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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Bone Magic Series: Feathers, Fangs, and Claws: How to Use Them in Magic

Bone Magic Series: Feathers, Fangs, and Claws: How to Use Them in Magic

Previously in the series, I covered bones and skulls and furs and pelts. This is only a fraction of the animal remains witches commonly use, and while this is a bone magic series, I strongly felt the need to cover a variety of animal remains because their uses make more sense with the proper context. This post will discuss all those miscellaneous remains, including feathers, teeth, and claws.

Feathers

Feathers are keratin filaments that cover the outside of birds and even some dinosaurs. They make up the plumage and not only provide warmth and water resistance, but also allow for flight. Like animal pelts and skins, feathers do not preserve well over time, so much of what we know of their historical magical uses stem from indigenous cultures, mostly Native American, and ancient mythology. Feathers have long been used as ornamentation on ceremonial garb, particularly headdresses among many groups worldwide, or as robes and cloaks. Birds are believed to possess a spiritual essence, their feathers being used to aid in flight and communication with the spirit world (source).

The type of bird largely impacted the type of magic associated with the feather. Macaw feathers, desired for their color and highly valued, were used by the Tewa for ceremonial purposes as a way to bring rain, which was believed to come from the South, the cardinal direction associated with the macaw (source). These feathers were so valuable, in fact, that they were often traded for goods, including turquoise and skins (source). Among the Zuni, turkey feathers were believed to represent mortality and therefore not worn by a dancer should death follow. Today, turkey feathers are often buried on All Souls' Day so the dead may wear them to dance (source). Eagles were and are symbolic of the sun or sky and were often used in combination with turkey feathers. It was believed the eagle was a spirit messenger and could take prayers to the heavens. Wearing the feather of an eagle is said to bring strength, wisdom, and protection (source). In the Hopi Snake Dance, a dancer follows the snake carrier while continuously brushing the rattlesnake with an eagle feather to stop the snake from striking (source). In Celtic mythology, the eagle was believed to be one of the oldest of all creatures.  In the tale of Culhwch and Olwen, Culhwch is tasked with finding the magical child Mabon. He asks a number of animals to help him in his quest, the eagle being the animal who tips him off as to where Mabon is (source). The eagle also appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in an account of the Battle of Brunanburh which says, "...the grey-coated eagle, white-tailed, to have his will of the corpses." This suggests the eagle took advantage of the deaths during the battle, thus again showing wisdom and ingenuity. Furthermore, Highland clan chiefs often wore three eagle feathers in their bonnets as a symbol of rank (source).

Crow feathers, like the eagle, were also used for wisdom and knowledge, as well as death and witchcraft (source, source). The tail feathers of a peacock, in spite of the beautiful plumage, is believed to bring ill luck and attract the evil eye, due to the tip resembling a human eye. Peacocks are scared to Juno, the patron goddess of women, and to rob a peacock of its tail feathers is thought to offend her (source). This, of course, is not a complete list of all feather correspondences but it does drive the point home that feathers have numerous magical associations.

In Egyptian myth, the feather of Ma'at was the judge of one's soul. According to the story, the heart of the deceased was handed over to Osiris, the God of Death, who placed it on a giant golden scale and balanced it against the white feather of Ma'at, the feather of truth. If the heart was lighter than the feather, thus showing it was free from impurities and sin, then the gods would consult the Forty-Two Judges to decide whether or not the soul was worthy. If so, the soul would pass to the Field of Reeds, the Summerland/Heaven equivalent in Egyptian mythology (source). The feather is also the symbol of Shu, the Egyptian god of Air and father of the Earth. Shu is often depicted wearing a feather in his hair. As such, the feather is often associated with the element Air (source).

Ancient Shamans in Siberia and the Druids of Europe often wore birdlike cloaks and costumes to represent transformation. The Colloquy of the Two Sages describes the possession of a three-colored feather robe by a High Bard. "...A covering of bright bird's feathers in the middle, a showery specking of fin-druine (white silver) on the lower half, and a golden color on the upper half." Another similar description is found in Cormac's Glossary, referred to as a tugen which was a Feathered Cloak commonly worn by Irish poets to represent mysticism and knowledge (source).

Feathers are also commonly placed in Witched Ladders. In the late 1800s, several strange items were found in the eaves of a house in England including a string of feathers. The house was then declared to belong to a witch and the string of feathers was referred to as a 'witches ladder.' In this case, it was a string of cockerel feathers and it was suggested to be used to cross over the roof of houses, cause death, and hex neighboring cattle. It was believed each feather was a hex, curse, or bad wish upon another. Throwing the witches ladder into the water was said to break the curse as the water would purify and loosen the feathers from the string. Their removal from the ladder meant the curse was also removed. Modern witches create witches ladders to curse, invoke clarity, or bring positive intent such as luck, prosperity, love, healing, or success with each feather representing a wish (source).

Today, feathers are used in much the same way as they have been historically used. Witches use feathers from an assortment of birds for an assortment of magical purposes. For example, placing blackbird feathers under someone's pillow is said to compel them to tell you their innermost secrets, while the feathers of a Wren are believed to prevent drowning (source). Furthermore, feathers are often placed on altars to represent air or placed in hedge riding sachets to aid in soul flight. Different colored feathers also have a variety of meanings. For example, finding a black feather means an angel is protecting you, green for abundance, and white for purity (source). Finally, many witches use a feather to waft smoke from incense or a herb stick. Their uses are endless and have been used for centuries by magical practitioners around the world.

Teeth and Claws

Other animal remains include teeth and claws (I will cover shells and blood in the future, but not as part of this series). Teeth could be classified under bones, but I felt the need to discuss some of their specific uses separately. Teeth are hard external bones covered in enamel used for mechanical digestion. Some of the earliest uses of teeth, whether animal or human, dates back to burial practices in the 7th and 8th centuries. Amulets containing teeth have been found in numerous graves, particularly those of women and children across Europe. It is believed these amulets were placed in the grave for protection for both the living and the dead (source, source).  From the 7th to 9th century, animal teeth were used to identify cunning women and these bones were commonly buried with the practitioner (source). In the 13th and 15th century, cattle teeth were found in graves, an indicator of healing magic (source).

In Ancient Rome, teeth were highly valued as a form of protection against the evil eye. Giovanni de'Medici was particularly fond of using animal teeth as a form of protection, particularly for the protection of children. Paintings by Detti and contemporary inventories suggest that animal teeth, more specifically wolf teeth, were mounted around homes, including the estate of Piero Ubaldini and Giulio de'Medici. Like many items during the Renaissance, teeth were believed to be a form of sympathetic magic. They were placed around the neck of a nursing infant to protect the child from danger and promote the development and growth of the child's own teeth (source, source).

