Aries:The first spear thrown in the most important hunt for the tribe. The arrowhead sharpened to a point that cuts through wind, and more importantly, flesh. Taurus:A shield used in the Colosseum. Perfectly round, its edges bare chips as scars from many close calls. A blade is only as strong as one who weilds it, a shield will always hold if built correctly. Gemini:Two daggers, both forged by a self proclaimed God. One blessed by sunlight, the other cursed by moonlight. Where one is weak, the other is strong. Never to be separated, as you can not live solely in the day or the night. Cancer:A war axe, crafted from diamond and metals passed down from the heavens. Incredibly heavy, when in the hands of the pure it swings with the speed and force of the northern winds. Leo:A whip eight feet long, with thorns protruding from the aged leather. Legend says when cracked by one with a lion’s spirit, the animal kingdom is theirs to rule. Virgo:The poison itself may not warrant the label weapon, but the needles dipped lightly in the vile before being perfectly placed in the nape of the victim’s neck might. Starting from there the poison slowly eats away the muscles and fat from the body, leaving its host a shriveled pile of skin and bone. Libra:A shaman’s fan, made of large leaves bound in twine and blessed with drops of patchouli oil. Seemingly a flimsy decorative piece, when fanned as the ancestors did, the winds themselves bend to the control of the shaman. Scorpio:A woodsman’s axe, two small chunks of opal tied tight to the handle. It’s intention is to forge through the darkest part of the woods, to clear any obstacles that the forest may present, but the blade is very familiar with the feeling of blood. Sagittarius:The bow was carved from glass, engraved with the prayer of a lost civilization. The arrows, nine of them, found in the chest of a queen buried deep in an eleborate tomb. When used together, they say a man can become a God. Capricorn:The old crone’s staff, an owl carved into the darkened wood. Decorated in stones, feathers, and totems of her people. She raises the tip to the setting sun, and transforms into her true form. Her night is spent soaring above the trees, moonlight illuminating her hunting grounds. Aquarius:A gun can instill fear in anyone, but a water gun on the other hand brings people together with the power of nostalgia. Until, that is, they realize that’s not water they’re laughing off. It’s acid. Pisces:A sword passed down from mother to daughter for generations. Once known as the sharpest blade in the world, it has been kept from bloodshed for a hundred years. Sheathed in an ornate sleeve it sleeps, and waits for the day its steel must save humanity again.
4. Invoke - the presence of spirits to assist in tasks, to protect on journeys, to grant guidance, maintain connections and uphold contracts.
5. Craft - use the hands to create, to construct, imbue each creation with spirit and purpose, a meal, a potion, a carving, a weaving, enchant the mundane and material.
6. Sing - the old songs, the power songs, the prayers, the chants, to heal, to awaken, to enforce, to ward, sing the sun to sleep and the moon to rising, sing in the bath, at the hearth, in the heart.
7. Read - widely and deeply, old and new, academic and popular, across boundaries and taboos, slowly and with full attention, take notes, research, reflect.
8. Write - record experiences, practices, thoughts. keep journals and grimoires, spellbooks and scripts, remember, elucidate, illuminate.
9. Draw - sigils and runes, symbols and signs. Carve, paint, scratch, blacken, redden, scrawl, in the sand, with salt, in the air, with chalk, ink, blood, charcoal, the mind.
10. Collect - herbs, woods, stones, feathers, bones, teeth, soil, the raw materials of natural magic, fill jars, boxes, bags, gather, forage, wildcraft, thrift, take that which is discarded, value the found over the bought.
11. Observe - the cycles of moon, sun, planets, stars, take heed with the eyes as well as the almanac, feel the sap rise, the birds migrate, the bulbs awaken, the leaves wither.
12. Renew - old spells, old wards, protections, and boundaries. Clean what is obscured, recast what has weakened, maintain what is working, replace what is lost. Tie up loose ends.
13. Communicate - with everything, stones, trees, spirits, the dead, that which grows in the garden and that which visits it, other practitioners, mentors, students, seekers, the younger self, the higher self, the wyrd.
