pagan-traditions

Witch Crafts:  Witch Ball

Witch balls have been a part of pagan tradition for many years. Their purpose is to protect the home and its inhabitants from evil and harm.   Traditionally, you made a witch ball every year to seal fortune and protection for the next twelve months.  You can hang this ornament in a window, over a doorway, in a bedroom or even outdoors; wherever you feel it would serve its purpose the best. It would look lovely as a Christmas or Yule decoration as well!

You can purchase empty ornaments and bottles from craft stores, or re-use old light bulbs for this!  Fill it with the following:  

  • Sprigs of Lavender to encourage a calm, peaceful environment
  • Chamomile Flowers to aid in relieving anxiety
  • Yarrow, Roses and Rose Quartz crystals to encourage self-love and love in relationships
  • Jasmine Flowers to attract wealth  and sweet dreams
  • Cinnamon to draw happiness and  comfort

You could also include:

  • A seashell and a shark tooth to incorporate the magic of the sea
  • Curly pods (because they are so cute!)
  • Cloves to attract good luck and prosperity
  • Anise wards off the evil eye
  • Other tiny crystals for added energy
  • A bay leaf for protection

Tumblr, I really need to have a rant about this.

This afternoon I went into my local park to visit my favourite trees, and discovered this. It’s apparently the remnants of somebody’s ritual: hundreds of fake fabric petals, pieces of wood wrapped in cord, empty herb sachets and several BATTERY OPERATED CANDLES.

This so, so fucking irresponsible and unacceptable, I’m sorry. I don’t know how many solitary and group rituals I have partaken in that were held outside but went to great lengths to leave the absolute minimum trace of our being there. Other people love and enjoy and use and worship these areas.

And if you want to do your ritual outside - why? Because you want to be close to nature? Then you have to take some responsibility, make an effort and make sure whatever you does has no negative effects on the natural world. Don’t leave things that are non-biodegradable, polluting or dangerous to animals like items with BATTERIES in. Have some consideration and don’t force other people who actually give a damn about the wellbeing of the area to pick up after you.

If you think clean up is too hard, don’t do the ritual outside. End of discussion.

Lavenderwhisp’s Types of Witches Master Post

Add on anything missed!

Witch: magical practitioner


Elemental Witch
: Witches who work around the 5 elements: Water, Earth, Air,
Fire, and Spirit.

Earth Witch: Witches who specifically work with their magic around the
element of Earth, through grounding exercises, rock/soil collecting, crystal
magic, and Green Witchery. Earth zodiac signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Types of Earth Witches:
Green Witch: use plants/herbs/flowers in herbal and natural magic, such as using them in spells
and creating remedies with them.
Garden Witch: A version of a Green Witch, they enjoy working with the earth through gardening and using
their herbs and plants to help and care for their families and loved ones.
Flora Witch: Similar to the above witches, they work with flowers in their practice. Their Book of Shadows would likely be full of Green Witchery, such as than herbs and herbal recipes, and flower classifications and associations.
Marijuana Witch: A type of Green Witch, Marijuana has been used for spiritual and medicinal purposes throughout history. These witches use marijuana for magical purposes and use herbal recipes with marijuana.
Rock Witch: Witches who work with all rocks, including stones and crystals. They enjoy geology and their Book of Shadows is full of geology and crystal healing. They are most likely involved in a scientific field, such as geography or archaeology where they can be close to the Earth.
Crystal Witch: Witches who work with stones and crystals, such as through crystal healing. Their Book of Shadows will most likely have information about the stones, chakra balance, and crystal meditation.
Forest Witch: A witch who enjoys the company of trees and live amongst them. The seclusion is perfect for cottage magic and tree magic. They also enjoy the company of fey and woodland animals, and use local plants.
Swamp Witch: Witches who live within the swamps, use swamp plants, and enjoy the company of swamp animals.
Desert Witch: A witch who lives in the desert, enjoys the natural desert scenery, uses desert plants, bones, sand in their practice, collects desert rocks, and befriend desert animals such as snakes, lizards, and scorpions. They also tend to use the elements of Wind and Fire as well as Earth in their practice. They normally worship desert deities and study desert lore in their area.
Sand Witch: Sand witches live where a lot of sand is in the local earth, such as the desert or the beach. Their home is filled with different types of sand and rocks.
Water Witch: Witches who work with the element of Water. Water magic
includes water scrying, collecting water, swimming and other water-related
actives. Water zodiac signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Types of Water Witches:

Sea Witch: They work with magic and deities around the ocean and oceanic world. The practice sea magic using seashells and bones, sea weed, beach sand, driftwood, ocean water, etc. They also may worship sea deities and enjoy the imagery of sea creatures.

Ice/Arctic Witch: A witch who lives amongst snow covered land for most of the year or have a deep appreciation for the cold and snow. They worship ice deities, use snow water, and enjoy the cold. 

River/stream/spring witch: Witches who work with running water, worship river deities, and study local river lore.

Lake witch: Witches who live around a lake. They fish, befriend frogs, observe wildlife, canoe or kayak in their spare time, and swim to feel grounded. They may worship water/lake deities and study local lake lore.
Bath Witch: Another type of water witch, but much more domestic. These witches enjoy the calming effect of bathing, make bath salts, and enjoy bath magic.
Air/Wind Witch: Witches who center around the element of Air. They work with
wind, using tools, symbols, and deities associated with Air. Air zodiac signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Fire Witch: Witches who focus on the element of Fire and fire magic, such
as candle magic, and may worship deities associated with fire. Fire zodiac signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius 

Other Natural Witch types: 

