How old is my soul?

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I recently celebrated my 31st birthday (May 10th), and it got me thinking about past lives, and wondering:

How old is my soul?

The idea that I have lived in multiple bodies, over who knows how many years can be a bit mind boggling. I’ve had past-life readings done a few times, and they actually matched up to visions I’ve had of memories when I’ve gone into guided meditations to explore my soul’s past. Based on my experiences, past life readings by two totally separate readers, and a number of tarot card spreads, I know this much:

  • I was a witch in at least one past life, and during such time I was very powerful, well-known, and healed many people.
  • I died young in a few of my past lives
  • Romance has been an issue for my soul for at least 3 lifetimes
  • Having children has been a struggle for my soul in at least 2 lifetimes
  • I committed suicide in at least one past life.
Continue reading “How old is my soul?”
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{Book Review} The Door to Witchcraft: A New Witches Guide to History, Traditions, & Modern Day Spells, by Tonya A. Brown

The Door to Witchcraft opens the door to reviews for Magical Musings!

Book reviews are really fun to write so I don’t know why it took me so long to start doing it on my blog/ website. I’ve written them for work a few times and had a blast with it! I decided The Door to Witchcraft was the perfect book to start with! A part of my mission is to help new witches figure out what they want to do and how to do it, so recommending resources is a major part of that. Instead of just making a list off to the side of the website, where hardly anyone will notice it, I should write reviews for the books I feel are most helpful.

Walking through the Door

I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book when I ordered it on Kindle. I’ve actively avoided ‘witchcraft 101’ books for awhile, simply because they all say the same damn thing, in the same boring ways. After being blown away by Weave the Liminal, (which will be the next review!), I thought: “Well, I know Tonya, and know she’s a great writer with a unique and creative voice, so I’m sure her book will be an interesting read, even if it reiterates everything all witchy 101 books do.”

My thoughts

Interesting read doesn’t even come close. Tonya’s enthusiastic, creative, knowledgable voice was but one part of this book, turning plain words into a song of wit and wisdom. She has the book divided into two major parts: Part I: Witchcraft & Practical Magic {includes history, values, definitions, ethics, and ‘the basics’.
Part II: Spells {exactly how it sounds – an assortment of spells for categories from love to business}.

Top 6 Best Quotes

To understand how to create change, you must understand the sequence of events it entails. The cycle is as follows: Knowing – Witchcraft – Magic.

Witchcraft is about taking the raw, beautiful, and powerful forces of our world and using them to create change.

Whether you are a badass woman who oozes solar energy or a gorgeous man who drips lunar, or a nonbinary person with an energy all your own, you are a powerful, strong witch.

The truth is that trying to classify something as purely good or purely bad lacks empathy and complex thought. In witchcraft there are no absolutes—nothing is inherently good or bad.

Intuition. Follow your gut and your moral compass about what is right and what is not. Just because you’ve made mistakes doesn’t mean you’re “evil,” and just because you’ve done something for someone else doesn’t mean you’re “good.” Try to throw those labels out. It all comes down to trusting yourself and thinking through actions and consequences.

Let the universe move you, surprise you, challenge you, and support you—as a witch, your connection to it is mystical and beautiful.

Make sure to get your copy now!

Magick Gardens

Warning: Gardening is addictive and will improve your health, spirit and mental well-being.

Rachel Patterson, Kitchen Witchcraft: Garden Magic, pg. 3

This GIF pretty much sums up how I feel about gardening. It’s funny, two years ago I couldn’t keep a Hen and Chicks succulent alive, but last year I managed to grow a pretty little garden! This year I’m taking on more challenging plants, and even plan to transplant a rose bush! I know roses are fairly hardy plants, and as long as I time it right the bush should take root well, but I’m still proud of myself. Confidence is key to success in all endeavors! (That, and a little help from Good Neighbors.)

My bright and sunny darling
June, 2018
My quaint little garden, before I got help from my Good Neighbors…

Before I purchased any supplies, I did my homework. Growing a garden is a science, just as it is an art. You need to know which plants get along, which plants like light, and which like shade, and you need to know if the plant will be happy in regular soil, or if you need sand or a fancier soil. I’m still a novice, as you can tell from my impressive vocabulary (fancy soil – face palm).

August 2018
After leaving offerings to my Good Neighbors, and calling on Aine to bless the soil

Connect to Earth on a deeper level…

Growing a garden is more than just planting and harvesting supplies for your herbal collection. It’s about connecting with the Earth on a deeper level…it’s about establishing a relationship with the spirits of Nature, the Fair Folk, and the Genius Loci, and it’s about using magick to create life. When I see a seed I planted turn into a cute little sprout, reaching for the sun out of the dark soil, I am overcome with pride, in the plant and myself. It’s akin to the pride I feel when my son does something new, so it wouldn’t be far off to say it’s a motherly love you feel for your plants. Those little plants have spirits of their own, and they respond to your love and affection.

I think it was a documentary, perhaps a video on Youtube or Facebook, but it revealed that plants suffer when they’re bullied. They had two plants – same plants, same soil, same age – everything was identical. They were kept in environment controlled boxes, to ensure that the only variable was what the plant was told. They had recorded people saying mean things, and saying nice things, and played the mean things to one plant and the nice to the other. The plant who heard the compliments grew strong and tall, while the abused plant was weak and sickly. If that isn’t proof that plants have feelings, I don’t know what is!

How do I start a magickal garden?

Intention

The first step in creating your magickal garden is the first step in any magickal activity: devise your intent. Do you want the garden to carry out an assortment of intentions, or do you want to stick to one theme? Do you want to grow a garden as an offering? Or, how about creating an elemental garden, with a separate garden or section for each element. For ideas, I have created a Pinterest board with all sorts of pins about gardening for witches.

Research and Record-Keeping

All of my garden plans are in my grimoire. Some people use spreadsheets, recording their planting time, when and how they are to be pruned, watering schedules, feeding schedules- everything needed to keep the garden tasks sorted. I will create a diagram of the garden, to scale, so I can plan where to plant each seedling.

