Posts tagged ‘magic’

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!

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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!

 

Spell Sunday: Simple Apple Spell

Washing away the negativity:

  • Rinse your apple under running water and imagine all the negativity in your life washing away. (Alternatively, if you are doing this with a group of people, you can rinse the apples in a large bucket of water, and pour the water into the ground as you imagine the negativity in your life washing away.)
  • Dry your apple.

Carving growth:

  • Use a sharp utensil, such as a knife or fork to carve on the outside of the apple ways in which you wish to grow. For example, creative growth or job promotion. Take the time putting your energy into the intention of growth.

Feasting on the harvest of growth:

  • At this point, you may eat the apple. As you do so, remember all of the ways in which you wish to grow.

*Carry the apple seeds for good luck.*

 

On Witchcraft and Ethics

Frequently asked questions:

Does witchcraft have a standard set of ethics?

The short answer is no.

You have to follow the Wiccan Rede, right?

No. I’m not Wiccan. I’m a witch.

Let me further explain. Wicca and witchcraft are NOT the same thing. Wicca is a religion, witchcraft is a craft. Some Wiccans practice witchcraft, yes. Some Christians practice witchcraft. Some people practice witchcraft separate from a religion, and I’m one of those people.

By definition of rede (counsel or advice), it’s not a law, and Wiccans don’t have to follow it either.

Part of the Wiccan Rede states “An’ ye harm none, do what ye will.” What counts as harm? This is debated, even by Wiccans. It’s a sticky topic, and I prefer to avoid sticky topics.

Another part describes the “Rule of Three,” in which what you do comes back to you in threes. Nope, I still don’t give a floating banshee, because I’m not Wiccan.

Well, what about karma?

This one annoys me to no end, and drives nails under my skin. Karma is not a Western term. It does not mean “What goes around comes around.” Karma is an Eastern term. I’m not going to explain here what karma actually is, instead – Read this and learn something. 

Yes, I’m telling you to do your research. Use your critical thinking skills. Don’t stop at one source, go find your own sources, and question everything.

Do you curse people?

Dictionary.com defines curse as:

  1. the expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc., befall a person, group, etc.
  2. a formula or charm intended to cause such misfortune to another
  3. the act of reciting such a formula

Have you ever said, “Oh, I wish they would crash into a ditch!” ? What about, “I hope they trip and fall!” ? Perhaps, “I wish their internet would stop working so they couldn’t complete that paper that’s due tomorrow!”

You have? Then technically, you’ve cursed someone. I’m sure most people have at some point, without even thinking about it. So yes, I curse people too. Like that person on the highway who cut me off, I hope they get an expensive speeding ticket. That person who was a jerk to me, I hope their favorite chair breaks. You get the idea.

May your soda always be shaken enough to explode on your freshly shampooed carpets.

Why do people curse?

It’s different for everyone. Maybe it’s for justice, maybe it’s just because they feel like it. Stop curse-shaming.

Someone might curse a person for calling them a hurtful name. Another person might curse their rapist. Are you the universal ethics police? No? Then who are you to judge? Each person has their own individual set of ethics.

So, do you practice white magic, or black magic?

Are you concerned about whether I practice the “good white magic” or “bad black magic?” If so, you should probably ask yourself about your thought processes. Really analyze them, because you might be thinking like a racist.

I don’t label magic with colors, and I don’t label it as morally good or bad. Magic is magic.

Are you a good witch, or an evil witch?

I don’t believe in labeling people as “good” or “evil”. The acts of people can be seen as “good” or “bad” through different moral and ethical systems, sure. However, I don’t find use in creating an ultimate for people. We’re human.

So, I am neither a good witch, nor an evil witch. I am simply a witch. I am human.

What are your moral/ethical beliefs?

I do as I please. I look at each situation individually, and I do what I believe to be the right thing. Keep your ethics out of my cauldron.

 

Witchcraft

First, I’ll start by saying that I define myself as a witch, or sorceress. I practice witchcraft.

By my definition, witchcraft is a craft, similar to knitting or painting, that is non-religious, and uses magic. As a note, witchcraft does not have to be religious, but can be incorporated into religion.

I often hear, “Is magic real?” Here is my response:

Watch this clip – Jar of Dirt

Jack Sparrow questions Calypso as to whether or not the jar of dirt will help him. She tells him, “If you don’t want it, give it back.” He replies, “No.” Calypso tells Jack, “Then it helps.”

The point is, it’s all in your belief of magic. If you believe in magic, then it exists. These are your personal beliefs, not anyone else’s.

Of course, I can’t perform anything like what you see in Harry Potter, Hocus Pocus, Charmed, or Practical Magic, but it would be nice if I could. I’d love to be able to give myself more time for learning, and be able to say a couple of words and have the house clean. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

So what exactly do I do?

I make magic a part of my every day life.

I practice witchcraft in the kitchen, also known as kitchen witchery. I honor the mundane in life. I find pleasure in cooking and baking, and I focus my energy into the process to create a little bit of magic. Many know how much I enjoy baking lavender sugar biscuits. They taste wonderful, but they’ve also got some magical properties in them -lavender is great for protection, healing, and restful sleep.

I focus my witchcraft on the home and family, commonly known as cottage witchcraft. I make natural cleaners with various herbs. Lavender is great for cleaning, also, if you’re going for calming and purification effects in the home – just be sure to keep it away from the pets. I turn bathing into an aromatherapy session, using different herbs for different desires. I put up protections for the home, and my family.

I practice witchcraft when I step outside of my door, into my lawn. This is known as green witchcraft. It involves gardening, herbalism, gifts from nature, and working with wildlife. I grow basil in my garden, not just to make delicious pesto sauce at some point, but also for luck. I honor the energies and life cycles of plants and wildlife. I believe in thanking the trees for clean air to breathe. I believe in thanking the bats for keeping the mosquito population to a minimum.

Finally, I make no promises that your soda didn’t explode on your freshly shampooed carpets because you’re an asshat.