Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mastering Your Gimoire: Book Blessing

Mastering Your Gimoire: Book Blessing

We've made it to the book blessing! The last 2 weeks we spent time working on our book dedication pages. Yesterday I posted pictures of my book dedication and shared what I wrote. Now that we have dedicated ourselves to working on our grimoires/Books of Shadows, it is time to bless the book.

The book blessing acts as both a blessing and a protection spell. You want to clear it of all energies but your own, ask Mother Earth, the elements, or whatever deity you follow the bless the pages, and ask them them to protect the book from harm. Use your answers to your questions in Mapping Your Magical Path to help you decide what to include in your book blessing and the style you want it to be written in. I picked poetry of course, but prose works just as well. Looking for inspiration? Try my Book of Shadows Pinterest board.

Writing the book blessing is only part of the process. Think of this as a ritual or spell. After you have decided what to write, the act of actually writing it in your grimoire is the ritual/spell itself. If you follow a path with structure, i.e. Wicca, cast a magical circle, call quarters, and ask the God and Goddess to join you as you bless your book. If you are less structured, like myself, sit in a quiet spot, in or outside, and complete your book blessing. Candles and representations of the elements are great items to incorporate into your ritual/spell. Pick colored candles that fit your ritual/spell needs. White, yellow, or purple candles would be perfect for such occasion. Herbs and incense to use would be bay, elder, myrrh, St. John's Wort, willow, and sage. Want to use some crystals? Try amber, amethyst, quartz, or citrine.

For a simpler ritual, light a white candle and some myrrh incense and sprinkle salt on the page of the book blessing and write your blessing, reading it aloud as your write. When you are finished, read it aloud one more time, imagine the book being filled with white protective light, and you're done!

Once you have written your book blessing and transcribed the blessing into you book, it is time to decorate the pages. Use your answers to Mapping Your Magical Path to help guide you in your decorations. It can be as ornate or as simple as you want.

Spend the next week working on this page. We have a new moon coming up on March 28th. This would be the PERFECT time to bless the book. I know most people prefer the full moon, but the new moon is perfect for starting new things. You are embarking on a new journey to complete one of the greatest tools a witch can have! Use it!

I would love to see your progress on your grimoires and BOS's if you guys would like to share them. Feel free to post below, on our Facebook page, or on Instagram using #masteringyourgrimoire.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Mastering Your Grimoire: My Grimoire's Book Dedication Page

Mastering Your Grimoire: My Grimoire's Book Dedication Page

Over the past two weeks I have been working on my Grimoire's book dedication page. This dedication is a commitment to complete my Grimoire and to continue to grow as a witch. I read several other book dedications before I sat down to write my own. Because I don't believe in any deities, I focused on the elements and Mother Earth to give me the strength and guidance needed to complete my grimoire.

Mastering Your Grimoire: My Grimoire's Book Dedication Page

Grimoire Book Dedication
May Air give me the wisdom to assemble these pages,
Fire the inspiration to write in honor of the Craft,
Water the ability to do the Craft justice,
and Earth the patience to complete the task.
I dedicate this book to Mother Earth,
in hopes I may further my Craft.
May the pages be filled with magic and splendor.
I placed the dedication in a box and surrounded it with a floral design. I absolutely love flowers and the life they breathe into any work. I used paint to complete the page, and pen to outline the box. MY hand it not steady enough to paint straight lines. I am quite proud of the way this page turned out.

Mastering Your Grimoire: My Grimoire's Book Dedication Page

What did you end up doing for your dedication page(s)? I would love to see pictures. Feel free to comment below, post on Facebook, or use the hashtag #masteringyourgrimoire on Instagram to share!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Spring Equinox Altar 2017

Spring Equinox Altar 2017

Ta-da! For the first time since I was in high school I have an altar. It has actually been quite the experience and I am very happy to have sacred space again, in a room where I can shut the world out. I am very happy to share my Spring Equinox/Ostara altar with everyone today.