I live in an apartment, so I only have a small space to work with. (I have had to put in a formal request to plant a small rose bush, and it is yet to be approved…) The flower and herb garden is going to be in the back yard, so as long as it doesn’t extend past my little porch and steps, it’s allowed by property management. That gives me a bit of land about five feet across and four feet deep. Not a lot in garden terms. This means I have to choose plants that do not need a lot of space around them, but growing outside means my plants can grow nice and tall. By planning wisely, I can manifest a magickal garden just as glorious as any other. You feel such pride when you carefully devise and plant a healthy garden, no matter the purpose. When it doesn’t do well it is heartbreaking. That is why research and record keeping is so important.

  • Research:
    • what plants do well in your location;
    • what plants get along and which need to be in their own container;
    • how much light and water the plants require; if the plant needs special soil, or will need particular food. Do you need to mulch? Do you need sand?
    • Will the plant attract bugs, and if so, what kinds? Butterflies and bees are great, but if you or a family member is allergic, then you may want to avoid a bee-attracting plant.
  • Record-keeping:
    • To make sure your garden thrives, you will have to design it carefully. That means drawing out a scale sketch, and then sectioning off what will go where. If you can do this in your head and remember, that’s great! But, if not, you will have to draw it out. If you don’t want to keep that then use scrap paper.
    • It helps to have one location to keep your design sketch, research notes, a chart of what can be planted when, and even record when you planted something, if it’s going to come back next year, how often it needs watering, when and how to prune, and proper harvesting methods.

By planning wisely, I can manifest a magickal garden just as glorious as any other.

Elemental Garden

One design I am considering is an elemental garden. I’ve done my homework, and kept extensive notes, so once I know what can go where, I can work in an elemental theme.

Earth/Land

Soil is the body of the garden. It is the body, and water is the blood. When you lay down the garden, take a bit of soil in your hand. Bring it to your nose, and inhale deeply. There is nothing like the scent of fertile soil. Bring it apart, and watch it fall. There is a thing of beauty, as soil slips through your fingers. And don’t wear gloves when you do this! I know, your nails will be grubby and gross. But when you first lay out your garden, it’s important to connect to the soil.

Your Earth garden may be a garden on its own, or it may be a section of your garden as a whole. In addition to soil, you can bring the element of Earth into your garden with rocks, crystals, and statues of dwarves and fairies. Growing lush greens, like having a pot of mint, or a nearby bush, will work as well. Earth and Land, in any elemental system, is associated with the quality of strength and stability. What better to represent that than a tree? If you can’t plant a tree, then plant your garden near a tree. Hanging some chimes in the tree (incorporating air), will tie the tree to the garden.

Earth Spell: Garden protection


Using a pot or cauldron, mix a handful of soil from your garden, a healthy dose of pepper, and a few pinches of dried basil. (Use your intuition for exact amounts). Use a rusty nail to stir the mixture. Set the nail aside, and, using your hand, sprinkle the mixture around the perimeter of the garden saying:

Basil cleanse, Pepper sting, This garden is sealed with a protective ring.

Bury the nail at any corner of the garden. (Make sure it’s deep, and to be safe, put a stone or board over the spot. I know I love to garden barefoot, and would hate to step on the nail if it manages to climb up to the surface. This would be a good spot to put your garden altar!)

James Kambos, “Spring Garden Magic”, Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac, pg. 15

Air/Sky

Nothing says spring like a melodious song of birds in the morning. One of the most depressing things about winter is waking to silence – or worse, to the sound of a snow plow. While I’m grateful that snow removal is included with my apartment, it’s not a pleasant way to wake. The gentle breeze brings the unmistakeable scent of spring – the soil, the moss, the subtle smell of trees as they awaken from their icy slumber.

To incorporate air into your elemental garden, plant flowers with gentle yellow hues. Angelica, “Ruby Giant” echinacea and Russian Sage are all ‘air’ plants. Wind chimes are always a great way to invite the powers of air. My favorite way to extend offerings to the powers of air is to hang bird feeders. Whether it be a humble hummingbird feeder, or half a dozen large feeders and houses, Nature appreciates when you feed her feathered children.

Fire

Spring is a little cool for us Northerners to go camping, but it’s the perfect time for bonfires and fire pits. The spring showers keeps the grass moist, minimizing the chances for a wandering spark to cause a tragic disaster. If you are like me, and live in an apartment, then a fire pit or chimnea may not be possible. you could make do, with carefully placed candles and lights. Planting sunflowers will bring the element of Fire into your garden as well (or any flower with vibrant orange, red, or yellow hues). There is a neat DIY Mason-jar candle holder I found on Pinterest, which is in the board I created for Magick Gardens. Where I live, mosquitos can get quite thick by the height of summer, so citronella torches and candles give mood lighting and keep the pests away.

Water

Water is the life blood of the garden. Something simple as a way to collect rain water for your plants can be efficient in incorporating the powers of water into your garden. A rain collection container doesn’t have to be an unsightly bucket either. Paint a watering can, or repurpose coffee cans, so as one overflows it will pour into another can just below. Rain water is much better for our gardens than tap, so if you don’t get a lot of rain, try to save what you can when it does.

A birdbath, or even a small pond are equally efficient, and much prettier to look at. While I can’t have a bird bath, much less a pond, I can have a small fountain. There is something about the gentle trickle of a fountain – it’s reminiscent of a gentle spring rain. I’ve included a few pins on how to make your own fountain. I’m not comfortable working with sheet metal, so I will hunt for clearance fountains to add to my garden.

Water is rejuvenating, and refreshing. Make a ritual out of watering your plants (or any other form of tending); take the time to talk to your plants and connect with their spirits. Each plant spirit has its own personality, its own vibration. Get to know each one. This especially comes in handy if one gets sick. If you are in tune with the plant’s spirit, you can ask it what is wrong. You would be surprised how well this works.

