Karma Zain (karmazain) wrote,
Karma Zain

tips on writing petitions, choosing work, and focusing work, esp. light settings

When clients book light settings with me, I send them the following booking acknowledgment (and other types of work have similar instructions and principles, so this applies more generally as well). I've highlighted the parts that I'll be discussing in this blog post.
  • "For each light setting or altar working, please send a one- or two-sentence petition, prayer, or request. I'll also need the full name and date of birth of any people involved in your request. Please send as a response to this email. If you'd like to email a digital photo to this address, you may. Please clearly identify every person in the photograph, and let me know if I need to photoshop anyone out of the picture. Please do not ask me to visit websites or stalk your targets on social networking sites to obtain pictures; I need you to download any photo you want me to use and then email it to me.
  • "Please send photos (and any other additional information )as a response to this email instead of sending a new email or responding in an old thread, so the case information remains attached to your record of payment for this particular altar setting.  If you sent the info in a separate email, please resend as a response to this email for the quickest possible prep time for your altar work; if I have to go back through a bunch of previous emails to try and locate every scrap of info and commentary in order to set up your altar work, locate old photos you sent a few months ago, and piece together a petition from among several paragraphs or emails, it will take me a lot longer, and it increases the risk of error, omission, and misunderstanding.  For the best, quickest, and most accurate preparation of your light setting or altar work, therefore, please reply to this email with :
  • 1. any photos you want me to use for this working, with every person in the photo identified,
  • 2. names and dates of birth of all parties involved in the working,
  • 3. a one- or two-sentence petition for this working,
  • 4. any additional info or requests that you would like me to have or consider that are not already included in the "note to seller" box on the paypal payment page (scroll down to a copy of the information I received through paypal with your booking or order)."

Now, what I'm talking about today is the petition aspect. I have talked about the logistics of how to get info/personal concerns/photos to me elsewhere.

One of the reasons I ask for clients to send a one or two sentence petition is that it forces them to prioritize and helps avoid the common trap of trying to do way too much with a single light setting - these work best when they are focused, and the light setting reports are more valuable that way too.  Otherwise you don't know which of the many facets of a complex petition the various signs are reporting on.  So the trick is to think of each light setting in terms of the spiritual action you want it to do.  I recently got a petition to remove obstacles in a business situation - or at least that it how the petition started.  But it went on to request things about clientele, about the rate of incoming projects, and about how the partners were communicating.  "Remove obstacles" is a good example of a spiritual action.  Everything that is included in the petition should logically make sense as going along with that action.  "Remove obstacles standing in the way of regular incoming work" makes sense.  Even adding "so that the business partnership is steady and profitable" would make sense.  But once you add something about a business partner's attitude toward you or the business, that's becoming a new, separate issue, and then to work on having him make better decisions is yet another issue. 

Usually, petitions work best with one main subject and one main verb, and no more dependent clauses than you can comfortably speak out loud - if you run out of breath speaking your sentence aloud, your petition is probably too complex (not always, but a decent rule of thumb).  This is part of why I ask for sentences and not just intentions or wishes.  It's not that it cannot make sense to want to remove obstacles towards him deferring to your experience or whatever, it's just that it doesn't necessarily make sense as stated, as a petition to "remove obstacles," and it seems like something else would make better sense. And spiritually, it would - the target would no longer be the business but him, and the desired action would no longer be "remove obstacles" but "listen to me" or "be wiser" - for which you would want not Road Opener but perhaps Commanding, for you, or King Solomon Wisdom for him (or both of you). By the same token, then, with a petition that complex, it's hard to say what the signs I see in the candle's progress are referring to.  If the work to remove roadblocks keeping new clients away is fine but there are some big, deep-seated issues interfering with the partnership between the two business owners, it's asking a lot to ask me to tell you whether this streak of soot has to do with the one and this squiggle of wax with the other. Sometimes signs are clearer - a certain shape or symbol may give me more specific info - but sometimes they are not. So, especially if you are concerned with the "report" part of your light setting and whatever signs may come through the candle burning, it's best not to try to cram too much into one light setting.  It's not impossible to do complex spellwork that does a few different things at once, but it's usually going to involve something more complex than a single vigil candle.

