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Sometimes, of course, bad things happen. Just little ones, an unfortunate coincidence or minor annoyance.  Not really significant, it’s just the way things are. But, there are times when they seem to pile up at an inordinate rate.

For example: Just the other day, I was planning to make some dill pickles as part of my fall canning initiative, and realized that I needed a few supplies before I could begin. I biked down to the local grocery store, a couple of miles away, and to the nearby organic food mart. On the way back home, I was almost hit by an oblivious driver (always a danger for the constant bicyclist). But, I made it home without further incident – only to discover that I was completely out of sugar! Not only was I about to enjoy some coffee and toast, I also needed sugar for my canning endeavor. Back out to the store I went.

Later, when I had made it home from the store (again), and was in the midst of my canning, I realized that I’d forgotten to add an ingredient to my first batch of dill pickles that ensures crispness. I’d even reminded myself just a minute before to be sure and add it. And, I noticed that I had to keep looking back at the recipe frequently, as I was forgetting, or unsure about, the simplest instructions. I felt distracted and muddled, like my mind was full of cobwebs.  Finally I stopped and thought “what’s going on here?”

This level of annoyance seemed to be beyond the usual dose.  I wondered, in fact, if I wasn’t in the midst of a crossed condition.

What is a crossed condition, anyway?

The term is most often used as a general word for a run of bad luck or trouble that seems to have a magical or etheric origin. Originally found within the vocabulary of Hoodoo, being ‘Crossed’ mean that you had stepped on a powder or other spell laid on the ground by someone to cause you trouble, and so by crossing over the lines of the spell, you were caught.

As far as I could tell, no one had reason to cast anything malicious at me, give the evil eye, or point a crooked finger. There was no adversary out there to whom I should mirror back this minor but irritating bout of small misfortune.  Even so, something was up.  Focusing my awareness on my own energy field gave me the cobwebby feeling again, like it was tangled or mussed.

While I think it’s silly to ‘Cry Curse’ or have a knee jerk reaction of ‘I am beset by malevolent forces!’ every time you have a bad day, I do think that every once in a while, you step in the energetic equivalent of a dog turd.  There you are, innocently walking down the sidewalk, and a little while later you sniff and think “Good god, where is that smell coming from?! Ewwww.”

Of course, when you realize what’s become inadvertantly stuck to you, do you throw out your shoes? No, probably not. Some scraping and a good wash should be enough. In the case of misfortune-inducing energy, a similar approach is called for; a quick and simple purification or warding ought to do the trick.

So there I was, standing at the sink, waiting for my second batch of pickles to finish processing. I had also just scooped into a glass and put outside the second unusually large spider to be discovered in my kitchen within an hour (sigh). An idea struck.

I had to hand, among other things, a large bottle of white vinegar.  I splashed some out and washed my hands, face (careful to keep my eyes closed, of course), and the soles of my feet with the undiluted vinegar, while imploring this ill luck to leave straightaway. My mind seemed to clear, as well as my sinuses!

Now, I hadn’t specifically read anywhere (that I remember) that white vinegar alone would work for this, but it seemed like a good idea. It cleans glass nicely and aids in preserving food, so there you go. Also, it was pure intuition for me to wash the soles of my feet, but later I was reading about crossed conditions in the context of American Hoodoo practice, and wouldn’t  you know, my intuition was right on. It seems that since laying a magical trap for someone often involves a spell that is stepped on or walked across, a common way to turn the energy was to wash off your feet!

So, it was nothing big, just a cobweb of clingy energy from somewhere. But, what if my vinegar-cure had been ineffective? What if it had even made things worse? In that case, a more thorough regimen of trying to locate the offending energy or figure out what the source was, purification, warding, and some meditation with the intent of asking my spirit allies what was going on, and if they could kindly do something about it (or at least point me in the right direction). However, I’m confident that none of that will be necessary for now.