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Monday, November 23, 2020

Apothecary At Home Box Review: November 2020

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So I missed writing an actual review for October's Apothecary At Home box, but I did do an unboxing video on my IG so if you missed the last box, head on over to Instagram and check out my live video. October's box was Romance + Ritual and was the first box to include obvious witchcraft. Last week I did an unboxing of this month's Apothecary At Home box on IG which is all about digestive health. What a great time to have a box on Digestive Health with the holiday season and all. If you are anything like me, you'll likely overeat like crazy the next few weeks then hibernate until Spring. 

Before I jump into the box though, I wanted to give you witches a rundown of the company. First, Apothecary At Home is a small, witchy woman-owned business in Berkley, California. Their mission is to inspire, empower, and equip the next generation of herbalists by supplying an affordable monthly subscription box that brings the herbal classroom directly to you, no matter your herbal background. Each month brings a new theme and wellness topic complete with herbs and step-by-step instructions to create your own natural remedies. In my opinion, this is one of the best boxes of its kind on the market, fantastically pairing herbalism and witchcraft into one educational, monthly subscription box.

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Again November's theme is Digestive Health, just in time for the holidays! As always, there is a complete, sourced informational booklet, that explains digestive health and diseases, each of the herb's medicinal profiles, folklore, and magical uses, and recipes that feature the herbs. I love the time, care, and research put into the booklet and the fact that they suggest future reading, continued study resources, and cite their sources. I am slowly creating a materia medica using this information and the botanical prints, although I am tempted to frame all these lovely prints and decorate an entire wall with them in the spare bedroom. This month focuses on two herbs, fennel and peppermint, with a bonus herb dandelion root. There are 2 ounces of each herb, except the dandelion root which is one ounce, which is WAY more than I will likely use in the near future, meaning I have plenty not only to restock my herbal cabinet but to use in my magical workings as well. I still can't believe they are able to pack so much into a single box every month for the price point!

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The one thing I absolutely love about this box is that it comes fully stocked with everything you need minus an ingredient or two, to make the herbal remedies. In previous months, this included salve tins, jars, brown dropper bottles, mullein bags, and beeswax or soy wax. This month is no different, except neither recipe is a salve so there is no beeswax or soy wax this month. This month is a dandelion root bitter and bloat-be-gone tincture, with a number of bonus recipes included for recipes such as dandelion bitter soda, fennel milk, and an IBS relief tincture. Having all the supplies on hand makes creating these remedies extremely easy and gives you no excuse not to get started right away. This is a major selling point for me and many others as the easier it is to create the remedies, the more likely we are to do it. To keep everything properly labeled, which is extremely important, they have included several beautiful labels so you can record the contents and date of the remedy or infusion.

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Apart from the supplies to make the remedies, the box also comes with seeds (catnip and thyme) so you can continue your herbalist adventure by expanding your garden. All of their seeds are sourced from Bentley Seeds Co, a small family-owned business in upstate New York. I love that each month Shannon, the creator and founder of Apothecary At Home, continues to support small businesses around the country. This is a major plus in my book and I am glad my money is going to help small businesses. Shannon's mother, Virgi, also creates the two lovely botanical prints found in each month's box that you can frame, glue into your Book of Shadows, or place in your materia medica. The prints are printed on sturdy paper which I greatly appreciate. They are absolutely stunning and I am looking forward to adding more to my collection. This month's prints include both fennel and peppermint.

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Finally, the surprise, bonus items this month are Happy Intestine tea from The Loose Leaf and Aletheia: Ginger dark chocolate from Antidote. The chocolate is AMAZING and this is coming from someone who is not a fan of ginger. I was actually incredibly thankful this month's box did not come laden with ginger. I know it works for others, but it does absolutely nothing for my stomach but make it angry. However, the ginger in this chocolate is subtle and the richness of the dark chocolate blends well with the dried ginger. Plus, it's vegan! The tea tastes of peppermint and chamomile with a hint of marshmallow root and calendula. It's a wonderful mixture, whether you are drinking it to soothe your stomach or just to enjoy.

Overall I LOVE this box. I continue to be awed and delighted by this amazing box and strongly encourage my readers to pick up a subscription now. You can save 15% on your first box using code WILLOW15. It's a great way to support a small, witchy business and learn an amazing skill at the same time for a fraction of the cost of an herbalist course.

