spells

{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!

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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 24

People who wait for a magic wand fail to see that they ARE the magic wand

-Thomas Leonard 

Energy flows where attention goes…

We won’t be using actual magic wands today, but we will BE the magic wands, directing energy to three people who are in need of love, health, wealth, or happiness. When you decide who you will help, find 3 photos of them (actual photographs, not pics on your phone or computer because you need to hold the photos in your hand.) If you don’t have photos of them, you could write their name down on a piece of paper, or even hold something of theirs. 

Take the photo of the first person, close your eyes and for one minute visualize that you are getting the news that that person achieved/received/recovered/fill-in-the-blank what they needed. How did you learn about your friend/family’s magical miracle? Did they tell you? or did their child blurt it out when they were leading up to it for a dramatic reveal? The clearer you see it the more magic you send them. When the minute is up open your eyes, look at the photo and say “THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU…for _______ health, wealth or happiness.”
Say the words slowly and with intention. Now move on to the next person and repeat.

Using gratitude to help someone else with his/her/their health, wealth, and happiness is the single greatest act of gratitude you can perform. And one of the magical things about it is that the health, wealth, and happiness you fervently wish for others, you also bring to yourself.

Byrne, p. 210

Don’t  Forget…

Be sure to start your day with gratitude by adding 10 more items to your Thank you list. Take a look at your magical check, read through your list of desires, or take some magical steps to get you through the part of the day that seems to drag, and before going to bed tonight hold your magic rock tight, think about your day, and say thank you for the best part of the day.  

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. 
[Source: https://www.druidry.org/druid-way/teaching-and-practice/druid-festivals/samhain/deeper-samhain%5D

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.

The Wheel Is Rolling On! Preparing for Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh is all but upon us!


 I don’t know about you, but I LOVE celebrating Sabbats! I feel like I did when I was 6 years old on Christmas Eve – all but trembling with anticipation and joy for presents and wearing my “holiday clothes” and seeing family. I get to spend the day focusing on things in life that matter but make me happy, things that make life worth living. I love how the air seems to change as it draws closer to a Sabbat. It’s as if there’s electricity in the air and the closer it gets to the day the stronger the charge. Some sources say that the Veil thins on all of the Blessed days (not just on Samhain). I believe that. I’m a medium so I can sense beings from the Other side. The Veil is the thinnest on Samhain that’s for sure. The electricity I feel before every other Sabbat is nothing in comparison to how it feels in October. But that’s for another day! Today I am going to tell you:
  •  what Lughnasadh means to me
  • what I’ll be doing to celebrate
  • suggest activities for families/covens/solitary witches
  • share a ritual and go over ideal spell themes. 
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What Lughnasadh is All About

For the ancient Celts, Lughnasadh first of the harvest festivals (harvest of fruits). 
It was time to begin harvesting corn as well.

It marked the point of the year when nights grow noticeably longer. Celtic days started with sunset so they actually began the celebrations the night before the first of the month. They had a different calendar than we do so if you want to do it like the Celts you’d observe Lughnasadh on the first full moon of August. 


Lughnasadh began with the Celtic god Lugh – hence the name (it’s Gaelic for “Commemoration of Lugh”). Lugh held a feast in honor of his stepmother, Tailtiu. She is said to have been the one who introduced agriculture to Ireland which is why Lughnasadh is linked to the land and harvest.

In modern times we typically don’t rely on crops and livestock for food, so the focus translates to things applicable to today’s world. This is a day to appreciate what we have. Make a meal that has meaning to you, like using a recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation. I will be making chicken soup because the recipe holds sentimental value for me. My younger brother and his girlfriend just purchased their first house not too long ago- he’s only 27! I’m 30 and the only thing I own is my car (😥) – but despite my envy, I am beyond proud of my brother and what he has accomplished. The amount of time and energy and love he and his partner have put into the house is incredible and the result is a warm, welcoming home (although one of their dogs was not keen on welcoming my toddler). My brother’s girlfriend made us chicken soup from scratch for supper. My son, who I normally have to force feed if it’s not mac and cheese, sat at the table like a grown up and ate all of his soup! It was phenomenal! So when I make the soup I will think of family, of the strong bonds siblings have, of talent and creativity, and of perseverance to make a house into a home. 


