help

Individuals Within the Unified Matrix of Life

January, 2019

art by Katherine Bell McClure

I’ve been considering the phrase ‘all my relations’ for some time now. It’s hugely important. It’s our saving grace in the end. It points to the truth that we are all related, that we are all connected, that we all belong to each other. The most important word is ‘all.’ Not just those who look like me, sing like me, dance like me, speak like me, pray like me or behave like me. ALL my relations. That means every person, just as it means every rock, mineral, blade of grass, and creature. We live because everything else does. If we were to choose collectively to live that teaching, the energy of our change of consciousness would heal each of us–and heal the planet.”

-Richard Wagamese

I am first generation Canadian. My parents were both born and raised in Portugal. Along with my extended family on both sides, they came to Canada to escape the Revolution and mandatory military conscription (for men at the time). Over the years, my parents have shared with me how hard it was to arrive in a new country as young adults with little English and a very different worldview, in some ways, than that of the mainstream Canadian culture of the time. My parents learned English, joined the workforce, and adopted some mainstream Canadian ways that were meaningful to them. As I get older, I appreciate more and more the things about Portuguese culture that they valued and held tight to: the language, the spiritual and cultural traditions, the importance of family and community living.

Even though I was born in Canada, Portuguese is my first language. I became more fluent in English when I went to public school in kindergarten. However, I attended Portuguese school on Saturdays to learn to read and write. I was aware from a very young age that I had to learn how to walk between two very different worlds: the very individualistic values of the mainstream Canadian society and the community values of my heritage. This was–and still is, to an extent–a delicate dance for me because I hold values in both camps: I value my individual expression and free will, while also seeing the importance of seeing myself as part of a complex matrix of life. I don’t see these two orientations towards living as dichotomies any longer. I actually see them feeding into one another quite naturally when we don’t put them on a polarized scale where one is more important than the other. As always, nature provides us with good illustrations of how these two co-exist.

Animals are who they are: a tiger does not pretend to be a horse, for instance. Animals live from their true nature, the essence of who they are. They also know the importance of cooperation. Ecosystems are a great example of this. The Canada geese in our neighbourhood have a choice of many ponds to feed at and raise their young. This year, I noticed that they moved their feeding spot despite the fact that there was still a good food supply for them. It turns out that the geese are great conservationists; they left their territory to allow it to recover from their years of use. An elder also recently reminded me that geese take turns being the leader when they are flying so the birds who fly behind have an easier time traveling. Similarly, we know that when predators are reintroduced into environments from which they’ve been absent, they restore balance to the ecosystems. When wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park, the ungulate population decreased, therefore allowing the plants and trees to flourish again. Not only do animal species know how to conserve, but different animals provide the checks and balances needed for most species to flourish. Thankfully, life is tenacious!

We are individuals with our own life paths but we are living in a relational field of energy where what we do, say, and think impacts everything else in connection with us and vice versa. We are individuals within the unified matrix of life. The question is not: Do we choose our individualistic notions above those of community? Westerners often cling to individualistic doctrine out of fear of losing their “rights.” And although we must be vigilant not to give over our rights as sovereign beings, we simply couldn’t survive alone; we depend on communities of all kinds to thrive. We see the environmental, social, human, and psychological destruction that happens when people live only from their individual needs, wants, and desires– when they forget that they are not alone in the universe. The important question in my mind is: How do we use our Spirit-given gifts to add to the collective energy of the communities we travel within (including the ecosystems we live in)? Being committed to community living is like a marriage where there will be rough patches but what is important is that we continue to face towards each other to find ways that everyone’s needs are met to some extent most of the time.

Sometimes this means that we must put aside some of our desires so someone else in need can receive more support. One community I am a part of operates in a consensus model. Coming to a general agreement that works for folks is harder the bigger the group gets, though not impossible. Similar to the geese, everyone leads at different times in this group and everyone’s voice has the possibility of being heard. I am more successful in my intimate relationships today in my forties because of my participation with this community model. I’ve learned to see where there is need in my community and give up some of my “wants” so that others might receive benefit. For example, folks have different personal financial budgets and while we have an agreement to meet each year for professional growth, we’ve had to be mindful that we don’t meet in a location each year that causes financial strife for our members. With some creative thinking and adjustment to the community agreements regarding attendance, we’ve come up with a solution that everyone can live with. Is it ideal in that everyone gets everything they want or need all the time? No. However, it does minimize the negative impact the previous system was having on the lives and well-being of some of our members.

This is what the phrase “all my relations” means to me. It entails that we think about ourselves not as contained individual planets floating around aimlessly in a lonely solar system, rather that we are in a continuous, collective dance with the other sentient beings in the universe. Though we stand in our own circles, we have a responsibility to life and to doing the least amount of harm possible. This is challenging as human beings because we all do harm to some extent in order to survive: we hunt, we forage, we take down trees to build homes, we use natural resources to fuel our cars and heat our homes. It comes down to basic Systems Theory: When one part of the system (including families and communities) changes, the whole system has to change by default. Ironically, the stronger we stand in our own inner medicine wheels as individuals, the better advocates we become for issues that imperil the health and well-being of our communities. When we know who we are and what we value, we are more likely to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. This is what creates true change in the world. I dedicate this article to all my relations. May we continue to evolve in co-creation with Spirit.

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing

For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing on Amazon

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

January, 2019

January 2019 for Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

Bright Blessings, and Happy 2019!

I trust everybody else besides me is regretting the massive amounts of treats had around December Holiday celebrations, and is pledging to eat less, slim down, and really hit the gym. And I am over here letting my newly made pie crust chill so I can bake another pumpkin pie! No regrets at Casa Pashovich for this Witch!

It is two days after Solstice, and I am counting down the days until Holiday crowds, traffic and festivities are over, and we all have a quiet January and February.

As it’s between Sabbats, I get to pick the topic, and this one is close to my heart.

Resolutions!

This month, I decided to write about cutting people out of our lives. To me, it goes along with a January favorite, “New Year’s Resolutions”. Why not resolve to clear all unnecessary things, including people, out of your life?

It’s not a happy thought, is it? It makes us feel we are losing people when we cut them out of our lives. We become afraid we are going to be alone, and worry that we are not devoted in our relationships. We feel guilt, because we don’t want to be the ones who are “dumped”, and we don’t want to hurt anybody else!

We’ve all been there. We have this relationship we have invested a lot of years, good times, and effort into, and the day comes this person says or does something, and it’s time for them to go. Maybe it was a long time coming. Maybe they did something after years of friendship that shocked you, and the trust is now gone. Maybe they didn’t actually do anything wrong, you just don’t like them anymore. Maybe it’s not even them. Maybe it’s you. Maybe you don’t have dedication to a perfectly decent relationship. The fact is, for one reason or another- THEY NEED TO GO. Like yesterday.

Why Not?????

Lots of reasons are given as to not do so, even when you feel you have made up your mind to terminate a relationship.

The first thing that often happens is other people want to get involved. They think you need their opinions or advice. They go into great detail about how wrong you are for ending a relationship, and they implore you with their emotional appeals not to.