I get this with relationship stuff a lot.  Someone will send a light-setting petition for their ex to leave the new partner and come back to them.  Or they will ask to draw John Doe for a serious loving relationship leading to marriage and healthy children and the ability to be a stay at home mom.  I guess the idea in their heads is that their worker will make up a combo of oils and herbs for whatever they want.  But it can be helpful for them to think in terms of conditions or formulas, which are all created around specific "actions" or "directions," instead of just thinking of petitions. We have to read what you want and find the right approach to manifesting it. It might involve combining formulas like Crown of Success with Steady Work, or Come to Me with Love Me Now, but there are some "basic building blocks" or basic principles that we are going to have to start with. And one of those is that we have to ascertain the central issue for you and what "movement" you need to get that, what direction your work needs to go into.  So it might be useful in cases like this to think of spiritual actions as working in one "direction" at a time - a single spiritual action like a light setting can either push or pull but not both at the same time.  It can draw more than one thing - love, luck and money for instance - but that's not the same as drawing money AND putting the smackdown on your competition at work. See the difference? A single light can work towards sowing dissension between two people OR drawing one of the people to a third person, but not both at the same time (I'm referring to simple, one-color, one-layer vigil candle settings here).  It might be helpful again to think of the action - do you want want confusing, crossed up energy being raised?  Or do you want loving, forgiving, attracting energy to be raised?  If you want both, get two vigil lights

Or sometimes the desired action is overly specific or tries to project too far into the future.  Do you want a new lover?  Do you want a marriage and three kids?  Ok, but you can't have all that this week, so why not just do things in order?  If you MUST have it so the new partner is willing to have three kids and let you stay home withthem and so you don't want to waste time drawing somebody who just wants to party, maybe you want to work on drawing a marriage-minded partner with solid income and good future prospects and an openness to traditionally gendered family roles.  Otherwise, when the candle burns black, I don't necessarily know if the problem is that John Doe is not interested, or is interested but already married, or is interested in marrying you but is impotent and opposed to adoption or already has seven kids he's paying child support for, or is interested in marrying you and having kids but wants to stay home with them himself, or is about to get a job in another country or get fired or get committed to a mental hospital or WHAT.  If you stick to one thing at a time, then you'll get a report on one thing at a time - a report you can use and understand. Otherwise, your report may not be much more useful than "signs show that you will not get everything you want when you want it." Or "signs show a good chance for eventual success, after delays."  I don't know about you, but I prefer to get more specifics than that.  But I can't give them to you if your petition is all over the place or trying to do too much.

This principle of "directionality" (which I discuss in more detail, in another context, at this post) explains why you sometimes see two-toned candles (or even three-toned ones), like the Double-Action candles described here at Lucky Mojo, or like my own Double Action votive candles, shown here at my shop. They are supposed to work in two different directions, to both "push" and "pull," or, to be more precise, to reverse bad luck and draw good luck, or to remove love (or money) jinxes and draw love (or money).  So they are made to do two things at once - on the face of it. But if you understand how these are used and read about the symbolism, it should be clear that it's not a simple matter of "combined the herbs do x" with x equalling *everything in the whole world that you want right now,* or "together the colors symbolize y" with y equalling *everything related to this relationship that you want to change.* They are made in sections, basically like two candles combined into one, because it's *also* a question of "directionality" - the herbs or colors may do two [or more] things, but the candle does one thing at a time. FIRST it uncrosses or removes, and THEN it attracts or draws or whatever.  It's not substantially different from burning two candles, one for uncrossing and then one for attraction, one after the other (though in the case of reversing work, two-toned candles can get more complex than that, but I'll leave that for another post).

So you need to think logically about the tools you're using and make sure you are doing first things first and not getting one vigil light to try to work in too many directions at once.  The process of drafting a petition can help you do this.