Other than food the themes of Lughnasadh are: 

  • abundance
  • prosperity
  • a time to begin new projects/careers or set new goals
  • gratitude
  • family 
  • protection of hearth and home

Lughnasadh Activities 

I have quite a few activities planned for Lughnasadh this year. The first task will be preparing the feast. Well, soup isn’t really a feast but it’s still fun to say. I’m making chicken soup from scratch and serving it with rosemary french bread. It’ll go in the crockpot so I’ll throw the veggies together in the morning and start them cooking in the broth with herbs. I will check on it periodically and do the next steps in stages throughout the day. Being a harvest festival I plan to harvest some flowers from my garden to make a decorative centerpiece for my table. I’m going to make sure I’ve got everything I need for the ritual and spellwork. Then I’m going to clean the house from top to bottom! While I clean I will memorize my lines for the ritual. I wouldn’t look like a very competent priestess if I’m fumbling with note cards or a book while I lead ritual!

I’ll have my son ‘help’ me by giving him a squirt bottle of water and a rag to have him wash the walls. He’s 2 and at that stage where he wants to be involved in everything I do. 

When the cleaning is done it’ll be time for something fun with the Gods in mind – part of my devotional practice is to do arts and crafts making something for them at least once a week, so, this is the perfect day to do so! I’ve already made statues as offerings so I’ll make decorative altarpieces while my son makes a mess with his Model Magic. I favor Sculpey clay but it’s not really child-friendly. Crayola’s model magic never dries so it’s perfect for little ones who tend to leave it out for hours but keep coming back throughout the day. 

Some activities you could partake in are:

  • Painting/Drawing (of what you want, of the Deities, of what you’re celebrating today)
  • Sculpting (statue of the Deities, a mini spear for Lugh, a Goddess statue for Anu, an offering dish for the ritual/your altar)
  • create Corn Dolly’s for the ritual (to represent the Deities)
  • Go for a walk and find the perfect stick to be your wand for the rites, or if its’ big enough to be your staff- my son LOVED when I took him to help me find my staff

When the arts and crafts are done, and supper time is coming close, I will turn the crock pot to low and take my son outside so he can play for 20 minutes while I ground myself. I will take off my shoes so I can actually feel the earth beneath me. I will feel the strong, unbending ground and the warm, exhilarating sun on my skin and I will think about Anu and Lugh. I will think about ways they have affected my life, ways they could help me with my goals for the next phase of the year, how my love for them runs so deep and strong like the roots of an ancient tree. This is something I try to do every day as a part of my devotional practice for the Morrigan (I’m a priestess for the Morrigan so I will interact with her multiple times a day).

Lughnasadh Ritual & Workings

Source: oghampathways.wordpress.com


“Alluring Anu”
©2018 Amanda Wilson. All Rights Reserved

Since I don’t want to impact the efficiency of the ritual I’m planning I have designed one especially for you, my lovely readers. I have been really drawn to Celtic magic lately, so I have written a ritual that combines practices of Druidry, Celtic magic, and Wicca.  The ritual will be honoring Lugh and Anu, the Goddess of the Land,  the mother of the Gods and one of the three Morrigans. (To learn more about Anu, check out my article about her on Hubpages: The Magic of the Morrigan: Alluring Anu.) You will acknowledge and provide an offering for your ancestors and the Spirits of the Land as well. The intent of the ritual is to recognize and give thanks for the abundance in your life – what you’ve ‘harvested’ from your hard work and dedication. This could be beautiful paintings as a result of study and practice, a raise or promotion at work after years of working your ass off, a garden full of gorgeous flowers after spending all those days getting bitten by bugs, dirt under your nails and sunburns on the back of your neck because you were sitting on the ground messing with the soil, pruning the massive plants (I have some flowers that grow so big they weigh down the whole plant), or anything else that applies to you!