Sometimes, they cite the amount of time you have had said relationship, and fully expect you and said friend or loved one to continue your relationship for old time’s sake.

Often a reason given to maintain the relationship is the KIND of relationship it is. Some people don’t believe in divorce, under any circumstances, for example. Some feel nobody ought to break off relationships with family members. Some feel no friendship should ever be ended.

My favorite is the people who preach about forgiveness. I have a lot to say about why forgiveness is not always necessary, but still. Let’s say you ALWAYS forgive. That still does not mean you have to have them in your life even after you forgive them.

We are often reminded not to make hasty decisions based on whether we are upset or not. I agree with this. All loved ones have disagreements, and sometimes even fights, and those are not necessary reasons to end a relationship. However, sometimes, they are, and when that happens…

They HAVE to go!

There are times when reconciliation or moving on from something just isn’t happening. Some of the reasons include:

  1. The relationship is toxic. I know that sounds stereotypical, but there are just some people whose behaviors destroy our well-being. Maybe they are a bad influence, or they take advantage of you for things like rides or money. Whatever is going on, this relationship is taking its toll on you, and it might be downright abusive. Relationships are supposed to make us happier, and improve our lives, not the opposite.
  2. They only come around when they want something. However, if you want to hang out, or need something in return? Forget it. Bah, who needs people like that? That is not a relationship. It’s called being used.
  3. You don’t enjoy each other’s company anymore- or you outright fight all the time, and either of you will change so you get along better. There is no point maintaining a relationship with somebody you cannot get along with.
  4. You are not getting what you want or need from a relationship. Period.
  5. One, or both of you has stopped caring about the other. Nothing feels worse than a loveless relationship. Actual love is not something you “fall out of”. If you genuinely don’t love them or they don’t love you, it’s time to say goodbye.
  6. One, or both of you have changed, and the other hasn’t, and you no longer relate to one another. People really do grow apart. That’s not a dramatic lie. It happens.
  7. One, or both of you wants out. The reasons don’t matter. Nobody is required to stay in a relationship they no longer want to.
  8. You don’t fit into one another’s lives at all. Maybe there was a time when you did, but those days are long gone, and you can’t even have a decent conversation together anymore.
  9. Something really hurtful was said or done, and you do not trust your loved one anymore. The bad part about this, it is something can happen many years down the road, and completely destroy what had previously been a meaningful relationship. Every long-term relationship has bad moments, and fights followed by reconciliation occur. But there are friend fights, and then there are deal breakers. Deal breakers signal the end of the relationship.
  10. You only maintained a relationship for somebody else’s sake, and for one reason or another, you don’t have to anymore! They were probably just keeping up appearances too, and they won’t miss you anymore than you’ll miss them!

There are so many reasons to let go of a relationship, I can’t even list them all here. Whole it can be heartbreaking, and scary to part ways, it can be the best thing you and your loved one do for one another. We are not always meant to be in one another’s lives forever, and sometimes, we let go, and move forward with our lives without one another. That’s okay.

With A Little Help From My Friends

I could talk about my own experiences, but I would rather share what some of my friends have had to say.

Cliff said, “On cutting people out of your life I practice two forms, one is a temporary separation and the other is absolute. I practice the temporary “cut” because I believe that you should not hold the person to the same standard of their previous transgressions and allow them the opportunity to become a decent human being. That particular type of break is reserved for people I truly love but who have become toxic. The second type is more generally used by myself as I have a low tolerance for abuse, manipulation, or whatever you call the action that caused the need for the separation. Remember you are not obligated to keep putting up with mistreatment no matter if it is your mother, father, lover, whatever. We all have to draw the line somewhere because in time we will find people to fill those gaps and they often times are already in your life. Cutting people out is a healthy habit to take up even though it may create a temporary void but ultimately you will heal and move forward.”

My friend Brynden wrote “I had a best friend in middle school who was gay and we used to ride the same bus. We we’re so close… We did everything together. I even remember going to DC with him on our class trip and we wanted to be in the same room together, just the two of us. I cut him off because he accused me of stealing his iPod. We had the exact same iPod, same color and everything. And he accused me of stealing it and I knew who did it. I tried to explain to him what happened and he didn’t want to listen. I tried to fix that friendship many times but he didn’t want to listen so I dropped him like a bad habit. This was in 8th grade so like 2007-08ish.”

Another friend, called Wren, cut her whole sports team she was in out of her life. She writes, “They were my biggest supporters of me through my hiring process (as a police officer ) and then the pride 4 incident happened at the (Columbus, Ohio) Pride Parade in 2017. I had someone ask me how I felt and I answered honestly l, that while I agreed with their cause, they were breaking the law and so their arrest was a good arrest. And that was the end. People stopped talking to me or posted anti police sentiments on Facebook and at the end of the day I didn’t need to be seeing all that stuff so I just unfollowed/Unfriended a whole bunch of them. “

One friend, Marianne wrote about it from two different perspectives. I will say I know both she and her husband- and I can’t imagine somebody disapproving of him! She said , “Cutting someone out of our lives or being cut out is never something you expect to happen, however when it happens to you it is a slap in the face. I chose a partner my parents do not like and they choose to cut me out of their life due to my decisions. I have gone through the 5 stages of grief. I was in denial that my own flesh and blood would just disown me for my choice of spouse. I was angry with them that they would make me choose between my spouse or family. I tried barraging with them to not make me choose, to get to know my spouse. I went into a really deep depression, had to seek counseling, and now have accepted that this isn’t on me. I been without parts of my family for over 10 years now. Their loss. Now I have the other side of it where I have had to cut people out of my life. I used to work with a woman who just couldn’t get her life together. Dated wrong men, drank, did drugs and tried to kill herself. I took care of her multiple times, rescued her from bad situations in the middle of the night, cleaned her up, and finally I told her I couldn’t do it anymore. She would not do anything to help herself. I changed my number and she got fired from her job. Sad how we do all we can for people but sometimes we HAVE to cut them out of our life.”