***
I know that I included a pros and cons list in my original post, but I wanted to expand on some new features and new information I have received since the last box. I will likely keep this list going for as long as I am posting about it.

Pros:

  • The box is designed to teach, instead of just providing you with goodies. It includes everything you need to learn how to make herbal remedies and gets you started on the herbalist path.
  • The item quality is great. Every item is worth more than I paid and sometimes you even get some bonus items thrown in!
  • The information packet is informative and explains how to use each of the items in the box. The herb profiles are clearly outlines and recipes are easy to follow.
  • There are vegan and non-vegan options. They offer both beeswax and soy wax for salves, so if you are vegan there is an option available for you.
  • They survey you for allergies. When you sign up for the box, you begin with a survey where you can let them know if you are allergic to anything. I thought this is great because I am allergic to opiates and gogi berries, and while I don't think opiates will end up in the box, gogi berries have a strong possibility of showing up. I'm glad that they take this into account and won't put anything in my box that I am allergic to.
  • They are eco-friendly. The box is recyclable and you have the option to receive the information packets printed or digital. I love how much you can customize this box! The original box came with bubble wrap, but all boxes since have not contained it. The glass has been either lovingly wrapped in tissue paper, sandwiched between the herds, or wrapped in the muslin bags to prevent breakage. The only plastic wrap in the box is around the art prints, which is understandable. Eco-friendly packaging is SUPER important to me, so I appreciate the step to reduce plastic.
  • They support the BIPOC community. Right now, they are offering boxes to BIPOC who are interested in learning herbalism for free or heavily discounted. If you or someone you know is interested in the details, check out their website. You can also sponsor a box to help provide more boxes!
  • They support other small businesses such as The Loose Leaf and Bentley Seeds Co
  • All their seeds are non-GMO. While this isn't necessarily important to me, I know many people find non-GMO a plus, so I stuck it on the list. 
  • They have an online study group specifically designed to answer questions, share ideas, and have support, whether it's from other subscribers or Shannon herself!
  • monthly/bi-monthly newsletter is sent out detailing important information, updates, savings, and more to help you use the remedies in your box and learn more about the herbs. I really appreciate the contact and support!
  • All of the supplies are reusable. The glass containers can be used over and over again, making it very eco-friendly.
  • There are more than enough herbs to create the remedies and restock your apothecary in the future. I know 2 ounces doesn't sound like a lot, but trust me...its a lot!
  • There are multiple options including a mystery box and an ala carte option (suppliesherbs, and study guides). 
  • This box is available! They still have some spots available for next month's box, but you best hurry!

Cons:

  • The box is somewhat expensive. It's currently priced between $25 (not bad at all) and $40 plus $8 shipping within the US. However, if you were to compare this to an online course, this box is significantly cheaper and provides all the supplies needed for a fraction of the price.
OVERALL: 5 out of 5 stars 

Interested in purchasing this box? Check out Apothecary At Home onlineUse code WILLOW15 to get 15% off your first order!




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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Elemental Magic: Tools of Air

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In today's post, I will discuss some of the many tools associated with Air and how you can use them in your practice. Many of these tools were hinted at or discussed when I introduced you to some of the folklore surrounding Air. However, this post is more of a correspondences type list that you can use to quickly plan spells. For your pleasure, I have also included a free 6-page printable for your Grimoire or Book of Shadows. Enjoy!


Breath: Breath is probably one of the most potent forms of Air as it contains a bit of you in it. Breath can be used to inhale positivity and exhale negativity, as your focus during meditation, or to blow away energies from an object while simultaneously infusing it with your own lifeforce. Breath is often associated with life and the soul, and can therefore also represent Spirit. Use it to "breathe life" into an object to charge it with energy and intent. In some practices, the ritual use of breath is called insufflation and exsufflation. Both are ritual acts of blowing, breathing, puffing, or hissing to symbolize the exhalation or inhalation of negative or positive energies or entities. In Christianity, exsufflation is used to remove the devil or evil from one's self.

Breeze: While technically wind, a breeze is usually characterized as a light, gentle wind, one that doesn't do damage or isn't too bothersome. A breeze can be used to send and receive messages, especially between loved ones, to remove negativity from yourself or objects, infuse your body with gentleness and constancy, or in spells that require something to be gently removed from your life. A breeze is also perfect for wish magic, especially if you are using dandelion seeds. Simply whisper your wishes on the wind, and allow it to carry your messages gently to the Universe. 

