magic

GoodGod!

May, 2018

Meet the Gods: Dagda

(This illustration of Dagda was found on Pinterest. His cauldron, known as the Undry or the Cauldron of Plenty, provided infinite food and drink but never to a coward or an oath breaker. It was also said to revive the dead. One end of his enormous club could kill while the other end could give life.)

 

Merry meet.

The name of the Celtic god Dagda means “Good God.” He’s also known as Eochaid Ollathair, meaning “Eochaid the All-Father.” His name is typically proceeded by the article “the.”

In the Celtic tradition, the Dagda is one of the leaders of a mythological Irish people, the Tuatha Dé Danann, “People of the Goddess Danu.”

These were a group of people, descended from Nemed, who had been exiled from Ireland, and scattered. It is thought that Danu offered them her patronage, under which they succeeded in rebanding, learning new and magical skills, and returning to Ireland in a magical mist,” according to Bard Mythologies.

Britannica.com states, “The Dagda was credited with many powers and possessed a cauldron that was never empty, fruit trees that were never barren, and two pigs – one live and the other perpetually roasting. He also had a huge club that had the power both to kill men and to restore them to life. With his harp, which played by itself, he summoned the seasons.”

Some sources have him married to the sinister war goddess Morrígan. At least one of his many children was borne by the goddess of the River Boyne.

The Dagda is generally described as being a large man, sometimes comically so, with a tremendous appetite and immense capacity. It was said that to make his porridge he needed 80 gallons of milk as well as several whole sheep, pigs, and goats, and that he ate this meal with a ladle large enough to hold two people lying down,” Morgan Daimler wrote in “Pagan Portals – Gods & Goddess of Ireland,” citing “A Child’s Eye View of Irish Paganism,” by Blackbird O’Connell.

 

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Daimler notes the Dagda is often described as having red hair and wearing a short tunic. He is strong and able to accomplish “great feats such building a fort single-handedly.” Every power was his.

He is called the Excellent God, the Lord of Perfect Knowledge and all Father. His central attribute is the Sacred Fire and, like it, he is always hungry, ready to consume the offerings; he is also a red god. The Dagda is also a phallic deity [fitting for Beltane], his lust matching his hunger. He is the father of many of the Tuatha De but his key function is as Druid of the Gods,” according to an article published on adf.org.

Druidic magic, abundance and great skill are among the attributes associated with the Dagda.

From my research, it seems he would appreciate offerings of large quantities of dark ale or beer, and oat bannocks, a porridge, particularly if butter and bacon are added. One source noted they should be offered to the fire.

A cauldron and a club or staff, Daimler suggested, could be his symbols in works of magic.

He is called on for wisdom, victory in law or judgement, and bounty. In a time of need, I can see putting out my cauldron, perhaps with a fire in it, and call the Dagda and his Cauldron of Plenty for help. Because his cauldron also serves as a tool of rebirth and regeneration, I would also call upon that power when going through a difficult ending on the way to a rebirth.

(“Dagda – Celtic All Father,” was handcrafted by James Miller from Stonecrafts. Sculpted in wax based clay and cast in architectural concrete, this plaque is available on Etsy.)

 

James Miller, a sculptor from Colorado, is of Celtic and Germanic descent.

He is part of my cultural heritage, so I honor him as an archetype of the ideal masculine,” James said, adding, “His name actually means ‘the good one.’”

He finds people are more receptive to learning about gods, goddesses and ancient traditions when they are framed in a cultural rather than religious context.

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.

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

May, 2018

Dandelions


Merry meet.

I think the very first spell I ever did involved a dandelion. I can see myself as a young child, picking dandelions with the dried puffy seed ball, making a wish, and blowing them onto the wind. I would watch as they danced on the wind like whimsical little fairies.

Someone later told me if I got all the seeds off with one breath, my wish would come true.

Magic doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that. Just as simple as tossing a coin into a wishing well and the first star spell, “Starlight, star bright / First star I see tonight / I wish I may, I wish I might / Have this wish I wish tonight.”

As I got older, I came to know how much adults with lawns hated the intense yellow flowers atop long stems, swaying in the breeze, and didn’t appreciate my spreading the seeds to make even more weeds. But I saw something special about them as they opened and closed with the light. I saw little suns looking up to the big sun in the sky, later equating it to male God energy. Then, when the plant went to seed, I saw it as the silvery full moon, or feminine energy which I later equated to feminine energy I came to call Goddess. The dandelion illustrated how both male and female vibrations coexist.

As I got older, my wishes turned into dreams, and the abundance seeds floating off meant an abundance of chances that my desires would take root. I also, without really thinking about what I was doing, would blow on them to release what I no longer wanted, giving it back to nature to absorb and transform. It was like blowing a kiss goodbye to something.

Now I see dandelions as containing the elements: the seeds are air, the flowers are the sun, the liquid in the stems as water, and both the green leaves and the moon I associate with north and the earth. Eat them (flowers, leaves, roots) and you will literally be taking the plant’s magic into yourself.

This is the perfect time of year to be doing dandelion spells. Where I live, they have burst into full bloom this past week. They’re a powerful little plant; their name means “lion’s tooth,” thanks to their yellow “mane” and their jagged “tooth” shaped leaves.

Look for that first seed head and let it carry your wishes, landing and planting, growing and prospering in the coming summer months.