My friend, Kristi said “ So, cutting people out has been and is a struggle for me. The hardest truth to realize is that people don’t always grow with you. Everyone is growing and making their own path. They could have been a best friend when you were younger, but now they are toxic to your happiness. This doesn’t necessarily make them an awful person or the scum of the earth, they just aren’t what you need currently in your life. My example is of my Uncle John. Growing up, I was sheltered from the strained relationship between my mom and her siblings. My two uncles are twins, but otherwise there is no blood relation there as my grandparents adopted my mom, my aunt, and my uncles. The adoption thing definitely adds a unique dynamic to the strain. Either way, my uncles were the coolest people in my mind while I was growing up. As I got older I started to pick up on some of the Dynamics going on between the siblings. This started to change my opinion of my uncle John in particular. When my mom was alive, she kinda kept the peace, but once she died it became full on war between the siblings and my dad, me, my ex husband, and my cousins. Mostly my uncles against everyone else. John was and is manipulative. I remember when he was forced into the role of being the primary caregiver for my grandparents (my mom had done this when she was alive), he wouldn’t really ask for help…he would manipulate people to help him. The one incident that stands out vividly is I was off and going to a doctor’s appointment. John was blowing up my phone and when I was done I called him back. I didn’t tell him I was at the doctor, I just said I was sleeping. He then was demanding that I have my phone on at all times in case he needed more or to buy a phone just for him to contact me. He then was trying to guilt me about how my grandparents paid for my school and how ungrateful I was. I was in tears. I hung up on him. That’s just a taste of some of the crap he has pulled. He stopped doing it toward me when he realized I wasn’t going to take his crap. At the end of my grandma’s life, he was very controlling about who could see my grandparents and when. We pretty much stopped celebrating holidays as a family at this point. When my grandma started actively dying he let us in more, but he was just a real POS about it all. Now that my grandma is gone, I feel more comfortable with my decision to cut him out of my life at this point. We had a group text where we say happy holidays and such, but I have no plans of seeing him anytime soon. I do know, though, that he is getting older and he has no family of his own and I am going to be stuck with his care, which I know I don’t have to take on, but I probably will only because I don’t think anyone should be alone when they are done and can’t do for themselves, but until then he is just too toxic to have in my life. I think cutting ties with family is the hardest thing. People always say blood matters more than anything, so when you do have truly toxic family members, it’s hard to just cut ties. Although I have no experience with cutting ties with a loved one that is addicted to drugs, I do know that situation is hard too. Especially knowing the type of person they were when they were healthy. You may want to look into that type of cutting out too. Sometimes the best thing for an addict is to just be cut off, but sometimes people just can’t. “

My friend, Irisa said, “The mother – daughter relationship is the most iconic relationship portrayed in literature. The depth and complexity portrayed for us on screen or between the pages is nothing compared to the actual relationship. I have never had a good relationship with my mother. The relationship that should be the source of love, nurturing and support has been the one causing anxiety, depression and panic. Decades of struggle with this relationship led me thru a lot of therapy and self-analysis. However, my greatest ah-ha moment came from an older co-worker. She was a vibrant dynamic woman that I had known for many years. One day she found me crying as I had just had another fight with my mom. After unloading my pain and frustration she looked me in the eye and told me this was a toxic relationship and that the key with a toxic relationship is to acknowledge what they are and walk away. She further went on to tell me that she had a grown son and that they did not like each other. They were toxic for each other and used to fight until they came to the agreement that they did not need to be a part of each other’s lives. They came to a point of respect for their relationship and spoke on birthdays and holidays, but that was it. They each ran their own lives. This moment was profound for me. It gave me permission to acknowledge that this was a toxic relationship and that it was okay for me to walk away. I had never been told that it was okay to not like my mother and the way she treated me. Quite the opposite. I had been told how ungrateful I was for not accepting the love given. The lesson of accepting love given, whether or not it felt right, set the stage for me to be abused many times over. I lived in a toxic relationship with my parents for 25 years. I allowed myself to be constantly criticized, shamed and abused. This example of accepting this as love led to me marrying a narcissistic man for 15 years. Once I had the courage to break away from my mom I was saddened that I had no family but relieved that I did not have to deal with the pain of constantly being told I wasn’t good enough by my mother. Unfortunately, this just tightened the negative dependence on loving a narcissist who told me I wasn’t good enough in other ways. Leaving a toxic relationship is difficult. Sometimes we have to blow up our lives and start over to do it. It took years of trying to leave my mother and then my husband before I was successful. But it wasn’t without consequences. My mother came back into my life after a ten year break as my father was diagnosed with cancer. I got a dying man’s wish to reconcile. Guilt propelled me to reconcile and hope. Hope that I would be good enough to love because the little girl in me was still looking for that love. Guilt because I was so harshly judged by everyone that I knew for abandoning my family. Judged because I didn’t do what all kids do and tolerate their parents. This reconciliation was almost a decade ago and I deeply regret it. I have drawn strong boundaries and live 10 hours away from my mother. Basically, the relationship that I have with her is one I have with FaceBook. If I would put it on a public forum like FaceBook, fine she can know that. Otherwise, my life is none of her business. Leaving my ex-husband was worse. It took a period of ten years to work up the courage to walk away and not feel responsible for his “I won’t live without you” comments. The result was me being trash talked to everyone I ever knew, my employers, and death threats from once mutual friends if he killed himself. My reputation in the community has been destroyed and my safety compromised. Due to these individuals my views of love, friendship and trust are deeply colored. I suffer from PTSD and anxiety and have deep confidence and abandonment issues. On the positive side the relationships that I do choose to participate in must be healthy. There must be a large amount of communication, time exchange must be equal; not one sided. As for my children, they know they are loved. I go out of my way to foster communication, love and friendship. And I pray each day my struggles do not harm those that I love. I pray each day that the love I have and give outweighs the pain and insecurity that I carry. “

So How Do You Cut Somebody Out of Your Life Anyways?

You can always do some spellwork to help you along the way, but 99% of the work at ending whatever relationship this is has to be done on the mundane level. After I list some mundane steps to take, I will include a short, simple spell that can help you begin the process.

The steps taken to do so don’t necessarily have to fall into the order I am putting them in, and each person has to do this in a way that is best for them. I also can’t include everything and will probably think of more things after I turn this article in! Much of this list is just things to tell yourself to get your mind and focus right. The actual cutting off of a relationship is often the fastest part of the process, and may not even entail a formal goodbye.

