traditional witchcraft

The Hidden Cavities

Of Your Body, memories flashing in dreams, or urges that don’t quiet have its place in your current life. 

The desire to run through woods with your feet bare and calloused, despite your current incarnation as a city University Student who grew up wearing shoes. 

Having a husky by your side, that you loved like a man. 

wearing red brimmed hats in the summer time, the shade cooling you, the colour warming your belly. 

Who were you? 

Who are you?

We carry our past incarnations like pearls of salt in our bellies. Trying to remember. 

Am I who I am? This life time? The past? The next?

When?

Know What You Have Done

Requested by @glithch

This is neither a curse, nor a hex, as it does not return the pain caused (though it can easily be reformatted to do so), but simply makes the aggressor aware of it. More than that, it is to force them to understand the pain caused. Do not be wary of its simplicity, for its effects are tried and true.

Gather

  • A large bowl – the darker in color the better **
  • Water **
  • (Optional, though highly recommended): a personal affect of your aggressor)
  • (Optional: a Candle, black or white)

** Alternately, you can replace the bowl and water for a mirror or other scrying surface of your choosing

Instructions

  1. Take with you your items to a dark room. Light the candle (or another dull light source) and pour your water into the bowl. The goal is to arrange it so that you cannot see through the water, but can only see the reflection on its surface.
  2. When you have found the perfect lighting, take the personal affect in your left hand and “find” them in the water. You want to use the affect to attune to their spirit/energy so that you can “see” them. Keep working until you have a definitive link. You will know it when you have it.
  3. Once the link has been made, using your right hand, dip your fingers into the water (hence why the bowl of water is preferred)  – this represents their subconsciousness. Bring forth the incident in which you were wrong and “place alongside” it, your own pain. Not in such a way as to inflict the pain, but to make them aware of your own. If you find it easier, feel free to speak what they have done aloud and the results of their actions. “This is what you have done.”
  4. When you have said your peace and shown them what they need to see, break the link by flicking the water from your fingers onto the surface and releasing the personal affect from your hand. Pour out the water wherever convenient and do with the personal affect whatever you feel is appropriate. There is no need to destroy or get rid of it – in fact, you may wish to hold onto it for any further work.

photo source

Charging & Cleansing Crystals

By clicking on the names of the crystals, you will be provided with information on that stone such as: Colors, associations, Metaphysical properties, and uses. Enjoy. 

Agate - Banded/Zebra: Bury banded agate in the ground overnight.

Agate - Blue Lace: Use the light of the waxing moon to recharge blue lace agate.

Agate - Green Moss: Moss agate should be left in the presence of greenery overnight once every month.

Agate - Red: Red agate should be passed through the flame of a red candle.

Agate - Tree: Tree agate should be smudged with cedar or pine.

Alexandrite: Alexandrite should be smudged with sage or placed in a green place on a bright day but out of direct sunlight.

Amazonite: Use a mint infusion to recharge amazonite.

Amber: Leave amber under the noon sun for a few minutes.

Amethyst: Recharge amethyst under moonlight.

Ametrine: Ametrine should be recharged under the light of the full moon.

Angelite: Angelite should be put in a place of spiritual power and prayers for peace should be said.

Apache Tear: Recharge Apache tears under any source of light.

Apatite: Apatite  should be left near fresh cut flowers or on the earth next to a  herb or plant.

Apophyllite: Recharge under sunlight.

Aqua Aura: It does not need recharging very often but when it does aqua aura should be charged by exposure to a group of spiritually focused people so that it can absorb their positive thoughts.

Aquamarine: Leave aquamarine in a blue bowl of  sea water (or water with a pinch of sea salt) overnight on the night of the full moon. Afterwards it should be rinsed in clear water.

Aragonite - Blue: Blue aragonite should be left in moonlight overnight.

Aragonite - Orange: Bury orange aragonite in a container of earth for twenty-four hours.

Aragonite - Yellow: Yellow aragonite    should be left in  very gentle sunlight for one hour.

Aventurine - Blue: Use (gentle) natural sunlight to recharge blue aventurine.

Aventurine - Green: Green aventurine should be placed amongst foliage and left there during daylight for the day.

Aventurine - Red: Pass it through the flame of a similar colored candle.

Azurite: Azurite should be recharged under starlight.

Bloodstone: Use running water or sunlight to recharge bloodstone.

Bowenite: Smudge bowenite with cedar or white sage.

Calcite - Blue: Recharge blue calcite by submerging it  in running stream water, or under a tap if you do not have access to a stream.

Calcite - Green: Recharge green calcite by holding it  under falling water. A waterfall is best.

Calcite - Orange: Orange calcite should be placed in your bath water with you when you take a candlelight bath. When it eventually crumbles you should bury it with a small prayer of thanks.

Calcite - Pink: Pink calcite may be recharged under the light of a crescent moon.

Calcite - Yellow: Recharge yellow calcite by smudging.

Carnelian: Carnelian can be charged under sunlight or running water.

Cavansite: Pray to your God for cavansite to be recharged.

Celestine - Blue: Blue celestine should be recharged by being wrapped in blue silk and being allowed to rest in a drawer or cupboard for two days.

Celestine - Orange: Stand a small bowl of water in sunlight for a few hours and then sprinkle the water on the orange celestine.

Celestite - Blue: Celestite should be recharged by being wrapped in blue silk and being allowed to rest in a drawer or cupboard for two days.

Celestite - Orange: Stand a small bowl of water in sunlight for a few hours and then sprinkle the water on the celestite.

Chalcedony - Blue: Blue chalcedony should be washed in running water.

Chalcedony - Pink: Pink chalcedony should be recharged under running water.

Charoite: Place charoite close to a source of running water. You should be able to hear the water.

Chiastolite: Chiastolite should be buried in soil overnight at least once a month.

Chondrite: Chondrite should only be recharged on the night of a lunar or solar eclipse.

Chrysoberyl - Yellow: Yellow chrysoberyl should be smudged with sage or placed in a green place on a bright day but out of direct sunlight.

Chrysocolla: Leave overnight in a copper bowl or container.

