reconnecting with witchcraft

In my goals post for September, I wrote briefly about feeling disconnected from witchcraft since the start of the pandemic, and today I want to talk a little more about that and how I’m planning to try reconnecting to witchcraft in the upcoming month.

Before the pandemic, I did something witchy almost every day. I browsed witchblrs a lot, and also drew a daily tarot card to tell me what to expect for the day and carried a crystal or two for protection and positivity. Since the pandemic started, I have really lost touch with what I love about witchcraft and have lost a lot of the magic I had been putting into my life with these small daily rituals. I’m back at work now, but since the library is doing sidewalk service things are very different and my past daily rituals feel somewhat pointless.

I had also been interested in researching more about deities, specifically Hellenic deities, prior to the pandemic. I am still very much finding what my religious beliefs might be, but I have always felt a strong connection to stories of the Greek gods, and they play an important role in the witchcraft practice for many pagans. When everything happened, my research kind of lost steam, and now I’m finding it hard to know if I can even still call myself a witch, which makes me very sad, because I’ve felt connected to witchcraft for a long time.

So, for today’s post, I want to share some of my ideas and suggestions I’ve gotten from others on ways to reconnect to witchcraft while the pandemic is still happening:

  • Cleanse my tarot and oracle decks. Whenever I planned activities for a sabbat, I always used to promise myself to do a full cleanse of my various tarot decks. I have learned that when the deck is giving odd or hostile readings, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with the deck, but with my energy when I use the deck and I have honestly found that to be true. My energy lately is definitely off, so I want to treat my decks with care and give them my full attention and reconnect with them.
  • Start a new grimoire. I’ve been struggling with what kind of notebook to use for a grimoire for a while, and also my cats destroyed one of them, so that probably indicates that was not for me. I have saved so many tips and witchcraft posts that I want to add information from into my notebooks, so I really need to get around to choosing a new grimoire.
  • Weekly oracle card draw. Someone suggested using oracle cards, which are different from tarot cards, as a way to ask “what should I pay attention to.” Since oracle decks are more “general” in nature than tarot decks at times, I think using my Spirit Cats oracle deck for a weekly card drawing makes sense.
  • Research correspondences for items I already own. When I first became a witch, I felt overwhelmed by all the spells and spell jars that had loads of ingredients I didn’t have easily available. However, even “common” herbs that you use in the kitchen can be used in spells based on their corresponding meaning. I also want to research color correspondences more because it’s easy to find an item or colored paper to use in spells as well.
  • Do more home-related magic. I’ve also gotten the suggestion of putting protective wards around the home as an easy witchy thing to incorporate into your life (along with, of course, locking doors and drawing blinds). When I first started getting into witchcraft, I was fascinated by cottage or kitchen witches because their magic revolves around home and food, which are easy and subtle ways to use magic in your every day life.
  • Add witchy events to my planner. I always manage to forget when sabbats and other events from the Wheel of the Year are taking place and never know when astrological events like Mercury retrograde are happening or when the moon is in what phase, so I think using my Happy Planner to mark those events would be helpful.
  • Learn about sigils. I’ve always been fascinated by sigils, which are kind of like written spells based on a word or phrase that is then taken apart and recreated into a special sign. Sigils are really useful because you can use them easily and on the go even if you don’t have something to write with by just tracing the shape.

Writing this list has actually been super helpful since now I have a good handle on a bunch of things I can do this month to reach my goal of reconnecting with my practice. I think the main thing I want to impress upon myself is that witchcraft is adaptable, and it is what you make of it no matter what is going on in the world. After writing this post, I’m really looking forward to getting back into witchcraft and hope I’ll find my witchy way again.

springtime witchcraft

Every time the seasons change, I love collecting ways in which to practice witchcraft based on the season, and then…fail epically at doing so. Still, I want to share some ways to add a bit of springtime into your daily witchy practices that maybe I’ll actually be able to do now that I have a considerable amount of time on my hands:

  • study flower and herb correspondences for usage in spells
  • use crystals with spring color correspondences in your spells or to create crystal grids, such as citrine, emerald, rose quartz, amber, tigers eye
  • celebrate ostara and beltane
  • charge yourself by going outside and feeling the sun warm your body
  • take walks in nature and notice how green everything is and how spring is changing nature
  • do a deep spring cleaning/cleanse of your living space to drive out unwanted and negative energies
  • open your windows during the day to blow away negative energies with the spring breeze
  • use divination to reevaluate your goals for the year and discover how you can help yourself grow
  • add some houseplants to your family and take good care of them
  • research springtime gods and goddesses, like Gaia, Apollo, Freya, Lares, and the May Queen
  • perform spells around abundance, fertility, growth, and positivity and happiness
  • when you need to feel grounded, go outside with bare feet and feel the grass and dirt between your toes
  • collect rainwater and sun water for spells
  • plant an herb and flower garden for your craft and the bees

 

spirit work tarot spread

Today’s GHOST SQUAD post is all about how to use tarot to communicate with spirits. In the book, the main character accidentally awakens malicious spirits, but there are also reasons to want to contact spirits on purpose and methods to do so that are safe.