Connect to your Plants

As I said, take the opportunity to get to know each plant in your garden when you can. Even if it’s just a few minutes when you’re watering them. Not only does this prove helpful when a plant gets sick, but it helps when it comes time to deadhead, prune or harvest. It’s not respectful to go around cutting someone’s hair, so it’s equally rude to just start snipping away before asking the plant for permission. Last year some of my flowers grew as tall as 6 feet, and the flowers would get so heavy the poor stalk would be leaning from the weight. I would water the garden, and talk to all of my plants. Then I would get shears, ones I used only for my garden, and before I snipped anything I would talk with the plant. I would ask if I could cut it here or there, and would tell it why. “Your bloom will soon die, may I cut it here to relieve your back from leaning and make a bouquet in my home?” or, “this part of your plant has become sick, may I remove it so you can thrive?” Same goes for deadheading, when you pull dead blossoms off so the flower can replace it with a new one. “I’m sorry I have to hurt you, but it’s so you can keep growing strong”. And after I’m done, I take a moment to feel gratitude for my plants, and for their sacrifice. Even if it’s just a damaged leaf, it’s part of their body. The garden is much healthier when it knows it’s loved.

Each plant spirit has its own personality, its own vibration. Get to know each one.

Garden Magick

You may use your garden to grow herbs and flowers for magickal workings, or the act of growing the garden itself could be magick. While I have included some pins about what a Witch’s Garden includes on the Pinterest board, don’t feel compelled to include any of the suggestions. With witchcraft, you want to make it your own. That means listening to your body, your intuition, and trusting that the messages you receive from nature are real. Yes, my garden will have some herbs. But that’s because I was drawn to them, NOT because some ‘expert’ wrote that I have to have them in order for my garden to be ‘witchy’. As witches, we are naturally drawn to the outdoors. We are nurturers, mothers, caregivers, healers, and have honed our abilities to walk between the worlds. All of these qualities are exercised in gardening – whether it’s a rock garden, a pond, a succulent or zen garden, flower garden, vegetable garden – I could go on and on.

I think that altars make the magick garden complete, but again, go with your gut. If you don’t feel comfortable having an altar outside, then don’t have one! Like I said before, I need a little help when it comes to gardening, so I adorn my garden with things that Good Neighbors like. I will have an altar in my garden this year, whereas last year my ‘witchy’ stuff was at a bare minimum. The altar will be for Earth gods, ancestors, dragons and Fae, so I’ll have all sorts of odds and ends out there so there is something for everyone. But that’s me.

When one hears magick, it’s natural to think spells. There are countless spells that use the growth of a plant to bring prosperity, or the soil of the bed to bring protection, luck, health, happiness. I included only two spells, but I found dozens more in researching this post. (Most of the content I knew, but still like to do research to see if there’s anything I can add to the piece). Growing an elemental garden connects you not only to nature but to the elements as well, which makes spells utilizing the elements all the stronger. You could design your garden in a way that it works with the planets, or deities. There is no limit to the possibilities. James Kambos, in his article “Spring Garden Magic”, said “The spring garden should be a place to celebrate magic.” (p. 19, Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac). I couldn’t agree more, Kambos! The very act of growing and nurturing a garden is magick.

…gardens reflect alchemy in action, bringing the above of spirit to the below of color, scent, and natural beauty, and the soul to the without of evocative expression.

Tiffany lazic, “Urban Elemental gardens: Crafting magic in small outdoor spaces”, Llewellyn’s 2019 magical almanac, pg. 45

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Resources*

Llewellyn’s 2013 Magihcal Almanac

Llewellyn’s 2019 Magical Almanac

Rachel Patterson, Kitchen Witchcraft: Garden Magic


*Magical Musings Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This essentially means that if you click one of the links provided for Amazon and make a purchase, you are contributing towards the support of this website. The price is in no way affected by the affiliate program. (Amazon takes care of that)

Faery Musings…

With spring so close I can almost smell it, I can’t help but think about two things: Gardening and Faeries. The two seem to go hand in hand- well being out in nature in general makes me think of Faeries. I have been a little weary about working with them. After two years of study, I have decided to ease into Faery craft. At this point, I don’t know how in-depth I will go, and I think that is best. I recently wrote a post for Hubpages, “Befriending Faeries” and I explain guidelines and how to start practicing Faery Witchcraft, so if you want to hop over there to read more about getting started, go ahead. I’ll wait! I’m patient!

……..

What’d you think?! I’m pretty proud of it

So, now that you’ve read Befriending Faeries, you’ll know that starting gradually is the way to go. you need time getting use to working with Faeries, as they are unique spirits. They aren’t your ancestors – they aren’t human, for that matter. They are powerful, but they aren’t deities. The energy is just, well, different. It can be tricky working with Fae – they are easily offended, they have different sets of morals and beliefs, and not all Fae like humans. In the words of Morgan Daimler – some want to “eat your face”. I like my face, tha—oops! Can’t say those words to a Fae. I’d appreciate it if they didn’t eat my face. I’ve been practicing, working on my manners while at the same time avoiding saying “thank you”. I don’t want to owe them anything without setting the terms first!

So the reason for this blog is to follow up on Befriending Faeries in a way that I can’t on Hubpages. DGMW, I love writing for them, but you must keep the Hubs straightforward and professional. I’ve had one of their editors tell me to change one of my first Hubs because it read more like a blog or diary entry. I want to talk about what it’s like after you set up your Faery craft practice, but I don’t want to make it cut and dry – because working with Faeries is not cut and dry. It’s not straightforward, so I opted to write about it here where I can include anecdotes, (and my corny jokes).

Faery Witchcraft Basics

Okay, so I wouldn’t say that I practiced Faery Witchcraft, because most of my workings do not involve the Fae, but I think an overview of what Faery Witchcraft is a nice follow up for Befriending Faeries. Much of my practice involves what I will be outlining, except I don’t have all of the tools yet. The main difference from Faery Witchcraft and ‘basic’ witchcraft (if there even is such a thing), is the tools and the altar. You will have a working altar, where you perform your spells and worship deity, a faery altar, and it’s recommended to have an ancestor altar as well. Your ancestors, whether of blood or culture, will be great guides when working with Fae.

