Weeks ago I came across a book on witchcraft: "Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal & Practical Magick" by Ellen Dugan.
It's a great book, rooted in tradition but flexible and dealing with newer subject matter. In this book, she teaches the basics of witchcraft, the more advanced practices, and recommendations for day-to-day life.
For example, she has a chapter on Wicca in the workplace. It talks about whether or not you should come out of the broom closet to co-workers, how to deal with anxiety using covert magickal methods, and using protective psychic armor.
She even talks about raising children in a Wiccan household, something that surprisingly few people talk about.
The information is valuable in the modern day yet probably timeless, her writing style is humorous and friendly but not corny, and her methods and recommendations are easily integrated into one's life. I heartily recommend it. =)
PS: She has a blog: ellendugan.blogspot.com
A lot of it is announcements, but there is some useful information and how-to's on there. Check it out!
My cat went missing a while ago, so I decided to make a spell to try and bring her back.
She hasn't yet, but I'll let you know when she does.
Here's the spell.
(1) blue candle
One of the cat's toys that you won't miss too much (in this case, it was a feather).
Lay out the altar cloth, set up the ingredients, and open the circle.
Light the sage and the candle.
Holding the cat toy, explain to your deity, if she's alive and it's the best thing for her, you want your cat to come home healthy.
Pass the cat toy through the sage smoke 3 times, repeating "With good will to all and harm to none, so mote it be, so shall it be done." with each pass.
Put out the sage and bury it near the back door.
Place the feather on the ground near the front door.
Move the blue candle to a window so that it can be seen from the outside. Leave it burning.
Open another window that the cat can get through (or prop open the cat-door- if you have one).
I briefly considered including Bast (goddess of cats and protection) in this spell, but I decided not to. You never want to add such a large element as a god into a working if you're not familiar with him/her.
Be careful about leaving the candle burning. My candle holder is glass and it cracked when it got too hot, sending two pieces flying. I'm still not sure if this is a bad sign for my cat. Only time will tell, I suppose.
I have really bad hallucinations when I get stressed out. I see and hear things and it gets very distracting and annoying.
I just bought a book today. "Natural Witch" by Ellen Dugan. In a chapter on living as a witch, she recommends taking a few minuets every day just tuning in and paying attention to life and the energies around you.
I've been busy and a bit cut off for months and the hallucinations have become worse. I hardly have any nice ones anymore, just bothersome things.
Maybe that's my problem. Maybe I should pay more attention to all the craziness within me and without me. Weird energy is vying for my attention anyway and maybe I just need to turn around and face it dead-on.
Heck, I'll probably have fun along the way.
I just bought some small black candles from the nearby metaphysical shop. They were small and 30 cents apiece, but they're the first black candles I've ever bought.
Black candles are used to dispel negative energy. For example, you could use one to aid in removing something harmful from your life.
Unfortunately, black candles have gained a little bit of notoriety from people's misunderstanding of their use. To get them, you have to have a metaphysical shop near you or purchase online.
I, however, know of a hack you can use if you don't have any black candles and need some fast.
(1) white candle
(1) 3, 5, or 7-inch long piece of black ribbon
Tie the black ribbon neatly around the white candle. (Just once around, don't wrap it.)
Just before you use it, anoint it and say a quick prayer: "[deity], please accept this candle and let it function just as a black candle would."
Warning: Don't let the flame reach the ribbon. This isn't something you should use if you have to burn the whole candle.
I've decided to start posting regularly. However, it's difficult to post every week if I try to make things really philosophical and 'meaningful.' That word's in quotes because what I might think is meaningful may be seen as utter trash to someone else. (Especially if it's posted in the wee ours of morning.)
Anyway, I've decided that it would be cool to post little tidbits of stuff I find. I know that no one reads this right now, but hey. Someday. =)
Anyway, hope you future people enjoy the tidbits of information I'll start posting between the larger entries.
There's a little metaphysical shop right near me that sells crystals, candles, incenses and books. I used to not go in there because I didn't have money, I didn't leave the house on my own*, and I don't like strong incenses.
This changed when I started going to work. I'd walk past it three times a week and, on my way back one day, I decided to stop by and take a look at their books. I didn't end up buying anything, but I came back the next week and ended up getting "Magical Herbalism" by Scott Cunningham. This is a great book and I definitely recommend it for anyone interested in herbs.
After getting this book, I got a frantic call from my friend. He's 12 and a little unstable, and he is left at home for long stretches of time.
