⛤Added a second alter to my apartment, and I’m finally happy with my sea alter!
I love the idea of looking for the symbols within nature, so a sand dollar, with its natural pentagram on it was perfect as were the three fossils that make up the triad goddess symbol. The pearls occur in two rings around to represent the slow growth into adulthood I am going through, and the, admittedly, kitschy sword invokes the willingness to fight back against the oppressors in the world.
I hope it might inspire some of you lovely witches with your own alters ⛤
This beautiful but poisonous plant is native to Europe, but due to its hardy and invasive nature has spread all across the world, including to Australia. It’s jet-black berries form into distinctive clusters, and its five white petals arrange themselves naturally into perfect pentagrams.
Nightshades are associated strongly with Hekate, most especially Hekate Chthonia or “Hekate of the Underworld”. Hekate is a Greek goddess of magick, crossroads, spirits and the restless dead, transitions and changes, the future, necromancy, and many other elements of life, death and everything else. Hekate’s sacred plants are all poisonous plants, such as yew, hellebore, mandrake and mistletoe, but most especially the nightshades.
In Wicca, nightshades and Hekate have both been long associated with the New Moon and with the Crone aspect of the Goddess. Hekate is often depicted as a triple goddess, and her most sacred sites are places where three paths meet at a crossroads. Finding nightshade at these sites is a sure sign of magickal activity at these places, and that these places are blessed by the Crone Goddess of magick and witchcraft, and by Hekate.
Black nightshade is of course poisonous, with most of the toxicity found in the unripe green or grey berries. However all parts of the plant are toxic, even if small amounts of the ripe berries are sometimes eaten after heavy preparation. If you wish to harvest black nightshade, you must wear gloves when handling it and wash your skin if it touches you, because it can be absorbed through the skin.
Usages of Black Nightshade in Witchcraft
Nightshades have been long associated with death and spirits, due to their poisonous nature and their usages in traditional flying ointments (skin-administered ointments that induced trance states). The berries, especially fresh ones or dried and powdered berries, have been mixed with alcohol and dragon’s blood to make an ink, designed to draw curses or spirit sigils. Dried and preserved branches were placed around altars to invoke spirits and spirit magick.
Leaves and berries were sometimes used in non-ingested potions (designed for applying to objects or for storing in sealed jars, not drinking) that are used for increasing magickal potency. They can also be used as an element in an altar, totem bag, herb pouch, or any other such magickal device as a means of increasing one’s ability to enter the spirit world when meditating. Place inside a small leather bag and hang it around your neck, or place 5 boughs of nightshade in a pentagram on an altar before you as you meditate to dramatically increase the ease of entry and potency of spirit world journeys.
In the past people have burnt nightshades in order to summon spirits, however this is extremely dangerous. Black nightshade IS very poisonous, and burning it will cause it to be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. This could easily kill you, because you’re getting a high dosage very fast.
Never burn, inhale, ingest, vapourise, apply to your skin or otherwise consume any poisonous nightshades. It is potentially life-threatening to do this!
Picking Nightshades: When’s best?
When you’re picking nightshades for usage in magick, it’s important to remember that place, time and date all matter to increase magickal effectiveness. For best effects, you should try to get as many of these conditions as possible when picking your nightshades:
At a crossroads
Under the waning or new moon
During the autumn, especially Samhain
From a place where a body has been interred (e.g. a cemetery, please don’t kill anyone just for a spell)
Cut with secateurs or a bolline coloured black or blue and made of something other than iron or steel
Please wear gloves when handling poisonous nightshades!
He gets Clary to sketch out a perfect pentagram onto the loft’s floor.
Jace and Isabelle are sitting cross legged on the floor, faces unreadable. He aches to join siblings but he can’t think about that now. This has to be perfect.
Isabelle and Jace are flipping through old dusty books, their faces illuminated by candel light.
They look like Angels. His heart aches for them. They were bound to him, as he was to Magnus.
Angels weren’t supposed to play God. He lights one of the many candles at his side.
He looks back over at Clary who’s moved on from sketching and is painting the floor in quick precise movements. The line of her mouth is hard and she looks as tired him. The blood is thick and warm on her brush.
