Sunday, 31 January 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

Sometimes the only thing holding us back is our own selves. Our past experiences and traumas may lead us to negative thoughts patterns and behaviours, leading us to believe that we’re unworthy, with our options limited. We must a find way to push through the fear, past this illusion, and out of the darkness. Only when we realise we are in control and have the whole world at our fingertips can we move forwards and reap the joys and the opportunities.

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Deck: Rider Waite Smith 

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Horses in Folklore

A white horse standing in the shadows of a green field with a pale blue sky

We see this friendly boy regularly. It got me thinking about horses in folklore, and some of our local superstitions regarding them.

Here in the Midlands counties, spitting was considered to avert all evil consequences, and to meet a white horse face-to-face without spitting (usually over the left shoulder) was considered very unlucky indeed. Some have suggested that this negative association with white horses is because much of the Midlands was laid waste by Saxon hordes, who poured in under a banner emblazoned with a white horse, but I don’t know how true this is.

To dream of a white horse meant that death was coming. This superstition might have come from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as one of the riders sits upon a white horse. Another local superstition indicating death was to dream of riding in a cart “being greased with bacon”- weird!!

At Snelston - a medieval village near here now deserted - a witch would run out of her house and cling on to cartwheels as horses made their way up Galley Hill, on the way to Uppingham. Other stories regard her as a supernatural entity, living in the trees ready to pounce on any horses and carts that might pass by.

In nearby Lincolnshire, it was believed that if you saw a white dog, you should stay silent until you saw a white horse. I don’t know what the consequence of not staying silent was, or not seeing the white horse, because with all the superstition surrounding white horses, I don’t think seeing one was likely.

I’m pleased to report we do not spit at this lovely boy, he much prefers a cuddle.

Do you know of any strange horse folklore or superstitions? What about other animals?

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Monday, 25 January 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

This card is like a sigh of relief and a weight off the shoulders. You have come through a particularly difficult time. Not only you have been stripped of limiting beliefs, but in their place the realisation that absolutely everything and anything is possible. You realise you now have a fresh slate to work with, an opportunity to work your magic. You have a new appreciation of who you are, and what you’re about, and this energy will only propel you forwards. You are truly blessed by the universe.

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Deck: The After Tarot 

Snow Magick

The Old Cemetery Lodge at Oakham Cemetery covered in deep snow

It’s been snowing for hours! I haven’t seen snow like this for many years, it’s makes me so happy!

It’s not something I tend to do in my practice - because I rarely see it! - but you can use snow in your spell work. Collect in a plastic bag and store in the freezer.

Here are some suggestions:

☃️ Make a snowman and use him or her as a magickal guardian. Build him or her near the entrance of your home.

❄️ Add a cup of clean snow to a ritual bath for purification.

⛄️ Write the name of someone who is bothering you on a slip of paper and pack it in snow. Freeze it until they “chill out”.

❄️ Form bad habits into snowballs and throw them away from you.

☃️ Write something good you’d like on a piece of paper, roll into a ball, and then keep rolling until your intention gets bigger and bigger.

❄️ Place snow in a jar and when it melts you have “snow water” - leave out under the moon to make snowy moon water.

Do you like the snow? Do you see it where you live every year? Do you use it in your practice? Maybe you hate the stuff!? What do you think?

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Sunday, 24 January 2021

Mother Earth...

A mysterious arched doorway leading through to a sunlit garden at the Chalice Well Gardens in Glastonbury

Mother Earth,
Enlighten what’s dark in me,
Strengthen what’s weak in me,
Mend what’s broken in me,
Bind what’s bruised in me,
Heal what’s sick in me,
And lastly, revive whatever peace and love has died in me.

~ Unknown

Reading Witchology Magazine and pondering community...