Chrysoprase: Chrysoprase should be left out in a light shower of rain.

Citrine: Leave citrine in morning sunlight but do not expose to intense sunlight too often.

Copper: Copper should be recharged under the light of the full moon.

Coral - Blue: Sprinkle blue coral with sea water or sea-salted water.

Danburite: Wrap danburite in a soft pink cloth and leave somewhere warm and dark for twenty-four hours.

Desert Rose: Desert rose should be cleansed by moonlight.

Diamond: Polish diamond with a soft cloth and smudge it.

Diopside: Diopside can be recharged by smudging.

Dioptase: Dioptase should be recharged by gently swinging an amethyst or rose quartz pendulum over it.

Emerald: Emerald should be wiped with a soft, natural cloth and recharged under a waxing moon.

Falcon’s Eye: Leave it under a blue sky for a day.

Fluorite - Clear: Use running water to recharge clear fluorite - under moonlight if possible.

Fluorite - Green: Leave in a stream of water under the moon overnight. A bowl of water will do if you do not have access to a stream.

Fluorite - Purple: Purple fluorite should be recharged under running water.

Fuchsite: Recharge fuchsite under starlight.

Garnet - Green: Green garnet should be polished gently with green silk whilst praying for cleansing and empowerment.

Garnet - Red: Garnet should be recharged under a cloudy sky overnight.

Goldstone - Blue: Blue goldstone should be left on a windowsill on a starry night.

Goldstone - Brown: Brown goldstone should be left on a windowsill on a starry night.

Hawk’s Eye: Leave it under a blue sky for a day.

Heliotrope: Heliotrope should be recharged under sunlight or running water.

Hematite: Hematite should be smudged with cedar or sage.

Howlite - Blue: Blue howlite should be placed next to amethyst in order to recharge it.

Howlite - Natural: Put in a white ceramic bowl in the place of a happy gathering within your house.

Iolite: Iolite should be recharged under natural light.

Iron Pyrites: Iron pyrites should be passed over the flame of a grey or silver candle.

Jade: Smudge with peppermint or sage.

Jadeite: Smudge with peppermint or sage.

Jasper - Brachiated: Brachiated jasper can be recharged by passing through the flame of a red or brown candle.

Jasper - Brown: Pass brown jasper through the flame of a brown candle.

Jasper - Dalmatian: Place dalmatian jasper in a pot of herbs and leave for twenty-four hours.

Jasper - Green: Sprinkle green jasper with seawater or sea-salted water.

Jasper - Leopardskin: Leave leopardskin jasper outside on a windy day.

Jasper - Orbicular:  Sprinkle orbicular jasper with seawater or sea-salted water.

Jasper - Red: Pass red jasper through the flame of a red candle.

Jasper - Sea: Sprinkle sea jasper with seawater or sea-salted water.

Jasper - Yellow: Empower yellow jasper by leaving it in sunlight.

Jet: Bury in soil overnight.

Kunzite: Recharge kunzite under the light of a waxing moon.

Kyanite: Leave kyanite near plants for the hour after dawn.

Labradorite: Labradorite should be recharged under a rainbow.

Lapis Lazuli: Lapis lazuli should be charged under starlight.

Lepidolite: Recharge lepidolite with a watermelon tourmaline wand or with an amethyst or clear quartz pendulum.

Malachite - Green: Wash green malachite under water. Note: Malachite will eventually crumble from this and should then be buried.

Meteorite: Meteorite should only be recharged on the night of a lunar or solar eclipse.

Moldavite: Ideally, moldavite should be left outdoors on the night of a meteor shower. It can also be recharged by leaving out overnight in the presence of a tiny piece of pumice. The pumice should be buried afterwards.

Mookaite: Use a sage infusion to recharge mookaite.

Moonstone: Leave moonstone under the light of a full moon from moonrise to moon set.

Moonstone - Rainbow: Leave rainbow moonstone under the light of a full moon.

Mother-Of-Pearl: Wash with sea water or sea-salted water.

Nephrite: Smudge with peppermint or sage.

Obsidian - Black: Recharge black obsidian under any source of light.

Obsidian - Snowflake: Use a small black and small white candle to recharge snowflake obsidian. Allow them to burn right down.

Olivine: Recharge olivine under the light of a full moon.

Onyx - Black: Recharge black onyx in sunlight.

Opal - Fire: Fire opal is delicate (like all opals) and should be washed gently in a little water.

Opal - White: Wipe with virgin olive oil or water. Do not expose to sunlight.

Pearl - Black: Clean with a silk cloth and recharge under an amethyst pendulum.

Pearl - White: Recharge white pearls in waxing moonlight once a month.

Peridot: Recharge peridot under the light of a full moon.

Petrified Wood: Place petrified wood near the roots of a tree for several hours.

Pietersite: Leave pietersite out in a thunderstorm or downpour for a short time.

Prehnite: Leave prehnite in any greenery for forty-eight hours.

Quartz - Blue: Recharge blue quartz using a clear quartz wand.

Quartz - Clear: Leave clear quartz in noon sunlight near or in some greenery.

Quartz - Rainbow: Sprinkle rainbow quartz with water and leave in sunlight.

Quartz - Rose: Cleanse and recharge frequently with a few drops of rose water.

Quartz - Rutilated: Leave rutilated quartz with a small gold object overnight in a bag.

Quartz - Smoky: Smoky quartz needs to be left on the ground at a sacred place for thirty minutes.

Quartz - Tourmalated: Set tourmalated quartz between two lit candles. One dark colored and the other light colored. Allow them to burn right down.

Rhodocrosite: Rhodocrosite should be smudged to recharge its energies.

Rhodonite: Recharge rhodonite by leaving it next to a small pink candle which should be allowed to burn right down.

Rhyolite: Leave rhyolite outside on a windy day.

Ruby: Ruby should be wiped with a soft cloth and left overnight under starlight.

Ruby In Zoisite: Use a rosemary infusion to cleanse and recharge.

Sapphire - White: Use a white silk cloth to wipe it gently and then surround it with white petals and leave for twenty-four hours.

Sardonyx: Leave sardonyx in a bowl of rose petal based pot pourri from dusk till dawn.

