astral, Otherworld, Uncategorized, Witchy Wisdom

It’s a Scream!

The real story behind the Banshee…

Mythological beings all have their origin stories, so let’s find out what it is for the Banshee.. It should be a scream.

Henry Meynell Rheam / Public domain

The scream…does it bring death? or does it warn you of an impending death? Does the scream itself kill you or your loved ones? or is it a warning of screams yet to reach your lips? 

I recently saw an episode of the old-school Charmed where the sisters battle a banshee. The television show depicted the banshee as a demon who hunts down people in great pain. The Banshee was depicted as a woman with long white hair, sharp pointy teeth, catlike eyes and a scream that could break glass. The scream can kill mortals and turned heart-broken witches into banshees.

Aside from the ear-splitting scream, I wasn’t sure I had ever heard any myths resembling that of the Charmed Banshee, so I decided to do some digging. And with Halloween on our heels, thought I’d share my findings with you!

What is a Banshee?

According to The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures by John and Caitlin Matthews (2005), a Banshee is defined as follows: 

Banshee/Beansidhe: It is the duty of the banshee or ‘woman of the fairies’ to foretell the death of an individual. Banshees are attached to particular families and their cry is only heard when a family member is about to die…With eyes red from weeping, she continually combs her hair with a gold or silver comb. The cries of the banshee are echoed by professional mourners or keepers, bhean chaointe,who were engaged to maintain high piercing cries and moans or ochone at a funeral wake.
  (Matthews, 2005, pg. 57) 

Okay so the ‘real’ banshee is not a murderous demon, but a death omen. People have the right to fear her, because seeing her means someone you love will soon die — according to this. Apparently this version of the banshee also travels with a posse of, i don’t know, ghouls, who go to the wake and scream in agony. That…sounds…well, it sounds dreadful if you ask me. Wakes are supposed to be a time to remember the deceased. If we’re getting technical here, wakes started to make sure that the person didn’t wake up — after finding scratch marks on the inside of coffins one too many times they started holding wakes — someone would stand vigil for three days with the dead body to make sure it was really dead. Back in the day they couldn’t tell the difference between comatose and dead, so it was a way to make sure they didn’t kill someone because they mistook them for dead and buried them. But whether you’re commemorating a loved one or standing guard to make sure the person wasn’t just in a deep sleep -a bunch of banshees screaming at the wake sounds horrible. 

Badb the Banshee

Babd is the original Banshee, if i’ve got my Irish lore correct. Badb is one of the sisters of the Morrigan, an Irish goddess of war, sovereignty, mother of the Tuatha de Danann, and a sleu of other titles because, well, Celtic deities are never cut and dry. They have reign over all sorts of things, and the triple deities are all the more complicated. 

Badb (BAH-v) calls to us from the misty battlefields of legend. Disguised as a hooded crow, her shrill cries heralded doom for warriors. She is the banshee, a battle fury, and a prophetess. As the gentle Crone, she guides souls to the Otherworlds, to rest and rebirth. With one foot in the mortal realm and the other firmly in the realm of spirits, she holds the gift of prophecy and prophetic speech.

~Stephanie Woodfield, Celtic Lore and Spellcraft (p. 68)

Badb became the Banshee because of roles she played in Irish mythological history. She continues to embody these aspects as a deity many work with today, but her myths are thought to be the origins of the dreaded Banshee. She is a Prophetess, most often the aspect of the Morrigan who delivers prophesy and premonitions in myths. Second, She is the Washer at the Ford, the spectre who appeared to men on their way to battle, warning them of their impending death. Let’s take a look at each of these roles.

The Prophetess

Badb appears many times throughout Celtic Myths, often appearing to kings, queens, and heroes to tell them that if they choose a certain path, they would encounter a particular challenge or triumph.

In the Tochmarc Ferbe, a collection of Irish tales dating back to the 10th century, Badb appeared to Queen Maeve and the Ulster King Conchobar, telling them that disaster was imminent, and death was sure to follow.

Badb warned Queen Maeve that King Conchobar would kill her sons, and that she should rally her armies right away so she might avenge them as swiftly as possible. She warns King Conchobar of a cattle raid that lead to a devastating war, giving him years to avoid that path. Both the King and Queen described Badb as a “white lady, fair with brilliancy.” (Woodfield, 2011, pg. 70) This certainly has stuck with the current depiction of the Banshee.

The Prophetess Today

Badb can be an invaluable ally when you are developing your psychic abilities, as well as your mediumship skills. Work with Badb to learn the ways in which your subconscious speaks to you, as most prophecy comes to us in symbols or riddles to be figured out.

