Thursday, February 28, 2019

5 Unsuspecting Tools of the Hedgewitch

5 Unsuspecting Tools of the Hedgewitch

Witchcraft has its own set of "tools" or magical objects that are often employed during spells and rituals, including brooms/besom, wands, athames, chalices, etc, to enhance the magic performed. Lists of these tools are found in every book on witchcraft or Wicca, a flood of blog posts, and a large number of Pinterest boards. However, there are many tools witches often use that are not talked about. Here are 5 unsuspecting or little talked about tools of the hedgewitch, tools I commonly use every day in my practice.

1. Poetry. This is a pretty big one for me. First, poetry offers us melodic ways to cast our spells. They teach us how to organize and memorize spells in an easy yet beautiful format. Poetry is extremely easy to memorize, just like a song, which is why so many witches create rhyming spells or spells with iambic pentameter. You don't always want to carry your Grimoire or BOS into a ritual and it's much more powerful to have a spell memorized so you can speak it with conviction during your spell or ritual. Furthermore, poetry offers us some amazing magical correspondences. For example, my favorite poem is The Poison Tree by William Blake. Because of this poem, I associate apples with revenge and death. Another favorite of mine is The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. For me, the albatross represents innocence, patience, and purity. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe is also a favorite of mine and as a result, I associate ravens with death, remorse, and lost love. Whatever the poem, you're going to find some pretty powerful correspondences that speak to you as well as an understanding of how to construct your spells if you use and read poetry.

2. Science. This may seem out of place for some of you. How in the world can magic and science coexist? Thankfully, the Hermetic Principles do a pretty good job of explaining the connection between science and magic, which has been covered numerous times, including by myself. Either way, magic works within the confines of our physical world, so understanding physics and chemistry will give you a pretty good understanding of energy, motion, and ingredient reactions. You construct better spells and perform stronger magic when you grasp scientific principles. Furthermore, science offers us a slew of correspondences. Garlic, for example, is well known in the medical community for being antibacterial and antiviral. In the magical community, we associate this with protection because garlic literally protects you from infections! Water is a know purifier, hence why we associate it with purification and renewal, while certain flowers are the first to grow in spring, making them associated with rebirth. Lions represent strength because physically they are strong, being able to take down prey larger than themselves, such as the water buffalo. Science offers us a greater understanding of our world and therefore a better understanding of the magic we perform. The two cannot be separated, and they shouldn't be. If you have to ignore science to perform magic, you may not be doing anything other than lying to yourself. Many of the correspondences you read in a book are based on science, and it's important you know WHY the correspondences exist if you are going to use them or write your own.

3. Tackle Boxes. Alright, so moving away from literature to more practical everyday objects. I have a lot of tackle boxes. I 4 or 5. I use them to organize crystals, herbs, and other smaller magical objects I collect, like acorns, petals, insect parts, and feathers. This is a valuable organizational tool for witches, so utilize them. You can purchase some at Dollar Tree, Walmart, or Amazon for next to nothing. In Dollar Tree, they tend to be sold near craft items and school supplies, although you may need to check with a store associate. You don't need "witchy" bottles or chests to organize your supplies. Modern tackle boxes are just as useful.

4. Scrapbook Supplies. I freaking love scrapbooking supplies, and I mean LOVE them. I had to stop going to craft stores because I was buying scrapbooking supplies faster than I could use them. I used to be super into scrapbooking. Now I am super into using my scrapbooking supplies for magical purposes. I use the papers to write spells, using colored papers or patterned papers to enhance the magic. For example, I use green paper for money spells, while rose floral papers get used in love spells. Furthermore, scrapbooking supplies are an excellent way to work with your Grimoire or BOS. You can decorate pages with papers, stickers, stamps, and so much more. Go wild and crazy! Seriously! I find it boring to spend time just writing and drawing. I plan on including many more pages in my Grimoire in the future that incorporate the supplies I already have. It is a great way to fill your magical book with your own power and personal creativity.

