Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Tao of Witchcraft?

Do you have an idea in your mind of what witchcraft means to you? It’s a surprisingly difficult one to answer isn’t it? While there is history behind it, a religion in the shape of Wicca and stereotypes that abound it’s very difficult to pinpoint what it means, both as a way of life to the thousands who make this choice and also on a personal level. Each and every witch will practise in his/her own unique way. To most witchcraft is love, energy, respect, the divine universe, giving and receiving, change and acceptance - spell casting encompasses all or some of these at any one time.

I cannot help by find myself reminded of Taoism - which I sometimes feel possibly alone in, there's not too many others that seem to mention it! But bear with me as I find it helps my spell work immensely, gives an added dimension to what witchcraft can bring to my life and generally makes my life more fun and sometimes effortless. Got your attention now?!

For those who are not familiar, Taoism is a set of ancient Chinese philosophies. The most relevant principles to me are:

Tao - means the flow of the universe, the way, that which keeps the natural order and maintains balance.
Te - power without ego
P’U - the uncarved block, simplicity
Wu Wei - without action, allowing the flow to make things happen.

I use these principles all the time to enhance my spell work. Having trouble getting a spell to work? Maybe it’s not meant to be. Writing an important spell but find it’s so complex I can hardly understand it any more?? Go back to the uncarved block. And always, ALWAYS, work with the universe - go with the flow. The principles complement witchcraft perfectly and I love that witchcraft is flexible and inclusive enough for me to work with the two together.

Life means work, your rewards are a sense of purpose. But witchcraft and spell casting gives you the perfect chance to explore beauty, play and draw to you what you wish for in life without having to scratch around and scramble in the rat race to do so.

For those that want an easily accessible introduction by the way, try these 2 ADORABLE books, which is another surprising combination - Taoism and Winnie the Pooh! Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet
- and in fact I’ve just discovered they come together (wish I’d known that!) Tao of Pooh and Te of Piglet Boxed Set

I cannot recommend a better boost to your mood!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Smudging Your Home

I’ve got quite a big project coming up soon and so I am planning to do some cleansing of the house this weekend. Not cleaning (although unfortunately this needs doing to) but more specifically smudging to clear and ‘reset’ the energies around me. I have a little ritual of my own for this so thought I would share it.

I prefer to put the focus on safety and feeling comfortable as I’m of the opinion that if you feel your home is your haven then you can pretty much do anything there!

I use the traditional sage smudge stick, incense such as frankincense or good old lavender, which goes so well with sage, and also some blue crystals, such as blue lace agate (why is explained below). I use the sage in order to open up the energies and it’s actually the incense that I’m using for cleansing and protection. Light the incense first and let it burn in the heart of your home. Then light the smudge stick and quickly cleanse yourself by letting the smoke surround you. Then walk slowly (don’t waft the smoke too much, let it carry itself and follow its own route) around the house saying:

Safe and sound
My home is bound

By energies strong and pure

Within is purified
Renewed and restored
My heart, my spirit is secure

You can say this once or repeat it in every room, it’s up to you. As I go, I like to place a crystal by a window or any doors to the outside. The reason I pick a light blue is that once I’m done, I place the smudge stick in a shell bowl and then meditate next to it. While I do this I picture my home with a light blue protective field around it. Having cleansed it, I now want to ensure that negative energies are kept at bay.

After that, the success of my project is up to me!!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Destiny Charms

Just a quick one. You may have noticed that I put some links through to Destiny Charms from time to time, or more specifically when I list items needed for a spell. It’s a little web project - selling witchcraft ingredients, altar supplies and other related items - that me and a few friends have set up and we’re absolutely loving it! And I’ve managed grab some space of my own :)

All the spells that I put on here have their own section on the site now and the complete spell kits for each spell has kindly been granted a discount. So take a butchers here if you are interested.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Familiar Tail

Ok, so Pyewacket has already made his mark. To my absolute delight, he and I have bonded really well. To my annoyance at times, it means he won’t leave me alone! I have a new shadow and its cat shaped.

What it does mean is that he wants to be around my altar the whole time and has taken a great interest in my spell work (which has got to be a good thing for a witch’s familiar). But unless I can find a way of developing a spell that’s main action is cat cuddling I’d say so his contribution maybe a little limited!

Monday, 23 November 2009

A Reflective Spell for Beating the Bullies

Much as I like to try and see the good in people as much as is possible, it is a sad fact that not everyone you know brings enhancement to your life. They may have reasons for their issues, ranging from low self esteem to personal ambition but this does not mean that you have to accept their destructive, bullying ways. You have a right to feel good about yourself.

I’m aware that some people want to try curses when they feel bullied or upset. There are a couple of reasons why this is not a good idea. First, it will make you feel bad afterwards - if you act like your enemy you become your enemy so try to always be true to yourself and resist the temptation to get nasty. Another is the Wiccan 3-fold law. This states that all energies projected will come back to you but 3 times as powerful so much nicer to make it an act of kindness.

