Tuesday, 28 January 2020

The Road Not Taken



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves, no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost


Monday, 27 January 2020

Favourite Witchy Tool


One last challenge before the #witchwithme challenge on Instagram starts properly on 1st February. Today’s prompt is FAVOURITE WITCHY TOOL. 

You might expect me to say runes or wand or some other obvious tool, but for me it’s actually reference books.

Some 6 or so years ago I developed a couple of chronic conditions which really affect my cognitive function. When I am trying to write a ritual or spell and my brain is blank they give me a framework, or when I know what I want 
to say about a particular subject but am struggling to find the words, reading about the subject helps to kick start my brain. When I can’t remember something, I can look it up.
And when I am really having trouble, I can just follow what someone else has written instead.


It used to make me frustrated, but now I just go with the flow. I know that my intention setting and practical spell work are strong enough for this not to matter. And if we’re honest it’s actually no different to referring to a cookbook or dictionary.

As a disabled Witch I am so grateful for books.

Friday, 24 January 2020

New Moon in Aquarius, January 24th 2020


Sometimes I feel the New Moon gets a little overlooked by the fizz and pop of the Full Moon. The Full Moon might be about making the intention, but the New Moon is all about manifesting the intention - and that also means doing the work! 

The New Moon asks you to check what you are drawing into your life. This New Moon in Aquarius falls on the 24th (today!), and there is a continued emphasis on necessary shedding, purging and processing emotions, thought processes, and behaviours, to meet the intentions made at the Full Moon. 

This will be a time to focus on Aquarian ideas - rethink, repurpose, reimagine, and even recycle. 

New Moons tend to make us want to plant new seeds and start afresh, be that new attitudes or new projects; so if it feels right, go for it! But be careful what you wish for. 

The New Moon promises us that if we put the hard work in, we will be rewarded. Using our intuition is important at this time - we are essentially working blind without the Sun’s illumination, and with only the light of our intuition to guide us - so we must be careful in our interaction with others. Be wary of being tricked or manipulated. 

The theme of this month is spiritual awakening, and after the strong Cancer energies of the last Full Moon, this Aquarius energy will feel like a breath of fresh air! But there will also be change and upheaval, so grounding and self-care are a must; carry a Kambaba Jasper with you for calming reassurance and comfort.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Home


This building is more than just stone. It is my first home, my pride and joy, my sanctuary, the path back to my Craft, and the journey back to sanity.

In the years running up to 2018 I was deeply depressed. Much of this down to a situation I haven’t yet fully escaped, but basically we were frustrated, unhappy, and lacking in direction.
We lived in a beautiful house in a beautiful place, but it wasn’t right.

After much soul-searching on where we should be, I found this amazing house. In late 2018 we moved in. .

Freezing cold in the winter, full of spiders in the autumn, but such an honour to live in so magical a place, and in some small way to be a part of its history.

I know the heartbeat of this place, this cemetery that is very much alive. I know every tree, every flower, every shrubb. I love how the moon bathes me in her light as I lay in my bed. I love our wooden floors and metre-thick walls. I love our living room; once the old storeroom for spades and headstones.

I love looking out the kitchen window as I wash up; weaving magic as I focus my thoughts. I love the rabbits at sunrise in the summer; I welcome the Starlings as they return to their nest in the eaves above the kitchen.

I love our collection of higgledy-piggledy staircases - no less than four - and I love the way this old stone house embraces us; breathing life back into us, while the bodies of those that have gone before surround us.
I love that this amazing place has held us in its womb, and given us space and time to recognise each other again. That my husband can see his wild, witchy woman once more.

Who would have thought this ancient, crumbling building would have given us so much; would have given me so much?

For the first time in my life I feel I am finally home.

Norse Magic


For the ancient Norse peoples magic and ritual were a normal part of everyday life. The Vikings’ beliefs were largely polytheistic, and magic was traditionally seen as a feminine practice. Seeresses and priestesses were highly revered people; they cared for the spiritual and physical needs of the community using herbalism, and they could foretell the future using prophecy, which was especially helpful before a battle.

Seiðr is an old Norse term for sorcery or witchcraft. Sei
ðr involve spoken incantations or ‘spell-songs’ known as galdr. These were chanted to reach higher states of consciousness; which were used to commune with spirits. One would be seated on a ‘high-seat’ whilst communing with ancestral spirits and the deceased. Trance work was occasionally used to receive messages, as was ‘mound-sitting’; sitting on a burial mound or chamber to communicate directly with the dead.

