A bunch of fun witchy activities that can be done with friends at sleepovers or when just hanging out.
Cleanse the house using salt or incense, good thing to do before anything else witchy
Turn a recipe for food or baked goods into a magical one and make it together
Decorate cookies or cupcakes with sigils that will activate when you eat them
Make flower crowns with fresh or fake flowers
Practice tea magick and then give each other readings from the leaves (tasseography)
Practice palm reading on each other
Do some tarot readings, oracle readings or other cartomancy techniques especially if everyone brings their own deck
Get some rounded wood pieces and some paints and make yourself some homemade simple runes
Practice knot magick by making each other friendship bracelets
Use beading supplies and charms to make other types of jewelry with intent corresponding with the colors, shapes, and charms of the jewelry and then enchant them to make them even more magickal
Make your own poppets with cloth, stuffing, rice, buttons and other ingredients to be used for positive purposes such as self love
Enchant each other’s favorite plushies or stuffed animals
Make homemade bath bombs, salts, and/or bath potions
Do each other’s make up hiding sigils in it and/or practicing glamours
Do each other’s nails using color magick, sigils, and other symbols
Make homemade magickal candles
Watch witchy movies!
Decorate binders to make unique new grimoires using paper, glitter, stickers, felt and other materials
Work out each other’s natal charts
Practice group energy work and aura reading
If everyone is comfortable make a homemade custom Ouija Board/Spirit Board and use it (please note that only do this if everyone is emotionally ready and before I get backlash for suggesting this check out @theouijagirl‘s blog)
Make homemade wands using crystals, beads, wires, and paint
Make pendulums or dowsing rods
Make sachet or jar spells for one another or together
Write a brand new spell!
Listen to music and use lyrics to write spells, incantations or chants
Do witchy arts and crafts like enchanted flower pots using sigils, rock charms, witch’s ladders, pine cone/acorn charms, acorn/seashell candles, ceremony/ritual masks, jewelry, sensory bottles/jars, enchanted slime, witch’s web, offering bowls, etc
Make a camp or bonfire and burn some (safe to burn) herbs (practice fire safety and only do this if you have a safe place to make a fire)
Make collages of things that make you feel witchy to put into your grimoires
Work on grimoires together and make custom pages, calenders, charts, illustrations, pressings, etc
Use erasers and x-acto knives (carefully) to make custom stamps of sigils, animals, words, etc
Taking textbook notes is a chore. It’s tedious and boring and sometimes challenging, but hopefully these tips will help you improve your skill and shorten the time it takes you to do textbook notes!
Give yourself time: Realistically, you can’t knock out 30 pages of notes in 20 minutes. Take your time with textbook notes so they’re a good studying tool in the future. The general rule is to take how many pages you have to do and multiply it by 5: that’s how many minutes it’ll take you to do the notes.
Also, divide you notes up into manageable chunks to increase your productivity. I am personally a huge fan of using pomodoro timers, and I adjust the intervals for however long I need to.
Skim before you start taking notes: If time is an issue, don’t read your 40 page in depth before even picking up a pen, but make sure you know what you’re reading about by skimming a bit ahead of your notes. Read over section titles, and look at charts, maps, or graphs. Writing and highlighting as you read the chapter for the first time isn’t effective because you don’t know if a sentence will be important or not, so make sure you’re reading a paragraph or section in advance before writing.
Use the format they give you in the book to help take your notes: In a lot of textbooks, there will be a mini outline before the chapter itself that shows all the headings and subheadings. Those will be your guidelines! I find this super helpful because long chapters can be daunting to go into without any structure. If you don’t have one of those, use the headings and subheadings provided for you. If you haven’t already been doing this, it will help you so much.
Read actively: It’s so easy to “read” a textbook without digesting any information, but that is the last thing you want to do. Not only does it make taking notes a million times harder, but you’ll be lost in class discussions because you didn’t understand the reading. To keep from passively reading, highlight, underline, star any important information in the book itself.
