Posted in Witchy Tips

Deity Worship: Working with the Divine

So, here lately I’ve been doing a lot of deity work. I try to keep most of my witchcraft practice pretty secular, but the deity I am devoted to in my religious practices has lately shown interest in becoming involved in my magic.

This is just going to be a basic guide full of suggestions on how to start, maintain and keep a practice with a deity, or deities.

Step 1: Making a Connection

The first step to devoting yourself to a deity or deities is to listen to your heart. Your gut instinct. Is there a specific open pantheon that you feel pulled towards? If there is, go with that. If not, then maybe read up on the different pantheons and go from there. Sometimes being called won’t happen right away, and that’s okay. Sometimes its very subtle, and you really have to pay attention to your surroundings to see what sticks out. It is different for everyone. Something important to remember, however, is that becoming a devotee of a deity is a partnership. Yes, you are ‘serving’ them, but they also must reciprocate and be an active member of the relationship. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, you can easily terminate the partnership and cease to be their devotee. Just like with a human relationship, both parties must be consenting and comfortable with the relationship. Once you have established that a specific pantheon would be right for you, research any deities within that pantheon that you would be interested in working with. If you feel you like or are attracted to one, go from there.

Step 2: Establishing a Partnership

Now that you’ve chosen a deity, you need to figure out whether or not they want to work with you. Again, its a relationship so it has to go both ways. You could do this through meditation, pendulum, tarot, runes, astral travel, etc. If you both feel good about it, its time to write up a contract. This step isn’t necessarily..well, necessary, but I like to do it just to make everything feel official. If you do decide to write up a contract, remember to list what you promise to bring to the relationship, and what you expect for them to bring to the relationship. Also, remember to add ‘if either or both parties should feel uncomfortable or wish to cease the partnership, immediate termination of the contract can take place’ somewhere in there.

Step 3: Maintaining the Relationship

Depending on the deity, the requirements for maintaining the relationship will be different. As their devotee, it is expected of you to make offerings to them on a regular basis. It is between the two of you which kind of offerings they want to receive, and how often they should be presented. Below I have listed just some suggestions for how to strengthen the bond with your deity and maintain that steady flow of communication.

  • Give each deity (if you have more than one) their own journal. Deities do not want to feel like they are competing.
  • Let the deity pick the journal. Go to a store and stand in their notebook/journal aisle. One of the best exercises that I find really helps my deity work is to let the deity choose. So while you are standing in the notebook section, let them choose the journal that you will use for them. This could happen as a simple ‘feeling’ of wanting a certain one, or finding a journal that kind of matches their associations. Like, for Persephone, a journal with flowers on it. Or something like that. Use your intuition.
  • Schedule a time every day in which to spend with your deity.
  • Schedule daily or bi-daily meditation or communication sessions.
  • Schedule offering sessions, whether they are daily or twice a week, etc.
  • Communication methods can be pendulum, tarot cards, rune stones, etc.
  • Fill the beginning of the journal with your research on that specific deity. What is their history like? What kind of mythology and stories are associated with them? Do they have specific colors, seasons, foods, plants, crystals, animals that are used to represent them? How did the priests and priestesses of ancient times worship them? How can you modernize that and incorporate it into your daily practice? Etc.
  • Write down offering ideas.
  • Write down ideas you have for activities you could do to honor or better represent your deity.
  • Write down altar ideas.
  • Make them their own altar. Altar’s can include any number of things, but the general set up that I follow is: an offering bowl, an offering jar filled with an herb or plant associated with them, their own set of prayer beads, their own pendulum, crystals associated with them, a statue or idol of them or that represents them, artwork of them or of something they enjoy (like scenery), a candle with a color/scent related to their associations, incense related to their associations, etc. Again, though, that is just my personal set up. Do whatever feels natural to you.
  • Write letters or prayers to the deity in the journal.
  • Write poetry about or for your deity.
  • Document everything! Their altar set up, ideas you have, any communication session transcriptions, prayers, etc. The journal itself can be seen as an offering to your deity, and they appreciate it when their devotees take the time to gather and keep all interactions recorded in one place.
Posted in Witchy Tips