As someone who is often low on energy, I know the difficulties that can come with trying to maintain your craft. Especially if, like me, you’re hard on yourself about such things. So here are some low energy ideas you can use in your craft day to day:
🌕 - Pay a little more attention to the seasonings you put on your food or what you drink, you might be doing a bit of accidental magic already! Feeling like you need a little protection? Maybe use a bit of basil and a pinch of salt on your next meal if appropriate. There are tons of simple herbs and blended teas, smoothies ect. out there that can really help boost your day if you need them.
🌕 - Talk to your Deities or spirits casually. If they don’t mind it, that is, do be careful not to offend. Though it can’t be said for all deities or spirits, there are many that will appreciate being regarded even just with casual talk. Discuss things with them, talk about how your day went, things you are concerned over, whatever you please. They might even help with issues if they decide to do so or if they are capable and even if they don’t, most of them are at least pleased to be regarded, especially if you don’t have the energy to do much more than that on a daily basis.
🌕 - Sigils. Sigil everything. Though they cannot solve all problems, I have found that sigils are an effective way to combat a lot of the smaller issues in my life. They don’t require too much energy and there are plenty out there if you look for them, so you don’t even have to design your own.
🌕 - Time spent researching is not time wasted. If you’re too tired to actually do any craft but want to do something involving it, perhaps try sitting down and doing some research. Read books, look on various websites, research things you’d never looked into before and you never know, you just might find something new that calls to you.
🌕 - Incense/fragrance magic. If you’re able to burn incense or scented candles then take advantage of it, find correspondences for the scents you have and light any that might help you in areas of your life you feel need to improve. If you can’t use those then perhaps you can find scented things for a bath/shower and relax with the scents those provide.
🌕 - Commune using music. You’d be surprised how many deities and spirits enjoy music. Relax with some you feel will be appropriate, even if it’s not at all traditional and you just might find yourself surprised about what they can enjoy.
🌕 - If you have to go out, look out for items that might help bring your closer to your craft. Going to the supermarket? Perhaps take a brief look in the herb section. If you have a patron deity that enjoys a certain food item then perhaps see if you can get some. It doesn’t even have to cost money if you’re lucky, sometimes you might simply find something on your travels (a feather, a certain stone that looks perfect, a pinecone) and it may work in some way towards your craft.
● Get some houseplants! Plants allow you to bring some nature into your house, and choosing plants with magical correspondences means that you can use the plants in spells as well.
● You can also grow herbs in your garden or on your windowsill for use in spells - if anyone asks, the obvious answer is that you’re using them in cooking.
● If you’re into divination, try using normal playing cards instead of tarot cards - make a note of which card represents which tarot card.
● Necklaces can make great pendulums!
● You could also make paper runes - they perhaps lack the appeal of stone/glass runes, but witchcraft doesn’t need to be attractive for it to work! Simply draw some runes onto small pieces of paper or card. When you’re done with them, they’re easy to quickly dispose of by recycling them or burning them.
● To add a bit more of a ‘witchy aesthetic’ to your room, decorate with natural objects like plants, cool stones, feathers, shells, etc. You’ll still get a witchy atmosphere without it being obvious to others.
● Pretty lights like salt lamps and fairy lights also give a magical vibe to a room.
● If you worship deities, check out places like museum gift shops for small statues of gods from Ancient Greek/ Roman/ Egyptian etc. mythology. Just because you have an interest in history doesn’t mean you’re a witch!
● Everyday objects like coins can be used for simple charms - for example, hide coins around the house for prosperity.
● If you’re worried that using incense will be too obviously witchy, buy a reed diffuser, under the pretence of making your room smell nice (which is an added bonus anyway). You can choose scents with specific intents, and lots of diffusers have a cool little bottle that you can use afterwards for storing herbs and the like.
● Draw sigils on your skin using eyeliner in places that will be covered by your clothes, such as on your legs and arms. Alternatively, draw them using lotion/ moisturiser.
● Use bath salts/ soaps/ shampoos that have scents with magical correspondences.