Schalenblende: Schalenblende should be passed over a silver-grey candle.

Scolecite: Wipe with a soft white cloth and leave for an hour in moonlight.

Selenite - White: Wash briefly in mineral water which has stood under the light of a full moon.

Serpentine: Pass serpentine through the flame of a brown candle.

Sodalite: Bury next to a fragrant herb for twenty-four hours.

Spectrolite: Spectrolite should be recharged under a rainbow.

Staurolite: Staurolite should be buried in earth in your garden for twenty-four hours.

Sunstone: Leave for one hour on each side around noon in the sun.

Tanzanite: Leave tanzanite on a rock during a storm.

Tektite: Leave tektite outside during an electrical storm.

Tiger Eye - Blue: Leave blue tiger eye under a blue sky for a day.

Tiger Eye - Brown/Gold: Brown tiger eye should be left out in the late afternoon sun.

Tiger Eye - Red: Leave in afternoon sunlight until the sun sets.

Topaz - Blue: Blue topaz can be recharged under a blue sky when the sun is still low.

Topaz - Golden: Golden topaz should be left outside at any time when both the sun and the moon are out at the same time.

Tourmaline - Black: Wash black tourmaline in running water and leave under moonlight overnight.

Tourmaline - Watermelon: Recharge watermelon tourmaline by leaving it outside during twilight for five consecutive evenings.

Tsavorite: Tsavorite should be polished gently with green silk whilst praying for cleansing and empowerment.

Turquoise: Turquoise should be smudged with cedar, sage, or sweetgrass.

Unakite: Unakite should be wiped with olive oil and then rinsed under running water.

Uvarovite: Uvarovite should be polished gently with green silk whilst praying for cleansing and empowerment.

Verdite: Place verdite amongst the leaves of any tropical plant.

Zinc: Zinc should be passed over a silver-grey candle.

Some magical associations for the flowers of @eartheasy’s “Save the Bees by Planting These” post:

Lavender - love, attraction, healing, protection.
Thyme - awareness, purification, cleansing.
Cilantro - awareness, creativity, communication, success.
Borage - luck, power, inspiration, increase psychic abilities.
Sage - purification, exorcism, cleansing, healing.
Fennel - communication, prosperity, fertility.
Crocus - love, visions.
Geranium - self confidence, soothes a broken heart.
Aster - love.
Poppy - glamours.
Sunflower - happiness, healing, longevity, prosperity, love.
Heliotrope - love (especially homosexual), invisibility, revelations.

Your garden will not only be a haven for bees but you’ll always have access to ingredients to power your magic.

2

The Serpent’s Lock

The seal of protection, privacy and invisibility – can be stamped or marked on documents to protect them from prying eyes, lest the witches’ venom befall them. Can also be used to hide oneself from that which walks on the astral plane. 

The Serpent’s Key

Used to see that which is hidden – aiding in the perception of the Unseen: be it spirits, deities, omens, etc. It might also be employed to find lost or hidden objects, and expose secret truths people are hiding. In addition, it can also be used to reverse the Serpent’s Lock if the key is added.

Wildfires and Witches

It’s only the first week of March, and yet my family and I have already found THREE untended campfires on or around our property.

Winter is dry. Winter is a very dry season, which is why most states have an open burn ban from early winter until mid-to-late spring. Wildfires catch and spread like stupidity this time of year, and I’d personally argue that they’re even worse in winter than they are in summer, even with comparable levels of dryness/disfoliage.

Why? Because bad road/countryside conditions mixed with unmaintenanced properties, combined with the spike of emergency calls first-responders usually see in winter, mean that fires have time to rage far wider and deeper before firefighters can get to them.

“But Bee, what do Witches have to do with all this?”

All three fires had signs that one of the local little junior covens had lit them, and left them unattended.

We have about 5 little groups of secondary-aged kids, mostly Wiccans, in my area. All five (to my knowledge) have attended ‘circle safety’ type classes that are hosted by one of the different adult groups nearby.

So why did they leave a fire burning? I don’t know for sure, but I can damn well hazard two guesses.

A. They didn’t feel like/didn’t think it was important to put the fire out.

Or

B. They were suffering from 'Magical-Priority-Itis’

Part of me almost hopes that all three were the first one. Laziness/uncaring can usually be beaten out with enough repetition and threats of punishment. But I fear that it’s most likely the second reason.

Magical-Priority-Itis is the terrible disease in which a practitioner is either too inexperienced or (just plain stupid) to realize their 'magical’ workings have immediate real-world sideffects.

Burning incense creates smoke that is toxic to bird’s, reptiles, and many other small pets.

Some herbs are deadly when handled with bare skin, or, god forbid, when burnt.

Wearing your lucky 7-inch silver pentacle necklace to a professional interview is probably going to get you the same results as a Christian wearing a waist-length bejewelled crucifix.

Magic doesn’t occur in a vacuum. We are still handling real 'stuff’ when we work magic.

I hope those fires were left out of negligence. Because if they were left due to -'the spell won’t work unless you let the candle burn out!’- type belief…that’s much harder to challenge. People can keep faith in the stupidest of things for forever, ignoring all common-sense in favor of their beliefs.

With that being said.

This isn’t a request. This is a demand, something you MUST do if you plan to light any flame whatsoever out of doors.

You WILL properly smother any fire/flame that you light outdoors.

You WILL NOT leave such a fire unattended unless it is properly smothered.

You WILL obey local burn bans and regulations on firewood usage.

You WILL NOT build a fire without first learning how to correctly and safely do so.

Your magic is NEVER more important than the lives and livelihoods of those around you. Remember that well.

Real magic doesn’t always go off with a bang.

Sometimes, it only starts with a single candle, a single prayer, a single whisper with what we perceived, at the time, to be silence in response. 

But you are flipping through your journals one night many years later, and forgot you even made that wish on that star, or that deal with that devil, that prayer to that angel.

Until you saw that entry dated August 12th, 2010. 

And you realize, that in hind sight, because of what you said out loud that night underneath the full moon dressed in nothing but black skinny jeans and a grey T Shirt, 

                                    Everything has changed. 

