who’s interested in following along at home decide where they want to be the next time they die; or, the last time. Try to make sure that’s where you’re at by 2020. I’ve got a gut feeling that something big is about to go down.
Then again, I’ve been wrong before.
Rise with the moon, go to bed with the sun
Early to bed, and you’ll miss all the fun
Bring your wife and trouble, it will never trouble you
Make her a member of the Midnight Crew!