If you wish, add a chant:

Dandelion, carry my wishes for me / Grant all that I wish for, so mote it be”

One spell I saw called for picking four seed heads, speaking your wish out loud to each of the four directions and then blowing a dandelion head in each direction, assuring they reach to the whole universe around you. Their proliferation helps in spreading possibilities and success.

You could also blow on the seeds to send a message to someone or someplace.

If you’d like, aim to blow all the seeds off an individual dandelion in one breath as an extra bit of good fortune.

Offering other ways they can be used in magic, Mackenzie Sage Wright wrote in “Lessons in Magical herbalism: Dandelion” for Exemplore April 4, 2018, “Dandelion tea is said to aid psychic visions and astral projection. The steam of the tea can be used to conjure spirits.”

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.

 

Book Review – Wicca, Plain & Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need by Leanna Greenaway

April, 2018

The cover states that the book is plain and simple and, also, the only book you’ll ever need. The forward of the book was written by Judika Illes, who is, also, an author and I quite liked it. The first chapter informs the reader about Witches and magic. She touches on the different types of Witches like Hedge, Traditional, Gardnerian, etc. It’s nice because she just does a quick little description of each, but it’s enough to give the reader a good idea of the differences between them. After that, she mentions Covens and how they were formed when Wiccans were persecuted so they had to worship in secret. Then she gets into Angelic Wicca right at the end and how she has personally chosen to follow the Angelic Wiccan path. It’s a great first chapter considering all that she mentions, but it doesn’t seem overwhelming at any point.

Chapter two breaks down Wicca and positive thoughts. “Life is like a big classroom. With each day, we learn and encounter new experience, and although at times the problems we face are hard, by going through the processes, we climb that spiritual ladder and evolve to a higher plane.” Has got to be my favourite quote from the book. It resonated to me as someone who has survived a lot of abuse and it made me feel like maybe my next life may be better due to the struggles I’ve already endured. She ends the chapter after going over some “Wiccan Ground Rules”

As with almost all Wiccan books, there is a chapter about Tools. That’s chapter 3 here. She gives a good list of typical items, touches on colour significance in the candle section and briefly talks about all the things you should have on your altar. This book lives up to its claim of being plain and simple, but in a good way. The way she just touches the tip of everything would make it a great book for a beginner.

Lunar magic is next. I think lunar magic should also be a pretty standard topic in Wicca, as a lot of what we do is based on the moon cycle. “The gravitational field of a full moon changes energy particles that reach the earth, influencing the way that we think and feel by changing the functions of our brain”. She informs the reader about the various cycles and the importance of each.

Chapter 5 is a very short chapter about initiation, specifically self-dedication and initiation, with just a few steps. The following chapter is about growing your own garden, the benefits of that and some ideas on which plants to grow and why. It’s one of the longer chapters of the book, and for good reason. She writes about what would be good for teas, tonics and superstitions, but again, in a user-friendly way with nothing being too complicated.

Chapter seven delves into animal magic. It’s another very short chapter that doesn’t get into much. I would have liked this section to be a bit better as half of the chapter is a personal story that is nice, but considering how much space if takes up, there isn’t a lot on animal magic itself. The tarot magic chapter is next, and that one is much better, with a lot of good information in a short amount of space and she writes about how “all tarot cards hold a magic of their own, and they can all help to bring about a positive result to your spells.”

I really liked chapters nine and ten. Chapter nine is about magnetic magic and chapter 10 is about the power of the pendulum. I, personally, use a pendulum all the time to help me with tough decisions and she suggested a great way to use a dictionary to help with divination, and the way she talks about the healing powers of magnets, I think a lot of readers would like it. She touches on some basic spells as well, which they are plain and simple again, so beginners can feel like these are spells they can do easily.

The rest of the book is spells specifically. There are spells for love, health, wealth, prosperity, happy families, career and willpower. All of the spells are user-friendly, and don’t need much for supplies. I am a fan of casting a circle before doing certain types of magic, but the author suggests just sitting and asking for protection. I personally wouldn’t feel safe enough to perform some of these spells without a proper circle, but I’m sure a lot of people would be fine with it. I think once a person has had experience with darkness, they are a bit more cautious.

The book overall is only 127 pages, and so it really is “plain and simple”, but she touches on a lot of different topics in those few pages. I would recommend this book to anyone starting out, but not really to anyone that has been practicing Wicca for a while. I still took some information out of it, as I do every book and I was really happy with it. The book is a quick and easy read, and I know if I meet anyone who is interested in Wicca I would for sure tell them about this book. I, also, think I will be looking into more of Greenaways’ books as it seems like she knows what she is talking about, and I love that she doesn’t over-complicate anything. I am happy I had the opportunity to read this book and write a review for it.

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Worth the Witch

April, 2018

The City Witches

 

 

Wow, do we have a Gorgeous Box for you this month! This issue we feature a jam-packed recurring Monthly Subscription Box from The City Witches. Their boxes, called Magick Mail, can be bought one at a time & in 3-month, or 6-month subscriptions. Their prices range from $20 for an individual box to $120 for a subscription. The City Witches offer a new theme each month to their fully packed boxes! This month’s box … Magickal Workings for the Moons of the Month.

 

Three Informative Grimoire Pages

When you open your box you are greeted with 3 pages for your BOS. The first page describes the Moon Phases for Magickal Workings. Helpful addition to any Spellsbook. The second page teaches, briefly, how to create your own moon spells. The information suggested on this sheet are helpful and handy to have. The third sheet is a Full Moon Chant.