Washer at the Ford

It’s said that when armies set off to battle, those doomed to die would see a vision as they came to a river ford. The woman would be dressed in white, keening, as she washed blood from armor. The waters around her are blood red, and only those destined to die would see her. Recognizing their armor they had two choices: they could turn around and leave, confident in the fact that they would live to a ripe old age; or they could ignore her desperate tears and continue forward, willing to welcome Death as an old friend once they have done their part to support their people on the battlefield. Despite the terrifying depiction of the Banshee today, the Washer did not relish in this task. She was not wailing to scare people, much less kill them. She was wailing because she felt the heartache of a death – a violent death at that. She could feel the pain of those men and women’s mothers, friends, fathers, siblings, people who counted on them and found companionship in them. She wanted to give these people the chance to live. But the Celts didn’t fear death, and so there are no tales of anyone seeing the Washer at the Ford and turning back.

Washer at the Ford Today

Today, the Washer at the Ford has more to offer than warnings of death. She was seen cleansing the blood from the slain warriors armor. Work with the Washer to cleanse yourself – your soul- of all that you’ve lost in your journey of life. She will hold you and mourn with you, helping you to move past that which you’ve left behind so you may grow, learn, and glean wisdom from.


Sources

Matthews, Caitlyn and John. (2005). The Element Encyclopedia of Mythological Creatures.Kindle Edition.

Woodfield, Stephanie. (2011) Celtic Lore and Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess: Invoking the Morrigan. Kindle Edition. 

Uncategorized

Witches, Unite in the Fight!

The New Moon on March 24th is going to have the perfect energies that we can use to work magic that will contribute towards the protection of our communities from the new virus, COVID19. By working in unison, we will generate enough energy that will not only offer protection, but will contribute towards the creation and implementation of treatments, maybe even vaccines, against this illness. I have created a sigil with intentions designed to work specifically with this new moon. Use this sigil in creating charms, satchels, or spells on the New Moon, and join the fight against this virus.

Witches can do amazing things. We have our limits, of course. We can’t cure cancer, we can’t raise the dead, we can’t stop world hunger. Well, we might be able to, but it’s not likely. We can do something about this virus, if we work together.

The energy raised by each witch will rise and spread, joining with the energy of witches in other states, other countries, and across continents. I’m not being neive nor am I being overly optimistic. This is possible, you guys, and as practitioners of magic it’s our responsibility to use it towards the health and wellness of our fellow humans.

With this dark moon, we can “tap into the wisdom, a magic that is beyond our years”…We cannot let this opportunity pass! If we each use the sigil, each work towards making things better in regards to this illness, then we will prevail.

Alert, Not Anxious

By watching videos like Dr. Mike’s, and SHARING these videos, (here’s a link to a playlist of his COVID videos.)

We will do our mundane duties in helping to alleviate fear and anxiety surrounding this virus. Other mundane duties include social distancing, washing our hands, abstaining from traveling – being smart, in other words. But, like I said, we’re witches and therefore we can do more. Easing the fears and anxieties is going to be a much needed side-effect of the work we will do on the New Moon. By keeping our intention focused on keeping our communities protected, promoting energy in the creation and implementation of treatments, vaccines, etc, then people will relax when the virus starts to slow. Our work will also help promote videos and social media posts that are sharing information that is helpful rather than hurtful, as it falls under the scope of our intention.


2020-03-24T20:00:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

until

New Moon


I’ve been thinking about this all weekend, and I know we can do this, witches. If you’re with me, then save the sigil. You can draw it in your grimoire and make it your own – tweak it if you need to, so long as the intention is the same. That’s what’s important – that we are united in our fight and that the energy we raise is all for the same goal. That’s the only way we will make a difference.

If you’re going to join me, use the #WitchesAgainstCOVID19. There’s about a week until the new moon – let’s make this trending across towns, cities, states and countries!

Here’s the sigil again – because it’s important.

#WitchesAgainstCOVID19

Uncategorized

Get to Know a Goddess: Part 4

November 22nd: Leucothea

Happy Birthday Sagittarius Babies! Sagittarius is the centurion archer who represents harmonious mingling of the physical and spiritual living. Saggitarians tend to have a strong drive for justice, much like the goddess Leucothea.

