ritual object

Sword and Shield Graveyard/Spirit Jewelry

I am a graveyard witch and I work with spirits/ghosts daily. I’ve been doing this for over a decade and though I consider myself experienced, safety is still my top priority.

And it should be yours as well.

Therefore, I decided to share (most of) the enchanting ritual I did for my iron graveyard jewelry.
Or, my “sword and shield”, as I like to call them. They are enchanted to work as a sword (the ring) that provides “offensive” protection, and a “shield” (the pendant/necklace) that provides defensive protection.

I use this potent version of protection because I work with spirits so often off my own property and can be more vulnerable when not in my own house.

If you want to learn how to enchant a piece of jewelry to protect you when working with spirits, you’re in the right place!

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Researchers don’t understand the meaning of all grave goods found with mummies, such as this Nazca vessel portraying a preserved head. Once thought to be war trophies, severed heads among the Nazca (100 BC–AD 800) were ritual objects of unknown purpose. The figure portrayed on the vessel has its mouth sewn shut with cactus spines.

© 2015 The Field Museum, A115205d_016B, photographer John Weinstein

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Very Rare Roman Glass Trulla (Pan), 1st Century AD

This transparent pale yellow-green glass trulla or pan, is in the form of a deep footed cup with an applied handle that tapers in at the middle and then widens at the end.

Similar examples were found in Pompeii along with their metal counterparts. A glass trulla was often used as either a ritual object for libation, or as a drinking vessel and sometimes referred to as patera. Very rare in glass and seldom encountered.

Unpacking Witchcraft - Spell Types

A spell is a manifestation of intents, ingredients, and influences combined to bring about an intangible effect. However, there are a number of different of types of spells, intents, and methods. 

CURSE— A spell designed to cause a person or place harm or misfortune of a grand scale. Occasionally used to protect when it used against a concept, “cursing out” infections and medical problems.

HEX— Commonly thought as similar to a curse, though it comes from a German word for witch. Commonly interpreted as a weaker curse, or a midpoint between a jinx and a curse on a scale of annoying to devastating.

JINX— A spell to cause momentary bad luck or annoyance, but can occasionally come back to bite someone later. Usually paired with irony, or used to bring about the opposite effect of what someone says out loud or hopes for.

BANISHING— A type of spell, designed to get rid of something specific, whether it be a concept, a person, spirit, or otherwise, and to keep it away.

WARDING— A type of protective spell in which you create and put up magical walls, usually against a specific thing, such as spirits or negative people, but could be used for evangelicals and teenagers that theoretically loiter on your lawn.

BINDING— Similar to banishing. Instead of removing a person, object, or situation from your vicinity, you prevent a person or creature from performing a particular action.

GLAMOUR— Often used for beauty spells, are a type of spell used for creating an illusion over a person or object. They can be used for a number of purposes, to make someone more attract, or to make an object harder to find, or a person be more or less likely to be noticed.

CONSECRATION— The ritual blessing of an object or place by cleansing it and instilling with a specific energy. Cannot be done to living creatures.

POTION— Any drink made to have a magical effect.

JAR SPELL— A spell made and contained within a jar, often herb sealed with wax.

these are just a few types, feel free to add your own!

Tibetan Art on a Skull by Hernando. One of the more unnerving aspects of Tantric Buddhism (as well as the Bön tradition) is the host of wrathful divinities as well as that fact that from time to time one encounters among the most placid of ritual objects other ritual objects crafted from human skulls, tibias and even human skin.

Threshold magic 101

Doorways are one of the first concepts we learn as we begin to explore our surroundings as infants. In those early memories doorways are magical passages dividing entire worlds in our perceptions. We pass through into new places with entirely different obstacles and experiences to encounter.

As we age, we grow more accustomed to the idea of different rooms and separations of space. Even without a proper door separating them we define spaces by their function and even without a physical barrier between them we acknowledge them as separate and distinct. For an example, consider the layout of a studio apartment, the kitchen, dining room and living room are, functionally one room, and yet people gather in distinct groups in each section of the space, separating themselves into “rooms” with no actual barriers except those imagined by those present.

The Romans had a god, Janus, whose entire domain was doorways, the transition between spaces and spans of time. The first month of the year was named for him as it was the transition between years.

The most instinctive spatial transition is that between one’s home and the outside world. The territorial sanctity of home is a spiritually powerful concept. it protects us just as our homes do. The most direct manifestation of this power is the phenomena of thresholds.

Mythology is filled with creatures which cannot enter a person’s home without their express permission and invitation. From vampires, to demons, to fairies, everything needs permission from the homeowner to enter. in a more modern context, many practitioners report feeling weaker if they enter someone else’s home uninvited.

This is a threshold, a spiritual barrier between us and the outside world. Those who cross it uninvited leave a great deal of their power behind them, so much so that some creatures cannot survive the experience.

