book of shadows

Book of Shadows: As the Wheel Turns

January, 2019

A Look Inside a Monthly Working Book of Shadows


Many newcomers to the Pagan Path, as well as new Witches, often mistakenly believe that a Book of Shadows is an ancient concept that goes back eons. There is the very real possibility that herbalists and wise women in ancient times utilized recipe books, journals, or otherwise kept written records containing their secrets or logging their workings. However, the Book of Shadows is actually a neopagan concept that has its beginnings with Gerald Gardner, the founder of Wicca, sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Gardner is the founder of the Wiccan religion along with several other famous pioneering Wiccans who seemingly thrust the neo-pagan movement forward and opened the broom closet for many witches as well. The age of the conception of of Shadows should not cause anyone to question keeping a Book of Shadows. As with any other reference material, a Book of Shadows can be an invaluable tool in any practice, whether it is your craft or your spiritual walk. My working Book of Shadows is a vital part of my Pagan path and my practice as a Witch.

As a practicing Witch and a practicing eclectic Pagan with a Matron who guides both paths, I rely heavily on my working Book of Shadows and I carry it with me every day. For the most part, my working Book of Shadows contains all of the information that I need at my disposal such as Sabbats, Esbats, the New Moon, color correspondences, Tarot, Oracle, and Rune draws, as well as trackers for stones, herbs, spells, and Goddesses. I also incorporate my mundane schedule and life in this working Book of Shadows to keep me on track. As any one else in these modern times, I try to keep my spending in check, live a simple life, and incorporate my definition of “enough” into my walk. In true frugal fashion, I decided that in 2019 I would take a completely different tact than in any other year and I created my 2019 working Book of Shadows from MAMBI® Classic Happy Planner® extension packs. For clarity and convenience, I have added all of the resources and links for materials and supplies that I have used at the end of this article.

Throughout this series, you will notice some “upcycling” of materials as I find cards that I have received, artwork here and there that I notice in magazines, and even the creativity of friends, who make beautiful shaker cards that are great for lifting the energy when I am feeling like energy is being dissipated. A little blingy shake and the smile returns to my face. Also, when you network and discover that friends have hidden talents, such as making quality covers with special meaning that directs your focus to the work at hand, that energy of love, friendship, and community lends itself to a healthy Book of Shadows.

Again, as a frugal person, and someone who believes that the Pagan Community could benefit from helping each other, I created a Facebook group called “The Pagan Plannertarium.” I created this home for Pagan Planners who are interested in planning and who could benefit from free stickers and layouts for their own of Shadows. All of the stickers that are in my working Book of Shadows can be found in the Pagan Plannertarium along with an ever-growing catalogue of stickers, layouts, and inserts. They are all free for your personal use, if you would like to plan along with me each month, join the Facebook group by answering the questions for entry, and plan along with me. I will continue this series for the year 2019, showing you the evolution of my working Book of Shadows.

Since there are no Sabbats in January, and it is the very beginning of my “Seed Work” which will commence in February for planting on Imbolc, I have chosen a winter theme for the monthly layout, and I have also made complimentary weekly spreads for the entire month of January. In keeping with the winter energies surrounding me, I chose to focus on the correspondences for the month of January which include fox, birch trees, and the colors bright white and blue. January is a time for self-reflection and spell work involving inner workings rather than casting for others, winter is a time to go inward and to work on those things that require change for growth. February’s seed must be planted in order to yield a bountiful Harvest as the wheel turns and we experience each Sabbat in its turn.

The January month-at-a-glance spread is where I keep all of my appointments which are upcoming, the Esbat, the New Moon, and I keep a place for notes. In the two blank spaces before the 1st day of January and the last 2 blank spaces after the 31st, I use these spaces for my own personal “Power” words – these are words that I use for the month to keep me focused on my seed work. They relate directly to the seed that I will plant, so I choose the words that I need to focus on to narrow my focus. Times and circumstances change every month and this is a working Book of Shadows so these blank spaces are often in a state of metamorphosis and they change from month to month. January is the month when planning my seed comes to completion and the seed is readied for planting on Imbolc.

Each week there is a side dashboard that is sectioned off for my Goddess of the week, Crystals, Notes, and two (2) weekly trackers. My goal is to draw a Goddess card from a deck that I utilize each week, write the Goddess’ name on the dashboard, and key words throughout the week that may arise as I ask for Her protection and energies to guide my week. The Crystal section is for the pouch that I carry on my person each day, some days call for different energies and I may change the contents of the pouch that I use during the week and, if I do so, I like to have a place to log any changes that may occur in my carrying pouch. The Notes section on the side dashboard is to make note of any significant changes that I make, events that I need to make a special note of, or any other information that may change from time to time during that week. Finally, the two trackers that I have are for reminders to check in daily on any spell work that I may be undertaking. Other uses for the trackers include making Crystal Water, Moon Water or other recipes for ritual use. You can use mundane trackers even in a magical practice and, on occasion, when I have no other use for them, that is how I utilize these trackers. The best part of this whole process is that stickers can be lifted, marks can be erased, and things are meant to change and grow as we change and grow. It is my hope that by sharing my Book of Shadows with you, before the pen, you will be able to glean some creativity, some energy, or ideas for your own of Shadows and join me in sharing for the greater good.

