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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Mabon/Fall Equinox Altar 2021

Autumn Equinox, altar, sabbat, Mabon, August Eve, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca

The Fall Equinox, also known as Mabon, is the second harvest festival celebrated sometime between September 20-23. This year, the Fall Equinox falls on September 22nd. Sometimes referred to as Pagan Thanksgiving, this is a time of abundance and celebration. Fruit and vegetables are rapidly ripening in the fields, leaving us with more food than most of us can eat. Grapes, squash, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, figs, carrots, and a host of other fruits and vegetables are ready to be picked and canned for the long winter ahead. This overabundance was something to be celebrated, with the land and Sun being thanked for the bounty our ancestors received. Offerings were often left to the spirits of the fields and agricultural deities in thanks as a bountiful crop now meant our ancestors would be able to eat through the winter months. If the crop failed, so too would the family come winter. Much like Thanksgiving celebrated in the United States and other countries, this is a time to be thankful, count blessings, and give back to those in need. If you are looking for some pagan-friendly charities to support, check out my list here

This year's altar sticks to the general theme of the sabbat, from abundant harvests to general prosperity to the beginning signs of fall. This altar is simple yet effective and is designed to honor the Earth and Sun and ensure the abundance continues for a few more weeks.

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1. Harvest Candleholder with Green Candle- This harvest candleholder has graced my Mabon altar for several years now and for a good reason. It represents the bounty of the season with its pears, apples, grapes, and berries aplenty. The earthen tones and colorful leaves represent the beginning of Fall and the changing of the seasons as the Wheel turns. This year I put a green candle in it to represent abundance, specifically agricultural abundance. It also works to sympathetically encourage the continued growth of the crops lest harvests do not last through the Winter months. Green also represents the Earth and the gracious gifts she bestows upon us during the harvest, for without her nurturing soils, we would not have nutrient-rich foods. (Where did I get it: Goodwill & Dollar Tree; Cost: $3)

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2. Leaf Candle Holder with White Candles- The leaf candle holders are an ode to the season and the changing leaves that herald in Fall. Their orange color represents attraction. In this case, it is used to attract the Sun and keep Him burning bright within the sky for a little while longer so the rest of the crops may ripen. In conjunction with the candles, which represent the Sun who is slowly waning in the sky, they work together as a sympathetic form of magic. Furthermore, having two of them represents balance as during the equinox both day and night are balanced. (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree 2017; Cost: $3, $1 each)

Autumn Equinox, altar, sabbat, Mabon, August Eve, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca

3. Corn Dolly- The corn dolly/maiden represents the harvest and the spirits of the fields. While traditionally placed on a Lammas altar, I put her on my Mabon altar to represent Mother Earth and the spirit of the Harvest and fields. The effigy is sacrificed the following Spring to ensure a bountiful harvest the following year, but I keep mine year to year to bring abundance into my life. (Where did I get it: House of Rituals Box 2018; Cost: ~$5)

Autumn Equinox, altar, sabbat, Mabon, August Eve, witchcraft, witchy, hedgewitch, pagan, neopagan, wiccan, wicca

4. Adventurine and Amber- In the center of the altar are three crystals, two green aventurine and an amber. Green aventurine is a crystal of balance and prosperity, both characteristic of Mabon. By having two, they also represent balance as the equinox is a time of equal day and night. The amber crystal, however, represents the Sun, fire, fertility, and abundance. (Where did I get it: Metaphysical Stores; Cost: ~$4)

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TOTAL COST: ~$15


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 breakdown helpful, especially for those of you looking to create Instagram-perfect altars on a budget! This particular altar is mostly constructed with items I found in my garden, which brought the cost down this time significantly. The most expensive items are the crystals, which can be found cheaply with imperfections at many online retailers.

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Did you do anything special for Mabon this year? I plan on making one of my favorite pasta dishes tonight for dinner, picking some more peppers from my garden, and enjoying the last of the warm weather, and being thankful I am healthy during these trying times. If anyone is looking for some Thai peppers or habanero peppers I have more than I will ever eat! May your harvests continue to be fruitful, both literally and figuratively. 



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Monday, September 20, 2021

Spellcrafting Series: Correspondences, Substitutions, and How to Write Your Own

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Most spells use multiple ingredients to lend energy to them. This is a great way to boost the energy of the spell and amplify the magic while focusing on your intention without completely draining your own energy. When adding herbs, crystals, candles, and other objects to a spell, you have to consider their correspondences. But what is a correspondence?

Correspondences are the energies associated with specific objects that can be used to enhance your spell's effectiveness and potency while lending extra energy. These energies are based on a number of things, including history, medicinal uses, culinary uses, colors, and nature. If you were to pick up any book on witchcraft, you are likely to find at least one or two lists of correspondences for commonly used objects, especially herbs and crystals. While most correspondence lists are great, there are always those that include questionable correspondences so it is incredibly important to research any correspondences you are unsure about. You don't want to end up using sunflowers in a spell designed to fight insomnia or rosemary in a spell to forget. While I fully support the use of these lists, especially for new practitioners, how do we move away from them, especially those where we are unsure of where the information originated from?

Writing Your Own Correspondences

When determining the correspondence of an object, there are five methods that can be employed:
  • practical use(s) of the object
  • historical use(s) of the object
  • scientific nature of the object
  • your intuition
  • consulting with the spirit of the object

These methods can be used individually, but I have found that a combination of methods creates a more complete profile of the object. These are the same five methods that I use when writing my Herbarium posts or creating crystal infographics.

The easiest way to start writing your own correspondences is to look at the practical uses of the object. How is the object used in your day-to-day life? What is its function in the household? Let's take the broom for example. The practical use of the broom is to remove dirt and debris from the home. As such, brooms can be used for cleansing a space. If you are looking at a plant, is it used in cooking? What does it taste like? What does it bring to the dish? Is it able to thicken, color, or bind the ingredients together? If it is used medicinally, what is it used for? Does it treat pain, soothe rashes, increase attention, aid in sleep, or treat infections? For example, cayenne peppers are spicy, bringing lasting heat to the dish. They are also used medicinally to speed up digestion and boost one's metabolism and relieve pain. Based on these practical uses, cayenne can be used to bring lasting speed to a spell, burn away the competition, or heat up your love life. From these practical uses, we can start to infer some of their elemental correspondences as well. Cayenne peppers being spicy and red are associated with the element Fire, while the broom, which is grounding and cleansing, is associated with Earth.