Later teeth that had fallen out were commonly thrown into the fire instead of kept for protection as it was believed the teeth could be picked up by a witch and used to cause misfortune (source). Still, later the folktale of the Tooth Fairy arose in the United States around 1900. It is important to note that the Tooth Fairy did not exist in British folklore, making this a largely American tradition, although the Italian Marantega and several other folktales around the world are remarkably similar. It was believed that by placing the tooth under the pillow that the fairy would reward the offering with a monetary gift. The tale of Marantega, an old witch who trades coins for teeth, is very similar to the myth of the Tooth Fairy. However, it is believed she seeks teeth to fill her own toothless mouth (source). In several Asia countries, including China, Japan, and Korea, children who lose teeth from their lower jaw would throw their teeth on the roof, while those lost from the upper jaw are tossed on the floor or placed under the pillow. It was believed that the new tooth would be pulled toward the old tooth, lessening the time it would take to replace the tooth. In Mongolia, the teeth were fed to dogs, so that the new tooth would be as strong as the dog's teeth, or buried under a tree so that the new tooth had strong roots (source).

In Conjure, teeth have been historically and still are used in a variety of magical workings. For example, badger and alligator teeth were and are used in mojo bags (source). In fact, in 1760 Jamaica passed an act that forbid the slaves from engaging in magical activities, using dog and alligator teeth as evidence of such magical workings (source). Today teeth are used for protection, to bring luck, in binding spells, as part of a bone tarot set, in mojo bags, or in spells that increase communication.

Like teeth, claws can be used in much the same way, pulling on the attributes of whatever animal it came from. Historically, claws have very little written about them. In fact, much of what I could find is about cutting human fingernails. It was believed that cutting your nails on a Friday or Sunday was unlucky while cutting on Monday was thought to bring good health and Tuesday wealth (source). Romans often wore images of bears or bear claws to ease childbirth and protect the unborn child (source). Today, witches use claws as altar decorations, for protection, and mojo bags. For example, cockerel claws are used in protection charms in Voodoo and Santeria practices.

Overall, animal remains have and are an integral part of magical practices the world over. Whether they are used in rituals or spells, they bring us closer to the world around us. How do you use feathers, fangs, or claws in your magical practice?

Interest in the rest of the series? Here's what's to come!

Bone Magic Series

Introduction
A Brief History of Animal Remains in Magic
Bones and Skulls: How to Use Them in Magic
Furs and Pelts: How to Use Them In Magic
Feathers, Fangs, and Claws: How to Use Them in Magic
How to Ethically Acquire Animal Remains
Cleaning and Preserving Animal Remains
Working With the Spirits of Animal Remains: Crossing Over & Contracting
Feeding Your Bones
Throwing the Bones + Build Your Own Bone Tarot


Monday, May 13, 2019

May Full Moon Worksheet

May Full Moon Worksheet

This month's full moon is on the 18th and is in Scorpio, making this a great time for releasing, cleansing, and transforming your life. Find your authentic self by shedding unwanted or shallow relationships. Sacrifice that which no longer serves you and spend time giving back to the community. This month's worksheet includes areas for you to jot down what you wish to release and charge, as well as a 5 card tarot spread to let you shed the unwanted and find that authentic self.

May Full Moon Worksheet

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE COPY

Looking for more free worksheets? Why not get your free copy of my spell/ritual worksheet to write your best spells and rituals yet?

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Herbarium: Marigold

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Marigold. Includes FREE BOS page!

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire
Powers: Death, Prophetic Dreams, Protection, Psychic Powers, Rebirth
Magical Uses and History: For the sake of this article, I will be talking about traditional marigolds, not to be confused with Calendula, although many use the terms interchangeably. They do, however, have very similar uses. 

Marigolds under the genus name Tagetes are named after an Etruscan prophet by the name of Tages who taught others divination, a fitting name as marigolds are thought to stimulate prophetic dreaming if placed under one's pillow. The common name, however, comes from Mary's Gold, a name originally applied to calendula because of the vibrant yellow and orange flower petals, which stems from the Virgin Mary then, after the Reformation, England's Queen Mary. As such, marigolds are strongly associated with the Sun and can, therefore, be used in magic relating to passion, warmth, and creativity.

The Aztecs regarded marigolds as a sacred flower, breeding them to create larger more vibrant blooms. They were used during rituals and other important ceremonies as a guide for the spirits to altars. In the early 1500s, they were transported to the Old World where they quickly spread and became part of many traditions including the Victorian floral language in which they mean "pain and grief" or as a way to comfort one who is grieving. Today, marigolds are part of Dia de Los Muertos activities, aiding in spirits finding their way home.

Garlands of marigolds can be strung together and hung above doorways to stop the evil eye from entering the house, while scattered under a bed will protect the sleeper. Placed in a sachet, they can bring happiness or protection, while carrying the flowers in your pocket is said to bring justice.

Marigolds can be used in a number of spells including:
     Prophetic Dreaming
     Protection Magic
     Rebirth/Ressurection Magic
     Offerings to attract spirits

Medicinal Uses: Marigolds have a variety of medicinal uses similar to that of calendula. They can be used to treat digestive disorders including stomach pain, gas, and worms. It can also be used to treat colds and coughs and ease the symptoms of menstruation. Furthermore, it can be used as a mosquito repellent and to treat bug bites as it contains ingredients that decrease inflammation. In essence, marigold behaves very similarly to calendula.

Preparation and Dosage: To make an infusion, combine 1-2 teaspoons of dried flowers with one cup boiling water. Allow to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink up to three times a day. As a tincture, take 1-4 milliliters up to three times a day. To make a compress, combine 1 pint boiling water with 2 tablespoons dried flowers or 3 fresh flowers letting it stand until cool. Soak the compress in the solution and place on the infected area. Apply at least twice a day. Please be aware of which type of marigold you are using and prepare it accordingly. Marsh Marigold, for example, is toxic and should not be used for medicinal purposes.


Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!
Magical and Medicinal Uses of Marigold. Includes FREE BOS page!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Beltane Altar 2019

Beltane Altar 2019

Beltane, like Ostara, is largely a fertility sabbat with fire and passion mixed in. Flowers, bonfires, and Maypoles are characteristic of Beltane celebrations as are Greenwood marriages. Beltane is all about passion, lust, vitality, and joy, which I attempted to capture in my modest Beltane altar this year. I went with flowers from my abundant garden, a couple of crystals, and two white candles. It's simple yet elegant.

