Hexing, Healing and Harming None.

I’ve been asked if I put spells on people, good or bad.

I don’t. Well, not specific spells, anyway- general well-being, protective and healing spells if asked or if I’m feeling compelled at the time.

Its because I believe in free will, life lessons and karma.

My ex, the Idiot, was convinced I cursed him when his second marriage failed. I didn’t. I suppose at one time or another, I had wished he got everything he deserved.

* I may or may not have hoped that included heartbreak and despair – however I did not set those parameters, specifically…. I was willing to let Karma decide*

At the time it felt like bad juju and also he’s my kids dad. Whatever happens to him effects my kids. Also, I really liked his 2nd wife. I was happy that he was happy. I was sad, but not surprised, when she left him.

I also do not do spells for people. Not unless they are willing to sit down with me, explain in detail how they feel, what they want and walk through every step with me. Magic is very personal. What you want and what I think you want could be miles apart.

I’m not going to be responsible if it doesn’t work exactly like you expect it to.

And guess what, magic rarely does.

But that’s besides the point.

In the Wiccan Rede there is a line that states, And it harm none, do as ye will”

That’s an incredibly liberating line. Especially for people who are being controlled by religious constraints, social norms, etc.

That line gives a person the right to step out of the role that society has imposed upon them. You can love the person you want, even if they are the same sex, a different race or religion, living across the country.

It means you can tattoo your skin or pierce your eyebrow or wear white after labor day. It means you can leave a toxic relationship or choose to live with 10 cats.

It also means you are free to run a company but you cannot exploit your workers or knowingly pollute the environment. There’s an ethical component to the Rule.

This is a great line to hold in your heart and guide your choices when you’re brand new and working to break the chains that kept you from knowing and expressing yourself.

I’ve even incorporated in my child rearing practices. As my kids grew, I made them consider this. Will hanging out your window with a lighter and a can of hairspray hurt you or someone else? Maybe? Then DON’T DO IT!

Most people who find this path develop a lot of righteous anger. They feel they’ve been lied to, manipulated and controlled. Its normal to be angry; healthy even. And having that one constraint of ‘harm none’ is like using training wheels as you heal your soul and develop your powers.

So then we come to the old adage that says if a witch can’t hex, they can’t heal.

I feel like this is more for the seasoned practitioner. The witch that’s been around long enough to heal some of their trauma and dabbled in magic long enough to have a basic understanding of how it works. Not that its more difficult, just that it requires more insight, control and ethics than ‘harm none’

Think sex ed. We tell our preschoolers that baby’s grow in mommy’s bellies. We tell our school age children that mommy and daddy loved each other very much and created a baby that will grow in mommy’s belly.

And then we tell our teenagers the details of how that baby was created.

The actual physical, chemical and emotional steps to creating life. And if your smart, you’ll tell them how to prevent it.

Teenagers have bodies that are changing and hormones that are surging. They need to know more and are emotionally capable of understanding some of the finer nuances,

The biggest reason for not giving all the emotional, physical and scientific facts to your three year old is that they won’t understand it. They’re brain isn’t developed enough to handle the abstract concepts.

A new Witch needs to grow a bit before tackling the nuances of hexing vs. healing.

I  feel like the concept isn’t so much that you should hex if your going to heal or that you have to hex if you want to heal.
I feel like it refers more to the mechanics of magic.

In the process of using magic, a witch manipulates energy. We draw that energy from the earth, from Spirit and from ourselves. We obtain our energy from the food we eat but also the emotions we feel. The stronger the emotion the more energy we can harness.

With this idea in mind, great energy can be harnessed by love, fear, and anger; our strongest emotions.

I think the idea that ‘you can’t heal if you can’t hex’ refers to the ability to harness both the the joys of love and the fire of anger.

A long time ago, I was saved by the idea that emotions swing like a pendulum.

I had my first 3 kids with in a 5 year period. I suffered some serious depression in those years. Part was situational, part was isolation and a big part was hormones.