Seasonal Witch: Witches
who draw magic during a specific time of the year. They are known as Winter,
Fall, Spring and Summer witches who have a deep connection to the season they love. A seasonal witch gains most of their power during and from the season they identify with. For example, a person who loves the heat and sunshine of summer will soak up the rays and become very magical during the summer. They practice magic throughout they year, but they have that favorite season, like we all do. They would incorporate seasonal specific plants, symbols, colors,deities, and so on. Their work could also be affected depending on where they live, such as one season occurs for a longer period of time more than any others instead of the distinct 4 seasons.
North Witch: North witches identify with the direction of North and the symbolism it represents, such as infinite possibilities, earth, creativity, and home.
East Witch: East witches worship the East Cardinal Direction and the associations East represents, such as the future, air, communication, and trust.
West Witch: West witches identify with the direction of West and its associations of the past, confidence, water, emotion, and the psyche.
South Witch: South witches enjoy the direction of South and its representation of the present, fire, energy, physical strength, and health.
Sun Witch: A witch who enjoys sunshine, works with spell work involving the sun during the daytime,
and sun deities.
Lunar/Moon Witch: A witch who draws magic from the moon. They are nocturnal witches and closely follow the phases of the moon, and do magic according to the lunar calendar. They also tend to worship deities associated with the moon.
Astronomical/Space Witch: Witches who focus on the planets and stars. Their Book of Shadows will have information about each planet, the zodiac and astrology, and the enjoy nocturnal magic based on astronomical charts and the alignment of the planets.
Nocturnal Witch: A witch who works with nocturnal deities and magical work at night. They find solace in darkness, the darker side of life, and normally wear dark colors. There is a great book by Konstantinos called Nocturnal Witchcraft.
Storm/Weather Witch: Witches who combine one’s energy with the energy of the weather and storms. They collect rain water, utilize the energy of a lightning storm, and so on.
Animal Witch: Witches who have a deep appreciation for all animals and use animal materials, draw on their energy, and most of the time worship animal deities. Animal witches can worship and draw from any type of animal, but here are some popular examples.
Empath Witch: An empath is a form of psychic who can feel other peoples feelings. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing.
Gray witch: Also known as a neutral witch, practices magic that does not harm nor benefit others. They will mostly benefit and harm at the same time, creating a neutral or balanced effect. They believe a witch who cannot curse, cannot heal, Also, to them nature is not completely positive, nor completely negative, it is neutral and balanced.
Dream Witch: Witches who use their magic in dreams and to restore the body throughout the night often drawing energy from the moon or darkness while they sleep. These witches often keep dream journals and enjoy meditation.
Specialty Witch types:
Divination Witch: Witches who work with practices of divination, such as tarot readings, palmistry, tea leaf reading, and so on.
Hedge Witch: Also known as shamans. They use a type of magic that is oriented around the spiritual world. Astral travel/projection, lucid dreaming, spirit-work, healing, and out-of-body experiences are some of the magic they do.
Angelic Witch: Witches who work with and worship angels, such as the Archangels, guardian angels, and throne angels.
Fairie/Faery/Fey Witch: Witches who communicate and work with the fey, such as calling on them and leaving them offerings regularly to thank them for their assistance. They study fairy and elemental spirit lore, especially in regards to their local area.

Kitchen Witch: Witches who enjoy working in the kitchen and put their magic into herbal mixtures, brewing, baking, and cooking.
Cottage Witch: A lot like a kitchen witch, they enjoy being in their home and doing things for their loved ones.
Urban Witch: Witches who live in a urban environment and use more modern practices of magic. They may substitute traditional ingredients with modern ones, use traditional tools but in a new way, such as wearing sigils on their clothing or as a tattoo, use electronic sources, and have their Book of Shadows on their computer. Urban witchery is all about combining the old with the new.
Religious Witch: Witches who practice their religious beliefs in cohesion with
their craft.
Common Types of Religious Witches:
Pagan Witch: A Pagan formally means a person who worships more than one deity. Paganism is also normally an umbrella term for any religion other than the Abrahamic religions.
Wiccan: Wicca is a modern Pagan religion. Wiccans worship nature and use magic for positive unharmful change. Wiccans follow the Wiccan Rede, which simply states that you will not use magic to harm others or yourself. Wiccans worship a God and Goddess, along with other Pagan deities, who embody femininity and masculinity. Wiccans have a calendar of 8 Pagan holidays and Wiccan traditions were influenced by many sources, such as Celtic traditions.
Thelemic Witches: The Thelema philosophy is a precursor to Wicca created in the early 1900s, and has similar tenants to Wicca, such as “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.” Modern Thelemics may practice more than one religion and worship other deities than the 3 main Egyptian deities in their texts, Nuit, Hadit and Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Witchcraft is also part of the Thelemic religion.
Satanic Witch: Satanism includes symbolic association with, or admiration for, Satan, whom Satanists see as an inspiring and liberating figure. Satanic witches don’t always worship Satan, but rather follow the beliefs preached in Satanism.
Christian Witch: Christian witches follow the teachings of Christ and worship God and Jesus through witchcraft.
Jewish Witch: Another kind of Abrahamic witch, these witches follow the teachings within the Torah and worship God through using their witchcraft.
Kemetic Witch: Kemetist witches practice a modern religion based upon the ancient Egyptian family of gods/goddesses and ancient Egyptian ritual practice. The Kemetic religion is primarily polytheistic. Depending on the practitioner, it can be hard polytheism to soft polytheism. The type of craft a Kemetic is most likely to practice is called Heka. It utilizes words and images to get things done. It is also important to note that the culture/religion is open to all people of
different walks of life, anyone can be Kemetic, it was a open culture when it
was alive. More important than the gods, the entire goal of the religion, is to
uphold Ma'at. Ma'at is usually generalized as justice and being honest. Some
Kemetics do not worship gods, but focuses on upholding Ma'at. In short,
Kemetism is a reconstruction of the Ancient Egyptian religion.
Buddhist Witch: A witch or Wiccan who also identifies as Buddhist. These witches believe all life is sacred, they practice compassion and nonviolence, and their ultimate goal on their spiritual path is to find Enlightenment. Many witches incorporate meditation into their witchcraft and many Wiccans also believe in reincarnation like Buddhists. Many witches and Wiccans also believe in karma, a Buddhist philosophy. Buddhism really works hand in hand with the already highly spiritual and natural Craft.
Regionally Specific
Witchery: most were originally tribal based and feature many similarities, such as Paganism and similar craft practices

Europe

Norse: Norse witches worship Norse deities. Witchcraft was very important in ancient Viking culture and a normal part of their everyday life. Warrior shamanism, runes, and sacrifices to the Gods were just some of their important practices. 

Heathen Witch:Heathenry is Norse/Anglo-Saxon/any Germanic Paganism, also called Asatrú: Ásatrú is a polytheistic faith based on pre-Christian Northern European Pagan beliefs. Emphasis on historical accuracy and the heroic tales as recorded in texts and personal honor, truth and integrity are considered to be some of the highest virtues.