While thresholds fall under what would normally be considered “passive” of “innate” magic, there are ways to consciously strengthen, build off, or direct the energy of your threshold to better protect you and your family.

Strengthening:

A threshold can be strengthened in a number of ways. The simplest way is to enhance your sense of home, filling your home with things which are uniquely yours, which hold sentiment or meaning for you personally, and spending time getting your home comfortable and familiar will build up your threshold over time.

Another method is through active warding. Wreaths were an early form of warding charm hung in doorways to drive off evil and malicious spirits. Honeysuckle, St. John’s wart, Rowan, oak, Birch, and Yarrow hung above, in, or beside the doorway will add energies of purification and protection. an Iron nail driven into the door frame combines the warding power of iron, and the tranquil aspects of the rune Isa, which the nail resembles. Daggaz and ing, either painted, scratched or inscribed in a doorway bring luck and safety to those within.

Some witches like to seal their homes by painting pentacles above the major openings, including doors and windows, using either actual paint, or some variety of holy water/oil, or putting lines of salt or blessed sand along the doorways and window sills. This method has the disadvantage of being easily physically disrupted, although some industrious witches have been known to protect such lines by placing them under the metal strips which smooth the transition between the door frame and the floor.

Another method is to hang amulets in the door frame bearing symbols for protection. These can be as simple as a painted piece of paper, or as elaborate as a cast silver charm.  Another example is Amish Hex signs. A six petaled flower or 6 pointed star, represents preservation and continuity for the home, a rooster represents a watchful guardian, and a jagged circle represents the power of thurisaz to drive away evil and disruptive energies.

Building upon:

A threshold is a solid foundation for any magic which is intended to effect the home, or everyone who enters the home.  Such spells work based on the principal of the threshold as not being just a barrier, but a portal which must be passed through.

One use for magic of this kind is to ward against a particular person or type of entity. to do this it is useful to use materials and objects known to be harmful or hateful to that entity. (garlic for vampires, iron for fairies, things the person is allergic to, audio tape containing music they hate, etc.) As was mentioned before, placing these things in, on, or near the doorway is an effective method, but this may not always be convenient or practical. In this case, using them in a ritual to charge another object, such as a stone a piece of wood, or an ornament which can be attached less obtrusively is perfectly acceptable.

Another use is to place spells upon those who come and go through the door. Spells to encourage health, prosperity, peacefulness and joy are common choices. for these uses it’s best to use an object or material which is associated with your desired outcome, and place it in or above the door frame. Traditionally horseshoes were hung in this way to pour luck on those who entered. This is another situation where amulets hung in doorway can be useful, particularly if people are willing to touch or handle the objects as they come through.

A slightly sneakier method might be to paint or inscribe a spell into the door handle, so that a person HAS to handle it to enter, or building your spell to be charged and renewed by the act of using the knocker or doorbell, if it’s intended to drive off unwanted guests, or help visitors.

Directing the threshold:

The threshold, like any other magic, can be channeled and directed. The most common use would be directing the threshold’s protections to include or exclude a particular person, either helping guests feel comfortable and “at home” or making a resident feel unwelcome and vulnerable in their own home. This is most easily done by the homeowner, or head of household, The person with the most authority within the home, and is typically linked to their will, though an explicit statement of intent from this person goes a long way.

Another means of warping the threshold is to have objects or tokens which can be carried outside, bringing a bit of home with you, and therefore bringing a bit of the protection of home as well. This can be tricky, usually requiring some degree of sympathetic magic and thaumaturgy (ie. the use of a small part of a thing to represent the entire thing such as using a chip from the fireplace bricks to represent the hearth, or a shaving of wood from a doorframe to represent the door itself,) typically these tokens are either single use, or must be maintained by restoring them as part of the home upon the person’s return. Removable tiles from a floor mosaic, or a distinctive knob from the cabinets work well for this purpose, as they are small, unique, and easily reattached.

Bronze mirror with pictorial band, semicircles, squares, four divine beast and four animal design

Three Kingdoms period

220-65 A.D.

Inscribed:
“I have made a bright mirror, in seclusion refining the three (shang elements) metals. I engraved it without limit, matching and making images of all within the myriad boundaries. Boya is performing music, while the flock of deities show their faces. The hundred germinal essences are preserved together, good fortune and emoluments follow from this. May (the bearer) have wealth, noble position, peace and quiet; may his sons and grandsons multiply and prosper. With extended years and increased longevity, (the mirror’s) master’s life alottment will be prolonged.”

fen-rad  asked:

hi! i was wondering if you knew something i can do to help with lucky roll dices ?? may seems weird but i really need good luck for my next D&D night and i was thinking about casting a spell on my dices but i really know nothing about spells, i only do sigils and divination T.T any idea?

