Ten Takeaways from the Temple of Miriam’s Jewish Magic Festival

  1. If you are practicing Western ceremonial magick, Wicca, hoodoo, even Chaos magick, you owe a huge debt to the historical Jewish folk magic tradition.
  2. Apparently, in Jewish magical lore, demons have bird feet — unlike other trads where they have cloven hooves or claws. They’re also really little. If you sprinkle ash or dust under your bed, sleep, and on waking see in the ash eety beety birdy footprints … you have demons.
  3. Evidently, magic prescribed by a doctor is legit. Magic done any other way is merely witchcraft. (This witch doctor laughs.)
  4. Kabbalah, Cabala, Qabala; the distinction isn’t simply linguistic. The practice is the same; who is doing it and the cultural lens gazed through while it’s being practiced is where the distinction comes in. The Tree of Life is the Tree of Life.  
  5. Go back and read Genesis closely. There are two trees in the Garden of Eden.
  6. If you find eety beety birdfeet prints anywhere — demons.  
  7. A peculiar hindrance comes up for a practitioner who wishes to be accurate to tradition. Dr. Jeremy argued emphatically that you don’t have to be Jewish or know Hebrew in order to do Jewish magic. But so much of the magic is logocentric; so much relies on the knowledge of the right usage and pronunciation of Hebrew prayers and incantations, and mispronunciation may mean the magic won’t work. The words are everything — if you are fortunate enough to have access to the words. There is a conundrum here.
  8. Dr. Jeremy really digs the word “praxis”.
  9. The fest ran the gamut from historical basics to tarot, Kabbalah, the Solomonic seals, astrology, love spells, cursing, altar making and amulet bowls. Participants were generously granted and mailed a box of supplies to do this workshop work along with the instructors on Zoom … but all… the mail, the snowstorms, the Mercury retrograde… some of us are still waiting for our magical toys…
  10. I realized that, after giving a tarot reading to a participant in Cyprus, as much as we are dying to be in each other’s presence to learn and do magic, the virtual festivals need to keep happening. The ability for people all over the world with typically hard-to-surmount obstacles of travel or finances to be able to attend, create new fellowships, and make magical connections needs to remain a possibility. Maybe hybrid fests will be in the future. The ability to make new magical friends around the world was a great blessing of this fest.

The Temple of Miriam the Prophetess hosted the Jewish Magic Festival: Temple of Miriam

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