May’s Flower Moon Ritual!

Hello dear readers! As I am unable to host a ritual at Witch in the World’s Cottage for May’s full moon, I thought I would give you this ritual that you can perform in your own groups or even as a solitary practitioner. Feel free to use all or any of the components given here. Change it up! Make it your own! And Enjoy! Happy Manifesting!

The Flower Moon is about expansion, blooming, bursting forth with life and color and beauty. It is a time of awakening, turning outward, expanding energies.

In preparation for this ritual, set yourself an intention which will be the focal point for the magickal working of this ritual. This should be some area of your life where you want grand, quick, explosive, expansive growth. Do you want your business to boom? Or your love life to be suddenly action packed? Would you like to have sudden prolific creativity for your art or work? Think it over a bit and discover what specific are of your life needs expansion.

Now you will prepare a talisman to be used in ritual. I used rocks on which I painted flowers, but be creative! Think of a talisman that is representative of the energies of blooming flowers and have it (or them) ready before your ritual. As you choose and create the talisman, think about your specific intention.

Make your altar and ritual space flowery and colorful. If you include worship of god and goddess in your rituals, choose representations of them for your altar, like candles or statues or images.

Create Sacred Space!

There are many ways to do this. Without going into excruciating detail, I’ll share my usual process.
1. Cleansing and clearing the space: I will typically smudge and use consecrated water and salt mixture to sprinkle around the space, as well as incense and a candle representing the light of spirit.  This consecrates the space with the elemental energies.

2. Cast a circle.  There innumerable incantations which can be used to do this.  Visualize a space around you and your company that is intended to protect, and shield as well as to contain the energies and powers raised during the working.

3. Call quarters.  I tend to call guardians from the four cardinal directions, invoking the elementals that correspond.

4. Invoke Deity.  Bring in the generic god and goddess or the god and goddess of your choosing.  Always invoke with respect and gratitude.  I usually light a candle for each to represent their presence in circle.

5.  The working!  I designed this particular working specifically for May’s Flower Moon.  Place your talisman or group of talismans in a bowl on the altar.  At the right moment you are going to direct the energy that you’ve raised into the talismans.

And you will be raising that energy by Blooming!

Here’s how?  If you are in a group, form a spiral in the center of the circle.  This should be a very tight spiral, like a bud, everyone’s head is bowed.  Link your arms together, close in shoulder to shoulder, as close as you can get.

The acting high priestess  should be on the outside end and will read the following visualization.  But this is not a calm, serene, meditative  visualization.  This should generate energy, beginning with a certain amount of tension between the participants as they stand shoulder to shoulder.  I chose to set this to a karaoke version of “Right Now” by Van Halen.  It had the right tempo and the right rise of the energy of the song. It also begins with a piano that sounds a bit like rain.  But choose whatever music works for you.

During the “blooming” think about flowers bursting into bloom – high speed, one after the other – every beat of the music will be another bloom – until – when the high priestess says “Right NOW! BLOOM!”   everyone takes a step back, opening the spiral and raising arms to the sky, placing all the energy into the cone that forms at the top of the circle.  As the priestess is reading this, her voice is rising in excitement and volume until it is practically a scream by the end.

The high priestess will then use a sword, athame, wand or her fingers to collect that energy and direct it into the bowl of talismans.

If you are performing this ritual as a sole practitioner, you’ll have to read through the visualization several times before the ritual and practice running through the scenario in your mind’s eye, until you feel confident that you can raise energy with it.  You would simply crouch down and make yourself small, arms folded, head down, until the right cue in the music comes and then you stand and bloom as above.

The Music Starts..
“ It’s raining. You’re in a field of green. Vast, endless green, leaves, stems and buds, ready to bloom. You actually feel the pressure of growth around you. You become aware that you are one of them, one of these wildflowers. Your roots, delicate but strong, stretch and intertwine into the ground.

You can feel the nutrients drawn up from the earth to your stem, to your bud. The tension and energy is building. The rain has stopped and the clouds are clearing now. The warmth of the sun beats down on you… enticing your bud to open.

You are at the ready – with an urgent need to burst forth in color, in brilliance. You notice some of the green field in the distance changing.

Sudden color begins to transform the field. One flower after another explodes open with it’s beautiful petals encouraging the bloom next to it. The full spectrum of colors is represented here… the rainbow, the bursting open spreads towards you.

Each bloom more vivid than the one before… closer to you. Continue seeing the flowers bloom!

Every beat of the music is another bursting forth of color! And another …. And another!! … they keep coming. You look to the other side of the field and see the color and blooming spreading there as well.

The power of the sun and the earth and the energy of this full moon are coursing through you… stronger and stronger. It’s so hard to contain!

Another bloom and another … nearer they come….

All you need is the energy of a close-by bloom to fulfill your purpose… they keep blooming … closer and closer, a red, a yellow one – a brilliant blue, a purple so bright it hurts your eyes… one bloom another!
Another Closer to you and Closer . . . see each one in your mind’s eye – how beautiful… how much you long to become – to open – to LIVE in the Sunshine! …
until finally…. RIGHT NOW! BLOOM!

The priestess now gathers the energy raised and directs it into the talismans.  When she gives the sign that this is done, each practitioner is invited to take their talisman.

6.  After the working, in my tradition, is the celebration of the Great Rite.  But this can be a celebration of any kind you like.  This is a time for joy and confidence in the work that you’ve done.  You must contain within yourself a solid belief that your magick is powerful and is successful.  This is also a time for some form of exaltation of the god and goddess.

7.  Cakes & Ale.  At this time I usually pass around cakes and ale (or cookies and wine or fruits and champagne, whatever you like and think is appropriate).  These are shared among all the practitioners as a final celebration.

8.  Bidding farewell to the god and goddess and the elemental energies that were invoked.  They are usually dismissed in the opposite order in which they were invoked.  Last in, first out, etc.

9. Opening circle.  Again, this can be done in many different ways.  The idea is that the sacred space that you have built should be taken up again, as though cleaning up after yourself.

 

And there you have it.  The Flower Moon!  Use it as you like and may your magick be powerful!

Please feel free to put questions in the comments at the bottom of this post if you have any!

Blessed Be!

 

 

Note: all sources for pictures are linked to the images except for the author’s original photography.

Magick is Real and It’s YOU!

water-bubbles

I want to share with you, dear reader, some of my struggles. We’ve all been there, right? Sometimes life is just damned difficult.

In this blog, I’ll share with you about a time when I was deeply struggling with a lot of things, motherhood and sobriety in particular. It was when I began to discover what was inside of me, or perhaps what I was, what I am… what we all are- Magick.

You see, Magick is REAL. In fact you’re made of it. And because you don’t know/believe this down to your core, you’re playing way too damn small.

Even many self-proclaimed witches who practice spell-craft on the regular are playing too small. Because wielding the power of Magick in your life can change everything. It’s not just the ability to manifest that career or love-life that you desire (although it does that too!). It’s the ability to change the world, starting with yourself.

You and Magick are one and the same. But perhaps you haven’t met your personal Magick yet. I know a way that you and Magick can become intimately acquainted, leading to the intuitive and pervasive knowing that you ARE Magick.

I did not always have that knowing. At a time in my life, in early sobriety, I was experiencing panic attacks, night terrors and uncovering memories of a deeply traumatic childhood. I was being tossed about in the waves of my live with nothing to reach for, nothing to hold on to.