 

Purple Bag of Goodies

Next thing that catches my eye from my City Witches Box is a Purple Bag full of goodies!

The first thing I pull from the goody bag is a Star Shaped Wooden Incense Burner & it is adorable. I love how it can hold an incense cone and many sticks. This will be perfect in my next moonspell.

Next we have Amber Sugar Scrub Cubes. Opening the jar I find they are in the shapes of roses. Delightful! Just like their smell. I use them on my hands and the feeling I am left with when I dry off is a lovely softness.

The black little bag is Moon in Sagittarius Bath Salts. The smell is heavenly and I can not wait for the time to be right for it’s use. There is enough for a good soak or even two!

The little blue bag is a Mixture of Salts & Herbs to be burned or used in a bath. Unfortunately, I am not sure of it’s exact contents. I can smell lavender & see the salts.

A vial of Virgo Moon Oil is included in the bag of goodies. The bottle is a little tight a difficult to open. However, there seems to be a slight glitter to the oil! Glitter is always good to this Gal!

We get a small Vial of Black Salt. Good to add to the stash of supplies and to work moonmagick with!

A Chunk of Charcoal is included for the Bottle of Full Moon Powder Incense.  It comes out as a tuft, like a cloud from the jar. The smell is light, a slight heed to it’s sweetness. I think, up-to-date, this has been my favorite homemade incense so far. I just wish I knew what was in it.

Last, a few pieces of Sage to keep handy. Never know when you’ll need a quick cleanse. Convenient! It’s like a traveling MoonMagick Bag!

 

Black Candle

Over 7” tall black Blessed Candle “Drawing Down the Moon” for the New Moon by Coventry Creations, Inc. The candle reads it is for Beginnings, Innocence, and Creativity. The back of the candle explains about what a New Moon is, what it’s opportunity holds for you. This candles packaging is amazing. Not to mention the size they send in this box! But, are you ready for this…

 

White Candle

Another 7” tall white, this time, Blessed Candle “Drawing Down the Moon” for the Full Moon by Coventry Creations, Inc. The candle reads it is for Magic, Imagination, & Mystery. This candle explains and teaches about the Full Moon. These look very exciting to use.

 

Sage Smudge Stick

Next up I find SAGE!! A nice hunk of a Smudge Stick! This will last a long time

 

Clear Glass Bowl

This lovely glass bowl can fit in your hand. It is crystal clear. No blemishes. Beautiful for any altar. I am guessing it is included, being this is a moon box, for maybe moon cleansing. You can clean stones, tools, anything during these meaningful moon moments with your new Altar Bowl.

 

Three Gemstones in Gauze Bags

In two purple gauze bags you will find 3 large, polished gemstones. The stones are, from left to right; Fluorite, Malachite & Amazonite. The colors are vivid, and the patterns on the stones are sensational.  The sizes they sent are generous.

 

Huge Moonstone Point

This HUGE, solid, speckled moonstone point is amazing to view and to hold. You can feel the peaceful energy this sizeable piece of stone is bringing. It is a wonderful addition to anyone’s gemstone collection.

 

Moon Incense Sticks

Included in this recurring Monthly Subscription Box is a large box of HEM “The Moon” scented incense sticks. There are 20 sticks in this box. I’m impressed with the size they have included. Usually I see the smaller size, 5-10 sticks, enclosed in boxes. They are HEM so they are of good quality.

 

Witch’s Brew Oil

Crafted with Magic! Witch’s Brew Original…by Coventry Creations. Myrrh & Mugwort blend for a scent out of this world. The label reads “Ignite your Magic,” and you can smell the power. This is no cut-price blended oil, but an item made with skill.

 

Druzzy & Moonstone Necklaces

My next find in this amazing box is another little black box. It’s exciting to find jewelry inside. Not one piece, but two. Two gorgeous necklaces. A Black Druzzy & a Moonstone Point. Each has been placed on cording and ribbon for a lovely effect. On my path I have not worked with any druzzy stones, so I am not sure what their uses are. This is, however, a gorgeous piece, and I will be sure to look into what it’s uses are. The moonstone I do know. This eye-catching, point, suspended in copper is simply luxe.  An elegant way to keep the energy of moonstone with you everyday. They have included two new pieces of ritual jewelry for moon working.

 

Box of Gemstone Surprises

One more little black box contains a collection of Gemstone Surprises! Hiding in this box we receive another piece of jewelry, a lovely mixed gemstone, beaded bracelet. The beads are of medium size and the bracelet itself is 9 inches and is one size fits all, on stretch cording.

Next up in the box we find two cute moonstones. Perfect for pocket carrying.

Lastly, but not least we have a small selenite wand. Palm size. Shiney. I like the size for travel and easy quick use.

 

Moon Spell Magic Book

 

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We are getting to the bottom of the box and two things remain…One being a book for our personal libraries on the boxes theme, the moon. Moon Spell Magic: Invocations, Incantations & Lunar Lore for a Happy Life by Cerridwen Greenleaf. The book teaches the lunar calendar and gives spells for every phase, demonstrates how to set up your own lunar altar, informs you about celestial Gods & Goddesses, and includes a plethora of spells & rituals you can perform on your own.

