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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

2021 Holiday Gift Guide for Witches

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I still can't believe the holiday season is upon us. The last 2 years have felt like the longest and shortest 2 years of my life. However, I am pumped for the holiday season, twinkle lights, hot cocoa, warm blankets, and frosty weather. I really hope Georgia gets some snow this year, but it's unlikely due to La Nina...Woooo. But I digress!

This year's Holiday Gift Guide for Witches is here with 10 affordable items that are sure to impress the witch in your life. Each item in this list was handpicked by me. Most of these items I own or I am a supporter of the company creating these items. I prefer handmade small businesses over large corporations, but you will find a couple of Amazon items on this list because nothing can beat their two-day shipping. If you are running out of gift ideas or don't even know where to start when it comes to the witch in your life, this list is for you. Heck, this list is even for you witches that aren't sure what you want!

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. 2022 Wicca Book of Spells Witches' Planner

The Wicca Book of Spells Witches' Planner is back! I had the pleasure to write several of the articles featured in this witches' 2022 planner along with some other amazing witches from the community. This planner features witchy informational articles, correspondences, spells, and rituals that correspond with the yearly calendar. A growing trend in witchcraft is practicing daily witchcraft, and a planner is a great way to help a witch do that. This comes in both hard copy and paperback depending on how sturdy you want your planner, but, unfortunately, the planner is only available for the Northern Hemisphere. Pick this planner up on Amazon for just $8!



2. Incense from Sea Witch Botanicals

Wow! So I am not super into incense. They tend to smell like burnt chemicals and leave me wondering why I wasted precious money purchasing them. Sea Witch Bontanical's incense line is completely different. All of their incense are made with plant-based, natural ingredients with no synthetic fragrances and they hold that fragrance while being burned. I recently ordered their holiday Krampus incense and Hermitage incense and could smell them through the box when they arrived. Just having them out is enough to permeate your entire living space with their delightful aroma. On top of this, all of their packaging is plastic-free and biodegradable, the company diverts 90% of their facility waste away from landfills through composting and recycling, uses 100% green energy to fuel production, sourced from fair-trade businesses, and donates at least 1% of revenue to environmental charities. They are speaking my language! While more expensive than conventional incense at $10-$15 a package, these babies are well worth the purchase and will leave the witch in your life delighted.

Photograph by Sea Witch Botanicals


3. The Relative Tarot by Carrie Paris

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a new series of tarot decks from Weiser Books and The Relative Tarot by Carrie Paris was by far my favorite deck. In fact, it is probably my favorite deck of all time apart from a collectible Pride and Prejudice deck I purchased a couple of years ago just to look at. This deck is perfect for all sorts of divination, especially ancestor work, and the beautiful images, sturdy card stock, and inclusivity of the deck will dazzle the witch in your life. You can read my full review of the deck and see more of the lovely imagery here. This deck is slightly pricy at $35, but worth the cost! 



4. Round Elder Futhark Runes from Blagowood

Early this year I won an Instagram giveaway from Wiccan Tips and Blagowood and took home a beautiful set of round Elder Futhark runes. The runes are made from oak wood and hand-carved and sealed with respect to Nordic traditions. They are perfectly smooth, fit well in the hand, and are light enough to carry with you during travel. Don't get me wrong, I love the runes I created using rocks from the Great Lakes, but there is something incredibly magical about these oak runes as well. I can feel the connection to the Earth and they read beautifully as a result. These runes come from the Ukraine and can take up to 6 weeks to arrive so I suggest you order now! You can pick up these runes for between $24 and $30 depending on the sales running. 

Photograph by Blagowood


5. Cottage Cleansing Candle from Triple Wick Goddess

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the creator of Triple Wick Goddess and the pleasure of reviewing and giving away a set of her candles. These are some of the best spell candles on the market, I guarantee it. Jocelyn spends time researching, designing, and testing her spell candles to ensure they pack a powerful, magical punch to suit the needs of the witch. She offers a variety of spell candles and even offers custom candles specifically for your magical needs. Not into candles? Jocelyn also offers soap and bath salts with magical intentions. You can read my full interview and review here. Candles run between $34 and $55, but will last you for hours and hours of spell work. If you are looking for a spell candle, you seriously cannot go wrong with Triple Wick Goddess.