Once you have gone through the practical uses of an object, you can start digging into its history. Folklore abounds on most objects we use in our day-to-day lives, especially anything found in nature. I suggest looking at folktales, myths, urban legends, medical texts, and other historical texts to begin determining other correspondences for an object. When looking back at the broom, we find a number of texts alluding to witches using brooms to fly, so the broom is therefore associated with astral travel and flight. Other historical texts discuss women using broom handles to masturbate after many countries ban the sale of dildos, so the broom is also seen as a phallic object that can be used in spells for lust and sexuality. This part of determining correspondences is time-consuming and requires critical thinking, but is well worth it.

Next, begin looking at the scientific nature of the object. This is most easily done with objects found in nature, such as plants, rocks, fungi, animals, insects, and other living and non-living things found naturally where you live. Where is the object normally found? What properties or characteristics does it have that are unique to it? What is its purpose within the ecosystem? Does it have any unique behaviors? Take mint for example. Almost all members of the mint family grow quickly and abundantly. They will take over your entire yard if you aren't careful. Their prolific nature associates them with abundance, prosperity, and fertility. Sometimes these scientific correspondences are easy to deduce, while other times you will need to do a little research. The chokecherry in my yard produces toxins to prevent herbivores from decimating this low-growing tree. This makes it perfect for use in protection spells and magic, even cursing if you are looking to poison someone's mind or relationship or get them to stop gossiping as eating the cherries can cause gasping and respiratory failure. Looking at the plant, you'd have no idea it was toxic, but a little bit of research will clue you in.

While the first three methods rely upon logic to determine an object's correspondences, your intuition relies upon your psyche and emotion. Our modern society often diminishes the reliability of one's intuition and downplays its effectiveness, but this is one of the best tools in a witch's arsenal. To use your intuition to determine correspondences, begin by meditating with the object by wrapping your consciousness around it. What is your gut telling you about the object? What thoughts, images, or feelings arise when thinking about the object before you? This is where personal correspondences often develop. For example, I had a really bad experience with basil pesto while sick, so when I think about basil, I get nauseous. Medicinally, basil is used to treat stomach spasms and help relieve vomiting, but it made me extremely ill. When meditating with basil, this memory always comes to mind, so I associate basil with vomiting, despite its logical correspondences. As such, you will find me using basil to get people to spill their guts metaphorically speaking. This isn't a common correspondence and one that I would not include in something like my Herbarium pages as this is personal, but that doesn't make it wrong or ineffective. Quite the contrary. Your personal relationship with an object and the correspondences you develop by using your intuition are incredibly powerful, at least for you. It would make no sense for my best friend to use this same correspondence as she has never had an ill experience with basil. In fact, we talked about this a couple of weeks ago when she ordered pesto as the base for her pizza.

Finally, you can communicate with the spirit of the object to determine its correspondences. Animism is the idea that all objects, both living and non-living, contain a spirit, a spirit we can communicate and develop a relationship with. This is easier said than done and you must be able to discern between your own intuition and mind chatter before attempting this sort of communication. Some witches, especially new witches, will struggle with this method of correspondence determination, and that's okay! This is a great opportunity to practice and grow your spiritual abilities. Just like using your intuition to determine correspondences, begin by grounding and meditating with the object in question. However, instead of reaching your mind into the object, leave yourself open. Try to keep your general mind chatter quiet and focused on the task at hand. Go in with the intention to listen, not speak. I find closing my eyes or looking at the floor helps focus my mind on a single point so that I may listen better. I do the same thing when intently listening to a person speak. Depending on the object, you may hear it speak clear as day, in complete sentences or you may receive nothing more than a flash of color or a feeling. The key here, however, is to go in with no expectations. You are not owed a conversation with the object, so it may not speak to you at all. However, you can enhance the likelihood that the object will speak to you by developing a relationship beforehand. Leave it offerings, talk to it, tend to it, etc. Basically do the same things you would do to make a new friend, but remember, they owe you nothing in return.

These five methods combined will leave you with a powerful sense of how to use the object in your own magical practice. Furthermore, it will strengthen your magical practice as a whole and solidify your relationship with the object, making it a more potent ingredient in your spells. If you are able to connect with the spirit of the object, it will be much more likely to aid you in return.

Finding Substitutions

Sometimes you want to do a spell, but you don't have all the ingredients. This is especially true of spells you may find in books or online. Let's be honest, some of us just can't buy a bunch of obscure ingredients we are unfamiliar with, don't have the money for, or can't find in our area. This is where substitutions come in. Now before I jump into these, I want to make it abundantly clear that the idea that you can use clear quartz and rosemary in place of any crystal and herb in a spell is fundamentally flawed. This idea completely flies in the face of correspondence magic. However, that doesn't mean you can't rely upon the general idea of it. For most spells, you can easily use clear quartz and rosemary as they correspond with most major intentions, but there are always exceptions to the rules.

General Substitutions:
  • White candle for any color candle
  • Clear quartz for any crystal
  • Rosemary for any herb
  • Table salt for any salt
  • Tap water for any water
  • Rose for any flower
  • Apple for any fruit
  • Olive oil for any carrier oil

I use many of these substitutions all the time, especially tap water and table salt. Those are what I have on hand so that is what I use. The reason these items work is because of the sheer number of correspondences they have, but again, that doesn't always mean that can be used in any spell. For example, you aren't going to want to use rosemary in a spell to bring money because rosemary doesn't correspond with money. You don't want to use a white candle to banish or a rose to aid in astral travel.

When looking for a substitution, consult the correspondences you have created. Is there another item you have on hand that will suit your needs? Don't have mugwort for astral travel? Try dandelion. Don't have a chalice? Use a cup. Get a little creative here, but keep the general correspondences of the objects in mind when making substitutions in your spells.

***

For this week's exercise, I encourage you to sit down with your favorite plant or crystal and begin developing your own correspondences using the methods outlined above. Write down some possible substitutions for this object as well. Once you've gotten the hang of it with an object you love, pick 3-5 objects you use often in your practice and develop their correspondences and substitutions. Finally, pick 1 object you are unfamiliar with and do it all over again. This may be something you own but haven't used or something you find outside your home. By working your way up to an unfamiliar object, you'll be well-prepared to continue writing your own correspondences, no matter the object! 