Before the ritual, you should clean your whole house. This is something I do with every turn of the year. Witchcraft values order, balance, and efficiency. By going through your house cleaning and organizing each room you are setting up the home for maximum efficiency. If you come across things that are no longer of use- and be honest with yourself here!- you should consider donating or recycling it. I used to have the hardest time letting go of things, but I’ve come to learn they are just that: things. Would I save them in case of a fire? No. So no sense keeping them in that box you keep tripping over because it doesn’t fit in the closet. My rule of thumb is if I haven’t thought of the thing in 6 months then its time to move it along (obviously certain things are exempt, like your kids’ first outfit or heirlooms etc.). When your home is clean and organized the energy tends to be more positive and light. The Faeries certainly prefer a clean and orderly home over one that is cluttered, dark, and dusty. 


Now that your house is clean you probably are not. So take a shower and scrub yourself clean. You will be inviting Gods into your home tonight and you don’t want to be grubby doing it!  As you’re washing your body let go of all the things stressing you out. Let it slide down your body like the water drops and swirl down the drain with the soap and water. When you are washing between your toes you are washing away the bricks of stress weighing you down. Exfoliating your face is clearing the clutter from your mind as the gunk is cleaned out of your pores. The Celtic gods appreciate cleanliness and this definitely applies to you as well. Even if you aren’t honoring Lugh and Anu, taking a ritual shower or bath is common practice before a ritual. Cleansing yourself helps to cleanse your mind and soul which allows for a fierce focus on the working.


🌖Lughnasadh Ritual🌖


You’ve cleansed your body and your home so now you will move on to the next step in preparation. You should anoint yourself and perform a self-blessing. Just dap a bit of oil on your chakra points and ask your Patron/Matron deity to bless you tonight. If you don’t have one then ask the Universe.

 You want to wear clothing that is both comfortable, easy to move in, doesn’t pose a fire risk (long flowy sleeves + candles = OUCH). You also want to wear something that makes you feel Witchy. When you have clothes dedicated to ritual use only you will feel magical when you put them on and it will assist in the shift in consciousness, help you stay focused, heighten your psychic senses.  


Items Needed:

  • Candles to represent Anu, & Lugh (green and gold are common choices)
  • Altarpieces that make you think of the intent – like photos of your garden, a pay stub, the painting you’re proud of.
  • offerings for the ancestors, land spirits and the Deities – traditionally this would be whiskey, wine, herbs, honey but when it comes to offerings I always tell people it’s not WHAT you give but HOW you give it. Now the Fae do appreciate shiny trinkets and sweet food/drinks, like milk and honey. But offerings for Deities must come from the heart. Don’t go out and get whiskey and absently pour the libations. You could offer herbs the Deity is said to favor, offer food or drink that you particularly favor, make something for them like a painting or a sculpture, or perform a duty in honor of them. Offerings can be as unique as the individual laying them out.
  • Incense: I know there are lists all over the internet that tell you which incense is appropriate for Lughnasadh. When I choose incense for rituals I use my intuition. Certain scents act as keys, that is once I smell them my chakras open and my energy becomes grounded, I start breathing slow and steady and my consciousness shifts to the necessary level for magic and devotionals. Nag Champa, Dragons Blood, and chakra aligning incense sticks are my go-to’s but choose what works for you.
  • Magical Tools: tools are more than objects that assist us with a task, they are symbols for different concepts or themes in life. The tools that we will recognize/use in this ritual are the cauldron, the torc, the sword and the spear. If you don’t have these things don’t fret. You could use a bowl, a necklace, an athame (I’m using a dagger), and a stick. I’ll be using clay statues of these things and the dagger to cast the circle and open the barrier etc. You could have pictures of these things too, the whole idea is what these things symbolize.

Bring all these things to your altar and set them aside – not on the altar yet. Light some sage or a cleansing incense. Rosemary, patchouli, dragon’s blood, frankincense, myrrh, and vervain all work great to clear the air of negative energy. And by negative I don’t mean ghosts – negative energy is energy that distracts from the intention of the working. So, cleanse the air, and then smudge your tools one by one as you put them on your altar. I’m not going to tell you how to set up your altar – the Gods don’t care where everything is. Do what works for you. I like to have the tools arranged by the quarters, so candles in the southern corner, incense in the east, water or my cauldron in the west and then salt or soil from my property in the north. Again, this works for me but do what works for you!