Hurricane: Hurricanes are strong windstorms that form over the ocean from tropical storms. The only difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane is the wind speeds. Both, however, can be used for the same purpose. Because the winds are particularly strong, they can be used when a much harsher approach is needed for a removal or curse. Hurricane winds are perfect for banishing abusers or those harder to break habits, cursing those who have wronged you, blowing away persistent gossip and ill-will, or to break curses placed upon you and yours. The winds can be captured and used at another time by using a wind bag (as ancient magicians used to do) or using a windsock. To capture the hurricane winds, tie up a wind bag or windsock somewhere it will be able to blow in the wind. As soon as it is safe to do so, retrieve the item and seal it by either tying the bag shut or by tying a knot in both ends of the windsock. When you are ready to use the energy in your spellwork, simply untie the knots. Again, hurricane and tropical storm winds are powerful, destructive, and potentially deadly. Be careful in what way you are using them.

Thermals: Thermals are columns of warm air that are created when there is a difference in the air temperature on the ground versus in the atmosphere. These warm, gentle thermals are often used by birds to conserve energy, and can be harnessed much the same way in witchcraft. Use thermals to carry your messages to the heavens, add strength to your spell, warm up a spell, or to add endurance to a spell.

Tornado: Like hurricanes, tornadoes are destructive winds, and, like hurricanes, their winds can be captured and used for the same purposes as hurricane winds. 

Wind:
Winds are generally stronger than a breeze and can be more damaging. However, they can be used for lighter spell work as well as more forceful ones. Use the wind to carry away spell remains, especially spells that are removing something from your life, carry messages to the Universe, cleanse objects and people, speed up spells, or add a more chaotic element to banishing spells. Wind can also be used in cursing to carry the curse to the intended target or to blow away one's fortunes and opportunities. 



Balloons: Balloons are the perfect magical tool for carrying messages, but I don't encourage you to release balloons into the environment. It's incredibly harmful to the environment and the animals that live there. However, that doesn't mean that balloon imagery can't be used for the same purpose. Balloons are also great for charging a spell. Write a sigil on the balloon and blow it up, filling the balloon with your intent. Rub it on yourself to further charge it then pop the balloon to release the spell. Balloons can also be used to raise energy or crush insecurities. 

Bell: Sound is deeply associated with the element Air, making the bell associated with Air as well. Bells are a great way to raise energy, dispel negativity, and cleanse a space or object. Bells are also perfect for raising energy.

Besom/Broom: Brooms are associated with flying, cleansing, and protection. Use brooms to protect your home or magical circle when you cut a door or to sweep away negativity. Brooms can also be used during astral flight or hedge riding.

Bubbles: Ah the bubble! Bubbles are great for releasing what no longer serves you or carry messages. Bubbles are a great, environmentally friendly alternative to balloons. If you are using bubbles to release what no longer serves you simply breathe your intention into the bubbles are you form them and allow them on their merry way. To carry messages, whisper your messages into the bubbles as you blow (the best you can). Bubbles are also a great way to attract faeries as they are shiny.

Censer: A censer or thurible is a heat-proof vessel that holds charcoal and incense. The smoke from incense can be used to infuse your spells with the magic of the herbs, carry your messages to the Universe or deities, cleanse space, for divination, summon spirits, or to reach an altered state of consciousness. 

Dandelion Seeds: Dandelion seeds are perfect for wish making. Whisper your wish over the seeds then blow them away!

Feather: Different feathers have different meanings depending on their color and source. For example, eagle feathers are associated with strength and courage, while owl feathers are associated with wisdom and silence. Black feathers are associated with spiritual action and self-exploration, blue for communication, red for passion, and gray for peace. No matter what the feather, there are some universal uses for them. Use feathers to fan your incense, flames, or spells to move the magic around. Incorporate feathers into communication spells or during astral flight to aid in crossing the hedge. Tie feathers into witches' ladders (a knot magic fetish), place in spells to help them on their way, or use in banishing or travel spells.

Floating Lanterns: Floating lanterns are making a comeback after the Disney film Tangled and for a good reason. Floating Lanterns combine Fire and Air into a powerful wishing spell. The lanterns act as a vessel to light the path of the spell and carry it to its destination. Paper-based lanterns are generally environmentally friendly, but always check what the lantern is made of before releasing it. Nothing will interrupt a spell like harming the environment. 

