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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Review: The Radiant Tarot by Alexandra Eldridge and Tony Barnstone

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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.

Weiser Books just released a series of tarot decks, of which I have the pleasure of reviewing! There are three decks total, so expect to see 3 reviews over the next two weeks. The first is The Radiant Tarot: Pathway to Creativity by Alexandra Eldridge and Tony Barnstone. This deck contains 78 beautifully illustrated cards following the Rider Waite format and comes with a detailed guidebook on how to use the cards to spark creativity, as well as their general meanings. While this deck uses the traditional suits, the artists focused on incorporating natural elements and archetypal images to express the meaning of each card. I love the use of deer in association with pentacles. Pentacles are a very earthy suit and deer scream Earth to me. Plus, I have a deep connection with both deer and the pentacle suit, so that may be why I enjoyed it so much.

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The Radiant Tarot, tarot, divination, rider waite, review, witchcraft, wicca, wiccan, pagan, neopagan, occult, hedge witch, hedgewitch,

The imagery on these cards is absolutely stunning and, when paired with the guidebook, will certainly get the creative juices flowing. The fact that this desk is specifically designed for creativity makes it unique, as there really isn't anything similar to it on the market. For each card, there is a description, meaning, musing, creative practice, and astrological note. The musings are specifically designed to get you thinking creatively about each card, while the creative practice has you creating something, from idea boxes and gratitude journals to visualizations to writing in your creativity journal. You can work through each card in order, draw randomly each day, or create spreads to conquer tasks with a flare of creativity. I love the idea of each card being associated with a creative task. This is a great way to connect to the cards on a deeper level, especially for those that are already creative and lack a connection to other tarot decks.

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The Radiant Tarot, tarot, divination, rider waite, review, witchcraft, wicca, wiccan, pagan, neopagan, occult, hedge witch, hedgewitch,

The Radiant Tarot, tarot, divination, rider waite, review, witchcraft, wicca, wiccan, pagan, neopagan, occult, hedge witch, hedgewitch,


The cards are sturdy and well made, which is fantastic because some of the decks recently have been very thin. This means you can use these cards over and over again without fear of them wearing out too quickly. This is a definite perk for those naturally creative people that tend to be rough on items used in their creative endeavors.

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If you are in the market for a deck to spark your creativity that you can really build a relationship with, this is the perfect deck for you. The Radiant Tarot: Pathway to Creativity by Alexandra Eldridge and Tony Barnstone is available now.



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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Magical Properties of Malachite

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Book Review: Hekate, Goddess of Witches by Courtney Weber

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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.

It's spooky season and that means all things witch! And what better way to start off spooky season than a book on Hekate, the goddess of witches? Hekate, Goddess of Witches by Courtney Weber is an in-depth look into the mythos and magic behind this famous goddess and how to cultivate a meaningful relationship with her. While I myself do not "believe" in deities, at least in the traditional sense, I knew this would be a book that would appeal to many of my readers, and I am certainly glad I decided to read it. By the end of the book, I was left desiring to reach out to Hekate and start building a relationship with her!

Each chapter focuses on a specific aspect of Hekate, including Torchbearer, Goddess of the Crossroads, Keeper of Keys, Mother, and Spirit Intermediary, pulling in historical and modern-day rituals to help the reader better connect with each aspect. This book is full of historical information, all with citations to back it up. The sources are cited within the text, but a comprehensive bibliography is not found until the end of the book. Because the book is so well-referenced and uses valid, accurate sources, it is easy to spot what is the author's thoughts, opinions, and experiences and what isn't. If you are practicing your critical reading skills, this is a great book to start with as the sourced information versus the author's experiences and opinions are clearly distinguishable. This made the book such an easy read and allowed me to let some of my guard down while reading.

Each chapter ends with some spells and rituals, the variety of which leaves something for everyone to use. For example, there are three different ritual options to dedicate yourself to Hekate based on your needs. This makes the text extremely accessible, which is a breath of fresh air in capitalist society. I am a huge supporter of offering multiple spell and ritual options so that everyone can be included. The book concludes with a short grimoire which includes several spells and rituals involving Hekate for various needs. I normally don't intently read through every single spell in a book, but I did this time. They are beautifully written, well-researched, and accessible.

