Friday, September 30, 2011

What is a Witch & what is Witchcraft?

What is a witch and what is witchcraft?

Well we all know the stereotype portrayed in films and cartoons – green skin, pointy nose, warts, big black pointy hat – and whilst some witches may have some of those (maybe not the green skin) it is most definitely NOT what we are about.

Witchcraft is a religion, a way of life. A witch is what you are, who you are and what you do. It is a truly beautiful and rewarding way of living your life. Witchcraft is an Earth based religion, meaning that it is based upon reverence for nature, respect of animals, and a respect of our environment and those in it.

It is a chosen path filled with self-discovery, learning, and growth as those who claim the title of witch will grow in knowledge and experiences for a lifetime and possibly more. Witchcraft is a generic term used to describe its many extensions and sub-categories.

There are no hard rules with witchcraft, you can tailor it to your personal beliefs, traditions and rituals.

Witches can be both male and female.

Witchcraft is a polytheistic religion, this means there is more than one figurehead, a Goddess of whom has many names and a God whom also goes by many names. I think of deity as many facets to a diamond.

Witches all know and live with the God and the Goddess. They are both entities of the great All. Each witch carries a part of the God and Goddess within them. We respect them, work with them, live with them. However, to each of us the God and Goddess may be perceived differently.
The God is the male entity, the Sky father, representative of the Sun. He goes by many names and many faces - Pan, Cernunnos, Osiris, Thor and Balenos to name a few.

The Goddess is the universal mother. She is representative of the moon and the earth. She too is known my many names and faces – Gaia, Hecate, Brigid, Cailleach, Kali to name a few.

They do not rule, but they do oversee, they are present, it is all according to your beliefs. They work together, forming a whole.

The true explanation of deity is within each witch’s own heart. We reflect them with our daily intent and deed.

Witches practice ritual observance of lunar events and the seasons. Rituals are split into two groups, Sabbats and Esbats. There are eight Sabbats in a year representing the cycle of birth and death of the God, these being Yule/Winter Solstice, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha/Midsummer, Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain.

Esbats are moon rituals, celebrating the new moons and the full moons.

These rituals are performed within sacred or magick circles, and are used for the purposes of asking for guidance and giving thanks to the Goddess and God, and are often used for the performance of magick.

Some witches are members of a coven, in which there will be a High Priestess and/or High Priest. The other members will be witches of varying degrees of initiation. There are also many, many solitary witches.

Most witches conform to a moral code called the Witches Rede, it simply states 'An it harm none, do what thou will'. This means that as long as you do no harm to anyone or anything, including yourself, you may do anything that your heart desires and has the willpower to accomplish. A witch that performs magick for the purposes of harm, will ultimately be harming themselves. This comes about by the 'Threefold Law' that states that anything that you do will be returned to you three times. So if you perform good it will be returned to you threefold, likewise any evil will be returned to you threefold - so it makes sense to only do good.

Witches practice magick, especially magick involving herbs, stones, colours, the elements and the energy of nature. However, we do not perform animal sacrifices; the only sacrifices made are of a spiritual nature.

Magic is the use of a witch's will and energy to manipulate and alter the probability of things around them. The only tool necessary to create magic is a strong will and focused intention, however, many witches will use a variety of tools as they feel need for to create their desired effect. Magic works in accordance to natural law and will not create unlikely affects such as fireballs, bolts of lightening, or resurrect the dead, well not that I know of anyway ;-).

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Morrigan, Irish Goddess of Battle and Fertility

The Morrigan is an Irish Goddess of battle, fertility and the cycle of life. Her names translates to mean Phantom Queen or Great Queen. She was seen as a triple Goddess, forming a trinity with the Goddesses Badb and Macha. She was known to sometimes take the form of a crow and fly above warriors during battle. She is a dark Goddess, who is also associated with death and shape shifting. Although she is seen as triple formed, It would be most wise to honor her on the dark or waning moon.

The Morrigan is an ancient Goddess, and many are unsure of her exact origins. Some myths she say is the daughter of Dagda, others say that she was one of the Tuatha De Danann and one of the daughters of Ernmas, who was an Irish Mother Goddess. Whatever her exact origins are, we do know that she was a fierce and powerful warrior Goddess.

The most well known of her myths are those with the hero Cu Chulainn. The Morrigan appeared to Cu Chulainn one day and offered him her love. When he did not recognize her and rejected her, she became enraged and insulted him. Before he could do anything, she turned into a crow and landed on a nearby tree. Realizing now who she was, Cu Chulainn told the Morrigan that had he known who she was before, he wouldn't have acted as he did. But it was too late, The Morrigan then gave him a series of bad prophecies, one of those being that he would die in battle. She declared to him that she would guard his death.