You may have noticed that the end of December, 2018, is contained in the first weekly spread. I included it because the energies are prime for spell casting, writing new beginnings, contemplating seed work, and writing down ideas for spells or, if I feel the energy in a specific way, I will use this night for spell writing. At the end of the week, there is a New Moon and I always use the energy from the New Moon to begin cleansing my house for the cycle of the waxing moon, to bring the energies into my home and life that I would like to manifest throughout my practice. I start by taking a ritual bath, meditate, and smudge my home from the center to the front and out the door and beginning from the center again and to the back and out the door. For the other days in this week, I will enter those things that I do to prepare for the upcoming New Moon, such as journaling, blending herbs for incense, smudging, writing spells, and working on the February installment of this series

Each weekly layout has a coordinating Tarot card insert. I utilize this insert to pull a Tarot Card each week and reflect on this card throughout the week. The first side of the insert reflects my first impressions and my expectations. The second side of the insert is a retrospective examination of the drawn card and how that has influenced me during the week. This insert is an invaluable tool for me. Not only do I receive guidance from the Tarot cards, but I come to a deeper, more committed understanding of the meaning of each draw and how that may relate in future readings not only for myself but for others

Each weekly theme for the month of January embodies not only the correspondences appropriate for this month, but some of them also contain themes of strong Divine Feminine figures such as Athena and Hekate. I decided that this month would also contain the energies of the Divine Masculine and The Horned God made a special appearance this month as well. As I called to the Divine Spirits of the East, requesting the energies of communication, divination, and creativity, these layouts pretty much made themselves.

Looking forward to providing monthly installments of my Book of Shadows as the wheel turns.

RESOURCES:

MAMBI® CHP Extension Packs:

https://www.meandmybigideas.com

CHP Custom Cover & Foiled Pentacle Stickers by Claire McNamee:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BubsLovesBubba

Custom Shaker Cards by Suzy Mesa:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/gichiscraftcorner

January Monthly and Weekly Stickers by Shirley Lenhard are free at the Pagan Plannertarium:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/217392179039705/

January Cover Page – Shoot for the Stars – Recollections® “Constellations” paper pad & Miscellaneous Washi tapes:

Available at Michael’s and other craft retailers

***

About the Author:

Shirley Lenhard has been a practicing Witch and a Pagan since 1983 and lives in New England with her husband. She is employed full time in the legal field and has her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Shirley looks forward to living her best possible life by giving back to the Pagan Community and has created the Facebook group “Pagan Plannertarium” where she provides a safe home for fellow pagans to have discussions about their path and to get free planner stickers and layouts. Shirley is a past writer for Llewellyn Publishing and The Peace Paper.

Review of Coloring Book of Shadows: Planner for A Magical 2019 by Ami Cesari

January, 2019

Review

Coloring Book of Shadows: Planner for A Magical 2019

by Ami Cesari

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the beautiful “Coloring Book of Shadows-Planner for a Magical 2019” from the author Ami Cesari. I have had both her planner and her magical coloring books in the past and have always thoroughly enjoyed them. I am an avid colorist and a fan of planners, so this combination of the two was right up my alley!

There are two styles available of this book, both a regular bound book and a spiral bound option. I personally prefer spiral bound, as for me I like having the ability to fold the book in half for ease of use when coloring. Her books are available on amazon right now and this planner is available for the very affordable price of $11.69.

This planner/coloring book is just so much fun. It has all the things you want in a planner; full calendar pages, pages with extra room to write your plans for each day, a page for each month for your intentions, moon phase info, other dates such as holidays and sabbats, plus it also includes both a ton of magic themed adorable coloring pages and a lot of informational pages on the sabbats, ritual suggestions, craft ideas, recipes and other topics of interest. There are little pictures included on most of the calendar pages as well, which really adds an element of enjoyment to the task of organizing your schedule. I think it makes me personally much more likely to use the calendar book because I enjoy looking at the beautiful completed pictures throughout. You could color as you go, maybe at the beginning of the month start the images & pics for that month, or you can jump around and color in whatever order you choose.

I immediately as soon as i received this book jumped in (I was so excited to get started!) and I began with the title page of the book, then did the January page, then a couple pages that really called to me. I have included the finished pages here that I have completed thus far. Going forward I think I will color it month by month. And I will read the information in order as well and incorporate the suggestions into my routine when called.

If you are in need of a really fun, functional and aesthetically pleasing planner for this year, I highly suggest this book. I am absolutely in love with it! It has everything you need plus an added bonus of coloring pages, creative ideas and education as well.

I have really enjoyed coloring the pictures I’ve done so far, and I’m pumped to work my way through the rest of it throughout the year. After the year is over you could remove the pics you choose and frame them or incorporate them into your book of shadows or grimoire (I plan to do this for sure).

If you aren’t in the market for a planner, definitely check out her other coloring books! I plan to get them very soon. The illustrations are just so cute, witchy and magical and so much fun to color!! I can’t recommend this any higher!! Just a joy from front to back!

Thank you to Ami for sending me her fabulous planner to review!

You can follow her on Instagram @coloringbookofshadows,

On fb (coloring book of shadows)

Or go to her website and get free downloadable coloring pages each month at www.coloringbookofshadows.com/book/

I hope you will check them out! Happy 2019! CrystalBlessings,

***

About the Author:

Retha N. Lent has been married for 17 years to her husband Mark & they have four cats that are their life. She lives in Norristown, Pa. Retha has her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Behavioral Counseling Sciences from Drexel University. She is the owner of “Retha’s Crystals” & sells sterling silver unique crystal jewelry & specimens on her FB business page. She has a FB group for her customers and those interested in learning more about crystals & all things magical called “Retha’s Crystal Circle“. She is also an advisor in the Sage Goddess Affiliate Program. She has her Holistic Healing Certificate and Pillars of Priestessing certificates from Sage Goddess. She is also an Ordained Pagan Minister from the Universal Life Church. Retha has a passion for crystals, nature, astrology, working with moon cycles, ritual practices, tarot and oracle cards, runes, essential oils, herbs, manifestation work, ancient cultures, magic & music. Her favorite place is New Orleans, La. Retha has an extensive personal crystal collection and loves sharing her love of crystals with the world. She has been a practicing pagan since she was 16 years old. 