  1. Make the decision to do this for yourself. This is not for your significant other, your kids, your family, your friends, or anybody else. If you cut somebody out of your life for the benefit of somebody else, other people will be able to talk you into taking said individual back for their benefit. No. This is for you.
  2. Tell yourself that you matter. Many times, people who mistreat us have successfully convinced us that we have to be selfless and put ourselves last, or we are somehow bad people. While we don’t want to be self-centered, greedy people, refusing to be in relationships that are not working for us does not make us wrong. You matter.
  3. Don’t let the fact you love somebody dictate your life. You can love somebody, but if they try to cut your throat in your sleep, I am sorry-not sorry, but that relationship needs to go. You can love somebody and not be involved with them.
  4. Depending on things, you may deem it wise to just disappear from their lives. There doesn’t always have to be a “heart to heart talk” or “goodbye”. Most especially if they have been able to manipulate you in the past into staying with promises things will be better, or they will change. Also, your safety needs to be taken into account. I once moved out when somebody who was toxic to me was not home to avoid a showdown. If somebody is not being good to you, no, you do NOT owe them a “respectful explanation” if it means bad things for you.
  5. Do not let anybody tell you that you have to forgive and forget and go on like nothing changed. Nobody else has the right to dictate this to you. If you do forgive, that is your right, but you don’t have to keep them in your life because of it.
  6. If you live together, they keep their things, and you keep yours, and you are allowed to leave behind gifts or things they gave you, but don’t waste your time demanding back things you gave them. In the event of divorce, it all gets written up who gets what, including money, and both parties sign legal documentation. There is no reason to be nasty or spiteful and throw their things to the curb our out a window like in the movies, but sometimes, people cannot be civil, and you need a third party to help with the move. Some of us don’t like dragging people into our business, but there are times when it is necessary for safety or to have a witness. If you need to involve the police, don’t be afraid to do so.
  7. Once you make up your mind to break off your relationship, then you need to decide what method of doing so is best. I know it is tacky to do a phone call or text, but honestly, some people go ballistic, and if you cannot emotionally deal with that, get your belongings out first, make sure there is nothing else left to exchange, and just leave a message if needs be. I know it is not PC to do so, but some people leave us no choice.
  8. Do not worry about what people will say. Hey can think or say whatever they want to. Most especially if this is a long-term relationship, somebody might just take sides, and respond by cutting you out. Good riddance to them, I say. We can only hope they don’t let the door hit them on the way out. People who try to punish you for not keeping people in your life who are not good for you are not your friends. You do not need them.
  9. Allow yourself adjustment time after the relationship is over. Most especially if you spent a lot of time with your loved one, it is going to really hurt. Some people will NOT be missed, and you will feel a huge sense of relief when they are gone from your life. But despite that, a hole may remain where they were, and you need to be aware of that so as not to fill that vacancy with somebody equally as bad for you as this person you just cut out. You have to be patient and forgiving of yourself if you mourn the loss of somebody who just was not worth it. Feel the way you feel, and deal with it in the way that works for you.
  10. If, in the future things change, and you decide you want to give your relationship another chance, that is okay, but then again, you don’t have to. You may want to, but decide it is just not worth it. That is okay. You may decide to try again, and be pleasantly surprised when things work out. I do not recommend trying again with somebody who was abusive. While it is your right, I do not recommend taking a chance that could put you back in a bad situation,
  11. When in doubt, consult your gods and guides. Some guides are human, and are people you can turn to for advice and wisdom. Sometimes, all we need to do is to reach out to the divine within us, and all the answers are there. Other times, we are too upset and close to the situation, and it takes another set of eyes and another voice to help us to see just what we need to do.

Beyond the mundane, we can still use magic to help us. I have a few suggested “breakup” workings!

Simple “Breakup “ Spells

There are multiple things you can do. I recommend a few different things.

  1. Forget Him/Forget Her- You can get oil or candles to use. I was once absolutely heartbroken over a man, and the shopkeeper/Priest sold me “Forget Him” oil. I am telling you, I used a dab of that on my neck every day, and looked at myself in the mirror every day as I did it, and told myself all the reasons this man was NOT worth crying over, and I needed to just forget him. I think I used that for a couple of weeks, and one day, I woke up, and I had absolutely no feelings for him whatsoever anymore. If your local shop does not carry this, do an online search and have some shipped in. Best few dollars I spent on such a working yet!
  2. What I always do when I KNOW things are 100% done, over, and through? I get rid of every last item they gave me, or that has any of them attached to it at all. This has meant getting rid of things I really liked, but it is one way to get ALL of them out of your life. Think of all the energy that goes into items attached to them. THAT is part of them. If you really want them out of your life, every last item you can bear to part with has got to go. I even delete photos online. Yes, I do. Holding onto those things is holding on to them, and if I am done, all items have to go. There may come a time when you cannot part with every last thing, however. Say you bought a house together, you get custody of the children, and you are flat out NOT going to give up your home. What you can do is cleanse, and consecrate the item, banishing their energies. In a case like this, a lot of people , even non-magical folk will completely redecorate. Removing every trace of somebody is helpful of getting them out of your life. Things like engagement jewelry or wedding rings need to be sold or given away. As both a friend and I discovered, wedding or engagement jewelry holds the hopes and string feelings from a relationship, and the second we parted with them, we immediately felt a great weight lifted! I hear about men demanding diamond engagement rings back from women who change their minds and call off the engagement, and sometimes the woman holds on to the ring. If you want a diamond that badly, buy one that you like for yourself and that represents nothing else. The more negative things like spite go into a ring, the more it hurts you to hold onto it.
  3. Photographs can be altered. My mother, a talented witch who never even knew she was one- had a great practice. She would cut people out of pictures with her. She did not want one visual reminder of them. It works. I go a step farther, as seeing the butchered photos reminds me of who USED to be in the pictures. I just throw out pictures, and remove all online pictures as well.
  4. Separate poppets- Ye Olde Poppet spellwork never fails. Make a poppet of you both, and attach the two of you together. If you were best friends, sew the hands together like you are holding hands. If you want to separate from your mother, attach your poppet together with hers with an “umbilical cord.” If you are lovers, just go right ahead and attach at the crotch. Why not? Attach your poppet with their poppet in the most appropriate place. Then remove the attachment. If the friends hands are sewn together, gently remove the stitches. The point is not to HURT the other poppet by cutting it up, but to REMOVE the connection and painlessly as possible. Once you remove it, take the thing that held the poppets together, and destroy it. You can even just throw it in the trash. You can burn it and blow the ashes away. You can throw it in the river and watch it float away. Whatever place that feels best to discard that attachment, go for it. Then, take their poppet, and after saying a protection spell over it, leave it someplace away from you. You can be compassionate and leave it someplace they loved, or if you are REALLY ANGRY, leave it someplace they hated. Just anywhere but nearby your poppet. As for your poppet, it represents who you once were when you were with them. You are not that person anymore, so your poppet can be put someplace that represents your past with them. Since it is the OLD you, don’t worry about any attachment with your present or future. Just make sure not to leave the poppets near each other.

The very most important thing to keep in mind when deciding to cut somebody out of your life is that this is YOUR life, and you have the right to include only the people and things that uplift, benefit, and otherwise improve your life.

Not everybody does this. Likewise, there is going to come a day when you are not good for somebody else, and they need to cut you out.

It’s never easy, it’s never fun, and sometimes, it’s downright devastating. When every attempt has failed, and it’s time to end a relationship, remember why you loved each other enough to spend time together in the first place, and use that love to let each other go on to better times apart.

May your heart heal anytime it breaks, and may your relationships be good for as long as they are meant to be.

Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Beating the January Blues: Excerpts from Every Day Magic Edited by Lucya Starza

January, 2019

January blues refers to that unsettled and unhappy feeling after the holidays are over. The joy and excitement have come and gone, and now there is nothing to look forward to. Of course, Imbolc isn’t so far away, so as a Pagan it’s probably a bit easier to cope with! But winter depression and SAD can affect anyone, so it’s important to keep an eye on your mood at this time of year and try and do something positive if you feel yourself becoming anxious or feeling low.

Here are some excerpts from a book I contributed to which has magical tasks for every day of the year. Every Day Magic: A Pagan Book of Days is a collection of 366 ways to observe the cycle of the year. These ideas can help make a grey and dismal January as magical as you need it to be.

