Things You Just Don’t Say – Witch’s Edition (Story time!) | 16-08-17

If you follow me on tumblr  [click here for my blog], you may have seen a post that asks those who wear pentagrams and pentacles to recount their weirdest and/or rudest encounters with fellow humans.

wp

I reblogged it and added my own anecdote to the post, but I am going to post it here for non-tumblr users to see.
Here it is:

I live in a village that is an hour away from the closest city, a city that is very dear to me.
In my village, everyone knows everyone else, whether the connection is direct or by varying degrees of separation, so I don’t tend to have any trouble with the people here.

My city, however, is a vastly different story.

Due to the size of the city, and its importance to my country, the population is huge and therefore, so is the cultural mix within it.
However, you only really ever see Christian and Catholic preachers – they come in different forms: some have booths set up along the main shopping street; some wear sandwich boards and holler at you through megaphones, their words incomprehensible. Some have little booklets lined up on portables shelves, and others wonder in droves, targeting individuals like prey.

Once upon a time, as I walked alone down the main hgihstreet with my earphones in, a man with a sandwich board and a megaphone stepped straight into my path. I stopped abruptly, muttered an apology and tried to pass him on the left.
He stepped sideways and blocked me.

Panic started to set in at this point, because I tend to avoid confrontational situations and this felt like it could turn into one of those.

I took out my earphones and went to ask the man if he would would kindly step aside.
Instead, as soon as my ears were devoid of music, he started talking. But, he wasn’t talking. His voice was raised – not yet a shout, but close – and he was reciting something.
I don’t think it was a Biblical passage, but it went like this: “She is only a child; cleanse her soul and bring her forth to the kingdom of our Father. Lift her from condemnation!

Naturally, I felt awful at this point because I was being singled out and shouted at/to in a street that lead off from a public square, was lined with shops and banks and eateries, and had a tram stop running down it. The place was absolutely brimming with people.
I said that I was in a rush and had to go and (I will admit to being rude by doing this), I used my elbows to work my way around him and the other people passing by.

As I squeezed past him, he reached out and touched the pentacle that hangs from my tattoo choker (if you look through my tumblr you’ll see the choker in photographs of me) whilst saying, “Condemned to Hell be those within whom Satan works.”

I walked away as quickly as I could, red faced and angry. I was scared, and felt humiliated. I have always wondered why, if he thought I was a child (I was 20) he deemed it justifiable to subject me to that whole shit show.

I never saw what was written on his sandwich board. Or I did see it, and have forgotten the minuscule details of the whole encounter.

I would first like to say, that I am not being rude or trying to tarnish the reputation of Christians and their denominations. It just so happens that this whole debacle happened because a preacher of that faith approached me.
Whilst I was in the city that day, I saw a booth that said “Islamic Literature”, and two or three groups of Mormon missionaries.

There are two reasons why this whole thing has stayed with me since it happened.

  1. Although it is likely that the preacher did not mean to come across as aggressive, his blocking of my path, raised voice and eventual invasion of my personal space came across as such.
    This was exacerbated by the fact that I was alone, clearly had earphones in and have a lot of anxiety surrounding confrontation and sometimes, even just social interaction.
  2. You cannot make assumptions about people like that. You have no right to demonize and humiliate people simply because you want to make often radical assumptions about something you see.

Assumptions can be damaging. Assumptions hurt. Assumptions spread false information if they’re shouted loud enough.

There is nothing wrong with Satanic witches, traditional or LaVeyan, – let’s make that clear – but there is a lot wrong with condemning innocent people to Hell; with scaremongering and hateful comments.

The lesson here, it to engage your brain before your mouth. Think about what you’re doing, and who can be hurt through what you say.

It’s been quite a while since my last original post, and I profusely apologise for my absence.

What is liminality?

The word “liminal’ comes from a Latin word “līmen”, meaning “a threshold” and its Oxford Dictionary definition is:

  1. Relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
  2. Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

[Source]

That is a brief etymological explanation of liminal/liminality, but,… what

is it? What is it in relation to witches and witchcraft?

Historically, witches have been considered as liminal figures; as creatures who exist on/in the threshold between this world and another.

Liminality” is a term used primarily by anthropologists to describe a stage during a ritual or process, during which the participant transcends their previous state.
In modern (and possibly older, and traditional) witchcraft, magick itself is considered to be a liminal practise.