Have a color coding system for highlighting or underlining and write down a key somewhere (here’s a few that you can adjust for your needs: x,x)
Use sticky notes or tabs to mark any questions or important points to come back to
Summarize important information and paraphrase: When taking the actual notes, don’t copy down full sentences word for word. Not only does writing full sentences waste a lot of time, it’s not an effective way to learn. If you can paraphrase the information, then you understand it. It’s also easier to study notes which are in your own words instead of textbook academia writing.
Be selective: You shouldn’t be writing down every fact that comes up in your textbook. If a fact ties into the bigger topic and provides evidence, then it’s probably something to keep, but you don’t need every piece of supplemental information (but do make sure you always write down the vocab). Learn your teacher’s testing style to help you decide what to write down. Could this be on the quiz/test? If the answer is yes, make sure you write it down.
Learn to abbreviate: Just like writing full sentences, writing out full words will waste time. Implement some shortenings (make sure to use ones that you’ll understand later!) into your notes. Some common ones are: b/c=because, gov=government, w/o=without, and here’s a great list of a ton of examples of abbreviations and shortenings.
Answer margin and review questions: A lot of textbooks have margin questions on every page or so that sum up what’s really important about that information. Make sure not to skip them because they’re really helpful for understanding. Write them down and answer them clearly in your notes. Most textbooks also have review questions after the chapter that check for reading comprehension, so make sure to answer those because they’ll show you if you really understood the chapter.
Don’t skip over visual sources: Maps, diagrams, illustrations, charts, and any other visuals in textbooks are so helpful. If you’re a visual learner, these things will be so essential to you and how you understand what you’re reading. Charts, tables, and diagrams sometimes also summarize information, so if you’re a visual learner it might benefit you to copy those down instead of writing it out.
Add visuals if it’ll help you: As said above, copying down charts, tables, illustrations, or diagrams can be super helpful for visual learners. They’re clear and concise, so pay attention to them.
Write your notes in a way that’s effective and makes sense to you: Mindmaps, Cornell notes, or plain outline notes are all really good forms of notetaking. Find which one works best for you to understand them and which one is most effective for your class, and use it (stuff on mindmaps and cornell notes).
Combine your class and textbook notes: If you rewrite your class notes, add in information you think is relevant from your textbook notes. Mark anything both your book and teacher said were important–you don’t want to forget any of that. If you don’t rewrite class notes, then put stars next to anything repeated.
Lover of mine, I hope it is you who the Empyrean finds I hope that no longer will the shadows of doubt bind And that no more shall the darkness weigh on your mind May you be blessed with gifts bestowed from above
An astrological chart is a radial diagram of the positions of celestial bodies, generally in geocentric relation to a specific place and time. Each type of chart denotes the disposition of cosmic influences uniquely & for various purposes.
Natal || The natal chart is the primary & fundamental astrological chart, calculated for each individual at their exact moment of birth. It is a permanent representation of one’s psyche & entire being; it indicates essence, personality, behavior, potential, lifestyle, upbringing, & the state of the soul in a broad yet detailed context. It is a tool for self-discovery, growth, & personal progress.
Transits || The word transit refers to the perpetual motion of a celestial body through multiple astrological measures of energy, particularly the Zodiac and the twelve houses. Transits affect everyone all the time, but uniquely per individual natal chart. They indicate general patterns, possibilities, changes, moods, and can even be used to loosely predict future events.
Return || A return takes place when a planet makes a full revolution through the Zodiac back to its natal position. The chart is calculated for the transits of the time when the return is exact. Solar & lunar returns are the most important. They indicate the perpetually evolving nature & personal growth patterns of the psyche, as well as one’s temporary disposition, life path, and problems.
Persona || There is a persona chart for each of the planets; the natal chart can be considered the sun’s persona chart (and it is the most important & most influential). Persona charts are calculated for the moment the sun passed through each other planet’s position. They indicate deeper energies & functions of the planets, further expanding the meaning of the natal chart.
Progressed || The progressed chart is a prognostic method that follows a unique day-to-year calculation; each of an individual’s present years is equal to one progressed day (e.g. the progressed chart for a 26-year-old person would essentially be the transits for 26 days after their birth). It indicates one’s growth & evolution as a person in a general sense & how they process experiences.