Sometimes, therefore, it's helpful to start thinking about your light setting petition NOT with a sentence, but with a sort of verbal sketch.  You can start with a phrase or verb, and then tack things on. Make sure those things link logically to the phrase or verb. Back to the business example, you might do this:
  • Desire: remove obstacles to business progress. 
  • What obstacles? obstacles to new clients, obstacles to new investors, obstructions preventing me and my partner from communicating clearly. 

This will "translate" into multiple targets, but they all hang on or refer logically back to that desire (which you will note conveniently contains a verb, aka an action word. Never knew grammar would help with you spellcasting?  It can!) And the desire or action will "translate" into something like Road Opener.  THEN you write your sentence for your petition: "Open the way to better business and remove obstacles preventing an increased client pool, new potential investors, and good communication between me and my partner."

There are, of course, other ways to approach these same goals -- and in this case, once I read the whole petition, which did NOT center around a particular action or formula or verb or anything but was a cluster of assorted desires all related to business, I thought of many possible ways to approach it (and "remove obstacles" would probably not have been my recommendation).  In this case, it might make more sense and be less strained to think of what these assorted goals have in common - is the bottom line that business needs to be improved, and you see all these things as being needed to improve business?  Then make that your desire:
  • Desire: improve business.
  • How? by drawing new clients, by drawing a steady stream of projects, and by fostering understanding and clarity between me and my partner on business decisions.
If I received this petition with a new light setting booking, I would probably handle it with a Better Business vigil, since that is a formula that works on money/income issues but also works on attracting people who want to spend money AND on improving communication by making tongues "smoother" and speech more appealing.

But say the real issue is not so much that you are your partner aren't communicating - it's that your partner isn't taking you seriously, and/or you can't agree, and it's hurting the business.  And what you *really* need, in addition to new clients and steady incoming projects, is not so much to "draw" more or better communication, but for your partner to act different towards you.  And come to think of it, you need him to also *follow your lead* - you need more respect, more power in an imbalanced business relationship.  You might then have trouble writing out a petition where everything is based on one action, and if you think about it, you might find that this is because you really have two or more things going on.  (And in this case, which is based on a real life example, I do think the stuff with the partner does not quite "fit" neatly into any of the petitions/formulas that we've imagined up to now).  The solution?  More than one petition, which equals more than one light setting.  The income end of things line up neatly with an attraction/drawing focus: "Improve business by drawing new clients and a steady stream of projects and income."  That is what Better Business and/or Steady Work was invented for.  And the partnership might need the real focus to be on the other partner and not on the business per se: "May John Smith respect me, listen to my ideas, and follow my lead on business decisions." That is what Commanding or Do As I Say was invented for.

Or, you could leave out the details and just book a light setting for business success, and not specify exactly what components you want to affect if you are not absolutely sure exactly what the problem is.  It really is up to you and we workers need you clients to tell us, in your petition, what is most important.  If you say you want Road Opening, well, I'll set a Road Opening light.  It might not be the right thing for the job though, so if you find yourself with an unwieldy petition, think about all the moving parts and if they fit, or if some can wait for later, or be left out, or maybe need a second light setting.

So yes, I need a petition to set your light.  And I need it to be one or two sentences so it will fit on a petition paper and so that you don't write me a life story but send me something focused so I can clearly see what the bottom line is.  But I most of all need to understand the proper spiritual approach to take for your case, which involves choosing the proper formulas and herbs and saints and colors and prayers and the like.  So there is a bit more to it than just fitting your petition into a sentence or two.  The stuff in the sentence needs to logically connect and needs to be complementary, so that I don't end up setting a light that is too "diffuse" and working in too many directions at once to be able to do a particularly good job of any of them.  I will personally be happy to help you if you have doubts or questions about your petition, and most workers will do the same. I am happy to read a draft petition and give you feedback on it, if you aren't sure about yours. Just keep in mind that this whole thing will go smoother and quicker if you have given it some thought yourself, too, and made an attempt to get your needs boiled down to a sentence or two.  If you have to write out a Great Big Wall of Text or your life story in order to sort through your own thoughts and arrive at a clearer understanding of what you need and what the major issues are, that's actually normal. A lot of people process that way.  Just try to summarize your goals in a sentence or two when you're done, and give that summary somewhere near the beginning, so I don't have to duplicate those processing and distilling efforts :-)