Beltane Altar 2019

1. White Pillar Candles with Candlesticks- The white candles represent the Sun and passion, both characteristic of this time. The Sun is still growing in strength, breathing life into gardens and heating the Earth. Soon He will reach his peak.  The white, on the other hand, represents the purity of the Maiden will soon transition into motherhood after consummating her marriage to the young Oak King or Green Man. (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree; Cost: $1 for 2 pillar candles, candlesticks $1 each)

Beltane Altar 2019

2. Rose Quartz, Clear Quartz, and Carnelian- Rose quartz corresponds with love and passion, and the giving of rose quartz to someone you love during Beltane is a common tradition I thought could easily be displayed on my altar. The carnelian represents the Sun, flames, lust, and passion, energy, life, and vibrancy, common themes associated with Beltane. Furthermore, it is associated with the sacral chakra and sensuality, making it a potent addition to this altar. Together their powers are strengthened by the clear quartz. The rose quartz also  (Where did I get it: Received in subscription boxes; Cost: ~$5 for all three)

Beltane Altar 2019

3. Mason Jar Bouquet of Flowers- My garden is bursting with life right now, including my Eden rose that is fully blooming for the first time. Another common tradition on Beltane is to give out bouquets of fresh flowers to your neighbors and those you love. I gave out two this year to coworkers and made one to put on my altar. The Eden rose represents love and passion, the sage longevity, yellow yarrow love and marriage, and the wildflowers abundance and fertility. I tied a piece of twine around the mason jar to represent the Greenwood marriages/handfastings that commonly occur this time of year. (Where did I get it: Target or Found; Cost: $0.50 for mason jar, flowers free)

Beltane Altar 2019

TOTAL COST: ~$8.50


Like my other altars, most of the items I use are found or purchased for around $1, although if the items must be purchased by you, then the cost will be higher. I hope you find this sort of break down helpful, especially those of you looking to create Instagram perfect altars on a budget!

How did you celebrate Beltane this year?

Monday, April 29, 2019

Book Review: The Happy Mind by Kevin Horsley and Louis Fourie

When Maria from TCK Publishing reached out asking if I would review The Happy Mind: A Simple Guide to Living a Happier Life Starting Today by Kevin Horsley and Louis Fourie I was a little hesitant. The book isn't about witchcraft or paganism, so why the heck should I review it? I almost turned it down, but then I started thinking, "How many times in a witchy group have I seen witches asking for 'love and light' or spells to make them happier? How many times have I myself posted about my depression and the magical steps I have taken to try and help alleviate my symptoms." The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I should probably accept the offer, if not to help myself, but all those other witches out there suffering as well. I'm glad I did.

Book Review: The Happy Mind by Kevin Horsley and Louis Fourie

The Happy Mind is an incredibly short read at just 102 pages. You can read it in one sitting, as even the authors admit that many readers will do. However, despite its shortness, it packs a powerful message. Unlike other books on happiness that give elaborate tasks and sometimes even guilt the reader, Horsley and Fourie get right to the point. They explore both happiness and unhappiness, encouraging the reader to recognize the unhappiness traps they fall into without guilting the reader for being unhappy. Personally, this is what helped me the most. Reading the passages on unhappiness and the different types were eye-opening. I've been thinking about them a great deal over the past couple of days, recognizing the signs that I am falling into those unhappiness traps before I get overwhelmed. This alone has helped focus my mindset on being happier in my daily life. Yes, I have depression. The authors recognize that many individuals have an illness, but also recognize that we can take proactive steps to be happy, even when we are struggling.

The second half of the book details tasks you can do every day to be happier. They encourage the reader to read the book cover to cover, then focus on one page a day, studying what it has to say and enacting change in your thoughts and behaviors. Sometimes they are easy tasks, other times they are more difficult, especially on a day where happiness seems like a distant, unattainable fantasy. These tasks are things that happy people do regularly and studies have repeatedly supported everything Horsley and Fourie present in their book.

While the book isn't about witchcraft, it is still truly magical. Combine reading this book and practicing what it has to offer within your craft and I have no doubts you'll find yourself enjoying your life and practice more each day. It isn't going to cure you overnight, but hopefully, it will at least get you thinking.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Beltane Correspondences

Beltane Correspondences

Symbolism: life, fire, fertility, marriage, sex, love, lust

Symbols: maypole, flower crowns, ribbons, spring flowers, bonfires, cauldrons, baskets, eggs, broom

Colors: green, pink, blue, yellow, red, white, brown, and other pastel colors

Food and Drink: dairy, bread, honey, oatmeal, cakes, strawberries, wine, green salads, cherries, lemonade

Herbs: almond, ash, clover, cinquefoil, lily of the valley, meadowsweet, mint, mugwort, foxglove, honeysuckle, elder, ivy, lilac, rose, yarrow, bluebells, marigold, thyme, and other flowering plants

Deities: Aphrodite, Artemis, Bast, Diana, Pan, the Horned God, Venus, Maiden, Mother, and other gods/goddesses of love/fertility.

Crystals and Gemstones: Emerald, malachite, bloodstone, amber, carnelian, rose quartz

Animals: bees, cow, rabbit, frog, swallow, dove, swan, cats, lynx, leopard

Magic: Beltane is a great time to cast fertility spells and perform love magic. Beltane is commonly referred to as the "sex" sabbat so any spells or rituals involving sex magic can be performed during this time. This is also a great time to get married, committing to each other for a year and a day, renewing your vows each year. If you are not interested in those magics, focus on planting or fertilizing your garden, dancing around a maypole, nurturing your goals, or just hanging out with friends around a bonfire. No matter what you decided to do, make sure you have fun!

Please note this is not a complete list but a brief overview of symbols, colors, herbs, deities, and the like. If I have missed something that you feel should make the list, please feel free to contact me via the comments or through email.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Spirit Work for Beltane

Spirit Work for Beltane

Beltane, also referred to as May Day, falls on the first of May. This sabbat is characterized by fertility rituals, phallic symbols such as the Maypole, dancing, flowers, and fires.  Like Samhain, the veil between worlds is very thin, making this the perfect time to contact spirits, more specifically the fae folk. There are tons of ways to connect with spirits during this sabbat, similar to those most people perform at Samhain, but here are three ways to work with spirits on or around Beltane if you're not sure where to start or looking to try something new.

