Category Archives: Witch

Beltane Blessings

Yippee! It’s that time of year. A time for the lovers, a time for family celebrations in the great outdoors, a time to dance around the May pole, jump fires, and roll around naked in the morning dew. Wait, what?

Beltane begins at dusk on the eve of May 1st and celebrations last all night long into the following day. As I mentioned it is the time of the lovers. The Goddess sheds her youthful robes and takes on the role of the Mother. The God, in turn, becomes her consort, and the two settle down in marital bliss.

This, by the way, is our anniversary! “So, happy anniversary oh husband mine.

“Now, I’m not especially a romantic kind of gal. Not personally. But, I do still believe in happy-ever-after, and that love-conquers-all, and this time of year makes me all gooey and girly and for young love.

 

 

It is a time for fertility magic. A May King and Queen were selected in celebrations on this day, to honour the Goddess and God. All unattached men and women would spend the night in the woods, choosing their partners and hence the saying “Gathering in May”.

Young women would dance around the May pole in the hope of weaving love into their lives. Plus, the May pole is kind of a phallic symbol!

It is considered favourable for those women who wish to conceive to roll in the May day morning dew, anointing their body in the lovers tonic, children born 9 months later were considered to be blessed by the Goddess and God. How lovely!

Another thing that I simply adore about Beltane are the little gifts of flowers and posies left for neighbours and friends as a blessing. Traditionally, a posy was made and left at a neighbours doorstep, with the gift giver remaining silent and secret. No one knows where or whom the gift is from. This to me, presents a wonderful lesson in gratitude, in giving, in humility, and also in the lesson of to stay silent (which is what we do after crafting spells to add to the potency of the magic).

Not only are all these wonderful celebrations happening at this festival, but also, we have the thinning of the veil. Beltane is the opposite to Samhain on the year’s wheel. The worlds collide once more on this night – only this time it’s the naughty and mischievous spirits: Loki, Puck, and Pan could visit, and they love to cause chaos, so be very wary about your wishes and spells!

I’m going to be very busy!

What ever your celebrations are for this May day bank holiday weekend, try to enjoy the spirit of Beltane. Love will be in the air, but also a little bit of chaos – those Gods and spirits do like to have fun; I wished for a rich man, I got a man called Rich!

Brightest Blessings to you all. x

Links:

Make a May Day Door Hanger

Make a May Pole

The God and Goddess Print

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Witches Mirror

Not just used for applying make-up!

We are creatures ruled by vanity. We use a mirror several times throughout the day, to check our reflections, making sure that we are presentable for others. We use a mirror to communicate with us what other people may be seeing, and therefore, thinking about us. We use a mirror to help us mask ourselves, whether it’s make-up or hair styles, to help us shave or trim the beard, we hide behind a “look” – when I say we, I simply mean the we as human beings in general.

Not just used for scrying!

Witches will use many tools for their craft; athame, boline, wand, chalice, candles, incense etc. Usually a witch will also have an item used for scrying as well – to aid in seeing the future. This tool comes in many forms: tarot, runes, crystal ball, and more besides. Each witch will have her or his favourite, and will use it often. While the tools for divination and scrying are all very good in their own right. A mirror offers a bit more of an edge, magically speaking.

Yes, it can be used in spells – to send energies, either healing or banishing.

But the beauty of the magic mirror is in the exploring of your spirit. I have used a mirror on several occasions after going to a talk in the early 1990’s in my home town. It wasn’t a talk on witchcraft especially, although magic was mentioned, but more a talk on spiritual seeking and understanding the shadow self. My first real experience of mirroring was actually quite scary as we were invited to explore our shadow selves. This is something which scared the living daylights out of me.

As a child, and into my teens, I had suffered with night terrors. As an infant in my pushchair, my mum always had to walk in the shade as I was terrified of my own shadow – I tried to kick it off my feet whilst screaming. I also have a fairly dark imagination, so I panicked a little when presented with this exercise of exploring my inner demon.

It turned out to be one of my favourite rituals. I use the mirror for a lot of work where my own spiritual progression is required.I don’t use it very often for others. However, I have been asked to give a brief talk and demonstration tonight at the psychic group, in Long Eaton. I decided I would talk about the power of the mirror, and how it can help you with your psychic awareness, and especially with connecting with a guide.

It’s a simple technique, that anyone can do.