Tools

  • Knife (not iron – bronze knife with black handle best)
  • Cauldron (again, not iron)
  • Stone (any found stone that you instinctively know is a gift from the Fae)
  • Wand (you will end up accumulating a number of wands; most powerful when made yourself from a local tree who gifts you the wood)
  • Quaich (a bowl with 2 handles, used for drinking; associated with sharing drinks; used for holding food and drink as offerings; may be substituted with wooden bowl).
  • Mortar & pestle (for grinding herbs; best to have 2, one for food and tea quality herbs and another for incense)
  • Broom/ Besom (for clearing away energy; best when made of heather)

“Part of being a Fairy Witch is always being aware of the energy around you and staying open to possibilities”

Morgan Daimler, Fairy Witchcraft (Moon Books, 2014), pg. 40

Creating a Faery Altar

A faery altar is a place for you to connect with the Fae. In Celtic Lore & Spellcraft, Stephanie Woodfield says that “your faery altar will act as a bridge between you and the Faery Realm.” (p.163). The altar does not have to be extravagant. Morgan Daimler and Stephanie Woodfield concur that your altar should contain things that you instinctively feel will be the right things to call attention to the Fae. My faery altar consists of a small faery garden, a candle, and my deck of Faery Oracle cards. When a particular rock, piece of jewelry, or even broken candle holders, calls my attention, I will put it on the shelf or add it to the Faery garden.

When you dedicate a certain place to the Fae, you might want to cleanse and bless it. I lit some frankincense incense and wafted it over the shelf (which I cleaned thoroughly before), and over the faery garden. I set a little dish next to the rock garden with a cookie and little cup of milk with a squirt of honey in it, and said this blessing (from Celtic Lore and Spellcraft):

I bless this altar in the name of the Sidhe,
that it may be a place to weave faery magick
and honor the Fair Folk.
So mote it be!

Silently welcome the Fair Folk, careful to invite them by saying or thinking “I welcome Fair Folk of good intentions and friendship in their hearts”, or something along those lines, so you don’t invite a faery that is going to do you harm.

Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 8

Take a Bite Into a Gratitude Sandwich

Welcome to Day 8! We are more than 1/3 through the 28-day challenge! I don’t know about you, but things have already started magically improving in my life! 
Today we are going to express appreciation for the food we eat and the drinks we drink.
Byrne writes that giving thanks for the food one is about to eat has been practiced thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians. In Elen Sentier’s new book Shaman Pathways -Following the Deer Trods: A Practical Guide to Working with Elen of the Ways, Sentier explains that the ancients dating back to Paleolithic times, when humans were still hunter-gatherers, considered hunting a sacred rite, and gave thanks to the animals and plants who gave their lives to sustain that of the humans. (Btw – if you’re interesting in learning about Elen of the Ways, this is a great book choice! Sentier teaches a lot of exercises that help you explore the Otherworld, and helps you connect with the Universe in unique and enlightening way).
When you’re about to pop some popcorn for a movie night with your family, or pop open a bag of pretzels for your child (obviously something I just did), think about the work it took to get that food into your hands. You went to the store and spent the money, yes, but there’s more than that. The people who stocked the shelves at the store, the people who delivered the food to the store, the people who put the food into the neat mini-sized bags, the people who made the food….when you think about it, you realize that a lot of people contributed to feeding your growing child; that keep your belly from rumbling angrily when you’re hungry.

The incredible thing is that when you are grateful for food and water, it doesn’t just affect your life; your gratitude also impacts the world’s supply. If enough people felt gratitude for food and water, it would actually help the people who are starving and in great need.

The Magic, pg. 89

Day 8 Exercise

In the morning you will add 10 more items to your thank you list, and before bed you will hold your gratitude rock and say thank you for the best thing about the day. Before you eat anything today, look at the food and say Thank you!

The Magical Gratitude 28-day Challenge

Happy New year! I cannot believe how quickly 2018 came to an end! It was probably one of the best years of my life. . I have been working hard to improve my life – to heal, to attain sovereignty, to empower myself – and the results have been magnificent. I have found happiness for the first time in my life – even as a child I felt incomplete! But now, I finally feel like I am where I belong.

As I was going through my favorite blogs trying to figure out the best way to celebrate the new year I found a common theme – making plans for 2019. Resolutions, goals, steps -whatever you call them the bottom line is looking forward. But what will be out of sight by looking forward? All I could think was “2018 marks the first year of my new life, and I can’t unceremoniously leave it behind me”.

I was sitting at my desk going through my mini Happy Planner (a hand-me-down from my best friend), and I happened to look over at the bookshelf next to my desk. For those of you who don’t know – I have a huge “witchy” library. I have a large bookshelf upstairs in my altar room holds most of my books, and the bookshelf next to my desk is for the books I’m currently working with for articles or personal study. So anyways, I glance over at my bookshelf and see a book I had honestly forgotten I even owned, and wasn’t sure I remembered putting it there. The book is The Magic by Rhonda Byrne. She’s the same author of The Secret – I never read it but it was all the hype a few years ago.

Dedicated to you…May The Magic open up a new world for you, and bring you joy for your entire existence. That is my intention for you, and for the world.

Byrne didn’t dedicate The Magic to her children or her lover, to her best friend or confidant – she dedicated the book to us. She expressed her wish that magic dance through our lives because she knows a magical life is one of joy, abundance, and fulfillment. I know that once I realized that magic was real – the kind of magic that allows joy into your heart and breaks down all barriers to your imagination- my life started making a turn for the better.

The Magic teaches you how to be grateful – truly grateful. Being grateful doesn’t mean saying thank you when you get a gift, or thanking someone for holding open the door – it’s appreciating everything you have instead of fretting over what you lack.