1. Light a bonfire and practice pyromancy. 


Beltane is a fire festival after all! Pyromancy is the ancient art of divination using the flames of a fire, whether it be a candle flame or bonfire. Once the fire is lit, fix a question firmly in your mind and stare into the flames, allowing your focus to shift slightly. As you watch the flames flicker, jot down any images you see. Do this for about 10 to 15 minutes or until you believe your question has been answered adequately. A single symbol or set of similar symbols are what you should focus on, as they are the message the spirits are trying to convey to you. The symbols can be interpreted according to whatever set of traditional meanings you follow. For example, some view windmills and water fountains as signs of good changes to come, while flowers are believed to represent disappointment. Don't forget to listen to your intuition. Just because a book says one thing, it doesn't mean you are wrong. If your gut is telling you a different story, listen to it. You can find a simple fire scrying ritual here.

2. Speak with your spiritual guides.


Because the veil is thin, you can easily travel to the Otherworld and communicate with your spiritual guides during this time. I like to meet up with my animal guides during Beltane to perform magic within the Otherworld. Again, because the veil is thin, the magic quickly seeps through to our realm where it will manifest, without you having to practice the work within our realm. This is a great way to perform magic cheaply and effectively because you can will the items you need into existence or ask your guides to track them down for you. They likely already have everything you need before you know it yourself. Focus on fertility magic and prosperity during this sabbat. Think along the lines of a bountiful harvest. You can also focus on love magic, whether you are looking for a relationship or strengthening one. If you aren't up to trying magic in the Otherworld, just spend some time talking with them. There are likely other spirits who will wish to meet up with you at this time, so be open to speaking with them.

3. Invite the fae into your garden.


There are a variety of ways to do this. One is to plant their favorite flowers, as outlined in my post Inviting Fairies into Your Garden. Set out offerings of milk, honey, small cakes, shiny coins, special trinkets, or other items you think the fae would like. Remember to avoid iron as the fae hate iron. If you wish, perform a small ritual inviting them to your garden. Make sure you build in a failsafe in case you wish to remove the fae if they become rowdy or otherwise unwanted. Sometimes the fae can become a nuisance, so you want to make sure you have a way to get rid of them. During your ritual, end it by saying "Until there comes a time that I ask you to leave." You have to be very specific when working with the fae. If you are not specific enough, they will find a loophole to trick you. From my experiences, however, I have found they are pretty cooperative when you ask them to leave, as long as you are nice about it. Keep them happy and they will keep your home safe in return, albeit they may make a little mischief themselves.

And there you have it, three easy ways to perform spirit work on Beltane! Do you have a special way you like to honor spirits or work with spirits during Beltane? Please share in the comments below!


Monday, April 15, 2019

April Full Moon Worksheet

April Full Moon Worksheet

This month's full moon is on the 19th and is likely going to bring about some turmoil and changes within your own life despite the moon being in Libra. Groups previously in power will fall from grace, and new ones will rise to take their place. Expect your need for freedom and excitement to cause tensions in your personal relationships. However, this is a time of revolution, so use it to your advantage. This month's worksheet includes areas for you to jot down what you wish to release and charge, as well as a 6 card revolution tarot spread so you know what you already have within you, what you need to seek out, and where/how you can direct your energies to bring about major changes.

April Full Moon Worksheet

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE COPY

Looking for more free worksheets? Why not get your free copy of my spell/ritual worksheet to write your best spells and rituals yet?

Thursday, April 11, 2019

10 Ways to Have a Magical Evening

10 Ways to Have a Magical Evening

Following my last post, 10 Ways to Have a Magical Morning, it makes sense to cover how to have a magical evening as well. Again, I would like to say you are by no means obligated to perform magic on a daily basis. I certainly don't, but if you are looking for ways to have a more magical day, consider incorporating the following into your daily routine.

1. Take some time to meditate. This makes a lot of lists, and for a good reason. Meditation, even just 5 minutes relieves stress and lowers blood pressure. Furthermore, it's a great way to reconnect and recenter after a long.

2. Write about your day in a journal. It doesn't seem very magical, but writing about your day before bed allows you to rid yourself of negatively and provides you an opportunity to analyze your day from a magical perspective. Did you notice the same number repeatedly? Did someone say or do something odd? Did you receive any messages from spirits? When you start keeping a daily journal, you may find that the Universe and Spirit are trying to communicate with you, and what is more magical than that?

3. Cleanse your phone. You and I both know you are attached to that darn thing. Before you go to bed, wipe it down (not very magical but prevents disease) and magically cleanse it. You'd be surprised how much this changes your evening. Once you cleanse it, don't use it again until morning. This symbolic ritual will help you wind down in the evening and leave one of your most used devices clear of negativity energy.

4. Set your intentions for the following day. I'm a planner and I like to be prepared so I spend some time figuring out what I want out of the next day. I usually keep things pretty general and positive.

5. Wash your face to wash away the day. You do this in the morning and you should do it at night before bed. Don't bring that crap into bed with you. Seriously! Let it wash away down the sink. Imagine the water you use is infused with golden healing light. As you wash, it pulls away all the negativity from the day and infuses your skin with health and vibrancy.

6. Bask in the rays of the Moon. The Moon is a pretty big deal in witchcraft in case you didn't know. When she finally rises, go outside and soak in her glow. This is the most magical thing I do. Nothing beats staring up her and feeling her gentle embrace. Talk to her if you want. She is there to listen.

7. Ground and center using the Earth or crystals. I use my black tourmaline to ground and center before bed if I am having a hard time falling asleep. I simply hold the crystal in my hand with my eye closed and focus on my breathing. I imagine my feet growing roots that sink deep into the Earth. I shuts my brain off pretty quickly.

8. Expand your mind by reading a book. It really doesn't matter if the book is witchy or not. It is magical just to read and escape for a little while. I try to read at least 15 minutes every day. Put away the computer and the phone and pick up a book.

9. Enchant your pillow to bring good dreams by spraying your pillow with a calming mist. I have a mist infused with essential oils that brings happiness. This is what I use most often, but other choices can include mists with lavender, sage, or chamomile. Make sure whatever you use is safe to touch your face as you will be sleeping on it.

10. Place amethyst next to your bed to enhance dreaming. If you are looking to perform some dream magic, amethyst is a great crystal to use. It enhances psychic abilities, opens you up to dream messages, and even will help you remember them in the morning. Make sure to record them in a dream journal when you wake up!