There are many methods to communicate with spirits, but since I personally practice tarot, I thought I’d share a 4 card tarot spread idea to use when communicating with spirits.

  • Card 1: Who were you in life?
  • Card 2: What drew you to me?
  • Card 3: Do you have a message for me?
  • Card 4: What is a lesson you learned in life that you would like to pass on?

 

It is important to make sure to always protect yourself during spirit work so the spirit does not get too attached and causes problems for you and your house. If you are unsure of how to protect yourself while performing spirit work, you will want to check out yesterday’s post about protecting yourself during spirit work.

Where to buy GHOST SQUAD:

Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
BAM
IndieBound

ghost squad week: how to protect yourself against spirits

HELLO AND HAPPY PUB DAY TO GHOST SQUAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For today’s GHOST SQUAD Week post, I’ll be sharing some protection methods you can use if you’re interested in doing spirit work. However, before we begin, I am going to say that if you are really scared of doing spirit work and worried about attracting a malicious spirit, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO SPIRIT WORK! Though in GHOST SQUAD, Lucely and Syd accidentally summon a spirit, from what I’ve gathered from my research on spirit work, this is unusual and unlikely to happen when just doing normal spells.

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However, if you are interested in working with spirits, there are ways you can protect yourself from them:

  • Cast a salt circle. One of the earliest things I learned in my witchcraft journey is that salt is good for EVERYTHING and is one of the most basic protection materials out there. Salt circles can be used to contain energies and also to protect from outside forces while you cast. Methods of casting a salt circle vary based on tradition.
  • Set up protection wards. This can also be simple, such as chanting a protection incantation at the corners of your home.
  • Sigils. Sigils are symbols made from a phrase or word that has to do with your intent. The shapes in the sigil come from the shapes used in the letters in your word or phrase, like in this protection sigil for a grimoire that I found on the internets below.

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  • Use protection amulets or crystals. Crystals are something I use a lot in my craft so I can definitely vouch for their usefulness. There are a million crystals that protect against various things, and what you’ll use probably depends on the spell you’re casting or what kind of interaction you hope to have with a spirit.

 

Those are just a few methods to protect yourself during spirit work. It is also important to protect yourself during regular spellwork too, because you never know what energies may come back at you if you are a witch who believes the magic you put into the world comes back upon you. Protecting yourself when working with energies is a good idea anyway, so hopefully this post will be useful for witches who don’t do spirit work as well.

 

Where to buy GHOST SQUAD:

Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
BAM
IndieBound

6 daily witch things to make your day more magical

If you follow this blog and have read past witchy posts, you probably know by now that for people who practice witchcraft, being a witch isn’t just about Halloween or only being magical on other holidays/sabbats. There are a lot of ways witches practice magic in their daily lives, and today’s post is going to highlight some of my personal favorite ways to add a bit of magic to the everyday.

 

  • Daily tarot card draw. I really do try to remember to draw a tarot card every day. I feel like drawing a card daily helps me reassess where I’m at emotionally and prepares me for what might come throughout the day. Sometimes I use my favorite physical card deck, the Kawaii Tarot, but lately I’ve been using the app for the Mystic Mondays tarot deck, which I definitely want to get the real deck of someday because it’s very pretty and cool and also even more accurate than the Kawaii Tarot deck.
  • Open the curtains/window. Obviously this is a little hard to do for those of us who are in a wintery hemisphere, but opening a window is a good way to do a simple house cleanse and let bad, negative, or stagnant energies out of your living space.
  • Tea magic. Different tea flavors/herbs used in teas do have different magical correspondences, but you don’t even have to focus on those when you have a mug of tea in the morning. A really simple magic you can do when having a morning cup of tea is to stir clockwise to attract what you want your day to bring you, or counterclockwise to banish negativity or other things you don’t want haunting you throughout the day.
  • Before you go to bed, think of things you’re thankful for or write them down. Keeping a gratitude log is actually very witchy because of how it relates to doing things with intent. You can even thank your witchcraft-related tools that you used during the day, such as your crystals or tarot deck.
  • Listen to music to charge yourself. This is my favorite low-key witchy thing to do because I always have to have music on when I’m home. I’ve come to enjoy listening to music even more now that I think of listening to music as a way to charge myself the way I would a crystal or another tool.
  • Put a crystal in your pocket or purse. Some days, I wake up knowing it’s going to be a rough day, or sometimes I just need a little extra magical boost to get me going, so I often pocket a crystal and touch it throughout the day when I need a little more mental or emotional strength. My particular favorite crystal to pocket is definitely amethyst, because it’s used for protection, and I find I’m able to ward off negative things people say to me throughout the day much better when I know it’s with me.