But you should defend yourself as you would defend a friend in a similar predicament. The best way to go about this is to send their negativity back to them rather than unleashing some of your own.

For this spell, all you’ll need is a reflective surface. It could be a mirror that you place on your desk, a shiny broach, you could use a the glass on a picture frame or a crystal such as hematite. I’ve even used the screen on my mobile phone before! It doesn’t need to be pointed at the problem individual, it’s more about making sure that the energies are bounced back so it’s not a physical thing as such. These are the words I choose:

My aura is my sanctuary
I bid you to retreat
I’m shielded from your harmful ways
My spirit will not be beat!

You can repeat this once a day (to yourself so as not to draw their attention of course!) when they are nearby to build the protection. If you can get away with it, repeat it to yourself when they are talking to you, putting you down or generally trying to hurt you. The benefits are two-fold. Firstly, you get the protection of the spell, secondly you drown out their meaningless words :)

Go get ‘em!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

This is DEFINITELY a good idea!

Ok, I have given in! A little while before Halloween I was musing over whether to get a cat as I’ve always fancied a ‘familiar’. It now gives me great pleasure to introduce you to the newest member of the household, who of course is named Pyewacket (for those unaware of the reference, here’s why).

To be frank I’m not sure how helpful he’s going to be but he’s so cute, who cares! That said, he’s pretty good at whipping up a frenzy of energy so as long as he doesn’t knock everything on my altar over (and he will) I’m hoping he’ll create a buzz around me and my spell work. Or am I just trying to talk myself into this being a good idea!?

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Are There Such Things as Spells to Become a Witch?

If there is one question that I get from people that I meet who take an interest in witchcraft it’s this - ‘can you give me some spells to become a witch!?’

The simple answer is I’m afraid no. But that said, it’s not really a simple matter and I understand the confusion. After all, witchcraft is about spells isn’t it? Why not just cast a spell and become a witch - broomstick and all! I’d just like to ask you to consider one thing. If you’re not a witch, what makes you think the spell is going to work? ;)

But onto a more serious look at what’s involved, this isn’t really a yes or no matter. While there is no one spell I could give you to inject special powers into your system, and I certainly can’t wave a magic wand, it is also true that spells are the path to becoming a witch for many. It’s just that their path is more complex than you may think.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s called the craft for a reason! It takes practice, hard work and dedication to become a witch and it takes skill, solid faith and a respect for nature to cast effective spells. There are no shortcuts.

So if you want a spell to become a witch, this is what I recommend. Take a very simple spell, something that is important to you. Work with this spell over a week and rather than concentrating on the effects, instead focus on how it makes you feel. Start up a book of shadows and write down observations and thoughts. Give yourself a break and time to reflect. Then try again with another simple spell and see how this one goes. Again, observations are important. So in this sense, the all important spell to become a witch becomes ANY simple spell that you can work with.

For me, learning to cast spells was a bit like learning to ride a bike. You may think you’re never going to get it, but then something just clicks! Perseverance is key.

Blessings and good luck!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Follow on from my Samhain Spell!

If you read my blog earlier on, you will know that over Samhain my aim was to try and get more focus into my life and wrote a spell to help with this. I’ve been working on a follow up so that I ensure this doesn’t slide. This is something that I like to do regularly for major spells or rituals and I can recommend it. It only need be something simple but it can keep things fresh.

As I prefer to work intuitively, this is a method that works well for me. By no means feel that you need to emulate this at all. Go with what feels right for you!

So, this is my simple ‘top up’. I don’t want it to be too complex as I have already put a lot into this at Halloween and in fact asked for a lot of positive energies to come my way so I don’t want to ask for too much! I am using clear quartz crystals, astragalus (the herb) and yellow candles as all of these represent clarity and confidence. I have written a list of some of the goals I want to focus on in the coming months also so this will be in my mind as I work.

I place the astragalus into the cauldron (a bowl will do) and then light 4 yellow candles around it. I place the clear quartz in my hands and say the following 5 times:

My mind is my rock
On its strength I rely

I pour a little water into the cauldron with the herb and then repeat the above once. Then place the stone into the middle of the cauldron and take the time to think over all of the things I need to achieve.

I then like to keep the charged quartz by my bedside overnight as it helps me get me invigorated raring to go for the next day!

A bit of Blurb on Free White Magic Spells

I recently wrote a piece on free white magic spells and though I would include it here as it may help you if you are an absolute beginner and looking for some pointers:

Free white magic spells can be easily found online. However, finding spells and knowing how to use them are two different things and it can help to have some instructions! So in order to help you find the right free white magic spell for you and maximise its potential I have out together some tips to get you started.

1) Firstly, go for the free white magic spell you’re drawn to. It may not be the one that you were originally searching for but listen to your instincts as they may be telling you something important about what you really need!