Click Here or Book Cover for Amazon Info

January the First: New Year’s Resolutions

Resolve to enrich your spirit each and every day in many and varied ways. Aim to watch the way the seasons change; meditate a little; whisper prayers; light candles for peace, hope, joy, love and good health; dance and sing; learn about the Gods and Goddesses of the ancient world and celebrate the forces of nature, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon and the stars. Breathe in love and breathe out love. Be open to inspiration. Be blessed. Lucya StarzaI

January the Fourth: Janus

January is named after the Roman God of beginnings and endings, Janus. At the start of the year, cakes made of spelt flour and salt were traditionally burnt on his altar as an offering. Bake spelt bread (there are many traditional recipes online), then make an offering of a little to Janus. Tell him all the things you want to change and ask for his help. Light a candle in his honour. Ravenwings

January the Fifth: Focus and Control Pouch

Braided string, 6 inches in black, blue and yellow

Almond

Cedar

Bay leaf

Nutmeg

Carnelian

Cinnamon oil

Pouch

Purple candle

Before preparing the pouch, apply cinnamon oil to the candle. Light it to aid focus and meditation. Leaving the oil on your hands, continue the work. Affirmation: ‘I am strong. I will focus. I remain calm, and use wisdom.’ Repeat this as you place the rest of the items into the pouch. Tie it with braided string. Laeynarrie Auvresti

January the Sixth

Twelfth Night Wassail

Recite this to an apple tree and offer it cider and toast:

Wassail

Old Apple tree, old apple tree,

We have come to wassail thee.

Thirteen fires we bring to thee,

Ancient Mother apple tree.

Here’s cider-toast to break thy fast,

Now winter lessens here at last.

We wake the spirits with the gun,

Then sing and dance, have lots of fun.

Oh apple tree, oh apple tree,

Do blossom well we beg o’ thee.

To bear and to bow apples enow.

Hats full! Caps full! Three bushel bags full!

Barn floors full,

And a little heap under the stairs. Elen Sentier

What do you do to keep yourself joyful in January? However you spend this first month of the Gregorian year, may you be warm and merry in some small and special way.

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors Click Here for Amazon Info

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways Click Here for Amazon Info

Book Review of Pastel Spells by Rose Orriculum

November, 2018

Book Review

Pastel Spells

by Rose Orriculum

 

 

Taken from the back cover “Pastel Spells is a pocket spell book filled with a variety of spells for witches of all levels of experience, from beginners to long-time practitioners.” That statement really sums up Pastel Spells so well.

This is one of my favorite spell books to date. It doesn’t focus on any certain type of spells and even includes curses. Some of the of the spells are romantic, sexual, anti-love, platonic love/friendship, help with relationships, sour relationships, self-love, self-care/habits, self-care/emotional, healing, and, as I mentioned, curses. There is also a few spells on gender and some on orientation. I felt these spells were something very unique that I had not seen in other books.

I have personally tried some of these spells and I am in love with them. I tried the Stuffed Animal Sleep Spell for my son. He loves his new stuffed animal and now will not sleep anywhere without it.

I have also been using the Restarting Spell at the end of each month. I feel this spell is a great way to end the month and get ready for the new one.

Rose Orriculum has such a way with words and spells. I enjoy her work and cannot wait to see what else she comes up with. To learn more about her, check out my interview with her in this issue!

Pastel Spells on Amazon

The Sober Pagan

November, 2018

“H.A.L.T.”! Before You Continue Into The Holiday Season!

One of the discussions lately in the rooms of AA – at least here locally – is how to get through the holiday season without relapsing. As someone who has been around recovery for a while, I find my best bet is to stay home and enjoy my own company. This year, my son’s father – Mr. AA himself – is spending the Yuletide season with us, so it’ll be lots of recovery talk and talk about Buddhism and other spiritual paths. Plus lots of good food to eat! I admit, I am looking forward to this!

When people ask me my strategies for navigating holiday parties, I generally say, “Arrive late and leave early.” But of course – you can do this as a drunk, too. I used to do it all the time. I was always on my way somewhere else from some other place and I only had a minute to spare. But the way you lived as a drunk can help you out as a sober person. You just leave out the drinking part.

Lately I’ve been using the acronym “H.A.L.T.” when I discuss dealing with the holidays. Because the holidays – what I term the time between Canadian Thanksgiving (first Monday in October) to New Year’s Eve – and depending on where you live – all the way to Super Bowl Sunday – is a giant stretch of time involving endless office parties, family get-togethers, religious rituals, community celebrations and constant reminders that we are supposed to be having a great time!

H.A.L.T. Just stop. Think. What are you doing and why are you doing it?

Sometimes it’s not even about relapsing. It’s about running ourselves ragged trying to make everything perfect – to make up for all those years when we were perfect fuck-ups.

As you probably already know, “H.A.L.T.” stands for “Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired”. Whenever something is going wrong in our lives – it doesn’t even have to be a relapse – usually we are in the grip of one of those things.

I remember when I first got sober in my early thirties. Everyday, around three o’clock, I would get wicked hungry. I would have to get up from my desk and go to the break room and buy a candy bar or get a Pepsi. I started making myself an extra sandwich to get myself through the three o’clock hour. Then one day, I passed a bar with the sign “Happy Hour” in the window and it clicked. I was used to having a drink at 3:00 – I was used to drinking until the dinner hour. I wasn’t hungry – I wanted a drink. Once I understood that, my 3 p.m. munchies largely disappeared.

Anger is one of those issues where I disagree with AA in which I think that there are times that we should be angry and that anger can save our lives. That said, the thing is to use your anger wisely and of course, once you add alcohol into that equation, wisdom usually is not the outcome. Quite honestly, anything I can do sober I can fuck up beautifully when I’m drinking. So it stands to reason that if I’m angry about anything at all, taking a drink is not going to help the situation. Especially if I’m at a holiday party!

Loneliness is a killer but going out drinking seldom helps that. And if you’re with your family and feeling like you’re the outsider, having a drink probably isn’t going to help that situation. The only thing that cures loneliness is learning to love your solitude. And there’s always a meeting somewhere – AA, NA, Smart Recovery, WFS, SOS – find one and find your tribe.

The last letter is “T” and of course, that stands for “Tired”. It is so easy to give up when we are tired. So easy to take that drink that a friend is offering us at a party – so easy to justify it – just one, right? When we are tired, our brain doesn’t make good decisions. I know my brain doesn’t. I’m not sure what’s worse – being hungry or being tired. My brain doesn’t seem to be able to deal with either of them very well. So I always make sure that I am in a safe place when it’s late.

My “Happy Hour” is now spent in my own home – sipping tea and eating my home-baked cookies.

So “H.A.L.T.” – and enjoy the season!

Until next month – Brightest Blessings and Happy Holidays!

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Retha’s Crystal Reflections

October, 2018

Protection Stones

This month I think is an appropriate time to discuss protecting yourself, your aura & your space. You can use many tools to remove negative energy from your environment, such as salt, smudge, herbs etc, but my favorite way is with crystal allies of course!

There are tons of crystals we could discuss but for lengths sake we will talk about my top 10 protection stones. They are not in any order, I encourage you to work with or wear as many of these amazing stones as you can!

Smoky Quartz: Smoky quartz is one of my favorite stones for many reasons, but for wearing as a protection amulet it is my go to. I try to wear it every single day. It not only absorbs any negative energy around you, it also transmute that energy. So its such an important tool we have been given by mama Gaia. I recommend smoky quartz for wearing and for placing inside the front entrance to your home. It will absorb any negative energy ickys being brought inside your space from all who enter. It doesn’t need to be a huge specimen, a simple smoky quartz tumble is perfect. It’s also a master healer and when placed on the body will remove toxic energies, neutralize negativity and infuse the body with healing white light. It also relieves painful emotions. I have personally seen how powerful this crystal is and can’t recommend a stone any higher.