In another myth, while the Cu Chulainn was one his way to battle, he encountered the Morrigan in the form of a hag washing his bloody armor in a ford. This was seen as a bad omen. "The Washer at the Ford" is a legend of a woman who washes the bloody clothes of those who are about to die. She essentially chooses who is going to die in battle. In the final scene of the myth of Cu Chulainn and The Morrigan, when the hero is now mortally wounded, he is said to tie himself to a standing stone, and a crow lands on his shoulder. It is then his enemies know, he is dead.

Although she is known by most as a battle Goddess, there is more to The Morrigan than that. She was also seen as a fertility and earth Goddess because of her association with cattle. In Ireland in County Meath, there are two hills known as "The Two breasts of Morrigan" suggesting that she was also seen as a protector and guardian. Máire Herbert, who wrote about the Morrigan in the book The Concept of the Goddess, suggests that she was not so much a war Goddess, but more like a protector during war. Making her seem more like a Goddess of Sovereignty.

However complex this mystical Goddess may be, she teaches us to act as the Queen in the battles of our own lives. To take control of our lives and reinvent ourselves to be able to deal with any situation life throws at us. This comes from her shape shifting abilities. To be able to change at will, to easily adapt to any environment. This is something we all have to deal with in life, change. Call on The Morrigan to help protect you during a hard time in your life. Or to help you change yourself to deal with and adapt to your environment better. Also, she helps to show us the darker side of ourselves, and learn how to come to terms with it. The Morrigan has much wisdom to offer, she may be vengeful at times, but she is also the guardian who protects those who call on her aid.

On your altar to The Morrigan, have colors of black, red and white, a crow feather, a picture or statue of her, an athame, triple Goddess symbol, and Celtic spiral symbols.

Enjoy working with this ancient and powerful Irish Goddess!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Protection Charm

Star Anise
Small cotton or velvet pouch
Incense ( I like sage for this)
With a mortar & pestle, grind the equal parts of 1st three ingredients into an almost powder, grinding in a clock-wise direction. Think of your intent as you grinds the herbs, putting your energy into the herbs. When ground to a somewhat fine consistency, scoop the herbs into a small black (or whatever color you choose) pouch. Add the Star Anise last (whole) Tie the pouch closed and light the incense. Bless the pouch by waving it through the smoke, saying a blessing for protection. Carry the pouch with you when you feel the need to be protected ( I use mine to help with other people's negativity).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Simple Magical Herbal Teas

Making a herb tea is a great way of using the power of a herb. These can be made my pouring a cup of hot water over a teaspoon of powered or crushed herbs and allow to steep for 2-5 mins (I personally use one of those metal tea balls). Strain and drink up!

  • To ward off negative energies drink Sage tea (highly protective energies)
  • To encourage love energies, try a mixture of orange rind, rosehip and cinnamon. Makes a delicious tea, especially if you add a little honey
  • To attract luck and opportunity, make lemongrass tea and place an almond in the tea pot
  • To draw abundance and wealth, try a mix of one part ginger and one-eighth part each of clove and nutmeg
  • For drawing courage, use herbs like parsley, raspberry leaf, nettle, aniseed and ginger

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Practical Magic inspired BOS...Completed!!!

YAY!! It's finally done!! I actually completed it sometime last week, but I've had it sitting under some books and stuff to help it get it's shape. I actually had to take apart the back cover because I made the spine portion too big for the back part of the book. Now on to the pictures... 

                                                                              Front of book

 Inside of front over

 back portion showing it closed

 book laid out with all covers open.

 first page of secret area

 top of book, showing the secret area in the back

side of book

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reclaiming Tradition Witchcraft

I found this article on and thought it was too good not to share.

Reclaiming Tradition Witchcraft

Author: M Macha Nightmare [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: January 13th. 2001
Times Viewed: 44,352


Reclaiming Tradition Witchcraft
by M. Macha NightMare, with input from Vibra Willow ©1999

The Reclaiming Tradition of contemporary American Witchcraft arose from a working collective in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

In the Summer of 1980, Diane Baker and Starhawk, who prior to that time had been working with individual guests to their coven, Raving, decided to plan and co-teach a basic class in Witchcraft. Starhawk's book, The Spiral Dance, was due to be published later that year. For this book, Starhawk drew upon her own personal training and experiences, her early exposure to the work of Z Budapest, and her later training in Faery Witchcraft with Victor and Cora Anderson. Diane and Starhawk called their first class "Elements of Magic" It was a six-week series. It was offered as a class in Goddess spirituality and directed towards women. Classes were done within sacred space and the emphasis was on the experiential rather than the didactic. Each class focused on one of the Elements, beginning with Air in the East, proceeding around the circle weekly to Fire in the South, Water in the West, Earth in the North, and Spirit in the Center. In addition, each class demonstrated a different aspect of magic (the intellectual, energy sensing and projecting, trance work, spell-working, etc.) and built upon the preceding class.

