Monday, June 29, 2020

July Buck Moon Worksheet

full moon, esbat, ritual, witchcraft, moon magic

July's Full Moon is most commonly referred to as the Buck Moon, but also goes by Blessing Moon, Thunder Moon, Wort Moon, and Hay Moon. It gets its name from the fresh antlers appearing on the heads of male deer, the thunderstorms that often roll in, and the hay being collected to feed livestock through the winter months. As the temperatures continue to rise, you'll likely notice you slow down. This is a great time for divination and dreamwork, especially scrying. If you haven't already, this is a great time to create a dream journal as well.

This month's Full Moon worksheet contains the usuals of my past Full Moon worksheets, including a to release and cleanse section, a box for your intuition, and a tarot spread. Unlike past worksheets, however, this one can be used every July, as it is based on the correspondences of the moon itself and not other astrological events. The tarot spread for this month features 5 cards to help you interpret your dreams this month.

full moon, esbat, ritual, witchcraft, moon magic


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

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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Elemental Magic: Connecting with Fire Ritual

fire magic, witchcraft, fire witch, fire folklore, fire correspondences, elemental magic

Now that we have covered Fire folklore and correspondences, its time to actually start working with Fire! Today I share a ritual to help you connect with Fire more intimately and start building the foundation for change, creativity, and new beginnings. There are several tasks in this post and I encourage you to perform each of them with fidelity. Before we get started, however, I'd like to discuss what I put together for the first Fire task presented a week ago.

The first task for Fire was to trace how the Sun travels around your home, both inside and outside. This is something I did shortly after moving into my house almost 5 years ago for gardening purposes. The front of my house faces almost directly East, meaning the Sun rises in front of my house, reaches its peak at noon right above my house, then sets at the back out of the house. As such, I get morning Sun on the front and evening Sun on the back. This leaves my kitchen and bedroom to get full evening Sun, while my library, office, and guest room receive morning Sun.

Property wise, there isn't much shade. Yes, I have trees, but my property is mostly open. Apart from a few pockets, the majority of my yard receives Sun about 8 or more hours a day. In the morning, my house casts a long shadow on the backyard, but by noon it's fully engulfed in light. The front, however, receives very little shade, even when the sun begins to set. My house is "taller" in the back than the front as the front basement is built into the land, but not on the backside. This creates a small shadow, about 6-8 feet on the front of the house in the evening, significantly shorter than that of the shadow in the back in the morning. Needless to say, all of my plants are full sun plants. Haha! 

I recognize tracing the movement of the Sun around your property may not seem very magical, but doing so helps you connect to the element Fire by connecting with its most significant source, our Sun. Again, we are going to combine all of these tasks at the end of the series to develop a local, elemental practice, so I hope you guys have been keeping up with the tasks.

What did you learn about the movement of the Sun around your home?

There are a number of ways you can connect with the element Fire, but one of the best ways is to go outside and feel the warmth of the Sun directly. However, I recognize not everyone can do that, so I have designed a ritual that can take place indoors or outdoors depending on your needs.

  • Quiet place outside in direct sunlight or a candle
  • Carnelian, red agate, or fire agate
Begin by either going outside, somewhere quiet in direct sunlight, or light the candle. If you are working indoors, this is best performed on your altar, especially if you have already dedicated your altar to Fire (see below).

For those of you outside, stand comfortably yet straight, and close your eyes. Raise your face toward the Sun and feel the warmth on your face. Take a deep breath in and breathe out slowly. Relax, continuing to breathe deeply until you reach a light meditative state. When ready, slowly raise your arms, palms facing up toward the sky. Feel the sunlight on your palms, the Sun's rays slowly warming them and traveling through your body. Soak in the light, allowing the warmth and golden light to fill your entire being. Visualize in your mind's eye your body glowing bright and golden, radiating the Sun's energy outward. Continue soaking in sunlight while continuing to meditate until you feel absolutely full of energy. If you like, continue to hold this energy throughout the day. If you notice it makes you too jittery or agitated, allow some of the energy to soak into the Earth through your feet until you feel better. Remember, the Earth is a great absorber.

If you are doing this ritual inside, follow the same outline above using the candle flame as your energy source. It can be completed whether you are standing or sitting, and instead of turning your face and hands upwards, direct them towards the candle flame.

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

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

Plan to have your altar dedicated to fire for the next couple of weeks, to Lammas if you can or at least through the last couple of posts in the Fire series. How you set up your altar is completely up to you, but I encourage you to place at least one candle on your altar as well as other symbols associated with Fire. Below are some ideas of items to include:
  • candles, especially red, orange, yellow, or gold. lanterns, or lamps
  • red agate, fire agate, carnelian, lava stone, pyrite, gold, citrine, or amber
  • sunflowers, goldenrod, or St. John's Wort
  • athame, knife, or wand (depending on your personal correspondences)
  • cinnamon, cloves, chilis, or oranges
  • Sun Wheel (or God's Eye)
  • silky fabrics in rich, warm colors such as orange, red, and yellow
Once you have set up your altar, spend about 15 minutes a day lightly meditating about Fire and the ritual experience you had. Light the candle(s) daily and stare deeply into the flames, feeling your connection to Fire deepen. Place your hands near the flame and feel the warmth of Fire enter your body, filling you with its energy. Draw a right-side-up triangle in the air with the flame and visualize it entering into your body through your chest.