5. Calendars. I talked about all my calendars in one of my first posts of the year, so it shouldn't be a surprise they made this list too. From almanacs to personal planners, calendars play a role in helping us keep track of astrological events, major holidays, and our personal lives. They allow us to better plan spells by allowing us to work with the moon cycle, days of the week, or times during the day. Calendars also allow us to plan future spell work so we have everything we need when the time comes. If you are planning an elaborate ritual, you are going to need to set apart time to write the ritual and purchase any items you may not have. I also keep track of my goals, blog posts, hedge riding dates, and sometimes even my dreams. I make constant little notes off to the side in all my planners/calendars. It can be something as simple as how I'm feeling or more complex, like a premonition or omen or synchronicity. Keeping a calendar is like keeping a journal, at least for me. Mine is an integral part of my magic practice, and it should probably play a role in your magic as well.

So there you have it! Some may be unfamiliar or shocking, while others you may already be using. Help me add to the list. What are some unsuspecting or little mentioned tools you use in your magical practice?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Bone Magic Series: A Brief History of Animal Remains in Magic

A Brief History of Animal Remains in Magic

Animal remains have traditionally been used in witchcraft and other magical practices since the dawn of man, whether it be through animal sacrifice, bone divination, spirit summoning, or for protection from evil spirits. Our ancestors had to make do with what they had, which meant animal remains were often used for magical and mundane purposes. The complete history of animal remains used in magical practices is far too vast to cover in a single article, so my goal here is to cover the basics, specifically animal sacrifice and bone divination. While many other animal parts have been used in a variety of way, these are two are the most important animal remain uses in regards to this series. Without a brief history, the use of bones in your magical practice will seem disconnected. Let's get started, shall we?

The term sacrifice derives from the Latin sacrificium, which is a combination of the words sacer and facere. Sacer means something set apart from the mundane, while facere means "to make." In other words, sacrifice means to make something secular or profane, specifically for something spiritual or supernatural. Sacrifices can take many forms, one of which includes destroying what you are sacrificing, whether through burning or slaughter. In the case of animal sacrifice, the animal is "liberated" of life which is then made available to the deity. At the time when animal sacrifice was most common throughout cultures around the world, food was scarce, making an animal sacrifice a true sacrifice in that they were giving up perfectly good food that could be the difference between starving or surviving the winter months. There have been a variety of theories as to why animal sacrifice arose, including that by Sir Edward Burnett Tylor in 1871. Tylor proposed sacrifices were originally a gift to the gods to secure favor (source). William Roberston Smith, however, proposed that sacrifices were originally conducted to bring groups of people closer together, as a way for them to commune with each other and their deity (source). Later, Sir James George Frazer, the author of The Golden Bough, suggested sacrifices were performed as a magical ritual in which the slaying of a god was performed as a means of rejuvenating the god (source). Think Oak vs Holly King. Whatever the reason, most people agree that animals were sacrificed as a tribute of some form to a deity for the betterment of the clan or tribe. The earliest known animal sacrifice is from Ancient Egypt, dating between 4400 to 4000 BC. Animal remains, especially of sheep and goats, have been found buried in their own graves, while gazelles and other wild animals have been found buried at the feet of humans, likely as a sacrifice to those who died or as a tribute to bring with them to the afterlife (source). Later, Egyptian animal sacrifice became restricted to livestock, such as sheep, cattle, and pigs, each with set rituals and rules describing how the animal was to be sacrificed (source). By the end of the Copper Age (3000 BC), animal sacrifice is seen across the world, particularly in Gath, Sardinia, and Crete (source). Many cultures sacrificed the entire animal, but the Greeks tended to eat the edible parts, leaving the remains in honor of the deities. After the animals were sacrificed, the entrails were often read by a haruspex, a person trained in the art of divining from animal entrails known as haruspicy. This tradition is directly derived from Etruscan religion and the method continued well into the Middle Ages. Thomas Becket even partook in the practice, seeking a reader prior to a royal expedition against Britanny (source). According to Walter Burkert, ritual animal sacrifice of livestock may have developed as a continuation of hunting rituals. As humans moved away from hunter-gathers toward agriculture, domesticated animals likely replaced wild animals as tribute (source). As for Anglo-Saxons, the most common animal sacrifice was blót, the term for "sacrifice" in Norse. These sacrifices included livestock and even human prisoners and were made to honor any Norse deity, the spirits of the land, and even the ancestors (source). Animal sacrifice is still practiced today in a variety of cultures, including some forms of Hoodoo and in parts of Africa. In West Africa, the Talensi people have a shrine, Tongnaab Yaane for the deity Tongnaab where animals are still ritually sacrificed today to gain favor for fertility, stability, and prosperity (source).