Freya and other Norse goddesses practised seiðr; it was Freya who taught the art to Odin, who was later admonished by Loki for doing so, as it was considered unmanly. It was uncommon to find men carrying out these practices; male roles were focused on politics, and hunting, farming and trading, and the practice of seiðr by men had connotations of unmanliness or effeminacy.

Various scholars have debated the nature of seiðr, some arguing that it was shamanic in context, involving visionary journeys by its practitioners. Accounts of seiðr made it into sagas and other literary sources, and further evidence has been unearthed by archaeologists and historians.


Thursday, 16 January 2020

Dried Lavender


I grow Lavender here on the cemetery in pots, but we can’t grow much, as we don’t have a garden - the cemetery IS our garden. My mum grew this and kindly passed it on for me to use. 

Like Lavender essential oil, there are so many uses for dried Lavender, it’s such a versatile plant.
💜 Sprinkle over floors before sweeping/vacuuming. Your vacuum bag or bin will smell lovely!

💜 Use as an insect/moth/silverfish repellent in wardrobes and cupboards. Hang Lavender bags or make a pomander.

💜 Add to letters and cards for a scented surprise.

💜 Create scented candles by adding dried Lavender and some essential oil to heated wax.

💜 Make Lavender bath salts. Add 1/4 cup dried Lavender to 1 1/4 cups of Epsom Salts, and a few drops of essential oil. Combine and store in a tightly closed jar. Pour into a muslin bag before adding to bath. Keeps 6-9 months in a cool, dark place.

💜 Make Lavender bags. Place in drawers to keep clothes fresh or by your pillow as a sleep aid. Squeeze the bag regularly to refresh the scent.

💜 Lavender bags make great wedding favours. You can coordinate the bag material with your theme. They also make great car air fresheners.

💜 Use in place of rice or paper as wedding confetti. Fragrant, a pretty colour, biodegradable, and perfect to take to a wedding if you’re not sure on the venue rules. Create confetti cones and leave in a basket for your guests on your big day.

💜 Make Lavender infused oil, perfect for restless legs, dry scalps, and itchy bites. Fill a jar half way with dried Lavender. Cover with a carrier oil (I recommend Grapeseed). Cap and store somewhere cool for 4-6 weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain, and use within 9 months to a year.

💜 Use Lavender on stalks for smudge sticks, or loose with other herbs to create incense.

This is just a few ideas; there are many uses for dried Lavender. I will share my recipe for Lavender Salve in the not too distant future. What do you use dried Lavender for?


Monday, 13 January 2020

Cleansing a Space


Later I shall be cleansing my home with this HUGE smudge stick. It was gifted to me by my dear friend (@cate.loves on Instagram) - thank you, Cate!
Cleansing your home and magical space, is really important. 
There are many ways in which you can do this, and many are simple and inexpensive.

🌱
 Smudging: Smudge yourself, a living space, magical area, or object. The leaves will release a thick smoke (you may open windows!), allow it to linger over the person or thing you are cleansing.

🥣
 Singing Bowl: A slightly more expensive way to cleanse, but once you have made the initial purchase there is no further cost. A very powerful and effective way.

🌚 Moon Water: Charge up some water (adding a clear quartz) by leaving it under the light of a full moon. You can use this to spritz around your home or working space as necessary.

🌿
 Garlic: Hang in the kitchen, and (or) place cloves outside the house under windows to prevent negative energy from entering the home.

🍚
 Black Salt: Sprinkle around the space you are cleansing, leave it to sit a while so that it can absorb any negative energy, and sweep it out of your home.

🌿
 Herbs: Smudging is not limited to White Sage. Eucalyptus, Lavender, Cedar, Palo Santo, Rosemary and Mugwort are alternative herbs you can burn, and there are many mixed herb smudging bundles on the market. Loose, hand-blended incense is also an option.

🛎
 Bells: Probably my personal favourite. Ringing bells in the garden to chase away bad spirits is a favourite Samhain tradition of mine. Use a bell in any room or sacred space to clear negative energy. Ring the bell until you feel the energy change. Cleanse your bell after you have finished your work - I like to pass mine through a protective herb incense such as Dragon’s blood, allowing the smoke to cleanse the bell ready for use again.

