Monday, August 29, 2016

Plant Magick

I could devote years to this subject and still not learn half of it. My father was a wonderful gardener. One of my uncles said Dad could make a plant grow out of a brick wall. I try to garden. I do very well with container gardens and not well with much else. I used to wonder why I didn't have Dad's green thumb. I keep trying. One day when staring wistfully at seed catalogs I finally realized my father probably wasn't born with a green thumb. He had to learn and it just seems like he was great at gardening because I only saw the end result of years of practice. Therefore, I encourage you to try and try again. Keep notes so that when something works you can do it again. For those of you who need very basic starting points, I offer the absolute beginners' guide to plant magick:
This is a plant I received from my husband's co-workers when our daughter was born. I don't even know what kind it is. But it has survived a whole year. It's much bigger than when I got it. It is perfect for the spell I'm about to give you.

You can use any house plant. This can be a cactus, an aloe, ivy, or some flowering thing. The only other thing you need is a crystal of your choice.

Sit down with the crystal and the plant. Visualize the plant flourishing. Now think about money. Tell yourself that you always have enough money for whatever you need. Think about your financial situation improving. Say that as the plant grows, so will your money. Put the crystal in the flower pot. Each time you water the plant remember that your money is increasing. If you want a little extra oomph, place a dollar bill in the pot as well. Yes, it will eventually rot away, that's called fertilizer. Plants like fertilizer.

If the plant dies, throw it out, cleanse the area, then get a new plant and start over. You might decide to try a different location. Keep trying until you feel more secure about money. Then try other themes on the spell like plants for health, happiness,  love, or protection. You can write your desire on a piece of paper or paint symbols on the flower pot. If you're feeling optimistic, research the meaning of plants and flowers to match what you want.

Now you've become a magickal gardener.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Material Matters

The problem with writing on a schedule is occasionally running out of blog posts. So in scraping the bottom of the barrel for writing materials, here's the magnet I picked out to go on our fridge:

And here is the one my husband picked out:


Monday, August 15, 2016

Cursed! Or Burdened With Negativity

We have gone through a ridiculous amount of problems in the last 3 months. I could put that off as bad luck, but the exact same problems keep occurring. Hmmm.

The first thing I did was think over things carefully. Are we the victim of our own selves, as in, could these things have been avoided if we had handled business? I decided no, we did not create our problems. We paid our bills, filled out paperwork, kept our appointments, stayed in contact, and did routine maintenance.

Then I started thinking about what kind of people we deal with. My inlaws are spiteful. We have several so-called friends who never keep promises. We've been forced to deal with issues that involve less than honest people. Our neighbors are drug addicts. Would I allow any of these people into our home (inlaws aside). No. Yet they're all in the perimeter of what we deal with daily and the edges seem to be reaching for front and center.

My next step was to clean house. I emptied trash and swept. I looked for problem areas that always stay messy and I thought about who makes the mess because that is usually an indication of who is associated with negative energy. The person who makes the mess is not always the problem. Sometimes it is an associate of that person. This gave me clues about what kind of spell work to do.

The third step is protection. I chose to wear empowered jewelry and to carry crystals. I've also decided to smudge on a regular basis until things seem to be improving. This will prevent negativity from building up.

The fourth step is an uncrossing ritual. I usually do a simple uncrossing spell that returns negative energy back to the person who sent it. I don't send negativity back to one person in particular unless that person seems to continually crop up when a fresh round of problems occur. I don't want to hex the wrong person. I have heard of Witches who work uncrossing rituals each year and then they watch what happens. Many of their "friends" suddenly have problems, everything from car trouble to sickness to money woes. Every time I do an uncrossing I am surprised by who suddenly develops problems. Most of the time these people aren't deliberately vindictive but when I think about it,  I realize they're jealous.

Which brings me to the last step: be careful what you broadcast. You might be happy and wanting to share a joyful moment but not everyone will be pleased with what you're proud of. Someone might think you're boasting or condescending. Insecure people are good at creating drama out of nothing. Sadly not everyone finds pleasure in beauty or happiness because it emphasizes what they are lacking.