DIY: Herbal Salves

Salves are such a simple, effective, and useful medicine! They can easily be slipped into a purse, pocket, or first aid kit.  Although semi-solid at room temperature, salves soften once applied to the skin, making them less messy to apply than oils.  They also make great gifts and are an easy and approachable way to introduce newbies to the medicinal properties of herbs.  Plus, salves can be crafted for a wide variety of topical uses.  The addition of beeswax offers additional benefits including protective, soothing, emollient, nourishing, and healing properties.

Part 1: Make Herbal Infused Oil

To make salve, first craft your herbal infused oil(s).  This will take several weeks, but once finished, the rest of the salve making process will only take minutes!   You can also purchase pre-infused herbal oils if needed or if you wish to skip the process of infusing the oil.

Solar Method: When making herbal infused oils, we prefer the solar infused method.  Place dried botanicals into a dry and sterilized glass jar.  Some herbalists coarsely crush or grind herbs first, while others finely chop herbs and leave delicate flowers whole.  Cover with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or other carrier oil of choice with a stable shelf life) leaving at least 1-2” of oil above the herbs to allow the herbs to swell.  Cap the jar tightly and place in a sunny, warm window.  If desired, the jar can be covered with a bag or box so that the oil is not exposed to direct sunlight.  Shake the jar once or twice per day, or as often as you remember. If the herbs absorb the oil, then add more oil so that they are always submerged.  Allow to infuse for 2-6 weeks, or until the oil takes on the color and aroma of the herb.  Once the oil is ready, strain using cheese cloth, and bottle into dry and sterilized amber bottles for storage.  Make sure to squeeze as much oil as possible from the herbs so that you do not waste any precious oil!  Herbal oils will keep for approximately a year if stored properly in a dark and cool place. Vitamin E Oil may also be added to prolong the shelf life.

Quick Method: Another way to infuse oils, which is sometimes necessary when herbal oils need to be created in a pinch, is the quick method which utilizes heat.  Much care needs to be taken when creating herbal oils this way because you do not want to deep-fry your herbs!  Place herbs in crock-pot, double boiler, or electric yogurt maker, and cover with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or other carrier oil of choice) leaving at least an inch or two of oil above the herbs.  Gently heat the herbs over very low heat (preferably between 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1-5 hours until the oil takes on the color and scent of the herb.  Some texts recommend heating the oil 48-72 hours at a controlled temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Turn off heat and allow to cool. Once that the oil is ready, strain using cheese cloth, and bottle into dry and sterilized amber bottles for storage.  Store in a dark and cool place, Vitamin E Oil may also be added to prolong the shelf life.


Part 2: Turn that Oil into Salve!

• 8 oz herbal infused oil(s) of your choice.  Choose one or a combination.
• 1 oz Beeswax (use Carnauba Wax for a vegan salve)
Vitamin E Oil (optional)
• 10-20 drops essential oil of choice (optional). Some essential oils commonly used are Lavender and Tea Tree.
Glass Jars or Tin Containers

Place Herbal Infused Oils and Beeswax over a double boiler, and gently warm over low heat until the Beeswax melts.  Remove from heat and add the essential oil and Vitamin E Oil (if using).  Quickly pour into prepared tins or glass jars and allow to cool completely.  Salves should be stored in a cool location where they will remain semi-solid and will not continue to re-melt and re-solidify.  If stored correctly, salves will last for 1- 3 years. Yields 8 oz.

Note:  The consistency of salves can easily be adjusted depending on your preferences.  Use less Beeswax for a softer salve and more Beeswax if you’d prefer a firmer salve.  You can test the consistency by placing a few spoons in the freezer before making your salve.  When the Beeswax melts, pour a little salve onto one of the cold spoons and place it back into the freezer for 1-2 minutes.  Once cooled, you can make adjustments by adding more oil (for a softer salve) or more Beeswax (for a firmer salve).


Herbs for Salve

You can make salve with a single herb or multiple herbs, depending on your needs.  It’s useful to make a variety of herbal infused oils so that you can easily craft salve whenever you need it!

Arnica flowers: Can help treat physical trauma, bruises, strains, and occasional muscle pain. Use immediately after strenuous exertion or injury to prevent, relieve, and reduce swelling, bruises and pain.

Burdock root: For skin infections.

Calendula flowers:  Wonderfully healing with all-around healing properties useful for a wide variety of skin irritations and conditions including wounds, insect bites, rashes, scrapes, abrasions, cuts, and much more.  Suitable for sensitive skin and babies.

Cayenne Pepper: Warming, good for occasional sore muscles, alleviates occasional pain, and itching.

Chamomile flowers: Minor abrasions, cuts, scrapes, and wounds.

Chickweed: Soothing, helps with skin conditions, minor burns, and other skin irritations.

Comfrey leaf and/or root: Relieves occasional pain, swelling, supports muscle, cartilage, and bone. Assists with healing a wide variety of conditions.

Echinacea herb and/or root: Beneficial for minor sores, wounds, insect bites, and stings.

Ginger root: Warming, use for occasional sore muscles.

Goldenseal leaf and/or root: Useful for treating minor wounds and skin conditions.

Lavender flowers: Soothing, calming, relieves occasional pain, has healing properties beneficial for minor wounds and numerous skin conditions.

Myrrh Gum powder: Used for cuts, scrapes, scratches, and abrasions.

Nettle leaf: An effective herb for many skin conditions.

Oregon Grape root: Skin disinfectant for minor wounds.

Plantain leaf: Helps speed the recovery process, relieves and soothes insect bites and stings, poison ivy, itching, minor sores, bruises, blisters, and damaged skin.

St. John’s Wort: Craft the deep red-colored oil from fresh flowers. Beneficial for minor wounds, cuts, bruises, insect bites and stings, nerve support, scrapes, and minor burns.

Thyme: Used for cuts, scrapes, and occasional sore muscles.

Yarrow Flowers: Apply to bruises, minor wounds, cuts, scrapes, and areas with swelling and bleeding.

Please note that this is only a partial list, many other healing herbs can also be incorporated into salves.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Source: herbal-salves

Cunning Celt’s Beginner Guide 8: Writing your own spells.