An open copy of Witchology Magazine showing a cabin and a story by Miss Snow

I’m reading @witchologymag this morning, and pondering the power of community after reading recent posts by @marget.inglis_witchcraft and @thewitchesstone

I leave you with a poem from my journal entry today:

Whenever the blues, they come to stay,
You can, with a nudge, gently chase them away;
A call to the Sun, the sky, the flowers!
A call to invoke your personal powers!
Of happiness, strength, and kindness be,
when you’re trapped in a dark, encircling sea,
hold out your hand to others in need,
find peace and calm, and joy indeed. 
Tap into the magick, in your heart it shall be;
Give love and Be love.
So Mote it Be.

If you are struggling right now please be sure to reach out.

Fabulous short story by @thewildmoongarden

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Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

The Shaman Card is a message that your angels, guides and ancestors are there for you. They surround you with their energy; ready to love, support and nurture you. On the inner planes, all the shamans of times gone by are helping you and guiding you, and when you move in to a state of trust your guides are better equipped to work in your favour. This card is also a reminder that we should not give our power away, and if we have moved into this negative groove, it is time to get back on track and claim it back.

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Deck: Angels & Ancestors Oracle 

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Write down all the things you like about yourself, all the challenges you have overcome, and all the things you have achieved. Surprised? There’s a lot isn’t there? Acknowledge how far you have travelled and what you have learned along the way. You have come so far.

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Deck: The Rider Waite Smith Tarot 

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

Don’t let the world make you cold and hard. Yes, it’s often full of bad things, bad people and bad times, but there are always good things, good people, and good times. Don’t tar everything or everyone with the same negative brush. Look for the positives, BE positive, and you will always find things to be happy about.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Deck: The Wild Unknown Tarot 

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

The Maze at Wing

The Labyrinth at Wing in Rutland, England

This is the “Maze” (actually a unicursal labyrinth) at Wing, which is about five miles from my home. It is one of only eight remaining turf-cut labyrinths in the U.K. It is about 40ft (12m) in diameter.

The information on the board makes a lot of Wing’s Viking name, and it has been suggested by some sources that the maze is over 2500 years old, but it is most likely to be Medieval.

I’ve been looking at some old local history books and it has been suggested that there were labyrinths at nearby Liddington and Holt; though not much is written about them, and their secrets have been lost to time.

It is thought that people would recite prayers as they walked them, or shuffled along on their knees; and that they provided some sort of meditative purpose.

There is a local legend (referred to in 1843) that says a roosting cuckoo would be penned in the maze, in a symbolic attempt to “keep spring eternal”, however I can’t help but laugh at the idea of it simply flying off each time this rite was attempted.

It has also been suggested that it was used as a “walk of shame” inflicted by the church onto wrongdoers; and I wonder if this is at the root of some Christians disapproving of labyrinths, considering them “pagan” or “new age”.

Apparently they were once common in England, Denmark and Germany, and similar labyrinths were found in other parts of Northern Europe, but these were formed by placing stones rather than cutting turf.

There is a lot of rich history in this area. The folklore and customs of Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire overlap, as they all border Rutland (which is tiny!), and there’s an abundance of holy wells, hill forts, barrows, mazes, sacred stones and even caves here. I look forward to reading (and sharing) more about them. One thing is for certain: when trying to learn about my ancestors the information I find only just scratches the surface, and leaves me wanting more.

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Monday, 11 January 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

You have immense personal power, and once you realise this, it’s much easier to tap into it. You have all the tools you need at your disposal to achieve anything you desire. You have the ability to transmute the lofty energy of ideas, and manifest them into something solid, something real. The minute you uncover this amazing truth a whole world opens up! So what are you going to create? What do you want to achieve? What are you going to do?

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Deck: The Druid Craft Tarot 

Using Eggshells in Magick

Crushed eggshells next to a jar of crushed eggshells with the label cascarilla

Crushed eggshells are known by some as Cascarilla. Eggshells have been used in magickal practice for hundreds of years to cleanse negative energy and bring positive occurrences. The eggshells are dried and ground into a powder and are not to be confused with the plant Croton eluteria, which is also known as cascarilla, and is a plant native to the Caribbean.

Eggshells can help block non-corporeal entities from a psychical space - benign or malevolent - so you might want to think carefully about their use, but you can use them to put a ring of peace and protection around your sacred space or home. They can be mixed with herbs to create magickal powders for specific intentions and goals, and they’re often used in spells related to setting boundaries.