Bone Magic Series: A Brief History of Animal Remains in Magic

Apart from animal sacrifice, the parts of animals, especially domesticated ones, have been used for divination purposes. As mentioned above haruspicy, the reading of animal entrails was practiced well into the Middle Ages. The practice is first mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel 21:21, "For the king of Babylon standeth at the parting of the way, at the head of two ways, to use divination; he shaketh the arrows to and fro, he inquireth of the teraphim, he looketh in the liver." (source). Babylonian clay models of sheep livers dated between 1900 and 1600 BC suggest animal livers, specifically sheep, were commonly used as a divination tool. The clay models are believed to have also been used during divination by Mesopotamian priests and seers looking for information about a person's illness (source). The most well-known form of animal remains divination is "throwing the bones" or bone divination. Bone divination, especially scapulimancy and plastromancy, was practiced by cultures around the globe. Plastromancy is the use of turtle shells dor divination while scapulimancy is using the scapula or shoulder-bone of an animal. Oracle bones, as practiced in ancient China during the Shang dynasty, used the plastrons of turtles and the shoulder-bones of pigs and oxen to answer questions regarding future crop planting, weather, military endeavors, and the fortunes of the royal family. The question was carved into the bone or shell in oracle bone script, a specific language for this type of divination, and then intense heat was added using a metal rod until the bone or shell cracked. The reader would then read and interpret the crack patterns (source).

Bone Magic Series: A Brief History of Animal Remains in Magic

Scapulimancy, the reading of the scapulae or shoulder blades of animals, was more common throughout the rest of the world, particularly in Europe. Historically, sheep and ox are the preferred bone source, but deer and pig scapulae are known to have been used during the Korean Protohistoric Period between 300 BC to 300/400 AD (source). In Europe, scapulimancy went by many names, including Slinneanachd in Scotland. Chaucer mentioned the practice in the Parson's Tale (1395) where he described the divination using "the shoulder-bone of a sheep." Gerald of Wales, in Journey Through Wales (1188) wrote:

"A strange habit of these Flemings is that they boil the right shoulder-blade of rams, but not roast them, strip off all the meat and, by examining them, foretell the future and reveal the secrets of events long past. Using these shoulder-blades they have the extraordinary power of being able to divine what is happening far away at this very moment. By looking carefully at the little indents and protuberances, they prophesy with complete confidence periods of peace and outbreaks of war, murders and conflagrations, the infidelities of married people and the welfare of the reigning king, especially his life and death."
There is further mention of bone divination in Ireland, as recorded by Drayton in his Polyolbion, as described below:

"A divination strange the Dutch-made English have
Appropriate to that place (as though some power it gave),
By th' shoulder of a ram from off the right side par'd,
Which usually they boil, the spade-bone being bar'd,
Which when the wizard takes, and gazing thereupon,
Things long to come foreshowes, as things don long agone."