Sakura’s Shadow Summon

Supplies:

  • Cardstock
  • A Pen
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  • The purpose of this is to create a card for each of your individual shadows. (For more on shadow work)
  • Cut your cardstock into tarot-shaped cards, like in the gif.
  • On a separate piece of paper, write out your shadows. For example, for a shadow that embodies a conquered memory of a break up, write ‘when john/jane and i broke up’
  • Now, for each different shadow memory title, remove the reoccuring letters. ‘when jane and i broke up’ now becomes ‘whjdibrkup’
  • Break those letters down to their basic shapes. For example, a ‘W’ becomes ‘ l l l l’, or four straight lines.
  • Combine the basic shapes into a sigil or symbol that is aesthetically pleasing to you.
  • And there, you have a sigil that embodies that specific shadow! Do this for as many shadows as you like.
  • Draw the sigils on your cards. You can make as many as you want.
  • Place the cards in a shoe box and put it either under your bed or in the back of your closet, in total darkness.
  • Let the darkness cleanse and charge them for a few days.
  • Now you can use them to summon that specific shadow whenever you want! Shadows are useful in helping with spells, protection, or emotional support.
  • To summon your shadows, simply hold the card up and say, ‘Shatter, Release!’ (or whatever the name of your shadow in question is)

 

Posted in Witchy Tips

Meteorological Weather Symbols for Storm Witches

As I’ve mentioned before, I love symbols. They can be used as sigils, as summoning, to invoke the power of something, to honor something, and as an acronym when recording or documenting in a grimoire.

There are so, so many meteorological symbols out there, so I will try to have them all. Here we go!

http://tornado.sfsu.edu/geosciences/classes/m356/graphics/Weather-Symbols.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6h_I6YVoPSw/T0Nsf_qDieI/AAAAAAAAAM4/BT-n0McurM0/s1600/Weather+Symbols+-+cropped.jpg

Minor Modification to Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale For the 2012 ...

Common weathersymbols

3C: Local Weather Stories

The best way that I find to use these symbols is with a geographical map of your area, or an area in general, and then to paint or draw them on where you want to summon or banish a storm.

Posted in Witchy Tips

Channeling: The Basics of Spirit Work

For as long as humans have walked the earth, so have their deceased brethren. Much like the living, there are nice spirits and asshole spirits. Spirits can be good friends, give advice and even help a witch with their magic. Spirit work and Hedgecraft, the magical practice that focuses on astral work, are very tightly intertwined. My post on Hedgecraft is here.

Communication//

  • Communicating with a spirit can be an essential part of Spirit Work, especially if a spirit has made its presence known.
  • Common methods for Spirit Communication include the Pendulum, Spirit Board, Runes, Tarot, and Astral Travel. Spirit Boards are probably the most preferred method among Spirit Workers.
  • Some general rules when talking to a spirit include: Be polite. If it is bothering you, ask it what it wants, or politely ask it to leave you alone. When you are finished, say goodbye and make sure the spirit also says goodbye. If they do not, respectfully insist that it is time for you to go and they need to say goodbye. Some spirit workers insist that the spirit MUST say goodbye, or bad things will happen.
  • Remember, if you happen upon a spirit from a closed culture, leave it be. Here is a great post that goes into detail.

Magic//

  • Once you have befriended a spirit, whether human or animal, you can call on them in the future to help with your magic. The most common thing witch’s request of spirits is to help with pendulum, tarot and rune readings.
  • If you really connect with a spirit, they will even help you with curses. Using graveyard dirt from this specific spirit’s grave is supposed to be one of the most powerful tools in witchcraft, as the spirit will not only add its energy to the curse, it will also protect you from any backlash.

 Protection//

  • Not all spirits are friendly. It is important to be educated on the risks. Learn the difference between an animal spirit, a human spirit and a demon. Animal spirits often will speak through pictures and images, humans spirit through words and emotions, and demons will often communicate through physical phenomenon and negative energy. For more on Demons, click here.
  • Before and after each session, cleanse yourself and your space. 
  • During a session, it might be a good idea to put up a ward or ward a piece of jewelry or clothing as an extra safeguard.
  • Keep Citrine crystals in or around your work space. They are self cleansing, and require no maintenance. They also cleanse you, the space around them, and provide a strong protection for their users.