 

Journal

Stay Focused Because You Totally Got This. We do! Inspiring words outside, and on the heart bedecked inside, it says more…”I look forward to holding any thoughts, dreams, goals, *brilliant ideas, and AMAZING moments…” This box is sure to bring those, and this journal is now ours to record them. All the spells, rituals and things we learn on our way, about the Moon and all it contains. I think it is a lovely book to use as a Moon BOS.

 

My Overall Impression…

For the first time I am noticing a trend in the packaging everything comes in. There are bits of sage in them. What a beautiful way to cleanse, purify, & bless all you send. Every single gauze bag, small black box, and even the big box everything comes in itself has sage in it! I am very touched.

Now I want to mention the price. This box is bursting at the seams and I cannot believe how little they charge. Could they really be making money here?

I thoroughly loved this box for celebrating the moon. I feel all the contents went with the flow of the Moon Magick theme. I really found it gratifying how the company did not send you just tools and stash to help you celebrate, like candles & incense, or stones and jewelry to harness the moons power. Instead, they went the whole gambit, and by this I mean they sent you a method to really fully learn about the moon. They send you a book & a journal and tell you learn! They rally you to GO FOR IT! Now I have not reviewed the book. I do not know how good it is, but it is a starting point. The 3 BOS pages that are sent are a great starting point, as well…this box doesn’t just give you items, it encourages you!

 

Who is behind the inspiring Magick Mail Boxes from The City Witches?

None other than Jade Perri & Selene Serket. They were gracious enough to take some time to answer some questions for our readers about Magick Mail Monthly Subscription Boxes, their shop The City Witches, and Themselves. Here’s what they had to say…

 

PaganPagesOrg: How did the idea for a Monthly Subscription Box come to you?

Jade Perri & Selene Serket: The idea of the Monthly Magic Box, came to us, after subscribing to many ourselves and being unhappy with the contents. To us, getting a box monthly, themed for aiding us in our practice was very exciting. Many people do not have access to a metaphysical store near them, or they do not have the time to go shopping, or they do not know what to buy. It seemed to us, that if you could subscribe to a “magick” box each month, it would automatically come to you, and would contain items you could use to practice-not just a box full of random items. Our box contains relevant items to be used together or separately, all based on a certain theme. It is a nice way to also build up your stock, so you have everything you need, if you chose to use at a later date.

 

 

PaganPagesOrg: How did you begin your Boxes?

Jade Perri & Selene Serket: We began with a what we thought was a universal and important part of our craft. The Moon Magick Box. The Moon can represent New Beginnings, so we thought that would be perfect as our first box to introduce.

 

 

PaganPagesOrg: How do you choose each Box’s contents?

Jade Perri & Selene Serket: We choose what is in our Monthly Magick, based on the theme of the month. Each box contains approximately 10 items, that are all relevant to the theme. Normally each box’s base contains a ritual, a crystal, herbs or essential oil, items for your home or altar, as well as jewelry, a journal, and candles. Additional items will vary based on the theme of that month.

 

 

PaganPagesOrg: How do your Box Subscriptions work?

Jade Perri & Selene Serket: Our box can be purchased monthly, or as a subscription. It is more cost effective to purchase as a subscription box, for example, if you sign up for a 3-month subscription, you pay $75 ($25/per box) instead of $90. If you sign up for a 6-month subscription you pay $120 ($20/per box) versus $180. Boxes can be purchased for $30 individually.

 

 

PaganPagesOrg: Who are The City Withes?

Jade Perri & Selene Serket: The City Witches was created by two of us. Selene Serket and Jade Perri.

Selene is a a practicing eclectic High Priestess, who has been practicing for over 30 years. She is an experienced teacher and specializes in numerology, astrology readings, ritual magick, custom spells, and Sabbat rituals. She also has an extensive knowledge of all craft-related topics including Reiki and Chakras. In addition, she offers classes and certifications on many different topics such as A Year and a Day (Year 1-3), Chakra 101, and Crystal Magick. Selene is certified in Wicca High Priestess, Reiki Master and holds various Tarot, Crystal, Herbology and Astrology certifications.

Jade is an eclectic Witch has been practicing for more than 10 years and offers guidance on an array of topics. She specializes in divination from tarot cards, oracle cards, runes, and pendulums, as well as scrying and automatic writing. Jade also practices animal magick, dragon magick, and poppet magick. She is also an enthusiastic teacher and offers classes and certification in many different areas such as tarot classes and dragon magick.

 

 

PaganPagesOrg: What do the two of you enjoy besides working in The City Witches 🙂

Jade Perri & Selene Serket: Jade is married with two children and is the manager of her local animal shelter. She enjoys spending time with her family and advocating for homeless animals.

Selene lives with her furry family of 5 Himalayan Cats, she enjoys reading, spending time gardening, continuing her Wiccan Education through classes, and spending time with her friends.

 

 

PaganPagesOrg: What did you feel the Pagan community was missing to make you put your Box out?

Jade Perri & Selene Serket: We felt that with the options people have out there for monthly boxes, we wanted to design a box that was useful , fun, and educational. We wanted to really give our clients the best quality box for an affordable price. We also are lucky enough to work with other small businesses, such as Enchanted Reeveries, who provides items handmade from polymer clay, as well as Valessence Skin Care, who provide handmade bath products. We also include our own brand of handmade candles and essential oils.

We do not use printed boxes, or spend extra money on packaging, however, our boxes are stocked with everything they need for the month. What we save on packaging, we give back to our clients-each and every box contains additional free surprise gifts as a Thank You, to our customers.