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

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Monday, June 22, 2020

Litha/Midsummer Solstice Altar 2020

Litha, altar, witch, witchcraft, Midsummer, Midsummer Solstice, Summer Solstice, witchy

Litha, or the Summer Solstice, takes place on the longest day of the year. It is a celebration of the Sun, in all his glory as he fertilizers the Earth with his brilliant rays. From this point on, the Sun begins to wane in the sky, sinking lower on the horizon with each passing day. This is also the time with the Oak King wanes in power. Depending on the story you follow, the Oak King is defeated on Litha or Mabon (I personally follow the Mabon story), which gives way to the Holly King reigning. Despite his defeat and gradual decline, summer is not over yet. It will take several months for the heat of the Sun's rays to dissipate, giving way to winter. Because Midsummer is a celebration of the Sun and Oak King/Holly King, I went with Fire and solar correspondences for my altar.

Litha, altar, witch, witchcraft, Midsummer, Midsummer Solstice, Summer Solstice, witchy

1. Sun Wheel- My beautiful Sun Wheel! It represents the Sun, which is most prominent on the Summer Solstice, masculine energy, light, and fertility. I made this and I am so happy to pull it out again to display. It doesn't get to be displayed very long each year. Sun Wheels were commonly created by our ancestors as a form of sympathetic magic. They were thought to help the Sun remain strong through the rest of the growing season, as well as call the Sun to return. (Where did I get it: I made it; Cost: Under $5)

Litha, altar, witch, witchcraft, Midsummer, Midsummer Solstice, Summer Solstice, witchy

2. Candles in Holders-  There are three candles on this altar, all representing the Sun and the element Fire. You can't have a Summer Solstice altar without candles, right? Balefires were not only common at Beltane, but Litha as well. Unlike Beltane, the fires of Litha were for dancing, merrymaking, and cooking, not purifying. Since I can't put a balefire on my altar, candles are the next best thing. The white candles represent fidelity and purity while the central orange bee's wax candle represents strength, vitality, and prosperity. (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree 2020 or Subscription Box; Cost: $3 for cup holders and white candles, $5 for orange candle and holder)

3. Ivy and Silk Sunflowers- The silk ivy represents wealth, abundance, and fertility, as well as the Sun (Horned God) who is strongest on the Solstice. Furthermore, it is an ode to the Holly King who is growing in strength and will bring about Winter in the coming months. The sunflowers, on the other hand, are a representation of the Sun, hence the name. They represent joy, fertility, and good luck. Furthermore, the sunflowers are there to attract the fae and gift us with faerie sight. Faeries are plenty active on the Summer Solstice and should be honored as well. (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree; Cost: $2, $1 each)

Litha, altar, witch, witchcraft, Midsummer, Midsummer Solstice, Summer Solstice, witchy

4. Sun Plaque- Being the longest day of the year and a celebration of the Sun, it only makes sense to include my sun plaque. I think the representation here is pretty obvious, that this plaque is on my altar to honor the Sun on the solstice, encourage His vitality, and bring continued fertility of the land so our crops many finish growing. (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree 2017; Cost: $1)

Litha, altar, witch, witchcraft, Midsummer, Midsummer Solstice, Summer Solstice, witchy

5. Carnelian, Quartz, and Bloodstone- The three crystals I picked correspond with the energy of the sabbat. Carnelian represents the Sun, strength, and vitality, the quartz amplifies the power of the altar and represents change, while the bloodstone represents health and vitality. Together they work to give the Sun continued strength through the remainder of the growing season (Where did I get it: Metaphysical Stores; Cost: ~6)

6. Wooden Acorn- Flanking either side of the altar are two wooden acorns. These acorns are an ode to the Oak King and represent protection, good luck, prosperity, and wisdom. From Midsummer to winter, acorns were commonly worn as amulets. Furthermore, acorns are one of the life-sustaining nuts of summer and fall that will get wildlife through the long winter months, thus they represent the continued prosperity of our crops so that we too may have plenty of food to last through winter. (Where did I get it: Gifted; Cost: Free)

Litha, altar, witch, witchcraft, Midsummer, Midsummer Solstice, Summer Solstice, witchy


Like my other altars, most of the items I use are found, made, 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 Litha this year?

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Elemental Magic: A Complete Guide to Fire Folklore & Correspondences

fire magic, witchcraft, fire witch, fire folklore, fire correspondences, elemental magic

Our third stop in the series is the element Fire. Fire is quite the element, associated with new beginnings, energy, courage, anger, passion, lust, war, and purification. It's the perfect element to work with during the summer months when the Sun is at its strongest, the ultimate source of Fire. Fire is also the perfect element to work with when trying to enact change, especially social change. After working with Water and Earth, its time to burn away the old and bring in the new. You can use Fire to break bad habits, purify your life, ignite your passions, and incite change. Unlike Earth, Fire has a long and rich history in folklore, from how man first acquired Fire to the Celtic Fire festivals still celebrated by witches today. Again, this is a lengthy post, but well worth the read. Let's get started.

Fire has long been coveted by humankind as not only a life-bringer but as a source of transformation as well. How we first acquired Fire is debatable and we will likely never know, but the fact that we did allowed humans to prosper and ultimately dominate our surroundings. There are myths found in every single culture around the world explaining how humans first acquired Fire, from the Greeks to the Cherokee to the Hindus to the Aztecs. Almost all of these stories tell a story of theft, the Fire is stolen from some greedy source and given as a gift to humans. In Greek mythology, the titan Prometheus stole Fire from the gods, giving it to man along with the skill of metalwork because he loved humans more than the Olympians who had banished his family to Tartarus. This gift resulted in the progress of civilization and ultimately resulted in Fire temples across Greece. In various Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest and First Nations, Fire was stolen by Coyote, Beaver, or Dog and given to humans, while in Algonquin myth it is Rabbit that steals Fire from a man and his two daughters to share with other humans. The Cherokee myth, however, is my favorite of the Native American Fire myths. After both Possum and Buzzard failed to acquire Fire, Grandmother Spider weaves a web to sneak into the land of the light, where she steals Fire from the Sun and hides it in a clay pot. She brings the clay pot back, giving it to humans so they may see in the dark. In Rig Veda, a Hindu text, it is Matarisvan who steals Fire that had been hidden away from humans. All of these myths reveal the nature of Fire; that is it deeply associated with trickery and chaos, most likely because we may think we have control over Fire, but ultimately it is in control. Furthermore, Fire is extremely destructive but transformative, thus leading to the progress of civilization in all of these stories.