Black Tourmaline: Black tourmaline is kinda the big gun of protection stones. It’s very heavy and strong. It removes negative energy within a person or a space.  I prefer black tourmaline buried on the four corners of the property lines, or placed in the four corners of the home. It’s also the perfect stone for protection in your vehicle as it protects from theft. I keep a black tourmaline pendant hanging from my rear view mirror. It cleanses, purifies and transforms dense energy into a lighter vibration. It balances, harmonizes and protects all chakras.  It’s also another great one to wear on your body as jewelry. 

Black Tourmaline Rutile: This is simply black tourmaline bars within a quartz matrix. Quartz is the ultimate magnification stone, so this is black tourmaline magnified. Black rutile cleanses and energizes the aura. It draws off negative energies and disease and helps one let go of the past. It also gives protection from the ill thoughts of others. I also love the look of black tourmaline rutile, it’s so neat looking. So this is a favorite in jewelry pieces. 

Garnet: Garnet is to me gentle loving protection, and I keep a huge piece of it on my coffee table at all times. It’s to me protection of the emotions and mind. If I’m feeling stressed or on edge this is the stone I turn to for comfort & safety. It’s a talisman of protection and unyielding strength. It increases willpower and resistance to all things negative. It’s a spiritual stone of psychic protection. One of my favorite stones to wear as jewelry. 

Black Onyx: Black Onyx is stone that absorbs, transforms and prevents the drain of personal energy. It helps provide emotional and physical strength when support is needed during stressful, confusing or tumultuous times. It’s a good stone for grief. It also protects you from psychic attack and guards the wearer from the evil eye.

Black Kyanite: Black Kyanite is a stone that instantly upon contact clears anything of negative energy. It also never needs to be cleansed. It’s a great stone to keep on hand, if you get a new stone or piece of jewelry you can just touch the black kyanite to it and its clear & ready to go. So simple! I also keep a blade of black kyanite with my tarot & oracle cards. When i pull them out to use them I always place my black kyanite on top for a minute before I shuffle. Black Kyanite clears all energy blockages and imbalances within the chakras. It aligns, grounds and centers. It elevates the level of good vibrations within the energy field. It repairs tears or holes when placed upon the chakra points with its healing energy. Obviously wearing this stone will keep you clean and clear of any unwanted energies as well. Its a spectacular stone!

Aegirine: This is a rarer more expensive stone but well worth the trouble to find. Its claim to fame and what makes this stone unique is its ability to act as a shield that guards the aura, all while assisting the wearer to discover their courage and confidence in refining their power and strength. It’s known as a “guardian harmonizer”. It removes negative cords and energy attachments within the auric field. It also protects from electromagnetic smog. 

Obsidian: Obsidian is strongly protective and forms a shield against negativity. It blocks psychic attacks and absorbs negative energy from the environment. It draws out mental stress and tension. It’s a cleaner of psychic smog created in your aura. Obsidian is an auric cleanser. Specifically golden sheen or silver sheen obsidian can be used as a “bar of soap” and run along the entire body making back and forth motions like you are scrubbing away all negativity from your auric field. 

Selenite: Selenite is a beautiful, easy to find and inexpensive crystal that u can use to clear other stones, clear a space, open ritual circle or sacred space and clear yourself. It has an angelic feeling to me. Pure white light. It looks like it’s literally glowing sometimes. Selenite resonates at higher frequencies. Used for undoing the effects of negative emotions on one’s mind and body. Placing on the body it removes unwanted or negative energies.  A great beginner stone as well. I love a flat piece of selenite or charging plate that you can place smaller stones or your jewelry on to clear. 

Shungite: Shungite is a detoxifier and a cleanser. It kills and devours anything that harms people and then restores what is good. Its been called “miracle stone” and “stone of life”. It has been used for water purification since ancient Rome. It’s also a good stone to protect yourself from harmful EMF’s. I keep a Shungite pyramid in front of my tv for this purpose. It’s also a perfect stone to wear, especially if you are around a lot of different energies in the workplace, such as hospitals and trauma centers. Shungite keeps you from picking up negative and unwanted energy from others and the environment. 

I hope this is a useful brief explanation of some helpful crystals to work with for whatever type of protection you are needing. These are all staples in my crystal collection and I can’t imagine doing without them! 

On another note, if you are looking to start gridding, or in the market for crystal grids, I encourage you to read my three grid reviews/interviews that are in this months content here on Pagan Pages. Grids for all price points and different materials. Check it out! Thanks for stopping by this month and I hope you will come back next month! 

Have a blessed Samhain!

Love & crystal blessings,      Xoxo Retha

Sources:

mycrystalpedia.WordPress.com

infinite-beings.com

healing_crystals_for_you.com

***

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

For My Witches in the Wardrobe

August, 2018

 

Hello Hello my lovely Broom Closeted Sisters & Brothers!

(Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash)

This is my third love letter to you all, slipped under your doors, and I thought I would cover the ever witchy herbs this month having covered flowers. Witches use herbs in all sorts or magick and mundane ways and you can, too, without anyone knowing you are using Magick!

As you may, or may not know yet, herbs have meanings, magickal, and healing. There are many great websites and books with this knowledge and I am not going to get into all the herbs out there and their meanings in this article. This article is to show you how you can use them on the down low in your everyday life.

 

Growing Them

(Photo by Mike Enerio on Unsplash)

Growing herbs is a great way to learn how to work with herbs. Many people grow their own herbs to cook with. There are many kits out on the market today that help you grow your own small herbal gardens to make it easier for you to learn. Even kids kits help to begin to learn. I start with children’s kits, and single pots. I find them easiest, since I have a black thumb, rather than a green one. They come with a tiny pot, seeds for your herb, and a dirt disk that needs to be soaked. You can find them in many stores or online. I have even found mine at the dollar store. But you do not have to start or stop there. If you are an experienced gardener, have at it! Go crazy, grow all your witch supplies!

 

Cooking Magick

(Culinary Blends Sample Pack from Inked Goddess Creations Magickal Mail Boxes and Products Site. Product reviewed here in the column Worth the Witch.)

The first, most obvious way to use herbal magick is by Cooking. Did you know you can impart your intent in your meals and baked goods? If you look at the picture above you can see how the bottles labels say things like Money, Protection, Love… These are all magickal workings you can work into your food. The herbs you choose to place into your food can have a magickal effect on you and others. Be sure to look up ingredients you use. Or look up the ingredients in recipes to see what they mean. Then as you cook, concentrate your energy and your purpose to your cause. Or you can buy magickal culinary blends like the ones pictured above that are simply delicious. If you read the review of the blends in the article Worth the Witch you will see how I baked some love cookies using one of the blends. They filled my house with love, laughter, and happiness! They were also delicious! This is a great way to perform magick because no one is usually with us in the kitchen and a lot of the time the spells can be performed in our heads. Drop in your herbs. Stir your pot (cauldron) and cast in your mind!

