The Bad Witch’s Guide

November, 2018


The Bad Witch’s Guide to Shadow Work


(Photo by Christian Holzinger on Unsplash)


For about the last two months I have spent a lot of time going within and working on my spirit. Some of it has been a choice, some has been circumstances. My health (physically) has been very poor since about July and while I am no longer bleeding nearly to death regularly I felt I needed to find my strength in body and spirit.

I have done a lot of yoga. A lot of meditation, usually every day, sometimes twice a day, and while drawing in the light around me my shadow would not be still. Darkness has a bad rap. It is often mistaken as evil. Rejected and defiled. Repressed and denied, this is the animal within. Animals are not generally evil. Neither is the shadow.

When I started looking at this place, the in-conscious (unconscious doesn’t give it enough credit), in my early 20’s I found it as the wolf. The singer of bones. The true wild. It is that gut animal instinct and for most of us it dwells within our shadow. If I gave it space and respect it spoke to me. It was wise and knowing with strong instincts that are annoying never wrong no matter how much I try and think around them! It kept me alive. Yet this was not some soft puppy. It was the desire to bite which hurt me. Run from the unknown and dig into things I didn’t want to know.

It was never about trying to control the wolf. The wolf is wild and that is how it should be. It was about listening to it, bringing it forward in my mind and analysing why I was feeling this way. The wolf brought me gifts I didn’t understand. Usually dead things from my past. A memory, good or bad. A feeling, usually something sad because I bury the shit out of those!

In slowly accepting my wild-self, that part of the shadow self, I began to go deeper still. Yet I was afraid. I was right to be. For deep in my darkness was a dragon. A dragon made of fire and destruction. A dragon that I could really feel writhe within my gut when riled. This is not a metaphor when that part of me was “woken” my guts would squirm as though something wriggling around in there. A dragon that terrified me. It was scary this beast ripping out of my being and me losing control. Uncontrolled violence and wrath. I locked it down, I repressed it hard. I refused to listen, I even hated it.

It took years of journey work. Years of looking trying to understand. I remember exactly when I met the dragon. I only went to a Dark Moon circle once and as I journeyed I joined a group of female dancers dressed all in red, whom danced covered in sharp blades and barbs. I joined the dance with them and I was cut a few times, we all were. Afterwards in a tent of red drape we compared scars as dancers do, laughing and smiling. Still I was to go deeper. Down, down. Deeper into the caves. At first the caves were cold and water dripped everywhere. Then they became warmer and dryer. There was no light. None at all. Yet I knew the way and there in the dark was a huge faintly glowing red dragon. It was asleep coiled up. Just breathing. It was beautiful. Like copper. I reached out my hand and it was warm and smooth. An eye fluttered open. The voice was like thunder, the deepest sound but gentle. This was new to me.

I asked “what are you?”

I am your pain.”

I began to weep. My fear melted and I realised this beast, this part of myself, had been consuming my pain all my life. That there had been so much especially as a child I didn’t understand I had created this to deal with all the things I was unequipped to understand. Now I understood. That the dragon was like my wolf. A teacher if I listen. A friend if I needed it.

Working in your shadow is a place within The Dreaming. It is both real and metaphor. You might not have wolves or dragons. You might have lions or “demons”. Yet the demons we make are no less real for us making them. They are often woven from our instincts, good and bad and our worst parts. The parts we reject from our Light.

They are our addictions, our vices. Our rages and pain. Our deep grief and sorrow. Yet if we come to them gently and listen they can bring such healing. That is not to say you allow them to indulge. You listen to when, to why, to the triggers. You understand, maybe even speak about it and let the urge go.

When both my parents died within six months of each other and I was cut out of the family by my sister I was devastated in a way I couldn’t comprehend. Being a witch and bi-sexual is just not okay with her. I remember sitting at the dinner table with the real and distinct urge to burn a path of destruction between myself and my sister. Not a metaphorical one. I mean kill and burn everything and everyone I met until I reached her and let fire take her too. It was odd and specific and I simply spoke about it and ate my dinner. A few month later I discovered it was a common tactic by a long dead ancestor (Grace O’Malley) to destroy traitors that way. I gave voice to my shadow, my pain but I did not give into it.

