A Samhain Special: Pumpkins! | 22-10-17

It’s that time of year – pumpkins are being sold in droves in all of our local supermarkets and are readily available for carving, decorating and of course, for eating!

But, once all is said and done, what can we use our pumpkins for besides the usual spooky Autumnal and Halloween based activities?

Pumpkin & Pumpkin Seeds:

Planet: Moon
Element: Earth
Astrological Sign: Virgo

General associations: Protection, healing, divination.

Pumpkins are indeed highly magickal and can be used in many, many magickal ways that may not actually spring to mind. As a vegetable of the harvest, they represent prosperity and abundance, as well as luck, for example! 

*Pumpkin seeds can be used in a smaller scale spells and workings that correspond with the same intent as the pumpkin itself.

A carved pumpkin (should you want to use to them as the original turnip Jack-o-lanterns were used) should have ghoulish, grinning faces to protect from the wandering spirits that may be surrounding you due to the liminality of Samhain.

A lit pumpkin’s glow and scent may draw positive spirits and energy to your home, if you place it outside, by the door,

Pumpkins are known to strengthen divining abilities, so if you wish to gain more insight into any readings you do during this period you may want to work with a pumpkin nearby, drink or eat something with pumpkin it in beforehand (and/or during) or have some seeds on your person – you can have them in a spell jar, your pocket or hell, even in your mouth!

Some Recipes for Pumpkin Inclusive Foods (Kitchen Witchcraft!)
All of these recipes are external links.

  1. Spice Pumpkin Bread
  2. Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe
  3. Pumpkin Soup
  4. Soft Pumpkin Cookies
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Paganism 101: Dumb Suppers

With Samhain around the corner (click here for a post about Samhain), you may see the term “dumb supper” crop up in posts surrounding traditions and activities done at this time of heightened liminality (click here for a post about liminality).

What is a dumb supper?

In layman’s terms, a dumb supper is a meal that is held in silence with food reserved for invited spirits. This ceremony is mean to be a time of remembrance and connection to those you have lost. That’s the simplest version of it.

The term “dumb” simply refers to the silence that is observed during the meal, as no one shall speak, no phones shall ring and no external noises such as radios, televisions should be able to be heard. Essentially, a dumb supper should be done in total, utter silence.

How do you do a dumb supper?

There is no staunch set of rules for this, aside from the silence. A basic template to follow if you’re unsure or doing this for the first time, may be as follows:

  1. Cleanse your space; empty of it any energy, even if it’s residual. You can do this by burning incense, spritzing or chanting – however you feel is best. If you want to, or are wont to do, cast your circle now.
  2. When you set the table for the meal, set a place for every physical being in attendance, making sure you make it so that the head of the table is set for the spirits who will be joining the supper. You may want to set a place for every spirit you want to invite, but this isn’t always feasible. If you like, you can use tealight candles set around the plate to represent them.
  3. There is no set colour scheme for this ceremony, but black is typical of the season and activity. You may want a black tablecloth or candles on the table itself.
  4. If possible, use candles as a light source.
  5. Upon entering the room in which the supper is being served, no one may speak.
  6. Only once everyone’s food has been served – spirits included – may anyone begin to eat.
  7. During the meal, you may want to speak to your spirit guests in your mind; tell them you think of them, remember memories, share laughter. You may want to simply think about them, if that is easier.
  8. Once the meal is over, you may want to say goodbye (silently of course).
  9. Only when everyone is finished eating may you all leave and exit the room in silence. Once you are out of the ceremony space, the silence can be broken.

Food, drink and menu choices:

The food you serve at your dumb supper is entirely up to you. You may want to incorporate some of the traditional Samhain foods, e.g., apples, game, cider, late Autumn vegetables, etc,. but remember that you may want to serve food that pleases the spirits you invite too.

What do you do at the end of the supper?

This depends on you and your traditions.
If you’ve cast a circle, you will want to remove it and cleanse the area. When it comes to the food, there are a few things you can do to dispose of the food.

  1. Some people choose to burn the meal afterwards – it is said that the smell of the burnt food can bring happiness to the spirits.
  2. Some people will divide the meal out between the guests afterwards to make sure nothing goes to waste.
  3. Some people simply bin it.

Mori Moon (Shop Update) | 19-09-17

The bestselling item of Mori Moon (formerly known as Arcane Earth Magick) is back!

Mini Witch’s Starter Kit!