Leucothea is a Greek goddess. The word Leucothea translates to “milk-white goddess”, alluding to her maternal nature. According to mythology, Leucothea was the mother of centaurs, and wet nurse for the famous Dionysus. In more recent times she is depicted as a sea goddess with art work presenting her as a mermaid. Telesco (author of 365 Goddess, the inspiration and resource for this post) explains that through this transformation “we see the mingling of the spiritual nature (water) with that of the earth (half-human appearance) to create Sagittarius’s customary energies.”.

Themes

  • Creativity
  • Energy
  • Communication
  • Balance
  • Harmony
  • Change

Symbols

  • Bow and Arrow
  • White items
  • Milk
  • Seawater

Celebrating Leucothea

Include milk or milk product in your diet today to consume a bit of Leucothea’s maternal nature or invoke her spiritual balance into your life. Wearing white is a way to figuratively don her power.

Ask Leucothea for help with personal transformation, especially those that encourage personal comfort and tranquility, while taking a salt water or milk bath.


Uncategorized

Get to Know a Goddess: Part 3

November 18th: Matariki

Matariki, a Hawaiian Goddess, becomes the Pleiades with her six children in Polynesian mythology. Six kids! My goodness, you’d have to be a goddess to be a mother of 6. I have hard enough time with my son and my nephew!

Themes:

  • Stars
  • Harvest
  • Peace

Symbols:

  • Stars
  • the Number Seven

Celebrating Matariki

From mid-to-late November, Hawaiians perform special rituals honoring the appearance of the Pleiades in the sky, which marks the start of Harvest Season.

This is a time of peace- all war is forbidden. They all make one wish: that Matariki and her children appear all over the world all the time!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Carry 7 stars in your pocket to encourage peace and harmony for you and all around you. You could draw them, type 7 asterisks ******* and print it off, pull star shaped marshmallows from Lucky Charms Cereal- you get the idea. I have stars tattooed on my thigh, so if I wanted to summon the peace and harmony of Matariki, I could just put my hand over the stars on my leg and infuse them with thoughts of this loving goddess.

If you have seemed to hit a wall on accomplishing a task, call Matariki to help show you the way to finish it efficiently. Pray and meditate, and be open to her messages (which usually show themselves after the starts are in the sky).

Wiki Commons
Uncategorized

Get to know a Goddess: Part 1

A Note from Amanda

Hello my Loves! I know – where the heck have I been? WELL – long story short, my life has been crazy. Last month I took in my nephew, and it’s been crazy keeping up with work, my son, and rearranging my home and routine to accomodate my nephew. I’ve loved having him here, but it has meant putting things on hold- like my poor blog. But, thanks to my mom who randomly found a big box of witchy books, I found a book that inspired me to write a little series for you guys. This time of year is crazy for everyone, and it’s important to keep in touch with your spirituality – especially when things are going well. It takes a few moments a day to stop and think about the Divine. Yesterday I was having a really rough day, so I put my notebooks away, closed my computer, and cleaned and smudged my home. As soon as the exhaust fans sucked out the erratic, emotional energy, I felt at peace. I felt connected to my Matron goddess, the Morrigan. But there are so many goddesses, and I know, as much as Morrigan loves her Ravens, she is fair and she has directed my attention to a number of other goddesses. In the box of books was 365 Goddess by Patricia Telesco. It features a new goddess everyday. So I thought hey-I should share this with my readers! So I’ve done a little research for each of the goddesses I plan to feature in this series, and have designed a 10 part series all about goddesses, and the goodness they can bring into your life. Enjoy my loves!

November 14th: Pukkeenegak

Pukkeenegak is an Inuit goddess who presides over the household and all community affairs. She’s a mother figure, and watches over children, ensuring they have enough food and clothing. She is depicted with a tattooed face, wearing boots and a pretty dress that is ‘befitting the patroness of seamstresses’.

Themes:

  • Kinship
  • Community
  • Thankfulness
  • Charity
  • Kindness

Symbols:

  • Tattoos

Celebrating Pukkeenegak

Today is the Asking Festival in Alaska. Children and adolescents go door to door gathering foods for a huge community feast. After the meal, people petition one another for gifts, “exchanging the entire community’s goods in the spirit of thanksgiving.”. (Telesco, 1998) To honor Pukeenegak, organze a potluck dinner, leaving a place dedicated just for her.

As she is the Patroness of Seamstresses, wear special clothing to reflect the goddesses’ gift with needle and thread. Or, in light of community, organize a clothing or a coat drive. Each one of the recipients of the donated goods will also receive a blessing from Pukkeenegak.