No matter how many spell books you open, no matter how many witches you ask, sometimes you will never be able to find a spell which 100% suits your situation or fulfils your needs. This is the first in a long line of good reasons to write your own spells, the next being that spells you’ve created yourself generally work better for you than those written by others.

  1. Decide your purpose. Intent is everything in witchcraft, and magic will not work unless you have a goal firmly in mind. Frame your desire clearly in your mind; you need to be able to feel your need. it is important to note as well when deciding your purpose, and again when casting your spell, to mind your tenses; saying “I will be loved” puts the goal in the future, forever out of reach. Saying “I am loved” manifests your magic in the present.
  2. Decide your method. Is this going to be a candle spell, or a sigil, poppet magic, make use of amulets and talismans? The purpose of your spell will help you to decide what method to use. Amulets, talismans, and jar spells provide ongoing magic to a person or area. Poppets are used for sympathetic magic, when you are casting a spell upon another person. Candle spells release your magic and intent into the universe via the flame, and can be used for a multitude of spells. Knot magic is closely linked to weather magic, and is also great for a binding. Deciding on the way you will cast your spell will then help you to:
  3. Decide your materials. What colour candle/s are you going to use, and how man? What will your poppet, amulet, or talisman be made of? What herbs, spices, or crystals are you going to use? Getting your hands on a good book of correspondences will be invaluable, a book to give you an idea of what magical properties herbs/spices/crystals etc. have. (Check my Resources page for some suggestions, and my previous Beginner Guide 6.) Don’t forget to use your own associations as well; just because a book tells you to something, doesn't  mean that your own instincts are wrong.
  4. Decide how you will cast the spell. So you know why you are doing it, you know what you are doing it with, but how exactly will you do it? Will you anoint the candle? Burn or bury the poppet? Wear the amulet or keep it somewhere in your house? Again, your purpose will help you here. Protection for you generally means you’ll wear the amulet, whereas protection of a place mean’s you’ll keep the amulet in that place. You can let the Elements help, by releasing your spell through Earth, Air, Water, or Fire, or a combination. 
  5. Decide when to cast the spell. Very few spells are so urgent, in my experience, that they must be cast right now! Most can wait for the right time. Knowing the right phase of the moon or day of the week can add tremendous power to your spell, as these have their own energies and associations. Certain times of the year can add great power to certain types of magic; the Wheel of the Year is not just religious, it has magical connotations as well. Imbolc is a great time for fertility magic, with the coming of Spring and new growth, while Samhain is a good time for divination or communication with spirits, as the veil between our world and the world of the dead is generally considered to be quite thin at this time. This being said, know that if for whatever reason you have to cast your spell right now, that that will not necessarily make your spell any less valid than if you wait for midnight on the night of a lunar eclipse that falls on Samhain.
  6. Incantations. These are not 100% necessary. Not all witches say anything, and it does not weaken their magic. Spells can be completed in absolute silence. But there is power in words, in lending your voice to the spell. They can go a long way to shaping your energy and intent. I’m personally a fan of a nice little rhyming couplet (iambic pentameter optional), or a little bit of Latin. They hold power for me, and thus lend power to my spells. Does making a rhyme or saying something in Latin make magic happen? Of course not, but I like to let my magic flow through those words.
  7. Put it all together and cast your spell. You know the what, why, when, and how of your spell. Now is the time to actually cast the spell and make your magic happen. Have faith in your abilities and your magic. Trust that what you’ve created is powerful. Once you have cast the spell, write it in your grimoire, including what you felt when casting it, leaving room to write in any results when or if they happen. Don’t be disheartened if your spell doesn’t work; remember, you can learn just as much from spells that didn’t work as you can from those that did. (Have a bit of a read through my Beginner Guide 5 for some indication of why your spell might not work, and why that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.)

DISCLAIMER: This is just the process I go through to write my spells. many other witches may have many other methods of creating their own spells. Also, the techniques and methods mentioned in this post are listed just as examples; there are countless methods of casting spells, all with their own strengths and limitations.

The Crossroads

The Crossroads are an infinitely powerful place – where the planes collide, the worldly nexus and the paths of decision. While always related to the actual crossing of roads, the symbolic nature of the Crossroads extends far beyond – even in the physical plane. The nexus include far more than the mere crossing of paths, but present at many – both naturally and made-made – destinations. Below you will find a (non-comprehensive) list and a brief description of how they apply to the Crossroads and what work might be done most efficiently at the particular junction.


Physical Crossroads

“X” and “T” Crossroads

This grouping includes the Crossroads in its traditional sense – as the crossing of roads in an “x” or “+” formation. These, of course, are well documented and are usually what is being discussed when talk of crossroads come up. These can be specified – for instance: a crossroad at the edge of town, in the woods, etc., all of which have their own, unique connotations. Their “sister” crossroads is the T crossroad (alt. “Y”) – which is still prevelantly known. These are my personal favorite, being an adherent to Quimbanda – these Crossroads are held sacred to Pomba Gira. They offer a more concise, selective and direct crossroads energy – as they only offer 3 roads, two choices, the forward option rendered entirely void. In this capacity, there is no option but to change. You cannot continue as you are, but instead must choose a new path – change at its greatest.

Bridges

These are much like the traditional crossroads, though there is a minor planar separation. As the water and the bridge never transect. In this capacity, you have a path or tangent that is not wholly present, but guiding. From above they appear to intersect, but from the ground we see they do not and cannot – though this doesn’t make them any less useful. It is at these places that change can be made fluidly. Where as the “T” crossroad is (arguably) the most severe, change-bring crossroad, this the the least so. As such, this one is not so much about bringing in the new, but freeing yourself of the old. Symbolically, spirits were always said to be unable to cross running water – in this case, there is a part of you that you feel needs to be relinquished, one you will not permit to cross the water with you. This is the cross of letting go of that which need be so.