Some do find it quite scary at first: seeing your face change is weird right?

Some may find it too difficult: the eyes have to softly focus and can feel tired and heavy.

Some people can’t do it straight away and give up: it’s like those magic eye pictures that are made up of tiny dots and you have to stare at them just right to make the picture appear. If you can’t see those pictures, you will have to practice and persevere with the mirror. Unlike the magic eye pictures though, if you do persevere with it, eventually you will become better and achieve results.

I will mention here, that your intention is very important. Below are instructions to connect with your guide. I use the mirror for lots of things, and it is always wise to seek proper counsel and research any magical practice before going ahead.

If possible, do this at dusk, with just the one candle to offer light. Night time with all the lights off is no good, as then it will be too dark. So soft lighting is best.

Sit in front of your mirror with a candle in between you, placed slightly to the right.

Focus your gaze, softly, on your third eye – the place just above and in the middle of your eyebrows.

Ground yourself and imagine a bubble of protection around you. Only ever work in the light and with energies that are conducive to your own – the highest and the purest, in perfect love and perfect trust.

Make your intention clear, and breathe evenly and deeply, clearing your thoughts of all clutter and focusing only at the mirror and your intention. State, in your mind, that you are protected. Invite your guide to show themselves in the mirror, in your reflection.

You may have to repeat this several times. Watch as your face changes. Feel the differences in the energy around you – this will be their energy. Feel the difference in the energy within you – this is your energy when a clear connection is made with your guide.

After you have explored the energies and seen your guide, remember to say thank you and goodbye. Ground and centre yourself and blow out the candle.

It’s always wise to get a drink of water afterwards. Write your experience in a journal/notebook/bos, etc.

The more you do this, the more information will come through, and the more you’ll notice your guide’s energies in everyday life.

Enjoy! x


Thou Shalt not Suffer a Witch to Live

Yesterday, I spent the morning researching religion and belief systems to create the kingdom of Dagda Mead from the Kings point of view. My writing has so far been from the point of view of the Wytch – based on the old religion and paganism. I have had a problem with the Kings (and therefore the kingdoms) new religion, as I didn’t want it to be regarded as anti Christian (or other). So I set about creating my new world religion for my fantasy kingdom. This in itself is a rather large task!

Whilst researching, I received a text from a friend of mine with a link to her new website. About two years ago, they received a different kind message; one from God, to plant a church. Through prayer and hard work they are beginning to realise their work. I was excited for her, for her family, to be doing something that they believed was not just a calling, but also something that they were passionate about on the spiritual and physical levels. I checked out their website, I read everything. I texted back telling her how happy I was for them to be doing such a worthwhile thing, that they were amazing, and I wished them all well on their journey. I even tweeted a link, because I am genuinely happy for them.

My research continued. I came across a site with the title of this particular post : “What is Wrong with Witchcraft?” on Christianvoice.org.uk dated July 2013. Okay, it’s a while ago now, but the comments were still coming through as recently as this year.

In the article, the writer suggests that a Christian lady who was interviewed on a programme – BBC’s Big Questions, answered a question regarding witches, wrongly.

“In Exodus, it says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” What do you say to that?”

Her answer was that the particular passage was from the old testament and that the new testament encourages us to love our neighbours.

The author of this piece, suggested her answer was lame, and proceeded to explain why. The whole post however, there are websites and shops, being advertised dedicated to witches, wicca, neo-pagans, and generally the pagan faith. I continued reading, and bookmarked the site so that I could return and follow the links to said witchy sites. I was after all in research mode, not shopping mode!

Excerpt:

“Firstly let me say that no Christian could support ‘trial by ordeal’ by which unfortunate women were wrongly convicted of witchcraft in our land during a period of more than two hundred years with the seventeenth century at its heart.  There must be solid evidence to be convicted of any crime.  Turning to the self-styled witch on ‘Big Questions’, where is the evidence to convict him?  Sticking a star around your neck, growing your hair and dressing in your mum’s old curtains does not come close.

However, it does seem today that we have passed from the hysteria against witchcraft of the seventeenth century to a feeling today that witches and witchcraft are benign and either a bit jolly or silly.  Certainly, no-one today could take witchcraft seriously, or say that it is any more than a bit of fun, could they?  Well, I believe we ought to examine witchcraft in our day rather more closely.”