This class was so enthusiastically received by the women who took it that they pleaded for more. Starhawk and Diane enlisted the help of two other members of Coven Raving to teach a second series of Elements to more women who had expressed interest, and to create a more advanced class called "The Iron Pentacle." The Iron Pentacle is based upon a Faery Witchcraft concept. The class' "main focus was trance work and the discovery of the healing powers of the human body through meditations on the five-pointed star." (1) The points were sex, self, passion, pride and power. This construct is one of the distinguishing features of Reclaiming Craft because it is considered part of the basic approach to magic, although other lines of Faery also work with it. The same is true for its obverse, the Pentacle of Pearl, the points of which are love, law, wisdom, knowledge and power. Both pentacles have correspondences with the head, hands and feet, going round and transversing the human body touching the points of a five-pointed star.

Again, success spawned a further class called "The Rites of Passage." This third class ended with the students initiating themselves, and starting their own coven, the "Holy Terrors, " (2) followed soon thereafter by the Wind Hags. All classes were conducted within a ritual, in sacred space.

From there, more classes were formed, more people began teaching, more covens arose. By this time, the original teachers had joined with some of the "graduates" and others to continue the teaching and also to offer public rituals at the sabbats. They also put out a small newsletter containing mainly class and public ritual announcements. This core group became the Reclaiming Collective, so naming itself in 1980.

During this period, many Collective members and people from the larger Reclaiming community were prominently active in anti-nuclear civil disobedience in such places as Lawrence Livermore Lab and Diablo Canyon. Some people provided support for others who risked arrest doing direct action. In addition, some people in the Collective and the larger community lived in communal households. Some were anarchists. All of the Collective's activities, from designing classes to dealing with domestic concerns to public political protests were done using consensus process.

Because of the political experiences of most of the early organizers of Reclaiming, the Collective has always used consensus process, learned mainly from the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). This takes longer than traditional group decision-making and can be fraught with frustrations, especially for the more hierarchical and parliamentary-minded. Yet within Reclaiming it fostered close bonds among participants. Almost all of the early planning and activity took place "in sacred space, " ritualized, in the presence of the god/dess(es).

The Collective, after weeks and months of discussion and work, created a statement which appeared in each issue of the Reclaiming Newsletter:

Reclaiming is a community of San Francisco Bay Area women and men working to unify spirit and politics. Our vision is rooted in the religion and magic of the Goddess—the Immanent Life Force. We see our work as teaching and making magic—the art of empowering ourselves and each other. In our classes, workshops, and public rituals, we train our voices, bodies, energy, intuition, and minds. We use the skills we learn to deepen our strength, both as individuals and as community, to voice our concerns about the world in which we live, and bring to birth a vision of a new culture.(3)

Thus, unlike most other Craft traditions, including one of its foundations, Faery Tradition, Reclaiming has always espoused a connection between spirituality and political action.

In 1985 the Collective offered its first Summer Intensive Apprenticeship, held over the course of a week in homes of members in San Francisco and in parks and other outdoor spaces. Students traveled from other states to train; they stayed on futons, beds, couches and floors in the homes of collective members. The first Summer Intensive was so successful that the following year the collective rented a retreat camping facility at Jughandle Farm on the Mendocino Coast for a series of training sessions away from everyday life for both teachers and students. At this point, teachers were drawn from the pool of collective teachers.

The "intensives" soon came to be known as "Witch Camps" and expanded with SF Bay Area teachers being invited to other states, Canada, England, Germany and Norway. The people trained in those camps in turn trained others in their communities. Today, Reclaiming Tradition Witch Camps throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe are run autonomously. They are now connected to Reclaiming's representative body called the Wheel through their Witch Camp spokescouncil called the Web.

In the meantime back in California, the "core classes"(4) were expanded upon and modified, and new ones such as herbal magic, incense making, chants and enchantment, abortion healing, "Bringing the Steps into the Circle" (working with Twelve Steps), and others were added. The leading of public rituals taught us new ways of doing magic in large groups with participants of all degrees of magical expertise. We devised methods and roles to meet these changing circumstances.

Among the roles we created were "Crows, " those who oversee the big picture—of an individual ritual, of teaching plans, or of overall Collective activities. "Snakes" view things from the ground, the little, down-to-Earth things. "Dragons" guard the perimeters of circles in public outdoor spaces such as beaches so that participants can work undistracted by curious passersby; they do not directly participate in the work of a ritual because they are providing a buffer between the public and the inner circle. "Graces" act as assistant priest/esses; they welcome people, guide them, keep aisles clear, get people standing, sitting, chanting, dancing, assembled for a spiral dance, all in different and appropriate parts of the ritual.