2) Spells are not easy to cast and you should not expect to be able to choose something advanced and succeed at your first attempt. Witches spend years perfecting their craft - it is called this for a reason. So if this your first attempt at spell work go for something basic and don’t worry if it takes you a few attempts to see a difference.

3) If you find a free white magic spell that you like but don’t feel it is totally right for you what you want, it is actually possible to make some simple adjustments. In fact, a personal touch to a spell can make it all the more potent. It’s best not to tamper too much with the structure and wording of the spell, but it is fine to use something personal in place of another ingredient or item. It can also help if you write what is known as a written statement of intent to include at a convenient point of the spell. Write out a small piece on what you hope to achieve from your spell or any thoughts and dreams. Then read it out during your spell casting.

4) The power of a spell comes not from the spell itself but from within you. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are fully prepared and in the right frame of mind. Do not attempt a spell when you are tired or stressed. First make sure that you are open and that your energies are flowing so try some meditation beforehand or maybe a scented bath. Make sure that your mind is clear before starting.

5) Give your free white magic spell time. Even though you may want something to happen immediately, the universal wisdom of the earth that you are working with may have a different plan for you! It may be that more work is needed or that there is a better time for this to happen for you. So try to be patient and look for signs that the changes you desire are starting to happen.

6) Give something back. Wicca and witchcraft are based on principles of universal energies and so if you are wanting something it is reasonable that you should ‘top up’ the energies by returning the favour! So give something to charity or say something kind or comforting to someone. Anything to make sure that the positive energies stay circulating

Thursday, 12 November 2009

How To Spot Natural Witch Characteristics

Natural witch characteristics are by no means set in stone and because of this, it’s a topic that causes a lot of disagreements! However, it is an area that interests me as I was aware of some of the signs from an early age so I thought I would put together a small, but by no means complete, list of some of the most popular giveaways.

1) Psychic dreams. This of course will link in with those with psychic abilities, which takes us in a different direction to witchcraft but this is very common with natural witches because of their intuitive personalities.

2) An affinity with nature. A natural witch characteristic that runs through just about all natural witches is that they feel at one with the world around them. They are not good at being cooped up and tend to be fond of all outdoor pursuits from walking to gardening.

3) A close understanding of animals. The natural witch will often be able to understand animals and themselves have quite an animalistic approach to life in some ways. What this means is that they are flexible, able to adapt to the changing environment including the seasons, often highly attuned to danger signs around them and also are affected by moon cycles.

4) Natural witch characteristics will often run in families. But this doesn’t mean that it has to be a parent. You may discover that an ancestor way back was a witch!

5) An aptitude for divination. Again we crossover with the psychic realm but this can also make the natural witch much more adept at using witchcraft tools in general. There is an instinctive ability to work with them.

Having said all of the above it is important to also recognise that nothing will be achieved without hard work and practise. But if you have found that you have one or more of the above, you may find that witchcraft is your true calling :)

Friday, 6 November 2009

Under the Weather?

Swine flu has hit my family :( Fortunately so far everyone has been fine, albeit pretty poorly and feeling grotty. From what I’ve read, it could be a lot worse.

So I wanted to include a spell here for all of you who are also suffering but first, I must make it clear that there are no spells that can cure illness. This spell is more about trying to cleanse your energies, to allow your inner strength to build and to make the path clear for fresh, positive energies.

All you will need is a black candle, a red candle, two pieces of clear quartz and a container of water. The black candle represents the low, clouded energies within you, the red is for bringing vibrancy back and the clear quartz will be reflecting you between your two states of being. And don’t worry if you are not feeling up to much, it’s very simple and quick to do!

Place the black candle to the left, the clear quartz in the middle and the red candle on the right. Light the black candle first and say:
My energy is depleted
My spirit is low

Pick up one piece of clear quartz, place in the palm of your hand but with your hand flat. Look at it to see the reflections of the flame in the stone. Watch and conjure the image of your low energies - both from the candle and emanating from yourself - being absorbed into the stone. Then place the crystal into the water to both hold and surround your depressed energies. Put it to one side and extinguish the black candle.

Now light the red candle, saying:
My energy restored
My spirit as new

Again, take the second piece of clear quartz in the palm of your hand and allow the vital energies to both reflect and combine. Try to feel it embrace and encompass you. It helps to have the visual sign of the candle flame reflecting I always feel. You will then want to hold on to the crystal in order to absorb the positive energies you’ve just created. So keep it with you, be it putting the crystal in your pocket or taking it back to bed with you!

When you are done, make sure that you pour the water away down the sink to wash it away and take it from your life. This simple spell can be done over the number of days that you are ill as it only need take 5 minutes at a time.

Hope this helps to life you and your loved ones!

I just want to add that originally I tried doing this with only the one piece of quartz and tried to have all of the changes in the energies happening in one crystal. I soon gave up on this and recommend using 2 pieces if you can.