Archive for October, 2013

Spider Wards

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The spiders are living in your house anyway. You might as well give them a job to do and a place to stay. Just remember to ask nicely.

What is a Ward?

A ward is used as a form of defensive protection. It might be used, for example, to keep insects or negativity away.

Why Spiders?

In my personal experience, I originally created a spider ward to keep insects away from my mini herb garden. Let’s just say the pet scorpion isn’t great at catching crickets, and I had a few who escaped. The spiders and their excellent web-making skills have really helped to take care of that problem. Over time, I’ve added to the spider ward to create greater protective measures.

Spiders are commonly associated with protection, progression, cycles, death, rebirth, and creation. As I have created my current spider ward, I have kept my intention and focus on protecting against anything that would inhibit my progression, creativity, and natural life cycle. In the spider ward pictured above, I currently have two small spiders living in the corner.

Chances are, the spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them. I had a spider about a month ago that would start spinning very quickly anytime I got near the ward, so I knew it wasn’t going to be coming anywhere near me.

How do I make my own spider ward?

  1. Clean your room and house and keep it that way! Spiders don’t like a mess or dirt, and will leave if it gets too dirty.
  2. Choose items for a spider house. Don’t feel you need to limit yourself. As long as they have a surface to make their webs on, they’ll be happy. Examples: books, rocks, cups, picture frames, etc. I’ve chosen two small flower pots, a large shell, and a small piece of driftwood.
  3. While you’re choosing your items, keep in mind that their qualities can be part of your protective measures too! A shell might represent security and shelter. A flower pot might represent help to grow. Books might represent the right to knowledge. Rocks might represent the element earth. Cups might represent the element water. All of these things can serve to protect and promote your desires. You can even enchant items for certain protective purposes and defenses.
  4. Set up the spider house with intent, and focus your energy on its purpose.
  5. When the spiders arrive, welcome them. It’s alright to talk to them, I promise.
  6. Remember to thank the spiders for their protection!

 

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Spell Sunday: Knot Healing

It’s that time of the year when sinuses, allergies, colds, and the flu are more common. This is a simple spell to aid in the healing process.

Disclaimer: This spell is by no means a substitute for medical treatment, and should be used as a supplement to assist in any treatments. Magic is not a cure-all, and I am writing as a witch, not a medical doctor.

  1. First, you’re going to want to pick out the colors of thread/ribbon to use for your knot bracelet.

From The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells:

  • Black: physical and mental exhaustion
  • Blue: emotional imbalance, PTSD, throat, speech, headaches, toothaches, insomnia
  • Brown: vertigo, disorientation, negative psychic energy
  • Green: physical healing, ulcer, high blood pressure, heart trouble, cancer
  • Orange: bowel and digestive disorders, arthritis, asthma, fevers, bronchitis, and related bronchial ailments
  • Red: physical disabilities, blood disorders, immunodeficiency disorders, vitamin deficiency, impotence, infertility
  • Yellow: stomach problems, skin disorders, depression
  • *Do not feel that you need to stick to these associations. These are simply suggestions. If you associate a color with something different, go with your gut feeling.

2. Once you’ve picked out your colors, cut the thread/ribbon in a length long enough that you can wear it as a bracelet with knots in it. If it’s too long, you can always trim the end. *You don’t have to wear it as a bracelet, but may want to so you remember to untie the knots. Another option is tying it to a bed post.*

3. Tie seven knots into the string of threads/ribbons. While doing so, visualize the medical problems transferring into each knot.

4. Each day, for seven days, untie one knot per day while visualizing relief from medical problems.

5. On the seventh day, you will dispose of the string.

  • Option 1: Throw the string into running water, such as a stream, flowing away from the person with medical problems.
  • Option 2: Burn the string in a fire-proof container, such as a cauldron.

Adapted from The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells by Judika Illes.

Witchy Crafts Wednesday: Spider Pops

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Spider Pops

I made these a few years back when I was working in a classroom around Halloween as part of my college teaching program. The kids loved them! These would also be great to hand out for Trick-or-Treat, or even at a Halloween party.

Items needed:

  • Lollipops
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Black tissue paper
  • Optional: Googly eyes, cotton spider web, glitter
  1. If you’re using black tissue paper, you’re going to want to wrap it around the lollipop first.
  2. Take 4 pipe cleaners and bend them in half. Start with one, and wrap it around the stick once. You might want to wrap it twice if it’s too long, or even cut the pipe cleaners in half, depending on the size of the lollipop.
  3. Once you have all 4 pipe cleaners on the stick, you can shape them so that they look like spider legs by bending the ends of them.
  4. Add any optional items you’d like to add, and be creative! You could even try hanging them all in a large cotton web for guests or trick-or-treaters to grab.
  5. Enjoy!

Magical Mondays: Magical Properties of Pumpkins

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Pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima)

As a child, you might have painted or carved pumpkins as Halloween tradition; and hopefully you’ve continued the tradition as an adult, because let’s admit it, it’s a fun one! If you’re like me, you’ve also waited patiently every year for Autumn to arrive so you could indulge your appetite for anything pumpkin flavored. Pumpkin latte’s, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies… all of the treats unique to the season. You’re probably also a fan of pumpkin scented candles and incense. It’s all right, I am too!

We know pumpkins taste and smell great, but are you aware of their magical properties? Pumpkins can be used for protection, divination, banishing, and prosperity.