● Enchant wind-chimes and windows with positivity so that whenever the wind blows and the sun shines, the room will be filled with positive energy :)
● Keep a digital Book of Shadows/ spell book that can be password protected, such as in diary app or a Word document! If you would prefer a traditional paper journal, use the dust cover of another book to keep it hidden.
● Use birthday cake candles or tea lights in spells - you can buy them in a variety of colours for different correspondences. These are useful as they burn quickly and don’t look particularly witchy.
It goes without saying that all witches’ situations are different, and, because of that, these tips may not be suitable for some people - please remember to keep yourself safe and happy!
Ostara is coming up! It is on March 20th 2016 this year. Spring is a time of rebirth, regrowth, and renewal. Ostara was essentially named after the German spring Goddess, Eostre. Ostara is a time of fertility and and sowing seeds.
Ways to celebrate:
Take a walk through a local park.
Lay in the grass.
Press some flowers. (Note: Be mindful, take only what you need.)
Take some pictures of spring. Make a collage with them or place some pictures on your Altar.
Plant a tree, Give back to nature.
Go for a walk and bask in nature.
Collect stones, feathers, leaves.
Celebrate in you coven. (If you have one.)
Decorate your altar according to Ostara.
If you are a solitary witch do your own ritual.
Send a prayer to thank nature.
Pray to the Spring/Nature God or Goddess.
Pay attention to the birds, the blooming flowers, the leaves growing on trees.
The most famous trait of the bowerbird is, of course, its elaborate courtship rituals. The male bowerbird constructs an elaborate nuptial den, or bower, to attract the female. These bowers fall under two types; one is the “avenue” type (first image), consisting of two walls of twigs or dry grass forming a short path, and the other is the “maypole” type (last image), in which sticks are placed around a central sapling, sometimes including a roof. In both types, the central structure is surrounded by arrangements of colourful objects, including but not limited to feathers, plastic, berries, stones, pieces of glass, marbles, shells, bullets, coins, leaves, and more. These objects can be scavenged from local settlements, found, or even stolen from rival males. The birds will spend hours carefully arranging these decorations, sometimes in accordance with colour (satin bowerbirds in particular seem to love the colour blue) or size, sometimes seemingly to the bird’s own tastes.
In 1972 biologists Colin Tayler and Graham Saayman were observing a group of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in a South African aquarium. One of them, a 6-month-old calf named Dolly, began to seek their attention by pressing feathers, stones, seaweed, and fish skins against the glass of the viewing chamber. If they ignored her she swam off and returned with a different object.
At the end of one observation session, one of the investigators blew a cloud of cigarette smoke against the glass as Dolly was looking in. “The observer was astonished when the animal immediately swam off to its mother, returned and released a mouthful of milk which engulfed her head, giving much the same effect as had the cigarette smoke,” the biologists reported. “Dolly subsequently used this behaviour as a regular device to attract attention” from the scientists!
Aries:The first spear thrown in the most important hunt for the tribe. The arrowhead sharpened to a point that cuts through wind, and more importantly, flesh.
Taurus:A shield used in the Colosseum. Perfectly round, its edges bare chips as scars from many close calls. A blade is only as strong as one who weilds it, a shield will always hold if built correctly.
The most important thing to remember when working with anything preternatural is Trust Your Gut. Magic is a science of instinct and association. Your eyes and ears are rarely used, navigate by what feels right.
BASIC CONCEPTS TO REMEMBER
1 - The older something is the more attuned it is. For example if a mage has a choice between working with a three year old tarot deck and a thirty year old deck, the older one will always produce better results.
2 - Natural materials are the best mediums for energy. Found wood, stone, feathers, twine. The less people who have touched it the better. I have generally found fallen Elkhorn to be the best readily available material. No human Ivory. You know why.
3 - You work in terms of sunrises. A sunrise is powerful unraveling force, most lesser enchantments will only last one or two sunrises before they have to be rebuilt. This can be designed around but requires extra time and energy.