After my second, I had the worst postpartum depression ever. Serious stereotypical signs of depression. Inability to function; I couldn’t eat, sleep, bathe. I had suicidal ideations…the works. Eventually hormones stabilized and life got back to normal….if there is a sense of normal in being 21 with 2 babies.

When I was pregnant with #3 I was secretly afraid that I would return to that level of despair. In the process of fearing it I managed to block all strong emotions. Long story short, by the time he was 18 months, I was 50 pounds overweight, exhausted and numb.

I realized that I couldn’t feel happy because I was too afraid to feel sad and If I wanted to feel the ecstatic joy that I imagined was possible, I had to risk feeling despair again.

I swung back and forth a few years. I found some great emotional highs but never stayed stuck in the lows. I learned that emotions are temporary if you don’t hold on to them.

This was before I discovered this magical path. It was my first step in taking more control over my own life.

But relating this back to the hexing and healing stuff. I feel like this piece of advice is best taken in the context that you have to master your emotions.

You have to be able to harness your fear and anger. You have to be brave enough to feel happy and fall in love. You have to be able to recognize the emotions, feel them and learn to let go of them if you want to work strong magic.

How can I cast a protective circle around the women of Georgia if I really just want to disembowel the Republicans that drafted the ridiculous legislation.

I could use that energy to hex the misogyny if I was so inclined.

I’m not… usually.

But more importantly, I have to recognized the anger, feel the anger and let it go effectively BEFORE I attempt to do protective and healing spell work.

If I don’t, my anger and frustration will leach into my good intentions in a passive-aggressive cluster-fuck that has the potential to hurt the very Sisterhood I’m trying to protect.

The thing is, once you know how to recognize, feel, and release an emotion, you’re only one step away from using it in spell work, whether that’s healing or hexing.

What this advice does NOT say is that you have to hex. This is your practice, this is your life and your choice. If hexing doesn’t feel right than don’t do it. Easy-peasy.

However you do have to do the emotional work. You do have to process those ‘hexing’ emotions. You know, next level Witch work.

And just because you choose not to hex doesn’t mean you can’t heal.

Please do.

The world needs more healers.

Dame Habonde – a Lesson in Abundance

Dame Habondi

I recently received a request for a custom Spirit Doll from a client I’ve worked with before.

He asked if I’d ever heard of Dame Habonde.

I hadn’t but a quick google search netted me plenty of information of this little known goddess and peaked my interest.

In Celtic areas she was a Goddess of abundance, joy, fertility and luck. Her symbols are ale and fire and as such she was honored by dancing around a bonfire.

In Wales, She’s celebrated on the First Monday in July.

She’s also connected with the night riders, believed to creep into homes at night bringing prosperity to the occupants. She was eventually dismissed as a witch and almost lost. 

As a fertility Goddess it automatically puts her in the Mother section of the Goddess triptych. But I didn’t pick up on new mother or young mother.

I was feeling a seasoned mother, maybe bordering on crone-hood; a wise and patient mother.

And yet in contrast I was picking up on early summer, more of first fruits rather that first harvest that most abundance goddess are associated with.

And just for shits and giggles, Habonde kept shooting over visions of strawberries.

Now here where I live, Strawberry season is the last half of June and in my house it’s a big deal. We have a local u-pick that does a big festival to kick off its harvesting season.

The Renaissance Man and I drag the kids into the field to pick our share while they complain that they’re bored and hot and dying……then I spend the next 2 days processing strawberries; freezing, jelly-making and cordials.

I feel like this was her way of giving me a clear picture of her energy.

I worked with my client on the details; He pictured red braids and green/gold energy.

I added ruby in zoistite, emerald and rhodochrosite chips for the rich abundant energy and self love, because you can’t have one without the other.

And then a funny thing happened.

It’s my artistic nature to add more. More of everything. More layers, more fabric, more fibers, more beads. Just more.

But every time I tried, it looked wrong. I wasn’t feeling it. I got a little nervous thinking maybe I lost my mojo. 