You may notice it is very simple. I don't like clutter so a simpler altar is perfect for me. I placed a statue I picked up from Goodwill several years ago to represent the Maiden or a young Mother Earth. Again, I don't believe in any deities, but I think a little personification of our Earth is great. I adore this statue of a young woman in a flowing dress dancing with her tambourine. She is the epitome of new life.

Spring Equinox Altar 2017

I picked two cream colored candles in crystal holders to represent rebirth and the birth of the Sun. Cream and other pastel colors are commonly used this time of year and I felt the cream also matched my decor better than green or white. In between my candles is a milk glass vase full of silk flowers. I picked creamy pink flowers to represent renewal, rebirth, and new life. Plus I like the color pink, especially which this table.

In front of the candle and vase of silk flowers are two speckled eggs. My mother actually made these eggs out of clay before I was born. I am so thankful to have them and use them on my altar to show new life. Eggs are one of the most famous icons of the Spring Equinox and Easter. It is around this time of year that many birds begin building nests and laying eggs which is why I also have a nest, bird, and marble egg on my altar. Again representing new life, renewal, rebirth, and fertility. On the far right is a new terrarium I bought for my altar that is currently filled with eggs as well. You really can't have too many eggs, I swear.

There is a white rabbit representing fertility and new life. Rabbits, like the eggs, are famously used at this time of year as well. Rabbits are notorious for breeding rapidly, often producing several litters in a breeding season, hence the phrase "Breeding like rabbits." My favorite rabbit joke actually comes from Zootopia when Officer Judy Hops tells Nick Wilde her family is good at multiplication.

Spring Equinox Altar 2017

Placed right in the middle are three beautiful crystals: amethyst, rose quartz, and clear quartz. These are for peace, love, and protection. Plus their beautiful pastel hues compliment the arrangement nicely.

Spring Equinox Altar 2017

And there you have it! My 2017 Spring Equinox altar!

Do you have an altar? How do you decorate it for Ostara? I would love to see what you have set up!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mastering Your Grimoire: Writing Your Dedication

Mastering Your Grimoire: Writing Your Dedication

Over the past week we spent time laying out our grimoires and developing a rough draft for our table of contents. There are several really great resources out there to help you figure out how to organize your grimoire. Upon doing some research, I decided to use LaPulia's Book of Shadows as a guide. Now this is a Wiccan book and therefore many sections or pages wouldn't be included in my book, but it is a really great, comprehensive table of contents. Their Traditional Witchcraft Grimoire also has some really great ideas that I will be using as well. Another great resource for organizing your grimoire is The Dance at Alder Cove's table of contents. This list is pretty comprehensive as well, providing you with some ideas if you aren't sure where to start.

Right now I have only organized and planned a couple sections. The reason for this is that planning too far in advance and jumping around while working could come back to bite you in the butt if you are working with a bound book where you can't easily move pages. This is what I am working with and as I work on a little bit at a time I have already found myself moving things around. The current sections I have planned are listed in order below:
Title Page
Table of Content
The Craft (section title)
     Witch's Creed
     What is a Hedgewitch?
     13 Goals of a Witch
     Self Dedication (to the craft)
Basics of Magic (section title)
     What is Magic?
     Magical Theory and Technique
     Grounding and Centering
     How to Direct Energy
     Hedge Riding
     How to Hedge Ride
     Ways to Reach Altered State of Consciousness
     Three Realms of Otherworld
     Hedge Riding Prep and Etiquette
     Animal and Spirit Guides
     My Guides
The Elements (section title)
     Earth Intro
     Tools of Earth and How to Use with Other Elements
     Earth Correspondences
     Air Intro
     Tools of Air and How to Use with Other Elements
     Air Correspondences
     Fire Intro
     Tools of Fire and How to Use with Other Elements
     Fire Correspondences
     Water Intro
     Tools of Water and How to Use with Other Elements
     Water Correspondences
Sabbats (section title)
     Wheel of the Year (picture)
     About the Wheel of the Year
     Samhain Introduction
     Samhain History and Lore
     Samhain Traditions
     Samhain Correspondences
     Samhain Plants
     Samhain Recipes
     Samhain Crafts
*I have not finished my Sabbat planning because I am not sure how many recipes and crafts I would like to include at this time.