Druid: Druidry means following a spiritual path rooted in the green Earth and hails from the United Kingdom. It means participating in Celtic wisdom teachings, but embracing the contributions of many peoples and times. Druids worship Celtic deities and practice earth based magic.
Hellenic Witch: Witches who are Hellenic or Greek Pagans (Hellenists, Hellenes, Hellenism) are generally polytheists who worship the ancient Greek Olympian gods. Offerings to the Gods are an extremely important element of ritual practice. Hellenismos consider hospitality of great important and place great value on the study and use of classical Greek philosophical texts.
Roman Witch: Roman Pagan witches practice Religio Romana, the pre-Christian religion of Rome. The modern religion reconstructs the ancient faith of Rome and its gods, goddesses and rituals as closely as possible. Every attempt is based on historical accuracy and archaeological evidence. Like their friends the Hellenic Witches focus on the original classical texts, writers and language of their ancestors.
Italian Witch: Strega (Stregheria, La Vecchia Religione, “The Old Religion”), Italian witches practice a form of Witchcraft that encompasses elements of the pre-Christian European magical teachings and ancient Etruscan and Tuscan religions. Many modern Italian Witches today, especially those who still reside in Italy, are Christians who also practice their Old Religion.
Slavic Witches: Today, old techniques of divination, magic, soul travel and healing is known from their ancestors and their native faith Rodnovery. These families, the volkhvy, who have “witchblood” have ancestors from ancient Rodnover priesthood. They are considered masters of a much larger tradition in Russia called koldovstvo, or chaklynstvo. One does not have to possess the lineage of the volkhvy to practice koldovstvo. The Russian volkhvy are thought to be descended from shamans who could shape-shift into bears and wolves, while in Macedonia and Bulgaria they are considered to be descended from dragons. Slavic witches also revere Baba Yaga, one of the most important witch lore figures in Slavic culture, who commonly appears as an old crone who flies within a mortar and holds a pestle. She has many faces, like the Wiccan triple Goddess, such as an Earth Goddess or a symbol of Death.

Africa

African Witch: African witchcraft varies region to region of the African continent and can be tribally specific. African witchcraft normally delves in spirit work and shamanism. The most well known type of African witchcraft is Voodoo (Vodou). Voodoo is an ancient West African religion based on spirit work. Voodoo is a religion of spirits. Voodooists believe that the world of humans is shared by the world of the spirits. When a person dies, his spirit passed to the world of the unseen but is still able to see the human world. Spirits, it is believed, in some
cases can even impact the world of the living. They also seen as witch doctors
in their communities who can heal, work with divination, and give their
customers charms and amulets to bring them luck, love, harm to others, and so
on.

The Americas

Native American Witch: Each region and tribe of Native Americans have its own unique kind of witchcraft. Each tribe has their own rituals, performed ceremonies, and ritual outfits. They each have their own tools, carvings, and totem poles. In spite of all their differences, Native Americans share a sense of oneness with their land, practice herbology, and hunt, use, and honor animals of Native America. A common magical practice known to have roots in Native American magic is the practice of smudging.
Appalachian Witches:Witches within the Appalachian Mountains are a very isolated family from most other people. For most it is a family tradition to practice and they hand down a Grimoire, that are most likely written in a language early members created during a time when they couldn’t read/write English. Isolated witch groups and families can be found in any part of the world where geography isolates them, or did isolate the past generations, from the rest of the world.
Haitian Vodou: A sect of African Voodoo, they believe in a supreme creator, Bondye, and worship the spirits subservient to him, the Loa. Every Loa is responsible for a particular aspect of life and they cultivate a relationship and worship them much like Pagans worship their Gods and Goddesses. Haitian religious culture is derived from the Kongolese tradition of kanga, the practice of tying one’s soul to something tangible, which is evident in Haitian Vodou. Fearing an uprising in opposition to the US occupation of Haiti, political and religious elites, along with Hollywood and the film industry, sought to trivialize the practice of Vodou. After the Haitian Revolution, many Haitians fled as refugees to New Orleans. Free and enslaved Haitians who moved to New Orleans brought their religious beliefs with them and reinvigorated the Voodoo practices that were already present in the city. Eventually, Voodoo in New Orleans became hidden and the magical components were left present in the public sphere. This created what is called hoodoo in the southern part of the United States.
Louisiana Voodoo: A sect
of African Voodoo, knowledge of herbs, poisons, the ritual creation of
charms and amulets, and the intension to protect oneself or harm others are key elements of Louisiana Voodoo. Voodoo queens have great power in their
communities, are ritual leaders, and draw crowds to buy their magical products,
such as “gris gris” amulets and spells that will grant the customers
desire. There also Voodoo kings, their male equivalent.
American Hoodoo: A sect of Louisiana Voodoo that is ever evolving. Hoodoo practitioners use gris-gris items, such as amulets and charms, to cure their customers ailments, bring them luck and love, and whatever they desire. Some work closely with the Bible, and have said to see Moses as magical figure.
Bruja/Brujo Witches:cWitches who practice witchcraft, brujeria, who are descended from, or live in Spanish speaking South America. Santeria and Folk Catholicism are practiced in nearly all of Latin America. They are worshipers, healers, priests, priestesses, and witches. For practice, they buy their goods at shops called Botanicas

Brazilian Shamanism(“Pajé”): Like other tribal or local shaman, they work with the spirit world,work with divination, and are seen as healers. Shamanism is often hereditary in Brazil and they work with a specific animals spirit to derive power from, such as the jaguar. Umbanda is the incorporation of catholic saints with the beliefs of afro-brazilians religions.

Kahunas of Hawaii: Like other shamans, they invoke spiritual help, conduct rituals, and have Pagan local gods who are given offerings. They also have various crafts of Kahunas, such as a high priest, dream interpreter, and reader of the skies. To the Kahunas, and many witches today and in the past, the subconscious is your greatest ally or greatest foe for achieving health, wealth, and happiness.