BONUS: If you wear glasses or contacts, enchant them in the evening when you clean them to bring you insight the following day.

Most of what you do in the evening should be a reflection on the current day and washing away any negativity so you can start anew the next day. How do you have a magical evening?


Monday, April 8, 2019

10 Ways to Have a Magical Morning

10 Ways to Have a Magical Morning

Practicing magic daily has been a hot topic in witchy groups everywhere, so I figured I would share some of the ways I have a magical day. First and foremost, I want to make it known that there is no rule that says you have to practice magic every day to be a 'good' witch. If I am honest, I don't often feel like I am practicing magic, even with a morning routine, and you might not either. That's okay. Sometimes I go weeks, even months without really practicing my craft. I encourage you to do what works best for you. You are still a witch, even if you aren't actively practicing magic.

1. Enchant your toothpaste with a protection spell. As a witch with a genetic disease resulting in the continuous break down of my teeth, this is something I recently started doing in an attempt to try anything that could possibly give me relief. First, I use a medicated toothpaste, so already on the protection train, but I also enchanted it for some extra help. There are several ways you can do this. For me, I sat the toothpaste next to some protective crystals related to teeth health such as fluorite and citrine that were charged with intent and lit a white candle. I asked that the crystals and candle work together to increase the protective nature of the toothpaste. Pretty simple really.

2. Carve protective sigils in your deodorant before use to bring you luck, prosperity, courage, patients, or anything else you need. This one is pretty fun. Use something sharp, like a paperclip to lightly carve your sigil into your deodorant. If you want your deodorant to bring the same characteristic, simply draw it in marker on the container itself. If you make your own deodorant, consider picking essential oils that could bring you whatever you are looking for.

3. Imagine all negative or unwanted energies washing away during your morning shower or face wash. This one is pretty simple. Personally, I don't shower in the morning often, but when I do, I imagine my troubles washing down the drain and the warm water bringing renewing energies. I do wash my face in the morning and imagine the same thing.

4. Cleanse your bed of old energy as you make it. I do this by fluffing the pillows and wiping the comforter and imagining I am beating/wiping out the negative, stale energy and charging it with positively.

5. Infuse your morning coffee or tea with intent. Some people do this by stirring it clockwise or drawing sigils. I do it by holding the cup and imagining I am infusing it with positive energizing energy. I love just holding the cup in two hands, closing my eyes, and breathing in the smell. I'm a tea drinker personally and love French Breakfast teas laced with honeysuckle.

6. Bless your keys for safe travel. Even if you don't drive, you likely carry a set of keys with you at all times. Ask them to keep you safe until you return home. Why not put a crystal keychain on your keys to amplify the magic?

7. Practice simple glamour magic. If you wear makeup, enchant your makeup. If you don't, enchant your facewash, face lotion, or shave gel for the same purposes. Personally, I like to draw sigils on my face in foundation because I am extra like that. You can do the same with whatever you are using in the morning on your face. Ladies and gentlemen, if you are NOT moisturizing, you best start. Get with it!

8. Eat REAL food. This seems kind of mundane, but eating processed foods screws up your aura and is just bad for you. Skip the cereal for something real like eggs, avocado toast, oatmeal, or fresh fruit. I eat avocado toast with a soft boiled egg on top. Sometimes I throw in a banana as well or save it for a snack later.

9. Briefly meditate, draw a tarot card, or practice yoga. If you have time, spend 5 to 10 minutes meditating or doing some yoga to get ready for the day. If you don't, simply drawing one tarot card to see how the theme of the day is quick and fun. I usually pull it, jot it down, and research it while I am eating breakfast. I don't do this very often though, instead preferring to zone out during breakfast. Yes, zoning out of my form of meditation. I do it while running too.

10. Say a mantra. Every morning before I leave for work, I say "I've got this." I often don't feel like I do. In fact, my anxiety is constantly telling me I don't, but saying it out loud helps me recognize that I do. Heck, just being positive and smiling while you say it will change your day. You can also just give gratitude in the morning. It is hard to be negative when you are being thankful.


These are some quick and easy methods to infuse your morning with magic, and they are all gender neutral. I see a lot of lists out there that are geared more towards women and I wanted to remedy that a bit. How do you make your mornings magical?

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Setting Up Your Astral Garden/Office

Setting Up Your Astral Garden/Office

Last year in my Hedge Riding Series, I mentioned that I often visit my Garden in the Otherworld. In fact, I do much of my work within my Garden. I failed in that series, however, to explain exactly what that is or how to create your own. I wish to remedy that today and seeing from the survey many of you want more hedge riding posts, so I am killing two birds with one stone! You may notice that I am tagging this post as part of the series as well, which will make it easier for people to find it.

What is Your Astral Garden/Office


Like a physical office, your astral office or garden is a place from which you can work in the Otherworld. These two sacred spaces work in tandem with one another, allowing you to safely and efficiently conduct spirit work. Different witches refer to the sacred space within the Otherworld differently. For example, Poppy Palin refers to it as an astral office, Katie Weatherup a sacred garden, and Devin Hunter a White Room. Personally, I just call mine my Garden because that is really what it is. Whatever you call it, your sacred workspace within the Otherworld likely already exists in some fashion within the deep recesses of your mind; you just have to activate it to travel there and work out the details. I agree with Palin in that referring to it as an office, we recognize this space as important and work related. However, unlike a real office, this place is a sanctuary, free of harsh lights, buzzing computers, and weird smells. Your sacred workspace should be a place of safety as well as a place that is stimulating and calm.

Each person's workspace will be different and will likely be a mix of reality and fantasy. I love how Palin refers to it as Alice in Wonderland meets National Geographic. This is by far one of the best explanations as to what your workspace will end up looking like in the end. When you set up your workspace you will use both fantasy and natural realism. You could have rivers of gold, talking trees, singing meadows, large crystal caverns, faerie rings, endless moors, or something less fantastic, like a simple lake with a tree stump beside it. The last example is exactly what my Garden looks like. It is a temperature deciduous forest, like those found here in Georgia and Michigan where I was born, with a cool, clear lake in the middle. Beside the lake is an old tree stump where I spend most of my time sitting and talking with my guides. Around the outside of my garden is a wrought iron fence. Normally it is advised to not have concrete or steel trappings of modern society within your garden, but this is the boundary that spoke to me as the protector of my sacred space. Furthermore, most creatures don't like iron, meaning anything that wishes to hurt me can't pass through the gates. Some people say there should be nothing that is modern manmade inside of your garden, as it brings pollution and destruction into the Otherworld. Others say go for it if it helps you work. I strongly encourage you to do what works best for you, whether it be a garden or an actual office space. You may find, however, that it is naturally natural. That doesn't mean that there won't be buildings in your workspace, but they may not look like the buildings we are accustomed to today.