Photograph by TripleWickGoddess


6. Herb of the Month from Apothecary At Home

My favorite subscription box, Apothecary At Home, introduced a new follow-up box to their apothecary course called Herb of the Month. This box comes with a number of items, including herb samples, art prints, bingo to expand your knowledge and connection with the plant, medicinal seeds, and other wonderful goodies for you to enjoy month to month. Unlike the Apothecary At Home box, this box only includes one herb each month, most of which are lesser-known and hard to come by. This is a great way to expand your knowledge of medicinal plants and fungi while growing a magical and medicinal store. This box costs $19.99+tax and shipping a month. A single herb not your witch's style? Check out the Apothecary At Home box and enter WILLOW15 at checkout to get 15% off your first box!



7. Witches Brew Mug

Okay...this is one of my favorite mugs. My partner gave me this mug last year for Yule and I drink out of it every weekend while I sit snuggled up on the couch with my kitties reading a witchy book. Its sleek cauldron design screams witch. It fits nicely in your hands, does not get too hot, and has held up well over the last year. This mug will set you back about $15 and is sure to impress the witch in your life.



8. Seasons of a Magical Life by H. Byron Ballard

I always like to include one of my favorite witchy reads of the year on my holiday list, and Season of a Magical Life by H. Byron Ballard took the spot. Honestly, this was a hard choice because there were so many amazing books that I read this year, however, this one was the most middle ground, making it perfect for any witch in your life, no matter their personal path. Reading this book felt like coming home and is a beautiful, non-theistic approach to celebrating the changing seasons by performing meaningful, mundane, yet magical tasks around the home. You can read my full review here and pick up a copy for $18.



9. Sun and Moon Serving Spoon Dish/Candle Holder from Witchy Woman Workshop

Before putting together this list, I was surfing Etsy looking for some items I would like for Yule to pass on to my partner when I came across this beautiful serving spoon holder/candle base from Witchy Woman Workshop. I have so many serving spoon holders around my house because I am constantly drinking tea or brewing up a potion in my kitchen. This dish is handcrafted and features and moon and sun surrounded by leaves. It's also heat safe, meaning you can use it as a candle holder or to burn cone incense. However, be sure to handwash this gorgeous piece lest you lose some of the detail. Not interested in a serving spoon dish? Witchy Woman Workshop also offers a slew of other items, including handcrafted mugs, tea plates, altar tiles, jars, and bowls. Prices range between $10 and $25, a fair price for a gift made with love. 

Photograph by WitchyWomanWorkshop


10. Plague Doctor Tea Towel from Linz the Maker

The pandemic isn't over yet and this tea towel is sure to delight...at least it delighted me when I found it. Prior to the pandemic, I was fond of using the phrase "Avoid it like the plague," but if this pandemic has taught me anything, it's that we do not, in fact, avoid things like the plague. This tea towel features a plague doctor and roses with the phrase "Wash Your Hands," a gentle reminder to wash your hands often. Its made from 100% cotton and screen printed using high-quality screen print transfer that will hold up in the wash if you follow the washing instructions that is. Linz offers several other hand towel designs as well as some mirror mantra stickers to remind you that you are a badass witch. Tea towels are $18.50 and mirror mantras are $8. Both would make an excellent stocking stuffer or gift under the tree!

Photograph by LinzTheMaker


***

This year's list offers a variety of items that are sure to impress even the pickiest of witches. I hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday season and remember that this is not just a time to give to those we love, but also those in need. There are a number of amazing charities out there that could use your help. Stay safe, happy, and healthy my friends.



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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Review: Wanderer's Tarot by Casey Zabala

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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.