I also had a toddler; Maggie. She was beautiful, bright and willful as hell! And with all of the emotional upheaval I was going through, Maggie flung the most difficult challenges at me. I was drowning in the depths!

drowning-depths
I remember a day when visitors to our home brought her a little gift. It was an M&M shaped tin, full of M&M’s, so, basically a million dollars to a three year old.

We were still in that phase where she needed prompting for polite behavior, so, as the tin was handed down to her, I reminded her, “Say Thank You.”

Maggie looked at me, doubtful, with her hand on her million dollar green tin full of happiness and remained silent. I said “If you don’t say Thank You, you can’t have it.”

She shot me a look full of baby daggers and much more disdain that a three-year-old should be capable of mustering, and, Little Miss Maggie turned her little body around and walked out of the room, without saying Thank You – and without the tin.

I felt my head dip under the surface of the water. Clearly, I was in trouble.

Maggie’s defiance and attitude had me screaming at her daily, right in her face, at the top of my lungs. Honestly, it amounted to child abuse and my lack of self-control had me crying myself to sleep every night over how horrible a mother I was.

I went under the waives again, unable to draw breath.

My emotions were ragged and I felt like I had no control, no ability to pause and think before blowing up at her over something. I’d heard a lot about the idea of “responding instead of reacting” but I had no idea how to get there. I was deeply worried that, because of my childhood, I couldn’t be a good mother to my child.

A part of the treatment I’d found for my own emotional difficulties was meditation. And when I first started to learn meditation, with the help of a teacher, I was convinced that I just couldn’t do it. I believed that I was simply a person with some kind of mental flaw that rendered me incapable of deep meditation.

My mind would race with a million thoughts that I couldn’t seem to quiet. One thought would lead to another and another until meditation was the farthest thing from what I was doing. I was told by someone that I had “monkey brain”. I assumed that, for me, this was a permanent condition.

I was given a number of different techniques to try, such as staring at a candle flame, listening to certain sounds, walking meditation, etc. And still, those thoughts would abound in my head and I felt like a meditation failure.
And with my daughter, when she would act out and I would still yell at her, I felt like a parenting failure as well. And for the third (and final?) time, I went under. Would I simply be swept out to sea? Would that be better for all concerned anyway?

lady-float

 

What I didn’t realize at the time was that there was progress. The number of thoughts had decreased over time and with practice. And I just kept trying.

I found a guided meditation tape that seemed to help me move a little further along. The words and the imagined journey helped me focus and get to a place where the thoughts would subside for a bit.

And with Maggie, I was becoming aware a little sooner, each time I screamed, that she had triggered some painful switch in me that caused me to react that way.

I was failing forward. A life preserver appeared.

And then came the day when I was listening to that guided meditation and I lost time. I ended the meditation and realized that, for part of it, even if just a few minutes, “I” was gone. The awareness of “self” that we all walk around with had vanished for a while. And the relentless thinking had stopped.

What took the place of all that thinking was just bliss. It was utterly indescribable but in that bliss I felt the whispered, pervasive and irrefutable truth. “You are VASTLY more than you believe yourself to be.”

And I took a deep breath of air.

Then, one day, not long after that brief but blissful success in my meditation, I responded to Maggie instead of reacting.
She was throwing a crying fit about the way I cut up some vegetables and I knelt down at eye-level with her and I became fully attentive to my child in that moment, simply, totally present. I said nothing, but I looked at the pieces of broccoli and looked at Maggie with a concerned expression on my face.

And she stopped crying and stared at me. We both looked at the broccoli and suddenly I took a piece and popped it in my mouth and chewed in an exaggerated way. She smiled a little at that. And so, I wondered aloud whether the broccoli tasted differently, having been cut this way.

So, she tried one and very thoughtfully chewed and tasted it. Then she looked at me and said, “Nope! Tastes the same!” and took the plate back to her seat at the table and happily munched and suddenly, I could swim.

mermaid
It was a miracle. I had met my personal Magick. My meditation practice was the first step in discovering the Truth of my vast Magickal self. And I was beginning to discover how to wield it with power and purpose.

Maggie’s 24 now, and we have an awesome relationship. I’ve been practicing meditation and witchcraft for over 20 years and my personal Magick has helped me through many other struggles as well. I’ll share some of those with you some time.

How can you meet your personal Magick and take that first step towards being the active creator of your world?

If you’ve tried meditation and struggled with it like I did, or if you’ve never tried it but are looking for a way in, I have a gift for you.

I’ve developed and recorded a 20-minute guided meditation (similar to the one that sparked my first success) utilizing my years of experience and my desire to liberate souls.

It is backed by music which features binaural beats which are formulated to help your brain reach more relaxed wave-states and aid in your ability to find deeper meditation.

This guided journey incorporates the six elements I’ve discussed before, bringing you through connection to Earth, Fire, Water and Air, to Spirit and finally to Void, where your Magick self is waiting.

Start your journey by signing up for Inner Court emails to receive your free guided meditation to try it out. As an Inner Courtier of Witch in the World, you’ll be the first to learn of events, workshops, freebies and specials.

To subscribe, scroll up and enter your  e-mail in the Subscribe window in the left-hand side bar.

And we’ll talk some more about other ways to rescue from the depths, that limitless Magickal power that is YOU!

Suicidal Teen to Warrior Witch: How Does THAT Happen?

When I was 14 years old, I was suicidal. I was an outcast who didn’t fit anywhere. I was the poor girl of divorced parents in a private Catholic School. I kind of hated everyone.

suicide-girl

At school, I was ridiculed by students and teachers alike because I was so awkward, depressed and different.  Teachers looked at me like I was some kind of a bug under a microscope, as if maybe they could figure out what kind of disease I was.  The other kids barely looked at me at all, but when they did, they just flung insults at me.

I had this fantasy, at the time, where I was sitting on a cloud, hovering above it all.  Each hurtful word or look that sailed my way, I saw as a stone that I would catch and use to build a rock wall surrounding me.  I had no desire to fit in.  What I really wanted was to disappear.

At home my family had begun treating me like a bomb that might suddenly explode. The year prior to this I had been raped by the man who was keeping company with my mother. He disappeared from our lives right after that but he left his mark on the whole family.

I was told that it was very important, for my reputation and for the whole family that we keep that “situation” very hush-hush. Don’t talk about it.

No, of course it wasn’t your fault, but don’t you dare tell anyone. They’ll think horrible things about you, and us! Just… get over it.

My way of “getting over it” was to just stop being. I made a few cowardly and not quite-strenuous-enough attempts at suicide. And then, one night, there was a school dance. Someone I barely knew gave me a fifth of Southern Comfort. I drank it, blacked out, passed out and was dumped by the kids who gave me the alcohol at my doorstep.

dead-inside

 

When I came-to in the morning in my own room the first thought in my head was, “I don’t have to kill myself!  I can just drink!”  It brought me to that place of nothingness that I desired. I decided to continue technically living. But I was mostly dead inside.  And I did drink, whenever possible after that.

Fast forward about 14 years and my husband of 2 years, whom I loved deeply, was looking at me in disgust and giving me an ultimatum. I had to get help and quit drinking, or we were done. I remember feeling, suddenly, like I was underwater and couldn’t draw a breath. I didn’t want to lose him, so the next day, I did get help and I stopped drinking.

Three months after quitting drinking, I discovered that I was pregnant. So, it was quite a whirlwind first year of sobriety. New home, new life, and I was doing all the “right” things. Under my “keep-it-together” exterior, I was terrified of the changes, of becoming a mom, of everything.

I felt as though I’d better have something to hold onto after my child arrived because I felt like I was rattling apart. I felt like my whole body, mind and soul were being shaken with the fore-shocks of an earthquake that were increasing in intensity. And childbirth would make me just crumble into a million tiny, broken pieces.