How to Set Up Your Astral Garden/Office


To begin setting up your sacred space within the Otherworld, begin jotting down or making a mental note of what you would like your space to be like. I knew mine would be a forest right from the get-go and that's really all I started with. I did not elaborately plan my Garden, but you are more than welcome to. Spend time making notes and even sketching some drawings if you like. Whatever helps you make a mental note of what would be the perfect space for your spiritual practice within the Otherworld.

After you have a plan, you will need to journey there. Begin by setting your purpose for your journey. This can be as simple as stating, "I will journey to my sacred space within the Otherworld." If you want, add in that you will meet your guides there. Setting the correct purpose and traveling with intent will guarantee you travel to the correct destination. For more on this and hedge riding, please refer to my post How to Hedge Ride.

Once you have successfully arrived in the Otherworld, you may notice that some things are missing or that the space is completely blank, even with all of your elaborate planning. Each person starts building their astral space differently, so don't be upset if there is nothing or only a partially complete space. Mine has grown over time and continues to change as I grow. If the space is completely formed, which is rare, spend time exploring it and getting to know it. Otherwise, you will need to begin making your dream a reality. Begin walking the space, even if there is nothing there and imagine what you have designed coming to life before you. You may do this by waving your hands or calling forth what you want. My personal experience was less formal. I remember seeing the wrought iron gate and a dense forest, but beyond that was nothing. As I walked through the gate and into the forest, the world began to develop on its own exactly how I wanted it to be. The deeper I walked more details appeared. I didn't expect a lake at the center, but there it was, perfectly round with a beautiful moss-covered stump on its shore. It was perfect.

I encourage you to spend no more than 20 minutes at a time setting up your office or garden or whatever you want to call it. It will take a lot of energy out of you, so be wary of spending too much time there when you are designing. Also, bring your guides along with you! They will love to help you design your space. Meka galloped around, flowers growing in her wake. She was so happy to help me create a home. I'm sure your guides will want to do some designing too, especially because they will be spending a lot of time there as well. And that's it!

Honestly, this is one of the easiest things to do regarding hedge riding and a heck of a lot of fun! I would absolutely LOVE to hear about your gardens and offices or whatevers in the comments below. I always love hearing about other people's experiences in the Otherworld, so please leave a comment, send an email, or leave me a message on social media.


Monday, April 1, 2019

Bone Magic Series: Furs and Pelts: How to Use Them In Magic

Bone Magic Series: Furs and Pelts: How to Use Them In Magic

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

In the last post, I covered how skulls and bones are ritually used in witchcraft, both historical and modern. This post will cover the use of pelts, furs, leather, and skin in magical practices through time and across the globe.

Pelts and fur refer to the outside covering of an animal. A pelt is the animal's skin and fur, while the fur alone is no longer attached to the skin, such as when you brush your dog or cat. Also included in this category would be animal skins, such as snakeskin, leather, and wool. These make up the outside covering of the animal, being used for touch, protection, and temperature regulation. The skin contains hundreds of thousands of nerve endings, thus making the skin one of the first ways an animal interacts with the world. Furthermore, skin and fur act as a protectant, keeping in moisture and harmful pathogens. Finally, the skin is used for temperature regulation, providing an anchoring site for sweat glands, as well as for fur to aid in warmth. Animal remains other than bones don't tend to preserve very well, so much of what we know regarding the use of pelts and furs is inferred from paintings, writings, and indigenous cultures still present today. Pelts and furs were most commonly used in garments and blankets for warmth, especially during winter months, and as containers for water or miscellaneous items. However, that doesn't mean that they didn't have magical uses as well.

One of the most common uses of animal pelts/fur/leather/etc was to invoke the spirit of the animal whose pelt was being worn. The most famous example of this is the Navajo skinwalkers. According to Navajo legend, a skinwalker is a medicine man who has reached the highest level of priesthood but has chosen to use their powers for evil by taking the form of an animal to inflict pain and suffering. In order to become a skinwalker, the person must kill a close family member. The most common animal form taken is the coyote, followed by the owl, fox, wolf, and crow (source). Other common uses include wearing animal furs and pelts as ceremonial garb to invoke the spirit of the animal being worn. Mississippian archeological finds show that the peoples of the area relied on animal pelt headdresses as part of their ritual practice (source) while many indigenous tribes across North America, including the Pueblos, Navajo, Apache, and Inuit, dressed in furs and hides during ritual dances, again to invoke the spirit of the animal they were wearing (sourcesource). In Europe, furs were used in similar ways. In 1604, five supposed witches were burned after they pounced on a child while wearing the pelts of wolves (source). In Scotland and Wales it was believed that witches would use the pelts of hares to transform to suck the milk from cows (source). In Africa, Zulu witch doctors wear the pelts of bears to symbolize strength while monkey pelts are often worn to frighten spirits. In one instance three Zulu witchdoctors wore the pelt of a lion for strength, deer for docility, and feathers while playing the drum to scare away evil spirits during the difficult birth of the chief's child (source). Today, the Zulu church is moving away from using the pelts of endangered species, specifically the leopard, relying on faux fur instead as an act of conservation (source). Of course, animal skins are not the only skin that has been used historically. There are accounts of human skin being used as recently as the 2000s in parts of Africa as a protective charm, like a rabbit's foot, or to increase fertility, strength, and good luck (source).

Today, furs and pelts are used for the same reasons as they were historically. They are used to make jewelry, clothing, bags, and altar cloths as well as for skin dancing and invocation of the animal spirit or archetype. While there are some ethical concerns regarding furs, pelts, and leather, it should be noted that faux furs and pelts can be used as well with the same results. I don't personally use fur in my practice, at least not yet, but I would like to in the future. If you happen to use fur in your practice, I would love to know how in the comments below!


Interest in the rest of the series? Here's what's to come!