The Great Mystery Is Revealed

I’m sure you’ve all heard that the universe holds a great mystery – the secret of how to life a fulfilling, enlightened life. Byrne reveals the answer on pages 5-6:

The answer to the mystery that has eluded so many for centuries is in one hidden word: gratitude…if you don’t take the time to be grateful you will never have more, and what you do have you will lose. And the promise of the magic that will happen with gratitude is in these words: if you’re grateful you will be given more, and you will have an abundance!

While the words she quoted came from the Holy Scripture of the Gospel of Matthew they apply to everyone because they are describing a fundamental law of science and of the Universe. Gratitude operates on a Universal law with which us witches are quite familiar with: The Law of Attraction – like attracts like. When you are truly grateful for your home, your finances – no matter how much or how little you make  – then according to the Law of Attraction you will attract more of them.

It works in the same way as metal being drawn to a magnet; your gratitude is magnetic, and the more gratitude you have, the more abundance you magnetize. It is Universal Law! 

You Can Never Be Too Grateful
I learned how to be grateful in 2018 – after 30 years of life I finally learned how to be grateful. So why am I starting 2019 with a Gratitude challenge? Because you can never be too grateful! My life has changed so dramatically in 2018, it simply would not be right to move forward in 2019 without paying the proper respect to the changes accomplished in 2018.

The Magic Formula

  1. Deliberately think and say the magic words: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
  2. The more you deliberately think and say the magic words, thank you, the more gratitude you feel.
  3. The more gratitude you deliberately think and feel, the more abundance you receive. 

I am honestly not doing this challenge to gain more out of life- I am doing it because it is easy to take things for granted, and I feel compelled to remind myself every day that I would be homeless or dead if I hadn’t taken the path I did a few years ago that lead me to the changes I made in 2018. More abundance of course is welcome, but I wanted to just get that out there. I welcome you to join me in this challenge – the reason why is for you to decide. I don’t care what your reasoning is, because no matter how selfish you may think it is, I only care about bringing more joy and love into another persons life. You can get The Magic on Amazon. I will be writing about the challenges, but I urge you to get a copy for yourself because you are often instructed to read ahead and I will not be providing detailed notes of the chapters. It wouldn’t be legal to replicate her book on here. Also, you might want to get a journal or notebook to keep through this challenge. I personally like writing things out by hand, but using a word processor on your computer will work too. So, get your copy  of The Magic, set up a way to journal the endeavor and join me on this magical adventure!

The Magic Gratitude 28-day Challenge: Before you start

Figure out what it is you want to achieve. Get paper and pen or your computer/tablet/phone and make a list of what you really want in every area of life – literally every aspect. Remember you are just making list of what you want- not how you will get it.

The Magic Gratitude 28-day Challenge, Day 1: Count your blessings

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. – Willie Nelson (p.29)

This assignment is probably best done on a computer or tablet, because you will be adding to it everyday for the next 27 days. When you first wake up, or as soon as you can in the day, make a list of 10 things you are grateful for. Think about why you’re grateful too. When you finish writing the 10 things, go back and read each one aloud, followed by saying “Thank you Thank you Thank you” before reading the next item.

Some ideas for format:
I am truly blessed to have _____, because _______.
I am so happy and grateful for ______, because ________.
I am so thankful for ______, because ______.




Good luck, and thank you, thank you, thank you, for reading my blog! #MagicGratitude2019

Magical Musings about Samhain, the Series

💘💣❗👻Psyched for Samhain😈❗💣💘


Samhain is just weeks away, and I can hardly contain my excitement!! This is my favorite time of year and Samhain is my favorite holiday! The weather, the colors, the scents, the activities…just everything! My son and I have had fall and Halloween decorations up since the third week of September, and he’s had his costume since his birthday on the 3rd. He’s going to be Spiderman, and told me I am going to be a witch. He’s only 3 so his idea of witches is the pointed hat wearing, broom flying, hackling cackling kind portrayed on television. Knowing he would love it, I purchased a pointed hat – it’s black with sequins and I sort of love it. Trick or treating is one of many things I look forward to – don’t most parents look forward to it? There is so much about this season to be excited about, and as a witch I have even more to look forward to. 



In light of the season, (and to make up for failing to post articles for you every week),  I decided to design a Samhain series. I have a lot to share with you, and I am so excited! It was not easy to disperse my fun, freaky, festive ideas/activities -mundane and magickal- into different articles. I want to share it all at once, so deciding the order took some time, but I think I’ve finally got a plan I can stick to! I’m the kind of person that has to give someone a gift as soon as it’s wrapped because I’m too excited to give it to them to wait for their birthday. My son loves it- rather than opening presents on his birthday he’ll open gifts as early as 2 weeks before his birthday. But I will restrain my enthusiasm and will publish one article per subject. 

🎃Freaky Fun🎃


It’s believed that the Veil separating the worlds of the living and the dead begins to thin in October, and is so thin on Samhain that the dead, along with the denizens of the Otherworld, can freely roam our world. Samhain is the Celtic New Year, so the Celts would celebrate the liminal time with great enthusiasm, but took care to put protections in place so the evil entities and spirits could not harm or harass them. With protective measures in place, they would honor their ancestors and welcome good spirits, providing offerings to earn their blessings. Hosting a Dumb Supper was a common activity for Samhain. I’d tell you what a Dumb Supper is, but instead I will tell you to subscribe to Spiral Nature so you will be notified when my article about Dumb Suppers is published (of course I include a ritual and offer suggestions so you could host your own). I will, however, share with you rituals, spells and exercises in upcoming articles of the Samhain series. There is such a focus on communicating with the Otherworld occupants, so I will also share divination methods. To keep things from getting too freaky, I’ll also share fun art and craft projects, creative casting methods and activities that the whole family can participate in. 