In recent years Reclaiming has begun employing "Anchors" in large public rituals, to help focus and contain the energy of the circle in settings where it might be prone to fragmentation and dissolution. They act something like tent pegs to keep the energy contained until such time as it may be appropriate to release and direct it.

Currently, some Reclaiming Witches are being trained in aspecting, a technique which closely corresponds to what in traditional British Craft traditions more commonly known as Drawing Down the Moon.

Not all Reclaiming Witches practice all these techniques. Many full-fledged and respected Reclaiming Witches were trained and proceeded in their personal and coven practices before some of these techniques were commonly used, and Reclaiming continues to be an evolving, living tradition.

In The Pagan Book of Living and Dying, Starhawk describes Reclaiming's style of ritual as EIEIO—Ecstatic, Improvisational, Ensemble, Inspired, and Organic. Our practices are constantly growing, being "extended, refined, renewed and changed as the spirit moves us and need arises, rather than . . . learned and repeated in a formulaic manner."(5) The spread of teachings from the Bay Area combined with the growth of teaching groups in the vicinities where Witch Camps were held (Vancouver, B.C., Missouri, Michigan, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania). Lessons learned from collective work have informed teaching at the Witch Camps and lessons learned from putting on Witch Camps have found their way into local Bay Area practices.

Distinguishing features of Reclaiming Tradition Witchcraft are:

  1. non-hierarchial covens and group priest/esshoods;
  2. no specific pantheon;
  3. no requirement of initiation, and when initiations are undertaken, customized ones;
  4. strong emphasis on political involvement and social and ecological responsibility/consciousness;
  5. no set liturgy (except in certain large, rehearsed or semi-rehearsed public sabbat rituals) but rather training in principles of magic and the structure of ritual, and how to "speak as the spirit moves you" within that structure;
  6. cultivation of ecstatic states (customarily without the use of entheogens or psychotropics) and divine colloquy—more shamanic than ceremonial;
  7. cultivation of self-empowerment, self-discovery, and creativity;
  8. extensive use of chanting and breathwork in magical rites;
  9. intense "energy-raising, " often using our trademark spiral dance (or even double helix/DNA molecule dance);
  10. magical use of the Pentacle of Iron construct and its obverse, the Pentacle of Pearl;
  11. concept of Three Souls;
  12. encouragement of the creation of new ritual forms by anyone. I have heard us described as "the pentecostal Witches, " which I take to be an allusion to the loose structure, high energy and ecstatic nature of most Reclaiming rituals, particularly the large public ones.
A feature of Reclaiming that has emerged in the '90s is working with the concept of the Three Souls, which is shared with Faery Tradition Witchcraft and also appears in Hawaiian, Jewish and Celtic cultures. Starhawk's adaptation, called the Three Selves, appears in The Spiral Dance, as Younger Self, the unconscious mind, Talking Self, which gives verbal and conscious expression, and Deep Self or God Self, the Divine within.

From the beginning, Reclaiming has had no specific pantheon. We always invoked Goddess into our circles and often, but not always, God as well. Collective classes, covens, and community have had significantly more women than men. Eventually, two particular deities seemed to have adopted the Bay Area Reclaiming community—Brigit and Lugh.

Concurrent with all these developments, Starhawk was working on a counseling degree at Antioch University West. Her work and life informed her master's thesis, which was published as Dreaming the Dark: Magic, Sex and Politics in 1982. Her 1987 book Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority and Mystery expanded on what we were learning to do and on what she and others were doing in political direct action.

There is no doubt that Starhawk is the primary thealogian of Reclaiming Tradition Witchcraft, as well as being its most prolific liturgist. Other prominent liturgists include Rose May Dance, Pandora Minerva O'Mallory, Anne Hill, T. Thorn Coyle, and the many collaborative chants and songs that arise from classes and in the various Witch Camps.

Starhawk has always acknowledged that much of her own thinking grows out of the community and is informed by others. Reclaiming is a far more collaborative and egalitarian Collective and community than it may appear to outsiders because of the fame of one member, i.e., Starhawk. People assume she is "the leader" and that has never been true, although she has always been, and remains, a powerful and influential voice.

Initiation—which is not required in order to perform any ritual role—has come to be performed by "committees" of teachers selected by the candidate for initiation who must ask for initiation; it is not offered, or even suggested. She may or may not have her request granted; one or more teachers may refuse. It may take some years before all on the "committee" agree that she's ready. If the candidate works in a coven, she usually is also initiated into that coven, and any initiates within the coven are invited to be part of the initiation whether they were the candidate's teachers or not.

