Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Space Clearing Spell

Yesterday I spent most of the day cleaning the house to get ready for the new year. I did a deep clean just as I had a couple of months prior. However, this time I hauled off some 4 boxes of stuff to Goodwill and finally finished unpacking from our move over a year and a half ago. I know right? I had three boxes of stuff sitting in the coat closet. I also reorganized most of the house in the process. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted.

Before I did any of this, however, I removed the ward I put up last year. I wanted to make sure that not just the dust and dirt and clutter was leaving the house, but that all the negativity was leaving as well. Remember, wards not only keep things out, but they keep things in too. Please refer to my post on my home protection ward for more details.

Today I decided to cleanse my entire house magically as well. I would have done this yesterday but I just didn't have the energy after cleaning all day.

Space Clearing Spell

     White tealights for every room or area (including halls and stairways)
     Small plate for every room
     White Sage Smudge Stick

  1. Assemble all your supplies in one place. If you want, pray over the items and charge them with your intent.
  2. In the room you are in, place a tealight on a plate and pour a ring of salt around it. Place it as close to the center of the room as you can. Repeat for each room/area of your house. The fire from the candle will burn away negativity while the salt will absorb the excess.
  3. Return to the first room and begin clapping loudly to stir up and unstick any energy in the room. Make sure to pay special attention to corners and dark spots. Repeat for each room/area of your house. This will make sure your candle, salt, and smudge are able to get rid of the negativity that may be lurking out of its reach.
  4. In the first room, open as many windows as possible then light the sage. Walk the perimeter of each room allowing the smoke to dissolve negativity and lift vibrations. Repeat in every room/area of your house. Extinguish the sage when you are done and close the windows.
  5. Allow the tea lights to burn all the way down or for as long as you can. Any leftovers can be used when you perform this spell again. Flush the salt down the toilet or pour down the sink. Make sure to wash the plates before using again.
  6. If you feel the need, bathe after the space clearing is complete to wash away any negativity you may have picked up.
I skipped the clapping part today because cleaning also stirs up the energy in a home. This should be performed every couple of months or as often as you feel needed. During times of loss or high stress, you may need to clear your space more frequently. Again, if you have a ward around your home, make sure you take it down before performing this.

Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!

2015 Resolutions

I know that New Year Resolutions are over done or cliche or whatever you want to call them, but they work for me. For the most part, sitting down and reflecting on the previous year and the changes I want to make the upcoming year works. Of course I have the goal of working out more and eating right every year, which I am really good about anyway, but reaffirming it as something I want to continue doing keeps me doing it. Its easy to be lazy.

So what are my goals this year? Most of them are trackable, but a few are not, especially those that pertain to my marriage.

So for 2015 I want to:
  1. Exercise 3-4 days per week for 30 or more minutes. I currently workout 3-4 days per week for between 15 and 20 minutes when I am not running. I want to increase this amount to see more results.
  2. Do yoga 2-3 days per week with my husband. This is something we have been wanting to do for a while, and we bought new mats for us both so now we don't have an excuse. Yoga not only strengthens the body but also the mind, something we both need in all aspects of our life.
  3. Meditate 2 days per week. My year is going to be considerably busier than it has been previously. I am hoping meditating will not only reduce my stress but that it will also help me become the person I want to become in my relationships.
  4. Cut sugar. I have a sweet tooth. Fruit is fine; an ice cream is not.
  5. Read at least 12 books this year. I LOVE to read. I usually read at least 12 anyway so I am reaffirming this goal.
  6. Set up a night routine. I want to wash my face, brush my teeth, rinse with mouthwash, and put lotion on my legs before bed most nights. I realize some nights I won't get to it, but I'd like to do it as often as I am able. I am notorious for just taking out my contacts and falling asleep. I need to be better about caring for myself. I preorded E.L.F.s new line of face products and I am hoping the 4 items I picked are the 4 items they release. Having the new wash and creams will help me stick to this goal.
  7. Save $400+ per month. The spring of 2017 I will have to quit my job to student teach. In order to make sure we are okay, we need to put away a large nest egg.
  8. Say "No" and think about me. I am a people pleaser to a fault. Its part of the reason my relationship is suffering. I am unable to say no in most cases, even when saying yes is only going to hurt me and others badly. I'm also notorious for putting everyone else first and forgetting to take care of me. I need to work on this.
  9. Be more in control of my emotions and show my husband the love and support he needs. My emotions can get the best of me. I am very tender hearted and super empathetic. I feel everyone else's emotions so acutely and half the time I have no idea where they are coming from. One of the problems associated with being open to the energies around you. I also need to show my husband better love and support. This is attached to me being able to say no and to think about me. If I can do those things, I can be a better wife.
  10. Track my goal progress. I have some calendars I am going to print to mark off my goals, and I have included in a section in my planner to keep track as well. Hopefully having it multiple places will help me with some of the goals I know I am going to struggle keeping.
You may have noticed there are no goals, other than meditation, that deal directly with my spirituality. This is because my spirituality cannot and should not be defined by how much I do or do not do. I don't want to feel obligated nor put a quantitative value to how much I practice. I practice when I need to and I will continue to do it that way.

So do you have any resolutions this year? I would love to know what they are!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Eucalyptus

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Eucalyptus. Includes FREE BOS page!
Folk Names: Blue Gum Tree, Stringy Bark Tree
Gender: Feminine
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Powers: Healing, Protection
Magical Uses and History: Eucalyptus is believed to be one of the most useful trees in the world and has been used for a variety of magical and medicinal purposes through the centuries. The Aborigines regard the eucalyptus as a cure-all, using it for shelter as well as medicine.