Use eggshells with other ingredients (eg. Holy Water) for cleansing; use in a protection bath, or as a floor wash. Some witches use powdered eggshells to wash their hands, rub in their hair, or to mark ritual symbols on their bodies or animals for protection.

Cascarilla is simple to make. Boil the eggshells for ten minutes to protect yourself against Salmonella. Leave them in a bowl or on a piece of kitchen towel on a warm windowsill to dry. When they are completely dry, crush them with a pestle and mortar.

I grind my eggshells down further as part of my spellwork. In the meantime, these have been bottled and consecrated.

Day 3 - #100daysofwitchcraft 

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Friday, 8 January 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

The White Witch of this deck represents the Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess; she has a gentle and loving energy, and she’s here to pass the message that you always have a choice. No matter what is happening around you, there is always the option to do the right thing, and to act with integrity. There is always the choice to take the higher road and choose the light. Choose to use your words kindly, choose to honour your higher self, choose to honour and respect other people, choose to do the right thing, and to choose to eschew low vibrational people and experiences. Deep down, you know you are capable of two great things - causing harm or spreading love. Which one is it going to be? The White Witch says choose the latter. For your own good, and that of others.

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Deck: Angels & Ancestors Oracle

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Some thoughts on Social Media

The Cemetery Witch's husband standing by a stone at Avebury Stone Circle wearing a headdress and Viking clothes

A beautiful picture of my beautiful husband on our hand-fasting. Right?

Yesterday a fantastic post about aesthetic and witchcraft by @marget.inglis_witchcraft got me thinking, and my brain strayed down the path of Social Media and the current situation.

Like a lot of places in the world, things aren’t brilliant in the U.K. Due to coronavirus, we have in excess of 70,000 deaths and have just gone back down into lockdown for possibly another three months. This is impacting people in many, vary serious ways; but especially on peoples’ mental health.

I want to remind you that Social Media is a place where people put their best foot forward, are sharing the things that are helping to elevate their own mood, or their businesses. It is not always indicative of real life.

Whilst my account truthfully reflects the person that I am and the things that interest me, giving me an opportunity to play with my love of colour, I want to remind you that behind the account there’s a human being, just like you.

Like many others, my account doesn’t show you the boring day to day shit. It doesn’t show you the gripes and moans about walking through the house with wet shoes on after I’ve just cleaned the floor. It doesn’t show you my unhealthy obsession with My Singing Monsters, a game designed for 8 year old boys. 😂 It doesn’t show you the laughter where I open my big mouth really widely, making me look like Zippy from Rainbow, showing all my wonky teeth.

It doesn’t show you the currently very regular ugly-crying, where I’m getting snot all over my husband’s shirt. 🙈 Sure, I have a fantastic life, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have challenges. The long list of chronic health conditions that I’m finding hard right now, the life-saving and life-enhancing medication that I’m struggling to get because of Brexit, the daughter I’m missing because she lives with her dad many hours away, my lack of financial stability because of my health. The arguments I have with my husband because of certain external forces, the challenges we face as a couple, his extremely stressful job. This is real life: the list goes on!

Remember this as you navigate the internet, and remember it’s ok to not be ok right now. 

If all you’re achieving right now is managing to get up and eat, that’s a WIN. If you’ve managed to cross something off your to-do list today, that’s a WIN. If all the kids are alive at the end of the day, that’s a WIN. If you’ve managed not to murder your husband today, that’s a WIN.

I’ll also mention here that I’m not in the camp who believes you should master something new in lockdown - a new language, a new hobby, a fitness regime, weight loss, writing a book, reading ten new books, new skills in the kitchen - BOLLOCKS.

If you do manage any of these things, that’s amazing! But if the next few months are focused only on survival that’s OK. 