You can reach her at rethalent@hotmail.com or on her business page on FB: https://www.facebook.com/Rethas-Crystals-197411227666484/

Or in her FB group:

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1960619300929876

Her Sage Goddess affiliate link is:

www.sagegoddess.com/ref/84/

Or follow her on Instagram at @spookygirl16

3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast Monthly Feature

September, 2018

3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast

Three Paths, One Journey, No Cat

In this highly informative & entertaining podcast, three family members embroiled in wildly divergent traditions gather in one room to discuss, debate, and flat-out argue about their magical, mythical, and mundane lives, all for our education and pleasure.

**

Each Month… we will share the previous month’s episodes with you from their site to help keep you up-to-date with their impressive podcast. While there, don’t forget to listen to this month’s as well, we wouldn’t want you to miss a thing!

 

August’s 2018 Podcasts

 

Episode 17: Building Your Book – Ritual and Spellcraft

Car, Gwyn, and Ode finish up the Building Your Book series by talking about the structure of ritual and spellcraft.

 

Episode 18: Our Community – Bill Ehle

Car, Gwyn, and Ode discuss social justice and activism in the pagan community, culminating in an interview with Pagans In Need director Bill Ehle.

 

 

This Month’s Podcast Share from their Backlog

 

Episode 3: Wheel of the Year – Imbolc

In the first of a series of Pagan Holiday Specials, Car, Gwyn, and Ode discuss Imbolc, Brigid, and alternatives for celebrating along the Wheel when your religion doesn’t specifically accommodate it.

 

Where Else to Find 3 Pagans and a Cat…

Their Website: http://www.3pagansandacat.com

Their Twitter: https://twitter.com/3_Pagans

Their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/3PaaC

Their YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ0GJacu9SUzuumXJNNUZwQ

Their G+: https://plus.google.com/u/2/collection/oCWVXE

 

Remember …

You can always support your favorite podcasts with a donation. Every bit helps to keep them going.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

 

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

September, 2018

Balance

Merry meet.

Celebrations are often planned for the sabbats, but don’t overlook the power these times add to magical workings. As the world hangs in balance, day equal to the night, we can use its balanced energy to regain our own balance before heading into the dark half of the year.

Gather the materials you’ll use: a marker of any kind and a round disk. These can be the wooden ones found at craft stores, a jar or bottle lid, or the top of a deli container.

This spell can be done as part of a ritual in sacred space, or in any area in which you feel comfortable, perhaps adding incense and candles to set the stage.

Sitting in that space, let yourself relax and let go. Give yourself time to begin to feel the balance of this day and breathe it in, absorb it into every cell. If you cannot “feel” it, know that it is there and imagine its vibration. See a sign that, to you, represents this state. It might be the yin yang or an infinity symbol, a line, an equal sign, a representation of scales, or anything else that can trigger the balance you are experiencing. Othello pieces are white on one side and black on the other, and I have used them in the past.

Channel that vision and energy into the sigil as you draw it on your disk.

Sit with it as you think about where you and your life things are out of balance. Does it involve discipline? Nutrition? Boundaries? Is there something you are missing? Something for which you have an overabundance? A situation that lacks its polar opposite for stability? Take the time to visualize each of them balanced.


Feel yourself come into balance on all levels, filled with peace and harmony.

You can choose to add these words Mackenzie Sage Wright included in a Mabon spell she wrote that can be found on exemplore.com:

As yin is to yang, as dark is to light,

As male is to female, as day is to night,

Find Nature’s perfect balance within me

So I may live my life in harmony…
by the powers of three times three,

this is my will, so mote it be!”

Carry the sigil anytime balance is needed – be it spiritual, physical, emotional or mental – and tap into the powerful energy put into the spell it on the equinox.

Although most powerful when done on the equinox, there is no reason this spell can’t be done anytime of year.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

**

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self-taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

 

Worth the Witch

September, 2017

 

Review of WitchBox

 

 

(WitchBox Logo)

 

 

What is a WitchBox exactly? According to WitchBox it is:

 

A subscription service for pagan witches based on the Wheel of the Year. A box ships every 6 weeks, 10-12 days before the sabbat.”

 

What this means is that every 6 weeks you will pay a recurring fee of $85 + $10 shipping and you will receive a new Sabbat Box to help you celebrate the upcoming holiday.

 

There are two versions of these boxes. The $85 WitchBox is called the Major Arcana and is filled with all the Bells & Whistles. They do, however, have a lesser priced Sabbat Box subscription, called the Minor Arcana, and this subscription is only $40 + $7 shipping. This box contains, it seems, a little more than half of what the Major Arcana has.

 

PaganPagesOrg has received the Major Arcana Box to celebrate the Sabbat of Lughnasadh/Lammas and we will be reviewing this box for our readers.

 

 

(Sealed Package)

 

The package arrives in a nondescript, plain, brown box. The only writing visible on the box are the addresses. The box does not come addressed from WitchBox but from the owner of the company’s name Jessica White. Their is no logo or pagan symbolism on the outside of the packaging. This is perfect for those who are still in the broomcloset.