Railroad-Track Crossings

Again, similar to the above to entries, these represent more traditional crossroads. These can be broken down into two, separate sets of places:

  1. Where Tracks Cross a Road: These can be used as a symbol for a path that is fixed, continuous and unstoppable. The train will continue, it is your responsibility to stop. This can be a place to work rituals for motivation, drive and success – or alternately, to learn patience. Sometimes the only, real option is to sit and wait – there is strength in patience, these places might allow for this realization.
  2. Where Tracks Cross Tracks: A recipe for disaster. Two, headstrong, unstopping forces are doomed to collide. While the former has the potential to grant motivation, this one is the reality of too much or counterproductiveness. These places are great for working curses that breed devastation, and chaos working from all sides. Place a penny at the junction, allow it to be flattened and collect it to use in particularly nasty curses.

Property Corners

That’s right, little did you know you had a Crossroads (literally) in your own backyard! At each of the corners of your property, where four plots meet, there is a crossroads. These, naturally, are best used for things relating to the home – protection, finance, martial issues, health and well-being. Probably not the best to use these to call up Crossroads Spirits or make any Faustian Deals. 

Cemeteries

The liminal space of the dead on the plane of the living – these are the sites where the dead interact (in great number) energetically with our plane, building a nexus of sorts. Naturally the larger the cemetery, the more effective this nexus becomes (here’s looking at you, New Orleans). It’s not enough that they exist spiritual in one place, but its that they exist as both physically and spiritual distinct in the location – their spirit and body exist, but no longer bound, working in a sort of intersecting movement. To no one’s surprise, these are the places most fitting work with the Dead, bridging the planes, communion with the spirits, etc. It’s also little surprise that many Cemetery Spirits have numerous correlations to their Crossroads counterparts.

Churches

That’s right, churches, too are liminal spaces – wherein the Divine (of which ever sort) ground to the earth and form a crossroads. These are obviously most fitting religious works – divine paths, orchestrating change with the help of the Divine, resolution to crises of faith, etc. As for curses go, these same qualities can also be harness to bring about crises of faith and repurpose the energies for more malignant works. 


Metaphorical Intersections

Doorways

While at first thought, one might assume that doorways would be much like a “T” crossroad of not more severe – as there is but one path that may be taken. This, however, symbolically is not the case. While we know a closed door will always open to the same place here, spiritually that’s never a guarantee. In fact, doors have the capacity to connect all things. One door may lead to any other. But be warned, doors  go both ways – be careful where it leads, for it will also lead back.

Hands/Feet and Mouth/Ears

Hands and feet are the intersection of the mind and the physical. It is they who move us, connect us, or create from our mind something on this plane – such as art, writing, gesture. Mouths bridge mind to mind through verbal communication – what the mouth sends, the ear receives and the mind interprets. As such, all of these things occupy a sort of liminal space.


Cosmic/Season Crossroads

Twilight

Twilight is the bridge from day to night, a time of change – a commingling of both of their characteristics. Depending on what you seek, these can be used as a way to gain insight. For illumination, enlightenment utilize dawn – allow the sun to bring light to the darkness. For understanding, self discovery or occult knowledge, use dusk – wherein the preconceived notions of day fall away to reveal the hidden truths of night.

Midnight

The minute when one day ends and the next begins – colloquially referred to as “the witching hour,” it is a time between time. This can be used for many works – though, when I utilize midnight, I use mid-night. The time at the middle of when the sun sets and rises – the darkest part of night, when it is at its strongest, after is has waxed, but before it has waned.

31st day

Like Twilight and Midnight, this is time related – a place between months, a time for change. These can be utilized much like more regular New Years: a time to make resolutions, enact change and bring anew/cast out the old. As such, they’re good for exorcisms and rebirth.

There are countless other options, but I chose to note the ones I’ve been known to use. I’d love to hear and see what some of all know to be unconventional crossroads!


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Revolutionary Witchcraft.

When your mind wanders while grinding the herbs to powder between your wooden mortar and wooden pestle, instead of attempting to bend it back to the intents and tasks at hand, see where it goes. 

Where does your mind travel to as your hands rhythmically move wood grain against wood grain creating witchcraft?

When you blend rosemary for remembrance, with lavender for dreams, and rose petals for lovers, do you remember lovers from the past? 

The smile of the divorced husband? Your joy and sadness and tears in your walk down the heart lines on your palms?

What is love drawing without memories of past loves?

Bring these memories, these destinations touched by your wandering mind with you into the mortar, into the pestle, into the lavender and rosemary and rose.

Transform it through the sweet scent of flowers mashed against flowers, add more to what is there. 

See the past, then look towards what you need from the future.

Don’t clear your mind of all that you are to reach some artificial semblance of clarity.

Let your mind move with your body. Bring yourself into the magic you work. 

Cunning Folks from the past didn’t learn clear your mind meditation before they could pray and work. They moved in the realities of their magic, their bodies, their memories of the past and hopes and dreams for the future. 

All into that little satchet of powders they make, and bag, and craft.

My roommate is from Bosnia and she just shared this art project with me called Traditional Balkan Witchcraft by Senka Mušić and I just…..WOW. 

“Senka has always been fascinated by the fact that witchcraft is something between reality and imagination: there’s a lot of history on witchcraft, but no absolute proof of its existence. Her heritage got her in exploring the Balkan witchcraft in particular. Senka on her fascination and the project:

‘What fascinated me with Balkan witchcraft is the modest lifestyle, traditional folktales and their real life explanations, the myths that occurred during the research and the reasonable explanations for them. Since I live in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Balkan as a region is of personal interest to me.’”

I dislike colour correspondences. A lot. Or at least, in the way I see them distributed now.

Which is not to say that colours are meaningless in magic, but rather that the way correspondence concepts are currently disseminated is pointless and undefined. Between all those many, many lists of colour correspondences there is so much overlap between them that it would seem that every colour is pretty much useful for anything you want. And the associations listed are always frustratingly vague, with every colour apparently suitable for “protection” and “healing”. Protection from what? And how? They never say. 

In other senses, common colour correspondences are frustrating because they simply don’t apply to me, personally. For instance, green is pretty much always associated with money magic because paper bills are green in America, but currency in my country is not green.