In simple terms, liminality is what we know as an inbetween. It is an inbetween space; a transition period.

Known Liminal Spaces:

  • Graveyards/Cemeteries
  • Beds regularly slept in
  • Caves
  • Tunnels
  • Waiting rooms
  • Hospitals/museums/petrol stations at night (especially after midnight)
  • Stairwells
  • Running water

Oftentimes you will find that when in a liminal space, reality may feel,… altered. Time may feel as though it is passing differently – usually more slowly – and sometimes, people will feel out of sorts. You may feel floaty, or dreamlike.

Magick for Liminal Spaces

It is important to remember that there is a latent energy in liminal spaces that causes the effects mentioned above. As these spaces are thoroughfares and hold a form of astral power because of it; they have power stemming from both sides of the threshold.

  1. Divination
  2. Spirit work
  3. Astral Travel/Projection/work
  4. A Sigil to invoke the magick of Liminal Spaces
  5. A Sigil of the Crossroads

“Bathe Me the Fuck Better” Bath Sachet | 26-06-17

This is some bath magick that you can tailor to you. Make sure you have the basic materials but because this magick is specifically made to make you feel better, change some herbs up or you know, whatever.

Do your thing.

Rowan’s, “Bathe Me the Fuck Better” Bath Spell

You Will Need:

  • As many candles as you want (I chose six, and had red, white and blue ones. Not because I am a mad patriot but because they’re associated with health, love (of self), and cleansing.)
  • Filter paper to make a lil’ bag out of (if you don’t have this to hand, you can chuck the stuff into the bath water as long as it’s safe to do so).
  • A small elastic (rubber) band to tie the bag off with.
  • A bath full of favourably temperatured water.
  • Rose petals.
  • Lavender buds.
  • Smoky Quartz, Clear Quartz, Rose Quartz (you can have some of those, all, or one).
  • Pink Himalayan Salt.

To make this easier, prep your bag before you run and intend on getting into, the bath.

  1. Open your filter paper and place the salt in the centre first – remember that you’re going to seal the bag with a rubber band, so leave room around the edges.
  2. Then add the rose petals and lavender buds into the centre of your little salt pile.
  3. Lastly, add your crystals and then seal the bag by pulling all of the edges upward towards each other, and tying the band tightly around the neck you should have.

Once your bath is run and you’re prepped, you may want to do this optional step:

  1. To add an extra oomph, pass the baggy through the smoke of your favourite incense. Mine, in this case would be vanilla.

Final bit!

  1. Place your candles around the edge of your bathtub, and as you begin lighting them, repeat this phrase (you can do this aloud or in your head) until each candle is lit and flickering deliciously:

By the warmth of the flame, I am cleansed. By the crackling of the fire, I thrive once more. Et sic factum est, et semper erit.

Now place your bag into the water and climb in. Allow the troubles of the day to melt away as you soak amongst the flames.


[Picture Credit]

Celtic Tree Lore | 19-06-17

Trees are important in magick, and in paganism. They are often symbolic, and have inherent magickal correspondences and powers that were used and revered by ancient Celtic people and Druids.

image

Alder (Aldus Glutinosa):

This tree is sacred to the Druids and is associated with protection and oracular power. You can use Alder to draw Air spirits to you, by binding shoots of it together and creating a whistle.
The wood is oily and water resistant, and thus can be used to make various tools for magickal workings, such as wands. 

  • Magickal Associations: Release, foundations, determination, royalty, focus, strength, confidence.
  • Element: Air and Fire
  • Deities: Bran.
  • Ogham Letter: 4th consonant, “Fearn”.
image

Apple (Malus Pumila):

The apple is seen as a symbol of fruitfulness and can be seen as a means to immortality in some myth and folklore. Druids wands are usually made of Apple or Yew. 

  • Magickal Associations: Fae, Samhain, Mabon, Otherworld, death, life, prosperity, knowledge, magick.
  • Element: Water
  • Deities: Olwen, Cerridwen.
  • Ogham Letter: 10th letter, “Quert”.

Ash (Fraximus): 

A sacred tree in Druidry, Ash was also a common wand/stave/staff material. The Ash is one of the sacred Druidic three: “Oak, Ash & Thorn”.