As I mentioned in Organizing Your Grimoire, you should have made room in the first couple pages for a dedication and a blessing, which you can see I did. One of the first things to put in your book is your dedication. Now this isn't a dedication to the craft, but a dedication to working on your grimoire and continuing to learn. Your Self Dedication will be your dedication to the craft. The dedication featured within the first page or two is basically a promise to yourself, the deities you believe in, and your grimoire that you will continue to learn and grow as a witch.

During the next two weeks write your dedication and decorate the page(s). Begin your rough draft on a separate sheet of paper. If you are working with a digital format, work right in your book. Spend time reflecting on what you want to say. It can be in the form of poetry or prose; whatever speaks to you. I prefer poetry so my dedication is written in such a format. Are you going to ask the elements for guidance in the creation of your grimoire? Air is associated with wisdom, fire with inspiration, water with justice, and earth with patience. What about any deities? Apollo, Euterpe, Bragi, Kvasir, Brigid, Sarasawti, Tir, Seshat, Al-Kutbay, Nabu, and Nidaba are all gods and goddesses of writing and poetry from various traditions. Requesting their aid in the assembly of your grimoire would be wise if you follow their tradition. Are you going to dedicate the grimoire to one of these deities or just Mother Earth? What would you like the pages to be filled with? Why do you want to complete your grimoire? Remember to refer back to your Mapping Your Magical Path for guidance in the creation of your dedication.

Once you have written your dedication and are happy with it, transfer it to your book in your best handwriting (or type, print, and paste it). Then proceed to decorate the page. Feel free to use symbols associated with inspiration and writing such as the rune Ansuz or the sun. Prefer more natural symbols? Draw Begonias to encourage deep thoughts, Black-Eye Susans for encouragement, Irises for inspiration, or Hazel and Maple for wisdom. Be sure to fill this page with your energy. As you work, envision your energy filling the pages. The color of your energy is entirely dependent on your personality. Mine tends to be green and gold and occasionally pink, yellow, or gray. Funny how these are the same colors I have used to decorate my entire home and my grimoire.

How did you end up organizing your grimoire? Share below in the comments, email, or through Facebook. And good luck writing your dedications!

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Hedgewitch vs Kitchen Witch

This is one of the most common misconceptions regarding hedgewitches. Most people believe a hedgewitch is the same a kitchen witch or green witch. Not true. While they have many things in common, they are not the same thing. Hedgewitches are also not solitary Wiccans as many books express. We are a unique breed of witches characterized by hedge riding, astral travel, and divination work. Enjoy witches!

Hedgewitch vs Kitchen Witch

Monday, March 6, 2017

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Rose

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Rose. Includes FREE BOS page!

Gender: Feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Powers: Divination, Healing, Love, Luck, Protection, Psychic Powers
Magical Uses and History: "...That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet." -Juliet, Romeo and Juliet.

The rose has a long and rich history throughout much of the world. Because of its bitter-sweet paradox of thorns and sweet smelling blooms, the rose earned its romantic associations. Love is both bitter and sweet, making the rose a perfect representation of it. The Greeks believed red roses were dyed by the blood of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, after she cut her foot while running to attend the wounds of Adonis. Other myths suggest Cupid, God of Love, splashed white roses with his nectar thus turning them red. Either way, red too has strong associations with love and romance. Roses are commonly worn or used to during love spells to increase the power of the spell. Rose water and petals can be added to love baths to attract love and romance, while rose hips can be strung into a necklace to attract love. Want to find your true love? Drink rose tea prior to bed to induce prophetic dreams. You can also take three (or more) green rose leaves and write the name of your lovers on each. The one that stays the green the longest is said to be the one.

