Shadow Work and the Winter Solstice

The dark part of the year is once again upon us.  The Winter Solstice! This is the time of the year when the trees begin to lose their leaves, the days grow shorter and the animals prepare for hibernation.  It is a time of quiet reflection.  As the grass and the trees go dormant or turn all their energy inward, we are led to do the same.  We reflect on the events of our lives that have come to past.  This is also a great time of year to do shadow work.  One of my favorite authors is Debbie Ford.  She has an excellent book called, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.  It is a book that I highly recommend at this time of the year.  She explains how we deny and hide the darker side of our nature rather consciously or unconsciously and reject that part of ourselves we are not comfortable with, thus creating an inauthentic self.

So, as the Wheel turns, the night stretches on and the days grow shorter culminating on the Winter Solstice (December 21st), it is an excellent time to do some shadow work.  Get in touch with that part of yourself that you try to hide from others.  As workers of Light we must know that our light casts a shadow.  Sit and have a talk with this shadow. Get to know and LOVE her. Embrace her.  Welcome her and become a whole person.  When you do this, you find your inner light.

A tradition that you can incorporate into your practice that helps with this is creating a Solstice spiral.  The spiral can be made of stones, shells, crystals or whatever you have on hand.  As we walk this spiral it helps us to go inward.

Candle Magick

Candles have always played a part in humankind’s celebrations, rites and rituals.  Once Prometheus stole fire from the gods/goddesses and presented it to us, we have honored that gift in one way or another.  Whether it be that of a birthday party, a wedding, church service, prayer vigils or even a romantic dinner for two, candles have always held a  special place in  marking and observing the milestones of our lives. When we do this we honor Prometheus and let a little magick into our lives.

I believe you can never have too many candles and what type of candles you use helps to give your magick that special boost.  There are several types of candles that we use in our rites and rituals such as pillar candles, jar candles, figure candles, tapers, chimes, etc.  So what does it all mean?  Here is a simple guide for you.

Figure Candles

These are candles that have been carved or shaped into the figure and likeness of a person, deity or symbol.  They come in various colors.  Each color also has its own meaning.  The color of the candle combined with the shape of the candle will greatly enhance your ceremony, ritual, spell, etc.

Keep in mind the most common colors and you’ll know how to use each candle.

  • Red usually deals with romance, sex magick, and passion
  • Green is luck, money and finances
  • White is for purifying and blessings.  I use this color to substitute for any color I’m lacking also
  • Black is banishing, protection and reversal of bad fortune
  • Blue is for peace, tranquility and calming a situation
  • Orange is for attracting energy your way
  • Yellow is for communication
  • Purple is for connecting with the divine
  • Lavender is for divination
  • Gold – fortune, luck, money, sun magick
  • Silver – fortune, luck, money, moon magick
  • Pink – feminine matters, love, friendship, affection

Those are just a few of the colors, but combined with the correct candle you’re on your way to making some powerful magick.

 

Skull candles.  These candles can be used in ancestral magick, to call upon the power of those who have transitioned on to the next phase of existence.  This candle also carries the vibration of commanding, compelling and persuasion.  It is oftentimes used to bend someone or situation your way.

Cross candles.  Although older than Christianity, those with a Christian or catholic background find these candles easy to work with.  I have found that these candles are good for working with and calling on the angels.  It’s the candle of sustainability. They will keep a situation flowing.  Use green for continuous money flow, red for continuous love, blue for peace, etc.

Cat candles.  Call on the energies of the Egyptian Goddess Bast with this candle.  Use the black candle to return negativity and hexes back on the one who sent them.  Use the green cat candle to bring good luck and money.  The red bast candle is for sex and romance.  Ask Bast to help with all these things when burning this candle.

Coiled Snake candle.  Although commonly used to break things apart and cause destruction, this candle can also be used to call upon the kundalini energy to rise.  On the flip side this is an excellent candle to use to break apart relationships.

Devil candle.  I don’t necessarily believe in the existence of the devil so to me this is a representation of Pan.  I use this candle for banishing (black) and to bring about a situation quickly such as fast money (green), fast love (red), etc.  Also a good candle for breaking hexes, removing jinxes, and aiding in exorcisms.

Seven Knob candle.  Choose the color candle of the candle according to your purpose and burn one section or knob a day for seven days.

Witch candle.  Burn a candle to bestow a witch’s blessings on your spell or ritual.