PROTECT YA NECK
Your eraser is running water. Running water grounds most energies. Always have a bucket nearby.
If you are trying to talk to something, cover your face and be polite. Never say your full name.
Silver for the curses, lead for the spectral, iron for the fae, fire for anything that burns, faith for the demonic (a cross only works for a Christian, a star of david for a Jew, etc)
Magic is a study of balance. All comes at a price.
NOTE: Due to actions of others from the last post I made regarding Scott Cunningham, please do NOT send me hate because of it. Scott is a wonderful author and my mother recommended him, therefore it is a connection that my mom and I have together so do not be a dick and be mean. it’s not nice and can push people out of being Wiccan, pagan or a witch because you’re being rude. This is an open religion, craft, and place.
The Title was going to be “How to Cast a Circle of Stones by Scott Cunningham” but you can see why I didn’t do that. Anyways, Scott Cunningham had a really great way to cast a circle and I thought I would share my notes with the class! Let us begin…
How to Build a Circle of Stones by Scott Cunningham
A Circle of stones is exactly where magick craft and rituals are performed and done. They are typically done outside, especially for those in a large coven, but I do not see why a solitary or in the closet witch can’t make one for themselves inside their room!
1. Step one: Sweep the area you wish to be your sacred circle. As you are sweeping the broom is sweeping away the negative energies of it and cleaning it. Scott suggested that a female does this, but he’s a traditionalist, therefore it’s okay to go out of the way a little. (if you are using a small surface that is perfectly fine, wipe it down or dust it off with a feather duster)
2. Step Two: Set a large, flat stone for each element, for each direction. Be sure to place them in the order they are supposed to be facing the direction in which they are. It’d be weird if what you always thought was north was actually west. Be sure to leave the same distance between the stones and that you are giving yourself enough room to work in the circle with. If you plan on using it for ceremonies be sure it can fit all of the people in your circle or coven. (If you are alone or in the closet, I would make it roughly the size of the surface you are planning on using, but in more of a circle shape if yours is a rectangle.)
3. Step Three: Take a cord, usually made of rope or ribbon. Be sure it is long enough to wrap around the inside of the circle and hit the other end when it has made a full loop. Lay the cord in the inside of the stones, wrapping it around, using the stones as a guide to make the circle. (use a thread if you are in a small space or twine. Something that won’t get in your way.)
4. Step Four: Set up the altar! Things you need on the Altar: A bowl of water, a bowl of salt, a candle, a censer with incense in it. (You can have a mini altar if you need. I will probably make a how to on how to do that eventually.)
5 Step Five: Consecrate the water! You may have your own way, but if you do not yet, Scott Provided a way to do it. Touch the water with the tip of your athame (or needle if in a small space) and say: “I consecrate and cleanse this water that it may be purified and fit to dwell within the Circle of Stones. In the name of the Mother Goddess and the Father God, I consecrate this water.(Note: You may include your goddess and gods name in this process if you ever do so wish)
6. Step Six: Consecrate the salt in a similar way.
7. Step Seven: Stand facing North, touch the athame to the ground (or hover it over a surface) and trace the circle while saying: “Here is the boundary of the circle of stones. Nothing but love shall enter or emerge from within, charge this by you power, (insert God or Goddesses name, if you have one).”
8. Step Eight: Take up the salt and sprinkle it around the inside of the circle of stones, take up the burning incense and walk around the inside, do this with the candle as well. Lastly, sprinkle the water around the circle. ( Note: You should only really have to do this once, but cleaning it up and redoing its bounds could be a good idea every other month or so.)
9. Step Nine: Face North, hold up the athame again and say: “O Spirit of the North Stone, Ancient one of Earth, we call you to attend our circle. Charge this by your power!” (Note: if in a small space just hold the Athame over the stone as you recite it).
10. Step Ten: Face the East, keeping your athame up, and say: “O Spirit of the Eat Stone, Ancient one of Air, we call you to attend this circle. Charge this by your power!”
11. Step Eleven: Turn South and say: “O Spirit of the South Stone, Ancient one of Fire, we call you to attend this circle. Charge this by your power!”