Flute: The flute is a great way to raise energy during spell work. Create a magical tune prior to the spell or use your intuition to create a song while casting your spell. The flute can also be used to appease deities, summon spirits or faeries, or carry the magic to its destination.

Harp: Harps can be used in the same way as a flute. However, harps are also great for sleep magic, specifically putting something to rest. If you have a spell that you wish to end, you can play a harp to help you break it.

Incense: Incense comes in a variety of scents that can be used for a variety of different purposes. Lavender incense is great for peace, relaxation, and dreams while frankincense is good for cleansing and raising the vibration of a space. When working spells, pick an incense that corresponds to the magic you are creating. Incense can also be left as an offering and to communicate with your ancestors. Use incense to cleanse your space or objects.

Kite: Kites have historically been used to carry messages to the gods. Simply write your messages on a ribbon and tie it to the tail of the kite. As you tie the knot state your intent. You can say something along the lines of "Knot that I tie, Kite that I fly, Please cast my wishes, Into the sky."

Pinwheel: While often viewed as a children's toy, pinwheels can be used to capture and harness the power of the wind. Simply write your intentions for the spell on the flaps of the pinwheel and either blow on it or take it outside to be blown by the wind. Store the pinwheel in a safe place. To release the energy or the spell, simply take the pinwheel apart.

Perfume: Perfumes have been used for magical purposes for centuries, using the scent to attract something or protect against something. Most famously perfumes were used to coat breastplates with the intention of protecting the wearer from harm. Even today we use perfumes in much the same manner, creating a bubble of protection around us. Perfume can also be used to attract good energies, lift energies, invoke good, seduce, and even curse. Use the scent to carry your spell with you all day or as an offering to the gods.

Quill: Quills are highly sought after by many witches wishing to recreate that more authentic, old-world witchcraft feel when writing in their grimoires or Books of Shadows. Quills, being associated with writing, knowledge, and wisdom, are deeply associated with Air. They can be used to direct your energies into a written spell, to sweep away writer's block, or blow in new ideas.

Ribbon: Ribbons can easily be used in chord or knot magic, to tie or bind spells, or to write your intentions on and tie to an object to blow in the wind. Use color magic to help you pick the best ribbon for the job!

Scarf: Like ribbons, scarves can also be used for knot magic, knot magic that you can easily wear! Simply tie your intention into the scarf, such as protection, and wear it all day.

Smoke: Smoke, whether from incense, charcoal, or candles, can be used to carry messages or spell intentions to their target or for divination. If using for divination, look for images in the smoke or ask questions and see the direction the smoke moves. If you ask a question, be sure to ask it in your mind so your breath does not influence the direction of the smoke. Smoke is a wonderful combination of Fire and Air and therefore can be used for knowledge and wisdom of love, passion, and war.

Wand: Depending on the tradition, wands are often associated with Air (swords in other traditions). Use wands much like you would an athame to direct power, cut doors, and transmit and focus energies.

Weathervane: Weathervanes are an instrument for showing the direction of the wind. While the weathervane itself can be a spell, usually protection, it's most useful for helping you decide how to use the wind in your spellwork. South blowing winds are associated with Fire and therefore spells regarding passion, courage, war, and love are best cast in a Southward direction. If the wind is blowing East (which I associate with Water), then spells for healing, emotions, and life are best.

Whirlygig/Wind Spinner: Whirlygigs and wind spinners can be used in the same way as a pinwheel. However, most people don't want to take their whirlygigs and wind spinners apart to release the spell or energy, so instead infuse these objects with protective energies and allow the winds to continuously charge them. These objects are also great in protecting your home against damaging winds. Charge them with collecting the harshest of winds to prevent them from damaging your home. Be sure to shake the winds out away from your home after particularly bad storms to prevent them from being overloaded.

Whistles: Whistles combine both sound and breath in one. Whistles are great for calling to spirits and ancestors to get their attention or to scare off unwanted entities. They can also be used to stir up stagnant energies so they can be removed from the home.

Wind Chime: Wind chimes can be used to clear energies around your home and can act as a proactive sound barrier against unwanted energies and entities. Many spirits dislike the constant sound of chiming bells and if the bells are made of iron, it will protect against many fae creatures that may wish to invoke mischief upon you. You can also write intentions on each of the bells and allow the wind to carry those intentions away with the sound of the bells.