Naked Male or Female candle.  This candle represents a person, either you or the target of your spell.  Red will bring back a lover, green will bring back the person that owes you money.  You can also use petition papers under these candles to better clarify your intent.

Couples candle.  This is a candle of a man and a woman standing side by side.  Looks like a cake topper.  Perfect candle for use in marriage spells and binding two people together spells.

Entwined Couple candle.  This is a figure candle of a couple locked in an intimate embrace.  This is best for sex magick and to spice up your love life.  I also use this one for binding couples.

Divorce candle.  This candle is of a couple with their backs turned to each other.  It is really self explanatory.  Use this candle to break up a couple or to aid in an unbinding spell.

 

10 Common Misconceptions About Hoodoo

 

  1. Hoodoo and Voodoo are the same thing. No, hoodoo and Voodoo are quite different.  Voodoo is a religion that is practiced by millions of people.  It has its origins in west and central Africa. It followed the route of African slaves west to the Caribbean mainly to Haiti.  Hoodoo on the other hand is a type of folk Magick that is practiced by people of many different religions.  Hoodoo is a unique blend of Voodoo, Santeria, Catholicism and Native American Shamanism that is commonly practiced in the southern United States by primarily the descendants of African slaves, but it is quickly spreading to other cultures.
  2. Hoodoo is Satanic.  Hoodoo is not satanic.  People that practice Hoodoo come from many different backgrounds and religions and they bring to Hoodoo what they practice in their lives.
  3. Hoodoo is black magic. Hoodoo is not black magic or dark magic in any sense where black is supposed to mean bad and white magic is supposedly good. It’s just magic.  Your intent when performing Hoodoo is what makes it so-called good or so-called bad.
  4. Hoodoo is only practiced by Afro centric people. At one time this may have been true, but now Hoodoo has gained wide acceptance from people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.
  5. Hoodoo is only practiced by women. Hoodoo has always been practiced by both genders.  Rootworkers and two-headed doctors can be male or female
  6. Hoodoo is used only to do harm. Hoodoo can be used to curse or to bless, to draw or to repel.
  7. Hoodoo can cure all problems. No magickal system can promise that.  Hoodoo’s main areas are love, luck, money and protection
  8. Hoodoo is an archaic and dying practice. There has actually been a resurgence in Hoodoo practice.
  9. Hoodoo is not natural like Wicca. Hoodoo works with nature just like Wicca.
  10. Hoodoo is only practiced in the Southern United States. While this used to be a true statement, Hoodoo is now widely practiced all over the United States.

Almost Springtime!

As we approach the midpoint of February there is a little bit of Spring anticipation in the air.  With the first  Spring Sabbat having already passed (and do I hope everyone had a blessed Imbolc/Candlemas), you can definitely feel the gentle stirrings of Mother Nature as she begins to awaken.  This year so far in the South we have had a very mild winter.  The Temperatures here in Tennessee stayed in the high 60’s to low 70’s for about 3 weeks which was awesome.  Unfortunately, there has also been the blooming of many early spring bulbs including Daffodils which I am hoping are not destroyed by a late frost. But with all of the beautiful weather for the past few weeks I am in full on Springtime mode.   And what do I like to do best in the Spring?  Gardening!  Yes.  Realizing it is too early to start my garden or even my seedlings at this point, I have decided that now is the perfect time to plan the layout of my garden as well as check up on my seed stores.  This year I plan on making my garden a bit bigger.  Not only will I continue to do my container gardening on the back deck, I also want to expand my front flower beds to include more herbs.  Maybe, I’ll even include a fairy garden bed.

So in the coming months look for some before and after pictures of that along with a video.