Interesting Information🙋

Since this is the introductory article of the series, I want to share some interesting information about Samhain. Our modern day Halloween falls on the Celtic New Year. The ancient Celts viewed the year as having two “hinges”- Samhain was the first and Beltaine was the second. Liminal places and times – places that were “in between”, times of transition from one season/month/etc to another – were considered to be highly magickal to the Celts. Samhain and Beltaine were the most magickal, and possibly the most frightening, days for the Celts. Samhain was the day of transition from summer to winter as well as the advancement into the new year. On Samhain, time ceased to exist; the past, present and future became one. Winter was the Season of Ghosts, and it was on Samhain that they were released from the Otherworld, along with everything else that resided there. The faeries traveled from their summer hillocks to the winter barrows, so it was the one day of the year that people had a chance to rescue any loved ones who were kidnapped by the faeries. Celtic citizens lit fires and set out torches and even wore disguises to protect themselves from evil entities that roamed. To appease their ancestors or loved ones lost, they would hold dumb suppers to honor them – they’d serve the head of the table careful to avert their eyes, eat in silence, then take the food out to the woods to leave out as offerings. 

You know how I love to write articles that are interesting and informative, so of course they will be in the Samhain Series. I love learning and love to share what I learn. There will be articles about Goddesses and Gods that may be associated with Samhain, or would be great to work with while we transition into the next cycle of the year. I will share information I’ve learned about the origins of Samhain, and cultural practices through time and location. I will cover some myths, maybe some ghost stories. And don’t worry, I won’t be teaching you by writing long, boring research papers. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but just trust me when I say I will be sharing the information in an interesting, entertaining fashion. 🤓 

Decide, Design, Do


The season of Samhain is about transition, growth, perspective and reflection, celebration, preparation, connection, and cycles. While I will be publishing articles covering different subjects, each one of them are intended to help you accomplish the three D’s: Decide, Design, Do. 

  • Decide what your intention(s) is/are for this season. Perhaps you want to learn a new skill, establish a relationship with a god or goddess, heal emotional scars so you are no longer inhibited by fear, trauma or resentment. If you aren’t sure what you want, look back over the past year and ask yourself what didn’t work and why. Ask yourself if there is something you should let go of, or something you should accept. Meditate, communicate with loved ones, with Deity, perform divination, do whatever you need to in order to decide. A new year means a chance to start over…it means the opportunity to shape experiences that are more enjoyable, more enlightening, more exquisite. 
  • Design a plan of action to manifest your intention, and then find or make something that represents your desired results and put it on your altar. If your intention is major, you may want to get a notebook for it. Write your intention on the first page. On the next page write out your plan, or at least list ideas of how to design a working that will manifest your will. 
  • Do what you need to in order to meet your goal. If you aren’t sure about how to accomplish it, then do anything you can think of that will bring those answers to you. Do divination, meditation, seek advice from friends and family – you get the idea. 

My intention is kinda complex, but simply put I want to be well grounded with balance established in my life, so I can reach skyward without toppling over. I know, I know – this metaphor couldn’t be any cheesier. You all know I have created a business, and that I have some clients so it’s off to a great start. But I have no balance. I either spend too much time working, or too much time making art, or too much time playing with my son. I don’t devote nearly enough of my time and attention to my spiritual practice, and even less to my witchcraft practice. I want to finish stocking my Etsy store, establish my brand, and start promoting Enchanting Endeavor so I actually sell something. I won’t bore you by continuing to list all of my goals – you get the idea. I’m sure you’re thinking “um, make a schedule?”. I’ve made a number of schedules – it would take me hardly anytime at all to design a schedule that is practical and efficient. The problem is following it. So that is what I will be working on. And since I can’t seem to settle on just one thing at a time, I will have a secondary focus of strengthening my psychic and magickal skills. 

Enchanting Endeavor, my Etsy store, will provide a way for me to make art – which I could do as a part of my spiritual and witchcraft practice, and for me to exercise my psychic and magickal abilities when I list spell jars and kits, Oracle card readings, and charmed home decor. So if I learn to tell others no if they want me to do something that interferes with my work, develop discipline to stick to my schedule, and resolve my procrastination problem, I’ll be right on track to a balanced life! 

Creating Balance and Harmony in Ritual

You Must Have Balance

Ever since I started learning witchcraft, just about every book I’ve read has emphasized the importance of balance. You must have balance for your workings to be successful. I agree with this, but as I’ve spent time actually doing the work, I’ve learned a thing or two that wasn’t in books- wasn’t in articles online.

This push for balance comes from the Hermetic Principles, which are outlined in The Kybalion. The Fourth Principle, the Principle of Polarity, states: 

Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its’ pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.  

Wiccans have drawn many of their ways from this little book. When they applied this Principle, they also apply it to the Deities. You must invoke the God and the Goddess, you must have a Matron and Patron deity. This implies that the God and Goddess – no matter which ones – are polar opposites and that you need both to learn the ‘truths’. Hmm…nope. Don’t think so, sorry! I’m sure this principle applies to other things, but I don’t think it can be applied to humans based on gender. 


Duality and Deity

I started writing this blog Saturday night, after having an epiphany. ButI knew it wouldn’t be a very good article if I just shared my discovery without doing a little background research. One of the books I went to was Silver Ravenwolf’s To Ride a Silver Broomstick. Now, I like Ravenwolf as an author – she’s a good writer. But I don’t like how she states her believes as dogma – I wouldn’t like that even if I believed what she does, but I really don’t like it because she has very different beliefs from me. For example, she states that deities exist to help humans.  I was talking with a friend (who happens to be an amazing author) about this and she said that Ravenwolf’s point of view is that “humans ate the center of the universe”. (literally laughed out loud at this). But I digress… the point is she and many other authors hold this believe that male and female deities represent certain things and they both must be  present in order to bring a balance of power to the ritual. I haven’t been practicing as long as Ravenwolf or any other author that makes this claim, but I’ve learned from experience that the deities are all very different from one another, and some deities possess qualities that are said to belong only to the opposite sex. So I decided to try something different.