But when my daughter was born, everything changed. I fell so hard in love with her that, if the shaking continued, it just couldn’t touch me. My early days with my baby were idyllic and peaceful and just so full of a love I’d never even imagined was even possible before. The quiet and calm were positively blissful.

But when she became a toddler, with high intelligence and a gigantic (Leo) attitude, the world began quaking again. I was almost 3 years sober and the reasons I started drinking in the first place started rearing their ugly heads.

I began having horrible night terrors and full blown panic attacks during the day. Memories jumped at me like the slasher in a horror film and stopped my heart in the middle of a sentence sometimes.

I began to have dreams that uncovered older memories; memories of molestation when I was very young. And all of this was going on while I was trying to navigate early sobriety and early motherhood.

One day, while grocery shopping, I was beset by a panic attack. My daughter sat in the child seat in the shopping cart as we started to check out and she watched as my hands shook and my face turned red and my breath quickened to sprinter pace, while sweat poured out of my body. She gaped up at me with wide eyes saying, “Momma? Momma?”

I had to grab her out of the seat and just leave. I left my basket and the groceries half in the cart, half on the check-out conveyer, and I just ran. I ran, with my baby girl in my arms, like we were being chased by a murderer. But we weren’t. It was just my past chasing us.

I managed to get her buckled into her car seat and myself into the front seat and I just sobbed.

crying-woman

I cried with frustration and fear over the panic attack, I cried over all those things that happened to me as a child that I never acknowledged or dealt with, but mostly I cried because I NEEDED to be a better mother.

I couldn’t have this MESS of a woman that I had become be an example for this precious, innocent child. She was looking to ME for guidance, for information about how to go through the world. I couldn’t have that.

So, once again, I sought help. I’ll spare you the stories of the months of seeking for the right kind of help, and let you know that I finally did find it. And I was introduced to meditation and I became what I would describe as a spiritual seeker. It was kind of like I just found a new addiction. But this one was healthy.

Little by little, my “episodes” slowed down and finally stopped all together. My meditation practice grew, my spiritual practices evolved. Through all of this, I came to understand, and eventually appreciate, ALL of the experiences of my life. And I became the role model that my daughter deserved.

(And what I mean by evolved is, Catholicism to other “lighter” forms of Christianity to agnosticism, to spiritual-not-religious to Buddhism to an eclectic combination of practices with a healthy dose of Hindu philosophy I saw as “Renee-ism” to atheism, to Wicca to a more general paganism to the weirdo-crone  warrior witch that defies description that I have become today!)

renee-sun-orb-copy

I sought out personal power in every arena. I learned how to govern my own life and I won my freedom. After years of this practice, every aspect of my life changed for the better, and I began to encounter other women who were in need of healing in ways that were similar to mine and in ways that were different as well.

What I understood was that, having come through these difficulties, and finding solutions, I now had a responsibility to share what I know. I was finally armed with enough information, personal power and experience to help others strategize their battles.

This is just one of the reasons I became a Diviner, spiritual adviser and coach. And today, I absolutely LOVE seeing the women I work with improve everything about their lives.

 

13 Weird Tips to Improve your Spellcraft (Parts 2 & 3)

So, You’ve already read Part 1 of this post, right???  If not, You absolutely must because the first 5 tips are the most important!  Go Read it.  Here. Then come back.

Part 2 – Preparing for Spellcraft/When and When NOT to Cast: 

spell-casting-fantasy-art

There is a time for a spell and there is a time to wait.  Sometimes knowing when, and when NOT, to cast is just as important as the components of the spell itself.  Following are some tips to help you determine when is the right time and to prepare for the spell you want to cast. (The inspiration for this particular tip comes courtesy of Bernadette Montana, fabulously witchy proprietress of Brid’s Closet in Cornwall, NY and High Priestess of her own rather phenomenal coven.  Check her out!)

        6.          Question Everything.

Once you’ve an idea to work a spell, start questioning it.  Play your own devil’s advocate, so to speak.  Ask yourself why you want this outcome. Try to ascertain whether you REALLY want it with your WHOLE Will.  (See #4)

The depth and breadth of your questioning, of course, should be commensurate with the scope of the spell.

If it’s a simple spell for some fast cash, you may not spend as much time on this step as you would if it is a spell to change your whole career and start a new life.

Broad scope spells have a much higher chance of yielding questionable results.  Explore the possible outcomes.  You may have in your mind that a great new job is offered to you in your chosen profession in a city where you’d love to live.

But what might happen instead is that you lose your current job, causing a move to another city to be necessary to reduce expenses, followed by a struggle to obtain a position in the career of your choosing. (Note: this type of result can be largely mitigated by practicing step 4 above.)

And if you’re okay with either route, then that’s fine, but just ask the questions and be sure, at the outset that you’re ready for the possibilities.  And, by the way, knowing yourself, as is facilitated by steps 1-5 is extremely helpful in this endeavor.

     7.            Clean Your Side of the Street.

sweeping

 

If your spellcraft involves other people and if your working has anything to do with something that was done by someone else, you’ll want to pay special attention to this step.

Check your intentions and motives.  Examine the situation as objectively as you can and look for the possibility that you may have misunderstood something or that there may be a way to solve this issue with relationship work, talking or a simple apology and an opening of a door to healing.

Make sure that you’ve done all you can, personally, to solve the issue before resorting to magick. Which brings us to….

 8.          Actual WORK.  

There is footwork to be done in the mundane world in order to set the stage for any magick to work.

If your spell is about a job, you’d better get your resume in order and be searching the want ads, or networking in your field.

If your spell is to sell your house and find that home of your dreams, you’d better have contacted a realtor, saved up some money for closing expenses and tidied up and repaired your house to the best of your abilities.

Do the earthly work that will help your magic work.  You MAY even find that taking this step eliminates the need for magick.  Do everything in your power in the material realm first.  Then do your spell, if you still need to.

Part 3 – Now that You’ve decided to Wield that Magic Wand:

Ok, so you’ve decided to do a spell.  Let’s get down and dirty with the crafting of something truly magickal!

witch-casting

9.         Study the Greats!

I struggled a little with the idea of including this step with the top five.  It sort of belongs in both places.  By “the Greats”, what I mean is great magicians of literature, wise sages of magickal workings, those powerhouses of mystical theory and history that have forged the way for the witchy revolution that is taking place these days.

Gerald Gardner, Alex and Maxine Sanders, Dione Fortune, Doreen Valiente, Aleister Crowley, Eliphas Levi.  And go back further to Hermes Trismegistus, Heraclitus, Plato, Ptolemy, King Solomon.  The list is endless and study of their work and philosophies is valuable any time.

But before your spell begins, try to do some research into the specifics of that spell in history.  We have modern greats too!  There are so many great magickal “cookbooks” out there!  Check out the work of Judika Illes in the “Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells” and Dorothy Morrison in “Utterly Wicked”.  The point is, study up on the type of magick you wish to perform.  Gather ideas. Check correspondences. Do your homework.

10.         Align With the Cosmos.

cosmos-align

Timing can be very important to some spells.  You must pay attention to things like moon phases, astrological positions, void of course intervals.

I don’t plan every single spell that I do around all of these factors, but I do consider them and decide whether to postpone or speed up my process depending on the positions and influences of the celestial bodies.

11.  Divine! 

It is a great idea to do a divination regarding the spell you want to cast.  You can gain information about the possible outcomes and the things you need to know or do to help make it a success.