  • Element: Water, fire.
  • Magickal Associations: Power, mastery, psychic power/awareness, healing, health, protection, love, femininity, sea magick, focus, prosperity, prophecy.
  • Deities: Lir and Manannán mac Lir.
  • Ogham Letter: 3rd consonant, “Nion”.
image

Aspen (Populus tremula):

Much like the Oak tree, the leaves of the Aspen were listened to for divine messages as Druids and the Celts believed that the wind was,… a messenger of sorts.

  • Element: Air
  • Magickal Associations: protection, combating fear, Mabon, protection from unwanted spirits, property protection, protection from theft.
  • Ogham Letter: 4th vowel, “Eadhadh”.

Beech (Fagus grandifolia):

Beech is significant as it is tied to ancient knowledge and to learning, which is a vital part of practising Druidry.

  • Element: Air and Earth.
  • Magickal Associations: wishes, manifestation, communication, spirit work, deity invocation, luck, success, youth.
  • Deities: Ogma
  • Ogham Letter: Additional consonant, “Phagos”.

Birch (Betulaceae):

Known as “The Lady of the Woods”, Birch was used to bestow fertility upon cattle and newlyweds. Cradles for newborn children were crafted from the wood. 

  • Element: Air and Water
  • Magickal Associations: warding, banishing, courage, healing, new beginnings, purification, protection, creativity, renewal, fertility and birth.
  • Deities: Brigid.
  • Ogham Letter: 1st consonant, “Beith”.
image

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa):

Known as “The Mother of the Woods”, Blackthorn is associated with introspection, whilst also being associated with the strength of fate and outside influences in our lives. 

  • Element: Earth and Fire.
  • Magickal Associations: purification, protection, combating fear and anger, death, curses, Samhain.
  • Deities: The Morrigan.
  • Ogham Letter: “Straif”.
image

Elder (Sambucus canadensis):

Elder was used by Druids to both bless, and curse. 
It is said that when one stands beneath an Elder at Midsummer, they are more likely to see the Fae. Wands crafted from Elder have the ability to drive away evil spirits and thought forms, – so do whistles or flutes made from it.

  • Element: Water.
  • Magickal Associations: judgement, transformation, fate, death, regeneration, prosperity, banishment, healing, Fae.
  • Deities: Cerridwen, The Morrigan.
  • Ogham Letter: 13th consonant, “Ruis”.
image

Elm (Ulmus campestris):

This tree is oft associated with Goddesses of Earth and Motherhood, or deities with a Mother aspect to them. Elm was used in tool crafting due to its resistance to splitting, and because it adds stability to magick.

  • Element: Water
  • Magickal Associations: balance, love, protection, psychic power, crossroads. the Fae.

Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha):

It is said that the Fae are particularly fond of Hawthorn, and wands made from the wood are supposed to be wands that contain much power.

  • Element: Water
  • Magickal Associations: protecion, love, marriage, health, prosperity, fae, hope. magick, fertility, intuition, femininity, happiness.
  • Deities: Olwen and Blodeuwedd.
  • Ogham Letter: 6th consonant, “Huathe”.
image

Hazel (Corylus):

The Tree of Immortal Wisdom, Hazel is sacred to the Fae and a wand made of this wood can be used to draw them to you. In Celtic mythology, the Salmon of Knowledge – [click here to learn more about this] – is said to eat the 9 nuts of poetic wisdom dropped into its sacred pool from the Hazel tree growing beside it. Each token of wisdom consumed became a spot on the Salmon.

  • Element: Air
  • Magickal Associations: manifestation, spirit contact, protection, prosperity, divination, dreams, wisdom and knowledge, marriage, fertility, intelligence, inspiration, poetry, the Fae.
  • Deities: Óengus
  • Ogham Letter: 9th consonant, “Coll”.

    Holly (Ilex aquifolium):

    Holly is primarily associated with the death and rebirth aspects of Winter in both pagan and Christian lore. 

    • Elements: Fire
    • Magickal Associations: Lughnasadh, protection, prophecy, healing, animals, sex, vulnerability, good luck, and consecration. It is also said to have the ability to enhance other forms of magick.
    • Deities: Lugh
    • Ogham Letter: 8th consonant, “Tinne”.

    Oak (Quercus):

    One of the Druidic sacred 3 (Oak, Ash and Thorn), the leaves were burned to purify the atmosphere, and listened to and observed by Druids and Priestesses for divinatory messages.
    Oak has been considered sacred by myriad cultures, but it was held in particular esteem by the Norse and Celts because of its size, longevity, and acorns.