You can enchant the dice with a small magic circle and sigils:

But, for a more thought out ritual…

Enchanting Objects for Luck

Needed:

  • an object you want to make lucky
  • sea salt
  • cinnamon
  • basil
  • nutmeg
  • allspice
  • bergamot (earl gray tea)
  • a bowl large enough to fit the object
  • a piece of paper and writing utensil
  • a sigil for luck
  • a dry cloth

Optional:

  • lemon / orange peel shavings
  • dill
  • chamomile
  • a mortar and pestle
  • candles (green, gold, or white)
  • fluorite / tiger’s eye

Substitutions:

Spell Timing:

  • moon phase: waxing moon
  • day of the week: Wednesday / Sunday

* If your object is a larger one, you may not want to use this method.

Method:

Gather your supplies - you want enough of each herb to fit in the bowl and cover your object. 

Prep for spellwork in the way you normally do - meditate, cleanse your space, cast a circle, set up your altar / workspace, invoke any deities / spirits, light candles or incense, play mood-setting music, etc.

Draw or trace a circle on the page, large enough to fit your bowl, and draw the sigil in the center. (If you opted to use candles and crystals, set them around the drawn circle in whatever manner you wish now, and don’t forget to light the candles.)

Place the bowl in the circle, over the sigil. Take each herb in your hands, meditating over its purpose and feeling its energy. As you add each to the bowl, say / think, “[herb], I invoke within you the power of luck, and request you grant it to me today.” (If you want to use the mortar and pestle and grind them into a powder, now is the time to do so.)

When all the herbs have been added to the bowl, start mixing them with your hands. Feel their natural energies, but also add your own into the mix. Focus on your desire for your object to be lucky - imagine what sorts of things might happen from the use of this object once it’s been enchanted. (In your case, @fen-rad, see all the lucky dice rolls, or even just ones that might make your game interesting.)

When you feel the herbs are charged, add your object to the mixture. Continue mixing, pushing the lucky energy from the herbs and into the object. (With dice, I feel they can be done together, since they’re similar, but if you want to enchant two completely different objects with this method, do them one by one and recharge the herbs between each; just watch your energy levels!) While you’re mixing, you may want to repeat a chant, verbally or mentally, but I wrote this on the fly so I don’t have a good one right now.

When you feel the object is adequately charged, dust it off with the dry cloth. It is now ready for use. Remember to repeat this charging every once in a while to keep them lucky. The herbs can be saved and recharged for the next use.

@fen-rad - keep a small vial of the herbs and a copy of the sigil within your dice bag, if you can.

I hope that helps! Good luck! (Ha ha.)

The Ballads Cycle

Originally posted by letaliabane

Demanding, ardent like a newborn star, Aries Venus is the wonderful waterfall of light that bathes and cleanses the earth after the night horrors have been defeated. Hardly a follower of anyone, she sings only for the winners and for the braves.

She is quite affectionate, but what makes the Taurus Venus such a beautiful thing is her steady, soothing voice that lures and cures any restlessness of a troubled spirit. A love of pleasure lies at the base of her soul, whether if intended for herself or for someone else.

It’s all about the rapid, tumultuous sing-song like voice of a thrilling mind. Gemini Venus knows an endless repertory of hymns about love, peace and joy. However, she prefers by far those about intriguing, amusing games of Life and The Dead. 

Cancer Venus is a highly sensitive creature. She puts a significant importance on rituals and the objects of her greatest love. She is not shy to show her dewy eyes in front of the world; she’s a courageous goddess of gentleness and moons, vehemently fending the fortress with her lullaby.

With grandeur and extravagance, Leo Venus touches the highest notes like an opera queen. She parades on a golden podium, almost touching with her fingertips the mesmeric rays of the sun. She is the one who spreads generosity and compassion with the warmest smile ever seen in the galaxy. 

Modest, fair and honorable, Virgo Venus holds the song of perfection in her lungs. She is a loyal healer, and loves to see others bloom at the hearing of her uniform cadence. Even if the light at the end of the tunnel still seems faraway, her voice will lastly carry you to the escape.

Her courteous and harmonic intonations tend to delude and enchant those who don’t know how to rightly admire them, but Libra Venus is, nonetheless, a majestic sight. Her mannerism is one of the finest, a strong, charming armor that she wears with pride, for the sake of pleasure and beauty.

Not one to be betrayed, Scorpio Venus is an enigmatic, intense figure. She has a powerful voice that can make whole crowds turn at once; to hear, to be mesmerized. She doesn’t make a great use of it, but when she does, it is simultaneously the last thing you would want to hear, but eternally. 

Sagittarius Venus appears only in the mist of change; she travels and wanders from the beginning to the end, again and again. She has the tonality of a philosopher- spiritual, bright, burning with curiosity and love to share with any kind soul that would join her in the journey.

