Merry belated Samhain, my lovelies! My I have been away for a long time. How have you been? Sadly my Halloween was fairly uneventful on the spiritual side of things. How did you spend your holiday?
Here’s some photos of my hide-away altar after I consecrated and dedicated it last night. Most everything here has dual symbolism for me… The pentacle on the wall is an old dream catcher that I wrapped some colored cord through— white for the Spirit and the Mother, red for fire, gold for air and swifting, blue for water and angelic protection, green for earth, then I bound each of the points together with black for protection and balance. There are still feathers for air, and I attached a small bell (also for air) and for bright energies (i.e., happy faeries). The votive candle is simultaneously a representation of fire, an illuminator, and an offering/prayer candle. The seashell is water and goodwill (it was a gift from a dear friend). My three favorite stones represent Earth. The white pillar candle is for the Lord and Lady, and the smaller purple pillar is for my Guardians and spirit animals. The wizard statue a symbol of power and will, and also a place for my primary guardian to rest close to me while I sleep. My stang was made with protection and action in mind (so it is sort of a weapon), so it is there for protection, power, easy access, and a nice place to store it because it’s too big to go anywhere else. The scarf is mostly for decoration, but purple is my favorite color.
In the first photo you see my oil burner (wizard and dragon). It doesn’t stay on my altar. I actually had it up there for convenience while I was dedicating it. Normally that space on top is still my functional nightstand that I now keep very clean and neat so that I don’t trap negative energies.
Good evening, my lovelies!
Before I can tell you about the quiet, yet bold move that I made yesterday evening, let me fill in those of you who don’t know my particular circumstances. The short story: I’m pagan; my husband and his family are Southern Baptist. They respect me, but I try to keep quiet about my faith out of respect for them.
That being the case, I created a hide-away altar yesterday, at the suggestion of my very best friend and sister-from-another-mister. I’ll post pictures of it later, but I turned a fairly useless bottom shelf on my nightstand into my altar (bold). It’s between the my side of the bed and a wall (and our bed is very tall), so it’s tucked away mostly out of sight, with a nice little hidey-hole that’s big enough for me to pray and do some minor workings (quiet).
I love it, and will be consecrating and dedicating it tonight, which I can also post pictures of.
Just wanted to share my tiny little, personal triumph! :)
Blessed be, my dears!
I have three new colleagues moving in to share my office at the University next week. While the room is much too large for one person (I’m simultaneously claustrophobic and weirded out by the hugeness of the space), four is going to be a bit of an adjustment. Because it was so neglected before I moved in there last summer and this is the first time I’ve really moved the heavy pieces of furniture, my focus has been on cleaning, which led me to this topic: the broom.
For witches, the broom isn’t just another means of keeping our homes spotless (I deal with stress by cleaning – it’s quite sickening how much of a neat freak I have become!) it’s a tool. Harry Potter and Halloween witches aside, the broom is a tool for getting rid of the physical dust and dirt and debris that turns our socks gray and makes us sneeze; it’s a tool for cleansing away the negative energy that gets stuck in dirty spaces.
Try this: next time you clean the house or your room, think of your broom (or mop or vacuum) like you might think of your wand or athame. As you sweep away the dust, visualize that you are also sweeping away negativity, sadness, gloom, fear, and all those sneaky little buggers that like to creep up and spoil a perfectly good mood. Make sure you have plenty of light when you clean, especially natural light if you can. I clean thoroughly every Saturday morning, and it looks like Candlemas: every single light is on and all the blinds are open, and I burn a candle behind myself in each room.
Try blessing your broom (or mop or vacuum) with a few sprinkles of ritual water or squeezes from a fresh lemon, a dash of salt (sea salt, if you prefer that natural power), and some basil (ground, fresh, or burn if you have some rolled in a smudge stick). Like cleansing any object, envision your broom being surrounded by a bright white, cleaning light. Great for brand new brooms or old ones that you have cleaned well.
P.S. When you move, don’t take your broom with you. Throw it away and buy a new one for your new home. New home = fresh start. Don’t take your dust with you. J
Good evening, my lovelies!
I have been out of town, working, catching up, doing a million things with only two hands and I have MISSED you all so much!
I’m in the process of brainstorming more topics for the future because I do not want to disappear. Let’s kick start my cognitive drizzle with a question, shall we?
I just refer to myself as a solitary, eclectic Pagan. Do y’all identify with a particular path or label, pagan/wiccan or otherwise? If so, what do you “call” yourself?
I actually designed this as a type of healing spell for my husband, whose ADD is becoming problematic with his career.
- Lord and Lady
- Athena (wisdom)
- Mnemosyne (memory, mother of the Greek muses)
- Representation for the four quarters
- Pillar candle for Lord and Lady
- Votive candle for Athena
- Olive oil (about a teaspoon or so) and a shallow dish (big enough to set the votive in)
- A candle for Mnemosyne (I used a blue taper)
- Peppermint oil
- Athame (or tool of your choice - I chose my athame for the “sharpness” aspect)
- Blue cord or string (about 12 inches - wisdom)
- White cord or string (about 12 inches - clarity)
- An unfired bullet (best for it to be fairly large so it is easier to handle, but don’t go crazy - shotgun shells have a lot of plastic and are imprecise. Rifle rounds might be good if you have any.)