Fire was so revered by our ancestors that shrines, temples, and festivals were dedicated to Fire. In Ancient Greece, every private and public hearth or prytaneium was regarded as a sanctuary for the hearth goddess Hestia. In Greek mythology, Hestia was assigned the duty by Zeus to feed and maintain the fires in the Olympian hearth with the fat from animal sacrifices to the gods. As such, she was usually given the first offering during a sacrifice so that she may share a portion with the gods to maintain their Fire. While most of her shrines were the hearths in private and public places, there were at least two temples in Ermioni and Sparta that were dedicated to her alone. Each city had a public fire dedicated to Hestia that was not allowed to burn down. Failure to maintain her fire was a breach of duty and was viewed as bad luck. However, her fires were ritually extinguished and relit and when a new colony was established, flame from Hestia's public hearth was carried to light the fires in the new settlement. Hestia's Roman equivalent, Vesta, played a much more prominent role in Roman culture. She was very rarely depicted in human form, but instead as a flame. Vesta's temple in the Forum Romanum only allowed entry to Vesta's priestesses known as Vestals. The Vestals tended the sacred hearth fires of Vesta which were believed to be indispensable for the preservation and continuity of the Roman State. The sacred fire was so important that water was not allowed into the inner aedes nor allowed to stay in nearby areas for longer than needed. If water was needed, it was carried in futiles, vessels with a tiny foot that made them more stable. Should the fires be extinguished, it was believed something terrible would befall the Roman empire. Vesta was so revered that her festival Vestalia from June 7th to the 15th was regarded as one of the most important of the Roman holidays. On the first day of Vestalia the penus Vestae was opened for one day only so that women could offer sacrifices to Vesta. Mothers would come, disheveled and barefoot, to ask for blessings for their families. A donkey, the animal sacred to Vesta, was crowned with flowers and bread and honored. Vesta's importance was so deeply entrenched in Roman thought that it was one of the very last of the pagan cults to remain after the rise of Christianity until it was disbanded by Theodosius I in AD 391. 

Across the ocean, two important Celtic deities were honored for their scared flames. The first was Brigid, who later was Christianized St. Brigid. Brigid, who is deeply associated with holy wells, was also associated with sacred flames. In Kildare, Brigid's sacred fire was tended to by priestesses since pre-Christian times. Many attempts were made to extinguish the flames after Christianity dominated the isles, but were unsuccessful until the sixteenth century when monasteries were suppressed. The sacred flames were relit in 1993 by Mary Teresa Cullen, the former leader of the Brigidine Sisters, a group of nuns dedicated to St. Brigid. Since 1993, the scared fire has burned bright, being maintained by 19 nuns at St. Brigid's sanctuary. It was rumored that the sacred flame was originally surrounded by a hedge that no man could cross. Any man who attempted to cross was said to go mad, die, or become crippled, leaving only women to tend to Brigid's fire. Brigid is most often celebrated at Imbolc, a fire festival, also known as St. Brigid's Day on February 1st, where she is said to breathe life-giving warmth back into the Earth. Candles are ritually lit as a form of sympathetic magic to coax the Sun's return and honor Brigid. However, it wasn't just Brigid who was associated with Fire in Celtic lore. Belenus (Belus or Baal), whose name means "Shining One," was one of the most widely worshipped of the Celtic deities. He was the Celtic god of the Sun and was celebrated year-around, but honored specifically at Beltane, an ancient Fire festival on May 1st. There are at least 51 known inscriptions describing Belenus across Celtic Britain and Iberia and even mentions in Roman texts. Like Brigid, Belenus had scared fires dedicated to him and from these fires, bonfires, also known as balefires, were lit upon the hilltops the night of Beltane. Cattle and other farm animals were herded between theses fires to remove all impurities and keep the animals free from illness until the following Beltane. Some sources state that people would leap over these great fires as well to purify themselves and protect them in the upcoming year. Hearth fires were also extinguished, ashes cleaned out, and replaced with fire from the sacred flames of Belenus to bring in purity and new beginnings to the home. All of these deities and their resulting festivals and shrines encompass the importance of Fire in human history as a bringer of life, a purifier, a protector, and an agent of change. 

Other Sun gods from around the world, including Ra, Aten, Nanahuatzin, Helios, and Sol, were worshipped year around with the Sun's heavenly movement. Early humans recognized that as the Sun traveled through the sky that it drove the changing of the seasons. From this knowledge, myths arose to explain what happened to the Sun god during each transformation. In modern Wicca, the equivalent of this story traces the birth and death of the God, who represents the Sun. These myths were so prevalent around the world that early Christianity adopted them and associated them with Jesus. Sympathetic magic, charms, and spells were often used to coax the return of the Sun, keep up the heat, or honor the Sun's death. As mentioned before, candles are lit at Imbolc as a form of sympathetic magic, while the Yule log is lit at Yule for the same reason, as well as to bring health and good luck to those within. At Midsummer, also known as Litha, sun charms were created to keep up the heat so that the crops could continue to grow and thus produce a bountiful harvest. Our ancestors recognized that after the summer solstice that the Sun waned in strength. These charms were designed to keep the Sun strong enough for the remaining growing season else they would not have enough stores to make it through the winter months. Prior to the introduction of mistletoe, the Irish used apples as part of an All Saints Day sun charm to protect against glamour and witchery during the dark half of the year. Basically, these charms were believed to shed light on trickery.