Harsh, but profound. Clear like glass, but careful and lovingly polished like a marble statue. There is something incredibly solemn about the voice of the Capricorn Venus. She is what the heavenly song of justice and sorrow would sound like; marvellous, unperturbed.

From her throne of clouds and infinite blue, Aquarius Venus sings with an electric grace the aria of the sky. She likes to be at once free, removed from the clingy warmth of the earth, but also connected with the veins of light and air that cross its crevices.

She whispers, unselfish, with a trace of a smile played across her lips, verses of peaceful, dreamy ballads. There is no sadness or loneliness that Pisces Venus can’t cure, to take away with her angelic voice. Choirs of light rise behind her hallowed head, welcoming you back. Back to the start.

shadybitchcraft  asked:

Hey! I was wondering if you knew any like beginners tips to astral projection? Because I've been wanting to try it for a while now and am unsure of where to start.

So I used to be really good at this, but right now I’m having the Mental Health stuff so it’s a lot more difficult - so it’s totally okay if you can’t deal with other places or if you can’t ever do it. It’s got a lot more to do with your capability to lose immediate focus on your surroundings while maintaining mental control. 


Quick aside: I’ve shifted from using astral to mean “anything occurring outside of day to day life” to using it to mean “actions or things that do not wholly exist on my current human plane that are out of my immediate control”

I’ve taken to using aether instead (thanks, @wanderingshiningfootsteps for your help) and what I define as aetherial are “actions or things that do not wholly exist on my current human plane that I have immediate control towards” 

So, for me, astral indicates stuff like dreaming or visions or narratives presented to me, whereas the aether is a place that I set-up and protect, where I can meet with entities of my choosing or perform actions (such as magic) that affect my life. 


THAT BEING SAID: I’m taking your request as meaning my definition of aether rather than astral. I’m better at the former than the latter.

  1. Find a method of grounding or relaxing that works for you. You need to be able to chill and breathe calmly without moving a lot or being distracted. 
  2. When I first started out, I used to lay down in the bath and put my ears underwater and focus on that thrumming noise of environment plus blood flow. It was vague enough to let me focus but tangible enough that I could still think. Nowadays, I’ve taken to doing my aether work while I’m trying to go to sleep. I have horrible sleeping problems, so I usually take about an hour or two while lying in bed to go to sleep, and I have found that I can get a thing or two done in the aether before my mind blanks out and goes to sleep. 
  3. Establish an opening, portal, or doorway that is distinct in appearance that you know leads to your space. I used a specific cave in a specific type of forest to start; now I use various doorways with colorful paints or sigils on them to indicate where I’m going. 
  4. This is so that you will always know where you’re going and whether or not something is wrong. I’d advice placing some kind of protective element on or around the door, specifying that only those entities that you desire may enter, or that entities that mean you emotional, mental, or physical harm may not pass through. 
  5. Enter the door, and establish a workspace that incorporates your goals for the aether. Things you might want to include: altar for deities, magical work space, divination space, tables or couches for meetings, natural or organic structures for atmosphere. Think about how you want the space to function - open outdoors spaces tend to facilitate more foreign entities than closed indoor spaces.
  6. I’d suggest starting out with one room of your space, and then adding on additional areas later on. Go through the mental process of creating these space. If you want to have a table with chairs, push the chairs into place, sweep off the surface. Consider the details. This helps root you into this space. 
  7. Remember that having individualized elements within an aetherial space allows you to identify it as your own and grounds the aether as a ‘real’ thing in your mind. Even if it’s just a ritual of touching a textured wall or dent on the door every time you enter, this tells your mind that you are here and it is real. 
  8. Treat everything you do in this space as real, and as actions that will affect your day to day life. If a new entity wishes to talk to you - get to know them before you trust them, and don’t be afraid to kick them out if you get that gut feeling that they’re bad news. 
  9. There’s always the question of: what if I’m making this up? You are. You’re designing a spiritually significant brain-space in which your intentions are manifested as rituals, objects, or actions. These things are meant to be stand ins for the real world so that entities or magic or metaphysical forces can interact with you in a way that your brain can understand.
  10. Think of it this way: If an entity wants your attention, would you rather them stare at you from a distance where they have difficulty contacting you, or would you rather meet them in a safe, designated space that you control?
  11. Finally, make sure you ‘close out’ of your aether space. Leave. Go through the actions of exiting the door and re-emerging to the ‘real’ world. Lock up your space if that helps you protect it. For those individuals who might have protective entities helping them, you don’t necessarily have to close out of your aether, but it certainly is a good practice. (I tend to fall asleep, but I’ve got a good thing going with my deities.)
Moon Spells

Each phase of the moon influences with a different type of energy. You can follow the phases of the moon, to converge the energy in favor of the things you wish to accoplish. 