Tense situations seem to always tag along with holidays and season changes, so it’s bound to slither into your home. If it has, you can call the goddess to your home by drawing an emblem of peace over your heart chakra or the back of your hand. Use a non-toxic marker or body paint, of course. Let it wear off naturally, by which time the soothing magic of Pukkeenegak will have permeated your home.

Symbols of Peace

Telesco, P. 1998. 365 Goddess: A Daily Guide to the Magic and Inspiration of the Goddess. New York, NY: HarperCollins

astral

How old is my soul?

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I recently celebrated my 31st birthday (May 10th), and it got me thinking about past lives, and wondering:

How old is my soul?

The idea that I have lived in multiple bodies, over who knows how many years can be a bit mind boggling. I’ve had past-life readings done a few times, and they actually matched up to visions I’ve had of memories when I’ve gone into guided meditations to explore my soul’s past. Based on my experiences, past life readings by two totally separate readers, and a number of tarot card spreads, I know this much:

  • I was a witch in at least one past life, and during such time I was very powerful, well-known, and healed many people.
  • I died young in a few of my past lives
  • Romance has been an issue for my soul for at least 3 lifetimes
  • Having children has been a struggle for my soul in at least 2 lifetimes
  • I committed suicide in at least one past life.
Continue reading “How old is my soul?”
Book Review, Witchy Wisdom

{Book Review} The Door to Witchcraft: A New Witches Guide to History, Traditions, & Modern Day Spells, by Tonya A. Brown

The Door to Witchcraft opens the door to reviews for Magical Musings!

Book reviews are really fun to write so I don’t know why it took me so long to start doing it on my blog/ website. I’ve written them for work a few times and had a blast with it! I decided The Door to Witchcraft was the perfect book to start with! A part of my mission is to help new witches figure out what they want to do and how to do it, so recommending resources is a major part of that. Instead of just making a list off to the side of the website, where hardly anyone will notice it, I should write reviews for the books I feel are most helpful.

Walking through the Door

I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book when I ordered it on Kindle. I’ve actively avoided ‘witchcraft 101’ books for awhile, simply because they all say the same damn thing, in the same boring ways. After being blown away by Weave the Liminal, (which will be the next review!), I thought: “Well, I know Tonya, and know she’s a great writer with a unique and creative voice, so I’m sure her book will be an interesting read, even if it reiterates everything all witchy 101 books do.”

My thoughts

Interesting read doesn’t even come close. Tonya’s enthusiastic, creative, knowledgable voice was but one part of this book, turning plain words into a song of wit and wisdom. She has the book divided into two major parts: Part I: Witchcraft & Practical Magic {includes history, values, definitions, ethics, and ‘the basics’.
Part II: Spells {exactly how it sounds – an assortment of spells for categories from love to business}.

Top 6 Best Quotes

To understand how to create change, you must understand the sequence of events it entails. The cycle is as follows: Knowing – Witchcraft – Magic.

Witchcraft is about taking the raw, beautiful, and powerful forces of our world and using them to create change.

Whether you are a badass woman who oozes solar energy or a gorgeous man who drips lunar, or a nonbinary person with an energy all your own, you are a powerful, strong witch.

The truth is that trying to classify something as purely good or purely bad lacks empathy and complex thought. In witchcraft there are no absolutes—nothing is inherently good or bad.

Intuition. Follow your gut and your moral compass about what is right and what is not. Just because you’ve made mistakes doesn’t mean you’re “evil,” and just because you’ve done something for someone else doesn’t mean you’re “good.” Try to throw those labels out. It all comes down to trusting yourself and thinking through actions and consequences.

Let the universe move you, surprise you, challenge you, and support you—as a witch, your connection to it is mystical and beautiful.

Make sure to get your copy now!

Uncategorized

Magick Gardens

Warning: Gardening is addictive and will improve your health, spirit and mental well-being.

Rachel Patterson, Kitchen Witchcraft: Garden Magic, pg. 3

This GIF pretty much sums up how I feel about gardening. It’s funny, two years ago I couldn’t keep a Hen and Chicks succulent alive, but last year I managed to grow a pretty little garden! This year I’m taking on more challenging plants, and even plan to transplant a rose bush! I know roses are fairly hardy plants, and as long as I time it right the bush should take root well, but I’m still proud of myself. Confidence is key to success in all endeavors! (That, and a little help from Good Neighbors.)

My bright and sunny darling
June, 2018
My quaint little garden, before I got help from my Good Neighbors…

Before I purchased any supplies, I did my homework. Growing a garden is a science, just as it is an art. You need to know which plants get along, which plants like light, and which like shade, and you need to know if the plant will be happy in regular soil, or if you need sand or a fancier soil. I’m still a novice, as you can tell from my impressive vocabulary (fancy soil – face palm).