However, what I loved most about this book was how inclusive the author is in her writing. First, Weber mentions how the use of dark and light magic is problematic, and that even baneful magic has its place. The book is very curse positive, which I also fully support. She discusses how curses are growing in popularity because they have long been used by the marginalized and oppressed to defend against injustice and defeat their oppressors. I am 100% on board with this! Furthermore, she clearly states using the terms black and white magic and racist. This is one of very few witchcraft books I have read that have pointed this out. I gave a "Hell yeah!" when I read this part of book because it is so rare. Weber also makes sure to address how Hekate, despite being a mother goddess, is not just for those born with a womb. She makes mention of non-binary, transwomen, and cis men being able to connect and work with Hekate. This inclusivity is something we need more of in the witchcraft community.

Finally, I loved Weber's raw honestly. The book, while full of history, is also the story of Weber's journey with Hekate. She tells multiple stories about how the two of them have worked together, her successes and failures, and how there have been times when she too has questioned her practice. The honesty found in this book is authentic and builds trust with the reader. I love folklore and history, but I love personal stories so much more. Weber provides this authentic storytelling ripe with folklore I crave so much in a book. In her honesty, she makes profound revelations that spoke to my soul. For example, Weber discussed an event that occurred during a ritual she invited an ex-boyfriend to. She felt he was judging her coven's ritual and was ready to jump down his throat by the end, only to find that he was having a profound experience himself, just not in the way she thought he would. She goes on to say, "That night taught me that when I assume someone else is being critical of me, I should stop and ensure it isn't me tearing my own self down which is often the true face of the judgment we assume we're receiving." I am someone who needed to hear this. It brought tears to my eyes reading this portion of her journey with Hekate because it made me realize some of my own faults and face them head-on.

Overall, I loved this book. I have absolutely nothing negative to say other than I felt it was too short! If you are looking to develop a relationship with Hekate or continue growing it, Hekate, Goddess of Witches by Courtney Weber is the book for you. 



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Monday, October 4, 2021

Spellcrafting Series: Perfect Spell Timing

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When it comes to performing spells, spell timing can, and often does, play a significant role. Consider timing just another ingredient in the spell designed to lend its magical energy to boost the spell. With that being said, if a spell is urgent, throw timing out the window and perform the spell when you need it. Performing a spell at the "wrong" time isn't going to destroy the spell or prevent it from working. If I am honest, I pay little attention to when I actually cast spells because I cast them when I need them. If I have a job interview coming up, I'm not going to wait until the next full moon or a Thursday if my interview is before those days. However, performing your spell in correspondence to the 'right' time can significantly improve the effectiveness of your spell and can often give it the nudge it needs to be truly successful.

Moon Phases

When it comes to timing, there are several different factors to look at. The most popular timing is in regards to the moon phases. Each phase of the moon corresponds to different needs. Below you will find a shortlist of the correspondences for each moon phase:

The New Moon, which is the first sliver of the moon after the Dark Moon, is the time to start new projects and to take a fresh look at any and all situations. Consider this a time of new beginnings. As the moon is just starting to reveal itself, the magic of the New Moon is gentle, yet consistent. Seeds you plant now will grow as the moon waxes to full. 
Magical Workings- cleansing and purifying, new projects, job hunting, goal setting, seed planting

The Full Moon occurs when the entire face of the moon is illuminated by the sun.  Most pagans consider the full moon cycle to include both the day before and the day after the actual Full Moon, giving you a couple days to work with the energy of this moon phase. During this time, energy swells and reaches its zenith. This is an extremely powerful time to perform magic, but can also bring upheaval by shining a light on our dark secrets, hidden desires, and subdued emotions. This is a good time to focus on personal growth and spiritual development, divination, manifestation magic, finalizing projects, and fulfilling wishes
Magical Workings- healing, divination, love, knowledge, money, dreams, wishes, growth

The Waxing Moon represents growth. This is the period during which the moon grows from dark to light over roughly two weeks. As this occurs, the strength of the moon grows. This is the time to work “positive” magic—that is magic that draws things to you or increases things in your life, as well as a time to tend to the seeds you planted during the New Moon. What do you need to do to continue watering the seeds to ensure your spell is on the right track?
Magical Workings- prosperity, health, success, courage, luck, protection, wealth, abundance, communication, fertility, blessing

The Waning Moon heralds in closure and the elimination of ideas, projects, and desires that are no longer needed in our lives. Lasting roughly two weeks after the Full Moon, this is the time the moon goes from full to dark. Use this time for “baneful” magic—that is anything that banishes or rids you of things you no longer want/need in your life. This is also the time to cast curses and hexes, unblock energy, and release that which no longer serves you.
Magical Workings- banishing, ridding yourself of illness, magic related to reducing things, curses, hexes, binding, chord cutting, removal spells, cleansing