Simon, as always, was by her side, staring at the blood in a sort of awe. Clary whips the excess down her shirt, looking ill. All that had been inside her. And Jace, too.
She’s been as eager as him with her own research and preparation. She’d known Magnus as long as she’d lived and her memories had returned alarmingly fast after Magnus’ death.
His throat closes up and he reminds himself to stay focused. Best case death was nothing more than a state of mind and Magnus would be with him again before dawn. And worst case…No. Alec wouldn’t take no for an answer. It didn’t matter the price. He’d find a way to pay it.
Isabelle and Jace started moving the unlit candles, placing them outside the pentagram. They loved him, Alec realized, mouth dry, enough to damn themselves.
They all hold hands as Alec starts to chant, more out of a desire for closeness than any spell.
“ cubavit lamia et victima superstes tuae fructus, voco. Omnes matris nomine appellemus.” He stops for a breath.
The windows rattle and Alec fears they’ll shatter. Not enough to stop though. This apartment could level and it wouldn’t be a reason to stop. Damn the street, damn the world, damn himself. He’ll choose Magnus every day. He didn’t have a choice.
“ Lamia mea, nos vocant. Nos te ab vacuum. In die qua invocaverimus te mihi egredietur.” He sounds braver than he feels.
One of the windows cracks down the middle. Jace stiffens and reaches for his seraph blade, stopping when he catches Alec’s warning look. He joins his hands back with Isabelle and Clary and says nothing.
Simon shoots him a look that Alec pointedly ignores. He didn’t get it. Only Clary did. The pain of death and it’s permanence. Well, permanent until it wasn’t.
“ Nos petere ut det. Sanguinem nostrum violentorum Angelorum. rogamus vos. Potentiam tuam, et turbavit animum. Adiuva nos Lamia.”
Apparently, he said something right. The woman who appears is vaguely translucent and sharp. Her hair was dark and hung down to her waist.
Her snake eyes narrowed as they turned to Jace.
“Who do you think you are summoning me?”
“He didn’t. I did. And that means this has nothing to do with Jace or any of my friends. Just me.”
Lilith purred. “Oh you doubteless repellent brat, the company you keep has everything to do with our transaction. Why would I help the man child who damned my son?”
“We’re not here to talk about Sebastian.” Not when Alec was this close.
“Then what,” she drawls, “are we here to talk about? Trading tips on how to kill demons?”
“I want something.”
“Don’t we all.”
“Hey now” Izzy growls, looking nearly ready to join Lilith in the Pentagram. Simon grips her shoulder, trying to ground her. Her skin burns.
“What do you need that your angels can’t give you? Have they finally turn their backs on the Nephilim?” Her laugh echos, like glass splintering. “But they gave you blood. What are you asking for,” she asks, “that they’d let you summon me?”
“The blood doesn’t matter. It Is Angel and brought you here.”
It was angel, to a certain degree. As angel as Jace and Clary were.
“Have you finally stopped galavanting off with downworlders? Chose to rebel with a higher power?”
Alec tightned his fist in his jeans.
“We have something you want.”
“A new body? My son? You have nothing, for you have taken and destroyed everything I wanted.”
“We have information.”
“Do not get cocky, shadowhunter. You are the Angel’s pet project while I am a greater demon.”
“We do. Asmdeous is waiting for you in Edom. He thinks of you fondly, as Edom’s princess. He says you will always have a place there, at his side.”
“You think this new information? Shadowhunter, you have disappointed me more than I thought possible. I am almost impressed. We are done.”
“No.” Alec said, voice steel. “You are stuck here until I dismiss you. We don’t have anywhere to be and every place in Brooklyn delivers. You’re stuck in the void. Edom’s borders are sealed. What if we could get you home?”
Lilith rolled her eyes.
“You Nephilim got another trait from the Angels. False promises. You cannot take me to Edom anymore than I take you to the void.”
“That’s where you’re wrong though,” Clary interupts, walking over to Lilith.
“I make portals. I make runes. Edom might be sealed to Earth, but not to other dimensions, one small detour and boom. Help my friend, and I can get you to Edom.”