Asia

Japanese Witch: The Pagan Japanese religion of Shinto is shamanistic. Witch is a very positive term in Japan. Japanese witchcraft is commonly separate into two types: those who familiar snakes and those who familiar foxes.
Korean Shamans( Muism or Sinism): Sinism is Pagan shamanism pre-dating Buddhism and Confucianism. The Mu, also known as magician, medicine man, mystic or poet, have the ability to will people into a trance state and astral project. The Mu provides physical, psychological, and spiritual healing. These shamans emphasize holistic living. There are different types of Mu and they are link to the mother goddess associated with a mountain. Each region has a different mountain association, thus a different goddess associated with that region. They make sacrifices to the gods, worship ancestors, sing songs, and meditate.
Chinese Wuism: Chinese shamanism, also called Wuism, was first recorded in the Shang dynasty. These men and women are seen to meditate with the powers to generate things, worship ancestors, and can communicate with the spirits. Gods of nature are prominent in Wuism.

Filipino Witch: Kulam is a form of folk magic from the Phiippines. It emphasizes personal power and the secret knowledge of Magica Baja. Like other witches they practice candle magic, scrying, spell work, and a mangkukulam, a version of the Voodoo doll. They also are witch doctors like other folk magic practitioners who uses divination to diagnose a victim and try to cure them.

Eclectic Witch: Most modern witches follow many practices, traditions, may be
religious or secular, and go by many titles.
4

The Greece Runestones of Sweden

The Greece Runestones are about 30 runestones containing information related to voyages made by Norsemen to the Byzantine Empire. They were made during the Viking Age until about 1100  and were engraved in the Old Norse language with Scandinavian runes. All the stones have been found in modern-day Sweden and most of them were inscribed in memory of members of the Varangian Guard who did not make it home.

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🌸🍃 Beltane Tips! 🍃🌸

Hello, my loves! I know it’s relatively early, but I wanted to make a post about this in advance for those who need some help / inspiration with the upcoming holiday. :-) Beltane, also known as “May Day,” is at the very beginning of May, and its purpose is to continue the celebration of Spring and fertility. We bow to the abundance of the fertile Earth, and become aware of Her opening up to the fertility God. Their union gives life to healthy and strong livestock/crops and new life in general. This is inspiring to many witches and magick workers who wish to bring change into their own lives, as well as show a passionate appreciation for life itself.

- If you’re on a bit of a schedule, there are simple things you can do to show your thanks for the planet we live on and the gift of life. Much like with Ostara, just try your best to thank nature - take a short walk, notice how green everything is, eat some fresh vegetables, and take deep breaths of morning air. 🌸

- Create a Beltane altar! Include lots of green items, inspired by the lushness of the growing grass and the leaves on the trees. Also include pastels to honor Spring, such as yellows, blues, and pinks. Incorporate these lively colors into the objects in your altar - think ribbons, decorated sticks, flowers, candles, cloths, succulents, baskets, grass, chalices and statues. Add some symbolism to represent the strong  male energy of the God, which is especially potent at this time. Think sticks, acorns, seeds, antlers - and try your hand at creating your own mini Maypole! 🌿

- If you have the environment / time to do so, gather a group of friends and have a bonfire (or even just a fire in your fireplace, if you have one)! Beltane is one out of the four fire festivals in current Pagan traditions, so its presence during this time is especially welcome. Can’t have a bonfire? Light some green candles and meditate near them, perhaps while writing a list of things you wish to renew in your life. 🔥

- Eat!!! Try and incorporate milk, honey, and/or oats into your meals during this time, as well as fruits -  peaches, mango, pomegranates, and cherries. 🍒🍯🥛🍑

I hope this guide is helpful! xoxo

The festival of Giubiana, traditions in northern Italy

The Giubiana is a traditional celebration having great popularity in the northern Italian region of Lombardy, and particularly in Brianza, as well as in the region of Piedmont. During the last Thursday in January, bonfires are lit, on which the Giubiana (i.e. a puppet of an old witch) is burnt.

According to some, she is named after the ancient Roman God Jupiter, and this is why celebrations are held on Thursdays (“Giovedì”) in the Latin tradition the day of Jupiter. Furthermore, according to popular traditions, on Thursday nights (or Saturday nights) witches assembled for Sabbath.

In the days before the festival the villagers collect all that’s combustible (wood, hay, paper etc.), and put a pyre together. After a procession through the village street, the Giubiana is placed on the pyre and set on fire. The rite is both symbolic and propitiatory. The Giubiana is burnt to ashes to terminate the winter, so that the pyre flame is believed to predict an abundant harvest in the upcoming year.

There are different versions of the story: in the town where I was born the story of Giubiana is fairly different from the others which describe her as an old, ugly witch.  The story I was told takes place in the city of Cantù.

In the XII century, the cities of Como and Milan were at war: Canturium (Cantù) was one of Milan’s allies, and it was under siege. They resisted many months, and the enemy could not find a way to breach the walls. One night in January a beautiful, innocent-looking girl knocked at a priest’s door. The priest, father Lorenzo, mistook her for the Virgin Mary and invited her in. The girl was so charming that she managed to steal the keys of the city: Cantù was conquered by Como, but in the end Milan won the war and freed the city. The traitor was then sentenced to death and burnt at the stake.

Every year, in the city of Cantù and small towns nearby a life-size puppet of an old woman is burnt. The puppet is a symbol of betrayal and deceit: it is said that if it burns completely and quickly, the harvest will be good.

The “Festa della Giubiana” did not, however, originate in the middle ages: it has very ancient roots and dates back to pre-christian times.

The name Giubiana could derive from latin ‘Joviana’, and thus from the cult of the roman goddess Juno. Others think it has to do with the god Jupiter, since the celebrations are held on thursdays, in italian “giovedì” (from Giove –Jupiter).

This celebration coincides with the roman festivity of “Feriae Sementivae”, or simply “Sementivae”, the festival of sowing.

It was held in honor of Ceres (the goddess of agriculture) and Tellus (Mother Earth). The initial half of the event was a festival in honor of Tellus which ran from January 24 through January 26. The festival honoring Ceres occurred one week later, starting February 2. The purpose of The Sementina dies was to pray for a good harvest.

In this festival to celebrate the beginning of the year, Fire and Light symbolize hope and rebirth, opposed to the darkness and the cold of winter.

In my town, children are encouraged to write or draw on a sheet of paper what scares them and place it on the pyre before it is lit. They are told that the purifying force of the fire will burn and banish their fears for good.  

The tumblr witch scene is one of the most sanitised, coddled ways to get into witchcraft.