August 2018
After leaving offerings to my Good Neighbors, and calling on Aine to bless the soil

Connect to Earth on a deeper level…

Growing a garden is more than just planting and harvesting supplies for your herbal collection. It’s about connecting with the Earth on a deeper level…it’s about establishing a relationship with the spirits of Nature, the Fair Folk, and the Genius Loci, and it’s about using magick to create life. When I see a seed I planted turn into a cute little sprout, reaching for the sun out of the dark soil, I am overcome with pride, in the plant and myself. It’s akin to the pride I feel when my son does something new, so it wouldn’t be far off to say it’s a motherly love you feel for your plants. Those little plants have spirits of their own, and they respond to your love and affection.

I think it was a documentary, perhaps a video on Youtube or Facebook, but it revealed that plants suffer when they’re bullied. They had two plants – same plants, same soil, same age – everything was identical. They were kept in environment controlled boxes, to ensure that the only variable was what the plant was told. They had recorded people saying mean things, and saying nice things, and played the mean things to one plant and the nice to the other. The plant who heard the compliments grew strong and tall, while the abused plant was weak and sickly. If that isn’t proof that plants have feelings, I don’t know what is!

How do I start a magickal garden?

Intention

The first step in creating your magickal garden is the first step in any magickal activity: devise your intent. Do you want the garden to carry out an assortment of intentions, or do you want to stick to one theme? Do you want to grow a garden as an offering? Or, how about creating an elemental garden, with a separate garden or section for each element. For ideas, I have created a Pinterest board with all sorts of pins about gardening for witches.

Research and Record-Keeping

All of my garden plans are in my grimoire. Some people use spreadsheets, recording their planting time, when and how they are to be pruned, watering schedules, feeding schedules- everything needed to keep the garden tasks sorted. I will create a diagram of the garden, to scale, so I can plan where to plant each seedling.

I live in an apartment, so I only have a small space to work with. (I have had to put in a formal request to plant a small rose bush, and it is yet to be approved…) The flower and herb garden is going to be in the back yard, so as long as it doesn’t extend past my little porch and steps, it’s allowed by property management. That gives me a bit of land about five feet across and four feet deep. Not a lot in garden terms. This means I have to choose plants that do not need a lot of space around them, but growing outside means my plants can grow nice and tall. By planning wisely, I can manifest a magickal garden just as glorious as any other. You feel such pride when you carefully devise and plant a healthy garden, no matter the purpose. When it doesn’t do well it is heartbreaking. That is why research and record keeping is so important.

  • Research:
    • what plants do well in your location;
    • what plants get along and which need to be in their own container;
    • how much light and water the plants require; if the plant needs special soil, or will need particular food. Do you need to mulch? Do you need sand?
    • Will the plant attract bugs, and if so, what kinds? Butterflies and bees are great, but if you or a family member is allergic, then you may want to avoid a bee-attracting plant.
  • Record-keeping:
    • To make sure your garden thrives, you will have to design it carefully. That means drawing out a scale sketch, and then sectioning off what will go where. If you can do this in your head and remember, that’s great! But, if not, you will have to draw it out. If you don’t want to keep that then use scrap paper.
    • It helps to have one location to keep your design sketch, research notes, a chart of what can be planted when, and even record when you planted something, if it’s going to come back next year, how often it needs watering, when and how to prune, and proper harvesting methods.

By planning wisely, I can manifest a magickal garden just as glorious as any other.

Elemental Garden

One design I am considering is an elemental garden. I’ve done my homework, and kept extensive notes, so once I know what can go where, I can work in an elemental theme.

Earth/Land

Soil is the body of the garden. It is the body, and water is the blood. When you lay down the garden, take a bit of soil in your hand. Bring it to your nose, and inhale deeply. There is nothing like the scent of fertile soil. Bring it apart, and watch it fall. There is a thing of beauty, as soil slips through your fingers. And don’t wear gloves when you do this! I know, your nails will be grubby and gross. But when you first lay out your garden, it’s important to connect to the soil.

Your Earth garden may be a garden on its own, or it may be a section of your garden as a whole. In addition to soil, you can bring the element of Earth into your garden with rocks, crystals, and statues of dwarves and fairies. Growing lush greens, like having a pot of mint, or a nearby bush, will work as well. Earth and Land, in any elemental system, is associated with the quality of strength and stability. What better to represent that than a tree? If you can’t plant a tree, then plant your garden near a tree. Hanging some chimes in the tree (incorporating air), will tie the tree to the garden.