Bone Magic Series

Introduction
A Brief History of Animal Remains in Magic
Bones and Skulls: How to Use Them in Magic
Furs and Pelts: How to Use Them In Magic
Feathers, Fangs, and Claws: How to Use Them in Magic
How to Ethically Acquire Animal Remains
Cleaning and Preserving Animal Remains
Working With the Spirits of Animal Remains: Crossing Over & Contracting
Feeding Your Bones
Throwing the Bones + Build Your Own Bone Tarot

If you are looking at learning more about pelts and skin dancing, I strongly encourage you to read Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic and Skin Spirits: The Spiritual and Magical Uses of Animal Parts by Lupa. She covers the topic extremely well as she is a skin dancer herself. She also includes wonderful crafts and projects that use animal remains.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Bone Magic Series: Bones and Skulls: How to Use Them in Magic

Bone Magic Series: Bones and Skulls: How to Use Them in Magic

So I decided to break this post up into 3 different ones because it was so damn long. I wanted to make it as comprehensive as possible, including what the animal remain is from a scientific point of view and what the remain has been historically used for by magical practitioners around the world. In this post I am going to simply cover the use of skulls and bones in witchcraft. The next two posts will cover furs and pelts, followed by feathers, fangs, and claws (along with shells and blood). It is important to note that animal remains do not preserve well overall. That means for ancient cultures, much of what we have is either interpreted from historical texts or noted in myths and legends passed down between generations. Our knowledge is rather limited, but still available. Much of what we know about animal remain use comes from indigenous cultures, especially those of North America and Africa, so please keep this in mind.

Skulls and Bones


This is the one witches tend to be the most interested in, and for a good reason. Skulls in particular not only look really cool, but they are the protectors of the consciousness, making them excellent tools for spirit work and divination. Scientifically speaking the skull is the boney structure that forms the head in vertebrate organisms. It not only protects the brain but also provides attachment sites for the facial muscles and cartilage. Other bones provide protection and attachment sites for muscle and tendons, allowing movement and stature. For example, the ribs aid in protecting the lungs and heart, while the femur is specifically used in movement. In general, skulls and bones tend to preserve pretty well, especially in comparison to soft tissue, making them an easy magical tool for a witch that wishes to use them in their magical practice.

Bone Magic Series: Bones and Skulls: How to Use Them in Magic

In witchcraft, skulls and bones have been used in a variety of ways. I mentioned some of these uses in my previous post on A History of Animal Remains in Witchcraft, but felt the need to expand on this topic. Historically, bones have been used in folk-medicine, divination, and spirit work. This includes using everything from the astragalus of a hare to whale ear bones. You name it, there is likely use for it. One of the most famous uses of a bone is the wish-bone from a turkey or other domestic fowl. Either side of the bone is held by a person and pulled until it breaks. The individual with the largest piece will have their wish granted. Other times, the wish-bone is hung above a door to bring love, likely due to its shape (source).

The earliest use of bones was likely as amulets and fetishes. Archeological finds have uncovered thigh-bones of mammoths that were carried by nomadic cave dwellers from Belgium. The smaller bones, such as the carpus and tarsus, were perforated and worn as charms as seen in the Museum of Natural History in Brussels and Sommerville's collection at the University of Pennsylvania (source). Other early uses include bone-fires, known today as bonfires, where the bones of animals were ritually burned to appease a deity (source).

Other early uses of bones include for divination, as mentioned previously in A History of Animal Remains in Witchcraft. The blade-bone of different animals, including sheep, deer, bear, and ox were used for divination since antiquity, and are still used by certain groups worldwide today. The blade bone was placed into a fire until it cracked in various directions. Once the bone cooled, the splits and cracks were carefully analyzed. One method of reading suggests a long split lengthwise signified the "way of life," while good and bad fortune were read from the lateral cracks (source). In Scotland, the scapula was stripped of flesh and inspected for any semi-transparent parts of the bone. Dark spots were believed to symbolize misfortune, while black spots foretold death. The Irish used a similar practice, except darker spots indicated that someone will be burned out of the house (source). In Japan, scapulimancy dated back to the protohistoric period with the favored bone being from a stag, which is outlined in Kojiki written in A.D. 712. The scorched bones were used to divine luck (source). These Japanese practices were very similar to those found in China, where oracle bones were used. To read about other cultures that also used scapulimancy please refer to my last post A History of Animal Remains in Witchcraft. While not complete, it discusses scapulimancy as well. I do not wish to repeat myself all over again, instead wishing to present you with new information. I also strongly encourage you to read Naskapi: The Savage Hunters of the Labrador Peninsula to learn more about bone use in North American indigenous cultures. This is by no means the only source, but it is pretty comprehensive and free.

Bone Magic Series: Bones and Skulls: How to Use Them in Magic

Apart of divination, bones have also historically been used for protection. Across Europe, horse skulls have been found buried under churches, home hearths, in walls, chimneys, and even under threshing barn floors. Historians believe some of these skulls were placed for acoustic purposes, but many believe this explanation evolved later in history to explain away the skulls as many of the skulls found across Europe have no acoustical function. Much of the folklore associated with horses is concerned with luck (think horseshoe), and it is possible our ancestors placed the skulls in the home to bring luck as well as for protection (source). Cats were also commonly placed in the walls of buildings in across Europe, especially in England, Wales, and southern Scotland. It is believed the dried cats were placed in walls for two reasons: to protect the home from vermin and as a sacrifice to the home as the protector from pestilence (source). More commonly, however, animal bones were used in fetishes, an object believed to have magical properties or to be inhabited by a spirit. I could devote an entire post to fetishes alone, and likely will in the future, but for the sake of this article, be aware that fetishes include a variety objects, including the famed rabbit's foot. There is a great article on the rabbit's foot as a fetish you can read here.

Bones have also commonly been used in folk medicine. The astragalus of a hare could be carried in the pocket as a charm against rheumatism while in powdered form it was drunk with water for its diuretic properties. Stag heart bone, a white irregular bone that is sometimes found in the heart of a stag or ox, was used to remedy heart troubles and prevent abortion. Dried pike jaw-bones were dried and powdered to cure leucorrhoea (not sure why they would be trying to cure this, but whatever) as well as to facilitate easy childbirth. Lamprey and lizard spines were given to children to strengthen their bones while powdered human bones mixed with red wine were believed to cure dysentery. You can read more about these uses in The Hand of Destiny.