    • Element: Water
    • Magickal Associations: Litha, protection, strength, success, stability, healing, fertility, health, money, potency, and good luck. 
    • Deities: The Dagda
    • Ogham Letter: 7th consonant, “Duir”.

    Pine (Pinus):

    It was known to the Druids as one of the seven chieftain trees of the Irish

    • Element: Air and Fire.
    • Magickal Associations: alleviating guilt/identifying guilt, protection, purification, fertility, fortune, abundance, cleansing, stimulation.
    • Deities: Elon
    • Ogham Letter: 1st vowel, “Ailm”.

    Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia):

    Also known as “Witchwood” and “Mountain Ash”, the Rowan was sacred to the Druids and the Goddess Brigit. It is a very magickal tree used for wands, rods, amulets and spells, and runes were carved into sticks made of the wood.

    • Element: Fire
    • Magickal Associations: Imbolc, divination, astral work, strength, protection, initiation, healing, psychic work, spirit work, psychic powers, personal power, and success.
    • Deities: Brigid.
    • Ogham Letter: 2nd consonant, “Luis”.
    image

    Willow (Salix babylonica):

    Groves of Willows were considered to be magickally potent that priests, priestesses and myriad types of artisans sat among them to gain eloquence, inspiration, skill and prophecies.

    • Element: Water
    • Magickal Associations:
    • Deities: Cerridwen, Brigid
    • Ogham Letter: 5th consonant, “Saille”.
    image

    Yew (Taxus baccata):

    Yew was used by the Irish to make dagger handles, bows, and wine barrels despite all parts of the tree being poisonous bar the skin of the berries. The wood and/or leaves were laid on graves as a reminder to the spirit of the departed that death is the path to rebirth.

    • Element: Earth and Water.
    • Magickal Associations: enhances magickal and psychic abilities, induces visions. Transformation, reincarnation, eternal life and immortality, death, rebirth, change and regeneration.
    • Deities: Banbha.
    • Ogham Letter: 5th vowel and last letter, “Idho”.

    image

    “Can I Ask…” Smudge Sticks Edition | 17-06-17

    Anonymous tumblr user asked:

    “Can I ask about the whole issue with smudge sticks?”

    This issue with smudge sticks is a little bit complex, but I’ll try my best here.

    If you strip it down to the bare bones, the issue is cultural appropriation if the term is used by someone outside of the Native American culture and community.

    Cultural appropriation is the act of stealing something from a closed culture or religion and using it without the proper knowledge or consent. It is very damaging to the people you are taking from; it disrespects them, their culture, their heritage and can often contribute to erasure.

    The reason why there’s an issue surrounding the use of the term “smudge sticks”, is down to the fact that unless you are Native, have been taught by someone from that culture, or have been adopted into it through marriage, adoption or otherwise, you have no right to practise this ritual. 

    And there is the other issue.

    Smudging is not what many of us are lead to believe. You may see lots of people saying “yah, just spread the smoke from the sage through your home to cleanse it of negative energy!” and that’s fine. But that’s not smudging. That right there, is smoke cleansing. You can do it with any cleansing herb. 

    Smudging is a ritual that unless indoctrinated into Native culture, most of us know nothing about. 


    TL;DR By claiming we are smudging when really, we’re smoke cleansing, we are stealing, spreading false information, contributing to the erasure of cultural practises and being massive bumholes.

    If you’re going to cast a hex, jinx, or curse of any kind take precautions regarding yourself.

    You may want to do this by:

    1. Cleansing yourself pre and post casting.
    2. Protecting yourself pre and post casting.
    3. Have a reversal or curse removal method (a spell, ritual, etc.) on hand or in your grimoire/BoS/notes – just in case.

    Both cleansing and protecting can be done in any way you see fit, e.g., a cleansing bath [an example of an all-purpose cleansing bath], a sachet carried on your person; a small ritual or spell; by using/anointing yourself/your tools with an oil; you can cast a circle; enchant jewellery or wear an amulet/talisman with the required properties.

    But why should I do this?

    Curses are a magick in a category of their own, but that does not mean they are exempt from the regular magickal fuckery.

    By that, I mean that curses can backfire, and they can go wrong.

    I’m not saying that they will certainly go horribly wrong, but in this instance it is always better to be safe than it is to be sorry.

    Witch Tip: Cascarilla | 18-03-17


    Cascarilla is a powder made from eggshells that can be used in chalked or loose form.