 

(Freshly Opened)

 

 

Upon opening the box my first thoughts were It looks tidy, neat, and organized. The first item you notice is a beautiful card. It definitely brings to mind the sabbat we are celebrating, Lughnasadh/Lammas. When you turn over the card there is a handwritten note. A very personal touch.

 

(Personal Note)

 

The second item you notice is a piece of paper. This is the Items List and explains what you will find contained within the box.

 

(WitchBox Logo Sticker and Packaging)

 

After you lift the Items List off the top of the box you see the true package begin. The W., WitchBox logo sticker holding together the deep blue tissue paper is an elegant touch to what I am about to find to be a beautifully layered package.

 

(Scrolls)

 

Layer one contains a majority of the items. It begins with the 2 Scrolls. There is information on both sides of each sheet. They have a nice antiqued feel to them. There is a pleasant aroma coming from the paper. The paper has been antiqued but it has not weakened the feeling of the paper it still feels substantial. They’d be a nice addition to any Book of Shadows. Their Topics include:

 

Page 1:

Information about the Holiday.

to the Holiday…Gods/Goddesses, Crystals, Herbs,etc..

 

Page2:

Late Summer Sigil & Poppet Spell

Lughnasadh/Lammas Blessed Bread Charm

 

(Wrapped Items in Layer One)

 

Removing the scrolls reveals the rest of layer one which is filled with individually wrapped items, like little gifts. Each beautifully wrapped in blue paper with the W. logo stickers.

 

(Contents of Layer 1)

 

The first item I unwrap is a Candle. It is calming & nicely scented. Very smooth to the touch. All items are handmade in WitchBox and the candle looks well handcrafted. The Chamomile is clearly visible in the candle. It is a nice full size not a tiny votive like some would expect.

 

Next I opened the necklace. It is very pretty but not very precious. However, the value lies inside. It opens up to reveal a good amount of Flying Ointment. It is their recipe. It has the consistency of Vaseline and a soothing scent.

 

(Contents of Layer 1 Opened)

 

The last two little packages to open is a Bottle of Incense based on Scott Cunningham’s recipe for Lughnasadh and a Self-Igniting Charcoal Disc. Jessica White clearly states on the Item’s List that it is Scott’s recipe and NOT her own.

 

The incense is placed in a nice corked, glass bottle that allows you to save and reuse the generous amount they send you. The bottle is even labeled on top with the holiday so you will always know what it is for. The self-igniting charcoal disc is a well thought out accompaniment.

 

I

(Three Panel Sigil Chain)

 

Layer two opens to reveal one item, the Three Panel Sigil Chain made with kiln-fired birch rounds seems a bit…well birch is birch, and being birch it is delicate. I thought maybe the panels should be thicker so the chains don’t split through the wood. Even though it seems a bit fragile, I believe if I am careful some paint and some free flowing ideas, a beautiful sigil it will make.

 

(Dried Corn Husk & Blueberry Sprig)

 

Layer three is the last layer and contains a Dried Corn Husk Bundle for Making Corn dolly with a Wild Blueberry Sprig. It came in such a neatly, tied bundle packaged in the bottom of the box. I like the idea of including a craft in the collection. Something you can, yourself make. It can be a great altar or house decoration. You could also use it to connect with your children and teach them about the sabbat by creating the Corn Dolly with your child. The only thing I might do different is include instructions on how to create a corn dolly, but those could easily be found on Pinterest, doing a Google Search, or other sites.

 

(Entirety of Box)

 

Our Overall Thoughts on WitchBox… It’s a great box, with a very professional, put together look. The layers were tidy and added excitement to opening the package.

 

It is definitely filled with items to help you celebrate the Sabbat of the month in the correct fashion. For us it was Lughnasadh/Lammas and I felt every item pertained to the celebration. From information about the sabbat, to spells and rituals you can perform. It gives you materials to correspond with the holiday to use in any of your own workings, a lovely item to make into an altar decoration, and a fun craft to do.

 

The box does not come with instructions on what to do with the items it contains, that is up to you, what you would like to use them for. For example, you may use the incense in a ritual for the sabbat. It does come with a full comprehensive list of what is in the box, though, and the ingredients are listed for items which is very helpful to know.

 

The quality of the items is very good, like the large, beautiful smelling candle or the handmade incense. The only thing I mentioned is the birch circles could have been thicker. But overall everything is of very high quality.

 

Though the box may seem a bit pricey, I do understand why this box would cost as it does. In this business you must spend on packaging and supplies to be able to make your goods. Then there is the crafting/labor side that you do not get paid fairly for. Plus as Jessica White mentions (in the short interview to come), she is out daily foraging for her supplies. That adds even more labor you barely see compensation for. There are a lot of natural pieces in this box, the herbs in the incense, the wild blueberries, the herbs in the candle, the herbs in the flying ointment. The box is almost 100% handcrafted, and as we know handcrafters are never paid fairly.

 

If you are a witch with the financial means, a monthly subscription to WitchBox for $85 will not hurt your finances. It does come with items for the sabbat you would have to buy or could buy to celebrate the holiday, anyway. Their is a $40 version of WitchBox. It gives you a bit less, of what the $85 box contains. It contains some of the same items, so I am confident in saying they will be of great quality, as well. I would suggest going with the $85 box, however. You really do get more bang for your buck. You can check out both boxes here on WitchBox and decide for yourself.