Interest in the rest of the series? 

Spellcrafting Series

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


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Monday, September 13, 2021

Book Review: Kitchen Witchery by Laurel Woodward

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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

As we move into Fall, I find myself more inclined to cook at home. Georgia heat makes it difficult to want to cook, let alone eat in the first place unless, of course, it's some cool, crisp watermelon while you lounge in the pool or a juicy tomato sandwich with a thick layer of mayo and pepper. When I was asked if I would like to review Kitchen Witchery: Unlocking the Magick in Everyday Ingredients by Laurel Woodward, I jumped on the opportunity to expand my kitchen witchery skills just in time for Fall!

Kitchen Witchery is outlined like a correspondence book with chapters on different food groups, including vegetables, fruits, spices, drinks, wheat, and even gluten-free options. Woodward's book flows easily from one chapter to the next, outlining the correspondences, brief history, and even some nutritional information about each food item. I loved what an easy reference this book is, making putting together the perfect recipe for your desired intention quick and simple. Furthermore, Woodward includes all of her references throughout the book, each one annotated beautifully at the bottom of the page where the source is used. I cannot express how much I love this. Having the source cited right where it is used makes it so easy for me to fact-check and cross-reference any new information I come across, without having to try and dig through the bibliography at the end of the book. I am excited that more and more authors and publishers are following this design. In the age of misinformation, citing your sources is invaluable to lending credibility!

Within each chapter, Woodward includes recipes and ways to use different food items in your magical practice. The recipes were delightful, and very few contained meat, so if you are vegetarian, you have lots of options. If you are vegan, like me, you will have to get a little creative, but we are used to that, now aren't we? As I mentioned above, there is an entire section dedicated to gluten-free grains and recipes. This, on top of the abundance of vegetarian and vegan options, makes the text extremely accessible to all people, no matter their dietary needs. Some of the recipes are outlined under the food's correspondences, while others are outlined in a designated section within the chapter. This can make some referencing difficult, but the index is comprehensive which will help resolve this issue. Furthermore, there are a number of spells and rituals throughout the book that incorporate food that are not edible. For example, there are recipes to make black salt, anointing oils, cascarilla powder, and even some bath recipes. I really enjoyed the mix of edible and nonedible spells throughout the book, as kitchen witchery is so much more than eating.

The beginning of the book covers some basics of witchcraft, including the moon phases, grounding, and meditation, while the last chapter includes a breakdown of the eight sabbats and recipes for each of the seasons. These sections were a great refresher and Woodward's section on the moon phases offered some new insight I can use in my own practice. However, Woodward does promote the myth that crime and hysteria increase during the Full Moon. There is zero scientific evidence to support this claim, so I really wish we would stop perpetuating it as a community.

Despite how much I loved the majority of the book, there is some serious food shaming throughout. It is most notable in the very first chapter, and I had to put the book down and go for a run to release some of my anger. Lately, I have noticed a growing number of witches discussing how the witch community hates poor people, and this is a prime example of witchcraft hating poor people. First, Woodward states that the best ingredients are those that are organic and touts that non-organic food simply isn't magical enough. This idea completely disregards that 1) organic food is outrageously expensive and 2) that food deserts exist all over the world. This means that organic food is simply not accessible to the majority of the world, nor is it really sustainable. The fact that she can afford to feed her family all organic is a privilege, one many people do not have. There is magically no difference between a conventionally grown apple and an organic apple, at least in my experience. Furthermore, Woodward knocks canned goods on the grounds that they contain BPA. Only about 10% of canned goods worldwide still contain BPA. We have moved away from its use due to it being found hazardous to our health. Canned foods are canned at the peak of freshness, meaning that they will contain more nutrients than those obtained out of season. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using canned goods; the food is just as magical as fresh. The idea that everything needs to be fresh is another sign of privilege: the privilege to have the time to make everything from scratch. As an extremely busy person with severe anxiety and depression, the least of my worries when feeding myself is whether or not I make it fresh, from scratch. The goal is to feed me. We need to have a serious conversation about low-energy, budget-friendly, kitchen witchcraft, using the resources and time that we have, instead of food shaming and hating on the poor, disabled, and mentally ill people. The last thing I would like to address is the idea that organically raised cows are happier than conventionally raised cows. Organic does not mean free-range, and even free-range simply means they are not kept in a cage. All organic means is that the cows are fed a diet that is organic. Woodward also claims organically-fed cows are not given antibiotics. This is untrue. If a cow, or any livestock for that matter, becomes ill with a bacterial infection, they will receive vet care and be given antibiotics. However, the laws in almost every industrialized country state that any animal given antibiotics cannot go to market until the antibiotics are out of its system. This means the milk from a cow on antibiotics does not go to market but is instead thrown out. This is true of all livestock. You see chicken in the store that says "No antibiotics!" This is a marketing tactic. None of the chicken in the store in the US can legally contain antibiotics, and the same goes for our milk. It's disheartening to see this misinformation continuing to be spread, especially in 2021. Most of the food shaming and privilege is easily avoidable by disregarding the first chapter and ignoring it in the proceeding chapters. However, the parts where Woodward forgets her audience isn't entirely heterosexual women are harder to ignore. I encourage you not to let Woodward's opinions get in the way of you creating some truly magical recipes in your kitchen, however.

Despite my dislikes, this is one of the most comprehensive kitchen witchery books on the market. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in adding some magic to their kitchen or those looking to expand their kitchen witchery beyond the basics. Kitchen Witchery: Unlocking the Magick in Everyday Ingredients by Laurel Woodward is an excellent correspondence book, one that I will return to time and time again as I add some own magic to my kitchen. Kitchen Witchery: Unlocking the Magick in Everyday Ingredients by Laurel Woodward is available now wherever books are sold. 



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Friday, September 10, 2021

Magical Properties of Aquamarine

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Spellcrafting Series: Basics of Spellcrafting

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Once you understand the type of spell you want to cast, you can start constructing your spell around your desire. Spells are essentially a recipe with a few basic components with the intention of manifesting a desired outcome. You fill in each component and viola! you have a spell! Now some spells will be more involved than others, while some will be quick and simple. This all depends upon what you wish to achieve with the spell. However, the basic components remain the same.