Monday, August 8, 2016

How to Be a Certain Kind of Witch

Pinterest is full of spells and pictures for the Green Witch, for the Earth Witch, for the sassy Witch, for, well, every adjective you can put with Witch. Sexy Witch, Modern Witch, New Witch. Crone, Wicked, Sea, Traditional, and Tarot.

But how to become a (fill-in-the-blank) Witch?

It's actually pretty simple, and not that easy, which is typical Witch fashion.

To begin, decide what kind of Witch you are. Not what kind you want to be. This comes later. I'm a Kitchen Witch, meaning my actual practice is about cooking and crafting. Almost all my spells are for the benefit of my home and family. I use herbs, spices, crystals,  and knot spells. I don't do involved rituals or work with the dead. I do what I do because of how my life currently works. I can't leave a spell set up on the altar for days because I have children who move things and xian inlaws who are extremely nosey. I barely have time to brush my teeth so there's not much chance of being able to disappear into the woods at midnight to work under the moon.

I would like to be the kind of Witch who turns everything into a spell. But if I start trying to turn every little detail into magick then I'm going to get burned out quick. I don't do anything on impulse. I plan as many details as I can because I don't like surprises. This is why it's important to know what kind of Witch you are. If you don't like clutter there's no point in having 200 spell bottles because you are never going to find that many that match and the cabinet to keep them in AND still be able to use them all efficiently. It looks great in movies, but that's a lot of bottles to wash, prepare, enchant, use before the magick rubs off, keep track of what you have, and then still be able to find the bottle you need. Did I forget to mention labels and recipes plus notes on whether the spell works?  Oops.

So, to figure out what kind of Witch you are, spend a little time thinking about what you're good at. My element is Earth. I use lots of crystals. I like things I can see and touch rather than things that are spoken or that only exist in the imagination. I prefer to do the work rather than spending time prepping for the work.

I'm going to tell you how to be a Stitch Witch. All sewing has the opportunity to be a spell. This is the easy part. The not so easy part is figuring out how much magick to do.

Before I work a sewing spell, I must be proficient with type of sewing I'm doing. So at least once, I do the technique to understand the process. If it's difficult I do it again and probably another 3 or 4 times to really know what I'm doing. That means searching for other methods to see if there's an easy way. It means trying other materials. It could mean a change in tools. With knot spells that could mean using a particular pair of scissors to make sure I haven't bound myself to the work. Maybe I use the modern scissors for regular sewing and the heavy, antique scissors for magick the way some Witches put on special robes for rites.

Adding in magick could mean working in the same place each time I do a spell. It might mean chanting while I work, or it could mean using certain colors, or it could be what I do before I start sewing like smudging or meditation or lighting a special candle.

Let's use another example, say wanting to be a Kitchen Witch. For simplicity's sake will say you already know how to cook. Now decide how to cook with magick. Maybe you decide all baking is abundance magick because typically things that are baked rise so baked dishes grow. You might decide boiling is banishing because boiled liquids kill bacteria. Grilling could be a fire spell. As far as I know, there is no set tradition about cooking methods and magick. There are a ton of corospondences for herbs, fruit, nuts, and spices, but nothing about how to prepare the food. I think if you're going to be a good Kitchen Witch that's something you should figure out immediately.

A Tarot Witch would obviously read the cards, but would she have a deck for her personal life and another for friends? I think she would. I think she'll use regular playing cards as well. I think she would copy her favorite deck and use the photocopied Tarot cards for spells such as placing the one of swords under the front steps for a house protection spell. She might mail the Judgement card to an enemy or she might leave the Empress card with her resume to help her get a promotion at work.

A Water Witch might put as much emotion as she could into her work, believing the spell wouldn't take effect until tears were cried over the work. A Fire Witch might do all spells at her hearth or on her stove. A Sexy Witch might think of ways to boost her attraction thus all her spells would resolve how she looked when she did them, it could mean wearing enchanted perfume, or her main focus might be glamour spells. If she did those spells with mirrors or by enhancing aura energies, that would be her personal practice and how she thought a Witch should work.