I’d undo what I tried and try something else. Sometimes I’d walk away, hoping that when I came back, the next layer would be more clear.

After 3 days, I finally asked Her. “What else do you need?”

And she laughed.

Nothing. I’m perfect. Sometimes, more isn’t better, it’s just more!”

So she was photographed, approved and sent off to her happy home to work her magic and bring joy to the man who commissioned her.

Her words echoed in my head. A sure sign that there was a lesson to be remembered.

The eerie truth is that it’s exactly what I told my ex-husband years ago.

Sometimes, more isn’t better. It’s just more.

He was the poster child for 80’s culture. “The one that dies with the most toys, wins”

Remember that idea?

No…okay, I’m old.

He lived by that, filling our cape cod to the seams with crap he’d never use, leaving it up to me to figure out where to keep it.

In frustration, I spit those exact words at him and he laughed a nervous laugh that suggested I was right but he wasn’t willing to admit it.

He’s still a pack rat, but his house isn’t my problem anymore. I’m not as bad, I’ll do a whole house purge at least once a year. 

I find it odd that a Deity of Abundance and plenty would preach against ‘more’. Isn’t that what Abundance is about?

So, what is the lesson now, how can that idea be applied to our current situations? Am I more focused on getting more? Do I really need it? Does it hamper my ability to enjoy the now?

And of course because I’ve lived with a pack rat and currently live in a tiny little hobbit house….. If I do feel I need it, how often will I use it? Where will I put it?

I think Dame Habonde is pointing out that abundance isn’t about more. Maybe its about enough. Enough to sustain, enough to share, enough to not worry about the next week, the next month, the dark and scarce winter seasons….

Maybe its not about having ‘it’ squirreled away in the back of the closet ‘just in case’. Maybe its about having the faith that it’ll show up when we need it. Maybe it’s about paying it forward and providing our excess to people who need it now. Something to think about. 

Daffodil (2019 update)

Okay, so a little back ground on my adventures with daffodils.

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I love these little rays of sunshine!

They are the first flowers to show up in my yard every spring. For me, its the first sign that the long, cold, miserable, Midwest winter is almost over.

I’ve always grown these – I’ve been adulting since ’92 and bought our first house in ’96. I’ve grown them at almost every house I’ve lived in since.

I didn’t start intentionally using them in magic until 2014,  when I first wrote this post. 

That year I tested out some spells and rituals. I was quite happy with the results so I began picking and drying out the flowers towards the end of their growing season.

I picked too many.

So I offered them in my shop.

It became an accidental success so I continue to harvest my daffodils every year.

This year looked like I was going to have a bumper crop. Two years ago I divided them and moved them around. They did well. I never doubted them. One of the reasons I love them is that they’re incredibly dependable and resilient. 

I started picking the ones growing on the south side of the house. Those always bloom first. I almost started picking the ones up front yesterday but the butterflies were dancing through them so I decided to give them a few more days.

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Daffodils 2019

I’d hate to deny the butterflies a happy meal after all.

Imagine my surprise to wake up this morning  to sleet and snow! I sat in the front window for an hour, drinking my coffee and watching the slush pile up on those poor flowers.

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I’ll know by tomorrow if they’ll survive. Its supposed to be back up in the 50’s.  And I guess I  can be thankful that all the bulbs I transplanted to the back haven’t bloomed yet. Those will show up in another week or so.

I’ll have a fresh batch of dried daffodil flowers  available by the middle of May, just maybe not as many as I anticipated.

So what do you do with Daffodil flowers? 

Well, I’m a big supporter of being creative with your magical workings, I won’t tell you what to do or how to use them.
(*except I highly suggest that you not consume them. All parts of a daffodil are toxic and can make you sick)

I will share some of the properties and how I use them.

Daffodils symbolize joy and happiness, hope and cheerfulness.
Traditionally their ‘power’ includes Luck, Love, and Fertility.