WAXING MOON

To bless something you wanna start, to increase health, to increase success, to increase wealth


FULL MOON:

Related to health, success, charging/consecrating objects, rituals in general, wealth


WANING MOON: 

To get rid of a bad habit, diseases, obstacles, finish something, banish


NEW MOON

To reflect, to expand your consciousness, to learn about your shadow self, work with your subconscious, dream work, let go of fears, change something radically, renew

A couple days ago I posted some cat videos. In [one of them], which features Ilana on her cat tree batting at a ball and being petted, there is a piece of furniture in the background covered in Jewish ritual objects – menorahs, a shofar (ram’s horn), songbooks, prayer books, and kiddush cups. At least one of the menorahs is featured clearly enough that someone who wasn’t looking for this stuff or paying attention to it would see it. 

In the [second video], which features Ilana walking around on a table, sniffing my backpack, and trying to drink out of a cup, someone out of the frame asks “The old pot of fleishig soup in the fridge –” and someone else says “Get rid of it.”  Fleishig is a term used by people who keep kosher to refer to something that contains meat. The fact that the soup is fleishig isn’t even really relevant here – my friend is just using it to identify the soup he is talking about in the course of getting rid of spoiled things in the fridge.

So basically – we have two videos taken in a Jewish home that are not about Jewish things but are 100% intended to be about a cat. Even the part that’s not about the cat is about a household chore, not about keeping kosher.  The inclusion of Jewish things was not planned or intentional. But they’re there.  They’re in the background because they’re normal parts of life in a Jewish home. 

And that’s what I’m getting at when I complain about Tina and Queenie’s Jewishness not being shown in Fantastic Beasts. I’m not saying they should have a whole discussion about it or that it should be a plot point. I’m not saying they need to be really religious. I’m saying that Jewishness/Judaism should be part of the background because it is part of the background in real life. We see the Goldsteins’ apartment from nearly every angle but we don’t see Jewish ritual objects – and that doesn’t make sense. We’re told that the movie begins on December 6th (which was the seventh day of Chanukah), but neither Jewish character so much as glancingly mentions the holiday. That doesn’t make sense either.  And there’s banter about food and a scene about food prep – with no mention of kashrut.  Which can make sense, but was a missed opportunity.  

Essentially, the Goldsteins are Jewish in name only – the things that would be present in a Jewish home are inexplicably missing.  I appreciate the representation, but when it’s so clear that no thought was put into actually portraying them as Jewish, it’s hard to really think of it as representation.

Lust Murder

Lust murder is a subcategory of sexual homicide in which perpetrators sadistically and brutally murder their victims to achieve ultimate sexual satisfaction. They typically repeat their killings, thus constituting serial murder. Despite the serial aspect of these killings, lust murder still remains a distinct subcategory of both sexual and serial murder. It is also referred to as erotophonophilia, one of the most extreme forms of paraphilia.

Paraphilia is defined as sexual deviation in which the paraphilic individual seeks unusual sexual objects, rituals or specific situations to achieve full sexual satisfaction. There are a number of essential elements to paraphilic behaviours, including fantasy, compulsive masturbation and facilitating agents such as alcohol, drugs and pornography. The fantasy system of the individual is a vital component in facilitating paraphilic behaviours and becomes increasingly violent over time. Lust murderers associate sex with aggression, and common themes to their fantasies include power, domination, molestation, revenge, rape, torture and the humiliation and suffering of others.

Pictured above: Serial killer Ted Bundy whose crimes exhibited a number of hallmarks of lust murder

The Element: Water

Water represents emotions, absorption, subconscious, purification, eternal movement, wisdom, the soul, emotional aspects of love and femininity. In rituals, it is represented in the forms of pouring water over objects, brew making, healing spells, ritual bathing, and tossing objects into of water.

Gender: Feminine

Direction: West

Energy: Receptive

Symbols: Ocean, river, shell, spring, lake, well, rain, fog, cup

Placing on Pentagram: Upper right

Time: Twilight, Dusk

Cycle of Life: Maturity

Season: Autumn

Colours: Blue, turquoise, green, grey, indigo, black

Zodiac signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Sense: Taste

Stones/Jewels: Aquamarine, amethyst, blue tourmaline, pearl, coral, blue topaz, fluorite

Magick tools: Cup, cauldron, goblet, mirror

Metals: Mercury, Silver, Copper

Herbal: Ferns, lotus, mosses, bushes, water lilies, gardenia

Trees: Apple, Apricot, Birch, Cherry, Elder, Elm, Rose, Willow

Animals: Water snakes, dolphin, fish, cat, frog, turtle, swan, crab

Ritual action: Bathing, dilution, washing, sprinkling, preparing cold herbal infusions

neverlookagiftunicorninthemouth  asked:

So... I want to be witchy and practice the craft but I've honestly no idea where to begin. I also don't really have the money to afford supplies like candles and crystals and herbs and stuff (high school student here...) so I'm not even sure if I could practice effectively because of that. I have a couple books, but I'm not sure if the authors are credible or not, so I'm afraid to practice from them. Do you... have any advice or tips?