It can be fun to think about your practice to decide if you are happy with the way things are. Trying new things is fun. Witchcraft is about knowing yourself. What kind of Witch are you?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Lammas

When I was a newbie Witch I didn't celebrate Lammas because my friend that I did rituals with had 4 children. The middle girl's birthday is August 2. Around here school starts during the first week of August. There was never time for a ritual and I didn't like doing High Holidays alone. I still don't. Holidays should be enjoyed with friends and family. Which makes things difficult when people don't have the same belief system as you. This is a long winded way of saying it took a long time for me to get into the spirit of Lammas.

Lammas is the first harvest holiday. Mabon is second and Halloween is third. This is the time of year when stores start selling autumn decorations even though it's still hot as hell. The stores are really selling a promise of cooler weather. People start longing for hot tea and fashionable leather boots but the heat index is 104 so we wind down the summer with sunflowers and early pumpkins while sipping iced tea.

Lammas is about peak. This is more evident in the sun God Lugh's festivals because Lugh was a healer, a warrior, an archer, and a blacksmith. He had many skills that he excelled at. When this holiday comes you should start thinking about what you're good at and revel in it.

Being a harvest day, bread is the main fare. Lammas is the first wheat harvest. Now I celebrate by baking breads and cake. Often I send the boys out to pick blackberries so I can make clobber. I'd like to point out that people rarely need to know the reason for a party. Generally people are happy with extra food and drink rather than the reason why there's festivities.

Now that I'm a mother, Lammas is a good reason to celebrate because my kids are back in school and I have alone time again. You thought I had deep and meaningful reason, didn't you?  You thought I'd share something about the bounty of family love. Whatever. I enjoy what I can get.

This year I have new Witchcraft to do. I mentioned earlier this year that I was doing Stitch Witchery and knot spells. I married into a family of writers. My father-in-law writes sci-fi and occasionally fantasy. I'm his editor. Periodically I make story suggestions. I came up with a series of magic storylines  (though sadly he declined to use them). One was a knot spell. A wizard throws a circular knot which causes the bad guys to be obliterated. Then I suddenly wondered why I couldn't make a spell like that. Someone causing trouble? Just throw the knot! Then it occurred to me that there must be a 'reel in' spell; some kind of loop that draws your desire closer. See kids, this is why reading is important.

So I have knots to tie, and I also have very important Stitch Witch spell involving stars. I made a plastic canvas star wreath for July Fourth.
My sister-in-law asked me to make one for her. It just so happens I was thinking about spreading magick. I do this sometimes. When I out grow tools or notes, I leave them in public places for other Witches to find. I left a book of shadows in the library. It was a hand written book and couldn't be mistaken for a library book. I've left a cauldron in a cemetery, a sea float buried in a trailer park,  and a ring under house steps. The star idea is just empowering a star I've stitched then leaving it for someone to find. I was thinking of infusing them with luck and prosperity. 

The wreath I'm making for my sister-in-law is more than luck. She has self esteem issues. She's moody and superior acting. She's very intelligent, but she lords it over everyone. Her current boyfriend is still married and has 11 children by about 8 different women.  He holds no job longer than a month.  I think she keeps him because she doesn't think she can get anyone else.  Except she hasn't mentioned him in a while so I think he must have cheated on her. 

I think making her wreath is a good opportunity to bring some humility into her life, along with patience and understanding.  And sound judgement.  Or I might just send her on an adventure because if she was busy with a real man she wouldn't have time to meddle in my business.  So yes, big post on the way.

Currently,  I am very involved with my artists guild.  I made a troll cross for an art show.  Troll crosses are charms to protect against evil influences. 

So, we are now up to date on what I'm doing.  Oh, I almost forgot! I decided to use magick to help people.  The first time I did it a car was stalled in the left lane at a very busy intersection. I used my car starting spell and the driver managed to get the car started and out of the road. Yay! I prevented a wreck! I try to find at least one person to help each time I go out. Sometimes I send energy,  sometimes healing, sometimes luck. Mostly I imagine things going smoothly for them. It's rare to solve a particular problem like I did with the stalled car because we usually don't see exactly what anyone has trouble with.  It's fun to do and it makes me feel better about the world. 