The leaves can be stuffed into healing poppets and carried or placed under your pillow to maintain good health and ward off evil. To relieve colds, ring green candles with the leaves and pods and burn them until they burn out while visualizing the person being completely healthy. Wearing the immature pods on green thread is believed to heal sore throats.

Eucalyptus can be used in a number of spells including:
     Protection Magic
     Healing Spells

Medicinal Uses: Eucalyptus can be used either in whole leaf form as oil to treat a variety of ailments. Due to their antiseptic nature, whole leaves can be used to treat fever, upset stomach, asthma, whooping cough and other respiratory infections, joint pain, acne, and burns. The oil, which should be diluted first, can be used internally and externally to treat these same ailments, along with mouth pain and inflammation.

Preparation and Dosage: Eucalyptus can be taken internally as an infusion or as an oil dilution. To make an infusion, pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoons of dried leaves and let infuse for 10 minutes. Drink this solution up to three times a day. If using eucalyptus oil, please follow the directions listed on the box/bottle. Each one is different and therefore should be treated as such. Externally Eucalyptus oil can be diluted and applied directly to the infected or swollen area or used in a bath.

Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dispeling Sadness

As I mentioned in my last post, things have been pretty abysmal lately. I have been trying to move forward and heal not only my heart, but my body as well. Because I have been so stressed and not eating, I've caught every illness going around this season. Anger and sadness are both like wet blankets; they smother you and your other emotions. If left unchecked they can destroy you.

Dispeling Sadness Spell

This morning I performed a Dispel Sadness Spell. It is quite simple and can be used for any type of sadness but you need to make sure you are very specific. Please refer to my post on primal language to ensure you do not end up making things worse.
  1. Hold a white candle in both hands while you think of all your sorrows and the causes of them.
  2. Write these sorrows onto a piece of white paper, preferably in red ink but any will do.
  3. Anoint the page with honey and fold it up.
  4. Light the candle and use the flame to burn the note while chanting:
    "I give my sadness to the flames,
      The fire eats my grief and pain."
  5. Bury the ashes when you are done.
Again, make sure you are very specific. Because my sadness is connected to my husband and I don't want to dispel him, I made sure to not say he was the cause of the pain. Instead I said it was his actions and his hurtful words. Magic can work as much for you as it can against you if you aren't careful.

I hope this will help clear some of the sadness in our home and that has been smothering me. We can't move forward together if we can't move past our pain.
What do you do to help manage your emotions?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Some Soul Searching and Aura Repair Tea

So you may have noticed I kind of disappeared off the face of the planet there for a while. Well, things have been less than perfect in my life lately, and by less than perfect, I mean that I feel like my whole world just came crashing down. My husband, the man I love and admire above all else, woke up one morning and didn't want to the married anymore. We started therapy, but I believe he is set in his choice to leave. I can't even begin to explain how broken I feel right now and how terrified I am. I'm losing my best friend and partner along with my home. I am struggling to figure out how I am going to manage on my own. It's honestly looking very grim.

With all the stress and anxiety I have caught every illness under the sun. Last week I was running a serious fever and today my throat feels raw from coughing and hacking on drainage. It has been awful, to say the least. However, this morning I woke up knowing I needed to make changes.

I very much believe in my horoscope. In fact, it is almost always completely dead on. I don't do the dailies because its just too much, but I love the yearly and monthly horoscopes. It allows me to plan out my year and this past year I was glad I listened. It foretold of a financial problem in the middle of the year and sure enough, my husband lost his job. Thankfully I had prepared and we made it out alright. Well, I haven't looked at what it has had to say over the past couple of months so I decided to see how the rest of December is supposed to go. Well, what it had to say was powerful.
"Tension in your personal affairs could ratchet up around December 15. This intensity has been brewing since 2012, when these two cosmic heavy-hitters started their tug o’ war—and it will continue until mid-March 2015."

Wow...So Monday night is when things began to get worse and this intensity began in December of 2012.
"Instead of throwing up your hands and not deciding, it’s important to go deep into your roots—where does your background impede you from living your best, healthiest life? You are extra-sensitive to metaphysical and subtle energies, so before you lash out or make a drastic move to amputate someone from your life, look within. As St. Francis wisely said, “You are that which you seek.” You don’t need the seal of approval from a relationship or relative to drawn upon your enormous wellspring of power. You CAN have what you want. The first step is to shut out external chatter and figure that one out for yourself. No one else knows, except you. Take back your agency, your heart, your soul. The next four weeks, reconnect with your past and your childhood; in this nostalgia, you can find gems about who you really are—and what you truly desire."
When I read this I broke down in tears. I needed to hear that I CAN have what I want and that I need to dig deep to decide what I really want from my life and from my relationship. I need to do some serious soul-searching. Do I want to save this marriage or let him walk away? I don't have the answer yet, but I plan on meditating on it over the next few weeks.

The horoscope finished by saying I am going to start a new chapter of my life. I am so terrified, but I am trying to be strong. I start my Master's program in the middle of January, and I can only hope that goes well for me. I have reached out to many people and have friends trying to find me a significantly better paying job. Please send your prayers, well wishes, and thoughts my way. I really need this to come through for me.

Aura Repair TeaSo tonight I am taking a step back; I am going to focus on me and my needs. As a Libra, I am notorious for giving to others at my own expense. I can't do it anymore, at least not right now. I am going to take a nice warm bubble bath with Bath & Bodyworks Stress Relief foam while I drink a nice hot cup of Aura Repair Tea. I let this man dampen my spirit and suppress my aura. I need to repair it.

Want to make your own Aura Repair Tea? No problem. It consists of tea leaves, rosemary, lemongrass (my favorite), hibiscus flowers (second favorite), peppermint and mugwort. Each of these herbs is known for its calming yet uplifting nature. Sipping on this delightful infusion will calm the spirit and repair an aura. This is especially great for after intense spell work or times of great stress. I added a bit of honey to sweeten it and soothe my very raw throat.