Wings: Wings are associated with flight, but also take on the aspects of the creature from which they were taken. Use wings, especially insect wings, in spells that need to be carried away or in astral travel.


And there you have it. A complete list of types of Air as well as commonly used tools associated with Air! Below is a free 6-page printable for your Grimoire or Book of Shadows.




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

Elemental Magic Series


Looking for more information on the elements? Check out my posts on the topic:




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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Book Review: The Power of Hex by Shawn Engel

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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.

Lately, I have been contacted by a number of publishers asking me to review books. I'm not going to lie, I am really enjoying it! It gives me an opportunity to read some of the latest material in the occult community and offer a complete and honest review to my readers to help you witches make the best choices for you and your money. I know I loathe buying a book and it turning out to be nothing like what I thought. Hopefully, with my reviews, you won't run into that sort of issue.

About two weeks ago, I was asked to read and review The Power of Hex: Spells, Incantations, and Rituals by Shawn Engel. According to the email I received, "...Engel shows young witches how to use their own power in an inclusive way, and empowers them to create their own spells with their new knowledge. This very gifted, full-color book sets itself apart because it aims to simplify this powerful type of magic while enforcing morality. We don't want to sink to the level of those we are cursing; hexing is meant to protect and arm."

There were a couple of statements in this description that intrigued me. First, it was inclusive. It's hard to find inclusive witchcraft books. Many are written from a white, cis-gendered, colonial viewpoint, so I was interested to see how this book was going to be inclusive. Second, I liked that the book was geared toward teaching witches to work on their own instead of just giving them a book of spells to perform. Finally, I liked that the book was curse-friendly. In the age of love and light, it's hard to find books that are left-hand path friendly. So with these things in mind, I jumped on the opportunity to read the book.

Overall, I enjoyed it. The Power of Hex is a short, easy read and approaches a variety of topics from a curse-positive point of view. You see, cursing and hexing often includes protection and healing spells, accompanied with binding, freezing, or banishing spells. Most people don't view any of these as cursing or hexing, but they are. Often times, the right form of protection will bounce any unwanted spell back to the original caster, which can do damage in the right circumstance. What I loved most was that Engel uses hexing as a way to fight patriarchy, racism, and other forms of oppression. She offers a variety of simple spells that anyone can use, explaining why the ingredients are included and the best time to perform each spell. Finally, the book ends with a brief explanation of how to write your own spells now that you have an idea of how spells are set up.

While I enjoyed the book, I felt many of the sections were too short. I would have liked to see a more comprehensive book on the topic, but this is a great introduction for those of you interested in using your magic to fight back. There is no bibliography or further readings, which always disappoints me, but most of the information is basic knowledge that can be found in a number of occult books. Furthermore, to be a book that touts being inclusive there are some problematic elements. There are a variety of symbols throughout the book that are culturally appropriated from closed cultures, including Hinduism and Judaism. From what I can tell, Engel is not Jewish herself, but either way, Judaism requires initiation into the religion. Therefore using The Middle Pillar and Kabbalistic Tree of Life is not open to those not part of the religion. Engel also mentions using chakras and discusses Hindu deities, which are also closed to those outside the culture. With a critical eye, however, it's easy to gloss over the practices that are closed and focus on the amazing spells, rituals, and practices that are open to everyone. Finally, the way the book is printed will make it difficult to read if you are visually impaired. Some of the pages are completely black with white writing, while others have images of varying colors behind the text. If you are visually impaired, you will likely struggle with the printed copy of the book. I am assuming a kindle version would likely be more appropriate.

If you are looking for a short introduction to hex-positive magic, The Power of Hex: Spells, Incantations, and Rituals by Shawn Engel is a great place to start and is available now for purchase.



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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

5 Witchy Books for Fall

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I know this post is very late. I totally meant to have this out around the end of September but I certainly dropped the ball, and that's okay because it's still Fall! Besides, even if it weren't Fall or doesn't feel like Fall where you are, there is nothing wrong with reading some spooky witch books. Below is a list of some of my favorite witch books for Fall. With each book, I have included some awesome teas that go perfectly with the stories.

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.