Reclaiming initiations are customized to the individual seeker. The candidate must be willing to accept challenges from each of her initiators, and must fulfill them to everyone's satisfaction before the actual ceremony can take place. These challenges are created by each individual initiator in accordance with what that priest/ess feels the candidate needs to be challenged on, and the rule of thumb is that an initiator only gives a challenge which she has already done, or would and could do. No one is challenged to be a trapeze artist, for instance. She may, however, be challenged to such an undertaking as undergoing a white-water rafting experience if that is something the initiator determines would foster the candidate's growth—and that the person is ultimately capable of. For instance, a diabetic wouldn't be given a challenge involving prolonged fasting, nor would a physically frail person be expected to stay out all night unclothed.

Reclaiming Collective incorporated as a non-profit religious corporation in the State of California in 1990, wrote Bylaws based on a consensus process model of decision-making, and eventually gained 501(c)(3) tax status with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Over the years, Reclaiming Collective expanded from teaching Craft and providing public sabbat rituals to providing a recorded Events Line listing classes, rituals and other activities, recording chants, publishing a book, and maintaining an internet presence with website and listserves. The Reclaiming Newsletter grew into a slick, rich magazine now called the Reclaiming Quarterly.

After years of discussion and seeking input from those not members of the Collective itself, the Collective (which varied in size from about 10 to 20 or more at its largest) dissolved itself as a collective and turned over authority to the Wheel, a representative body comprised of spokespersons from all the many cells. At that point, about 52 people had, over the years, been members of Reclaiming Collective, for greater or lesser periods of time. In order to open up the perceived central authority of Reclaiming to the many Witches who, by the '90s, identified with Reclaiming and who practiced in the somewhat anarchic style of Reclaiming Witchcraft, the Collective created a statement called our Principles of Unity.

In addition to the Principles of Unity, the collective revised the former Mission Statement by deleting only four words: "San Francisco Bay Area." Today there are several "daughter" collectives spread over a widespread geographic area—ReWeaving in Los Angeles, Strand by Strand in Portland, Oregon, Diana's Grove in Missouri, Tejas Web in Texas, SpiralHeart in the Mid-Atlantic region, and even Dreamroads Collective in cyberspace.

Realizing that we have no way, need or desire to dictate to others how they should perform their rituals, and abhorring dogma and stagnation, we believe that any Witch may honestly and sincerely claim to be a Reclaiming Tradition Witch if he or she practices Reclaiming-style magic and agrees to our Principles of Unity.

Reclaiming Principles of Unity

"My law is love unto all beings . . ." The Charge of the Goddess

The values of the Reclaiming tradition stem from our understanding that the Earth is alive and all of life is sacred and interconnected. We see the Goddess as immanent in the Earth's cycles of birth, growth, death, decay and regeneration. Our practice arises from a deep, spiritual commitment to the Earth, to healing and to the linking of magic with political action.

Each of us embodies the divine. Our ultimate spiritual authority is within, and we need no other person to interpret the sacred to us. We foster the questioning attitude, and honor intellectual, spiritual and creative freedom.

We are an evolving, dynamic tradition and proudly call ourselves Witches. Honoring both Goddess and God, we work with female and male images of divinity, always remembering that their essence is a mystery which goes beyond form. Our community rituals are participatory and ecstatic, celebrating the cycles of the seasons and our lives, and raising energy for personal, collective and earth healing.

We know that everyone can do the life-changing, world-renewing work of magic, the art of changing consciousness at will. We strive to teach and practice in ways that foster personal and collective empowerment, to model shared power and to open leadership roles to all. We make decisions by consensus, and balance individual autonomy with social responsibility.

Our tradition honors the Wild, and calls for service to the Earth and the community. We value peace and practice non-violence, in keeping with the Rede, "Harm none, and do what you will." We work for all forms of justice: environmental, social, political, racial, gender and economic. Our feminism includes a radical analysis of power, seeing all systems of oppression as interrelated, rooted in structures of domination and control.

We welcome all genders, all races, all ages and sexual orientations and all those differences of life situation, background, and ability that increase our diversity. We strive to make our public rituals and events accessible and safe. We try to balance the need to be justly compensated for our labor with our commitment to make our work available to people of all economic levels.

All living beings are worthy of respect. All are supported by the sacred Elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth. We work to create and sustain communities and cultures that embody our values, that can help to heal the wounds of the earth and her peoples, and that can sustain us and nurture future generations.