I usually use Tarot, which is a great indicator as to your own psyche’s readiness for the outcome as well as advisor on possible components to include in the crafting of the working.

But if your preferred form of divination is something different, have at it.  Grab your pendulum, crystal ball, runes or Ouija board.   It’s just a good idea to do this before casting for those extra insights you may need.  And upon divining you should…

12.        Use your Intuition!

Once you’ve done all of this footwork, then, trust yourself.  Use your own innate wisdom and intuition, fueled by the personal power you’ve cultivated in steps 1 thought 5, the introspection and mundane channels you’ve gained from steps 6 through 9 and all of the knowledge acquired through this step to decide exactly how to cast this fabulous spell.  You’ve done the work, now waive that wand, witch!

13.          Look for Synchronicities – and Acknowledge Successes!

Once you’ve cast your spell, with confidence in its outcome of course, keep aware.  Notice the small synchronicities that usually show up while the magick does its work.  You may see little indications that your magick is afoot!

For example, after casting that new career spell, perhaps you will see a logo for a company you’d love to work for which has an image that precisely matches something you used in your spell.  Take that as the sign that it is and get your resume in front of a decision-maker in that company.  You have to pay attention and see what channels your magick may open up and then follow them!

Acknowledge and appreciate when you see these indications of the change you desire.

Now get out there and put your wonderful magick out into the world and share your successes with me!  I’d love to hear your stories!  With permission, I’d even love to share them with my audience in future blogs!  E-mail me at Renee@WitchintheWorld.com!

And if you’d like to work with me for coaching or divinations check out this page or email to the above!

Happy Witching!

13 Weird Tips to Improve your Spellcraft (Part 1)

The title for this article was the suggestion of a good friend of mine, who also happens to be a badass witchy wise woman.

maria-bird Maria Bird is a Strategic Motivator and Coach who can help you address many issues, no matter what your current situation. She has helped women recovering from abusive relationships to gain their confidence back and assisted top-level executives in upping their game. She teaches simple techniques using NeuroLinguistic Programming, Ericksonian Methods, mindfulness and voice to challenge and motivate her clients to reach their highest potential. Thank you for this great idea, Maria!

Part 1 – Maintaining your Magickal Prowess:

The first five tips here are related to making sure you are fit and ready to do spell work when you need it. These five practices help to keep your mind and consciousness in tip-top shape as a magickal practitioner.
If you’re not practicing these things on a regular basis, just don’t do magick. It won’t work the way you want it to.

I work closely with my coaching clients on cultivating all of these practices, so if you want some help in any of these areas, contact me. For the sake of keeping this article from becoming novel-length, I’ll boil it down to the bare minimum of basics.

meditation-techniques-bodhi-tree
1. Meditate.

A regular practice of meditation is the single most important tool in my magickal arsenal.

It’s really difficult to narrow down the benefits a meditation practice affords to a witch in her craft, but I’ll just give you a short list of the things you NEED to cultivate, that meditation can give you: improved physical health, clearer focus, visualization skills, stress reduction, anxiety relief, detachment, self-possession and composure, connection to source/deity, etc., etc., ad infinitum!

If you think you can’t meditate, find a way. I promise you that unless you cultivate this practice, your magick will never gain the power, accuracy and effectiveness that you desire.

2. Dream Journal.

Your dreams are a portal to your inner life. Ever notice, if you become lucid in a dream, how easy it is to manifest in that dream world? Wouldn’t it be great if you could translate that power to your waking existence?

Well, you can – with lots of practice, insight and work. Pay attention to your night-time dreams. Write them down. Some will be meaningless but some may give you profound insights about what spells to cast and how to carry them out.

A dream, well examined, may even give you inspiration for healing that will make the spell you were thinking of casting unnecessary.

These are important clues to your own psyche. And the one thing that I always teach my students before they begin any kind of spellcraft is, “Know Thyself!”

3. Make Regular Offerings.

offering-altar

Many spells involve calling on deities or spirits for assistance. Cultivating a relationship with those beings is essential to your success.

It’s like building credit. If you’ve never had a checking account or a loan of any kind and you want to buy a house and obtain a mortgage loan, you will have difficulty. Yes, there are lenders who will work with you, but what kind of deal will you get and what kind of sacrifices must you make in order to get it?

It’s the same with spirits and deities. If you are a stranger to them, where is their motivation to help you? But, if you make small, but meaningful, sincere and grateful offerings every day (such as incense or lighting a candle, bits of food or fresh water) to the local spirits where you live, to the deities of your choice (preferably ones that align with your purpose), then you are a known entity.

You have forged a relationship and have shown that you can be thankful, loyal and helpful to them, making them more willing to bestow blessings upon you in your endeavors.

4. Shadow Integration.

Further to the idea that every magickal practitioner should “Know Herself” before endeavoring in spellwork is the practice of Shadow Integration.

The desires of our conscious mind are quite frequently at odds with the desires of our unconscious. I believe that we create our own lives. And when we create hardship, difficulty, even tragedy, there must be a part of ourselves that truly desires to experience that.

Unless we uncover, understand and give permission to that part of ourselves, then we are divided. And a house divided cannot stand. Your magick will not have much power without the cooperation and support of your unconscious will.

So you must integrate. Now, there are many methods and many paths to doing this kind of work. Find one that works for you. And if you want to know more, consider working with me toward that end with one of my coaching packages.

5. Use Your Words!

“In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God.”
I know, I know! I’m writing for witches and I’m quoting the bible. But many different scriptures point to this idea. Words are profoundly important.

And this goes really deep for a witch working magick. Words used in witchcraft and spellwork are absolutely vital. We craft incantations to bring about very specific desires.

But your word, in general, should also be impeccable (as in Don Miguel Ruiz’ book The Four Agreements). Every word has meaning and power in it.

If you are casting spells to improve your life i.e., to bring you prosperity or that new job you want or the love of your life, but you post a “FML” status on Facebook, you are working against yourself.

EVERYTHING COUNTS. And the words you use regularly, habitually, continually can easily gain more power than that beautiful incantation you wrote for a spell you’re performing on the full moon.

Think about it. You utter it once – or perhaps chant it a few times during your ritual, but the other 30 days of the month you are speaking about your lack.

You must become hyper-vigilant about keeping your everyday discussion and use of words, in print or in voice, in alignment with the things that you work on in your magickal life.

Speak in such a way that every word can cast a spell for your good and the good of others. It’s not easy and it cannot be accomplished to perfection, but become aware and make changes where you can. This will give you so much more power than you can imagine.

veronica-lake-i-married-a-witch

 

Ok, Witches, those are your first 5 tips, so before you start casting, look for 8 more tips in tomorrow’s blog, where we get to the nitty gritty of crafting great and effective spells!

And here’s Veronica Lake at her sexy, witchy best!

 

 

 

 

*** Image Sources (if necessary) are embedded in the pictures. 

7 Signs You’re Ready for a High-Powered Magickal Heart

What do I mean by a “High-Powered Magickal Heart”?

magical-heart
The heart is the power center of the body. This is where your magickal energy comes from. It is the seat of your will and desire.

When you set your sights on a goal, mundane or magickal, this is the womb that births your idea into reality. The more power you give to it, the more powerful your manifesting abilities will be.

Whether you’re already a magickal practitioner or just someone who wants to get shit done in life, turning up the dial on your heart-center will make things happen for you.

So, are you ready to go Mega-Watt? Maybe. If you can identify with the following list, you’re ready. And the ride is glorious. Read on!

1. No Wimps!

You are not a fearful or overly emotional person. In fact, you probably get annoyed by people who are. You’ve no patience for whiners or drama queens.