Apart from Fire's association with deities, it has long been viewed as a protective force. This likely arose from the fact our early ancestors found that keeping fires lit through the night safeguarded against beasts of the night. Fire quickly became associated with warding off evil spirits, especially in the case of childbirth. Multiple cultures around the world light candles and lamps and keep them burning to ward against demons waiting to pounce on the newborn child and mother. This custom still persists in parts of Britain, Scandinavia, and Germany, where candles and fires are lit around the new baby to keep evil spirits away. Some of these tales refer to changelings stealing away newborn babes, while others suggest demons are waiting to claim the baby for the devil. Other folklore customs include waving candles over newlyweds to protect against unwanted guests, while in France jumping over a candle flame is said to ward against sickness and bring good luck. The nursery rhyme, Jack Be Nimble, is an ode to this custom. As mentioned earlier, this was also the reason cattle were driven between bonfires on Beltane. Fire is also considered a purifier, being able to cleanse one of disease. Among the Nandi, cattle are driven through fire and coated with milk to cure disease outbreaks within the herd. The Chukchee drive away evil spirits from their reindeer using a similar custom to that of the Celts, driving the reindeer close to a sacred fire so that "the breath of fire" could drive away contamination. Despite its association with driving away evil spirits, Fire has also been used to lead spirits on their journey. In Hinduism, a lamp is placed before the dying person to help guide their spirit to Yama. On Samhain, jack-o'-lanterns were traditionally carved and placed in windows and along walkways to not only ward off evil spirits that crossed the veil but also to guide their ancestors home.

Fire has also been used as a form of divination and as an omen. As mentioned earlier, the extinguishing of Hestia's and Vesta's fires were believed to be ruin and bad luck. The Banyoro in Central Africa and the people of British New Guinea will not hunt the following morning if their fire goes out overnight, an omen of bad luck and death. In modern Greece, the behavior of logs in a fire is said to foretell the future. Crackling means that good news or a friend is coming, while sparks and ash flying are believed to foretell trouble and anxiety brewing. On the other hand, in parts of Britain cinders were read to predict major future events, such as births, marriages, and deaths. 

The vast amount of folklore around Fire suggests a few things. First, Fire is an important source of life. It warms, cooks food, and inspires. Second, Fire is an important protector and purifier, yet has the ability to consume all that it touches. In modern times, witches use fire for these same reasons, often as in protection rituals, and to send messages to the spirit world.

Below is a quick correspondence guide for Fire, including a free printable page for your Book of Shadows!

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Sun, Mars
Time: Noon
Season: Summer
Direction: South (although in the Southern hemisphere, North may work better for you)
Tarot Cards: Wands or Swords (depends on belief system)
Zodiac: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius 
Symbolism: Energy, will, destruction, strength, courage, power, passion, lust, sexuality, anger, war, new beginnings, protection, loyalty, transformation, action, movement, achievement, creativity, desire, willpower
Symbols: Athame, candles, swords, wands, dagger, lamp, flame, volcano, Sun, stars, lava, heat
Deities: Vesta, Hestia, Morrigan, Brigid, Belenus, Freya, Ra, Horus, Prometheus, Vulcan, Hephaestus, Agni, Pele, Ogun, Oya, Sekhmet, Zhurong, Huilu, Jowangsin, Kojin, Fuji, Amaterasu, Arshi Tengri, Odqan, Yal-un Eke, Alaz, Vut-Ami, En, Eate, Alpan, Kamar, Aed, Grannus, Nantosuelta, Sethlans, Logi, Mariel, Cacus, Dazhbog, Kresnik, Peklenc, Svarog, Shapash, Gerra, Gibil, Ishum, Nuska, Chantico, Mixcoati, Xiuhtecuhtli, Iansa
Nature Spirits: Salamander, dragon, phoenix, chimera, djinn
Colors: Red, yellow, orange, gold, crimson, white
Food and Drink: Chili, tea, coffee, beans, curry, onion, garlic, cider, cloves, cinnamon, wassail, garlic bread, beef, ham, oranges, lime, lemon, lemonade, limeade, orange juice, marmalade, spicy foods
Herbs: Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, basil, cacti, marigold, chilis, garlic, mustard, nettle, onion, heliotrope, hibiscus, juniper, lime, orange, red pepper, poppies, thistle, coffee, jalapenos, lemon, cumin, saffron, coriander
Crystals and Gemstones: Carnelian, red jasper, bloodstone, garnet, ruby, agate, rhodochrosite, gold, pyrite, brass, fire opal, lavastone, tiger's eye
Animals: Lion, snake, coyote, fox, ladybug, bee, shark, scorpion, horse, mantis, tiger

How does Fire work with the other elements?

Fire with Earth: Fire can be used to melt Earth into magma or reshape it into precious crystals, while Earth can be used to smother Fire. Fire can scorch Earth, providing life-giving nutrients and allowing new life to prosper.
Fire with Water: While Water is often used to extinguish Fire, Fire can be used to heat Water, turning it into steam, thus connecting it with the element Air. 
Fire with Air: Fire can be used to connect with Air through steam and smoke, and while Air can use used to blow out Fire, Air also breathes life into it, allowing it to become uncontrollable quickly.