This passage is very similar to that from Gerald of Wales, both of which describe using a speal bone to divine the future. Other methods have also been recorded, including by peering through the semi-transparent bone as a form of scrying or grinding the bone into a power, dissolving it in water, then drinking the liquid (source). Yuck! This practice of shoulder bone divination as described in the passages above continued through the nineteenth century in Europe. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the shoulder-bone began being used in love divination to reveal a future spouse or persuade a reluctant lover (source). During the Renaissance, scapulimancy was eventually classified as one of the seven "forbidden arts." (source). Despite the change in European magical circles, scapulimancy continued to flourish among Native American tribes across North America. Like early European and Chinese peoples, Native American tribes, including the Algonkian and Innu, would heat the scapula until cracks formed. However, they relied heavily on caribou, deer, rabbit, and very seldom sheep scapula's to determine where they should hunt, instead of foretelling their futures, commonly referred to as the "shoulder-blade path" (source, source, source). They also used beaver tibias and bear patellas to determine hunting success while fish mandibles and clavicles were thrown to answer yes (teeth upwards) or no (teeth downwards) questions (source). There are dozens of other bone divination practices used by Native American peoples that survive to this day. I suggest reading through Naskapi: The Savage Hunters of the Labrador Peninsula by F.G. Speck to learn more.

Bone Magic Series: A Brief History of Animal Remains in Magic
From Source
Throwing the bones is a more modern Hoodoo practice with traditional roots in African culture, especially among the Zulu, Swazi, Xhosa, and Ndebele traditions in southern Africa. African practices mingled with those of Native American and European to become the tradition we see today. Hoodoo bone divination usually includes chicken or opossum bones mixed with shells, pebbles, dice, or other found objects (source), but I will touch more on this in a later post.

While not every witch today uses bones in witchcraft, there is no denying their historical use. From sacrifices to divination, animal remains have been used by magical practitioners around the globe and for many of us, they still play a crucial role. We use them to work with animal spirits, as a spirit vessel, to summon mythical creatures, incorporate them into ritual jewelry, craft ritual tools, aid us in shapeshifting, divining the future, and even in tinctures! The purpose of this series is to get you started on your journey with working with animal bones and other animal remains in your practice.

Again, this is by no means a complete history. Honestly, I didn't even put a dent in the vast amount of research available in books and online, but hopefully, this is enough to pique your interest and garner a better understanding of the topics we will be covering in the future. Until next time!

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

Bone Magic Series

Monday, February 18, 2019

Herbarium: Magical and Medicinal Uses of Wormwood

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Wormwood. Includes free BOS page!
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Mars
Element: Fire
Powers: Love, Protection, Psychic Powers, Spirit Communication
Magical Uses and History: Artemisia absinthium, commonly known as wormwood, derives its name from the goddess Artemis and from the word absinthum meaning "unenjoyable," referring to its bitter taste, as found in the old proverb, "As bitter as wormwood." The common name, wormwood, however, comes from its historic medicinal use of curing intestinal worms. Fun times!

During the 19th century, wormwood was used to flavor absinthe which is now banned due to its toxicity but is still used to flavor vermouth. However, absinthe, an alcoholic and highly-addictive drink, was commonly associated with love, and wormwood is still used in love potions today. Wormwood also appears in old love charms, as seen in the charm below:
"On St. Luke's Day, take marigold flowers, a spring of marjoram, thyme, and a little Wormwood; dry them before a fire, rub them to powder; then sift it through a fine piece of lawn, and simmer it over a slow fire, adding a small quantity of virgin honey, and vinegar. Anoint yourself with this when you go to bed, saying the following lines three times, and you will dream of your partner "that is to be.":
"St. Luke, St. Luke, be king to me,
In dreams let me my true-love see."
(Found in Folk-Lore of British Plants, Article VI, by James Mason in The Dublin University Magazine: A Literary and Political Journal, Volume 83 page 181)
In Russia, wormwood was commonly used to protect the wearer from Rusalki, water spirits who roamed forests and rivers with sharp claws and an hate for humans. Furthermore, Thomas Tusser, in 1577, wrote the following poem regarding wormwood's use in protecting against fleas and lice:
"While wormwood hath seed get a handful or twaine
To save against March, to make flea to refraine:
Where chamber is sweeped and wormwood is strowne,
What saver is better (if physick be true)
For places infected than wormwood and rue?
It is a comfort for hart and the braine,
And therefore, to have it, is not in vaine."
Today, it can be carried for protection against vengeful spirits, bewitchment, and harm in general, or hung from the rear-view mirror of your car to protect from accidents. Wormwood also has a strong association with snakes, as it is said that it was the first plant to grow from the path of the serpent as it exited the Garden of Eden. According to Culpepper, wormwood could be used to treat snakebites, as well as bee, wasp, and scorpion stings.