The colour of a candle out cloth will never make or break your spell but they can be helpful reinforcements for ritual and spellwork. Understanding how to think critically about the use of colours will help you to decide for yourself which colours, if any, are needed, and stop relying on what some guy with a blog wrote down.

So let’s take an example. Black is for necromancy and cursing, but why? Why black and not any other colour? Well, black is the colour of night, the wild, away from well known and well-lit paths and man made light. Away from the comfortable. Before street lighting, before streets, it was exceedingly dangerous to travel at night, since we, as animals, rely so exclusively on our eyesight to get around. Getting lost at night, far from the minor inconvenience it is in our modern first world, could literally be deadly. This peril is symbolized in the colour black to this day.

Black is also the colour of the grave, of having no sight at all. It is the null experience of sight, the lack of our mundane bodily perceptions. It is not a colour but a not-colour, just as death isn’t part of living but not-life. 

Or consider the historical meaning of a colour. Ever wonder why the Virgin Mary is dressed in a blue robe in European medieval and Renaissance paintings? It’s due in part to the labour that went into acquiring the blue pigment, lapis lazuli, which was mined in Persia and the Indus Valley and had to be imported by ships and caravans at great expense. Because this pigment was so luxurious and costly, artists reserved it for the most important and revered figures in a painting, most often Mary. The colour was a representation of her importance and came to be associated with her attributes such as compassion and modesty. 

Colour can also vary wildly from tradition to tradition. In the west, for example, we associate the colour red with passion, love, sex, and violence. It’s the colour of our blood, the colour that grabs our attention. Meanwhile in China, red is associated with joy, festivity, prosperity, and good luck. Neither of these associations are wrong, they are simply utilizing the colour as a symbol in a different way from a cultural perspective.

All of this is just a very brief example how I use colour in my own practice.

I encourage both beginners and the experienced to put aside this boolean form of “if x then use colour y” and adopt a more critical and intuitive method for using colour in magic.

A Little Weather Witchery

I’ll be frank, I do not do a lot of weather witchcraft – mostly because I have little need for weather manipulation. I’m not a farmer; I garden, but only recreationally and rarely for food. However, I have collected over the years quite a number of weather witching rituals – that I hope may be of more use to some of you than I.


Storm Salt

This is undoubtedly what I use most in regards to weather witchcraft, as it can be used in countless ways – specifically in hexes, curses and crosses. Plus, it can be equated to Storm Water, only with the convenience of a powder, making it easier to store and giving it a much extended shelf-life. Creation is very simple.

Simply collect storm water and add it to a stock pot – or whichever size pot matches the quantity of storm water you’ve collected. To this, add salt. Add as much as you can, stirring all the while until the salt no longer dissolves in the water. No need to worry about this extra salt left, it will dissolve when the water is heated – which leads me to the next step: bring the pot to a rolling boil. Stir regularly until the remaining salt has dissolved. Reduce heat to a medium boil, and leave it to boil. It’s integral to check on it regularly, so as not to ruin your pot! Once the water has evaporated, you will be left with newly reformed “storm” salt crystals. Just scrape/collect and bag/jar.

(Being that the water is rain water – soft water – it should leave little to no calcification/hard-water build up on the pan)

It can also be used to turn regular water into storm water, with the addition of the salt – which is quite handy!


Storm Raising

Storm Raising rituals are, admittedly, a dime-a-dozen, but nonetheless I’m bringing this one to you. It’s similar – in essence – to the old, rag-beating summons, but incorporating a few added “ingredients”

You will need:

Storm Water – which can be “reconstituted” by adding the Storm Salt to regular (or preferably soft) water, though fresh is always best

Pine Boughs – gathered to form a whisk or “broom” of sorts – these must be fresh and the more flexible, the better

A Large Rock – I live in a national forest that is rife with huge rocks, we even have the Garden of the Gods (IL), so I’d say doing this “on location” would be all the better. The higher vantage point, the better! But, a large river rock or decorative rock should work just fine

Place the storm water in a large-mouthed bucket or pale, and arrange it near the rock. Dip the collected boughs into the water, and give them a stir. You’ll want to move quickly for this next part, because the saturation of the needles is key. Grab them up, and without letting them drip, lash the rock with them (you will most certainly get wet – embrace it). 

While doing this, recite:

Lashing rain and maelstrom might,

Born of sky – horizon’s blight –

That which turns the day to night –

Thunder roll and lightning strike,

I calleth forth: The Storm

With each line, lash the rock. The process would be, Line #1, lash the rock, Line #2, lash the rock, and so on. 

When complete, shake the excess water from the boughs and wrap them in a cloth or towel. This can then be burned, hung in a tree, or stashed in a high place as an offering.


Rain Conjuring

As with most weather magic, this should be done from a high vantage point, as nearest to the sky as you can get (safely) or in a vast field/meadow. Again, rain conjurings are plentiful, but you can’t rightly do a piece on weather magic without including at least one, right?

To perform, simply gathered a bag or bowl of whole barley or ground oats. A combination of fine, but no benefit. To this, add in the storm salt. You can also use fresh storm water, but that gets very messy and drippy (which may or may not be beneficial to rain summoning or not – but either way, I’d prefer to stay dry and not be wearing damp oats, honestly). In your chosen location, cast the grain in the four cardinal directions, saying a prayer for rain of your choosing. Repeat three times and scatter any remaining meal.


Wind Wielding

As an Air Sign, I have an extraordinary love for wind (as well as most weather – except snow, I hate snow) and love a powerful gust – messy hair a welcome effect. This particular calling is for summoning up wind, not tempering it, as I could think of no situation in which wind would not be welcomed. For this, I bring two options: 

Method One:

To summon up the wind, first collect 8 or 9 weeping willow branches (In all honesty, you could also use pine, but you’d get far more wind resistance which is counter-intuitive to this process). These will be fashioned into a “whisk” – however, if you happen to have a whisk (such as a horse tail whisk – a “totem” of the Orisha, Oya) feel free to use that. For this particular method, a broom is not recommended, see option two for that.

To construct the whisk, simply bare the branches of any leaves, and bind them together with string, twine or rope – it can be as decorative or as minimalist as you’d like, as it can be reused or used once and left.