 

Wearing Your Herbs

Did you ever think about wearing your herbs? I’m not talking about oils, though that is a great way to wear your herbal scents, as well. I’m talking about on your clothing. Sachets are a way to keep your clothing smelling lovely but also bestowing them with purpose. Lavender keeps you calm, magickally and medically, so add some lavender to sachets in your drawers or on your hangers in your closets with a quick chant about keeping you calm and anxiety free. Then as you go through your day you have the scent of peace about you. Take a nice sniff to remind yourself daily. For happiness try sweetpea, for love jasmine, or musk for courage. Whatever you feel you need more of, you can make up for in herbal scents. Everyone will just think you smell great!

 

Teas

(Photo by Marisa Harris on Unsplash)

Ahhhh nothing like a relaxing cup of herbal tea! Between the magickal and medical correspondences of the herbs in tea the benefits are out of this world. But did you know that the types of tea themselves have correspondences?

Rooibos:

  • Fire Element
  • Strength
  • Courage
  • Discipline
  • Determination
  • Steadfastness
  • Patience
  • Controlling (Personal) Emotions
  • Love
  • Romance

White:

  • Water Element
  • Air Element
  • Serenity
  • Purity
  • Purification
  • Calming
  • Creativity
  • Wisdom
  • Knowledge
  • Psychic / Paranormal Abilities
  • Astral / Otherworldly

Green:

  • Earth Element
  • Growth
  • Luck
  • Healing
  • Prosperity
  • Protection
  • Joy
  • Success
  • Friendship
  • Good Fortune
  • Abundance

Black:

  • Spirit Element
  • Binding
  • Cursing
  • Hexing
  • Curse / Hex Breaking
  • Banishing
  • Exorcism
  • Sexuality
  • Lust

and yes, Coffee:

  • Fire Element
  • Spirit Element
  • Energy
  • Mental Clarity
  • Summoning
  • Enhancement
  • Power Boost
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Travel
  • Exorcism

(Information from: https://green-tea-in-the-cauldron.tumblr.com/post/149522774366/tea-correspondences-in-magic)

So now we can drink with purpose & a small chant in our heads!

 

Dream Pillows

Dream Pillows are handmade, small, herb stuffed pillows to help you sleep or have good dreams. Some people put little stones in them, also. They are really fun to hand sew up and fill with a little stuffing and some herbs. Kids love them. You should be careful as to what herbs you put in them, because some can have an unpleasant odor. Mixing some pleasing smelling herbs with some more pungent ones helps. Here are some mixes that may help:

 

For A Stress-Reducing Rest

Sweet Hops

Mugwort

Sweet Marjoram

 

Sensual Dreams

Rose Petals

Rosemary

Lavender Flowers

Mint

Ground Cloves

Chili Powder

Lemon Verbena Leaves, Crushed

Piece Cinnamon Bark, 1 inch long, broken up

 

Natural Remedies

(Pic from eatyourselfskinny.com)

Homeopathic remedies are no longer thought of as wisewoman traditions anymore, so it is safe for us to use our natural remedies in public. So get out your herbs to help in healing yourself. A good way to heal a headache is lavender. You can find a lovely recipe for Lavender Lemonade on Eat Yourself Skinny. On a hot summer’s day, when your find yourself battling a headache, why not cool down with this helpful drink recipe?

 

Garden Magick

Growing certain herbs for their properties and placement in your garden can be very beneficial to your household. Placement of potted plants can be as, well. Like a nice Rosemary by a kitchen door for Protection to keep the baddies out. Did you know that planting Lemongrass, Lavender, Lemon balm, Basil, or Catnip can help keep mosquitoes away? So try to plant these around your outdoor gardens in abundance.

 

Well, my loves, I’m going to lay out some herbal Pot Pourri for a house blessing, throw some Basil in my pocket for some money luck while I head out the door, and say Toodles for now.

 

Until Next Month…

Stay Witchie, even if it’s just between you and me -xoxo

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Sacasa-Wright is simply a Witch. She runs PaganPagesOrg eMag.  She loves hearing your opinions & thoughts on the eMagazine and welcomes comments. You can email her at jenniferwright at paganpages dot org.  When she is not working on PaganPagesOrg she is creating in some other way & trying to make the world a better place with her family.

 

Book Excerpt – Love Magic: A Handbook of Spells, Charms, and Potions by Anastasia Greywolf

July, 2018

Book Excerpt

Love Magic

A Handbook of Spells, Charms, and Potions

by Anastasia Greywolf

 

Whether you’re hoping to catch that person you’ve been secretly in love with for the past five months, or perhaps an unrequited crush is not getting your subtle hints, the one true adage is that love has no rules and sometimes needs a little help or gentle nudge. To help readers navigate through their amorous adventures, Love Magic makes love of all kinds as easy as simply knowing the right words. Inside, readers will find timeless incantations, mystical concoctions, and homemade talismans that will help them harness their inner love powers to:

Attract love

Find out you who you’ll marry

Become a better lover (or make your mate one!)

Keep your love going strong

Bring good fortune to your beloved

End and forget about a love

In addition to traditional spells, Love Magic includes spells from:

Susan Adcox, Gemma Aronson, Jennifer Boudinot, DY Edwards, Elisia G. of Ancient Nouveau, Greta Goldbart, Gabriel Grey, James Benjamin Kenyon, Suzanne Lareau, Savana Lee, Josephine Preston Peabody, Hollen Pockets, Calyx Reed, Jill Robi, Elisa Shoenberger Jeanne de la Ware, Marguerite Wilkinson, Des D. Wilson, Katriel Winter

Here are a Few Spells From the Book:

 

To Find Love in the Summer

by James Benjamin Kenyon

How beautiful the summer morn,
With billowy leagues of wheat and corn!
The shining woods and fields rejoice;
Each twinkling stream lifts up its voice
To join the chorus of the sky;
O beautiful unspeakably!
In the dry cicada’s notes,
In the thistle-down that floats
Aimless on the shimmering air,
In the perfume sweet and rare
Of the sun-steeped, dark-leaved trees,
Dwell the year’s deep prophecies.
Hark! the clangor of the mills
Echoes from the drowsy hills.
The foamy clouds, the smiling dale.
The dimpling waves, the laughing flowers,
The low, faint droning of the bees.
Mixed with sweet twitterings from the leas,
Conspire to charm the magic hours.
Under a spell the spirit lies;
Sundered is sorrow’s misty veil;
Today life is a glad surprise,
A tranquil rapture, fine and frail.
Wherein to joy-anointed eyes
The old earth seems a Paradise.

 

To Help Bond You With Someone

TRADITIONAL MAGIC

To make a romantic partner feel bonded to you, use this Gaelic charm. Keep a sprig of mint in your hand till the herb grows moist and warm, then take hold of the hand of the woman you love, and she will follow you as long as the two hands close over the herb. No invocation is necessary, but silence must be kept between the two parties for ten minutes, to give the charm time to work with due efficacy.