Calling The Three

I created a talisman for my bedroom, and as I was setting up my altar, something in me said to call upon the three deities that have the most presence in my life: the Morrigan, the Cailleach, and Lugh. I affectionately call them “the Three”. I thought about what they represent, most prominently anyways, and I thought of the elements.  Not the four elements of traditional witchcraft but the elements as the Celts saw it: Land, Sea, and sky. So I arranged the candles I have dedicated to each deity in a triangle. I raised my hands in goddess position and called the Morrigan and asked her to bring the power of land – the strength of stone and stability of trees. I called to Cailleach and asked her to bring with her crashing waves of wisdom, and then asked Lugh come to my circle as rays of light come in through my window in the early morning hours. And it was incredible. The Morrigan came on a mist and rose like the standing stones she used to stop a retreating army once. Cailleach came in on a crashing wave –  I could almost smell the salt and felt that unique chill you get when you stand on a beach. When Lugh came in I felt the gentle warmth of the sun and I could feel the flames of passion spark inside me as if gas was poured onto the fire. I said the words and gave the offerings. I left the talisman on the altar to scribble down everything I said and did, as it was impromptu and I didn’t want to forget what I said or what I felt. A few minutes later I returned to my altar, thanked the Three, and bid them farewell. When I went to pick up the talisman- I shit you not it was vibrating with power. I could feel the energy buzzing from it when my hand was about an inch away from it. Even though it may seem like it’s not a big deal, it was one of the freakiest and most amazing things I have ever experienced. After I hung it on my wall I pulled out my computer and started this article to share my story. I suggest giving it a try – instead of routinely calling a god and goddess, really think about the deities you work with and think about their personalities, the lessons they teach, the elements they favor and call on them based on those qualities. That would create true balance. If you don’t like it, then no harm done, right? But you could have an incredible ritual because of it, so just try it out. 

Key Magick: Accessing the Magickal Potential of Keys

Key Magick: Accessing the Magickal Potential of Keys


Keys. They play such a major role in our mundane lives we tend to take them for granted, much less think about their magickal potential. 
Keys are so immersed in our daily lives it’s not often we stop to think about them, or how they could play a magical role in our lives. While we may not think of them we use them for both magickal and mundane purposes. Before I get to that, I feel that a little background information will be helpful (and interesting). 
Ancient Roman Key
(Photo Source: Wiki Commons)
What is a key exactly? Keys come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. They may not even have a shape or physical body, but exists in the virtual world as a series of numbers that grants access to money, bank information, email, etc. They have been used in the mundane sense for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians were the first to use locks (should’ve known – the Egyptians established a lot of firsts). They were complex wooden mechanisms used to keep jewelry and other treasures secure. The locks were made of wood and were quite intricate. The next society to use the key was – huge shocker guys – the Romans! The big, complex, wooden locks of the Egyptians was not suitable for the Romans though. First and foremost – they were too close to the sea to be able to use wood for this kind of task. The moisture in the air causes wood to expand and contract so it wasn’t practical to lock away their money with something that might not work depending on the weather. The Romans were the first to use keys close to what we know and love today. They were made of metal – some with precious metals and gems. They were small and light enough, so they could fit in a pocket. 

Magick Keys

Keys are used in witchcraft almost as much as they are in mundane life – we may not even realize it. I use a key to lock the box holding my herbs, oils, and knives I use for wand/staff creation (I have a nosey two-year-old). But that is not what I mean by magickal keys. Magick keys can open or close whatever you charge them to do. They can bring you to another realm to speak with deity or elementals or faeries, ancestors even. They can help you access your Higher Self – the mode of consciousness that does magick and interprets psychic messages. 
According to an article on The Witches Box, keys have the following uses in witchcraft:
  • For divination, the passageway ‘in’.
  • The holder of the key is allowed access to all that is unseen
  • A symbol for sealed or locked away secrets – an anchor in an obscuration spell
  • An initiatory tool held by the one that has gained access into specific spaces on the other side
  • A talisman in a protection spell
  • The amulet of the Traveler
  • Can be hung at doorways of your home for protection
  • Removing blocks
  • Opening roads
  • Calling spirits
This webpage also provides an invocation you could use to charge the key:
Sacred Key, Sacred Key,
I charge you with the task
of unlocking the path of mystery.
Grant me pass, let me in
Make available the secrets
that exist within.[1]

Using Keys for Magick

Actual keys can play a role in magick as well, and that is the point of this article. I have a skeleton key attached to a staff I made, along with Ogham symbols that can be used to access other realms.  I’ve used a key in a protection spell as well, to ‘lock’ an invisible gate around my home, preventing unwanted guests from gaining entry – of the mundane and spiritual variety. 
I have drawn keys as a sort of sigil, to help me retain information (lock it inside my memory), or to help me move closer towards my goal (unlock the next step of my journey). 
The key magick I am going to share with you is my favorite. I did not write this ritual. I found it in Llewellyn’s 2018 Magical Almanac, in an article called Key Magick by Blake Octavian Blair (page 114-122).
Key of Knowledge Talisman. 
For this working you will need: 
1.       A skeleton key
2.       Cord of choice
3.       Candle (color of choice)
4.       A bell
5.       Incense of choice (I’m partial to Dragons Blood incense sticks, because Dragons Blood adds power to any working)
Put everything on your working altar. Create a sacred space and call the quarters – use the methods and deities/spirits/entities of your tradition. Light the incense and waft the smoke over all of the tools you will be using. Make sure you thoroughly cleanse the key. Once you feel that any trace of prior intent/ purpose has been smudged away, hold the key to your heart. 
Say: 
I, (your name), ask you to assist me to empower this key for the growth of my knowledge and ease of learning. Please assist me in (state your question). 

Now hold the key to your Third Eye and repeat the same request. 
Light the candle, pass the key about the flame, then say:
I ask for the illumination of wisdom on the topic at hand. Please shed light on my situation so that I can see the best possible solutions clearly and more readily. 

Hold your intention in your heart and mind, then, holding the key cupped in your hands, blow your intention into the key three times. Tie the cord to the key and hang it around your neck. Ring the bell around the key and then around yourself. By ringing the bell, you are calling forth the wisdom and power of your spirits and the universe, empowering the intention of the key.