The Dark Moon occurs when the moon is completely dark in the sky. Like the Full Moon, this occurs over a three-day period, giving you a time of rest. Some witches believe you shouldn't perform magic when the moon is dark, but I disagree. During the Dark Moon, the magic of the moon is greatly subdued, but still present. This is a liminal time, making it perfect for ancestral and spirit work, divination and mediumship, hiding secrets, finding what has been lost, and performing shadow work. It's also the perfect time for cursing and curse breaking, hexing and hex breaking, banishing, and binding.
Magical Workings- ancestral work, spirit communication, divination, hiding, secret-keeping, shadow work, banishing, curses, hexes, binding, removal spells

Because the Waxing and Waning Moons last the longest, it is likely that your spell will be cast during one of these periods. As I mentioned before, sometimes we are in a pinch and need to perform a spell immediately. You may not be able to wait until the Full Moon, but you can certainly tune into the energies of the Waxing or Waning to boost your spell. Let's use getting a new job as an example. During the Waxing moon, you could perform a spell to draw the job, money, and general prosperity toward you. During the Waning moon, the same goal can be reached by banishing poverty, unblocking roadblocks hindering you from getting a new job, and purging your fear and nervousness before going to the interview. During the Waxing Moon, you can draw love to yourself, while banishing loneliness during the Waning Moon. With a little thought, the phases of the moon can easily be incorporated into your spell to aid in your magical endeavors. 

Days of the Week

If working with the Moon phases isn't your thing, you can't figure out how to rework your spell to match the current phase, or you want to add more energy to your spell, you can use the days of the week. Each day has its own correspondences and lends slightly different energy to a spell.

Sunday gets its name from our closet star, the Sun. It's the best day of the week to work magic involving fathers and other authority figures such as your boss, work on questions regarding leadership, money, prosperity, and power. It's also a great time to perform spells regarding courage, advancing your career, and manifesting your dreams.

Monday is dedicated to the moon, from which it gets its name. Its energies are ripe with fertility at the beginning of the week and can be used to increase psychic powers and prophetic dreaming. It is also a good time to work magic focusing on mothers, nurturing, fertility, woman issues, and growth.

Tuesday comes from the Germanic God Tiu. Like the Roman god Mars, Tiu is associated with war. Tuesday is full of masculine energy, but focuses on the more raw nature of the masculine aspect; think courage, success, war, and lust. This is a good time to deal with issues of violence, competition, conflict, endurance, and survival. Cast protection spells, bind an enemy, stimulate energy, and fix ongoing problems.

Wednesday gets its name from Woden's Day. However, Wednesday also belongs to the messenger Mercury or Hermes. This is a great day to work on communication, thought, wisdom, self-expression, and the arts, as well as divination especially runes.

Thursday takes its name from the Norse god Thor, and is also associated with Jupiter and Zeus. This is a great day to work magic regarding growth, expansion, prosperity, business, abundance, and success. This is a great day to work money spells and new job spells.

Friday comes from the Old English name frigedaeg, which comes from the Norse goddess Frigga. Frigga, like Venus and Aphrodite, is associated with love, making this a great day to focus on romance, passion, fertility, friendship, beauty, and trust.

Saturday, which derives its name from the god Saturn, is a great day to use divination and psychic abilities. Furthermore, its energies will aid in magic concerning the elderly, end-of-life issues, death, and binding spells.

Times of the Day

Apart from using each day magically, the different times during the day also lend different energies to a spell.

Morning Magic: Sunrise
The Sun is up and so are you! You may notice first thing in the morning, even if you are a late sleeper, you awake "fresher." Well, so is your energy and that makes it the perfect time to work magic to start something new, especially regarding school and business. This is also a great time to dispel or banish negativity that is lurking around you and yours, including addictions, bad behaviors, bad habits, and bad feelings. If you work magic outside, you may find working during sunrise best. It is cool, the animals are just waking up, and you can use both the energy of the sun and the moon.
Magical Workings- new beginnings, success, banishing, habit breaking, awakening, fertility

Midday Magic: Sunshine
During the middle of the day, the Sun reaches its peak and is therefore is strongest. This is a good time to call upon its strength and work on magic to overcome weaknesses, gain inspiration and insight, or ask for guidance. Feeling tired? Ask the sun to lend you strength.
Magical Workings- inspiration, insight, strength, courage, manifestation, cleansing, abundance, wealth, prosperity, healing