Wormwood is burned or worn to increase psychic powers or to summon spirits. According to Cunningham, it can be mixed with sandalwood and burned in a graveyard to summon the spirits of the dead. Wormwood is also used as an offering to spirits and can bind them to our realm if you know what you are doing.

Wormwood can be used in a number of spells including:
     Love Spells
     Spirit Work
     Hedge Riding
     Protection Magic

Medicinal Uses: One of wormwood's common names is green ginger, a name it was given as an allusion to its medicinal properties in common with ginger. Historically, wormwood has been used to treat a host of ailments, many of which have been vindicated through science. Its best use is as a bitter for digestive issues, including indigestion, gas, bloating, and worms, particularly roundworms and pinworms. It can also be used to reduce fevers and fight general infections, the same way ginger can be used.

Preparation and Dosage: Wormwood can be taken internally as an infusion or tincture. To make an infusion, pour 1 cup boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb and leaves. Allow it to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink up to 3 times daily. For a tincture, take 1-4 milliliters of tincture up to three times a day. Externally, wormwood essential oil, if properly diluted, can be used as an insect repellant. Do not take wormwood oil internally. Wormwood is toxic, and should not be taken for more than 2 weeks at a time. Wormwood has been historically used to induce labor and as an abortion drug, so pregnant women who wish to remain pregnant or women attempting to become pregnant should not use wormwood. If you develop any of the following symptoms, reduce or discontinue use of the herb: nausea, vomiting, insomnia, excessive thirst, restlessness, vertigo, dizziness, trembling, numbness of the extremities, delirium, paralysis, convulsions, and/or seizures. As always, consult your doctor before using herbs.

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

Thursday, February 14, 2019

February 2019 Full Moon Worksheet

February 2019 Full Moon Worksheet

This month's full moon is on the 19th and if you are trying to plan a magical year, what better way to help you get started than this full moon worksheet specifically designed for the upcoming Snow Moon? It has everything you need to conduct your very own short ritual, including what this moon is bringing, sections to write down what you intend to release and cleanse, a tarot spread with a place for your notes, and any thoughts or intuition you receive while communing with the moon through meditation or hedge riding! This worksheet is completely free and can be easily printing and added to your Book of Shadows!

February 2019 Full Moon Worksheet


Looking for more free worksheets? Why not get your free copy of my spell/ritual worksheet to write your best spells and rituals yet?

Monday, February 11, 2019

Magical Floorwash for Cleansing Your Space

Magical Floorwash for Cleansing Your Space

Washing your floors seems like the least possible magical thing you could ever do, but magical floorwashes are an integral component of many magical traditions, including Hoodoo. The combine the physical housecleaning with spiritual and magical work, effectively allowing you to kill two birds with one stone. Take about a time saver! Furthermore, they are a very discreet way to practice magic without anyone knowing, so if you are still in the broom closet, magical floorwashes may be a powerful way for you to cast spells without anyone knowing!

While any liquid used to clean a floor is referred to as a floorwash, in this context I am referring to the final rinse of already clean floors, the rinse that is allowed to remain on the floors until it air dries. This allows the magic to radiate into the surrounding atmosphere. Floorwashes can be used for protection, cleansing, prosperity, and even romance. Since I have been focusing on house cleansing and space clearing lately, I thought I would share two recipes that will enhance your house cleansing rituals.

Post-Cleasning Ritual Floorwash

This floorwash is to be used after you have performed your Deep Cleansing Ritual. Remember, your floors should already be clean. Consider this is the final step in the ritual.