I plan on being around more in the upcoming weeks. Ignoring my spiritual path during these trying times is one of the worst things I can do, especially when I have such a wonderful outlet here.

Thank you for all of your support.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Path is Set

So this week has been...interesting. I've been a nanny for the same family for 2 years, and I love my job, but some weeks are trying. Monday started bright and early (I did not sleep well) and was hoping to nap in the afternoon while the oldest, L, was at school and the youngest, S, was napping. Well, I get a call from Mom saying school was cancelled because low and behold the school had lost power. L refused to nap that afternoon too.

Tuesday was great. I took the girls to story time and met up with up the L's best friend W. His mom just had a baby, but she brought him out and left the newborn with her mother-in-law. We enjoyed story time and a wonderful lunch afterwards. Mom came home early because she is sick and napped in the afternoon. Thankfully EVERYONE took a nap, including me.

Wednesday the little one was sick with Mom so I was taking care of them both while L was in school. Thursday, W's mom dropped him off to play with L and the two spent the afternoon running circles around the kitchen island singing songs as loud as they could. Made me smile. I know most parents and nannies would have made them hush and stop their running, but I knew they needed it. It was too cold outside to play and they weren't hurting anyone. I am honestly pretty damn relaxed with kids. W's mom told me I'm a pro and having my own children will be a cake walk. I hope so.

Today I went to the dentist to have a root canal, was numbed up, then told the tooth was too infected to do any work. First world problems.

Stressful week at work, but I received some excellent news this week and it is why I am posting!

"Dear Ms. M,
On behalf of all the faculty of the Tift College of Education, I am pleased to inform you of your acceptance into the Master of Arts in Teaching program for Spring Semester 2015. You have met the requirements for full admission, and we commend you on reaching this important milestone in realizing your educational goals. Congratulations and welcome!"

Wonderful news indeed. Tift College of Education is part of Mercer University, a private college, here in Atlanta. We have had a very rough year and a half. I hope this is the light we have been needing.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Charged Waters: Flower Waters

Last week I introduced charged waters and talked about Holy Water. This week I would like to cover Flower Waters. There are a number of flower waters used in a variety of magic, especially rose water. Although some spells demand very specific flower waters, they may be substitute for regular water in many magical workings, especially those for healing and romantic purposes and for inks and incenses.

Charged Waters: Flower WatersRose water is frequently used in Indian, North African, and Middle Eastern cuisine (might be why I love it so much) and is easily purchased at specialty vendors. Sometimes health shops will also carry rose water, so keep an eye out the next time you venture out. However, pre-packaged rose waters vary greatly in quality as there are no set standards. Some contain very little trace of the flower while others are excellent. That being said, fine hydrosols are more popular now and thus more readily available in today's market. Hydrosols may be the best source of rose water.

If you don't wish to purchase your rose water, you can easily make it at home. However, do not use florist flowers as they are more often than not coated with pesticides which can concentrate in the flower water.

There are two methods you can use to make Rose/Flower Water.

Method 1:
  1. Wash and remove petals from roses. Place in a small pot and cover with a quarter of an inch of spring water.
  2. Simmer gently until the petals are limp and pallid. When in doubt simmer longer.
  3. Strain and allow liquid to cool. Refrigerate up to 1 week.
Method 2:
  1. Place washed petals or blossoms in a mason jar.
  2. Cover with boiling water and allow to sit overnight.
  3. Strain and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Both methods can be used to make any type of flower water as long as the flowers are not poisonous or toxic of course. I will post a more in depth guide in the future.

Rose Water is used for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to:
  • Love Magic
  • Aiding the the awakening of one who has been in a trance
  • Used in a ritual cleansing bath
  • To relieve headaches and bruises
  • Stimulate sexual appetite and enhance beauty
  • Induce prophetic dreams
  • Healing magic
  • Stress relief
I will talk about lavender water in another post, as it is made from distilling instead of boiling. Until then, do you use rose water in your magical workings?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Charged Waters: Holy Water

This week's Pagan Blog Project letter is W, so I thought I would talk about charged waters.

Charged water is very simply water that has been charged with magical power and intentions. However, not all charged waters are really water. Some are alcohol-based as the roots of perfumeries and liqueurs lie in magical potions and brews. Alcohols commonly used include aquavit or whiskey (which derives from the Gaelic for "water of life") and vodka. Vodka is most common because it has little to no scent. Rubbing alcohol is avoided as it typically has a very strong aroma.

Charged Waters: Holy Water
There are several types of charged waters including the infamous Holy Water, Rose Water, and Florida Water. I'll talk about Holy Water as it is probably the most familiar, yet misunderstood of charged waters. Many assume Holy Water indicates Church-blesses water only, but this is an oversimplification of a complex subject. The Roman Catholic Church did not in fact invent Holy Water, but instead adopted it from earlier pagan customs. Holy Water is a crucial component in magical workings, although how it is made varies greatly between traditions. It can refer to:
  • Church-blessed Water
  • Jordan River Water
  • Modern Wicca claims it to be either spring water with salt added or more personal recipes as decided by the coven or witch.
  • According to Pow-Wow traditions, it is water with salt and vervain added.
  • Some believe water charged by the Full Moon or a lunar eclipse is holy.
  • Balinese tradition has a variety of recipes including one that involves unripe coconuts or bamboo. Sometimes ocean water is used.
  • British folk traditions say that rain falling on Holy Thursday (Ascension Day) can be used as Holy Water. Other sacred days may be substituted, such as the Summer Solstice, May Eve, New Year's Day, Samhain, a saint's day, or even your birthday.
Balinese Holy Water, Church-blessed Holy Water, and Wiccan Holy Water are all consecrated via ritual. It is the ritual itself that activates the water. Other traditions say no ritual is needed because the sacred, magical power of Holy Water is innate and that a ritual can interfere with its power. So, depending on what you believe, Holy Water can be easily obtained through collection or involve a complex ritual.