 

WitchBox, I feel, is a reputable company PaganPagesOrg can stand behind.

 

So who is behind WitchBox and all the creative goodies inside?

 

Jessica White is the Founder & Sole Proprietor of WitchBox.co and an etsy store front, WhiteWitchhh, selling witchcraft supplies.

 

We recently had the opportunity to ask Jessica White a few questions about herself and her businesses.

 

PaganPagesOrg(PPO): Can you tell us a little about yourself. Where you are from? What path do you follow?

 

Jessica White(JW): I’m a Pagan witch and Massachusetts native. My family has been in Massachusetts since 1715, so I feel a strong connection to the early colonists of the new world who lived off the land, but there’s an old world element to my practice as well.

 

PPO: How do you choose what goes into each Sabbat Box?

 

JW: The contents of each WitchBox depend on what the earth provides in the weeks before each sabbat. The contents are also based on research I do in various compendia of Celtic and Anglo Saxon writings, Ronald Hutton’s research (and combing through his sources as well), and the needs of a modern witch.

In many ways, New England serves as a cultural bridge between the old world and new. In the Americas, many of us in the new world have lost touch with our agrarian roots through the generations, so we crave the folklore, traditions, and mysticism of our ancestors. The goal of WitchBox is to get subscribers closer to the land and the seasons, and to walk in our ancestors’ footsteps in the modern day. I serve as your mediator with the land: I forage in the wild on an almost daily basis, respectfully harvest what Mother Earth provides in that season, and I use the wild materials in every WitchBox. 

 

PPO: How did the idea for WitchBox come about?

 

JW: I had the idea for WitchBox when someone on tumblr posted about wanting a witch subscription service. It was totally a “Eureka!” moment. Having seasonal affective disorder, I’ve always been very connected to the seasons, so I took the idea a step further and based WitchBox on the Wheel of the Year.

 

If you would like to contact Jessica White with any questions about WitchBox you can email her at:  jessica@whitewit.ch

 

To learn more about WitchBox visit: http://www.witchbox.co/
To see her shop WhiteWitchhh visit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WhiteWitchhh

 

***

 

About the Author:

 

 

Jennifer Sacasa-Wright is an Eclectic Witch who runs PaganPagesOrg eMagazine. She has many opinions, thoughts, & suggestions, and, at times, has problems holding her tongue. She loves hearing your opinions and thoughts on the magazine and welcomes comments.

 

 

Review: WitchEmoji by Pam Grossman

May, 2017

Hunt for Witches No More: WitchEmojis by Pam Grossman

Emoji2

Witches now have their own charmed emoji to use with iMessenger, thanks to Pam Grossman, a Brooklyn-based writer and curator who focuses on witches, magic and esoteric art.

I created WitchEmoji because I couldn’t find any great witchy, magical emoji to use in my texts,” she states on the witchemoji.com website, adding, “Necessity (or obsessive desire in this case) is the mother of invention.”

Working with an emoji designer who created the icons based on her designs and direction, she then built the app herself. Costing $1.99, it launched early April 2017. The iMessage sticker pack is compatible with iPhones and iPads with iOS 10.1 or newer.

It became the number one sticker pack in the App Store in its first week, beating the likes of Star Wars and Kim Kardashian,” Grossman said. “It’s currently still in the top 20 and getting stellar reviews, which has been very heartening. Just goes to show how much the archetype of the witch is currently resonating with people of all ages.”

WitchEmoji’s 80 images include a besom, cauldron, Book of Shadows, pentacles in all colors, a chalice, a candle, an owl and a love potion along with witches of all hair and skin tones in a variety of situations from flying on a broom to honoring the full moon.

There are so many more emoji I’d like to add to the pack,” she said of her towering list. “It will just depend on what I can afford to develop, so hopefully the pack will keep selling well so I can invest in making more.”

Explicit directions on how to download and load the emoji can be found at https://www.witchemoji.com/.

Emoji1

I’ve been a witch since I was very little – before I even knew to call myself one,” Grossman said. “Like lots of kids, I gravitated toward stories and artwork that deal with magical themes, and engaged in my own intuitive rituals and wild imaginings. Once I was a teenager, I began to read a lot and explore the path a bit more formally. But it was really discovering the surrealist artists and the writings of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell that opened things up for me, and made me realize that creativity is the surest path we have to the divine. My practice is very personal and syncretic, and draws as much on the art world as it does on spiritual systems.”

Last May her 36-page book “What Is A Witch,” was released. Illustrated by Canada’s occult sweethearts Tin Can Forest, and published by Tin Can Forest Press, it is described as “an illuminated incantation, a crystalline invocation, a lovingly-crafted celebration of the world’s most magical icon” and a “manifesto on witchcraft.”

Grossman’s blog, Phantasmaphile, can be found at Pamgrossman.com.

She is the associate editor of Abraxas International Journal of Esoteric Studies, co-organizer of the Occult Humanities Conference at New York University, and co-founder of the former Brooklyn arts and lecture space, Observatory, where her programming explored mysticism.

Grossman’s writing has appeared in “Sabat Sciences Occults,” “Huffington Post,” and MSN. Lectures include such topics as the occult in modern art and female magic in Western , and she also teaches classes on spellcraft, ritual and herbalism.