He said that his dog was freaking out and he was seeing moving shadows and flashing lights, and hearing thumping noises. He had called his dad, but was told that he was imagining things.
I ended up walking him through the house over the phone. After a while, the disruptions stopped. I told him that the next time I saw him, I'd have a ghost-repelling kit for him.
Unfortunately, he isn't allowed to burn sage or candles in the house. This limited the options for a kit, but I found a spell in the book I had just got.
Here it is.
A 7"X7" white cotton cloth
3, 7, or 9 dried protective herbs** (I used Fennel, Juniper, and Rosemary)
An earthenware bowl
A medium-sized piece of red string/yarn
1. Mix the herbs in the small earthenware bowl with your hands.
2. Put the mixed herbs in the center of the cloth.
3. Gather up the corners of the cloth and tie them together with the red string, saying
"I bind thee to protect this house and all within it."
4. Knot 12 more times, repeating the above with each knot.
5. Stand facing south, holding your magic knife/wand in your strong hand, and the bag of herbs in the other. (You may use your hand instead of the knife/wand)
5. Press the tip of the knife/the wand/your hand to the bag and say
"May this that I have fashioned tonight
serve as guardian and protector of this house
and all who reside within it.
May it serve me well."
(You can substitute some of these words. For example, I would change the last line to "May it serve this family well" as it isn't going up in my house. You can also use this in somewhere that isn't a house, like a boat, car, or camper.)
6. Hang the bag by its string in the highest point in the house. (If this can't be done, hang in in a closet or over the main entrance.) If it's in a car, place it under the driver's seat.
And there we go. This will protect your house. I haven't seen my friend yet, so I haven't performed the ritual, but I hope to soon.
Blessed be, and may your home be free from negative, unwanted entities.
* What can I say? I call my generation "Generation Bubble-Wrap" because we were raised by "Generation X: the Generation that Raised Themselves" and so we're overprotected.
** The herbs listed on the page are: Angelica [NOTE: Looks a lot like Hemlock, which is VERY poisonous. DO NOT CONFUSE THE TWO.] Asafoetida Ash (twigs and leaves) Avens Balm of Gilead Basil Bay laurel Betony Cyclamen Dill Elderberries (berries or leaves) Fennel Fern Flax Fumitory Horehound Hyssop Jumiper Mistletoe Mugwort Mullein Peony roots Periwinkle Pimpernel Rose geranium Rosemary Rowan Rue St. John's wort Snapdragon Terragon Trefoil Vervain
I keep forgetting that I have a blog. Well, I keep forgetting I have a blog under the name of "Gwen."
I have many alter-egos on the internet and it's hard keeping up with them, working, getting into college, and trying to have some kind of social life.
Luckily, things are stabilizing around here and I think I'll be able to keep on doing this.
In some news. my Mom has pretty much accepted that I'm a witch. I even bought a tarot deck when we went to Barnes and Noble! It's my first deck. I really like it.
The Art Nouveau deck
Also, I got my first real request for help in occult affairs... Here's the post.
Hi, everyone! I'm sorry I haven't been posting. My life has taken some unpleasant turns recently, but things have been straightening out little by little. On top of this, I have a very silly problem that I've been trying to shake- I'm awful at keeping resolutions. I have resolved to fix this many a time, but it kind of slipped my mind. Like how, last month, I decided that I should really start posting weekly... Ahem.
Nonetheless, I am here to start posting things on Mondays now. Just try to be a little patient with me. It may just pay off.
...Which brings me to this week's topic! The balance of the universe.
The universe's balance is a very sturdy thing. No matter how hard you tip the scale, the other end swings back up. And the problem is, you can't exactly avoid the other side that is hurdling toward you at breakneck speeds. It's the universe, for the God's sake! There really isn't a way to avoid it.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
Ahh, yes. Newton's Third Law. It is the essence of simple physics. Our spiritual equilibrium. (Take your pick, it's still the same thing.)
This simple law, this balancing can take a millisecond to several centuries to complete. Sometimes it takes so long, you forget what actually started it and it stands out strangely. It seems to jump out of the blue at you, shouting gibberish and bearing gifts. ...Or switches. We get so used to these sudden twists of fate, that we tend to forget the simple ones. I was reminded just the other week.
I grew up in a household of computers. My Dad kept a server in my room for most of my life, so I grew acquainted with them pretty fast. I also get bad anxiety end up not sleeping for most the night if I hear a loud beep. (His server crashed a lot.)