1. The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston- This book is an enchantingly dark Victorian tale, telling the story of Lady Lilith Montgomery who inherits the role of Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. Lilith is especially gifted at speaking with the dead, and when the Sentinels, a group of dark sorcerers threaten her well-being she uses these gifts to protect those she loves. While her coven has a strict creed of secrecy and silence, Lilith risks it all for the man she loves. I love the spirit communication that takes place in this book compared to others that include similar tales. I could have done without some of the love storylines, but overall, this is a great book to read when the veil is thin. As the nights grow longer, the dead are more apt to want to talk, so why not curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and enjoy this book? "The dead are seldom silent. All that is required for them to be heard is that someone be willing to listen..."

I suggest sipping on Spirit Communication Tea from Healing Spirits while reading this book. It contains lemon balm, roses, oats, wood betony, Ginko, and motherwort, which will open the channels to communicate with the spirit realm. Of course, if you don't want them interrupting your reading, try Harney & Son's Royal Palace Tea.

2. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco- This series is incredible! I haven't been able to make it through a single book in this trilogy without being overcome with emotions. The Bone Witch follows Tea, a bone witch (necromancer) who accidentally raises her dead brother, Fox. Feared by her community, she is taken away by an older bone witch who teachers her how to use her powers. Bone witches are a dying breed, needed to raise and lay to rest daeva who plague the kingdoms. Dark forces, however, interfere and Tea must figure out how to save herself and do what she feels is right, despite what others may think. There are so many twists and turns and I love how inclusive this book is.

I suggest drinking green tea while reading this Asian inspired tale. 

3. The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman- I finished this amazing book full of witchcraft, mystery, and death earlier this year. Honestly, I read it in 2 days it was that food. Violet Saunders and her mother make their way back to Four Paths, New York, her mother's hometown, after Violet's sister tragically dies in a car accident. Violet is soon introduced to the founding families and realizes the episodes she has been experiencing are not all in her head after all. Despite their best efforts, the founding families are struggling to keep evil at bay. The Gray is slowly becoming more powerful, taking the lives of the townsfolk regularly. Violet accidentally unleashes the beast and must work with her newfound friends to save the town. This is the first book in this series, so expect to be ordering the second, The Deck of Omens, as soon as you finish this one. 

I suggest pairing this story with Baba Yaga by Adagio Teas. The warm vanilla Oolong notes mixed with the Russian Caravan blend mix beautifully with this dark tale.

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4. The Witches of BlackBrook by Tish Thawer- I had been eyeing this book since it was released and was so excited when it got it for Yule a couple years ago. Thawer mixes witchcraft, Wicca, and history into one beautiful story about three sisters whose spirits are desperate to reunite after they are separated during the Salem witch trials. Only through reuniting will they reach their full potential, but dark forces are keen on keeping them apart. The Witches of BlackBrook is the first of three in the series. You'll make it through this beautiful, fall story.

This book is best paired with Harney & Sons Cranberry Autumn Tea, a fire, and a warm blanket.

5. And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich- So this really isn't a witch book, but it will freak you out nonetheless. At least...it scared me. Written in a very untraditional manner, And The Trees Crept In is told from the perspective of Silla, who, along with her little sister Nori, make their way to Blood Manor to escape their abusive father. Silla is warned to stay out of the forest, but in an act of desperation, she enters anyway and if followed by a man. Day by day the trees creep closer to the manor and Silla slowly descends into a nightmare.

This book is best paired with Harney & Sons Hot Apple Spice Tea, an ode to Silla's apple-eating attempts.

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And there you have it, 5 witchy books for Fall, or really any time of the year. I noticed after I took the picture that almost all of the covers were purple. How fitting considering purple is the color of magic! Have you read any good witch books lately? Share them in the comments below!



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Monday, November 16, 2020

Elemental Magic: Connecting with Air Ritual

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Now that we have covered Air folklore and correspondences, it's time to actually start working with Air! Today I share a ritual to help you connect with Air more intimately to aid you in finding your voice and inner wisdom and communicating with others. There are several tasks in this post and I encourage you to perform each of them with fidelity. Before we get started, however, I'd like to discuss what I put together for the first Air task presented last month.


The first task for Air was to trace the wind patterns around your home. I find wind fascinating and from an environmental scientist's perspective, I understand that these wind patterns have a direct effect on our weather and therefore our magic. Wind can blow our spells to their destination, blow things away from us, or blow things to us. You can use the wind in a variety of ways in your magical practice, and understanding the wind patterns around your home and how they change is incredibly important to utilize it in your work. 