  • I put fresh cut daffodils on my altar and throughout the house to attract friendly Spirits.
  • Add dried flowers to a mojo or medicine bags to a dash of joy.
  • Add to a poppet for emotional healing.
  • Sprinkle on a doorstep to keep negative energy from entering.
  • Roll an anointed candle in crushed flower petals.

Also fun fact: Daffodils were adopted by the Druids as their flower.

Do you have a favorite way to use Daffodils? I’d love to hear about it.

 

 

Making and Using Poppets in Magic

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Poppets!

I’ve been making dolls since I was just a little freckle-faced kid. I guess it was because I could. I saw faces and personalities in everything.

I made pompom dolls with yarn.
I made corn husk dolls.
I carved faces in apples and let them dry.
I wrapped dried corn cobs in long grass.
I saw people in the shapes of flowers and trees.

I made paper dolls and cloth rag dolls. As an adult I’ve made art dolls, mixed media, beaded, assembled, folk dolls. Most recently, I make Spirit dolls.

So of course I make poppets.

Poppets are awesome little tools with a wide range of uses.

When people see poppets (or any other folk art doll) they think voodoo doll. They’re not wrong…..poppets can be used in voodoo but voodoo has negative connotations. Voodoo Dolls are scary.

For the purpose of this article, let’s just move forward with the assumption that we’re practicing beneficial magic with good intentions.

Magical practice is all about intent! A poppet can be used to harm others or it can be used to heal yourself. (I’m not a big supporter of using magic on others, especially without their permission, I prefer to use magic to adjust the energy around a situation)

A poppet stands in for a person. Usually it’s a cloth rag doll with some basic rudimentary people features; eyes, mouth, heart. It can be as detailed as you want.

It can be stuffed with doll stuffing or herbs or both. You can add gemstones by either stuffing them inside or sewing chips outside. You can add ‘clothes’ by wrapping them with cloth, write words on them on them or decorate them in anyway you see fit.

When you’re happy with your doll you need to add a bit of yourself (or the person the poppet is representing). It’s best to add this inside the doll with the stuffing.

Hair or fingernail clippings are usually the easiest to access. Blood, sweat, spit or other body fluid would work too. If all else fails, a scrap of clothing, an small object that belonged to the person or a picture of the person will work in a pinch.

Once you’ve added the personal touch, sew the opening closed.

Now you need to ‘wake ‘ the doll, give it a name and a purpose. First “breathe” life into it. (I’ve always interpreted this as blowing into its face) Then say something like this:

“ Wake up little poppet. You are complete, I will call you _______. You job is _______.”

So….what kind of ‘jobs’ can you give a poppet? It can be anything you feel is necessary. Healing, love, peace, protection.

Healing Poppets are common and convenient. You can make one to stand in place for a distant loved one who may need healing. (Get permission first) You can perform healing spells or Reiki on the doll, stuff it with healing herbs, anoint it with a healing oil and it will send the energy to its human equivalent.

Do you or a friend needs courage during a trying time? You can stuff it with herbs for courage and instruct it to absorb some of your fears.

Do you need protection from psychic attacks? Add some protective herbs and stones and instruct it to absorb and dissipate any negative energy coming your way.

Do you seek peace? Want more love in your life? Looking for some good luck or more prosperity? You can create a poppet for any of these by adding the right colors, herbs, stones, oils and then giving your poppet a job.

Can’t sew? It’s cool, I can. Check it out.

If you wanted something more personalized, shoot me a line (either here or on Facebook)

Egg Shell Chalk –

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A quick google search on egg shells + magic will net you a huge list of sites and references to cascarilla powder. The powder is supposedly made from egg shells and is used for protection, purification and cleansing. It’s use is attributed to hoodoo, sanitaria and other Afro-Caribbean religions

I don’t practice hoodoo. I have a limited understanding of it but I won’t claim to be an expert at practicing it. It’s kind of the same way I can explain the concept of taking communion in the Catholic Church although I’ve never done it because I didn’t go through the sacraments necessary for being able to enjoy the privilege.