Your task for the next week or so is to track how the Sun moves over your home and how it affects the surrounding area. Which rooms receive the most light at which times? How does this affect the temperature in those rooms? If you have a green space or a yard, which parts of it receive Sun and at what times? Look at the plants that grow in these areas and make a note. I encourage you to make a sketch of both inside and outside your home and shade in the areas that receive Sun and mark which times they occur. Drawing hash marks is a great way to do this. Areas that receive Sun for most of the day will end up being darker than those areas that receive little Sun. Tracking the Sun's movement is another way to build a more localized practice.

Next week I will dive into how to connect more deeply with Fire using a simple yet effective ritual.

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

Elemental Magic Series

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Monday, June 15, 2020

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Parsley

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Mercury
Element: Air
Powers: Death, Fertility, Love, Lust, Protection, Purification, Spirit Communication
Magical Uses and History: Parsley is one of the most commonly used culinary herbs in modern times with most people recognizing it as the garnish on their meal. However, parsley has a long and rich history outside of culinary uses. 

Due to its long germination time and extensive tap root, it was said that the seeds of parsley had to travel to the Underworld and back before the plant could grow. This myth was so prevalent that in Ancient Greece, Persephone was often depicted as holding a sprig of parsley, carrying it to the Underworld and back. Even after Europe was Christianized the folklore behind parsley's hellish decent remained. In 1658 in Wit Restored it was recorded that "The Weed before it's borne nine times the devill sees," meaning the seeds of parsley had to travel to Hell and back nine times before germination. Originally, it was believed the seeds traveled just seven times, but it is believed the number increased because of the sacred connotations associated with the number seven. The Romans were believed to place parsley on their plates as a way to honor the dead, protect the food from contamination, and freshen their breath. The Ancient Greeks, however, avoided eating parsley and refused to grow it in their homes. They believed eating the plant of the Underworld would result in death and thus instead used in funeral rites and to decorate tombs. As such, parsley can be used to commune with the dead, whether it's placed on an altar, used to adorn the food during a Dumb Supper, or used to decorate a tomb.

The association of parsley with death and the Devil resulted in curious folklore across Europe, especially in Britain where it was believed parsley should only be planted on Good Friday. This was because the Devil could not exert his influence over the plant on Good Friday, thus making the plant safe for the grower. However, while it was safe to grow where originally planted, it was bad luck to transplant it somewhere else, believing to bring death and bad luck to those involved. This is likely because parsley does not transplant easily and often dies quickly after being uprooted, thus becoming an omen of death. Furthermore, it was believed that if you muttered the name of a person while picking parsley, they would be dead within the week.

Despite its association with death, parsley is also believed to be a potent protector. As mentioned, the Ancient Romans placed springs of parsley on their food to protect it from contamination and even prevent poisoning. It was believed parsley acted as an antidote and was later noted by Culpepper that it was an antidote for "the venom of any poisonous creature." Furthermore, Ancient Romans often carried sprigs of parsley on their person to protect from harm while crowns of parsley were often worn to protect against drunkness. Later parsley was used to create purification baths to remove and prevent misfortune.

Apart from death and protection, parsley is also associated with love and lust. This folklore, which likely began during the Elizabethan era, was immortalized in the song Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkle which tells the tale of love. Hidden within the rhyme are "Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme..." each herbs associated with love. In fact, the message of these herbs is believed to be a love spell. Thyme: I'm yours. Sage: I'm dependable. Rosemary: Remember me. Parsley: Let's start a family. Parsley, in particular, was also immortalized in the saying "sow parsley, sow babes" in which it was believed pregnant women (and witches) could grow the most bountiful parsley crops. Use parsley to promote love, lust, and fertility.

Parsley can be used in a number of spells including:
    Protection Spells
    Purification Baths
    Love Spells
    Fertility Magic
    Death Magic
    Spirit Work
    Ancestral Veneration

Medicinal Uses: Parsley has several medicinal uses with all parts of the plant being used. It is an effective diuretic, being used to remove excess water and aid kidney function. It's also an emmenagogue, thus stimulating uterine contractions and aiding in the menstruation process. As such, medicinal doses of parsley should not be used by women who are pregnant or wishing to become pregnant. Finally, it's a carminative and is often used to ease stomach pains caused by gas and bloating. Some herbalists note that parsley is an expectorant and can be used to treat coughs, colds, and chest infections, but research shows it is only mildly effective. 

Preparation and Dosage: Parsley is taken internally as an infusion or tincture. To create an infusion, pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of leaves or roots. Allow the mixture to infuse for 5-10 minutes in a closed container. Drink up to three times a day. As a tincture, take 2-4 milliliters up to three times a day. Again, medicinal dosages should not be taken by women who are pregnant or wishing to become pregnant as it stimulates uterine contractions.

Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!
parsley, witchcraft, magic, folklore, herb, herbal remedy, herb magic

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Friday, June 12, 2020

Book Review: The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces by Anjou Kiernan

The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces by Anjou Kiernan, book review, witch, witchcraft, altar, sacred space, witchy, occult, Wheel of the Year, sabbats

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I was provided a copy of this book for an honest review.

I know I've said it a dozen times, but I really like altars and decorating them. Honestly, I just like home decor and the creativity that comes with placing items to make a beautiful scape. Needless to say, when I saw The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces by Anjou Kiernan, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to read the book.

The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces is a fairly short read, meaning you could sit down as flip through it in an afternoon. Kiernan breaks down the Wheel of the Year, describing each of the pagan holidays mixed with altar and scared space ideas for each. With about 50 ideas, Kiernan provides well-thought-out inspiration for new and old witches alike. Each idea comes with gorgeous pictures and a complete breakdown peppered with ritual on how to set up the altar and the symbolism behind each. I found myself mesmerized by the pictures and yearning to celebrate all the sabbats at once simply so I could use the ideas inspired by this book.