The other option we offer, is that we do not pull our boxes once the month is up. They are available to our customers at any time. This is very helpful to customers, if they are unable to purchase during the month, they will not miss out-and can purchase anytime throughout the year.

 

Thank you Jade Perri & Selene Serket for this great interview. Your Magick Mail Subscription Boxes definitely live up to what you desired them to be and that is to all our benefit.

 

How can you get your own Magick Mail Subscription, visit The City Witches Shop, or Follow them? Just like this…

For the Direct Link to Magick Mail Subscription Choices & Back Log of Boxes Click HERE.

To Visit The City Witches Shop Online Click HERE.

You Can Like & Follow The City Witches on Facebook by Clicking HERE.

They are, also, on Instagram as thecitywitches.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Sacasa-Wright is simply a Witch. She runs PaganPagesOrg eMagazine.  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 Review – The Crystal Seer: Power Crystals for Magic, Meditation & Ritual by Judy Hall

March, 2018

The Crystal Seer

by Judy Hall

 

Power Crystals for Magic, Meditation & Ritual

Hardback, 176 Pages

Publisher: Fair Winds Press

 

While the title of this new books sounds a fantasy series I’d like to read, I came to read Judy Hall’s new book with glee.

She is one of my favourite writers about crystals and “magic, meditation and ritual” sounded right up my alley! I was positively giddy to read this book.

I must firstly congratulate the author on her fine work, yet again. Yet this book would not be what it is (which is glorious) without Timothy Samara, and John Van Rees, Jr.

The layout and design in this book are pleasing and easy to access, thanks to Timothy. The photography of the crystals is nothing short of stunning. John Van Rees Jr seems to be able to capture the light and essence of the crystals while maintaining their distinct qualities.

This means that you can see the colours and shades of the stone, the refractions and texture exceptionally well.

The table of content is crisp and clear, and easy to follow.

The introduction speaks about connecting with the stones and crystals (I believe she called it empowering and dedicating) which is almost exactly how I was taught to “awaken” and program crystals back in the day. She is ever knowledgeable and respectful. In this section she has a diagram of a body and Chakras, including more than the usual standard seven, which I was pleased about as many writers use main Chakras to mean all Chakras.

As always, Judy Hall mixes what I know with what I don’t. She uses folklore and lovely ancient quotes to embellish her work without making it fussy. There are crystals you have heard of and even someone who is rather well read will not have seen. This is a running theme in Hall’s work being a rather amazing predictor of the trends that cycle within the crystal community. I can’t help but feel the focus for the crystal business, once focused on Afghanistan and Iraq for its wonderful stones is looking other places. Certainly India, Mediterranean, and the Americas seem to be more sharply brought in focus. This means exciting things for us rock loves with new, and new variations of crystal coming to light.

It was a quick read, that being my only grip. While each crystal gets its own meditation or placement on or around the body to meditate with, I did feel I could have had more. The folklore and spell idea suggestions were well and good but I would have loved more, perhaps with ritual context.

I’d have quite liked a part two. That said, I know I am going to buy this book to sit happily next to her other books, and I look forward to seeing the new crystal trends unfold.

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Notes from the Apothecary

March, 2018

Notes from the Apothecary: Dill

Feathery and fragrant, the herb dill is so much more than just a flavouring for fish dishes or pickles. This magical herb has been used for centuries as a medicine, and as a potent tool for magical practitioners. From a muscle toner for Greek athletes, to a medicine for treating boils, this versatile herb is truly fascinating.

The Kitchen Garden

You can find dill growing wild, so if you manage to harvest a few seeds, or purchase some from your local supplier, you could cultivate a little patch of dill yourself. It likes loose soil with good drainage, and you can plant the seeds directly where you want the herb to grow, ideally in a sunny spot. It’s an annual or biennial, which means that at most each plant lasts two years, or two growing seasons. However, it self-seeds, which means that you should get plenty of fresh seedlings the following spring.

The delightful, tiny yellow flowers are a real draw for bees, butterflies and other essential pollinators, so planting dill will definitely increase the number of visitors to your garden. Conversely, dill helps repel aphids and other pests, making it a great companion plant to cabbages, lettuce and many other food crops.

If you don’t have a garden, or quite frankly, the time and energy to grow herbs, dill is widely available at grocery stores as well as herbal retailers.

For culinary purposes, it’s normally the leaves that we’re talking about. Small amounts of leaves can be cut from each plant, so that you don’t kill the plant by harvesting. If you have more leaves than you need to use immediately, put some in a sandwich bag and pop them in the freezer. Don’t forget to label them!

Dill leaves can be added to salads, cheese (such as cottage cheese), soups and other foods as a garnish and to add flavour. Leaves or seeds can be added to a bottle of vinegar to create a unique, flavoured condiment.

The seeds are also used, primarily for flavouring the liquid that pickles are soaked in. Hence the term ‘dill pickles’.

These are but a very few of the culinary uses of dill. It is used all over the world in dishes from curry to crayfish. Because of this, it is relatively cheap, and very easy to get hold of.

The Apothecary

Charlemagne had dill tea made available for his guests who dined with him, to aid their digestion and prevent hiccups. It has been used as a ‘gripe water’ for infants, helping relieve colic and gas, but obviously don’t feed herbal remedies to children without consulting a pediatrician first.

