SOCIAL MEDIA

Monday, June 17, 2019

Spirit Work for Litha

Spirit Work for Litha

Litha, also known as Midsummer or the Summer Solstice, is one of my favorite sabbats. It is the longest day of the year and a perfect time to incorporate the Sun into your magical practice and thank our beautiful Mother Earth for the bountiful fruits she and the Sun are producing for us to eat. This is also a great time for dream magic, recharging, and using St. John's Wort for divination and protection purposes. Below are three ways to conduct spirit work on Litha.

1. Seek spiritual guidance by interpreting your dreams.

Litha is a perfect time for dream magic and interpretation. Prior to going to bed place amethyst by your bed to increase prophetic dreaming and open you to spirits and tell the spirits you are open to receiving their message this night. If you'd like, drink a dream stimulating tea, like chamomile or mugwort. Be sure you have a journal by your bed to record everything when you awake. About every 3-4 hours you cycle through REM sleep. It is during this time that you are most likely to dream. If you are particularly keen on recording as many dreams as possible, you may want to set an alarm, otherwise, sleep through the night and record everything the moment you wake. The longer you wait to record your dreams, the less you will remember. Once you have recorded everything you remember, you can begin interpreting the meaning. I find that this usually takes me a day or two, and I don't often rely on dream books or online sources to tell me what they mean. Instead, I compare what I dreamed with my personal life and personal correspondences to figure out what the spirits are trying to tell me. They speak the same language as you, so pay attention to your own intuition. Looking for other ways to stimulate prophetic dreaming? I wrote two articles about the topic here and here.

2. Recharge your inner spirit by soaking drawing in the Sun.

I know this isn't speaking with spirits directly or seeking advice, but this is a really great thing to do for yourself to increase your personal power and recharge. The more inner power you possess, the easier it is to communicate with the spirit world as spirits will naturally be attracted to you. This is one of the simplest rituals you could ever do. Just go outside at high noon with as little clothing on as possible and soak in the Sun. I like to stand, arms spread wide, face toward the sun with my eyes closed, and feel the warmth enter into my body. I see my personal energy growing and glowing bright golden yellow, filling with the Sun's radiance and power. If you can, do this on a beach. It is a truly magical experience!

3. Harvest St. John's Wort for divination and protection.

A historical tradition on Midsummer Eve or Litha is to pick St. John's Wort and hang it above each sleeping person in the house. It was believed that the plant that wilted first symbolized who would be the first to die. A little morbid, but a fun tradition nonetheless. St. John's Wort also brings protection against spirits that wish you harm and can be burned in the Midsummer bonfire or hung above the door to bring said protection. It can also be used to exorcise spirits and banish them from your home, so if you are feeling like something unwanted is hanging around you or your home, you can use St. John's Wort to force it out.

And there you have it, three easy ways to perform spirit work on Litha! I also strongly encourage you to honor the Earth and plant spirits at this time by leaving out offerings. The Earth and Sun are working hard together, producing magnificent crops that will last through the winter. Do you have a special way you like to honor spirits or work with spirits during Litha? Please share in the comments below!


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Bone Magic Series: How to Ethically Acquire Animal Remains

Bone Magic Series: How to Ethically Acquire Animal Remains

So now that we have covered many of the historical and modern uses of animal remains, how do you go about acquiring them? The good news is, you have several options to legally and ethically acquire bones, furs, feathers, teeth, and claws, you just have to know where to look! I understand not everyone has access to large expanses of woods to find animal remains or trekking through a forest looking for bone may not be your thing. I get it! And because of the internet, it's now easier than ever to acquire animal remains, even for those that are against killing animals, like myself.

Nature Walk

This is how I have acquired most of my animal remains, most of which came from my dad who is an avid hunter (well he used to be) and therefore out in the woods a lot! He stumbles on animal remains all the time and brings them all home. I'm fortunate enough to be given many of the things he finds, and I use them as decor and in my magical practice. You simply need to venture out into the woods and keep an eye out. If you are hiking common trails, especially in a park, you're likely not going to find anything because others have been there before you. Besides, you're not supposed to take anything from parks, but I know people do anyway. Find a wild place, where few people travel and walk the local wildlife trails. Deer wear some pretty clear paths through the woods; these are great places to start. Don't be surprised if you don't find anything on your first walk. You'll likely take a lot of walks before finding anything, but that's part of the fun!