He then goes on to state:

“I once heard Colin Dye of Kensington Temple tell a story of Christians in an outreach somewhere in Africa who were opposed by the local witch.  The opposition was on purely economic grounds, like the shrine-makers in Ephesus.  Christianity would decrease or eliminate her income.  So she cursed the missionaries with death before the morning light.  Needless to say, they stayed up all night in prayer, praying that God would be their shield and defense and that the arrows of witchcraft would be returned to sender. We can be shocked in Britain by such an approach, common as it is Africa; many of us would pray for the witch instead.  Some might go so far as to pray that God would ‘bless her’.  Show grace, they would say.  Well, these Christians prayed for protection and for the arrows to be returned to sender. (insertion of a quote from Acts 13:8) You are probably way ahead of me already.  As dawn broke, the Christians found themselves all alive and in good health.  But news soon came.  The witch was dead.  Then the news spread.  What power was here!  The village followed the Biblical Deputy and turned to Christ en masse.”

Ding Dong, the Witch is dead! How glorious for them to have such proof and now more dedicated followers. (Sorry, it irked me!)

My perception of this article was that this guy was, actually is, suggesting that witches are in fact a danger. That we have the ability to harm our enemies, that without the light of his God in our lives, we are in fact his enemy. What enemy does a witch have? Do we not live by a code, that although  is a recent writing, is still very much based upon ancient lore:

“‘An it harm none, do what thou will.” Harming none is the absolute in the earth based religion.

As I read it, he even suggested that the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, bought upon the floods in 2004. The museum had been there for a long time – 50 years. It brings tourist and trade from around the world, and has a huge traffic to its website. Would their God have flooded the entire area because of a museum?

I was intrigued by what I was reading. Are we bad people? Because we believe in something else, are we the enemy? It made me think about my book, about my King and the Wytches in Dagda Mead. I am happy that I came across this article, as it has helped me form opinions in the point of view of the King.  Yet maddened because he states that through prayer, Christians make a spiritual connection to their God, whereas Witches make a false spiritual connection through spells and potions. While the answer to a prayer is in Gods hands, the spell unleashes a power at the hands of the practitioner.

He also states that witchcraft is jolly and silly.

Erm, what? Which is it – do we have the power of your God or are we silly? These two statements don’t match up to me…

More importantly though, from the passages that I have copied above, you can also see that it raises serious questions in the real world. Firstly, that no Christian would support trial by ordeal (yeah, let’s not go through the witch hunter general and the burnings again), but that it is okay to pray for the death of an enemy. As is Gods will? Isn’t this how wars start?

It also raised a question in my own personal world. With my new witchcraft classes due to begin soon, if I were to message my friend of the Christian faith with my own happy news of establishing my business would she tweet a link? Would she be happy for me?

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NB: The word witch in the true translation means something else entirely than our modern day meaning of the word – apparently! As my research continued I came across this article: An Enquiry into Biblical Mistranslation over at  Proteus Coven 

Still. With all this, I got some research done, I reached the heights of spiritual outrage with opposing views and can now happily write the Kings p.o.v.  🙂

 


The Holy Grail of Magic Shops

Fifteen years ago, a fabulous magic shop opened on our high street.

Its shelves were packed with books, there were rows and rows of shiny crystals, they stocked candles and incense, all for the general public to purchase. They also stocked all the magical tools a witch could possibly ask for: wands, athames, bells, chalices, cauldrons, bolines, pentagrams/pentacles, statues, altar cloths. With so much more besides.

Sadly, in 2007, for reasons I won’t go into, the owners decided to close their doors. No shop since has ever come close to offering those wonderful magical supplies or books, not here in my area, or online.

I miss the energies. Of walking over the threshold and smelling the fragrant herbs and incense, of picking up crystals and feeling their energy. I miss perusing the shelves and flicking the crisp pages of new books yet to be read, with the knowledge they held yet to be learned. I yearn for the social connection the shop bought to all its customers, the welcoming smiles and the gentle humour. The people I met and friendships I made while working there bought people into my life who I will always treasure. It is because of this shop that I have such wonderful friends – my magical family.

As much as I love having information at my fingertips, through my laptop, while sitting at home; there really is no substitute for a magic shop around the corner. A magic shop that sells all the supplies you could ever wish for, that offers knowledge in the form of books, classes and courses, that brings like minded people together for solid friendships that last a lifetime!