Paying For Graveyard Dirt and Asking Favors

There comes a time in every practicing witch’s life that you have to make a little trip to the graveyard. For some, I know this can be a very anxiety laden chore and for others it’s quite exhilarating. I tend to fall into a different category. Visiting graveyards for me has always been a very peaceful, calming and grounding experience. There is a certain calm that exists only in a cemetery. I find that most reassuring. Most people like to go to a park and relax, have a picnic lunch or just commune with nature. Me, I would much rather enjoy and share my lunch with the spirits of those who have passed on. I see this as a perfect way to establish a relationship with the spirits who live there in the cemetery.
If you are new to this practice then this is a great way to ease into it and become acquainted with it. Coming to the graveyard to pay a visit and ask nothing of the spirits at the time, but just to take the time to get to know them. Doing this breeds a relationship of trust. Get to know those who have passed on before you. Have a conversation, share a snack, sing a song and just be with them. Over time you will have established a relationship of trust. You will begin to know who you can talk to and who you can’t, who you can ask a favor of and who you can’t.
When the time comes that you have to do a little “work” in the graveyard then there are certain things you should do and certain other things you should be mindful of. Now, everyone has their own way of going about this. Here is my method.
Upon entering the cemetery I ask Baron Samedi’s permission to enter. Once granted, I proceed on. The best time to collect or “pay” for some graveyard dirt is between the hours of 9:00 pm and 12:00 midnight. There are occasions when you would need to do your work between Midnight and 3 am. I usually reserve that time for my “dark energy” work. Most cemeteries close at sunset so you would need to be very discreet in your actions. Always bring flowers. Most times if you’re caught at the gravesite after hours the simplest explanation would be that you are simply there to pay your respects to a loved one as you are on your way home from work. At that point you would simply leave the flowers on one of the gravesites and exit the cemetery quietly and call that little trip a wash or a “water haul” as my Mama used to say. If you don’t attract the attention of those passing by or security then it’s time to get to work. Locate the grave of the spirit you are most comfortable with and ask their permission to collect a little bit of dirt from the site. Upon getting that approval then proceed to collect a small bit of dirt into a clean bottle. Don’t be greedy, take only what you need. After collecting I usually deposit nine dimes in the disturbed dirt and gently cover it back over. Thank the spirit for the help and quietly leave the site.
If you are at the grave site to ask a favor of the dead or to solicit the help from a spirit then the payment is slightly different. If you are trying to bury an item in the grave (asking the spirit of the deceased one to help you with this certain chore) then ask the permission of the dead and ask them to help you with this matter. If permission is granted then quickly bury the item. I usually deposit petition paper in a small hole that I make with a spoon at the site and fill the hole up with a little rum and a cigar. Afterwards, petition Baron Samedi for his help, thank him, tell him of the offering you left and exit the graveyard. Do not look back. Looking back is doubting the efficacy of your work.
There are numerous reasons you can go to the cemetery to do work, this was just two reasons I shared in which I visit. As you become more comfortable with communing with the dead you will develop your own ways of doing this blessed work. As a general rule however I make it a point to thank Baron Samedi as I enter and as I leave the graveyard. He is after all the keeper of the graveyards and of the crossroads. Also it’s important to remember to never look back. Don’t doubt. Trust that the work you have done is sufficient and trust that your will be done.

Yuletide Apple Pie

This is a family favorite recipe for Yule.

 

Ingredients:

8 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

2 pie crusts

3/4 cup of sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/4 tbsp nutmeg

2 tbsps flour

2 tbsp butter, sliced

 

Preheat oven to 450.

Put sliced apples in a large bowl, add cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg and flour  and gently toss to coat the apples.  Pour apples into one of the prepared pie crusts.  Apples should form a mound in the pie crust.  Place sliced butter on top of apples.  Use the second crust to completely cover the apples and pinch to close any gaps between the two pie crusts.  Add vent holes along the to of pie.  Place pie on cookie sheet and put in oven to cook for 15 minutes.  Turn oven down to 350 and continue to cook for 30-35 minutes. Serve warm.

 

 

Meditation Routine

meditation routineLately, meditation has become an integral part of my life.  It keeps me calm, reduces my stress and helps with my tarot card readings.  Only recently have I rediscovered the benefits of this wonderful discipline.  When I say discipline I do mean it in the most sincere use of the word.  Upon coming back into my practice and making it a part of my daily ritual (just like my morning coffee and mid-morning yoga), I have discovered new and amazing talents within myself.

One of the abilities or enhancements that I’ve noticed is my level of patience has greatly increased.  I’ve never really been a short tempered person, but I have noticed that as I’ve aged, my tolerance or patience with others has begun to wane.  After a steady period of morning and evening meditations I have noticed that my patience has returned to me.  There has also been a marked change in my health in general.  Since taking this practice back up again I have noticed that I have more energy, more restful sleep, lucid dreaming, increased stamina, lower blood pressure and a lower resting heart rate just to name a few.  All of that is just the physical side of my improvements.  On the mental and spiritual side of things I have noticed that it is much easier now for me to get in contact with my spirit guides as well as a great improvement in my precognition.