Not that you haven’t had deeply emotional experiences, you just prefer to get over it and learn from it and move on, rather than wallowing in the muck of self-pity.

2. Check the Mirror.

Self examination is a regular practice for you. You find it rewarding, interesting and valuable to look deeply into your own psyche to find out what makes you tick. You pay attention to your ups and downs and you analyze the reasons for them.

You don’t shy away from criticism. You don’t automatically take it on either. You can discern the difference between constructive and destructive criticism and whether or not it actually applies to you, because you’re capable of self-honesty.

can-you-handle-the-truth

3. Give it to me Straight.

You can handle the Truth! You don’t want sugar-coating unless it’s on your dessert.

You are deeply interested in uncovering the truth of any situation, and the truth about the world at large.

Mysteries probably fascinate you, for, as soon as you’re given the idea that some information is hidden from you, you will stop at nothing to remove its veil.

You’ve looked at the High Priestess Tarot card and thought, “What IS behind that curtain?!”

 

truth

4. What’s True and What’s the Truth.

You also understand that truth, to our perception, can be relative. You are ready, willing and able to change your understanding of Truth if given new evidence.

You’re okay with not “Knowing” in the way that is rigid and never-changing, because that shuts down all other possibilities. And possibilities are important to you.

5. Into the Woods!

You’re not afraid of the dark… in fact, you’re kind of attracted to it. The occult fascinates you and you want to learn all the ancient, esoteric, down-and-dirty, magickal stuff. You’re not some new-age light worker and you’re not afraid of words like witchcraft, voodoo or hex. You don’t shun teachers like Aleister Crowley or Anton LeVey. You don’t shun ANY teachers. Because you want it all.

You are insatiably curious about all of the hidden recesses of history, the world and your own psyche. You want to dig deep and search for answers and fill up your mind with every aspect of magick and personal power that there is.

6. A Mind of One’s Own.

And once you have all that information, then you’ll decide for yourself what is valuable to you and what can be forgotten or dismissed. You are no follower of gurus. You may appreciate a teacher for the wisdom that they possess, but you’re not prone to the illusion that any one teacher could have all of the answers.

You’re not a follower. You’re a leader. And you will use your own intuition, experimentation, practice and life to discern the information that serves you from the information that doesn’t. You don’t have to check with any guru, or society, or your mother, or your spouse or the internet when you decide what works and what doesn’t work for you.

7. One-ness.

And finally, you are hungry. You’re hungry for the connection to divinity that you’ve glimpsed from time to time. You’ve felt that sublime no-thingness, that impossible to describe, deep and blissful understanding that you are actually, in fact and truly NOT this flesh, this mundane matter-laden existence that some call “reality”, but something vast, infinite, singular and powerful beyond measure, whole beyond comprehension.

absolutebliss

You’ve glimpsed that feeling and you want more. Because the more of that you get, the fewer fucks you give about that “reality”, or the moors of society, or what your neighbors or facebook friends or family members might think. The more of that BLISS of Infinity that you get the more autonomy and personal power you gain.

And THAT my friends, is where your Mega-Watt heart wants to be. THAT is when manifestation, in this world and all the worlds, becomes child’s play.

If this is you, you are one of my tribe and I offer you a deep bow of respect and an excited fist-bump for the things to come!

 

 

NOTE:  Image source links are embedded in each picture.

City Witch? 7 Ways to Connect to Mother Earth

Update to this post!  This blog post was inspired by my Facebook friend Cinnamon Carriere.  She is an awesome Shamanic Witch and I suggest you check out her website!  Parts of it are available now and parts are under construction, so I encourage you to check back frequently and see what she is up to!  Thanks Cinnamon!

And now, my dear City Witch, Read on, for your 7 tips!

 

For 10 years I lived here.

odyssey-view

I had three dedicated ritual circles on the property.

faerie-circle

This one is the Faerie Circle.

It was the second largest at about 35 feet in diameter. The main circle, was about 70 feet. And there was another one, deep in the woods behind the house, with a natural stone altar and thousands of ferns surrounding it.
I made a Labyrinth that was 100 feet by 120 feet.

odyssey-labyrinth

I held festivals on this property.

odyssey-solstice

(BTW – The above photo links to the Facebook page photo album for the Summer Solstice Festival of 2012. Check it out)

There was a Hiking Path, called the Long Path. Here’s what the New York and New Jersey Trail Conference’s website has to say about it:

Extending 358 miles from the 175th Street Subway Station in New York City to John Boyd Thacher State Park near Albany in New York, the Long Path is a thread connecting many of New York’s parks, preserves, and state forest lands.”

I had access to this path about a third of a mile from my doorstep via a trail I bushwhacked myself through the woods at the back of my property. Here’s one of the many views along that trail.

long-path-view

 

Yes, I lived in a Witch’s paradise. My house was basically made of windows and Mother Earth had no trouble reaching in. The mountain I lived on was made mostly of quartz and the connection I felt was constant and deep.
After 10 years of this idyllic life, due to financial (and other) reasons, I packed up, gave away most of my things and moved with my love and our dog to a 600 square foot apartment in the city of Phoenix, AZ. I was worried.
How would I find my communion with Nature? How was connection to the Mother going to feel in the desert, in a city, in an apartment which looked out on a parking lot? Would I even be able to feel Her?

 

I’m happy to tell you that I did. And I do, very well and in an extremely fulfilling way. She is everywhere. I just had to look with new eyes.
So, dear city witch, fear not. Here are some of the tips I learned along my journey.
#1.            Look up.

The sky is the one thing in nature that you can always see just by going outdoors and raising your gaze. In a city setting, you have to open your awareness of nature to a wider degree.

You have to consciously try to notice the colors of the sky, the way the clouds move and the play of sunlight or moonlight. And realize that, although you may be looking at something that appears to be distant, it is right there, touching you.

Think about it. Where does the sky end? Only where the earth begins. So you are in it. If you ponder on that notion, you can feel it. Air is part of nature. The Goddess provides us with this breath of life that is so vast, that we can only really look at it from a great distance.

But it is right there, touching your skin, filling your lungs, oxygenating your blood. Take the time to feel your own merging with sky, day and night, every chance you get. And thank Her for it.

 

#2.         Become as a child.

Expand your sense of wonder.

If you make a conscious decision to have a child-like awareness, wide-eyed and accepting, you will see more. More beauty, more newness, more everything.

As my beau and I traveled across the country from our former home in the woods, we would stop whenever the truck needed gas. Somewhere around Oklahoma, I began to notice a type of bird that I’d never seen before. At the gas station stops, there would always be a group of them near a landscaped corner or in a nearby tree.

I could tell they were urban birds, scavengers of sandwich crusts and cold French fries. They were all black with yellow eyes and a tail shaped like a ship’s rudder when they flew. And they had amazing calls, many different tones and pitches and rhythms. I absolutely LOVED them and began to wonder what they were.

Within seconds of my wondering something in my head said, “Maybe they’re Grackles”. Now, I’m no ornithologist. I wasn’t sure that I’d ever even heard of a Grackle before! They were certainly not present in my former town. But for some reason, that popped into my head.

I wondered why that would have occurred to me, assumed I was wrong or just making things up and sort of dismissed it. But once we arrived in our new home and I  unpacked my books I came across a field guide to birds and decided to check it out. Sure enough, Grackles! They are city birds. And they are every bit as fascinating and fun to watch and listen to as the red tailed hawks and great horned owls that occupied my former property.

When you look at the world with wonder, the magic follows you. That is all.