Intention or Desire

Behind every spell is an intention and without it, you are just screaming into the abyss hoping something happens. Setting your intention is the act of specifically and clearly communicating what you want to the Universe, spirits, or deities. As such, your intention should be clear, focused, and specific. If your intention is too vague or wishy-washy, the likelihood that your spell will turn out the way you want is slim. Defining your intent can be difficult, even time-consuming, but a clear, focused, and specific intent will get you a lot farther than a vague one with little direction. So how do you make sure your intent is 'good' enough? When writing your intention it should be:
  • Specific (no wants, wishes, hopes, or vague desires)
  • Precise yet Open (while it should be specific, you should be able to say what you want in a few words, but leave the ending open enough to receive something better)
  • Positive (use positive language over negative. Don't use words like not, won't, don't, or can't)
  • Time-constrained (set a time frame for your intention)
  • Personal (use I, me, and/or the person's full name)
  • Reasonable (some things just aren't attainable and that's okay!)
Let's say I want to purchase a new Mazda 3. Side note, I love my current Mazda 3 and can't wait to buy a brand new one in a couple years. Anyway, based on my first statement, the first intention that comes to mind is "I want a new Mazda 3." While on the surface this may sound okay, there are a couple of problems with it. First, it's not specific enough. By starting with "I want..." I am telling the Universe that I want something so I'll get back more wanting instead of my actual desire. Next, it's not very precise, but it is pretty open-ended...a little too open-ended. "New" can mean a whole lot of things. Saying I want a new Mazda 3 could very well manifest as a Mazda 3 new to me, not new in the sense that the car is straight off the dealer lot. Furthermore, what color Mazda 3 is it? Does it have a sunroof? Heated seats? Rear camera? Cloth or leather interior? Tan or black interiors? Radio? CD player? Navigation system? How much does it cost? Are you willing to spend $5 or $50,000? I could end up with a 'new' Mazda 3, but it does not have any of the features I want, is the wrong color, and is unaffordable. No offense, but I just can't do red and white vehicles. Third, there is no time constraint. This means the spell could manifest tomorrow or in 10 years. My current car will need to be replaced in less than 10 years, so that isn't going to work for me. However, the intention is positive as I didn't use any negative language, reasonable as I can afford a new car, and it's personal because I said I wanted the new car. So let's revise this intention a bit to make it better.

First, let's make my desire more specific. Instead of saying "I want" I will say "I own." Second, let's make it more precise yet open to better options. I'll give a specific year, color, and add-ons for the car I really want: "a new 2021, gray Mazda 3 Touring with a sunroof and rear-view camera or better in my price range of $15,000." Here I am precise in exactly what car I want and I opened myself up to the possibility of the Universe giving me something better than I initially requested. Next let's set a time restraint: "within the next year." Now the intention reads: "I own a new 2021, gray Mazda 3 Touring with a sunroof and rear-view camera or better in my price range of $15,000 within the next year." The new intention is specific, precise, positive, time-constrained, personal, and reasonable. You can learn more about writing specific intentions in my post on Primal Language.

Now that you have an understanding of how to construct a good intention, I encourage you to practice this by turning the following 'bad' intentions into 'good' intentions:
  1. I want to pay off all my bills and buy a mansion.
  2. I hope I get a new job.
  3. I wish he loved me.
  4. I don't have to go without.
Now setting an intention alone is not enough. You want to bring that intention into reality and that is often done as a spell of some sort.

Spell Composition and Ingredients

With your intention in mind, it's time to start composing the spell itself. You want to pick a few ingredients that will best suit the needs of your spell. As a general rule of thumb, I try to use no more than 5 ingredients. Those that I do pick correspond with the energy of the spell, enhancing the magic I generate in the process. This is also the time that you will start planning what time is best for casting the spell, if you will chant or write your intention, how you plan to raise energy, and what you plan to do with the spell remains. I will cover each of these steps in later posts, but for now understand that after setting the intention, it's time to start designing your spell.

Shifting Consciousness and/or the Preparation of Sacred Space

During this phase, you shift your consciousness away from the mundane to the magical, focusing on your intent to achieve your goal. During the time leading up to the casting of your spell, you should keep your thoughts about the spell positive. If you allow doubt to creep in, you will bring that energy into the spell itself which can and often does result in the spell backfiring or never manifesting. When you are ready to cast your spell, prepare your working area, again shifting from the mundane to the magical. Preparing sacred space alone results in a shift in consciousness, allowing the later steps of a spell to go more smoothly. 

To prepare sacred space, set aside an area where you will not be bothered. Depending on the spell this may be inside or outside. I know a lot of witches claim that sacred space should be separate from the mundane all the time, but this isn't feasible for most witches and sometimes can restrict your spellcasting if you are not able to work where you need to. Begin by cleansing the space with your preferred cleansing method. This could be through the burning of cleansing herbs or one of my 13 smoke-free ways to cleanse a space. However you do this is entirely up to you. Once you have cleansed the space, you can cast a circle, invite spirits, deities, or your ancestors to help, or simply meditate in the space prior to casting your spell.

During the process of casting the spell, it is important that your focus remains on the work at hand, not your mundane chores. After the spell, continue to keep your thoughts positive as you take the mundane actions required to achieve your goal. A lot of witches cast a spell and forget to put in the work afterward. 

Raising, Directing, and Releasing Energy

Once you have set up sacred space, it's time to start performing the spell. Spells have two distinct phases: gathering energy and releasing it. During the raising of energy, you perform the necessary acts to power your intent. This can be done through chanting, dancing, mixing ingredients, visualization, or through other energy-raising means which I will discuss in greater detail in a later power. Once the energy for the spell is raised, it's time to release it into the Universe. This can be done by burning your spell ingredients, releasing them into the wind, pointing your hands to the sky and pushing your energy out into the Universe, or any other way you release energy. Sometimes this can manifest as crying; whatever helps you release the energy you have raised.