🌿 Besom: You don’t have to have a traditional Besom, a ‘broom’ (long-handled brush) will do fine. Sweep the house from back to front, to remove stagnant or negative energy. You can add extra power to this by visualising the negative energy being swept up as you work, and then thrown away with the debris and dust.

💐
 Flowers: These keep the peace in the house. Display fresh flowers prominently in the most used room.

🕯
 Candles: Carry a white candle from room to room. In each room make your intention to cleanse the room. Allow it to burn right down.

👏🏼
 Clapping: Stand in the middle of the room facing the window (if there is one). Pull your arms back and pull the negative energy in towards (and into!) your clap. Visualise any straggly bits of negative energy exiting through the window (I like to open it for this process). Repeat until the energy is clear, and shut the window if you have opened it.
Obviously you can use as many of these techniques as you wish. Some techniques may feel more appropriate to certain spaces (or cleansing jobs) than others. You will know when your space has been cleared; you will be able to feel it - the room may feel lighter, brighter, or just ‘right’ in comparison to before.

What is your favourite method of cleansing? How many on this list have you tried?


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Baphomet


Baphomet is the ‘Sabbatical Goat’ incorporated into mystical traditions, and which contains binary elements representing symbolisation of the equilibrium of opposites. In other words, duality.

Good and evil, pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, male and female, light and dark, life and death. His half-human, half-animal body nods to this.

He has the Latin ‘Solve’ and ‘Coagula’ (Solve et Coagula) inscriptions on each arm; this means ‘dissolve and coagulate’ - separate and join - and are processes involved in Alchemy, and indeed, life.
Alchemy is the art of transformation; the process of breaking something down into its most basic elements before transforming it, magically, into something else, something new. This is representative of all manner of things; for example the destruction of ego before the realisation of the true self.

Baphomet appears as the Devil card in the Rider Waite Tarot - how many of us have been wary of Baphomet for fear that he was ‘too dark’ completely missing that he has been present in our cards all along!?

Baphomet has nothing to do with evil or the devil, and has only occasionally been portrayed as a synonym of Satan, or as a demon. Elphias Levi believed that his Baphomet served as a collective representation for all magical icons that survived the spread of Christianity.
Baphomet does, however, appear in Dungeons & Dragons as the ‘Horned King’, an interesting fact I only learned recently as I make my foray into the world of tabletop gaming!

Baphomet is the profound message that all things must be in balance.
You cannot truly experience pleasure without having experienced (at least some) pain, there is no light without dark, and there is no life without death.

He sits proudly in our home and is a reminder that life is all about balance. 

Friday, 10 January 2020

The Wolf Moon



Are you all ready for the Wolf Moon!?

January’s full moon is named after the howling of hungry wolves who are lamenting the scarcity of food in Midwinter. February brings their breeding season, another reason why wolves are so vocal at the beginning of the year, and why people often associate wolves with January.

The moon has no particular part in the call of wolves, but as they point their face to the sky when they howl, it is no wonder they have been linked to the moon. 

There is some debate over the term ‘Wolf Moon’ - some attribute the name to Native American origin, whereas others insist it is Anglo-Saxon or Germanic in origin. Regardless, the term ‘Wolf Moon’ is certainly very evocative.

This is a great time for starting new projects, personal development, meditation, and focus work. It is also a good time for embracing and dealing with the emotions that are brought to the surface as with any full moon, and for releasing negativity - literally howling at the moon and letting it all go. Let go of bad habits, start on a clean spiritual plate, let go of all that is holding you back; and make intentions for moving forward. It is a time to practice forgiveness - of yourself and others - and for banishing and releasing negativity.

As this full moon is in Cancer, the most emotional of the signs, this will be a particularly emotional time, and you may find your intuition and psychic abilities heightened.

This Super Wolf Moon sees a lunar eclipse, so it is an important one. The full lunar eclipse will give the Supermoon a red glow, creating a phenomenon known as a Blood Moon.

There are lots of very strong energies about, so this is a perfect time for intention setting. I’m hoping for clear skies here tonight.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Gratitude Jar


Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
~ Henry Ward Beecher

A Gratitude Jar is a great habit for happiness and wellbeing. It costs next to no money to make (all you need is a jam jar and some paper), and is a great way to record the many blessings that come our way over the course of a year.

Some know them as a ‘Joy Jar’, ‘Moments Jar’, ‘Good Times Jar’, or ‘Happy/Happiness Jar’. Ultimately, you can call it what you like, the idea behind it remains the same.