And since we’re on the subject…

 

#3.             Urban Animals.

 

I’ve always loved wildlife. I used to get such a charge out of seeing a bear on my property or finding bobcat tracks in the snow.

But we tend to dismiss things like squirrels, pigeons and raccoons, because they seem common in an urban or suburban setting. But I encourage you to take a closer look. The Mother made them and sustains them just as she does a wolf in the wilderness.

I’ve forged a bit of a relationship with one of the aforementioned Grackles who visits my backyard each day at a certain time. I always talk to him and he delights me with his varied calls.

Now, grackles are categorized by city dwellers as nuisance birds, just like pigeons in New York City.  But I saw beauty, fun and value in them and I wanted to learn more about these charming birds, so I did some reading. In Chinese folklore it is said that the Grackle has 7 calls, representing the 7 human emotions; Joy, Anger, Anxiety, Pensiveness, Grief, Fear and Fright. So I listened, and I think I can identify most of them!

My advice is to use that child-like wonder that you’re cultivating and mix it with your own intuition to discover some urban animal in your area that fascinates you, and learn more about it.

And a last note, there is one particular animal of nature that you will encounter every single day in an urban setting. Humans. As pagans we are consciously aware that “Nature” is not separate from us. But our society operates in such a way as to make us forget this. So, when you look at other people, remember that they are every bit a part of nature as a beautiful mountain vista or the grandest tree.

Make your connection with that beating heart, that movement of breath, that symphony of senses and take it all in. The Great Mother created and sustains us all.

#4.        Appreciate the Landscaped Beauty
I was fortunate, when I began working in my new city, to be living less than a mile from my office. So I took to walking to work.
People expect “the desert” to be quite barren. But on my daily walks I discovered plants and trees and flowers that I’d never seen in the northeast. An abundance of flowers, in fact!

chihuly-flower

This picture links to the photo album “My Walk to Work” that I created on my Facebook page! Feel free to peruse the beautiful photos!  (And while you’re there, send me a friend request!)

On my walks, I took to greeting the trees and flowers along the way.  They were such bright spots in my day!  And I definitely felt the Mother walking right beside me with every step.

The more you give thanks for the beauty that you notice, the more you WILL notice. So, just look closely at what is around you and you will find it. I promise!

 

#5.              Seek Out the Nearby Wilderness

Most cities set apart “wild spaces” within their borders. Phoenix is a valley, which means that it’s surrounded by mountains. There are quite a few mountain areas preserved for hikers and explorers. They are not vast, like the actual wilderness, but in a good number of these preserves, you can hike to a spot where no sign of civilization can be seen.

Research the places that your city sets aside as “green spaces” and go exploring.

Very early one morning, well before dawn, I packed up my portable altar and went to the top of a beautiful nearby mountain preserve to perform a full moon ritual. As it turned out, I wasn’t as alone up there as I thought I would be and some very interesting shenanigans ensued.

That is perhaps fodder for another blog post, but I bring it up here because I found that whole experience, ultimately, very rewarding to explore new places and find new ways of doing my thing in the beautiful outdoors.

Go on an adventure and explore your area as much as you can. It’s worth it! You will find an oasis that is just right for your thing!

 

#6.           Farmers Markets and Kitchen Witchery

One of the great things about living in a city is convenience. There is everything you could want. And many cities have farmers markets. In the warmer climates they occur year-round.

I have found several markets with wonderful offerings from farmers who come from the more rural parts of the state to pedal their wares. And when I visit, it’s not just a grocery shopping trip.  It’s a treat!

All of the fresh produce and beautiful herbs and homemade goodies make the farmers market a destination in and of itself. While strolling in the sunlight and stopping from booth to booth I am taking in the aroma of the perfectly ripe strawberries, or marveling at the colors of the heirloom tomatoes and receiving samples of a giant and ridiculously sweet casaba melon.

Look around your local market and see what appeals to you. Talk to the farmers about their work and how they grow and how beautiful their fruits and vegetables are. It’s a wonderful place to commune with others who commune with nature.

And then, you get to bring some of those goodies home and prepare a nourishing and delicious meal to share with your family. Or perhaps you’ll just watch a movie and snack on fresh cherries until you’re stuffed!

As you are enjoying the bounty of the earth, realize that you are integrating that into your body, and may the Great Mother bless it into your body, “bestowing health, wealth, strength, joy and peace, and that fulfillment of love that is perpetual happiness.”

 

#7.              Get Outta Town!

 

Sometimes, there is just no substitute for real wilderness. Check out the area within driving distance of your city and plan some getaways.

I am very fortunate to live where I do because within a 90 minute drive, I can be HERE: Beautiful Sedona, AZ

sedona-tree

And a few hours of HERE: The Grand Canyon

edge-sitting
antelope-slot-canyon

 

 

 

 

…and HERE:  Antelope Slot Canyon

 

And there may be places like this within your reach as well. So get outta town and get into the earth.

Happy Naturing!

The Woman in Black and Cumulative Magick

woman-in-black“Depression is like a woman in black. If she turns up, don’t shoo her away. Invite her in, offer her a seat, treat her like a guest and listen to what she wants to say.”  – C.G. Jung

Depression is a manifestation of the unheard, unacknowledged Shadow.  I like this quote because it gives me a visual for some of the Shadow work I do as a witch.  And why does a witch do “Shadow Work”, you wonder?  Because it is the source of your deepest power.

I’ve been practicing magick for a long time.  And I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Of course, I started out like anyone else, with the simplest of recipes from some magickal cook book or another.

I think my first spell might have been in high school. I performed a love spell with a mojo bag (red of course) filled with rose quartz, rose petals, rose oil, my lonely tears and possibly blood from a finger pricked by a rose thorn.

Roses are for love, right?  And I have always been drawn (Ha! Pun intended) to blood magick.  Perhaps there’s a bit of vampire in me. Hmmm.

red-mojo-bag

In any case, I can’t remember if it worked or not.  I’m guessing not because I don’t ever remember feeling any kind of love fulfillment in high school.

Anyway, the point is, in spell-work, experienced and novice witches alike tend to spend a lot of time on intention, on correspondences, on the stuff that goes into the mojo bag.  We design elaborate rituals and recite beautifully written, rhyming incantations. We visualize our intention with intense and vivid focus. We chant and dance and burn things and sweat, naked under the moonlight.

And then nothing happens.

This is due, my friends, to the desires of that Woman in Black, the Unconscious Will.

I did my experimentation and performed many, many failed spells.  I put in the time and made the mistakes and wondered and agonized over the “why” of it all.

I wondered if perhaps I was just someone who didn’t have magick in her, which made me very sad and gladly turns out to be very untrue.

If you are wondering the same, dear witchy readers, stop it.  We all have magick in us.  More magick than you can possibly imagine.

After all of the experiments and disasters, when I finally turned my attention inward like the Hermit, I began to understand that there is a far more powerful catalyst for my spells than the things and the conscious intentions that I put into them.

hermit

Don’t get me wrong!  The THINGS count!  Everything counts.  But there is an alignment which must be reached between those things, the conscious intention AND the Unconscious Will in order for a spell to have a chance.

Know thyself, Witch.  This is the first order of becoming a great Magickal practitioner.  And very often, what we think we want, what our conscious mind desires, is not in alignment with our Unconscious Will.

AND, we’ve a tendency to do magick on the very things that the Woman in Black has magickally and magnificently manifested.  Very often our conscious mind labels the manifestations of the unconscious will as wrong or bad.  Our conscious mind says, “No, I don’t want that!”  So we do magick on the things we want to change.  But those things exist in our lives for a reason.