Creating Channels and Manifesting

After you have cast your spell, it's time to do the mundane work. You can't throw your desire out into the Universe and sit back and hope it just happens. In order to get my new car, I need to secure a car loan from my bank, go to dealerships, and price shop. A car isn't just going to fall in my lap. By getting out there and taking the mundane steps to achieve my goal, I am opening up channels through which the Universe can manifest my intention. Unfortunately, this is one of the most overlooked aspects of spellcrafting. Without creating channels through which your intention can manifest, you set yourself up for failure. You can't get a new job if you don't put in applications. You can't move into a mansion if you don't bid on a house. You can't get out of debt if you keep spending money on your credit card. You won't find love sitting on your couch watching TV.  

***

These steps combined are everything you need to cast a successful spell. I've broken down some of these basic components into their own articles so I can spend time going into each in-depth while providing exercises for you to complete to enhance your spellcrafting and spellcasting ability. I encourage you to complete the intention exercises as this is the only time we will discuss creating a specific intention for spell work. Later I will have posts on correspondences and spell ingredients, how to word your spells, and how to raise and direct energy to ensure your spells are successful. Until then!

Interest in the rest of the series? 

Spellcrafting Series

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


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Monday, September 6, 2021

New Moon Worksheet

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The New Moon, which is not to be confused with the Dark Moon, is the very first sliver of the moon after the Dark Moon. It is deeply associated with new beginnings, seed planting, hope, and success. This is the best time to set new intentions for the coming month, change careers, start a new hobby, or plant literal seeds. This is a time to start over and begin again and is especially potent when used in conjunction with the other moon phases to manifest your desire. 

This New Moon worksheet contains much of the same sections as my past Full Moon worksheets, including a box for your intuition and an oracle or tarot spread. Unlike past Full Moon worksheets, however, this one includes a section for setting new intentions which align with the magical properties of the New Moon. The tarot spread for the New Moon features 5 cards to help you set your intention and work toward manifesting it.

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CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE COPY


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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Herbarium: Magical and Medicinal Uses of Valerian

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Gender: Feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Powers: Dreaming, Healing, Love, Luck, Protection
Magical Uses and History: Valerian derives its name from the Latin valere meaning "be well" or "be strong." This is likely a reference to the medicinal uses of valerian, which are, historically, very numerous. It is often referred to as "all-heal" and has been used to treat shell-shock during World War I, headaches, anxiety, cramps, epilepsy, ward against the plague, and as an aphrodisiac. During the twelfth century, German herbalist St Hildegard of Bingen suggested valerian be used as a sleep aid, much as it is used today. In the sixteenth century, John Gerard wrote "no broth of medicine be worth anything if it did not contain Valerian, again hinting at the belief that valerian was essentially a cure-all. Due to its numerous medicinal properties and historical uses, valerian can be used in healing spells and rituals. Hang valerian root in a sick room or place under the bed of someone who is ill to aid in their recovery.

The belief that valerian could heal as well as prevent illness and its pungent scent, led to the belief that it could also protect against evil spirits. The Ancient Greeks hung bundles of valerian in their windows and around their homes to prevent evil and other unwanted guests from entering, while the Celts believed valerian would protect against lightning strikes, much like the sacred oak. As such, you can use valerian in modern protection rituals and spells and hang it in your home for protection against evil or negative energies and spirits. Sprinkling a fine dust of valerian across your front door will prevent uninvited guests from entering. The smell, which is off-putting to some, may be enough to keep those pesky inlaws away.

Apart from its uses in healing and protection magic, valerian is also believed to promote love and amorous feelings. During the Victorian period, women would wear sprigs of valerian in hopes that the men they passed would "follow like children." This idea of "following like children" is immortalized in the folktale regarding the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Rats adore the smell of valerian root and many believe the Piper rubbed himself with valerian or filled his pockets with it in order to coax the rats out of town. Cats, like rats, also love the smell of valerian root and treat it just as they would catnip. Due to the idea that it can attract animals and lovers, valerian is a potent herb for love and luck spells or just drawing something to you in general. It can also be used in cat magic, to quell a quarreling couple, and bring general harmony to the home.

Finally, the sedative properties of valerian make it perfect for sleep and dream magic. Include valerian in sleep pouches or drink as a tea to relax the nerves prior to sleep.

Valerian can be used in a number of spells including:
    Protection Spells
    Love Spells
    Dream Magic
    Healing Spells

Medicinal Uses: Valerian root is one of the most commonly used nervine, a fact recognized by its inclusion as a sedative in many pharmacopeias. It can be used to reduce tension and overexcitability as well as relieve anxiety and hysteria. It naturally heals sleep, making it effective in treating insomnia and can be combined with passionflower to increase its potency. It is also antispasmodic, making it useful in treating cramping, both intestinal and those brought on by periods, especially when combined with cramp bark Finally, valerian is a mild pain reliever and can be used to treat headaches and migraines. 

Preparation and Dosage: Valerian is taken internally as an infusion or tincture. To make an infusion, combine 1-2 teaspoons of dried root with one cup of boiling water and steep for 10-15 minutes. Consume as needed. As a tincture, take 2-4 milliliters up to three times a day. People respond differently to valerian with some feeling its effects at a low dose while others feeling nothing. It is suggested you begin with a low dose and work your way up slowly. Furthermore, for some people, valerian can act as a stimulant.


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


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Monday, August 23, 2021

Book Review: Seasons of a Magical Life by H. Byron Ballard

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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

The school year here in Georgia is well underway and already incredibly stressful. Every day there are changing demands, new policies, and schedule changes as COVID numbers here in Georgia rise as the Delta variant travels quickly through the population. I am concerned we may shut down again, despite our best intentions, simply because our hospitals are filling faster than we can care for people. I'm tired...all. the. time. I'm anxious, and honestly, angry and frustrated. As you all know, I am very much a scientist. I have a degree in biology and paleontology with a focus on evolutionary biology and functional morphology. My point is, I am learned enough to understand the basic science behind this pandemic, especially the evolutionary aspect of it, and the fact that science changes as we learn more, but not knowledgeable enough to consider myself an expert in any capacity. Therefore, I rely on experts. I'm frustrated and angry that so many people are ignoring scientists and acting like we are purposely trying to deceive the public to make a quick buck or, worse, mind control them. I'm frustrated and angry that I did everything requested of me to slow the spread and keep my neighbors safe. I am still doing everything requested of me so when I see the numbers soar again, Mississippi open extensions of their children's hospitals in parking garages in the middle of an August heatwave, and Texas admit there are no ICU beds left in the state, that anger and frustration turns tears that eventually turn to numbness. I'm not sure what to do anymore or if there is anything more I can do. With all the being said, I derived incredible comfort recently from reading Seasons of a Magical Life: A Pagan Path of Living by H. Byron Ballard. (What a way to start a book review, I know.)