Today, skulls and bones are used for a variety of purposes. Skulls and bones can be used as a holding vessel during spirit work, whether by the spirit of the animal who originally inhabited the body, by other animals of the same species, or by other spirits entirely. Summoning or invoking a spirit to the vessel can aid you in your communion or spellwork by allowing you to draw from their qualities, especially those of animals. In ancestor work, the animal spirits inhabiting the bones can act as mediators, messengers, and even guardians or protectors during ancestral work or spellwork. As mentioned above, skulls can be used for divination by gazing into the eye sockets or even into the base of the skull. Being the seat of consciousness, any images or messages received are thought to be from the spirit inhabiting the skull. You may want to check your results with other divinatory methods to confirm the results. Furthermore, bones can be used as ritual adornments, ritual tools, in sachets or witch balls, as altar decorations, bone tarot, and other forms of spellwork that require the characteristics of the animal whose bones you are using. I tend to keep deer antlers around when hedge riding because deer are believed to be able to cross easily between realms. Recently, I invoked the spirit of the coyote by using a coyote skull during my deep house cleansing ritual.

Bone Magic Series: Bones and Skulls: How to Use Them in Magic

In the end, there is a myriad of uses for bones in your craft, from spells to rituals to spirit communication. Have you used bones recently in your practice? I'd love to hear how you use animal bones to enhance your craft!

Interest in the rest of the series? Here's what's to come!

Bone Magic Series

Introduction
A Brief History of Animal Remains in Magic
Bones and Skulls: How to Use Them in Magic
Furs and Pelts: How to Use Them In Magic
Feathers, Fangs, and Claws: How to Use Them in Magic
How to Ethically Acquire Animal Remains
Cleaning and Preserving Animal Remains
Working With the Spirits of Animal Remains: Crossing Over & Contracting
Feeding Your Bones
Throwing the Bones + Build Your Own Bone Tarot


Monday, March 25, 2019

Herbarium: Sweet Violet

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Sweet Violet. Includes FREE BOS page!

Gender: Feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Powers: Healing, Peace, Protection, Love, Luck, Lust, Resurrection, Wishes
Magical Uses and History:  Sweet Violets, not to be confused with African Violets, are commonly associated with love and rebirth. According to the myth of Attis, Attis fell in love with a princess. Unbeknownst to him, the goddess Cybele was deeply in love with him. Upon seeing her love fall for another, she drove Attis mad in revenge. He ran crazily through the mountains before finally stopping at a pine tree where he castrated and killed himself. From his blood sprang the first violets, new life from death. Furthermore, the leaves of violets are shaped like hearts, further associating them with love. Violet leaves can be placed in your shoes for 7 days to attract love. It can also be mixed with lavender to promote love and arose lust. Supposedly gathering the first violets of spring will grant you your dearest wish.

Sweet Violets are also associated with water and nymphs due to a reference made by Homer in his epic Odyssey. When they reach the land of the nymphs, Ogygia refers to the area as "the land of parsley and violets." As such, the Greeks would wear violet to calm tempers and help induce sleep. It was even said to cure headaches and protect against evil spirits.

Violets can be used in a number of spells including:
     Love Spells
     Protection Magic
     Rebirth/Ressurection Magic

Medicinal Uses: Sweet Violet has a long history of being used for treating coughs and bronchitis as well as upper respiratory catarrh as it contains chemicals that break up mucus. Furthermore, it has been used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and rheumatism due to containing high levels of methyl salicylate and has even been used to treat cancer. Sweet Violet also contain high levels of saponins, which are antimicrobial, lending to its use in treating urinary tract infections and upper respiratory tract infections.

Preparation and Dosage: Internally, Sweet Violets can be made into an infusion or tincture. To make an infusion pour one cup of boiling water into 1 teaspoon of dried violet leaves and let it infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink up to three times a day. For a tincture, take 1-2 milliliters up to three times a day. Externally, it can be used in a hot compress or as an ointment. To make a hot compress, create a strong violet tea and dip linen in the tea, gently strain, and apply to the affected area. To make a violet ointment, place 2 ounces of lard in the oven until it becomes clear. Place 36 fresh violet leaves in the lard and stew for about 1 hour until the leaves have the consistency of cooked cabbage. Strain and pour the lard into a sealable jar. This ointment can be applied to eczema or the throat to help ease a sore throat.


Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!
Magical and Medicinal Uses of Sweet Violet. Includes FREE BOS page!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Spring Equinox Altar 2019

Spring Equinox Altar 2019

The Spring Equinox is the first day of spring, represented by fertility, new life, and new beginnings. The Sun is growing in strength and Mother Earth is waking up after a long slumber. Life is returning and with it comes flowers, bees, rabbits, birds, eggs, and eventually fruits. With these themes in mind, I designed a much simpler altar, using items I already had around my home.

Spring Equinox Altar 2019


1. Silk Flowers- The flowers flanking the altar represent the first flowers of spring and thus new life. The pinks and purple symbolize love and harmony, as the equinox is characterized by equal day and night. I would have liked to include fresh flowers this year, but the daffodils are done blooming at this point in Georgia, another symbol of spring. (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree 2017; Cost: $1 each)

Spring Equinox Altar 2019

2. Ceramic and Marble Eggs- Eggs are predominate symbols of Ostara and the Spring Equinox. They represent fertility, new life, and new beginnings, again characteristics of spring. These particular eggs have been on my altar each year. My mother made the ceramic eggs and my grandmother passed the marble egg down to me. She used to collect eggs. The greens, pinks, and blues are also associated with spring, adding to the overall spring theme.  (Where did I get it: Free; a gift from my family. These could easily be replaced with plastic eggs for $1; Egg holder: Target 2018; $1)

Spring Equinox Altar 2019

3. Tree Agate, Quartz, and Rose Quartz- The tree agate, one of my new crystals, symbolized new life. It gets its name from the tree life pattern that forms across the surface, making it associated with plants, gardening, and abundance. The rose quartz represents love and patience which leads to new life. The quartz simply amplifies the magic of the altar. (Where did I get it: Purchased at various metaphysical stores; Cost: $5) 

Spring Equinox Altar 2019

4. Ceramic Rabbit- This rabbit has shown up on my altar every year as well. I absolutely love him! Rabbits, due to their rapid breeding, are strongly associated with fertility, new life, and new beginnings. They are also one of the first animals to appear in the spring, making them considered the harbingers of spring. (Where did I get it: Hobby Lobby 2017; Cost: $3)

TOTAL COST: ~$10

Spring Equinox Altar 2019

Like my other altars, most of the items I use are found or purchased for around $1, although if the items must be purchased by you, then the cost will be higher. I hope you find this sort of break down helpful, especially those of you looking to create Instagram perfect altars on a budget!

How did you celebrate the Spring Equinox/Ostara this year?