1. Combine a teaspoon cascarilla powder, 1 cup vinegar, a teaspoon of salt, and warm water together in a bucket. If you don't have cascarilla powder, crushed eggshells will work just as well. Simply place them in a small strainer and place in the bucket of water.
2.  Place your hands over the bucket and imagine it filling with white protective light. Whisper your intent into the water.
3. Wash your floors, imagining all remaining stale or negative energy leaving the house.
4. Allow the floorwash to air dry.

Angelica Floorwash

This floorwash uses botanicals, specifically angelica which is cleansing and protective in nature. It packs a strong punch and can be used to cleanse your home anytime. 

1. Make a strong infusion using dried angelica and hot water.
2. Strain the herbs and combine the infusion with 1 cup vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt in a bucket of warm water.
3. Place our hands over the bucket and imagine it filling with white protective light. Whisper your intent into the water.
3. Wash floors normally, imagining all remaining stale or negative energy leaving the house.
4. Allow the floorwash to air dry.

And there you have it! Two simple, discrete recipes to cleanse your home. I plan to post more magical floorwashes in the future. I love how easy and discrete they are.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Deep House Cleansing Ritual

Deep House Cleansing Ritual

Spring cleaning is about to begin if it hasn't already. In my house, spring cleaning started on Imbolc and boy am I feeling good about it. There are few things I love more than a clean, organized home. While there are tons of blogs and even an entire Netflix series out there to help you clean and organize your home, no matter what time of year it is, there aren't too many focusing on the witchy side of cleaning.

We all know that you need to routinely cleanse your home and self, especially before and after working with spirits. Its common courtesy to make sure your guests have a "clean" space to visit and its common sense to make sure those guest leave completely when you ask them to. Sometimes you cleanse because things just feel "heavy" or the vibrations in your home are just off. This is usually the type of cleanser I am. When my home begins to feel heavy or I notice I have no energy or motivation, I realize its time to cleanse everything and raise that vibration through the roof! But let's be honest here; when was the last time you completely and thoroughly cleansed your home and I mean deeply cleansed your home? Mine was when I moved into the home a couple of years ago. Yeah, it's been a while, and it has probably been a while for you too.

While routine cleansings are great and work really well, energy sometimes gets trapped under furniture that never moves, behind the fridge, or in a closet you rarely open. It's important to make sure that every so often you get rid of the stagnate energy hiding around your home. This is where this ritual comes in. This Deep House Cleansing Ritual is designed to remove any and all stagnate or negative energy from the home and leave it feeling light and airy. You'll feel the effects immediately.

Deep House Cleansing Ritual

What You'll Need

  • Image or representation of a scavenger animal, such as a vulture, coyote, or raccoon
  • 1 white tea light or small white candle in a holder
  • 4 quartz crystals
  • 1 malachite crystal
  • 3 amethyst crystals
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (or some dried to spread around)
  • 5 fresh sage leaves (or some dried to spread about)
  • Sage bundle
  • Bowl of salt water
  • Salt (and lots of it)
  • Matches/lighter 
  • Broom 

What to Do

Begin by completely cleaning your home from top to bottom, and I mean cleaning. Get underneath furniture, clean out that closet of yours you never open, and vacuum up all the cobwebs in the corner of that guest bedroom you forgot you had. You want to make sure you stir up all the energy in your home. If you don't have time to clean or your home is already pretty clean and well-organized, go ahead and vacuum or sweep to get any debris off the floor. When you are done cleaning the floor, walk around your home clapping, especially in places that you don't visit often, behind doors, in room corners, and under furniture. Between sweeping and clapping, you will have stirred up the energy in your home enough for this ritual to be effective.

Once your house is cleaned or you have finished stirring up the energy in the home, set up an altar in a central place, such as a living room or kitchen table. It will need to be off the floor and large enough for you to display your items and encircle it in salt. Place the image of the scavenger in the center with the candle behind/above the image. Around the image and candle, place your quartz crystals facing outward at each corner. In front of the image (South) place your malachite while filling in the other cardinal directions with amethyst. Place 4 sage leaves next to the quartz at the corners and 2 sprigs of rosemary on the left and right side (East and West). Encircle the entire altar in a ring of salt.