 

To Make Love Last

TRADITIONAL MAGIC

Love will last forever with this charm. Take a bay leaf and split it in half. Kneel with your beloved in front of a red candle. Kiss one half of the bay leaf, then press the other side to their mouth to kiss. They should repeat the same process with the other bay leaf half. Tie the two halves together with one strand of hair from each of your heads. Place it in a green sachet and bury in your yard or another place that has meaning for you.

 

If you have enjoyed these spells, you will certainly enjoy the many this collection book contains!!

Love Magic: A Handbook of Spells, Charms, and Potions

Notes from the Apothecary

July, 2018

Notes from the Apothecary: Sunflower

 

Despite being used by many Pagans as a symbol of the Summer Solstice, the bright and bold sunflower actually flowers a little later, in the deep heart of summer, during July and August. When the lazy, hot days take over, before the light starts to wane, these great, golden faces nod towards their namesake, spreading sunshine wherever they grow.

Sunflowers range from small, cheeky bright yellow flowers to towering golden giants, yellow and black, resembling great, mutant bumblebees on stalks. There are darks ones, pale ones and even some that seem almost black or purple.

 

The Kitchen Garden

Sunflowers are pretty easy to grow, and the seeds are often given to kids to encourage them to enjoy gardening. Competitions to see who can grow the tallest sunflower are common, and watching the plants soar skywards in the warmer months is a prize in itself.

Although they are named for their resemblance to the sun, sunflowers do actually need a sunny spot to achieve their full potential, along with some well drained soil and good compost. Many sunflowers can be grown for their seeds, which are nutritious and tasty when toasted. The seeds are cultivated commercially for their oil, which is used for so many culinary purposes it would take the whole article to list them here! Sunflower oil is a healthier alternative to many fats, even some types of olive oil. It’s fairly neutral in flavour, which makes it widely popular as it can be used in a diverse range of cuisines. Across Eastern Europe, a crumbly version of the sweet halva is made from a sort of sunflower butter.

 

The Apothecary

Mrs Grieve tells us that the seeds of the sunflower have diuretic properties, meaning they help us pass water more frequently, which can be useful to flush out our kidneys if combined with drinking lots of water. It’s important to remember that when using any diuretic, some important minerals and vitamins can be lost, particularly potassium. Dandelion is a great way to remedy this.

The seeds have also been used as an expectorant, and this application helps with bronchial, larynx and pulmonary issues including whooping cough. Grieve recommends making a medicine with 6oz sugar and 6oz gin! After that much gin, I’m fairly certain that whatever the ailment, you will begin to feel somewhat better… or simply not care that you feel ill!

In other cultures, sunflowers were used to help with snakebites.

 

The Witch’s Kitchen

Klytie, the Okeanid nymph of Greek mythology, fell in love with either Helios or Apollo (Sol, the Sun), but was forsaken for her sister, Leukothoe. After watching the sun and pining for a time, she was transformed into a flower that followed the sun. Originally, this was the heliotrope, but in modern retellings, due to folklore that states that the sunflower follows the sun throughout the sky, Klytie has become the nymph who transformed into the sunflower. This makes the sunflower a little tragic, a symbol of unrequited love, and a reminder to let go of that which does not serve us.

Sunflower oil is one of the few foods that was historically permitted throughout lent, symbolising fasting, spiritual cleansing and self-discipline.

In a very literal sense, the sunflower represents the sun, and therefore fire, south, passion, love and creativity. Use the petals or whole flowers to decorate the southern aspect of your altar or sacred space. They make a useful offering or decoration at Lughnasadh or Lammas (1st August or thereabouts, depending on your tradition), as not only do they represent the sun at its height, but the harvest, food, wealth and well-being.

Cunningham tells us that sunflower seeds have been used by women who wish to conceive, and also as a protection charm against smallpox. Considering smallpox was eradicated many years ago, this use could be expanded to a general health charm, or a general protection charm, perhaps when combined with other magical elements. Cunningham also states that cutting a sunflower at sunset while making a wish, will cause the wish to come true before the next sunset, if the wish is not ‘too grand’. This is a touch vague, but reminds us to be down to earth, realistic, and that sometimes we need to make our own wishes come true!

 

Home and Hearth

If you wish to know the truth of a situation, meditate upon the image of a sunflower, or on an actual plant, either outside or in a pot in your house or sacred space. The sunflower represents an open face, total honesty; revealing all aspects of a situation. If you are able to, cut one of the flowers (with permission, never steal flowers and never cut wild-flowers) and when you go to bed that night, place the flower under your bed, all the while focusing on the situation you wish to know the truth of. Make sure that before you go to bed that night, you put a note pad and pen on your bedside table. You should dream of the situation, and the dream should tell you the truth of the situation. As soon as you awake, write down as many details of the dream as you can remember. If you do it immediately, you will remember more detail, so don’t delay!

Use the details in the dream to establish the truth of your situation. If it makes no sense even after this, it means the truth has been hidden for a reason, and you need to let it go.

 

I Never Knew…

Sunflowers have been used for thousands of years to make dyes for fabrics, in colours ranging from the expected orange and yellow, to brilliant blue!

 

Image credits: Sunflower (Helianthus L.) by Pudelek via Wikimedia Commons; Blütenstand (tellerförmiger Korb) einer Sonnenblume (Helianthus annuus) in Balve-Eisborn by Asio otus via Wikimedia Commons; Photograph showing a field of sun flowers and a sun spot by Thomas Quaritsch via Wikimedia Commons.

 

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

 

 

 

 

 

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

July, 2018

Rose Water

Merry meet.

I have a Zephirine Drouhin – an old Bourbon rose from 1868. It’s one of the best-known climbers and is nearly thornless. The reason I love it so much, however, is its scent. Just the memory of its rich, old rose perfume makes me swoon.

When it’s in a happy place, it will bloom in Central Connecticut for about three or four weeks beginning in late May and than a second, lesser, shorter bloom in September. The one I had at my house was happy. The one I stealthily planted at my condo has never bloomed a second time, making this spring’s flowers that last I expect to enjoy before I move.

To preserve some of it just a little longer, I gathered a pan of petals, added just enough distilled water to almost cover, and then I put the lid on the pan and let it slowly simmer, never letting it boil, for about an hour. When all the color has left the petals, the water will be tinted the color of the roses and it’s done.

Strain and keep the rose water in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Consider adding up to one teaspoon of vodka to help preserve it longer than 7-10 days.

The rose water can be used in spiritual and magickal workings.

You can use in love magic to anoint yourself, charms, tools or candles. Rose water can also be for a cleansing prior to spell work, rituals and ceremonies by adding it to your bath or misting yourself with it, Sanserae of Yaels Moon said in a YouTube video.

Roses have magical attraction properties that work for love, luck or money, she explained. It can also be used in beauty spells.

A more involved distillation method would probably produce a more intense result. Instructions can be found for a simple hack here: https://www.freshbitesdaily.com/hydrosol-hack/.

A similar method is described here: http://everythingunderthemoon.net/forum/rose-water-rose-hips-magical-uses-rose-t24175.html.

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.

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