Before you cast the circle center yourself – find your point of power (usually in the belly) and rock gently back and forth until you come to a natural stop, then rock side to side until you come to a natural stop. Now release all tension, control your breathing. Focus on your feet. From the bottom of your feet, roots are extending, they reach down into the ground -the body of the Earth Mother Anu, and when they come to a natural stop your breathing pulls up the Waters of the Earth, the natural currents that charge the power of the earth. With each breath, these waters rise higher. Continue until they fill your body. Now focus on the sky – see the Sun in your mind’s eye. Now see the moon, the stars. See them together in a beautiful blended sky. Open your Crown and accept the golden stream of light, the Fire power from the Sky. Again pull it towards you and into your with each breath. Take a moment to feel the combined powers merging with your own. When you cast the circle, see the Waters of the Underworld and the Fire of the Sky emerge from your finger (or athame or wand whichever you prefer). As they meet they form protective Mist, that is both a barrier and a boundary, establishing a safe space in which you will conduct your ritual and carry out your workings.  As you rotate you could think or say something to this effect:

I cast now a circle of the Waters of Anu and the Fire of Lugh, a circle of mists that protects from the unwanted and invites the Divine. In the name of Anu and Lugh this circle is sealed!

Now call the Airts. If you have a call you particularly like then you may use it, or you can make one up. Ian Corrigan’s Sacred Fire, Holy Well he provides an exercise to attune to the Four Airts, but I like to use it as the call. The short and sweet invocation for each corner allows for time to envision the wind and feel the qualities enter the circle and intertwine with your energy.

East wind blow Bounty

See red wind blow from the east and enter your circle, swirling around you clockwise until it wraps around you bringing the awareness of wealth in your life and the power of growth.

South wind blow Song

See white wind from the south blowing in and filling you with energy and new impulse.

West wind blow Wisdom

See the twilight gray wind enter your circle and infusing your spirit with knowledge and inspiration. 

North wind blow Strong

A black wind swirls in and around you, bringing strength and stability. 

Light the candle for Anu as you raise your power hand and with your wand/athame or finger, draw an invoking spiral (start in the middle and rotate clockwise). See the mist parting and Anu appearing and stepping forward as you say:

I call to you, Anu, Goddess of the Land and Mother of Gods, to come to my sacred circle to join and bless this Lughnasadh rite. Hail and Welcome Earth Mother Anu!

Now light the candle for Lugh and repeat the process, saying:

I call to you Lugh, God of Light, to come to my sacred circle to join and bless this Lughnasadh rite. Hail and Welcome, Master of Skills Lugh!

Take the offering for the Ancestors and as you pour/place it into the offering dish say:

With this offering I honor you, Ancestors of Blood and Bone. May you bless this rite with your wisdom and love.

Take the offering for the Land Spirits and as you pour/place it into the offering dish say:

With this offering I honor you Spirits of the Land, Guardians of this place. May you bless this rite with your protection.

Now state the intention of the ritual. Acknowledge the ways in which Anu and Lugh have blessed you thus far (say at least one specific thing, like “thank you Lugh for helping me write that proposal that got me my promotion”, or “thank you Anu for blessing me with perseverance I needed to reach my weight goals”). Next share with them the goals you have for the future, and request that the bless you with their virtues so that you will achieve them.

Take the offering you have for Anu. Hold it up above the altar and say:

Behold my offering for Anu, a token of my respect, love, and gratitude. 

Place/pour into the offering dish and repeat for Lugh:

Behold my offering for Lugh, a token of my respect, love and gratitude. 

 If you have any spellwork planned you may proceed with it. If you don’t, you may perform divination, using Tarot or scrying to find an answer to any burning questions you have or to obtain advice on how to achieve your goals. You could just sit and communicate with the Deities. Be sure to write down messages your receive and any feelings/sensations you felt during the ritual.  

When you are ready to end the ritual thank and dismiss the Deities and then the Energies of the Directions. Saying something like “Thank you for joining me on this night. Depart in peace ____”


Open the circle by extending your power arm and rotating counterclockwise, envisioning the mist separating into the Water and Fire and returning to the Earth and Sky.