Unfortunately, the book, as I mentioned, is not very long. I was also hoping for more information on creating sacred space, instead of just how to set up different altars. While I certainly enjoyed the pictures, I felt this book is best as a table prop that you occasionally flip through when you are bored or looking for inspiration instead of an actual informational text you reference often. The information on the sabbats is very basic, and contains several of the common, historical fallacies found in other introductory books. This isn't to say that this information isn't useful (except for the historical inaccuracies). As I mentioned, Kiernan gives historical context for each of her altars, which is great for beginner witches struggling with the symbolism behind each sabbat. Furthermore, if you are anything like me, you learn best when information is coupled with ample visuals and this book does just that.

Overall, I was impressed with Kiernan's ideas and enjoyed flipping through the book. The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces by Anjou Kiernan is currently available for pre-order, with a publication date of June 16, 2020. If you are struggling to find inspiration, this is definitely the book for you.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Elemental Magic: Earth Spells and Rituals

earth magic, earth witchcraft, earth spell, water ritual, witchcraft, elemental magic, witch, witchy, occult

Wow, what a year 2020 has been thus far. In the first half of the year, we really needed Water to help us heal. We still do as there is much work left to be done this year, but we also need the grounding and centering energy of Earth to help us deal with our anxieties and stresses so we can keep the healing movement going as well as help us understand what is truly important. Next, we will use Fire to continue burning away the old, leaving fertile soil in its wake. I've gotten a little behind on my posts and wanted to already be on Fire, but such is life. Either way, its obvious my intuition knew what elements we would need most at what time of year. Water to heal (COVID-19, anxiety, etc), Earth to ground (recentering ourselves to recognize what is really important), Fire to ignite (fighting injustice), and Air to communicate (voting, letter writing, etc). I did not match them with their traditionally corresponding seasons, and I realize now more than ever there was a reason not to. You see, not everything in life fits into neat correspondences and while we traditionally work with Earth in the winter months, it isn't what we needed this year. We needed in the late spring and early summer. We must recognize that traditions are meant to be broken so that we may work with what we need, instead of what we are told. Your practice is just as unique as you are; take what you need and leave the rest behind.

In this post, I cover a number of spells that include the Earth element. In light of recent events, more specifically the resurgence of massive BLM protests, riots, and a cry for change and the end of police brutality, I decided it was important for me to include spells to help us navigate this revolution. Some of the spells will help you with your mental health, while others are for protection, resistance, and stability. Our current battle may seem like we are trying to move mountains, but even the mountain is weathered away by the slow, steady force of Water and Air. 

If my mention of this turns you off and you decide not to continue to follow my blog, so be it. I am not here to pussyfoot around issues near and dear to my heart, and I most certainly will always use my platform to speak up for marginalized voices. And so it is.

Earthing is the process of physically connecting with the Earth through touch. This is different from grounding in that grounding establishes a spiritual connection while bringing your energies in tune with the Earth, while earthing establishes a physical connection that results in a mental and physiological response. Both the Journal of Inflammation Research and Proceedings fo the National Academy of Sciences have found that physical contact with the Earth, think skin to Earth contact, has profound effects on our health and happiness, including calming the part of your brain that is responsible for depression and anxiety. As such, it reduces stress hormones, decreases blood pressure, relieves tension, and decreases your heart rate likely because the Earth is pulsing with energy. This ritual is simple and a great way to help relieve stress and anxiety, especially during trying times. It's also a great way to connect with the Earth in your area. Don't be surprised if a local spirit wishes to connect with you.

What You'll Need

  • An outdoor spot where you will not be disturbed

What to Do

Begin by traveling to a local forest, park, beach, or just going out into your own yard. If you have nowhere private to go, a dish of soil will also work. Remove your shoes and walk barefoot or touch the soil with your hands, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. When it feels right, stop, close your eyes, and feel your connection to the Earth. Feel your heartbeat slowing down, the stress melting away into the Earth. Imagine the worry, fear, doubt, hatred, anger, depression, and all other emotions flowing out through your feet deep into the Earth. Allow Her to take away the pain, replacing it instead with healing energy, peace, and calm.

Spend at least 15 minutes, if not an hour, connecting physically with the Earth. Lay down if you want, continue walking, or sit in silence. If you wish, ask the Earth if you may bring back gifts with you and should you feel She replies with the affirmative, gather leaves, stones, and other natural objects to bring home with you. Be sure to thank the Earth for the gifts you have received. Place these items on your altar and use them to help you connect with the Earth when stress, doubt, and fear come creeping back in.

This ritual is performed on a regular schedule. Use it to check in with yourself on a weekly or monthly basis or use it as a quick way to dispel fear before a protest!

Amulets are generally worn for protection and take on many forms. Whether you decide to use a crystal, pentacle, or some other object, make sure it can be easily worn on your person or carried with you. Amulets can also be kept in your pocket away from prying hands so it can't be used to subdue you. This protection amulet utilizes the Earth element to protect you from harm, negativity, and stress.

What You'll Need

  • String, yarn, cord, chain, or wire
  • Smoky quartz, pentacle, or another protective object

What to Do

This spell is best done between midnight and 3am on a Full Moon or Waxing Moon, although any moon phase can technically be used. Gather your supplies and cleanse the object you are turning into an amulet. Smoky quartz is one of the best crystals to turn into an amulet because of its protective yet calming nature. The wisps of smoke protect the wearer from negativity and harm, while also bringing emotional calmness by relieving stress and anxiety. The pentacle, a symbol of Earth, is also highly protective. Consider using a silver pentacle to reflect negativity and harm away from you.