Roadkill

This is an easy way to get animal remains, but not a very pleasant one! Furthermore, there are several downsides to using roadkill remains. First, you run the risk of coming into contact with an infectious disease, including rabies and even leprosy! A word to the wise, if you live anywhere near armadillos, like I do here in Georgia, leave their remains right where you find them! They are notorious for carrying leprosy and no one wants to be a lepper, although you'd certainly have that old world witchy vibe going on. Second, many of the bones may be broken or otherwise harmed. Its the side effect of being hit by a car! Third, the animal remains will need to be cleaned of any remaining flesh, and the process doesn't always smell very nice. I'll cover that move in the next post. Please make sure you follow all local laws regarding roadkill. It is illegal in some areas to touch roadkill, but I won't tell.

Hunting/Hunters

If you are a hunter, you can save the remains of the animals you have killed. If you aren't a hunter but don't mind that someone else did the killing, the check out the local animal processing business. Hunting season is year round, meaning something is in season all the time, so hunters are constantly bringing in animals that need to be processed. In Georgia, you can pick up white-tail deer, turkey, wild boar/pig, rabbit, waterfowl, and even bobcat and coyote remains if you get lucky. After they have processed the animal, there are bones and pelts left over. Some of the processing businesses will sell these; some may even give you parts for free! Some smaller businesses are just happy someone is taking it off their hands because a lot of times the unused remains end up in the trash.

Butcher Shop/Grocery Store

There is a couple of option here. One you can buy meat with the bones still in the meat and remove them yourself, or you can ask the local butcher if they have any leftover bones you could buy. Yes, they usually sell the bones here because people like to use them in cooking stock. Keep in mind that cooked bones are more brittle than uncooked bones, but you are more than welcome to use cooked bones. I've seen several witches do it with good results.

Online Stores

Not interested in getting your hands dirty? Not to fear! There are tons of great shops online that ethically acquire animal bones, usually from animals that died of natural causes. Do some research on the companies though. While they may advertise that they ethically and legally sourced the animal remains, you can't be too careful. Be wary of exotic animals and always make sure to check whether or not the animal is listed as endangered. It is illegal to own any remains of an endangered animal unless there is proper paperwork detailing it came from healthy populations or it is from before 1973.

So what shops do I recommend? Curious Nature sources all of their remains from roadkill, zoos, or a byproduct of another industry, such as farming. They purposely try to learn as much as they can about where the remains come from, to ensure they are ethically sourcing their product. You can read more on their stance here. One of the best stores and a personal favorite of mine is The Skull Store. Like Curious Nature, they actively search for ethically and sustainably sources animal remains, not to mention they work with conservation programs, wildlife rehabilitation, and education programs. They never commission an animal to be killed; instead, they purchase animal remains from sustainable sources such as zoos, farms, indigenous peoples, and old collections. Furthermore, they work with law enforcement and wildlife enforcement agencies to help catch poachers and smugglers. You can read their full policy here. This is one of my favorite online sources as they take action in the wildlife community. Another shop I love is Of Moth and Moon. I've ordered from their shop and received some amazing little curiosities. It's a small family business and all of their animal remains come from nature, owl pellets, roadkill, natural deaths, or are the by-product of an industry or pest control. You can request items to come strictly from nature, roadkill, or natural death if you don't want to support an industry that profits from killing animals.

Your Pets

Yes, you can get animal remains from your pets, while they are still alive and well I might add. My cats shed fur, whiskers, and nails all the time. Any of these could easily be used in magical practice. Sometimes a pet may lose a tooth or need to have one extracted. You can ask the vet for that tooth! My chickens constantly shed feathers. I am completely covered up in feathers right now! When your pet passes, you can also opt to have them preserved or use their bones in your practice, if that doesn't bother you too much.