That’s not meaning it’s a horrible way to get into it but what I’m saying is ‘emoji spells’ and crystals are very modern things. Sometimes 'New Age’ methods mimic some of the simplest things in the craft which are very appealing as an aesthetic but it’s like selling people a wheel but not the rest of the bike.

Intrinsically it’s becoming more of an aesthetic than a practice, which is fine on some levels, but it’s also pushing young practitioners into a weird space between 'New Age’ jargon and what is actually the craft. How are they expected to get their foot in the door when there’s a huge gap between the people who have actual hereditary/experimental knowledge and them? Especially when online (where older members of the community generally don’t dwell) is filled with New Age mash up info???

The moment of realisation when you know a spell has worked

You cast the spell. The candles are burned, the sigils are drawn, the jar is filled. You put all your energy and power into it, and the fierceness of your desire.

You wait.

A day goes past, then two. Perhaps days turn into weeks; perhaps weeks into months.

You may forget entirely that you ever cast the spell.

Then one day, when your situation has changed, when your goals are attained, when you have what you desire, the epiphany hits you: this is what you worked for.

You worked for it physically, applying all the mundane methods at your disposal. But, you realise, your magical working played an integral role as well, even if not in the way you had originally intended or foreseen.

It is a feeling of wonder that makes you smile to yourself, a smile of knowing. It is a feeling of that last puzzle piece fitting into place, a piece you were not even aware you were missing.

You know, in your heart of hearts, that your magic worked.

Fall Magick

I adore fall over any season, something just feels different inside of me and i just feel more spiritually aware, fall is also the time of my favourite Sabbat Samhain so i thought I’d share some ideas on what you can do for this Sabbat and just for the season in general.

This is gonna be kinda lengthy!

But first, what exactly is samhain? 

The fields are bare, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and the skies are going grey and cold. It is the time of year when the earth has died and gone dormant. Every year on October 31 (or May 1, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) the Sabbat we call Samhain presents us with the opportunity to once more celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth. For many Pagan traditions, Samhain is a time to reconnect with our ancestors, and honour those who have died.

This is the time when the veil between our world and the spirit realm is thin, so it’s the perfect time of year to make contact with the dead.


Samhain activity ideas.


  • Take a walk in the park with a loved one or a pet


  • Collect leaves to press


  • Enjoy some of the pumpkin spiced joy that comes around 


  • Reflect on the year


  • Remember those who have passed on to the other side and set up your altar with pictures of your loved ones who have passed.


  • Listen to stories about you ancestors, learn some stuff you maybe didn’t know.


  • Prepare a Samhain dinner. Include a place setting at your table or at a nearby altar for the Dead. Add an offering of a bit of each beverage being consumed to the cup at that place setting, and to the plate, add a bit of each food served. Invite your ancestors and other deceased loved ones to come and dine with you. (you could also consider dining in silence however this isn’t necessary.) 


  • Divination and Guidance. Using Tarot, Runes, Scrying, or some other method of divination, seek and reflect on guidance for the year to come. Write a summary of your process and messages. Select something appropriate to act upon and do it.


  • Divine Invocations. Honour and call upon the Divine in one or more Sacred Forms associated with Samhain, such as the Crone Goddess and Horned God of Nature. Invite Them to aid you in your remembrance of the Dead and in your understanding of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. If you have lost loved ones in the past year, ask these Divine Ones to comfort and support you.


  • Transforming Expressions. If you encounter distortions, misinformation, and/or false, negative stereotypes about Paganism and Samhain in the media, contact the source, express your concerns, and share accurate information. Help eradicate derogatory stereotyping with courteous, concise, and intelligent communications.


  • Seasonal Imagery. Decorate your home with Samhain seasonal symbols and the colours of orange and black. Place an Autumnal wreath on your front door. Create displays with pumpkins, cornstalks, gourds, acorns, and apples. Set candles in cauldrons.


  • Carve a pumpkin or a turnip.


  • Bury an apple on samhain night as a snack to offer those passing on
  • go shopping for seasonal home decorations, and even Halloween decorations if you’re like me and keep some of them up all year round!


  • Take a sibling or cousin trick-or-treating.


  • Sit around a fire and toast marshmallows and tell stories. 


  • Go out and collect acorns and conkers.


  • Go apple picking or do some apple bobbing.


  • Watch a horror movie.


  • If there’s a corn maze near you, go have some fun getting lost with your friends and family.


  • Sit up late in the crisp autumn air and reflect.


  • Go for a hayride or for a hike.

And that’s it! That’s all i have for you this time round my loves, blessings and may the divine be with you, 

Morgana. 

Ancestors: What Types there are and How to work with them

Introduction:

What is Ancestral Veneration

Ancestral Veneration is one of the most ancient religious and spiritual practices.  The respect and belief in an afterlife as well as honoring ancestors can be traced back to paleolithic mankind.   It is believed that honoring our ancestors was the first religious and spiritual form of ritual work.  From ways the dead were buried to views of the afterlife ancestors and the dead were never far from the mind of our paleolithic ancestors, and for some this truth remains today.

Ancestral veneration is not worshiping our ancestors, at least not in the common sense of worship. Ancestral veneration is more like honoring the dead in a respectful way.  Its a belief that they are still with us in a spirit form.  That they can hear us and can effect our lives from the other side.  Its a belief that our ancestors like other spirits can help us become the best person we can be and to live the life that we really want and desire.

There are exchanges of offerings and gifts.  This isn’t worship.  In some ways I think of it like when I put a flower on my ancestors grave.  Its giving something to them to signify that you remember them and care for them.  These gifts can be basically anything.  Though some cultures do have rules against some items being given to different spirits.
In some cultures flowers are only for the dead and it’s ok to leave offerings to the dead till they rot as this signifies they have taken everything.  In other cultures and practices only water is offered to the dead.   Even Christianity has mention of the value of prayer for the dead.  Working with and honoring our ancestors is a powerful spiritual path and there are many ways to go about it.

The act of the gift and the offering is the important thing though.  Its through these exchanges that relationships with our ancestors can develop and grow.  Its believed that a gift will ensure a gift.  Its also believed that because the dead and our ancestors are beyond the veil they have access to energy and powers of the universe that we don’t so by asking them to help us in our work and our lives they can tap into those energies for us.  Granted they dont help us unless we help ourselves.  So the gifts symbolize our part to do our work.