Earth Spell: Garden protection


Using a pot or cauldron, mix a handful of soil from your garden, a healthy dose of pepper, and a few pinches of dried basil. (Use your intuition for exact amounts). Use a rusty nail to stir the mixture. Set the nail aside, and, using your hand, sprinkle the mixture around the perimeter of the garden saying:

Basil cleanse, Pepper sting, This garden is sealed with a protective ring.

Bury the nail at any corner of the garden. (Make sure it’s deep, and to be safe, put a stone or board over the spot. I know I love to garden barefoot, and would hate to step on the nail if it manages to climb up to the surface. This would be a good spot to put your garden altar!)

James Kambos, “Spring Garden Magic”, Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac, pg. 15

Air/Sky

Nothing says spring like a melodious song of birds in the morning. One of the most depressing things about winter is waking to silence – or worse, to the sound of a snow plow. While I’m grateful that snow removal is included with my apartment, it’s not a pleasant way to wake. The gentle breeze brings the unmistakeable scent of spring – the soil, the moss, the subtle smell of trees as they awaken from their icy slumber.

To incorporate air into your elemental garden, plant flowers with gentle yellow hues. Angelica, “Ruby Giant” echinacea and Russian Sage are all ‘air’ plants. Wind chimes are always a great way to invite the powers of air. My favorite way to extend offerings to the powers of air is to hang bird feeders. Whether it be a humble hummingbird feeder, or half a dozen large feeders and houses, Nature appreciates when you feed her feathered children.

Fire

Spring is a little cool for us Northerners to go camping, but it’s the perfect time for bonfires and fire pits. The spring showers keeps the grass moist, minimizing the chances for a wandering spark to cause a tragic disaster. If you are like me, and live in an apartment, then a fire pit or chimnea may not be possible. you could make do, with carefully placed candles and lights. Planting sunflowers will bring the element of Fire into your garden as well (or any flower with vibrant orange, red, or yellow hues). There is a neat DIY Mason-jar candle holder I found on Pinterest, which is in the board I created for Magick Gardens. Where I live, mosquitos can get quite thick by the height of summer, so citronella torches and candles give mood lighting and keep the pests away.

Water

Water is the life blood of the garden. Something simple as a way to collect rain water for your plants can be efficient in incorporating the powers of water into your garden. A rain collection container doesn’t have to be an unsightly bucket either. Paint a watering can, or repurpose coffee cans, so as one overflows it will pour into another can just below. Rain water is much better for our gardens than tap, so if you don’t get a lot of rain, try to save what you can when it does.

A birdbath, or even a small pond are equally efficient, and much prettier to look at. While I can’t have a bird bath, much less a pond, I can have a small fountain. There is something about the gentle trickle of a fountain – it’s reminiscent of a gentle spring rain. I’ve included a few pins on how to make your own fountain. I’m not comfortable working with sheet metal, so I will hunt for clearance fountains to add to my garden.

Water is rejuvenating, and refreshing. Make a ritual out of watering your plants (or any other form of tending); take the time to talk to your plants and connect with their spirits. Each plant spirit has its own personality, its own vibration. Get to know each one. This especially comes in handy if one gets sick. If you are in tune with the plant’s spirit, you can ask it what is wrong. You would be surprised how well this works.

Connect to your Plants

As I said, take the opportunity to get to know each plant in your garden when you can. Even if it’s just a few minutes when you’re watering them. Not only does this prove helpful when a plant gets sick, but it helps when it comes time to deadhead, prune or harvest. It’s not respectful to go around cutting someone’s hair, so it’s equally rude to just start snipping away before asking the plant for permission. Last year some of my flowers grew as tall as 6 feet, and the flowers would get so heavy the poor stalk would be leaning from the weight. I would water the garden, and talk to all of my plants. Then I would get shears, ones I used only for my garden, and before I snipped anything I would talk with the plant. I would ask if I could cut it here or there, and would tell it why. “Your bloom will soon die, may I cut it here to relieve your back from leaning and make a bouquet in my home?” or, “this part of your plant has become sick, may I remove it so you can thrive?” Same goes for deadheading, when you pull dead blossoms off so the flower can replace it with a new one. “I’m sorry I have to hurt you, but it’s so you can keep growing strong”. And after I’m done, I take a moment to feel gratitude for my plants, and for their sacrifice. Even if it’s just a damaged leaf, it’s part of their body. The garden is much healthier when it knows it’s loved.