Liminal Deities

Liminal Deities are deities associated with liminality – and when you are between two worlds it helps to have keys to get one way or the other. For me, when I think liminal deity I think Hecate. She is the Queen of the Underworld, but she doesn’t stay down there. No, she possesses the keys to all of the realms, and her torches will help you navigate whichever realm she opens for you. I won’t lie, I had to turn to Google to find other examples that weren’t from my pantheon. I found two other deities that had qualities that could be the key to a well-rounded blog article. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist a punny opportunity).

Hekate

While not many statues of Hekate depict her with a key, it often as it is mentioned in literature. Some sources say the key is the Key to Hades, that she opened the door to Hades. Other literature says that she held the keys to the cosmos. This is important in terms of necromancy. Now before you get your broom in a knot, necromancy is nothinglike that shown in television and movies (although I couldn’t help but love it in AHS Coven). Necromancy is communicating with spirits. So, if you want to communicate with an ancestor you could call to Hekate to bring that ancestor to you. She would unlock the gate keeping the souls of the dead separated from the souls of the living, so you could communicate. [2]

Portunus/Palaimon

Temple of Portunus
Photo Source: Wiki Commons
Portunus is a Roman god who rules over keys, doors, livestock and ports. It’s thought that he originally protected the warehouses where grain was stored. He came to be associated with ports because of linguistic associations. Porta means gate or door, and portus means harbor – the gateway to the sea. [3]
Like many other gods in the Roman pantheon, Portunus was adopted by the Greeks as well. The Greeks knew him as Palaimon.  Palaimon was originally a mortal boy named Melikertes/Melicertes. His parents fostered the young god Dionysus and it pissed of the goddess Hera. The angry goddess drove his father into a murderous rage, and to protect her child, Ino – his mother, jumped off a cliff into the sea with her son clutched in her arms. When they landed in the sea they were transformed into the gods Palaimon and Leukothea. Palaimon was often depicted to be riding a dolphin, or a fish-tailed child. [4]

Closing Thoughts

Keys are fascinating things. They can do so much, yet we think of them so little. We take them for granted. But writing this article has helped me see that keys are even intertwined in my magickal and mundane life than I realized. It’s fascinating. Just when I think my Craft is crafty, I will find more things to make my magick unique. 

References


Thoughtful Thursdays: Devotional Practice

Thoughtful Thursday Presents: Devotional Practice

A lot of thought must go into developing a devotional practice, so I thought this would be the perfect topic for this weeks Thoughtful Thursday post. First I would like to apologize this is going up so late! I took the day off yesterday and the day before to spend time on my devotional practice- preparing and celebrating Lughnasadh. 

Devotional Practice for Hekate

At the end of every month, I perform a ritual for Hekate. She is the Queen of the Underworld, the Torch Bearer, the Keep of the Keys to All Realms. Her torches light the way to the path you must take to reach the next phase in life. She is found in liminal locations, that is places that are in two places at once – putting it simply. She is older than time, and people have been leaving offerings to her at crossroads and intersections for centuries. The ritual I perform is an adaptation of the deipnon. 
The Deipnon, meaning “evening meal” and it was how the Athenians honored Hekate each month. A portion of the last meal of the day was placed out for Hekate and the restless dead. This offering was to purify the household, atoning for any misdeed a person of the household may have committed. It also was given to gain Hekate’s favor, as well as appease the vengeance of any spirits residing with her. People would place meals at crossroads or in shrines dedicated to her outside the entranceways to the home. This was done on the last day of the Athenian calendar, and many modern devotees, like myself, have adopted it as a monthly practice honoring her. The Athenian calendar, or the Attic calendar, followed the lunar cycles. The new moon marked the end of each month, which is when they would perform this ritual. So, modern devotees may perform this at the end of the calendar month or on the new moon. 
Because of the reasons behind my offering, I perform the deipnon on the last day of each month. I give offerings to thank Her for guiding me through the month, lighting the paths I needed to take to meet my goals and to ask her to do the same for the month to come. I also give offering to ask Her to protect my home – to lend me her hounds to scare away anyone or anything that means me harm. I create my own black salt which I pour in front of the threshold to keep nasty spirits and entities from wandering inside. 

Relationship Building

Devotional practice is how you build and maintain relationships with the gods. As the Morrigan is my Matron goddess, I go to her altar at least once a day to give her an offering and to communicate with her. I talk with her all throughout the day, but I make sure to go to her altar and give her my undivided attention at least once a day. If I don’t have anything in particular  to ask her about I will just go and count my blessings. Gratitude is a major component of my witchcraft practice. I believe gratitude empowers much of my magickal workings. I will recognize the blessings I know/feel were from the Morrigan and tell her how they helped me. Of course, she knows this already but it’s important to say so. 
I work with Lugh and Cerridwen quite often as well, so I make sure I honor them regularly as well. I have three altars – one is my Morrigan Priestess altar, and the other is my working altar. On that altar, I have a candle and offering dish for Lugh and Cerridwen. These are both in my ‘witchy room’ – where I meditate, cast spells, hold ritual, and store my herbs, crystals, wands, cauldrons, staff – you get the idea. Outside I have a makeshift altar for Hekate – a tree stump on the corner bu the corner of my home. It’s where I leave the food for the deipnon. 
If you are polytheistic like I am I hope that you put time and thought into your devotional practice. The gods are not magickal vending machines! If you only talk to them to request their blessing on your spell or rite, they will get fed up and stop coming around when you call. I believe they love us, but I also believe they can get annoyed, even pissed off, with us at times. I know the Morrigan gets pissed when people litter! Being a people pleaser I feel compelled to pick up litter whenever I see it. The Morrigan is not the most convenient Matron goddess but it has been rewarding and fulfilling to have her in my life. All of the gods have become rewarding and fulfilling parts of my life, and I think having a regular devotional practice has made all the difference.