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The Bad Witch’s Guide

January, 2019

The
Bad Witch’s Guide to The Older People”

Or
You get Better or You Get Bitter”

There
are some people who never seem to get old. Their bodies might age,
but something in their eyes and heart has remained or even grown.
Then there are people who seem to crave death. Sometimes it is
depression. Often untreated, under supported and dealing with the
loss of a great deal. I have been the supporter of an older relative
dealing exactly with this. Without support and indeed medication
these folks become something dark and unpleasant. As The Veil grows
thin for a person you start to see what might be beyond for them, a
light or a darkness. This is not about religion or faith but an
almost physical psychic presence around people near the end. Those
near their light glow. There is a peace and beauty.

Then
there are the other ones. A presence like black sticky smoke. A smell
of something rotten or burnt like old tires or something sickly
sweet. It seems to pour from them. I can not tell if it’s their
mood, their energy, their internal mean-spiritedness or the
manifestation of something else.

Older
people are just that, people. They are neither saints or devils, but
dealing with someone whom is dark and difficult because they are
family is hard work. It is often hard physically, emotional and
spiritually.

So
how do you live with or be around this polluting force? Toxic
parents, and relatives become no less pleasant as they age and some
just use their frailties (real or imagined) as weapons to brutalise
their children and spouses and grandchildren.

As
a child of a toxic parent and one who watched someone become one in
their last years of life there is a complex soup of horrible
feelings. Guilt, duty, blame, shame, fear and pain.

As
a witch I have to change my perspective.

I
must squint at the situation sideways and think magickally.

Firstly
the mundane. Is this person mentally ill? Are they depressed,
grieving or suffering in some other way? Is mental health support
possible? Many older folks have still have a lot of shame and
misconceptions about mental health. Many have some really ugly or
difficult coping strategies. From alcohol and cigarettes, to shutting
themselves away, generationally we are in a much better place to
understand mental illness today. Some might be struggling with side
effects of medications, not knowing that their could be newer better
medications or combinations out there. Some might not have been to
the doctors at all. Avoiding what they think will be a frightening
truth.

Reach
out. Find charities and professionals that listen not only to what
they say but your input too. It isn’t easy. We had a lot of doctors
simply refuse to believe Pop’s had depression. That many of his other
issues would have been solved if they treated that first. In the end
it was as much that as his vices that killed him.

Of
course you can not help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. This
is perhaps a hard truth of our own we must face. The other option is
also mundane and really tough. Sometimes you have to walk away. For
your self, your health, sanity and well being. This might be a break,
this also might be an end to the relationship. It is not our job to
watch someone destroy themselves.

If
neither of these two are applicable (life is complicated and messy)
protect and cleanse yourself and space as often as you can. You might
want to physically clean it as well as smudge. Adding salt and
essences to your wash water can help. Protective wards, charms and
crystals help a lot too.

There
are a couple of things that can help absorb some of the toxic seep
but they are not permanent measures. One is sacrificial house plants.
Sounds macabre I know. House plants tend to die in the presence of
such people, yet these little heroes can and do take much of this and
convert it as best as they can. They don’t have to be fancy, and if
you get a few you can rotate them around (increasing their lives for
a short time). Ferns are good. One near where they sit, one in their
room, one in the loo or near where they spend a lot of time and
absorb a lot of yuck. Some quartz pebbles might even make them live
longer.

The
other is a salt and barely mojo. You can make up a big batch and keep
it in a jar and change out and throw away the used one. How often
depends on the person.

Once
a month or once a week depending on how bad it is. This can go under
a mattress, or sofa cushion or even into a pillow.

You
Will Need:

Salt,
the best kind you can afford.

Barley
(pearl barley is fine)

Calendula
oil

Parsley
(dried)

Per
one cup of salt you will need a tablespoon of barley and calendula
oil with a teaspoon of parsley. This is the base mixture and you can
add other things, like moss or wheat straw (again to absorb the
energy).

Say:

Spirit
of Salt I call to thee

Draw
what is harmful away from me.

Barley
keep the Dark away

Bind
it here until I wash it away.