Most importantly, to me as a witch, I find it so difficult to buy things online that are required for my magical work. I look on the screen at the beautifully photographed items, but I can’t feel them. I can’t connect to them through smell, or touch, let alone through energy. I’m currently looking for a new chalice (mine broke) and it is proving to be the Holy Grail that I may as well be seeking!

I realised today that I’m going to have to take a trip to Glastonbury. Don’t get me wrong, Glastonbury is gorgeous, its a great place to visit. A little further than I’d like to go for one item though. Plus, let’s face it, if I go to Glastonbury I’m likely to buy more than just a chalice, and I will of course have to visit the Well, and the Abbey, and Tor. Not to mention a thousand other things to do whilst there. I’m planning a holiday around the need to buy one item!

I miss my local magic shop. I would love to open my own. I have been working on a plan to open one, but is now the right time to be investing money, time and energy into starting a new business?

The shops in Glastonbury survive, I believe, because of the community in which the shops are nestled. A magical place, most residents, I’m sure, are Witches, Druids and Fay 🙂 It is, after all, famous for King Arthur, the Chalice Well, with its healing waters, bring in plenty of tourists and trade, which generates most of the shops footfall and sales.

Everywhere, the High Streets seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate. How could a small and independent magic shop survive when even the big name stores are having to close because of the competition available to consumers online?

Do we, as shoppers, care about being able to pick up and “feel” the items we want to buy? Is it only important for those items which have magical, spiritual, or religious significance, if at all?

 

 

 


Girl Tuesday

It was one of those moments. I picked up the phone, punched in the numbers and waited for an answer.

I had been toying with the idea of teaching Paganism and witchcraft again since being asked by a couple a while ago to get back into teaching. As much as I liked the idea of getting back in the saddle, setting up a new class with new students, and working from a different book of shadows, I had no idea where to teach!

A friend of mine had recently been to a psychic night. She herself had not been picked out of the audience to be read, she was nevertheless impressed by the mediums, and their messages. Over-hearing a few of those who had been read, she learned that it wasn’t just her who was impressed. After the platform work, the ladies had stayed on to read privately for those who were interested. My friend couldn’t stay, but took one of their cards with the intention of booking herself a reading in the near future. This card, she showed to me for the number.

As the phone rang, I did a quick mental check: the moon was waxing (good) and Mercury was still direct for a little while longer (also good). I had a conversation with one of the women regarding room rental at their premises, and asked if they were at all interested in having a witch work alongside of them. The answer was a resounding yes!

I arranged to meet them for a chat, and view the room, the following Tuesday.

I am now their Girl Tuesday.

I work in the office on a Tuesday afternoon, I have set up plans to report on their work through social media, and I have been invited to go along to their Psychic Nights, Vigils, and occasional classes to document and report.

I also have a room to teach my classes – yay!

It was one of those moments: the moon was right, the number dropped into my lap at a time I requested it, positive word of mouth had encouraged me to punch in said number, and the answer I received has so far proved to be much more than I expected or hoped for.

Even Mercury turning retrograde didn’t blink his eyes, except of course to mess around with my computer (again).


Happy, Happy. Wait. What?

Imbolc.

Ah, Imbolc.

I love it. I loathe it.

This is where we start to notice the first signs of spring. The earth begins to stir. Awakening. The crone sheds her robes for those of the maiden, and all of nature shows the promise of new life and rebirth.

I celebrate Imbolc on the 2nd February, not all witches share this date, some will celebrate on the first, some on the closest full moon – which, this year, is on the 3rd.

In our house, we share Imbolc with my eldest sons birthday. Plenty of festivities revolving around him, the family, and lots of cake!

I do always set aside a little time for my own personal ritual, sometimes one that is shared with friends, but mostly it’s my own.

For me, Imbolc begins the week before. I have a huge spring clean: I open all of the windows, regardless of the weather, I scrub and polish and sweep and mop. Once the physical act of cleaning is done, I will then cleanse the house. I sweep again, usually with my besom, I polish the light bulbs with lemon juice, I drum, and finally I go through each room with some healing, before closing all the windows again.

I will also spend time out in the garden.This is the time of year that I will potter around the garden, get some general tidying up done, and make a list of things I will need to do. This year, I’ve made my list early! Plans are afoot for a mosaic path, seeds have been purchased for ground cover; Thyme, Lobelia, Allyssum, and Chamomile. I can already see the signs of growth and new life showing. My roses are budding, the catkins on my hazel are gently nosing their way out, the crocus plants are pushing through! Even the birds are becoming more vocal.