Holy Water is used for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to:
  • Altar cleansing and blessing.
  • Healing spells. Holy Water is believed to be capable of magically transmitting physical relief for headaches and tensions when used in a compress or massage.
  • Cleansing and purification for both an individual and sacred space.
  • Cleansing and empowering magical tools and materials.
  • And of course, exorcisms and banishing spells.
I personally use ocean water as my holy water. Why? Because it contains salt, a natural purifier of negativity and "disease." I collect ocean water in a glass jar whenever we visit the ocean. I try to do it in the moon light to further charge the water, but I find water collected at high noon is just as powerful. Its really a personal choice.

Do you use Holy Water? If so, which tradition do you identify with the most?

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's Your Future

In my opinion, tomorrow is the most important day of the year in the United States. It's not a holiday or a famous person's birthday or an honorary day; its voting day. I encourage each and every one of you to turn out to the polls tomorrow and cast your vote if you haven't done so already. I cannot stress how important it is for you to do so. My husband routinely tells me that the system is corrupt and our voices are being lost in the storm so why continue screaming? One voice may not breech the storm's howling winds, but millions will. When we rise up together, for whatever the cause, our voices will be heard and change will come of it. Abolitionists, feminists, and environmentalist are shining examples that when we work together for a just cause, we can accomplish wonders.

I don't care what your political views are. You may think President Obama is the worst thing to happen to this country; you may think he is the best. Whatever your views, please go express them tomorrow; please help us move our country forward. The loud minority in the United States is out voting the silent majority. Do something about it tomorrow.

If you don't know where to vote Google has made it simple. Please click here to find your local voting place. Not registered? Click here to do so. Voting is the best way to turn your political views into a reality. Even if you "lose" this year, do not become jaded. Big change takes a long time. And remember, your vote is your voice and you are not screaming into the storm alone.

Friday, October 31, 2014


In the spirit of Halloween I thought I would write this Pagan Blog Project post about vampires. No undead spirit retains as much fascination from the living as vampires. Many understand vampires to exist somewhere between the living and dead, but are they tortured souls or rewarded ones?

Interpretations differ between cultures and myths, but the one quality universally accepted is that they suck vitality from others, either in the form of blood or sexual energy. The most famous vampires, including Bram Stroker's Dracula, Anne Rice's Lestat, and Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla, are all blood suckers. Some vampires kill their victims by draining all of their blood quickly while others prolong the process. Others still use the blood as merely a means to drain the victim's life force. However, vampires such as Lillith and her daughters, Herodias and her daughters, La Diablesse of the French Caribbean, and the Karina, drain sexual vitality from their victims. This is often done through sexual intercourse, whether physically or through dream hauntings. Many of today's portrayals of vampires combines the blood-sucker with the more ancient incubus/succubus (drainer of sexual vitality).

So how does one become a vampire? Well, there are many different traditions citing very different causes.
    Guide to Vampires
  • Inadequate/improper funeral rites
  • There is a contagious quality to being a vampire. Once attacked by a vampire you either become one yourself or die.
  • In Transylvanian folklore, illegitimate songs, born outside Church-sanctioned marriages are doomed to become vampires.
  • Some spirits are believed to be innately vampiric without rhyme or reason.
  • Other traditions claim those born on Christmas Day are potentially future vampires.
  • And my personal favorite is from Ukrainian folklore. According to this legend a vampire is the inevitable result of sexual relations between a witch and werewolf.
Some of these are much crueler than the others if you consider the implications. I am curious to know how many people killed their illegitimate sons out of fear.

Of course among the legends are many antidotes. These traditionally include bells, bright light or sunlight, garlic, onions, and silver bullets or bullets made from melted down bells. Crosses and Holy Water is still up for debate. These do not appear in any traditions prior to the Church introducing them and many believe them to be Christian propaganda. Of course there are always spells to repel vampires.

The Gypsies of India suggest wearing a charged and consecrated iron ring set with pearls to ward off vampires. After an encounter they say to cleanse the ring in incense smoke. Wearing dried peppermint around you neck will also ward off vampires. You can mix it with dried garlic to make an even more powerful ward. However, my favorite is the idea that vampires are OCD. Supposedly if there is fishing net, or in our case modern screens, over your windows the vampire will compulsively count all the knots or holes before entering. The idea is that he/she will either be so distracted they get caught in sunlight or they give up and move to another home.

If you are daring you can try to capture a vampire in a glass or metal bottle like a genie. Don't use plastic as they can presumably bite through plastic. This works like a fly-trap. Place some kind of tempting food in the bottle. Set the bottle out and wait. You will know you have caught a vampire when you observe a bit of straw or fluff within the bottle. Seal the bottle securely and toss it into a fire to destroy the vampire. This spell of course only works on a vampire who is understood to have once been a regular human.

So this Halloween, take solace in the fact that you very likely have screens on all your windows and simply putting out some peppermint and garlic or having some bells on hand will keep you safe. And remember witches, don't do anything naughty with a werewolf else you could create your own little vampire.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween. May your ancestors be with you.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hustle and Bustle

So it has been an extremely busy time in our house the past couple of weeks. October always seems to bring on the endless activities. With fall festivals, parties, my birthday, and random projects for work, we rarely have a moment to catch our breaths until the New Year.