In case you were not aware, we are currently in an El Nina year. This means that the trade winds are blowing harder this year, which has resulted in stronger hurricanes and tropical storms on the Eastern coasts of countries, while the western sides have experienced increased droughts and wildfires. This means that the winds in your area have likely been stronger as well and have come from a northeasterly direction (should you live in the northern hemisphere between 0 and 30 degrees North). After spending some time monitoring the winds around my house, I found that while I am slight above 30 degrees North, much of the wind I was experience was coming from the northeast or from the west (Pacific Jet Stream), depending on the day. During an El Nino year, wind patterns will slow and shift directions, with the winds coming from the northwest instead of the northeast.

When I closed my eyes and listened to the wind, I found that more storms were on their way, that an ancestor was trying to communicate with me, and that money was on the way. Since completing this ritual, all of those things have come to pass. The wind always has so much to say; you just need to take the time to listen to it.

What did you learn about the movement of the Air around your home? Is it following this pattern?



There are a number of ways you can connect with the element Air, but one of the best ways is to use your own breath. No matter where you are in the world, you have access to your own breath. It's a powerful tool of Air and focusing on it is a great way to connect with Air.

Ingredients:
  • Quiet place to sit where you will be undisturbed
  • Blue or yellow candle (optional)
  • Blue Agate, Chrysocolla, or Blue Kyanite (optional)
Directions:
Begin by sitting somewhere you will not be disturbed. If you are working indoors, this is best performed on your altar, especially if you have already dedicated your altar to Air (see below).

If you are choosing to use the candle, light it. Blue is the color of communication, truth, and peace while yellow is the color of knowledge, concentration, and Air. You can pick one, use both, or neither. It's completely up to you. Envision your intent to connect with Air through your breath flowing through the candles, aiding you in your connection.

If you are using crystals for this ritual, such as blue agate or kyanite for communication or chrysocolla for listening, blow on the crystal to cleanse it of other energies and infuse it with your own. Hold the crystal in your hand and close your eyes. Breathe in for 2 seconds and breath out for two seconds. Then breathe in for 3 seconds and out for 3 seconds. Continue this until you get to 10. Once to 10, continued this monitored breathing, feeling the Air around you being pulled into you, filling you with peace, wellness, and life. As you blow out, feel your stress, ailments, and fears leave you. Continue this breathing exercise for at least 5 minutes, but 10 minutes is best. Allow your mind to clear and be open to any messages Air wishes to communicate with you. After 5 to 10 minutes, gently open your eyes, and slowly begin breathing as normal. You should feel completely relaxed and connected with Air. It's not uncommon to fall asleep during such a ritual or be sleepy when finished. This is entirely okay. If you fall asleep during the ritual, it's a sign you need rest. Try the ritual again later once you are well-rested. Snuff out the candle(s) and thank the crystal for its help, should you have used either in your ritual.

No matter how you perform your ritual, it's meant to accomplish the same thing, connecting you more deeply with Air. As always, jot down your experiences in your BOS, Grimoire, or journal. You may experience visions, hear voices, or be overcome with certain emotions. These are important messages, likely in regards to your relationship with Air, and should be analyzed for deeper understanding.



Once you have established a connection with Air through the ritual above, you need to continue to nurture it so it may grow and one of the best ways to do that is with an altar dedicated just to Air.

Plan to have your altar dedicated to fire for the next couple of weeks, to December 1st if you can, or at least through the last couple of posts in the Air series. How you set up your altar is completely up to you, but I encourage you to place at least one candle on your altar as well as other symbols associated with Air. Below are some ideas of items to include:
  • feathers, fan, incense, censor, bells, or chimes
  • blue kyanite, blue agate, chrysocolla, amber, or pumice
  • lavender, peppermint, pine, dandelion seeds, or yarrow
  • wand, staff, or athame (depending on your personal correspondences)
  • woodwind instruments such as the flute
  • images of or parts of birds, dragonflies, butterflies, faeries, or angels
  • white, silver, yellow, or blue altar cloth
Once you have set up your altar, spend about 15 minutes a day lightly meditating about Air and the ritual experience you had. Enter into a light meditation each time, focusing on your breath. Light incense, gaze at the images on your altar, ring the bell, or play the instruments, whatever helps you develop your relationship more completely. Draw a right-side-up triangle in the air utilizing your breath and visualize it entering into your body through your throat, the area most deeply associated with communication.

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And there you have it! Let me know how things went in the comments below.

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

Elemental Magic Series

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