Seeing the Signs

December, 2016

Maintaining a Book of Shadows

This is not the article that I was going to write. I was going to write about Runes. I was going to do a review of the book, Runes for Beginners, by Alexandra Chauran, and write about the history of runes in general. While researching the subject, I looked through the notebooks that comprise my Book of Shadows, sure that I had something about runes. I most certainly did – coincidentally, it was a print-out of a page that I had on my computer screen at that very moment! I had received it in an email from a Yahoo group I was a member of several years ago and printing left a lot to be desired. The end of every line was cut off. As I thumbed through other pages in that notebook, I noticed that many of the other print-outs were in the same condition, plus there were lots of things in there that I really didn’t need or want. So I decided to look seriously at the three notebooks that comprise my Book of Shadows and weed out, clean out and reorganize.

divination is like any other discipline. You have to practice on a daily basis to be any good at it. That means daily meditation – at the very least. It means using your tarot cards and your pendulum and your crystal ball. It means getting outdoors and smelling the air and listening to the birds and taking note of the sky. It means being aware of your surroundings at all times, including when you are sleeping.

Maintaining good notes is part of divination. Knowing what worked – or didn’t work – the first time, second time or the last time you tried a particular method of divination – or a spell – cannot be overstated. It’s important to note the date, the time of day, the moon phase, even the weather. You often hear – on Facebook, especially, where everything is reduced to a meme – that science and spirituality are at odds, but nothing could be further from the truth. A true spiritualist is just like a scientist. You have to go about your spiritual adventures just like a scientist goes about his experiments. Keeping notes helps you remember one “experiment” from another and adds you in coming up with new theories of divination. Proving these theories is the skill of the diviner. Sometimes it works out exactly like you thought it was going to and you congratulate yourself. But sometimes, something totally different happens and you can’t believe your eyes. Those are some fabulous moments!

My first Book of Shadows was a loose-leaf notebook – maybe thirty pages or so – that was a hand-copied version of Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance, which a friend had loaned me in 1987 and I loved so much I didn’t want to return it. Eventually I typed up those pages but once I bought my own copy of The Spiral Dance in 1990, I discarded all but the poetry. I still have those – printed out on my old typewriter that I haven’t had since 1992 – they bring back memories just looking at them. When I first started learning about Wicca and Women’s Spirituality – as it was called back then – most of my learning came out of books. I took copious notes and they all went into my “Book of Shadows”. I really knew nothing about a Book of Shadows or anything else. I was doing it all on my own. But I was doing it.

When the Internet took off, I joined Yahoo groups & groups on AOL – remember AOL? – and started getting all kinds of information about Wicca and Paganism and goddesses and gods. I printed out like a madwoman and my Book of Shadows grew from one notebook to three notebooks – I have an inch-and-a-half-wide notebook just for the Tarot and Numerology, the largest of the three books. The Tarot notebook was updated recently – it had always been kept up to date, since I work with the Tarot – spiritually and creatively – more than any other medium. But I do admit that the other two notebooks are rather a mess.

bos1

There’s a meme on Facebook about intelligent people being “messy” but I do take umbrage with that – I think some kid came up with that when his mother told him to clean his room – “And do your homework too!” – however, the thing about things being messy is that during the process of organizing your mess, you find things that perhaps you forgot about – like I am during this process of going through my Book of Shadows – and either you can’t remember why you kept it – and decide whether or not to keep it – or you remembering why you kept it, you decide you don’t need it anyway, since it’s such a part of you, you don’t need the reminder. Or – in the case of the poetry I just found – you decide to keep it, because it’s an important memento of who you once were and how far you’ve come.

Wiccan Basics

March, 2011

Creating a Book of Shadows

The Book of Shadows is a combination cookbook and journal. In it you record your magical workings, the ingredients and methods you used, and how it worked. In this way you are able to learn from your magical experiences and build upon the successes you have. Over the course of time you add various information you acquire from other people, books, coven work and other sources and the book becomes a valuable reference.. It can be a spiral notebook, or an embossed calf hide bound collection of calligraphy on parchment, it’s up to you..

Traditionally the Book of Shadows or Grimoire was the record of magical workings of a witch or coven which would eventually be passed down to an apprentice or younger coven member when the writer retired or died. A special code was often used and the older books are notorious for the details that were omitted in the writing. It was often impossible to recreate the results based solely on what was written, one must have been trained to understand it. This may have served its purpose when magic was a secret known only to a few, but it no longer does. It pays to be thorough in writing your book so that you, or someone you allow to use it, can replicate the results if need be at a future date. What good does it do to create something if you cannot ever reproduce it or tell another how to make it.

Be as organized as you want to be, set up the book in any way you like, write as often or as rarely as you see fit, but do write in it. Write what you learn from others, write what you try yourself, write things you see in books, it will all come in handy at some point. You may decide that you don’t want a physical book, keep your writings on your hard drive if you prefer a disk of shadows a DOS. Save a copy of that great incantation you saw on that webpage into your DOS, whatever works for you. The book, or file, will be as useful as you allow it to be.

There are a number of of Shadows online that you might be interested in looking at for the ideas they contain.  They have a number of other materials that you may be interested in as well, they include a number of rituals, articles on various subjects and spells with which to augment your BOS. There is information on the basics of Wicca, seasonal rituals and other information.
A great resource for mythology, ritual and other interesting material is the Biblioteca Arcana.
The Alexandrian BOS is online at Alexandrian BOS. Take advantage of some of these resources to add to your BOS, there’s something for everyone.

Internet mail lists are another good source of material to add to your BOS. There are a huge number of them out there. Try Yahoo groups a major email group provider, or MSN Groups. Search for Wicca, Spells, Witchcraft and similar terms to find groups that will be useful. Also, check your favorite website; many have their own mailing lists available. Materials on these lists may be used to build your BOS. You can find chants, incantations, spells, recipes and the like. This is a good place to trade information with other witches as well.