I’ve come across practitioners of hoodoo who say it isn’t used in Hoodoo, but it is used in Santeria. It claims cascarilla represents sacred white earth of Africa called efun and is used to keep negative energy away. .

I’ve also come across a plant called cascarilla, from Tropical regions, whose bark is powdered and used in similar rituals. The bark has a number of medicinal qualities in and of itself.

I suspect that over the years as white earth of Africa and the bark of the cascarilla plant were not available. Locals substituted what they did have on hand; Egg Shells but didn’t change the name.

Witches, no matter what pantheon you follow, tend to be a resourceful sort.

That being said, egg shells are by no means limited to only Afro- Caribbean versions of the craft. My Western European ancestors and Irish grandmothers were reliant on birds, their eggs, and the shells left behind. And being resourceful witches, they used what they had on hand in whatever manner they deemed fit.

Egg shells, yep, egg shells.

They’re kind of magical, if you think about it. Egg shells act as protection for the growing embryo inside. That’s the concept I consider when using egg shells in magic.

I have used it a lot like black salt by sprinkling it around a space, across thresholds and window sills. But I’ve also made egg shell powder into chalk and used it to make sigils for a variety of reasons.

Egg shells have other practical uses in general but the magic part is more fun.

How do you use egg shells in everyday magic?

So if you’re like most people, you crack an egg and toss the shell in the garbage. If you had a grandma like mine, you wash your hands right away.

Maybe you throw those shells in the compost bin instead of the garbage and I applaud you! In the compost the crumbled shells act to keep the heap from getting too compacted as they very slowly break down releasing their calcium into the earth. The calcium is necessary for helping plants grow strong roots.

Perhaps you already know that and as an avid and thrifty gardener you help Mother Nature out by grinding down your spend egg shells into a powder and adding it to the garden soil. Or maybe you just use the crumble egg shells to keep slugs and snails away from your precious vegetables.

But let’s talk about making chalk? The calcium that benefits your plants is the same thing that leaves the chalky mark. All chalk is made from some sort of calcium combination. {insert fancy chemical compound names I can never remember}

The first thing to do once you’ve crack the eggs is to rinse them out and remove the membrane. Collecting egg shells is more of an after thought for me. I’m using the eggs in cooking and baking so I don’t really have time to peel the membrane off right away. I’ll soak them in a bowl of soapy water until I’m done cooking.

When I am ready to process the shells, I’ll rinse them again and gently peel the thin film from the inside of the shell. It’s kind of pinkish in the right light. Just be careful because that membrane is what gives the shell it’s real strength. Once you start pulling it off the shell will start to crumble. I know that’s the point of this craft but it’s a pain in the ass to collect the tiny shell pieces.

Once the shell is relatively membrane free you can leave them to air dry, *which is what I usually do* or put them on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven at 250 for a half an hour or so. You want them really dry and brittle.

So now comes the fun part!

I’ve dabbled and played with a number of different ratios and have come up with a mix that works well with making egg shell chalk. I know a lot of recipes start off with the number of egg shells you need. But seriously folks, eggs come in different sizes; medium, large, extra-large. And then there are duck eggs and pheasant eggs and ostrich eggs. The number of egg shells means nothing to me.

I tend to collect egg shells for a week or so before I grind them in the coffee grinder and store the powder in a glass jar. I have it when I need it, whether to make chalk, add to a garden or to provide a magic barrier.

Some people prefer grinding egg shells in a mortar and pestle. I’m not knocking it. The time and energy it takes to grind up an egg shell into a fine powder gives you a chance to put your energy and intention into it. It’s just more convenient for me to use the coffee/herb grinder. I’d rather add my intentions when I’m ready to use it.

  • 1 tablespoon of powdered egg shells
  • 2 teaspoons of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of hot water.

Mix the flour and hot water in a small bowl. This is going to active the gluten in the wheat flour. The gluten is what keeps the chalk together. Think of gluten as glue….ya, I know, I’m lame.