-big warm smile- Sweetie, come and sit by me. Let’s chat.

First of all, welcome to the community! There’s a lot to learn and a lot of complications and it might take you a while to find your feet, but there’s plenty of folks around who are willing to help. We’re glad you’re here! :)

Now then, supplies and budget concerns. There are SO many witches out there working on a shoestring budget or no budget at all, and they practice just fine.

One of the things that gets fed to us a lot by popular literature and media is that in order to be a witch you need lots of rare herbs and fancy crystals and enough candles to set a small village on fire. Not so. Basic spells can be done with whatever you have to hand. It’s all a matter of working creatively and thinking outside the occult-store box.

You’re a student, yes? So in your accoutrements for school, you’ve got things like paper, pens, tape, maybe some markers and things, right? And your home kitchen, that’s probably got a spice cabinet with some cooking herbs, right? And you’ve got access to the internet (obviously) and a blog.

So…good news! You’ve got everything you need to start your practice.

No candles? No problem! You don’t really need live-flame candles unless you’re working a spell that requires something to be set on fire. You can use LED candles, or a picture of a candle, or a flashlight, depending on what the symbolic need for the item is. Or, if you want, you can skip them altogether.

No herbs? Check that kitchen cabinet. Amazing things can be done with the seasonings that are probably already in your home. Some of my go-to herbs are Basil, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Cinnamon, Cayenne, and Ginger, to say nothing of good old salt and black pepper. The spice aisle is a treasure trove for witches on a tight budget, and even more so if you have a local dollar store that carries cheap generic seasonings. You only need a pinch or so of an herb for full effectiveness; a little bit goes a very long way!

No crystals? Again, not a requirement. Some witches work extensively with stones and gems and such, but as with candles, unless you’re working a spell that specifically revolves around the use of a crystal, you don’t really need them when you’re starting out. If you do feel a draw toward crystal magic, small quartz points are easy enough to find as decorative items or jewelry and they tend to be less expensive than most other minerals. (I recommend checking this shop for crystals and such. The owner is a fellow witch and her product is very good quality and very reasonably-priced.)

With paper and pencil, you can work on creating your own sigils, make paper charms or poppets, practice writing spells, or take notes on things that interest you. Blogs are a great way of doing this as well; plenty of witches have blogs that function as digital repositories for their magical learning.

As for the other stuff (i.e. cauldrons, jars, besoms, statues, incense, etc), all that can wait. The most important thing that you can do as a beginner witch is research. And not just with books either. The internet can be a great source of information, so long as you don’t mind exercising those critical thinking skills.

Witchy tumblr has taught me a whole slew of things that I never would have learned from books; some stuff about the community you can only learn from other people, and it largely deals with social awareness and etiquette. Generally, if you follow Wheaton’s Law (“Don’t be an asshole”), you should be fine.

Getting back to books…yes. There ARE pagan authors who are very popular and very problematic. The only two that I recommend avoiding wholesale are Silver Ravenwolf and Raymond Buckland, due to the rampant racism and misinformation found in their rhetoric. There are others that should be avoided for other reasons, but those are the two you see in bookstores most often. (My post on other authors and their issues is here.)

EVERY pagan author is problematic in some way (including me) because there are so many viewpoints in the community about what is and is not acceptable in the craft. Generally, you want to avoid (or at least heavily fact-check) anything that tells you the following:

  • There is only ONE WAY to be a witch / practice witchcraft (wrong)
  • There are only Certain People Who Can Be Witches (fraud)
  • Christians are evil / stole our holidays / burned millions of witches (lies)
  • It’s perfectly okay to cherry-pick whatever you want from other cultures and traditions and cobble it together however you please (NO)
  • You can’t do magic without deities / witchcraft is a religion (try again)
  • You can only do magic for pure good / for the good of others (haha no)
  • In order to be a witch, you must join a coven / undergo initiation / be trained by a person of certain rank / perform certain rituals / own certain objects / work your rituals naked / follow (or not follow) a certain religion / make vows to a certain deity or set of deities (nope nope and uh NOPE)

Whatever you end up reading, definitely supplement that learning with research on practical history (that boring stuff you learn from dusty old tomes) and a good dose of practical botany or herbology (knowing which plants do what so you don’t accidentally give yourself an allergy attack or a dose of poison).

If you’d like a place to get started, I do maintain a website with lots of free information on plant-based cottage craft (the way I do it, anyway) and advice for beginner witches. I also have a book in the process of being published that you might find useful. My two collaborative projects, The Sisters Grimmoire and The Witches Cupboard, are available on Amazon in print and on Kindle.