This kit features:

  • Amethyst (x1)
  • Clear Quartz (x1)
  • Smoky Quartz (x1)
  • Rose Quartz Pendulum Necklace
  • White tea light candle (x2)
  • 7ml corked jar of herbs (type may vary) (x1)

All of this is set in a light wooden box with a gold coloured fastening mechanism that can be used to store an assortment of things!

Click here, to go to the Etsy listing.

Etsy | Instagram | Twitter

About Ouija Boards & Ouija Board Etiquette | 28-08-17

About Ouija Boards & Misconceptions

  1. Ouija boards do not summon demons.
  2. They do not open up portals.
  3. They do not open you up to possessions.

They are merely a way for spirits to commune with you by using your energy, so listen up.

And for the love of anything and everything, please remember that spirits can lie; they can say silly or scary things to frighten you so that they get a laugh out of it.

They may have heard of some of the urban legends going around about Zozo or some such malarkey, and play on that to give you the heebie jeebies.

Sometimes you might get messages that don’t make sense, and that could be because there isn’t enough energy for the spirit to communicate properly, they may not speak your language, or they may be messing about.

With any form of spirit communication you can come into contact with a malicious spirit. It is a risk and it can be scary, but they cannot hurt you because all that is happening with a Ouija board, is the spirit utilising the energy you give them (set parameters before you begin the session if you’re worried) to get you to move the planchette to convey their message.

You haven’t opened a portal. Or a channel. Or a gateway. You are not summoning or conjuring. That is a wholly different, more complicated and more potentially dangerous type of magick.

Ouija boards aren’t magick. It’s a game and a tool to talk. Like texting but with spirits. As for saying “Goodbye”, it’s important to be polite.

Nothing bad can come from Ouija and spirit boards.

Ouija Board Etiquette

The precautions you can take are that you may want to cleanse the board and planchette before using it.

Here is a list of cleansing methods:

  1. Cleansing Methods Masterpost

You may also want to cast a protective/defensive circle and/or some wards. Here’s some posts for that:

  1. Circles and Wards Masterpost
  2. Witchcraft 101: The Basics of Wards and Warding

If you wish, you can state that you are only offering a small amountof energy for the spirits to borrow to help convey their message. Most spirits are people, most people are decent. They will respect your wishes.

When it comes to,… shall we say Ouija etiquette, and any sort of spirit work, the main thing to bear in mind is that the spirits you’re likely communing with were people.You should act as you in any civilised conversation: be polite.

Here are some recommendations geared more specifically to spirits:

  • Do not ask about the manner of death. This is basic common sense. It is impolite and unkind and may cause a spirit to stop communication or become hostile. If a spirit becomes hostile they cannot harm you through a Ouija game but they can frighten you.
  • Stay as calm as you can. Ouija boards are games. They’re supposed to be fun. It is possible that a less than nice spirit may detect your fear and prey on it by sending you unsettling messages. Do not be afraid. No harm can come to you.
  • Spirits can be mischevious and they can lie. Take everything said by them with a pinch of salt.
  • As I said before, most spirits and people and most people are decent, so if you ask for something to be done, e.g., you want the spirits to stop knowing your emotions, you can ask them to.
  • Don’t go into a game looking to contact a specific person. It is unlikely that the spirit you so sorely desire to speak to will appear for you. Especially someone famous. Spirits can play tricks for their own amusement and lead you into thinking you’re speaking with David Bowie when really it’s a bloke named Keith from two towns over.
  • Always says goodbye. Not for any other reason other than to politeness and respect. Say thank you and say goodbye, just as you would when ending any conversation. Think of communications via a Ouija board as something like a phonecall, with added paranormalcy.

You can try to use spirit boards alone, though only few have much success as there isn’t usually enough energy for a spirit to use to get you to share their message.

Again, I’m no expert on this and you’re more likely to get concise and correct answers from @theouijagirl.

This post is by the blogger mentioned above: 20 Misconceptions About Ouija.

Photo Credit [X]

Earth Magick/Deities? Let Me Help! | 19-08-17

Tumblr user, “Klumzmonkey” asked: 

Hi! I’ve been wanting to look into Earth/Nature magick and deities… Any ideas where I could start?

Firstly, you may want to determine whether you want to within a certain pantheon or not, but I’m going to just hit you with some broad spectrum information which you can then choose to delve into or research more.

*These lists will likely miss some deities out because I want to give you the basics, but further research will help if you would like to find out more.