 

There are definitely a lot more ways to practice magic in your day to day life, and different things will resonate more with each individual witch. It’s up to you to find things that help the day go by and arm you for your daily life. These are the things I love personally because they hold meaning for me, and I think it’s important to find little magical things to do when you’re not doing bigger magical things like spells or rituals.

all the stars and teeth week: curses & hexes

I am very excited about this witchy post for All the Stars and Teeth week both because it’s a subject I’m really interested in in my personal witchcraft experimentation and because it relates to one of my favorite aspects of ALL THE STARS AND TEETH itself.

In the book, there is an island that used to be part of Amora’s kingdom that was banished because people there wanted to practice multiple types of magic, which is illegal in her world because of their origin myth. The type of magic originally practiced on that island is curse magic.

Now, I will admit I have never cast a hex or curse in real life, though admittedly lately I have been wanting to hex someone…anyway. Today’s post will talk about the difference between hexes and curses.

I also want to make a small note that not everybody who practices witchcraft uses hexes or curses as part of their craft. Some witches, especially some Wiccans, believe that any magic you put out into the world comes back on you three times, so would therefore not participate in negative magic. However, this is not a belief that is held by all witches or even all practitioners of pagan religions.

So, onto curses and hexes.

 

what is a hex? 😈

  • a small spell that when cast causes annoyance to the target of the spell
  • only requires a small to standard amount of magical energy to cast
  • results are short-term; doesn’t impact a person’s overall quality of life
  • meant to last a day or a week
  • ex. causing forgetfulness, causing someone to get a cold, causing someone to stub their toe

 

 

 

what is a curse? ☠️

  • requires a lot of magical energy in order to work
  • results are long-term and can last for months or years
  • negatively impacts someone’s overall well-being
  • ex. ruining someone’s relationship or a friendship, ending someone’s career

 

Basically, hexes and curses are kind of opposites, in a lot of ways. I’ve read that it’s important to always make sure you know how to undo a hex or curse. I know some witches are very against this kind of magic, but personally, I have no issues with hexes and curses. It’s up to the individual witch or pagan to decide how hex and curse magic relates to their practice and/or faith.

 

all the stars and teeth week: mermaid hair mist

Because a mermaid is a key character in ALL THE STARS AND TEETH, today I’ll be sharing a mermaid hair mist recipe I found early on in my study of witchcraft here. I will also be elaborating on it and explaining the use of the ingredients and their significance in witchcraft.

 

In the book, the mermaid character is significant because Amora (princess MC) and Bastian (the pirate) have to travel to a Mysterious Island for Secret Spoilery Reasons I Will Not Reveal, but they’ll need to get around all the curses surrounding the island, and a mermaid is the only creature that can navigate through cursed waters and find a safe path. They have to fight for her freedom because she is being held prisoner by a total scumbag. I would also like to point out that even the MC is staggered by the mermaid’s beauty, and I sensed serious bi energy that I wish was elaborated on.

 

mermaid hair mist

 

  • rose water
  • rose hip oil

Roses are associated with many Greek and Roman gods, including Aphrodite, Eros, and Adonis. Different parts of the rose can be added to charms as a protection against evil. Rose water is protective and can be worn on the body and on clothes. When added to an evil eye, rose petals can be used as a protective agent as well. Rose hips are powerful in spells involving luck and love. In general, roses have powerful use in love spells, whether they are being used to attract another or promote self-love.

  • crushed pink sea salt

Salt has SO MANY uses in witchcraft. Each color or other mineral used in salt adds its own properties to it, but some uses are common with all salts. In an altar, salt can be used to represent the element of Earth. Salt is also very commonly used for protection and cleansing (i. e. a salt circle, sprinkling salt on the doorstep of your home, etc). Salt is also used for absorbing negative energies, and can be used in spell jars or in a ritual bath. Some faiths use salt in their holy water, which can be used for a variety of purposes as well.

  • lavender essential oil

When I wrote this post, I learned that lavender is apparently associated with Earth signs like Virgo, and I am a Virgo, so I was very pleased to learn my favorite herb is associated with my sign. Anyway. Lavender can be used in spells to sharpen your mind or intellect, as well as in magic designed to encourage fertility or strengthen pure love. Apparently it is also good for deterring fleas and moths from clothes.