Did that make any sense at all?  No?  Okay.  Let me give you an example.

A number of years ago, I was working a thankless day job of about 50 to 60 hours a week.  This job (the only one I’d been offered in over two years of unemployment) was located about 75 miles away from my home, so I had a commute of approximately 3 to 4 hours a day.  When you figured in all the extra hours and the cost of the commute, the pay I received for said thankless job was below poverty level.

Meanwhile, I was also a very active elder in a large coven, facilitating rituals for groups of up to 150 people at a time, AND running a spiritual center and facilitating workshops, rituals and festivals out of my home.  Oh, yes, I was very busy.  I don’t even know, now, how I found all the time.

My conscious desire was to have an easier life.  My goal, magickal and otherwise, was to have more time for the things that I loved; i.e. ritual, teaching, divination, priestessing.  This meant either finding a better paying job, with fewer working hours, closer to home, or making enough money from my workshops and divinations and rituals to devote myself to that full time.

And don’t think I wasn’t doing magick around that goal!  I was!  Frequently!  And I was working as hard as I could on the mundane channels to achieve it as well.  But this went on for about 7 years.  7 years of toiling, under-appreciated and under-paid.  7 years of being that amazing “ohmygods how do you do it all?!” person that my friends marveled at.  7 years of struggle, hard work, martyrdom!  Ah… there it is!

Why would I stay in that situation for 7 years unless some HUGE part of myself was extremely desirous of it?  The answer is, I wouldn’t.  It was clear that part of me wanted it this way.

That deep-down part of my unconscious, The Woman in Black wanted, longed for, enjoyed and, indeed, LOVED to be known as that marvel who managed so much. She was positively orgasmic over the idea of being the martyr and the ever-struggling one. And she manifested this life-style despite my efforts in the real world and in my spell-craft to produce something different.

(Here’s me, the long suffering martyr.)

martyr

 

The fact is, that any Magick I performed around this conscious desire would be ultimately ineffective without HER cooperation and agreement.

Let’s perform a little experiment, shall we?  Will you participate with me?  Go ahead and raise your right hand in the air.  Go ahead, just do it.  Did you?  Okay.

Now, did you do that consciously or unconsciously?

Most people answer that they did it consciously, because the conscious thought to raise the arm preceded the event.  However, our minds are not capable of consciously firing  each and every synapse in the sequence which is necessary to make the action happen.  The chain of events of muscle movement, tendon stretching and nerve action is far too complicated for our conscious thoughts to comprehend.  All of that is done under the surface, like that proverbial ice-berg.

So, we can’t accomplish much without the cooperation of that dark and steamy underworld dweller dressed ever so provocatively in black.  This means that if something exists in your life there’s a part of you that brought it about.  As the wise witch Carolyn Elliott says, “Having is evidence of wanting.”

It may seem like a harsh truth, but to me, it was a great revelation to know that part of me was that powerful and all I had to do was convince The Woman in Black to agree with my conscious desires in order to get what I wanted!

So, what did I have to do to change that 7 year stretch of martyrdom?  First, I had to acknowledge that the Woman in Black was wearing the witch hat in a way that I never could, and give her the respect she deserved.  And then, I had to let go of the person I thought myself to be.

It didn’t happen overnight.  It happened over time. And all of the magick I did leading up to the “spell that worked”, counted.  Just like the color correspondences, the stones, the herbs, the incantation AND the intentions counted.  Because everything counts.  And it adds up.  Over time, our conscious mind can feed our unconscious mind the desired, well, desire.  But the key was understanding that my deeply held belief about being a struggler, a martyr, a hard worker had to be recognized in order to be dislodged and changed.

Awareness is the first step, right?  So, once I was aware that I was really digging being the martyr, the put-upon one, once I came to know and appreciate the love I had for my identification with the never-resting-ever-working marvel that I’d become, I had to say goodbye to her.  But the Woman in Black wasn’t going to just let her go.  I had to feed her some new identity to latch onto, one she would enjoy just as much.

There are two ways to dislodge and replace a deeply held belief.

Think of a glass of muddy-dirty water.  You want this glass to be full of clear, pure water.  There are two ways of accomplishing this.  The first is to dump it out, wash the glass and re-fill it.  This example would be equal to a deep, devastating trauma that drastically changes your perspective.  And if you don’t have a trauma at hand, but still want to change, then what?

Take the glass of muddy water and start pouring pure, crystal clear water into it.  Keep pouring until it over-flows, then continue to pour until all that mud and silt and sand has been lifted out of the glass and displaced and you are left with a glass of pure, clear water.

That’s how cumulative magick works.  Each time I did a spell, each time I acknowledged the deep desire to be seen as a martyr and each time I focused my intention on wanting the change, I was pouring the pure water into the muddy and displacing it a little at a time.

And how did I acknowledge the desires of the Woman in Black?  I invitedher in, treated her like a guest and listened to what she had to say.  When she told me how fulfilling and wonderful it was to feel that struggle and hard work, I would close my eyes in ecstatic empathy and FEEL that with her.  When she spoke of being known as that miraculous, ever-busy, make-things-happen kind of woman, I grinned and fanned at my fa
ce and neck to cool those passionate flames arising in me.  You have to really get INTO it in order for her to feel heard and understood.

 

And then, in visualization and in my spell craft and in my mundane life, I began to convince the Woman in Black how fun it would be to be able to do all of those things and still have time to rest.  I gave her the image of us lounging decadently or floating in a pool.  I also gave her the image of us identifying with being a godsdamned fierce, badass magickal practitioner.

spell-caster

Finally, I did a spell to bring me a new life.  But this time, I was entirely ready to HAVE that new life.  I was absolutely done with my martyrdom and ready to move on to the next phase of things.  Within about 6 weeks of that final spell, I was living in a beautiful new place, working a job at almost twice the pay of the old one, with rewarding work and within walking distance of my new home.

And I must tell you, it has been one hell of a magickal ride since then too!

So if your spells aren’t working, it’s probably not a problem with your correspondences or the “recipe”.  It’s probably not an issue with astrological timing or the proper chant. (Although it could be those things too, because remember, everything counts!)

But it is much more likely something deep within you which fears, or is not in alignment with, what you think you want.  Have a chat with the Woman in Black and see if she can’t help you figure it out.

Happy witching!

 

*** Links to Image Sources are embedded in the images.

5 Witchy Weapons of Patriarchal Destruction

woman.demon.witch

Woman. Demon. Witch.

The patriarchy IS going down, but not without a fight.

Women are still being demonized the world over.  In fact, it seems to be getting worse.  From the Free the Nipple movement to the Burkini controversy, women are constantly being told exactly how to be.  Frat boys are still receiving slaps on the wrist for violating a woman’s body and politicians are still vying for control over our sexual freedom.

The safe passage of women through life is conditioned upon their behaving and appearing a certain way.  We are all TOO something; too thin, too fat, too pretty, too ugly, too fashionable, too disinterested in fashion, too smart, too dumb.  Who among us can strike that perfect balance of meeting that razor’s edge of societal acceptance?

None of us!  It’s a fabrication.  It’s fake! And women are evolving into their own personal realness.  This is why it seems that the patriarchy’s oppression of women is waxing rather than waning, as it should be.

It is because we are growing stronger, and they are becoming more and more frightened. When any entity (a human, a butterfly, a society) goes through a transformation, there comes a time of war, a time when two opposite notions the entity has of “self” are clashing and causing extremely uncomfortable dissonance.  This happens just before the Truth wins out and the entity changes.  So take heart.  I believe this is happening and we as Witches can help to bust open the chrysalis.

