Remember that you don’t have to do anything you aren’t comfortable with, and this list isn’t a requirement for witchcraft, just suggestions. Don’t let ANYONE invalidate you as a witch. Whether you have been doing this for 5 mins or 50 years, you are still a witch. Special love, energy, and snaps sent to all the people responsible for these amazing posts: ♥
Perhaps I’m feeling macabre, but tonight I’m digging out my favorite spooky classical pieces and listening to them. So I thought putting together a top ten list of these would be fun while I drink my scotch. Note: These are not really in any particular order. I love them all.
1. Beethoven: Piano Trio in D major, op. 70 no. 1, “Ghost” - 2nd movement. Rattling of chains, shrieking of spirits; the nickname of this trio fits it well. The first and third movements are good as well, but only the second movement is really spooky. 2. Schubert: Der Leiermann (from Winterreise). A heartbroken young man sings about the hurdy-gurdy, an outcast who sits just outside the village and plays his instrument while dogs snarl at him and people ignore him.
Particularly chilling is that this is the last song of an hour-long cycle, and it drones on without clear resolution, ending with the line: “Strange old man, should I go with you? Will you accompany my songs on your hurdy-gurdy?” 3. Mussorgsky: Night On Bald Mountain. You may know this one from Disney’s Fantasia, which is featured during the Witches’ Sabbath sequence. 4. Schubert: Der Erlkönig. Based on a poem by Goethe, this song tells the chilling story of a father and his ailing child riding through the woods on horseback, while a malicious spirit tries to lure the boy away, unseen and unheard by the father. 5. Saint-Saens: Danse Macabre. Death plays his fiddle in the cemetery, rousing all the skeletons from their graves and dancing with them until they have to slink back at the first light of dawn. 6. Brahms: Ballade in D minor, op. 10 no. 1, “Edward.” Based on a Scottish ballade, the story is of a mother who knows that her son has murdered his father - she just wants to hear him say it himself. 7. Shostakovich: Viola Sonata. Shostakovich composed during the height of Soviet censorship, and his music almost always has a hunted, almost panicked feel to it. He composed this viola sonata just a month before his death. 8. Shostakovich: String Quartet no. 8 in C minor, op. 110. Between the frenzy of the second movement and the insistent “knocking on the door” of the fourth, this quartet can really put you on edge. What makes this music even freakier is Shostakovich’s musical signature (D E-flat C B) throughout the work. 9. Mussorgsky: The Hut of Baba Yaga the Witch (from Pictures at an Exhibition). This one always sounds like Baba Yaga’s “Hut On Chicken’s Legs” is chasing me through the woods, but that might just be my wild imagination. 10. Scriabin: Piano Sonata no. 9, “Black Mass.” Some of the directions that Scriabin writes in the score are “mysteriously murmuring”, and “with a sweetness that becomes increasingly poisonous,” which is a pretty apt description for much of this work. It begins mysteriously, then builds in tension until it all explodes in some kind of orgiastic climax. It ends just as enigmatically as it begins.
Mabon is the holiday of The Great Harvest, and it’s the Autumn Equinox.
Colours - orange, brown, ochre, all colours of the season
Altar/Home Decorations - orange candles, fallen leaves, pine cones, acorns, chestnuts, wheat, nuts, hazelnuts, apples and anything that’s in season where you live (in Italy we have figs, peaches, plums and grapes)
Something to eat - apples, apple pie, hazelnut pie, almond cookies, anything listed above that is in season, honey, milk, coffee and hot tea
Things to do - set new goals, forgive someone who did you wrong, meditate, cook something, try to be kinder and nicer (the season for anger and revenge will come, but this time of the year it’s easier to find peace)
Here’s a small list of recipes I have accumulated over the few years.
Samhain Warmer -
1 Pumpkin, Apple Cider, Cranberry Juice, Ginger Ale, Rum, Raisins
Slice off top of pumpkin, scoop out seeds and set these aside. Pour equal parts of the liquids to fill the pumpkin; remove and warm until nearly boiling just before the feast. Pour back into pumpkin, add a handful of raisins, and set out for coveners to enjoy.