No
darkness shall harm

With
this charm:

Tenebris
et non nocebit (And the Darkness Will Not Harm)

Tenebris
et non nocebit

Tenebris
et non nocebit!

Place
in fabric mojo bag as discreetly or not as you like. Under the sofa
cushion, or mattress is useful and make sure to empty them regularly.
Dispose of the used mixture down an outside drain with plenty of
water. Don’t put it in a river, but you could put it in the sea.

This mixture can be used for a circle ward around your home, too.

While
none of this deals with the cause of the problem sometimes all we can
do is muddle through and keep ourselves safe. In an ideal would this
sort of thing wouldn’t need to happen but the world is often not
ideal and we need to use our magick to keep us as safe as we can.
Toxic relationships are difficult and draining and it can take a long
time to heal from them. If a little magick can help you feel strong
enough to say “no” when you need to then it has done you a great
service.

The Bad Witch’s Guide to Yule

December, 2017

 

The Bad Witch’s Guide to Yule

I’m always a bad witch, but apparently I really suck at this Yuletide thing. I mean I make my own gifts! I like snow! When people say “season’s greetings” or “Merry Christmas” I smile and mean it! I’m a monster!

The cynical average British Pagan just sort of rolls their eyes at me. I don’t Cringle early. I spend November and December making gifts and decorations (I’m a bit slow this year but we have been adjusting to new medication this year, but I have plans)! I don’t even go and get really drunk!

I mean I clearly suck at this witching thing!

Of course it can be a pain! Its hard work, it’s expensive (though often nowhere near as costly as Samhain in our house). I know you get pine needles in the carpet, but the tree! Ah the tree! We put up our tree either on Yule itself or the day before. It’s always real. Always in soil.

It’s the smell to me. Is it even Yuletide without the smell of pine, holly and orange and clove? The energy of bring a living being into your home. Changes it. It is magickal.

We have handmade ornaments, ones we make each year and ones me made when my daughter was very little. The sun star that goes a top our tree is one she made when she was about 5 or 6 years old from air clay, acrylic paint and ribbon. To me it’s treasure! We always had a candy cane (not a very British treat) to eat while we decorate. We always listen to Jethro Tull and sing along.

The other ornaments are made of cinnamon quills, star anise and dried orange slices, florists wire and ribbon. We make tradition Christmas cakes with lots of fruit steeped in spiced rum, covered in marzipan and snow white icing. No neon red cherries though. We would make in loaf shapes and large rounds dependant on who was getting them. Single folk don’t tend to want to buy a big cake just for themselves but enjoy it.

The fruit perplexes many modern folks especially in America. Yet raisins, plums and dried fruit were mixed with sugar and spice as a herbal remedy to coughs, colds and infections right up until the beginning of of the 20th century. Spiced fruit became traditional, medical and they added some dried breadcrumbs or flour! Minced pies are medicinal! That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

The biggest mistake folks make with their dried fruit is just that! They leave it dry! The fruit was only dried because it needed to be preserved. In the food dried fruit was soaked sometimes in strong black tea with spices or with alcohol! Merry Christmas comes from being merry, which meant drunk! Once the fruit as steeped sometimes overnight sometimes longer, then it’s ready for pies, and cakes!

Come on though! It all sounds like far too much hard work! I mean it’s just a day!” A day? Don’t let folks rob you! Yule is two weeks! Two weeks of family, food and gifts! Now some of you might think this is excessive and more work, but actually removing the pressure and spreading it out makes it a much better holiday! We tend to trim and decorate the tree on the solstice (on the 21st of December) and have in the evening our big meal). The first of our gifts are given. Our daughter might have got her main gift on the solstice or later. Each morning having what would be a stocking filler. Again this means no gift is unappreciated. Each gets its own moment! It isn’t lost in the crush of “OPEN EVERYTHING”. It is quite common for us to open our home to pagans and non-pagans alike whom might not be having a great time. Maybe they don’t have a family to celebrate with. Maybe it’s a break-up. Maybe they are just sad. We sit down and feast together. A roast bird and all the trimmings! I confess I’m lucky as while I do a lot of meal prep my husband cooks the dinner. It is his way of honouring his grandmother who was like a mother to him.