The number of self-proclaimed Witches in the world is increasing exponentially.  Think about that.  As Witches, we can’t agree on much, but I’m pretty sure we can agree that everything is connected.  Every thought and action sends out a ripple of energy into the world.  That’s why magic works!  The connection; the web of reality.

To claim the title of “Witch” is to openly fly in the face of convention.  We tell the world, “I am embracing the fact that I don’t fit in.  I AM different.  I AM Powerful.  And your thoughts on the matter are of no concern to me.”

A self-proclaimed Witch is an uncontrollable entity, an unknown.  A Witch, by her very existence, is an affront to the patriarchal powers that be.  But I believe we have a greater responsibility to our sisters and to the world.

As Witches we’ve honed our magickal prowess.  We’ve worked to form our hearts and minds into powerful forces for change.  The thoughts and actions that WE send out to the web of existence are more potent because of that.  So we need to use that power for good.

So what else can a Witch do to finally turn this proverbial Prince (of patriarchy) into the toad that it truly is?

Toad

 

Ok… before I go any further – I’m reminded of a little story I must share with you my witchy friends!

A princess frolics through the forest, you know, as princesses are wont to do, and she happens upon a toad which has a tiny crown on its head.  She is fascinated. 

Even more amazing, this toad can speak!  It croaks to her, saying that it is, in reality, a handsome but enchanted prince.  The toad brags on and on about his beautiful and expensive castle and how many beautiful princesses like her he has “conquered”.  He regales the princess with wonderful stories about how much land he owns and how that land has been passed down, from father to son, for generations.  He expounds on how he must produce a male heir for all of his riches. And then, he offers her the great honor of becoming his bride if she will only give him a kiss and break the enchantment. 

After hearing all of this, the princess levels her gaze at him, which the toad, of course, takes as a sign of interest.  She asks, “And what might such a bride do as mistress of this elegant and wonderful House of Toad?”   The toad answers, “Why, you would serve me, of course!  You would be at my side whenever I wish!  You may also prepare glorious meals for me, attend to my washing and you would be in charge of keeping the castle just so!”  He said this as if this would be a dream come true for any princess! 

The Princess blinked, and then moved closer to the toad and leaned in, only a hair’s breadth away and….  Could later be heard to say (as she enjoyed a lovely meal of sautéed frog’s legs and a glass of fine wine), “I don’t fucking think so!”

[Insert evil grin here!]

And now back to our Witchy Weapons of Patriarchal Destruction!

  1. Cultivate an awareness of subtle sexism.

We can all easily notice sexism such as the toad in our story telling the princess that she can cook and clean for him.  But do we notice when we are “innocuously” given the task of calling the caterer for the office party?

We may be perfectly aware when some misogynist questions our moods by referring to a certain time of month.  But do we sense ourselves censoring our own emotions when speaking to a group?  Is there a thought, deep down, that if your emotions show, you won’t be taken seriously?

It’s true.  Studies have shown that women are more likely to be interrupted during conversation and more likely to be perceived as untrustworthy for expressing emotions.  And those interruptions and perceptions of lower value are perpetrated by men AND women.

If you’ve ever used the euphemisms that equate parts of women’s bodies (Pussy) with weakness and parts of men’s bodies (balls) with strength, that’s something to become aware of.  I’ve taken to using the words “Uterus”, “Vagina”, and “Yoni” in place of balls.  It wakes people up because they’re not expecting it.

cartoon-Betty-White-on-Balls-jpg

Sexism rears its ugly head in our society in many ways and we need to be aware of these subtler expressions of it, so that we can…

  1. Call people out on their sexism. Male AND female.

Whenever you notice sexism in action, with your high-powered awareness, say something. Whether it’s some internet troll objectifying a woman or a woman who is begrudgingly accepting a role put upon her by the patriarchy.

Speak. Up. Every. Time.

Know this. You will be attacked for it.  Because How dare you point out a man’s foibles, you uppity *%$# (fill in the derogatory term of choice; bitch, feminazi, perhaps even Witch!)  In which case, you can slow-grin at them and give them a proper education.

I read an article recently called “Girls’ Guide to Calling Out Sexism Without Being Attacked”.  I prayed it was meant to be an ironic title, but I really couldn’t tell even after reading the article, which suggested we adjust our tone when calling out sexism, and advised us that we might be seen as “shrill” or “preachy” in doing so.   The article gave no advice as to how to call out the sexism of the attack itself.  And <heavy sigh> it was written by a woman.  Obviously not a Witch.

Don’t be like her.  Don’t tone it down for the sake of peace.  That’s how we got here in the first place. Fear.  Don’t let that be you.

And while we’re on the subject of fear…

  1. Empower others.

Do your best, as the witchy, wise, persuasive powerhouse that you are to bring those affected by sexism out of their fear.  Be an example but also be a shoulder.

One of the things that Witches are great at is bringing the love.  If there are women around you who are giving away their power, show them how to do things differently.

If they show interest in growing and becoming more empowered, help them discover ways to do that.

I volunteer at a non-profit for women teaching them workshops in self-discovery, finding their power and transforming their lives.  It other words, I’m teaching them to be Witches without calling it that.

Do the same for those you care about because, as I mentioned before, the more Witches, the better!

three-witches-gardner

And so, Witch… what’s next?

  1. Do Magick!

So you know how to cast a love spell and you can conjure up some cash when you need it.  You can witch some weather for your special event and call on Jupiter to expand your business.  And all of that is awesome.

But every once in awhile, consider doing some altruistic magick.  Goddess knows the world needs it in may ways.

Be creative!  Come up with a spell that helps to open the eyes of those who appear to be blind to casual sexism.

Practice a daily devotion to Diana requesting that she increase women’s power in the world.

Hell, masturbate with a sense of adoration and respect for your yoni and expand that feeling to the universe.

You’re a Witch, you can think of a spell that suits your purpose.

And if you are part of a group of Witches and you work together for the end of sexism in our society in some way, all the better.

Use your powers for good.  The world will thank you for it.

  1. And finally, continue to be your witchy, wise, bad-ass self unapologetically!

Beyonce

** NOTE:  Image Sources are embedded in each image.

Words of Wisdom by Witch in the World

Words of W 08-16-16

Hello Dear Readers!

I’m kind of big on this word “Responsibility”.  From early in my training as a witch, it was my understanding that we all have a tremendous amount of power; much more than most folks believe.

In learning spellcraft and witchcraft, I became aware that I was being given tools with which to wield my power in the mundane world.  As I’ve honed my skills with these tools and as I’ve crafted more efficient and powerful tools, I’ve come to understand that line from Spiderman.   With great power comes great responsibility.

As witches we believe that everything is connected (else magick wouldn’t work!).  And therefor, everything we do affects everything (and everyone) else.  So we take responsibility for that.  Hence the edict to “Harm None”.  And hence one of the reasons I love witchcraft as a lifestyle.  You are required to THINK before you act.  That goes for whether or not recycle and what kind of spellcraft you work with.

But there’s more to my little Words of Wisdom meme today.  As thinking, powerful beings with finely honed tools, we are responsible to become our best selves.

As Doreen Valiente said, “Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it.  Let naught stop you or turn you aside.”

What this means to me is that we must continually seek out our own enlightenment.  We must continually be looking for improvement, of ourselves and the world around us.  And in order to do that to the glory of all that there is… we have to realize that that glory begins inside of us.

So Realize your Awesomeness.  And then go out and show it to the world.  That’s how you save it.