Many religions and traditions have celebrations and days of the dead.  Halloween, All saints and All Souls day,  Samhain, Dia de los Muertos(Mexican Day of the dead), The Bon Festival (Japan), and Pitru Paksha (Fortnight of the Ancestors-Hindu) are different festivals in different cultures.  They have one thing in common.  They are all festivals to honor the dead and the ancestors.  These are only a handful of celebrations that exist to celebrate ancestors and the dead.  The point is that the concept of honoring the dead is still alive and well in this world today.

The practice of honoring the dead is starting to become more common in Pagan practices today as well.  Part of that is that many of us are reclaiming this practice.  It was a part of ancient pagan traditions, so the practice was largely destroyed in the west.  For many reclaiming ancestral veneration as a part of our practice not only connects us to our more recent ancestors and keeps our passed loved ones in our lives, but it also allows us to reach the deepest ancestors we have which can be powerful guides for those starting down pagan paths.

Personal Development of Ancestor work

One of the reasons I am writing this post today is in honor of a new ancestor.  A loved one of mine has just crossed the veil.  It is this passing that has once again made me think about working with my ancestors and how is really always been a central part of my practice.  I haven’t always considered the contact with my ancestors and the shrines to my past loved ones ancestral veneration.  I thought it was simply remembering them and keeping them alive.

Ancestor veneration is a large part of my practice and spiritual work.  My ancestors have a lot to teach me.   I have an ancestor altar that I pray at everyday. While it is a strong part of my practice these days, ancestral veneration and honoring has not always been a large part of my path.  In fact it was at one point something I really only did on the festival of the dead (Samhain) as that was the focus.  I thought that was really all that was needed, and at the time maybe that was for my best.

When I started to practice witchcraft I had recently lost my Grandmother.  Many of the psychics and readings I had done at the time confirmed that she was staying close to me as a spirit guide (I was having dreams of her). So I started working with my ancestors through a single ancestor as a spirit guide.  That was 17 years ago.  Now I have an altar to all my ancestors as I have learned that any of our ancestors can be our guides and guardians.

Originally I didn’t offer any prayers, or much to my ancestors.  I would simply say hello to them when I needed to feel their presence.  I had a place of memory for them where I could see them and keep them in my life.  Then when I started to explore traditional witchcraft as a religious and spiritual practice I heard of the concept of giving them offerings and having shrines and altars to them.  So I created one and started an ancestral prayer working.

The practice with ancestral veneration got even deeper when I started to explore Germanic paganism and found I had Germanic ancestry.  When I read how they honored their ancestors and the powers of wyrd and Oorlog I decided that I had to develop my relationship even further.  So I started to work them into Germanic rites and rituals through the phrases “The Alfar and the Disir”

There was a time when I stopped practicing basically everything.  Then I started to explore Hoodoo.  My interest and desires to understand magic and witchcraft returned.  Through this I found more focus on ancestors and honoring your culture.  I found that ancestors will be powerful allies in spells as well as in meditations and trance work.  So through Hoodoo my work with my ancestors started to develop further and I learned new prayers to use for my ancestors.

Now today I have a prayer I say to them every morning and I have a prayer I say every evening to my ancestors.  I give them offerings when I perform rituals and I invite them into my ritual circles.  They have a part of my day to day life and my spiritual life. I couldn’t imagine my spiritual work without my ancestors at all.  They are always there for me and they always will be.  I may not be able to physically hold them and see them, but when I need them I can feel them and I know they are always there for me.

The types of ancestors:

Being adopted my ancestors actually come in different forms and types.  Not all of my ancestors are of the blood.  Some are of the spirit and some are of the heart.  I have legal blood ancestors and blood ancestors.  I have ancestors in all of my families that I don’t know but are my allies through the bonds of the heart and the spirit.  I even have ancestors that are not really in my family at all but are in my spiritual family. All of these ancestors have roles to play in my life and I honor them all.

I dont consider ancestors limited to just the blood and the heart though.This post is going to discuss the different ancestors I have through my adoption and my spiritual practices and how I can honor and work with each of them.  For the longest time I didn’t engage in ancestral veneration because of my adoption.  I wasn’t sure if I should honor my ancestors of my adoption, my foster family, or my biological family.  Thinking about this also was painful so while I wanted to honor my ancestors I didn’t go about it until I had answered my confusion.

How I came to see the types of Ancestors

That was how I came to see the different ancestral lines.  One year I went to the local Pagan Pride day.  I typically attend a few of the workshops that go on.  This year there was one about ancestral work and contacting your ancestors.  The key component of that workshop was a meditation on ancestral lines.  During this meditation I saw three lines of ancestral blood flowing from my body.  There was a fourth that was some what gray at the time and today its now clear.

It was then I knew that I was to honor all of my ancestors.  Those of my foster family, my blood or biological family, and my adoptive family.  It was through this work that I came to see that there are many different types of ancestors and that not everyone will have access to blood ancestors.  Through these meditations and concepts I came to see that there are
four primary types of ancestral allies: You have your ancestors of the Blood, your ancestors of the heart, and the ancestors of the spirit.  Adoptive ancestors are actually a mixture of two types which I will get into in the next sections as well as being their own type of ancestor.

Ancestors of The Blood

Every one is familiar with the concept of blood ancestors.  These are those of your family or blood line that goes back generations.  These are the strongest allies that one can have.  These are the ancestors that everyone thinks about when they think of ancestors.  Ancestors of the blood also include ancestors gained through marriage and long term committed relationships.  When I got engaged to my fiance his ancestors joined mine and mine his.  We are a family unit.  These ancestors go back generations on each side.  So the lines of blood ancestors are very long.

These are the strongest allies that you can have as a spirit.  They are the ones that have your best interest at heart.   Through the strands of Fate, and the workings of Wyrd we are always directly connected to our ancestors.  Our actions reflect them as much as their actions reflect on us.  So we need to honor them in our lives and we need to keep them close to us.  Before any other spirit is petitioned the ancestors will work stronger for you and faster for you. There is little that is stronger than the power of the blood.

Adoptive Ancestors

For me I also have my adoptive ancestors,  These are the ancestors of my adoptive family.  They are the family that raised me and that belongs to me.  In ancient cultures at times the roles of the blood ancestors would be replaced by the foster and or adoptive family.  In my case I never considered them to replace the blood ancestors at all.  I considered them additional ancestors that I was blessed to have.