Evening Magic: Crepuscular Light
As the light fades and the evening draws near, we often feel tired and cranky after a long day. I find meditating during this time is best. Focus on breaking up bad routines, banishing bad habits, relaxing, and boosting your willpower.
Magical Workings- banishing, meditation, rest, protection, healing, letting go

Nighttime Magic: Resonating in Tune
Most people perform magic after the Sun has set as they are better able to feel the energy of the Moon. This is a great time for divination, working with psychic energies, and issues involving love, lust, and beauty. It is also a great time to reflect upon the day if you haven't done that already. Night offers a time to gain clarity of the day's events.
Magical Workings- ancestral work, spirit communication, divination, hiding, secret-keeping, shadow work, banishing, curses, hexes, binding, removal spells, prophetic dreaming, love, lust, beauty, reflection, divination

Astrological Signs

Finally, you can use astrological signs to lend energy to your spells. I find this to be the most complicated in regards to spell timing and the one I pay attention to the least. 

Aries (March 21-April 19) is ruled by Mars and Fire, making it the perfect time for courage, new projects, business ventures, personal growth, self-improvement, protection, and any other matters that need a little extra push. Being associated with Mars, this is also a great time to work spells related to war and the military.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) is ruled by Venus and Earth. This is the time to cast spells regarding the arts, stability, security, peace, prosperity, self-improvement, protection, and love spells focused on long-term relationships, marriage, and partnership.

Gemini (May 21-June 20), is ruled by Mercury and Air. Cast spells related to divination, prophecy, wishes, luck, communication, success, and wisdom, especially related to school and learning.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) is ruled by the Moon and Water. Cancer is a gentle, yet emotional time, best used to promote familial love and peace, calm emotional turmoil, heal past traumas and pain caused by family members, bless your home, protect your home, and practice kitchen and garden witchery.

Leo (July 23-August 22) is ruled by the Sun and Fire. This is certainly a firey and explosive time, best used for spells related to lust, passion, sex, success in sports, removing barriers, curbing obsession, and increasing passion for the arts.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) is ruled by Mercury and Earth. This is a great time to purify your home, cleanse and consecrate tools, dedicate a new altar, purchase new items for the home, perform healing spells, get organized, and take care of other home-related matters.

Libra (September 23-October 22) is ruled by Venus and Air. This is the perfect time for spells related to justice, legal matters, marriage, divorces, and to ensure people get what is coming to them. This is also a time to work on strengthening relationships, beauty and glamour spells, and growing friendships. 

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) is ruled by Mars, Pluto, and Water. This is the time to banish, exorcise, perform protection and self-defense magic, increase courage, connect with the dead, and even promote lust, sex, and fertility.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) is ruled by Jupiter and Fire. Focus on wisdom, knowledge, success in school or your studies, reading, connecting to spirits and deities, divination, and religious activities.

Capricorn (December 22-January 20) is ruled by Saturn and Earth. This time is deeply associated with masculine energy, male fertility, and fatherhood. Magic related to healing, honoring, or promoting these relationships is best performed during this time. This is also a time for banishment, moving up the corporate ladder, success, and other business-related endeavors. 

Aquarius (January 21-February 18) is ruled by Saturn and Air. This is a time to focus on others. Instead of performing magic for yourself, focus on big picture issues, community, family, friends, and organizations you support. This is also a great time to strengthen friendships, find new friends, make new connections, conduct dreamwork, reveal secrets, and uncover that which as been hidden.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) is ruled by Jupiter, Neptune, and Water. This is the best time for psychic work, divination, dreamwork, personal development, and spiritual development. Focus on growing your own path during this time.

Void of Course
Void of Course occurs when the moon leaves one sign and ends when it enters another. It's basically a time when the moon isn't technically in one of the zodiac signs, acting as a magical void. Best practice dictates that magic should not be performed during this time. The reasoning is still up for debate, but if I am honest, I haven't noticed a difference between days that are void of course and days that are not. I'll leave the decision up to you.

***

There are of course other times to perform spells, such as during a planetary retrograde, during a sabbat, or during a monthly Full Moon. Each of these has slightly different magical correspondences, but I felt adding these to this post would be daunting. Instead, I wanted to provide you with the basics so you can understand how timing a spell can impact the success or failure of said spell. Your task this week is to map out these dates for the next week and see how you could potentially use them to enhance the energy of your spells. If possible, try doing this for an entire month. Pick up a journal and track your mood, health, dreams, and other thoughts and feelings during each of these events to see if you can find a pattern as to how they impact you and your spell work.

Interest in the rest of the series? 

Spellcrafting Series

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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