Monday was my 26th birthday. Yes, yes, I am 26 and honestly feeling like I am finally pulling up my roots and moving forward with my life. I have felt so stuck since I graduated from college in 2011. I am finally going back to school to get a Master's in Secondary Education. It is not my first choice however. I went to school for avian paleontology. I wanted to study the origin and evolution of birds from dinosaurs. Sadly, the field is extremely small and when I say small, I mean there are only two people in the United States that I could work with on a graduate level and some 800 students applied for those 2-5 spots. I just can't compete despite my many accomplishments, including being a published scientists. I am very proud that my undergraduate research was published and hoped it would be enough for any graduate program, but sadly it wasn't. So, I have finally decided it is time to move beyond my dream to something more tangible. I decided if I can't be a paleontologist, I might as well teach it, so I am going to become a high school biology teacher. I went to an orientation/Q&A this morning and the program's dean, admission counselor, and one of the teachers absolutely adored me. They went on and on about what a wonderful teacher I am going to be and the dean said she was thankful I was turned down by other graduate programs. For the first time in 3 years I finally feel like I am worth something. I can't even begin to explain how much it meant to me to hear someone tell me they want me in their program; that I am valuable and have something worth sharing with the world. I cried when I got in the car because I was so overwhelmed. I have been rejected from graduate programs 10 times. That is 10 times I was told, "Sorry, you aren't good enough for us." Ten times I felt worthless, like a failure, like wasted space. I have spent the past three years angry with myself. Well, I am done feeling this way. I am not not a tree; I am going to move forward.

This isn't going to be an easy process, but I think I will be happy with it in the long run. Biology teachers are highly sought after and with a Master's I should make very decent money. I will be able to move where ever I want in the country or even outside of it, have the same holidays off as my children if I decide not to home school, and get to teach my favorite subject in the entire world.

Needless to say, I have been busy. I haven't even bought pumpkins, let alone made a Halloween tree to set up an altar to honor the dead. I would feel guilty, but I don't. I had to focus on me for once and what I needed to do in order to feel alive. I am sure my deceased friends and family will understand and forgive me.

I plan on posting next Friday for the Pagan Blog Project and hopefully an addition post sometime next week; on what I am not sure yet, but I will figure it out.

I hope that everyone is enjoying this lovely fall and doing well!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Recipe: Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

Today I would like to share one of my favorite fall side dishes, Brown Sugar Acron Squash. It is simple and easy to make, requiring only four ingredients!

Recipe: Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

     1-2 Acorn squash
     4-8 Tablespoons of Earth Balance or Butter (enough to coat)
     4-8 Tablespoons  brown sugar (enough to fill)
     Pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut your acorn squash in half and remove a small slice from the top and bottom of the halves do not sit evenly on the baking sheet. Remove seeds.
  2. Coat the inside of the squash with Earth Balance or butter, forming a layer about 1/4 inch thick. Fill with brown sugar.
  3. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until squash is soft. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. 
  4. Scoop out the contents from the skin and mash in a bowl. Mix in a pinch of salt. Serve warm.
Recipe: Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

This makes an excellent side dish to any fall-inspired meal with its rich and sweet flavor. Acorn squash was one of my favorites as a kid, and I cook it every fall for me and my husband. If you have a larger family, you may consider cooking two squashes, but one should accommodate 2-4 people just fine.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Uninvited Banishing Spells

 With Halloween around the corner, scary movies are flooding the theaters and the television. I don't know if any of you guys have seen the previews for Ouija, but it got my thinking about the Uninvited. The whole premise of the movie is that some teenagers use a Ouija board to communicate with the dead and all hell breaks loose. I can't even begin to tell you the number of times I have overheard people talking about summoning spirits, demons, etc using any and all variety of methods. In fact, the daughter of a close family friend admitted to her mother that she was summoning spirits in an attempt to help them pass over. She was dabbling, as most people who talk about this sort of thing are, and her mother noticed very marked changes about her daughter. She asked me what I thought (she is a pagan Christian and clairvoyant), and I looked at her and told her that B had invited something in that she had not intended, something very dark.

Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence when people dabble and/or misuse magic. In many cases, it is easier to summon than to banish. Always keep this in mind when summoning anything, especially if it is malevolent. However, it can even happen to the most skilled practitioner. So for this week's Pagan Blog Project post I would like to cover how to get rid of the Uninvited, both physically and metaphysically. Sometimes a guest overstays their welcome, a neighbor moves in that is completely awful, or you have accidentally let in something malicious.

Depending on what you need, there are several ways you can handle this problem. Banishing powders are very common in dealing with people. My favorite is based on an old Hoodoo recipe. To make Hoodoo Vanishing Powder, simply combine black pepper, cayenne, salt, and sulfur and grind into a fine powder. Visualize your intent while grinding to infuse the powder.

Banishing powders can be sprinkled on the clothes, especially shoes, of the person you wish to leave, under their bed, on the ground where they will walk over it, or used to enhance other banishing spells including banishing oil. Remember, powders are intended as a subtle form of magic so less is more. You don't want it to be obvious what you are doing. Also keep in mind that if you sprinkle this on someones clothes, you could cause an adverse reaction, so the bottoms of shoes is safest.

Of course this is only one powder recipe. Mixing any of the following herbs will produce a Banishing Powder:
     Bay laurel
     Devil's bit
     Dragon's blood
     Pepper (both black and cayenne/hot chili)

Growing these plants in quantity around your home will also discourage uninvited guests and can be used in your Poison Garden (to be talked about on a later date).

To make a Banishing Oil cover your banishing powder in Castor oil and shake vigorously until well combined. If the oil is too thick you can thin it with jojoba oil.