The article can be found here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Samhain soon....

samhain 3

The Wheel turns and turns, and the year begins, ends, and begins again.
Samhain is the last harvest celebration.
Samhain is the night when the Old King dies, and the Crone Goddess mourns him greatly during the next six weeks. Samhain is the day on which the Celtic New Year and winter begin together, so it is a time for both beginnings and endings.
It is also the day we honor our dead. Now, while the veil between the worlds is thinnest, those who have died in the past year and those who are to be reincarnated pass through. This is the most magical time of the year, and one of the most dangerous for the inexperienced.
This festival is also known as Hallowe'en, and All Hallows Eve. It usually takes place on or near October 31.
For the Samhain altar: Decorate with autumn flowers, small pumpkins, Indian corn, and gourds.
Cauldron with black votive candle for petition magick (for writing resolutions on a strip of paper and burning in the candle flame)
Divination or scrying devises -- tarot, obsidian ball, pendulum, runes, oghams, Ouija boards, black cauldron or bowl filled with black ink or water, or magick mirror, to name a few
An animal horn, feather or talon as a power symbol (Samhain is tradtionally the meat harvest)

Traditional Herbs - Rosemary (for remembrance of our ancestors), Mullein seeds (a projection for abundance), mugwort (to aid in divination), rue, calendula, sunflower petals and seeds, pumpkin seeds, turnip seeds, apple leaf, sage, mushrooms, wild ginseng, wormwood, tarragon, bay leaf, almond, hazelnut, passionflower, pine needles, nettle, garlic, hemlock cones, mandrake root. At Samhain, witches once gave one another acorns as gifts. During the Burning Times, giving someone an acorn was a secret means of telling that person you were a witch. Acorns are fruits of the oak, one of the most sacred trees to the ancient Celts. They are symbols of protection, fertility, growth, values, and friendship.
Traditional Incense - -
Myrrh or Patchouli
Candle Colors - black, brown, golden yellow, orange, red, silver, and white. .
Magickal Stones - Black obsidian, smoky quartz, jet, amber, pyrite, garnet, granite, clear quartz, marble, sandstone, gold, diamond, iron, steel, ruby, hematite, brass

Hecate, Cerridwen, Arianhod, Persephone, the Morrigan, Edda, Lilith, Arawn, and Nefertum. Any God representing death or rebirth.
At Samhain, witches cast spells to keep anything negative from the past -- evil, harm, corruption, greed -- out of the future. Cast spells to psychically contact our deceased forebears and retrieve ancient knowledge, thus preserving the great Web that stretches through many generations of human families.
- Make resolutions, write them on a small piece of parchment, and burn in a candle flame, preferably a black votive candle within a cauldron on the altar.
- Wear costumes that reflect what we hope or wish for in the upcoming year.
- Carve a jack-o-lantern. Place a spirit candle in it.
- Enjoy the trick or treating of the season.
- Drink apple cider spiced with cinnamon to honor the dead. Bury an apple or pomegranate in the garden as food for spirits passing by on their way to being reborn.
- Do divinations for the next year using tarot, a crystal ball, flame, pendulum, magick mirror, black bowl, runes, Ouija boards, or a black cauldron filled with black ink or water.
- Set out a mute supper.
- Make a mask of your shadow self.
- Make a besom, or witches broom.
- Make a witches ladder for protection or as an expression of what you hope to manifest in the year ahead.
- Find a magick wand of oak, holly, ash, rowan, birch, hazel, elm, hawthorne or willow.
- Let this be the traditional time that you make candles for the coming year, infusing them with color, power, herbs, and scent depending on the magickal purpose.
Meat dishes (especially pork), rosemary (for meat seasoning), pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, mulled cider with spices, candy apples or other apple dishes, potatoes, roasted pumpkin seeds, nuts (representing resurrection and rebirth), especially hazel nuts and acorns.

Friday, September 16, 2011

How To Perform Protection Spells

We all feel vulnerable at times. A protection spell can empower you. Whether it is the negative energies of others or fear for your property, you are not helpless. You can build a field of energy that will keep destructive forces away. Read on to learn how to perform protection spells.


- Pour hot water over a 1 tsp. of basil. Let it sit for half an hour. Run a warm bath and add the basil water. Relax and envision yourself moving through life confident and brave.
- Identify your fears. The kind of protection you need will influence the spell you perform. Mentally destructive forces need to be handled differently from physical threats.
- Meditate on the person who is causing you grief if you are performing the spell for protection against someone. Write a letter addressing that person and explaining why you feel vulnerable.
- Describe the ownership history of your home, if that's what you want to protect. Pay attention to the feelings you get when you write about previous owners. The energies they have left behind could be what's making you feel uncomfortable.
- Buy a black and white candle. Light it in a place in your home where you feel safe. Imagine a thick field of white energy surrounding you. Call up that protective field of energy when you feel threatened.
- Perform a simple protection spell for your home by burning sage in a censer. Walk through every room in your house, including the attic, basement and garage, chanting words that empower you.
- Eat more protein like chicken, beans, cheese and tofu when feeling vulnerable to help ground you. Spicy dishes with garlic, onions, black pepper and cayenne keep negative energies away. Eat while visualizing that you are protected from threatening forces.