We have no physical blood that ties us.  However to all of the world and all legal meanings they are my flesh and blood.  That is how I feel about them as well.  In all honesty at times they are more my family than my blood and biological family simply because I have minimal contact and my relationship with that family is in its infancy (until recently was non existent).  Which is why they are both ancestors of the blood and of the heart.  The time that they spent raising me and being involved in my life can not be undone.

They gave their blood, sweat, and tears to me.  They are for my my most powerful allies.  They have been there for me more than the blood ancestors.  They were the first ancestors I have contacted and they were the first ones to make themselves known to me.  This is the ancestral line that has been the strongest for me.  My blood ancestral work is focused on more ancient pagan ancestor while my adoptive ancestral work is more with Saint and angel work (Hoodoo influences as well).

It is because my adoptive Ancestors gave so much of their blood, sweat, and tears into my life and that they took me in they are also ancestors of the heart.  They are of the blood because of the family ties and concepts but of the heart because there is no physical blood.  Its a spiritual and memory based blood love.  The bond of the heart here shows how even just being in a family for a short while can create strong family bonds.

Ancestors of the Heart

Those of the heart are the family that has passed that are not connected through marriage or blood or even legal adoption.  In my case this is where my foster family lies.  They did not adopt me but are still my family.  I have lost several members of that family and they were all close to me.  They are now my ancestors and they watch over me.  Our bond is somewhat stronger than blood or law.

These ancestors are some of my more recent ancestors.  It was my Uncle Cleve’s passing which made me think about ancestors.  He was my foster uncle and is an ancestor of my heart.  His two brothers are also my ancestors here.  I have a Grandfather here as well.  To them and to me the fact that I did not live with them, and was not legally a part of the family after my adoption never mattered.  I never stopped being their family.  That is what the ancestors of the heart are all about.

The ancestors of the heart are those that have passed on we considered family even if there was no blood between you.  These can be friends you thought of as brothers and sisters, close friends and even those who you would consider “father"or "mother” figures.  If you feel that they were and are apart of your family in your heart than they are your family and are your ancestors.  Never let anyone else tell you any different.

Ancestors of the Spirit:

Finally there are ancestors of the spirit. For me I consider any Occultist, Witch, and Magician who worked hard to preserve the magical and spiritual arts are my spiritual ancestors.  Even though I dont agree with all of their teachings and philosophies people like Gerald Gardner, Aliester Crowley, Doreen Valiente, Scott Cunningham, and many others put a lot of work into making magical spirituality acceptable and part of our day to day lives again.  Those are a few of my spiritual ancestors as a witch based on the practices I have taken into my practice.

As I explore Hoodoo and other magical systems other spiritual ancestors will come into my practice.  For example Marie Laveau is a famous Hoodoo worker in New Orleans.  In some respects I could consider her a spiritual ancestor.  Other ancestors in the case of Hoodoo would in general be any one who struggled to keep African American spiritual heritage alive through Hoodoo and Rootwork.  When a teacher passes I would add them to the spiritual ancestors as well.

You can also have ancestors of the spirit when you are spiritually adopted into a tradition.  There are many religions and paths where they are only open to people of a specific culture.  Occasionally through the practice of spiritual adoption outsiders are initiated and welcome into that spiritual family.  The ancestors of your initiator in these situations become your ancestors and guides as well.  It is a spiritual family you have entered into and like all families they will help you and work with you if you honor them as taught.


Working with your ancestors

Now that we have covered the types of ancestors out there and I have mentioned the importance of working with your ancestors its time to actually start thinking about how we can work with them.  Why do we work with them, and what the best ways of working with them are.

There are two primary ways aside from meditation and spirit travel work that a person can work with their ancestors.  These two forms are the altar and prayers.  They work well together and serve as a starting point for building power with your ancestral allies.  Unless one is experienced in astral travel and spirit communication using those tools right away to work with your ancestors is not the best of ideas.  Prayers and altar work are all you really need.

The altar

Really when it comes to working with your ancestors the only real must do I have found is having an altar of some sort where you can offer prayers and other items to them as you get to know them.  These altars can evolve and change over time. The point of the altar is to serve as a focal point in your work.  The altar is a place for you to offer your prayers and your gifts to them.

Your altar doesn’t need to be fancy.  Many people start off not knowing any of their ancestors. In which case a candle, a cup for water, and a plate for offerings is all you would need to contact them.  If you know your passed on loved ones and you have photos of them you can and should add those photos to the altar.

The altar also serves as a place of remembrance of the dead.  So its a place to put items that make you think of your ancestors as well as their photos.  You want it to look nice and appealing.  This is going to be their home for you in your house and their place in your life.  So its also important to keep the altar neat looking.

There are no limits on your ancestral altar.  Let their spirits come through.  There are reasons for the symbols I have placed on my altars.  They grew as my focus and my relationships grew.  One thing has always been common though-the focus has been on remembering them and keeping their memories alive in my life.


Ancestral Prayers

The best way to work with your ancestors even before starting an altar is simply to pray to them.  Prayers to your ancestors aren’t really any different than prayers for gods and spirit guides.  You are simply having a conversation with your ancestors.  Prayers are how we can communicate with them directly and its our best way to communicate with them.  They can communicate with us in different ways (dreams, scents, meditations, sudden insights etc) but we can really only speak to them through prayers.

The easiest prayer is simply:
“Blessed Ancestors I welcome you into my life.  May you bless and guide me and may you teach me what you yourself can”

That’s all your prayers to your ancestors need to be.  You dont need to praise them.  You don’t need to have a fancy invocation.  You simply can address them as your ancestors and they will listen to you.  You dont even really need to ask for a blessing.  You could simply say something along the lines of:
“Good Morning Ancestors.  I welcome you this day”.

All you are doing with your prayers is acknowledging that they exist and that they are apart of your world.  By giving them a simple welcome everyday you will start to feel their presence build up.  You will begin to know them and feel them like you do can with other spirits and beings that you work with.  The more attention you give them the more you will notice them.

Prayers can be more complex and verbose.  My personal prayers evolved from a simple Hello and welcome to a full blessing and daily petition for them to be here.  There is a bit of praise and there is a bit of thanks.  These prayers are offered twice daily.  I feel that they flowed from me into the written form when I was channeling spirits and writing prayers for them.  My ancestors let me know what they wanted.