With whisk in hand, find a fitting location. As above, “high” places, life bluffs or outcroppings are well suited, or a large, flat expanse. Line yourself up and attune yourself for a moment to the wind – which is best done with closed eyes. Feel the wind (if there is any) and the air, align yourself thusly with your back to any wind or breeze. If the air is still, face the direction in which you want the wind to blow. Briefly dangle the whisk at your side, and gently shake it to “charge” it. When all feels right, bring the whisk up and snap it in front of you, first to your right, then to the left. Be careful, you don’t want to put your eye out and being that this is much like a natural, cat-of-nine tales, you don’t want to relive the “switches” from days of yore.

Continue to whip the air with the whisk until you feel a change in the air – even if it minute, you should be able to feel the pressures changing.

Method Two:

This one is one you probably shouldn’t do in your front yard unless you want your neighbors closing the blinds and pulling their children inside for fear of the crazy witch next door.

You will need:

A Broom – preferably one made of an “airy” wood, I’d recommend ash, birch, or a sturdier willow.

– or –

Simply a Limb of the same variety

With your “weapon of choice,” choose a suitable location, and like before, attune yourself to the wind. Hold the broom or limb with both hands in a passive manner (palms beneath the wood, not above). Held it near you, with bent arms – as you are mimicking the air as it is, passive and reserved. Once you have attuned yourself, flatten your palms and straighten your arms, as though you are presenting the branch as a gift.

At this point, one hand at a time, take a more dominant grip over the limb, palms now above the wood. Raise it above your head in a single, abrupt movement, at which point antagonize the wind.

I know how that sounds… Hence why I said not to do this in your front yard.

You’re literally trying to enrage the wind, but calling it weak and docile. Ask it to show you the power it possesses, command it to move, scream to the proverbial heavens to “show me what you’ve got!” Get it rustling, bully it into retaliation, basically, until it’s to your liking – at which point, commend it. “See, that’s better! Well done. Keep it up.”

Sometimes the wind just needs to be reminded… We air signs are much the same.


Cloud Cutting

Surely you didn’t think it was all going to be conjuring up bad weather… This, this is to dismantle those clouds and brings some much needed sunshine – which makes this particularly useful in the long bouts of spring rain, when a bit of sunshine would really help lighten the mood, and cut that lingering chill.

This process is relatively simple and is done much the same way as the above, but with the addition of a knife. Any knife will do, no need to get fancy – grab one out of the kitchen or from the garage and make your way to a suitable spot. Much like before, high places and wide places are most suitable, but for this one, you’ll be looking for somewhere with a great view of the sky.

To begin, warm yourself up – focus your energy to feeling the heat of your skin, as though the sun was beaming down on it. It is with this warmth that you will be cutting the clouds, much like the sun does.

Once poised and ready, knife in hand, draw the flat blade over your tongue (not the sharp bit, obviously – you’d also ideally want to make sure it’s clean first), imbuing it with sun’s heat. Hold it over your head, parallel with the sky, then drive it town into the earth. Pull it from the ground until just the point remains in the earth, and draw it straight to the right, then turning it upward, arking around to make a counter-clockwise circle around the initial point – making, roughly, the alchemical sign for sun. Clean the blade and go on your merry way, waiting for the clouds to part and the sun to shine.


Lightning Ward and Summons

There are several types of Lightning Wards – and I do mean several. I’m not sure if people used to get hit left and right with lightning or what, but they sure wanted lots of charms to prevent it. Any rudimentary search through Google will turn up countless charms to prevent personal injury from lightning, so I’ve elected to, instead, bring you a means of preventing lightning from striking your crops or homestead.

The recipe is relatively simply, gather:

Corn Kernels – from the last harvest

Storm Salt

Oak Ash – as in, the ashes of a piece of oak

– and –

Copper – coins, buttons, fixings, whatever you can find – or, alternately, a copper bowl to mix the above in

Combine the ingredients in a bowl – copper being the best, and doubling as the copper called for above. As strange as it sounds, when mixing this, do not incorporate any silver, which includes mixing while wearing silver rings, necklaces or jewelry of any sort. This is because silver is extremely conductive – far more so than copper.

When all ingredients have been incorporated and the kernels and salt have been well coated by the ash, sprinkle the mixture at the four corners of your property lines. For your home, this can be as simple as the actual corners, but for crops and vast, farm land, merely corners that roughly encompass all the land. Basically in such a way as to form a barrier around the property.


The Lightning Summons, conversely, also uses copper, but in the form of a lightning rod. Now, I’ll be the first to wonder why anyone would want to attract lightning, though I image its energy would be extraordinarily useful in the craft – and is always a nice, old-fashion go to for curses. You know, what with: “I hope you and everything you love are struck by lightning! I smite you!”

Regardless of your desires, a simple lightning summons can be made with:

A Length of Copper – solid being best, however, what with the rising prices, a cut length of pipe should do nicely, perhaps even wire. You want a piece that measures roughly 3 ft. or a meter – as your purpose is not to construct an actual lightning rod, simply a metaphorical one. 

– and –

A Branch from a Tree that has been struck by Lightning – alternately, another piece of copper would work nearly as well

For the summons, you’ll want to be in much the same location as above, or near a spot where lightning has struck before. Needless to say, this should not be done in the midst of a lightning storm, considering waving metal around – while probably a sure fire way to attract some form of lightning – is probably not the best decision if you don’t want to be the victim of your own summons.

Once in position, hold the copper in your right hand and the limb (or other piece of copper) in the left over your head, one crossed over the other. Strike them together in series of three. Knock, knock, knock…. Wait, then repeat.

As you do so, recite:

Come ye: fire – of the sky (knock x3)

Blinding light – and thunder crash

Grounded by my call;

Spit white-tongues of devastation, (knock x3)

Wrought in the fires of my

Command.

 (knock x3)

Rod and bolt – 

Creator, Destroyer – (knock x3)

Abide this call,

By Heathen-tongue – 

And from the skies,

My Will be done. (knock x3)

My Will be done. (knock x3)

With rope or string, bind the rod and limb (or two rods) together and leave them near where you desire lightning to strike.


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