After your object is cleansed, you need to charge it with your intent. I personally like to blow my intent into an object, but any charging method is fine. While you do so say or chant the following: "I place upon this [insert object name] protective power. It is now a shield from harm and negativity. I call upon the strength of my ancestors at this witching hour, to bless this object with protective serenity. No harm may come so long as it remains. Heed my words and protect forevermore." 

Once charged, you can turn the amulet into a necklace, keychain, or just carry the object on your person. I find that having something tied to it makes it easier to hold onto and prevents it from being lost or misplaced.

Recharge your amulet periodically, usually with each monthly moon cycle, or if you have been exposed to high levels of negativity. If the crystal cracks, this is a sign that the magic is working. Simply replace the crystal with a freshly charged one. Thank the previous crystal for its protection and bury it away from your home. 

The Earth is great at removing things we wish to get rid of through earthly cleansing. As such, witches commonly bury objects to cleanse them or to remove something from their life. While the Earth brings forth life, it also helps things to decay. This spell is designed to get rid of jealousy by allowing it to "rot" in the soil.

What You'll Need

  • Potato
  • An object from the jealous person (yourself or someone else)
  • Brown ribbon or string
  • Knife
  • Spade or shovel

What to Do

This spell is best performed during the Dark Moon as it is a form of banishment. Cut the potato in half and carve out a spot between the two halves to fit the item from the jealous person. It can be your own personal jealousy or that of another. If you cannot obtain a personal object, a picture of the person will also work or their full name written on a piece of paper. Place the object inside the potato and tie the two halves together with the brown ribbon or string. Bury the potato somewhere away from your house, creating a resting place where the jealousy can reside. As the potato rots, the jealousy will dissipate.

Now more than ever we have a need to keep the police away from us, or at least protect ourselves from police brutality, especially during protests. This conjure bag or sachet is specifically designed for that purpose. You can carry it on your person, hang it in your home, or place it in your vehicle. Heck, make three so you can place them everywhere. 

What You'll Need

  • Sachet or bag with a drawstring
  • Fennel seeds
  • Sardonyx 
  • Hydrangea blossoms
  • Crabgrass seed heads

What to Do

Cleanse and charge the sardonyx with your intent to keep away law enforcement and protect you from police brutality. Place the sardonyx in the sachet followed by a handful of fennel, hydrangea blossoms, and crabgrass seed heads. Sardonyx is often used to obtain justice, especially against the police, while fennel sees ward off authority. Hydrangea blossoms are used for shielding and protection (a reference to their shield-like shape) and crabgrass seed heads, which look like fingers, are used to misdirect and confuse. If you are looking for an extra punch read Psalms 9, 16, and 53 over the sachet, or include them inside. 

While I recognize most of us are not Christian, nor believe in the Christian God, many magical practices include Christian saints and the bible in their magical workings. It is important we respect these traditions, specifically Vodou, Vodoun, Hoodoo, and Santeria that incorporate these elements. They are just as powerful as calling upon your personal spirits or deities.

Tea is a great way to combine the elements of Water and Earth together in harmony. The Water nourishes our soul while the Earthly herbs bring about magical focus. This particular tea is designed to increase your persuasiveness, whether you are arguing in favor of social and political justice, fighting flat earthers online, or trying to convince your Uncle that climate change is real. This herbal infusion can be drunk or used to bathe your hands and face to increase your persuasiveness. 

What You'll Need

  • 1-2 teaspoons cinquefoil (five-finger grass)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Honey (if drinking)

What to Do

Begin by boiling water and pouring it over 1-2 teaspoons of dried cinquefoil. Swirl the cup clockwise and imagine it filling with golden yellow light. Yellow is the color of communication and therefore perfect in cases where you wish to persuade someone. Breathe in the steam deeply and say "Five-Finger Grass, growing wild, help me persuade those with whom I speak. Five-Finger Grass, blooming yellow, be the guide I need and seek today and tomorrow. Five-Finger grass, standing tall, give me the confidence to speak my truth. Five-Finger Grass, relentlessly perched, bring me the strength to combat the uncouth. And so it is."

Allow the mixture to steep for about 10 minutes. Strain and add the honey if you wish to drink the tea. If not, rub the infusion on your hands so that everything you touch is favorable or on your face and neck so that your words are convincing. This infusion can be seal in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Sometimes we feel completely powerless over our situation and that things are spiraling out of control. This ritual is designed to bring you tranquility and peace and uses a common prayer along with crystals to help calm your spirit and bring you strength. 

What You'll Need

  • 5 smoky quartz crystals
  • Personal item or photograph
  • Private space

What to Do

Begin by sitting quietly in your private space. This can be your altar, a place in the woods, or anywhere else you can work without being disturbed. If you like, cleanse and consecrate the area and cast a circle. While sitting quietly, close your eyes and think about what is causing you to feel powerless. Focus on specific events, actions, words, etc that have caused this unease. Think about what you can do to change the situation. Think about what is out of your control. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Allow what you cannot change to leave your body and enter into the ground.

When you have reached a state of calmness, open your eyes and place your personal item in front of you. Cleanse the smoky quartz, which is extremely grounding in nature as well as an absorber of negativity, by blowing on each crystal. This not only cleanse the crystals but also solidify its connection with you. Begin placing the 5 crystals around your personal object while chanting "Grant me the serenity to accept the thing I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." 

Spend time meditating and infusing the ritual with your energy. Allow yourself to feel your connection with the Earth and the tranquility its calming embrace brings. Leave the crystals and your personal item out as long as you can. If possible, continue to return to this place to reinforce the magical working.

Earth has the power to bring about great change and new beginnings. We see this each year with the turning of the wheel. We can harness that power to bring about change in our own lives by sowing seeds and watching them grow. As they do so, what we seek to change comes to light.