You will use your BOS/DOS for many many things.. I use my DOS for these articles and for 2 other articles I write. You will have valuable information that will guide you and help you do everything from write a ritual to create a sleepy time chant for you child..

You may not think you need on or want one.. but you will find yourself creating one none the less…

Blessing until next Month

Magickal Correspondences, Lesson 2

September, 2010

Magickal correspondences/ Book of Shadows Class

Lesson 2

This month sees us discovering the significance of colours, bathing times and the elements..   Your homeworks will include adding to lists below, remember to add flare and decorations to your pages and lists J

Colour correspondences

Colours are a big part of magick and spellcraft, from wearing the specific colour relating to your intention to using the colour in sachets or in candle magick for example..

Amber – Deep witchery skills

Black – Ward negativity, Remove hexes, Protection, Spirit contact, The Universe, Night, Truth, Remove discord or confusion.

Blue (dark) – The Goddess (representative ritual candle), Water Elemental, Truth, Dreams, Protection, Change, Meditation, Impulse.

Blue (light) – Psychic awareness, Intuition, Opportunity, Understanding, Quests, Safe journey, Patience, Tranquility, Ward depression.

Blue (any)- Health

Brown – Earth Elemental, Endurance, Animal health, Steadiness, Houses and Homes, Physical objects, Uncertainties.

Gold – The God, Solar Energy, Power, Physical Strength, Success, Achievement, Mental growth, Skill sought, Healing energy, Intuition, divination, Fortune.

Grey – Non-nature-type faerie magick such as communication with the faerie realms, travel to the Other world, Vision Quests, Veiling, Cancellation, Hesitation, Neutrality.

Green – Lord and Lady, Earth Elemental, Herb Magick, Nature-type faerie magick, Luck, Fertility, Healing, Balance, Employment, Prosperity, Courage, Agriculture, Changing direction or attitudes, Growth.

Green-yellow – To negate discord, Sickness, Anger, Jealousy. Indigo Meditation, Spirit Communication, Karma Workings, Learn the ancient wisdom, neutralize another’s magick, Ward slander.

Lavender – Spiritual development, Psychic growth, divination, Sensitivity to the other world, Blessings.

Orange -The God, Strength, Healing, Pulling things to you, Adaptability, Luck, Vitality, Encouragement, Clearing the Mind, Dominance, Energy, both Physical and Magickal, Legal matters.

Pink –            Honour, Mortality, Friendship, Emotional Love, Compassion and Relaxation.

Purple – Power, Spiritual development, Intuition, Ambition, Healing, Progress, Business, Spiritual Communication, Protection, Occult Wisdom, Meditation.

Red – Fire Elemental, Strength, Power, Energy, Health, Vigor, Enthusiasm, Courage, Passion, Sexuality, Protection.

Silver – The Goddess, Lunar Magick, Meditation, Psychic development, Success, Balance, Wards negativity.

Violet – Self-improvement, Intuition, Success in Searches.

White – The Lady and The Lord together, Full Moon Magick, Purity, Protection, Truth, Meditation, Peace, Sincerity, Justice, Warding of doubts and fears.

Yellow – Air Elemental, divination, Clairvoyance, Mental Alertness, Intellectual growth, Prosperity, Learning, Changes, Harmony, Creativity, Confidence, Communication, Study, Travel.

Bathing Times

Magick comes in many forms including Bathing..

Who would’ve thought that having a wash would b such a magickal moment..

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Bathing is sensational magick to use to reunite with the element of water. Baths and showers can be effective in assisting the sick to heal, promoting self love, enticing good fortune as well as purifying the body, mind & soul.. Adding some salt, bath salts, herbs and oils to the tub and soaking enhance your magickal intention and cleanse the body of negative energies.

The salt neutralizes the negativity also aiding in healing.

Silver Coins placed in the bath ensure money in the future.

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Morning – increases beauty..

Afternoon – luck and fortune..

Night – enhances psychic awareness..

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Mondays – just prior to sleep – increases prophetic dreams

Tuesdays – Increases passion.

Wednesdays – strengthens intellect.

Thursdays – brings money.

Fridays – helps find love.

Saturdays – brings patience.

Sundays – brings strength and health.

Winter Solstice or Beltane – bath with a penny wrapped in a washcloth -brings good fortune.

Finding your bathing correspondences may prove to be a tad more difficult than some of your other magickal correspondences.. When researching for your homework just let me know if you need help with locating more information J

Elemental correspondences

Knowing your elemental correspondences assist greatly when it comes to your spellcraft..  Below you will find quite a large list of each element that has been collated from the works of Scott Cunningham, Silver Ravenwolf, Amber Wolfe, Yasmine Galenorn, and Branwen’s Book of Shadows plus a few others.. When researching I would really like to see you add to this list, as large as it is there are many more things that correspond with the elements.. As you will find J

AIR

The element of air is associated with mental processes and the mind. It is creative and is that which causes magickal intentions to manifest. It is also associated with higher consciousness and wisdom, divination, and purification.