Once you have a gooey paste add the Tablespoon of Egg shell powder. Mix and press until most of the powder has been incorporated into the paste. It’ll be a bit doughy now. Kneed the mix together, collecting all the crumbs until it forms a ball in your hand without crumbling apart. This kneading and forming part is where I add my intentions to the chalk.

If it’s too crumbly add water a drop at a time until it forms. If it’s too wet and sticks to your hand sprinkle more egg shell powder until it’s pretty solid.

When it is well mixed and forms a ball that doesn’t crumble apart, you can mold it into a cylinder or whatever shape you want and wrap it in paper towel. Let it dry for about 3 days depending on how dense your shape is. Alternatively, you could pop it in the dehydrator for a couple hours.

Here’s a neat little trick also, you can add other powdered herbs to enhance or specify your intention.

Add about a teaspoon of the powdered herb when you add the egg shell powder and slowly add more warm water to accommodate.

For example you could powder basil or mint for prosperity, rose petals or jasmine for love spells, sage for protection…the possibilities are endless.

You can also add a few drops of essential oils to the paste to give your chalk an enchanted aura. I personally love patchouli for the magical feel but add the magically appropriate essential oil of your choice. It’s good to layer your intentions.

Now that you have your magical egg shell chalk you can use it in ritual or draw protection sigils around your property. It works really well on sidewalk concrete and bricks. It didn’t do much more than scratch the aluminum siding of my house although the magic is in the intention more so than the chalk Also I wouldn’t use it on windows. I would opt to make blessing oil and anoint the windows with that.

Not keen on making your own? I made extra. You can find patchouli infused Egg Shell chalk here. 

For the Love of Daffodils

A few weeks ago I joined a group that is all about learning and making Flower Essence. I love flowers. I keep a garden. I collect plant material for Art and Spells. I knew nothing about Flower Essence but I jumped in feet first!

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The first flowers to come up in my garden  were Daffodils. Big ones and Little ones. These were the beauties that agreed to lend me their essence. Daffodils are toxic so I didn’t pluck their flowers. I just set my jar of water next to the plant in the bright sun for a few hours.

I buried some banana peels around them first, as a thank you.

When I retrieved my jar of water I felt a surge of cheerfulness. It’s not a common emotion for me. Happy, yes. Content, often.

Cheerful?  ummm…no. Cheerful has it’s own signature.

The water definitely had it’s own vibration and it was a cheerful one 🙂

I also realized after the fact that I collected the essence on 4-11-14. According to Doreen Virtue’s Angel numbers it pretty much says:

“Angels are helping you to keep your thoughts positive so that you only attract your highest and best out comes. “

The one thing I’ve always been bad at is keeping records of  magical workings. I’ve been dabbling for years and I kind of recall the different results, but I can’t be sure on a lot of things  because I didn’t write it down.

So beginning with the Daffodil Flower Essence, I’ve decided to have fun with my research and results!

 I’m keeping records my way. In bold color. With personal drawings and fun quotes and odd facts!

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I suppose when I get around to mustering up spells and amulets and magical recipes, they too will be written more artfully than a standard Book of Shadows.

I’m discovering that The Art of Flower Essence is more in the Intuition needed to ‘hear’ the message and ‘feel’ the vibrational energy.

Obviously I got “cheerful’ from them but some of the other  messages were:

  • Shine.
  • Inner Light.
  • No more Doubt.
  • Listen.
  • Know.

These messages correlated with what I researched. Which is awesome but it makes me wonder if I’m only feeling what I expect to feel. So yesterday I was out collecting the dying flower heads for amulets and spells, the hyacinth began to beckon me. Dancing and singing and teasing, I decided to collect the essence before I researched, so as to accurately compare my data with others. I let you know how that worked.

 

And not to disappoint anyone, The daffodils did request their own likeness and I’ve begun and Spirit doll in their honor! I have everything ready. I just need to sit down and do it!

**Update – the Daffodil doll is finished and can be found here!

Although it is the last Daffodil project on my list and I’m not sure if I want to move on just yet.

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