As Samhain comes and then the deeper dark of the year it is an excellent time to look within at the things moving around in our shadows. It is a daunting task, and one often sorely neglected by many magickal practitioners.


Simple Shadow Ritual

You will need:

A mirror

Patchouli oil

Candles/soft lighting

Bay laurel leaves

Yarrow (dried)

Frankincense resin

Heat proof container and charcoal to safely burn your herbs.

Notebook or journal.

Soft blankets (get comfy this might take a while).


Prepare your space as you would usually. Anoint your forehead and heart with the patchouli oil.

I humbly come to my Shadow’s Gate.

I come to learn not to hate.

I come to see, I come to hear.

Open the Gate as I draw near.

Touch the edge of the mirror with your dominant finger used to anoint yourself in a deosil direction. Keep the light to a minimum but use enough to be safe. Light your charcoal in your cauldron or censor. First adding the yarrow, then the bay, then the frankincense.

Cleanse your body in the smoke and prepare yourself to sit and stare with the mirror. Visualise your “gate” and begin to unlock it. This might take some time. There may be stairs or even just darkness. You may have to “jump”. Your darkness will not be the same as anyone else’s. When you are ready focus on your own face in the mirror. Say:

I see you. I am listening.

You may or may not “see” anything. You might. We spend a lot of time locking this energy away, it may take a long time to open it again. Write what you see in you notebook.

Re-anointing the mirror in a widdershins direction and drawing a banishing pentagram on the glass should you feel the need.

Humbly I came to my Shadow’s Gate.

I came to learn not to hate.

I came to see, I came to hear.

The Gate is Closed I leave you here.

Dissolve your sacred space as you would usually. If you wanted to evoke particular Deities during your opening rites please make sure to thank them appropriately afterwards.

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

June, 2018

The Goddess Nu Kua

(Photo Credit – acutonics.com)

Nu Kua is the Creatrix Goddess of Ancient China.

When the heavens and earth were separated, there were no human beings. Nu Kua was bored and lonely and so made the first humans out of clay made from mud from the Yellow River. Her breath and Yin became the first women; Her breath and Yang became the first men. The first of these were fashioned, and molded, with her hands. However, as she found how tedious and time-consuming this was, she began to drop a rope into the river’s clay and to allow droplets to form and to fall from the rope. Hence, those that were molded became the nobles and those who were unmolded became the peasants.

She is said to have the body of a woman from the waist up, and the body of a serpent/snake/dragon from the waist down. There are also myths of her having the body of a Tortoise.

(Photo Credit: goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com)


(Photo Credit: opednews.com)

As the myth goes, the monster, Kung-Kung, during a great battle, flattened the mountains, tore a hole in the sky, and tilted the Earth.

Nu Kua came to restore order. She melted five sacred, colored stones and repaired the sky. She took control of water, enabling the rains to fall when and where necessary and put out fires. She put the seasons in the right order.

(Photo Credit: flickr.com)

She replaced the pillars of heaven with the legs of a great turtle/tortoise so that they would not collapse; Dragons on these pillars guard the path of the sun and the moon.

She corrected problems on Earth by quelling the problems of human chaos, by establishing marriage, ensuring that children would be raised correctly.

After restoring order, Nu Kua retreated to her domain, the sky, wearing a compass to symbolize order.

She has dominion over marital relations and fertility. It is said that she responds to prayers directed toward her.

Nu Kua represents order and its’ restoration, is a calming influence in stressful situations and also helps with a positive attitude after negative events.



There is a Way

and I am that Way

the Way of Nature that moves in all things

In the beginning

I created the universal pattern

the Way things are

the Way things flow

the Way things need to be


I sequenced the seasons

harmonized the hillsides

organized the oceans

till all was auspiciously arranged

I am the natural order of things

I am the Way

(From The Goddess Oracle

by Amy Sophia Marashinsky & Hrana Janto)

(Photo Credit: The Goddess Oracle

by Amy Sophia Marashinsky & Hrana Janto)

Goddess Blessings!!