If I've made writing a petition sound harder than you ever thought it would be, don't let me scare you off.  More times than not, a simple heartfelt statement of your needs or desires is just perfect and works great as a petition.  But complex situations - and those involving relationships with other human beings are almost always complex, whether that relationship is business or romantic or familial -- sometimes need a bit more thought.  Writing a good petition can help you focus your magical work.  But it can also help you focus on and evaluate your own priorities in life, and sometimes that is by itself powerful magical work.  So don't feel silly if you find yourself investing time into a petition - it's a statement of intent and/or position and/or identity and/or dreams, given in a ritual context, to the universe, the spirits, God.  So it's worth a few extra minutes and a little extra thought!

Some typical options:

St. Joseph candle for things relating to the home
St. Expedite candle for luck in a hurry
Five Finger Grass candle for success in anything you do with your hands
Uncrossing candle for removal of negative junk in your life
Money Drawing candle for, well, money drawing
Road Opener candle for removing obstacles
*Ghuede candle for petioning the loa or ancestors for assistance*
*Erzulie Freda candle for petioning this loa for assistance*

*Please note that you MUST write first and tell me your situation before booking a light to burn on the altar of a loa.  I will not work with the loa for just any situation, and I will not work with every loa in every case.  I will be honest with you if I think the candle burning you want is a bad idea, and I will make a recommendation for an alternate choice.* in consultation with you for appropriate saints, specific tricks, etc as I work within the traditions of Southern-style conjure and rootwork; color correspondences from other traditions, such as Wicca, often do not apply. I will not guarantee that I will meet requests for a particular color unless you ask before purchase.  This is first and foremost a candle spell; if you are seeking in-depth information on your situation, you will want to book a reading or consultation instead of this service, or in addition to this service. 

Here's what a light might be set for:

- attracting love, luck, money, business, friendship, etc into your life
- banishing unwanted influences
- working to get rid of troublesome people
- dedicating a new resolution and blessing it (such as the commencement of a new job or diet program)
- blessing for new home or baby
- attracting
- calling on the aid of a saint or spirit

(One light will do one of those things, not all of those things. If you have multiple petitions, you need multiple lights.)

Here's what a report might indicate:
- working and situation are favorable
- further work is advised
- there is competition or spiritual interference
- one person is more interested than the other in reconciliation
- results will be quicker than anticipated

Here is what a candle wax reading or light setting is NOT going to tell you:
- on what date will I meet the person of my dreams?
- what color hair will my next lover have?
- what kind of car should I buy?
- should i take job x or y?

For questions like that, you need an actual standalone reading. That isn't what this is for.Do not expect to be able to cram 4 or 5 issues into one light setting; please feel free to ask first if you aren't sure whether your intentions can be combined into one candle burning. guarantee that I will not try to talk you out of a choice I think is a bad idea :-)

Often a light setting will indicate that more work is advised, though just as often it will indicate favorable influences.  This is NOT a scam and I will never send you your report with a note that says "You are cursed miserably; you must pay me a thousand dollars to have your aura cleansed."  I have been reading professionally for over twenty-five years and I am not a scam artist.  I can point you to feedback on third-party sites that will verify my integrity, or you can find it yourself rather easily with a search engine and a little ingenuity. 

This is not like a Tarot reading, and you don't ask a series of questions and get a series of answers in ceromancy.  You are welcome to tell me what issues or concerns you have, and if I see an answer I will report it, but due to the nature of this sort of reading, I make absolutely no guarantee that I will get a particular answer to a specific question.

Tags: client education, client info, hoodoo education, hoodoo practice, hoodoo theory, light settings, petition papers, principles of magic
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