By the time the day arrives, I will be buzzing with anticipation. Jakes birthday always rushes by in a haze. After the crazy, and the cake, I usually find myself lighting the candles, enjoying the moment, meditating, and relaxing into the flow of my ritual.

And then…

Boom! Snow, and frost, and ice, and cold, and the misery of wet socks!

I hate this time of year!

I am a complete grouch.

I am the bitch with the attitude of the wicked witch of the west – hell, I’m the wicked witch of everywhere…

Because I’m cold, I’m fed up, I grow weary of this wintery hell.

Woe. Woe. Woe. What is it with this holiday?

Hubby will, of course, be grinning at this point, he knows what’s about to happen. He has seen me getting excited about Imbolc, year upon year. We will have planned the birthday. He’ll watch me chase around and make lists, and delve into my house cleaning frenzy.

He also knows what will happen next: I’ll get my wellies on, my big coat, gloves, hat, etc, I’ll run outside with the dogs and enjoy the crisp air on my face, I’ll laugh at the dogs as they jump around like lambs, and I’ll go check the jobs on my list, surveying the situation. I might even at this point begin with clearing the ground. Then I’ll stand in the middle of the lawn and begin to cry. It’s true. Every damn year. It’s not a real “I’m so sad” cry. It’s frustration. My wellies aren’t keeping my feet warm, my coat is too bulky, my hands are useless in the gloves and my hat is, well actually, my hat is fine. I will then slam back indoors, crank up the heating and throw myself onto the sofa. Every year.

candle flame

Can I be different this year? I’ll let you know.

For now, whenever and however you celebrate Imbolc, I do wish you a happy one, and hope that the holiday brings you much light and warmth.

(Just please let it be soon!)


Cool Yule

Wishing you all a merry and bright Christmas, and brightest blessings for the Yuletide.

Yule is one of the two solstices in the turning of the years wheel, where the daylight hours stop decreasing and begin to lengthen. Yay!

The days will be getting longer, and this is reason enough for celebrating!

The true date and time for Yule, this year, is on Sunday 21st  December at just after 11 (23:03) The solstice marks the point of the year when the sun is at its highest point (in the north or south) and the hours between sunrise and set are the longest. We celebrate these days as the shortest day (Yule) and the longest day (Litha).

As witches, we make merry to celebrate the rebirth of the sun. It is a day steeped in tradition, and with many connotations with healing. As the shortest day, Yule can also be seen as the darkest night of the soul. It reminds us that there is always light to follow, and that no matter how bad a situation you find yourself in, you can always make it to the other side.

Easy words, for me to type as I sit in my warm and comfortable home, surrounded by wonderful friends and family, and with a well stocked cupboard of food. Not so easy to accept when faced with uncertainty, ill health, financial worries or more.

I know that this is time of year in which we are reminded of the homeless, the poor, the starving, and the elderly. The media coverage and charity organisations go all out at Christmas – to guilt us into giving, to helping, to sparing a thought. It angers me, that we are not reminded more throughout the rest of the year. But. This is what Yuletide represents, the light returning. The end of the darkest night of the soul. The end of suffering. So actually yes, spare a thought, give a little time, get active in the community, make offerings to the wildlife in your back yard.

It is not my intention to try to put a downer on your Christmas, but the Yuletide custom is to think beyond the self, to the family and to the community. Chandlers would gift candles to their customers; to honour the returning light and also the returning customer!

Throughout the year, as the wheel turns, we are reminded to think beyond the limitations of self. More so, I feel, at Yule. Be a Lord or a Lady of Misrule, to ensure everyone can enjoy the festivities, or at least a small token of kindness.

Greet the sunrise to honour the traditions of old, and the ancestors. Bid hail to the Goddess and the God, be thankful for the light returning. Enjoy the day with feasting and spending time with friends and relatives. Bring in the Yule log and burn it brightly until its end (if you don’t have an open fire, a candle is just as good!) and watch the flames flicker and dance.

Eat, drink and be merry, for the hours of sunlight begin to lengthen and the wheel continues to turn. Light will always follow darkness, and when you offer a tiny flicker of light to someone, the way out of the darkness is easier to find.


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