Fact: While you would think pansexuals would be able to bend all four elements (water, earth, fire, and air) they actually are still restricted to one. However, they are all advanced benders, aka they can bend blood, metal/sand, or lightning from birth!
Witchy Real Talk: Storebought, Man-Made, and “Not Powerful”
This topic comes up a lot in the witchy community. You’ll be browsing through articles about crystals and you’ll see something to the effect of “this citrine is laboratory grown! It doesn’t have any magickal properties! It has to be naturally grown for it to be worth anything in witchcraft!” And it’s not just citrine. I’ve seen this with amethyst, quartz (and not just clear quartz - the same arguments keep being made in regards to titanium quartz, aura quartz, et cetera), and even resin castings. Resin castings!
So… why am I writing this article? Because I’m a witch who attempts to live frugally who uses crystals and herbs and spices on a regular basis in my magics. And honestly, when it comes to magic, the most important part of what makes your spells tick is the relationship between intuition and intent. To see many witches bashing lab-grown crystals or spices kept in plastic containers honestly irks me just a little, and for a couple of reasons.
First, there’s the fact that there’s just a little bit of hypocrisy involved. Glass is man-made. Sure, it can happen naturally in the wild, but glass jars don’t form where lightning strikes silica rich sand. However, a good point can be made when it comes to the fact that plastic is more harmful to the environment. I can understand and relate to that. But what makes glass such an ideal container is that it is magically neutral, like clear quartz. You can cleanse it and charge it without any worry of it affecting your energy. Plastic, for many witches, has no magical significance. It’s not going to influence your magic, and honestly it can be cleansed just like glass.
So if you’re a new witch browsing through spices and herbs, feeling a bit dejected because the glass jar herbs are two to three times more expensive than the plastic containers, go for the plastic. Remember to recycle the containers, of course, but there is no reason magic should require you to spend an arm and a leg.
Sorry, couldn’t resist the pic after that… FMA fans get what I mean…
Crystals are even more of a source for contention when it comes to man-made objects. But what bothers me here is the fact that some crystals - especially citrine - are lab grown a good majority of the time. This is because the citrine we often find in crystal shops and metaphysical stores are vibrantly colored when naturally occurring citrine crystals are a lot less vibrant most of the time. Many witches also warn against dyed crystals for the same reason that “it has less power.”
Honestly, lab-grown crystals have many of the same properties as their natural counterparts. The only thing they lack (aside from the high prices of natural crystal) is the thousands of years worth of growing time in the earth’s crust. But I personally don’t see this as too much of a problem because this gives you a crystal which is a little more flexible and can be nurtured by the witch to realize its potential.
Where I see the danger in lab-grown and dyed crystals is if the witch is being scammed. Seeing that lovely piece of turquoise and buying it only to realize that it’s a different stone entirely, dyed to look like turquoise. Or when the witch is told that a crystal is naturally vibrant in color when it has been dyed, forcing her to spend her other arm and leg just to buy it.
What I’m getting at in this rant is that if you’re a new witch or a witch who’s trying not to spend all of her money, you should not feel railroaded into buying expensive materials. I have on my altar a citrine crystal that I know is most certainly dyed. I spent less than $5 on him because I felt that was a reasonable price for him. I have a piece of amethyst whose coloration is a bit drab and brown. That natural coloration makes her rather beautiful, but doesn’t make her any more powerful than the other amethyst I have whose color is a deep purple which I know to be enhanced by dyes.
In my pantry and cupboard, I keep a lot of spices in plastic containers and tins. Yes, some of them are in glass, but only when I know I can afford them or if there aren’t any alternatives. I use these spices in spells and cooking both, and feel no difference in energy between the two.
One of my coworkers who has an interest in crystal healing once said it rather perfectly. “It’s just a rock. It’s not going to do anything by itself. You have to give it the energy. You have to program it and direct it. So it doesn’t matter if it’s natural or not.”
Our crystals do have voices. They do interact with us. But it is up to us to direct energy into, through and from them.
Now, am I bashing the more expensive alternatives? Not at all. I have a lot of glass jars that I’ve collected over the years, and I have quite a few crystals that are a bit higher up on the price range than I usually spend. I’d be quite the hypocrite if I were bashing them. My ultimate point is that if you can’t drop that much money, then don’t. Work with what you have, or with alternatives which speak to you. I’d love to work with peridot, but because I don’t have the money to drop on it, I’ll stick to quartz, moonstone, and salt. There are always options. Don’t let yourself be limited!
Staff Sergeant James Barnes displays a classic “thousand yard stare” in this famous photograph taken in the hours after the assault on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.
Excerpt from “June 7, 1944″ of The Night War:
All of us alive Steve shot in the thigh but OK somehow thank fucking Christ we are in a church with about 45 other guys the whole place quiet as Borough Park on a Friday night just guys breathing except I think in our heads it is still loud. All any of us can possibly be hearing are the guns the 88s the way sand is under your boots when it’s red through ears ringing men screaming the buzzsaws hitting the sand like each bullet’s a lightning strike and the sand sprays up like when a guy gets hit in an artery.
De-stress scribble and lighting playyyyy, drawing a Syr maybe two or three years back.
Syrena’s birth tribe chases storms in search of the glass created when lightning strikes the Sagolii sands. For most of her life, storms were something that brought Syr immense joy, and were a rare and treasured occurrence. Things are a little different now though, and even the slightest hint of grey on the horizon will send her into a panic to find cover and avoid the slew of memories which rain now triggers.
So I’ve seen a few posts about how to organize your Book of Shadows and I thought I would share with you guys how I organize my Book!
I have both a physical and a digital Book of Shadows. I have both divided into “Books” similar to how the Christian Bible is. My physical Book is made up of eight “Books” while my digital Book is divided into twenty-three “Books.” Much of the information is the same, it is just divided up differently. For the sake of a shorter post, if a Book in my digital Book has additional info, I’ve listed it and marked it (digital).
This type of formatting was inspired by one of the first Wiccan books I ever read, “A Wiccan Bible” by A.J. Drew, in which each Chapter is called a “Book.”
In the beginning of my Book of Shadows I have my dedication, my title page, my Book blessing, the Witches Blessing, and a quote by Silver Ravenwolf. After that, the eight sections I have my Book divided into are:
Lightning rips through the sky over White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Here, great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. Photo courtesy of Donald Palansky.