About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

My Name is Isis: The Egyptian Goddess

The Crafty Writer

June, 2010


The dragons of olde dream the dreams of times gone by. Of when their wings would spread wide to catch the air that would lift them on high. The armor plated scales of their chest still shone bright. Fore the fires that burned deep within heated those so hot that when their flames burst forth, they would light up the night sky, telling all that dragons ruled. Now the elders lay upon their horded treasures, which remind them of the days of olde.


There are still dragons within the world today that are growing old as they fly among the mountain tops. They have no fear of man, but also have no place in the world of man. They are not needed to sway wars, or bring the wrath of gods down upon them, for man has learned to do that upon themselves. So now they fly high among the mountain tops, where man so seldom comes. They grow old in their own time as they find treasures to be hidden away for their day of dreams.


Your browser may not support display of this image. Today there are so few young dragons born, who will play with the fairy of the wood. The need to keep them alive in this world of science is even more important now then ever before. So let me tell you of a woman that still knows how to make dragons live. Her dragons and fairies start out as a craft that combines with others, only to excel to an art form of needle felted sculpturing.

Though let us first go back for Felting is one of the oldest textile fabrics dating back to 6300 BC when dragons still roamed the world. Wet felting is a combination of loose wool, water, detergent with motion and pressure. The use of needles to create the felt didn’t come about until the industrial era, when the need to remove water and detergent from the process became apparent. Then in the 1980’s it went another step from the two dimensional textile to a three dimensional art form. Through the use of a single or multiple hand controlled barbed needle a crafter could create wonderful things from loose fiber wool.


Wall hangings, appliqués and patches are some of the popular uses for the process, but it is the three dimensional art form that has always caught my eye. The ability to mold the loose fibers with almost as much precision as one might mold clay amazes me. Yes, it takes that special eye to make a masterpiece, although some very beautiful pieces are made by people with very little natural ability also.

Your browser may not support display of this image. There are instructions all over the internet for finding materials, and how to do wet felting and needle felting, so I will not go into depth in the particulars. The ability to find working needles have finally reached the different hobby, craft and fabric stores around the country. If they do not carry any near you, ask, or look on the internet for a small starter kit. All that is needed is a needle and colored wool. To save money a fiber fill for stuffed animals is available in all craft stores and works wonderfully for practice and finished pieces, and very inexpensive at the same time.


Do not get me wrong needle felting is not for the feint at heart. The needles are very sharp and it is being thrust into a roll of loose material that rests between your fingers, so please be careful. One artist teases that she charges per needle prick instead of hours worked for the price of an object. Rarely does it draw blood, but the faint at heart need be very careful.

Your browser may not support display of this image. With that said, if you take a look at the picture of assorted needle types and you will see that they are very sharp and can come in many shapes and styles. Select one that works for you and make sure it is comfortable. Everyone has their own technique and they vary slightly although most involve starting with a roll and punching the needle into it. By changing the angle and the depth and needle style different effects are created. With each thrust of the needle more fibers are captured and dragged deeper into the roll changing the surface and firming your roll. A firmly packed piece is preferred, although not an absolute necessity and not needed from the beginning.

Your browser may not support display of this image. Get a feeling for the needle and concentrate on what you wish to create. With practice and learned technique almost anything is possible. A wired frame of florist wire is helpful for creating a base outline to follow, but again is not a necessity. It is only an outline for consistency to size.

Remember that only one thing matters when creating any kind of craft. Practice improves your ability, and if it does not make you happy, it is not worth doing. So enjoy your selected craft, or let someone else enjoy it and marvel at what they can create. When you see a crafter that has taken it to the next level and made an art form, remember the hours that must have been involved in the creation and a kind word is always appreciated. Patronage of a starving artist is also often appreciated, but I hope you will find your own craft and become the creator.

All photos copyrighted property of Kimberly Rueby

of www.kskritters.com