Please be kind to yourselves. We’re still midwinter and there are more tough days ahead. 💚💚💚

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Today’s Tarot Reading

Sometimes the best way to bring in opportunity is to pick your battles. To stop being so combative, and to know when to walk away. Sometimes being the winner means saying to the other person “ok, you win” and retreating; saving your energy for more worthwhile pursuits. A whole new world can open up when you walk away from negativity and drama, and those engaging in it.

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

Deck: Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Monday, 4 January 2021

New Year Traditions - Year Ahead Spread

Tarot cards from The Embroidered Forest Tarot displayed around a green candle

Usually at the start of the year I take a bit of a break, read the slips of paper from my Gratitude Jar, and do a simple tarot spread for the year ahead. Thanks to a reminder from @thewitchesstone this week, I’ve done it. Even if I am a little late.

I lit a green candle for good luck, success and prosperity, and let it burn while I shuffled and picked the cards; blowing it out before doing the big reveal.

I used @the_embroidered_forest tarot, which I absolutely love and was so over the moon to win just before Christmas - thanks Alicia! If you’re wondering about this deck it’s absolutely incredible. The images are enchantingly beautiful, and one of the best things about it is the fabulous quality cardstock and snazzy silver edges.

I had a pendulum by @wiccawolfie on standby just in case I needed further clarification.

While I was shuffling the cards a famous quote by Abraham Lincoln sprang to mind: “The best way to predict your future is to create it”, and so I made the intention in that  moment to keep pushing myself this year.

As many of you know, I have been floating ideas for a shop and creating a Patreon, but I have been doing this very slowly due to chronic illness. As part of my manifestation process, and the long term spell work I have been doing to aid these plans, the moment must be absolutely right.

Do you carry out some sort of New Year’s divination? If so what type? What are your plans for this year? What would you like to manifest?

DAY 2 - #100daysofwitchcraft 

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Sunday, 3 January 2021

Witchstack Sunday

A pile of green and white witchcraft books stacked with a goddess statue on top next to a white candle

Happy to take part in this week’s #witchstacksunday over on Instragram - first one of the year! These are the books I shall be dipping in and out of this month: 

📗 Magical Aromatherapy - Scott Cunningham
📗 Folk Witchcraft - Roger J. Horne
📗 Herbal Remedies - Anne McIntyre
📗 Prehistoric Astronomy & Ritual - Aubrey Burl
📗 Beowulf
📗 The Green Witch - Arin Murphy-Hiscock

What are you reading currently? What are you going to read next? What’s at the top of your witchy book purchase list?

Head over to @witch.with.books for lots of awesome witchy book recommendations.

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Saturday, 2 January 2021

Bee Folklore and Customs

A beautiful painted white beehive next to green shubbery

There is an abundance of folklore surrounding bees. Charms with bees in were hung in the best room of the house to bring health, happiness and good fortune to the home. It was said that if bees flew into a house, a stranger would soon call. If they rested on a roof, good luck was on its way.

Bees appeared in Mycenaean tomb decorations, with some tombs shaped like beehives, speculating the view that bees may have been seen as psychopomps or messengers of the dead, or even that the human soul transmuted into bee form after death.

Once upon a time almost every British family who kept bees had a custom called “telling the bees.” The bees were kept abreast of all important family matters; births, marriages, important journeys, absences, but especially deaths.

Usually the “goodwife” of the household would go to the hives, and knock gently to get the bees’ attention. She would then gently and solemnly tell the bees the news. In Nottinghamshire, the wife of the dead was heard singing quietly in front of the hive—“The master's dead, but don't you go; Your mistress will be a good mistress to you.”

Failure to update the bees brought a fear of catastrophe. Failing to put the bees in to mourning meant all sorts of calamities might ensue; the bees might leave the hive, or not produce enough honey, or even die.

In my county, whenever there was a death the top of the hive was wrapped with a piece of black fabric or crepe by the beekeeper, otherwise it was feared that the bees would not thrive. Whenever there was a wedding the hives were decorated and pieces of cake were left out so that the bees could share in the festivities.

🐝🐝 Bee Correspondences 🐝🐝
Fertility, joy, feminine power, teamwork, growth, competent leadership, hard work, obedience, industriousness, prophecy, the sweetness of life.

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