Harmonic || There are theoretically an infinite number of different harmonic charts, but the premise is that there is a harmonic for each aspect. The natal chart is divided by the number that creates an aspect’s angle, compressed, and then re-expanded to form a regular 360 degree chart. It reveals abstruse details about the theme/subject related to the original number’s symbolism.
Draconic || The Draconic chart is calculated by dialing a person’s natal placements back through the Zodiac until the North Node is at zero degrees in Aries. This chart is labelled the “soul chart” & is meant to represent a person’s purest or highest evolution of self, or some say it’s supposedly the natal chart they had in their previous incarnation. It is used relatively infrequently.
Midpoints || The points that lie directly between two celestial bodies (called “midpoints”) are considered to be very sensitive, receptive areas. Calculating midpoints adds another dimension or volume of archetypal/energetic meaning to the natal chart (or whatever other chart they are brought into). They must be activated by transits, synastry, or natal aspects in order to be relevant.
Uranian || Uranian astrology is a relatively new branch of the subject, less than a century old, which uses midpoints as its primary indicator of energetic or archetypal manifestation. It is considered a more complicated & more detailed yet somewhat unreliable/unfounded method of calculating charts (mainly natal charts), and it is not widely practiced as far as I can tell.
Composite || Composition is a method of relational astrology that uses the midpoints between all of the placements in two individuals’ natal charts to illustrate the nature, essence, disposition, inclinations, tendencies, potential, and general traits of their relationship. As the combination of what represents two different people, it can also indicate a lot about things they create together.
Davison || The Davison chart is another method of relational astrology that uses midpoints, but unlike the composite chart, it uses the date, time, and location that lies directly between the birth of two individuals’. It is essentially the “natal chart of the relationship.” It primarily indicates the organic basis of the relationship & its highest, most profound possible benefit for both parties.
Synastry || Synastry is the comparison of two natal charts by overlaying one upon the other. The Zodiac is the foundation of synastry; the positions of each individuals’ planets & houses are placed upon it simultaneously. This indicates every detail of their relationship, the entire exchange of energy between them, nearly every possible quality, flaw, problem, & benefit of their connection.
David Paterson. Showing the Tertiary Shades are Primary Colours Dulled with Grey, Simple Method of Creating a Spectrum, Six Figures Illustrating Dichroism in Colours, Simple Spectra Absorption, Different Results in Mixing Coloured Lights, Chromatic Circle, Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Colours, Chromatic Circle, Suitable and Unsuitable Colour-Mixing, The Two Absorption Spectra. Textile Colour Mixing. 1915.
Always take the notes for a particular class in the same notebook. Spiral bound notebooks were invented because they solved the problem of keeping related information consolidated in one place. Take advantage of this.
Date each entry into your notebook.
It is usually best to keep the notes for different classes separate from each other. Spiral notebooks with built in dividers are excellent for this purpose.
Your notes should contain as complete a record of what the instructor said as possible. Of course, you should not try to write every word spoken, but don’t leave out ideas. When you study, your notes should call back to your mind the entire sequence of ideas presented. Take care to spell all new words carefully. It you don’t know how to spell a word, ask your instructor to write it on the board. Most will automatically do so for new or difficult terms.
Anything the instructor writes on the board should appear in your notes. If the instructor took the time to write it out, he or she considers it important. You should do the same.
If possible, try to take your notes in some kind of outline form. The organization of ideas is as important as the content of those ideas, especially when it comes to learning the material for an exam.
You might find it useful to have a second color of pen or pencil available for highlighting important ideas or indicating vocabulary.
Be involved in your classes.
Don’t simply pretend you are a sponge, ready to soak up whatever the instructor says. You are there to learn, not to be taught.
If the instructor is moving too rapidly for you, or if you don’t understand what is being said, say something!
Ask questions if you are confused. Confusion is definitely your worst enemy.
If your class includes group activities, participate as fully as you can. Such exercises are done for your benefit, not to provide a break for the instructor.
Review your notes every day.
This suggestion is one which we have all heard a thousand times. Unfortunately, most of us never really believe it until we actually try it. Spend 30 minutes or so each evening going over the notes from each class. There are at least two tremendous benefits to be gained from this discipline.