  • Protection. Carving ghoulish faces into pumpkins and placing them at your doorstep is said to help protect your home from wandering, harmful spirits this time of year.
  • Divination. Keeping a pumpkin in your divination space is said to provide extra insight in the reading.
  • Banishing. To banish an unwanted spirit or person, write a note detailing who must be banished. Fill a hollowed pumpkin halfway with banishing herbs. Add a mixture of castor oil and olive oil.  Take the pumpkin outside in a space that is fire-safe. Throw a lit match into the pumpkin and allow it to burn completely. Remove any remains from your property, and take them to a stream or river to be carried away by the water if possible. (Adapted from Judika Illes Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells).
  • Prosperity. Pumpkins are a symbol of prosperity and can be placed on the altar, hearth, and doorstep to bring prosperity into the home and to those who live in it.

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to these magical properties! Pumpkins are great for carving anything into. Want to honor a deity? Carve a symbol of them into a pumpkin. Want to remember an ancestor? Carve their name into the pumpkin. Remember you can always put a candle inside of a pumpkin, and it would be an excellent place for a candle spell. Get creative and have fun! Make the practice your own!

Happy Magical Monday!

Witchy Crafts Wednesday: How to Make a Scrying Mirror

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This post is a day late, but it’s finally here!

  • Step 1: Find a picture frame with a glass insert. Second-hand shops and the Dollar Store are a great place to look. If you can’t find a frame you like, you can always purchase an unfinished frame and paint it yourself.
  • Step 2: Remove the glass from the frame and place it on paper you don’t mind getting paint on. Paint one side of the glass with dark paint. I chose black. You could also use a dark forest green, navy blue, or even purple, just be sure you choose the darkest shade possible. With black paint, it took three coats to finish. You want enough coats of paint on the back of the glass so that you can’t see any spots when you hold it up to a light.
  • Step 3: Once the paint has finished drying, you may want to spray it with a sealer/finish, but this is optional. When it’s completely dry, you can place it back inside the frame, painted side towards the back and glass side facing forward.
  • There you have it! Your own scrying mirror! Need to hide it from family members or roomates? Just add a picture on the outside, and remove it when you want to use the mirror.

How do I use a scrying mirror?

  1. Set your mirror up in a dark room. You want the room dark enough so that you can’t see any reflections in the glass.
  2. Light one or two candles in the room, but be sure they are not causing a reflection in the scrying mirror.
  3. You may choose to light incense associated with divination at this point, such as myrrh.
  4. Sit about 3 – 5 feet away from the mirror.
  5. Watch the mirror for 5 – 10 minutes. Do not force anything, and do not get frustrated. Images may come to you, but if they do not, try again the next day.
  6. If images do appear, you will want to interpret their meanings. A good place to start is dreammoods.com. Although the site is for dream interpretation, many of the images have the same meaning.

I’m always available for questions should you have any about interpretation. I also offer mirror scryings in my etsy shop, and 25% from each purchase goes towards a donation to my local animal shelter.

Divination & Dreams Tuesdays: Local Animal Shelter in Need!

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25% off of all purchases from my shop, and all readings will go towards a donation to the animal shelter.

You can purchase readings through PayPal on my main tumblr blog here, or shop blog here. If purchasing a reading through PayPal, please leave your question in the notes section. You will receive your reading via e-mail. 

My etsy shop is Hawthorn Howl. I also take custom orders. You can send me an ask on tumblr or message on my etsy shop. If you are purchasing a reading through the shop, please be sure to send me a message with your question. You will receive your reading via etsy message and e-mail.

What’s available:

  • 3 card reading
  • 5 card reading
  • 7 card reading
  • bibliomancy
  • crystal ball
  • scrying mirror
  • goblet gazing

Magic & Myth Mondays: The Magical Properties of Maple

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Lately, I’ve had so many people ask questions about what magic requires, and what it doesn’t.

“This spell says I need this color candle, these herbs, and these crystals. I don’t have access to any of these, or I can’t afford them. Help!”

Truthfully, you don’t need any of that. Of course it’s nice to have, but it’s not necessary. In my personal practice, I like to keep things simple. Find your intent, and focus your energy. Everything around you can have a magical purpose if you get creative enough. I’m going to keep this week’s focus on a tree common in my area, the maple.

When I want to be reminded of the magic that fills maple trees, I take a walk in my own back yard. Just last week, I stood outside below one of the maples, looking up at the falling leaves. Each leaf that fell spiraled and floated down to the ground; and although some leaves fell together, the wind kept them all on a separate path. Much like humans, the maple leaves grow together, are taken on separate paths for a period of time, and return together as one. In one short year, the maple shows us the beauty of the life cycle. The process of dying for the maple leaf is not a sight of grim shadows, but a process of brilliant colors and captivating scents. The maple tree stands between the worlds of life and death, showing us the beauty in each.

Taking a closer look at the maple leaf, we find that there are many magical properties in the colors alone:

  • Red – fire, passion, strength, war, lust
  • Orange – creativity, intellect, opportunity, success, joy
  • Yellow – air, sun, happiness, imagination, inspiration
  • Green – earth, money, luck, healing, growth
  • Brown – animal magic, locating lost objects, house blessing

How to use maple leaves in your practice:

  • Make a wreath to hang on your front door or over the hearth – to bring desires to you related to the colors of the leaves.
  • Pick out one leaf, write your specific desires on it, seal it with wax paper and an iron, and frame it until the following autumn.
  • Use the leaves as mulch – to promote successful garden growth for the following year.

All this talk about leaves.. Don’t forget the maple syrup!

You can use it in a spell when you want to make someone or a situation “sweeter”.

Happy Magical Monday!