Ghosts// 

  • Visible ghosts often come in two main types.
    • Imprints: These appear at the same time every day or night for a few moments and often reenact the same sequence of events. This is not the ghost of a person or creature, but instead is a memory that the physical place has held on to. Certain buildings are very impressionable and will repeat scenes that left strong emotional energy imprinted on them. It is the memory of the event that is haunting the place, not a spirit of an actual individual. Kind of like an old video recording forced to play on a loop over and over again. (Example: In the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas there is a ghostly translucent nurse that walks down a hallway with a cart every night at a specific time. Her route never changes and she never reacts to any outside forces.)
    • Individuals: These are the actual spirits or souls of individual humans who experienced such a strong emotion before their death that they remained tied to our world. Some can physically manifest themselves, while others may only appear as orbs or on camera film, and some are only able to influence the air around them. (Example: Also at the Crescent, there is a spirit of a boy named Michael, who I experienced laying in bed next to me and breathing on the back of my neck. I did not actually see him, but I felt him and I smelled cigarette smoke. I was alone in the room except for my sister, who I could see in the bed across the room, sound asleep.) It is believed that ghosts cannot actually move objects or cause any harm.

 On Animals//

  • Contrary to popular belief, animals do have souls and spirits and some animals even remain as ghosts after they die.
  • Animal spirits can be communicated with, but they will often respond not with words or in a human language, but instead with emotions and images. The easiest way to communicate with an animal spirit is to hold something that either belonged to them or was a part of them, for example: a skull or bone or collar, and talk to them on the Astral Place. Another common way to communicate with deceased animals is with a pendulum. I wouldn’t recommend a Spirit Board, since animals cannot really communicate in human languages.
  • The same process can be applied and used to communicate with the spirits of fossils, therefore extinct animals such as the Mammoth and Dinosaurs. (I’ve actually experimented with this before and hands down, one of the coolest and terrifying things I’ve ever done haha. And I’ve swam with sharks.)

Spirit Companions//

  • These are spirits that you have formed a close bond with and work with regularly. Often the keeper and companion will enter into a ‘contract’ with ‘house rules’ upon the establishment of the partnership.
  • Often Companions will either allow or request to be bound to a physical vessel, which makes interacting and communicating with their Keeper easier for both parties. Though it is entirely possible with a strong enough emotional attachment that the spirit may wish to be bound to the person’s soul instead.
  • Spirit Companions require offerings, the frequency and type of offerings will vary depending on each individual spirit’s likes and taste.
  • Communicating with a Spirit Companion can be done through many different methods, but the most common in my experience speaking with professional Keepers is meditation and through astral travel. I have also heard the use of special pendulums, tarot decks, books and music to be used.
  • While this is not a requirement, many spirit keepers will set up altars for their primary spirit companions, to honor them and give them their own physical space in the keeper’s home, as well as a place where offerings will regularly be presented.
  • Spirit Companions can sometimes be purchased from ‘conjurers’ and shops. It is always wise to approach these with a grain of salt. Never deal with a shop that offers spirits from closed cultures or religions. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Spirit companions may choose to perform a specific role, or be offered a job or task to complete in their companion’s astral space. Some companions don’t have specific roles, and that is okay too. Here is a list of possible roles a spirit may take on.

Thoughtforms//

  • A thoughtform is an entity or spirit created by a spirit worker or witch. A constant flow of energy is needed for the continued survival of the thoughtform, until the entity becomes self sufficient. How quickly this occurs varies depending on the spirit worker’s experience level.
  • A thoughtform is often assigned a specific species, name, pronouns, and a role to perform upon creation. It is very important to not dabble willy nilly in thoughtform creation, as it is possible to accidentally create a hostile or rogue spirit if one is not specific enough. Be very specific! Drawings and use of spirit profiling can be very helpful.
  • Some shops offer custom thoughtform creation. Same as above, exercise caution and trust your vibes.
  • Here is a good thoughtform profile you could use for a starting point.