And if you have more questions, feel free to ask. :)

(Wow this one got away from me. But I hope it helps!)

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Roman Glass Trulla, 1st Century AD

This high quality trulla, or “pan,” of transparent pale blue glass, is in the form of a deep cup or bowl with an applied handle that tapers from the body of the vessel. Vessels of this shape usually date between 50 and 150 AD and numerous examples have been found in Pompeii along with their metal counterparts. One example, in glass and decorated in cameo, was found at the House of the Tragic Poet.  Later examples, coming mostly from the western Roman provinces like Belgium, are decorated with “snake thread” trailing. Trullae were often used as either ritual objects for libations or as drinking vessels and are sometimes referred to as paterae.

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Tibetan Buddhist tantric ritual objects in a hermitage near Lhasa, Tibet:

1) A dorje and drilbu: representing the indestructible power of compassion, and the realisation of emptiness. 

2) A mandala offering: representing the universe and the inner mind.

3) A kapaleh: a ritual vessel made of a human skull; a reminder of the impermanence of life. 

The Four Elements

Air

Tool: Wand

Direction: East

Astrological Signs: Aquarius, Gemini

Archangel: Raphael

Elemental: Sylphs (their ruler is Niksa)

Tarot suit: sword

Energy: projective (“masculine”)

Air is the Element of the intellect, mental processes, and communication. It is considered an activating Element. The direction that corresponds to Air is the East, where the day begins. Air is the springtime, new beginnings, and, in the foundations of Magickal thought, Faith. Faith (confidence) in Magickal energies comes from knowledge (intellect) and from understanding the processes of ritual and focused thought, then applying them with sure result.  The tool of Air is the Wand, which is used to direct and channel energy in Magick. When it is used in healing to absorb the energy of the Universe and channel it into the patient, the Wand corresponds to the caduceus of Mercury/Hermes, a God of Air—you will notice that this same symbol is used by physicians today.  The Astrological Signs associated with Air are Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra. Aquarius is the innovator, the Sign of original thought and ideals. Gemini is the communicator, the comedian, the experimenter. Libra is the balancer and harmonizer, interested in partnerships and relationships.

The Archangel of Air is Raphael, the Archangel of healing, teaching, and travel. He is visualized on a mountaintop, in robes of yellow and lavender (the colors associated with the Element Air), which blow gently in the wind.

Sylphs are the Elementals attributed to Air and are similar in form to humans, although they are transparent and have lovely, delicate wings. They travel on the wind, and you can hear them talking and laughing as they drift in and out of the trees. Paralda is the name of their ruler. Sylphs are very articulate and logical and prefer the mountaintops where the air is the thinnest. They are related to the nervous system in the human body. Their favorite scents are the mints and light flowery essences such as tulip, and they love the sound of bells and wind chimes.


Fire

Tool: Athame

Direction: South

Astrological sign: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius

Archangel:  Michael (pronounced Mee-kee-al)

Elemental: salamander (their ruler is a Djinn [pronounced Jeen])

Energy: projective (“masculine”)

Fire is the Element of Will and Passion and is considered an activate Element in relation to energy. The direction that corresponds to Fire is the South, which we associate with heat. The season is, of course, summer the time of growth and culmination of that growth.

Fire is the drive and motivation used by an individual as he strives toward his goals. In the foundations of Magick, Fire is the Magickal Will.  The force of the Magickal Will enables the Magickian to carry through with goals, plans, and dreams. The focused Magickal Will serves as the force or stimulus for the Magickal energy that is sent forth to act on the physical plane to manifest the goal of any ritual.  The tool of Fire is the Athame, the ritual dagger, which is used to inscribe the Magickal sigils in the ether during ritual, describe the circumference of the Magickal Circle, banish phantasms and defend against them, and heal via the act of removing holes in the aura through cauterization on the astral plane.

The Astrological Signs that correspond to Fire are the Fire Signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, all Signs of action and vitality. Aries initiates new projects, Leo is the Fire Sign of flamboyance and flair, and Sagittarius is the Sign of freedom and physical activity.

The Archangel of Fire is Michael, the Archangel of authority, victory, initiative, and splendor. Michael is visualized in robes of scarlet and green, bearing before him a flaming sword.

Fire is the activating force giving vitality and energy to the ideas of Air, bringing them into physical reality as we perceive it.  Salamanders are attributed to the Element of Fire. They are not considered a part of the physical flame as such but the essence that enables the flame to burn. Naturally, they are most active in the summer months and geographically prefer the hotter regions. When they live in cold places, Salamanders reside in the hearth. They are full of passion and enthusiasm and for this reason are sometimes considered dangerous, as their unpredictability can be disconcerting. However, they are actually very generous and warmhearted, if treated with the respect due them. Salamanders relate to the heart in the human body as well as to the circulatory system. Their King is called Djinn.  Salamanders love the smell of burning wood and spicy odors such as cinnamon and nutmeg.  Candles, lanterns, and mirrors are attractive to them.  