Wash, then dry seeds and toast lightly in the oven, then eat with salt!
2 quarts of Apple Cider, 7 cinnamon sticks, 1 whole orange, Cloves, Nutmeg, 1 cup of mead (optional)
Warm cider in non-metallic pan until hot; add cinnamon sticks. Let set on low hear, steeping. Meanwhile, stud orange with cloves. Add to cider, then dust with about 1 teaspoon nutmeg. Mead can be added if desired. Serve while warm, but not quite hot. Perfect for all Fall and Winter sabbats.
1 cup of Almonds (finely grated), 1 ¼ cups flour, ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup butter, 1 egg yolk
Combine almonds, flour, and sugar. Work in butter and egg yolk with hands until well blended. Chill. Pinch off pieces of dough the size of walnuts, shape into crescents. Place on greased sheets and bake at 325 F for about 20 minutes.
3 cups sifted flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg, ½ cup softened butter, 1 ½ cups sugar, 2 eggs (well beaten), ½ cups cyder. Oven: 350 F.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and nutmeg. Set aside. In another, larger mixer bowl, beat together well the butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Then add flour mixture and cider alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Spoon batter into a well-buttered 9 ¼ x 5 ½ x 2 ¾ loaf pan, and bake for 1 hour in preheated oven, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry.
Read. Before you even think about practicing magick, you need to study. It sounds tedious, I know, but witchcraft is not a trivial undertaking.
Start a grimoire/Book of Shadows/Journal. You’ll need a safe place to keep all of the information you’ve gathered safe, and a grimoire (as I call mine), is essentially a notebook for that exact purpose. It doesn’t have to be fancy (though you’re welcome to make it as ostentatious as you like), – it can be a bullet journal if that’s easy for you. Within your grimoire, you should keep all gathered information, spells, failures, successes, records of work you’ve done, etc,. Anything that pertains to your craft.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to pick a path. You might see a lot of witches who class themselves as one thing or another, e.g., storm witches, kitchen witches, elemental witches, spirit/divination witches; green witches; cosmic witches, and so on.That is cool and their prerogative, but you will also see witches known as eclectic. Eclectic Witches, are simply witches who choose to practise many different types of magick and forge their own path, instead of following only one, or following a pre-established path. Basically, there is no need at all, whatsoever, to label yourself. With many of us, our paths found us in time.
Research paths, secular witchcraft and religious witchcraft.Witchcraft alone, is a practice. However, some paths are indeed religious, such as Wicca. Make sure you know the difference before you begin actively practicing and before you decide on your path, if you do choose to do so.
Carry a little notebook on your person.You can’t always carry your grimoire with you, so I personally like to carry a tiny little notebook with me, for those moments when inspiration takes me, or if something captures my imagination or attention. You can add it to your grimoire/BoS later.
Oh, and one more thing: don’t ever stop learning and reading and recording. Witchcraft is a path of continuous learning.
Things to Research:
Herb and crystal correspondences, e.g., such as color and planetary.
Sabbats (also known as “Witches Sabbaths”) and esbats.
The basic tools of witchcraft.
Altars (if you’re so inclined).
Divination, e.g., tarot, runes, pendulums.
Witchcraft and deities (if you’re so inclined).
Traditional witchcraft practises, such as circle casting.
SAFETY! What is safe to use/burn/touch/ingest. There are lots of poisonous and potentially fatal plants and ingredients out there.
The history of witchcraft, including lore, myths and tales.
The importance and use of the elements in magick
Research cultural witchcraft. Make sure that your practice does not steal from closed cultures.
Easy Practices for New Witches:
Grounding – grounding is the act of centering your energy and focusing it within yourself. You can ground yourself by being out in nature and using visualising techniques that tie your energies firmly into the ground (very traditional method), or by finding a quiet place that you are content in and meditating.
“True magic is neither black, nor white - it’s both because nature is both. Loving and cruel, all at the same time. The only good or bad is in the heart of the witch. Life keeps a balance on its own. You understand?” - The Craft