Crystals for Spirit Workers//

  • Azurite: enhances clairvoyance and psychic communication, helps with guidance and intuition.
  • Amethyst: enhances all psychic abilities, provides protection and a sense of peace.
  • Bloodstone: heightens psychic sense, grounding, centering, healing.
  • Carnelian: helps with the transition of the living to the spirit realm and visa versa, purification, vitality.
  • Citrine: purification, cleansing, protection, emotional balance, abundance,
  • Fluorite: enhances spiritual connections and communications with spirits, balance, healing, amplifier.
  • Iolite: balances the aura, enhances clairvoyance, self awareness, intuition.
  • Labradorite: increases psychic abilities, bridges gap between physical and astral, dreams, strength.
  • Lapis Lazuli: aids in contacting spirits, prevents psychic attacks, enhances intuition and inner power.
  • Malachite: balances energy points, prophetic dreams, repairs emotional wounds, protection.
  • Moonstone: wishes, intuition, inspiration, connection and communication with spirits.
  • Snowflake Obsidian: scrying, divination, balance, centering, emotional support.
  • Sugilite: energy healing, psychic protection, releases negative emotions, stimulates channeling.

Herbs for Spirit Workers//

  • Anise: astral travel, dreams, meditation, divination.
  • Bay Leaves: luck, protection in sleep, enhances clairvoyance, induces visions, banishes negative energies.
  • Mugwort: prophetic dreams, astral travel, enhances all psychic abilities.
  • Wormwood: enhances spiritual communication and clairvoyance, connection with spirits, astral travel.
  • (remember to exercise caution when using herbs. some herbs are not safe to burn or ingest)

 

Posted in Witchy Tips

Intrinsic Magic: The Basics of Energy Work

I realized recently that this article really needed to be rewritten in a more coherent way, hah. I didn’t really include some of the main points to get started with energy work, so hopefully this revised version will be better at explaining the full process of mastering energy manipulation.

Getting Started

For someone completely new to the idea of energy manipulation, you must first keep an open mind. Visualization and imagination are both extremely important  when it comes to controlling energy, so try to forget everything you’ve been taught about your imagination just being a day dream, because it can be a real tool with real power.

Raising
Raising energy is the base of any form of Magic. You can do this by breathing deeply and drawing the energy from the earth (or whatever element you are most fond of) up through your body and into your hands. Again, visualization helps. Think Avatar the Last Airbender.

Casting
Sometimes a situation calls for us to send energy out, whether it be for a blessing, healing, glamour, curse. Sending energy is basically going to happen in any kind of spell. The easiest way to do this is to raise energy, hold it in between your hands in the form of a ball and then send it speeding away to its target. This works especially well I you have a photo or chant their name.

Grounding
Grounding is the act of ridding yourself of any excess energy after performing spells or raising energy. If you don’t ground, you’re skin will feel tingly and you’ll probably be pretty jittery. Grounding is easy. Literally just put your hand on the ground and release the extra energy into the earth. Or you can literally just shake it off. Visualization helps a lot with this.

Cleansing
Just like cleaning your room, it’s important to keep your energy field or aura from becoming all cluttered. It’s always a good idea to cleanse an object before using it. Especially crystals, objects you intend to charm, etc. I would also advise cleansing frequently used objects such as cell phones, crystals, and charms. One should also cleanse their living space and their personal energy at least once a week, in my opinion. To cleanse using your own energy, hold the object in the palm of your hand, or place your hand on it, and envision a glowing white light purifying it.

Charging

Charging is when you give a particular object energy to do a certain task. You can enchant an object by sending your energy with the certain emotion/intention that you wish for it to radiate into said object. Remember to cleanse and recharge occasionally if you use it often. You can also program a crystal by holding your hand over it or holding it in your hand and sending the desired energy and intention into it. You can also charge them via solar or lunar power.