Each plant spirit has its own personality, its own vibration. Get to know each one.

Garden Magick

You may use your garden to grow herbs and flowers for magickal workings, or the act of growing the garden itself could be magick. While I have included some pins about what a Witch’s Garden includes on the Pinterest board, don’t feel compelled to include any of the suggestions. With witchcraft, you want to make it your own. That means listening to your body, your intuition, and trusting that the messages you receive from nature are real. Yes, my garden will have some herbs. But that’s because I was drawn to them, NOT because some ‘expert’ wrote that I have to have them in order for my garden to be ‘witchy’. As witches, we are naturally drawn to the outdoors. We are nurturers, mothers, caregivers, healers, and have honed our abilities to walk between the worlds. All of these qualities are exercised in gardening – whether it’s a rock garden, a pond, a succulent or zen garden, flower garden, vegetable garden – I could go on and on.

I think that altars make the magick garden complete, but again, go with your gut. If you don’t feel comfortable having an altar outside, then don’t have one! Like I said before, I need a little help when it comes to gardening, so I adorn my garden with things that Good Neighbors like. I will have an altar in my garden this year, whereas last year my ‘witchy’ stuff was at a bare minimum. The altar will be for Earth gods, ancestors, dragons and Fae, so I’ll have all sorts of odds and ends out there so there is something for everyone. But that’s me.

When one hears magick, it’s natural to think spells. There are countless spells that use the growth of a plant to bring prosperity, or the soil of the bed to bring protection, luck, health, happiness. I included only two spells, but I found dozens more in researching this post. (Most of the content I knew, but still like to do research to see if there’s anything I can add to the piece). Growing an elemental garden connects you not only to nature but to the elements as well, which makes spells utilizing the elements all the stronger. You could design your garden in a way that it works with the planets, or deities. There is no limit to the possibilities. James Kambos, in his article “Spring Garden Magic”, said “The spring garden should be a place to celebrate magic.” (p. 19, Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac). I couldn’t agree more, Kambos! The very act of growing and nurturing a garden is magick.

…gardens reflect alchemy in action, bringing the above of spirit to the below of color, scent, and natural beauty, and the soul to the without of evocative expression.

Tiffany lazic, “Urban Elemental gardens: Crafting magic in small outdoor spaces”, Llewellyn’s 2019 magical almanac, pg. 45

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Resources*

Llewellyn’s 2013 Magihcal Almanac

Llewellyn’s 2019 Magical Almanac

Rachel Patterson, Kitchen Witchcraft: Garden Magic


*Magical Musings Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This essentially means that if you click one of the links provided for Amazon and make a purchase, you are contributing towards the support of this website. The price is in no way affected by the affiliate program. (Amazon takes care of that)

Otherworld

Faery Musings…

With spring so close I can almost smell it, I can’t help but think about two things: Gardening and Faeries. The two seem to go hand in hand- well being out in nature in general makes me think of Faeries. I have been a little weary about working with them. After two years of study, I have decided to ease into Faery craft. At this point, I don’t know how in-depth I will go, and I think that is best. I recently wrote a post for Hubpages, “Befriending Faeries” and I explain guidelines and how to start practicing Faery Witchcraft, so if you want to hop over there to read more about getting started, go ahead. I’ll wait! I’m patient!

……..

What’d you think?! I’m pretty proud of it

So, now that you’ve read Befriending Faeries, you’ll know that starting gradually is the way to go. you need time getting use to working with Faeries, as they are unique spirits. They aren’t your ancestors – they aren’t human, for that matter. They are powerful, but they aren’t deities. The energy is just, well, different. It can be tricky working with Fae – they are easily offended, they have different sets of morals and beliefs, and not all Fae like humans. In the words of Morgan Daimler – some want to “eat your face”. I like my face, tha—oops! Can’t say those words to a Fae. I’d appreciate it if they didn’t eat my face. I’ve been practicing, working on my manners while at the same time avoiding saying “thank you”. I don’t want to owe them anything without setting the terms first!

So the reason for this blog is to follow up on Befriending Faeries in a way that I can’t on Hubpages. DGMW, I love writing for them, but you must keep the Hubs straightforward and professional. I’ve had one of their editors tell me to change one of my first Hubs because it read more like a blog or diary entry. I want to talk about what it’s like after you set up your Faery craft practice, but I don’t want to make it cut and dry – because working with Faeries is not cut and dry. It’s not straightforward, so I opted to write about it here where I can include anecdotes, (and my corny jokes).