 

 

tarot reading: the gravity of us

For today’s post in THE GRAVITY OF US Week, I will be doing a relationship spread for Cal and love interest Leon.

 

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cal’s feelings about leon

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When you get the Magician in a reading, it signals a time is coming of new ideas that have a spark of divine energy behind them. In a love reading, my interpretation is that Cal and Leon are an excellent match (or at least Cal feels very strongly that he and Leon are an excellent match).

 

leon’s feelings for cal

fool

The Fool is actually a relatively positive card to get in a reading because he symbolizes renewed hope and wonder. In this reading, this signifies that Leon is hopeful that his relationship with Cal will be successful.

what brings you together

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The Empress is a “mothering” card that encourages you to be creative and is loving and generous. This card suggests you need to take time to grow and nurture what you love. Cal and Leon are certainly connected to each other, but this to me implies that they need to actually take the time to nurture their relationship and not get distracted by what’s going on around them.

 

strengths of the relationship

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The Five of Wands is a card dealing with personal development and at times business ventures. This card says that though you may feel unstable in a new venture, it’s important to remember your drive and passion. Both Cal and Leon are very driven people, and I think that part of them is part of what they’re both attracted to in each other.

 

relationship weakness

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This card implies that while you have security in a venture or relationship, it will come at a cost. Cal’s cost for being in a relationship with Leon and pursuing it past high school graduation is that he won’t move back to New York with his best friend Deb as he planned. His focus on his own pursuits, including his journalism projects and his new romance, also puts his relationship with Deb at risk and leaves her feeling left behind and left out.

 

can it be successful?

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The Emperor is a card representing strength and bravery. This suggests to me that after the story ends, Cal and Leon’s relationship could be successful if Cal is brave enough to let go of what he thought he wanted before. He has to be willing to take the reins of his situation and move forward, and not be held back by plans he made in the past before his family moved to the NASA base and he met Leon.

 

 

*new year witchcraft*

So maybe I should have done this post last week when it was actually New Year’s Eve/Day, but I didn’t think of it then and it’s still early enough in the year that these things are relevant, in my opinion. So here are some witchy ways to ring in the New Year:

  • Light a candle and whisper all the things you hope will come to pass in 2020. When you are finished, blow out the candle.
  • Do a deep cleanse of your tarot deck by separating and laying out all the Major Arcana and putting the Minor Arcana out by suit in order.
  • Do a tarot spread of the new year by drawing 12 cards. Each card represents what you should focus on for each month.
  • Do a serious cleanse of your room and/or house, getting rid of negative energy in the forms of dirty piles of clothes, dishes that haven’t been put away, chipped or broken glasses or cookware, clothes that don’t fit, etc.
  • Bless your house from the outside by sprinkling herbs with correspondences for peace, prosperity, and happiness.
  • If you use protective amulets, talismans, or sigils, cleanse and charge them and put them up again. Replace old protective wards. If you don’t use protective amulets or talismans but want to, make some and bless them before putting them around your house.
  • Add blessed water to your cleaning spray. Blessed water can be made by saying a spell over the water, or infusing it with herbs that correspond to your intentions.

all about yule

Hello friends, and happy almost-Yule! Many traditions and religions have holiday times happening now, and witches are no different. Yule, the winter solstice, is right around the corner, so today I’m going to be sharing some information about it.

Here is some info on Yule:

 

Basic info: Takes place on December 21 in the northern hemisphere and June 21 on the southern hemisphere. Yule marks the day of the year when the day is the shortest and night is the longest. After the winter solstice, the days start getting longer again. It is a celebration of the “dark half” of the year ending and the “light half” beginning.

History: Many Yule traditions were assimilated into Christian traditions for Christmas, including the Yule tree, use of herbs and plants like mistletoe, ball-shaped ornaments, and the tradition of caroling.

Correspondences: Mistletoe is a commonly used plant in many Yule-like traditions, and represents love, protection, luck, and banishment (of the dark part of the year, in this case). Use cinnamon in your hot chocolates and other wintery drinks to bring love, happiness, and wealth.

Things to do: Cleanse your living space, take down old protections and put up new ones, any spellwork relating to new beginnings, make goals for the new year, make a Yule log or wreath, decorate a Yule tree.

 

As a small note, I know I write a lot about what I want to do for various witchy celebrations and holidays, but something I’m learning and trying to tell myself is that witches don’t HAVE to celebrate every single sabbat or esbat. You can choose which holidays on the Wheel of the Year are most personal to you, and celebrate them in any way that is meaningful to your practice.