Sharing

Sharing energy with people, plants and animals can help achieve a bond and is a good, easy way to help something or let them know you care. Sharing positive energy with your plants can help them repel diseases, grow strong and healthy, and in general it will strengthen the bond and make them happy. I share energy with trees in my area as well. Sharing positive energy with pets or animals will help them become used to Magic, and will make them more friendly towards you. Be gentle about it at first though, don’t force it on them or it will have an adverse effect.

Healing

You can do this by sending your energy into your hands or between your hands and then focusing it into the afflicted area. Energy healing is most effective in healing energy (obviously) but experts have been known to mend physical injuries as well. (Personally I use blue energy to make my migraines bearable). It should be noted that if you have a serious injury you should go to a doctor.

 Warding: A Witch’s Shield

Warding is super useful and everyone should do it. You project your energy into an unshakable bubble around you, or attach it to the walls of your home, to protect your energy from negative junk. But sometimes we can’t just stay in the one place we have warded, so here are ways to make ‘walking wards’, protective bubbles that will go where you go.

You make a ward out of an object by sending protective energy into the object. I also ask the object to repel negative energies. It’s important to recharge and cleanse your wards every now and then.

 Cursing: A Witch’s Sword

Cursing is often seen as taboo, but I am here to tell you that a curse can be used for good purposes, just like a love spell could be used for a bad purpose. Magic, and therefore cursing, in itself is not inherently good or bad. Cursing is simply a tool, and if used properly and responsibly, can be a valuable asset to your repertoire.

You can hurtle your negative emotion and energy at a person as a hex or curse. You can also charge objects they own, or an object you’re going to give them, or create cursed objects by charging them with malicious intent.

Auras: Reading, Healing and Maintaining Personal Energy Fields

Learning to see and read auras takes practice and time, but it is very much worth it. To see your aura, stand in front of a mirror with a white wall behind you. Focus on a point of reference about two inches away from your skin, on the white wall. After about 10-30 seconds you should see a color slowly come to form. Aura colors can help us determine our recent state in life.

  • Bright Yellow: spiritually inspired. Playful. Going through a time of enlightenment.
  • Dark Yellow: student with a loss of love for learning. Burnt out.
  • Lemon Yellow: fear of loss and abandonment
  • Pale Yellow: renewed sense of hope
  • Bright Orange: health, vibrancy, life
  • Orange-Red: great personal power, confidence
  • Orange-Yellow: perfectionist, scientific mind
  • Dark Red: centered, grounded, self sufficient
  • Bright Red: passionate, energetic, sexual
  • Cloudy Red: deep seated anger
  • Pink: artist, loving, sensual, gifted
  • Dark Pink: deceit, dishonesty
  • Royal Blue: clairvoyant, generous, open minded
  • Dark Blue: untrusting, can’t face the truth, denial
  • Light Blue: truthful, serene
  • Bright Green: natural healer
  • Yellow-Green: communication
  • Cloudy Green: jealousy, resentment
  • Turquoise: healer, helper, truth giver
  • Violet: visionary, daydreamer, spiritual love
  • Indigo: glimpses into other worlds, wise
  • Silver: abundance, wealth
  • Gold: protected, guided
  • Black: unwilling, unforgiving
  • Gray: blocked energy, untrusting
  • Brown: afraid to let go
  • White: newness, purity

Some people are born with broken or damaged auras with depleted energy fields, and therefore must feed off of other’s energy in order to feel healthy. It is possible, however, to heal a person’s damaged aura using energy and color therapy. Before you start work on other people, though, its important to  master cleansing and healing your own aura. You can clean your aura by visualizing it and any negative pollution within it, and using a fan, feather or your hand to flick the pollution off of your aura.

Meditation and Astral Travel

Meditation is a useful tool to help you learn to control your energy, and I often recommend it to people who are just starting out. Deep breathing and a clear head are essential parts of meditation, and are also the beginnings of learning to Astral Travel. Astral Projection is the ability to vacate your consciousness from your body and travel to other places with the Astral Realm, or as I call it, Elsewhere. I have various posts on the subject, which are highlighted in my post on Hedgecraft: A Guide to Astral Work.