Ballard's book will leave you longing for a simpler time in the country, watching the garden grow until its able to provide your family with an abundance of ripe fruits and vegetables to be feasted upon, jammed, and canned, the leaves later slowly turning red and orange before the long night's rest, just for a couple months later to blossom again in the early Spring months. This book is a practical poetic masterpiece on how to live in harmony with the changing seasons, however that may manifest where you live. This book is by no means a traditional witch book, but instead a sweet serenade to the Earth and how we, as pagans and witches, can live more in tune with the Earth. We are its stewards, after all.

The first several chapters of the book are a series of 'essays' discussing various ideas about the Earth, our place in it, how we can live an abundant life using the Earth's natural cycles, and the basics of the Wheel of the Year as outlined in the book. The first part of the book reads like a lullaby, lulling you into a sense of security despite what is going on in the rest of the world. I am honestly jealous of Ballard's small farm outside of Asheville, North Carolina, but recognize I am blessed enough to have my own 'cottage farm;' I just need to do the work to turn it into the amazing farm she has. I have a lot of work to do! These chapters, as well as the entire book, are filled with personal stories, which I found incredibly comforting. I swear it felt like coming home reading this book and I couldn't wait to snuggle up on my antique couch to read more after a long day's work. Furthermore, Ballard offers a slew of practical advice. In one essay, she suggests changing your mindset from sleep being the end of the day to the beginning, something I found myself taking too quickly. I already changed my nightly routine to better suit my idea of starting the day with rest. What a wonderful way to begin a day, and if you think about it, technically the day begins at midnight, so it's not a far-fetched notion. She also discusses the basics of spells, suggesting that just like a scientist, you should test your spells and practices to find what really works for you, instead of trying to fit into some mold because you saw another witch do it that way once. She encourages the use of folklore and mythology as the basis of your craft as these stories ring with truth and practice advice, such as not eating or drinking anything from the Otherworld and not giving up your name to just anyone. This idea of using myths and folklore as a way to learn witchcraft is something I use within my own practice and highly encourage others to do the same.

The second part of the book covers each of the eight sabbats, as well as Ember Days and Rogation Days. Ballard repurposes Ember and Rogation days to fit the pagan calendar, and honestly, I absolutely loved their inclusion and can't wait to make it part of my own Wheel of the Year. Within each sabbat, Ballard includes a letter from her farm, skills to learn and hone, chores to complete, traditions and celebrations, foraging, activities, and an icon of the season. She takes an incredibly practical approach to the Wheel of the Year, turning the mundane into pure magic. The point is not to create elaborate celebrations and altars, but instead to live in tandem with the Earth as our ancestors once did. I love this approach and feel that we are losing skills and a mindset that will not only benefit ourselves but our planet as well. At Samhain, Ballard discusses preplanning your funeral and taking care of your last will and testament. As the ex-wife of a funeral director, I cannot stress how wonderful this advice is and I am thankful she included it in the book. So many people do not take care of their end-of-life care and needs, leaving their families to figure out their wishes while also grieving. Please don't do this to your family; take care of your funeral and will, even if you expect to live for many more years. Your family will appreciate it when the time comes. I loved each sabbat chapter, soaking in the basic skills and ideas Ballard beautifully outlines for her readers. This is not a spell book, nor a traditional book about the sabbats. There are no outwardly witchy rituals and spells to be done for each sabbat, instead, Ballard discusses a homesteading life rooted in practicality. She is also abundantly aware her situation is not common and offers some advice for living with the seasons no matter where you are, encouraging her readers to find magic anywhere and everywhere. Furthermore, there are no set days for any of these celebrations, leaving it up to the reader to decide when they wish to celebrate. I really liked this, and it makes the book more accessible to those living in the Southern Hemisphere or a place that does not have four seasons.

The only thing I didn't like about this book was in the chapter on Imbolc. Under Foraging, Ballard says, "There might be a little dandelion action. Eat them up!" For a book that is touting living with the Earth and being Her steward, this is not great advice. The first dandelions of the season are also the first food for many pollinators. Leave them for the insects and collect your dandelion later in the season when more flowers are blooming. Trust me, there will be plenty in the upcoming months.

I greatly enjoyed this book and the comfort it brought in times of stress, anxiety, and frustration. Again, this is not a typical witchy book, and some of you may be disappointed by the lack of spells, rituals, and folklore. However, if you are looking for a book to encourage you to go back to your roots, live within your means, be a good steward of the Earth, and live with the cycles and seasons, I highly encourage you to pick up Seasons of a Magical Life: A Pagan Path of Living by H. Byron Ballard. It will not disappoint! Seasons of a Magical Life: A Pagan Path of Living by H. Byron Ballard is available now.

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Monday, August 16, 2021

Spellcrafting Series: Types of Spells

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When it comes to spellcrafting, spells can fall into different categories. While you don't have to categorize your spell, knowing where it falls in relation to others can help you focus your intention and find the proper correspondences to help you achieve your goal. Below you will find a list of the most common types of spells. You will notice that I categorized spells based on their intention, not their ingredients as some authors may be inclined to do. I did this because the ingredients you use are simply to enhance the intention, not drive the spell.

Protection Spells

Without a doubt, protection spells are one of the most commonly sought after and recorded spells in the history of humankind. Folklore is full of protection spells, from placing dead cats in a wall to hanging a horseshoe over your door to hanging mugwort crosses above windows to placing oak branches around your home. The list of protection spells is truly endless and for a good reason. Historically, the world has been an extremely unforgiving place, with the chances of falling ill or injuring yourself remaining rather high prior to the invention of modern medicine. Even then, disease and accidents are still common. Protection spells were designed to prevent these accidents, injuries, and illnesses, as well as any other unexplainable negative occurrence. These unexplained occurrences were often attributed to the work of demons, witches, witchcraft, and other evil spirits. As such, protection spells were employed at every opportunity and highly sought after. These spells often take the form of warding and defensive spells such as those mentioned above. If you are looking at stopping something from entering your home, preventing bad luck and illness, or otherwise keeping evil and negativity at bay, you are likely performing a protection spell.