Faery Witchcraft Basics

Okay, so I wouldn’t say that I practiced Faery Witchcraft, because most of my workings do not involve the Fae, but I think an overview of what Faery Witchcraft is a nice follow up for Befriending Faeries. Much of my practice involves what I will be outlining, except I don’t have all of the tools yet. The main difference from Faery Witchcraft and ‘basic’ witchcraft (if there even is such a thing), is the tools and the altar. You will have a working altar, where you perform your spells and worship deity, a faery altar, and it’s recommended to have an ancestor altar as well. Your ancestors, whether of blood or culture, will be great guides when working with Fae.

Tools

  • Knife (not iron – bronze knife with black handle best)
  • Cauldron (again, not iron)
  • Stone (any found stone that you instinctively know is a gift from the Fae)
  • Wand (you will end up accumulating a number of wands; most powerful when made yourself from a local tree who gifts you the wood)
  • Quaich (a bowl with 2 handles, used for drinking; associated with sharing drinks; used for holding food and drink as offerings; may be substituted with wooden bowl).
  • Mortar & pestle (for grinding herbs; best to have 2, one for food and tea quality herbs and another for incense)
  • Broom/ Besom (for clearing away energy; best when made of heather)

“Part of being a Fairy Witch is always being aware of the energy around you and staying open to possibilities”

Morgan Daimler, Fairy Witchcraft (Moon Books, 2014), pg. 40

Creating a Faery Altar

A faery altar is a place for you to connect with the Fae. In Celtic Lore & Spellcraft, Stephanie Woodfield says that “your faery altar will act as a bridge between you and the Faery Realm.” (p.163). The altar does not have to be extravagant. Morgan Daimler and Stephanie Woodfield concur that your altar should contain things that you instinctively feel will be the right things to call attention to the Fae. My faery altar consists of a small faery garden, a candle, and my deck of Faery Oracle cards. When a particular rock, piece of jewelry, or even broken candle holders, calls my attention, I will put it on the shelf or add it to the Faery garden.

When you dedicate a certain place to the Fae, you might want to cleanse and bless it. I lit some frankincense incense and wafted it over the shelf (which I cleaned thoroughly before), and over the faery garden. I set a little dish next to the rock garden with a cookie and little cup of milk with a squirt of honey in it, and said this blessing (from Celtic Lore and Spellcraft):

I bless this altar in the name of the Sidhe,
that it may be a place to weave faery magick
and honor the Fair Folk.
So mote it be!

Silently welcome the Fair Folk, careful to invite them by saying or thinking “I welcome Fair Folk of good intentions and friendship in their hearts”, or something along those lines, so you don’t invite a faery that is going to do you harm.

Uncategorized

Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 8

Take a Bite Into a Gratitude Sandwich

Welcome to Day 8! We are more than 1/3 through the 28-day challenge! I don’t know about you, but things have already started magically improving in my life! 
Today we are going to express appreciation for the food we eat and the drinks we drink.
Byrne writes that giving thanks for the food one is about to eat has been practiced thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians. In Elen Sentier’s new book Shaman Pathways -Following the Deer Trods: A Practical Guide to Working with Elen of the Ways, Sentier explains that the ancients dating back to Paleolithic times, when humans were still hunter-gatherers, considered hunting a sacred rite, and gave thanks to the animals and plants who gave their lives to sustain that of the humans. (Btw – if you’re interesting in learning about Elen of the Ways, this is a great book choice! Sentier teaches a lot of exercises that help you explore the Otherworld, and helps you connect with the Universe in unique and enlightening way).
When you’re about to pop some popcorn for a movie night with your family, or pop open a bag of pretzels for your child (obviously something I just did), think about the work it took to get that food into your hands. You went to the store and spent the money, yes, but there’s more than that. The people who stocked the shelves at the store, the people who delivered the food to the store, the people who put the food into the neat mini-sized bags, the people who made the food….when you think about it, you realize that a lot of people contributed to feeding your growing child; that keep your belly from rumbling angrily when you’re hungry.

The incredible thing is that when you are grateful for food and water, it doesn’t just affect your life; your gratitude also impacts the world’s supply. If enough people felt gratitude for food and water, it would actually help the people who are starving and in great need.

The Magic, pg. 89

Day 8 Exercise

In the morning you will add 10 more items to your thank you list, and before bed you will hold your gratitude rock and say thank you for the best thing about the day. Before you eat anything today, look at the food and say Thank you!