I have not made one in a few years, so I decided that as it is a new decade it was time I did one. Whilst I’m generally in the habit of practising mindfulness and gratitude on a daily basis, there is nothing better than opening up these magical bits of paper, and reliving those tiny moments of joy.

Some people choose to open theirs on New Year’s Day, but for me it makes more sense to do it on New Year’s Eve - a glimpse back at the past year, before starting a new year.
Whilst us Witches have actually had our New Year at Samhain, I chose to do this around the calendar year, because it just makes more sense (to my tiny brain!) to do it this way.

There are no rules as to what you can stick in your Gratitude Jar, but the focus is on what and who you are grateful for. However big or small.
Write it down, put the date on it, and stick it in the jar. It’s as simple as that.

I hope you all have a gorgeous 2020 full of blessings, big and small.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

January Wolf Moon - Full Moon Intentions


The full moon and the days surrounding it herald powerful energy. The full January Wolf Moon (a Supermoon) occurs on the 10th January 2020 at 19:21hrs.

I always write my intentions two or three days ahead of the full moon, so that I have plenty of time to ruminate and ponder them. I have some deeper intentions that I want to manifest written on a second page, but as these are deeply private I have chosen not to show these.

The full moon is always a good time for embracing and dealing with the emotions that are brought to the surface at this time. It is also a time to practice forgiveness - of yourself and others - and for releasing negativity.

This Wolf Moon is in Cancer, which is the most emotional of all the signs, and also my Sun Sign, so this is a particularly emotional and deeply personal time for me. 

There will be a full lunar eclipse, giving the Supermoon a red glow; a phenomenon known as a Blood Moon. Clearly there are lots of very strong energies at this time, so this is a perfect moment for intention setting.

I hope you all have a very blessed and productive Wolf Moon.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Cosmic Ordering and The Law of Attraction



You can do (or have) absolutely anything your heart desires. We all have it within us to achieve our dreams. The Law of Attraction and Cosmic Ordering are real, and work.

I have manifested quite a few things over the years which, on paper, seemed totally impossible.

There are a few simple steps to manifesting whatever you’d like:
🌀 Step 1: Get clear on what you want. Be really, really precise because the Universe will fill in the gaps!
🌀 Step 2: Make your intent known to the Universe by politely asking for what you’d like.
🌀 Step 3: Know it will happen. Don’t use up energy thinking about the how/ifs/why/buts. Dismiss any thoughts that wander into a negative space. Know and believe that it WILL happen. Feel it in your heart, soul, body, mind - there is no room for anything else here.
🌀 Step 4: Work towards your goals. Keep your vibration high.
🌀 Step 5: Receive. Be grateful, and give thanks.


In the meantime, go about your day believing you can do (or be) absolutely anything. Hold your head high. You are a divine being. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year 2020


Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you welcomed in the new year in the way that you’d like. For me that was an early night so that I was fresh enough to enjoy the first day of 2020.


I have spent some time reflecting on the past year, and looking ahead to the coming months; making intentions, and dreaming and wishing.

Last March I gave up alcohol. I wasn’t a big drinker (the reason for stopping was supporting someone else), but it has been quite an eye opener. I feel more open, creative, and connected to the world. There hasn’t been a single negative to quitting.

According to health writer Jason Christoff:
“In alchemy, alcohol is used to extract the soul essence of an entity. Hence its’ use in extracting essences for essential oils, and the sterilization of medical instruments. By consuming alcohol into the body, it in effect extracts the very essence of the soul, allowing the body to be more susceptible to neighboring entities most of which are of low frequencies. Why do you think we call certain alcoholic beverages ‘Spirits’? That is why people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol often black out, not remembering what happened. This happens when the good soul (we were sent here with) leaves because the living conditions are too polluted and too traumatic to tolerate. The good soul jettisons the body, staying connected on a tether, and a dark entity takes the body for a joy ride around the block, often in a hedonistic and self serving illogical rampage. Our bodies are cars for spirits. If one spirit leaves, another can take the car for a ride.
Essentially when someone goes dark after drinking alcohol or polluting themselves in many other ways, their body often becomes possessed by another entity.”


And so I’m going to continue with the sobriety. I have definitely felt more creative, and I have a few ideas up my sleeve... but you will all have to watch this space for those.

How has your New Year been so far? Do you have any exciting plans for the year ahead? What achievements from last year are you proud of?