It is normally the seed of dill that is used medicinally, as it has high amounts of the oil anethol, or anethole, also found in anise and caraway. Mrs Grieves recommended it as a stimulant and for easing stomach issues, flatulence and simply as an aromatic.

Modern research has found that the active oil has antimicrobial properties, which are effective against some bacteria, fungi and yeast. It’s even been found to be effective against salmonella in some instances.

It can also be used as an insecticide, which probably explains why it’s effective at repelling certain unwanted critters in our gardens.

Wash your hands after handling dill and don’t use the oil in massage. It causes photosensitivity so can lead to burning. Don’t take if pregnant or breastfeeding, as it can affect the uterus.

The Witch’s Kitchen

Mrs Grieve notes that during the Middle Ages, dill was used by magicians in spells and in charms against witchcraft. If this is true, we can surmise that there is a protective aspect to dill, particularly against supernatural or magical attack. Dill can be used in a poppet to provide protection to the person you are visualising. You could carry a sprig to ward off negative intentions towards yourself, or sprinkle some seeds around yourself and visualise a wall of light rising up from the seeds, protecting you from all harm.

In the bible, the Scribes and Pharisees are berated for paying a ‘tithe’, or tax of rich goods, but neglecting their morals and ethics. One of the items in the tithe is dill, along with mint and cumin, so we can assume that dill was very valuable. This can be translated magically into using the herb for money spells, perhaps a little in your purse to protect your existing funds, or used in a little pouch with other herbs to draw wealth towards you.

Both Culpeper and Cunningham assert that the plant is ruled by the planet Mercury, which one can also extend to include the god the planet is named for. This reaffirms the wealth and money connection, as the Roman god Mercury is strongly connected to financial gain, especially commerce and trading. He is also associated with eloquence, so dill could be used to help you find the words you need in a tricky situation. Linking the two, a charm made with dill is ideal for a sales person, as it will boost the holder’s communication skills and promote wealth coming to them.

Cunningham also states that placing dill in the cradle protects a child, which most likely links back to the herb having been used in children’s medicine for centuries. A sachet under the mattress where the child cannot reach it, or even under the bed or cot itself would be best for safety.

Home and Hearth

Sprinkle dried or fresh dill leaves or seeds around the boundary of your home to keep out unwanted visitors or negative energy. Walk widdershins (anti-clockwise) whist doing this if you feel there is an existing energy you need to banish. Walk deosil (clockwise) if you are wanting to boost the current mood or atmosphere in your home. You can boost the power of this simple spell by adding elemental energies, if appropriate to your path and beliefs. Sprinkle water, salt for earth, carry a candle for fire and walk the boundary again holding a lit incense stick to represent air. Don’t try and carry them all at once! Juggling candles and incense might seem impressive but actually it just leads to burnt fingers and clothing. If you are not mobile, hold the dill or have it near you, and visualise your energy surrounding your home or sacred space.

Once a year (I would do this at Imbolc as I have the idea of early spring cleaning firmly ingrained in my psyche) sweep the boundary and refresh your protective ward.

I Never Knew…

There is a superstition that burning dill leaves will cause thunderstorms to clear up.

Image Credits: Anethum graveolens by Forest and Kim Starr via Wikimedia Commons, copyright 2007; Dill seeds by o Alanenpää via Wikimedia Commons, copyright 2008.

***

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.

Follow Mabh on TwitterFacebook and her blog.

For Amazon Information Click Images

Book Review – Vocal Magick: The User-Friendly Guide to Your Most Adaptable Ritual Tool By Bill Duvendack

March, 2018

Vocal Magick: The User-Friendly Guide to Your Most Adaptable Ritual Tool

By Author Bill Duvendack

 

Mr. Bill Duvendack is a well-known astrologer, specifically an esoteric astrologer, psychic teacher, and author. With over 30 years of study and practice, he is well-versed on matters of which he writes. He teaches classes online webinars through Kepler College, and in person at shops in the Metro St. Louis area. He is also available for private consultations.

Mr. Duvendack gives a brief history of what communication and vocal vibration are, without weighing down the subject. His writing style is straightforward. His writing is not dry, but witty and fun to read. Reading the book is easy. He covers how language connects to the culture it is used in, the semantics of the words you choose in ritual and how they have weight behind them. The depth of knowledge he shows in his writing gives credence to the number of years he had studied before he took up this subject. In this book, he also gives you clarity on how to use what insight you gain to work better at bringing to life the reality you want to create for yourself and the world.

In Vocal Magick, the author covers universal and karmic laws, as well as learning to recognize and be aware of the words you choose in your everyday language. Mr. Duvendack talks about removing ego from the conversation; he shares the story of the rubber band that he used so that he could remove the word “I” from talks. The author also talks about how the words you use when speaking with others gives them an insight into how you perceive the world. This book is about learning to control not only your communications but also your thought processes.

One of the things that Mr. Duvendack explains in this book is that when you vocalize something, the visual audience that you see isn’t the only audience listening. We all know that we have spirit guides, Ascended Masters, and others on the astral plane that hear us. By paying attention to how we use our language, we control what we build on the astral plane. Early in the book, the author talks about using mudras to amplify what you’re saying. You can do this in a way that your audience can’t tell what you are doing.

I like this book, and I have recommended it to a couple of shop owners who are not in the Metro St. Louis area, and they are looking forward to carrying it in their shop. You can also contact the author through his website to get “Vocal Magick” or any of his other books or attend some of his Webinars.