***

No matter how you decide to acquire your animal remains, please never kill an animal simply to harvest something from it. That's highly unethical and the spirit of the animal will not be pleased. Please follow all local laws and regulations regarding animal remains. I think by now most American witches know they aren't supposed to be picking up feathers, but use your best judgment. If you do come across animal remains in nature, approach it with respect and caution. Disease is a big factor, but the spirit may still be hanging out around. If you sense that it is, ask if you may approach and touch the bones. If its a no, simply thank the animal for its time, leave an offering and move along. If it does allow you to touch it, make your intentions clear and known and ask if you may take a bone or several with you for your magical workings. As of yet, I haven't been told no! You may find the bones are empty, especially if they have been there a while. I would still approach respectfully.

How do you find animal remains to use in your 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, June 10, 2019

June Full Moon Worksheet

June Full Moon Worksheet

This month's full moon is on the 17th and is Saggitarius. This Full Moon is a time to be optimistic and trust that the Universe will bring you exactly what you need. While there are dangers lurking in the shadows, patience and hard work will result in your realizing your long-term goals and aspirations. Keep your head up; good things are coming! This month's worksheet includes areas for you to jot down what you wish to release and charge, notes for any signs you receive this night, and a 4 card spread about how to better trust the Universe.

June 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, June 6, 2019

5 Crystals for Gardening

5 Crystals for Gardening

I love crystals and I love plants, so what better combination than using crystals to enhance the abundance and growth of my plants? Gardening, especially in the South where we are prone to drought, is not always easy. By using energies from the Earth in the form of crystals, you can enhance the energies in your garden, giving your plants some additional help. Here are 5 easy to find crystals you can use in your garden, whether you are growing in pots in a windowsill or tilling up an acre of land for fruits and vegetables.

5 Crystals for Gardening- Moss Agate

1. Moss Agate: This is the go-to crystal for gardens, often referred to as "the gardener's talisman." It's on every crystal gardening list out there and for a good reason. First, it appears to be covered in moss, with mossy green intrusions in a white, creamy base, if you can even see the white base. This lends to its association with plants, gardening, and nature spirits. It attracts abundance and prosperity thus aiding in plant growth and guaranteeing a healthy, bountiful harvest. Moss Agate can be carried in your pockets or worn while gardening and watering, placed at the base of your plants, or hung in trees. However you choose to use it, this little crystal will be sure to help your garden grow.

5 Crystals for Gardening- Tree Agate

2. Tree Agate: Ah, another agate! They are pretty universal, coming in a variety of colors and forms. Like Moss Agate, Tree Agate has dark green intrusions that form a tree-like pattern with roots sinking deep into a white base. It is associated with growth and perseverance as the roots of a tree are able to seek out water, even in the dryest of places. As such, it aids in the growth of plants in difficult conditions such as the drought we face here in Georgia. Tree Agate is often placed or buried next to plants needing assistance, especially those that may be sick or infected with a parasite.

5 Crystals for Gardening- Green Fluorite

3. Green Fluorite: This is a less often used crystal for gardening, but I've found it to be extremely helpful. Green Fluorite is associated with growth and nature energies due to its green color. Furthermore, it is a cleansing crystal, removing negative energies from any environment. I find it particularly useful around plants that are infested with insects or a fungus. It also increased intuition and can be carried on your person to help you figure out which areas in your garden need your attention.

5 Crystals for Gardening- Malachite

4. Malachite: Another beautiful green crystal associated with abundance and growth. The Ancient Egyptians saw Malachite as a fertility symbol, associating it with vegetation, agriculture, and healthy crops. When placed in the garden, it increases plant growth and abundance.

5 Crystals for Gardening- Moonstone

5. Moonstone: Moonstone is my favorite crystal, second only to Black Tourmaline, and its a great crystal for gardening. As the name suggests, it is associated with the Moon, and therefore a symbol of fertility. Moonstone was a favorite of Native American healers who used it as a way to increase plant growth while promoting peace within the garden. It can be placed in the garden or carried on your person while watering to promote plant growth.

5 Crystals for Gardening

These crystals not resonating with you or you're unable to find them? There are several other crystals you can use in your garden to enhance plant growth and health, including, but not limited to, green aventurine, clear quartz, rhyolite, green calcite, citrine, Tiger's eye, emerald, and blue lace agate. Whatever crystals you choose to work with, you and your plants will benefit from their energies. Happy gardening!