Deep House Cleansing Ritual

After your altar is set up, invoke the spirit of your scavenger to help clear all negative and stale energy and aid in your ritual to completely cleanse your home. Say,
"Spirit of [animal name] I invoke thee to cleanse the negative and stale energy from my home. I ask for your aid as I perform this cleansing ritual. I empower thee with quartz, amethyst, and malachite, to bring purification, balance, and prosperity to this home. With rosemary and sage, I empower thee with purifying energy and ask that these plants protect my home and those within it. So shall it be."

Light the white candle and say,

"By this candle, I begin this ritual to purify and cleanse my home. When the candle is snuffed out, the ritual is done and no negative energy shall remain."

Next, begin spreadly salt all over your floors. If you have carpet, baking soda should be used instead. It doesn't matter which direction you move, as long as all the floors are covered. Once complete, begin sweeping (or vacuuming) from the Northwest to the Southeast. As you sweep chant,

"With this broom, I sweep away all negativity. Only happiness and positivity remains." 

Deep House Cleansing Ritual

When you are complete, you should have nothing but salt and maybe a small amount of debris. Flush this down the toilet, imaging all the negativity flushing with it. If you vacuumed up baking soda or have too much debris to safely flush, throw the remains in the garbage and remove it from your home.

Next, place the last leaf of sage and sprig of rosemary in your bowl of salt water. Using the rosemary, asperge (sprinkle) the water counterclockwise around your home while chanting,

"By water and earth I cleanse this home. Only love and happiness may enter here."

Next, light your sage bundle and smoke cleanse counterclockwise around your home while chanting,

"By fire and air, I cleanse this home. Only love and happiness may enter here."

When you are finished, spend some time meditating in front of your altar. Feel how light and airy the home now feels. Allow the candle to burn out on its own and thank the animal spirit for aiding in your cleansing ritual. You will likely wish to bathe at the end of this ritual to remove negatively that may have latched on to you.

Why You Did It

Why was this ritual set up the way it was? This is something I decided to do for each of my spells and rituals posted on this blog because I felt a lot of times we find a spell online and go through the motions without really understanding why it was done the way it was.

Deep House Cleansing Ritual

So why the scavenger altar? First and foremost, scavengers are natural cleaners; they come through and pick up all the "rotten garbage" and dispose of it so the ecosystem can remain healthy. Without scavengers, there would be an increased risk of contracting a potentially deadly pathogen. Because of this, they are strongly associated with cleansing, which is perfect for a cleansing ritual. On my altar, I have a coyote skull as my centerpiece, but a picture, drawing, statue, or plastic toy will do the trick just as well. The white candle above the scavenger image is for cleansing and purification as white and fire are both cleansings in nature. White reflects all light, thus removing all energy from it, while fires often rip through a landscape destroying everything in its wake to allow new beginnings. The candle was also used to activate and close the spell once the altar is set up. The quartz crystals around the scavenger image are for cleansing and purification, as well as to amply the effects of the spell. Amethyst is a balancing crystal while malachite is used to bring prosperity (being green and all), both energies you want to remain in your home when you are done with this ritual. Sage and rosemary are both strongly associated with purification and cleansing, partly due to their strong aromas and their antibacterial tendencies. The entire altar was in the center of a ring of salt, as salt is purifying and cleansing, this association coming from its use in drying and disinfecting wounds and traditional folklore saying ghosts and demons cannot cross a line of salt. We placed this altar at the center of the home or in a room frequently traveled because this area is the heart of your home and where any cleansing journey should begin. The magic and energy in that space are usually already high, and the scavenger spirit can use that energy to boost the power of the ritual.