Rose is also a plant of valor and protection. During the War of the Roses, both houses, Lancaster and York, adopted red and white roses to represent their houses. The red rose ended up later becoming the emblem of England. Rose petals and hips can be carried as a personal protective charms. In fact, they were often included in posies to ward off the Black plague. Rose petals around the home can calm personal stress and soothe household problems as well.

Want to attract faeries? Plant roses in your garden. Some believe roses grow best when stolen, but I wouldn't support such a thing.

Rose can be used in a number of spells including:
     Love Divination
     Healing Spells
     Luck Magic
     Protection Magic
Medicinal Uses: Rose is a natural anti-inflammatory and astringent. Rose water is most commonly used as a skin toner and can be used to heal burns, mouth ulcers, chapped hands, and puffy eyes. Rose hips, the fruit of the rose, can be used as a mild laxative to ease constipation and milk gallbladder, kidney, and bladder issues. Furthermore, rose hips are one of the best natural sources of vitamin C, helping the body's defense against infections such as colds.

Preparation and Dosage: Rose petals are commonly used to make rose water while rose hips are brewed to make teas and syrups.  Externally- For minor burns, ulcers, and chapped skin, and puffy eyes apply rose water liberally with a cotton ball. Internally- Rose hips can be brewed into a tea, syrup, or tincture. To brew rose hip tea, put 2 1/2 teaspoons of cut hips into one cup of water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Drink as needed. Like rose hip tea, rose hip syrup can be taken as needed. For tincture, take 2-4 milliliters up to three times a day.

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

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Mastering Your Grimoire: Organizing Your Grimoire

Mastering Your Grimoire: Organizing Your Grimoire

Last week I challenged you to find a place to work on your grimoire. To work on my grimoire, I went out a bought a desk...finally. I have been looking for a desk for my bedroom to use as an altar/magical space for months. Originally I wanted to find an old antique one and paint it and stain the top, but after searching for several months for something in my price range, I didn't find a piece I liked very much. I sent out a request to the universe to help me find a desk and low and behold, Aldi's ad featured a desk for just $50...and it wasn't bad looking either! I picked it up this morning and spent the afternoon putting it together. Then my lazy butt took a nap. Ha ha!

Its a nice little space with some storage and a nice place to work on my grimoire privately. Where did you pick to work on your grimoire?

Now that you have your book, you have decorated it, and found a place to work on it, it is time to start organizing it. Yes, I know we still haven't blessed it. Trust me, that is coming all in due time.

Over the next week spend some time thinking about how you want to set up and organize your grimoire. Use questions 3-8 on Mapping Your Magical Path to help guide your creation of your Table of Contents. I suggest working on a separate sheet of paper and jotting down the sections you believe your grimoire should have. You are going to want your title page, dedication, and book blessing to be in the first couple of pages. Most witches, especially hedge, green, and kitchen, are going to want a section for herbs. Kitchen witches will also want a section for kitchen magic and recipes. Wiccans will want a section for ritual tools, ritual structure, and circle casting. Other general sections you may want to include are the sabbats, the elements, correspondence charts, and a brief introduction to your path or magic.

After you have picked some sections, begin ordering them. For example, an introduction to the craft and your magical path should probably be in the beginning. Spells will need to be toward the end, as in most books. This will also be a section that grows as you grow, so having it toward the end with pages you can still work with allows you to accommodate growth.

After you have picked out a rough outline for the order of your grimoire, begin labeling pages, if you have a bound book that is. You don't want to work too far in advance in though. Plan out just the first couple of sections. I suggest the use of sticky notes. Simply write down on the sticky notes what you want your page to be and stick it in the book! I suggest planning out at least the first three sections. The reason you shouldn't plan further is in case you make a mistake or want to change something as you begin to work. The sticky notes allow you to easily move pages around and rework information as you work on your grimoire.

Planning out your grimoire should take a bit of time and it will likely change as you begin working. That's okay. Work on a rough craft this week so we can begin our pages next week!

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