Direction – East

Astrological Signs – Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Rules Mind, mental and psychic work, intuition, knowledge, abstrat thought, wind, breath, clouds, inspiration, hearing, herbal knowledge, plant growth, purification, freedom, revealing truth, finding lost things, instruction, telepathy, memory, learning the secrets of the dead, zen meditation, new beginnings, illuminations

Types of Magick – divination, concentration, prophecy, visualization, wind magick, karma

Colours – White, yellow, light blue, lavender, gray

Season – Spring

Magickal Tools – Athame, sword, censer, incense

Time – Dawn

Energy – Projective

Gemstones – Aventurine, topaz, mica, fluorite, amethyst, yellow or blue stones

Metals – Tin, copper

Plants -Acacia, anise, aspen, benzoin, clover, dill, frankincense, lavender, lemongrass, myrrh, pine, primrose, vervain, violet, yarrow

Animals – Birds, insects, spiders

Goddesses – Aradia, Arianrhod, Athena, Nuit, Urania

Gods -Mercury, Hermes, Shu, Thoth

FIRE

The element of fire is associated with change and passion. It is both physical and spiritual, being related to sexuality and to divinity. Fire magick is quickly manifested and filled with primal energy.

Direction – South

Astrological Signs – Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Rules – Energy, sexuality, passions, love, authority, transformation, purification, candle flames, sun, blood, healing, destruction, will, creativity, flame, heat, bonfires, hearth fires, protection, courage, strength, physical exercise, self-

Knowledge, loyalty, vision, illumination, power

Types of Magick – Candle, storm, time

Colors – Red, gold, crimson, orange, white

Season – Summer

Magickal Tools – Wand, candles, dagger, burned herbs or requests on paper

Time – Noon

Energy – Projective, masculine

Gemstones -Red jasper, bloodstone, garnet, lava, quartz crystals, ruby, carnelian, tigers eye, rhodochrosite, agates

Metals – Gold, brass

Plants – Allspice, basil, cacti, chille peppers, cinnamon, garlic, heliotrope, hibiscus, juniper, lime, mustard, nettle, onion, orange, red peppers, red poppies, thistle, almond tree

Animals – Lions, lizards, salamander, snakes, praying mantis, ladybug, bee, scorpion, shark, phoenix, coyote, fox

Goddesses – Brigit, Freya, Hestia, Pele, Vesta

Gods – Vulcan, Ra, Agni, Hepaetstus, Horus

WATER

The element of water is associated with the subconscious mind, intuition, and emotions. As the primal substance of life, it is symbolized by the womb and is related to fertility.

Direction – West Astrological Signs – Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Rules – Emotions, feelings, love, courage, the unconscious mind, intuition, the womb, marriage, friendship, happiness, dreams, sleep, healing, menstruation, fertility, cleansing, purification, vision quests, self-healing, sorrow, reflection, psychic ability, oceans, rivers, lakes, rain, springs and wells

Types of Magick – Magick involving the sea, snow or ice, mirror, magnet, rain, cleansing and purification

Colours – Blue, blue-green, green, gray, indigo, aquamarine, white

Season – Autumn

Magickal Tools – Chalice, cauldron, mirrors

Time – Twilight, dusk

Energy – Receptive, feminine

Gemstones – Aquamarine, amethyst, blue tourmaline, pearl, coral, blue topaz, blue flourite, lapis lazuli, sodalite

Metals – Mercury, silver, copper

Plants – Aloe, apple, catnip, chamomile, ferns, gardenia, lemon, lettuce, lilac, lily of the valley, lotus, mosses, orris, passion flower, rose, seaweeds, thyme, valerian, water lilies, all water plants, willow tree

Animals – All fish, shellfish and sea mammals, serpents, sea birds, cat, frog, turtle, swan, bear

Goddesses – Aphrodite, Isis, Mariamne, Mari, Tiamat, Yemaya, Ran, Kupala

Gods – Dylan, Ea, Manannan, Osiris, Neptune, Poseidon, Varuna

EARTH

Earth is the element that is most stable and dependable. It represents abundance, prosperity, and wealth, and is creative but in a practical, physical manner. Earth is that which sustains all life and on which the other elements rest.

Direction – North

Astrological Signs – Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Rules -The body, growth, money, creativity, birth, death, material gain, fertility, birth, healing, rocks, trees, animals, manifestation, materialization, crystals, silence, metal, empathy, grounding, employment, stability, success, runes, strength, practical wisdom, mystery

Types of Magick – Gardening, grounding, magnet, image, stone, tree, knot, binding

Colours – Black, brown, green, gold, white

Season – Winter

Magickal Tools – Pentacle, salt, images, stones, cord magick

Time – Midnight,night Energy – Receptive, feminine

Gemstones – Rock crystal, emeralds, peridot, onyx, jasper, azurite, amethyst, royal azute, tourmaline, quartz, rutilated quartz

Metals – Iron, lead

Plants – Cedar, cypress, comfrey, honeysuckle, ivy, grains, magnolia, patchouly, primrose, sage, vetivert, nuts, oak

Animals – Cow or bull, bison, stag, dog, horse, gopher, ant, bears, wolf

Goddesses – Ceres, Cerridwyn, Demeter, Gaia, Persephone, Epona, Kore, Mah, Prithivi, Rhea, Rhiannon

Gods – Adonis, Athos, Arawn, Cernunnos, Dionysus, Herne, Marduk, Pan, Tammuz, Tho

Spirit is the last element left here and as homework I would like for you to discover the correspondences relating to this element.. I will add the list i have onto the forums board next week…

Below are the websites that assisted me with the collation of my Magickal correspondences Lists – They will help you too.. Much of the lists added here are from these sites

www.scribd.com/doc/11063195/Elemental-correspondences

www.celticcallings.com/resources/meanings/magickal_meanings.htm