Deep House Cleansing Ritual

The salt on the floor was used for the same reason as the salt around the altar. Sweeping with salt is a folkloric tradition said to remove negative energies and purify a place. As you swept or vacuumed, you did so from Northwest to Southeast to banish the negativity from your home. If you used a broom to do this ritual, you increased the spell potency because brooms are closely associated with cleansing and purification because of their cleaning nature. By flushing the salt down the toilet or discarding them outside the home, you made sure that the energies you were banishing were not welcome back. Coming behind the sweeping with the sage and rosemary salt water and sage smoke further cleansed the home by invoking the elements to aid in the cleansing process. As mentioned before, salt, rosemary, and sage are all heavily associated with cleansing and purification. Water is known as the great purifier as it washes everything away, while Air is able to stir up negative energy so it can float out of the home. Walking counterclockwise was done to banish the negative energies from the home.

Deep House Cleansing Ritual

Looking to break this spell? Unfortunately, this isn't a spell to be broken. Once you have cleansed the negativity from your home, it will not be welcome back. However, if you are looking to get rid of the scavenger spirit, simply thank it and ask it to leave. Feel free to leave an additional offering if you do not feel the herbs were enough.

Remember to record this ritual on your ritual/spell worksheet and have fun cleansing your home this Spring. I hope it brings you as much joy as it brings me!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Imbolc Altar 2019

Imbolc Altar 2019

Imbolc is the first of the fire festivals symbolizing the gradual rebirth of Spring. The cold winter months are behind us and there is a ting of warm weather in the air. If you live in the South, it is already beginning to look and feel like Spring. For Imbolc, I kept my altar simple and elegant, welcoming the Maiden and the Sun back from their long slumber.

Imbolc Altar 2019

1. White Candles with candlesticks- The white candles represent the Sun who is continuing to grow in strength during Imbolc. Furthermore, the candles act as sympathetic magic to quickly usher the Sun's return to power and the end of long, dark winter months. With the Sun comes sources of food and milder weather and the end of sickness, something our ancestors relied heavily upon. White also represents the purity of the Maiden who is replacing the Crone as the dominant female aspect. (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree; Cost: $1 for 4 votive candles, candlesticks $1 each)

Imbolc Altar 2019

2. Mangano (Pink) Calcite and Moonstone- Mangano Calcite is one of my favorite crystals. In fact, I loved it so much I went out and purchased more recently. The beautiful pink and white swirls are commonly associated with birth and healing, common themes as the Earth is reborn during Spring as the Sun regains his power. Mangano Calcite is also associated with self-love, inspiring us to take time to care for ourselves as we too shed our winter blues. Like Mangano Calcite, Moonstone also represents rebirth and transitions, as Winter slowly fades to Spring. (Where did I get it: Purchased at a metaphysical store; Cost: $5 for all three)

Imbolc Altar 2019

3. Salt and Bay Leaves- I loved The Witch of Lupine Hollow's mini Imbolc altar and its representation of Spring, so I decided to include one in this altar. The glass candle holder is gold at the bottom, representing prosperity and the Sun. The salt symbolizes snow while the bay leaves represent the plants that are determined to break through the snow and ice to reach the Sun. "Life finds a way." The candle again symbolizes the Sun the plants are desperately trying to reach (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree; Cost: $1 for a set of two pillar candles, $1 for a candle holder, $1 for a jar of bay leaves, $1 for salt)

Imbolc Altar 2019

4. Roses- The roses represent the love between the Earth and the Sun. Without the Sun, our Earth wouldn't have any life to be reborn with each turning of the Wheel of the Year. Furthermore, they represent the love among living creatures, that contributes to the rebirth of Spring. These same roses were on the Imbolc altar last year as well. I love roses and all they represent, so any excuse to pull them out is a good one. (Where did I get it: Found; Cost: $0) 

Imbolc Altar 2019


Like my other altars, most of the items I use are found or purchased for around $1, although if the items must be purchased by you, then the cost will be higher. I hope you find this sort of break down helpful, especially those of you looking to create Instagram perfect altars on a budget!

How did you celebrate Imbolc this year?