“You are confident little girl, to claim to speak the language of heaven.”
Clary’s eyes flashed.
“Maybe,” she says, her voice light, “you didn’t the memo. My name isn’t little girl.”
Lilith turns to Alec.
“This girl is your arrow? I was wrong to believe The promises of the Nephilim.”
“I don’t have to be kind. I could take you some place else or drop another in your place. I doubt Asmodeous to be so picky in princessess.”
She points her steele like a weapon. You have a dark heart, Valentine’s daughter. Thus is to tyrants? Thus is to those backed in a corner.
Lilith’s face relaxes and a smile stretches across her face. It’s more frightening then her glare.
“What would you want in return? Wait, I know Nephilim. Let me guess. World Peace?”
“I don’t want to world. I want Magnus Bane.”
Her smile fills his mouth with ashes.
Izzy and Lilith trade hard stares. They’ve reached an impasse. Lilith refuses to bring back Magnus until her feet touch Edom’s waste. Izzy refuses “to see a reason not to rip those snakes from her eyes.”
“If she wants to keep them, she’ll bring Magnus back. It’s motivation.”
The candles flicker and the shadows cut out any innocence from her. She is cold and her ice will set you ablaze.
She had grieved Magnus, they all had, but not like Alec or Clary. In truth, she was mourning her brother. A part of him had died with Magnus. And Raziel forgive her, she will tear the heart out of anyone and eat it before they stop her from helping Alec.
Her whip curled at her side, almost incandescent.
Lilith turned to Simon.
“Before you do something you’ll regret, Isabelle Lightwood, are you sure this is what you want?”
“You’re here to help Alec.”
“It is always about Alec, isn’t it? What about you? You’ve lost so much. The man you love looks at you like a stranger. You could get that back. The way he used to look at you. You’d fix it, fix him.”
Isabelle shook. “Simon’s fine! And, pray tell, what would you know about love?”
“I know it goes hand in hand with loss. Not just his memories. You’ve lost your brother. Max. I could just as easily bring him back. Magnus Bane lived for over 400 years. Max got …what was it?”
Tears ran down Isabelle’s face.
“N-Nine.” She chocked out, trembling.
“He’ll always be nine.”
Simon stepped between her and the demon.
“Stop! Stop talking to her, stop looking at her- ”
“You wish to make a deal instead?”
“Thats enough!” Jace’s voice echoed throughout the loft.
“You made a deal with my brother for Magnus Bane. We will transport you to Edom.”
He toed the line of the pentagram, seraph blade raised.
He whispered “Raphael” and the blue light shone on Lilith’s face.
“You will not,” he seethed, “make my sister cry. Or I will follow you to Edom and you will have another war. You already lost a son.”
For once Lilith fell silent. Simon had wrapped his arms around Isabelle and the sound of her whispering “9” was all that could be heard.
Lilith turned to Alec.
“I truly hate you all.” Her eyes glowed and magic poured out of the snakes.
“ Ego sum Lamia et Flectamus genua. Caeli et terrae adorabunt me, ante omnes matri cedere ante infernum. Cum filiis dico. Bane magnus ego convocabo. Damnaturus Angels.Damn leges. Ego mater tu!”
White light fills the apartment and Alec winced, looking for Isabelle and Jace through the nearly blindly light.
Lilith lay, crouched in the pentagram, a light sheen of sweat above her brow.
“Brace yourself” she calls and then it happens.
The floor quakes and the candles go out. Alec reaches out to steady Jace, who’s already got his blades out and named. They glow bright in the now completely dark room.
“Careful!” He shouts, blinking as Isabelle’s whip extends and lights up the room.
“What’s going on?” Simon yelled.
Lilith grins. “Nothing you didn’t ask for.”
A floor cracks open and Alec peers into it. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t reveal the apartment underneath them. Just…Nothing.
He feels himself being tugged back and turns, coming face to face with Isabelle.
Clary held her witchlight high, lighting up each darkened corner.
“What’s that?” Simon shrieked, gripping Isabelle’s hand.
Something was crawling out of the crack. A man. Alec’s heart lept. He broke from the group and ran towards Magnus.