Uninvited Banishing Spells
All of the above methods are generally used to banish people, not spirits. If you have accidentally let spirits into your home, whether malicious or not, there are several ways to handle this. A general word of caution; if you wish to practice malevolent magic, know that it attracts the attention of equally malevolent spirits, whether you want them or not. Once present, they often become bored and restless, causing destruction and grief in their wake. The best option for banishing spirits is to contact a knowledgeable professional, but I understand not everyone can or are comfortable doing this. When all actions must be taken into your own hands, the Spirit Banishing Bell and Incense Spell is extremely potent. Burn benzoin, frankincense, and juniper as a triple threat and for tripe protection. Evil spirits cannot abide any of these fragrances, let alone the combination and should leave. Ringing an iron bell while the incense burns will increase the effectiveness of this spell as it disturbs most malicious spirits. Make your intent known by commanding the spirits to leave and never return.

I hope none of you ever have to use any of these spells, but in case you ever do, do not do it maliciously. These are also not intended to use all willy-nilly because you can't get along with someone. These are for extreme cases only so please exercise caution and your best judgement.

Have you ever had to use a banishing spell? If so, for what?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Sage

Magical and Medicianal uses of Sage. Includes FREE BOS page!

Folk Names: Garden Sage, Red Sage, Sawge
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Jupiter
Element: Air
Powers: Immortality, Longevity, Protection, Purification, Wisdom, Wishes
Magical Uses and History: Sage takes its name from the Latin word salvare which means "to save" or "to heal." This is a very fitting name due to its healing properties. The Ancient Greeks and Romans ate sage to improve the mind and even used it to clean their teeth. As such, sage can be used to promote wisdom and increase memory. The Romans also believed eating sage would protect pregnant women, increase fertility, and extend life. Like the Romans, the Egyptians also believed sage increased fertility, and women would drink sage juice before lying with their husbands to ensure conception. Sage can be used in much the same way today, by hanging in the marital bedroom to promote fertility, worn, carried, or eaten by a woman to increase fertility and promote a healthy pregnancy, or used in other fertility and pregnancy rituals and spells.

Due to its natural antimicrobial properties and potent scent, sage was often used to help cure meat, as well as mask the scent and taste of rancid meat. For this same reason, sage was ultimately used to treat a number of ailments, including sore throat, memory loss, fever, gout, and even the plague, hence its name "to heal." This eventually turned into sage being associated with immortality. Two old English proverbs and charms document this idea: "He who would life for aye, Must eat sage in May." and "Why should a man die who has sage in his garden?" Today sage can be used in spells pertaining to healing and overall health, as well as to promote immortality and longevity.

Sage is also a powerful protector., which is its most common use today. Sage is often burned in homes, a custom that is heavily influenced by Native American smudging, to dispel negativity and cleanse rooms and objects. While smudging and the use of white sage, which is endangered in the wild, is a closed practice, other species of sage work just as well, and can be used in smoke-cleansing rituals. Not only will the sage clear a space, but it is also believed to bring general protection, making it the go-to for most practitioners. However, be wary if you wish to grow sage in your garden. It is bad luck to plant sage in your own garden and a stranger (or someone not living in the home) should be found to plant it for you. Furthermore, a full bed of sage is bad luck so make sure the plot is home to other plants as well.

Sage can be used in a number of spells including:
     Protection Magic
     Healing Spells
     Fertility Spells
     Attract Wisdom
     Immortality Magic

Medicinal Uses: The leaves of red sage age are often used to aid inflammation of the mouth, throat, and tonsils as its volatile oils are soothing to the mucous membranes. It can be used internally as a mouthwash to treat gingivitis, inflamed tongue (glossitis), and other mouth inflammations including mouth ulcers. It can also be gargled to treat laryngitis, pharyngitis, and tonsillitis. Furthermore, it reduces sweating when taking internally. Externally it is used to treat wounds. Do not take sage if you are pregnant or wishing to breastfeed. When taken internally, it can reduce breast milk production and stimulate the muscles of the uterus, which is interesting considering its historical association with fertility and pregnancy.

Preparation and Dosage: The leaves should be collected shortly before or just at the beginning of flowering (May or June). Leaves can then be dried, but not above 95°F. Sage can be taken internally as either an infusion, tincture, or gargle. To make an infusion, pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoons of leaves and let infuse for 10 minutes. Drink this solution up to three times a day. As a tincture, take 2-4 milliliters up to three times a day. To make a gargle put 2 teaspoons of dried leaves in 1 pint of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Gargle deeply with the hot deep for 5-10 minutes several times a day. Externally use Sage in a compress to treat open wounds.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Making Crystal Tinctures and Extracts

Making Crystal Tinctures and Extracts

Normally when I talk about tinctures and extracts, I am referring to herbal mixtures and remedies. However, it is possible to make tinctures and extracts from crystals for both medicinal and magical purposes. I'm not going to touch on any of these uses today, simply explain how to make them.

To make a tincture or extract, cleanse (both physically and magically--best option is to run it under water) and charge your crystal. If you plan to ingest your tincture or extract please make sure your crystal is nontoxic. Many crystals, including aquamarine, emerald, and tiger's eye, are toxic when soaked in alcohol, water, or oil. You can find a decent list here.

Once your stone is cleansed and charged, soak the crystal in alcohol, water, or oil for 2-4 hours in sun light. If your stone will fade in sun light, you can use moon light instead. Remove the crystal and store the water in a clear glass jar. If you soaked your crystal in water pour in 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar or Vodka to prevent algae growth if you do not plan to use your extract immediately.

If you still wish to use a toxic crystal you can use an indirect method. Simply place the crystals in a small bowl within a larger bowl full of alcohol, water, or oil. The vibrations will enter the liquid but the toxins will not.

With preservation (alcohol or vinegar) your extracts can last up to two years if using internally or 6+ years if using externally. Tinctures will last up to 6+ no matter their use as they are made from alcohol. Oils should be used within weeks to prevent them from going rancid.

