Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Bone Magic Series: Introduction

 Bone Magic Series: Introduction

This year I have two series planned, one about the spirits of each sabbat and the other about bone magic. Traditional witchcraft and hedgecraft often incorporates the use of bones and animal remains, whether it be shells, feathers, fur, or any other part of an animal, in spells and rituals. This series will focus on all zoological or animal remains, although bones will be heavily focused upon within the series. It is important to keep in mind that you do not have to work with animal remains to practice witchcraft. However, many witches have found the use of animal remains deepens their craft, and I have to admit, there is something magical about using practices similar to those our ancestors used to use, especially when you're a hedgewitch like myself.

What are zoological remains? Zoological remains refer to preserved body parts of an animal. I'm usually just going to refer to them as animal remains, but realize some of you may prefer the term "zoological" because it separates the animal from the remains. Examples of animal remains include bones, feathers, antlers, horns, shed skin, claws, whiskers, teeth, fur, hides/pelts, wings, fat, preserved organs, and even blood. These remains are carefully harvested and preserved, often times with the animals spirit still intact and attached to the remains. However, not all remains will contain the animal's spirit. There are cases where you will come across remains that the spirit has left. These make great homes for spirits you summon to our realm, but more on that later.

The use of animal remains in witchcraft is based on the ideas of animism, the belief that all things, living or nonliving, have a spirit. Animism is the underlying theme of witchcraft, so it should be no surprise working with animal remains is based on a belief in animism as well. If an animal's spirit has chosen to remain with its remains, the spirit can either be helped to the Otherworld or you can contract it to help you in your magical workings. Helping a spirit cross over is relatively simple, but contracting a spirit is a little more complicated. The spirit will only remain if it receives something in return, while the witch has the opportunity to gain a powerful spirit alley, each spirit with its own talents and abilities. During this series, we will delve into how to release a spirit and contract a spirit to work with you.

Bone Magic Series: Introduction

I realize the use of animal remains may bother some witches, especially those that abide by the Wiccan Rede and/or the "harm none" mentality. If you don't wish to work with animal remains, you are by no means obligated to. However, I would like to mention that all remains should be acquired ethically. Killing an animal for the sole purpose of harvesting its remain for magical use is wrong unless of course, its a ritual custom passed down from your ancestors or part of your modern cultural heritage. For most modern witches, animal sacrifice is frowned upon, even if you are practicing traditional witchcraft.

For this series I will cover a variety of topics regarding animal remains and bone magic, including a brief history of animal remains in magic, different types of animal remains and what they can be used for, how to ethically acquire remains, methods of cleaning and preserving remains (specifically bones), how to contract a spirit or release it, how to feed your bones, and how to create your own bone tarot. I hope that you will join me during this series and keep an eye out for upcoming topics!


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
Types of Animal Remains and 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


4 comments:

  1. This series has me excited. I can't wait to read through this.

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    1. I'm excited about it too, especially about writing it!

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  2. This is AWESOME. As someone who has long used ethically acquired bones, teeth, and other remains in magic, I am so excited to read more in this series!

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    1. I'm glad you're excited! I am excited to delve into this topic. Thank you for reading.

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