    It repels negative energy and is a potent cleansimg and protecting agent that you can make quite easily at home.
    Cascarilla can be used to make circles outside, – remember that you cannot use salt to create circles outdoors. Why? Salt may kill plantlife and decimate or alter the established ecosystems.

    A Question by an Anonymous Tumblr User | 26-02-17

    Hello! I was wondering if you have any tips for writing what you’re going to say during a spell? Thanks! )O(

    Here’s a post.

    And another.

    And, to throw in my pennies worth: 

    • When writing an incantation for a spell, don’t be afraid of your own style. Embrace it. What makes it unique to you, makes it powerful.
    • Don’t write in past tense. Try writing in present tense; in an incantation for my decoy witch bottle, I wrote this:

    May forces that seek to harm me, seek this bottle in my place,

    May forces that bear ill-will unto my being, impart them to this bottle in my place.

    • Always make sure that your incantation is tied directly to your intent. This may mean that your words are simple, but there is ample power in simplicity – using fancy words may lead to ambiguity, which can have an effect on the magick.

    30 Day Witchy Journal Challenge: Day 6 | 16-01-17

    Day 6: Where did you learn about witchcraft from? Was it something that just appeared in your life, were you born into a witchy family or did you learn on your own?

    Oh, I like this one. Okay, okay.

    My introduction into witchcraft was a little bit strange in some ways, but not strange on the whole. It all began with my Mama.

    She used to hang sachets on the front door to protect us, and on the night before our (my younger sister and I) first day in the latter half of primary school, she placed a small rose quartz crystal beneath our pillows to draw love and friendship to us.

    I was exposed to witchcraft at a young age, and thus it has never been something that I have feared. Instead, it has always intrigued me and I have always had a love of the occult; of paganism and magick and the supernatural, – of all things strange and dark and wonderful.

    Years and years ago, I found a box with a red folder and some little packets in it under my Mama’s bed. The packets were herbal sachets and within the folder, was absolutely lots of pieces of paper with spells on them! Love spells, protection spells and potions galore! There were instructions on how to astral project and how to mix and use flying ointments. Mama told me that I could take the folder and read through it, so I did. Well actually, the first thing I did was organise all of the papers. My Mother has terrible document keeping skills, let me tell you that much. It was a mess.

    Not long after pilfering the folder and retiring to my bedroom to scour through it all, did something start within me. I know it sounds melodramatic, but it’s almost as if something woke up. I can’t really explain it without it sounding like either poetic drivel or a badly written scene out of a YA novel.

    My Mama gave up practising and settled on soft paganism instead. She is still a Kemetic pagan, and has charms and beliefs pertaining to that, she just chose not to practise witchcraft anymore. I understand why. She had myself and my sister to care for full-time, as I developed type 1 diabetes at 3 years old and spending time and money on magick was no longer an option. 

    She did, however, encourage me when my interest piqued during my early teens as did my Grandma. I thought she would be somewhat disapproving of the whole venture as she was a devout lifelong Catholic but,… she wasn’t. She pushed me to read up on anything and everything I could find and she would stay up until the early hours of the morning discussing it with me. She would quiz me on crystals and ask me about herbal remedies and teas. She watched me do simple candle magick by the fire and she pushed me to be the best witch I could be.

    During high school was when I discovered Wicca. I read up on it, liked it and investigated it further. For a while, it seemed to be my thing but… soon afterwards, I realised that Wicca is quite a strict religious system and as I got a little older, the constraints appealed to me less and less. It didn’t feel right just having a God and Goddess (at this time I hadn’t truly figured out my pagan path) and trying to find a coven seemed like something I didn’t want. I also didn’t like the hierarchical mechanics of it either, as strange as it sounds.

    After some soul searching, I came to the conclusion that I am not Wiccan, nor am I a specific type of witch. I am an eclectic solitary secular witch. I practise a craft that I have forged as my own and I do it alone and without the inclusion of any deities. Once I decided this, all seemed to fall into place. My love for all things strange and magickal made sense; a feeling of being incomplete dissipated. My love for the darkness and for stormy skies and dense forests made sense; my affinity for learning became relevant and significant and I had found myself. I have found the best and truest version of who I am and this version is my favourite so far.

    Wicca served as a gateway into the craft I love and practise to this day and although I no longer am Wiccan, or really ever was, and there are some things I don’t agree with within the faith, I’ll always be grateful for the world it opened up to me