Offerings and Gifts

The final way that we can work with our ancestors is in offerings and gifts.  These gifts are ways that we say thank you and show our appreciation to them.  There are many ways types of gifts that can be given to our ancestors.   You can give your ancestor basically anything you would give yourself or a person.  They are still family and they are still people.

For myself I consider flowers on graves a gift to them.  I also place flowers on the altars every so often as remembrances of them.  I try and give them their favorite flowers.  I also try and give them their favorite things.  For my grandmother I will think of her when I go bowling and send her some of that energy as play and a memory of our times together.

On holidays I will set aside a portion of the food on my plate for my ancestors.  I will let it sit till the end and eat that last.  They eat the essence of that portion while I eat my meal.  When I have finished the portion for me they will have had their fill and I can take nourishment from the food.  Other cultures burn food offerings to ancestors and spirits.  Some burry the food in the yard.   Other throw it into the woods for animals to eat.

There are some taboos in various cultures about what can and can’t be given to ancestors and the dead.  If you belong to a specific culture, religion, and or tradition I suggest that you look into ways that they honor the dead.  By honoring the traditions of your culture, your religion and your tradition you are honoring your ancestors in that way as well.   These traditions after all were ancestral in many cases.

Conclusion:

This post has covered my own discovery into the importance of ancestral veneration.  It has covered the types of ancestors and a few of the ways that we can work with our ancestors.  Your ancestors are part of who you are.  They are powerful allies that can teach you things you wouldn’t imagine and who can be there for you in ways none else can.   Your ancestors are still here in this life and in this world just in a different form.

There are many ways to work with them.  Once you start working with them you will find that there are many more ways and reasons to work with them.  I’ve been working with my ancestors actively for several years and my relationships with them continue to grow and develop.  I am constantly learning new reasons to honor them and new ways of working with them.  The more I learn the more I realize there is to learn.

These allies seem to be the ones that develop the most as I develop spiritually.  The more I understand spiritual and magical practices the stronger they seem to become and the more things we seem to be able to so together.  Its my hope that any one who has read this will start to develop their own relationships with their ancestors and start to find the power and comfort in ancestral grace and guidance.

Concerning Dark Objects and How to Make Them

Originally posted by psychoticblood

These are inspired by the series The Originals. Davina and Kol started making these cursed objects and I liked the concept so now it’s a real witchy thing! I don’t if anyone came up with these yet, but I’ve never seen them around so here ya go!

What are Dark Objects?

Dark objects are basically active enchanted items. Items which you have linked a spell to, and is activated by a trigger set in place by the caster.

Components of a Dark Object:

The Focus: The Focus is the item itself, so a necklace, a ring, or something like that. I personally really like using jewelry as Foci, but that’s just my aesthetic. You could literally use anything, I’ve used a spoon before.

The Source: The Source is the source of power that fuels the item. The simplest one would be to infuse the object with all the energy needed for the spell. You can play with the source to turn it into more of a trigger.

The Trigger: The Trigger is what, well, triggers the spell. I like using a movement, or a small rhyme, as it’s pretty easy, but you could make it so it’s activated when the object is broken, or when a certain person does a certain thing.

The Link: Related to the trigger, this component is optional. It allows to make the use of this item reserved to a certain person.

The Glyph: This is more of a personal thing, but I like to use a glyph with different geometry in it to relate to the spell itself. It helps to redirect the energy into the object, and to govern the energies better. Circles are used to indicate the flow of energy, and to contain energy. Squares are used to represent the four elements, as each corner represents one direction. Lines are used to link different components to each other (more on that in another post). Triangles are used to implement structure and strength to the enchantment. Spirals are used to direct the energy of the Purpose 

The Purpose: Basically the herbs and objects you would use for the spell if you weren’t going to use it as a cursed object. I don’t reccomend poppets, or other types of representative magic, due to the fact that it could make a monkey’S paw effect take action, but anything else is good.

How to make a Dark Object:

Making these can take a little bit of planning, of course, but I personally think they’re worth it.

First you want to pick a Focus. I reccomend something related to the spell, and easy to carry with you. Then, decide on the spell you want to put into the Object. Gather your Purpose and make sure you have everything you need. Then you want to design the glyph, if you’re going to use one. I reccomend using one of my chalk recipes depending on what you want to do. You should also decide on what you want your trigger to be. I reccomend a rhyme, rubbing the object, destroying it, or doing a certain movement. You also want to set up anything that you’ll be able to draw power from, like candles, crystal elixirs, music, whatever helps you raise energy. 

Trace your glyph out, and set everything up. Place your Purpose on the assigned spots of the glyph, or just throw them in a box. If you’re going to use the glyph, make sure the Purpose is placeed at the end of a spiral going towards the Focus or lines going towards it. If using a glyph, your candles should be used as Purpose, to send power to the Focus. Now, it’s time to start casting.

Write out a contract stating the trigger, and the overall intention of the spell using whichever alphabet you prefer. I like using Ogham or runes, but you can also use regular script. If using a Link, wrap it up in the contract, or smear your blood or the person’s blood unto the word. or phrase stating the trigger. If the Source isn’t physical or premeditated, state what it will be when you need to use the object, for example feelings, or entropic energy. Burn the contract and mix the ashes with water or a brew related to the spell. Anoint the object with the mixture. Now you want to raise energy and direct it into the object. Visualize the object sucking in all the energy of the purpose and the Source, if used. Chant the intention of use of the object, preferably rhyming, and visualizethe use of the object. Act as if you were casting a regular spell, but isntead of sending it into the world, send it into the object so it may act as a vessel.

Using the Dark Object:

You want to carry the object with you for when you use it, obviously. Use your trigger and state the target of the spell. Once cast, the object will probably feel different. Less charged, or lighter even. Once the object has been used, you can reenchant it with the same spell you used, or cleanse it in salt and moonlight for an entire night and use a different spell on it.

Depending on what Source you link to the dark object, for example your feelings, you could probably cast the spell as many times as the Source is powerful enough.

Ideas for Dark Objects:

A pendant used to suddenly make you extremely attractive to all around you.

A bracelet used during a test to remember the answers.

A ring to bring intense luck when gambling.

An earring rubbed to curse that one person who wronged you isntantly.

A knife with storms as Source used to cut the clouds and make the sun shine.

The possibilities are endless! Have fun with it :)