Tips & Warnings

* When using incantations, say positive words that empower you rather than negative words against someone or something.

This is simple magic protection spell for the protection of a room, household or other physical location against negative energies or bad spirits.

How to cast it:

- Cast a Witch's Circle. If you use a besom for this, sweep the entire area that you wish to protect.
- Asperse (sprinkle with purified water) the area that you are protecting. Pay special attention to any doors, windows or corners.
- Cast the sea salt around the edges of the area. You need not be heavy-handed, just a few salt crystals per foot is quite sufficient.
- Light the incense and allow it to burn for a few moments before continuing. Many denominations of witchcraft begin chanting or prayers at this point.
- Use the fan or feather to cense (direct smoke towards) the entire area. Work clockwise (doesil) and wave the fan through the smoke to send it outwards. As with the water, pay special attention to doors, windows and corners. Finish your chants and invoke any deities or energies whose blessing you desire upon the protected area. Finish with your normal ritual and close the circle.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

one of my other altars. See how un-elaborate it is? I have a picture of St. Michael that was given to me. And a printed out image of Lady Fortuna. I got Her frame from a thrift store that I painted then added the charms to. There's also the St. Michael candle and the rosary. Plus the gold candle for Fortuna and the crystals.
BTW, I got the table it's on from Goodwill for $6.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mabon Altar

In my last post about Mabon, I promised images of my altar. Well here it is!! I put it up earlier today.  I made the altar cloth myself with 1/2 a yard of fabric that I got from Hancock fabrics. I also made the fabric cornucopia. I got the pattern and instructions here.

close up of fabric cornucopia. And yes, those are real acorns. I found them
in my backyard.
left side of altar with candles
Right side of altar

Yes below it all are my other altars. This one is set up on my bar area. Below is my Hecate altar, which is a work in progress.  Next to it is my St Michael and Lady Fortuna altar.

Monday, September 12, 2011


It will soon be here!!! I so need to get my altar ready!!

MAY-bon, MAY-bun, MAY-bone, MAH-boon or MAH-bawn, – Lesser Sabbat – Fall/Autumn Equinox, September 21-23
Michaelmas (September 25th, Christian), Second Harvest Festival, Witches’ Thanksgiving, Harvest Home (Anglo-Celtic), Feast of Avalon, Wine Harvest, Festival of Dionysus, Cornucopia, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), Chung Chiu (China), Night of the Hunter, Alban Elfed “The Light of the Water”(Caledonii/ Druidic-celebrates Lord of the Mysteries), Winter Finding (Teutonic, from Equinox ’til Winter Night or Nordic New Year, Oct 15th.)
Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to honor Aging Deities and the Spirit World. Considered a time of balance, it is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hussle-bussle of everyday life. May your Mabon be memorable, and your hearts and spirits be filled to overflowing!
Second harvest festival, new wine pressing/making preparation for winter and Samhain, rest after labor, Pagan day of Thanksgiving, honoring the spirit world, celebration of wine.
death of the God, assumption of the Crone, balance of light and dark; increase of darkness, grape harvest, completion of the harvest.
Beauty, joy; fullness of life, harvest of the year’s desires, strength; laughter; power; prosperity, equality, balance, appreciation, harvest, protection, wealth,
security, self-confidence, reincarnation.
Symbolism of Mabon:
Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance.
Symbols of Mabon:
wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty.
Tools, Symbols & Decorations:
Indian corn, red fruits, autumn flowers, red poppies, hazelnuts, garlands, grains especially wheat stalks, and colorful, fallen leaves, acorns, pine & cypress cones, oak sprigs, pomegranate, statue/or figure to represent the Mother Goddess, mabon wreath, vine, grapes, gourd, cornucopia/horns of plenty, burial cairns, apples, marigolds, harvested crops, burial cairns, rattles, the Mysteries, sun wheel, all harvest symbols.
Herbs & Plants of Maybon:
Acorn, aster, benzoin, cedar, ferns, grains, hazel, honeysuckle, hops, ivy, marigold, milkweed, mums, myrrh, oak leaf, passionflower, pine, rose, sage, solomon’s seal, tobacco, thistle, and vegetables.
Foods of Mabon:
Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, cornbread, wheat products, grains, berries, grapes, acorns, seeds, dried fruits, corn, beans, squash, roots (ie onions, carrots, potatoes, etc), hops, sasssafras, roast goose or mutton, wine, ale, & cider.
Incense & Oils of Mabon:
Pine, sweetgrass, apple blossom, benzoin, myrrh, frankincense, jasmine, sage wood aloes, black pepper, patchouly, cinnamon, clove, oak moss, & sage.
Colors/Candles of Mabon:
Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, gold, deep gold, green, orange, scarlet, all autumn colors, purple, blue, violet, & indigo.
Stones of Mabon:
Sapphire, lapis lazuli, yellow agates, carnelian, yellow topaz, & amethyst.
Offerings to land, preparing for cold weather, bringing in harvest, cutting willow wands (Druidic), eating seasonal fruit, leaving apples upon burial cairns & graves as a token of honor, walk wild places & forests, gather seed pods & dried plants, fermenting grapes to make wine,picking ripe produce, stalk bundling; fishing,. on the closest full moon (Harvest Moon) harvesting corps by moonlight.
Activities of Mabon:
Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.
Spellworkings and Rituals of Mabon:
Protection, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance. Celtic Festival of the Vine, prosperity rituals, introspection, rituals which enact the elderly aspects of both Goddess & God, past life recall.
Animals/Mythical beings:
Dogs, wolves, stag, blackbird, owl, eagle, birds of prey, salmon & goat, Gnomes, Sphinx, Minotaur, Cyclops, Andamans and Gulons.
Modron (Welsh), Bona Dea, Land Mother, Aging & Harvest Dieties: the Triple Goddess-Mother aspect, Persephone, Demeter/Ceres, Morgan (Welsh- Cornish), Snake Woman (aboriginal), Epona (Celtic-Gaulish), Pamona (roman), the Muses (greek)
Mabon ap Modron (Welsh), Sky Father, The Green Man, Wine Gods, Aging Gods, John Barley Corn , the Wicker-Man, the Corn Man, Thoth (Egyptian), Hermes, Hotei (Japanese), Thor, Dionysus (Roman), Bacchus (Greek) & all wine Deities