He falls to his knees and half dragged Magnus out.
He was naked and covered in ash. His cat eyes nearly glowed in the darkness.
“Alec?” He mummbled dazed, eyes fluttering.
Alec’s heart ached. He hadn’t been there when Magnus died, had been on patrol with Jace. Maia was right. You don’t feel it.
Alec held Magnus tight, sobbing into his shoulder.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I should have been there. I’m sorry.”
Magnus frowned, tangeling his fingers in The hair at the base of Alec’s neck.
“What? Alec why are you crying?” He turns to Lilith and groans.
“Lilith? Why is my Alec crying? Why are you all in my house?”
Clary was crying now, too. She rushed to his side, falling near the tangled mess of Alec and Magnus.
“I missed you,” she says, rubbing her eyes.
“And I’d hug you, but you’re naked and Alec would kill me”
Magnus turned to her.
“Biscut, I need you to tell me what happened. Why Lilith’s here and why Alec can’t stop crying.”
“Actually, biscuit, what you need to do is portal me to my husband.”
Magnus looked at Alec, who had stopped sobbing with horror.
“What,” he said slowly, “did you do?”
Clary grabs her steele and starts drawing, taking pleasure in the interconnected design of the portal rune.
Isabelle kneels down by the edge of the pentagram, her knife unsheathed.
The rune glows white and The portal opens, the new deminsion bright red and green.
“To here and then Edom. No funny business.”
“None. I gave you your warlock didn’t I? Have some good faith”
Isabelle slices a line of Pentagram and Lilith steps out, the air shivering.
She steps into the portal, turning back to the nephilim one last time.
“It was awful meeting all of you. Good luck with Champagne Enema, Simon. I support any band attempting to drive children to madness.”
Clary follows her and it closes behind them, missing Simon’s shout of “We’re not called that anymore! No we’re teenage amnesiac vampire!”
Jace frowned. “You got her, man. Real burn.”
Isabelle frowned. “Clary told us it shouldn’t take more than ten minutes.”
Magnus cleared his throat.
“Lets use those ten minutes to explain every thing to the man who crawled himself out of hell?”
Lilith grins, eyeing Clary as she opened the next portal.
“You don’t have to go back, you know. Johnathan might be dead but you could rule in Edom.”
Clary rolled her eyes.
“No thanks. I think I’m good.”
“Are you though? You have a dark heart. You think tonight’s actions have cleaned it up? You and your friends are dark. You play a dangerous game, tipping the scales. There are rules. You are rebellious angels. You know what happens to rebellious angels, Clarissa.”
Clary swallows and remembers Valentine and Sebastian. Thus always to tyrants…were they the heroes of today? Did they invoke something higher then them?
“Go find Asmodeous, Lilith.”
She disappeared into The portal and Clary finds herself back in Magnus’ apartment.
Magnus is dressed now, still covered in ash.
Alec’s wrapped around him, his nails digging into his shoulders.
“I missed you” she says and he takes her hand and pets it.
“Did Lilith say anything? Anything at all Clary?”
That we’re on a dark path. One of hubris and rebellion. That we’ll fall like Lucifer and it’s a sight she wished she could see for herself.
The sun rises above the river and shines through Magnus’ loft.
Simon grips Isabelle’s hand laughs.
“Look, the world didn’t stop turning. The horses aren’t eating each other. I guess we worried for nothing.”
Yes, Clary thinks, nothing at all. She’d make sure of it.
Alec grips Magnus tight and the color bleeds back into the world.
“I thought I lost you.”
“You did, Alec. I was dead. Just like Jace. We messed with The scales, Alec.”
“I don’t care. I’ll fight whatever comes. Whether its the clave or a horde of demons. I thought I lost you.”
“The perfect human can neither be grasped nor seen. What is seen can be grasped. No one can obtain this grace without putting on perfect light and becoming perfect light. Whoever puts on light will enter the place of rest. This is perfect light, and we must become perfect humans before we leave the world. Whoever obtains everything but does not separate from this world will not be able to attain that realm but will go to the middle place, for that one is not perfect.”