Along that same line is my newly increased ability to better see auras.  Ever since I was a child I have been able to see auras around people.  This came so naturally to me as a youth that I would call people by the colors I saw around them instead of the names I knew them by.  As time went by I stopped seeing these colors so vividly and eventually as I approached adulthood, I completely lost the ability to see the auras constantly.  As an adult I was only able to see the auras of others if I concentrated and tried hard to see them.  Only then could I see the faint base color that was closest to the body of the person I was viewing.  This has all changed now.  After picking up meditation again I am once more able to see the auras around people the way I did as a child.  I am also able to see this aura energy around objects as well, especially buildings.

There have been many more benefits coming from my practice and I’m sure many more I’ve yet to discover.

So let me give you an example of how I meditate.  Upon rising in the morning which is around 6:00 am.  This time mala beads meditationfluctuates depending on the time of year because I wake up when the sun rises. After waking I drink a full glass of water and go outside to sungaze for about 5 minutes.  I will write an article on my sungazing practice at a later time.  After the sungazing I go into my office/ schoolroom / altar room and do my morning meditation.

Now, I don’t go by anyone’s particular method but my own.  This is what works and feels comfortable to me. Once in the room I sit in the lotus position on the floor in front of my altar (sometimes I just lay flat on the floor), light a candle, burn some incense and invoke the elements.  After finding a comfortable position I then do yogic fire breaths for I guess about 15 minutes.  I do this type of breathing while concentrating on the space between my brows until I see a violet colored flame or light. This light lets me know I am ready to go to the next part of my ritual.  I don’t time any of this so I’m not really sure how long this part of it takes.   It is also a part of my daily practice to do positive affirmations throughout the day.  In the morning however when I am doing my meditation I use my mala or prayer beads to do these affirmations.  After going around the complete circle of beads 9 times while doing one affirmation per bead I then chant or drum for about another 15 minutes.  Next, I do more controlled breathing to a 10-7-10 count which is inhale to a count of 10, hold for a count of 7 and exhale to a count of 10 and repeat.  This I do for about 10 minutes.  During all of this there will be random thoughts that will come to mind.  I simply acknowledge the thought and gently dismiss it.  This takes some practice so I don’t mean to make that part sound easy. Lastly, I close to the Shushmana mantra which is about another 10 minutes.  There is not particular mudra I do here.  I just do whatever feels right for me at the time.  Finally, I sit in quiet contemplation for the remainder of the time, thank and dismiss the elements, and drink another full glass of water.  By that time my 2 year old is up and calling my name.

So that is my morning routine.  I do an abbreviated version of this at night as I sit in my bath tub right before bed.  This has been my daily ritual for about two years now.  Like I said this may not be the correct way, but this is my way and it has worked wonders for me so I thought I’d share.

As with any information take from this what is usual to you and kindly disregard the rest.  Any questions please feel free to drop me a line or comment.  Blessed Be.

Elemental Invocation

wpid-4_seasons_wallpaper_v2_by_dawn42-d4csk5b
 From the East the Air the Sylphs, the breeze
I call your knowledge to set my mind at ease.
From the South, the Fire, the Drakes the heat,
I desire you now for this task we meet.
From the West, the Water, the Undines, the flow
I call forth your love and bask in its glow.
From the North, the Earth, the Gnomes, the ground
I call you to stabilize my circle round.
Light without and light within
Guard me now, your kith and kin

10 Ways to Bring Luck and Fortune Into Your Home

 

There are many steps we as active practitioners of magick can do to bring luck and fortune into our homes.  Here are 10 simple ones you can implement today.

 

 

  1. Hang a horseshoe over your front door.  Hanging a horseshoe over the front door, inside or outside, brings luck.  Hang it with the two ends pointing upward to bless your house and everyone who lives there.  Alternatively, if you hang the horseshoe with the two end points facing downward then the blessing is bestowed upon everyone who passes under it.
  2. Wrap a bundle of nine cinnamon sticks with red string and hang by the front door.
  3. Paint your front door red.
  4. Place six stalks of lucky bamboo in a clay pot in the house.
  5. Have a water feature or small fountain in the home.
  6. Hang wind chimes along the eaves of the front door or porch.  The ringing of the chimes breaks up negative energy
  7. Sprinkle pumpkin spice in the corners of the rooms of the house or use as a floor sweep. Pumpkin spice contains cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves — all money and wealth drawing herbs.
  8. Place a money frog near the front door facing outward.
  9. Mop floors with a few drops of lemongrass essential oil in the mop water.
  10. Smudge with sweetgrass and lavender.