- Dried sage (I just used a few leaves, but a smudge bundle works too - does not need to burn long)
- Thin wire
- Wire cutters and needle-nosed pliers (or just the pliers if they have a wire cutter as well - many do)
- Cleanse and consecrate your space and materials (here is how I do it)
- Cast your circle, beginning in the east (I walked mine thrice)
- Beginning in the east (air = wisdom), call the quarters (I walked the circle with my elements)
- Invoke Lord and Lady (light their candle)
- Dress Athena’s candle with a few drops of olive oil. Pour a little olive oil into your shallow dish and set the candle directly into the oil.
- Invoke Athena - light her candle.
- Dress Mnemosyne’s candle in peppermint oil for focus and clarity (WARNING: peppermint oil can be irritating to the skin, avoid directly touching it - I used a dropper)
- Invoke Mnemosyne - light her candle.
- Clearly and concisely state your purpose (flowery language is not necessary; I said something to the effect of, “I do this work for my husband who is in need of greater mental focus, clarity, and memory, and an increased ability to access his wisdom.”)
- Ask your Helpers to bless and empower the bullet.
- Snip a length of wire about 8-12 inches long. Hold the wire at roughly the middle and wrap it in the groove just at the base of the bullet casing (the flat end, where the firing pin hits) and twist it to secure it. Pull tight. Wrap the wire down the bullet in a crisscross pattern (like you’re lacing up ballet shoes or lace-up sandals). Pull tight when you get to the rounded end, twist once, and go back up the same way. There should be a small loop where you first twisted the wire - feed one end through, and twist them together all the way, snipping off whatever is uneven. Loop that twisted stem you just made back down to the flat end of the bullet and twist it (may need pliers) so now you have a loop you can put the string through.
- Slide both strings through the loop you just made, tying a knot around the wire loop in the middle of the strings. Tie the ends together at the top and trim the ends.
- Carefully light your safe from any of your candles and let the talisman hang in the smoke like a pendulum. You should still be visualizing your intentions through all of this.
- When the sage burns out (or your arms get tired), set the sage aside in a safe container so you don’t burn the place down. Lay the talisman on your altar and ask again for blessings.
- Thank and release Helpers in the reverse order in which you called them (i.e., Mnemosyne, Athena, Lord and Lady, Earth, Water, Fire, Air).
- Open your circle with your chosen tool, and put the energy you collect into the bullet.
- The talisman should go wherever you feel it will do you the most good - like a study or work area.
Alternatively, if a bullet is just not feasible (not everyone is a gun-nut like me) you could use a sharp stone/crystal or small pocket knife. The item should work for you and make you think of precision and sharpness.
Photos from a spell I just completed. Yes, that’s a bullet (.40 caliber Winchester if you were wondering, lol). I made it into a talisman for my husband who is struggling with ADD and needs some sharpness of focus. I’ll post the spell next so that the bullet makes a little more sense. :)
Well we’ve had a great discussion of our favorite nonfiction authors. What about favorite fictional witches? Written or film or fairy tale, who is your favorite witch (or wizard)? Or favorite fictional universe of magickal folk?
My favorite, hands down, is Harry Dresden (who is sort of a grown-up Harry Potter). Jim Butcher is the author. Dresden is a wizard (and a private investigator) who lives in Chicago. I love this universe so much because all of Harry’s magic is grounded in principles of real-world magick (i.e., working in circles, thaumaturgy, employing the aid of the wee folk or other spirits) but the results are, of course, rather literal and fantastical. Not to mention Dresden is hysterical and so very human he could be each of us. There’s even the proper use of the term “warlock” - hence he’s a wizard. Witches and wizards who break the laws of magic are called warlocks (if they are really evil). I highly recommend the Dresden Files series for some summer reading. The first in the series, Storm Front was Jim Butcher’s first published book, so it’s really fun to watch his writing style and skills develop very quickly and truly shine around the sixth or seventh book.
My favorite movie is Practical Magic. It’s just adorable.
Who is your favorite fictional witch?
Together we have amassed a good-sized list of authors! Thank you, my lovelies, for your help. I do get a lot of messages from new witches looking for some literary direction, and now I think we have a good list to get them started!
Here’s what you’ve come up with:
- Scott Cunningham (multiple times)
- Sybil Leek
- Raven Digitalis
- Dorothy Morrison
- Fiona Horne
- Raven Grimassi
- Phil Hine
- John Michael Greer
- Peter Paddon
- Robin Artisson
- Nigel Jackson
- Gede Parma
- Ly de Angeles
- Francesca de Grandis
- Silver Ravenwolf
And my go-tos:
- Tess Whitehurst
If you have any more, send me an Ask. I’m saving my other question allowance for the day for another discussion. Thank you! :)
I’m not feeling so hot today so I really should be drinking green or black tea with a lot of lemon. But I’m also completely bushed and have a lot of work to do this morning, so coffee is winning by virtue of being higher octane. A sleepy house-keeping witch is not an effective house-keeping witch.
Which would you pick?
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