Crystal tinctures and extracts are very simple to make. However, using crystal tinctures and extracts for medicinal purposes is not so simple. I have never personally used crystals for medicinal purposes, but I plan on learning how to use them in the future. Until then, please consult Google and its infinite wisdom with caution.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Three Tricksters

Last week several people wrote about their totem animals for the Pagan Blog Project. Since none of them mentioned mine, I figured I would cover them. I call them the Three Tricksters because each of them is known as a "trickster" in many traditions due to their cunning and ability to quickly adapt. My three animal guides are the Fox, Raven, and Raccoon.

The Fox

The Three Tricksters
The fox has a long and rich history. It is often associated with the "dark" side of magic and seen as a bad omen in many traditions. In some Native American traditions, the fox represents the practice of dark sorcery and the manipulation of magic. Despite this, the fox is revered for its witty and quick intelligence. It is a great teacher, providing guidance on swiftly handling obstacles, adapting, and quick thinking. The fox can also help you see through deception and aid in dream work.

The Raven

The Three TrickstersThroughout history the raven has been associated with both positive and negative aspects. The most common aspects are magic, personal transformation, intelligence, adaptability, prophetic insight, and death. The raven is present in many shamanic traditions as the totem animal of choice for those who use magic. Furthermore, ravens are great teachers for guiding you through adversity, difficult situations, and transformation. It also aid in magical workings.

The Raccoon

The Three Tricksters
The history of the raccoon is not as rich as those of the fox and raven, but it is also often associated with the trickster. In some Native Americans traditions it is associated with shape shifting, disguise, dexterity, and ingenuity. Like the raven it can aid in personal transformation and adaptability. Furthermore, the raccoon is a great teacher in problem solving, ingenuity, and exploration. It can also aid you in undertaking new experiences and calming you in stressful situations.

I hope this has been useful and if you are looking for more information, there are many helpful websites out there, including Spirit Animal Totems, Spirit Animal Info, and Shamanic Journey. This, of course, is just a brief introduction to each of the animals.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hedge, Hearth, Green, Kitchen … I’m Confused!

I shared this article on the blog's Facebook page and I wanted to share it here to for those of you who are not following us yet. Walking the Hedge wrote a wonderful article explaining the difference between a hedgewitch, greenwitch, hearthwitch, kitchenwitch, cottagewitch and others. It is very concise and a great read for anyone confused as to what the differences are. You can find the article here.

I hope this article clears things up. If you still have questions, feel free to ask in the comments, on Facebook, or via email.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finding and Storing Crystals

Finding and Storing Crystals

Most witches believe that you don't find a crystal or stone; it finds you. Most often this is done in stores, but some are found in riverbeds, quarries, forests, beaches, or even rock & mineral shows.

When you begin looking for crystals, you need to pay close attention to which ones attract you most strongly. You can do this by simply holding the crystal and feeling its energy or by meditating with the crystal. Because they have been around for hundreds of years, some crystals' energy is extremely low; it can take time to receive a message. Other times you will know instantly if a crystal is right for you. Furthermore, you may walk in looking for quartz, but walk out with amethyst. Sometimes the crystal calling you is not actually for you, but someone you know. You'll know very quickly if this is the case because you will feel the need to give the crystal away. You may also leave empty handed, finding no crystal in the store that speaks to you. I have walked out of stores empty handed several times. Don't be deterred if you don't find what you are looking for during your first trip. It is best to find magical tools, including crystals, that resonate with you as these will bring about the most powerful magic.

If you're looking for crystals, you needn't find the prettiest or even the clearest, unless you intend to use the stone for scrying. Crystals with cloudy "ghosts" or other mineral inclusions carry more powerful energy than those without. Again, buy the crystal that feels right to you, even if its "cheaper" or "uglier" than the others. A cheaper/more expensive stone you can't relate to is not worth the money.

Once you have purchased/found your crystal, you will need to cleanse it. Crystals are extremely sensitive to energy, and each person that touches them affects them. You don't want someone else's negative energy hanging around your crystals. Once cleansed, store your crystals in a cool, dark place away from others. You can keep them all together or divide them up; its up to you. No matter how you store them, you will still need to periodically cleanse them because they soak up the energy around them.

I have my crystals stored in glass jars in our spare bedroom. Where do you keep yours? Where is your favorite place to find crystals?

Monday, September 22, 2014

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mabon Dinner Party

Last night I threw a small dinner party to celebrate the coming of Fall. I honestly can't wait for it to arrive and the weather to cool off. I know that Mabon is officially September 23, but I am not throwing a party on a Tuesday night. No one would come.

Unfortunately I didn't photograph any of the food or the night's festivities. I had all the intentions in the world of laying out my gorgeous spread of fall foods (all vegan except the cheese platter I put together), and photographing it for your food porn pleasure, but I got so caught up in my dinner guests that I forgot. I apologize for that, but I will tell you we had a mushroom and leek nut loaf, sweet potato souffle, lima beans, mixed green salad with cranberries and pecans dressed with balsamic fig dressing, and a dutch apple pie. Of course fall beers were served along with red wine. We finished the night off with a hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity.

It was a wonderful celebration with friends, even though none of them are pagan or really knew what I was celebrating. In October, I will share some of these recipes with you so you can enjoy them at Samhain or Thanksgiving if you celebrate.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Mabon and keep a look out for my post on my fall decorations!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

It's not quite fall yet, but it sure as hell feels like it in this house. I have started cooking and baking again, something I loathe doing in the Georgia summer, and I have about 20 pumpkin spiced candles burning. I can tell that the days are shortening and the heat is starting to subside. I am beyond happy. Fall is my favorite time of year by far. I wish I lived somewhere with milder summers. I think I would be much happier living in the Northeast, preferably Maine. But I digress. Today I would like to share my Spiced Pumpkin Muffin recipe. I made a batch over the weekend and they are oh so good.

Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

     3 cups all-purpose flour
     1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
     2 teaspoons baking soda
     2 teaspoons baking powder
     1 teaspoon salt
     2 cups of sugar
     1 can pumpkin puree
     Egg replacer for 4 eggs (or 4 eggs)
     1/2 cup water
     1/2-3/4 cup oil.
     Half a bag of chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Beat together sugar, egg replacer, pumpkin, water, and vegetable oil until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Gradually beat into sugar mixture making sure there are no lumps. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Fill lined muffin tins 3/4 of the way and bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!
This makes between 20 and 24 muffins. When it comes to the oil, you can reduce it depending on the consistency of your mixture. If you put in part whole wheat and part all-purpose flour you will need more oil than if you just use all-propose.

I hope you enjoy the recipe and have a fantastic fall! We are having a dinner party tonight to celebrate Mabon early!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Magical Correspondences of Crystals

Note: This post contains potentially problematic practices or language, cultural appropriation, or misinformation. I have been working diligently to decolonize my practice, for which you can learn more about in my article Decolonizing Witchcraft: Racism, Whitewashing, and Cultural Appropriation in Witchcraft and How to Decolonize Your Practice. I believe in documenting my journey in witchcraft and that my readers can learn from my mistakes, so the posts will remain as a learning opportunity.

Magical Correspondences of Crystals

Crystals and stones each contain an energy all their own. Their energy can be used for youself or to enhance your magic. To enhance your magic, use a crystal whose magical properties match your magical intent. Remember, you need to cleanse, charge (in moon- or sunlight), and empower your crystals before using.

Crystal or Stone
Magical Properties
Courage, strength, love, and protection
Luck, love, spiritual transformation, and joy
Success, joy, self-expression; awakens the heart and throat chakras
Changes negative energy into positive energy. Protection
Courage, psychic energy, dreams, healing addictions, peace, happiness, love; opens crown chakra
Apache’s Tear
Protection, luck
Courage, purification, peace, psychic awareness, self-expression; balances all the chakras
Psychic energy, dreams, divination, healing, concentration, transformation
Energy, love, healing, psychic awareness, protection especially from weather and water
Courage, strength, victory, wealth, self-confidence, success in business and legal affairs; helps regulate the first four chakras
Centering, grounding, purification, money, peace; calms fears
Courage, sexual energy, verbal skill, peace; alleviates jealousy, apathy, fear, and rage
Verbal skills, healing, compassion, calming; aids in growth
Wisdom, peace, love, communication, vitality
Prosperity, luck, happiness, friendship, protection, healing
Psychic powers, protection, creativity, sexual energy; helps deflect nightmares
Clear Quartz
Intensifies energy, protection
Protection; helps resolve conflicts
Courage, strength, healing, protection
Prosperity, dreams, meditation, love, peace, balance; opens heart chakra
Balances/stabilizes relationships
Aids in exploring past lives; connecting with Ancestors
Strength, healing, protection, purification, compassion; opens root and crown chakras
Fertility, childbirth, meditation, dreams, astral travel
Grounding, calming, healing, divination, intuition; aids in restful sleep
Herkimer Diamond
Enhances psychic abilities and clairvoyance
Helps in communicating with angels
Establishes accurate visions
Healing, protection, wisdom, prosperity, love, long life, fertility, peace
Healing, protection, health, beauty, energy
Protection, breaking hexes; dispels fear
Creativity, balance, communication, grounding, relaxation
Balances energies; aids in meditation
Lapis lazuli
Courage, joy, love, fidelity, protection, healing, beauty, prosperity
Peace, spirituality, luck, protection, psychic ability, emotional balance; deflects nightmares
Cleanses crystals and aligns their energy; balances chakras; removes obstacles
Power, energy, protection, love, peace, success in business, gardening
Protection, dream recall, meditation
Enhances work with spiritual and celestial beings
Psychic abilities; helps balance emotions
Grounding, love, divination, sleep, gardening, protection, youth, harmony, peace, travel
Grounding, divination, protections; deflects negativity
Emotional balance, self-control, binding, protection strength
Beauty, prosperity, luck, power, psychic abilities, emotional balance
Peace, serenity; manifests the truth
Protection, prosperity, sleep, health, emotional balance, intuition
Energy, peace, calm, love, emotional balance; balance root chakra
Peace, memory, mental clarity, confidence; opens crown chakra
Rose Quartz
Love, peace, happiness, healing
Prosperity, power, courage, integrity, joy; deflects nightmares
Rutilate Quartz
Intensifies and quartz energy; enhances communication
Psychic abilities, inspiration, love, meditation, peace, healing, power, prosperity, protection
Smokey Quartz
Healing, altered states, absorbing energy; dissolves negative energy
Healing, meditation, wisdom, calm, grounding, stress reducer
Eliminates negative energies; creates love and harmony
Protection, energy, health, passion, sexuality
Enhances any energy field; enlightenment
Tiger’s Eye
Courage, prosperity, protection, energy, luck, judgment and common sense, honesty, divination; eases depression
Protection, healing, prosperity, love, emotional balance, tranquility, creativity
Love, friendship, prosperity, business, peace, sleep, energy, courage, protection, inspiration; opens the third-eye center or the sixth chakra
Courage, protection, prosperity, luck, friendship, healing, communication, happiness, emotional balance, astral travel’ strengthens all the chakras
Enhances personal power; changes negative energy into positive energy
Zebra Stone
Promotes physical energy
Protection, beauty, love, peace, sexual energy, healing, alertness, balance

As you can see there is quite a lot of overlap between crystals, so if you are unable to find one, you can sub in another.

Later I will post how to find and store your crystals.

Do you use crystals to enhance your magic? Which crystals do you work with most?

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