 

For Amazon Information Click Image

 

***

About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become an E-Book reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page.  If you are interested in a reading you can reach her at: https://www.facebook.com/Readings-by-Dawn-1608860142735781/

Book Review – Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch: Quick, Simple and Practical Magic for Every Day of the Year by Patti Wigington

January, 2018

Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch: Quick, Simple and Practical Magic for Every Day of the Year”

 

 

by Patti Wigington

Published by Sterling Ethos

Published: 2017

Pages: 385

Begin a year and a day of witching with the help of the “Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch.” Starting with January’s themes of new beginnings and going though December’s focus on winter’s darkness, High Priestess, Wicca expert and author Patti Wigington presents 366 spells for seasons, moons and astrological signs. Included are spells for protection, abundance, gratitude, blessings and divination.

While she notes at the beginning of the book that people often think you need a lot of supplies to do spell work – you don’t. Knowing others may think differently, I like that she points out you can do a lot of magic with things you find around you. Many of the spells I read required very little. For instance, the King Frost Snow Spell for Neighborhood Harmony required you to make snowmen while chanting, and adorn each with sticks for arms, a carrot for the nose, and whatever hats or scarves were handy. A spell to find new friends calls for nine seashells and an orange candle.

Wigington’s spells use batteries and a piece of red fabric to jump start your love life; and silver paper, a pen and mugwort for dreams to answer a question; and crayons and a new coloring book for creative thinking. She’ll tell you how to make a nine-piece divination set from painted rocks and prosperity poppets out of gingerbread dough.

None of the spells are long and involved, so it would be possible to set aside 5 to maybe 20 minutes and do a spell a day. Some may not resonate for you – not everyone needs a spell to gain professional respect, male potency or to pass a test. I wouldn’t personally recommend the love spells, including one to bring back a lover who has strayed or the Stay With Me Spell because they interfere with someone else’s freewill, and I don’t know that I’d bring a firefly into the house to help me find a lost object.

There were many, however, I did like. One is the Spell to Bless a Freshly Planted Garden presented on May 29 in conjunction with the old agricultural festival of Ambarvalia, Wigington instructs you to mix equal parts milk, honey and wine in a bowl and walk around your garden clockwise, using your fingers to sprinkle the mixture on the soil while saying, “Honey for the bees, wine for the Divine and milk for growth in this garden of mine.”

This book will easily help you bring more magic into your life, and there’s no reason it can’t be used a second or third time, or serve as a reference for the spells you found most successful. It could also be gifted to a new witch every year, made more personal if you jotted notes in the margins.

For Amazon Information Click Image

 

 

***

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.

Book Review: Tree Medicine, Tree Magic by Ellen Evert Hopman

January, 2018

Tree Medicine, Tree Magic”

by Ellen Evert Hopman

Published by Pendraig Publishing Inc.

Published: 2017

Pages: 245

This second edition is updated and revised from the original published in 1992 by Ellen Evert Hopman, a master herbalist, lay homeopath and founding member of The Order of the White Oak. She is currently archdruid of the Tribe of the Oak, a teaching grove for Druids. She holds an M.Ed. in mental health counseling.

For each of the 19 trees, she includes an illustration; describes their physical characteristics; gives their practical, herbal and magical uses; and provides Druid insights and recipes. Information for each tree takes up about 10 pages; quotes and poems about trees are sprinkled throughout.

Some of the common trees of North America and Europe that get a chapter in the book are ash, apple, birch, elm, holly, maple, oak, pine, poplar and willow.

Hopman treats each sacred tree reverently, sharing its powerful magic and how its legends are woven into various cultures. The traditions she shares are those of “our ancestors, the celebrants of the trees.”

 

 

At the beginning of the book, she explains the many forms which use flowers, leaves, bark, roots and seeds to treat conditions. She tells you what parts of the tree to use, and how to collect and use them. The back of the book contains such useful information as the Celtic tree alphabet and a tree meditation, along with indexes of herbal uses, magical uses, practical uses and illustrations.

Tree Medicine, Tree Magic” is a useful guidebook to work with trees on multiple levels.

 

Susun Weed, author of the Wise Woman Series, praised it, saying, “Trees are the Ancient Ones. They hold a vast wisdom that can heal all ills of body, mind, and spirit. Open this book and open a door to the details of that wisdom, brought to you by one of my favorite herbal authors, Ellen Evert Hopman. Ellen is actually a tree, ‘disguised’ as a person, so she speaks to us directly from the heart of the Ancient Mysteries. There is something for everyone here, whether you seek food for your psyche or physic for your woes.”

 

 

As I read about tree after tree and learned about the old ways, I was inspired to make more connections with them. I harvested white pine needles to make tea; I became aware that a branch of apple with both flowers and fruits is an indication the otherworld is paying a visit, and will now be on the lookout; and I now know to thank maple trees for being among those most tolerant of people.

I cross-referenced it with the Celtic tree moons – nine of the thirteen are in the book – and will be drawing information from the book when planning rituals.

 

For Amazon Information Click Image

 

Hopman’s other 10 non-fiction books include “A Druid’s for the Sacred Earth Year,” “Walking the World in Wonder: A Children’s ,” “Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore” and “The Secret Medicines of Your Kitchen: A Practical Guide.” She also wrote three novels including “The Druid Isle” and “Priestess of the Fire Temple: A Druid’s Tale.”