What You'll Need

  • Small pot
  • Soil to fill the pot
  • Seeds (doesn't matter what kind)
  • Water
  • Paint, Sharpie, or markers to decorate the pot

What to Do

Fill the pot with soil and press the seeds you have chosen into the soil. As you do so say "I sow these seeds of change to bring about my heart's desire." If you want, include what you wish to change in your chant. Gently water the seeds and keep the soil moist until the seeds begin sprouting. 

Decorate the outside of the pot with symbols, sigils, images, and colors associated with the change you wish to bring. For example, if you wish for social justice draw scales, swords, or the runes tiwaz and hagalaz. Make the decorations personal. Infuse these images with your power and keep your intention clear as you do so.

As the seeds grow, so shall the change you desire.


These spells are just some of the many uses of Earth, some of which you can find elsewhere on my blog. Again, I tried to include several spells to help us navigate the current social climate, but there are several spells that can be used whenever you need them. How do you use Earth in your practice? Share your spells and ideas in the comments below!

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

Elemental Magic Series

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Monday, June 8, 2020

Meet The Goddess of All Trades & How to Incorporate Magic into Business by Ashley A.

witchcraft, business, witchy, witch, pagan, witchy business

Without going off the deep end and giving you my entire life story and how all my troubles and trials led me to where I am today, I’m going to keep it short and sweet so we can get to the most interesting part - why I’m the Goddess of All Trades and how I incorporate magic into my business!
I grew up in a small, Baptist town in Alabama and so my cultural exposure was quite limited. It wasn’t until my early teens that I discovered witchcraft and became interested in learning about magic. I was an on-again, off-again witch up until my early 20s when I decided to fully embrace my witchery and further develop my spiritual practice. During this time I was also developing my professional career and had been working in customer service for quite some time, but it wasn’t until I landed a management position that I discovered my entrepreneurial roots.

I worked in management for the next 5 years and dug deep into what it really meant to run a business. I learned the importance of time management, organization, marketing, and so much more in that short 5 year stint in the corporate world. To make matters even better, I was actually really good at what I did. Increasing revenue was always one of my top priorities and I had the ability to brainstorm different ways to make it happen.

In 2018, after working in a very toxic work environment, I took matters into my own hands and ventured into the entrepreneurial world. I knew that what I had been doing for big, corporate businesses I could be doing on a much more personal level with small businesses, and even better I didn’t have to do it behind a desk. I could do it anywhere! And so I began to reach out and connect with people in various industries, offering virtual management services such as social media management, making website updates, managing newsletters, Pinterest management, pretty much anything that could be done on a computer with internet access. To my amazement, I was able to replace my monthly income within 2 months of being self-employed. Not only was I successful, but I also absolutely LOVED what I was doing.

About 6 months into my venture I finally reached a point where I felt extremely comfortable connecting with just about any business in any industry. There was one industry, however, that I had left untouched. The spiritual industry. It was probably the biggest “Duh!” moment of my professional life. Here I was with the ability to work with literally anyone and I had not even thought of working with someone with a spiritually centered brand. And so I decided to shift my services into the witchy and metaphysical industries.

It has now been over 2 years since I made the decision to branch out on my own. I now work solely with witches, energy healers, metaphysical shop owners, my kind of people! Once I made the shift things began to flow naturally. Seeking clients within the spiritual and witchy community allowed me to connect a little deeper with the people I was choosing to connect with. I no longer aimlessly shoot for random companies to email. I instead was able to tap into my intuition and find ‘my people’. That’s not to say that I’ve worked with every single person I’ve reached out to, nor has every partnership lasted. In fact, I’ve had some brutal fallouts with past clients to the point that I questioned the Universe why it placed them in my path in the first place! But for the most part, I have had an amazing time and have connected with some remarkable people.

Ok, finally! On to the good bits. How exactly do I incorporate magic into my business? I mean aside from working with magical people that is. Well, for starters I love using tarot as a way to connect deeper with my intuition to get guidance for creative projects. A lot of times clients will come to me to brainstorm ideas for things like new product launches or blog post topics. I never hesitate to whip out my tarot deck and draw a card or two for a little divine inspiration on how to move forward with the ideas. It has been so resourceful and helps me make more aligned decisions for individual clients.

Another way I incorporate magic into my business is through the use of crystals. How cliche, right? Nothing can quite pull me out of a creative block like Carnelian though! I turn to crystals all the time to help keep my vibrations up so that I can deliver prime results to my clients. All I do is pick from my collection and keep it near me as I’m working throughout the day. Sometimes I’ll even design a crystal grid on my laptop and let it sit overnight to enchant my laptop with uplifting vibrations too!

The last magical business act that I’ll share with you today is manifestation magic. I especially like to use this sort of magic with my Pinterest management services. When I sit down to start planning, strategizing, and creating I will hold a mini-ritual packed with some serious manifestation energy. I’ll set the intention to match my clients’ needs whether it be the need to reach a larger audience, sell a program, or to just simply make a statement. I’ll then use that energy and place it into the work I do so that the entire project is engulfed with magic that attracts success.

Working within this industry has truly been an honorable experience. Not only am I working with people who value me and my time, but they are also teaching so much about various paths and practices. It has helped me discover more parts about myself that I didn’t know existed, both magically and professionally. Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones to reach fulfillment, that is the number one thing my entire experience has taught me.

 Ashley is an eclectic kitchen witch who has been practicing witchcraft
over 10 years. She enjoys her days in sunny Florida tending to her
 ever-growing herb and veggie garden. She has been virtually assisting
 fellow witches, energy healers, lightworkers, and metaphysical shop
 owners since 2018 and recently co-launched an online witchy shop -
 Solstice Sisters - where she offers kitchen magic tips and crafts magical