Research has shown that reviewing new material within 24 hours of hearing it increases your retention of that material by about 60%. This means that you will be 60% ahead of the game the next time you walk into class. If you want to significantly reduce the time necessary to prepare for exams, this is the way to do it.
Reviewing material before the next class period enables you to identify points of confusion or omission in your notes, which prepares you to ask the questions you need to ask before the next lecture. Again, confusion is your worst enemy.
It is excellent policy to give high priority to new vocabulary. Language is the most fundamental tool of any subject, and it can seriously handicap you to fall behind in this.
Keep up on your reading.
Unlike most high school teachers, many college instructors don’t give specific reading assignments. You are expected to go to your text for the reading related to the materials covered in class. Be independent enough to do this without being told.
Using Your Textbook
Don’t expect your instructor to give you detailed, page by page textbook assignments. While some may do so, many do not. College teachers are much more likely to expect you to use your own initiative in making use of the text.
In most cases, it will be most useful for you to at least skim the relevant chapters before each lecture. You should receive a course outline/syllabus at the beginning of the quarter, which will tell you the subject for each day. You may receive chapter references (or even page references), or you instructor may expect you to be perceptive enough to refer to the Table of Contents.
When you first approach a chapter, page through it fairly quickly, noting boldface headings and subheadings, examining figures, illustrations, charts, etc., and thinking about any highlighted vocabulary terms and concepts. Also take note of the pedagogical aids at the end of the chapter–study questions, summary, etc.
When you have finished surveying the chapter, return to the beginning and read in more detail. Remember to concentrate upon understanding. Don’t simply read through the words. Any words which you don’t understand you should look up. If you own the book and intend to keep it, you may want to write definitions of such words in the margins. You may also find it helpful to make observations and other useful notes in the margins. If you don’t intend to keep the book yourself, you should carry out similar activities on a page in your class notebook.
On this first trip through the chapter, you should concentrate upon catching the major subjects and points of the material. Also take note of those things which you don’t understand. If the lecture on the material doesn’t clarify those points, you should ask your instructor to explain.
Following coverage of the chapter’s material in class, you should go back to the book and read it again. It will probably be helpful to skim through it first, as you did when you first looked at it. The tables and figures should be more readily read in detail. If you are a truly conscientious student, you will outline the chapter and prepare a vocabulary list of the terms which are pertinent.
At this time you should think seriously about the review and study questions at the end of the chapter. Do your best to answer all of them as if they were a take-home exam.
You may also want to develop a system of cross referencing symbols to use when comparing your class notes to your notes from the text.
Remember that your instructor will probably not use the same words which you find in the text book. nothing is more frustrating than to discover that what you hear in class is no more than a rehash of what you read in the book. However, if your instructor knows his/her subject, and the author of your text knows his/her subject, the meat of what they say should be the same.
NOTE: Nobody is infallible. Your instructor may make mistakes. Don’t expect
them to be more than human.
Here’s another thing we have all been told thousands of times: Don’t leave assignments until the day before they are due! If you have a paper to write or a lab report to prepare, begin it as soon as possible. In most cases, instructors will be delighted to receive work early. Remember that many papers or projects require quite a bit of research before you can even begin writing. In most cases, it is impossible to accomplish the necessary preparation in one day or even one week. In some cases, instructors won’t accept late work at all. They are perfectly justified.
Another sore point:Be aware of the appearance of the work you submit. You should want to be proud of every assignment you submit, and that includes being proud of its appearance. If possible, assignments should always be typed. Never turn in an assignment written in pencil. Pages torn out of notebooks are sloppy and unsightly.Thinkabout this point every time you hand an instructor an assignment. That paper represents the quality of your work, and your instructor is perfectly justified in taking its appearance into consideration when assigning a grade.
Preparing for Exams
Keep in mind that you want to be an activelearner, not a passive one. The more you use and manipulate the information, the better you will understand it. Using and manipulating information in as many ways as possible also maximizes your ability to access your memory.
Do not wait until the night before an exam to study! Of course, you should be regularly reviewing your notes, but the preparation still takes time.