Aztec Nature/Earth Deities:

  • Xipe-Totec (god of force, lord of the seasons and rebirth, ruler of the East).
  • Tonacatecuhtli (god of sustenance).
  • Tonacacihuatl (goddess of sustenance).
  • Tlaltecuhtli (god of the earth).
  • Chicomecoatl (goddess of agriculture).
  • Centeotl (god of the maize).

Celtic Nature/Earth Deities:

  • Abnoba (Gaulish – associated with forests and rivers).
  • Artio (Gaulish – bear goddess of the wilderness).
  • Arduinna (goddess of the Ardennes forest, portrayed as a huntress).
  • Cernunnos (god of male animals, produce and fertility).
  • Druantia (goddess of trees).
  • Nantosuelta (Gaulish – goddess of the earth, nature, fertility and fire).
  • Sucellus (god of agriculture, alcoholic beverages, and forests).
  • Viridos (god of vegetation, agriculture and rebirth).

Egyptian Nature/Earth Deities:

  • Aker (god of the earth and the horizon).
  • Geb (god of earth).
  • Iah (god of the moon).
  • Nut (goddess of sky).
  • Renenutet (goddess of agriculture).
  • Shu (embodiment of wind/air).

Greek Nature/Earth Deities:

  • Antheia (goddess of flowery wreaths).
  • Anthousai (flower nymphs).
  • Aristaeus (god of shepherds, cheesemaking, beekeeping, honey, honey-mead, olive growing, oil milling, medicinal herbs, hunting, and the Etesian winds).
  • Artemis (goddess of the hunt, the dark, the light, the moon, wild animals, nature, wilderness, childbirth, virginity, fertility, young girls, and health and plague in women and childhood).
  • Aurai (nymphs of the breezes).
  • Chloris (goddess of flowers).
  • Cybele (Phrygian goddess of the fertile earth and wild animals).
  • Demeter (goddess of the harvest, crops, the fertility of the earth, grains, and the seasons).
  • Dionysus (god of wine, vegetation, pleasure, and festivity. Roman equivalent is Bacchus).
  • Dryads (tree and forest nymphs).
  • Epimeliades (nymphs of highland pastures and protectors of sheep flocks).
  • Gaea (the goddess of the earth and its personification. She is also the primal mother goddess).
  • Hamadryades (oak tree dryades).
  • Hegemone (goddess of plants, specifically making them bloom and bear fruit as they were supposed to).
  • Horae (goddesses of the seasons and the natural portions of time).
  • Karmanor (god of reaping).
  • Meliae (nymphs of honey and the ash tree).
  • Nymphs (nature spirits).
  • Naiades (fresh water nymphs).
  • Nereids (salt-water nymphs).
  • Oceanides (fresh water nymphs).
  • Oreades (mountain nymphs).
  • Oxylus (god of forests & mountains).
  • Pan (god of shepherds, flocks, mountain wilds, and rustic music).
  • Persephone (Kore) (goddess of spring growth).
  • Physis (primeval goddess of nature).
  • Rhea (goddess of fertility, motherhood, and the mountain wilds).
  • Satyrs (rustic nature spirits).

Slavic Nature/Earth Deities:

  • Berstuk (Wendish – god of the forest).
  • Jarilo (god of vegetation, fertility, spring, war and harvest).
  • Porewit (god of the woods, who protected lost voyagers and punished those who mistreated the forest).
  • Porvata (Polish – god of the woods).
  • Siliniez (Polish – god of the woods for whom moss was sacred).
  • Tawals (Polish – blessing-bringing god of the meadows and fields).
  • Veles (god of earth, waters and the underworld).

Norse Nature/Earth Deities:

  • Idun or Ithunn (goddess of spring who guarded the apples that kept the gods eternally young; wife of the god Bragi).
  • Fjörgyn (female personification of the earth. She is also the mother of the goddess Frigg and, very rarely, mother of Thor).
  • Freyja (goddess of fertility, gold, death, love, beauty, war and magic).
  • Freyr (god of fertility, rain, sunlight, life and summer).
  • Skadi (goddess of mountains, skiing, winter, archery and hunting).

Nature/Earth Magick:

If you check Richtor’s tags [here] they have a tonne of resources to help you!

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.

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.

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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”.
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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”.
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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”.
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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”.
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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”.
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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”.
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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”.
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    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”.
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    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”.

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    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.

    Samhain Masterpost | 30-10-16

    October is almost Octover, and that means that Hallowe’en and indeed Samhain, draw near.