If you have been following my latest reviews, you will have seen that Wieser Books sent me three tarot decks in the middle of October to review. This is the last of those tarot decks and I am excited to share this one with all of you. The other two decks, The Radiant Tarot and The Relative Tarot, used traditional imagery and followed the Raider-Waite structure. Wanderer's Tarot by Casey Zabala only somewhat follows this format. The deck includes the traditional Major Arcana, but the Minor Arcana uses the elements as the focus of the cards, and the Court cards feature the Philospher, Goddess, Prophet, and Wanderer. I really liked this approach and felt that this would be a great deck to combine with studying the elements and connect with them on a deeper level.

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Each suit of Minor Arcana features 14 cards, Ace through King, using traditional elemental symbols as the inspiration for the cards. The suits include Feathers (Fire), Knives (Air), Moons (Water), and Stones (Earth). I love that Feathers and Knives are 'mixed' up, just like Swords and Wands are in traditional tarot. This was originally done to protect the original meaning of the cards (keep silent). I love the simplistic imagery on these cards, which are black with white line drawings. I think this helps focus the mind on the card, canceling out excess visual noise and allowing your intuition to take hold as you enter an altered state of consciousness.

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The cards are rather sturdy like those I have previously reviewed, but are very slick in comparison. This makes handling the cards more difficult, but I am sure after use they will be easier to play with. The edges feature a beautiful silver which adds a touch of magic to the cards.

Unfortunately, the deck I received did not come with a guidebook, so I cannot speak on the book. The basic deck comes with a single-page insert that gives a very basic overview of each card, the suits, and numerology.

If you are interested in this midnight deck, Wanderer's Tarot by Cassie Zabala is available now!


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Monday, November 8, 2021

Magical Properties of Obsidian

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Thursday, November 4, 2021

Spellcrafting Series: Spell Wording; Be Clear, Be Heard

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So now that you know what type of spell you want to cast, have set an intention, secured your ingredients, and picked the best time to perform your spell, it's now time to figure out what to say. Along with setting a specific intention, I find that wording your spell is critically important to a spell's effectiveness. Honestly, you don't need special ingredients or even to perform your spell at the 'right' time for a spell to work, but if your intention and wording are off, it will certainly derail all your hard work and can even result in your spell backfiring completely. Depending on the spell, this could be catastrophic.

First and foremost, the wording you use within your spell should follow the same rules as your intention. It should be:
  • Specific (no wants, wishes, hopes, or vague desires)
  • Precise yet Open (while it should be specific, you should be able to say what you want in a few words, but leave the ending open enough to receive something better)
  • Positive (use positive language over negative. Don't use words like notwon'tdon't, or can't)
  • Time-constrained (set a time frame for your intention)
  • Personal (use Ime, and/or the person's full name)
  • Reasonable (some things just aren't attainable and that's okay!)

For many spells, the wording you use can and should be your intention and nothing more. Write it, chant it in your mind, chant it out loud, sing it, scream it, whatever you feel is best for the work you are doing. There are, however, times when you'd want to use more than your intention in a spell, especially those that involve invoking spirits, deities, or ancestors, call upon your ingredients to aid in the work, or are part of an elaborate ritual. This isn't to say short, sweet, and to the point isn't valid during these times, but more than your intention is needed.

When it comes to wording, whether you are using only your intention or not, you have a couple of options on how to go about this. It's very common nowadays to have spells that rhyme. This is not a requirement by any means, but it makes spells easier to remember and chant, especially if you are working with longer spells, invocations, rituals, etc. It also gives the spell a sing-song nature, which can help trigger an altered state of consciousness during spell work, providing an opportunity to slip into the Otherworld to raise energy and seek aid to manifest your intention. Historically, however, spells have not rhymed. In fact, many spells probably shouldn't because it can interfere with your intention. If you are trying to force words to rhyme, you could inadvertently change your original intention in the process and destroy your spell before it even begins.

So how do you decide which method is best and what to say? Go with your gut. This is the most time-consuming part of spellcrafting, but well worth the effort. I personally like to use rhyming and the wording in my spells includes what I expect certain ingredients to do to bring about my intention. You can see this in several of my spells on this blog, including my Garden Blessing Ritual, Dispelling Sadness, and Egg Prosperity Spell. However, there are times that I use prose because that is the best way to get my intention across. This can be seen in such spells as Just Say No Candle Spell, Deep House Cleaning Ritual, and Seed Blessing Ritual.