Now, I said I would answer questions. Ask away.  I'll answer questions about my personal practice. I'll answer questions about ghosts and haunted places. I can answer questions about gods and other Witches.  If I don't know, I will find out.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Returning

I will be returning to blogging in August. I'll have a nice Lammas post. If there is anything you would like for me to write about for future posts, leave a comment. I view questions as learning experiences for both myself and my readers so if I don't know I will gladly do some research.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Sleep, Bed, Dream

My husband and I are upgrading from a standard bed to a queen. I really like our current bed because my great-grandfather made it. But it has a few problems. First, it has a really tall footboard. My husband kicks it in his sleep so he wakes up with bruised feet. And he's 6 feet tall and the bed is six feet long...but the high footboard makes it seem shorter, so he tries to scrunch up but he isn't comfortable. (At 5'1" I'm fine.) The mattress was purchased when I was about 23. I'm 39 now. And of course, our daughter seems to take up half the bed when she sleeps between us. One of our adult sons wants to move back home and he can't sleep on the couch forever, to say nothing of the fact that he eats his weight in groceries each day so if I let him sleep on the couch he can see the refrigerator and then he'll get up for a midnight snack, so yeah, he needs to be in another room away from temptation. All this has me thinking of various magick and spells pertaining to sleep, dreams, and beds.

The direction you sleep in can affect you in many ways. Most people believe your head should be in a particular direction but others say you should face a direction to achieve effects. Try them all, see what works for you. Just remember any changes in sleeping habits can affect your body, so try it for several nights before deciding if it's working.

You should flip the mattress every 6 months for even wear. Flip the mattress during a waning moon to encourage the mattress to stay flat. Vacuum the mattress every month to discourage mold and mites.

You can have more erotic dreams by sleeping on your stomach. However, because it is a more vulnerable position, your nightmares can be scarier.

Sexual dreams are rarely about sex. Dreaming of having sex with a celebrity means you want what they have, fame and fortune. Sexual dreams about a person you know in real life means that you want a deeper relationship with that person, not that you desire them sexually.

Drugs, both prescription and recreational, can turn off the part of the brain that controls dreaming. Not having dreams can result in psychological problems.

Reoccurring dreams indicate a problem that is unaddressed. The dream will continue until you face the problem.

Sleeping under a new quilt for the first time is believed to make dreams come true. For best results, the quilt should be washed in snow before it is given to the recipient. To snow wash a quilt, dry powdery snow is needed. The quilt is gently laid face down on the snow and rubbed from the back to remove dirt. The quilt is moved to another patch of clean snow and the process repeated until no more dirt shows on the snow. If you live in a warm climate, try rain washing. Simply lay the quilt on a clean surface and leave it in the rain. This is a gentle way to clean a quilt without agitation.

Beds should be kept clean. Ideally nothing should be stored under the bed or you will be burdened by your problems and never able to rest.

Headboards should be beautiful to promote a secure and affluent life station.

Some people think mirrors should never face the bed because a married couple will be disturbed by the "third-party" in the bedroom. Televisions monitors are reflective so be wary of them as well. There really shouldn't be any electronics in a bedroom but if it can't be avoided move them at least 2 feet away from your head.

Keeping a dream journal can be a good way to find reoccurring patterns and themes in your life as well as helping you break bad habits and being aware of negative programming. For best results, write the same way each morning. This may be in a favorite journal or while sipping coffee. Do not switch mediums. If you start on your laptop continue to use it rather than alternating between hand written and typing. If you can't remember your dreams record your feelings and how well you slept. After you get into the habit you'll remember more and more.

There's a good bit of information about dreams and sleep so check libraries and online. Look for both folklore and psychology because each contains useful information. The important part of learning more about dreams is to simply be willing to explore and learn.