Although I was raised with computers, I generally didn't ask a whole lot of questions about them. I observed from the sidelines, watching my Dad's creations run and break around me. It was a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, there are some things that I have taken for granted over the years. Like gas dusters. Gas dusters, spray dusters, canned air, or compressed air, is used to clean computers. It's basically just air in a can.
Well, okay. Liquids too. But that doesn't matter so much.
One of the things that I have noticed over the years but never asked out was the temperature change of these things. If you use it, the can gets very cold. As a kid, I just took this as it was and remembered to not touch them after they had been used.
Just the other day, I started wondering about them. Why do they get cold? Compression should create heat. I asked my Dad. He was pretty patient about it.
"Well, what is a consistent quality of gasses?" He asked.
"I dunno. I haven't really studied them." I replied.
"They heat if you put them under pressure." He looked at me seriously, waiting for it to click.
"Oookay." I said, feeling a bit dumb. "So why does it get cold?"
"What happens when you release the gas?"
It clicked then. It was so simple! So wonderfully simple and brainless in design. I had forgotten the Third Law. Every action must have it's opposite... So if compression creates heat, then decompression must create...
"Cold. It turns cold." I said, and burst into hysteric giggles. I had forgotten the universe's balance. No matter how skewed my life may be at the moment, it will normalize at some point. ...Whatever normal is.
Until the next time, my fellow beings! Remember Newton's Third Law.
Hello, everyone! It has been a week and two days since I last posted. Oops. I think that I should start posting once a week on the same day. Monday seems good. Anyway, two days ago was Imbolc (pronounced i-molk)! It symbolized the rebirth of life during the winter times and the return of the sun. It must've also symbolized the return of my breakfast, because I ended up throwing up quite a bit that day. I was on a 3.5 hour car ride to my great-grandparent's house. They live up near Hearst castle and I get very car sick very easily. I turns out that I had the flu on top of the car sickness. Hip hip hooray.
Needless to say, I didn't get to celebrate Imbolc. I am feeling a bit better now (really quick flu), so I'm up and making plans. I will post them when I'm done. =)
Yikes! I really need to start posting on a regular basis. I've been avoiding it out of fear. I don't want to post anything on my mind, turning this into some kind of weird showcase of my bizarre life... Yet, when I think about it, I realize that might be a more realistic representation of what it's like being a Wiccan. A person. Alive.
Being a person is difficult. Being a nice one is even more so. Being a happy, well-balanced person is quite possibly the most difficult thing in the world. Many of us are at a loss of what to do in this department. Most only have a good handle on our sanity some of the time. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Why? Because we're all struggling. And that's okay. We're complicated creatures. Besides, what would we be without a little struggle?? It builds character, in the very least.
Sometimes, when I think about death and reincarnation, I get all worried about whether or not I'm "doing it correctly." There are so many strange and silly things with this thought, I'm almost embarrassed to put it out there... But it must be said, all the same.
Sometimes I think that maybe we reincarnate to learn something. To make up for something that we have done in another plane. To learn our lesson. Such thinking is rather unproductive if you get hung up on figuring out what you did and fixing it immediately. When I really reflect upon this, I tend to realize that it probably doesn't work like that. Frankly, I think that this line of reasoning is dumb if you get hung up on trying to fix something.
I don't know if we reincarnate, or how or why. I don't think that we're here to fix or make up for something. I used to follow this line of thinking when I was little. I would worry and obsess over it until I stayed up all night repeating badly-rhymed pleas to a silent god so that a ridiculous figure with red skin din't come and steal my soul when I wasn't looking. (Yes, that really happened. Many times.)
My point is, we all (and by this I mean me, specifically) need to stop getting hung up on whether or not we're doing The Right Thing. As much as I am confused by this world, I know some things: no one cares if all I post is rambling nonsense. No one is looking into our minds as we mull over the cosmos and pulling out their little red correction markers... And no one, no one is going to pull our souls out from under us.
As long as I know these things, I can relax into being myself. Which is what I was actually striving for the whole time.
...Which reminds me! Here are two links. This Vlogbrothers video illustrates what I was just talking about beautifully. This page is chock full of herbs and their magickal uses. Does it have anything to do with what I was just talking about? No. Is it awesome none the less? YES. =)
So remember. Don't be afraid. We'll all still love you.