Practical Magic BOS...again!!!

It's getting closer to being finished!!! I didn't get a picture of it, but last night I glued down the top and bottom edges of the covers. Today, I glued down the side edges. I've also put into place the pages!!!!! That's the part pictured here!! 

You can kinda see in the upper right hand corner of the picture some clothes pins holding the side of the cover down.
You can also kinda see some darker colored pages on the ends of the books. I am also going to use these to hopefully hold down the pages. Once the fabric wings dry, I'm going to glue them down into place. UNLESS I can find some pretty contact paper!! If I can find this, I'm going to use it instead of gluing down some fancy papers. That way I know it will hold better. But I'll save that for another post with another picture!!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Practical Magic BOS continued

I had a chance to work on the book again today. The pages set up just fine and I've added the fabric pieces to the spine that will help it stay down better. I've also glued down the cardboard to the fabric!!!

Word to the wise--when following directions on this part, be sure to pay special attention!! It says to put an inch around the entire section, not BETWEEN the sections!!! Also, this book only calls for 3 backings, not the original 4 I had cut!!! Also, when measuring spine, be sure to measure it with front and back of book on the pages, not just the stack of pages!!!  Most important, take...everything...slow. Don't rush it!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Practical Magic BOS

I love the movie Practical Magic!! And like most witches who love the movie, I love the BOS that the ladies have. I've wanted one for a long time. But the only ones I can find online cost anywhere from $300 all the way up to $700.  If you go to this blog you will see an example of the type of book I speak of.

So I've decided to make my own. I did a few hours of research on how to do book binding. Then found a tutorial on how to actually make a hardcover book. So far, I've gotten the pages glued together: 

The first 2 images show the bigger section of the book in the binding jigs that I made. It is about 300 pages. The 3rd picture is the smaller portion of the book, or the hidden part. It's somewhere between 50-100 pages. I didn't count them!!! The next step is to measure and cut out the project board I got for the covers. I will be posting more as I complete each portion.

But in the mean time, here is my supply list: 

Copy pages--500 for $3. I was going to coffee stain them but the pages kept falling apart. WalMart does sell parchment paper but it's $7 for 120 pages. White paper is fine with me.

Bottle of Elmer's glue-- $.97

Project board--$1. This will be what I cut for the covers. It's a harder cardboard and I got it from the Dollar Tree. 

Leather/pleather fabric---$3 for a 1 yard piece of remnant. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Elemental Altar Cloth

This an altar cloth I'm making for cobaltgypsy on the 'Bot. It measures 14" x 14". I'm almost finished with it--just have to do the hems.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hekates's Wheel Crosstitch

This little piece of work took me 2 nights to finish. I found the pattern here.

The first picture show the piece with a quarter near it to show the size.

I'm going tomorrow to get a mat and frame for it. Will repost later once it is done!!

I am a bad blogger!!!

I know, I'm such a bad blogger!! I've always been this way. I think my 8 yr old keeps a better one that I do!!!

I'm going to try to keep up with this again!!!