🌖 Lughnasadh Spell✨🌖

Lughnasadh is a great time for spells that involve prosperity, abundance, relationships, and protection. The moon phase for tomorrow night is Waning Gibbous, so for prosperity and abundance, I recommend casting the spell during the day, drawing from the Sun’s energy. The Sun has cycles just like the moon. From sunrise to noon it’s like the waxing moon so spells bringing things to you are best, from noon to three the sun is most powerful so you could cast any kind of spell and typically from 3 until dusk you would cast for release, serenity or removal. 
The Druids follow the year’s cycle just as Wiccans do but with a few differences. Again explaining this in detail would warrant another full article, but here it is in a nutshell: instead of a hierarchical modal of realms, they believe that the Upper- and Underworlds manifest themselves here on Earth in various time phrases. There are specific moon phases, times and holy days that correspond to each Station of the Year – Station being holy days. For Lughnasadh, the energies for spellcasting are strongest when the moon is a Waning Gibbous between the hours of 3 and 5:59 in the evening. This year the moon is, as I said earlier in Waning Gibbous so from 3 until 5:59 tomorrow would be the best time to perform your ritual and spells. You would draw on the powers of the Sun, the Moon, and of the earth. 

I am a firm believer that the most effective spells are ones you write yourself because that much more energy is put into manifesting your Will. I will provide a spell I’ve found to be effective and easy to manipulate to cover just about any type of spell. 

Anu Earth Magick Spell¹
This spell involves calling on Anu and the element of earth to manifest your desired goal. Useful for material things, such as money for a bill, a new job/promotion, new car or home, etc.
Items Needed: 
  • Anu’s incense (small pinch of soil, 3 tbsp of mugwort, 2 tbsp Irish moss)
  • a small bowl
  • 1 cup soil from your property
  • Athame
Light the incense and pass the bowl through the smoke. Fill the bowl with the soil. Hold your hands over the bowl and say:

I am one with Anu, Mother of the Land, whose body is the green and fertile hills, whose blood flows through the rivers, whose bones are the stones of the earth. The power of the earth flows through me, I am one with the spirit of the earth, I am one with Anu!

With your finger or athame draw a symbol representing what you wish to manifest in the soil. See your desire clearly in your mind and see it flowing into the soil, moving from the realm of Energy to the physical realm to manifest in your life. When you’re done sprinkle the soil outside on your property (releasing it into the Universe to manifest and send you what you want). (Woodfield, 2011, p.90-92)

1. Woodfield, S. (2011). Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess: 
Invoking the Morrigan. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.



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Thoughtful Thursdays: Finding the Magical in the Mundane

✨✨There is magic all around, no matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing… you just have to be open to it. There are many realms within this world – little worlds within this world: Forests, Fields, Beaches, Backyards even. Today I will tell you how to transform a mundane walk through the woods into a Spellcrafting Stroll through a Magical Woodland. ✨✨


When you have the chance, go for a walk through the woods. When you step onto the path, you are entering a different world. Instead of a vast blue sky and all-encompassing light, the air is cool, the breeze is gentle, the Sun only meeting the ground in sparse rays of light. Continue forward, following the splashes of light – these are your guides to the perfect space in which you will perform your working. Walk slowly, so your eyes can thoroughly observe the scene. What colors do you see – shapes, shadows, take as much of it in as possible. Your goal is to immerse yourself in this world and learn how you fit into it. You are not on the path, you are a part of it..you are a part of the woods. 

As you stroll listen to the wind… what is it saying? Pause for a moment and breathe in through your nose. Close your eyes and focus on the scents. What do you smell? You can better understand your surroundings by using your sense of smell to identify the things your eyes don’t detect. 


Your hearing can further define the world around you. What can you hear? As a breeze glides through the branches imagine the leaves dancing about when you hear them rustling. Can you identify the bird calling nearby? What do you think the squirrels are chattering about?

Go to the nearest tree and place your hand on its’ body- observe the sturdiness of the trunk… the refreshing coolness of the bark. Stand in the presence of this tree and feel the energy radiating from it- how does it feel against your body? Does it carefully nudge your aura? Or is it a strong force enveloping you in a hug?