Cleansing and Healing Spells

Followed by protection spells, cleansing and healing spells are also extremely common. Cleansing and healing spells are done to remove unwanted energies, entities, ailments, and spells from a person, place, or object. If protection spells failed, cleansing was the next course of action for many, although today it is suggested you cleanse prior to setting up protections. Cleansing is often done using smoke or water as the basis of the spell, but you will also find spells that use salt, eggs, onions, crystals, candles, and a host of other ingredients. Healing spells, like cleansing spells, are designed to remove the unwanted from the person and like cleansing spells, this too is often done with smoke and water, especially water which is naturally healing. In both cases, something is being removed, so if you are looking to remove or banish something, then you are likely looking at a cleansing type of spell.

Abundance, Prosperity, and Wealth Spells

Abundance, prosperity, and wealth, along with love spells, fall under the broader heading of manifestation magic. I separated these out, however, because while you are manifesting something in all cases, the intention behind that manifestation is very different.

Abundance, which comes from the Latin abundantia, refers to a large amount of something, whether that something is tangible or intangible. Historically, abundance was deeply associated with agriculture and crops, which is why today you see abundance spells still linked to these ideas. However, abundance does not always mean a lot of things; it can also refer to the lack or absence of something. You can have an abundance of worries or fears, as much as you can have an abundance of happiness. When working abundance spells, it's extremely important that your intent is clear and focused, or else it's likely the spell will backfire. Furthermore, abundance spells take work. You cannot perform the spell and expect food to show up on your table without working the fields in the first place. If you are looking at manifesting more of something in your life, then an abundance spell is likely what you will need.

Prosperity, however, originates from the Latin prospreitas and refers to having good luck and success. Notice the difference here between abundance and prosperity. Prosperity is not about having a lot of things but instead doing well overall. Prosperity spells will not manifest as a single achievement, but a series of events in your life. They are designed to bring good luck and success, which can later result in abundance depending on the situation, but that isn't the ultimate goal. Furthermore, prosperity is a give-and-take relationship; you must give in order to receive. You water your garden and in return, you are gifted with the fruits of your labors. When performing prosperity spells, expect to give something in return, a sacrifice if you will. If you are looking to increase your chances of success or bring general good luck, then the spell you need is a prosperity spell.

Finally, wealth spells are specifically designed to bring assets, such as money, power, and other resources, to you. Yes, this is a type of abundance spell, but the intention is specifically for wealth. With wealth spells comes the assurance that you will never be without and have everything you need right when you need it. These spells most often come in the form of money spells but also include spells to find a new job, attract business, or get a promotion also fall in this category. 

Love Spells

Love spells are also extremely common and always have been. In fact, they are one of the most commonly searched for spells in modern times, even by people that do not practice witchcraft or believe in it! There is a lot of controversy around love spells, with some arguing no love spell is a good love spell, while others find them perfectly acceptable. Like abundance, prosperity, and wealth spells, love spells are done to bring something to you, more specifically love. This can be in the form of finding a new lover, keeping a lover, encouraging marriage or a happy marriage, avoiding divorce, preventing cheating, promoting self-love, or even divining a future lover. Binding rituals can also fall under love spells if the intention behind the spell is to keep a lover attached to you and prevent them from leaving or cheating. So if it comes down to matters of the heart, it's likely a love spell.

Curses, Hexes, and Jinxes

I talked extensively about the differences between curses, hexes, and jinxes in my last post Ethics in Spellcrafting: To Curse or Not to Curse, so I am not going to go too in-depth here. I strongly encourage you to read through that post to learn more. 

However, at a most basic level, jinxes cause a minor inconvenience, hexes are longer-lasting ill-will to teach a lesson, and curses are long-lasting ill-will and bad luck to seek revenge and bring justice. Depending on the intention, binding spells can fall within this category, specifically as a hex. Often times binding spells are done to prevent someone from continuing to do something, especially if that something is potentially harmful. If you couple this with the intention that they learn their lesson then the binding spell becomes a hex as much as a protection spell. Curses and other baneful spells were one of the most commonly used spells historically, apart from protection spells which were used to counter baneful magic. When we look at historical records and folklore, a large number of curses appear, from curse tablets to charms. Honestly, the history of cursing is fascinating and deserves more attention than it currently receives. Remember, curses were often used by the oppressed to seek justice and freedom from their oppressors. This was their only way of effectively fighting back and that alone warrants respect.

Whether or not you decide to use curses, hexes, and jinxes is entirely up to you. Again, I discuss the ethics of this in my last post, Ethics in Spellcrafting: To Curse or Not to Curse, which will help you set your own code of ethics through journaling.

While I know there are spells that may not fall neatly into these categories, almost all of them do. When you understand where your intention falls, it makes planning your spell a heck of a lot easier. It also sometimes helps focus that intention further by giving you a new perspective. In the next post, we will cover the basics of spellcrafting, including a general spell format to get you prepared to start writing your own. Until then!

Interest in the rest of the series? 

Spellcrafting Series

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


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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Magical Properties of Selenite

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Monday, August 9, 2021

Book Review: Manifestation Magic by Elhoim Leafar

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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Hello, witches, and happy New Moon. This book review really couldn't come at a better time considering the New, Waxing, and Full Moons are the perfect time for manifestation magic! I just finished Manifestation Magic: 21 Rituals, Spells, and Amulets for Abundance, Prosperity, and Wealth by Elhoim Leafar and boy do I have a lot to say. Again, I am excited to see that in general, we are experiencing a shift in the occult book industry toward more advanced books. Although there are definitely some beginner aspects to the book, its specific focus on manifestation magic sets it apart from beginner books.

Right from the beginning, Leafar sucked me in when he compared learning occult practices to science. He says that as science changes so should our opinions (yaaasssss!!!) and that the same idea should be applied to our practice as witches. As we learn new things, are presented with new ideas, and garner a better understanding, our practice should change. Just because something has always been done one way, doesn't necessarily mean it's the best, most efficient, or ethical way to do it. Practices become obsolete and clinging to them only hinders your own progress as a witch. 