It’s quite odd, but my favourite day is usually the 22nd, because everyone else is in a panic and well, all I have to do is the dishes! I tend to try and make this day “be kind to retail staff day”. I really smile. I say thank you and mean it. I know what fresh hell retail can be!

I might have other meals (when my family and my husband’s Pops was around sometimes we’d do a Christmas day meal too) or Boxing Day (which was traditionally the servant’s day off to celebrate Christmas in the UK). Yet given the choice we declare it a duvet day, watch Doctor Who and eat left-overs and fish finger sandwiches (fish sticks).

Yuletide and the mid-winter season has become a lot about “stuff”. Yet if you let it, if you let go of the cynicism, and rush, if you make it, it really is magickal. Of course you can do rituals and rites. Mix a little “mojo” with your “ho ho ho” but you have to let it in! It’s the spirit of giving, of kindness, of new beginnings!

 

 

Tree Blessing

A candle

A handful of compost or earth

A sprig of holly

An acorn or dried oak leaves

Fresh green ivy.

Incense (your own blend but frankincense, myrrh and cinnamon works well)

Water.

 

Carefully (and you might need gloves) holding the holly and ivy walk around the tree three times clockwise. This can be spoken but it is better sung.

The holly and the ivy,

When they are both full grown,

Of all the trees,

That are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.

The rising of the sun!

The running of the deer!

The playing of the merry music

Sweet singing to inspire!”

 

The ivy is then tapped gently against the tree three times. Then the holly. Then they are both then put aside.

Lord and Lady of the Forest dream.”

Spirit of the resting green,

A vessel hear our words:

Spring will come.

Warm winds will blow.

[Waft and blow incense onto the tree]

Water will again flow.

[Pour a little water onto the roots of the tree.]

Earth will again make things grow.

[Place compost at the base of the tree. Light candle.]

Fire, the suns light shall glow.

[Walk the candle around the tree clock-wise. And place on your altar or hearth.]

The oak King is born! The sun is returning! *spoken*

*sung* Joy to the world!

The Lord has again come!

Let Earth receive her King!

Let every heart prepare Him room!

Heaven and nature sing!

Heaven and nature sing!

Heaven, heaven and nature sing!”

You could now dress and decorate the tree. Eat sweet treats and maybe even sup a glass of spicy mulled wine! Eat! Drink! Be merry and bright! With all of my bad witch heart bright blessings and seasons greetings!

 

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

May, 2017

Nightmare

(Nightmare Bag)

To Stop Nightmares

Merry meet.

Several people I encountered were experiencing nightmares and looking for relief. I began making charm bags (that I also call spell bags or mojo bags) and was told they worked, so I am sharing it with you.

Choose a piece of fabric or a purchased bag – of a natural material if possible – in deep purple, dark blue or black, but any one you’re drawn to will be good.

Based on my research, I came up with the list of ingredients below that have magical properties to alleviate nightmares. Read it over and select those you’d like to use. You can combine the dried botanicals and stones in almost any combination or ratio. Add a few drops of oil if you wish. If you feel stuck, try using a pendulum to make your selections.

A wise woman told me, “I have found magical blends to have more to do with one’s own personal relationship with the plants than with any recipe, formula or dogma. And what one has on hand at a time of need is there with reason, purpose and value.”

I hope you’ll take that advice to heart as did I. I didn’t have frankicense oil, but I did have frankincense resin, so that’s what I used. I was moved to put in rose petals and lavender flowers, and in one, a few grains of pink salt.

With your ingredients in the center of the piece of cloth, or in the bag, you can tie them up with a few words such as,

“This bag holds the power to restore peace, it brings a good night’s sleep as nightmares cease. As I will so mote it be.”

Put the bag near your head, on a hook above your pillow, next to your bed or even under the mattress.

Sweet dreams.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

List of gemstones:

Agate

Amethyst

Chrysoprase

Hematite

Lepidolite

Malachite

Prehnite

Quartz (clear or smoky)

Rhodochrosite

List of herbs:

Anise seed

Jasmine flowers

Morning glory seeds

Mullein

Purslane

Rosemary

Vervain

List of essential oils:

Frankincense

Lavender

Orange

Rose

Sandalwood