Water

Tool: Chalice and cauldron

Direction: West

Astrological sign: Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio

Archangel: Gabriel

Elemental: Undines (their ruler is Necksa)

Energy: receptive (“feminine”)

Water is the Element of love, intuition, emotion, fertility, understanding, and imagination. It is considered a receptive Element. Water receives the ideas of Air, the force of Fire, and begins the alchemical process of transmuting them into a form that can be made tangible. The direction that corresponds to Water is the West. Human emotions and feelings belong to the Element Water. The season is autumn, and in the foundations of Magick, Water is imagination. Imagination begins in our dreams and in the language of our subconscious minds. Without it, our rituals would be dry and emotionless. Imagination allows us to see what might be and is therefore creativity, fertility, and inner vision.

The tool of Water is the Chalice, which is used to contain the water of purification when we cleanse a space or an object for ritual. The Chalice holds the ritual wine and the liquid for the practice of scrying. The Chalice represents wisdom, transformation, and receptivity. In the legends of ancient times, the Grail of Immortality was sought by the valiant for its life-giving and regenerative powers as well as for the knowledge it brings. The Ritual Cauldron is also of the Element of Water, and the stories that surround it—the regenerative Cauldron of Dagda, the Cauldron of wisdom belonging to Ceridwen, and the Cauldron of Baba Yaga—reaffirm the theme of wisdom, life, transformation, and regeneration.

The Astrological Water Signs of Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio correspond to the Magickal Element of Water. Pisces is the Sign of emotional connection and inner vision; Cancer is associated with family connection and nurturing; and Scorpio is known for occult ability, psychic power, death, and regeneration.

The Archangel of Water is Gabriel, known as the Prince of Change and Alteration. He can be seen on the Judgment card of the Tarot, blowing his horn, which represents fertility and authority.  Gabriel is visualized in robes of clear blue and orange, holding a Chalice from which torrents of water spill.

Undines are the Elementals of Water. They are extremely graceful and seductive. Undines are similar to humans in form and the majority of them are female. They will impart psychic knowledge and ability. If you work with them in this area, be sure to give them extravagant and appealing gifts in return, for they have feelings that can be easily bruised. They correspond to the human digestive system, and Necksa is their King. Undines live in oceans, rivers, springs, creeks, and raindrops.  Their most beloved scents are cool ones—camphor, cucumber, and citrus fruits such as lime. They delight in beautiful shells, silver jewelry, boxes for their treasures, and flutes.  


Earth

Tool: Disk/shield/pentacle

Direction: North

Astrological sign: Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo

Archangel:Uriel (pronounced Ah-ree-el or Yuh-ree-el)

Elemental: dwarfs (Their King is Gheb)

Energy: Receptive (“feminine”)

Earth is the Element of secrecy, deep wisdom, possessions, creation, perseverance, birth, and death.  It is considered to be a receptive Element. Earth receives the idea of Air, the force of Fire, and the transmuted substance of Water and manifests the form into the physical world. The direction that is associated with Earth is the North, the place of endings. Earth corresponds to the bone structure of the human body. The season is winter, and in the foundation of Magick, Earth is Secrecy. Hidden beneath the Earth are many treasures—jewels, minerals, oil—which must be sought out. They cannot be obtained without perseverance and labor. So it is with the Magickal secrets that the Element Earth hides; only through dedication and patience can these secrets be brought to light, yet they must always be protected and guarded.  The tool of the Earth is the Pentacle, which is used both for drawing in and projecting energy.  The Pentacle can also used as a shield for psychic self-defense. The Magickal Cords are also of Earth and are used to bind energy.

Capricorn is the Sign of pragmatism and wealth; Taurus is the Sign associated with sensuality, acquisition, resources, and practicality; and Virgo is the Sign of the healer and the organizer.

The Archangel of Earth is Uriel (pronounced Ah-ree-el or Yuh-ree-el), also called the Lord of Awe, who presides over protection and strength. He is visualized in robes of olive and russet, bearing a Pentacle.  Gnomes and elves are attributed to Earth and are seen in very small human form. Their King is Gheb (also known as Geb or Gob, as in goblin). Earth Elementals are the most mischievous of the Elementals and love a good practical joke. They prefer to live in the forest, crags, heaths, and caverns, although with the human population cutting down on gnomes’ habitats, the more sociable ones actually enjoy being around sensitive and sympathetic human beings and will share living quarters. Gnomes and elves love jewels, gold, interesting rocks, moss, and living plants of all kinds.  Their favorite scents are resins and woodland smells such as patchouli and vetivert.  

The gnomes are ruled over by a king, whom they greatly love and revere. His name is Gob; hence his subjects are often called goblins


As Always

-Robin