12. Step Twelve: Now turn West and say, still holding your blade up: “O spirit of the west stone, ancient one of water, we call you to attend this circle. Charge this by your power!”
13. Step Thirteen: Place the athame on the altar and begin whatever rite and or spell you wish to.
Closing The Circle of Stones:
1. Step one: Pick up the athame, face north (again if in a small space just hold the blade over the small stone you used) and say: “Farewell Spirit of the North Stone. We give thanks for your presence, here at our circle of stones. Blessed Be!”
2. Step Two: Repeat this step for East, South, and West all while holding up the blade.
Pike tilts her head back, enjoying Vax’s cool fingers in her hair, combing and shaping it. It’s so soothing - makes her feel like she’s underwater, or drifting through spring-evening air. The little knife that brings her back to reality is the thought (which she doesn’t allow to become too concrete): how much longer?
Vex is seized with the urge to sneak up behind her brother and yank his hair like she was six or hug him ‘til he chokes. Just, you know, to touch him. But she doesn’t, because to do it, to give in to the need to make sure he’s still there, would be to admit that she doesn’t know how much longer.
Percy works on an arrow. Vax cleans dust from the seams of his armor. The silence between them is, at last, after all the mistakes and jaggedness, companionable and warm. Percy notices that Vax steals glances, and he steals not a few in return, hoping that Vax’s sharp eyes won’t see that he can’t help himself, that he doesn’t want to make the calculations but that they come unbidden, telling him: not much longer.
Keyleth gives Vax flowers and feathers, bones and stones and interesting fragments of wood. She draws pictures in the sky, makes water dance, shapes boulders into birds. It’s her way of planning, of drawing up designs to banish that question permanently. She’ll smash it, burn it out of their reality. But still she hasn’t thought of anything, has to wonder: how? how much longer?
Grog wakes up with a start, in darkness. His room is empty. He’s covered in something sticky. “Vax,” he mutters, the word so thick with vengeance that the pleased chuckle that escapes just after is almost concealed. Not like anyone is around to hear. Except maybe Vax. Oh, revenge will be sweet; another battle in the war that will last – how much longer?
Scanlan pretends to play cards with Vax, gets drunk with Vax, notices that somehow Vax is more fun to be around, regrets his time away because he wasn’t aware there was some sort of deadline on this (even though it was needed, it was needed), inspires Vax, laughs at Vax, talks and talks and talks with Vax, sucking up the time because sometime you just have to admit that you don’t know, you never know, how much longer.
Ok so you’re a witch, yes? And you want an altar, but can’t make one because you’re trapped in the broom closet, yeeees?
Well, how about making a simple, non-expensive hidden/travel altar?
What you’ll need:
A shoe box, a pencil case (preferably a hard plastic, non-transparent one), or an eyeglass case (they don’t work as well as pencil cases, but they’ll do)
Colorful markers/crayons/colored pencils
stuff to put in your altar
What to do:
If you worship a deity, take a notecard and write down their name and/or a sigil you associate with them. Alternatively, you can print off a picture of them instead. If you like, you can tape/glue the notecard/photo to the roof of the case.
If you want a pentacle, take another notecard and draw one there.
Things to put into your new travel altar might include…
Sigils drawn on notecards (You can cut the cards smaller if needed)
An unsharpened pencil (for a wand)
A feather (Air)
A rock/stone (Earth)
A seashell (Water)
Small candles/tea lights/birthday candles (Fire)
A small bottle/vial/jar/container/plastic bag of salt
Crystals/gems you like
Herbs/Flowers/Plants you like/use
Spells/Curses you like/use written onto notecards
Any things that you associate with your craft
Things you associate with your deity/tributes to them
A small offering bowl/plate
A mini tarot deck/deck of playing cards
A tiiiiny bell
A small glass/chalice
A mini cauldron
A mini broom
Other misc. Witchy stuff
Magic doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be expensive. A witch with a pencil wand and shoebox altar is just as valid as a witch with a gem-embedded wand and a lavish altar.