The sun peering through the trees is more than streams of light illuminating the forest path…it is the Goddess, sending you energy that, when accepted through your Crown Chakra (the top of your head) merges with yours, making your magic determined and fierce.

Let your intuition guide you to The Spot – the place where you will conjure and cast. When you find this place, stand there for a moment and slowly rotate, taking in your surroundings. The techniques you were practicing along the way will have you all warmed up for this task. Once you have etched the area into your mind, stand comfortably with your feet shoulder width apart. Feel your power start to warm and rise in your belly, and send it down your legs, through your feet. Push it from the bottom of your feet into the ground, in the form of roots if that helps. Send those roots deep as you can, allowing them to stop naturally. Now breath deeply, into your belly and then your lungs and hold that breath with the muscles of your belly and chest- don’t close your throat. Hold for the count of 2 or 4, whichever you are more comfortable with, and then release. Let the air out of your lungs and then your belly, and again hold by flexing the muscles in your middle. The next deep breath you take, envision you are absorbing the power of the earth, drawing it up with your breath. Continue this breathing technique until the energy has traveled up the roots, entered your feet, then up your legs, into your belly, rising up until your body has fully absorbed the powers of the Earth. How does it feel as it merges with your personal power? With the power of the sun?

Now comes the fun part! You may cast a circle if you wish, or set a protective barrier around you. In Wicca, the circle is cast in order to keep the energy raised in a contained space. It condenses as it increases, and so when you finally open the circle it is sent into the world like a stone shot into a field with a slingshot. In Celtic magic, the circle does the opposite in a way, whereas instead of creating a pressure cooker for magic, it establishes a sacred space with no veil so the deities or spirits you call to may communicate with you. Depending on the working I may use the Wiccan circle or I may use the Celtic. Whichever you use, if any, is totally up to you.

This working will be sent into the Universe, to tweak and shake the delicate strands of the Web of Life encouraging the series of events necessary to ensure that what you desire will come to pass. The power of Speech was believed to be immensely powerful by the Celts, so begin by stating your desire out loud. See the destination in your minds’ eye – if you are casting for a new career, imagine your daily routine from the moment you wake up until the time you lay down to sleep. How has your life changed with this new career? Do you drive a different car? Does your house have any new furniture? What is your range of emotions through the day? Do you have a peaceful commute? Or do you start your day by taking your laptop out to the chair on your back porch to check emails in your pajamas while you sip on coffee? What was the busiest part of the day? How did you feel when the rush was over? See these things clearly as possible. When you get home from work or when you decide your work day is over,  are you tired?…feel a sense of accomplishment?…giddy because you landed a new client? When you are getting ready for bed, what thoughts are going through your mind?

When your journey self drifts to sleep, bring your awareness back to your body. Ground the energy speeding through your body and with it send your intent. Once the energy charged with your Will is pushed into the earth the soil will nurture it, help it grow sturdy and strong.  The power of the Sky is of the element Fire, so it is the spark that will bring change to your life that will lead you to your goal. Feel that spark traveling with the power of Sky through your body, and when it comes up your midsection to your head let the power shoot out of the Crown chakra and rain down around you. Feel the strength and stability and potential merge with the earth energy and send it back down your roots. This energy is now a part of the Woodland floor, the soil in which these trees have taken root. The trees will absorb the energy, and the sunlight that caresses their leaves will ignite the intent into motion.

You should pour a bit of water onto the earth as an offering and a sign of gratitude for accepting your presence and for contributing to your magic.

✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

Your body, mind, and soul are the only tools you need to make magic. Sure, an athame or wand helps to focus magic but your finger is just as efficient- maybe even more powerful, at casting a circle.  Your Will, Determination, and your Imagination- your Inner Sight are essential to magic as they are the catalysts which bring your desires to life.  Your bodily senses will define the world around you, help you understand how you fit into it. Your intuition will guide you towards the location both safe and sacred -perfect for making magic- and your Inner Sight will set into motion that which you are determined to accomplish…what you Will.



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