After this brief introduction, Leafar jumps right into the basics of magic, including tools, timing, and basic correspondences with special regard to those related to abundance, prosperity, and wealth. However, he encourages readers to practice visualization techniques before jumping into spell casting, a practice I fully support. Leafar includes multiple visualization exercises in the first part of the book to help readers developed this skill and encourages readers to make these exercises part of their routine. This is followed by basic correspondences for the energies of the Sun, Moon phases, and planets. This section makes a great quick reference and honestly included some new information, even for me. I enjoy reading about how other witches use the Sun, Moon, and planets in their work, and Leafar goes so far as to offer personal experiences with these energies and when to perform spells to overlap two different energies to enhance the spell and counter some of the negative aspects of on energy with another.

Part one finishes with a basic overview of deities, crystals, and candles that correspond to manifestation magic. Leafar gives specifics on how to use each in your practice and includes some examples from his own life. There were some issues I had with the deities section though that need to be addressed. First, Leafar includes deities from closed traditions, specifically in the form of Hindu and Yoruba deities/spirits, with no mention of cultural appropriation. While a critical reader would be able to recognize that some of the deities are not open to them, newer witches may not. With that being said, I appreciated his inclusion of deities and spirits from multiple cultures because it makes the book accessible to a larger audience. The second issue I had was in reference to the deity Pluto. Leafar says that Pluto is the Greek god of riches, but this is not correct. Pluto is not Greek, but Roman, and is the equivalent to the Greek god Hades aka the God of the Underworld. I believe Leafar meant Plutus, which is the Greek god of riches, but this mistake is made twice which concerned me a little bit. I am not super familiar with some of the other deities and spirits mentioned, so I cannot vouch for their accuracy. This is a problem I often encounter with correspondence lists like this. There are always one or two mistakes embedded in truth and unless you are already familiar with them, you wouldn't know any better. This is why I encourage everyone to question what they are reading and double and triple-check information against other sources. There is soooooo much misinformation out there and it can be difficult to discern the truth from the lies. Apart from these issues, Leafar makes mention of something I have never heard of: The Prosperous. He uses this term to refer to a group of spirits that help your spells along when you do not directly call upon a deity. I have never heard this term used to refer to these specific spirits, but I like it! Included in this section detailing how The Prosperous work, Leafar offers some spells to call upon them and ask for their aid. As someone who does not include deities within their practice, calling upon general spirits and energies of the Universe to aid in spellwork is doable.

Part two discusses the differences between abundance, prosperity, and wealth which are often confused for each other. I adored this section because it touches on a topic rarely covered in other books. Abundance, prosperity, and wealth are NOT the same thing, and therefore spells done for each of these will yield different results. Laefar also discusses the difference between magical and non-magical exercises. Because I loved this paragraph so much, I am just going to directly quote it: 

"The difference between magical methods and non-magical exercises that focus on attracting abundance is that those exercises, such as visualization and positive thinking, focus on convincing you that you are abundant and just by knowing it, you attract it. But if it doesn't work for you, they assume it's because you're not practicing it as well as others. Conversely, magical methods work like ropes that allow you to go hunting, understanding that what you are looking for is near you but hidden in front of your eyes, like a rabbit hidden in a bush in your garden...the rabbit will not leave the bush no matter how much you repeat to yourself every morning in the mirror 'there is a rabbit in my house.'"

Yes, yes, yes! Can we stop with the positive thinking cureall mentality and stop shaming people that this doesn't work for? It's extremely toxic and downright false. I can visualize winning the lottery over and over again, but if I don't ever buy a ticket, I'm not going to win. Leafar also mentions that just because you are doing the physical work, doesn't mean that your thoughts aren't powerful. How you view yourself and what you wish to manifest does play a part in how your magic works, so are careful with what you say and think, especially around a spell or ritual. You could be inadvertently sabotaging yourself by saying things like "I hope this works...", "I have a lot of bills to pay...", and other 'negative' statements because these thoughts and words hold power. The spirits and Universe aiding in the fruition of your spells hear this and will give you exactly what you asked for. Make sure you are clear in your thoughts and intention around a spell, but recognize that simply willing something into existence won't necessarily work either. There was one part of this section that rubbed me the wrong way. Leafar discusses surrendering and says that we can only mature when we accept we cannot control everything. There are hints of ableism in this statement as it completely dismisses people with anxiety and depression and basically says these people cannot ascend because of their mental illness. Folks, that isn't true. Is it easier to reach that maturity when you aren't anxious and depressed? Yes. Is it impossible? No. Those of us with mental illness are accustomed to life being harder. We somehow manage to overcome everything else, we can overcome this as well!

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The book ends with 21 spells and rituals Leafar himself uses with success. This section begins with a personal story discussing how just because something is written in a book, doesn't mean that it will work for you. His story involves the use of green candles to attract money. That works for Americans because our money is green, but in other cultures, green is not associated with money because their money is a different color. When his family switched to uses pink and purple candles to attract money, their spells were much more successful. I adored this story and appreciate the message. This is an important lesson for new and old witches alike that spells should be changed to fit your culture and needs. There is a beautiful ritual to heal your relationship with money and wealth before getting started that I highly recommend you pay attention to if you pick up this book. Many of us have a lot of negative feelings toward money, and as a result, this prevents us from manifesting to the best of our ability. It's important to note that money is not the end all be all, and this ritual helps you understand that as well, but also recognizes that money is important and allows us to fill our basic needs. He does make reference to black magic in this section, but more so in a way to debunk it than as an actual thing. The spells and rituals in this section are great, but I had issues with two things. First, there is a spell for an abundance oil to spray around your home. Leafar suggests spraying straight oil, not diluted, and this has me concerned about furniture, flooring, walls, etc. Don't spray straight oil around your home or office. You will destroy your belongings. The second was putting undiluted essential oils straight on your hands or body. This can be dangerous so use your best judgment. Other than that, I really enjoyed this section and the book as a whole.

Whew! That was a long review for such a short book, but I have to say, I really enjoyed it and because I enjoyed it, I took much more extensive notes about it than some of the other books recently. Manifestation Magic: 21 Rituals, Spells, and Amulets for Abundance, Prosperity, and Wealth by Elhoim Leafar is available now and one of the few 'spell' books I highly recommend adding to your collection because we can all use a little more abundance, prosperity, and wealth in our lives!



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