In the Basics of Spellcrafting post, you practiced turning 'bad' intentions into 'good' ones. Now I would like you to take those same 'bad' intentions, turn them into good ones, and figure out what wording you would use to best convey your intention within your spell: 
  1. I want to pay off all my bills and buy a mansion.
  2. I hope I get a new job.
  3. I wish he loved me.
  4. I don't have to go without.
Think about some ingredients you may use. Do you want to include these in your wording? Do you want it to rhyme? Will rhyming change the overall intention? Would prose be better? 

By the time you finish this activity, you should have the groundwork laid for four spells that you will likely use more than once in your life. This takes practice and over time you will find that some things work really well for you, and other things don't. Just because I like to use my ingredients in my wording, doesn't mean that will work for you. I've said it once and I'll say it again, go with your gut. Trust your intuition.

Next time we will dive into the basics of raising energy, cleansing, charging, and centering before discussing what to do after your spell is done. Until then!


Interest in the rest of the series? 

Spellcrafting Series

Spell Wording: Be Clear, Be Heard
Raising Energy, Cleansing, Charging, and Centering Prior to Spellcasting
Breaking Your Own Spells
What to do with Spell Remains
Recording Your Spells
Intuitive Spellcasting
Casting Spells from the Otherworld
Troubleshooting Your Spells and Why They Didn't Work


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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Review: The Relative Tarot by Carrie Paris

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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.

Up next in my tarot deck reviews is my favorite of the three decks, The Relative Tarot by Carrie Paris. This deck features a guidebook, 82 cards, and is designed to aid you in your self-discovery journey. Honestly, this is probably my favorite deck of all time apart from my Pride and Prejudice deck that I bought simply to honor Jane Austen and not to use in magic whatsoever. The Relative Tarot, on the other hand, is a deck I will use again and again.

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Upon opening this deck, I felt an immediate connection. The cards feature antique photographs acquired from friends and family, which immediately drew me in. My mother collects and uses antique photographs in her artwork, so this is something that hits close to home. The card stock is sturdy and the beautiful gold leaf on the edge brings these cards a touch of elegance. However, it was the inclusivity of the cards that kept me coming back to this deck. As I first flipped through the cards, I noticed immediately that there were three copies of The Lovers. At first, I thought this was a printing mistake, but as I looked closer at the cards I realized they were each different. The cards feature a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, and a man and a man, representing all forms of love. This is so much more inclusive and a better representation of the relationships in our lives. Not all love is romantic love and not all romantic love is heterosexual in nature. When I realized what was being featured on The Lover cards, it brought a tear to my eye. I know that for many of my readers, this representation will be much appreciated. Furthermore, the cards feature antique photos from people of all cultures and walks of life. There are many representatives of the BIPOC community featured in these cards, so everyone is able to find a representation of them and their ancestors within these cards. This is uncommon in many decks which often feature almost entirely white people. I can tell much thought was put into each and every one of these cards and it shows in the final product.

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I also noticed as I flipped through the deck that it featured two copies of Justice and Strength. Again I felt this may have been a printing error but upon inspection, I realized the numbering was different between the cards. Reading through the book I realized this was done on purpose. The numbering follows both the traditional Marseilles and Rider-Waite-Smith numbering systems so readers can pick which system they prefer to use. I don't personally have a preference, but I know other tarot readers most certainly do, allowing this deck to be more flexible.

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According to the guidebook, this deck is designed to help you connect with your ancestors as well as your 'purpose.' There is a breakdown on how to find your birth card, annual card, inner expression and soul cards, and significator, as well as a break down of what they all mean. With this in mind, each card features the birth card numbers in the lower left-hand corner and the card pairings in the lower right-hand corner. I believe this is a useful addition that aids in Paris's intention behind the cards. I believe this deck pairs incredibly well with Ancestral Tarot by Nancy Hendrickson and highly recommend its use. You can purchase The Relative Tarot by Carrie Paris now. 



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