If your instructor hasn’t explained to you how he or she designs exams, ask. this is a perfectly legitimate concern. However, keep in mind that an instructor has the right to design exams in whatever fashion he or she sees fit, and in most cases you have no business asking for changes in that design. You need to learn to handle all testing styles–including the dreaded essay exam!
A good first step in preparation is to read through your notes a couple of times. While you are doing this, you might also;
Highlightmajor topics and subtopics, with the goal of generating an outline of your notes. Even if you take your notes in outline form, this is a good practice. Major topics often extend through more than one day’s lecture, and it is easy to lose track of the overall picture from day to day.
With a second color, highlight all vocabulary terms.
Outline the entire set of notes. When you study a large body of information, you should study from concept to detail, not the other way around. It will, in fact, be much easier to learn the details if you take the time to learn the concept and theory first. The least efficient approach to studying is to attempt to memorize your notes from beginning to end. It’s not the words which are important–it’s the ideas.
Consider ways of dealing with the information other than those used in class. the more ways you can manipulate and experience the material you are trying to learn, the more secure your understanding and memory will be. Some suggestions:
Make charts, diagrams and graphs.
If the subject matter includes structures, practice drawing those structures. Remember that a drawing is useless unless the important structures are labeled.
There are almost always types of information which you will have to memorize (eg. vocabulary). No one has ever invented a better device for memorizing than flash cards.
One of the most universally effective ways to polish off your study activities is to prepare a self test.
Challenge yourself as severely as you can.
As you are studying, keep a running collection of “exam questions.” If you seriously attempt to write difficult and meaningful questions, by the time you finish you will have created a formidable exam. When you begin to feel you’re ready for your instructor’s exam, take out your questions and see if you can answer them. If you can’t, you may need to go back and reinforce some of the things your are trying to learn.
Never, ever pull an “All-Nighter" on the night before an exam. This is a "freshman trick,” meaning that good students learn very quickly that it is futile. What you may gain from extra study time won’t compensate for the loss of alertness and ability to concentrate due to lack of sleep.
On exam day:
Try not to “cram” during every spare moment before an exam. This only increases the feeling of desperation which leads to panic, and then to test anxiety. You may find it useful, on the night before an exam, to jot down a few ideas or facts which you wish to have fresh in your mind when you begin the exam. Read through your list a couple of times when you get up in the morning and/or just before you take the exam, then put it away. This kind of memory reinforcement not only improves your performance on the test, it also improves your long-term memory of the material.
Be physically prepared.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Bring necessary writing materials to the test–at least 2 writing tools, erasers, blue books if necessary, calculators if appropriate and allowed. Be aware of what the instructor has specified as permitted for use. Some instructors object to exams written pencil; some prohibit use of tools like calculators. It is your responsibility to know these requirements; you should be prepared to take the consequences if you don’t.
This may seem silly, but go to the bathroomjust before the exam. Don’t expect your teacher to let you leave to do this during the test! The tension which generally goes along with taking an exam may increase the need to perform this physical activity, so you may need to go, even though you don’t particularly feel like it.
Some Final Suggestions
You should receive a syllabus for each class. This is the Rule Bookfor that class (in my classes, we call it the Survival Manual). Know everythingon that syllabus! Your teacher has the right to expect you to know and abide by any rules and stipulations on that document, and it is perfectly within his/her rights to penalize you for failing to do so. Respect dates and deadlines, and expect to lose points if you turn things in late.
Never miss an examif you can help it. You will rarely be more ready for the exam in two or three days than you are on the scheduled date, and the annoyance the teacher will feel about having to arrange a special exam time for you can actually hurt your grade in the end. Miss exams only if you absolutely have to.
Save everything. Never throw away a handout or a returned assignment or exam. With this in mind, equip yourself with a pouched folder for each class.
Develop systematic behavior patterns associated with your schoolwork.
Keep your class materials together and neat.
Never allow yourself to be caught at school without the necessary notebooks and materials. If you develop systematic habits with respect to attending classes, etc., this will be no problem.
It is excellent practice to set aside a study area at home, and to designate a particular span of time each day as study time. However, don’t fall into the trap of feeling that study should never exceed the preordained time limits. You put in as much study time as is necessary to master the material for your classes.