    Samhain/Samain, pronounced ‘sa-win’, ‘sow-in’ – with the ‘ow’ pronounced as it is in ‘cow’ – or ‘shah-vin’, is a Gaelic festival that marks the end of the harvest season and the onset of the ‘darker half of the year’. It begins at midnight on the 31st of October and celebrations often run into the 2nd of November. It is regarded by many pagans and witches as the end of the year itself.

    Historic Samhain Traditions:

    As at Beltane, bonfires are lit during Samhain at high points, such as hilltops and around them rituals would take place. It was said that a force-fire, – a flame created using friction – also known as a need-fire, was the traditional method of lighting these bonfires. It has been said that fire is a form of sympathetic magick, used often to imitate the Sun during this darker half of the year and that within the flames, there were cleansing and protective powers – something that remains a widespread belief to this day.
    During this communal ritual, people would take flames from the bonfire and use them to relight the hearths of their homes. This simple practise was said to bind the families of the community together, aw.
    These bonfires were also used in divination and divining rituals.

    In the Gaelic regions, during household festivities many rituals took place that were intended to divine the future of those gathered, for example, apple bobbing! Yep, you heard me. Bobbing for apples is in fact a very old divination game. How? Well, when young unmarried people try to bite into an apple floating in water or hanging from a string, it is said that the first person to bite into the apple would be the next to be allowed to marry.

    If you didn’t already know this, let me tell you that apples are strongly associated with ancestors and the Otherworld.
    Click here for more about the history of Samhain.

    Let’s talk (quickly) about the thinning of the Veil, a.k.a., the liminality of Samhain:

    You’ve probably heard the whole “the barrier between our world and the spirit world is weaker” spiel, yes? Well, it’s true. Samhain is a liminal time, and that means that the barriers separating the world of the living and of the dead and other spirits, can be crossed more easily than at any other point in the year.

    It is said that spirits/entities known as the ‘aos si’ can slip from the Otherworld and into ours, be it through a summoning or of their own will. During Samhain, to appease any aos si that have come into our realm, we leave libations for them. This is often in the form of food and drink, such as a small portion of a meal or half a up of wine.

    Due to this strong connection with and to the dead, Samhain is a time for honouring those who have passed. It is widely believed that the spirits of loved ones may revisit their former homes seeking hospitality from those within and to provide this, places were set at the dining table or by the hearth to honour them. This is often done in the form of a ‘dumb supper’, which is a silent meal during which you set a place for any visiting spirits, and invite lost loved ones to join you.

    Samhain Associations:

    Colours:
    Red, brown, gold, black, yellow and orange.

    Herbs & Stuff:
    Rosemary, Mullein, Rue, Mugwort, Calendula, Tobacco, Apple Leaf, Sage, Wormwood, Tarragon, Bay (Leaf), Almond, Hazelnut, Garlic, Hemlock, Mandrake Root, Chrysanthemum, Cedar, Pine Needle, Pennyroyal, Pumpkin, Sandalwood, Yew.

    Symbols:
    Lanterns, candles, acorns, bats, bones, black cats, photos or memoirs of passed loved ones, Jack o’ lanterns (either pumpkins or turnips), crows, ravens, corn dolls and corn stalks, cauldrons, scythes, spiderwebs, masks, mirrors, oak leaves.

    Food & Drink:
    Apples (and dishes with apple in), meat dishes (at Samhain, because it begins to get cold, animals were slaughtered for food as the meat could be better preserved during Winter), potatoes, corn, nuts, turnips, pumpkin (and dishes with pumpkin or roasted pumpkin seeds in), mead, cider, mulled/spiced wine, tea.

    Things to do:
    Divination! Divination! Divination!: scrying, tarot reading, rune casting, pendulum reading, etc., holding a dumb supper for your dearly departed and/or ancestors, consulting and/or remembering the aforementioned, lighting a bonfire, looking into a past life recall, leaving offerings for ancestors, spirits and/or faeries, cooking, feasting, mumming/guising (a.k.a., wearing a mask or costume).

    Stones & Crystals:
    (Black) Obsidian, (Black) Onyx, petrified wood, Hematite, Smokey Quartz, Bloodstone, Clear Quartz, Garnet, Carnelian, Amber, Sandstone.

    Spells, Magick and Rituals:

    Samhain is a time for transformation; for ends and beginnings, so any work pertaining to those is totes apropes for this time. You may also want to work with spirits, deities and do some protection and warding.

    Happy Hallowe’en and Blessed Samhain, my friends!

    Photo Credit: [X]