Visit Ellen Evert Hopman online at www.elleneverthopman.com.

***

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.

The Bad Witch’s Guide

January, 2018

 

The Bad Witch’s Guide to Poppets

 

I am a bad witch. There are a long list of reasons why I am a bad witch. Having been out of the broom closet for some considerable number of years I would on occasion get asked “but you’re a good witch though?” My response to that depending on the person asking but I found I started to say “yes, a very, very good witch” rather darkly as it usually got the point across.


As someone who has only relatively recently learned to sew I had to get crafty with poppets. I am quite cool about substitutes like onions and lemons (as someone who LOVES to cook).


Salt dough

 


I started making my own salt dough for my family early on. I do suggest food colouring (and gloves) at least in the mixing stage otherwise it has a tendency to go a bit gray. Equal parts flour and salt with warm water added a bit at a time until it reaches a dough. You can add an oil to make it a bit more pliable but if you mix it then chill it it should work better without. Salt dough can be used to make decorations, altar pieces for Sabbat, and poppets to heal, or otherwise. To harden it drying it out in a low oven is best, but it does dry to a hard texture, a bit like crumbly clay.

 

Clay

 


Clay is old school! You can buy air clay and you won’t need to dry it in an oven or you could let it dry out slower. Again it quite hard when finished and you might need to “poppet it” (add openings, names and so on) before it’s dry. You can mix herbs and things into the clay but this will effect it’s structural qualities too. If you are going for a bigger poppet you will probably need an armature. An armature is a skeleton within an object to give it a structure. Small ones might need only a single piece of thin wire down the middle. Bigger poppets might need a wire body. Clay holds onto paint well when dried and if you are a person who paints well this can be valuable.

 

Fabric

 


Fabric cut out with wool or other stuffings make a cheap and useful poppet. They take pins and other objects pretty well. You can put hair, or an old piece of clothes inside. You can add cursing herbs or spices and they soak up oils really well. It’s definitely a different experience than the clay or dough. An accomplished person can knock one out in very little time, but the rest of us it might take more than an evening. It’s lightweight and easy to carry with you.

 

Wood

 


There are a couple of ways you can make wooden poppets. You can use the carving method which requires a lot of skill and tools. The peg method (a wooden clothes peg can make a quick and useful poppet in a pinch). Or you can make a bundle doll. A simple cross bundle bound with thread can make and excellent poppet or spirit doll. You can use all kinds of woods, all kinds of thread, from silks to rough jute and soak it in oils or tinctures. You can glue the threads or even wax them (making them easier to burn in a fire) to keep the binding together. You can of course combine materials and use clay and the like to make the thread hold. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you like.


Wool

 


I am a crafty witch, in all senses and I got into needle-felting recently and I love it. It’s sculpting with pointy needles! While you do need wool and felting needles (which can vary in price a lot) a simple set is not that expensive. What you don’t pay in money, prepare to pay in blood! No needle felter doesn’t stab themselves (with varying degrees of pain and blood loss) while making things. Sure you can by leather finger protectors but I never stab myself in the same place twice! That said you can make rather good likenesses, have a whole spectrum of colours and shades of wool to choose from and with an armature you can make them quite big. I have been making a lot of fae dolls this way (they just want to be made) and there is this strange alive quality to them even before they are finished.

 

Roots and Vegetables

 


From pumpkins to turnips we have been carving faces for a very long time of vegetables. My turnip head is still there from Samhain last year (and yes it’s terrifying). You can carve or make poppets from roots like ginger and even odd shaped carrots, or just parts like heads, or phallic symbols in all kinds of vegetables. They do perish (some more quickly than others) which can be great (or not) depending on what you want. Can be burned reasonably safely and put in rushing water without too much issue (polluting is bad people). You can also squish them quite well too, should you feel the need and compost with clear(ish) conscience. Being as they tend to be wet (ooh er) things like photographs, or other connections can be damaged in trying get them into the poppet. That said that might be a bonus and they take pins and such really well.

 

Wax

 


This is one I don’t often use but one of my friends is great at this one! They are not “pretty” but they have such a power to them. Good for a short sharp shock. They burn well (obviously) and if you do it right they burn themselves! So try and make sure if you are using a wicked candle to try and keep it central to the poppet. A candle, a craft knife and a hot spoon to smooth things out are all you need. It’s a cheap and powerful way to make poppets. You can of course buy and melt wax and sculpt it from scratch but it requires a double boiler and a lot of patience. This way means you can add oils, herbs, hair, photographs and so on. They take pins well and if you leave in a cool place can last a long time. No so great for throwing in water but good for jar work and fire work.

 

Grasses, Cornstalks, Such Like

 

 

Corn dollies are a very old poppet material. Good wheat stems can vary on how easy they are to find and there are hundreds of ways to weave these little lovelies. Dependent on the material weaving can be a simple or complicated business. It’s more like stalk origami than true weaving but you get some lovely pieces. They are a lot of work and you might not want to use them as a poppet unless you are really pressed. That said they are a beautiful and ancient form of poppet and it would be remiss of me to leave them out. They can last years, but don’t take pins well. You could use them as a basic armature for something like clay on top.
A good poppet is what you need in the moment. Whether it is for healing, focusing a group spell or cursing the crap out of someone making your own is an empowering and therapeutic thing.

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